With today’s Friday Sermon Huzur (aba) commenced on a series of sermons on the Divine attribute of Al Ra’uf, The Compassionate. Huzur (aba) recited verse (2:144) of Surah Al Baqarah. The verse speaks of Bait ul Maqqadas in Jerusalem being first appointed as the Qibla for Muslims [and the subsequent change by Divine command to face Mecca] as a measure of determining the strength of faith among people in following the instructions Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him).
Huzur (aba) began by explaining the denotation of word Ra’uf (Compassionate) and said that it connotes extreme mercy and kindness and is indeed one of the beautiful Divine names. Huzur (aba) said that it is written in Lisan al-Arab [The Arabic Tongue] that the attribute of compassion was deeper and indeed subtler than the attribute of mercy and that it denotes a Being Who is Ever Merciful.
With reference to the traditions of the Holy Prophet (may peace and blessings be on him) Huzur (aba) said that he indeed used to observe Salat facing Jerusalem before the Divine revelation of making Ka’aba in Mecca as the permanent Qibla. Huzur (aba) said once a companion of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) happened to be around a congregational prayer where people were facing Jerusalem and were in the posture of bowing or raku. So tremendous was their faith that upon the companion’s assertion, declaring Allah as his Witness, that he had seen the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) observe his Salat facing Mecca, the entire congregation changed position in the posture that they were in. Huzur (aba) said that when queries were raised about those companions who had passed away before the revelation of facing Mecca during Salat was made, was the juncture when the verse of Al Baqarah declaring that indeed "Allah is Compassionate, Merciful to people" was revealed.
Huzur (aba) concluded on an excerpt of the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) writings that Allah has guided the Muslim ummah to adopt the middle and the balanced approach and indeed the Holy Quran commands and directs us towards this. Huzur (aba) said the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said blessed is he who adopts the balanced, moderate approach.
The Jumu'ah (Friday) prayer is one form of congregational worship in Islam. It takes place every Friday. Regular attendance at the Jumu'ah prayer is enjoined on the believer. According to a Saying of Muhammad(sa) this congregational prayer is twenty-five times more blessed than worship performed alone. (Bukhari)
“O ye who believe! When the call is made for Prayer on Friday, hasten to the remembrance of Allah, and leave off all business. That is best for you, if you only knew.” more
“… (He who) offers the Prayers and listens quitely when the Imam stands up for sermon, will have his sins forgiven between that Friday and the next” (Bukhari)