Huzur(may Allah be his support), delivered the Friday sermon on July 25, 2008 at Hadeeqatul-Mahdi, site of the 2008 annual convention of the Ahmadiyya Community of the United Kingdom. Below is a summary.
The annual convention of the UK Ahmadiyya community is starting today. This year's annual convention has gained special importance due to the celebrations of the hundred years of Ahmadiyya Khilafat in the Community by expressing our gratitude. The local Community has made an effort to accommodate increased attendance from inside and outside of the country. I have hope that generally the arrangements will be better, God willing, accept for minor exceptions. Experience over extended years has made workers expert in their respective areas. An enhanced spirit of dedication among the workers has been apparent during the conventions in Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, US and Canada. Excitement was obvious at the US convention.
Such large preparations, staying in compliance with applicable regulations, are not seen anywhere else in the world. With respect to attendance, the conventions of Britain and Germany stand at par. The convention in Ghana this year excelled by far with respect to attendance. I did not mention Pakistan as for the last 24 years, the so-called flag-berarer of human rights government is not allowing us to hold our annual conventions. Pray for the improvement of conditions in Pakistan. Maulawi failed to gain power in the last elections and is now taking revenge from the whole country by weakening its foundations by creating disorder all over. Despite knowing how the public has rejected the mulla yet the government is afraid of them. Pray for the Ahmadis in Pakistan that they may be able to hold their functions freely, and the oppressive laws be abrogated.
Guests also have responsibilities. It is their responsibility to discharge them. Everyone should experience the convention in such a way that it becomes a part of their lives. All Prayers should reflect attention and humbless and should be offered on time and in congregation. Muslims are promised in the Quranic verse of Khilafat that Khilafat will result from worship and worsgip again will result in gratefulness on experiencing the blessings of Khilafat. Weakness in Prayers is weakness in belief leading to weakness in relationship with Khilafat. Protect Prayers so the Prayers protect us. May Allah bestow on us such Prayers which save us from every kind of misdeed and inappropriateness. Pay attention these days to pure Prayers, worship and supplications as that is the purpose of our gathering here.
Establish the greetings of peace (salam) during the convention. It is an instrument to increase love and affection among us.
Do not become a guest without invitation. Hosting by the Community is for a specific period. Some people try to stay much beyond the specific period. Some people work while their visa does not allow and cause issues for the community when the government comes to know.
Volunteers though enthusiastic but come from different backgrounds. If a worker errs, the guest should show forbearance.
All should abide by regulations if they have come to partake of the blessings of the gathering. Voluntears also show consideraion on small infractions considering the guests are human.
Organizers in the kitchen should show leniency in serving needy guests during non-serving hours as food shops are closed during the proceedings of the convention. Such people should also keep something to eat in need to avoid inconvenience.
There is example for guests too in the character of the Promised Messiah, peace be on him as is for the hosts. If a deficiecy is seen, try to recall the purpose of your visit here after a journey of hunreds or thousands of miles.
Every one should keep an eye on their environment with respect to security and safety. If you see a suspect face, immediately inform management. If someone leaves a bag or item divert their attention to the item or inform the management of the convention. There is need for greater care in the ladies section. No lady should be sitting there among the ladies with her face covered. Observe cleanliness. Read carefully the instructions listed in the program brochure and follow them diligently.
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)