Citing verse 111 of Surah Al e Imran, Huzur gave a discourse on the depiction of the Quranic term Khaira Ummah (best people) in his Friday Sermon today. The translation of the verse is, You are the best people raised for the good of mankind; you enjoin what is good and forbid evil and believe in Allah. And if the People of the Book had believed, it would have surely been better for them. Some of them are disbelievers, but most of them are disobedient. (3:111). Huzur said the verse draws attention to the significance and objectives of being a Muslim. Without doubt, being a Muslim is most significant, having believed in the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and the last and complete Shariah about which God has declared that, Verily, We Ourselves have sent down this Exhortation, and most surely We will be its Guardian. (15:10). To this day we witness this Divine promise fulfilled with glory. Islam alone has got this distinct honour and until the Day of Judgement it will be only Islam that will retain this honour. A true believer needs to ponder whether it is sufficient to simply feel a sense of pride at this Divine declaration as well as what exactly is the role of a Muslim in the last and final Shariah? If God declared the Muslim Ummah as the Khiara Ummah what has been the contribution of the Ummah into this trust? God expects and indeed commands a believer to do good works after believing. He appoints certain responsibilities. The first part of the verse (3:111) states these responsibilities and links the discharge of these obligations to being Khaira Ummah. Huzur explained that the responsibility to serve does not entail serving any particular nation or body of people; it is for the entire mankind.
History bears witness that for the first few centuries [of Islam] the Muslims proved to the world to be Khaira Ummah. They governed in equitably over people of all religions, their governance was firm on justice and they spread the light of knowledge all over the world. They promoted good and made an effort to eradicate evil. They did all they could for the good of mankind. Later, materialistic people with ulterior motives seeped in and in spite of the Divine promise of safeguarding the teaching of the Quran, these people abandoned good and also influenced a large portion of people, depriving all of being Khaira Ummah. Gods promise to safeguard the Holy Quran was not a promise to merely preserve the incidents related therein; rather it was a promise to bring about people who would put its teachings in practice. Through their practices the glory of Islam was to be revived, the message of Islam was to be taken to the ends of the earth and equitable service of humanity at large was to take place. For this purpose, in accordance to His promise, God sent the true and ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), i.e. the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace), who brought back the faith of Islam from a remote juncture and once again the distinction of Muslims being Khaira Ummah was restored with glory.
Today, it is the Community of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) that holds this distinction. No doubt there are other Muslims who do good works and there must also be those who forbid what is evil. However, people cannot be collectively deemed as such unless they gather on one hand. Muslim countries have their respective religious scholars and their respective leaders who follow their own ways. How many Muslims countries get together to spread the message of Islam? Who has the time to spread the beautiful teaching of Islam in the world? Huzur said a few days ago he happened to catch the tail-end of a TV discussion on a Muslim channel between a Sunni and a Shia scholar. They both were in concord over their viewpoint on the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). However, if the Sunni scholar presented his creed the Shia scholar would censure him and vice versa. The presentation was definitely aimed at conveying malice about us but they got embroiled in their own confusions and presented a terrible model. Such examples provoke a simple Muslim who is only interested in the greatness of Islam into thinking who is it that is included in the term Khaira Ummah? The solution to this is in what the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) explained. He said that when a confusing situation will arise, God will send the Promised Messiah; accept him. Go to see him even if you have to crawl on your knees through glaciers. Go to see him and give him my greetings. He alone will prove the superiority of Islam over other religions of the world. Huzur said while this is something people outside our Community really need to think and ponder over, it also puts a great responsibility on us to honour being Khaira Ummah. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was commanded by God to gather mankind on this religion.
Now no new religion is going to come. The Imam of the age came in perfect subservience and obedience of the Holy Prophet of Islam (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). He was sent by God to dispense justice and he alone has accurately explained and elucidated the Holy Quran. Only those commentaries from all the works and all the commentaries of all the Muslim jurists and the reformers of the past thirteen hundred years may be deemed correct which are verified by him; the Khatamtul Khulafa (seal of all Khalifas). The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) arrived at all his decisions by the command of God and thus there should not be any more confusion on any matter of jurisprudence etc. The religion he taught was the religion of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and the life of the entire Muslim ummah is now in gathering on his hand. Ahmadis are Khaira Ummah by virtue of gathering on his hand.
Huzur said in order to attain higher goals sacrifices are needed and monetary sacrifice is part of this. In Islam purifying of wealth is stressed upon. It is stated,
Those who, if We establish them in the earth, will observe Prayer and pay the Zakat and enjoin good and forbid evil. And with Allah rests the final issue of all affairs. (22:42). The verse mentions that these are the people who are honoured in the earth, are held in esteem, are spiritually protected. If this verse is read in conjunction with verse 24:56 or Ayat e Istakhlaf, we note that God has promised to establish Khilafat amidst those people who believe and do good works in 24:56, whereas here He states honouring/establishing those who Pray and pay Zakat, enjoin good and forbid evil. The foremost glad-tiding for Ahmadis is that they receive honour by virtue of their baiat and the system of Khilafat and this is what makes them Khaira Ummah. The above verse describes the requisites for this most beautifully. If Ahmadis are prepared to discharge of these obligations with sincerity of heart and mind, then God will grant them the capacity and the power. It is historically proven that this is the way of God. When Muslims abandoned their obligations they were also deprived of the beneficence as the verse states,
Surely, Allah changes not the condition of a people until they change that which is in their hearts
By calling Muslims Khaira Ummah a collective responsibility has been placed on them to work together. Each person cannot have the required knowledge; some have other engagements due to which they cannot give as much time to religious matters as they would like to. It is quite difficult for everyone to personally participate in programmes to promote good and take the message of Islam to others. It has always been so and perhaps in this day and age is all the more significant that funds are needed to facilitate these tasks. Those who cannot participate in such programmes can make their contribution through monetary giving. Thus plans were carried forth in the times of Prophets of God and after them in the times of their succession or Khilafat. During Khilafat e Rashida (the Rightly Guided Khilafat) many schemes of monetary giving were followed. This practice was also followed by other Muslims. In the era of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) these schemes continued and after him in the respective period of each of his Khulafa the Community has been making tremendous monetary sacrifices. This practice will continue till the Day of Judgement. Some think that in time, the Community will have sufficient funds and there will be no requirement for chandas. This is not correct. God has expounded in the Holy Quran that giving is a way to purify wealth as well as to purify the self.
Tehrike Jadid is one of the monetary schemes of the Community of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). It was initiated by Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) with the chief objective of spreading the message of Islam outside India. It has borne most excellent results. Today the Community is either established or is blossoming in 193 countries of the world. Thus Ahmadis in 193 countries are experiencing the blessing of being one Ummah. Monetary giving is part and parcel of the Community wherever in the world it is established. The pace of this giving is fast in some countries and slow in others but giving is on the increase. A few years ago the Jamia Ahmadiyya was only established in Rabwah and each year 35 odd student enrolled in it. As the Waqfe Nau children have come of age, the enrolment at the Jamia Rabwah has increased to 200 students annually. Obviously this entails increased expenses. The Pakistani Jamaat bears these expenses itself. Similarly, the respective Jamias in the UK, Canada and Indonesia bear their own expenses. However, in countries like Bangladesh, Kenya and Ghana the Centre has to help with the expenses of their Jamias. The Centre also helps with mosque building in under-developed countries. Tehrike Jadid plays a pivotal role in sending missionaries around the world. Thus anyone who makes a contribution to Tehrike Jadid can say that they are among those who do good and forbid evil. In addition to this, it is not far-fetched to say that a humble contribution of an individual in the UK, or Germany, USA, Canada, Australia or anywhere in Europe, can become the resource for the training of some fortunate person is a remote part of Africa.
Huzur announced the commencement of the new year for Tehrike Jadid. He said a believers heart is filled with glorification and gratitude of God that although last year was terrible in terms of the economic crisis when many businesses had failed, many people lost their employment, inflation was rampant, as a result the household expenses grew, from a worldly point of view the contribution to Tehrike Jadid should have been in the negative. However, the Community of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) demonstrated being Khaira Ummah. It fills ones heart with praise of God Whose blessings on us are endless. Tehrike Jadid completes its 75 years and with the grace of God last years contributions stand at £ 4,953,800.00 which is an increase of 850,000 from last years total. This year once again Pakistan, despite the poverty stands first in making the biggest contribution, second is USA, then Germany, the UK, Canada, Indonesia, India, Australia, Belgium and Switzerland. Huzur explained that the difference between the contributions of Germany and the UK is very small, only £1,500. Huzur said he had thought the UK may take the third position again but Germany had worked very hard. In terms of the local currency of a country India had made the biggest leap from last years contribution, Germany too had made a huge leap. The number of new contributors to Tehrike Jadid this year is 90,000. The biggest increase in contributors was in India. In Pakistan the first three big contributors are the Jamaats of Lahore, Rabwah and Karachi. In USA the first four majalis are; Silicon Valley, Los Angeles West, Detroit and Chicago West. In USA 80% of under five-year-olds have now joined Tehrike Jadid. The top majalis of Canada are, Calgary North West, Peace Village East, Peace Village Centre, Surrey East and Vancouver. In the UK the first ten majalis are, London Mosque, Surbiton, Cambridge, Gillingham, New Malden, Birmingham West, Worcester Park, Purley, S.E. London and Oxford.
Huzur said when [in recent years] the Community was inclined towards the scheme of Wasiyyat some thought that the other contributions would be affected. Alhamdolillah, it has been proven wrong. One is filled with praise of God, and is drawn to the fact that God is going to extend and increase our tasks and is therefore inclining us towards further monetary sacrifice. Our tasks are going to increase. Worldly economic crises notwithstanding, we are to continue to fulfil our obligations and God will continue to extend our capacities. May we increase in our faith, may we increase in our giving, may the pace of our progress increase and may we experience triumph. Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) called Tehrike Jadid the foundation of Wasiyyat. Today our children are being prepared for monetary giving and for the scheme of Wasiyyat by contributing to Tehrike Jadid. Economists opine that economic crises are the onset of demonic whirlwinds of scarcity. However, for the Khaira Ummah there is increase in monetary giving in spite of the economic crises and our Gracious God thus wraps us in His mercy. As long as we continue to aspire to develop in piety we will be Khaira Ummah. A person who makes an ordinary contribution and a child who gives his/her few pennies will be included in this blessing. May God keep this spirit of sacrifice alive in us and our next generation and may we continue to be the recipients of His blessings.