Hudhur gave a discourse on spending for the cause of God in his Friday sermon today. He began by reciting the following Quranic verses:
‘They who spend their wealth for the cause of Allah, then follow not up what they have spent with taunt or injury, for them is their reward with their Lord, and they shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve.’ (2:263)
‘Those who spend their wealth by night and day, secretly and openly, have their reward with their Lord; on them shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve.’ (2:275)
The Holy Qur’an recurrently draws the attention of believers towards spending in the way of God with the condition that it is solely to attain the pleasure of God, as stated: ‘…while you spend not but to seek the favour of Allah…’ (2:273). When spending in the name of God, a true believer is always primarily mindful of seeking God’s pleasure. If this point is understood, it leads to communal as well as spiritual development; in addition it removes domestic problems, daily complaints from husbands and wives. Husbands complain that the undue demands of their wives put them in debt whereas wives complain that husbands do not fulfil their wishes. Daily quarrelling wrecks peace in family homes and has an adverse effect on children. Women complain that whatever husbands earn, they spend out with their friends or spend on themselves. This causes anxiety. If money is spent to seek the pleasure of God, domestic peace is maintained, upbringing of children is on the right lines, the family income is blessed and one is drawn towards the spirit of sacrifice. Doubtlessly, one’s family is entitled to one’s wealth, however, if moderation is maintained, all the dues are paid and one is also drawn to spend in the way of God.
A large section of the middle-income families adhere to this but some among those who are very well-off do not match up to this standard of sacrifice although they look after themselves. Indeed, not all well-off Ahmadis are like this. Hudhur knows many affluent Ahmadis, and he has said this before, who keep less for themselves and give thousands of dollars or pounds sterling to the Tehriks of the Community. Once they have fulfilled their dues of various Tehriks, they are still eager to give and upon their insistence Hudhur has to think and tell them where exactly their further donations should go to. These people seek God’s pleasure and yet are concerned whether they have paid their dues or not. Hudhur explained that in spite of giving large sums of money, they write to Hudhur thanking him for accepting their insignificant sacrifice. This is their constant practice. Such donations are spent wherever the need arises; for building mosques and mission houses etc. Hudhur said this practice is not just prevalent among Ahmadis from the subcontinent, whose elders had set examples and who have been brought up in these traditions. Rather, many African Ahmadis give most generously in the way of God and build mosques. The delight and the humility with which they make their donations makes their eagerness to please God most evident.
Hudhur said the sacrifices of these people are exactly in line with the description of the aforementioned Quranic verses. They do not speak of their giving instead they are grateful to God for enabling them so. Hudhur said it is important to mention that the majority of our Community is of low-income to middle-income people. They too have an extraordinary sense of sacrifice. They never mention that the Community has issued so many Tehriks but their income is limited, how can they manage? They give with heart-felt enthusiasm and never mention that they give by foregoing their own and their family’s needs. Indeed, when in need themselves, they never ask the Community. If at all, it is in the form of a loan. Some people with limited income cannot manage to give a lump sum, so they organise a collecting box at home in which they regularly put something for Tehrike Jadid or Waqfe Jadid donations.
Someone wrote to Hudhur that they collected money in a box to give towards Tehrike Jadid and wished to equal their last year’s payment. When the box was opened, the money was not sufficient. The Tehrike Jadid secretary approached them and said that there was a shortage of specific amount which had been allocated to them to fulfil. He wondered that he had a limited income how he could meet the demand. Yet he gave whatever he had saved for the next year. Soon after, he received a cheque from an acquaintance who had borrowed money from him a long time ago which they had both forgotten. Later, he received some money from another source. Thus God provides those who make sacrifice and thus fulfil the significance of ‘…and they shall have no fear…’ , as here he had wondered how he would pay for the next year. The condition is to give with complete sincerity and once given, there should be no sense of having done a favour.
Hudhur said when Tehrike Jadid was first started Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II (may Allah be pleased with him) advised that people practiced austerity. The circumstances in those days were not as today, now, with God’s blessings the financial situation of the people is very good, yet men, women and children happily gave sacrifices. Hudhur said let alone show off about it, a believer gives privately, the goal only being the pleasure of God and this is often seen in our Community. Outsiders think the Community has billions because it implements all its projects. Hudhur said for one, what we have is hugely blessed by God, so much so that it is beyond the comprehension of a worldly person. The Community does not have billions, rather, it has a never-ending treasure of seeking God’s pleasure, which gushes forth from sincere hearts. There are thousands of examples of this in all nations.
Hudhur explained that although people of the Community give privately, the Community announces some of the giving and in some cases lists are made to be presented to the Khalifa of the time for prayers. The objective here is good and there is no ostentation involved. The Khalifa of the time is informed about the giving so that he may pray to God to bless those who make the sacrifices and their wealth. In addition, God also commands: ‘…vie, then, with one another in good works…’ (2:149).
Hudhur said today he will announce the commencement of the new Tehrike Jadid year and will present all the details of how our Community endeavours to enhance and vie with one another in sacrifice and good works. Hudhur said today it is only the Ahmadiyya Community in the world that fulfils: ‘…who spend their wealth by night and day…’. He said this sacrifice is being made practically day and night as the Community is spread all over the world and while it is daytime in one part of the world it is night at another. Just as Hudhur’s Friday Sermon goes out live on MTA, the time difference around the world is varied. As soon as the new Tehrike Jadid year is announced, promises and payments start arriving. Hudhur said the ‘giving by night and day’ also signifies the globalisation aspect which the Muhammadan Messiah was to establish through one body of people. The propagation of guidance that was entrusted to the Muhammadan Messiah is not a trivial task. Indeed the perfect teaching of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was to spread and this task was destined to be accomplished in the era of the Muhammadan Messiah. Our resources are almost negligible compared to worldly resources, yet God has given the responsibility of accomplishing this task to us and if we will work at it night and day, it is up to God to bless it and indeed He will bless it. The world has great resources and immense power. The outsiders are also greater in number while ours is a very small Community, yet God states that endeavours of night and day, which are free from any pretence and boasting gain acceptance with God, thus: ‘…they shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve…’ .
Hudhur said those who give as servants as the Gracious God, God says to them that whatever sacrifice they make, God will continue to increase their wealth, haste is not of the essence, the outcome should be left to God and one should continue to partake in the propagation of guidance. It is likely that one may experience its results in one’s lifetime. The sacrifice of life and wealth of our Community will one day transform our small Community into a large one.
Hudhur said with the grace of God the 76th year of Tehrike Jadid was immensely blessed and we bid it farewell among these blessings. Today Hudhur announced the start of the 77th Tehrike Jadid year and prayed that may God bless it even more. The contribution of the Ahmadiyya Community worldwide for the year stand at £ 5, 468,500.00, the reports of contributions from many smaller Jama’ats have not been received yet, but the current figure has an increase of £ 522,000 from last year’s total. Hudhur said it is delightful that Pakistan has maintained its first position. He added that the most pleasant aspect is for the congregation present. He said it should not be called unexpected, rather it is a special demonstration of God’s blessings that the UK’s contributions stand at second place and they have left USA and Germany far behind. Hudhur said this was an extraordinary increase, so much so that the administration does not realise how it came to pass. Two years ago the difference between German contribution and that of the UK was quite small, some had remarked that had they realised the difference was so small they would have personally made it up. Yet, this year hard work meant that USA is left behind. Hudhur said MashaAllah, this was great progress. As a reminder, Hudhur said that he was looking through the records and noted that in 1988 the Tehrike Jadid promises and payments of the UK had second position in the world. Gradually, they lagged behind. Hudhur said now this honour should be upheld and not lost again. Here in the UK too, animosity toward the Community is increasing. Our women have suffered physical abuse, maybe men also did. Perhaps God has placed blessings in this physical sacrifice and enhanced financial sacrifice. Many Ahmadis in the UK have had their businesses affected due to animosity, some who were employed by non-Ahmadi Muslims were removed from employment. Animosity always works as an aid for us to flourish. Hudhur said the UK Tehrike Jadid contribution has had a very good input from Lajna, with the grace of God their contribution has had an increase of £35,000 and their share in the UK total is one third.
Hudhur said USA is in third position, then Germany. Hudhur said Germany have been left so far behind that perhaps if UK maintains its position they will not be able to catch up. Yet, if their sense of honour is stimulated, they could overtake. The following positions are Canada, India, Indonesia, Australia, an Arab country that Hudhur chose not to name, Switzerland and Belgium.
Hudhur said the adverse situation of Pakistan is common knowledge; this includes the financial situation as well as the persecution faced by Ahmadis. This year the floods made the financial situation much worse in particular certain areas and many landowners were badly affected. Yet, amazingly Jama’ats from the effected areas have reached their contribution targets. In places entire villages were destroyed, but in spite of the worldly losses, belief has not diminished.
In terms of larger contributions from last year in local currency, the first position is of the Arab country that Hudhur chose not to name, then India, here too, Hudhur said, Ahmadis have been facing much difficulties as animosity mounts, followed by Australia, UK, Pakistan, Switzerland, USA and Belgium. In per capita contributions, USA came first, followed by Switzerland, Dubai and Kababir. Hudhur said for the past many years it has been stressed that the number of participants of Tehrike Jadid should increase and new comers as well as children should be included in the scheme, regardless of the amount they contributed. The current number of participants in the Tehrike Jadid scheme is in excess of 622,000, and there is an increase of 30,000 from last year. Hudhur said this number should improve further. Ahmadis from African countries should join in this scheme even if they paid a few pennies each. Hudhur said it is one of the responsibilities of missionaries to draw their attention to this aspect.
Hudhur reminded that newborn babies and those who started contributing after 2005 should be included in Dafter V. Hudhur said this categorisation is maintained in Pakistan and it should be maintained elsewhere as well. Among African countries Nigeria stands first in most contributions. The Gambia and Ghana have also improved their contributions. Hudhur said Ghana could do better and has the capacity to take the first position in Africa. Hudhur explained that the original number of Dafter I, people who joined the scheme 76 years ago was 5,937. Among this number, by the grace of God over three hundred are living and paying their own contributions. The rest of the Dafter I records have either been reinstated by their families or members of the Community and all the records are receiving contributions.
Hudhur said in Pakistan the first three Jama’ats are Lahore, Rabwah and Karachi. The Jama’at of Lahore has given sacrifice of life of the highest order and has maintained its distinction of financial sacrifice. The grief of the martyrs of Lahore has intensified their sense of sacrifice. They are fulfilling their pledge of sacrificing life, property and time in a most excellent manner. It is the same with other Jama’ats in Pakistan but as a great tragedy took place in Lahore, it is specifically mentioned. Since May, young men and Ansar of good health are giving duties in places which are deemed very dangerous. The life of each Pakistani is in danger at all times anyway, but for an Ahmadi Pakistani, this danger is twice as perilous. May God soon avert these dangers and recompense the enemy for the evil it perpetrated.
Hudhur said it is the view of Vakalat e Maal that some countries do not make their best efforts towards Tehrike Jadid contributions, in particular those who are perhaps working on mosque building projects etc. lest their own projects are affected. Hudhur said such administrations not only think ill of their members but worse than this, they appear to be thinking ill of God. Hudhur said it should be remembered that a large portion of these schemes goes towards the projects in Africa, India and other underdeveloped countries. Thus if you open your hearts for others, God too will bless your projects and plans. When contributions will help the underprivileged countries and they will have mosques built, which are essential, you too will be the recipients of the prayers of people there. With the grace of God, an Ahmadi gives sacrifice only for the sake of God, if there is any insufficiency, it is because of the office-holders. If they do not think ill of their members, they definitely under estimate them.
The first ten big contributors among the large majalis of UK were: London Mosque, New Malden, Worcester Park, Surbiton, West Hill, Mosque West Hill, Cheam, Manchester South, Raynes Park and Gillingham. Among the smaller majalis the positions were as follows: Scunthorpe, Cambridge, Bournemouth, Wolverhampton, Lewisham, Leamington Spa, Hartlepool, Bristol and North Wales. In USA, the following majalis were the biggest contributors: Silicon Valley, Inland Empire, Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles. In Canada the following majalis were at the forefront of contributions: Peace Village East, Edmonton, Peace Village Centre, Peace Village West, Calgary North West and Peace Village South.
Hudhur prayed that may God immensely bless all those who contributed to Tehrike Jadid and thus participated in the accomplishment of propagation of guidance. Hudhur read a few extracts from the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) about financial giving.