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Friday Sermon: Tribute to Syed Dawood Muzaffer Shah sahib

Sermon Delivered by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(at) Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
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NOTE: Alislam Team takes full responsibility for any errors or miscommunication in this Synopsis of the Friday Sermon

Hudhur quoted from the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) where he likened the hearts of the Companions of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) to sparkling, cleansed utensils that have been through the process of qala’i. Hudhur explained the process of qala’i for those who are not from the sub-continent. In olden times pots and pan made of copper and other metals had to be periodically cleaned through the process of qala’i. Hudhur said people from the sub-continent know about qala’i especially those who work in the Langer Khana where the huge pots require this process. In qala’i, the utensil is first passed through fire with some chemicals rubbed onto it, next a shiny white metal is rubbed onto it to remove any remaining tarnish and finally it is polished with a cloth, resulting in the utensil gleam as if made of silver. Hudhur said he gave this explanation because the analogy given by the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) of a utensil having gone through the process of qala’i is not an ordinary effort. It involves passing through fire. Hudhur said in short the Promised Messiah is saying that when a person wants to reach that station where he is truly enlightened by the light of the Word of God, he has to go through a painful endeavour. Then alone does he attain the station of that prosperity which God states in the Qur’an as: He indeed truly prospers who purifies it,’ (91:10). Indeed, in order to purify the self, serious effort is required. In order to unite the latter-ones with the earlier-ones, the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) advent took place, so that rusty hearts could be burnished with the light of the Word of God. These examples can be seen in the companions of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace).

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that purification of the self entails that a Muslim should always be keenly ready to pay the dues of God and the dues of mankind. Just as one verbally professes God to be One, and without any partner, similarly one should display this through one’s practice and should be ever compassionate and helpful to mankind. Hudhur said the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) came so that man could bring about pure changes on a personal level and attain spiritual blessings. May God enable each Ahmadi to aspire to this. Fortunate are those who make an effort towards this. In following the Companions of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), the companions of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) brought extraordinary changes in themselves and passed this onto their next generations. Fortunate are those who conveyed this beneficence onwards.

Hudhur said today he would mention one such elder who honoured the name of his ancestors. In him can be seen the qualities of self-purification that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) elucidated. Hudhur said he had and still has a very close relation with this elder who was the paternal as well as maternal grandson of two eminent companions of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace).

His name was Syed Dawood Muzaffer Shah sahib. He passed away a few days ago. His paternal grandfather, Dr. Syed Abdul Sattar sahib was a companion of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Dr. Syed Abdul Sattar sahib excelled in Taqwa, purity, humility, paying the dues of God and of mankind. Hadhrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad sahib (may Allah be pleased with him) related that once Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) fell ill. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) gave sadqa of a goat. Dr. Syed Abdul Sattar sahib stayed with Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) overnight, looking after him. When the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) came to visit him in the morning, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) told him that Dr. sahib had stayed up all night, dispensing medication. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was very pleased to hear this and remarked that this family was of the Paradise. Once, when he was a civil surgeon at a government hospital, Dr. Syed Abdul Sattar sahib was in a Tabligh discussion with someone. During the discussion the man threw an earthenware pot at Dr. sahib in anger. The pot hit him on his head and injured him. He quietly went to hospital and had his head bandaged. Meanwhile, the man realized that he had hit a senior government official and was fearful at the likelihood of being apprehended by police. However, Dr. Syed Abdul Sattar sahib returned to him and said he hoped his temper had cooled down. The man apologized. Thus was the model of patience as displayed by Dr. Abdul Sattar sahib. In spite of having the authority, he was patient. Only one who has had real self-purification can display such high moral.

Syed Dawood Muzaffer sahib was the second son of Hadhrat Hafiz Syed Mahmood Ullah sahib, who was the son of Dr. Syed Abdul Sattar Shah sahib. Hadhrat Hashmat Ullah Khan sahib, the special physician of Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) writes that Syed Mahmood Ullah sahib was a highly moral elder who had an ardent love of God and whose desire to serve humanity was of very high level, he had great respect for the elders and love for the younger ones. He wrote that his son was also very pious and was fortunate enough that Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) had given his daughter in marriage to him.

Hudhur said it was Syed Dawood Muzaffer sahib who became a son-in-law of Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him). He had inherited his ancestors’ qualities of paying dues of God and dues of mankind on a great scale. He had great love for the Holy Qur’an, was humble of nature and met people with respectful regard. He showed unusual consideration to the younger brothers of his wife because they were the sons of Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him). There can be ups and downs in close relationships. Wherever he noticed situation worsening, he would keep quiet. He showed so much regard even with those younger than him that matters would always resolve pleasantly. He had amazing high regard for the family of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace), for his children and the children of his children. At times, Hudhur felt he showed regard more than it was necessary, which in Hudhur’s opinion was not suitable, but he did so out of his inherent piety.

Syed Dawood Muzaffer Shah sahib and his wife, Syeda Amatul Hakeem sahiba were a match made in heaven. They excelled each other in practicing virtue and in high morals. Usually husbands and wives argue over why the other has spent money in a particular way. This couple had no interest in worldly expenses. Hudhur said he personally observed that they both were always on the look out to help others. If the husband helped someone, the wife would say he should have helped more and if the wife helped someone, the husband would say the same. Syed Dawood Shah sahib said that his late wife often came in his dreams inspiring him to help such and such disadvantaged person and to give sadqa etc. Hudhur said whatever income he had, Syed Dawood Shah sahib spent less on himself and gave most of it away. Hudhur himself observed and others have also related that even if he had an income of thousands he would give thousands away.

Hudhur said when he started looking after the accounts of their lands, he asked Syeda Amatul Hakeem sahiba, as it is traditional in landowning families, how much grain did she wish to keep for the household. The amount she gave far exceeded the amount Hudhur felt was needed. She explained that her needs were beyond her personal needs and that she regularly gave grain to needy people. Hudhur said Shah sahib was the same. Hudhur said he was not paying tribute to Shah sahib and his aunt because he was his uncle as well as father-in-law. Rather, Hudhur had observed both the husband and wife, from childhood and they had impressed Hudhur. Shah sahib was a quiet person who was prayerful, who mixed with children cheerfully and with regard and he was free from any worldly matters.

The maternal grandfather of Syed Dawood Shah sahib was also a companion of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). His name was Maulwi Sarwer Shah sahib. He was an esteemed elder and had served the Community as its Mufti. He offered very lengthy Salat. Once someone saw him offering nafl in mosque and was intrigued how was it that he offered such lengthy Salat. When the person went closer, he noticed that Maulwi Sarwer sahib was continuously repeating the prayer: ‘Thee alone do we worship and Thee alone do we implore for help.’ (1:5). His congregational Salat was also very lengthy. Syed Dawood Shah sahib took after both his maternal and paternal grandfathers in his high morals and other qualities. Hudhur said not everyone follows in the footsteps of their elders, but Syed Dawood Shah sahib accomplished it very well. If he was asked for prayers, unless informed of the outcome, he would pray continuously. Hudhur said he would often say that people asked him for prayers but did not inform of the outcome. Even if one served him in a small capacity, he would be most grateful and would specifically pray for that person. He especially prayed for the doctors who looked after him. Before he came to live in Rabwah, Dr. Noori sahib used to especially come there to treat Syed Dawood Shah sahib and Shah sahib prayed a lot for Dr. Noori. May God continue to accept his prayers because Dr. Noori is also someone who serves humanity. Simliarly, Dr. Abdul Khaliq sahib regularly treated Syed Dawood Shah sahib. He was a heart patient for a long period and at times doctors had to be called. Dr. Khaliq used to come promptly. Dr. Khaliq has written to Hudhur that Syed Dawood Shah sahib used to ask for prayers that he did not ever have to face a time when he was deprived of prayer and worship of God and that he had a good ending.

With God’s grace many people dreamed of his ‘good ending’. His nephew dreamed that Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) came and took Syed Dawood sahib with him. Shah sahib himself had a dream in which Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II (may Allah be pleased with him) had specifically selected a chair for him. A lady who did not know Syed Dawood sahib very well, dreamed that she is being told in the dream that Shah sahib is an esteemed elder who has a high station with God. He himself once had a dream that his wife Syeda Amatul Hakeem sahiba is in a very good place where she is very happy and calls him to also come over but a sound comes that no, he would not go at that time because had some prayers to make.

Syed Dawood Shah sahib was drawn to prayers and worship of God by keeping his grandfathers’ company. He lived with his paternal grandfather. When Dr. Abdul Sattar sahib became very ill in his last days, he did not go to the mosque for Salat. Syed Dawood Shah sahib, a teenager at the time, used to lead Salat at home for him.

Syed Dawood Shah sahib was extraordinarily blessed by God. This world was not his objective. He was not exceptionally well off but whatever he had, he was extremely grateful for it and would help the needy to an extent that many fabulously wealthy people do not. In his later years his eyesight grew weak, so his daughter-in-law used to manage his finances. She relates that upon receiving income, he would first take out Wasiyyat, then the share of orphans, then the share of needy students, then the share of disadvantaged ailing people and only after this did he keep the money for himself. Hudhur said he is aware that Syed Dawood Shah sahib used to give generously to the various Tehriks of the Community.

Although his eyesight had gone very weak, he could still tell when his children were facing any difficulty. His son and daughter-in-law both have written to Hudhur that he would sense when there was a problem in the household. He had great love of the Holy Qur’an and would read up to eight Parts of the Qur’an a day and had a large portion memorised. Once During Ramadan he told Hudhur that he could not read as much as he once did, to which Hudhur says he made a generous estimate and said it did not matter, Hudhur was sure he still managed to read one or two Parts a day. Hudhur said to this he replied that no, he could still read three or four Parts. In the last few years of his life, due to failing eyesight, he could not read the Holy Qur’an during Ramadan. He told his grandson that he read it from memory and when he forgot, God’s angel came and reminded him. His eldest son’s house was under construction and he would often ask about it. He then told his family that God had shown him the plan of the house. Indeed, the plan was exactly as the house was. He used to pray a lot for the Community obligations that his children had. After Hudhur became his son-in-law, a special connection developed between them. He used to pray a lot for Hudhur’s personal and as well as Community tasks. After Hudhur’s Khilafat, regard and reverence came into this relationship and his prayers for Hudhur developed more compassion. He prayed a lot for the success of Hudhur’s addresses and for Jalsas and prayed with special concentration for Hudhur during each of Hudhur’s trips.

During the adverse situation in Rabwah in 1984, young men, Khuddam, used to give night neighbourhood duties. Syed Dawood Shah sahib would make tea for them and leave it on his dining table. He would waken at 2.30 am for Tahajjud and make tea for the young men on duty.

God bestowed special treatment to him from his younger days. He lived in Sindh for a long period. In those days, as the area was not quite populated, snakes were quite common there. One day he did not feel very well, so he thought he would say his Fajr Salat at home. However, an unseen power told him that he should go to the mosque. When he returned from the mosque, he saw that as his two children slept, a large snake was trying to climb onto their bed. He took care of the snake. Had he gone to sleep, the snake could have caused harm.

Syed Dawood Muzaffer Shah sahib studied at the Government College, Lahore. Due to his decent nature he was well known among the staff and students alike. Once a friend of his took some things belonging to the hostel warden in a playful manner and hid them in Shah sahib’s room. The entire hostel was checked for the items except Shah sahib’s room, as no one doubted he would have anything to do with it. When Shah sahib saw the items in his room he became very anxious how to save his friend from punishment without lying. When the checking finished he took the items and placed them in front of the warden’s room. He was relieved that the authorities did not make any further inquiries otherwise Shah sahib would have had to tell the truth, naming the friend he suspected had done the deed.

He wrote to Hudhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) in 1944 explaining that he was repeatedly seeing Hadhrat Musleh Maud in his dreams. This is when he offered to be a Waqfe Zindagi (life devotion). He was sent to the lands in Sindh, where he stayed for a long time. Later he served in Tabsheer Department as well. He performed his duties there and did not indulge in any aside. He displayed complete obedience to those to whom he was subordinate, regardless of their younger age. Our missionary here, Laeeq Tahir sahib wrote to Hudhur that when he worked with Syed Dawood Shah sahib he demonstrated great humility and showed such regard to others that it would be embarrassing for them. He never gave the impression that he was the son-in-law of Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) or the brother-in-law of two Khulafa. He was a quiet, prayerful person, who came to office silently praying, did his work and left. Due to the confidence Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) had in him, some people tried to harm him but he always left his matters with God. Hudhur said he observed that when these people were seized one way or the other, they would apologise to Shah sahib, who always forgave them without any reproach. He was the kind of person that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) mentioned bear no grudge or malice towards anyone. Hudhur said these are the people who have truly purified themselves.

Next Hudhur read a long extract from the address Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) gave at the time of the Nikah of Syed Dawood Shah sahib. After this Hudhur prayed that may God make it so that people of the family and the Community of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) keep it in view during their marriages that faith is the essence and the objective of an Ahmadi is to make a connection with God and serve faith, and to bring the world under faith not the other way around. This alone is a source for making nations stay alive. When a pious person of our Community departs this world, the people of the Community, in particular people of the family of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace), if that person is from the family, should keep piety and connection with God in view and ascertain paths with renewed thoughts. This world is transient, it will end. Attainment of God’s pleasure is what lasts forever. May God enable all of us to do this.

Four sons of Syed Dawood Shah sahib are serving the Community in different capacities. His three daughters, one is Hudhur’s wife and the two others are also married to Waaqfeen e Zindagi. May their children and future generations always give precedence to faith over worldly matters. Two of his sons are not Waaqfeen e Zindagi but with the grace of God, are positively influenced by the Tarbiyyat of their parents and have always served the Community in some way or the other. May they and all the other progeny always try to attain God’s nearness and may his prayers always fulfil for them. Similarly may the children of all our elders, of the companions, always practice the models of their ancestors and may they make an effort for the continuation of future pious generation with prayers and with their own practice. May God enable this. Hudhur announced that he would lead funeral Prayer in absentia of Syed Dawood Shah sahib after Friday Prayer.

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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 Muhammadsa this congregational prayer is twenty-five times more blessed than worship performed alone. (Bukhari)

Friday Sermons in the Quran

“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

Friday Sermons in the Hadith

“… (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)