Hudhur recited the following verses of the Holy Qur’an at the start of his Friday Sermon today: ‘We have explained the truth in this Qur’an in the various ways that they may be admonished, but it only increases them in aversion.’ (17:42) and ‘And We are gradually revealing of the Qur’an that which is a healing and a mercy to the believers; but it only adds to the loss of the wrongdoers.’ (17:83).
Hudhur said time and again, the rancour and malice of the detractors of Islam against Islam, the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) surfaces. It was reported recently that in some Muslim countries extreme reaction is being demonstrated. This is regarding the ill-natured American priest, who was verbally abusive about the Holy Qur’an in September 2010 and had talked of burning it, but had desisted at the time due to some pressure. However, two days ago, he committed this foul act. He justified it by calling on a [so-called] ‘jury’ of 12 people in which a Muslim Imam represented Islam. However, after 6 hours the jury decided that the Holy Qur’an, God forbid, promotes violence and this was cited as the reason why they burnt it. Hudhur said they act as both the perpetrator and the judge themselves. This particular priest does not have any standing in the USA. His congregation numbers in a few hundred. He has committed this terrible act for cheap publicity which the media is fanning simply to increase their own circulation. Analysts are saying that in spite of media reporting it, the news item has not attracted attention. Council on American-Islamic Relations was asked to comment on this but they declined, saying they did not wish to give the man seeking his fifteen minutes of fame any more publicity.
Hudhur said such dreadful acts have always been committed against Islam and even if they are perpetrated publically or privately, they are hurtful to a true believer. However, the reaction should not be to put a price on the person’s head, as some have done, or take out demonstrations and cause damage to one’s own country. The correct reaction to such matters should be to present such a picture of the Qur’an through one’s word and deed that the world itself condemns the perpetrator.
Giving example of acknowledgement of the excellence of the Holy Qur’an by non- Muslims, Hudhur said that in his book ‘History of the Intellectual Development of Europe’ John William Draper writes that it is an erroneous concept that the advancement of the Arabs was with the use of force. He wrote that force cannot alter one’s conscience. He wrote that the Qur’an articulates its objective in an excellent manner.
Explaining the Quranic verses recited at the start, Hudhur said the Holy Qur’an has drawn a clear picture of these people. They are similar to the pagans of Arabia. Such people have always been around and will continue to be around who, in spite of elucidation of every aspect of the Holy Qur’an, they will continue to raise objections. Rather than open their eyes, the elucidation drives them away from this beautiful teaching. As the verses expound: ‘…increases them in aversion…’ whereas for the believers it is: ‘… a healing and a mercy…’. Hudhur explained that one’s view is in accordance to one’s nature, some will always have a jaundiced view. The Qur’an states in its very beginning that it is a ‘…guidance for the righteous…’ (2:3). Its beautiful teaching, which is superior to all the earlier teachings will only be evident to those who have Taqwa (righteousness) and it will give guidance to those who have fear of God. We are not concerned that their disrespectful stance will, God forbid, harm the Qur’an. God has taken the responsibility of safeguarding it Himself. The above verse 17:83 calls the Qur’an ‘a mercy’ and indeed it will always facilitate mercy. If the verse 17:83 is linked with the one before it, the message is that of glad-tiding for believers: ‘Truth has come and falsehood has vanished away…’ (17:82)
The honour of the Qur’an cannot be maintained by putting price on heads and wrongful demonstrations. A true believer proves the superiority of the Qur’an by practicing its beautiful teaching. When this teaching will become evident to the world, God’s decree will manifest to be a mercy for believers and a balm for injured hearts. The triumph of the Qur’an will be a triumph of the believers. Hudhur said, we as the followers of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) are not particularly concerned with the vulgar antics of these people. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was sent to once again spread the message of the Holy Qur’an. It states: ‘Whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth glorifies Allah, the Sovereign, the Holy, the Mighty, the Wise. He it is Who has raised among the Unlettered people a Messenger from among themselves who recites unto them His Signs, and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and wisdom, although they had been, before, in manifest misguidance; And among others from among them who have not yet joined them. He is the Mighty, the Wise.’ (62:2-4).
Hudhur said in the first phase, God sent the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) who, with this teaching, brought a revolutionary change in the extremely deteriorated condition the world was in. He purified those who were ignorant and would get blood-thirsty like animals on trifle matters with this teaching. From the animal-like state these people became human, and then became knowledgeable humans and ultimately became godly people. In the current age, God’s mercy and grace sent the ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) to recite the Qur’an and guide and thus increase people in faith. He gave us awareness of this Divine Book and explained how it is a healing and a mercy for us. He told us about the hidden pearls of wisdom of the teaching of the final Shariah. Thus was God’s favour on believers, fulfilled in the person of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) as prophesised by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Hudhur read an extract from the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) to further expound this. He wrote:
‘The claim of the Christian missionaries that the Qur’an does not set forth anything new on the Unity of God and on Divine commandments which is not contained in the Torah, is altogether false. An ignorant person reading the Torah might fall into the error that it sets forth the Unity of God, and directions with regard to worship, and the rights of mankind, and that there is nothing new which has been set out in the Qur’an, but only a person who has not pondered the Word of God would fall into this error.
There is a great part of matters Divine that finds no mention in the Torah; for instance, it does not mention the finer stages of the Unity of God. The Qur’an discloses that the Unity of God does not mean merely that we should not worship idols, or human beings, or animals, or the elements, or heavenly bodies or satans, but that the Unity of God has three stages.
The first stage of the Unity of God is for the common people who desire to be delivered from the wrath of God Almighty.
The second stage is for those who desire to be closer to God than the common people.
The third stage is for those special ones who desire to achieve closeness to perfection.
The first stage is that no one should be worshipped except God, and that one should refrain from the worship of everything that is limited and created, whether it is on the earth or in heaven. The second stage of the Unity of God is that in one's own affairs and in the affairs of others, God Almighty should be regarded as the true force and that means should not be so emphasised as to become associates of God. For instance, to say that had it not been for X one would have suffered a certain loss, or that if it had not been for Y, one would have been ruined, would amount to shirk, if by such pronouncements it is meant that X and Y truly possess some power. The third stage of the Unity of God is to exclude the desires of one's ego from one's love of God Almighty and to devote oneself entirely to His Greatness. Such Unity of God is not to be found in the Torah. Also there is no mention of salvation or hell in the Torah, except some slight indications here and there. In the same way, there is no detailed mention in the Torah of the perfect attributes of God Almighty. Had the Torah contained any Surah like the one in the Holy Qur’an: ‘Say, ‘He is Allah, the One; Allah, the Independent and Besought of all. He begets not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.’ (112:2-5) then perhaps the Christians might have refrained from the worship of a creature. Also the Torah has not set forth the degrees of rights but the Qur’an has set forth this teaching also in perfection. For instance, it says: ‘Verily, Allah requires you to abide by justice, and to treat with grace, and give like the giving of kin to kin; (16:91) Allah enjoins equity, benevolence and graciousness between kindred. This means that our sympathy with mankind should be prompted by natural eagerness and not by any motive of seeking acknowledgement, as for instance, a mother has sympathy for her child. The Torah also fails to establish the existence of God and His Unity and His perfect attributes on the basis of reason, but the Holy Qur’an has established all these doctrines and the need of revelation and Prophethood with arguments based on reason, and by stating everything in a philosophic way, has made it easy for seekers after truth to appreciate it. These arguments are put forth in such an excellent manner in the Holy Qur’an that it is not within anyone's power, for instance, to put forth any argument on the existence of God which is not contained in the Qur’an. A strong argument in support of the need of the Holy Qur’an is that all the previous Books beginning with the Torah and ending with the Gospel are addressed to a particular people, namely, the children of Israel and state in clear words that the directions contained in them are not for the general benefit, and are limited to the children of Israel. But the Holy Qur’an aims at the reform of the whole world and is not addressed to any particular people but states plainly that it has been revealed for the benefit of the whole of mankind and that the reform of everyone is its purpose.’ [‘Kitab ul Bariyyah’, Essence of Islam, Vol. I, pp.468 – 471]
Hudhur said this is but a glimpse of what the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) explained about the superiority of the Qur’an. Ahmadis are fortunate, indeed can be called fortunate only when they try and adopt this teaching and show the luminous teaching to the world about which they raise objections. Then alone will we be rightfully counted among the latter-ones.
Hudhur said in one of his sermons he had cited the German Jama’at as an example of holding exhibitions in various venues, including church halls, on the Holy Qur’an that had had positive results. Hudhur said his inference was that Jama’ats in other countries too should hold such exhibitions; however, this was not done. If an exhibition had been organised in USA, media, which is drawn to Islam these days would have referred to us along with referring to this bigoted man. Although the US Jama’at has extensively worked on the peace leaflets and has held seminars, and has worked well, which has been covered by the media, but exhibitions have not been organised as they should have been. A believer’s task is to keep an eye on every front. Media as well as the public will be drawn if exhibitions are organised in hired halls, in USA as well as other countries. Due to the negative impression people have formed about mosques they have reservations about coming to events there. So, if halls are hired and proper exhibitions are held with posters and banners depicting the teachings of the Qur’an and copies of the Holy Qur’an with translation beautifully displayed. Due to the attention to Islam, some people are writing in positive light as well, often they report accurately about our Jama’at. God knows what their intention is but we should take advantage of this. Although we set up stalls and participate in general exhibitions but those are not covered by the media. If we organise separate exhibitions they will nevertheless have impact.
Hudhur said our detractors talk a lot about Jihad and ‘Qitaal’ but do not mention what are the conditions under which fighting is allowed in Islam. These are ploys of Dajjal (antichrist) that are manoeuvred by certain people from time to time to harm Islam. A definitive antidote of this is required and for a definitive antidote continuous effort is required. The Ahmadiyya Community alone can truly pay the dues of this.
The extract from the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) informs us of the significance of the teachings of the Qur’an and indeed no other book has given as much emphasis as the Qur’an does on justice. It states: ‘Allah forbids you not, respecting those who have not fought against you on account of your religion, and who have not driven you forth from your homes, that you be kind to them and act equitably towards them; surely Allah loves those who are equitable.’ (60:9). It also states: ‘O ye who believe! be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah. Surely, Allah is aware of what you do.’ (5:9). The Qur’an also states: ‘And worship Allah and associate naught with Him, and show kindness to parents, and to kindred, and orphans, and the needy, and to the neighbour that is a kinsman and the neighbour that is a stranger, and the companion by your side, and the wayfarer, and those whom your right hands possess. Surely, Allah loves not the proud and the boastful,’ (4:37). Hudhur explained that the verse 60:9 commands to extend virtue to those who do not bear enmity. The verse 5:9 enjoins to be just and fair even to the enemy and not to respond to his foul act with a foul act. The verse 4:37 commands good treatment of everyone, from one’s parents to every human being, so that peace is established in the world. Such is the supremely excellent teaching of Islam which is the guarantee of peace in the world, as opposed to the step taken by the bigoted priest. Whenever we see wrong reaction as regards Islam, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and the Holy Qur’an, our task is to first correct our own practices and then spread the teachings of Islam in the world.
Next Hudhur mentioned a scholarly elder of the Community who was a Hafiz of the Holy Qur’an. He was also a scholar in worldly knowledge and was a renowned academic of astronomy. His name was Hafiz Saleh Muhammad Alladin sahib who passed away recently. Inna lillahe wa inna illaihe raji’oon. He was the sadr of Anjuman Ahmadiyya Qadian for the past four years. He had an MSc in Physics and a PhD in Astrophysics from an American university. He had many qualities and had published more than fifty research papers and had received many awards. Yet he was most humble. Dynamics of galaxies and lunar and solar eclipses were his favourite subjects. His research work was always inspired by the Holy Qur’an and he did this most skilfully. He wrote many books and served the Community in different capacities. After retirement he came to live in Qadian. He had a deep connection with God. His wife related that once at Karachi airport, customs unfairly held some of their electronic items which was very worrisome. A short while later he disappeared. When he returned his wife asked him where he had gone. He replied that given the situation, he had thought of offering Salat and added a positive note that they should now get their items back. By this time, the customs staff had changed and those on duty apologised to them and returned their equipment.
His wife’s sister, Dr. Nusrat Jehan has related (He was the son-in-law of Maulwi Abdul Maalik Khan sahib) that when he was 36 years old, Sheikh Yaqub Ali Arfani sahib told him that he had had a dream in which Hafiz Saleh sahib is sitting on the chair of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him). He had thought this as a most implausible thing. Later, when after the passing away of Sahibzada Mirza Waseem Ahmadi sahib, Hudhur appointed him the sadr of Anjuman Ahmadiyya, he read in ‘Tareekh e Ahmadiyyat’ that Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) was the first sadr of Anjuman Ahmadiyya. He had a great bond with the Holy Qur’an and taught himself to be a Hafiz. He would go in the basement of the house and memorise the Qur’an. Later, seeing his enthusiasm, his parents organised a teacher to help him. He had perfect obedience to Khilafat, had a most loyal devotion and a special connection with the dervishes of Qadian. He observed Tahajjud regularly and in Jalsa days lead Tahajjud Prayer. Once while attending a marriage ceremony of a relative, owing to his worldly standing, he was asked to read the Nikah. He did not take to this kindly and said that while a murrabi sahib was present it was not right for him to read the Nikah. After the pledge of Khilafat centenary 2008, his stance towards Tabligh changed dramatically and he was always engaged in it. He especially had an email account made for this purpose. He continually did research work on solar and lunar eclipses. After his Anjuman work, he would go to a murrabi sahib to do this research on a computer. He was deeply interested in observing the stars and the moon. He was among ‘Ulil Albab’ [men of understanding, as in 3:191]. Next Hudhur related about his grandfather who had first accepted Ahmadiyyat in the family after reading ‘Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam’. Hafiz Saleh sahib had an extremely humble disposition. His son has related that he once wore a red shirt while at Delhi train station. In India the train porters wear red shirts. A family mistook him for a porter and asked him to carry their luggage. He complied. When the family wanted to remunerate him for the service he explained that he was not a porter and had helped them because they had asked. The family was most embarrassed. Hudhur said he had come for Jalsa Salana [UK] in 2003 while not feeling very well and although the transport arrangement from the airport was not up to scratch and the accommodation was also not quite adequate but he did not complain at all. May God keep his children firm on virtue and be their Helper and Protector.
Hudhur announced another funeral Prayer in absentia, that of Col. (r) Muhammad Saeed sahib. He was currently residing in Canada and passed away on the airplane en route Pakistan. He had served as an honourary murrabi in Vancouver, Calgary. In addition he had served as Gen. Sec. in Canada, also as president of Qadha Board as well as secretary Wasaya. He also worked on Ahmadiyya Gazette and as co-ordinator for Waqfe Nau and took part in the project of French translation of the Qur’an in Quebec. When Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih (may Allah have mercy on him) announced Baiyutul Hamd project, he expressed the wish to pay 100,000 on behalf of his family. But he left for Canada. So, during the building of the mosque Baitul Salam there, he donated 100,000 dollars on behalf of his family. He also donated generously towards publication of the Quran in two translations. May God elevate his station and be the Helper and Protector of his children.