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Friday Sermon: Promote the true character of The Prophet (saw)

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

Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said that when he came for Friday Prayers last week he saw a large number of reporters had gathered. Upon inquiring Ameer sahib told him that they had come to observe the Ahmadi response in light of the Muslim reaction to the hurtful film in USA. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih replied that his sermon was going to be on the same subject and he would give a discourse on what the response should be. It was God’s work that He had attracted such a large number of reporters and had also put in the heart of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih to give a discourse on the subject. The plan was to give the Friday sermon on a different subject and it was only a day earlier that it was changed to this subject. What followed proved that this happened with God’s succour. Although only a limited amount can be said in the limited [allocated] time, yet the intended message was widely received by others in addition to the world of Ahmadiyyat.

After Friday Prayers as Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih was leaving, Ameer sahib told him that the gathered media wished to ask him some questions. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said that he had said what he wished to say in his sermon. He said he had also observed that the media was watching and listening to the available translation and taking photographs. However, they had been seated and awaited Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih, so he went to speak to them with the thought of upholding the honour of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and felt that if the message about Islamic teaching could be conveyed in a better light, meeting the media was good.

Among the gathered media there were newspaper reporters as well as TV reporters. BBC’s Newsnight representative was there and another from the BBC. New Zealand national TV as well as French TV was also represented. The New Zealander had the first chance to question and asked what was the message Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih wished to give. He replied that it had just been given in his sermon which the media had listened to with the translation provided. A discourse had been given about the high station of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). His high station and his blessed model was worthy of emulation for every Muslim. The enraged reaction of the Muslims [to the films etc.] was in a way right although in places it had manifested wrongly. The station that we hold the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) in our hearts cannot be perceived by a worldly person. That is why they have no insight into the deep hurt it has caused us. The New Zealand reporter stressed and repeatedly mentioned that Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih had spoken severely in his sermon and had said that all these people would go to Hell. He was replied that people who acted in this manner towards the beloveds of God and did it persistently, mocking and deriding them, then God’s decree also comes to pass and He chastises them. The reporter did not say anything to this but appeared somewhat frightened. His report was broadcast on New Zealand national TV. It was the first time that a Jama’at news item was broadcast on New Zealand national TV and the local Jama’at was quite pleased about this introduction. In the news item the words of the English translator of the sermon regarding ‘these people would go to Hell’ were also included. In isolation and out of context this phrase could have had a negative effect. Unlike other non-Muslim reporters it was fair of this reporter that Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih’s own words spoken during the interview saying that we do not approve of violent protests and rioting and an Ahmadi Muslim would never be seen in a disorderly act were also included in the item. The report also said that Ahmadis were a minority Muslim community and were persecuted by Muslims and said that it remained to be seen what effect, if any, the words of their Khalifa would have on other Muslims apart from the Ahmadis. The report also featured footage of violent protests and maulwis raising slogans. Through this report the true message of Islam reached New Zealand and other countries via their websites. Even if we had tried, we could not have conveyed the message on this scale. The New Zealand Jama’at should now try and take this message all over. Similarly, the message would have been heard in countries around New Zealand. They should try and plan extensive programmes regarding the blessed life of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).

The Newsnight reporter present said that he had seen the film and there was nothing in it to merit the reaction. He also said that the Friday sermon was also quite detailed on the subject and in places harsh words were used to refute what was simply humour. Such is the state of their morals. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih told him that he did not know how he had viewed the film and what his standard was but the love and reverence that Muslims had for the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) could not be understood by him. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih told him that although he had not seen the film but one or two things that someone who had seen the film had related to him were unbearable and in light of them Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih could not possibly dare see the film. He said his blood boiled by merely listening about them. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih asked him that if someone verbally abused his father and said vulgar things about him what would his reaction be? He was told that the station of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was much higher than this for Muslims. When the reporter mentioned the film again, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih again reminded him what his reaction would be if someone was to say something similar about his father. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih asked for an answer in a yes or no, but none was forthcoming. Although Newsnight did not report this but the phrase ‘what if someone was to verbally abuse your father’ was picked up by other media and commented on. An English language Pakistani newspaper presented the viewpoint of Ahmadiyya Jama’at very well with reference to the Friday sermon and meeting with the press. Again with reference to this phrase which was highly commended, some online commentators also said that Mirza Masoor Ahmad had not said something unusual, all sensible people said the same thing. An Ahmadi wrote to Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih that he had heard and read all reports and comments on this subject and no one other than Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih had drawn attention to invoking blessings and salutations (Durud) on the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Some reports mentioned that those who are called non-Muslims have shown the correct response. Thus true Islam was very well publicised in the world and the world of Islam and the rest of the world was given the message about the correct Islamic response. It was a special blessing of God that this received the coverage that it did. Had we planned to do this, we could not have managed on the wide scale that it happened.

Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said: ‘Now, this message needs to be taken further and this wide coverage should be availed of. This is the task of every local Jama’at and every Ahmadi. As far as instruction regarding the modus operandi from the centre is concerned, I have instructed publication of the Friday sermon. This instruction and method would take a short while to reach Jama’ats. However, all the Ahmadis who are listening to me should avail of this opportunity provided by God. For one, as I mentioned in last Friday sermon, present the beautiful teaching of Islam to the world through your practice. In conjunction the related central office and Jama’ats should promptly translate the Friday sermon in their native language and publicise it extensively and also mention the press [coverage]. The Islamic viewpoint should be taken to every intelligent person. It should also be stated that if people are interested in the beautiful aspects of the blessed life of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), we provide books written in light of facts and history or can provide books. Website addresses should also be given; the main website address should be given which has all these books online. As I said I have already given instrcutions and some have also suggested that the worldwide publicity with reference to the Friday sermon and the questions and answers with the press should be fully utilised to highlight aspects of the blessed life of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and it should be taken advantage of.

Books on the blessed life of the Prophet which have been translated in English should be given to local libraries in the English speaking world. In addition, if they have to be given free to certain communities, this can be done, especially those books which, as I said have been translated in English or other languages; these should be distributed abundantly. For example, the book by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II (may Allah be pleased with him) ‘Life of Muhammad’, published in English, also the book by Mirza Bashir Ahmad sahib (may Allah be pleased with him) on the blessed life of the Prophet has been partly translated in English. The rest of it should also be translated and quickly published by the publication department. As I said, the book by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II (may Allah be pleased with him) ‘Life of Muhammad’ is a comprehensive book that briefly covers all aspects of the blessed life. Originally, it is part of ‘Deebacha Tafseerul Qur’an’ citing history as well as biography [of the Prophet]…reading it highlights every aspect of the life of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). It should be published on an extensive scale. Vakil ul Isha’at Tasneef should report on into how many languages it has been translated. If it is not in stock, it should be promptly published. I think a German translation also exists and perhaps also in French. In any case, a report should be submitted.

We are going to present the beautiful aspects of the blessed life of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) to the world. This is our task and should be discharged with determination. Today only the Ahmadiyya community can do this task with love. For this, efforts should be made for all kinds of programmes; seminars should be held as well as conventions to which others should be invited in maximum numbers. And as I said, my last Friday sermon should be translated in every language and published in a small pamphlet form and distributed as a campaign in the manner peace leafleting was done. But this should not take too long. This task can be done within a week to ten days and should be thus undertaken. Big countries can easily manage this publication task. These people are neither desisting now nor will they do it in future. Seeing the general reaction of the Muslims, it appears they are in pursuit of further hurting our sentiments and are spreading their wicked way from one country to another. A few days ago a Spanish newspaper also made these caricatures and published them in the name of humour saying it was a reply to the reaction of Muslims. We have to make concerted efforts to silence these people and at least let the decent and educated people know that this wrong way is destroying peace. So that as much as possible we can uncover their wickedness and inform the world about it.’

Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said that recently here in the UK and in the Commonwealth Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee was celebrated all year round. When the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria took place the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote a book by the name of ‘Tohfa e Qaisariyyah’ and sent it to the Queen. While he had praised the fair and just rule of the Queen in the book, he had also given the message of Islam and also drawn attention towards inter-faith links and respect of religious holy persons and Prophets to promote peace in the world. He had also detailed the ways to keep peace. At the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth, a volume of beautifully bound translation of ‘Tohfa e Qaisariyyah’ was sent to her. The related royal department sent Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih a letter of thanks saying the book had been added to the Queen’s collection and that she would read it. Whether the Queen reads it or not, we have tried to carry out our responsibility.

Today, the disorder in the world is the same as it was then. In fact in some ways it is worse. These people are carrying on attacking Islam and attacking the person of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and deriding him and are increasing in this. Therefore, the message of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) is much needed. The part where he draws attention to respect of religion and stresses the importance of holding conferences should also be published and distributed as a pamphlet. The message will perhaps cover four to five pages. This task should also be done promptly. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has stated that if a person tries to spread a false law in the name of government and tries to present himself as a worker of the government, the governmental apparatus comes into action and takes steps against such a person or group. How can it be possible that God sees wrong associated to Him and stay silent? When Prophets claim to be from God and their communities also grow, it proves that they are from God and those who are from God should be respected so that world peace is maintained.

Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih read the following extract from the book Tohfa e Qaisariyyah (A Gift To The Queen):

‘Therefore, this law is part of the eternal practice of Almighty God that He does not grant respite to a false prophet. Such a person is soon seized and suffers his punishment. In view of this, we shall honour and accept as true all those who claimed to be prophets at any time, and their claim was established and their religion became widespread and flourished over a long period. If we should discover mistakes in the scriptures of their religions or should observe the misconduct of their followers, we should not attribute these faults and shortcomings to the founders of these religions, inasmuch as the perversion of scriptures is possible and it is possible that mistakes of interpretation might find their way into the commentaries. But it is not at all possible that a person should fabricate lies against God and claim to be a prophet and then put forward his own compositions as the word of God falsely, and yet God should grant him respite like the righteous and allow him wide acceptance worthy of the truthful. This is our task which should be discharged with determination.

Therefore, this principle is an ultimate truth and endless blessing, and withal lays the foundation for conciliation, in that we affirm the truthfulness of all prophets whose religion has been well-established, has survived for a long time period and has had millions enter its fold. This is a very blessed principle. If all the world were to adhere to this fundamental principle, thousands of disorders and blasphemies, which disturb the peace among general public, would be eradicated. It is apparent that people who consider the adherents of a religion to be following a person who, in their view, is a liar and fabricator, lay the foundation of many tribulations. They certainly commit the crimes of defamation and speak of the prophets with extremely disrespectful words, going as far as employing abusive language, and disrupt harmony and peace among the general public; notwithstanding that their estimation is wrong and they are transgressors in the eyes of God with regard to their disrespectful views. God, who is Merciful and Beneficent, does not like that a liar should prosper unfairly and then put people in doubt by establishing his own religion. Nor does He allow that, in the eyes of the world, a person be raised to the level of true prophets while he is a fabricator and a liar. Therefore, this principle lays down the foundation of love, peace and harmony, and supports moral values, in that we consider all those prophets true who appeared in the world—whether in India, or Persia or China or any other country. God instilled their respect and grandeur in the hearts of millions and made firm the roots of their religion, which remained established for centuries. This is the principle that the Quran teaches us. In light of this principle, we honour all religious founders who fall under this description whether they are the founders of the religion of the Hindus, or the religion of the Persians, or the religion of the Chinese, or the religion of the Jews or the religion of the Christians. Unfortunately, our adversaries cannot treat us this way, and they do not bear in mind the pristine and unalterable law of God that He does not give that blessing and honour to a false prophet that He bestows upon the true one. The religion of a false prophet does not take root and does not last long as does the religion of a truthful prophet. Therefore, people subscribing to this kind of belief—who defame the prophets of other nations by declaring them false—are always enemies of peace and harmony, because there is no greater mischief than abusing the elders of other nations. Sometimes a person would rather die than hear disparaging words for his elders. If we have an objection over the teaching of a religion, we should not attack the honour of the prophet of that religion or mention him in an unseemly manner. Rather, we should object only on the current practices of that nation. We should be certain that the prophet whom God Almighty has graced with the honour of acceptance by millions, and whose acceptance has continued for centuries, is thus firmly proven to be from Allah. If he were not the beloved of God, he would not have achieved so much respect. It is not the practice of God to grant honour to a fabricator, to spread his religion among millions, and to safeguard the fabricated religion for a long time.

Therefore, a religion which spreads in the world, takes root, and finds honour and long life, cannot at all be false in its origin. Therefore, if anything in that teaching is found objectionable, it can either be because the teachings of that prophet have been altered, or because a mistake has been made in the explanation of his teachings. It is also possible that we may not be justified in our objections. It may be observed that some priests raise objections about certain tenets in the Holy Quran, even though they believe them to be true and as the teachings of God according to the Torah. Therefore, such objections are due to one’s own mistake or due to haste.

In summary, welfare of humanity, peace, harmony, righteousness, and fear of God call for adhering to the principle that we do not declare such prophets as false concerning whose truth the opinion of millions of people for centuries has been established, and they have been supported by God since time immemorial. I am confident that a seeker of truth, whether Asian or European, will cherish this principle, and will profoundly regret that he did not believe in it all along. I place this principle before Her Majesty, the Queen, the Empress of India and England because only this principle can spread peace in the world. This is our principle. Islam is proud to be unique in subscribing to this beautiful and handsome principle.

Is it befitting that we malign the sages to whom God has subjugated a world and kings have been bowing to them for centuries? Is it befitting that we be distrustful of God, thinking that He wants to deceive people by giving the status of the truthful to the liars, making them the sages of millions, giving their religions long lives and showing heavenly signs in their favour? If God Himself were to deceive us then how could we differentiate right from wrong?

This is an important tenet: a false prophet should not achieve the grandeur, acceptance and greatness as that of a truthful one. Prosperity should not result from the plans of liars as it does from the activities of a truthful one. That is why the first sign of the truthful is that perpetual support is with the truthful, and God plants his religion in the hearts of millions, and grants it long life. Therefore, keeping in view the day of our passing away and the day of recompense, we should not malign such a great sage; rather, we should garner true respect and true love for a prophet who carries such signs. This is the first principle which God has taught us. Through this we have become inheritors of a great moral code.’ (‘A Gift to The Queen’, pp. 5 – 9)

Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said that in terms of practice, Islam is the leading religion of the world whereas in terms of numbers it is the second. Others should try and respect the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) otherwise it could lead to disorder. We respect other religions of the world and accept their holy persons were commissioned by God and this in only because of the beautiful teaching of the Qur’an which the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) gave us. In spite of the fact that those opposed to Islam use offensive words for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and make his crude caricatures, we do not use any wrong words for any Prophet of other faiths nor do we disparage them. Yet by targeting Muslims the others disturb world peace. They provoke and incite and when some Muslims are inflamed they say Muslims are extremists and all manner of action should be taken against them. They dare to do this because there is no unity in the Muslims. As for us Ahmadi Muslims, whom God has gathered on the hand of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi (on whom be peace) should show the world the way to guidance and the ways of peace and security. The message of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) read out earlier should be abundantly publicised. Worldly people do not know the station of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) that we have in our hearts. They cannot appreciate how much a true Muslim loves him. 1400 years ago, Hassaan bin Thabit expressed his ardent love for the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) as:

‘O Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), you were [like] the pupil of my eye that I am blinded of today. Whosoever may die now, I feared your death alone.’

In this age, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has inspired great love for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) in our hearts. In his celebrated ‘Qaseeda’ (eulogy) he thus expressed his ardent love for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him):

‘A group of people has seen you whilst a whole nation has been informed about [you]

That full moon that has captivated me!

They weep fervently upon remembrance of [your] beauty; yearning

And aching from the misery of separation

And I see the hearts desperately anxious in agony

And I see the tears flowing from the eyes’

The closing couplet of the Qaseeda says:

‘My body [yearns to] fly to you, so intense is my desire that it [has] soared high

Would it that I had the power to fly!’

Such are the lessons in love that we have been taught about the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and these worldly people say what does it matter, it is only light humour. When morals are declined to this degree that rather than ascend they reach the lowest ebb is when world peace is destroyed. Our task is to promote the blessed life of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) as much as possible. In order to prepare for this every Ahmadi should read the book ‘Life of Muhammad’, it covers all the main aspects of his blessed life. In addition, in accordance with personal academic ability and discernment other books on his blessed life should also be read and the world should be informed through networking, through articles and pamphlets about the beauty and grace of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). May God enable every Ahmadi to do this important task and duty and may He give sense to the world so that sensible people dismiss those who perpetrate vulgar and wicked derision and show enmity so that the world peace is not disturbed and the world is also saved from Divine wrath. May God make it so.

Next Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih announced the funeral Prayer of Maulana Nasrullah Khan Nasir.

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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)