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Friday Sermon: Spread the Message of Islam to Hispanics

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 delivered his Friday sermon from Baitul Hameed, Chino, California.

He said it is our claim that InshaAllah Ahmadiyyat will triumph. Ahmadiyyat is not separate from Islam, in fact, it is true Islam and true Islam is Ahmadiyyat. No matter how loud the outcry of our detractors in calling us non-Muslim, each step of the way practical testimony of God is with us in our capacity as a community. This assures us that God is with us and if the true Islamic teaching can be found anywhere today, it is found from the true and ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him); the Imam of the age, the Messiah who was appointed by God, in fulfilment of Divine promise, for the revival of Islam. True message of Islam is now destined to spread through his person, be it in the Muslim world or non-Muslim world. Soon the world will realise that Ahmadiyya Jama’at alone is the representative of Islam.

Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih was interviewed by a correspondent of Los Angeles Times a couple of days ago. She asked that given we were few in number and [relatively] unknown, how was our Community going to spread the peaceable message of Islam, which we claim to be true Islam, in USA. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih told her: ‘It is not a question of spreading the message in USA. Indeed, in USA as well as in the rest of the world, we will InshaAllah one day win your hearts and minds and those of your next generation and will bring you in the fold of Islam.’ Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih had wondered if the correspondent would report this in another vein but he had just read the paper and found it had been reported almost accurately.

Fact is that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has also been promised the support and succour that was always provided to early Prophets. God’s practical testimony demonstrates this to us at all times and we firmly believe that: ‘Allah has decreed: ‘Most surely I will prevail, I and My Messengers.’ (58:22) God has also assured the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) in these words and He will certainly fulfil it for He has appointed the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) to spread the teaching of Islam in this age. It is impossible that God would not help and support one who He has appointed to spread His religion.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) stated: God has ordained from the very beginning and has declared it His law and His Sunnah that He and His Prophets will always triumph. Since I am His Prophet and am sent by Him, though without any new Shariah, new claim or new name. Rather, I have come in the name of the Holy Prophet, Seal of all the Prophets (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and as his manifestation. This is why I say that just as from ancient times, that is, the time of Adam to the time of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) the purport of this verse has been fulfilled, similarly it will be fulfilled for me.’ (Translated from Tafseer ul Qur’an, Vol. IV, pp. 329 – 330)

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also wrote: ‘Can these people stop God’s true plan, which has been testified by all the Prophets from the beginning, by their disregard? Certainly not; in fact God’s prophecy is about to come to pass that: ‘Allah has decreed: ‘Most surely I will prevail, I and My Messengers.’ (Translated from Tafseer ul Qur’an, Vol. IV, p. 330)

Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said that he does not have an iota of doubt, and neither should any true Ahmadi, that our Community will ever be deprived of Divine succour. It should be clear to every Ahmadi what does the term triumph entail. Is it having control of governmental power? Is it to have majority of Ahmadis in every country? These are also kinds of triumphs. However, in God’s Sunnah, triumph is of two types: one part of it is fulfilled in the lifetime of a Prophet and through his hands and the other part is fulfilled after him, by propagating his teaching. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote:

‘And by predominance is meant that as Messengersas and Prophetsas desire that God’s Hujjat is established in the world and no one is able to oppose it, so, in turn, does God demonstrate with powerful signs their truthfulness as well as the truth they wish to spread in the world. He lets them sow the seed of it [the truth]’ (The Will, p. 5)

The sowing of the seed signifies that the world comes to know about existence of God and also comes to know the proofs and arguments of a Prophet, which are given to him through a special grace of God and no one can counter a Prophet’s knowledge and insight. Furthermore, signs of his truthfulness are demonstrated. A Prophet’s enemies may increase in numbers but they can never prove him to be false. Indeed, the enemies of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) had no arguments or reasoning of their own, they were simply stubborn. Similarly, the arguments and reasoning given to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) were such that his detractors could neither refute them in his lifetime nor have they been able to do it now. Before the heavenly signs of the solar and lunar eclipses appeared the so-called Ulema used to demand them. However, once the signs came to pass, the Ulema interpreted them in different ways. There were also the signs of earthquakes and many other signs but those who were not going to believe, did not. However, pious-natured people kept coming into the fold of the Community. A Prophet of God gives true teaching which shows its impact as time passes. This is what came to pass as regards the promise made to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and the seed that he had sown is now a flourishing growth. A few people took Bai’at in his lifetime but it was indeed a triumph that numerous signs appeared in his support and no one could contend with him intellectually.

The second part of triumph comes after the lifetime of a Prophet, although it is but a continuation of his mission. The enemies maintain that the Prophet has passed away and his people could be vanquished; could be distracted through wicked means as there is no one to foster/nurture them anymore. This is what the enemies of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had assumed. However, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had foretold that he will be given triumph like the early Prophets and the triumph will continue until such time that God’s promises are fulfilled. He had said that after he was gone, people should not be distressed because the seed he had sown was eventually going to grow into a tree laden with fruits which would come to pass through the ‘second Manifestation’ of God’s power i.e. Khilafat. Since a Prophet’s triumph is part fulfilled in his lifetime and in part after his passing away, the Ahmadiyya Community is witnessing the fulfilment of the second part. The Community will triumph, in terms of numbers as well, however, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also gave us some responsibilities in order to partake this triumph for generation after generation. These responsibilities were the same that the Holy Qur’an enjoins: abide by Taqwa, reform of the ‘self’, reflect over one’s spiritual and moral condition, fulfil the task and mission of the Prophet. Indeed, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had come in subservience of his master, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) to establish the kingdom of God on this earth and make the world rid of shirk (associating partners with God). He said:

‘God Almighty desires to draw all those who live in various habitations of the world, be it Europe or Asia, and who have virtuous nature, to the Unity of God and unite His servants under one Faith. This indeed is the purpose of God for which I have been sent to the world. You, too, therefore should pursue this end, but with kindness, moral probity and fervent prayers.’ (The Will, pp. 8 – 9)

The points needed to bring people to the true religion are Tabligh, attainment of moral excellence and seeking God’s help through prayers. Each Ahmadi who is associated with the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) needs to understand these responsibilities so that he can be a means to achieve the objective for which the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) came. Our own efforts in this regard are a fraction of the grace that comes from God. Yet, if we do not perform our responsibilities we will not be recipients of the blessings which are given to those who work actively towards these objectives. Certainly, the fruits come only through the grace of God, Who always upholds His dear ones, when He establishes someone, He defeats their enemy and grants progress to one appointed by Him. Nonetheless, we are commanded to make efforts in this regard. God has cited qualities of those who make efforts as: ‘And who is better in speech than he who invites men to Allah and does good works and says, ‘I am surely of those who submit?’ (41:34) That is, inviting people to God, good works, paying dues of God and dues of mankind, perfect obedience of God’s commandments and fulfilment of dues in accordance to our capacities because we cannot succeed in Tabligh unless we adapt our practices according to God’s teaching and do not keep His pleasure in view when performing them.

Ahmadis pledge in their meetings to give precedence to faith over worldly matters. This should be upheld through our practices. When Khulafa challenge the world or when Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih tells the world that we will untiringly take our message to the world and will one day bring the world together, it is based on the positive assumption that the spiritual level of the members of the Community will become better and better and they will take the mission of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) onwards and upwards. It is true that God has stated that there should be a body of men who should attain religious knowledge and spread the message to people of their nation, yet every believer is enjoined to invite people to God. If there is a shortage of missionaries, we cannot wait to carry out Tabligh activities. Groups will have to be made everywhere who can do this task. With the grace of God in every country we have Ahmadis who are keen on Tabligh and also give their time for it. There are such people in USA as well although it is said that due to the economic condition here people have to work harder and for this reason they are more drawn to worldliness. However, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih has met people here who, with the grace of God, give precedence to faith over worldly matters in an amazing manner. He said this leads him to prays for them. He has met a few people who may have small trades like market stalls etc. but they carry out Tabligh even from their stalls. Although they utilise our Spanish literature for Tabligh, it is now their ardent wish to have Spanish-speaking missionaries who have religious knowledge. The Community is InshaAllah trying for this according to its means, but if certain Jama’ats have such requirements they should inculcate the spirit in the youngsters to join Jamia.

This enthusiasm and fervour is not only found in long-term and older Ahmadis. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih has also seen it in younger people. A new Ahmadi of Hispanic ethnicity who perhaps lives in the Bay Point area met Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih and spoke with great enthusiasm as to how can the message of Islam be taken to people as soon as possible. He said he knew forty per cent of Bible and was now learning the reasoning and arguments of the Holy Qur’an. Long-term Ahmadis who do not pay attention to this should take note. The new Ahmadi said that people are turning away from Christianity but not from God. We need to come forward to fill this vacuum. There is a great need for Tabligh. Seeing the fervour of the new Ahmadi Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih was also drawn to the matter and he has asked the missionary-in-charge sahib to make a plan in this regard and has also spoken to the Ameer sahib. Auxiliary organisations should also join forces with the Jama’at and make schemes for Waqfe Arzi and work harder in areas where conditions are more favourable. It is very important to at least introduce Ahmadiyyat, true Islam to the Hispanic community. Things have moved on to such an extent that now the concern is not how to make this introduction. God has opened up so many avenues that it is amazing, not only in USA but also in the South American country of Guatemala. An Ahmadi from Guatemala has met Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih. He is an extremely passionate Tabligh worker and has asked to be provided literature in the Spanish dialect that is spoken in South America. Our Spanish literature is usually prepared in Spain. When he was told about the efforts that are being made in Spain and that he should use the literature produced there, he remarked that concern was being shown in an area inhabited by four million [reference to Spain], what about an area where four hundred million Spanish speakers lived! Such are the true people granted to the Jama’at who invite others to God.

It appears that God’s decree is levelling the field for us and has started a wave in USA and in South America. It is said that Hispanic people are in majority in California and it seems that they are inclined towards religion and are looking for true faith. A special programme should be formulated for this region and people living here should assume their responsibility. Existing Spanish literature should be utilised for the time being and efforts should be made to prepare material in the ‘American Spanish’. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih’s inclination that there is wide scope for Ahmadiyyat in this region was further strengthened when he received a letter from our missionary Azher Hanif sahib in which he had mentioned a dream of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him). Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) saw a surging sea of Ahmadis in the dream and he felt it was in the area of Los Angeles. If each one of us gets involved in this work, a revolution can come about. Revolutions only come to pass when people join in the endeavour.

It is indeed God’s promise to bring about triumph but if we wish to partake of it, every Ahmadi living in the area should act accordingly. Borne of their own weakness some say that this is a very materialistic place, people here have nothing to do with religion, the largest film industry is situated here and it is a very worldly environment. This may be so, but a large section of people here is also waiting for us. The more Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih thinks about it, the stronger the feeling embeds in his heart that it is not far-fetched that the revolution of Ahmadiyyat in USA will be from this region. We should not cast our own weaknesses on the people of the area. The administration of the Jama’at should make a programme for this area, or if a programme exits, then it should be implemented, the auxiliary organisations should also work in this regard as well as every Ahmadi living in the area. It is also the responsibility of the entire country. For this we should look up to the expectations of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). The stance should not be that we are weak, we have taken Bai’at and that is sufficient for us. No doubt, after taking Bai’at, an Ahmadi is in a better condition, however true believer is one who continues to traverse progress and takes his apparent obedience to the level of perfect obedience. There are many in the area whose elders accepted Ahmadiyyat and gave amazing sacrifices. Respect of their sacrifices and their wishes is obligatory on their families. This way they will become recipients of prayers of their elders.

For the past few years a group of people has arrived in the area for whom situation was made intolerable in their own country. The government here has given them civic rights which, as Ahmadis, they were deprived of in their country where they were persecuted. These people are here because they are Ahmadis and this situation demands that they carry themselves as model Ahmadis. Those who have sought asylum and are distressed due to being out of job should look for jobs but whatever time they can spare should be used in distributing literature. Sitting at home causes depression, through this work they will be alleviated from it and God will ease their situation.

Next, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih explained the expectations the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had from his Community. This mission was established to increase faith in God. Faith is enhanced by reflection and deliberation and this is why the Holy Qur’an should be read regularly and it should be reflected upon. If we do not read the vast literature the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) left behind, we deprive ourselves. Then, faith also grows through signs. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was told in a revelation that people will come to him in abundance and from distant, far-off places. We saw fulfilment of this in his lifetime and also see it at Jalsa time of every country. It is also evident today as people have travelled from long distances to offer Friday Prayers behind Khalifa of the time. All this is borne of love for the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). If each insightful eye sees and each reflective mind keeps this in view, one’s belief in the existence of God and faith in the Jama’at gets stronger and stronger. Another sign of a true Ahmadi as given by the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was that his love of God should enhance after taking Bai’at. He said: ‘God Almighty has sent a truthful person at this time and has willed to prepare a community that loves Allah the Exalted.’ Thus, we need to reflect and self-examine if we are abiding by these matters. If not, then our faith is in need of improvement and God wants us to enhance in our faith.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘I know very well what we and our Jama’at is. Help and succour of Allah the Exalted will be with us if we tread on the right path and perfectly follow the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), make the teaching of the Holy Qur’an our modus operandi and prove this with our practice and condition and not merely with words. If we adopt this way, then be assured that even if the entire world joins forces to destroy us, we will not be destroyed, because God will be with us. However, if we are disobedient to God and have severed ties with Him, no opponent is needed and no one need make plans for our destruction; God will Himself destroy us.’ The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also said: ‘Be very mindful that if you do not adopt Taqwa and do not copiously partake of the piety that God wants, you will be the first to be destroyed by Him because you have accepted truth and then reject it in practical terms. Do not ever rely on and be proud of the fact that you have taken Bai’at. Unless you fully adopt Taqwa, you will not be saved. God Almighty is not anyone’s relation nor does He accept concessions for anyone. Our opponents are also created by Him and you are also His creation. Mere creed will never avail unless your word and deed is the same.’

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘There is no excellence in merely avoiding sins. Our Jama’at should not suffice on this. Rather, they should endeavour to attain both excellences with effort and prayer, that is, avoid sins and adopt piety.’ He said: ‘Espouse gentleness and prove the truthfulness of this mission with your inner purity and chaste ways. This is my advice; remember it.’

The truthfulness of our Community will be proven when our inner and outer selves will be the same as will be our word and deed. When we will impart this beautiful teaching to the new-comers and consider them as our own and erasing any and every racial discrimination embrace them as brothers. Many African Americans had come into the fold of Ahmadiyyat but the next generation of some has distanced itself. One of the many reasons for this is because Ahmadis of Pakistani origin did not assimilate them properly. They gave them the teaching of Islam but failed to practice it themselves, though it is also the misfortune of those who have distanced themselves.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘Know for certain that those people are not beloved of Allah the Exalted who wear fine garments, are wealthy and epicures. On the contrary, people who give precedence to faith over worldly matters and devote themselves to God are beloved to Him. Thus you should reflect on this aspect and not the first aspect. Allah the Exalted has stated: ‘…and will place those who follow thee above those who disbelieve, until the Day of Resurrection…’ (3:56) It is true that He will triumph my followers over my detractors and opponents, but it is worth reflecting that each person who takes Bai’at on my hand does not become my follower. The word follower is not applicable to him unless and until he develops complete compliance, unless he follows with total obedience and walks in my footsteps. This signifies that God Almighty has destined a community for me which will be passionately obedient to me and will completely follow me. This assures me and my sorrow changes into hope.’

God has promised that such people will be born in this Jama’at till the Day of Judgement. He has granted such devoted sincere people in the past and continues to grant them. Yet, we should be mindful to attain those standards which the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) expected of us. May God make it so, and may we witness the triumph of Ahmadiyyat with our own eyes!

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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)