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Essence of speaking the truth

Friday Sermon June 21st, 2013 delivered by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(at)

NOTE: Alislam Team takes full responsibility for any errors or miscommunication in this Synopsis of the Friday Sermon.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih recited the following verses from Surah Al Ahzab

‘O Ye who believe! Fear Allah, and say the right word. He will reform your conduct for you and forgive you your sins. And whoso obeys Allah and His Messenger, shall surely attain a mighty success.’ (33:71-72)

God has stated in these verses to adopt Taqwa (righteousness) and to say what is straightforward and clear.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote:

‘Qawl e Sadeed (the right word) entails uttering what is completely true and appropriate and has no hint of randomness, uselessness and falsehood.’

‘O’ you who believe, fear God and say what is based on truth, honesty, fairness and wisdom.’

‘Do not talk randomly and speak at the right time and place.’

Translated from Tafseer Holy Qur’an, Vol. III, pp. 731 – 732)

The above statements [of the Promised Messiah] make it clear that Taqwa is attained when truth is upheld in every situation, in times of difficulty or ease; be it when arriving at a decision when in a decision-making capacity, at the time of giving testimony, at home with wife and children, with friends and family, in business while selling or buying and with one’s employer. In daily matters and exchanges everything should be completely truthful and without ambiguity, which may not lead the other to random interpretation. One should be truthful even if it goes against one. Some people think that a little falsifying in every day matters does not matter. God states, it matters. Such practices lower the standard of Taqwa, leads one to falsehood and distant from God or is rejected by God. True believers stay firm on qawl e sadeed (the right word).

A benchmark of qawl e sadeed is that whatever one says is pertinent and appropriate. It is not essential to say everything that is true. If it is not pertinent and appropriate it can cause discord and strife. By divulging secrets of others relationships break down. However, at times something may not be appropriate in one situation but becomes necessary in another situation. For example, some matters are brought before the Khalifa of the time which are for reformation. These matters are not for divulging in other situations but here their disclosure becomes pertinent and appropriate. A matter is pertinent and appropriate when something frivolous is not said in the name of qawl e sadeed and no overstatement/exaggeration is made in the guise of explanation. Sometimes people bring something to notice for reformation but during the process indulge in overstatement/exaggeration. In such an instance the matter does not remain qawl e sadeed, rather it becomes a travesty of qawl e sadeed. Even overstatement/exaggeration by the odd word takes a matter away from truth and as a result instead of proper means of reformation, wrong means are utilised. At times reformation can be done with gentle advice, by condoning or with slight discipline. However, when wrong words are used to inform the person making the decision, they lead him to dispense harsh discipline. Therefore wisdom should also be kept in view along with truth and fairness and it is wisdom to maintain societal peace at every level. Such wisdom requires that everything is said according to time and place and appropriateness. To utter what is truth without wisdom and appropriateness is not qawl e sadeed. On the contrary it becomes frivolous and rather than attain God’s pleasure, it can become a source of incurring His wrath. God’s love is attained by having a fine understanding of Taqwa and qawl e sadeed.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘Man should be inclined to the finer ways of Taqwa; therein is safety/well-being. If one does not take care about small matters then one day these small matters make one commit grave sins. Laxity and carelessness would set in and cause one’s destruction. You should keep attainment of high stations of Taqwa in your view and for this, inclination towards finer ways of Taqwa is essential.’ (Translated from Malfuzat, Vol. 8, p. 106)

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also said: ‘True well-being and pleasure cannot be achieved without Taqwa. Whilst staying firm on Taqwa is indeed like drinking a cup of toxin. Allah the Exalted makes all the arrangements for the righteous. ‘…he who fears Allah — He will make for him a way out, And will provide for him from where he expects not…’ (65:3-4). Thus, Taqwa is the principle behind well-being but we should not make attainment of Taqwa conditional. Adopt Taqwa and you will get what you seek. Allah the Exalted is Most Merciful and Noble, adopt Taqwa and He will grant you what you wish for.’ (Translated from Malfuzat, Vol. 5, pp. 106-107)

No Divine commandment should be considered small, let alone the commandment for qawl e sadeed which is the basis of societal peace as well as basis of reformation. That is why the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) included it in the Nikah sermon. The significance of Nikah is that it is a time of the coming together of man and woman in Islamic matrimony and is also the means for the continuation of future generations. However, as mentioned earlier, the scope of qawl e sadeed is not to be limited to family life, rather, it encompasses the entire society. Therefore, it is most essential to abide by it as God wants. God states that looking for the finer ways of Taqwa makes one the recipient of God’s grace and one’s deeds are reformed and one also avoids what is frivolous.

We often listen to a Hadith which relates that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) advised a man to promise from that day onwards to always stay firm on honesty. He said if the man was to follow this advice all his weak points and failings would be eliminated. The man followed the advice and got rid of all his big and small sins. When such a situation comes to pass, God wills a person to have his practices reformed. Those who adopt Taqwa and stay firm on honesty also have God forgive their past sins. Therefore, not only are one’s practices reformed but one’s past sins are also forgiven. One becomes a true believer by following the directives of God and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), abiding by Taqwa, doing good deeds, avoiding discord and following all the directive that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has referred to as 700 commandments of the Holy Qur’an. This also enables forgiveness of one’s future sins. Due to reformation of the self, one is continually distanced from sins. Indeed, Istaghfar (seeking forgiveness from God) gives us strength against sinning.

God states that it is a ‘mighty success’ for man to attain God’s pleasure. Indeed, perfect obedience of God and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) are essential for this mighty success and to practice this, it is necessary to seek God’s help for strength. This strength can be derived through Istaghfar. One is drawn to do good deeds and God guides one and includes one among true believers, that is, those who are truthful, who spread the truth and who abide by Taqwa. Taqwa takes one to this ‘mighty success’ and those who attain this mighty success are the righteous. We should try and attain this station.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said regarding honesty: ‘Fact is that insight is a good thing, it gives man an inherent understanding about another’s honesty. There is courage and valour in honesty while a liar is a coward. One whose life is embroiled in impurity and foulness is always frightened and cannot compete. He cannot express his honesty with courage and valour like a truthful person can and cannot give evidence of his purity. Reflect over even worldly matters a little. Is there one whom God has granted good standing in life who is without those who envy him? Every person with good standing has enviers who pursue him. Religious matters are the same. Satan is an enemy of reformation. Man should keep his accountability clear and his matters with God in order and keep God happy and then neither fear any one nor care about anyone. Avoid such matters which will make him culpable for chastisement. However, all this cannot come to pass without help from the Unseen and Divine enablement. Unless God’s grace is there, mere human effort does not avail much. ‘…man has been created weak.’ (4:29) Man is feeble and full of flaws and difficulties encircle him from all sides. Thus, one should pray that may Allah the Exalted enable and make one recipient of help from the Unseen and beneficence of His grace.’ (Translated from Malfuzat, Vol. 10, p. 252)

Man faces difficulties in worldly as well as religious matters. With the grace of God with Taqwa and honesty, these difficulties can be removed. Sometimes speaking the truth can put one in difficulty but if one is honest one comes out of it. Sometimes saying what is true among one’s own also puts one in difficulty because there are people of all kinds of dispositions among one’s own. This stems from lack of Taqwa. For example, these days Jama’at elections are being held worldwide. And Hazrat Khalifatul Masih receives certain complaints. People say they voted for a certain person or a certain office-holder asked them why did they vote for such and such? In Jama’at elections everyone has a right to truthfully vote for whomever they think suitable and no one or no office-holder has the right to ask them why they did so. If this weakness is found in someone then next time they are not forthcoming lest their weaknesses and failings are again found out. It may also be due to lack of Taqwa, like sometimes people say that they are concerned a certain office-holder may harbour resentment against them. This is lack of Taqwa and lack of honesty. It should always be remembered that if someone has exercised their right in giving an opinion, then honesty and Taqwa is in remaining carefree. Indeed, God’s grace should be sought and if God’s grace is there, no one can do anything. Those who harbour such resentments sometimes do come under God’s decree. It is not that the administration of the Jama’at is such that people are free to do whatever they wish; somehow or the other they are apprehended.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘It is generally observed that people are convinced of ‘There is none worthy of worship save Allah’ and also profess to accept the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). They also apparently offer Salat and observe fasting. However, the reality is there is no spirituality left. Conversely, being contrary to these good deeds is testimony that these practices are not carried out in the spirit of good deeds but as habitual customs because they do not even have a hint of sincerity and spirituality. Or else, what could be the reason that the blessings and spiritual lights of these good deeds are missing? Remember very well that unless these practices are undertaken with sincerity of heart and with spirituality, there will be no gain and these practices will be of no avail. Good deeds are indeed good deeds when they have no discord. Discord is the antithesis of concord and a good person is one who is free of discord.’ (Translated from Malfuzat, Vol. 6, pp. 237-238)

When people are made accountable for trivial matters and are harassed, it comes under the category of discord/disorder. One should always self-reflect that one has to practice good deeds. One’s deeds are reformed when God wills. It is the sign of one who abides by Taqwa that they consider deeds as good when they are deemed so by God and for this one needs God’s grace by turning to Him and through Istaghfar.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘Man thinks that mere verbal utterance of the Kalima or merely saying Astaghfurullah is sufficient. But remember that it is not sufficient to merely make verbal noise. No matter a person says Astaghfurullah a thousand times or says the Tasbih a hundred times, it will not gain anything because God has made man a man and not a parrot. A parrot is verbally repetitive even though he does not understand anything. It is for man to think before speaking and then also put it in practice accordingly. However, if he is merely repetitive in uttering things in parrot-like fashion then be mindful that there is no blessings in mere professing by mouth. Unless one’s heart is in what one says and one also practices accordingly, whatever one says will be considered mere words without any quality or blessing even if it is the Holy Qur’an or Istaghfar that one is reciting. God Almighty demands actions and that is why it is directed again and again to do good deeds without which one cannot attain Divine nearness. Some foolish people say that they finish reading the Holy Qur’an in one day. They should be asked what did they gain from it? They simply read it with their tongue but completely disregarded [the use of] other limbs, whereas Allah the Exalted has made all the limbs so that they can be utilised. This is the reason Hadith relates that come people recite the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Qur’an curses them because their recitation is mere words and without any practice.’ (Translated from Malfuzat, Vol. 6, p. 398-399)

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) gave it as a sign for entering his Jama’at or gave it as a sign for people of the Jama’at that they follow the 700 commandments of the Holy Qur’an. Everyone needs to keep an eye on their practices and adapt them according to this teaching.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘A person who does not conform his practices to the limits set by Allah the Exalted is being derisory because mere reading up [on something] is not the will of Allah the Exalted for He wants action. If a person reads the penal code of India every day but does not follow the law, on the contrary commits crime like taking bribery etc. and when this person is caught would his excuse be that he read the penal code every day be admissible? Or would he be given a harsher sentence for committing a crime in spite of having the knowledge? He should be sentenced for four years instead of one year.’ (Translated from Malfuzat, Vol. 6, p. 399)

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) further said: ‘In short, mere words will not avail. It is required that man first goes through arduousness so that he pleases God Almighty. When he does so, God Almighty will give him long life. There is no breaking of Divine promises. He has promised: ‘…as to that which benefits men, it stays on the earth…’ and it is absolutely true. It is also a general rule that no one wastes something beneficial. Who would slaughter a horse, bull, cow or goat if it is advantageous and beneficial? However, when [such an animal] does not remain serviceable and is of no use then the last resort is to slaughter it.’

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said these phrases needed to be reflected on.

‘Similarly, when a person does not remain of any use in the sight of Allah the Exalted and he is of no benefit to others, Allah the Exalted does not care for him, in fact He destroys him as good riddance. In short, remember this very well that mere verbosity is of no avail or influence unless it is carried out in conjunction with practice and hands and feet and other limbs are utilised to do good works. Allah the Exalted sent down the Holy Qur’an and had the Companions serve it. Did they deem it sufficient to merely read the Holy Qur’an or did they deem practising it important? They demonstrated loyalty and obedience of the stature that they sacrificed themselves like animals. What they attained after this and how much Allah the Exalted valued them is not a hidden matter.

If you wish to attain the grace and beneficence of Allah the Exalted, then demonstrate an accomplishment, otherwise you will be discarded like a useless item. No one throws out his household valuables, gold and silver. On the contrary all such items and all useful and valuable items are greatly cared for. However, if a dead rat is found in the house, it will be instantly thrown out. Similarly, Allah the Exalted always holds dear His pious people, grants them long age and blesses their business. He does not let them go to waste and does not let them die an ignoble death. However, one who contravenes the directives of Allah the Exalted is destroyed. If you wish for God Almighty to value you it is essential that you become pious so that you are worthy in God’s sight. God makes a distinction between those who fear Him and abide by His commandments and the others. The secret for man to find blessing is in avoiding evil. Such a person is worthy wherever he lives because he exudes piety. He is compassionate to the underprivileged, is kind to his neighbours; is not mischievous, does not file false court cases, does not give false testimonies, in fact he keeps his heart purified and is inclined to God and is called God’s friend.’ (Translated from Malfuzat, Vol. 6, p. 399 - 401)

May we abide by Taqwa and remain firm on truthfulness, may we be perfectly obedient to God and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), may He cover our sins and may our practices be those which gain acceptance with God. May we attract His grace and attain that objective in real terms for which God sent the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and may we also be helpers of this objective and have God loving grace on us.

Next the martyrdom of ‘our shaheed brother’ Jawad Karim sahib was announced. He was from Green Town, Lahore and was martyred on 17 June by four unknown assailants who entered his house and fired by him. Jawad sahib lived on the first floor while his brother and mother resided on the ground floor. At 7.45 pm unknown assailants entered the house and called out for him. They shot him in the heart. On hearing the commotion his brother emerged from the house, the assailants shot in the air and said to his brother that he was next and fled. Jawad sahib was taken to the hospital but he was martyred on his way there.

Ahmadiyyat came in the family of Jawad sahib through his maternal great grandfather who took Bai’at on the hand of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Jawad sahib was 33 years old and was a Moosi. He had his own business. His wife is a doctor and he also managed her clinic. He was a gentle, sincere person who was compassionate towards everyone. His house was a Salat centre for a long period. He served Khuddamul Ahmadiyya in various capacities. He was very generous in chanda-giving. He leaves behind his widow and three young children.

His mother, Razia Karim Dehlvi sahiba, born in 1947, suffered a heart attack at the time of Jawad sahib’s burial and passed away. She was a retired school headmistress who was active in Jama’at work. May Allah elevate the station of the deceased and be the Helper of the bereaved family and strengthen their connection with the Jama’at. In response of message of condolence from Huzoor, Jawad sahib’s brother said that they were ever ready to give their lives for the Jama’at. While may God grant them courage, may He also keep them safe! Huzoor said he would lead funeral Prayer in absentia after Friday Prayer.


Verses Cited in this Friday Sermon:
About Friday Prayer

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

Friday Prayers 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 Prayers 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)

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