Today's Friday sermon was based on observations of Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) which directly or indirectly illustrated guidance of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace).
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) always felt most fervently about Tabligh. He would think of all kinds of wondrous ways and means to carry out Tabligh that would take his message to the ends of the earth. He once suggested that people of the community should have special clothing which would distinguish them from the rest. Indeed his wish would have been for Ahmadis to be mindful of their practice and their belief when wearing specific clothes. We need to instil this even today that while specific clothing is not the main issue but people should be able to distinguish us as Ahmadis through our practice and our belief. Ahmadi missionaries should have a demeanour of a true believer. Khuddam should focus that their outward appearance is in line with Islam. Indeed, Islam enjoins wearing of clean clothes but too much formality in clothes is not allowed. People would present fine clothes to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and he would use them but he did not give too much attention to the appearance of his clothes. It is of course all right to use clothes brush on one's garments but too much fuss over such matters is not liked. Some people feel forlorn if they do not have specific kind of attire to wear to specific occasions. One should wear whatever one has with confidence. This advice is particularly important for Ahmadi missionaries and is also in general for all Ahmadis. Everything should be done in moderation.
During his childhood Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) was once questioned by a relative about what clamour had his father created. Although young at the time he did not get perturbed and replied that his father had only declared that Hazrat Isa (on whom be peace) had passed away and the Messiah to come would be from the Muslims. He also related to the relative the Quranic verses which explain the subject of death of Jesus (on whom be peace).
One of the devout companions of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) called Sher Muhammad Sahib was uneducated and drove a carriage. He subscribed to Al Hakm journal. When taking his customers around he would chat with them and after determining if they could read he would give them his copy of Al Hakm and ask them to read it to him. Customers would take him on to pass their time. Sher Sahib would then cross-examine the reader in a manner that the reader had to think carefully and understand what he had read before responding. Sher Sahib converted about twelve people to Ahmadiyyat in this manner. He lived a long age and it is not known how many more he converted later on. Such was his spirit to spread the message that although he was not educated he found a way.
Although now with Jamias around the world we have many missionaries but there is always need for scholars as attaining religious knowledge takes a very long period of time. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that Islam is a religion of ease. It is not essential to hold great big seminars to call people to God. We should make arrangements according to our situation.
Nizam Din Sahib, a very cheerful person was on friendly terms with both the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) as well as his opponent Maulawi Muhammad Hussain Batalwi. Nizam Din Sahib was unhappy after the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) claimed to be the Messiah and Maulawi Muhammad Hussain passed an edict of disbelief on him. He would argue with the Promised Messiah's opponents should first go and see his piety in person. He also maintained that if anyone explained a matter to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) with reference to the Holy Qur'an he always accepted it. He said when he would deal with the matter in this way and prove to the Promised Messiah that Hazrat Isa (on whom be peace) was alive, the Promised Messiah would repent making his claim.
When Nizam Din Sahib met the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) he asked him if he had given up Islam and did not accept the Holy Qur'an anymore. How can that be, the Promised Messiah told him. Nizam Din said if he could cite hundreds of verses of the Holy Qur'an to prove Hazrat Isa (on whom be peace) was alive, would he accept? The Promised Messiah told him he only had to present one verse to convince him. He said, maybe not 100 but I could present 50 verses to prove that Hazrat Isa (on whom be peace) is alive. The Promised Messiah once again told him he only had to present one verse. Nizam Din Sahib became suspicious that perhaps there were not so many verses in the Qur'an that proved Hazrat Isa was alive, so he asked if he would accept if only 10 verses were presented. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) laughed and repeated that he only asked for one verse.
During those day Hazrat Maulana Nur ud Din (may Allah be pleased with him) and Maulawi Muhammad Hussain were negotiating to hold debate between the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and Maulawi Muhammad Hussain. While the Maulawi argued to base the debate on hadith Maulana Nur ud Din (may Allah be pleased with him) argued to base it on the Holy Qur'an. This became so protracted that Maulana Nur ud Din started giving in to the Maulawi somewhat so that at least the debate could take place. Meanwhile Nizam Din Sahib arrived on the scene and announced that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was prepared to repent and he had taken a promise that if he could present 10 verses of the Holy Qur'an proving Hazrat Isa (on whom be peace) was alive, the Promised Messiah would accept. Maulawi Muhammad Hussain was very angry when he heard this and said all his efforts had been ruined. There he was endeavouring to bring the debate towards hadith and Nizam Din Sahib had gone and taken it towards the Qur'an yet again. This episode showed the light to Nizam Din Sahib and he accepted Ahmadiyyat.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had firm belief that since he was on the truth the Holy Qur'an would validate what he said. He used to say that if any claim he made was not in accordance with the Qur'an he was prepared to dismiss it. This was because he was convinced the Holy Qur'an would verify what he said.
When an Ahmadi would tell the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) that they faced a lot of opposition in their area, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) always said that this was a sign of progress for the area. Through opposition people who do not know about us find out who we are and when they read our books the truth captures their heart. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) once asked someone taking bai'at who had done Tabligh to him. He said Maulawi Sana Ullah. Astonished, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) asked, how so? The person said he used to read the writings of Maulawi Sana Ullah which were severely against the Jama'at. This led him to read books of the Jama'at for himself and this opened up his heart and he was prepared to take bai'at.
A person who was a sweeper by profession accepted the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and hundreds of his followers followed suit. These people were looked down on socially and although they were uninformed at the time when they were asked why they were with Mirza Sahib (the Promised Messiah) by one of the non-Ahmadi relatives of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) they replied we do not know much but we realise this much that people used to call us chooray (derogatory term for sweepers) but now they call us Mirzai. However, you used to be a Mirza but in your opposition [of the Promised Messiah] you have become chooray. Once people accept Ahmadiyyat their perception sharpens. Every Ahmadi will be sharper than any Christian or non-Ahmadi Muslim in his sphere.
Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) recalled people from the town of Sialkot and the district of Gujrat visiting the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). In their sincerity they would walk the distance to see the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wishing to fulfil one of his revelations: 'People will come to you by every distant track.' During Jalsa days some people from district Gujrat came from one direction while others walked from the opposite direction. When both the groups met they wept. They explained that one group was of people who had accepted the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) in the beginning. The other group severely persecuted them for this and harassed them so much that they left the village and were not heard of. After some time the persecuting group also saw the light and accepted the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). And they were overwhelmed as they met when converged to see the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace).
Maulawis had given people the wrong impression that Hazrat Isa used to make birds and infuse life in them. This stems/stemmed from lack of understanding of the words of the Holy Qur'an. The significance of this is that Hazrat Isa (on whom be peace) used to train people with spiritual prowess so well that they soared towards God. At one occasion the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) asked a Maulawi that according to him Hazrat Isa (on whom be peace) made birds which meant that some of the birds in the world now were those created by Hazrat Isa (on whom be peace) while some were those created by God. How could the distinction between the two be made? The Maulawi replied in the vernacular that this was a bit difficult as the two species/types had now mixed.
Sometimes when a matter exceeds limits it needs to be responded to. Through the ages Christians have always attacked the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and because Muslims could not respond Christians always assumed that the founder of Islam was, God forbid, full of flaws. Thus, days, months, years and centuries passed and Christians sullied the name of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and Muslims kept pardoning them. Ultimately God allowed the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) to show his prowess and the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote addressing the fictitious Jesus. The entire Christian world raised a clamour. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said he had indeed said before that criticising holy persons was not a good way and now that the Christians were on the receiving end, they too were saying it was not a good way!
When Hazrat Shuaib (on whom be peace) told his people not to usurp others and not to spend their own wealth in wrong ways they said that Shuaib had gone mad. In this age when the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) presented the concept of death of Jesus to Muslims they too said that, God forbid, the Promised Messiah had gone mad. Owing to the creed that had been prevalent for 1300 years Muslims could not believe that Hazrat Isa (on whom be peace) had indeed died. A renowned physician called Hakeem Allah Din had great reverence for the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). A sincere Ahmadi called Maulawi Fazl Din Dehlvi met with him and did some Tabligh to him. Hakeem Sahib said that Dehlvi Sahib had no idea how much reverence he had for Mirza Sahib and that his reverence was no match for what Hakeem Sahib felt. Dehlvi Sahib thought perhaps Hakeem Sahib was an Ahmadi at heart, so he asked him what his thoughts were on the mission of the Promised Messiah. Hakeem Sahib told off Dahlvi Sahib for explaining the concept of death of Jesus to him while having no clue of the wisdom behind the Promised Messiah's (on whom be peace) assertion about death of Jesus. He then said that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had written a peerless, magnificent book 'Baraheen e Ahmadiyya' which was a staunch defence of Islam. The Maulawis were foolish and rather than honouring him they passed edicts of disbelief against him. Mirza Sahib was angry at this. He told the Maulawis you assume to be scholars and in your assumption and you do not know that the concept of Jesus being alive was so clearly and categorically proven from the Holy Qur'an that it was not possible to refute it. But I will prove death of Jesus from the Qur'an and if you have the capacity, you may refute it. Therefore, in order to prove the foolishness of the Maulawis he presented the concept of death of Jesus from the Holy Qur'an. Now all the Maulawis of India may join forces and try their utmost they cannot contend with Mirza Sahib. He has caught them out in such a way that they dare not raise they heads. There is only one way out and that is for all the Maulawis to apologise to Mirza Sahib about their edicts of disbelief and then watch how Mirza Sahib will indeed prove from the Holy Qur'an the concept of Jesus being alive!
This account shows that in spite of deep reverence for the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) the concept of Jesus being alive was so entrenched in him that Hakeem Sahib did not take bai'at. It should be remembered that the concept of death of Jesus is not merely an ideological concept. It is most important as regards upholding the Oneness/Unity of God. By establishing death of Jesus the Promised Messiah removed any hindrance to the concept of perfect Oneness of God. Once someone mentioned to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) to ease off the concept of death of Jesus. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) reacted rather majestically and said this concept had caused great harm to Islam and it needed to be quelled.
Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said that people go as far as وحدانیت Wahdaniyyat as regards belief in God but they do not reach احدیت Ahadiyyat. Having understood Ahadiyyat one realises that no doubt up to an extent man has the capacity to create and provide but the Being of God is separate from His creation. God is indeed Wahid as well as Ahad. Wahdaniyyat signifies His Uniqueness and Oneness of attributes and man can imbue Divine attributes on a human level. Indeed the most excellent example of this was the person of Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Ahad signifies Oneness of the Being of God and nothing can even be imagined in comparison to Ahad. True Oneness of God is established when the concept of Ahadiyyat is understood. May God enable us to fulfil the objectives of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and establish true Oneness of God.