Today's Friday sermon was delivered from Masjid Noor Nunspeet, Holland. Below is a summary of what Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said.
Majority of Ahmadis here are either those who were born as Ahmadis or those whose families accepted Ahmadiyyat when they were very small children and as such they grew up in Ahmadi environment. Also, most of these people are of Pakistani origin who live here and have been granted citizenship of this country because upon their arrival here they reported that they were/are not allowed freedom of religion according to the teachings of Islam in Pakistan. Some of these people would have had directly faced court proceedings [in Pakistan]. Thus, majority of people here have been granted permission to reside owing to the compassion of the [Dutch] government because they have declared themselves as Ahmadis. This declarations also places responsibility on you. Those Ahmadis who have come here by virtue of their academic or other expertise and are associated with the Jama'at are also not exempt from this. New Ahmadis who join the Jama'at, and are convinced of the claim of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) are also bound to fulfil the dues of Bai'at. In the sight of God they are not exempt to simply maintain that they did such and such because they saw long-term Ahmadis doing it.
It is important to understand the commentary and elucidations of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) of the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah. It is important to study these as they are widely available and no one has any excuse not to. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said to long term Ahmadis that they will also be culpable if anyone stumbles because of their practices. With the grace of God those whose forefathers became Ahmadis have improved their lives after coming here and they should not forget that they are indebted to the Jama'at for this. As a mark of thanksgiving they should try and bring about exceptional pure changes in themselves and should tell their children of God's favours upon them and how they and their children are going to ever try and fulfil the pledge of Bai'at that their forefathers made.
We are also going to continue to teach our children to be thankfulness to God for making us financially better off after coming here and tell them that in thankfulness for the academic opportunities they have had they should forge strong connection with the Nizaam of Jama'at and a bond of loyalty and obedience with Khilafat. Likewise it is the obligation of each Ahmadi to always have a strong connection with the Nizaam and a bond of loyalty and obedience with Khilafat which they pledge during Bai'at.
With the grace of God new Ahmadis, especially those who have accepted with complete conviction and insight reflect over their pledge and the conditions of Bai'at and write to Huzoor about this. However, many others who are born Ahmadis or those whose parents accepted Ahmadiyyat when they were children and who are now more inclined to worldly matters neither generally reflect over conditions of Bai'at nor do they understand the pledge of Bai'at and are not mindful of God's favours on them owing to them being Ahmadis. This in spite of Bai'at proceedings broadcast on MTA regularly. They do not make an effort to focus on the significance of Bai'at and putting it in practice and they also do not forge a connection with Khilafat as is its due. This is not just about those who have sought political asylum but this is applicable on all Ahmadis. The example of asylum seekers was given earlier because most of the present congregation constitutes of those who sought asylum and have bettered their lives, otherwise such Ahmadis can be found in all sections of the Jama'at. If everyone self-reflects they will see where they stand. This self-reflection and introspection should not be cursory, rather it should be pondered upon and it is auspicious if it concludes in the affirmative and if not, efforts should be made for self-reformation.
In his tenth condition of Bai'at the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has stipulated: 'That he/she shall enter into a bond of brotherhood with this humble servant of God, pledging obedience to me in everything good for the sake of God, and remain faithful to it until the day of his/her death. That he/she shall exert such a high devotion in the observance of this bond as is not to be found in any other worldly relationship and connection that demand devoted dutifulness.'
These words place the responsibility on us to have selfless and intense love for the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Here, he takes pledge from us that for the sake of God we will establish high standards of love, affection and bond of brotherhood and affirm to always be obedient in every good decision, everything for which the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was appointed in light of the teachings of Islam. And this obedience would not only be absolute but we would try to abide by it till our last breath. And the resulting bond will be peerless among all other worldly relationships, including relationships we form out of sincerity as well as relationships we form due to favours others bestow on us. If there could be high standard of love for anyone after the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) it has to be with his true and ardent devotee, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Everyone can analyse as to how should be our bond with the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) in light of this. Are these our standards as well or do we forget these standards in view of personal interests? Do worldly matters overcome this love and obedience?
Man acts for gain or out of fear, fear of answerability or out of love and sincerity. Those who have correct insight of faith will follow it for love and loyalty. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) expected us to enhance this sentiment after taking Bai'at. If this sentiment is not there any advice given will have no impact. Can any Ahmadi even imagine that anything the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said would be contrary to the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah? Most certainly they would not. Therefore, every Ahmadi should understand that 'obedience in everything good' means to be perfectly obedient having taken one's love to the highest level and then looking out for every instruction. It is binding on us to look out for what the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) expected of us and what he instructed us. Otherwise we will be merely paying lip service. If we do not even know what the Promised Messiah said, how can we follow him? We are also required as an Ahmadi to increase our knowledge and implement what we are instructed with sincerity. The Promised Messiah's (on whom be peace) advice and instructions can be found in his various books and pronouncements. A few of these were presented today.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: Our Jama'at should not limit itself to wordiness but should fulfil the true objective of Bai'at. Inner change should be brought about because you cannot please God Almighty with mere arguments and reasoning. If you do not bring inner changes then there is no difference between you and the others.
He also said: Each person should take individual responsibility and fulfil his promise.
To believe in the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) on a doctrinal level and accept his truthfulness and silence others with arguments and reasoning comes to nothing if our practice is not right. He said: 'Make endeavours to bring about change in you. Supplicate during Salat, give alms and charity and use all other means to be among those: 'And as for those who strive in Our path…' (29:70) And this results in '…We will surely guide them in Our ways…' (29:70)
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also said: 'How can it be possible that a person who is careless and indolent garners God's beneficence just as much as a person who uses all his senses, his strength and sincerity to find Him?'
When the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) says to follow him and to be obedient to him, it is so that through him we find the paths to find God and be those who garner Divine grace. Be those who offer Salat on time and with its due requisites and to also give charity and alms to attract Divine love.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: Be mindful of two things. Firstly, be models of true Muslims and secondly, spread the qualities and excellences of Islam in the world.
If our own knowledge is lacking and our practice is giving cause for concern how can we be true models and how can we talk about excellences of Islam?
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that the Jama'at should take extremely seriously whether they have righteousness or not.
We should all self-reflect whether we have more empathy with the world or with betterment of faith, both for ourselves and for our children. Do we have fear of God and do we make efforts to attain His pleasure?
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also said: Avoiding unwarrantable fury and angry is also a branch of righteousness.
Those who are this way inclined should ponder over their condition. If we keep these words of advice of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) in view and reflect and ponder over them, they increase our love and bond with him. Indeed, he agonised over the spiritual state of his Jama'at, he was more anxious than mothers and fathers in this regard and repeatedly advised us in order to take us away from the wrong path and put us on the right path. After reading about this expression of love and cause for concern there is no reason an Ahmadi would not attain these high standards of bond and obedience with the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace).
It is God's favour on us that after the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) He has established Khilafat among us and Khilafat is advancing what God commissioned the Promised Messiah for. Therefore, by forging a bond of sincerity and obedience with Khilafat we can continue on our [spiritual] journey. As the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said we should demonstrate models of true Muslims and spread the message of Islam.
Ahmadis pledge Bai'at on the hand of the Khalifa of the time and it also important to fulfil this pledge. Therefore, advice, instructions and programmes issued by Khilafat should be implemented in order to fulfil this pledge. Every Ahmadi pledges at the time of Bai'at to abide by the conditions of Bai'at and obey the Khalifa of the time in everything good. The task of Khilafat e Ahmadiyya is to further the task of the Promised Messiah. With this viewpoint in mind true standards of obedience will be established and there will be unity and avenues of tabligh (propagation of Islam) will open up. However, if everyone declares that he accepts the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and has a bond with him but then proceeds to ascertain his own paths, there can be no progress. The beauty of the Jama'at is with Khilafat. And our bond with the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) is by virtue of him being the true and ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), we have to extend this bond with Khilafat as well.
A couple of days ago during the reception following foundation laying ceremony of a mosque Hazrat Khalifatul Masih gave a brief address with reference to teachings of Islam, significance of mosques and responsibilities of Ahmadis. A lady guest at the reception commented that the words of the Khalifatul Masih were great, what remains to be seen is to what extent will the local Ahmadis practice them to create an atmosphere of love and peace. Indeed, Ahmadis living in the area are under scrutiny. They need to self-reflect as the scrutiny will be that much more intense with reference to Khilafat. Therefore, it is not sufficient to simply make a pledge of Bai'at. Good practice is needed for self-reformation and also for tabligh. In order to have unity and oneness in every place and on every level it is needed that we move at the gesture of one hand; that we obey Khilafat.
It is God's great favour that the Jama'at is enabled to utilise modern technology, TV and the internet for propagation of faith. The written works of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) are widely available on our web site and can be accessed whenever one wants. It is also translated in major languages of the world. Likewise, advice of the Khalifa of the time can also be heard and read and is based on the Holy Qur'an, hadith and writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). MTA is relaying the message all over the world and this has given the Jama'at a new sense of oneness. We should regularly tune into MTA in order to be part of this oneness. At the very least Friday sermon should be listened to every week with special focus. Each family should determine if every member of their family has done so. If the wife listens and the husband does not, it will not avail anything. If the husband listens but the wife and children do not, even then it will not avail anything. Every Ahmadi needs to be part of this arrangement that God has put in place to further facilitate oneness and through which the voice of the Khalifa of the time reaches every corner of the world. Attention should be paid to this. If we do not know what is being said, how can obey it? If we listen to discourses we will be able to carry out obedience. Look out for what needs to be obeyed. Otherwise we will be simply making superficial declarations each Ijtema or at time of Bai'at 'pledging obedience in everything good' or to 'make every sacrifice for the perpetuation of Ahmadiyya Khilafat.'
May God make it so that each family pays attention to this matter and makes full use of this facility that we have been given for tarbiyyat (moral training). It is not just a resource for tarbiyyat, it is playing a huge role in spreading the teachings of Islam. If for some reason the Live broadcast cannot be seen, there are always recordings to avail of and these programmes can also be seen on the internet.
While they forge a bond with the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) may everyone also form strong bond with his Khilafat and demonstrate models of obedience. According to hadith of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), may this obedience traverse through obedience of the Holy Prophet and take us to obedience of God and make us seek His pleasure. May God enable everyone to do so!
Funeral Prayer in absentia was announced for our missionary Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal Warraich Sahib who passed away on 2 October in a road accident at a railway crossing near his ancestral village. He was 49 years old.