On 15 July 2016, Hadrat Khalifatul-Masih IV, may Allah be his helper, delivered Friday sermon at Baitul-Futuh in London, UK. After the recitation of Shahadah and Surah Fatihah, he so proceeded:
Sometimes ago, I mentioned this in a sermon that this is the year of the elections of the officer-holders of Jama'at (Ahmadiyya Muslim Community). Elections have taken place at most places at national level and in local chapters. New office bearers have taken charge of their responsibilities.
At some places new office bearers have been elected at national or local level but at many places the previous office bearers have again been elected.
Newly elected officer-holders should be grateful to Allah that they have been elected to serve the community and should seek the help of Allah bowing before Him humbly that may Allah allow them to discharge the trust they have been made responsible for.
Same way, the office bearers who have been elected again should also be grateful that Allah provided them the opportunity to serve again and should humbly pray that may Allah allow them to discharge the responsibilities of the trust given to them with all their capabilities. May Allah, through his grace, ignore the omission, laziness and negligence they committed preventing them from meeting the requirements of their responsibilities, and that, through His grace, the opportunity and trust He has given them again for the next three years is not affected by laziness, omission and negligence, and may Allah give them the opportunity to discharge the responsibilities and trusts as required.
It should be kept in mind that the service of Jama'at should not be considered an insignificant matter and should not be taken superficially. Everyone of us, whether an officer or an ordinary member, has pledged to prefer faith over world. When a person accepts to serve as an officer, or is appointed for a service, he has more responsibility than others that he fulfill his pledge and keep in mind that he has made this pledge with Allah, and that Allah has directed at many places in the Holy Quran to fulfill pledges. Thus, remember always that Allah has very clearly said that the trusts entrusted to you and accepted by you are your pledges and thus fulfill your trusts and pledges.
At one place Allah has pointed out this sign of the persons who are true to their word and tread upon righteousness:
… and those who fulfil their promise when they have made one... (2:178)
This should be a distinction especially of the ones who take charge of a Jama'at responsibility that they always accomplish their responsibility keeping on truth and raising the standard of their righteousness. If there is any rumple in the standard of their truthfulness, there is a deficiency, if the standard of their righteousness is not an example for an ordinary member of the Community then they are not paying attention to discharging their pledge, office and their trust. The Amirs and presidents should first establish their examples in front of their executive committees and in front of the members of the Community.
There are secretaries of training, work of training is given to them, and the training can be accomplished only when examples are established. One who is carrying out the work, who has the responsibility, who advises the others, should himself be the one who acts upon the directives. The training secretaries should establish their examples before the members of the Community as responsibility of the training of the Community falls on them.
I have mentioned at many occasions that if the training department becomes active, the work of many other departments is accomplished all by itself. With the elevation in the standard of training of the members of Jama'at, the work of other department will become easier. As an example, the work of the finance secretary will become easier, the work of the secretary of internal affairs will become easier, the work of the outreach secretary will become easier. Same way of other departments: work of Qada will become easier.
I usually say in the executive committee meetings at various places to start the work of training from your home. This home is not of the secretary training only rather it is the house of every member of the executive committee. The executive is above all to train itself. Whatever programs the Amirs, presidents or training secretaries make, they should first look at their executive committees whether they are acting upon these programs or not.
Are the members of the executive committee fulfilling the fundamental directives of God and the purpose of the creation of man? if not then there is no righteousness.
Worship is the greatest among the rights of Allah. Male members are directed to establish Prayers to this end. Establishment of Prayer is offering Prayers in congregation. Thus Amirs, presidents, and office bearers should make a concerted effort by offering Salat and by its establishment in congregation. As a result our mosques will be populated, Salat centers will be populated, they will also be gathering the blessings of Allah, and, with their practical example, they will be training the members of the Community, and will be the the inheritors of the blessings of Allah, and their chores will be made easier. They will not be just talkers.
Thus, workers should first examine themselves as to what extent their word and action are the same. Allah says,
O ye who believe! why do you say what you do not do? (61:3)
The Promised Messiah, may peace be upon him says,
This verse says that in the world there were, are and will be the ones who said but did not do it themselves. Remember what I say and keep it with you that if the discourse of a person is not with a true heart and it does not have practical power of compliance with it, it does not show its effect. Remember, only eloquence and oratory cannot be of use until it is accompanied by compliance. Just words do not have any value before Allah.
Promised Messiah in accordance with this directive from Allah, explained clearly, that there should be no contradiction between our word and action. Our office bearers should evaluate themselves keeping these directives before them.
Salats can be arranged at homes where distances are large or there are only a few homes and there is no facility of mosque or center. Practically it is not difficult. Many Ahmadis comply so. They do not have any assigned responsibility, they are not members of any executive committee but they gather members from around them and arrange congregational Prayers. If there is consciousness, everything can be accomplished. Every office holder should have consciousness of congregational Prayers otherwise they will not be discharging the rights of trusts. The Holy Quran has brought this up time and again.
Officer holders should always keep this matter before them that Allah has pointed out this as the sign of the true believers that they mind their trusts and their commitments and they guard them. They are vigilant that there is no deficiency or laxness from their side win regard to the trusts assigned to them and the commitment they have made for the service because this is not an insignificant matter.
Allah has also said in the Holy Quran,
... the covenant shall be questioned about. (17:35)
Worship is a fundamental matter and is the purpose of the creation of man. We have to discharge this right. There should be on lax from the side of the officer holders in this respect rather not even from any believer.
There are other matters too which should be especially attended to by the office holders. These matters concern the rights of office holders and their attitude towards members of the Community/Jama'at. These matters also concern the pledges/commitments of the office holders. No officer is appointed to a service with the view of becoming an officer rather in Islam the concept of an office bearer is quite different. The Holy Prophet has explained it so,
The leader of a people is their servant.
For an office bearer to discharge his trust with respect to people is his being a servant to the nation. This condition is created in man when he has the spirit of sacrifice in him. He is humble and meek. The standard of his patience is higher than others. Sometimes office bearers have to hear adverse comments. If they have to hear, they should. The office bearers can evaluate their own selves as to how high and to what extent is the level of their forbearance. What is the extent of their humbleness. Sometimes the matters of such office bearers come up who do not have any forbearance and if the other is being impertinent, they also become brash. If an ordinary person is impertinent, it does not make any difference to himself. It would be said that his manners are low. But when unseemly words come out of an office bearer, it affects the respect and stature of the office holder as well as the members of the Jama'at. The standard that Community should have and the standard at which the Promised Messiah wants to see us is that even one such example anywhere is and can be a cause of the defamation of the Community. We find such examples at some places. Quarrels start even in mosques. These matters adversely affect both children and youth.
What does Allah desire of us, and how Allah has mentioned the ones who establish standards of sacrifice? At one place He said,
… prefer [the brothers in faith, that is] the Refugees to themselves (59:10).
This example was established by Ansar (hosts in Medina) for Muhajirin (immigrants from Mecca). And this is an example for us. To prefer someone on one's own self is a higher level and is a great accomplishment. Sometimes even the right of someone is not fulfilled adequately. Some matters come to office bearers or some matters are sent from international headquarters for investigative report, the report is prepared with much carelessness. Report is sent without investigating the matter properly. Or, matter is delayed so much that if someone's need is to be met, the needy is hurt or has to bear through difficulty. Some office bearers present excuse of their being busy. Some do not have any excuse. It is only not paying attention. If it is their own matter or matter of someone close to them, the priorities are different. Passion for true service, passion for sacrifice, to discharge the right of trust adequately is to be helpful to the other with a concerned worry. When a service is rendered with the spirit of sacrifice, and considering the difficulty of the other as one's own, the level of the sacrifice of the members of the Community will also increase. Attention would be to discharge rights than to usurp them. We say in front of others that peace can be established in the world when at every level when, rather than assuring our own right and not giving the right of others, the passion to assure the rights of others and the passion of sacrifice is created. If we do not have this standard among ourselves then we will be doing something which Allah does not like.
An attribute which should be present among office bearers especially is humbleness. Allah has pointed out this as the sign of Servants of the Gracious,
… walk on the earth in a dignified manner ... (25:64)
Our office bearers should have a high example of humbleness in them. Bigger the office greater the humbleness one should show with the passion of service when meeting people. This is being noble. People see and feel as to how the behaviors of the office bearers are. Sometimes people write to me too that such was the behavior of an office bearer but I was much pleased today that the office bearer not only greeted me but also inquired me about my circumstances and met me with great manners and I was happy to observe his demeanor and his greatness manifested from his behavior.
Majority of the members of the Community is such that they become ready for every sacrifice being pleased with the the love, softness, and good manners. If any kind of feeling of superiority or haughtiness arises in the heart of an office bearer, he should realize that it distances from Allah. When man is distanced from God, no blessing remains in work. The work of faith is only for the pleasure of Allah, and when there is no pleasure of Allah then such person becomes a source of damage for the Community rather than a source of benefit. The office bearers should always evaluate themselves in this respect whether they have humbleness or not, and if it is there then to what extent. The Holy Prophet said that more a person adopts humbleness, Allah bestows on him higher stature proportionately. Every office bearer should remember that if Allah has given him the opportunity to serve the Community, it is a favor of Allah and gratefulness to the favor is creation of further humbleness and meekness in him. If humbleness and meekness does not increase then gratefulness to Allah does not take place.
It is seen often that when some people meet in ordinary circumstances they show great humbleness. They meet people in a befitting manner. but when they have difference of opinion with a subordinate or with an ordinary person then instantly their official attitude wakes up and shows the attitude of superiority and haughty behavior before the subordinate. Humbleness is not that it is shown until there is agreement and there is no disagreement This is artificial humbleness. The reality appears when there is difference of opinion or the worker speaks against speculation then a decision be made after evaluating the opinion adequately being firm on justice. With this kind of humbleness, big heartedness will also become apparent. When it will be so then this humbleness will be known as the real humbleness. An office bearer should always keep this directive of Allah in front of him,
And turn not thy cheek away from men in pride nor walk in the earth haughtily... (31:19)
I have mentioned difference in opinion. I would say this in this respect that though the rules allow the Amir that sometime he may reject the consensus of executive committee and decide according to his opinion but always an effort should be made that one should go forward along with everyone and decisions are made and work is carried out with consultation and with majority opinion. At some places, Amirs start using this right more than necessary. This right should be used in extreme needs where it is known that the benefit of the Community lies otherwise and there the matter should be clarified to the executive committee. A deviation from majority opinion should be in view of the larger interest of the Community. For this Allah's help should be sought with prayer. Do not depend only on your judgment. It should be noted that this right is not for the national or local presidents that they reject the opinion of the executive and decide according to their own opinion.
To understand the limits of one's rights, it is important for the office bearers to read and understand the rules and regulations. If they will follow the rules and regulations then small matters will not become concern for the executive members or the general membership.
Another quality of the office bearers should be that they treat their subordinates with favor. Most of the work of the Community is voluntary. Members of the community give time. They give time to the work of the Community to gain pleasure of Allah. They give time because they have relation with and love for the Community. The office bearers should have regard for the feelings of the subordinates and should treat them favorably. This exactly is the directive of Allah. With this favor, an effort should be made to train the subordinates and assistants so that worker are at hand always to run the work of the Community. Allah runs the work of Jama'at, there is no doubt, but if the office bearers and office bearers who have experience prepare a secondary line of workers, they will gain the blessings of this effort too. With the grace of Allah neither I nor the previous caliphs had the concern how the Community work will be done. This is a promise of Allah to the Promised Messiah. He will continue to provide sincere workers.
An officer during the time of the third Caliph of the Promised Messiah thought that the financial system was working admirably due to his work and effort. When Khalifatul-Masih III came to know, he appointed a person for this work who did not know even the basics of finance. Because this work of Allah, and because of the special care of the Caliph by Allah, so much blessings came to the work of the new person that nothing like that was even imagined before that. Thus, office bearers are provided an opportunity by Allah. Allah provides an opportunity to the workers of the Community; Allah provides opportunity to the life-devotees that by serving Community and faith they gain the blessings of Allah, otherwise Allah Himself is carrying out the work and it is His promise, therefore, this should not be in any one's heart that his experience or his knowledge is making or can make the work of the Community progress. It is the blessing of Allah which is carrying out the work of the Community. Many of our weaknesses and deficiencies are such that if it were worldly work, there could not be any blessing, no good results would come out, but Allah covers up and helps Himself with His angels. As an example, for the chores of outreach in the West, Allah has provided such workers who are raised here in these countries, who sought knowledge by their own selves and then they respond to opponents so that it surprises a person. There are many such youth that due to their such rejoinders the opponents do not have any way out but run. Thus the office bearers should take the opportunity to serve as a favor of Allah and not due to their experience, expertise or capability.
Another hallmark office bearers should have is pleasantness and presenting good manners. Allah says,
… and speak to men kindly... (2:84)
that is, deal and converse with people with softness and good manners. This also is a fundamental virtue which should be prevalent among office-holders. Superior manners should be exhibited whenever conversing with subordinates, coworkers or others. For the sake of organizational matters, sometimes it becomes necessary to express oneself firmly but this necessity is the last resort. If one is advised with love and the office bearers are conscientious that they are their well-wishers then 99% persons are such that they will comprehend and become inclined to cooperate with the Community because they have a connection with the Community. The greatest and important condition is that this perception be generated among people or people have this perception that office bearers are their beneficiaries. Talk softly with people. On a mistake, do not grip in such a way at the outset that the other does not get adequate chance to explain himself. But the ones who are habitual, indulge repeatedly, and try to create disorder and conflict in every matter, they need to be dealt with firmly but there should be complete investigation in these situations. The firmness should not lead to personal enmity but rather should be for reformation. One time the Holy Prophet advised his governor for Yemen,
Create ease for people not difficulties, spread love and happiness, do not allow hate to sprout.
This is an advice that creates beauty in the relation among the office bearers and members. As a result, spirit of caring for each other's feelings is created among members too.
Thus office bearers (Amila members) have great responsibility, especially Amirs, presidents, training departments ... and the institutions that judge that they think of ways to make things easier for people. It also should be kept in mind that these ways are to be adopted while staying within the limits of the directives of Allah, and not like worldly people that we forget the directives of Allah to create ease for people. Keeping within the limits of Shariah, keeping the pleasure of Allah supreme, we have to give rights of people and also have to guard our pledges and trusts.
As I said, every member should look at the book of rules and regulations and should gain knowledge of the responsibilities of their departments. Everyone should know their limits.
Sometimes office bearers do not even know their limitations. One department is engaged in an activity while that activity is listed under another department. Sometimes there is such fine difference in activities that not pondering over it two departments are intruding in each other's responsibilities. Recently I had a meeting with the executive committee of UK. There i felt that due to not understanding this fine difference unnecessary discussion starts. If we read the regulations then time would not be wasted in this manner. As an example, outreach department is to conduct outreach activity and also have to make contacts. Outreach will spread through contacts. Umur Kharijiyya also has to make contacts and also has to introduce the Community. The circle of activity of both is exclusive. One has to do so for the purpose of outreach and the other has to do it for public relations, to increase relations. Real purpose is to introduce Community and to introduce faith so that by bringing the world to God we try to straighten their end and also to bring attention to the peace situation in the world. Our purpose is not to get credit in a worldly way, real purpose is to please God and to attain His pleasure. If departments work in cooperation among themselves the result can be better many times.
From numerous places, this also is elicited that the budgets of various departments are not determined properly. The budget that has been passed in Shura should be given and the related secretary should have control over its dispensation. It is necessary that the secretary present the annual plan of work in executive meeting and the expenses conform to the approved plan and the work be reviewed in every executive meeting. If there is a need to change the work plan or its budget or there is an opportunity to make it better then that should be reviewed again.
This also is an important responsibility of Amirs and presidents and secretaries that they act and have acted upon through chapters too immediately and with full attention on the circulars and directives received from international headquarters (Markaz). Complaints are received about some Jama'ats that adequate action is not taken on directives from international headquarters/Markaz. If due to the conditions in a country or chapter, an entity has protections even then immediately a request should be made to have changes made in the requirements of the directive; this is the responsibility of Amir or president/Sadr. This is not appropriate at all that using one's own reasoning, the directive is put aside and ignored and is not acted upon and neither is international headquarters (Markaz) informed. Any such audacity by any Amir or president will the taken as avoiding Markaz and Markaz can take action in this respect.
With regard to the Moosees, the first thing I want to say is that it is the responsibility of the Moosee to make regular payments and to keep his own account of his contributions but it is also the responsibility of the international office and related secretaries that they keep a complete account of every Moosee and remind them when necessary about the condition of their accounts. It is the responsibility of national secretaries to activate local secretaries and that they have contact with every Moosee. It is observed sometime that with respect to some matter when a report is requested of a person and the person is a Moosee, it is mentioned in the report that he has not paid his dues since such a time. If it is asked that if the dues are not paid then how the Wasiyyat is in place then on investigation it is discovered that it was not the fault of the Moosee. He had paid his dues but the office did not keep adequate records. Firstly, such a report causes unwarranted distraction for the Moosee. Secondly, the weakness of the system of Jama'at leaves a bad impression. Now there is a solid systematic arrangement, there is computer and all, such a mistake should not take place. The Wasiyyat and finance secretaries in every country should activate Wasiyyat and finance secretaries of every chapter. This also is the responsibility of Amirs that they review this matter from time to time. Their job is not just to collect dues and report but it also is the job of Amirs to make this system trustworthy and to establish strong communications between the Markaz and local levels.
I also want to say something concerning missionaries and Murabbis. Some places a regular monthly meeting of missionaries and trainers is not held. Missionary-in-charge is responsible that these meetings are held regularly. Outreach and training work should be reviewed, notable accomplishments should be discussed, and the rest should try to take advantage of the methods used in the notable work. Reports should be given about the directives of secretaries to chapters from themselves or from Markaz. Murabbis should also look at how much work has been done in each chapter in this respect and where the secretaries are not active, especially in outreach, training and financial matters, the missionaries and Murabbis should bring these matters to attention,
May Allah give opportunity to all office bearers that during the next three years Allah has given to them to serve they can show utmost performance using all their capabilities and be an example in the Community with their every word and action.
I will lead a funeral service in absentia after Salat. Sahibzadi Tahira Siddiqa, wife of Sahibzadah Mirza Munir Ahmad, passed away on 13 July 2016 at 6 PM in the evening. Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Raji'un [… Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return. (2:157)]. She was born to Nawwab Abdullah Khan and Nawwab Amatul-Hafeez Begum. She was grand-daughter of Nawwab Muhammad Ali Khan. She was grand-daughter of the Promised Messiah, may peace be upon him. She was daughter-in-law of Hadrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad. She was a Moosiyya by the grace of Allah. She was 95. She gained early education in Qadian up to high school. Hadrat Amma Jan, may Allah be pleased with her, had made her own daughter and had a relation of love and affection with her. She lived in Jhelum with Sahibzadah Munir Ahmad at the chip board factory that was put on fire a few months ago. There she served as Sadr Lajna during the agitation of 1974. A large portion of the Jama'at gathered at the chip board factory where she hosted them and provided great service to them. Amatul-Rashid Begum is one of her daughters who is the wife of Mirza Anas Ahmad, son of Khalifatul-Masih III. Another son, Mirza Naseer Ahmad, was Amir of Jhelum Jama'at until the factory was burned and he had to leave Jhelum. Mirza Safeer Ahmad, son-in-law of Khalifatul-Masih IV, is her son. She had pleasing manners, was pleasant and friendly. Patient, grateful, prayerful, engaged in Tahajjud, inclined to worship, had close relationship with Khilafat. Participated in financial sacrifices with great zeal. She was a great host, had great regard for the system of Jama'at and the movement, did not bear any opposition to Khilafat, she would stop anyone initiating comment against Khilafat. Hadrat Amma Jan had made her daughter. She gave her good part of own personal possessions as dowry to her with her name inscribed on the items. May Allah elevate the status of the deceased and treat her with grace, and treat her with mercy, and may give the opportunity to her children to tread in her path.