Today's Friday sermon was delivered by Khalifatul Masih V (May Allah be his Helper) from Baitul Futuh mosque, London. After Tashahhud and Surah Fātiḥah Huzoor proceeded as follows
The New Year is InshaaAllah starting after two days. We Muslims begin the New Year through the lunar calendar and even the Gregorian calendar. The lunar year is not only followed by the Muslims but in the ancient times it was used by many other nations such as Chinese and Hindus to start their new year. It is found in many other religions too. Before Islam, the Arabs used the lunar calendar to calculate the number of days. In the world, Gregorian calendar is used widely therefore every nation and every country has chosen it for the calculation of days. Likewise, following it December 31st is the last day of the previous year and January 1st is celebrated as a start of the New Year. Anyways, years come, twelve months pass by either it is a lunar year or a Gregorian year but the worldly individuals spend the days, months and years in worldly affairs and interests. The worldly people, either they are from Muslims or non-Muslims; the start of the New Year is celebrated with full enthusiasm. In the western developed world, the New Year's Eve is celebrated with a lot of activities. The people stay awake for the entire night and spend their time partying and consuming alcohol. Thus, the last year is concluded and the New Year is started with such immoral worldly activities. Majority of the people have no religious concern therefore they cannot reach out to the depths that a true believer can achieve. The majesty of a true believer is not only to express despair over such worldly activities but also to conduct a self-audit and evaluate the year that has passed. What have we earned and lost through this year? Will the true believer evaluate the year through a worldly lens or will it be through religious and spiritual perspective? And if it has to be on the spiritual scale then need to look into the standard of it so that it can truly reveal what has been lost and what has been gained. We Ahmadis are very fortunate that Allah has given us the instruction of the following of the Promised Messiah (Peace be on Him) who presented to us the summary of the teachings of Allah and his Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) and also showed us the high standards to evaluate our deeds and spiritualty. If this standard is kept in assessment then we can surely achieve the standards of true believers. These are the conditions to rightly judge your standards of good deeds. Every Ahmadi undertook the Bai'at and thus through this the Promised Messiah (Peace be on Him) gave us the instructions to follow and thus also expected from every Ahmadi to self-evaluate themselves every day, every week, every month and every year. Thus, if we spend the last night of the previous year and the new day of the New Year pondering over our spiritual conditions and by spending time supplicating towards Allah then we will be the ones who will be working towards a good life hereafter. And if we also indulge in worldly wishes and affairs, then we will lose a lot and gain nothing. If the weaknesses still prevail and the self-evaluation does not give us peace then we should pray to Allah that the coming year may not be the one that would show us a reduction in spiritual enhancement. Instead our every step should be to gain the pleasure of Allah. Our everyday should be reflective of the good model of the Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him). Our days and nights should be spent in a way that help us fulfill our pledge to the Promised Messiah (Peace be on Him). The pledge that questions that have we not committed any sin of 'Shirk', this is not the 'Shirk' of idolatry but according to the saying of the Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) It is diminished good deeds or showing off of the good deeds. The Shirk is that of the indulgence in the hidden volitions. Are our Salats, Fasting, financial sacrifices, work towards humanity, sacrifice of time for Jama'at work truly for the sake of Allah or to show off to the people? Were the hidden wishes in our hearts standing in opposite to Allah? The Promised Messiah (Peace be on Him) has provided an elaboration to it by saying:
'The proclamation of oneness of Allah is not merely achieved by saying 'Lailaha ilAllah' and have numerous idols hidden in the heart. Any person who gives his work, his deception and his tactics the importance that he should give Allah, or depends on any person instead of Allah for any need, or gives glory to himself that he should give it to Allah then in all of these conditions he is doing 'Shirk'.' Thus we need to look forward to these standards and then need to evaluate ourselves.
Then after this, we need ponder over the fact that has the previous year been spent safeguarding against falsehood and treading on the path of truth? For example when we encountered a situation during which proclaiming the truth would have put us on a personal loss but still would not lie. The Promised Messiah (Peace be on Him) has sets its standard by saying that till the time when the person does not isolate himself from the personal psychic condition that stops the person from speaking the truth, till then no one can achieve to be a truthful person'. He (Peace be on Him) says that 'speaking the truth has a very high price and the right testimony is the time when a person's life, wealth or honor is in danger.'
Then there is a question that have we kept ourselves away from such events that lead to ill thoughts? For example in this world there is television and internet that has programs that lead to development of ill and unpleasant thoughts, did you save yourself from it? If we are watching indecent movies and programs then we are diverting ourselves away from the pledge we have made and our conditions is worthy of worry. These things drive one towards 'Zina'.
Then there is another question that have we protected ourselves from unchaste glances and are we still protecting ourselves? As far as lustful glances are concerned it is a commandment to men and women both. The men and women are both told to lower their gaze and guard their modesty. Then there is a question that have we tried to protect ourselves from civil strife and mischief? Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) said that using abusive words with a true believe is 'Fisq'. During times of fight or anger a person tends to do it but when two true believers do it then it is called 'Fisq'. Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) said that merchants are unchaste. The companions said that O Prophet but it is halal to undertake trade. Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) said that when these people does trade they lie and raise the prices by swearing. Also Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) has declared the people who are unthankful and ungrateful as 'Faasiq'. Thus this is the depth of protecting oneself from 'Fisq'.
Then we need to question our self that have we safeguarded ourselves against all forms of maltreatment? Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) said that captivating somebody's land as small as the size of a hand or to take someone's smallest stone by an illegal manner is cruelty and ill treatment. Thus these are standards upon which we need to judge ourselves.
Another question we need to ask ourselves is that have we protected ourselves against treacherous acts? Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) said that do not be even deceitful to the person who is disloyal to you. This is the standard in front of us!
Then have we protected ourselves from every kind of mischief? Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) said that the very mischievous people are disobedient. There are people who spread defiance through bad gossipers. They would spread other people's secrets and blather about others. The people who develop misunderstandings among people who are on good relationships are mischievous. The people who try to distract obedient servants of religion and Jama'at towards bad deeds are indeed the mischievous.
There is another question that have we safeguarded ourselves against all forms of disorder? Do we get carried away by the personal means? In today's world when there is impudence everywhere then keeping oneself protected from it is also a form of 'Jihad'.
Then we need to evaluate ourselves that have we regularly offered Salah five times a day during the last year? Allah has commanded us for it many a times in the Holy Quran. Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) said that quitting Salah leads a person towards idolatry and disbelieve.
Then we need to ask ourselves that have we offered the Tahajud prayer? Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) said that try to develop regularity in the Tahajud prayer as it is an act of the pious and the virtuous. This will help you gain Allah's love. Its habit will prevent you from wrong doings, erase your sins and also protect you from physical illnesses.
Also we need to question that have we tried to be regular in sending Durood (invoke blessings) upon the Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) as it is one of the main commandments from Allah and is a way to get the prayers heard. Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) said that 'if you pray for something without reciting Durood then they stop between the land and sky.' Thus your prayers will not reach the Divine Threshold if they are not complemented with Durood.
We also have to ask ourselves if we have sought forgiveness from Allah profusely. Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) says that the person who regularly repents to Allah and seeks forgiveness, Allah shapes out ways for him to get out of every hardship and makes life easier for him and provides for him from such ways that the person would have never even imagined it to have been like that'.
Also we need to ponder if we have concentrated upon indulging ourselves into praising of Allah. Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) said that any work started without the praise of Allah always remains incomplete'. It does not have any blessing or good in it.
Also have we remained cautious of hurting others whether they were related to us or not. Have our hands and tongues refrained from harming others? Have we pardoned and forgiven others during the past year? Has humbleness and modesty been a major part of our characteristics? Have we remained dedicated and loyal to Allah at all times of happiness, sadness, prosperity or poverty instead of being dismayed? If you have ever questioned Allah about the problem inflicted then that person cannot be a true believer. Have we safeguarded ourselves from all immoral and ill customs and practices? Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) said that such customs and novelties lead to abhorrence, therefore keep yourself safe from them.'
Have we profoundly tried to follow the commandments of Holy Quran and the teachings of Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him)? Have we completely abandoned or even tried to restrict ourselves from arrogance and superciliousness? After Idolatry, one of the biggest sins is arrogance and self-conceit. Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) said that an arrogant person will not enter the heaven and arrogance is when a person negates the truth, considers other people as low and treats them badly.'
Also have we tried to achieve the high standards of good manners? Have we tried to adapt to simplicity and meekness? The importance of meekness can be taken from the fact that Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) used to pray that O Allah keep be alive in the condition of meekness, give me death in the condition of meekness and include me among the modest on the day of judgment.'
Has our everyday tried to make us more religious and has it honored and glorified our religion? Can each day testify that we gave precedence to our faith over the worldly affairs as we have pledged? Did we strive to progress in our love for Islam to such an extent that it was given priority over our wealth and over our honor and it was considered more beloved then our children? Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) said that Allah has sent me with religion Islam and Islam is that you submit your entire self to Allah, leave all sort of other idols, establish Salah and give Zakat.
Then we need to ask ourselves that have we progressed in compassion and kindness towards the creatures of Allah? Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) said that everything is Allah's creation. Thus amongst His creation , He loves that person a lot who treats His creation with kindness and takes care of their needs.
Also did you all supplicate and even reminded your children of being obedient to the Promised Messiah (Peace be on Him) and also to progress in it? Have we reached our standard of obedience with the Promised Messiah (Peace be on Him) to such an extent that all other relations become secondary? Did we pray to remain loyal and obedient to the institution of Khilafat? Did all the parents remind their children about the importance of Khilafat and guided them to remain loyal to it and did you pray that May Allah embed this focus in them? Did we pray regularly for the Khalifa and the Jama'at?
If the response to the above mentioned questions has been in positive then despite of some weaknesses we have gained a lot during this past year. But if most of the questions have been answered in negative then it's a worrisome situation and we need to ponder over ourselves. And therefore pray during these last nights and make a pledge to yourself and make a prayer during the start of the new year that may Allah forgive us for the sins we have committed and help us eradicate our weaknesses and help us achieve the maximum in the coming year and may we be included amongst the 'Momineen' who merely to gain the pleasure of Allah are ready to sacrifice everything they have.
Promised Messiah (Peace be on Him) said: 'My entire Jama'at who is present here and others listen to this advice very attentively that those who entered this Jama'at and are associated to me as followers, it is meant that by doing so they achieve good deeds and they reach the highest standards of God fearing piety and no mischief or ill acts can come near them. They be the people who offer Salah five times a day, they abstain from dishonestly, they never harm anyone from their tongue, they never perform any wrong doing and they be not even have any thought of committing any harmful act, hence they prevent themselves from all sorts of criminal acts, bad words, hurtful actions and all psychic emotions and immoral deeds. And said that they be Allah's clean hearted people who don't spread any dispute and who are humble kind people and they should not have any sort of ill thought in their souls. It should be their principle to help mankind and they be fearful of Allah and they should protect their hands and tongues and hearts from immoralities and they should pray five times a day with utmost sincerity and they should protect themselves from maltreatment, illegality, bribery and biasness. They should not sit in a bad company. And hence you are required to not keep any relation with a person who is does not fulfill the commandments of Allah or who does not care about fulfilling the rights of the people, or who is mischief by character or who is immoral in his acts or he who does not keep good thoughts about the Promised Messiah (Peace be on Him) and he who inflicts harm on other people through bad deeds.' Thus stay away from keeping any sort of friendship or relation with a person who does not have respect for the Promised Messiah (Peace be on Him). However this does not mean that refrain from spreading the word of Allah. Just protect yourself from people who abuse the Promised Messiah (Peace be on Him) and associates bad words to the Jama'at and who are adamant to the fact that Promised Messiah (Peace be on Him) is not the Messiah of the age.
Promised Messiah (Peace be on Him) then says that 'never intend to harm anyone from any religion or any nation or any tribe. Be a true helper for everyone and do not let any of such mischievous bad mannered people enter your company or homes because if they stay close to you, you will also be suffering from it. These are the conditions that I have been repeating since the beginning. My Jama'ats every member is required to follow them and your conventions should not have any impurity or chitchat or mockery and walk with pure hearts and pure thoughts. Remember that every mischief should not be answered and try to let go off some situations and learn to forgive and show patience. Do not ever rage an attack on anyone through an illegal manner. And try to control your personal emotions. If you indulge in an argument or a religious discussion then do it in a very polite and modest manner. If someone mistreats you or is abusive then just say Salam and leave that gathering. And do not be abusive or bad mannered in return or there will be no difference. Allah wants to make you all such a Jama'at that you become a role model of righteousness and virtue for everyone. There eliminate all such people amongst you who is a model of mischief, ill manners and wrong doings. The person who in our Jama'at cannot live with meekness, virtue, steadfastness towards good deeds, soft spoken and pious character is not allowed to be a part of us. Because our Allah does not want such a person to live amongst us. And that person will surely not have a good hereafter because he did not follow a righteous path. So you be aware and have a plain heart and humble nature and you will be identified through punctuality towards prayers and good character. Whoever has a seed of bad doings embedded in his heart shall not be able to join us for long. It is required that your hearts should be pure of deception, your hands should be protected against any maltreatment and your eyes be safe from any impurity and within yourself there should be nothing else than righteousness and empathy for Allah's creation. I expect from all my friends who live with me in Qadian that they will be a role model in all of their humanly dealings. I do not want any person to be part of this Jama'at whose character could be questioned, or he has any other kind of impurity. So if we get a complaint against anyone that he intentionally wastes duties towards Allah, or is a part of an indecent gathering or if he has some other kind of ill characteristics then he will be removed from the Jama'at. A field that is prepared with utmost hard work and then its yield is cooked, amongst that there are found some weeds too that are required to be taken out. Likewise such a natural process has been established. But our Jama'at cannot be eliminated and I know that the people who are truly part of my Jama'at their hearts have been molded by Allah in such a way that they truly abstain from wrong doings and love righteousness. And I expect that they will leave very good role models for other people.
May Allah help us to shape our lives according to these teachings of the Promised Messiah (Peace be on Him) Ameen. May Allah help us to fulfill the pledges we have made and we may be able to spend our lives to gain the love and pleasure of Allah, we may be able to live according to the wish of the Promised Messiah (Peace be on Him) and be role models for others, Ameen.
May Allah forgive our sins and shower upon us His countless blessings. May Allah show us the achievements that have been destined for the Jama'at of the Promised Messiah (Peace be on Him). May the coming year be full of blessings (Ameen) and may the plans of the enemies be unsuccessful (Ameen). The Pakistanis who have not been able to go to the Qadian Jalsa Salana, May Allah fulfill their desires in future. May Allah help the Ahmadis in Arabian Peninsula who have many cases against them and those who are in police captivity. May Allah ease their difficulties and they be released soon (Ameen). When the enemies are increasing in their atrocities then we also need to supplicate more towards Allah and indulge in prayer. May Allah give us the strength and courage to do so (Ameen).