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
A person spends his wealth in this world to gain personal satisfaction, to get the worldly chores done and also gives money for charity but in today's world there is no such community or group whose members that are spread in different countries and different cities and who are gathered upon one hand and offering their wealth's to be spent for good work. The purpose for collecting this wealth is also unique which is to spread the religion of Allah and help humanity. There is only one Jama'at who is doing this work. It is the Jama'at that has been created for this purpose. It is the Jama'at of the true servant of the Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him). It is the Jama'at of the Promised Messiah (Peace be on Him) of the time who is responsible to spread Islam to the corners of the earth. It is the Jama'at which is since the last 128 years spending its wealth in the way of Allah and for the betterment of the humanity. It is because, the Promised Messiah (Peace be on Him) has taught his Jama'at through the teachings of Quran, the correct way to spend their wealth and inculcated the seed for financial sacrifice in the way of Allah. Promised Messiah (Peace be on Him) says that 'I emphasize upon it regularly to spend in the way of Allah. It is by the commandment of Allah because Islam at this time is at a downfall. It is dissatisfying to realize the internal and external weaknesses that are causing it to be attacked by other opponent religions. When this is the condition, should we not work towards the progress and development of our religion Islam? This is the actual purpose behind the creation of this Jama'at by Allah. Thus working for good by being in this Jama'at is actually following the commandment s of Allah. These promises are from Allah, that who so ever will spend in the way of Allah, Allah will reward him abundantly in this world and will be blessed with a very peaceful life hereafter. Thus, I want to draw your attention towards this cause of spending your wealth for the progress of Islam'.
Your companions understood this cause and offered their wealth in the way of Allah. This has been acknowledged and mentioned many a times by the Promised Messiah (Peace be on Him). For example during the construction of the Minaret of Messiah, Promised Messiah (Peace be on Him) mentions about Munshi Abdul Aziz Patwaari Sahibs and Shadi Khan Sahib's sacrifice by saying that 'From among my Jama'at two very sincere members have given money for this cause that is indeed an example for the other members. One amongst them is Munshi Abdul Aziz who is an accountant in Gurdaspur district who despite having a low income offered 100 Rupees for this cause. I think that this 100 Rupees would have been saved over a period of many years. These two are especially exemplary because they have offered another 100 Rupees in some other domain of work. Then said the other sincere person who has shown utter love is Mian Shadi Khan, who is a wood seller by profession and a resident of Sialkot. He has already given 150 Rupees for some work and now for this task he has sent in 200 Rupees. If we evaluate the entire possession at his home, they will surely not exceed from 50 Rupees. Khan sahib has written that due to the tough season and the worldly trade seems to be in trouble so it's better for me to invest in religious trade so I am sending you everything I had.' Likewise, Promised Messiah (Peace be on Him) has mentioned numerous other examples in his books who preferred to sacrifice their wealth in the way of Allah and did not care much about their personal needs.
Promised Messiah's (Peace be on Him) Jama'at has got so used to of the financial sacrifice that one generation after the other is involved in this duty. The residents of other countries, who have joined in the Jama'at later, even they after listening to such inspirational stories of the companions and after listening to the commandments of Allah are encouraged and show examples that, are very surprising. Apart from the wealthy, the struggling people and who are poor are the ones who show exemplary sacrifices. They do not care, if their minimum amount will make the difference or not but they are the ones who understand the commandments of Allah that says: "And the case of those who spend their wealth to seek the pleasure of Allah and to strengthen their souls is like the case of a garden on elevated ground. Heavy rain falls on it so that it brings forth its fruit twofold. And if heavy rain does not fall on it, then light rain suffices. And Allah sees what you do" (2:266)
These little sacrifices are like dew drops on the garden of Islam that brings in loads of fruit by the grace of Allah. We see that despite being a poor Jama'at, the work to spread Islam is being done throughout the world. Then by the Grace of Allah, our works are so blessed that we are able to achieve very big goals with limited finances which even surprises the world. This is because, the people who have made sacrifices try to be among the people that are mentioned in the Quran as 'the people who spend their wealth to gain the pleasure of Allah' and when the aim is to gain the pleasure of Allah then surely the results are very fruitful. Examples are even made in today's world that I will mention.
Living thousands of miles away from Qadian, a girl when accepts Ahmadiyyat, the change in her thinking and the understanding of sacrifice that she develops is presented in her words. She lives in Uganda and is undertaking education in a university. She says that in last July I had to buy some things before joining university but I did not have money for that and even the charity was due. Therefore, the money I had was given for charity and I had this strong faith that Allah will surely help me and I was satisfied that I have paid my dues for charity. After one month, when only three days were left for the university to start, one of my aunts called my mom to inquire when was I joining university and called me over to her place. When I visited her in the evening, she gave me some money that was many times more of what I required to buy university stuff. Also it was ten times more than the amount I had paid in charity. Like this Allah listened to my prayers and helped me through a source that was much unexpected.
Then there is an inspector Qamar ud Din Sahib from India. He writes that there is a person from Kerala Jama'at who does vaccine business. I went to his shop to collect money for charity so he said that the financial situation is very tough these days but still he wrote a check of a very high amount and said that my account does not have this much money but pray that I am able to pay it. The next day he called me to tell that he has received a good amount of money and to get the check cashed. He said that this is only by the blessing of giving charity that such a huge amount has been received.
Then there is an example of a widow who lives in Tanzania about whom the local Ameer sahib writes that when the concerned personal went to the widow named Ameena to receive money for charity so she said with a very sad heart that she does not have any money. She committed that as soon as I get money from somewhere I will come to clear the dues myself. The person had not even reached back home that the women came in with ten thousand Shilling and said that I received this money so thought that I should clear the charity dues before spending the money for my needs. She said that I will pay the remaining amount as soon as I receive more money because I had committed for 25000 Shilling. After some time she again came over and paid the remaining dues. She said that Allah is very kind. I had come to give ten thousand in His way and I had not even reach home yet that I received 35,000 Shilling. Even after paying the entire charity I have 20,000 Shilling left that is indeed a special blessing from Allah. Like this her faith increased many folds.
The missionary of Congo, a country of central Africa writes that Saeedi Sahib who works for spreading the word of Allah, visits five local Jama'ats. These days the security is at a high alert due to the conditions and still he managed to visit all the Jama'ats. Despite having a bad financial situation he paid for all the expenditures during this work. He managed to collect fifty three thousand for the Waqf-e-Jadid. He said that I am an old Ahmadi and I want to be an example for the young ones. (He might just be at most 15 to 20 years old Ahmadi). He is above 60 years but works very dedicatedly for spreading Ahmadiyyat and for collecting charity. This is the enthusiasm and good will that has been incorporated in them after accepting Ahmadiyyat. They live in very distant areas, where roads are not available. They travel through boats and it takes very long to reach to other places.
The local missionary writes about a newly convert from Benin, (for whom it hasn't been even a year since he accepted Ahmadiyyat and his faith and financial sacrifice is an example for everyone)where mostly the people are fishermen and sell fish to earn their livelihood. The local missionary urged the locals for financial sacrifice, after which a newly converted Ahmadi who is not very well off financially offered 1000 Franc. He said that although I am not in a good condition regarding my finances but I do not want to miss out any opportunity of charity started by the Jama'at that I have very recently been accepted into.
Then there is an example of a few members from Burkina Faso that shows how the Friday sermons and connection to Khilafat has an impact on people's life and how it compels towards financial sacrifice. It hasn't been very long that they have accepted Ahmadiyyat. The local missionary writes that some of the local Ahmadis after listening to the last Friday sermon of the year 2016 went back home and offered the finances kept for New Year's celebration for Tehrik-e-Jadid and said that as the Khalifa of the time has told us the way to start New Year therefore we are offering this money for charity and will start the New Year by offering Tahajjud prayer. They offered 76,000 Franc for Tehrik-e-Jadid that day.
Also there is an example of people from a small village of Ivory Coast. The local missionary writes that the people of a village who have accepted Ahmadiyyat this year, I urged them to join in for Waqf-e-Jadid and the Jalsa Salana. These newly converts were told that the Khalifa of the time has advised all the Ahmadis to join in for Tehrik-e-Jadid and Waqf-e-Jadid. He writes that I thought some people will pay charity because poverty prevails in the region. But the situation turned out to be complete opposite. Every single person of the village offered Waqf-e-Jadid and one of the men not only paid Waqf-e-Jadid but travelled a distance of 600km to participate in the Jalsa Salana.
The missionary from Tanzania writes that a brother who is handicapped and cannot walk earns the livelihood by charging peoples phones through a solar panel. Many areas of Tanzania still are deprived of electricity and people often lighten their homes with a bulb charged from a solar panel. He pays his charity on time with whatever he earns. When the local personnel drew his attention towards paying charity he said that since the last two days I have earned 2000 Shilling and I will offer this in the way of Allah. The missionary sahib said that if you will offer the entire earning in charity then how will you feed your children? He said that Allah is Razaaq and He will surely provide to us. The missionary said that I had just written the receipt for him, and I witnessed that many people came in to get their mobiles charged and he earned much more than what he gave in for charity.
There is another example of Allah's blessing on people who sacrifice in His way. One of the member's son who are locals from a village of Tanzania got severe malaria. He only had 1500 Shilling for his treatment. When the Secretary finance went to his home, he offered the entire money he had for charity. He says that initially I thought how will I get the medicine for my son now but then he laid his trust in Allah. After sometime, his elder son from another city called and said that I am sending 80,000 Shilling. Like this not only the treatment got done but his other needs were fulfilled as well. He now narrates this incident to others as well and emphasizes upon giving charity.
Another example of a person from Mali is narrated by the local missionary that when he accepted Ahmadiyyat in 2013 his financial condition was very bad. Other than being burdened by loan he had household issues and his retirement time was coming close. Knowing about the importance of giving charity, he promised to himself that he will be punctual on giving charity. He did so and by the grace of Allah, he repaid the entire loan, the household situation got better and he even got a promotion at work and even the retirement was cancelled. He has now entered Wassiyat too.
Munir Hussain sahib missionary from Sierra Leon writes that a woman of a local village promised to pay 4000 Leone and she did not have a regular source of income. She had a small garden and had grown fruit plants.
She sells cassava for a living. As the time to pay the pledged amount drew close, secretary approached to receive the amount, the amount she has gathered for the payment, some child had picked up and spent. She was much perturbed. Observe the level of her faith. One of her sons worked on a wine shop. Circumstances may have forced him to or he may not have attained proper faith. He offered to make the payment. Lady refused the offer that such proceeds are unlawful and I cannot make a donation with such funds. This is an example of faith. Then, look at the response from Allah. Purpose of a donation is to seek the pleasure of Allah so see how Allah treated her. In the meanwhile, an unknown person came. She did not know him at all. He gave her 10,000 Leone. In place of 4,000 Leone, she gave 10,000 in donation and said, Allah has send me this amount only for the payment for the donation. She pledged 10,000 Leone for donation for the next year.
Hakim Sahib, missionary from Sierra Leone says that land dispute of a new convert was proceeding for a long time. The other party was quite influential. There was no way in sight to win the case. During this time, her heard at the mosque about the blessings of financial sacrifices. He says that when he heard about the blessings of financial sacrifices, he desired to participate that may be the donation will lead to the resolution of the land dispute. He had become to Ahmadi from a Christian. He made a donation according to his capacity. A little while after the case was decided in his favor that apparently had seemed impossible. He says that he is certain that all this happened due the blessings of the financial sacrifice.
Shahid Sahib, missionary from Congo Kinshasa writes that a lady trades at a small level. It appeared at the beginning of the year due to the circumstances in the country there will not be any profit in her business but I fulfilled my pledge for Waqf-e-Jadid at the beginning of the year and thought that a trade carried out with Allah cannot result in loss. She says that the business results in profit and despite the prevailing condition in the country, business did not suffer any loss.
How the sacrifices of Ahmadis affect others? This also opens avenues for outreach. Ameer Sahib of Bangladesh says that there were three persons were being preached but none of them were leaning towards conversion. Last Friday all three of them came to the mosque. During the sermon, attention was brought to Waqf-i-Jadid. After the services, members stood up in lines to make donations. When these person who were being preached saw this scene, they said, Both throat and tongue of our maulawis dry up in seeking donations and yet people do not donate. Here a brief announcement is made and members have stood up and have made lines. This is the true spirit of Islam. All these three persons joined Ahmadiyyat after seeing this scene and also contributed towards Waqf-i-Jadid.
Abdullah Sahib, missionary of a region in Benin writes, a new convert toured to collect donations. Al-Haj Abu Bakr, a new convert, asked, How and where this donation will be used? He did not know the financial system [of the Jama'at] properly. He was told that the Community builds mosques from these donations, publishes the translations of the Holy Qur'an and books about faith. Hospitals, schools and orphanages are established with these donations. Every penny from donations is used in the work of faith and welfare. On hearing this, Abu Bakr said, Maulawis came to me to collect Zakat and donations but they never told me where these donations will be spent. He immediately made a donation and pledged to donate enthusiastically henceforth.
We see that even in this age, Allah is bestowing the Promised Messiah with such devotees who excel in sacrifices. New members join and in days a zeal for sacrifice is generated among them. This also is matter of reflection of those who live in favorable circumstances. Rather it is a matter of apprehension. Allah has bestowed affluence on them, they live in rich countries, but their sacrifices are nominal. Though there many here too who are so, who make nominal contributions. There are many rich people in the world who pay little attention to this side. They should pay attention to this side.
As is customary for the first sermon of the year to announce the new year of Waqf-i-Jadid, after relaying some incidents from a collection of many, I announce the 60th year of Waqf-i-Jadid.
I also relate the blessings of the last year, what the receipts were. The Waqf-i-Jadid year ends on December 31. The 59th year ended on 31 December 2016. By the grace of Allah, according to the reports received by now, the chapters all over the world presented sacrifice of £8,020,000 towards Waqf-i-Jadid. This amount is £1,129,000 more than the last year.
Pakistan again is at the top of the list among all the countries in the world. With respect to the local currency, countries that improved significantly over the last year, Ghana, West Africa, is at the top, then is Germany, followed by Pakistan and Canada. Among African countries, significant sacrifices were made by Mali, Burkina Faso, Liberia, South Africa, Sierra Leone and Benin. After Pakistan, the top ten countries in sacrifice are UK, Germany, US, Canada, India, Australia, a country from middle-east, Indonesia, a country from middle east and Ghana, and then are Belgium and Switzerland.
With regard to per person contribution, at the top is US followed by Switzerland, Finland, Australia, Singapore, France, Germany, Trinidad, Belgium and Canada. UK, despite being at the top in total contributions, is much behind in per person contribution.
This year, by the grace of Allah, 1,340,000 members contributed to the scheme, 105,000 more than the last year. Canada, India and UK led in the increase in the number of contributors, and Guinea Conakry, Cameroon, the Gambia, Senegal, Benin, Niger, Congo Kinshasa, Burkina Faso and Tanzania in Africa. Nigeria did not make good effort as the number of contributors decreased there. Number of contributors would have reached 1,400,000 if Nigeria had kept to last year's level of contributors. What it means that slackness has been shown there or the report has not been prepared properly or reports have not been collected adequately. There is no decrease in the sincerity of the members, whatever country it may be. May be they have not been approached properly. Usually the secretaries slack. A member from Rabwah wrote to me that the section president came to him and told him that he had neither made a pledge nor a payment. He said, How it can be? I make payments regularly. He said it happened as the secretary was so lax that he did not record anyone's pledge and neither have collections been made properly. It became apparent that sometimes member miss to participate due to the negligence of the secretaries. I think that the same has happened in Nigeria. There has been decrease in the number of contributors in the US too while there is no excuse for a decrease there. Neither is there an excuse for Nigeria because the numbers should increase. But, as I mentioned, US has elevated per person sacrifice significantly and is at No 1. All those countries should pay attention towards the number of contributors who show a decrease compared to the last year and identify their weaknesses, not in the members but in the workers.
Lahore is at the top in Pakistan in contributions from adults, a category in Waqf-i-Jadid, followed by Rabwah, Karachi. Islamabad, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Multan, Umarkot, Haiderabad, Peshawar, Mirpur Khas, Okara and Dera Ghazi Khan.
Lahore tops in sacrifices by children, a category in Waqf-i-Jadid, followed by Rabwah, Karachi, Sialkot, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Haiderabad, Dera Ghazi Khan, Kotli (Azad Kashmir), Mirpur Khas, Multan, Bahawalnagar.
With respect to total collections, the top ten chapter in UK are Worster Park, Masjid Fazl, Birmigham South, Putney, Rainspark, Bradford, New Malden, Glasgow, Birmingham West, Jillingham, and by regions, London B, London A, Midlands, Northeast, South.
With respect to collection in Germany, Hamburg is at the top followed by Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, Waldorf, Diedsonbad. Next the Khalifaul-Masih mentioned the names of the chapter that contributed significantly from Germany.
The top ten contributing chapters in the US are Silicon Valley, Seattle, Detroit, Silver Spring, Central Virginia, Los Angeles East, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia and Laurel.
Top contributing regions from Canada are Calgary, Peace Village, Vaughn, Vancouver, Mississauga. Top contributing chapters from Canada are Durham, Hamilton East, Saskatoon South, Saskatoon North and Windsor, Lloydminster, Ottawa West, Ottawa East, Barrie, Regina. Top chapters in contributions by children are Durham, Bradford, Saskatoon South, Saskatoon North, Lloydminster, and regions are Calgary, Peace Village, Brampton, Vaughn, Weston.
In India, regions in sequence of top contributions are Kerala, Jammu/Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Orissa, West Bengal, Punjab, Utter Pradesh, Delhi, Maharashtra. Ten top chapters in India are Kerala, Kalicut, Haiderabad, Patha Paryam, Qadian, Kanul Town, Calcutta, Kangol, Bangalore, Salore, Pagardi.
Castle Hillis at the top in Australia followed by Brisbane, Logan, Azam Park, Perwik, Azith, Adelaide South, Lampton, Canberra, Longwalk, Adelaide West.
May Allah bless greatly the wealth and persons of the ones who presented sacrifices. May the related workers become more active so that they do their work correctly and try to remedy the deficiencies, especially the number of participants should be increased. It is true that the total amount is increasing we also need to have everyone participate even with the payment of a small amount.
I will lead two funerals in absentia after leading Prayers. First is of Asma Tahira who was wife of Respected Mirza Khalil Ahmad. She passed away in Canada on 23 December 2016 at the age of 79. Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return (2:157). She was born in Bhagalpur in June 1935. Respected Maulawi Abdul-Baqi was her father and Respected Safiyya Khatoon was her mother. Her father served the Community for many years and also was the president of the chapter. Hadrat Ali Ahmad was her grandfather. He had pledged allegiance to the Promised Messiah and was his Companion. Respected Amatun-Nur says that he was a 9th grader when he came to Qadian. Hadrat Khalifatul-Masih ( May Allah be his Helper) recounted the description of her services to Ahmadiyyat.
Respected Chaudhri Hameed Nasrullah Khan ( former Amir Lahore) passed away on 4 January 2017 in Lahore at the age of 83. Hadrat Khalifatul-Masih ( May Allah be his Helper)recounted the description of his services to Ahmadiyyat and prayed for the elevation of the status of the deceased in the herefater.