Friday Sermon: Attaining Taqwa

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Friday Sermon: Attaining Taqwa

Sermon Delivered by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(at) Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
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NOTE: Alislam Team takes full responsibility for any errors or miscommunication in this Synopsis of the Friday Sermon

In the previous sermon, I mentioned that the purpose of fasting and Ramadan as outlined by Allah the Almighty is to develop Taqwa [righteousness] within the hearts. The Promised Messiah(as) stated that in order to become a Muttaqi [righteous person] it is not enough to simply worship God or fulfil the rights of the creation of God, in fact a righteous person is one who also adopts a high standard of morals and has a positive influence on others through his/her piety and righteousness. Thus, on one occasion the Promised Messiah(as) stated: ‘High morals are a sign of a righteous person.’ The Promised Messiah(as) states: ‘Taqwa is made up of many components and to abstain from vanity, selfishness, unlawful wealth and to refrain from all kinds of immoral behaviour is part of Taqwa [righteousness]. A person who displays good morals then even his enemies become his friends. Allah the Almighty states: – ‘Repel evil with that which is best.’

The Promised Messiah(as) stated that Taqwa is to refrain from all kinds of ill habits and to display good morals is also Taqwa which enables one to turn even his enemies into friends. That is, if you treat others with kindness then even strangers will draw closer to you and be part of your community of friends. Therefore, this is the principal teaching which we must always bear in mind wherein we should exhibit good morals by adhering our every action to Taqwa.

The Promised Messiah(as) says, “Thus, by ‘morals’ is meant the seeking of the pleasure of Allah.” And what is meant by ‘seeking of the pleasure of Allah’? He says, “It is what is personified in the practical life of the Holy Prophet(sa).” What are morals? It is what Allah the Almighty desires. And what does Allah the Almighty desire? It is what we observe in every aspect of the life of the Holy Prophet(sa). For that, it is necessary that one should try to mould his life according to the life of the Holy Prophet(sa). These morals are like the foundation. If they remain unsteady, a building cannot be constructed upon them. Morals are like laying one brick on top of the other. If one brick is laid out of line the entire wall remains uneven.

Furthermore, regarding the moral qualities of the Holy Prophet(sa), the Promised Messiah(as) says, “With regards to the Holy Prophet(sa), Allah the Exalted has said that: - And thou dost surely possess high moral excellences. In every aspect of life, the Holy Prophet(sa) demonstrated the highest example of his moral qualities, which is obligatory for a believer to follow according to his capacity and capability.” .. “The bravest in battle was considered to be the one, who would be near the Holy Prophet(sa), as he would be in a place of great danger. Subhanallah [Holy is Allah], what great stature!” The Promised Messiah(as) says, “A time came, when the Holy Prophet(sa) possessed such a large flock of sheep, which even [the emperors] Caesar and Khosrow did not possess. He gave them all to a beggar.” This is the demonstration of [his] moral conduct.

The Promised Messiah(as) says, “Until a person strives and utilises prayers, the distress that befalls the heart cannot be removed.” …., “Philosophers have two schools of thought regarding the possibility of moral reform. There are those, who believe that man is capable of moral reform and others, who believe that he is not. The fact of the matter is that morals can be changed if one is not complacent, and makes an effort to do so.” Do not display complacency, rather, strive and consequently morals can be reformed. The Promised Messiah(as) said, “At this point, I am reminded of a story and it is as follows. It is said that once a man came to see the renowned Greek philosopher Plato and sought permission to enter at the door. It was Plato's principle that he did not allow visitors to enter until studying their appearance and facial features.” He would not allow them to enter until he studied their countenance and appearance. “He would form an opinion regarding the described person based on the appearance.” “As usual, the servant came and described the appearance of the person upon which Plato said to tell him that since you are a man with many immoralities, I do not wish to meet you!” “When this person heard this response from Plato, he told the servant to go and tell [Plato] that whatever you have said is correct. However, I have shunned my indecent habits and have made a reform.” “Upon this Plato said that indeed, this might be possible. Hence, he invited him inside and met him with utmost honour and respect.” The Promised Messiah(as) says, “Those philosophers who believe that morals cannot be reformed are in the wrong.”

Regarding the acquisition of high morals, the Promised Messiah(as) draws our attention towards repentance. The Promised Messiah(as) states: ‘In actuality, repentance is extremely effective and helpful for the acquisition of morals.’ If one wishes to acquire high morals then it is important to repent. However, repentance does not simply mean to seek repentance for sins but it also very important in order to adopt high moral... It should be borne in mind that that there are three conditions for repentance, without fulfilling those one cannot achieve true repentance. Out of these three conditions, the first condition which in Arabic is known as Iqlaa’ that is to get rid of wicked fancies which arouse evil propensities.’ ‘Thus, the prime condition for repentance is that evil thoughts and fancies should be discarded. The second condition is remorse. … So a sinner should express remorse over his sin and evil action and should reflect that the pleasure to be derived from them is temporary and short-lived. …‘The third condition is a firm resolve that he will not revert to those vices. If he adheres to this resolve, God will bestow upon him the strength for true repentance and he will be rid altogether of his vices which will be replaced by good morals and praiseworthy actions. This is a moral victory.

The Promised Messiah (as) explains the different reasons for inculcating faith: ‘ Miraculous morals can have affect in a way that powerful miracles cannot. Experiment yourself and see how steadfastness and firm resolve produces extraordinary effects and miracles. …, if people discover that a person has great morals, then the attention that he is given is no secret.’ The Promised Messiah(as) further states: ‘My advice once again is that displaying good morals is akin to showing miracles. If someone says that he does not desire to become a miracle-worker then he is being fooled by Satan. The ability to show miracles does not signify self-appraisal or haughtiness because by witnessing miracles people are made aware of the truth and the reality of Islam and receive guidance.

Then whilst explaining the concept that morals are similar to Rizq [provisions] and, to express them is to spend out of the faculties provided by God Almighty, , the Promised Messiah (as) states: “Usually people consider Rizq to mean those provisions which are edible. This is incorrect…” The Promised Messiah (as) continues by saying: “Sovereignty and the having best of morals are all counted in Rizq. The Promised Messiah (as) further elaborated by saying: “To hold back from imparting one’s knowledge onto others for the reason that in doing so they may become insignificant or that they may not earn as much is deemed as idolatry

The Promised Messiah (as) states: “[Good] Morals does not only mean to speak with a soft tone or using polite language. Instead the attributes such as bravery, generosity and chastity are all moral strengths and using them at the correct time makes them part of one’s morals.” Whilst advising the members of the community to adopt the highest of morals, the Promised Messiah (as) stated the following: “Whosoever demonstrates to their neighbour a change, within their moral conduct, for the better, it will be as if they have performed a miracle. They will leave a lasting impression upon the neighbour.”

Thus, every action of ours should prove that having entered into the Bai’at [oath of allegiance] with the Promised Messiah (as) we have made virtuous moral changes, and then we should inform the people, which is the way to perform Tabligh [preaching the message]. May Allah enable us to make virtuous changes within ourselves in line with righteousness and keeping the model of the Holy Prophet (sa) in mind. May we spend our lives in the manner the Promised Messiah (as) wished for us to spend them.

After the prayers, I will lead two funeral prayers in absentia. The first is of Mr Lutf-ur-Rahman Sahib, from USA. He was the son of Mian Ata-ur-Rahman Sahib. He passed away on 27th May 2017; to Allah we belong, and to Him shall we return. He taught sciences in Ta’leem-ul-Islam School for a very long period. I was also one of his students in my school years. May Allah the Almighty grant him forgiveness and show him mercy by elevating his status. May his progeny continue his virtuous deeds.

The second funeral is that of Mirza Umar Ahmad Sahib, the son of Sahibzada Dr. Mirza Munawar Ahmad Sahib who passed away on 5th June at 2pm in the Tahir Heart Institute, Rabwah. He passed away at the age of 66. to Allah we belong, and to Him shall we return. He was the same age as me and a childhood friend. As children, we used to play together. He possessed great qualities. May Allah raise him in status, and grant his children the ability to continue his good deed whilst remaining firmly attached to Khilafat. Ameen

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  • The true purpose of Ramzan is to instill Taqwa in hearts. The Promised Messiah (as) has explained this subject at various places. The reality is that no righteous deed can be established without Taqwa. Only taqwa enables us to be regular in righteousness. We should always remember that good morals are absolutely necessary in order to have Taqwa.
  • The Promised Messiah (as) has said that good morals are a sign of a righteous person. Taqwa has many parts. A person who displays good morals turns his enemies into friends. Allah says in the Holy Quran Repel evil with that which is best. Allah wants that even if someone swears at us, we display patience. Good morals are such a skill that it affects even a rough-natured person.
  • The Promised Messiah (as) says that you should remember that morality is the real difference between a man and an animal. True morality lies in following the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (sa). This is why Allah has said in the Holy Quran about The Prophet (sa) that you possess high moral excellences. Therefore, it is the duty of every believer to follow his role-model which is unmatched and perfect in every way.
  • The Promised Messiah (as) says that unless a person engages in hard work and prayer in front of God, he cannot remove the darkness of his heart. Allah has said in the Holy Quran that surely, Allah changes not the condition of a people until they change that which is in their hearts. This is the eternal practice of God that morals can only be changed through effort and prayers. It should always be remembered that Allah has given each one of us the ability to foster good morals in us, no matter how low our morals may be.
  • Allah has provided us an opportunity in the days of Ramzan to transform our morals. The Promised Messiah (as) has said that this also requires true Taubah or repentance. And for true repentance, the Promised Messiah (as) has listed three conditions:
  • The first condition is to get rid of wicked fancies which arouse evil propensities. Ideas have great influence. Every action is preceded by an idea. Thus, the prime condition for repentance is that evil thoughts and fancies should be discarded.
  • The second condition is remorse. A sinner should express remorse over his sin and evil action and should reflect that the pleasure to be derived from them is temporary.
  • The third condition is a firm resolve that he will not revert to those vices. If he adheres to this resolve, God will bestow upon him the strength for true repentance and he will be rid altogether of his vices.
  • Huzur (aba) said that the majority of people who enter Jama’at today because they see the morality of either an individual Ahmadi or collective morals of Jama’at. The Promised Messiah (as) says that my advice is that displaying good morals is the true miracle which shows the truthfulness of Islam. In reality, it is the beauty of morality of Islamic teachings which attracted many great nations towards becoming Muslim.
  • The Promised Messiah (as) says that true morality is that whatever faculties have been granted to us by God, sight, hearing, intellect, thought etc, should be used at their proper time and place. May Allah enable us to bring a pure change in us by instilling Taqwa within us and by following the model of the Holy Prophet (sa).
  • Huzur (aba) announced two Janaza prayers in absentia; Lutf-ur-Rahman sahib of USA and Mirza Umar Ahmad sahib of Rabwah, Pakistan
  • روزوں اور رمضان کا مقصد دلوں میں تقویٰ پیدا کرنا ہے اور اس مضمون کو حضرت مسیح موعود علیہ السلام نے مختلف جگہ پر بیان کیا ہے۔ اگر تقویٰ نہ ہو تو کسی بھی قسم کی نیکی نہیں ہو سکتی۔ ان نیکیوں میں باقاعدگی صرف تقویٰ ہی سے آتی ہے۔ اورتقویٰ کے متعلق یہ بھی یاد رکھنا چاہئے کہ اس کیلئے اچھے اخلاق کا ہونا بہت ضروری ہے۔
  • حضرت مسیح موعود علیہ السلام فرماتے ہیں کہ اخلاق انسان کے صالح ہونے کی نشانی ہے۔ تقویٰ کے بہت سے حصے ہیں۔ جو شخص اچھے اخلاق کا اظہار کرتا ہے اسکے دشمن بھی دوست ہو جاتے ہیں۔ اللہ تعالیٰ نے فرمایا ہے کہ اِدْفَعْ بِالَّتِیْ ھِیَ اَحْسَن یعنی ہمیشہ نیکی یا اچھی بات سے ہی بدی کا دفاع کر۔ اللہ تعالیٰ کا منشا ہے کہ اگر گالی بھی دی جائے تو اس پر صبر کیا جائے۔ خوش اخلاقی ایک ایسا جوہر ہے کہ موذی انسان پر بھی اسکا اثر پیدا پڑتا ہے۔
  • پھر آپ علیہ السلام نے فرمایا کہ انسانوں اور جانوروں میں اصل فرق اخلاق ہی ہیں اور حقیقی اخلاق یہی ہے کہ اپنی زندگی کو رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم کی سنت پر چلایا جائے۔ اللہ تعالیٰ نے آپ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم کے متعلق فرمایا کہ اِنَّکَ لَعَلٰی خُلُقٍ عَظِیْم یعنی کہ یقیناً تو بہت بڑے خُلق پر فائز ہے۔ پس آپکے اسوہ پر چلنا ہر مومن کا فرض ہے۔ ہر پہلو میں آپ کا نمونہ بے نظیر اور کامل ہے۔
  • آپ علیہ السلام فرماتے ہیں کہ جب تک انسان مجاہدہ نہ کریگا اور دعا نہ کریگا تو دل پر سے جو اندھیرا ہے وہ دور نہیں ہو سکتا۔ اللہ تعالیٰ نے فرمایا ہے کہ یقیناً اللہ کسی قوم کی حالت نہیں بدلتا جب تک وہ خود اُسے تبدیل نہ کریں جو اُن کےدلوں میں ہے ۔ یہ اللہ تعالیٰ کی سنتِ ازل ہے کہ تبدیلِ اخلاق صرف مجاہدہ اور دعا سے ہی ہو سکتا ہے۔ پس آجکل رمضان میں اللہ تعالیٰ نے ہمیں یہ موقع عطا فرمایا ہے کہ ہم اپنے اخلاق میں ایک مثبت تبدیلی پیدا کریں۔
  • حضرت مسیح موعود علیہ السلام نے فرمایا ہے کہ تبدیلِ اخلاق کیلئے توبہ بھی نہایت ضروری ہے۔اور سچی توبہ کی حضرت مسیح موعود علیہ السلام نے تین شرائط بیان فرمائی ہیں۔
  • پہلی شرط جسے عربی زبان میں اقلاع کہتے ہیں ۔ یعنی ان خیالات فاسدہ کو دور کردیا جاوے جو ان خصائل ردیہ کے محرک ہیں ۔ اصل بات یہ ہے کہ تصورات کا بڑا بھاری اثر پڑتا ہے کیونکہ حیطہ عمل میں آنے سے پیشتر ہر ایک فعل ایک تصوری صورت رکھتا ہے ۔ پس توبہ کیلئے پہلی شرط یہ ہے کہ ان خیالات فاسد اور تصورات بد کو چھوڑ دے۔
  • دوسری شرط ندم ہے یعنی پیشمانی اور ندامت ظاہر کرنا ۔ پس گناہ اور بدی کے ارتکاب پر پیشمانی ظاہر کرے اور یہ خیال کرے کہ یہ لذات عارضی اور چند روزہ ہیں۔
  • تیسری شرط عزم ہے یعنی آئندہ کیلئے مصمم ارادہ کرلےکہ پھر ان برائیوں کی طرف رجوع نہ کرے گا اور جب وہ مداومت کریگا تو خداتعالیٰ اسے سچی توبہ کی توفیق دے گا۔
  • حضورِ انور نے فرمایا کہ آج بھی اکثر لوگ جو جماعت میں داخل ہوتے ہیں وہ کسی نہ کسی احمدی کے اخلاق کی وجہ سے یا بطور جماعت ہمارے اخلاق کو دیکھ کر ہی اس طرف آتا ہے۔ حضرت مسیح موعود علیہ السلام نے فرمایا ہے کہ میری نصیحت یہی ہے کہ اچھے اخلاق کا اظہار کرنا ہی حقیقی کرامت ہے اور اس سے اسلام کی سچائی ظاہر ہوتی ہے۔ حقیقت میں بہت سی غیر قوموں کو یہی چیز یعنی اسلا م کی اعلیٰ اخلاقی تعلیم اسلام کی طرف کھینچ لائی۔
  • حضرت مسیح موعودؑ نے فرمایا کہ حقیقی اخلاق یہی ہیں کہ خدا تعالیٰ نے انسان کو جتنے بھی قویٰ دئے ہیں مثلا بینائی، شنوائی، عقل، سوچ وغیرہ ۔ان سب کو بر محل استعمال کیا جائے۔ اللہ تعالیٰ ہمیں تقویٰ پر چلتے ہوئے اور آنحضرت صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم کے نمونہ پر چلتے ہوئے اپنے اندر پاک تبدیلی پیدا کرنے کی توفیق عطا فرمائے۔
  • آخر پر حضرت خلیفۃ المسیح نے دو نمازِ جنازہ غائب کا اعلان فرمایا۔ لطف الرحمٰن صاحب آف امریکہ اور مرزا عمر احمد صاحب آف ربوہ پاکستان۔
About Friday Sermon

The Jumu'ah (Friday) prayer is one form of congregational worship in Islam. It takes place every Friday. Regular attendance at the Jumu'ah prayer is enjoined on the believer. According to a Saying of Muhammadsa this congregational prayer is twenty-five times more blessed than worship performed alone. (Bukhari)

Friday Sermons in the Quran

“O ye who believe! When the call is made for Prayer on Friday, hasten to the remembrance of Allah, and leave off all business. That is best for you, if you only knew.” more

Friday Sermons in the Hadith

“… (He who) offers the Prayers and listens quitely when the Imam stands up for sermon, will have his sins forgiven between that Friday and the next”(Bukhari)