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Friday Sermon: Truth, Lies and Arrogance

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 spoke about the relationship between good morals and righteousness; the Promised Messiah’s instructions that man can only become a righteous person when he possesses all good moral qualities. However, there are some aspects of morality, which if not present in a believer, his level of faith becomes questionable. Righteousness is a matter for later; first one must look after their faith. Among all the aspects of morality necessary for a believer, the most important is to remain truthful and to abstain from lying. God Almighty states in the Holy Quran: “Shun therefore the abomination of idols, and shun all words of untruth,”

Hence, having put worship of idols and lying together, God has clearly demonstrated that it is a sin paramount to idol-worship. So, this is a very clear and open warning for one who professes faith, that if you are a believer then you must also have a high standard of truthfulness. The Promised Messiah (as) has given vast and detailed discourses on the importance of truthfulness in our faith. The Promised Messiah (as) says, “The Holy Quran has deemed lying equal to idol-worship…Both are an abomination and both are vile, hence one should stay away from them.” “Avoid idol-worship and lying. In other words, lying too is an idol. The one who puts his trust in lies abandons his trust in God Almighty. So, in lying, one also loses God. When a person abandons his trust, God does not go near him.”

stressing that the lying is an abdominal practice, the Promised Messiah (as) instructed his followers to give up this practice. He states: “A great deal of effort is required for this, and for a long period of time one must make great endeavours. Only then will one instil in himself the habit speaking the truth.”

The Promised Messiah (as) writes: “The one who lies creates his own idol and considers it to be the means of their salvation.” He then states: “Remember that there is nothing more cursed than falsehood. Generally, worldly men say that the truthful get caught, but why should I accept this when I myself have been in 7 court cases and by the grace of Allah, not once have I had to utter a lie. Can anyone say that God Almighty made me suffer defeat in any one of them? God Almighty is Himself the protector and Helper of the truthful. Can it be that He gives a punishment to a pious person or a truthful person? If this ever happened then no one in the world would ever have the courage to speak the truth and true belief in God would disappear.”

The Promised Messiah (as) stated: “The reality is that those people, who endure punishments because of speaking the truth, their punishment is in fact not due to speaking the truth. Rather it is due to their subtle and concealed misdeeds.” Those mistakes and misdeeds are the reason for punishment. The punishment is the result of some other lie.. All the record of our deeds is securely kept with Allah the Almighty. Man may escape from worldly punishment through excuses but Allah the Almighty cannot be deceived.

This saying of the Promised Messiah(as) that ‘a worldly individual thinks that they cannot forsake lying as they could not survive without it’ is not only regarding greater interests, rather the state of worldly people is such that they lie about everything, even the smallest of matters. Thus, a large study on lying, containing many essays, was recently published in the latest National Geographic. The research was conducted on ‘Why we lie’? [The author] suggested that supposedly success is achieved through lying like the Promised Messiah(as) also said that people think that they achieve success due to lying. [The author] has written the same and has also tried to prove in the study that that it is ingrained in the human nature to lie. However, it is not [ingrained in] the human nature to lie, rather it is the environment which makes one a liar. In the same article, [the author] has formulated the idea or has tried to justify lying by saying that it becomes a habit since childhood, whereas even during childhood, it is the environment, which inculcates this habit. People lie to make their stories more colourful and attention grabbing. In that article, it is said about [people ranging from] children to politicians, from [usual] professionals to scientists, that their words contain lies. In this society, in this environment, there is so much lying that we observe lying everywhere. In their view, there is no way out of it. [They say,] ‘we are forced to lie. After reading this article, it seems that every matter of theirs is based on a lie. The initial survey which they conducted revealed that everyone tells three to four lies daily. Then, according to all this research, lies are told in order to establish a false image about one’s self, for the sake of self-impression. These lies are on a smaller scale. Among the ‘bigger’ lies, is the lying between spouses. If one analyses [the situation] among ourselves, domestic quarrels, separations and divorces take place because people rely on lies, whereas, after understanding this fundamental element of human psyche, one of the verses, we have been told to recite during the Nikah sermon is as follows: “O ye who believe! fear Allah, and say the right word.” It further states: “He will bless your works for you and forgive you your sins. And whoso obeys Allah and His Messenger, shall surely attain a mighty success.” Allah the Almighty has spoken about truthfulness with regards to a relationship between husband and wife to such a great extent so that there should be no bending [of truth], there should be a high standard of truthfulness. In this way, not only will your relationships become pleasant, your children will also be saved from many issues. Allah will also forgive your sins and grant you a great success. After such guidance, any lying in the marital relationship will become a grievous and a very worrying sin this is most alarming because they would be disobeying the commandments of Allah depriving themselves of the forgiveness of sins and of the divine promise of success.

Thus, in this survey there was a breakdown by percent of all the different types of liars. The four biggest categories are people that lie in order to conceal a mistake, in order to gain financial benefits, personal benefits beyond money and in order to escape or evade people. This is what the survey mentions. Thus, we must analyse the standards of our truthfulness and always be mindful of this. With regards to giving testimonies, God Almighty prohibits giving false testimonies. The Holy Quran says, “And those who bear not false witness”. Therefore, we should not give false statements for any financial gain or gaining any resource, nor should it be to gain any other advantage. If we wish to be counted amongst the servants of the Gracious God and progress in our faith then we must avoid these falsehoods.

Whilst highlighting the standards of our truthfulness and how to avoid falsehood, the Promised Messiah (as) states at one point: “…, I urge you not to remain stubborn upon injustice and spill the blood of truthfulness. Adopt the truth, even if you learn it from a child. Should you witness the truth from an adversary, then you should abandon your futile logic immediately…The truth will then prevail and [one should] always speak the truth, just as God Almighty states: ‘Shun therefore the abomination of idols, and shun all words of untruth’. The Promised Messiah (as) states: “Whatever turns one away from the direction of truthfulness and leads one away from truthfulness is an idol for you. Always speak the truth, regardless of whether that statement will go against ones’ father, brother or friend.

A Christian once raised an allegation that the Holy Prophet (sa) gave permission to lie on three occasions and in the Holy Qur’an there is a clear command that one can conceal their faith using falsehood. Whereas in the Bible there is no such command. In reply to this the Promised Messiah (as) stated: “It should be made clear that in regards to the emphasis placed by the Qur’an for upholding truthfulness and honesty, I do not believe that even a fraction of this has been mentioned in the Bible. The Holy Qur’an has declared lying akin to idolatry as it states: “Shun therefore the abomination of idols, and shun all words of untruth”. It then states: “O ye who believe! be strict in observing justice, and be witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or against parents and kindred.” This is the standard of truthfulness.

These are the standards that are vital for a believer. Further elaborating on this matter the Promised Messiah (as) states: “God Almighty has stated that justice cannot be established without truthfulness. God Almighty states: ‘Be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness.’ The Promised Messiah (as) states: “Many people can show love to their enemies and speak with them amicably, however, they usurp their rights. ..’ One brother appears to show love to another brother however he deceives him and under the guise of affection suppresses his rights.’ Love and affection are alien to dishonesty. It is impossible that one can hold true sympathy and affection towards another person, yet resorts to lying to them. True affection is something with stems instinctively. In short, we need to strive to achieve such standards.

The Promised Messiah (as) continues: ‘… a true believer carefully controls what he or she says (he or she refrains from uttering anything that is unrighteous). Thus, govern your tongues rather than allowing your tongues to govern you leading you to speaking excessively and beyond measure.’ One should keep their tongues in check, is what is meant by ‘governing’ them and not allowing yourself to blurting out whatever comes to mind, because this would only lead to exclaiming anything and everything, whether truthful or false. In turn, this creates disorder and strife. May Allah the Almighty enable every one of us to understand this fact

Then another trait that should be part of the etiquettes of a believer and is something that draws the nearness of God Almighty is humility and aversion from arrogance. With regards to those who are arrogant, God Almighty states: “And turn not thy cheek away from men in pride nor walk in the earth haughtily; Surely, Allah loves not any arrogant boaster

The Promised Messiah (as) has mentioned this in his writings on several occasions advising against arrogance in religious and worldly matters. Some people become arrogant after dedicated acts of worships or true dreams. The Promised Messiah (as) states: “Behold! Arrogance originates from Satan and can cause one to become Satan as well... One should not show arrogance over any trait; whether it is over their knowledge, their wealth, their credibility, their cast, their family status or rank. …. One cannot be bestowed this wisdom unless they eschew arrogance and adopt humility. The reason why it cannot be bestowed to man is because it arrogance is the part of Satan that God does not like.”

The Promised Messiah (as) stated: “This is the very secret behind the incident when Jesus was addressed by saying: ‘O virtuous teacher’, to which Jesus replied, ‘Why do you call me pious?’ The Promised Messiah (as) states: “The ignorant Christians of today say that the real meaning behind this statement is ‘why do you not call me God?’ even though Prophet Jesus replied in the most subtle of manners, which was inherent in his nature. He was fully aware that true piety can only be bestowed by God Almighty.

Regarding how to purify oneself, the Promised Messiah(as) states: ‘In my view, this is the best way for one to acquire purification, although it is possible that there could be a better method, and that is to not display any kind of arrogance or pride. If one wishes to be purified then one should not show any kind of arrogance or pride – whether it is over their knowledge, family status or wealth. … Man is forever in need of heavenly light. The eye cannot see unless there is light from the sun which falls from the skies. Similarly, the intrinsic light removes all forms of darkness and instead develops the spiritual glow of Taqwa [righteousness] and purity. I tell you truly that one’s righteousness, faith, worship and purification comes from the heavens and this is dependent upon the grace of Allah the Almighty. If He desires, He may cause it to remain and equally He may remove it if he desires.’

The Promised Messiah(as) further states:

‘Acquiring true comprehension [of the Divine] is in fact to quash one’s own ego and give no importance to oneself. And to fall at the threshold of Allah the Almighty with utmost humility and meekness and seek His grace and the spiritual enlightenment which burns away one’s inner passions and illumines one internally and develops the strength and passion to perform virtuous deeds.’

In order for one to become free of arrogance it is essential to attribute every quality to Allah the Almighty. Every good quality should be attributed to Allah the Almighty. Further expounding on this, the Promised Messiah(as) states: The truth of the matter is that the impurity which is borne out of the passions of the inner self and manifests in the form of immoral practises, arrogance, conceit, etc. cannot be exterminated unless there is the grace of God Almighty and these immoral blemishes cannot be reduced to ashes until they are not burnt by the fire of true insight. When one begins to develop this vigour of true insight, then he gradually becomes free from the deficiencies he suffers in his morals and despite being of high repute, he considers himself as low … In fact, he believes that it is purely due to the grace of Allah the Almighty and His mercy just as a wall becomes bright when the rays of the sunlight fall upon it, however the wall itself cannot take pride over this.’

The rays of light from the sun fall on the wall and as a result it becomes bright, however the wall itself cannot take pride over this due its own inherent qualities. The Promised Messiah further states: ‘Furthermore, the cleaner the wall, the more clearer the light.’ If the wall is clean and shiny then the light reflected from it will be even brighter. The Promised Messiah further states: ‘The Prophets never attribute any ability or strength to themselves. They receive it from God and only proclaim His name.’ Thus, if this is the state [of humility] of those who are very dear to God Almighty then what should be the level of humility displayed by an ordinary Ahmadi and how much should he lower himself out of humbleness while being grateful to Allah the Almighty for His blessings?

Arrogance brings about a spiritual death and one becomes distant from God Almighty. Expounding about arrigance, the Promised Messiah states: I firmly know that this ailment is far worse than murder. An arrogant person becomes the brother of Satan because it was arrogance that spelt the ruin for Satan. Therefore, one of the conditions for a believer is that he should not have any arrogance, in fact he should be humble, modest and meek and this is the hallmark of the prophets of God Almighty.

Advising the community regarding this, the Promised Messiah states: ‘Arrogance has become widespread in the world. The Ulema [scholars] have fallen prey to showing off their knowledge and becoming arrogant. … Therefore, it is incumbent upon you to focus on the true reformation. Therefore, if Allah the Almighty desires this from this Community then the member of the Community need to pay heed towards true reformation. The Promised Messiah further states:You should focus on the true reformation as taught by the Holy Prophet(sa).

May Allah enable us to stay away from all immoral acts and instil excellent morals within us by following the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet(sa). May the standards of our truthfulness be those that grant us the nearness of God Almighty and enable us to adopt that humility that God Almighty likes. May we become members of the Promised Messiahs community, the likes of which he wished us to become.

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Synopsis:
  • The Promised Messiah (as) has said that in order to have true Taqwa, one must instill all good morals in one’s self. Therefore, a believer should try to adopt all excellent morals and obey all commandments of God. Allah has mentioned many morals in the Holy Quran, without which one cannot safeguard his faith. One of these morals is to establish truthfulness and staying away from falsehood.
  • Allah says in the Holy Quran: (22:31) “Shun therefore the abomination of idols, and shun all words of untruth”.
  • The Promised Messiah (as) says that the Holy Quran has likened telling a lie or falsehood to worshipping an idol. A lie is like an idol that if one relies on it, he loses the trust of God. He says that a person who become a habitual liar, it becomes difficulty for him to leave this habit and requires extremely hard work. Then he says that just like a foolish person turns to an idol instead of Allah, similarly human beings rely upon falsehood to accomplish their tasks.
  • Huzur said that people lie in every matter these days. Recently, a study was published in the National Geography magazine on why humans lie? An attempt was made to prove that this is somehow part of human nature. This is false as it is the environment and upbringing which brings about this habit. Reading this study shows how people’s lives have become full of lies and deception. And when these lies are revealed, it creates many problems and breaks their households. This is why the following verse of Quran is read out at the time of Nikah:(33:71( O ye who believe! fear Allah, and say the right word.
  • Huzur said that if the husband and wife treat each other with absolute truthfulness, not only will their own relationship stay in good terms, but their children will also stay away from many immoralities. People who are far from God have no guidance in these matters, but we have clear commandments of Allah. Some of us consider the Western world an example for ourselves in these matters, even though our teaching is much better than their morals.
  • The Promised Messiah (as) has guided us that we should stay upon truthfulness in every matter, even if this truth comes from a child. We should stay upon truthfulness, even if it goes against our close relatives. Some people lie in matters of inheritance of properties, even though Allah has said that we shouldn’t even lie to our enemies. We should all self-evaluate that are we completely free of falsehood in all aspects of our lives.
  • Another important moral we should pay attention towards is humility and staying away from arrogance. Allah says in the Holy Quran :( 31:19) ‘And turn not thy cheek away from men in pride nor walk in the earth haughtily; Surely, Allah loves not any arrogant boaster.
  • The Promised Messiah (as) has said that some people become arrogant after a few days of prayers, fasting or Zakat. Huzur said that we should especially pay attention to this in the month of Ramadan. It was Satan who showed arrogance against Adam and as a result was rejected by God. In reality, this is the fate of every arrogant person. Therefore, we should look towards the example of humility of Prophet Adam (as) who prayed in the following words (7:24) Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves; and if Thou forgive us not and have not mercy on us, we shall surely be of the lost.
  • The Promised Messiah (as) has said that I believe that one must be absolutely free of arrogance in order to be spiritually clean. And if you are able to experience a relationship with Allah and acceptance of prayers, you shouldn’t become arrogant; rather try to increase in humility. He said that God is very merciful, but arrogance is a dangerous disease. One who is afflicted with this disease faces spiritual death. Allah wills that he establishes all true virtues and morals through this Jama’at.
  • May Allah enable us to stay away from all immoral acts and instill excellent morals within us by following the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (sa). May Allah enable us to act according to the desires of the Promised Messiah (as). Ameen
  • تقویٰ کے متعلق حضرت مسیح موعود فرماتے ہیں متقی انسان اس وقت بنتا ہے جب اس میں تمام خلق موجود ہیں۔ پس مومن کو کوشش کرنی چاہئے کہ تمام خلق اپنائے اور اللہ تعالیٰ کے احکام کے مطابق عمل کرے۔ایمان کو قائم رکھنے کیلئے اللہ تعالیٰ نے بعض اخلاق کا ذکر کیا ہے جن پر عمل کے بغیر انسان کا ایمان خطرہ میں پڑ جاتا ہے۔ ان میں سے ایک سچائی پر قائم ہونا ہے اور جھوٹ سے بچنا ہے۔
  • اللہ تعالیٰ نے قرآنِ کریم میں فرمایا ہے:’پس بتوں کی پلیدی سے بچو اور جھوٹ کہنے سے بچو‘۔
  • حضرت مسیح موعود علیہ السلام نے فرمایا ہے کہ قرآن کریم نے دروغ گوئی کو بتوں کی پوجا سے تشبیہ دی ہے۔ اور پھر فرمایا کہ جھوٹ بھی ایک بت ہے جس پر بھروسہ کرنے والا خدا پر بھروسہ چھوڑ دیتا ہے۔ جھوٹ بولنے کی عادت آسانی سے دور نہیں ہوتی بلکہ اس کیلئے اس شخص کو بڑی محنت کرنی پڑتی ہے۔ فرمایا کہ احمق انسان اللہ کو چھوڑ کرجیسے پتھر کے سامنے جھکتا ہے اسی طرح انسان اپنے مقاصد کو حاصل کرنے کے ذریعہ جھوٹ کا سہارا لیتا ہے۔
  • حضور نے فرمایا کہ آجکل تو لوگ ہر بات میں جھوٹ بولتے ہیں۔ ابھی حال ہی میں رسالہ نیشنل جیوگرافی میں ایک آرٹیکل آیا تھا کہ انسان جھوٹ کیوں بولتے ہیں؟ اور یہ ثابت کرنے کی کوشش کی ہے کہ جھوٹ بولنا انسان کی فطرت میں شامل ہے حالانکہ یہ غلط ہے۔ یہ ماحول کی وجہ سے انسان میں عادت پیدا ہوتی ہے نہ کہ فطرت کی وجہ سے۔ اس مضمون کو پڑھ کراندازہ ہوتا ہے کہ کس طرح ان لوگوں کی زندگیاں جھوٹ سے بھری ہوئی ہیں۔ اور جب ان لوگوں کے جھوٹ کھلتے ہیں تو بہت سے جھگڑے پیدا ہوتے ہیں اور ان کے گھر برباد ہوتے ہیں۔ اسی وجہ سے نکاح کے وقت اسلام میں یہ آیت پڑھی جاتی ہے:[33:71] اے وہ لوگو جو ایمان لائے ہو! اللہ کا تقویٰ اختیار کرو اور صاف سیدھی بات کیا کرو۔
  • فرمایا کہ اگر میاں بیوی ایک دوسرے سے سچائی سے پیش آئیں تو نہ صرف تمہارا آپس میں رشتہ اچھے طور پر قائم رہے گا بلکہ تمہارے بچے بہت سی برائیوں سے دور رہیں گے۔ جو لوگ دین سے دور ہیں اور خدا سے دور ہیں ان کو تو ان معاملات میں کوئی ہدایت حاصل نہیں ہے لیکن ہمارے لئے تو واضح احکام موجود ہیں۔ہم میں سے بعض لوگ ان معاملات میں مغربی دنیا کو اپنے لئے ایک مثال سمجھتے ہیں حالانکہ ہماری تعلیم ان سے بہت بہتر ہے۔
  • حضرت مسیح موعود علیہ السلام نے بھی ہمیں ہدایت فرمائی ہے کہ ہر معاملہ میں سچائی پر قائم ہو جانا چاہئے بیشک یہ سچائی ایک بچہ سے ہی کیوں نہ حاصل ہو۔ اور ہمیشہ سچی گواہی پر قائم ہو جاؤ بیشک وہ تمہارے قریبی رشتہ داروں کے خلاف ہی کیوں نہ ہو۔ اسی طرح بعض لوگ جائیداد کے معاملات میں جھوٹ سے کام لیتے ہیں حالانکہ اللہ تعالیٰ نے تو فرمایا ہے کہ اپنے دشمن سے بھی جھوٹ سے کام نہ لو۔ اس لئے ہم سب کوخاص طور پر اپنے جائزے لینے چاہئے کہ کہیں ہماری زندگی کے کسی پہلو میں بھی جھوٹ تو شامل نہیں ہے ۔
  • پھر ایک اہم نیکی عاجزی اور تکبر سے دوری ہے جو ہر متقی میں ہونی چاہئے۔اللہ تعالیٰ قرآنِ کریم میں فرماتا ہے:[31:19] اور (نخوت سے) انسانوں کے لئے اپنے گال نہ پُھلا اور زمین میں یونہی اکڑتے ہوئے نہ پھر۔ اللہ کسی تکبر کرنے والے (اور) فخرومباہات کرنے والے کو پسند نہیں کرتا۔
  • حضرت مسیح موعود علیہ السلام نے یہ تعلیم دی ہے کہ بعض ایسے لوگ ہیں کہ دو دن کی نمازوں یا روزہ، زکوۃ کی وجہ سے فخروتکبر میں پڑجاتا ہے۔ حضور نے فرمایا کہ آجکل رمضان میں خاص طور پراس بات کا خیال رکھنا چاہئے۔ شیطان نے تکبر کیا تھا اور اپنے آپکو آدم سےبہتر سمجھا۔ اس کے نتیجہ میں وہ اللہ تعالیٰ سے دور ہو گیا اور یہی حال ہر متکبر کا ہوتا ہے۔ اور آدم علیہ السلام کا یہ حال تھا کہ وہ اللہ تعالیٰ کی طرف جھک گئے اور عاجزی اختیار کی اور اس طرح دعا کی کہ:[7:24] اُن دونوں نے کہا کہ اے ہمارے ربّ! ہم نے اپنی جانوں پر ظلم کیا اور اگر تو نے ہمیں معاف نہ کیا اور ہم پر رحم نہ کیا تو یقیناً ہم گھاٹا کھانے والوں میں سے ہوجائیں گے۔
  • حضرت مسیح موعود علیہ السلام نے فرمایا ہے کہ میرے نزدیک پاک ہونے کا یہ طریق ہے کہ کسی قسم کا تکبر نہ ہو۔ اور اگر اللہ تعالیٰ سے تعلق پیدا ہو جائے اور قبولیتِ دعا کا موقع ملے تو تکبر پیدا نہ ہو بلکہ مزید انکساری میں بڑھتے جاؤ۔ پھر فرمایا کہ اللہ تعالیٰ بہت رحیم و کریم ہے مگر تکبر بہت خطرناک بیماری ہے۔ جس میں یہ پیدا ہو جائے اس کیلئے روحانی موت ہے۔ اللہ تعالیٰ چاہتا ہے کہ اس جماعت کے ذریعہ سے تمام حقیقی نیکیاں اور اخلاق کو دنیا میں قائم کرے۔
  • اللہ تعالیٰ ہمیں آنحضرت صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم کے اسوہ پر چلتے ہوئے تمام برائیوں سے بچنے اور تمام اعلیٰ اخلاق اپنانے کی توفیق عطا فرمائے۔اور ہم حضرت مسیح موعود علیہ السلام کی توقعات پر عمل کرنے والے ہوں۔ ا ٓمین۔
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)