After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta'wwuz, and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) stated: Whilst elaborating on the philosophy of prayer, on one occasion the Promised Messiah (as) stated: 'When a child being driven by hunger cries for milk, then milk is generated in the mother's breasts. The child does not even know what prayer is, but his cries draw the milk.' He continues by saying: 'This is a universal experience... Then, how can it be that our cries before Allah the Exalted draw nothing? … If a person were to reflect on the philosophy of prayer, keeping in mind the connection and relationship which a child has with its mother, one would find it easy to understand this matter.'
It is an immense favour of Allah the Exalted upon us Ahmadis that most of our youth as well as our elders understand that when one bows down and offers supplications before Allah the Exalted with great fervency and lamenting with humility, then Allah the Exalted listens to the prayers. Many people write to me as to how they sometimes become disappointed by everyone and whilst in a state of complete hopelessness, when they pray to Allah the Exalted, He manifests His Grace in a manner that it becomes a means of strengthening their faith. I will now present some of these incidents, which I come across in various reports.
Nazir Da'wat Ilallah [Director of Outreach] Qadian writes: "the Ameer [President] of Hoshiarpur district reported that a few years ago, due to a lack of rain in their village, Khera Acharwal, the villagers were deeply concerned because of a long and severe drought. The villagers requested the Ahmadi Mu'allim for prayers, with the belief that with his payers, it will most certainly rain. Our Mu'allim, at first, taught them the Islamic etiquettes of prayer and told them about the attributes of Allah the Exalted. Then he lead them in prayer. Allah the Exalted accepted the supplication of the Ahmadi Mu'allim and, he says that, through the Grace of God Almighty, within two or three hours, Allah the Almighty caused it to rain heavily. Thus, He provided a proof that He answers supplications.
Similarly, Ameer Sahib [National President] of Fiji Islands related an incidence of acceptance of prayer of Huzoor (aba) for rain in a small island in Fiji, which was facing extreme drought and there was no forecast for rain for a long time. Tthe bishop of the Catholic church as well as a respected chief of the Funafuti tribe alluded to the fact that this is merely a result of the blessings of God the Exalted as well as the Jama'at and the prayers of the Khalifa in that it rained here in such an extraordinary manner. So, this rain enhanced Ahmadis in faith and served as a sign of the truthfulness of the Promised Messiah (as) for non-Ahmadis.
On occasions, the commencement of rain proves to be a sign of the succour and prayers accepted by God Almighty, whereas on other occasions, the cessation of rain becomes the sign of the acceptance of prayer. Furthermore, whether non-Ahmadis accept Islam or not, they most certainly testify to the fact that the God of Islam is One Who listens to prayers.
In the African country of Guinea Bissau, there is a Mu'allim [religious teacher] by the name Abdullah went to a village called Sainchang Kangsa on a preaching mission. The heavy rain threatened a large preaching gathering. He says that at that time I prayed 'O Allah! The rain belongs to you and the message that I have come with also belongs to you. However, due to the rain, these people are unable to listen to your message and are about to leave.' He says that only a few moments after offering this supplication, Allah the Exalted stopped the rain, following which, I preached to approximately one hundred and fifty people and after that all of them were able to perform the bai'at [pledge initiation]. Similarly, the missionary of Bandundu, Hafiz Muzzammil also relates an incidence, when heavy rain, that was threatening a preaching tour, stopped as a result of prayers and the tour went ahead well. Wahhab Tayyab Sahib, missionary in Switzerland, relates that a ceremony of peace tree plntatiob in Zuchwil looked very much in doubt because of severe rain. As the entire proceedings of the event were going to take place outdoors, they were very distressed. They also wrote to me in relation to this, he says that when we went there on the day of the event, it started to rain very heavily and there was no sign that the rain would stop. However, as a result of [our] prayers, Allah the Exalted showered His blessings [upon us] and the rain stopped one hour before the ceremony and the sun come out. All the dignitaries were astonished and commented that it seems that you have ordered the weather, it was explained to them that it is the blessings of prayers. There is no doubt that we do not order the weather, nor can we do so. However, we most certainly submit before the God, Who controls the weather and manifests His power.
I will now relate some incidents regarding the acceptance of prayer that are not associated with the weather. Our God is not merely the God of the weather. Rather, He is Omnipotent and One, Who listens to supplications. He has many attributes and manifests these attributes.
The Mu'allim [religious teacher] of the Jama'at in Benin, Mateen Sahib relates how the wife of a new convert who was prone to going into premature labour and had lost two children, was also in a state of agony. She was most unwell with high temperature. The Mu'allim [religious teacher] of the Jama'at said that in such circumstances, we offer supplications along with medical treatment and we also write to our Imam, requesting him for prayers. However, at this moment there is not enough time. Hence, he says that invoking the pure names of Allah the Exalted as well as the name of the Holy Prophet (sa), I started the prayer. After I finished the prayer, I recited Surah Al-Fatihah and blew upon some water and gave it to the lady. Allah the Exalted not only protected his wife, but also blessed them with a boy. By the grace of Allah the Exalted, the belief in God of this new convert grew even stronger and his conviction in [the acceptance of] prayers also increased.
Similarly, mentioning an ailing person, the Amir Sahib of Kenya writes: "The Sadr Sahib of one of their Jama'ats was very ill. When he enquired about his health, he said that two hospitals had already sent him home [without any hope]. He was cyanosed, blue and cold. After intense prayers, his condition start to improve. They also received my [i.e. His Holiness'] letter of prayers which stated: "May Allah Almighty grant him complete recovery." Afterwards he says that his health continued to improve and before long he made a full recovery. He is now taking care of all his affairs. Therefore, by the Grace of Allah Almighty he was bestowed a new life through prayers and that strengthened his faith. The district Ameer of Karnataka, India, writes that a president of one of the Jama'ats was diagnosed with a brain tumour and was admitted to the hospital. He was told that his illness as incurable, operation was too risky. He wrote to me for prayers and also received my response stating: "May Allah Almighty grant you full recovery." He says that after a month the doctors conducted a re-examination and were utterly astonished as they were unable to find the slightest trace of the tumour. Hussain sahib's complete recovery was solely due to the grace of Allah Almighty and a result of prayers. Hafiz Ehsaan Sikandar Sahib, a missionary in Belgium, writes about a Jama'at member named Dawood Sahib who fell ill and was admitted to hospital. He was moribund, and family was advised to make funeral arrangements. Hafiz sahib says that he wrote to me as well and kept himself occupied with prayers and encouraged the Jama'at to do the same. The next day, his body, his condition has begun to improve. He says: "We informed the doctor that this is a miracle of prayer" and Allah Almighty granted him a new life in this manner.
There are various other incidents of acceptance of prayers and are a source of strengthening people's relationship with Khilafat, as well as belief in the truthfulness of the Jama'at and also God Almighty. Mustafa sahib from Saudi Arabia states that in a miraculous way, he is due to be transferred closer to his family. He says: "This is nothing short of a miracle for me." Everyone is aware of their personal circumstances and some things may seem insignificant, but evidently the person going through such circumstances can perceive the miracle they witness due to the grace of Allah Almighty and prayers. Latif sahib, a Mu'alim of a region in Morogoro, Tanzania, writes "Someone stole the battery of our mosque's solar system. The next day when the members of the Jama'at found out about this, they decided that instead of filing a report with the police, it would be better to pray to Allah Almighty. After only one day the person who had stolen the battery returned it by placing it secretly in front of the house belonging to the Sadr of that Jama'at." And he says that in this manner Allah Almighty heard the prayers of Ahmadis and this further strengthened the faith in prayers for the non-Jama'at members that Ahmadis are most certainly righteous and truthful people.
The missionary in-charge of Guinea Conakry relates an incident where a sincere young new convert named Saleem Sahib expressed his desire to dedicate his life and serve the Community. Therefore, he was advised to join Jamia Ahmadiyya in Sierra Leone. He gladly accepted this and began preparation. His parents, made a false accusation against us that the Ahmadiyya Community is a non-Islamic, terrorist organisation and is enticing this young man and radicalising him. He says that they were very worried about this and they even wrote to me for prayers. I replied to them saying 'May Allah show His grace. Continue making efforts and continue praying.' Hence, by the grace of Allah the police commissioner not only dropped the case, he also said that it seemed to him that our Islam is more correct and peaceful. He also said to provide him with further information as he wished to join the Community.
Mustenser Sahib, a missionary in the Mali region narrates an incident that Yahya Sahib, a focal fisherman, could only afford to send his wife to Jalsa as they were destitute, he attended the Jalsa the previous years. He said that when I went in the morning to put out the net, I prayed fervently that the group are leaving tomorrow, and I do not have enough funds. O Allah! My intentions are pure, help me that I may attend this Jalsa. At around Asr [late afternoon prayer] time I drew in the net and this fish was caught inside it. When it came to the shore, a man came and bought it for 18,000 CFA Francs. Due to this fish I have the funds for my wife and I to attend the Jalsa and extra money was also saved on the side.
There is an incident outlining how God Almighty strengthens the faith of Ahmadis and keeps them firmly attached to Khilafat, through acceptance of their prayers. An Ahmadi from Mali, Idrees Traore Sahib lost all the chickens that he had, when he went to attend Jalsa Salana Ghana in 2008. The owner of the business was most upset and asked him to return his 150,000 CFA Francs within one week. He says that I became very concerned as I did not have the money and this opponent would disgrace me. The whole night I prayed profusely that O Allah! Provide for me. I went to attend the Jalsa out of love for the Khalifa. He says that he was guided in a dream to go to a certain place, where he found a black plastic bag, with 180,000 CFA. Nevertheless, when the lender came in the evening asking for his money back he became abusive. I told him to be patient, I will give you your money, God Almighty has made arrangements for me. I returned him the money."
Similarly, the missionary Hafeezullah Bharwana Sahib of Germany states that there is a new convert named Ihsan Sahib who is Lebanese. I met him in Germany and during this meeting he mentioned his difficulties regarding his asylum. However, this man's faith was further increased when God Almighty showed him a miracle regarding his case, he was granted three years official asylum and he is now very happy, telling everyone that God Almighty showed this miracle due to prayers.
God Almighty also manifests sign of His acceptance of the prayers of Ahmadis to even non-Muslims, which convinces them that the God of Islam listens to prayers. Mirza Fazl Sahib of Canada writes that he went to an interfaith conference in a town of West Vancouver. He met a Sikh, who promised to help in any way possible for the conference and very humbly requested for the prayers for a grandson. By the grace of Allah, the Exalted after one and a half years he rang joyfully saying that God Almighty had granted him a grandson.
These were just a few incidents regarding the acceptance of prayer. The Promised Messiah (as) states, "In regard to the essential conditions for prayer, first and foremost it is necessary that one develops righteous actions and has a firm belief. One who does not uphold the correct beliefs and neither adopts righteous actions, or improves them, yet he prays then it is as if he puts God Almighty in trial [metaphorically]."
Thus, it is not only important to strengthen in our belief but also to fashion our actions according to the pleasure of God Almighty and His injunctions. It should not be the case that in normal circumstances we neglect the commandment of God Almighty of observing the five daily prayers and nor fulfil the due rights of others, but when we find ourselves in difficulty then all of a sudden, we remember God Almighty and fulfilling the rights of others. Thus, it is important for one to improve one's own actions. One cannot achieve this by only improving one's level of belief, but one also has to adopt righteous actions. And, righteous actions are that one fulfils the due rights of God Almighty and also of His creation. When this happens then God Almighty will answer our prayers. May God Almighty enable all of us to live our lives according to His commandments and also enable us to fulfil the due rights of His worship and also the due rights of prayer.
After the prayers, I shall lead two funeral prayers in absentia. The first funeral prayer is of Chaudhry Naimatullah Sahi Sahib. He devoted his life after taking retirement, in fact before that, and served as Nazim Jaidad in Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya, Pakistan. He passed away on 15th January in Canada, [Arabic] To Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.
The second funeral is of Zafrullah Khan Buttar Sahib from Karto, Sheikhupura. He passed away on 9th January , [Arabic] To Allah we belong and to Him shall we return. May Allah enable his virtuous deeds to continue through his children. May Allah enable his son to fulfil his Waqf [life devotion] with the true spirit of the scheme and with the same passion and enthusiasm that his father devoted him. May Allah elevate the status of the deceased and shower His forgiveness and mercy on him.