Friday Sermon: USA and Guatemala Tour 2018

In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Ever Merciful.

Love for All, Hatred for None.

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NOV
16
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Friday Sermon: USA and Guatemala Tour 2018

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

After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz, and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) stated: Due to the announcement of the new year of Tehrik-e-Jadeed last Friday, I did not speak on the recent trip to the USA and Guatemala. By the Grace of Allah the Exalted, such tours have very positive effects. The three major benefits are that, firstly, I can meet intellectuals and influential people of such countries. This takes place by way of audiences and inauguration ceremonies or receptions etc. Secondly, people are introduced to the real teachings of Islam and Ahmadiyyat through the media coverage of these events. The third major benefit is that a personal contact and bond is established with the members of the Community. This in turn increases them in their faith and sincerity and the relationship of love and brotherhood is strengthened. The personal meeting of Khalifa with the members of the Community and then seeing and listening to each other brings about a phenomenal change.

By the Grace of Allah the Exalted, during the tour of America, I had the opportunity to inaugurate three mosques. May Allah the Exalted always keep these mosques full with worshipers and may He continue to increase the sincerity and loyalty of the members of the Community.

During this trip, there was a large number of Pakistani ahmadis in America who had come there seeking asylum or as refugees. They had come there from Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Nepal after having gone through very difficult circumstances. May Allah Almighty ordain that as they attain prosperity and wealth, they always give precedence to their Faith over the world and may they not become immersed in the allure and glamour of this world.

Now, I shall narrate some incidents regarding the tour. The American political leaders, the academia and the public on the whole accept good advice; they listen openly and welcome positive messages. The true teachings of Islam have not been adequately conveyed to them. Those, who have received the correct message, i.e. those who have close ties with the Community, have a positive perception of Islam. Thus, it is our duty to spread the true teaching of Islam in America, as well as the rest of the world with our efforts and through the correct methods. I will also present the impressions of some of the guests, I met during my US visit.

Honorary Dwight Evans, a member of the US Congress, attended the inauguration of the Baitul Afiyat Mosque in Philadelphia. In a very positive manner, he said to me “I welcome you to this large city, the city of brotherly love. On behalf of Philadelphia and on behalf of the administration, I would like to say to a Muslim Community that your message of peace is welcome here.” He further said: “Some Americans have expressed their opinions against Islam over the recent years.” However, he says: “I would like to tell you that the majority here welcomes you. We stand with you and are against hate, prejudice and terrorism.” Expressing his sentiments, he further says “you have given an extremely wonderful message in order to establish peace. It is unfortunate, that we are passing through a dark period in America and this message is of great excellence in such a period. This proves the great importance of the Muslim community not only in America, but around the world.” He further says “we are in need of hope and peace for the future. Philadelphia holds an important distinction with regards to religious freedom.” In relation to Philadelphia, it is famous that a treaty was formed for religious freedom, allowing every religion to stay there. He says “this is of importance and this area will prove to be an excellent one for your mosque.”

A Palestinian Muslim lady attended [the event]. She said “your message was very important. I belong to a small village in Palestine. Today, I had the chance to witness the true teachings, which I learnt in my childhood, through your address. This is the true Islam, which had been mentioned. Whichever sect we belong to, it is our obligation to unite and work towards peace.” She further said: “you have truly represented all Muslim communities.” This is the opinion of these pure natured people. However, other Muslims should also realise that it is the Ahmadiyya Jama’at that is truly representing Islam. One woman expressed her feelings by saying, “When you said that we will wipe your tears, how many people are there who can truly say this? This was so magnificent that I could not control my emotions. To convey a message there is no need to deliver a loud and passionate speech, you gave the message in a very loving manner.” I had said that we are ever-ready to help the poor and if anyone is in any pain, we are the ones who will wipe their tears.

The mosque in Baltimore was also inaugurated which was called Bautus Samad. This too was previously a church which was bought, renovated and transformed into a mosque. Coincidentally, this building was 99.9% facing the direction of the Qibla (towards the Ka’aba). In this respect there was no need to make drastic changes. Since I did not state much information of the mosque there, I shall now present some details. The expenditure of this mosque was $2m. There are separate prayer halls for men and women in which 400 people can offer their prayers. Apart from this there are offices, a library, classrooms, a commercial kitchen and dining hall etc. It is situated on the highway and on average 45,000 cars go past this highway every day. The Mayor of Baltimore attended the reception. She says, “You spoke on the topic of peace. This is the message we need today, not just in our city, our state or in the USA, it is desperately needed in the whole world. I believe that everyone must hear this message. If we do listen to it we would come to understand that the only solution to the problems in the world is peace and we will learn to love one another.” A priest by the name Father Jo was in attendance and said: “During your address I was in agreement with everything because I have been to the Ahmadi mosque in Baltimore many times and say assuredly that whatever you stated I have witnessed with my own eyes over the last few years in the other mosques, i.e. the discord and conflicts. This mosque is open to the whole community and I have been several times to the Friday prayers. I am witness to all this being put into practice and I was very pleased to hear this. People of different religions are all gathered here and talking about peace. This indeed is what we require, not only here in this city but in the whole world.”

Then, on 3rd November the inauguration of the Masroor Mosque took place in Virginia; this was also a church before. The total area of the land is 17.6 acres and was bought for $5 million [US] dollars. A further $75,000 were spent on small changes and renovations etc. This building is also in the same direction as the Qibla. The total covered area is 22,403 square foot. There are separate halls to accommodate men and women, in which 650 people can offer prayers. Aside from this there are 11 rooms which will be used as offices. There is also a library; a conference room and a commercial kitchen. At this reception, a guest by the name Corey Stewart, who is a republican candidate for the state elections, said: “The address was delightful and full of wisdom. The world as well as the US should listen attentively to the message of ‘Love for All, Hatred for None’ and also try to act on it, especially in these days when the situation of the world is worsening. It is extremely vital to uphold the freedom of religion, therefore this mosque is a symbol of pride for us because your community performs various services for our country.”

Aside from the mosque openings, as many people are aware that a hospital was opened in Guatemala under Humanity First. There was also an opening ceremony for it and many politicians were among those in attendance. One of the Member of Parliaments, who has also twice come here to the Jalsa Salana UK was there and she also came to the airport to welcome me. She spoke very highly about the hospital and thanked the community for opening a hospital in her country. She also said that Jama’at is striving towards creating love and unity amongst the communities. The name of the honourable MP is not written here.  Huzoor (aba) narrated many faith-inspiring incidences. There were many other men and women who had travelled great distances all across Guatemala and showed great sincerity and loyalty. May Allah enable them all to increase in their loyalty and sincerity; and make them true Ahmadis.

In terms of the media coverage, by the Grace of Allah, the USA [Jamaat] media team worked hard in this regard and had made good acquaintances. Although at present, certain changes had been made in the media team, however, the previous team also worked well. In the USA, our message reached more than 2.869 million people through television. Through radio coverage, our message reached more than 5.398 million people. Through digital platforms; websites and social media, the coverage reached approximately 2 million people. In terms of newspaper coverage, 45 articles were written about my visit. The prominent newspapers were: The Baltimore Sun, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Religion News Service and Houston Chronicles. Through all these means, it is said that our message reached more than 10 million people. There was good media coverage in Guatemala as well. The national newspaper of Guatemala, Prensa Libre prints 130,000 copies on a daily basis and this is read by more than 4 million people. Various national radio channels also aired various reports about this. It is estimated that across the countries in Latin America, through the various newspaper reports, print media and television channels, the message of Islam reached approximately 32 million people through the opening of the Nasir Hospital, and also the social media coverage through different platforms; twitter, Instagram and YouTube, reached approximately 2.3 million people. By the grace of Allah, the Almighty, the trip overall was very blessed and successful. May Allah the Almighty enable us to enjoy the pious objectives of this trip in the future as well.

After the prayers I will lead the funeral prayer in absentia of Mr Savadogo Ismael Sahib of Burkina Faso. On 14th November, he was walking to the mosque for the Fajr prayers when he collapsed after suffering a heart attack. He was taken to a nearby hospital but they were unable to revive him. To Allah we belong and to Him shall we return. He was born in 1964 and accepted Ahmadiyyat in 1994. It was always his desire to live near the mission house. When our mission was moved from one place to another, he rented a house near the new mission house. He would always come to the mosque and call the Azan [Muslim call to prayer]. During the Jalsa Salana, he would wake up the attendees for Tahajjud prayers. He would sit in Itekaaf [Retreat to the mosque in the last 10 days of Ramadan] during Ramadan. He was very regular in his prayers and would remind others to do the same. He worked as a security guard for the Forestry Department. During his burial, on behalf of the Central Mayor, the Commanding Officer for the Forestry Department highlighted Ismael Sahibs services in a befitting manner saying that he was very sincere, loyal, honest and a cheerful individual, who always fulfilled his responsibilities in the best manner possible. By the grace of Allah he was a Moosi. From his first wife he is survived by one son and one daughter. He also has a two-month old daughter from his second marriage. May Allah the Almighty elevate the status of the deceased and shower His Mercy upon him. May God Almighty grant protection to his children.

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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)