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Hospitality and Jalsa Salana UK 2019

AUG
2
Friday Sermon August 2nd, 2019 delivered by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(at)

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:

Allah Almighty has once again granted us the opportunity to participate in Jalsa Salana UK. This is the central Jalsa Salana because this is the headquarters of Khilafat. In this regard, Jama'at members and non-Jama'at members, everyone endeavors to participate in this Jalsa from various countries worldwide. In this regard, the responsibilities of the workers here also increase significantly. Also, the arrangements of Hadeeqatul Mahdi, the temporary city that has been constructed here for this event, require particular attention. So, at this time, I will first direct the attention of the workers towards their duties and responsibilities as I usually do.

By the Grace of Allah Almighty, Ahmadis residing in the U.K., including the elderly, children and ladies, have participated in the Jalsa arrangements and have executed their duties happily for the past thirty-five years. This has happened in the presence of Khalifatul Masih ever since the headquarters of Khilafat moved to this country.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih the Fourth (rh) would offer a lot of guidance and spent a lot of effort when the Jalsas were organized in the early days. They had to get help from certain officeholders from Pakistan who then worked alongside the administration here. The Langar (dining) arrangement is a momentous task. After Khilafat migrated to the U.K., the first UK Jalsa I attended was in 1988. At the time, after observing the condition of the management, one could ascertain how worrisome was it for them to make arrangements for five to six thousand people. Anyways, today we can observe that in terms of Jalsa arrangements, the workers here are perhaps capable enough to help those working in Rabwah.  By the Grace of God, our workers have become such experts after a lot of experiences that their roti is appreciated even by the officials of Rabwah. This year, the young engineers working at the roti plant have made specific improvements to the flour kneading machine which has made the flour extraction process more fluent. The in charge of the roti plant who is a young waqf-e-nau engineer, is working on this. This is a distinctive feature of the Jama'at that from childhood to senior age, our workers strive to perform any duty with utmost joy with the best of the capabilities.

In any case, the reason I mentioned this is because there was a time when it was challenging for the management to provide food for four to five thousand people. Now, by the Grace of Allah Almighty hundreds of thousands of rotis are made for forty thousand attendees, and the quality is such that it is appreciated by the people. May Allah Almighty further increase the skill set of the youngsters who are carrying out this work. May He also grant them the wisdom and further increases their capacity to do this work so that they can serve the guests of Jalsa more than ever before.

Similarly, the Langar teams are working tirelessly and passionately with their in charge to cook the food. The quality of food has also improved significantly. May Allah enable them to maintain this standard during the three days of Jalsa. Then among other departments, there is a department of cleanliness, car parking, traffic etc. Also, there are various offices within the Jalsa Gah. Security is a critical and significant department. Similarly, there are numerous other departments. Every single one of them is essential, and there are thousands of workers that have been bestowed the opportunity to do this work. May Allah Almighty give them the opportunity to do their work in the best manner.

I usually advise all the workers that you have offered yourselves to serve the guests of the Promised Messiah (as) with such ambition and passion that it is now your responsibility to maintain this standard throughout the Jalsa. There is a windup department after the conclusion of Jalsa which takes one week approximately. Your facial expressions, smiles and the respectful interaction with guests displays the fact that you have maintained that passion. Both male and female workers who are serving the guests of Jalsa in various departments should always bear in mind that they are attaining twice as much reward [in this process]. Firstly, the reward of attending the Jalsa and attaining its’ blessings. Secondly, by attaining the blessings of serving the guests of the Promised Messiah (as). Allah Almighty appreciates hospitality. In fact, He loves it so much that God Almighty has mentioned it twice in the Holy Qur’an with reference to Hazrat Abraham (as). If presenting food to guests were a light matter, then the notion of offering food to guests would not be mentioned each time the arrival of guests was narrated. And then, the first thing he did after exchanging greetings and prayers was that he offered them broiled calf meat. Allah Almighty states, “Then he brought broiled calf-meat with great haste.”  He arranged for whatever hospitality could be extended in that era; indeed, slaughtering his animals and presenting them before his guest was also a very hospitable sentiment. And [in that era], it could be procured in a timely manner. The highest standard of the sort of hospitality extended in that era was observed.

Today, we should extend hospitality according to the dictates of our time. This is how a guest should be looked after over here as well. Regarding this, the excellent model of the Holy Prophet (sa) is before us. If dates were easily available, he would offer them; if meat or some other decent food was available, he would offer that; if goat milk were available, he would offer that. If he possessed no food of his own, then he would tell his companions to take the guest to their house and host them. The three things which the Holy Prophet (sa) enjoined upon those who believe in Allah and the Last Day are also similarly connected with discharging each other’s rights and with keeping a society peaceful.

The first thing is to either speak a good word or remain silent. Do not stir disaccord by uttering meaningless things. Do not create conflict between one another. A believer does not utter unseemly and inconsequential speech.

The second thing is to honour one’s neighbour, for neighbours possess a great right [over you] and are entitled to respect and care. Those participating in the Jalsa here today are also each other’s neighbours – the arriving guests, the workers, and the volunteers serving the guests. For this reason, the guests should also treat those serving them with dignity and respect, and workers should also be mindful about treating the guests with honour and esteem. Then, when they meet one another, they ought to meet with mutual respect.

And the third thing that the Holy Prophet (sa) told us is to honour one’s guest. Now, this is especially [important] for the hosts. It is fundamental for building a beautiful and peaceful society. When the Holy Prophet (sa) had a multitude of guests, he would distribute them among the companions.

Like I said – [in this era] the sacrifice that is being asked of us is not of hunger. Rather, in this day and age, the sacrifice that is being asked of us, and the one people are making, is of time and personal emotions. At times, guests end up behaving inappropriately, so in such a case, [one must] sacrifice one’s emotions, be patient, and keep silent. The reason for keeping silent is that we think positively about these guests, that they have come to sincerely quench their religious and spiritual thirst. Perhaps they have demonstrated such excessive behaviour as a result of some misunderstanding. This is why we simply apologize, and even if we are not at fault, look after their needs, and these are the lofty morals which we should show to our guests in this era – what the Promised Messiah (as) desires from us in this day and age.

The Promised Messiah (as) stated that by attending the Jalsa, one must also try to attain the goal of extinguishing their love for the world and embrace the love of the Holy Prophet (sa) in its place. Hence, in order to attain this love, you should pay special attention to participating in the Jalsa program, listening [to the discourses], pondering over them during the Jalsa, busying yourselves in the remembrance of Allah whilst on the go, paying special heed to offering the daily prayers in congregation and to pay particular attention to offering the voluntary and Tahajjud prayers. Those who are staying here must continue their efforts to build an even purer atmosphere and to improve themselves. Those who come from morning to evening also have the duty of fulfilling this objective and the purpose of the Jalsa which is to strive to attain nearness to God Almighty and to increase in one’s love for the Holy Prophet (sa). This is an arduous task which the Promised Messiah (as) has assigned to us, i.e. to have the love of God Almighty and His Messenger (sa) prevail over our hearts. If the attendees of the Jalsa have this purpose in mind and make full efforts to attain it, then it can be said that they have truly fulfilled their objective and the purpose of attending the Jalsa and other matters such as accommodation and food will be given secondary importance. They will deem the true purpose as to improve their spiritual state as much as possible and to advance in it. Once this is achieved, they will have truly attained the purpose of attending the Jalsa, as I have already mentioned.

Similarly, in terms of administration, the guests should bear in mind that there are always short comings with temporary and large-scale management. If one happens to see such short comings, he should overlook them. I have instructed the workers that if they are faced with any hostility from anyone, they should tolerate it. But it is also the duty of the guests and attendees to overlook the weaknesses and short-comings, and if they do witness any, they should assist the workers. I have seen that some guests very passionately act as the hosts and help out when needed. For example, when it comes to the cleanliness of the washrooms, those on duty may not always be able to fully arrange for the cleanliness due to the rush, so some guests themselves help those on duty and this is the zeal which should be present in every Ahmadi. This is the true spirit which will establish a pure atmosphere. Guests must fully cooperate with the workers with great patience and forbearance.

I always say that those sitting in the Jalsa Gah during the proceedings must always keep an eye out on their surroundings. Likewise, whilst up and about you should be aware of your surroundings. In terms of security, you should try your best to follow the instructions of the administration and the most important thing is to continue praying for the success of the Jalsa, to be able to fulfil the purpose of the Jalsa and to remain safe from the evil of those who cause mischief. The jealousy of those who envy the progress of the Jama’at is ever-increasing, so there is a greater need to turn our attention to prayers. During these days you should also pray for the state of the Ahmadis in Pakistan. It seems that the situation is turning once again towards hostility. May Allah Almighty also grant them a life of peace and security, protect them from all kinds of evil and may He render the plots - new and old - of the enemies futile.

Apart from this I shall also remind the attendees of the Jalsa that this year there are again several central departments such as the Archive and Research Centre, The Review of Religions, Makhzan-e-Tasaweer and other departments the like thereof, who are holding exhibitions which are very academic and full of information. So you should try to visit these in your free time.

There is also an announcement from MTA that a new app, which is a TV app, will be launched today by MTA International. This can be downloaded in any country on LG, Phillips, Amazon Fire TV, Sony and Android TV sets. All of the MTA channels can be watched without the need for dish antennas, such as MTA 1, MTA 2, MTA 3, MTA Al-Arabiyyah, MTA Africa. Likewise, MTA is already available on the Samsung platform in the US by the grace of Allah. So this was the announcement, by the grace of Allah, so those abroad can benefit from this app. After the Jumu’ah prayers I shall launch this app.

May Allah bless this Jalsa in every regard and enable you all to reap maximum benefit from it.

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About Friday Prayer

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 Muhammad(sa) this congregational prayer is twenty-five times more blessed than worship performed alone. (Bukhari)

Friday Prayers 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 Prayers 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)

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