His Holiness(aba) said that we offered Eid earlier today, and today is also Friday. The Holy Prophet(sa) once said that when Eid falls on the day of Friday, then one also has the option of simply offering the Zuhr (early afternoon) prayer, but in another narration he said ‘but we will offer the Friday prayer.’
His Holiness(aba) said that he advised Amir sahib that members of the community could either offer Zuhr prayers or offer the Friday Prayers at home as they have been doing.
His Holiness(aba) said that based on the example of the Holy Prophet(sa), he would also be offering the Friday Prayer. He quoted a response of Hazrat Musleh Maud(ra) to those who said they should simply offer the Zuhr prayer when Eid came on a Friday. Hazrat Musleh Maud(ra) said that it was a blessing to have been granted two occasions of happiness on the same day, so why should it not be taken advantage of. On the same token, those who do not offer the Friday prayer should not be looked down upon as this leniency has been granted to them.
His Holiness(aba) said that he had selected a few narrations of the Promised Messiah(as) in which he explains that purpose of his advent, his obedience to the Holy Prophet(sa) and acceptance of him being the Seal of Prophets and explaining the coming of a prophet after him. The opponents of this community raise issues on this point. They deem it a great service that they have passed laws under which ‘Seal of Prophets’ must be written beside the name of the Holy Prophet(sa). His Holiness(aba) commented that this would have been good if they truly acted upon the example of the Holy Prophet(sa). Yet the fact of the matter is that they are running further and further away from the true example of the Holy Prophet(sa). Had they truly loved the Holy Prophet(sa), they would have come running to accept the Promised Messiah(as).
His Holiness(aba) presented a quotation of the Promised Messiah(as) in which he explained that there were two purposes for his advent. The first was to bring about purity amongst the Muslims, and second to break the cross and re-establish the Unity of God. The Promised Messiah(as) asked that had he been a liar, could he have thrived, flourished and been successful as he was? A liar’s lies are enough to ruin him. But when God Himself initiates a mission, He sends angels to help see it through. The Promised Messiah(as) challenged that if he was false, then his community would falter. But if was true, then no matter how harsh the opposition may be, this community will flourish. It has never happened that a person sent by God was accepted without opposition.
His Holiness(aba) then said that we see people have accepted the Promised Messiah(as) in over 200 countries. Thus, according to the sayings of the Promised Messiah(as), it is our responsibility to purify ourselves.
His Holiness(aba) presented another quotation of the Promised Messiah(as) in which he emphatically said that he and his community are believers in One God and His Messenger (sa). He clearly said that the only way for one to attain true nearness to God is through true obedience and love of the Holy Prophet(sa). All paths to righteousness are through the Holy Prophet(sa). The Promised Messiah(as) also declared that Jesus(as) did not ascend to the heavens bodily, nor will he return bodily. He said he could not accept this because this would be a disservice to the Holy Prophet(sa), who has passed away. How can it be said that the Holy Prophet(sa) passed away, yet Jesus(as) is alive in heaven? If it can easily be accepted that the Holy Prophet(sa) passed away, then what difficulty do Muslims find in accepting Jesus(as) to have passed away. It would have been more appropriate for the Holy Prophet(sa) to remain alive, for he was the greatest of all prophets, a man of who’s stature there has been no one since the world was created.
Upon the demise of the Holy Prophet(sa), Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) recited the verse ‘Muhammad is only a Messenger. Verily, all Messengers have passed away before him.’ (The Holy Qur’an 3:145) Why did he recite this verse? He saw the companions in a state of shock, disbelief and grief. It was difficult for them to comprehend the fact that the Holy Prophet(sa) had passed away. But by reciting this verse, he consoled them saying that all prophets before had also passed away. These companions loved the Holy Prophet(sa) immensely. How could they have accepted their master to have passed away, while Jesus(as) was still alive?
Then His Holiness(aba) presented a quote of the Promised Messiah(as) in which he wrote about the esteemed stature and nature of the Holy Prophet(sa). He wrote that had the Holy Prophet(sa) not come to this world, then we would not have had proof for the truth of any other prophet. It is only through him that we came to know of their truth. The Promised Messiah(as) prayed, ‘God! Accept our prayers for him, send him peace, bless him and his progeny and all his companions with Thy blessings.’
His Holiness(aba) prayed that may we be able to recognise the esteemed stature of the Holy Prophet(sa) and continue to send salutations upon him. If we act upon the pristine example of the Holy Prophet(sa), then our actions themselves will be enough as a response to those who oppose us.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions
After reciting Tashahud, Ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V(aa) stated:
Earlier today, we offered the Eid prayer and today is also a Friday. With regard to when Eid and the Jumuah [Friday] prayer occur on the same day, we find the instruction of the Holy Prophet(sa) that whosoever wishes to offer the Zuhr prayer instead of the Jumuah prayer, is permitted to do so. However, we also find that on one occasion, the Holy Prophet(sa) stated that he would offer the Jumuah prayer. (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab, Iqamat Al-Salat, Hadith no. 1310, 1311, 1312)
The Holy Prophet(sa) himself offered the Jumuah prayer and in light of this, I instructed Amir Sahib [National President of UK] that whosoever wished to offer the Zuhr prayer in congregation in place of the Jumuah prayer, they may do so and they do not have to offer the Jumuah prayer.
Owing to the circumstances nowadays, a large number of people are not allowed to gather in mosques. In general, people are at home and if they are not occupied in any other engagement, they can offer the Jumuah prayer as they were doing so previously. As for those who are occupied with some engagement, they can offer the Zuhr prayer. However, in accordance with the practise of the Holy Prophet(sa), we will offer the Jumuah prayer.
Similarly, in the time of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra), Eid-ul-Adha and the Friday prayer coincided. Some people began presenting reasons as to why the Zuhr prayer should be offered and not the Jumuah prayer. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) gave an excellent response to those who insisted on offering the Zuhr prayers manner by saying:
“How generous is our Lord for He has granted us two Eids. If one were to receive two chapatis [unleavened flat bread] covered in clarified butter”, i.e. he receives two pieces of bread, “why would he refuse one of them? He would naturally accept both, unless there was a particular reason. Thus, the Holy Prophet(sa) has permitted for one to offer the Zuhr prayer if he cannot attend the Jumuah prayer and others have no right to reproach them. Similarly, as for those who have the opportunity to offer both prayers”, i.e. the Eid prayer and the Jumuah prayer, “others have no right to criticise them and say that they did not avail the leniency available to them. Indeed, there is some leniency, but we find the practical example of the Holy Prophet(sa) was that he stated that he would offer the Jumuah prayer.” (Khutabat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 2, pp. 208-210, Eid-ul-Adha sermon delivered on 11th February 1938).
Hence, as I mentioned earlier, we are offering the Jumuah prayer today, but the sermon will be brief and for this, I have selected some of the writings of the Promised Messiah(as) in which he has explained the purpose of his advent. He has also given a very insightful directive to his Jamaat with regard to accepting the Holy Prophet(sa) as the Khatamun-Nabiyyin [Seal of the Prophets] and a living prophet, and he has also explained the lofty rank and station of the Holy Prophet(sa).
Our opponents raise the allegation that, God-forbid, we lower the rank of the Holy Prophet(sa) by accepting the Promised Messiah(as). Our opponents in Pakistan show great pride having passed resolutions in their assemblies whereby they have made it compulsory to utter the words Khatamun-Nabiyyin [Seal of the Prophets] after the blessed name of Holy Prophet(sa). Through this, they assert that it is an incredible expression of love they have for the Holy Prophet(sa) and his station. If their hearts truly bear testimony to this and it makes them act upon the noble example of the Holy Prophet(sa), then this would be a good act indeed. However, their actions have taken them extremely far from the teachings imparted by the Holy Prophet(sa).
If one were to go back to the time of the Holy Prophet(sa) and adopt the practices and teachings that the Holy Prophet(sa) imparted on us and followed himself, no Muslim would ever strike the neck of another Muslim. Instead, they would rush to perform the Bai‘at [pledge of allegiance] of the Imam of the Age and the Ardent Devotee of the Holy Prophet(sa). They believe that by making the use of the word Khatamun Nabiyyin [Seal of the Prophets] as compulsory [according to the constitution of Pakistan], they have rendered an outstanding service and created a hindrance for Ahmadis.
These people who are blinded by their ignorance do not know that an Ahmadi is the one who has true understanding of the meaning and status of Khatamun Nabiyyin, and this was taught to us by the Promised Messiah(as). The power and effect in the words of the Promised Messiah(as) are such that they cannot come even near to matching it. Each action and every moment in the life of the Promised Messiah(as) demonstrated such love and adoration for the Seal of the Prophets, Muhammad Mustafa(sa), the likes of which these people cannot even fathom.
With regard to this, there are a number of writings and sayings of the Promised Messiah(as). At this moment, I will present two or three by way of example. With regard to the purpose of his advent and the progress of the Jamaat, addressing his opponents, the Promised Messiah(as) writes:
“There are two purposes of my advent. For the Muslims it is to ensure they become firmly established upon righteousness and purity. They ought to become true Muslims as Allah the Almighty desired of them and to follow the commandments of Allah the Almighty with complete obedience.”
The Promised Messiah(as) further writes that the second purpose of his advent is with reference to Christians and the breaking of the cross so that the ideology surrounding their false god is refuted; also so that the world completely forsakes this false god and worships the One God. The Promised Messiah(as) writes:
“After witnessing the purpose of my advent, why do these people continue to oppose me? They ought to remember that any action that is carried out as a result of one’s impure self and tainted with the impurities of this world will be themselves consumed by their own poison.”
If there is any hint of hypocrisy or impurity in one’s heart, then there will be no blessings in their actions. The result will be swiftly evident and [those actions] will go in vain and be destroyed. The Promised Messiah(as) writes:
“Can a liar ever succeed?
اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَایَھْدِیْ مَنْ ھُوَ مُسْرِفٌ کَذَّابٌ
“‘Certainly Allah guides not one who is a transgressor, and a liar’” [Ch.23: V.29]
The Promised Messiah(as) further writes:
“For a liar to be destroyed, his falsehood alone is sufficient for him to perish”; if a person lies, their falsehood will lead to their ruin. “However, whatever action is carried out in order to manifest and prove the glory of God and the blessings of His Messenger(sa) and the seed for which is planted by the hands of God Almighty Himself, then angels descend in order to safeguard it.”
This is not the work of man. Since this Jamaat has been established by God Almighty Himself, then His angels will descend to protect it. Who has the power to stop it? This is a challenge; the more the Ahmadiyya Jamaat is opposed, the more it progresses, by the grace of Allah.
“Remember, if my community is established merely as a worldly venture, then it will be destroyed and no trace of it shall remain. But if it has been established by God Almighty, and undoubtedly this is the case, then even if the entire world rises up in opposition, the Jamaat will continue to flourish and spread and angels will safeguard it.”
“Even if there is not a single person with me and nobody supports me, even then I am certain that this Jamaat will succeed.”
The Promised Messiah(as) writes:
“I care not for any opposition”, as this is always the case [with the righteous], “and I consider it necessary for the progress of my Jamaat. It has never been the case that God Almighty has sent His chosen one and vicegerent to this world and the people have accepted him without any opposition. The condition of this world is very peculiar, no matter how virtuous one may be, others will not leave him alone and will always raise allegations.”
“It is due to the blessings of God Almighty that our Jamaat is progressing in an extraordinary manner.”
Today, we see that sincere members who have pledged allegiance to the Promised Messiah(as) can be found in more than 200 countries of the world.
At the time the Promised Messiah(as) was writing this, he stated that the number of sincere members was in the hundreds. Today, by the grace of Allah Almighty, there are hundreds of thousands of Bai‘ats each year.
“The main reason for the establishment of this Jamaat is so that people become free from the impurities of this world and live their life like that of angels by adopting true purity.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 8, pp. 148-149)
Thus, it is our duty to act on this guidance of the Promised Messiah(as) and ensure our conditions are in line with the true teachings of Islam. This is the true manner in which we can silence our enemies and gain victory over them.
Then professing his own belief – and that of his community – and true obedience to the Holy Prophet(sa), the Promised Messiah(as) writes:
“I swear by God that I and my followers are Muslims and have firm faith in the Holy Prophet(sa) and the Holy Quran, as is incumbent on all true Muslims. I solemnly believe that even the slightest deviation from Islam results in damnation. I also believe that all bounties and blessings man can possibly receive and the closest he can ever get to God is only possible through genuine submission to and consummate love for the Holy Prophet(sa). Without him there is no path to piety.
“It is also my conviction that Jesus Christ(as) did not physically ascend to the heavens, nor is he still alive. To believe that Jesus(as) is alive is highly insulting and derogatory to the Holy Prophet(sa). I cannot stand this sacrilege even for a moment. Everyone knows that the Holy Prophet(sa) passed away at the age of 63 and lies buried in his tomb at Medina, which millions of pilgrims visit every year. If it is disrespectful to believe in the death of Jesus(as) or even to think of it, then I ask, how can you permit this insolence and disrespect with regard to the Holy Prophet(sa)? Indeed, you so brazenly announce his demise. Your orators recount the events preceding the demise of the Holy Prophet(sa) and you readily admit even to the nonbelievers that he did die. But I wonder, what hits you so hard at the mere mention of the death of Jesus(as) that it fills you with uncontrollable rage.”
Even today, there are certain individuals, scholars and sects who cause similar commotion at this belief. However, some of them have rejected this notion entirely and say that Jesus(as) will not return, whereas some believe that he will descend but it cannot be the Promised Messiah(as) [i.e. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as)] as Jesus is still alive.
“I would not have been so hurt if you had also shed tears at the mention of the death of the Holy Prophet(sa). But it is such a pity that you gladly accept the death of him who was the Seal of the Prophets and the lord and master of us all, but consider Jesus(as) to be alive who pronounced himself unworthy even to untie the shoe-laces of the Holy Prophet(sa). And you flare up the moment one speaks of Jesus’ death! In fact, it would be of little wonder if the Holy Prophet(sa) were still alive, as it was he who brought the Supreme Guidance, the equal of which is not to be found in the world. He demonstrated in his person all the possible spiritual excellences, the equal and like of which cannot been witnessed even if we trace history back to Adam. The truth of the matter is that the Muslims, as indeed the entire world, needed the Holy Prophet(sa) alive far more than it did Jesus(as). His was the person so holy and august that at his death, his Companions were too shocked to believe that he had passed away, so much so that Hazrat Umar(ra) unsheathed his sword and vowed to behead anyone who dared say that the Holy Prophet(sa) had died. In this highly charged atmosphere, God granted an extraordinary light and wisdom to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) who gathered all the Companions and recited the following verse:
وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلَّا رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِہِ الرُّسُلُ
“‘And Muhammad is only a Messenger. Verily, [all] Messengers have passed away before him.’”
“Now, just ponder and try to understand why Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) had to recite this verse in the presence of all the Companions. What was the purpose of this exercise on an occasion when all the Companions were present? I am sure, and you too will not deny, that on account of the death of the Holy Prophet(sa), the Companions were terribly shocked for they considered his death untimely and premature. They did not have the heart to hear the news of his demise. And then, such a prominent and respected Companion of the Holy Prophet(sa) as Hazrat Umar(ra) was so upset that only this verse was able dispel his anguish and resign him to the loss. Had the Companions known and believed that Jesus(as) was still alive, the news of the death of the Holy Prophet(sa) would have given them the shock of their lives. They were all lovers of the Holy Prophet(sa). They could not tolerate that any Prophet other than the Holy Prophet(sa) should have been still alive. How could they possibly reconcile the death of the Holy Prophet(sa) if Jesus(as) was still alive? Consequently, when Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) addressed them, their distress was somewhat relieved and they went about the streets of Medina reciting the verse, feeling as if it had only just been revealed.
“On this occasion, Hassan bin Thabit(ra) wrote an elegy, a couplet of which reads:
کُنْتَ السَّوَادَ لِنَاظِرِیْ فَعَمِی عَلَیْکَ النَّاظِرٗ
مَنْ شَاءَ بَعْدَکَ فَلْیَمُتْ فَعَلَیْکَ کُنْتُ اُحَاذِرٗ
“Since the aforesaid verse of the Holy Quran had categorically spelled out that all Prophets had passed away, Hassan(ra) too proclaimed that after the death of the Holy Prophet(sa), he was the least worried about anyone else’s death. It was too hard for the Companions to believe that anyone else should live and the Holy Prophet(sa) die. This was something they were least ready to accept. Thus, it was the first consensus the world saw after the demise of the Holy Prophet(sa), which also settled once and for all the issue of the death of Jesus(as).” (Lecture Ludhiana, pp. 16-19 [English Translation])
Then, elaborating upon the status and rank of the Holy Prophet(sa), the Promised Messiah(as) states:
“Through his [i.e. the Holy Prophet(sa)] being, his attributes, his deeds, his actions and his emphatic river of spiritual and virtuous powers established the complete and perfect example; by way of knowledge, deeds, truthfulness and steadfastness and was thus bestowed the title of the Perfect Man.”
No aspect was left out of his example and it was demonstrated through his knowledge, actions, standards of truthfulness, steadfastness, wisdom and cognisance; and thus was he named the Perfect Man.
The Promised Messiah(as) then states:
“… That man who exceeded all men in perfection, the one who was most perfect as a man and as a Prophet, and came with the most excellent blessings, and who, through a spiritual revival and resurrection, manifested the first Judgement in the world and revived the [spiritually] dead world (i.e. they were blessed with a new spiritual life), that blessed Prophet, the Seal of the Prophets, the leader of the righteous ones, the seal of the Messengers, the pride of the Prophets, was Muhammad(sa), the chosen one.
“O Beloved God! Send down Your mercy and salutations upon this beloved prophet, the likes of which You have not bestowed upon anyone since the beginning of time. Had not this great prophet appeared in the world, we would have known nothing of the truth of the lesser prophets like Jonah, Job, Jesus son of Mary, Malachi, John, Zachariah etc.; indeed, they were accepted, granted nearness and honoured and loved by God. It was a favour of the Holy Prophet upon them that people knew about the truthfulness of these prophets.
اَللّٰھُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَ بَارِکْ عَلَیْہِ وَ اٰلِہٖ وَ اَصْحَابِہٖ اَجْمَعِیْن وَ اٰخِرُدَعْوَانَا اَنِ الْحَمْدُلِلّٰہِ رَبِّ الْعٰلَمِیْن
[O Allah! Send blessings, peace and prosperity upon him and his progeny and all his companions. And the conclusion of our prayer is all praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds.]” (Itmam-ul-Hujjah, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 8, p. 308)
May Allah the Almighty grant us true understanding of the status and rank of the Holy Prophet(sa) and enable us to continue to send salutations upon him. May we prostrate before Allah the Almighty more than before. It is only through this action of ours that we can prove our love for the Holy Prophet(sa) and instil this love within our hearts. Through this, we will be able to refute the allegations of our opponents, in other words that our practical example will be a rebuttal against the allegations of our opponents; may Allah enable us to do so.
Original Urdu script published in Al Fazl International, 21 August 2020, pp. 5-7. Translated by The Review of Religions.