Friday Sermon delivered at Bait-ul Ikram Mosque, Allen, Texas, USA
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta`awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) recited the following verses of the Holy Qur’an
Say, ‘My Lord has enjoined justice. And fix your attention aright at every time and place of worship, and call upon Him, making yourselves sincere towards Him in religion. As He brought you into being, so shall you return.’ Some has He guided, and as for others error has become their desert. They have taken evil ones for friends to the exclusion of Allah, and they think that they are rightly guided.O children of Adam! look to your adornment at every time and place of worship, and eat and drink but exceed not the bounds; surely, He does not love those who exceed the bounds. (Holy Qur’an 7:30-32)
His Holiness(aba) said that Allah the Almighty has granted the Dallas Jama’at the opportunity to inaugurate its mosque. Although it has been in use, it is formally being inaugurated today. Previously, there used to be a hall that was used as the mosque, but now a beautiful structure has been built. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may those who partook in the building of this mosque do justice to this mosque; may they have built this mosque solely for the sake of Allah the Almighty and may they be among those regarding whom the Holy Prophet(sa) said that those who build a mosque for the sake of attaining God’s pleasure will be awarded a home in Paradise.
His Holiness(aba) said that the objective of a building a mosque for the sake of Allah is not achieved once the structure is complete, rather one can only attain Allah’s pleasure when they obey His commandments, worship Him, fulfil the rights of His creation, give precedence to their faith over the world, and fulfil their pledge of allegiance. We are fortunate to have accepted the ardent devotee and true lover of the Holy Prophet(sa). Having pledged allegiance to the Promised Messiah(as) places great responsibilities upon us. Pledging allegiance is not enough, rather we must adhere to what he taught. Hence, it is imperative that we understand our responsibilities.
His Holiness(aba) said that it is our responsibility to populate this mosque, to live harmoniously with one another, and to propagate unity and brotherhood in the world. It is our duty to spread the message of Islam to the world, to focus on our reformation with prayers and to focus on the reformation of our future generations. It is in doing these things that we can give due justice to this mosque.
His Holiness(aba) said that once, the Promised Messiah(as) said that if you wish to introduce Islam in an area, then a mosque should be built. Although the apparent building and structure of this mosque draws attention and acts as a form of introduction, as it has with the various neighbors who have come to visit, however, it is our responsibility to take care of the neighbors and be mindful of them. Hence, every Ahmadi must embody and exemplify Islam. We should show others that Ahmadis are those who, despite living in this material world, give precedence to their faith. When people see this, they become curious and inquisitive, which opens doors to dialogue and introduction.
His Holiness(aba) said that in the verses he recited, God outlines the responsibilities of those associated with a mosque. The first thing which Allah enjoins is to establish justice. At another place, Allah states in the Holy Qur’an that one should not act unjustly, even towards their enemies. Hence, there is absolutely no room for causing harm to anyone, and those who come to the mosque must be mindful of the rights of others while acting with justice. If we are to act in such a manner with others, then imagine the degree of compassion with which we must treat one another. Yet, there are unfortunate instances where men do not treat their wives in an unbecoming manner and are always scolding them, which also has a negative impact on the children. The Jama’at work or worship of such people renders no benefit in the sight of God. Their duplicity deceives no one except themselves. Those who fulfil the due rights of a mosque are people who establish justice inside and out and whose words align with their actions. Hence, these are the standards that must be met, otherwise simply coming to the mosque in order to be done with the burden of prayer will be of no benefit whatsoever.
His Holiness(aba) said that true servants who honour the rights of a mosque are those who adhere to the commandments of God whilst maintaining the fear of God in their hearts. God Almighty states that if one does not adhere to His commandments and does not focus on seeking forgiveness and repentance, then Satan will overcome them. These days, in the worldly society that we live in, focusing on these things is of paramount importance. The downfall of the Muslim world occured when Muslims made their justice and worship a mere show and did not do justice to them. They have always made beautiful mosques, yet the reason they destroy the mosques of Ahmadis in Pakistan is so that our mosques do not resemble theirs. However, in reality, they have not been able to produce true servants of Allah, because their mosques were filled only for show.
His Holiness(aba) said that such conditions were bound to arise as they had been foretold by the Holy Prophet(sa). However, the enlightened era that has followed upon the advent of the Promised Messiah(as) of giving precedence to faith over the world requires us to take a close look at our own conditions. We must not let our mosques become like the mosques of others, regarding whom it is narrated that the Holy Prophet(sa) said that soon, nothing would be left of Islam except its name, nothing would be left of the Qur’an except its words, the mosques of the people at that time will appear full but be devoid of guidance and their leaders will be the worst creation on the face of the earth. Disorders will arise from them and return to them. This is the exact condition we are seeing in the mosques of such people. This should be a wake up call for us all. Their focus is merely to break down the minarets of Ahmadi mosques and they believe that this is their service to the faith. However, a mosque should encourage us to focus on how we can fulfil the rights of others.
His Holiness(aba) said that as the followers of the Promised Messiah(as), if we do not fulfil our pledge of allegiance and if we do not reform ourselves according to the teachings of the Holy Qur’an, then we will not be among those who were to be part of the revival of Islam. We must turn to God and pray for the salvation of the world.
His Holiness(aba) said that once a youngster asked him how we can combat the people of this world who taunt us. His Holiness(aba) replied that we must be confident that the world’s salvation lies in our hands and we have accepted the Promised Messiah(as) who was sent to save the world and spread the true teachings of the Holy Prophet(sa). People’s lives in this world and the next can only be saved by accepting him. When we make the world aware of this, we must ensure that our words and actions are aligned, our standards of worship and fulfilling the due rights of others must be high.
His Holiness(aba) said that we should be grateful to be attached to the person who was sent in order to rectify the fallen state of Islam. Muslims played a role in the degraded view people had of Islam. However today, we are the ones who must establish bonds of loyalty with God and must adhere to His commandments with sincerity. We are the ones who must spread love and eradicate hatred in the world. We must have full trust in God, for He is the One with the power to do everything. Islam is the true and complete religion in the world that will prevail and it is for this faith that we must expend all of our faculties in becoming true helpers of the Promised Messiah(as).
His Holiness(aba) said that the promises made by God to the Promised Messiah(as) are bound to be fulfilled; it is up to us whether we partake in their fulfilment or not, otherwise God will send others through whom these promises will be fulfilled. In order to do this, we must work on removing our weaknesses and shortcomings, such as pride, arrogance, and others which the Promised Messiah(as) admonished must be uprooted. Each one of us should analyse ourselves and see whether we are playing our role in the mission of the Promised Messiah(as) by removing our shortcomings and striving to adopt virtue and elevating our standards of worship.
His Holiness(aba) said that we must seek a great deal of repentance and we must constantly mould our actions in a manner that draws the pleasure of God. The Promised Messiah(as) said in order to achieve such action, we must adopt sincerity and turn to God for it is only He who can grant us the ability to do so. God is extremely Gracious and He constantly overlooks our faults; it is our responsibility to strive and consider how we can attain His pleasure and tread according to His commandments.
His Holiness(aba) said that we must constantly strive to safeguard our prayers and this can only happen when we establish love for God in our hearts. When this love is established it can bring about a grand revolution within a person. Those who tire after praying for some time or say that their prayers are not accepted should ponder over this. Rather than praying only in times of need, one should establish a constant love and connection with God and it is then that God expresses His love. When these two loves meet, God’s grace descends in ways that are beyond comprehension.
His Holiness(aba) said that it is with great pain that the Promised Messiah(as) urged his community never to forget the true purpose of life, which is to worship God. If we forget our real purpose, then our pledge of allegiance is of no value or benefit and our words are hollow. Every Ahmadi should analyse how many minutes in a day they spend in the worship of God. Can we fulfil the purpose of our lives by offering prayers for a few minutes and that too without any awareness of what we are even saying? Allah the Almighty does not stop one from worldly engagements, rather God expects people to attain the highest levels of success in whatever they do. At the same time, He also expects that along with our worldly responsibilities, we never forget the purpose of our lives or slacken in our prayers. It should not suffice that we have built a beautiful mosque, rather we should focus on populating the mosque with true worshippers. We must strive to attain the highest levels of righteounsess and when this is achieved, one can be considered a true worshipper. This also requires outer and inner purity, which is why a worshipper should perform ablution and ensure they are donning clean clothes.
His Holiness(aba) said that Islam enjoins a balanced diet without exceeding the bounds. This also enables one to worship properly. It also means that the purpose of man’s creation is not simply to eat, drink and sleep, for these are the qualities of animals. By extension, this means that one should not simply chase after worldly desires and pleasures, rather one should recognise their true purpose in life. A true servant of God also does worldly work, but not to the extent that they completely forget about their worship and their duties owed to God. Not only do they worship, but they do so with care, rather than being hasty to finish their prayers and move on. If one’s worldly work hinders them from worshipping God then this would fall under the category of exceeding the bounds, something which is displeasing to God.
His Holiness(aba) said that Allah has given a very balanced teaching that we can benefit from the world, however we should not allow it to detract from our worship or distract us from the rights owed to God. When one remains mindful of these things, then God also opens new paths for them in this world. When one gives due attention to their faith, then they will also be saved from becoming engulfed in the world, for their priority will not be the world but to establish and maintain a balance. Hence, the true purpose of a mosque is to populate it with worshippers and this is how Allah’s pleasure can be drawn. This enables people to reform themselves and to reform the future generations as well. It is imperative to attach the future generations with the mosque and to help them understand the importance of faith. This is the responsibility of both parents.
His Holiness(aba) said that building a new mosque also open avenues for the propagation of Islam. Hence, spreading the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat is a responsibility which every Ahmadi Muslim must fulfil. The Promised Messiah(as) states that a mosque should be established with sincerity and when this is done, it establishes the foundation for the Jama’at’s success. Hence, we must raise our standards of worship and prayer as a result of which we will witness a revolution come about even in the material world of today. The beauty of a mosque is not in its structure but by virtue of the worshippers who pray within it.
His Holiness(aba) prayed that may this mosque remain populated with those who do justice to worship and may Allah accept our prayers.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions
Friday Sermon delivered at Baitul Ikram Mosque, Allen, Texas, USA
After reciting the tashahud, ta’awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V(aba) recited verses 30-32 of Surah al-A‘raf:
قُلۡ أَمَرَ رَبِّی بِٱلۡقِسۡطِ ۖ وَأَقِیمُواْ وُجُوہَکُمۡ عِندَ کُلِّ مَسۡجِدٖ وَٱدۡعُوہُ مُخۡلِصِینَ لَہُ ٱلدِّینَ ۚ کَمَا بَدَأَکُمۡ تَعُودُونَ ٣٠ فَرِیقًا ہَدَىٰ وَفَرِیقًا حَقَّ عَلَیۡہِمُ ٱلضَّلَٰلَۃُ ۚ إِنَّہُمُ ٱتَّخَذُواْ ٱلشَّیَٰطِینَ أَوۡلِیَآءَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّہِ وَیَحۡسَبُونَ أَنَّہُم مُّہۡتَدُونَ ۞یَٰبَنِیٓ ءَادَمَ خُذُواْ زِینَتَکُمۡ عِندَ کُلِّ مَسۡجِدٖ وَکُلُواْ وَٱشۡرَبُواْ وَلَا تُسۡرِفُوٓاْ ۚ إِنَّہُۥ لَا یُحِبُّ ٱلۡمُسۡرِفِینَ۞
The translation of these verses is as follows:
“Say, ‘My Lord has enjoined justice. And fix your attention aright at every time and place of worship, and call upon Him, making yourselves sincere towards Him in religion. As He brought you into being, so shall you return.’ Some has He guided, and as for others error has become their desert. They have taken evil ones for friends to the exclusion of Allah, and they think that they are rightly guided. O children of Adam, look to your adornment at every time and place of worship, and eat and drink but exceed not the bounds; surely, He does not love those who exceed the bounds.” [Surah al-A’raf, Ch. 7: V. 30-32]
Today, Allah the Almighty is granting you the opportunity to inaugurate your mosque. Although its construction had been completed a while back, however its formal inauguration is taking place now. Initially, a hall was built here to serve as a mosque, however now you have been able to build a proper mosque. In any case, a very beautiful and splendid mosque has been built and it is also quite a large mosque with regards to its capacity. May Allah the Almighty enable all of those who helped in the construction of this mosque to do true justice to it.
It is our prayer to Allah the Almighty that those who have built this mosque have done so with the sole intention of worshiping Allah the Almighty. And may they derive benefit from the saying of the Holy Prophet(sa) wherein he stated that whoever builds a mosque for the sake of attaining Allah the Almighty’s pleasure, Allah the Almighty will in turn build a house for them in paradise. (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Masajid, Bab Fadl Bina’ al-Masjid, Hadith 11890)
The purpose of a mosque which has been built for the sake of attaining Allah the Almighty’s pleasure does not end upon the completion of its construction, in fact, one can only attain the pleasure of Allah the Almighty when they adhere to His commandments; do true justice to His worship; fulfil the rights of His creation; give precedence to their faith over all worldly objectives with utmost sincerity and do true justice to their Bai’at.
We are extremely fortunate that we have accepted the Imam of the age and the true servant of the Holy Prophet(sa). We should always remember that to believe in the Promised Messiah(as) and to enter into his Bai’at places a great responsibility upon us. After having entered into the Bai’at of the Promised Messiah(as), our responsibilities are not finished, in fact, they have increased more than before. It is only through fulfilling these responsibilities that we can become the recipients of those rewards which Allah the Almighty had promised to grant to the Promised Messiah(as). Thus, each and every one of us ought to understand their responsibilities.
To keep this mosque populated [with worshippers] is our responsibility. It is our responsibility to live with one another with love and affection. It is our responsibility to spread the message of tolerance and brotherhood across the world. It is our responsibility to convey the message of the beautiful teachings of Islam to the world. It is our responsibility to always remain focused towards our reformation through constant prayers. It is our responsibility to be mindful of the reformation of our future generations. Only then will we be able to fulfil the due rights of the mosque.
The Promised Messiah(as) stated on one occasion:
“You should build a mosque wherever you wish to introduce Islam.” (Malfuzat , Vol. 7, p. 119)
Through the construction of this mosque, Islam will be introduced in this area from an external perspective. Some neighbours came and expressed their positive sentiments as well. Despite the increased number of people attending [the mosque] these days, and the rush and the noise, a neighbour living right next to the mosque came to visit us a few days ago and said, “We are happy to have you as our neighbour!” However, we must always be mindful of our neighbours and not create unnecessary noise and commotion here. We should perform all of our tasks within the legal boundaries. In any case, the neighbours and those passing by the road will be introduced [to Islam] through the mosque. And this means of introduction will open new avenues for tabligh as well. As such, each and every Ahmadi should become an example of the teachings of Islam. The world should notice a clear distinction that in this materialistic society, there are such people as well who, whilst living in the world and participating in their worldly affairs, give precedence to faith over the world. They have a relationship with their All-Powerful Creator and they have compassion for mankind and render their services to humanity. When worldly people observe this, they become curious and this then opens avenues for the propagation of Islam. Hence, every Ahmadi must now present a practical model of the teachings of Islam more than before. In the verses I just recited, Allah the Almighty has drawn attention to various responsibilities for those who attach themselves to mosques. First and foremost, Allah the Almighty has said to establish justice. In relation to establishing justice, Allah the Almighty states at another place in the Holy Quran:
“…let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice.” One who upholds this standard of establishing justice cannot think ill of another person. There is no question of causing harm to others, in fact such a person will seek opportunities to play a role in benefitting others. When a person fulfils the due rights of others in this manner then this most certainly leaves a virtuous impact in one’s surroundings. This very virtuous impact then opens avenues for tabligh. Hence, the first guidance in relation to the mosque, which Allah the Almighty has given to true believers who attend mosques, is to create means to fulfil the due rights of mankind and the most important aspect in order to achieve this is to establish justice. When Allah the Almighty instructs us to uphold justice with non-Muslims and even with one’s enemies then how great should the standard of love and affection be among our own people? When such a condition develops, then Allah the Almighty also looks upon such people in a loving manner. When such people enter the mosque in order to worship Allah the Almighty, He accepts their worship. However, if a person does not treat his wife well at home, constantly taunts and scolds her, if his children are afraid of him and if his actions are leading them away from religion then neither his service to the Jamaat, nor his worship will be acceptable in the sight of Allah the Almighty. This double-standard deceives no one but the person himself. Hence, a true believer is one who establishes justice both in the private and public sphere and there is harmony in their actions and words, both in the home and outside. These are the very people, who fulfil the due right of populating a mosque.
This is due to the fact that their hearts are imbued with the fear of Allah. Thus, it is our duty to reach this standard, otherwise, it holds no importance if we simply build a mosque and come here and offer our prayers in haste as if it is a burden. When one attains this standard, they become like an innocent child in the sight of Allah. They shall have a good end for they are fulfilling the rights of Allah the Almighty as well as the rights of His servants. Therefore, one should not be proud over the fact that they offer a lot of prayers, go to the mosque five times a day, and render services to the Community, considering this to be sufficient. The Holy Prophet(sa) has stated that one who does not fulfil the rights of others does not fulfil the rights of God. (Jami‘ al-Tirmidhi, Abwab al-Birr wa al-Silah, Bab ma Ja’a fi al-Shukr, Hadith 1954)
So we should not be under any false hope. The true worshipper who fills mosques is one who acts upon the commandments of Allah the Almighty whilst fearing Him.
Allah the Almighty then emphasises once more, by stating that if one does not act upon His commandments, nor makes concerted efforts to tread the right paths whilst being sincere to Him in religion, nor repents or seek forgiveness, then satan will overcome them. Therefore, pay continued attention to repentance and seeking forgiveness, whilst submitting to Allah the Almighty.
Nowadays, there is a dire need to pay attention towards this, especially in this environment of worldliness. Only then can one attain success and only then can one become like an innocent child in the presence of Allah the Almighty.
It was due to the deteriorating state of the Muslims that the decline of Islam began. When they made justice and worship a mere show, or failed to fulfil its due rights, everything was then ruined. They by all means continued to build beautiful mosques, and continue to do so – in fact, nowadays in Pakistan there are efforts to demolish Ahmadi mosques, simply because they do not wish for the mosques of the Ahmadis to look like theirs, nor that they have any minarets or mihrabs – however, no worshipper of the Gracious God has been produced from among them. They deem it worthy of pride as they persecute Ahmadis, and they are under the impression that they are striving to bring them to the right path. In any case, this decline took place in the earlier era as well, owing to the fact that the filling of mosques became superficial. Very rarely could one find true Muslims in certain places. But in general there was a decline. As it were, this was all meant to transpire, and the Holy Prophet(sa) also drew attention to this. But after that era of darkness, as a result of the period of light that came with the advent of the Promised Messiah(as), and owing to the pledge we have had the honour to make with this Ardent Devotee of the Holy Prophet(sa) that we shall give precedence to faith over the world and live according to the commandments of the Holy Quran, as I have mentioned, we must therefore pay great attention to our condition. We must safeguard our mosques from becoming like their mosques.. In relation to this Hazrat, Ali(ra) narrates that the Holy Prophet(sa) stated, that “a time will soon come when nothing will remain of Islam except its name, nothing shall remain of the Quran except its words, the mosques of the people in that time will seem full, yet they shall be bereft of guidance, and their scholars shall be the worst creatures living under the canopy of the heaven. Disorder shall stem from them, and to them shall it return.” (Imam al-Baihaqi, Al-Jami‘ li Shu‘ab al-Iman, Vol. 3, Bab fi Nashr al-‘Ilm, Hadith 1863 [Riyad: Maktabah al-Rushd Nashirun, 2003], p. 318)
This is exactly what we are witnessing today in the majority of Muslim mosques.
Hence, what we are seeing nowadays should cause us to become alert. They have nothing but disorder. As I have stated, their only efforts are to demolish the minarets and the mihrabs of the mosques of our Community – they do not even call them mosques, but places of. They render no other service to faith, nor any justice. In any case, this is a lesson for us, as to how we must fulfil the rights of mosques and the rights of others, whilst being sincere.
Whilst explaining the first of these verses [which were recited], the Promised Messiah(as) states:
“The apparent and physical state of Islam has weakened; the Islamic empire no longer carries the same might and grandeur. In terms of faith, the example that was taught of ‘those sincere to Him in obedience’ is nowhere to be found. There has also been a drastic internal weakening in the state of Islam and external forces seek to eradicate Islam. In their view, Muslims are worse than dogs and swine. Their purpose and intentions are solely to destroy Islam and bring an end to Muslims. Now, it is impossible to combat them without God’s Book, His help and manifest signs. It is for this very reason that God Almighty established this Community by His own Hand.” (Malfuzat , Vol. 3, p. 450)
Hence, under these conditions, if we who have accepted the Promised Messiah(as) do not reform ourselves whilst doing justice to our pledge of allegiance and in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Quran and if we do not constantly analyse our own conditions, then we cannot be counted among those who did justice to their pledge of allegiance in the era of Islam’s revival. We are the ones who must restore Islam’s lost reputation once again. The condition described by the Promised Messiah(as) is indeed a very frightening one and practically, this is exactly what is being seen. We must inform the world that although they may see Islam and Muslims to be despicable and consider them to be worse than animals, but they should remember that the world’s salvation lies in acting on the teachings of these very people. Hence, we must undertake the task of guiding the world with full conviction and bowing before Allah the Almighty in order to seek His blessings.
Some youngsters raise the questions; one youngster asked, “how can we confront such people who ridicule us?” I responded to him by telling him to be confident and to remain firm in the conviction that today, the world’s salvation lies in our hands because we have accepted that Promised Messiah and ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet(sa) who was sent by Allah the Almighty to give life to the world and who was sent by Allah the Almighty to spread the teachings brought by the Holy Prophet(sa). Now, it is only by association with him that one can adorn their life in this world and the next. We must tell the worldly people that they should not suffice merely on the attractions and successes of this world; life after death is eternal and if one goes there empty handed, they will have to face the wrath of Allah the Almighty. He knows best how He will treat them, however at the same time, we should always remain mindful that when we warn the world in such great detail, our every word and action should be in concordance with those very teachings. The standards of our worship fulfilling the rights of our fellow beings should be lofty as well. In any case, whilst further describing the state of Muslims and Islam, the Promised Messiah(as) states:
“There is a discrepancy in what is currently regarded as Islam and morals have become degraded (meaning high morals no longer remain). The sincerity described in ‘those sincere to Him in obedience’ has risen to the heavens. Loyalty, sincerity, love for God and trust in God have been lost entirely. Now, God has intended to revive these forces once again.” (Malfuzat , Vol. 7, pp. 352-353)
Hence, we should be grateful that we are associated with the one sent by Allah the Almighty in order to tend to the fallen state of Islam. Muslims also had a part to play in non-Muslims and the opponents of Islam attacking Islam and considering this esteemed religion to be abject and deplorable. Had the Muslims not deteriorated then the enemy would have never dared to attack Islam in such a manner. However, today we are the ones who must establish the standards of loyalty to God Almighty, as stated by the Promised Messiah(as). We are the ones who must adhere to the commandments of Allah the Almighty with sincerity and loyalty. We are the ones who must spread love in every direction and remove hatred. We are the ones who must have complete trust in God Almighty for it is God Almighty Who can do everything. Today, Islam in the only true religion which will prevail and for this, we must utilise all of our capabilities in order to become the true helpers of the Promised Messiah(as). This has been decreed by God Almighty that the duties He entrusted to the Promised Messiah(as) and the promises which Allah the Almighty made to him will, God-willing, be fulfilled. If we become helpers in this cause then we will reap the blessings of Allah the Almighty. If we do not progress, then Allah the Almighty will send others to assist the Promised Messiah(as), but regardless, these tasks will be fulfilled.
Thus, we must keep our conditions in view and wherever we sense weaknesses and shortcomings, we must strive to remove them. With regards to the weaknesses that we must remove, the Promised Messiah(as) states:
“This is an era in which ostentation, self-admiration, haughtiness (which is a form of arrogance) and to think very highly of oneself, arrogance, pride and conceit have become prevalent, whilst virtuous traits such as ‘being sincere to Him in obedience’ have departed to the heavens.” (Malfuzat , Vol. 6, p. 353, Footnote)
Having faith in God and aspiring to do good have all but vanished; It is now God’s desire to plant them anew.
Hence, the Promised Messiah(as) has said that while evil deeds have increased, virtues have vanished, however, Allah the Almighty – Who is the Most Benevolent – does not desire ruin for them, He has now decided that virtues will increase and evil deeds will die away. Every one of us should evaluate whether we are playing our roles in completing the mission of the Promised Messiah(as). Are we trying our utmost to rid of evil deeds? Are we trying our utmost to adopt virtues? Are we striving to our utmost to reach the true standards of worship? Even the ability to do good is attained through the grace of God Almighty. If we are not trying our best to attain the grace of Allah the Almighty – which is attained through such worship that is solely for Allah the Almighty’s pleasure and not only for the fulfilment of one’s own desires and comfort – then all our efforts are in vain. Either that, or the desire to achieve this objective is pointless. Thus, we must very deeply evaluate ourselves. We must fervently seek repentance. We must consistently align our actions to the pleasure of Allah the Almighty.
The Promised Messiah(as) states:
“Sincerity is a prerequisite for virtuous deeds. Just as [Allah the Almighty has] stated that the trait of ‘being sincere to Him in obedience’ is found within those who are true saints.”
The Promised Messiah(as) further states:
“Bear in mind carefully that he who becomes solely for God Almighty, God Almighty becomes his.” (Malfuzat , Vol. 8, pp. 354-355)
This is a fine principle that must be adopted. We, ourselves, do not fulfil the rights owed to Allah the Almighty and then say that Allah the Almighty does not hear our prayers. Some people also harbour such resentments. Evaluate yourselves and see to what extent you have fulfilled the rights owed to God Almighty. Allah the Almighty is very Benevolent; despite our countless mistakes, He continues to reward and provide for us. We should be mindful of how we will fulfil the rights owed to God Almighty. The biggest right owed to Allah the Almighty is that the rights of His worship be fulfilled. We have built a mosque and its rights must be fulfilled. Come into this mosque solely for God and His worship. Whilst drawing our attention towards this, the Promised Messiah(as) has stated:
“Allah the Almighty states that ‘I have created the Jinn and man so that they worship Me.’ Of course, such worship and constant presence before the Lord of Honour is not possible without personal love for Him. And by love here is not meant a one-sided affair; rather, what is meant is both the love of the Creator and the love of creation so that the fire of lightening that falls upon the man who is ready to die and which also emanates from within such a man at such a time, should burn all human weaknesses, and joining together, they should take control of his whole spiritual being.” (Zamimah Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Part V, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 21, pp. 217-218)
Thus, we must safeguard our prayers with consistent attention and focus. This can only be achieved when we truly love Allah the Almighty. It must be a deep and intimate love that resembles no other. Thereafter, the love of man for Allah the Almighty and His love for man brings about revolutionary results.
Those who tire after praying a little, or those who desire to learn of the philosophy of prayer, and want to build a relationship with God Almighty should be mindful of these things. Do not go to Allah the Almighty’s door only when you are in need, rather, build a bond of personal love with Allah the Almighty. In turn, Allah the Almighty also loves such a person. For this to happen, it is imperative to be completely obedient to the commandments of Allah the Almighty and His Messenger(sa). It is necessary to love the Prophet(sa) of Allah and to be obedient to him in the spirit of that love. Thereafter, Allah the Almighty also manifests His love. When these two forces of love come together, then as the Promised Messiah(as) has stated, the grace of Allah the Almighty, which is beyond our comprehension, showers upon man. Furthermore, the Promised Messiah(as) states:
Man Has naturally been created for God, as it is stated:
وَمَا خَلَقۡتُ ٱلۡجِنَّ وَٱلۡإِنسَ إِلَّا لِیَعۡبُدُونِ
Allah the Exalted has instilled within man’s nature an inclination towards Himself and has created man to be devoted to Him through the most hidden means. From this we learn that the fundamental purpose for which God Almighty has created you is so that you may worship Him. However, as for those who detach themselves from this fundamental and natural purpose of theirs, and live like animals, and their only purpose in life is to eat, drink and sleep, they become distant from the grace of God Almighty and He no longer remains concerned for such people. God Almighty takes interest in the life of a person who believes in:
[I have not created the Jinn and the men but that they may worship Me], and then transforms their life.
The Promised Messiah(as) states that one ought to fully adhere to this and make worship his ultimate objective. He further states:
“There is no telling when death will arrive. … It is immensely important for you to understand that the very purpose for which God Almighty created you is so that you may worship Him and become devoted to Him. The world must not be the centre of your aspirations.”
“I reiterate this single point again and again because in my estimation, worship is the sole purpose for which man has been created and it is this very instruction of which man is negligent. I do not say that you should abandon your worldly businesses, or forsake your wife and children to retreat to a jungle or a mountain. Islam does not deem this to be permissible.”
One should take part in worldly affairs and also fulfil the rights owed to their wives and children for this is part of the teachings of Islam. The Promised Messiah(as) further states:
“Islam does not allow asceticism. Islam desires to make man active, diligent and able. Therefore, I say that you ought to engage in your businesses with toil and labour. It is narrated in a Hadith that a person who owns land but does not use it for agriculture, will be accountable in the sight of God. Therefore, if someone understands this instruction to mean that they should detach themselves from the affairs of the world, they are mistaken. Not at all. The fact of the matter is that you ought to ensure that the pleasure of God Almighty is intended in the business that you engage in, and you must not ignore His will to give precedence to your own motives and emotions.” (Malfuzat , Vol. 1, pp. 181-184)
Thus, one ought to carefully reflect and ponder over this. The Promised Messiah(as) stated in a very heartfelt manner that he repeatedly draws attention to this point that one should never forget the objective of their life. If after having claimed to enter the Bai’at of the Promised Messiah(as) we then forget the purpose of our lives, then our Bai’at is of no benefit and our words will carry no weight. Thus, every Ahmadi ought to ponder over this. They should deliberate and ponder over this and assess themselves as to how many minutes do they devote to the worship of Allah the Almighty in the entire day. Can one fulfil the objective of their life by simply offering Salat for a few minutes and with very little understanding of what they are reciting therein? Allah the Almighty does not stop us from engaging in our worldly pursuits, in fact He expects a true believer to reach the highest level in their worldly works, businesses, trade and agricultural work. But alongside this, He also states that owing to being engaged in worldly endeavours, one should not become heedless of the purpose of their lives and they ought to safeguard their prayers. If you have built a mosque, you should not be proud of this owing merely to its physical beauty, in fact its true beauty is owing to those who truly worship and one should be mindful of this fact. One should excel in righteousness and strive to attain its high standards. It is only when one achieves this that they can be considered as true worshippers.
In relation to true worshippers, Allah the Almighty states that they also ensure to keep themselves purified, both within and physically. Hence, there is a general instruction for those who observe the Salat that their clothes should be clean and they should perform ablution before every prayer because one’s physical cleanliness has an impact on their inner state. Moreover, one becomes refreshed through performing ablution and their attention remains focused in Salat.
Another commandment in addition to the commandment of Salat is that one should eat and drink but exceed not the bounds. A general interpretation of this is with regards to a balanced diet and that a believer does not exceed the bounds with regards to food and drink and by not exceeding the bounds one is able to remain healthy and they are also able to worship properly. Another meaning is that the objective of a true believer’s life should not only be to eat, drink and sleep as Allah the Almighty has mentioned that to only do this is a trait of the animals. Moreover, I quoted the extract of the Promised Messiah(as) which expounded upon this that this is the life of animals. If we further delve into its meaning, it also means that one should not only pursue after worldly endeavours and aspirations, in fact one ought to recognise the purpose of their creation. A true worshiper engages in worldly activities but does not allow themselves to become so engrossed in them that they become completely oblivious to the fact that it is the time for prayer or that they have to observe the prayer. In fact, when it is the time for prayer, one’s immediate thought should be that the time for their worldly activities has now ended and now they have to present themselves before Allah the Almighty and have to offer the prayer whilst doing true justice to the rights owed to Allah the Almighty. It should not be the case that one quickly offers the prayer, in fact one should offer it in an excellent manner. Along with the physical cleanliness and adornment, one should also adorn their hearts with righteousness.
Allah the Almighty then states that indeed one is permitted to eat and drink and everything pure and wholesome has been created for mankind and is permissible for them. Also, one is permitted to engage in their worldly businesses and endeavours but if this prevents one from the worship of Allah the Almighty or causes one to be neglectful of going to the mosque, then this means that one has exceeded their bounds and Allah the Almighty dislikes one who transgresses the bounds. People say that why have five prayers been prescribed as this is very difficult to do in today’s day and age. They say that it is difficult for one to take time out from their daily activities in order to pray five times. However, Allah the Almighty states that this is not difficult, in fact one has exceeded the bounds if they are only concerned about their worldly endeavours and have become neglectful of God Almighty. And when one exceeds their bounds, then gradually they become distant from Allah the Almighty. If Allah the Almighty becomes displeased with someone then they are completely lost. Though such a person may claim that they are a Muslim or they are an Ahmadi and have done the Bai’at of the Imam of the age in accordance to the instruction of the Holy Prophet(sa), however their actions are causing them to incur the displeasure of Allah the Almighty. Thus, Allah the Almighty has given a very a balanced teaching in that one can attain worldly material but they should also be mindful of their faith and should not exceed the bounds. A true believer is one who always give preference to their faith over worldly things. When one gives their faith precedence over worldly things then Allah the Almighty opens all kinds of new avenues in order to grant provisions to such a person and bestows blessings in his work. Thus, one who adheres to and lives according to the commandments of Allah the Almighty and strives to attain high standards in his worship, then by the grace of Allah the Almighty their worldly needs are also fulfilled.
One’s greed for worldly aspirations continue to increase and if they go on increasing a lot then they are like a fire which never extinguishes. If one remains firm on their faith then the impulse to attain worldly desires no longer remains, otherwise this is like a fire which can never be extinguished and one becomes completely consumed by it and such a person is neither granted anything in the hereafter, which is the true life.
The Holy Prophet(sa) states that only those people keep the mosques populated who believe in God and in the last day. Thus, we ought to become amongst those believers who keep the mosques filled and the hallmark of such people is that after observing their prayer they remain in wait for the next prayer. (Jami’ at-Tirmidhi, al-Zuhd, Bab ma Ja’a fi al-Hubb fi Allah, Hadith 2391, Abwab al-Iman, Bab ma Ja’a fi Hurmat al-Salah, Hadith 2617)
They remain in anticipation for the next prayer so that they can offer it.Thus, the purpose of building a mosque is to keep them populated and this is how one can do so.
After having built this mosque, it is the responsibility of the local members to keep it populated and this is the way to attain the blessings of Allah the Almighty and to also reform oneself and to enable one’s progeny to remain attached with God Almighty. Otherwise, the worldly attractions and allures in this current age will cause our children to become distant from faith. It is important to attach them to the mosque and instil the significance of faith from their childhood and this is the duty of both the mother and father. Also, as I mentioned before that be mindful of the fact that now with the construction and inauguration of the mosque, more people will be introduced to the Jama’at, this mosque and to Islam. New avenues of tabligh will open and more contacts will be made. Thus, it is the duty of every Ahmadi to take benefit of this and spread the message of Islam and Ahmadiyyat. The Promised Messiah(as) states:
“At present, our Jamaat is in great need of mosques, as they are the houses of God. In whichever village or town our mosque is established, one can assume that the foundations of the success of the Jamaat have been laid there.”
The Promised Messiah(as) further says, “However the condition is that when establishing the mosque, one’s intentions should be sincere and it should be established solely for the sake of Allah.” (Malfuzat , Vol. 7, p. 119)
Thus, as the Promised Messiah(as) has stated that with the establishment of a mosque, the foundations of the success of the Jamaat have been established. If the Ahmadis here strive with sincerity and elevate the standards of their worship, then God Willing, one can assume that Allah the Almighty will lay the foundations of the success of the Jamaat here as well. Therefore, continue to elevate the levels of your worship and sincerity; and ensure that sincerity, the importance of prayer and worship are passed on to your progenies. Through this we will be able to see a transformation in even the people who are engrossed in worldly pursuits.
“The real beauty of a mosque is not in its construction, in fact, it is dependent upon the worshipers who pray in it with sincerity.” (Malfuzat , Vol. 8, p. 170)
May Allah the Almighty enable everyone to become those who offer prayers with sincerity and populate this mosque. May Allah accept our prayers and worship.
(Original Urdu published in Al Fazl International, 28 October 2022, pp. 5-9. Translated by The Review of Religions.)