Huzur gave a discourse on the aspect of gentleness and forbearance in the teachings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace).
Each Ahmadi should always have the purpose of the advent of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) at the forefront of their minds because it is a great source of reformation and indeed is the reason why each Ahmadi takes the pledge of allegiance (bai’at) and is what makes him/her distinct from others.
The purpose of the advent of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was to bring man close to God, to raise the standard of man’s righteousness so that he/she can imbue the attributes of Allah. These indeed are the aspects that take man out of the dark pit/water-well, out of which our fathers and grandfathers had emerged by accepting the Messiah.
The teachings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) are not new, rather they are the same that the Qur’an expounds and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) elucidated and indeed set a supremely excellent model of, as Allah states in the Qur’an: ‘And thou dost surely possess high moral excellences.’ (68:5). The Qur’an also states ‘And among others from among them who have not yet joined them’ (62:4) and thus confirms that the Mahdi’s advent will take place who will be a perfect representation of his master Prophet’s blessed model.
In reality the time till the Day of Judgement is going to be the era of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and one takes the bai’at of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) with the commandment of the Holy Prophet. A believer takes the bai’at in order to renew the pledge to most sincerely implement and practice the great teaching and blessed model which, had been forgotten with the passing of time. By taking the pledge on the hand of the Messiah (on whom be peace) we promise to practice piety to the very best of our capabilities.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said he was sent so that with forbearance, gentleness and good morals, he would pull the long lost people towards the light that he had been given. Huzur said pulling one out of a pit/water-well takes endeavour and entails putting oneself in pain in order to remove the pain of the one who is stuck in the depth. Pulling one to guidance makes demands on the ‘helper’.
Explaining the process of spiritual development which begins with the ‘pulling’ towards guidance Huzur said it is like providing light on the path that leads to Allah. A path which has illimitable stages, one stage leads to another and after one reaches one stage the desire and passion to move onto the next stage intensifies. The light of guidance is a permanent light which once one has reached one stage illuminates the way to the next stage and so on and so forth. It is a constant endeavour for the one who guides and for the one who is guided.
The most important obligation of an Ahmadi is to make an attempt to walk this path of guidance in fulfilment of one’s bai’at and also to spread this message to one’s country people and those close to one. The modus operandi for this is to adopt gentleness, good morals and forbearance as the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has made it very clear that the purpose of his advent is not to get the message across with force. Indeed, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) set an excellent example of gentleness and forbearance in his family, his friends, his close associates and others, including the opponents and this alone is the way to win over hearts.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said not to be harsh, rather be gentle and to substantiate this mission with one’s piety.
Huzur said some people may present a forbearing, gentle side to the world outside but the atmosphere of their homes is contradictory. In this instance this can have an adverse effect on someone who is being done Tabligh by such a person and their actions would leave the person, who has not yet found guidance, in the lurch.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) enjoined to inculcate righteousness and to treat the matter of another who needed guidance in the same manner as one would treat one’s own son who did wickedness by counselling and advising him in private. He said a person whose manners and morals are not good has arrogance and thus the state of the faith/belief of such a person was perilous.
Huzur said he receives some letters each day which signify that there is a dearth of gentleness and patience in dealing with each other. Huzur said the time when the Promised Messiah made these admonitions there would have been just a handful of people in need of such counsel; however, with the Community expanding some ills also increase. Huzur said the administration of the Community tries but how much reformation can it carry out. Reformation is done by the self. As the Promised Messiah said the faith of one whose manners and morals are not good is in a perilous state. Indeed an Ahmadi would be petrified by this statement, indeed, should be petrified. Huzur said he has analysed the situation and realises that most conflicts stem from a lack of gentleness and due to arrogance. If the Islahi Committee of the administration of the Community cannot solve these matters they are passed onto the Qadha Board and if after this one party still does not comply then reluctantly they are ex-communicated from the Community. Huzur said some Waqf e Nau children have quarrelsome parents and their situation is reviewed because if that is the state of the parents how can they bring up the children properly.
Huzur said those who tend to get easily enraged also need to stop and think and reflect. Rather then beg forgiveness later on they should try and control their tempers when required. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that gentle and mild speech is in human nature as a child exhibits this before it learns the ways of the world. Gentility is inherent in humans. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) further elaborated the subject by citing verses 12 and 13 of Surah Al Hujurat (49:12-14). Explaining Huzur said in order to inculcate gentility good things should be said to others so that one infuses piety oneself because double-standard do not result in good outcome. Then, other people’s emotions and sentiments should be cared for and one should not get embroiled in self-absorption. Name-calling should be avoided as it is hurtful, thinking ill of others should also be shunned as it creates splits in mutual relationship. Needless suspicion not only ruins one’s own morals but also destroys social peace.
Huzur said a believer claims to be among those who adopt Divine attributes, thus espousing ills rather than gentility and deriding people rather than reforming them is not congruous attitude.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said those who indulge in name-calling, do not cover the faults of others, think and talk ill of others behind their backs incur Allah’s wrath in same measure as those who are rebellious and seditious. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) enjoined not to chase matters (with ill intent) which one does not have full knowledge of as each part of the human body will be held accountable for the wrong it has done in this world. He said something that one does not have definite knowledge of should not be entertained. With regards haughtiness of temper the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said one who flares into a temper cannot say anything of wisdom and discernment. Fury is half madness and if it exceeds it turns into full blown madness.
In his book Kishti Nuh (Our Teaching) the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) says:
‘Never unduly assert yourself with pride over others, even those who are placed under you. Never use abusive language for anyone, even though he abuses you. Be humble in spirit, kind and gentle and forgiving, sympathetic towards all and wishing them well, so that you should be accepted. There are many who pretend to be kind, gentle and forgiving but inside they are wolves; there are many on the outside they look pure, but in their hearts they are serpents. You cannot be accepted in the presence of the Lord unless you are pure, both on the outside and inside. If you are big have mercy for those who are small – not contempt; if you are wise and well versed in learning serve the ignorant with words of wisdom; never desire to bring disgrace on their ignorance by trying to show-off your own learning. If you are rich, instead of treating them with self-centred disdainful pride, you should serve the poor. Beware of the paths of destruction. Fear the Lord, be righteous…’ (Translation taken from Our Teaching p. 3)
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also said that God covers faults of people until one exceeds all limit. It is man who wrongs himself in his ignorance of Divine forbearance and exceeds limits. It is only at this stage that God’s chastisement comes into action.
Huzur said the references he has cited in today’s sermon draw one’s attention towards forbearance and kindness so that we may reflect over them, try and understand them and adopt them. It is not sufficient to be an Ahmadi or to be the progeny of the companions of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). We will only honour the dues of our bai’at when we endeavour and reform ourselves and develop in spirituality. Huzur said many events are planned and have indeed commenced worldwide in terms of the Khilafat Centenary this year. Holding events and making excellent arrangements are not our objectives, rather, it is prayer and good deeds and these are indeed are the two aspects [belief and good works] that Allah has made the beneficence of Khilafat conditional to, rather than who holds the best musha’ira (poetry reading/recital) or who plans the best programmes.
Huzur said the books of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) are a tremendous source of attainting this objective. These books elucidate all the aspects of righteousness and piety most extensively. The books are in Urdu, very few have been translated and even those who know Urdu language pay little attention. That is why, Huzur said, it was his greater objective, apart from guidance, to include extracts from the Promised Messiah’s writings in his sermons to take the message to people in his words. Although translations of his books are few, the task is being carried out most expediently and with great fervour by respected Ch Muhammad Ali sahib in Rabwah. His zeal is astonishing, many young people have written to Huzur that Ch. Sahib has infused the spirit of Waqf (dedication) in them. Huzur said prayers should be made for this task, he said he had mentioned this incidentally.
Huzur said when he cites extracts from the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) in his sermons they get translated in various languages. Although this translation is not up to standard, indeed cannot be up to standard, however, it serves the purpose of his words reaching people to some extent. May we seek beneficence of the beautiful teaching of Allah and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) through the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). This alone is the purpose of the bai’at and is the objective of being an Ahmadi, may Allah enable us to attain it.