Huzur delivered today’s Friday Sermon from the newly built Masjid Mubarak, Bait us Salaam in St. Prix, near Paris in France.
Huzur cited verse 27 of Surah Al A’raf. Its translation reads:
“O’ children of Adam! We have sent down to you raiment to cover your shame, and to be an elegant dress; but the raiment of righteousness – that is the best. That is one of the signs of Allah, that they may remember.”
Huzur said that with the grace of Allah the French Jama’at has been enabled to build their first ever mosque. May Allah make this mosque a strong foundation for building further mosques which may not have any legal impediments and may the members of the Jama’at be also infused with a spirit of sacrifice to build more mosques. Huzur said the construction of this mosque has certainly proven that if one is resolute Allah removes impediments in the fullness of time. Huzur said due to the objections of the local people there has been some restriction on the height of the minarets of the beautiful mosque. However, at least permission has been given for this to be a functional mosque; InshaAllah the matter of the height of the minarets will also be resolved gradually.
Huzur said when this site was just a hall for offering Salat, there would be complaints from the local people and one day the Mayor of St. Prix, who Huzur said was present today, had also visited in anger. However, when Allah changed his heart with His grace it was the Mayor who gave formal permission for the building of the mosque. Huzur said he remembered the Mayor had also come to a Jalsa some years ago and had removed his shoes before coming to the stage and had met Huzur respectfully. In this way the very person who was opposed to the construction of the mosque not only gave permission to go ahead with the construction but was also helpful in removing the impediments and is still being helpful. May Allah reward him and open up his heart further.
Huzur said all this is a blessing of Allah and is something that should make us grateful to Him and the way to be grateful is to worship Him in a better and enhanced way and to adopt taqwa more than before. While a mosque facilitates worship of God and turning to Him it also draws one’s attention towards service to mankind. Thankfulness is likely when we come to the mosque for sincere worship of God and leave all worldly matters outside. He is the Lord of all the worlds and if we fully comprehend this we would think of none other when coming to worship Him and we will be saved from concealed/latent shirk (associating partners with Allah). Having accepted the Imam of the age and having pledged to bring about pure/pious changes in ourselves we should make it to the mosque for congregational Prayers, not just on Fridays but most days.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that the heart is at the centre of all worship and if the heart is not inclined to Allah then what avail would be any worship? He said there are thousands of mosques in the world but the worship that goes on in them is but a ritual. Huzur said the expectations that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had from us are quite tremendous. He was greatly pained for us, his followers, to reform ourselves and build a connection with Allah and he counselled and advised us regarding this. Huzur said there are mosques that our mosques cannot compete with in terms of beauty. However, the real beauty towards which the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) draws out attentions cannot be found in those mosques because the people of those mosques have not accepted the Imam of the age in accordance with the commandment of Allah and His Messenger. With the construction of this mosque in St. Prix, Huzur said the responsibilities of the Ahmadis have increased. Now the eyes of the Muslims and non-Muslims will be on them. Indeed, Huzur said the Ameer sahib had shown Huzur an article in a magazine of huge circulation, featuring an introductory article on the Jama’at with reference to the mosque. Introduction of the Jama’at opens ways and means for Tabligh as well as creates jealously and envy which leads to enmity. The best way of protection from this is through prayer; turn to Allah with sincerity and pray with humility and earnestness.
Huzur said with the building of the mosque come three challenges. The first challenge is to try and attend the five daily Prayers at the mosque with sincerity. Living in the Western world in general and near the city of Paris, which is associated with the razzle-dazzle of this world, in particular, turning to God would certainly attract His love. The second challenge, Huzur said is of Tabligh. Indeed the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that anywhere an introduction of Islam is needed, a mosque should be built. Huzur said just as a magazine had published a piece on the mosque even before its formal opening. When the opportunities for Tabligh open the eyes of the world will be on us. Huzur said generally Tabligh has borne fruit in France but it is limited to a certain ethnic group, i.e. the Arabs. Huzur said it is the right of the Arabs that the message of the true and ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) is taken to them. It is their favour on us that they brought the message of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) to us and saved our lives and our Hereafter. Therefore it is our foremost duty to take the message of the true and ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) to the Arabs. However, we should always bear in mind that the advent of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was for the entire world and the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was commissioned to gather the world under the banner of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). It our task to pray for this – the fruition is in the hands of Allah, only His grace can accomplish matters. The third challenge, Huzur said, was to keep an eye on our practices, our deeds. The people we do Tabligh to will certainly watch how we conduct ourselves. Today we have to be watchful over our practices and turn to Allah with sincerity and save millions from the earthly and heavenly calamities and bring them under the banner of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).
Huzur said there should be no feeling of smugness at the completion of the building of the mosque. Each step of a believer towards piety draws his/her attention to further piety and as he/she develops in piety the sense of responsibility increases and there is greater aspiration to do good works. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) gave us the glad-tiding that one who builds a house of God on this earth will have a reciprocal house in Paradise, however it is conditional that the house of God (mosque) in the world is built purely for the sake of Allah. Huzur said one tries to offer Prayer with absolute sincerity in a mosque that is made purely for the sake of Allah and rather than feel pride over it one’s heart is filled with humility and awe of God that He may accept the sacrifice one has made in the building of the mosque.
Huzur said the best way to offer thankfulness to Allah for this new mosque in France is to develop in taqwa and to make each act of one’s worship to attain the pleasure of Allah. Huzur the Quranic verse cited at the start guides one to this by giving the example of clothing/apparel and its two attributes; to cover one’s weakness and to adorn one. Huzur said clothing/apparel covers any physical flaw we may have and protects us from the extremes of weather. Beautiful clothing/apparel enhances one’s personality. However, in the Western countries, especially this country, the clothing of women in particular have become most obscene and the more revealing they are the better they are considered. In particular in the summer months they are extremely exposing. Huzur said the reference to ‘raiment of righteousness’ in the verse draws attention that the function of apparent clothing/apparel is two fold but if there is a lack of taqwa even these two functions cannot be fulfilled. Indeed the best clothing/apparel is that of taqwa. Explaining the Arabic word ‘reesh’ (elegant dress) in the verse Huzur said it also means ‘feather, plumage of birds’. Indeed a bird without its plumage looks quite horrible. However, unfortunately these days the concept of a beautiful dress is in its nakedness. Sadly the odd Muslim and Ahmadi woman is also influenced by this and once they abandon their purdah it leads to further exposure. In response to a question raised by a new Ahmadi recently Huzur had told him that children should be made aware of their personal sanctity from an early age; who are they and what does God want from them. They should be made aware about clothing from an early age of five to six years old that whatever their environment, they are Ahmadis and Allah likes clothes to cover our bodies. Huzur said ‘reesh’ also means wealth and explained the significance of not earning wealth through wrong means, through defrauding the government of taxes etc. Huzur said it is essential to adopt what is permissible to cover one’s weaknesses and for this the clothing/apparel of taqwa is the best. Huzur said just as our father Adam (on whom be peace) covered his weakness we should be mindful of this aspect and continue to protect ourselves with taqwa and Istaghfar (seeking forgiveness). This would save us from much of this world’s absurdities.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) explained that ‘raiment of righteousness’ means that one’s spiritual elegance or beauty is only through taqwa. The raiment of taqwa can be taken on by fulfilling the pledge one makes to Allah. An Ahmadi may fulfil this pledge by adopting the modus operandi that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) gave us in the form of the Ten Conditions of Bai’at. The first condition is to abstain from all forms of shirk. Worldly engagements can take us away form remembrance of Allah. It is in our real benefit to avoid latent/hidden forms of shirk. The second condition is to keep away from ills that we face daily, like falsehood, trespass of the eye, adultery. Huzur said adultery does not just connote the act in itself but also frequent bad thoughts. There is also cruelty, dishonesty, mischief, rebellion etc. that are to be abstained from. The third condition is the offering of the five daily Prayers. Now with the new mosque, Huzur said, this should be especially borne in mind. Attention should be given to offering Tahajjud and to invoke (Durud) blessings and salutations on the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Durud advances one in spirituality. The fourth condition is not to harm creation of Allah in general and Muslims in particular under any impulse of anger etc. Huzur said if this was adopted all the grievances of the world would disappear. The fifth condition is to remain faithful to God under all circumstances. The sixth condition is to restrain all worldly desires and obey God and His Messenger. The seventh condition is that arrogance and vanity should be completely given up and humility adopted. The eight condition is to hold the honour of Islam dearer than one’s life and property. The ninth condition is to try and benefit mankind and the tenth condition is to have perfect obedience and love for the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Huzur said after the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) the rule now applies to Khilafat e Ahmadiyya. Huzur said this pledge is indeed essential for taqwa.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that endeavour should be made to become righteous. He said righteousness if of two kinds; about knowledge and about practice. The truth is not disclosed to one unless one becomes righteous. Salat, fasting and general worship is flawed unless one is righteous.
Addressing the congregation Huzur said may Allah bless them all with the blessings of the new mosque and may they all live with love, affection and a sense of brotherhood, may the office-holders, in light of the system of the Community, conduct themselves with humility and the members, again in light of the system of the Community be compliant. May Allah increase the sincere connection with Khilafat of the old Ahmadis and may He also increase the sincerity of the new comers whose love and affection for Khilafat is evident from their faces. Huzur said just before Jummah Majid sahib told him that it was in Dec 1984 during a visit to France that Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) had first mentioned his vision of seeing the digit of ten shining on his watch and with this the words ‘Friday the 10th’ coming to his mind. Huzur said today was also Friday the 10th and the inauguration of the first mosque in France was taking place. May all the blessings of ‘Friday the 10th’ the tidings of which were given to Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him), and which Allah fulfils in many ways, be associated with this mosque.
Many centuries ago Muslims came to France through Spain but they faced difficulties. Huzur said materialism had become the dominant factor for them and they had to retreat. However the weapon of love, affection and prayers that the Messiah of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) has been given is a most purposeful weapon and wins hearts and can never be turned away and its effect is life-infusing. The Ahmadis of France, the servants of the Messiah of Muhammad, should be mindful that this time the operation is to win hearts and minds and is not coming from outside but from within France Allah has facilitated arrangements for this. The standards of Tabligh should be raised so that pious souls may swiftly gather under the banner of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). May Allah enable the French Jama’at to do so.
Next Huzur announced the sad new of the passing away of Maulana Bashir Ahmad sahib Qamar. He was the Nazir e Ala of Taleemul Qur’an for Waqfe Arzi in Pakistan. He was 74 years old. He served till the very end and had recently fallen ill. He dedicated his life in 1950 and had served in Ghana and Fiji. He had many good qualities and was very simple-natured. Huzur said in Africa Huzur personally saw him with great love for the Africans and working very hard. He lived alone so he would cook for himself. He wrote to Huzur a day before his passing away and wrote in broken words about his health and added that may Allah always grant Huzur pious, helpful people. Huzur prayed for his elevated status in Paradise and mentioned that he was the father of the Vikalul Isha’at in London Maulana Naseer Ahmad Qamar. May Allah grant patience and steadfastness to his bereaved family, he leaves behind three sons and four daughters.
Another missionary of the Community also passed away recently in Australia. He had served in the Ivory Coast, Fiji and Ghana. He was a very simple-natured person. He was diagnosed cancer recently. May Allah grant steadfastness to his wife and children.
Huzur announced that he would lead funeral Prayer in absentia for both the deceased.