Friday Sermon: Extend your house

June 12th, 2009

God has a wondrous manner with His chosen people and Prophets. While they prefer anonymity and choose to spend their time privately in His worship, He commands them to emerge in front of the world. The most perfect example of this was the Holy Prophet of Islam (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) who would spend days on end worshipping God in the solitude of the cave Hira. He was indifferent to worldly matters although he consummately undertook his household responsibilities. The quintessential element in his life was love of God and His worship. When God commanded him to come out of the Hira cave and summon people to the One God, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was a supremely excellent model of calling to God. Although he was badly persecuted for taking his message to people, such was his compassion for God’s creation that he continued to focus on this task. Each day his message would spread further afield and more and more people started accepting it. Indeed, it was during his lifetime that the message of Islam had spread outside Arabia. Later, Islam reached Asia, Africa and Europe. In accordance with his prophecy and the decree of God the spiritual state of the Muslims hit an extremely low point and they lost governance in come countries. However, just as God had promised that this perfect religion was to revive, it revived through the true and ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).

God sent Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani (on whom be peace) for the propagation of His last religion as the Messiah and the Mahdi in perfect subordination of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) as a non-law bearing Prophet. From his early life till the end we see great love for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) in the life of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). He was not interested in the world and was only keen about worship of God and invoking salutations and blessings on his master, the Prophet of Islam. It was a consequence of his deep love of God and the Prophet that he would be perturbed about the dire straits the Muslims were in. He would supplicate God with profound humility and compassion on their behalf. Again, by virtue of his passion to establish the Unity of God and out of his love of the Prophet that he studied the Holy Qur’an in-depth as well as made comparative studies of other religions. He presented many masterful comparisons to prove the superiority of Islam over other religions.

God, the Knower of the Unseen was fully aware of the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) earnest compassion for the religion of Islam, so He commanded him to come out from hiding. He commanded him not to simply try and better the terrible situation of the Muslims within his own sphere, not just try and solve the problem with his writings, rather declare that he indeed was the awaited and the promised Messiah and that God had revealed this to him. This created such a hostile situation in Qadian that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) contemplated migration. His few followers were most eager to help him with this and also took on the responsibility to protect him but the situation did not get to this. Earlier, when the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was writing his magnum opus ‘Braheen e Ahmadiyya’ God had consoled him that the circumstances will be in his favour. He has penned this in his book ‘Siraj e Munir’:

‘I shall raise you towards Me and I shall grant you love from Me. That is, after people will show enmity and rancour they will be reciprocated with love just as it is from among the Signs of the Promised Mahdi. Give good news to those who have believed that they have a standing of truth with their Lord. Recite to them that which is revealed to you from your Lord. Be not arrogant towards Allah's creatures and be not tired of receiving visitors. This was followed by the revelation: Extend thy house. This means clearly that the day is coming when the number of visitors will multiply so much that it would be difficult to meet everyone and I was warned that I should not then be annoyed nor tired of meeting them. Holy is Allah, how grand is this prophecy which was conveyed to me seventeen years ago when only two or three people came to visit me and that also infrequently. What a wonderful proof this is of God's knowledge of that which is hidden.’ (Part of translation taken from Tadhkirah pp. 77 and 791).

Huzur said a few years prior to this the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) did not have much in the way of worldly belongings and his living expenses were met by his father. His father would advise him to find means of livelihood to support his future family but the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) always respectfully replied that he was in the service of the Judge best among all judges. His father would not say anything in response; he had no idea that God had Himself taken the responsibility of the Promised Messiah. That let alone have a livelihood to support a family, a time would come when thousands of people would eat from his table. When God informed the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) of the imminence of his father’s death, he felt concerned about his future finances. However, God immediately sent the revelation of ‘Is Allah not sufficient for His servant?’ (39:37) to him which dispelled any and every concern from his heart. After his father’s passing away God gave honour and renown to the Promised Messiah among tens of thousands and for one who had no financial influence during the lifetime of his father, he received incredible Divine help afterwards. Not only was he provided handsomely but also after commanding him to ‘Extend your house’ God Himself facilitated arrangements at every opportunity. This revelation came to him many times and each time the glory of its expansion grew.

The first time the revelation came was before his Messianic claim when he had nothing in worldly terms. However, it was God’s commandment and it had to be fulfilled. He realised that he did not have the means to extend the house, so he decided to have a few thatched huts erected next to his house. Huzur said three thatched huts were built which stayed for several years. It was the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) firm belief that God had sent him a revelation, so He would also provide help. However, it was also essential for him to put the commandment in practice promptly according to his means.

In 1907 God revealed to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace): ‘There is good news for you in this life. Good and help and victory, God willing. We have relieved thee of thy burden, which had well-nigh broken thy back and have exalted thy name. I am with you. I have remembered you, then do you remember Me. Extend your house. The time is near when you will be helped and your name will be exalted among people. I am with you, O Ibrahim. I am with you and the members of your family. And you and the members of your family are with Me. I am the Most Gracious One, then wait. Tell him (your enemy): Allah will seize you. I shall lengthen thy days.’ (Translation taken from Tadhkirah pp. 878-879)

Huzur said the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was given the revelation of ‘Extend your house’ a year before his passing away and we observe the truth of this revelation to this day. Whence the time when only thatched huts could be erected to fulfil God’s commandment and then within his lifetime he witnessed the buildings of the Community properly extended. In the era of the first and the second Khilafat there were further constructions. After the partition of India the situation in Qadian declined a little but the Community held onto the buildings. After the 1991 visit of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) to Qadian, a new period of ‘Extend your house’ began. Private houses and buildings of the Community were built on a large scale. Then, after Huzur’s trip to Qadian in 2005 in addition to buildings of the Community many worldwide Jama’ats built their guest houses in Qadian. Now a beautiful MTA building has been built, as well as an exhibition hall and a library. The Fazl e Umer Press has been extended, a Lajna building is constructed and the Langer Khana has had an extension built. Similarly there are several other new constructions, Masjid Aqsa has also been extended and now has the capacity for 5000 worshippers. Huzur said all these constructions have taken place in the past three to four years. In addition to Qadian, despite the averse situation in Pakistan God is enabling us to fulfil the revelation of ‘Extend your house’.

Huzur said the sound that arose from Qadian has today, with God’s help, spread all over the world and we witness a global fulfilment of ‘Extend your house’. Huzur said the mosque – Baitul Futuh, from where Huzur delivered his Sermon – is also part of that fulfilment. Before, it was just the rather small Masjid Fazl [in London] and now everyone is accommodated in the large building of Baitul Futuh. Similarly, other mosques are being built in the UK which are also a realisation of ‘Extend your house’. Today our Community has worldwide mosques and mission houses in excess of 14000. The number seems immense but as it was a Divine commandment to ‘Extend your house’, God Himself facilitated the arrangements.

Relating some extraordinary incidences of the constructions of mosques Huzur said in district Kangra, India, the Muslims raised huge objections to the building of our mosque, later the Hindus also joined them. The police officer in-charge, also a Hindu, was a decent person who advised the Ahamdis to build the mosque by night to avoid any confrontation. He also sent his men to help. This is how, with the help of a non-Muslim, our mosque was completed. In Haryana district of India, again the Muslims and Hindus jointly opposed the construction of our mosque. The local Khuddam held a Jalsa and donated blood which was well-received by the Hindus and they helped in building of a mosque and a mission house. In Chennai, India, a two-story mosque with residential quarters has been built at great cost. Huzur said he had inaugurated it during his visit to India in December ’08. Since then the local mullah has been somewhat flabbergasted. Huzur said the incident that he related last week about an Ahmadi lady’s body exhumed is also part of the mullah’s bewilderment. However, God has opened avenues for Tabligh through this incidence and a large number of the locals are being supportive. A local TV channel has recorded a discussion programme and InshaAllah when it is aired further Tabligh opportunities will arise. Huzur said in Benin, West Africa, again the mullah has been rather belligerent since Huzur’s last visit. When the construction of our mosque began in a village there, some opponents gathered to intimidate the new converts to Ahmadiyyat. They offered them money etc. but the new Ahmadis stayed resolute. A Nigerian university professor saw the inauguration of our mosque in Paris, France and remarked that if the name of Islam is being raised in this way from the UK and France, it will also one day be raised from Jerusalem.

Huzur said the revelation of ‘Extend your house’ is now a Sign of the truthfulness of the Community all over the world. It increases our responsibility to be true servants of God and be worthy of the other revelation of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace); ‘And you are with Me just as your family is.’ Huzur said in order to be worthy of being his family we have to establish the practices he set for us otherwise despite the blood relation the son of Hadhrat Nuh (on whom be peace) was not deemed to be his family by God. May God enable us to continually turn to Him.

Next, on the request of the Ameer sahib of Kababir, Huzur addressed the Jalsa Salana of Kababir, which commenced today. Huzur said his brief message was that as the discourse was on ‘Extend your house’, our mosque in Kababir is most beautiful and a great tourist attraction. During the Khilafat Centenary year the Kababir Jama’at wished to have a hall constructed in an adjoining yard. Huzur gave them the permission to proceed however, they made rather extensive plans. It is only with the grace of God that miraculously their plan has nearly reached the completion stage. Huzur said we should always be mindful that with each grace of God we are that much more grateful and further turn to Him. Huzur said MTA Al Arabiyya has increased the Tabligh opportunities immensely and the Kababir Jama’at has a big role in this. Other Arab Jama’ats are also participating, may God reward them. Huzur said each Ahmadi should be mindful that these efforts are not due to anyone’s personal capacity rather they are due to the grace of God and the due to the promises made to the Messiah and the prayers of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) for the Mahdi of the latter days. All the Ahmadis who have accepted the Imam of the age, all the Arab Ahmadis who have not let their ethnicity be a source of pride and have declared, ‘we hear and we obey’ (2:286), should remember that each new day should bring advancement in taqwa (righteousness) and faith and also remember the words of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) that ‘we saw the day through in fear [of God] and spent the night with taqwa’.

Huzur said the Ahmadis of Kababir should return from the Jalsa and indeed spend the days of the Jalsa determined that they are going to make the pure/pious changes they will assume during Jalsa a part of their daily lives. Be mindful that our progress is dependant on Tabligh and prayer. Make prayers a part of your life and pray with absolute sincerity. Such prayers will bring about a revolutionary change in the heavens. The age of the Mahdi is an age of prayers. God has made Arabs great orators, if they utilise this skill with piety they will witness God’s grace. Today it is our responsibility to show the source of real salvation to the Christians and the right path to the Jews and to show people of other religions the ways to God’s pleasure as well as to those who do not believe in a Creator.

Addressing the Jalsa Huzur said today the Ahmadis of Kababir and Palestine were the most organised community in the Arab world, they should rise to the challenge of taking the message to the rest of the Arabs that today the salvation of a Muslim is only in accepting the Imam of the age. Huzur prayed for all those attending the Jalsa.

Next Huzur announced that he would be leading two funeral Prayers in absentia after the Friday Prayers for Choudhry Fazl Ahmad sahib and Dr. Ataul Rahman sahib, both from Pakistan.