Today, Huzur delivered his Friday Sermon in Germany, opening the Jalsa Salana there with his discourse. Huzur said the objectives of holding the Jalsa Salana are to avail religious benefit, to increase one’s Divine cognisance merely with the grace of God, to enhance mutual love and brotherhood and to draw attention to Tabligh.
Huzur said during the spiritual atmosphere of Jalsa Salana special consideration is given to worship of God, in particular to congregational Tahajjud. It is hoped that with the grace and mercy of God, those who are perhaps not regular in offering Tahajjud would develop the habit. Worship of God facilitates Divine cognisance and this in turn draws one to pay the dues of mankind, to mutual love and to take the message of God to the world with intense fervour. All this comes to pass with God’s grace but in order to attain it one has to make the initial effort. Just as Hadith relates that God runs to those who walk towards Him, that is, the initial effort is made by man to seek God. In His infinite grace, God then augments our meagre efforts manifold. God states in the Holy Qur’an in Surah Al Ankabut; ‘And as for those who strive in Our path – We will surely guide them in Our ways…’ (29:70). Huzur said such is God’s love. He bestows general favours by virtue of His attribute of Rahman (Most Gracious) as well as confers distinctively to His special people. In coming to the Jalsa Salana one leaves behind worldly dealings, it is therefore that much pertinent to focus on attaining the objectives of Jalsa with sincerity. Otherwise, coming to the Jalsa would be a mere worldly exercise and the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) expressed disgust for this.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that God’s beneficence is granted to those who endeavour and strive in His way, who give alms and join among those who ‘strive in Our path’. He said just as an ailing person tries all kinds of remedies to get better, similar effort should be made for spiritual illness. Such an effort may not be merely verbal, rather it should be real striving.
Huzur said we should be grateful that having been enabled to accept the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) we are guided on the right path to attain Divine cognisance. It is now up to us to derive full benefit from the effort, whether our own or that of our forefathers, that has resulted in us being granted this capacity. This would be real thankfulness. The aforementioned Quranic verse expresses God’s love for His servants just as the Hadith that relates God runs to those who walk to Him does. However, the words ‘those who strive’ in the Quranic verse make it clear that the initial effort has to be man’s. The Arabic term ‘Jahadu’ in the verse signifies endeavour made with all one’s capacity to attain piety and then to continue in this assiduousness. Huzur said it is not a trivial matter that one may say that he or she tried but was not guided. To attain the path of guidance it is conditional to be weary of wrongdoing just as perseverance is conditional. God has given man free will and has left Satan free. God also states that evil has apparent comfort and ease. However, when His servant makes an effort in His way, then God does not allow him to fall in the pit of fire. God reaches out like a loving mother and embraces His servant. If there is ever any deficiency in this relationship it is always due to the negligence of man. It is for man not to be like a misbehaving child, to be aware of his limitations and never consider himself to be independent of God.
With reference to those attending the Jalsa Salana and the striving in God’s way with prayers, Huzur said it is not sufficient to simply accept Ahmadiyyat. Fervent search for the path to nearness to God should be apparent in every action of an Ahmadi. Huzur said alms should be given with sincerity, Salat offered with its dues, Fasting observed with its dues, dues of relations and people maintained and trust honoured. Efforts to attain piety beget piety. Huzur said if a person has joined the system of Wasiyyat as introduced by the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) to seek the pleasure of God, then such a person would ever be making endeavours to stay firm on taqwa (righteousness). In staying firm on taqwa, he or she will honour all the obligatory and optional dues of God, just as he or she will honour the obligatory and optional dues of people. This is the real Jihad, which, when undertaken with perseverance leads from one piety to another.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that Istaghfar (seek forgiveness of God) is a means to attain God. He said the real significance of Istaghfar is to plead to God that one’s human failings are not made evident and God, with His power, covers them. That He saves us from natural weaknesses. It also signifies that may God cover any sin that one may have already committed.
Huzur said man should make great efforts against the assailment of Satan. His attempts to entice man are made by giving vast hopes. However, by giving us the source of Istaghfar God has promised us that whoever will make an endeavour and will persevere will be granted guidance. Fortunate are those who comprehend this and benefitting from the spiritual atmosphere of the Jalsa Salana, try and remove all their spiritual and moral weaknesses. Huzur said the words of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) are replete with wisdom. In explaining Istaghfar he said it is to plead to God that one’s human failings are not made evident. Indeed, if ever God created a perfect man, it was the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Without doubt, human weaknesses remain in man. However, the advantage of Istaghfar is that they are not made apparent. If certain situations arise then, due to Istaghfar, God gives the capacity to a person that the weaknesses are not made obvious. Huzur said for example one feels anger when faced with an unfavourable situation. However, if a person is residing in the ‘shield’ of Istaghfar, then his or her anger is not exhibited out of place; it is never a rage.
Huzur said human nature is inherently pious. Just as Hadith relates that each child is born pure and is shaped by his or her environment. Istaghfar develops pious nature and suppresses evil; God so enables a person that evil is not apparent. It is also most important to engage in Istaghfar for perseverance in piety. Huzur urged people to self-reflect during the Jalsa days and pray that having being enabled to accept the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) they are also enabled to attain the standards that he expected from his Community. Huzur said may worldly greed not be our desire, may we fervently wish to develop further in piety and seek God’s help for this. Huzur said the volunteer workers at Jalsa should engage in remembrance of God while they are out and about, on duty. They should be pleased that they are enabled to serve the guests of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). It is indeed their obligation to treat the guests with courtesy. God had revealed to the Promised Messiah (on whom be pace): ‘People will come to you by every distant track… Do not turn away from people and be not tired of them’ (Al-Hakam, Vol. X, No. 20, June 10, 1906, p. 1). Huzur said it our task and those of the workers to extend extreme courtesy to the guests. In conjunction with serving the guests of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) they also have the spiritual atmosphere available which purifies the nafs (self). It is also twice as pleasing for the guests and they should be thankful. On one hand they are enabled to attend the Jalsa in fulfilment of the aforementioned revelation and on the other they have been enabled to be the recipients of the prayers that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) made for those attending the Jalsa. Huzur says those mentioned in the revelation used to come to imbibe pious changes or indeed were to come in the future. If everyone was mindful of this, then each Ahmadi would be affectionate towards the other, would be inclined towards worship of God. This would then lead to removal of any mutual rancour. At times some office-holder and members of the Community have complaints against each other. If Jalsa is attended purely to seek the pleasure of God and to be the recipient of the prayers of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) then we should all try to aspire and fulfil the expectations the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had of us.
Huzur read a few extracts from the noble writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and said that if each person reflects on him or herself and advances in piety, this would lead the Community towards enhanced taqwa. Huzur read further advices of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace); he said do not be hasty in publicising your brother’s weakness. He also said that the Community should show such a model that even our enemies are forced to admit that although they oppose us, we are good people. He said God watches what the state of one’s heart is, He is not interested in mere verbosity. Huzur said if each Ahmadi kept these advices in view and reflects over him or herself, without doubt these will be a source of reformation.
Huzur prayed that may God enable us to continue to absorb God’s blessings, may He enable us to fulfil our pledge of bai’at and as a result make us the recipients of the prayers of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). May the sparkle of the world and egotistic motives not take us away from those objectives which are destined in keeping a sincere link with the Community. Huzur said prayers should be made for our Pakistani brothers who are going through persecution. In addition, the government of Malaysia is also creating difficulties. Today the Malaysian Jama’at is holding their Jalsa Salana under extremely difficult situation, prayers should be made that God blesses this Jalsa. May they not face any trouble and are protected against the schemes of the enemy.
Huzur said those present at the German Jalsa should remember that their prosperity and mental peace is due to God’s grace and is by virtue of the blessing of being a part of the Community of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). The pledge of bai’at should abided by most sincerely and the younger generation should be explained to that today whatever they are is only due to the Community and that they should never distance themselves from the Community or Khilafat.
Huzur said although the security arrangements at the German Jalsa were not the same as the ones in the UK, but each Ahmadi should be most vigilant there. Security at gates should also be well maintained. Huzur said swine flu is spread all over Europe but due to some legislation the homoeopathic medicine that was dispensed at the UK Jalsa could not be dispensed here. Huzur said people should exercise personal caution and care in this matter.
Next Huzur announced the sad news of the passing away of Taha sahib, who was from Jordan. He was the second Ahmadi in Haifa from where Ahmadiyyat had spread further. Huzur said he had a deep devotion with Khilafat, each action of his displayed his sincere commitment. He was a Moosi and up till now whatever Arabic translation of the Tafseer e Kabeer (Urdu Commentary of the Holy Qur’an by Hadhrat Musleh Maud) has been published, was funded by him. His house was like a centre of the Jama’at. A few months ago his illness worsened and he passed away on 4 August. He leaves behind three daughters and son and many grandchildren. One of his grandson has very sincere connection with the Community, may God increase the rest in their sincerity. May God elevate his station in Paradise and grant him place near His dear ones. Huzur said he would lead his funeral Prayer in absentia after Jummah.