Friday Sermon: Opposition and Persecution of Divine Communities

May 21st, 2010

Hudhur recited verse 32 of Surah Al Furqan, the translation reads: ‘Thus did We make for every Prophet an enemy from among the sinners; and sufficient is thy Lord as a Guide and a Helper.’ (25:32) and gave a discourse on the opposition and persecution that divine communities have faced from the very beginning. Hudhur said the Qur’an illustrates the derision, mockery and opposition faced by Prophets and their followers in the aforementioned verse. The people who oppose Prophets are criminal-minded and in their opposition of beloveds of God which they, in their presumption, carry out in the name of God, they exceed limits of their own cruelty.

When the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was opposed and persecuted, God declared this is what enemies do, they always try their utmost to create impediments and mete out cruelty. However, these actions never allow them to be successful, the ultimate triumph is always of Prophets of God and the opponents meet Divine chastisement. On each cruelty that was committed against the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and his followers, he remained steadfast and always advised others to stay steadfast. History is full of painful incidents, and one such incident is of Ammar, his father Yasir and mother Samia who were persecuted very badly. Once they were being physically maltreated when the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) passed by. In a most pained tone, he said, ‘O family of Yasir, continue to be steadfast. Certainly, due to this steadfastness of yours, Paradise has been prepared for you.’ Yasir succumbed to the physical torture and was martyred. Samia held on but Abu Jahl put a spear through her lower abdomen and thus she too was martyred. Such was the brutality of the enemies of Islam. This persecution drew the attention of pious-natured souls towards Islam and seeing the faithful followers of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) people were further attracted to him. The message of Islam reached Medina and it reached Ethiopia. When the Makkan chiefs exceeded all limits in their brutality, rather than suppress it, their persecution became a source of spreading the message of Islam.

God states there is no need to be upset over such cruelty; it becomes the source of guidance for many. God is our Helper and our Guide, most certainly He will help us and only His appointed one will triumph. For this, God can, if He wills, exhibit heavenly signs. Cruel, powerful, Pharaoh-like rulers cannot stop the work of Prophets of God. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that just as manure causes growth for crops, wicked opposition works like fertiliser for the growth of divine communities. It has always been the way of criminal-minded to oppose beloveds of God. Therefore, it was but natural that following the claim of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) this was to materialise and it did.

Hudhur said in the verse preceding the verse recited at the beginning, God states: ‘And the Messenger will say, ‘O my Lord, my people indeed treated this Qur’an as a discarded thing.’ (25:31). The mention of the Makkans here also indicates towards the advent of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace), his summoning to the true teaching of the Holy Qur’an and his counsel to put it in practice. Muslims had forgotten the teaching of the Qur’an but when the Imam of the age called them towards it, they opposed him. This verse also assures the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and his followers that the opposition geared up against you in the name of God and the Qur’an is in fact due to a lack of awareness about the Holy Qur’an. Therefore, fear not, this is the way it always has been with Prophets of God and their followers; God is your Helper and Guide. Hudhur said the religious leaders who rile the masses can never succeed and certainly success will only be given to the community of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). No matter how much they try, none of their schemes will be fruitful and one day their opposition will deflect back on them.

Addressing our opponents, Hudhur said, if they had fear of God, they would be afraid of His silent justice. Rather than follow the so-called religious leaders, they should listen to one who calls on them with compassion and sympathy and does so with the command of God. But they call him names. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said if there was no Rahmaniyyat (Divine quality of being Gracious) it would have been impossible for the persecutors to remain protected from Divine chastisement. Hudhur said, following the teaching of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) which he derived from the blessed model of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), we say to those who consider it a meritorious act to persecute the community of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace), that for us their well-being is important and their pathetic state makes us anxious. They should abandon mocking and deriding the one who was sent by God.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) addressed those who did not accept him and said that they needed to awaken and be alert for it was time for a great revolution. He advised them against derision and scorn and prayed that God gave them the insight to witness the [spiritual] darkness and recognise the spiritual light. He enjoined them to awaken at night and supplicate God in complete humility. Hudhur said may God make it so that the opponents have some sense and they understand the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) compassionate message.

In Pakistan a notorious law has restricted us to utter or write the Kalima (affirmation of faith in Islam) and time and again the authorities use this law to persecute us. Recently, in a village near the city of Sargodha, police arrived at an Ahmadiyya mosque at night and asked an Ahmadi child to take off the plaque with Kalima on it. Although the Jama’at replaced the plaque, the police got the child to do what they wanted. Hudhur said he did not have the details as yet of whether they frightened the child or through other means, got him to remove the plaque, but it should not have happened. Addressing all Ahmadi children, Hudhur said in any such instance in future, they should say to the Police to go ahead and take the Kalima off themselves if they so wished, but they should be told that an Ahmadi would never do it. They can mete out all the cruelty they like, but each Ahmadi man, woman, child has to protect the Kalima. Hudhur said if the law allows this, it may, we will not dispute the law, but each Ahmadi should remember that we will not be their helpers in this under any circumstances, so that on the Day of Judgement the Kalima will bear witness for us and it will declare them the criminals. Hudhur said the law of Pakistan states that according to their own crafted definition we are not Muslims therefore we are not authorised to say the Kalima. We say to them, we do not need their definition, God and His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) have said then one who recites the Kalima is a Muslim. The Holy Qur’an states: ‘…and say not to anyone who greets you with the greeting of peace, ‘Thou art not a believer.’ (4:95). With the grace of God Ahmadis have perfect belief in God, His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and the Holy Qur’an. Not only are they Muslims, they are true believers for it is the Ahmadis who have, in light of the prophecy of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), sent greetings to the Messiah.

Hudhur said an incidence of erasing the Kalima also took place in another village in Pakistan. The local sadr locked the door of the mosque and said only uniformed police could come in, if anyone else tried to come in they would have to go over his dead body. His name was Atta Muhammad sahib, he was elderly and a heart patient. He continually recited the Kalima as he sat in the mosque. Ultimately, the police went away. The Ameer sahib of the region has written to Hudhur that following this incident, his heart condition worsened, he suffered from a heart attack and passed away. May God elevate his status. Hudhur said he had led his funeral Prayer yesterday. Currently opposition in Pakistan is very strong, Ahmadis living outside Pakistan should pray for Pakistan and Hudhur reminded the Pakistani Ahmadis that the survival of Pakistan is in the hands of the Ahmadis, they should pray profusely. The so-called religious scholars have driven the masses out of their minds. Some of them are criminal-minded, as the Qur’an refers, and they are the right-hand men of the so-called religious leaders, some listen to the mullah due to their own lack of knowledge, may God give them sense. Then, there are many who are pious natured and who express weariness at the current situation. These people should abandon cowardice and raise their voices. Economic downturn has reached severity in Pakistan, terrorism is rife, people are killed on a daily basis but no one cares. Heavenly disasters have engulfed the country but no one is prepared to ponder. Hudhur gave details of flooding in Hunza, in northern Pakistan where water has submerged many villages. Parts of the Karakoram Highway are submerged and the latest news is that it is becoming difficult to even rescue people via helicopters. The destruction that may ensue if the spillway is also eroded is unthinkable but no one seems to be really bothered. The only thing they are bothered about is how to harass Ahmadis and murder them. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) had enquired from his Companions how did they know such and such did not utter Kalima with sincerity of heart, had they torn his heart open and seen? So, while his Companions and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), who was directly guided by God did not know such a matter, the current day mullah seems to know the state of people’s hearts. A few days ago, another Ahmadi, Hafeez Ahmad Shakir sahib was martyred in Karachi. As he closed his shop late at night he was shot at close range and was thus martyred. He was 41 years old and was a most active member of the Jama’at, a devoted Ahmadi especially dedicated to recitation of the Holy Qur’an. He leaves behind his mother, widow, two daughters and a son. May God grant steadfastness to his mother and family and may He elevate his station. Hudhur said these martyrdoms, the erasing of the Kalima etc. are all done at the behest of the mullah.

Hudhur said while he has cited the definition of a Muslim by God and His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), what does the Qur’an say about these people: ‘And whoso kills a believer intentionally, his reward shall be Hell wherein he shall abide. And Allah will be wroth with him and will curse him and will prepare for him a great punishment.’ (4:94). Hudhur said let alone Ahmadis, in their enmity they even kill those who, according to their definition, are Muslims. Certainly one who incites and plans a crime is as much of criminal as one who actually carries out the act. Hudhur said we have always been patient and we shall continue to be patient. God states about martyrs: ‘And say not of those who are killed in the cause of Allah that they are dead; nay, they are living; only you perceive not.’ (2:155). For the martyr is the beneficence of the Hereafter, but for the enemy God states: And do you make the denial thereof your means of livelihood? (56:83). Hudhur explained the bread and butter of the mullah lies in rejecting the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and this matter has becomes his source of livelihood and they have forgotten the True Provider.

Hudhur said as our Community progresses, the opposition grows and as God has stated each Prophet is opposed. As Hudhur mentioned in his last Friday sermon, opposition in Egypt is also growing and the authorities seem to be backing the mullah and as a result a few Ahmadis have been imprisoned. Among the allegations against them one is that, God forbid, the Ahmadis consider Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani (on whom be peace) as Khatamun Nabiyeen (seal of all the prophets). Inna lillahe wa inna illaihe raji’oon. We believe the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) to have the most excellent station and believe that no other law-bearing prophet can come after him just as no other law-bearing Book can be revealed after the Holy Qur’an and the claim of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) is in his complete subordination .

Hudhur remarked that he would say to the educated people that they should not simply believe what they hear. They should read the message of Ahmadiyyat and see if the allegations are proven. They should at least listen to our viewpoint first. They should observe the services of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) for Islam and they should test the sense of honour of the Ahmadis for the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has described the so-called religious leaders as quadrupeds who have no idea what truth and merit is. They consider one who has been sent from God as wicked and declare believers as infidels. They do not know what entails service of religion. It is an enormous trouble within the religion of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) that most of the religious scholars of this religion do not have a grasp of the study of religion. They try to uphold falsehood and have no regard for God and have convinced themselves that they alone follow the truth.

Hudhur said the growing audacity of the outsiders against the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) is because they know the Muslims are not as one and can be ‘bought’ very easily and do not want to help the Imam of the age. Hudhur mentioned the current impudence against the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) which has Facebook temporarily banned in Pakistan.

Hudhur said the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) did not simply write objections about these people. We all know of the extensive books he wrote, in excess of eighty, in defence of Islam. He called on every religion to contend with Islam and proved the superiority of Islam and wore himself out for the Unity of God. On his passing away many people outside Ahmadiyyat paid tributes to him. Hudhur read out a detailed tribute by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, an Indian scholar in which he acknowledged the greatness of his [Promised Messiah’s] literature. He wrote that Christianity was out to eradicate Islam with its wealth and resources. In response to their cannon, Muslims did not even have an arrow to strike with. This is when the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) battled for Islam. Hudhur said the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was a great general of Islam who stopped Christianity in its tracks. Hudhur read brief tributes by an American priest about the service of Ahmadiyyat in Sierra Leone and by an historian S.G. Williamson about the progress of Ahmadiyyat in Africa that stopped the spread of Christianity.

Hudhur read another extract from the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) expressing his profound desire to spend his entire life in service of faith and to share with everyone what God had bestowed him.

Hudhur said it is the Ahmadis who, having understood the teaching of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) comprehend the true significance of the Kalima. Time and again the so-called scholars make allegations against us and incite the Muslims. The Muslims should find out the facts. Ahmadis can sacrifice their lives but once having understood the true meanings of the Kalima – There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger – we will never turn back. This very Kalima will bear witness for us after our death and this very Kalima will give testimony of the oppression and persecution against the Ahmadis. Each one of us who demonstrates steadfastness, certainly attracts God’s love. Hudhur said we should never let this spirit die, should never let it die.

Hudhur said he would lead funeral Prayers of the Shaheed (Shakir sahib) and of Atta Muhammad sahib. Next Hudhur gave the sad news of the passing away of a young Egyptian Ahmadi, Ahmad Hilmi Shafi, grandson of Hilmi Shafi sahib. Hudhur said he was wheelchair bound and a most patient person who bore his ailment with steadfastness and always asked his mother to be steadfast. His mother says he was the most obedient of her children. His father is one of the Ahmadis who are currently imprisoned by the authorities. Hudhur said Ahmad Hilmi Shafi had attained a degree in business and planned to serve the Jama’at in the footsteps of his grandfather in the field of literature. Hudhur said he had twice attended Jalsa Salana in Hudhur’s Khilafat. Hudhur prayed that may God elevate his station and grant steadfastness to his relatives and may God keep each Ahmadi safe from all evil.