Huzur (aba), delivered the Friday sermon on July 30, 2010 at Hadeeqatul-Mahdi, site of the 2010 annual convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of the United Kingdom. Huzoor (aba) cited the verse:
They are the ones who turn to God in repentance, who worship Him, who praise Him, who go about in the land serving Him, who bow down to God, who prostrate themselves in prayer, who enjoin good and forbid evil, and who watch the limits set by Allah. And give glad tidings to those who believe. (9:112)
This verse of the Holy Quran applies to those believers who give precedence to their faith and conviction above all worldly affairs, and for such people are glad tidings from God Almighty. Those who possess the characteristics outlined in this verse truly are Believers (Momineen), because these are the people who carry out their worship in the best possible way, they ask for forgiveness in the true spirit of repentance, they bow before their Lord like they are supposed to, they follow the teachings of Islam and become the role models by practicing what they preach. These are the people who attain the status of those who are the guardians of the limits set forth by Allah Almighty. May Allah Almighty enable them to progress continually in their virtues and may all the participants at the Jalsa Salana attain this virtuous status so that they may be counted among this blessed group of Believers.
Huzoor (aba) stated that many of the Jalsa participants have travelled from far flung places to be part of this auspicious occasion. He said that in the morning after Fajr prayers, het me a family that had travelled all through the night from Europe, and among this family, were little children and women. This journey was undertaken only to reap the blessings of Jalsa salana. Many who travel to Hadeeqa-tul-Mahdi even from the United Kingdom are undertaking some sort of travel and undergo inconvenience. God Almighty regards such a journey as one undertaken for His sake. Those who succeed in arriving at Jalsa Salana are guests of the Promised Messiah (as) who leave behind worldly aims to gain spiritual benefits. Huzoor (aba) said that although organizational steps have been put in place for the service of all participants, however, he also said that those who come to Jalsa Salana with the intention of enriching their souls are not worried about physical comforts and luxuries. Their attention is only focused on how to nourish their souls. If this view is kept in mind i.e. that worldly pleasures do not matter, then the weakness that may exist in the organizational matters of the hosts will not be significant and will be easily excused. Huzoor (aba) said that sometimes, people complain that some guests are being taken care of better than others. It must be remembered that organizers try their best to give great care and attention to all guests equally. However, there are occasions where some guests are given separate service, appropriate in certain circumstances. Huzoor (aba) drew the attention of the masses towards the true objective of their presence at the Jalsa, which is to enhance and improve their spiritual state so that they progress in their way of becoming true Momineen. Hadhrat Promised Messiah (as) always gave individual care to each and every one of his guests; however, at the occasion of Jalsa Salana, all guests were given equal treatment by the overall organization. The emphasis was laid on the real objectives of attending Jalsa Salana: to gain knowledge, to purify oneself and to gain nearness to God Almighty. This is the aim of attending Jalsa Salana every year.
Huzoor (aba) also directed the attention of the Jalsa participants towards the proper use of their time. During Jalsa Salana, members of a family get together from different countries of the world and this provides an opportunity of a reunion. At such occasions, these families wish to spend time with one another. It is a sign of the truth of the Promised Messiah (as) that he was successful in forming a Jamaat without borders, which is one big brotherhood that displays a unique bond of brotherhood and unity to become one nation. But Huzoor (aba) reminded that the participants should not neglect the Jalsa program. He also pointed out that those who sit in gatherings all through the night and forget that they have gathered for a specific purpose should rectify their actions. It is the distinction of a Momin to create a balance in his life. The Holy Prophet (saw) has also advised that Muslims should not waste their time in idle talk. Huzoor (aba) said that there is no harm in spending time with relatives, but one should also remain mindful of the prayers and the actual purpose of attending Jalsa Salana. Sometimes, guests also put pressure on the hosts to become part of such night-long gatherings, which becomes very cumbersome for the hosts since they have to fulfil many other responsibilities as well. Therefore, the guests and the hosts should be aware of their principal duties during the time of Jalsa Salana.
Huzoor (aba) said that at a time when tens of thousands of people are present in a confined space, it is natural that conflicts can arise. At times, when guests complain or criticize the work of the duty holders, the duty holders react in an inappropriate manner, and conflicts which arise in some cases can last for a long period of time. Huzoor (aba) advised that in such cases, both parties should keep the spiritual atmosphere of the gathering in mind. Guests should display patience and forbearance and the duty holders should control their emotions and passions. In such a way, difficult situations can be handled harmoniously.
Huzoor (aba) also pointed that this year, the security measures being implemented at Jalsa Salana may delay some guests arriving in cars, etc. Even at the time that the Friday sermon was being delivered, Huzoor (aba) said that he had received reports from the ladies marquee that there was a long delay at the security points because of the large number of bags that need to be checked. When such long delays occur, some may have to stand in the sun, some may be delayed to their relatives who are handicapped. Although the organizers are trying their best to cope with the crowds of people, Huzoor (aba) is urging all participants to display patience. Some of the younger men who have been assigned security duties should display a very solemn attitude at their position so that they do not hurt the feelings of any of the guests. Huzoor (aba) also urged the Security supervisors to be present at their posts to manage any difficulties in case they arise. Time should not be wasted in engaging in conversations with the guests at the entrance. Huzoor (aba) again reminded that all guests are here to attain righteous objectives and that can only be attained if they practice love and show affection and tenderness towards one another. Try to overlook the minor weaknesses and pay attention to the larger objective which is the worship of God, and make this a journey which has been undertaken merely for the sake of gaining nearness to Allah. Huzoor (aba) said that all duty holders are in a way engaged in silent Tabligh (propagation of Islam). Similarly, each guest is an ambassador of Jamaat Ahmadiyya. Those who are attending the Jalsa Salana for the first time are taking an impression away from the gathering, and largely, this impression has always been good. These guests attending Jalsa for the first time have a good impression of Islam and of Muslims. Ahmadis not only gain benefit for their individual selves, but are doing a great service to those who are present for the first time by displaying a good model of an Ahmadi Muslim, hence best virtues must always be on display, so that you become the heirs of the prayers of the Promised Messiah (as).
Huzoor (aba) said that each year, guests from overseas are reminded that they should not overstay their welcome at their hosts’ residents or at Jamaat accommodation. They should limit their stay to 2 or 3 weeks. Jalsa organizers experience great inconvenience by those who do not follow these instructions. Those coming from overseas should remember that the accommodation which is prepared by the Jalsa organizers is a temporary dwelling and those members who offer their homes also have to get back to their routines. Government agencies keep an eye on the temporary dwellings set up by Jamaat, and need to follow the rules and regulations implemented by them. If guests need to stay beyond the allotted time, they must make their own arrangements elsewhere, and in case they decide to stay with friends or relatives, you must obtain their permission first. The Holy Prophet (saw) has said that one must not overstay his welcome and should not force their hosts to serve him. Such an act is equivalent to robbing a house. A Believer is one who does not give trouble to his host, but becomes a source of blessing for him. The host and the guest should form such a pleasant relationship with one another that they pray for each other and send blessings on one another and cultivate an atmosphere of peace and harmony. If we fail to utilize this opportunity to reap blessings, then we will be among the unfortunate ones.
The Holy Prophet (saw) promoted harmony and seized every occasion to spread the message of goodness and opened the ways of inculcating moral virtues in his companions, who became the beacons of light for the generations to follow. In a hadith, it has been narrated that once a companion by the name of Abu Shaikh (rz) made arrangements for a meal for 5 people including the Holy Prophet (saw), after observing signs of hunger on their faces. When the meal was prepared, he invited these people to partake of the meal, but by this time, another companion had also joined the party. At this, the Holy Prophet (saw) sought permission from the host after telling him that another companion had joined the party since the invitation had been sent out. When the host gave his permission to bring the extra person along, they all partook of the meal. This is the high standard of virtues he inculcated in his companions, so much so that they were always seeking the opportunity to fulfil the wishes of the Holy Prophet (saw). The Holy Prophet (saw) also said that if you visit someone, always greet them first, and if you do not hear a reply, return from that house without thinking ill of the residents. There is no benefit in complaining or pumping your ego.
Huzoor (aba) also stated that this is an auspicious occasion to promote love and brotherhood amongst one another and to promote the Islamic tradition of greeting each other with the Islamic salutation of Assalam-o-Alaikum. Huzoor (aba) urged all the participants of Jalsa to greet one another, whether you know each other or not. This will create an atmosphere of a truly Islamic society. The Islamic greeting is an excellent way to spread peace and love. Huzoor (aba) said that it would be wonderful if those who have stopped talking to one another due to some disagreement end their conflict and forgive each other and become reunited in the bond of brotherhood.
Huzoor (aba) also stated an incident from the life of the Promised Messiah (as) after saying that each moment of the life of a Prophet is dedicated to Allah Almighty and each journey is undertaken for the sake of Allah. At one occasion, the Promised Messiah (as) was in Amritsar in 1893, engaged in Jang-e-Muqaddas (the Holy War – Huzoor (aba) expounded on the significance of this event, saying that this was a dialogue that took place between Christians and Muslims and the Promised Messiah (as) was representing the Muslims, and with clear evidences, he was successful in establishing the superiority of Islam). On one day, due to the excessive amounts of guests present, the organizers somehow forgot to serve the meal to the Promised Messiah (as). After waiting for a long time, the Promised Messiah (as) inquired about the meal, and the organizers, realizing their negligence, began to panic. At this, the Promised Messiah (as) relieved them by saying that there is no need to panic; there must be some leftovers in the kitchen, which will suffice. When they went back to the meals area, there were only some scraps of bread left behind, and the Promised Messiah (as) was served those, which he ate without any complaints. For the followers of the Promised Messiah (as) there is a message that we must practice such patience and forbearance even when things may not be going according to your own comfort. If a deficiecy is observed, try to recall the purpose of your visit here after a journey of hundreds or thousands of miles.
In the end, Huzoor (aba) reminded that it is the duty of every participant of Jalsa to keep an eye around him. If you feel there is any type of suspicious activity, please bring it to the attention of the duty holders. Huzoor (aba) also reminded that it is again the duty of all participants to maintain cleanliness. In addition, all participants should engage in supplication through the days of Jalsa Salana. May Allah Almighty keep every Ahmadi in His protection, Ameen.