In his Friday Sermon today Hudhur said it is in the months of September and October that Ijtimas of the various auxiliaries of most countries are held. Today the Ijtima of Khuddam ul Ahmadiyya UK starts while next weekend it will be the turn of Ansar and Lajna. For the past 27 to 28 years the presence of the Khalifa of the time has become a part of the Ijtimas of the UK Jama’at. Prior to the migration from Rabwah, Pakistan, the Khalifa of the time attended the Ijtimas of all the auxiliaries there. During Ijtima days Rabwah would bustle keenly, in particular the Atfal and Khuddam participated with much eagerness. Each majlis (branch) would bring their own sheets to make tents in the accommodation area as manufactured tents were not available. So, majalis brought their own bed-sheets to make tents and this would result in an array of colourful, floral improvised tents. Month of October in Pakistan is pleasant and this made all this possible. Given the weather here, it would certainly not be possible to have similar arrangement.
Hudhur said the Khuddam ul Ahmadiyya UK Ijtima had reminded him of the Ijtimas of his childhood and youth and of those victims who have been deprived of the right to hold Ijtimas due to the oppressive laws of the oppressors. They cannot organise gatherings for their reformation, Tarbiyyat, and for the remembrance of God and His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Hudhur said, he and us are firm on the belief that this situation is not permanent. One day the oppression and the oppressors will be wiped off the face of the earth. May God continue to enable us to remain patient, steadfast and to remain engaged in prayer.
Hudhur said in fact he should have addressed these issues at the Ijtima, as each year he addresses the various auxiliaries accordingly. But Hudhur thought of addressing the subject in his Friday sermon. In the Ijtimas in Pakistan the Khalifa of the time gave an inaugural and concluding address. Here, the concluding address at the Khuddam ul Ahmadiyya Ijtima is not televised live. It is broadcast a few days later and perhaps a large number of people do not get to see it. Thirdly, wherever in the world Ijtimas are being held, this should be considered as a corresponding message and the victimised Ahmadis of Pakistan be remembered. Fourthly, wherever new majalis are being formed direct benefit can be derived by listening. Thus, today Hudhur addressed Khuddam ul Ahmadiyya in particular and every single Ahmadi in general.
With reference to youth, the Holy Qur’an cites servicing religion, reformation and establishing the Unity of God twice in Surah Al Kahf. These were the youth who believed in the Mosiac Messiah (on whom be peace) and who endured oppression for three hundred years. For a long period of time, they had to inhabit caves in hiding. They were also chased by the representatives of the ruling groups in the caves and murdered. Yet they endured persecution for the sake of religion and Unity of God. When the situation alleviated, they came out of caves but time and again had to endure persecution and oppression. Such was their endeavour for establishing Unity of God and safeguarding faith that God has mentioned them in the Qur’an. It is stated:
‘When the young men betook themselves for refuge to the Cave and said, ‘Our Lord, bestow on us mercy from Thyself, and provide for us right guidance in our affair.’ (18:11)
‘We will relate to thee their story with truth: They were young men who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance.
And We strengthened their hearts, when they stood up and said, ‘Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. Never shall we call upon any god beside Him; if we did, we should indeed have uttered an enormity.’ (18:14 – 15)
They endeavoured for the establishment of the Unity of God, endured oppression and prayed to God to stay firm on the belief of Oneness of God and to remain guided. The Surah also refers to the current Christian belief where a man is deemed son of God. This has nothing to do with the true teaching of Christianity and is so perilous a matter that it will make them blameworthy. The real Christian teaching was not of the concept of Trinity, it was of Unity of God. The Christians who believed it and worshipped One God had their belief strengthened because of this. They were most averse to the idea that there could be other than God worthy of worship. Under the influence of time and ruling powers, the concept of Trinity came into Christianity and worldliness took over. God has warned of Fire for those who associate partners with Him. As long as Christianity remained in its original form, it was the youth who safeguarded it. Due to their faith and regard for God alone to be worthy of worship, God kept them guided. These people had no care for worldly rewards. Like wise, God ‘…increased them in guidance. And We strengthened their hearts…’ Armed with this strength and this guidance they declared to the oppressors of the time: ‘…Never shall we call upon any god beside Him…’ . Their stance was that they could sacrifice their rights, loved ones and their wealth and lives but they could not turn away from the Unity of God.
Hudhur said such is the example before us of those who believed, although they did not have the blessed model that we, with the grace of God, have of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and his Companions. The lofty standard of the blessed model that have in view, demands that in order to tread the paths of Unity of God, we fulfil the pledge of sacrificing our lives, property, time and honour. No trial, no worldly greed should become an impediment for us.
Hudhur said when one is presented with trials faced by divine communities, one is reminded particularly of the Pakistani Ahmadis, as well as some other countries where persecution is carried out. Apart from the physical and mental torture, Pakistani Ahmadis are also sacrificing their lives and their property. Arab Ahmadis living in their countries, who are increasing in number by the day as Hudhur receives letters of bai’at in his daily post, are also facing difficulties because of their belief and are spending a life like that of the People of the Cave (reference Surah Kahf). In Pakistan, our Community is mature and established and our belief is not hidden; people express it fearlessly. Yet, for the newcomers, this can be difficult. Among the newcomers are those with passion whose faith develops, but a few are weak. In places, for security reasons, gatherings are limited. Some write in to Hudhur restlessly from the Arab states, asking how much longer do they have to wait! Hudhur said he always give them the example of the People of the Cave and advises them to be steadfast. These times will, InshaAllah, change. The history of Prophets tells us such times change and indeed they will. To Ahmadis of those Muslim countries who are sometimes perturbed over how long do they have to function covertly, offer Salat and Jummah covertly, Hudhur said they do not have an appreciation of the joy that Pakistani Ahmadis have had experienced of holding Ijtimas and Jalsa under the direct auspices of Khilafat. Yet, for the past twenty eight years, these followers of the Muhammadan Messiah have safeguarded their belief and their pledge and given all sorts of sacrifices. The restriction of such a long period of time and constant persecution is not an insignificant matter, yet these embodiments of patience; men, women, young and old, continue to give sacrifices. However, these sacrifices will not last 300 years; with the grace of God, they are moving us most speedily towards triumph and success. Our effort to reach our objectives has not stopped because of persecution in a few countries. The Ahmadiyya Community has been entrusted with the task of propagating the message of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and the establishment of Unity of God. This task has not stopped because of these enmities and restrictions, in fact each day dawns with fresh progress for us.
Last week Hudhur laid the foundation of a new mosque in Ireland. Ireland is a hub of Christianity as people there still associate themselves with the Church, majority being Catholics, whereas in the rest of Europe people have become indifferent to religion. Ireland, as Hudhur referred in last week’s Friday Sermon, is also a corner of the earth. Following the foundation-laying there, a reception was held where about a hundred guests, including parliamentarians, civil servants, academics, the mayor Galway and a high-ranking priest came. The beautiful teaching of Islam and the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) message was conveyed to them which received a good coverage by the national TV and newspapers and thus the message reached hundreds of thousands. Thus, if on one hand attempts are made to oppress us, on the other hand new avenues of Tabligh are opening. Although the number of Ahmadis in Ireland is small, most of them are young and are MashaAllah active. As a result they have good connections. Following the event of last week, these will be enhanced and new avenues will be opened. If the current passion is sustained and the recent ‘introduction’ is availed of, one day the followers of the Muhammadan Messiah will make these people turn to One God. While persecution in some place is a cause for concern, the Quranic message of: ‘Allah has decreed: ‘Most surely I will prevail, I and My Messengers.’ Verily, Allah is Powerful, Mighty.’ (58:22) is an assuring tiding.
After the time of the People of the Cave of the Mosaic Messiah, Christianity that spread had a message of shirk (associating partner with God). However, the followers of the Muhammadan Messiah will be granted triumph a lot sooner than 300 years, and this triumph will be a source of removing shirk from its root and establishing Oneness of God.
Hudhur said with the grace of God, today the world of Ahmadiyyat has expanded greatly. If the rights of Ahmadis are curtailed in a few countries, the Ahmadis of Australia, America, Africa and the Islands are living a life of freedom. They are free to practice the real teaching of Islam and to implement it in daily life. They are free to practice Tabligh. Addressing the Ahmadis living in these countries, Hudhur said these facilities, prosperity and freedom should be made sources to attain our objective. God did not simply intend the words ‘…and We increased them in guidance…’ for the People of the Cave. In fact they expound the principle that whoever will safeguard belief, will stay firm on faith, God will continue to increase them in guidance, just as it is also stated: ‘True believers are only those whose hearts tremble when the name of Allah is mentioned, and when His Signs are recited to them they increase their faith, and who put their trust in their Lord, Who observe Prayer and spend out of that which We have provided for them. These it is who are true believers. They have grades of rank with their Lord, as well as forgiveness and an honourable provision. (8:3 -5).
Hudhur said the aforementioned verses cite the qualities of a true believer. One who does not become a true believer merely by verbally professing, rather one who safeguards belief in times of trials. As a result one becomes worthy of those promises that God has made with true believers. If one claims to have belief, one’s each word and deed should be for the sake of attaining God’s pleasure. The heart should have a sense of awe for God. For a true believer, God is that Beloved Being Whose pleasure is always in view, indeed, should be in view.
Belief is not just verbal utterance; it is a practice that should be continuous. Verses of the Qur’an increase belief. The sign of a true believer is to avoid lame excuses and pay heed to all the commandments of God. As stated: ‘And those who, when they are reminded of the Signs of their Lord, fall not deaf and blind thereat;’ (25:74). Verbal claim that one believes in the Unity of God does not enhance faith, unless effort is made to abide by the commandments of God. Establishment of Unity of God is successful when man sacrifices his nafs (self) for the sake of God. One sign of a true believer is observance of Salat. Hudhur said it was most important for every Khadim and each Ahmadi to not just especially organise observance of Salat during Ijtima, but later as well. It is important to offer Salat on time and in congregation. Those Khuddam who are on duty should also organise their Salat. This should not be the practice only during Ijtima days, rather should constant. Our progress and triumphs are correlated with prayers and the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has repeatedly drawn our attention to this. The most excellent source of prayer is Salat and without it belief and Unity of God cannot be established. The five daily Prayers are a source of breaking many idols; in particular in this materialistic world they break the idols of our inner-self as well as the idols of apparent sources/means. This is a fundamental formula to spread and establish Unity of God. The Qur’an states: ‘…and spend out of that which We have provided for them…’. Hudhur explained God also increases the belief of those who spend in the way of publication of faith and Unity of God. In the last verse of the three, (8:5) God states that one possessed of the qualities described in the first two verses alone is a true believer in God’s sight and deserving of His blessings. These blessings are: ‘grades of rank with their Lord…forgiveness and an honourable provision’. Hudhur explained the provision mentioned herein is provision in this world as well as the Hereafter. Increase in belief, increase in guidance makes one a recipient of God’s blessings. It is the task of a true believer to constantly try to attain God’s pleasure for increase in belief and guidance. This alone is taqwa. Taqwa leads one to pleasure of God and attaining pleasure of God is a source in further developing in taqwa. God states: ‘But as for those who follow guidance, He adds to their guidance, and bestows on them their righteousness’ (47:18). Taqwa is enhanced along with attaining God’s pleasure. God teaches new ways to those who seek His pleasure and continually work for it and He wraps them in His refuge and is pleased with them. Their sacrifices gain acceptance with God. Rather than be frightened by the scare-mongering of the enemy, it takes them closer to God. Their belief in the Quranic statement of: ‘We are your friends in this life and in the Hereafter —‘ (41:32) continues to increase.
It was belief in God that convinced the adherents of Mosaic Messiah to give sacrifices. God’s promises with us are far greater than those they were given. There is no reason for us to ever even think about insincerity with God, be negligent of His worship and negligent of establishing Unity of God.
A group of believers is praying with patience for steadfastness and guidance in Pakistan and a few other countries. This group of people is also increasing in belief and in guidance and God is listening to its prayers. The strengthening of its faith and its fearlessness is proof that in acceptance of its prayer God has granted strength to hearts. Youths, young men, all the Khuddam are giving whatever duty is assigned to them with passion and without any fear. Elders write that it is amazing to watch these young men. [From a security perspective] In Pakistan Ahmadi mosques are considered dangerous places by the authorities. Yet, if one Khadim cannot turn up for duty for some reason, two or three are ready to step in his shoes and wish to be the substitute. They leave home saying if they return that would be good, but if they do not then may God fulfil His promises for us. Such is the state of belief in their hearts. Today, the followers of the Muhammadan Messiah are displaying an amazing passion. May God sustain their passion and with His special grace, also protect them. These young men are creating amazing history, they are no less than anyone else. They are in reality ever ready to sacrifice their life, property and honour. Certainly these people are those who attain God’s pleasure. May they adhere to taqwa, enhance their worship of God and continue to attain pleasure of God.
Addressing the congregation present as well as the Khuddam at the Ijtima, Hudhur said they had the freedom to hold Ijtima and organise Tarbiyyat programmes as well as Tabligh programmes. They should understand their responsibilities. The three days of the Ijtima should not be a source of temporary change in them, rather, they should try to inculcate a permanent change in themselves. They should enhance the standards of their taqwa and worship of God. The absurd attractions of the West should not impress them. They should keep the sacrifice of those brothers in view who, while strengthening their faith, are making every endeavour to keep the banner of Ahmadiyyat, true Islam aloft. They are giving every sacrifice to fulfil their pledge and their loyalty. Thus, as a mark of thankfulness for the freedoms they enjoy, while standards of worship and taqwa should be enhanced, full participation should be made to take the message of Ahmadiyyat everywhere. Every Tabligh tool should be utilised. The young make better use of the modern resources. Today, the young Ahmadis have to participate on two ‘outer’ frontlines, that is aside from reformation of the self; the inner frontline. One is to defend Islam against the attacks made on it and the other is to defend Ahmadiyyat against attacks made on it. Various websites put up various, absurd objections. These should be filled with the message of truth. An organised modus operandi/plan/procedure should be prepared to fill them with truth. Where there is lack of knowledge, help should be sought from elders and the missionaries. Today, each Khadim in the world is needed to be part of these projects, then alone will they play a real role in the establishment of Unity of God. The young men of the Mosaic Messiah played their role in limited regions, with the help of modern resources the Khuddam of the Muhammadan Messiah can create a revolutionary change in the entire world. Special attention should be paid to this matter, may God enable us all to do so.
Next Hudhur read an extract of the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) writings and prayed that may God enable us to put his pronouncements in practice.