Friday Sermon: Conditions of Bai'at and our duty towards the future generations

October 1st, 2010

After the advent of the Promised Messiah (as), the new era of propagation of Islam has commenced, hence the success of the progress of Jamaat Ahmadiyya has been destined. Many obstacles have already appeared and will continue to appear in the way of this progress as they did in the way of other Godly nations. When such fires are ignited in the path of Jamaat Ahmadiyya by the enemies, God Almighty comes to the rescue and extinguishes those fires, and as a result of passing through these troubled circumstance, a Momin increases in faith. The Holy Quran itself testifies to the face that believers are put through trials and tests, as God Almighty states: “Do men think that they will be left alone because they say, ‘We believe,’ and that they will not be tested? And We did test those who were before them. So Allah will surely distinguish those who are truthful and He will surely distinguish the liars from the truthful.” [29:3-4] It has been a practice that believing people were tried and the same is happening today. It is Divine Law which distinguishes between those who are true to their faith and those who are not. There are different types of trials put forward, but they should all result in the strengthening of the faith of the believing people, whereas those who are already weak in their faith and always looking for opportunities to criticize further increase in their doubts and loss of faith, to the extent that they start questioning the truthfulness of the Jamaat in certain cases. Persecution is one such form of trial which may lead to the weakening of the faith of those who are already fragile. God Almighty brings trials so that the believer becomes closer to God, and thus opens up ways of progress for the Jamaat. The Promised Messiah (as) said that ways of progress are opened for those who succeed in these exams. He also said that the Holy Prophet (saw) eventually met with success because he was put through trials and difficulties in the early part of his mission. Therefore all prophets and their peoples are subjected to persecution, but the key is to remain steadfast in face of adversity. Only then can victory be guaranteed. God is Omnipotent and possesses all attributes in their perfection. We should always keep in mind that God Almighty sent the Promised Messiah (as) in this age and his Jamaat is destined to be victorious. Persecution is not an indication of failure but of success and victory.

If we persist in establishing a close personal relationship with the Jamaat and that of our children, then we will reap the favours of God Almighty Who has destined these blessings in favour of the Jamaat, and InshaAllah, our next generations will witness this victory. Huzoor (aba) directed that although each and every person should always keep in mind their level of Taqwa and how to improve it, he said that those of us who have attained the age of maturity should be concerned about the religious and moral training of the younger ones. This is part of taqwa and also part of the fulfilment of our pledges. It should also be remembered that the progress of the Jamaat is not associated with whether we keep our children linked to the Jamaat or not; indeed it is the benefit of the children to remain associated with Jamaat. It is God Almighty’s promise that He shall grant the Jamaat victory, so success lies in remaining associated with it. If we are deficient in the moral upbringing of our children such that they move away from the Jamaat, the progress of the Jamaat will not falter. When the weak ones move away, God Almighty brings more passionate and dedicated people into the Jamaat. Therefore, we must always bear this very important point in mind and remain concerned for the moral training of our children.

In this regard, our own practical model is most important. Huzoor (aba) addressed the Ansarullah, saying that those who have reached the age of 40 and beyond have reached a very mature age, and they should start preparing for their end. In fact, whosoever wishes to progress in their level of Taqwa should keep his end in mind. Ahmadis in general pledge to always make progress in their level of Taqwa, therefore, at this age specifically, one must develop this deep concern. The synopsis of the conditions of bai’at is to firmly believe in the Oneness of Allah, to remain distant from falsehood, to control one’s passions, to remain steadfast in daily prayers and offer Tahajjud, to remain occupied in repentance and glorify Allah, to practice devotion and loyalty to God, to remain humble, to follow the Quranic injunctions, to refrain from arrogance, to serve humanity, to be completely obedient to the Promised Messiah (as), etc. All these practices lead to increasing one’s level of Taqwa, and this is the minimum standard expected of Ahmadis by the Promised Messiah (as). In this day and age, this was the objective of the advent of the Promised Messiah (as) i.e. to increase the level of Taqwa among men. The Promised Messiah (as) said that God has appointed him to establish taqwa among people and to establish faith in God such that they refrain from committing sin. Such a taqwa should reflect the condition of one’s heart and result in gaining nearness of Allah, and should not be developed for fear of punishment. The level of faith of believers is described in the Quranic verse: “And there are some among men who take for themselves objects of worship other than Allah, loving them as they should love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in their love for Allah and if those who transgress could now see the time when they shall see the punishment, they would realize that all power belongs to Allah and that Allah is severe in punishing.” (2:166)

When a person develops love for God, he progresses in faith, and this results in progress in taqwa. It is the responsibility of the Ansarullah and Lajna Imaillah to progress in taqwa so that they become models for the future generations, which is directly linked to their spiritual progress. Men and women have been assigned duties, which are important to fulfil and have been outlined in the conditions of bai’at by the Promised Messiah (as).

Huzoor (aba) then shed light on the slogan of “Nahno Ansarullah” i.e. We are the helpers of Allah, and he elaborated upon the two Quranic verses where this slogan appears. The first is the following verse: “And when Jesus perceived their disbelief, he said, ‘Who will be my helpers in the cause of Allah?’ The disciples answered, ‘We are the helpers of Allah. We have believed in Allah. And bear thou witness that we are obedient.” (3:53) When the disciples accepted the message, they also recited a prayer which is preserved in the following Quranic verse: “‘Our Lord, we believe in that which Thou hast sent down and we follow this Messenger. So write us down among those who bear witness.’” (3:54) Huzoor (aba) said that the obedience to a Prophet means that one must fulfil the pledge taken at his hand, to practice upon his teachings and to have firm faith in the truthfulness of his teachings.

The second verse where the slogan appears is in the following Quranic verse: “O ye who believe! be helpers of Allah, as said Jesus, son of Mary, to his disciples, ‘Who are my helpers in the cause of Allah.’ The disciples said, ‘We are helpers of Allah.’ So a party of the children of Israel believed, while a party disbelieved. Then We gave power to those who believed against their enemy, and they became victorious.” (61:15) Huzoor (aba) said that it is apparent from this verse, victory is always granted to those who believe. This is destiny. Muslims are given the example of the disciples of Jesus Christ (as) and invited to become helpers of Allah. Similarly, the Messiah of the Ummah of the Holy Prophet (saw) gave the same instructions to his followers, that they should become the helpers of Allah and do not be among those who reject the message. Huzoor (aba) said that it is indeed a blessing of Allah that we are among those who have accepted the message, therefore it is incumbent upon us to obey the true and loyal devotee of the Holy Prophet (saw) so that we can propagate his religion, the religion of Islam in the world. If we progress in our faith and as a result, our children progress in their faith, then we can expect that we will continue to get good Ansar. We must keep our pledge always in our minds so that we can become the best of Ansar. The disciples of Jesus Christ diminished in their faiths over a few generations and their belief in Oneness of God decreased to the point where it vanished all together and this humble prophet of God was converted into God Himself. The Promised Messiah (as) however came to re-establish the Oneness of God and he said that man should bring about that spiritual revolution in him in order to revive the true purpose of creation, which is to worship God. God revealed His message to the Holy Prophet (saw) which was revived by the Promised Messiah (as) in the latter days, and now, we must carry this message to the corners of the globe and inculcate the same passion in our children, such that the helpers of Allah keep increasing till Islam prevails with splendour.

Huzoor (aba) drew the attention towards the first condition of bai’at which says that we must abstain from Shirk (to associate partners with God). The first Messiah (as) was not able to establish this Unity of God and only a few generations that passed after him were led to committing Shirk (i.e. they started to move away from the concept of Unity of God). This is because they could not implement the teachings of the Messiah in their lives, their faith weakened, their relationship with God decreased and they turned their eye to worldly gains. The followers of the Messiah of the latter days however must not let their personal relationship with God weaken, nor should they let the relationship of their children with God weaken, otherwise, just like the followers of the first Messiah, their future generations will also be lost to associating partners with Allah. Non-Ahmadi Muslims are already trapped in this vicious activity of visiting the tombs and graves of saints and holy men. The Promised Messiah (as) revived the pristine teachings of Islam and directed the Muslims to fulfil their obligations to their fellow human beings and to make progress in righteous and virtuous morals.

Huzoor(aba) then drew the attention towards the offering of five daily prayers, which is also part of the conditions of bai’at. He said that God has taught us the prayer: “Thee alone do we worship” (1:5) indicating the importance of worship, but at the same time, God has also taught the other part of the prayer: “and Thee alone do we implore for help.” (1:5) This was done so that man bows before God and humbly asks for His Divine assistance in carrying out this important obligation of worshiping Him. The Quran also advises the Muslims to guard their prayer as in the following verse: “Watch over Prayers, and the middle Prayer, and stand before Allah submissively.” (2:239) Therefore it is the duty of a believer to give special attention to this injunction, so that their personal progress in faith continues to occur and that of their children as well. In order to make children regular in prayers, this habit should be inculcated right from their childhood, not when they become adolescents because then it is already too late. Huzoor (aba) also added that in some cases, the man of the house is regular in offering prayers, but his attitude towards his wife and children is so aggressive, that the family members are put off from prayers. Salat should be such that it increases man in virtues. Huzoor (aba) also said that there are certain cases among men as old as 40 years (and above) who do not offer salat. If this is the case, then how can they expect their children to be regular in offering salat or even to remain associated with the Jamaat. If we look at the lives of the martyrs, the most prominent aspect of their lives is that they were deeply occupied in worship and remembrance of God, and they were deeply concerned about the standards of worship of their children and their association with Jamaat.

Huzoor (aba) then mentioned the importance of offering nawafil (supererogatory prayers) and tahajjud prayers. Ansarullah should be offering tahajjud prayers in larger number. Huzoor (aba) said that we must make an attempt to make such sacrifices in the way of God and make every effort to propagate the religion of Islam. The Promised Messiah (as) has said that supplication (dua) is the vessel to propagate Islam, therefore, special attention should be diverted to supplicate with great zeal, and attention should also be diverted in making continuous and steadfast supplications versus sporadic and random efforts.

Huzoor (aba) said that the Promised Messiah (as) has also drawn the attention of his followers to learn the Quran, therefore we must develop an association with this Holy Book and not only recite it daily but also try to learn its meaning and understand it. If we make the effort to improve our own knowledge of the Quran, our children will also develop a passion to do the same.

Huzoor (aba) said that the conditions of bai’at set a minimum standard for all the followers of the Jamaat in the eyes of the Promised Messiah (as). Ansarullah should try to achieve a higher standard. Lajna Imaillah are equally responsible if not more; the moral training of the children lies in their hands ever since the birth of the child. If the mothers are religiously educated, the chances are that they will raise children with spiritual inclination. Every woman should aspire to attain a high standard in spirituality and henceforth, the next generations will develop a deep connection with God. Huzoor (aba) said that the Word of God makes no distinction between men and women; whosoever will follow the teachings will gain nearness to God. Huzoor (aba) also instructed that we should not only pray for ourselves, but we should also pray for each other and pray for the next generations. May Allah enable us to fulfil our pledges and become obedient and loyal devotees of the Promised Messiah (as). Huzoor (aba) read out an extract from the writings of the Promised Messiah (as) which stresses the importance of supplication, which is a weapon against sin and all evils.