Friday Sermon: Second Manifestation of Divine grace: Ahmadiyya Khilafat

May 27th, 2011

Hudhur gave a discourse on the second Manifestation of God’s Power as foretold by the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) in his booklet ‘Al Wasiyyat’. (The Will) Hudhur began by reciting the following verses of the Holy Qur’an:

‘And they swear by Allah their strongest oaths that, if thou command them, they will surely go forth. Say, ‘Swear not; what is required is actual obedience in what is right. Surely, Allah is well aware of what you do.’

Say, ‘Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger.’ And if you turn away then remember, whoever does so will be held responsible for that reposed in him, as also you will be held responsible for that which is reposed in you. And if you obey him, you will be rightly guided. And the messenger is not responsible but for the plain delivery of the Message.

Allah has promised to those among you who believe and do good works that He will surely make them Successors in the earth, as He made Successors from among those who were before them; and that He will surely establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them; and that He will surely give them in exchange security and peace after their fear: They will worship Me, and they will not associate anything with Me. Then whoso is ungrateful after that, they will be the rebellious.

And observe Prayer and give the Zakat and obey the Messenger, that you may be shown mercy.’ (Surah Al Nur, verses 54 – 57)

Hudhur explained that one of the above verses (verse 56) is known as Ayat e Istikhlaf, a verse in which God promises true believers the blessing of Khilafat. In this regard, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has given the glad-tiding of Khilafat after him in his booklet ‘Al Wasiyyat’. He wrote the booklet in 1905 in which he elucidated the Divinely inspired system of Wasiyyat for his Community. This system has been in operation ever since the publication of the booklet. Today Hudhur wished to expound on the reference in the booklet to what Ayat e Istikhlaf states; that is, establishment of Ahmadiyya Khilafat. This Khilafat came into being three years after the booklet was written, 103 years ago from today, on 27 May 1908, after a dispossession of 1400 years. Before presenting the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) words regarding this, Hudhur wished to briefly explain the Quranic commandments.

The aforementioned verses lay out a modus operandi for those who believe in God, His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and those who take the Bai’at of Khulafa. The verses explain the fundamental aspect of obedience and state that simple verbal utterance of oaths is not enough. If complete obedience is shown, then alone will the claim of unreserved devotion be true. If it is deemed that the commandments do not need to be adhered to, then making lofty claims are erroneous. The citation of ‘… Surely, Allah is well aware of what you do’ clarifies that man can deceive man, but not God. Thus, a true believer should always be aware that God is watching over him or her. When this belief is resolute, then one does not limit oneself to mere oaths, one gives a practical demonstration of perfect obedience. One is eager and keen to obey God and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). The commandment of ‘…Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger…’ also makes essential obedience of ‘…those who are in authority over you…’ (4:60), i.e. obedience of the Khalifa of the time. God states to those who do not show perfect obedience and follow their own inclinations, that they will be answerable for their noncompliance. The Prophet brought the Shariah to them and in following him, the Khalifa of the time also relayed the commandments of God and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). As such, those who were given the task to enjoin, did their work. If anyone does not put their advice in practice, they are answerable for it. Hudhur explained that his mention of Khalifa of the time in conjunction with Prophet of God is in light of the Quranic citation of ‘…those who are in authority over you…’, in addition, rightly guided Khilafat follows in taking further the works of Prophets of God.

Hudhur further explained this concept with the help of a hadith in which the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said: ‘I leave you on a bright and luminous path. Where night is also like the day. None apart from the wretched will go astray from it. And anyone among you, who will survive, will see great discord. In such a situation you should tread on my acquainted Sunnah (practice) and the Sunnah of the rightly-guided Khulafa. Make obedience your way, even if a slave from Habsha (Ethiopia) is appointed as your ruler. Hold on fast to this faith. The example of a true believer is like that of a camel with a nose-string; he goes wherever he is taken and is characteristically obedient.’

God states that this obedience is essential; ‘And if you obey him, you will be rightly guided’. Following this verse, God gives the commandments regarding Khilafat. Those who believe and do good works are promised Khilafat. The standard of perfect obedience was already set in the previous verse. Good works can only be borne out of devoted compliance and the fruit of this is the blessing of Khilafat. The verse does not state that Muslims will definitely have Khilafat. Rather, it has been made conditional with the foremost condition being obedience. Hudhur said the continuity of the first rightly-guided Khilafat was broken because Muslims contravened the rules of obedience and they were thus deprived of true Khilafat. Some groups started saying that they would make their Bai’at conditional to certain aspects. One of the main objectives of this was to avenge the martyrdom of Hadhrat Usman (may Allah be pleased with him). In spite of the fact that at the time Companions of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) were also present but once out of perfect obedience, they were deprived of Khilafat. As God makes a Khalifa Himself, following disobedience and discord, efforts regarding Khilafat failed and Khilafat took the form of Kingship.

Since perfecting Shariah and making the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) the last law-bearing Prophet till the end of time, God also established rightly-guided Khilafat. Apparent election of Khilafat is with people, but with His practical testimony, God associates it to His preference. He sent the prophecy of ‘And among others from among them who have not yet joined them…’ (64:4) that a Prophet will be raised among the followers of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and the Holy Prophet himself foretold: ‘there will be no prophet between me and the Messiah’. Thus, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) is the Messiah and the Mahdi and is a prophet and is also Khatamul Khulafa (seal of all the Khulafa). God sent this Khalifa, who also attained the status of prophethood owing to his devotion to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and who became a source of once again establishing Khilafat.

God has thus made Khilafat conditional to belief and perfect obedience. Those who adhere to it will be able to attain its blessing and their fear will change into peace. Adherence to Khalifa of the time comes with the great responsibility of offering sincere worship and establishing Oneness of God. Their prayers will gain acceptance and their difficulties will be removed. Those who will not join true Khilafat will be the disobedient. Hudhur said that he often refers to the restlessness of the Muslim world. So insensitive have they become under the dominance of the outsiders, that Muslims are seeking the help of others to kill Muslims. May God enable the Ummah to recognise the truth.

Hudhur said the last of the verses recited draws attention towards Salat, Zakat and perfect obedience. Each Ahmadi should remember that in order to attain the beneficence of God’s grace that He has started through the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace), God’s promise is only with those who are perfectly obedient. Indeed, it is only a perfectly obedient person who will always remember God and will worship Him. The most excellent form of worship of God is Salat. Only that person can become part of a divine community who tries to observe Salat. Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) once said that Jummah Prayer is the best part of Salat as it includes Friday Sermon in which Khalifa of the time advises according to the situation and keeps the focal point of everyone the same. Hudhur said today the true illustration of this can only be seen in the Ahmadiyya Community as the Friday Sermon of the Khalifatul Masih can be simultaneously seen throughout the world.

Explaining Hudhur said, during Friday sermon his notes are not simply intended for the congregation before him. Rather, he keeps in view the various reports he receives from all around the world. Hudhur’s sermons are at times according to the situation in Europe, at other times according to specific or general conditions in Asia, sometimes according to Africa or the islands. However, Islam is international and when something is said it is meant for Ahmadis of every section of society all over the world. Hudhur receives letters after his Friday sermon from as diverse places as Russia and Africa as well as locally and people tell him that they felt the sermon was specifically for them. Hudhur said this is one interpretation of Iqamat of Salat that is prevalent today in the world of Ahmadiyyat.

Hudhur added that distribution of financial giving and Zakat is also only administrated in the Ahmadiyya community in the world. Under the instructions of the Khalifa of the time, financial contributions are utilised to help people of the Community. The need of one country is fulfilled by the giving of another country. This system operates under the Khalifa of the time; in places the underprivileged are helped, in places medical help is given, in other places educational needs are met and elsewhere Tabligh efforts are supported. When the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) mentioned the system of Wasiyyat and that of Khilafat in conjunction, he also mentioned meeting all these needs. People who make financial contributions have confidence in Khilafat that their contributions will be used appropriately and for good causes. In fact people outside our Community also have this confidence. When Hudhur was in Ghana many farming non-Ahmadis would give their Zakat to Hudhur in the form of grain. They trusted him to utilise it properly and felt their Maulwis would perhaps usurp it. Hudhur is often asked what should be the course of action if people outside the Community wished to pay their Zakat and Sadqa (alms) to us. Hudhur explained that Zakat and Sadqa may be taken from people outside the Community but the regular chandas are only taken from Ahmadis. The system of Zakat is also associated with the system of Khilafat. At the end of the verses cited, obedience is again mentioned. Thus the central point and pivot of sincere connection with God and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and as a result of this, connection with Khilafat is obedience.

Next Hudhur read extracts from the booklet ‘Al Wasiyyat’ illustrating the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) prophecy about Khilafat. Hudhur said the fulfilment of these words is a testimony of the truth of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). At one point in the booklet, he wrote: ‘God's Word informs me that many calamities will occur and many disasters will descend on the earth — some during my lifetime and some after I have gone.’ [The Will, p.4]

Hudhur said we observe natural disasters taking places in one part of the world or the other. In light of what the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said about calamities, should it not be sufficient for a sensible person to recognise that what a claimant said is coming to pass? It is noteworthy that in spite of constant opposition and all manner of effort put into it, our Community is progressing by the minute. Could this be a man-made matter? It is God alone Who is turning hearts towards the Imam of the age. How long will they contend with God? The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) foretold that they will wear themselves out but their wishes will not be granted. He said in ‘Al Wasiyyat’:

‘This is the Way of God. And ever since He created man on earth He has always been demonstrating this Divine practice. He helps His Prophetsas and Messengersas and grants them success and predominance, as He says: ‘God has ordained that He and His Prophets shall prevail’. And by predominance is meant that as Messengersas and Prophetsas desire that God’s Hujjat is established in the world and no one is able to oppose it, so, in turn, does God demonstrate with powerful signs their truthfulness as well as the truth they wish to spread in the world. He lets them sow the seed of it [the truth], but He does not let it come to full fruition at their hands. Rather He causes them to die at such time as apparently forebodes a kind of failure and thereby provides an opportunity for the opponents to laugh at, ridicule, taunt, and reproach the Prophetsas. And after they have had their fill of ridicule and reproach, He reveals yet another dimension of His Might and creates such means by which the objectives which had to some extent remained incomplete are fully realized.’ [The Will, p.5] He added; ‘God for the second time shows His Mighty Power.’ [The Will, p.6]

Hudhur said today the Ahmadiyya Community is a testimony that whatever the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) foretold is coming true with great glory. In the era of first Ahmadiyya Khilafat there were external opposition as well as some internal evils started or the era of the second Ahmadiyya Khilafat when from the time of election till the end of this era, different internal evils arose and one section of the Community separated while external enmity also grew intense but the progress of the Community did not stop. In the third Ahmadiyya Khilafat apart from a few internal evils, external opposition remained intense but the progress continued. During the fourth Ahmadiyya Khilafat the enemy struck an enormous blow with the intent of eliminating the Community and in his assumption leaving no way out. However, the words of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) ‘God for the second time shows His Mighty Power…’ were fulfilled in a such a manner that the ‘Mighty Power’ reduced the enemy to smithereens. Now, in the fifth Ahmadiyya Khilafat, the force of envy and opposition is intense. Defenceless Ahmadis were cruelly attacked and their blood spilled in a manner that appeared to have been done by creatures worse than animals, let alone humans. In addition, by posing as sympathetic to the Community, in some places internal efforts have been made to create discord. However, in accordance with God’s promise, the Khilafat that is divinely supported, has been contending with it. In fact it is God Who is contending with it. Hudhur added: ‘I am a weak and useless person, I have no influence. However, Ahmadiyya Khilafat has the support and help of that God Who is All-Powerful and He promised the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) that He will show His Mighty Power and He is doing so, indeed will continue to do so and the enemy will always fail in his plots and schemes. Today, our detractors are using the electronic media to present distorted depictions of the books of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). In the guidance of Khilafat, God has granted the Promised Messiah an army of young people in every country who are playing every kind of role and are resolutely facing every onslaught and responding in a manner that fills one with praise of God and increases one’s faith and belief in His promises.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) thus assures his Community:

‘So dear friends! since it is the Sunnatullah, from time immemorial, that God Almighty shows two Manifestations so that the two false joys of the opponents be put to an end, it is not possible now that God should relinquish His Sunnah of old. So do not grieve over what I have said to you; nor should your hearts be distressed. For it is essential for you to witness the second Manifestation also, and its Coming is better for you because it is everlasting the continuity of which will not end till the Day of Judgement. And that second Manifestation cannot come unless I depart. But when I depart, God will send that second Manifestation for you which shall always stay with you just as promised by God in Brahin-e-Ahmadiyya. And this promise is not for my person. Rather the promise is with reference to you, as God [addressing me] says: I shall make this Jama‘at who are your followers, prevail over others till the Day of Judgment. Thus it is inevitable that you see the day of my departure, so that after that day the day comes which is the day of ever-lasting promise. Our God is He Who keeps His promise and is Faithful and is the Truthful God. He shall show you all that He has promised. Though these days are the last days of this world and there are many a disaster waiting to happen, yet it is necessary that this world continues to exist until all those things about which God has prophesied come to pass.’ [The Will, pp.7 – 8]

Hudhur said, thus the promise of Ahmadiyya Khilafat is an eternal promise. Those who will show perfect obedience will continue to witness the fulfilment of this promise. The enemy is blinded and cannot see God’s support and help for us. The fact that the enemy is attacking us in defencelessness is proof that he has no reasoning to contend with us, whereas we will silence our detractors with the power of reasoning, as it was foretold.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote:

‘I came from God as a Manifestation of Divine Providence and I am a personification of His Power. And after I am gone there will be some other persons who will be the manifestation of the second Power [of God]. So, while waiting for the second Manifestation of His Power, you all together keep yourselves busy praying. And let a Jama‘at of righteous people, one and all, in every country keep themselves busy in prayers so that the second Manifestation may descend from the Heaven and show you that your God is such Mighty God. Consider your death to be close at hand for you never know when that hour will strike. Let the righteous persons of the Jama‘at who have pure souls accept Bai‘at in my name. God Almighty desires to draw all those who live in various habitations of the world, be it Europe or Asia, and who have virtuous nature, to the Unity of God and unite His servants under one Faith. This indeed is the purpose of God for which I have been sent to the world. You, too, therefore should pursue this end, but with kindness, moral probity and fervent prayers. And till that time when someone inspired by God with the Holy Spirit is raised by Him, all of you should work in harmony with one another.’ [The Will, pp. 8 – 9]

Hudhur explained that here the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) is referring to the brief few days after his own passing and the election of a Khalifa and the few days between election of each new Khilafat. Here, he refers to the Khulafa as the ‘pure souls’ who should accept Bai’at. And this does not indicate that Khilafat denotes an association/organisation, rather than an individual. For clarification, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) explains in a footnote on the page:

‘Such persons will be selected by consensus of the believers. Hence if forty believers agree that a person is competent to accept Baiat in my name, he will be entitled to accept Baiat. And such a person ought to make himself an example for others. ‘ [Footnote, p. 9]

Hudhur explained that here the singular noun has been used and thus makes it very clear that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) is referring to a Khalifa. Likewise, in instances where the plural noun has been used, the reference is to Khulafa to come and not to any organisation or association. In light of this, the system of the Community has an electoral board, and it is under its auspices that election of Khilafat takes place since the time of second Ahmadiyya Khilafat. For the corroboration that the election of Khilafat is Divinely-led, God’s practical support and pious dreams of people of the Community are sufficient, as is the manner in which the hearts of members of the Community are inclined to the Khalifa.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) further wrote:

‘And you, too, should partake of the Holy Spirit by compassion and by purifying your souls. Because without the Holy Spirit true Taqwa cannot be attained. And, totally shedding all base desires of the self, choose for the sake of winning the pleasure of God that path compared to which no path can be narrower and straiter. Don’t fall in love with the pleasures of the world, for they take you away from God. Choose a life of austerity for the sake of God. The pain which pleases God is better than the pleasure which makes Him angry. And the defeat which pleases God is better than the victory which invites the wrath of Allah. Renounce the love which brings you nearer to the wrath of Allah. If by purifying your hearts you come to Him, He will help you whichever path you tread and no enemy shall ever be able to harm you. You can never ever win the pleasure of Allah unless you, relinquishing your desires, abandoning your pleasures, sacrificing your honour, disowning your wealth, discarding your life, bear such hardships in His way as make you suffer pangs of death. But once you suffer such hardship, you will sit in the lap of God like a beloved child. And you will be made heirs of the truthful who have preceded you. The door of every blessing will be opened to you.’ [The Will, pp. 9 - 10]

‘Don't think that God will let you go to waste. You are the seed which the Hand of God has sown in the earth. God says that this seed will grow and flower and its branches will spread in all directions and it will become a huge tree. So, blessed is one who believes in what God says and does not fear the trials which he suffers in His path. For, the coming of trials is essential so that God may try you to see who is true in his declaration of Bai‘at and who is false. Whoever falters in the face of a trial would do no harm to God whatsoever and ill-luck would only land him in hell. Were he not born, it would have been better for him. But all those who remain steadfast till the end—they will be shaken with quakes of calamities, and battered with storms of misfortune, ridiculed and mocked by people, and hated and reviled by the world—shall at last come out victorious. And doors of Blessings shall be thrown open for them. God addressed me and said that I should inform my Jama‘at that those who believe and their belief is not adulterated with worldly considerations and is free from hypocrisy and cowardice and is not found wanting at any stage of obedience, such people are the favourites of God. And God says that indeed these are the ones whose station is that of Truth.’ [The Will, pp. 11 – 12]

Hudhur said with the grace of God the standards of sacrifice are increasing in each country and we continue to see the fulfilment of Divine promises. Ahmadis are giving sacrifices with lives and wealth with great courage. However, in the aforementioned extracts there are some warnings as well as glad-tidings for those who stay connected to Khilafat. It is for each one of us to try and attain the beneficence of this promise. For this we need to inculcate God’s greatness in our hearts and demonstrate Oneness of God in our practical lives and free ourselves of malice and rancour. Our each step should be towards piety and we should safeguard our faith and be a model of perfect obedience.

In the end of this booklet, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) explained to those who set high standards of piety by joining the financial scheme of Wasiyyat, the aims of the scheme:

‘These funds shall also be used to help such orphans, poor and needy people, and new converts as do not have sufficient means of livelihood…Do not think that these things which I have said are inconceivable. No, they are the Will of that Mighty One Who is the Lord of the earth and the heaven.’ [The Will, pp.27 – 28]

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) prayed for those who were to join the scheme of Wasiyyat. He wrote:

‘O my Mighty and Benevolent [God!] O Forgiving and Merciful God, do grant them alone a place for graves here who have true faith in this messenger of Yours and who have no trace of hypocrisy, of selfish motives and of doubt or suspicion in their hearts.; and as faith and obedience deserve to be followed and observed, they follow and observe it…’ [The Will, pp. 23 - 24]

Hudhur prayed that may the standards of those who subscribe to the scheme of Wasiyyat, in faith, obedience and sacrifice continue to increase. They have entered into a promise. After joining this scheme the efforts in Taqwa should be greater than before, as should be sincerity to Khilafat. May God continue to enable each Ahmadi to excel in this, may each Ahmadi be enabled to attain the beneficence of the Divine promises to the institution of Khilafat so that Khilafat may always prevail and we continue to seek beneficence from it.