Hadhrat Khalifatul Massih V (aba) delivered the sermon at Masjid Bait-ul-Futuh on the topic of Acceptance of Prayer.
He started the sermon with an abtract from the writings of the Promised Messiah (as):
“It is imperative that just as an individual strives in worldly matters, so should he strive in the way of Allah.
There is a proverb in Punjabi: “He who asks dies a death, so die and then ask.” The meaning is that it is an afflicted one who prays and that prayer is a form of death. If a person drinks a drop of water and claims that his great thirst has been slaked, he utters a falsehood. His claim would be established if he were to drink a bowl full of water. When prayer is offered in great tribulation so that the soul melts and flows at the threshold of the Divine, that is true prayer and it is God’s way that when such a prayer is offered, He accepts it or responds to it in some other manner. [Malfuzat, vol. IV, p. 340]
Huzoor said that this is the reality of “dua” (supplication). Fortunate are those who understand the philosophy of acceptance of prayer and supplicate earnestly and profoundly, with full belief and trust in the existence of God Almighty, who has the power to accept prayers.
The only way to seek help or guidance from Allah Almighty or to attain God’s favours is for one to supplicate with all God-given faculties and energies and concentrate in earnest towards Allah. It is our experience that Allah Almighty accepts such prayers or guides the one who supplicates if the prayer cannot be accepted and grants him contentment of the heart on the resolution of his prayer.
At another occasion, the Promised Messiah (as) states:
“Prayer is a wonderful thing. It is a pity that those who pray are not aware of the true manner of prayer, nor are they acquainted with the ways of the acceptance of prayer. The truth is that the very reality of prayer has become strange. There are some who deny the effectiveness of prayer altogether. There are others who do not deny it, but as their prayers are not accepted on account of their lack of knowledge of the manner of prayer and are not prayers in the true sense, their condition is worse than that of those who deny the effectiveness of prayer. Their practical condition has pushed many others to the verge of atheism.
The first condition for prayer is that a supplicant should not get tired and become a prey to despair that nothing will happen.”
The ones who benefitted the most from the knowledge and wisdom imparted by the Promised Messiah (as) were his companions who gained first-hand training from him. In fact, the advent of the Promised Messiah (as) caused many around the world to experience the power of prayer, and through this experience, their faith gained strength and advanced in spirituality. Huzoor (aba) then recounted incidents from the lives of the companions of the Promised Messiah (as) to illustrate their experiences of acceptance of prayer.
Mian Mohammad Nawaz Khan Sahib narrates his experience of 1906, Sialkot, when the plague epidemic was escalating and the rate of mortality was rising exponentially. As he was lying in bed, he could feel the onset of plague himself as well. At that point, he prayed: “O Lord, I have accepted your chosen one, yet I have contracted the plague as well.” Miraculously, as a result of the prayer, by the next morning, he had recovered fully. His companion, by the name of Muhammad Shah, who had contracted the disease at the same time, passed away.
Hadhrat Khalifatul Massih Nooruddin Sahib narrates that once, he was travelling on foot from Jammu to Kashmir via Gujrat. On his way, he had the opportunity to supplicate in earnest about his situation, mainly his finances. After that day, he was never pressed for money and was endowed with means from places where he least expected.
Hadhrat Ameer Khan Sahib narrates that in 1915, his son Abdullah was afflicted with plague and within 2 days, the fever had rendered him so weak that when he returned from work, his son’s condition had deteriorated extensively. At that time, he was his only child. The mother could not watch her child suffer, so she asked the father to care for him. The heat was intense and the small house and loneliness was causing extreme claustrophobia. In this situation, he picked up his son and leaned him against his shoulder, and with tears in his eyes, he supplicated to God Almighty that O Lord, in this grave situation, there is no one else besides You Who can alleviate our suffering. It is only You Who can grant complete health from this ailment.
He prayed with such intensity, and then he was inspired in his heart to recite a certain verse of the Holy Quran and pass his hand repeatedly over his son’s body. He did this, with tears flowing through his eyes, within in a matter of few minutes, the fever dissipated and the child recovered from the disease miraculously.
Hadhrat Chaudhry Ameer Muhammad Khan sahib narrates an incident, where his wife was under treatment in a clinic for a foot condition and had undergone several surgeries yet the foot condition had not improved. The nurse suggested that it may be best to cut the foot at the ankle so that the limb does not become gangrenous as well. After consultation within his household, he gave the consent for the amputation. As he was not allowed into the operation theatre, he decided to offer supererogatory prayers, and supplicated: O Lord, You are The Most Omnipotent and have power over everything. Please save my wife’s foot from being amputated and from her becoming handicapped for the rest of her life.
After he finished his supplication, he was told that the surgeon refused to amputate the foot and decided to operate on it himself, and thus his wife was saved from this lifelong handicap.
Hadhrat Ameer Khan Sahib narrates a time in his life when he was experiencing a financial crisis in his life. He prayed, and then during Ramadan, he had further opportunity to supplicate and then during itikaf, he prayed even more. At this point, he received a revelation in Punjabi that the difficult situation will be alleviated soon. However, the period of the financial was prolonged and then he was blessed with a son and soon after he was hired as sub-inspector with good monthly wages.
Babu Abdur Rehman Sahib was travelling along with Chaudhry Rustum Ali Sahib to Qadian on a horse carriage on an unpaved road. In Qadian, he performed bai’at at the hands of Promised Messiah (as) and returned home to Batala. Upon his return, his home was undergoing construction on the first floor, but before construction could begin on the upper level, he fell ill, so much so that his fever elevated to 104. This lasted for several days. Rustum Ali Sahib visited him every day, prayed for him and wrote letters to the Promised Messiah (as) requesting prayers.
One afternoon, he saw his deceased sister in a vision who said that your prayer has been accepted. When he woke up, he saw his wife, sister-in-law, brother and sons and asked them where was his sister that he had seen in the vision. Following this episode, he fell unconscious and remained in that state for several days, so much so that the members of the family gave up hope of his survival. Rustum Ali Sahib fervently prayed for his recovery because Chaudhry Sahib had fallen ill soon after taking Bai’at and if he died, then it would leave a very bad impression on his family and friends and other newly converted Ahmadis. The result of these prayers was such that Chaudhry Sahib’s health started to improve and within one month, he was completely recovered.
Hafiz Mubarak Ahmad Sahib relates that Hadhrat Maulvi Nooruddin held Maulvi Khan Malik Sahib in great reverence because during years of education, he used to request him to pray that he may be able to achieve a high spiritual status. Khan Sahib had prayed for him and also told him that indeed he would achieve a very high spiritual status.
Abdus Sattar Sahib, son of Abdullah Sahib, had a vision 3 days before the earthquake that resulted as the fulfilment of the Promised Messiah (as)’s prophecy that Huzoor (as) was seated in his house and he requested him to pray as the villagers were ill-treating them. Huzoor (as) responded in Punjabi that indeed that is what I do, to which he said that he should pray for them separately, and the Promised Messiah (as) raised one hand and started to pray. The earthquake ensued, and thus he grabbed Hadhrat Massih Mauood (as) so that he would not fall. After he woke up, he decided to travel to Qadian. He went to visit the Promised Messiah (as) who said that this dream means that you will be saved, and repeated these words three times.
Some time later, his wife and daughter were afflicted with the plague. The villagers threatened them that if anything were to happen to them, the villagers would not even give them a decent burial. As a result, he fervently prayed to God and the words of the Promised Messiah (as) were fulfilled to the letter, as they were all saved from the plague.
Hadhrat Ghulam Rusool Sahib Vazeerabadi also narrates his experience during his visit to Lahore when the prophecy was published in the paper which was fulfilled in the success of the lecture which later became the Philosophy of the teachings of Islam. At the time of his visit, he was suffering from a certain ailment. After the success of the lecture, he prayed to God Almighty and said that O Lord, if this is the person You have chosen and whose advent was prophesied by the Prophet Muhammad (saw), then please grant me complete recovery from this illness. His prayer was thus afflicted and he never suffered from the illness again.
Huzoor (aba) recounted a few other incidents from the lives of the Companions of the Promised Messiah (as). The Promised Messiah (as) always supplicated and urged his companions to do the same.
Huzoor (aba) narrated the prophecy related to the illuminated star. Tadhkirah records the prophecy in the following words:
“Thereafter, the manner in which this prophecy was fulfilled is the following. Exactly on March 31, 1907—the completion of twenty-five days from March 7—a huge fiery flame appeared in the sky and, with a frightening flash, was observed over a distance of more than seven hundred miles (according to present observation; it might have been more) to be falling upon the earth. Thousands of people watched this phenomenon and some of them fell down senseless by its impact and had to be administered water to revive. Most of those who observed it have described it as a fiery ball that appeared to fall upon the earth and then to rise towards the sky in the form of smoke. [Tatimma Haqiqatul-Wahi, p. 82, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 22, p. 518]
With the narration of these incidents, the aspiration is to revive a person’s faith in the acceptance of prayer. These incidents were surely a source of strengthening of faith for the companions of the Promised Messiah (as). Therefore, we should also follow suit and make earnest efforts in supplicating the way supplications are supposed to be made.
Huzoor (aba) also urged Ahmadi Muslims around the world to pray for world peace in face of the looming catastrophic wars the world is facing today. Huzoor (aba) informed viewers around the world that he is leaving for a tour of Canada and USA for a few weeks and requested prayers for a successful tour and jalsa.