Friday Sermon: Achieving God Consciousness the Purpose of Jalsa Salana

June 29th, 2012

Friday Sermon was delivered by Hadhrat Khalifatul Massih V, Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) at the occasion of Jalsa Salana USA 2012

After the recitation of Surah Al Fatihah, Huzoor (aba) began the sermon by expressing praise to Allah Almighty at the inauguration of Jalsa Salana USA and expressed his participation for the second time at the Jalsa Salana in USA. Huzoor (aba) said that the annual conventions held in different countries around the world were initially inaugurated by the Promised Messiah (as). The purpose of these conventions is that the participants gain the blessings that will lead them to a better life in this world and in the Hereafter. These blessings can only be reaped by attaining a truly high standard of Taqwa in our lives. The Promised Messiah (as) expected that each and every participant of Jalsa shall attain this high standard of Taqwa in his or her life and expressed his intense dislike towards those participants who did not take any measures to attain this standard of Taqwa. Thus, these conventions are a source of great blessings, and for a true Ahmadi, these should also instil a sense of fear, such that Allah Almighty has provided him yet again with an opportunity to gain nearness to Him, to revive his faith, to amass the blessings associated with this auspicious occasion. However, these blessings can only be attained by continuous efforts in progress in Taqwa lest he should slip downwards. If an Ahmadi truly understands the blessings of Jalsa and then makes every effort to receive these blessings, and accumulates the transformations that each annual convention bring about in him, then he will progress towards a new standard in Taqwa each year, which will eventually lead him to the point where the Promised Messiah (as) wished to see us. Thus, we must focus towards that desire of the Promised Messiah (as) that he held in his heart, which he expressed in these words: Pay attention towards your afterlife, rather than focusing on this world. He emphasized that one must inculcate Taqwa in his heart. What is Taqwa? Taqwa means that one must fulfil the obligations and duties towards Allah Almighty and towards his fellow human beings with a fear of His displeasure in one’s heart.

Among the duties and obligations towards Allah Almighty, the first and foremost is His worship, and among the acts of worship, the first and foremost is the performance of Salat. The Holy Prophet (saw) says that salat is the essence of worship. Huzoor (aba) said that he had elaborated on the importance of Salat in his previous Friday sermon. Thus, those who did not listen to that sermon, should listen to it and set their minimal standards of worship accordingly. Huzoor (aba) said that participants in this Jalsa should pay special attention to the offering of Salat, more specifically to offering Salat in congregation. During these days of Jalsa, pray to Allah Almighty that He may enable everyone to implement regular offering of Salat in their lives in the most excellent manner. Huzoor (aba) wished to elaborate that for the convenience of those who travel a fair distance to arrive at Jalsa, the namaz are combined and this is allowed by Shariah. However, in your homes, there is no excuse to offer combined salat. In some households, it appears that namaz is being combined on a regular basis because when the children are asked how many namaz they offer at home, their response is three as opposed to five. The Holy Quran has made five namaz compulsory. The Holy Prophet (saw) explained the timings of the five salat and taught us how to offer these five salat as well. The Promised Messiah (as) has diverted our attention towards this important commandment repeatedly, and Huzoor (aba) elaborated on this in his previous sermon. Huzoor (aba) said that the five salat are the fundamental requirement. We should also inculcate a habit of offering nawafil. Many of us will offer tahajjud prayers during the days of Jalsa, however we should make every effort to continue these efforts even after Jalsa is over. The weaknesses in our obligatory acts of worship are strengthened with the performance of nawafil prayers, and Tahajjud constitutes a major part of nawafil prayers. The Promised Messiah (as) has drawn our attention towards the offering of Tahajjud frequently. He says that members of this Jamaat should revive the tradition of offering Tahajjud in their lives. If not more, offer only two rakats, so that one may obtain the opportunity to supplicate. The supplications offered at the time of Tahajjud have a special significance, because they are offered with a true zeal and passion of the heart. He said that unless and until an intense emotion and fervour is not inculcated in the supplication, one will not be able to leave the warmth of his bed. This intensity in supplication will demonstrate that an individual is willing to sacrifice his sleep to seek the pleasure of Allah Almighty. Thus, waking up at this time itself arouses an emotion in the heart which in turn gives rise to an intensity and zeal in supplication. And this energy becomes the reason for acceptance of that supplication. Thus the act of waking up to offer these nawafil prayers will in itself bring about a revolutionary change in the individual’s life. In today’s world, people have different priorities, due to which they go to bed late at night. Tahajjud is in reality a great way to re-evaluate one’s spiritual condition and bring about a positive change in the spiritual condition of an individual.

After the primary obligations towards Allah Almighty, a Momin must perform his duties towards his fellow brethren. Without making any mention of a person’s caste, creed, nationality, God Almighty and His Messenger (saw) have repeatedly reminded man of his duties towards fellow human beings. A Momin has even more rights over another Momin, therefore these must be performed. In this context, the Promised Messiah (as) has drawn the attention of the participants of Jalsa Salana towards the performance of duties and obligations towards fellow human beings as part of the objectives of this auspicious occasion. He says that one should inculcate tenderness and sympathy for others in one’s heart, and this should not be limited to Jalsa Salana but should be carried forward into our daily lives. Huzoor (aba) said that it has come into his observation that brothers stop talking to each other over trivial matters, and sometimes, remain in this state for years, and these conflicts continue to create fissures in other relationships as well, sometimes resulting in breaking up of family units and ultimately leading to divorces. There was a time when we used to say that the family units are experiencing unrest in the Western countries due to their liberal attitudes and the percentage of divorces is very high in these countries. Husbands and wives do not look after the sensitivities of emotions in their relationships and the small conflicts escalate to major animosities, reason being that trust is lost slowly and steadily and the result is divorce.

Huzoor (aba) said that this is a moment of great reflection for Ahmadi households as well, as the unrest within these households is on the rise, resulting in divorces. Huzoor (aba) said that he receives the reports from different areas about divorces, and in some cases, the percentages of divorce are very high. An Ahmadi must be in control of his or her emotions in every aspect of his or her life. Thus, during this Jalsa, pay special attention to this issue; try to make amends, and then stick to these amendments beyond the days of Jalsa. We must remember that we have taken the baiat of obedience at the hands of the Promised Messiah (as) and taken the oath of treading the path of Taqwa. If we forget, then we will neither be loyal to our pledge of bai’at nor will we derive any benefit from the blessings of Jalsa. During Jalsa, many chants and slogans are raised about the auspiciousness of this occasion, but the blessings can only be reaped by gaining in Taqwa, by obeying the commandments of God and His Messenger, by fulfilling the pledge of bai’at to the Promised Messiah (as). Otherwise we will not reap the benefits of this blessed occasion at all.

The Promised Messiah (as) says that this Jalsa is not a worldly fun fair; therefore we must try to reap the actual benefits of this occasion. Huzoor (aba) shed light on the objectives of Jalsa Salana as described in the writings of the Promised Messiah (as). By following his instructions, every Ahmadi can become a Godly person, and this is the objective of the advent of the Promised Messiah (as).

The Promised Messiah (as) says: You have taken the pledge of bai’at and affirmed your faith in me as Hakam and Adal. After this affirmation, if you have any doubts in my actions, then you must re-evaluate your faith in me. The faith that is full of doubts has no significance whatsoever. But if you have declared your faith that this is indeed the Promised Reformer, and is Hakam and Adal, then you must surrender your actions before him and esteem his decisions as final, so that you are counted among those who hold in high regard the words of the Holy Prophet (saw). The attestation of the Holy Prophet (saw), who is Hakam and Adal, will suffice in your favour.

We are indeed privileged to believe in this Reformer who has clearly explained everything that the Holy Prophet (saw) has instructed before us so that there is no excuse for anyone to say that he did not understand a certain issue/instruction, etc. An Ahmadi, who performs bai’at, must understand his responsibilities. Worldly desires and priorities distance him from his pledge and his pledge becomes insignificant. During the days of Jalsa, every Ahmadi should evaluate his condition in this context.

The Promised Messiah (as) has instructed the members of his Jamaat in the following words: God Almighty has established this community, and has shown millions of signs to prove its truthfulness. The true purpose is that this community is akin to that of the Companions of the Holy Prophet (saw). Those who enter this community must remember that they are entering the Community of the likes of the Companions of the Holy Prophet (saw), therefore I advise them to shun their attire of worldly lustre so that they can divert their complete attention towards God Almighty.

Khilafat is another promise that has been given to this community, therefore, we should strive to maintain the standards set forth by the Companions of the Holy Prophet (saw). One generation should instil the desire of submitting one’s will to that of Allah in the next generation. If this does not happen, then we will not be able to witness that community of righteous people as mentioned by the Promised Messiah (as). Nay, on the contrary, we shall spiral down the abyss of darkness instead. Therefore, we must strive hard in this regard.

The Promised Messiah (as) further elucidates: Where there is a special demeanour during the remembrance of Allah by my followers, there should be a special loving bond amongst members well.

The Promised Messiah (as) has elaborated upon the fulfilment of our obligations towards our fellow brethren. If we implement his instructions in our lives, then we can bring about a spiritual revolution within a matter of few years. He states that my belief is that sympathy towards humanity is incomplete till one prays fervently for his enemy and vacates his heart of all rancour towards him. Huzoor (aba) said that how many amongst us widen thus the circle of our supplications. Jamaat can eradicate all issues if we implement in actuality this teaching. God Almighty will also cast a glance of special Mercy when we begin to supplicate for all of humanity with a big heart. This Divine glance will become a source of betterment for us in this world and in the next.

The Promised Messiah (as) says that you are indeed fortunate that Allah Almighty gave you that judgement to accept the Reformer of the age. If He did not bestow this special favour on you, then just as others engage in foul abuse with their language, you would have been among them as well. Do not think that we are Muslims. Islam is a blessing. Value it, and be grateful. Thus, being a Muslim or Ahmadi just by name is of no value. How can we value this favour? Islam means that one must obey the commandments of Allah Almighty in their entirety and the sum of all this is the true and complete obedience of Allah Almighty. A Muslim is one who submits his entire existence before God Almighty.

God promises that whoever gives precedence to the commandments of God above all else, then God removes his fears and anxieties. The Promised Messiah (as) says that we must not become content that we have become Ahmadi, but continue to strive and progress in our moral condition.

Huzoor (aba) read an extensive extract from the writings of the Promised Messiah (as) emphasizing the importance of fulfilling the obligations towards Allah and towards His creation. We must implement these practices in our lives. It is a favour bestowed on us by the Promised Messiah (as) that he inaugurated this event of Jalsa, where we are exposed to a unique environment which is conducive to our moral uplift and strengthening of faith.

Another important aspect to remember is that we must raise our standards of educating ourselves and gaining knowledge. In the world today, the greater focus is on gaining worldly education as opposed to religious knowledge. The Promised Messiah (as) states that in order to bring about a true transformation and increasing in your Taqwa and purity, one must increase in religious knowledge and this knowledge can only be gained through the Promised Messiah (as) who has left a treasure trove of gems for us to read. Most of the books have been translated into English and therefore you should try to read those books or abstracts. Those who can read Urdu should read the books in Urdu. Whatever the Promised Messiah (as) has written is in fact the commentary of the Holy Quran. In this day and age, the greatest knowledge of the Holy Quran was bestowed on the Promised Messiah (as). The Promised Messiah (as) says that the Quran is a living and lustrous book. I advise all those who are affiliated to me that without acting on the commandments recorded in the Holy Quran, there is no spirituality in one’s life. I desire that through practical demonstration, the distinction of Islam should be revealed to the world. Therefore recite the Quran and try to understand the philosophies explained in it.

According to the statements of the Promised Messiah (as), it is our duty to recite and understand the beautiful teachings of the Quran and implement them in practice, and then convey them to the world. At this time, the biggest tool available to us for Tabligh is the Holy Quran. Huzoor (aba) emphasized that none amongst us should feel any kind of inferiority complex in using the Quran as a tabligh tool in face of all the propaganda by the media. By studying this Divine Book, we can answer the allegations of the critics, which is the responsibility of every Ahmadi, so that we can convey the true message of Islam.

The Promised Messiah (as) says that pledge of bai’at should instil a new life in an individual such that it transforms him/her completely. He should remain steadfast in face of any opposition. He must not feel that trials are difficult, but in fact he should consider them an opportunity to gain the pleasure of God.

Huzoor (aba) said that we must make every effort to practice these instructions so that we can bring about a transformation within ourselves such that God is pleased with us. Therefore, during the Jalsa days, we must derive maximum benefit, and assess our conditions in context of what the Promised Messiah (as) wished to see us in. This is how we can gain the blessings of Jalsa, otherwise, this will also become a worldly celebration for us.

Huzoor (aba) reminded each Ahmadi to pay special attention to their surroundings as this is important for security purposes. Duty holders should pay special attention towards offering salat. All participants should focus on the remembrance of Allah, which is a great objective of Jalsa. May Allah enable us all to do so.