Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih began by reciting the Quranic verse as cited below:
‘And those who join what Allah has commanded to be joined, and fear their Lord, and dread the evil reckoning;’ (13:22).
The above verse does not only command to join connections, it also signifies that once joined, these connections should be fostered and maintained. A true believer who has been granted discernment of faith cannot even imagine doing something that would be contrary to God’s pleasure. Once he makes a connection with God and according to God’s commandment makes other connections, he adopts permanency in them.
It is the sign of intelligent and true believers that they ‘join what Allah has commanded to be joined’. That is, they establish those connections which God has commanded to establish. In explanation of this verse Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) has said that these are the people who, having attained excellence in their obedience and love of God, are drawn to God’s creation and in accordance with His commandments they forge connections of unity and benevolence with them.
These people try to attain excellence in obedience and love of God because they fear Him and fear evil reckoning. In their hearts they possess Khashiyyat, fear of God. Lexicons explain the word Khashiyyat as fear of losing something which has lofty attributes after one has acquired an insight into its beauty and excellence. Once knowledge had been acquired about something that is feared and this fear is not borne of loss or harm, rather it stems from a belief that the thing is most excellent and great then one does not want to lose that thing due to one’s negligence. For a true believer such a thing can only be God and nothing else. As mentioned earlier, once a true believer has attained God’s nearness, he is drawn towards’ God’s creation and is mindful of Khashiyyat and fear of reckoning through incurring God’s displeasure and by not paying dues of creation. Indeed, this is how a true believer should feel. He cannot bear to incur God’s displeasure. In fact, even a person with little faith feels this way.
Yet, we see many people read the Holy Qur’an with translation and express their fear of God, they do not want to be among those who incur God’s displeasure, yet they do not pay the dues of God’s creation. They do not try to join connections in the real sense and this contradiction can be seen among the majority of Muslims. We also cannot even say one hundred per cent about Ahmadis that they fully come under this definition of true believers.
Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said that he wished to speak on just one quality from among all the qualities of Muslims which are clearly explained by God. An important quality of Muslims that is stated is that they are ‘tender among themselves’ (48:30). God has cited this as a sign of true believers but the Ulema (religious leaders) and the rulers of Muslim countries have embarked on trampling this obligation in the name of Islam. And this is not happening in just any one Muslim country; in fact it is spread across almost the entire Muslim world, only differing in intensity from one place to another. This is because the personal gains of people have become more important and have assumed gravity over efforts to attain God’s pleasure. Observe the condition in Pakistan. Dozens are killed every day. If the killings of the past few years are added, the numbers reach in thousands and this is reported in newspapers. Apart from this each year hundreds or may be thousands are killed by suicide bombings and all this is happening in the name of God and faith. The Quranic verse citing ‘tender among themselves’, likewise cites that Muslims are also ‘firm against non-believers’. The Ulema think they can make any one they wish a nonbeliever, a Kafir and thus carry out whatever they wish against them, as if they have been given a licence to do what they want. Those who pass Fatwa (edict) of Kufr (non-belief) in these instances themselves come under Fatwa of Kufr according to God and His Messenger!
Pakistan is in a state of peace in the sense that no fighting between the public and the government is taking place there. In countries where such fighting is taking place and foreign powers have also committed cruelty, Muslims are killing Muslims. For example in Afghanistan Muslims are waging war against Muslims and in the last ten years in excess of 50,000 lives have been lost. These were mostly innocent Afghan people and only a small number of foreign troops and Afghan troops are included in the figure. In Syria where only Muslims are fighting each other, according to a cautious estimate 70,000 lives have been lost. Thousands were killed in Egypt in the name of revolution and in Libya too thousands were killed and continue to be killed. In Iraq from 2003 to date more than 600,000 people have been killed and suicide bombing continue even now. Reports are coming in now that some Muslim countries are involved in all this as instruments of wicked world powers. For example it was reported two days ago that a European country is supplying arms which Saudi Arabia is forwarding to the opposition fighters in Syria. These fighters have extremist elements in them and if they gain power, the public will be further repressed and the extremist elements will destroy world peace in the guise of their interpretation of: ‘firm against non-believers’.
The correct Islamic approach would have been for the organisation of Muslim countries to sit together without outside intervention and hold peace talks. Indeed, they could have done this. If the Alawis were persecuting others in Syria earlier, now the situation has been reserved. If there is a future world war it will start from the East and not the West as the earlier world wars. Muslim countries need to understand their responsibilities. If only they were to put in practice the commandment of: ‘Surely all believers are brothers. So make peace between brothers, and fear Allah that mercy may be shown to you.’ (49:11). The Muslims should have adopted fear of God, Taqwa, so that borne out of mutual compassion and sentiments of ‘tender among themselves’, they would have attracted God’s compassion as well. Indeed, the verse in which God commands Muslims to be ‘tender among themselves’ ends with ‘…Allah has promised, unto those of them who believe and do good works, forgiveness and a great reward.’ (48:30)
The aforementioned situation of murder and mayhem is of those countries where either rebellion is taking place or there is a so-called war situation. ‘So-called’ because in order to assert their authority, some powerful countries have encamped in those lands on the pretext of maintaining regional peace but have created a war-like situation. Had the Muslims practiced ‘tender among themselves’, even if fighting had broken between them, they would have practiced upon ‘make peace between brothers’ and outsiders would not have needed to nor dared to go to their countries.
In Muslim countries where there is apparent peace, there too Muslim is killing Muslim. If the government passes sentence on any leader, his sympathisers rise in revolt and start a murdering spree. What kind of Islam is this? Cruelty and barbarity is at its height in Muslim countries or Muslims are embroiled in it in the name of Islam. Whereas God has stated that the sign of a true believer is that due to his connection with God, his connection with creation is strong, especially Muslims are like brothers among themselves. It is most unfortunate that the more Islam draws attention towards good works and towards peace and conciliation, the worse the Muslims are becoming and more oppressors are being born among them. Muslims are deemed the source of trouble in Christian countries. In terms of ratio of population there are more Muslims in prisons. It was indeed for the reformation of this deteriorated state of Muslims that the advent of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was to take place and took place. Yet, these people say they are not in any such need and their teaching is sufficient for them. If the teaching is sufficient, why have the Ulema formed different factions? And why are they hell-bent on tearing each other apart? Why do they not attain an insight into: ‘and fear their Lord, and dread the evil reckoning’ for themselves and also impart it to their followers? They have no fear of the Hereafter and they continue to deceive the public. These leaders forget the great message of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) which is for the rest of time. They forget the message he left for his Ummah. By disregarding his message and by not giving it its due importance, most certainly they perpetrate ‘Toheen e Rasalat’ (blaspheme the Prophet).
In his Farewell Sermon, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said: ‘Even as this month is sacred, this land inviolate, and this day holy, so has God made the lives, property and honour of every man sacred. To take any man's life or his property, or attack his honour, is as unjust and wrong as to violate the sacredness of this day, this month, and this territory. O people! you will surely meet your Lord soon and He will ask you of your works. Do not become disbelievers once again after me lest you start killing each other. What I have said to you, you should communicate to the ends of the earth. Maybe those who have not heard me may benefit by it more than those who have heard.’ After concluding his sermon, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) asked three times if he had suitably conveyed God’s message. Hadhrat Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) replied that the Prophet had indeed done so.
This was the message of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and a world apart is the practice of Muslims today. Are they not culpable of blaspheming the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) by not only not practicing his instructions but also trampling upon them? The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) also said that Muslim is one from whose hands and tongue other Muslims are safe. Are the Muslims today abiding by this? They have expelled Ahmadis from Islam. We say the Kalima and are servants of the Prophet with sincerity of heart. How much persecution is being carried out on sects other than Ahmadis! Dozens were murdered in Quetta twice; people belonging to a sect that these people do not like. Shias are now becoming the target of the law that was promulgated against Ahmadis and in which everyone was involved. This cruelty will be perpetrated by each sect against each other once again. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih explained that he said once again because that is how it has always been. It was only against the Ahmadis that they joined forces. However, once they get a taste of this killing and are aroused by it, then boundaries are exceeded and that is exactly what is going on.
Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) has explained that the hadith ‘Muslim is one from whose hand and tongue other Muslims are safe’ is not only applicable to Muslims. In fact it means that every peaceful person should be safe from a Muslim’s hand and tongue. This is a Taqwa-based insight into this hadith and the Ulema today do not have such insight. Unless their self-serving interests are eliminated and they generate an element of sacrifice, no matter how elaborate their robes, they cannot be true believers. Recently a Maulwi sahib said in a statement that Ahmadis are a cancer. Ahmadis are not a cancer, in fact they playing the role of informing the world of the true teachings of Islam and thus providing healing for humanity. Others ask why is there difference in our Islam and that of other Muslims and we tell them that our Islam is in accordance with the teaching of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and of the Holy Qur’an, whereas the Islam of the Maulwis is self-crafted. May God open the eyes and hearts of Muslim Ummah and inform them of the real Islam which is today spreading in the world via the true and ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).
Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said we cannot give a hundred per cent guarantee about ourselves either. Whether we fulfil the requirements as stated in both the verses (13:22 & 49:11). Everyone should self-reflect and gauge their condition. We should be under no illusions about ourselves. Albeit our failings may be on a smaller scale but this is what leads to large-scale deterioration. We are most desirous of God’s forgiveness and blessings for ourselves but do not know how to forgive others. If we were to care for others with compassion many problems that come to the Qadha Board of the Jama’at would be solved. God states in the Holy Qur’an: ‘…Let them forgive and forbear the offence. Do you not desire that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.’ (24:23) The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said in this regard: ‘Forgive the sins of people and pardon their excesses and wrongs. Do you not wish that God too forgives you and pardons your sins? And He is Most Forgiving, Merciful.’ There is no one who does not wish for God’s forgiveness. Each person who believes in God is ever desirous of having his sins pardoned. God states if this is what you want then adopt the attribute of forgiveness and develop and enhance compassion to the fullest.
Next Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih related several Ahadith which further elucidated the subject-matter.
Anas bin Malik relates that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said: ‘Anyone who wants to have his provision expanded, his term of life prolonged and for people to speak well of him should maintain ties of kinship.’
Amr bin Shuaib relates through his father and grandfather that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said: ‘He is not of us who does not have mercy on young children and does not recognise honour of the elderly.’
Abdullah bin Masood relates that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said: ‘All creatures are Allah's family; and Allah loves most among His creation those who treat his family well and look after their needs.'
Abdullah bin Amr relates that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said: ‘The Gracious God will have mercy on those who are merciful. Have mercy on those who are on earth, Allah in heavens will have mercy on you.’
Hadhrat Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said: ‘Allah will keep him in His protection and mercy and will grant him entry to Paradise who has these three qualities: He is compassionate to the weak, he loves his mother and father and treats his servants kindly
Hadhrat ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) relates that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said: ‘Allah is gentle and He loves gentleness, and He rewards for gentleness what He does not recompense for harshness; and He does not reward any other virtue like He rewards gentleness.’
Hadhrat ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) relates that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said: ‘Whenever gentleness is added to something, it adorns it and whenever it is withdrawn from something, it leaves it flawed.’
Ib e Masood relates that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said: ‘Shall I not tell you from whom Fire is kept away? It is kept away from everyone who is approachable to people, who is kind and is of an easy disposition.’
Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said: ‘Here I wish to especially draw the attention of Jama’at office holders that each one of them should have such [as aforementioned in Ahadith] good attitude and compassionate sentiments; in particular the main Jama’at office-holders. Indeed, these should be the qualities of each Ahmadi, but Jama’at office-holders who are serving Jama’at should especially never get weary of any petitioner or any person who frequently comes to office or contacts office, and they should welcome them whole-heartedly. It should always be remembered that no worker of the Jama’at should, under any circumstances, forsake courtesy. Nowhere should a situation arise giving even the slightest of hint that courtesy has not been extended. Rather, effort should be made to facilitate as much help as possible and converse as gently as possible.’
Hadhrat Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said: ‘Wealth does not diminish by giving alms. Allah exalts one who forgives others. There is no humiliation in forgiving other’s fault.’
Hadhrat Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said: ‘Do not have rancour for one another nor envy one another nor shun one another. Rather, lives as servants of Allah and as brothers. It is not lawful for a Muslim to refuse to speak to his brother for more than three days and to cut off ties with him.’
Hadhrat Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said: ‘Do not envy one another; do not inflate prices to incur loss to another, do not bear rancour with one another, do not turn away from one another, do not undercut one another. Rather, be Allah’s servants and brothers to each other. A Muslim does not oppress his brother nor does he hold contempt for him nor does he humiliate or disgrace him. Pointing to his breast, the Prophet said three times; Taqwa is here. It is evil enough for someone to look down with contempt at his Muslim brother. The life, property and honour of each Muslim are inviolable for every Muslim.’
Hadhrat Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said: ‘Allah will say on the Day of Judgement: Where are those who loved one another for the sake of My glory and My greatness! Today when there is no shade but My shade, I shall give them shelter in My benevolent shade.’
Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih prayed that may we increase our mutual love and compassion and become that community which the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wished to make, in light of the sayings of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him. And may the Ahmadiyya Community also become the guarantor of world peace. May the Muslims accept the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and understand the significance of mutual love. May the Muslims leaders stop their oppression of the public and are fair and just towards them and rather than be an instrument in the hands of those with vested interests the public has sense. May God soon rid the world in general and the Muslims in particular of the hold the horrendous extremists have on Muslim countries so that we are able to spreads the beautiful teaching of Islam in the world in a better way and with greater proficiency. May God enable us to do so.
Next Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih announced that he would lead a funeral Prayer in absentia.
Nasira Saleema Raza sahiba of Zion, USA passed away on 18 February. She was an African-American Ahmadi. Born in 1927 to the family of a Baptist priest she did not take any interest in Christianity. She accepted Ahmadiyyat in 1949 and was married to late Nasir Ali Raza sahib in 1951. She served the Jama’at over a long period and was the regional Lajna sadr for many terms. She was very keen on Tabligh work and would distribute leaflets and arrange for books and copies of the Holy Qur’an to be placed in libraries. By virtue of her Tabligh efforts more than fifty people accepted Ahmadiyyat. She was a cheerful person and was very well-liked among the ladies who visited her in great numbers and looked up to her as a mother figure. She exuded love of Islam. She would coach young girls about Purdah and other Islamic moral teachings and how to deal with bad customs of the West. She did Tabligh to her mother for several years until her mother accepted Ahmadiyyat at the age of 85 which delighted her. Nasira Saleema sahiba was a very efficient worker who had great love for Khilafat and the Jama’at. She had a mulaqat with Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih last year. May God elevate her station in Paradise. She leaves behind nine children and twenty one grandchildren. May they stay form on piety and be the recipients of her prayers.