Friday Sermon: The Exemplary Ahmadi Muslim

February 7th, 2014

In the weekly MTA programme Rah e Huda, our missionaries and scholars discuss various subjects and also answer questions from callers, including non-Ahmadis, live on TV.

Last week Hazrat Khalifatul Masih happened to watch part of the programme when a non-Ahmadi questioner was putting his question with reference to a revelation of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). In a way his question was an objection and in his preamble the caller said that the Holy Qur’an, which is the Word of God, Hadith and works of other holy persons all have a concordance and a flow which he failed to see in the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) words. Even if the intention of the caller was not to object, his tone appeared so. The words of the said revelation are: ‘[Urdu] After ten days I shall demonstrate my [surging] Sign. [Arabic] [Hearken! The help of Allah is near like a pregnant she-camel in labour.] [English] Then will you go to Amritsar.’ (Tadkirah, p. 67 2009 edition)

The question was responded briefly on the programme but Huzoor felt it was important to give the details in the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) own words so that other objectors or youngsters with less knowledge may not be influenced by this episode or perhaps they want to know details. Questions are sometimes answered by our scholars on the spot on Rah e Huda and at other times questions that require detailed response are answered in the following programme. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said there is no need for him to start responding to every objection or question in his sermons. The reason he explained the matter today was because in his previous series of sermons he had said that the signs of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and God’s succour is with us in such abundance that the others perhaps do not have a fraction of it! The matter that the questioner tried to ridicule has been elucidated by the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) in Barahin e Ahmadiyya and it is also detailed in Tadhkirah. The question of the caller tells us that at least he had read Tadhkirah but in order to cause confusion, knowingly he did not mention the context in which it is related. Baraheen e Ahmadiyya also explains this subject but the caller would not have read it as the book requires great focus and attention and Huzoor did not think the caller had the required capacity.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote: ‘Some time ago I was in great need of money and the local Aryas who used to come and visit me knew this well. …Quite involuntarily the thought welled up in my mind that I should supplicate God, the One, for resolving my difficulty so that, through acceptance of my prayer, I should not only overcome my difficulty but also furnish a proof of divine support to my opponents—a Sign of which they should become witnesses. So I supplicated the same day and begged that, as a sign, I might be informed of the coming of help. Thereupon, I received the revelation: [Urdu] After ten days I shall demonstrate my [surging] Sign. [Arabic] [Hearken! The help of Allah is near like a pregnant she-camel in labour.] [English] Then will you go to Amritsar. i.e., money would arrive after ten days and that God’s succour is as close as the end of the labour of a she-camel when she is about to give birth to her foal. Then He said in English that: After ten days when the money will arrive then will you go to Amritsar. All this was fulfilled in the presence of the Aryas exactly as had been foretold. Nothing at all was received during the first ten days and then on the eleventh day 110 rupees were received from Muhammad Afdal Khan, Superintendent, Settlement, Rawalpindi, and twenty rupees were received from another source and thereafter money began to arrive unexpectedly. On the same day when the money was received from Muhammad Afdal Khan and others I had to go to Amritsar as I received summons from the Small Causes Court, Amritsar, to appear as a witness.’ [Tadhkirah, pp. 66 – 67, 2009 edition]

This is the revelation in its entirety and its background. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has further explained this in another place:

‘Some time back … a gentleman named Nur Ahmad, who is both a hafiz and a haji and perhaps also knows some Arabic and preaches from the Holy Qur’an and lives in Amritsar, came to Qadian in the course of his wanderings…. Since he was staying with me, and had expressed to me in very strong words the opinion about revelation which he entertained, I felt much aggrieved by it. I tried in every possible manner to convince him of his misconception but my reasoning had no effect upon him. Then I turned to Allah the Almighty and told Hafiz [Nur Ahmad] that I would supplicate to Allah the Noble, and would not be surprised if some prophecy might be made of which he might himself see the fulfilment. Accordingly, I made my supplication that night and towards the morning I saw in my vision a letter which had arrived by post on which there was a superscription in English: I am quarreller. And another in Arabic: ‘This is a shattering witness’. And I also received these words by way of revelation as if they had been addressed to me by the writer of the letter.

Then the vision ended. Since I do not have any knowledge of the English language, I informed Miyan Nur Ahmad of this vision and revelation and enquired from someone who was conversant with English what the meaning of the English superscription was. He explained that it meant that the writer was a disputant. From this brief sentence I understood clearly that I was about to receive a letter relating to some dispute. I conceived that the Arabic superscription ‘This is a shattering witness’ which was the next sentence written by the scribe meant that the writer of the letter had written it in connection with some evidence relating to a dispute. It so happened that Hafiz Nur Ahmad was not able to leave for Amritsar that day on account of heavy rain. His inability to leave because of a heavenly cause was in fact an intimation of the acceptance of my prayer so that, as I had supplicated, he himself might witness the fulfillment of the prophecy. In short, the entire prophecy was narrated to him.

In the afternoon, in his presence, I received a registered letter from the Reverend Rajab ‘Ali, owner and manager of the Safir Hind Press, Amritsar, reporting that he had instituted a suit against his scribe, who is also the scribe of this book, in the Small Causes Court and had given my name as a witness. At the same time I received summons from the court. The interpretation of the Arabic superscription which means that ‘this witness is shattering’ then became patent inasmuch as the proprietor of the Safir Hind Press was absolutely certain that my testimony, which he was sure would be in accord with the facts, would prove destructive for the defendant on account of its weight, truth, and reliability. That is why the proprietor of the Press had me summoned as a witness. It so happened that the day on which this prophecy was fulfilled was also the day on which the other prophecy mentioned above was also fulfilled. Thus, Miyan Nur Ahmad witnessed the fulfillment of that prophecy also. That is to say, money was received on that day after the expiry of the period of ten days and I was summoned and had to go to Amritsar. [Allah be praised for all this.] (Tadhkirah, pp. 67 – 69, 2009 edition)

This is all Huzoor wished to say as regards the signs of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) in today’s sermon which was in light of the question asked in the MTA programmed Rah e Huda. He will elucidate this subject in future. Today he wished to speak about the concerns of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) about the practices of his Jama’at. Prior to that Huzoor read out an extract from a biography of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) written by Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib. Huzoor said that it is a grace and blessing of God on the Ahmadiyya Jama’at that when Khalifa of the time is drawn to a subject and if the subject is of reformatory nature, a large section of the Jama’at pays attention to reformation. Huzoor assesses this from the letters he receives as well as when helpers of Khilafat send in relevant extracts that they remember. The extract from Sahibazada Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib’s book was sent to Huzoor by a missionary sahib of ours as Huzoor has been giving discourses on reformation of practices.

The extract relates that Maulwi Syed Serwer Shah Sahib told Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib that once Mir Nasir Nawab Sahib and Maulwi Muhammad Ali Sahib had a disagreement and Mir Sahib told the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) about it. When Maulwi Muhammad Ali Sahib came to know this, he went to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and said that he had come to Qadian so that he may get to serve religion in some way while in the company of the Promised Messiah. However, if complaints were made about him to the Promised Messiah in this vein, it was entirely possible that being human, the Promised Messiah may think something negative about Maulwi Muhammad Ali in which case rather than being beneficial, his coming to Qadian would become detrimental for him. To this the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘ Mir Sahib did say something to me, but I was so absorbed in my own worries that I can swear by God that I do not know what Mir Sahib said and what he did not say. Since a few days a thought has been concerning me most forcefully and it has completely detached me from other things. During the course of the day this thought alone stays in my view. I am sitting with people and someone says something to me but the same thought is encircling my mind. The person must think I am listening to him but I am engrossed in the same thought. The thought goes with me when I return home. In short, these days this thought has occupied my mind so forcefully that there is no room for any other thought! What is this thought? It is that the real objective of my coming is to prepare a community of true believers who truly believes in God and maintains a real connection with Him and makes Islam its way and implements the blessed model of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). That it treads the path of reformation and Taqwa and establishes exemplary morals so that the world can receive guidance from such a community and the will of God is fulfilled. If this objective is not fulfilled and even if we overcome the enemy with proofs and reasoning and completely vanquish him, even then our triumph will not be triumph because the real objective of my advent would not have been fulfilled – it would be as if all our work went in vain. However, I see that distinct signs of triumph in terms of proofs and reasoning are being evident and the enemy is also feeling his weakness, yet our Jama’at lacks a great deal as regards the real objective of my advent and there is great need for attention in this regard. This is the thought which is consuming me these days and is so dominant that it does not leave me at any time!’

This was the pain which had caused restlessness for the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Apart from his writings, there are ten volumes of ‘Malfuzat’ which are brief records of the assemblies of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Each one of these ten volumes gives the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) expectations of the Jama’at and his advice to the Jama’at as well as the subject of reformation of practice from different perspectives. Some of these were presented by Huzoor today.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘I have said as regards mutual love and harmony of the Jama’at that you should have accord and unity. This is the teaching God gave to the Muslims that be as one otherwise you will collapse. The commandment to stand close to each other in Salat is to promote unity, so that the good in one permeates like electric power in each other. If you have conflict and no unity, you will remain unfortunate. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said to love one another and pray in private for each other. If a person prays for another in private angels say ‘may the same be for you.’ How excellent this is! If man’s prayer is not accepted, angels’ is. I advise you and wish to say to you not to have any mutual conflict. I have brought two issues only. Firstly, adopt Unity of God and secondly be loving and sympathetic to each other. Show that model which works miracles for the others. This is the sign that was instilled in the Companions, ‘… when you were enemies and He united your hearts in love…’ (3:104) Remember, coming together is a miracle. Remember, unless each one of you likes for his brother what he likes for himself, he is not from my Jama’at. He is in trouble and calamity and his ending is not good.’

‘Remember removal of malice is a sign of the Mahdi. Will this sign not come to pass? Indeed, it will. Why don’t you be patient! Just as in medical matters some ailments do not go away unless they are completely eradicated. InshaAllah a pious community will be created through me. What is the reason for mutual enmity? Miserliness, arrogance, self-centredness and emotions. I will exclude all those from my Jama’at who do not have control over their emotions and cannot live with mutual love and unity. Those who are of this kind should remember that they are here only for a few days! Unless they demonstrate fine example I do not want to bear objections on myself caused by others. A person who is in my Jama’at but does not act in accordance to my wish is like a dry branch. What else can the gardener do but to cut him off? Joined to a green branch although a dry branch absorbs water, it does not remain verdant. On the contrary, such a branch also harms the other branches. Therefore, be fearful, one who will not remedy himself will not stay with me.’

Huzoor said we have heard this extract before, however when put in conjunction with the extract which expressed the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) pain for days when all he thought of was his Jama’at’s reformation of practices, it is a cause for particular concern. Describing a true believer, he said:

‘I say openly that unless Allah the Exalted is given precedence over everything else and unless He can see that a person is His from the heart one cannot be called a true believer…Muslim is one who is a model of ‘…submits himself completely to Allah…’ (2: 113). وَجْھَہ [in the verse] signifies face, however, it is also applicable to one’s person. Thus, one who submits with all his capacities to Allah deserves to be called a true Muslim. I remember that a Muslim invited a Jew to Islam and said, ‘you should become a Muslim’ but was himself embroiled in wickedness and sin. The Jew said to the sinful Muslim, ‘take a look at yourself first and do not be proud that you are known as a Muslim.’ Allah Almighty wants the substance of Islam, not its name and mere wording.’

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also said: ‘Remember mere verbosity and wordiness will not avail unless backed by practice. Mere words have no value in the sight of Allah, therefore, Allah the Exalted has stated: ‘Most hateful it is in the sight of Allah that you say what you do not do.’ (61:4)

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) taught that if one wishes to serve Islam, once must abide by Taqwa first. He said: ‘…be steadfast and strive to excel in steadfastness…’ (3:201) Just as it is necessary to have horses at the frontline so that the enemy does not cross limits, you should also be prepared, lest the enemy crosses the frontline and harms Islam. I have said this before that if you wish to promote and serve Islam, first abide by Taqwa and purity with which you can come into the refuge of fortified protection of Allah the Exalted and are then privileged to serve Islam. You see how feeble the outward power of Muslims has become. Nations look at them with hatred and contempt. If your inner strength is also weakened and trounced, then consider that is the end. You should thus purify your souls that power of holiness permeates them and they become strong and protective like horses on the frontline. The grace of Allah the Exalted is always with the righteous and the truthful. Do not make your morals and your ways such that they cause blemish on [the name of] Islam. Muslims who commit foul deeds and do not abide by the teachings of Islam are a cause of blemish on [the name of] Islam. A Muslim drinks alcohol and vomits all over the place. His turban dangles around his neck as he falls in sewers and is beaten by the police. Hindus and Christians laugh at him and his unlawful act not only causes his own disgrace but behind the scenes its effect reaches Islam. I am very aggrieved to read such news and reports from prisons when I see how many Muslims are blameworthy due to their foul deeds. My heart is agitated that these people who have been given the right path, do not simply cause loss to themselves with their excesses but also cause Islam to be derided. My concern is that Muslims get embroiled in forbidden acts which not only make them distrustful but also Islam. Therefore, make your ways and conduct such that the disbelievers do not get the chance to lay criticism on you which in fact is criticism of Islam.’

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) says about thankfulness: ‘Real thankfulness is in [abiding by] Taqwa and purity. It is not real thankfulness when a Muslim responds by saying Alhamdolillah. If you adopt the ways of real thankfulness, that is Taqwa and purity, then I give you the glad-tidings that none can overcome you when you stand on the frontline.’ The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) goes on to relate a story that a Hindu, who was a government officer, told him. He said that he worked in a place where a Hindu worker used to secretly offer Salat and all the Hindus workers did not think much of him. The Hindu workers decided to get him fired from work. They tried to make several complaints against him and had collected a lot of criticisms against him for this purpose and used to report to the superior time and again. If the superior became too angry and summoned the man who offered Salat, as soon as he would appear the superior’s anger would subside and he would gently caution him as if he had not done anything wrong.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘It should be remembered very well that there is benefit in everything. Look around the world, from high quality of vegetation to rodents and insects, there is nothing that is devoid of benefit to man. All these ordinary things, whether they are earthly or heavenly, are shadows of the attributes of Allah the Exalted. When there is so much benefit in [Divine] attributes, imagine the benefit of the Being of God! It should also be remembered here that just as we are sometimes harmed by these things, which is through our own mistake and lack of understanding and not because these things are harmful per sae, rather the harm is borne of our own error and fault, similarly we experience trouble and problems due to not having knowledge of some Divine attributes, otherwise Allah the Exalted is All-Merciful and All-Bountiful. The secret of experiencing difficulties and grief in this world is that we go through troubles due to our own lack of understanding and knowledge.’ The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) went on to explain that we find Allah the Exalted to be Ever Merciful and Bountiful and Beneficial beyond imagination through His attributes. And those who are closest to Him garner the most benefit and this status is given to those who are called the righteous. Such a person is given the light of guidance which instils a special radiance in his knowledge and his senses. Conversely the further a person is from Allah the Exalted a destructive darkness overtakes his heart and mind, so much so that he becomes an example of:They are deaf, dumb and blind…’ (2:19), while those who attain light and radiance are given high level of peace and respect. Allah the Exalted has stated: ‘And thou, O soul at peace! Return to thy Lord, well pleased with Him and He well pleased with thee.’ (89: 28-29) The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said some people find apparent satisfaction in power, some find satisfaction in their property and respect while others are considered apparently satisfied by their beautiful and clever children and helpers. However such pleasure and worldly pleasures of all sorts cannot bring man true satisfaction and assurance. In fact they generate a kind of impure greed and yearning. These people are never satiated until the time comes when they are destroyed. However, God Almighty states that the person that finds his peace in Allah the Exalted, it is possible that for such a person wealth and worldly pomp are not the cause of true pleasure. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ’Unless man finds peace and satisfaction in God, he cannot have salvation because salvation is only an alternative word for peace and satisfaction!’

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘I have seen some people and have read about many who have worldly property and riches and false luxuries of the world and all manner of blessings like children and helpers. When they are about to die and realise that they are going to leave this world and are going to leave behind all the belongings and pass on to the next world, they are inflamed with yearning and are given to sighing! Thus, this is also a kind of hell which cannot bring satisfaction and fulfilment to man, on the contrary it puts him in a state of anxiety and restlessness. So, this fact should also not remain hidden from my friends that often man is so absorbed in what is indeed an unfair and unwarrantable love of family and property that many times spurred by the passion and excess of this love he starts doing such unwarrantable acts which create distance between him and Allah the Exalted and prepare a hell for him. He is not aware of the moment when he is suddenly separated from them and he becomes extremely restless. It can be understood very easily that separation from something one loves creates sadness and painful grief. Now this matter not only has a scriptural tenor but also has a logical tenor. As it is stated: It is Allah’s kindled fire, which rises over the hearts’ (104: 7 – 8) This is the very fire of love of other than Allah which burns the human heart to cinders and puts it in astonishing pain and agony. I say once again that it is completely true that man cannot have salvation without [attaining the state of] soul at peace.’

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘Allah the Exalted does not care for anyone but for the righteous person. Instil mutual love and unity and abandon beastliness and conflict and give up all manner of mockery and derision because mockery makes the heart remote and distant from the truth. Treat each other with respect and everyone should give precedence to the comfort of his brother over his own comfort. Generate true conciliation with Allah the Exalted and return to His obedience. Wrath of Allah the Exalted is falling down on the earth and only those are saved from it who completely repent over their sins and submit to Him. Remember that if you engage yourself in the cause of Allah the Exalted and will be devoted in promoting His religion, God will remove all your obstacles and you will be successful. Have you not seen how a farmer pulls out and throws away weeds for the sake of fine plants and arranges his field with attractive trees and productive plants! He safeguards them and protects them from all harm. However, the owner does not care if the cattle eat the trees and plants which are not productive, are rotten or dried out or if someone chops them off for firewood. Therefore, you too should remember that if you are deemed truthful by Allah the Exalted, no one’s opposition will trouble you. Yet, if you do not correct yourself and do not truly pledge obedience to Allah the Exalted, then Allah the Exalted too does not care for anyone. Thousands of sheep and goats are slaughtered and no one pities them but if a man is killed how much interrogation takes place! If you make yourself useless and careless like beasts, you too will end up so. It is required that you should join the dear ones of God so that no epidemic or calamity can dare attack you because nothing happens in the world without the permission of Allah the Exalted. Remove all mutual conflicts and enmities for now is the time that you avoid inferior matters and engage yourself in significant and magnificent tasks!’

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also said the following:

‘’Remember this as an entrustment; never to be forceful and harsh. Always explain gently and do not utilise indignation.’

‘Remember for the future never to abandon rights of [keeping] accord in mankind, otherwise rights of Allah will also not remain.’

‘I have been informed that ‘…Surely, Allah changes not the condition of a people until they change that which is in their hearts...’ (13:12) Listening to this, everyone says that they offer Salat and also engage in Istaghfar, why then they have to face trials and tribulations? The fact is that one who comprehends the ways of Allah the Exalted is fortunate indeed. The will of Allah is something else and man assumes something else and then gauges it according to his intellect and understanding. This is not correct. Anything that is used less than the prescribed amount does not benefit in the way that is inherent in it to benefit. For example, if medicine has to be taken in a required amount but only a drop is taken, of what benefit will it be? And if instead of eating bread, only a crumb is eaten, can it be a source of satisfaction and can a drop, as opposed to a cup of water, satiate? Not at all; it is the same as regard practices. Unless they are regulated, they do not come up to mark. This is the way of Allah which we cannot change!’

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said:

‘Being sympathetic to one’s brother is like alms-giving and charity and it is included in the rights of mankind, which is an obligation. Just as Allah the Exalted has obligated fasting and Salat for Himself, He has also deemed it an obligation to safeguard rights of mankind.’

‘A person who abandons sympathy, it is as if he abandons faith. The Holy Qur’an states: ‘…whosoever killed a person — unless it be for killing a person or for creating disorder in the land — it shall be as if he had killed all mankind…’ (5:33) I say that similarly if a person is not sympathetic to his brother; it is as if he has not been sympathetic to the entire world. Do not love life to an extent that you lose faith. Do not ever abandon rights of unity of mankind.’

‘Our detractors have animosity against us and wish for the Jama’at to be destroyed. It should be remembered that in spite of their animosity, I agree with them in one thing. And that is that God Almighty has willed that this Jama’at is free of sin and that it demonstrates a fine model of conduct and truly practices the true teachings of the Holy Qur’an and is fervently devoted in adherence of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). There should be no mutual rancour in it and it should be a Jama’at that fully and truly loves God Almighty. Yet, if having joined this Jama’at, someone still does no fulfil this objective and does not demonstrate sincere change in his practices, then he should remember that he will be fulfilling the wish of the detractors; he will certainly be destroyed. God Almighty has no relations with anyone and He does not care. The progeny which was called progeny of the Prophets, that is, the Israelites, among whom an abundance of Prophets and Messenger came and who were the recipients and beneficiaries of great blessings of God Almighty. However, what was the consequence when their spiritual condition deteriorated and they abandoned the right way? They became a representation of: ‘…And they were smitten with abasement and destitution…’ (2: 62) And God’s wrath befell them. This is a great cautionary matter. A constant lesson is learnt from the condition of the Israelites. Similarly, God Almighty made this community with His own hands, and it is a community on which God will bestow great blessings. However, if someone joins this Jama’at and does not truly love God Almighty and does not sincerely follow the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), whether he is important or unimportant, he will be cut-off and will be punished by God Almighty. Therefore, you should bring about a complete change and should not bring the Jama’at in disrepute.’

These are the standards we need to aspire to, indeed, should aspire to; abiding by Taqwa, reforming our practices and enhancing the levels of faith. These are not small matters. We have accepted the Imam of the age and we should make endeavours to come up to the mark of his expectations. We should try and accomplish the smallest of virtue and should recoil from every evil. There is need to enhance mutual love, affection and unity. We need to be each other’s’ helpers, then alone can we fulfil the dues of Bai’at. May God enable us to do so!

Next Huzoor reminded to pray for Muslim countries, especially Syria and Egypt where disorder and persecution is taking place. Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan are also bitterly persecuted and they are ever being made aware of the lack of their safety. May God protect all of them and may He swiftly bring the insurgents and those who create disorder to justice!