Friday Sermon: Attributes of True Ahmadis

November 2nd, 2018

After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz, and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) stated: To be born as an Ahmadi or accepting the doctrine of Ahmadiyyat does not suffice for one to become an Ahmadi. Indeed, accepting the Promised Messiah (as) is the first step towards Ahmadiyyat, however, to practically become an Ahmadi, it is mandatory make a concerted effort to follow all the practices expected of an Ahmadi, with total commitment and dedication. Otherwise, it is all verbosity.  The Promised Messiah (as) said, “To take Bai‘at [pledge of allegiance] means handing over your life to Almighty Allah.” Thus, this matter is not insignificant. We forfeit all our rights on something that we have sold to others. This is the very practical state, we ought to have regarding our lives. The Promised Messiah (as) states “in order to achieve such thinking and such a state, the person taking Bai’at has to first adopt meekness and humility and has to distance themselves from their ego and selfishness.” These are the words of the Promised Messiah (as) that, “one has to distance themselves from their ego and self-importance.” Despite my presence, an office holder failed to attend for Salat in the Mosque, because his relationship with that office bearer was strained. This is the height of egotism and conceit, that despite taking the pledged allegiance to khilafat, there was no due consideration for its lofty station. After taking Bai’at, one has to forsake one’s ego and selfishness, only then one can make spiritual progress. A Bai’at, tainted with conceit, is of no use at all.

These office holders, who claim to be Ahmadis, greet me with respect and show no practical reverence to the high status of Khalifa because of internal quarrels; so much so that they did not attend to offer Salat in the followership of the Khalifa, in the mosque. What do they go to the Mosque for? Allah the Exalted or the office holder? There is no point in being an Ahmadi like this. Thus, “selling of one’s life” means that one should adopt humbleness and meekness and letting go of and selfishness. One needs to aspire to get to a state, where “self” is conquered and one’s every action is in accordance with to the commandment of Allah the Exalted. When this state is achieved, then it is not possible that God Almighty would destroy such a soul. Once you have offered your life to Allah the Exalted, He values it and protects it in every way.

The Promised Messiah (as) has stated “if your actions are contrary to your pledge at the time of Bai’at [pledge of initiation] then there is a great disparity in your words. If you keep a distance from God, then in turn He will also keep a distance from you.... Therefore, you should assess your faith and your deeds as to whether you have achieved a transformation and a purification which will allow your heart to become an embodiment of the throne of God, by which you can be granted protection.” The Promised Messiah (as) then states “I have repeatedly told my Jama’at that you should not merely rely on this Bai’at. You will not attain salvation until you reach the true essence of the Bai’at.” The Promised Messiah (as) then says: “I advise you repeatedly that you should purify yourselves in the same manner the companions of the Holy Prophet (sa) transformed themselves. Thus, look at the wonderful and pure transformations of the companions.” They overcame years of animosity for the sake of their faith, rather then forsaking the mosque for a trivial quarrel. They forsake all form of overt and covert Shirk.

When taking Bai’at, a true Ahmadi pledges to avoid all forms overt and covert Shirk. What is overt Shirk? Elaborating on this, the Promised Messiah (as) states “ worshipping resources and revering worldly gods are also forms of Shirk. What is meant by worldly gods? These are worldly benefits, for which a person neglects and discards the commandments of faith and God Almighty.  If a person discards a religious command to fulfil a worldly desire, he becomes guilty of Shirk…..”

The Promised Messiah (as) states: “Every object, word or deed, which is given the same grandeur as is the due right of God the Exalted, is an idol in the sight of God. It should be remembered that the true unity of God, the proclamation of which He desires from us and to which salvation is attached, is to hold the Being of Allah to be pure from any form of Shirk, whether it is in the form of an idol, person, the sun, the moon, one’s own self or his scheme, plan and deceit. Furthermore, it is to not suggest anyone more powerful in comparison to Him, to not accept anyone as the provider.” Thus, this is the fundamental principle of Islam, which is also the fundamental principle of Ahmadiyyat, the true Islam.

Someone said to me that people give such a high status to Khilafat and the Khalifa of the time, to the extent that they have reached this stage of Shirk. It should be clear that the Promised Messiah (as) came in servitude to the Holy Prophet (sa) in order to eradicate Shirk from the world. Hence, it is impossible that his true caliphate could encourage any form of Shirk. The fundamental task of Khilafat is to eradicate Shirk, establish the unity of God and to fulfil and complete the mission for which the Promised Messiah (as) was commissioned. If a person forms this opinion having seen another person meet the Khalifa with honour and respect, they ought to reflect whether they may be thinking ill of others. However, if someone has truly reached the stage where he is giving others the impression that he is, God forbid, elevating the status of the Khalifa to a form of Shirk, then he should do Istighfar and also be cautious. Indeed, it is the responsibility of the Khalifa of the time to establish the respect and honour for the institution of Khilafat. As it is his duty, he will continue to do so. Thoughts, that high status of Khilafat is a form of Shirk, is the product of naïveté and lack of moral training and should be abandoned.

When taking Bai’at, a true Ahmadi pledges to refrain from falsehood and moral evils. Allah the Exalted states in the Holy Qur’an [Arabic], which means, ‘Shun therefore the abomination of idols, and shun all words of untruth.’ The Promised Messiah (as) states: “Ponder over the fact that in this verse falsehood has been compared with an idol and as a matter of fact, falsehood is also an idol. Otherwise, why would a person leave the truth and turn to falsehood. … Falsehood is also an idol and the person who places his faith in this, removes his faith in God. Hence, by telling lies, one also loses God.”

There are some who lie even in trivial matters. This does not behove a believer. One should not come under the impression that small inaccurate statement are not lies. They most certainly are lies and take one far away from tauhid [Unity of God]. There are countless issues and disputes between people in which one lies in order to sway the decision in his favour. How precisely has the Holy Prophet (sa) warned about lying. The Holy Prophet (sa) said that if one says to a young child ‘come, I shall give you something’ and then gives him nothing, then this too comes under the banner of lying. Even if it is said it as a joke, it is still a lie. The Holy Prophet (sa) then said that lying leads one to indecency and sinfulness and these leads one to hell. Indecency and sinfulness mean to deviate far away from truthfulness and to be extremely evil. Hence, we must always analyse ourselves against these standards.

Then there is an evil which the Promised Messiah (as) has particularly spoken about and especially admonished his followers to avoid. In fact, it is included in the conditions of Bai’at (oath of allegiance), and that is adultery. Now this does not only mean outward adultery which happens through unlawful physical relations, rather he explained that as God Almighty has said [Arabic] ‘And come not near unto adultery;’ which means that one should avoid gatherings and occasions in which these thoughts may come to mind. Currently, TV and internet show such indecent films which openly incite one to adultery. Thus, it is the duty of every Ahmadi to avoid all this. These indecent media products lead to adultery, domestic violence, unlawful relationships and even the mistreatment of children. The Promised Messiah (as) has advised us to even not to think about adultery, every single Ahmadi must especially avoid all media that promotes adultery.

Then, to become a true Ahmadi the Promised Messiah (as) has drawn special attention to refrain from all kinds of injustice. He states, ‘If you wish to associate yourselves to me, then do not allow any thought of mischief, injustice or evil creep in your mind. The Promised Messiah (as) then states that the highest standard of the upholding of rights of others is encompassed in the teachings of Islam. Instead of taking one’s rights Islam draws our attention to fulfilling the rights of others. The standard which the Promised Messiah (as) set, is that one should not even let the thought of doing an injustice come to mind, far from practicing this.

Furthermore, an important condition of being a believer is to worship God Almighty, rather, God Almighty has deemed this worship to be the purpose of the creation of man. The Promised Messiah (as) has stated: ‘So listen all you who consider yourselves to be of my community. When you truly tread the path of righteousness, only then will you be counted in heaven as my community. So, perform your prayers five times a day inspired by such awe and awareness of the presence of Almighty God as if you were seeing Him with your own eyes.’ The Holy Prophet (sa) states, “The first thing for which a person would be called to account for on the Day of Judgement is the Prayer. If he succeeds in this account, he would be successful and will attain salvation. If that account is deficient, he will be ruined and will be a loser.” Thus, it is no ordinary matter if one is not fulfilling the due rights of focusing their attention towards prayer. May God Almighty enable every Ahmadi to fulfil the dues of this right. It is also important to offer the Tahajjud and nawafil prayers and one should pay focus towards this.

Another extremely important aspect which every Ahmadi should be mindful of is to constantly pay attention towards seeking forgiveness for their sins. Man is weak, and at times, despite trying not to, ends up committing mistakes. In fact, God Almighty has prescribed a method through which one can seek forgiveness for his sins and safeguard himself from committing them in the future as well, and that is through Istighfar [seeking forgiveness]. The Holy Prophet (sa) has stated that God Almighty does not punish one who remains engaged in seeking forgiveness. Even if there are a few individuals who are seeking forgiveness, but they can become the means of forgiving the sins of many others and they are also saved. In relation to this the Promised Messiah (as) states, “Istighfar is so that one should continue to seek God’s protection from all sins—obvious or hidden, known or unknown, whether committed by hand, legs, tongue, nose, or eyes.” Thus, Istighfar protects one from committing sin from every part of the body. For this, the Promised Messiah (as) has taught the following prayer of the Holy Quran which should be read in this day and age, and that prayer is: That is, ‘Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves; and if Thou forgive us not and have not mercy on us, we shall surely be of the lost.’ The Promised Messiah (as) further states, “When one seeks the strength from God – that is, to do Istighfar, they can become free of those weaknesses with the aid of the Holy Spirit.”

Then, arrogance is another major ill which God Almighty has taught us in the Holy Quran to refrain from. The Holy Prophet (sa) has also drawn our attention to this and stated that one whose heart has arrogance as little as a small grain will not be allowed to enter Paradise. The Promised Messiah (as) states, “Thus, in my opinion, this is a fine way to become purified. It is impossible to find a better way than to discard arrogance and pride of any sort—about one’s education, family or wealth.”  The Promised Messiah (as) further states, “…I admonish my Jama‘at to shun arrogance, because arrogance is most loathsome to Allah, the Lord of Glory.” To be boastful about one’s race, is a form on arrogance and every Ahmadi should abstain from such thinking. The young women who raised this concern to me, I also told her to write a detailed report to me as to why she felt that there is racial discrimination developing within the Jama’at. Nonetheless, this discrimination is also a form of arrogance and we have to protect ourselves from arrogance in whatever form it may exist.

Another aspect which the Promised Messiah (as) has drawn our attention towards and which God Almighty and the Holy Prophet (sa) have also instructed us to perform is financial sacrifices. One should assess their income because the payment of Chanda is a matter between the individual and God Almighty. The administration or the Secretary Finance is not aware of what the Chanda payers’ actual income is, however God Almighty has full knowledge of it.  Therefore, in view of this everyone should assess their budgets again and revise their payments. Thus, all those people who – despite living in comfort do not pay their chanda according to the prescribed rate – I would like to draw their attention towards this matter so that they can become the recipients of God’s blessings.

Today, the last matter towards which I would like to remind you all is obedience. The Holy Quran has commanded us on several instances to obey God Almighty and His Messenger (sa), and also to show obedience to those who are in authority over you. Furthermore, the Promised Messiah (as) has also included obedience as one of the stipulations for taking the Bai’at and that is for one to pledge that they will obey every ma’roof command, until their last breath. It is not the job of an individual to interpret what is meant by the word maroof. A maroof decision is one which is in line with the Quran, the practice of the Holy Prophet (sa) and his sayings, and also that which falls in line with the Just Arbitrator of this era. Through this, the unity of the Jamaat can be upheld. The Promised Messiah (as) has clearly stated that it was not his desire to increase the number of followers with those who had no idea of what obedience entails. In this regard the Promised Messiah (as) states: “If those who affiliate themselves with me and enter into my Bai’at, yet fail to reform themselves and do not live their lives according to the teachings of God and His Messenger (sa), then such a person’s Bai’at is futile.”

Thus, we will only fulfil the purpose of being an Ahmadi when we realise this truth and strive to attain it with all our faculties. The Promised Messiah (as) says: “Showing obedience is not a small matter or one that is easy to demonstrate. This requires a death on one’s part. Whosoever does not show complete obedience seeks to malign this community.” The Promised Messiah (as) further says: “I have advised my community on numerous occasions that one should not rely on the mere verbal proclamation of your pledge of allegiance. Until one understands the reality of the Bai’at, they cannot attain salvation.”

May God Almighty grant all of us true understanding of the Islamic teachings and enable us to act upon them. May we become those who fulfil the rights of entering into the Bai’at of the Promised Messiah (as) and always remain attached to khilafat with the utmost obedience; and also, may we act upon every maroof decision made by the Khalifa with a sincere heart and demonstrate complete obedience. May Allah enable every one of us to achieve this.