After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz, and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) stated:
Today, by the grace of Allah the Almighty, the Jalsa Salana [annual convention] is starting; the main and the only objective of attending the Jalsa is to enhance our spiritual and moral condition. We proclaim that we have accepted the Messiah of the time, whose mission is to revive the faith, as foretold by the Holy Prophet (sa). We have pledged that we will progress and promote the mission of the Promised Messiah (as). Now, if we do not make a concerted effort to improve our moral and spiritual condition, then our proclamation of Bai’at is an empty slogan and we are not fulfilling our pledge of Bai’at. This should be a matter of great concern. If we self-assess our self against the objectives of Jalsa Salana set out by the Promised Messiah (as), we will improve our moral condition, we will enhance our worldly life and the hereafter and by following our pious models, our next generations will become firm in faith and closer to God Almighty. In an age where the world is distancing itself from God Almighty and religion, our progeny will come closer to God Almighty and will become a means to bring the world closer to God Almighty.
The objectives of attending the Jalsa Salana are to bring our attention back to the eternal life of the Hereafter, to develop awe of the majesty and magnificence of God Almighty, to cultivate Taqwa (God-fearing righteousness) in ourselves, to become kind and caring and establish an atmosphere of brotherhood. The other aims of attending the Jalsa are to develop humility, modesty, and truthfulness and become committed to the service of faith.
Thus, our gathering here today has a very lofty purpose. Everyone attending the Jalsa; young, old, man or woman, must be so focussed on the hereafter that this material world should amount to nothing compared to it. This is a monumental challenge that requires us to undertake a great Jihad. One can truly be concerned about the hereafter, if one truly believes in the existence of God Almighty and has comprehended that this world is only a temporary abode. One may live in this world for 100 or so years, but the life of the hereafter is eternal. A wise person forsakes temporary things for eternal life. However, we tend to sacrifice the gains of permanent life for the sake of this transient life. A true believer should always be mindful of the hereafter.
We should be mindful of the illustriousness of God Almighty and love of God should surpass any other love. We should have the fear of God the Almighty in our hearts. Fear; not because Allah Almighty will punish us in the next life, but rather because we do not wish for our beloved God to be displeased with us. Once such a bond of love is established with God, then a person tries their utmost to follow the commandments of God. He becomes mindful before doing any action that he will be held to account in the hereafter for all his actions. He becomes certain that it is God alone who grants him the means for his provisions. It is only God who blesses him with His rewards. He believes that God is the Possessor of all powers.
A person, who has developed a true love of God in his heart, has an unwavering belief that if he leads his life in the confines of commandments and prohibitions of Allah the Exalted, then he will become a recipient of his blessings. Such a person has a strong faith that if he continues to show perfect obedience to God, follow the path of Taqwa (God-fearing righteousness) and fulfil the rights of God and His creation, God Almighty will be pleased with him. Hence, this mind-set will certainly enable a person to become the recipient of the rewards and blessings of Allah the Almighty in accordance with His promise. Such people comprehend the spirit of the Divine commandments and dedicate their lives in the service of God Almighty. Therefore, it is integral to understand the true spirit of these guidelines which the Promised Messiah (as) wanted us to achieve. We need to attain the spirit of Bai’at and not just words. If, due to human weaknesses, we have erred in the past, then now is the time to reform ourselves. So come! Let us establish our course of action to attain these goals. A person who is worried about the hereafter and fears Allah Almighty directs his attention towards safeguarding his worship. Allah Almighty states: “Verily prayer is enjoined on the believers to be performed at fixed hours.” Allah Almighty has commanded the believers to protect their prayers. He states: “Watch over Prayers and the middle Prayer.” The middle prayer, being the prayer that comes in the middle of our worldly engagements. So, a person aiming to attain the objective of his creation will attend mosques regularly for worship and will not create any disorder or conflict. On the Day of Judgment, the first question we will be asked will be about is the observance of prayer. Hence, a believer is one who, whilst adopting the fear of God Almighty, not only directs his attention towards observing the obligatory prayers, but also observes the nawafil, so that they can fulfil if there are any shortcomings in the obligatory prayers. True believers have kind and fair dealings with each other, they help and support their brethren, and create an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity.
Thus, one should be greatly concerned and deeply ponder over this matter. During these days while everyone’s attention is directed towards virtue, as you have gathered here to listen to talks of virtue and piety, therefore you should asses your conditions and focus towards fulfilling the rights of God Almighty and His creation.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) readout an extract from the writings of the Promised Messiah (as), reiterating the moral code of conduct of a believing person. May God Almighty grant us all the ability to fulfil the rights of our Bai’at with the Promised Messiah (as) and may we adhere to his instructions and fulfil his expectation from us. May we also avail of as much benefit as possible from this Jalsa and thereby improve our religious, spiritual, intellectual conditions and then may we continue to remain established upon these virtuous deeds.