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by the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
March 12th, 2004

(NOTE: Alislam Team takes full responsibility for any errors or miscommunication in this Synopsis of the Friday Sermon)

Majlis e Mushawarat
(Consultative Body)

Huzur aba delivered today’s Friday Sermon on the subject of Majlis e Mushawarat or the Consultative Body commonly known as Shura.

Huzur aba recited verse 39 of Surah Al Shura (42:39) and explained that in the next few days the Shura assemblies will start convening in some countries. Huzur aba said he had decided to give the Sermon on the subject of Shura by way of reminding the seasoned Shura members and informing the younger people of the Community the protocol of the Shura and ensure that its dignity is maintained.

Explaining its literal meanings Huzur aba said the word Shura is derived from connotations of giving one’s opinion having purified oneself. Huzur aba said the above Quranic verse identifies true believers as those who observe prayer and who consult in communal matters, who reflect and then give an opinion and once a decision is made they cooperate and employ all their strengths to implement it.

The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) said that one who is consulted is a trustee and one whose brother seeks his consultation and he gives it to him without due integrity betrays him.

By illustrating the importance hadith lays on giving individual advice, Huzur aba highlighted the significance of counsel when it is sought on a Jama’at level and at the behest of the Khalifa of the day. Huzur aba said Shura is a most sacred institution and is second only to the institution of Khilafat. He enjoined that during the proceeding of Shura, members should engage in Istighfar (seeking Divine forgiveness) and invoke blessings on the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) and try to keep one’s mind clear of any worldly thoughts.

Quoting part of verse 160 of Surah Al Imran (3:160) Huzur aba said it is under this Quranic injunction the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) used to seek consultation. However, if the final decision is contrary to the counsel and the opinions given, then Allah commands (the Prophet or in the present day, the Khalifa) to put trust in Him and stay firm on his decision.

Citing examples from the blessed life of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) Huzur aba said that prior to the Battle of Ditch the Prophet went by the advice of his Companions although his own opinion was different. However, once his mind was made up, and despite the fact that the Companions later wavered, he put all his trust in Allah and went ahead. In the example of Treaty of Hudaibiyyah, the Prophet went against the advice of his Companions and Allah blessed him with a magnificent outcome.

Huzur aba said the system of Shura is in place under the guidelines of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him). Therefore, the final decision lies with the Khalifa and the Shura assembly is only entitled to ‘propose’ issues rather than make decisions. However, a significance of the Shura is that it provides the Khalifa a yardstick to gauge the condition of various countries from the advice and counsel received from there.

Huzur aba said it is not possible for the Khalifa of the day to preside over each Shura assembly; therefore he has a representative present. Huzur aba said the Khalifa’s task is two-fold; to organise the Community for which he is supported by the office bearers of the Community, the second task is principle-based, for which he has the support of the Shura. Huzur aba said Allah Himself appoints a Khalifa and allays his fears and sustains him and Divine help and succour is always with the Khalifa even if no one else is.

Huzur aba briefly gave some guidelines regarding attending Shura, he said it should be purely for the sake of Allah and one should be clear-headed and engaged in prayer during it. The intention should never be to convince others of one’s opinion and others’ opinions should be carefully listened to. One should not give an opinion on someone’s behalf and should not concur merely because whose opinion it is. One should give opinion in view of whatever is under discussion. One should not be hasty to form an opinion and should not have too much confidence in one’s opinion. One should not follow emotions; rather facts and figures should be kept in mind. One should only say what is good for faith and have robust agendas and plans in mind to contend with the outside world; our objective is to propagate Islam. Each action, each advice should be based on Taqwa and one should be acutely mindful of the sanctity of the Shura and continually seek Divine help.

Next Huzur aba informed the Community that he is leaving for a tour of some African countries tomorrow. He requested prayers for the success of the tour and said that Inshallah as much link as possible will be maintained through MTA. Huzur aba again requested prayers.