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Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

Friday Sermon: Pearls of Wisdom

An extract of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was read out in last Friday sermon which said that those born in the age of the Messiah were fortunate and they should leap with joy that God caused them to be born in this age and included them among those auspicious people who experienced the age of the Promised Messiah, a long-awaited age longing for which many peoples had passed away.

We Ahmadis are indeed among those fortunate people who took bai’at of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and are thus included among those who practiced what God commanded. There are those unfortunate people who did not take his bai’at in spite of experiencing his age. There are also some unfortunate people who exceed in enmity and opposition and are deprived of the guidance of one sent by God and these people are scattered and dispersed. We cannot thank enough that God guided us to the right path.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) used to explain some matters in his writings, speeches and in assemblies through examples and these can be found in traditions of his companions. However it is Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) who has done the most favour on us by mentioning matters that he himself saw or heard or heard from close companions in his sermons and addresses.

These have been mentioned in recent Friday sermons for some time now and people write in to say they these traditions help them understand matters easily. Today’s sermon was also based on the same.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) spoke whether going on strike was right or not. The fundamental reason people go on strike is when their rights are not given. At times the employer does not give rights of the employee and at other times employees do not give rights of the employer. Governments do not give rights to the public and vice versa. Severe measures are taken when employees and general public do not fulfil their rights. Thus it is a vicious circle of worldly life that humankind is involved in. Islam teaches to try and fulfil each other’s rights as one fulfils rights of one’s brother.

Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the culture of Islam is built on justice and love. If Ahmadis participated in strikes in the life time of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) he used to discipline them strictly.

These days strikes take place in Muslim countries usually due to strife between governments and the general public. If Muslim governments were fair, outside powers with wicked motives would not get the chance to create restlessness among them. May God give sense to Muslim governments, especially Pakistani government and they give people their rights! If Ahmadis are forcibly involved in such matters, they should pray that they do not cause any loss to governmental property.

Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said that when a professional relaxes after an honest day’s work, be it an army general, lawyer, judge, trader, speaker or government minister, he says that his work had been back breaking. However, we see in the blessed model of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) that he performed all the tasks that worldly sector entails. He was a judge, a teacher, he also undertook governance and explained laws but he also found time to do household tasks and helped his wives and never said that he was too busy to help out at home.

He fulfilled the rights of his wives to such extent that each wife felt she was the centre of his attention. Although he had nine wives, none of them felt that she was disregarded. It was his practice to visit all his wives after Asr Salat and ask them if they needed anything or he just helped them out. Of course he had scores of other tasks to do and did not have any free time.

In the same region of the world where he lived, people attributed and still attribute indolence to diseases such as malaria. Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said that he had seen the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) who was a reflection of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). He said he could recall that when he went to sleep he saw the Promised Messiah working and when he woke up, he saw that the Promised Messiah was busy working. Yet the Promised Messiah appreciated his proof readers so much that if the proof-reader came late at the time of Isha with the proof, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) would get up to receive him and repeatedly thanked him for his inconvenience although the task he had done was very small compared to what the Promised Messiah himself did. Sometimes ill health meant he had to take strolls, but he continued working during his strolls. Even when he went out for walks he would discuss issues and answer questions.

Indolence and laziness should not be attributed to illness. Let alone people who inhabit regions where malaria is common there are many from among those regions who have migrated to Europe who sit at home, watching TV or quarrelling with their wives or treating children in a manner that makes chidlren weary. This is not borne of illness but is indolence. There are those who have no concern about earning a livelihood because they can get the basic benefit allowance. Those who live here in the West should get rid of this practice.

There is a dower in Islamic marriage called haq mehr. People think it is only payable to the wife in the event of divorce or separation whereas haq mehr is a wife’s entitlement. It is a sum of money for her to keep and spend when there is a need for which she hesitates to ask for her husband’s help or if the husband cannot meet some need. Her need could be anything, like helping a relative or someone else. This money is for her own use, emergency use, as and when she pleases. Let alone pay haq mehr there are those who even put restrictions on the wife’s earnings or ask for a certain portion of it to be deposited in their bank account. There are also parents of disadvantaged families in underdeveloped countries who demand the haq mehr is given to them at the time of marriage. This is wrong and is tantamount to selling daughters, something Islam strictly forbids. A wife can forfeit her haq mehr but only in the instance when it has been first handed over to her. Hazrat Umer (may Allah be pleased with him) and some other holy people have said that haq mehr has to be paid and only after the wife has had it for a year she may, if she wants to, forfeit it.

Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said a Hakeem Fazl Din Sahib had two wives and one day he heard the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) say that payment of haq mehr was an obligation which should be met. He responded that his wives had forfeited their haq mehr. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) asked him if they had forfeited after Hakeem Sahib had put it in the palm of their hands? He told him that he should first hand it over to them and then have them forfeit it. Haq Mehr of Hakeem Sahib’s wives was Rs 500 each. He took out a loan and paid both of them saying, remember, you had forfeited your right to haq mehr, so please, now return it. The wives replied they had no idea that he would one day pay it to them and now that he had, they were not returning it. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had a good laugh when Hakeem Sahib related the story to him. He said the correct way is to first pay it and if it is forfeited after a while, then that is fine. Once a wife receives her haq mehr but happily returns it, it is fine, otherwise even if her haq mehr is worth a million she will forfeit it because she knows no one is going to actually pay it to her and it is only a verbal deal. Therefore, it is important to first pay haq mehr and then have it forfeited if the wife wishes to.

Zakat is an obligation in Islam for all those who fulfil its criteria but there are holy people who spend all their earnings in the way of God. Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said that there are some people who are created by God as models for others. He said he heard from the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) that someone asked a holy person on how many rupees was Zakat obligatory. He replied, for you rupee one on every rupee forty. The man asked what did he mean by ‘for you’? Were there different tariffs? He replied, yes. If I have rupee forty it is obligatory for me to pay rupee forty one. Given your status God has instructed to earn and enjoy your earnings and given my status God Himself provides for me, so, if I were to foolishly save rupee forty I would have to give the rupee forty and on top rupee one as penalty.

Some people are business-minded or they do things imitating others which are against the traditions of the Jama’at and teachings of Islam. Office-holders can also be this kind of people. Once a local anjuman in Qadian published a form and started selling it to people for a few pennies. Advising people of Jama’at at the time Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said that they should follow Shariah and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) in everything, they should follow the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). He said he had been shown a paper which appeared like a form which was being sold for a small price by the local anjuman. He said what business is it of ours to copy the government? He added that matters like this give the opponents opportunities to criticise us. He gave the example of a person who worked at a magistrate’s court as a writer of applications and was surrounded by work dealing with documents and files. He wished to emulate, as the local anjuman had emulated, and wished to be a magistrate and as he could not fulfil this desire of his he invented a way at home. He prepared many files at home, one for salt, one for ghee, one for fuel, one for chillies etc. On his return home from work he would overturn an earthenware water tumbler and sit on it and when his wife said that salt had run out he would say, reader bring such and such file. After reading the file, he would say, write down that I order such and such amount of salt is permitted. Unfortunately one day a few files were stolen from the courts. His neighbour, who heard him talk about files every day, said he could give the name of the person who had stolen the files and promptly gave the man’s name. Police arrived at his residence and upon search all they found were files on salt, chillies, ghee and fuel.

The principle behind this is that we should try and avoid emulating what is against our teachings and traditions. If anything is to be emulated it should be the blessed model of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) or in this age the model of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) who demonstrated it to us having learnt from his master.

Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said he recalled it was either the last year of the life of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) or early years of the first Khilafat that during Ramadan he felt very thirsty. It was either because the heat was intense or he had not drunk water at sehri. He felt he would faint as an hour remained to sunset. Exhausted he fell on a bedstead and he saw in a vision that someone puts a paan in his mouth which he sucks and his thirst is quenched. Once his thirst is quenched he feels he is not in need anymore. The main thing is to fulfil one’s need whether by providing what is needed or by making one lose the wish for the thing.

Someone wrote to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) for prayers that he may be able to marry such and such woman. The Promised Messiah responded to him and said he would pray but on the condition that marriage would not necessarily be the outcome of prayer. He may be able to marry her or he may start disliking her. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) prayed and the man wrote after a few days that he had started disliking the woman. Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said someone also wrote him in similar vein and he responded in following the tradition of the Promised Messiah. The man informed Hazrat Musleh Maud that he lost interest in the marrying the woman.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said he too receives such letters expressing the wish to get married somewhere, asking for prayers, requesting that the other party’s parents are spoken to, the Jama’at is spoken to or else the person would die and the other party would also die. This is absurd talk. The real purpose of marriage is peace of mind and procreation. God’s grace and blessing should be sought in this matter. If a certain match is good in the sight of God, it may come to pass otherwise one may lose interest. Worldly love should also be sought for the love of God.

Explaining that nothing is harmful in itself Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) gave the example of a toxin which can kill but he said that hundreds of thousands also use it as treatment. Opium is something ruinous but its advantages outweigh its harm. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) used to say that half of the medicines have opium in them. Its benefits are enormous. When one is extremely restless and cannot sleep and when one is consumed with pain and turns to suicide, morphine is given which brings them relief. Nothing is harmful in itself, the harm comes from its wrong use which is man’s own negligence. This is why Hazrat Ibrahim (on whom be peace) associated disease to himself and healing to God. People say they made every effort at something but God did not give them success. As if they attribute what is good to themselves and what is bad, to God. A believer says all praise belongs to God Who gives him success and when things go wrong he says ‘Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return’ and attributes failure to his own negligence.

Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said that he had heard from the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) that as a woman’s only son left for war he asked her what gift should he bring for her which would delight her. She replied to her son that all she wanted was his safe return. But the son insisted that his mother told him what to bring. So she said, very well, bring me as many pieces of burnt bread as you can, this will delight me. The son thought this was not good enough and asked her to say what else would she like but the mother insisted this was all she wished for. While away from home each time the son cooked bread he would make sure it got burnt so he could collect plentiful burnt pieces for his mother. He would eat part of bread and put the burnt pieces in bags. When he returned home he gave his mother many bags of burnt bread and said to her that although he had taken her advice he did not really understand what it was all about. The mother replied that it was not suitable to tell him earlier but many ailments are caused by eating food that is not properly cooked. The reason she had asked him to bring burnt pieces of bread was to ensure that he would cook his bread properly and although some of it would burn he would eat the rest and leave the burnt parts and stay in good health. Now, had the mother directly told her son to avoid eating half-cooked bread he could have said he was not so foolish as to eat half cooked bread! Hazrat Musleh Maud said he related this story to illustrate that when acceptance of prayer is talked about people think minor matters are mentioned, matters that they are aware of. Indeed, they are aware of these matters, but do they practice them?

Two aspects are needed for acceptance of prayer ‘…hearken to Me and believe in Me…’ (2:187). There are many other aspects and people say they are aware of those aspects. Indeed they are aware of the aspects, but do they practice them? People write in saying they have prayed a lot but their prayers have not been accepted. This is making allegation against God and shows weakness of faith.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said someone came to see him and said he had been praying a lot but why his prayers did not gain acceptance. Huzoor asked him, God says abide by my commandments, do you? The person replied, no. We should first see our own condition, if our faith is weak or not. What is needed is faith like Hazrat Ibrahim’s (peace be on him) which associates weakness to one’s self and success to God. May God enable us to abide by His commandments and may our prayers gain acceptance.

Next funeral Prayer in absentia was announced of Syed Asadul Islam Shah of Glasgow, son of Syed Naeem Shah. His was from a long-term Ahmadi family which has been serving the Jama’at.

He passed away on 24 March 2016 because of the action of an extremist. ‘Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.’

He was found severely injured outside his shop in Glasgow on 24 March and was taken to hospital but he had passed away on arrival. He was martyred because he was an Ahmadi. He sacrificed his life and attained martyrdom. The press as well as Governmental departments have expressed shock and sympathy. It is for the Government to put in steps to contain the extremists here. If the maulawis are given free reign here, they will create the same disorder in this country as they do in other Muslim countries.

Asad Shah was born in February 1974 in Rabwah. He gained his FSc from Nusrat Jahan Academy. He migrated to Glasgow in 1998 and joined his father in business. He had done Wasiyyat and was regular in his financial contributions. According to reports of Khuddamul Ahmadiyya he was their regular member and attended Ijtemas. He regularly attended Friday Prayers.

Sometimes he underwent various phases of mental health problems which caused him to shift somewhat but the regional Amir Sahib has said that the last time they met he expressed his connection with Khilafat. There has been some misunderstanding by some that he had left the Jama’at, but he had not. He was an Ahmadi and was martyred because he was an Ahmadi. He was regular in attending Khuddam and Jama’at programmes till the end.

Shams ud Din Sahib, missionary of Kababir writes that Asad Sahib’s wife is from Qadian and is a cousin of Shams Sahib’s wife. A few years ago Shams Sahib visited Asad Shah Sahib’s house twice and once stayed overnight. During both visits Asad Sahib asked about Tabligh and Jama’at matters and no worldly matter was discussed. Shams Sahib also found him offering Tahajjud both times. May God grant him forgiveness and have mercy on him and grant steadfastness and peace to the bereaved, his parents and his wife.

Friday sermon summary extracted from :