Jan. 2: New Year Resolutions for Ahmadis
- We need to reflect to examine how much we fulfilled our obligations of being an Ahmadi last year and how much we will try to do so in the New Year — Mutual New Year greetings would be only be beneficial when we reflect to see how much we fulfilled our obligations of being an Ahmadi last year and how much we will try to do in the New Year. This Friday onwards resolutions which would create alertness and effort in the New Year should be made. It is obvious that the tasks we are expected to do as Ahmadis can only be done through virtue and piety. However, the question is what should be our level of piety and virtue! It should be clear to everyone who joins Ahmadiyyat or is an Ahmadi that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) ascertained these levels for us. And now with all the resources and technology available every Ahmadi pledges at least once a year on the hand of the Khalifa of the time to make his best efforts to attain the levels as explained by the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Indeed the expected levels for Ahmadis have been explained in the conditions of Bai’at. Although the conditions of Bai’at are ten, however, broadly speaking they carry more than thirty responsibilities laid on Ahmadis. If true happiness is to be commemorated at the start of a New Year these responsibilities should be kept in view. It is not sufficient to be delighted at having accepted the matter of death of Jesus (on whom be peace) or to have accepted the one who was promised to come. Indeed, that is the first step but the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) expected us to have an in-depth understanding of virtue and piety and to practice it. And to avoid sin as one avoids blood-thirsty beasts. Then alone will we be able to bring about a revolutionary change in ourselves and also become a source to change the world and bring it closer to God. The details of this matter need to be reiterated and reminded as this reminding is very important. Please view 02:01–07:17 to listen to this important new year message from Huzoor (aba).
- Every Ahmadi has the responsibility to self-examine his/her adherence to the conditions of Bai’at because only then can one bring about in him or herself that revolutionary change that the Promised Messiah (as) desires to see in each of us — Huzoor (aba) reiterated and reminded us of our responsibilities as Ahmadis as laid out in the conditions of Bai’at. Huzoor (aba) referenced certain extracts from the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Some of these are presented below, but it is important for all of us to listen to Huzoor’s (aba) sermon in its entirety to better understand and appreciate these.
- The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that Unity of God does not simply mean verbally professing there is none worthy of worship except Allah while having thousands of polytheist thoughts in the heart. A person who gives any task of his or any planning, scheming or effort the same reliance and significance which is only due to God or gives weighty significance to his own self that is only due to God, is an idolater in the eyes of God in all these instances. Idols are not only figurines made of gold, silver, copper or stone which are then relied on. In fact everything, every word, every practice which is ascribed the magnitude of significance which is only due to God is an idol in the eyes of God. We need to self-reflect today whether we considered material things everything last year or did we only use them to plan and practice and sought all good and blessing from God. Fair-minded self-reflection would give us the answer
- The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that unless a selfish motive spurs him no one wants to tell lies. Thus, selfish motives and interests drive one to tell lies. However, high morals mean that even if one’s life, property and honour is at stake one does not tell lies. Difference between an honest and dishonest person becomes evident during trials and tribulations when an honest person speaks truth even when his personal interests are at stake
- The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also took pledge to keep away from fornication. He said do not go near fornication. That is, stay away from such functions which could even trigger the thought of it and do not adopt the ways which have risk factors as regards these sins. These days lewd films are shown on television and the internet or can be accessed on it. This is fornication of the eyes and thoughts and also a source of getting embroiled in bad practices. They also cause break ups of homes
- Another pledge sought by the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) is to stay away from trespasses of the eye. The Holy Qur’an commands غض بصر (ghadd e basar) restraining of the eye and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that Fire is forbidden to that eye which restrains from looking at what God has forbidden. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: We have been positively commanded not to look at women outside the prohibited degrees (not a close relative) and their beauty. He said unrestrained looks always end up in stumbling at times…Just as women are commanded to observe purdah, men are commanded to observe غض بصر . We should reflect as to how much we practice this
- The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) took pledge that we would stay away from all manner of wickedness and debauchery. Indeed it is wicked to astray from what God has commanded. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) once counted abusive language as wickedness/debauchery. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) once said that it is proven from the Holy Qur’an that a wicked and debauch person should be punished before a pagan.
- Another pledge sought from one taking Bai’at is that he will stay away from cruelty. Cruelty is indeed a big sin. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) once thus described a big sin: If a person usurps even a hand span of land from his brother, the entire land underneath even a small pebble of the land usurped will be placed as a millstone around his neck on the Day of Judgement. It is indeed a grave cause for concern when owing to egotistical and personal interest people usurp others in court cases. This is something we need to reflect on.
- The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also took pledge that we will stay away from خیانت (khiyanat) dishonesty/breach of trust. The standard of how to practice this was thus set by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him): do not even practice خیانت with someone who has done خیانت with you. Therefore no excuse is warrantable to commit خیانت . If Ahmadis usurp you, consult the Qadha Board and if anyone outside the Jama’at usurps you or the Jama’at advises you, take legal action
- Another pledge taken from us is that we will stay away from mischief and disorder. While there is no question of mischief and disorder with our own, the teaching of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) even regarding others who are oppressing us is: Do not clash and confront those who leave you and abandon you because you have joined the community established by God. Rather, pray for them privately…I [the Promised Messiah (as)] do not like it at all when I hear that a person from this Jama’at has altercated with someone. God Almighty too does not want a community which is to be a role-model for the world to adopt a way which is not the way of righteousness
- The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also took pledge that we would keep away from rebellion. Be this against an ordinary Jama’at worker or government of the day.
- We are also enjoined not to get carried away by passions. There are many chances to get carried away by passions through television and the Internet, in addition many quarrels and conflicts stem from this. It is an Ahmadi’s duty to avoid even the smallest of matters that inflames passions or makes one get carried away
- The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that after joining Ahmadiyyat pledge to offer five daily Prayers/Salat with all their requisites. For men ‘offering Salat with its requisites’ means to go to the mosque five times a day unless when not feeling well or due to a genuine excuse. If this was practiced our mosques would fill up. If only the office-holders started following this it would make a huge difference. Effort is required in this matter and the Jama’at and the auxiliary organisations need to pay a lot of attention here! The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said if a man wishes to forego Salat then he has not achieved much more than animals
- Pledge is also taken from us to organise offering Tahajjud Salat. Tahajjud should be organized because it was the way of the earlier righteous ones and it is a source of gaining closeness to God. This practice keeps one away from sin and removes bad habits and also keeps one away from physical ailments. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said our Jama’at should offer Tahajjud. Our Jama’at should be regular in Tahajjud. If not much they should offer two units of Prayer. Attention need to be given to this matter
- The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) took pledge to invoke درود Durud (salutations and blessings) on the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said: Allah will send mercy ten-fold on one who invokes Durud on me. Hazrat Umer (may Allah be pleased with him) said: Prayer is suspended between the earth and the heavens and unless Durud is invoked on the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) no part of the prayer proceeds upwards
- Another pledge we make at Bai’at is that we will be regular in استغفار Istighfar (seeking forgiveness) for our sins. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that God makes a way out of adversity and into prosperity for a person who engages abundantly in استغفار and provides for him from means that are beyond his imagination. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: Some people are aware of sin while some people are not aware of sin. This is why Allah the Exalted has always prescribed to seek استغفار . So that man says استغفار for every sin whether it is apparent or hidden and whether he is aware of it or is unaware of it. Thus, the significance of استغفار should always be in our view.
- We also pledge not to cause harm to God’s creatures. We also pledge in particular not to cause undue harm to Muslims due to our passions and that we will forgive as much as possible.
- We have also pledged that we shall remain faithful to God under all circumstances.
- We also pledge during Bai’at not to follow un-Islamic customs. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that if a person initiates a custom in the name of religion which has nothing to do with religion, that custom is accursed and unacceptable. We should be very vigilant in this regard. Many erroneous wedding customs have been created which should be avoided by Ahmadis and we should not let ourselves be influenced by what is taking place around us. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih has elucidated this matter in details before. Secretaries tarbiyyat and Lajna should bring this matter to the fore time and again so that members of the Jama’at are protected from these matters.
- Another pledge is to refrain from lustful inclinations. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘Paradise is the station for a person who fears standing before his Lord and suppresses his self-absorbed desires. Suppressing one’s lustful inclinations is completely devoting oneself to Allah. Through this a person attains pleasure of God and reaches Paradise in this very world.
- Another pledge is to completely submit to the authority of the Holy Qur’an. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: Stay alert and do not even take one step contrary to the teaching of God and the Holy Qur’an. I say to you most truthfully that a person who evades even one commandment from the seven hundred commandments of the Holy Qur’an closes the door to salvation with his own hands.
- We pledge that we will make every Word of God and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) our guiding principles. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: We have only one Prophet and only one Qur’an which was revealed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and by following which we can find God.
- We also pledge to entirely give up pride and arrogance. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘I say truthfully that on the Day of Judgement after shirk there will be not be a bigger blight than arrogance. It is such blight that it disgraces man in both the worlds.’ This is a serious cause for concern. He also said: ‘I advise my Jama’at to avoid arrogance because arrogance is extremely abhorrent in the eyes of God’.
- Another pledge we take is to adopt humbleness. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said: Whoever adopts humbleness and meekness for the sake of God is exalted by God so much so that he is given place in the highest station of Paradise.
- We also pledge to always remain cheerful. This should always be kept in view by everyone.
- We also pledge to spend our life in forbearance and meekness. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: If you wish to find Allah the Exalted look near the hearts of the meek.
- The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) took our pledge that we will hold faith and the cause of Islam dearer than our own life, property and honor.
- Another pledge is to always be of service to God’s creatures for His sake. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: Remember, Allah the Exalted loves piety and wishes that His creation is cared for. Those of you who are connected to me should remember to care for every person regardless of which religion he follows and should be good to everyone without distinction because this is what the Holy Qur’an teaches.
- Another pledge is to endeavour to benefit mankind to the best of our God-given abilities and powers. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that mankind has many needs and due to various reasons some are dependent on others. Purely for the sake of God one should try most sincerely, selflessly and with true compassion to benefit mankind as much as one can. One should help anyone in need of help with one’s God-given capacities and try one’s utmost to make better their life in the world and the Hereafter.
- The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) took pledge that for the sake of God we will enter into a close bond with the Promised Messiah pledging obedience and devotion to him as is not found in any other worldly relationship and connections demanding devoted dutifulness. That is, we will obey him in everything he has advised us for our own betterment and which is relayed to us after him by his Khulafa. These matters are to establish Shariah and are based on the words of the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and his blessed model. Without this neither can we progress nor remain united.
- We need to self-reflect how much we fulfilled our pledges last year and if there were any deficiencies how can we make good this year. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘Only that person joins our Jama’at who makes our teaching his modus operandi and puts it in practice according to his strength and endeavor.’ Please see 07:17–44:24.
Jan. 9: Righteousness, Obedience and Financial Sacrifice
- Spending in Allah’s cause is an important commandment for a believer and a true believer (momin) embraces every opportunity to do so — ‘So fear Allah as best you can, and listen, and obey, and spend in His cause; it would be good for yourselves. And whoso is saved from his own covetousness – it is these who shall be successful. If you lend to Allah a good loan, He will multiply it for you, and will forgive you; and Allah is Most Appreciating, Forbearing,’ (64: 17- 18). As evident from these verses God is drawing the attention of true believers to adopt righteousness and abide by His commandments with complete obedience. One general commandment of God is to spend in His cause. A true believer should not hesitate when spending in God’s way because a true believer’s financial sacrifice is for good causes. Today it only the Jama’at of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) which spends to seek God’s pleasure and for good causes and indeed is desirous of this. It is only the Ahmadiyya Jama’at which, having accepted the Imam of the age and thus comprehended the spirit of such causes, is implementing them according to the teachings of Islam to discharge rights of God as well as rights of mankind. These works include Tabligh, preparation of Tabligh, publication of literature, publication of the Holy Qur’an, construction of mosques and mission houses, establishment of schools, initiation of radio stations to broadcast teachings of Islam, hospitals and other humanitarian works. Ahmadiyya Jama’at has avoided covetousness of the self and has gained insight of being included among the مفلحون (successful). Please view 01:58–06:17.
- How can anyone be fervent if they do not have insight to spend in the way of Almighty Allah?— Indeed the word مفلحون does not simply mean those who succeed. It also signifies those who prosper, attain success, and accomplish their good desires and who wish to live a pleasant life to seek God’s pleasure. Their lives come under the protection of God and their prosperity is enduring, they attain satisfaction from God’s grace and God’s grace is always bestowed on them, here in this world as well as in the Hereafter. They are granted success from God and their success is not limited, in fact it is most expansive. How fortunate are those who attain this! God states that those who spend in the way of God are not merely demanded to spend; rather their spending is a source of their own success and prosperity. God is never in anyone’s debt; He looks at financial giving with love and values it as if a good loan has been given in His cause. And His return is always enhanced and not only this, He also states that owing to financial sacrifice, He will grant forgiveness and will enable people to do more good. We have not sufficiently comprehended God’s appreciation; some of it can be gleaned from the explanation of the word مفلحون Fortunate are those who attain this beneficence. Today, it is the Ahmadi Muslims who have insight of spending in the way of God and it is they who are recipients of God’s beneficence. These are not just empty words, rather, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih receives hundred and indeed thousands of reports time and again where Ahmadis present their sacrifices with great fervor. How can anyone be fervent if they do not have insight to spend in the way of God? There are also many who, immediately after giving in the cause of God, experience an enhanced return from God. This impacts them to such a degree that they also spend the enhanced return in the way of God and continue to be blessed by prosperity and God’s grace. Please see 06:17–11:55.
- Some faith inspiring incidents of how Ahmadis were enabled to spend in the way of God and how they were blessed — Please view 12:03–38:32. Huzoor (aba) mentioned that God has immensely blessed Ahmadis and their children living in far-off places with sincerity and they understand the significance of chanda. Who could inspire their hearts but God! Even then the blind of the world do not see that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was sent from God. It should also be remembered that newcomers to Ahmadiyyat are developing most rapidly in sincerity — with the grace of God new Ahmadis are increasingly inclined to contribute to chanda and are now paying with great sincerity — and long-term Ahmadis should also pay attention to develop in doing good and should pay attention with great concern…Who can instil this spirit in children but God alone!Parents too should maintain a religious environment in homes, and time and again explain to the children the significance of giving chanda along with telling them about other good things and worship of God. There are also instances where children paid chanda and were told that their father had already paid on their behalf, but the children said that their father would get the reward for whatever he paid and they wanted to pay themselves from their own pocket money.
- We need to enhance the spirit of sacrifice amongst ourselves and we need to redouble our efforts to strengthen our contact with new Ahmadis — Huzoor (aba) had told Jama’ats all over the world that constant contact should be maintained with new Ahmadis and these contacts should be strengthened. Visit them frequently so that if any Tarbiyyat issues come to light they can be addressed. There are many areas in African countries which are distant and remote and jungles have to be crossed to reach them. Strong contacts cannot be maintained there or are difficult to maintain and there is no connection with new Ahmadis for long periods. There is also a shortage of Missionaries and Mu’allims who could frequently visit, even if with difficulty, and maintain connections, but as there are not enough of them visits do not take place. Due to this many Bai’ats are lost. Jama’ats in these countries should at least work on maintaining connection for the first year. This is why Huzoor had told Jama’ats in the first year of his Khilafat that numerous Bai’ats were lost and at least 70% of lost Bai’ats should be restored through re-establishing contacts. With the grace of God Jama’ats did make efforts especially in Africa and when contacts were made people complained that they were abandoned after Bai’at. Many had remained Ahmadi at heart but did not know teachings of Ahmadiyyat and lacked Tarbiyyat…Strong connections are made when new Ahmadis are included in financial giving system. Along with development of faith it also builds strong connection with the administration of the Jama’at. This is why Huzoor has always encouraged including new Ahmadis in Tehrike Jadid and Waqfe Jadid. Some Jama’ats are very active in this regard but others are lagging behind. Even if someone pays 10 pence towards chanda it should be accepted and they should be included…With the grace of God each year there is an increase in the number of those who make financial sacrifice, however, it is not as much as it should. This year the contributors to Waqfe Jadid have increased by 85,000 which is mark of the progress of the Jama’at. However, if number of Bai’ats is kept a benchmark the increase in contributors should have been more than 110,000. Progress is indeed with the grace of God but there is room for improvement. Jama’ats will be given new targets in terms of increasing contributors for the next year and Jama’ats should pay full attention to this. With the grace of God, the concern is not how expenses will be met. It is God’s promise that He will meet our needs and He will fulfil it. What we need to work on is to enhance the spirit of sacrifice amongst ourselves. Office-holders should try in this regard and also pray for it as well as other Ahmadis. Continue with the venture to restore connections. The pious-natured who God wishes to save will definitely return and if the weaker ones drift away we need to have compassion for them that they gained and then lost God’s blessing but we are not worried about our numbers decreasing. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) gave more emphasis to have sincere Ahmadis with faith rather than Ahmadis in great numbers. Please see 38:34–50:20.
- Huzoor (aba) urged us to pray for the Ahmadis of Pakistan and prayers should also be made for Muslims all over the world — For the past few days our opponents are trying to create problems in Rabwah. May God protect every Ahmadi from their evil and may He rebound their evil back on them and Rabwah’s peace and security is maintained. May God also give sense to the authorities and the government to control the situation appropriately! Prayers should also be made for Muslims living in the world and in Europe. An atrocity has taken place in France in the name of Islam and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) although it did not have anything even remotely to do with teachings of Islam. As we always maintain and prove that to take the law in one’s own hands and kill and murder someone in this manner has nothing to do with the teachings of Islam. Yet so-called Muslims and Muslim organizations do not desist from their misdemeanours and atrocities. Muslims living here in Europe and Western countries could face a backlash from the local people. Not only that, the publication whose editors and others were murdered brutally could react along with others and rest of the press and attack the person of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). May God enable the governments here to try and contain people from erroneous reactions and apprehend the perpetrators and punish them through judicial process! If there is a backlash, Muslims who have no one to guide them will also react erroneously and thus chaos will carry on and there is danger it may escalate. Today members of Jama’at Ahmadiyya should pray for both sides to desist from excesses. Similarly, Durood should be recited in abundance during these days. Those who can create peaceful environment within their sphere should make efforts for it. May God save the world from chaos and may the chaotic situation soon change into peaceful situation! Please see 56:59–1:00:36.
Jan. 16: The Essence of Invoking Blessings on the Prophet (sa)
- True Muslims should be cognizant of the task given to them which is to profusely invoke Durood (salutations and blessings) on the Holy Prophet ﷺ to exalt him just as God and His angels do — This was briefly mentioned in last Friday’s sermon and Ahmadis were urged to invoke Darood. Triumph of Islam will not be through murder and mayhem, rather we will succeed in our objective by invoking Durood on the Prophet ﷺ…If only Muslim organizations which perpetrate atrocities in the name of Islam understood that the loving teaching of Islam will bring people sooner into the fold of Islam. Worldly people are blind to faith. Let alone the Prophet ﷺ, they even mock God. If we respond to ignorance with ignorance, we would be committing greater ignorance. God commands to remove oneself from such situations. Socialising with such people or to concur with them makes us sinful, but if we respond to their wrong actions with wrong actions and they end up degrading our Prophet ﷺ , this also makes us party to their sin. True Muslims should avoid such practices and leave everything with God Who has stated that when everyone will return to Him they will bear the consequences of such actions. In this age the enemy of Islam harms Islam and the Holy Prophet ﷺ not with force but with such petty ploys. By stating that God and His angels send blessings on the Prophet, the principle is explained that these ploys cannot harm the status of the Holy Prophet ﷺ in the least. Rather than react with similar ignorance, true Muslims invoke blessings and salutations on the Prophet ﷺ. Please view 02:18–14:46.
- It is our responsibility and every Ahmadi should convey the message within their own sphere, that wrong reactions only produce disorder and the global situation will be inflamed — Neither people should be provoked by wrong reactions nor should God’s chastisement be called on through them. Ahamdis have to tread the line of: ‘…O ye who believe! you also invoke blessings on him and salute him with the salutation of peace.’ True believers should try their utmost to abide by this. Just as insight increases, an understanding of the wisdom behind matters is attained. It is also Islam’s teaching to attain knowledge. When the insight to abide by God’s commandments is attained, our practice also improves. Please see 20:12–23:30.
- It is important to gain insight into the benefits of invoking Durood — Please view 23:30–54:13 to listen to some Hadith and extracts from the writings of the Promised Messiah (as) that Huzoor (aba) cited in this context. In Ahadith the benefits of invoking Durood are mentioned under various narrations…The Holy Prophet ﷺ said: On the Day of Judgement the person who sends the most blessings on me will be closest to me…The Holy Prophet ﷺ said that the Durood of God and His angels was sufficient for him. The practice of invoking Durood is only an opportunity given by God to true believers to garner merit for themselves. Once a man came in the presence of the Holy Prophet ﷺ and offered Salat and then prayed: ‘O God forgive me and have mercy on me. The Holy Prophet ﷺ said to him that he had been a little hasty. He should have instead glorified and praised God, invoked Durood on the Prophet and then supplicated God. The Holy Prophet ﷺ said when you listen to the voice of the muezzin calling for Prayer repeat his words and then invoke Durood on me. The person who invokes Durood has ten-fold blessings from God. The Prophet ﷺ also said seek mediation for me as this is a status from among the ranks of Paradise and will only be granted to one servant of God and I have hope that it will be me. Intersession will be halal for whoever will seek mediation for me. Hazrat Umer (may Allah be pleased with him) said that prayer is suspended between the earth and the heavens and unless Durood is invoked on the Holy Prophet ﷺ , no part of the prayer goes upwards…The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) laid great emphasis on invoking Durood.
- The Promised Messiah (as) encouraged us and advised us on how to stay focused in invoking Durood so as to create that spiritual fervor and special love for the Holy Prophet ﷺ — The Promised (as) said to stay focussed in invoking Durood and seek blessings for the Holy Prophet ﷺ with the sincerity and discernment with which one seeks blessings for a dear one. Seek with great humility and there should be no pretence in this humility and prayer. Rather pray for the Holy Prophet ﷺ with the spirit of true friendship and love. Seek those blessings with sincere heart and soul for the Holy Prophet ﷺ which are inherent in Durood…The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also said that although the Holy Prophet is not in need of anyone’s prayers, but there is a very profound reason behind invoking Durood. A person who seeks blessings for another owing to personal love, becomes a part of them. The beneficence granted to the person for whom blessings are sought is also granted to the person seeking blessings. And because God’s beneficences on the Holy Prophet ﷺ are boundless anyone who invokes Durood on him owing to personal love gets a measure of the boundless blessings. However, very few instances of such spiritual fervour and personal love can be seen…The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: It became essential to recite Durood in every Salat to enhance love for the Holy Prophet ﷺ and to renew it. He also said: ‘Durood is a great source of attaining steadfastness. Recite Durood abundantly, not as a ritual or mere habit but while keeping in view the grace and bounties of the Holy Prophet ﷺ . Recite it to elevate his station and for his success. As a result of this you will attain the sweet and delicious fruit of acceptance of prayer.’ Please see 28:22–45:48.
- We need to be profoundly aware that every action of ours is free of being a ritual or force of habit, and is instead done with gushing and heart-felt love — Writing to one of his followers the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) advised to be profoundly aware that every action is free of being a ritual or force of habit and is instead done with gushing and heart-felt love. For example Durood should not be recited in the parrot-like fashion that people generally do. They neither have absolute sincerity for the Holy Prophet ﷺ nor do they seek blessings for him from God. Rather, it should be one’s creed when reciting Durood that love of the Holy Prophet ﷺ reaches the level where one’s heart would not even suggest to have the same degree of love for another from the start of time till the end, or consider that a person could come in the future who could surpass such love. This creed can be established by being prepared to endure all imaginable difficulties with sincerity of heart for his love just as those who loved the Holy Prophet ﷺ endured difficulties out of his love in the past. Please see 38:42–43:28.
- Keep engaged in Tahajjud Prayer and commonly repeated prayers — Writing to one of his followers, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: Keep engaged in Tahajjud Prayer and commonly repeated prayers. There are many blessings in Tahajjud. Idleness is worthless. An idle and laid-back [person] carries no weight. God Almighty says: ‘As for those who strive in Our path – We will surely guide them in Our ways…’(29:70). The preferred Durud is, which was uttered by the blessed tongue of the Holy Prophet (saw) and that is: O Allah, Bless Muhammad and the people of Muhammad as You did bless Abraham and the people of Abraham. You are indeed the Praiseworthy, the Glorious. O Allah, Prosper Muhammad and the people of Muhammad as You did prosper Abraham and the people of Abraham. You are indeed the Praiseworthy, the Glorious. Please view 43:30–45:48.
- Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) gave the following perspective about invoking Durood which Huzoor (aba) likes a lot — ‘When we pray for others, in a way our prayer also becomes a source of elevation of our station. While our recitation of Durood elevates the station of the Holy Prophet ﷺ, it also increases our station and blessings reach him and then through him also reach us. For example, when something is placed in a sieve it passes through it and cascades down. Similarly God has made the Holy Prophet ﷺ like a sieve for the Ummah. First God grants blessings to him (saw) and then those blessings also reach us through his (saw) agency. As a result of us invoking Durood, God elevates the station of the Holy Prophet ﷺ and certainly God also tells the Holy Prophet that this gift is from such and such believer. This inspires the Prophet ﷺ to pray for us and because of his (saw) prayer, God grants us a measure of His blessings. Personally speaking when I go to the graveside of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) for prayer, my way is that I first pray for the Holy Prophet ﷺ and after this I pray for the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). I then pray, O God, I do not have anything that I could present as a gift to these holy persons. Whatever I have is of no benefit to them. And You have everything, therefore I pray and beseech You to do me a favour and give them a gift in Paradise that they have never received in Paradise before. On this they would definitely ask, O Allah! From whom has this gift come? When God informs them who has sent the gift, they pray for the person and thus the person’s station is elevated. It is proven from the Holy Qur’an and Ahadith …no one can deny that prayers are certainly beneficial to the deceased. The Holy Qur’an has stated: ‘…greet ye with a better prayer…’ (4:87) and drawn our attention that when someone gifts, you reciprocate with a better gift or at least a similar gift. According to this verse of the Holy Qur’an when we pray for the Holy Prophet ﷺ or the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and invoke Durood and salutations on them, as a result of our prayer and on behalf of us, God would give them a gift. We do not know what the bounties of Paradise are, but God is well aware of them. When we pray O’ God! Grant a gift to the Holy Prophet ﷺ which he has not received before, it is a given that when that gift is given to him(saw) from God, he (saw) is also informed who it is from. How can it be that after knowing this he (saw) does nothing and does not pray for the person who has sent the gift! His (saw) soul bows before God saying O God, grant them good recompose on our behalf. Thus, according to ‘…greet ye with a better prayer…’ the prayer will be reverted to the person invoking Durood and will be a source of elevation of his station. This is a means through which without committing anything idolatrous we can avail benefit on a personal as well as a communal/national level.’ Please see 46:15–51:27.
Jan. 23: Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II – Pearls of Wisdom
- The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had extremely high regard for the honor of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) — Lekh Ram was an influential Arya Samaj Pandit who routinely used abusive language for the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). At one occasion when he greeted him, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) ignored him and explained to his own followers rather fervently that he did not think much of his greeting because he abused his master. He felt there was no need to give him any importance in light of this…The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) adored his children, especially his young son Mubarak Ahmad. Once young Mubarak Ahmad, who everyone thought was the most adored child, out of childhood ignorance, uttered something which was contrary to the dignity of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) gave him a sharp smack for it…The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) once came to know that although assurances were given that there would be no verbal abuse aimed at the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) at a convention held in Lahore, that is exactly what happened. This convention was attended by Hazrat Maulawi Hakeem Nur ud Din Sahib (may Allah be pleased with him) and young Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him). The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was very annoyed with them both and said how could their sense of honor for the Prophet abide them to keep sitting in such a gathering! Please view 02:20–10:24.
- The Promised Messiah (as) had an exemplary relationship with his children — The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was extremely affectionate towards his children, and seeing the exemplary way in which the Promised Messiah (as) interacted with his children, the high standard of love, tenderness and regard that he had for his children and their feelings, one would think that he could not ever be angry at them. Please see 05:55–08:29.
- A true believer (momin) has complete faith (tawaqqul) in Almighty Allah — A true believer should only do, think and say what Almighty Allah has commanded. Allah the Exalted is always true to His word. Huzoor (aba) explained this in context of the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) prophecy relating to Abdullah Atham; a prophecy which members of our Jamaat should know the details of as to what exactly transpired. We should also understand the concept that divine chastisement does not befall when people have false beliefs; it befalls when mischief is made. False beliefs will be dealt with in the Hereafter while mischief-making beckons chastisement in this world as well. Please view 17:42–32:04.
- We need to remember that the prayer for protection from evil at the end of Surah Al Fatihah should be made with the idea that, may God always include us among those who receive His blessings — Mir Abbas Ali was a follower of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) who later renounced his faith after being misled by maulawis. Mir Abbas Ali was a person of great spirituality and the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had even received a revelation about his spiritual strengths. However, when Mir Abbas Ali let arrogance and conceit get to him he renounced his faith. Man is ever prone to hypocrisy and disbelief and these two flaws usually attack those who have been blessed by God. Indeed, it is mentioned in Surah Al Fatihah about the Jews and the Christians, that they lost their way after being recipients of Divine blessings. It should be remembered that the prayer for protection from evil at the end of Surah Al Fatihah should be made with the idea that may God always include us among those who receive His blessings. Please see 32:05–37:32.
- We need to self-examine our individual standard of honesty and evaluate whether we measure to the standard set by the Promised Messiah (as) — The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) once sent a parcel to someone and placed a letter in the parcel. He did not know this was against the law. A case was filed against him and the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) lawyer asked him that since the parcel was not opened at the other end in front of any witness, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) should plainly deny sending a letter in it. The Promised Messiah said it would be untrue to say so and he was not prepared to do it even though the lawyer told him he would definitely be penalized. During the court case the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) most honestly admitted to placing a letter within the parcel but said he did not know it was against the rules. The prosecution side gave a long-drawn speech which did not impress the judge. In the end the judge exonerated the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and the case was dismissed. This seemingly minor incident is often cited because it gives us the basic standard of honesty that we need to maintain.However, people living in these countries act contrary to this when seeking benefits from the government, when seeking asylum, or in insurance cases.Ahmadis who do this should think about it, as dishonesty does not behove Ahmadis. Please see 39:16–41:53.
- Friday sermon is a part of Friday Prayers and speaking during it is not allowed — The Imam may say something if he needs to, but the congregation should not. This should be instilled in children from an early age as part of their tarbiyat. Huzoor (aba) cited a couple of amusing anecdotes narrated by Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) to highlight this point. Please view 46:20–50:09.
Jan. 30: In faith, exercise your abilities
- A believer cannot make excuses that such and such commandment is beyond his/her capacity — ‘Allah burdens not any soul beyond its capacity…’ (2:287). This Quranic verse explains that God does not give commandments which are beyond human capacity. Thus, the responsibility of putting the commandments in practice is obvious and a believer cannot make excuses that such and such commandment is beyond his capacity. If we believe in God, then it is an essential part of our belief that all He commands is within our capacity and we should make an effort to practice it in accordance with our individual capacity…God has made His commandments flexible in the sense that they have minimal as well as maximum standards of attainment which should be practiced with honesty. This leaves no room for objection that God has given someone a nature which does not correspond with God’s commandments. No one can say that God commands to attain the highest of standards while someone cannot attain them because they do not have the physical capacity or indeed mental capacity to do, and have other weaknesses as well. By stating ‘Allah burdens not any soul beyond its capacity’ God has removed all reasons for such excuses…The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that God is High and Holy far above putting His creation through difficulty of abiding by commandments that are beyond its capacity. His commandments are not like human instructions put in place to generate kudos. God’s mercy and compassion for mankind is endless. When man acts upon God’s commandments, he is rewarded manifold. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also said that the Shariah is based on mildness rather than harshness. Please view 01:56–13:30.
- Everyone should try and attain their personal best, and no one has been inconvenienced in this process — It can be hoped that everyone would believe, but it cannot be possible for everyone to have the same level of belief and practice. God does ask why people do not believe, however, the Holy Qur’an does not demand why are believers not like Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Umer (may Allah be pleased with them)…Indeed people are not required to attain the level of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Umer (may Allah be pleased with them), but it is explained that optional (nafl) acts earn reward and they also make up for any deficiencies in fulfilling what is obligatory. People have varying capacities and abilities therefore varying requirements are expected. What has been enjoined is that everyone should try and attain their personal best and no one has been inconvenienced in this process…The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that God does not ask anyone to accept anything that is beyond their capacity so that His commandments are not inconvenient to practice. It should be very clear that God knows the state of the inner recesses of our heart and no excuse about lack of knowledge, lack of wisdom or capacity will stand before God. Therefore we should keep it in view that we have to test our belief and our practice. The basic standard of five daily Prayers has been set and men are required to offer these Prayers in congregation. Fasting is also obligatory and if Zakat is due on any property one has, it is also obligatory. These are the basic standards on which one should test oneself. Many among us do not even offer daily Prayer appropriately. It is obligatory on men to offer it in congregation. Indeed, we cannot deceive God. Just as we try our level best to meet our worldly needs we should also try our level best for matters religious and we should try to increase our capacities. Please see 14:55–26:08.
- Attention of faith ‘teachers’ — missionaries and those with knowledge (whether they are the president, secretary tarbiyat, or even a member of amila) — is drawn that if God has enhanced their capacities, they should employ their capacities correctly and help those whose capacities are not as sharp as theirs to improve, and to also serve as role models — This will be an act of thanksgiving for them. Missionaries and Waqfe Zindagi who have knowledge of faith should make special effort to support people and raise them from the basic level. Not only will this enhance the faith and belief of all those progressing, it will also be a source of progress for the Jama’at. God has said to missionaries that due to their knowledge, their capacities have been enhanced therefore they should help enhance the capacities of their brothers. God states: ‘And let there be among you a body of men who should invite to goodness…’ (3:105) We have Jamias all around the world which are producing missionaries. These missionaries should look into the Tarbiyyat of the Jama’at apart from doing Tabligh and debating others. They should be continuously involved in this task and morally train our own…Those who are experienced should pay attention to make correct use of their enhanced capacities and the commitments they have been given. They should employ their capacities like good teachers…God knew that different kinds of people would be needed to run the world, therefore He stated that some of them should invite others to goodness. Waaqfeen e Zindagi devote their lives for this purpose and do so of their own accord. They should pay its dues. It is true that everyone is not the same in learning knowledge, and indeed in imparting knowledge, and every one cannot equally benefit others. However, effort should be made to use one’s capacities to attain the most excellent standard. If everyone followed this principle, brothers who are weak will benefit, and the standard of the Jama’at will also enhance…Members of the Jama’at choose office-holders because they consider them to be better than them in capacity, knowledge and wisdom. At least this is what should be the mind-set of those who choose office-holders. This is the basic standard of choosing an office-holder and no office-holder should be chosen simply for the sake of office. It is also the task of office-holders to raise the educational and religious standard of the Jama’at. Along with the president and secretary tarbiyyat, the entire amila should be mindful to act as role-models. Sermons and dars should be listened to and Jama’at programmes should be attended for spiritual development. Once Jalsa and sermons are availed of, it is the task of missionaries and office-holders and amila to constantly remind others. Some missionaries work most excellently in this regard, they give notes based on sermon and take some point or the other from it and elucidate it. People respond positively and say they found out correct ways to practice and their indolence was removed. It would be wrong if office-holders were complacent having read an extract of the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) to people or if they think that people listen to the Friday sermon of the Khalifa of the time anyway, so they do not need to remind. Even if they hesitate to advice people thinking if the words of the Khalifa of the time did not influence them what would our advice do, it is still wrong. Some people do not understand what is being said although Huzoor tries and paraphrases words of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) in easy to understand language, but some still do not understand or misunderstand. Therefore if matters are explained in an easy to understand manner, people comprehend what is being said. Supports are needed and those who have been given the responsibility should try and give support to others.Those who have devoted their lives for faith, and those who have been given responsibilities, should provide support for the weaker ones. Please view 26:18–40:15.
- Congregational Prayer is obligatory for men — If those who come to the mosque regularly are supportive to others, things could improve. Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said that once he came for Isha Prayers and saw only two rows. He suggested to people to bring their neighbours along next time. The number of worshippers started increasing from the next day. Indeed reminding polishes one’s capacities. If people who regularly came for Prayers brought their acquaintances and friends along, and shared drives, things could improve…Friday sermon should be listened to attentively but some people nod off during it and others fall asleep and flop on the person next to them. Then there are some who are hard of hearing, some cannot derive the meaning of what is being said, and others are lost in their own thoughts. What impact can the sermon have on them! Reminding is needed for people like these for reminding certainly improves one’s capacities. In Islam all believers are enjoined to take others with them as they move onwards and upwards. This is not just the task of missionaries and office-holders. Those who live near mosques should try and draw the attention of their neighbors towards coming to the mosque; attendance can improve this way. It is also the true spirit of Islamic brotherhood that we draw others’ attention to the obligations and take those who are weak with us while raising their level. Hadith relates that one who takes another toward something good is as worthy of reward as the person who does the good act. Those of us who are active and agile in matters of faith should also make others active and agile. We should help others enhance their capacities and our own as well, with the thought that we are not going to be stagnant. By facilitating good for others, we will be attaining manifold good from God for ourselves and this would create a great change in the advancement of the Jama’at. Please see 40:56–51:37.