Jalsa Germany: Striving for Revolutionary Self-Reformation
- We should self-reflect as to where do we stand as regards our connection with God, faith, and compliance of all Divine commandments. Are our efforts in this regard better than that of our elders and those members of our family and forefathers who had accepted Ahmadiyyat — Do we match the level of faith and connection with God that our forefathers had? It is a cause for concern if there is a decline in this matter. We may be successful in worldly terms, but our spiritual condition may ring hollow. At times, man is so sunk in worldliness that he ends up in the lap of Satan and coming to the Jalsa becomes a mere ritual. Efforts should be made to identify our weaknesses during Jalsa, and endeavors made to better ourselves. We should pray that neither we nor our next generation ever be culpable of Divine wrath. Please view 04:12—09:36.
- We need to engage in remembrance of Almighty Allah consistently. Remembrance of God when done on an individual level also has communal significance, as the individual person benefits from it as does the Jama’at — The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) told us that the objectives of Jalsa Salana were to develop a connection with God, to live one’s life according to God’s commandments, to pay the dues of one’s brothers, and to spread God’s message in the world. All this demands a sense of sacrifice. Jalsa Salana is not a worldly fair and it is not a source of attaining worldly objectives. People coming to Jalsa should engage in remembrance of God and do so all the time. Remembrance of God when done on individual level, also has communal significance as the individual benefits from it as does the Jama’at. Another benefit of remembrance of God is that it draws the attention of others to engage in it rather than spend time in idle chat. With the grace of God, practices formed during Jalsa leave their imprint for some time and when focussed on, the imprint can last for considerable time. Jalsa days should be spent as the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) explained and expected of us. To strengthen our bond with God, and fill hearts with love of God’s creation. Any misunderstandings between people should be removed during Jalsa. We will be able to take God’s message to others in the real sense only when we develop a connection with Him. However, all these paths require assiduousness. Please see 09:43—14:36.
- We should try and come out of the darkness of materialism, and endeavor to sincerely seek Allah the Exalted’s pleasure — The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that this world is transitory and will perish one day. It is finite by design. Therefore we should move towards understanding and connecting with God. If we move ever so slightly towards God, His move towards us is greater, however, the first move has to be made by us. Some people complain that they tried everything from Salat to fasting to other forms of worship and spiritual exercises but did not attain anything. This is borne of a suspicious nature. It is impossible for God to let anything go to waste which is done sincerely for Him and not reward it in this world. If our practices are to seek God’s pleasure, then we will garner Divine grace. We should try and come out of the darkness of materialism and endeavor to sincerely seek God’s pleasure…It is God’s favor on us that He sends His chosen, dear people to earth, and it is indeed our good fortune that we have accepted the one God sent in the current age. He came and taught us about the rights of God and the rights of God’s creation, and drew attention to avoid and shun individual and communal sin. If, having taken Bai’at, we do not focus on these matters, we will not be fulfilling our responsibility. Please see 14:38–22:24.
- The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) brought a revolutionary change across the board, and in every sphere — It was indeed a great miracle brought about by him (saw) when un-Godly people became profoundly Godly people. For instance, it was the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) who taught us to honor women, and it was the Holy Prophet (saw) who established their rights and gave them status in a society where they had no status. Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) compared today’s society to the society of that time. He said in older times man harassed woman and was physically abusive and considered it warrantable. Man continues to harass woman, even in Europe where freedom is much hailed. The difference between older times and now is that in spite of harassing and physically abusing woman, man now asserts that it is not warrantable to harass woman. Thus, his practice remains the same although his apparent assertion has changed…Is the condition of people today the same as those who were around the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him)? Certainly not, in fact the pre-Islamic ignorance seems to have resurfaced and this is why God sent the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) in accordance with His promise. Please see 22:25—25:54
- If we want to demonstrate the new earth and the new heaven forged by the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace), its biggest proof should be our individual examples. Every Ahmadi needs to step up for this purpose and forge a new spiritual earth and a new spiritual heaven — Indeed, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) forged new earth and new heaven in this age and transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands, demonstrating how a new earth and a new heaven can be forged. However, the Promised Messiah’s (as) vision also draws the attention of his Jama’at to show what are the efforts and endeavors that each of us is making in this regard after taking Bai’at. Are we trying to attain the level of new earth and new heaven that the Companions forged by adopting the true teachings of Islam? Are our souls stirred by positive change prompting people to say that these people have forged a new earth and a new heaven? If we want to demonstrate the new earth and new heaven forged by the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) its biggest proof should be our individual examples! Our belief in the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) should not be limited to creed, rather, positive change in our practice should also be evident. Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said signs of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) are of two kinds. Fulfilment of one kind is with God, whereas the other kind also has a measure of our input and will be fulfilled through us. Indeed, we should make our level best effort for their fulfillment…We forged a new heaven by changing our creed by accepting Ahmadiyyat and took Bai’at. Now, forging a new earth involves putting in endeavor. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that the heart of a believer is like earth. We have to make our hearts beneficial not only in terms of creed, but also in terms of practice…We need to self-reflect. It is fundamental that every commandment of the Holy Qur’an should bring about positive change in us, and as explained by the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) we have to forge a new earth and a new heaven…The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that people make plans and take practical steps, but ignore prayer. People rely too much on material means while prayer is ridiculed. This is a hazardous toxin spreading in the world. He said God wills to remove this toxin and it is for this reason that God established the mission of the Promised Messiah.The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that this is an age of spiritual conflict. Satan is attacking the fortress of Islam but God has established Ahmadiyyat to defeat him. Every Ahmadi needs to step up for this purpose and forge new spiritual earth and new spiritual heaven. Please view 25:44—43:53 to understand and reflect on this important point.
Jalsa Germany: Proclaim the Bounties of Allah
- We should proclaim the bounties of Allah the Exalted and relate them to others — The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that man should seek prayers all the time and in every situation, and should adhere to: ‘And as for the bounty of your Lord do relate it to others.’ (93:12) This increases love of God, and enhances passion to be obedient and loyal to God…When God’s bounties are granted beyond one’s efforts and prayers, it becomes that much more essential to relate them. Please view 01:44—6:03.
- While Jalsa Salana facilitates spiritual development for all of us, it also provides a true illustration of Islam to others — Many people who were not ready to take Bai’at previously, felt ready after meeting Hazrat Khalifatul Masih and after asking some questions…It is not possible to reach hearts and minds without God’s grace. At times even dynamic speeches cannot have the needed affect, while things said in simple words make a mark. Please listen to Huzoor’s Friday Sermon in its entirety to listen to some faith inspiring anecdotes in this regard http://khut.ba/12jun2015
- Certain things that we should be mindful of during Jalsa (and other events) — Two guests at the Jalsa Germany observed that a lot of food was being wasted. Huzoor (aba) instructed us to take note and eliminate this. Noting one’s own shortcomings leads to betterment…Attention also needs to be given to cleanliness…Some people appeared to have mentioned that a pasta dish was not available at Langar. The real purpose of Jalsa is partaking of spiritual food and we should eat whatever food is served at Jalsa…Sometimes some workers also adopt a harsh stance which is hurtful for people. Workers should gauge the situation and if the need of a guest is genuine then even if they have to by-pass rules to serve the guest, they should. Please see 34:47—36:59.
Harnessing the Blessings of Ramadan
- We should fast with a view to reflect the true spirit of Ramadan on a permanent basis — The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that there is an hour on Friday when whatever a true believer supplicates gains acceptance by God. And he told us about Ramadan that during this month doors to Paradise are opened while doors to Hell are shut. God’s grace and mercy is particularly stirred in Ramadan and true believers are showered with blessings. Indeed the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said there are some conditions to attract God’s grace. One should shun idle, vulgar matters and chaos, eschew using abusive language and getting involved in altercations, and should respond to all evil with: I am fasting and I am eschewing all this for the sake of God. This would make one fast in the true spirit. God has tied the significance of Ramadan with acceptance of prayer in the following verse: ‘And when My servants ask thee about Me, say: ‘I am near. I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he prays to Me. So they should hearken to Me and believe in Me, that they may follow the right way.’ (2:187). Thus stressing the blessedness of Ramadan by placing this verse directly after the verse regarding Ramadan and tying in acceptance of prayer with fasting during the holy month. Fridays during Ramadan are of enhanced significance, but God has not pinpointed the hour during Friday when supplications gain acceptance, thus emphasizing that supplications should be made night and day. Generally speaking, during Ramadan God puts Satan in fetters, opens doors to Paradise and comes closer to man. On top of this, Fridays during Ramadan should be fully availed of. The main prayer of a believer should be made with humility to be included among those whose prayers of night and day are accepted all the time, and not only in Ramadan; so that one may be permanently guided.The verses preceding 2:187 state that earlier people also fasted, but this is not the impetus for fasting.The impetus for fasting is to adopt righteousness and avoid spiritual and moral weaknesses. 2:187 states: ‘…may follow the right way.’ This signifies having correct morals and maturity of senses on a permanent basis. Ramadan is a month of countless blessings, but these blessings are given to those who follow the commandments of God and enhance in faith. If one only offers Friday Prayers during Ramadan and does not carry on afterwards, one is not abiding by God’s commandment and has weakness of faith. How can one go on to complain that one’s prayers are not answered! Please view 02:10—10:25.
- Those who are restless to come in the refuge of God need to spend their time praying with extreme humbleness and humility by acknowledging their shortcomings — Some people assume that God comes closer to man during Ramadan so praying during this month is sufficient. This is a misleading thought. One should seek God’s closeness with complete and utter humility. Indeed, God is Ever-Present, but man can only gain nearness to God when he abandons all else except God, and turns only to Him with humility. It should be understood very well that the objective can only be attained with righteousness and piety leading us to enjoy personal as well as the communal fruits of success that God has destined. Please see 10:29—12:48.
- We should pray during Ramadan for ourselves, our near and dear ones, and for members of the Jama’at that may everyone attain taqwa (righteousness) and fear of God — If we pray for each other with compassion, angels will join in our prayers. Please view 12:49—14:07. Becoming a true servant of God will be our truly availing the blessed month of Ramadan. It will benefit us on a personal as well as communal level.Progress, reformation and taqwa of individual members of the Jama’at translates into progress of the Jama’at. We know that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said his progress and triumph was through prayers. Thus we should turn to God and seek progress of our Jama’at and pray fervently during these days. We should not limit our prayers to ourselves and our near and dear ones. Rather we need to intensively widen the scope of our prayers, then alone will we be paying the dues of being part of the Jama’at of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and we should be grateful to the favour of God of including us in the Jama’at. God has placed a huge responsibility on us as Ahmadis for which the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) drew attention of his Jama’at to prayers. Please view 29:36—33:33.
- We cannot imagine the scope of, nor indeed explain the love God has for us — Describing this, Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said we cannot even understand the works of God, how could we understand His love! The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) tried to explain God’s love to us through certain examples and analogies. Please see 14:11—29:53 to hear Huzoor (aba) cite these examples and analogies mentioned by the Holy Prophet (saw)…How much sacrifice should we be making to go to such a Loving God, to become His servant and indeed to run to Him! Thus if man does not avail of so many ways and means that God has put in place to seek His pleasure, then it is nothing but man’s own hard-heartedness.
- We should have a certain heart-felt passion for the triumph of Islam which should manifest itself in the form of prayers — Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said an analogy of our situation can be drawn to when during the Battle of Badr, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) threw a handful of pebbles at the enemy but God stated that what followed was not due to his throwing pebbles, rather it was from God that a fierce wind started which blew off millions of pebbles from the ground in the eyes of the disbelievers. That is, behind the handful of pebbles thrown by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) it was Almighty Allah’s power that was working. We too are like the pebbles of Badr, the pebbles which the fierce wind blew off blinding the disbelievers. We have to acknowledge that God has put other arrangements in place to bring about the triumph of Islam and those arrangements are prayers of God’s servants which attract God’s grace and turn the impossible into the possible. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said indeed this is what our success depends upon…We should especially pray a lot during these days of Ramadan for the triumph of Islam. May we become like the handful of pebbles of Badr. Please view 33:33—43:43.
Ramadan: Self-Reformation and Our Responsibilities
- In order to fulfill the dues of Bai’at, we have to keep God’s commandments in view and put them in practice. We should ever be mindful to have God’s pleasure in view — The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said our Jama’at and Jama’at members should not limit themselves to discussions and debates as they are not the real objective. He said purification of the self and reformation are essential, and were the purpose for which God had sent him. He (as) wanted practices of the Jama’at to change. By saying not to limit ourselves to discussions and debates, the Promised Messiah (as) meant not to confine ourselves to words and perhaps change our stance to suit ourselves, and not able to uphold good moral standards. He wanted us to make purification of self a constant part of our lives in order to fulfil the dues of Bai’at. Ahmadis should remember that in order to fulfill dues of Bai’at we have to keep God’s commandments in view and put them in practice. We should ever be mindful to have God’s pleasure in view. It was explained in the last Friday sermon that to experience acceptance of prayer the commandment of: ‘…So they should hearken to Me…’ (2:187) should be practiced with all of one’s capabilities and spend one’s life in accordance to God’s commandments. We should self-reflect in the special spiritual atmosphere of Ramadan to see as to how much do we make God’s commandments part of our lives otherwise ours will be mere verbal assertion that we abide by His commandments. The Holy Qur’an has numerous commandments which should be constantly kept in view so that we can be mindful to reform ourselves. Please view 01:55—05:20.
- We need to keep in view to conduct ourselves with dignity, gentleness and humility, and devoid of any arrogance — True servants of the Gracious God need to be mindful of this. Such people spread love and become guarantors of peace in society. They respond to incitements of the ignorant with greetings and rather than reply in kind, they pray for security and peace of the ignorant. To respond in this manner when one is in power and authority for the sake of Gracious God, is a very high moral which makes man a true servant of God. People who follow this also experience acceptance of prayers and are the kind of folk about whom the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that they purify themselves, seek God’s kingdom and establish God’s kingdom on earth. Please see 08:09—10:49.
- Every Ahmadi, who is a true Muslim, who has taken Bai’at of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) to become a servant of the Gracious God, needs to give up arrogance and conceit, end estrangements, bring about reconciliation and spread peace with humbleness at home and in society — Ramadan has the glad-tidings of doors of Paradise being wide open during it and doors of Hell closed and God coming closer to man. God is indeed close to man at all times, the significance here is that He enhances rewards of good works during Ramadan…The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) taught us to adopt humility to such a degree that none should be proud of anything. There is no external way to gauge this and each person who claims to have faith needs to self-reflect and see if he is free from all pride; pride of lineage, pride of wealth, pride of highly educated offspring, pride of one’s academic prowess etc. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that no Arab is superior to a non-Arab and no non-Arab is superior to an Arab.The main aspect is righteousness, and one who is righteous will not harbor any form of pride…God grants unimaginable loftiness to those who adopt humility for His sake, abhor arrogance for His sake and try and uproot hatred from society for His sake in order to create peace and security. Please view 12:15–19:25.
- We need to self-reflect during Ramadan and end family disputes for the sake of God and create an environment of peace — Disputes among brothers are usually caused by egotistical reasons and should be ended, and prayers should be made for our opponents so that disorder and chaos in the world ends. We talk a lot about peace, but it comes down to the crunch when we are also embroiled in disputes, and we should end them for the sake of God. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘I admonish my Community to shun arrogance as arrogance is hateful in the eyes of God, the Lord of Glory…He who does not listen courteously to his brother and turns away from him partakes of arrogance…Try, therefore, that you should not partake of arrogance in any respect so that you may escape ruin and you and yours may attain salvation. Lean towards God and love Him to the utmost degree possible and fear Him as much as anyone can be feared in this life. Be pure hearted and pure intentioned and meek and humble and free of all mischief so that you and meek and humble and free of all mischief so that you may receive mercy.’ (Essence of Islam, Vol. I, pp 355-357 – Nuzul-ul-Masih, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 18, pp. 402-403)…The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘It is not the way of Allah the Exalted to disgrace one who turns to Him in humility and give him an ignoble death. One who turns to God is never wasted. There will not be a single instance since the beginning of time where a person sincerely connected to God Almighty but died a failure. God Almighty wants man not to simply supplicate for his selfish desires but to turn to Him in sincerity. One who turns to Him in this way has no difficulty and finds a way out of every trouble. He Himself states: ‘…And he who fears Allah – He will make for him a way out, and will provide for him from where he expects not…’ (65: 3-4). Here provision does not simply mean bread and butter, but also signifies respect, knowledge, etc., which man needs. One who has even a slight connection with God Almighty is never wasted.’ The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also said that man is a humble being, but owing to bad practices considers himself high and mighty and develops arrogance and haughtiness. In the way of God, man cannot get anywhere unless he considers himself the lowliest of all. Please see 19:26—24:23.
- We should spend these days in Ramadan available to us to bring about pure changes and gain acceptance to prayers, and we should reflect over these matters…Unless both rights of God and rights of mankind are fulfilled, one cannot be a true believer; rather one is arrogant — We should turn to God, seek His help to remove any and every kind of pride and arrogance we may harbor and which are impediments in developing humility, and also play a part in spreading restlessness and discord. So that peace and accord may spread and no one endures restlessness due to us. God commands: ‘And worship Allah and associate naught with Him, and show kindness to parents, and to kindred, and orphans, and the needy, and to the neighbor that is a kinsman and the neighbor that is a stranger, and the companion by your side, and the wayfarer, and those whom your right hands possess. Surely, Allah loves not the proud and the boastful,’ (4:37). Here, after drawing attention to worship and avoiding associating partners with Him, God has drawn attention to other matters. Likewise Ramadan also draws attention towards rights of society and one may adopt them during this month on a permanent basis. If these rights are not discharged worship alone cannot attain all the objectives of Ramadan. Indeed, worship of God is an objective of this month which should be practiced and made permanent for the rest of the year. Similarly rights of mankind are also discharged in this month and should be made permanent for the rest of the year…Unless both rights of God and rights of mankind are fulfilled one cannot be a true believer, rather one is arrogant. Fulfilling these rights is not something lofty, but is the obligation of every true believer and fulfilling these rights alone lead to one’s prayers gaining acceptance.These are rights of parents, relatives, the needy, neighbours, travellers, other acquaintances and those who are under our care. Thus one verse draws attention to and commands the rights of entire humanity. The Holy Qur’an mentions rights of parents elsewhere as well. It is the duty of children and not a favor. There are also rights of relatives; if husband and wife fulfill the dues of their respective in-laws as God commands to fulfill the rights of close familial ties (rehmi rishtay), many disputes and disagreements would be resolved. Special attention should be given to this matter during these days of Ramadan. Care of orphans and to make them a useful part of society is a most important obligation. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be on him) said one who cares for orphan will be alongside me in Paradise. The Jama’at has an established system for the care of orphans. Then there are the rights of the needy, meeting all their necessities and Jama’at has separate, specific funds in this regard. The well-off should give to these funds. Then there are rights of relatives and neighbours; neighbours living in one’s vicinity as well as neighbours with whom one has ties, also neighbours whom we do not know very well and neighbours who are needy but with whom one is not on good terms. Thus, it’s a complete teaching of conciliation and peace. Then there are rights of close friends, companions and travelers. These words override rights of husband and wife over each other and also encompass rights of friends, associates and co-workers. Attention is also drawn to rights of those under our care and then it is stated that whosoever does not abide by this is arrogant and this is disliked by God. Thus, is the beautiful teaching of Islam for every section of society. During Ramadan God grants to those who fulfill His rights as well as the rights of mankind. We should focus on this most humbly. The special atmosphere of Ramadan draws attention to worship and other pious works and we should garner maximum benefit from them. Please view 26:53—39:39.
- The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: If you wish God in the heavens to be pleased with you, then be as one with each other just as two brothers in a mother’s womb. Be kind to your subordinates, your wives and your needy brothers so that kindness is shown to you in the heavens. If you become truly His, He will also become yours’ — He said at another juncture that anyone wishing to have longevity of life, should propagate pious deeds and be of benefit to God’s creation. May God enable us to worship Him as well as fulfill the rights of mankind and may we all truly become servants of the Gracious God. Please view 39:40—40:38.