Friday Sermon – Khalifatul Masih V – Mirza Masroor Ahmad – Year 2014
With the Grace of the Almighty Allah, Inshallah (God willing), the United Kingdom Jalsa Salana will begin from the next Juma, Friday. The Jalsa Gah, or the area where all the arrangements of the Jalsa are made in, is Hadeeqa-tul Mahdi. And up till now, to quite a significant degree, the arrangements have been
Completed there. The guests have also begun to arrive. May Allah the Almighty extend his blessings and grace to all who are coming for the sake of attaining the blessings of the Jalsa. Including those who are currently on journey and also those who will be coming in the next few days.
May Allah the Almighty grant ease to all those who will be undertaking the journey. May Allah grant all of them safety. The circumstances in the world are rapidly deteriorating. As such there is always concern for those who travel. It is our prayer that Allah the Almighty keeps everyone in his safety and protection,
Not just Ahmadies but to every person in the entire world. May they all attain the peace and tranquillity for which Allah the Almighty sent the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace, in this era. As we are all aware, it is with this spirit of volunteer work
That all the arrangements of the Jalsa Salana are conducted. In this connection, one Friday before the Jalsa, I address the workers of the Jalsa and direct their attention towards their responsibilities. At this time I will similarly expound on some matters with reference to the workers.
Indeed the advice with reference to hospitality is not just limited to the workers or to the volunteers of the Jalsa. In fact they are connected to every such person who will be hosting guests in his home during the Jalsa. I will go even beyond this and say that the respect, hospitality and reverence
Should be extended to guests by every believer in even normal and general circumstances and indeed this is a duty on him. However, because at this time I would like to draw specific attention towards the guests who come for the Jalsa. So the central focus of my discourse will remain the Jalsa.
As I mentioned that there are guests who come for the Jalsa and they arrive purely for a religious purpose. Those who participate in the Jalsa should have this objective alone in mind. When they follow this objective then the significance of the guests enhances manifold.
This is particularly true when we observe how the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace has drawn special attention towards attending the Jalsa. He has said that this Jalsa has purely a religious objective. And he has declared that it is a source of attaining the pleasure of God.
From this perspective the significance of Jalsa increases greatly. Those who arrive for the Jalsa do not come for any worldly objective, nor to participate in any worldly spectacle. If any guest comes for this purpose, he will be letting all his blessings and rewards go to waste
So the dedicated and sincere people who devote themselves to serve the guests of the Jalsa should bear in mind, that these are not ordinary guests. In fact they are the guests who have answered the call of the established institution and system of the Imam of the time
And are thus guests who have gathered for the sake of God. Further, the guests who come for the United Kingdom Jalsa Salana in particular shoulder considerable concern, worry and anxiety and often bearing great expenditure even beyond their capacity to come here. Many come from faraway places.
And they come considering that their journey could be a source of blessing in every single respect. Their love of Khilafat makes them conscious that this journey will also enable them to meet the Khalifa of the time. Guests arrive form different countries, including new converts as well as old Ahmadies.
When I see the great love, affection and devotion for Khilafat in their eyes, then my feelings of gratitude to God are strengthened. And how Allah the Almighty develops in the hearts of believers love for Khilafat. This is impossible through mere human efforts.
All of this is because Allah the Almighty sent the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace, in this era and after him established this institution. So that the world could be illuminated with the true and real teachings of Islam. And so Islam’s message of love and affection could be conveyed to the world.
And also so that the world could be informed that now world peace rests on true Islam. So these are the matters to see, hear and learn people come to attend. This is why people love Khilafat. Now even at the Germany Jalsa substantial number of countries are represented.
The reason for this is that people can come and meet the Khalifa. Especially at the United Kingdom Jalsa people come in sizeable numbers to be enabled to benefit from the spiritual atmosphere of the Jalsa. To participate in spiritual, intellectual, moral and religious programs.
To receive the prayers of the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace, and also to meet the Khalifa of the time. In short, the passion of the participants of the Jalsa is not found in any worldly relationship. Towards this the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace, draws our attention in the conditions of Bai’at.
Hence, the guest who come here have a special status and importance. As such the importance of the host who serves these guests also increases. Understanding this spirit, members of the Jamaat offer their services voluntarily to serve these guests. If we look at this from a worldly perspective, a person with a well-placed
Highly paid job is made to cook food in cauldrons, or to transport and distribute bread, or is assigned to other work to the extent that if such a person is even asked to clean toilets, he will do all of this happily. This is because he knows that by serving these guests,
He becomes the recipient of abundant prayers. Such workers also become a source of preaching towards non-Muslim guests. When a child goes around the Jalsa Gah to give water, he is also carrying out a silent form of tabligh (preaching). For he tells the world that we are not those people who create disorder
And strife in the world. Rather we give the world both physical and spiritual water. In short, the significance of the guests increases the significance of the hosts. This is something we do not find the equal of anywhere else in the world. Thus, fortunate are those workers and volunteers who devote themselves
To serve guests in this manner. And thus they attain the pleasure of Allah the Almighty. In the Holy Quran, God the Almighty has given immense significance to hospitality and guests. When Hazrat Abraham’s, peace be upon him, status and characteristics are described, his quality of hospitality is given special mention.
And so the hosts who selflessly serve their guests, who upon sight of their guest, rather than becoming engaged in other work, become concerned about how they can best serve their guest and make preparations accordingly. These people hold a status and rank in the sight of God.
They understand that through this service to their guests Allah will be pleased. Allah’s pleasure is their ultimate aim. They do not have as their objective any other desire, purpose or wish to be thanked, or extended gratitude. In short, we do not find examples of this type anywhere else in the world,
Who travel for the sake of God without any worldly purpose. In the same way we do not find hosts of this manner anywhere else in the world, who extend hospitality to guests for the sake of God alone. Where prior to the arrival of the guests they spend days on end carrying out
Waqar-e-amal, voluntary labour work, to provide the facilities for the guests by making that forest area habitable and prepared for them. This beautiful scenario we find only in Jamaat Ahmadiyya. This is because in accordance with a statement of Allah and his Messenger, we have come to accept the Imam of the time.
This is also because we are strung together in the cord of Khilafat. And this is for the reason that we strive to fulfil our covenant, that we will give precedence to our faith over worldly matters. It is an annually recurring experience that every elder and youth, man and woman
Serves with exceptional zeal and fervour. So undoubtedly, this year also Inshallah, God willing, service will be given with the same passion. According to the waqar-e-amal reports I have received thus far, this year with the grace of the Almighty Allah, there are youth who are partaking in the
Waqar-e-amal through Waqf-e-Arzi, who do not have this previous experience. Or nobody directed their attention to this before. With regards to anyone who associates himself with the Jamaat and believes himself to be an Ahmadi, I always say that if anyone is showing a lack of attention
Or interest towards the Jamaat, it is based on the fact that those who are appointed to draw their attention, are not fulfilling their responsibilities properly. It is impossible that any person who deems himself to be an Ahmadi is told the need for any work or service, yet does not respond to the call.
And so it is our duty to guide others in a befitting manner. This is why Allah has commanded us to remind others, so people can be constantly guided. Indeed befitting guidance and guiding others in an appropriate manner and admonishing other people, brings about change in the temperament of people.
Moreover, the need for guidance and reminders is not limited to just those who are weak or those who stand in need of it. There are many who joined newly, who are not fully familiar with the nizaam, the system of the Jamaat. This is also necessary for them.
It should be explained to them the true spirit of service. Albeit the majority of the new converts, seeing the examples and models of others offer their services themselves. Yet despite this constant reminders are still needed. Similarly, there are children who are joining.
There is a need to remind them and draw their attention towards their duties and offering service. As I said there are new youth who have come to the fore after reminding them. For their proper guidance and to activate them even further in terms of
How guests can be properly served, there is a need for advice and mentoring. It is for this reason that Allah the Almighty has commanded: ‘And keep on exhorting for verily exhortation benefits those who would believe.’ No command of Allah is devoid of wisdom.
So nobody should consider reminders, or to reiterate something, as mere repetition. Through these reminders many workers fully come to realise their responsibilities. There are matters which are necessary to remind others off, which people may have heard or been advised off before, but they forget the advice or their attention diminishes.
By repeating the advice they are reminded of it again. Some people even express themselves, that as a result of reminders their attentions were drawn once again. Further you should remember that there are many people who come for Jalsa, who travel from faraway places.
To fulfil the right of those who travel, has been made an obligation and duty by God Almighty. Approximately one sixth of the guests who come to attend the UK Jalsa are from abroad, who come to attain the blessings of the Jalsa. They arrive from the Far East, Pakistan, India, Africa, America
And South America, which is in addition to Europe. People come from very far off countries. The remaining half consists of those who come from cities within the UK. All of them are also guests who travel. Indeed for some elders, those who are weak or ill, to just travel from London
To Hadeeqa-tul-Mahdi is a journey. A journey which they undertake burdening a lot of hardship and discomfort. Thus every male and female duty worker should realise that these are travellers and guests who they must serve. They should be kind and courteous towards them in every way possible.
There are some guests who do misbehave at times. Yet even so every duty worker should show restraint and self-control. Every duty worker of each department should fulfil his responsibilities with patience and tolerance. Allah the Almighty has given the example of the Prophet in the Holy Quran,
Thereby drawing our attention of how a guest should be taken care off. We should respond to the salaam of a guest with even greater salaam. We should show and express pious sentiments for him. We should give him peace and security and show and express happiness towards him.
One attains true peace when he receives happiness. Here ‘guests’ does not only refer to Ahmadi guests. There are non-Ahmadi and non-Muslim guests who need more attention. At times there are others who merely observe to see the attitude of the Ahmadies,
Irrespective of how they are treated, for it is natural that the other guests are going to be treated well. So they observe how others are being treated apart from them. It is for this reason that all of us need to constantly keep in mind that we must serve guests.
We need to serve in the true sense which confers to other’s true happiness. Henceforth, every guest who we receive and host should give us the same level of happiness as when we receive a close friend or relative. When we derive this type of happiness, it is then that the
Right of serving the guests is also fulfilled. Hospitality and serving our family, friends and relatives is something that everyone is easily able to do. The more someone is dear to us, the more we bear their whims and fancies. We discover the true sentiment of service when we have to deal
With someone who is not related to us. Guests come to acquire peace. As I said, these are guests of Jalsa who do not have any worldly purpose in view. So as far as possible we need to look for opportunities and occasions to comfort them, to grant them peace and ease.
We need to establish the standard of hospitality were in accordance with all our resources and circumstances, we should extend the best facilities of hospitality as possible. The organisers should constantly reflect on this point. So this is the type of hospitality that Allah desires from us.
That we should give the best type of facilities and resources to guests. Furthermore, the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, who to the greatest degree acted upon and understood the commands of Allah the Almighty. How did he guide us in this respect?
The Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: ‘The guest has a right upon you which you should fulfil.’ We find examples where there were more than expected guests who arrived. He entrusted some of the guests amongst the companions and he took some guests to host himself.
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, took the guests to his home. There he discovered there was only little food and drink. When he enquired from Hazrat Aisha she responded that a small amount had been preserved for his Iftari, breaking the fast.
That is all that was in the house and nothing else remained. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, tasted a little from that and then said to the guests to go ahead and eat it. Most certainly, the only reason the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him,
Would have tasted it, was so that blessings could be infused within that food. Thus, that blessed food would become the means and would be sufficient for their Sehri, their breakfast. We also learn from the narration that that food, which according to Hazrat Aisha
Was only a small amount and sufficient for his Iftar, breaking fast, actually fully satisfied all the guests. The Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, also trained His companions in a manner so that the companions had the passion to selflessly serve the guests.
Anyone is able to extend hospitality to guests when he is facing no discomfort and has helpers. True hospitality is shown if one places himself in difficulty to help others. The right of guests is that which the Holy Prophet, (pbuh), established. He drew the attention of the believers to discharge this due.
It was the impact of the training of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, combined with the enthusiasm and passion of the companions to follow his example which lead to incredible examples of hospitality to guests, being displayed by the companions.
There are such examples shown by them of hospitality which even pleased God. In one instance God informed the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, of His pleasure of the hospitality offered to a guest by his host. What was the rank and status of the host, his wife and children
For whom Allah the Almighty expressed this pleasure? Allah the Almighty praised them for this. We find the details of this in a narration as follows. Hazrat Abu Hurairah narrates, a journeyman came to the Holy Prophet, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him.
He sent a message home for food to be sent for the guest. Upon which he received the response that there was nothing, save water, left. The Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said to the companions who would arrange for hospitality for this guest?
An Ansari exclaimed that he would arrange for the guest’s hospitality. He tarried home and said to his wife to make arrangements for the guest of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. The wife told him that there was only enough food to feed the children, let alone them.
The Ansari said, ‘Very well, prepare the food, Light the lantern. When the children’s dinner time arises somehow or the other make the children sleep.’ And so the wife prepared the food and lit the lantern. She put the children to sleep somehow or the other.
On the pretext of fixing the lantern she got up and then extinguished the lantern. The husband and wife then sat with the guests and made out as if they were eating with them. So both, the husband and the wife remained hungry all night.
When in the morning the Ansari came before the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, he laughed and said: ‘The plan you made at night, even made Allah to smile, or he said: ‘both of your actions was pleasing to God.’
In some narrations it is mentioned that this verse was revealed at the time, ‘but prefer others to themselves even though poverty be their own lot. And whoso is rid of the covetousness of his own soul, it is these who will be successful.’ So this was their plan which pleased God.
Fearing that the guest would fret seeing the small portion of food and would desist from eating, they came up with this plan. The plan was that they would extinguish the lantern so that the guests, for whom there is the commandment to respect and revere, should not feel that the
Host are being burdened with discomfort and hardship as a result of him. Secondly, they considered that he was the guest of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), and thus they would need to extend special hospitality.
And so today we also need to keep in mind for the guests who arrive during these days of the Jalsa. They are the guests of the true and honest devotee of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. They are guests who are coming for a religious purpose.
Although the objective is the same as before, the circumstances today differ. When now workers are summoned to offer different types of services and to extend hospitality, the organisers do not expect them to take the guests home to extend hospitality.
People are not facing the same circumstances as in the time of the Holy Prophet. The state of affairs which the companions faced, were there was nothing or hardly anything in the home. Yet they would put themselves into difficulty, sacrifice their children and make them hungry and still serve.
Today everything is given and then it is said to the workers to be attached to different departments and offer their services. The workers are informed that the system of the Jamaat will provide all facilities. So thus as I said, all you workers men and women, young and old are fortunate
Because you have been appointed and selected to serve the guests of the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace. Without any difficulty you are able to fulfil the right and duty of hospitality. There is no financial burden upon you nor do you have to give any other type of sacrifice.
When the Jalsa Salanas were held in Rabwah. the residents of Rabwah would sacrifice the comfort of their homes for the comfort of their guests. They would offer their homes to the Jamaat for guests to stay in. Despite the Langar running constantly, in particular during the 8 or 10 days of the Jalsa,
Some would take the burden of feeding the guests entirely. But nonetheless, we do not find any similar circumstances which the companions, may Allah be pleased with them, had to show their examples to us of. In this age, in the example of the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace,
We find illustrations of hospitality in the footsteps of our master. The Promised Messiah would put himself into discomfort to sacrifice for their guests and would spend the night in the winter without any blanket. To arrange food, the jewellery of Hazrat Amma Jaan, the blessed respected wife of the Promised Messiah, would be used.
This passion of sacrifice was also shown by the Promised Messiah’s companions. They would give preference to the comfort of others over their own comfort. In connection to the Jalsa Salana, the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace, has mentioned that Ahmadies should not give preference to themselves over others,
Rather they should make sacrifices for others. There was an incident in the life of the Promised Messiah, narrated by Pir Sirajul Haq Sahib. He says the Promised Messiah had given me a ‘char- pie’ a traditional wooden woven bed used in the Subcontinent, for my use.
Some guests would come and sleep on my bed and I would lay out my prayer mat on the floor and lay on it. At times I would have some bedding on my bedstead and guests would even go and lie on this. I did not feel the least bit vexed or distressed by this.
I understood that they were guests, while we were living in Qadian. At times guests would throw my bedding on the floor, put their own bedding on my bed and lie on it. And this is precisely what happened on one occasion.
A lady informed the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace, that Pir Sahib is sleeping on the floor. The Promised Messiah, on whom be peace, enquired where the bed had gone. To which he received the response that ‘I do not know’. He immediately came out and summoned me before the ‘gol room’ (round room)
And asked me ‘why are you lying on the floor, it is the monsoon season and there is a danger of snakes and scorpions’. I explained the entire circumstances and what occurs and that I did not say anything to the guests and said that looking after the guests is one of our responsibilities.
Hearing this the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace, went in and sent another bed for me. For a few days this bed remained with me and then the exact same occurred as I have mentioned. Someone informed the Promised Messiah of this again, upon which He sent another bed.
A day later the exact same occurred. Someone notified the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace, of this again. After the Morning Prayer he said: ‘Sahibzada Sahib, what you do is right, in other words this right of hospitality and a member should act in exact same way,
But do one thing. We should put a chain on the bed and hang it on the ceiling.’ Hearing this, the late Maulvi Abdul Karim Sahib laughed and said that there might be some guests who would even take that down. The Promised Messiah, on whom be peace, also laughed at this.
So these are the types of lateefas or jokes that occur during hospitality. From the word lateefah I remembered that sometimes I relate a joke. In Urdu ‘lateefah’ means a good word, a deep meaningful point or something amusing, are all in the meanings of lateefah.
So rather than mentioning a lateefah as an amusing anecdote I was listening to one of the sermons were as it was a joke, the translator was presenting it as a very deep meaningful point, as if it was a lesson and something profound was being explained.
So at times there are mistakes in the translation. But in any case, here a point is being made, that one should look after his own things and possessions. After this I would like to mention an example of the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace.
This is an example for our workers and officeholders and a lesson for the duty people. Hazrat Sheikh Yaqoob Ali Irfani Sahib relates that at the time of Jang-e-Muqqadas a large number of people had gathered. One day, we forgot to serve or put food for the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace,
I left the food at home. I had explained my wife about this but due to being involved in a lot of working tasks she forgot and this went as far as a large part of the evening had passed. After waiting a long period of time the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace,
Asked about the food and everyone became worried and concerned. The shops and market were also closed and no food could be obtained from there. The circumstances were presented to the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace.
Upon which he responded: ‘why is there a need to be so agitated and to take so much trouble?’ He said go look at the table cloth. Some food will be left over. That will be sufficient. They saw there was only some pieces of bread there.
The Promised Messiah said this was sufficient and took some pieces of the bread and that was enough. So this is a lesson for our workers. In certain circumstances there may be shortage of food. No one should be concerned or worried if this is the case,
But rather they should make sacrifices for the sake of their guests. Sheikh Yaqoob Irfani Sahib says that this may seem a very ordinary matter and occurrence. But it makes evident the amazingly simple and informal nature of the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace.
New arrangements for food could have been made and everyone would have been delighted, but the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace, disliked for anyone to be inconvenienced at a late time of day and nor did he care that proper food was not served to him.
He did not even question anyone on the negligence and carelessness, nor did he show any disapproval, rather extremely happily, generously and open heartedly, he removed the concerns and anxieties of others. So thus, if such circumstances arise we should always be mindful of this.
With the Grace of Almighty Allah, the majority of the workers display good morals. However there are at times people who complain. So we should be mindful of this. It is a duty of officers of every department and in particular the hospitality department
To make prior arrangements for their workers, so that when they finish their duties, food should be made available for them, or other arrangements should be made. A principle guidance given to us by the Promised Messiah should be always kept in view by our workers.
With respect to the arrangements of guests and the hospitality, the Promised Messiah says: ‘I always remain very mindful and attentive that no guest should be put into discomfort or inconvenience. I constantly admonish that as far as possible guests should be extended comfort. The heart of a guest is delicate like a glass.
The slightest of knocks will break it. Earlier I had made arrangements to eat with the guests myself. However, as my illness worsened and I had to eat food on a special dietary requirement, this arrangement did not remain. In addition, the number of guests increased so much that there was not enough space.
Therefore, out of necessity I had to eat separately. I permit everyone that they may present their requirements. Some people are ill, for whom separate food arrangements may be made. So thus this should be constantly borne in mind. We should never hurt the feelings of any guest.
It is the duty of every worker to display the highest morals at every occasion, place and situation. Even if someone complains of some discomfort or inconvenience, instead of answering them indifferently, we should try to alleviate their suffering. At the end I would like to say that with the grace of the Almighty Allah,
In the various departments the workers have now been very well trained. They thoroughly understand their tasks and they also have good knowhow of the tasks in hand. But sometimes confidence, more than necessary, brings about weaknesses in the administration and system. Confidence should be maintained but this should not cause us to overlook
And neglect the minor and minute details of the task in hand. Secondly, the security department should especially need to be active. As the Jamaat is becoming known all over the world and is marching towards progress. And boldly and courageously refutes every wrong practice such as by many extremists who bring Islam into disrepute.
The Jamaat always rebuts them. So as this occurs, our opponents and those who are envious, also increase in their numbers. Their efforts to oppose us also strengthen. So therefore this department needs to become active immediately and from now. It should not be the case that they will make assessment when the time comes.
They need to be activated now. Also remember, while keeping a deep insight into the security arrangements, as I said we should not allow any shortcomings to enter into our morals and etiquettes. Wherever there are security check points, the duty workers there should display good manners and etiquettes.
There should not be children at all these points but rather they should be more older and sensible people also at all places. And most of all, all the workers, in order to be able to perform their duties in the best possible manner, must pray.
All our tasks will not be accomplished through our efforts or our skills, rather it will be through the help of Allah. In order to acquire the help and blessings of Allah prayer is essential. We should never forget this. Similarly all of us, aside from the workers, should pray.
Each and every single one should supplicate that Allah the Almighty enables for all the Jalsa arrangements to be completed on time and that we are enabled to provide all the facilities for the guests.