Friday Sermon – Khalifatul Masih V – Mirza Masroor Ahmad – Year 2014
Prior to my last two weeks Friday Sermons, I delivered some sermons in light of the sermons of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II (ra), on the topic of practical reformation. I related some causes, which prove to be impediments in the path of reforming practically.
I also said that it is necessary to eliminate these causes if we, as a collective Jama’at, as a collective community, are to attain that higher standard of reformation. It was also made clear that the obstacles in practical reformation are stronger than the obstacles of reforming ones doctrines.
I shall speak further on this subject today. We should always remember that the purpose and objective of the advent of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was not only to correct doctrinal beliefs. In fact the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has said most clearly that to connect
And to form a relationship between man and God and to reform the actions of man are essential and this is why the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) came. To discharge the mutual rights of each other was also one of the purposes of his coming.
Now all of these things are reliant upon actions, by performing virtuous deeds one discharges the rights due to God and also the rights due to other fellow human beings. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) says that, and I have mentioned these things numerous times before,
That merely uttering eloquent words will be of no use until there are actions to support those words. Then the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) says “strengthen your actions greatly, actions are the adornment of the faith. If a person’s deeds are not appropriate and correct then he has no faith.”
Thus if we desire to be useful in the mission of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and help to fulfil it, then this will only be possible, when each and every single one of us tries our level best to remove those impediments in the path of our practical reformation.
This is because it is this practical reformation, when it is brought about, will draw others’ attention towards us. As a result we will become helpers and will aid in fulfilling the mission of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). So thus we should consider what we need to do to fulfil this mission.
For a great and huge weapon in our triumph and victory is also the weapon of practical reformation. It is only through our self-reformation that that strength and capacity will develop within us through which we can reform others.
Our purpose of triumph and victory is not to subjugate others or to attain any worldly gains. In fact it is to draw the hearts of the people of the world to submit to Allah Almighty and his beloved messenger, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
However if there is no difference between us and others, then what need will the world have to listen to our words? So therefore we need to make an effort to strengthen our practices alongside strengthening our deeds; we need to be steadfast upon maintaining them.
Rather than being impressed by others, we need to impress the world. Today when the world is immersed in materialism and worldliness, we need to keep an eye upon our condition and state to a greater degree than before.
Whilst keeping an eye on this, we need to break free from the aura of the world. And we need to also free the world from this satanic state and condition. Thus we will be able to discharge the rights due to Allah the Almighty.
And also the majority of the world can also do so. However there are many stumbling blocks on this path. For this we must cultivate such a strength and vigour, which can eliminate these stumbling blocks. In order to confront and resist the world we have to devise some rules and regulations,
Which each and every single one of us should apply and then abide by and ensure that we remain resolute in following it. For this we would have to sacrifice our inner self and form the necessary environment. Until this is attained we can never be successful.
As I have already said in one of my previous Friday Sermons, today the world has come closer together and joined as one. It is as if it has become a global village. Evils that are committed thousands of miles away enter each and every home through electronic media.
And various acts of goodness and virtues which are performed in countries thousands of miles away also enter people’s homes. If we observe this collectively then the percentage of evil that is being spread is far greater than the percentage of good being spread. Further, as I have mentioned on numerous occasions in the past
The standard of good and bad has now changed. Something that is considered a vice in a Muslim society, in a worldly society, which is practically an irreligious society, is considered as nothing bad. What we may consider to be a vice is considered by them to be ordinary.
In fact, it is now being considered as something good. Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) has given an example that dancing is part of western culture. During the era of Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) this was not as widespread.
Or one would have to go to specific venues for this. Nowadays through the television and Internet, this is everywhere. Within homes itself, in the name of entertainment, some homes have become as if dance houses. At some family functions at home, people dance. This is particularly true at weddings.
In the name of happiness and entertainment, indecent dancing is carried out. An Ahmadi home should be completely free from this and special attention must be given in this direction. Nonetheless, I was speaking with reference to Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him)
Who said that now dancing is a part of western culture. However, he says that in the past people considered it to be something bad. However, slowly but gradually this has been adopted by people. First men and women would dance together holding each other’s hands
Then they started dancing closer with their faces next to each other and distances were removed and they got even closer. So as I stated, now in the name of dancing there are no bounds to indecencies; wearing little clothes so their nakedness is exposed as they dance on the television. Why was this spread?
Those who were committing and spreading the vice, despite the clamour of the world against them saying that this is something which is bad, they persevered upon spreading the vice and had no care at all for what the world said against them. Eventually they triumphed.
Now we observe even on the TV in Pakistan, a Muslim country, in the name of entertainment and freedom, indecencies can be observed as well as nakedness. As such vices, as a result of their perseverance, have overwhelmed and dominated over the minds of the people of the world.
So in order to confront and resist this, huge planning and sacrifices are required. If this is not implemented then we can never succeed in our objectives. So therefore there is a need to greatly deliberate, reflect and make efforts. We need to adopt those things through which we can eliminate these hurdles and obstacles.
By utilising which, we can cultivate the strength and power to eliminate these obstacles. As a result of which we can confront and resist the vices. Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) has explained in an excellent manner how to achieve this; and explains that if these qualities are cultivated within man,
Only then that he can succeed truly. There are three traits here. The first is the intention. The second is having correct and full knowledge and the third is strength or faculty of actions. In fact, in essence, there are two fundamental traits. Intention and the faculty and strength of actions.
The trait that is placed in between these, that is having correct and full knowledge has an impact upon both these fundamental faculties. Having suitable and proper knowledge has an effect upon the faculty and strength of intention and also upon the faculty or strength of practice.
The first point that should be borne in mind is that the two fundamental traits are the strength of intentions and desire and the strength of actions. which have an impact upon our practical reformation. For this we need to strengthen our faculty of determination.
We need to also overcome and eliminate the weaknesses in our faculty of practice. If we have a firm resolve and determination to desist from any vice, only then we can truly avoid committing them. And the strength of our resolve will only be useful when we remove the shortcomings in our strength of actions.
Without this, reformation cannot be achieved. When we analyse this from the of our strength of determination, then we see that where intention and resolve is concerned we do not have many shortcomings. Because in terms of intentions, the majority, in fact all of Ahmadies wish to develop righteousness, purity and sincerity.
They desire to disseminate the literature of the Jamaat and they also wish for the love and nearness of Allah the Almighty. Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) has explained this in the following manner. These things prove that our strength of intention and desire is strong and powerful
Yet the results do not emanate suitably so therefore out of two possibilities one must be true. Either it is this that the true strength of determination and desire, which is required to motivate an action, is not found within us. In contrast, the strength of determination required to reform doctrinal beliefs
Is found within us and this is why they have been reformed. However, because for practical reformation strong resolution and determination is required, it is not found within us. And it is for this reason that we cannot be successful in reforming our actions. Further, we also have to accept that there are shortcomings
In our servitude to God. The claim of our servitude to God also contains flaws and weaknesses, it is for this reason that our faculty of acting upon that intention has vanquished. And that faculty of action is not accepting the effect of the faculty of intention and desire.
Or those supports which are required to accept that influence of one’s intentions, they have weaknesses. In this condition and situation, until we do not rectify that faculty of actions, that faculty of actually acting upon our determination and desire, we will obtain no benefit whatsoever.
For example there is a student who attends a lesson in his class but he cannot remember what he is taught – until his mind is not properly rectified, however much he is taught, however many lessons he is given, however many times efforts are made in this respect,
He will not be able to remember his lesson or what he is taught. So therefore in order to rectify the mind, the causes need to be pinpointed so that correct guidance can be given. Or one would have to alter the manner in which he is teaching the person.
In Pakistan, it is traditional to memorise and learn everything in a parrot-like fashion whether he understands what he has learnt or not. And in this respect they are able to become experts, some memorise entire books. However, when they then transfer into the western educational system here,
Because here the methodology is different, everything that is studied has to be understood. So thus it sometimes happens as such that a student who had low grades in Pakistan comes here, quickly assimilates in the system and achieves high grades. Or sometimes those who have high grades there come here and achieve low grades.
In Rabwah, as a result of certain obligations, our Jama’at schools had to be separated from the Government educational board and linked with the Agha Khan educational board. As a result of the system being different in the Agha Khan educational board,
Many students said that the grades we achieved previously in the Government educational board, we now cannot achieve with the new educational board. We cannot understand why this is so. So therefore sometimes it is not just an issue of the state of the mind.
Even if one’s mind is completely fine, he may still not be properly able to remember. There, it is not only a matter of the mind being weak; there are other issues involved. But if in this state even the mind is weak then it becomes extremely difficult;
One has to alter the manner of teaching. Here, for children with weak minds there are special schools where they are given special attention. Sometimes these very weak minded children become very successful in their education. So nonetheless, the practical methodology also can cause a lot of grief and worry
And can lead to failure if it is not adopted in the proper manner. So whatever practical methodology has been devised to achieve anything, the mind has to be channelled in accordance with it. Without this success cannot be achieved. So we need to look in this direction for practically reforming our condition.
We would have to see through our intention and desire to do good and perform virtues, why is it not having an effect upon the part of our mind which, when affected, commences the practical reformation. We need to make an effort to remove such hindrances, which are proving to be obstacles in this path.
Then we will also have to look at the standard of our servitude to God. We would also have to see that in our pious endeavours, what degree of good intentions, sincerity and dedication are involved. There are two types of impediments that prove to be obstacles in the path of practical reformation.
One is weakness in our faculty of intention and the other is the weakness in our power of action. But as mentioned, there is another factor in between both which affects practical reformation. And that is the weakness in knowledge or shortcoming in knowledge. This has an impact on both sides.
We see in practical life that intentions are formed based on one’s knowledge. Similarly actions are also carried out depending on knowledge. The example of this – If a person is unaware that there is a thousand strong army about to attack his house;
Instead all he knows is that he is to be attacked and perhaps by just a handful of people. So he would prepare accordingly. However if he knew that the attackers consisted of a thousand strong force, so then his preparations would be different. Thus shortcomings emerge as a result of a lack of knowledge.
And the possession of knowledge strengthens the faculty of determination and intentions. In the same way the example of when a person makes an effort to lift something up, he assumes the object is light but it is in fact heavy and he is unable to lift it.
However once he is able to fully gauge that the object is heavy he will expend more strength and power and might. He will alter his method of lifting it and becomes successful. So on the second attempt he did not gain any new power or strength
But as a result of coming to have the proper knowledge, he utilised his strength in the proper way and he utilised the proper method and was successful in what he was doing. Therefore, God given abilities are already present in a person. When those faculties are utilised in their proper manner
Then work can be easily performed or it can be done in a better manner. And this is achieved through knowledge. If faculties are not utilised in the proper manner, even in ordinary matters, one can incur suffering and harm. So this very principle needs to be applied here
In order to utilise the practical faculties and to remove the practical weaknesses. For this you need to expand your knowledge. This is so that one can utilise his strengths properly and be enabled to overcome his weaknesses. Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) also mentioned
That Allah the Almighty has infused a power of assessment and analysis in every single person. Through this he is able to compare and determine between two things. This power of analysing and assessing decides how much strength is required to carry out any task.
Because all of man’s faculties and strength are not contained in his hand but are in fact preserved in his brain. So when on the first attempt he fails to perform a task as in the example of the person who could not lift a heavy object,
Then the brain or mind directs for more power to be utilised and as a result it brings about ease in the task. This power of assessment and analysis is developed through knowledge, whether it is internal knowledge or external knowledge. Internal knowledge means observation and experience,
External knowledge means voices that affect and influence a person. The example was given of the army that was to attack from outside. External voices alert a person. However in this example of lifting the object, the power of assessment and analysing has to decide itself.
On the first attempt you considered the object to be lighter, if, for example, it was 10kg you considered it to be 5kg and you utilise lesser strength to lift it up. So now you use 10kg force and you would be able to lift it up. So if this principle is kept in view
Then when a person, in order to reform his actions makes an effort, then the power of analysing and assessment decides how much strength is required in order to make hard efforts. Sometimes, as a result of not having proper knowledge a person cannot reform his actions.
The faculty of analysing and assessment and the result of lack of knowledge does not inform and alert properly of how much strength and power is required for practical reformation. So therefore the power of analysing and assessing alerts a person. As a result of a lack of knowledge it can also make him negligent.
The power of analysis and assessment will only come in to motion when one has knowledge of something. When one has knowledge it will alert him of how to use it. If one does not have knowledge then a person will not be able to perform that task.
Further, as a result of this lack of knowledge or not having suitable knowledge, sins are committed by a person. So as a result, a child who is brought up in such an environment where there are people who constantly and habitually commit sins, in their gatherings it is mentioned that
One cannot really live in the world without lying. Here I would like to mention that there are those who come and apply for asylum here. Goodness knows why it has been entrenched in the minds of the majority that without concocting longwinded false tales and accounts their case will not be successful.
Whereas I have said on many occasions that if a brief statement is given honestly cases are passed more quickly. Many such examples are before me. Numerous people informed me that they said a brief statement, spoke the complete truth and their cases were passed in a very short period of time.
It is sufficient to say that mental torture is no longer bearable, you are always fearful of your own life and the life of your children. There are many concerns; children cannot study at the schools – they are harassed. So there are numerous such things.
The majority of cases are passed just upon these few statements. So one should always remain firm upon being truthful and should also have trust in God. When these false accounts are related before children and it is said that we falsely said this before the judge.
Then children will also believe that there is no sin in lying, because they will think that if they did not lie then their case would not be successful. The concept then arises that it is falsehood alone that is a key to all successes.
And one begins to think that who even speaks truthfully today? A child begins to ponder that in this day and age success can never be achieved without lying. So all of these things come into the children’s minds after listening to their elders and their knowledge remains limited to this.
Lying is nothing bad, is what they think. What will be the result of this? It is evident that when they grow up, wherever such a child will have the opportunity to lie, he will seek a decision from his faculty of assessment and analysis
Which will immediately give him the decision that there is more danger here so therefore lie, there is no harm in that. Similarly, there is backbiting. If a child sees everyone around him backbiting, then when he grows up and he has an opportunity to back bite
Then he considers that if I back bite it will give me benefit. So the faculty of assessment will say to him that everyone is backbiting in your environment. If you also backbite then what harm will it be? So as such it is a sin but he thinks it is not a major sin.
In a previous Friday sermon I have already discussed this, that in practical reformation, one huge obstacle is that people assume that there are some major sins and there are some minor sins and by performing those minor sins there is no harm.
Once a person commits those sins it becomes difficult to desist from them. In such instances the faculty of assessment is present in him but as a result of having the wrong knowledge given to him from his environment a person does not muster enough strength through which he can overwhelm sin,
As in the example I gave of the person trying to lift an object. Lesser strength could not lift up the object however when the brain sends signals for more strength, then those same hands, using more strength, were enabled to lift that object.
However, if a person power of assessment did not send a signal to the brain he will not be able to lift the object. This same principle is applicable in eliminating sins. Man does possess the strength to eliminate sins, however when he is confronted with sin
The faculty of assessment says what is the harm in committing this sin, for it is a small and trivial sin which will give you benefit if you perform it. So then the brain or the mind does not send a signal to eliminate the sin.
Or we can say that strength of determination is removed and the person commits a sin. As such for the reformation of actions, three things need to be resolutely acted upon. One is the strength of intentions, the other is having an abundance of knowledge
And the third is mustering the strength in ones actions; this is also necessary. Also remember that the abundance of knowledge is, in fact, a part of the faculty of intentions because with the increase of knowledge the strength of determination also increases,
Or it can be said that one is led to perform the necessary action. The summary of all these things is that we require three things for practical reformation. First of all is strength of determination, that it should be prepared to perform huge tasks,
Then there is abundance of knowledge so that the person’s faculties of intentions can realise what is right or wrong and should support what is correct and place immense pressure and emphasis on performing this. A person should not lose the opportunity by being negligent. Third is the strength of practice and action;
That our limbs should act in accordance with our intention not the bad intention but, in fact, the good intentions. And should not reject the command of the intention. These are the fundamental techniques and means to avoid sin and to reform actions. We have to form our faculty of intentions
To be like that highly disciplined brilliant officer who gets his instructions followed in accordance to his strength and principle and does not let anything come in his way. We should not form self-concocted definitions of what are major and minor sins and must prevent this from overwhelming us.
Correct knowledge will save us from those failures which are produced as a result of the errors made by the faculties of assessment; the examples of which I have given. A person looks at things in terms of major and minor sins and the opportunity to reform is lost.
Sometimes it occurs that as a result of a lack of knowledge the faculty of intention cannot even decide what a person should do. Similarly when the faculty of practice will be strengthened then it will readily accept even the slightest signal from the faculty of determination.
Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be please with him) also presented the following point, that it should also be remembered, that weaknesses in actions are of two types. One is tangible; the other is intangible. Intangible is that a person may possess that power, strength or faculty,
However as a result of his habits, rust has come about. Tangible is that as a result of a long period of a lack of use, it becomes like something which is dead. It requires external help and support. The example of intangibility is of such a person
Who may have the power to lift a heavy object of 40kgs. However as a result of not being in the habit of performing such work when he is asked to lift up this weight, he becomes perturbed and worried. If such a person puts pressure upon himself and upon his mind
He will then be able to be successful in this task. The tangible example is that of a person who has not been in the habit of performing for a long period of time. And thus that faculty or strength no longer even remains within him.
The person would not have the strength to lift more than 10kgs of that weight. So thus, in order to lift heavier weight he would have to be helped externally or other means of his reformation would have to be devised or adopted. In order to strengthen his intention and to strengthen his actions,
When a person does not possess an abundance of those powers, external means have to be utilised in order for that task to be completed. This is the same state of reformation of actions; for different people, different remedies are required. The same remedy cannot be used for everyone.
Some need to increase their strength of determination, whilst others need to develop this strength of practice, whilst for others where the burden is very heavy and beyond their capacity external help is required and society has to play its role. The Jamaat and auxiliary organisations need to play their roles.
So therefore for our practical reformation, we need to give heed to these points; we need to cultivate these qualities. We need to strengthen our faculty of determination and our faculty of practice. This is so we can fulfil the purpose of the coming of the Promised messiah (on whom be peace).
And this is so that our God-given faculties and abilities do not discontinue as a result of rust. Insha’Allah I will explain this further in the future. At the end I present a statement of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace): ‘To desire reformation from Allah the Almighty and to expend your faculties
Is actually the way of the faith or belief. So to desire reformation from Allah Almighty is to in fact strengthen your faculty of determination through prayers and to expend your strength is a demonstration of the faculty of intentions and practice. When this demonstration reaches its highest level then this is actually faith
And a person will do everything purely for the sake of Allah the Almighty and constantly heed to obtaining God’s pleasure.’ In another place, he stated: ‘simply demonstrate your practical example which should have such a brilliance that others accept it. Until it contains a brilliance, no-one will accept it.
Until your internal condition has brilliance and purity, no one will be convinced by you. Until you do not demonstrate the highest morals, you will not be able to obtain any status. Therefore to reform our practical state, huge effort and constant vigilance are required.’
This is so that every single Ahmadi can fulfil the objective of their being an Ahmadi. In accordance with the wish of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) you can be made into true Muslims; may Allah the Almighty enable us to do this.
After the Friday Prayers I will also lead one funeral prayer in absentia of Mukaram Master Mashriq Ali Sahib MA of Calcutta, India. He passed away on the 3rd of January 2014 at approximately the age of 80 in Qadian. Surely to Allah we belong and to him shall we return.
He was ill for the last year. His son took him to Japan to gain treatment, he recovered somewhat and was in Qadian with his daughter. He was blessed by taking the Bai’at in 1965 and entering into the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat. After this, until his last breath,
He would passionately be involved in preaching the message of Islam. His services to the faith span a period of 48 years. He served as secretary Tabligh, Qaid Khuddam ul Ahmadiyya, Nazim Ansarullah Bengal, Naib Ameer and Ameer Calcutta and for a long period of time provincial Ameer Bengal and Assam.
Similarly, he was the preaching Supervisor of Nepal, the Anjuman Waqf-e-Jadid Qadian member, he published the magazine Al Bushra with great endeavour in the Bengali language and would post it to people himself. Respected Nazir Sahib alla Qadian, Inam Ghori Sahib says that “I have travelled with him on numerous times to Assam and Bengal.
Even in a dangerous environment he would never desist from carrying out speeches and participating in the events. With me, three times, in very perilous circumstances, Allah the Almighty provided the means of our safety. The cars and the luggage were damaged but we remained safe.’
He would always take them to perilous places without any fear. “Whenever I travelled with him, we would always relate the various blessings and signs of Allah the Almighty” During the era of the deceased, various Jamaats in Bengal and Assam were established.
He was a fearless person, trusting of God and lived a Dervaishi lifestyle. He was a Moosi and has been buried in Bahisti Maqbara, Qadian. He leaves behind three daughters and two sons. One of his sons is perhaps known by perhaps almost every single member of the Jamaat,
Ismatullah Sahib who recites poems at Jalsas, at other occasions and also on MTA. May Allah the Almighty elevate the rank of the deceased and may Allah the Almighty also enable his progeny and children to tread on the path of his pieties.