Friday Sermon – Khalifatul Masih V – Mirza Masroor Ahmad – Year 2015
‘Surely, success does come to the believers, ‘Who are humble in their Prayers.’ Allah the Almighty says in the first verse ‘success is with the believers’ and thus has given a certain glad tiding to believers of prosperity. However which ‘believers’ are meant here?
In the following verses numerous conditions have been stipulated and it is said that only those believers will attain success who lead their lives according with these pre-requisites. The first of the conditions or qualities that a believer is required to fulfil or demonstrate is that they ‘are humble in their prayers.’
The word ‘ Khaashi’ is normally translated as one who displays fervency in his or her prayers, to the extent of weeping. However there are further meanings attached to this word. Unless all meanings of this word are fulfilled, a believer will be unable to develop the true state needed.
According to the lexicon the meanings of the word Khaashi are: to adopt absolute humbleness, to lower one self entirely, to efface one’s ego and self, to accept complete humility, to struggle to humble one’s self, to lower one’s gaze and to keep one’s voice soft and moderate.
Thus observe how this one word encompasses such a wide depiction of the prayer and worship performed by a true Momin (true believer). When one submits before God the Almighty in an effort to attain this standard of worship,
When he adopts extreme humility, when he effaces his ego and self to acquire the pleasure of Allah the Almighty and when he develops the other traits and qualities mentioned, then where this will lead him to being Near to God the Almighty,
There along with fulfilling the rights of God the Almighty, it will also direct his attention to fulfilling the rights of God’s Creation in accordance with the Divine Commands. The prayers one offers in this manner will result in his worldly matters also being set right.
He will then strive to be a reflection of the Promised Messiah’s words: ‘Envisage yourself to be lesser than everyone els ‘Perhaps this will gain you entrance in the abode of Divine union’ Whilst doing so he will also strive to free himself of the chains of vice on his ego and self
And will thus set his worldly affairs right, or he will be making an effort to do so. Out of modesty he will keep his gaze lowered, not only in a state of prayer, but even in his normal daily life.
And thus in this way he will be striving to avoid countless vices of the society. By moderating his voice, where this will give him perception and knowledge relating to worship, there in his routine daily life he will be making an effort to be saved from quarrels, fights and fiery confrontations.
Thus a believer eliminates numerous evils and vices relating to daily life through his or her prayers and worship. Allah the Alimghty says prayers performed in this manner and those who develop this state are the ones who are successful and will prosper.
One translation of the word ‘ Falaah ’ as in the translation of the verse recited, is those who attain ‘success’. However ‘success’ here encompasses a very wide meaning. How is this success achieved? The lexicon defines this as: to create ease, to be affluent, to be on the end of good fortune,
To fulfil a desire, to receive protection, to have everlasting happiness and goodness, and to receive the blessings and bounties of life. Thus it is clear that in so many ways a person benefits from being pious and righteous for the sake of Allah the Almighty.
Allah the Almighty bestows His blessings on such a person in such manifold ways, which is beyond the imagination of man. The first and most important step set by Allah the Almighty for a Momin (believer) to attain all these blessings, is to develop humbleness and humility in prayers.
To achieve all of these things worship has been assigned as a pre-requisite. Even worldly people display humbleness at times. In fact if we speak showing humility and developing an emotional state, then there are worldly people who display this in an astonishing manner when even the smallest of their worldly affairs are harmed.
They are prepared to accept extreme humiliation and display a state of temporary fervency. At times one develops compassion seeing the state of another person or seeing others in an extremely horrific condition brings about the most heightened sentiments in them. However all of this is either for the sake of one’s personal interests,
Out of being ostentatious, or due to momentary feelings and passions. None of this is for the sake of attaining the pleasure of Allah the Almighty. One who seeks to please God the Almighty is far-removed from actions performed only outwardly. The Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) has said regarding
The emotional state worldly people fall into, or their apparent or momentary humility and fervency: ‘I have seen many such ascetic and other people with my own eyes ‘who spontaneously shed so many tears upon listening to heart-breaking poetry, ‘or seeing an agonising sight or hearing a heart- rending account
‘just as at times certain clouds release very large raindrops down at night so rapidly, ‘not even allowing one to roll up one’s bedding to take indoors, without getting it drenched.’ In other words they shed tears in the same manner that rain starts to fall all of a sudden. The Promised Messiah then says:
‘However I have personally borne witness that mostly such people are very cunning and deceitful ‘and worse than worldly people. ‘I have found some of them to be wicked-natured, dishonest and immoral in every respect, ‘that seeing their practice of apparent weeping and showing humility,
‘I am so repulsed to ever weep or be overcome with emotion in any gathering.’ Thus there are people who suddenly start crying upon observing certain things, however this is only a momentary emotional state. When one’s personal interests are at stake they do not develop those same feelings.
A person will never become as emotionally attached where they have no personal gains, they will never bring about the same state of sentiments. For the sake of a person’s own interests he will even commit injustices and wrongdoing and shows no mercy and compassion and a similar emotional state is not created.
Or he indulges in other vices which displease God the Almighty, or they only offer prayers and worship pretentiously. Hence how can people who behave in this manner be counted among the category of ‘ success comes to the believers’ .
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II (ra) would say that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I (ra) used to relate an account of an elder, which is: The elder offered prayers at a mosque for many years with the thought that people would praise him.
But owing to some past virtue of his, God the Almighty put it in the hearts of people to call him a hypocrite His wish was for people to shower praise on him but instead he was called a hypocrite by them.
Eventually one day he realised that he had wasted so many years of his life worshipping but no one ever called him pious. He felt that had he prayed for the sake of God the Almighty, at least He would have been pleased with him.
This thought struck his heart so strongly that he immediately went out into wilderness and offered prayer in a most heartrending and humble manner. He wept and repented and pledged to God the Almighty that from then on he was only going to offer prayer for His sake.
Following this when he returned, God the Almighty put it in the hearts of people that this elder was a very pious man and so why was he being disgraced needlessly. Elders and youngsters all started to praise him.
The elder was most grateful to God the Almighty that for only praying one day for His sake, God the Almighty has caused people to start praising him. Observe how the elder started to realise all this when he began to worship purely for the sake of attaining Allah the Almighty’s pleasure and thus
God the Almighty became pleased with the elder’s worship, because the worship was done only for His sake. The elder no longer held a desire for people to praise him and consider him a great saint. Yet despite this people started praising him in exactly the manner he had once hoped for.
Previously he was longing for people to praise him yet he was unsuccessful in making this happen. Now the opposite occurred and people started to praise him. Secondly this account also demonstrates that Allah the Almighty honours past virtues performed by a person and creates the means for their reformation.
Where in this account it says that Allah the Almighty was pleased with a past virtue, it means He was pleased with one of the elder’s past pieties and thus people calling him a hypocrite was actually the spark that made him realise and so was a means for his reformation.
And this was not a coincidence, rather, as I have said, Allah the Almighty being pleased with one of the elder’s past virtues created the means which enabled the elder to worship for the pleasure of God the Almighty. As Allah the Almighty wanted to reform the elder Himself, and so made him realise
By making people call him a hypocrite. God the Almighty did not want people to praise the elder, otherwise the elder would have become firmly self-conceited and thus would have become a greater sinner. And so the Almighty, based on a past virtue and wanting the elder to reform,
Created a means to this end, which eventually enabled the elder to be counted among those who are successful. Thus despite a person committing mistakes and sinning in the present, past virtues sometimes become a source of saving him from a bad end and enable him to be included among the successful.
All of this is dependent on Rahmaniyyat (Divine Grace). If Allah the Almighty so wills He can reform a person in the aforementioned manner also. However Allah the Almighty has given the guarantee of success to those Momin (believers) who strive to avail from His Raheemiyyat (Divine Mercy).
The first pre-requisite of this is to establish humbleness and to form the required state in one’s worship and prayers, purely for the sake of Allah the Almighty. Explaining this subject, the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) has compared this condition
Of a Momin (true believer) to the various physical stages of the human birth. However, I shall only explain the first stage which the Promised Messiah (as) has explained i.e. those ‘Who are humble in their Prayers’, which elucidates that any kind of virtuous deed cannot be deemed virtuous
And nor can any kind of worship continue to remain on strong foundations until man strives to attach himself to God Almighty’s attribute of Mercy. And believes that his worship can only firmly attach him to God Almighty though His grace alone. The Promised Messiah (as) states:
‘The first stage of a Momin (true believer’s) spiritual development is the state of humility, ‘weeping and fervency which a Momin can experien in his worship ‘and in the remembrance of God. ‘In other words, to fervently weep and cry, to show modesty and humility,
‘and also the humbleness of the soul and to develop a yearning, ‘a passion and intensity within one’s self. ‘And to embrace a state of fear and prostrate the heart before God the Glorious ‘as it mentions in the verse, ‘In other words, successful indeed are the believers, who are humble and modest
‘in their prayers and in every form of worship’ Not only in their prayers but in every form of worship. 0:27:25.920,1193:02:47.295 ‘And they remain engaged in the remembrance of their Lord with humility, ‘fervency and with great intensity, anguish and passion.’
Therefore, those who are humble in their prayers, reflect the same kind of emotion in their other forms of worship too, just as they adopt in their prayers, which I have mentioned earlier with reference to the lexical meanings of the word Khushu .
The Promised Messiah (as) states that they are humble in all of the different forms of worship. And if one is remembering God Almighty whilst walking, even then he will remain humble. When one is occupied in the remembrance of God, then every action – even if it is related to one’s everyday life –
He/she will be mindful of God Almighty’s commandments and thus will be humble and fearful. The Promised Messiah (as) states: ‘Those who ponder over the Holy Quran should understand that the state of Khushu (humility) ‘in one’s prayers is like the sperm for the development of one’s spiritual state.
Just like a sperm, it too hides within it all the virtues, attributes and the complete framework required for a perfect human in terms of spirituality.’ As I mentioned before that (the spiritual state) has been compared to the physical stages of human development and the example of that is being given here.
‘Just like the sperm enters the womb and develops into a child ‘and then eventually a perfect human with all its different faculties, ‘similarly Khushu (humility) travels along the stages of spiritual development ‘and spiritually perfects man.’ The Promised Messiah (as) then states:
‘Just like the sperm remains at risk before it has attached to the womb’ I.e. there is the danger of it being wasted unles it enters into the womb in which it will grow according to the laws of nature made by God Almighty.
He says: ‘Similar is the case of the spiritual state, whereby the state of Khushu (humility) ‘remains in danger until it attaches itself to the All-Merciful ( Raheem ) God. ‘Remember that the favours of God Almighty that are bestowed without any effort (from man), ‘is due to the attribute of Graciousness.
‘For instance the heavens and the earth that have been created for mankind, ‘or mankind itself has been created, both are favours of His Graciousness. ‘However, if any blessing is bestowed on account of one’s actions, worship, effort or practices ‘then that is due to the attribute of Raheemiyaat (Divine Mercy).’
The Promised Messiah (as) states that: ‘This has always been the practise of God for mankind. ‘Therefore, when a person adopts humility in prayer and in the remembrance of God Almighty ‘then he prepares himself for the rewards of Mercy. ‘Thus, the only difference between the sperm and the first stage of the spiritual development,
‘which is Khushu (humility), is that the sperm i in need of the womb ‘while ( Khushu ) is in need of the Merciful God. ‘Also, just as the sperm can be destroyed before attaching to the womb,
‘so too the first stage of the spiritual development which is Khushu can be destroyed ‘before it has even formed a relationship with the All-Merciful.’ Therefore, the prayers that are performed pretentiously, they in fact destroy a person even before he or she can form a relationship with the Merciful God.
The Promised Messiah (as) states that: ‘Many people who in the early stages begin to weep in their prayers and fall in a trance and raise slogans and express all sorts of hysterical behaviour and display all kinds of states of deep affection. However, because they have no relationship with God Almighty, who is All-Merciful,’
Therefore, despite doing all this, they are not able to form a relationship with God Almighty , who is All-Merciful; ‘as they ought to.’ ‘And neither do they experience any kind of special manifestation (of God) ‘whereby they become attracted towards God Almighty.
‘Thus, their weeping and humility is completely untrue and at times they stumble ‘and land in a state even worse than previously.’ There are many people, after having taken the Bai’at of the Prophets, become apostates. In the time of the Promised Messiah(as) there were some, for instance, Dr Abdul Hakim is mentioned,
Who in spite of everything, and having attained piety, when he faltered he left religion all together. The Promised Messiah (as) states that: ‘It is an interestingly strange analogy ‘that just as the sperm is the first stage of the human development
‘and unless it is aided from the attraction of the womb it is nothing. ‘So, too Khushu (humility) is the first stage of the spiritual development ‘and until it is aided by the attraction of the All-Merciful God, ‘the state of Khushu is worthless.’
If there is divine help from God Almighty then a person shall reach to Him and form a relationship with God Almighty and the state of Khushu (humility) will have succeeded. Otherwise it is simply crying outwardly.
Some people say that we wept a great deal and cried so much, yet our prayers went unanswered. However they need to reflect upon their conditions and whether they are fulfilling the other pre- requisites or not. The Promised Messiah (as) states that: ‘You will find thousands of people that once upon a time
‘they used to derive great pleasure from the humility in their prayers ‘and in the remembrance of God. ‘And they would weep and fall in a trance and then all of a sudden they became engulfed ‘in such a curse that they became inclined towards their sensual affairs
‘and lost their earlier state amidst their passion for the worldly desires. ‘This is a state of great fear whereby many people’s state of Khushu (humility) perishes ‘before they have even formed a relationship with the All-Merciful God ‘and before the attraction of the All-Merciful God can play any part,
‘their state has been totally destroyed.’ Therefore, no one can claim that their worship has attained the highest stages of humility . As I mentioned before, that Khushu (humility) entails a whole host of different aspects which I have explained earlier as part of its meaning.
When all of these various aspects are practised with humility and modesty then God Almighty’s Mercy rewards it. In the example that the Promised Messiah (as) has given, in it a person is not aware when the All-Merciful God’s Mercy will embrace him and reward him. Thus a continuous effort is required.
Just as we are unaware when the fertilisation will take place and the birth of a child will take place and when he will begin to develop. Sometimes deficiencies are generated in sperm after entering the womb and the sperm carries these deficiencies.
Please turn off your phone and turn it off when you come to the mosque. Similarly, as the Promised Messiah (as) stated… Actually I am explaining this further: As the Promised Messiah (as) stated, that the sperm can carry deficiencies while in the womb,
Similarly, even after humility in prayers bears fruit, or He (God) rewards it, deficiencies can arise and sometimes wickedness and self- praise is generated in man. This condition is similar to the condition of those who accept the Prophets at first and then reject them.
This self-praise and arrogance is what detaches them from righteous deeds. Their relationship with Allah the Almighty remains intact until they have a relationship with His messenger. And when this relationship is abandoned, then they fall into utter disgrace and deceit. Therefore, fear of Allah the Almighty should always be at the forefront.
Effort should always be towards attaining His Mercy. His Grace and blessings should be constantly sought. One should strive towards developing a true relationship with Allah the Almighty. One should not become arrogant at one’s efforts, at acceptance of one or two prayers, or at experiencing a few true dreams.
Allah the Almighty did not say anywhere that you will be considered amongst the prosperous ones if one or two of your prayers are accepted, or one witnesses a few true dreams. Those who are successful and attain nearness to Allah the Almighty,
Despite reaching the summit of their humbleness and humility, despite abstaining from vain things, despite spending in the way of Allah the Almighty, despite safeguarding their honour, despite fulfilling their pledges, despite fulfilling the due right of their worship, despite fulfilling the due right of their Prayers and safeguarding them (Prayers);
Even then, they say, ‘O Allah! Cover us with your veil of Grace as we are nothing without it.’ Therefore, it is only the Grace of Allah the Almighty that He grants a person the ability to consistently struggle towards attaining His Mercy and grants man’s struggles the status of acceptance.
This means, the struggle to attain His Mercy should be continuous, only then can the Grace of Allah the Almighty be attained and man is accepted due to the Grace of Allah and his end is the very best. Therefore, a true Momin (believer) should always keep this point in mind, that is,
No doubt Allah the Almighty has stated that believers have attained prosperity; those who act upon these things. However, in order to make this success a part of one’s life, one should not consider every advancement and every bounty that is received from Allah the Almighty as a result of one’s efforts.
Rather, after every advancement one should consider that ‘I have not done anything myself.’ If this quality is developed, then progress will be maintained. Otherwise, after attaining Allah the Almighty’s Grace, our action will go to waste
And it does go to waste due to a bad deed that we commit, like that sperm which enters the womb but it is unable to fully develop and after a few weeks it leaves the womb and goes to waste. Therefore, as I have stated, we should focus our attention towards our end
So that, by the Grace of Allah the Almighty, after attracting His Mercy, a child-who is complete in all aspects-is born as a result of our every action. We should be counted amongst those people who, as they advance in worship, also advance in meekness. Their humbleness and humility also increases.
If the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), whose beauty and humility in worship we cannot imagine, says that he will also enter Heaven solely by the Grace of Allah the Almighty, then how can anyone’s action alone
Can take him to Heaven? Or, How can Allah the Almighty be pleased with him? Despite the fact that Allah the Almighty had granted guarantee to the Holy Prophet (sa) and he was to reform the world, he came for this reason,
And nobody’s actions can be equal to the actions of the Holy Prophet (sa). He used to increase his humbleness and humility in Nawaafil (voluntary prayers), so much that he wouldn’t realise that his feet are swollen. Therefore, in order to attain the Grace of Allah the Almighty,
Everyone should keep continuous humility and fear of Allah the Almighty in view. It is important for every true believer that there should be a clear difference between the time when prayer starts and ends. If there was any egoistic thought or arrogance in him before his prayer starts,
Then at the time when prayer is finished his heart should be pure from those things. All other worship is similar; every worship should end with the end of arrogance and the adoption of humility and trepidation. One should treat others for the sake of attaining the pleasure of Allah the Almighty,
Whilst being humble at heart. Therefore, worship should be a means of lowering us, so that the Mercy of God the Almighty continuously bears fresh and nutritious fruit for such a person. May we become those who increase Grace of God the Almighty by recognising our weaknesses on a daily basis.
May Allah the Almighty make us those who always do Istighfaar (seeking forgiveness). If every good deed of ours is a good deed in the sight of Allah the Almighty, then may it become a source of attaining the pleasure of God the Almighty. May every one of us be counted amongst those
Who are the successful ones in the sight of Allah the Almighty.