Friday Sermon – Khalifatul Masih V – Mirza Masroor Ahmad – Year 2022
Allah is the Greatest Allah is the Greatest Allah is the Greatest Allah is the Greatest I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah I bear witness that Muhammad (sa) is the Messenger of Allah
I bear witness that Muhammad (sa) is the Messenger of Allah Come to Prayer Come to Prayer Come to success Come to success Allah is the Greatest Allah is the Greatest There is none worthy of worship except Allah Peace and blessings of Allah be upon you.
I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah. He is One and has no partner. and I bear witness that Muhammad (sa) is His Servant and Messenger. After this I seek refuge with Allah from Satan the accursed. In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.
All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds. The Gracious, The Merciful, Master of the Day of Judgment. Thee alone do we worship and Thee alone do we implore for help. Guide us in the right path – The path of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings,
Those who have not incurred displeasure, and those who have not gone astray. Many people ask questions in relation to prayer. Nowadays in particular, people raise questions in relation to God and prayers. Moreover, proponents of atheism are launching scathing attacks on the existence of God Almighty and religion through a strategic initiative.
They are trying to distance man from God and religion through various means. Satan disguises himself as being sympathetic towards mankind and tries to distance man from religion and God Almighty. In these circumstances, even our own people are at times and in some places affected by these satanic thoughts.
Or the comments of worldly people and those who oppose religion begin to create restlessness within them towards religion, God Almighty and worship. Doubts start forming within the heart of people who are less informed. If those who are of weak faith or less educated have to face trials, or meet with failure,
They immediate start thinking that either the religion which they are following is wrong and that it is not based on any truth, or that the Being of God Almighty cannot be merciful (towards us) as He did not accept their prayers and remove them from these trials and tribulations,
Or that God Almighty has, God forbid, been unjust to them and they are passing through these circumstances as a result of this; despite offering supplications, their (feel that their) difficulties are not being removed. In short, many such questions arise in the minds of various individuals,
Especially those, who are only concerned with worldly matters. Some people write to me as well, or pose questions by mentioning their circumstances. In light of this, it appears that they do not possess the certainty of Allah the Almighty within their hearts as they should do so.
Furthermore, if they are faced with the slightest of trials in the environment they live in, they start developing negative thoughts and doubts begin to arise within them. However, what they should do is to reflect over their circumstances and consider to what degree they are trying to fulfil the rights of Allah the Almighty,
To what degree are they trying to adorn their worship, to what extent have they elevated the level of their supplications and what is the state of their faith in Allah the Almighty. Nevertheless, today I will speak on the topic of prayer in light of the teachings of the Promised Messiah (as).
This topic has been discussed at great length in the writings, teachings and literature of the Promised Messiah (as). In any case, I will mention various aspects which shed some light on the essence of prayer, its etiquettes, our responsibilities, its necessity and belief in Allah the Almighty.
As a matter of fact, (the Promised Messiah’s elaboration) it removes all forms of doubt. Drawing our attention towards the fact that we should remain mindful of praying and supplicating to Allah the Almighty even during favourable circumstances so that our prayers find acceptance at times of difficulties as well,
The Promised Messiah (as) says: “The mercy of Allah descends on such an individual, “who fears Him in a state of peace in the same manner he fears Him when faced with a difficulty. “The one who does not forget God Almighty at times of peace
“will not be forgotten by God at times of difficulties. “However, the one who spends the time of peace lavishly “and starts praying at times of difficulties, their prayers will not find acceptance. “When divine punishment descends, the door for repentance is closed. “Thus, how fortunate is the one who remains occupied in supplications
“prior to the descent of divine punishment, “gives charity, honours the decree of God, “is benevolent towards the creation of Allah and performs deeds in an excellent manner. “These are the very characteristics of those people termed as ‘fortune’.” The Promised Messiah (as) said: “A tree is recognised by its fruits.
“As such, it is easy to identify someone who is fortunate as well as the one who is ill-fated. “Thus, a true believer must never be negligent “toward fulfilling the rights of Allah and His creation in times of ease and comfort. “If one continues to fulfil these rights,
“then God Almighty will save him from times of hardship Himself; God will accept his prayers. “It is a fundamental principle that we must never become indolent in our worship and prayers. “We should not allow our worldly engagements “to prevent us from fulfilling the rights of Allah the Almighty.”
Then, whilst elaborating on the manner in which we should beseech God Almighty, the etiquettes of prayer and how we have been taught these etiquettes by Allah the Almighty Himself, the Promised Messiah (as) states: “To invoke God Almighty requires for one to revere Him.
“When a sensible person asks for something from a king, he is always mindful to be courteous. “It is for this reason that God Almighty has taught us how to beseech Him “in Surah Al-Fatihah (the opening chapter of the Holy Qur’an). “We are taught to pray (ARABIC)
“That is, ‘All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds’ “(first and foremost, we must praise Allah the Almighty). “(Then we say) Al-Rahman, in other words, the One Who gives without being asked. “Thereafter, we say Al-Rahim. “That is, the One who bestows a bountiful reward for one’s earnest effort.”
One should focus intently on what true effort constitutes; Allah the Almighty rewards true and earnest efforts and He Himself has outlined its standards. Primarily, earnest efforts requires one to struggle in the cause of Allah the Almighty. The Promised Messiah (as) then states: “This is followed by the words: (ARABIC)
“which means the ‘Master of Punishment and Exoneration’; “it is His discretion whether to punish or to show mercy. “He is the Master of punishment and reward not only in the hereafter, but also in this world.” Do not consider Him to only manifest this attribute in the hereafter.
Whatever occurs in this world is also decided by Allah the Almighty. The Promised Messiah (as) further states: “When one offers praise to this degree, “they begin to perceive just how great is God, Who is Lord, “Rahman (the Gracious), and Rahim (the Merciful). “Up until this point, one addresses God indirectly,
“but it is now that one calls to Him as though He is present “(at first, one considers such matters to be of the unseen). “Thereafter, one perceives Allah the Almighty to be manifest “and calls out to Him as though he can see Him. “He calls out to God, saying: “(ARABIC)
“That is, O Allah, it is You alone we worship, “and it is you alone Whom we desire to worship, thus we beseech You for help. “(Then, we pray) (ARABIC) “In other words, (we pray to find) a path “that is completely straight and free from every sort of corruption.
“There is one path like that of the (spiritually) blind, “who toil and struggle only to tire themselves out. “They achieve nothing as a result. “However, there is also another path upon which our efforts actually produce results. “Furthermore, we pray, (ARABIC).
“That is, guide us to the path of those upon whom You have bestowed Your blessings. “This is the very path which is straight and upon which our efforts yield rewards. “Thereafter, we pray (ARABIC). “That is, do not take us to the path of those who have displeased You,
“and (ARABIC) nor of those who have fallen to misguidance and those who have strayed far away.” The Promised Messiah (as) further states: “The prayer: (ARABIC – ‘Guide us to the right path’) “refers to all matters, be they secular or pertaining to faith.
“For instance, a doctor would not be able to treat his patient “if he does not find the right path for treatment. “Similarly, every lawyer, professional or expert has their own right path “through which they can easily achieve their objective.”
For this reason, one should seek out the right path in worldly matters as well, and one can only be successful in this if they have a relationship with Allah the Almighty. In the gathering where the Promised Messiah (as) was imparting this guidance,
A person raised an objection and asked why prophets needed to pray; such prayers should only be for ordinary men. What need do prophets have for such prayers? Why did the Holy Prophet (sa) offer these prayers? He was already on the right path. In response, the Promised Messiah (as) said:
“They (the prophets) would offer these prayers to ascend to higher ranks and stations. “In fact, the prayer (ARABIC) will be offered by believers even in the hereafter. “Just as Allah the Almighty has no limits, “there are no bounds for the progress and ascension to be sought in the hereafter.”
Thus, these are the principles that should be kept in view when offering prayer. As a result, one will truly be able to recognise the love of God Almighty and understand the way of invoking Him for their needs. Then, in respect to prayer and its etiquettes, the Promised Messiah (as) further elaborated:
“Prayer is an extraordinary thing. “Regrettably, however, today neither those who ask others to pray for them, “nor those who offer prayers are acquainted with the ways of attaining the acceptance of prayers. “In fact, they are far removed from the true philosophy of prayer. “There are some who have rejected prayer altogether.
“However, there are also those who, despite not rejecting prayer, “find themselves to be in an even more deplorable state; “they prayed but their prayers were not accepted “because they were oblivious of the etiquettes of prayer, “and so their prayers were not counted as true prayers.
“(They were unable to offer prayer in the true sense and thus were not accepted). “That is why their state is even worse that those who reject prayer altogether. “The behaviour of such people has led others to atheism. “First and foremost, true prayer requires that the supplicant never tires,
“never falls to despair nor thinks ill of Allah the Almighty. “One should never give up on Allah the Almighty and assume the worst. “It is often observed that when the fervent prayers of a supplicant are about to be accepted, “the supplicant becomes weary and stops. “This can only result in failure and despondency,
“the detrimental consequences of which cause one to renounce the efficacy of prayer. “Such a person eventually renounces their belief in God. “They are overcome with atheism and they ask “that if God truly existed and had the power to answer prayers, “why did He not accept their prayers during this lengthy period?
“However, if such a person who stumbles in this way “and harbours such thoughts reflects on their own indecisiveness and lack of steadfastness, “they would realize that their failure was a result of their own haste and impatience. “Today they are resolute, and tomorrow they waver; such people possess no resolve or steadfastness.
“If one finds themselves to be hasty, then that is the result of their own mistakes.” If one is steadfast, shuns their impatience and bolsters their faith, they would never have to experience this. The reason their prayer was not accepted is that they were hasty. The Promised Messiah (as) continues: “These are the people
“who are overcome with ill thinking and despair “because they did not recognize God to possess all power and might. “Thus, one should never become weary.” The Promised Messiah (as) then gave everyday examples of the one who is steadfast when they pray, and states:
“Praying is like the sowing of a seed by a farmer. “In the apparent circumstances he buries a good seed in the soil; “but at that time who could imagine that the grain of seed will grow up “in the form of a good tree and bear fruit?
“Outsiders and even the cultivator himself cannot see “that the grain is assuming the form of a plant inside the earth. “But the reality is that within a few days the grain undergoes a change “and begins to assume the shape of a plant till its shoot emerges from the earth.
“(A quality of a seed is that its roots first grow, the roots become firm in the earth, “(then the shoots sprout forth) and becomes visible to everyone. “From the moment when the grain was placed in the earth “it had started its preparation to become a plant,
“but an eye that can only perceive something visible is not aware of it “until its shoot emerged from the earth and became apparent. “At such a stage, an innocent child cannot perceive “that it will only bear fruit at its due time.”
Now that the plant has emerged and there only remains the stage for it to bear fruit, yet an innocent child will think it that it cannot bear fruit as it is still small. “He desires to see it bearing fruit immediately,
“but an intelligent cultivator will know the appointed time for it to bear fruit. “He looks after it steadfastly and nurtures it “till the time comes when it bears fruit and also becomes ripe. “The same is the case with prayer, which is nurtured in the same way and brings forth fruit.
“Those who are hasty get tired quickly and give up, “and those who are steadfast persevere and arrive at their objective.” Those who are farsighted, patient in waiting for the outcome, who are steadfast in their work and continue to pray “arrive at their objective.”
Then, whilst describing the level of patience of those who persevere in prayer, the Promised Messiah (as) continues: “It is true that there are many stages in prayer, “ignorance of which deprives the supplicants of the fruits of their prayers. “They are in a hurry and cannot wait,
“whereas there is progression in the works of the Almighty. “It never happens that a man marries today and a child is born to him the next morning. “Though God is All-Powerful and can do whatever He wills, “yet compliance with the law and the system that He has appointed is necessary.
“In the first stages of childbearing nothing is known, like the nurture of vegetation. “(Just as is the case with plants, one is unaware of the reality in the beginning. “The same is the case of the development of a child in humans or in any animals.
“The example given here is for humans) For four months there is no certainty. “Then a movement begins to be felt and after the full term has elapsed, “the child is born after great toil.” Even now doctors only carry out a scan after 12 weeks. So despite all the modern technology,
The true condition of the foetus only becomes clear to the doctors after the scan which they conduct after 12 weeks. The time the Promised Messiah (as) was mentioning this was an era that was not as advanced technologically. Despite this, the Promised Messiah (as) is expounding upon a law of nature.
He states: “The birth of the child also gives a new life to the mother. “(When a child is born, it is not the case that it is a simple procedure, “(the woman is given a new lease of life (as it were))
“It is difficult for a man to form a concept of the troubles and travails “which a woman has to endure during her pregnancy, “but it is true that the coming of a child is a new life for the mother.
“She has to accept death so as to have the joy of bearing a child. “In the same way, it is necessary for a supplicant “that he should discard haste and endure all troubles “(he should not show haste, endure the difficulties and continue on praying) “and should never imagine that prayer is not accepted.
“At last the time arrives for the result of the prayer to be manifested; “the child which is the objective is born. “A prayer should be carried on to the limit until it produces a result. “(One must ensure their prayer reaches such a stage first)
“You will have observed that a piece of cloth is placed under a burning glass “and the rays of the sun concentrate upon it “and their heat arrives at the degree which sets the cloth on fire. “In the same way, it is necessary that a prayer should be carried on to a stage
“where it should develop the power of burning up failures and frustrations “and to fulfil the desired purpose.” Thus every supplicant will be able to analyse for themselves and decide whether their prayers have reached such a stage or not. Then presenting a line from a Persian proverb, the Promised Messiah (as) says: “(PERSIAN)
“Meaning: ‘From the echo of my supplications it is apparent ‘that your royal court is certainly lofty and grand’ (i.e. referring to Allah the Almighty) “One has to be occupied with prayer for a long time and then God Almighty manifests the result.
“It is my experience, which is borne out by the experience of the righteous in the past, “that if there is silence for a long time, there is hope of success, “(there is hope that one has been afforded the chance to pray more
“(and so there is a hope that He will grant it success) “but if there is a quick reply (or has been rejected) “the purpose is not likely to be achieved. “We see in the world that when a beggar goes to someone
“and begs with humility and earnestness and does not move from his place, even after he is rebuked, “(the person whose house he visits scolds him, but the beggar remains resolute) “and continues his supplication, “then in the end the person supplicated is moved “and bestows something on the beggar despite his miserliness.
“(He ends up giving him something.) “Then should not a supplicant have at least so much steadfastness as an ordinary beggar? “When God Almighty Who is Benevolent and possesses Majesty sees “that His humble servant has been prostrate at His threshold for a long time, “He does not lead him to a bad end.
“If a pregnant woman should become impatient after four or five months “and should take some abortive medicine, the child would not be born, (it would be aborted) “but she herself would be involved in despair. “In the same way, he who is in a hurry before the due time only suffers loss
“and not only incurs loss, but puts his faith in danger. “In this condition some people become atheists. “There was a carpenter in our village whose wife fell ill and then died. “He said that if there had been a God, “his multiple prayers would have been accepted and his wife would not have died.
“In this way he became an atheist. “If a righteous person practices fidelity and sincerity, “his faith is fostered and he achieves his purpose. “The riches of this world have no value in the estimation of God Almighty. “He can do everything in a single moment.
“Have you not seen that He bestowed sovereignty on a people “who were entirely unknown “(what was the condition of the Arab Bedouins (before Islam)? Allah made them into kings) “and made great kingdoms obedient to them and made kings out of slaves.
“If a person is righteous and becomes wholly God’s, he would lead an excellent life, “but the condition is that he should be sincere and possess resolve. “His heart should never be shaken and there should be no showing off “and not an iota of idolatry within it.
“What was there in Abraham which made him the father of his people “and the father of those who are devoted to God, “and for God Almighty to bestow upon him countless magnificent blessings? “It was his righteousness and his sincerity.
“Abraham had offered a prayer that a Prophet should appear in Arabia from among his progeny. “Was it accepted at once? “For a long time after Abraham no one paid any attention to that prayer, “yet it was fulfilled in the advent “of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him)
“and how grand was its fulfilment.” Hence, as has been mentioned already, one should not only supplicate in times of difficulty, rather, one should continue to supplicate even in times when Allah Almighty has granted ease and comfort.
In relation to the acceptance of prayer, and the need for a link between the body and soul, and how that bond should be, the Promised Messiah (as) states: “There is no benefit in the physical prayer and fasting “which is not accompanied by sincerity and loyalty
“(even if one supplicates, it is of no use if the soul does not melt). “Jogis and Sanyasis (Hindu hermits) also carry out great exercises in their own ways “and it is often witnessed that some go to the extent that their arm becomes withered.”
They raise their hands and keep them raised for several days until they become withered. “They endure great rigorous tasks and put themselves through great trials and difficulties, “yet these difficulties grant them no (spiritual) light “nor do they attain any peace and tranquillity. “In fact, their internal state is only being ruined.
“They carry out physical exercises which has little connection to their inner state, “nor does it impact their spirituality.” They can put on an apparent spectacle, and undergo hardships, starve themselves for long periods, and endure many difficulties, yet they cannot display any aspects of spirituality.
“This is why Allah Almighty has stated in the Holy Qur’an: “(ARABIC) ‘Their flesh reaches not Allah, nor does their blood, ‘but it is your righteousness that reaches Him.’ “In reality, Allah Almighty does not desire the outer shell, rather, He desires the essence.
“Now the question arises that if the flesh and blood does not reach Him, “and only righteousness does, then what need is there for offering a sacrifice? “Similarly, if prayer and fasts are only for the soul, “then what need is there for the physical observation of these?” i.e. if one offers their prayers, supplicates,
Weeps and beseeches of God Almighty in their heart whilst sitting – as was the state of the prayer in previous religions – then what is the need for the different stages of Salat; standing, bowing and prostrating? The Promised Messiah (as) states: “The answer to this is that it is a confirmed matter
“that those people who do not use their physical faculties, “their soul refuses to comply with them. “They cannot develop the humility and devotion to God Almighty, which is the actual objective. “And those who simply use their physical faculties and do not involve their soul, “they also fall into a dangerous error.
“The Jogis are from this category; they exert themselves physically “but form no link with their soul. “Allah the Almighty has established a connection between the body and the soul, “and the body effects the soul. “For example, owing to some sort of distress, “if a person wishes to cry, they will eventually cry,
“but on the contrary if they pretend to laugh, they will eventually begin to laugh. “Similarly, the different stages the body undergoes in Salat; “for example standing or bowing, they too have an effect on the soul; “the more humility and humbleness is adopted by the body, “the more humility develops within the soul.
“However, God Almighty does not accept that one simply prostrates before Him. “(If one simply prostrates, but does not adopt humility and humbleness, “(and the soul does not have a connection with the action, “(then Allah does not accept such prostrations.) “However, the prostration has a profound link with the soul.
“It is for this reason the prostration forms the last part of the prayer. “When a person reaches the pinnacle stage of humility, “one naturally wishes to fall into prostration. “It is in man’s nature as he wishes to express his ultimate state of humbleness “by bowing and prostrating.”
The Promised Messiah (as) states: “We see this trait even within animals. “When a dog wishes to express its love for its master, “it comes and rests its head on the feet of the master “and expresses its love in a similar manner “to the way one expresses their love through prostration (in Salat).
“It is evident, therefore, that the body has a special connection with the soul. “In the same way, the soul also affects the body. “When the soul is distressed, its effects are apparent on the body; “tears and dejection become visible in that person; “(one begins to feel sorrow and grief.
“(If a person’s soul feels grief or they feel anguish in their heart, “(then the body also feels lethargic and their temperament is affected in a similar manner. “(Others can also witness and feel that the person is going through hardship.
“(The person does not wish to sit in any gathering and if they present in a gathering, “(everyone begins to question them as to what the matter is.) “If the body and soul do not have a connection, then why does this happen?
“Indeed, the circulation of blood around the body is the task of the heart, “and there is no doubt that the heart irrigates the body and functions like an engine. “(The heart pumps blood around the body and it functions like an engine) “Everything occurs through its contraction and relaxation,
“(everything occurs when the heart pumps). “Thus, the spiritual and physical systems both run in parallel; “(the heart contracts, then relaxes, then contracts and relaxes “(and it runs the entire system of the body as it pumps blood in this way. “(The Promised Messiah (as) explains
“(that the physical and spiritual systems also run in parallel.) “when the soul develops humility, the body also adopts it. “Therefore, when the soul truly develops humility and humbleness, “the body inevitably exhibits these traits. “Likewise, if the body adopts certain traits, it impacts the soul. “Therefore, when one stands before their Lord for prayers
“it is vital to exhibit humbleness and faithfulness. “Although at the time it may be one form of hypocrisy “(i.e. it is hypocritical that the heart does not incline towards humility “(but you forcefully express it) “however, it is vital for you to do this because over time,
“its affect will become permanent and one will develop it. “At this point, both the body and the soul will begin to work together.” The Promised Messiah (as) further states: “The soul then actually begins to develop humility and devotion “and when one develops this condition, one begins to experience delight in prayer.
“Then one does not turn to God Almighty for one’s own demands, “rather, one turns to God Almighty out of love for Him “and turns to prayer due to the relationship established with Him.” Expanding further on this, the Promised Messiah (as) states: “Some people assert that they do not derive pleasure in prayer,
“but they do not know that to derive pleasure is not in one’s own control “and that there are various aspects of pleasure itself. “At times one is in extreme amounts of pain, “however, they consider even that extreme pain to be enjoyable.” When the Promised Messiah (as) was mentioning this,
The Transvaal War of independence was taking place. He references this and gives the example of those fighting in that war saying: “Despite the fact that lives are being lost, “women are being widowed and children are being orphaned, “a sense of national pride and safeguarding the nation gives them that pleasure,
“which drives them to the brink of death. (they are sacrificing for their nation) “They willingly go to their death owing to their sense of patriotism and duty. “At the same time the people value their efforts “and sacrificing themselves as their goal is mutual.
“(i.e. both have the same goal, one group is sacrificing themselves “(and the other is encouraging them and value that sacrifice.) “Why is it that their efforts are valued? “It is due to their pain and agony that they are suffering and that is why they are valued.
“(The efforts and sacrifices of those fighting for freedom are valued “(because of the pain and suffering they endure for the sake of the cause) “Hence, true delight is experienced after one undergoes pain. “For this reason the Holy Qur’an has mentioned the principal: “(ARABIC)
“Prior to experiencing pleasure, if there is no pain that precedes it, “then that pleasure is not true pleasure. “Similarly, those people who say they do not experience any delight in their worship, “they first ought to ponder over how much pain and suffering “they have endured for the sake of worship?
“(if they do not experience pleasure, “(they ought to ponder have they gone to any hardships for the sake of worship) “The amount a person suffers for the sake of worship, “it is the same amount that is turned into delight for them.
“By pain and agony I do not mean those pains that one endures unnecessarily “or those unbearable burdens one claims to undergo. “Rather I mean that one strives to offer the prayers with all the prerequisites; “for one to abandon their sleep, to put aside their work and pray on time;
“for them to instil the fear of Allah within them.” There are some people who do not wish to put themselves in any sort of trouble (for the sake of prayer), instead they think that they can ask others to pray for them and in this way their problems will be resolved.
When they are questioned it is discovered that they do not even regularly offer the five daily prayers. Once, a son requested prayers from the Promised Messiah (as) for his father. The prayer was not for any material gain, rather it was for (steadfastness) in his faith.
The Promised Messiah (as) said: “Pray for him with full attention, “(you should pray for him yourself) “Just as the prayer of a father is accepted in favour of his son, “in the same way, the prayers of the son are also accepted in favour of the father.” The Promised Messiah (as) advised that individual:
“When you pray earnestly for him, it is then that my prayers will take effect.” i.e. when he prays fervently and earnestly, it is then that the prayers of the Promised Messiah (as) will take effect, otherwise they will not. Thus, those who request others for prayers should not solely rely on others,
Rather they ought to pray earnestly themselves as well. With regards to the ways on how one can derive pleasure in their worship, the Promised Messiah (as) says: “Remember, a person who is engrossed in things “that one loves to carry out, but are loathsome in the eyes of Allah,
“when one decides to abandon them for the sake of Allah the Almighty “and place themselves in pain as a result of it, “then the body that experiences this pain causes an effect on the soul.” What sort of pain did they endure?
Previously it was mentioned that one ought to place oneself in pain (for the sake of worship), what are those pains and difficulties that one must endure; it is the pain of abandoning those things or habits which Allah the Almighty has declared to be loathsome.
Even if one experiences pain in abandoning those habits one ought to. Thus, when one who endures this pain, then it impacts the soul, and the soul begins to make changes within itself, to the extent that with the utmost obedience, it falls at the divine threshold.
Therefore, when one leaves certain habits for the sake of Allah and experiences such anguish, the soul is affected by this and the soul will submit before Allah the Almighty in the prostration and bowing (positions) of prayer. This is the way in which one can derive pleasure in ones worship.
The Promised Messiah (as) states: “You would have seen many people “who think that experiencing delight in worship means to sing some hymns, “or to play the trumpet and this is what they deem to be the meaning of worship.
“(They close their eyes and go into a trance like state and think that this is worship, “(or they listen to hymns and think that their worship is complete) “Do not be fooled by this. These things may well be a source of satisfaction for one’s baser self,
“but the soul experiences no delight from it. “Through these practices, the soul cannot develop the precious qualities of humility and humbleness “and they lose the real essence of worship.” The Promised Messiah (as) further states: “A person can derive similar pleasures in the gathering of dancers,
“but would that be considered akin to the delight experienced in worship? “This is a delicate matter and other nations cannot grasp this concept “because they have failed to comprehend the actual reason and purpose of worship.” In relation to Prophet Abraham’s (as) loyalty
And his willingness to endure hardship for the sake of Allah the Almighty, and in turn, the treatment afforded to him by Allah the Almighty, the Promised Messiah (as) states, “The path to attaining God Almighty’s nearness is to demonstrate sincerity. “The close bond attained by Prophet Abraham (as) was by treading this very path.
“Thus, God states: (ARABIC). That is, Abraham (as) is he who was loyal. “To demonstrate sincerity and loyalty to God Almighty is to accept a death upon oneself. “Until and unless a person is prepared to forsake the world and all of its pleasures and glory
“and accept every difficulty, disgrace and hardship for the sake of God, “they cannot develop this quality. “Idolatry is not limited to worshipping an object such as a tree or stone, “rather, everything that impedes one from the love of Allah the Almighty “and takes precedence is considered an idol.
“A person creates many idols within themselves “and without even knowing becomes guilty of idol worship. “Until a person wholly commits themselves to God Almighty “and is prepared to endure every adversity for His sake, “they cannot foster loyalty and sincerity within themselves.
“The title afforded to Abraham (as) was not granted without any effort. Not at all. “The words: (ARABIC), were said to him when he was prepared to sacrifice his son. “Allah the Almighty requires us to make a practical effort, “and it is only our actions that can please Him.
“However, these practical deeds can only be attained by undertaking hardship. “When one is ready to endure hardship in the way of God, “then God Almighty does not allow one to suffer. “When Abraham (as) fully prepared himself “and intended to sacrifice his son in fulfilment of the commandment of Allah the Almighty,
“Allah the Almighty saved his son. “He was cast into fire, but the fire could not burn him. “If one prepares themselves to endure pain for the sake of Allah the Almighty, “then He safeguards them from any suffering.” The Promised Messiah (as) states, “We can physically feel our bodies but not our soul,
“but there is no doubt that the soul has a connection with the body. “The physical body has an impact on the soul. “Thus, one should never entertain the idea that the body does not have any impact on the soul.
“All the actions carried out by an individual are as a result of this combination “(i.e. through the combination of the body and the soul). “In its independent state, neither the body nor the soul can carry out any virtuous or ill deed.
“Thus, the concept of reward and punishment is in relation to both of these states. “Some people fail to realise this intricate matter “and allege that the paradise of the Muslims is a physical one. “However, what they fail to realise is that “when action was borne through the involvement of the body as well,
“then why should it be separated in its reward? “In short, Islam does not adopt a path which is extreme on either end, “rather it adopts one of moderation. “Both (extreme) views are dangerous and one ought to refrain from them. “Making the body endure hardship alone is of no avail
“and nor can one achieve anything from simply seeking comfort.” If one undertakes physical hardship alone, it cannot be of any benefit and nor can one achieve anything by seeking comfort alone. Rather, the body and the soul have to be in harmony. During the period whilst one is engaged in prayer, one experiences trials.
Whilst giving the example of Prophet Moses’ (as) people and how they underwent a period of trial which then further increased, the Promised Messiah (as) states, “There is a particular time period for everything “and the fortunate ones remain in wait for it. “Those who do not wait and seek an immediate answer
“are impatient and fail to achieve their goal. “In my view, it is also possible, and indeed happens, “that during the period whilst one is engaged in prayer, “as a form of trial, they are made to face even more trials.
“For example, when Prophet Moses (as) came to free the Israelites who were enslaved to Pharaoh. “Initially, they were tasked with making bricks for half the day “and they were free to do their own work for the remaining part of the day.
“(Half the day was for them and the other half was spent in working for the Pharaoh). “However, when Prophet Moses (as) tried to secure their freedom, “the perpetrators of evil increased the workload of the Israelites even more. “As a means of punishment they were instructed to prepare bricks for half the day
“and transport grass for the rest of the day. “In other words, their entire work would only be for Pharaoh “and they were given no time for their own work. “When Prophet Moses (as) received this instruction and conveyed this to the Israelites,
“they were extremely upset and wished for Prophet Moses (as) to be afflicted “with the same torment they were made to undergo and even went to the extent of cursing him. “However, Prophet Moses (as) told them to remain patient. “This entire account has been mentioned in the Torah
“and states that the more he would exhort them to demonstrate patience, the angrier they would get. “Eventually, they were advised to migrate from Egypt “and they also brought with them the clothes “and the utensils which they had got from the Egyptians.
“(They brought all the items with them which they had received from Egyptians). “When Prophet Moses (as) led the Israelites away, “Pharaoh, along with his army, went in pursue of them. “When the Israelites realised that the army of Pharaoh was close to them, “they became extremely anxious.
“It is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an that at that time they cried: “(ARABIC) “(O Moses) ‘We are surely overtaken.’ “However, Prophet Moses (as) could see the end result through the gaze of prophethood, “and so he replied: “(ARABIC) ‘Nay, speak not thus!’ said he, ‘My Lord is with me. He will direct me aright.’
“It is mentioned in the Torah that the Israelites stated, ‘were there not any graves in the land of Egypt for us?’ “The reason why they were so apprehensive “was because the army of Pharaoh was right behind them “and ahead them was the River Nile.”
Thus, they said that since they were going to die anyway, they might as well have died and have been buried in Egypt. They were in a very difficult situation because ahead them was the river and behind them was the army which was ready to kill them. Hence, they were extremely worried.
The Promised Messiah (as) states, “They could see that there was no chance of their survival; “neither by going ahead and nor by retreating. “However, Allah the Almighty is all powerful “and they were able to find a way through the River Nile “and all of the Israelites were able to cross the sea,
“whereas the Pharaoh and his men drowned. “This was an extraordinary miracle and in such a time Allah the Almighty created the means for it. “This is the case with a righteous person “in that they are granted a way out from every hardship and difficulty: “(ARABIC)
“Thus, it so happens that one experiences trial upon trial “during the period between one’s supplications and the acceptance of prayer. “At times, one is made to endure such trials that break one’s back, as it were, “but the fortunate ones who continue to persevere
“can smell the fragrance of their Lord’s favours even in that time “and through his insight and wisdom is able to witness the succour that is granted at the end. “One of the wisdoms behind these trials is that one becomes even more passionate in their prayers “because just as one’s anxiousness and apprehension grows,
“the more fervent one’s soul becomes and this is one of the means for the acceptance of prayer.” The fact that one becomes fervent in their prayers and supplicates with deep concentration is a proof in itself of the fact that Allah the Almighty desires to accept one’s prayers. Thus, one should never become anxious
And nor think ill of Allah out of impatience and desperation. One should never think that their prayer will not be answered or are never answered. The Promised Messiah (as) states, “such a thought causes one to reject the attribute of Allah “which is that He listens to one’s supplications.”
If one begins to entertain such thoughts about Allah the Almighty, then they begin to creep towards atheism. As I mentioned earlier that nowadays, the focus of the opponents of religion and God is to instil these doubts into one’s mind, such as that God Almighty has granted them nothing; religion has no benefit;
It makes one indolent and makes one adopt imaginary concepts. Thus, in such a time, it is the duty of every Ahmadi to establish a firm bond with Allah the Almighty. This relationship and one’s worship should not be temporary and only when one is in need.
In fact, even in times of comfort and ease, one should form a bond with Allah the Almighty and one should safeguard their prayers. One should have absolute conviction in their prayers. This indeed is the responsibility of an Ahmadi
And it is through this that one can do true justice to their oath of allegiance (Bai’at). The Promised Messiah (as) says, “It is imperative for our Jama’at to increase in their faith; “have true faith in God Almighty and develop cognisance of the divine.
“One should not become lazy and indolent in performing virtuous deeds, “otherwise if one becomes lazy then even performing ablution seems like a burdensome task, “let alone offering the Tahajjud prayer.” To wake up for the Tahajjud prayer requires great effort,
However in such a case one finds it difficult to even perform the ablution for the regular prayers. The Promised Messiah (as) states, “if one does not garner strength to carry out virtuous deeds “and does not instil passion within oneself to excel in good,
“then there is no benefit in establishing a bond with me.” Thus, we must show great concern in order to strive in strengthening our relationship with Allah the Almighty. Once we establish this true bond then we shall also witness the signs of the acceptance of prayers.
May Allah the Almighty grant us the ability to do this. Particularly pray for the Ahmadis in Pakistan these days. Efforts are being made to make life increasingly difficult for them. Similarly, pray for the Ahmadis in Algeria. The opponents have once again increased in their animosity and are trying to create difficulties.
May Allah the Almighty protect all the Ahmadis wherever they may be who are facing hardship and difficulties and protect them from every kind of worry. May Allah the Almighty completely destroy the enemy. All praise is due to Allah We laud Him, we beseech help from Him and ask His protection;
We confide in Him, we trust Him alone and we seek protection against the evils and mischief of our souls and from the bad results of our deeds. Whomsoever He guides on the right path, none can misguide him; and whosoever He declares misled, none can guide him onto the right path.
And we bear witness that none deserves to be worshipped except Allah. We bear witness that Muhammad (sa) is His servant and Messenger. O servants of Allah! May Allah be merciful to you. Verily, Allah commands you to act with justice, to confer benefits upon each other
And to do good to others as one does to one’s kindred and forbids evil which pertain to your own selves and evils which affect others and prohibits revolts against a lawful authority. He warns you against being unmindful. You remember Allah; He too will remember you;
Call Him and He will make a response to your call. And verily divine remembrance is the highest virtue.