London, 22 August
Eid-ul-Adha was celebrated with great religious passion and dignity as Hajj came to its close.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat globally celebrated this great spiritual festival in their respective parts of the world but what has made the Ahmadiyya Muslim Eid a unique one is the sermon that Huzoor delivers and is telecast worldwide. It is this sermon that fills the heart of every Ahmadi with the warmth and happiness that Eid is meant to symbolise.
At 9:30 GMT, Ahmadis living worldwide tuned in to MTA International to listen to the Eid Sermon of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa that was to be telecast live from London. Huzooraa arrived in Baitul Futuh Mosque at around 10:30 local time and led the congregation in the Eid Prayers that was followed by his Eid Sermon.
Huzooraa recited the verse of the Holy Quran where the true concept of sacrifice has been given to mankind, moving on to explaining the meanings of the verse.
Huzoor stated that today is Eid-ul-Adha, also known as the Eid of sacrifice, when a great number of animals are sacrificed as a symbolic expression to giving up something of lesser importance for the greater. It is a reminder that one should sacrifice oneself for a greater good. This greater good that a Muslim should always be ready to sacrifice oneself for is the Almighty God, by way of sacrificing their time, wealth, honour and life. It is a reminder of this sacrifice that the Eid-ul-Adha stands for. Allah the Almighty has clearly stated in the Holy Quran that the meat attained from animals from the symbolic sacrifice does not reach God nor is it of any use to Him, rather it is the spirit of sacrifice. Understanding the true spirit of sacrifice is even more important in this day and age where some nations are usurping the rights of others; where the blood of human beings is being wasted for minor worldly goals.
We, Ahmadi Muslims, are fortunate that we have been able to dissociate ourselves from all acts of violence. The reason why some sections of the Muslim world are seen as being instrumental in these acts of violence is because they have not accepted the Imam of the age.
The way the Promised Messiahas has guided us to the true path should never be forgotten. Huzooraa quoted the Promised Messiahas where he stated that it is a far great virtue to sacrifice your hearts than merely slaughtering animals, meaning that sacrifice of worldly desires is a virtue of greater value. Aligning one’s desires with the desire and commandment of Allah is what it truly means to sacrifice one’s heart. Huzooraa said that pondering over these sayings of the Promised Messiahas sends a wave of shrill to our hearts as we realise what a high standard of piety is expected of us by the Imam of the age.
Huzooraa stated that any sacrifices that we offer today should work as a reminder of this true sacrifice that the Promised Messiahas has asked us to offer. Huzooraa quoted a number of passages from the blessed writings of the Promised Messiahas where the true concept of sacrifice has been explained.
In one such passage, the Promised Messiahas has stated that Islam actually means readiness to lay every worldly desire on the altar of piety, ready to sacrifice it in the way of our Creator. Huzooraa said that this was only possible if one strives to attain the pleasure of God through fulfilling the rights of the Creator and of His creation.
The Promised Messiahas has given examples of those who spend their lives in putting their bodies through various hardships, taking it to be a form of worship. But if all this hardship has nothing to do with the soul, then this cannot be classed as worship or even just an act of good. Allah the Almighty has attached the body and soul together to work in combination and attain the spirit of worship. The Islamic worship of Salat is an example of how the body and soul go hand in hand to make it a mode of worship; every act in Salat symbolises the humility of the soul, and the soul in return complements the body to feel the true humility before God.
Huzooraa quoted the Promised Messiahas where the Promised Messiahas cited examples from the blessed example of the Holy Prophetsa of Islam in how he sacrificed every worldly desire in the way of Allah; how he spent all his life in utter humility; how every act of the Holy Prophetsa was an embodiment of taqwa.
The Promised Messiahas, on one occasion, wrote that he would never want any member of his Jamaat to look down upon any of their fellows with pride.
Huzooraa, concluding his sermon, prayed that Allah enable every Ahmadi to follow the teachings of Islam that lead to the true sacrifice that Allah the Almighty expects from us.
Huzooraa recited the Khutba-e-Sania and, before leading the congregation in silent prayer, reminded the Ahmadis to remember the following in their prayer: the Asiran-e-rah-e-Maula (those imprisoned in the way of Allah); Ahmadis living in countries like Pakistan and Algeria where they, in the name of the law, are severely persecuted; waqifeen-e-zindagi (devotees of life), mubalighin and mu‘allimin (missionaries); all Ahmadis to be able to remain steadfast on their faith and those who offer financial sacrifices in the way of Allah.
Huzooraa led the congregation in silent prayer after which he wished everyone “Eid Mubarak”.