7 September 2018
(Please note that the English translation of the 31 August 2018 Friday Sermon will, Insha-Allah, be included in the near future.)
Delivered from Karlsruhe at Jalsa Salana Germany 2018
Jalsa Salana Germany 2018
After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz, and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:
Alhamdolillah – all praise is due to Allah – today the Germany Jalsa [annual convention] is beginning and God Almighty has enabled us to take part in another Jalsa.
What is Jalsa Salana? We have been hearing for many years, in fact, we have been hearing about it right from its inception, which was more than a hundred and twenty-five years ago, that the essence of the Jalsa as explained by the Promised Messiahas is that this is no worldly fair, nor is this a gathering for worldly purposes, nor to show the numbers of the community, nor to exert any worldly influence upon others. (Shahadatul-Quran, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 6, p. 395)
Rather, those gathering here should gather purely for the sake of God Almighty, and to not only quench their intellectual and spiritual thirst and to excel in knowledge and spirituality, but also to gain knowledge of the rights of God Almighty’s creation and seek to fulfil those rights.
However, with great regret I have to say that although some people do come to attend the Jalsa, they attain nothing except socialising with their friends and engaging in leisurely conversations. Such people then create problems. Some of them also become a means for the youth and young children to stumble and deviate from the right path. Some carry out extremely unpleasant acts and think that no one can see them. We should always remember that God Almighty is always watching us.
Thus, the first thing that I would like to say today is that each and every single person should firmly understand that this Jalsa is a spiritual gathering. It is held purely for us to progress in righteousness and to establish a connection with God Almighty and to excel in it. In front of some of the external guests, such faults and flaws are kept hidden from them as one behaves more cautiously in their presence and God Almighty also covers such faults and flaws so that the reputation of the Jamaat is not ruined by the misconduct of a few, and as a result, such behaviour goes unheard of. But, as I have said that the first thing that I want speak on is regarding the purpose of the Jalsa.
The purpose as explained by the Promised Messiahas is so that righteousness is developed. In relation to the purpose of the Jalsa, the Promised Messiahas, addressing the attendees, stated that they should develop the fear of God Almighty and they should become an example for others in righteousness, piety, virtue, goodness, soft-heartedness, mutual love and brotherhood. Humility, humbleness and honesty should establish within them. (Shahadatul-Quran, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 6, p. 394)
Furthermore, advising his community, the Promised Messiahas states, “Adopt righteousness, as this is the root for everything. The meaning of righteousness is to safeguard oneself from even the smallest and most minor sins.” The Promised Messiahas further states, “Righteousness is that even if there is a slight doubt of something being regarded as a sin, one should abstain from it.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 2, p. 321, UK, 1985)
If everyone assesses themselves, they will be able to determine whether or not they are making an effort to abstain from that which even remotely could be deemed as a sin. If, upon reflection and after assessing one’s own condition, one believes that they are acting accordingly, then they can say that they have attained the true purpose of Jalsa, or at least are making an effort to attain it. Otherwise, merely listening to speeches, displaying temporary passion and raising slogans holds no meaning.
Some people raise slogans, however their facial expressions and the manner in which they smile illustrates that they have no real passion at heart and are merely raising slogans for the sake of it. Before such expressions and actions were hidden, but now the lens of the camera reveals their true state without their knowledge and then this is saved forever. First these programmes were only aired on MTA but now they are also on social media and their faces are visible, as are their facial expressions.
Then, setting another criterion for one’s inner state and righteousness, the Promised Messiahas states, “The effects of righteousness become visible for the righteous person in this world. It is an immediate effect. Just as poison and antidote have an immediate effect on the body.” When a person consumes a poison or takes medicine, the effects start to appear and sometimes they are immediate. The Promised Messiahas states, “Thus,in the same manner, this is the effect of righteousness.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 2, p. 324, UK, 1985)
This is the criterion that the Promised Messiahas has laid out. Therefore, it is not possible that the effects of righteousness are not exhibited from a person who treads on the path of righteousness. A person who treads on the path of righteousness can never even come close to committing an evil and their thoughts begin to purify. Therefore, everyone should asses themselves in relation this.
On one occasion, the Promised Messiahas states, “The reason why I repeatedly mention these matters is because the purpose for which God Almighty has established this community is that the true cognition of the Divine which has disappeared from the world and true righteousness and purity which is also not found in this day and age be established once again.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 7, pp. 277-278, UK, 1985)
True knowledge of the Divine has become diminished in this world and worldly objects have taken over. Focus towards God Almighty has decreased. Although the slogan or the pledge is to give precedence to faith over all worldly things, however, there are many occasions where worldly pursuits are given precedence and religion is left behind.
What is the purpose of the Jamaat? It is to re-establish the righteousness and purity that is nowhere to be found in this world. Thus, the one who, according to the will of God Almighty, endeavours to re-establish righteousness and purity will be successful, and in the sight of the Promised Messiahas is a true Ahmadi and will be considered as one who fulfils the true purpose of Jalsa.
The other two matters that I want to draw your attention to can only be acted upon if the hearts are filled with the fear of God Almighty as well as righteousness, and there is a desire to fulfil the purpose of Jalsa according to the purpose outlined by the Promised Messiahas whereby he stated the qualities that should be adopted by the attendees. That is to say that after attaining the true cognition of God Almighty, one should adopt compassion, kindness and affection in their hearts for others. Mutual love, brotherhood, humility, humbleness and the highest standards of truthfulness should be established.
There are two types of attendees or groups of people at Jalsa. In fact, one of them shouldn’t be called attendees as such, rather they are part of the administration of the Jalsa and the other group is made up of the attendees. In any case, these are the two groups of people and both of them need to develop these qualities. They cannot be exempted from them. Those who are performing duties and those who are attending, both have to asses themselves according to these standards, both the hosts and the guests. If both adopt righteousness, then these qualities can be developed.
Thus, with regard to this, I would like to draw the attention of both towards their responsibilities and obligations. If both of these groups are able to develop these distinctions, the atmosphere of Jalsa will become pleasant and the purpose of attending Jalsa will also be fulfilled. The people on duty may believe that since they have offered themselves for duties and are volunteers, therefore they have accomplished a great purpose or they have pleased God Almighty. Indeed, they have most certainly pleased God Almighty if they have also acted upon these matters. The participants will also not be able to say that since they have travelled here from great distances, they have pleased God Almighty. Indeed, they will also please Him if they develop a true understanding of God Almighty and focus their attention towards fulfilling the rights of mankind.
Firstly, I would like to draw the attention of workers and hosts towards the fact that they should particularly strive in order to develop these distinctions. They should control their feelings, take care of the guests under all circumstances and be soft-spoken as mentioned by the Promised Messiahas. It is the primary responsibilities of office bearers and workers to be soft in their tone. With regards to being modest, it is the foremost responsibility of office bearers and workers to be modest. The guests should be taken care of under all circumstances and office bearers as well as workers should speak kindly and gently.
Then, there are the mutual relationships between workers. Even these should be based on love, sincerity and brotherhood. This also applies to the manner in which they deal with the guests, with one another and also between office bearers and their subordinates. If they become angry at another person’s comments while they are working, it will have a negative impact on guests, in particular non-Ahmadi guests, who are told that during the Jalsa of Ahmadis, everyone lives together with love and affection and that there is no expression of any form of anger. If they [non-Ahmadi guests] see such things, or any kind of disorder or even two people raising their voices, it will leave a wrong impression. Workers should always remember that as soon as they present themselves to serve for these few days, a service which is of the highest form i.e. serving the guests of the Promised Messiahas, they should transform their attitudes in a manner which will neither cause any hardship to the guests, nor to their fellow colleagues on duty. This quality of controlling one’s emotions is an aspect of the training that Jalsa provides for supervisors as well as their subordinates.
There is the department of parking, the department of traffic control as well as the departments of cooking and cleaning; every department should demonstrate excellent morals during these days. God Almighty states in the Holy Quran:
قُوْلُوْا لِلنَّاسِ حُسْنًا
That is, “speak to men kindly” (Surah al-Baqarah: V.84). God Almighty has mentioned this aspect in order to establish and uphold the high standards of morals. This is a general guidance, and so, a believer should demonstrate excellent morals at all times. However, in these particular circumstances, as you have offered yourselves for the service of the guests of Jalsa – the guests of the Promised Messiahas – who have come in order to improve their intellectual, practical and spiritual conditions [you should demonstrate excellent morals]. The workers and those on duty will be able to train them practically through their own practical example. Thus, in accordance with this, you – the workers – will receive a two-fold reward. Firstly, for offering yourselves to serve at Jalsa, and secondly, by training others through demonstrating good morals; by making others realise that every participant of Jalsa should demonstrate excellent morals.
If someone speaks in a harsh tone or says something wrong but notices that the volunteer on duty is responding politely and showing excellent morals, then this practical conduct will make such a person instantly realise their mistake and this will become a source of reformation for them. The Holy Prophetsa stated, “There is nothing heavier on a scale than excellent morals.” (Sunan Abi Daud, Kitab-ul-Adab, Bab Fi Husn-e-Khalq, Hadith no. 4799)
This means that if you were to weigh excellent morals on a scale, then this is something that would turn out to be the heaviest because it is excellent morals that can ultimately bring an end to all the disorder in the world. Excellent morals also lead people towards fulfilling the rights we owe to God Almighty. In fact, the Promised Messiahas has written that in certain situations, the rights due to mankind become more crucial than rights due to God Almighty. (Malfuzat, Vol. 10, p. 290, UK, 1985)
The Holy Prophetsa stated that one is able to display a control over their emotions, observe patience owing to their excellent morals. They will have the courage to respond politely at someone’s wrongdoing. Man commits many sins and good morals become a source of forgiveness for other sins.
Therefore, the first aspect that every volunteer should keep in mind is to practice excellent morals. Consider how cheap of a bargain this is; how God Almighty particularly blesses those who remain quiet only for His sake and smile continuously. If someone says that they also become angry in retaliation because of the stress of their duty or because of someone’s inappropriate conduct then we should always consider the example of our master and guide, the Holy Prophetsa about whom God Almighty said that he is the perfect model for us. Is there any suffering that was not inflicted upon him? Is there any trouble that he did not experience or it was not brought upon him by others? The worries and sufferings endured by the Holy Prophetsa were much worse than the most difficult circumstances and sufferings a human can imagine. However, despite all of this, the Companionsra stated that they had never seen anyone smile more than the Holy Prophetsa (Sunan Al-Tirmadhi, Abwab-ul-Manaqib, Hadith no. 3641). There was always a smile on his face. This is the model of our master and guide, the Holy Prophetsa.
The Holy Prophetsa also stated, rather admonished us, by saying, “A person who lacks compassion has been deprived of good.” (Sunan Al-Tirmadhi, Abwab-ul-Bir Wa Sila, Hadith no. 2013)
If one does not display kindness, then they will also be deprived of attaining any virtue. This is applicable for the volunteers and everyone else. There are many people who get involved in arguments with each other. They should also keep this in mind because as a result they are deprived of any goodness. God Almighty is granting this opportunity to you after a whole year, therefore everyone, particularly the volunteers, should display higher standards of excellent morals, and compassion than before and they should also smile more. Every volunteer should bear in mind the guidance provided by the Promised Messiahas in regard to treating the guest in an excellent manner. The Promised Messiahas states, “The heart of a guest is akin to a mirror that breaks upon the slightest push.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 5, p. 406, UK, 1985)
Whilst advising generally in regard to serving the guests, the Promised Messiahas stated, “Pay attention! There are a lot of guests here; some of them you know personally and others you do not. So, it is best that you consider everyone as honourable and treat them accordingly.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 6, p. 226, UK, 1985)
Hence, there should not be any kind of differentiation in the hospitality of guests. It should not happen that the known guests are treated better than those whom the hosts are not familiar with or they are welcomed in an indifferent manner. This year, many guests from Africa and various other countries are in attendance. In the past, only people from East Europe and other areas of Europe would visit. Every single person who comes here should return with delightful memories of Jalsa Salana Germany and the hospitality shown to them. However, this is dependent upon the people working here. Therefore, understand your responsibilities in this regard.
Every volunteer and every Ahmadi who attends the Jalsa should become a source of spreading the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat by displaying a practical model of the beautiful teachings of Islam for those guests attending the Jalsa who are not Muslims. Therefore, all of you are partaking in a silent form tabligh [spreading the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat]. This includes every Jamaat member in attendance and everyone on duty.
All the volunteers of each department should keep in mind that their responsibility is absolutely vital. As I mentioned for example that there are departments such as traffic control, parking, registration, scanning, cooking, dining, cleanliness and maintaining discipline etc.; not only is every department serving the guests, rather, it is also silently propagating the message of Islam. Hence, understand the significance of your duties. Regarding discipline, note that it is not necessary to have a stern face in order to be effective, particularly amongst the ladies. Girls uphold discipline at Jalsa UK with smiles on their faces. Someone informed me: “A young girl, who recently became part of Lajna Imaillah [auxiliary organisation] would embarrass us every time we tried speaking to each other by showing the ‘Observe Silent’ card with a smile on her face. She would not utter a single word.” If people are reasonable, then certainly they will observe silence when they are reminded to do so. If they are ignorant and ill-mannered and do not observe silence or some of them are so uncivil that they silence those on duty by saying: “We know when to observe silence”, in such circumstances the young girls on duty should not say anything to these women. They should simply inform their superiors about this who will speak to them directly. It is not the responsibility of girls to confront older women anywhere. Similarly, be particularly mindful if someone comes to the dining area after the prescribed dining hours due to constraints such as sickness or a child crying and in need of food. Such people should be accommodated as much as possible. If there are constraints, then they should be informed with utmost civility and politeness. If someone uses harsh words, then remain quiet. Also, be mindful of the cleanliness in the washrooms for both men and women. Yesterday while addressing the volunteers, I directed their attention towards this. It is vital to attain humility and meekness in the heart and love for others in order to perform one’s duty in the best manner and in accordance with the standards established by the Promised Messiahas. If this is practiced, then your duties will be carried out for the sake of God Almighty.
Similarly, the guests in attendance should also bear in mind that, as I have mentioned in the beginning as well, your focus should be towards the objective of your visit which should be to establish a bond with God Almighty; to attain high standards in this regard and to fulfill the rights due to His servants. The guest who come here should always remember that they are attending the Jalsa, as I have mentioned already, to develop righteousness in the hearts and improve their academic, practical and spiritual condition. If this objective is kept in mind then there will be no room for any kind of enmity or complaint about others, particularly with workers and volunteers. A majority of those on duty are youngsters who are studying in schools, colleges and universities. Some of them work in good professions. They are only on duty because the guests of the Promised Messiahas are here. Those who are here as guests should elevate themselves to the level which grants them the honour of being called the Promised Messiahas’s guests. You do not become the guests [of the Promised Messiahas] merely by attending the Jalsa. If you are not following the teachings of the Promised Messiahas; if you are not acting upon his instructions, you are not fulfilling the objective of the Jalsa. You can claim a thousand times, “I attend the Jalsa as a guest of the Promised Messiahas,” but you are not his guest because your conduct shows that you are not acting accordingly. So the participants of the Jalsa should not consider themselves absolved from these things. You will also have to reform your conduct and cooperate with those on duty. There is no doubt that they have been appointed to serve you but good morals should be displayed by you as well. These youngsters come here with a passion to serve, so guests should also treat them in a polite manner so that their passion to serve and perform duties remains strong and further increases. It should not be that these youngsters run away from their duties for next year’s Jalsa because of the way they were treated by the guests.
Then those guests that are residents of Germany should bear in mind that on the one hand they are guests, but on the other hands they are also hosts. Therefore, they should be ready to offer any sacrifice for those guests that have travelled from outside of Germany, because all those who have travelled to Jalsa from outside of Germany are now guests, and those residing in Germany have now become the hosts. Thus, you ought to be prepared to offer sacrifices for them; whether you have to offer your seats, or if there is a shortage of space when eating food, you ought to sacrifice your places; if they are in need of any assistance, it is incumbent upon you to help them. On occasions due to a lack of understanding the language, guests require assistance. Wherever they are in need of any help, you ought to provide assistance. This responsibility does not rest with the duty workers alone, rather, this is the duty of every Ahmadi to provide assistance. This in turn is the way to express love and brotherhood as outlined by the Promised Messiahas.
Similarly, there are non-Ahmadi guests that attend the Jalsa; every Ahmadi should provide a good example for them. Only through seeing your examples will the outside world see a beautiful Islamic society; in which every Ahmadi displays examples of love, compassion and brotherhood. Therefore, both men and women should be mindful of this. If there is a shortage of food, one should show patience and steadfastness. The real sustenance for which you all have gathered here is spiritual and intellectual nourishment, therefore, strive to attain this as this is vital.
Likewise, only go to the bazaar at the appropriate times. I believe that the tarbiyat department usually only opens the bazaar when the Jalsa proceedings have concluded. However, sometimes people assert pressure by saying that they are hungry and therefore should be permitted to enter [the bazaar]. I have stated many times before that the mehman nawazi [hospitality] department should make arrangements for such people. Then, with regards to the bazaar in the ladies’ side or in the men’s, the sanctity and decorum of the Jalsa atmosphere should always be upheld. It should not be the case that one only upholds the sanctity of the Jalsa when one is seated in the Jalsa Gah [event hall]. In the entire premises and surrounding areas where there are campsites, marques erected or other halls, they are all part of the Jalsa and people should be mindful of the purity of the Jalsa even in these areas. As mentioned earlier,
قُوْلُوْا لِلنَّاسِ حُسْنًا
this commandment, which is found in the Holy Quran, does not only apply to workers, rather it applies to every Muslim and in particular every Ahmadi should be mindful of this.
I addressed the workers yesterday and also remind them today to display the highest morals and not to display any sort of discourteousness, but that does not mean that you should test their patience or create situations that disrupt the decorum. If a worker from a respective department asks you to do something, you should display the best morals and obey them and cooperate with them. Thus, for every individual participating in the Jalsa, they should display the highest moral etiquettes in line with the teachings of the Holy Quran. During the times of the Jalsa programme, you should remain seated and listen to the proceedings. You should leave only if it is essential. In every speech there is something that can improve the life of an Ahmadi. Similarly, whilst one is walking around during the Jalsa days, one should remain occupied in the remembrance of God, durud [invoking salutations on the Holy Prophetsa] and istighfar [seeking forgiveness from God]. This remembrance of God and reciting durud will prove beneficial for every person as well as proving beneficial for the entire Jamaat. You should also pray for the situation of the Muslim Ummah to improve, especially given the present circumstances.
Presently in the world, the most durud is invoked upon Holy Prophetsa. Only in prayer alone, perhaps millions of Muslims send salutations upon the Holy Prophetsa. However, in the world today, the religious, spiritual and secular condition of the Muslims is most dire. This is because the durud is recited ceremoniously and their prayers are such that lead to destruction. Just as God Almighty has stated, their prayers are such which are thrown back in their faces.
Therefore, in such a situation, a great responsibility is placed upon us Ahmadis to invoke salutations upon the Holy Prophetsa and pray for the progress of Islam, not only by showing sincerity and loyalty, but also through reforming one’s condition and inculcating the fear of God in their hearts. Having migrated to these countries, one should not solely focus on fulfilling ones worldly aspirations, rather, one should strive to reform one’s own condition. Aside from durud, one should preoccupy themselves in the remembrance of God.
Pray that may God Almighty enable us to achieve the objectives of the Jalsa Salana and reap its blessings.
This journey that we have undertaken for a noble purpose, may we continue to receive its blessings and may taqwa develop within our progenies. May we, our children and future progenies, be safeguarded from everything which God Almighty is displeased with. May our wealth be blessed and may we and our progenies never employ such means of acquiring wealth which according to God Almighty is wrong and disliked, or it comes under the category of haram [unlawful]. Pray for your wives, children and husbands that may God Almighty keep them established on faith. May God Almighty save us from every trial which endangers our faith. May we always remain on the right path. We should pray for this during our zikr-e-ilahi [rememberance of Allah] and even generally in our prayers.
During these days, and even after this [Jalsa], we should be regular in the observance of the five daily prayers – particularly those who are staying here, they should attend the Fajr prayer, in fact the Tahajjud prayer is also organised here and so they should also wake up to offer it. Similarly, if those on duties cannot offer their prayers in congregation, they should offer it in congregation immediately after their duty is over, or they should offer their prayer in congregation before the duty starts in their respective duty areas. May God Almighty enable everyone to lead their lives in accordance to the pleasure of God and enable them to understand the true spirit of being a part of the Promised Messiah’s Jamaat and fulfil its due rights.
What is this spirit? I shall describe this in the words of the Promised Messiahas. The Promised Messiahas states,
“Until our Jamaat does not adopt taqwa [righteousness], it cannot attain salvation and nor will God Almighty afford them His protection.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 5, p. 458, UK, 1985)
The Promised Messiahas further states,
“Fill your houses with the remembrance of God Almighty and pay alms and charity and save yourselves from sin, so that God Almighty may grant you His mercy.”
May we lead our lives in accordance to what the Promised Messiahas has desired, and may we reap the blessings of the Jalsa Salana. May we partake of the prayers which the Promised Messiahas has made for the attendees of the Jalsa Salana; may we partake of them in this Jalsa and may we continue to partake of them in the future also. May God Almighty continue to enable us to perform virtuous deeds.
I did not mention something in relation to the administration and shall mention it now, and that is that everyone should be vigilant of their surroundings – those attending the Jalsa and also those on duty. Fully cooperate with those on security duties, and if you notice anything suspicious, immediately report it to them. May God Almighty keep everyone in peace and security and may no such incident occur which could cause anyone any kind of loss.
(Translated by The Review of Religions)