Friday Sermon of Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra
Delivered on the 28th of February 1919
Following the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah, Huzoorra stated:
As of this time, under Divine wisdom, we had to postpone the Jalsa for another subsequent date, which normally takes place in the month of December. Now, following reflection and consultation, it has been deemed appropriate for the Jalsa to take place in the month of March because farmers are freer from work in March in comparison to April. Due to the fact that people come to this annual gathering from all places, and by the grace of God they come in such numbers that those who are here face difficulty in management, I draw the attention of all my people [to what I am about to say].
For [the smooth] management, merely those people are not enough who have been entrusted to carry out this work throughout the year. Only the students of religious seminaries cannot suffice. Although a major part of the workload falls on both colleges, they fall on the teachers in the days of the Jalsa. That is to say, the students and teachers of both institutions shoulder the responsibility. However, there are other people apart from these who are entrusted with responsibilities.
In my opinion, besides a few shopkeepers who have to carry out their businesses to some extent in this time period and who are excused, it is imperative that all other people help the organisers as far as possible so that those who come from outside do not face any sort of difficulty. At some point, everybody has to be a guest and they can come to realise how much hardship there is on a journey. Journeys have a significant effect on health because one must endure hardships to acquire those things needed for maintaining health.
On journeys, food is not within your reach so that you may eat whatever is appropriate for health, yet when alone, such food can be arranged. For instance, when a person visits another’s household, he provides various kinds of food for their sake. However, numerous categories of foods cannot be found in these gatherings. Only a single category of food exists. On one occasion, it is lentil soup and on the other, broth.
Thus, on such occasions, the appropriate objects cannot be acquired. Neither can one fully acquire such abodes that are relaxing and comfortable, nor are there complete arrangements for charpoy’s. One is compelled to lie down on the floor. Further, the beds taken along in a journey also do not suffice. Thus, due to these factors, a category of weakness emerges within man and he becomes fretful.
It is correct that humans can be of a forbearing nature in proportion to the strength they have. However, they will be fretful in proportion to whatever extent they are weak. Thus, a journey is very difficult for those whose health are fragile. Hence, guests also feel hardships in all these conditions, and the hosts also face difficulties in large gatherings.
Our school children are fond of serving the guests in these days and they do so with joy. However, as they lack experience, they sometimes cannot fully comprehend the requirements of the guests. For this reason, there is a need for such people who are experienced enough to be appointed as supervisors over the children. Therefore, whoever can accomplish this task should assist, for the comfort of guests, as much as they can. However, this should happen from this moment onwards so that the Afsars can assign suitable duties for such people. If [they are not informed] at the correct time, they will not be able to propose responsibilities for them because proposing a suitable task for somebody also demands great reflection. Thus, you should present your services quickly so that you may be entrusted with responsibilities of which you are capable.
The Holy Prophetsa states that honouring a guest is a part of faith. Thus, people should increase their faith by providing objects of ease and comfort to their guests as far as possible. May God Almighty grant you the ability to do so.