Al Fazl, 28 November 1957
Below are some excerpts from a Friday Sermon of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II[ra], which he delivered 20 years ago from today [November 1957]:
“The Promised Messiahas initiated a gathering under the command of Allah the Almighty, through His inspiration and revelation. This [annual] gathering takes place on 26, 27 and 28 December. Regarding this gathering, the Promised Messiahas had expressed his wish that all friends of the Jamaat who were able to reach here [Qadian] in the said days should gather on this occasion and join in participating in zikr [remembrance] of Allah the Almighty, which is done here in these days.
“Thus, those who can come should remember that they have this special responsibility on behalf of the whole Jamaat, which is their primary duty to fulfil.
“Moreover, as the entire Jamaat cannot participate on this occasion, in order to keep alive the spirit of Ahmadiyyat in the men, women and children of all regions, those who can attend should come to Jalsa Salana even if they have to let go of scores of other works,so that their presence can make up for the loss of those who cannot come [as they will convey the pearls of wisdom to those who could not participate].
“There are many people in the world who become slothful when progress starts and think that now there are enough [members of] the Jamaat.
“I would like to tell such people that if anyone, for whom it is possible to reach Qadian on the occasion of Jalsa Salana, shows negligence in coming here, it will have an inevitable effect on their neighbours and children. I have observed that friends who come to Qadian for Jalsa Salana once a year and bring their families with them, Ahmadiyyat persists in their progenies, and even though these children are not yet familiar with the teaching of Ahmadiyyat, they keep insisting to their parents, ‘Please take us [to participate] in the Jalsa.’ In this way, Ahmadiyyat begins to take root in their hearts at an early age and when they grow up, they are able to present a wonderful example of Ahmadiyyat.
“Then, Jalsa Salana also has a great impact on a child’s mind. A child is always affected by out-of-the-ordinary things and people. Hence, when children come to Jalsa Salana, they not only witness a religious demonstration, but their desire for things and environments is satisfied – this gathering becomes an intriguing and memorable sight for them.
“Thus, those fathers who come to Jalsa also inspire their children to come here. On the other hand, sometimes their child’s insistence motivates them to bring the children to Jalsa. Thereafter, the second step happens which I have just mentioned [that Ahmadiyyat takes root in the hearts of children].
“Hence, keeping back from coming to Qadian in these days due to any excuse or reason that can be removed or which can be resolved, is not only disobedience to a command but also cruelty to one’s children.
“Thus, our Jamaat should have the said goal before them and not only should they themselves come to Jalsa Salana, but they should also bring their neighbours and dear ones with them.
“However, at the same time, they should keep in mind that carelessness in these days makes one’s heart even harder. Allah the Almighty wants His holy places to be respected and every person who does not respect these places deserves to be reprimanded. Just as it is a blessing to attend Jalsa Salana in Qadian, so too is it coming here. To waste one’s time instead of spending it by listening to wise words, rusts one’s heart.
“Thus, friends should commit to themselves before they come to Jalsa that, ‘We are not just going to perform a ritual; rather, we will remember God there. We will remember Him when we sit in the gathering and we will also remember Him when we are separated.’
“Congregational zikr is always carried out in a gathering. When a person listens to words, they pay heed to the advice and their heart is inclined towards the remembrance of Allah the Almighty. However, individual zikr is carried out on an individual basis.
“There are certain people in the world who can keep their concentration on zikr when they themselves perform it and then there are those who, when they listen to zikr from others, engage in it and if they do not listen to it [on a regular basis], they eventually abandon it. Therefore, both congregational and individual zikr are necessary for the reformation of mankind and Allah the Almighty has combined both of them in Salat.
“Hence, both types of prayers should be performed in Jalsa Salana as well. That is, as long as friends are in the Jalsa Gah, they should listen to the lectures, get acquainted with the teaching of Ahmadiyyat and gain knowledge of the Holy Quran and the sayings of the Holy Prophetsa, and when the Jalsa is over, they should offer Salat, seek prayers and meet those [righteous] people whose meeting will result in the strengthening of their faith. However, neither should they waste their time, nor let it go to waste in sport and pastime.”
(Translated by Al Hakam from the original in the 28 November 1957 issue of Al Fazl)