Friday Sermon – Germany Jalsa 2023: Best ways to celebrate the centenary (1 September 2023)


Friday Sermon

1 September 2023

Germany Jalsa 2023: Best ways to celebrate the centenary

After reciting the tashahudta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:

Today, after four years of [Covid-19] restrictions, the Jalsa Salana [annual convention] of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Germany is taking place on a large scale. May Allah the Almighty enable all the attendees to fulfil the objectives of the Jalsa. They should not rejoice at the mere fact that He has granted them an opportunity to gather once again and to socialise with one another and that is all. In fact, the Jalsa has a very lofty purpose, which the Promised Messiahas has informed us of and has expressed it in a very heartfelt manner. It is that those who pledge initiation to him should acquire religious knowledge; progress in spirituality; increase their relationship with Allah the Almighty; increase their love for Him; completely follow the Holy Prophetsa and develop a relationship of love with the Holy Prophetsa. Their love for the world should fade, and they should give precedence to their faith. The Promised Messiahas states on one occasion:

“It should be clear to all those sincere individuals, who pledge allegiance to this humble servant, that the objective of the initiation [bai‘at] is that the love for the world decreases and that the love for your Benevolent Master and the Holy Prophetsa prevails.” (Asmani Faisla [The Heavenly Decree], Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 4, p. 351)

Hence, those who pledge initiation to the Promised Messiahas should first and foremost try to be counted among those devotees, who are overcome by the love of Allah the Almighty and His Messengersa. Furthermore, each word and deed of ours should manifest this as well. This year, 100 years have passed since the Ahmadiyya Community was established in Germany. The members of the Community in Germany are thrilled about this and rejoicing at the fact that they are holding a Jalsa on the occasion of the centenary of the Community being established in Germany. Many have expressed their happiness. This is most certainly a joyous occasion that, 100 years ago, Allah the Almighty conveyed the beautiful message of Islam to this country through the Promised Messiahas. As a matter of fact, the message had reached here even during the life of the Promised Messiahas. As such, it has been more than 100 years since the message reached here. 

Nevertheless, along with this, we should also reflect on what we have achieved in these 100 years. To what extent did we safeguard our faith? When the Jamaat was established here, there were only a few individuals. Then, the situation in Pakistan and around the world changed, and many Ahmadis came to this country and settled here. They came here because, as Ahmadis, they were not able to freely practise the teachings of Allah the Almighty and His Messengersa in their country and restrictions were imposed upon them. Hence, after coming here and being granted the religious freedom to openly practise the teachings of their faith, they should make arduous efforts to bring about those pure transformations within themselves and to remain firm upon them, which the Promised Messiahas expected of his Community. In light of this, have we made such an effort? Have we improved our spiritual state and, along with this, tried to attach our children to our religion as well, so that we would be counted among those devotees that the Promised Messiahas desired to see? If we have, then this is the true way of expressing our gratitude on this centenary and this indeed is expected of an Ahmadi. If we have not achieved this, then to rejoice upon the completion of 100 years as mere worldly tradition will be of no avail.

On numerous occasions, the Promised Messiahas has given those who pledge allegiance to him a guideline on how to bring about pure and revolutionary transformation within themselves and imparted various guidance  in relation to this. If we are truly among those sincere devotees who have pledged their allegiance to the Promised Messiahas, then we must constantly reflect on these things and assess whether our words and deeds are in accordance and to what extent we are fulfilling the objective of our pledge of allegiance to the Promised Messiahas. After having come to this materially developed country, have we forgotten our true purpose? Have the allures of the world caused us to forget the purpose of the pledge of initiation? If they have caused us to forget this, then this 100-year celebration is useless. 

At this time, I will present some writings of the Promised Messiahas, that guide us towards our purpose. First, I will present an excerpt of the Promised Messiahas in which he elucidates what our pledge of allegiance demands of us. He states:

“Do not be misled to believe that swearing an oath of allegiance to me is enough to please God. This is a mere shell, (this is only the outer layer). The kernel lies within. The law of nature, which one often observes, is that a shell houses the kernel within. The shell is of no benefit; it is the kernel that is used. There are some who lose their substance completely, in the likeness of wind eggs produced by certain chickens, which have neither yolk nor proper egg white—eggs that are of no use and are thrown away as rubbish. If anything, they can entertain a child for a minute or two. In the same manner, a person who swears allegiance to me and claims to have faith, but does not possess within themselves the essence of both, ought to be fearful, for a time comes when such a one is thrown away in the likeness of a wind egg that is smashed to pieces even by a slight hit and then thrown away. (This is the condition of those who have distanced themselves from the Jamaat.) Similarly, one who claims to have sworn an oath of allegiance to me and to have faith ought to examine themselves and ask whether they are a shell or the kernel. (One ought to continuously assess their conditions.) 

“Without the essence, without faith, without love, without obedience, without swearing an oath of allegiance, without belief, without being a follower, a person who claims to be a Muslim is not true in their claim. Bear in mind that, in truth, a shell without the kernel has no value whatsoever in the estimation of Allah the Exalted. Also, bear well in mind that one does not know when death will come, but what is certain is that death is inevitable. So you must never suffice on a mere claim and be pleased by this alone; this is never, ever useful. Until one brings upon oneself many deaths, and undergoes many changes and transformations, one cannot attain the true purpose of humanity.” (Malfuzat [English], Vol. 3, pp. 59-60)

Hence, doing justice to the pledge of allegiance is no small matter. This can only be achieved when we constantly strive to follow the commandments of Allah the Almighty. It is only by distancing oneself from worldly pleasures that one can attain such a rank. Living in this world while still giving precedence to faith is the true Jihad for which we must strive. What does it mean to give precedence to faith over the world? Is it to completely abandon the world? Whilst expounding upon this, the Promised Messiahas states:

“My purpose is not to suggest that Muslims ought to become indolent. Islam does not make anyone slothful. You ought to engage in business and employment as well, but I do not approve that you should have no time at all for God. When it is time to engage in business, engage in business; but even then, keep the fear and awe of Allah Almighty in view so that even your businesses become a form of worship. When it is time for the Prayer, do not miss your Prayer. In every situation, whatever it may be, give precedence to religion. Let not the world itself become your objective; instead, religion ought to be the actual objective that you seek. When this becomes your way, even your worldly engagements will be deemed religious. Look at the companions—even in the most trying times, they did not forsake God. At a time of war, when the sword is drawn, one is faced with such danger that even the mere thought of it makes one anxious. This is a time of passion and anger, but even in this state, the companions never turned away from God; they did not miss their prayers. In fact, they remained engaged in supplication. The unfortunate thing now is that Muslims exert efforts in every other way; they deliver eloquent speeches, and they hold conventions in order to further the progress of the Muslims, but they are so negligent of God that they do not turn to Him even by mistake. (This is the condition of the Muslims in general.) 

“When this is the state of the Muslims, how can they hope that their efforts will bear fruit, when all of them are so materialistic? Remember! Until the words: 

لَا‭ ‬اِلٰهَ‭ ‬اِلَّا‭ ‬اللّٰهُ

“(There is none worthy of worship except Allah) saturate our heart and soul, and until every particle of our being is not illuminated and ruled by Islam, progress can never be attained. (This is a matter which has been decreed.) If you present the example of the Western nations and say that they are advancing, then remember that they are a different case. You have been given a Book and the truth has been conveyed and clarified to you completely. As I have said, they are a different case and shall be called to account on another day.” 

As for how or when they will be judged, they will be answerable to Allah the Almighty, and this will certainly take place. However, it is possible that Allah the Almighty does it after their demise and not in this world. However, if we claim to have faith but do not act upon it, then our punishment can begin even in this life. This is a matter of great concern. The Promised Messiahas continues:  

“If you, however, abandon the Book of Allah, your hell will be waiting for you here on earth. In the current climate, there are associations and conferences held in order to improve the state of the Muslims in almost every city. But none of Islam’s advocates say that Muslims should make the Quran their guiding star. Follow the Quran. All that these people say is that you should study English, establish colleges and become barristers. This demonstrates that these people do not have faith in God. If an experienced physician sees that his medicine is not proving effective after ten days or so, he stops administering that particular medicine. (Or he will adopt another course of treatment.) Here, Muslims are met with failure upon failure, but they do not give up their methods. If there is no God, then Muslims can abandon Him and surely succeed, but when God most definitely exists, Muslims will never be able to attain success if they forsake Him. They dishonour God, they disrespect His Book, and then they wish to be successful and create a nation. Never will they succeed.” 

Where did non-Muslims find the courage to burn the Holy Quran? It is because the Muslims have practically stopped acting upon the teachings of the Holy Quran and this is how they found the courage; thus, on account of this, the Muslims are also at fault. The Promised Messiahas continues: 

“My view is nothing but the obvious. There is only one path to success, and it is to recognise God and to develop a living faith in Him. If I were to say these things in a gathering of these materialists, they would mock me, but I pity them. It is unfortunate that such people cannot see what I can see.” (Malfuzat [English], Vol. 3, pp. 52-53)

The Promised Messiahas states that, from what he observes, Muslims are doomed to certain ruin if they do not act according to the Holy Quran.

Thus, there cannot be a double standard after claiming to be a Muslim. The state of Muslims suffices to serve as a lesson for us. They profess faith, yet their actions are worldly, the result of which is that, as a nation, Muslims everywhere are in a poor state. This is a matter requiring great attention and concern. Then, on another occasion, while further speaking about giving precedence to faith over the world, the Promised Messiahas states:

“Observe, there are two types of people; there are those who accept Islam and then become occupied in worldly work and trade. Satan overcomes them. I do not mean to say that it is forbidden to do business. (This has been explained previously as well.) No. Even the companions used to engage in trade; however, they gave precedence to their faith over the world. Upon accepting Islam, they attained such knowledge, which caused their hearts to brim with certainty. This is why there was no avenue in which Satan could cause them to deviate.”

Hence, this is a guiding principle for every Ahmadi. Nothing could stop them [i.e., the companions] from expressing the truth. One must not lie and hide their faith. The Promised Messiahas states, “What I mean by this is that those who become enslaved to the world, as if they worship it, Satan is able to overcome and control them. The other type of people are those who remain concerned with the success of the faith. This group of people is known as the ‘Party of Allah’; those who overcome Satan and his army. The Party of Allah are not those who fight worldly battles and wars. The Party of Allah are those who establish a connection with Allah the Almighty; those who are victorious over Satan and his army. Since wealth is a business and increases through business, God Almighty has also regarded the search for faith and the desire for the progress of faith as a trade. Hence, He states:

هَلۡ‭ ‬اَدُلُّكُمۡ‭ ‬عَلٰي‭ ‬تِجَارَةٍ‭ ‬تُنۡجِيۡكُمۡ‭ ‬مِّنۡ‭ ‬عَذَابٍ‭ ‬اَلِيۡمٍ

‘Shall I point out to you a bargain that will save you from a painful punishment?’ [61:11]”

What is the bargain of faith? The Promised Messiahas continues, “The best bargain of faith is that which grants salvation from the most painful calamities. Hence, in the words of God Almighty, I say to you: 

هَلۡ‭ ‬اَدُلُّكُمۡ‭ ‬عَلٰي‭ ‬تِجَارَةٍ‭ ‬تُنۡجِيۡكُمۡ‭ ‬مِّنۡ‭ ‬عَذَابٍ‭ ‬اَلِيۡمٍ

“I have most faith in those who do not diminish their passion for the progress of faith. As for those who diminish this passion, I fear that Satan may overcome them. Thus, one should never become indolent. You ask about anything you do not understand so that you may increase your understanding. It is not forbidden to question. One ought to ask, even if they intend to reject something, and also for the sake of one’s intellectual progress. (Even if one wants to reject something, they should at least question it and seek answers. Likewise, for one’s intellectual progress, one should ask questions.) Whoever desires to increase their knowledge, ought to study the Holy Quran carefully. Whatever they do not understand, they should ask about it. If they are not able to understand certain concepts, then they should ask others, which will thereby prove beneficial to others as well. The Holy Quran is a spiritual ocean and precious and invaluable pearls are hidden in its depths.” (Malfuzat [1984], Vol. 3, pp. 193-194)

Thus, in order to attain religious knowledge, it is necessary to grasp the guidance of the Holy Quran. It is only the Holy Quran that is the true source of guidance and it is through this that one can be guided towards giving precedence to faith over the world. Therefore, we should assess as to how many of us carefully read and ponder over the Holy Quran  and then strive to act upon it. Regarding the fact that the Holy Quran has bestowed us with great favours, which is why we should read it with great care and attention, the Promised Messiahas states:

“It should be remembered that the Holy Quran has done a favour upon earlier divine scriptures and prophets by authenticating their teachings, which were previously based on mere stories. I say truthfully that no one can rely solely on these stories and accounts until they read the Holy Quran. It is only the Holy Quran that is preeminent in that:

اِنَّهٗ‭ ‬لَقَوۡلٌ‭ ‬فَصۡلٌ وَّمَا‭ ‬هُوَ‭ ‬بِالۡهَزۡلِ

“That is, it is a decisive word and does not contain anything vain [86:14-15]

“It is a scale, witness, light, cure, and mercy. Those who read the Holy Quran and consider it to be a mere story have not truly read it, and in doing so, dishonour it. It is no wonder that our opponents have become so active in opposing us. We only wish to present the Holy Quran according to what God Almighty has said regarding it, that it is pure light, wisdom and knowledge. On the other hand, they wish for us to give the Holy Quran no more importance than a mere story. We cannot accept this. Through His grace, God Almighty has made it evident to us that the Holy Quran is a living and illuminating book. For this reason, why should we concern ourselves with this opposition? Thus, I repeatedly advise those who are connected to me that God Almighty has established this Community to uncover and deliver the truth. Without this, one cannot develop light in their practical lives. I desire to establish the excellence of Islam in the world through the practice of its verities, just as God has appointed me to. Thus, read the Holy Quran profusely, not as a mere story but as a philosophy.” (Malfuzat [1984], Vol. 3, p. 155)

Thus, it is imperative to understand the Holy Quran. Many Ahmadis ask questions, yet if they read the Holy Quran carefully, they will find their answers therein. During various events, when we speak in light of the Quran, the listeners are impressed and also become acquainted with the excellences of Islam. Hence, every Ahmadi should use the Holy Quran with confidence. Where the Quran is a guide for moral training, it is also a powerful weapon to answer the allegations of others. The most important aspect of giving precedence to faith over the world is that one should develop a relationship with God Almighty. When one becomes acquainted with [religious] commandments, they should also have a relationship with the One Who gave those commandments; they should develop a relationship with God Almighty, and this relationship is established through worship. In Islam, the greatest form of worship are the daily prayers. 

Every Ahmadi should evaluate themselves and the standard of their prayers. If we improve our standards on this front and establish a relationship with Allah the Almighty, only then will we achieve true happiness. The Promised Messiahas states:

“My belief is that a person who desires to be saved from misfortune ought to reconcile with God in secret and transform their own being to such an extent that they begin to feel that they are no longer what they once used to be. God Almighty states in the Quran:

اِنَّ‭ ‬اللّٰهَ‭ ‬لَا‭ ‬يُغَيِّرُ‭ ‬مَا‭ ‬بِقَوۡمٍ‭ ‬حَتّٰي‭ ‬يُغَيِّرُوۡا‭ ‬مَا‭ ‬بِاَنۡفُسِهِمۡ

“Surely, Allah changes not the condition of a people until they change that which is in their hearts [13:12]. Faith is the root of a true religion and faith in God demands true piety and fear of God. Allah never lets the righteous go to waste; He supports them from heaven and the angels descend to help them. What could be greater than the fact that miracles are manifested at the hand of a righteous person? If a person makes peace with God completely, and forsakes those deeds and actions that cause His displeasure, they can know that every matter will be settled for them in a blessed manner. My faith is vested completely in heavenly works. (There is no other way apart from heavenly support.) It is true that if God Almighty becomes a friend, the entire world and all its opposition can do no harm. Who can harm a person whom God wishes to protect? Hence, one must possess faith in God and this faith ought to be such as moves a person to lose faith completely in everything else. Apparent means are also important, but even the creation of means is a matter in the hands of God Almighty. He can create all apparent means, so do not put your faith in them either. The manner in which one can develop faith in God is by regularly offering the formal Prayer and ensuring that one offers supplications in the Prayer. One ought to save themselves from committing any sort of wrongdoing and lay the foundation for a new life. Remember! Even a dear one cannot be as good a friend as God. If He is pleased with someone, the whole world will be pleased with them. If He is pleased with someone, He will even set aright unfavourable means; He will turn that which is harmful into a source of benefit—this is precisely the essence of God’s divinity. Of course, it ought to be borne in mind also that an individual for whom supplication is made must also continue to strive and reform themselves according to their own abilities. (People request prayers, but they must also utilise their faculties to reform themselves and accomplish their objective.) If a person displeases God in some other way, they themselves obstruct the effect of the prayer made in their favour. It is not a sin to benefit from worldly means in a manner that accords with the sunnah, but give precedence to God, and do not make recourse to apparent means in a manner that incurs the displeasure of God Almighty. (Malfuzat [English], Vol. 3, pp. 203-204)

Whilst mentioning the remedy for not finding pleasure in one’s prayers, the Promised Messiahas states:

“In short, I observe that people are negligent and indolent in observing their Prayers because they are oblivious to the pleasure and satisfaction that Allah the Exalted has invested in Prayer. This is a significant cause in this respect. Then, there is even greater negligence and indolence in cities and towns. Even fifty per cent of the people do not eagerly bow their heads before their true Master with sincere love. The question that arises is: why do the people not know of this pleasure and why have they never experienced this exquisite taste? Other religions do not prescribe such injunctions. At times, it so happens that people are busy with their engagements and the call for Prayer is made. At such a time, there are those who would shut their ears, as though their heart begins to throb with pain. Such people are worthy of pity. There are certain people here as well whose shops are situated adjacent to mosques, but they never join in the Prayer. All I wish to say is that one ought to fervently and passionately pray to God Almighty that just as He has granted us diverse forms of pleasure in fruits and other things, may He enable us to experience, even once, the sweet taste of Prayer and worship. One never forgets the taste of a thing. If an individual looks at someone beautiful with pleasure, they remember it well. Further, if a person sees an ugly and hideous figure, the entire state of such a figure comes forth as an embodiment in the mind of the observer, whenever they are reminded of it. Of course, if a person is indifferent and sees the figure in passing, then one remembers nothing. Similarly, in the estimation of those who do not pray, the Prayer is like a penalty, whereby one is unjustly forced to wake up in the morning when it is cold and leave their precious sleep to perform ablution, and compelled to forsake many comforts in order to offer it. The actual fact is that such a one is averse and therefore, unable to understand; they are oblivious to the pleasure and satisfaction that is present in Prayer. How can they then experience pleasure in Prayer? I observe that when a drunkard or one who suffers from addiction is unable to find satisfaction, they continue to drink glass after glass until they are finally inebriated. A wise and prudent individual can benefit from this example. In other words, one must remain persistent in Prayer and continue observing it until they begin to experience pleasure. Just as a drunkard conceives of a pleasure in his mind, which is the actual objective he pursues, in the same way, the mind and all of one’s faculties must feel a propensity towards the acquisition of that very pleasure that exists in Prayer. Then, with sincerity and passion, at least to the extent that an addict suffers from anxiety, restlessness and pain, an individual ought to pray that they are able to experience the pleasure they seek. I say truthfully that surely and most definitely they will experience the pleasure of Prayer. Then, in the observance of Prayer, one ought to strive to seek the benefits that are associated with it and keep in view the concept of goodness or ihsan, (i.e., to worship God as though one can see Him or at least that God can see you). As God Almighty states:

اِنَّ‭ ‬الۡحَسَنٰتِ‭ ‬يُذۡهِبۡنَ‭ ‬السَّيِّاٰتِ

“And that is to say, good works drive away evil [11:115]. Therefore, whilst aspiring to goodness and striving to attain the pleasures in Prayer, one ought to supplicate that God enables one to observe the Prayer that is characteristic of the Truthful (siddiqin) and of those who excel in good works (muhsinin).

“As mentioned, Allah the Exalted has stated:

اِنَّ‭ ‬الۡحَسَنٰتِ‭ ‬يُذۡهِبۡنَ‭ ‬السَّيِّاٰتِ

“And this means that good works or Prayer drive away evil. In another instance, God Almighty states that Prayer saves one from indecency and manifest evil. However, despite this, we observe that there are people who observe Prayer, yet still indulge in evil deeds. The response to this is that they observe Prayer, but not in its true spirit, or with piety. They only perform useless movements in the form of a custom and habit. Their soul is dead. Allah the Exalted has not described this as hasanat (or good works). In this verse, God has used the word hasanat as opposed to as-salat even though the two words mean one and the same thing. This is because God wishes to allude to the merit and husn (or beauty) of Prayer, which in its true form possesses within it a spirit of truth and the effects of divine grace. This form of Prayer does indeed drive away evil. Prayer is not simply a process of sitting and standing. In fact, the essence and soul of the formal Prayer is that supplication, which possesses within it a pleasure and satisfaction.” (Malfuzat [English], Vol. 1, pp. 159-161)

Hence, we must evaluate ourselves. Are we deriving pleasure from our prayers? Are we ensuring that we are not solely reliant on worldly means? Are we truly safeguarding our prayers and fulfilling the rights of our pledge of allegiance? Are we fulfilling our objective? If not, then this is a worrisome situation. 

Then, whilst drawing our attention to excelling in knowledge and understanding, safeguarding against the onslaughts of Satan, and how the relationship between a spiritual leader and his disciple should be, the Promised Messiahas states:

“The relationship between a spiritual leader and his disciples can be likened to the relationship between a teacher and a student. Just as a student benefits from his teacher, so too does a disciple benefit from his spiritual leader. However, if a student maintains his relationship with his teacher but does not make strides in his education, he cannot derive any benefit. The same can be said about disciples. Thus, in this Community, you must progress in your knowledge and understanding after having established a relationship. A seeker of truth never rests at one place after reaching a certain rank; otherwise, Satan the Accursed would distract him. Just as stagnant water becomes rancid (water that does not flow develops a stench) and produces insects and disease, a human also exhibits such traits when he is stagnant. Thus, we should continue to take strides towards progress.” 

The Promised Messiahas further states: “Similarly, if a believer does not strive towards progress, he will fall. Thus, those who are fortunate are obligated to always progress in their faith. There has never been a human in this world more perfect than the Holy Prophetsa, yet he was also taught the prayer:

رَّبِّ‭ ‬زِدۡنِيۡ‭ ‬عِلۡمًا

“[‘O Lord, increase me in knowledge’]. Hence, who else can rest and rely solely on their knowledge and understanding and dismiss the need for progress in the future? As a person progresses in his knowledge and understanding, he will come to realise that there are many things that still require a solution. 

“At first glance, some matters may seem useless to them, like if a child plays with the Euclidian shapes (i.e., a child would think the geometric shapes or the various diagrams made by scientists are just mere lines and of no value). These people are just like children and deem these matters to be useless. Nevertheless, eventually, these same things are what they will see to be the truth. When they grow up and gain understanding, they will come to know that these matters are indeed very important. Therefore, how important is it for one to act upon everything in order to increase in knowledge, while also transforming themselves? You have forsaken many vain pursuits to accept this movement. If you do not, therefore, attain this objective with full understanding and insight, then what benefit is there? How can you strengthen your conviction and knowledge? If you develop doubts and misgivings over trivial matters, there is the risk that you will stumble on your final step.” (Malfuzat [1984], Vol. 3, p. 193) 

Hence, there are some whose faith wavers, which is why they fail to increase in their knowledge, or they use their self-concocted explanations and reasoning. They do not read the books of the Promised Messiahas. If we pay attention to our religious knowledge, we shall also develop our faith in the existence of Allah the Almighty. Furthermore, we shall increase in our faith in the truthfulness of Islam and Ahmadiyyat, and be those who safeguard the faith of our children. Thus, one must pay great attention to this. 

The Promised Messiahas stated, “If you have pledged allegiance to me, then accept me as the Hakam [Judge] and Adl [Just Arbiter]. Have conviction in the fact that whatever I say is in accordance with the teachings of Allah Almighty and His Messengersa, and I shall speak with the special guidance of Allah the Almighty.” He stated, “Develop such faith, whereby you pay reverence to the decisions of the Hakam and Adl.”

The Promised Messiahas states, “One who believes should develop their faith to the stage of conviction and cognisance. (They should not fall prey to doubt.) Remember that doubt or conjecture cannot be of benefit. (It is possible that one may begin to harbour doubts.) Allah the Almighty Himself states: 

اِنَّ‭ ‬الظَّنَّ‭ ‬لَا‭ ‬يُغۡنِيۡ‭ ‬مِنَ‭ ‬الۡحَقِّ‭ ‬شَيۡئًا

“‘Surely, conjecture avails nothing against truth.’ [10:37] (The truth is plainly evident and even if one harbours doubts, it cannot conceal the truth.) It is conviction that can make a person successful. Nothing can happen without conviction. If a person begins to harbour doubts about everything, then perhaps they would not be able to survive even a moment in the world. (They would even begin to doubt every worldly matter, so take that as an example.) They would not be able to drink water, thinking it could be mixed with poison. They would not be able to eat food from the shops, thinking they could possess something that would kill them. How, then, can one survive? This is a general example.” 

Those who are prone to doubt and conjecture make their lives unbearable as they continue to think in this way. One should also make sure that such doubts do not develop in spiritual matters as well. The Promised Messiahas further states, “Likewise, one can derive benefit from this in spiritual matters. Think to yourselves and make a decision in your hearts if you have pledged your allegiance to me and accepted me as the Promised Messiah, Hakam and Adl. If, after this belief, you carry any grief or anguish over any of my decisions or actions, then you should show concern over your faith. Faith, which is filled with doubts and misgivings, cannot result in any good. However, if you have accepted wholeheartedly that the Promised Messiah is truly the Hakam, then lay down your arms upon his decisions and actions, and have reverence for his verdicts, so that you are counted among those who honour and respect the blessed instructions of the Holy Prophetsa. The testimony of the Holy Prophetsa is sufficient, and he assures that he will be your Imam, and the Hakam and Adl. If you are not assured by this, then when can you ever be? The approach can never be good or blessed; that one possesses faith, but at the same time harbours doubts in their heart. 

“If I am not truthful, then go and search for a truthful one. But know that at this time, you shall not find another truthful one. Then, if you fail to find another truthful one, I ask only of the rights that the Holy Prophetsa has granted me. Those who have rejected me, and those who raise allegations against me, have not recognised me. But those who have accepted me and still have reservations are even more unfortunate, for they have become blind after seeing. In reality, the contemporaries are also those who seek to lower one’s rank. For this reason, the Messiah [Jesus]as said that a prophet is honoured everywhere except in his own hometown. One can understand from this the troubles and pains he had to endure from his own people. This is the treatment of the prophets, peace be upon them, which has continued, so how can I be free from it? (Prophets were opposed, so it is nothing out of the ordinary if it is also happening to us.) Therefore, whatever we must hear from our opponents is in line with this practice of: 

وَمَا‭ ‬يَاۡتِيۡهِمۡ‭ ‬مِّنۡ‭ ‬رَّسُوۡلٍ‭ ‬اِلَّا‭ ‬كَانُوۡا‭ ‬بِهٖ‭ ‬يَسۡتَهۡزِءُوۡنَ

“‘And there never came to them any Messenger, but they mocked at him. [15:12]’ Alas, if only these people would come to me with pure intentions, so that I may show them that which Allah Almighty has granted me. That God would Himself send down His blessings upon them and make them understand, yet, they acted with miserliness and envy, so how can I now explain to them?”

Even now, after nearly 130-132 years, these people do not take heed after witnessing the signs. The Promised Messiahas then states, “When a person comes with a pure heart in search of the truth, then everything is decided. But when one has evil and mischievous intentions, then nothing can be achieved. A reference of Ibn Arabi has been quoted in Hujajul Kiramah, wherein it states that during the time of the Promised Messiah, he will be deemed a liar and an ignorant person. It is even stated that he will be accused of changing the Religion. This is exactly what is happening right now. Such allegations are being raised against me now. One can only be saved from such doubts when they cover their own book of interpretations, and ponder as to whether this is the truth or not. Some matters are, of course, beyond comprehension; however, those who believe in the prophets wait with good thoughts, patience and resolution until a time comes when Allah the Almighty discloses the truth to them. At the time of the Holy Prophetsa, the companions would not question him, instead, they would wait for someone to raise a question, and they would thus benefit from it. Otherwise, they would keep their heads down silently, without daring to question him. In my estimation, this is the true and best way to show etiquette. One who does not comprehend the etiquettes of the Holy Prophetsa and fails to adopt them, I fear that they may perish.” (Malfuzat [1984], Vol. 3, pp. 73-75)

The Promised Messiahas was speaking about matters pertaining to his era when he was sitting in his gatherings. Nowadays, people raise the same points after reading his books and hearing his proofs. The Promised Messiahas states that these people do not understand the etiquettes of the Prophetsa, and I fear they will be destroyed.

Thus, it is out of their own misfortune that the Muslims make great excuses when it comes to listening to and understanding this message, and their dire state is not even enough to draw their attention to understanding what they are becoming as a nation while in such a state. This is the time, and the prophecies of the Holy Prophetsa are being fulfilled, so at the very least, search for the promised one to come. 

The Promised Messiahas stated that if it is not him then it should be someone else; however, you will not find anyone else.

Having become immersed in worldly pursuits, people are becoming unmindful of this. However, it is our responsibility to continue to make efforts to save them and convey the message of the Promised Messiahas to each and every person. We are not to convey the message only to the Muslims, in fact, we have to convey it to every single person regardless of which faith they belong to and even those who do not believe in any faith at all. We have a lot of work that still remains. Despite 100 years since the establishment of the Ahmadiyya Community in Germany, we have not been able to convey the message of Islam to the people of Germany. Thus, we ought to reflect on this aspect as well. Whilst drawing our attention to conveying the message of Islam and Tabligh [preaching], the Promised Messiahas states:

“At present, I have two important tasks at hand: firstly, that my message is propagated to the Arabs; secondly, that the message is fully conveyed and clarified without a shadow of doubt to the people of Europe. The Arabs are significant because internally they possess the truth, and a large segment of them perhaps do not even know that God has established a divine dispensation.” 

This is the case today as well that our message has not reached every Arab, even though efforts in this regard have greatly increased compared to earlier times. Even when it has reached, it is due to the opponents who label us as “Qadiyanis” out of mockery of the Promised Messiah’sas name, and in this way, they have introduced us to the world and to their people and have told people all kinds of lies and falsehoods about the Promised Messiahas. They have only conveyed the message from their perspective. If we have been introduced, then it is through our opponents; however, we have not introduced our message well enough. In any case, the Promised Messiahas continues: 

“It is my responsibility to convey this message to them, and if I do not, I shall be guilty of sin. Similarly, the people of Europe also deserve to know where they have erred—they have deified a man and thus, distanced themselves from the True God. The state of Europe has truly become a reflection of the following:

اَخۡلَدَ‭ ‬اِلَي‭ ‬الۡاَرۡضِ

“That is, ‘he inclined to the earth.’ [7:177]”

Generally, people have no concern for anything else besides worldly pursuits. Some of our people, particularly the youth, become impressed by their [material] progress. However, there is no need to become impressed; in fact, they ought to inform them that the path they are on is going to lead them to destruction. We must preach to them. The Promised Messiahas further states:

“All sorts of inventions and developments are being produced (i.e., in western countries and developed nations). However, one should not be taken aback that Europe continues to progress in the worldly arts and sciences. (One should not become impressed by the mere fact that they are making material progress.) It is a matter of principle that when the doors of heavenly knowledge are closed to a people, their thoughts begin to revolve around earthly matters. It has never been the case that prophets came and then designed new machines, or that their efforts and struggles were dedicated to producing worldly inventions alone.” (Malfuzat [1984], Vol. 2, pp. 253-254)

This should be deeply rooted in the minds of everyone that we have not accepted Ahmadiyyat to attain any worldly benefit; rather, we have accepted Ahmadiyyat in order to establish a living relationship with God Almighty. This is the message we have to convey to the people of the world. This is what is going to reform our lives in this world and in the hereafter.

Whilst mentioning the purpose and objective of his advent, the Promised Messiahas stated, “The purpose and objective of my advent is to spread Tawhid [belief in the Oneness of God], morals and spirituality. Tawhid means to believe God to be your objective, purpose, beloved and the One Whom you show complete obedience to. And to abstain from the obvious forms of shirk [associating partners with Allah] as well as the more subtle forms such as reliance upon worldly means and also to refrain from considering oneself to have some kind of significance.” 

One should not allow shirk in the form of one’s own ego to appear. One should not indulge in even a single subtle form of shirk; this is the meaning of Tawhid. However, at present, the world is entrapped in worldly endeavours.

“In relation to morals, it means that all the faculties of man should be exercised on its proper occasion and time. It should not be the case that one should completely discard a particular faculty and overly adopt another. For example, if one completely cuts off their hand, could they carry out any good act through it? Certainly not. In fact, true and perfect morals are that one should exercise the faculties bestowed upon them by Allah the Almighty on its proper occasion in a manner that is free from any extremes. One form of extreme is if one were to have a heightened sense of smell, they could suffer from hyperosmia, which will cause them to experience discomfort.”

There are some people whose sense of smell is extremely sharp, and as a result, they experience headaches. Similarly, there are smells that can cause different types of ailments. Thus, one ought to pray that Allah the Almighty may enable one to remain in a balanced state and safeguard one from every form of illness, including spiritual ailments. The Promised Messiahas states:  

“The other end of the extreme is that one’s senses completely fail to function. A balanced state is that in which one’s senses function in their proper time and occasion and this is the state whereby one’s morals become true moral qualities and I have come to establish this.” 

One should adopt the path of moderation and one should strive to attain the excellent morals that Islam has commanded. The Promised Messiahas further states:

“Spirituality means those signs and hallmarks that come about when one establishes a true relationship with God Almighty. Until these states are achieved, one cannot have a true understanding; however, this is one’s true objective.” (Malfuzat [2022], Vol. 2, p. 297)

Hence, these actions [if followed,] will transform us into true believers. Therefore, we should analyse ourselves and see if we have reached this standard or not. Our ultimate desire and goal, and most beloved of all, should be God Almighty. If this is not the case, then we are at a relatively weaker stage of our faith. Thus, we should reflect on our actions. When compared with God Almighty, every worldly desire of ours pales into insignificance, and one is not in need of it. If this is the case, then we will fulfil the rights of mosques as well.

Furthermore, if we are constructing mosques, then we should be concerned about how we are going to populate them as well. Thus, every Ahmadi should deliberate over how much passion and fervency they have for Tawhid [Oneness of God]. Similarly, every Ahmadi must exhibit the best of morals. It is these excellent morals that serve as an excellent means of propagating our message, and through this, we can do justice to our pledge of allegiance to the Promised Messiahas. In the mosque openings I attend, those people who are acquainted with Ahmadis say that Ahmadis have good morals, but I have seen a shortcoming. Despite these good morals, the Ahmadis do not introduce them properly to Islam and Ahmadiyyat. If we introduce this to them properly, then we can fulfil the words of the Promised Messiahas to propagate the message of Ahmadiyyat, the true Islam, to the people of Europe and this country. Similarly, we should exhibit excellent morals between ourselves as well. It is not only meant for externals, [it should not be the case that] one deals in an excellent manner with others, but causes great issues in their own home and for others around them. Therefore, these are the things we should bear in mind with regard to excellent morals and conduct. The Promised Messiahas came in subservience to the Holy Prophetsa in order to establish these very morals within us. The Promised Messiahas said that one can gauge the result of their spirituality and can develop their spirituality when one attains the highest ranks of fulfilling the rights of Allah and fulfilling the rights of mankind; when our own people and others see the beauty within us. If our children learn these lessons from us, then we can say we have achieved this rank.

Amir Sahib [National President] of Germany was asking me in recent days, what is their target for the next century? Firstly, the few things that I have mentioned do not encompass everything; I have merely mentioned a few things that the Promised Messiahas guided us towards; have we achieved all of these in the last century? Have we forged a strong bond with God Almighty? Have we attained the excellent ranks in prayers? At prayer times, do we put our worldly endeavours to one side and go for prayers or are we focused on simply constructing mosques? Do we regularly recite the Holy Quran? Do we search for the injunctions of the Holy Quran and try to act on them? Are we striving to do our utmost to ensure our children remain attached to their faith? Are we simply concerned with our children’s secular education or are we worried about their faith as well? Have our morals and conduct with one another reached the level where they resemble رُحَمَآءُ بَيۡنَهُم  [‘tender among themselves’ (48:30)]? Are we showing excellent morals to others and telling them about the beautiful teachings of Islam or do we simply show some good manners and claim that we are peaceful people?

Many times, when I have the opportunity to address external guests, many of them say that they are hearing the beautiful teachings of Islam for the first time. From this, it is evident that you are not using your associations [with externals] and your good morals to propagate the message of Islam in the manner you should. What is the point of distributing hundreds of thousands of leaflets if the people are not introduced to Islam properly?

Therefore, we should first assess ourselves to gauge where we are with respect to fulfilling the rights of Allah and the rights of mankind. If one has attained this – which in my opinion has not been attained yet – and everyone can reflect and assess for themselves, there is no need for me to mention it. So what then is the need to set a new target for the next century? The target for the next century is the brief code of conduct, which I mentioned in light of the guidance imparted to us by the Promised Messiahas. We passionately claim that we will win the hearts of everyone. We must convince everyone of the oneness of God Almighty and bring everyone towards the Holy Prophetsa. Therefore, every one of us should analyse ourselves in this regard, and the Germany Jamaat should begin the new century with even more vigour and resolve that they will strive to achieve their goals by giving precedence to their faith over all worldly pursuits, and that they will advise their children and progenies to follow suit and ensure for their moral training, in a way that this yearning to form a connection with God Almighty is transferred from one generation to the next. May Allah enable us to do so.

(Official Urdu transcript published in the Daily Al Fazl International, 22 September 2023, pp. 3-7. Translated by The Review of Religions.)

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