Jalsa Salana Holland 2019
27 September 2019
After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz, and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:
Today, by the grace of Allah the Almighty, Jalsa Salana [the annual convention] of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Holland is going to commence. After many years, Allah the Almighty has also enabled me to participate in your Jalsa. Amir Sahib [National President of Holland Jamaat] has been inviting me to the Jalsa for the past few years, but due to other Jamaat engagements and despite the desire to attend, it was not possible.
In any case, it is by the grace of Allah the Almighty that I have been enabled to attend this Jalsa today. Over the previous few years, the Community in Holland has increased; there has been a definite increase of at least a ⅓. Many people have migrated from Pakistan and also some new members have joined the Community. Nonetheless, like other Jamaats of the world, Holland Jamaat is also making progress according to their numbers and means.
The publication of literature etc. has now also improved here. The Jamaat has also acquired some new centres and a mosque. Although, I have not seen the mosque yet, but I have heard other people praise the beauty of the Almere mosque. Thus, you have been able to construct a very beautiful mosque. Insha-Allah-u-Ta‘ala [God willing], its inauguration will take place next week, that is, the formal inauguration, otherwise, prayers are already being offered there.
However, you should always remember that the increase in your numbers or the construction of mission houses or centres or a mosque will only be beneficial if you fulfil the purpose of their construction. Thus, every Ahmadi who lives here needs to analyse their condition and search for those objectives which we ought to fulfil after having come into the Bai‘at of the Promised Messiahas.
As I said, over the last few years, many Ahmadis have migrated here which is one of the reasons for an increase in the Jamaat numbers. But why have they migrated here? They have done so because Ahmadis do not have freedom of religion, particularly in Pakistan. They are persecuted on the basis of religion. Their rights are usurped for they have accepted the Imam of the Age in accordance with the prophecy and instruction of the Holy Prophetsa. We are prohibited from calling the name of Allah the Almighty and from worshipping Him because we have come into the Bai‘at of the most ardent devotee of the Holy Prophetsa.
Let alone constructing mosques, we are even prohibited from holding gatherings such as Jalsas and Ijtemas for the purpose of moral and spiritual training of our own members.
Moreover, according to their law, we are prohibited from praying even in our homes. We are prohibited from sacrificing animals on the occasion of Eid al-Adha as the law does not allow us to do so and charges are brought against those who do so. This is also enforced because it “hurts” the sentiments of the so-called scholars and their followers.
Thus, due to these circumstances, many Ahmadis have migrated from Pakistan and gone to other countries where there is freedom of religion. Those among you who have migrated to this country have freedom of religion as well as opportunities to improve your financial and economic conditions.
Hence, every Ahmadi, who is living free from the restrictions that were imposed on them in Pakistan should particularly be grateful to Allah the Almighty even greater than before and they should also strive their level best to do true justice of having pledged Bai‘at [initiation] to the Promised Messiahas. They should endeavour to improve their spiritual, intellectual and moral states. They should not simply rejoice at the mere fact that they are now free and that there is no such restriction upon them, which prevents them from acting in accordance with their faith.
If our deeds are not in accordance with the commandments of Allah the Almighty, if we do not endeavour to develop an even purer transformation within us than before and if we are not expressing the love of Allah the Almighty and His Messengersa more than before, then to what benefit is this freedom? What is the benefit of participating in these Jalsas [annual conventions]? What is the benefit of constructing these mosques?
We will only reap the true benefit of this freedom when we fulfil the due rights of our Bai‘at [pledge of initiation]. The Promised Messiahas announced to organise these Jalsas upon the commandment from Allah the Almighty and he did so in order to develop a pure transformation within us; so that we may become those who give precedence to faith over the world; so that we may acquire the true understanding and comprehension of our faith; so that we may develop the love of Allah the Almighty and His Prophetsa within our hearts and so that we may improve our spiritual, moral and intellectual states and make every possible effort for this.
Outlining the objectives of Jalsa and imparting advice to those who pledge initiation to him, the Promised Messiahas stated on one occasion:
“All sincere souls who have entered the fold of this humble one should know that the purpose of pledging allegiance is to dampen the worldly ardour, so that the heart is engulfed in the love of the Bountiful God and of the Holy Prophetsa, and to develop such a state of detachment that the Final Journey does not seem an unwelcome prospect.” (Aasmani Faisla [The Heavenly Decree], Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 4, p. 351)
Thus, this instruction is evidently clear that after pledging initiation to the Promised Messiahas, we should not limit ourselves to a mere verbal proclamation, rather we should join those who demonstrate sincerity. However, one is only able to increase in sincerity and devotion when the love of Allah the Almighty and His Chosen Messengersa takes precedence over every other relationship of love. Thus, the Promised Messiahas has also included this among the conditions of Bai‘at that the initiate shall make the Word of God and the sayings of the Holy Prophetsa the guiding principle in every aspect of one’s life to the best of their ability. (Izala-e-Auham, Part II, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 3, p. 564)
Every word of Allah the Almighty and of His Messengersa can only be made the guiding principle in one’s life when a person develops true love for them. Hence, these Jalsas are organised so that we are repeatedly reminded of what the objective of our Bai‘at is. It is not an ordinary matter for the love of the world to be completely removed [from the heart] and to be superseded by the love of Allah and His Messengersa.
One needs to greatly strive to achieve this. Moreover, once we have taken the pledge of initiation then we should most certainly strive in this. We must sacrifice our worldly affairs for the sake of our worship. We must sacrifice our worldly engagements in order to fulfil the rights of Allah the Almighty. We must safeguard ourselves from whatever hinders us from acquiring the nearness of Allah the Almighty.
If our employments and our businesses prevent us from fulfilling the rights of Allah the Almighty, then we must protect ourselves from these ills in order to remain in the Jamaat of the Promised Messiahas. We must remove these hindrances.
Similarly, if our egos, our so-called worldly respect and honour and our selfish thoughts and deeds are preventing us from fulfilling the rights of the creation of God then this is also disobedience to the commandments of Allah the Almighty. Allah the Almighty has also commanded to fulfil the rights of His creation and by disobeying this, we are not fulfilling the objective of being in the Jamaat of the Promised Messiahas.
The next aspect which the Promised Messiahas has drawn our attention towards is the love for the Holy Prophetsa. The Promised Messiahas has clearly stated that the love for the Holy Prophetsa should supersede and dominate every other relationship of love. The reason for this is that now, we are able to reach God Almighty only through the Holy Prophetsa.
We are able to reach God the Almighty only by acting in accordance with his commandments and by following his Sunnah. Now, the Holy Prophetsa is the only means for the acceptance of prayers and for a prosperous end.
The Promised Messiahas states:
“Ponder that Allah the Almighty states in the Holy Quran:
قُلۡ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ تُحِبُّوۡنَ اللّٰہَ فَاتَّبِعُوۡنِیۡ یُحۡبِبۡکُمُ اللّٰہُ
“That is, ‘Say o people! If you love Allah the Exalted, follow me then He will also love you. [Surah Aal-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.32]’”
This means that Allah the Almighty will also love you when you follow the Holy Prophetsa, when you follow his traditions and act in accordance with his commandments.
The Promised Messiahas further states:
“In order to become a beloved of God, the only path is to follow the Holy Prophetsa. There is no other path that will enable you to reach God. A person’s objective should merely be the search for the One and Only God.”
This should be our very objective; to search for the One and Only God and not to search for something else and not to associate anything else with Allah.
The Promised Messiahas further states:
“You should refrain from Shirk [associating partners with God] and from [harmful] innovations and you should not follow harmful traditions and desires.”
The Promised Messiahas states:
“Look, I say it once again that apart from true path of the Holy Prophetsa, a person is unable to be successful through any other means.”
The Promised Messiahas further states, “We only have one Prophetsa and only one Holy Quran, which was revealed to the Holy Prophetsa, by following which, we are able to reach God.” (Malfuzat Vol. 5, pp. 124-125)
The Promised Messiahas states that one should remember that apart from the Holy Quran and following the commandments of the Holy Prophetsa and his practises such as the formal prayer and fasting etc., there is no other key for unlocking the doors of the bounties and blessings of God. This is the only path and there is no other way.”
Hence, in order to acquire these blessings, it is necessary to love the Holy Prophetsa and owing to this love, act in accordance with his commandments. If we do not do so then the Promised Messiahas has clearly stated that it is of no benefit to pledge initiation to him and that there is no benefit in gathering for these Jalsas.
The Promised Messiahas states he is a devotee of this Belovedsa of Allah the Almighty. Thus, if we wish to uphold our pledge of initiation to him, it is essential that we also love his Belovedsa.
Following this, the Promised Messiahas states that one should develop a state of detachment [from worldly pleasures] inside them. That is, you should develop a state that detaches you from the amusements and pleasures of the world. Every deed of yours should be in accordance with the commandments of Allah the Almighty and His Chosen Prophetsa.
Certainly, earning worldly wealth and engaging in worldly affairs and businesses are permissible, in fact, God Almighty has commanded us to do so. The Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, also engaged in these worldly endeavours and owned businesses and took part in trade. They had great businesses which were worth hundreds of thousands and even millions. They took part in trade and possessed properties worth millions. However, they were immersed in the love of Allah the Almighty and His Messengersa and they were ever mindful of fulfilling the rights of the worship of Allah the Almighty and acting in accordance with the commandments of the Holy Prophetsa.
They remained cautious of not committing a deed as a result of which their beloved would be displeased with them. Recently, I have been relating accounts from lives of the Companionsra of the Holy Prophetsa in my Friday Sermons. There are countless examples of their standard of worship, their level of obedience and their immense love and passion for the Holy Prophetsa. They were always fearful of doing something that might lead to the displeasure of their beloved.
Hence, we should always bear in mind that despite all of our worldly engagements, we will not let our love of God Almighty and His Messengersa diminish in any way, Insha-Allah.
In this regard, we must strive as much as possible to fulfil the commandments of Allah the Almighty and His Messengersa. We have gathered here for three days to improve our condition, to benefit from the spiritual environment of Jalsa and to improve our practical conditions.
Therefore, we should always be mindful of the purpose for which we have gathered here for three days. The purpose of this is to take advantage of this spiritual environment, strive to improve our practical conditions, and remove our ill habits, and to focus on the remembrance of Allah the Almighty and seeking His forgiveness along with performing worship during these days.
If this is not our mindset, then it is pointless for us to attend the Jalsa. It is wise to consider these three days as a training camp and to strive to overcome the weaknesses in our practical conditions that naturally arise when an individual leaves a particular environment.
Whilst speaking about the benefits of Jalsa, the Promised Messiahas states:
“All our friends should, to the best of their ability, come and listen to Divine words and to join us in supplication for the sake of Allah.”
He further states, “This gathering will be devoted to the exposition of such truths and spiritual insight as are necessary for the promotion of faith and certainty and spiritual understanding” (Aasmani Faisla [The Heavenly Decree], Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 4, pp. 351-352)
Therefore, the objective of Jalsa is to progress in faith, conviction and spiritual insight. On another occasion, the Promised Messiahas also stated that the Jalsa is not like other worldly festivals wherein we simply gather like other worldly gatherings and display our numbers.
This is not the objective. Hence, everyone attending the Jalsa – whether they are men, women, the elderly, or young – should focus towards improving their faith, conviction and spiritual insight so that their love for God and His Messengersa may strengthen further. If we cannot recognise the true status of Allah the Almighty and His Messengersa; if we are not convinced of God’s existence, then how can our spiritual insight improve? One can strengthen their faith after progressing in spiritual insight.
Therefore, we should not think that we are gathering together merely for the sake of enjoyment and entertainment and nor should we spend our time in idle conversations and then simply return home. If this is our mindset, then as I mentioned before, attending the Jalsa is pointless. While directing our focus towards performing virtuous acts, which include fulfilling the rights of Allah Almighty and His creation, the Promised Messiahas states:
“One should commit a righteous deed only for the sake of attaining the pleasure and acceptance of Allah Almighty and so that His commandment is followed, irrespective of whether it will be rewarded or not.”
Hence, this is the philosophy of genuine love. The love of Allah the Almighty demands us to act according to His commandments. This includes worshipping God and fulfilling the rights of His creation. One should not simply obey these commandments with the intention to obtain a reward from God Almighty. It is true that Allah the Almighty does not allow an action to pass without rewarding it. However, just as the Promised Messiahas stated that true faith demands that one should not simply commit a good deed to attain something in return, rather, one should do because it is the commandment of God Almighty to perform virtuous deeds.
The Promised Messiahas further states, “Faith reaches the state of perfection when this concern and worry no longer exists.”
One should not worry as to whether or not they will be granted reward. If an individual persists on thinking in this manner, then their faith cannot reach the highest stage.
The Promised Messiahas states, “Although it is true that God Almighty does not allow a righteous act to go in vain as He states:
اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یُضِیۡعُ اَجۡرَ الۡمُحۡسِنِیۡنَ
“‘Surely, Allah suffers not the reward of those who do good to be lost. [Surah al-Taubah, Ch.9: V.120]’
“However, one who performs a virtuous deed should not do it with the intention of gaining a reward.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 2, pp. 371-372)
Thus, true virtue is that which is done without any selfish or ulterior motive. Therefore, keeping this principle in mind, we should treat one another with kindness and seek to fulfil each other’s rights. Moreover, we must do this because it is the commandment of Allah the Almighty to treat one another with kindness and it is also the instruction and practise of the Holy Prophetsa to fulfil the rights of one another and to demonstrate excellent morals, irrespective of whether one receives any reward in return.
Allah the Almighty indeed grants reward for our acts of virtue. Thus, if God Almighty treats His creation in such a manner, then how great a responsibility is it for us to adhere to all His commandments for the sake of gaining His pleasure and also to refrain from all that which He has forbidden for us. Moreover, after having come to these developed countries where, in the name of so-called freedom, all forms of immoralities are widespread, there is a far greater need for us to assess our conditions.
At times, wealth and opulence can become a hindrance in performing acts of virtue. When one’s conditions significantly improve, they tend to forget their past. One begins to feel that if such and such worldly endeavour is not fulfilled, they will incur a loss, however God Almighty states that He alone is the One Who grants provisions. This is something that is generally witnessed amongst the worldly people who direct all their attention so that they do not incur any loss and fail to fulfil the due rights of Allah the Almighty.
Regrettably, there are certain individuals among us who abandon their obligatory prayers for the sake of their worldly objectives. For instance, if they are engaged in some work and the time of prayer approaches, they will neglect the prayer or combine it with another prayer, and in some cases, completely forget about it and fail to offer the prayer, but they will not abandon their worldly activity they are occupied in.
Thus, they should refrain from this. Or, they will perform the prayer in such a haste manner as if it is a burdensome obligation that they have to become free from. As I have mentioned, this is not true love for God Almighty, rather such actions demonstrate one’s love for the world. Thus, if one wishes to fulfil the due rights of the Bai‘at with the Promised Messiahas, they ought to fulfil the due rights of God Almighty’s worship.
The Promised Messiahas has drawn our attention towards understanding the true essence of worship which is to worship God Almighty by immersing oneself in His love. (Malfuzat, Vol. 5, p. 107)
This is the true essence. One should worship Allah the Almighty but not in a manner in which one simply seeks to fulfil an obligation, rather one should offer their worship whilst wholly immersed in the love of God. It is only then that one can free themselves from worldly desires and it is then that one will understand the true essence of giving precedence to one’s faith over all worldly things. When one frees themselves from their worldly desires, God Almighty Himself will then grant them provisions from where one could not even imagine.
Just as God Almighty states: ُ
وَ مَنۡ یَّتَّقِ اللّٰہَ یَجۡعَلۡ لَّہٗ مَخۡرَجًا ۔ وَّ یَرۡزُقۡہُ مِنۡ حَیۡثُ لَا یَحۡتَسِبُ
“And he who fears Allah – He will make for him a way out; And will provide for him from where he expects not.” [Surah al-Talaaq, Ch.65: V.3-4]
Further elaborating upon this, the Promised Messiahas states: “Taqwa [righteousness] is the means to attain prosperity.”
The Promised Messiahas further states, “Indeed, it is true that God Almighty does not allow His servants to perish and safeguards them from having to extend their hand before others for help.
It is my belief that if one becomes truly devoted to God Almighty and adopts true righteousness, God Almighty continues to grant His blessings and mercy for seven generations.” (Malfuzat Vol. 5, p. 245)
God Almighty continues to safeguard them, unless owing to one’s own misfortune, one commits such actions which deprive one from the blessings of the Allah the Almighty.
The Promised Messiahas further states: “One ought to completely eradicate every kind of means, except one, and that is the love of God Almighty.” This alone should be the means, i.e. the love of God Almighty, through which one seeks to attain everything.
The Promised Messiahas further states, “Verily I say that one who devotes himself wholly to God, God Almighty stands with them.”
The Promised Messiahas further states:
“Transform your conditions so that God Almighty bestows His blessings and mercy … An individual whose purpose of life is to simply fulfil the desires and aspirations of this world, what benefit will the longevity of his life grant him? (What benefit is there for one to seek a long life simply so he can attain the luxuries and attractions of this world?) Such a person who does nothing for the sake of God, simply seeks a long life so that he can eat exquisite foods, sleep as much as he can, have a family, own lavish houses and horses, gardens and land, etc. and merely serves his own stomach.”
Such an individual is not a servant of God Almighty, nor do they worship Him. In fact, such a person cannot even be called a servant for their personal objectives are in fact the object of their worship. They are only concerned with accumulating property, wealth, houses, cars; the Promised Messiahas earlier gave the example of horses because in those times they would use horses, but nowadays it is cars whereby people wish to have the best cars.
This should not be one’s objective. Indeed, one should most certainly derive benefit from the provisions God Almighty has granted them but these should not become one’s sole objective otherwise one cannot be considered as a servant of Allah the Almighty and one who worships Him, instead such a person would be deemed to only be worshipping his own personal interests.
The Promised Messiahas further states:
“Such a person considers the fulfilment of the inner desires and carnal pleasures as his sole objective and the focus of his worship.” This becomes his primary objective. “However, God Almighty has established His worship as the sole purpose of man’s creation just as God Almighty states: ِ
وَ مَا خَلَقۡتُ الۡجِنَّ وَ الۡاِنۡسَ اِلَّا لِیَعۡبُدُوۡنِ
‘And I have not created the Jinn and men but that they may worship Me.’ [Surah al-Dhariyat, Ch.51: V.57]
The Promised Messiahas states:
“God Almighty has clearly proclaimed that the primary objective is to worship God Almighty and the entire universe has been created for this purpose alone. However, the intentions and desires of people are completely contrary to this.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 5, pp. 246-247)
However, the reality is that people have become inclined towards fulfilling worldly endeavours and have adopted completely strange and peculiar desires. Their desire to seek worldly objectives has far exceeded their desire to attain God Almighty. Thus, all of these factors should make us greatly ponder and be concerned as to how we can fulfil the true purpose of our lives. We must not only be concerned about the life in this world, nor should all our deliberations and efforts be spent in how to attain this world, rather we must utilise all our faculties to their utmost in order to attain the true purpose of our lives.
After having come to these countries [in the West], we must become those who fulfil the due rights of God Almighty’s worship whilst striving to become the recipients of God Almighty’s blessings. Just as the Promised Messiahas mentioned that our intentions and desires should not be contrary [to our real objective], rather we must recognise our Creator and fulfil the true purpose of our creation and also fulfil the objective for which God Almighty has sent the Promised Messiahas in this age.
The Promised Messiahas states:
“I have been sent so that I may strengthen the faith of people and establish the existence of God Almighty in their hearts. The condition of the faith of all nations has become extremely frail. The concept of life in the hereafter has become nothing more than a mere tale. Each and every person is demonstrating through their practical conditions that they do not have the same conviction and belief in the Hereafter as they have in the life of this world and all its splendour and glory. What they utter from their tongues is completely contrary to the conditions of their hearts which are overwhelmed with the love of this world.”
Despite verbally proclaiming the name of God, their hearts are filled with the love of this world and this love is demonstrated through their actions.
The Promised Messiahas further states:
“The love for God Almighty no longer remained in the hearts of the Jews, hence the Messiah was sent in order to bring them back to faith. Now, in my era, the same condition is prevalent once again. Thus, I have also been sent to revive faith and establish righteousness in the hearts once again.” (Kitab-ul-Bariyyah, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 13, pp. 291-293)
Today, it is our responsibility that where, on the one hand, whilst fulfilling the due rights of our Bai‘at, we increase in our love for God Almighty; firmly establish the unity of God in our hearts; give preference to our love for God Almighty and the Holy Prophetsa over all worldly comforts, on the other hand, whilst bringing about a pure change within ourselves, we should seek to bring our societies closer to God Almighty.
Today the people of this world deny the existence of God Almighty and each year a significant portion of people are joining those who deny His existence and abandoning their faith. This is the case in Christianity and across other faiths as well, in fact, even amongst Muslims. Therefore, in light of these conditions wherein people are denying the existence of God Almighty, we should instil the love of God Almighty within our hearts and also enlighten the world about the existence of God Almighty. It is only then that we will be fulfilling the true purpose of the Jalsa and doing justice to our Bai‘at with the Promised Messiahas.
It is not sufficient to merely instil the love of God Almighty and His Prophetsa in our hearts, in fact our duty is far greater than this. We must also strive our utmost to instil the love of God Almighty and His Prophetsa in our children and our future progenies as well.
Similarly, as I mentioned, we must also inform the world about the existence of God Almighty. After having entered the Bai‘at of the Promised Messiahas, it is now also our duty to further His mission.
May God Almighty grant us the opportunity to do so. During these days of the Jalsa, may we be able to increase the standard of our worship and remain firm on them in the future as well. May we continue to increase in our love for God Almighty and His Prophetsa and may the worldly desires and pleasures never overcome us.
However, also remember that none of this is possible without the blessings of God Almighty. Therefore, continue to especially pray so that you may also become the recipients of His blessings and for this, one must greatly focus their attention. May God Almighty grant us the opportunity to do so.
(Originally published in Al Fazl International, 18 October 2019, pp. 5-8. Translated by The Review of Religions.)