An Eid-ul-Fitr Sermon delivered by Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih II and Musleh-e-Maud, may Allah be pleased with him, on 13 August 1915
After reciting Tashahud, Ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra recited the following verses of the Holy Quran and commenced with the Eid Sermon:
قُلۡ اَعُوۡذُ بِرَبِّ الۡفَلَقِ
مِنۡ شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ
وَ مِنۡ شَرِّ غَاسِقٍ اِذَا وَقَبَ
وَ مِنۡ شَرِّ النَّفّٰثٰتِ فِی الۡعُقَدِ
وَ مِنۡ شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ اِذَا حَسَدَ
(Surah al-Falaq, Ch.113: V.2-6)
Today, by the grace and blessing of Allah, we have been bestowed two eids – the first in the form of Eid-ul-Fitr and the second in the form of the eid of Jumuah. Sermons are a part of both prayers. After the Eid prayer, a sermon is delivered and there is a sermon before the Jumuah prayer. This was the practice of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
It is my habit that when I proceed somewhere to deliver a speech, I do not think of a subject beforehand, but rather, whatever topic God Almighty instils in my heart, I commence with that. Only just now, a person mentioned to me that some ghair mubai‘een [a term that was used for those who had not performed Bai‘at at the hands of Khalifatul Masih, despite associating themselves with the Jamaat] have come to offer the Eid and Jumuah prayers and requested that I say something with regard to them. Not only are we prepared to address big figures, but also those who are socially considered weak, poor, totally unworthy and the worst of creation.
In fact, such a “poor” person is better than a king who has rejected us as such a person ponders more profoundly on God’s word.
Nonetheless, I deliver my sermons for the sake of Allah. If the ghair mubai‘een do not benefit from my words, then it is possible that someone else may benefit and attain guidance.
The fact is that true guidance can only be bestowed by God. Even while addressing the Holy Prophetsa, God Almighty said:
لَّسْتَ عَلَيْهِم بِمُصَيْطِرٍ
“You are not a warden over them.”
In other words, “Your task is only to convey. To enable people to accept or reject is in the control of God.”
Similarly, I am astounded as to what the actual issue is surrounding Khilafat. Is it a political dispute? I am unable to fathom such debates. Debates usually surround doctrinal matters or on issues related to Shariah, that such-and-such command of God is thus and it should be followed in such-and-such manner. Furthermore, debates can also arise over nations, wealth, property and various other items.
For example, France, Germany, Belgium, Austria, all these countries fight and quarrel over nations, however Khilafat is not the name of any country. Khilafat is not a bag of wealth. Khilafat is not something that you can consume.
There can only be two purposes of Khilafat:
First, so that the Jamaat may not disunite, to protect it from division and to keep it united under one markaz [headquarters]. To wipe out such discord and avoid any such disunity, it is important to have one khalifa. Additionally, its purpose is to prevent the Jamaat’s strength from crippling in different ways and to unite them at one markaz and gather its strength at one place.
Now, one party says that in view of Ayat-e-Istikhlaf (Surah al-Nur, Ch.24: V.56), Khilafat is essential, while the other group says that Khilafat is not necessary. One simple way of reaching a verdict on this issue is to have everyone reflect over their actions by asking themselves how beneficial or detrimental their actions to the larger community are.
If, by performing a certain task, the Jamaat benefits, then one should proceed with it, otherwise they should drop it there and then. Now observe that the majority of the Jamaat deems Khilafat as essential in ridding it of discord, while another group considers it nonessential.
Debates can never settle anything. If you reflect, then the existence of God is also disputed, as are His attributes. There are debates on the existence of angels. Differences of opinion will always remain, however the question remains, whose responsibility is it to shun their obstinacy and stubbornness? If the opposing party says that Khilafat is not established, then our argument is that the opposite to such a scenario is also not established.
If the believers in Khilafat shun Khilafat, then they are guilty in the sight of Allah as they already believe it to be true in light of Ayat-e-Istikhlaf. But if those who are impartial to the debate of whether Khilafat should exist or not exist accept Khilafat for the mere purpose of unity, then this discord can be avoided, which is causing such a rift.
On the morning of Hazrat Maulvi Sahib’sra [Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I’s] demise, Maulvi Muhammad Ali Sahib said to me, “Mian Sahib, you should compromise.” I asked, “Is it a sin to have Khilafat?” to which he replied, “No, it is permissible.” I then said, “In my view, it is essential and wajib [an obligation].” In such circumstances, where both parties agree on the same thing – with one party believing that to act on it or not is the equally the same, while the other party believes that it is wajib – it becomes incumbent upon the group that can justify both scenarios to set their obstinacy aside.
God Almighty will surely question such a person, “If, in your view, performing this act and not doing it were the same, then why did you not set aside your stubbornness?” Thus, such a group will surely be answerable to God.
Then, I further wish to say that the progress Islam made when they were under a khalifa was never experienced at any other time. Can anyone suggest that after Hazrat Usmanra and Alira, the Abbasids also saw progress? The moment the khilafats saw disunity was exactly when Islam’s progress halted.
Those who raise the issue of a khalifa being ma‘mur [appointed by God] or ghair ma‘mur [not appointed by God] should just take a look at their own homes and ask themselves whether it can function without a head?
A European author wrote a novel in which he satirised such people. The crux of one such setting is that there was a father who lived by the principle that the roles and responsibilities of men and women are the same and that there need not be any figure who is most worthy of being obeyed.
Accordingly, his two daughters used this as an excuse to remain occupied in their personal hobbies and disturb the way the house was run by disobeying their father. This led to the father getting so irritated that he eventually had to apologise to them.
Thus, no task can be achieved without having a markaz or an imam [leader]. Even during warfare, a subject must obey his superior. If even the slightest disobedience is displayed, they are immediately shot dead … Those who oppose the Khalifa should be clear that when people rose in opposition to Hazrat Usmanra, he rose up and declared, “I say to you clearly that you should desist from spreading this discord for you will never be able to live at peace afterwards and you shall never be united.”
Thus, to this day, Muslims have never been at peace with one another. After hearing Abdullahra bin Salaam say that there would be discord later on, Ibn Abbasra replied that he should seek the “jamaat” [community]. People asked, “Even if they are the oppressors?” He replied, “Yes, even if they are the oppressors” and repeated this thrice. People should draw comparisons and reflect over where the benefits lie. You say that Bai‘at is not essential, however we say that unity is essential. Then why do you pursue the path that furthers us away from unity? Only yesterday, I quoted:
لَوْ کَانَ الْاِیْمَانُ مُعَلَّقًا بِالثُّرَيَّا لَنَا لَهُ رِجَالٌ مِّنْ اَبْنَاءِ فَارس
[If faith was to ascend to the Pleiades, men of Persian descent would bring it back.] (Al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir lil-Hafiz Abil-Qasim Salman bin Ahmad al-Tabrani, Vol. 18, p. 353, Maktabah Ibn Taimiyah Cairo, 1397 AH)
The word rijaal has been used here, which suggests that this is a prophecy that if faith was to rise up to the Pleiades, then some men from Persia would restore faith. It is essential that they should belong to the people of Persia, i.e. the family of Hazrat [Ahmadas] and if they belong to another family, then they cannot be termed “the people of Persia”.
In such a scenario, this prophecy becomes flawed. “Rajulun min Faris” [a variant of the same hadith] suggests that the actual founder of this community is one, but “Rijaal” connotes that his devotees and supporters will also belong to other “people of Persia”.
Thus, my purpose is not to escalate discord. No progress could have come if it was man-made. As Shirk [association of partners with God] is rampant in the world today, God Almighty selected a weak person and thus said, “For anything to be achieved is in My hands.” When God took hold of me and placed me in this position, what part did I play in this?
My opponents declare to be bigger than me in knowledge, experience and emotions, but God has His work carried out by the weakest. I do not consider myself to be of any worth. God desires to show that He can bestow great strengths to the weakest of weak. I once saw a dream before my Khilafat that one of my peers said to me, “I will deliver a lecture in opposition to your lecture.”
I replied to him by saying, “If you deliver a lecture in my opposition and even make a true accusation against me, then you will perish.”
Remember, no one can stop the works of God.
May Allah give you the potential to understand what I have said.
(Al Fazl, 31 August 1915)