Synopsis of Friday Sermon (22-Feb-13) prepared by Sister Shermeen Butt
Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said that he had in mind to deliver today’s sermon with reference to the Musleh Maud prophecy. He felt that we usually present the prophecy and mention the achievement of Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him). Many aspects of the God-given knowledge, intellect and wisdom of Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) can be seen in his speeches, addresses and sermons even prior to Khilafat. His discourses were replete with spiritual knowledge. 23 volumes of his speeches have been published entitled ‘Anwarul Uloom’ with each volume more than 600 pages and this series is still being published. Similarly, his Friday sermons have been published in 24 volumes thus far covering the period up to 1943 and will continue to be published. Again, each volume is in excess of 600 pages. Fazle Umer Foundation was established to collate his works. They are also having his speeches, essays etc. translated. Perhaps they will be available soon in English language. Work is also being done in other languages, mostly in Arabic. Students of various Jamia Ahmadiyya are doing some of this translation work via the thesis which is written after passing Shahid.
Thus, he left us a treasure of his life’s works and the work of the 52 years of his Khilafat. Those who purchase these volumes probably do not read them cover to cover. Majority of the new Ahmadis and the younger generation cannot read the original Urdu. They are unaware of his literary style. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said even people of his age and older who are born Ahmadi do not have an insight into this. We can only fully appreciate the breadth of his knowledge and his God-given discernment into the knowledge of what is apparent and what is hidden if we read his works. In the times of Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) audio and video facilities were not available. During his last years some recording was done. With the passage of time the quality of that audio recording has altered and even so it could not have captured his majestic style. Thank God record of his writings, his addresses remains to a large extent; ‘a large extent’ because in those days the transcription was done by short-hand writers and perhaps some matters were not written down.
Today Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih decided to give a sermon mostly in the words of Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) regarding methods of prayer and belief in God as Master of all powers and said that he chose this sermon because if we wish to experience extraordinary results we need to have a proper insight into the subject of this sermon and should put it in practice.
‘I have continuously drawn attention of friends to prayer and the notes and letters that I receive from friends disclose that a section of the Jama’at is motivated to pray for the evils of the current world. However, prayers of just one section are not enough. What is needed is that the mind-set of men, women and children is changed as regards prayers. The change of mind-set comes about in the sense that first of all belief and faith in prayer is generated. The prayer of a person who prays without belief in prayer does not gain acceptance. It is possible that sometimes prayer of such a person is accepted, but that would be only by way of illustration and to generate belief in his heart. However, as a rule, the prayer of that person is accepted who has belief that Allah the Exalted would listen to him. Allah the Exalted states in the Holy Qur’an: ‘Or, Who answers the distressed person when he calls upon Him…’ (27:63) And He then states that Allah alone listens. The Arabic word Muztir (the distressed person) connotes one who is pushed from all four sides to one direction. One who goes to a direction having found the way closed from all four sides is called Muztir. That is, he sees fire all around; he looks to his right and sees fire, he looks to his left and he sees fire, he looks behind and he sees fire, he looks underneath him and he sees fire, he looks above himself and he sees fire. Only one direction, that of Allah the Exalted remains for him and he catches sight of it, everywhere else he sees fire upon fire. He only sees peace in one direction. You can understand from this that it is essential to have the element of belief in the subject of Muztir.
Muztir simply does not mean one whose heart is perturbed because when perturbed sometimes a person can impulsively walk in one direction without any assurance that the direction in which he is going will bring peace to him or not. In fact when perturbed some people go to a place that presents danger in itself and they cannot be saved from it. Thus mere restlessness of heart does not connote distress. Only that state connotes distress when man does not see any sanctuary in the four directions but can only see it in one place. That is, the indication of distress is not that one sees fire in all four directions but its indication is also that one sees peace in one place and can be assured that there is no fire there. Such prayer gains acceptance with Allah the Exalted during which man submits before God in this condition. He has belief that there is no sanctuary for him except with God. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) described this state of Muztir in the words: O Allah there is no place of refuge from torment and misfortunes that come from You apart from this that I despair of everywhere else and blindly come into Your refuge. This is the condition of restlessness. When God stated in the Qur’an ‘Or, Who answers the distressed person when he calls upon Him…’ Here the word Muztir connotes prayer of such a person who does not consider anyone apart from God as his Refuge and who does not call anyone apart from God as his Refuge. This verse indicates towards such a condition of distress.’
Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) went on to explain that although God alone can alleviate distress but people too can help others with their God-given capacity. Like a well-off person can help a needy person and there are many other ways as well when people help each other in times of anxiety. However, he then says: ‘Different people can be of help to a person for his different times of distress. But Allah the Exalted states: ‘Or, Who answers the distressed person when he calls upon Him…’ Here that Muztir is meant regarding whom it is not at all conditional as to what sort of a Muztir he is; be he hungry, or unclothed, or thirsty or ill or is carrying a load. Regardless of his distress, the only Being to meet all his needs is that of Allah the Exalted.’
There are thousands of ways in which man can be distressed, even a king cannot be of help in this regard. For example if a man is passing through a jungle and a wild animal comes by, how can a powerful king be any use to him there, even if the man is the king’s son? In such a situation only God can be of help. Thus, unless a person has perfect belief that only God can help him in any given situation he cannot be called a Muztir.
This sermon was given at the time of British rule in India. Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) says the British government could not make the cowardly people in India who were under its rule any braver. They simply chose not to have them in the armed forces. Whereas among those who make connections with God great big cowards end up being brave and the most unorganized of nations become organised. When God grants progress to nations, their situations are transformed, their hearts are changed and they develop such strength that the world is astonished. Such was the situation in Arabia. There was no administrative system in place, just disparate groups of tribes with no unity and no power. The advent of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) took place among these people. And very few people accepted him. Perhaps a mere hundred people accepted him during his Makkan life. People of Makkah were considered quite lowly in worldly terms and those who became Muslims among them were even deemed lowly by other Makkans. But how God transformed them into courageous and organised people! The Arabs of Makkah did not like to listen to anyone or be obedient. Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) related a long story to illustrate this and then to illustrate the revolutionary change that took place among the Makkans he related the Tradition of a Companion of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) Hadhrat Abdullah bin Masood. He was on his way to listen to the sermon of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and was still in the street when he heard the Holy Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) voice asking people to sit down. Abdullah bin Masood promptly sat down where he was, on the way to the sermon and then he started to crawl his way to the mosque. Someone asked him what he was doing and he replied that he had heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) asking people to sit down and he complied, for he did not wish to risk the chance to meet his ending while disobeying the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).
On the other hand, the people of Medina were not very proficient in fighting. They were farming people; an occupation looked down by the rest of the Arabs who considered them not even worthy of fighting with. Yet, after being associated with the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) a great change came in the people of Medina. So much so that when at the time of Battle of Bade the warrior Makkans attacked people of Medina, who were a handful by comparison and that too poorly armed, they demonstrated amazing courage. Hadhrat Abdur Rahman bin Auf, a valiant soldier, related that a good soldier can fight well when he has good fighters around him who can guard him. This is why good soldiers are always placed in the middle of other soldiers so that they are protected. During Badr when he looked around him he saw two 15 year old Ansari boys who had been allowed to join the troops by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) after they had insisted to come. Hadhrat Abdur Rahman bin Auf’s heart sank when he saw them around him; they were from Medina, so were unaware of fighting skills. Just then he felt a nudge on his right side. One of the boys spoke in his ear asking him to identify Abu Jahl in the battleground who had been persecuting the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) so that the boy could avenge him. Before he could answer, Hadhrat Abdur Rahman Auf felt a nudge on his left side. The other boy spoke in his ear asking exactly the same question and said he wanted to avenge Abdu Jahl. Hadhrat Abdur Rahman Auf pointed out Abu Jahl to the boys. Abu Jahl was of course positioned in the middle of the troops and had two fierce generals as aides on his side who were guarding him with drawn swords. No sooner had he pointed him out to the boys that they lunged at him as a hawk attacks a bird and injured Abu Jahl. One of the boys lost his hand in the skirmish but he carried on and both of them had Abu Jahl on the ground injured.
Thus, two young boys from among the people who were considered unworthy of fighting managed to do the unthinkable. They injured a fierce warrior like Abu Jahl who died in the torment that his death came about due to two inexperienced boys. It was belief in the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) that made the people of Medina courageous and valiant fighters.
Another episode of false sense of pride of Arabs of that time is that a man wanted to marry a girl and asked her father to let him see her. The father refused. The man went to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and told him the story. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that the man was wrong to do so and that it was permissible to the see the girl for the purpose of Nikah. The man went back to the girl’s father and told him what the Prophet had said. The father was dismissive and in his false pride once again refused to let him see the girl. Meanwhile, the girl was listening to all this and she came out with her face uncovered. She asked her father how he could continue to decline when the Prophet had said it was alright to see the girl before Nikah. She then addressed the man and said there she was, he could have a look. The man responded that he need not look because his preference was for a girl who was obedient to God and His Messenger. Thus, God transformed the hearts of the Arabs that all that mattered to them was the pleasure of God and His Messenger.
Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said: ‘No worldly government can change hearts. Only Allah the Exalted can change hearts. Cowards become brave under the commandment of God and the brave become cowards under the commandment of God. Miserly become generous under the commandment of God and the generous become miserly under the commandment of God. The ignorant become scholars under the commandment of God and scholars become ignorant under the commandment of God. When God commands a nation to be eliminated, its scholars become ignorant, its brave become cowards, its generous people become miserly and its powerful people weaken. However, when Allah wills to enhance a nation, its cowards become brave, its ignorant become scholars, its miserly become generous and its foolish become wise. Many such examples have been seen in one’s life.
We have seen this among Ahmadis as well. An uneducated person becomes an Ahmadi with sincerity, but as soon as he becomes an Ahmadi he becomes articulate and many a great Maulwis are nervous to discuss matters with him and begin to avoid him. We have also observed that some educated people enter our Jama’at, but because they are not sincere about Ahmadiyyat, they remain as ignorant about religious knowledge as they were before becoming Ahmadi. This clearly shows that our knowledge is not personal but is God-given, our bravery is not our own bravery but is God-given, our sacrifices are not our own but are a result of God-given enablement. If it was not God-given bravery, if it was not God-given knowledge, if it was not God-given courage what connection would it have had with sincerity? It would have been all about habits, hard work and personal endeavors. Although we see that worldly people who are ignorant of these matters but they have sincerity of heart.’
Explaining, Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had a servant called Peera who was not the brightest of people. His parents had left him with the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) who did his treatment and once he was better he used to sit in the foyer/vestibule of the house all day long and used to run errands and take messages. He did not offer Salat. Hadhrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din (may Allah be pleased with him) used to make him understand the importance of offering Salat. One day he set off to say Salat. While he was offering Salat a woman brought food and called for him to come and get the food. When she received no answer she called out loudly for him to get the food otherwise she would tell of him. He heard her loud call and such was his mental state that while in the last sitting position/posture of Salat he shouted back to her that he would come once his Salat was finished. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had said that in those days there was no post office in Qadian and no other means of communication. When people used to disembark at Batala train station Maulwi Muhammad Hussein Batalwi used to stop people heading for Qadian and provoke then against the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). One day he stopped Peera and tried to dissuade him. Peera replied that he was uneducated and ignorant but one thing even he understood and that was that the Maulwi sahib always stopped people from going to Qadian. For years he had come to the station to send telegrams etc. and saw that Maulwi sahib always deterred people from going to Qadian. Yet, no one listened to him. While ‘Mirza sahib’ was in Qadian but people were continually drawn to him. There had to be something in this! Thus a man who did not even fully understand the etiquette of Salat gave an exquisite and correct reply to Maulwi Muhammad Hussein Batalwi. Those who have a connection with Him are taught in most amazing ways by God, for He has recourse to everything. If there is any deficiency God provides it; in case of deficiency of wisdom He can facilitate it, in case of deficiency of bravery, He can facilitate it, in case of deficiency of generosity, He can facilitate it, in case of deficiency of health, He can facilitate it, in case of deficiency of respect, He can facilitate it, in case of deficiency of wealth, He can facilitate it. In short He has all kind of treasures and He provides to His servants from these treasures in such an astonishing manner.’
Once, a renowned American priest visited Qadian along with another priest. Dr Khalifa Rasheed ud din sahib showed them around. Qadian did not have any civic authority at the time and rubbish would collect in streets. The priest made a jibe about the cleanliness of the village of the ‘new Messiah’. Dr Rasheed ud din sahib responded that India was still under the governance of the ‘first Messiah’ [British Indian Raj] and this was an example of its cleanliness and that the governance of the ‘new Messiah’ had not yet been established. The priest then went to meet Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah e pleased with him) and asked him what was the Islamic creed on transmigration. He at once understood where this was going. The priest meant to suggest that does believing the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) to be in the likeness of Jesus (on whom be peace) mean that his spirit had come into the Promised Messiah’s spirit. If this was so, then this was transmigration, a concept that the Qur’an rejects. He was replied that certainly we believe the Promised Messiah to be in the likeness of Jesus in the spiritual sense and not physical. The priest’s second question was about the incongruity of the place where the advent of the Promised Messiah had taken place. He questioned the suitability of Qadian as the place from where the message could be taken to the entire world. This was replied by reminding the priest of the size of Nazareth when the advent of Jesus (on whom be peace) took place. It constituted of no more than a dozen family homes. Of course, this rendered the priest speechless.
Once a Mullah came to Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) and asked him to give a proof of the truthfulness of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Hadhrat Musleh Maud told him it was in the Qur’an but the man wanted a specific verse although he was told that every verse of the Qur’an was a proof of the truthfulness of ‘Mirza sahib’ as Quranic verses are applicable on Prophets in one way or the other. There are some verses which are easier to prove to be pertinent in this regard while others are not so easy and the explanation would not be for everyone to comprehend. The Mullah was asked to choose a verse of his own liking and he chose: ‘And of the people there are some who say, ‘We believe in Allah and the Last Day;’ while they are not believers at all.’ (2:9) Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) knew that through God’s power, the man would quote an appropriate verse, which is exactly what happened. He had earlier asked the question that since Muslims practiced their faith properly what was the need of a Prophet? So, Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) pointed it out to him that the verse speaks of some among the Muslims going the wrong way, would God then not send a Prophet for their reformation? This silenced him.
Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said: ‘Everything comes from God, human strength cannot do anything , this is why remember that unless prayers are made in a state of being Muztir, that is, with this belief that it is only God Who fulfills all the needs of the world, they will not be accepted. Certainly there are people in the world who give from what God has given them but in any case they can only provide someone with clothes. Certainly there are people in the world who give from what God has given them but all said and done they can only provide someone with a house. Certainly there are people in this world who benefit others from their God-given knowledge but all said and done they can only treat the ailing. Certainly there are people in the world who avail of their God-given knowledge to represent someone in a court case for free but in any case they can only fight the court case without charging fee but there is no one in the world who has the power to do all of this. No man has power to bring about change of hearts, no man has power over change of sentiments; it is only the Being of God Who has power over everything and Who has the power to change hearts and their inner most sentiments. Unless prayer is made in a state of Muztir, unless it is made losing hope with and in everything and with perfect faith in God, it is not accepted. However, when prayer is made in this tenor, it certainly reaches God’s heaven and is definitely accepted.’
These were just a few glimpses of the Friday sermon of Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him). If we wish to change our situation we have to turn to God in this manner. May we be those who pray in this vein!
Next Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih announced the passing away of Azim sahib who was a devoted worker of Ziafat department in London. He was most dedicated at serving others. His funeral Prayer will be offered after a few days. He leaves behind children who are still studying. May God be their Protector.
Archives of Friday sermons/summaries can be found at http://www.alislam.org/friday-sermon.