Elements of Faith & Quality of Worship
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) said that it is a great blessing of God upon those who have come to the USA for enabling them to settle in this developed country.
His Holiness(aba) said that over the past few years, many Ahmadis of Pakistan have settled in the USA and they continue to do so, on account of the fact that the conditions for Ahmadis have continued to become increasingly difficult in Pakistan. Ahmadis should be grateful to such governments who grant them refuge. However, the greatest favour of God upon us is that He has enabled us to accept the Imam of the Age, and the most ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet(sa). Therefore, if we truly wish to be grateful to God, it is incumbent upon us to obey His commandments, do justice to worshipping Him and do justice in fulfilling the rights owed to His creation.
Understanding the True Teachings of Islam as Taught by the Judge and Just Arbiter
His Holiness(aba) said that in this era, the Promised Messiah(as) is the true guide who, as foretold by the Holy Prophet(sa), was to guide us upon the true path of Islam. We must recognise that the true teachings of Islam today can only be understood through the Promised Messiah(as), for God bestowed upon him true understanding of the Holy Qur’an’s meanings. He is the true lover and ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet(sa) and it was based on the practice and teachings of the Holy Prophet(sa) that he desired to teach his Community. Hence, we will have to live our lives according to the manner taught by the Promised Messiah(as). We must accept him to be the judge and just arbiter of this age and we must have firm conviction that if one wishes to tread the true path of Islam, then one must accept and follow the Promised Messiah(as).
His Holiness(aba) said that the Promised Messiah(as) taught that one must not merely accept and pledge allegiance, but they must understand why they have done so and the underlying reasons behind it. Mere doubt or conjecture cannot suffice in one’s life, rather one must have firm conviction. Hence, one must consider that after having accepted the Promised Messiah(as), if they feel any apprehension in something he has taught, then one should ponder over the state of their faith. If one accepts the Promised Messiah(as) to be the judge and just arbiter of this age, then they must resign themselves to his teachings and regard them with respect. The Holy Prophet(sa) assured that there would be an Imam in the latter days who would be the judge and just arbiter. When that is the case, what doubt can remain. Hence, the Promised Messiah(as) said that those who accept him yet still raise objections are more unfortunate than those who simply were unable to recognise him, for such people are blind despite having borne witness to him.
His Holiness(aba) said that not only the Promised Messiah(as), but the Holy Prophet(sa) also foretold that there would be a system of successorship after the Messiah(as) which would remain until the end of times. This system of successorship is none other than the Ahmadiyya Caliphate which continues to uphold the teachings of the judge and just arbiter of this age. Every Ahmadi pledges loyalty and obedience to the Caliphate, therefore it is incumbent upon every Ahmadi to uphold this pledge, in order to uphold their pledge of allegiance to the Promised Messiah(as).
Spreading the Light of Truth through the Holy Qur’an
His Holiness(aba) quoted the Promised Messiah(as) who said that this Community was established in order to unveil the truth because without this, no light can be spread to the world. He said that he desired for the light of Islam to spread through practical proofs. Hence, he enjoined Ahmadis to not only read the Holy Qur’an, but to ponder over and understand it. It was for this purpose that the Promised Messiah(as) was commissioned as he was given a deeper understanding of the Holy Qur’an. The Holy Qur’an is not a storybook, rather it is a code of conduct for life.
His Holiness(aba) said that if, after coming to these developed countries, we forget this code of conduct and do not focus on our faith, then our future generations will continue to deviate from the faith. Rather than being grateful to God, such people would be forsaking the blessings of God. Our foundational purpose should be to establish a connection with God and to read, ponder and act upon His Book. It is only when we do this that we will be able to do justice to our pledge of allegiance.
His Holiness(aba) said that those who have migrated here may have escaped worldly persecution, however if they do not tread the path of faith and they do not try to understand the Holy Qur’an, then they cannot reap the blessings of Allah the Almighty. Similarly, new Ahmadis or Ahmadis who converted some time ago should remember that merely undertaking the pledge of allegiance does not suffice. Their true purpose will only be fulfilled when they adopt the teachings of Islam, which cannot happen until they read and understand the Book of God, the Holy Qur’an.
Faith Must be Accompanied by Actions
His Holiness(aba) quoted the Promised Messiah(as) who said that by accepting him, one may have drawn near to a spring which God created for everlasting life, however one must still drink from this spring. One must beseech God for the ability to drink from this spring, because without the help of God, one is unable to do anything. How can one drink from the spring? One must fulfil the two primary rights; the rights owed to God and the rights owed to His creation. If one not only draws near to the spring but is enabled to drink from it, then they are ensured that their faith will always remain secure. For this reason, it is vital to understand that pledging allegiance is not enough, rather it must be accompanied with actions. It is only then that one can attain the blessings of Allah. One must not merely proclaim ‘I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah’, but they must embody it as well.
His Holiness(aba) said that every person should analyse themselves and think that when they proclaim the Islamic creed, do they truly give precedence to Allah over all else? Do they comply with the commandments of God? Do they turn to prayer when it is time? If this is not the case, then although they proclaim the unity of God, there is a hidden form of shirk (associating partners with God) in their actions. People have given precedence to their worldly work, whereas a true believer understands that they can only achieve true success in their worldly work through the blessings of God. The Promised Messiah(as) said that if one does not reach this realisation, then they have not fulfilled the true purpose of their pledge of allegiance.
His Holiness(aba) said that maintaining a worldly mentality renders a person’s pledge of allegiance to him useless. He said that pledging allegiance to him requires one to bring a sort of death upon themselves, so that they may be born into a new life. In other words, after pledging allegiance, one should come into a new spiritual life. If this is not the case, then such a pledge of allegiance renders no benefit whatsoever. One who pledges allegiance with true sincerity and repents with true sincerity, then God has mercy on them and forgives them and it becomes as if they are granted a new life.
A World Leading to Destruction & What Must be Done to Be Saved
His Holiness(aba) said that we should strive in our worship solely for the sake of God and our actions should be for the sake of attaining the pleasure of God. The current state of the world points to looming dark clouds of destruction. Just yesterday, the American President said that if Russia were to use atomic weapons then they would retaliate. Such retaliation would certainly lead to the world’s destruction. Hence, those living in the developed world should not think they are immune and in such circumstances, it is the responsibility of Ahmadis to pray sincerely to God for the rest of the world. The Promised Messiah(as) said that out of love for His sincere servants, God also saves others. Therefore, one must not think they have ensured their safety and a bright future for their children by migrating here. This is not the case, in fact, it is only God who can save us, which is why we must bow before Him while enjoining our future generations to do the same. Only then can we and our future generations be saved.
His Holiness(aba) said that the world cannot save us. It is only when we embody the Islamic creed that God will have mercy and save us and the rest of the world. We must pay heed before the world becomes steeped in future destruction.
His Holiness(aba) presented a quote of the Promised Messiah(as) who said that when a ship is sinking, everyone cries, but this is a natural reaction and bears no benefit. Only that which is done prior, in times of peace can be rendered beneficial. Such is the case with finding God, in that one should always remain alert as if they are about to be struck by lightning. If one takes preemptive actions, then they will not be struck, however after the fact, wailing will not be of any benefit. At present, there are indications of destruction in the world which can be controlled at present, but could also get out of hand at any moment. Hence, we must sincerely pray with a sense of pain for the world in our hearts. If we do not pay heed, then it is possible that this beautiful world becomes barren.
His Holiness(aba) further quoted the Promised Messiah(as) who said that just as one is kind to their children, another form of kindness is to pray for them to be safeguarded from calamity. One who prays never returns unsuccessful. One should thus be sincere in their prayers. The Promised Messiah(as) said this at a time when the plague was rampant, however as the world is leading itself down a path of destruction, it is ever more important to focus on prayers in order to save the world.
The Need for Adopting High Morals
His Holiness(aba) said that the Promised Messiah(as) also advised his community to adopt high morals, as this too is a commandment of God. If one does not reflect on how they spent their days; what they did well and where they fell short, then they cannot improve. Using immoral language can lead to rifts and enmity, hence one should always be mindful of their language. One should use the faculties given to them by God to display the highest levels and standards of moral conduct.
His Holiness(aba) said that the Promised Messiah(as) said that one should also take pride in their faith. If a person is an enemy of Islam and curses at the Holy Prophet(sa) then there should be aversion towards them. However if a person is merely indolent, then good relations should be maintained with them. This means that if a person openly and pointedly opposes and curses Islam and the Holy Prophet(sa), then it is not possible for an Ahmadi to bear this and in such instances our religious pride should take effect. Ahmadis from Pakistan have seen first hand even the vulgar and foul language that is used for the Promised Messiah(as). However, even in the case of such people, we never take the law into our own hands.
Fostering an Atmosphere of Mutual Harmony & Brotherhood
His Holiness(aba) said that another quality outlined by the Promised Messiah(as) is mutual harmony and brotherhood. He said that this Community will not flourish until everyone develops mutual love. Rather than treating the weaker ones with contempt and enmity, one should utilise their faculties and treat them with love and affection. He said that a community is formed when one covers the faults of others and a true spirit of brotherhood is cultivated. There should not be internal discord within the community. The Companions also developed mutual love and thus they became a community. The Promised Messiah(as) desired to develop a similar spirit within his community. Hence, high morals demand that due regard must be given to the sentiments of others.
His Holiness(aba) said that these are the high morals we must adopt in order to reap the blessings promised by God to the community of the Promised Messiah(as). No matter our race, whether white, African-American, Pakistani, Indian or Spanish, after having joined the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community we are all from a single spiritual father. This was the same message given by the Holy Prophet(sa) in his farewell sermon. The Promised Messiah(as) desired for his community to become an example for the world, however in order to become an example one must strive a great deal. We too will have to strive a great deal to increase the standards of our worship and of our moral conduct. These things can only be achieved when one adopts righteousness.
His Holiness(aba) said that thus, if we wish to be grateful to God, then we must constantly analyse ourselves. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may we mould ourselves according to the desires of the Promised Messiah(as), may we give precedence to our faith over the world, may we develop the fear of God and may we truly be those who do justice to ‘I bear witness that there is no God but Allah.’ May we become part of those in the latter days for whom God gave glad tidings to the Holy Prophet(sa).
His Holiness(aba) said that it was on this day 28 years ago, on 14th October that this mosque (Baitur Rahman, Maryland, USA) was inaugurated. Those living in the vicinity of this mosque should analyse themselves and see how much their spirituality has progressed in the last 28 years and whether they have done justice to this mosque. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may God continue to enable people to do justice to this mosque and keep it safe for ages to come.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions