His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) is a beaming beacon of Divine guidance and support. His Holiness (aba) represents the highest level of a connection with God in today’s world and thus he is the spiritual leader for tens of millions across the world, and champions the message of fulfilling the rights owed to God, and fulfilling the duties we each owe to our fellow human beings. Over the course of his Friday Sermons, addresses on various occasions, meetings with different organizations and children’s classes, His Holiness (aba) imparts invaluable knowledge and insight on a remarkably vast array of topics.
The Review of Religions in honored to present some of these ‘Rays of Wisdom’ from His Holiness (aba) taken from various different sources, for the benefit of its readers.
How Would His Holiness (aba) Overcome Any Difficulty He Faced?
His Holiness (aba) is an inspiration for millions around the world. Our world is extremely blessed to have a chosen man of God who is a guiding light towards the true path of God. Hence, His Holiness (aba) is often asked about how he deals with everyday situations, as his actions are the prime example today of how to truly follow the teachings of Islam, emulate the practices of the Holy Prophet (sa), and how to achieve the pleasure of God Almighty. As such, one student asked His Holiness (aba), ‘have you ever faced any difficulty in your life which caused you great concern and how did you overcome it?’
His Holiness (aba) replied:
‘By the grace of Allah I have not faced any such overwhelming difficulty which would cause me to become anxious. During student life, at the most, a student is worried about passing exams and matters like these. In such circumstances, I prostrated before Allah, praying to Him and weeping before Him; as a result, Allah the Almighty created such means that helped me and removed all my worries. This has always been my experience. I cannot say I ever faced an overwhelming difficulty. However, during student life, I faced certain difficulties, but with the help of Allah Almighty, the difficulties in my studies would be resolved. But it should not be the case that you stop studying and then test Allah Almighty by praying for Him to help you pass; rather, you should also work hard. When a person faces any type of difficulty they should pray to Allah. If a person prostrates before Allah Almighty sincerely then Allah Almighty accepts their prayers. Prayers and charity (sadaqah) removes difficulties; this is what we have been learned from the Islamic teachings and this is what I have practiced whenever any hardships have arisen.’ 
How Can One Establish Fervency in Prayer?
Prayer is a fundamental aspect in the life of a Muslim; in fact we are taught in the Holy Qur’an that the very reason and purpose for our creation is to worship God. It is the primary means of establishing a connection with God Almighty and continuously increasing that bond throughout the span of our lives. However, some may experience at times, that they are not able to establish complete concentration and fervency in their prayers. Seeing as worship is so integral, this may become a cause for concern and lead to the question of how this can be remedied. One student asked His Holiness (aba) how one can establish fervency in their prayers.
His Holiness (aba) replied:
‘A basic principal which the Promised Messiah (as) has mentioned is that if one cannot attain such a state of fervency within them, then they should outwardly display an expression [on their face] as if they are crying. The physical state of a person affects the state of a person’s heart as well. Therefore you should bring about the such expressions [on your face] as if you are crying.’
His Holiness (aba) asked the student: ‘Have you ever experienced any hardship?’ To which the student replied, ‘Yes, Your Holiness’.
His Holiness (aba) then continued:
‘You have experienced hardship; so sometimes you can try and keep that particular hardship in your mind and then pray as that will also enable you to bring about emotions of fervency and anguish within you and this will also draw your attention towards other prayers as well. And, if you have sympathy for others, then you should keep their hardships in mind and pray and that will also help draw your attention and focus towards your prayers. Therefore, try to adopt a similar condition and similar facial expressions [similar to crying] and then one will be able to establish emotions of fervency and anguish within themselves and if it happens in this manner this then that is fine… Also, you should repeatedly recite, ‘Thee Alone do we worship and Thee Alone do we implore for help.’ There is an incident mentioned regarding one of the elders in Qadian [town in India] – perhaps it was Maulvi Sarwar Shah Sahib or Maulvi Sher Ali Sahib – he was standing in the Mubarak Mosque in Qadian offering voluntary (nawafil) prayers. He had started the prayer and was standing with his hands folded together, but he was not going into ruku` [the bowing position in prayer]. When the person [observing him] went a little closer, he could hear him whispering ‘Thee Alone do we worship and Thee Alone do we implore for help’ and whilst doing so he was overcome with such intense emotion and he continued to repeat those same words for 15 minutes. Therefore, you should too ponder over the various states in prayer…Carefully pondering over these words, reciting them and continuously repeating them naturally establishes emotions of fervency and anguish within a person.’ 
Can All of Our Sins be Forgiven?
To err is human. Throughout the course of a lifetime, it is inevitable that we will commit faults and sins. Satanic forces are lurking around every corner, ever ready to entice and lure away from the path of God. Especially in the materialistic world we live in today, the potential to veer away and commit sin had become that much greater. Islam teaches that of course, human weakness cannot be avoided, and in order to amend for our shortcomings and faults, Islam had provided the path of seeking forgiveness and repenting. Does this mean however, that all sins and faults will be forgiven? This was the question on the mind of one youngster who asked His Holiness (aba), ‘Many people sin but then pray to be forgiven, therefore, are all sins forgiven?’
His Holiness (aba) replied:
‘You see, Allah knows better. We cannot decide that, that person will be forgiven or not…Even Allah Almighty has said that ‘I am the Maalik [Master] and Allah, the God. I know whom I am going to forgive and whom I will not.’ You see, there is a story; there was a person who was a very pious person. He asked another person who was not that pious, that since you are not offering five daily prayers and you are committing bad things, you will be sent to Hell. The person who was not very much pious said that ‘who are you to say that I will be sent to Hell. It is Allah Who will decide.’ But the person who thought himself to be very pious – or in another way you should say that he was quite arrogant in this regard – said ‘no, it is definite, it is quite certain that you will be sent to Hell.’ It so happened that coincidentally, both of them died at the same time. When the souls reached to Allah Almighty, Allah Almighty asked the person who was apparently a very pious person, that ‘who are you to decide that who is going to hell and who is going to heaven. It is Me Who has to decide. I am God, the All-Powerful, Omnipotent Allah. You said to this person that he will go to Hell, and you thought yourself to be very pious and you will go to heaven; and now the decision is in My hand. So I decide, that this person whom you were thinking will go to Hell, I am sending him to Heaven, and you, because of your arrogance, and thinking that you have done so many things and you will go to Heaven, I am sending you to Hell.’ So now, it is Allah Almighty Who decides who is going to Heaven and who is going to Hell. Our duty is that we should try to follow the commandments of Allah Almighty. Don’t, at the same time, try Allah Almighty, that whatever we do, we shall be forgiven and we shall go to Heaven. Allah says that ‘these are My commandments, these are My injunctions, this is My teaching, this has been given – the Holy Qur’an. If you are a true believer, a true Muslim, then follow My commandments and injunctions. And then, if you do it, then it is My promise that I will send you to Heaven.’ Being a human being, you might commit some small sins, then those small sins will also be forgiven by Allah Almighty.’ 
What is ‘the Night of Decree’ (Laylatul Qadr)?
The last ten days of Ramadan are very special. We learn from traditions that the Holy Prophet (sa) would devote himself to prayer more so than usual during this time. One of the reasons why these days are so special is because that it is during this time that Laylatul Qadr, ‘the Night of Decree’ can be found. What is ‘the Night of Decree’? One youngster presented this very question before His Holiness (aba).
His Holiness (aba) replied
‘The Night of Decree. You see, the Holy Prophet (sa) says that during the last ten days of Ramadan there is one special night, in which Allah Almighty accepts all the prayers which you are doing. But at the same time, you have to be a true believer; not that an atheist comes to the mosque, or a person who has never offered prayer and only on the night of Laylatul Qadr [the Night of Decree] he just goes into prostration (sajdah) and says, ‘Allah Almighty accept my prayers’ – no. If you are a true believer and following all the commandments of Allah Almighty; offering five daily prayers regularly; reading the Holy Qur’an; practicing the teachings of Islam; then you can benefit from that night. And, the Holy Prophet (sa) said that you should try to find that night during the last ten nights of Ramdan, in the odd nights; that is 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, and 29th. So, even he did not precisely mention that night. He said try to find Laylatul Qadr during the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan. So, that is Allah’s promise, that if a person is a true believer and whenever he is beseeching my help and whenever he is asking Me and praying for all the problems, I will listen to his prayers and accept his prayers. That is Laylatul Qadr but, before that, you have to be a good believer.’ 
Maintaining the Essence of Ramadan & Safeguarding Our Future Generations
The month of Ramadan truly is a precious time for all Muslims. It serves as a time for increased devotion to God through worship, reflection and the sacrifice of giving up food and drink in order to be more focused on God. It’s a time to bring about a spiritual revolution; to rectify mistakes made throughout the year and to advance in spirituality, building an even stronger bond with God Almighty. On the last Friday of Ramadan 2021, His Holiness (aba) addressed the world and gave a special and vital message about maintaining these virtuous habits not only during Ramadan, but throughout our lives. His Holiness (aba) also shed light on the importance of safeguarding our future generation from the harms and evils of the world we live in.
His Holiness (aba) said:
‘We should strive in all those matters which we have been reminded of during the month of Ramadan and all the virtuous deeds which we were able to carry out during the month, and continue them even after Ramadan. In fact we ought to try and excel in them. Otherwise, if we do not maintain these virtuous deeds and pious changes and do not excel in them, then there is no benefit in us simply passing through the month of Ramadan.
Last Friday, I drew your attention towards reciting durood [sending salutations upon the Holy Prophet (sa)] and istighfar [seeking forgiveness from God]; this should not be limited to Ramadan alone and it should not be the case that after Ramadan is over, we become immersed in the world to such an extent that we abandon prayers and seeking forgiveness (istighfar); I especially drew your attention to the fact that we must always bear this point in mind.
We are passing through a time where the Antichrist (Dajjal) is using new ploys and the lure and attraction of this world has taken hold over most people, and at times, even our children and youth become influenced by these things. When this is the case, it is vital for us to pray a great deal for ourselves; may Allah Almighty save us from these satanic attacks and from those of the Antichrist. We must stay closely attached to our children and after forming a special bond with them we must teach them about the existence of God Almighty and the beautiful teachings of Islam. Then, by establishing complete certainty within the hearts of our children, we must attach them to God Almighty in such a manner that no action or deed of theirs, nor any thought contradicts the pleasure and teachings of God Almighty. They should have an answer to every worldly thought and strife. It should not be that they are unable to answer certain things and thus become influenced by others; rather they should always have an answer whereby they can safeguard themselves from any sort of trial. This alone is the way to guarantee the progress and survival of our future generations and this alone is the right way of saving them from falling into trial. However, this cannot happen until we ourselves adopt high standards of belief and certainty and until we reach a degree which behoves a believer. This will only be possible when we have a strong connection with God Almighty; when our prayers and worship become exemplary and when we realise why we accepted the Promised Messiah (as) and the responsibility thereof. It is a great responsibility upon us, in that we must strengthen our faith and to constantly watch over our actions so that we become the means of saving our progenies.
The level of immorality and indecency that is prevalent today has hardly been witnessed before. These things have now reached every home through the television and the internet. Before the danger was outside of the homes, whereas now the threat is in the homes as well. Children can secretly watch certain things without anyone realising what they are watching. Hence, there is a great need to be vigilant in this regard. Children of the elders of the Community or of pioneer Ahmadis or of those people who performed bai`at [the oath of allegiance] themselves, joined the Community and accepted the Imam of the age; and who were prepared to, and made sacrifices in order to safeguard their faith, should always remember that they can only safeguard themselves if they watch over themselves and by giving precedence to their faith over worldly pursuits; only then can we save ourselves and our progenies. No matter which elder a family may be associated with or which elder they are the descendants of; merely belonging to the family of a pious person does not grant assurance that Allah Almighty will continue to bestow His favours upon them or that will be pleased with them. Everyone is responsible for their own deeds in order to attain the pleasure of Allah the Almighty. Only our own actions can save us; simply being related to someone or belonging to a certain family cannot save us.
Hence, we must always pray a great deal for this and should be mindful of our spiritual weaknesses. We must pray for the spiritual progress of our children and progenies more than praying for their worldly progress. We [already] pray a great deal for their worldly success, but we should pray even more for their spiritual success. Similarly, those who have accepted Ahmadiyyat on their own must also align their thoughts and actions in this manner. It is only then that we and our progenies can survive.
Thus, in the remaining days of Ramadan, pray that Allah Almighty safeguards our faith and the faith of our progenies; may we increase in spiritually; may the standards of our worship remain at the highest levels even after Ramadan; may we establish a strong bond with Allah Almighty; may we remain protected from the schemes and ploys of the Antichrist. Attaining worldly luxuries and comforts should not be our only goal; in fact, [pray that] may Allah Almighty bestow upon us those religious and worldly blessings which will make us grateful and incline towards Him; and enable us to become a true worshiper.
Similarly, with regards to the Coronavirus pandemic, which has engulfed the entire world, I would like to draw your attention to pray especially in order to remain protected from it and also to beseech the mercy of Allah the Almighty. Furthermore, pray especially for Ahmadis residing in such countries which continue to oppose Ahmadiyyat and have made life difficult [for Ahmadis], may Allah the Almighty create ease for those Ahmadis.
Ahmadis living in Pakistan should always pay special attention towards giving alms, carrying out good deeds and their prayers; during these days and even after. God-willing, these prayers and efforts to attain the pleasure of Allah Almighty will frustrate and foil all plans and ploys of our opponents.
‘O my Lord! Everything is dedicated to Your service! My Lord, protect me, help me, and have mercy on me.‘
‘O Allah! We make You a shield against enemies and we take refuge in Thee from their evil.’
These prayers should be recited often; however, it should also be remembered that merely repeating prayers is of no benefit. People write letters [to me] asking which prayers they should recite. To simply utter prayers will be of no avail until we offer Salat with full concentration and attention and do justice to it. We should continue offering prayers after Ramadan with the same care and attention as we did during this month. Only then will we become true recipients of Allah Almighty’s mercy and help.
Similarly, we should pray especially to be saved from every kind of trial. May Allah Almighty grant us the ability to successfully pass through the remaining four or five days of Ramadan and to be those who continue these virtues after Ramadan as well. Also remember, that the more we widen the scope of our prayers, the more blessings of Allah Almighty we will receive. Thus, every Ahmadi should especially pray continuously for all sorts of hardships to be removed from all Ahmadis. In this way, without even realising, a spirit of mutual love, brotherhood and togetherness will be created. Not only will we receive the blessings of Allah Almighty, but there will also be the practical benefit of increased love and affection. Pray for the Muslim Ummah in general; they are ruining themselves in this life and in the hereafter by rejecting the Imam of the Age and are heading towards a detrimental path, may Allah the Almighty protect them. Pray for humanity at large; may Allah the Almighty guide them to the right path and may they be saved from incurring the displeasure of Allah the Almighty. In any case, our duty is to pray, and continue to pray; during Ramadan and afterwards as well. May Allah Almighty grant everyone the ability to do so.’ 
 Meeting with Jamia Ahmadiyya Qadian, April 17, 2021
 Meeting with Atfalul Ahmadiyya UK, April 24, 2021
 Friday Sermon May 7, 2021