The Five Pillars of Islam

Friday Sermon Summary 31st March 2023: ‘Understanding the Excellences and Beauties of the Holy Qur’an’

After reciting Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) said that we are passing through the Ramadan, a month which brings about a spiritual atmosphere, as it should within a divine community.

His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad

Deliberating and Reflecting Over the Holy Qur’an

His Holiness (aba) said that this month brings with it an increased attention towards worship, fasting and the recitation of the Holy Qur’an. The month of Ramadan and the Holy Qur’an have a distinct connection, as God Almighty states in the Holy Qur’an:

‘The month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur’an was sent down as a guidance for mankind with clear proofs of guidance and discrimination.’ (The Holy Qur’an, 2:186)

His Holiness (aba) said that according to some narrations, it was on the 24th of Ramadan that the Holy Prophet (sa) received the first Qur’anic revelation. It is also recorded that during this month, the angel Gabriel would go over the Holy Qur’an with the Holy Prophet (sa). Thus, especially during this month, we should focus on reciting and listening to the Holy Qur’an and its commentary. Programmes in this regard are also available on MTA which everyone should benefit from.

His Holiness (aba) said that when we read the Holy Qur’an with its translation and commentary, it is then that we can implement the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and adopt them in our lives. Therefore, we should focus on this during this month especially and also take advantage of the various lessons on the Holy Qur’an arranged in mosques during this month. 

His Holiness (aba) said that over the course of recent sermons, he has been highlighting the excellences and beauties of the Holy Qur’an in light of the Promised Messiah’s (as) teachings. It is important that everyone listen to these and ponder over them so that they may reap the true blessings and rewards associated with the Holy Qur’an. His Holiness (aba) said that he would continue mentioning the excellences and beauties of the Holy Qur’an in light of the Promised Messiah’s (as) writings.

The Holy Qur’an is the Only Lasting Law

His Holiness (aba) quoted the Promised Messiah (as) who said that the Holy Qur’an is continuous and lasting Shari’ah (law). God’s teachings are of two types; those that are applicable throughout all times, and others that are specific to certain times or instances albeit those too are everlasting teachings, such as the teachings of fasting or shortening prayers whilst travelling. Or there is the teaching of the veil, which applies when women leave the home, however in their own home women do not have to adopt the veil. In this way, the Holy Qur’an is a complete and everlasting teaching, contrary to other scriptures which do not possess within them the same everlasting and universal nature in their teachings.

His Holiness (aba) said that the teachings of the Qur’an encompass all conditions. For instance, with regards to the example given regarding the veil, there are some who raise objections that the veil is no longer necessary in accordance with the current times. Yet, even women’s organisations and others have begun to realise and express that the mixing between men and women creates issues and that there should be some form of separation.

The Seal of the Books for All of Mankind

His Holiness (aba) continued quoting the Promised Messiah (as) who said that the purpose of his advent was the revival of Islam, not to bring any new law or teachings, or to bring a new scripture. The law of the Holy Prophet (sa) is complete and now, no new law can be brought. The Holy Qur’an is the Seal of Books. The teachings of the Holy Qur’an are not outdated, rather its blessings continue to manifest in all times. The Promised Messiah (as) was sent so that people could better understand the Holy Qur’an and come to know this reality. 

His Holiness (aba) further quoted the Promised Messiah (as) who said that the revelation is in accordance with the strength and ability of the person upon whom it is revealed. Since the Holy Prophet’s (sa) strength and capability was so vast, so too were the teachings revealed to him in the form of the Holy Qur’an. 

His Holiness (aba) continued quoting the Promised Messiah (as) who said that the teachings of the Holy Qur’an are limitless and applicable to all times and all peoples. It is stated in the Holy Qur’an:

‘And there is not a thing but with Us are the treasures thereof and We send it not down except in a known measure.’ (The Holy Qur’an, 15:22)

The Holy Qur’an’s objective was reformation in all times, to transform people from a beastly state to a state of humanity and then to make them godly people. Since the state of other faiths and nations was deteriorating, the Holy Prophet (sa) announced according to divine revelation:

‘Say, ‘O mankind! truly I am a Messenger to you all from Allah.’ (The Holy Qur’an, 7:159)

Hence, it was necessary that the Holy Qur’an comprised all those teachings which had also been revealed to previous messengers, because the Holy Qur’an was meant for all peoples, not just a specific people, as were the Gospel for example, as Jesus (as) said that he had only been sent to to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Now, no law remains except that which was revealed to the Holy Prophet (sa).

Miracles & Prophecies of the Holy Qur’an

His Holiness (aba) continued quoting the Promised Messiah (as) who said that the Holy Qur’an preserves within it the beautiful teachings of previous teachings as well. The first miracle of the Holy Qur’an is its lofty teachings. The second miracle is the prophecies that are found within it. For example, when the entire nation was against him, the Holy Prophet (sa) prophesied according to divine revelation:

‘The hosts shall soon be routed and will turn their backs in flight.’ (The Holy Qur’an, 54:46)

This was during his time in Makkah, when the Holy Prophet (sa) was under extreme difficulty, with no indication of any sort of victory. Yet, this prophecy was fulfilled for example at the Battle of Ahzab, when the enemy turned their backs and fled from the Muslims. 

His Holiness (aba) further quoted the Promised Messiah (as) who said that every commandment of the Holy Qur’an is full of wisdom and serves a purpose. The Holy Qur’an constantly advises that along with faith, people should tread with wisdom, knowledge and understanding. In the Gospels for example, it is said regarding concepts of the trinity and atonement that they cannot be fully understood, yet they should simply be accepted. Conversely, it is stated in the Holy Qur’an:

‘In the creation of the heavens and the earth and in the alternation of the night and the day there are indeed Signs for men of understanding; those who remember Allah while standing, sitting, and lying on their sides, and ponder over the creation of the heavens and the earth: “Our Lord, Thou hast not created this in vain; nay, Holy art Thou; save us, then, from the punishment of the Fire.”’ (The Holy Qur’an,3:191-192)

This clearly shows that Islam invites people to use their intellect and understanding in order to ponder. 

A Book Protected by God

His Holiness (aba) continued quoting the Promised Messiah (as) who stated that the Holy Qur’an is a protected book, as God states:

‘That this is indeed a noble Qur’an, in a well-preserved Book, Which none shall touch except those who are purified.’ (The Holy Qur’an, 56:78-80)

Hence, the Holy Qur’an is preserved, and those who understand and implement it will reap its blessings and rewards. However it should be remembered that its hidden treasures and knowledge can only be reached by those who are righteous and pure.

Why the Holy Qur’an is called a ‘Reminder’

His Holiness (aba) further quoted the Promised Messiah (as) who said that the Holy Qur’an has been called a ‘reminder’ because it reminds one of the inner capacity and qualities. The Holy Qur’an reminds one of their hidden capabilities that are to manifest at different instances, such as kindness, bravery, anger, contentment etc. The Holy Qur’an reminds us of those natural qualities which we possess and regulates them in the right way in order to maximise them and have them reach their full potential. This is another light in which we should read the Holy Qur’an. At a time when immoral and unnatural laws are being made and human nature is being distorted, it is necessary to ponder over the Holy Qur’an, as it can save young and old from the degradation being promulgated by society under the pretence of ‘freedom’. 

His Holiness (aba) continued quoting the Promised Messiah (as) who said that the Holy Qur’an also reminds one of the spiritual light that they possess within them upon reading it. By revealing the Holy Qur’an, God has manifested a miracle whereby man can come to recognise the divine and spiritual realities of which they were unaware. Yet, it is unfortunate that some see the Qur’an merely as a compilation of stories, whereas it was revealed to remind people of the truths which had been lost from the world. It was thus that the Holy Prophet (sa) foretold of a time when people would recite the Holy Qur’an but it would go no lower than their throats, meaning they would not implement it in the slightest. This is exactly what we witness today. However the Holy Qur’an is a reminder, and in this era the Promised Messiah (as) was commissioned to draw the world’s attention to this reminder, that is the Holy Qur’an. His Holiness (aba) said that as Ahmadis, we should constantly analyse ourselves to see the degree to which we act according to the Holy Qur’an. 

True Knowledge Attained Through the Holy Qur’an

His Holiness (aba) further quoted the Promised Messiah (as) who said that the Holy Qur’an uncovers realities and truth, which then expand a person’s understanding and scope of thinking, both in matters pertaining to spirituality and in the worldly sense as well. The Holy Qur’an seeks to uncover true knowledge which enables one to increase in their understanding of God, which in turn increases one in love for God and certainty in Him. Upon realising the verities of the Holy Qur’an, one can reach the station of being a scholar among the people of the Holy Prophet (sa) whom he likened to the prophets of the Children of Israel. 

His Holiness (aba) said that as the Promised Messiah (as) stated, Muslims have strayed from the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and remain Muslim only in name. Even through clips on social media, it is clear to see that people, even scholars are completely bereft of true knowledge regarding Islam, its history and its teachings. It is the clerics who lead people astray. May Allah keep us safe from these evil-doers. During Ramadan and even after, may Allah the Almighty enable us to understand, learn and act according to the Holy Qur’an. May Allah the Almighty safeguard us against the filth in this world. His Holiness (aba) urged everyone to focus on prayers during Ramadan and prayed that may Allah keep all Ahmadis everywhere safe. Those who, in the sight of God can no longer be reformed, may He make them examples so that upon seeing them people may adhere to the teachings of God. His Holiness (aba) urged prayers for the state of the world and prayed that it may remain safe from the calamities of war

Masjid Mubarak drone shot

Funeral Prayers

His Holiness (aba) then announced the funerals of the following deceased members:

Munawar Ahmad Khurshid

Munawar Ahmad Khurshid, a missionary who was extremely humble, served for a long period of time and did justice to his service. The children born to his parents would fall ill in their young age and pass away. When he was born, his grandfather, who was a companion of the Promised Messiah (as) decided that this child would be dedicated to the service of faith. It was after this that despite falling ill, he was miraculously healed. 

His father-in-law saw a dream in which he was standing on a minaret and that he was bringing glory to this Community, and this is what he would go on to do. He served in Pakistan, The Gambia and Senegal. Then, due to an illness, he relocated to the UK; no matter where he was, he served with great passion. He also served as a professor in the Ahmadiyya Institute of Languages and Theology in the UK. 

Many accepted Ahmadiyyat through his efforts, including 14 members of parliament in Senegal, due to which the Fourth Caliph (rh) gave him the title of Victor of Senegal. He also visited Spain where he would do great work resulting in more people accepting Ahmadiyyat. He is survived by his wife, three daughters and three sons. Despite difficult circumstances in Africa, he was able to be effective in his work due to his special quality of establishing connections and relationships with people. He would traverse long distances on broken roads on his motorcycle in order to carry out his work, not caring for the difficulties of the journey or even the injuries endured along the way. Then in instances where a motorcycle would not be available, he would travel long distances on a donkey-cart. People in remote villages still fondly recount when he would visit them after undertaking long and difficult journeys. 

He also served as the Amir of Senegal. He worked until his last days with great dedication and he was passionately obedient to Khilafat. His Holiness (aba) attested that he witnessed this himself and that despite his illness, he would undertake whatever work was given to him right away. He would enjoin others to always keep a strong bond with Khilafat, along with offering Tahajjud [pre-dawn voluntary prayers], something which he was regular in doing himself. He was so beloved in Senegal, that his funeral prayer in-absentia was offered at various locations throughout the country. 

Even during the height of his illness when he was on dialysis everyday, he would set up a table outside on hot days with water and some literature, offering both to people as they walked by. Hence, no matter the circumstance, he remained devoted to propagating the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat. He had a proficiency in learning languages. There were three students from The Gambia studying in the UK all from different tribes; he would say that in their tribal languages they could not understand each other, however he could understand all three of their languages. His Holiness (aba) attested to his great passion for propagating the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat all whilst remaining extremely humble. When His Holiness (aba) asked him to go to Spain for the propagation of the message, he went without presenting any excuse. His Holiness (aba) prayed that may this Community continue to be granted such loyal and devoted missionaries who selflessly serve. His Holiness (aba) prayed that may Allah elevate his station.

Iqbal Munir

Iqbal Munir who was serving as a missionary in Pakistan and recently passed away. He served in Pakistan and Sierra Leone. Despite having a  heart condition, he served with great passion and dedication. He was sincere and had good relations with everyone. He is survived by his wife and three sons. He was loved by everyone and he loved Khilafat a great deal. He was very kind and hardworking. His Holiness (aba) prayed that may Allah grant his forgiveness and mercy and elevate his station.

Syeda Nusrat Jahan Begum

Syeda Nusrat Jahan Begum wife of Mian Abdul Azim dervish of Qadian, who recently passed away. She had been bedridden for quite some time. She endured difficulties with great patience. She was regular in offering prayers and teaching the Holy Qur’an to others. She had a passion for serving others. She had a special love for the Caliph. She is survived by four sons and a daughter. His Holiness (aba) prayed that may Allah grant her forgiveness and mercy and elevate her station.

His Holiness (aba) said that he would offer the funeral prayers of these deceased members after the Friday prayer.

Summary prepared by The Review of Religions