Friday Sermon Summary Friday Sermon 5th January 2024: ‘The Blessings of Striving with One’s Wealth & Commencement of 67th Year of Waqf-e-Jadid’

After reciting Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) recited chapter 61, verses 11-13 of the Holy Qur’an:

‘O ye who believe! shall I point out to you a bargain that will save you from a painful punishment? That you believe in Allah and His Messenger, and strive in the cause of Allah with your wealth and your persons. That is better for you, if you did but know. He will forgive you your sins, and make you enter the Gardens through which streams flow, and pure and pleasant dwellings in Gardens of Eternity. That is the supreme triumph.’

His Holiness (aba) said that the Promised Messiah (as) said that he was sent just as a Messiah was sent for Moses (as). Just as Jesus (as) was sent with the teachings of mercy and forgiveness, so too was he sent with the Islamic teachings of mercy and forgiveness, as the Messiah of the Holy Prophet (sa). He also came to end all religious warfare, for this era is of spreading the message of Islam, not the era of warfare with the sword. However, to spread the message of Islam, the Jihad of the pen and of spreading Islam continues. In order to keep this Jihad going, the same requirements of sacrificing life, wealth and time are required as they were at the outset of Islam. 

Sacrifice of Wealth Grants Nearness to God

His Holiness (aba) said that today people are inclined towards attaining worldly wealth and have forgotten their faith. They try to increase their worldly businesses and comforts. In such circumstances, it is through sacrifices that one can attain the nearness of God, for that is the best business, as God Almighty stated in the verses above.

His Holiness (aba) said that in this era of the Promised Messiah (as), it is especially crucial to undertake the Jihad of wealth, which helps to attain the pleasure and nearness of Allah. Allah the Almighty has drawn attention towards financial sacrifice at various instances in the Holy Qur’an. For example:

‘And why is it that you spend not in the way of Allah’ (57:11)

His Holiness (aba) said that everything we have comes from Allah the Almighty and then to attain rewards He enjoins us to spend in His way. If we have true belief, then it demands to make sacrifices in His way. God says in the Holy Qu’ran:

‘And spend for the cause of Allah, and cast not yourselves into ruin with your own.’ (2:196)

His Holiness (aba) said that it is through financial sacrifices that one becomes inclined to sacrifice themselves and their desires for the sake of the progress of the faith, all while attaining innumerable blessings from God Almighty. Allah the Almighty has informed of a business which is beneficial both in this world and in the next. Worldly trade renders worldly benefit alone, whereas conducting business with Allah renders benefit in both this world and the hereafter. God says in the Holy Qur’an:

‘And the case of those who spend their wealth to seek the pleasure of Allah and to strengthen their souls is like the case of a garden on elevated ground. Heavy rain falls on it so that it brings forth its fruit twofold. And if heavy rain does not fall on it, then light rain suffices. And Allah sees what you do.’ (2:266)

His Holiness (aba) said that by the grace of Allah, today it is Ahmadis who understand the importance of financial sacrifice. Even those who are able to offer only small amounts see a return of profound blessings. It is also often seen that those who are less fortunate and have less wealth are those who offer greater sacrifices. His Holiness (aba) said that from time to time, he presents various incidents highlighting such instances. Those who are better off should use these incidents as an example and a means to consider their own standard. 

The Importance of Pure Intentions When Making a Sacrifice

His Holiness (aba) said that there are people in Africa or Pakistan who sacrifice whatever they have, who make financial sacrifices instead of using that money to buy food or even medicine for themselves or their children. In return, Allah the Almighty does not leave their sacrifice without bestowing profound blessings upon them, thereby increasing their faith. Hence, not even those of weaker faith should ever think that Allah the Almighty does not reward financial sacrifices that have been offered with pure intentions. 

His Holiness (aba) said that God does not need our wealth. These sacrifices He demands of us offer us an opportunity to attain further blessings. From the time of the Promised Messiah (as) to now, we continuously find examples of those members of the Community who forgo their own needs and prioritise the needs of the Community. 

His Holiness (aba) said that these people understand the statement of the Holy Prophet (sa), who warned to save yourselves from the fire, even if by offering half a date. The Holy Prophet (sa) also warned against miserliness, for it was miserliness that led to the ruin of previous nations. The Companions said that whenever the Holy Prophet (sa) made an appeal for financial sacrifice, they would go to the market and conduct some business and then present whatever they received to the Holy Prophet (sa). 

Examples from the Past of Allah’s Grace on Those Who Made Financial Sacrifices

His Holiness (aba) said that the Promised Messiah (as) expressed his amazement at the sincerity of three brothers who did not have very good incomes, but regularly offered financial sacrifices, or another poor person who offered a hundred rupees, which would have taken him ages to save up. These were the type of people who had a passion to attain the pleasure of the Promised Messiah (as). Though they did not have much to give, they still gave it, and now they have become a part of history. The progenies of these companions and elders should remember that if they have any success today, it is because of the sacrifices made by their forefathers. 

His Holiness (aba) said that even today, it is the less fortunate within the Community who set the highest standards of financial sacrifice. Those who are better off should look to them and analyse their own standard. Once, the Holy Prophet (sa) said that one dirham was more valuable than a hundred thousand dirhams. The Companions asked how so. The Holy Prophet (sa) said that there was a person who had two dirhams, and he sacrificed one of them. Then there was another person who had an abundance of wealth and property from which he sacrificed a hundred thousand dirhams. But this sacrifice though greater in amount, was not greater overall as compared to the sacrifice made by the poor person. Sacrifice has less to do with the amount and more to do with the passion behind it. 

His Holiness (aba) said that by the grace of Allah, the majority of the Community today offers financial sacrifices. In fact, there are those who offer astonishing sacrifices, even in distant villages of Africa, who wish to be helpers in spreading the message of the Promised Messiah (as) and the true Islam. As the Promised Messiah (as) said, a person cannot love both wealth and God. A person can only truly love one. Hence, fortunate are those who love God. The Promised Messiah (as) said that as for those who sacrifice their wealth in the way of God, then they will certainly find Him.

Examples from this Day and Age of Allah’s Manifold Blessings

His Holiness (aba) said that we see examples of how people sacrifice in the way of God and then God immediately returns their wealth to them. Such incidents become a means of increasing people’s faith. His Holiness (aba) said that he would present such incidents.

His Holiness (aba) said that there is a new convert in Central Africa who had bought a plot of land to build a house, but he could not save the amount to do so. Since he joined the Community, he tried offering whatever financial sacrifices he could. He thought about the fact that before becoming an Ahmadi, he had never offered any sort of financial sacrifice. He then made a contribution towards Waqf-e-Jadid, after which, someone gifted him ten thousand bricks for his home. Hence, the work which had been held up for years was now possible to complete. He expressed his certainty that this was due to his financial sacrifice. 

His Holiness (aba) said that there is a person who works in the gold mines in Kyrgyzstan, and he offers his financial contributions every six months. He started offering contributions which were more than the amount he had pledged. When asked why he did so, he said because he understood that everything has become more expensive and the expenses of the Community would certainly have increased and so he decided to try and offer a greater amount. His Holiness (aba) said that people allege we go around asking for financial contributions, yet this person took this step without being asked to do so. Rather, this was a virtuous idea that he had on his own.

His Holiness (aba) said that in Cameroon, a young man accepted Ahmadiyyat. He was poor and would give people rides on his motorcycle. He expressed that ever since joining the Community and offering financial sacrifices, he has experienced a change in his life. He is now content and living in ease. In essence, inner peace is what everyone is looking for and he found it through the Community and offering financial sacrifices. 

His Holiness (aba) said that an Ahmadi woman in Togo did not have enough to fulfil her pledge for Waqf-e-Jadid. She was growing some vegetables which she took to the market and sold and gave the amount towards Waqf-e-Jadid. These are the same types of examples which rekindle the memory of the elders who offered financial sacrifices in similar ways. 

His Holiness (aba) said that a born Ahmadi from Indonesia said that he used to make financial contributions simply out of habit, but he did not offer contributions for Waqf-e-Jadid and Tahrik-e-Jadid. Upon having his attention drawn towards the fact that these are also important, he started contributing towards them. Upon doing so, he experienced a great change in his life and now feels closer to God. He found the statement of God that if you walk towards Him, He will run towards you, to be true. 

His Holiness (aba) said in Australia, an appeal was made for those who were financially well-off to contribute $5,000. He had already offered $4,000, but felt a desire to offer a thousand more. He was thinking and praying about how he could offer this amount. His business partner came to him and congratulated him as they had secured a new contract which would bring them $15,000 each. The business partner who was a Christian said that because of the Ahmadi’s prayers he was able to benefit as well and said that he too wished to make a contribution. 

His Holiness (aba) said that a new convert from Micronesia was informed about financial sacrifices and their purpose and the fact that they are to attain the love of God, they are not a tax. As such, the new convert started offering financial contributions every month. He said that he used to go to church and nothing would happen. But now, ever since he started offering financial sacrifices he has seen a great change in his life. If he needs money, somehow he is able to find money, or someone will come and give it to him, or if there is a shortage of food, somehow he is able to find means. 

His Holiness (aba) said that a woman from Canada had the desire to offer contributions for Waqf-e-Jadid. When she checked her bank balance, she realised that she did not have enough to make a contribution and fulfil her pledge. She prayed for the ability to be able to make a financial sacrifice. A few days later, she rechecked her bank and found $300, which was the exact amount she had pledged to offer for Waqf-e-Jadid

(These are just a few examples of the various incidents presented by His Holiness (aba))

His Holiness (aba) said that through such sacrifices, the work of spreading the message of Islam entrusted to the Promised Messiah (as) is being carried out. Even with the sacrifices made by those in Africa, it is still not enough to meet the needs of spreading Islam in their countries, which is why a large portion of the contributions made by wealthier nations is spent upon the poorer nations. His Holiness (aba) prayed for all those who made contributions and financial sacrifices. 

Announcement of the 67th Year of Waqf-e-Jadid

His Holiness (aba) said that the 66th year of Waqf-e-Jadid came to an end, and now the 67th year had commenced. In the last year, about £13 million was collected under Waqf-e-Jadid, which is an increase of more than £700,000 from the year prior. 

His Holiness said that in terms of overall collection, the positions of countries are the UK, Canada, Germany, USA, Pakistan, India, Australia, and a Middle Eastern Country. Indonesia, A Middle Eastern country, Belgium.

Appeal for Prayers for Palestinians

His Holiness (aba) reminded everyone to keep the people of Palestine in their prayers. In their own circles, everyone should speak up in favour of the Palestinians and inform people, especially politicians. It does not seem like Israel is going to desist from their unjust ways. In fact, they sent a message to their soldiers saying that the war will continue into 2024. May Allah the Almighty have mercy on the Palestinians. It is also said that there is a threat of the war spreading throughout the region, which could then lead to a world war. They have started bombardment around Beirut. They only seem to be increasing, despite the fact that the USA has been advising them to scale back their attack. However, these too seem to be mere words and futile voices. It seems as if their real purpose is to eradicate Palestinians from Gaza and then take over that land. May Allah the Almighty have mercy on the Palestinians and also grant reason and understanding to the Muslims and enable them to hear and accept the call of the Imam of the Age. 

Summary prepared by The Review of Religions