The Holy Qur'an UK

Statement on Salman Rushdie

FRIDAY SERMON (The following is the gist of a sermon delivered by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV at the London Mosque on] Hazrat Khalifatul Masih commenced by reciting from the Holy Quran: 0 My servants who believe! verily, My earth is vast, so worship Me alone. (Holy Quran 29:57) It may seem strange, said Hazrat Khalifatul Masih, that in this verse the believers are being admonished to believe. It should be understood however, that most people who claim to be believers are not believers in the true sense. They only profess their faith by word of mouth. This is not enough. It is necessary to adopt the spirit of faith and put it into practice ever seeking its fruits. There are two types of belief- a formal declaration and a practical and devout demonstration of its teachings. Allah will bestow double mercy on the devout believer who would be illumined with the Divine light. Allah would help him and save him from stumbling. Everyone has the right in Islam to declare his faith and according to the Holy Quran those who are true believers would have the ability to experience the truth of their faith. Their way will be illuminated by the light of Allah and without it a believer would not derive much benefit from his faith. The Holy Quran has covered the subject of the light of Allah in detail. Despite the fact that a believer may possess some light he is still liable to stumble and commit faults because of his hidden weaknesses. Allah forgives the unavoidable mistakes and weaknesses of a sincere believer because He is Most Forgiving and Merciful. I want to discuss this subject in connexion with spiritual training and preaching. It is not enough for a person involved in these activities just to talk about the teachings of his faith without absorbing the spirit of Islam and manifesting from within himself the light of Allah. Allah says in the Holy Quran: And they do not make a just estimate of the attributes of Allah, when 4 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS they say, ‘Allah has not revealed anything to any man. ‘ Say, ‘Who revealed the Book which Moses brought, a light and guidance for the people — though you treat it as scraps of paper, some of which you show while you hide much thereof and you have been taught which neither you nor your fathers knew?’ Say ‘Allah. ‘ Then leave them to amuse themselves with their idle talk. (6:92) Nations which fail to benefit from the light shown to them are unjust. They deliberately suppress it. There is forgiveness for those who continue to endeavour to avail themselves of the light. But for those who crookedly misrepresent God’s teachings, they will be left in darkness. It is necessary to develop inner light of the heart and not only theological knowledge which, on its own, is of little value. When the sun rises it lights up that part of the world from where it is visible. The rest of the world is in darkness. The Holy Quran repeatedly stresses that one should obtain light from one’s own inner self and one should project this light when endeavouring to reform the world. This light comes as a grace from Allah and cannot be generated or attained solely by one’s own efforts. The Holy Quran teaches that one should seek and pray for light from Allah and at the same time have firm faith in the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him). The Holy Quran declares that he was an embodiment of Divine light in the same way that the Holy Quran is full of light. Some people misinterpreted the meaning of the Holy Prophet being an embodiment of heavenly light. They became involved in childish arguments as to whether or not he had a physical body or even a shadow. Another group, on the other hand, only considered his physical body ignoring the spiritual light although the Holy Quran tells us that spiritual light descended upon him in abundance from Allah through revelation. One should endeavour to absorb the light of the Holy Quran and thereby ignite the spark of light within to which one should always be giving attention. The inner light of the Holy Prophet was so bright that when united with light from Allah, it became a blaze of light. The light attained by Prophet Moses (peace be on him) came to him in another way. The Holy Quran says: And when Moses had fulfilled the term, and set forth with his family, he perceived afire in the direction of the Mount. He said to his family, REVIEW OH RELIGIONS 5 ‘Wait, I perceive a fire; haply I may bring you some useful information therefrom, or a burning brand from the fire that you may warm yourselves’. (28:30) It has been mentioned that after Prophet Moses (peace be on him) fulfilled his term of contract with his father-in-law, he and his wife set out to return to his town. On the journey he saw a fire burning in the distance near Mount Sinai. He left his wife and went to investigate. This was, in fact, a spiritual experience. Nothing is mentioned of his wife or other persons on the journey seeing the fire. It was during this experience that the light of Allah descended upon him. The Holy Quran teaches believers to pray that the light of Allah may descend upon them. It is not sufficient to possess only a spark of light. A believer should always pray for more and more light. It is the duty of every Ahmadi Muslim to search his heart for a spark of light and by care and attention increase it more and more as the smoker searches through the ashes of a dead fire to find a glowing cinder on which he would carefully blow until he created a sufficient glow or fire with which to light his pipe. If one does not endeavour to resuscitate the spark of light within one’s heart then eventually it will become extinguished as also would be the case with the glowing ember in the ashes if no effort is made to rekindle it. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih told Ahmadis that they have to illumine the world and provide spiritual training for this and future generations. Unless the light of Allah glows in their hearts they will not be successful in their task. The teachings of their faith must become a part of them. It should be remembered that light rushes towards light. The light of Allah descends on a heart in which there is light. One has to keep one’s inner light aglow. This may be achieved through prayers, development of virtues and holy aspirations. This is the method to set ablaze the inner spark of light. Particularly lay stress on prayers and the recitation of the Holy Quran. The light of those who neglect worship remains dim. Lack of satisfaction or dryness in prayers should not make one feel that one’s prayers are useless. Such dull feelings show that either one has not worshipped for a long time or else one has been worshipping only in a superficial manner with the result that they gain little from them. One should not despair. A believer is not permitted to despair. Those who despair gain nothing. One should improve one’s manner of worship and analyse one’s condition of piety by looking into every nook and corner of one’s heart. Without attending to these points the quality of one’s prayers will not improve. Earnest and devout prayer and the exercise of virtue are 6 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS prerequisites before one can expect to receive the blessing of the second manifestation of light from Allah which would not only be experienced by the recipient but it would also be observed by others. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih then recited the following passage from the Holy Quran: Jjf jy 6» O^ Ly^JI \y»\ That is the day when the hypocritical men and the hypocitical women will say to those who believe, ‘Wait for us a while that we may borrow some of your light’, it will be said to them, ‘Go back if you can, and seek for light. ‘ Then there will be set up between them a wall with a door in it. The inside of it will be all mercy and outside of it, in front, will be torment. The hypocrites will call out to believers saying, ‘Were we not with you?’ The believers will answer, ‘Yea, but you let your selves fall into temptation and you hesitated and doubted and your vain desires deceived you till the decree of Allah came to pass. And the deceiver deceived you concerning Allah. ‘So this day no ransom shall be accepted from you, nor from those who disbelieved. Your final abode is the Fire; that is your comrade, and an evil destination it is.’ (57:14-16) It is not implied that the hypocrites would return to this world. What is meant is that those who remain deprived of light in this world will be without light on the Day of Judgement. It is necessary that the disbelievers should benefit from the light of the believers in this world otherwise they will be granted no light on the Day of Judgement. The glad tidings to the true believers is that they will be granted light in the next world as a result of their gaining light in this world. No blame rests on a believer if he conveyed the light of truth to others but if he neglected to do so then on the Day of Judgement the hypocrites will plea that they had no knowledge of it. In spreading the Truth by merely conveying the message in words is not enough. By .absorbing more and more light you will have the capacity to illumine the hearts of mankind. One should, therefore, always pray (continued on page 9)

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