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Friday Sermon

4 RKVIHW OK RELIGIONS FRIDAY SERMON (The following is the gist of the Friday sermon delivered by Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, at the London Mosque on 25th May, 1990.) Ant? if Allah were to hasten for men the ill consequences of their actions as they’ would seek to hasten on the good the end of their term of life would have been already brought upon them.But We leave those who look not for the meeting with Us to wander distractedly in their transgression. (Quran 10:12) This verse draws attention to the disbelievers who have no hope of meeting or having any personal relationship with God. There are also some hopeful signs for the believers to reflect upon. Human nature is a common factor to believers, disbelievers, young and old. When a child gives a satisfactory answer to a question in an examination he hopes that the examiner will give him good marks. If he does not answer a question well he hopes that the examiner will not realise it. This is a harmless wish. The reactions of a believer and a disbeliever differ in regard to day to day actions. A disbeliever is unaware of his misdeeds and their consequences while a believer is more concerned over his failings than his good deeds and always fears that he may be punished for his wrong deeds. He continually prays for forgiveness for his wrong actions and misbehavio- ur. This subject is covered by the verse which I have quoted which states that those who continually pay no attention to their misdeeds, advance in wickedness like a blind man who does not know to where he is going. They are carried forward by wave upon wave on the flood of their ills so much, so that it is no longer within their power to determine their course. God is not like an examiner who might miss or be unaware of a mistake by the student. He is aware of everyone’s minutest faults and also good points.. In His forgiveness, however, He grants respite after respite giving the wrong doers an opportunity to feel ashamed of their conduct and to reform themselves. Our span of life is not linked with our misdeeds or good deeds but with God’s magnanimity. The continuance of misdeeds will lead to our ruin. It is the way of RliVJKW 01-‘ RKLIGIONS 5 God, however, to grant respite and delay punishment in order to give us farther opportunity to amend ourselves. On doing a good deed we expect a quick reward from God. The same tendency is seen, in labour unions which demand their rights. In all affairs man seeks his own right’s and forgets those rights which he may be usurping. Usually we cover up our mistakes. The result of this natural tendency is that we exaggerate our good qualities to make them appear attractive. God says in the Holy Quran that He is aware of all our deeds whether good or bad. We would be effaced from the surface of the earth if we were punished for all our sins. A pious man is conscious of his faults while this is not the case with an impious man. Hazrat Omar who was the second Khalifa following the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him, strictly adhered to speaking the truth. He had anoutspoken nature. He was extremely simple,”honest and humble and used to analyse himself carefully. He gave microscopic attention to his conduct. At the time of his death he asked God not to reward him for his good deeds but rather not to punish him for his faults. The lesson from the verse I quoted is that we should pray for our oppressors and ask God to overlook their-faults. May they heed the warning contained in the verse and may they take advantage of the respite which God has been giving them. If they do this then nothing could be better for them. I have observed that some people do not like to waste anything and I have spoken on this subject in an earlier sermon. They will save and eat a small portion of good fruit from one that is over ripe and mostly spoilt. There are other people who would throw away the whole of the fruit if it were slightly bruised in one way or another. Some people would throw away a whole loaf if a little piece had a spot of mildew on it. There is a lesson for such people in this verse. Nations should be treated with magnanimity in a frugal kind of way in as much that whatever part can be saved from error and destruction should be saved. A believer should give careful attention to prayers. No doubt it is displeasing to God that nations should reject the Promised Messiah. Rarely has there been a nation which has hot rejected a prophet sent by God; and such was the case with the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him. A little while ago I had the dates of the Islamic calendar appertaining to the life of the Holy Prophet converted into the dates of the solar calendar. It reveals some very interesting points. The decision by Pakistan to fi REVIEW OF RELIGIONS declare Ahmadi Muslims to be non-Muslims and worthy of death took place on the 7th September which was the date on which the religious leaders in Mecca declared that the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him, was false and should be killed.Also, according to some scholars the Holy Prophet died on the 2 6th May which is the same date on which the Promised Mesiah died, these observations directed my attention to the saying of the Holy Prophet that the Promised Messiah would be buried in his grave. It is figurative speech meaning that the death of the Promised Messiah would be similar to that of the Holy Prophet. As far as the dates are concerned they are the same. During the time of the Holy Prophet, God gave respite to his bitter opponents as a result of which a high percentage of the people of Arabia were saved from ruin. As long as God’s punishment does not descend upon a nation we should try to save it by praying for it however wrongly it may have behaved. It is necessary both to pray and make an effort. The members of the Ahmadiyya Community should explain to the people of Pakistan , home.and abroad, why God is treating them in the way He is doing. Pakistan claims that it has enforced the laws of Islam during the past eleven years which no one in Pakistan was able to do before General Zia came to power; and that it has done a great service to Pakistan by declaring as non-Muslims the members of the .Ahmadiyya Community. No greater work can be shown in the history of Islam. If all these claims are true then. God should have showered great blessings on the nation. Pakistan, however, inspite of its so called good works is in a position that is worsening day by day. It is suffering from every ill of the world which have encircled it. God says in the Holy. Quran that there are some cruel and sinful people who have no way out from’the errors which encircle them, it is necessary to ask the people of Pakistan what great achievements they have accomplished during the past fifteen or twenty years. According to their opinion they have performed a historic service which has won them the pleasure of God by harassing Ahmadis and committing atrocities against them. How is this earning them the pleasure of God? Nowhere in Pakistan are to be seen any signs of God’s blessings and pleasure. The nation has involved itself so much in injustice and malpractices that advertisements are now appearing in the newspapers on behalf of an association listing the country’s misdeeds and misfortunes and seeking information from anyone about any good points of the nation. Nobody replies thereby unmasking the character of the nation. It is necessary to ask the people repeatedly as to what is the greatest service (continued on page 26)