2 The Review of Religions – June 2004 Assalamu alalikum warahmatullah wabarakatuhu [Peace and blessings of Allah be upon you] By the grace of Allah, the Jalsa Salana of Jama’at Ahmadiyya Ghana starts today. These Annual Conventions in various countries of the world are held pursuant to the tradition started by the Promised Messiah( a s ) for the tarbiyyat [or spiritual training and reformation] of the members of the Jama’at. The purpose of the Promised Messiah(as) behind this Jalsa, as I said just now, is to reform the members of the Jama’at so that they know what is religion. A living relationship with God should be created in them. By listening to speeches on subjects of reformation, they should begin to improve their spiritual con- dition and should become ‘t h e s e rvants of the Gracious God’ because Allah has said: And I have not created the Jinn and the men but that they may worship Me. (Al-Dhariyat Ch. 51: V.57) The second important purpose of these Jalsas is that by meeting each other to create an envi- ronment of brotherhood, and a loving relationship should begin to grow. People from various towns, different families, and Avoid Those Who Create Disorder: People should identify you as the special servants of Allah Address by Hadrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V, to the Annual Gathering of the Ahmadiyya Community in Ghana 3The Review of Religions – June 2004 tribes; persons from various schools of thought and different temperament; persons holding diverse opinions on worldly matters; the educated and the uneducated Ahmadis, should gather together, should recognise each other, should participate in each others, moments of happiness and sorrow, and should pray for the growth of the Jama’at and the country. This is because in whichever country you dwell, it has a right on you that you should use your talents and abilities for the progress of the community and the country with absolute loyalty. So, this is such a spiritual gathering in which we find also the opportunity to reform ourselves and create a bond of brotherhood with our brethren. We also get a chance to get to know new friends and build relationships. There are only two supreme purposes of human life. One is H a q u q u l l a h, the obligation we owe to Allah, and the other is Haququl ‘Ibad, the fulfilment of our duty towards Allah’s servants and His creation. So, as I said earlier, one is the worship of God. The Promised Messiah(as) says that the minimum standard should be such that it is free of all personal desires and a true believer should elevate his relationship with Allah to such heights that even if one knows that there is no paradise and no hell, even then one should be so lost in the love of Allah that one should worship Allah and should never cause this worship to slacken. If a person recounts the blessings and benevolence which Allah has endowed through His attribute of Rahmaniyyat [or His Grace] then at once one wants to bow down towards Him. When we begin to try and pray like that, we would be able to receive countless favours of Allah the Almighty. May Allah enable us to do that. The second important purpose of life is Haququl ‘Ibad or the rights of man to other men. The obligations towards Allah’s creation can only be discharged when for Allah’s sake we begin to be kind towards God’s creatures. True kindness towards Allah’s creation can never arise till we have the ability of tolerance; till our hearts are filled with Avoid Those Who Create Disorder 4 The Review of Religions – June 2004 compassion; till our ideologies manifest justice; and till we deal with everyone in humility. When all these qualities begin to develop in us, we can say that we have truly recognised the teachings of Islam and Ahmadiyyat because this is what Islam requires. It would be a great misfortune if after having found such beautiful teaching of Islam, we fail to act upon it. Then, as Ahmadis, we carry an extra burden of responsibility because true to the prophecies of the Holy Prophet Muhammad(sa) we have believed in the Promised Messiah and Mahdi(as) who presented the beautiful teachings of Islam once again before us. Now, I wish to present before you, in brief, some examples of these beautiful teachings. The Promised M e s s i a h( a s ) says in an adver- tisement: ‘It befits you that there should be no intention to cause any loss to any religion, any people, or any man in any group but instead you should become sincere advisors to all. It is also necessary that you do not spend any time with those who are evil, who lead a bad way of life, who create disorder, or who are of a bad character nor should they find a place in your homes because they can be cause of misguidance for you. These are those matters and conditions that I have been emphasising from the very beginning and it shall be compulsory for every person to act on these admon- ishments and there should be no element of impurity, ridicule or derision in your meetings; and walk on this earth with piety in your heart and purity of thoughts and conduct and remember every mischief is not worth responding. Therefore, it is important that you should develop a habit of forgiveness and mercy. You should act with patience and forbearance and do not assail anyone unlawfully.’ What a beautiful teaching is this! Do not even think of causing any loss to any person or any nation. Avoid Those Who Create Disorder 5The Review of Religions – June 2004 Loss or damage is not only caused by wars, but it can arise in everyday life by making complaints against your col- leagues in the office. Damage can be caused to those with whom you do not agree by spreading rumours against them, and there are many other minor ways in which you can cause a loss to others. The Promised Messiah(as) tells us that we should not even think about this. Truth should always be your guiding light and whenever you give advice to others, always do it honestly so that people say that if you want true advice, go to such and such an Ahmadi because he will never give you false counsel. Then, the Promised Messiah(as) advises that we should not mix with people who indulge in false rumours because such people can cause you to move you away from the Ahmadiyya Community and sometime, they may even use you against the country because trouble makers cause nothing but disorder and conflict. It is none of your business to keep company with such people. Further he said that sometimes one takes action against such troublemakers in frustration, but it is not important to reply to every mischief. According to the commandment of Allah, you should turn your face and walk away from such troublemakers because all these are trivial and useless matters. Submit yourself to Allah and pray to Him to save you from these troublemakers and save the Ahmadiyya Community and save our country from the people who want to cause mischief and dissention. Yo u should preach peace. Whichever society you live in, people should point at you and say that those who are steadfast in their faith and are the special servants of Allah; and who remember the duties of man to Allah, are none other than the Ahmadis, who live in harmony and peace with their Avoid Those Who Create Disorder 6 The Review of Religions – June 2004 neighbours; and regardless of religion and despite differences of ideologies, can act with justice; and, that it is only Ahmadis who are the source of establishing world peace. In this day and age, when the world is in turmoil, the responsibility is even greater. Everyone is only concerned with his own self and there is no one to look after others. Fortunate and lucky are such Ahmadis who live in this part of the world because you have accepted the Imam of this age in accord with the prophecies of the Holy Prophet of Islam( s a ). Yo u carry the additional respon- sibility to create an environment of peace in your country and also continue your efforts to spread peace in the world. Some Western powers, who enslaved some parts of Asia and Africa in the past, are wrong to claim that they shall again create peace. They will do what they have done before and that is enslave the nations. If there is going to be peace in this world, it will come through you and through the beautiful teachings of Islam for which you have taken up the responsibility to spread it in the world. Prepare yourself for this task. Excel in the field of education. Improve your moral and spiritual conduct. Take this improvement to the heights that Allah expects from us. Resolve to hold high the banner of justice in the world – justice that is free from any personal considerations. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an, O ye who believe! Be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah. Surely Allah is aware of what you do. (Ch.5: V.9) See, what a beautiful teaching. Allah commands you to establish equity. Do this because this is piety. When you dispense justice like this, you will be nearer to righteousness. You will be righ- teous and you will be the ones who fear Allah. Always beware in case the voice within you removes Avoid Those Who Create Disorder 7The Review of Religions – June 2004 the fear of Allah from you and never let it happen that the voice of your self prompts you that as someone is your enemy, it is right to do injustice to him. Allah says, never do that because when you do injustice to your enemies it means that you have no fear of Allah in your heart, because Allah is telling you clearly that never think that little injustice to your enemies will make no difference. Allah says that my teaching to you is to act with justice and I am aware of your every action. Therefore, do not even think otherwise. This is the beautiful teaching which com-mands you never to do injustice to your enemy even. Instead, at one place, Allah says that even if your enemy has indulged in excess, you should never do the same. So after this teaching, there can be no question of doing any injustice to your countrymen. One cannot even think of doing injustice to them. An Ahmadi should never think that such and such is from the North and I am from the South, or that his tribe is such and mine is different or that our social mores are different or that our language and our opinions differ, and therefore we cannot get together. Or that he mistreated our elders, therefore, he cannot be forgiven and that if I get hold of him, I will take my revenge. Allah says that you should never harbour malice or grudge but that you should have courage and patience. And as I have said before, you should never be unjust to your enemy because you have the faculty of compassionate treatment of God’s creation. When the standard of justice has been set so high then it can be safely said that you are not devoid of love and that you can establish peace in the world. If you develop your social relationships in this way and determine in a way that spreads peace and justice in the world, then it can be said that you possess fear of Allah and that you act on His commandments. If you act on Allah’s commandments, then Allah says I am aware of every thing and I have the knowledge of whatever you do. And I also have a divine Law that if you do not act on the teachings of justice and do not act on My commandments, then I can apprehend you and my hold is Avoid Those Who Create Disorder 8 The Review of Religions – June 2004 very severe. After justice, it is the commandment of Allah that you purify your hearts and throw all rancour and misunderstandings from your hearts and always remember that that He would forgive personal mistakes. If we have to look at the wider perspective in the interest of the Ahmadiyya Community, or in worldly affairs, the interest of the c o u n t r y, we are enjoined to cooperate in goodness. Therefore, we have to serve while remaining steadfast in truthfulness and in goodness. This will only happen when after dispensing justice, you develop beneficence and do acts of kindness. When you have developed beneficence, an environment of love and peace will develop and all avenues of progress will open before you and you will develop courage and broadmindedness. So, every Ahmadi must demonstrate this courage and broadmindedness and he should continue to treat all whether known to him or strangers with kindness. I personally know that the Ghanian people are more broad-minded and courageous than others. I have lived among you for sometime and I know your qualities. Some nations have a characteristic that that they are ready to kill each other over petty matters. But with you, it is very rare that you use any arms in your quarrels. When I was here, I used to tell my friends that if the freedom with which you carry a cutlass in this country, is reflected in other countries, especially in Asian countries where there are religious fanatics, there would be between five and seven murders every day on every street. I am trying to make you understand this because the contact among different countries has become easier and travel has become more frequent, and it is possible that trouble makers from other countries can come and influence your habits. Therefore, no Ahmadi should be impressed by such influences. You should always remember that the duty of an Ahmadi is to remember and worship Allah, to fulfil our obligation to other fellow human beings, serve humanity and create Avoid Those Who Create Disorder 9The Review of Religions – June 2004 peace in the world. Our personal enmities or difficulties should not come in our way. Then, you must remember that you should not rest after whatever good deeds you have performed but that you have to continue to excel in your eff o r t s . As Allah the Almighty says: Everyone has a goal to which he turns his whole attention. Then vie with one another in good work. Wherever you be, Allah will bring you a l t o g e t h e r. Surely Allah has the power to do all that He wills. (Surah Al-Baqarah Ch.2:V.149) Therefore, Allah explains that everyone has a goal that he tries to achieve. Because if you have no goal, you have no purpose in life and such people never progress. They are like intoxicated persons who get drunk and lie in one place or if they manage to walk they take a few steps and then fall down. You can often observe such scenes. People get drunk on liquor. Therefore, Allah says that those who want to progress in the world, have a goal in their sight. And Allah says that those who worship Allah should have one goal and that is to excel in goodness. What is goodness or right- eousness? As I have said before, righteousness is that you follow the commandments of Allah, He has enjoined you to worship. Therefore worship in the true sense and that is say your prayers five times a day. Not only that but try to say your prayers five times a day in congregation. Fasting is enjoined on you, therefore, fast. You have been commanded to spend in the way of Allah, therefore make financial sacrifices. Perform good deeds and stay away from undesirable things. Get into the habit of working hard. If you can go from here and work on twelve-hour shifts in Europe or America, then why can you not work so hard in your own country? If today, all people begin to work hard, the pace of progress of this country would increase many folds. So, you who are Ahmadi Muslims and to whom the true light of the Avoid Those Who Create Disorder 10 The Review of Religions – June 2004 teachings of Islam has reached, work with this philosophy in mind yourself and draw the attention of others to this objective that we must excel in every work. We have to free ourselves intel- lectually and socially in every way. We have to take our worship to new heights. In worldly affairs we have to get ahead of Europe and America. The people of Europe and Africa are not super human beings that they have progressed. They have worked hard to attain their objectives. They are always pressed into inventing new things. So, it is your duty that for the betterment of your nation, you should pray to Allah for His assistance and increase your eff o r t . Utilise fully the faculties with which Allah has endowed you. So, this would be a good deed because the love of one’s country requires that every Ahmadi should do whatever he or she can for his or her country. The love of one’s country is also an integral part of faith. Therefore, every Ahmadi should work selflessly for his c o u n t r y. He should march forward with this thought in mind. Then see that you shall be blessed with both spiritual and material progress as well, God willing. And just as today, the scientists of America and Europe, experts in political economy, agriculture and specialists in other fields tell us ever new things after their research, if your spirit of resolve remains steadfast, and the fear of Allah remains in your hearts, then you most surely will present ever new inventions before the world and be its guide. Hadrat Musleh Maud states: ‘The thing most important to be found in any progressive people is that whenever any thing good comes before them, they should have an Avoid Those Who Create Disorder Hadrat Mirza Masroor with the country’s President at the Ghana Jalsa Salana. 11The Review of Religions – June 2004 interest in their hearts to acquire that object. In other words, a people blessed with the twin qualities of patience and extreme interest or strong desire can most surely become dominant in the world. These qualities are the keys to progress. Why does a senior d o c t o r, engineer or scientist become famous? It is because the doctor had an interest in his medical skills or the engineer had a burning desire in his engineering feats and that scientist was immersed in devising ways for the political progress of his country…. So these qualities are most essential for progress, firstly, that whenever one is stopped from something bad, he stops and, secondly, he should have a strong desire in his heart to obtain those things that are practical and beneficial.’ (Tafseer Kabir, Vol.7: pp.103- 104) Therefore every Ahmadi’s think- ing should be in accordance with the principle I have just men- tioned to remain completely away completely from everything that is bad and to have a burning desire for everything that is good. When each one of us is inclined towards thinking in this manner, the people would automatically be drawn towards you. An Ahmadi would have a rank in society. If having accepted the Imam of the age, there is no change within you, then there is no point in being an Ahmadi by name alone. I know that you have many talents and Allah has blessed you with many faculties but we have to apply them to the fullest extent. How can I think about those who have been blessed with the eyes to behold the light as a result of which they have been able to recognise the Imam of the age, that they lack their own faculties? You most certainly have these abilities in you and I can see them. We have to nurture and flourish and make them manifest with sincere effort. May Allah enable you to do that. The Promised Messiah(as) states: ‘Progress in good deeds and righteousness. These are the paths to God’s grace and blessings. I know fully what Avoid Those Who Create Disorder 12 The Review of Religions – June 2004 our Jama’at and we are. Allah’s support and His help will accompany us in this same condition, if we tread on the straight path and follow completely and sincerely the Holy Prophet(sa) and make the Holy Qur’an our way of life and can prove this with our actions and practice and not by words alone. If we adopt this method, then remember most surely that even if the whole world stands united and wants to annihilate you, it can never annihilate you because God is with you.’ (Malfoozat Vol.7: p.179) May Allah enable all of us to act in accordance with this pure teaching. May each one of us be a sincere and true servant of Allah and is able to discharge his obligations to Allah and to Allah’s creation. And he does not stop on those good deeds on which he is stationed, but everyday sees him on a fresh dawn of advancement. May you partake in all the blessings in the purpose for which you have come to participate in this Jalsa. May you see special signs of nearness to Allah in this Jalsa and may you attain His pleasure. May you all be the beneficiaries of the supplications of the Promised Messiah(as) for those who participate in the Jalsa. May Allah make this Jalsa a success in every way and bless it and when you return home, you return with a new spirit. Because of the presence of ladies here, I want to say a few words as a matter of guidance for Lajna. Ladies have an important role to play in a society. A woman’s fundamental role starts from home where she acts as a wife or a mother perhaps at the moment or may be in the future. The Promised Messiah(as) has drawn our attention to follow the path of t a q w a or righteousness. If understanding this, the ladies adopt the fear of God and tread on the path of righteousness, they would be able to bring about a great revolution. A woman is a guardian of her husband’s home and, when he is not there, she is responsible for the house as well as for the training of her children. It is our faith that prayer and Avoid Those Who Create Disorder 13The Review of Religions – June 2004 submission to Allah is our fundamental weapon to achieve a high standard in anything we do. If Ahmadi ladies can understand this point, they can be sure that they have safeguarded the future generations. To do that, they will firstly have to set their own example. In order to set a good example, it is important that you observe the five daily prayers, and then pay attention that the children also observe their prayers regularly. Once the children are seven years of age, you will have to remind them to observe their prayers; and with love and a ffection, you will have to persuade your husbands to pray with regularity. You will have to wake all of them up for the morning prayers. Some men may get offended and ask who are you to wake them up for prayers. But you must do this because it is a commandment from your Allah and His Messenger that if the husband gets up first, he should wake up his wife or if the wife gets up first, she should wake up her husband. Therefore, there is no reason for men to be offended or for the ladies to be afraid. As far as I have observed here, the women get busy with their daily routine early in the morning. I am sure that they get up before the men. The women work very hard and diligently and go to the shops early in the morning to buy food and then make the meal to feed their husbands and children. In order to prepare some food, for instance Banku or Kenkey, she prepares it for many days. In order to prepare Fufu, she beats it over and over again to finally pound it to an edible powder. So you must use the same hard work and effort that you used to provide them with edible food, to provide them with their spiritual diet. This is a great responsibility for you, because if you do not think of it in this way, your children will not grow up as useful citizens for the nation. Hadrat Khalifatul Masih II( r a ) said that nations cannot reform without the reformation of their youth. Remember, that the reformation of the young can only take place Avoid Those Who Create Disorder 14 Avoid Those Who Create Disorder The Review of Religions – June 2004 on the basis of the good deeds of their mothers. You have to improve the spiritual standards of the Jama’at, uproot the social ills from the Jama’at and the country and strengthen yourselves and your country economically. Therefore, bowing down before Allah, and, seeking the assistance of Allah the Almighty, you should pay a great deal of attention towards the education of your future generation. If you can make yourselves capable of educating your families in such a manner that they become hard-working and they always submit before Allah, then no power on earth can cause you any harm. You have a very high station. Not for nothing has the Messenger of Allah( s a ) s a i d that Paradise lies under the feet of the mother. It is your excellent training that will make the children obedient servants of Allah, possess high moral standards, become extremely hard-working so that the world is transformed into a heaven on earth and such people become heirs to the everlasting paradise. Therefore, O Ahmadi women, you must realise your high station in life; and by saving the next generations from the ills of the s o c i e t y, give them high moral training and thus become a guarantor for the survival of your future generation and also your nation. Allah the Almighty never allows those who follow the commandments of Allah to go to waste. May Allah enable you to realise your status and may you be the instruments of saving the next generation! Amin. Finally, I wish to thank also the guests who have taken their precious time to attend this Annual Convention and have provided testimony of their love and brotherly affection. May Allah also reward them with His grace.
Devoting one’s life to the cause of God Almighty so that he becomes the object of worship, the true goal and the beloved and so that one’s life is devoted to the service of His creatures are the true essence of Islam.