Saturday, September 10, 2011

Practice truth in all aspects of your life

Sermon Delivered by Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad at Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

Truthfulness is a quality that is not only promoted by those who are religious; rather it is universally endorsed by both the religious and the irreligious. Yet, the due of expressing truth is not fulfilled. Wherever the opportunity arises, falsity is used for personal gain. Thus, from individual to international level, truthfulness is negated with the same intensity with which it is verbally promoted. A large majority of people use falsehood in business. In social as well as political matters, be they national or international, truth is trampled over.

Those with ulterior motives even use religion, which propagates truth, to try and destroy it. Some are of the opinion and belief that one should use so much falsehood that truth becomes falsehood and what is false becomes truth. This audacity and brazenness tramples over truth at every level because belief in God is on the wane. Disagreements and acrimony in family life stems from lack of use of truth and when children observe parents using falsehood, they too indulge in it. The falsehood of family life incites them to other ills and some families ruin their children in the process. Unfortunately, falsity in business matters is very common in Muslim countries. The louder they scream ‘truth’, the greater is their negation of it. God and His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) advised and forcefully instructed to speak the truth; but falsehood is adopted with equal measure. Recently a disgruntled [Pakistani] politician spoke up about the situation in Karachi and Sindh and gave a few inside details. Reviewers opined that it is not for a politician to speak the truth and that the person had lost his mind. They said he had put his political life on the line by speaking the truth, which only an insane person would do. According to them, truth can be a source of one’s decline and for them politics and power overrides the Word of God. Yet, they are bona fide Muslims and Ahmadis, who put their businesses and their very lives on the line for the truth, are non-Muslims. This is because they worship the One God Who has declared falsehood as shirk (associating partners with Allah) and they believe in that Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) who said falsehood is the root of all evils.

In international politics, Muslim and non-Muslim countries both perpetrate falsehood. In the West, there is some truth in internal dealing. However, their stance alters as far as countries of other regions are concerned. This was demonstrated by the Iraq war. Iraq was destroyed and devastated in order to depose Saddam Hussein. Once the Iraqi natural resources were under their control, it was said that a mistake had been made. That the information they had received about WMDs and persecution of his people were exaggerated. Libya was targeted and now it is being said that the persecution there was not as intense as first reported. First, they employ false propaganda and later use their own media to say that they were mistaken. This ‘truth’ is also used to conceal falsehood. They gain control of natural resources of countries and it is the Muslims who provide them with the opportunity to do so. In short, falsehood is used on an international level not only to conceal the truth but to shred it to pieces by all governments. They assume they will get away with it. They will perhaps not be held accountable in this world. But there is a Hereafter where accountability will take place.

We observe so-called caretakers of religion dismiss truth and promote falsehood. Anti-Islamic powers as well as the opponents of the true and ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet, who are also playing a role against Islam, perpetrate this. They are aware of truth but use falsehood for personal gains. Many read up our Jama’at literature and books of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and use the material in their discourses. Today, there is no other source to silence the enemies of Islam. Only the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has written expositions in defence of Islam which cannot be dismissed. However, they deceive the masses, telling them that God forbid, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) is a liar. They have copies of Tafseer e Kabeer and other volumes in their homes. These are not there to prepare refutations of, rather, they confess that they use material taken from them in their discourses. These people have no interest in proving the superiority of Islam and that is why they do not inform the masses of the truthful ways. They fear losing their pulpits.

Those who come from God are always treated in this manner by worldly people. However, God’s decree also comes into operation and is always dominant. When falsehood and disorder reaches its height and truth all but vanishes, God sends His people to establish truth and they propagate the truth in spite of opposition. No matter how much the enemy impedes them, God’s decree comes to pass. It helps them. God has promised help and success to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and with His grace we see it being fulfilled notwithstanding the persecution meted out to the Community. A convention was held by them in Rabwah with reference to 7 September [the day marking the Pakistan National Assembly decision of 1974]. It was attended by their most eminent ‘scholars’. However nothing more than abuse of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and hostility towards the Jama’at was articulated there. Such is their condition; meanwhile God’s decree is working and the Jama’at is going from strength to strength.

If God’s decree did not come to pass and His promises were not fulfilled and those commissioned by Him did not triumph over others, then God forbid, His promises would be erroneous and belief in God would vanish from the world. These experiences take place to establish and enhance belief. Some events that have been stated in the Qur’an influence belief. Other, new events, also influence those who believe, for example the truthfulness of the founder of religion they follow. Some people are directly informed and thus guided by God about the truthfulness of those commissioned by Him. It is truth that becomes a source of getting people’s attention and later when they observe progress of faith and the practices of those who follow faith, they are further guided.

The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was known as al Sadiq (the truthful) and al Amin (the trustworthy). Once, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) gathered his clan at the foot of a mount and said, ‘If I tell you that a big army is in wait for you behind this hill, would you believe me?’ They all said, ‘Yes, because you have always spoken the truth.’ The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) went on to do Tabligh to those assembled. These were worldly people. His words had no impact on the hard-hearted among them and their ending was terrible. Others accepted Islam after a while. Thus, prophets of God convince people of their message through their truthfulness. The Holy Qur’an states: ‘…I have indeed lived among you a whole lifetime before this. Will you not then understand?’ (10:17) and thus was the response of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Truthfulness is indeed a great weapon of prophets of God, all aspects of their life has luminosity of truth. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) received a revelation from God: ‘I have lived a whole life among you before this, then do you not understand? [Tadhkirah, p. 303] He later wrote that God informed him through this revelation that no opponent will ever be able to lay any blame on his life-history. He said he had almost reached the age of 65 at the time and outsiders had only ever verified the purity of his life and his truthfulness. Hudhur explained that even his opponents could not lay a finger on his character. Honesty is the highest quality of character and since they could not and did not lay a finger on his character in general, how could they say he did not speak the truth. The mullah today does utter nonsense but cannot prove anything.

Hudhur said recently he gave a discourse on incidents relating to new converts where the truthfulness of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was verified by people who sincerely and earnestly prayed to God for guidance. Prophets of God bring truth with them and it is truth that we have to make evident to the world. It is the task of followers of prophets of God to inform the world about this and bring it to the path of guidance. Islam is the only religion which today presents its original teaching in the form of the Holy Qur’an, which is the fountainhead of truth and guidance. Other revealed books have been interpolated. However, the majority of Muslims are themselves embroiled in wrongdoing, what way could they show to others?

Hudhur recounted a gathering where the message of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was being discussed in that it was for the entire world, for Muslims and Christians etc. when a Christian remarked, ‘you should reform the Muslims first and reform us later’. Hudhur said he responded to him accordingly at the time, however, it is a fact that Muslims require reformation and the advent of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) took place for the purpose of their reformation as well and that is why the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) instructed to greet the Messiah even if one had to cross over glaciers to reach him. Hudhur said we Ahmadis claim to be in the Community of the true and ardent devote of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and we have to take the message of truth to the world. How can we go about it? First of all, we have to prove ourselves to be truthful as the prophets of God proved their truthfulness. We too have to demonstrate our truthfulness as it is the task of the followers of prophets of God to do so. We are commanded to practice the blessed model of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and we try to do this. For this we have to adopt the quality of truthfulness, then alone will we be able to fulfil the mission of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and successfully take the message of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) to the world.

Our efforts, our words will only be blessed on each and every level when we will adopt truth in every aspect of life and every moment of life. From our family life to our social circle, our truthfulness should be exemplary, then alone will our efforts be blessed and will impress others and bring them closer to Ahmadiyyat and Islam. We have to endeavour for this. If we use falsehood for trivial financial gains, our words will be ineffectual. As Hudhur has mentioned many a time before, if we give misinformation to receive benefits from the council or do not pay our rightful tax defrauding the government, when caught we disgrace the Community. How can we then prove it to the world that the Community we belong to is law-abiding and is different from the rest of the Muslims because we have taken the Bai’at of one who came for the guidance of people? We need to correct our practices otherwise, how can we prove that we are those who practice the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah? There is a great need for personal reformation. When falsehood is caught, not only does it put one in personal difficulty it also brings Islam into disrepute. Other immoral activities, youngsters keeping bad company, marital discord where police is involved, all this leaves a very bad impression. Conversely, if one lies habitually, it is also used in Jama’at matters and thus the lack of blessing spirals. It has a very detrimental effect on children. Some children write to Hudhur that their father is apparently a very honest person who also serves the Jama’at but commits wrong practices within family life and is far-removed from truth. When the matter is probed, further falsehood is used. Such people can have no effect in their Tabligh efforts. When they give such wrong impression to their own children, how can they reform the outside world?

There is a great need for each Ahmadi to think about this. We raise the slogans that Ahmadiyyat is true Islam as well as ‘love for all hatred for none’. But the first port of call for our love is our family, we have to promote truthfulness and inculcate it in our dealings with the Jama’at, then alone will it widen in scope. Otherwise our slogans will be hollow. If our family life is fraught with anxiety but we invite others to come and find the truth and rid of their disquiet. We talk of love to others but ourselves do not have good relations with our neighbours, about whom the Qur’an strongly commands goodwill. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘your co-religionist brother is your neighbour.’ Thus, if we are truthful, our mutual connections should be strong, otherwise our Tabligh will be without blessing. The Qur’an states: ‘O ye who believe! why do you say what you do not do?’ (61:3) Hudhur said this leads to lack of blessing, he said faith should not be discredited with disparity between word and deed. We have connected ourselves to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) but our connection will only be genuine when no one can point a finger of falsehood at us. Otherwise we will also be putting the truthfulness of one whom we are declaring to be truthful in doubt.

There is no doubt that the Qur’an is the truth, the teaching of Islam is truth and this teaching will last till the end and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was the last law-bearing Prophet in whom all excellences of Prophethood were fulfilled. The claim of his true and ardent devotee is also truthful and now the progress of Islam is associated with him. However, this places a great responsibility on Ahmadis for which they have to make their practices honest. If we wish to be part of the triumph of Islam which was promised to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) then we need to self-reflect and self-analyse by the minute and see how truthful we are in our family life and in our business dealings. If pondering over this makes us anxious then we need to be concerned. Triumph is in the destiny of Islam but those who do not abide by truth will not be part of this triumph. This should give us cause for concern. We should rid our practices of falsehood, because falsehood is tantamount to shirk. Ahmadis who are making sacrifices for the truth are in fact making sacrifices against shirk. In light of these sacrifices, it is the responsibility of those of us living in the West to raise the standard of our truth to such an extent that falsehood becomes extinct.

At the time of victory of Makkah, Abu Sufyan had said that had he and others been truthful, they would have been in place of the Prophet and his Companions, whom they had forced to leave Makkah in addition to all the efforts they had made to diminish them. He said just as the Prophet had always spoken the truth, his declaration that there is only One God was also the truth and remained the truth and thus Abu Sufyan accepted Islam. Such were the models of truthfulness that the world witnessed when the most hardened enemies admitted the truthfulness of the Prophet. Just as the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) made a world which was in disorder, a Godly place and his truth crushed the arrogance and falsehood of the pagans of Makkah, there are similar promises associated with the Promised Messiah(on whom be peace). He has been promised triumph of Islam but for this we are required to become Godly and truthful people. We have taken the pledge of Bai’at that we will establish truth and will eradicate falsehood and shirk. Today, it is our task to put this in practice. If we do not present a model of truthfulness, we will not be able to establish Unity/Oneness of God.

It is an immense favour of God that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) formed a Jama’at to facilitate removal of corruption from ‘land and sea’. God has given us hope to establish truth by establishing Khilafat on the precepts of Prophethood. It is now the task of each Ahmadi who considers him or herself associated/connected to the Jama’at to eradicate disorder and falsehood from families, from neighbourhoods, from cities and from the world. With the grace of God, we are the followers of that Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) who came to remove all disorder and evil from the world and who was declared ‘mercy for all mankind’ by God. We should abide by his Sunnah and influence each other and vanquish the outsiders with the weapon of truth. Traditional weaponry eliminates life whereas the weapon of truth which we need to operate with our practices infuses life. Today each Ahmadi should use this weapon. May we be able to use this spiritual means to gather the pious-natured in the world who are seekers of the truth and raise high walls of truth which no satanic force can bring down. May the light of the truth of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) which is a reflection of the light of God continue to spread in the world and may the world gather under the banner of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).

Next Hudhur announced that he would lead funeral Prayer in absentia of Naseem Ahmad Butt sahib shaheed of Faisalabad, Pakistan. He was born in 1957. On 4 September unknown assailants broke into his house and shot him. He held himself together after being shot and continued to counsel his wife to remain calm and patient. In the past there had been other martyrdoms in the family of shaheed. Naseem Butt sahib was 54 years old and worked in a factory. He was a man of high character and was keenly involved in Jama’at work and offered his Friday Prayers regularly in spite of being at a long distance from the mosque. He had a very sympathetic nature and helped the needy. He leaves behind a widow, three married daughters and one younger daughter and a son. He had lost one older son last year to an illness. May God elevate his station and grant steadfastness to the bereaved family.

Hudhur said in a separate incident one of our secretary amoor e am’ah in Faisalabad was fired at. He sustained four bullet wounds and is currently in hospital. His condition was critical until yesterday but with the grace of God is better today. Hudhur asked for prayer for his complete healing. In yet another separate incident in Lahore yesterday, an Ahmadi’s car was stopped and attempts were made to fire at him. Animosity against Ahmadis has intensified in Pakistan, Hudhur asked for prayers that may God keep all Ahmadis in Pakistan in His protection.