Salat (Prayer) and God-Consciousness
Posted on May 24th, 2012

By A. Abdul Aziz,Press Secretary, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Sri Lanka.

(Given below is an excerpt the Friday Sermon of Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Supreme Head of the world-wide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Islam, delivered   on 18th May 2012 from Nunspeet, Holland at the occasion of Annual Convention (Jalsa Salana) of the Dutch Jama’at, gave a discourse on Salat (Prayer) and Good-Conscience).

 Ahmadiyya Khalifa  said it was God’s grace that he was being enabled to once again participate in the Dutch Convention (Jalsa). The Convention was scheduled to take place a week later but in light of the itinerary of Ahmadiyya Khalifa and the wish of the Dutch Jama’at for him to grace the event, the Dutch Jama’at brought the Jalsa forward at very short notice. Although it is a small Jama’at and information can be easily circulated, yet the change of plan has been carried out readily. The larger venue was not available on these dates and the site where the Jalsa is being held is confined but good arrangements have been put together. Any practical difficulties ensuing from this should be put up with. Of course it is hoped that the organisers will make every effort to provide comfort to the guests. Whether it is a large Jama’at or a small Jama’at, all over the world teams of selfless workers are now trained to organise Jalsa and large Ijtimas. These teams happily serve the guests; indeed, they serve the guests most selflessly who come to events initiated by the Promised Messiah,May God always enable all workers to serve selflessly and grant them the best reward. May He cover any shortcomings. The guests too should try and keep the real objective of coming to Jalsa in view rather than carry out any undue fault-finding.

The objective of coming to this Convention (Jalsa), as expounded by the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad – Promised Messiah, peace be on him, is the same as the objective of the Bai’at (initiation). Man loses sight of the real objective, which is why God has enjoined to repeatedly exhort as exhortation impacts those who have faith. It is stated in the Qur’an: “ƒ”¹…””¦for verily, exhortation benefits those who would believe.’ (51:56) Jalsa is also held for this reason, as a reminder of fulfilling the pledge of Bai’at. If due to worldly engagements one becomes weak in religious terms, by listening to exhortations at Jalsa, one is to draw attention back to one’s religious condition. By being together with others one is to absorb each other’s piety and shun what is bad. It should be remembered not to focus on personal matter during Jalsa. During the proceedings and later on as well, effort should be made to spend most of the time in prayer and remembrance of God. Jalsa should be attended with the idea that by spending two to three days in a spiritual atmosphere one is renewing one’s pledge of Bai’at so that one may develop in Taqwa (righteousness).

The Promised Messiah (a.s.) said that the objective of Bai’at was to cool off the love of the world and to inculcate the love of God and His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and to espouse such a condition that the journey to the Hereafter is not unpleasant. Love of God and His Prophet (PBUH) overrides all other loves when one is aware of what God and His Prophet (PBUH) want. Mere knowledge of this is not enough one should also put these matters in practice and should constantly endeavour to attain this objective. Then alone the journey to the Hereafter will not be unpleasant. One day or the other everyone has to leave this world. Fortunate are those who leave with God’s love and pleasure. The thought to adopt piety and abandon evil becomes intense when one is certain that one day or the other one is going to appear before God and will be answerable for one’s deeds. The Qur’an states: “ƒ”¹…”O ye who believe! fear Allah; and let every soul look to what it sends forth for the morrow. And fear Allah; verily Allah is Well-Aware of what you do.’ (59:19) Thus, God has clearly stated that one’s faith is perfected when one becomes purely His.

Man tries in every way to excel in the world, in terms of employment, trade, acquiring property, worldly education of children etc. Those who believe in God also pray to some extent for achieving these worldly objectives or ask others to pray. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih receives letters every day asking for prayers for worldly matters. Some people are so involved in worldliness that they do not even offer five daily Prayers or if they do, they offer them in a knock about manner. But when they write in asking for prayers they do so in a most painful manner. Thus man does a lot for worldly matters. The claim of Ahmadis is that we have accepted the Imam of the age, but the effort to attain that level of Taqwa which behoves an Ahmadi may be missing. God states what have we sent forth for the morrow? The earnings of this world, the bank balance, children, relatives everything will be left here. What will be asked of us will be how much we practiced the good deeds that were enjoined. All our deeds will be there before God. Therefore, it should always be remembered that whatever we do we should keep in view to pay the dues of God or pay the dues of mankind/creation, such deeds alone will gain acceptance with God. Indeed, God is aware of the intention behind every deed of ours and He is aware of every deed of ours. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said that deeds are but by intentions.

Among the dues of God, the most important is Salat. After belief in Him, God has ordained that the second significance is that of Salat. However, there is also a warning for some worshippers: “ƒ”¹…”So woe to those who pray,’ (107:5) That is, those worshippers who offer their Salat devoid of Taqwa. God is Knower of the unseen, He is All-Knowing and All-Aware and knows full well with what state one offers one’s Salat. He rebounds that Salat which is devoid of Taqwa. We should offer our Salat with fear of God for it is the very objective of our creation as it is stated in the Qur’an: “ƒ”¹…”And I have not created the Jinn and the men but that they may worship Me.’ (51:56) And the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said that Salat (Prayer) is the core/essence of worship.

A worldly person is much concerned about worldly matters and at times ruins his health in the process. When they do not get their desired results, depression overtakes some people. All this goes on for the worldly life in which one remains active for sixty to seventy years and afterwards is dependent on his children or others. Here [in the West] the elderly end up in old people’s homes and families visit them once a week. In old age man becomes concerned about the next life but a true believer is one who is concerned for a good ending and pays the dues of worship long before this state sets in. The razzle dazzle of this world should not make him negligent of worship. It is a favour of God on Ahmadi homes that if either the husband or the wife is not attentive towards Salat, the other is. People write in for prayers in this regard, generally it is the wife who is inclined to Prayer. While it is pleasing that women are more inclined to offer Salat and it is hoped that this would inculcate the habit in children as well, it is of concern that men who are named Qawwam (guardian) are indolent about Salat. They are the head of household and it is their responsibility to be a model for the family, if they are not making an effort in this regard what sort of model will the children become. When boys reach adolescence and the father does not offer Salat, they too do not offer it in spite of the mother’s efforts. The custom is that if the mosque or Salat centre is at a distance then congregational Salat should be offered at homes. This fills homes with blessings. Men are particularly enjoined to observe Salat and “ƒ”¹…”observance of Salat’ means, except in exceptional situation, to offer it in congregation. Congregational Salat is offered during Jalsa. In order to attain the objective of attending Jalsa this should be made a regular feature of life.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that the significance of Jalsa was that firstly people become totally inclined towards the Hereafter. They should inculcate fear of God and become exemplary for each other in terms of worship, temperance and mutual love. They should develop truthfulness and generate fervour for religious activities. Mutual love and brotherhood would have an impact on the society leading people to say, yes, these are Ahmadis who are different from the others. The model of paying the dues of God and paying the dues of mankind should be evident in Ahmadis. Religious activities entail financial giving for the publication of religion, attention towards building mosques, planning Tabligh (preaching) and to give one’s time for this cause. When we listen to speeches at Jalsa and our attention is drawn towards attaining our objective, we should make it a permanent part of our lives. Attendance of Jalsa should help us improve our standard of worship as well as pay the dues of others and to remove mutual misunderstandings.

We live in a society where a large number of people deny the existence of God and this world is considered everything. To stay firm on religion and to be ready to make sacrifices for religion is a big task in this society. Many people are lost in the razzle dazzle of this world. The ways of most of the people here are satanic and they become a source interest for those who come here. They think that perhaps their progress is in leaving religion and giving preference to the world. On the contrary there is destruction in this. God states: “ƒ”¹…””¦ So fear Allah, O men of understanding, that you may prosper.’ (5: 101) Here, people who are called prosperous are those who not only fear God, but are also people of understanding; who have not considered temporary wishes the be all and end all and have thus not destroyed their everlasting life. One cannot call those who destroy their everlasting life as people of understanding. Indeed, it is sensible to sacrifice this world to attain the pleasure of God and this is what a believer should make the objective of life, and the way to do this is thus explained: “ƒ”¹…”And this is a Book which We have sent down; it is full of blessings. So follow it, and guard against sin that you may be shown mercy;’ (6:156)

If we wish to be recipients of God’s grace we have to follow the Qur’an and this obeisance signifies Taqwa and it draws God’s grace. The [Arabic] word “ƒ”¹…”mubarakun’ in the aforementioned verse signifies that not only everything good comes from God but also it is ever-increasing. Those who abide by Taqwa enjoy limitless fruits of their efforts.

The Promised Messiah, peace be on him, said that man’s spiritual beauty is in adopting the delicate, fine ways of Taqwa. He said that all the limbs should take one towards piety and all the hidden capabilities should be used for the sake of God. One should try to protect oneself from Satan and be conscious of paying the dues of mankind. And this leads one to spiritual beauty.

The Promised Messiah, peace be on him, also said: “ƒ”¹…”To become truly righteous it is necessary that a person abandoning utterly such outstanding vices as adultery, theft, trespass, hypocrisy, self-esteem, scorn of fellow beings, miserliness, should eschew all low morals and should make progress in high moral values. He should behave towards his fellow beings with politeness, courtesy and sympathy and should cultivate true fidelity and sincerity towards God Almighty. He should constantly seek occasions of beneficent service. He who combines all these qualities in himself is alone righteous. The possession of any one of these qualities would not entitle a person to be accounted righteous unless he possesses collectively all of them. It is only these concerning whom it is said:'”¦on them shall come no fear nor shall they grieve.’ (7:36) What more would they need? God Almighty becomes their guardian as it is said: “ƒ”¹…””¦And He protects the righteous.’ (7:197)

In another Hadith (Sayings of Prophet) it is stated that God Almighty becomes their hands with which they grasp, and becomes their eyes with which they see, and becomes their ears with which they hear and becomes their feet with which they walk. In another Hadith it is stated that God has proclaimed that he who bears enmity towards a friend of Mine should become ready to contend with Me. Still another Hadith declares that when anyone attacks a friend of God, He pounces upon him with the fierceness with which a tigress pounces upon one who seeks to deprive it of its young.’ (Essence of Islam, Vol. II, pp. 351, 352 – Malfuzat, vol. IV, pp. 400-401)

This is the level of Taqwa (righteousness) which should be endeavoured to attain. The majority of the people attending the Jalsa are those who have migrated from Pakistan because let alone do Tabligh, they were not even allowed to practice their religion there. The prohibition on religious practices for Ahmadis in Pakistan aside, every now and then the authorities erase the Kalima (basic tenet of islam) from our mosques. Nowadays they are eyeing our mosques in main cities as well. It is due to the religious persecution that a large number of Ahmadis have migrated. Recently, many Pakistani Ahmadi families have arrived in Holland from Thailand, some of whom were directly targeted in Pakistan. Here, [in the West] we have freedom. Prayers should be made for the Pakistani Ahmadis that may God make events take a favourable turn for them and they have religious freedom. Another big responsibility on the Pakistani Ahmadis abroad is to come forward for religious activities. Holland is a small country and here a politician has made a lot of effort to bring Islam in disrepute. Had Ahmadis carried out a sustained and extensive campaign of Tabligh here they could have refuted the negative view of Islam to a great extent. In fact it could have also provided a chance to highlight the excellences of Islam.

A huge objective of the advent of the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, is to propagate that Shariah which the Holy Prophet (PBUH) brought. It is our task to take it to the world. People from all over the world live here, there is a need to intensify our activities. Wherever in the world the Jama’at has undertaken such activities and has carried out Tabligh, with the grace of God not only has the Jama’at been introduced there but pure-natured people are drawn to it. Some say people here are not interested in religion. But this is across the board, in the Christian countries as well as among the Muslims. If they are not interested in religion and do not believe in God, it our task to inspire belief in God among them. God will change the status quo if we follow the perfect Book in all our actions, and embody the definition of the righteous as stated by the Promised Messiah, peace be on him. We need to remember the promise we make after taking the Bai’at of the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, to make pure changes in ourselves.

Self-reflection should be done in the three days of Jalsa and promise should be made that from now on full effort will be made to discharge the right of God, the right of brother, the right of society and the right of this country which has given freedom. This can be done by propagating the beautiful teaching of Islam and by removing the misconceptions about Islam. Men, women, the young and the elderly, everyone should take part in this. Prayers should be made for this, when prayers are made God shows signs. May God enable everyone to do this, may all the attendees of Jalsa spend the three days in prayers and everyone be enabled to bring about pure changes in them.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.



Copyright © 2020 All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress