Thursday, December 10, 2009

Al Nur (The Light)

Divine attribute of Al Nur (The Light)

Summary of Friday Sermon delivered by Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad at, the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community December 4 th, 2009

Huzur Aqdas began by reciting verse 258 of Surah Al Baqarah and gave a discourse on the Divine attribute of Al Nur (The Light) in his Friday sermon today. The translation of the verse is:

‘Allah is the friend of those who believe: He brings them out of every kind of darkness into light. And those who disbelieve, their friends are the transgressors who bring them out of light into every kind of darkness. These are the inmates of the Fire; therein shall they abide.’ (2:258)

Huzur said according to lexicon Nur is one of the Divine attributes and is that Being through Whose light a physically blind person sees and a person who has gone astray finds guidance from wisdom that is bestowed by Him. It is that Being Who is apparent and through Whom all things are manifested. His Being is apparent in Himself and makes things evident for others.

It is stated in the explanation of part of verse 36 of Surah Al Nur, ‘Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth…’ that it is God alone Who guides those in the heavens and in the earth. Nur is the light which is capable of being spread and helps in the sighting of things, it is of two kinds: worldly and of the Hereafter.

The worldly Nur is also twofold; one that is perceived through insight and can be found in the light of God. In explaining the meanings lexicon refers to some Quranic verses: ‘…There has come to you indeed from Allah a Light and a clear Book. (5:16) as well as: ‘…We gave him life and made for him a light whereby he walks among men, be like him whose condition is that he is in utter darkness whence he cannot come forth?...’ (6:123).

Reciting verse 36 of Surah Al Nur:

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The similitude of His light is as a lustrous niche, wherein is a lamp. The lamp is in a glass. The glass is as it were a glittering star. It is lit from a blessed tree — an olive — neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would well-nigh glow forth even though fire touched it not. Light upon light! Allah guides to His light whomsoever He will. And Allah sets forth parables to men, and Allah knows all things full well. (24:36)

Huzur said he had explained this verse in light of the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) a short while ago but it was with reference to a different subject-matter. He said today he would present a summary of the writings. Huzur said some may think that the light the above verse mentions is limited to the person of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Doubtless, the light of God is dominant over everything. The first aspect the verse declares is that because God is the Light of the heavens and the earth, everything gets beneficence from His light, indeed can only get beneficence from it. He dispenses the light as He wills. How is it that God is the Light? It is because it is He Who created the heavens and the earth and He alone gives the light, whether it is physical light or spiritual. As it is stated in the Holy Qur’an: ‘Allah is He Who created the heavens and the earth …’ (14:33).

Huzur said the true Light is God which can be perceived in everything by those with insight. However, one who is devoid of spiritual sight cannot see it. A believer is firm on the belief that the universe that can be sighted as well as the universe that cannot be sighted is created by God. In order to give an understanding of this Light God sends His chosen people who spread the nur, which comes down from the heavens, in the world.

Huzur said verse 24:36 elucidates such nur. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) set the most excellent example and highest standard of nur, one which will continue till the Day of Judgement and which was established as a reflection of the Light of God. He spread this nur in his life time and it continues to spread today. The verse 24:36 describes this nur as a niche, an elevated place, which is the breast of the Prophet. Within the niche is a lamp and this lamp is Divine revelation.

The lamp is within a globe of glass and this glass is the heart of the Prophet, which is sparklingly clean and free from any blemish. This glass is as resplendent and illuminating as a star; indeed just as the internal light of the Prophet’s heart most liberally spread externally. This lamp is alight with the blessed olive tree and this tree is a simile for the person of the Prophet, which will be established till the Day of Judgement because it was him alone who was declared as the perfect man and there can be none other like him till the Day of Judgement. The reference in the verse of nur belonging neither to the east nor to the west signifies the teaching of Islam which does not incline to any one side. Neither to Communism nor Socialism nor Capitalism, rather, it is a teaching of moderation which establishes human rights and world peace.

The reference to

‘whose oil would well-nigh glow forth’ signifies that exquisite wisdom of the Prophet and all his lofty morals. Light upon light connotes that when God poured forth His Light, i.e. revelation on the perfect man, it created a peerless nur in the spiritual world.

True nur is only through the Shariah that was revealed to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be on him) and from his blessed model. It is this teaching alone that is the nur that can bring about the beneficence of the Nur of God.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) elucidated it thus:

‘That light of high degree that was bestowed on perfect man was not in angels, was not in stars, was not in the moon, was not in the sun, was not in the oceans and the rivers, was not in rubies or emeralds, or sapphires, or pearls; in short, it was not in any earthly or heavenly object. It was only in perfect man whose highest and loftiest and most perfect example was our lord and master, the Chief of the Prophets, the Chief of all living ones, Muhammad, the chosen one, peace be on him. That light was bestowed on this man and, according to their ranks, upon all those who bore the same colour to some degree.... This dignity was found in its highest and most perfect form in our lord and master and our guide, the immaculate Prophet, the righteous one, testified to by the righteous, Muhammad, the chosen one, peace be on him.(Ayenae Kamalat-e-Islam, Ruhani Khazain (London, 1984), Vol.5, pp. 160-162).

The lofty station of nur that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was granted was from the Light of God and he conveyed it onto his Companions and established excellent morals among them so much so that he likened them to stars. The blessed Companions partook of a measure of God’s Light to such an extent that they attained the honour of [the salutation] of raziAllah unho (may Allah be pleased with them). The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has written that the Companions were so absorbed in the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) that his nur transferred onto them through their complete obedience of him and it annihilated all else but God from their hearts. A Hadith relates, ‘my Companions have Allah and Allah alone in their hearts.’

Huzur said God did not cease dispensing this nur, rather the nur that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) received from God is an ever-continuing fountain of beneficence as the Islamic Shariah will continue till the Day of Judgement. In this age, through his ardent and true love of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) God sent the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) with the nur of spirituality that descends from heavens.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote that he did not know what act of his had attracted Divine bestowment. He said he was only aware of his natural inclination towards God which was borne out of compelling sincerity. He once dreamed that an elderly esteemed person signalled to him to replicate the Sunnah of Prophets of God and keep fasts. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) decided to fast without letting everyone know, so he moved to the outwardly room of the house. He also ate in that room and would distribute most of his food among orphans and would eat very little himself. Through the wonders of such fasting, exquisite visions were disclosed to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) where he had meetings with past Prophets of God and high-ranking saints. Once in full wakefulness he saw the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and his grandsons, Hadhrat Ali and Hadhrat Fatima (may Allah be pleased with them both). He also experienced Divine lights metaphorically appear in a most beautiful manner. He saw columns of lights in red, green and brilliant white reaching up the heavens, seeing them gave him a pleasure and ecstasy of such a degree that he said he could not articulate it. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) explained that some of the light [of the columns] came from his heart and some came from the heavens and together the lights formed the shape of a column. Huzur said this blessing was bestowed on the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) because of his perfect obedience of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be on him).

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also wrote, ‘once [I] had a revelation the meanings of which were that the higher angels are in commotion. That is, the will of God is aroused to revive faith. However, the appointment of the ‘one who will bestow life to the dead’ revivalist has not yet been revealed to the higher angels. That is the reason why there is conflict. At that moment I saw in dream that people are looking around for a revivalist and a person comes in front of this humble person and signals to him that this is the man who loves the Prophet of God and the meanings of these words were that the highest condition of this office is love of Prophet and that is certainly verified in this person.’

Huzur said after the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) the reflection of God’s Light was the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and this was in complete subordination of his master. The spiritual knowledge and cognisance of the revelations that was sent to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) were disclosed to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) so that he could tell the world. Indeed, he did not desire renown, but when God’s Light fell on him, the renown followed suit so that he could spread the message in the world. God revealed to him, ‘You have proceeded from Him and He has chosen you out of the whole world. You are the light of the world. You are God's dignity and He will not forsake you…O Ye people, the light of God has come to you, so do not reject it.’ (Tadhkirah 2007 edition, pp. 379-280).

Huzur said not only God filled the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) with the nur that was first sent down 1,400 years ago, He also granted him the station to spread this nur. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote that no one knew him and God compelled him out of his solitude and told him that He would bestow honour and renown to him all over the world. It is the way of God that when He adorns someone with nur, He manifests it to the world. When the worldly light has the capacity to spread, how can the light of God stay hidden?

If one connects with the special people of God He illuminates one’s heart even if one’s ‘niche’ is small and one’s ‘glass globe’ is small. Yet one who is connected will be able to further spread the nur. When the true light of God reaches believers and blesses them, it invariably goes on to bless others. In order to maximise our chances to partake of this blessing we should try and adopt the blessed model of the beloved of God in complete obedience.

Indeed God declared it thus: ‘Say, ‘If you love Allah, follow me: then will Allah love you…’ (3:32). It was such love that the Companions had for the Holy Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be on him) that also illumined them and it was the same love that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had for the Prophet in this age which gave him the honour of spreading the light in the world. If one claims to love God and the Prophet then it is essential for them to follow the Promised Messiah for this is the commandment of God and His Prophet. It is because of this connection that our Community is linked to Khilafat and is being blessed with the nur of which the greatest measure was given to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and in this age his ardent devotee and servant revived it.

The peace of this world is also associated with the Promised Messiah who fulfilled the statement [of the Prophet] that he would call the world to love, affection and peace, will establish the dues of God and will illuminate the world with God’s light and will be a source of the peace of the world. It was predicted that in his age there would be an end to wars. In light of this, the eternal succession of Khilafat is going to going to carry it onwards. Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said that three aspects are required to disperse nur: Divinity, Prophethood and Khilafat and as long as believers keep faith and do good works the progression of this nur will continue.

May God so enable us that we continue to be blessed with this nur and are never deprived of it. If the Muslims, our brothers, understood this reality the others would not dare to create the furore that they time and again raise against Islam. There is strength in unity and for this the Promised Messiah was sent. Recently uproar has been raised in Switzerland against minarets. Their churches also have spires, what harm do minarets bring? In any case, uproar has been raised; it is part of the anti-Islamic stance and appears to be a substantial conspiracy, further demands will be made.

May God, with His grace, protect us from all evil. We should pray that God makes each conspiracy of the enemies of Islam fail and be unsuccessful.

Holy Qur'an is The Word of God

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ramadhan Mubarak 2009

Excellence of fasting during Ramadan

Summary of Friday Sermon delivered by the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

September 14th, 2007

Huzur delivered his Friday Sermon from Bait ul Futuh, Morden, England and gave a discourse on the excellence of fasting during Ramadan.

Citing verse 184 of Surah Al Baqarah (2:184) Huzur said that with the grace of Allah we are once again enabled to experience the most excellent arrangement for spiritual development, that is, fasting for the few days of Ramadan.

Each Ahmadi should make their best endeavours to develop in taqwa (righteousness), to seek Divine nearness, attain acceptance to one’s prayer, and develop in religious, moral and spiritual ways.

Remarking on the significance of the commandment to fast Huzur said it was also made obligatory on the followers of the earlier prophets of God for the purification of soul and among them only those became the recipient of blessings who abided by the commandment without any protest, who put the teaching in practice and excelled in taqwa. However, when they rejected the teachings, they lost their worldly glory as well as their standards of spirituality plummeted. Huzur said indeed when Allah enjoins the followers of prophets of God to adopt taqwa, He declares that it would lead them to the blessings of this world and the Hereafter, as it is stated in verse 47 of Surah Al Rahman (55:47). Huzur said it is vital for each Ahmadi to recognise the lofty station of God in order to develop in taqwa and to be the recipient of His blessings and this, he added, will come to pass when His commandments are followed with sincerity of purpose. One of these commandments is to fast.

We are fortunate that we are the adherents of the perfect Book, are the adherents of the Shariah which is promised to continue till the end, are the adherents of the last law-bearing Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) who was granted excellence over all the other prophets by being given the title of Khatam un Nabiyyeen (Seal of all the prophets). He brought us the message of Qur’an to enable us to stay firm on taqwa, a message that is still fresh today and shall always remain so. Huzur asked what do the commandments of this last law-bearing Book expect of us? Explaining, he said they expect us to endeavour for the attainment of the blessing that this Book mentions, to assume the undertaking for which God and His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) have shown us the way.

Citing verse 70 of Surah Al Ankabut (29:70) Huzur said it is indeed God’s promise that He guides those to Him who come towards Him with absolute sincerity, He runs to those who at least walk towards Him. A great source to attain nearness to God is fasting. A Hadith relates that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that Allah puts a distance of more than 70 years (Arabic idiom meaning a great deal) between the face of a person who fasts in the way of Allah seeking His blessings and fire. Huzur said indeed it is vital to fast in the quest of Allah’s grace and if the attainment of His pleasure is the sole objective, He not only saves one from the fire but also grants the paradise of His pleasure, in this world and the Hereafter.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that one who makes a solemn endeavour to seek Allah never fails. He said that if we can feel compassion for a student who works hard for school exams how could God not have mercy and compassion to allow one who endeavours to seek him to come near Him? Certainly not.

Recounting a Hadith e Qudsi Huzur said Allah declares that each act of man is for himself, apart for fasting. Fasting is for Allah and Allah alone is its reward. Another Hadith reiterates this point that fasting is done for Allah and only Allah knows the real reward of a person who fasts.

Huzur explained that just as Allah’s attributes are countless so is the extent of His reward, however, He has set some limitations for the attainment of His reward. For example during fasting one is not required to merely starve oneself, rather one has to make an endeavour to shun all sorts of worldly and carnal desires, only then it may be deemed that fasting is for Allah alone. Similarly the avoidance from the ills is not to be temporary and brief, rather it has to be a permanent effort.

Indeed Allah knows what is in one’s heart, is aware of the intention behind each deed, has knowledge of what is apparent and what is hidden, if a person fasts with Allah’s attributes in mind, that fasting would be rewarded.

Huzur further said that when a person who is fasting responds to an abuse by saying that as they are fasting they will not respond in kind, it does not mean that after breaking the fast they are at liberty to retaliate, not at all. Huzur said fasting is a training process during which one is trained to eschew bad habits for good, that is the reason why a Hadith relates that when a person who fast sincerely meets his Maker he will be happy. It is not just thirty days’ effort that will give him happiness, rather he will be happy because he would have had an opportunity to make an endeavour to avoid bad habits and that person would thus greet each Ramadan of his life until he attains the station where he will be the recipient of Allah’s pleasure.

Elucidating a Hadith that terms fasting as a shield, Huzur said the important thing is to be able to utilise this ‘shield’ to protect oneself from the attacks of the Satan, the most dangerous of all enemies. A believer can be safe by means of this ‘shield’ through worship of God and by staying firm on His commandments.

Huzur said the teaching of the earlier prophets was temporary, it was for a temporary period of time. With the teaching diminished its freshness and taqwa. The teaching of the Holy Qur’an is eternal. Worldly desires crept into the fasting of other religions. We need to constantly make endeavours to keep the standards of our taqwa high. Each one of us should try to the best of his/her ability or capacity to attain the lofty standards. By calling us Khair e Ummah (best among the Ummah) Allah has shown us all the ways and we can only justifiably called Khair e Ummah when we can attain these standards. Huzur said the acts that are done to seek the pleasure of Allah are indeed what taqwa is all about.

Huzur prayed that may Allah enable us to make solemn endeavour to attain taqwa. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that fasting is about forsaking one kind of nourishment (food) to seek the other kind of nourishment which is for the soul. Allah opens up ways of guidance and spiritual discernment for those who seek Him with truthfulness of heart.

May Allah enable us that we fast while making the attainment of His pleasure our objective, may we attain spiritual discernment which becomes a lasting part of our lives and which enhances us in taqwa each moment.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

34th Annual Ahmadi Muslim Convention, Germany

Summary of Friday Sermon delivered by Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad at, the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, August 14 th, 2009

NOTE: Alislam Team takes full responsibility for any errors or miscommunication in this Synopsis of the Friday Sermon

Today, Huzur delivered his Friday Sermon in Germany, opening the Jalsa Salana there with his discourse. Huzur said the objectives of holding the Jalsa Salana are to avail religious benefit, to increase one’s Divine cognisance merely with the grace of God, to enhance mutual love and brotherhood and to draw attention to Tabligh.

Huzur said during the spiritual atmosphere of Jalsa Salana special consideration is given to worship of God, in particular to congregational Tahajjud. It is hoped that with the grace and mercy of God, those who are perhaps not regular in offering Tahajjud would develop the habit. Worship of God facilitates Divine cognisance and this in turn draws one to pay the dues of mankind, to mutual love and to take the message of God to the world with intense fervour. All this comes to pass with God’s grace but in order to attain it one has to make the initial effort. Just as Hadith relates that God runs to those who walk towards Him, that is, the initial effort is made by man to seek God. In His infinite grace, God then augments our meagre efforts manifold. God states in the Holy Qur’an in Surah Al Ankabut; ‘And as for those who strive in Our path – We will surely guide them in Our ways…’ (29:70). Huzur said such is God’s love. He bestows general favours by virtue of His attribute of Rahman (Most Gracious) as well as confers distinctively to His special people. In coming to the Jalsa Salana one leaves behind worldly dealings, it is therefore that much pertinent to focus on attaining the objectives of Jalsa with sincerity. Otherwise, coming to the Jalsa would be a mere worldly exercise and the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) expressed disgust for this.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that God’s beneficence is granted to those who endeavour and strive in His way, who give alms and join among those who ‘strive in Our path’. He said just as an ailing person tries all kinds of remedies to get better, similar effort should be made for spiritual illness. Such an effort may not be merely verbal, rather it should be real striving.

Huzur said we should be grateful that having been enabled to accept the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) we are guided on the right path to attain Divine cognisance. It is now up to us to derive full benefit from the effort, whether our own or that of our forefathers, that has resulted in us being granted this capacity. This would be real thankfulness. The aforementioned Quranic verse expresses God’s love for His servants just as the Hadith that relates God runs to those who walk to Him does. However, the words ‘those who strive’ in the Quranic verse make it clear that the initial effort has to be man’s. The Arabic term ‘Jahadu’ in the verse signifies endeavour made with all one’s capacity to attain piety and then to continue in this assiduousness. Huzur said it is not a trivial matter that one may say that he or she tried but was not guided. To attain the path of guidance it is conditional to be weary of wrongdoing just as perseverance is conditional. God has given man free will and has left Satan free. God also states that evil has apparent comfort and ease. However, when His servant makes an effort in His way, then God does not allow him to fall in the pit of fire. God reaches out like a loving mother and embraces His servant. If there is ever any deficiency in this relationship it is always due to the negligence of man. It is for man not to be like a misbehaving child, to be aware of his limitations and never consider himself to be independent of God.

With reference to those attending the Jalsa Salana and the striving in God’s way with prayers, Huzur said it is not sufficient to simply accept Ahmadiyyat. Fervent search for the path to nearness to God should be apparent in every action of an Ahmadi. Huzur said alms should be given with sincerity, Salat offered with its dues, Fasting observed with its dues, dues of relations and people maintained and trust honoured. Efforts to attain piety beget piety. Huzur said if a person has joined the system of Wasiyyat as introduced by the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) to seek the pleasure of God, then such a person would ever be making endeavours to stay firm on taqwa (righteousness). In staying firm on taqwa, he or she will honour all the obligatory and optional dues of God, just as he or she will honour the obligatory and optional dues of people. This is the real Jihad, which, when undertaken with perseverance leads from one piety to another.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that Istaghfar (seek forgiveness of God) is a means to attain God. He said the real significance of Istaghfar is to plead to God that one’s human failings are not made evident and God, with His power, covers them. That He saves us from natural weaknesses. It also signifies that may God cover any sin that one may have already committed.

Huzur said man should make great efforts against the assailment of Satan. His attempts to entice man are made by giving vast hopes. However, by giving us the source of Istaghfar God has promised us that whoever will make an endeavour and will persevere will be granted guidance. Fortunate are those who comprehend this and benefitting from the spiritual atmosphere of the Jalsa Salana, try and remove all their spiritual and moral weaknesses. Huzur said the words of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) are replete with wisdom. In explaining Istaghfar he said it is to plead to God that one’s human failings are not made evident. Indeed, if ever God created a perfect man, it was the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Without doubt, human weaknesses remain in man. However, the advantage of Istaghfar is that they are not made apparent. If certain situations arise then, due to Istaghfar, God gives the capacity to a person that the weaknesses are not made obvious. Huzur said for example one feels anger when faced with an unfavourable situation. However, if a person is residing in the ‘shield’ of Istaghfar, then his or her anger is not exhibited out of place; it is never a rage.

Huzur said human nature is inherently pious. Just as Hadith relates that each child is born pure and is shaped by his or her environment. Istaghfar develops pious nature and suppresses evil; God so enables a person that evil is not apparent. It is also most important to engage in Istaghfar for perseverance in piety. Huzur urged people to self-reflect during the Jalsa days and pray that having being enabled to accept the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) they are also enabled to attain the standards that he expected from his Community. Huzur said may worldly greed not be our desire, may we fervently wish to develop further in piety and seek God’s help for this. Huzur said the volunteer workers at Jalsa should engage in remembrance of God while they are out and about, on duty. They should be pleased that they are enabled to serve the guests of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). It is indeed their obligation to treat the guests with courtesy. God had revealed to the Promised Messiah (on whom be pace): ‘People will come to you by every distant track… Do not turn away from people and be not tired of them’ (Al-Hakam, Vol. X, No. 20, June 10, 1906, p. 1). Huzur said it our task and those of the workers to extend extreme courtesy to the guests. In conjunction with serving the guests of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) they also have the spiritual atmosphere available which purifies the nafs (self). It is also twice as pleasing for the guests and they should be thankful. On one hand they are enabled to attend the Jalsa in fulfilment of the aforementioned revelation and on the other they have been enabled to be the recipients of the prayers that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) made for those attending the Jalsa. Huzur says those mentioned in the revelation used to come to imbibe pious changes or indeed were to come in the future. If everyone was mindful of this, then each Ahmadi would be affectionate towards the other, would be inclined towards worship of God. This would then lead to removal of any mutual rancour. At times some office-holder and members of the Community have complaints against each other. If Jalsa is attended purely to seek the pleasure of God and to be the recipient of the prayers of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) then we should all try to aspire and fulfil the expectations the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had of us.

Huzur read a few extracts from the noble writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and said that if each person reflects on him or herself and advances in piety, this would lead the Community towards enhanced taqwa. Huzur read further advices of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace); he said do not be hasty in publicising your brother’s weakness. He also said that the Community should show such a model that even our enemies are forced to admit that although they oppose us, we are good people. He said God watches what the state of one’s heart is, He is not interested in mere verbosity. Huzur said if each Ahmadi kept these advices in view and reflects over him or herself, without doubt these will be a source of reformation.

Huzur prayed that may God enable us to continue to absorb God’s blessings, may He enable us to fulfil our pledge of bai’at and as a result make us the recipients of the prayers of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). May the sparkle of the world and egotistic motives not take us away from those objectives which are destined in keeping a sincere link with the Community. Huzur said prayers should be made for our Pakistani brothers who are going through persecution. In addition, the government of Malaysia is also creating difficulties. Today the Malaysian Jama’at is holding their Jalsa Salana under extremely difficult situation, prayers should be made that God blesses this Jalsa. May they not face any trouble and are protected against the schemes of the enemy.

Huzur said those present at the German Jalsa should remember that their prosperity and mental peace is due to God’s grace and is by virtue of the blessing of being a part of the Community of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). The pledge of bai’at should abided by most sincerely and the younger generation should be explained to that today whatever they are is only due to the Community and that they should never distance themselves from the Community or Khilafat.

Huzur said although the security arrangements at the German Jalsa were not the same as the ones in the UK, but each Ahmadi should be most vigilant there. Security at gates should also be well maintained. Huzur said swine flu is spread all over Europe but due to some legislation the homoeopathic medicine that was dispensed at the UK Jalsa could not be dispensed here. Huzur said people should exercise personal caution and care in this matter.

Next Huzur announced the sad news of the passing away of Taha sahib, who was from Jordan. He was the second Ahmadi in Haifa from where Ahmadiyyat had spread further. Huzur said he had a deep devotion with Khilafat, each action of his displayed his sincere commitment. He was a Moosi and up till now whatever Arabic translation of the Tafseer e Kabeer (Urdu Commentary of the Holy Qur’an by Hadhrat Musleh Maud) has been published, was funded by him. His house was like a centre of the Jama’at. A few months ago his illness worsened and he passed away on 4 August. He leaves behind three daughters and son and many grandchildren. One of his grandson has very sincere connection with the Community, may God increase the rest in their sincerity. May God elevate his station in Paradise and grant him place near His dear ones. Huzur said he would lead his funeral Prayer in absentia after Jummah.

Pakistan is a nation out of control


It is with great sadness that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat confirms that another member of its community, Rana Ata-ul Karim (36) was killed on 6 August 2009 in Multan, Pakistan. He was murdered simply for being an Ahmadi. Mr Karim, a well educated agriculturist, left his home for a few minutes in the afternoon and returned to find that his wife had been locked in their bedroom by three young men who had entered his home. Mr Karim was shot 3 times and died on the spot. The assailants immediately fled the scene. Mr Karim is survived by his wife and two daughters.

The killing came in a week where another minority group in Pakistan, members of the
Christian community, have also faced persecution. Speaking about the current situation in Pakistan, the world Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

"The situation in Pakistan is extremely grave. So called Muslims continue to tarnish
the name of Islam. Recently extremists in Pakistan have inflicted horrific cruelties
on the Christian minority. The country is plagued with a lack of law and order, even
though the authorities try to claim the contrary. In practice, where it comes to
upholding the rights of a vulnerable citizen or group, all law and order is forgotten."

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat condemns in the strongest terms the persecution faced by the Christian minority in recent days. What has happened there and also the continued persecution of Ahmadis is completely alien to the teachings of the Holy Qur'an and the Holy Prophet Muhammad.

The Holy Qur'an clearly states that 'there should be no compulsion in religion' but unfortunately this is an injunction that has been forgotten by parts of the Muslim world. This is the reason why Ahmadis such as Rana Ata-ul Karim are martyred on a regular basis in Pakistan and why the Government continues to uphold anti-Ahmadiyya legislation passed in 1974 and 1984. For Pakistan to emerge from this period of self-destruction it must be governed with honesty and integrity.

Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said: "In Pakistan the politicians are fearful of the power of the extremist clerics. Because of this no example of justice can be seen in the country."
A mob takes part in a violence protest against Christians on the street in Gojra town.—Reuters
A mob takes part in a violence protest against Christians on the street in Gojra town.—Reuters

Hardly a week had passed after the shameful attacks on the lives and livelihood of the besieged Christian community of Gojra, that a well-known Islamic televangelist appeared on his show on a local TV channel and freely exhibited the audacity to explain this attack by vicious Islamic sectarian organisations as a conspiracy by the West to make Pakistanis question the contentious Blasphemy Laws.

First of all, as usual, before spouting this claptrap, such TV hosts have absolutely no substantive proofs ever to back their demagogic finger-pointing rituals.

But utmost is the fact that the tongue-wagging gentleman had himself been embroiled last year in a stunning controversy where he was directly accused by his former party, the MQM, and some bold journalists, for initiating and encouraging attacks against Punjab’s Ahmadiyya community through his show.

Thus, what moral right does this highly animated fellow has to even address the issue of the attacks in Gojra, let alone offer bizarre and thoroughly unreasonable theories, pointing fingers at the usually elusive and unsubstantiated conglomerate of conspirators?

His self-righteous and delusional take on the said issue must have come as a hurtful bolt of insensitivity to those who lost their loved ones in the insane fires of fanaticism that almost completely burned down the Christian community in Gojra.

I would also like to question the mainstream TV channel he is a part of; a channel that usually loves to harp about its love for democracy, tolerance and justice, but continues to give wide open spaces to so-called ‘experts’ and ‘Islamic scholars’ who have actually turned religion into a licence to rationalise hate and half-truths.

It was a disgrace watching the same gentleman gleaming and rubbing his hands last year as one of his ‘scholar’ guests lashed out at the Ahmadiyya community, creating a tragic commotion against the community in Lahore.

The host showed not even the slightest indication of expressing any kind of remorse, and neither did the channel even when certain leading newspapers ran stories, editorials and articles on the event.

Next up was his even more bizarre reaction to the Swat girl’s flogging episode. He first condemned the event, mainly because his channel was one of the first ones to break the horrifying news.

However soon, the host suddenly took a sharp turn and started hurling abuse at the supposed ‘agents’ of the West and India, who he claimed were behind the flogging ‘drama,’ and also mocked liberal Pakistanis for exaggerating the issue.

He called such Pakistanis ‘enlightened’ with such venom and sarcasm that it seemed he was rooting for obscurantist darkness over spiritual and secular enlightenment.

After all, the whole notion of obscurantism is tailor-made for exactly such characters who hide behind their televised celebratory status, constructed from unsubstantiated accusations, a warped understanding of religion and politics, and more so, a smug and arrogant insensitivity towards the emotionally venerable sides of human nature.

The truth is, such men, who are these days a dime a dozen on the mainstream electronic media for entirely cynical economic reasons on the part of the channels who hire them in their mad race for ratings, have been of no service at all to the religion and the country that they claim they are there to save from supposed ‘anti-Islam/Pakistan forces.’

Not even once have these elusive forces convincingly been exposed — at least never through any academically and journalistically sound proofs and sources, but instead rhetorical hate speeches or a messy jumbling up of bits and pieces taken from populist conspiracy theories found in anarchic pulp literature, unsubstantiated cyber rants, and low-budget B-movie ‘documentaries’ are used to build fiery narratives that claim to offer ‘facts’ and ‘expose’ the workings of the forces that are creating sectarian, religious and political turmoil in Pakistan.

The fact that the channel actually decided to give its host the space and freedom to comment the way he did on the Gojra incident when the scars of the event were still fresh and bleeding, shows just how obsessive we become to at once promote and propagate half-truths just to defend and obscure the hollowness of that pretence of tolerance and equality we all love to portray.

A shame indeed.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Atfal-ul-Ahmadiyya visit Zion

In 1938, Hazrat Musleh Mau'ood, Khalifatul Masih II created the organization Khuddam al-Ahmadiyya for youth. For young boys Atfal al-Ahmdiyya, and for young girls Nasirat al-Ahmadiyya. For those over forty years of age the organization of Ansar-Allah was established in 1940. These organizations played a vital role in the moral and educational training of the Jamaat; producing a cadre of volunteers who have served and are still serving the Community in a remarkable manner.

During an Atfal Rally in Milwaukee, August, 2009, one day was dedicated to an historic visit to Zion. The Atfal were treated to an outdoor cookout with B-Que hotdogs and burgers, courtesy of the Zion Jama'at. The made a visit to the historic home of Zion's founder, Dr. John Alexander Dowie. His home is now a museum maintained by donations to the Zion Historical Society.

After spending some quality learning time at the museum, the energetic young Atfal descended on a recreational field for basketball, football, soccer and a bumper game for the little guys. It was a great day in Zion.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Thankfulness on blessed conclusion of Jalsa Salana UK

Thankfulness on blessed conclusion of Jalsa Salana UK

Summary of Friday Sermon

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

July 31 st, 2009

Huzur said last Sunday, with the grace of God, the UK Jalsa Salana concluded amidst great blessings. Not only did its conclusion spiritually satiate those who were present but also, all Ahmadis, the world over, felt this via MTA. For this we could not thank God enough. He has made the Ahmadiyya Community all over the world as one; this is what the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) aimed for. If today, the general Muslim populace understood this point and came into the bai’at of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) they would become true servants of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). As a result, each hostile look and evil intent aimed at the world of Islam would not only be rendered useless against the sphere of this sanctuary but would also come under the chastisement of God. This is what we have been experiencing for the past 120 years.

Huzur said when he mentions the blessings of the Jalsa or in one of his addresses at the Jalsa when he cites the blessings on the Community, in fact just a few of the numerous blessings are mentioned. A small fraction of these blessings is cited. In any case, these blessings will be presented in different ways during the year, but today, in line with tradition, Huzur would mention the blessings of Jalsa in the spirit of thankfulness. Huzur said this gratitude is for what is apparent to all. There are countless blessings during Jalsa which most do not see or experience. The Holy Qur’an states: ‘And if you try to count the favours of Allah, you will not be able to number them. Surely, Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.’ (16:19). Huzur said this draws our attention to the fact that we need to constantly thank God; thank Him for what we observe and also for what we do not know.

Huzur said on the first day of Jalsa, it rained. It was for our benefit. When the rain stopped, that was also with God’s grace. He saved us from all evil. With such a huge number attending Jalsa, there was great concern about the prevalent swine flu. Contagious ailments spread where a large number of people gather anyway and with the current spread of swine flue the concern was very real. With God’s grace, only three or four cases have been reported to me. This is a great blessing among many blessings of God. Certainly we are most grateful to God and turn to Him with greater fervour so that His blessings on us increase. God states, ‘…surely, then, Allah is Appreciating, All Knowing.’ (2:159). If our gratitude is sincere, God will be appreciative; He states: ‘…If you are grateful, I will, surely bestow more favours on you…’ (14:8). Huzur said real gratefulness is when we are thankful consistently.

Huzur said he thanked the men and women workers of Jalsa. All those who attended Jalsa and those who watched it on MTA anywhere in the world should be grateful to the volunteer workers because a section of these volunteers plays an important part in broadcasting the proceedings. We are also commanded to thank people and this gratitude also leads to thankfulness to God.

Huzur said people have told him that this year, with the grace of God, the Jalsa organisation was much better than previous years. All men and women workers served in a better way and each department tried its utmost to serve in a fine manner. For this, the guests should be thankful. Huzur said during Jalsa, he noticed the faces of the youth workers showing signs of fatigue and lack of sleep, but they worked on efficiently. Huzur said a brother and sister who were the nazim and nazima of a department gave non-stop duty. As a result they fainted. It seems they had come determined to test their endurance level. Huzur said this is not right. As a result, on doctor’s orders they could not give duty on the last day. Huzur said those in-charge should also be mindful that people get sufficient rest and are fed.

The Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) Community has been blessed with amazing souls. Among the attendees of Jalsa there were Asians, indigenous British people and UK resident Africans. Those performing duties were just as diverse. Children performed the ‘water-duty’ in a fine manner. The youth, girls, women; all did their respective duties very well.

A new department of Health and Safety was established this Jalsa. Governmental representatives regularly inspected various sections of the Jalsa. Health and Safety covered all aspects of Jalsa and it was a concern that any deficiency may become a pretext for the inspectors. However, with God’s grace all arrangements met their standard. Huzur said in his Friday Sermon he had drawn attention towards cleanliness. People have written in to say that after Huzur’s advice regarding placing foot mats to address the issue of mud, it was noticed that post-Jummah the mats were in place. The toilets were also, in line with Huzur’s specific advice, kept clean by the workers and guests alike. May God reward them. It is also a blessing of God that people are enabled to obey every word of the Khalifa of the time.

Huzur said he had instructed that the homoeopathic remedy for swine flu should be dispensed to all attendees of Jalsa. With the grace of God, this was fully implemented. The homoeopathy department arranged this and every day fifteen to twenty kilograms of medicine was used. Huzur said mixing this amount of medicine is not easy. He joked that whether the department properly mixed the medicine or simply gave sweet granules, but God put healing in the sweet granules. It was reported to Huzur that one Lajna refused to take the granules. The volunteer responded that it was fine if she did not wish to obey the Khalifa of the time. At this, the lady promptly extended her hand to take the medicine. Huzur said these are small blessings, they appear small but they are countless.

Huzur said it has been reported to him that the proceedings were heard very well in the ladies marquee. One guest from USA went to see Huzur and said that she could not listen to the speeches properly due to disturbance. Huzur said maybe such was the situation in some sections but the general report is that of silence. A college student from USA, who attended the Jalsa for the first time, told Huzur that there was no disturbance in the marquee. She said she had the opportunity to sit in various sections of the marquee and was most impressed by it all. Huzur remarked, the earlier complain that came from USA also had its antidote from USA. Huzur said he does not believe that failings should not be mentioned, but he noted that he felt most of the time where failings occurred it was the guest who was at fault. The German Jalsa is forthcoming, it is also organised on similar manner as the UK Jalsa. Huzur said when Huzur gives advice, it is meant for all. Huzur said theft took place in the residential tents in Islamabad. People should be careful about their valuables and not leave them behind. In spite of repeated announcements it is their fault if they leave their valuables behind. In every place wrong sort of people also come. It is carelessness to leave one’s valuables in a tent in an open place. People should either take their valuables with them or deposit them in the office. It is the task of the Officer Jalsa Salana to continually announce this. The tents should be completely fenced in and secured with security at the gate. This should be kept in mind in Germany’s forthcoming Jalsa. Huzur said it is important to mention the odd failing to raise awareness in other places.

In general, the traffic arrangements were very good. Two years ago the complaint that the police had in terms of traffic is now fully removed. This year they have written that we may go ahead and publish in the press that traffic regulations were adhered to extremely well and this level of discipline is not seen elsewhere. Huzur said, a guest remarked that although some police were present outside, there really was no need for them. The Mayor of Alton has also said that he has no fear from us. Huzur said with the grace of God while the volunteers worked most enthusiastically, the guests also cooperated, especially by opting for public transport. Train was extensively used and people enjoyed the alleviation from the stress of car driving. Guests have said that Ameer sahib and the management should be thanked as they regularly visited and enquired about the accommodation facilities. Huzur said this model should be replicated over the world. Huzur is receiving countless letters thanking MTA for their broadcast that enabled everyone to watch the Jalsa proceedings, including the International Bai’at. The whole world thanks the men and women volunteers of MTA. Huzur said he too would like to personally thank all those who served in any capacity at all during Jalsa and served the guests. Huzur said he did so in the spirit of what we learn from Hadith: God states that one who does not thank the person through whose hand God’s favour is received, as if does not thank God.

Next, Huzur presented the sentiments of some of the Jalsa guests from outside the Community. A county president from Sweden wrote that he has attended as well as organised many conferences in his country. However, the atmosphere of diversity he experienced at the Jalsa was unique. There was no sign of weariness after sitting through lengthy convention proceedings because everyone greeted each other so warmly. A Swedish politician said that what he witnessed for three days at Jalsa was matchless. People rose and sat down at one voice. All this was due to the love of one individual. He said this was a unique experience in his 74 years. A professor of Kazakhstan wrote that this gathering was a testimony to the success of beautiful ideologies. Another professor from Kazakhstan said that this Jalsa was the first step in the introduction of the Ahmadiyya Community for him but he could tell the peaceful nature of it. The experience of attending the Jalsa made him realise that for the Ahmadis God’s creation was most precious for in return of their hospitality they only wished for God’s pleasure. A minster from Benin said that Ahmadiyyat was indeed the true Islam and was the likely future of Islam in the world. He said it presented high values of spirituality and was a practical manifestation of ‘love for all hatred for none’. He said it seemed people here were some other creation and had no idea of the selfishness of the world. He remarked on the selfless service the children gave, saying it seemed they received this training while still in the wombs of their mothers. Huzur said, although a Christian, the minister said that the International Bai’at and Huzur’s concluding address changed their life. He said that whenever God’s people move onwards with the Truth, the world opposes them. He told Huzur that Huzur should now consider that he has a child in Benin.

A governor from Burkina Faso said that although people from diverse nations were attending the Jalsa, they all seemed to be standard-bearers for humanity. He said that in the past twenty years Ahmadiyyat has won over the people of Burkina Faso. The Ahmadiyya Community was awarded a high civil award of the country by the head of state last year. A Muslim lady member of the Belgian parliament, whose origin is Moroccan, said that attending the Jalsa was a great experience for her. During one meal time she had the chance to sit next to Begum sahiba who did Tabligh to her about the station of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), the station of Jesus (on whom be peace) as well as the advent of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). They talked for about half an hour. Later, she referred to our missionary and said that she has been explained everything in such a way that her mind is changed. She sat late into the night seeking further information. She said Begum sahiba had explained things to her in such a way that she could not rest until she had further information. She also said that God willing, if she came into Ahmadiyyat, she will not be on her own but her friends and dear ones will be with her. She said that when Huzur specifically addressed the Arabs in his concluding address, arousing their faith, she wept a lot because she belongs to the Arab nation. It was only one day earlier that Begum sahiba had explained to her about the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). She said she has decided that next year she will have other members of parliament accompany her to Jalsa. Huzur said these are blessings of God reaped through silent Tabligh. One of the bus drivers at Jalsa was an Iranian and Khuddam did Tabligh to him. Huzur said these efforts result in excellent outcomes.

Huzur said he is receiving messages from all over the world, in particular from Arab nations. While the world in general is embroiled in greed, the servants of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) are moving onwards with renewed passion. Intense fervour is being expressed which is most difficult, if not impossible, to mention. In accordance with the Divine promise, tremendous love for the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has been infused in hearts the like of which is not seen in this world. This love also translates into love for Khilafat. May God enhance the sincerity of each Ahmadi. May He also enhance their spirit of thankfulness. May the axis of all our loves be the Being of God. May God enable us to do this.

Divine signs to distinguish the lofty station of the Promised Messiah

Divine signs to distinguish the lofty station of the Promised Messiah

Summary of Friday Sermon

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

August 7 th, 2009

Citing verse 16 of Surah Al Mu’min, the translation of which reads:

‘The Exalter of ranks, the Lord of the Throne. He causes the spirit to descend with His command to whomsoever of His servants He pleases, that He may give warning of the Day of Meeting Him,’ (40:16)

Huzur gave a discourse on the Divine signs to distinguish the lofty station of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace).

The Rafi-ud-darajaat God (Exalter of ranks), Who possesses all excellent attributes declares that He sends His chosen people to revive the spiritually ailing. Those commissioned by Him inform people of the transitory nature of this world and of the everlasting Hereafter. They tell people to do those works in this life that please God. Just as God has sent His Prophets to each nation in each era, in the current age, He sent the Promised Messiah. This advent was in accordance with the prophecy of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and borne out of his ardent love for the Prophet. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) had said that the Mahdi would be guided by God and will come to put right the troubled world of Islam, guiding people to the straight path.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) received many revelations from God, among them two were the following: ‘He sends down the Spirit on whomsoever He wills from among His servants.’ (Tadhkirah, 2007 edition, p.764). ‘You are to Me like My Spirit.’ (Tadhkirah, 07edition, p.883). Indeed God exalts whomsoever He wishes to, from among His chosen people. As the Qur’an states in Surah Al An’am: ‘…We exalt in degrees of rank whomso We please. Thy Lord is indeed Wise, All-Knowing’. (6:84).

In order to carry out His spiritual system God sends Prophets and saints. His knowledge determines who should be sent with the special message. In this age, The Wise, All-Knowing God sent Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani. His advent has been cited in the Holy Qur’an with reference to latter days and ahadith speak of him as a significant sign for the Ummah as they are urged to accept him. Huzur said if the Muslims read this message with sincerity of heart there is no way they would not accept the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Indeed, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) had said that whoever lives in the age of the Mahdi should take my greetings to him. In one tradition related by the grandson of Hadhrat Imam Hussein, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said, ‘for our Mahdi two signs, the like of which have never appeared before will be evident’. The reference is of course to the solar and lunar eclipses. Huzur said while the mention of the extraordinary signs here signifies the station of the Messiah and Mahdi, the use of the term ‘our Mahdi’ by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) signifies the love and high regard he had for him.

Huzur said he would now speak about the station of the Mahdi who was promised to come and the signs which we observe in support of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani. God had promised to exhibit His signs of corroboration and to exalt the Mahdi. This promise was fulfilled when the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) made his claim and indeed is still being fulfilled. Prophets of God are always opposed and so was the Promised Messiah. His opposition continues to this day. He was granted a lofty station by God then Who continues to exalt him to this day. God revealed to him: ‘Mercy flows from thy lips, ‘O Ahmad. You are under Our care. Allah will exalt thy name and perfect His bounty upon thee in this world and the hereafter.’ (Tadhkirah, edition ’07, p. 72). Also, ‘Allah will support thee, Allah will help thee. Allah has raised the argument of Islam. There is the beauty of Allah. He it is Who has purified you in every situation. The mysteries of the friends of Allah are without count.’ (Tadhkirah, edition ’07, p.127).

Huzur said, today, if one wishes to reach God, wishes to behold His beauty, then the way to do so is to adhere to the true and ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Could one, who [God forbid] associated falsehood to God, have his glory enhanced by being false? Certainly, up till now, one who associated falsehood to God would have been disgraced. However, these are the words of God’s true servant and this is the reason we observe that with each passing day his glory is enhanced further still. God states in the Holy Qur’an in Surah Al Inshirah: ‘And removed from thee thy burden, Which had well nigh broken thy back, And We exalted thy name?’ (94:3-5). God revealed to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace): ‘O Servant of the One Who exalts, I shall raise thee towards Me. I shall bestow honor on thee. None can stop that which I bestow.’ (Tadhkirah, edition ’07, p.159) and ‘I am with you, O Imam of high esteem.’ (Tadhkirah, edition ’07, p.624).

Huzur said the purpose of mentioning the revelations of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) here is that as God consoled him through these revelations, He also manifested earthly and heavenly signs of support. Each person of His Community, no matter where in the world he/she is, has come into the fold by virtue of his lofty station. God manifested countless signs to distinguish his lofty station and it is not possible to cite them all. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has mentioned a few of these signs in his book ‘Anjam e Atham’; a book that he wrote at the death of Abdullah Atham. His death was a sign of deterrent and it made the splendour of Islam and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) evident to the world. Atham was a Christian priest and many religious scholars and ‘custodians of shrines’ did not accept his death as a sign of the truthfulness of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). He, therefore, gave them the challenge of a Mubahalah (spiritual/prayer duel) and wrote two hundred pages, followed by an appendix and also a footnote. In the detailed footnote he mentioned the Divine support and honour bestowed on him after the Mubahalah. He wrote that in accordance with the Quranic phrase ‘end is for the God-fearing’ (11:50) a number of aspects were the source of his honour.

Firstly, the prophecy made about Abdullah Atham was literally fulfilled. This was a fulfilment of the prophecy published on page 241 of Baraheen e Ahmadiyya (Promised Messiah’s epic book) fifteen years before. Secondly, his collection of journals that he wrote in Arabic, including Anjam e Atham. None of these were responded by the opposing maulwis or the priests and the world saw that the honour of the Arabic language was applicable to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) alone, whom they had the audacity to call a Kafir (a disbeliever). Their own ignorance of the Arabic language became apparent. Thirdly, prior to the Mubahalah, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had merely three to four hundred followers. Following the Mubahalah, the number ranged around eight thousand devotees. Pious spirited people came rushing to the fold of Ahmadiyyat. A most touching acceptance followed the Mubahalah. He wrote that angels were putting spiritual light into hearts and the Mubahalah had been a source of immense honour. Fourthly, as foretold for hundreds of years, the advent of the Messiah was to be accompanied by solar and lunar eclipses in the month of Ramadan. Never before had any Messianic claimant granted such heavenly signs. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote that while people prayed for his disgrace God had made the heavens bow down in his verification. Fifthly, the aspect that brought honour after the Mubahalah was that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) invited all his famous opponents to discuss the knowledge and cognisance of the Holy Qur’an but none could respond to him. He had announced that God had given him unique insight into the Qur’an; the silence of others sealed their ignorance.

Sixthly, following the Mubahala, Abdul Haq had issued a leaflet maintaining that a son would be born to him. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) after being Divinely informed, also issued a leaflet stating that God would grant him a son. With the grace of God a son named Sharif Ahmad was born to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) who was nearly two years old at the time of writing. On the other hand, no son was born to Abdul Haq. Seventhly, what proved to be a sign of honour after the Mubahalah was the fervour displayed by the followers of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) in serving him. He said he could never thank God for the spiritual and physical bounties that showered on him following the Mubahalah. Among the material bounties, God pressed into the service of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) sincere and devoted people who considered it an honour to spend their wealth in this cause. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) went on to mention a number of these sincere followers. He said it was with the sheer grace of God and although God had always provided for the Promised Messiah, after the Mubahalah, extraordinary spiritual and physical bounties were bestowed upon him. Eighthly, the aspect to enhance honour after the Mubahalah was the writing of the book ‘Sat Bachan’. For the writing of this book, God facilitated for the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) what had not occurred to anyone for three hundred years. The book is about Baba Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion and it proves that Baba Nanak was in fact a Muslim and believed in One God. He had performed Hajj twice.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) disclosed that his relic cloak had the Kalima and many Quranic verses inscribed on it. Huzur said the cloak is now in the safe possession of a Sikh family. A Bedi sahib of that family, who attended our Jalsa, had confirmed this. Ninthly, the aspect that was a source of greater honour following the Mubahalah was that eight thousand people had entered into the fold of the Community. As the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was the centre of attraction for all this humanity, this was a clear sign of an acceptance which can only be attained by God’s will. Their spirituality was much enhanced and they offered their Prayers with perfect devotion. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) went on to mention the sincere Jama’ats that had established in the towns and cities of Amritsar, Lahore, Sialkot, Kapurthala and other Indian cities and cited their shining spirituality. Huzur said he wished to say to people who are associated to these areas that they should always remember the sincerity of their ancestors. This will keep us connected to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and bring us the beneficence that God has promised. Huzur added that today similar sincerity is being generated all over the world, be it Europe, Asia or Africa. Tenthly, the source of honour for the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace), after the Mubahalah, was the ‘Conference of Great World Religions’ in Lahore. Here, his treatise ‘Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam’ was read out. This was extremely well-received and left a profound impact on all. It was stated that it saved the day for Islam. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said how could God put such sweetness and blessing into the words of an [alleged] disbeliever? Thus are the ten blessings as cited by the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) that God granted him after the Mubahalah.

Huzur said God has shown such signs on every occasion. He read out a few more extracts from the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) on the subject of fulfilment of signs given to him.

Today the physical as well as the spiritual progeny of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) is spread all over the world. God granted lofty station to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and showed signs of His support at every occasion. He grants honour to whomsoever He wishes. He is fulfilling His promises made to the Promised Messiah to this day. Certainly, He will also fulfil the promise that till the Day of Judgement He will grant triumph to his followers over others. Huzur said we should pray and ever try to stay connected to the Community. Time to time, our opponents demonstrate an outpouring of their malice. In Pakistan such has been the general situation that in the name of Islam, yet in clear defiance of the teachings of Islam, they continue to persecute and oppress. As a result the country is disgraced in the entire world. While they have failed in their wicked attempts to stop the Ahmadis from declaring their faith and worshipping God, the country is engulfed in disorder. Recently utter barbarity was committed in the name of Islam against some Christians. There is a general state of lawlessness. Ahmadis in general and Pakistani Ahmadis in particular should pray for the country which is in dire straits. As the situation there worsens and gets critical, Ahmadis, particularly Pakistani Ahmadis should pray, turn to God, seek His refuge, make your actions purely for the sake of God, give alms enthusiastically. It is God’s promise that He will grant us progress. May God keep each Ahmadi safe from all evil and keep the Community safe in Pakistan and other places. After the UK Jalsa, authorities in some Arab countries are also harassing the Ahmadis. May God keep the faith of each Ahmadi strong.

Next Huzur gave the sad news of a martyrdom that took place yesterday in Multan, Pakistan. 26 year old Ata ul Karim Noon was shot by three armed assailants who entered his house. He had left the door open as he briefly went to a nearby shop which the assailants used to enter the house. He was a Moosi and had a sincere connection with the Community. He was an educated person who was in business. He leaves behind his parents, a wife and two daughters, three sisters and four brothers. Huzur said he would lead his funeral Prayer in absentia after Jummah. A funeral Prayer for Chaudhary Inayat Ullah Tariq sahib was also to be held. He was a life devotee for more than fifty years who had a connection of great sincerity with Khilafat. Huzur also announced a few other funeral Prayers in absentia. The names are: Muhammad Hussain sahib, Chaudhary Khadim Hussain Asad, a Syrian Ahmadi, Sajjad Ahmad sahib, Amatul Baseer Mehreen sahiba and Huma Hamed sahiba. Huzur prayed for the forgiveness and elevated station of all the deceased and steadfastness for the bereaved.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Yusef Lateef: Ahmadi Muslim

Yusef Lateef is a Grammy Award-winning composer, performer, recording artist, author, visual artist, educator and philosopher who has been a major force on the international musical scene for more than six decades. In recognition of his many contributions to the world of music, he has been named an American Jazz Master for the year 2010 by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Still very much active as a touring and recording artist, Yusef Lateef is universally acknowledged as one of the great living masters and innovators in the African American tradition of autophysiopsychic music — that which comes from one’s spiritual, physical and emotional self.

As a virtuoso on a broad spectrum of reed instruments -- tenor saxophone, flute, oboe, bamboo flute, shanai, shofar, argol, sarewa, and taiwan koto — Yusef Lateef has introduced delightful new sounds and blends of tone colors to audiences all over the world, and he has incorporated the sounds of many countries into his own music. As a result, he is considered a pioneer in what is known today as “world music.”

As a composer, Yusef Lateef has compiled a catalogue of works not only for the quartets and quintets he has led, but for symphony and chamber orchestras, stage bands, small ensembles, vocalists, choruses and solo pianists. His extended works have been performed by the WDR (Cologne), NDR (Hamburg), Atlanta, Augusta and Detroit Symphony Orchestras, the Symphony of the New World, Eternal Wind, the GO Organic Orchestra, and the New Century Players from California Insitute of the Arts. In 1987 he won a Grammy Award for his recording of “Yusef Lateef’s Little Symphony,” on which he performed all the parts. His latest extended works include a woodwind quintet, his Symphony No.2, and a concerto for piano and orchestra.

As an educator, Yusef has devoted much of his life to exploring the methodology of autophysiopsychic music in various cultures and passing what he has learned on to new generations of students. He is an emeritus Five Colleges professor at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA, from which he was awarded a Ph.D. in Education in 1975. His doctoral dissertation was entitled “An Overview of Western and Islamic Education.” In 2007 he was named University of Massachusetts’ “Artist of the Year.”

As an author, Yusef Lateef has published two novellas, “A Night in the Garden of Love” and “Another Avenue;” two collections of short stories, “Spheres” and “Rain Shapes;” and his autobiography, “The Gentle Giant,” written in collaboration with Herb Boyd. In recent years he has also exhibited his paintings at various art galleries.

Yusef A. Lateef was born William Emanuel Huddleston on October 9, 1920 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and moved with his family to Detroit in 1925. In Detroit’s fertile musical environment, Yusef soon established long-standing friendships with such masters of American music as Milt Jackson, Tommy Flanagan, Barry Harris, Paul Chambers, Donald Byrd, the Jones brothers (Hank, Thad and Elvin), Curtis Fuller, Kenny Burrell, Lucky Thompson and Matthew Rucker. He was already proficient on tenor saxophone while in high school, and at the age of 18 began touring professionally with swing bands led by Hartley Toots, Hot Lips Page, Roy Eldridge, Herbie Fields and eventually Lucky Millender. In 1949 he was invited to join the Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra.

In 1950 he returned to Detroit, where he began to study composition and flute at Wayne State University, receiving his early training in flute from Larry Teal. He also converted to Islam in the Ahmadiyya movement and took the name Yusef Lateef. From 1955–1959 he led a quintet including Curtis Fuller, Hugh Lawson, Louis Hayes and Ernie Farrell. In 1958 he began studying oboe with Ronald Odemark of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Returning to New York in 1960, Yusef undertook further studies in flute with Harold Jones and John Wummer at the Manhattan School of Music, from which he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music in 1969 and his Master’s Degree in Music Education in 1970. Later, as a member of the school’s theory department in 1971, he taught courses in autophysiopsychic music. From 1972–1976, he was an associate professor of music at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.

Yusef first began recording under his own name in 1956 for Savoy Records, and has since made more than 100 recordings as a leader for the Savoy, Prestige, Contemporary, Impulse, Atlantic and YAL labels. His early recordings of such songs as “Love Theme from Spartacus” and “Morning” continue to receive extensive airplay even today. He also toured and recorded with the ensembles of Charles Mingus, Cannonball Adderley, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Babatunde Olatunji in the 1960s.

As an instrumentalist with his own ensemble, Yusef Lateef has performed extensively in concert halls and at colleges and music festivals throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Russia, Japan and Africa, often conducting master classes and symposia in conjunction with his performances. Dating from the release of the double CD “Influence” with the Belmondo Brothers in 2005, his engagements at international music festivals have increased significantly. Over the years his touring ensembles have included such master musicians as Barry Harris, Kenny Barron, Hugh Lawson, Albert Heath, Roy Brooks, Ernie Farrell, Cecil McBee, Bob Cunningham, Adam Rudolph, Charles Moore, Ralph Jones and Frederico Ramos as well as the Lionel and St├ęphane Belmondo.

Dr. Lateef’s first major work for large orchestra was his Blues Suite, also known as “Suite 16,” premiered in 1969 by the Augusta, GA Symphony Orchestra, performed in 1970 with his hometown Detroit Symphony Orchestra at the Meadowbrook Music Festival, and recorded by the WDR Orchestra in Cologne. In 1974 the NDR Radio Orchestra of Hamburg commissioned him to compose and perform the tone poem “Lalit,” and he later premiered and recorded his Symphony No.1 (Tahira) with the same orchestra.

From August 1981 until August 1985, Dr. Lateef was a senior research Fellow at the Center for Nigerian Cultural Studies at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria, where he did research into the Fulani flute. Sarewa is the generic name for the Fulani flute.

In 1992 Yusef Lateef formed his own label, YAL Records, to record and distribute his works and those of other artists including the Eternal Wind Quintet. One of his first recordings on the label, co-composed with percussionist Adam Rudolph, was “The World at Peace,” an extended suite requiring 12 musicians including Eternal Wind, which has received repeated performances throughout the United States.

In 1993 the WDR Orchestra producer Ulrich Kurtz commissioned Yusef Lateef’s most ambitious work to date, The African American Epic Suite, a four-movement work for quintet and orchestra representing 400 years of slavery and disfranchisement of African Americans in America. David de Villiers conducted the premiere performance and recording with the WDR Orchestra. The suite has also been performed by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Yoel Levi as a centerpiece of the National Black Arts Festival in 1998 and by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Thomas Wilkins in 2001.

Through his publishing company, Fana Music, Yusef Lateef has contributed extensively to the lexicon of performance and improvisational methodology with such works as “Yusef Lateef’s Flute Book of the Blues,” “A Repository of Melodic Scales and Patterns,” and “123 Duets for Treble Clef Instruments.” Fana has also published numerous works for chamber ensembles, stage bands, duos and wind ensemble or symphony orchestra.