Jamaat Ahmadiyya al Mouslemeen
Friday Sermon of Hazrat Amirul Momeneen Zafrullah Domun
21 September 2012
At Bait-ul-Rahma Mosque
Les Guibies, Pailles
After reciting the Tashahhud, the Ta’uz and the first chapter Al Fatiha of the Holy Quran Imam Zafrullah Domun said:
As I said in my previous sermon I will speak more about Salaam today. Last week I said that exchanging greetings between Muslims is a must amongst those who claim that they are Muslims and they promote Islam. It is inconceivable for any group of Muslims to say that it is justified not to say Salaam to those who profess the Islamic faith. Anyone who promotes such teachings has misunderstood the Islamic teachings as a whole and he or she needs to learn from those who know. We will recall that the Holy Prophetsaw has said that exchanging Salaam with those you know and do not know is among the best deeds that a Muslim can do. Today we will examine some more Ahadith about this matter.
The first one is from Imran bin Husainra who reported: A man came to the Prophetsaw and said:
"As-Salamu `Alaikum (may you be safe from evil). Messenger of Allahsaw responded to his greeting and the man sat down. The Prophetsaw said, "Ten (meaning the man had earned the merit of ten good acts).'' Another one came and said: "As-Salamu `Alaikum wa Rahmatullah (may you be safe from evil, and Mercy of Allah be upon you).'' Messenger of Allahsaw responded to his greeting and the man sat down. Messenger of Allahsaw said, "Twenty.'' A third one came and said: "As-Salamu `Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu (may you be safe from evil, and the Mercy of Allah and His Blessings be upon you).'' Messenger of Allahsaw responded to his greeting and the man sat down. Messenger of Allahsaw said, "Thirty.''[Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].
From this hadith we learn that by just saying the words of the Islamic greeting one gets a tenfold reward and that by adding the other words as mentioned the rewards go on increasing. As a Muslim who is always on the lookout to do good and not to harm anyone, one should be eager to try to get an increase of blessing from Allah. So we should use every small occasion that we might get to increase the number of good deeds in our book of deeds because we do not know which ones will be accepted.
The next hadith is from Hazrat Ayesha. She is reported to have said that “once the Messenger of Allahsaw said to me, "This is Jibril (Gabriel) who is conveying you greetings of peace.'' I responded: "Wa `Alaihis-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu (may he be safe from evil, and the Mercy of Allah and His Blessings be upon him).''[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. From this hadith we learn how to respond to the salaam of a third person. Very often we hear people saying “convey to so and so my Salaam”. The response should be as expressed in the words of Hazrat Ayesha ra and not just “Wa Alaikomous salaam”. Here we also learn the excellence of Hazrat Ayesha ra because Hazrat Gabriel visited the Holy Prophet while he was with her. In another hadith the Holy Prophet saw has commented upon this fact as one of her excellences.
The next hadith speaks about who should say salaam to whom. Abu Hurairahra has reported that “the Messenger of Allahsaw said, 'A rider should greet a pedestrian; a pedestrian should greet one who is sitting; and a small group should greet a large group (of people).''[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. In the narration in Al-Bukhari there are the additional words “ the Messenger of Allah saw said, "The young should greet the elderly.'' This hadith makes it very clear how we should greet one another. However we should remember that last week we spoke about a hadith in which the Holy prophetsaw said that the one who is closest to Allah say salaam first. That is why very often it was the Holy Prophetsaw who said salaam first. In the Holy Quran Allah tells the Muslims to “fastabekoul khayraat”, that is “to vie with one another in good deeds”. So whenever the occasion presents itself we should try to get as much blessings as possible and we should always try to be the first to say salaam to others and not wait for others to say salaam to us.
We also learn from the Ahadith that the Holy Prophetsaw said, "When one of you meets a brother (in Faith) he should greet him. Then if a tree or a wall or a stone intervenes between them and then he meets him again, he should greet him.''[Abu Dawud]. On reading this hadith one may think that this is an exaggeration. But on closer scrutiny we will observe that it is not. The Holy Prophetsaw is the excellent exemplar and the teacher par excellence. He has given us the best teachings for the benefit of mankind itself. He has taught us how to live with one another. We should be ambassadors of peace and not harbingers of war. Despite such noble teachings one wonders why there is so much strife in the Muslim world. The simple answer is that people prefer to follow their own evil inclinations in doing harm to others rather than following the noble teachings of the noble prophet to bring about greater peace and harmony and justice within the society in which we live. The Holy Prophet has given us the ideal teachings and it is the duty of each succeeding generation to strive to live up to this ideal.
In the time of the Holy Prophetsaw the Jews did not like the Muslims (even today it is the same) and they tried to humiliate them and wish them ill. Instead of greeting Muslims with “As salaamo alaikoum” meaning “peace upon you” they used to say “as saa’mo alaikoum” meaning “death upon you”. When this was reported to the Holy Prophet saw he said “When the people of the Book greet you (i.e., by saying `As-Samu `Alaikum,' meaning death be upon you), you should respond with: `Wa`alaikum' [The same on you (i.e., and death will be upon you, for no one will escape death)].''[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Members will recall that with the unislamic boycott that have been imposed on us since almost ten years now, some members of the Ahmadiyya mainstream Jamaat have been walking in the footsteps of Jews in their attitude towards us. Fortunately amongst them there are still some who find it obnoxious that the mainstream Ahmadis do not say salaam to us. Recently I met someone from the mainstream Jamaat who was really surprised when I told him that the mainstream Jamaat has asked its members not to say salaam to us or not to respond to our salaam. You will also recall that parrot-like some mainstream Ahmadis responded with “alaikoum” when we addressed salaam to them. As stupid and ignorant as they are they did not know the context of using this statement and they started using it. It is quite unfortunate that those who claim that they practice an enlightened Islam should have fallen so low and that they have completely ignored the teachings of Allah, His Prophet and also the teachings of Hazrat Masih Maoodas. Despite the fact that many mainstream Ahmadis in many parts of the world practice an intolerant Islam , yet the caliph goes around the world saying that they are the ones who are most moderate in their practice. In Mauritius, we have seen how dark hearted and ill mannered and fanatical an Ahmadi can be when others do not conform to his understanding of Islam. There are many who have become past masters in hiding their true intention to the world by saying one thing in public but practicing its contrary in private. Anyhow we, as members of Jamaat Ahmadiyya Al Mouslemeen we completely dissociate ourselves with any interpretation of Islam where one group rejects another.
In another hadith we learn from Abu Hurairah that the Holy Prophetsaw said: "When one of you arrives in a gathering, he should offer Salam to those who are already there, and he should also do so when he intends to depart. The first act of greeting is not more meritorious than the last.''[Abu Dawud]. It does not mean that we should say salaam in a loud voice and disturb the gathering. Its meaning is that salaam should be offered both when coming to and also when leaving a gathering.
Concerning people’s privacy in the home what the Holy Prophet has taught us is really marvelous. First of all he said that "Permission is to be sought thrice. If it is accorded, you may enter; otherwise, go back.'' So when we go at someone’s place we need to ask for permission before entering. It is when we have obtained permission that we should enter. We may knock and wait for the permission. If after we have knocked three times and we did not receive any answer we should just go back. This is the basic Islamic teaching. We are not allowed to enter into somebody’s house without his or her permission. In another hadith the Messenger of Allahsaw said, "Seeking permission to enter (somebody's house) has been prescribed in order to restrain the eyes (from looking at something we are not supposed to look at).'' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. The meaning of this hadith is quite obvious because people are quite relaxed in their houses and they do whatever they like. We should not barge in and be embarrassed or embarrass them with what we might see.
In another hadith we learn how we should visit other Muslim’s houses. Rib`i bin Hirashra reported: A man of Banu `Amir tribe has told us that he had asked the Prophet saw for permission to enter when he was at home. He said: "May I enter?'' Messenger of Allahsaw said to the servant, "Go out and instruct him about the manner of seeking permission. Tell him to say: As-Salamu `Alaikum May I come in?'' The man heard this and said: "As-Salamu `Alaikum (May you be safe from evil). May I come in?'' The Prophetsaw then accorded permission to him and he entered in.[Abu Dawud].
Last week speaking about the seven obligations that Muslims mutually owe to one another I spoke about sneezing. I will give some more Ahadith on this matter. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "When one of you sneezes he should say: `Al-hamdu lillah (praise be to Allah),' and his brother or his companion should say to him:`Yarhamuk-Allah (may Allah have mercy on you).' When he says this he should reply: `Yahdikum-ullah wa yuslihubalakum (may Allah guide you and render sound your state of affairs).'''[Al-Bukhari].
We should make it a duty to try to practice this hadith in our midst. The instructions contained in this hadith are for our own benefit. If we understand the words well we will notice that they help to consolidate the friendship and good wishes that Muslims should have for one another.
In another hadith Anasra reported: When two men sneezed in the presence of the Prophetsaw he responded to one with "Yarhamuk-Allah (may Allah have mercy on you)'' and did not respond to the other. The latter said to him: "You invoked a blessing on this man but did not do so in my case.'' The Prophetsaw replied, "He praised Allah (i.e., he said `Al-hamdu lillah') but you did not.''[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. In this hadith we see the Holy Prophet putting into practice his own teachings. In fact he is reported to have said Abu Musa ra reported: The Messenger of Allahsaw said, "When one of you sneezes and praises Allah (i.e., says Al-hamdu lillah), you should invoke Allah's Mercy upon him (i.e., say Yarhamuk-Allah); but if he does not praise Allah, you should not make a response.'' [Muslim].
When we read or hear about these Ahadith we can appreciate how the Holy prophetsaw gave us detailed instructions of how we should behave with one another as good Muslims. It is the duty of anyone who professes the Islamic faith to try his or her best to learn and practice these values and Sunna in order to benefit from the blessings that Islam can bring to our life. If we ignore these teachings we ignore them to our own peril. Out of His Mercy Allah has been kind to us by sending someone who has taught us how we can win Allah’s Pleasure. It would be foolhardy on our part to ignore these teachings and follow other teachings besides these. May Allah make each one of us a true follower of the Holy prophet Muhammad saw, the beloved of Allah incha Allah.