Jamaat Ahmadiyya al Mouslemeen

Friday Sermon of Hazrat Amirul Momeneen Zafrullah Domun

03 SEP 2010

At Bait-ul-Rahma Mosque
Les Guibies, Pailles
MAURITUS

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After reciting the Tauz, the Tashahhud and the first chapter of the Holy Quran Imam Zafrullah Domun recited chapter 97 of the Holy Quran and gave its translation as follows:

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Ever Merciful

Surely, We sent it down on the Night of Destiny.

And what should make thee know what the Night of Destiny is?

The Night of Destiny is better than a thousand months.

Therein descend angels and the Spirit with their Lord’s decree concerning everything.

Peace – so will it be even at the rising of the dawn. (97:1-6)

 

So here we are almost at the end of the month of Ramadan. If the moon is visible on Thursday which is most likely, then incha Allah we will be celebrating Eid here in Mauritius on Friday next, i.e 10th September. However should the moon be invisible due to unfavorable weather conditions then we will celebrate Eid on Saturday 11th September.  My point is that in all likelihood today will be the last Jummah Prayer for this Ramadan. If Eid is on Saturday next, then the last Jummah will be next week. Since this is only a possibility so for purposes of worship we should take today to be the last Friday of the month. Hence we should fill every moment of this day with constant remembrance of Allah if we want to derive the blessings that might be associated with it.

 

Anyhow as I have said in previous sermons on the same topic we, Ahmadi Muslims, do not believe as some others might that attendance to this day’s Friday prayer has the special property of cleansing ourselves of all our sins even if we neglect our religious duties afterwards or prior to it. Islam does not at all condone such thinking. In Islam one has to assume one’s religious duties as soon as one is of age. Whether you are a man or a woman you will have to answer before Allah about the religious duties that Allah and His Prophet have imposed upon you. So if this day has any importance at all it is most probably due to the fact that it is the last Friday of this blessed month and hence it signals that these days of blessings will soon be gone. At the most there are only about seven days before the month of Ramadan will be gone to return after eleven months. Besides to the best of my knowledge the blessings associated with this day is not mentioned in the Holy Quran and neither in any hadith. Hence if the Friday Prayer of this day has any importance it is most probably due to the fact that usually on Fridays, according to hadith there is a special time for the acceptance of prayers and in the month of Ramadan because of Allah’s a manifestation of His Mercy and Forgiveness such special occasions become more frequent. Besides that there is not much to be made with this day. Allah knows best.

 

 Furthermore today is the last Friday Prayer for all those who are staying in the mosque seeking the pleasure of their Lord during the last ten days of the month of Ramadan. Since this type of worship known as I’tekaaf (seclusion in the mosque) is in itself quite praiseworthy, hence this Friday prayer may have some special significance because it falls within that period of I’tekaaf. Besides this in Islam there is no special significance that is attributed particularly to this day. Hence we should not at all labour under the delusion that our presence in the mosque only on this day will efface our sins and grant us Paradise. If we are aiming for such a noble goal we need to do more than just participating in a Friday Sermon.

 

This is in fact what those who go for the I’tekaaf aim at. They spend almost ten days and nights in the mosque with the aim of finding laylatul Qadr (night of destiny) with a view to get their sins forgiven. The Holy Prophet Mohammad saw is reported to have said that he or she who prays during the night of Destiny with faith and hope of forgiveness will have his sins forgiven. Even all those Muslims who do have the opportunity to stay in seclusion in the Mosque during the last ten days of Ramadan should strive to stay awake for some time and ask Allah for forgiveness. We learn from the hadiths that when the last ten days of Ramadan arrived, the Holy Prophet saw increased his determination for worship. We learn for example that at times he stayed awake the whole night in the worship of his Lord. Moreover he did not do this alone. He used to wake up members of his household for the same purpose. We also learn from the books of hadiths that he has advised us to search for the laylatul qadr on the last remaining odd nights of the Ramadan. Therefore all of us should try within the capacity that Allah has given us to  do our best to increase the standard of our  nightly devotions during the last remaining  nights of Ramadan.

 

From the hadiths we learn that the Holy Prophet is reported to have said that should we witness laylatul qadr we should pray as follows:”Allahhoumma innaka  afouwoun tohibbul afwa fa’foanni” which we translate as “ O my Lord you are the Effacer of  sins, you love to efface sins, efface my sins”. Now the witnessing of laylatul qadr may take many forms depending upon how Allah wishes to show it to each one. In the days of the Holy Prophet we learn that once he said it had been shown to him that on the day of laylatul qadr he was prostrating in mud. Then it so happened that in the coming days he was in prostration in the mosque and rain was pouring down and his forehead was in mud. At least this is how it has been reported in the books of hadiths. Allah knows best.

 

Similarly in another report we learn that on the night of laylatul Qadr there are some physical signs which are visible at night. For example one may see some light in the sky, some rain and some wind as well. But Hazrat Masih Maood as has told us that anyone will get his laylatulQadr on the day or moment that Allah tells him that He has forgiven him or her. That will be better than all the years he has lived or even the 83 years and four months that are equivalent to one thousand months. Why is this moment so important? The answer to this question is that the person to whom Allah gives a promise of pardon is in fact very lucky. In fact he achieves the most important purpose of his life. Hence this moment is most important for him.

 

Last week the Ahmadiyya leader Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad spoke about this chapter of the Holy Quran in his Friday sermon. I have read a summary of the sermon as has been published on the mainstream’s Jamaat’s website. Among other things the caliph acknowledges that those people who experience laylatul qadr do so by a special Grace of Allah. In addition he speaks about the additional meaning of laylatul qadr as explained by Hazrat Masih Maood as. But unfortunately he fails to mention the most important extract where Hazrat Masih Maood as gives detailed explanation about laylatul qadr in his book Fatah Islam. Before I give this quotation let me say a few words about something which the caliph said in his khutbah Jummah of 20th August 2010 because what he said is relevant to what I am trying to explain. Around 34 minutes in his speech and on page 9 of the creole translation of the speech we understand that he has said that a believer should pray to Allah for the accomplishment of the prophecies found in the holy Quran. He should pray that as Allah raised his chosen servants for the guidance of mankind in the past he should do the same now because the times ask for it. But if you are used to listen attentively to Friday sermons then you will easily miss this sentence. On the one hand the caliph says that people should pray for the coming of Allah’s representatives and on the other hand when these representatives make themselves known they are cast out of the Jamaat because they threaten the vested interested of some persons within the Jamaat.

Now let us go back and see what a higher authority than the Ahmadiyya caliph, namely Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as says:

 

Maybe the ignorant will ask, what does it mean - this descent of angels from heaven? Let them know it is the custom of God that when a prophet or apostle or saint descends from heaven to reform and restore a people to faith, then angels also descend with him, in his company. These angels enter human hearts willing and ready. They draw them to virtue and keep drawing them, until unbelief and misguidance disappear and the dawn of belief and righteousness shows its face. As indeed God Almighty Himself says in the Holy Quran: "In it - the Night of Power - descend angels and a New Spirit, all by the command of their Lord and charged with every kind of affair. Peace it is, peace - till the rising of the dawn". (Holy Quran Chapter 97:5-6).

He continues:

The descent from Heaven, that is to say, angels and the Holy Spirit takes place only when a great human - an elect - draped in vicegerency and blessed with divine revelation, descends upon this earth. The Holy Spirit is specially charged to work for this man. And the angels, they descend upon willing hearts all over the world. Then wherever there are men of good will and ability the light emitted by this man descends. The whole world is then under the influence of a pervasive light. Angels enter men's hearts and set them in the right direction. Love of the One God begins to attract. Simple and Straight hearts become charged with the love and search of truth. The weak are endowed with strength. Everywhere a wind of wholesome change begins to blow. The cause of the reformer begins to prosper. A hidden hand moves men to righteousness. Whole nations begin to feel the push. So much indeed, that the ignorant among men begin to think the world has taken a turn towards the right, all on its own. In reality the change is the work of angels who descend from Heaven along with the vicegerent of God, and lend special strength for the acceptance and understanding of truth. They awaken those who were asleep and alert those who were lost. They give hearing to the deaf, quicken those who were dead, and raise the entombed out of their graves. Then do men suddenly open their eyes and begin to perceive and understand what was hidden from them before. The angels who help the Vicegerent are not beings apart from the Vicegerent. They are the light that shines on his face. They are the many signs and symptoms of his courage and will. This light, that is, these signs and symptoms draw towards themselves men suited to the change, by their magnetic quality. Physical distance may or may not separate them, the men drawn may be friends or complete strangers.

In short the stir towards a new conscience, a new enthusiasm for truth that mark the change, come of the influence emanating from the angels, who descend along with the Vicegerent. It may be the people of Asia or Europe or America. It is angels who move them. This is the law of God. You will find no change in it and it so easy and simple to grasp. It will be your misfortune if you heed it not.”(page 8)

He says furthermore:

 Islam today is a light hidden in a box. Or, it is a sweet-water spring covered by leaves and twigs and straw. The fair face of Islam cannot be seen. Its beauty cannot be viewed. It as the duty of Mussalams to do their utmost to show the world how lovely Islam is. The could have sacrificed their properties and their lives to this end. They have not done so. But they suffer from ignorance, rank ignorance. The ask, are not the old books enough? They know nothing about new dangers, with their ever-new challenges, which cannot be met except by new methods. Prophets and Messengers have come time after time. In the time of each, were there not old books already in use? So, take it for certain that when there is darkness in the world, heaven must send its light from above. In this very booklet I have mentioned the Quran, Chapter al- Qadr (Chapter 97). In this chapter God Almighty gives glad tidings to believers that His Revelation, His Prophet, have been sent during a night - a night of Power. Every reformer, every restorer of faith, who comes from God descends as it were form above during such a night of power. Do you know what a night of power is? Night of Power is a time when terrible darkness envelopes the world. That time - so dark it is - demands light, light to dispel darkness. It is a metaphorical expression. It is a dark time, called a dark night. It is not a night literally so. It is a time, which because of its darkness is described as a night. It begins to settle down 1,000 months after a prophet or his spiritual successor has come and gone. One thousand months is equal to an individual life span. At the end of this period human senses also come to an end. When so much time has elapsed, heaven sows the seed for the birth of one or more reformers to appear at the head of the new century. We have a further hint in the words of God "The night of power is better than one thousands months" (Holy Quran 97:4). Which means that those who are able to see the heavenly light descend during the night of power are better than the 80 year old who were not present at the time of the descent of this light. One moment of light received during this night is better than a thousand months before the night. And why? Because during this night angels of God and the Holy Spirit descend with the permission of the God of Majesty along with the reformer of the time. Not for anything, but in order that they may move willing hearts and shows them the many paths to spiritual security. They - the angels and the Holy Spirit - open the new paths and draw the curtains. Then the darkness of indifference and ignorance disappears. And instead appears the dawn of spiritual life and light.

Now O Mussalmans, read and ponder over these verses. How precious in the eyes of God is the time in which - to fit into the need - God sends a reformer into the world. Will you not be grateful for finding yourselves in such a time? Will you treat with ridicule the promises of God?”(page 20)

These words were addressed by Hazrat Masih Maood as to the Muslims of yore. But today they aptly fit the Ahmadis of today. The same message is relevant to them because they are also rejecting Allah’s signs and ignoring His Representative. As far as we are concerned we pray that Allah continues to shower His Blessings upon us and may He help not to be ever deprived of His Blessings.