Friday Sermon of
After reciting the Tauz, the Tashahhud and the first chapter of the Holy Quran Imam Zafrullah Domun said:
Since our childhood while attending the innumerable functions organized by the Ahmadiyya Jamaat we have been fed a diet of obedience especially to those in authority. Almost everyone in the Jamaat knows easily by heart the hadith “he who obeys my amir obeys me and he who disobeys my amir disobeys me”. Similarly the hadith “you should obey even if an Ethiopian slave whose brain is the size of a grape is made an amir over you” is quite current in the Jamaat. Such Hadiths have been used by those in authority only to exact obedience from the members of the Jamaat.
However no one ever questioned whether these Hadiths are really authentic or not and what are their legitimacy. Some people thought that a missionary coming from Jamiah Ahmadiyya was a great authority on every aspect of Islam. Personally since my young age I tried to live Islam in my daily life and I started studying our books and tried to increase my knowledge as much as possible. During those early days in the mid 1970s whenever I had time I would be found reading. At that time I had the opportunity of reading plenty of Hadiths but I did not make any systematic study of Hadiths. I did not even know that there existed a science of hadith that might enable one to sift true and untrue Hadiths. Throughout the years I have come to know that the understanding of Hadiths is very long and painstaking process. Recently through the availability of many important studies on the net I have only become aware how ignorant we Ahmadis especially those in Mauritius are about the study of Hadiths.
Moreover within Jamaat Ahmadiyya not much has been published on Hadiths or its study not even in Urdu. Furthermore even what Hazrat Masih Maood as has said on Hadiths is not as often quoted as other matters.
A student of Islamic history can easily understand what importance Hadiths have played in legitimizing the government of those in power. Consequently there were many fabricated Hadiths and fortunately for us they have not found their place in the two main books of Hadiths namely Bokhari and Muslim. If in the past some Islamic rulers fabricated some Hadiths to legitimate their point of view today some rulers use some Hadiths to legitimize what might appear obnoxious. In our sermons we have often argued that the social boycott exercised by the majority Ahmadiyya mainstream Jamaat over our minority Jamaat is unislamic. Some members of the mainstream Jamaat feel really ill at ease with this unislamic boycott which runs counter to what true teachings of Ahmadiyyat stands for. But those who are temporarily in power are trying their best to tell their members that this is a legitimate Islamic measure because it has the sanctity of caliphal approval. Hence we read in the November 2010 Number of “Le Message”, one of the propaganda instruments of (anti)-Ahmadiyya doctrine:
“It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Hureira that the Messenger of Allah saw said: “It is obligatory for you to listen to the ruler and obey him in adversity and prosperity, in pleasure and displeasure and even if another person is given (rather undue) preference over you”. (Muslim-1836).
Islam, being a practical religion does not ignore the fact that someone might see something undesirable in his leader. Is it a reason to disobey him? The holy Prophet is quite clear: one should be patient and obey.
If someone dislikes something in his amir or leader, he should be patient because if he distances himself a little from the Jamaat, he will die in ignorance” (Bokhari).”
Now let me tell you some other Hadiths about the subject of obedience so that you might know how even today some people misuse Hadiths to justify their obnoxious and unislamic measures. Concerning the hadith about the slave being appointed it exact words are as follows:
“If a slave is appointed over you and he conducts your affairs according to the Book of Allah, you should listen to him and obey.”(Muslim 1838). In some other versions the slave is even qualified as “Maimed Abyssinian Slave”
What we should note in this hadith is that the leader has to carry out the affairs of the Muslim not according to the words of later leaders but according to the Book of Allah. Now in Mauritius we have said that the social boycott has been initiated by the caliph and implemented by the local Nizamis helped by a clique in England. I have challenged them before and I say it again now that this social boycott is against the Book of Allah. From the Holy Quran we understand that those who are in authority should strengthen family ties and should not break it. But the mainstream Ahmadiyya leadership does the contrary. In the Holy Quran Allah says:
Would you then, if you are placed in authority, create disorder in the land and sever your ties of kinship?
It is these whom Allah curses so that He makes them deaf and makes their eyes blind.(HQ 47:23-4)
From the hadith quoted above we understand that obedience is due to an amir who conducts the affairs of the Muslims according to the Book of Allah. If the amir and his close circle are not doing this then there should be no obedience at all for him. In another hadith it has been narrated on the authority of Ali who said:
“The Messenger of Allah saw sent an expedition and appointed over the Mujahids a man from the Ansar. (While making the appointment), he ordered that his word should be listened to and obeyed. They made him angry in a matter. He said: Collect for me dry wood. They collected it for him. Then he said: Kindle a fire. They kindled (the fire). Then he said: Didn't the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) order you to listen to me and obey (my orders)? They said: Yes. He said: Enter the fire. The narrator says: (At this), they began to look at one another and said: We fled from the fire to (find refuge with) the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) (and now you order us to enter it). They stood quiet until his anger cooled down and the fire went out. When they returned, they related the incident to the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him). He said: If they had entered it, they would not have come out. Obedience (to the commander) is obligatory only in what is good.”( Muslim H1840R1)
Now comb Ahmadiyya Literature and you will rarely see this hadith being quoted. It is not quoted because if people know about such hadith they will question many stupid instructions that they have received in the name of Islam. There are many important lessons for every thinking Muslims in this hadith. To begin with in order to exercise authority one should know the Book of Allah. As an amir or caliph one is not allowed to give any instruction which is against the commandments of Allah.
Should there be any such commandments one should disobey or else one will be punished with hell. Moreover in the circumstances quoted above the Holy Prophet saw commended those who disobeyed this stupid instruction in another version of the hadith. Hence no one even the caliph is to be obeyed when he goes against Allah’s instructions and ask people to sever their ties of relationship with one another. Those who have obeyed him and disobeyed Allah should make amends and ask Allah for forgiveness and also ask those they have offended for forgiveness. Anyhow this is my humble advice to them. If they follow it, they will profit and if they ignore it they will have to account for it. In another version the prophet said “ Laa taa’ato fi mar’siyatillah, innamat taa’ato fil ma’roof” meaning “ there is no obedience in disobedience to Allah – obedience is in what is ma’roof (good and reasonable).
As I have just told you the Ahmadiyya leadership wants to preserve an apparent unity in the Jamaat by practicing an Islam of their own making. They say that one should obey whatever the circumstances by resorting to prayer and patience. However there are other hadiths which tells us that as Muslims we should only have the fear of Allah in our heart and for his sake we should always uphold the truth. In another version of the hadith quoted in Le Message the wordings are more or less the same but with some additional words. I quote it in full:
“The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) pledged the oath of allegiance from us on our listening to and obeying the orders of our commander in adversity and prosperity, in pleasure and displeasure (and when somebody is given preference over us, on our avoiding to dispute delegation of powers to a person deemed to be a fit recipient thereof (in eye of one who delegated it) and on our telling the truth in whatever position we be without fearing in the matter of Allah reproach of the reproacher.”( Muslim Vol page 251)
Here we understand that we should not fear to speak the truth for Allah’s sake even to our amir.
There are also other Hadiths which give us an idea of what we should do when we see the ill actions of an amir or a caliph for that matter.
It has been narrated on the authority of Umm Salama that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: “In the near future there will be Amirs and you will like their good deeds and dislike their bad deeds. One who sees their bad deeds (and tries to prevent their repetition by his hand or through his speech), is absolved from blame, but one who hates their bad deeds (in the heat of his heart, being unable to prevent their recurrence by his hand or his tongue), is (also) safe (as far as God's wrath is concerned). But one who approves their bad deeds and imitates them is spiritually ruined. People asked (the Holy Prophet): Shouldn't we fight against them? He replied: No, as long as they say their prayers.”(Muslim H 1854)
Here we see that efforts should be made to stop the Amir acting unjustly. Those who try to do so in speech or deeds will be saved from Allah’s wrath but those who abet; they will be punished as the amir will be punished by Allah. Hence coming back to our case in Mauritius, those who disapprove of all the measures that are implemented by the amir and his nizamis will be saved by Allah. But all those who help the amir in these unislamic actions prepare themselves to face Allah with their full load of sins. When I speak of the amir I never forget the caliph.
Furthermore another hadith has been quoted in Le Message to say that one should not move away from the Jamaat or else one will die in ignorance. First of all I want to make it clear that I did not move away from any Jamaat. The caliph, behaving as if the Jamaat is his personal property and acting on the report presented to him by his amir in Mauritius told me to go and make my own Jamaat. As an obedient subject I carried through with his request and since I have never regretted it. If the Hadith says that a Muslim should not move away from the Jamaat, nowhere in the Hadith or in any commandment of Allah do we see that any Muslim should be banished from a Jamaat. As far as we are concerned we have a divine approval for our Jamaat and we do not need any caliphal blessings for it. When Allah is with us we do not care at all if the world is against us! However listen to what the Holy Prophet said in another of his Hadiths:
“It has been narrated on the authority of Huthaifa b.Al-Yaman who said: People used to ask the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) about the good times, but I used to ask him about bad times fearing lest they overtake me. I said: Messenger of Allah, we were in the midst of ignorance and evil, and then God brought us this good (time through Islam). Is there any bad time after this good one? He said: Yes. I asked: Will there be a good time again after that bad time? He said: Yes, but therein will be a hidden evil. I asked: What will be the evil hidden therein? He said: (That time will witness the rise of) the people who will adopt ways other than mine and seek guidance other than mine. You will know good points as well as bad points. I asked: Will there be a bad time after this good one? He said: Yes. (A time will come) when there will be people standing and inviting at the gates of Hell. Whosoever responds to their call they will throw them into the fire. I said: Messenger of Allah, describe them for us. He said: All right. They will be people having the same complexion as ours and speaking our language. I said: Messenger of Allah, what do you suggest if I happen to live' in that time? He said: You should stick to the main body of the Muslims and their leader. I said: If they have no (such thing as the) main body and have no leader? He said: Separate yourself) from all these factions, though you may have to eat the root of trees (in the jungle) until death comes to you and you are in this state.”(Muslim H 1847).
In this hadith we understand that in times of turmoil people should look for the group that has an imam. The Arabic words used are “talzamon jamaa’atul Mouslemeen wa imamohoum” which is translated as “stick to the “Jamaatoul Mouslemeen” and their imam. IS it then just a coincidence that our Jamaat is known as Jamaat Ahmadiyya al Mouslemeen.” Is it then just a coincidence that Allah has said to this humble servant “We have made you an imam for the righteous.” Incha Allah we will continue this discussion in our next sermon.