Saturday, February 02, 2008

Freestyle Friday Flames - Khalifa

Huzur cited verses 130 and 152 of Surah Al Baqarah (2:130) (2:152) and gave a discourse on the difference in the sequence in which four aspects relating to the great Prophet are enumerated in the prayer that Hadhrat Ibrahim (on whom be peace) made (2:130) and in the verses that declare the acceptance of this prayer (2:152), (3:165), & (62:3). Huzur said indeed there is great wisdom behind this disparity and the arrangement of the words is not interchanged needlessly. The sequence in the three verses depicting the acceptance of the prayer is indeed the same, it mentions ‘purification’ after ‘recitation of Signs’.

Huzur said various commentators from earlier times have commented on this aspect but not in great detail. However Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) has done so and Huzur spoke with reference to his writings. Huzur said the prayer of Hadhrat Ibrahim (on whom be peace) was based on the revelation received by the Prophet, miracles coming to pass in its support, as well as revelation of commandments and their wisdom. Eventually when a body of people is geared up by listening to the revelation, having witnessed the miracles and having understood the commandments Allah grants it sanctity. This community then takes this message to others. In this sequence the spiritual development is deemed primary along with attainment of spiritual discernment. This comes about when one has faith in the Divine revelation and has faith in the Unseen, which in turn grants one an insight to witness miracles. This purifies the ‘self’ further, which leads to development in comprehending and imbibing Divine attributes and further spiritual development to the point when one’s heart is purified of all adulteration. Huzur said reading of Book and seeking wisdom constitute apparent knowledge and by listing them in the end it has been maintained that the real objective is purification of the ‘self’ and not apparent observance of Salat or Zakat and indeed performing of Hajj.

Huzur recounted that Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) related that when he went for Hajj he met a young man who did not seem to be observing any worship during Hajj. Upon asking he said that his family had a shop and the proprietor of a rival shop who was in the same business seemed to be making huge profit since he had been to Hajj. So, the young man’s father had suggested to him to go to Hajj and there he was with no real interest in the sacred ritual of Hajj.

Huzur said if this is the kind of Hajj people perform then abiding by the Book is of no avail. Huzur said it is worth remembering that the teachings of this Book lead to purification of self and that is the reason ‘purification’ is mentioned in the beginning of the verses illustrating the acceptance of the prayer as the great Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) did purify hearts. His Companions gradually developed in spirituality; however, their purification was instantaneous. The blessed being of this Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and his each deed was a ‘sign’ for those with insight. This is the reason why people like Hadhrat Khadija and Hadhrat Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with them both) accepted his message without any proof or reasoning.

Huzur said the mention of purification before teaching of the Book and wisdom in the verses is indicative of the fact that a higher level of faith encourages the spirit of ‘we hear, and we obey’ (2:286). Indeed past experiences verify that abiding by each commandment is beneficial, therefore, ‘O Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on you) your teaching doubtlessly is the right one, we may understand the wisdom behind it later, however, we obey you, our beloved, instantly.’ Huzur said it is those who are weak of faith who look for reasoning; indeed if one is arrogant and indulges in the philosophy of it all ‘purification’ cannot take place. It is not essential for a true believer to have wisdom. One whose faith is limited to reasoning and proof and is dependent on rationale signifies weak faith. Flawed faith demands reasoning.

Reading an extract from the noble writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) Huzur said that Allah’s Book teaches us to have faith and to believe and that is what will bring us salvation rather than demanding for reasoning and not believing unless faith is mathematically proven. If the Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) teaching is to be accepted in this manner then this is not compliance of the Prophet. When an honest person accepts Divine commandments and prophecies through the agency of a truthful person he/she is blessed. This is why it is Allah’s way that first one has to be obedient by believing in the Unseen, it is after this that spiritual knowledge and discernment is attained.

Huzur said the other difference in the verse depicting the prayer of Hadhrat Ibrahim (2:130) and the one depicting its acceptance (2:152) is that the first ends on the Divine attributes of The Mighty and The Wise whereas the verse in its ‘response’ end in the words ‘…that which you did not know.’ Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) explains this by saying that Hadhrat Ibrahim’s (on whom be peace) prayer with reference to the Divine attributes of the Mighty, the Wise was in accordance to his thoughts for a prophet who would purify people till the end of time, he therefore acknowledged in his prayer that Allah alone had the insight of the time to come as He is Mighty and Wise, and prayed for acceptance of the need of the time to come. In fulfilment of this prayer, Allah declares that this Prophet ‘…teaches you that which you did not know.’ (2:152) That is, a Book and Signs were revealed with knowledge that was not known before, with prophecies which would be perceived with the passage of time and which Huzur said he has explained in his previous sermons.

Huzur cited part of verse 8 of Surah Al e Imran (3:8) the translation reads:

‘He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book; in it there are verses that are decisive in meaning – they are the basis of the Book – and there are others that are susceptible of different interpretations…’ Explaining, Huzur said ‘decisive in meaning’ connotes those matters which were not known before. The Arabic word ‘muhkam’ means something that is safe from any sort of change or that which does not even have a shadow of doubt and is decisive, whereas, by contrast the other kind of verses connotes that which may have different meanings and import. Huzur asked how those who are devoid of ‘purification’ could have an understanding of this! Huzur said the import of ‘susceptible of different interpretations’ is that the verses do not conflict with the ones that are ‘decisive in meaning’. If one does not understand something then Allah’s help should be sought while purifying one’s heart. Allah has power over everything and opens up one’s perception.

Huzur said people have tried to alter this teaching but they have not succeeded and will indeed never succeed. At the top of each century a mujjaddad (reformer) has been coming for this ‘purifier’ and there have been religious scholars and jurist. Not the kind of religious scholars we have today, Huzur added. Indeed, Huzur said it was for the safeguard of this teaching that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was sent in accordance with the promise made to the ‘purifier’ (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).

Citing verses 3 & 4 of Surah Al Jummah (62:3) Huzur said the verse in acceptance of Hadhrat Ibrahim’s prayer (62:3) ends with the words, ‘…they have been, before, in manifest misguidance.’ just as the other acceptance verse (3:165) does. Huzur said this favour was bestowed by Allah at a time when there was disorder on the earth, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) recited the Signs of Allah, purified people, gave them the teaching of the Book and the very same Arabs who were steeped in ignorance brought about a revolutionary change in the world.

In Surah Jummah alongside the mention of the advent of the great Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be on him) the subject of whether the time of this great Prophet is over is raised. Indeed the same spell of darkness and ignorance returned after a few hundred years of the advent of the Prophet and apart from a few groups of people here and there most were thrown in ignorance. If Allah, Who is Most Beneficent could send His beneficence to the idolaters of Arabia, would He not send His beneficence on the ummah who were praying and beseeching for the darkness to dispel? If this is what people think then there is no greatness in being such an ummah and indeed they perceive Allah in a negative light. Do they expect that the Mighty, the Wise God would allow His people to remain lost? O those who associate themselves with the great Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) whose teaching is going to be the source to purify hearts till the Day of Judgement – in order to demonstrate the luminosity of this teaching, to purify people on a large scale and to sow the seeds of purity and wisdom in those spiritually weak a prophet has come who is a slave of the great Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), he has come to take people to God in these difficult times. He is indeed the one about whom the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) had prophesised that when faith would be as remote as the Plaides a person from the race of Hadhrat Salman Farsi who bring it back to earth.

Huzur said anyone who has perception can see the current times are identical to the ones prophesised. There is double responsibility on us as Ahmadis, that is in conjunction with purifying ourselves and putting the teaching in practice in our own lives, we need to have the fervour to spread it to others. Every which way there is clamour to take care of Islam but they remain dispersed because they have rejected one who has come from God.

Huzur read an extract from the noble writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) illustrating the subject firther.

Huzur said the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had brought this revolution and now it is the task of each individual of the Community to carry it further otherwise we would be held sinful as the earlier ones were deemed sinful.

May we never cease to have purity in our hearts, may Allah enable us to do so.

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