20 Jun Friday Sermon: Blessed visit to Germany 2014
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said that he led the last two Friday Prayers in Germany. The Friday sermon of 6 June was on the subject of obedience of Khilafat and it was not only intended for the German Jama’at but was for the entire world, although some examples were cited in it with reference to the German Jama’at. Huzoor is pleased that Ahmadis the world over responded to the sermon by promptly expressing their loyalty and particularly mentioned that although some office-holders do try and find their own interpretations on matters but have given assurance that it will not happen in future. It is the beauty of the Jama’at established by the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) that it promptly responds to whatever its attention is drawn to. May God enhance all Ahmadis in their obedience and loyalty!
Huzoor based today’s sermon on his recent tour of Germany and the Jalsa Salana there. Huzoor said one source of delight of Jalsa is the members of the Jama’at, Ahmadi men women and children who come to Jalsa with great fervour. Nowadays non-Ahmadi guests are also a source of delight of our Jalsas. They come to see and listen for themselves whether the word and practice of Ahmadis are compatible or do they too gather like worldly people at Jalsa simply to meet and have fun. However, when the guests experience Jalsa and listen to the beautiful teaching of Islam, it becomes a source of removing their doubts and misconceptions about Islam. Similarly, when non-Muslims and non-Ahmadis who have some knowledge of Ahmadiyyat, true Islam personally experience Jalsa, they either take Bai’at or their hearts are fully inclined to Ahmadiyyat after a short while. Jalsa creates a very positive impression of Islam and is a great source of Tabligh as indeed the recent German Jalsa did. Huzoor presented some comments of Jalsa guests with reference to how God’s support and help is with us, for indeed hearts are inclined only through God’s grace.
In addition to Jalsa, during the German tour foundation laying of mosques as well as inaugurations of mosque took place where the beautiful teaching of Islam was explained to guests and they said that they had not come across such a picture of Islam before. Through the media coverage, the message reached millions.
Many delegates had come to the Jalsa from neighbouring European countries and the delegations comprised of large numbers. Apart from new Ahmadis and those under Tabligh from France and Belgium, people had come from Estonia, Croatia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Romania, Hungry, Montenegro, Bosnia, Russian countries, Kosovo, Albania, Bulgaria and Macedonia. These delegations comprised of men, women and children who are under Tabligh.
The delegation from Macedonia was 55 strong with 28 Christians, 10 non-Ahmadis and 17 Ahmadis. They have travelled 2000 km to be at the Jalsa and had two journalists and cameramen among them who said once home they would broadcast their recordings on television in Macedonia. Nine people from the Macedonian delegation took Bai’at at Jalsa. Their comments were most positive. One guest said that his visit had proved to be great in terms of gaining religious knowledge and Huzoor’s addresses had changed his viewpoint on Islam. Another guest said that he had come to obtain some knowledge about Islam and was most impressed with the address given by Huzoor. He said he would like to come again and was pleased that Huzoor had explained everything very well. A lady guest said that her opinion on Islam had completely changed after attending the Jalsa and Huzoor’s addresses had altered her thoughts. Another guest said that he was pleased to the core of his being to have come to Jalsa and was particularly impressed with Huzoor’s peaceable message. A guest who is a professor said that Huzoor’s addresses had enhanced his knowledge of Islam and he felt his meeting with Huzoor was unique. Huzoor gave a lot of time to the guests and gave detailed answers to their questions and he felt that he came to know many new things and found that Ahmadis practiced what they preached. A female student said that she was most impressed and amazed by the Jalsa and meeting Huzoor was a new experience for her. Another guest suggested to Huzoor that all religions should be brought together. Huzoor told him that we already work on these lines and Huzoor told the guest about our recent Guildhall event in London.
The Albanian delegation comprised of 10 non-Ahmadis and 10 Ahmadis. An ex-army person among the guests said that he had never before experienced anything like the Jalsa. He found the fervour displayed by Ahmadis very pleasant and was pleased to see even little children happily serving drinking water. Another guest said that he had also come to Jalsa last year and felt a distinct change this year in that now many indigenous German Ahmadis were present. He felt only that Ahmadiyya Jama’at presented a true model of Islam.
A guest among the Hungarian delegation who is a teacher said that the Jama’at was streets ahead other in its love and affection and voluntary work. He found the Bai’at ceremony delightful and was most impressed with congregational Salat. He found that the members of the Jama’at had extreme love for Hazrat Khalifatul Masih and this love was spontaneous, borne of natural sentiments. Another guest said that he was very impressed by the organisation of the Jalsa and said that he had not seen such a well organised Muslim gathering.
A Syrian guest who lives in Romania and was in the Romanian delegation asked our missionary Sahib if he would be able to see Hazrat Khalifatul Masih from close by and was joyous when the meeting took place. The missionary Sahib said that the guest had started saying from the first day that he loved Hazrat Khalifatul Masih and he said this repeatedly. He felt that Khalifa of Islam was the only person to lead to the right path. He also expressed these sentiments even during his meeting with Huzoor. He later asked our missionary Sahib how a Khalifa was elected which he explained to him in detail, how God takes the matter in His control and joins those who are electing through concealed revelation. He could not understand the concept of Divine control and concealed revelation but later in the evening he said the matter was resolved for him. He explained that he stood in a line with others waiting for Huzoor. When Huzoor passed in front of him, spontaneously he raised his hand to greet Huzoor and thus he understood the concept of Divine control and concealed revelation. He said he did not raise and wave his hand to greet anyone no matter how eminent a person, but now that he had greeted Huzoor in this manner, he felt it was definitely through Divine control for it was not within his power to do so. He is convinced about Ahmadiyyat to a great degree and will think things over a little and will then come into the fold of Ahmadiyyat.
Three university students had come as guests from Lithuania. One student said that Jalsa is most useful for those Western thinkers who have a negative view of Islam. A female student said that she was most impressed with the peaceful and tolerant atmosphere of Jalsa and felt she had seen the true image of Islam at Jalsa. Another female student said she is interested in religions and felt that by attending Jalsa she found out about Islam and it also gave her an opportunity to understand herself.
Students from the Croatian delegation asked a lot of question during their meeting with Huzoor and they commented that Huzoor responded to their questions extremely well, in detail and most satisfactorily. Huzoor remarked that he had indeed asked them at the time if they were satisfied with the answers given. A guest belonging to department of agriculture said that meeting Huzoor was an honour and he had understood the status of Khalifatul Masih and after listening to his addresses his fear changed into love and respect and his outlook was changed.
A guest from Bulgaria said that it was his first experience of Jalsa. He was an opponent of Ahmadiyyat but seeing the atmosphere of Jalsa and listening to Huzoor’s addresses transformed his view. A Christian guest said that it was his first visit to Jalsa and he was most impressed. He wished to return to Bulgaria and have it announced that people should visit Jalsa and listen to the addresses. Huzoor said he told him the Mufti in Bulgaria would make great trouble at this! The Christian guest said he found spiritual food at Jalsa and asked when will he get to have such spiritual food in Bulgaria? Huzoor suggested to him to consult his government.
Huzoor said that world is restless to find the truth but Satan too is doing his work. Our prayer is that the true message of Islam may reach in areas where restrictions are in place!
A guest from Kosovo said it was his first visit and he took Bai’at! He said that even if the state of Germany tried it could not hold a convention like Jalsa. He felt only Ahmadiyya Jama’at could do this.
A lady guest from Bosnia told Huzoor that she had many questions but had found all the answers in Huzoor’s sermon and had no more questions left. She said she felt she was most fortunate and took Bai’at. Huzoor told her that the sermon was addressed to long-term Ahmadis but she remarked that she gained many insights from it. This is how God opens up hearts!
Huzoor said in Germany a separate address is organised for German guests. This year about 200 Germans came to it. People from other countries also attended and the total number was approximately 450. A politician guest commented that he has been listening to the addresses of Huzoor for three years and was most impressed with this year’s address. It was a very good effort to promote peace. He said it was amazing that such a large gathering was so peaceful. Had Germans gathered in as many numbers there would certainly have been some among them to spoil the proceedings. Another guest remarked that Huzoor’s speech addressed matters which even the Pope could not have addressed. He said contrary to how the media portrays Islam, he had found for himself what Islam was about and was impressed with the warm and caring atmosphere of such a large gathering. A non-Ahmadi Muslim guest said that he was pleased to be there and although he did not agree with many things, he liked Huzoor’s address and found the atmosphere to be very good. Another guest said he had learned many new things by listening to Huzoor’s address. A guest remarked that the Islamic teaching of tolerance and equality that was presented by Huzoor was excellent. He said an Ahmadi studies with him at university and his practice shows that there is a distinction between Ahmadis and other Muslims. Another guest said that each word of Huzoor’s address echoed his sentiments so much so that he felt as if he had written Huzoor’s address.
At the foundation-laying ceremony of a mosque in Wiesbaden the lord mayor’s representative said that Ahmadiyya Jama’at played a very active and positive role in the city and always promotes peace. Another dignitary congratulated on the foundation laying and said he was honoured to attend. The plot of land where the mosque will be built was owned by a widow for forty years but owing to her advanced age she sold it to the civic authorities. She was present at the ceremony and was pleased to hear Huzoor’s address and said that she was happy that the property she had once owned will be used to worship God and a house of God will be built there and will remain forever. She said she was satisfied to hear what Huzoor had said. Another comment that reached Huzoor was a remark by an elderly person who said that he did not have long to live but he had concerns about the German nation as nations go through rise and fall. He now felt that if ever such a situation was to develop in Germany, the country would be in the hands of Ahmadiyya Jama’at and would be safe.
A guest who is a teacher saw Huzoor distribute chocolate to little girls and remarked she had never seen such love expressed by young children before. She said she was very impressed. A dignitary guest said that he was a witness of 25 years that Ahmadiyya Jama’at played a very positive role in society. A guest said that he heard Huzoor’s address half in its original form in Urdu and half in German. This was because he wanted to directly hear Huzoor’s voice and he found the experience very pleasant.
Huzoor said people have their own amazing ways of gauging the Jama’at. All this is happening at the command of God. No individual or office-holder should assume that this is happening because of his hard work. Hard work was put in even before but there were no results. Now God has willed so outcomes can be seen and attitudes are changing. A German politician said that all the politicians were very impressed with Huzoor’s address and said that it was extremely sagacious of Huzoor to draw attention to progress of Germany in his address. Another guest said he was amazed to listen to Huzoor’s address and said Germans should learn from Ahmadis.
Huzoor said Ahmadis living in Europe should not feel any complex. Today the responsibility of guiding the world has been given to the Jama’at of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). We should understand this responsibility.
Relating comments of guests at the inauguration of Masjid Mahdi Huzoor said a journalist said that the message of peace given by Huzoor at the occasion had moved the entire hall. A lady guest said that she could not help being moved when Huzoor mentioned the martyrdom of Dr Mehdi Ali and when Huzoor added that in spite of his martyrdom there will be no change in our service to humanity, the lady said she could not control her emotions any more. Another lady guest said that she was most impressed with the message given by Huzoor and said his address was a success. She was impressed that the guest list to the occasion did not only comprise of politicians but neighbours were also invited.
Huzoor said with the building of a mosque our responsibilities where the mosque is built grow.
On the third day of German Jalsa 83 people of 19 nations, who were present, took Bai’at.
An Albanian guest said that he had read in books of Hadith that Bai’at of Imam Mahdi was obligatory on all Muslims. When he took Bai’at he was extremely moved. He said he was very impressed with the fact that people are drawn to Ahmadiyyat after seeing dreams. He said this was a proof that this is a Divine community.
Another guest said he had no knowledge of Ahmadiyya Jama’at. He had a dream in which he hears the Adhan being called and he climbs a mountain with a friend. At the summit of the mountain people are pushing each other and are having scuffles. He says to his friend to leave the place those people may kill them. As they move away they come to a green and verdant valley where people clad in white clothes are offering Salat in a very disciplined way. He asks his friend who are those people. The friend replies, they are Ahmadi. He says he was not even aware of the name of the Jama’at at the time but ultimately this dream became the source of him accepting Ahmadiyyat.
A friend from Morocco said that he was introduced to the Jama’at six years ago. When he visited an Ahmadi Salat centre, he found out more and was invited to German Jalsa. Seeing the spiritual atmosphere of Jalsa and everyone’s love and obedience for Khalifatul Masih, he decided to take Bai’at.
An Iraqi friend who came from Sweden said that he was most impressed with the spiritual atmosphere of Jalsa and had found the true community he was looking for. He said Ahmadiyya Jama’at had all the answer to his questions and he took Bai’at at Jalsa.
A Ghanaian friend who came from Belgium said that he saw a dream in which he is looking at God and God is also looking at Him with His grace. Later, he had the occasion to attend a Tabligh meeting where he saw a photo of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). He remembered his face to be the same face he had seen in his dream. Moved, he wept throughout the meeting. He came to Jalsa this year having decided to take Bai’at. He said that his message to every opponent of Ahmadiyya Jama’at was to come to the Jalsa once. If they experienced Jalsa, he was certain they would stop opposing the Jama’at.
A Moroccan lady from Belgium said that she saw a dream in which Imam Mahdi came resplendent like moonlight and said, glad-tiding, glad-tiding! Later, she saw Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V who says to her in English: Don’t worry. The lady had no idea who these people were. When she saw a photo of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) she realised he was the same holy person she had seen in her dream and upon visiting Jalsa UK she saw Huzoor and was moved to tears to find him to be the other holy person she had seen in her dream. She was convinced of truthfulness of Ahmadiyyat and took Bai’at.
An indigenous French friend said that he was born in a Christian family but did not practice any faith. When his family asked him to accompany him to church and he saw a statue of Jesus there, he was unsure whether to worship God or the statue. He came into contact with an Ahmadi who gave him the book The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam to read. He came to Jalsa and Huzoor’s address altered the state of his heart and on the third day of Jalsa, he took Bai’at.
The in-charge of the Hungarian delegation said that he was in touch with a family in Germany via the internet and he invited them to Jalsa. The person was not sure because he did not have a good impression of Islam. However, he was assured and thus agreed to come and attended the three days of Jalsa. He was most impressed with the Friday sermon as well as with the atmosphere during Salat. He also had very good impressions of the meeting with Huzoor in the evening. He said he had spoken to many Christian priests but none had impressed him. However, Huzoor’s words moved his heart. That evening he rang his son and told him he had met Hazrat Khalifatul Masih. He stayed in touch with missionary Sahib who explained matters to him. During Saturday night he heard Huzoor’s voice in his hotel room, as if Huzoor is leading Salat. He awakened his wife and told her of his experience. He started off as a detractor of Islam but on Sunday he expressed his desire to take Bai’at and joined in the Bai’at ceremony!
An Arab Ahmadi who came from France related an old dream. He said just before the passing away of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) he saw a dream in which it was said: ‘And thou, O soul at peace! Return to thy Lord well pleased with Him and He well pleased with thee. So enter thou among My chosen servants, [89:31] And enter thou My Garden.’ (89:28-31) He then saw a young man and someone said, this is your new Khalifa. After sometime Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) passed away and when this Arab Ahmadi saw a photograph of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V, he found him to be exactly the same person he was shown in the dream.
A new Ahmadi of Moroccan origin who had come from Mercia, Spain said that he worked with a Moroccan Ahmadi and was very impressed with his moral and religious ways. He once saw other Moroccans deriding him. This led him to look into who ‘Qadianis’ were. He saw MTA and felt that the faces on the screen were not of liars. He did further research and took Bai’at. He saw a dream in which he visits Huzoor’s place with his wife and Huzoor offers him hospitality and they observe Salat. For four years he was the only Ahmadi in the area and was often derided by people. He wrote to Huzoor seeking help and Huzoor advised him to say the prayer: ‘…My Lord, leave me not childless, and Thou art the Best of inheritors.’(21:90) Through the miracle of the prayer gradually Ahmadis came to the area and now there is a Jama’at.
Another friend wrote from Italy that he used to lead Salat but after he took Bai’at people mocked him and he wrote to Huzoor saying he was worried. Huzoor told him not to worry. God had chosen him to lead Salat of true believers. Those he led in Salat previously were not true believers.
The media in Germany gave extensive coverage and it is estimated that via electronic and print media the message of Ahmadiyyat reached 37 million people.
Next Huzoor said he also wished to mention aspects which draw us towards self-reflection. God’s extraordinary grace and succour should make us aware that none of us may be deprived of Divine grace owing to our mistakes. We should ever be aware of our failings and mistakes and should look to remove them, in particular the office-holders among us and even more particularly those office-holders who serve on national level.
Amir Sahib Germany wrote and apologised for any failings in their Jama’at [during Jalsa]. However, written apology is not sufficient unless the rest of the year is spent in practical efforts to remove the failing. Apology cannot avail without reformation and practical steps taken in this regard. A lady journalist, who had perhaps come from Macedonia, asked Huzoor if he was completely satisfied with the Jalsa arrangements. God knows what her intention behind asking this was! It is possible she wanted to identify some weakness. However, Huzoor replied to her that progressive communities ever improve themselves to get better and better. We cannot assume from a few commendations that we have achieved what we had to achieve. Apparent weaknesses cannot be ignored, indeed, they should not be ignored.
The failing in the sound system happened two or three times during Huzoor’s programmes. Huzoor mentioned to the journalist that she must have noticed the setbacks in the sound system. She did not respond to this, perhaps because Huzoor pointed out the mistakes himself. It is true that 100% perfection is not possible; however, we should continually improve our standards. The failing in the sound system happened purely due to negligence. Huzoor had told the workers the day before Jalsa that if there was going to be any fault it was going to be due to negligence and had asked them not to consider even the smallest of jobs trivial. Perhaps the Jalsa management thought this instruction was only for the workers and not them. Enquiry into the matter has revealed that this happened due to carelessness and negligence and could have been the cause of a big mishap. Electric points were left unsupervised and someone unplugged the sound system and the sound was gone! This is not a trivial matter. Jalsa management should be aware of how much load their system can take and whether they can plug in extra things or not. The sound system was plugged into the same area where tea making facilities were. And the fuse was blown and this caused sound failure on one occasion.
Huzoor said he repeatedly draws attention to care and vigilance as regards security matters. Fuse boxes and power points are the biggest security hazard. UK Jalsa is forthcoming, they should be mindful to first of all have 24 hour security around the power supply to the main marquee and tea making facilities should be in other areas and tea should be brought in for workers.
Huzoor said one response from the German Amir Sahib was that they would change the sound system company next year as it was their negligence. This is an immature approach. The outcome will be the same even if the company is changed but carelessness is shown. Unless complete obedience is not instilled in every matter and things are not put in place after instructions are given, things like this will continue to happen and mistakes and small errors will continue to surface.
The sound was also lost during Bai’at and excuses are made about this as well. Huzoor said it was good that he repeated the words of Bai’at. Faxes had started coming in instantly and people said they were so pleased Huzoor had repeated Bai’at or else they would have been deprived of it. In particular Ahmadis of Pakistan look forward to repeating Bai’at in Urdu as most of the time Bai’at ceremony takes place in English. Attention needs to be given to this matter. Huzoor had drawn attention of German management towards food and it is now divulged that some packets of roti served at Jalsa were past their expiry date. Huzoor instructed investigation and report on this matter. He said these errors which have come to surface should be put in the red book and Jalsa workers should be asked if there are any further points that need noting down in the red book. These points should be pondered over and improvements should be made for next year. Only practical improvement will put this right and mere words will not avail. If attention is given everything can be attained. One year similar situation arose in Canada. Huzoor drew their attention to the matters, they paid attention took practical steps and now people write in to Huzoor that the arrangements [in Canada] are getting better and better. This is because they listened, put it in practice and made full efforts in this regard. German management should also work on this principle to get better. Workers and members of Jama’at write to Huzoor anxiously and will probably do so again. However, the national office-holders need to come out of their shells. They should not consider themselves officers; rather they should think themselves as servers and serve others. They should instil this view. May God enable them to do so!
Whatever success the Jama’at is garnering should be attributed to God’s grace and we should try and enhance in humility, meekness and gratefulness. May this be instilled in all office-holders so that we may absorb greater Divine blessings!