16 May Friday Sermon: Seek Unity of Allah through The Prophet (saw)
Last Friday sermon was based on a discourse about the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) understanding of the Holy Qur’an, Quranic commandments and Unity of God which was by virtue of completely devoting himself to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). This is because neither the concept of Unity of God can be understood without the agency of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) nor knowledge of the Holy Qur’an. This is why it is essential that after understanding the concept of لا الہ الا اللہ one must understand the concept of محمد رسول اللہ . Indeed, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was the true personification of understanding لا الہ الا اللہ . Today Huzoor presented some extracts of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) about Unity of God, its reality and how could one be truly called موحد (a believer of One God).
Elucidating Surah Al Nas, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote:
‘I wish to explain that in this Surah first God Almighty has stated: رب الناس ‘The Lord of mankind’ and then has stated: مالک الناس ‘The King of mankind’ and in conclusion has stated: الہ الناس ‘The God of mankind’ which is the real objective of man and what he seeks. الہ signifies One Who is worthy of worship, Who is intended and is sought. لا الہ الا اللہ signifies that save Allah there is none worthy of worship, is not intended and is not sought! True Unity of God is that none is deemed worthy of praise and glory save Allah the Exalted.’ (Ruadad Jalsa, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 15, p. 618)
‘Unity of God is truly realised when His Being alone is the focal point of all aspirations and antidote of all ailments. This is what is meant by لا الہ الا اللہ . Sufis have understood the word الہ to mean Beloved, One Who is intended and is worthy of worship…Unless a person completely adheres to this, love and greatness of Islam cannot be instilled in him.’
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said about the excellent teaching of Islam:
‘Muslims were granted grace of God through Islam as brought by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Whichever perspective one may take, Muslims have every reason to be proud and gratified. The God of Muslims is not stone, tree, animal, star or a dead person, on the contrary it is the All-Powerful God Who created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them; Who is Living, the Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining. The Prophet of Muslims is the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) the expanse of whose Prophethood extends to the Day of Judgement. His Prophethood is not lifeless, rather, its fruits and blessings are fresh and can be found in every age and are a testimony to his truthfulness in every age. Therefore, God has also set forth these proofs, beneficences and blessings in the current age and has given the proof of his Prophethood by sending the Promised Messiah and his message is for the entire world. It is stated: ‘Say, O mankind! Truly I am a Messenger to you all from Allah…’ (5:159) and it is also stated: ‘And We have sent thee not but as a mercy for all people.’ (21:108). The Book granted to Muslims was so conclusive and definitive that: ‘…there is no doubt in it…’ (2:3) and ‘Therein are the everlasting teachings.’ (98:4) and ‘…verses that are decisive in meaning…’ (3:8) and it is: ‘…the Balance…’ (42:18) and ‘a guardian…’ (5:49). Thus, the religion of Muslims is perfect and complete in every way and has been given the seal of: ‘…This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favour upon you and have chosen for you Islam as religion…’ (5:4).
How regrettable is it then that Muslims remain unfortunate in spite of this and do not partake of the fruits and blessings of the perfect faith which is a source of gaining God’s pleasure. In fact majority of them rose in denial when God Almighty established a movement to revive these fruits and blessings. And raised slogans of ‘Thou art not a Messenger…’ (13:44) and ‘you are not a believer’. Remember that mere verbally professing Unity of God does not garner these blessings, which are generated from verbal professing as well as its other requisites, that is, good works. Indeed, Unity of God is an excellence which should be adopted by every true Muslim and God-fearing person, however accomplishment of Unity of God has another aspect as well and that is Divine love, that is, love of God.
The real objective and purpose of the teachings of the Holy Qur’an is to deem God Almighty as the One, without any partner that He is, also by virtue of love for Him. This has indeed been the goal of the teaching of every Prophet of God (may peace be on them all). Just as لا الہ الا اللہ gives the teaching of Unity of God, it also teaches to attain the highest point in love of Unity of God. And as I just mentioned, it is such a beautiful and meaningful phrase that its example cannot be found in the entire Torah and Gospels. No other book in the world has given such perfect teaching. الہ means a Beloved Who is worshipped. Thus the reality of Islam perfectly fulfils the concept of love. Remember, Unity of God without the element of love is flawed and incomplete.’
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said the standard of a believer regarding the reality of Unity of God:
‘Those who turn to the authorities or seek rewards and titles from them are in awe of them as one should be in awe of God. They become their aficionados and this is a factor that eliminates level of Unity of God and makes man distant from his real objective. Prophets of God (peace be on them all) have taught that there should be no conflict between Unity of God and worldly means, each should have its own place and the ultimate outcome should be Unity of God. The Prophets wish to teach man that God alone is the Provider of all honour, comforts and needs and if anyone is made equal to Him then it is obvious that when two strengths collide, one has to be destroyed. Thus, it is imperative that Unity of God is established. Worldly means should be utilised but should not be considered the be all and end all. It is Unity of God that generates love of God and man comprehends that all profit and loss is in the hands of God, He is the true Benefactor and every single particle of matter is through Him and there is none other in between. When man attains this pure stage, he is called موحد (a believer of One God). Thus one stage of appreciating Unity of God is that man does not make gods of stones, men or anything else and loathes the very idea and the other stage is that he does not rely too much on worldly means. The third stage is where one removes one’s own self and one’s wishes from the context and negates them. Sometimes man considers his own ability and capacity and assumes that he achieved such and such good work owing to his capacity. Man has such reliance on his capacity that he attributes everything to it. Man becomes a موحد when he negates his own capacities.
However, question arises here that as experience has shown generally people commit some kind of sin or the other. Some commit big sins; others commit average sins while others are embroiled in minute sins like niggardliness or hypocrisy and other such sins. Man cannot reclaim his light unless he is free of sins. There are many commandments given by Allah the Exalted some of which cannot be undertaken by all. For example Hajj is obligatory on a person who can afford it, has safe passage and has provided for his dependents back home. If he fulfils these and other such conditions, then he can go for Hajj. Similarly there is Zakat which is obligatory on one who fulfils its criteria and changes can also be made in Salat. There is one thing in which there can be no change: لا الہ الا اللہ محمد رسول اللہ . This is the essence and the rest are its details. Unity of God cannot be accomplished until one observes one’s worship of God. This signifies that one who utters لا الہ الا اللہ محمد رسول اللہ is true in his utterance when he proves through his practice that for him there is none other than Allah Who is worthy of worship, worthy of being intended and being sought. When his faith and practice make this evident then he is truthful before God Almighty when he makes this utterance. Borne of his faith, all material things become inconsequential for him and he utters لا الہ الا اللہ and its second part محمد رسول اللہ which is by way of example because example and illustration makes things clearer. Prophets of God (peace be on them all) come as examples and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was the most perfect example of all excellences because in him were the examples of all the Prophets.’
Once a question was raised in an assembly of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) that since Judaism also taught Unity of God, what more did Islam have to offer? The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said:
‘There is no concept of Unity of God among the Jews, what they have is a mere shell of Unity of God and mere shell cannot avail anything. The reality of Unity of God cannot be understood without understanding its stages. It is not sufficient to simply utter لا الہ الا اللہ even Satan can say this much. It is no good unless man practices the truth of لا الہ الا اللہ . Where is this aspect among the Jews? Why don’t you tell us? The fundamental aspect of Unity of God is that man does not do anything against the Word of God and no act of his should be contradictory to love of Allah the Exalted. That is, he should be completely devoted and absorbed in the love of Allah the Exalted. This is why it signifies that save Allah the Exalted I do not worship anyone, I do not have any Beloved and do not consider anyone worthy of obedience.
It should be remembered that shirk (associating partners with Allah) is of many kinds. It can be obvious and it can be hidden. Obvious shirk would be idolatry like worshipping idols, trees or other things and hidden shirk is when man reveres something as he reveres Allah the Exalted or as he should revere Him. Or loves something like love of Allah the Exalted or fears it or relies on it. Think over this, is this aspect not completely found in the followers of Torah? You will know what they did in the lifetime of Hazrat Musa (Moses). If the Torah [its teachings] was sufficient, its followers should have purified themselves, but they did not. They became very hard-hearted and disrespectful. It is the Holy Qur’an alone that affects the human heart, providing it is followed in what is its obvious and significant connotation. And its models can be seen in every age as they are even today. The Holy Qur’an has stated: ‘…If you love Allah, follow me: then will Allah love you…’ (3:32) Perfect obedience of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) takes one to the stage of being beloved of God which signifies that he was the perfect example of being موحد . If the Jews were believers in Unity of God there was no reason for them to stay away from such a موحد . They should have been mindful that denial and enmity of Seal of all the Prophets is most hazardous, but they did not care at all and denied him in spite of the fact that their book foretold about him. What else could have been the reason for this apart from that their hearts were hardened.’
Once the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said the following about the erroneous creed about Hazrat Isa (may peace be on him):
‘Neither an example nor even a hint of the pure and clear concept of Unity of God can be found in other religions and among other people which Islam presented. So much so that it is my belief that although earlier scriptures also mentioned Unity of God and the objective of the advent of all Prophets of God was dissemination of Unity of God, yet no other book explains it the way in which the Seal of all the Prophets brought Unity of God and the style in which the Holy Qur’an has elucidated the stages of Unity of God. They, who are called Muslims, tried to make this clear and pure fountain murky, what more is left in disgracing Islam! On top of this, it is their misfortune that when real Islam, as brought by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) is presented to them and it is proven from the Holy Qur’an that they are in the wrong, they say this is what their forefathers believed in. However, I ask, can they absolve themselves by simply saying so? No, they cannot. In fact according to the Holy Qur’an and according to what has always been the way of Allah the Exalted, another argument is proven as regards them; whenever someone appointed and sent by God came, hearing his teaching the opponents said: ‘…We have never heard of such a thing among our forefathers.’ (23:25)
Unity of God is not simply saying اشھد ان لا الہ الا اللہ واشھد ان محمد رسول اللہ . Rather, Unity of God signifies that Divine greatness is instilled in heart and beyond this greatness of nothing else is rooted. Every act, gesture and quietude should be for Allah the Exalted and He alone should be relied on in every way. None other than Allah should be looked up to and relied on and there should be no kind of shirk as regards the Being and attributes of God Almighty. These days the reality of the shirk of attributing divinity to man has been exposed and people are wary of it. So the Christians in Europe and other countries are turning away from their religion by the day. This is being verified in the daily newspapers and journals and posters which are read here. No one accepts attributing divinity to man any more. However, too much reliance on worldly means is a kind of shirk that many people do not understand. For example a farmer thinks that unless he works on his field he will not have a harvest and will not have a livelihood. Similarly other professionals rely on their profession and they assume that if they do not follow it life would be impossible. This is attributing too much reliance on worldly means and stems from not having belief in the power of God Almighty. Let alone one’s profession, even food and water on which life is dependant cannot avail without the will of God Almighty. Therefore, when man drinks water he should consider that Allah the Exalted has created water and water cannot be beneficial if God Almighty does not so will. Water is beneficial with the will of God Almighty and when God Almighty wills the very same water is harmful. Once a man had fasted and when he broke his fast he drank water and as soon as he drank the water he laid down because the water had acted toxic for him.
Any task, be it societal or any other is not auspicious unless it is blessed from the heavens. Perfect belief in powers of Allah the Exalted is needed. Whoever does not have this belief has a strain of atheism in him. Things are first decided in the heavens and then come to pass on earth.
Unity of God has no element of boasting in it. Look at the Maulawis, they preach others but do not practice themselves and now cannot be trusted at all. Once, a Maulawi gave a sermon on alms-giving, charity and forgiveness of God. His wife was also among the listeners. A woman was influenced by his sermon and took off one of her ankle chain and gave it to the preacher. The preacher asked her, do you want your other foot to burn in Hell? The woman took off her other ankle chain and gave it [for charity]. When the preacher came home his wife also wanted to act upon the sermon and wanted to give some charity but the Maulawi told her, these matters are only for preaching and not for acting on…’
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) explained how should a true believer who adheres to Unity of God should be:
‘A true believer is free of care; he only wants to please God Almighty and is ever mindful of obeying Him. Since his dealing is with God he is not interested in any other loss or gain. When a person associates anyone besides God Almighty, he is caught up in sins of hypocrisy and arrogance etc. Remember this kind of association is a toxin and it is negated in the first part of لا الہ الا اللہ , that is, لا الہ . When someone is not able to act upon a commandment of God for the sake of another person, he ultimately associates that person in some way in an attribute of God, that is why he is not able to act upon a Divine commandment…some books contain accounts. There is an account of a Maulawi who visits someone while fasting and wants the person to know that he is fasting. However, when the host asks him, rather than openly say that he is fasting, in order to appear having great self-control he says that he has an excuse. In short there are many such hidden sins which ruin one’s practices. The rich are arrogant and haughty which ruin their practices. As a result some poor/underprivileged people who do not entertain such thoughts gain spiritual ground because arrogance and haughtiness makes one distant from Unity of God. The example of hypocrisy etc. is like a rodent which eats up all the good works. God Almighty is Most Bountiful but humility is needed to go towards Him. An egotistic person who gives himself airs and graces be it due to his knowledge, or property or lineage, will be left behind. This is why it is written in some books that there are fewer friends of God among the well-off because they entertain arrogant thoughts of their family’s high standing…these kinds of barriers make man end up unfortunate and deprived and very few are able to get rid of this. Wealth is also a barrier.’
Once the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was asked about his revelation ‘…You are from Me and I am from you’ (Tadhkirah, p.732 2009 edition) and people’s objection that it was contrary to Unity of God. He said:
‘…You are from Me and I am from you’ is very clear and there could be no objection or criticism about it because I came to being with the grace of Allah the Exalted alone and from Him. It should be remembered as Allah the Exalted has stated repetitively in the Holy Qur’an that He is One and without any partner. He has no equal in His person, His attributes and His works. Truth is there cannot be perfect belief in Unity of God unless a person is free of every kind of shirk. Belief in Unity of God is complete when one believes that Allah the Exalted is Incomparable by virtue of His Being, by virtue of His attributes and by virtues of His works. Foolish people object to this revelation of mine but do not understand its reality. Although in spite of professing to One God they suggest God’s attributes to others; for example they believe Hazrat Masih (Jesus) on whom be peace, could bring the dead back to life and could take life and they believe he had knowledge of the unseen and is ever-living. Is this not shirk? This is a dangerous shirk which has ruined the Christians and it is the misfortune of Muslims that they have included such beliefs among their creed. Divine attributes which are exclusive to Allah the Exalted should not be suggested about any person even if he is a Prophet or a friend of God, similarly no one should be included in works of God. Some people begin to rely so much on worldly means that they forget Allah the Exalted whereas the realty of Unity of God is that not even a hint of reliance on worldly means should be left. It should never be considered that qualities of various things are inherent in them of their own accord, in fact it should be accepted that Allah the Exalted has placed those qualities in things. Like a purgative root brings on diarrhoea and toxin kills. These powers and qualities were not in these things of their own accord but were placed by Allah the Exalted. If God should remove these qualities neither a purgative root would bring on diarrhoea not will a toxin kill. In short, worldly means should not be relied on immoderately and no one should be associated with Divine qualities and works. This is the rightful belief in Unity of God and one who practices is would be called a موحد . However, if one suggests Divine qualities and works towards another, then no matter how much verbally one professes about Unity of God, one cannot be called a موحد . Such موحد can be found even among the Ariya who say that they believe in One God but in spite of this they also maintain that soul and matter has not been created by God and are not dependent on Allah the Exalted for their existence. As if, the soul and matter are eternal in themselves. What greater shirk could be than this? There are many people who cannot distinguish between Unity of God and shirk. They either do such acts or have such beliefs which clearly have shirk in them. For example they say, if so and so was not around we would have died or something would not have gone right. Man should not rely on means beyond moderation and not associate anyone in Divine qualities and works.’
Huzoor announced that he would lead funeral Prayer in absentia of Abdul Karim Abbas Sahib of Syria who passed away on 5 May. He took his Bai’at in 2005 but had joined those at the forefront. He was the only Ahmadi in his family. He was a very devoted Ahmadi.