Saturday, January 5, 2013

'Become A Plant of Allah'

Islam promises the dawn of a new era in human relations through its ethical vision and spiritual teachings. As the reform of the world is through the reform of the individual, Islam insists upon personal reform as the way forward. By creating a community of people who restrain themselves from the evil whispering of Satanic impulses and do perform good deeds for the sake of their own souls and the progress of humanity, Islam seeks to achieve the larger goal of a progressive spiritual community. 

In the times of a Messenger of Allah, the heavy responsibility of calling mankind to the path of the Lord Almighty and the way in which He has designed and created the human nature, falls on the humble shoulders of the faithful who follow the Messenger.Yet, the spiritual project is not without its share of doubts and concerns for the individual believer in his or her every day life. By looking at the sheer magnitude of the tasks and responsibilities ahead- both at individual and collective, societal level, a believer may even become overwhelmed by a sense of  incapacity and helplessness. How to negotiate these spiritual anxieties and ethical concerns at the individual level?

In his Friday Sermon of January 04, 2013 the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius offers profound guidance on the matter. Continuing on the theme of seeking to purify oneself from the evil inclinations of the lower self, the Khalifatullah (atba) exhorts the believers to seek Divine Forgivemess for personal and collective fallibilities by reciting the prayers taught by Allah Himself in His Holy Qur’an. One ought to become a real ‘plant’ of Allah, to be watered and nursed  and preserved by the Lord Himself against all odds and adverse circumstances. A real sense of devotion, love, affection, humility and sincerity in the path of Allah are personal qualities that can open one’s path of Divine Favour, underlines the Messenger of Allah of our times.

Read the Extracts from the Friday Sermon :

“Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers.” (7: 24)

I am continuing my sermon of last Friday. I was telling you that we must not let the Satan gain the least space, and that we must repent for all our sins and come under the refuge of Allah. We must be ever repent to Allah, seeking His forgiveness and read the following prayer frequently:

Rabbana zalamna anfussana wa illam taghfirlana watarhamna lanakunanna minal khaasiiriin.

This is a very important point to note and the story of this prayer began with Hazrat Adam (upon him be peace). All people who sin, who are deep in evil, it is necessary for them to read this prayer multiple times. When it has been aid to repent for all sorts of sins and to come under the refuge of Allah, then, without this prayer, this shall be impossible. And the constant struggle, or fight against the Satan which has begun shall be a triumph for us through this prayer. It is verily a solution to accede to that triumph. It is a prayer which is ever present at the beginning of this fight, a divinely revealed prayer to Hazrat Adam (upon him be peace). Therefore, this prayer not only indicates the path to take, but it also shows how to go about in this path. This is what indicates you that when a servant of Allah comes, it is Allah who sends him and guide him every step of the way.

Bear in mind that each person must strive in obeying Allah, and if you make the effort to support the Religion of Allah, therefore Allah shall rid every obstacle from your path. And you shall succeed, Insha-Allah.

The combat between humans and the Satan began in the times of Hazrat Adam (upon him be peace). And it is with the support of this prayer that Hazrat Adam (upon him be peace) became victorious. Therefore, today also, in the times of constant war with the Satan, each person must come under the refuge of this verse (prayer). As long as this verse is not read from the bottom of one’s heart, therefore that person shall not receive the help of Allah so that he may be able to vanquish the Satan.

Bear in mind that we are being made to understand that if we make effort in the obeisance of Allah and if we strive in the Religion of Allah, then Allah shall rid us from all sorts of obstacles. Now, to become an aid and support in the Religion of Allah, one is required to attain a complete purification. Therefore, any person who today has a great enthusiasm to help the Religion of Allah and despite the situation in which he is found, despite the great extent of weaknesses he has, despite his faults and harm committed, if he verily has this love (and enthusiasm), if he is really sincere and does not give petty excuses, he must not say: ‘Weak as I am, how can I ever help the Religion of Allah?’ If he think like this, then Allah shall never help him. If in whatever condition he is, and is ready to present himself to serve the Religion of Allah, and say: “O my Lord, I have submitted to You all that I possess, and now it is You the Guardian of my affairs. O my Lord, I have done all that I can to be of use to Your Religion.”

Verily, for this kind of person, Allah shall provide him His help. Allah says that when you do efforts in the obeisance of Allah and you do your best to support the Religion of Allah, then Allah shall rid all obstacles from your path; those obstacles which are of your own making, and which obstruct your way to Allah. Therefore Allah shall remove all these and thus you shall succeed. How is it so? This is because, at that moment you become a plant planted by Allah. Anytime you make the intention to put yourself at the service of the Religion of Allah, then you shall become worthy of becoming pure plants.

And as for the thorns which surround you, they are worsening your state, they are having a negative effect on your health, they become obstacles in the path of your success; the successes which in the eyes of Allah are those which you must attain to, that you merit to achieve. The thorns become obstacles and restrict your path to success, but when you become a support in the Religion of Allah, then Allah treats you the same way He does with the good people. He removes all obstacles. Don’t you see that to acquire the good plants, a planter must cultivate his land and uproot all weeds and all bad things which the earth rejects?

Once you become such a good plant which is preserved by Allah Himself, therefore Allah, for your sake shall remove all weeds and throw them away (from your path). That is, those weeds or bad plants which is in your interior, those things which were sucking the blood of your good actions. Therefore, after devoting your time to the Religion of Allah, Allah makes it incumbent upon Himself to uproot all these weeds, dry and bad plants and throw them away, and He enables the garden of His servant to become beautiful, to grow and bloom.

Therefore, when Allah treats someone this way, then this person become like a very good plant which sprung out of the soil (under the watchful gaze of Allah), a plant of good deeds which bear its fruits. And Allah protects these kinds of servants who are devoted to Him, those kinds of good plants and preserve them from all kinds of problems and harm. Now, you can see for yourself that this begin as a small thing, and afterwards reaches such extents, such heights. Allah enables these servants to make the journey (to Him) become easy. This journey or voyage is deprived of difficulties. All that you have and all that you are (in whatever state you are), you have to present yourself (for this voyage, before Allah). But it is for you to present yourself with love, affection, humility and make this kind of prayer: “O Allah, we do not have anything else to present (before You), but we verily have love for Your Religion. And this love which we have for Your Religion makes it incumbent upon us to present (before You) all that we have.”

And when you do like this, you shall see how Allah shall treat you. As for the plants (or trees) which do not reap any fruit, trees which have dried up, for these kinds of plants, Allah do not tender to them. Now, this matter (concerning the non-reaping of fruits and dry plants) is actually based on the intentions of people, for we know that it is verily Allah who enables the reaping of fruits. They are people who do not present themselves before Allah for their reform. They continue to stay in their present (unreformed) state, and they do not present themselves to serve the Religion (Islam). These are plants which decisions are already taken by Allah, for they have made the intentions of remaining dry and fruitless. It is as if they decided as thus: “We shall not become like those plants which grow and flourish. We shall remain like we are.”

At that moment, they do not remain anymore a plant of the Lord. On the contrary they become estranged plants. They become such plants which are only worthy of being uprooted and thrown away. The plants which do not reap any fruit and which have become dry, their Lord do not care for them (abandoning them). Had a plant, a person, despite his bad qualities taken interest in his Lord, then the Lord (Allah) would have verily cared for him. But if the bad remain in him, and couple with that he does not care for Allah, then Allah also does not care for him, does not cast a look at him.

When the Lord does not cast a look at these types of plants, even if animals come to eat them, and if woodcutters cut them down and burn them, then it is no big deal. Therefore, you must bear in mind that if in the eyes of Allah you are a truthful person, then nobody, no opposition can ever cause you harm. Now, to become truthful in the eyes of Allah, the conditions which I have mentioned at the beginning are necessary. It must be that in the eyes of Allah, your objective is true, truthfully profound and heartfelt. When these conditions are met, then nobody, no opposition can ever harm you. But if you do not straighten the situation, and if you do not make a true promise to obey Allah, then Allah shall not care for you (in the real sense).

There are a lot of sheep and goats which are slaughtered every day. And nobody has any sympathy for them. But if a person dies, notice the way people are afflicted by it. Unfortunately today, we are living a strange time. In this era, it is the people who are being slaughtered like sheep and goats and nobody is doing anything about it. It is important that you understand this well, because we have received the responsibility of calling people to Allah (Dawa) and to reform the whole world.

And when we analyse the situation of the world today, we see that the situation is all the more difficult, dangerous, more than in the times of the Promised Messiah (Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad) – upon him be peace. The present situation is such that whenever a sheep or goat is sacrificed, people become sad, condemning the killing of the animals, but whenever people are being killed in great number, nobody is concerned by that. Which Muslim country or countries are being concerned about what is happening in Syria, Iran, Palestine, and Iraq? Nobody! 

In the world as a whole, there are millions of people who are being killed for nothing (or over petty matters). Without any real reason, they are being killed and still people are not concerned about what is happening. How then is it possible for Allah to care for those who do not care for His servants? Therefore, you must understand that you must care for these servants of Allah who are scattered around the world. If you are living in your comfort and are not taking into consideration, being concerned about your brothers, sisters and children who are suffering injustice and you are only concerned about yourselves, about your own comforts, then the good news are not meant for you. You shall not be among those who shall receive these boons. It is necessary that you understand that well, because besides us there is nobody else who shall be able to change the destiny of this world. If we do not understand this fact, then who else shall understand it?

Therefore, understand the urgency of the situation which I have put before you concerning inviting people to Allah. Do not neglect Dawa work. Do not discuss things out only. Put them into practice! And present yourselves at the service of Allah. If plead Allah in this way:

“The situation is beyond our abilities, our limits and control. First of all, we are weak, we are not worthy of doing the reform of the world. Concerning Your past prophets and good servants, verily it was You who input such good qualities in them to enable them to be conscious of the situation of the world and You gave them the capabilities to reform the world. And it was You who rid them of their weaknesses. As for us, our situation is such that we do not even have the capability to rid ourselves of our own weaknesses. We have always thought that (we shall not be able to do that except with Your help) and we have always strived (in Your path), but we find ourselves in the same situation. Neither our heart nor our environment has changed; neither our treatment towards our families nor our treatment towards the non-believers has changed. We are deep in problems and on top of that the situation of those that we have to do their reform is worsening. But it is only with Your help, Oh Allah that the impossible can be done. It is You who can give us the necessary courage and patience to strive in Your path and be successful.”

It is necessary for us to create in us this feeling. Despite the mountain of weaknesses heaping down on us, and the feeling of being not to the level of accomplishing the reform of the world and attract people to Allah, therefore it is for us to turn to Allah, the One who has given us this responsibility and we do not reject the favours of Allah, lest these blessings slip out of us, and others get these favours.

May Allah help each of us to succeed in this God-given responsibility, Insha-Allah. And Insha-Allah, I shall continue the third (and last) part of this sermon. Ameen.