Monday, November 24, 2014

Faith and Fellowship in Rodrigues

All my Rodriguan brothers and sisters who are present here, Assalamoualaikum Warahmatullah Wabarakaatuhu. I wish to first of all thank you for your presence, and today verily is a historical date: 07 November 2014. We are performing our Friday Sermon in Oyster Bay here in Rodrigues.

And like you all know, my stay here in Rodrigues is for the purpose of seeking a place and also for the construction of our Mosque. And by the grace of Allah, a place has been found, and the construction of the mosque is in progress, but there is also the fact that our opponents of the different religions and from the different sects in Islam are putting obstacles in our works, creating problems so that the construction work of our Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam mosque here in Rodrigues is stopped. It is unfortunate that after doing the necessities for the construction the authorities then reacted differently. It is unfortunate that despite our arrival in Rodrigues, with all the procedures done with the authorities so that we may go forward with the construction project of the mosque and our Mission House here, and to make our Jamaat function and also to have our centre, whereby our brothers and sisters can have a good place for them to perform their Jummah, their programmes and prayers in congregation regularly (therefore there are problems cropping up because of the plans of our opponents).

Another thing I have noticed. When I came here the last time, that is, some months back, I saw the enthusiasm, with the new members etc. But this time around, with this humble self’s presence in Rodrigues, I understood what evil strategies our opponents are using to stop us from propagating the unicity of Allah, to stop our progress. They are making their best in this direction. Therefore those new members who were still weak in faith, whose faith had not had an opportunity to be reinforced in the correct way – and that is why also we need a centre so that someone does this work, to give spiritual education to our members – therefore, the scheming people have seized these opportunities (to brainwash the new members) and unfortunately there are among them people who have left the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam. We have to be frank (reveal the truth). By the reports that we received they have come to know what kind of bad works the opposition have made to influence those people who had left the Jamaat. I need to stress that I am not talking of only one group of people, but this is the work of many who have participated to remove these people from the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam, and we can say also from Islam altogether.

Decadence in Rodrigues society

Therefore, when I analyse all that has transpired in Rodrigues (everything has changed). I used to know Rodrigues well, how its inhabitants were nice, and used to love listening to religious speeches. It was in 1993 that I came to Rodrigues for the first time, and this continued till the year 2000. Rodrigues was a very quiet place (island). There used to be no fear to stay here. You could leave the house peacefully, leave the door open and nobody would enter to steal. We did not also hear about crimes and violence.

But today people are doing evil works to such extent that even recently as read in your own Newspaper “Les Plus”, there is the mention of the report of the “Crime, Justice and Security Statistics”, which has been published in August 2014. It states that from the year 2012-2013, the rate of criminal offences increased in Rodrigues. In 2012, the police of Rodrigues registered 6352 such cases and in the year 2013, 8408 cases have been registered. Recently, another atrocious crime has been committed on 28 October in Terre-Rouge (literally: Red land). The victim was a 65 years old widow, by the name of Rita who was found in a pool of blood, and she was completely disfigured and half-naked. It is her own nephew the culprit. His name is Alender Eduard, 17 years old, an inhabitant of Terre-Rouge also. A police officer – who was among the first people whom I preached spirituality and the unicity of Allah since my first visit here – related to me about that crime. Two days before the irreparable act, the victim was interviewed and she had to receive money (from the Government) for the construction of her house (reinforcing of the roof). When her nephew heard that, he came to her place to steal and the woman saw him. Thus the disrespect, rape and murder of his aunt ensued.

This shows the decadence of the Rodriguans. The youths have taken the wrong path (leading an immoral life), in a population which has not yet reached 100,000 inhabitants. Nowadays in Rodrigues, it is very difficult to leave one’s house unguarded. Women and girls cannot walk alone. Life here itself is no good; immorality has crept in.

Now the question is: Had the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam built a gambling house, a disco club wherein there is singing and dancing, sega, would there have been opposition (to such projects)? Verily, if a gambling house was to be built, then the permit for its construction would have been given in record time. Construction work would have been done quickly! Maybe they would have appreciated it because the youths would have gotten amusement and play. But unfortunately, wherever there is spirituality, you see them closing the doors of (such religious) building. They do their maximum to close the spirituality house where the youths would have received spirituality, spiritual education, and thus would have been safe from all those atrocious things being introduced (in society) which promote immorality. It is verily sad (to see such state of affairs). 

You are yourselves brothers and sisters grieved on what is happening in Rodrigues. You are witness how they are restricting some works which we wish to accomplish in Rodrigues, and we are not asking money from them (for this work). We wish to establish a House of God to enable all people to turn towards one God. When you shall turn towards only one God, you shall read the commandments of God and explain them to the young people, and therefore they shall have another kind of education than they are used to. Do not think that there is just one type of education, which is, going to school only! You are witnessing nowadays the behaviour of young school/college students – I am not even broaching this subject profoundly for now. Look how the young school girls and boys are behaving in school premises and also at the bus-stop, and how they readily carry and consume alcoholic drinks. All these evils have entered the school premises also, as well as the colleges and destroying our youths. The world is covered in darkness Oh brothers and sisters!

That is why you are seeing me back in Rodrigues after some months only, to continue this work, so that we may get our House of God and at the same time teach our youths to lead others towards spirituality. Therefore, when you are doing good works, and desirous to lead many people towards spirituality, and speaking good words, now there is a restriction being put on that road (to spirituality)! These evil schemers talked these people out of the religion of God (Allah) and they do not hesitate to lie in this regard.

Now today, a Jum’ah, despite the number of people whom I personally know since 1993, all I can say, is that yes, today there is an attendance but personally for me, this attendance is weak compared to the number of people that there was here during my last visit and also compared to the past years when I was working here. It is true that today is not a public holiday, but today is Jum’ah and they met others! But we must be grateful (to Allah) that despite these problems, there are still you brothers and sisters who are present here today. Alhamdulillah, because when we look at the others, despite their long existence in this island, despite having mosques and all facilities, but unfortunately today (an important day – Jum’ah) there are few people only who go to attend Jum’ah and prayer in congregation. Sometimes these mosques remain empty and when we come near these mosques, we see that there is only one window open. We may think that there is someone or people inside, but this is not so. There is no one. The mosque is empty as well as the centre (of the community for which I have worked for many years). There are two mosques, yet empty. There is no worshipper, except randomly at night, there is one or two in there praying. They are mostly Mauritians’ who have established themselves in Rodrigues and to work.

Now, we (the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam) want to do a good work with our brothers, sisters and children of Rodrigues. We want to give them spiritual education, to guide them towards spirituality, to enable them to make that (necessary) effort to group these youths together. When they shall receive this spiritual education, then lots of wrongs can be avoided. But when they are deprived of that spiritual education and do not turn towards God, neglect prayer and let Satan provoke them, it is then that they go wayward. Very often like I explained, many people commit evil acts like stealing etc, all because of money. Money invites to creation of problems. Family units – one’s own brothers, sisters, and parents become enemies because of money and property. People compete with each other to have more luxury than the other. For that, they are prepared to contract loans upon loans (therefore, debts) to open a business, but Allah knows best with what heart they do it.

Heart and Human Condition

Nowadays, on my website there are my Friday Sermons in creole. I don’t know if you are still listening to them. These days I have done a series of sermons on “The Heart”. If the heart contracts malady, even as little as mustard seed, in some profound corner somewhere in there, and if there is jealousy or doubt and displeasure in that kind of heart, then matters worsen just like when one lits up a matchstick. A matchstick is very small but its repercussions are great. A little matchstick can lit up devastating fire which can burn acres of land!

Now think a little over the type of devastation that a flicker of doubt or jealousy or even wrong conception can cause in your heart. There are such types of people who ponder over ways and means to reap easy money. All these acts proceed from the heart itself. If such wrongs are implanted in the heart – like the planters here in Rodrigues, with the heavy rain falling who quickly go to plant seeds in the soil – if you plant such seeds like jealousy, wrong thinking, loss of trust and the greed to gain more and more (of the luxuries of this world or money), therefore (your heart and acts suffer the consequences). People are now behind money. They want to get more and more of it. There are such kinds of people who like (to see) that it is only them who possess riches, but when others are working and claiming them their (hard-earned) money, they revolt (so as not to give money to their workers). This is presently the world in which we are living! People are behind the world. They are not seeking God and spirituality.

We have seen many churches which have been built – while on our mission we saw a newly-built beautiful church made in the form of a boat which seems to have cost a lot of money, but I ask myself how many people go to pray in there! Or is it just beautiful for people to click photos etc. When I first came to Rodrigues many years back (in 1993), there were not so many mosques, churches or temples, but now there are many. But truthfully speaking how many people go there to pray? Had all people been attached to their places of worship and had there not been hatred for anyone, had the people reserved a positive thinking on what kind of good works are being done (to lead the people towards God), then these bad things would have exist. 

It is sad to see the people of Rodrigues taking the wrong path. And it is painful to see to what extent they are prepared to go to block (the light of) spirituality (i.e. our works). They block our project. This time, a servant of Allah is speaking in Rodrigues, and verily just too bad for those people who have done this bad work to block our mission from propagating, to block the construction of the mosque, to restrict it from proceeding further and where it had to stop (for the moment). This is what I have to say for now. I am still making the necessary in this endeavour, doing my best towards the authorities but now I see how much arrogance has now entered their hearts. There are even some who have manifested their hatred against us. Others have gone to create that hatred in their hearts. Those who did this and are manifesting themselves, they shall verily bear the consequences of their acts. They shall not reap “fruits”; they shall reap “pricks”.

“And when Our verses are recited to them as clear evidences, those who disbelieve say to those who believe, ‘Which of (our) two parties is best in position and best in association?’ And how many a generation have We destroyed before them who were better in possessions and (outward) appearance? Say, ‘Whoever is in error - let the Most Merciful extend for him an extension (in wealth and time) until, when they see that which they were promised - either punishment (in this world) or the Hour (of resurrection) - they will come to know who is worst in position and weaker in soldiers.’ And Allah increases those who were guided, in guidance, and the enduring good deeds are better to your Lord for reward and better for recourse. Then, have you seen he who disbelieved in Our verses and said, ‘I will surely be given wealth and children?’ Has he looked into the unseen, or has he taken from the Most Merciful a promise? No! We will record what he says and extend for him from the punishment extensively.” (19: 74-80).

Therefore, like you heard me reciting at the beginning of my Friday Sermon, I have read some verses of the Quran, found in Chapter “Mary”. We call it/her “Maryam”, “Hazrat Maryam”, and here you know her as “Mary”, “Virgin Mary”. Like you have heard, we honour the mother of Jesus who was a Messiah. He was not at all (literally) son of God. And in that Chapter “Mary”, in the verses which I have read (19: 74-80), therein God says:

“And when Our verses are recited to them as clear evidences, those who disbelieve say to those who believe, ‘Which of (our) two parties is best in position and best in association?’ And how many a generation have We destroyed before them who were better in possessions and (outward) appearance?” (19: 74-75).

It is neither your riches nor your appearances or numbers (quantity) which counts before the eyes of God. It is quality. God looks out for quality; He looks at your hearts, if your hearts are inclining towards Him. God continue to say (addressing the Holy Prophet (pbuh)) in Verse 76:

“Say, ‘Whoever is in error - let the Most Merciful extend for him an extension (in wealth and time) until, when they see that which they were promised - either punishment (in this world) or the Hour (of resurrection) - they will come to know who is worst in position and weaker in soldiers.’” (19: 76).

Who among us (the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam or our opponents) are on the right path? We have set feet in Rodrigues and I say loud and clear that God is with us despite our little number. These people are an army, and they believe that we are only few and therefore that we shall not be able to do anything! But verily God says about our opponents who think us as weak that soon very soon they shall see as to whose army is verily weak.

“And Allah increases those who were guided, in guidance, and the enduring good deeds are better to your Lord for reward and better for recourse. Then, have you seen he who disbelieved in Our verses and said, ‘I will surely be given wealth and children?’ Has he looked into the unseen, or has he taken from the Most Merciful a promise?” (19: 77-79).

Or are you taking pride in your wealth, children or are you respecting your engagements? Come what may, the engagement which you made with God, this must come first. This must be your top priority, not your children or wealth or your own blood because it is the Creator who sent you in this world. It is the Creator who bestowed upon you parents. And now that you have become parents and have children, there are those kinds of parents who take too much pride in those children. Their children come first for them. They prefer looking at the defaults in the children of others rather than looking at those of their own children! They do not see how their children are acting. They close their eyes on it; they prefer commenting on others. That is why it is preferable that one looks at himself first. And that is why also God gave us mirrors on earth so that we may look at ourselves before we go out. The mirror tells us (without making any sound) how we are, if we are presentable. It tells us our defaults – if we have combed our hair well or not, if we have put on our clothes well or not. (It must not be that) when we go out, we look at the clothes and hair of others instead of looking at our own. It goes the same for the women (they must look at themselves before looking at the other women). This is one of the means to analyse one’s own faith.

And then, God says in this verse: “No! We will record what he says and extend for him from the punishment extensively.” (19: 80).

Thus my dear brothers and sisters, it is very important that we attach ourselves with the divine commandments, with the unicity of Allah, and that we remain sincere to God. We must turn to Him and also have a good agreement and comprehension among ourselves – nobody should be jealous of his friend – and when someone comes to tell you something, you must make it a point to know if what that person is saying is the truth or not. You must ensure that he is not leading you astray.

It is not in vain that God is guiding His chosen servant of this era to tackle the subject of “The Heart” in his Friday Sermons. How many people are taking that into consideration? How many are being interested to know how to clean or purify their hearts? If each one of you succeeds in understanding this Friday Sermon, you shall be able to become really humble people – filled with humility. You shall have respect for the elders and the elders shall have respect for the young ones and vice-versa. And you shall be able to have lots of love for the unique Creator, your Maker. And at the same time, when you shall have love for God, you shall love, sympathy, and friendship for His servant (and messenger) which He has sent. And you shall stick firm to spirituality.

Many people think that spiritual works are really easy to do, but the truth is, it is very difficult (people refuse to let themselves be guided). In the Quran (Al-Hujurat), God says: “Say that you have accepted Islam, but do not say that you have faith.” You have not yet acquired faith. People need to do lots of sacrifice in times of difficulties, trials. Allah tries His servants to make them get that faith, to make him get that (special) bond with God. He must struggle a lot to reach that height (top level). And the more someone wants to reach God, the more God tries him.

Trials as Assessment of Faith

Today is the 07 November 2014 – an important date – many children are now on vacation. But before entering vacation time, they needed to do a final school examination. They needed to sit for many little tests during the period of one school year so that they can proceed to have that (much-awaited) vacation. After succeeding their exams, there are such pupils who are very happy today and showing their parents, siblings, friends and family their results/reports. As for those who did not succeed, there is no joy which is manifested on their face. There are some crying, sad because despite having a year to study and pass their tests, they did not do so, and when they reached the final exams, they could not extract good results. Even those who passed their series of tests during the year, but these tests represent nothing if they failed the final exams. It is the final exams which count. Reaping bad results also means that one can get to have an inferior class to study in next time. As for those who succeed in their exams, this assures for them better classes and good colleges later on.

Our lives keep going on like this also. When a Messenger (of God) comes, he has the duty to deliver to you the message. When that message comes down from heaven (from God), it comes down much like rain fall. All trees and flowers benefit from that rain, and the grasses also receive it. The pricks and thorns which you cannot tolerate also get that rain. What do you observe when rain falls? It falls everywhere – on the fruit trees, vegetables, and also on the wild grasses and plants. Those wild plants grow much faster than the other good trees and plantations. Those wild plants will not get any nuisance like snails, white lices and other insects and animals to attack them. It is only the good plants that are attacked.

Then try to understand, when a good messenger, the Messenger of God comes, he gives you the commandments of God (His word), then imagine what kinds of white lices, snails and scorpions shall try to attack him. Likewise, there shall be all sorts of bad plants/grasses which shall grow up fast to try to attack your Imaan (faith) so that you may remain where you are (and not come to the right path). They would love to see you in a drunkard state somewhere in some shady roads rather than seeing you in a mosque and praying one God...

- Friday Sermon of 07 November 2014 delivered by the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) at the Rodrigues Island on a Dawah Mission.