Recently a short video clip was shown to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih of an African Maulawi teaching the Holy Qur'an to adults and beating them pitilessly on making minor mistakes. Someone whose language is not Arabic and is of an older age 17 to 18, or perhaps older, cannot pronounce each letter accurately like a person who has been trained to recite the Holy Qur'an (called qari). It is because of such attitudes that people shy away from reading the Holy Qur'an and many non-Arab Muslims do not know how to read it.
The Holy Qur'an should of course be taught to foster its love and eagerness to read. Recently a Japanese lady who lives in the UK and took Bai'at some time ago came to meet Hazrat Khalifatul Masih. She said that with the grace of God she finished her first reading of the Holy Qur'an in three years and wished to read it to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih. She read Ayatul Kursi in a most moving manner. Indeed, the main thing is love for the Holy Qur'an and reading it in a moving way. Simply making guttural sounds for pretence like a qari is not the objective. God commands to read the Holy Qur'an slowly, thoughtfully and with one's best pronunciation. It is not easy to enunciate the Qur'an like Arabs, some Arabic letters cannot be pronounced with pin-point accuracy by non-Arabs unless they are raised among Arabs. Indeed, the Japanese lady could not pronounce some letters precisely. Listening to her gave the impression that it must be quite difficult for quite a few, if not all, Japanese people to articulate some Arabic letters. The main thing is love for the Word of God and not affected recitation like a qari. No qari or Arab can be a match for the loving grace of God and His Messenger (may Allah be pleased with him) had for Hazrat Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him) owing to the fact that he could not pronounce some Arabic letters.
People from other religions are coming in the Jama'at and a large number of Muslims do not know how to read the Holy Qur'an. Many of our missionaries are faced with this fact in Africa. Teachers of the Holy Qur'an should teach it in a manner that instils it love and eagerness to learn it. May God reward the Pakistani lady who not only taught the Japanese lady to read the Holy Qur'an but instilled its love in her! The main objective is not to recite the Qur'an like a qari; of course it is important to continue to read the Qur'an in an improved way but it is not right to simply stop reading it just because we cannot pronounce some letters. What we should do is attempt to make our pronunciation as close as possible to the original and continue to improve ourselves.
Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said that it is not right to attempt to pronounce each word of the Qur'an like a qari because God has not given us the capacity to do so. He said his late wife Umme Tahir's father was very keen about teaching of Holy Qur'an and had kept tutors for his children for the purpose. These tutors were very harsh and would beat the children a lot when mistakes were made. They would insert twigs between the children's fingers and put pressure on them for their mispronunciation. As related in last Friday sermon once an Arab came to meet the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and on hearing him pronounce an Arabic letter in a Punjabi accent he said (God forbid) how could he be the Promised Messiah when he could not even pronounce the letter. This was indeed most impertinent of the Arab. Every country has its own accent.
Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said that Indians pronounced the Arabic letter ? in two ways whereas its pronunciation was different. Since Arabs themselves say that only they can pronounce the letter ? , what room is there then to criticise others?
Arab Ahmadis should keep this in view. The large majority of them understand but some people have the trait to be boastful. A Pakistan woman married to an Arab speaks with a guttural sound and thinks she has the correct pronunciation whereas she does not. Had she kept this to her person Hazrat Khalifatul Masih would not have mentioned it but it has come to his knowledge that she derides Pakistanis when in company and says they do not know how to read the Qur'an and cannot properly pronounce Arabic. This is followed by Arabs ridiculing Pakistanis. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said he did not mean all Arabs ridiculed, perhaps the family she is married into does so. Islam has to win hearts of all ethnicities and make them familiar with the Word of God, in fact instil its love in hearts. However, people read it with their own accents and owing to love for the Qur'an everyone tries to read it in their best way possible. Indeed, attention should be given to read it thoughtfully and properly and those who know the correct pronunciation should help others rather than ridicule them.
Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) related a popular story about a very cowardly man who assumed he was very brave. He went to a tattooist and asked him for a piercing of a lion. In olden days brave men liked to have decorative tattoos to demonstrate their bravery. The tattooist set about his work and when he pierced his needle the coward asked what he was going to make first. The tattooist said the tail of the lion. The man said a lion can be a lion without its tail, the tattooist said yes, so the man asked him to leave the tail. The tattooist pierced his needle again and the man again asked what he was going to draw. The tattooist said he was going to draw/pierce the right fore leg. The man said a lion can still be a lion without a right foreleg, the tattooist said yes. The man said, leave it then. This continued with the left foreleg, the right and left hind legs. Eventually the tattooist stopped and said there was nothing for him to draw. The state of Islam is also quite similar. Muslim leaders and scholars raise slogans but do nothing in practice. They too ask people to abandon everything; a practice which has nothing to do with Islam
Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said his maternal grandfather used to say that he was very cheeky as a child. He would relate that in mango season when his parents and siblings sat down together to eat mangoes he would put aside sweet mangoes on the pretext that they were sour. When all mangoes would finish he would say, ah well, I am still hungry, so I will eat these sour ones as well. Once his older brother said he too was still hungry, so he also decided to eat the 'sour' mangoes put aside and found out that they were in fact sweet. Such is also the situation of the Muslim leaders who wish to enforce Shariah but know nothing about Islam. They put things aside for themselves deceptively. While Hazrat Musleh Maud's maternal grandfather's account was childlike, these leaders do wrong knowingly. And they are robbing Islam for their vested interests which is a great tragedy for Islam and it is because of these religious leaders that there are certain groups and organisations who are perpetrating barbarity.
Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said if you instil righteousness and piety and inculcate the habit of prayer and remembrance of God, invoke Durood and offer Tahajjud, most certainly God will bless you with true dreams and visions and will speak to you. He said a living miracle is one which man experiences on a personal level. No doubt Hazrat Ibrahim, Hazrat Musa and Hazrat Isa (peace be on them) showed many miracles but only that miracle is great for a person which he observes on a personal level.
Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said Hazrat Sahibzada Abdul Latif Shaheed accepted Ahmadiyyat and then returned to his homeland Kabul from Qadian. The governor of Kabul asked him to repent. Sahibzada Sahib told him that before he left Qadian he had a dream in which he had handcuffs on. How would he possibly change his stance after God had told him that he would be handcuffed in God's way! This firm belief of his stemmed from the fact that he had experienced it on a personal level in a dream.
Hazrat Sufi Ahmad Jan Sahib was a very holy person. The Maharaja of Jammu asked him to visit Jammu to pray for him but he replied if you want me to pray for you, you have to come and visit me. Sufi Sahib had deep devotion for Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (on whom be peace). Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said we know that when Barahin e Ahmadiyya was published Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (on whom be peace) had hundreds of thousands of devotees. Sufi Sahib was one of them but he passed away before he made the claim to be the Promised Messiah. Sufi Sahib was a waliUllah (friend of God/saintly person) and could foresee that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was going to be the Messiah and before passing away he advised his family to accept him when he made his claim. Other aficionadas who although did not have Sufi Sahib's insight used to say that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (on whom be peace) alone could save Islam. Yet when the Promised Messiah made his claim and dispensed the elixir all the prominent people repudiated him and said what they had thought to be gold had turned out to be copper. While once he had hundreds of thousands of devotees, only forty turned up at the first session of bai'at the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) took. Maulawi Sanaullah (who later became an opponent) wrote that he had walked to Qadian to meet the Promised Messiah after the publication of Barahin e Ahmadiyya and Maulawi Muhammad Hussain Batalwi (also became an opponent) wrote that no one had served Islam as much as the Promised Messiah in the past 1300 years!
Even today the so-called Islam channels proclaim that indeed he served Islam well but later on, God, forbid, he was corrupted. These people are blinded and have no insight. Rather than observe as to where God's succour lies on a practical level, they have sunk in their own darkness.
Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said that he felt the house in Ludhiana where the first bai'at took place was a location of great significance and the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had specifically mentioned this. When Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) requested the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) to take bai'at he chose Ludhiana as the location. Hazrat Sufi Jan Sahib whom God gave the foresight to recognise the Promised Messiah also hailed for Ludhiana and the wife of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) was his daughter. Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said that he wished to see the location given prominence and names of all forty person who took bai'at inscribed there.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said with the grace of God the Jama'at now owns the property and although Huzoor did not have its facts and figures to hand he said efforts are being made to make it into a memorial as Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) had wished.
Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) had a dream that he was shown a bunch of grapes of Paradise and was told that it was for Abu Jahl. The interpretation of this dream is that Abu Jahl's son Ikrima will be granted Paradise.
During one battle of early Islam Christians had the upper hand and many Companions were being martyred. Ikrima could not tolerate this, he sought permission and jumped into battle. His attack was so intense that it caused chaos among the enemy. However, Ikrima also sustained severe injuries. The person giving drinking water to the injured came to him but Ikrima saw Hazrat Sohail injured and looking out for drinking water, so he sent the person to Hazrat Sohail. When he went to him, Sohail told the person to first go to Hazrat Harris bin Hisham. When the person reached Harris, he had passed away, he then went to Sohail but he had also passed away. Eventually he went to Ikrima who too had passed away. Thus was the fulfilment of the dream/prophecy of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).
Referring to the prophecy of 'Musleh Maud' of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) Hazrat Musleh Maud said at the time of this prophecy even the people of Qadian did not know his blessed father. They thought his grandfather had only one son, his uncle. Thus, an unknown person that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (on whom be peace) was, made a prophecy that he will have a son whose fame will reach the ends of the earth and through him the message will spread all over the world! Who can say something of this import off his own accord! The prophecy also said that he will make four of three which also meant that Hazrat Musleh Maud's birth was to take place in the fourth year of the Prophecy. Indeed, he was born in January 1889 and in March 1889 the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) took the first bai'at of his followers. This prophecy is very popular in our Jama'at as well as outside the Jama'at. People used to ask who that son would be! The prophecy had the names Mahmood and Bashir so Hazrat Musleh Maud was named Mirza Bashir ud Din Mahmood Ahmad. Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) went to Ludhiana to declare that he indeed was the Promised Reformer. Ludhiana was the place where the first bai'at took place, it was the place where marriage of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) took place with the daughter of Hazrat Sufi Jan Sahib and the son mentioned in the Musleh Maud prophecy was born to the wife of the Promised Messiah who had lived in Ludhiana.
He said he had recollection of living in Ludhiana for a brief while around the age of two and remembered their house was directly next to a road which was a straight road. He only remembered one incident when he was outside his house and another child threw a dead lizard at him, this terrified him and he ran home crying. Ludhiana indeed is a place of significance. As a rule things that are from God are met with opposition of people. After this prophecy conventions were held in other places but no opposition was forthcoming. But when Hazrat Musleh Maud came to Ludhiana and announced that he was Musleh Maud and thus the prophecy was fulfilled he experienced hostile reaction from people in the town. Yet the prophecy of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was fulfilled with all its glory.
Hazrat Mian Abdullah Sahib Sanori had ardent love and devotion for the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Once he came to Qadian and the Promised Messiah set him a task. When his leave was over he sought permission from the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) to return home. The Promised Messiah asked him to stay on. Sanori Sahib asked his work to extend his leave but his request was not granted. He told the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) but he asked him to stay on. Sanori Sahib wrote to his work that he could not return and in response they dismissed him from employment. Sanori Sahib went on to stay as long as the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wished him to. On his return home he found out that the officer who had dismissed him was not authorised to do. Not only was his employment re-instated, he was also given his pay in arrears.
Another companion of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) Munshi Zafar Ahmad Sahib of Kapoorthala worked at the courts. He said that he came to Qadian to see the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) but asked for permission to leave on the third day. The Promised Messiah said, stay on. A month went by. There was no more work and he received severe letters from employers. He was so delighted in the blessed company of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) that he had no care and no trepidation. When he received another severe letter and told the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) he said write back and say I cannot return. After another month passed the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) told him he could return. Back in Kapoorthala, Munshi Sahib went to see the magistrate at his house to see his reaction. The magistrate said Mirza Sahib must have not let you return adding, his instruction takes precedence!
Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said this group of people established a high model of ardent love and devotion. Members of our Jama'at may have weaknesses and they may be negligent but if companions of Hazrat Musa (on whom be peace) present their models we too can present the models of these people to match them and if companions of Hazrat Isa (on whom be peace) were to present their model on the Day of Judgement we too can proudly present the model of these companions of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace).
When the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that he could not say what was the difference between his ummah and the ummah of the Mahdi, it was in fact on the back of such people. These were people who were ever ready to make all kinds of sacrifices like Hazrat Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him), like Hazrat Umer (may Allah be pleased with him), like Hazrat Usman (may Allah be pleased with him) and like Hazrat Ali (may Allah be pleased with him). Observe the model of Hazrat Khalifatul I (may Allah be pleased with him) whom the Jama'at gave a distinctive status thus he was not mentioned earlier. However, his sacrifices were immense. When he came to Qadian to see the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) his work and commitments back home in Bhaira were extensive. When he sought permission to leave and the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) asked him to stay on. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) did not even go home to bring his belongings and had someone else get them for him. These are the sacrifices which make communities distinctive before God. Philosophical faith on its own avails nothing for man. Only faith which has the sweetness of devoted, ardent love is of advantage to man. One who recognises truth from God with the eye of his heart cannot be deceived by anyone because the mind inspires philosophy whereas the heart inspires ardent love and devotion.
May God enable us to recognise the Imam of the Age with the eye of our heart and may we stay firm on it, and may Satan never be able to deceive us.
Funeral Prayer in absentia was announced for our dervish brother Maualwi Khushid Ahmad Sahib who passed away on 24 July at the age of 94.