Today’s Friday sermon was based on some accounts of Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) illustrating the blessed life of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace).
Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said that intellectually speaking he did not accept the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) simply because he was his father. When he was eleven years old he made a resolve that if his research led him to, God forbid, the Promised Messiah being false, he would leave home. However, he understood and comprehended the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) truthfulness and his belief in him grew and grew and it was enhanced further still after passing away of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). He said that when he took his Bai’at in person at the age of ten years the emotions that he felt cannot be expressed in words.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) always advised to pray and supplicate God. He was someone appointed by God who had been assured of acceptance of his prayers in the revelation of: ‘I shall accept all your prayers but not in the matter of your collaterals.’ [Tadhkirah, p. 33]. During the court case of Henry Martyn Clark, Musleh Maud was only nine years old but the Promised Messiah asked him to pray for the matter and also asked the male and female attendants of the household to pray. If a person who had received God’s promise as regards fulfilment of his prayers laid so much emphasis on prayers, how much more we need to do so.
The aforementioned revelation came when the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) supplicated regarding a court case his brother Mirza Ghulam Qadir Sahib was fighting on behalf of the family. He believed firmly in the strength of their case but when the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) received the revelation he told his relatives not to proceed with the case as they would not succeed but they paid no heed to his warning. In the court of first instance the decision went in favour of Mirza Ghulam Qadir Sahib but finally in the Chief Court the case was lost.
Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) related this account with reference to prayer but also as advice to doctors. In these countries and also in other parts of the world nowadays a team of doctors confers on critical matters. Yet some doctors do believe that if they are treating someone a second opinion or advice is not required. Hazrat Sara Begum, wife of Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with her) died in child birth and he felt had consultation taken place between doctors one of the two lives may have been saved.
Once Dr Mirza Yaqub Baig Sahib came to see the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and gave him some news. The Promised Messiah told him that although he was also not well, the doctor should treat Mahmood (Hazrat Musleh Maud) very carefully as he was also ailing and his ailment was the Promised Messiah’s main concern.
There is a famous account of a court case about a wall that was built by some family members of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) at such a place that their way to the mosque was blocked and it obstructed those who came to offer Prayers at the mosque. Although Hazrat Musleh Maud was a child at the time, he clearly recalled that some relatives used to plant stakes in the ground around the area so that people coming to the mosque would stumble in the dark. Some Ahmadis wanted to take the wall down but the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) told them that they should be steadfast and obey the law. Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) used to see true dreams even at a young age. He had a dream that the wall is being taken down and Hazrat Maulawi Nur ud din Sahib (may Allah be pleased with him) is coming from the direction of the mosque. When, after the decision of the court, time to take the wall down came, after delivering his dars at the mosque, Hazrat Maulawi Nur ud din Sahib (may Allah be pleased with him) walked towards the wall and remarked that young Mahmood’s dream had been fulfilled.
Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) also said that there was a time during the lifetime of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) when he had to arrange access to the mosque for people through his home, having arranged for purdah of the ladies of the household. Other people had to come to the mosque by taking a longer route. This situation persisted for six months to a year after which the court decided the wall should come down.
When he was a child and Hazrat Musleh Maud’s (may Allah be pleased with him) mother was cross at him she would remark that he had a small head. Upon this the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) would say it did not matter. A famous lawyer Rattigan also had a small head and a large head was not indicative of competence. If a person with a large head deprives his children of [spiritual] education and knowledge he has no sense. How can a person who does not have any understanding of God and His Messenger gain spiritual knowledge?
Since his childhood Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) heard the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) enjoin loyalty to the Government. He says he too stayed firm on this view in spite of having differences with his friends over it as well as some people of the Jama’at. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that the British Government was a blessing from God. This did not mean that the British were very pious people and close to the teaching of Islam. There were many wicked and evil people among them. The aspect of blessing was that the Government did not interfere in the individual’s freedom and in view of this freedom teaching of Islam could be established. Had the Nazis or Fascists ruled India it was possible that they would have been even better than the British in other matters, they could have been more God-fearing or fairer. However, they would not have given as much individual freedom as the British did. They may have been good for people but they would have been detrimental to us as a Jama’at and in this regard we would have been very limited and restricted in promoting Islamic teaching unless there was Islamic government in power. This is why the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) called the British Government a blessing. He did not mean that the British are more fair-minded than others. What was praiseworthy was that they did not give authority to the Government to interfere in personal matters.
Hearts of Prophets of God are replete with gratefulness and they feel gratitude over small matters. When a book of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was ready for printing and the scribe would bring the manuscript over he would personally receive the scribe and express gratitude to him for his hard work although as a child Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) saw the Promised Messiah work arduously over his books; he would go to sleep watching his blessed father writing and would awaken to see him still busy writing.
Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) felt that Muslims youth were not fully aware of Islamic etiquette. He saw them casually walking with their arms around each other and also did not deter from such postures in his presence. Their parents and teacher had not instilled in them that these were bad practices which left a deep mark on how they lived life. He recalled an incident when at the age of 12 or 13 he stood with his elbow on the shoulder of a boy and Master Qadir Buksh Sahib told him it was not a good thing to do. Each time he remembered the incident his heart was filled with prayers for Master Qadir Sahib. He also recalled that his mother was from Delhi where the familiar Urdu pronoun of ‘tum’ (you) was used while elders were referred to with the formal Urdu pronoun of ‘aap’ (you). As his mother did not have any elders around in Qadian he grew up using the familiar pronoun ‘tum’. Up to the age of ten he even used ‘tum’ when speaking to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Once Subidar Muhammad Ayub Sahib heard him talk to his father with the familiar pronoun ‘tum’. He took him to one side and told him that although he respected him as the son of the Promised Messiah but he must remember that ‘tum’ is used for an equal and he could not tolerate him using it for the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace).
Islamic etiquette should certainly be abided by. MTA produces good programmes but in a programme produced in Rabwah which is presented by murrabis and other life-devotees their manner of sitting is not good. They are seated on chairs with legs spread wide and they continuously move with no dignity. They do not have a cap on. All this is unacceptable. The programme may be very good in its own right but if the presenter is not good the programme will not be aired. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V has stopped such programmes being broadcast. Murrabis should especially be most mindful of their dignity. If someone from the general public does this it is tolerable but it is intolerable coming from a Murrabi. People comment that programmes produced in Rabwah do not reflect the dignity accepted of them.
Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) used to play football as a child. Some cricket players came to Qadian and made a team. They once asked Hazrat Musleh Maud to request his blessed father to join them in the game. When he went to see his father, he was writing a book. Upon hearing the request he put his pen down and said: Your ball will not leave the ground [you will be playing in] but I am playing that kind of cricket in which the ball will reach the ends of the world!’ Indeed these words have been fulfilled to the letter and the Promised Messiah’s message had reached all around the globe.
Respect, be it worldly or spiritual, cannot be attained without hard work. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) used to say that in our age God has associated all kind of renown with him. People with reputation will either be our detractors or our sincere followers. He gave the example of a Maulawi called SanaUllah and said he was not an important Maulawi but was renowned because he opposed the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). He said his being was central to the matter. He said only those people could benefit from him who had a strong connection with him; either those who were deeply opposed to him or those who sincerely followed him.
We should always self-reflect as we are regularly advised in Friday sermons that after taking Bai’at we should be evidently different than the others. This distinction should be clear in our belief in the existence of God, in our worship of God, in our great efforts, in our high morals as well as in our compliance to the law. We need to be distinguished from the rest in everything.
Once a governmental officer said to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) that the non-Ahmadis and non-Muslims of Qadian complained to the Government against the Promised Messiah. He said they are your townspeople, be gentle to them. In response the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘Why not ask this Boota Shah (an opponent) if he has not availed any single chance of causing great harm to me. And then ask him again if I have not availed any single chance of doing good to him!’ This silenced the officer.
When a person becomes used to a situation he does not feel the inconvenience or the problem the situation causes. Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) often heard the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) say that God tests people in two ways. One kind of test is that in which man has the options to alleviate the situation. For example performing ablutions before Prayer in winter time (especially in those times/areas when there was no running hot water and no central heating) can be a test. God commands to perform ablutions before Prayer. Sometimes hot water is not readily available at other times it is simply not available and this is a test for a true believer. However, he has the allowance to heat water for the purpose of ablution. Similarly if he is feeling cold he can put on warm clothing. It is very difficult to awaken in the morning to offer Prayer in the winter. However, if a person is used to offering Tahajjud he can ensure at that time that all doors are closed very well and no draught enters the room. When it is time to go to the mosque for Fajr he can wrap himself with a blanket. If he does not have a blanket he can wear some old waist coat and a person who has nothing to wrap will not feel the cold because he would be used to it and his body would tolerate the low temperature. Just as women folk who cook on live fire can manipulate and handle burning firewood and coals without feeling any pain.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that God had the power to provide mankind with all manner of conveniences and luxuries and not let them suffer in anyway. But He did not do this and therein lie deep mysteries. Parents love their daughters, they love them more than their sons but a time comes when they have to separate themselves from the daughters. Experiencing this time requires tremendous fortitude because the both the parents and the daughter are very vulnerable. However, certain fulfilments of their daughter’s life come to pass by her consorting with her husband. Similarly, certain qualities of people of God do not come to the fore unless they endure difficulties. We cite the high morals of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) with courage and pride. The reason is that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) experienced both times of adversity and comfort. Hard times should not be looked at in negative light for they draw God’s pleasure and His nearness. In order to attain the pleasure which is bestowed to God’s chosen people one has to dissociate from worldly and base pleasures. It is essential to experience pain and be grateful in order to become close to God. One has to assume a new kind of death on oneself every day. When a person completely assumes a kind of death from worldly desires and his own self he attains the life that does not perish and after which there is no death.
When Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) was about nine or ten years old he was playing at home with a fellow pupil. They stumbled upon a book on a shelf which was of the time of Hazrat Musleh Maud’s grandfather. The book said that Jibraeel does not descend down on the earth any more. Hazrat Musleh Maud said it was not true because Jibraeel came to his father. The other boy said Jibraeel did not come down to the earth because the book said so. They both started arguing and went to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and explained their views. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: the book is wrong, Jibraeel continues to come.
Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said that one of his childhood incidents which evokes both joy and mortification but one which he values nonetheless is that once during summer the family was sleeping in the courtyard when there was a thunder clap and lightening fell somewhere near Qadian although people of Qadian felt lightening had struck their homes. As the Promised Messiah’s family came indoors Hazrat Musleh Maud put both his hands protectively on top of his father’s head so that the lightening may strike his hands and not his father. Later on he was amused at what he had done because they were to be saved from lightening because of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and not the other way around.
Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) says that he was seventeen years old when Hazrat Maulawi Abdul Karim Sahib fell ill in 1905. He recalls taking some broth for him once but says he does not have any other recollection of visiting him during his illness. He felt Maulawi Sahib would not pass away before the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Maulawi Sahib had a temper and Hazrat Musleh Maud only took a few lessons from him and then stopped. People used to say that Maulawi Sahib and Hazrat Maulawi Nur ud din Sahib were angels of the Promised Messiah – people differed over which one of them was the right side angel and which was the left side angel. Hazrat Musleh Maud belonged to the Nur ud din group and had this corroborated by the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) once. That said Hazrat Musleh Maud was certain about the love Maulawi Abdul Karim Sahib had for the Promised Messiah. However, when he heard the news of the passing away of Maulawi Sahib he underwent a change. He did not have the strength to bear the loss and shut himself in his room and fell down like a lifeless body on the bed. His tears would not stop. He was reminded of all the ways in which Maulawi Sahib had helped and supported the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and his tears flowed like a river. He could not eat and the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was surprised and wondered what had happened to him since he was not even that close to Maulawi Sahib and was concerned that he would fall ill due to his grief.
Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said the following about the passing of his blessed father in 1908: ‘It was a new era not just in my life but the lives of all Ahmadis. It was the year a person departed from us who was like the soul of our lifeless bodies, who was like the sight of our sightless eyes and was like the light of our dark hearts. It was not a mere departing, it was apocalyptic. The rug was pulled from beneath our feet and the heavens moved from its position. Allah the Exalted is Witness that at the time I had no concerns about food and clothing. My only concern was that even if the entire world leaves the Promised Messiah, I would not leave him and I would establish his mission in the world. I do not know to what extent have I fulfilled this pledge but I have always intended my tasks to be in accordance with this pledge.’
Two funeral Prayers were offered. The funeral of Surriya Begum Sahiba of Manchester was present whereas funeral Prayer in absentia was offered for Mahmood Abdullah Shabouti Sahib of Yemen.