Huzoor recited the following verse at the start of his Friday sermon:
‘Verily, he alone is worthy of maintaining the Mosques of Allah who believes in Allah, and the Last Day, and observes Prayer, and pays the Zakat, and fears none but Allah; so these it is who are far more likely to counted among the guided.’ (9:18)
The sermon was delivered from Maryam Mosque, Galway, Ireland on the occasion of its inauguration.
With the grace of God Muslim Jama’at Ahmadiyyat was enabled to inaugurate its first mosque in Ireland today. May God bless the building and establishment of this mosque in every way! Although the mosque is small in size, yet it announces that here followers of the Muhammadan Messiah will worship five times a day. This mosque will announce that a mosque is a place where dues of God and mankind are fulfilled and it is not a place for evil and disorder and it is built to worship Lord of all the worlds. The Lord who bestowed His Rububiyyat (Divine quality of sustaining and nurturing) on all the people of earlier times, Who bestows is today and shall continue to bestow it in future for always and ever. His Rububiyyat is not specific to any one body of people rather it is for all the worlds and the cosmos. From this perspective, the mosques of the Muhammadan Messiah announce that if spiritual insight of Rububiyyat is to be obtained, it can only be done by joining the Jama’at of the Muhammadan Messiah. They build mosques to remove evil and disorder of the world and to promote reflection on the beautiful teaching of Islam which is based on love, conciliation and peace. This is the teaching that the world today is in great need of. Indeed the world is not in need of war and armaments! Our mosques announce that the hearts of those who come here are free from any thoughts of usurping rights of others. Our mosques are a sign and a focal point of the fact that those who come to these mosques give every kind of sacrifice for the rights of others. And in this regard while they have compassion for their own, even the enmity of the enemy does not stop them from being just and fair! These mosques declare that Islam is the biggest standard-bearer of religious freedom and for this purpose doors of our mosques are always open. There is no restriction on any person who worships the One God from worshiping in these mosques, whether he is Muslim or not. Every Ahmadi who comes to our mosques announces that according to the teaching of the Holy Qur’an it is the responsibility of every true Muslim to protect places of worship of all religions and this is as important for him as protection of mosques is! Our mosques also draw attention that a true believer is loyal to his country and there are countless other requisites that are put upon those who truly associate themselves to mosques so that the rights of God and mankind can be fulfilled in the real sense.
All of the above has been enjoined in the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) repeatedly drew attention to it as indeed he fulfilled rights of God and rights of mankind and established blessed models. History bears witness that on one occasion when it was their prayer time, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) let some visiting Christians worship in his mosque. This is the real teaching of Islam which the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) taught to implement in this age and Huzoor gave a few examples of it as mentioned above. The Imam of the age instructed to spread this teaching and had expectations of us and said that wherever you will build mosques with this point of view you will open new avenues of introduction of Islam and Tabligh. He said people will be inclined to Islam and its beautiful teaching will enamour them and you will grow in numbers! And this is the objective with which we should build mosques as indeed we do. This is the teaching which is broadcast by the media today and draws people to it. The man in the street as well as important leaders and politicians both notice that on the one hand are extremist groups who carry out violence and indiscriminate murder and mayhem and on the other hand is this Jama’at which makes efforts for love, harmony, conciliation and peace. On the one hand are the mosques of the so-called Muslims where in the name of God and His Messenger abuse and foul sentiments are relayed and on the other hand are mosques where only peace and conciliation is talked about and slogan of Love for all hatred for none is raised. These matters attract them and they are curious about the difference between two kinds of Muslims. This leads them to get information about the Jama’at on the internet.
Huzoor said that he had the opportunity to meet some Irish Parliamentarians day before yesterday. One of them said to Huzoor that the efforts of the Ahmadiyya Jama’at for establishing human values and peace cannot be seen among other Muslims. He said that he had found this information by looking in great detail and he wished that the Jama’at also builds a mosque in Dublin so the love and the high values also spread in Dublin which is his city! Thus God leads people to look at the other side of the picture; which is the true and real picture of Islam as presented by the Jama’at of the true and ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).
We should not suffice on being delighted at having built a mosque and the fact that the world has seen it on MTA. A reception will be held this evening when academics and other guests will have the chance to see the mosque and they will praise the beauty of the mosque and at other times more people from this city and other cities may come to visit the mosque. You may be delighted that so many people have visited the mosque and thus you have attained your objective. This is not so. There are many other aspects to this which lay a huge responsibility on you and each Ahmadi should know how to fulfil this. Just as Huzoor explained what our mosques announce and declare. Otherwise our claims will be hollow and we will be deceiving the world; our life’s objective is to please God and we will not be paying attention to that.
The Quranic verse recited at the start mentions the qualities of those who come to mosques and populate them. This is applicable from the Ka’ba to all those mosques which are populated by people who have the qualities mentioned in the verse. Allah the Exalted states elsewhere about those who are included in believers: ‘…But those who believe are stronger in their love for Allah…’ (2:166) No worldly love can control them and they continue to spend their lives in order to attain love of God. They do not forget love of God to make worldly gains because love of God demands that His commandments are practiced, it demands that He is worshipped. It cannot be one makes excuses like one’s employment etc. to miss one’s Salat and lies are told to gain material benefit. One should stop and reflect whether one’s love of God is more or one’s love of worldly benefits. If love of worldly objects is taking one away from commandments of God, then love of the world is gaining ground.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘It should be known that the sense of honour of God Almighty does not want a believer’s love for Him to have love of another associated with it. Belief is very dear to us and it can only be safeguarded if we do not associate anyone else in our love of God.’
Every Muslim acknowledges love of God and the Prophet and is ready to kill and get killed for this. We will never hear a Muslim say that he does not love God and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Yet how many abide by the commandments of God and the Prophet? Let’s just take Salat. We need to reflect and see if we offer Salat with its due requisites. Many say they offer three or four Salat a day, many offer their Salat in such haste it appear as if they are unburdening themselves. Salat is source of gaining Divine nearness and is an expression of love of God. If we do not adorn the way in which we offer it, we are not fulfilling the requisite of our love for God.
It is stated about those who believe that when they are called regarding what God and His Messenger command, they say: we hear and we obey. We need to self-reflect about this matter. This alone will tell us about our condition. The Holy Qur’an has given countless commandments which the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has referred to as 700 commandments and has said that one who does not abide by them is distancing himself from the Promised Messiah. Our faith will be complete when we will abide by all these commandments. Verbal profession of belief in the Hereafter is made but many among us simply pay lip service to this. If belief in the Hereafter is real one shuns many things. We are aware of worldly laws and they prevent us from doing many things. Yet we take many wrong steps because we do not think about the Hereafter. We offer Salat to seek worldly objectives; we go to mosque out of concern as to what people will say! Those who have faith go to mosque for the sake of God and make financial sacrifices to attain pleasure of God and do not fear anyone except God. Indeed, God says that those who do not make hollow claims of faith can witness Divine help and succour and every way opens up for them paths of success.
It is a favour of God on Jama’at Ahmadiyya that He has granted it believers who do not merely claim to have faith rather pleasure of God is their objective and this is the secret of the progress of the Jama’at. In order to be part of this each one of us needs to self-reflect at all times so that no Ahmadi man or woman is deprived of this blessing. Our fears should not be about this world but should be borne of our love of God and our aspiration not to displease Him.
Now that this mosque is built the eyes of the world will be on us. We should self-reflect more than ever and should make our utmost efforts to adapt ourselves to the commandments of God then alone will we be able to guide those who will be drawn to this mosque. New avenues of Tabligh will open as indeed they are opening. People will visit this mosque as people all over the world visit our mosques. Due to the global situation curiosity about Islam has increased greatly. When people will see the real picture of Islam from our practices they will certainly be impressed. The responsibility of those who live here has increased. Huzoor said he was reiterating this because now the Ahmadis of Ireland have been given exposure. Once the Irish Jama’at was small and no one knew about it. Now the beautiful building of this mosque and its high minaret is introducing the Jama’at to the world every day. The reception taking place this evening will InshaAllah take this introduction to all sections of society. Newspapers have started writing a little about us and this coverage will increase. The mosque will not only garner attention from the people of Galway, people from other cities will also pay attention to it and when they will get the opportunity they will also visit it. This has been our experience in other places.
Scope for Tabligh will broaden and for this Ahmadis will have to improve their knowledge and try to bring their practices in line with the expectations the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had of us. These expectations are based on the commandments of the Holy Qur’an. We should establish such models that the world is drawn to us. This European country is still inclined to religion a great deal where rich and poor all identify themselves as Christians and consider it to be the way to salvation with reference to Jesus (on whom be peace). We have to tell them that according to our teaching Jesus (on whom be peace) was a true Prophet of God who accomplished what God entrusted him in an excellent manner and then departed from this world. The One and Only God is the source of real power and He is the Lord of all the worlds and it was Him that Jesus (on whom be peace) worshipped along with his pure chaste mother. Then, in accordance with the prophecies of earlier Prophets the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) came with the complete and last Shariah. And now it is this complete Shariah which is the source of salvation and it is through it that one can adorn one’s worldly life as well as the Hereafter. However, this cannot be attained with mere claims rather it has to be demonstrated through our practices that the proof of Islam as a living religion is that in subservience of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) the Promised Messiah’s advent has taken place. He has connected us to God; the God Who listens and accepts our prayers and Who is showing His Signs in accordance with His promise. Now a living connection with God can only be made through the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace)!
Can we say all this to others without any hesitation or will we have to think before we utter them? Will we wonder what if the other person challenges us on acceptance of prayer does our condition merit accepting such a challenge? What is our connection with God? Are we spending our lives in His fear and love and in accordance with His commandments? If not, then how can we invite others and tell them the one who was promised to come has arrived? Will people not ask us what changes has the Promised Messiah brought about in us that we are inspiring them to bring pure changes in their lives? They can ask us if we have forged sufficient connection with God to be able to invite them to this way! They can say that your faith teaches you to fulfil the dues of God by worshipping Him in fact the Holy Qur’an states that worship is the objective of life and this is why humans were created. They can ask how many times we offer Salat in congregation. They can tell us that although we have built a beautiful mosque its real beauty is owing to the condition of worshippers for that is what enhances it. They can ask if we offer five daily Prayers in the mosque. They can question us if we fulfil the dues and rights of mankind. The Holy Qur’an call us the best of people who have been created for the good of others because we enjoin good and forbid evil. The questioner can question us if we attain our objective merely by enjoining good and if not then we should first self-reflect and see if we practice what we preach? They can ask us that while we talk about maintaining good conduct with relatives and people, are our own actions in accordance with it? They can say that we talk about honouring trusts and pledges but do we abide by honouring our trusts and pledges one hundred percent? They can say that we mention sacrifice and humility but do we demonstrate it in our word and deed? They can question us about our claim that Islam teaches thinking well of others and ask if we practice this in our daily lives? They can say that although we say that Holy Qur’an teaches honesty but they have caught us telling lies for worldly benefit. Those who are around us can very well say this. They can ask us that you maintain that Islam teaches repressing anger and it teaches pardoning others but do you practice this in your daily lives? They can say that we tell them that the Islamic teaching of justice is beautiful and its standard is so high that even the enemy’s enmity should not provoke us to injustice; however, do we have this standard and resolve to pardon others? They can say that all the Quranic commandments we tell them are very good but do we practice them? They can say that while we maintain about other Muslims that they have not accepted the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and this is reason they are in the state they are in and are killing each other and are not an illustration of : ‘…tender among themselves…’ (48:30) and are in fact the opposite of it. However, you, who have accepted the Promised Messiah, according to you, all your actions should be in line with the Holy Qur’an! How else can you invite us to a spiritual and lofty revolutionary change? We are the same as you? What is the difference between us?
When an Ahmadi is known as an Ahmadi his responsibilities increase greatly. He does not remain just an Ahmadi but becomes a representative of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and this is why the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) once said that once you are associated with us, do not bring us in disrepute. This is a most significant point which every Ahmadi should keep in view and by doing so they will become ambassadors of Ahmadiyyat and others will be attracted to their message. By becoming representatives of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) we would be fulfilling the dues of Tabligh and will be helping the world to adorn their worldly lives and their Hereafter and we will garner God’s grace and blessings. Great efforts need to be made in this regard; the five daily Prayers should be offered in congregation and in a beautiful manner, dues of mosques should be fulfilled, along with obligatory Prayers, optional Prayers should be offered to forge connection with God. There is a great need to pay attention to fulfilling the dues of mankind, both men and women need to understand and appreciate their responsibilities.
We eagerly tell the residents [of Ireland] that we have named this mosque after Hazrat Maryam who is very dear to them as the mother of Jesus (on whom be peace). However, she is not just dear to us as the mother of Jesus (on whom be peace) but also because God looked upon her with love owing to her piety and righteousness and He told believers to adopt qualities of Hazrat Maryam. Hazrat Maryam protected her chastity out of fear and love of God, she was perfectly obedient to God and was a truthful person. God has enjoined every true believer to adopt the qualities of Hazrat Maryam, which are the quality of a true believer.
Addressing girls and women Huzoor said that if the people of Ireland only respected Hazrat Maryam but did not try to adopt her qualities, then this was weakness on their part. True Muslim men and women should try to become as truly obedient as Hazrat Maryam was and abide by commandments of God. One of these commandments is that of modesty and purdah as mentioned in the Holy Qur’an. Along with worship of God we should also be mindful of our modest clothing.
May God enable everyone to live their life in accordance with His pleasure and enable them to become true believers! Rather than drown in worldly affairs we should pay the dues of worship of God and also pay each other’s dues.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘I say truthfully that this advent has been brought about by Allah the Exalted for the fortunate. Blessed are those who avail of it. Those of you who have forged a connection with me should never be proud and feel that you have attained whatever you needed to attain. It is true that compared to the rejecters who have displeased God with their intense rejection and contempt you are closer to being auspicious. It is also true that by being positive in your stance you have been mindful of protecting yourself from the wrath of God Almighty. However, the truth is that you have come to the water spring which God Almighty has created for eternal life at this time, however, you are yet to drink the spring water. Seek enablement from the grace and blessings of God Almighty to be satiated because nothing can happen without God Almighty. I know for certain that whoever will drink from this spring will not be ruined because its water is life-giving and it saves from ruination and protects against satanic attacks. What is the way to satiate from this spring? Indeed, to restore the two obligations given to you by God Almighty and to fulfil them. One of them is the right of God and the other of His creation.’
Huzoor prayed that may God always enable us to fully seek the beneficence of this water spring and then in turn also give its beneficence to the world.
Next Huzoor gave some facts and figures of Maryam Mosque. Its foundation stone was laid by Huzoor in September 2010. It is situated in a plot a little less than three quarters of an acre which was purchased in 2009 at a cost of €515,000 and a further €110,000 was spent on the building work. The mosque and the main hall combined have the capacity to hold 200 worshippers and parking facility is also available. The location is very good, there is a close by racecourse with horse racing tracks which stages a festival which is attended by 40,000 people. The mosque can be seen clearly from the racecourse and this will increase exposure of the mosque. Maryam Mosque is in a busy area which is passed by hundreds of people every day. There is a close by student accommodation and Galway airport is ten minutes’ drive away. Two adjoining properties were later purchased by the Jama’at and they also offer good accommodation. May God bless this complex in every way and may people of Ireland be enabled to fulfil the obligations of the mosque.