‘Say, ‘My Lord has enjoined justice. And fix your attention aright at every time and place of worship, and call upon Him, making yourself sincere towards Him in religion. As He brought you into being, so shall you return.’ (7:30)
‘O children of Adam! adorn yourself at every time and place of worship with garment of fear of Allah, and eat and drink but exceed not the bounds; surely, He does not love those who exceed the bounds.’ (7:32)
With His grace God has enabled the Ahmadis of Brisbane and the Ahmadis of Australia to build a mosque in Brisbane, Australia. We could not thank God enough for this favour. The site was purchased about fifteen years ago and a mission house and a Prayer hall was built. When Hazrat Khalifatul Masih visited Brisbane for the first time in 2006 he felt that in spite of these buildings the site did not have the vigour/liveliness that can now be felt with the building of the mosque. It is a favour of God that he has established a strong connection between the Jama’at and Khilafat, a connection which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. This is by virtue of the Bai’at and the teaching of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace), who mentioned a bond of love, brotherhood and obedience in his conditions of Bai’at and this bond is now also prevalent among the Jama’at and the system of Khilafat, which was established by him.
Mosques are also our need and will be built as and when the Jama’at requires them. Khilafat was just mentioned because these mosques are also built in response to the inspiration of the Khalifa of the time. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said that he has been drawing attention in this regard that mosques are a source of Tabligh. During his visit of Brisbane in 2006 he had said that the Prayer centre was very well but a proper mosque should be built. The Jama’at responded dutifully and with the grace of God had the mosque built on site. The various impediments faced during the building of the mosque would have given the people here a measure of the vastly different view of mosque others have. Although some neighbours objected to the building of the mosque, after efforts over eight to nine months the local council gave permission for the building and thus construction started in December 2012 and now we have a beautiful mosque. The new construction as well as renovation of the earlier buildings cost 4.5 Australian dollars. Members of the Jama’at gave most generously for the project. One member contributed 125,000 dollars while another contributed 100,000 dollars. Everyone contributed what they could afford, perhaps more than they could afford. As is the tradition of Ahmadi ladies, here too they donated their jewellery for the building of the mosque. May God bless all those who made sacrifices!
It should be remembered that this spirit of sacrifice, love, sincerity and obedience should not be borne of any temporary sense of enthusiasm in an Ahmadi but should be lasting and enduring and should also be instilled in our next generation. Indeed, this spirit and fervour will only endure when attention is given to the commandments of God, when a true connection is made with one’s God, when the dues of mosque are paid, when the dues of coming in the Bai’at of the true and ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) are paid. We will then also be able to fulfil the dues of this mosque.
Today’s sermon was based on a few commandments of God to encourage us and our next generations to continue to pay these dues. The verses recited at the start are verses 30 and 32 of Surah Al Ar’af and they are regarding mosques. They cite what is expected of believers as well as they advise them that those who are associated with mosques will attain God’s grace if they become true worshippers of God. First and foremost, justice is enjoined; establishment of justice which starts from the first building block of society, that is, a family, to international level. This is what is needed for peace on every level in the world and failure of this is what can create disorder and indeed it does. Justice is not only required in societal matters and among people, in fact justice also demands that the dues of commandments of God are paid and the dues of worship of God, as is befitting, are paid. The advantage of such worship is gained by the worshipper alone. Every true believer should pay attention to this matter and this is possible when the five daily Prayers are observed and a pure change is felt in oneself while trying to pay the dues of mankind.
Paying the dues of mankind can be fulfilling the commandments made to husbands to give the rights of their wives, to look after their needs, to be gentle with them and to be considerate of their familial ties (rehmi rishtay), to respect parents, siblings and other relatives of wives, not to set eyes upon the wealth and earning of wives and to be mindful of the education and training of children. To be role models for one’s children so that they remain connected to faith. It should be remembered that boys have respect for faith, especially at the age of 13 to 14 years, usually when see their fathers also respect faith, when the father is regular at Salat and recitation of the Holy Qur’an. It is generally seen that mothers are more concerned about their children in terms of faith or at least they express themselves about this to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih. Similarly, every wife has the responsibility to do justice to her duties. Her first responsibility is her family; to respect the husband and his familial ties, to look after the children and their moral training. There should be particular concern about the upbringing of children in this environment and it is the task of both parents to do religious training of their children. Instil in the children that they are Ahmadi Muslim and for this the parents have to be role models and educate the children about the difference in them and the others. If the parents do not lead by example they will not be doing justice.
Every man and woman who wishes to be considered a true believer should try and pay the rights of each other as regards general societal ties, whether it is business dealing or another matter. It is important to be just and fair. God has made the community of believers as one entity. This standard will be upheld when each person is conscious of the pain of others, when justice and fairness is met. Pain in one part of the body is felt by the entire body and this is how we should be aware of others’ pain. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said one should feel the pain of others. We tell the world about our fraternal ties, we need to also demonstrate it in practice.
In the mosque inauguration reception held for Australian guests a couple of days ago, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih’s discourse centred on the subject that if rights of mankind are not given, worship of God is pointless. When mankind’s rights are given every act becomes an act of worship and further enhances worship of God. Muslims who understand the significance of worship will always try to fulfil the requisites of rights of mankind and Ahmadis understand this concept very well because they have accepted the Imam of the age so that they may garner God’s grace, fulfil the dues of worship of God and recognise the objective of man’s creation.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘It is a great act of worship to be affectionate and sympathetic to humanity. It is a tremendous source to attain pleasure of Allah the Exalted.’ This beautiful teaching makes us fulfil the requisites of justice and fairness and gives us Divine nearness. When man goes to mosque with these thoughts, he comes in the embrace of God’s love. Effort by a believer to abide by: ‘…And fix your attention aright at every time and place of worship…’ will garner God’s grace. As we know, each effort of ours is covered by an act of God and we cannot attain any virtue merely through our own strength and we cannot attain virtue without an act of God. Our good wishes and efforts to do good which keep our attention directed at God and the help that we seek from Him will make us worthy of being counted among those who are: ‘…sincere towards Him in religion…’and such people can see the luminous message of God: ‘…I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he prays to Me…’ (2:187)
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: It is also essential for acceptance of prayers that man instils a pure change in himself. If he cannot avoid bad deeds and breaks the limits of God Almighty, then there can be no effect in prayer.’ Limits of God can be understood from the commandments of the Holy Qur’an, these commandments are the limits by following which one gains nearness to God and also witnesses acceptance of prayer. The second verse states to children of Adam to adorn themselves when going to mosque and the adornment of every believer is the raiment/garment of Taqwa (righteousness).
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) explained: ‘The spiritual beauty of man is to walk along all the finer ways of righteousness. They are the attractive features of spiritual beauty. It is obvious that to be mindful of the trusts of God Almighty, and to fulfil all the covenants of faith, and to employ all faculties and limbs both overt, like eyes and ears and hands and feet and others like them, and those that are covert, like the mind and other faculties and qualities, on their proper occasions and to restrain them from coming into action on improper occasions, and to be warned against the subtle attacks of vice and to be mindful of the rights of one’s fellow beings, is the way of perfecting one’s spiritual beauty. God Almighty has in the Holy Qur’an designated righteousness as a raiment. Libas-ut-taqwais an expression of the Holy Qur’an. This is an indication that spiritual beauty and spiritual ornament are achieved through righteousness. Righteousness means that one must be mindful even of the smallest details of the Divine trusts and covenants and also of all the trusts and covenants of one’s fellow beings, as far as it may be possible. That is, one must try to fulfil, to the best of one’s ability, all the requirements in their minutest details.’ (Brahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Part V, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 21, pp. 209-210 – Essence of Islam, Vol. II. pp 347 – 348)