Friday sermon was based on Divine commandments as cited in verses 152 – 154 of Surah Al An’am. Only the first three commandments, i.e. avoiding Shirk, kind treatment of parents and significance of good upbringing of children by parents were elucidated. Today the other commandments about which God states: ‘…what your Lord has made inviolable for you…’ were explained.
The fourth commandment in the verses is: ‘…that you approach not foul deeds, whether open or secret…’ This commandment forbids different indecencies and foul acts. The [Arabic] word ‘Fawahish’ has several meanings. It means fornication, exceeding in wrongness, an immoral act, various big sins and satanic deeds, saying and doing everything that is bad and as well as being very miserly. This commandment eradicates personal and societal evils and gives resolution for matters that spread evil in homes and society.
With reference to fornication, elsewhere in the Qur’an there is a specific punishment. If a married person is embroiled in it, he forgets the rights of his family and overlooks them and a woman embroiled in it also does not fulfil the rights of her husband and children. If the person is unmarried then he is guilty of spreading foulness and indecency in society. People forge relationships by making false promises and if due to family pressure, or pressure of society or indeed due to their own false promises, the relationship breaks down, men do not suffer so much. Particularly our Asian culture covers up for men but a woman’s life is ruined. Such instances are commonly reported in newspapers. If children are born of such relationships, they are deprived of their rights and their parents become guilty of ‘killing’ their children. Here, in these countries, there are some legal safeguards for such children but there are many people who practically kill their children, whereas such children have no rights in underdeveloped countries. There, if the rich commit such foul acts, they are above the law. It was in the Pakistani news just a couple of days ago that a woman had an illegitimate child and perversely the police filed a case against the poor woman and nothing was said to the man because he had a social standing. It is the odd case that is reported, who is to know how many incidents of such nature take place and how many families are destroyed. This is due to being distant from God’s commandments. When this is the condition of Muslims, how can we censure the others! Indeed God commands not to even go near foul deeds.
In this age many different means of foulness can be found. There is the internet with indecent web-sites, lewd films on TV and offensive, pornographic magazines. Voices have started being raised here now that such offensive publications should not be displayed openly in shops and stalls as it has an adverse effect on children’s morality. They have realised this today while the Qur’an gave the teaching 1400 years ago to stay away from indecency, it makes one immoral, distant one from God and from religion and even makes one break the law. Islam does not only forbid obvious and apparent foulness but also hidden immorality. The directive of Purdah and wearing modest clothes are a safeguard against open and informal connection between men and women.
Islam does not state as the Bible does that do not look at women with bad intent. In fact, it states that your eyes will fall on women in close environment and it will create immodesty and you will not be able to distinguish between good and bad. According to God and His Messenger in such open mixing of man and woman the third party is Satan. The internet was just mentioned. Chats on Facebook and Skype are included in this and Hazrat Khalifatul Masih has seen many families break up because of this. He said he greatly regretted that such incidents are found in our Ahmadi homes. Whereas the commandment is not to even approach such foulness because Satan takes hold of one.
The beautiful teaching of the Qur’an commands both men and women to restrain their eyes, this indeed curtails open mixing as well as watching lewd films. The commandment also includes not to socialise with people who pursue such interests in the same of freedom, who relate their stories and try and incite others to their ways. Men and women should not chat on Skype and Facebook and look at each other and should not make these a means of connecting with each other. God states that these are all open and hidden foul things and they result in one getting carried away by emotions, losing one’s sense and eventually incurring God’s displeasure.
In this day and age another foul matter is being promoted which is not only against nature but a nation was once destroyed because of it. Governments are in the process of legalising same-sex marriages, that is, plans are being made on governmental level to spread something foul and immoral. Some prime ministers are saying such laws should be followed across the global. A [Christian] priest, probably from South Africa, who obviously follows the Bible which states that a nation was destroyed because of homosexuality, has said that if same-sex married couples cannot go to Heaven, then he would prefer to go to Hell. Such is the extent of immorality in the world today, if it continues to spread like this, then these nations will witness their ending. It will make their life in this world hellish and God knows what treatment they will have in the Hereafter. Medical research has clearly proven that AIDS is fast spreading among homosexual people. God’s punishment comes in varied forms. It is not necessary that the Divine punishment of stones from the sky will be repeated. HIV takes a person to a dreadful and excruciating end.
The faster immorality is spreading the greater should be an Ahmadi’s efforts to connect to God and try and save himself and the world from its destruction. Worldly people are appeasing a certain section of society for political gains, and promoting something which is against the commandments of God, and wish to spread it in the entire world which will result in destruction. Out of sympathy for them, we should inform them that God is Ever Merciful, He has kept the door of forgiveness open. He states: ‘And those who, when they commit a foul deed or wrong themselves, remember Allah and implore forgiveness for their sins — and who can forgive sins except Allah?’ (3:136). God forgives if there is no persistency in all foul deeds and one has fear of God. We need to protect ourselves against all immoralities and also try and show the ways to do so to others.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘Their God will forgive those who whenever they commit a foul deed or wrong their souls, they remember Allah the Exalted and seek forgiveness for their sin and do not persist in their sin.’
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih prayed that may everyone who is embroiled in foul deeds comes to their senses and is saved from God’s chastisement. He said he had explained this matter because he had felt a great need for it as this matter has become very common.
The next commandment is: ‘…you kill not the life which Allah has made sacred, save by right…’ This directive draws our attention to pay the dues of society, to pay the dues of our brothers, friends and associates with fairness and justice. Killing here does not only connote taking the life of another. In fact, to break connections with someone, to usurp the rights of another, to emotionally injure another, to humiliate another as if practically killing them, to destroy their self-respect is also ‘killing’. And then there is spiritual killing. God has deemed that these are all tantamount to killing and He has forbidden them. Each killing ultimately results in discord and unrest in society and God strongly dislikes this. The statement: ‘…save by right…’does not give the right to take the law in one’s hand and the punishment should be limited to only what is necessary so that reformation may take place. It should be clear here that everyone does not have the right to punish and to retaliate. This should be handled by the law and law should pass judgement according to the requisites of justice. Indeed, man-made laws are fairly recent whereas God had decreed this a long time ago. Death penalty and other various punishments are all given by and through law.