A great favour of God which has united Ahmadiyya community as one and which has been prevalent since the passing of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) is the institution of Khilafat. The last 106 years of the history of the community bear witness to the fact that after the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) passing, just as he stated in his booklet Al Wasiyyat (The Will) members of the community have accepted Khilafat with perfect obedience. Every Ahmadi across the world no matter what his ethnic background or nationality understands very well that adherence to Khilafat on the precepts of Prophethood which was to start after the advent of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) is his biggest duty.
Huzoor said here he did not refer to those who separated in the early years and now do not have any standing, rather the large majority of Ahmadiyya community which understands the status of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and has the insight that in adherence to Khilafat lies its unity, its progress and from it comes the strength to respond to the attacks of enemies of Ahmadiyyat, Islam. This is because Divine help and succour is now associated with the Khilafat of the second phase of Islam.
However, it needs to be understood that mere verbally professing one’s faith does not garner God’s grace. Ayat e Istakhlaf (verse 56 of Surah Al Nur) promises Khilafat to the true believers and gives the glad-tiding of changing their fear in peace and promises to establish them. This is indeed promised to those who pray, worship God and make sacrifices to uphold Unity of God. There are many who say لا الہ الا اللہ (there is none worthy of worship save Allah) but in reality only those appreciate لا الہ الا اللہ who only turn to God in every situation and who do not turn to anyone except God. Each Khilafat Day that we commemorate should draw us towards worship of God, prayer, staying firm on Unity of God as well as gauging our standard of disseminating Unity of God. If our standards in this regard are not rising, then holding conventions, giving speeches, academic discourses and other celebrations mean nothing. What is needed is to understand the spirit of it all. We will understand the reality of Unity of God if we are drawn to prayers and will be made recipients of God’s grace which was promised to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace).
God has drawn our attention to prayer and His worship to stay connected to Khilafat, to absorb Divine blessings, to get rid of our difficulties and to have inner peace and prayer and worship indeed are our real weapons on which we can rely constantly. Temporary ways and means do not bring success. We note that in the historical accounts of Prophets of God success only came through prayer, in particular in history of Islam and uniquely in the time of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and Khulafa e Rashideen (the Rightly Guided Caliphs) triumphs came through prayer and not through worldly strength. It should be remembered however, that in spite of all the Divine promises, sacrifice of life was given and standards of worship were always raised.
Huzoor mentioned by the by that last Friday he had spoken with reference to an Ahmadi whose Shia friend had told him that Ahmadis do not respond to matters appropriately and Huzoor had said that it appeared the Ahmadi friend was also of the same view. Although Huzoor had not mentioned any name, it appears the person understood and wrote to Huzoor to say that it was only his Shia friend’s view and he was not of the same opinion. Huzoor said he does get informed from various sources that people do hold such views. We should remember that all blessings are in prayers, as God has stated: ‘So pray to thy Lord, and offer sacrifice.’ (108:3). It is worship of God and sacrifices that make us recipients of God’s grace. There is no doubt that it is in human nature to be perturbed when trials and tribulations get lengthy. As mentioned in last Friday sermon, in such situations true believers raise the anxious voice of ‘…When will come the help of Allah?…’ (2:215). They say so not out of despair but to draw God’s mercy. They do so by completely submitting and surrendering themselves to God, taking their prayers to their highest point and abiding by high levels of sacrifice. And then, in response, comes the sound: ‘…Yea, surely the help of Allah is nigh.’ (2:215).
God revealed this to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) on different occasions and also manifested this in practice and we too are witness to it and InshaAllah will continue to be witness to it. God’s help comes in specific spheres and of course there is the ultimate magnificent triumph of Divine help and succour which we will witness! The enemy is scheming dangerous schemes. In worldly perspective the situation in Muslim countries, especially in Pakistan is extremely perilous. However, God has power over everything and He is the Best of Planners and He will reduce the enemy’s plans to dust! We need to turn to prayer and to Istighfar (seeking forgiveness of Allah) to remove our anxieties and also to be able to take care of our triumph. God states: ‘Glorify thy Lord, with Hispraise, and seek forgiveness of Him…’ (110:4) We all need to understand this subject and we need to take our prayers to their highest point. Huzoor said that he has mentioned it before that we have a very good appreciation of the spirit of sacrifice but we need to understand the reality of prayers. In order to enjoy the fruits of our sacrifices, we greatly need to elevate the level of our prayers and need to generate that condition in ourselves which God wants. God states: ‘Or, Who answers the distressed person when he calls upon Him, and removes the evil, and makes you successors in the earth? Is there a God besides Allah? Little is it that you reflect.’ (27:63)
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote:
‘Remember, God Almighty is without any care and unless prayer is made abundantly and with pathos, He does not care. A person whose wife or child is unwell or when someone faces intense grief, he becomes very distressed. Unless prayer is sincere and heart-felt and is made in a state of distress it remains ineffective and pointless. It is essential that prayer is made with an anguished heart for it to be accepted, as it is stated: ‘Or, Who answers the distressed person when he calls upon Him…’ (27:63). (Tafseer: The Promised Messiah, vol. III, p. 574)
We need to focus on prayer and worship of God more than ever and we need to make them with heart-felt pathos and we need to draw God’s mercy. Next Huzoor drew attention to some prayers which were first exhorted by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih III (may Allah have mercy on him) at the time of the Jama’at’s centenary and Huzoor also reminded them later at the time of Khilafat centenary. These prayers should neither be forgotten nor decreased; rather they should be made part of our daily lives. In addition we need to adorn our Salat. These prayers are often cited on MTA but Huzoor also mentioned them by way of reminding.
Foremost is Surah Al Fatehah; it should be recited abundantly. Durud (sending blessings and salutations on the Holy Prophet) should also be recited copiously. Then there is the prayer which was revealed to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and should be recited a lot:
‘Holy is Allah and worthy of all praise, Holy is Allah, the Great. O Allah bestow Your blessings on Muhammad and on the people of Muhammad.’
Hazrat Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said: ‘There are two expressions which are very light on the tongue to utter but are very weighty in the balance and are very dear to the Gracious God. And they are: Holy is Allah and worthy of all praise, Holy is Allah, the Great.’ Huzoor said since these phrases are dear to the Gracious God, we need to recite them to attract His mercy.
Then there is the prayer: ‘Our Lord, let not our hearts get perverse after Thou hast guided us; and bestow on us mercy from Thyself; surely, Thou alone art the Bestower.’ (3:9) Hazrat Nawab Begum Sahiba (may Allah be pleased with her) had a dream after the passing away of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) in which he advised her to say this prayer abundantly. When she related her dream to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) he said he would never stop reciting this prayer and will recite it abundantly. He said that while the prayer beseeches for strength of faith, it was also a great prayer to stay connected to Khilafat.
Another prayer that needs to be focussed on is: ‘O our Lord, pour forth steadfastness upon us, and make our steps firm, and help us against the disbelieving people.’ (2:251)
And the prayer: ‘O Allah, we make You a shield against enemies and we take refuge in You from their evils.’ A Tradition relates that when the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) used to sense danger from a body of people, he used to say this prayer.
We should also engage in Istighfar a lot: ‘I beg pardon of Allah, my Lord from all my sins and turn to Him.’
A while ago Huzoor had exhorted to say this prayer in light of a dream: ‘O Lord everything is subservient to You. O Lord, protect us, help us and have mercy on us.’ The prayer cited in last Friday sermon should also be included in regular prayers: ‘Our Lord, forgive us our errors and our excesses in our conduct, and make firm our steps and help us against the disbelieving people.’ (3:148)
The Promised Messiah[as] said: I was praying for the members of my Jama‘at and then for Qadian when the revelation came to me: ‘They have drawn away from the fashion of life’ And ‘Then grind them down a fine grinding.’ The Promised Messiah [as] said: I wondered why the act of grinding has been attributed to me. Then I looked at the prayer which is written on the wall of the Chamber of Prayer which is as follows: ‘Lord, hear my prayer and crush Your enemies and my enemies and fulfil Your promise and help Your servant and show us Your days and sharpen for us Your sword and spare not a single mischief maker out of the disbelievers.’ (Tadhkirah, p. 664, 2009 edition)
Next Huzoor said he would pay tribute to a very dear, sincere, loyal, most useful individual who also had many other great qualities. He was Dr Mehdi Ali Qamar , son of Chaudhry Farzand Ali Sahib. He was martyred in Rabwah on 26 May 2014. He was going to visit the Bahishti cemetery in Rabwah with his wife, one son and a relative at 5 a.m. when two unknown assailants came on a motorbike and shot him. Dr Mehdi Ali was a cardiologist from USA who was visiting Rabwah with his wife and two children for Waqfe Arzi (short-term voluntary service) at Tahir Heart Institute. He was staying at the institute and on the day was about to visit the cemetery after Fajr Salat. As he approached the gate of the cemetery two men appeared on a motor bike and fired at him and fled on the main road. Dr Mehdi was fired eleven times and was martyred on the spot. Inna lillahe wa inna illahi raji’oon.
Dr Shaheed’s family is from district Faisalabad. His father Chaudhry Farzand Ali Sahib took Bai’at in his youth at the hand of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II (may Allah be pleased with him). Following this, his older brother also took Bai’at and the family moved to Rabwah. Dr Shaheed’s maternal grandfather Master Zia ud Din Sahib Shaheed was the first martyr among the martyrs of Rabwah in 1974 during the firing at Sargodha station.
Dr Mehdi Ali was born on 23 December 1963. The day Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib, known as ‘Qamarul Anbiya’ (moon of Prophets) passed away. In light of this his father added the name ‘Qamar’ to Dr Medhi’s name and his maternal grandfather also added the name of Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) to Dr Mehdi’s name. His full name was Mehdi Ali Bashir ud Din Qamar. He received his early education in Rabwah. He was a very intelligent and promising student. When he joined medical school in Faisalabad he faced a lot of antagonism and had to leave. However, he went back to finish his studies. He served at Fazl e Umer hospital, Rabwah from 1989 to 1991.
He immigrated to Canada with his mother where he passed the medical exams and started his internship. He went to Brooklyn University in New York to specialise in cardiology and started working in Columbus, Ohio and settled there. When Huzoor urged doctors to serve at Tahir Heart Institute Dr Mehdi was one of the doctors who devoted voluntary service at the institute. This was his third such visit there. He had also served Jama’at on various other levels.
He was an extremely gentle, compassionate person who never had any disagreements with anyone. His wife says he was extremely gentle and loving with her and always overlooked any errors and took great care of his family. He was extremely affectionate to his children, and gave time to their education and training and had a most obliging temperament. His wife says if she got annoyed at something he would always say to her not to be angry. He was extremely humble. His deportment with his in-laws was very kind. His mother-in-law says that she once stayed with them for five years and she never heard him raise him voice and he always treated her like his mother. He was very hospitable and guests would stay at their place during Jama’at events. He would also fetch guests from the airport. He helped the disadvantaged a great deal.
Dr Mehdi also had artistic flair and was a very good poet. His poetry collection entitled ‘Barg e Khayal’ is in the stages of publication. He was also a skilled calligraphist. He had great love and devotion for Khilafat and always keenly complied when exhorted towards good causes. He gave most generously to donations and financial schemes and donated a large sum towards the mosque in Columbus. Likewise, he donated generously towards the mosque in his ancestral neighbourhood in Rabwah. He was also at the forefront of donating to Tahir Heart Institute. He was intensely keen on calling people to God and was very well read in terms of religious material. Dr Mehdi used to give most effective responses to allegations and objections on YouTube.
Dr Mehdi Ali leaves behind his widow, Wajeeha Mehdi Sahiba and three sons. Abdullah Ali, 15, Hashim Ali, 7 and Asher Ali, 3, who was with him at the time of shooting.