- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 29, 2004

The following is a sermon (khutba) given Friday by Imam Daud A. Hanif at Bait-ur-Rehman Mosque.

[Our annual convention] is a time to share true teachings, wisdom and love of Islam with the community. This is a time to pay more attention to the rights of our neighbors.

Islam teaches us obtaining of inner peace first by having peace with God; then only one can afford peace to the others. Achievement of inner peace is possible through self-purification, which needs a lot of struggle, and that is why it is called the greatest jihad in Islam. Our conventions are geared toward this end.

The 56th U.S.A. convention is one of the thousands of conventions held annually throughout the world for spiritual advancement, unity, recognition, cohesion, caring and sharing under the leadership of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community caliph (may Allah help him).

The founder of the community and Promised Messiah (may God be pleased with him) said, and I quote: “On December 27, 1892, a conference of all my loving and sincere friends will be held in Qadian. The most important objective of this conference is to enable all sincere friends to derive spiritual blessings to increase their knowledge and, with the help and succor of almighty Allah, to promote a deeper spiritual insight among them.”

Similarly, an important objective of the conference is to consider ways of expressing increased spiritual sympathy and consideration for the people of Europe and America.

Dear brethren, be certain that Allah is preparing these nations to join our community. Almighty Allah does not cause the sincerity of anyone to go in vain.

The conference should not be treated like an ordinary worldly conference. It is an event based solely on the support of the true faith and propagation of the religion of Islam.

Allah almighty Himself has laid down the foundation stone of the community. He has prepared nations to join it in the near future. This has been promised by the One who is all-powerful. Nothing is impossible for Him.

The time is coming — indeed it is very near — that the faith of Islam will be completely cleansed of the people with tendencies towards worship of nature and superstitious beliefs of those who mix their own ideas with the teachings of the holy Koran.

Almighty Allah will firmly establish the straight path for the followers of Islam; the path that is shown by the holy Koran, the path that was demonstrated to the companions of the Holy Prophet, the path that the truthful, the martyrs and the righteous have always traveled. This will be so. This will certainly be so. Let him who has ears, listen. Blessed are those who are guided to the right path.

God has granted great progress to our community and it has spread all over the world.

Our community’s U.K. convention this year was a very special one. I cannot give you all its details. Nevertheless, I would conclude my sermon by giving you the gist of Huzoor’s (caliph) concluding address as he has told the community about the means of achieving eternal pleasure, the closeness and love of Allah.

Huzoor said that an individual usually progresses through three stages in his/her life — namely childhood, adulthood and old age. Whereas one does not have full appreciation of their action during their childhood, on the other hand one may not have the strength to carry out all the good deeds in their old age. It is therefore only the adulthood, where one becomes independent and has the strength to carry out whatever they like. Hence, the standards one is capable of reaching in the middle phase of life are not achievable at any other time. This is why this period of life will be under the most scrutiny on the Day of Judgment.

Anyone who is careless at this time in his or her life is heading towards the punishment of hell. On the other hand, if one makes a true effort they are paving the way for a good end; even if there is a slack in their old age, Allah may forgive them due to their virtues when they were younger. Thus the true righteousness and cleansing of spirit can only be attained during adulthood.

However, a good end is not possible with human efforts alone. It still requires the mercy of Allah. There are three essentials to achieve this objective: prudent planning, prayers and the company of the righteous.

Company of the righteous is also essential for self-purification. May God almighty enable us all to follow these instructions, ameen. Let us remember Huzoor’s advice and prepare fully for our forthcoming convention.

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