The Essence of Unity of Man and Unity of God
Friday Sermon delivered on 7th, June 1991 in Trinidad
After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz, and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV stated:
I am facing a dilemma today because I have been told that many among you cannot understand Urdu.
The dilemma is that ever since I have left Pakistan around 7 years ago plus some months, I have always delivered my sermons in Urdu for the sake of those Ahmadis left in Pakistan who have this link between me and them and who are so accustomed to hearing me directly on Fridays. Also there are other Ahmadis in India and Kashmir particularly who speak and understand Urdu well, also a large number of Ahmadis who reside in Europe, around 30 to 40 thousand of them understand Urdu but do not understand English, so that is why my Sermons have always been in Urdu but fortunately there have been simultaneous arrangements for translation in English in England and other European countries, and in America and Canada also, there are always simultaneous translations but here there is no such arrangement.
So, in view of this, I have been persuaded very strongly that I make just one exception today and deliver my sermon in English.
If I do that and I think I should do that, then I leave the series of lectures on Namaz (Prayer) and the Quranic Prayers, particularly which are preserved for the mankind with a special purpose. I have been speaking in the past and have been giving a series of lectures on the Quranic prayers, their significance, their background, and how well they can be utilized by us today, but for today I think I shall have to depart from that practice also, so that when I speak again in Urdu then I will return to the same series and it should continue unbroken in the same language.
Jumu’ah is a very special institution in Islam. It is a gathering much larger than 5 daily prayers. In the 5 daily prayers Muslims belonging to a certain area which is smaller in size who have access to the Mosques and can go 5 times to a Mosque. But once in every week it is expected that much larger audience is drawn to the Mosque, those who belong to one town or if the town is too big, at least much larger area of that town, who could get together at such Mosques which are built for this particular purpose, to accommodate people, that is a larger gathering, for Jumu’ah day. They are called Jamia Mosques.
Now the reason behind this is that Islam wants to unite mankind. Togetherness in Islam has a very important message.
That is why the size of the congregations goes on increasing, every week there is Jumu’ah, and every year there are two Eids. And in Eid it is not just the inhabitants of one town or one city who say prayer behind one Imam, but it is the entire area which gathers around one central Mosque but the Mosque cannot accommodate them, so they gather, not in the mosque but, outside in the open places and there the Eid prayer is held.
So, a larger congregation symbolizes the Message of Islam that you must remain united, then once in a life time you are expected to go to Pilgrimage to Mecca to indicate the universality of Islam.
The oneness is not just on the smaller regions or the small scale but it is on a much larger scale where all of humanity is represented and you get together in one place in the world that is Mecca and show, demonstrate to the world that we are one. The whole mankind is one. There is no difference in color or creed or geographical entities.
Man is a servant of God where ever he is born, whatever color he is born in, and whatever language he speaks, so this is all symbolic language, to repetitively remind you that you belong to one God. That is the meaning of unity.
On this I have been speaking to various gatherings in the world and I have been emphasizing this message not only to Ahmadis but sometimes to Non-Muslims as well. When I speak to them, people perhaps naively consider unity to be just a matter of belief, something which has to do with our thinking alone and has nothing to do with our practice or way of life. It is not so, if that was just a matter of belief then would not be counted among five practices.
People know this and yet they do not know this.
How strange it is that all Muslims believe that Kalima is a part of five practices, Kalima is not part of the five beliefs. The five beliefs are Allah, Angels, The Books, The Prophets and to believe in the day of judgment but five practices in Islam begin with Kalima so that means it is not just a message, it is not just an ideology. It is a practice. What is that practice? That is what I am pointing out to you. This message is delivered home five times a day to Muslims on a smaller scale, once every Jumu’ah and on a much larger scale, once every Eid or twice every Eid and then once in a life time.
The universality of man, the oneness of man is demonstrated so completely and comprehensively that no shadow of doubt should be left in any mind that Islam wants you not only to believe in oneness of God but also in oneness of man.
Man must be united under one God, that is the purpose of Islam, now this is not just an Ideology as I have emphasized it involves many more things which automatically emerge from this. If, to unite man is one of the fundamental messages of Islam, then anything which disunites man should be considered non-Islamic. And if you go further into it, delve deeper into this concept then you realize that any harsh word spoken to a friend, to a brother, to a sister, to a neighbor, to any one which puts distances between him and you, which creates bitterness in the society, which disunites man, which throws people apart, a harsh word, a harsh act, an unjust act, they are all against unity.
How could you be believing in one God and in Kalima while you are acting a life exactly contrary to your beliefs. This is a very profound message which was given once by The Holy Prophet (sa ) to Hazrat Abu Hurraira (ra) in a form which he could not understand, it was too profound for him.
Once Huzoor (sa) addressing Abu Hurraira (ra) said: whoever declares that there is no God but Allah he would most certainly enter heavens, enter the paradise.
Abu Hurraira (ra) took up this message and went from street to street announcing at the top of his voice look here be happy there is a great glad tiding for you. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) has declared that all you have to do is to say to enter the Heavens and no more. Hazrat Umar (ra) was passing by and upon hearing the message grabbed Abu Hurraira (ra) by the throat and dragged him back to The Holy Prophet (sa) and complained to The Holy Prophet (sa) that Abu Hurraira (ra) is doing this, what will happen to the people, what will they begin to do after this?
The Holy Prophet (sa) said to Umar (ra) to leave Abu Hurraira (ra) alone. He said I did say to him but I know what you mean, I know people will not understand. So, let it be left at that. What was the message? This is what I am discussing today. The message was far more profound than a simple man like Abu Hurraira could understand.
The message was further explained by The Holy Prophet (sa) in many of his sermons, in many of his traditions and the essence of that message is that اﷲ اﻻ ﻻاﻟہ is not just a matter of belief but a matter of the conduct of a whole lifetime.
Anyone who acts contrary to this, anyone who behaves in a manner as to create distances between family members, children born out of same mothers or relatives or next-door neighbors or people at large.
Anyone who works contrary to the unity of man, in reality does not believe in .
This is the message and as such once The Holy Prophet (sa) explained that there are two words having the same root letters رح م which means Raham as well as Rehim.
Raham means mercy and Rahman as you know God to be (Merciful). That name of Allah is derived from the same three letters رح م but Rehim means a completely different thing. Rehim means the uterus, in which children develop in the womb of their mothers. That human organ that is known as uterus or womb, is also derived from the same three letters رح م and this is pronounced Rehim instead of Raham. So, The Holy Prophet (sa) once pointed out the word Rahman and the Uterus are derived from the same source to give you a special message, whoever breaks the ties born out of relationship to a mother he also breaks his ties with Rahman Lord, God.
Fundamentally if you cut at the root you cut the entire tree and both relationships connected through Rehim and relationship with God belong to the same root, cut at one root and other also is severed.
So, this is again a message of unity and the message tells us that the unity begins at home first. In the families its highly important that we behave in a manner as to improve the family ties and preserve the family units as healthy and wholesome units, which create peace for mankind. Unless the family units are strengthened and unless family ties are protected. It is impossible for a people who have broken families to bring mankind to one unified entity. So all this is a part of our beliefs and beliefs turn into practices. So, see how profoundly The Holy Prophet (sa) understood the Attributes of Allah and how he translated them into messages for us. Rahman is the name of God which stands supreme because the Holy Quran says the word Rahman is Rahma/Mercy of Allah covers everything and this Attribute of God is so strong that it is overwhelmingly more emphatic and stronger than the rest of His Attributes. So this again delivers a message to mankind.
As Muslims we must stress Rahmaniyat, we must stress a conduct in life where we are benign to others and where we show kindness to mankind, that would be the means of unification of man. It is not just a theory, it is not just a dischanted attitude. If you further study the teachings of The Holy Prophet (sa) you will be surprised how united all the branches of his teachings are and whatever he says ultimately converges into one single theme.
For instance, in another place He says that he who does not show Raham, that is mercy to the people of Allah, on the servants of Allah He has created, Allah does not show mercy to him. So the same message which was first delivered in relation to mother’s children now is delivered in relation to the whole mankind.
The unifying word remains to be the same Raham. So try to understand, it is a very profound message when he spoke of Rahami relationship. It was not just a limited teaching applying to homes, applying to strengthening the ties between the children born of the same mother. Apparently it seems to be just that but when you further study The Holy Prophet (sa) traditions of his messages then you are amazed at the depth and width of his wisdom. How beautifully and how profoundly he understood God and how he related Allah’s Attribute to human affairs. So to begin with, he says strengthen the ties relating to your close relationships through your mothers and then he enlarges the same subject with reference to the same Attribute of God, Rahman, to the entire mankind. He says whoever treats other human beings without Raham, Allah will not show Raham to him. What a great teaching and what an important teaching this is? This is the meaning of ?. Someone who claims that there is no God but Allah, who believes in the unity of God in all its depth and width and breadth, in all that it comprises of, if he understands unity and practices unity, that is the message then he will most certainly go to Paradise.
So to go to Paradise is not just a matter of claims or professions, it is a matter of much deeper understanding of the message of Islam and translating that understanding into practicing this message.
Again talking of Paradise you will be surprised that The Prophet (sa) relating to mothers also in other matters, tells you that to enter Paradise is through entering from under the feet of your mothers.
There is a doorway which leads to Paradise but it lies under the feet of your mothers. So the whole teaching is so well organized and well connected, all these are different parts of a much bigger whole. So Ahmadis have been blessed by Allah that He sent Hazrat Masih Ma’oud Al-Imam Al-Mahdi in this age. And the wisdom of Islam was revealed to him in a manner that we saw Islam as if it was reborn. It was given a new life. The same other Mullahs who oppose you, who read the Holy Quran, who read the traditions, but just skip along the surfaces. They don’t know what they are reading, they don’t understand the message. It was left to Hazrat Masih Ma’oud (as), who was guided by Allah, who delved deeper into the wonders of Islam, into the wisdom of Islam and brought it back to us.
So we must be grateful to Allah that He has granted us this great opportunity to accept the message of The Truth which He sent through the servant of The Holy Prophet (sa) in this age. A servant indeed but a perfect servant. A servant who lost his own identity completely in his master. That was the reason why he was chosen to lead the world, that is the meaning of Ahmadi. So when we talk of these things I assure you we learnt this from Hazrat Masih Ma’oud (as). If you read his writings you would understand true Islam as it was revealed to The Holy Prophet (sa). So once we have been re-informed, once we have been reinstructed we have been reeducated, it doubles our responsibility to act upon the message.
Now when I say that, I have in view many small petty differences which you have from time to time among yourself, which sometimes are reported to me and they leave me deeply disturbed. I am cut asunder. I am so pained. I wonder what is happening, I wish to come over to you and tell you that this is not the way you are expected to behave. Small things must not put you apart. You have been created to rejoin the world, to strengthen the joints that join the various entities of man. You have come to unify and not to disintegrate. So if over small things you fight with each other, you misunderstand each other, you will fall apart, you begin to build small mosques of your own in the name of God, and yet make such mosques with a purpose to serve a group or a family, then this is not Islam. The Holy Quran speaks with the strongest condemnation of this tendency. What was Masjid-e- Zarrar?
Masjid-e-Zarrar was a mosque built apparently for the sake of God yet it was built for the sake of creating differences between one section of Muslim society and other sections of Muslim Society. So, what could be the holier purpose in life than to build Allah’s home, Allah’s houses, yet if the intentions are wrong and the intentions are not to enforce unity but to create disintegration then even this holiest purpose becomes the unholiest.
So I beseech you, I advise you from the bottom of my heart to maintain this unity in the light of what I have told you, to respect this unity, to realize that unity of God will mean nothing to God if you are not united and if you do not always make an effort to unite first your own brothers and then the rest of the mankind.
So the message is very profound and very important. Hazrat Musleh Ma’oud (ra) once wrote a poem on this subject. He said “those who want my love, those who want me to love them, they should behave like great people, like people above small petty things.”
He goes on developing the theme and says “that those who fight with each other, who pickup quarrels for small insults whether they are meant or not, sometime the insults are just imaginary, nobody meant to hurt you, who cannot forgive their brothers, who think small and act small, who sow the seed of discontent”. Having developed this theme he says “such people are not mine. I don’t belong to them. They don’t belong to me because God has made me for big things and I cannot descend to such depths as to love such people who disintegrate the society. I have nothing to do with them. So if you care, at all, for my love, for my regard then behave in a manner that I willy-nilly love you.
I love those who are noble minded, who have broader visions, who have greater capacity to forget and to live in harmony with others even if they are offended.
They know how to forgive, they know how to forget, and yet despite the fact that they are the ones who have been offended they seek forgiveness from their offenders instead of waiting for them to come to their doors and knock at their doors and say please forgive us. Those who have been offended they take the initiative in their own hands, they go and ask forgiveness of those who have offended them.” Now, this is a strange teaching but this is the teaching of Hazrat Masih Ma’oud (as) as he says “Even if you are right, for the sake of God learn to seek forgiveness from those who have transgressed you, like as if you have offended them and as it you were in the wrong.”
Now I have thought over this instructions of Hazrat Masih Ma’oud (as) for years and I think there cannot be a better formula to bring warring sections of human society together, to bring those brothers together who over small things get angry with each other and sometimes for weeks after weeks, even for months, do not speak to each other. Who fall apart over small things and then their families fall apart. Some time they also fall apart from the Jama’at just because they think they were offended by the Missionary in-charge or by some office bearers.
Sometimes they stop going to the mosques for real or imaginary offences. Now such people I have been dealing with them many a times in my life. I used to travel a lot in Pakistan and have been to so many villages, traveled far and wide and everywhere I went I found some people of that type, who are over-sensitive about their tribes, and they go on quarrelling with each other, for things said or unsaid. So whenever I dealt with such people I knew the answer. They insist that we are right and he is wrong. Why should we ask forgiveness from him. And when you go to the other party he says we are right and he is wrong. Why should we go first to seek forgiveness from the persons who has robbed us of our right. Hazrat Masih Ma’oud’s (as) instruction always came to my rescue. So I asked them many times, repeatedly are you sure that you are right and your brother is wrong? They say of course, we are sure. I said then it is your responsibility to go first to him because the leader you have accepted, the leader of this age Created by God Himself, he requires of you that if you are right you go to your brother who is in the wrong and seek forgiveness from him .
Now this leaves no options for a person who has got any regard for Hazrat Masih Ma’oud (as) but to come to terms with his brothers with whom he has fallen out. What better formula could there be than this? So whenever you come across any Ahmadi who is angry at something with someone, whether he is wrong or not is a different issue, apply the same formula to him. Tell him are you really right? and if he says yes, then you tell him this is what Hazrat Masih Ma’oud (as) says, and to prove that you are right you must take the initiative and seek forgiveness of your brother. It is a beautiful teaching, it can unite a warring society, and once somebody seeks forgiveness of his brother even if he is right, the unification of erstwhile angry brothers becomes even stronger.
I have noticed this that to be angry, of course it happens, but to become friends after you have been angry sometimes strengthens the ties of friendship much more strongly than before. Such people make up for the past grievances and try to appease each other and help each other and be kinder to each other. That is the one advice in the name of unity which I render to you and as I have been pointing out repeatedly, unity is all important. It is not just a theme, it is not just a doctrine. It is a way of life, it is a practice.
Without practicing unity you cannot be a true believer in the Unity of God. So unite together say nothing to anger your brothers or sisters, even if someone hurts you be magnanimous enough to forgive. Even if you are right, take the first step towards the house of your brother who has angered you and seek forgiveness.
This is not a difficult advice. It is heaven on earth. Practice it. And then you will see your life will turn into a glorious life of peace and understanding and love. That is what we must create within ourselves before we think of providing the Paradise for the rest of the society .
Homes are falling apart everywhere in the world, the society is disintegrating everywhere in the world. You have heard of United Nations but if you truly observe the behavior of the United Nations you can find it only to be a body of disunited nations. No more no less. You are the people raised by God to create a united nations in the sense that the Holy Quran wants to create in the world. So be united among yourselves, love each other then you can say to the world. “Love for all hatred for none”. Without unity this is mere slogan. If we privately nourish hatred among our brothers, if we abhor certain people, certain families and we do not have that love in our heart for our own brothers and sisters. What is this hypocrisy, declaring to the world “Love for all hatred for none”, that is not Islam, that is not a belief in the unity of God. May Allah Bless you and help you understand this message and practice it.
The world needs it, Ahmadiyyat needs it, if you are progressing by a pace of 10 paces in a year, if you get united you will proceed by 100 or even 1000 paces per year. This is the fruit of unification. Those who are disunited they can never progress. Their energies are wasted one against the other. They cannot make real progress in the world. They cannot leave a lasting impression on the people around them. So be united and travel together, march forward to progress and pray to Allah that He keep you united generation after generation and then you will see Inshallah, with The Grace of Allah, that the Pace of your progress will become hundred even thousand times greater than before. Allah Bless you.
With these words I finish this sermon with the hope that you have understood the message, I have repeated this so many times, in so many ways, I don’t think anyone among you is left without knowing what I wanted to say. Believe in the unity and act in the unity of God that is the way to Heaven. It is the only way to Heaven.
Allah Bless you.
We will say Asr Prayers together with Jumu’ah because I am on journey and so are many other people.