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Friday Sermon: Worship, Sadaqat and Istighfar

 Today, Huzur delivered his Friday Sermon on the extremely perilous state of world affairs, and how Istighfar (seeking forgiveness from Allah) and giving Sadaqah (financial sacrifice/alms) can help avert Divine punishments and catastrophe.

Huzur said that today anti-Islamic forces are laying the blame on Islam for the disorder and strife prevalent in the world. Of course it is true that some so-called Muslim groups are perpetrating absolute atrocities in both the Muslim and non-Muslim world. However it is also true that there has been a deliberate ploy to create such a predicament amongst Muslims. Indeed, certain self-serving Muslims are the most to blame for causing harm to the name of Islam. Generally people in the world also count Ahmadi Muslims amongst the overall population of Muslims and thus Ahmadis are also targeted for criticisms, whereas those familiar with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community know we only promote peace and love. However many attribute the same perception to us as the image they see being painted in the media regarding Muslims in general.

Further, Nationalist parties across Europe are gaining strength who do not want to listen to reason, and the state of affairs in the USA is also evident to everyone. As Ahmadis we have to face hardships on two fronts: as Muslims living in the West, and as Ahmadis in Muslim countries where we are oppressed for being Ahmadis. In Pakistan we are persecuted under a cruel law which gives free license to the Muslim clergy against us. However now in Algeria similar circumstances have arisen and the justice system there has mirrored that of Pakistan. At least 16 innocent Ahmadis have been imprisoned in Algeria on baseless accusations.

So what should an Ahmadi so in all of this? We need to give great emphasis to worship, Istighfar (seeking forgiveness from Allah) and to Sadaqah (financial sacrifice/giving alms). This is the way to come into the refuge of Allah the Almighty and stir his mercy. Huzur said that in previous sermons he has expounded on prayer and worship – whilst today he would focus on Sadaqah (giving alms) and on Istighfar (seeking forgiveness from Allah).

Man often neglects giving due justice to Sadaqah and Istighfar, and for example generally only when faced with a personal difficulty he or she will give a little Sadaqah (alms). Allah the Almighty has enjoined us that if we give attention to Sadaqah and Istighfar then He will remove our difficulties and anxieties and reward us with nearness to Him. The Holy Quran states:

Know they not that Allah is He Who accepts repentance from His servants and takes alms, and that Allah is He Who is Oft-Returning with compassion, and is Merciful? (9:104)

The Promised Messiah (as) has explained that "Sadaqah" is derived from "Sidq" which means that one who gives alms in the way of Allah displays a relationship of "Sidq" (truthfulness and sincerity) with Him. Secondly the Promised Messiah (as) says is prayer, which should create hurt-burning passion and depth of feeling within one.

Huzur says, thus Istighfar is also a type of Prayer. When engaging in Istighfar it should be done with agony and passion in one's heart. Just saying "Astaghfirullah, Astaghfirullah" superficially or paying lip service to it whilst not even really focusing on God when saying it, will not benefit you at all, unless it is done with heart-felt zeal and truly with your weaknesses in view. What happens when a person gives Sadaqah (financial sacrifice) in the way of Allah purely to attain His mercy and also pledges to strive to his utmost to avoid transgressing. This has been conveyed by Allah the Almighty through the Holy Prophet (sa) who informed us that God said: Tell my servants that when they advance one step towards me, I move two steps towards them. And when they walk rapidly towards me, I rush towards them... Read Full Summary