Friday Sermon: Essence of Istighfar and Sattari

 Huzur said that there is not a single human in the world who is bereft of any type of flaws and shortcomings. It is the attribute of Allah of "Sattar" that covers our weaknesses. If man's faults, deficiencies and sins were laid bare, he would find it impossible to save face before anyone at all. He has said we should also engage in Istighfar (seeking forgiveness from Him for our sins) and He will then forgive us of our sins and will conceal our failings and He will listen to our prayers.

The meaning of "Ghafr" [the root word in Arabic for Istighfar] is to cover and to conceal and more or less the same meaning applies to "Sattr".

The Promised Messiah (as) stated that the attribute of God of overlooking's others faults operates by God, despite observing man's faults and sins, concealing his faults until man transgresses beyond limits of moderation. Yet man, without even witnessing another committing a wrongdoing, begins raising a hue and cry about the other person. So reflect on how great is God's attributes of mercy and generousity. If Allah were to hold man to account for everything he does, He would destroy all mankind. However his mercy and favour is all-encompassing and supersedes his punishment.

There are many among us who, instead of concealing the faults of others, go around trying to expose the flaws in others. Yet when anyone speaks ill against them, or they find out from some source that someone has said something about them, they become extremely enraged and furious to the degree that they are prepared to fight or kill that other person. However when they themselves speak ill of others, they will brush it off by simply saying that they had only said it lightly and it did not mean anything.

We should always keep in mind the following statement of the Holy Prophet (sa) that: You should desire for others what you desire for yourself. And so when one see weaknesses in someone, instead of publicising his flaws, they should focus on engaging in Istighfar (seeking forgiveness from Allah for one's sins). To attract the blessings of Allah one should avoid constantly engaging in fault-finding in others and instead scrutinise their own condition. Only then can they attain the mercy and blessings of Allah.

Always remember that if someone's transgressions are causing harm to the Nizaam-e-Jamaat (System of the Community) or are seriously corrupting a section of people, then the matter should be reported to the appointed individuals such as the Ameer (National President) or Sadr (local President). Or you can write to me so that reformation can be initiated. Allah the Almighty does not wish for the system of the Community that He has established, to be ruined.

Huzur said he would also like to draw the attention of those who have been entrusted with Jama'at work, especially those departments tasked with reformation. They must carry out the work of reformation treading extremely carefully and also with immense compassion and sympathy. No one should feel that their shortcomings have been exposed and revealed to others by any office bearer. Allah the Almighty will say that He had given such people the opportunity to serve the Jamaat so that they can reflect the attributes of Allah as much as possible. However such people in reality would be acting in the opposite manner to Allah's attribute of "Sattar" (covering the faults of others) and thereby will become the means of creating anxiety and disorder.

The Holy Prophet (sa) stated that a Muslim is a brother of a fellow Muslim and cannot commit any cruelty or injustice against him and nor does one abandon and disown the other. Regrettably, nowadays we find that the most cruelty and injustice perpetrated against the Muslims is by the Muslims themselves and they are spilling the blood of one another. None of them pays heed to this instruction of the Holy Prophet (sa).

The Holy Prophet (sa) further stated that one who remains occupied in serving his brothers, Allah the Almighty will continue to fulfil his needs and one who alleviates the troubles of a fellow Muslim, Allah the Almighty will lesson one affliction from the afflictions of the Day of Judgment. And, one who covers the sins of a Muslim, Allah the Almighty will cover his sins on the Day of Judgment.

Thus, in order to attain the mercy and benevolence of the Merciful and Benevolent God, it is necessary to cover up and conceal the faults/sins of others. The Holy Prophet (sa) also stated that whoever covers the sins of a Muslim, Allah will cover him his sin on the Day of Judgment. In other words, Allah the Almighty certainly rewards a person who covers the sins of others... Read Full Summary