Excel in Virtues, Morals and Manners
After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta’wwuz, and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) stated: Islamic teachings greatly emphasise practicing good morals and excellent manners at home and in the society at every level. No other religion addresses this matter in such detail. However, unfortunately, it is Muslims, who are generally considered to be at the lowest level in this regard. Non-Muslims criticize them because their practice is contrary to what they preach. Muslims generally claim to love the Holy Prophet (sa) but do not follow the spirit of the teachings of the Holy Prophet (sa). When Almighty God sent the Promised Messiah (as) to remind people of these blessed teachings, Muslims violently rejected him to. This state of theirs should draw the attention of us Ahmadis towards making utmost efforts to inculcate in us, the most excellent of morals. We should try to adopt the highest morals utilising all our faculties, which is also the teaching of Islam and the practical example of which, the Holy Prophet (sa) has established before us. Otherwise, it would be of no benefit for us to be ‘Ahmadis’ or of being called so.
If we look at the practical example of the Holy Prophet (sa), we see astonishing (moral) standards. The Holy Prophet (sa) admonished his wife for mocking the short height of another wife, as this will cause emotional pain to the others, he (sa) advised one wife not to show even the slightest displeasure at any of the other wives over anything they do. The Holy Prophet (sa) advised children to attain high moral standards by not to damage other’s fruit trees by throwing stones at these, if desperate only take the fruit that has already fallen down the tree.’ But even better, pray to God Almighty that you never end up in such a desperate situation. Once a child was eating quickly and moving his hand all over the plate, the Holy Prophet (sa) said, “First, recite the prayer to start in the name of Allah, eat with your right hand and eat from what is right in front of you.” Thus, we should undertake the moral training of children in this manner, so that they come to adopt excellent morals as they become adults.
Furthermore, dishonesty is a sin and truthfulness is a virtue and good moral. The Holy Prophet (sa) has given guidance to instil this (moral quality) in the hearts of children from their very childhood in this manner. A companion narrates an incident of his childhood saying that once, the Holy Prophet (sa) came to our home. Due to my immaturity, a short while later, whilst the Holy Prophet (sa) was still present at home, I was about to leave to play outside. Hence, to stop me from leaving this blessed environment, my mother said, “Come here and stay here. (If you do so) I will give you something.” Upon this, the Holy Prophet (sa) said, “Do you wish to give him something?” My mother replied, “Yes, I will give him a date.” Upon this, the Holy Prophet (sa) said, “If this was not your intention and you merely said this in order to call the child, you would have been guilty of committing a sin as you told a lie.” Thus, in this way even this child became aware of the importance of truthfulness and the abhorrence of dishonesty at this very young age. Once, the Holy Prophet (sa) said to a person that if you are unable to refrain from every vice, then you should refrain from telling lies. You should at least refrain from one vice. Now, we should also assess ourselves as to whether we are upholding such standards. In one of the narrations it has been mentioned that in relation to the greater sins, the Holy Prophet (sa) said, “major sins are Shirk (associating partners with God) and disobedience towards parents.” The person narrating this says that the Holy Prophet (sa) was listing these major sins whilst he was sitting down and leaning against something. He then sat up straight and said, “Listen carefully. It is also Dishonesty and giving false witness.”
The Holy Prophet (sa) elevated the standards of forbearance and patience in his companions. A Bedouin started to urinate in the mosque. People ran towards him to stop him. The Holy Prophet (sa) said, “Leave him alone and pour water over the area he urinated on.’ The Holy Prophet (sa) further said, ‘You have been created to provide ease for people, not to cause them hardships.” Following this, that Bedouin always mentioned this act of kindness of the Holy Prophet (sa).
On one occasion, the Holy Prophet (sa) said, “If you wish to find out whether you are doing something good or bad, you should turn towards your neighbours and see what opinion they have about you.” Following this, the Holy Prophet (sa) said to the leaders, “Your high morals will manifest themselves when you will consider yourselves to be the servants of the nation and when you will serve the public with all your capabilities and capacities.” Thus, the office bearers in our Jama’at should also pay attention towards this matter.
When possessing unbridled power after the conquest of Makkah, the excellence of the morals of the Holy Prophet (sa) shown through. The Holy Prophet (sa) forgave all his enemies, even those who subjected to the bitterest of persecution. This act of forgiveness served as the means for the acceptance of Islam for many (among them).
Mentioning the standards of the highest moral qualities of the Holy Prophet (sa), the Promised Messiah (as) states on one occasion, ‘Addressing the Holy Prophet (sa), Allah the Glorious says: “thou dost surely possess high moral excellences“. Hence, in accordance with this elaboration it means that every form of moral excellence, such as generosity, courage, justice, mercy, benevolence, truthfulness and forbearance etc. (i.e. to tolerate something with forbearance) are found in your character. …., all of these moral qualities are in fact natural conditions and feelings of a person and are can only be labelled as moral qualities when they are manifested on their appropriate and proper occasion and in accordance with a person’s intention, ,,,.’
Mentioning the various circumstances of displaying high moral qualities, the Promised Messiah (as) states: “High morals can be gauged under two circumstances; in times of trials and tribulations and in times of success and prosperity. A person who demonstrates patience and endeavours to acquire the pleasure of Allah the Exalted at times of trials and tribulations, possesses high moral qualities. Furthermore, a person who demonstrated humility and establishes justice in times of success and governance, can also be considered as one who possesses high moral qualities. Thus, both of these circumstances manifest themselves in all their glory in the life our Holy Prophet (sa).”
Commenting on insincere flattery and deceitful politeness while hearts are full of rancour, the Promised Messiah (as) states: “This is not Islamic teaching, as these are not the true Islamic virtues. Instead, high virtue is that whatever you say, it should be heartfelt.” If you are showing compassion, it should come from your heart. If you are showing any other emotion, it should also come from your heart. … As God Almighty says: ‘Verily, Allah enjoins justice, and the doing of good to others; and giving like kindred.'”
This is the best practise: to do justice, say things as they are. Then there are situations where Ehsan (doing good) is required, you should do good. Then going a step further, treat people like a mother treats her children, or a close relative treats his kith and kin. The Promised Messiah (as) states: “this is the best practise and there is guidance for the best practise in Allah’s book.”
Thus, purity of heart is required. You are required to follow the path of Allah’s commandments and pleasure. The Promised Messiah (as) states that “Good morals are the key to other good deeds. Those who do not look after their morals, gradually become useless.” Thus, a man is only of use if he possesses high moral virtues. The Promised Messiah (as) states: “in such an instance, one becomes worse than the dead animal. At least the skin and bones of a dead animal can be used, but a man’s skin is useless. This is the point when he becomes as becoming the most inferior creature. So, remember, improvement of your morals is extremely important as morals are the mother of good deeds.”
If you have good moral virtues, you will be able to do good deeds. How these morals are expressed in day to day life, The Promised Messiah (as) states: “Some people get annoyed when they see a beggar… In the Holy Quran It says ‘do not rebuke the beggar.'” … Virtue is that one should not be angry towards the beggar. Satan’s desire is to keep you from doing good deeds and to make you do evil.”
The Promised Messiah (as) further states: “Reflect on the fact that a virtuous deed generates another virtue and similarly an evil deed is the source of causing another evil. Just as something absorbs another, similarly God Almighty has established this system of assimilation in every action. The system of learning and mastering.” Thus, one good deed leads to the other and one’s capacity to do more good will perpetually increase.
About the treatment of parent, the Promised Messiah (as) advised Sheikh ‘Abdur Rahman sahib Qadiani ( whose parents were Sikh): “You should pray for him. … One should demonstrate their good manners and pure example more than ever before to prove the truthfulness of Islam to them.” The standard of true Islam is such that its follower is able to achieve high morals through it and as a result, they become distinguished individuals. Through you, perhaps God will inculcate the love of Islam in their hearts. Islam does not prohibit one from serving their parents. You should show utmost obedience to them in any way possible in worldly affairs that do not damage the faith. Serve them with your heart and soul.”
“Morals are what distinguish human beings from animals” elaborating upon that, the Promised Messiah (as) states: “Firstly, animals cannot differentiate between a condition and quantity and it takes whatever is in front of it. … Secondly, animals do not understand the difference between what is lawful and unlawful.” The abode of humans who usurp something and devour it unlawfully is hell. The Promised Messiah (as) states about practice of morals by human beings: “If they do not fulfill the rights of Allah and do not accept his magnificence, do not worship Him, do not pay attention to his commandments, do not strive to obtain his pleasure, then these are not good morals. If they do not fulfill the rights of human beings and usurp their wealth unlawfully and try to cause them harm and demonstrated bad morals towards them then this is also against virtue.” The Promised Messiah (as) further says: “Alas! There are very few people who focus on the aim and objective of a human being’s life.”
Then, arrogance is another vice which deprives one from performing virtuous deeds, rather, it is a source of God’s displeasure. The Promised Messiah (as) says: “… one should safeguard against the subtlest types of arrogance. Sometimes wealth develops arrogance. …At times, people get arrogance due to family lineage and tribe. … Every so often knowledge becomes a source of arrogance.” In short, arrogance exists in many forms and they all deprive a person from attaining virtuous deeds and prevent people from benefiting others. One should protect himself from all of these.
The Promised Messiah (as) then states: “No person is bestowed with the power to do moral good, save the opportunity to do virtuous deeds. To abandon ones morals is vice and a sin.” The Promised Messiah (as) states: “Man is granted the opportunity to carry out virtuous deeds.” He further stated: “To abandon ones morals is vice and a sin. If you forget your moral values, in turn they will lead you to vice and sin. At the same time, the opportunity to perform virtuous deeds will also diminish.” The Promised Messiah (as) says: “I advise my community that whosoever shows a change in their moral behaviour to their neighbour, i.e. of what they were before and how they are now, then it is as if he has displayed a miracle and through this they can be a positive influence on their neighbour.”
The Promised Messiah (as) then says: “… if an individual enters this fold (i.e. joins the Jamaat) and does not uphold the honour and respect of this community by committing an act that is contrary to its values, then in the eyes of God Almighty he is culpable because he not only ruins himself, rather he has a negative impact on others and becomes the reason for them to remain bereft of the good fortune of guidance.”
If people see corrupt examples, this will distance them from the Jamaat. Thus, you should seek the succour of God with all your might, and with all your strength and courage you should strive to remove your weaknesses. The Promised Messiah (as) continues by saying: “Until man does not strive and seek help through prayers, he will not be able to remove the stain from his heart.” Therefore, whether it is our Jama’at or any other person, they can only bring about a change in their morals when they strive and pray, otherwise it is not possible.
May God Almighty enable us to follow the noble example of the Holy Prophet (sa) and better our morals in every aspect and in all situations and circumstances. We have accepted the Imam of this age, therefore we should always be cognisant of the fact that no action of ours should be such that dishonours the Holy Prophet (sa) and the Promised Messiah (as. Moreover, we should constantly seek to raise the standards of our morals and for this we should prostrate and supplicate before God Almighty and seek His help to achieve this.
After the Friday prayers, I shall lead a funeral prayer in absentia of Sheikh Abdul Majid Sahib, son of Sheikh Abdul Hameed Sahib from Defence Society, Karachi. He passed away on 15th February 2018 at the age of 88. Inna lillah Wa Inna ilahi rajioon. His grandson writes: “Right from his childhood he had a special relationship with God Almighty due to being in the company of the elders in Qadian. Once, he did not perform well in his English matriculation exams and he was on his way from the direction of the mosque and Hazrat Mualana Sher Ali Sahib was coming out from the mosque. He met Maulana Sahib and he enquired about the exam and he replied that the exam did not go well. Maulana Sher Ali Sahib raised his hands and immediately began to pray and then gave the good news that he will pass. The prayer was heard in such manner that he passed in every exam after that.” When Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV (rh) launched MTA and he immediately donated ten million rupees. … “When the incidents in Dar-ul-Zikr and Model Town occurred on 28th May 2010, he donated ten million rupees towards Sydena Bilal Fund.” Similarly, he donated very large sums of money for the publication of the Holy Quran. He lived his life with great simplicity. May God Almighty shower him with His blessings and elevate his status and grant patience and courage to his grandchildren and daughter and may He enable them to continue his good deeds. After the prayers, I shall lead his funeral prayer in absentia.