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Friday Sermon: Seeking the pleasure of AllahDecember 8th, 2017
After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta'wwuz, and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Ameer-ul-Mu'mineen (aba) recited verse 15 of Surah Aal-e-'Imran and then stated: The translation of this verse is as follows: 'Beautified for men is the love of desired things — women and children, and stored-up heaps of gold and silver, and pastured horses and cattle and crops. That is the provision of the present life; but it is Allah with Whom is an excellent home.' (3:15)
Allah the Exalted has described the state of those who abandon God the Exalted. The acquisition of this world becomes their only goal. When man forgets Allah the Exalted, he is seized by Satan. All these things are created by God Almighty and they are among the blessings of Allah, from which one should derive benefit. The Promised Messiah (as) sates: "Remember that it is not at all the will of God that you completely cut yourselves off from this world. Rather His will is: [Arabic] that is 'He indeed truly prospers who purifies his soul.' He further says: "Do undertake trade, farming, employment or craftsmanship. Undertake whatever pleases you. However, endeavour to restrain your nafs [i.e. one's desires] from disobeying God the Exalted and undertake such purification that these matters do not make you unmindful of Him." At another occasion the Promised Messiah (as) stated: "The [fulfilment of] of the rights of the self is permissible but transgressions of the self are not." Thus, a believer should always keep these words before him so that the love of material objects does not grow to such an extent that it makes one forget God.
Shahwat means an intense desire or yearning for something and a constant worry regarding it. It also denotes a thing or a goal, which is merely based on selfish desires, filth and something or someone with an increased sense of lust can also be described using [the word] shahwat. Thus, when Allah states [in the aforementioned verse] that the desire of such things has been placed in the hearts of people, it does not signify that this love and desire comes from Allah, these satanic desires as they distant one from God. This is something we commonly observe amongst worldly people. For the sake of acquiring wealth, worldly statuses and for the sake of having unlawful relationships with women, these people cross all bounds. Even if they marry, they do so in order to acquire wealth. They desire to find a wealthy wife. Similarly, in other engagements they merely desire worldly gains. It is unfortunate that though Allah the Exalted endowed Muslims with a beautiful and pure teaching and also warned them to safeguard themselves from these very pursuits, we observe that the majority of the Muslim world is engrossed in pursuing these worldly objects and have forgotten the purpose of their creation.
In order to accumulate wealth, leaders acquire a seat in the government by raising slogans of serving the general public. However, after this, they snatch everything away with their two hands in a manner which is beyond comprehension. The scholars are less concerned about the religious and moral education of the public. Rather, their real objective is to make the public follow them in the name of religion and by acquiring a seat in the government, exploit the government by accumulating wealth and properties. They cry out the name of Allah, however, their actions do not display the slightest fear of Allah the Exalted.
What is the reason for Muslims countries, are in such a dire state despite having wealth and resources. Now, it is said that Saudi Arabia is a wealthy country. However, even there, poverty is continuously on the rise. Despite being oil rich, poverty is exceeding all bounds. Only the conditions of the princes, the rich and the leaders are favourable. They spend several million dollars in a single day. May Allah the Exalted grant wisdom to these leaders, kings and all these people who are embezzling, so that, instead of accumulating wealth, they become those who utilise and spend their wealth in the correct manner. By doing this, they will not only acquire the pleasure of God the Exalted, but will also gain authority in worldly terms. In this way, instead of following orders from non-Muslim powers and acting according to their wishes, the non-Muslim governments will begin to listen to them.
In recent days there has been a great uproar since the president of USA has ordered for the embassy to be moved to Jerusalem and has declared it to be the recognised capital. In practical terms all Israeli offices are already present there. However, the outside world had not recognised and acknowledged it as such. Now, following this decision there is protest against it throughout the world. However, all this commotion and disorder and opposition from certain government is a result of the weakness of Muslims. Saudi Arabia is now declaring that the decision of the American president is not at all acceptable but they have been colluding with the US against Iran and have relied on US support for their sustained attack on Yemen. For the sake of acquiring temporary worldly provisions, they abandoned the commandments of God the Exalted. Subsequently, this was going to be the imminent outcome of disobeying the commandments of Allah the Exalted, which we are currently observing.
The Promised Messiah (as) has given the analogy of a person whose sole pursuit is to get the benefits of this world is like a man with Pruritus', who gets a sense of relief by incessantly itching himself. But this only gives him temporary relief while damage his skin, scarring him and getting him to bleed profusely.
God has mentioned this subject in another place in the following manner: [Arabic] (57:21). That is, 'Know that the life of this world is only a sport and a pastime, and an adornment, and a source of boasting among yourselves, and of rivalry in multiplying riches and children. This life is like the rain the vegetation produced whereby rejoices the tillers. Then it dries up and thou seest it turn yellow; then it becomes broken pieces of straw. And in the Hereafter there is severe punishment, and also forgiveness from Allah, and His pleasure. And the life of this world is nothing but temporary enjoyment of deceitful things.'
Hence, it is the duty of a believer to seek forgiveness and acceptance of Allah Almighty instead of being proud of worldly possessions and devoting all their efforts seeking such things. They should not destroy their worldly lives and life after death by acting like a patient who is afflicted with pruritus.
While speaking about the provisions and condition of this worldly life, in one of the gatherings, the Promised Messiah (as) stated: "A person's wishes are fulfilled to the extent of their efforts towards abstaining from worldly desires." That is the struggle to abstain from worldly [immoral] desires. The Promised Messiah (as) further says: "There is fire in the heart of those who wish to abstain from obtaining [worldly] objects and they are engulfed in this predicament. One can only find contentment in this world by removing this constant struggle [for obtaining material possessions]." One should not chase after worldly pursuits beyond that which necessary [to survive].
The Promised Messiah (as) says: "Once, a man was riding a horse. He saw a beggar who was wearing clothes that barely covered him. The horseman asked the beggar: 'Good sir, how are you?' The beggar's response was: 'Just like a person, whose all desires are fulfilled?' The horseman was astonished at this response and asked: 'How can all your desires be fulfilled?' The beggar responded: 'When one forsakes all their desires, then it is as though they have attained them all." The Promised Messiah (as) says: "In short, when a person wants to obtain everything, then it becomes a source of discomfort for them, however, when someone is content and forsakes everything, then it feels as if they have attained everything."
The Promised Messiah (as) says: "Deliverance and salvation is when a person feels joy and not sorrow. A life of distress is not good in this life or the next." He further says: "This life will nevertheless come to an end because it akin to pieces of ice. Even if you keep it secure in cases and protect it by wrapping it in clothes, it will continue to melt." The Promised Messiah (as) says: "Human beings are careless during their adolescent years and forget about death." Likewise, the one in power thinks that this state [of power] will last forever. He continues to commit evil deeds and eventually when he comes to the realisation of his deeds, he is unable to do anything about it. Hence, we should see the years of one's youth as a treasure."
The Promised Messiah (as) states: "the only thing is that one must come to realize that the period of old age is a difficult time and in that time even close friends wish for that individual to die, yet prior to their death, one's strengths abandon him." Regarding life itself the Promised Messiah (as) states: ". Despite all this, when one is youthful and full of energy, when it is the time to earn money and he has the strength to do so, one remains oblivious to what will happen to him in the future. At times when he realises that his life passed by in vain. It is during this moment [of realisation] that he remembers that it would have been better if he had followed the commandments of God Almighty and lived his life according to them, instead of being engulfed in the world and neglecting God Almighty."
In some religions people make physical goddesses and idols but some people take worldly objects such as children, power and authority as partners with God Almighty. Then there are friendships or like the example I gave that some nations wish to seek the protection of other powerful nations. They make them their gods but all these things are bound to finish and just as God Almighty has stated that their abode shall be Hell.
Thus, it is the duty of a believer to worry about his state in the hereafter and attaining God Almighty's love, instead of being engrossed in the concerns of the world. Our only deity is He Who is our True God. A believer should love God Almighty the most and it is the love of God which brings about righteousness and contentment in man. God Almighty Himself has told us that the sign of the believers is that they are the foremost in the love of God Almighty. He says: [Arabic] But those who believe are stronger in their love for Allah (2:166).
The Holy Prophet (sa) said to become a Muttaqi (righteous person) and the most devoted in worship. Only then will God Almighty's love and fear develop in the hearts and only then will man be able to fulfil the rights of the worship of God Almighty. It is the duty of a true servant to develop contentment. The Holy Prophet (sa) said that if you develop contentment then you will be grateful. Those who utter that they are grateful to God but are lost in their pursuit of the materialistic things are in reality entangled in [Arabic] (the love of desired things). They can never truly be grateful. Describing these materialistic people, the Holy Prophet (sa) once said 'If the son of Adam had a valley full of gold, he would like to have two valleys, yet nothing can satisfy his desires until he enters his grave.' He then states "God Almighty accepts the repentance of one who repents. Thus, during ones life one should repent if he has made any mistakes.
Whilst explaining the standard of contentment of a believer, the Messenger of Allah (sa) says 'He who spends his morning with content and in physical health and he has a day's food, it is as if he has gained the whole world and all its comforts. Hence, this is the level of contentment of a believer. May Allah Almighty grant us this contentment and righteousness. May our aim be to attain God Almighty's love rather than the love of material things and may we be the recipients of the forgiveness and pleasure of Allah.
After this I would like to draw attention towards a prayer. The Muslims should now learn from this announcement made by the United States, to shift the embassy to Jerusalem has only been made in order to strengthen their relations with Israel and grant them more power and that their reputation may remain intact. However, the efforts of Muslims to fight back in these circumstances will only increase further. This is why we should pray for the Muslim world that may Allah grant them understanding, they become united and the chances of war between nations be averted.
Furthermore, the fighting between Muslim nations, where thousands, and according to some surveys hundreds of thousands of lives are lost, may Allah grant them understanding and enable them to live as one nation. May He end these disputes so that the enemies of Islam do not take any benefit. Most of all we must all pray that the Muslims accept the Promised Messiah and Mahdi sent by God, with whom if they attach themselves can establish peace between themselves and in the world at large.