Friday Sermon 7 November 1997
Recite that which has been revealed to thee of the Scripture and observe Prayer. Surely Prayer shields a votary against outrageous misbehaviour, for it is best to remember Allah. As Allah knows what you do. 'The Holy Quran'. al-Ankabut [The Spider]: 46. Once again today the sermon would be in continuation on the Prayer the fundamental point of which is the Surah al-Fatiha [The Opening]. The first part of Surah al-Fatiha concerns the attributes of Allah the Almighty. There are 4 of these attributes which are رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ ['Lord of all worlds'], الرَّحْمَٰنِ ['The Gracious'], الرَّحِيمِ ['The Merciful'], مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ ['Master of the Day of Judgement']. Naturally whilst pondering over these attributes one desires to relate to them. These are the very 4 attributes that always form the basis of connection in the world. For example one who is the chief of a Company is a source of providence for his employees. He becomes a kind of lord but not the Lord of all the worlds. So if one ponders over this subject then it is no virtue but a natural requirement to relate to lordship. It is no favour to the Lord to relate to the Lord. However if the Lord relates to you and responds to your love it is a favour on His part. Another such example would be if a person shows an excellent display of grace. If he estimates before anyone even realises or asks [something] as to what they might need and produces it, which madman would not relate to such a person. It is a natural inclination to connect with grace but the gracious of the world are minor. Given a change in circumstances they would change along with it but the more you concentrate upon the grace of Allah the Almighty the more minor the example of worldly grace would seem to you. Similarly there is the theme of Mercy and مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ. When you try to relate to the Gracious, the Merciful, the Master of the Day of Judgement  you are not doing Him a favour in the slightest instead it is a favour unto you. The question arises as to how to relate to Him. After mentioning these attributes in Surah al-Fatiha one is helpless but to say  إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ worship is a definite result of these attributes which can be born to benefit you, to favour you if you do it. So people who criticise it and ask questions like 'Why should be worship? What need has God for worship?' They are answered here. You worship small minuscule deities of the world. Humans cannot exist without worship. Either one falsely worships the false idols or one truly worships the true God. One meaning of worship is serfdom, to bow before a greater being so it benefits one. Surah al-Fatiha reveals right in the beginning that one is helpless but to worship. That one would be at a loss without worship. Also that if one abandons the Gracious, the Merciful, the Master of the Day of Judgement and worships someone else then one would be at a loss. Upon this the heart itself cries out that we are helpless in worshiping none other than You for our own sake. However this is a very difficult task. There is no doubt that one worships for one's own benefit. But one can trick the worldly idols [when you say] 'We love you' but how can you trick the Gracious, the Merciful, the Master of the Day of Judgement? He sees into one's deepest [recesses]. In إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ it is declared that 'We worship none else but You'. However if one analyses with an awakened conscience one would be astonished to see that one worships others as soon as one comes out of the Prayer. In this relation it should be remembered that it is not against the worship of the Divine to seek help from others as long as that help does not contradict the will of the true deity. There and then the heart would declare إِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ we seek help only from you. This is important because one can never reach through one's own efforts. Unless you justify worship you can never be strong enough to desist from evil deeds. The Promised Messiah has mentioned the need, the excellence the importance of Prayers and the ways in which to enjoy them. It is only the Prayer offered with a pain-stricken heart which removes one from all tribulations. To begin with, one should make use of a tormented state [of emotions] in the Prayers and make use of one's restlessness. When one is perturbed in the Prayers as mentioned by 'The Holy Quran' than that is the moment when Almighty God is near.  'The Holy Quran'. al-Fatiha [The Opening]: 1, 2.  Thee alone do we worship and thee alone do we implore for help. ('The Holy Quran'. al-Fatiha [The Opening]: 5). The text http://www.alislam.org/urdu/sermon/FST19971107-UR.pdf © The Tahir Archive / MTA International, 2016.
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