Friday Sermon 23 January 1998
So when My servants ask thee about me: I am near. I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he prays to Me. So should they respond to Me and have firm faith in Me that they may be guided aright. ('The Holy Quran'. al-Baqarah [The Heifer]: 187). Today is the Jumma of Farewell and I want to make it the Jumma of Welcome. Those who want to bid adieu to fasting, to virtues, to Divine commemoration call it a Jumma of Farewell. In this respect there is a large number who never get the chance to offer the Prayers or offer Divine reverence or to be pious but this the one Jumma when their nature forces them to enter the company of the righteous. They have come to bid farewell to this Jumma to the care of God but I await their arrival so that a few good words would be heard by them, that their eyes may open a little. Do not bid farewell to this Jumma in the sense that you also bid farewell to the rest of it. All those who wasted the whole year and wasted the better part of Ramadan, should gird up their loins and benefit from the last few days of Ramadan remaining and benefit from them. The Holy Prophet ﷺ would spend the last phases of his Ramadan in a beautiful manner and he would become unusually intense in his virtues. These are the emotional states of the heart and nobody can peep into his heart but it is possible to some extent in the light of the Ahadith that mention his everyday life. In this phase each pious action of the Holy Prophet ﷺ would become so intense that it is likened to a tornado and this intensity was the intensity of Divine commemoration, it was the intensity of withdrawing into the being of God. God draws near in these days so open your arms, open your bosoms to welcome Him. The Holy Prophet states that in terms of actions there are no days greater in position than those of this last phase.  So if you welcome the days remaining their bounties can also come to dwell in your houses. According to one narration during these days the Holy Prophet would especially and often chant 'There is no God but Allah', 'Allah is the greatest, and 'All praise is to Allah'. There are narrations that capture the emotion of his Itikaf.  Real Itikaf is fulfilled in a central mosque where those who observe the Itikaf do not interfere with the Itikaf of each other. Thus when one time certain of the Mutakifin were reciting the Quran in a loud voice the Holy Prophet came out of his hut and said that 'The worshiper is lost in a secret discourse with their Lord so it is important not to recite aloud'.  This proves that it was in fact the Messenger of Allah who would spend the nights in secret converse. No words can express the state of that secret converse. Today a large section of the Jamat is listening to my message. I hope that this voice would awaken the world because this voice though apparently coming from my mouth is in fact the voice of the Holy Messenger of Allah which I present before you with reference to his Ahadith. Also remember that all of our lives are to pass way. The greatest ignorance is to forget the day of one's death. Most people forget their death. How long would the few days of worldly enjoyment, the few days of disobeying God last? In the end I pray that Allah the Almighty may enable us now and then to undertake an esoteric journey into the spiritual world of Muhammad the Holy Messenger of Allah.  Ibn Hanbal, Abu Abdullah Ahmad ibn Muhammad. 'Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal'.  A period of retreat in a mosque for a certain number of days. It is most common during the month of Ramadan, especially the last 10 days.  Ibn Hanbal. The text http://www.alislam.org/urdu/sermon/FST19980123-UR.pdf © The Tahir Archive / MTA International, 2016.
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