Friday Sermon 24 July 1998
Has the story of Abraham's guests of honour reached thee? When they entered upon him saying 'Peace be to you!' He said 'Peace be on you!' They seemed to be strangers. And he went quietly to his household and brought out a fatted calf that had been roasted. And he placed it before them saying 'Will you not eat?' ('The Holy Quran'. al-Dhariyat [The Winnowing Winds]: 25 - 28). I have made these verse the subject of the sermon as the days of hosting the arriving guests are coming. These verses record the incident of the hospitality of the Prophet Abraham (peace be on him) so I have made them the subject expecting that the Jamat would revive this Abrahamic custom. The guests arriving for the Jalsa Salana are very honourable guests by virtue of being guests of His Holiness the Promised Messiah (peace be on him) and it is expected that you treat them as the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) treated his guests. With recourse to the Prophetic Ahadith regarding hospitality the Prophet draws attention to the respect and hospitality due to guests and the mutual bond and the rights and responsibilities of the guests and the hosts. Various arrangements have been made under the administration of the Jamat to cater for the habits and temperaments of the coming guests but on a rudimentary level everybody deserves to be respected: Abu Zarr reported: Allah's Apostle ﷺ said to me 'Never consider anything good to be insignificant even if it is that you meet your brother with a cheerful countenance.' (Muslim, Ibn Hajjaj. 'Sahih Muslim'). Narrated Abdullah bin Umar that the Holy Prophet ﷺ stated 'When the leader of a nation or a dignitary comes before you give them due respect and dignity according to their position.' (Ibn Majah, Abū Abdillāh Muḥammad. 'Sunan ibn Majah'). It was also the practice of the Prophet to wake people up for Prayers.* His Holiness the Promised Messiah (peace be on him) has instructed and advised to respect all guests regardless of whether you recognise them or not. In general these instructions are also for those coming to the Jalsa. The main aspects that come under the administration of the Jamat are period of stay, avoiding loans, making it a custom to greet with Salam, regard for Purdah, covering the head and the general moral training of ladies and children, avoid convening in the bazaars, give right of way, show regard for cleanliness, removing harmful obstructions and security and I also draw especial attention to prayers and to be mindful of the high expectations that are expected from the Jamat. May Allah cause our Jalsa to pass safely and well and truly accomplished and may it be pleasing in every way so that you return bearing tidings of joy. * Ibn Hanbal, Abu Abdullah. 'Musnand Ahmad ibn Hanbal'. The text http://www.alislam.org/urdu/sermon/FST19980724-UR.pdf © The Tahir Archive / MTA International, 2016.
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