Friday Sermon – 13th March 2015
Hujjatul Islam Ustad Syed Jawad Naqvi
Principal Jamia Orwatul Wuthqa – Lahore, Jamia Jafaria – Gujranwala
Delivered at: Jamia Masjid Allama Mufti Jafar
Gujranwala – Pakistan
In the name of Allah
I inherit myself and yourself about Taqwa (piety) and advice you to acquire Taqwa (piety) in your life
In the Holy Quran Allah (s.w.t) has expressed the purpose of life of man as Liqa’ullah (divine proximity) or the state of divine caliphate (Khilafatullah) or the status of humanity’s perfection. All three express the same reality and after that whatever Allah has created in this universe is made for man as a mean to reach this purpose. To reach that state of “Liqa” or “Khilafat”, the system which Allah established and propagated through the Prophets and implemented it through Infallible Imams (Aimmah) (a.s) and made it reach people through Ulama, that system of guidance has its fundamental element as Taqwa. The guidance of human being is confined to this point that man should come under the system of Taqwa.
In order to establish and implement this system of Taqwa, the arrangements that Allah has done are through “Bethat” of Prophets, descent of Quran, and along with these Allah has established a system of worship for the guidance of human being. This point should be remembered that today human beings both Muslim and non-Muslim are in pursuit of privileges which means a happy and good standards of living. This is a mission and purpose of non-divine societies that man should get privileges in life which means a happy living. The secular and liberal schools have taught us some terms which have become sacred and have become a manifesto of our life. Even the religious people write in their manifestos that their purpose is a happy living for man. Whereas the Quran establishes guidance as the manifesto for man, though privileges are contained inside guidance. Privileges (in current era terminologies) means happy living in which man has abundance means of living. If man is fortunate to get all these worldly privileges but is without guidance than he is deprived of the purpose of life.
The true necessity of mankind is guidance. Privilege is inside guidance and good living should be from guidance. If man has a good living but is not guided than this good living becomes the cause of his annihilation. In order to reach this point; amongst the massive system of guidance one important sub system is the system of worship. This is a big privilege and preference which man has been blessed that Allah has given man the opportunity to worship. The opportunity of worship means first the status of servitude (Bandagi) of man is established, then to reach this stage of servitude the path has been arranged and then after reaching the status of servitude in order to express it Allah has established the system of worship. In worships, the pillar of worship is Salaat.
Worship is the means of expression of servitude. This means when people reach the status of servitude (Bandagi) then they express it and this expression is termed as worship. There is a comprehensive system of worship. There are various types of worships that are physical worship, worship by wealth, worship by intentions, worships based on acts and deeds, worships based on remembrance and thinking. And
amongst all the worships the highest of all is Salaat and within Salaat there are obligatory daily prayers. And amongst the daily prayers the prayer which has high significance is Friday prayers.
Dimensions of Friday Prayers
The day of Friday has a unique significance and on this day, the Friday prayers have a unique status and significance. In the last week’s sermon I expressed that every worship has three dimensions and Friday prayers also have the same.
One dimension is its external structure whereby how the Friday prayer gets established. In brief the Friday prayers are done on Friday at a specific time, place, with certain conditions and also a certain minimum of attendees which are seven matured believers. Man should be pure and ritual ablution (Ghusl) should be done which is supererogatory (Mustahab). Apart from one obligatory Ghusl all Mustahab Ghusl need ablution to be done. After that you should be present in prayers and the best time is the time of downside of Sun.
There are two sermons in the Friday prayers and the laws for these sermons are the same which applies for Salaat. It is there in narrations and verdicts also given by Ulama where there is a tradition from Ameerul Momineen (a.s) that at the time of sermon also you should be facing Qiblah and it is not permitted to turn your face to that extent which voids the prayers; same applies for the posture of listening to the Friday sermon as well. The Imam will face you and you have to face the Imam. You should not talk or do anything that interferences with the sermon should not be done. Then there are two units (rakats) of prayer which people are aware of.
The second dimension of Friday prayers are etiquettes of prayers, which gradually we will discuss. Amongst the etiquettes of Friday prayers is that you should observe it like the day of Eid. There is a tradition also, which says that the time after getting up for morning prayers till the time for Friday prayers is even less for preparation. It is there in one tradition from Imam Mohammad Baqir (a.s), where he says that the companions of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s) would prepare for the Friday prayers from Thursday. At that time they would need to get water from far off, hence they would start to prepare from Thursday. In that era time would be short because the means were not available. In these days with all means available we can use the morning time to prepare for Friday prayers. Take Ghusl, wear new or clean dress and put perfume which is highly recommended and has a philosophy behind it which will be expressed later.
The third dimension is the philosophy of Friday prayers, this philosophy is the soul, inner side and reality of prayers. The actual purpose for which this obligation of prayers has been established. Salaat is not established for the sake of rewards. There are many benefits of prayers; rewards, paradise etc. are all benefits of prayers. Friday prayer has comprehensiveness as compared to daily prayers and in regards to this I will present a tradition from Imam (a.s), so that our discussion can be enlightened. This tradition is present in Ilal ul Sharay and Ayun ul Akhbar. There is a reference book, Wassail us Shia which is an authentic book compiled by Late Sheikh Hurr Ameli. In this book, the tradition is from Imam Raza (a.s). Fadhl ibn Shazaan narrates this from Imam Raza (a.s). Imam Raza (a.s) says Allah has made Friday prayers obligatory on the day of Friday for his believers with all its conditions and then specifically expresses the philosophy of the sermons in Friday prayers. In this prayer Allah has kept two sermons and there is a reason behind these sermons.
Calamities on Religiousness
As mentioned last week also that religiousness can become a victim of many calamities (Aafaat). Religion cannot become victim of calamities because Allah has taken responsibility of its protection but religiousness can get into trouble. Religiousness means the relationship between man and religion which can become sick and suffer calamities. And one of the big religious calamity which every sect of Muslims is a victim and specifically in Pakistan and India is making religion captive of cultural rites or in other words limiting religion to a certain set of customary rituals only. Rituals means certain customs which previous generation adapted and they eventually
have become part of religion like customary acts for Ramadhan, Eid, etc. We are obliged to these customs and have turned the teachings of religion also into customs like, now days Aazan is a custom for us. Allama Iqbal presented this very beautifully by saying
Rah gayee Azaan Roohe Bilali na rahi Falsafa rah gaya roohe gazali na rahi
The Azaan (call for prayers) remains, but the soul of Bilal is not present Philosophy remains but the soul of Gazali is not present
And this first statement is that painful dimension of religion where not just Azaan but even daily prayers, Friday prayers, fasting. Hajj, Azadari and everything has lost its soul and just customary acts have remained. Every act has adopted a customary face and due to which believers have been deprived of its soul and hence we do not see the effects of these worship in us. Quran presents the effect of Fasting as Taqwa (piety) but we don’t see this effect in ourselves. Ameerul Momineen (a.s) says that majority do not fast they just starve which means they just don’t eat and drink which is not fasting. Fasting is not just about not eating and drinking instead it has many other etiquettes in it. Similarly prayers (Salaat) and even Friday prayers have turned into customs where only its exterior is present and soul is missing. Allah has established the Friday prayers along with its elements and guided believers towards it, ordered it and now Imam Raza (a.s) is expressing the wisdom of the two sermons in his tradition. Certain Sermons are obligatory to listen and certain are supererogatory (Mustahab) and amongst the obligatory ones is the Friday prayers sermon and also the Eid sermon is obligatory but according to our Jurists during the period of major occultation (Ghaibat) it is not obligatory because Eid prayers are not obligatory. But when Imam (a.s) will come then the sermon of Eid will also become obligatory. One supererogatory sermon is the sermon of Nikah which is generally recited in Arabic and then Salawat is recited and operation is over; all in Arabic. If you had to only recite Arabic then you should not name it as Sermon. Sermon means someone is addressing and others are addressee, and if someone just recites in Arabic which neither the speaker understands and nor the addressee. All this has happened because many of the worships have become victim of customary rituals.
Tradition of Imam Raza (a.s) about the Sermon in Friday Prayers
This tradition is present in Wasael us Shia – 7th Volume, Chapter 25, Hadith no 9533
Imam Raza (a.s) says that “Allah (s.w.t) has established Friday prayers and in the Friday prayers two sermons were placed because the Friday is a general Mashhad (means a place of witness and presence) for all believers. Allah has intended that after every six days which are specific to individuals there is a seventh day on which the Commander of believers should develop attraction towards obedience amongst believers; warn people about sins; ………. “
Mashad means a place where people are present or come for witness. The day of Friday is when all believers should be present at one place and believers should leave their personal chores on this day. Allah kept this seventh day after six days as a generic day where all believers should come out in one place where the commander, Wali, leader of believers should establish the Friday prayers; and not as some contractual employee. We have hired employees to recite Friday prayers. Friday prayers are not done by those who take wages (Ajeer) but by those who
are Ameer (leader). Imam should come and address the Muslim nation. If Ummah is left for seven
days and are not addressed than this Ummah will become victim of Taghoot. It is recommended in Friday prayers to recite Surah Jumah and Surah Munafiqeen, this is because believers should know that there is a dangerous hunter in pursuit to hunt the believers and this hunter is Munafiq (hypocrite). There are many threats to believers; from polytheists, and infidels, and Allah has made this arrangement for believers to protect them. In this tradition the word Ameer is used and in other places word Imam is used.
In the previous chapter of the same book; in a tradition of Imam Sadiq (a.s), that Imam e Jumah should wear a turban, put a Yemeni or Adani cloak, and take a sword in his hand. These are the etiquettes of Imam and I just wanted to point out that the word Imam is used for the leader of Friday prayers. In this tradition the word Ameer is used; Ameer means that Imam who has governance also under him. This Imam who has governance also with him should come and preach (Muwa’iza) the believers because they are in need of preaching.
One of the signs of Taqwa or we can say a test for Taqwa which you should always keep with yourself is to see if preaching is effective on you or not. If preaching’s are effective on you then be grateful to Allah that some glimpses of Taqwa is still present inside you. But if after listening to preaching you ignore it, make a mockery of it and reject it than Taqwa is not present inside you and heart is sealed. In the sermon of Muttaqeen (pious), which Ameerul Momineen (a.s) delivered to one of his companion Hamam. He came to Ameerul Momineen and asked him to preach and counsel him. Ameerul Momineen (a.s) did some normal preaching which is generally done to common public who just ask this question for taste. He said that this is not enough for me; Ameerul Momineen (a.s) again delivered some more generic counselling. He again insisted that this is not enough for me. Ameerul Momineen (a.s) then realized that this person has the ability and is prepared. He then delivered a full sermon on Taqwa for this one person. This is the difference between Ameer and an Ajeer (one who does something on wages). An Ajeer needs a fee of one thousand dollars to deliver a sermon but an Ameer when he sees that if a soul is prepared to listen he delivers the sermon. Ameerul Momineen delivered the sermon and only expressed what Taqwa is and it became so effective on him that he screamed and passed away. Ameerul Momineen then said that I was afraid about this. This is how we should test ourselves. If it is effective then glimpses of Taqwa is present in us and we should enhance.
Imam Raza (a.s) says in this tradition that the sermon or preaching is done so that believers can be attracted (Targheeb) towards obedience. For believers there are three things that are very difficult.
One is when calamities befell on believers it is a tough test for a believer to demonstrate perseverance (Istiqamat) on these calamities. This is a divine system that believers are exposed to trials and under trials we have to demonstrate perseverance. These calamities should not break us, they should not make us change our path and they should not develop laziness inside us. If these negative traits do not develop in us under calamities than we are patient.
The second difficulty that comes on believer is when a sin comes in front of a believer than he has to protect himself. When a Na mahram or someone else’s property comes in front, than he has to protect himself or in a situation where something which Allah has forbidden comes at his disposal. As an example a person who is in desperate need of money and he gets an opportunity to get that money in a forbidden way; there he fails and even finds religious verdicts (Fatwa) for that. It is a tradition of Ameerul Momineen (a.s) that believers should not test themselves on two things; one is money and other is woman because everyone will fail. These
two tests are such that Ameerul Momineen (a.s) has announced the results of two tests before the exams and Ali (a.s) does not commit any mistakes. He says believers should not test their faith on money and woman because you will fail. These two places are where believers slip and you should not test your Taqwa and stay away from it. This is “Waraa” a level above Taqwa. Taqwa means to abstain from forbidden things whereas “Waraa” means to stay away from that place or thing which even though is Halaal but can lead man towards Haraam. There are some people who are diabetic but still eat sweets; since they eat their own sweets they are not doing Haraam but these sweets are harmful but they do not refrain from it, hence they do not have “Waraa” inside them.
The third difficult stage for believer’s is obedience and when the time comes for obedience both the self (Nafs) and Shaitan together interfere, thereby breaking the conviction (Azm) of obedience. The worldly life comes in different forms and believers fail in obedience. This was the challenge which Ameerul Momineen (a.s) faced that he did not get obedient companions. He (a.s) was travelling to Siffeen, that is towards Syria and on the way was the city of Ambar. In Ambar people gathered to welcome Ameerul Momineen (a.s) and they came with drums and danced in front of him (a.s). He (a.s) got astonished and asked what are you doing, their leader said we are welcoming you and this is the way we welcome leaders. Ameerul Momineen (a.s) said this act is weariness in this world and accursed in hereafter. I am going for a battle and looking for warriors and these dancers have come to me. What do I do with them? In the matter of obedience Ameerul Momineen (a.s) had serious complain and in many sermons he complained that you are not obedient to me. He even said about Muwaiya that he is not on truth but still his people are obedient to him and even though I am on truth but you are not obedient to me.
Thus three situations are very difficult for believers; calamities, sins and obedience. That believer who remains patient under calamities and does not scream, yell , does not submits ; then protects himself form sins and is obedient is the one who has given these tests of his heart and is worthy of being called a believer and Shia. This is the person whom Infallible Imams are in pursuit of such believers.
The Imam of Friday prayers should develop attraction in people towards obedience. There is a difference between preaching and Targheeb (developing attraction). Preaching (Mua’iza) is from speaking or saying things that are effective; that is Muazatul Hasana. Allah says in the Quran that; O Messenger invite people towards the path of Allah through wisdom (Hikmah), good counselling (Muazatul Hasana) and a decent dispute (Jidatul Hasana). All other ways which we have developed are our own self carved and we even want to precede the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s) in inviting people towards religion. What kind of networks we have made and tricks we play to get people towards religion.
Mua’izatul Hasana is to inform someone about his actions, deeds and develop such a passion inside him that he leaves his ugly and indecent acts. But Targheeb is different from Mua’iza. Targheeb is to inspire someone to act; a desire develops in many peoples heart to do something but they do not act. But there are some desires for which you take steps and act upon to fulfil them. These desires for which you have
taken some step is known as Raghbat. Like a person has a desire to marry but does not take any step, this is not “Raghbat” for marriage just a desire only. If it was “Raghbat” then he makes all necessary arrangements and takes steps to find a girl, informs his parents to find a girl; this means he is in need of marriage. “Raghbat” means those desires that are accompanied with practical efforts. Like in the supplication of Imam Hujjat (a.t.f.s).
Allahumma Inna Narghabo Ilaika Fi Daulatin Kareematin To’izzo Behal Islama wa Ahlahoo wa
Tozillo Behan Nifaqa wa Ahlahoo
O Allah we have Raghbat in the divine government not that we just have desire for divine governance but in fact we are making efforts for such a government in which there is dignity to believers and disgrace to hypocrites.
Thus the first duty of leader of Friday prayer is to preach (Mua’iza) and second is to develop attraction (Raghbat) towards obedience which means such a desire which inspires believers to practically become obedient and the believer takes steps towards obedience after the prayers and in entire week. The third duty of the leader is to warn and threaten people from sins. This is also because we are living in such societies these days where disliking and irritation from sins has reduced. This is a very tough era. There was a time when committing sins was not so easy, and there was a time before when even Makrooh was difficult but in this era committing worst sins is also very easy and at your disposal. In front of the eyes of parents, elders, in place of worship due to the technological means available like mobile phone committing sins is very easy. And due to constant and repeated commitment of sins the disliking of sins has reduced and when minds of people are prepared for sins it is the duty of Friday prayers leader to develop sensitivity towards sins. It is shameful to say also that these days good believers commit certain sins which they do not even consider as sins. These sins have entered into their lives and homes and their disliking towards sins have perished and this has happened because the Sermon of Friday prayer has tuned into a custom because in the place of Ameer an employee who takes wages to deliver sermon has come. Today there is no sensitivity towards sins and the devilish (Taghoot) system has made sins common and public.
The tradition continues from here further which we will discuss next week and in the end of the tradition, Imam Raza (a.s) expresses the philosophy of why two sermons are required. One sermon is about praising Allah and second sermon is about the acts related to believers. And we will express this in more detail in the second session.
The Friday prayers are a great divine opportunity which Allah (s.w.t) has blessed the believers with so that they can participate in it to deliver the rights of their servitude (Bandagi) and establish the divine system.
I once again counsel you about Taqwa as it is the means of salvation for humanity and it protects man from disgrace in this world and hereafter. Taqwa is the element of divine system and to establish divine system the Friday prayers are established.
As it is mentioned in this tradition of Imam Raza (a.s) that purpose of Friday sermons is to express to believers their affairs. He (a.s) specifically says that in the second sermon, the affairs related to believers should be specially mentioned. There are many affairs but due to limited time I will talk less about the current affairs.
With divine grace we have good news that the Takfirist army in Iraq is near to eradication and the news is that Tikrit is very close to get freedom and almost 90% of the city has been released by the Iraqi forces and now these Satanic forces have started to respond with chemical warfare. This is a tough stage and we pray to Allah to grant success, protection to these Mujahideen and may Allah grant the martyrs of this battle position in the vicinity of Ahlulbayt (a.s) and cure the injured.
The second issue is about the Zaidi Shias in Yemen, who believe in four Imams and after that they consider Zayd bin Ali (the brother of Imam Baqir) as their Imam. This sect remained in Yemen for centuries in mountains and after Aale Saud regime came in power they became more victimized, but they resisted and confronted to this extent that they are no more a subjugated sect residing in mountains and forests but instead have come out to the capital city of Sana and have proved their presence. We can now even see some signs of change in their ideology and vision also. Their elders have formally approached Sayed Nasrallah and declared that in this era you are our Imam and Sayed Nasrallah asked them that, have you come to offer your allegiance to me? They said yes and Sayed replied but I myself am under the allegiance of someone else. They asked who that person is. He said I am under the allegiance of Wali e Amr al Muslimeen Ayatullah Syed Ali Khamenei (d.a) and he is the Imam of our age and representative of our Infallible Imam (a.t.f.s). These Ideological changes are also seen inside them along with political changes happening. Amongst the political movements one news for which we have to be shameful every time in this country of ours is that Saudi government has asked for forces from our country (Pakistan) for interference in Yemen against Houthi’s.
What has come in news is that they (Pakistan Government) have neither refused nor accepted. We need to remember that these Houthi’s are really oppressed and weak, and you cannot imagine a community weaker than these Houthi’s. They came out of their weakness and they are sitting now in capital talking about government, and in order to subjugate them, Saudis and Americans are making plans and they have referred to Pakistan. For subjugating any Muslim uprising in the world, for shedding blood of oppressed the enemies of Islam always turn towards Pakistan. May Allah protect Pakistan us from this Fitnah.
A news that has come in the useless media of Pakistan and became a means of anxiety of believers was that the Supreme Leader is sick and emergency session of Majlis e Khobregan (Assembly of Experts) has started; whose one duty is selection of Leader. As you were aware that the head of this Assembly, Ayatullah Mahdi Kani passed away few months back and now Ayatullah Mohammad Yazdi has been appointed in this meeting. This meeting was for his appointment. The Leader was sick sometimes back and had a minor prostrate operation and he has recovered from it.
Sometimes back American media spread this news God forbid that the Leader has passed away. I remembered the same incident about Imam Khomeini (r.a) when he was sick for a few days. After some days Imam (r.a) himself came on media and said that when I was sick I was listening to the news which enemies were spreading and they were feeling happy about it that Khomeini has passed away. Imam (r.a) said a beautiful sentence that your problem will not be solved by the death of Khomeini; you should try that Allah passes away and Allah will never pass away because Allah is eternal.
It is the divine decree that everyone has to pass away and even great personalities leave this world. But it is Allah’s promise that even when leaders pass away, darkness does not prevail over society if people of that society possess insight (Baseerat) and sense (Sha’oor) and people have faith on the path. These people are also thinking now that their problem will be solved if the leader will pass away. Allah’s
fulfillment of promise that the weak and downtrodden will dominate has started and we can witness this in various parts of the world.
My beloved brethren it should not happen that the most downtrodden Muslims of Yemen get their presence accepted and this great Shiite of Pakistan is pushed out from the scene into some dark lost corner because of negligence, pragmatism, carelessness and this should not happen at all. At present the Shiite in Pakistan have a power and status; but there are maximum
seditions (Fitnah) in Pakistan and amongst these seditions for Shiite to reach that status of greatness, they need to be clever and awake.
We should unite with all other Muslims brothers by coordination, brotherhood with our Sunni brothers and brothers from other sect’s. They might be having misunderstanding about us but we don’t have any misunderstandings about them. We consider them as our brothers in faith. Their minds and hearts have been adulterated against Shiite by some notorious elements and they should clear this misunderstanding. There are such people and scholars in other Muslim sects who have the pain in their hearts towards the unity of Muslims. And Inshallah very soon Shiite in Pakistan will come out of these Fitnah and Allah will relieve the entire Muslim world from the clutches of this sedition.
Translated By: Syed Arif Rizvi
(In consideration of the significance of fast delivery of the message, proper proof reading has not been done on this translation. We apologize for any mistakes and errors)