The 12th of Rabi? al-?Awwal is the day when the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was born. He has been called the lamp that radiates bright light to illuminate the entire world with spiritual light. It was the one about which Allah the Exalted said, “And We have sent thee not but as a mercy for the world.” [21:108] His teaching is a mercy for everyone until the Day of Resurrection. Allah the Exalted said to his followers that this Messenger of Allah is an excellent model for you as he stated that, “Verily you have in the Prophet of Allah an excellent model, for him who fears Allah and the Last Day and who remembers Allah much.” (33:22) Our Prophet (PBUH) demonstrated ways for us to establish the Oneness of God, worship, excellent morals fulfilling the rights of mankind. However, the conduct of the majority of Muslims is in contrast to his example.
On the 12th of Rabi? al-?Awwal, instead of spreading the message of mercy and his other virtues, the Muslim world is fraught with disorder and chaos. The state is so bad in Pakistan that the mobile service in some towns of Pakistan had to be shut down today and there is a strong police presence everywhere. Insulting Ahmadis and hurling profanities at them in the name of our beloved master is a daily practice but in celebration of this day, even this was intensified today. In their opinion, they are elevating the dignity and honour of this magnificent prophet.
The siege and blockade led to the stopping of daily life with no access to schools, hospitals and shops in addition to losing millions in the economy, and all in the love of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), who had told his followers to firstly avoid sitting on the streets and if necessary, to refrain from causing grief, spread peace, lower their gazes, promote good deeds and stop others committing bad deeds.
But these self-acclaimed custodians of religion think they are entitled to call anyone a disbeliever or believer according to their own wishes. There is nothing in common with the teachings and the example of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). These people may continue to do as they please, but we as Ahmadis are obliged to follow every aspect of the example of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him).
High morals of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) include humility and meekness. Hazrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) relates that whenever anyone came to his house he would always attend to them. This is the reason why Allah says in the Holy Quran: And thou dost surely possess high moral excellences. (Al-Qalam 5). The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) said “I am the Chief of the progeny of Adam, but I take no pride in it. On the Day of Judgement I will be the first intercessor and the first to be judged, but I take no pride in it. On the Day of Judgement the flag of praise will be in my hands, but I take no pride in it.”
The Promised Messiah (upon whom be peace) says that the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) was the greatest individual but was most humble in his demeanour that one example of his humility and meekness is present in the Holy Quran. The Holy Prophet once passed by a blind man while attending to some leaders of Mecca. Allah Taala revealed a chapter of the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet went to the blind man’s house and lay down his cloak for him. The Promised Messiah (upon whom be peace) says that people understand God Almighty are always humble because they are always fearful of God. Just as He rewards the slightest of good deeds, He also disapproves of the most minor of sins.
Hazrat Ayesha (PBUH) relates that a man asked to see the Holy Prophet (PBUH). The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) told Hazrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) that he was a bad brother and a very bad son. When he came and sat down the Holy Prophet (PBUH) extended great courtesy to him. When he left, Hazrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) asked him why he was so courteous despite him being a bad person. The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) said that he was always courteous to people and on the Day of Judgement the worst person will be the one who people avoid out of fear of his mischief. Once the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was asked how to find out if one was a good person or a bad, he said that if your neighbour says you are a good person, then be sure that your conduct is good.
The situation in Mecca was so bad that they suffered hunger and humiliation and the Muslim companions would be beaten on a daily basis. They were then evicted from their home town. Then during the second period of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) when he ruled the whole of Arabia. If he was selfish, he had the perfect opportunity to exact, But when he conquered Mecca he exclaimed that no blame shall lie on anyone. The high morals of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) were really put to the test and he demonstrated patience, piety, sympathy, courage and generosity etc.
So today’s celebration should be done by following the noble example of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) with high levels of worship, complete conviction in tauheed and high morals. If we do not follow this example, there is no difference between us and others who are disintegrated by following their temporary leaders and so-called scholars. For us, the requirement of the pledge of allegiance to the Promised Messiah (upon whom be peace) is that all our deeds are done with the example of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in mind. May Allah enable us all to do this. The Promised Messiah (upon whom be peace) states ‘That man who was the most complete and flawless individual and the perfect Prophet, who came with absolute blessings through which there was a spiritual revival and upsurge and the first manifestation of the Day of Judgement revealed itself to the world. And through whom an entire world of the spiritual dead came to life; that blessed Prophet was the Seal of all prophets, Leader of the pure, Seal of all Messengers and Pride of the Prophets, Muhammad the Chosen One (Peace be upon him).
O Beloved God! Send down Your blessings and mercy on this Beloved Prophet, which You have not sent down on anyone since the beginning of time. If this Noble Prophet had not appeared in the world then we would have no proof of the truthfulness of prophets of lesser rank such as: Jonah, Job, Jesus son of Mary, Malakai, John, Zakaria etc, yet they were all granted closeness, honoured and were the beloved of God. It is the virtue of this Prophet that these people have been accepted as truthful. “O Allah send blessings and Your Mercy upon the Holy Prophet, his family and his companions. And the conclusion of their prayer shall be, ‘All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.’
Huzur mentioned a few deceased and led their funeral prayers in absentia. First of those was sister Salma Ghani who lived in Philadelphia, USA, and passed away on 20th November at the age of 83. Amir Sahib USA Jama’at writes that she performed the Bai’at and joined the community in 1960 or 61 at the age of 24. She was a school teacher by profession. In 1975/76 she attended the Jalsa in Rabwah where she met Hazrat Khalifatul Masih III (rh). She served as Sadr Lajna for 15 years with great diligence and took the Lajna Imaillah to whole new level. She also served as the Sadr Lajna for Philadelphia Jamaat on numerous occasions. Aside from the five daily prayers, she was regular in Tahajjud prayers. She had a great desire for the construction of the mosque to be completed in Philadelphia and would pray for this profusely. This will soon be completed inshallah. According to the local president she showed complete obedience and co-operation to the local jamaat. She was diagnosed with cancer of the stomach 2 months ago. She told him of her will saying that according to the doctors she had four to six months to live, but she know she only had a few days left. She left instruction for her funeral prayers and coffin that had already been organised.
She did not have any children or any other Muslims in her family but had very good relations with her siblings and other members of the family. The Sadr Lajna USA writes that her upbringing had taken place in a Christian environment, but she started questioning Chrisitan beliefs from an early age. She studied Catholicism, as well as other religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism and also other Christian sects. One of her friends gave her a pamphlet that Prophet Jesus (upon whom be peace) did not die on the cross. It contained answers to all her questions. She then went to the mosque and bought various books. She studied those books and eventually took the pledge of allegiance in Philadelphia where she lived until her death.
She lived 54 years of her life as an Ahmadi, during which she displayed the highest standards of love, affection and loyalty for the Ahmadiyya Community and Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya. During the time of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV (rh) she served as Sadr Lajna of USA for fifteen years, after which she also served as an honorary member of Lajna Imailllah. She also served as the head of the Lajna advisory committee for the African desk, as well as the American desk.
She was always inclined to propagate the message of Islam. Due to her Christian background she would propagate the message to the Christians in a scholarly manner. Many people accepted Ahmadiyyat due to her efforts, and thus she became the source of guidance for many people. After several tours of Ghana and Nigeria, she became known as Auntie Salma Ghani. She will always be remembered in the USA for her piety and chastity as well as her popularity.
May Allah the Almighty elevate the status of the deceased and grant steadfastness to those who accepted Ahmadiyyat due to her. May Allah enable the Jamaat of USA and the American people in general, to listen and accept the true message of Islam.