Reliance upon God Sermon by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II (ra) (Abridged)

Taken from the Review of Religions May 1965

Delivered on December 17, 1948.
English translation by A. R. Khan Bengalee

The Promised Messiah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, often used to make mention of Sultan Abdul Majid, the late Emperor of Turkey and admire his reliance on God, which he showed on the occasion of going to war against Greece. His ministers advised him not to wage war against Greece on the ground that although in some matters they were prepared and well-equipped, in others, they had no preparation and were ill-equipped. The Sultan, however, rejected their advice and told them that, in the world, a part of man’s work is done by man himself and a part is done by God. He further said that they had done their part, and for the rest they should rely on Allah and pray to Him for help. He added that, after all, some room must be left for Allah also to play His part. In short, the Sultan, in the opinion of the Promised Messiah, showed a very good example of reliance upon Allah.

I have often drawn the attention of the Jamaat (Community) to the fact that our means are too meagre to enable us to accomplish the great task entrusted to us by Allah, but Divine Communities are expected to do what lies within their power, and, for the rest, they are to bow down to Allah beseeching His assistance. So, whereas it is essential that we should put forth our best efforts to achieve success, it is also essential that in matters which are beyond our means and power, we should seek Divine assistance to make up our deficiency. The prayer in the first chapter of the Holy Quran :
اِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَ اِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِيْنُؕ۰۰
“Thee Alone do we worship and Thee Alone do we implore for help” draws our attention to this very truth.

Worship does not consist merely of offering five daily Prayers, observing Fast, praying Zakat and performing Pilgrimage. The subscription that we pay, the propagation and the administrative work that we do, the time that we devote to the affairs of the Community and also the efforts that we make for the welfare of the poor and the needy, constitute worship. The Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, has said, that even the services that we do for virtue’s sake, to our wives and children, constitute worship of Allah. In short, every work of a believer is a worship, but his responsibilities and obligations are so great that it is not possible for him to discharge them all fully. So he is to implore Allah, saying, “Our Lord, we have done whatever could be done by us, but in spite of putting forth our best efforts, the work entrusted to us remains unaccomplished.
So, Our Lord, come to our help, and grant us success”.

In short, for the accomplishment of the task entrusted to a Divine Community, prayer is vitally necessary. This is why the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, always stressed prayer. In the Battle of Badr, although the Muslims made all the preparations that were possible for them, and the Holy Companions were ready to give their lives, and Allah also had promised victory, yet the Holy Prophet betook himself to a nook, and prayed so fervently to Allah, prostrating himself and weeping, that a person of the calibre of Hazrat Abu Bakr, too, submitted to him, “O Prophet of Allah, has not Allah promised victory to us”? The Holy Prophet said, “Abu Bakr, of course, Allah has promised us victory, but Allah is غني (i.e, is not in need of us) it may be that owing to some negligence on our part, we may be deprived of His Succour. So I pray to him that His promise be fulfilled”.

I, therefore, exhort the members of the Jamaat to have recourse to prayer. Pray to Allah in all humility and meekness. Without prayer, you cannot succeed. Observe five daily Prayers regularly. Besides Farz, (incumbent parts) observe Sunnah (parts of prayer obligatory on account of the practice of the Holy Prophet) also, and submit your supplications to Allah. If you do so, you will find pleasure in prayer and then get inclined to offer Nawafil supererogatory prayers) also, and you will be enabled to say Tahajjud’ (Prayer in the latter part of the night).

There are some vacant periods in daily life in which you may pray to Allah. When you go to bed, you usually take some time, say 15 or 20 minutes, to fall asleep. During that time you may pray. If you do so, you will develop the habit of praying for communal and personal welfare.

I again tell my friends that the work that has been entrusted to us is beyond our means and power. If we try our best and make all sacrifices, still our work will remain half-done and incomplete. So Divine Assistance is indispensably necessary. To attract Divine Assistance we should pray to Allah. Put forth your best efforts, but do not depend upon them. You may make sacrifices, pay subscriptions, observe Fast, pay Zakat, help the needy, serve humanity, yet without Divine Assistance, you cannot achieve success.

Hence, after making all efforts, pray to Allah, saying, “We have done our best to accomplish the task you entrusted to us, but its accomplishment is beyond our power. So send down Thy Succour and crown our efforts with success.”

I enjoin the members of the Community, particularly, the young ones, to develop the habit of prayer, to cry and weep before Allah and supplicate to Him with perfect sincerity, faith and fervour. If they do so, Divine Succour will descend upon them and open for them the doors of success.

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