EXCLUSIVE: A glimpse of Huzoor’s Jalsa Salana

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Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa graciously shares his Jalsa experience with Al Hakam

Asif M Basit

Islamabad, 18 August: Jalsa Salana is a state of mind that cannot be felt without experience. The volunteers and staff who partake in preparing this grand gathering and offer their services throughout the three days, that are full of spiritual and educational benefits, are all aware that one’s mind, body and heart undergo a thorough exercise.

Once Jalsa is over, the volunteers get the chance to rest. However, Jalsa Salana does not finish after the three-day event for Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa

It has been around two weeks since the successful completion of Jalsa Salana UK 2019.

This morning (18 August), I had the honour of meeting Huzooraa for the first time after Jalsa. 

As soon as I entered Huzoor’saa office, I extended congratulations to Huzooraa upon the completion of another successful Jalsa. Huzooraa replied, “Your Jalsa has come to an end; my Jalsa is still ongoing.”

Indeed, Huzoor’saa Jalsa is not over. Even during the three days, groups and delegations from different countries who had travelled for Jalsa would meet Huzooraa in his office at Hadeeqatul Mahdi. Then, from the morning after Jalsa, delegations continued to flock to meet Huzooraa.

Dozens of families would then gather to meet Huzooraa later in the evening, something that continues even now. 

I said, “Huzoor, I felt exhausted in the morning after Jalsa. I struggled to get out of bed and once I had offered my prayer, I got into bed again. Then, when I woke up again, I thought to myself that Huzooraa would have led the Fajr prayer in the most suitable and usual manner, and by this time, Huzooraa would have got ready and entered his office to meet the many delegations who were scheduled to meet him. Huzooraa, how is it that you do not get tired?”

Huzooraa replied, “If you were to offer nafl [voluntary] prayers at night and then wake up in the morning for Tahajud, you would also not feel tired.”

An astonishing reply! That which we shun, making tiredness an excuse, is in actual fact the remedy of fatigue. After hearing this reply, my mind was drawn towards an earlier incident.

Following Jalsa Salana Germany and referring to the drive back to the UK, during a mulaqat, I said, “Huzoor, the journey was very exhausting.”

Huzooraa replied, “Really? I did not feel any real exhaustion. If at all, then perhaps on the way to Germany. Upon arrival and seeing Islamabad, all my fatigue vanished. I then led Namaz and my routine commenced once again.” 

During Jalsa Salana and following it, the mulaqats of delegations with Huzooraa are recorded by MTA. When these recordings are brought in to MTA to be archived, I am fortunate enough to watch them. In every mulaqat, Huzooraa has the same smile; the smile you and I and, in fact, the entire world are familiar with. 

I could not hold back my curiosity and so I asked, “Huzoor, how do you maintain the same cheerfulness?”

Huzooraa replied, “How can I get tired of this when my responsibilities include meeting these delegations, listening to what Ahmadis have to say and conveying the message of Islam to non-Muslims? As far as cheerfulness is concerned, one’s external state has an effect on one’s internal state and vice versa. Seeing them and meeting them brings joy to me, and it is this joy that gets noticed.”

Now, let’s return to today’s mulaqat. As Huzooraa spoke on the topic of Jalsa Salana, I asked, “Huzoor, in this extremely busy period, preparing addresses …”

Huzooraa responded, “It is very difficult, but I have to take time out for this. I was preparing notes for the speech on the last day until the final moment. The moment I finished my notes, I proceeded for the address. Do you recall, once, while you were speaking to me, I stopped you to note something down and I told you that I had thought of something for Jalsa Salana UK and that I had noted it down. That was the topic of the final day’s address, which came to mind at that point, i.e. The Protection of Rights in Islam

“Then, a few weeks prior to Jalsa, I had references collected for this address. Getting those references collated took a considerable amount of time. Then, when the references had been compiled, it turned into a huge pile of papers that I had to go through and prepare my speech. Having gone through that pile of papers, I carefully selected only those references that could be conveyed in that short space of time. Quotations were collected of around 24 Quranic verses related to the subject of rights; perhaps there were more. I could only just about cover five or six of them.”

I remarked, “Although the address was for one and half hours, Ahmadis and non-Ahmadis alike both carefully listened to it.”

Huzooraa responded, “It was for this reason that I reduced the length of the speech. Whilst preparing speeches, I have to consider how long people will be able to pay attention. I have to also bear in mind external guests. Nonetheless, the views of non-Ahmadis about this address were very positive. An admiral of the navy also attended; he too expressed positive views with regard to my speech. Regarding the address at the ladies’ side, he said, ‘Your speech was very direct.’ I replied, ‘You are a soldier and a soldier ought to be addressed directly.’”

Every word uttered by Huzooraa here was astonishing. As Huzooraa recalled the incident when he jotted something down in his notebook, I was taken aback as the incident dated back to November or December 2018. Since that time, preparations for Jalsa (which was scheduled for August 2019) were a part of Huzoor’saa priorities.  Then, the research that Huzooraa painstakingly invested in preparing this speech was another amazing factor. After all, the official stance of Islam was to be presented. The compilation and selection of references; everything was astounding.

But another astonishment was yet to come. 

Huzooraa added, “Those bundles [of paper] will still be in the office outside. I still have yet to select quotations from them, which can be of benefit for this subject in the future.”

After leaving Huzoor’saa office, I was eagerly curious to see those “bundles” of paper in the private secretary’s office. Thus, I requested to see those papers. 

Thousands of pages, stacked in one pile; this was one apparent portion of the preparation that went into the address that Huzooraa delivered on the final day of Jalsa Salana UK. Our Imam’s time, attention, effort and prayers for this speech are, of course, intangible. Are such speeches worthy of only being listened to once and then forgotten? Certainly not! Each and every word of those addresses is revolutionising. 

And how revolutionary was this speech? Such addresses, after all, are acquainting the world with Islam’s true teachings. 

During the mulaqat, when talking about the admiral’s thoughts, I mustered the courage to say something. I said, “Huzoor, in the Friday Sermon after Jalsa Salana, you convey the impressions of people about Jalsa. But it has been felt that Huzooraa does not convey the impressions of guests about Huzooraa…”

Huzooraa replied, “That sermon is about Jalsa and I convey the impressions of guests regarding Jalsa. I do not narrate the views of people about myself.”

I humbly submitted, “But, Huzooraa, this leaves us deprived of those impressions. Is it not important for people to be informed about those impressions too?” 

Thereafter, I gathered more courage and requested to obtain those impressions from the relevant department. My modest Imamaa graciously approved this request. Fa jazahumullahu ahsanal jazaa [Thus, may Allah reward him the best of rewards]. (Some of those impressions have been included in this issue under the heading, “He is no ordinary person” – Guests’ impressions of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih)

All this related to the period during and after Jalsa. Let us now go back a few weeks, when preparations for Jalsa were in full swing; when Huzoor’saa schedule, which is already hectic as it is, was at its peak. 

I was ready to enter Huzoor’saa office. I was aware of the fact that after this, I may not have the chance for another mulaqat before Jalsa. That day, I had intended to seek guidance on matters to do with the live MTA broadcast during the three days of Jalsa. No matter how certain I am about the suitability of guests for particular live discussions, I am never satisfied without Huzoor’saa guidance.

That day, I sought guidance on such matters. Some people had already been and gone, while others awaited their turn. In front of Huzooraa was the list of all those present for mulaqat that morning. He was aware that there were a lot of people present for mulaqat who all had to be accommodated in a limited time-frame. 

With great love and attention, Huzooraa listened to details about each and every studio discussion and my suggestions to do with participants. Graciously, Huzooraa approved some names for their respective studio discussions, while altering others. “[So-and-so] is coming; they can provide more insight on this subject.” “Why don’t you take [so-and-so] for this discussion?” “[So-and-so] would have up-to-date knowledge on this issue.”

During that busy time, to listen to everything so carefully and then to give guidance was his graciousness upon me, no doubt, but it is also an indication of his alertness, insight and multi-dimensional knowledge. With so much work to be done, with people waiting outside for their mulaqats and with many tasks at hand, Huzooraa still closely observes every small aspect of the Jamaat’s affairs. 

In that mulaqat, Huzooraa said something that must be mentioned here as I deem it to be a trust that is owed to the Jamaat. 

A programme was to be aired on MTA concerning the Jamaat’s services to humanity. After altering some of the participants on the show, Huzooraa said, “Invite those people who actually work. To write up reports and present them is nothing extraordinary. Take such people on the panel who work tirelessly, but do not make a fuss about it. There are many such youth; those people should be included who take pride in work.”

The names that were presented to Huzooraa and those who Huzooraa instructed to invite were from the UK, USA, Africa, Germany, Pakistan and India. This list is no exaggeration; in actual fact, Huzooraa named guests from each of these parts of the world.

Thus, guests were invited from all these areas and MTA’s internationalism saw full bloom. Alhamdolillah! It is spectacular how Huzooraa is aware of everyone’s aptitude and capability, familiar with each person’s temperament and able to distinguish between two people who are seemingly equally fit to be part of a certain programme; that too from not just a mere dozen, hundred or thousand, but from out of millions of people worldwide. Subhanallah!

What more can one say! Pondering over Huzoor’saa schedule was always astonishing, but today, when I heard all this from Huzooraa directly, it had a deeper impact on me than ever before. The worries of members of the Jamaat worldwide is Huzoor’saa worry; the grief of his followers is his grief. The propagation of Islam is no ordinary task and that too in an agnostic world. 

ہر روز نئے فکر ہیں، ہر شب ہیں نئے غم

(Each day brings new worries; each night, new sorrows) 

Against such a backdrop, to work diligently for Jalsa Salana and attend to other daily engagements brought a question to mind.

Therefore, I asked, “Huzoor, we bring to you our griefs and sorrows and ease our burdens by informing you. But what do you do?”

Huzooraa beautifully replied, “I turn to Allah and take everything to Him. In reality, everyone should take their burdens and sorrows to Allah. Although I pray for those who write to me, but I always remind them that they should pray to Allah themselves too.”

Here, I suddenly remembered something, so I mentioned that too:

“On the last day of Jalsa, when Huzooraa was leading the Maghrib and Isha prayers, the mic was perhaps either somewhat sensitive or relatively close. Huzoor’saa words could be clearly heard during sajda [prostration].”

I had hesitantly said this. However, my affectionate Imamaa replied, “Really? What could you hear?”

I replied, “Huzoor, all that could be heard repeatedly, in fact, throughout, was, ‘Ay Allah, reham kar dey; Ay Allah, fazl kar dey.’ [O Allah, have mercy; O Allah, send down Your blessings.] This was what was heard repeatedly in great anguish.”

Huzooraa replied, “Well, this is the best prayer one can say. All prayers fall under this prayer. One can say other prayers, but this prayer has in it all prayers.”

May Allah accept the passionate prayers that our Imamaa says with great pain and may He accept them in our favour. May Allah shower His choicest blessings and special mercy on Huzooraa. Allah has specially blessed and shown mercy to Huzooraa, however there is no limit to these blessings and mercy.

May Allah accept these passionate prayers in Huzoor’saa favour and in our favour. On behalf of the readers of Al Hakam and myself, I am extremely grateful to Huzooraa that he showed us a glimpse of his engagements before, during and after Jalsa Salana UK.

I wanted to end this here, but one thing still remains. I am not sure whether I should write this or not, but a certain responsibility urges me to do so, therefore I shall go ahead anyway.

When I entered Huzoor’saa office for the mulaqat which I have referred to above, I received somewhat of a shock.

As usual, Huzooraa was occupied in his work, however, he had on his right hand a wrist brace, supporting his thumb and wrist. Startled, I asked, “Huzoor, what’s this? Is everything okay?”

Very calmly, Huzooraa continued to work with that hand and said, “Yes, everything is fine. Why do you ask?”

When I enquired about the wrist support on his right hand, Huzooraa replied, “Writing with my hand fixed in one position causes a bit of pain in the muscle between the thumb and wrist. Also, those who have come from around the world shake my hand extremely passionately. I cannot tell them about my pain and stop them. So, it is just a bit of pain. It will get better. Forget about this. Tell me, what do you have to say?”

Following Huzoor’saa order, I apparently left it here and discussed matters that required guidance. My mulaqat ended at around Zuhr time. After departing Huzoor’saa office, I performed wuzu [ablution] and went straight into Masjid Mubarak.

Usually, I try to keep my gaze down as Huzooraa enters and exits the mosque, however today, I could not. As Huzooraa entered the mosque to lead Namaz, my gaze inadvertently rose towards Huzoor’saa hand. Huzooraa did not have the wrist support on. My heart filled with love for Huzooraa. This is our affectionate and beloved Imamaa, who keeps his pain to himself; who listens to our sorrows and comforts us in times of distress; who hides all his sorrows from us so as not to worry the Jamaat; who bears every hardship and puts on a loving smile for our sake.

Let us pray together: O Allah, keep our beloved Imamaa in Your protection; move every harm away from him; shelter him with Your protection and bestow on him good health for there is no one else in this age who is a true ambassador of peace, love, forbearance and true happiness.

اے شخص تُو جان ہے ہماری

مر جائیں، اگر تجھے نہ چاہیں

(O our beloved! You are our life; without your love, we cannot survive)

اَللّٰھُمَّ اَیِّدْ اِمَامَنَا بِرُوْحِ الْقُدُس

(O Allah, help our Imam with the Holy Spirit!)

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