Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa had only just arrived from his three-week tour to Spain when, after three long weeks, I finally had the chance to meet Huzooraa. There were many items that needed Huzoor’saa guidance and approval, and on top of that, those wanting to have audience that day thronged the seating area. It seemed as though I would not be able to seek guidance on all the points I had listed. Generally, the circumstances of each Mulaqat are quite unique. To solve the most puzzling of issues in a matter of seconds, providing guidance thereupon and answering all questions is a characteristic that Huzooraa masters.
Huzooraa called me to his office. I entered and presented the matters I needed guidance on. Then Huzooraa enquired, “Aur?” [And?]
This “Aur” was very special for me. Thus, I asked the question that I had yearned to ask for a long time, and indeed what many Ahmadis must have been curious about.
Asif Mahmood Basit, London
Huzoor, you visit the world’s leading parliaments and address them. An ordinary man would feel overawed standing at such a platform. What does Huzooraa feel in those moments?
Those who feel overawed in such instances are those who have to say something in their personal capacity, whether it is their personal stances or their philosophies. My purpose is, naturally, not to say anything on my own behalf, nor do I desire personal fame. My purpose is to show the teachings of Islam and that’s it.
My task has been made very easy by Allah. Any speech I make is based on the verses of the Holy Quran, Ahadith, the practice of the Holy Prophetsa and the sayings of the Promised Messiahas. Where these are being presented, others will be overawed and not the other way around.
I remember, when I was making my way to deliver the address at Capitol Hill, some members of the USA Jamaat informed me about the grandeur and prestige of the House.
There, a group of American academics who deliver lectures, as well as military chaplains came to meet me. They asked, “You are going to talk at Capitol Hill tomorrow, are you not at all anxious or nervous?” I replied, “I will be talking about my religion’s teachings and current affairs, so at present I am not nervous.” Surprised at hearing this, one of them said, “I often talk there and each time, I feel extremely nervous before speaking.” That discussion ended there.
On the drive to Capitol Hill, I took a glance at my notes for the speech. For a second, the thought occurred to me, “America is a superpower of the world and I am to address the leaders and high-ranking officials of this superpower”. The thought had only just crossed my mind and I did not even have a chance to ponder on it, when Allah the Almighty put in my heart with great might:
“Allah the Almighty assured the Promised Messiahas,
[You have been helped with prestige]
and I am here as a representative of the Promised Messiahas.”
These words were put in my heart with such vigour and splendour by Allah that all other thoughts were brushed away.
These words were vouchsafed to the Promised Messiahas through Divine revelation and the same words were put in my heart as a means of reassurance. The wisdom behind it must have been that I was not attending the event to present personal views, nor was I there to establish my supremacy. I was to present the teachings of Islam; the God that revealed Islam to mankind is a God Who is very protective of His religion.
The American people, generally, have a particular nature and then their leaders, along with this nature, have a special sense of pride. How was Huzoor’s experience meeting them?
When I visited the USA in 2008, a senator had come to meet me. Before arriving, he would constantly tell those members of the Jamaat who had invited him that he would not be able to spare much time or stay for very long. When he met me, he expressed his hurry several times. When we tried to offer introductory literature about the Jamaat, he declined, saying, “I am a senator, so I cannot accept gifts.” When asked, “Even books?” he replied that he was not permitted to accept any sort of gift. He left before the event had even started.
Even when he met me, he asked, “What do you want from me?” I sensed arrogance in his tone, and so I replied, “I have not come to ask anything of you. I have merely come to ask that if you wish to save your country and the rest of the world, then you assess your actions with justice.”
When I returned to the USA in 2012 and delivered my address at Capitol Hill, you saw how the audience received my message. [Readers will recall that all members of congress and dignitaries gave Huzooraa a lengthy standing ovation after the speech had ended.] The same senator was also present there and spoke highly of the Jamaat. Seeing the other senators’ and dignitaries’ passion and zeal, he appeared to be overawed. Then, he came and met me very respectfully.
So, this is what worldly people are like; easily influenced by the direction of the world. And once someone is influenced by the world and changes their stance according to the given situation, how can they overawe anybody?
When influential people of the world are told to speak somewhere or attend a press conference, they are briefed, to the extent that they are told how their body language should appear, for example they are told not to touch their face whilst speaking, and so on.
I maintain my natural body language, and that too without any conscious effort. I have never had to think of such dos and don’ts. As I mentioned, if I was saying something on my own behalf then I would be nervous, but when my purpose is the same as Allah’s and His Prophet’s, then these things bear no meaning.
When representatives of television channels and newspapers interview Huzooraa, does Huzooraa specially prepare for them?
Whatever they come to ask, I give my answers in light of the Holy Quran, the Hadith and writings of the Promised Messiahas.
In Canada, when I was to be interviewed by Peter Mansbridge, the Umur-e-Kharija [external affairs] team of Jamaat Canada told me that many ministers and diplomats feel nervous in front of him. Perhaps they were trying to mentally prepare me for the interview. I told them, “That’s fine, they may feel nervous. We’ll see when the interview starts.”
When he arrived for the interview, I spoke to him just as I would with any journalist, in fact with any non-Muslim guest. When he touched the subject of segregation of women, without any hesitation, I told him that we do hold functions segregated, to which he said, “Well, you’re calling it [segregation].” I corrected him and told him that the term “segregation” was coined by the Western world for the Islamic purdah and hence, I used his term while talking to him.
This, too, was the Islamic teaching that I was speaking on. Allah, Himself, develops a sense of awe and respect, no matter who may stand before you.
[I asked another question that had occupied my mind for a long time.] On the centenary of Khilafat, Huzooraa delivered an address. Huzooraa said, “God Almighty gave me the reassurance a long time ago that He would prepare loyal companions in this era Himself.” Huzoor, when did you receive this promise?
This was a long time ago, well before my election as Khalifa.
يَنْصُرُكَ رِجَالٌ نُّوْحِيْ اِلَيْهِمْ مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ
[Men whom We shall direct from heaven will help you.]
These words were clearly shown to me when I was still a student. This promise was fulfilled on various occasions, in various ways. But the actual meaning came to light when I was bestowed the responsibility of Khilafat.
Similarly, on another occasion I was shown:
اللّٰهُ نُوْرُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الْاَرْضِ
[Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth.]
I was shown this in extremely beautiful, crystal-clear and bold text in the sky. Then, I was intuitively told that the accomplishment of all tasks is made possible by Allah. In this manner, Allah intuitively puts a thought into my heart. Difficulties are overcome and questions are answered.
Huzoor, when you say “puts a thought into my heart”…
[I had only said this much when I found myself not able to carry on. I fell silent. Huzooraa smiled and said:]
First, phrase your question.
[To phrase that question, and that too in the presence of Hazrat Sahibaa was well-nigh impossible. Had that encouraging response not come from Huzooraa, I might not have been able to formulate my question. With great shame and utter humility, I asked,]
Huzooraa, you are undoubtedly blessed with direct Divine discourse?
The question is, what is Divine discourse? Allah has His own ways. And His ways with me are very unique. He brings thoughts to my attention with such vigour, that either all problems are solved or patience is granted. The heart feels at peace. Either that, or Allah provides guidance. Allah the Almighty completes my tasks for me. When he does my tasks, it is as if he talks.
Huzoor, when you were in Pakistan, you must have come across pictures of the Palace of Westminster [London] and other parliament houses many times. You probably never thought that you would, one day, address those parliaments?
What was there to think? Such a thought never even came near to crossing my mind. What I mean to say is:
Jis pind jana nain, udha rah kiyun puchna
[Punjabi proverb: Why would one ask the route for a place that is not their destination?]
But Huzoor, eventually you were to settle in this “pind” [place]?
Allah brought me here by force. Otherwise, I had never thought of this route, nor asked for it. I was always in the frame of mind, as Bulleh Shah says,
Jay mein vekhan amlan valley, kuj nain merey palley
Jay vekhan teri rehmat valley, balley, balley, balley
[Reflecting on my actions, nothing is in possession;
Turning to your mercy, abundance in perfection]
[Here, the interview came to a close. But throughout the duration of the interview, it was as if time had come to a halt. I swear by God that in such moments, time feels static. And why wouldn’t it? The person who was given the promise,
“You have been helped with prestige”, even time stays still before him.]