Asif M Basit
Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa delivered a Friday Sermon on 12 April 2019 in the Baitul Futuh Mosque. A series of sermons had been delivered on the Companionsra of the Holy Prophetsa and on this day too, the Companionsra were the focus of the sermon.
Towards the end of the sermon, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa informed the Jamaat that of the meanings of the revelation vouchsafed to the Promised Messiahas:
one interpretation was that along with the expansion of the Jamaat’s tasks, Allah would bestow physical expansion also. And in light of this very meaning, Huzooraa said, Allah had bestowed upon the Jamaat a new Markaz in Islamabad, Tilford. With that, Huzooraa urged the Jamaat to pray that Islamabad lived up to its name – an abode of Islam.
Thereafter, Huzooraa said:
“In a few days, I shall leave London for Islamabad.”
This one sentence caused emotions to surge, especially for those who, like me, had become accustomed to the streets surrounding the Fazl Mosque; those who, like me, had to make at least one trip to the Fazl Mosque a day and those who, no matter where they were headed, would prefer to acquire the route travelling past the Fazl Mosque.
Above and beyond all emotions, however, was the delight of a new Markaz and the expansion of the Jamaat.
That very same evening, I was informed that I had a mulaqat on Monday, 15 April. I had an inkling that this mulaqat could well be my last mulaqat in Huzoor’s Fazl Mosque based office.
What didn’t go through my mind whilst thinking about this! Attempting to conceal these emotions, I found myself ready on the day to enter Huzoor’saa office for my mulaqat. All important matters were discussed.
Huzooraa mentioned a recent group mulaqat with German Ahmadis and referred to an answer he had given to a question on the issue of taqdir – divine decree. Huzooraa said:
“I wanted to draw their attention to a fact that Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra mentioned in one of his couplets:
‘تدبیر کے جالوں میں مت پھنس، کر قبضہ جا کے مقدر پر’
(Don’t just sit and weave plans; go out and grab your fate.)
“We should aim to make our destiny along with maintaining determination, effort and prayers, rather than sitting idly and awaiting our fate.”
Thereafter I presented a few more pending issues, which Huzooraa graciously gave guidance on. Then came the subject of Islamabad.
Here, I asked a question that had etched itself in my heart for some time:
“An ordinary human being remains uncertain about even the smallest decisions, but the Khalifa has to make huge decisions, for example, shifting the Markaz from one place to another…”
“The Khalifa has to bear in mind the entire Jamaat before making a decision. When the idea initially occurred to me of shifting the Markaz to Islamabad, I gave it great thought. At times I felt that it may not be suitable, while at other times I felt that the time was not fitting. Sometimes I would reflect on whether we should even shift to Islamabad or to some other location. Then I would pray to Allah that He bestow guidance so that we adopt the best method. Thereafter, Allah reassured me about establishing the Markaz in Islamabad, and thus, this decision was made easy. The hurdles that had initially made it difficult to move soon began to disappear. The biggest hurdle was one related to the local council, but Allah caused that too to vanish. After that, everything began to go smoothly and very soon the new Markaz began to take shape.”
A pause followed this – the pause in which to interrupt is somewhat disrespectful. Alhamdolillah, I did not interject and Huzooraa graciously carried on:
“After my sermon, those who had played an active role in purchasing the land of Islamabad in the time of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh are writing to me saying that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh expressed his desire many a time that Islamabad serve as the Markaz. However, at that time, there were many constraints. There were so many restrictions by the local council that to adhere to all those became an impossibility. I am writing back to all such people saying that Allah has appointed a fixed time for everything. Here, too, it is all about what is destined. The fruits of the labour done back then had an appointed time. We carried on with our determination and very soon the time that Allah had appointed for this arrived. In this manner, Allah blessed all the efforts and determination.”
The moment Huzooraa mentioned the shift of Markaz in his Friday Sermon, the thought occurred to me that people must have written intriguing opinions and facts to Huzooraa in this regard. Obviously, I did not have the courage to ask such a blunt question to Huzoor, and even if I did, I would have done so very apprehensively, and the moment would have been squandered. By God’s grace, Huzooraa himself added:
“Some people have said that Rabwah served as the Markaz for almost 35 years and now, almost the same period has passed for this Markaz, and it is time to move. People are writing many different points to me.”
After a slight pause, Huzooraa said:
“People with an interest in linguistics and languages have also written to me. Mirza Muhammad-uddin Naz Sahib wrote that Islamabad is based in Tilford. In English, Tilford means a fertile piece of land, adjacent to a river. He said that the Hadith that refers to a person named Harith who would appear from beside a river, is perhaps an indication to this move.”
After the mulaqat, when I searched the meaning of Tilford in the dictionary, it read, “From a fertile ford” (ferTILE-FORD perhaps became Tilford).
Then I searched for the Hadith which my beloved Imamaa had made a reference to. In Izala-e-Auham, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiahas says:
“It says in Abu Daud’s Sahih that a person named Harith, that is Harith who lives beside a river … shall come forward, who shall give strength to the people of the Prophet; whose assistance and support will be the foremost duty of every believing person.”
The individual about to dwell on the lush green ford is Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih-ul-Maudas and has vast experience and education in agriculture.
In the sermon, Huzooraa also urged members to pray that this land of Islamabad became a centre for the propagation of Islam.
With all these points before me, I recalled a sitting with Jamia Ahmadiyya UK in which a student asked Huzooraa:
“Huzoor, do you still have an interest in agriculture?”
“I do, but now you are my crops.”
I gathered all these memories and the deeper meanings of Islamabad being situated in Tilford.
The mulaqat was almost coming to a close. Along with the delight of Huzoor’saa move to Islamabad was another thought that had made its presence felt in my mind. It became difficult to word – so difficult that I only managed to say:
“Huzoor, now the Fazl Mosque…”
May Allah always keep my Imamaa happy for he bestowed such an answer to my incomplete question, the wording of which is worthy of being engraved on stone:
“The significance and importance of the Fazl Mosque can never diminish. Including Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra, four Khulafa have led prayers in this mosque and prayed to Allah. This is an asset that cannot be taken away from this mosque. In my sajdas [prostrations] whilst praying in this mosque, I always pray to Allah, ‘O Allah, fulfil the desire Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra had when establishing this mosque; accept the prayers he made in this mosque; accept the prayers of all the Khulafa who prayed here.’ I even pray that the prayers said by the Khulafa in this mosque are always attached to this mosque and that we continue to reap the fruits of those prayers and become worthy recipients.”
The mulaqat came to a close and I left that office.
I only had two mulaqats with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh and they both took place in that very office.
My very first mulaqat with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa took place in that office; my Waqf-e-Zindagi was accepted in that office; when I was assigned responsibilities by Huzooraa and had to report to or seek guidance from him, I always returned to that very office.
As a Waqif-e-Zindagi, I was taught to walk in that office. For 16 years, the rust on my soul was continuously cleansed in that office. My master, who is aware of my weaknesses and flaws, graciously attempted to purify me in that office.
With respect to my spiritual ailments, I always sought guidance on remedies in that office. In that office, I fell in love with this person. In that office, I learnt the true meaning of love for Khilafat and the grandeur of Khilafat.
All these memories flickered through my mind; however, memories are limited to emotions. The happiness that is paired with reality is far superior and powerful.
The reality is that Allah has bestowed on the Jamaat a new Markaz and has enabled us to establish the Qasr-e-Khilafat (residence of Khilafat) in the heart of Christianity, rather, in the heart of disbelief. From here shall project the rays of Islam and illuminate the world.
I end with the poetic couplets of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra written in 1920 when the land that now holds the Fazl Mosque was purchased:
مرکزِ شرک سے آوازۂ توحید اٹھا
دیکھنا دیکھنا، مغرب سے ہے خورشید اٹھا
نور کے سامنے ظلمت بھلا کیا ٹھہرے گی
جان لو جلد ہی اب ظلمِ صنادید اٹھا
“A call to God’s unity is heard from the centre of polytheism; watch the sun rise from the West.
“How will darkness prevail before light; the tyranny of old gods is now to see its end.”