Ahmadi women should be confident in their faith: Amila of Lajna Imaillah Finland seeks guidance from Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V

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On 18 September 2021, the national amila of Lajna Imaillah Finland had a virtual meeting with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa. For the meeting, Huzooraa was seated in the new MTA International studio in Islamabad, UK. 

The meeting started with silent prayer led by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa

After speaking with Rehana Kokab Sahiba, Sadr Lajna Imaillah Finland, Huzooraa spoke to each amila member and asked them to introduce themselves and their departments.  

Speaking to Iffat Saeed Sahiba, General Secretary, Huzooraa asked about the total number of majalis, where they were located, the total number of Lajna members in Finland and how many majalis had sent their reports. Iffat Saeed Sahiba said there were a total of three majalis in different cities, and the total number of Lajna members was 87. Hearing this number, Huzooraa remarked, “Really? There are this many in just one halqa? Your majlis should be very ideal then.” 

Aafia Musawer Sahiba, Naib Sadr and Secretary Tabligh reported. Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa asked about the tabligh plans in place and their targets. Talking about bai‘at targets, Huzooraa said:

“If there is no target, work does not get done […] if you set the target that ‘we will achieve 50 bai‘ats in the year’, you will work to achieve it.”

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa emphasised that targets for bai‘ats must be made because without them, no work could be achieved. 

“You have a total of 87 Lajna members and if 100% of the 87 are active, and they preach to 87 households […] then it totals to 174 households – and introducing [Islam] to 174 households [at a time] will take a whole lifetime.”

Huzooraa said ambitious targets and plans should be made. 

Speaking with Kanza Mahmood Sahiba, Secretary Talim (education), Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa urged that as the total number of Lajna members was low, “100% participation” in talim classes should be achieved. Huzooraa also asked Kanza Sahiba to formulate ambitious programmes.  

Alia Kanwal Sahiba, Secretary Tarbiyat, reported next. Advising her about improving the numbers of members who offered Salat regularly and read the Holy Quran, Huzooraa said to ensure all amila members were doing so first, and that the rest would follow if this was achieved. 

“Start with your amila first […] the amila should offer five daily prayers; the amila should read the Holy Quran regularly; the amila’s purdah should be proper; the dress of the amila should be proper; the amila’smorals should be good – they should not get angry, and the rest [of the Lajna] will correct themselves too, as a result.”  

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa asked Alia Sahiba where she was from in Pakistan, to which she said she had lived in Faisalabad and was the daughter of Dr Rashid Karim. Hearing this, Huzooraa said, “I see, you are the daughter of Rashid Karim? Then you should work a lot; the people of Faisalabad work very efficiently.”

Durdana Tooba Sahiba, Secretary Khidmat-e-Khalq (Service to Humanity) reported. Huzooraa asked Durdana Sahiba about her studies and what she wanted to pursue in university. Durdana Sahiba said she planned to go into medicine, to which Huzoor said, “Masha-Allah”. Huzooraa asked Durdana Sahiba if she was content with the amount of help they gave to those in need, as Lajna Imaillah Findland only had a very small budget for khidmat-e-khalq activities. 

Speaking to Sadia Shahzad Sahiba, Secretary Maal (Finance) and Muavina Sadr Wasiyyat, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said to make relative collections for those who earned and those who did not. For example, the Ijtema chanda was not meant to be equal for both earning and non-earning members. In his guidance, Huzooraa said to ensure those members who should be giving – keeping in mind their financial capacity – were urged to give their chanda. However, any member who did not bear the capacity should be shown compassion. 

Huzooraa said:

“If the tarbiyat department is working properly, they should tell them what the importance of chanda is; Allah the Almighty has given this commandment in the Holy Quran, the Holy Prophetsa has said it and, in this age, the Promised Messiahas said it. It is not some tax; rather, it is to enable the organisation of the Jamaat to work that chanda is necessary.” 

In summary, Huzooraa said that with proper organisation and education of Lajna members, Lajna Finland could considerably increase their chanda collections.

Sadia Mubashira, Secretary Nasirat was next to report. Huzooraa asked how many nasirat there were in Finland, to which she said there were 21. 

Huzooraa asked about the tarbiyat plan in place for nasirat. Sadia Sahiba reported the nasirat studied various articles on an array of topics and they taught the Salat with translation and the first 17 verses of Surah al-Baqarah along with other surahs to the nasirat. She said that as the Urdu language of the nasirat was weak, Urdu classes were held too. 

To this, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said that if the nasirat’s Urdu was weak, they should provide them with content in English and the amila members who know English should help in this regard. 

Faiza Bushra Sahiba, Secretary Isha‘at reported. Huzooraa asked if there was a magazine for the Lajna in Finland. Faiza Sahiba said there was a monthly newsletter published. Huzooraa asked if all the Lajna read it and what the contents were. Faiza Sahiba said it was shared with everyone online and it included extracts from the Holy Quran, ahadith, extracts from the writings of the Promised Messiahas and instructions of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa. Huzooraa asked if the newsletter was in English or Urdu, to which Faiza Sahiba said the majority was in Urdu. Huzooraa advised that the Urdu extracts should have the English translations too as many of the Lajna members did not know Urdu and would, therefore, not understand. 

After hearing the food preparations for the amila members that day from secretary ziafat, Huzooraa remarked that she had treated the amila members by preparing such a menu. Secretary ziafat said they prepared the menu in celebration of the meeting with Huzooraa

Arooba Naseem Sahiba, Secretary Tahrik-e-Jadid and Waqf-e-Jadid reported to Huzooraa. During the conversation, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said all Lajna members should fulfil their promises and if they could not, they ought not to make such promises. 

Addressing Aruba Sahib, Huzooraa said, “You cannot force it, but whoever made promises, they should fulfil those promise.” 

Sidra Shaukat Sahiba, Secretary Umur-e-Talibat (Student Affairs) was next to report. Huzooraa asked her if she was studying, to which Sidra Sahiba said she was doing a master’s in protein science and bio-technology. 

Huzooraa then asked her about the demographics of Lajna students and their various levels of study. Sidra Sahiba reported there were 18 Lajna students who were going to college, pursuing their bachelor’s degrees, doing master’s degrees and some pursuing their PhDs. 

Huzooraa asked, “How many are doing their PhDs?” Sidra Sahiba said three Lajna members were doing their PhD to which Huzooraa said, “Really? Masha-Allah, what fields?” Sidra Sahiba said one was doing a PhD in chemical engineering, another was pursuing bio-informatics and the other in human resources. To this Huzooraa commented, “Your girls are very bright.” 

Hamida Jaree, Muavina Sadr Waqf-e-Nau reported next. Huzooraa asked how many waqifaat-e-nau were in Lajna Imaillah Finland and asked some other questions too. Hamida Sahiba reported there were a total of 63 waqifaat-e-nau and of these, 41 were over the age of seven, 15 above the age of 15 and seven between the ages of seven and 15. 

Huzooraa asked Hamida Sahiba if she followed the waqifaat-e-nau syllabus that had been assigned. Hamida Sahib reported they did and had regular monthly classes too and also took exams from the waqifaat-e-nau. They planned to have all the waqifaat-e-nau to complete their syllabus and improve languages too. 

At this, all the amila members had given their reports. 

Huzooraa noticed two young Lajna members seated at the back of the hall and asked who they were. Huzooraa then very lovingly asked about their studies and ages. Speaking to one of them, Aysha Qayyum Sahiba, who studied in year eight, Huzooraa asked what she wanted to do in the future. She responded by saying she wasn’t sure and asked Huzooraa for guidance. Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa advised her by saying:

“Whatever you have an interest in, pursue that. If you are interested in science, then study medicine. If you are interested in arts or language, then study a language, or do journalism […] You can do whatever you like, see what your interests are and do that.”

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa then turned to Rehana Kokab Sahiba, Sadr Lajna Imaillah Finland who said some of the amila members had questions. 

The first question was about tabligh. Secretary tabligh said that Ahmadi men distributed tabligh related leaflets in public spheres. She wanted to know how Lajna members could get involved too. 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said:

“Why can’t Lajna do this too? You go to the market, buy groceries, go outside regularly and go to parks, etc. Take the nasirat with you – they go to school too. So make groups of two or three and distribute pamphlets. 

“Get yourself acquainted and known as much as you can with women. Preach to women. What’s the harm in this? 

“If [Muslim] women could take part in battles during the early days, then why can’t they distribute leaflets today? I just explained this yesterday, that they used to take part in battles. The battle of this age is to do tabligh, right? So, carry out tabligh. We aren’t to wield swords – in this age, we are to give out literature and distribute it.”

Huzooraa said that Lajna members should also take caution and go in groups of twos or threes and have some nasirat members with them so they are trained as well. Apart from this, Huzooraa instructed to develop relations with more women and to preach to them.  

Another question was about complexes the young nasirat members or Lajna members had with their Islamic dress. The question asked was, “How can we increase the love and confidence of purdah and cultural clothing?”

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said:

“The thing to remember is that religion is first and foremost. No matter the type of clothing – however it is – it must be modest. The Holy Quran did not say that ‘you have to wear shalwar kameez or a robe’. The Holy Quran says you must wear modest clothing – a woman’s beauty should not be visible. 

“This is the responsibility of the tarbiyat department and it is the responsibility of the nasirat department that they should inculcate [this] from childhood. It is also the responsibility of parents.”

Huzooraa emphasised that the tarbiyat department, parents and the nasirat department all work to inculcate the teachings of Islamic modesty and dressing amongst Lajna members, from a young age. Huzooraa said they should teach Lajna members that “we are Ahmadi Muslims and so, we should act on the commandments of Allah the Almighty. And Allah the Almighty says to wear modest clothing.

“There are some Muslims – some Arab [Muslims] too who are not Ahmadis – who wear jeans and a blouse and then wear the hijab on top and believe they have done a lot of purdah. There is no point in such a purdah as their clothing is still revealing […] or, when they go outside, they wear a long robe, but then at home, their clothing is not appropriate in front of their relatives – this is wrong too.” 

Huzooraa said:

“Modesty is a part of faith – this is a hadith. For this reason, from childhood, you will need to teach girls that ‘modesty is a part of faith’ and we are Ahmadi Muslims too, therefore we should show our examples. There should not be any form of double standard, and when our dress is modest, our own modesty will be upheld too. When we get older, according to that modest dressing, we will wear our clothes and will do purdah and will not be embarrassed by it, nor have complexes. 

“‘Create the realisation within yourself that we are to reform the world and get it to follow us – we are not to follow the world.’”

Huzooraa further said:

“If mothers themselves don’t have courage and confidence, and when they go out they are overawed by Western people [and] anyone who speaks a line or two of English or the local language, they get scared of them and go silent, then this is wrong.” 

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said that Ahmadi girls should be given confidence about who they are and the Lajna and nasirat departments, with the help of parents, should instil this confidence. Huzooraa said that those girls who were born in Western countries and who had a close attachment with the Jamaat, regularly listened to Huzoor’s sermons and speeches to Lajna and were attached with Lajna Imaillah, did not fall into complexes over their faith and Islamic way of dressing. 

“Those who move away from the Jamaat develop complexes, or such people whose parents are uneducated and do not pay attention to giving the answers their girls have. For those girls whose parents are not educated, educated Lajna members should befriend them; after all, there are young Lajna members too who are 16-22 years old. They should help them understand what they are to do and not to do. Every [Lajna] member can attach one girl with themselves. You have a very small number [of Lajna members in Finland] – everyone can attach themselves with one girl and thus, the complex will diminish.” 

The last question asked was how to overcome laziness showed by some Lajna members in offering their five daily prayers regularly. Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said:

“Our work is to constantly remind; this is the task and this was the instruction of the Holy Prophetsa: to remind, remind and remind. We are to give this advice until the habit is formed. 

“Help them understand the importance of Salat, why we offer Salat. To only say, ‘Offer Salat – Allah will become angry, so read Salat’ […] [to merely say this] is not enough because the world continues to increase in materialism. Explain to them the philosophy of Salat, why we offer Salat and why one should offer it; what are the benefits of Salat and the drawbacks if we don’t offer it? And if we are to call ourselves Ahmadi Muslim, then how should we act? We should not be duplicity, otherwise this becomes hypocrisy. If we are to do good works, we should do them correctly, not that we merely say we are Ahmadi Muslims for a show, and our actions are not according to the claim.

“The elders should also show their examples during Salat. If parents are offering Salat and there is due attention towards worship, then children will develop due importance to it as well.”

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said every department and section of the Jamaat needed to work to achieve this task and inculcate the importance of Salat within the youngsters. 

At the end, Sadr Sahiba Finland thanked Huzooraa for giving his precious time to them. Huzooraa asked what time it was in Finland, to which Sadr Sahiba said it was 3:28pm. Huzooraa enquired if they had had lunch, to which Sadr Sahiba responded by saying they had not. Huzooraa said, “Okay, then go [and eat], you all must be hungry now.”  

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa conveyed his salaam and the meeting came to a close

(Report prepared by Al Hakam)

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