On Sunday, 7 January 2024, a group of ansar from France had the blessed opportunity to meet Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa in a virtual mulaqat.
At the outset, Huzooraa conveyed his salaam and called upon Abdel Ghani Belarbi Sahib to recite a portion of the Holy Quran. This was followed by its Urdu translation, presented by Mansoor Zafar Sahib. Then, Huzooraa, addressing Syed Suhail Ahmad Sahib, Sadr Majlis Ansarullah, asked him if he was from India, to which Sadr Sahib replied in the affirmative. He reported that there were 14 majalis with the ansar tajnid being 350 in total. He added that all ansar started the day with the tahajjud prayer, followed by breakfast.
Following this, the ansar had the chance to ask some questions and seek guidance from Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa.
Karamatullah Sahib enquired about nurturing future generations, saying, “How can we train our children to establish a strong connection with Khilafat?”
“The first thing is to develop a connection with Allah Almighty. Create a personal bond with Allah and include your children in your prayers. Parents’ prayers for their children are accepted, and children’s prayers for their parents are also accepted. Pray that Allah Almighty connects them with Himself, with the Faith, and, alongside this, connects them with the Jamaat of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, peace be on him, who has come in accordance with the promises of Allah Almighty and the prophecies of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. And following these prophecies, the system of Khilafat was also established. Therefore, create a bond with the Khilafat.
“When all these things are in place, along with your own examples, your prayers, and lovingly advising the children, then these connections will continue to strengthen. Do not think that they will grow up and establish their own bond. Rather, instil these values in them from childhood. Parents play with, love, and befriend their children in childhood, but when the children reach the age of 12-14, especially fathers, start to distance themselves from the boys, not maintaining the same level of friendship or communication. Mothers, on the other hand, continue to befriend and talk to their daughters, but fathers tend to step back. If fathers also play their role, the children will remain close. Attach them to the Jamaat. When you attach them to the Jamaat, the system of the Jamaat and that of Khilafat are one and the same, and this understanding will then develop in the children. Afterwards, they will become attached.”
Subsequently, Ghislain Quinet Sahib sought advice on addressing misconceptions in France, asking, “What strategy should be adopted to address the intense hatred towards Islam due to unfamiliarity with true Islam?”
“The fact of the matter is that [you] have not yet fully and effectively carried out [your] responsibility to preach as thoroughly as expected. If Ahmadis here [in France …], including the ansar, khuddam, and members of Lajna, were to preach within their own circles, distribute pamphlets, and inform people about the beautiful teachings of Islam, then at least people would come to know what the true teachings of Islam are.
“Many mainstream Muslims who have not accepted the Promised Messiahas have not done so because of the harsh attitudes of the so-called clerics and scholars and their incorrect interpretation of the Holy Quran. They have been presented with an image of Islam that is based on extremism. This perception cannot be quickly eliminated by a small group of people, even if there were, for example, a thousand members of our Jamaat here [in France].
“Yes, we are making an effort. We must continue to strive. Gradually convince one or two at a time, and at the very least, continue to convey the message. Other than that, as Allah Almighty says and also commanded the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, ‘balligh’ [Surah al-Mai‘dah, Ch.5: V.68] – [O Messengersa] your duty is to preach the message revealed to you. Guiding someone is the work of Allah Almighty.
“However, our actions must also be commendable. If our actions as Muslims, particularly as Ahmadi Muslims, are upright, and alongside our preaching efforts and distribution of literature, if we are able to create a positive impression in our area and our environment, then those close to us, even if it is just one to ten people, will themselves acknowledge – and this often happens in many places, with many people expressing that – the teachings of Islam as conveyed by the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, and the way this [Muslim] Community presents the message and teachings of Islam, are completely different from the [distorted] image of Islam presented by the general Muslim populace or by extremist clerics. Therefore, our task is to keep striving. We cannot change the world instantly.
“The promise of Allah Almighty to the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, had been made. And during [the lifetime] of the Holy Prophetsa his message did reach not only the Arab world but a much wider region. However, at that time, not everyone converted to Islam. Then, during the period of Khilafat-e-Rashidah [the Rightly-Guided Khilafat] and the subsequent periods that followed, the message gradually spread across the world. But even after 1400 years, the number of Christians is perhaps twice that of Muslims. This does not mean that Islam is the wrong religion or that Allah Almighty does not want the world to be Muslim. Instead, Allah Almighty says that He has given you complete freedom and consciousness. Then, He has placed upon Muslims the responsibility to preach and convey the message; keep conveying it and also pray alongside. When Allah’s grace is bestowed, and when the time comes, insha-Allah, there will be a breakthrough.
“In this era, Allah the Almighty has sent the Promised Messiahas with the purpose of facilitating a second resurgence of Islam and a revival of the faith. Through literature and diverse media outlets, people are to be educated about the teachings of Islam.
“The fact is that we cannot reach everyone; as I have mentioned, the number of Ahmadis in France is quite limited. Therefore, use various means at your disposal – social media, distributing brochures, and other literature – as much as you can, and keep striving. A time will come, insha-Allah, when a breakthrough will occur. The Promised Messiahas did not say that I would create a revolution within a hundred years of my advent or an immediate revolution. Yes, he certainly did say that Christianity spread throughout the world and was accepted by governments and even by the Roman Empire, but it took more than 300 years. However, the spread of Islam through Ahmadiyyat and the dissemination of his message around the world will not take 300 years to see the majority of the world under the flag of Islam. [Tadhkiratush-Shahadatain, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 20, p. 67] Therefore, only 130 years have passed now; it will not take 300 years [for these things to be fulfilled], insha-Allah. If we continue to strive in this manner, work hard, pray, use all means and resources, reform ourselves and establish our own examples, then, insha-Allah, a time will come, if not in our generation, then in the next, when we will see the progress of Islam. So, to say that we must see it in our time is not possible.
“The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa came as a universal Prophet for the entire world. During his time, some countries in the Arab world embraced Islam. The spread of Islam to areas like China and beyond the Arab world occurred after the Holy Prophetsa. Every event has its appointed time. When the time comes, insha-Allah, people will embrace Islam. Therefore, one must not lose hope and should not abandon their duty. Our task is to preach, and if our intentions are pure, then it is the work of Allah to bear fruit.”
Following this, Muhammad Ahsan Sahib probed into deepening spiritual bonds, asking, “How can we strengthen our relationship with Allah the Almighty?”
In response, Huzooraa explained, “Allah Almighty has told the way: do zikr-e-ilahi, pray in your prayers,” and also offer two nafl in the night after the Isha prayer, “and pray to Allah that He may grant you His nearness.” Huzooraa then went on to remind him how Allah has blessed him in his life, work, and earnings and told him to remember His grace and, to be grateful, give sadaqah too. Allah Almighty states:
لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ
“If you are grateful, I will, surely, bestow more [favours] on you.” (Surah Ibrahim, Ch.14: V.8)
Huzooraa went on to mention a hadith of the Holy Prophetsa in which he states that if a person comes to God walking, He goes to him running. Thus, for this, a person should make an effort, Huzooraa said.
Huzooraa gave the example of the Companions of the Holy Prophetsa, who were also engaged in business during their lives. Hazrat Uthmanra, on one occasion, contributed 300 camels during a time of war, highlighting their involvement in trade. Nevertheless, Huzooraa said, they did not forget Allah, and that is why they were also willing to make sacrifices.
Thereafter, Sohail Mubarak Sahib looked into historical events and their future implications, asking, “Will Khilafat ever return to Pakistan or has Pakistan been deprived of this good fortune?”
“If you were to offer two nafl prayers, fervently praying for the return to Pakistan, with the same heartfelt emotion you have displayed now, then Allah Almighty will surely accept them if everyone prays together.
“I have mentioned on numerous occasions that Allah Almighty conveyed to me in a dream that if all Ahmadis were to collectively pray fervently for three days, in unison, humbly falling before Allah and beseeching Him, then conditions could change. When it comes to hijrat [migration], Prophets, once they migrate from one place, tend not to return. For instance, the Holy Prophetsa achieved victory in Mecca but chose to remain in Medina.”
With regards to Pakistan, Huzooraa added, “Insha-Allah, avenues shall open. The headquarters are there in Rabwah, and Qadian is also a headquarters. There are prophecies for the return to Qadian and glad tidings of the return to Rabwah. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra had high hopes for Rabwah. So, Insha-Allah, a time shall come when Khilafat shall also go there. I do not assert it will be permanent; it is linked to the Jamaat’s progress. Allah Almighty knows best how He shall grant progress to the Jamaat. […] A time shall come when, in Europe, these developed countries shall begin opposition against Islam and the Jamaat. Then, it is possible that we may have to migrate from here and go elsewhere, or return to Qadian or Rabwah. Insha-Allah, we should maintain hope; however, for that, we will have to make efforts, reform our deeds, provide proper upbringing to our generations, strengthen our bond with Allah Almighty, pay attention to prayers, and Insha-Allah, circumstances shall change.”
Next, Sohail Mubarak Sahib also asked, “Can a woman perform Hajj or ‘umrah under the supervision of a travel agency without a mahram?”
Huzooraa explained that in that era, transportation options were limited, and the Holy Prophetsa emphasised that women should travel with a mahram. Huzooraa added that the Holy Prophetsa also prophesied that a time would come when peace would prevail, and there would be no danger in travelling. During that time, a woman, unaccompanied, would be able to travel from Medina to Hadramout without fear except for that of God. Huzooraa emphasised that, from this, one can infer that the solo travel of women is not forbidden. Due to the potential dangers of travelling, it is advisable for women to travel with a mahram or in a group to ensure their safety.
Afterwards, Syed Abdullah Yusuf Sahib asked about spiritual growth, enquiring, “How can we develop humility and devotion in our prayers?”
Huzooraa explained, “When standing for prayer, diligently recite the words of the salat. During nafl prayers, repeatedly utter the words: اَلۡحَمۡدُ لِلّٰہِ رَبِّ الۡعٰلَمِيۡنَ [‘All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds,’]. Repeatedly say اِہۡدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الۡمُسۡتَقِيۡمَ [‘Guide us in the right path’]. The Promised Messiahas has advised to wear a sorrowful expression, as the physical appearance of one’s face can impact their inner being.” Huzooraa added that one must pray and make efforts for this.
Rauf Mubashar Sahib then sought insights into global peace issues, specifically asking, “When will the situation in Palestine improve, and when will peace be granted to its people?”
“Allah the Exalted has stated that when they become ‘ibad as-salihin i.e., ‘righteous servants of God,’ Muslims will once again gain control over that land in peace. There is a prophecy about the Israelites that they will commit oppression and, consequently, will be expelled from there.
“Regarding this matter, I had mentioned and even sent a circular to the missionaries to read the tafsir of the last part of the first ruku’ of Surah Bani Isra’il from Tafsir-e-Kabir by Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra. [Then] read the tafsir of verse number 106 of Surah al-Anbiya. In these, you will find a comprehensive explanation of the situation regarding Palestine and Israel and what is to happen to the Israelites.
“How will the Holy Land be possessed? It will not happen through weapons, wars, or such means. Allah Almighty has set the condition there that ‘righteous servants’ will have to be produced. They will be the ones to take possession of it. When our state becomes such, then the situation there will also improve. It is a certainty that since the Israelis are committing oppression, [as per the prophecy], they will be expelled again for this oppression and will not settle again. This is the warning of Allah Almighty.
“So, the main thing is that the sooner we turn towards Allah the Exalted, the sooner we implore Him, the sooner Allah Almighty will also improve the conditions for us.
“Anyway, it is firmly established that now the Israelites will have to leave from there [as per the prophecy], as the extreme of oppression has been reached.
“In any case, it is a lengthy tafsir, but do read it. You should have it. In fact, I had said to also deliver durus on Tafsir-e-Kabir in the mosques.”
In continuation, Zafar Iqbal Sahib requested guidance on spiritual aspirations, asking, “How can we achieve higher standards of taqwa (righteousness)?”
Answering this question, Huzooraa quoted a line from one of the poems of the Promised Messiahas:
تقويٰ يہی ہے يارو کہ نخوت کو چھوڑ دو
کبر و غرور و بخل کی عادت کو چھوڑ دو
“Friends! Piety is this that you give up arrogance. Give up the habit of pride, haughtiness and stinginess.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya Part 5, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 21, pp. 17-18)
Huzooraa explained, “What is taqwa? Taqwa is to fear Allah, not out of being scared of Him, but out of concern for His displeasure and the possibility of losing His love. When one has a love for Allah, they will naturally attain taqwa as well.” Huzooraa emphasised that the Holy Quran contains numerous commandments, and by reading it and following Allah’s directives, individuals can achieve the standards of piety. Alluding to the aforementioned stanza, Huzooraa said that this is the summary. Put aside pride, arrogance, and being miserly. Huzooraa clarified that miserliness is not limited to money; it can also manifest in relationships or a reluctance to express goodness. When one avoids such behaviours, they attain taqwa.
Following suit, Muhammad Ahsan Shad Sahib asked, “What approach should be adopted to reconnect individuals who become distant due to the wrong attitude of an office-bearer or misunderstanding?”
Huzooraa advised, “First and foremost, try to establish a personal bond with them.” Huzooraa explained that office-bearers should focus on self-improvement. It is the responsibility of the Sadr Jamaat, office-bearers, and the Secretary Tarbiyat to maintain regular contact with members. This interaction should go beyond merely collecting chanda or inviting them to gatherings; instead, a genuine personal connection should be forged. Huzooraa stressed that when a personal bond is formed, they can then explain to members that they embraced Ahmadiyyat in response to the Holy Prophet’ssa directive to accept the Imam Mahdi when he appears and become a part of his community. Therefore, their allegiance is to the Promised Messiahas and his Khulafa, not to an individual office-bearer. Huzooraa added that if an office-bearer’s wrong attitude leads someone to distance themselves from the Jamaat and incur the displeasure of Allah, it becomes crucial to address the issue. However, he cautioned against making accusatory statements before establishing a bond with the individual. If such accusations are made prematurely, the person may become resistant and unwilling to listen.
Chaudhry Maqsood-ur-Rahman Sahib then enquired about the role of international organisations, asking, “What changes should be made to enable practical steps for the salvation of the oppressed?”
“I have mentioned it several times before, and it is also present in our literature, as previous Khulafa have repeatedly discussed this matter. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra also explained in detail how the First World War occurred and the League of Nations was established with the proclamation that ‘we will establish peace in the world’, ‘we will keep the world united’, ‘we will not allow wars to happen again; no more destruction will be allowed in the world’, and ‘the kind of war that happened over four years in the First World War will not be allowed to happen again.’ But what happened? These very institutions failed to provide justice, and as a result, the Second World War broke out in 1939. Afterwards, they established the United Nations and gave veto power to five or six countries in the UN. Where did justice remain then? As long as there are no principles of equality, this will continue. And with veto power, further discord has been created in the world.
“Now, what is happening? Israel is committing atrocities. Certainly, it is said that Hamas has committed injustices. Indeed, Hamas may well have committed injustices; they are reported to have killed about 1,300 Israelis, but in response, they killed 10 times more innocent people. Instead of an eye for an eye, they are now killing at a rate of 10 people for each one. And it is unknown how many more they will kill. No one dares to criticise Israel. […] If the Israelis or Jews suffered injustices, those were committed by the Germans, by Europe, not by the Palestinians. It is like the saying goes, ‘one commits the crime, another bears the brunt.’ […]”
Huzooraa stated that these people are also irked by the fact that, compared to other religions, Muslims remain closely connected to their faith and further said:
“The real issue is that these [Western] powers want to secure their own interests. Even if it’s not about religion, they still want to maintain economic stability by keeping relations with the Israelis. That’s why the Israelis are not ready to listen to anyone. And if any bill or resolution is presented in the UN, it gets vetoed. So, under such circumstances, where are the oppressed supposed to find justice? The oppressed nations will continue to suffer.
“The same is the case in Africa. They are not all Muslims. [… In many cases, they are] Pagans or Christians. They too are being exploited, and all their resources and minerals are being looted. Now there is starting to be an outcry over this; African nations are beginning to rise and realise that they have been plundered by the Europeans. All these discussions happen in the name of religion or with reference to religion or other factors, but their real objective is geopolitical gains or geographical and political objectives for which these people strive, without establishing justice. Yet they claim to be the ‘greatest champions of justice and peace.’
“The foremost remedy is the establishment of an Islamic government in the world, a government of Muslims, who act upon justice, which can be achieved through the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Our task is to propagate and spread the message as far as we can. I have repeatedly addressed this at numerous places, including Capitol Hill, stating that as long as nations persist in wielding veto power, peace cannot be established. I have stated there that the major powers, which claim to establish justice, are unable to do so. The discussions with them are smooth, and they acknowledge the correctness of our stance, but ultimately, they will do what they intend to do. In Punjabi, there’s a saying, ‘The decision of the council is accepted, but the gutter will remain in its place.’ Their situation is similar.
“So, are they really going to establish peace? Peace will only be established when Allah Almighty spreads Islam Ahmadiyyat throughout the world through the Promised Messiahas and the majority joins it. Therefore, we must continue our efforts, both through prayers and active endeavours. This is the only solution; there is no other. Until the results of this solution manifest, the oppressed will continue to be downtrodden. If a Third World War occurs, they will create another international organisation ‘to establish peace,’ and perhaps it will meet the same fate. These are the deceptive tactics of Dajjal; they will never cease. Hence, there is a great need for abundant prayers and diligent efforts on our part.”
Then, Munawar Ahmad Sahib posed a question regarding political engagement, asking, “What should be the role of an Ahmadi in the upcoming general elections in Pakistan?”
Huzooraa said we have no role in general elections until a joint electorate is established and Ahmadis are included in it. Unfortunately, in the current scenario, we are being segregated from Muslim voters. This is unacceptable, as voting in this manner would imply our acceptance as non-Muslims or a non-Muslim minority.
Lastly, Sadr Sahib Majlis Ansarullah introduced Hafiz Mahan Muhammad Sahib, who had recently converted to Islam Ahmadiyyat, who said that whenever he listens to Huzoor’saa sermons, his faith is rejuvenated.
Addressing him, Huzooraa asked if he had studied the Jamaat’s literature and if he was firm in his faith and said, “Allah bless you, give you firm faith in Ahmadiyyat, and keep you steadfast.”
Huzooraa then conveyed his salaam and the meeting came to a successful end.
(Report prepared by Al Hakam)