On Sunday, 4 February 2024, members of the amila of Majlis Atfal-ul-Ahmadiyya UK, along with regional nazimeen, had the privilege of an in-person mulaqat with Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih V, may Allah be his Helper, at Islamabad, UK.
Upon arrival, Huzooraa conveyed salaam to everyone, followed by Abdul Quddus Arif Sahib, Sadr Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya UK, briefing Huzooraa on the attendees. A moment of silent prayer, led by Huzooraa, marked the beginning of the mulaqat, after which introductions were made.
Tahir Mateen Sahib, a naib mohtamim, was the first to present, outlining his duty in organising Atfal rallies. Addressing the query from Huzooraa about the occurrence of such rallies, Tahir Sahib acknowledged the absence of any such rallies in the preceding year but expressed commitment to hosting a national rally in May 2024 at the Baitul Futuh Mosque Complex.
Following Tahir Mateen Sahib’s interaction, Sohaib Khan Sahib, also a naib mohtamim, took the opportunity to introduce his work sphere, which encompasses overseeing the salat hub website (www.salathub.co.uk), Atfal Corner, and Sanat-o-Tijarat. Huzooraa enquired about the website’s purpose. Sohaib Sahib elucidated that the platform serves as a resource for learning salat.
Muhammad Shoaib Ali Sahib, also a naib mohtamim, briefly mentioned his responsibilities of overseeing the Sehat-e-Jismani Department and the Atfal Explorers Club. Noticing Ali Sahib’s greying beard, Huzooraa, with a light-hearted smile, enquired whether this year marked his final tenure in Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya. He responded affirmatively, indicating he had one year remaining.
Farhad Ahmad Sahib, serving as the Mohtamim Majlis Atfal-ul-Ahmadiyya UK, was the subsequent presenter. Upon his introduction, Huzooraa enquired about the total number of atfal within the UK, to which Farhad Sahib responded with a figure of 2,447. Huzooraa further asked about the currency of the tajnid figures. Farhad Sahib replied that the figures were still under consolidation, acknowledging some data gaps. Huzooraa advised not solely depending on the AIMS system for data collection but recommended a more hands-on approach of door-to-door verification to ensure accuracy.
Usman Ahmad Sahib, serving as Secretary Umumi, engaged next with Huzooraa. He outlined his responsibilities, which included reporting, arranging meetings, and overseeing various administrative duties. Huzooraa enquired about the amount of time Usman Sahib dedicates to these tasks each day. In response, Usman Sahib indicated that he spends one to two hours daily on his work.
Usman Ahmad Sahib, in the capacity of Secretary Tajnid, stepped forward to introduce himself next. Huzooraa enquired about his methods for gathering and organising tajnid information. Emphasising the importance of accuracy and diligence, Huzooraa advised:
“Do not merely rely on data provided by AIMS. Do your own groundwork. What is this reliance on ready-made data! Your task is to go door to door and see for yourself. Tell your respective secretaries to gather their tajnid at the grassroots level and then update it.”
Abdul Ghalib Khan Sahib, serving as a naib mohtamim, was next to converse with Huzooraa. Enquiring into Abdul Ghalib Sahib’s academic and professional background, Huzooraa learned that he had completed his Master’s degree some time ago and is currently employed as a financial auditor for a multinational firm. Abdul Ghalib Sahib also shared his oversight responsibilities for three departments: Maal, Academic Excellence, and Majlis Ansar Sultan-ul-Qalam.
Usama Ahmad Sami Sahib, introduced as a naib mohtamim, was the next to present himself. Observing the pattern of titles among the attendees, Huzooraa smiled and remarked: “It seems like the entire amila is serving as ‘Naib Mohtamim.’”
Ammar Ahmad Sahib, introduced as a naib mohtamim with additional duties overseeing the Northern regions, engaged next with Huzooraa. Upon Huzoor’s enquiry into Ammar Sahib’s professional field, he shared his academic background in immunology and his current role as a clinical immunologist at a hospital.
Sajeel Ahmad Farrukh Sahib, occupying the role of Secretary Sehat-e-Jismani, was the subsequent individual to interact with Huzooraa. With a light-hearted comment, Huzooraa remarked on Farrukh Sahib’s seemingly delicate stature for a secretary of Sehat-e-Jismani. Huzooraa, in his guidance, emphasised the value of leading by example, suggesting Farrukh Sahib also involve himself in sports activities. The conversation then shifted to Farrukh Sahib’s professional life, where he shared his expertise as an aeronautical engineer employed by the UK Civil Aviation Authority.
Faraz Qureshi Sahib, in his role as Secretary Maal, was next to speak with Huzooraa. He mentioned living in Hertfordshire, illustrating the wide geographical spread of the amila members, a point Huzooraa acknowledged. The conversation then shifted to financial matters, with Huzooraa enquiring about the budgeting aspects, particularly the annual Atfal membership chanda. Huzooraa remarked that the amount seemed fair.
Sharjeel Ahmad Sahib, serving as a mu‘awin to the Mohtamim Atfal, with a focus on the tarbiyat of 14-15-year-olds, was the subsequent individual to converse with Huzooraa. Enquiring into Sharjeel Sahib’s personal religious practices, Huzooraa asked if he consistently observed daily salat. He confirmed his steadfast adherence to it. Huzooraa then shifted the discussion to the regularity of salat among the atfal, emphasising the importance of striving towards a goal where 100% of the atfal maintain regular salat. He encouraged Sharjeel Sahib to work diligently towards achieving this target.
Salman Ahmad Klar Sahib, assuming the role of Secretary Tarbiyat, was next to receive guidance from Huzooraa. Huzooraa advised:
“Instill the habit of performing salat in atfal from their childhood […]. If they get accustomed to praying in their childhood, they will continue this practice as they grow older.
“Besides, regarding tarbiyat, it is essential to openly address the immoral tendencies prevalent in modern times. Children should be aware of the vices, what they need to avoid, what is indoctrinated in schools about these matters, and what the responses should be. Nowadays, schools excessively teach about LGBT issues. Recently, a child was telling me that they were being taught about sex in school […]. He asked, ‘Why do I need to be taught all these things?’ So, children themselves are starting to question. A 4, 5, or 6-year-old child does not understand these things. […] As these schemes of Dajjal increase, the need for tarbiyat will also increase. […]”
Huzooraa also said:
“Parents should also be educated on how to treat their children, how to address such matters when they come up, and how to present them in front of their children. These things now have to be openly discussed; otherwise, you will remain shy, and those people will continue teaching indecencies, and tarbiyat will be lost somewhere in the middle.”
Fateen Ahmad Yasir Sahib, associated with the Talim Department, was the subsequent individual to introduce himself. Enquiring into Fateen Sahib’s academic pursuits, Huzooraa learned that he was undertaking a Master’s degree in mathematics. Fateen Sahib also highlighted the department’s annual objective, which is centred on teaching the atfal the basic Arabic words of the salat.
“Instil in children the essence and spirit of prayer and why it is essential to perform salat. It is so that a connection with Allah the Almighty can be established; because Allah has said, ‘Come close to Me, and I will come closer to you. And I will grant you even more [blessings].’ When they see a benefit or a goal in it, they will strive to achieve it.
“In today’s era, you have to give the children something; you will have to explain things to them. It must be explained logically because children, for example, raise questions like, ‘Why should we pray? Does Allah need our prayers?’ You say, ‘Pray,’ and the child asks, ‘Why should we? Does Allah need our prayers? And if so, why?’ These questions also need answers. This is also the task of various departments. People write to me as well, so I am aware. Questions come from all over the world. Then they have to be answered […]. So, nowadays, one has to speak very logically with children, especially when they reach the age of ten. Therefore, develop comprehensive programmes that cover every aspect.”
Next, Faran Ahmad Sahib, serving as a mu‘awin to the Mohtamim Atfal (Secretary Ijtema), was noted before the session moved on to Abdul Jabbar Sahib, the Secretary for Waqar-e-Amal. Huzooraa enquired about the participation in Waqar-e-Amal sessions, to which the secretary responded by indicating that, on average, over 500 individuals engage in these community service activities. Acknowledging this, Huzooraa encouraged an increase in participation numbers and specifically suggested involving atfal in cleaning mosques, noting their enthusiasm for such tasks.
Amanullah Khan Sahib, serving as Secretary Waqf-e-Jadid, was the next attendee to engage with Huzoor. Emphasising the importance of broad participation in the Waqf-e-Jadid scheme, Huzooraa set forth a significant objective, stating that all atfal should be contributors to this initiative. He further delineated that a substantial portion of the total contributions towards Waqf-e-Jadid by the Jamaat – specifically one-third – should emanate from the khuddam and atfal.
Huzooraa also advised:
“Instill the spirit of sacrifice in children. Explain to them why they should contribute financially and what the purpose of these contributions is. Unless you make it clear what the objective behind these contributions is, they will think that these people are just gathering money.”
Abrar Ahmad Sahib, who serves as Secretary for Sanat-o-Tijarat, was the subsequent individual to converse with Huzooraa. Upon being asked about his academic background, Abrar Sahib shared that he is pursuing a degree in electronic engineering. Delving into the specifics of his departmental duties, he elucidated that they operate an online shop catered to atfal, which offers a selection of books and merchandise.
Waleed Niazi Sahib, serving in the Khidmat-e-Khalq Department and looking after the Atfal Charity Challenge, was the next to share his experiences with Huzooraa. Waleed Sahib detailed a commendable initiative where funds were raised for a village in The Gambia, with the International Association of Ahmadi Architects and Engineers (IAAAE) facilitating the delivery of aid. Huzooraa enquired about the follow-up, ensuring the assistance reached its intended recipients effectively. Waleed Sahib confirmed that a representative had visited the village, conducting a thorough survey and engaging with the community to ascertain the impact of the aid.
Huzooraa then emphasised the importance of nurturing a sense of service and empathy towards the less fortunate among children. He suggested that even small sacrifices, such as forgoing a burger meal from outside, could contribute significantly to charitable causes. Highlighting the dire situations children are facing in regions like Palestine, Huzooraa urged the cultivation of an emotional connection to humanitarian efforts in young hearts.
Amir Bhatti Sahib, serving as a mu‘awin to the Mohtamim Atfal, took his turn to share his involvement with the house visits project.
Ibtisam Ahmad Sahib, also serving as a mu‘awin to the Mohtamim Atfal and responsible for the Explorers’ Club, discussed his role in organising educational and exploratory trips for members. He highlighted a recent trip to Qadian and disclosed plans for an upcoming Atfal trip to Ghana in October. Huzooraa, aware of the conditions, advised caution regarding the prevalent dust in the atmosphere during that period, emphasising the importance of taking appropriate health and safety measures for the trip.
Mirza Hashim Ahmad Sahib, in his capacity as a mu‘awin to the Mohtamim Atfal with a focus on atfal who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), shared his approach to accommodating these children within Jamaat events. Upon Huzoor’saa enquiry regarding his strategy, Hashim Sahib explained the process of gathering information from parents about their children’s specific needs to ensure tailored support during events.
Huzooraa offered valuable guidance on enhancing inclusivity, suggesting MKA should hold specialised sports events during ijtemas to engage SEND children actively. He also emphasised the importance of recognising the diverse capabilities within the spectrum of special needs and advocating for categorisation based on their levels to facilitate fair and enjoyable competitions, thereby ensuring that every child has the opportunity to participate and receive recognition.
Danish Khurram Sahib, responsible for overseeing the academic excellence of atfal, contributed his insights next. He shared findings from a recent survey, highlighting that 16% of the atfal are currently undertaking their GCSEs, and 27% are moving from primary to secondary education. Impressively, 84% have aspirations for university education, while 91% intend to pursue A levels, reflecting a strong commitment to academic achievement within atfal.
Labeed Mirza Sahib, serving as the Secretary Isha‘at, was the next to speak with Huzooraa. He discussed the publication efforts of his department, notably Tahir Magazine. Huzooraa acknowledged receiving the publication, albeit infrequently and advised on enhancing its regularity. Labeed Sahib further mentioned the department’s involvement in book publishing, prompting Huzooraa to enquire about the thoroughness of their review process, referencing past instances where materials submitted by another auxiliary organisation contained errors. Labeed Sahib assured that their publications undergo careful checking and proofreading to maintain quality and accuracy.
Timoor Pasha Sahib, serving as a mu‘awin to the Mohtamim Atfal and overseeing the newly-established Majlis Ansar Sultan-ul-Qalam within Atfal-ul-Ahmadiyya, shared insights into his department’s initial endeavours. He shared findings from a survey indicating atfal’s desire for comprehensive responses to common allegations against Islam Ahmadiyyat. Responding to this need, Huzooraa advised the formation of a specialised team dedicated to compiling these allegations and formulating cogent responses. He suggested drawing on the knowledge of informed individuals within the Jamaat, including the youth from various locales like the UK and Canada, etc., and missionaries, to craft a comprehensive guide. Huzooraa proposed that the initiative could culminate in more than just a booklet; it could become an extensive volume, appreciated for its thorough coverage and depth.
Addressing Sadr Sahib, Huzooraa said:
“For educating the khuddam, extract and teach them the section from the book ‘Chashma-e-Ma‘rifat’ which contains the speech of the Promised Messiah, peace be upon him, that was delivered. It answers many questions too. The khuddam should be aware of it.
“Moreover, a common question among the children is, ‘What is the need for different religions? If religions existed before, then why Islam?’ This too needs to be answered.”
Asim Ahmad Sahib, in his role as a mu‘awin, shared his involvement with the trainee scheme focused on preparing khuddam teachers of university age to effectively conduct atfal classes. He outlined the initiative’s objective to enhance the quality of education provided to atfal by equipping young teachers with the necessary skills and knowledge. Asim Sahib also mentioned the timeline for the scheme’s rollout, indicating an immediate launch following the conclusion of Ramadan 2024.
Next, Ehtisham Ahmad Arif Sahib, serving as a mu‘awin to the Mohtamim Atfal, was noted for his role.
Sabahuddin Aleem Sahib, in the capacity of a mu‘awin to the Mohtamim Atfal with responsibilities for the Tahir Magazine, shared his engagement in the publication aimed at atfal.
Following Aleem Sahib’s introduction, the meeting shifted to concise introductions from the regional nazimeen of Atfal-ul-Ahmadiya, with each one hailing from different regions. They included the nazimeen of the following regions: Baitul Ehsan Region, Baitul Futuh Region, Baitun Nur Region, Baitus Subhan Region, Bashir Region, East Region, East Midlands Region, Fazl Mosque Region, Hertfordshire Region, Masroor Region, Middlesex Region, Muqami Region, North East Region, North West Region, Scotland Region, South Region, Tahir Region, West Midlands Region, and Yorkshire Region.
Concluding the series of introductions, a video presentation was showcased to Huzooraa, encapsulating the pivotal guidance provided by Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa to Majlis Atfal-ul-Ahmadiyya throughout the challenging times since the onset of the Covid pandemic.
The mulaqat culminated in a memorable moment for the attendees as they had the honour of taking a photograph with Huzooraa, marking a successful conclusion to the gathering, by the grace of God.