Dedication to faith and personal development – A call to waqifaat-e-nau: Waqifaat-e-Nau from Canada blessed with meeting Huzoor

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A group of waqifaat-e-nau from Canada was blessed with the opportunity to meet Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V, may Allah be his Helper, in a virtual mulaqat on 11 June 2023.

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa conveyed his salaam and on seeing the waqifaat-e-nau on the live stream, he enquired about the number of waqifaat-e-nau and whether they were solely from the Toronto region or from all across Canada. The response revealed that there were 910 waqifaat-e-nau present, from 13 regions. Huzooraa asked about the total number of waqifaat-e-nau in Canada. He was informed that the total number of waqifaat-e-nau in Canada is 2284. Huzooraa then called Amina Jerryullah Sahiba to recite a portion of the Holy Quran. Maira Pasha Sahiba recited the English translation. Upon hearing the English translation, Huzooraa addressed the waqifaat-e-nau, emphasising the importance of knowing Urdu and mentioning that the Urdu translation should also have been presented.

Shamaila Khan Sahiba presented a hadith of the Holy Prophetsa, and Sufia Atta Sahiba read out the English translation. Thereafter, Mehek Ahmad Sahiba recited an extract from the Malfuzat (sayings and discourses of the Promised Messiahas). Anosh Sajid Sahiba then presented the English translation. Bariya Mahmood Sahiba had the opportunity to present a poem, composed by the Promised Messiahas, and Adeela Javed Sahiba provided the English translation.

Huzooraa enquired whether Lajna members or just nasirat were present. Huzooraa was informed that both Lajna members as well as nasirat were seated in the hall. Furthermore, it was mentioned that there were a total of 662 waqifaat-e-nau between the ages of 12 and 15 in the tajnid.

Thereafter, the waqifaat-e-nau had the opportunity to ask Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa various questions on an array of matters.

Mohsina Sahiba asked how we can guide our young children, who are being taught many un-Islamic and confusing concepts at school.

Huzooraa asked the questioner if she is married and how many children she has. She replied that she is indeed married with three children.

Huzooraa elaborated that out of the 365 days in a year, children spend only around 170 to 180 days in school. “For the remaining time, they are with you,” Huzooraa emphasised. He mentioned that on numerous occasions, he has advised parents to establish a friendly bond with their children. It is important to engage with them, address their questions, and inquire about what they have learned in school.

When children encounter topics such as gender or other confusing concepts, Huzooraa advised parents to reassure them that they are still young and will gain a better understanding as they grow older. Moreover, Huzooraa emphasised the need to explain the reality of these things to children. Huzooraa stressed that parents should teach their children that Allah has created biological differences between males and females. A mother is a mother, and the distinction between males and females is evident. Parents should explain that even if a biological man erroneously decides to identify as a mother, he cannot give birth.

Huzooraa said that these individuals themselves are turning into objects of ridicule by their own people due to how this issue is being presented to the extent that even jokes about this situation are now becoming widespread in Western society. Huzooraa used one such example to demonstrate the extent to which this issue has become convoluted.

Huzooraa emphasised the importance of conveying to Ahmadi children that Allah has created human beings in a specific manner and that humans cannot alter that at will. Huzooraa stated that significant efforts will be required to explain the correct concept effectively. It is essential to teach your children that Allah has designed males and females with distinct biological differences, Huzooraa said.

Huzooraa addressed the shifting dynamics within educational institutions and shared an instance where a teacher referred to a student as “he,” and the student informed the teacher that they preferred to be addressed as “she” that day. When the teacher addressed the same student as “she” the following day, the student declared that they identified as “he” for that particular day. Huzooraa described this as a recent and confusing development, indicative of an unsettling trend in societal norms. “These people themselves have no idea what they will do.” Huzooraa said that Ahmadi parents will have to explain this matter to their children.

“Rather than panicking, engage in conversation and explain the matter to your children,” Huzooraa said.

Ayesha Ahmad Sahiba stated that human privacy has been significantly impacted by social media. She asked for a solution to address the aftermath of this impact on human privacy caused by social media.

Huzooraa explained that in the past, when people heard something about someone, they would pass it on to others. However, the extent of spreading rumours was limited at that time. “Now, with the advent of social media, rumours spread rapidly and widely.” Consequently, Huzooraa advised that that was the reason he had previously suggested turning off cameras, phones, and other devices during Jamaat events, especially for Lajna, and cautioned against unnecessarily posting everything on social media.

Furthermore, Huzooraa added that Allah the Almighty has prohibited engaging in gossip, spreading false information, and speaking ill of others. It is essential to refrain from indulging in such negative behaviours.

Privacy is being compromised, and it is due to the actions of humans themselves that this damage has occurred. Huzooraa emphasised the importance of being mindful in such circumstances. It is crucial to educate the waqifaat-e-nau, those around us, children, students, and siblings about the negative implications of these actions. Huzooraa suggested that the waqifaat-e-nau should write articles in local or national newspapers, raising awareness about the harmful effects of social media. By doing so, the waqifaat-e-nau can effectively play their role in addressing this issue.

Kazima Asim Sahiba enquired about the significance of rukhsati in Islam and why individuals are instructed not to meet their spouse alone after the nikah until the rukhsati has taken place.

Huzooraa said that she was correct in stating that Islam recognises nikah while the elaborate function of rukhsati – as it is celebrated nowadays – is a traditional practice. Huzooraa further clarified that once the nikah is performed, both individuals are considered husband and wife from the Islamic perspective.

Huzooraa said that from an Islamic perspective, the main and essential element is the nikah. Instead of spending excessive amounts on multiple pre-wedding functions such as mangni (engagement), nikah ceremony, shaadi (wedding), and before that, mehndi (henna ceremony), it is preferable to focus on the simplicity of the process. Huzooraa suggested that the money saved from extravagant expenditures could be used for the wedding of a less fortunate individual.

Huzooraa emphasised that the rukhsati should be conducted in a simple manner. Huzooraa further mentioned that even during the time of the Holy Prophetsa, marriage ceremonies were conducted in a humble and straightforward manner. In fact, some companions’ weddings were so simple that the Holy Prophetsa himself was unaware of them. Huzooraa then shared an incident where the Holy Prophetsa noticed a colourful mark [of perfume] on a companion’s clothes and enquired if he had gotten married. Upon confirming it, the Holy Prophetsa advised holding a wedding feast (walima), even if with one sheep. Here Huzooraa alluded to the Holy Prophet’ssa words of: أَوْلِمْ وَلَوْ بِشَاة. (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al-nikah)

Huzooraa emphasised that both the nikah and walima are necessary.

Adeela Qaiser Sahiba enquired whether it is mandatory for Muslim women to wear an outer covering such as a burqa or a coat, even if they are already dressed in modest and loose clothing that does not expose the shape of their bodies. She also asked about the wisdom behind wearing an additional outer covering when the outfit underneath is already fully modest.

“You’re quite right,” there is no wisdom in this if one’s dress is already modest and loose. In Islam, where the concept of purdah is mentioned, it does not specify wearing a coat. The act of layering clothing in such a manner is a convenience adopted by women for their own comfort.

The Holy Quran instructs women to draw their head-coverings over their bosoms because otherwise their facial beauty and body features are exposed. The burqa or a coat that some women have adopted is simply a matter of convenience for them. Islam commands that if one’s dress is modest and loose, and their body features are not exposed, then drawing head-coverings over their bosoms is sufficient. This is the true essence of the Islamic commandment. If this approach is suitable for an individual, they may choose to follow it. It is worth mentioning that women in Pakistan for example, those residing in villages and the northern areas, also adhere to this method of wearing purdah. Huzooraa clarified that the burqa has not been made obligatory in Islam. However, observing purdah and dressing modestly is indeed necessary. It is important to ensure that one’s body figure is not exposed in any way.

Huzooraa remarked, “There is wisdom within every commandment of Islam, but unfortunately, people have shattered that wisdom through their innovations.”

Kashifa Hameed Sahiba asked what message Huzooraa would give to those who argue that allowing women to have jobs, employment, and professions goes against Islamic tradition or undermines family values.

Huzooraa explained that if a woman has a profession as a teacher, doctor, or any job that brings benefit to mankind, there are no restrictions on pursuing such careers. However, it is important to note that solely prioritising work and neglecting the responsibilities of caring for children and the home is not advisable.

First and foremost, it is the duty of the man to provide for the family. Allah the Almighty has clearly outlined the responsibilities of both men and women. Huzooraa shared an incident where a woman approached the Holy Prophetsa and expressed that men participate in jihad, earn money outside the home, and contribute more through financial sacrifices and other tasks that women cannot do while staying at home. The woman asked if they would also receive rewards for their efforts. In response, the Holy Prophetsa stated that if women fulfil their duties by taking care of their homes and raising their children, they will receive the same reward as men who engage in jihad.

However, in times of necessity, women would also participate in defensive wars by distributing water. Huzooraa mentioned the example of Hazrat Umm-e-Ammarara, who would even wield a sword and fight to defend against the enemy. Huzooraa emphasised that women can work in situations where it is required. However, it is crucial not to work solely out of greed while neglecting the fundamental responsibilities of taking care of the home and properly raising the children.

Nudrat Chaudhry Sahiba pointed out that there is an increase in misogyny and violence against women, and she expressed concern that certain social media influencers are negatively influencing Muslim youth in this regard.

Huzooraa reassured her, asserting that the imprudent social media influencers she is alluding to are indeed in the minority. He then said, with a smile, that in contemporary societal dialogue, there is an overwhelming emphasis on women’s rights, so much so, that it may appear to some as though men’s rights have been eclipsed. Hence, she need not be overly worried.

Nevertheless, Huzooraa emphasised that the Holy Quran places great emphasis on women’s rights. It clearly states that both men and women will be rewarded for their deeds. Nowhere does Islam state that women are the property of men to do with them as they please.

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Huzooraa mentioned that he had delivered numerous lectures on women and Islam, and encouraged taking quotes from those lectures to raise awareness about the fundamental teachings of Islam regarding women’s rights and the guidance provided in this regard.

Tashifa Imtiaz Sahiba expressed that during extremely stressful moments in life, she feels that Allah may be testing her. She mentioned that she found herself getting distracted and struggling to focus on her prayers. She requested Huzoor’saa advice on how to strengthen her bond with Allah and maintain steadfastness during stressful times.

In response to the question, Huzooraa advised that when one realises that they may be undergoing a test from Allah, they should earnestly pray and supplicate, saying, “If this trial is a consequence of a sin I have committed, then please forgive me.” It is important to offer sincere prayers during salat and concentrate fully while doing so. Additionally, one should pray for Allah’s protection and ask for His help in overcoming the difficulties if it is indeed a trial.

For those who do not have faith, there may seem to be no way out. However, for a believer, the way out of trials is to pray to Allah, seeking His intervention to end the trial and to protect and safeguard them. One should never be ungrateful, as such circumstances do not last forever. In times of ease and prosperity, it is crucial to express gratitude to Allah and offer thanks to Him. Allah promises that if you are grateful, He will increase His blessings for you. During salat, one should pray and make prostrations, saying: لا حول ولا قوة إلا باللّٰه  and استغفراللّٰه ربّي من کلّ ذنب.

Huzooraa emphasised that these prayers are simple, yet it is important to first understand and internalise their meaning and significance fully.

Huzooraa then enquired about her plans, to which she replied that she would begin medical school in September. Upon hearing this, Huzooraa expressed his delight and said, “Excellent!” She then requested prayers for her success in acquiring knowledge and serving the Jamaat.

Shanza Farzana Zafar Sahiba mentioned that as waqifaat-e-nau working mothers who have completed their education and are following Huzoor’saa guidance, encounter difficulties in Canada due to the limited duration of maternity leave, which is one to one-and-a-half years at most. She enquired whether this time frame is sufficient or if it is advisable to stay at home for a longer period to better raise their Waqf-e-Nau children.

“You should decide for yourself whether one to one-and-a-half years is sufficient or not,” Huzooraa advised. If there is someone at home, such as a grandparent, who can look after the child while one works to contribute financially, then it is acceptable to entrust the child to their care. However, if you are working as a hobby or for non-essential reasons, it would be better to consider taking a leave of three to four years.

Huzooraa shared that some qualified doctors in America had met him and shared their experiences. They mentioned that when they had a baby, they made the decision to leave their jobs in order to personally care for their child. Once their child reached the age of four to seven and started attending school, they resumed their professional careers. They specifically sought jobs that allowed them to be home before their child returned from school, ensuring that they could be actively involved in their child’s upbringing and provide proper care and attention.

Huzooraa explained that the decision regarding work and parenting depends on the nature of one’s profession and individual circumstances. Each person has their own personal requirements and responsibilities that they need to consider when making such choices.

Izza Atif Sahiba asked for Huzoor’saa guidance regarding individuals who have experienced a divorce and feel apprehensive about getting married again.

Huzooraa advised that it is important to pray for favourable circumstances and seek Allah’s guidance. Huzooraa prayed that Allah may protect them all from such difficult situations.

Huzooraa further emphasised the importance of supplicating to Allah. Sometimes, relationships may not work out, but there are numerous examples of individuals who have found happiness after divorce by praying and entering into a new marriage. Huzooraa shared that many people have experienced this positive change in their lives. Huzooraa reaffirmed that according to Islam, it is recommended for divorced or widowed individuals to get married.

Addressing Sadr Sahiba, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa enquired whether the amila was also present, to which she responded affirmatively. Considering the time difference between Canada and the UK, Huzooraa asked whether the waqifaat-e-nau had already had breakfast or if they were planning to have it now. Sadr Sahiba replied that they had been provided with snacks earlier, and now they would be served breakfast.

Then, addressing the waqifaat-e-nau, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said:

Waqifaat-e-nau should remember that if they wish to continue this bond [of dedicating their lives], they should strive to improve themselves. They should focus on fulfilling their obligations towards prayers and pray to Allah the Almighty for their religious and worldly progress. Being women, they should also pray for favourable circumstances and their future – they should pray a great deal. Furthermore, they should always remember that they are meant to be role models for others. Simply carrying the title of ‘waqifaat-e-nau’ is not enough; they should set positive examples in their conduct, in terms of prayers, and ethical values. They should also strive to enhance their religious knowledge, and not merely pursue worldly education. To find the answer to many of the questions you ask, you yourself should also make efforts for it. The secretary of waqifaat-e-nau should arrange programmes for the exchange of views, and discussions, and interactive sessions and to enhance their religious knowledge. The girls themselves should also make efforts to increase their religious knowledge. Through studies, worldly knowledge will be gained automatically, the real essence lies in gaining religious knowledge and strengthening their relationship with God. May Allah enable you to do so.”

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa then  conveyed his salaam and the meeting came to a successful end.

(Report prepared by Al Hakam)

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