On the occasion of Jalsa Salana Qadian 2018, from Al Hakam
15 December 2018
A cold winter morning in England is usually quite chilly as it is, but on top of that, the rain that morning had made it even cooler. It was on such a morning that I awaited my turn to meet Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V, may Allah strengthen his hand.
The emotions of elation and fear experienced in those moments are beyond words. Even though I had jotted down all the matters I intended to seek guidance on, they all appeared scrambled on that day. I thought to myself: Should I ask my question like this, or like this? Would it be more appropriate to mention this, or this? How long will I have today so that I can adjust the order of points accordingly?
There was one such matter that had been on my mind for the past few weeks, which I intended to mention. Al Hakam’s Jalsa Salana Qadian Special was being prepared and the editor, along with his team, were diligently preparing content for that issue.
As it was the first issue of Al Hakam to cover Jalsa Salana Qadian after its inception in London, it was the team’s desire to present something special for the readers on this occasion. But who are we and what do we have that is so special to present? There was only one way: to have the words of our beloved Imam bless the pages of Al Hakam, thus presenting something that can be cherished by all Ahmadis worldwide.
Many weeks had passed as I attempted, each time, to present this matter in various ways. In an atmosphere where even unsaid things come to light, how could even a gesture be kept a secret.
One day, when I had sought guidance on all official matters, I said, “Huzoor, you travelled to Qadian in 1991…”
I had only just said this when Huzoor added:
“Yes, I went and I had duties to perform. The responsibility assigned to me was the Langar Khana. The actual nazim [person responsible] was a local, the late Dr Arif Sahib, who was then a Naib Nazir. We had distributed responsibilities between us. My work would end around 1-2am, and I would return shortly before Fajr prayer to commence work again. The work would carry on throughout the day.”
With this sentence, this mulaqat, too, came to an end.
In another mulaqat, I had only just said this much: “Huzoor, in 2005 you visited Qadian as Khalifatul Masih…”, when Huzoor added:
“Yes, I stood beside the grave of the Promised Messiahas. I experienced different sorts of emotions.”
My question, which had not even seen its completion, received its answer. I did not disrupt the silence that followed the answer. Huzoor said something thereafter, which was on another subject.
Then, on another occasion, I said, “At the 2005 Jalsa Salana Qadian, Huzoor’s revered mother had also travelled to Qadian.”
“Yes, after being elected as Khalifa, it was my first time meeting her. Her health was very poor. She suffered extreme weakness. I would go to meet her every evening.”
The silence that followed this answer, too, did not permit me to interject. After a slight pause, Huzoor changed the subject of the conversation.
(I should clarify here that Huzoor commenced with his usual work of reading letters and signing the replies as he normally does during mulaqats. The pauses were only in our conversations.)
Thus, in recent mulaqats, after discussing official matters, I had the opportunity to gather these pearls. It was now a matter of placing them in an apt order. For us, each sentence and each word is considered a tabarruk [sacred item]. It was now time to collate what I had collected.
I set off for another mulaqat one morning with the intention of seeking permission for including these words in an upcoming issue of Al Hakam.
I entered Huzoor’s office for mulaqat. Huzoor graciously gave time for the matters I had come to seek guidance on. Towards the end, when my points had finished, I asked, “Huzoor, for Jalsa Salana Qadian, Al Hakam…”
I had only said this much, when Huzoor opened up a notepad, picked up a pen and began writing something. I kept silent. When Huzoor had finished writing, he said:
“I thought of something this morning for the UK Jalsa Salana. I intended to note it down in the office. When you mentioned ‘Jalsa Qadian’ it reminded me to note it down.”
I remarked, “Huzoor, there is still quite some time for that.”
Huzoor replied, “This is how it is. Points come to mind on various occasions, sometimes for the Khutba [Friday Sermon], sometimes for an upcoming address. I note such points down in my notebook. I do not sit down on any one occasion to write down a speech. Points come to mind throughout the day and so, I note them down. Then, later on, I will write up all my points in one place. Sometimes, for certain points, references are required, and so, I search for them also. I make alterations in my sermons or addresses until the last minute.”
I have always noticed small notepads to the left of Huzoor on his desk. I have also seen Huzoor, at times, pick up a notepad and jot something down. On that occasion too, I saw Huzoor pick up a similar notepad and note something down for Jalsa Salana UK.
Huzoor probably sensed the love in my eyes for those fortunate notepads, which possessed a precious treasure not for just me, not just the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, not just the Islamic world, but for the entire universe.
Huzoor picked up one of those notebooks and said, “Look at this.” With great interest and attention, I stood up and took a closer look at the notebook. Huzoor started with the first page and said, “This notebook has the notes of all my sermons starting from 18 November 2016,” and after checking the last page added, “until 23 February 2018.”
Then, Huzoor graciously showed me almost every page of that notebook.
“These are the notes of Ramadan 2017…” “This was a sermon on the attributes of Allah.” (This was dated 2 February 2018.) “This is the sermon I delivered on the various forms of lying. For this sermon, I researched on what percentage of people lie habitually, what percentage of people lie as a joke and what percentage of people lie to save someone.” Huzoor read out the entire list with the facts and figures from his notebook.
Accordingly, Huzoor bestowed upon me the good fortune of seeing with my own eyes Huzoor’s notes for many sermons and addresses. The notes that Huzoor showed would take me back to those very sermons, the sermons delivered by Huzoor in Baitul Futuh Mosque, and the memory of it would come to mind as I glanced through those notes. With that, the reality came to mind of how much effort Huzoor goes to for our benefit.
Huzoor then said, “It was also the practice of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra to note down points on small pieces of paper and would keep them in his pocket. He would then compile those notes and prepare his speech. There was a large room at the top of Qasr-e-Khilafat [in Rabwah], which was much like a hall; in that room, Huzoorra would walk from one side to the other; if someone was seated in the same room, Huzoor would be talking to him while, at the same time, reflecting on other matters. Then, every now and then, Huzoorra would jot something down. This is something that I vividly remember.”
I submitted, “Huzoor, these notebooks should be preserved.”
Huzoor replied, “They are preserved. I have kept them securely. How do you wish to preserve them?”
I remained silent. Huzoor again asked, “What do you have in mind?”
I replied, “Huzoor, if they are preserved in the Jamaat’s records, the future generations will seek benefit from them. However, as Huzoor desires.”
Huzoor picked up a notebook and said, “Here you go. Let’s see how you preserve this. When you return this, I’ll consider about giving more.”
Carrying it with great care, I returned to my office and began preservation work for that notebook. I had the good fortune of reading every single page.
Two of those pages are presented to the readers of Al Hakam. One page is of the concluding address of Jalsa Salana Qadian 2016, while the other is of the Friday Sermon which marked the inauguration of Jalsa Salana Qadian 2017.
This gift is presented on behalf of the team at Al Hakam for all residents of Qadian; for all participants and guests of Jalsa Salana Qadian; for the Darweshan who reside in Qadian; for the Darweshan who have passed on to the eternal abode, but during the address of Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa, when his words reach the atmosphere of Qadian, whose souls cry out:
ہمارا خون بھى شامل ہے تزئینِ گلستاں میں
ہمیں بھى یاد كرلینا، چمن میں جب بہار آئے
“Our blood went into nurturing this garden;
Forget us not when spring descends upon it.”
This is for all readers of Al Hakam; for all Ahmadis the world over; for every such person who is a servant of every page, every sentence, every word written by their beloved Imam. Alhamdolillah!
The notes of all addresses and sermons in this notebook start off with “Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Raheem”, followed by:
اَللّٰہُمَّ اَیِّدْنِىْ بِرُوْحِ الْقُدُس
(O Allah, assist me with the holy spirit.)
Let us all, the servants of Huzoor, now present these very words before God:
اَللّٰہُمَّ اَیِّدْ اِمَامَنَا بِرُوْحِ الْقُدُس
(O Allah, assist our Imam with the holy spirit.)
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