Choudhry Munir Ahmad Sahib: A brief encounter and a lasting impact

Qasim Choudhary, Missionary, USA
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Image courtesy: Ghaalib Khan/X

As the saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Truth be told, he didn’t need a second chance since he won me over in our first and, as it later turned out, our last encounter.

As I pen down my thoughts with great reluctance, I am acutely aware that there are far more suitable individuals for this subject. They probably have years of experience and numerous moments to recount, whereas I simply had 25 minutes. Yet, in those 25 minutes, I could already tell how special he was, despite never having met him before.

Then it happened – one of the greatest honours a person could wish for. Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa delivered a beautiful eulogy, highlighting the great service of Missionary Choudhry Munir Ahmad Sahib, the former Director of MTA Teleport America.

Although my moment with respected Choudhry Munir Sahib was brief and short-lived, it is one that I believe will have a lasting impact on me as a junior missionary.

It was Tuesday, April 30. I was attending a refresher course with missionaries from the USA. A colleague of mine, who serves at MTA USA, informed me that Choudhry Munir Sahib was looking for me and wanted to say Salam, as he had learned I am from a village near Kharian, Punjab, Pakistan, to which he also had connections. This was surprising for me, as I had no prior knowledge of who he was. But when I was told that he is a senior missionary serving as the Director of MTA Teleport America, it was indeed humbling.

During a tea break in the refresher course, I decided to go to the teleport adjacent to the Bait-ur-Rehman Mosque and meet him. But, to my utter amazement and embarrassment, he walked to the mosque himself.

I want to briefly pause here and mention that I, along with other missionaries from the US, were fortunate enough to be sitting in the Mubarak Mosque as our Beloved Imamaa kindly recounted the excellent qualities Choudhry Munir Sahib possessed. One by one, those qualities flashed before my eyes, as I had experienced many of them in our brief encounter. For instance, it was mentioned by one narrator, “He was known to greet everyone with a smile and had a very relaxed and calm disposition.” Standing next to him, I felt an indescribable comfort and warmth emanating from him. Though I felt like an insignificant child next to this giant servant of Ahmadiyyat, his sheer humility brings to mind the couplets of the Promised Messiahas:

بدتر بنو ہر ایک سے اپنے خیال میں

شاید اسی سے دخل ہو دارالوصال میں

“Think of yourself as inferior to everyone else; perchance, thereby, you may enter the Place of Union.”

During the course of our conversation, he explained and educated me about my family lineage, many aspects of which I had no prior knowledge. Before I departed from his company, he surprised me again, and feelings of embarrassment overcame me. He requested we take a picture for memories, and I requested prayers that Allah enable me to remain loyal to my waqf. The next morning, he asked for the picture, and as mentioned in the Friday Sermon about his hospitality, he told me to stay in touch and visit him the next time I come to Maryland. I recall sharing the photo of us with my mother, who immediately exclaimed, “Who is this man? His face is glowing with light.” Indeed, his beautiful soul and radiant presence served as an inspiration for all.

As mentioned by Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa, although Choudhry Sahib did not possess formal qualifications, his expertise rivalled that of many engineers in his field of work. I believe the secret ingredient to his success was the guiding theme of his life: humility. As Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa once profoundly stated:

“The individual or communal advancement of the Promised Messiah’sas Community lies in humility, for the Promised Messiahas had received divine revelation proclaiming, ‘He has liked your humble ways.’” (Khutbat-e-Masroor, Vol. 2, pp. 3-22)

May Allah enable us to emulate his devotion to Jamaat, humility, and obedience to Khilafat. Amin.

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