It is clear now that life in the foreseeable future will be a lot different to what we were once accustomed to.
For the world, the measures being put in place to stem the rise of a potential second Covid-19 wave are undoubtedly unsettling; however, for members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, whose day to day lives revolve around the mosque, tabligh efforts and community activities, this is indeed something we pray is for a very short period of time.
The nucleus of the Jamaat, the focal point for every Ahmadi Muslim, Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya, is something that we “hold fast” to. Offering prayers behind Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa, meeting with him in what we affectionately have termed “mulaqats” and viewing his weekly engagements on MTA International and other platforms of the Jamaat is what quenches our spiritual thirst.
So this weekend, when Ahmadis all over the world learned about a virtual mulaqat that took place in Toronto, Canada and Huzoor’saa office in Islamabad, UK simultaneously, it was a breath of fresh air in this new environment that has panned out before us.
On Saturday, 15 August and Sunday, 16 August 2020, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa graced an online mulaqat with Atfal of Canada and amila members of Lajna Imaillah Canada respectively.
Since the lockdown started in the UK towards the end of March earlier this year, we have all been uncertain of important calendar events amid the coronavirus situation. With the sudden surge in Covid cases a few months ago, the British Government urged everyone to go into lockdown, with most public places being shut. This included mosques.
The very first thought that naturally arose in every Ahmadi’s mind was when we would be fortunate enough to see our beloved Imam, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa again live on our television screens.
However, that same week, Huzooraa graced our screens with a special message live from his office. Every Friday after that, we have been fortunate to listen to Huzoor’saa Friday Sermon live, all the while following government regulations.
Then followed Ramadan and were inspired to see the rise in online darses, classes and lectures on important topics, something that will always remain on the Internet for people to benefit from. We then listened to Huzoor’saa live Eid Sermon.
Jalsa Salana UK was also something the entire Jamaat was concerned about. While the average Jalsa duty usually starts in May or June every year, this year, most people had scrapped the idea of anything Jalsa related taking place.
However, Huzooraa graciously arranged a small congregation in Masroor Hall, Islamabad where we witnessed a spectacle of Jalsa Salana 2020.
What everyone had once thought about mulaqats was also quickly put to rest this weekend when pictures of Huzooraa gracing a mulaqat with Atfal of Canada circulated on social media.
During the mulaqat with Atfal, Huzooraa was asked about whether he would travel to Canada after the pandemic was over. Huzooraa beautifully replied:
“It is up to all of you and Ahmadi Muslims around the world to pray that the world is soon rid of the threat of Covid-19. We must all fervently seek the grace and mercy of Allah. Once this period passes, I will, God willing, resume my journeys and travels abroad so I can meet Ahmadi Muslims in different countries. Nevertheless, through the means of this meeting, I feel as though I am in Canada. I can see the mosque and the exact spot where I was interviewed by a Canadian journalist. I can see the hall where many of you are sitting. It is as if I am with you!”
In the Markaz, albeit under strict guidelines and measures, work carries on as usual. All over the world, in many countries, the tabligh and tarbiyat engagements of the Jamaat continue. This is all evident in the regular news reports being received on a daily basis and published in Al Hakam.
Covid-19 is a term that is now used all too frequently on a daily basis by us all. Perhaps no other such disaster has affected all of mankind instantaneously. Perhaps no other such pandemic has been as oft remembered as this one. And yet, our spirits remain high and we carry on.
Why? Because, come what may, the Jamaat moves forward; this is the lesson learned.