31 March 2023
Ramadan and the Holy Quran
After reciting the tashahud, ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:
Nowadays, we are passing through the month of Ramadan. This is a month in which a spiritual atmosphere is fostered and this is the atmosphere that should be created amongst the community of believers. Alongside the fasting during this month, greater attention is also given to worship, as it ought to be. Greater attention is given to reciting and listening to the Holy Quran, and if one desires to attain the true blessings of fasting, then alongside worship, greater care should be given towards reading and listening to the Holy Quran. Ramadan has a special connection with the Holy Quran, or rather, the Holy Quran has a special connection with Ramadan. Allah Almighty states in the Holy Quran:
شَهۡرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِيۡۤ اُنۡزِلَ فِيۡهِ الۡقُرۡاٰنُ هُدًي لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنٰتٍ مِّنَ الۡهُدٰي وَالۡفُرۡقَانِ
“The month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur’an was sent down as a guidance for mankind with clear proofs of guidance and discrimination.” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch. 2: V. 186)
The Quran was sent for the guidance of all of mankind, and it possesses clear proofs which bring about guidance and divine signs. According to some authentic narrations the first revelation descended upon the Holy Prophetsa on the 24 Ramadan. (Sunan al-Kubra lil-Baihiqi Kitab al-Jizyah Vol. 9 p. 317 Hadith 18649 Published Dar al-Kutub Beirut 2003), (Al-Itqan fi ‘Uloom al-Qur’an (Translation) Vol. 1 p. 122 Maktabatul ‘Ilm, Lahore)
Likewise, every year the angel Gabrielas would complete an entire recitation of the Quran to the Holy Prophetsa in the month of Ramadan, and in the final year, he completed it twice. (Sahih al-Bukhari Kitabl Fazail al-Quran Bab Kaana Jibreel Ya’rudu al-Quran ‘ala al-Nabiyysa Hadith 4998)
Therefore, the Holy Quran holds a special significance in relation to Ramadan.
Thus, we must also give special attention to reading and listening to the Holy Quran during this month along with reading its commentary. Programmes pertaining to Ramadan are being aired on MTA, as well as lectures, which everyone should watch. Only when we recite the Holy Quran along with its translation, then read and listen to its commentary, can we truly understand the commandments mentioned therein, incorporate them in our lives, shape our lives in accordance with the Quranic teachings, and become the recipients of Allah’s grace. Hence, if we wish to attain the true blessings of Ramadan, we must pay special attention towards the recitation of the Holy Quran. One should also listen to the lessons [of the Holy Quran] that are being held in mosques.
In this era, the Promised Messiahas has clearly expounded upon the importance of the Holy Quran, its excellences and its clear proofs. For some time, I have been delivering sermons in this regard based on the writings of the Promised Messiahas. Therefore, one must listen to them regularly, read them and ponder over them, in order to develop a true understanding thereof. Today, I shall continue to present some excerpts from the writings of the Promised Messiahas.
Whilst explaining that the Holy Quran is an eternal and everlasting law, the Promised Messiahas states:
“God Almighty’s wisdom and commandments are of two types: some are eternal and everlasting, whilst others are revealed due to a circumstantial requirement. Although they still possess a permanence in their own right, they are still circumstantial (yet even if they are circumstantial, they are still eternal). For example, there are specific commandments with regards to prayer and fasting depending on if one is travelling or not.” In other words, when travelling, a person is permitted to combine the prayers and shorten them, whereas in normal circumstances they should be performed in full. Likewise, it is obligatory to fast under normal circumstances when not on a journey for all healthy individuals. Then, the Promised Messiahas gives the example of another commandment and states, “When a woman leaves the home, she observes the veil (this is a commandment for women under specific circumstances), whereas there is no such need to wear the head covering when they are at home.” The commandment about the veil is for when they are outside the house. Furthermore, there is also the matter of those in whose presence the veil should be observed.
The Promised Messiahas then states, whilst comparing the commandments of the Torah and Gospels, “These are temporary and were in accordance with the requirements of the time, whereas the law and book which the Holy Prophetsa brought are everlasting and eternal. For this reason, whatever has been mentioned therein is perfect and complete. The Holy Quran is the eternal law. If the Holy Quran wasn’t revealed, even then the Torah and Gospels would be abrogated, for they were not eternal and everlasting.” (Malfuzat , Vol. 3, p. 42)
Hence, the importance of the Holy Quran is such that its guidance is in line with all circumstances, it is a perfect teaching, and it is for all times. If we take the example of the commandment regarding the veil, which was just given, critics raise many allegations, stating that it is not required in this era, and at times our own young women are affected by this. However now, these same people have been writing many articles in this regard, women’s organisations are now starting to raise their voices, and it is even being occasionally mentioned in the newspapers, that the free mixing of men and women is at times the cause of great detriment. Now people have even started to consider the concept of segregating [genders].
Then, whilst mentioning the purpose of his advent and the Holy Quran being an eternal law, the Promised Messiahas states:
“Listen carefully as to the ultimate purpose (objective) of my advent, which is to revive and reaffirm Islam. This should not be construed to mean that I bring a new law or sharia or new commandments or a new book will be revealed – not at all. If one thinks so, then I consider them to be highly misled and devoid of faith. Let it be clear that prophethood and the sharia have reached their total and absolute perfection in the person of the Holy Prophetsa. There can be no new divine law. The Holy Quran is the Seal of Books; so much as a dot or mark within it cannot be changed. Nevertheless, it is also true that the blessings and bounties of the Holy Prophetsa and the rewards of the Holy Quran’s teaching and guidance are unending. They are to be seen in every age, ever fresh in their pristine purity. It is for the demonstration of these rewards and blessings that God Almighty has appointed me.” That is to say, not everyone can understand the Holy Quran. Some matters require explanations, and to provide this, Allah the Almighty sent the Promised Messiahas in these Latter Days, as he has stated.
The Promised Messiahas then states:
“The Holy Quran is a miracle the like of which never was, and never will be (nothing similar has come before it, nor will anything like it be found). The door to its blessing is always open, and it is bright and manifest in every age as it was in the time of the Holy Prophetsa.
“It should also be borne in mind that one speaks in accordance with their resolve. The higher the resolve, determination, and purpose of the speaker, the higher the standard of their speech will be. Divine revelation also follows the same rule (just as Allah the Almighty converses with a regular person in proportion to their knowledge, in the same way, the revelation of God [the Holy Quran] has its own standard).
“The higher the resolve of the person to whom Divine revelation is vouchsafed, the higher will be the character of the revelation.” Here, it should also be remembered that there are different levels to the revelations and messages of Allah the Almighty.
The Promised Messiahas then states:
“Since the resolve, capacity and determination of the Holy Prophetsa was so great, the revelation that came to him had the same high rank. No one else will ever attain the same degree of resolve and courage.” (Malfuzat , Vol. 3, p. 87)
The Promised Messiahas further states:
“The expanse of the Holy Quran, however, is very far-reaching. Until the Day of Judgement, it shall remain an unchanged law, serving all people in every era. As such, God Almighty states:
وَاِنۡ مِّنۡ شَيۡءٍ اِلَّا عِنۡدَنَا خَزَآئِنُهٗ وَمَا نُنَزِّلُهٗۤ اِلَّا بِقَدَرٍ مَّعۡلُوۡمٍ
Meaning, We go on revealing our treasures in determined measure [Surah al-Hijr, Ch.15: V.22]. The need for the Gospel was limited to its own time – its entire teaching could be summarised in one page.”
The Promised Messiahas states:
“The task of the Holy Quran was to reform people of all eras. The objective of the Quran was to transform mankind from an animal state to a human state, and thence to make of humans, civilised individuals by inculcating good manners, so that a transformation could be brought about by acting within the dictates of the sharia and its injunctions; and finally, so that they could be made into godly people. These words are brief, but they encompass thousands of facets. Since the Jews, naturalists, fire-worshippers and other nations were engrossed in evil practices, it is for this reason that upon the instruction of Allah (and according to the knowledge bestowed by Him), the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, addressed all the people, saying:
قُلۡ يٰۤاَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اِنِّيۡ رَسُوۡلُ اللّٰهِ اِلَيۡكُمۡ جَمِيۡعَا
(‘Say, “O mankind! Truly I am a Messenger to you all from Allah.”’) (Surah al-A’raf, Ch.7: V.159)
And so it was necessary for the Holy Quran to gather within itself all those teachings that had been instituted at various points in time and to possess all the truths that were conveyed from heaven to the people of the world at various times through numerous Prophets.”
In other words, the Holy Quran also includes previous teachings that were sent according to their times. The Promised Messiahas continues:
“The Holy Quran had the whole of humanity in view, not a specific people, country or era. The Gospel, on the other hand, had a specific people in view and this is why the Messiah, on whom be peace, repeatedly said: ‘I have come in search of the lost tribes of Israel.’” (Malfuzat [English] Vol. 1, pp. 82-83)
Thus, the announcement of the Holy Prophetsa in accordance with the command of God, that ‘I am a Messenger of Allah to the entire world’, also proves that the Holy Quran is the means of guidance for the whole world.
It contains the guidance that was revealed to the earlier people in accordance with their conditions, and there are also commandments for those who came after. This is a timeless law, and there is no other law which was revealed to the Holy Prophetsa.
Then, whilst explaining that the Holy Quran is a treasure house of all teachings, the Promised Messiahas states:
“The Holy Quran is a wise and everlasting law and is a treasure of all teachings. And in this manner, the first miracle of the Holy Quran is the superb stature of its teachings. Then, the second miracle of the Holy Quran is its grand prophecies. For example, there are such grand and marvellous prophecies in Surah al-Fatihah, Surah at-Tahrim, and Surah an-Nur; the Meccan era of the Holy Prophet’ssa life is filled with prophecies. If a learned person ponders over it while maintaining a fear of God, then they will come to know just how much knowledge of the unseen was given to the Holy Prophetsa.
Is this an insignificant matter that, at a time when the whole nation was against the Holy Prophetsa, and there was no sympathiser or friend, for it to be proclaimed that:
سَيُهۡزَمُ الۡجَمۡعُ وَيُوَلُّوۡنَ الدُّبُرَ
[‘The hosts shall soon be routed and will turn their backs in flight’]?” (Surah al-Qamar, Ch. 54: V. 46)
Meaning that their group will be defeated and that they will turn their backs and flee, this is the meaning of the verse.
The Promised Messiahas states:
“Is this an insignificant matter? Had the necessary means been available, then it could be declared that they [the enemy] will be destroyed (if the Holy Prophetsa had the means, then maybe it could be said that they [i.e., the Meccans] would be destroyed). Yet in his condition [of not having the necessary means], the Holy Prophetsa was foretelling his own victory and the humiliation and utter defeat of his enemies, and in the end this is exactly what came to pass.”
This prophecy which is mentioned in the Holy Quran, was given to the Holy Prophetsa by God Almighty whilst he was in Mecca, and that too in the early years, when their condition was very weak while in Mecca. Then look at how the prophecy was fulfilled. We see that the fulfilment of this prophecy is often attributed to the Battle of the Confederates, and in relation to other instances as well, when a powerful army of the disbelievers turned their backs and fled.
Then, the Promised Messiahas states:
“Then how grand and unparalleled are the prophecies related to the community that was going to be established 1,300 years later and also regarding the conditions and signs of that time.”
Meaning how extraordinary are the prophecies about the time of the Promised Messiahas. I have mentioned some before as well in an earlier Friday Sermon, and they are still being fulfilled with such brilliance.
The Promised Messiahas continues:
“Present the prophecies of any other book in the world; can the prophecies of Jesusas compare [with the prophecies of the Holy Quran]?” (Malfuzat, Vol. 3, pp. 43-44)
Then, regarding the excellence of the Holy Quran, and the fact that every commandment is full of purpose and wisdom, the Promised Messiahas states:
“Indeed, a quality of the Quranic teaching is that its every commandment is underpinned by purpose and wisdom (its objective is meaningful and full of wisdom). And for this reason, there is an emphasis throughout the Holy Quran to make use of reason, understanding, contemplation, intellect and faith (intellect means to act with wisdom, thoughtfulness and faith; faith is also a necessary component). The clear distinction between the Quran and other scriptures is that no other scripture has dared to put its teachings up against the heavy and unrestrained criticism of rationality and reflection.”
Giving the example of the Gospels, the Promised Messiahas states:
“The sly followers of this inarticulate Gospel and its supporters know well that the teaching of the Gospel cannot withstand the test of reason in the least. And so they have cunningly interpolated their teachings to suggest that the Trinity and Atonement are such secrets that their essence cannot be understood by the human intellect (they say it is a very deep form of knowledge that they cannot understand and so they should simply accept what they are told). In contrast to this, the teaching of the Holy Quran states:
اِنَّ فِيۡ خَلۡقِ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالۡاَرۡضِ وَاخۡتِلَافِ الَّيۡلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لَاٰيٰتٍ لِّاُولِي الۡاَلۡبَابِ الَّذِيۡنَ يَذۡكُرُوۡنَ اللّٰهَ
Meaning, the creation of the heavens and earth, and the alternation of night and day, furnish to those who are wise, clear proof of Allah [Surah Aal-e-Imran, Ch. 3: V. 191], to Whom the religion of Islam invites the people. This verse explicitly commands the wise to use their mind and intellect.” (Malfuzat [English], Vol. 1, pp. 60-61)
Then, whilst expounding on the fact that the Holy Quran is a book that has remained safeguarded, and that the natural law bears testament to the teachings of the Holy Quran, the Promised Messiahas states:
“Allah the Almighty states:
اِنَّهٗ لَقُرۡاٰنٌ كَرِيۡمٌ فِيۡ كِتٰبٍ مَّكۡنُوۡنٍ لَا يَمَسُّهٗۤ اِلَّا الۡمُطَهَّرُوۡنَ
‘This is indeed a noble Quran, in a well-preserved Book, Which none shall touch except those who are purified.’ (Surah al-Waqi’ah, Ch. 56: V. 78-80)”
The Promised Messiahas continues, “This means that the whole of the Quran is preserved in the resolute chest of the law of nature. What is implied by the fact that this Holy Quran is preserved in a Hidden Book? This means that it is not only confined to paper; rather, it is safeguarded in a Hidden Book, known as the Book of Nature. In other words, the entire teaching of the Quran is attested by every strand and fragment of the law of nature. Its teachings and its blessings are not tales and stories that may be forgotten.” (Malfuzat [English], Vol. 1, p. 63)
One who understands and implements it will attain the blessings of Allah the Almighty. However, it should be remembered that its secrets and its depths are only made apparent to those who are pure, and for this, it is necessary to benefit from the company of the pure. In this era, we must look to, and ponder over the knowledge imparted by the Promised Messiahas which he received from Allah the Almighty, in order to benefit from it. Furthermore, the literature of the Ahmadiyya Community is based upon his commentaries and knowledge.
Whilst explaining why the Holy Quran is also called “the Reminder”, the Promised Messiahas states:
“Now observe how the Quran has been named ‘The Reminder’ (Adh-Dhikr), because it reminds mankind of the law present within.” He further states, “The Quran has not brought a new law, but rather reminds man of the inner law present within man in the form of various faculties. There is forbearance, kindness, bravery, might, anger, contentment, etc. Hence, the Quran has reminded us of the nature vested within us. Just as Allah the Exalted states:
فِيۡ كِتٰبٍ مَّكۡنُوۡنٍ
[‘In a well-preserved Book,’ (Surah al-Waqi‘ah, Ch. 56: V. 79)]
In other words, this is the hidden scripture present in the Book of Nature, which all people did not have the ability to see.”
We should read the Holy Quran from this point of view as well. The Holy Quran guides the natural human qualities aright. The Holy Quran draws out and elaborates on the true nature, which people are moving further away from, especially today. It is because they are moving away from this, that in today’s day and age, we see a tendency towards creating laws that are immoral and unnatural. People are trying to pervert [human nature]. Allah the Almighty states that, by pondering and acting upon the Quran, it enables one to achieve the highest level of human nature. Hence, it is important to ponder over it and we should read and understand the Holy Quran from this lens. This way, we can also remain safeguarded against the poison that is being fed into the minds of young and old under the pretence of freedom. Many parents ask how they should respond to the things that their children learn from school; if we closely read [the Holy Quran], its commentary, literature of the Community which is according to the teachings of the Quran, then the parents will be able to respond to their children.
Then, the Promised Messiahas states:
“As such, this book was named ‘The Reminder’ so that when it is recited, it reminds us of the inner, spiritual faculties, and the light of the heart vested in man from heaven. Hence, Allah the Exalted has manifested a spiritual miracle by sending down the Quran (if one constantly recites it, then it will serve as a constant reminder), so that man may discover the insights, verities and spiritual wonders of which he was previously unaware. The ultimate cause of the Quran is:
[‘A guidance for the righteous’ (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch. 2: V. 3)].
“It is unfortunate, however, that this has been forgotten and the Holy Quran is considered to be nothing more than a collection of a few stories.”
The Promised Messiahas continues, “The previous age was the era in which the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, appeared and in which the Quran was revealed, reminding people of that age of their inner strengths. Now that era has arrived about which the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, had prophesied that the people would recite the Quran, but it would not go beyond their throats.”
This is exactly what we witness; there are countless reciters of the Quran, yet they do not act upon it. The Promised Messiahas continues:
“You can now see with your own eyes how people melodiously and beautifully recite the Holy Quran, but the Quran does not go deeper than their throats (they implement it at all). Therefore, the Holy Quran, which is also named ‘The Reminder’, came in this early period to remind people of the hidden and forgotten truths and innate qualities within man.
“In light of the firm promise made by Allah the Exalted, i.e., اِنَّا لَهٗ لَحٰفِظُوۡن, even in the present era, a teacher has come from heaven who is the awaited one, in fulfilment of the following verse [Surah al-Jumuah, Ch.62: V.4]:
وَّاٰخَرِيۡنَ مِنۡهُمۡ لَمَّا يَلۡحَقُوۡا بِهِم
“That man is the one who speaks to you now.” (Malfuzat [English], Vol. 1, pp. 92-93)
He was referring to himself. If only Muslims adopted reason and hearkened to the one sent by God Almighty. They should analyse their inner states, observe the need of the time, and look at the general state of Muslims. They should not defame Islam by placing emphasis on apparent edicts. They should understand the reality of the Holy Quran. As Ahmadis, we should constantly analyse ourselves as to the degree to which we understand the verities of the teachings in the Holy Quran and the steps we have taken in striving to implement them or the steps we are currently taking.
Then, whilst explaining that the Holy Quran seeks to help one recognise true knowledge, the Promised Messiahas states:
“Just as Allah the Exalted desires that people should fear Him, it is also His wish for people to be enlightened with knowledge (not only fear; they should also develop the light of knowledge) so that with its support, they are able to traverse the stations of divine insight (why should they develop this? So that they may develop insight and broaden their thinking). For on the one hand, where being acquainted with true knowledge gives birth to true fear of God, on the other hand, such knowledge also results in worship of God.”
When a believer thinks along these lines and ponders upon the Holy Quran whilst applying worldly knowledge to the Holy Quran as well, then not only do they develop understanding, but they also develop the fear of God. The Promised Messiahas states:
“[However] there are certain unfortunate people who become so engrossed in the knowledge that they lose sight of divine decree and fate and begin to doubt the very Being of Allah Almighty. There are others who become so dependent on divine decree and fate that they forsake the acquisition of knowledge altogether.”
They are either at one extreme, whereby in the name of worldly knowledge and new enlightenment, they forget about God Almighty, or in the name of coming towards Allah the Almighty, they become weary of obtaining knowledge and abandon it, deeming it to be wrong. The Promised Messiahas continues:
“However, the Holy Quran has taught both aspects, and has done so perfectly. The Holy Quran desires to acquaint people with true knowledge and draws their attention to this aspect because this gives birth to fear of God. The more an individual increases in their understanding of God Almighty, the grandeur of God Almighty becomes equally apparent to them and they develop a love for Him in equal proportion. The reason a person is taught to believe in divine decree and fate is to ensure that they develop the attribute of trusting and believing in the Being of Allah Almighty; and so that once they learn of the essence of being content in the pleasure of Allah, they may attain true tranquillity and comfort, which is the fundamental purpose and objective of salvation.” (Malfuzat [English], Vol. 1, pp. 229-230)
Furthermore, the Promised Messiahas states:
“This is so because Allah the Exalted has blessed this community with the Holy Quran, which is the source and fountainhead of true knowledge. An individual who finds the divine verities and insights that are expounded in the Holy Quran – which are attained by true righteousness and fear of Allah – is thereby given such knowledge that makes them the likeness of the Israelite Prophets.
“It is perfectly obvious that if a person does not make use of the weapon that is provided to them, this is the person’s own fault and not the fault of the weapon itself. This is precisely the state of the world at present. Even though the Muslims were given a matchless blessing in the Holy Quran, which could have saved them from every form of misguidance and could have pulled them out of every form of darkness, they abandoned the Holy Quran and showed no regard for its pure teachings. As a result, they became so utterly distanced from Islam.” (Malfuzat [English], Vol. 1, p. 65)
As the Promised Messiahas has stated, Muslims have deviated from the grand teachings of the Holy Quran and have thus reduced themselves to Muslims by name alone. People post short video clips on social media from time to time; these short interviews give insight into the fact that people are unaware of the basic teachings and history of Islam. As per their claim, Muslim clerics raise an uproar and seek to cause harm to the Ahmadiyya Community in honour of the Holy Prophetsa, the Quran and the companions. Someone wrote to me from Bangladesh and informed me that when they were attacked by a crowd, a boy among them was perhaps throwing stones. One Ahmadi questioned his actions and inquired if he was acting upon what was written in the Quran or the teachings of Islam. Where had he found such teachings? He told him that Ahmadis adhere to the Kalimah [Islamic creed]. Upon this, the boy immediately dropped the stone. These people act according to how the Muslim clerics incite them.
May Allah the Almighty protect us from the evil of these wicked people and enable us to understand, learn and act upon the Holy Quran, both during this Ramadan and after it has passed. May Allah the Almighty protect us from the depravity that exists in the world. You must give special attention to prayers during Ramadan, as I have stated earlier. May Allah the Almighty protect every Ahmadi in all places from harm. As for those who are incapable of reformation, may Allah the Almighty make an example out of them so that others are able to follow His commandments. You should also pray for the world as a whole, that Allah the Almighty averts the catastrophe of war.
At present, I would like to speak about a few deceased members, the first of whom is a missionary of the Community who fulfilled his devotion with exceptional faithfulness. He was an exceedingly humble man who had the opportunity to serve for a long time, living up to the true standard of rendering service. His name is Munawwar Ahmad Khurshid Sahib, and he served as a missionary in Western Africa. He passed away a few days ago.
اِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَاِنَّاۤ اِلَيۡهِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ
[“Surely, to Allah do we belong, and to Him we shall return”]
His family entered the fold of Ahmadiyyat when his grandfather, Hazrat Mian Abdul Karim Sahibra pledged allegiance to the Promised Messiahas in 1903 when he came to Jhelum for the court case of Karam Din. All the children born to the parents of Munawwar Ahmad Khurshid Sahib would fall ill and pass away. When he [Munawwar Ahmad Khurshid Sahib] was born, he also fell ill. There was no hope in sight, and so his grandfather, Mian Abdul Karim Sahib, who was a companion [of the Promised Messiah], decided to dedicate the child’s life in God’s way. His reasoning was that if God required the child, He would save him. Nonetheless, in the same instance, a doctor who lived in a far-off village came to their village. He administered treatment and through a miracle, Allah the Almighty cured him.
His father-in-law, Muhammad Khan Darwesh Sahib, also saw a dream about him that he was standing on a towering and brilliant minaret. Upon this, the Darwish told him that he would illuminate the minaret of Ahmadiyyat and render great services. Thus, Allah the Almighty enabled him to do so. After graduating from Jamia, he stayed in Pakistan for a short period. Then, in 1983, he went to Africa and served for an extended period of time in The Gambia, Senegal and so on. He also had the opportunity of serving as Amir Jamaat [National President] in The Gambia and Senegal. In 2005, due to an illness, he came here to the UK. While residing here, he continued to manage the Jamaat administration in Senegal until another missionary was posted there and able to continue the administration. From 2008 to 2012, he also had the opportunity to serve as a professor in Jamia [Ahmadiyya] UK.
Wherever he was able to serve, he worked excellently. He had the honour of bringing many people into the fold of Ahmadiyyat. 40 members of parliament accepted Ahmadiyyat through his efforts. In light of this achievement, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh designated him with the title “Fatih-e-Senegal” [the Champion of Senegal] in his Jalsa Salana address. He brought about 15 members of the assembly to Jalsa Salana Germany. Of the various PAAMA awards designated for missionaries, he was a recipient of the Abdur Rahim Nayyar Award. Upon my instruction, he also visited Spain on various occasions. There, he preached Islam to the African residents and did excellent work. He brought many people there into the fold of Ahmadiyyat. Under Ansarullah UK, he also held online educational classes on the Holy Quran. He continued this until his demise. He is survived by his three sons, three daughters and wife. One of his sons is a missionary here in the UK.
Daud Hanif Sahib, who is serving as the Principal of Jamia [Ahmadiyya] Canada, was the Amir Jamaat in The Gambia when he was sent there. He writes, “I had the opportunity to serve alongside him from 1983 to 1994. Apart from his work as a missionary, he also taught Islamic studies in school.” He further writes, “The state in Senegal was such that it was very difficult to preach Islam. It was a difficult time. At the end of 1985, he was sent to the town of Farafenni – located at the border of Senegal. Whilst there, his objective was to bring the plan for establishing Ahmadiyyat to fruition. It was a very difficult task. The government of Senegal would not grant a visa to Pakistanis, however, Munawwar Khurshid Sahib had a quality that allowed him to become one with the people and form relationships in a brilliant manner. He also knew the French language to a degree. Thus, when he was posted there, he quickly built relationships with the officials at the border and began to travel to Senegal thereby. There, he began to further study the French language under an elementary school headmaster. He had acquired permission from the local officials to learn French with the headmaster, Abdus Salam Bari. Nevertheless, he was successful and through this achievement, visited Senegal from time to time.
Later, he obtained a special pass that allowed him to travel into Senegal in official vehicles of The Gambia. He would place the literature [of the Jamaat] inside the vehicle and would preach there and through this, he was able to acquire many bai‘ats. There were some Ahmadis already residing in the Kaolack region and there was also a local mu‘allim, Hamid Mbaye Sahib. He worked together with him and established new jamaats there. In Africa, either the roads were very broken or, in some places, they did not even have any roads. However, he would reach distant places by motorcycle. And the paths for the motorcycle were such that the bushes and shrubs were very close and his legs would become bloodied, however, he did not show any concern about this and would remain engaged in his work.”
Daud Hanif Sahib further writes, “Initially, there were many challenges and so we carried out the tabligh [preaching] work with great caution, but gradually, when contacts were established, the Jamaat was introduced and we began to convey the message that the Promised Messiahas had come for the revival of Islam and this message was also conveyed to the officials as well, then it became very easy for him to travel to Senegal. He would regularly visit Senegal and many jamaats were established in various areas of the Kaolack region.” I have already mentioned that there were some places where even motorcycles, etc. were not available, so he travelled long distances on donkey carts and visited various villages.
In fact, some of the missionaries who are currently serving there now, say that when they went to these villages, the people mentioned that a long time ago Maulana Munawwar Ahmad Khurshid Sahib used to visit them and did so in very difficult circumstances. And so, he would travel to these areas and preach there. He would spend many nights there with the people and he would eat the local food, such as boiled corn or millet. This would be the food he would eat and then he would continue on with his travels. He was never concerned about the arrangements for the accommodation, in fact, wherever he found any place to stay, he would sleep there and eat whatever was available. In this way, he became extremely popular amongst the people and carried out Tabligh in an excellent manner.
When Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh saw in a dream that the Jamaat was progressing in the French-speaking countries, Munawwar Ahmad Khurshid Sahib left the region he was in and focused his efforts on Senegal. He was then sent there and he preached to its influential people and also the Members of Parliament and, as a result, 14 Members of Parliament had the opportunity to do the bai‘at. This had a very positive impact in favour of the Jamaat and the Jamaat began to be firmly established there. In order to strengthen the Nizam-e-Jamaat [administrative structure], along with increasing the number of mu‘allimeen, there was also a need for the education and training of its members, which was done on a yearly basis and Maulana Sahib carried this work out with great effort and courage. In 1997, he was appointed as the National President of the Jamaat in Senegal and he served with great effort right till the end.
They have further written that the spirit of obedience to the Khalifa of the time was deeply rooted within him. I have observed this as well that when he came here [UK], he had been very ill for the last ten years, but despite his ill health, whenever he was assigned any work, he would immediately try to fulfil it. He had a great passion for tabligh.
Wajihullah Sahib, who is serving as a missionary in Senegal, says, “When I came here, I heard a lot about Munawwar Sahib and wherever I would go, the people there would mention him in a very loving manner.”
Various mua‘llimeen have also written some incidents. A local mu‘allim, Muhammadu Tafsir Mara Sahib, writes:
“I accepted Ahmadiyyat through Munawwar Ahmad Khurshid Sahib and he taught me very well and did my training with great effort and love. As a result, I had the opportunity to study in Jamia Ahmadiyya Ghana and serve the Jamaat.”
He himself is from Senegal and he further states:
“I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with him. He had great love for Khilafat and he would particularly advise me to remain attached to Khilafat. Another quality I observed was that he never missed the Tahajjud prayer [voluntary night prayer] and he would also advise us to always offer the Tahajjud prayer and to particularly pray for Khalifatul Masih in the Tahajjud prayers.”
The mu‘allim Sahib further writes:
“He was a very righteous person and strove very hard. He travelled across the entire country of Senegal. He would always strive to visit every village and convey the message of the Messiah of Muhammadsa. I am a witness to the fact that when Munawwar Sahib was engaged in Jamaat work he did not have any concern about whether it was day or night or whether or not he had anything to eat or drink. He had a very close relationship with God Almighty and many times we would witness incidents that reflected this.”
He further says:
“On one occasion, there was a Jamaat function and people had travelled to attend it. One of the Ahmadis became ill and wanted to go back. He was given permission to return, but when he was about to board the bus, Munawwar Sahib stopped him and told him not to sit on that particular bus but on another one. At the time, I thought to myself that this bus [that he was stopped from boarding] was going to have an accident and if he had sat in it, people would have said that he had gone to a Jamaat function and died in an accident. This is exactly what happened, the bus which he was stopped from boarding was involved in an accident. Since he sat on the other bus, he safely returned to his home. As a result of this incident as well, people’s faith increased. People had so much love for him and this can be gauged from the fact that his funeral prayer in absentia was offered in various areas of Senegal and many non-Ahmadis also attended the prayers.”
Then, the Sadr of the Fatak jamaat, Rogan Fai Sahib says:
“It is extremely difficult for anyone to work in the same passionate manner that Munawwar Ahmad Khurshid Sahib used to.”
Diallo Sahib, who is another local mu‘allim, says:
“When Munawwar Sahib first came to Senegal, I had the opportunity to work with him for a very long time. He was a very righteous and brave individual. Whilst on Jamaat tours, he would carry out the tabligh work with great wisdom and courage. He was also a very fair person and would treat the members of the Jamaat with great love and equality.”
Raja Burhan Sahib says:
“Towards the latter part of his life, when he was very ill and was having to undergo dialysis daily, he met me once at a wedding and said, ‘I have opened a shop.’ I asked him what he meant by opening a shop and he said, ‘I am at home and so I have placed a table outside and in the summer, I put out some water along with Jamaat literature. Then if they require it, I provide water to those passing by and also give them some literature along with it.’”
He did not sit idle during his illness, but even then he found a new way of preaching. There are those who ask how one should do tabligh; if one tries to search for different avenues of tabligh, they are able to find them. All that is required is passion.
Another quality of Munawwar Ahmad Khurshid Sahib was that he was quickly able to learn new languages. Different languages are spoken in The Gambia and he was able to speak those various languages. In relation to this, he would mention that the Gambian missionaries who studied here [at Jamia Ahmadiyya UK]; Abdullah Sahib, Abdur Rahman Sahib and Muhammad Mbaye Sahib belong to three different tribes and were not able to understand each other’s local languages, however, he was able to speak all three languages.
His wife, Nusrat Jahan Sahiba says: “He was very particular about the moral training of children. He was a very loving person and had boundless love for Khilafat. He did justice to his waqf [life devotion]. He would try his best to resolve all disputes and altercations. He was very hospitable. In Africa, when he would leave for a [tabligh] trip, he would say: ‘Do not worry about when I will return. I will return home once I have completed my work.’” She says that he had a passion to propagate the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat. He had the opportunity to propagate the message in Spain and despite being unwell, he went many times. In this way, he re-established lost contacts [with the Jamaat].
His son, Muhammad Ahmad Khurshid, who is a missionary says: “He would always advise me that I should help people, because this is an excellent form of worship and it pleases Allah.” He says: “In him, we always saw a practical model of the Islamic teachings.”
Salman Salmi Sahib from Spain writes: “During his visits to Spain, I had the chance to accompany him on many Tabligh endeavours. The astonishing thing I saw was that he would be able to strike a conversation with any African passer-by and get to know them. In a short space of time, he would be able to form a good connection with them. He would then say that the individual was from such and such village, and the villages around that area are such and such and that those people are very sincere. He knew influential people of different areas. Since he would be conversing in various African languages, people would be inclined to listen to him. They would be astonished and also happy. After two or three meetings, he would form a bond with them and then give them the message of the Jamaat.” He says that he would not preach to them in the first meeting; he would first establish a personal connection and then on the second or third visit, he would preach to them about Ahmadiyyat. He says that through his personal connections and his morals, the groundwork would be completed and then later people would readily pledge allegiance.
Nonetheless, he rendered a great service in Spain and established a Jamaat there as well. He had a true passion to propagate the teachings of Ahmadiyyat, the true Islam. It is absolutely true that, alongside this, he was very humble. When I asked him to go to Spain, he went without presenting any excuse, even though he was unwell at the time.
May Allah the Almighty continue to grant the Jamaat such loyal and devoted missionaries who render services selflessly and fulfil their tasks. May Allah elevate his rank [in paradise].
The second funeral is of Iqbal Ahmad Munir Sahib, who was a missionary from Pakistan and the son of Chaudhry Munir Ahmad Sahib. He passed away recently. Ahmadiyyat was introduced into his family through his paternal grandfather, Chaudhry Ghulam Haider Sahib in 1895. The deceased completed his studies at Jamia Ahmadiyya in 1983 after which he served under Islah-o-Irshad Markaziyyah. Then from 2001 to 2008, he served in Sierra Leone and then returned to Pakistan. He subsequently served in various districts in Pakistan. He was a heart patient, but despite this, he worked diligently. By the grace of Allah, he was a Musi. He rendered his services with great diligence and effort. He had good relations with people and was a sincere individual. The deceased is survived by his wife and three sons.
Abdul Wakil Sahib, who is a missionary, writes: “He was someone who was loved dearly by all and had a deep bond with Khilafat. He was a loving person with an awe-inspiring personality. He was very kind-hearted. After a brief meeting with him, one would know that he was a very humble person.”
Syed Munir Ahmad Sahib, who is Naib Amir of Karachi and has worked with him, says: “He was a very hard worker and a sincere individual. Whatever work was assigned to him, he would give it priority and complete it immediately. He would come to the office and advise us based on his experience.” He further says: “This gave me a lot of support. He had a pure heart. He had a personal relationship with everyone in his area, as a result of which he would be able to get things done very easily. Owing to this he was instructed to remind others about paying chanda and this had a great impact on others.” May Allah the Almighty bestow His forgiveness and mercy upon the deceased and elevate his station [in paradise].
The third mention is of Sayyida Nusrat Jahan Begum Sahiba, wife of the late Mian Abdul Azim Sahib, Dervish of Qadian, who passed away recently. She was bedridden for quite some time. In the early days, when they were living in straitened circumstances, she was the first woman to come [to Qadian] from the Odisha state. The deceased spent time in difficult conditions with her husband with great patience and gratitude. She was regular in prayers and fasting. She was devoted and very sincere. She would regularly recite the Holy Quran and also teach it to others. She taught the Holy Quran to many children and women. In the days of straitened circumstances, their income would be low and so she decided to keep chickens to get by, instead of looking towards others for help. She was always ready to serve Allah’s creation. She would help the women of Qadian in making arrangements for the shroud and burial of the deceased and would help in bathing them. She had a special bond with the Khalifah of the time. She would partake in every financial initiative. The deceased was a Musia and is survived by four sons and one daughter. She was the stepmother of Khurshid Anwar Sahib. She was the paternal aunt of Dost Muhammad Shahid Sahib, [former] historian of the Jamaat.
May Allah the Almighty bestow his forgiveness and mercy upon her and elevate her status. After the Friday prayers, I will lead their funeral prayers in absentia.
(Official Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 21 April 2023, pp. 2-7. Translated by The Review of Religions.)