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“If you write to me frequently, then I will remember you”: Members of Nasirat from Midlands Region seek guidance from Huzoor

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On 12 September 2021, members of Nasirat-ul-Ahmadiyya from the Midlands Region, UK were given the opportunity to meet with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa in a virtual meeting.

The meeting commenced with a recitation of the Holy Quran and its English translation by Sakeena Bonsu. Following this, a tarana (choral poem) was presented by four nasirat: Hajira, Maimoona, Alishwa and Sakeena.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa then turned to Mateen Bhatti Sahiba, Secretary Nasirat-ul-Ahmadiyya UK, and asked what was planned by the nasirat. She responded that some nasirat had questions they wished to ask Huzooraa.

The first question was asked by Aisha from Stevenage whether waqifaat-e-nau were allowed to work alongside studying.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa answered:

“If it is work experience, then you can work, and if you are studying in university, and you need some money to continue your studies to meet your expenses – or to gain some work experience – then you can work, but with the condition that your dress is modest, and you wear the hijab.”

“It is a conditional permission,” Huzooraa added.

Ishal Noor from Birmingham East said she had two questions. She said that one of the proofs for the truth of Ahmadiyyat was that it was a growing community within Islam; however, she said, there were many other religious groups, such as Sikhism and Bahaism, that were also “rapidly spreading”. She asked if this was proof for their religions also.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa asked:

“Do you have data on Sikhism or Bahaism which are ‘spreading rapidly’? You have used the word ‘rapidly’. Where did you get this data from?” 

To this, the Nasirat member said that she got the data online. Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa then asked, “How many people join Sikhism and Bahaism every year? Can you tell me? […] 100 or 150, not more than that. Whereas Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya is spreading across the world, from Africa to South America, from Asia to Europe […] This is the only community which has a mission spread across the world […] thousands of people are joining us every year […].”

The second question Ishal Noor asked was that if God was All-Knowing and aware of the actions one was to do, why was it that a person was rewarded or punished for the actions and choices God already knew the outcome to.

Huzooraa answered:

“Allah Almighty has also given free will,” and that Allah knew the choices and actions one would do but nobody was compelled to do those actions. Right and wrong had been distinguished. 

“If you do good deeds,” Huzooraa said, “you will be rewarded. If you do bad things, you will be punished.” Nobody was forced or compelled to do something bad, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa explained.

Next, Maria from Nottingham Jamaat asked if a person, who was not a waqif-e-nau, was allowed to serve or work for the Jamaat. She added that she desired to become a doctor and serve the Jamaat.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa replied:

“There are quite a number of students who study in Jamia Ahmadiyya, who are going to be missionaries, and are not waqif-e-nau […]” Huzooraa alluded to himself and said, “I am not a waqif-e-nau, but I am serving the Jamaat. The people sitting here [in the office] with me, working with me, are not waqif-e-nau. It is not necessary that you must be waqif-e-nau before you opt for serving the Jamaat”.

Liza Aimal from Birmingham West Jamaat stated that there were some examples of Prophets and Khulafa who were religious leaders and also had political authority. She asked Huzooraa that if he was given the opportunity to have political authority, whether Huzooraa would accept it.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:

“You see. In the past, not all prophets were given political authority. In Islam, the Holy Prophetsa was the prophet who had religious authority, and he was the head of state as well, after migrating to Medina, not before that […] And then, after his demise, four rightly guided Khulafa – Khulafa-e-Rashideen – also had political authority […] But now, in the time of the Promised Messiahas, neither the Promised Messiah, as a prophet, subordinate to the Holy Prophetsa, nor his Khulafa, will have political authority. All the countries will be run by their governments to run their affairs, and the Khalifa of the time will be the spiritual head of those countries”.

Fariha of Birmingham North Jamaat asked Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa to share a moment where he encountered hardships and how he dealt with them.

Huzooraa said:

“Hardships are a part of life […] If I say I faced any hardship, that means I did not understand the spirit of my waqf […] I never faced any hardship. I always saw Allah’s fazl [grace] on me.”

Next, Safiyya from Leamington Spa Jamaat asked if it was permissible to keep dogs inside homes whilst they were being trained to become guide dogs for the blind.

Huzooraa said that it was permissible to keep dogs as guard dogs, for hunting purposes, guide dogs for the blind and for security and safety purposes. “But,” Huzooraa said, “not in your room, not in your bedroom, not in your drawing room [and] not in your dining room. Make a pen for them outside and keep them there. You can take them along with you when you are going outside for a walk but don’t allow them to enter your house.

“Even during the time of the Holy Prophetsa, the companions of the Holy Prophetsa used to keep shepherd dogs […].”

Kiran from Nottingham Jamaat said that she was told by her father that Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa, prior to Khilafat, was a quiet person and wouldn’t engage much in conversations. She said that now Huzooraa gave many speeches and met with many people. Huzooraa smiled and responded, “I still try not to speak much.”

Upon being asked how he managed meeting so many people, Huzooraa said:

“It is God’s work. I did not, with my own will and wish, come in this position. It is Allah Almighty who has brought me to this position […] It is Allah Almighty who gives me the strength to do all these things.”

Rashida from Birmingham North Jamaat asked why non-Ahmadi Muslims said Ahmadis were disbelievers.

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said that it was better to ask them. Huzooraa then said:

“We believe in the same Prophetsa, we believe in the same book, the Holy Quran – we say:

لَااِلٰهَ‭ ‬اِلَّا‭ ‬اللّٰهُ‭ ‬مُحمدٌ‭ ‬رَّسُوْلُ‭ ‬اللّٰهِ

[…] and we practice all the teachings of Islam; not only practice, but we also preach. Therefore, hundreds of thousands of non-Muslims are accepting Islam through Ahmadiyyat. So, you can show your example. You can set your example before them”.

Huzooraa emphasised that one should explain to them our beliefs. “It is now your duty,” Huzooraa said, “to preach to them and remove all their doubts. […]

“[Tell them that] ‘We are Muslims, we believe in one [and the same] thing. The only difference is that you believe that the Messiah of the age who was destined to come, according to the prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa, has not yet come, but we believe that the Messiah has come in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadian.’ And that is the only difference”.

Huzooraa further explained that we believe that Promised Messiahas held the status of a prophet because the Holy Prophetsa declared him as one, whereas non-Ahmadi Muslims say that no prophet would come after the Holy Prophetsa. “We also believe”, Huzooraa explained, “that no other prophet with a new shariah can come after the Holy Prophetsa; but a subordinate prophet can come […]. So, this is the difference. This is why they say we are not Muslims”.

Next, Amtul Sabooh from Birmingham Central Jamaat asked if it was permissible for ladies to lead the Jumuah prayer at home if no male was available.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa answered:

“If a male is not available, then yes, you can lead [Jumuah]. If you know a portion of the Holy Quran, and you know Khutbah Thania in Arabic, then you can lead Jumuah prayer. Ladies can be the imam of ladies, whether it is at home, or in the Jalsa gah, or Ijtema gah, even outside wherever you are.”

Farida from Wolverhampton Jamaat asked Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa how one could overcome their anger.

Answering, Huzooraa said that the Holy Prophetsa explained that when one got angry, they should drink water; and if one was standing, then they should sit down.

Haala from Birmingham Central Jamaat said that boys had previously asked how they could establish a relationship with Khilafat. Huzooraa would tell the young boys to frequently write a letter and to attach a photo of themselves. She asked how girls could also create a bond with Khilafat.

Huzooraa said:

“One thing [you can do] is to also be frequent in writing letters. If you are writing letters to me frequently, then I will remember you”.

Aisha from Birmingham North Jamaat asked how important it was for Ahmadi Muslims to fight climate change.

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said:

“Very important. Try to avoid using your car when travelling a short distance; either walk to that place or use a bicycle. Cycling is also good for your health. Secondly, every Ahmadi should make it a point to plant two trees every year. This is how you can fight climate change […].”

Hibba from Birmingham North Jamaat asked two questions. She first asked how young students could balance religion and worldly affairs.

Huzooraa stated:

“[…] Allah Almighty has made it obligatory to offer the five daily prayers properly, fervently, with full concentration. This is how you can keep your deen [faith] above everything”.

Huzooraa said that one should study the Holy Quran and learn its meaning and what is mentioned in it. Huzooraa further said that one should discard bad habits. Thus, by doing these things, a student could give preference to religion over the world. “If you do these things,” Huzooraa added, “it is enough for you”.

Hibba’s second question was with regard to Hazrat Yunusas (Jonah) who was swallowed by a fish. She said that scientists opposed that he was swallowed by a fish as humans could not hold their breath for a long time. She asked how one could explain that he was swallowed by a fish and also survived. 

Huzooraa said that firstly, the Holy Quran had not said that he remained in the belly of the fish for three days; rather, that particular number was only mentioned in the Bible. Huzooraa further explained that, “He did not stay there for a longer period [and] even then the Quran says that when he came out of the belly of the fish, he was sick, he was unconscious and he was injured. […] And then he became conscious and survived that bad episode.”

Next, Kainat of Birmingham North Jamaat stated that in the Holy Quran, whilst providing a description of Heaven, it was written, “Therein are rivers of water which corrupts not; and rivers of milk of which the taste changes not; and rivers of wine”. (Holy Quran, Ch. 47: V. 16)

She asked Huzooraa why “rivers of wine” was presented as a pleasure of Paradise when it was harmful and prohibited.

Huzooraa answered:

“That river of wine is not like the one here [in this world]; it is just a metaphor to help you understand […] that type of wine is different; it is something which is pure”.

Huzooraa further told Kainat to read the interpretation of this verse mentioned in the Five-Volume Commentary.

Aliya from Birmingham South Jamaat stated that expressions of speech had changed over time and what children might say now, may be offensive to parents. She asked Huzooraa for advice on this.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:

“We have to learn good morals, whether you are speaking to parents, or siblings, or to other relatives. You should not abandon morals […] Be polite and kind to your siblings, to your friends, to your parents”.

Next, Safina of Coventry Jamaat asked how a young girl should pray for a fortunate future.

Huzooraa said:

“As a girl, you should pray to Allah Almighty that He makes your future fortunate and, in the Hereafter as well”. Huzooraa said that one should always remember Allah Almighty and seek His help. Huzooraa added that the following prayer should be recited often:

رَبَّنَاۤ‭ ‬اٰتِنَا‭ ‬فِي‭ ‬الدُّنۡيَا‭ ‬حَسَنَةً‭ ‬وَّ‭ ‬فِي‭ ‬الۡاٰخِرَةِ‭ ‬حَسَنَةً‭ ‬وَّ‭ ‬قِنَا‭ ‬عَذَابَ‭ ‬النَّارِ

Hajira from Leicester Jamaat asked what prayers could be recited for a non-Muslim who passes away.

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa stated:

“You can say اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلهِ ‬وَ‭ ‬اِنَّاۤ‭ ‬اِلَيۡهِ‭ ‬رٰجِعُوۡنَ. You can pray for him that Allah forgives him, if you know him. Otherwise, just pay respect to him […].”

Eisha from Coventry Jamaat asked how nasirat should prepare themselves to make sure they were ready to become members of Lajna Imaillah.

Huzooraa said:

“Whether you are ready or not, when you reach the age of 15, you will become a member of Lajna Imaillah. So, you should make it a point that when you enter Lajna Imaillah, you should behave and try to be active in the same way as you are active and well behaved in Nasirat”.

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa then turned to Mateen Bhatti Sahiba, Secretary Nasirat UK, and asked if she had anything else to say. Mateen Bhatti Sahiba expressed her gratitude to Huzooraa for sparing time for the nasirat.

In the end, Huzooraa conveyed his salaam and the meeting came to a close.

(Report prepared by Al Hakam)

The world is heading towards a dark and bleak end: Khuddam from Northern England and Scotland meet Hazrat Khalifatul Masih

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On 11 September 2021, UK khuddam from northern regions had the opportunity to meet Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa through a virtual meeting. 

Malik Takrim Ahmad was called by Huzooraa to read out a portion from the Holy Quran and its English translation. Marghub Ahmad read out a hadith and Safeer Ahmad read out an extract from the writings of the Promised Messiahas. Malik Faraz Ahmad then recited an Urdu poem written by the Promised Messiahas.

After Malik Faraz finished the poem, Huzooraa asked Malik Faraz whether he was the brother of Malik Takrim to which he said he was. 

Sarmad Ahmad Anwar was then called by Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa to read the translation of the Urdu poem that was recited. When he finished, Huzooraa asked whether he was the relative of Syed Anwar Sahib, to which Sarmad said he was his grandfather. 

Huzooraa then asked Attiqur Rahman, Mohtamim Tarbiyat what he wanted to do next in the meeting. Attiqur Rahman sought permission for the khuddam to ask any questions they had for Huzooraa

The first question was by Saqib Mahmud Jajja. On hearing his name, Huzooraa asked, “Are you the son of Dr Jajja?” Saqib said he was. Huzooraa further remarked, “You are from Scunthorpe then. What do you want to say?” 

Saqib asked, “I was told about an incident of the Promised Messiahas in which he handed some papers to Allah in a vision. Allah then signed the papers with red ink. When the Promised Messiahas woke up, there were red ink drops on his clothes and the source could not be located. My question is, how can such an incident happen, as it goes against the laws of science?”

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa responded by saying:

“You see, sometimes, science cannot comprehend all things which are a matter of spiritual things. It happened and there was a witness, Abdullah Sanauri Sahibra, who attested to the fact that it happened. And the drops also fell on his clothes […] First he thought that there might be some lizard on the roof, and sometimes drops come out if there are lizards or some insects are there, but there was nothing of that sort. 

“These are miracles – spiritual miracles. It cannot be proved by scientific formulas, no. So if you have a high spiritual status, then you will understand. And the Promised Messiahas also said there was a witness, there was a presence of some person there […] so we have to believe. 

“Science cannot believe you can even make the moon into two pieces, but it happened during the time of the Holy Prophetsa and people saw it. And not only there, it is said that some people in India at that time also saw that miracle. So we have to believe. […]

“There are some miracles which are beyond our comprehension.” 

Tanzil Ahmad asked, “It is narrated in a hadith that ‘the person closest to me on the Day of Judgment is the one who sent the most durood upon me.’ If someone lives to the age of 100 and if someone dies early at the age of 20, they will not have the same amount of time to recite durood sharif – so how will it be possible for the younger person to get closer to the Holy Prophetsa?”

Huzoorra replied:

“There are quite a number of children who died at their early infancy, but they’re also close to the Holy Prophetsa. […]

“It means that as much time as Allah the Almighty gives you to live in this world, you spend that time on doing good things, good deeds, offering your prayers and sending durood to the Holy Prophetsa. Then you will get the reward and you’ll be close to the Holy Prophetsa

“Life and death are not in your hand. If Allah the Almighty did not give you that much life, how can you be blamed? You cannot be blamed.”

Huzooraa said that if such a young person spent his time getting closer to Allah the Almighty and in sending durood on the Holy Prophetsa, “He will get the same reward as a person who lives 100 years […] so don’t worry, Allah is the Most Merciful.” 

Hamza Cheema asked, “When you offer Tahajud prayers, what prayers do you make and in which order?”

In response, Huzooraa said:

“The Promised Messiahas has explained how he prayed. He said, ‘I pray for myself, that Allah the Almighty gives me sound health so that I can try to get closer to Allah the Almighty more than before’. And then, ‘I pray for my community members, my friends, my children’. 

“So, in this way, you have to pray for yourself, for the mission of the Promised Messiahas and the Holy Prophetsa to spread the message of Islam all across the world.

“And then, for your siblings, for your parents and later on, for other people. So in this way, this is the normal order. But sometimes, if any special incident arises, then I pray for that.” 

Zain-ul-Haq Sethi was next to asked a question. Seeing him, Huzooraa asked, “Are you a tifl or a khadim?” Zain-ul-Haq said he was a khadim. Huzooraa asked, “16 years of age?” to which Zain-ul-Haq replied in the affirmative. 

His question to Huzooraa was, “What did you do for enjoyment and recreation whilst in Ghana?” 

With a smile, Huzooraa said:

“There was no recreation. Every moment which I spent there – whether sitting, or standing, or moving or doing some work – that was recreation and I enjoyed every moment there. [There was] no special thing. […]

“We didn’t have a television, we didn’t even have a radio, we didn’t have light most of the time. So, the only thing I would enjoy would be, after coming from work, to spend some time with my family and spend some time on reading books. That’s the only thing.”

Farhan Warriach asked, “In Surah al-Baqarah, verse 155, it states, ‘And say not of those who are killed in the cause of Allah that they are dead; nay, they are living; only you perceive not.’ My question is, what is meant by ‘living’ of the shuhada [martyrs], can they see or hear us?”

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said:

“It is not only Surah al-Baqarah, there are some other verses also […] ‘Don’t say they are dead, they are alive, because they have died in the cause of Allah the Almighty’. And in Allah the Almighty’s eyes, they will remain alive forever and they will be rewarded for that in the heavens.

“If shuhada have died for the cause of Allah’s religion – Allah’s cause – in this world, even they are liked and they are praised and people pray for them, for their higher status. So you always remember them and their memories are always cherished; not only by their family but by other people as well.”

“[…] the shuhada, their name is always remembered and even they will be rewarded in Heaven more than any other person. This is why Allah the Almighty says, ‘Don’t think they are dead. You think they are dead in this world, but they are living a good life in Heaven – and that is your ultimate destination.’” 

Syed Umair Ahmad asked, “When Ahmadiyyat spreads in the Western countries insha-Allah, do you think we will face the same persecution as we are facing in Pakistan and some other countries.”

Huzooraa said:

“When Ahmadiyyat spreads here in the Western countries – or any of the rich countries from whom the Pakistani government, or the poor countries are getting help and aid – they will stop doing all those atrocities they are committing nowadays against Ahmadis.

“You see, there was persecution of the Christians till the time the Roman king accepted Christianity. And after his acceptance of Christianity, all the persecution and atrocities against Christians stopped. The same is here also. If, by that time, Muslims in some of the Muslim countries – either in Pakistan or somewhere else – do not accept Ahmadiyyat before the Western countries accept Ahmadiyyat, then they will have to see what these Western countries are doing. 

“Even now, they are dependent on these Western countries, and at that time, they will also be dependent on these Western countries. Since they are going to be dependent on these countries, and as long as they are dependent on these countries, they will have to follow what these countries are saying. 

“So their God is not the One and Omnipotent God, though they claim that they believe in one God; in reality, their God is these Western countries whom they are following.”

Safeer Ahmad asked, “Why is the Islamic calendar based on the moon?”

Huzooraa said:

“[…] The Islamic calendar is actually based on the Hijrah of the Holy Prophetsa, not only the moon.”

Referring to the reason behind following the lunar calendar, Huzooraa said that one reason was because of worship. By following the lunar calendar, Ramadan is rotated each year into a different month. 

“Allah the Almighty is rotating Ramadan according to the lunar calendar […] Sometimes you have long days of fasting and sometimes you have short days. So, in this way, you are covering the whole year for doing your ibadat [worship] – prostrating before Allah, bowing before Allah, praying to Allah the Almighty. 

“In this way, sometimes, you get long nights in which you can offer your Tahajud for a longer period, sometimes you have shorter periods of offering Tahajud […] sometimes you fast for six to seven hours – even in some counties, four to five hours – and sometimes it is 19 or 20 hours.”

Huzooraa said, “This can be one of the reasons” for following the lunar calendar. 

Fowad Yusuf, who is from Scotland, asked Huzooraa, “Do you think that Scotland will become independent as a nation. And I also wanted to ask, where is your favourite place to visit in Scotland?”

With a smile, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa responded by saying:

“You see, I am not a politician.” 

Huzooraa further said:

“What I believe is that in this present-day world, the safety and security of Scotland, or England, or Wales and Ireland is in joining together and living together and making one country under one banner, one flag. That would be better. 

“But if they want independence, we cannot say anything.”

With regard to his favourite places in Scotland, Huzooraa said, “I have not visited many places in Scotland, but I like some […]”. Huzooraa said it had been a long time and he didn’t remember everything, but “there is one place, in the Highlands of Scotland, Portnellan, where I visited. I stayed there for some time. I like that place […]”. Huzooraa said he also liked the area where the Falkirk Wheel was situated.  

Speaking about the beauty of Scotland, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa remarked:

“Scotland is quite a beautiful place, yes. Wherever I have visited, the places which I have seen, all of them are very beautiful places.”  

Rafe Ahmad Butt asked, “If a Muslim who has sinned is martyred, will he get the same treatment as a Muslim martyr who has not sinned?”

Huzooraa said:

“It is not to be decided by us. We don’t know. [Do] you know if a person is a sinful person?”

Huzooraa further said:

“It is quite possible that because Allah wanted to give him the reward because of some other good deeds, this is why Allah the Almighty ignored his sins, and he had the status of being martyred. So, it is up to Allah the Almighty.

“But Allah says that all those who are martyred in the cause of Allah will be rewarded. That is what we know.

“The Holy Prophetsa says that when a person dies, we should not recall the person’s negative traits; rather, we should remember their good deeds. Every person must have done something good in his life, so always remember that.”

Sarmad Anwar asked, “Did Allah show you any signs for when it was time to move out of London and did any of the signs relate to the pandemic as it was on the horizon?”

With a smile, Huzoor said;

“No. No sign […] it might be Allah’s planning that He wanted to let me move to this place – from London to Islamabad. But I cannot say that Allah the Almighty precisely asked me to do this, no.” 

Huzooraa said he was not given any sign for the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic either. 

Masroor-ud-Din Mahmud asked, “Why do Jewish scholars fail to recognise the arrival of the Holy Prophetsa as the final chief of all the prophets?”

Huzooraa said:

“Not all the Jewish scholars and clerics rejected the Holy Prophetsa; some of them accepted. There were some of the good scholars [who accepted].” 

Referring to a hadith, Huzooraa said:

“A Jewish person, who was a scholar, came to see the Holy Prophetsa. He [the Jewish scholar] spoke very filthy language against him, in front of the Holy Prophetsa. Even then, he did not say anything; the Holy Prophetsa listened to all his ill words against him. And when he [the Jewish scholar] got tired, he stopped and said that I had seen all the signs of the prophet who was to come, the final prophet after Moses […] it was also written in our traditions that he would have a very high level of forbearance and tolerance and I wanted to check whether you had that level or not […] After having seen all these things, now I accept Islam and I declare that you are the final prophet who was to come after Moses’. 

“So you cannot say that all the Jewish scholars rejected him, no. There were some others who accepted him.”

Shaik Taimur asked, “Are we permitted to pray behind a non-Ahmadi imam who does not oppose the Promised Messiahas, nor the Jamaat?”

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said:

“Just ask him, ‘What do you believe with regard to the Promised Messiahas […] do you believe that he was the same Imam Mahdi and Messiah who was to come in the Latter Days, or do you not?’ 

“If he says ‘no’, then how can you bear that a person who rejects the Imam of the age, you make him the imam? Can you bear this?” 

Shaik Taimur said “No.” 

Huzooraa continued:

“First explain to him that ‘I am an Ahmadi, this is my belief, what do you think?’ He will say, ‘Okay, whatever you believe is right, but because of some other commitments and restrictions, I cannot believe’. Then you say, ‘Alright, then I can lead you in prayer because I am better than you.’”

Zaki-ud-Din Ahmedi was next to ask a question. Hearing his surname, Huzooraa remarked, “‘Ahmedis’ are spread all across Midlands and Northern regions; there are so many ‘Ahmedis’. Huzooraa then said, “I see, you are Sabah-ud-din’s brother? MashaAllah.” 

Zaki-ud-din then asked Huzooraa, “What were your hobbies when you were around our age, between 16 and 19?”

Huzooraa replied:

“I don’t remember that I had any hobby; only that I used to play cricket and badminton at that time – that was the only thing. And, for some time, I remember I used to collect postal stamps […] But for some time, I was not very regular in it. So there was no particular hobby.”

Huzooraa then asked Zaki-ud-Din what his hobbies were, to which he said, “I enjoy exercising and travelling.”

Huzooraa, with a smile, replied:

“I see, travelling? If you have enough money, you can travel.” 

Zaki-ud-Din said he had been to the Gambia recently for waqf-e-arzi too. 

Huzooraa replied, “I also did waqf-e-arzi at this age but that was not a hobby.” 

Huzooraa then said he did not play any sport to excel in it, rather it was just as a hobby. 

Shahzeb Mahmud asked, “How can man have free will when Allah knows what choices you will make?”

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said:

“Allah knows that that will be your ultimate choice, but Allah does not stop you from doing it. You see, there are some ‘taqdir’, decrees, which can be changed. 

“Although you are free to do whatever you like, Allah the Almighty has given you a free hand, but that is the knowledge of Allah the Almighty; what are you going to do ultimately – that is His knowledge, it has nothing to do with your free will. 

“Allah the Almighty does not tell you what you are going to do in the end. Allah the Almighty says, ‘If you do good deeds, I will reward you’. There are quite a number of people who did not behave well, or did not do good deeds in the early age when they were young, even when they [were] middle-aged, but at the end, ultimately, their end was good because they did some good.”

Huzooraa added that although Allah the Almighty gives one a free hand to do whatever they like, and they may spend their life by doing something which is not very good, in the end, if they do something good, ultimately they can be forgiven and Allah the Almighty can reward them. And when the time of their death comes, such people can be rewarded and sent to Heaven.

“So there is Allah the Almighty’s knowledge, and then there is your free will – how can you combine both of them? Allah the Almighty knows you will do this thing, but at the same time, Allah has given you a free hand. 

“You see, if you are doing something bad, your people may think that you are doing bad things and you will not be forgiven, but Allah the Almighty knows that ultimately, you will do something good for which you will be rewarded. And, when the time comes, it so happens.” 

Labeed Ahmad Khan asked, “What is your opinion on the current state of the world?”

“The current state of the world? The current state of the world with regard to its progress? Financial matters? Or pandemic condition? Or the war conditions? 

“You see, if people do not recognise their Creator and their Lord – Allah the Almighty – and do not discharge their duties to Him and what Allah the Almighty has told us to do, if they do not do it, then the world is going to doom itself very fast.

“This is why we are here. We have to let the people understand that ‘if you do not practice what Allah the Almighty has said, if you do not change yourself, then this is going to be your fate’. 

“And only those will be saved from a bad end of their lives who remember Allah the Almighty. 

“Everywhere you see, there are atrocities, there are cruelties, brutalities happening – whether it is being done by the big powers to the poorer nations, or whether it is within the nations, within the Muslim ummah or even small countries. Everywhere there is chaos. 

“We have to help them understand what their duties are. And this is the duty of an Ahmadi, to inform people and this is a great responsibility on our shoulder. 

“This is why I have been telling, all the time, to the people of the world – to politicians, to leaders – that they ought to change themselves and try to establish true justice, absolute justice in the world and discharge their duties to their Creator and their fellow beings.

“Otherwise there is no guarantee [about] what is going to happen, and what we can see is a very dark and bleak end of this world.”

Muhammad Harris Khalid said he was about to study medicine and thereafter, was planning to devote one or two years for the Jamaat along with some other Ahmadi friends. He also wanted to know whether he should do waqf-e-arzi [temporary life devotion for the Jamaat] after his basic foundational training or after specialisation in anaesthesia. 

Huzooraa said, “One or two years only?” to which Harris said, “However much, as you like.” Huzooraa continued by advising:

“After completing your studies, you want to devote some of your time? At least five years, not one or two – you should devote at least five years […] When you complete your studies, then you should, at least, devote your life for five years. And after that, when you feel that you are enjoying it, you may continue it, and I hope you will continue it.”

Huzooraa also advised Harris to carry out this waqf-e-arzi after all of his studies and specialisation were completed. “That will take you another 10 years […] by that time, you will be 29 […]”, Huzooraa said. 

Haseeb-ur-Rahman asked, “Will we be able to recognise our dear ones who have passed away in the afterlife?”

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa responded by saying:

“Yes. If you are destined to go to the same place in Heaven, yes, you will find those people who are in Heaven. But if you have not done good deeds, where Allah the Almighty is going to put you, I cannot say. I don’t know where you will go, whether you will find them or not. 

“But anyway, if you and they are going to Heaven, you will see your loved ones there. 

“You must also pray for them that Allah the Almighty sends them to Heaven […] Also pray for yourself that you go to Heaven and do good deeds, good things and follow Allah’s commandments. And offer the five daily prayers as prescribed by Allah the Almighty and if possible, in congregation; read the Holy Quran and find out the commandments and injunctions given in the Holy Quran. 

“If you are doing all these things, Allah the Almighty will send you to Heaven. And pray for your loved ones also, that Allah the Almighty sends them to Heaven and saves them from all punishments of the life after death. So, insha-Allah, you will see them.”

Huzooraa then asked Haseeb-ur-Rahman what he did and his future plan. Haseeb-ur-Rahman said he was doing A-levels and planned to go to university to study computer science. Earlier, Huzooraa asked Haseeb-ur-Rahman whether he was Bengali and at the end, said, “Your name looks like a Bengali name, this is why I asked if you were from Bangladesh. ‘Rahman’ names are very common in Bangladesh.”

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa then turned to Mohtamim Tarbiyat and said that the time had finished and asked if he and the khuddam were happy. Mohtamim Tarbiyat said he was very happy and “they are very happy as well. I think the mulaqats [meetings] have had an amazing impact on the khuddam – from all of us, jazak-Allah!” 

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa then conveyed his salaam and the meeting came to a close. 

(Report prepared by Al Hakam)

Becoming true “helpers of Allah”: Hazrat Khalifatul Masih addresses Majlis Ansarullah UK’s National Ijtema

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Islamabad UK, Sunday, 12 September 2021: Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa addressed the final session of Majlis Ansarullah UK’s National Ijtema of 2021.

Ansar members were seated in Baitul Futuh, London and listened to Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa – who was in Islamabad, UK – virtually through MTA International. Huzoor’s address, which was in Urdu, was translated live into six languages, including Arabic, English, German, French and Bengali.

At 15:37 BST, Huzooraa initiated the final session by calling Hafiz Tayyeb Ahmad Sahib to recite a portion from the Holy Quran. The verses recited were from Surah Al-e-Imran (Ch.3: V.103-106).

The Ansarullah pledge was then read out by Huzooraa in English and all attendees repeated after Huzoor.

Umar Sharif Sahib was called by Huzooraa to recite an Urdu poem, written by the Promised Messiahas.

Dr Chaudhry Ijaz Ur Rahman, Sadr Majlis Ansarullah UK was then called up to present the Ijtema report. In his report, Sadr Sahib reported that the total attendance of the Ijtema was 1,573 Ansar and there were over 8,000 views of the Ijtema proceedings on YouTube.

Qaid Umumi, Muhammad Mahmood Sahib was then called up to announce the alam-e-in‘ami awards.

Photo courtesy of AMA UK

Next, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa delivered his address.

Huzooraa said that for great and grand tasks, a large number of helpers were needed, and it was for this reason that prophets also asked “Who are my helpers (in the cause of) Allah?”

We could only be called true “Ansar” – helpers – of Allah when Ansar members understood the spirit of being a “helper of Allah”, Huzooraa said. Allah the Almighty has given the grand task of spreading the message of Islam to the Promised Messiahas and his Jamaat – Ansarullah should be at the forefront of responding to this grand task with every fibre of their being.

Merely saying “we are Ansarullah” is not enough, and deep introspection was needed. It is not an easy task to spread the message of religion to the corners of the earth. This requires a constant connection with Allah, higher levels of taqwa, increasing knowledge and following all the commandments of Allah the Almighty. Therefore, we should introspect and ask ourselves whether we are trying to strive for this level of commitment. If this is not the case, then being called “Ansarullah” is futile.

Huzooraa said that some khuddam asked him what to do if their elders – the ansar – were not setting good examples. On the one hand, this has a positive element as the youth are worried about the state of their elders; however, ansarullah should ponder and reflect on this concern.

We should reflect and think, “What did the Promised Messiahas desire from us?” Huzooraa said.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa then said he would present some instructions of the Promised Messiahas about the level he wanted his Jamaat to be at.

The Promised Messiahas said that the Companionsra of the Holy Prophetsa performed bai‘at on having themselves killed. The bai‘at of the Jamaat is a bai‘at of repentance, however. The Companionsra would give their lives and also their wealth – their sacrifice was much higher. They never imagined they would be given worldly riches and become kings of the world. They would be ever ready to endure every hardship and pain – they were separated from the world and its glory. However, Allah the Almighty blessed them and gave them worldly wealth too.

Those who call themselves “Ansarullah” should ponder over their own condition and how closely they are following the Companionsra.

Quoting the Promised Messiahas, Huzooraa said there was no doubt the world was temporal, and true happiness could never be achieved without taqwa. However, achieving true taqwa is akin to “drinking poison” – a difficult feat.

“Adopt taqwa, for whatever you desire, [God] will grant you”, the Promised Messiahas said.

“The Companionsra imposed a death upon themselves and, in return, found life,” the Promised Messiahas said.

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said that Ansarullah members should keep in mind that as their ages increased, the distance from death reduced. Therefore it is essential they ponder over their state and self-reflect to see whether they were “Ansar” in the true sense.

The Promised Messiahas said that the Holy Quran was clear on the purpose of life – to worship Allah. However, mankind had gone opposite to this aim and fell for the world.

It was the task of Ansarullah to cultivate and protect the garden of Allah the Almighty, Huzooraa said.

The Promised Messiahas said the pleasures of the world – such as children, wives and sustenance – were just a means of temporary rest for mankind, as a support in this life. They were only meant to assist mankind in fulfilling the rights of Allah the Almighty and the rights of mankind. They were not the sole purpose of life.

The Promised Messiahas said there were scores of Muslims who thought building large houses and preparing lavish meals were the sole purposes of life. However, Allah the Almighty in the Holy Quran said that Allah would not care of any person if they did not worship and pray to Him.

Permissible worldly pleasures are just to assist humans in their worship of Allah the Almighty.

“If we understand this purpose of life, then we will be part of the true Ansar.” It is these people who can be true “helpers” of a prophet.

Talking about how to worship, the Promised Messiahas taught us that worship should be at the level of the care and love a mother gives to her child. We should love Allah the Almighty out of pure love – not from fear of punishment, or with the expectation of reward.

The Promised Messiahas said Allah the Almighty even provided to His enemies, so one should ponder over how He rewards and provides for believers.

If one truly loved Allah the Almighty, they would be blessed in every respect and be shaded in the mercy of Allah.

With regard to faith, the Promised Messiahas said the kernel was needed, not the shell.

The Promised Messiahas said that if a person strived in the path of Allah and tried to attain His pleasure, his efforts would never go to waste.

Huzooraa said that the Promised Messiahas announced that the reason for the existence of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat was that Allah desired taqwa to increase in the world as it had vanished. Allah desired to show the path of taqwa and purity to the world through the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. Huzooraa said we should reflect and think over whether we have reached this level that Allah the Almighty desired. With “lots of prayers” and “repentance”, we should analyse ourselves, Huzooraa said.

Photo courtesy of AMA UK

The Promised Messiahas said the Holy Quran guided towards the perfection of knowledge and actions. “Guide us in the right path”, in Surah al-Fatihah, was an indication of the perfection of knowledge, whereas “The path of those on whom Thou hast bestowed [Thy] blessings” indicated towards the perfection of actions. Explaining this in another way, the Promised Messiahas said it was like a plant that cannot bear fruits until it was fully nourished and grows.

The Promised Messiahas said the Holy Quran is such guidance that the one who begins to follow it achieves high levels of excellence. Such people grow and bear fruits, as the Holy Quran describes as the “pure tree”.

We should find the commandments within the Holy Quran and follow them. We should improve our spiritual conditions and it is then that we can be called true “Ansar”, Huzooraa said.

Those who traverse this path of taqwa, bear sweet fruits as a result.

The Promised Messiahas said that a person was about to convert to Islam by observing a Muslim cleric. However, one day he saw the Muslim cleric drinking alcohol himself. As a result, the person thought that he could never follow such a person who was going against the very teachings he taught. Therefore, it is our actions that are the best ways of guiding others. Mere words prove nothing. Good actions, with patience, are the best means of peaching.

For tabligh, Huzooraa said, these two elements must be kept in mind – to harmonise one’s own actions with their teachings and with patience and endurance, continuing to preach.

Huzooraa said that tabligh in countries such as the UK – where there were no obstacles – could be done in a very effective manner. This should be done solely for Allah the Almighty.

The Promised Messiahas said a person should “burn all desires” and leave only the “love of Allah”. He said that the one who becomes Allah’s, Allah becomes theirs.

“We need to reflect deeply,” Huzooraa said. “We should strive hard to inculcate the love of Allah in our hearts”.

Our actions and endeavours would only be blessed when we followed the path set out by Allah the Almighty, Huzooraa said.

The Promised Messiahas said that we should offer Salat in the best possible manner and constant prayer, and remember Allah the Almighty. In ruku and sajdah, we should pray and prolong our prayers. The Promised Messiahas said that Salat, as a mere ritual, brought no benefits at all. With deep fervour and passion, we should pray before Allah the Almighty, as if one was seeing Him or if not that, then as though He was seeing them.

Huzooraa said that having perfected our worship only then could be called the “helper of Allah”.

Before silent prayer at the end, Huzooraa announced that he was delivering his address from the new MTA studio in Islamabad, UK and in this way, the studio had been inaugurated. Huzooraa prayed that the studio became a means of propagating the message of Islam and, through MTA International, it was propagated more than ever before.

(Report prepared by Al Hakam)

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V to his beloved Taalay (A persona poem)

Odyssey of our time

O my Lord! My Allah! What station have you brought me to?
Are lay ahead a thousand tasks, that you alone can take me through.
What shall I do? I do not know
So I have trust in only You.

I raised my head from humble prayer
and opened my eyes to see my troops
All ready to march, all steady in stance,
All armed and alert, all set in groups.

I thanked my Lord, glanced proudly at them,
There were men of letters, and masters of speech;
Their passion, their zeal, as if on fire,
And nothing beyond their ardent reach.

Doctors and nurses, and fiery orators,
While many were trained as scientists;
Masons and builders, teachers and students,
And thousands of skills, on scrolls of lists.

I looked across, and left, and right,
When hidden away I saw a nook
Where stood a boy, all on his own,
But in his eyes, a strange, deep look

I took my troops, and started to march
My time was precious, I had to proceed,
I marched, I conquered, I won, I went on,
As my battlefield, was the whole world indeed.

But every halt, and every break,
Would bring flashbacks, of those bright eyes;
So loyal they were, that they shone with love,
And his wings were of a falcon, ready to rise.

It was as if he spoke, and I’d hear him say
“I might be too young, I may be too frail,
“But take me along, and let me fight,
You’ll see me endure, and I shall not fail.”

I would march on, my troops would follow,
We would progress, we would recruit,
And then one day, I saw a new face
Standing before me, with a firm salute

The boy had grown, he was now a man
His eyes were brighter, his wings full blown,
“Give me my sword,” he said, “and give me my armour,
I’m here my master! To lay flesh and bone.”

In the battle of morals, in a war for peace
To give him the best, I looked for a weapon;
The Holy Quran, being the best shield and sword
I handed it over, and let him step in.

He fought in my troops, but he was distinct
While all stayed ahead, he fought at the rear;
He rarely was seen, but a tactic it was
It was a crucial post, and he wanted to be there

He clung to me like armour, he stood by me on guard
Fighting by my side, but staying out of sight,
I’d only give a hint, and leap he would to obey
While guarding the centre, he’d fight left and right.

He cared for my future, my present, my past;
Collating every moment, he walked, he flew, he drove.
As through my past he treaded, he found some memories buried
But for him it was like, he’d found a treasure trove.

My long kept, bygone memories, he looked at each of them
He wept, and hugged and kissed them, as if he’d hit his goal.
To save them and protect them, he lay inside the trove;
And this is how we found him, his body, life and soul.

I knew you always loved me, you did not need to prove
But that how much I love you, if only you could know.
This trove is now a treasure, and ought to be laid to rest,
So it can always flourish, and love can ever grow.

My soldier! I must tell you, that you shall ever live!
I promise, O beloved! Your soul shall never die!
And never will you walk alone, as many more shall follow,
Your heart will keep on beating, your blood shall never dry!

To pay respects shall always come, the pious, the saints and sages,
And epics of eternal love, shall save you in their pages.

(An abridged English rendering of Shahnama-e-Shaheed by Asif M Basit)

Opinion: The media’s obsession with Islam

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Jalees Ahmad, London

In this day and age, the most influential tool to spread information is press and media. Day in and day out, a plethora of stories are published in newspapers that impact the common reader and society as a whole. With a stroke of a brush (who controls that brush shall be saved for a separate article), the media holds the power to influence, prompt, stimulate, confuse and affect the minds of people around the world.

As the famous American actor, Denzel Washington, in an interview in 2016, very boldly stated:

“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do read it, you’re misinformed.”  

To this, the interviewer asked what one should do. Washington replied, “What is the long-term effect of too much information? One of the effects is the need to be first, not even to be true anymore.” 

Elaborating on this further, he said, “We live in a society where it’s just, first. ‘Who cares, get it out there. We don’t care who it hurts.’” (www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/denzel-washington-fences-red-carpet-interview-fake-news-media-a7472521.html)

At times, the media wields the power to create chaos and mayhem when stories are published, not backed by facts.

Ever since 9/11, statistics show that some people have become afraid of Islam. Hate crimes against Muslims have jumped and fear of Islam has risen. This fear fuels further hatred towards anything remotely Islamic. Most of those who haven’t even met a Muslim are afraid of Muslims “taking over” or spreading Islam. Naturally, this fear stems from the lack of knowledge or understanding of the true teachings of Islam.

The question naturally arises, why is the media so complacent when it comes to reforming its portrayal of Muslims? What is the driving force behind this hatred? Who is the mastermind behind the attempt of ridding the world of Islam? Why does such a strong desire to spread false teachings about Islam exist? Who desires to defame Islam and who benefits from this?

The answer is in fact quite simple. We need only look at the time of the birth and inception of Islam when it was first opposed by those who didn’t understand it, nor did they understand faith. Driven by wealth and power, those who opposed Islam only wanted one thing: to remain in control. 

In 610 AD, when Prophet Muhammadsa was commanded by God to address the residents of Mecca, he came with the message of the One God. As time progressed, so too did the message of Islam. 

The Holy Prophetsa spread the teachings of the One God and stated that the idols, which the Meccans worshipped, could not avail anyone and were mere statues created by man. It seems, through studying history, the chiefs of Mecca felt threatened by this. They thought that if the people of Mecca and Arabia were to leave the idols and worship the One God, then, naturally, many would stop coming to Mecca for the annual pilgrimage to honour the idols which were placed in the Ka‘ba. Their concern was leaned more towards the economical benefit they received from the pilgrims.  

Mecca served as the hub of Arabia for worshipping idols. The chiefs of Mecca took advantage of this and used it to earn more wealth and profit. The more people travelled to Mecca meant their trade would benefit further. The Holy Ka‘bah housed around 360 idols. Seeing the progress of Islam and people moving away from the likes of Hubal and other idols, the chiefs of Mecca were enraged and swore to put a stop to the rise of Islam. Their hatred for Islam stemmed from the fear of losing power and control. 

The common interest in all countries today, and most wars and battles in the political world, take place as a result of economic lust. 

Fast forward to today, the same class of people who vigorously attempted to halt the spread of Islam is at it again. The materialistic attributes of the likes of Abdul Uzza ibn Abdil Mutalib – commonly known as Abu Lahab – and Amr ibn Hisham – known as Abu Jahl – are found within people even today; people who wish to extinguish the light of Islam, people who wish to control territories and the world, people who spread false teachings and slander against Islam and the Holy Prophetsa. These are the people who hate to see peaceful teachings of Islam spread into the hearts of men. 

It is regarding these bitter people that the Holy Quran states: 

وَیۡلٌ لِّکُلِّ ہُمَزَۃٍ لُّمَزَۃِ ۣ- الَّذِیۡ جَمَعَ مَالًا وَّ عَدَّدَہٗ – یَحۡسَبُ اَنَّ مَالَہٗۤ اَخۡلَدَہٗ

“Woe to every backbiter, slanderer, Who amasses wealth and counts it over and over. He thinks that his wealth will make him immortal.” (Surah al-Humazah, Ch.104: V.2- 4)

The driving force that led the chiefs of Mecca to oppose Islam was their love for wealth and its accumulation; they hoarded riches and desired to remain in control of the land of Mecca and Arabia as a whole. And so, a lesson can be learned from this angle of history. 

Those who first stood against Islam, opposed it due to their desire of remaining in control and power; and the same can be said for those groups who vehemently oppose Islam today through deceptive ways. 

“I cherish my every moment that was spent in Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya”: Midlands (UK) Khuddam blessed with a virtual mulaqat

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On 5 September 2021, 60 members of Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Midlands Region were given the opportunity to meet with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa in a virtual meeting.

The meeting commenced with a recitation of the Holy Quran and its English translation by Roshan Musa. Following this, a hadith was presented by Musleh Mahmood. After this, Saqib Mahmood delivered an extract from the writings of the Promised Messiahas; thereafter, a poem [nazm] was recited by Khalid ud Din Ahmedi, the English translation of which was presented by Hunain Shakeel. 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa then turned to Attiqur Rahman, Mohtamim Tarbiyat, and asked how many khuddam were seated in the hall, to which Attiqur Rahman Sahib responded that 60 Khuddam were seated there from Midlands Region. After this, the khuddam had the opportunity to ask Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa various questions relating to contemporary issues, Islam, religion and spirituality.

The first question was with regard to Huzoor’saa personal experiences and most cherished moments as a khadim. Safeer Ahmad Suleman requested Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa to share any memorable experiences from his days in Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya. 

Huzooraa said that he cherished every memory while in Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya and then said: 

“I cherish my every moment [that was] in Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya. When you get old, you cherish every moment of when you were young. 

“I remember, when we used to hold our Ijtema – and that used to be in the open air – we would erect our own tents, not the properly made tent as you get here or elsewhere, but we used to use our bedsheets. So, when it rained, then drops of rain would fall inside the tent since it was not waterproof. So, we used to cherish those days and enjoy camping. 

“For three days, we would stay there. It was a makeshift arrangement in an open field […] A group of 10 people would stay in one tent. So, these were the days I still remember and cherish.”

Next, Timur Bhatti stated that in today’s society, atheism was very prevalent. He asked Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa what advice he would give to those khuddam who had doubts about the existence of Allah. 

Huzooraa answered:

“You should have your personal relation with Allah the Almighty. Has Allah Almighty ever answered your prayer?” The khadim replied in the affirmative. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said, “So, until and unless you work hard to attain the closeness of Allah Almighty, you cannot be close to Allah Almighty.” 

Huzooraa emphasised that Salat was the means of attaining and establishing a relationship with Allah. 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa added, “Read the Holy Quran and find out the commandments mentioned in the Holy Quran and then follow those commandments […] Allah will accept your prayers if you follow His commandments. Allah says, ‘Become firm in your faith and pray to Me, then I will accept your prayers.’ When your prayers are accepted, then you will know that God does exist. And you can give this proof to your fellow students [classmates] or your friends that ‘I have first-hand experience of having a close relation with Allah Almighty through the acceptance of my prayers.’ So, make yourself an example for your friends. This is how you can prove Allah Almighty does exist […].”

Qasim Ahmad asked Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa what field those waqifeen who were interested in doing medical research should specialise in.

Huzooraa said:

“In the medical field, every field is very important”. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa emphasised that all medical fields had their own importance and significance. 

“Whichever [medical] field you choose, it has its own importance. We need doctors, in Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya, in each and every line, in each and every field of medicine,” Huzooraa emphasised.

He further said, “Anything which is beneficial for human beings, and wherein you can do something for humanity, you should try to do it. […]”

Next, Roshaan Ahmedi had the opportunity to ask a question. Recognising the young khadim, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa asked, “Are you Naseem Bajwa Sahib’s grandson?” To this, Roshaan Ahmedi Sahib replied in the affirmative. He stated that he had a strong desire to study but was distracted very easily. He asked Huzooraa for guidance on this matter and queried how to improve focus and stay motivated. 

Huzooraa replied:

“You have a strong desire to excel and at the same time, you are distracted. Why? You are using the word ‘strong’ – and you have a strong desire, then nothing should distract you. You should focus solely on the objective you have in your mind”. 

Huzooraa said that he should work hard and pray to Allah Almighty to help him. Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said:

“When you pray, recite اِهۡدِ‭ ‬نَا‭ ‬الصِّرَاطَ‭ ‬الۡمُسۡتَقِيۡمَ‭ ‬[Guide us in the right path,] repeatedly so that you are not distracted and Allah Almighty keeps you on the right path. You see, the ‘right path’ does not only mean for your spiritual betterment; the ‘right path’ is also for your worldly achievements […] Keep in mind that ‘I am seeking Allah’s help for my spiritual betterment and for my worldly achievements.’”

Next, Khakan Ahmad said that after listening to Huzoor’saa Friday Sermon about Syed Taalay Ahmed Sahib, he was very inspired and asked how one could become Huzoor’saa beloved. 

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said, “I already told you in my sermon. Listen to my sermon again, then you would know.

“Try to achieve the love of Allah. And if you try to achieve the love of Allah, then you will also be from among those whom Khalifatul Masih also loves”.

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa then mentioned the following verse of the Holy Quran: 

“Say, ‘If you love Allah, follow me: then will Allah love you and forgive you your faults. And Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.’” (Surah Al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.32)

Huzooraa then told the khadim to study the life of the Holy Prophetsa and his conduct and practice. In this way, if one followed the Holy Prophetsa, one would achieve the love of Allah. Huzooraa added, “So, when you achieve the love of Allah, then you will be loved by Khalifatul Masih”.

Owais Ahmad Sahib stated that Afghanistan had not been at peace since the martyrdom of Hazrat Sahibzada Abdul Latifra. He asked if there would be peace in Pakistan after all the people who were martyred and the cruelties perpetrated against the Jamaat over the past many years.

Huzooraa said:

“If Pakistanis, the ulema – or the so-called maulvis, clerics – do not change their attitude, there will never be peace in Pakistan. Until and unless they behave well, they practice good morals, and they change their attitude and try to be humane […] if they are doing inhumane activities, Pakistan can never be at peace”.

Upon being asked by Labeed Buttar how one could attain true love of God, Huzooraa said:

“Make it a point to remember that Allah Almighty watches over you. Your every deed and action is being watched by Allah Almighty. If you think that you can hide something from people, but you cannot hide anything from Allah Almighty and Allah is always watching over you, then you will not do bad things. And if you do not do bad things, you will keep yourself away from sin. This is the only way. Read the Holy Quran, find out the commandments mentioned in the Holy Quran – the dos and don’ts of the Holy Quran – and then follow them”.

Fariduddin Ahmedi stated that the coronavirus pandemic had had a massive impact on mental health issues. He asked Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa how a khadim should deal with such issues. 

Huzooraa said:

“Allah Almighty says, اَلَا‭ ‬بِذِكۡرِ‭ ‬اللّٰهِ‭ ‬تَطۡمَئِنُّ‭ ‬الۡقُلُوۡبُ [meaning that] ‘My remembrance, and My zikr will satisfy your hearts.’ (Surah al-Ra‘d, Ch.13: V.30) So, during these days, we should try to get closer to Allah Almighty. [We should try to] offer our prayers fervently five times [a day], if possible, in congregation; and also do some zikr, say durood sharifistighfar and seek Allah’s guidance and help. Then Allah Almighty will give you comfort and strengthen your heart.

“During this coronavirus those who are living close to me, and even myself, didn’t feel anything wrong [mentally]. I don’t think it has left a bad effect on us. We are okay, and you are also okay. You seem to be okay. Are you not okay?” The khadim smiled and answered in affirmative. Huzooraa added that those who have been mentally impacted by social changes caused by the coronavirus should “seek Allah’s help.”

Next, Muhammad Huzaifa asked Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa how one could increase concentration and remain focused in Salat. 

Huzooraa answered:

“When you recite Surah al-Fatihah, you should often recite اِهۡدِنَا‭ ‬الصِّرَاطَ‭ ‬الۡمُسۡتَقِيۡمَ […] If you are offering prayer in congregation, then say‭ ‬اعوذ‭ ‬باللّٰه and focus on what the Imam is saying. When you are offering your own prayer – offering sunnah [prayer] or offering Salat at home – then recite:‭ ‬اَسْتَغْفِرُاللّٰه‭ ‬-‭ ‬لَا‭ ‬حَوْلَ‭ ‬وَلَا‭ ‬قُوَّةَ‭ ‬إِلَّا‭ ‬بِاللّٰهِ‭ ‬-‭ ‬اَعُوْذُ‭ ‬بِاللّٰهِ‭ ‬مِنَ‭ ‬الشَّيْطَانِ‭ ‬الرَّجِيْمِ[…] Seek Allah’s help in this regard and then Allah Almighty will help you. It is a continuous process”.

Following this, Ansar Iqbal stated that when one went to university, one gained more independence. He asked how one could keep away from the temptations of society. 

Answering, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:

“The gist of it, as I have already said, is to always remember that whatever you are doing, Allah is watching. And you cannot hide anything from Allah Almighty. […] You should know the purpose of your life. Allah has told us that the purpose of man’s life is to bow before Allah Almighty, seek Allah’s help. So, if you are doing this, you will never go astray, you will not follow the vices of the world or your environment”.

Zamreez Ahmad stated that due to Covid-19, people were quite hesitant in coming to the mosque for Salat in congregation. He asked how to motivate people to come to the mosque. 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated that the reward of offering Salat in congregation was 27 times greater than the prayer one offered at home. Huzooraa said that it was due to the restrictions imposed by the government that people were offering at home; however, as the restrictions had been lifted, members should be asked to come for congregational prayers. Huzooraa said, “Even then we should be very much careful,”

Huzoor added:

“It is the commandment and it is the sunnah of the Holy Prophetsa. They should gather together in congregation for our five daily prayers. […] You have to be very much persuasive.”

Sameer Qureshi, who is a waqif-e-nau, said that he was going to university and studying computer science. He asked Huzooraa how he could serve the Jamaat when he graduated. 

Hearing this, Huzooraa said:

“When you complete your studies, then tell me. Then I will let you know how you can serve the Jamaat. If we need you at that time, we shall ask you to come and join the regular service of the Jamaat. If not, we shall ask you to gain some experience by working somewhere else, and then later come to help the Jamaat”. 

Next, Musleh Mahmood asked what younger khuddam could do to impact all khuddam in a positive manner. 

Huzooraa said that if the older khuddam were shameless, then one should tell them about the true teachings of Islam Ahmadiyyat. “If you are a practicing, good Muslim, set your own example before the elder ones [khuddam]. Religion is not the property of any person. Even being young, you can be an example for others, even elders. Not only khuddam, but ansar as well […] 

“The day before yesterday [on 3 September], when I was talking about the late Taalay Shaheed, I told people that he was an example for older people as well. So, try to be that example. He [Syed Taalay Ahmed] didn’t ask anybody to ‘Follow me’, but the way he was living his life, that was an example for everybody. This is how you can set your own example. Then you will become a good asset for the Jamaat as well […]”

Kashif Mahmood asked Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa if it was permissible to give money to needy people instead of sacrificing an animal on Eid-ul-Adha. He further asked if this method could be considered as qurbani [sacrifice].

Upon hearing the question, Huzooraa asked:

“Should we introduce our own Shariah, or follow what the Holy Prophetsa did?” Kashif Mahmood responded by saying that we should follow the Holy Prophetsa

“He [the Holy Prophetsa] used to do qurbani. You see, there are quite a number of people in the world who do not even get meat. Here, in Europe, you cannot even realise this thing. People living here in Europe – or Western countries or rich countries – can do their sacrifice in less privileged countries like Africa, Pakistan, India, or elsewhere in South American countries”, Huzooraa said.

Following this, Hunain Shakeel asked Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa if a pious person who did good deeds but did not believe in God, would still go to Heaven. 

Answering this, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said:

“You can say that a person is morally good, he is doing good things. [However] you cannot say he is pious. Pious is one who believes in God and follows His commandments. Allah Almighty says, ‘I will reward every person according to his deeds. As long as he has done good things – morally good things – and helped poor and needy people in this world, then Allah may send him to Heaven. We do not know anything [about God’s decision of the Hereafter], and we are not here to decide who is going to Hell and who is going to Heaven. […]”

Next, Burhan Ahmad Butt had the opportunity to ask a question. As he proceeded towards the mic, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said, “Masha-Allah, I am happy that every khadim has kept a beard”.

Burhan Ahmad Butt, asking his question, stated that the Promised Messiahas mentioned the success of Ahmadiyyat and stated the majority would accept the Imam of the age. He asked Huzooraa when the majority of the world would accept the Imam of the age. 

Answering this, Huzooraa said:

“The Promised Messiahas has also said that the acceptance of the Messiah of the Mosaic dispensation took almost 300 years or more when the Roman King accepted Christianity. The Promised Messiahas has also said that 300 years would not have passed or come to an end before the majority of the people would accept Ahmadiyyat, the true Islam; but all these things are dependent on our other deeds and actions. If we are good in our deeds and actions, if we are following the commandment of Allah Almighty, if we are praying to Allah Almighty, if we are true Muslims, then it [the success of Ahmadiyyat] can happen earlier than that”.

After this, the series of questions came to an end. Huzoor asked Attiqur Rahman, Mohtamim Tarbiyat, “Are the khuddam happy? I cannot see their faces because the masks are covering their faces. Anyway, I hope they are happy.”

In the end, Huzooraa conveyed his salaam and the meeting came to a close.

(Report prepared by Al Hakam)

“An Ahmadi’s time should be spent productively”: Khuddam from London seek guidance from Hazrat Khalifatul Masih

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Photo courtesy of Suhaib Ahmad

Khuddam from London, UK had the opportunity to meet Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa through a virtual meeting on Saturday, 4 September 2021. 

The meeting started with a recitation from the Holy Quran by Abdur Rahman Salam. The English translation of the recited verses was read out by Rohaam Khan. 

Khaleeq Ahmad Kusi then read out a hadith with its English translation. Taufique Ahmad read out an extract from the writings of the Promised Messiahas. A poem, written by Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra, was then recited by Mashood Khokhar; after he completed the poem, Huzooraa remarked, “Masha-Allah, you recited it well.” The English translation of the poem was read out by Oisin Jadran. 

Mohtamim Tarbiyat, Attiqur Rahman then sought permission from Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa for the khuddam to ask questions. Huzooraa accepted. 

The first question was by Arsalan Aftab, who asked, “How can khuddam brothers encourage each other to remain close to the Jamaat and obedient to Khilafat?”

Huzooraa said:

“You should first realise who you are. Being an Ahmadi Muslim, what are your duties? And whether you want to be in the fold of Ahmadiyyat or not. If you want to, then what was the purpose of the coming of the Promised Messiah, peace be on him? He came to revive the true teachings of Islam which had been forgotten for long, and it was also according to the prophecy of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him.

“So, whenever you are making any interactive programme or any discussion, you should discuss these things, that who we are and how we should be. And being an Ahmadi Muslim, what are our duties? Why did we accept the Promised Messiahas? Because the purpose of his advent was to revive the true teachings of Islam. So, we should try to find out what are the true teachings. […]

“In your five daily prayers, you should also try to read the Holy Quran and find out the commandments and injunctions given in the Holy Quran, and all those things given in the Holy Quran which have been forbidden. 

“In this way, when you are discussing these things, you will know your duties and the purpose of your life. And this will encourage you to remain close to the Jamaat, to the purpose of your being and also you will be close to Khilafat as well because the Khalifa-e-Waqt [Khalifa of the time] has always been telling you about the true teachings of Islam and what the Promised Messiahas wanted from us. 

“So, this is how you can be close to the Jamaat and be well-knitted to the Jamaat’s activities.”

Next, Mudabbar Ahmad Zafri stood up to ask a question. Seeing him, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa, asked, “Are you Mubashar Ahmad Zafri’s brother?” After he replied in the affirmative, Huzooraa, with a smile, said, “How are you so slim?” Mudabbar Zafri smiled and enjoyed the comment. 

Mudabbar then asked, “During the plague, Allah promised the Promised Messiahas that He would protect him and everyone in his household. Will this promise encompass the present and future calamities that will befall the world?”

Huzooraa responded by saying:

“That was a sign given to the Promised Messiahas and it was foretold by Allah the Almighty to the Promised Messiahas, ‘Now, the plague is about to start and you should ask your community members – those who are strong in faith and are very much staunch – that even if they don’t get the anti-plague jab, they will be saved.’ Even at that time, the Promised Messiahas did not say that nobody should take this vaccination. [He said] that if the government made it compulsory, then one could take it. 

“Here, we didn’t have any such promise. You must remember this thing, that if we are strong and staunch, then, in most cases, Allah will save us from the bad effects of this disease. 

“But, even then, during the time of the Holy Prophetsa, even during the time of the Khulafa-e-Rashideen, there was an outbreak of plague. And this is why the Holy Prophetsa said that the person who died because of the plague had the status of being martyred – shaheed

“So we cannot say that this is a punishment, if it is not a sign. During the time of the Promised Messiahas, it was a sign; now, it is not a sign in that sense. So, if the government asks us to take the anti-Covid vaccine, then we should try to take it. 

“And it is not necessary that no Ahmadi will have this Covid. Or, being an Ahmadi, if somebody suffers from Covid, he will be saved. If he dies, his status will be as a martyr in the eyes of Allah. 

“We should take all the necessary measures against all calamities, or diseases or any outbreak. Until and unless Allah the Almighty tells the Khalifa of the time that ‘Now, this is a sign and all the Ahmadis will be saved from this’, then that is a different case.” 

Another khadim, Rohaam Khan, asked, “How can one attain true and permanent love for the Holy Prophetsa?”

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa, said:

“How can you get the love of your loved ones? By remembering them, by keeping them in your mind, by doing good for them, by accepting their demands or whatever they say – this is how you attain love. In the same way, you can attain the love of the Holy Prophetsa.”

Huzooraa said that Allah the Almighty had said in the Holy Quran to the Holy Prophetsa that anyone who desired the love of Allah should follow the Prophet’s teachings; whatever was revealed to him and all the injunctions in the Holy Quran. They should invoke salutations (durood) on the Holy Prophetsa and then, in this way, “You will attain the love of the Holy Prophetsa” and Allah would always love such a person who sent prayers and salutations on the Prophetsa.

Summing up, Huzooraa said:

“You should try to say durood, offer the five daily prayers fervently and read the Holy Quran and […] see all the dos and don’ts given in the Holy Quran and follow them.”

Sheikh Musawir was next to ask his question. Huzooraa asked where his family was from, to which he said they were from Karachi, Pakistan. 

Musawir’s question was, “I constantly pray for my spiritual advancement, but the next day I don’t feel any progress. Can you guide me on how I can improve myself?” 

Huzooraa replied by saying:

“It is not necessary that you immediately get the result of it. 

“There was a saint who used to pray for something and he was just fervently praying for that. He had such a close relationship with Allah the Almighty that every day, he would receive the answer of Allah the Almighty that, ‘No, your prayers are not accepted’.

“One day, one of his companions or followers was present. And in his presence, when the saint was praying, the same answer came from Allah the Almighty and that answer was also heard by the companion. 

“The companion asked, ‘If Allah the Almighty said that I am not going to accept your prayer, why are you praying? Then leave it.’ The saint said, ‘I have been praying for the last 30 years and I have received this answer daily, yet still I am doing it and I will keep on doing it until Allah the Almighty accepts it […]

“Then, immediately, a voice came and it was heard by the companion as well: ‘All the prayers you offered during the last 30 years have been accepted because of this one sentence’.”

Huzooraa said, “So you should not try to make haste.” 

He further said:

“If you are praying to Allah the Almighty for your spiritual advancement, then you [should] also check whether you are following the commandments of Allah.

“Allah the Almighty says in the Holy Quran that you have to be firm in your faith. When you are firm in your faith while you are praying, [Allah says] ‘I will accept your prayers and I will increase your spiritual status’.

“You will have to pray your five daily prayers and, if possible, in congregation. And pray fervently. Offer nawafil [voluntary prayers]. And then, follow the teachings of the Holy Quran, as I have already said. […]

“It should not be that you just, in a light mood, offer your prayer and then say, ‘O Allah the Almighty, increase my spiritual status’, and then expect Allah the Almighty to say, ‘Okay, now I am going to make you a saint’. No, you cannot be a saint in one night. Allah the Almighty says: 

جَاهَدُوۡا‮ ‬فِيۡنَا

“[‘Those who strive in Our path.’ (Surah al-Ankabut, Ch.29: V.70)]

“Allah the Almighty says, ‘You have to strive hard, struggle hard in My way’, then, ‘I will give you the status’. So, you keep on doing it. One day, you will get the answer from Allah the Almighty that now He has increased your spiritual status. 

“We don’t have any other way to go. Allah the Almighty is the only Being to Whom we can go for help, Whom we seek help from, right? So keep on doing it. One day, you will succeed; never give up, okay?”

Another khadim, Taufique Ahmad asked, “What would Huzoor’s advice be for young Ahmadis who are about to live out to study at university?” 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa advised:

“As I have already said, you must make it a point [to remember] that you are an Ahmadi boy and what are your duties being an Ahmadi, right? 

“And even if you are in university, you should not just leave your five daily prayers or forget when you are going to offer your prayer. You should not take it casually, whether you study the Holy Quran, recite the Holy Quran or not. Make it a point that you have to do tilawat [recitation of the Holy Quran] daily. 

“And in university, also try to befriend those boys who are good in nature and pious – although some of them are not religious minded, but they are good in nature and have good morals, so form a friendship with them […] And your company should always be good. Always show your own morals to your fellow students.[…]  

“These are your duties. In this way, alongside your studies, you will also be doing tabligh and showing the good example of a good Muslim.”

Khaleeq Ahmad Kusi was next to ask a question. Addressing him, Huzooraa said ‘Originally from Ghana’, and then asked further details about where in Ghana he was from. 

Khaleeq then asked, “If you were to give one unequivocal proof for the truthfulness of Ahmadiyyat, what would it be?”

Replying, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said:

“For different people, you have different arguments.” A person who was an atheist should first be told about the existence of Allah the Almighty and then other religious elements would follow after. 

Huzooraa further said:

“A person who is a Muslim and has a Muslim background, you would have to give him a different proof, that ‘these are the prophecies of the Holy Prophetsa for this age, and they have been fulfilled’ […]

“For a Christian, you will have a different answer. You will make them realise that the person who was to come was not the same Messiah, Jesus Christ, who would descend from Heaven, but he would come from the Muslim ummah

“So there are so many different proofs. But we can say that the Holy Prophetsa also prophesised one heavenly sign [for] the advent of the Promised Messiahas and that was the eclipse of the sun and moon. The Promised Messiahas himself has said that this was a sign foretold by the Holy Prophetsa.”

Huzooraa then described the prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa which had foretold that at the coming of the Imam Mahdi, during the month of Ramadan, the moon would be eclipsed on the first night of those nights in which the moon can be eclipsed. The sun would be eclipsed in Ramadan during the middle of those days in which the sun can be eclipsed. This sign took place during the life of the Promised Messiahas in 1894 in the Eastern hemisphere and in 1895, it occurred in the Western hemisphere – at this point, the Promised Messiahas had put forward his claim too.

Huzooraa said that this heavenly sign was fulfilled and if someone rejected this, then, “You cannot force anybody to believe.” 

Mashood Ahmad Khan was next to ask his question. Mashood said that politics – domestic and foreign – were often played with injustice and double standards. He asked Huzooraa, “How would an Ahmadi politician deal with such issues? And what policies do you think should be prioritised to improve the safety of the world?”

Huzooraa replied by advising:

“I have spoken on this issue at length in my different addresses, discourses before the Jamaat and elsewhere outside the Jamaat, even in the peace symposia and peace conferences and some receptions. If you read any of my lectures or addresses, you will find the answer in that. 

“But, for Ahmadis, the main thing is true justice – absolute justice. Until and unless we follow it, we cannot maintain the peace in the society or in the world. The true justice is that as the Holy Quran says, if you have to speak against your own relatives, you have to stand for witness against your own people, even then you stand and speak the truth. […] 

“So, if we attain this standard, then we can spread peace in society, and this peace in society will spread all across the world and then we can say then there is a chance of peace and harmony and love in the world, otherwise there is not. 

“Politicians have double standards. They have their own vested interests. Even a politician whom you see, he will talk to you, he will say, ‘Whatever you are saying is right, and I one hundred percent agree with you’. But, whenever he goes out, he will follow his party manifesto and whatever his party policy is – so he cannot deviate from his party policy. In this way, they say different things to you, but they practice different things.

“Being an Ahmadi, if you come into politics, then be an independent politician and raise this voice of creating peace, justice and love in society.”

Huzooraa said that if an Ahmadi joined a political party, but the party manifesto would not let them speak freely for truth and justice, “then leave the party and be an independent politician […] Then after some time, you can make your own party, or at least fight for this peace of society, as an independent politician.”

Yusuf Khan was next to ask his question. He asked, “Many people are worried about climate change recently. What is Islam’s take on climate change and is there any advice for people at home?”

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa, talking about climate change, said:

“Allah the Almighty says that excess of anything is bad.

“Climate change is a result of the Industrial Revolution, where too much smoke is being sent in the air – the air is being polluted – this is one of the causes of climate change. Secondly, trees are being cut and no new forestation is being done, especially in the developing countries. Although the population is increasing, if we have proper plans, we can accommodate the population in such a way that within the limited area of the land, we can accommodate as many people as possible. And infrastructure should be provided according to that.  

“If we are not following what the law of nature requires from us, then the ultimate result will be that we are going to ruin our future, we are going to doom ourselves or our generation.”

Huzooraa said the world was focused on worldly comforts and the production of goods was taking place without any proper planning for the future. This has led to greed and world powers are competing with each other like China, India and the USA. 

Huzooraa noted that now, China said that America had started its production and industrial revolution some 100 years ago and as a result, advanced (while also polluting the world), and so China said it would continue to produce and advance too for the next 100 years before they stopped. 

“So every country has their own vested interest. They are not thinking about their future generations. So the best thing is that apart from making proper planning – that how much fuel emission should be [restricted], or how can we control it – […] we should encourage and even enforce the developing countries to plant more trees so the air pollution becomes less. In this way, it will help us to reduce climate change.” 

Another khadim, Jazib Shah, asked, “How can we protect ourselves from the bad impacts of social media?” Huzooraa asked Shahzib his age, to which he told Huzooraa he was 16. On this, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said:

“16? Now grown up, well-matured. Allah the Almighty has given you wisdom, Allah the Almighty has given you the sense to understand what is good and what is bad […] you can stop, you can block those things. This is the simple solution. 

“You should not have the access to those things in social media that are polluting your mind or are spoiling your morals; so you can stop […] And there are quite a number of good things on social media; you can follow those things. 

“So, you yourself have to decide. If you are determined to save yourself from the bad results, the bad effects of social media, then you can save yourself. […]

“You’re a sensible person; you decide for your own self.”

Tahir Ahmad Buwache, a khadim originally from Ghana, asked Huzooraa, “It’s mentioned in the Holy Quran that Allah has created seven heavens, so why has Allah created seven heavens?”

To this, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa replied:

“There are seven degrees in Heaven, so if a person is even doing a small thing which is good, and Allah likes him, and if he has not even attained the level of that much piety and Allah wants to place him in Heaven, then Allah will keep him in the first stage. The person who has done better than him, [Allah will] place him in the other stage […]”

“Here, in this world, you can see there are different stages; according to your work done, you are rewarded. So there, in Heaven also, Allah the Almighty rewards according to one’s work done, according to their level of piety, according to their obedience or following the commandments of Allah, according to the good things they have done and according to their spiritual level. This is why Allah the Almighty has given different stages in Heaven.

“This is the mercy of Allah, that if you have done the least, you will be awarded the status in Heaven, no matter whether it is the first, the second or the third. Even the first level is beyond our thinking, you cannot conceive what the level of the first stage will be […]

“We can hope then, that at least if you are doing something good, Allah the Almighty will put us in the first level or the second level. 

“You should be happy instead of being worried.”

Arman Anwar asked for career advice from Huzooraa. He was advised by Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa to follow his own interests in terms of his career. With regard to choosing careers and professions, Huzooraa said:

“I only believe that whatever a person likes, he should do. But it should be something within the limits of morals. Not that you like something bad and I say ‘Okay, you do it’.”

Arman said he was interested in studying business and banking. Regarding this inclination, Huzooraa said:

“If you like banking and business, do it. And being a banker, in the future, you can do your own research and introduce Islamic banking without interest even. So that will also be beneficial for the Muslim ummah and for the whole of the world and in this way, you will be following the commandment of Allah the Almighty to remove interest from society.” 

Mirza Hashim Ahmad told Huzooraa he was about to start his studies in medicine and he desired to become a life-devotee for the Jamaat thereafter. He asked for Huzoor’s advice in this regard. 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa responded by saying:

“The first advice is that you should do some exercise.” 

Huzooraa smiled at this and Mirza Hashim and the other khuddam present thoroughly enjoyed the comment. Mirza Hashim – with a smile on his face – said that he was trying to lose weight, but it was proving hard.

Still smiling, Huzooraa said:

“Being a doctor, you cannot ask the obese people to reduce their weight, until and unless you yourself are following it.”

On losing weight in a healthy manner, Huzooraa advised:

“If it is your body structure, then that is a different thing. But never do dieting, do some exercise. I am against dieting. You can control your food, but not dieting. And do exercise at the same time and then be a healthy doctor.”

With regard to being a life-devotee for the Jamaat as a doctor, Huzooraa advised:

“Doctors normally say that they should be ‘healthy and then wealthy’ as well, but there’s no need to be wealthy. If you are going to be a waqif-e-zindagi [life-devotee] doctor, then the main aim and objective should be to serve humanity. 

“You should study medicine with the purpose and the main objective to […] serve humanity. If you are trying to achieve this goal, then it means you are successful.” 

Shazaib Ahmad asked, “How can one balance their time given to the Jamaat and religion with the time given to studies?” 

Huzooraa asked him what he was studying, to which he said he was studying electrical engineering at university. Huzooraa observed that he looked very young and he thought Shazaib was in GCSEs. Answering his question, Huzooraa advised:

“First concentrate on your studies and on the weekends, if you get spare time, then give some time to the Jamaat, to Khuddam. But never be relaxed in your studies at the cost of Jamaat work. 

“Your first objective should be to complete your studies and then, after completing your studies, you can offer yourself for Jamaat work. But during the weekends, during the holidays, you can give some time to the Jamaat.”

Athar Mahmud asked, “How can we show khuddam the importance and benefits of giving chanda?” Huzooraa said:

“Allah the Almighty says in the Holy Quran that you should spend in the cause of Allah. If our chanda is being spent for the cause of Allah, then we should try to give it; if not, then we should not. 

“So make khuddam realise that whatever we are going to spend, it is going to be spent in the cause of Allah the Almighty, for the betterment of our community, for printing literature, for the running of our day-to-day expenses with regard to our office work and other Jamaat programmes. 

“Without money, nowadays, you cannot do anything. And even during the time of the Holy Prophetsa and even the previous prophets, they used to ask for chanda. This is why, in the Holy Quran, in the second Surah, at the beginning, Allah the Almighty has told us to spend in the cause of Allah.

“If we believe that what we are going to give, is going to be spent in the cause of Allah, then people will happily give their chanda.

On the contrary, if people begin to believe that their chanda would be spent by their office-bearers to buy fast-food for themselves.   

“So make them realise that whatever they are going to give, it will be spent for the purpose of spreading the message of Islam and for the betterment of our community.

“You cannot run the affairs of even a small club without money; you have to contribute something. So, here, this is why we have to contribute something to run our affairs. 

“We prepare a budget and the proper detailed budget is prepared and the budget is discussed in the amila – the national amila, if it is the national budget – and then Shura also discusses it, and then they send it to me. Then, I also see that the way the budget has been prepared is [done so decently] and nothing is going to be spent without any purpose. Then, after a long discussion and deliberation, you approve the budget. You should pray for that.”

Faran Ahmad Khan said that some say  that doing social activities – like going to the gym for exercise – after Isha prayers was not permitted, whereas others said they were. He asked for Huzoor’s instructions. 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said:

“If you don’t have any other time to go to the gym, and you can’t find any slot in the gym other than after Isha, then you can go. 

“But if you are a student, it’s better to be at home and do some reading. If you don’t have anything with regard to your studies, then some other general knowledge books can be read. 

“And try to go to bed early so that you can wake up early in the morning for Fajr prayer or Tahajud prayer. That would be better. 

“But if there’s no other way, then you can do it. There is not any hard and fast rule. 

“But make it a point to not waste your time, whether it is after Isha or before Isha. An Ahmadi’s time should be spent in the best way, it should be productive and beneficial for yourself and for your society.”

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa then said that the hour assigned for this mulaqat had come to an end. Huzooraa conveyed his salaam and the meeting drew to a close. 

(Report prepared by Al Hakam)

Persecution of Ahmadis in Indonesia: Mosque and buildings desecrated by 100-man mob despite police presence

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Abdul Basit, Amir Jamaat Indonesia

Anti-Ahmadiyya banners were widely displayed in the public

On 14 August 2021, three days prior to Indonesia’s Independence Day, our newly established mosque in Balai Harapan village, Tempunak District, Sintang Regency, West Kalimantan, Indonesia was sealed by the authorities of the Sintang Regency government and the Regional Leadership Communication Forum including the personnel from Police officers. The sealing was the aftermath of the demands of the Sintang District Muslim Alliance which rejected the existence of the Jamaat in their region, whereas, in fact, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya has been established in Sintang Regency since 2005. They urged and warned the government to ban Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya in Balaigana within three days, otherwise, they themselves will take action to stop all the Jamaat activities.

Prior to that, the persecution and practice of intolerance against Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya had actually been institutionalised long ago by the Sintang District Government. In 2005, our first mosque in Balaigana was demolished by the mobs and our local mubaligh at that time had to suffer injuries during the incident. On 29 April 2021, the Regency Government issued a Joint Decree (SKB) of the Regent of Sintang, the head of the Sintang district attorney’s office and the head of the office of the ministry of religion of the Sintang Regency regarding warnings and orders to the members and office bearers of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Sintang to stop all the Jamaat activities.

We have coordinated with our Legal Committee to take the proper actions required. Currently, members of the Jamaat in Balaigana (76 persons) have to perform daily prayers at home due to the situation.

On 3 September 2021, after Friday prayers, there were attacks and destruction of mosques and other buildings belonging to Jamaat of Balaigana, a local Jamaat located in Sintang Regency, West Kalimantan.

The attacks and destruction were carried out by a group calling itself the Alliance of Muslims. On the day the attack occurred, security forces from the police and military had been already there to handle it, but even though there were more than 300 personnel, the security forces were powerless against the rioters, who numbered no more than 100 people.

One mosque was badly damaged and one warehouse building was burned but alhamdulillah there were no casualties or injuries.

Prior to the attack and destruction that took place, on 14 August 2021, the local government had previously sealed our mosque and banned other activities in Balaigana at the urging of the Alliance of Muslims group. We have tried to ask for security protection from the police, but unfortunately, the attacks continue to occur. Many national figures condemned the incident, such as the Minister of Religion, the Coordinating Minister for Law and Security and several members of the People’s Representative Council and various other elements of civil society which were exposed by the national media.

Currently, alhamdulillah, security is conducive, but we remain alert to any possible attack. We will try to take legal action and insha-Allah, on 5 September 2021, we will submit a report to the National Human Rights Commission as well as report criminal acts to the Criminal Investigation Unit at the police headquarters in Jakarta.

(Report courtesy of the Central Indonesian Desk)

Syed Taalay Ahmad: As friends and colleagues saw him

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Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa delivered his Friday Sermon today (3 September 2021) on Syed Taalay Ahmad, who was martyred in Ghana while doing what he lived and breathed for – serving the Jamaat of the Promised Messiahas.

In 2013, Syed Taalay Ahmad, after completing his master’s degree in journalism, sacrificed his life for the cause of Islam Ahmadiyyat and was posted to the Central Press & Media department. In 2016, he was assigned duties in the MTA News department, an office which he took to new heights.

Huzooraa spoke about the great qualities and attributes of Syed Taalay Ahmad and spoke of him as a “model” for those who had sacrificed their lives to serve Islam Ahmadiyyat and also for the family of the Promised Messiah, peace be upon him.

Huzooraa expressed his own love and admiration for Syed Taalay Ahmad too in the sermon. He said:

“He was a gem that left us. May Allah the Exalted continue to grant the Jamaat such loyal people who have a relationship with Khilafat that is based on obedience and sincerity and who give precedence to faith over the world […] This beloved individual fully understood the spirit of waqf [life devotion] and fulfilled the oath that he had made in the truest sense. Upon observing him, I used to be amazed, and still am, as to how a child raised in this worldly environment understood [the essence of] his waqf and then fulfilled it. He fulfilled it in such a way that he reached its peak.”

Huzooraa highlighted that Syed Taalay Ahmad was the first martyr of MTA International (UK) and also the first martyr from the UK Waqf-e-Nau.

After the Friday Sermon, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa led the funeral prayer of Syed Taalay Ahmad and travelled to the burial site too. Huzooraa held the coffin as it was being carried to the grave and also took part in the burial.

The whole Friday Sermon can be listened to on MTA International’s YouTube channel and its transcript will be published in the coming weeks in Al Hakaminsha-Allah.

We spoke to some of Syed Taalay Ahmad’s colleagues and friends who reminisced on his great qualities and attributes.  

Nosherwan Rashid, an MTA News colleague who worked closely with Syed Taalay Ahmad at their office, said:

“Huzooraa had graciously appointed me to serve in the MTA News department over three years ago. At the time, I had never come across Taalay bhai before or spoken to him.

“When I initially joined the MTA News department, I had little or no knowledge regarding editing, filming, lighting, scriptwriting or TV presenting and for the news department, these were daily tasks. From the first day, Taalay bhai sat me next to him and showed me the basics of editing and told me to just watch as he edited daily world news or any other work he was doing, and whilst he was doing that, he explained to me what he was doing. Taalay bhai was an amazing and compassionate teacher and within days, I managed to pick up the basics and that was not due to my own abilities; rather, the continuous effort of Taalay bhai.

“Throughout the last three years, I worked closely with Taalay bhai and he would encourage me and support me at every step of the way. He always gave me comments like, ‘Well done, I’m proud of you’, or, ‘Keep up the good work.’ I had made mistakes and never did he once discourage me or tell me off as a senior; rather, he supported me and always told me in a polite manner what I had to do. I recall that in the beginning, he kindly compiled a list of over 25 videos about editing, filming, various shots, lighting, story-telling etc. and named that playlist ‘For Nosh’ and said to me that he created a list for me especially to learn more from. He wanted me to learn and achieve a lot.

“Taalay bhai had immense love for the Holy Quran and learning about it. I do not know a single person besides Taalay bhai who had achieved this task which I will share with you now:

“Taalay bhai quite frequently used to walk to work from his house, which is about an hour walk, if not more. He would listen to dars-ul Quran classes of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh to work and then on the way back too. This way, over a few years, he had listened to all the dars-ul-Quran classes and when he finished, he was extremely happy and told me about it with such joy and jubilation on his face that I can still picture it. And if I’m not wrong, he had started listening to those classes once again.

“Taalay bhai had immense love for Khilafat and this was apparent from his life. He would set his password in a way that every time he would log on, he would be praying for Huzooraa and when I spoke to him about this, he told me he had set passwords in this way so that every time he logged on (and that would be a few times a day), he would pray for Huzooraa. This was so inspirational not just for me, but another colleague of ours, Mubahil Sahib, so much so that we started doing the same.

“I remember when he wanted to launch This Week With Huzoor, he told me about the idea and was very much looking forward to it and had been praying that it would be approved to go ahead. Throughout the week, whatever other tasks he had, he would look forward to filming, editing, scripting and producing the episode for the week and I am sure he would be praying for its success. After he would finish the episode, he himself checked it multiple times to make sure there were no mistakes and would tell me to sit down and watch the entire episode before it was broadcast, in case he had not picked up anything. Every time he was about to upload it to YouTube, he would say, ‘Bismillah’ – ‘In the name of Allah’ – and then proceed to click on the upload button. He was extremely careful about the reports and events of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa and wouldn’t ever want to displease him.

“Since Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa moved to Islamabad, UK, Taalay bhai would regularly send me his letters to Huzooraa and ask me to forward them to the private secretary’s office. I had seen that after sending me the letter, he would message after a couple of hours or the following day to see if I had the chance to send it. Before he departed for Africa, he had sent me three letters to forward.

“Taalay bhai was so obedient to Khilafat that he would try his utmost to follow the instructions of Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa to the best of his abilities, whether that instruction was for him or anyone else. 

“A few months ago, when Huzooraa had a few virtual meetings with missionaries from different countries, Huzooraa said that every missionary should try to offer Tahajud prayers for at least one hour every day. 

“After a few days, I was sat in the office with Taalay bhai and we were having a conversation and I saw that he looked a little tired. I asked if everything was okay. He replied, ‘I wake up an hour and a half before Fajr now and offer an hour-long Tahajud and then Fajr prayer as this is what Huzooraa expects from us. It is hard for me but as this was Huzoor’s instruction, I am trying my best.’ This instruction was specifically for missionaries, but Taalay bhai had made it compulsory for himself too.

“As we worked closely in the office and were sat just across from each other, I had seen his routine and the way he worked. When he worked on anything, he would wholeheartedly be concentrating on his work and would forget about everything else – about eating, drinking or taking a break. Every Friday, he would work on This Week With Huzoor and prepare to have the episode ready for broadcast and on those days, he would never go out to get lunch; rather, he would continue to work on the episode till it was complete and then leave. This was his practice not just on Fridays, but on most days.

“He was regular in the voluntary Thursday fast, something which I observed for over three years.

“I had the opportunity to not only work with him but also participate in other activities with his, like sports. Every week, on Friday, we would play football together and on some occasions, if he had forgotten his wallet, he would ask if I could pay for him. Many times, I would forget that I paid or I would say it was fine and he didn’t need to pay me back as it was so little, but I would return to the office and he would just place the amount on my desk. He was very careful about who he owed and no matter what the amount, he would do so. At times, it would only be a small amount, but he would consider it his responsibility to pay them back. He even mentioned that he had made notes on his phone to remind himself if he had to pay someone back.

“Taalay bhai was not only my colleague, but a teacher as well, and more importantly, a friend and a brother. He helped me immensely when I was producing my first documentary and helped with the entire script and also the editing. Even a couple of months ago, I had completed my research for the next part and sent it to him for help with the script and he immediately pinned the email so he could see it later. He said to me, ‘I’ll work on it whenever I get time; I won’t forget about it.’

“Taalay bhai will be missed and remembered every day and every time I walk into the office – his laugh, smile and the sparkle in his eyes. He was truly a gem, a diamond and I will miss him a lot.”

James Sutton, a school-friend and football teammate, said: 

“I first knew Taalay as the head boy of our school. Taalay came across in his head boy campaign as a real people person and someone with a great sense of humour and a lot of charisma. As I got to know Taalay as a friend in later years, I found that these were only a few of his many qualities.

“A few years later, when I was around 16, Taalay recruited me, through his brother Adil, to The Gents FC, a seven-a-side football team that he had entered into the local league. The player base was very diverse and I knew no one in the team, but one thing had brought them together – Taalay. What Taalay created with the gents was a big part of growing up for me and he was responsible for many laughs and great memories. For this, I will always be grateful to him.

“Taalay was an expert at bringing people together and making them feel welcome in any situation. He even had me playing in a table tennis league at the local mosque.

“He would organise events and trips and would always deliver on his elaborate ideas, to the point where The Gents did a tour of London. He arranged a tournament with local teams, showed us around the sites of London and even put the full team up for the weekend in his accommodation.

“The weekend was one I will never forget.

“Taalay became someone I would go to for advice and he always delivered, it always felt like he cared and had a genuine interest in every conversation we had, he was someone I looked up to learned a lot from and always respected.”

Richard Sirs, a school friend and cricket teammate, said:

“Trying to describe why I liked Taalay seems so difficult to put into words because I don’t think that I have the vocabulary to do him justice. The only thing I can do to reflect on the boy he was and the man he became is by stories that I have of him.

“I never told him about this story, and I doubt he ever realised that we had met at such a young age.

“I decided at a young age that I wanted to play cricket. I must have been around the age of 11 at the time, maybe a bit younger. I was a nervous and shy young boy who turned up to cricket practice on a Saturday morning at Park Drive Cricket club. I knew nobody there and was left with around 10 other boys with a set of stumps, a cricket bat and a tennis ball. The coach made no introductions and just left us to it. One boy straight away took to organising everything to get a little game going. Whether he could tell that I was nervous or not, I can’t be sure, but he came over and introduced himself as ‘Taalay’ and instantly put me at ease. This encounter encouraged me to stay and return week after week.

“I never told him this, and perhaps I should have, but at that moment, I looked up to him.

“At the age of 17, we once again found ourselves back at the cricket club. We had a net and had decided to have a game of football. During the game, I broke two bones in my leg. There was a clubhouse full of adults who did nothing to come and help, even when asked. The person who again dealt with the situation, made sure I was okay and calmed the situation was Taalay. He waited with me till the paramedics arrived, making sure to reassure me that everything was going to be fine.

“Strangely enough, the final time we met face to face was at the age of 28 back at the cricket club once again. He told me about what had been going on in his life and we discussed old times, and although we had not talked in a while, nothing had changed. He offered me to come down and visit where he lived and said he would put me up and show me around and introduce me to his new family. 

“For me, the measure of a man is being able to leave the world in a better place than when you came into it. Well, Taalay, my friend, this is something you have certainly achieved as your kindness knew no bounds.” 

Mubahil Shakir, an MTA News colleague who worked closely with Syed Taalay Ahmad at their office, said:

“Taalay had a pure soul. He was very innocent-hearted. He would act the same with everyone and wouldn’t discriminate.

“He was kind and very jolly. He was enthusiastic about life. I remember he would come in to the office some mornings bursting with energy, saying: ‘Assalamo alaikum Mubahil! How are you? What’s happening?’ He would change the atmosphere of the office and bring it to life.

“Taalay had a very strong work ethic – he worked like a man on a mission. When he was working on a project, he did so relentlessly without any care for himself. Sometimes he’d be sat at his chair working for a long period of time and wouldn’t have eaten anything. If he did eat, it would just be snacks from the vending machine so he could keep working while he was eating. He didn’t let anything distract him. This is how he achieved so much in such a short space of time.

“When he worked, he did so discreetly and would tell very few people what he was working on. Then, once his work was complete, we would all be amazed about what he produced.

“At one time, he mentioned to me and one of my colleagues, ‘I have this hard drive and all my work is on this hard drive. So if anything is to happen to me, you both know where my work is.’ He said this jokingly, but I remember thinking at the time that it was a strange thing to say. In hindsight, this statement he made makes more sense.

“He made many excellent documentaries, which touched the hearts of millions of Ahmadis. But in my opinion, his biggest legacy is This Week With Huzoor, which brought millions of Ahmadis closer to their Khalifa.

“May Allah bless him and grant him a lofty place in Heaven. May he continue to reap the rewards for all of the good he has left behind in this world.” 

Shazil Lone, Manager of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association football team, who worked closely with Syed Taalay Ahmad for his documentary For Love and the Game, said:

“Taalay was a very polite person, who first joined us years ago to play football at Wandle, London regularly. It was a few years later that he approached me to do a documentary on the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA UK) Jamaat football club. Thinking it was a standard MTA News segment, I told him to go ahead. 

“Little did I know that he would follow us for an entire season, often discussing tactics and thoughts with me and was not afraid to ask the testing questions to myself, the players or spectators. He was never afraid to say, in his straight-talking Northern sarcasm, that if the season or tournament didn’t lead to a promotion or a win, the documentary would come out awfully!

“He had a clear storytellers’ vision and though many of us were unsure how it would pan out, we left it in his hands and the storyboard he had put together.

“What transpired was an ‘all or nothing’ fly-on-the-wall style documentary that was ahead of its time called, For Love and the Game, which was directed and narrated by Taalay. The follow-up documentary covered the inaugural Masroor European Football Tournament.

“He put his heart and soul into his documentaries, which was shown through his commitment to doing the aforesaid documentary over a year and the time spent with us all – getting footage and interviews, in the sun and the pouring rain. He would be there regardless. He captured a golden moment for the club and its players, but more so, his talent was to bring out the human stories, with the football story as its backdrop.

“He managed to intertwine this seamlessly with the ethos and history of the Jamaat and to ultimately raise the name of our beloved Jamaat.

“He also had a sense of humour and when doing the trailers for the documentary, he would always check that even the funny elements did not offend or hurt any feelings. Such was his duty of care.

“When it came to submitting this new style of documentary, he would always say Huzooraa knew better if it was to be approved. He messaged me when he was submitting it for approval and was as humble as saying that if it got rejected, it would be down to his own mistakes. He was always humble and ready to submit to the verdict of the Khalifa.

“The documentary was graciously approved and such was the documentary’s effect and reach that it even helped open dialogue with the Football Association (the FA) and when islamophobia was mentioned in the sporting press, the FA were able to make official statements to media outlets, including being aired on Sky Sports, wherein they had discussions with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community also on these matters. Taalay’s work had helped open these doors.

“Away from his MTA duties, Taalay was a regular five-a-side player with us also and I can say he was uniquely respectful, as the only player I knew to this day, that would call someone by their name and without fail, to add on ‘Sahib’ during the game! 

“A competitive defender, he clearly had enough time to show people respect while still challenging them, such was his respectful and humble nature even in the heat of the contest.

“Allah charts the best of courses and He bestowed Taalay with the honour to leave this earth in this manner, but he will certainly be missed. A gentle smiling soul.” 

Ali Khan, Manager Fazl-e-Umar football team, said:

“Although I served alongside him in the National Amila of MKA UK, my connection with Taalay Sahib was mostly through football, a sport he loved dearly.

“Taalay Sahib played football with us every week over the last few months, he was also an Assistant in my capacity as Manager of the Fazl-e-Umar football team of waqif-e-zindagi competing in the Masroor International Football Tournament.

“Taalay Sahib played football with exactly the same level of humility as he conducted the rest of his affairs. Taalay Sahib was always so conscious of making a mistake and was highly self-critical of his ability and performance – excessively so.

“He would always ask questions trying to learn and understand more. I loved his dry sense of humour, his devotion to the Jamaat and unwavering loyalty to Khilafat.

“Several times Taalay Sahib asked me to find a replacement for him in one of our planned football sessions at the last minute because he had to redo some of his MTA work overnight – this is a lesson in dedication, hard work and taking accountability to all of us.

“We didn’t appreciate Taalay as much as he deserved when he was with us, that’s the tragedy. Perhaps he didn’t want us to. I never heard him raise his voice and couldn’t stop him from addressing me as Ali ‘Sahib’ even during a game of football!”

Fazl-e-Umar football team. Syed Taalay Ahmad standing fourth from right

Dawood Oto’o, from MTA Ghana Studios, who worked closely with Syed Taalay Ahmad during his recent trip to Ghana, said:

“I met Taalay Sahib for the very first time when I was asked to travel with him to the Western Region of Ghana and assist him with the documentary. The trip was for two days. He was so kind to me. He talked to me like we knew each other for years.

“The first night, we reached Jamiat-ul-Mubashireen, where we were given two rooms, but we were three in number. Immediately, he said that he wanted to be in the same room as me. The room had two fans. He asked me to choose which bed I wanted to sleep on, to which I said, ‘The one without the fan on top because I don’t like fans.’ 

“I left the room for a moment and when I came back, I found the fans turned off. I asked why he had turned them off. To this, he said it was because he didn’t want me to feel uncomfortable. Although I was sure he was feeling hot himself, he sacrificed his comfort for my comfort. In the middle of the night, I realised he was feeling hot so I turned the fans on. In the morning, he asked why I had turned them on. He was completely selfless.

“He was also very humble with me. At one point, I noticed the camera was unbalanced, and when I pointed it out to him, he was happy and said, ‘That is why I need you here to help me.’

“After the trip, he was expecting me to come with him to the next trip to North Ghana as well. Before they left, he was upset as to why I didn’t join him. He was concerned that it was maybe something he said to me which was why I didn’t go. But I assured him it was not the case. I explained that I could not go because I had not been assigned to this trip, that was all. He said that insha-Allah, when he returned, we would sit down together again – Allah willed otherwise.

“These were just very small moments I had with him in a short period of time, after hearing and reading about all the wonderful things they have to say about him from people all over the world, it all makes sense to me. I will cherish the moments I had with him forever.” 

Usmaan Omer, who knew Syed Taalay Ahmad from childhood and was a close friend, said:

“We grew up together in the same jamaat of Hartlepool. Taalay was someone who would light up any room or any environment he was in. He was in-charge of many sporting initiatives throughout his time in Hartlepool. For around five years, Taalay was running a Jamaat table tennis league, which spanned the course of nine months. 

“On the final day of the inaugural league, there was a chance for me to end the day as champion. Taalay and I always had a friendly, but intense rivalry throughout our sporting endeavours. When it came to the deciding match, I was defeated. 

“I was visibly disappointed that the league had slipped away, but despite our intense rivalry, Taalay was the first person to come up to me, pick me up by the hand and put an arm around my shoulder to tell me how proud he was of me and how far I had come as a table tennis player.

“He was two years senior to me in school and we went through some of our tough examination times together, but he was always on hand to encourage me and give me advice, despite him going through his own exams.

“Throughout the times I knew Taalay, he always emphasised how, when it comes to our level of spirituality, we should never look down on one another and judge whether one is less spiritual than ourselves; rather, as Ahmadi Muslims, we are like one and should always be on hand to help and support one another.” 

Adam Brough, a close friend of Syed Taalay Ahmad from school, said:

“Taalay meant a lot to a lot of us who knew him from school and college. He was the head boy in those places for a reason. Popular, witty, intelligent, talented – it’s no surprise he continued to achieve during the rest of his life. He was always set up to do so.

“One of the kindest people I’ve ever met, with one of the warmest hearts, he would always look out for those around him. His intelligence allowed him the capacity to focus on so many things, and never far from his mind was the welfare and wellbeing of his friends.

“His sporting talent too provided him with an outlet for his competitive edge to flourish, and he always wanted to be doing the next great thing. Be it academics, personal, or sport, there was always something to achieve and something to strive towards.

“The small seven-a-side football team he founded in 2007 that went on to win the small league we participated in, despite a fairly inauspicious start, will remain one of my fondest memories and will always serve as a reminder from Taalay that it’s always possible to achieve.

“It’s cruel that he didn’t get to achieve more because there’s little doubt he would have. He will be sorely missed.” 

Tawqeer Mirza, a colleague from MTA International who worked closely with Syed Taalay Ahmad for the documentary Taalay was filming in Africa, said:

“We prepped over the phone together multiple times before he set out to his trip to Africa. It was so clear that he was genuinely concerned about there not being a single reason on his part for any shortcoming. Seeing that, I would give advice, accordingly, that he should rather take his own equipment that he trusts etc. And even though these types of trips I have had multiple opportunities to go to, Taalay was still not satisfied, and he made even more preparations. He would rather sacrifice taking personal items and clothes and taking further equipment that would ensure that nothing got in the way of the project he was undertaking. Such was his planning.

“I knew Taalay from 2005 when I first met him when I travelled with his family and some Jamaat members to Qadian Jalsa Salana. Even though I was young at that time, his inquisitive nature, respect and admiration for the Promised Messiahas and love for his extended family was apparent. His eventual waqf (life devotion) and all the works he undertook later in life were a clear testament to these early qualities.

“At MTA International – where Taalay was posted as a life devotee – my MTA colleagues and I would at times struggle with the few tasks that we had. However, we learned that the newly posted Taalay was not only giving his whole days at MTA News, but he’d spend the rest of his time with the Central Press & Media team. And not only that, but he was also heavily involved with the Atfal UK department. And if that wasn’t enough, shortly after, Voice of Islam radio started, where he was involved in regular programming too.

“One unique quality was that he would work quietly. I mean, if he was working on a project, no other person would know. He would bury his head in his work and the rest of the world would just fade away.

“A few years ago, he started enquiring from me how I went about planning and making a documentary. I shared what I could and then thought nothing of it. A few months later, he asked me to come to his office in MTA News to review something he made. He seemed embarrassed, constantly saying how he filmed it and so it was terrible etc. He then played ‘the video’, after which I realised it was a full-blown documentary! 

“This was the first documentary he made without any technical or operational knowledge of cameras, half of which was filmed on a phone! (This was the For Love and the Game documentary.) But I found it so candid and wonderful in its nature, as it seemed like this person had been telling visual stories for half his life. I didn’t even finish reviewing it. I just said, ‘Whatever you’ve done here, it’s great and I don’t think I’ll find anything here that I would change.’ And Taalay was sure and headstrong; he didn’t seem like he was in doubt or even looking for approval. 

“In essence, that is the mark of a true creative artist. From what I saw, he was a natural at this. And what he was then able to accomplish, alhamdulillah, we have all witnessed.

“Whatever I may have learnt only due to blessings of MTA and Khilafat over the past many years, Taalay far surpassed that in what he picked up in just a couple of years, as not only was he talented, but he was also extremely passionate.” 

Wadood Ahmad Daud, who knew Syed Taalay Ahmad since childhood, said:

“I have known Syed Taalay Ahmad since 2002. We had recently migrated from Pakistan to the UK and were making Hartlepool Jamaat our new home – Taalay must have been 11-12 years old at the time. I have fond memories of going to Hashim bhai’s (Talaay’s father) house for prayers or meetings and staying back to play cricket or football in their back garden. It wasn’t just their house, it was also our community hub where their whole family welcomed the local Ahmadis with open arms.

“The legacy of the late Dr Hameed Khan Sahib (Talaay’s maternal grandfather) and his wife continued in Hartlepool through their progeny and Syed Taalay Ahmad embodied his grandparents’ nurturing and caring nature. Even at a very young age, Taalay was always extremely respectful and courteous to everyone. He always spoke with a lot of confidence and maturity, even with a six-year age gap, we soon became very good friends.

“When I was qaid of Hartlepool, Taalay was a very active member of our amila. He was always looking for improvements and would come up with new and innovative ways of bringing people closer to the Jamaat. An example of this is when the Nasir Mosque opened in Hartlepool and we faced a lot of local opposition from locals. Taalay was always keen to bring his non-Ahmadi English friends to the mosque on a regular basis and so, he started and managed the ‘Hameed Khan Table Tennis Tournament’ for many years, which was open to locals and allowed people from Hartlepool to visit the mosque and spend time with Ahmadis. The same passion for showing people what true Muslims were like led to him making exceptional documentaries for MTA.

“I currently serve in MTA Online as a volunteer and had the honour to help Syed Taalay Ahmad with the promotion of Brutality & Injustice: Two Trials in a Time documentary. By the grace of Allah, this promotional campaign helped the new documentary get more traction compared to some of the other documentaries. Two weeks after its launch, Taalay sent me a detailed comparison of all his previous documentary views in the first 14 days and thanked the MTA online Urdu team for their help. In my reply, I wrote to Taalay, ‘The quality of the video content and historic footage of Huzooraa makes it a unique documentary so I know we may have played a small part to promote it, but the actual work was done by you and your team’. To this, I got a very short reply, which truly reflected his humble nature, true submission to Allah and his love for Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya, as he didn’t take an iota of credit himself.

“Taalay replied with, “It’s all the blessing of Allah that he’s given us Khalifa-e-waqt to guide us and learn lessons from his life, alhamdulillah”.

“Whenever we spoke, the transition from ‘Wadood bhai’ to ‘Wadood Sahib’, and then back to ‘Wadood bhai’ was seamless. He would always greet everyone with his infectious smile and knew what to say, when to say it, how to say it and more importantly, he also knew when to stay quiet. He knew what his objectives in life were and he wouldn’t waste any valuable time in idle chats.

“My final meeting with Taalay was at Jalsa Salana UK 2021 where he spoke about his children with so much love and affection. He was full of energy and was so excited about Jalsa Salana taking place after a year’s gap. I will never forget the sparkle in his eyes and the smile on his face when he was talking about Huzooraa – his love for Khilafat was so evident from every word he spoke. I will cherish that short conversation for the rest of my life as little did I know that this handsome young man was soon going to join a very prestigious group of shuhada-e-Ahmadiyyat– martyrs of Ahmadiyyat. I will always remember him as a very dear younger brother who lived up to the expectations of his parents and all those around him.

“Taalay was honest with his waqf and remained true to his pledge with Khilafat to his very last breath. May Allah enable me to learn from his short, yet exemplary life. Amin.” 

Muhammad Ali Ahmad, who knew Syed Taalay Ahmad since childhood, said:

“I have known Syed Taalay Ahmad Sahib since 2004. He was slightly younger than me, and a very talented and intelligent individual.

“Taalay used to come to the Nasir Mosque in Hartlepool daily for prayers with his father and brother.

“He was very keen to play sports. He started the Hameed Khan Table Tennis Tournament (named after his late grandfather) in Hartlepool to engage khuddam and encourage competition. Alhamdulillah, that tournament was a great success and brought all khuddam together.

“He also greatly enjoyed reading. I don’t know which book was his favourite in terms of Islam and Jamaat literature, but one of his favourites as a young man was the Harry Potter series.

“Taalay Sahib was very focused on his work. Whilst in Hartlepool, at times, I saw him busy thinking about something or planning something. Even though he would be physically present, his thoughts would be occupied with something else. Everyone has seen his hard work in the shape of successful MTA documentaries.

“Taalay Sahib loved Huzooraa and the institution of Khilafat. He also wanted Jamaat members to establish a strong bond with Khilafat, just like the one he aspired to establish himself and I believe he tried to achieve this through his work in MTA International. For me, as incidents and stories about Taalay begin to be shared, his love for Khilafat has become much more apparent than it was before his martyrdom. Taalay Sahib’s love for Khilafat is shining like a bright star in Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya today.

“Taalay Sahib has proven that even with all the distractions of the modern-day, like TV, the Internet, social media etc., one can still achieve the status of shahadat (martyrdom) through their bond with Allah the Almighty, the Holy Prophetsa, the Promised Messiahas and Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyyat.

“He has become a role model for us – an English role model who grew up in England and achieved a high status of a shaheed.” 

Qaasid Muin Ahmad, Editor Al Hakam, said:

Al Hakam was launched in March 2018 by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa. Since then, it has been published every week and has presented a plethora of articles on various subjects alongside conveying news of the Jamaat’s activities around the world.

“As the editor, it is my role to ensure that we are moving on track and that articles are engaging with our readers. Syed Taalay Ahmad was one of those readers who would help me in this regard.

“Although Taalay had no official affiliation with Al Hakam, on a personal note, he would frequently tell me which articles he was enjoying and he would give suggestions on what we could focus on more to keep our readers engaged.

“In our last conversation over the telephone, he expressed his desire to gather as much information and narrations of elders of his family as he could to write an article for Al Hakam on his great-grandfather, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra.

“Alongside my Al Hakam duties, I have the honour of serving in MTA International, and it was here that I came to be well-acquainted with the beautiful and charismatic personality of Taalay. His thirst for knowledge – in particular, to do with the history of the Jamaat – and his drive to get projects to see fruition in the best possible manner are some of the traits that I pray to see in myself and my children in the future. He was a person who had a passion to bring members of the Jamaat closer to their Khalifa and he used every fibre of his being to see that this was made possible through the role that he was assigned.

“Every Wednesday, the Al Hakam team sits down and spends the better part of the day proofreading the final copy of the newspaper to ensure that everything is up to the mark.

“During this rigorous exercise, very rarely do I pay much attention to those momentary thoughts that occur in the back of my mind.

“The day after Taalay’s demise, whilst proofreading our most recent issue, and whilst examining an article proposed for our 100 Years Ago section, I fleetingly asked myself, ‘I wonder what Taalay will think of this.’ Thereafter, I truly realised that we had just lost one of our most avid readers, who not only provided feedback in his lifetime, but actually gave me direction and inspiration in taking this newspaper to newer heights; such that I never properly appreciated how his observations and feedback had begun to impact how I saw articles.

“It would not at all be incorrect to say that Taalay was one of Al Hakam’s regular and passionate readers, which only tells of his zeal for this beautiful Jamaat of the Promised Messiahas. That he would read Al Hakam with such detail so as to point things out and provide constructive feedback was an indication of just how staunchly he supported the cause of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas.

“May Allah bestow Taalay a place in Paradise in the company of his loved ones; may Allah enable all of us to serve the Jamaat with the same fervour and drive as did our beloved brother, and may the coming generations see more servants of Ahmadiyyat like Taalay Ahmad; for he will surely be missed.” 

Adnan Zahid, a close friend and colleague of Taalay at MTA International, said:

“I had the privilege of working with Syed Taalay Ahmad Sahib, which nourished into friendship.

“He was a true servant of Khilafat and his love for Khilafat was immense. He was a simple person and had no desire for materialistic life.

“He was a kind and loving person, who took special care of his friends and, more importantly, lived a true waqf-e-zindagi life.

“He worked very hard in making his documentaries and set a very high standard for us to follow. He touched so many hearts with his kind and loving personality and brought comfort to people’s hearts through This Week With Huzoor, especially during the pandemic.

“I had the honour of working with Syed Talaay Ahmad Sahib on the documentary, Four Days Without a Shepherd. He had the drive and determination to make such interesting documentaries and his passion for storytelling can be exemplified through his work.

“I feel honoured that Syed Taalay Ahmad Sahib would ask me to review and provide feedback on his work every time before it was made public. I will miss our conversations we had regarding his work.

“I pray that Allah the Almighty may elevate his status in Paradise, accept his efforts and keep him in the shade of His abundant grace and mercy. Syed Taalay Ahmad Sahib will truly be missed.” 

Fowad Ahmad, In-charge MTA Ghana Production, who worked closely with Taalay Ahmad while in Ghana, said:

“The most glaring personality traits were his humility, passion and zeal to work for the Jamaat. It is difficult to find such motivated and driven people working with this level of energy. What I had noticed was how meticulous he was in aiming to get the absolute best from the documentary he was currently working on. It was evident that it was the unconditional love and respect he had for Khilafat that was the driving factor. It is what he lived and breathed for.

“His humility was on a level that is hard to find in others. This reminds me of when we were in his guest room preparing for the next interview and I noticed that there was no facility for hot water. I recommended to him that we could arrange to get some hot water for him, to which he instantly said, ‘No, it’s okay. I have been having cold showers; I have already become used to it.’ When he said this, I realised these were very insignificant issues to him. I would see him constantly analysing the footage he had recorded and he told me that he had made various backups in case anything went missing or ‘anything crazy happens’.

“It is very rare to find someone so concerned for not being able to work for a moment during the day. Once, he forgot his laptop during one of the journeys between the recordings and he would say, ‘If I had my laptop, I could have continued working during this time.’

“Once I would reach home at the end of the day, my wife would always ask me how the day was spent with him and we would find it comforting to know that he was enjoying his stay in Ghana. Being in his company inspired me to become more like him in the way he was serving as a waqf-e-zindagi [life devotee]. He was a true role model for us all. 

“My wife, Naila Sahiba, with a heavy heart, summarised the days since his demise with the following:

When we heard that you’re gone

The world cried, we mourned

But you were true in your mission

You were in total submission

We raised our hands in grief

And believe that you are now in peace

A true life devotee

The epitome of humility

Chosen by the Creator to die as a martyr

But will live on in History

His name is Syed Taalay Ahmad

An exemplary waqf-e-zindagi.”

Syed Amer Safir, a close friend and chief editor of The Review of Religions, said:

“Syed Taalay Ahmad is someone I knew for a long time, both from work but also in a personal capacity – he was like a brother to me. I had developed a very close connection with him and therefore, his loss was something that I keenly felt and was impacted by immensely. 

“Whilst I was saddened so deeply like the whole Jamaat, I also felt a sense of great pride. The initial reaction was, of course, of shock. As I kept thinking about Taalay, I also realised how his name will always be remembered and he has become an important part of history.

“What I remember about Taalay is someone who always wanted to achieve the best for the Jamaat and left no stone unturned to do this. He had a singular vision in his entire outlook of life. Whether it related to a trivial football match or an important Jamaat project, he never settled for mediocrity; he always wanted only, and only, the best. 

“This might seem like something common to everyone, to want to achieve the best, but most people don’t follow up practically on this wish. Taalay had the desire, commitment, discipline and love of Allah and Khilafat to want to follow through with this desire.

“I was able to personally witness this on many occasions and I was and am truly inspired by this. Taalay worked for The Review of Religions for a number of years as the head of an important department where he helped categorise and index the last 100 years of editions in topics, and he always kept this connection because of his time with us. He always showed immense respect and never lost touch.

“His qualities are truly inspiring and he was more to me than a friend; he was someone with whom I could discuss personal matters and share jokes at the same time and have important discussions. He would often call me after documentaries and speak to me about it, all because of that old connection we had. 

“I will never forget Taalay because of our personal connection, but mostly because he left a great example of how to live the life of a waqf (life devotee).” 

Dr Hammad Khan, a friend and family member, said:

“I knew Taalay from a young age. He was a gentle and passionate young man who was always clearly destined for great things. He had a passion and determination about him that belied his youth.

“Taalay was extremely active within the Jamaat even prior to his waqf (life devotion) and expressed his love for the Jamaat and Khilafat through his work.

“I was most closely involved with him through his participation in Voice of Islam’s live discussion programme, Weekend World – he was a regular contributor and had a very relaxed and easy-going style. He had a very natural ability to express an Islamic viewpoint in a clear and articulate manner. He was knowledgeable and well-read and had the remarkable capacity to weave facts and quotes into his opinions.

“He was always smiling, friendly, open and big-hearted. Generous with praise and compliments, whilst humble in receiving the same. He had a cheeky sense of humour and was always ready to take a joke at his own expense.

“Taalay was a beautiful example of a dedicated and passionate servant of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya and stands as a beautiful model for many of us to emulate.” 

Mubariz Ahmedi, a friend and colleague from MTA International, said:

“‘Mubariz?’, he would say with his distinctive Hartlepudlian accent as he walked towards my desk in the MTA Production office. I knew it was him coming to formally make a request, which would be for such a minor task, such as copying a file to a different location. He didn’t need to make a formal request, but that’s how Taalay was. The utmost respect for individuals – young and old – and the utmost respect for Jamaat work – small or large.

“The relentless hard worker who would pour through the MTA archives for days to locate the right footage for his documentary; the footballer who would command from the back and a friend who simply wanted to have a chat – these are just some of the countless qualities which Syed Taalay Ahmad possessed.

“The pioneer of This Week With Huzoor, Taalay had a vision of connecting more and more people with Khilafat and he ultimately created the most popular programme on MTA, second to the Friday Sermon. Seeing our beloved Huzooraa in a more relaxed setting, answering the questions that many Ahmadis hold in their hearts and the insightful responses from their Khalifa have resonated with hundreds of thousands since its launch in November 2018. The stronger relationships between the Jamaat members and Khilafat, as a result, are a testament to the man, and his humble efforts have surely affected the lives of many.

“This is the type of legacy that Taalay leaves behind – one that inspires us to truly make the most of the time we have.

“A face I will miss seeing, and a voice I will miss hearing – a dear friend who I’ll miss greatly.”

Rana Ataur Rehman, a close friend and colleague at MTA International, said:

“Although there are many incidents one can narrate in order to celebrate the wonderful character of Taalay as a friend and a person in general, one incident that really left a mark on my heart was, in fact, the last professional engagement I had with him as an MTA worker.

“Syed Taalay Sahib was an excellent professional and would not leave any stone unturned in producing the best quality work. On some occasions, he would send me translations of the Friday Sermon to ensure they were correctly proofread before being aired on MTA News that day, and I would do my best to provide him with an accurate assessment of the translation before me. Eventually, Taalay actually went on to seek approval for me to proofread the subtitling of one of the finest documentaries produced by MTA, Brutality and Injustice: Two Trials in a Time, which was directed by Taalay himself. This project was very personal to Taalay and I could sense that he had put his life and soul into making this the best piece of work he possibly could. Seeing this passion, I also buckled up to ensure that I did not let him down with any mistakes or let-ups whilst proofreading the translation of the documentary. I prayed and did my best to cooperate with Taalay accordingly.

“The documentary was aired and it turned out to be a major success. The content itself was superb considering all the archival material from Rabwah and the late 20th-21st-century videos from MTA. The genuine emotions in the interviews and style of narration were pinpoint in order to recapture the mood of the time that was being described. 

“Taalay had done a brilliant job overall with the directing and editing. To me, Taalay was a hidden gem that was yet to be unleashed to its full potential as a director and producer, and this documentary was a great example of this. A small part of me was feeling a sense of satisfaction from inside that I helped my friend on something so dear to him, even though the contribution was nowhere near as immense as the standard of his creativity.

“A few weeks later, Taalay was insisting on taking me out for lunch out of the blue – he had been trying to get hold of me for a month or so. I knew it was his way of showing his appreciation for my help in this project and other translations, but I really did not feel it was necessary for him to do so. 

“I did my best to deflect his proposition on treating me, but those who know Taalay well would also know that he would not give up on something that he intended on doing. Eventually, we did go to the local Pizza Hut buffet during our lunch break to enable ‘Rishi Sunak to cover half the cost’, as Taalay would put it (referring to the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme). He had a great sense of humour, no doubt.

“The thing that touched me the most about this entire episode was the fact that I realised Taalay would not give up in order to show his sincere appreciation towards the people who had done anything for him. Unfortunately, this turned out to be the last time that we sat together to have a meal as friends, as England once again embraced a national lockdown during the winter.” 

Syed Taalay Ahmad (left), with his brother Adil Ahmad, at Jalsa Salana UK 2021

Safeer Uddin Qamar, a friend and colleague from MTA International, said:

“Taalay was one of the most humble, pious and devoted humans I knew in MTA International. One unique personality of his was that before speaking, he would always go quiet and think before he spoke, or he would go quiet when he thought nothing useful needed to be said.

“His talent shone in all his work, yet he remained humble about his efforts and hard work. He worked in silence to produce stunning and captivating documentaries which have touched the hearts of millions of viewers. Taalay helped me and many of my colleagues in our projects and always had a unique talent in storytelling and coming up with ideas.

“His leadership and devotion also carried over in his sportsmanship – I observed this while playing football with him in the Fazl-e-Umar football team. He always showed passion and dedication to bring the team’s spirits high.

“My most recent memory of Taalay was when I asked him for some help on very short notice for my Jalsa documentary. Taalay, to my surprise, put his things on the table and immediately started to go through my Jalsa project and spent a good 4-5 hours editing my documentary, even skipping lunch. At the end of the edit he had made – although it wasn’t entirely how I wanted it – to my surprise, once again, without a script or any notes, he had come up with a story that I just couldn’t imagine. It was like he had turned all of my work upside down and brought a whole new angle to it and I was left in shock as to how amazingly he put this together.

“He stood out from everyone in MTA when it came to producing stories and documentaries that we all used to go to him for ideas and help.

“I hope and pray that Allah grants him the highest place in Paradise and that his family are able to overcome this tragic loss. Amin.”

Mansoor Clarke, a colleague at the Central Press & Media office, said:

“Taalay was no ordinary man. Yes, he was a magical storyteller, a phenomenally dedicated worker and an exemplary waqf-e-zindagi, but he was also an immensely kind, sincere and caring human being.

“I remember after a particularly long day of filming in Central London, Taalay and I were heading back to Fazl Mosque. As we were walking back from the train station, Taalay suddenly stopped and looked almost panicked. I asked him what was wrong, and he said, ‘I completely forgot! He’s going to be so upset with me!’ 

“For a moment I shared his panic thinking that perhaps we had forgotten an essential piece of footage or had left out a crucial interview in the project, so I turned to him and asked what he meant, to which he replied, ‘I promised Talal (Taalay’s son) that I would bring him back a toy today because I’ve been spending a lot of time away at work, but if I go back home now empty-handed, he’ll be so upset!’ 

“It was dark and we were round the corner from the mosque, tired and weary from traipsing around all day. Any ordinary person would have shrugged it off, gone home and explained the situation to his son. But Taalay was no ordinary man. He walked back to the high street, lugging his heavy camera bag with him and went off in search of the toy he was going to give his little boy. 

“After a lengthy search, we came to the realisation that the only shop still open was the supermarket, Tesco. We went in and I simply stood and watched in admiration as this loving father paced up and down the aisles comparing dozens of toys assessing which one would make Talal happiest. 

“Taalay was frustrated, not because it was late at night and he wanted to go home and lay his heavy camera bag down, but because, the way he saw it, none of the toys or magazines were good enough for his beautiful baby boy. After at least 20 minutes, Taalay picked out a children’s magazine and a couple of toys and said that these would have to do for now and that he would make it up to Talal by getting him something the next day as well.

“You see, Taalay was a simple man – frugal, stoic and collected – but when he loved something, people around him could see the glint in his eye, that passion and zeal he reserved for those that he loved most. But this kindness, love and care were not only reserved for his biggest love – Khilafat, or indeed even for his own family – rather, it was something he showed in his character to everyone he met.

“He cared immensely about his work, but he also cared about the people as well. Even now, I cannot believe he is gone. As the person who drove Taalay to the airport for his final trip, I was the last person from the Jamaat to see him in the UK – an honour that I will cherish forever. 

“The whole way, we laughed and joked about life and the obstacles we had both overcome. He spoke about how honoured and privileged he felt to be waqf and how his only goal was to do justice by the task given to him by Khalifatul Masih – a goal he no doubt achieved.

“As I dropped him off at Terminal 2 and loaded up his bags onto the trolley, we laughed one last time, hugged and said our goodbyes. ‘I’ll see you soon’, he said in his happy Hartlepudlian accent, and off he went through the automatic doors.

Fi imaanillah (Be you in the protection of Allah) Taalay! You leave behind a global family who will forever remember your smile, your laugh, your kindness and your passion. Whilst I am left ridden with grief that you are gone, I am immensely proud that I knew such an extraordinary human being, and take comfort in the knowledge that you now sit in the protection and shade of Our Lord.” 

Safwan Choudhry, a friend and colleague of Taalay from Canada, said:

“The news of the passing of Syed Taalay Ahmad Shaheed is a source of great sorrow and joy. Joy, because when martyrdom is bestowed by Allah, it is in fact glad tidings of eternal life. Indeed, it is news of great significance to join the rank of a shaheed. For those left behind, there is also immense sorrow. A great-great-grandson of the Promised Messiahas, who was a life-devotee of the highest order has been elevated to the rank of shaheed.

“They say that the seeds on good soil, under any condition, produce the finest crop. Syed Taalay Ahmad Shaheed came from good soil. He became a visionary leader at a tender age – a leader who once said he would die for Khilafat, even as he lived every minute for Khilafat. His life validates that through prayers, and dedication, and willingness to open our hearts to Allah, we can reap a bountiful harvest.

“Many have remarked about his witty sense of humour – like a priceless gift, his laugh just made you feel better. Especially during the tough projects, when the path ahead looked crooked, when obstacles abounded and when others entertained doubts, Syed Taalay Ahmed, like a ray of sunshine, would refuel the air with a crafty joke.

“200 to 300 years from now, he would say, people would reflect, and they would ask the question, ‘What did you do?’ Hearing the firmness of his conviction, it would be a stark reminder that it falls upon each one of us to be ready to offer any sacrifice for guarding the institution of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya.

“Syed Taalay Ahmad was a person of noble qualities and a pure heart. His great-great-grandparents, great-grandparents, grandparents and parents planted the seeds in that good soil of his. At a tender age, he harvested all the crops that he could, for the Almighty has now called Syed Taalay Ahmad home, to give his dedicated, faithful servant rest. It now falls on us to continue the work, so that an entire generation of Ahmadi Muslim youth may captivate audiences from around the world through storytelling. That’s how we will remember him; that’s what he would hope for.

“May Allah grant mercy and elevate his spiritual status in Heaven!” 

Sabahuddin Ahmedi, a colleague and friend at the Press and Media office, said:

“Taalay was a gentle, kind-hearted and jolly individual. I had the opportunity to work with him on a few projects. I noticed that he never wasted time on other things. He would do his work quietly and efficiently and wouldn’t stop until the job was complete. I think this is such an amazing quality and something I’ll never forget about him. His passion for work was evident.”

Ameer Cannen Naraynen, a khadim whom Syed Taalay Ahmad interviewed for MTA News, said:

“I remember, it was the laying of the foundation brick for the new Southall mosque in the UK, Dar-us-Salaam, on 8 October 2017. It was a widely covered event as beloved Huzooraa was attending.

“MTA covered the event with great quality, and this was where I met Taalaay Sahib for the first time. He was passionately pacing around the new mosque grounds trying to line up khuddam and ansar for interviews on the new mosque and the experience of the day.

“As I was doing security duty outside the perimeter of the new mosque with my fellow local Hounslow South khuddam brothers, I had a clear view of Taalay Sahib and his cameraman pacing back and forth keeping organised and fulfilling their duties.

“He came to a group of us during the afternoon and asked if any of us would be willing to do an MTA interview with him. I happily agreed as I was beyond words and happiness with the experience of the day and wanted to get that emotion across in interview form.

“Before the interview, Taalay Sahib kindly enquired into my background as he noticed something different about me. I told him I was born here in the UK but had a family background of being Mauritian and also that I joined the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in 2011. On this, Taalay Sahib enquired deeper into my story and background, and I was more than happy to relate everything to him. Straight away, I felt with him a sense of calmness, openness and friendship and I didn’t even know anything about him.

“After relating everything to him, Taalay Sahib, with zeal and passion, said this interview had now changed! He wanted to expand the interview he was going to do and ask questions about my journey to the community, combined with questions on the experience of the day.

“Suffice to say, the interview alhumdulillah went well, despite being outside in windy conditions, and Taalay Sahib expressed his delight in being able to talk to me and record all the necessary footage he could.

“I was more than thankful for this and expressed my sincere gratitude to Taalay Sahib for the opportunity and his time for listening so attentively to me. He was so passionate about his work. He seemed to always think about what more he could do to improve and always went above and beyond.

“He had complete trust in the people he worked with and completely trusted in Allah the Almighty with his life and devotion to Khilafat.

“May Allah Almighty bless him with Paradise and grant him peace in the Hereafter. Amin.” 

Umar Bhatti, who worked closely with Taalay Ahmad in Atfal-ul-Ahmadiyya UK, said:

“In Talaay’s second term as secretary for sehat-e-jismani (health and fitness) of Atfal-ul-Ahmadiyyat UK, at the start of the Khuddam year, he invited all team members to his house for a meeting and ordered pizza for everyone. It was a really relaxed and fun time, but when he got slightly serious – the serious Talaay wasn’t even him talking loudly – it was him saying, ‘Listen, boys, in all seriousness …’ and we were all ears immediately. 

“Anyway, he wanted to get his message across about the real objective of the pizza meeting. He beautifully narrated the story of the sacrifice of Prophet Abrahamas and of his son, Prophet Ishmaelas. He linked this to us as a team and told us that when we are given instructions by him, then we are not working for him; rather, the sole purpose of all of the activities we organised as a team was to get everyone, including ourselves, closer to Allah the Almighty and Khilafat. We all grasped this message immediately.

“On a more personal note, when my maternal grandfather passed away, my mother and sister travelled away to the US. It was my father and me in the house for two to three weeks. Talaay found out and kindly sent us food for a couple of days. But what was even more astonishing, which lifted my whole mood, was when he shared his whole pot of honey with my family which was blessed by Huzooraa. He didn’t just do this on one occasion, but he did this several times.” 

Abdullah Dibba, a friend and colleague from the USA, said:

“In the US, I have talked to quite a number of people about the famous MTA documentary, Four Days Without a Shepherd and how it beautifully captured those challenging days for the global Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, and how, through Khilafat, Allah once again restored security and peace to the believers as He promises in the Holy Quran.

“But I would barely mention it without talking about how I personally knew Talaay Ahmad Sahib, the man who made the documentary. I texted Talaay Sahib and shared positive feedback from different people. But Talaay Sahib’s responses would always be short and he would just request prayers. I didn’t understand why.

“When I met him in the UK later that year, I thought it was an opportunity for me to talk to him about the great job he did. But I realised that Talaay Sahib didn’t want to have that conversation. He was shy to talk about himself. He kept changing the topic to talk about football and how he couldn’t wait for us to play together before I returned to the US.

“Now I look back and realise how humble Talaay Sahib was about such a good job he did, and how he didn’t want to be praised, nor did he want to leave any room for himself to be overly proud of his work.

“As I worked with him over time, I understood more, that he always told himself that he could have done much better.

“On the occasion of the Jalsa Salana UK 2018 inspection, Taalay Ahmad Sahib wanted me to present live on MTA for a few seconds to say a few words. I happened to be busy when he needed me to start the setup. But he patiently waited for at least 45 minutes, without bothering me or rushing me.

“Eventually, when I was available, we walked together to the area he needed me to be in. We started the rehearsals and went through everything, now waiting to get the cue from MTA to tell us when we would be live. 

“A few minutes before we went live, some technical issues arose due to which we were told that the segment may be cancelled. I remember telling Taalay Sahib that it was probably better to just forget about it and I wouldn’t mind. Taalay Sahib would simply not give up. He kept hiking back and forth between MTA and my location, trying hard to ensure that everything worked out. At the very last moment, he came back running towards me, immediately picked up his camera and told me that we were set to start. He made it back just in time.

“My presentation was for less than a minute, but I was amazed at how much effort Taalay Sahib put into it. His dedication and drive to keep trying were very inspiring for me.

“I tried to tell him how I felt, but he didn’t want to be praised. He immediately changed the topic to thank me for my patience and he moved onto his next duty.” 

Mirza Usama Bashir Ahmad, a family member from the UK, said:

“I will always remember Taalay bhai as that humble, friendly and approachable person whose love for Khilafat, the Jamaat and his work was ever-present.

“Wherever a Jamaat event would be taking place, I would always see him extremely busy in the midst of his work, yet constantly with a radiant smile on his face. The various documentaries and projects he had worked on are an example of the dedication with which he fulfilled his life devotion – truly an example for the generations of waqifeen to come.

“Several years ago, my mother fell ill and when I received the news, I was attending an ijtema at Baitul Futuh Mosque with my brother. With no immediate way home, it occurred to me at the time that Taalay bhai’s office was in Baitul Futuh. 

“To this day, I remember that after explaining the situation to him, he proceeded, with a look of great concern and worry, to immediately pack his things up and take me and my brother home which was a considerable distance away. This act of kindness is something that I will be forever grateful for.

“Taalay bhai was truly an excellent example of a loyal servant of Khilafat and the Promised Messiahas, whose dedication to his mission was faultless. An excellent example that has been penned into the history books and a legacy which generations of waqifeen to come will seek to emulate.” 

Atif Rashid, a colleague, said:

I had the brief opportunity to work with Taalay this year. He took such care in his filming and loved his work and quietly got on with his tasks. He tried to make every shot perfect. He would redo shots again and again until it was up to his standard.

The footage he filmed was used in a national TV report which I had the privilege to make and was broadcast by a major news outlet. He was so happy that his work was used and grateful that he was serving the Jamaat. He also very nicely gave me some feedback about editing and although I did not do justice to his filming in my editing, he congratulated me and was very kind in his feedback.

Without his filming, which was of a very high standard, I would not have been able to make the report which reached many millions of people.

He had no idea where the footage would go but was still determined to get every shot as good as possible. From the brief moments I had with him, Taalay came across as very hard working, diligent and passionate. It felt like you could really rely on him for good camerawork. I felt he was one of those meek, unassuming and loyal kinds of people who do their work without pretension or desire of credit from people. His motivation was just service and doing his duty. It was extremely shocking and saddening to hear of his demise just a few weeks after I had worked with him. It was unimaginable and such a great loss.

Salman Abassi, a colleague from MTA International, said:

“Taalay always brought a smile to your face. He would whisper salaam quietly or nod like he was in a different world altogether. Walking through the MTA corridors, holding his camera bag, you knew a special documentary would soon be coming to our screens. I always asked what he was working on and he would give me a small glimpse of it and I used to always ask how he created these memorable documentaries. I always wanted to learn storytelling from him. The emotions he brought from his work were unparalleled.

“I was unfortunate to not have had the opportunity to work on an MTA project with him, but our friendship grew through football. As we worked in MTA, every Friday, we got the opportunity to play against The Review of Religions’ football team. The day before, Taalay would come to me and tell me what tactics we should use or who should play in what formation. He was so passionate and enthusiastic, he used to get a pen and paper and start writing people’s names down and form a squad of players. He knew everyone’s attributes and qualities and I was so amazed at how much he knew about each person. He used to have an account of how each person played the week before or if he had a slight knock (injury) and so his position should change.

“But it should be mentioned here that every individual he spoke about, he spoke about dearly, positively and how each person could become a better player.

“To keep it short and precise, without any exaggeration, Syed Taalay Sahib was a sincere, loyal and devout follower of Khilafat. What struck me most about him was the fact that he did not attend Jamia Ahmadiyya; he was not provided with the refined training that Jamia students are provided in an intense seven-year period where the essence of waqf (life devotion) is taught to each individual attending, yet the quality of Taalay’s sincerity to his waqf was of the purest and highest calibre.” 

Usman Shahzad Butt, a friend and colleague, said:

“When the waqf-e-arzi scheme started in Jamia, the first jamaat I was assigned to was Hartlepool. It is there where I met Taalay for the first time.

“During our stay, Talaay, along with his brother, Adil, would come to the mosque every day. We would enjoy each other’s company, play sports and open our fasts together (as it was Ramadan). In fact, it was Talaay and Adil who introduced me to Chicken Parmo (Chicken parmigiana) – a tasty and unique dish famous in Hartlepool. Both brothers and their family really made us feel welcome and lifelong friendships were formed.

“When he moved to London, I would often see him every Friday night for a game of football. He was extremely passionate and left everything on the pitch. One quality of Taalay that I really admired was that he would never hold any grudges and would always make it a point to resolve and apologise for any issues that may have occurred during the match. 

“From my interactions with him, I also noticed he would never shy away from having difficult conversations, as he was a very simple and straightforward individual. He had an infectious smile and was ever so humble.” 

Abdul Haleem, a colleague from MTA International, said:

“I only knew Taalay for a few years after joining MTA. What I noticed instantly is that whenever he met anyone, he always had a smile on his face. He was a very joyful person whenever we shared a conversation. When having a conversation with someone else near me, there were bound to be some jokes involved from him.

“I noticed that he would always try to hide his good deeds. Once, he came to our office and someone offered him some biscuits, which he respectfully declined, but the person was persistent in asking him. After a few more times of turning him down, Taalay then quietly said that he was fasting so that the person would stop insisting. I heard him because I was sitting quite close to him, otherwise, he made sure to tell the person he was fasting in a low voice. This was his level of piety and humility.

“He was very passionate about sports. In our conversations, often football would come up and Talaay would tell me and my friends how to improve our game and what tactics we should be applying for the Fazl-e-Umar football team.

“He was a kind, humble, hardworking and pious soul and will be missed a lot.” 

Nooruddin Jahangeer, a colleague, said:

“One thing about Taalay which stands out to me ever since I got to know him was his tireless efforts in everything he did. If he was occupied in his work, he would be deeply delved into it and focused on the task at hand. If his mind was on sports, he would always be thinking about how best to involve everyone and to allow us all to enjoy participating. He brought a spirit of healthy competitiveness which would push us to achieve more.

“In short, I always saw him invest himself entirely in whatever he was doing so that it could be carried out in the best manner possible.” 

Rana Qasid Rahman, who worked closely with Syed Taalay Ahmad in Atfal-ul-Ahmadiyya UK, said:

“Unlike some of the other memories that Taalay’s family and closest friends will express, to all of whom I extend my most sincere condolences, I never realised that my encounters and moments with Taalay would become memories that I would cherish.

“Taalay was always someone who I could get hold of to ask him about anything and everything. I didn’t ask him much; however, I remember speaking to him as a young 15-year-old entrusted with Jamaat responsibilities that felt extremely overwhelming and so I simply asked him for advice: ‘How do I balance my education and these new responsibilities, as I simply cannot manage them together?’ I enquired. Taalay, who always had a way with words and putting people at ease, asked me one question in response. This one question will remain my most powerful memory of Taalay.

“He said to me, in a calm yet encouraging manner, ‘Has God ever failed you?’ to which I replied, ‘No, but I don’t want to fail my responsibilities to Him.’

“Then Taalay said, ‘So keep your head up and tackle everything from one Namaz (prayer) to the other Namaz. If you don’t have the strength to continue and want to stop, submit to God. If you can muster the courage to bow to him and then stand again, then nothing in this world will stop you from completing your responsibilities to God because He is the One giving you the power to continue.’

“Back then, these words were simply a short dose of motivation and inspiration; however, without knowing, Taalay’s words have allowed me to push beyond boundaries that were set by myself and others.

“A day after I heard of the sad news of Taalay’s passing, without realising, I was standing in the same mosque and in the exact same spot where I took Taalay’s advice and tested whether I could still continue by submitting in prayer. At that moment, in prayer, I had a sudden rush of emotions and remembered all of our discussions, debates and his guidance.

“Now, sitting at the end of my table typing up some of the memories of Taalay that I can share, I offer my salaam to him and will always be grateful for that message I never realised until today was so meaningful and impactful for my life.

“Taalay was the embodiment of a man who lived by his words; a man who honoured his own guidance and as a man who loved his Creator more than anything in this world. I know this because he said to me during a conversation, ‘If, one day, my legs give in while serving the Jamaat, don’t pick me up! I’m finally resting because I’ve achieved my goal.’” 

Asef Hadi, a colleague from MTA International, said:

“Growing up, I’ve heard countless narratives of martyrs in our Jamaat from beloved Huzoor, but I’ve never had the opportunity to spend time with and interact with any of those blessed souls before their demise. So naturally, I would always wonder what the personality of those martyrs may have been like when they were alive. What was special about them? These questions were always unanswered for me until I heard the news about Taalay.

“Suddenly, all my questions and thoughts were answered at once. Looking back now, Taalay’s character and personality perfectly fits the narratives we hear about martyrs. I can’t claim to have been one of his closest friends, but if you observed him closely, there was something about him I was always perplexed by. His dedication to his work always made him aloof to the world. At times, you would see him coming to MTA, shoes hardly on properly, rushing to meet his next deadline. It’s like he had no care in the world except for his service to the Jamaat. Despite his apparent detachment from the world, he was one of the most informed people I knew. It was as if he was always buzzing with new ideas and concepts.

“Whenever I think of him now, I think of his iconic high-pitched laughter. He was always smiling or cracking some sarcastic joke. Yet, when it came to his Jamaat work, he was more dedicated than most.

“Taalay managed to achieve more for MTA International in the last 7-8 years than I could ever imagine achieving in a lifetime! He was the rock of MTA News. He transformed the News department into a vibrant and lively Jamaat news channel. His documentaries still have the largest viewing figures on MTA Online. He understood the MTA audience better than anyone I know. Whilst I would try to cater for an external and internal audience with my documentaries and failed to grab the attention of either group, Taalay would solely focus on the Ahmadi audience and would always win their hearts.

“I guess his biggest legacy after his martyrdom is that he was the sole founder of This Week With Huzoor. Many might not know this, but in the beginning, like with all worthwhile ideas and projects, he struggled greatly to get the show on its feet. I, like many others in MTA, was sceptical of its success due to early production issues. But fast forward to the pandemic, look at the show now! This Week With Huzoor has been the life and soul of millions of Ahmadi Muslims around the world. It is one of the most successful shows in MTA and it was all down to the services rendered by Taalay. God blessed him greatly.

“Taalay was ever willing to help and suggest ways to improve someone else’s work. Taalay and I always had mutual respect for each other’s work. Being somewhat senior to him in age and time-served, he would always praise my work, way more than I ever deserved. Whenever he wished to see any projects I was working on, with the intention of seeing how I worked, I would happily show him my timeline. And whilst he may have thought he may learn something new by observing my editing or filming styles, I was secretly always learning from his feedback and observations. You could rely on him to give honest constructive feedback.

“Every time Taalay would release a new documentary, I would always be awestruck with his ability as a storyteller. His production skills in terms of camera work and editing weren’t always the best, but recently I was shocked at how great it had improved, almost overnight.

“To summarise, I finally understand what type of personalities Allah chooses as a martyr. I finally understand the verse in the Holy Quran that states that martyrs will never die but will always remain alive.” 

Zaafir Malik, a colleague, said:

“It is very hard to capture even a glimpse of Taalay Sahib’s qualities in a few lines. I am fortunate to have known him both in a work capacity and personally as well. As anyone who knows him will tell you, he was extremely dedicated and passionate about his faith, his beliefs and his work. This is plainly evident from the legacy he leaves behind.

“Away from the work-life, he was extremely passionate about football. We would spend hours discussing, arguing, laughing about the latest football transfers in the Premier League or which team would go on to win the league. I had the pleasure of sharing the same football pitch with him. His passion and dedication were the same on and off the pitch.

“The thing I remember most about him was his infectious smile and the jolly aura around him. If someone was down about anything, I can guarantee that a few minutes with Taalay would make them forget all their worries as he would leave you in hysterics.

“He never had a bad word to say about anyone. Even in sports, if someone criticised his performance, I saw that he would never react to it and was always ready to sacrifice everything for the sake of the team.

“Indeed, he was a true team player, a true friend. He has departed, but will not be forgotten. We are content with the will of God.” 

Mudabbir Ahmad Din, a colleague from MTA International, said:

“Taalay was a special individual with many praiseworthy attributes. I would like to mention only two here:

“The first is his humility. As we know, Taalay was a very skilled and accomplished documentarian. Enquire from anyone in this field and they will tell you the amount of time and effort required to produce a documentary – the mental capacity and intellect to form a storyboard, the patience and persistence behind a camera and the countless hours glued to a screen.

“When I would be assigned a project or documentary, I would, at times, approach Taalay for his advice and give examples of his work. It is no exaggeration that he would never take any credit for his effort and hard work. It was always attributed to the guidance of Khalifatul Masih.

“The second unique quality I would like to mention is that he would never hold a grudge. Apart from working in MTA together, we would also play football on a weekly basis. There is no hiding the fact that we both were very passionate about the sport. To say we were football fanatics would be an understatement. Even if the game was highly competitive and things got heated up, never had it been that Taalay ever held a grudge or would stay upset with me. The next day, we would be joking and laughing about the game in the MTA corridors and would already be looking forward to the following week.” 

100 Years Ago… – Ahmadiyya Jalsa in Kashmir: Speeches of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II

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Al Fazl, 5 September 1921

On 26-27 August [1921], a Jalsa of Ahmadis of Kashmir was held in Asnoor under the guidance of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II[ra]. The Ahmadis of Kashmir participated in it and representatives of Ahmadiyya jamaats came from far off places. The total number of participants was around 500. 

On 26 [August 1921], Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II[ra] delivered two lectures that spanned over four and a half hours. The next day, Huzoor[ra] gave another lecture which lasted for two hours. The details of the Jalsa are as follows:

The issues that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II[ra] paid special attention to, for the betterment of the people of the Kashmir region, were their excessive swearing, substance abuse and inappropriate clothing. The people [of Kashmir] have started quitting the said practices and similar bad habits.

The Jalsa took place in the apple orchard of Abdur Rahman Dar Sahib, which is a high, breezy and pleasant place. By the grace of Allah the Almighty, the weather remained clear in the said days [of Jalsa]. 

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On Friday, 26 August 1921, at nine o’clock in the morning, the first session began under the chairmanship of Maulana Hafiz Roshan Ali Sahib[ra]. The [Jalsa] commenced with a recitation of the Holy Quran by Hafiz Syed Mahmoodullah Shah Sahib. Then, Dr Hashmatullah Sahib delighted the audience with a poem of the Promised Messiahas. Mirza Gul Muhammad Sahib then recited a poem of Sahibzada Mirza Sharif Ahmad Sahib[ra]. Thereafter, Maulana Hafiz Roshan Ali Sahib[ra] started his speech. The following is a summary [of his speech]:

In a hadith, the Holy Prophetsa said that there is a part in the human body if it becomes good [reformed] the whole body becomes good but if it gets bad [corrupt] the whole body gets bad and that is the heart. Thus, most of one’s attention should be on purity and chastity of heart. As the purpose of sending prophets by Allah the Almighty is the reformation of human beings, the prophets also pay attention to the heart. Moreover, the revelation that is given to the prophets also descends on the heart, as in the Holy Quran, Allah the Almighty says:

وَ‭ ‬اِنَّهٗ‭ ‬لَتَنۡزِيۡلُ‭ ‬رَبِّ‭ ‬الۡعٰلَمِيۡنَ۔‭ ‬نَزَلَ‭ ‬بِهِ‭ ‬الرُّوۡحُ‭ ‬الۡاَمِيۡنُ۔‭ ‬عَلٰي‭ ‬قَلۡبِكَ‭ ‬لِتَكُوۡنَ‭ ‬مِنَ‭ ‬الۡمُنۡذِرِيۡنَ

[“And verily this is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds. The Spirit, Faithful to the Trust, has descended with it, on thy heart, that thou mayest be of the warners.” (Surah al-Shuara, Ch.26: V.193-195)]

Generally, some people are not reformed even if they practice one religion or another. The reason behind this is that they are not anxious to purify their hearts. Religion has three parts and all three of them are necessary for reformation – namely beliefs, practices and morals. The reformation of beliefs is the most important part because without it there can be no reformation in practices and morals. Actions without beliefs are mere rituals and they are not accepted. The religion of Islam has six beliefs, i.e. belief in the Oneness of God, belief in the angels, belief in the books of Allah, belief in all the prophets, belief in the Day of Judgment and belief in divine decree. He then briefly explained these beliefs. 

Hafiz Sahib was delivering the speech when Hazrat Khalifatul Masih came. Therefore, Hafiz Sahib stopped his speech. Then, the speech of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II[ra] started at 10:30 am and ended at 12:30 pm. The number of listeners was around 500. Thereafter, around two hours were spent on the preparation of food and getting ready for Jumuah.

The Friday sermon started at 2:30 pm. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II[ra] briefly advised the Jamaat on unity and harmony in accordance with the meaning of the word “Jumuah.” The Asr prayer was combined with the Friday prayer.

Before the proceedings of Jalsa [resumed], Hafiz Sahib, an elderly blind man from Mazgam, a village two miles away from this place, who had been here for two days, got up, shook hands with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II[ra] and said in a loud voice, “You are truthful and your followers are truthful, so consider that I have taken your bai‘at.” Some friends explained to him that he should take bai‘at by saying the words [of bai‘at], but he insisted, “When I have put my hand on the hand of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih and said that he is truthful, then my bai‘at had taken place.”

The second session began at about 3:30 in the evening. Sahibzada Mirza Sharif Ahmad Sahib[ra] recited the Holy Quran and Mirza Gul Muhammad Sahib recited the poem. After this, the speech of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II[ra] started at 3:45 pm and Huzoor[ra] continued to speak on internal disputes of the Jamaat for two and a half hours. In it, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih explained that all the differences began with personal enmities. After the speech, Maulvi Muhammad Abdullah Sahib, a Kashmiri lawyer, asked permission to present some questions on the issue of prophethood. After permission was granted, Maulvi Sahib asked three questions which were replied to by Huzoor[ra]. I will also send this dialogue along with the [transcript of] speeches, insha-Allah

The next day, on Saturday, the session began at around nine o’clock. Maulana Hafiz Roshan Ali Sahib[ra] recited the Holy Quran. Mian Nasir Ahmad Sahib[ra] recited a ruku of the Holy Quran and then Mian Mansoor Ahmad Sahib, son of Hazrat Mirza Sharif Ahmad Sahib[ra] recited a poem of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II. 

Then, Neik Muhammad Khan Sahib recited a Persian poem of the Promised Messiahas. Ghulam Rasool Sahib Kashmiri and Ghulam Ahmad Sahib, son of Abdul Rahman Sahib Dar also recited poems. Hafiz Sahib then gave a short and interesting speech on ghair mubai‘een [those who refused to take bai‘at of the second Khalifa].

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II’s[ra] speech started at 10:15 am and for two hours he drew the attention of the Jamaat towards internal reformation and management. Then, after a silent prayer, the Jalsa successfully came to an end. A few friends took bai‘at after it and four people joined the Ahmadiyya Jamaat.

At around two o’clock, Zuhr and Asr prayers were combined and most of the guests left. 

Huzoor[ra] conversed [with the remaining people] for a long time. Before evening, Maulvi Ghulam Rasul Sahib, a resident of Zora village, located near Shopian, took bai‘at of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih. By the grace of Allah the Almighty, Huzoor[ra] remained in good health.

On this occasion, the mention of the passion and sincerity of the Ahmadis of Kashmir will not be less interesting. Most of the friends had come from far off places and some had travelled several days to participate. Moreover, the courage of the Ahmadis of Asnoor area is also commendable who left no stone unturned in making arrangements for the Jalsa and serving the guests. 

May Allah the Almighty grant them all the best of rewards and help them to greatly excel in good deeds. Amin!

Yours humbly, Taqiuddin Ahmad, Asnoor

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original in the 5 September 1921 issue of Al Fazl)