Book Fair Slovenia

Talha Ahmad, Missionary Slovenia

The Slovenian Book Days (Slovenski dnevi knjige) is an event that takes places every year in April across the country. The Slovenian Book Days is a traditional festival in Slovenia, each year attracting many publishing houses and thousands of visitors. 

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Slovenia Jamaat Book Stall | AMJ Slovenia

The annual event is organised by the Slovenian Writers Association and manifests a nationwide feast of books by promoting Slovenian literature. 

The event allowed various publishers to showcase and demonstrate their products to a wide range of visitors from all over the country. There were various book fairs, exhibitions, lectures, debates, presentations of new books and shows for children. 

This year Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Slovenia took part in the book fair in Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia on 18-22 April and on 23-26 April in the country’s second largest city, Maribor.

Prior to the event, several people and news websites expressed their displeasure against the event and against the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat’s participation in the book fair. Despite the opposition, the Jamaat took part in the event and received a lot of support, including from the organisers. It led a lot of visitors anxiously to our book stall to discuss Islam. These discussions turned out to be very fruitful as a lot of visitors openly expressed their changed and positive view of Islam.

This year’s book fair served as a perfect platform for Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Slovenia to spread the true message of Islam. Eventually, the event came to an end and, with the Grace of Allah, proved yet again to be a blessed and successful event. 

World Crisis and the Pathway to Peace

Author: Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa

Islam International Publications Ltd. 

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Fazal Malik & Farhan Khokhar, Canada

World Crisis and the Pathway to Peace is a compendium of a series of lectures given by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V – Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa.  The book also comprises of personal letters written by Huzooraa to many world leaders. 

The lectures were delivered at various locations of significant importance, such as the British Parliament, German Military Headquarters in Koblenz, Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. and the European Parliament. 

The letters were written to various world leaders at the time, such as President of United States Barack Obama, Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper and UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

The central theme of the book is world peace and how it can be attained.  The letters serve as a reminder that it is the responsibility of world leaders to set an example by creating a pathway that can lead to peace. The lectures and letters convey that at the heart of attaining world peace are two very important values: establishing absolute justice and promoting loyalty to the nation.

The failure of organisations such as League of Nations and the United Nations has resulted in two major world wars and countless wars ranging on every continent. Despite relentless well-intentioned efforts, peace has eluded humans. The book provides an excellent discourse on the reasons for this failure.  

One recurring theme is the institutional discrimination, which is directly responsible for the destruction of peace. The Holy Quran teaches that our ethnicities exist for the purpose of identifying one another. They are not means to entitle anyone to claim superiority over another. The Holy Prophetsa emphasised this point in his Farewell Sermon, reminding us that no Arab is superior to a non-Arab nor is a white person superior to a black person. Speaking at Capitol Hill, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa says, “…it is also made clear [in Islam] that all people should be granted equal rights without any discrimination or prejudice. This is the key and golden principle that lays the foundation for harmony between different groups and nations for the establishment of peace.”

Blatant disregard of another nations’ territory and rights of its people is only a symptom of the main problem. No country today is following the basic guidelines of justice that can lead towards a pathway to peace in the world.

The basis for the guidelines to be followed, to achieve world peace are the gems parted throughout the book:

  • No country should attempt to acquire another country’s wealth or natural resources
  • The military should serve as peacekeepers and not the front-line offensive used to fulfil the vested interest of a country in acquiring resources of another country
  • It is the duty of all nations to keep a balance in their region. If a transgressing nation refuses to give rights to its citizens, then the more stable and powerful nations must extend any help and use any and all diplomatic measures before using military force
  • Once a transgressing nation has been subdued by other military powers, no revenge and no imposition of restrictions (for example, undue economic sanctions) should be placed on them. Instead, they should be assisted to return to normal
  • Every effort should be made to give the poorer nations their due status

In addition to the principles that nations must adhere to in order to establish peace in their nations as well as in the world, two very interesting lectures encourage the reader to reflect upon themselves and the rights of their fellow citizens.

Loyalty to the nation that a person resides in is of key importance in Islam. “How can an individual citizen stop his own country from cruelty and injustice?” asks Huzooraa in a lecture delivered in Hamburg, Germany.  Through non-violent means, is the simple answer. “If a just minded citizen sees that his government is acting in an oppressive way, then he should raise his voice in opposition and see to guide his country to the right path.”

There is a general fallacy that Muslims are loyal only to their faith and hence cannot be loyal to the nation they live in. This is a great fallacy because “according to the teachings of Islam, the definition and true meaning of ‘loyalty’ is the unequivocal fulfillment of one’s pledges and covenants.” The Holy Prophetsa of Islam has taught us that “Love of one’s nation is part of your faith,” therefore to “truly love God and Islam requires a person to love his nation.”

The book is full of sincere advice that serves as a beacon in a dark and stormy night; a lighthouse on the edge of a rocky cliff.  Sifting through the pages, the reader will realise that the advice given in the book can only come from a person whose heart yearns for the betterment of his fellow humans; the author clearly desires to save humanity from the destruction it is heading towards at an unprecedented speed.

Economic instability, political intrigues, uprisings and revolts have become common events in the developing nations. Religious extremism, injustice, and poverty are burning down the last remnants of any peace that may have existed among the people of these nations. Given the instability caused by these conditions among billions of humans, how can peace prevail? Some ways that we learnt from the lectures and letters presented in the book to achieve peace can be summarised in three points:

1. Loyalty to the nation is one of the greatest human values.  The people who have excelled in this quality are the Prophets of God

2. World peace is not as elusive as people believe, however, it requires that nations practice the principles of absolute justice and disregard greed

3. Be compassionate and sympathetic towards your fellow humans, be they your neighbours or nation. Help those who need help, without any expectation of material gains

While the guidance is from a religious leader and is based on religious teachings, the book should not be mistaken for a pathway to be followed by the religiously inclined only. The principles mentioned by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa are universal. 

Since the late 19th century, world leaders have tried every conceivable approach to create a world full of peace. However two world wars, a cold war and numerous ongoing military conflicts represent failure of these principles. Huzooraa has presented an approach to the world leaders that has not been tried, to date. Each day that passes without sincere efforts in implementation of this precious guidance, is another day where we witness humanity barrelling towards the nuclear abyss. The stakes are high; may Allah enable world leaders to heed the call of the Khalifa.

27 April – 3 May

27 April: In 1908, the Promised Messiahas departed on his final journey, to Lahore. From Qadian, the entourage reached Batala, but due to the unavailability of Reserved Rail Carriage, they had to spend the night in Batala.

28 April: In 1888, the Promised Messiahas wrote a reply to the letter of Maulvi Imamuddin Sahib of Montgomery (present-day Sahiwal) rebutting his view concerning heavenly books. This Maulvi Sahib was of the notion that heavenly books still needed to be practiced, even after the revelation of Holy Quran.

28 April: A much-loved companion of the Promised Messiahas, Hazrat Mirza Ayub Baigra succumbed to his prolonged ailment and passed away in 1900.

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Hazrat Mirza Ayub Baigra

29 April: In 1889, the Promised Messiahas permitted Hazrat Maulvi Abul Kher Abdullah Sahib to, on his behalf, accept written Bai‘ats (pledges of obedience) from those wishing to join the fold of Ahmadiyyat.

29 April: In 1904, the Promised Messiahas received the revelation: 

“Korea Khatarnak Halat Mein Hei; Mashriqi Taqat”

[Korea is in dangerous situation. Eastern Power]

The Editor of Al Hakam (Urdu) wrote, “When the war started between Japan and Russia, and Japan had not yet achieved any significant victory, the Promised Messiahas received the above-mentioned revelation. Many members of our Jamaat, especially those who live in Qadian, know about this revelation. Regretfully I failed to publish this earlier. I am recording it now because I feel that this new Eastern Power has a special relevance to the Ahmadiyya Jamaat.” 

Maulana Abdul Latif Bahawalpuri wrote, “Before the war between Russia and Japan, Korea was under the control of Russia. This war was concluded with a peace treaty on May 27-28 1905. The first clause in the treaty was that Japan would have complete sovereignty over Korea. Thus, with the victory of the Eastern Power (Japan) and defeat of Korea, this prophecy of the Promised Messiahas was clearly fulfilled. It should be noted that the prophecies have multiple fulfillments.”

29 April: In 1908, the Promised Messiahas reached Lahore from Batala. He stayed in the Ahmadiyya Buildings, where he had numerous meetings and continuous engagements in the days to come. 

29 April: Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IVrt migrated from Pakistan to London in 1984.

2 May: In 1898, it was Eid in Qadian. Eid Prayer was offered in eastern part, in a plain under a banyan tree. In his sermon, the Promised Messiahas clearly foretold the bubonic plague. 

2 May: Ghulam Yasin visited Qadian in 1905. He was the elder brother of prominent scholar and politician Abul Kalam Azad. 

2 May: In Lahore, the Promised Messiahas received Shahzada Sultan Ibrahim and Muhammad Ali Ja‘fri, Vice Principal Islamia College, Lahore. It is worth mentioning here that the former was among the heirs of Ahmad Shah Abdali. 

3 May: In 1918, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud’sra ailment turned critical and on medical grounds, doctors asked him to travel to Bombay (present day Indian port city Mumbai).

3 May: In the early hours in 1905, the Promised Messiahas was shown in writing in a dream: 

“Aah, Nader Shah Kahan Gaya”

[Alas; where has Nader Shah disappeared]

On this, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra wrote, “This prophecy was fulfilled when in 1929, by the decree of Allah the Almighty, Amir Amanullah Khan, King of Afghanistan, was deposed by Habibullah Khan, commonly known as Bacha Saqa. The Afghans called Nader Khan, who was then in France, for assistance. Nader Khan came, and Bacha Saqa was arrested and killed by him. Nader Khan ascended the throne of Afghanistan. He dropped his traditional and national title of Khan and was called ‘Nader Shah.’ Later, on 8 November 1933 a man named Abdul-Khaliq killed Nader Shah in a large crowd in broad day light. The untimely and sudden death of Nader Shah prompted many Afghans and others in the world to say: ‘Alas, where has Nader Shah disappeared.’”

Thailand Book Fair

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Thailand’s 46th National Book Fair and 16th Bangkok International Book Fair 2018

Uung Kurnia, Thailand

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The Book Fair was officially inaugurated by Her Royal Highness, Princess Sirindhorn on 29 March at Queen Sirikit Convention Hall Bangkok. The Book Fair ran from 29 March to 8 April and was open for the public.

Along with a number of books, Ahmadiyya Muslim Association Thailand displayed a wide collection of translations of the Holy Quran published by the Jamaat.

The true message of Islam was also conveyed with the help of roll-up banners, pamphlets, videos and one-on-one interaction throughout the fair. Visitors showed great interest in understanding Islam and asked questions on contemporary issues, which were answered by a team of Ahmadi Muslim volunteers. 

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The book World Crisis and Pathway to Peace – a collection of speeches delivered by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadas was offered to the visitors. Visitors also showed interest in certain books of the Promised Messiahas

Other books that were show-cased covered subjects such as science, world peace, socio-economic peace, interfaith harmony and cooperation, true concept of Jihad, universality of prophethood, justice and women in Islam. 

It is estimated that the message of Islam Ahmadiyya reached thousands people in Thailand during the ten days. 

Those Who God Helps

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Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad a.s.

He is wonderfully Omnipotent and marvellous are His holy powers. While, on the one hand, He allows ignorant opponents to attack His friends like dogs, on the other hand He commands the angels to serve them. In the same way, when His wrath comes upon the world and His anger surges against the wrongdoers, God watches over and protects His chosen ones. Were it not so, the entire mission of the people of God would end in disarray and no one would be able to recognise them. His powers are infinite, but they are revealed to people in proportion to their belief. Those who are blessed with certainty and love, and sever all ties for Him, and have broken free from selfish habits, it is for their sake that miracles are shown. God does what He wills, but He chooses to demonstrate His miraculous powers only to those who break from their ill habits for His sake. In this day and age there are very few people who know Him and believe in His extraordinary powers.

(Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad a.s., Noah’s Ark, p. 4)

Men of Excellence

Friday Sermon

30 March 2018

Men of Excellence

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After reciting the Tashahud, Ta’awuz and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:

Hazrat Jabir bin Abdullah was a companion of the Holy Prophetsa. He was the son of Hazrat Abdullah bin Amr bin Haram. Abdullah bin Amr bin Haram was the same companion about whom I narrated in a Friday sermon a few weeks ago that upon his martyrdom the Holy Prophetsa stated, “God Almighty asked him what his wish was, so He may fulfil it?” He replied, “O Allah! My wish is to be granted life again and to be returned to the world, so that I may attain martyrdom again for Your cause.” Since this was against the established practice of God Almighty, He said, “I cannot do this, for the dead cannot be returned to the world.” (Sunan Al-Tirmidhi, Abwab Tafseer-ul-Quran, Hadith No. 3010) 

“Tell me if there is anything else.” Nevertheless, this narration highlights his standard of sacrifice and his exceptional treatment by God Almighty. 

Hazrat Jabir bin Abdullah was the son of a great companion. He had performed Bai‘at [Oath of Initiation] at the occasion of the Second Pledge of al-Aqabah, when he was a young child. (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 1, p. 492, Dar-ul-Ilmiyya, Beirut 1996).

With regards to the narrations about Hazrat Abdullah bin Amr bin Haram, it is mentioned that he said to his son, “For the debt, which I owe to one of the Jews, you should sell the fruits from the orchard and return it to him upon my martyrdom.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Kitabul Janaiz, Hadith No. 1351) Thus, in line with this narration, he paid it back accordingly.

Moreover, it was the custom in those days that people would borrow money against the assurance to pay it back through the potential yield of orchards and crops. Thus, Hazrat Jabir also used to borrow money in order to cover his expenses. 

We find one detailed narration regarding how he once said to a Jewish man at the time of paying back his debt, that since the profit from the orchard had been poor or that it was expected to be low due to a poor yield that year, thus, he should be lenient regarding paying back the debt. He should take some of it now and the rest in the coming years. However, the Jewish man was not ready to grant any respite. 

During these difficult circumstances, Hazrat Abdullah bin Jabir went to see the Holy Prophetsa or the Holy Prophetsa found out about it himself. The Holy Prophetsa appealed to the Jewish man, but he did not agree. The narration then recounts how the Holy Prophetsa showed kindness to this companion with regards to paying off his debt and prayed for him and also how God Almighty bestowed His grace upon him.

I would like to point out that some people are of the opinion that this narration is in connection with the aforementioned narration in which it was said that Hazrat Abdullah bin Amr, the father of Hazrat Jabir, advised his son to pay back the debt that he owed.  Nonetheless, as I mentioned earlier that the yield was poor and it was difficult to pay back that debt and this was brought to the attention of the Holy Prophetsa

However, the narration found in Sahih Al-Bukhari indicates that this particular incident occurred much later. Nevertheless, whatever the case may be, it illustrates the kindness of the Holy Prophetsa towards his companions and shows the miraculous nature of his prayers. 

Hazrat Jabir bin Abdullah narrates, “There was a Jewish man residing in Medina who used to loan me some money until my orchard of dates had produced the next yield. This land of mine was situated on the way to a well, named Roma. Once, a whole year had passed but it bore little fruit and even they were not fully ripe. During the harvest season, the Jewish man, as was his custom, came to acquire repayment of the loan taken from him. However, I had not harvested any fruit that year.” He further says, “I requested respite from him for another year, but he refused. He intended that perhaps in this way the entire orchard would fall into his possession. When the Holy Prophetsa was informed about this incident, he said to his companions, ‘Let us go to request respite from the Jewish man on behalf of Jabir.’” 

He then says, “The Holy Prophetsa along with a few companions, entered my orchard and spoke to the Jewish man. However, he said ‘O Abu Qasim! I will not give him any respite.’ He addressed the Holy Prophetsa in this manner. Observing this conduct of the Jewish man, the Holy Prophetsa walked around the date palms once and again spoke to him. However, he refused again. During this time, I took some dates from the garden and presented them to the Holy Prophetsa, which he ate. Following this, he said ‘Jabir, where is the canopy (where one takes rest), which is commonly found in orchards?’ I informed the Holy Prophetsa of its location, upon which he said, ‘Lay down a mat for me there so that I may rest for a short while.’” 

He then continues the narration, “I acted in accordance with this guidance. The Holy Prophetsa fell asleep. When he woke up, I once again brought him a handful of dates, from which he ate a few. He then stood up and spoke to the Jewish man once again. Yet, he still refused. The Holy Prophetsa walked around the garden again and said to me, ‘Jabir, harvest the dates and pay off the loan taken from the Jewish man’. I started to harvest the fruit and in the meantime, the Holy Prophetsa stood among the date palms. I harvested the fruit and repaid the entire loan taken from the Jewish man, yet even then some dates were left over. I informed the Holy Prophetsa of this good news to which he replied, ‘I bear witness that I am the Messenger of Allah.’” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Kitabul At’amah, Hadith No. 5443).

(This miraculous event transpired because God Almighty hears my prayers and blesses my endeavours.)

Thus, from this incident where we observe the kindness and the acceptance of the prayers of the Holy Prophetsa – as a result of which the fruit was blessed – at the same time we also witness the eagerness of the companions in relation to paying off their debts. This spirit should be the distinctive characteristic of a true believer. At times, we see in our society that despite calling ourselves Ahmadis, we do not pay any heed towards this and prolong the matter of paying off debts. Sometimes years pass by in which the lawsuits are ongoing. Therefore we should always be mindful of this and also remember the words of the Promised Messiahas where he stated that having taken the oath of allegiance with him, one should adopt and follow the examples of the companions. Only then can that beautiful society be established, which was destined following the advent of the Mahdi and the Messiah. (Malfuzat, Vol. 7, p. 413)

There is another narration by Hazrat Jabir in relation to the importance of paying off debts. However before I relate this, I will mention another incident. In some narrations it is stated that when Hazrat Umarra learnt that the debt had been paid off, he also arrived at the same place. The Holy Prophetsa said to Hazrat Umarra to ask Hazrat Jabir about the incident that had just occurred. Hazrat Umarra replied, “There is no need for me to ask. The reason for this is that when you walked around the garden once, I was certain that his entire debt would now be paid off. Furthermore, when you walked around the second time, this certainty grew even stronger.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Kitabul Istiqraaz, Hadith No. 2396)

As I mentioned previously, an account in relation to the importance of paying off debts is narrated by Hazrat Jabir. Once, a companion passed away in a state whilst he was in debt of two Dinar and the Holy Prophetsa refused to personally offer his funeral prayer. Upon hearing this, another companion took the responsibility of paying off his debt, as a result of which the Holy Prophetsa led his funeral prayer. The following day, the Holy Prophetsa enquired from the companion who took this responsibility upon himself whether or not he had paid off the debt of two Dinar. (Masnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 5, pp. 104-105). Thus, this is the importance of paying off debts and the concern one should show in this regard. 

There is another narration by Hazrat Jabir in which the Holy Prophetsa stated, “Whatever a believer leaves in terms of wealth and property, it is inherited by his family and relatives. Moreover, if he leaves behind a debt and his property and the wealth he leaves behind are not sufficient in order to pay off the debt, or in the case that he leaves behind children without any means of support, his orphaned children and the payment of the debt will be taken care of.” (Sahih Muslim, Kitabul Jumuah, Hadith No. 2005) 

In other words, the government and those in authority will take the responsibility for this. The upbringing of orphans and making arrangements for their expenditures have greatly been emphasised in the Holy Quran. Hence, for this very reason the Holy Prophetsa said that this is the responsibility of the government. 

It seems as if these are two separate narrations. On the one hand, the Holy Prophetsa refused to offer the funeral prayer of a person who was in debt of two Dinars but on the other hand, he said that it is the responsibility of the government. These are referring to two different occasions. The first incident highlights the importance of debts to those that take loans unnecessarily and also urges their relatives and those left behind to take the responsibility of paying off their debts. 

In the second account, the Muslim government has been made responsible for the upbringing of orphaned children and if the property left behind by the deceased person does not suffice in order to pay off the loan, the government should take the responsibility for its payment. This is the guidance by the Holy Prophetsa as to how Muslim governments, should care for its citizens. It is a great misfortune that within Muslim countries, the rights of their citizens are mostly usurped. 

There is another account in relation to the kindness of the Holy Prophetsa towards Hazrat Jabir. The person relating the account says, “I approached Hazrat Jabir bin Abdullah and said to him to narrate whatever he had heard from the Holy Prophetsa. Hazrat Jabir replied, ‘I was once accompanying the Holy Prophetsa on a journey.’” The narrator says that he was unaware whether this journey was in relation to a battle or Umrah [non-mandatory, lesser form of pilgrimage]. “Nevertheless, when we returned to Medina, the Holy Prophetsa said that whoever wished to return to his family sooner may do so.” Hazrat Jabir said, “Upon hearing this, we quickly departed. I was riding on one of my camels, which was khaki in colour without any marks. People were following behind me. I was riding ahead when all of a sudden, the camel came to a complete halt and despite my efforts, refused to move any further. The Holy Prophetsa saw this and said to me, ‘O Jabir! Sit firmly on the camel’. Following this, the Holy Prophetsa tapped the camel with his stick, as a result of which the camel jumped from its place and started to walk briskly. The Holy Prophetsa asked, ‘Are you willing to sell this camel?’ I replied ‘Yes, I am willing to sell it.’ When we reached Medina, the Holy Prophetsa entered the mosque with several of his companions. I also went with him and tied the camel in a corner on the stoned floor in front of the mosque. I said to the Holy Prophetsa, ‘Here is your camel.’ The Holy Prophetsa came outside and walked around the camel. The Holy Prophetsa then said, ‘This camel now belongs to us.’ The Holy Prophetsa then sent several gold coins and stated, ‘Give this to Jabir.’ He then said, ‘Have you received the payment in full?’ I responded, ‘Yes, I have received it.’ The Prophetsa said, ‘This payment and the camel is yours.’” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Kitabul Jihad, Hadith No. 2861) Very affectionately, the Holy Prophetsa returned the camel and paid for it as well.

One possible reason for this could be that according to one narration that camel was used to transport water and Hazrat Jabir’s uncles and relatives would also use it for that purpose. So perhaps they had objected as to why it was sold and how would they now transport the water. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Kitabul Jihad, Hadith No. 2967). Nevertheless, such was the affection of the Holy Prophetsa towards his Companions and the children of those Companions who offered great sacrifices. 

May Allah Almighty elevate the status of these Companions. I often share various incidents such as these; may He enable us to continue in their virtues and apply them in our own lives. 

After this short sermon, I shall now speak about two sincere individuals [of the Jamaat]. First is Respected Bilal Adalbi Sahib from Syria. He sustained severe injuries as a result of a car accident a few days ago. He passed away on 17 March 2018 at 1:30am due to heart failure – “Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return”.

Bilal Sahib was born in 1978. When the deceased was 17 years old, an Ahmadi friend found him work with Dr Mousallam Aldroubi Sahib’s company. There he was introduced to the Jama’at and Ahmadis and took the Bai’at a short while thereafter. Doctor Sahib says, “Since 2010, we have been performing prayers in different Ahmadi homes in Syria. This year after returning from Qadian, I began to offer prayers with the group that would go to Bilal Sahib’s house for prayers. Bilal Sahib welcomed me very warmly due to the fact that he had accepted Ahmadiyyat through me. Hospitality was among his characteristics, but he was especially grateful to me and would say, ‘I found the way to Ahmadiyyat through you,’ and he would always extend great kindness to me.” 

The Local President writes about him, “Bilal Sahib owned a shop that sold sports garments. He would assist all those in need by donating clothes, even to the extent that if he did not have any clothes in his shop, he would purchase them from elsewhere and provide for them. He was a man of great honour and could not bear seeing any Ahmadis in a state whereby they did not have anything to wear. If he noticed anyone experiencing hardship, he would strive to cater for all their needs. He would take great care of his children and enrolled them in the best schools.” 

He further says, “We were offering prayers at his home two days prior to his demise. The finance secretary informed us that Bilal Sahib had paid all due payments towards Wasiyat, Tehrik-e-Jadid and Waqf-e-Jadid. In fact, he had purchased a new piece of land which he also included in his Wasiyat.  He regularly paid his chanda [obligatory contribution] and kept a record of it. He served others, was regular in his observance of prayers and worship. He had a deep attachment with Khilafat and would listen to every sermon.”

Furthermore, the Local President writes, “When I used to present the summary of the Friday Sermon the following week, he would be weeping whilst covering his face and would always say that it seemed as if the Khalifa of the time was talking about him or he was talking directly to him.”

He leaves behind an eleven-year-old son and a twelve-year-old daughter. His elder brother is an Ahmadi and lives in Germany, but his other two brothers and a sister are not Ahmadis and therefore, he faced a lot of opposition from them. However, God Almighty influenced them in such a way that at the time of the funeral prayer, his brother said, “You Ahmadis can offer the funeral prayer and you can offer it inside our mosque – there is no restriction.” He [the Local President] states. “Thus, by the grace of God Almighty many people offered his funeral prayer behind us.” 

The second person who I shall mention about is Salima Mir Sahiba, the former President of Lajna Imaillah Karachi. She was the wife of Abdul Qader Dar Sahib. She also passed away on 17 March 2018 at the age of 90. Her father was a companion [of the Promised Messiahas], Mir Ilahi Bakhsh Sahib from Sheikhupura, Gujrat. He performed the Bai’at in 1904. Her mother, Mariam Begum Sahiba was educated from Madrasatul Khawatin, Qadian. She had great passion for the study of the Holy Quran. 

Salima Mir Sahiba got married in 1946 and after the partition of the Subcontinent, she moved to Karachi. In 1961 they moved to Iran where there were a few Ahmadi households and they made arrangements for the Friday prayer and other gatherings. Her husband passed away in 1964 and she returned to Karachi and stayed with her brother, Mir Amanullah Sahib. While bringing up eight children, she also continued to pursue her studies and completed her studies up to Bachelor level. Alongside this, she started to work in the Lajna office. She started working by replying to letters and then served in various other roles for the Lajna in Karachi. 

In 1981 when the Muntazima Committee was formed, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh appointed her as President of the Committee. Regarding this she said, “When Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh announced my appointment as President of the Committee, I was left in a state of complete shock as to how I would be able to fulfil this responsibility. On the one hand there was the obedience to the Imam, but on the other hand I had the realisation of being unworthy for this and also my inexperience to undertake such a huge task. I began to fervently pray to God Almighty. However, I started the work and quickly organised the meetings with Majlis Amila [Executive Committee] and began visiting the local Jamaats. I spoke to them all about the importance of obedience and attachment with the Nizam, [administrative system of Jamaat], adopting true Islamic morals, to strive against harmful innovations and to completely refrain from levelling allegations.” 

Some people have the habit – especially women, but even men now are guilty of this – of raising unnecessary allegations against the Nizam. However, she said that no kind of allegations should be made in their Majlis. She also reminded them to remain profusely engaged in seeking forgiveness. She would also write letters to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh. She states, “God Almighty’s blessing were such that the Lajna of Karachi began to progress.”

She started her work for Lajna in 1961 from Iran and then Pakistan. In 1986 when Lajna Karachi were re-joined with the central Lajna, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh appointed her as President of the Lajna for Karachi. She served as President for Lajna Karachi from 1986 to 1997. During her tenure, a lot of work was done in regards to publication of books and during her time as President, 60 books and two magazines were published. Classes were initiated for Da‘in Ilallah [preaching about faith] were started. Upon this Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh expressed great happiness and stated, “By the grace of God Almighty, you are doing an excellent job and my heartfelt prayers are with you. May God Almighty bless you with long-life, health and happiness. And may He greatly reward you and your helpers, in this world and the next.” 

There are many accounts in regards to her work and Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh and Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh greatly admired her work. In one letter, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh wrote: 

“I received your report for Lajna Karachi along with your sentiments of great devotion. I honour your expression of devotion and sincerity from the core of my heart. I am always praying to God Almighty for your success. May He cause those days to return with even greater glory, the memories of which are very dear to me.” 

Salima Mir Sahiba became a widow at the age of 36. Her daughter says that she never heard any kind of words of impatience and ungratefulness expressed by her. She would remain grateful to God Almighty in all circumstances. She would always think positively and also wanted to see this in her children. Her daughter says, “My husband fell ill and it was a terminal illness. My mother, Salima Mir Sahiba was with me and the first thing she gave me was a copy of the Promised Messiah’s sayings, Malfuzat. She then said, ‘After your father passed away, I have spent my life with this Malfuzat and left everything with God.’ She would also say that the love of God should be superior over all other relationships of love.” 

Her daughter further says, “When my husband was nearing his last moments, the doctors asked me to sign [paperwork] but I could not control myself and began to cry and whilst crying my voice became louder. My mother also heard this and at the time I was extremely distressed.” 

Salima Mir Sahiba was also sitting there as the husband of her daughter was nearing his death. The daughter was extremely distressed due to this. She says, “When I was about to leave the hospital, I went to my mother, Salima Mir Sahiba, and in a very strong tone she said, ‘You are my daughter and my daughter cannot show such impatience. So why did such a loud cry come from you?’ She then said that the patience displayed at the very first instance is true patience because everyone displays patience thereafter.” 

Her daughter further states that she then told her, “Your husband belongs to God. He is the one Who gave him to you and He is the One Who has taken him back.”  

After having four daughters she gave birth to her first son, but a short while later he passed away. She would say with great forbearance that he was the trust of God and now He had taken him back. She would pray all the time. Her children said that she would always give this advice in Punjabi, “Never detach yourselves from the Khalifa and always hold fast to the institution of Khilafat”. She would pay great attention to observing purdah [veil]. Wherever she would see a shortcoming in terms of purdah, she would explain in a wonderful manner that others would not be offended. 

One of her daughters says, “My younger sister received a marriage proposal. However, the suitor said that he wished to see the girl before they began discussions. We told our mother to permit her to wear a headscarf, instead of the niqab when going before him.” The proposal was for her daughter and so she immediately replied, “Whether or not this marriage takes place, she will not go without the niqab.” 

One of her daughters had a driving test in London in which it was conducted by a male instructor. Due to this, Salima Sahiba sat with her saying that she would not allow her to go alone with a man. People mocked her for this, however, she did not pay any attention to what they said. 

She would always encourage others to wear the headscarf or the niqab. There is a book published by Lajna titled, “Aurhney Valiyon Keliye Phool” [flowers for those who cover themselves] which contains all the instructions of the Khulafa. So she would say that if you wish to buy a flower then you must also buy an Aurhni [a garment used to cover oneself]. The flower is for the one who covers up. 

One of her granddaughters says, “When I was about to get married, my grandmother handed me the book of Hazrat Nawab Mubaraka Begum Sahiba, underlining the advice regarding the Rukhsati [ritual of formal departure of the bride from her parents’ home to the bridegroom’s] and told me to read it again and again.”

She further states, “My grandmother did not like unmarried women attending any function that ran late into the night. During our college days whenever there was a function at a friend’s house, she would also come along.” Nowadays many girls write to me saying they wish to spend the night [at their friend’s house]. This is absolutely wrong and our young women should avoid doing so. 

She further states, “If ever we missed the Fajr prayer, our grandmother would not speak to us the whole day and this was her biggest punishment for us. 

“On one occasion she travelled to Chicago for a function. One of the ladies turned on some music and stood up in a manner as if she was about to dance. She approached her from behind, held her and said, ‘Turn the music off! Do you not know what is said about those women who dance?’” 

She brought up a young Christian girl and taught her prayers, various moral codes, in fact she would say, “I have become half Ahmadi.” 

Amatul Bari Nasir Sahiba says,

“God Almighty enabled sister Salima Mir Sahiba to serve Lajna Karachi for a very long time. Though she no longer remains in this world but those who have been trained by her and are serving Lajna in various parts of the world will keep her name and works alive. Her name can now be associated as a model of doing excellent work. She would carefully oversee the work and also teach them how to do the work. She was not concerned about her own name being praised, rather she wanted those working with her to be trained in how to carry out their work. She greatly encouraged her team when they were working for the publication of the books. 

“She would often have to travel abroad in the latter part of her life and therefore in order for it not to impact the Jamaat work, she herself wrote to the headquarters and requested for another president to be appointed. She then called a meeting in an excellent fashion and put flowers around the newly appointed president, Mrs Bhatti Sahiba, and seated her on the main chair and delivered a beautiful address regarding her services and told everyone to show complete obedience to her. Thus, she took leave from her responsibility in a very dignified manner.” 

She further writes, “What a wonderful way it was to leave an official post.” 

This is a lesson for those who sometimes get removed from a particular office or their names are not approved and subsequently they start to criticise. If one receives an official post they should say Alhamdolillah, that all praise belongs to God, and if they do not, even then they should be grateful to God Almighty and search for other ways to serve the Jamaat. However, it should not be the case that one only serves the Jamaat if they receive an official post. 

She [Amtul Bari Nasir Sahiba] further writes, “She would deal with all matters rationally and quietly. If one would confide in her about something personal, one would never be afraid of it being disclosed. She would keep matters confidential.” 

Amatul Bari Nasir Sahiba then writes, “She managed to keep all confidential matters to herself and this was a great attribute of hers.” 

This is something that is found less and less today even amongst men.

Amatul Noor Sahiba from Karachi writes, “Salima Mir Sahiba was an affectionate and selfless woman. She had a poised sense of character and would always keep herself in the background, and instead promote the works of others. She was always smiling and was a cheerful person. Alongside a beautiful countenance, God Almighty bestowed her a beautiful and gentle heart.” 

She further writes, “When I was appointed as Sadr [Local President], I said that this area is vast and I do not have any experience, nor do I have any conveyance. She said to me, ‘Do not worry. My daughter lives nearby so whenever you wish to carry out visits, simply inform her and she will send her car. Alternatively, you can inform me. You do not have to worry about anything at all.’ She was very humble and would work alongside her other team of workers.”

One of the secretaries of Ishaat [publications] of Karachi states, “I have had the opportunity to work with Sister Salima Mir Sahiba since 1986. I always found her to be someone who would look after the poor and always had a balanced temperament. On one occasion, a passionate female worker who had distanced herself from the Jamaat for a particular reason fell critically ill. She came to know that this lady had a few precious relics of the Jamaat in her possession. With the prayers and instructions of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh, Salima Sahiba supervised the process of contacting the lady with great wisdom. However, before they could obtain any of the relics, that lady passed away. Salima Sahiba contacted one of the relatives of the lady and said, ‘If you find any items of such description, then we would be willing to pay any price in order acquire them’. This was because they were artefacts with great historical importance belonging to the Promised Messiahas. Later on, a large storage box was found which contained hand written letters of the Promised Messiahas and also some writings of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira.  Contained within was another box which held great historical importance which Salima Sahiba obtained with great wisdom from that lady. During the whole process Salima Sahiba also arranged for the medical care of the lady who had become distanced from the Jamaat.”

Every person who has written about her has said the same things, that she was a very honourable lady who always demonstrated a great resolve and patience. She was a model of excellent morals who had a strong connection with Khilafat and always encouraged others to also establish a connection with Khilafat. She would carry out virtuous deeds and advise others to do the same. She would advise everyone in the same manner, whether they were close associates or others. It was not the case that she would only advise her own children. She always guided her daughters in all matters and had firm belief in God Almighty. She was someone who was always content with the will of God Almighty. May God Almighty elevate her status and may He enable her children – her daughters – to further advance her virtuous deeds.

I will lead both of their funeral prayers in absentia after the Friday prayers. 

(Translated by The Review of Religions)

Truth be Told

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Hundreds of thousands of Syrians are said to have lost their lives in the civil-war, which started off as a revolt against the Syrian government about six-and-a-half years ago. 

A great percentage of these fatalities are said to be of civilians who were not even at war with either of the conflicting camps. 

The problem just doesn’t seem to fade out. Analysts classify it as a civil-war but the situation seems to be that of a full-fledged transnational war with other nations intervening and launching lethal attacks on the land of Syria. 

Western powers, habitually, cash in on such internal conflicts in the name of “peace-making” but what we have witnessed is total chaos resulting in everything but peace. 

The latest conflict has seen a Western superpower launch a missile attack with news channels discussing the devastation it caused; the leader of the superpower, amid all this havoc, tweeted to say “Mission accomplished!” If only launching deadly attacks was the mission, and seeing a country on fire its accomplishment. That way, not much ought to be said about intentions.  

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifaful Masih Vaa, has been drawing the attention of Western superpowers towards their policies that are contributing to the escalation of instability in the already war-torn regions. Huzooraa has not only drawn their attention through his addresses to parliaments and legislative bodies of the Western superpowers, but has also personally written to their heads of state to avoid arousing unrest in the name of creating peace.

Very recently, delivering a Friday Sermon from Basharat Mosque in Spain, Huzooraa again touched upon the topic of the conflict between the Western nations and Russia, where the lands of impoverished countries are being used as battlefields and bear all the devastation. Will they pay heed or will they wait for time to prove the words of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih correct?

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Another news that made headlines was that Whetherspoon – a very popular chain of pubs in UK – has terminated all its social media accounts. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts were all instantaneously closed. 

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Tim Martin – Chairman of Whetherspoons – thought that social media was doing more harm than good to its users.  

Speaking to the BBC, he said that its damaging effects had led the company to be fed up of any form of social media. “A lot of people are on it for far, far too long. It doesn’t do them any good, it doesn’t do the country any good.”

The multinational giant Unilever had shut down its Facebook page earlier in February. Tesla, too, had decided to steer clear of Facebook, albeit for different reasons.

Psychologists are often seen on media narrating first-hand accounts of dealing with social-media-stricken clients and warning how harmful social media addiction could be for all of us, especially the youth. 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa has been drawing our attention to the social vices and ill effects that come from it time and again. Huzoor himself is a great advocate of using technology to its best and for the best, but being the greatest advocate and best exemplar of Islamic teachings, he reiterates that a balance be observed.

Where most of one’s waking hours and conscious mind are indulged in social media, one should quickly come to the realisation that what started off as a hobby has now developed into a habit and is quickly transforming into an addiction. Once addicted, it is hard to withdraw.

Be it as a personal hobby or for business reasons, we as Ahmadis must bear in mind the guidelines given to us by our beloved Imam, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa, may Allah always strengthen his hand.

Divinity of Jesus a.s. – Part I

How to assess the Divinity of Jesusas?

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Farhan Iqbal, Missionary, Canada

Most Christians today believe that God is one being in three persons. This is a fundamental bone of contention between Muslims and Christians. This contention largely surrounds the person of Jesusas

In simple terms, the question is: Was Jesusas divine or human? If he was divine, then the religion of Islam is completely false but if he was human, then the doctrine of the divinity of Jesusas – or the Trinity – is completely false.

The Holy Quran affirmatively takes the stance: 

“The Messiah, son of Mary, was no more than a Messenger. All Messengers before him have passed away. And his mother was righteous. Both of them used to eat food. See how We explain the Signs for their good, and see how they are turned away.” (Ch.5: V.76)

The Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, has refuted the concept of the divinity of Jesusas extensively in his book, Kitabul Bariyya, wherein he lists three main criteria – or means to guidance – for seekers of truth regarding any set of beliefs:

1. Use the book of God

2. Use reason, if the book of God cannot be understood

3. If not satisfied by reason, Divine signs should make the seeker content

(Kitabul Bariyya, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 13, p. 49)

The Promised Messiahas then goes on to explain how belief in the divinity of Jesusas is proven false through these criteria. He writes: 

“Reflection shows that the Christian faith is bereft of all these three qualities. Its method of comprehension of the Divine is so strange that neither the scriptures of the Jews nor any other heavenly book has taught it. As for the testimony of reason, it is enough to point out that the more the Europeans become acquainted with dialectical methods, the greater becomes their mockery of Christian doctrines … As regards the heavenly signs, if all Christian clerics were to beseech Jesusas for a heavenly sign throughout their lives, they would not be given any, as Jesus is not God …” (Kitabul Bariyya, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 13, p. 53-54)

Thus, the Promised Messiahas has explained that Muslims cannot accept the divinity of Jesusas because, first, it is not mentioned in the books of God; neither the Torah nor the Quran mention anything about the divinity of Jesusas

Second, belief in a divine Jesus is basically a belief in a divine human which is an oxymoron or self-contradictory. A man is defined as a being with many limitations and weaknesses, while God is a Being without any limitations or weaknesses. Hence, God cannot be man and man cannot be God. To state otherwise is to state something illogical. 

Third, praying to Jesusas as a God and asking him for a sign does not yield any results. God is the only One Being Who has always shown signs to His servants. No other being has ever done so. In this day and age, it is the Promised Messiahas who has shown many signs to the world and those signs have been shown by God alone.

In other words, both the books of God and sound reasoning refute any idea about a divine Jesusas. If these two means of investigation tell us that Jesusas is not divine, an honest researcher can then proceed to research numerous Divine signs that have been shown by the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa as well as the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas and form his or her own conclusion about where the truth lies. 

Understanding the Bible

If a Muslim dialogues with a Christian with the above points in mind, the first reaction by most Christians acquainted with the Bible would be to show references from the Bible which provide evidence that Jesusas is divine from their perspective. As a result, it is important for Muslims to understand what the Bible entails. 

First and foremost, it should be noted that the Bible cannot be seen as a single book. A misconception about the Bible that the average Muslim may have is to assume it to be a “Holy Book” like the Holy Quran. This could not be further from the truth. 

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While the Holy Quran is a single book revealed to the Prophet Muhammadsa over a period of about 23 years and put together into a single volume immediately after his death, the Bible is a compilation of many books written over many centuries by many authors. 

From a Protestant Christian perspective, the Bible is divided into two major portions. The first part is called the Old Testament made up of 39 books and the second part is called the New Testament made up of 27 books. Comparatively, Catholic and Orthodox churches add some other books to the Old Testament and place them in a different order. 

It is also important to note that secular scholars have lately started using the term “Hebrew Bible” to refer to the Old Testament in order to avoid the theological implications of using the word “Old” to refer to books which non-Christians and even some branches of Christianity may not consider as such. 

In contrast, the Jews call their Scriptures the Tanakh – abbreviated from the first letters of the three main parts of the Jewish Bible: 

1. Torah or Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy)
2. Neviim (Prophets)
3. Ketuvim (Writings)

The Tanakh also orders the books in a way different from the Protestant Old Testament. As such, there is no single “Bible” or “Old Testament” common for Jews and Christians. Overlaps exist, but the differences in order of books and their content are significant, not to mention the various interpretations of Jewish and Christian sects of the same texts. 

The New Testament on the other hand begins with four Gospels, namely, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These names are assigned to the books by Church tradition. None of these books are signed by the original authors, which is why there is no definitive way to know that they were indeed written by these individuals. Just like many other books in the Bible, they have been written anonymously. 

The four Gospels are the most important books of the New Testament because they are specifically about Jesus’ life, teachings and experiences up to the crucifixion. 

Their original language of composition was Koine Greek which was the language in use at that time in the Roman Empire. An indicator of this is the fact that their citations of the Old Testament are taken from the Greek translation of the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible) known as the Septuagint. Jesusas and his disciples, however, did not speak Greek as their language of communication was Aramaic, a Semitic language closely related to Hebrew. 

In terms of composition, scholars who have looked into this in depth have come to believe that the Gospel of Mark was written first and the Gospels of Matthew and Luke were written later as revisions of Mark. Nowadays, most scholars believe that Mark was written between 65-70 CE, Matthew written around 80-85 CE and Luke around 85-90 CE. 

The Gospel of John does not copy passages from the other Gospels and was written much later, dated around 90 to as late as 110 CE. 

This brief overview of the Bible should help Muslims understand what the Bible refers to and how it compares to the Holy Quran. Keeping these points in mind can help Muslims hold dialogue with Christians in a more fruitful way. It can also deepen a Muslim’s understanding of the way passages are quoted from the Bible in books of the Promised Messiahas and Khulafa-e-Ahmadiyyat.

Back to London from Spain

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Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa returned to London from a 22-day tour of Spain on 23 April 2018. 

This was Huzoor’s fourth visit to this country of great importance in the history of Islam. Hundreds of local Ahmadis gathered at Fazl Mosque to welcome their beloved Imam. 

Despite the fact that all Ahmadis got to see Huzooraa live on MTA every Friday, the emotions on the faces of those welcoming Huzoor was as if they had seen Huzoor after a very long time. All praise to Allah; Huzoor has returned to London safe and sound.

It was in this land where mass forced-conversions took place around 800 years ago. Muslims, who had once ruled the country and the vast majority of its masses were made to renounce their faith through, what can be called, a battle of political supremacy. 

Huzoor’s visit to Spain always brings with it an awe-inspiring feeling; the Khalifa in a land that was once the throne of a Muslim Caliphate. There is no need to mention the stark difference between the nature of the two Caliphates as one was political, while the other – Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya – is related to the heart and soul. 

The place where Muslims were forced to convert or leave was the same land where Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa delivered three Friday Sermons in this tour. The voice of the Khalifa emanated from this land and spread to corners of the earth. 

Huzooraa delivered the Friday Sermon on 6 April from Baitur Rehman Mosque in Valencia and the Sermons of 13 and 20 April were delivered from Basharat Mosque, Pedro Abad. 

Huzoor’s Friday Sermons always give an analysis of the time, land or situation’s pulse-reading. The same was observed in all three sermons that Huzooraa delivered from the historic land of Spain. 

Guiding Ahmadi asylum-seekers never to rely on false declarations and always to seek refuge with Allah the Almighty was the opening of Huzoor’s Friday Sermon on 6 April. Huzooraa emphasised the fact that a true connection with our Creator could not be attained unless we broke all forms of idols: visible, symbolic or hidden.

The Friday Sermon on 13 April was where Huzooraa guided us on what the Promised Messiahas expected of us – his followers. To acquire true understanding of this expectation, Huzoor instructed that the Promised Messiah’s book Kashti-e-Nuh (Noah’s Ark) be studied and understood to the letter. 

As soon as Huzoor’s words were heard live, Ahmadis all around the globe made whatever effort was possible in their respective capacities, to make the text of the book available through social media. WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were all visibly busy communicating the blessed words of this book. MTA International started playing excerpts from the book in the original Urdu and also their English translation, punctuating the daily schedules of MTA.

In his Friday Sermon of 20 April, Huzooraa laid emphasis on escalating tabligh efforts. As direct addressees of the Sermon, Huzoor instructed the Jamaat administration in Spain to identify situations, locations and opportunities of tabligh in Spain. Huzoor has been deploying graduates of Jamia UK and Germany to visit Spain and distribute introductory literature about the Jamaat. Huzoor commended the efforts of the young missionaries who visit Spain every year and, despite not knowing the language, find opportunities to talk to people and leave them with some form of introduction of the Jamaat. 

Huzooraa expressed his desire that every Ahmadi should spare some hours from their weekly schedules for tabligh – propagating the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat. 

While we thank Allah for the blessing of MTA which brings Huzoor’s message directly to us, it also comes with a great deal of responsibility. Any instruction of Huzooraa that reaches us is addressed to us first and then for anyone else. 

May Allah enable all of us to always assume ourselves as the direct and first addressees of Huzoor’s words.

Atfal-ul-Ahmadiyya UK Spring Retreat

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Hibat ul Mohsin Abid, Mohtamim Talim MKA UK

Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK held the Annual Spring Retreat (Talim and Tarbiyyat Class) in Jamia Ahmadiyya UK. The retreat was held from 1 to 7 April and was attended by 150 Atfal and Khuddam. Participants were split into six groups based on their age and learning abilities. 

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The daily programme started with Tahajjud prayer followed by Fajr. After breakfast the participants heard lectures on the Holy Quran, Salat, History of Islam, Islamic Knowledge and Ilm-ul-Kalam (doctrinal matters), which were taught by Jamia students. On Wednesday, a day of programmes was run in collaboration with different partnering organisations such as Khidmat-e-Khalq, Research Association and Humanity First around basic life skills and disaster relief. National Tarbiyyat department held seminars on the topic of “Purity, Puberty and Hygiene”. 

During the Retreat, guest lectures were held including:

  • Zikr-e-Habib [A Beloved Remebered]: Dr. Zahid Khan Sahib
  • Persecution of Ahmadis and Experiences of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa in Pakistan’s Prison: Farooq Mahmood
  • Life Story of Accepting Ahmadiyyat: Ibrahim Noonan Sahib
  • Becoming a Successful Ahmadi in the 21st Century: Dr. Aziz Hafiz
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A question time was also held where questions on Atheism, Marriage and Homosexuality were also asked. These were answered by an engaging panel.

Mentoring sessions were a highlight of the Spring Retreat, where every evening after Maghrib, members of National Amila MKA and a group of young missionaries sat with small groups of participants and engaged in a friendly and open discussion on contemporary issues and provided views of Jamaat’s perspective.

The feedback received from participants and their parents has been very positive and the results of exams show the average score from participants as 70%. For the closing session, Ataul Mujeeb Rashed Sahib delivered an inspiring speech after which the event came to a close.