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“For those who pray for others, angels pray in return”: Huzoor’s guidance on praying in Ramadan

Islamabad, Tilford, 16 April 2021: In the Friday Sermon today, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa detailed the blessings of Ramadan and the philosophy of prayer, in light of the Holy Quran, ahadith and sayings of the Promised Messiahas.

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said:

“We should always remember that merely experiencing and undergoing the months of Ramadan is not enough – eating the pre-dawn meal and keeping the fast and breaking it with iftar, does not complete the purpose of fasting; rather, Allah the Almighty has instructed us to create a pure transformation within ourselves, from these fasts.”

Allah the Almighty, in the Holy Quran, has given the glad tidings that He listens to prayers. However, this requires us to follow his commandments and to increase our faith. “The acceptance of prayer has some conditions too”, Huzooraa said. If we listen to Allah the Almighty’s commandments, our prayers will be accepted.

Huzooraa said there are many who pray and, not seeing their prayer accepted, complain that Allah did not listen to them. Such people will do whatever they like and live however they want, but demand Allah listens to them, no matter what their own personal condition is.

The Promised Messiahas said that prayer is something that Muslims are especially proud of. However, prayer does not mean merely uttering words with our mouth; rather, a spiritual transformation is required and prayers have pre-requisites too. In the sermon, Huzooraa highlighted these requirements that prayers require, to be accepted by Allah.

Many people ask how we can know that Allah is pleased with us and our sins have been forgiven? The Promised Messiahas answered this question by saying such a person will see in themselves a power to stay clear of sins and will excel in carrying out good deeds – such a person has been given the pleasure of Allah. However, if they are not staying away from sin and carrying out good deeds, they cannot think Allah is pleased with them.

The Holy Quran states that a person should first do mujahida (effort) toward God, then will Allah guide them and listen to their prayers. There has to be effort first from our end, then Allah will draw nearer. Allah says in the Holy Quran that whoever is (spiritually) blind in this world, will be blind in the next too. Therefore, it is our duty to acquire spiritual sight in this world so that we are given vision in the next.

“In these days, pray the following a lot: Ihdinas-sirat al-mustaqim, ‘Guide us in the right path’”, Huzooraa exhorted. Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said Ramadan is a month for us to create the environment in which we can seek the forgiveness of Allah and “we should take benefit from this month.”

During the course of the sermon, through the writings of the Promised Messiahas, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa discussed different aspects of prayer, the philosophy of prayer, its importance and how prayers can be accepted.

At the end of the sermon, Huzooraa said if we were to follow these teachings, we can create a great spiritual revolution within ourselves and gain closeness to Allah.

“To attain the closeness of Allah the Almighty in this Ramadan, we should try to listen to His commandments, strengthen our faith, understand the purpose and philosophy behind prayer […] and be of those whose prayers are accepted by Allah the Almighty.

“May this Ramadan be a means in creating a revolution within ourselves with regard to establishing a connection with Allah and improving our spiritual condition.”

Huzooraa said we should pray for all Ahmadis around the world who are suffering just because they are Ahmadis, especially those in Pakistan and Algeria.

“By praying for others, our own prayers are accepted – we should always remember this. In fact, for those who pray for others, angels pray in return. And if angels are praying for someone, then what a great transaction this is.”

Huzooraa said we should always pray for others and not just for ourselves.

Explore new avenues to expand tabligh: Amila of Majlis Ansarullah India receives guidance from Hazrat Khalifatul Masih

On 11 April 2021, the amila of Majlis Ansarullah India was given the opportunity to meet Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa through a virtual meeting 

At the beginning of the meeting, Huzooraa said it would have been good to see aerial shots of Qadian or at least the building in which the amila members were seated. Sadr Ansarullah said to Huzooraa that they would insha-Allah show aerial shots in the upcoming meeting with Jamia Ahmadiyya Qadian. 

Speaking with Sheikh Mujahid Ahmad Shastri Sahib, Naib Sadr Saf-e-Daum (those 40-54 years of age), Huzooraa asked how many Ansar in Qadian rode bicycles for exercise and said that saf-e-daum ansar members should use cycles instead of motorbikes etc. in Qadian as this would lead to less air pollution there and help Ansar members get healthier. Huzooraa observed that Qadian was not a large city like Delhi, and therefore cycles could be used as the means of transport inside Qadian. 

On the importance of saf-e-daum Ansar cycling, Huzooraa said:

“Cycling is part of the programme for the Ansar of saf-e-daum – this has been set since the time of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh.”

Huzooraa then asked if cycling competitions were held, to which Mujahid Ahmad Sahib said that they were held in the past, but due to Covid-19, they could not be held more recently. 

Huzooraa further said, “Inculcate a habit of cycling among the people of Qadian too.”

Addressing Qaid Umumi, Javed Ahmad Lone Sahib, Huzooraa instructed that all Jamaats should be visited and majalis to be set up wherever they had not already been. Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa also instructed that reports should be coming in regularly and comments on the reports be sent back too. If some majalis were negligent in sending their reports, a letter should be sent to them reminding them of this responsibility. 

Huzooraa said:

“The task is to link the entire Jamaat together and join it in such a way that it becomes one entity.” 

However, Huzooraa said, this could only be possible when constant feedback is sent back to the majalis from the central Ansarullah body. 

M Nasir Ahmad Sahib, Naib Sadr was next to introduce himself. Seeing him, Huzooraa asked if he was from Kerala and whether he translated for Huzooraa when he visited India. Nasir Sahib, with a smile, confirmed this. Huzooraa further said, “Your looks have changed a lot; in 12-13 years, your face has totally changed, masha-Allah.”

M Tajudin Sahib, Naib Sadr introduced himself and said he was from Kerala. To this, Huzooraa smiled and said he recognised those with M etc. in front of their names as being from South India. Huzooraa then asked if he had come all the way from Kerala to attend the meeting, which Nasir Sahib affirmed. Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said it was his duty to take initiative and carry out the works of Ansarullah in his area and not to merely wait for instructions from the central Ansarullah department. 

Dr Abdul Majid Sahib, Qaid Tajnid, introduced his profession as a doctor and said he worked in the Noor Hospital in Qadian, to which Huzooraa said “Masha-Allah”. Addressing Majid Sahib, Huzooraa said all tajnid should be up to date and the ones that were not should be completed in the next month. Huzooraa said getting the majalis to act on the plan that has been made for them is the real task. 

A resident of Kerala, Shams-uddin Sahib, Qaid Tarbiyat introduced himself. Huzooraa asked what his department’s plan was, to which he explained that they were focusing on encouraging Ansarullah to offer prayers regularly. Huzooraa advised:

“It is the task of Ansarullah to supervise their households too. They should ascertain whether or not their wives and children regularly join the prayers, or are offering them at home or not. And if they have sons, then they should see whether or not they attend the mosque to pray, where possible [according to the current situation]. Prayers will be established when the men – Ansar, Khuddam or children – offer prayers regularly in congregation as much as they can. And if, due to the current situation, there are restrictions in offering Namaz at the mosque – limitations such as a certain number only being allowed to attend the mosque [for congregational prayers] – then they should arrange congregational prayers within their homes [with their families] at least.”

Shams-uddin Sahib said they also sent a 12-page document every month with religious content to be presented in various Jamaat meetings. 

To this, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa advised that he should also get feedback on whether the content was even read out or not and if people benefited. Shams-uddin Sahib said they received feedback and the Ansarullah members who read out the content, responded positively. Huzooraa said that those who read out the document would definitely be pleased as they were given everything already prepared, but the feedback of the audience members needs to be taken into account too. 

Regarding another aspect of tarbiyat, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said some Ansar members had begun to cause fights and quarrels in their homes. Huzooraa said:

“Tell Ansar members to be kind to their wives […] First, amila members should be kind to their wives, then they should tell others too, at all levels.”

Muhammad Yusuf Sahib, Qaid Tarbiyat for new converts introduced himself. Yusuf Sahib said that in the last few years, about 373 people had converted to Islam Ahmadiyyat under Majlis Ansarullah and were being given religious education. 

Huzooraa asked which backgrounds the converts belonged. Yusuf Sahib said most were Muslims, but some had converted from Hinduism and Sikhism. Huzooraa said a separate programme for educating those who were not from Muslim backgrounds should be in place. 

Huzooraa said that such converts should be gradually taught the Salat, Surah al-Fatihah and then its translation, so that they can recite it during Salat. Huzooraa said knowing Surah al-Fatihah by heart was essential; even some Muslims do not know Surah al-Fatihah and they should be taught it. Converts should be taught about the system of the Jamaat, the claims of the Promised Messiahaa and the system of Khilafat etc. Then they should gradually be told about the significance of financial sacrifice too, whether it is Waqf-e-Jadid or Tahrik-e-Jadid; in this way, they will be brought into the mainstream system of the Jamaat. 

Huzooraa said that feedback should also be taken – giving instructions and not taking feedback was not enough. 

Advising Rafiq Ahmad Baig Sahib, Qaid Mal, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa told him to encourage all Ansar to offer their chanda according to the prescribed rate and said:

“Tell the Ansar, ‘Financial sacrifice is a Quranic commandment and Majlis Ansarullah has expenditures which require financial sacrifices […] this is not a levy, nor is it a tax; whatever you are to give is to gain the pleasure of Allah and according to the Quran’s commandment.’” 

Huzooraa said this exhortation should be done in a proper manner, with softness, love and wisdom.

Qaid Tabligh, Muhammad Nurudin Nasir Sahib introduced himself. Huzooraa said Ansarullah should set a target for the number of new converts, saying:

“Set a target and try to achieve it. If a target is set, efforts will be exerted and if there is no target, no effort will be exerted.” Huzooraa said realistic and reasonable targets should be given to each majlis

Nurudin Sahib reported that there were 1,014 Ansar who did tabligh, to which Huzooraa said, “If there are even 1,014 dai‘an-ilallah [preachers] who achieve just one bai‘at each, then these are 1,000 bai‘ats just from them. And if the amila members of every majlis become active, pay attention towards bai‘ats and develop interest in tabligh, then your [bai‘at] numbers will be a lot different.” 

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa, with reference to spreading the message of Ahmadiyyat, said that new ways should be thought of and a passion should develop in progressing tabligh work. Merely continuing the old ways is not progressive; rather, one should look for new avenues to expand tabligh work. 

Khalid Ahmad Sahib, Qaid Khidmat-e-Khalq reported their department was able to help and assist the wider public in India a lot during the Covid-19 pandemic. With local contributions from Ahmadis in India, Ansarullah were able to distribute about 3,100,000 rupees in cash amongst 14,000 people who were in need throughout India; they distributed 125,000 homeopathic medicines for Covid-19 that was prescribed by Huzooraa and 125,000 rupees worth of rations etc. was also distributed. 

Speaking with Nasir Waheed Sahib, Qaid Sehat-e-Jismani, Huzooraa said a cricket match should take place between the Khuddam and Ansar. To this, Nasir Sahib said they had already conducted one and the Ansar had gained victory over the Khuddam. Huzooraa said the Ansar must have included some Khuddam in their team too and Waheed Sahib confirmed that this was the case. Huzooraa also enquired how many Ansar walked and cycled regularly for exercise. 

At the end, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa advised: 

“I have just given brief guidance; as for the rest, you should think yourselves and try to devise new ways […] Try and find new ways to improve and use your minds. Masha-Allah, Allah the Almighty has given you good, sharp minds […]”

Huzooraa conveyed his salaam, before concluding the meeting. 

(Report prepared by Al Hakam)

Khuddam amila of Jamaat India meets Huzoor

Members of Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya India’s national amila were blessed with the opportunity of meeting Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih V, may Allah be his Helper, in a virtual mulaqat, on 10 April 2021.

After conveying salaam, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa led everyone in silent prayer, after which the amila members had the opportunity to introduce themselves and the work assigned to them.

The first to present their report was naib sadr I, who said he was tasked to oversee nine different departments. Huzooraa then asked if he had given special attention to the reports he received from the various departments. To this, he replied in the affirmative. 

Next to speak was the naib sadr who is also serving as a missionary in nazarat nashr-o-ishaat. Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa stated that as he worked mostly in an office, he should take time to go for walks and exercise after Fajr prayer.

Addressing the mo‘tamid, Huzooraa asked how many majalis there were and how many of them sent reports consistently. Answering Huzooraa, he said that there were a total of 973 majalis and that 400 majalis sent their reports with regularity. 

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa enquired what was being done to remind the other majalis about submitting regular reports. Huzooraa then asked if he checked the reports and also sent his remarks. 

Offering guidance, Huzooraa said, “[…] you should make a system whereby reports are sent regularly. Reports should not simply be sent for the sake of it; rather, there should be substance [in such reports].” 

Following this, speaking with mohtamim tajnid, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa asked if the tajnid was updated yearly and added, “Gather the tajnid information from the grassroots level.” 

Huzooraa also said that one should not simply rely on getting the information through the AIMS department. Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya should have their own data. Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa, whilst providing direction, stated that emphasis should also be paid to sending out tajnid forms to be filled and sent back to the centre; the main objective is to ensure the tajnid forms are filled and sent back within the first two months of the new year. “Only then,” Huzooraa said, “will you have the correct data and only then will you be able to make a proper plan.”

Next to present their report was mohtamim tarbiyat. Addressing him, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said that the tarbiyat department had an important responsibility and enquired about the plans they made. 

Mohtamim tarbiyat reported that a well-thought-out plan was made to ensure the tarbiyat of Khuddam. He added that emphasis was given to offering Salat in congregation, listening to Huzoor’saa Friday sermons, among other things. 

Hearing this, Huzooraa asked if he had a personal relationship with each majlis. Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa added that through implementing a tarbiyat programme, “many other issues can be avoided.”

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa added that as India is a vast country, “a special programme should be made for each area according to that area’s psychology and issues [they face].”

Speaking with additional mohtamim tarbiyat (rishta nata), Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said, “[…] it is also the duty of the rishta nata department to ensure, with the help of the tarbiyat department,  that Khuddam give preference to religion over the world.” 

Next, whilst conversing with mohtamim tarbiyat nau mubai‘een (new converts), Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa asked about the new converts and programmes made for them; responding, he said that there were 1,810 new converts and that a syllabus was prepared for them about the basic teachings of Islam Ahmadiyyat and the status of the Promised Messiahas

Mohtamim tarbiyat nau mubai‘een further said that various articles were prepared and provided to various people of different backgrounds. Hearing this, Huzooraa said, “This is good, but you should also try to get feedback. Giving something once is no remarkable accomplishment. What should be considered is if others have benefited from that which was given. And if they have benefited, then what changes did they see [within themselves]?” This is the feedback that should be collated and considered. 

Huzooraa added, “I deliver my sermon from here and everyone listens to it, but until I learn of the impact the sermon has had on a person, what benefit will it have?” 

Speaking with mohtamim umur-e-tulaba, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa was informed that there were 18 students doing their PhDs. Huzooraa then asked how many students were studying medicine and added that the students should be kept in contact with the centre. 

Following this, addressing mohtamim talim, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa asked which books of the Promised Messiahas were prescribed for Khuddam to study, to which mohtamim talim said that throughout the year, a total of seven books had been given. Huzooraa then asked about feedback and how many had read the books. Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa then said, “You should make a plan in such a way that 100% of the Khuddam get involved.”

Conversing with muavin sadr Waqf-e-Nau, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa asked how many waqifeen-e-nau there were. Replying, he said that there were 2,484 Atfal and Khuddam. Huzooraa then asked how many waqifeen, above the age of 15, had written that they wished to continue their waqf. In response, the muavin sadr said he did not have the exact data for this. 

Mohtamim khidmat-e-khalq (service to mankind) was next to report. Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa asked about the various plans and events that were carried out; to this, he responded that they had conducted 10 different medical camps this year. 

Addressing mohtamim Atfal, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa asked how many Atfal there were and what plans were made for their tarbiyat. He replied that there were 3,343 Atfal and that they had prepared various classes to help ensure their progress and tarbiyat. 

Huzooraa then asked about feedback and how many Atfal took part in the classes. Huzooraa said, “The main thing to observe is how many take part [in these events]. We have to look after these children. If we are successful in looking after the children – up to the age of 15 – and make them active members, then they will be active members for Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya and for the Jamaat too. So, looking after Atfal-ul-Ahmadiyya is a big responsibility; do not consider this a light task.”

Conversing with mohtamim ishaat (publications), Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa asked about recent publications, to which he replied that this year, they printed a booklet titled Ahmadiyyat, What and Why in Malayalam. He added that they also printed a booklet to help new converts learn more about the Jamaat. 

Addressing mohtamim sehat-e-jismani (physical health), Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa asked how many Khuddam exercised regularly. Huzooraa was told that more than 300 Khuddam exercised regularly. 

Speaking with mohtamim Muqami about the tarbiyat of Khuddam and Atfal in Qadian, Huzooraa said, “[…] Qadian’s majlis should be a model. People who visit from outside, upon seeing Qadian’s majlis, should say, ‘Yes, this is a model for us to follow.’” 

Next to present his report was mohtamim umumi who said that aside from other responsibilities, security duties were given every Friday. Whilst giving direction, Huzooraa said, “Do not just gather boys aged 15-16 to give duties; ensure you have sensible people and grown-up Khuddam who can make a decision in emergencies, or who can handle emergency type situations.”

After this, addressing Sadr Sahib, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said, “I have spoken with everyone, and in such short time only this much could be said […] I saw your pen was moving fast [throughout the meeting] I am sure you have noted everything.”

With this, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa conveyed his salaam to all amila members and the meeting drew to a close.

(Report prepared by Al Hakam)

Ramadan: Strengthening our bond with our Lord

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Jalees Ahmad, Al Hakam

It was in this very month of Ramadan that Allah the Almighty revealed the Holy Quran to the Holy Prophetsa and began a spiritual revolution for mankind which became a means to eradicate darkness and misguidance that had plagued the world.

The link between the Holy Quran, which is the final book and blessing for mankind, and Ramadan is unique. Ramadan is a month in which “the gates of mercy are opened”. It was also in this very month that Allah manifested a sign of the advent of the Promised Messiah – who was to rejuvenate faith and dispel darkness and misguidance – when the solar and lunar eclipses took place.

Photo courtesy of Suhaib Ahmad

Shedding light on this, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa states:

“[…] God Almighty sent the Promised Messiahas for our reformation, for the propagation of the Holy Quran and for drawing our attention towards acting on its teachings and also to reveal the paths for us to follow. Furthermore, he has granted us the opportunity to accept him. Thus, it is a huge responsibility upon us Ahmadis that we understand the essence of fasting and try to attain its true objective during the month of Ramadan; which is to adopt taqwa and continuously progress in it.” (Friday Sermon, 18 May 2018)

So, Ramadan is a very blessed month; a month wherein we seek God’s blessings, mercy and increase our bond with our Creator.

It is recorded that the Holy Prophetsa, with regard to observing fasts during the month of Ramadan, said:

“Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, will have all his past sins forgiven.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Iman, Hadith 38)

This hadith itself highlights the importance and grandeur of fasting in Ramadan. 

Below is presented the importance of Ramadan through the lens of the Holy Quran and various extracts underlining the importance of fasting in Ramadan.

يٰۤاَيُّهَا‭ ‬الَّذِيۡنَ‭ ‬اٰمَنُوۡا‭ ‬كُتِبَ‭ ‬عَلَيۡكُمُ‭ ‬الصِّيَامُ‭ ‬كَمَا‭ ‬كُتِبَ‭ ‬عَلَي‭ ‬الَّذِيۡنَ‭ ‬مِنۡ‭ ‬قَبۡلِكُمۡ‭ ‬لَعَلَّكُمۡ‭ ‬تَتَّقُوۡنَ

“O ye who believe! fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may become righteous.” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.184)

The commandment of fasting, in one form or another, is found in most religions. The book of Exodus (34:28) mentions the fasting of Prophet Mosesas; and the book of Mathew (4:2) mentions the fasts of Prophet Jesusas.

The act of fasting is not something unique to religion alone. “Fasting”, as stated by Encyclopedia Britannica, “has been used therapeutically since at least the fifth century BCE, when Greek physician Hippocrates recommended abstinence from food or drink for patients who exhibited certain symptoms of illness.”

(To read about the benefits fasting has on our health, see: “Health benefits of fasting in Ramadan”Al Hakam, 24 April 2020, p. 18: www.alhakam.org/health-benefits-of-fasting-in-ramadan)

The Holy Quran has explained the importance and philosophy of fasting in this very verse. Through fasting, God Almighty states one is able to attain righteousness. 

Entrance of the Cave of Hira, where the Holy Prophetsa would often isolate and where the first words of divine revelation descended upon him

The Promised Messiahas, whilst emphasising the importance of taqwa, stated that tawqa is a necessary condition for the discovery of Quranic knowledge. He states:

“The Holy Quran is the book of Allah the Almighty and the knowledge contained within it is in the hand of God; righteousness serves as a staircase leading to this knowledge. How then can the faithless, evil and corrupt, and those who are slaves of earthly desire be fortunate enough to receive this knowledge? For this reason, a Muslim, who is a Muslim by name, could well be the greatest scholar of Arabic morphology, syntax, etymology, literary critique, and other such sciences, and in the eyes of the world, could well be the greatest expert in all fields of knowledge, but if such an individual does not purify their soul, the knowledge of the Holy Quran is not granted to them.”

Huzooras further states:

“[…] it ought to be remembered that until an individual brings about a pure transformation and purifies the soul, one cannot gain an understanding of the insights and excellences of the Holy Quran. The points of wisdom and divine verities comprised in the Holy Quran are ones which quench the thirst of the soul. Alas! If only the world knew of that which brings pleasure to the soul, and then came to realise that what they require is comprised within the Holy Quran, and the Holy Quran alone.” (Malfuzat [English], Vol. 2, pp. 140-144)

Thus, Ramadan is indeed the perfect opportunity for Muslims to strengthen their relationship with Allah and increase their righteousness, which can then aid them in acquiring Quranic knowledge and lead them on the “right path”.

The Promised Messiahas, while explaining the spiritual superiority of fasting and Salat, states:

“Both fasting and Salat are forms of worship. The fast affects the body powerfully and Salat affects the soul powerfully. Salat generates a condition of burning and melting of the heart, and is, therefore, a higher form of worship than fasting. The latter fosters the capacity for visions.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 7, pp. 378-379)

Hence, during the month of Ramadan, we must strive to lay greater focus on our Salat and help inculcate within us habits as can please God. 

Hazrat Abu Hurairahra is reported to have said in Sahih al-Bukhari that the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: 

“Whoever prayed at night in it [the month of Ramadan] out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all their previous sins will be forgiven.” (Sahih alBukhari, Kitab Salat al-Tarawih, Hadith 2008)

اَيَّامًا مَّعۡدُوۡدٰتٍ ؕ فَمَنۡ كَانَ مِنۡكُمۡ مَّرِيۡضًا اَوۡ عَلٰي سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنۡ اَيَّامٍ اُخَرَ ؕ وَ عَلَي الَّذِيۡنَ يُطِيۡقُوۡنَهٗ فِدۡيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسۡكِيۡنٍ ؕ فَمَنۡ تَطَوَّعَ خَيۡرًا فَهُوَ خَيۡرٌ لَّهٗ ؕ وَ اَنۡ تَصُوۡمُوۡا خَيۡرٌ لَّكُمۡ اِنۡ كُنۡتُمۡ تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ

“[The prescribed fasting is] for a fixed number of days, but whoso among you is sick or is on a journey [shall fast] the same number of other days; and for those who are able to fast only with great difficulty is an expiation – the feeding of a poor man. And whoso performs a good work with willing obedience, it is better for him. And fasting is good for you, if you only knew.” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.185)

This verse emphasises how Islam is a practical religion. Islam does not command that which is impossible to abide by and comply with. Therefore, where the Holy Quran has mentioned fasting, it has also clarified the requirements and conditions one must meet to fast and undergo this spiritual task.

Hazrat Amrra ibn Umayyah reported:

“I came to the Holy Prophet Muhammadas from a journey, and he said, ‘Stay, so that we can eat, O Abu Umayyah.’ I replied, ‘I am fasting.’ The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa stated, ‘Come close to me and I will tell you about the traveller. Surely, Allah the Almighty has relieved him from fasting and half of the prayer.’” (Sunan al-Nasai, Kitab al-Saum, Hadith 2267)

In another hadith, Hazrat Jabirra relates: 

“The Holy Prophetsa was on a journey and he saw a crowd and a person, over whom a shade had been erected. The Holy Prophetsa asked ‘What is the matter?’ to which the people replied that the man was fasting. The Holy Prophetsa said, “It is no virtue to keep a fast while travelling.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Saum, Hadith 1946)

Therefore, through the verse of the Holy Quran and hadith, it is evidently clear that to observe a fast, one must first fulfil the conditions.

In this day and age, we find some who choose to ignore this verse of the Holy Quran and force themselves to fast, whereas this is clearly disobeying God’s word. 

On one occasion, shedding light on this point, the Promised Messiahas states: 

“It is an act of taqwa to follow the leniencies mentioned in the Holy Quran. God has granted permission to those who are sick or on a journey to fast on other days, which is why one must also act upon this commandment. I have read that many great men held the view that if one is to fast during sickness or on a journey, then this is disobedience [to God] because the purpose [of fasting] is to please Allah and not oneself. Obedience to Allah is to follow all the commandments and not apply one’s own notation to it.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 5, p. 67)

Our refraining from food will not benefit us, nor God. Fasting has been prescribed for our purification. Therefore, in order for one to be purified and attain true taqwa, one must show true obedience and submission to Allah in all His commandments.

Explaining the benefits of fasting, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra said:

“Due to fasts, one safeguards themselves from carnal pleasures and abstains from spiteful words. Fasting produces generosity in a person; it produces perseverance and courage. It enables a person to tame themselves. Thus, if a person fasts during Ramadan, fulfilling all its conditions with a pure heart, the month of Ramadan can cleanse all the sins they ever committed.” (Al Hakam, 7 June 1918)

شَهۡرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِيۡۤ اُنۡزِلَ فِيۡهِ الۡقُرۡاٰنُ هُدًي لِّلنَّاسِ وَ بَيِّنٰتٍ مِّنَ الۡهُدٰي وَ الۡفُرۡقَانِ ۚ فَمَنۡ شَهِدَ مِنۡكُمُ الشَّهۡرَ فَلۡيَصُمۡهُ ؕ وَ مَنۡ كَانَ مَرِيۡضًا اَوۡ عَلٰي سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنۡ اَيَّامٍ اُخَرَ ؕ يُرِيۡدُ اللّٰهُ بِكُمُ الۡيُسۡرَ وَ لَا يُرِيۡدُ بِكُمُ الۡعُسۡرَ ۫ وَ لِتُكۡمِلُوا الۡعِدَّةَ وَ لِتُكَبِّرُوا اللّٰهَ عَلٰي مَا هَدٰٮكُمۡ وَ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَشۡكُرُوۡنَ

“The month of Ramadan is that in which the Quran was sent down as a guidance for mankind with clear proofs of guidance and discrimination. Therefore, whosoever of you is present [at home] in this month, let him fast therein. But whoso is sick or is on a journey, [shall fast] the same number of other days. Allah desires to [give] you facility and He desires not hardship for you, and that you may complete the number, and that you may exalt Allah for His having guided you and that you may be grateful.” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.186)

Alluding to this verse and explaining the grandness of this month, the Promised Messiahas states:

“This verse indicates the greatness of the month of Ramadan. The sufis have recorded that this is a good month for the illumination of the heart. The one who observes fasts has frequent experience of visions in this month. Salat purifies the spirit and the fast illuminates the heart. The purification of the spirit means that one may be delivered from the passions of the self that incites to evil, and the illumination of the heart means that the gates of vision may be opened so that one may be able to behold God.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 4, pp. 256-257) 

Here, in this verse, God Almighty highlights that the month of Ramadan was the month “in which the Quran was sent down”. Thus, where we are reminded of God’s favours, bounties and guidance He bestowed upon the world, we must express our gratitude to God for His blessings and act upon the teachings He has laid out for us which, in actuality, benefits and illuminates our hearts. 

Contrary to what most people assert, fasting is not simply abstaining from food; the essence is far greater. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“The purpose of fasting is not to starve. If one could enter Paradise by starvation, then in my view, disbelievers and hypocrites would be ready to do so, as it is not so difficult. In reality, the challenging thing is moral and spiritual transformation. People starve themselves for the most trivial of matters; prisoners go on hunger strikes; Brahmans famously stop eating when they are not listened to. Thus, it is nothing extraordinary to remain hungry, nor is it the purpose of Ramadan.” (Al Fazl, 17 December 1966)

In a hadith, recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari, we read:

الصَّوْمُ‭ ‬لِی ‬وَأَنَا‭ ‬أَجْزِی ‬بِهِ

“The fast is for Me, so I will give the reward for it.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Tawheed, Hadith 7538)

Analysing this hadith and following on the path taught to us by the Holy Prophetsa, we are told and made aware of the importance of fasting. Through taking on the spiritual task, man is able to reach God Almighty and strengthen his connection with Him and also intensify one’s love for the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophetsa.

Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IIra states:

“So many centuries have passed between us and the Holy Prophetsa and so many years continue to pass. Every passing day separates us from his time, but with the coming of Ramadan, it feels as though this month has wrapped up all those centuries and brought us closer to the Holy Prophetsa. In fact, not only the Holy Prophetsa, but since the Quran has been revealed by Allah the Almighty, it feels that Ramadan has shrunken this vast span of time and brought us closer to God. The distance that exists between man and God, between the Creator and His creation, between a frail being and the Creator of the whole Universe all contracts and vanishes, just like the rays of the sun eliminate the darkness of the night.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 2, pp. 393-394)

17 tasks of angels, as explained by Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud

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Frasat Ahmad, Missionary, USA

What do angels do exactly? 

What practical relevance do they have in our world? Do they even play a role in our lives or influence humanity in any way?

The Promised Messiahas succinctly answers this question, writing:

“God has taught us in the Holy Quran that this natural system [relevant to humanity] does not run by itself and that all the particles of these things [related to man] hear the voice of God and are His angels, who are appointed by Him to carry out certain functions and they do so according to His will.” (Nasim-e-Da‘wat, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 19, p. 462)

As the Promised Messiahas has theoretically explained that angels carry out tremendous duties for humanity, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has pinpointed exactly what tasks angels perform, according to the Holy Quran. 

In his own words, here are Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud’sra 17 Quranic points on the tasks that angels render for Allah and His Creation (taken from his speech entitled, Malaikatullah, delivered in December 1920 at Jalsa Salana Qadian).

1. They convey the Divine Word

“One task that the angels are appointed with, and it is quite a major task, is to convey the divine word. Hence, Allah the Almighty states:

اَللّٰهُ يَصۡطَفِيۡ مِنَ الۡمَلٰٓئِكَةِ رُسُلًا وَّ مِنَ النَّاسِ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ سَمِيۡعٌۢ بَصِيۡرٌ

[‘Allah chooses [His] Messengers from among angels, and from among men. Surely, Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.’] (Surah al-Hajj, Ch.22: V.76)

“[In other words] Allah chooses His Messengers from among angels, and from among men. Thus, we ascertain that one task that angels perform is to convey God’s Message.” (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 498)

2. They take away life

“Allah the Almighty states:

قُلۡ يَتَوَفّٰكُمۡ مَّلَكُ الۡمَوۡتِ الَّذِيۡ وُكِّلَ بِكُمۡ ثُمَّ اِلٰي رَبِّكُمۡ تُرۡجَعُوۡنَ

“Meaning that ‘Say, ‘The angel of death that has been put in charge of you will cause you to die; then to your Lord will you be brought back.’ [Surah al-Sajdah, Ch.32: V.12]” (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 498-499)

3. They bring punishment on enemies of prophets

“When they confront the wicked, these angels produce such [a strong] magnetic power that it wipes away evil. Just as petrol bursts into flame when ignited with fire, as do the wicked [burn away] like petrol by the fire that are angels […] Hence, Allah the Almighty states:

هَلۡ يَنۡظُرُوۡنَ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ تَاۡتِيَهُمُ الۡمَلٰٓئِكَةُ اَوۡ يَاۡتِيَ رَبُّكَ اَوۡ يَاۡتِيَ بَعۡضُ اٰيٰتِ رَبِّكَ ؕ يَوۡمَ يَاۡتِيۡ بَعۡضُ اٰيٰتِ رَبِّكَ لَا يَنۡفَعُ نَفۡسًا اِيۡمَانُهَا لَمۡ تَكُنۡ اٰمَنَتۡ مِنۡ قَبۡلُ اَوۡ كَسَبَتۡ فِيۡۤ اِيۡمَانِهَا خَيۡرًا ؕ قُلِ انۡتَظِرُوۡۤا اِنَّا مُنۡتَظِرُوۡنَ

[‘Do they expect aught but that angels should come to them or that thy Lord should come or that some of the Signs of thy Lord should come? The day when some of the Signs of thy Lord shall come, to believe in them shall not profit a soul which believed not before, nor earned any good by its faith. Say, ‘Wait ye, we [too] are waiting.’ (Surah al-An‘am, Ch.6: V.159)] (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 499)

4. They assist the believers

“The believers obtain the help [of angels] and the angels render them aid. Allah the Almighty states:

اِنَّ‭ ‬الَّذِيۡنَ‭ ‬قَالُوۡا‭ ‬رَبُّنَا‭ ‬اللّٰهُ‭ ‬ثُمَّ‭ ‬اسۡتَقَامُوۡا‭ ‬تَتَنَزَّلُ‭ ‬عَلَيۡهِمُ‭ ‬الۡمَلٰٓئِكَةُ‭ ‬اَلَّا‭ ‬تَخَافُوۡا‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬لَا‭ ‬تَحۡزَنُوۡا‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬اَبۡشِرُوۡا‭ ‬بِالۡجَنَّةِ‭ ‬الَّتِيۡ‭ ‬كُنۡتُمۡ‭ ‬تُوۡعَدُوۡنَ۔ نَحۡنُ‭ ‬اَوۡلِيٰٓؤُكُمۡ‭ ‬فِي‭ ‬الۡحَيٰوةِ‭ ‬الدُّنۡيَا‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬فِي‭ ‬الۡاٰخِرَةِ‭ ‬ۚ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬لَكُمۡ‭ ‬فِيۡهَا‭ ‬مَا‭ ‬تَشۡتَهِيۡۤ‭ ‬اَنۡفُسُكُمۡ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬لَكُمۡ‭ ‬فِيۡهَا‭ ‬مَا‭ ‬تَدَّعُوۡنَ

“Meaning that ‘[As for] those who say, ‘Our Lord is Allah,’ and then remain steadfast, the angels descend on them, [saying]: ‘Fear ye not, nor grieve; and receive glad tidings of the Garden which you were promised. We are your friends in this life and in the Hereafter. Therein you will have all that your souls will desire, and therein you will have all that you will ask for.’ [Surah Ha Mim as-Sajdah, Ch.41: V.31-32]” (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 499)

5. They strike awe into the hearts of people

“When they are seen, the angels annihilate the disbelievers and idolaters. In addition, every angel instils awe of the Prophet and his Jamaat [Community] into the heart of the human he is tasked to accompany. Allah the Almighty states:

اِذۡ تَقُوۡلُ لِلۡمُؤۡمِنِيۡنَ اَلَنۡ يَّكۡفِيَكُمۡ اَنۡ يُّمِدَّكُمۡ رَبُّكُمۡ بِثَلٰثَةِ اٰلٰفٍ مِّنَ الۡمَلٰٓئِكَةِ مُنۡزَلِيۡنَ

[‘When thou didst say to the believers, ‘Will it not suffice you that your Lord should help you with three thousand angels sent down [from on high?]’ [Surah Al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.125]

“Why did Allah mention 3,000 angels? Because the enemy forces at the time numbered 3,000. This demonstrates that these angels were not of a high calibre; rather, they consisted of those [ordinary] angels who accompany and remain attached to every human being. Because Allah stated, ‘Will this not be sufficient for you that We help you with three thousand angels?’ This means that when you confront the enemy in battle, then the angels will strike awe into every heart [of the enemy forces]. Accordingly, Allah proceeds to states:

سَنُلۡقِيۡ فِيۡ قُلُوۡبِ الَّذِيۡنَ كَفَرُوا الرُّعۡبَ

“‘We shall strike terror into the hearts of those that have disbelieved’. [Surah Al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.152]

“Thus, angels strike terror into the heart of the human beings they are attached to for the sake of a Prophet and his Jamaat. Examples of this terror can be found in this era as well. The Promised Messiahas would invite his opponents to participate in a mubahala [prayer duel], but they would never come forward in confrontation. Anytime they would think of coming forward [against him], the angels would strike terror into their hearts, [telling them], ‘You will be destroyed [if you do so]’. For this reason, they would retreat. 

“During the days when I travelled to Shimla, an Arya gentleman came to visit me. A conversation about the Vedas ensued. I said, ‘If you are certain that the Vedas are truthful, then swear upon it.’ He began to say, ‘I am ready to take an oath.’ I stated, ‘Take this oath: ‘If the Vedas are not truthful, then let punishment fall upon my wife and children.’ He responded, ‘I cannot do this. My heart is fearful [of this].’ I said, ‘I am ready to take this same oath about the Quran.’ He said, ‘This takes a lot of courage’. I said, ‘When I am certain that the Quran is truthful and is the Word of Allah, then why should I not have courage?’” (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 500)

6. They establish Allah’s Unity

Every angel is tasked with this duty, and it is an exclusively distinct duty that every angel [must] perform. Hence, Allah the Almighty states:

شَهِدَ اللّٰهُ اَنَّهٗ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ ۙ وَ الۡمَلٰٓئِكَةُ وَ اُولُوا الۡعِلۡمِ قَآئِمًۢا بِالۡقِسۡطِ ؕ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ الۡعَزِيۡزُ الۡحَكِيۡمُ ؕ

[‘Allah bears witness that there is no God but He – and (also do) the angels and those possessed of knowledge – Maintainer of justice; there is no God but He, the Mighty, the Wise.’ (Surah al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.19)] (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 501)

7. Establishing the truth of Allah’s Prophets

“People deny the [truthfulness of] the Prophets, but angels convince the hearts of people that this Prophet is not false. Hence, Allah the Almighty states:

لٰكِنِ اللّٰهُ يَشۡهَدُ بِمَاۤ اَنۡزَلَ اِلَيۡكَ اَنۡزَلَهٗ بِعِلۡمِهٖ ۚ وَ الۡمَلٰٓئِكَةُ يَشۡهَدُوۡنَ ؕ وَ كَفٰي بِاللّٰهِ شَهِيۡدًا

[‘But Allah bears witness by means of (the revelation) which He has sent down to thee that He has sent it down (pregnant) with His knowledge; and the angels (also) bear witness; and sufficient is Allah as a Witness.’ (Surah al-Nisa, Ch.4: V.167)]

“Angels bear witness in many different ways. For example, they can demonstrate the truthfulness of a Prophet in a dream. A person may be an enemy of a Prophet and consider him false, but the angels place such discourse into his heart by way of dreams that he accepts the Prophet. The truth of the matter is that an angel seeks out opportunities and moments whereby piety enters into the heart of a specific person. There comes upon every single human being such a time when piety enters his heart, regardless of whether he is Abu Jahl or Pharoah, and when this time of piety does arrive, then the angel takes advantage of this opportunity and places the truthfulness of the Prophet into that person’s heart. As to whether this human takes advantage or squanders this opportunity is entirely up to his doing.” (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 501-502)

8. They glorify and praise Allah

“Allah the Almighty states:

وَ تَرَي الۡمَلٰٓئِكَةَ حَآفِّيۡنَ مِنۡ حَوۡلِ الۡعَرۡشِ يُسَبِّحُوۡنَ بِحَمۡدِ رَبِّهِمۡ ۚ وَ قُضِيَ بَيۡنَهُمۡ بِالۡحَقِّ وَ قِيۡلَ الۡحَمۡدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الۡعٰلَمِيۡنَ

[‘And thou wilt see the angels going round the Throne, glorifying their Lord with (His) praise. Judgement will be given between them with justice. And it will be said: ‘All praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.’ (Surah al-Zumar, Ch.39: V.76)] (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 502)

9. They ask forgiveness on behalf of those who believe

“These are special angels who are tasked by Allah to continue to pray and ask forgiveness for the believers, praying that Allah conceals any weakness that a believer commits. Hence, Allah the Almighty states: 

اَلَّذِيۡنَ يَحۡمِلُوۡنَ الۡعَرۡشَ وَ مَنۡ حَوۡلَهٗ يُسَبِّحُوۡنَ بِحَمۡدِ رَبِّهِمۡ وَ يُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِهٖ وَ يَسۡتَغۡفِرُوۡنَ لِلَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا ۚ رَبَّنَا وَسِعۡتَ كُلَّ شَيۡءٍ رَّحۡمَةً وَّ عِلۡمًا فَاغۡفِرۡ لِلَّذِيۡنَ تَابُوۡا وَ اتَّبَعُوۡا سَبِيۡلَكَ وَ قِهِمۡ عَذَابَ الۡجَحِيۡمِ

[‘Those who bear the Throne, and those who are around it, glorify their Lord with (His) praise, and believe in Him, and ask forgiveness for those who believe, (saying): ‘Our Lord, Thou dost comprehend all things in (Thy) mercy and knowledge. So forgive those who repent and follow Thy way; and protect them from the punishment of Hell.’ (Surah al-Mumin, Ch.40: V.8)]

“From this [verse], it is gleaned that there are certain elite angels who continue to pray for elite believers so that Allah may forgive their weaknesses. As for the ordinary angels, they are tasked with praying for all people. These ordinary angels pray not only for ordinary believers, they even pray for disbelievers, and in this way, the elite believers attain a two-fold benefit. Firstly, elite angels pray for them and, secondly, ordinary angels, who pray for all people, pray for them as well. Allah the Almighty states of those angels who pray for everyone:

وَ الۡمَلٰٓئِكَةُ يُسَبِّحُوۡنَ بِحَمۡدِ رَبِّهِمۡ وَ يَسۡتَغۡفِرُوۡنَ لِمَنۡ فِي الۡاَرۡضِ

“[In other words] ‘And the angels glorify their Lord with His praise and ask forgiveness for those on the earth.’ [Surah al-Shura, Ch.42: V.6]

“I believe that Allah the Almighty has kept this path [open] as a means to empty Hell. Allah the Almighty will, due to the prayers of these angels, inevitably state, ‘Go. I absolve every single one [of you].’” (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 502)

10. The final cause of the laws of nature

“Whatsoever happens in the world happens through the influence of angels. For example, rain falls, the wind blows, the rays of sunlight reach [the earth], poison takes effect, a remedy heals, etc. All of these actions occur because of the influence of the angels. All things require the influence of angels in order to take effect. This does not mean that poison is not an entity in itself, or that a remedy is not an independent substance in itself; rather, this means that until the angel that is appointed over [the implementation of] poison does not permit it, that poison cannot take effect. And until the angel that is appointed over [the implementation of] a remedy does not command so, that remedy cannot take effect. This follows with all things. 

“As such, the Holy Quran at various points mentions that angels are appointed over rainfall, the gusts of winds, and other such actions […] If someone asks how one can suppose that all things occur because of angels, then they can find the answer in [this verse]: 

اَلَّذِيۡنَ‭ ‬يَحۡمِلُوۡنَ‭ ‬الۡعَرۡشَ

“‘Those who bear the Throne,’ [Surah al-Mumin, Ch. 40: V. 8)], that angels are indeed the manifestations of all of the attributes of Allah.” (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 503)

11. They pray for blessings to descend on believers

“Angels not only ask for forgiveness so that people’s sins will be pardoned, but they also pray that Allah the Almighty shower His servants with blessings […] Hence, it is stated [in the Holy Quran]:

اِنَّ اللّٰهَ وَ مَلٰٓئِكَتَهٗ يُصَلُّوۡنَ عَلَي النَّبِيِّ ؕ يٰۤاَيُّهَا الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا صَلُّوۡا عَلَيۡهِ وَ سَلِّمُوۡا تَسۡلِيۡمًا

[‘Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe, you (too) should invoke blessings on him and salute (him) with the salutation of peace.’ (Surah al-Ahzab, Ch. 33: V. 57)]

“These angels [mentioned in the aforementioned verse] work under Allah’s Mercy. When one acts in Allah’s way, then [these] angels pray that Allah’s blessings descend upon him or her. The angels themselves cannot give blessings, so for this reason, they pray to Allah, asking Him, ‘Bless this person.’ Their salutations [on us] is akin to the salutations we send on the Holy Prophetsa, asking Allah to shower blessings upon the Holy Prophetsa. In this same manner, the angels ask Allah, ‘Shower Your mercy on this person.’” (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 503)

12. They are completely engrossed in the worship of Allah

“The task of some of the angels is that they are immersed solely in the worship of Allah and will continue to do so until the world ceases to exist. The ahadith record that there is not even an empty space equal to a footstep, baalisht [a measure, equal to the palm of a hand] or a wrist, in the Seven Heavens. Everywhere, the angels are worshipping God or prostrating or bowing down to Him. On the Day of Judgment, all of the angels will say, ‘Holy are You! We could not worship You as You deserved. We can only say this much, that we did not associate any partners with You.’ 

“The believers should pay heed to these words of the angels. Even after completely engrossing themselves in the worship of Allah, the angels will say, ‘We did nothing.’ Yet, some people say, ‘We have worshipped so much,’ after doing a minuscule amount of worship.” (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 504)

13. They record people’s deeds

“Allah the Almighty states:  

وَ اِنَّ عَلَيۡكُمۡ لَحٰفِظِيۡنَ۔ كِرَامًا كَاتِبِيۡنَ۔ يَعۡلَمُوۡنَ مَا تَفۡعَلُوۡنَ

[‘But there are guardians over you, Noble recorders, who know [all] that you do.’ (Surah al-Infitar, Ch.82: V.11-13)] (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 504)

14. They inspire people to love those who Allah loves

“Angels spread love for those who are loved by Allah and inspire hearts, [telling them], ‘You should love these people.’ Hence, the ahadith record that the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘When Allah loves a person, He calls Gabriel, saying, ‘Allah loves so and so; O Gabriel! Love him.’ Gabriel begins to love him and makes an announcement amongst the inhabitants of the Heaven: ‘Allah loves so-and-so, therefore you should love him also,’ and so all the inhabitants of the Heaven begin to love him. Then he is accepted and granted the pleasure of the people on the earth.’

“You can see this scene in this era. This is an era whose people tell governments, ‘Why should we accept you?’ Yet, the people of this same era are entering into servitude to the Promised Messiahas. And those who are late in entering [his fold] regret the fact that they did not accept him earlier. This love [for the Promised Messiahas] is in fact disseminated by the angels. 

“This is a delightful proof in favour of the truthfulness of Allah’s beloved ones. False claimants appear and make great noise but no one even cares to even bat an eye towards them […] But look how love for the Promised Messiahas has spread throughout this world, and continues to spread.” (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, pp. 504-505)

15. They serve those who Allah loves

“Sometimes, angels are placed into service for those whom Allah the Almighty considers beloved to Him. They are placed into servitude and service for God’s commissioned ones. Hence, Allah the Almighty says:

وَ اِذۡ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلۡمَلٰٓئِكَةِ اِنِّيۡ خَالِقٌۢ بَشَرًا مِّنۡ صَلۡصَالٍ مِّنۡ حَمَاٍ مَّسۡنُوۡنٍ۔ فَاِذَا سَوَّيۡتُهٗ وَ نَفَخۡتُ فِيۡهِ مِنۡ رُّوۡحِيۡ فَقَعُوۡا لَهٗ سٰجِدِيۡنَ

[‘And (remember) when thy Lord said to the angels, ‘I am about to create man from dry ringing clay, from black mud wrought into shape; So when I have fashioned him (in perfection) and have breathed into him of My Spirit, fall ye down in submission to him.’ (Surah al-Hijr, Ch.15: V.29-30)] (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 505)

16. They teach and educate

“Angels are tasked to place the light of knowledge into the hearts of those who incline towards knowledge. The ahadith record that the angel Gabrielas appeared as a tamtheel [human embodiment], before the Holy Prophetsa and asked him, ‘What is faith? What is religion?’ The Holy Prophetsa answered [his questions]. When Gabrielas departed, the Holy Prophetsa said to his companions, ‘Do you know who that was?’ They responded, ‘We don’t know. Tell us [who it was].’ He said, ‘That was Gabriel who came to teach you religion.’ (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab- al-Iman)

“The manner in which angels teach knowledge is also strange and wondrous. Angels do not place what they teach into [what is known as] the “objective mind”; but rather, they place it into [what is known as] the “subconscious mind,” or into the posterior portion of the mind so that one can discover or extract it themselves. In this [“subconscious mind”] there is more powerful retention capacity than the zahiri [physical] brain, and it acts as a means of preservation. Angels place whatever knowledge they teach into this portion of the mind.” (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, pp. 505-506)

17. They place pious thoughts and inclination into the hearts of people

“This duty is carried out by that particular angel who is appointed his particular human being [as each human being has separate angels allocated to him or her]. In reality, this task of angels placing pious inclinations into the hearts of human beings is done under Gabriel’s supervision. Hence, the Holy Prophetsa states, ‘There lie two influences that affect the heart of man. One influence is from angels who urge the heart toward virtue and testify to the truth. Whoso experiences this influence in his heart should know that it is from Allah the Almighty and thus he should be grateful to Allah. The other influence upon the heart is from the enemy [Satan] who urges towards evil, denies the truth, and prohibits one from doing good. Whoso experiences this influence in his heart should seek Allah’s Protection from Satan.’” (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 508)

Ansarullah India value absolute direction from Khalifatul Masih

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Wakalat Tamil-o-Tanfidh, for India, Nepal and Bhutan

On Sunday, 11 April 2021, the national amila of Majlis Ansarullah India had the good fortune of meeting Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa and seeking guidance from him as regards their responsibilities. 

Ata-ul-Mujeeb Lone Sahib, Sadr Majlis Ansarullah India, said:

Alhamdulillah, thumma alhamdulillah. It was a historic occasion for us and for Majlis Ansarullah India. We cannot thank Allah the Almighty enough. 

Photo courtesy of Wakalat-e-Tamil-o-Tanfidh for India, Nepal and Bhutan

“For about an hour, we had the opportunity to sit with Huzooraa during this meeting. As soon as Huzooraa said, ‘Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah’, there was a wave of happiness in all of us. I have seen the virtual mulaqats of amilas, auxiliary bodies and waqifeen-e-nau of other countries, and I had an idea of how much love and compassion Huzooraa bestowed, but today, we all experienced this for ourselves. Like a compassionate and spiritual father, Huzooraa pointed out our shortcomings and gave us golden instructions. 

“For all the members of the amila of Majlis Ansarullah India, these moments spent in the company of the Khalifa of the time, are no less than an asset. A strange serenity and happiness we were having in the company of the Khalifa of the time. I can say with certainty that this is such a joy and bliss as cannot be attained even by sitting for hours in the company of the greatest leaders in the world. 

“At the very beginning, Huzooraa said that we should have shown some aerial views of Qadian. This shows how much Huzooraa loves Qadian. Although every Ahmadi loves Qadian, being the abode and birthplace of the Promised Messiahas, but when Huzooraa himself asked and then when a few scenes were shown at the end, it became clear how much he loves Qadian and how he longs to visit Qadian, Dar-ul-Masih and Bahishti Maqbarah. 

“May Allah the Almighty improve the situation so that Huzooraa may visit Qadian again. May Qadian and the Ahmadis of India have the privilege of meeting him and may He grant us the ability to be the recipients of Huzoor’saa love and compassion. May Allah the Almighty enable us to act upon the guidance and instructions of Huzooraa and to fulfil our responsibilities according to his expectations. Amin.”

Syed Kaleem-ud-Din Ahmad Sahib, Qaid Talim-ul-Quran and Waqf-e-Arzi, said:

“Our meeting with Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa has been very successful. I am thankful to MTA and their team as with their efforts, we were able to meet our beloved master and this meeting ended successfully.”

SM Bashiruddin Sahib, Naib Sadr Majlis Ansarullah for Financial Affairs, said: 

“Today, for the first time, by the grace of God Almighty, Majlis Ansarullah India had the opportunity to meet our beloved Imamaa directly. For this, we offer our prostrations and thanks to God Almighty. We are grateful to Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa from the depths of our hearts. We pray to Allah the Almighty to enable us to follow the golden advice that our master has given us.”

Syed Tufail Ahmad Shahbaz Sahib, Qaid Ishaat, said:

“Meeting Huzooraa through a virtual meeting has been one of the most beautiful moments of my life. The beautiful face of Huzooraa infused our souls with a new zeal. Drawing our attention to our weaknesses and to call for their correction is something we will remember.”

Photo courtesy of Wakalat-e-Tamil-o-Tanfidh for India, Nepal and Bhutan

Javed Ahmad Lone Sahib, Qaid Umumi, said:

“Huzooraa drew our attention in a very compassionate manner to many issues of different departments, which needed guidance. Huzooraa especially provided direction in setting targets, transformations and establishing new majalis. We now have our goals set for us.”

Mamunur Rasheed Tabrez Sahib, Zaeem Majlis Ansarullah Qadian, said:

Alhamdulillah, Huzooraa guided us with great love and compassion. We pray to Allah the Almighty that He may grant him a healthy and active life. Amin.

M Nasir Ahmad Sahib, Naib Sadr for Tarbiyat Affairs, said:

“I was able to attend the virtual meeting with Huzooraa today. Before the meeting had started, I was reciting istighfar and durood. I felt elated as soon as the bright face of the Khalifa shone on the screen.”

Hafiz Syed Rasool Niaz Sahib, Naib Sadr for Shura, Ijtemas and Tarbiyati Camps, said:

“I had the opportunity to speak directly with Hazrat Amirul Momineen for the first time ever. It was a unique experience for me and it was one of the most memorable moments of my life. My heart felt a new zeal and passion after meeting HuzooraaInsha-Allah, I will work according to the instructions of Huzooraa.”

Qureshi Farid Ahmad Sahib, Auditor Majlis Ansarullah India, said:

Alhamdulillah, I consider myself lucky on this occasion that I had a live interaction with my beloved master and was among those who received the guidance of Huzooraa. I thank Allah the Almighty that we got this opportunity.”

Abdul Momin Rashid Sahib, Naib Sadr I, Majlis Ansarullah India, said:

“This meeting with Huzooraa is indescribable in terms of love, affection and closeness. I had the opportunity to listen directly to the faith-inspiring instructions and guidance. May Allah the Almighty bless us with such meetings with Huzooraa again and again, and help us to follow the guidance of HuzooraaAmin.

H Shamsuddin Sahib, Qaid Tarbiyat, said:

“I had the opportunity to attend a virtual meeting with my beloved master, alhamdulillah. It was a unique experience to receive direct guidance from Huzooraa. He especially instructed me to get personal feedback from Ansar members about events and to try and maintain a pleasant atmosphere and end marital quarrels.”

Muhammad Yusuf Anwar Sahib, Qaid Tarbiyat for New Converts, said:

“I was very happy to speak with my beloved master in a virtual meeting and there was no end to the joy. The compassion of Huzooraa is unparalleled. We pray to Allah the Almighty that He may grant a long life of health and safety to our dear Imam and keep the blessed shadow of Huzooraa on us till our last breath. Amin.

Nasir Waheed Sahib, Qaid Zahanat and Sehat-e-Jismani, said:

“After seeing the face of the beloved masteraa, all fears and fatigue went away. The MTA team doubled the joy of Huzooraa by showing him glimpses of Qadian. May Allah reward the MTA team.”

Rafiq Ahmad Baig Sahib, Qaid Mal, said:

“I cannot express my feelings in words. However, I would like to say that this was an important moment of my life and an event that will be remembered for a lifetime […] Huzooraa spoke to me; its sweetness will stay with me forever. May Allah the Almighty help me to follow the instructions given by HuzooraaAmin.

Sheikh Mujahid Ahmad Shastri Sahib, Naib Sadr Saf-e-Daum, Majlis Ansarullah India, said:

“This meeting of Majlis Ansarullah India is a historic occasion. I am lucky to have attended it. Before the meeting, there was a state of fear, but this condition changed as soon as we saw Huzooraa. May this meeting with Huzooraa be a source of increasing knowledge and enlightenment in our lives, and may we fulfil the expectations which Huzooraa has of us. May Allah the Almighty enable us to do so.”

Muhammad Arif Rabbani Sahib, Qaid Talim, said:

“For the first time, we had a direct meeting with Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa. It is a joyous occasion for me that cannot be described in words. Before the meeting, there was a lot of fear about how to talk to Huzooraa, but his kind words dispelled all fears.”

Muhammad Nooruddin Sahib, Qaid Tabligh, said:

“I consider myself very lucky to have been a part of this meeting. Our beloved master gave us golden advice with compassion. May Allah enable us to follow all the advice of Huzooraa.”

Khalid Ahmad Allah Din Sahib, Qaid Isaar Khidmat-e-Khalq, said:

Alhamdulillah, by the grace of Allah the Almighty, we all had the privilege of meeting Huzooraa. It was a very blessed gathering. Huzooraa very lovingly concealed our shortcomings and gave us instructions to improve our work. May Allah the Almighty enable us all to serve according to the expectations of HuzooraaAmin

Dr Abdul Majid Sahib Saharanpuri, Qaid Tajnid, said:

Alhamdulillah, this was my first virtual meeting after taking the oath of allegiance. I was very concerned about the sanctity of Khilafat, but as always, we experienced Huzoor’s fatherly affection. A loving atmosphere prevailed. I am glad my first meeting was very positive. I pray that Allah the Almighty may grant Huzooraa an active life of health and safety and in his Khilafat, may the Jamaat continue to grow day and night. May the flag of the Holy Prophetsa soar above all flags of the world. Amin.”

M Thajudeen Sahib, Naib Sadr Majlis Ansarullah South India, said:

Alhamdulillah, this virtual meeting was a memorable moment for me; I will never forget it. I noted down the instructions from Huzooraa and will, insha-Allah, try my level best to carry out these instructions in letter and spirit. May Allah the Almighty shower His blessings upon our beloved Huzooraa.”

Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya India invigorated following successful meeting with Huzoor

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Wakalat Tamil-o-Tanfidh for India, Nepal and Bhutan

On Saturday, 10 April 2021, members of Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya India’s national amila had the chance to meet Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa in a virtual mulaqat. 

Below are some of their impressions following this meeting:

K Tariq Ahmed, Sadr Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya India, said:

“This was a historic day for Majlis-e-Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya India and surely, this meeting is an important milestone for the development of Khuddam in India. Before this, the national amila had a meeting with Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa in 2005, when he visited Qadian.

Photo courtesy of Wakalat-e-Tamil-o-Tanfidh for India, Nepal and Bhutan

“Huzooraa pays special attention to the majalis of Qadian and India and at all times, guides us and grants instructions on different occasions. Today, another way to benefit from the blessings of Khilafat came in the form of this virtual meeting.

“By the grace of God Almighty, it is a matter of great fortune and happiness for all of us that we had the opportunity to meet Huzooraa. For some of us, it was the first time that Huzooraa addressed them directly, due to which our hearts are full of gratitude and thankfulness.

“Huzooraa enquired of all the mohtamims about the activities and programmes of their respective departments and also gave detailed instructions. There is no doubt that the Khalifa of the time is the embodiment of compassion. He has encouraged us a lot and ignored our weaknesses and called us to improve our work.

“Huzoor’saa instructions are a beacon for us. This meeting will surely prove to be a source of revolutionising the spiritual condition of the Khuddam and Atfal of India and increasing them in sincerity and loyalty.

“Huzooraa has instructed us that the activities of the Qadian Majlis should be of a higher standard so that this majlis should be a role model for the rest of the majalis and it should be clearly visible to those who come from outside. 

“May Allah the Almighty grant us all the ability to perform our services in accordance with the high expectations of HuzooraaAmin.

Mureed Ahmad Dar, Mohtamim San‘at-o-Tijarat, said:

“Today, I had the opportunity to meet with my beloved master. It is not possible to describe in words the feelings of meeting Huzooraa. It was not even in our thoughts that we would ever be able to meet face to face with our beloved master.

“When the silent prayer was led by Huzooraa, it was a strange feeling that at last we were getting the opportunity to see and speak to our beloved Huzooraa. There is no doubt that Khilafat is the only system that enables us to have such spiritual opportunities, wherein our beloved master guides us like a compassionate father […] May Allah enable us to follow all the advice of our beloved Imam. Amin.”

Shamim Ahmad Ghauri, Mohtamim Ishaat, said: 

“Our feelings regarding this meeting are indescribable. We were informed about this meeting a long time ago and from that time onwards, we had a strange state of heart. In a sense, there was also the fear that Huzooraa would ask us about the responsibilities entrusted to us, so we were preparing in this regard and with it, we had the opportunity to pray a lot.

“Khilafat is such a blessing that when Huzooraa came for the meeting, his beautiful smile changed the atmosphere completely […] In relation to Khilafat, Allah the Almighty has promised that it will change the state of fear of the believers into peace. So our condition before the meeting was such that we were all in fear and were worried about the performance of our respective departments.

“I pray to Allah the Almighty that He may enable us to fulfil our responsibilities and meet the high expectations of Huzooraa which he has told us in a very lovely manner.”

Photo courtesy of Wakalat-e-Tamil-o-Tanfidh for India, Nepal and Bhutan

Tayyab Ahmad Khadim, Mohtamim Umur-e-Tulaba, said:

“By the grace of Allah the Almighty, the meeting was held in a very pleasant atmosphere. Huzooraa gave guidance in regard to the Umur-e-Tulaba department and explained how to set a target, how to keep in touch with students in the current year and how to achieve this target. He also provided direction as to which type of activities should be organised by this department during the year. I am extremely thankful to Allah the Almighty for this great opportunity to meet Huzooraa.”

Muhammad Tahir, Mohtamim Tarbiyat for Rishta Nata, said:

“I last met Huzooraa during his tour of Qadian 15 years ago. From that time till now, I had wished to meet him. 

“About a month ago, my health was not very well, so I was worried about how I would be able to participate in this meeting. But when Huzooraa came on the screen, the divine light of his countenance comforted my heart and all my ailments were removed, alhamdulillah. We will try to fully adhere to the instructions given in relation to the Rishta Nata department and will try to make the best programmes in this regard in all majalis.”

Ata-ul-Momin, Mohtamim Sehat-e-Jismani, said:

“Huzooraa started the meeting in a very kind and loving manner and in such a way that the heart became very satisfied. He granted guidance to all mohtamims in a very loving manner. He has specially called upon us to improve our performance and reports as well and to get feedback from the majalis and to further improve our performance by reviewing the results of these works. In the same way, Huzooraa has guided us towards very important and subtle matters as well. May Allah the Almighty grant us the ability to act accordingly. Amin.

Naveed Ahmad Fazal, Mohtamim Umumi, said:

“I had the opportunity to attend a virtual meeting with Huzooraa. When the blessed face of Huzooraa came before our eyes and the heart-touching voice of our beloved Imam fell upon our ears, in that moment, it seemed as if all fear and panic was gone.

“In regard to the umumi department, Huzooraa granted us special instructions regarding the protection of the holy places of Qadian. We pray to Allah the Almighty that we follow the instructions given to us by Huzooraa regarding the tarbiyat of Khuddam and live our lives according to the expectations of HuzooraaAmin.”

Syed Mohi-ud-Din Farid, Mohtamim Talim, said:

“This year, for the first time, I am getting the opportunity to serve in Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya India […] By the grace of Allah the Almighty, this was a very blessed meeting, in which Huzooraa gave us a lot of valuable instructions. I pray that may Allah the Almighty grant us all the ability to perform services in the best way according to the instructions of our beloved master. Amin.

Syed Zubair Ahmad, Mohtamim Waqar-e-Amal, said:

“Since we got the news about this meeting, I was happy that after a long time, we were being given the chance to have a direct meeting with Huzooraa. However, when the meeting started, seeing the radiance on Huzoor’saa face, all types of uneasiness and fear disappeared and the meeting was held in a very cordial atmosphere. I will do my best to implement the instructions given by Huzooraa in regard to the waqar-e-amal department, insha-Allah

Farhat Ahmad Malkana, Mohtamim Tarbiyat for New Converts, said:

“By the grace of Allah Almighty, this virtual meeting with Huzooraa was very emotional for me. There was a desire to meet him, which got fulfilled in this way. I had a great desire to speak to Huzooraa directly […] Huzooraa spoke to the amila in a compassionate, loving and generous way. We will try our best to follow the instructions given by Huzooraa to us and we will try to work according to whatever guidance he has given regarding our respective departments, insha-Allah.”

Mubashir Ahmad Khadim, Mohtamim Tarbiyat, said:

“I am very happy to meet Huzooraa during this virtual meeting and cannot express my feelings in words. We will do our best to follow the guidance and instructions Huzooraa has given us, insha-Allah. May Allah the Almighty enable us to act upon these instructions so that our majlis may progress. Amin.” 

Athar Ahmad Shamim, Mohtamim Muqami, said:

“When my turn came, Huzooraa asked regarding the report [of my department] and spoke to me in a loving manner just like a compassionate father. This meeting was very interesting; when Huzooraa said that emphasis should be laid on tarbiyat, he especially instructed me that as the Khuddam of Qadian have a distinction among all majalis, due to being in the central majlis, they must set a good example for others. Insha-Allah, I will do my best in this regard so that the Khuddam of Qadian create a good change in themselves and create a pious example.”

Nasrun-min-Allah, Mohtamim Mal, said:

“By the grace of Allah the Almighty, this meeting was held in such a way that Huzooraa, like a compassionate father, asked us all the questions and reviewed our performance […] The state of my heart cannot be described in words. In regard to the mal department, Huzooraa specially instructed that Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya India should stand on its own feet now. We pray to Allah the Almighty that may Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya India stand on its own feet [financially] and may He grant us the strength to do so. Amin.

Muhammad Sharif Kausar, Muavin Sadr for Waqf-e-Nau, said:

“It was a very happy and historic occasion for all of us. Our emotions are indescribable. Seeing the blessed face of our beloved Imam, my heart was filled with contentment and serenity […] After this meeting, we, Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya India, will reach new heights of progress, insha-Allah. Huzooraa also taught how to work and explained the ways for talim and tarbiyat of Khuddam. May Allah help us to follow all these instructions. Amin.”

Istighfar after Salat: The benefits and purpose

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Due to the natural increase in worship during Ramadan, we’ll be finding ourselves on the prayer mat a lot more than on normal days. A teaching of the Holy Prophetsa was that when a person finishes their Salat, they should repent at least three times by saying:

اَستَغفِرُاللّٰهَ۔‭ ‬اَستَغفِرُاللّٰهَ۔‭ ‬اَستَغفِرُاللّٰهَ

 “I seek forgiveness of Allah, I seek forgiveness of Allah, I seek forgives of Allah.” (Jami‘ al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Da‘waat)

Speaking on this topic and the reason Muslims are advised to repent after prayer, Hazrat Hakim Maulvi Nuruddin, Khalifatul Masih Ira said:

“It is a command, that immediately after Namaz [Salat], a person does istighfar at least three times. In a hadith, it has also been said that after Namaz a person should recite “Subhanallah” [Holy is Allah] 33 times, “Alhamdulillah” [All praise belongs to Allah] 33 times and “Allahu Akbar” [Allah is the greatest] 34 times – these are also essential prayers for after Namaz […]

“What is the secret behind reciting اَستَغفِرُاللّٰهَ۔‭ ‬اَستَغفِرُاللّٰهَ۔‭ ‬اَستَغفِرُاللّٰهَ three times immediately after Namaz? And what is its purpose? The truth is, humans are extremely weak, helpless and lazy. They are very far from true [spiritual] knowledge and can only progress slowly. What significance do we even have? […] 

“As humans are weak and their [spiritual] knowledge has not reached its pinnacle, and sometimes due to weakness and negligence, they do not offer Namaz at its appointed time, or at times, offer it without any concentration, or their thoughts wander around [during Salat] and they are lazy to offer Namaz with its due reverence and with their whole heart – an essential requirement of Namaz– or if Namaz is offered without being able to concentrate, or the true enjoyment and pleasure of Namaz is not attained or due to very minute reasons, the Namaz is left defective, for this reason, there is a commandment to do istighfar immediately after finishing Namaz. This is so that one pleads to God to compensate their weaknesses and any defective parts left in their Namaz.” (Khutbat-e-Nur, pp. 325-326)

Apart from offering these prayers after Salat to cover and compensate for the defective parts of our prayers, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira said that another means of covering the faults we leave in Salat is offering the sunnah prayers after Salat. He said:

“[…] the sunnah prayers, which the Holy Prophetsa instructed to offer, are also essential [for removing defective parts of the Salat]. To complete the compulsory [fardh] prayers, it is extremely important  to offer the sunnah prayers. Those people who are lazy and unmindful in offering sunnah prayers, should pay attention in this regard […] always offering the sunnah prayers is very important – whether someone offers them at home or in the mosque.” (Khutbat-e-Nur, p. 327)

By acting on such spiritual insights that our khulafa have explained, we can take our prayers and worship a notch further and progress on the ladder of spirituality, especially during this blessed month. 

100 Years Ago… – Muslims of Sierra Leone give grand welcome to first Ahmadi Missionary

Al Fazl, 18 April 1921

Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyarra

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Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyarra

Liverpool to Sierra Leone

I wrote the last letter, which was the first letter of West Africa, from the Abinsi ship. I was well at the time of writing the letter, but the Bay of Biscay reminded me of the dangers of the Atlantic Ocean the next day, and the sea sickness struck the weak Nayyar. Along with weakness and severe sea sickness, wind had an effect on my teeth and I experienced a sharp pain in my left jaw. However, after four days, by the grace of God, I recovered completely. By the time I reached Sierra Leone, my health was beginning to look like that of London. 

By the grace of God, I got a good opportunity to work on the Abinsi ship. I distributed literature, exchanged views with the travelers and many people had feelings of love and affection for Islam after hearing the message of the true religion.

Compassionate and new converts to Islam

There were around 30 Europeans in my friends’ circle. One of them was from Switzerland and the rest were from England. We had the opportunity to exchange views on various issues. Three of them came so close that they requested for pen names and asked to be called by Arabic names. These people are compassionate towards Islam and their names are as follows: 

1. Sergent W Habeeb Murrell

2. Mr S Mahboob Raidshaw

3. Mr A Mohibb Foreman

The first of these friends is a very good natured gentleman and said to his friends in the drawing room:

“I am no longer William Herbert Murrell, I have now been christened Habeeb; call me by that name.”

The second and third gentlemen were jealous of their friend and they also asked for Muslim names, which were given to them. Insha-Allah, one day, from being just compassionate, they will be granted the strength to become truly compassionate and show sincere compassion for Islam.

Moreover, five African Christians, after listening to the prophecies of the Bible, believed in the true comforter, the spirit of truth, the embodiment of Moses, and the true Messiahas of Muhammadsa. Their requests of bai‘at have been sent to be presented before Hazrat Khalifatul [Masih IIra]. Their names are as follows:

1. Christian name: John Macaulay, Muslim name: Abdur Rahim of Sierra Leone

2. Christian name: Zac T Owens, Muslim name: Abdur Rahman of Bathurst, The Gambia

3. Christian name: Thom Peter, Muslim name: Abdullah of Sierra Leone

4. Christian name: Thom Wilson, Muslim name: Abdul Aziz of Sierra Leone

5. Christian name: Jack Thompson, Muslim name: Abdul Hayy of Sierra Leone

Four lectures in Sierra Leone and a Muslim Bishop

The ship, Abinsi, which is one of the best ships of the Elder Dempster Lines, had a wireless telegraphy device. Taking advantage of its services to the missionary of Islam, where I sent a request for prayers to Hazrat Imam Al-Muttaqin, [Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra], I also sent a message to Mr Khairuddin, the Muslim Education Officer of Sierra Leone. Mr Khairuddin spread this message as far as he could. A dozen chiefs and imams of different nations, dressed in their glittering robes and turbans, and wearing heavy silver bells around their necks, came to greet this humble on the deck of the steam launch ship.

After exchanging salaam and “Ahlan wa sahlan wa marhaba” [Muslim way of welcoming], the first conversation was held in Arabic. The exercise of speaking in Arabic had already happened thanks to speaking in the language of the Holy Quran [Arabic] with the Sudanese and Tripoli passengers, so I had no difficulty. Moreover, one of the signs of the admirers of the Messiah is that they would speak in different languages. Accordingly, He [God] granted me such strength that I was myself amazed at it. There were motors on the shore. 

In the form of a procession, I was taken to a beautiful mosque, where representatives of fifteen thousand Muslims were present. I explained the purpose of my mission in English and thanked them for the welcome. Brother Khairuddin Sahib translated it into local English, which is called Pigeon English and explained what I said to the audience. In response, Chief Alna, the old special imam, thanked me by comparing my arrival with the promise of the arrival of reformers and mujaddids after the Holy Prophetsa. It was the morning of 19 February [1921].

I was brought to a magnificent English style hotel and all kinds of comforts were afforded to me. The arrangements for speeches were made for 20 February [1921] and announcements were published for them. The mosques were beautified and governmental Islamic madrasas were decorated with flags etc. The Muslims expressed happiness and delight in their own way. 

To begin with, a speech was delivered in a mosque at 8am. Thereafter, a second speech was held in a madrasa at 12pm and then in the evening a third speech was delivered in another madrasa at 6pm. Brother Khairuddin Sahib was the interpreter in the first two [speeches]. The men and women listened to these speeches with civility, respect and love. Before the speech, a young man recited naat [poem in praise of the Holy Prophetsa] in Arabic in a very beautiful voice. After each of the four couplets, a verse was recited by the audience in one voice. 

The atmosphere was amazing. I attended these meetings on a charismatic ride. Imams in red robes were present in front of the rickshaw and people wearing white robes were on the back. The young students were seen standing in a row on both sides.

I repeatedly mentioned the appearance of the Holy Messiah in my speeches and I heard no other voice except for “Aamanna” [we believe in him]. I preached separately to the imam of the country who confessed about his faith. The evening’s speech was for Christians and was listened to attentively. As there are two Christian colleges in Sierra Leone, and two bishops and 118 priest reside here, so the Christian gathering was made up of educated Africans. After the speech, a session of questions and answers took place. The Muslims looked happy while the Christians were lost in thought.

On the morning of 21 February [1921], I met with the authorities and drew the government’s attention to the educational situation of Muslims. I am happy to express that I was encouraged by the authorities. By the blessings of God, the unskilled master of Qadian’s madrasa, the humble Abdur Rahim, became known here by the name of Muslim Bishop. Isn’t it the glory of Mahmud that the inferior were made superior? Alhamdulillah thumma Alhamdulillah!

Departure from Sierra Leone and the seed of Ahmadiyyat

The Muslims of Sierra Leone wanted me to stay longer, but the ship was scheduled to depart at 3pm on 21 [February 1921]. Therefore, it was not possible for me to stay. The manager of the shipping company did his best to make arrangements in the first class of the ship, “Bruto”. A group of my Muslim hosts from Sierra Leone came to see me off at the deck of the ship. May Allah grant them the best of rewards.

Before my departure, Brother Khairuddin Sahib, who has been studying Jamaat’s literature for many years but did not take bai‘at, had the honour of taking bai‘at of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II. Consequently, the only highly educated Muslim in Sierra Leone became an Ahmadi, alhamdulillah. Many more young people are ready, who will join the army of the Promised Messiahas at a particular time and serve Islam, insha-Allah. God willing, the people of this place will greatly serve Islam. The spread of Christianity will now cease in the educated group, and in fact, the Christians will become Muslims, insha-Allah!

New ship, “Bruto”, and an officer’s Islam

The ship, Abinsi, on which I came from Liverpool was a large mail ship and weighed 57,000 tons. However, the ship, “Bruto”, is a relatively small cargo ship, and weighs five and a half thousand tons. 

God gave me a lot of comfort on this [ship]. Captain Mr Nelson is a very gentle and a good natured Englishman. I was treated with utmost respect. 

A Greek tradesman, an Englishman BA from Cambridge (superintendent of section) and the captain himself, are under tabligh. The second officer, who speaks nine languages and apart from passing naval examinations, is a senior of Cambridge, has accepted Islam by the grace of God. His name is now Ahmad Frank Bowen. Mr Ahmad hopes that his wife, who is a Spanish, will convert to Islam, insha-Allah. He has thus suggested the name Afifa Bowen for his wife and got his child named Mubarak Bowen. May Allah the Almighty grant them perseverance.

Prayer

This traveler, nine thousand miles from India, the weak and the lonely, Nayyar, requests for prayers from the friends of the Jamaat.

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu in the 18 April 1921 issue of Al Fazl)

Coming from every distant track: Syed Habibullah Khan Sahib visits Qadian and meets with Promised Messiah

A series looking at the high standard of morals of the Promised Messiahas and his Khulafa when receiving visitors in Qadian

Awwab Saad Hayat, Al Hakam

It is recorded and documented in the history of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya that on Sunday, 3 March 1907, before Zuhr prayer, Syed Habibullah Khan Sahib, alongside a friend, visited Qadian.

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It is said about Syed Habibullah Khan Sahib that he held an important post in areas like Agra and Allahabad. He was assigned duties by the British government, which he performed alongside the king of Afghanistan. He was also assigned certain responsibilities by the government of India, which he carried out in collaboration with the amir of Afghanistan. He was given various titles by the British government in honour of his services. 

Syed Habibullah Khan Sahib had travelled extensively through difficult routes to visit Qadian and meet Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas.

Addressing Syed Habibullah Khan Sahib, the Promised Messiahas said:

“After undergoing such hardships [of travel], no individual who does not possess firm faith can make such a journey. In the eyes of the materialists, coming here is a misuse of one’s time. May Allah reward you.”

In the same meeting, it was referenced about those who were entangled in worldly relations and affairs that such people were drowning in this world to the extent that they had become completely oblivious to the religion of Islam. In this regard, Habibullah Khan Sahib said that he desired to withdraw himself from this world and live a cloistered and sequestered life.

Upon this, Hazrat Ahmadas said:

“Religion and the world cannot be bridged unless God wills to make a person’s nature so pure that he puts his religion first even when he is involved in worldly affairs. Such people do exist in the world. 

“A person is mentioned in Tazkiratul-Auliya who was engaged in a transaction of thousands of rupees. A waliullah [pious man of God] looked at him and saw in a vision that his heart was not oblivious to the Almighty God, in spite of [being occupied in] such transactions. It is with regard to these people that God Almighty states: 

لَا تُلْهِيْهِمْ تِجَارَةٌ وَّلَا بَيْعٌ عَنْ ذِكْرِ اللّٰهِ

“[Surah al-Nur, Ch.24: V.38] neither merchandise nor trade diverts from the remembrance of Allah. Man’s excellence lies in him being engaged in worldly business and also not forgetting God. 

“What use is a horse that sits down when a load is placed on its back and walks extensively when its load is empty. This is not commendable. A faqir who is frightened by worldly affairs and becomes a recluse exhibits a sort of weakness. There is no asceticism in Islam. We never say to give up [marrying] women and [having] children, or to give up worldly affairs – not at all; however, an employee should perform the duties his job commands and a businessman should complete his business [dealings], but religion should be given top priority.

“An example of this is in the world itself, where businessmen and employees, despite the fact that they run their businesses and jobs very well, get married and have children and pay their dues equally. Such a person, who is busy in these engagements, can also fulfil the rights of God Almighty and can live their life with great excellence by putting religion before the world. 

“Man has a natural relationship with God Almighty because his nature has already confessed, in the presence of God Almighty, قَالُوا بَلیٰ  [They say, ‘Yea…’] in response to ‭ ‬اَلَسْتُ‭ ‬بِرَبِّكُمْ [‘Am I not your Lord?’]. [Surah al-A‘raf, Ch.7: V.173]

“Remember, the one who says to go to the forest and worship God, attempting to avoid worldly evils, runs away from the world in fear and adopts impotence. You see, a train’s locomotive – an inanimate object – pulls thousands of passengers with it and carries it to its destination. It is a state of pity for a living being that cannot carry anyone else with him. 

“God Almighty has bestowed man great prowess. He has placed a treasure of faculties within him, but man wastes them by adopting laziness […] It is an established rule that abilities that are not utilised are gradually lost. If a person spends his time in complete darkness for 40 days, his eyes begin to lose sight.

“A relative of mine underwent phlebotomy treatment. The surgeon told him to restrict his hand movement, therefore he was very careful not to move his hand at all. The result was that after 40 days, his hand became completely paralysed. 

“Man’s strength, whether spiritual or physical, cannot progress unless he uses it. Some people are also convinced that a person who works hard and utilises his faculties gains a longer life [due to remaining active]. Man’s [importance] dies when he becomes redundant; when he becomes useless, disaster strikes.”

The Promised Messiahas added:

“It is by the power of God that scholars of the time have issued fatwas about our movement without considering [its teachings] and [in their writings] have declared me to be worse than the Christians. They should have conducted thorough research first. They should have studied our books in depth and then acted in a just manner. Surprisingly, these people are still oblivious to the state of Islam, as if they do not know what torment Islam is currently experiencing. Even now, the internal condition of Islam is deteriorating as is its external condition.

“All their efforts are spent on [believing] Prophet Jesus is alive, sitting in the Heavens. They do not ponder that it is written in the Holy Quran that he has passed away and the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, testified that ‘I saw him among the deceased’. 

“In the Holy Quran, the word توفی comes first, followed by [the word] رفع. Then, we should also think about how the belief in Prophet Jesus being alive benefits Islam. The false god of Christians [i.e. Prophet Jesus, who Christians have mistakenly taken as their god and saviour] is given a unique characteristic and Christians make Jesus their god, and [through which] ignorant Muslims are deceived and converted to Christianity. The result of believing Jesus as alive is that 100,000 Muslims have left Islam and become Christians. This method has been tested. Now, let us try another method for a few days, which is that Prophet Jesus has passed away. 

“It is an established rule that when one medicine fails in its efficacy, another should be used. We have seen that there is no greater weapon to wipe out Christianity than to prove that the person they make God has entered the realm of the dead. Earlier, priests used to come to Qadian frequently and camp in tents and preach, but since we have claimed this [the death of Prophet Jesus], they have stopped coming to Qadian altogether. 

“Similarly, in Lahore, Lord Bishop wanted to prove the superiority of the Messiah [of Nazareth], over the life of Christ and the death of the Holy Prophet, by giving a lecture in a large gathering. No Muslim could provide any answer; however, Mufti Muhammad Sadiq Sahib, from our Jamaat, got up and replied that the Holy Quran and the Gospels proved that Prophet Jesusas had passed away and that the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was alive because there are still those who have performed miracles by receiving blessings from him. This left the bishop speechless and he avoided talking to our Jamaat entirely.

“Our principles are so firm for Christians that they are unable to answer them at all. These maulvis, who are blocking the path of the progress of Islam, are very unfortunate. Christianity automatically falls apart when their God is [proven to be] dead; so what else is left?

“Islam has endured days of great distress. Its autumn has passed and now its spring has arrived; اِنَّ‭ ‬مَعَ‭ ‬الْعُسْرِ‭ ‬يُسْرًا, meaning that after hardship, prosperity has come. However, maulvis do not want Islam to flourish. The state of Islam is now deteriorating internally and externally. The apparent state of the Islamic empire faces extreme weakness and the internal state is that thousands of churches are occupied [by those who have left Islam] and many have become atheists. When this is the case with Islam, is it not time that God, Who promised اِنَّا‭ ‬نَحْنُ‭ ‬نَزَّلْنَا‭ ‬الذِّكْرَ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬لَهٗ‭ ‬لَحَافِظُوْنَ‭ ‬– meaning ‘Verily, We Ourself have sent down this Exhortation, and most surely We will be its Guardian’ – protects Islam?

“They deny the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, in a way that they do not accept the mujaddid of the age. Did he not say that there would be a mujaddid at the head of every century? 25 years have passed since the [start of the] century – that is, a whole quarter of a century has passed. Now, tell me, who is he and where did he appear? 

“Everyone before us awaited the arrival of the mujaddid. Even Siddiq Hasan Khan thought that maybe he should be [the mujaddid], so too did Abdul Hayye of Lakhuke. One’s mere imagination cannot affect anything. One cannot achieve any status unless God Almighty so ordains. He who is entrusted with a task by God Almighty, is bestowed [a long] life; he is given the strength to fulfil his task, and provided means of help. Other people get mixed up in their own thoughts and are then unable to achieve anything. 

“Even a false tehsildar [tax officer] is arrested and put in prison after a few days, not to speak of one who claims to be divinely appointed, even though he is not from God.”(Malfuzat, Vol. 5, p. 162)

In this meeting, the Promised Messiahas shed light on various other spiritual topics. This meeting was recorded in the Jamaat’s newspapers, Al Hakam and Badr, which have been transmitted and presented to us in the form of Malfuzat. This particular occasion of history is recorded in Malfuzat, volume 5, page 162. 

On this occasion, Hazrat Ahmadas spoke to Syed Habibullah Sahib about the rights of guests and said:

“Today, I was feeling frail and [felt that I] would not be able to come out; however, after being told about your arrival, it crossed my mind that a guest, who has travelled all this way, also has a right. In wanting to fulfil this right, I came out [to meet you.]”