Islamabad, UK, 5 March 2021: At 6:38 pm, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa arrived at the Masroor Hall, Islamabad, UK, for the concluding session of The International Association of Ahmadi Architects & Engineers’ (IAAAE) International Symposium 2022.
Apart from those in Islamabad, UK, other IAAAE members joined the concluding session through live streaming of MTA. These included members from the USA, Canada, Australia, Germany, India, Nigeria, Tanzania, Spain and Switzerland.
After Hazrat Amirul Momineen’s arrival, Abdul Razzaq Shaikh was called up to recite a portion of the Holy Quran, Surah an-Nur, Ch.24: V.36, followed by the English translation.
The report of the symposium was presented by Rafay Zafar Sahib who spoke about the lived-streamed presentations given by IAAAE members during the symposium that included topics such as the history of IAAAE that started from the time of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh, IAAAE construction projects around the world and innovations in architecture and engineering.
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa asked if everyone in the hall could hear the sound well. Audience members said the sound was poor to which Huzooraa asked the audio team to ensure it was improved.
Akram Ahmedi Sahib, Chairman IAAAE Europe, was next to speak. He said the theme of the symposium was “Empowering humanity during adversity through engineering” – this theme was inspired by the pandemic.
Akram Ahmedi Sahib spoke about the humble beginnings of IAAAE and highlighted the impact of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya on the success of IAAAE since its inception by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh through to the time of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa.
Akram Sahib reported that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa urged IAAAE to provide potable clean water and electricity to the people of Africa – this was from his own experience of living in Africa. He reported that under Huzoor’s leadership, IAAAE had now brought clean potable water to over 2700 villages, serving 3.6 million people and electricity to over 500 villages, serving over 250,000 people. “People now can get potable water, not just at their doorsteps but literally in their houses”, Akram Sahib said. During the pandemic, IAAAE Nigeria and IAAAE Ghana were also established.
Akram Sahib reported on some of the projects by IAAAE: The Water for life project completed 2667 water pumps in Africa as of 2021. IAAAE worked in 9 African countries and helped over half a million people. IAAAE also worked intensely in developing and installing Alternative Energy Systems to improve the efficiency and cost of systems, for example, solar battery systems. Akram Sahib showed, with pictures, how people from remote parts of Africa were seeing Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa through these systems as they were able to view MTA.
Akram Sahib then spoke about the Model village projects of IAAAE which provide electricity and ensure people in a village don’t have to walk miles to collect water. Through the model villages, people can collect water within metres of their homes. Akram Sahib noted how these model villages also ensured the protection of women and children who did not have to travel in the dark to collect water from far off places. Akram Sahib spoke about the great appreciation of the locals who saw their lives hugely improve through these model villages. These villages are constantly maintained and updated.
The Masroor International Technical College has been designed by IAAAE Lajna Germany to be built in Nigeria. Akram Sahib said funds for this project have been collected and promised entirely by IAAAE members.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa then came to the podium to deliver his address.
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa noted that after almost three years, IAAAE were able to gather together in person for their symposium. “I hope and pray that the event has fulfilled its objectives and proved beneficial for all the participants.
“Alhamdulillah, the IAAAE has done some excellent work in recent years and has continued to increase its service to mankind. If you look back to when the IAAAE was founded and its early years, its activities were on a much smaller scale compared to today. At that time it was involved in simple projects seeking to assist those living in hardships”. Huzooraa said IAAAE also assisted Jalsa Salanas for example helping in translation systems.
“From these humble beginnings, over time, the work of IAAAE started to evolve and expand. For example, some members worked on developing roti plants to produce rotis on a large scale in Rabwah. Slowly but surely the organisation continued to progress and broadened the scope of its activities beyond Pakistan. Now, by the grace of Allah, the IAAAE has reached the stage where it has undertaken and completed some very sophisticated projects and large-scale constructions for the sake of serving humanity and the Jamaat.
“For example, in Africa, the IAAAE has conducted extremely beneficial work such as providing water relief to the local people by installing or rehabilitating water pumps both independently and in collaboration with other organisations such as Humanity First.”
Huzoooraa said IAAAE had also constructed many “model villages” which “have had a direct impact upon the lives of the local people by creating ease and convenience, in relative terms”.
IAAAE Model Villages and other projects have been built at the lowest possible costs. “In this regard, I know some of your members have worked tirelessly and travelled to China in order to cultivate contacts with local manufacturers and retailers so that necessary materials can be procured as cheaply as possible. May Allah the Almighty reward their efforts which have played a significant role in enabling the limited resources of the IAAAE to go much further.”
Huzooraa said that according to the latest reports, people in 9 countries have benefited from the Water for Life project and thousands of the most impoverished people in Africa were able to get clean water.
Huzooraa said, “[…] The biggest struggle for people living in remote parts in Africa is the lack of clean drinking water, as has been mentioned by Akram Ahmadi Sahib. And so, by installing water systems, the IAAAE has had a genuinely life-changing impact upon those people who are the hardest hit by poverty and deprivation. The pure joy and elation they feel when they see clean water flowing at their doorsteps for the very first time is truly indescribable.”
Speaking about the IAAAE team in Germany, Huzooraa said they had undertaken a range of beneficial projects to serve and improve the lives of mankind. Engineers and technicians of IAAAE had travelled to remote parts of Africa and had worked diligently to help people, Huzooraa highlighted.
By doing so, people in remote villages could now view MTA International which served as a means of tarbiyat and tabligh. Huzooraa added that, through the installation of TVs and communication systems, the local people of Africa were improving their knowledge of world advancements.
“Therefore, the IAAAE’s efforts are not only serving to alleviate hardship and deprivation but also providing to be a source of education and information. Hopefully seeing such images and news will inspire the local children and youth to remain in education as long as possible and to learn more about new technologies so that they can better their personal situations and also play a positive role in the future development of their nations.”
Huzooraa said that in this way, the services of IAAAE would have a lasting impact and help generations broaden their success.
“It is only through education that those living in deprived nations will be able to prosper and free themselves from the desperate cycle of poverty that has plagued their communities for generations.
“As a result, the members of the IAAAE who play a role in providing education to the most impoverished members of society will be the recipient of their prayers and will certainly attain the blessings and rewards of Allah the Almighty”, Huzooraa said.
Huzooraa said that some years ago he had expressed his desire for IAAAE to work towards providing clean water to remote and deprived parts of the world. Huzooraa said:
“I am pleased that you have done a lot of good work in this regard […] In fact, through the Model Village scheme you have gone beyond what was initially assigned to you.
“Nonetheless, we are now passing through extremely precarious and dangerous times. And so, the IAAAE should reassess and evaluate how it can serve mankind according to the prevailing conditions.
“The current state of the world is extremely concerning and alarming, especially in relation to what is happening in Ukraine and the increasing enmity between Russia and the West.
“A dark and ominous shadow has been cast upon much of the world and if, God forbid, the current situation escalates further, the consequences do not bear thinking about. It is no exaggeration that the world stands at the brink of a disaster and there is the grave risk of devastation and destruction, the like of which we have not seen before.
“Therefore, now is the time for the IAAAE to intensify its efforts to serve humanity and to prepare for all possible eventualities.”
Huzooraa said that some privileged people had made bunkers with state-of-the-art facilities in anticipation of the world war, however:
“[…] What about the fate of the rest of humanity”, Huzooraa asked.
Huzooraa said that people should not be under the illusion that a fortified bunker would leave them immune from a World War. Living alone would lead to mental health issues and anxieties. Furthermore, “What would those rich people do when they emerge from their bunkers to find that life has changed beyond all recognition? What will they do when they see that those poor people upon whom they relied day and night, now lay dead?”
“Given this, all people, rich or poor, should recognise that what is happening today has the potential to affect everybody and that the future of mankind is at grave risk.
“Where we must pray that the world’s leaders see sense and deescalate before it is too late, we must also stand ready to play a leading role in rebuilding society if, God forbid, such horrific circumstances ever come to pass.
“Certainly, in the aftermath of such a war, humanity will face the monumental challenge of rebuilding the world, piece by piece. And it will be our duty as Ahmadi Muslims to be at the forefront of that effort.
“Hence, as a first step, the IAAAE should formulate a detailed plan identifying how low-cost housing, including necessary facilities and services, can be constructed swiftly to rehome displaced people.”
Huzooraa said such a plan would be of use even in normal circumstances. “Our Ahmadi architects should develop plans for low-cost housing with good amenities as this will be of benefit to the Jamaat moving forward. Similarly, you should prepare plans ensuring that our mosques, mission houses and other properties are all built to a high standard at the lowest possible cost and keeping sustainability in mind.
“If God forbid, a large-scale war erupts we can only hope and pray that at least some regions will be spared from the resulting destruction and turmoil. For example, it may be that African countries, certain islands and remote territories will not be directly affected. Accordingly, we should be ready for a future where it may no longer be possible to rely on the relative peace and security of the Western world and so we should assess how we can develop other parts of the world in order to fulfil the needs of humanity.”
“We should consider and reflect upon how we can make those less-developed nations and regions stronger so that they can free themselves from the shackles of debt and stand with dignity and honour.”
Huzooraa said we should help the poorest nations so that they could rise up and “guide the world” and play their role for the future development of the world, rather than living “off the scraps and handouts of the major powers.”
For this, IAAAE should work with a long-term vision in mind, Huzooraa said. Even if the current situation of the world was somehow resolved, IAAAE and the Jamaat should always “plan for the future and see what role we can play in raising the station of the developing world.”
“You should consider it your long-term objective to help those nations who have been mired in perpetual debt, poverty and destitution, to one day take their place as equal as the developed and industrialised nations, insha-Allah.”
In the end, Huzooraa mentioned the technical college that is being built by IAAAE in Nigeria and that he hoped that “the Nigerian people and people from all across the African continent can take great benefit from.” And that “This institute proves to be the first of many established by the IAAAE which serve to train and educate the local people so that they can stand on their own two feet and play a direct role in the progress and development of their people and nations.
“May all their frustrations and anxieties, which are rooted in their impoverished conditions be eliminated once and for all. Moreover, if and when their circumstances improve, I pray that they do not develop those selfish ways and greed which have been the hallmark of the major powers.”
Huzooraa said that, without doubt, it was due to the greed of the rich and powerful nations that they continued to “assert their dominance upon weaker nations and strive to take unjust benefit from the resources of others.”
“Most regrettably it is this never-ending craving for power and wealth, whether on the part of Russia, the Western world, or other major powers that have led mankind down just a dangerous path that threatens to shatter the peace of the world.
“Thus we must all fervently supplicate before Allah the Almighty, praying for a peaceful resolution to this current conflict.”
Huzooraa said it would be the duty of Ahmadi Muslims to rebuild and heal the world if destruction took place through warfare.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said that some may think his aims as out of their scope. However, Huzooraa said:
“If we are sincere and fully committed, I firmly believe that with the help of Allah the Almighty we can develop such proficient plans and large-scale projects that governments and world leaders will seek our help and expertise, insha-Allah.”
Huzooraa prayed for all IAAAE members. He said:
“I pray that the IAAAE now embarks upon the next stage in its progression by developing longer-term initiatives which will benefit the world for generations to come.”