“Beloved Huzoor, how can we attain your love?”: Khuddam and atfal from Italy meet Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V

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On Sunday, 4 December 2022, 64 khuddam and atfal from Italy had the blessed opportunity to meet Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa in a virtual mulaqat. At the outset of the mulaqat, Huzooraa addressed Syed Aqeel Shah Sahib, Sadr Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Italy and asked him where they were sitting. Sadr Sahib replied that they were seated in the Jamaat’s salat centre, located in San Pietro in Casale, Bologna.

When Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa visited Italy in 2010, he delivered a Friday Sermon from this centre, named Baitul Tauheed, on 16 April 2010. This was the first time that the Friday Sermon was broadcast live from Italy.

The mulaqat commenced with a recitation from the Holy Quran by Omer Amri Sahib, who recited Surah al-Mu’minun, chapter 23, verses 1-12. This was followed by its Italian translation, presented by Yamman Bin Shahid Sahib and its Urdu translation, presented by Timur Ahmad Sahib. 

Huzooraa then turned to Sadr Sahib once again and asked whether he was a murabbi, who had graduated from Jamia Ahmadiyya Germany and briefly asked about his family background. Huzooraa then asked him what the programme was. Sadr Sahib requested Huzoor’saa permission for khuddam and atfal to ask some questions. 

The first question was asked by a tifl named Sameer Ahmad, who asked when Huzooraa was going to visit Italy. 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa smiled and said, “Let’s see. Whenever Allah the Exalted takes me there!” 

The next question came from Timsil Ahmad, who wanted to know whether one could physically see angels. 

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa replied, “Angels do not possess physical bodies. Whenever Allah the Exalted puts any good thoughts and intentions in your mind, he does so through angels. Whenever you perform a good deed, you are prompted to do so by angels. Thus, angels cannot be observed [physically] like that. Of course, angels appear to prophets with revelation, as Hazrat Jibrailas descended upon the  Holy Prophetsa as has been mentioned in the Holy Quran and upon other prophets. He would bring revelation and it is a different phenomenon that occurs with prophets. 

“As for other people, when someone appears to you in your dream and tells you something good, then that would be an angel. Or if pious thoughts come to your mind, then it means that Allah the Exalted has commanded you to do that through His angels.”

Another question was asked by Basit Ahmad who was keen to know whether we would be able to hear Allah’s voice in the Hereafter like we hear people in this world. 

Huzooraa responded, “Yes, I hope so. If we are doing good deeds, then we can hear Allah’s voice.” 

While explaining the nature of that communication, Huzooraa further added, “It is all a metaphor. It is not necessary that you must hear Allah’s voice like you are hearing [people’s voices] here, but there is a different type of atmosphere there. Allah knows better, how He will convey His message to us, and how He will talk to us in the Hereafter. Allah knows best. We don’t know.”

The next question was asked by Naveed-ur-Rehman, who asked why we worshipped Allah and why He had created the world.

Huzooraa answered by saying, “Allah the Exalted is the Master of the heavens and the earth. He does whatever He desires. 

“You feel free to take a sheet of paper, draw on it, make a boat or something else out of it or make a sketch of something on it. So, you do as you wish according to your faculties. 

“Allah is All-Powerful. He created the heavens and the earth in order to manifest His powers to the world. He then created the best of creations, namely humankind. He created you, so that you do good, pious deeds, put your intellect to use as well and then inform the world how Mighty Allah is. Although we humans are small creatures, he has given us so much intellect that we are able to perform huge tasks. We are able to make so many scientific discoveries; we [humans] have invented the computer, we have found cures for so many diseases and Allah has given us superiority over other creations. Thus, Allah made all these things. He then created mankind and told them that He had granted them all these great faculties. [He said,] ‘I gave you the intellect to do great things, you are able to distinguish between right and wrong. Hence, it is also your duty to be grateful to Me. And the best way to be grateful is that you worship Me.’ 

“For that, He has also taught Muslims the method of worshipping. Whenever a prophet came, he taught his people the ways of worshipping [taught to him]. Hence, there were various ways, but the Holy Prophetsa was taught the best way, which is salat

“Thus, since Allah the Exalted has given us so many things, He has granted us so many blessings, has shown us so many favours and so much mercy, it is our duty to be grateful to Him. Is it not? Thus, the greatest demand of that gratefulness is that we should observe salat. That is why we observe salat. Then, Allah the Exalted has also said, ‘If you are grateful and observe salat, then if you ask me for more, I will grant you more. I am Rahman [the Gracious] as well as Rahim [the Merciful]. Firstly, I granted things to you without your asking. Out of my grace, I granted you so much for your benefit. And there are many other favours, that I increase when you observe salat and show gratitude. Then, I grant those favours to you.’ That is why we observe salat.”

Yammam Bin Shahid Sahib was next to ask a question. He said, when Ahmadis were granted their residency papers in Italy or completed their studies, they moved to other countries. He asked how one could encourage them to stay in Italy. 

Huzooraa said, “We cannot force anyone. We can only admonish and advise. You should tell them, ‘Compared to other European countries, there may be fewer [economic] benefits for you in Italy. However, you emigrated from Pakistan and came here, because you were suffering some hardships due to your being an Ahmadi. Your economic condition was not such that you were living a lavish lifestyle. Thus, you left that country and came here so that you may be granted religious freedom. So, there is freedom of religion in Italy too. Moreover, the Jamaat’s interests demand that you stay in this country so that the Jamaat may flourish here. You should do tabligh here and convert as many Italians as possible to Islam Ahmadiyyat. When Jamaat’s numbers increase and our good examples become established, then people will be drawn towards us. [You should do this,] instead of emigrating to other countries, in order to reap worldly benefits.’ 

“This happens in Spain too, not only in Italy. Spain is also a relatively poor country among the European countries. After they have received their residency papers, people also try to emigrate from Spain after some time. I say these things to them as well. 

“Otherwise, you should say to them, ‘Fine, if you wish to leave. However, since you came here for the sake of Jamaat, you should promise to attain five bai‘ats and then you can move to another European country.’ 

“This way, at least the Jamaat will grow and there will be at least some contribution from them too. Thus, we can only admonish and advise people. We cannot force them.”

Next, Umar Mahmud Sahib said, we invoked durood and salaam upon the Holy Prophetsa, but how could we pray for the Promised Messiahas and his Khulafa?

Huzooraa said when Muslims invoked durood and salaam, they also invoked it upon the Companions and other Muslims. We Ahmadis also write the following on top of our letters:  

 نحمده‭ ‬ونصلّي‭ ‬على‭ ‬رسوله‭ ‬الكريم‭ ‬

وعلى‭ ‬عبده‭ ‬المسيح‭ ‬الموعود

[We praise Him and invoke His blessings upon His Noble Messengersa and upon His servant the Promised Messiahas.]

“This way, we also include the Promised Messiahas,” Huzooraa said. 

Huzooraa added, “When you recite durood, you say:

‭ ‬اللّٰهُمّ‭ ‬صَلِّ‭ ‬عَلَى‭ ‬مُحَمّدٍ‭ ‬وَعَلَى‭ ‬آلِ‭ ‬مُحَمّدٍ 

[O Allah, bless Muhammad and the progeny (aal) of Muhammad.]

“Who is among the aal of Muhammadsa? In this age, it is the Promised Messiahas who is the foremost among the Aal-e-Muhammadsa. It is mentioned in a hadith that the Holy Prophetsa put his hand on the shoulder of Hazrat Salman Farisira and said that he was among his aal.”

Elaborating the hadith, Huzooraa said that the Promised Messiahas was also prophesied to be from the people of Hazrat Salmanra, i.e. of Persian descent.

Huzooraa said, “Hence, he is most deserving of being among the aal of the Holy Prophetsa. Thus, when we recite durood, we should imagine that it includes the Holy Prophetsa himself and also all of his ummah. Then, when you go down according to the ranks, you should also include the Promised Messiahas and his Khulafa, the awliya’, the pious people and then the entire ummah. Hence, all Muslims have been included in durood

“If we recite durood sincerely, carefully and while giving it sufficient attention, and beg Allah the Exalted to accept our prayer, then even all Muslims can be reformed, given that every Muslim recites durood in this manner.”

The next question came from Tawhid Adebayo Sahib. He said believers were promised in the Holy Quran that they would be united with their partners in Paradise. He asked if that was about the partners of this world or different types of partners. 

Huzooraa said, “Allah says, ‘mates’ [azwaj]. They can be both men or women. 

“Allah knows best, how he will make the partners in jannah but apparently, it is also possible and quite a number of scholars have interpreted it in this way as well, that if a person is doing good deeds, following all the commandments of Allah, worshipping Allah as prescribed, and he pleases Allah and has good morals, then he will be sent to heaven. So, the person – whether it is a man or a woman – should also try to ensure that their spouse also does good deeds, so that when they die, they both go to heaven in the Hereafter, after their demise. 

“If the husband is not doing good deeds and the wife is doing righteous deeds, then obviously she may go to hell. And if the wife is doing good deeds but the husband is not, it will be the other way around. […] If both of them are doing good deeds, they will be together in heaven. 

“If they are not doing good deeds, then they will not be in heaven together. Then, Allah will make some other partners [for them], because He is the only one [without partners]. He has made partners for everything else. So, even in heaven, you will see that he has made your partners. 

So, if both, husband and wife love each other here in this world, then the best way to be together in the Hereafter is for both of them to do good deeds, so that they are together there in heaven.” 

Omer Amri Sahib was next to ask a question. He asked, why Allah said in Surah al-’A‘raf, Ch. 7, V.55 of the Holy Quran that He created the earth in six days, while in reality it had been created over millions of years. 

Huzooraa asked the questioner if he was of Arab origin and if he had read the Holy Quran, to which he answered in the affirmative. 

Huzooraa then said, “Have you not read in the Holy Quran that Allah’s one day is 50,000 years? And in another place, Allah says His one day was 1,000 years. It can be even more than that. You cannot limit Allah’s days. Anyway, the first thing is that if you multiply 1,000 by 50,000, then there are 365 days in a year. The result will be [18 billion] years.” 

Huzooraa added, “Allah’s day is not our world’s day; the day starts as the sun rises and sets. When Allah was creating this world, the sun, the moon and all the other planets and stars were also passing through the same process. We cannot say that He made the sun before He created the world. He created the heavens and the earth. That is what He says. So, we cannot simply say that, ‘it says six days.’ That is one thing. Secondly, here, six days means a period of time. In some of our commentaries, it is written that Allah’s day is a period of time. It can be of 50,000 years. It can be of 1,000 years. It can be of 1,700 million years. So, if you combine all these verses together, then you will be able to understand what it means. 

“The first thing you must know is that Allah’s day is not like an ordinary day. Secondly, here days mean the time period, not the day, which starts with the rising of the sun and [finishes] with the setting of the sun. No! This is not [the description of Allah’s] day. [His day] is not our world’s day. […] 

Huzooraa then said, although he did not have much time, he would find and read out something from the commentary of the Holy Quran. Huzooraa then took a copy of the Holy Quran’s short commentary from in front of him and said, “Even in our commentary, it is written that,

  فِيۡ‭ ‬سِتَّةِ‭ ‬اَيَّامٍ

means ‘in six periods’. And it is also written here that, ‘Ayyam is the plural of Yaum which denotes time absolutely; or it may signify an indefinite period, or a stage in the development of a thing. It is not possible to surmise and define the length of this period. It may be ‘a thousand years’ […]’ 

“This is what I have already explained. I don’t have the references to the verses here before me where Allah has given the time period of Allah’s day as 50,000 years and the other day as 1,000 years. You can find it in the Holy Quran. If you consult the Holy Quran, you consult the index of it and from the index, you would know. Or you can ask your murabbi sahib. He would find out the verses.” 

The following question was asked by Imran Zafar Sahib. He said, the situation of the world was worsening. Moreover, the inflation or the cost of living crisis was leading to quarrels in homes. How should an Ahmadi react to such circumstances?

Huzooraa responded, “You are merely talking about conflicts at homes, but there are global conflicts going on.” 

Huzooraa added, “Allah the Exalted has told us to inculcate contentment [qana‘at.] Circumstances can change and incomes can vary too. Wives and husbands should understand that they have to adjust themselves according to the circumstances. If the circumstances are good today, they could take a turn for the worse tomorrow. If they are bad today, they could become better tomorrow. Hence, if one inculcates qana‘at, shows gratitude to Allah the Exalted and learns the habit of living within the means, then there would neither be quarrels nor conflicts. 

“Moreover, if you continue to show gratitude to Allah the Exalted in all circumstances, then Allah will also continue to bless you with His favours. 

“If worldliness has increased, then one will have to change their preferences. Nations that are patient and persevering continue to show patience and do not quarrel [under difficult circumstances.]

“During the time, when I lived in Ghana, the economic circumstances there were very bad. Sometimes, one would not even get bread. One had to stand in the queue to get bread. Then, a van used to come to distribute the bread. Toward the evening, after having queued all day, half the people received bread and the other half did not. However, none of them quarrelled over it. They used to go home quietly and eat whatever they had; some would eat corn and others would eat something else, such as peanuts, yam, cassava or whatever things were available there. This way, one used to eat the fill or even if the belly did not fill, one dealt with the situation by just drinking some water. So, this is qana‘at. Then, gradually, Allah the Exalted showers his mercy. Now, by the grace of Allah, the circumstances there have improved. 

“Thus, an Ahmadi Muslim should always remember that Allah the Exalted showed his mercy to us and we lived in good conditions; we used to get whatever we required as things were cheaper. Now, if there is inflation in our country, we should decrease the number of unnecessary things for the sake of more important things, instead of quarrelling. What is the benefit of quarrelling? Husband and wife would quarrel, the children would watch that drama as to how their parents fight, then what would happen is that after some time, the mother would say, I cannot live with you, I am seeking khul‘. The father would say, if you cannot live, then go on, take talaq from me. I divorce you. What would be the benefit of this? Houses would be destroyed, and it would affect the children negatively. Hence, one should show patience and courage, abandon unreasonable needs and live within their means. 

“Still, there is much mercy from Allah the Exalted, and you are able to eat despite the inflation. In Pakistan and many African countries, there are people who receive a meal once a night. They take a couple of morsels in the morning with some water and go out, and then eat a meal at night. Then, eat the leftover bread from the night before in the morning again if any is available. You should be thankful that you still have food and inculcate qana‘at.”

Next, Shehroz Ahamd asked whether children who could not be enrolled in the Waqf-e-Nau scheme before their birth, could join the scheme at a later stage in their lives.  

Huzooraa said, “They can dedicate their lives later on. Who has stopped them from doing waqf? Even when the Waqf-e-Nau scheme did not exist, people used to dedicate their lives. When I was born, I was not part of the Waqf-e-Nau scheme. I dedicated my life later on. Some parents, whose children were not part of the Waqf-e-Nau scheme, offer their children as part of Waqf-e-Awlad, stating that they were dedicating the lives of their children now. The parents should do their tarbiyat, in such a way that those children themselves dedicate their lives later, when they grow older. 

“If you wish to dedicate your lives, then you should have good conduct, perform pious deeds, forge a relationship with Allah the Exalted, do well in your studies, and once you achieve something after your studies, then you can do waqf. Or after completing secondary school, if you wish to study at Jamia Ahmadiyya, then you should apply to Jamia. Those, who are not waqifeen-e-nau can also get admission into Jamia.”

The next question was by Athar Ahmad, who asked what one should do if one had a bad teacher at school or if other students bullied one. How could one save oneself from their evil?

Huzooraa said, “Why should you get a bad teacher? Some could be racist; they would taunt you about your Asian heritage and say, ‘You are coloured. Why have you come to us, white people?’ If a teacher says something like this once or twice, you may ignore it. However, if he persists in doing this, then you should inform your head teacher at the school. You may ignore it once or twice, but if the other students do this persistently, and there is a danger of escalation, then you should inform your head teacher.”

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Haseeb-ur-Rehman Sahib asked whether he could send letters to Huzooraa requesting prayers via email. 

Huzooraa replied, “You should either post your letters or fax them. Nowadays, people do not use fax machines, except for Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya. They put more emphasis on email. Don’t make it too easy for yourself. If you want to write a letter to request prayers, then put some effort into it.”

Timur Ahmad Sahib asked which supplication Huzooraa made most abundantly. 

Huzooraa said, “All the prayers; prayers for the progress of the Jamaat, should be offered abundantly. One should recite durood, supplicate to Allah and engage in zikr-e-ilahi. I am reminded of different prayers on different occasions and days. One then keeps reciting those prayers. Sometimes, Allah the Exalted moves one in a certain direction or some prayers just come naturally on one’s tongue. 

“Anyway, most importantly, one should pray for the progress of the Jamaat in this manner. The principle is that one should first pray for oneself, that Allah the Exalted grants one strong faith and the opportunity to do justice to His worship and He enables one to remain attached to the Jamaat and to do justice to the bai‘at, and have a loyal relationship with Khilafat. Then one should pray for one’s family and one’s children, that Allah may enable them to remain attached to the Faith too and that they always continue to serve the Faith and have a loyal relationship with Allah the Exalted and that they have a connection with the Jamaat. Then, you can pray for your economic situation as well. Then, also pray for the betterment of the world. So, there are many such prayers. If you start praying in your sujood like this, then your prayers will also become longer. You will enjoy your prayers. Those, who are students, should pray regarding their studies.”

Mansur Nayyar, a tifl, then asked why we offered the five daily prayers.

Huzooraa said, “As I said previously, we should be grateful for the blessings that Allah the Exalted has bestowed upon us, out of his sheer grace. He is our Rabb-ul-Alamin [Lord of all the worlds]. He created many things for us even before our birth. So, in order to show gratitude to Him, we should offer salat. 

“Allah the Exalted has informed us of the five times for prayers. This is the Fajr prayer: [It means] when you wake up, you should offer gratitude to Allah the Exalted and offer salat and worship Him. Then, at the time of Zuhr, at the declining of the sun, you should offer salat and express your thankfulness to Allah the Exalted for assisting you in having a good start to the day. May the remainder of the day be also good. Then, when the sun declines further, we offer the Asr salat. We say, ‘O Allah, You helped us go through the Asr time in an excellent manner, we are grateful to You and may the remainder of the day be also good.’ Then, we offer the Maghrib prayer. In that, you say, ‘O Allah, the sun has now set, but may the sun of Your grace never set on us. You may continue to show mercy to us.’ Then comes the time of the Isha prayer. At that time, you should show gratitude to Allah by saying that, although now darkness had spread everywhere, may darkness never overcome us. May this night be an excellent night for us and Allah may keep us under His protection and help us go through the night nicely, so that we may show gratitude to Him again at the Fajr time. 

“Thus, it should suffice for you at this age that you observe the five daily prayers, according to these timings.” 

Jazib Mahmud, another tifl, asked, “Beloved Huzoor, how can we attain your love?”

Huzooraa said, “If you attain the love of Allah, you will attain the ultimate love. In order to attain Allah’s love, it is important that you observe salat as stipulated by Him. Thus, offer the five daily prayers, pray to Allah, that you may attain His love, and He may grant you the love of the Holy Prophetsa, then of the Promised Messiahas and then of Khilafat. Then, if you pray to Allah, He will grant you.”

Jalees Ahmad asked how we could become like Syed Talay Ahmad Shaheed. 

Huzooraa said, “Do good, pious deeds, serve the Jamaat, follow the commandments of Allah the Exalted and offer the salat on time.” 

Huzooraa then asked Jalees, how old he was, to which the tifl replied, “10”. 

Upon this, Huzooraa said, “Now, prayers have become obligatory upon you. You should offer prayers on time, do good deeds, recite the Holy Quran, try to learn its translation, listen to and obey your parents, talk about good things, behave well toward your friends, be good in your studies, have a relationship with Khilafat and with the Community. As a result, you would become good.”

Hazeem Ahmad asked if the children, who were part of the Waqf-e-Nau scheme, only became murabbis or if they could help the Jamaat in some other way.

Huzooraa asked how old he was and whether he listened to Huzoor’s sermons. Huzooraa added, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh and now Huzooraa had been delivering sermons for many years, about what careers waqifeen-e-nau should pursue. 

Huzooraa then said, “You can become a murabbi, a doctor, a teacher or a lawyer. You should pursue whatever career you wish, then Jamaat will use your services whenever it so desires. However, it would be good if those who know Italian, became murabbis, so that we may send more people to Italy to do tabligh.” 

Huzooraa then asked the tifl, what he himself wanted to become, to which he said, “a murabbi”. Huzooraa said, “Well, then, there is no need to ask a question, you will pursue whatever you desire.”

The final question was asked by Hareem Ahmad, a tifl, who wanted to know whether “the young children, who went to Jamia, memorised the entire Holy Quran or just certain portions of it.”

Huzooraa said, “Do small children go to Jamia? Small children do not go to Jamia. They come to Jamia after having completed their secondary school education. They go when they are older. At that age, they should know some Surahs. 

“Those children who memorise the Holy Quran, do so between the ages of 10-12. 

Huzooraa then explained that Madrasat-ul-Hifz of the Jamaat was established in various countries of the world, including the UK, where children came at a young age and memorised the Holy Quran within a few years. 

In the end, Huzooraa briefly spoke to Sadr Sahib Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Italy, who thanked Huzooraa for sparing some of his most precious time. Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa then conveyed his salaam and the meeting came to a successful end.

(Report prepared by Al Hakam)

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