In times of economic crises, develop contentment and connect with your faith: Amila of Lajna Imaillah Italy meets Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V

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The national amila of Lajna Imaillah Italy was blessed to have a virtual meeting with Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V, may Allah be his Helper, on 4 September 2022. 

The meeting started with a silent prayer led by Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa, after which Huzooraa spoke to the amila members and gave them valuable advice.  

Speaking with the general secretary, Huzooraa instructed that monthly reports should be sent to the markaz without any delay. Huzooraa said, “You are a small majlis; therefore, you should be an ideal one.” 

Secretary tajnid reported there were 137 Lajna members and 31 nasirat and a total of 11 majalis – the largest beingBologna with 32 Lajna members. 

Speaking with naib secretary Nasiratul Ahmadiyya, Huzooraa said the nasirat should be divided according to the set age group categories and the syllabus and competitions should be set accordingly. 

Advising another amila member, Huzooraa said: “Take care of the Lajna; make their syllabus and teach them the whole Lajna syllabus.” 

Addressing secretary nau-mubai‘aat (new converts) – who converted to Islam Ahmadiyyat 11 years ago – Huzooraa said the new converts should receive adequate tarbiyat and a plan should be in place for this. Huzooraa advised the secretary to use her experience as a convert herself to devise the programme. 

With regard to chanda, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said all Lajna members should know how much they were contributing, even if their husbands paid on their behalf. Huzooraa said Lajna Imaillah should know how much their overall contribution was to the various chandas – this information should be recorded and used in an appropriate manner. 

Advising secretary talim, Huzooraa said every Lajna member should be given an exact portion of page numbers to read from a book of the Promised Messiahas in the language they understood. In this way, the syllabus should be tailored according to every demographic and then an annual test should be held for them.

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa spoke with secretary tabligh and said every member of her team and those preaching should aim to convert at least one person a year. A detailed and comprehensive plan that included literature distribution, demographics, personal contacts and seminars should be drawn up for tabligh to women. Huzooraa urged the secretary to encourage the Lajna members to be active and to get out and make personal contacts for tabligh:

“Don’t just sit at home and spend your time cooking or listening to what the men have to say – go out yourself as well. Tell the men, ‘It is our job to do what you do as well. Yes, we will arrange for your meals etc. – that’s a given – taking care and doing the tarbiyat of the children is our responsibility as well; however, along with this, carrying out tabligh is also our responsibility.”

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said there were great tasks yet to be accomplished and he presented great examples of female Companionsra in his addresses so that Lajna Imaillah were motivated by them and followed their examples. Huzooraa said Lajna should not set small goals for achieving new converts. Huzooraa said the various nationalities of Lajna members should be given targets; Arabs, Africans, Pakistanis, etc. 

With regard to Ahmadis of different nationalities and ensuring there was true unity amongst everyone within the Jamaat and Lajna Imaillah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa instructed secretary tarbiyat that the Pakistani Lajna members should sit, spend time and eat with the Lajnamembers who were from other nationalities; such as Arabs and Africans. Huzooraa said that currently, Lajnadid not integrate with members who were from different nationalities and neither spent time with them.

“Sit and eat their bread and hummus with them. Sit with African [Ahmadis] and eat their banku, kenkey and smoked fish, etc. with them. As a result, they will know that we are all one. Establish an Ahmadi society where there is no differentiation between Pakistanis, Arabs […] or Africans. We are to live together, as one. 

“If you establish a true Ahmadi society, a truly Islamic society in which there is no differentiation between nationalities – they are all one; Muslims and Ahmadi Muslims – then all the issues will be resolved. 

“This is a grand task. Along with [the five daily] prayers, this is also a challenge you have to achieve for tarbiyat; to unite everyone and fulfil the purpose and target of the Promised Messiahas to gather together all the Muslims on one religion. [Tadhkirah, p. 793]

“And wherever there is a lapse, you need to find out why it exists […] and wherever the problem lies, try to resolve it.” Huzooraa said this was the responsibility of all the secretaries of tarbiyat.

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa also said the tarbiyat and tabligh departments should utilise the educated Ahmadi Lajna students as well. He advised that seminars should be held for the friends and colleagues of those lajna students. 

Advising secretary sanat-o-dastkari (industry and handicraft), Huzooraa said Lajna members should make products themselves and sell them – there should not only be store-bought products available at Lajna events.

With regard to the Lajna newsletter, Huzooraa instructed secretary ishaat to produce a newsletter every month in which there was content in Urdu, Italian, English and Arabic – all four languages were to be included, Huzooraa said. 

With regards to producing content and writing articles, Huzooraa said the Arab Lajna should write and send articles in Arabic, the Africans in English, those who could write in Urdu should contribute, and those who were acquainted with Italian should also write articles in Italian for the newsletter – “gather all of them in one place”, Huzooraa said. 

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa asked secretary ziafat what she had prepared for the amila members. She said there was chicken with chickpeas along with biryani and ice cream for dessert. Huzooraa smiled and asked if everyone ate biryani to which secretary ziafat replied in the affirmative. 

Addressing secretary sehat-e-jismani, Huzooraa asked how much she walked every day. Secretary sehat-e-jismani said she managed three kilometres a day by walking one kilometre after every meal. To this, Huzooraa said it was advised not to walk after lunch and to rest a little instead – however, in the morning and after dinner, it was fine to walk. 

Huzooraa referred to the adage:

“After lunch, rest a while; after dinner, walk a mile.”

Huzooraa asked about how many Lajna members exercised and the different sports competitions held. During the conversation, Huzooraa said Lajna should try to play all sports, for example, netball and volleyball, and if someone knew martial arts, they could teach it. Huzooraa also said the amila members should walk or exercise at home on a regular basis – even if a little – to ensure good health. 

Huzooraa then enquired about family disputes and advised that if secretary tarbiyat came to know of any family disputes lajna were experiencing, she should – with great confidentiality – let the murabbi know so that the issue could be resolved. Huzooraa stressed this should be in full confidence without anyone else finding out.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa then opened the floor for any questions the amila members had. 

The first question was about those Lajna members who had done their wasiyyat prior to getting married but their husbands could not pay it after marriage. To this, Huzooraa said:

“Firstly, the wife has done the wasiyyat, not the husband – why should he pay the chanda?” Huzooraa continued by saying that whatever income the wife was giving wasiyyat on prior to marriage, she should continue giving. After marriage, “She should save money from the household expenses and […] give chanda [wasiyyat] from the allowance she receives, if the husband gives it to her. And if he does not give an allowance, she should tell him that ‘I am going to give this amount of chanda wasiyyat from the household expenses.’” 

Huzooraa said chanda wasiyyat applied to the mahr as well – so when the husband gave the mahr, the wife should pay her chanda wasiyyat on that. If the husband did not give the mahr and other issues continued within the household, then the only option left was to tell the jamaat that she could not give chanda wasiyyat and therefore to cancel her wasiyyat. However, Huzooraa emphasised that whatever the wife was giving prior to marriage, she should continue. 

Huzooraa noted that money was spent on cosmetics and food, etc., which meant chanda wasiyyat could be given as well. 

Another question asked was how to deal with inactive Lajna who would not respond when contacted. Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said:

“The thing is, you only contact them for jamaat-related work: You say, ‘There is a jamaat meeting today, a jalsa, an ijtema, etc., so attend.’ Or you say, ‘give chanda’ or ‘take part in this initiative’. Don’t contact them for jamaat work first, contact them to develop a relationship first. When you will establish a personal relationship with those Lajna, they will realise you are not only coming to collect chanda or some other reason.”

Huzooraa said those who were from Pakistan could be told that they had not come to Italy due to some personal skill or ability, rather it was due to the Jamaat. They should be thankful for this grace of Allah by being involved in jamaat programmes. 

Huzooraa said this would take time and that a relationship should be developed first. 

“The approach should be correct”, Huzooraa emphasised.  

An amila member said some husbands did not cooperate with Lajna members with regard to Lajna events. She asked what wives could do in such a situation. Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said such men should be reported to the local sadr and murabbi and advised. He then continued: 

“Educate your sons in such a manner that they grow up to become good husbands and positive members of the Jamaat.” Huzooraa said this was the first step to take so that the next generation’s tarbiyat was taken care of as it was the responsibility of mothers to do the correct tarbiyat of their children. 

Secondly, Huzooraa said wives should ask their husbands what their problem was and address it. If the husbands complained about their wives being out all day in the name of “Jamaat work” and that their household was not taken care of, for example, taking care of children and preparing food etc., then the husbands were in the right, Huzooraa said. 

“For this reason, divide your tasks appropriately and plan properly. Analyse ‘how are we to fulfil the rights of our husband and children and take care of the household and then, with the time left available, serve the Jamaat through Lajna [Imaillah].”

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa emphasised Lajna should devise a proper plan and then handle these issues accordingly. Huzooraa also said Lajna members must fulfil their responsibilities first; taking care of the household, the upbringing of their children and taking care of their husband too. “It should not be that a wife says ‘I am going for Lajna work, make the food yourself’. This should not happen as only quarrels will break out in the house”.

Huzooraa emphasised:

“I am by no means saying you should quarrel at home and create conflicts. Women should also work with wisdom and if they want to admonish [their husbands], they can do so.”

Another amila member said there were some born Ahmadis who lacked religious knowledge and this trait was beginning to seep into their children too. She asked how one could protect future generations and advise such Ahmadis.

Huzooraa said the guidance he had given to secretary tarbiyat should be followed. Further, those women who lacked religious knowledge should be taught by Lajna Imaillah and their children as well – constant effort was needed. Huzooraa said that by teaching their children, the next generations would be taken care of. 

However, if such people fell into worldliness then they should know that apart from destruction, in the end, there was nothing else that worldliness could offer. 

Huzooraa said such Lajna members should be exhorted with love and after developing a personal relationship with them. Huzooraa said the Lajna members in Italy were not so much and those members who had poor religious knowledge were fewer in numbers, therefore, the tarbiyat issues should be resolved immediately. 

“The Jamaat’s work cannot happen through force – they will be completed through love and harmony. This is also what Allah the Almighty instructed the Holy Prophetsa – this is the commandment in the Quran – to act with love and affection, and bring these people closer to you. […] If you are strict, they will disperse away from you.” 

The next questioner said that due to Covid-19 and the current economic condition of the world, expenses were increasing and many were under the strain of financial worry. She asked Huzooraa what advice he would give to those who had financial worries.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said:

“The whole world is moving towards these conditions. Develop contentment – this is what Allah the Almighty has instructed; to develop contentment within yourself. If one becomes content, unnecessary spending and unjustified wants will reduce.

“Now, if a woman demands she wants a particular kind of expensive make-up or that she will only wear certain designer clothes, then obviously frustrations will build.” However, a content person would not demand such things. 

Huzooraa said, “Gas supplies are set to reduce, fuel prices have risen and will continue to do so and shortages will also develop, as a result, other prices will also be affected. This isn’t just a question of Ahmadi women, it is a question of every single person. Therefore, you will have to adjust yourself.

Huzooraa said:

“Those who are religious do not drown in worldly greed. You are to guide the world that ‘instead of chasing worldly greed, usurping each other’s rights, stealing, creating disorder and violence in the country against governments and holding protests, develop contentment within yourself and use your money in the most effective way’. 

“If Ahmadis carry out their own tarbiyat in this way, they will be able to do the tarbiyat of the rest of the world too.

“This is a constant effort that you will have to exert. According to your circumstances there create a plan of action. I have given a general plan of action many times: Develop contentment, connect with your faith, and as a result, worldly desires reduce. Otherwise worldly desires never end, they continue to increase. It is an ailment like itching – a person continues to itch, enjoys it and in the end, wounds himself. And so, ultimately, worldliness will only result in injuring oneself. 

“Therefore, contentment and Allah’s remembrance – attention to salat – will resolve everything else. Develop a connection with Allah and all other ailments will be resolved as a result.” 

Another amila member said most girls who got married quit their studies after marriage. She asked Huzooraa what one should do about such a situation. 

Huzooraa said the primary responsibilities of married Lajna should be to take care of their homes. “If the husband says to leave education, then it is better – to avoid conflicts – to leave it. And if they have children, then the tarbiyat of the children is mandatory first.” 

Huzooraa said if a woman was in a beneficial professional education that would benefit humanity – like becoming a doctor – then after seeking permission from her husband, she could continue her education after having children. Or prior to even getting married, a girl could make it a condition that she would be permitted to complete her education after marriage as it was a beneficial, professional education. “Conflicts are avoided in this way”, Huzooraa said.

However, if the husband did not like for them to continue their studies and there was no such agreement prior to getting married either, then “agree to what they say and take care of the home and pay attention to the tarbiyat of the children.”

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa then conveyed his salaam to everyone and the meeting successfully ended.

 (Report prepared by Al Hakam)

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