Dhiya Tahira Bakr, Sadr Lajna Imaillah USA
During my first mulaqat as Sadr Lajna Imaillah USA with Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa, I asked Huzooraa how often should I meet with him as a national sadr. Huzooraa said as often as I liked. Later, I requested my second mulaqat. It was initially approved, but later I was advised not to travel due to the rise of Covid-19.
My first term in serving as the national sadr of Lajna Imaillah USA was faced with a few major challenges: Members being infected and affected by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, cancellation of in-person meetings and activities, civil unrest related to police brutality and killings of African Americans leading to the resurgence of protest for social justice in the secular communities and the United States controversial presidential elections.
I was trying as a leader to keep Lajna members focused on our Islamic practices for guidance and to help others. I continued to promote Lajna programmes through the pandemic but on a virtual platform, attempted to motivate members via communications and webinars on race relations, Lajna empowerment and mentorship.
Later, Huzooraa began having virtual mulaqats and clips were shown through MTA. I thought this might be a way to inspire the Lajna amila and our membership in general. Therefore, I wrote to Huzooraa requesting a virtual mulaqat.
On 15 July 2021, I received a letter of approval for a mulaqat with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa to be held on 29 August 2021.
Immediately, I shared the information with the Lajna amila and assigned our Naib Sadr IV, sister Amatul Hai Ahmad Sahiba to start organising the logistics. I also consulted with National Umur-e-Ama Secretary, Dr Bilal Rana Sahib regarding the guidelines for meetings during a pandemic.
Naib Sadr Lajna Imaillah USA reached out to the head of MTA International USA Studios, Ghaalib Khan Sahib. Ghaalib Khan Sahib and his team organised the technical aspect at Baitur Rahman and provided guidelines.
I prepared a tentative agenda for the mulaqat in case Huzooraa asked for it. Then, I briefed the Lajna amila on what to expect and to prepare a one-page summary on their department activities and outcomes from the local majalis reporting.
This report was for the national secretaries to use as a basis to answer any possible questions from Huzooraa. I read each report and gave guidance if necessary prior to our mulaqat.
In the days leading up to the mulaqat, I then informed the regional and local sadrs to share the news of this event and requested prayers. The day prior to the event, the amila members and I met over dinner to address any questions or concerns. The day of the event, we had a brief rehearsal with the Production Director of MTA International, Munir Odeh Sahib and a brief rehearsal among ourselves.
It was a blessing that Huzooraa granted Lajna Imaillah USA a mulaqat especially so close after holding the wonderful UK Jalsa Salana. The national amila and I were very grateful. As an auxiliary trying our best to live according to the teachings of Islam while struggling through our personal challenges and helping others, the mulaqat is a way to be near our Khalifa whereby his presence offers comfort, support and inspiration, alhamdulillah; the very reason why I felt the need to make the request. I will continue to work hard to follow our teachings, serve Huzooraa and Lajna Imaillah USA. I pray for the help and guidance of Allah the Almighty.
The feedback of the participants is as follows:
Cassandra Shafeek, National Secretary Khidmat-e-Khalq expressed:
“I was surprised about how much Huzooraa drilled down on each department. I was able to get an overview of our national amila from his perspective. The meeting was very informative. As a result, my focus and resolve will improve insha-Allah. I appreciate the hospitality and instructions from the host Jamaat volunteers, the MTA crew and our National Sadr Sahiba. They always go above and beyond.”
Sadeeka Kukoyi, National Secretary Tajnid said:
“Alhamdulillah, I think the mulaqat with Huzooraa went well. Overall, thankful for all the hands that made this a successful event.”
Noor Bhatti, National Secretary Mauvina Office expressed:
“I had an amazing experience of mulaqat with my beloved Huzooraa. I was very nervous before the mulaqat since it was my first time to be in Huzoor’s company. But when the time came, I felt very relaxed in his presence. Although it was a virtual mulaqat, I felt as if he was sitting in front of us. There was a constant smile on his enlightening face. His kind sense of humour made us smile multiple times during the mulaqat. His words of wisdom left a very deep image on my memory, and it will help the amila members to perform their duties efficiently, insha-Allah.”
Saliha Malik, honourary amila member said:
“Our virtual mulaqat was a most valuable occasion. Beloved Huzoor’s loving guidance was clear and most beneficial. I am so grateful to Allah that this kind of meeting is made possible by MTA.”
Mabroor Jattala, In Charge Waqifaat-e-Nau USA and IT/Communications said:
“Alhamdulillah, by the grace of Allah the Almighty, the virtual mulaqat with Huzoor-e-Aqdasaa was faith-affirming and uplifted our resolve in the service of Islam Ahmadiyyat. I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity in the presence of Huzooraa in this virtual mulaqat.”
Mubarika Shah, National Honourary member said:
“It is Allah’s blessings and heart touching experience to be in the presence of Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa. I felt how lucky Lajna Imaillah USA is who got direct guidance of Huzooraa for each department based on our performance and his questions. We feel a new energy and spiritually uplifted to do our best to serve Allah. What a happy occasion after going through the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Shazia Shakur Sohail, In Charge of Public Affairs, expressed:
“Alhamdulillah, the virtual meeting felt just like an in-person meeting due to meticulous attention to detail on the part of MTA and the quality of sound and picture. Beloved Huzooraa spent ample time with each amila member and we did not feel rushed. For the office of umur-e-kharija, I received exactly the kind of guidance I needed and desired, alhamdulillah. I am filled with gratitude to Allah Who has provided the means to meet beloved Huzooraa despite travel restrictions.”
Laeeqa Mirza, National Secretary Tarbiyat Nau-Mubai‘at said:
“It was a great experience listening to all the valuable advice that was given by beloved Huzooraa in every department. I feel very blessed.”
Namoode Sahar Choudhary expressed:
“It was a blessing and a gift from Allah that we were able to see our beloved Huzooraa virtually after such a long time, alhamdulillah. When Huzooraa led us in dua in the beginning, I couldn’t help being emotional; tears started flowing and I had to contain myself.I especially admire our beloved Huzoor’s attention and cheerfulness whilst meeting us […] I am very thankful for this opportunity and will try to improve myself […] I learned one thing by Huzoor’s comment that no matter how small a task is, I need to take it seriously and do it responsibly – I needed to hear it.”
Dr Amtul Rehman Ahmad expressed:
“Masha-Allah, excellent and satisfying meeting. I felt like I was sitting in Huzoor’s office personally and listening to his compassionate advice and watching his glowing smiling face. Masha-Allah, very productive mulaqat, alhamdulillah.”
Ruqaiya Asad, National Secretary Isha‘at expressed:
“The muluqat with dear Huzooraa was inspirational and very helpful. The technical setup was very smooth and everything worked well. Huzooraa provided suggestions and feedback to each department, alhamdulillah. We enjoyed his humour and candour.”
Sabahat Ali, National General Secretary expressed:
“Alhamdulillah, I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to sit in front of beloved Huzooraa. At times, during the last year and a half, the pandemic caused so much sadness, worry and stress, but it is amazing to realise that even in the difficult times Allah’s light is always there. Not only were we given the opportunity to meet with beloved Huzooraa, but this time by the grace of Allah we were able to meet with Huzooraa from the USA via a virtual meeting. This was only made possible by the blessings of Allah. When I first walked into the filming room, I was amazed at how the MTA team had set up the lights and the chairs. Everything was so bright and looked very professional […]”
Aziza Rana, National Secretary Ziafat expressed:
“Alhamdulillah, it was a great honour for me to attend the mulaqat. It was a very inspiring and fulfilling experience. It was a great learning experience. May Allah enable us all to adhere to the advice given to us by beloved Huzooraa and to benefit from this mulaqat.”
Shahina Bashir, In Charge of Media Watch, said:
“It was a great honour for the opportunity to attend this historic virtual mulaqat with beloved Huzooraa. Although I was quite nervous before the meeting, seeing Huzooraa smiling, a calm descended on me. Huzooraa gave us valuable and pertinent advice. These points were noted and insha-Allah we will move to improve the status of the Lajna Imaillah USA. The MTA team also did a wonderful job of hosting the event.”