Students from Lajna Imaillah Bangladesh were blessed with the opportunity to meet Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V, may Allah be his Helper, in a virtual mulaqat on 26 February 2023.
At the opening of the meeting, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa conveyed his salaam and invited Sadia Hoque Sahiba to recite a portion of the Holy Quran and Nuzhat Hasin Shomy Sahiba read out the English translation. Tonima Ahmed Labonyo Sahiba presented a hadith of the Holy Prophetsa and Rejwana Jaman Diya Sahiba read its English translation. Mahida Rahman Sahiba was invited to read out an excerpt from the writings of the Promised Messiahas in Urdu. Huzooraa asked her where she learned Urdu, to which she replied that her mother was from Pakistan.
“I see, so your mother taught you [Urdu]. And, as for your father, is he Bengali?” To this, she replied in the affirmative.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa then invited Amatul Wadud Sahiba to present the English translation of the excerpt. Huzooraa then asked Secretary Umur-e-Talibat how many students were present for the mulaqat and if they are all university, college, or school-going students, to which she replied that 122 students were present and that they are university and college-going students. Then, a student had the opportunity to recite an Urdu poem composed by the Promised Messiahas.
Thereafter, the students had the opportunity to ask Huzooraa various questions on an array of matters.
Fiza Ahmad, pursuing a degree in zoology, asked Huzooraa how students could study the Holy Quran alongside their usual studies. She also sought advice on how to simultaneously study the Holy Quran and science in a complementary manner.
“Being a Muslim, you should recite the Holy Quran daily, do some tilawat daily and, while doing tilawat, you should also read the translation of it alongside. Then, you will know what you are reading from the Holy Quran, what tilawat you are doing, [and] you will know the meaning of it.
“Apart from that, [as] you are studying zoology, you should try to find the verses from the Holy Quran that are related to science, the existence of human beings and life on earth. Then, you can study and relate those verses to your subject. This is how you can find out more about or get more enlightened about your subject from the Holy Quran. So, you will have to spend some time on this. Then, read some commentaries on it. Although, if you cannot read Urdu, there is only one detailed commentary – to some extent – [spanning over] five volumes. So, you can read the commentary from the Five Volume Commentary of the Holy Quran. And there are quite a number of articles, speeches, and discourses by Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra that have been translated into English. You can read those. Then you should listen to the khutbahs [sermons] of the Khulafa and their speeches as well. You can also learn about some related topics there.”
Mahmuda Akter Sahiba, a BBA finance student, sought guidance from Huzooraa regarding the challenge of maintaining focus on a particular goal. She also inquired whether it is prudent to keep alternative options available in the event that the primary objective cannot be achieved.
“You should make some sort of preference order: this is the subject you like more, if you get admission in that subject or you are able to achieve that goal, then well and good, otherwise, you should shift over to the next option and there should be some choices before you.”
Huzooraa then asked her what she wanted more from her studies because she was already studying finance, to which she replied that she was not entirely content with her current course of study. Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa then asked what her second option was. Mahmuda Akter Sahiba said that she initially wanted to do a government job.
Huzooraa then said, “Unless you complete your degree, and do at least a master’s degree in any of the subjects, only then can you sit for the public service exam. When you qualify the public service exam, you can be given a government job. Otherwise, you will only be selected as an office clerk, a small worker, or a peon in that office. You cannot be selected as an officer. So, if you want an officer grade, you will have to work hard, complete your bachelor’s degree, then master’s degree […] and then, you can sit for the public service exam, and then if you qualify that exam, you will be selected for public service and then you can get a government job, otherwise, not.”
Alluding to her subject and interests, Huzooraa said, “You know yourself better than me and you can judge yourself.”
Huzooraa explained that considering two to three options can offer fallback choices in case the original option doesn’t work out, but eventually, one needs to choose a specific direction as having too many options can prevent one from focusing on any one thing. Hence, Huzooraa added, “Once you have gotten admission in finance, then try to complete it. And when you complete your BBA degree, then you can either apply for a public service exam or you can do a master’s and then apply for a public service exam.”
Razia Rahman Sahiba, a BSc student studying home economics, said that they often write to Huzooraa seeking his valuable advice on various matters. She asked what one should do if the reply does not reach them within a certain time frame.
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said:
“In that case, you should just do whatever you feel is better or more appropriate for you, instead of wasting time. If the matter is about getting admission to some particular subject and you are asking, ‘Should I get admission to this subject or not – or take these subjects in my bachelor’s courses or master’s courses or not,’ and you do not get a letter on time, then whatever decision you make, you should make it on your own and just get the admission instead of wasting time and waiting for my letter or my advice to come to you.
“If you receive the letter later on, and my opinion or my advice is different from that of what you have selected or done, then don’t worry; just write to me saying, ‘Since the letter reached late and the time was short, this is why [I] had already selected the subject and now [I am] doing […].’ I will say, ‘Okay, no problem; you can continue with that.’”
Jamia Ismita Sahiba, currently working as an assistant professor at the Bangladesh Agricultural University with a master’s degree in animal nutrition and trying to pursue a PhD, asked Huzooraa if a married Lajna member gets the opportunity to study abroad, yet her husband is not allowed to go with her, then what should she do?
Huzooraa asked if she was married, to which she replied that she was married and also had a son. Huzooraa then inquired if it was not possible to continue her PhD in Bangladesh and said, “First preference should be that you do it in Bangladesh because if your husband doesn’t want you to go there or you cannot take your son and your husband along with you, then it is better to do it in Bangladesh, instead of going abroad.
“Later on, when you get the chance, you can also go abroad and further increase your knowledge by studying in a foreign country, in one of the developed countries. But, at present, if your husband does not allow you and it disturbs family life, then it is better to remain in Bangladesh and complete your studies there.” Huzooraa added, “Women’s first preference is their home.”
Jannatul Ferdaus Mim Sahiba, a first-year nursing student, said to Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa that it is often observed in society that women are unable to carry on their studies after getting married. She asked whether it was permissible for women to delay marriage under such circumstances. Additionally, she shared that some women are given the assurance that they can continue their studies after marriage but are later prohibited from doing so.
Hazrat Amirul Momineen said, “If a person finds a good rishtah [match], they should get married soon.” Huzooraa suggested that if someone desires assurance that they can continue their education after getting married, they may request their potential spouse to provide a written agreement, commonly known as a bond, indicating that the woman will be allowed to continue pursuing her studies after marriage. Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa emphasised, however, that the chosen field of study should be of benefit to humanity. Even then, if someone is pursuing a career, for example, as a doctor or engineer and receives a marriage proposal during their studies, it is better to get married; and they can request a bond stating that they will be allowed to complete their studies after marriage. Huzooraa further explained that sometimes, when a child is born, it can be challenging to balance taking care of the child and studying. In such a scenario, it may be wise for the woman to take a break from her studies and resume them at a later time. Huzooraa said that looking after the home and family should be given preference.
Mariyam Kaneta Sahiba, currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in English language, said that she is the daughter of Salih Ahmad Sahib. Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa asked if she learned Urdu from her father or mother, to which she responded that her father taught her. She then asked for guidance on which subjects and professions would be appropriate for the spouses of life-devotees to pursue.
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa stated, “Every student has their own preferences when it comes to subjects and professions.” Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa advised that individuals should pursue their interests, and added that if the husband is a missionary, it is also important to strive for religious knowledge, take care of salat, ensure the proper upbringing of the children, and frequently recite the Holy Quran while also reading its translation. Huzooraa stressed the importance of attaining religious knowledge and said, “This is the principle of a good Ahmadi woman.” Huzooraa emphasised the importance of raising one’s children to be good Muslims.
Sneha Rahman Sahiba, currently studying Urdu language and literature at a university, stated that due to her busy schedule and participation in university programmes, she is unable to offer zuhr and asr prayers at their appointed times. She said she compensates for this by combining the prayers at maghrib time. Upon hearing this, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa told her to take a 10 -15 minute break during the early time of zuhr to offer the zuhr and asr prayers and offer maghrib and isha prayers at home. Huzooraa explained that it is not appropriate to combine the zuhr and asr prayers with maghrib due to the programmes at the university.
Amtul Musawwar Sahiba, currently studying for a BSc degree in physics, said that, at times, some subjects help one build successful careers but may not be beneficial for the Jamaat. She asked Huzooraa what one should do in such a situation.
Huzooraa asked what she wanted to do after completing her studies, to which she replied that she wanted to teach.
“It is quite beneficial for the Jamaat. If you are a teacher, if you are portraying the true picture of a Muslim woman, then your staff members and your students will know that, ‘she is the true portrayal of Islamic teachings, and at the same time, she is quite a good teacher, she has good morals, she has some religious knowledge, and she offers her prayers on time’, and this will also open the doors of tabligh and the introduction to Islam Ahmadiyyat. So, every subject is beneficial for Jamaat. Don’t think that physics is a subject that is not beneficial for Jamaat. It is the person who makes the subject beneficial or not.”
“So after completing your bachelor’s degree, do an MSc degree, and then if possible, a PhD degree; but, you must remember – as I have already said – at the same time, if you get a good match, a good rishtah for yourself then your first preference should be to get married and to take care and look after your household and your children. If your husband allows you to continue your studies or allows you to work in the university or any field which you have chosen then you can do that, but at the same time, as I have said, you should be the true portrayal of the Islamic teaching – that is the main character of an Ahmadi woman or a girl.”
Mahmuda Akter Sahiba said that she wanted to share a poignant personal story to illustrate her point. She said that her sister got admitted to a hospital during her pregnancy. Due to a delay, caused by formalities, she then had to be admitted to the ICU, where she, unfortunately, lost her child because of the formalities. She asked Huzooraa, which should be given preference in the medical profession, formalities or ethics.
Huzooraa said, “[…] Formalities can be done later on. The first preference should be to save the life of the person.”
Huzooraa further said:
“Morality is the first preference, professional ethics is the first preference; both require that the patient be given priority for the treatment instead of involving or devoting time to completing the formalities of admission and this and that. That is wrong. So, those doctors who are after formalities and do not take care of the patient immediately, and do not show sympathy to their patients are not doctors; they are butchers. So whatever they have done, it was wrong. The first preference of a doctor should be the value of human life, not the formality of the administration.”
Huzooraa added: “A true human being should, as I have already said, prioritise saving human life and showing sympathy for human beings.”
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa then conveyed his salaam to all members, and the mulaqat came to a successful end.
(Report prepared by Al Hakam)