Ahmadi students from Lajna Imaillah Belgium were blessed to meet with and ask questions to Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V, may Allah be his Helper, through a virtual mulaqat held on 11 December 2022.
At the opening of the meeting, Sara Nasr Sahiba recited a portion of the Holy Quran and the Urdu translation was presented by Esha Mahmood Sahiba. An Urdu poem was then read by Naila Amdad Sahiba.
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa gave the students the opportunity to ask any questions they had. Minal Ahmad Sahiba asked if the salat of a person would be accepted, who was immoral, did not make any efforts to change themselves but offered their salat on time only out of habit. In response, Huzooraa said, “Look, accepting salat is neither my duty nor yours – to accept it is completely up to Allah.”
Huzooraa said each person had a different relationship with Allah and we did not know what they were praying for or whether they were seeking forgiveness. The nature of salat meant we did not know what each person was saying in their prayers to Allah. “Neither can we know their intentions. Therefore, as far as salat is concerned, only Allah knows and it is up to Him to accept it or not,” Huzooraa said.
“Apart from this, if someone is not correcting themselves and neither seeks to improve their morals – does not rectify their relations with people – then Allah has said that ‘if you don’t fulfil the rights of others, it means you neither fulfil My rights’.” This has been mentioned in a hadith-e-qudsi. Huzooraa said that the Promised Messiahas had said he came with two purposes:
“Firstly, to bring mankind closer to Allah and secondly, to enable people to fulfil the rights of mankind. […]
“If we don’t fulfil the rights of others, don’t inculcate good morals, but hurt others, then there is no benefit – such people, who do not fulfil the rights of others, the Quran says their prayers result in nought. But we are not permitted to decide who such people are. What we know is that we should exhibit good morals.”
Another Lajna member asked why the Quranic portions, read during the Zuhr and Asr prayers, were not read aloud by the imam. Huzooraa said, “Firstly, whatever the Holy Prophetsa did, we are to follow. Secondly, it could be that these times are such that if we offer our prayers in silence, our concentration increases. If we are silently offering our prayers and worshipping Allah while the rest of the world is busy and noisy, then we perhaps have more concentration for the prayers. This could be the reason behind this.”
Sara Ahmad Sahiba asked if Ahmadi girls could work in the fields of physics and space. Huzooraa said:
“Yes, they can. If you are bright enough and capable in physics […] then go ahead. There was an Ahmadi PhD lady who worked in the space centre in Switzerland where they are doing experiments on the Big Bang, etc.” Huzooraa said if Ahmadi girls did not gain a good education, then how could they teach other Ahmadi girls, or know about things like physics, etc.?
Huzooraa added, “However, the roles that women have are essential to fulfil as well. Women have the role of taking care of the household, bringing up their children; this is important too.” Huzooraa said these tasks had primary importance, and other work and studies came after. “Try to use your education for the betterment of your children, not just for earning money,” Huzooraa said.
Amatus Sabuh Sahiba, who is studying to become a teacher, said she saw the documentary Brutality & Injustice (featured on MTA News), in which Huzooraa showed great patience and contentment while in jail. She asked Huzooraa how he achieved strength during such a trial. Huzooraa said:
“How did I get it? Allah just gave it. When we knew that we were going [to be imprisoned] for Allah’s sake, then why care? When a person does something for Allah’s sake, they should leave the matter in Allah’s hands. Therefore, Allah gave us strength and also set us free. We did nothing to be set free from jail.”
Tayyeba Chaudhry Sahiba, who is studying to become a teacher, asked Huzooraa how one could encourage another Muslim who was distant from religion and engrossed in the world to reconnect with Allah. In response, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said one could tell them how a Muslim was meant to act. The importance of worship – the reason we were created – should be told to them and that Allah’s rights should be fulfilled. As a result, Allah would bless us spiritually and in the worldly sense. Such people should be told that we had a higher purpose; to spread Islam through Ahmadiyyat. However, if we stepped back from this task, what purpose would we have? Huzooraa said such people should be told this in confidence and with love.
Ayesha Touqeer Sahiba, head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Student Association Belgium, asked how they could encourage Ahmadi girls to write to newspapers. Huzooraa said that those who knew how to write and had a passion should be spoken to and encouraged. Then they should be told to write on the topics that interested them.
Another Lajna member asked if Muslim women should observe purdah in front of cousins as they were non-mahram. Huzooraa said the sharia instructed they should observe the purdah in front of cousins. Huzooraa said even if someone did not do the full purdah before cousins, there should still be a certain level of inhibition [hijab] among cousins. “It should not be that they are sitting together without any restraint, chatting to each other or roaming around shops together. Girls should sit, spend time and talk with girls, and boys with boys. Girls should keep in mind that their cousins are non-mahram; therefore, there should be a certain distance [hijab] between them.”
Zaina Ahmad Sahiba asked about a possible third world war and how this would affect Ahmadis preaching their message. Huzooraa said it was the duty of Ahmadi Muslims to warn people about this war and urge them to correct their morals and to fulfil the rights of God and mankind. If the world took heed, then the war could be averted. However, if not, then the consequences of a war would be severe. During a war, Allah would save true believers and then they would go find those who survived the war and preach to them. People would realise that Ahmadis had been warning of this war prior and thus would get the message.
With regards to believers being saved amid a world war, Huzooraa said:
“Calamities can come, however, those who are pious – who worship Allah, fulfil the rights of Allah the Almighty and the rights of His creation – will be saved by Allah, one way or another. For this reason, the Promised Messiahas has said:
آگ ہے پر آگ سے وہ سب بچائے جائينگے
جو كہ ركھتے ہیں خدائے ذُوالعجائب سے پیار
[‘Fire is out there, but all those shall be saved from this fire, who love the God of Great Wonders.’]
“If you continue to love Allah, your chances of survival will be higher.”
Kashmeen Shehzad said her non-Ahmadi Muslim friend had created a YouTube channel on which she had uploaded videos of herself dancing. Kashmeen asked Huzooraa how she could persuade her friend that this was not Islamic. Huzooraa said:
“If she is a Muslim, tell her it does not behove a Muslim to do such a thing. Allah, in the Holy Quran, instructs mature girls and women to cover themselves in hijab, they should have modesty. The Holy Prophetsa said:
الحياء من الايمان
“‘Modesty is part of faith.’ So, if they have true faith as Muslims, they should keep in mind that modesty is part of faith. And modesty means one should not spread inappropriate pictures amongst society because this leads to the spread of immorality. Therefore, exhort her in light of the Holy Quran and Hadith, and she should rectify herself.” However, if she did not correct herself, then they should no longer be friends.
Manahil Akbar Sahiba, who is doing a Master’s in Economics, said universities offered students to go abroad for one or two semesters to study and gain experience. She asked if Ahmadi girls were allowed to do this. Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said that a mature Ahmadi girl who was doing her Master’s knew well the difference between good and bad, her life purpose, how her morals should be, how to worship and what to avoid, etc. Keeping this in mind, if the university’s atmosphere was healthy and there was separate accommodation available to live in, then Ahmadi girls doing a Master’s could study abroad. Huzooraa said that the concerns of parents should also be taken into consideration.
“If your faith is strong and you are modest, and the purpose is only to study and not be involved in various immoralities, then there is no harm,” Huzooraa said.
Aliya Ali Sahiba, a medical student, quoted a hadith of the Holy Prophetsa:
“Poverty may well-nigh lead to disbelief.”
Aliya Sahiba asked what it meant. Explaining the hadith, Huzooraa said one should always pray to Allah that when He gave them wealth, they were able to fulfil the rights of that wealth; they spent on themselves in lawful ways and also on the poor. Huzooraa said when a time of financial difficulty arose and poverty appeared, one should not sell their faith, rather protect it. If someone told them to leave Islam or carry out a wrong deed in exchange for money, it would lead to disbelief. Huzooraa said one should therefore pray to Allah to be saved from poverty or need so that they would not ever commit disbelief or disobey Allah.
Kiran Malik Sahiba asked why we turned our heads to the right and left when saying salaam at the end of salat. Huzooraa explained:
“We perform the salaam because when we offer our greetings to Allah before leaving His court, we also offer salaam to those around us. We spread salaam to those on the right as well as the left, so we realise that after salat we should be peaceful and loving with those on our right and our left. And that we are to make our atmosphere full of peace, not to fight and quarrel with people. Therefore, we neither have enemies on the right nor the left.”
Adila Jameel Sahiba said that in Surah Bani Israil, verse 32, Allah said: “Kill not your children for fear of poverty. It is We Who provide for them and for you.” She asked why then children died of hunger, especially in poorer regions like Africa.
Huzooraa first explained the significance and meaning of the verse. He said that believers should not do family planning because they feared not being able to provide sustenance for their children. They should trust in Allah and then exert all efforts to provide for their children and wives, as a result, Allah would give them provisions. Huzooraa said “provision” also signified spiritual sustenance; therefore, parents should do the correct tarbiyat of their children.
With regards to children dying of hunger in places like Africa, Huzooraa said there were various reasons for this. First, sometimes there were trials from Allah that also spread to countries in Africa; for example, rainfall ceased and droughts occurred and this affected the whole world. Another reason was that some people did not put in enough effort to provide for their families. Another reason was governmental corruption – those in power usurped the country’s wealth and did not care for their population.
Speaking on the reality of food waste in the world and how to overcome hunger, Huzooraa said:
“The world has now become a global village and extremely high amounts of food are wasted, especially in Europe, etc. If this food is sent to African countries with honesty – there are no vested interests involved – then a huge amount of world hunger can be alleviated. Therefore, if we share our food, then the sustenance Allah has created for us, if distributed effectively, will mean that no one will die [of hunger].”
Huzooraa said Allah had provided sustenance for humanity, however, the poor planning of distributing it and wrongful acts by mankind “remove blessings and the natural result is that droughts spread, killing children, women and the elderly. However, Allah cannot be blamed.”
The total food and sustenance in the world today could easily feed every person on the planet, Huzooraa said.
While answering a question by Alia Malik Sahiba about why there were so many sects in Islam, Huzooraa said that when travel was not so easy, people would remain in their areas and follow a particular Muslim scholar. In turn, various sects were created in Islam. However, the Holy Prophetsa prophesied that when the world would become a global village these sects would unite through the Promised Messiah – his sect would be the 73rd in Islam. The Promised Messiah was to gather the whole Ummah as a united one and this began when the Promised Messiahas came. Huzooraa said:
“It is our duty to preach to all these sects and slowly bring them closer [to Islam Ahmadiyyat] and by Allah’s grace, Muslims from these sects are entering Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya from across the world. That is why such a large following [of Ahmadiyyat] has spread in the world.” Huzooraa said most converts to Islam Ahmadiyyat were from amongst the Muslims, not Christians or Jews, etc.
Maheem Khan Sahiba said she was a waqifa-e-nau, a student and also married, and she wanted advice from Huzooraa on how to balance all three things in an Islamic manner. Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa advised:
“As you are married, you should fulfil the rights of the home. If you have children, then bring them up in a good manner and the first task of a waqifa-e-nau is to do the tarbiyat of their children and make them good and pious Ahmadis so that they can become beneficial assets for the Jamaat.”
Huzooraa said that if she had children, then for the period of their initial care, Maheem Sahiba could take a gap year or some more time and then if the situation permitted, she could go back to her studies and complete them. Huzooraa said many Ahmadi women stopped their studies due to having children and taking care of them, but later in life went back to studying and completed it. Huzooraa said there were Ahmadi women who began studying medicine or other professions but then put them on hold due to taking care of children. Later, when their children matured, they studied medicine again and became doctors.
Discussing the primary responsibility of Muslim women according to Islam, Huzooraa said:
“Justice demands that you first take care of your household – in Islam, the primary duty of women is to take care of the home, to do the tarbiyat of their children to make them good and pious servants of faith and good human beings for their country, nation and faith.
“Whatever education women have attained, they should use it to bring up their children. Then, whatever time is left, you can study further and if you are in any profession – a doctor or a teacher, etc. – you can work too. After arriving home [from work], take care of your household, do the tarbiyat of your children and also do whatever professional work you have.”
Nazima Waheed Sahiba asked how Ahmadi women could preach. Huzooraa said they could first preach to their fellow students and tell them about Ahmadiyyat. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Student Association of the country could also hold seminars – which could include secular topics as well as religious ones. This would open the door to further preaching. Ahmadi women could also form groups and distribute leaflets in safe areas.
Mehr Wafa Khan Sahiba, a secondary-school student, said she had some Arab Muslim friends who believed in magic and took the miracles of prophets and the dajjal literally. Mehr Wafa asked what our view was of this matter. In response, Huzooraa said:
“If they believe in magic, they are wrong. Ask them to perform magic on you – say, ‘Magic doesn’t work on me.’” Huzooraa said Muslim clerics – to earn a living – had influenced Muslims to believe in magic and convinced them to believe in things like jinn possessing people. The clerics convinced Muslims they could exorcise these jinns and then they beat the person “being possessed”. Unfortunately, many women died as a result.
With regards to the miracles of prophets, Huzooraa said the miracles mentioned in the Quran did occur, for example, the staff of Hazrat Musaas appeared to the eyes of those watching to be a snake or his hand emitting whiteness. Allah affected the eyes of those watching, Huzooraa said, and therefore it was a miracle. It was not magic.
Other examples included the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa feeding lots of people with a little amount of food, or the same occurring during the time of the Promised Messiahas.
With regards to the “miracles” of the Dajjal, Huzooraa said they were the new technologies that were to be developed by the Dajjal that would impress people. Huzooraa said that if one took new technology to remote villages or peoples, they would take them to be miracles. For this reason, the Holy Prophetsa described the miracles of the Dajjal in such a manner – that the technologies of the Dajjal will make the impossible seem possible. Huzooraa said the prophecies about the miracles of the Dajjal were metaphors.
Madiha Rehman Sahiba, who is doing her Master’s in physics, said a political journalist gave a talk at her university about the economic condition of Pakistan compared to Belgium. Madiha Sahiba took the opportunity to tell the journalist that another reason for the poor economic condition of Pakistan was the lack of religious freedom in the country. She informed the journalist about the persecution Ahmadis face in the country, to which the journalist replied that they did not know about the Jamaat and would study the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat further. Madiha Sahiba asked Huzooraa if this way of preaching was correct. Huzooraa approved of it and said it was good that she took the opportunity to tell people about what was happening with Ahmadis in Pakistan.
Giving reasons for the problems Pakistan is facing, Huzooraa said:
“They ought to be told that where cruelty and injustice take root, Allah’s grace and blessings are removed from such a place. And the cruelty and injustice they are carrying out have ended Allah’s blessings and grace [in Pakistan]; there is no blessing in their wealth or their leadership, which has now become dishonest as well. Thus, now there are dishonest leaders and there are no blessings in the wealth of the country because they are not acting with justice, are being cruel and persecuting the innocent without any reason. This is why such a condition has developed.”
Huzooraa said they committed this cruelty in Allah’s name, even though such actions were against the teachings of Allah and therefore the results of this injustice could be witnessed in Pakistan.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa then conveyed his salaam and the meeting came to a successful end.
(Report prepared by Al Hakam)