Islamabad: Tuesday, 7 May
It is still predawn in the Surrey village of Tilford, but there is a sense of euphoria in the air already. While local residents have been up most of the night, some have spent the last hour travelling from London to Masjid Mubarak in Islamabad.
This once used to be, for a decade and a half, the routine for Ahmadi Londoners to flock to the Fazl Mosque for Fajr prayer in Ramadan. Now it is the new Markaz in Islamabad, where resides the beloved Imam of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, that is now the destination for many Ahmadis living in, around and even at distant locations from Islamabad.
It is the first day of the blessed month of Ramadan.
Worshippers eagerly await the arrival of Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa to lead them in the first Fajr prayer of the first Ramadan in the new Markaz Islamabad.
Huzooraa walked out of his residence and into the Mubarak Mosque 20 minutes after sahoor (which was at 3:57am in Islamabad) and led the congregation in prayer. After Huzooraa left, a dars of Hadith was delivered before the assembly of Ahmadis whose faces glowed with the zeal that runs in the blood of every Muslim at the dawn of the month of Ramadan.
This buzz will be a routine all throughout the blessed month, not only in London or Islamabad, but all across the Ahmadiyya Muslim world. Mosques will be filled more than they usually are; the Holy Quran, Hadith and their selective commentaries will be read before the worshippers attending the mosques for Salat. The hearts of Ahmadi Muslim households will start throbbing while it is still dark and every member will try and remain engaged, with much more enthusiasm, in acts that can earn the pleasure of our beloved Creator, Allah the Almighty.
MTA International, the bond of the Ahmadiyya world, will continuously broadcast programmes that are specially prepared for Ramadan and are aimed at enhancing understanding of our faith – the faith of Muhammad Rasulullah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him. MTA schedules are set in a way that the global community gets to watch programmes at timings suitable to their time-zones – never missing a programme, if even a little effort is made not to.
But since the hectic lifestyle of the modern-day world does not always allow us to catch television programmes at their broadcast times, MTA’s on-demand service is a wonderful resource where we can always go back in time and rewind up to three hours. If you have missed more than three hours, the on-demand service has programmes waiting for us to watch them at a time of our convenience.
From commentaries of the Quran and Hadith, recitation of the Holy Quran, the sayings of the Promised Messiahas and his Khulafa to fillers that work as reminders to pray and what to pray are all part of the MTA Ramadan programming. Thanks to modern day technology, we are left with no excuse to miss an MTA programme.
While many of us make it a point to do a complete round of the recitation of the Holy Quran, there are a number of resources that have made it easier for us to grasp the meaning of the holy text as we go. The Al Islam website (www.alislam.org) is a wonderful resource in this regard where the commentaries of the Holy Quran by the Promised Messiahas, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra and other Khulafa are easily accessible. With the recently replenished and refurbished layout, it is now a lot easier to browse through the excessive material that is available to enhance our understanding.
The internet is the best thing that could have happened to the journalistic endeavours of the Jamaat. Although Al Hakam is now available to subscribe in print and many have done so already, our online viewership of thousands-a-day shows the trends of modern readership. With the Al Hakam website and app in the palm of your hand all day, we at Al Hakam have tried to make Ramadan-related content available to you at all times of the day – at home, at work and during the long commutes to and from work. For instance, this issue of Al Hakam has prayers that were prescribed by Huzooraa in the concluding days of last year’s Ramadan (Quranic prayers included in this issue; more prayers will be included in upcoming issues). We thought it would be good for us to remind ourselves and our readers of these prayers right at the onset of this year’s Ramadan so that we can remember them during the entire month. While these prayers are life changing in their own capacity, saying them in obedience to our Imam is a value-adding feature.
The Al Hakam website is now functional throughout the week and not only on Fridays, yet Fridays will continue to bring you the latest issues, Insha-Allah.
The Al Fazl weekly will be providing Ramadan-useful material in the Urdu language. While this caters for the Urdu-speaking section of the worldwide Jamaat, it can work as a great resource to acquaint our younger generation with the very important language of Urdu.
Websites like true-islam.uk and rationalreligion.co.uk are very important resources for all, especially the younger generation, to develop a better understanding of Islam in a world that is rapidly drifting away from religion.
It is the practice of every Ahmadi to write to Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa all year round, but especially in the blessed month of Ramadan, requesting his prayers. We will all be doing so Insha-Allah. But let’s make it a point this Ramadan to remember Huzooraa in our prayers also.
Let’s make it a point to dedicate nawafil (voluntary Salat) to this person who we all love from the core of our heart; the man who stays awake and prays for us as we sleep in the comforts of our beds; the great man who is dearest and nearest to Allah among all creation in this age; the pious man who calls us to the path that leads to gaining Allah’s nearness and dearness; the amazing man whose smile makes any grief vanish into thin air.
Let us pray that Allah blesses every step of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa with success. His success is the success of Islam in this age. May Allah strengthen his hand!