Ramadan is a month that is globally observed by all Muslims as a month of fasting. It is held in high esteem and reverence by all Muslims right from their childhood.
But there is one factor that makes Ramadan in the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat very unique – Khilafat.
Allah the Almighty chose unity as a means of success for His righteous followers. While being united is prescribed by Allah, it is, at the same time, a reward in its own capacity. Stay united and you are rewarded by a binding force that further unites you. By the Grace of Allah, Jamaat Ahmadiyya Muslima has been blessed with this reward.
It is a point to ponder that while all other modes of worship are encouraged in congregation, there must be some kind of congregational provision in saum (or fasting)?
There is no question in the fact that saum can only be performed individually, but the fact that all individuals maintain the same direction can bring about the element of congregation into this form of worship too.
MTA, a gift of Allah for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, has brought this element of global unity and congregation to the month of Ramadan. How? Let’s take a quick glance:
1. Friday Sermons of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih are broadcast live throughout the year, but every Ramadan has seen Huzoor show us a unique angle of self-reformation in the world that we live in. This gives every Ahmadi a chance to hold themselves accountable for their actions whilst seeing the bigger picture of the challenges that they are faced with in the modern age.
2. Dars has always been a regular feature of the Jamaat all around the year, but special arrangements are made for members to benefit from it in Ramadan. From the very early times of the Promised Messiahas, Dars was a regular feature. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra systematically regularised it. Then in the times of all Khulafa, Dars is said in almost all mosques and local members benefit from it. But through MTA, Dars of the Holy Quran, Hadith and sayings of the Promised Messiahas punctuate the daily programming of MTA much more frequently and for longer durations. Ahmadis all around the world, hence, get the chance to benefit from these Durus, albeit at different, respective timings.
3. With Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa residing here, London is fortunate to be the headquarters of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat. The Fajr and Maghrib Azan, shown on MTA according to London timings, gives Ahmadis living in different parts of the world a feeling of connection to their Imam; the feel of when their beloved Imam starts his fast and when he opens it. This, in itself is a reminder for Ahmadis to pray for their altruistic Imam.
4. The Dars-ul-Quran by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih in the concluding days of Ramadan is a feature that brings the whole Jamaat together. Huzoor usually delivers this Dars-ul-Quran on the last day of the blessed month of Ramadan at around midday. Ahmadis in London try to attend the Dars in Fazl Mosque where Huzoor delivers the Dars but those living in other parts of the world all tune in to MTA and listen to the enlightening words of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih.
5. At the end of the Dars, Huzoor leads a silent prayer. Before this, Huzoor very graciously reminds the Jamaat of those who must not be left out in the prayer that is offered in the concluding moments of this special month. Since the prayer is live, all Ahmadis watching it through MTA join their beloved Imam, hence making it a global supplication to Allah the Almighty.
In these ways, and many more, Jamaat Ahmadiyya Muslima becomes unique in that it gets the unique opportunity to observe Ramadan in a congregational manner; no other Jamaat can do so. Thanks to Khilafat that makes us a part of this unique manifestation of unity and fraternity.