Asima Bajwa, Virginia North, USA
Most of my father’s adult life, as I have personally observed, reflected his grand love for Khilafat; so much so that, we discovered over time, many of his everyday habits and routine were picked up from what he observed from the Khulafa of the Promised Messiahas.
Beginning his relationship with Khilafat
In 1932, Nasir Saleem Bajwa Sahib was born into a respectable agricultural family in Sargodha. He was the eighth son of his parents. The eldest was Zahoor Ahmad Bajwa Sahib, former Imam of the London Mosque. His mother passed away when he was very young. Bajwa Sahib spent his 20s and early 30s in Hong Kong, where he was stationed as a police officer.
He would repeatedly dream of falling into a stream of water where he would drown. In the dream, a saintly-looking, bearded man would appear and extend a hand in order to save him. Initially, Bajwa Sahib didn’t understand the dream’s significance, so he ignored it. However, the dream’s meaning became clear when my father visited Pakistan and came to Rabwah to meet his brother, Zahoor Ahmad Bajwa Sahib, who, at that time, was the assistant private secretary to Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmadra. They went to meet Huzoorra in Malam Jabba. My father was astonished to discover that the man he had seen in his dream was, in fact, the Khalifatul Masih; since my father had never met Huzoorra before and had never seen his photograph, he did not recognise him until then. That was perhaps the beginning of his own relationship with Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyyat.
Hazrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IIIrh announced Bajwa Sahib’s nikah during the 1967 Jalsa Salana. Huzoorrh also graced the walima function with his presence and gave 50 rupees as salami (a standard cash gift for the groom) – his most cherished memory throughout his life, to have such affection from the Khalifa of the time.
Bajwa Sahib had the great honour of being a security member of Huzoor’srh qafilah (entourage) for the historical foreign trips of 1970 and 1978. The 1970 tour lasted four months, and the 1978 one was almost five months. One day before the departure of the qafilah from Rabwah, Huzoorrh called my father and said that he would call him Junior from now. My father, throughout his life, was over the moon with this title, and this was more important to him than any worldly title.
Glimpses of Abu’s love for Khilafat
Bajwa Sahib was not avid in reading books, but he would usually keep a book or two from the Jamaat handy. Invitation to Ahmadiyyat was his favourite book, not only for himself but also for anyone who was under his tabligh. Scores of people must have received this book as a gift from him.
When Friday sermons started to be telecast live on MTA, he was quick to install the satellite TV at our house in Lahore despite facing financial difficulties, as satellite receivers were very expensive in Pakistan at that time. Watching every Friday sermon, with some guests, and other programmes of Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IVrh on MTA was part of the normal routine of our house in that decade. He really enjoyed watching the Q&A sessions of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh.
Recovery due to Huzoor’srh prayers
In 2002, Bajwa Sahib, while attending the Jalsa Salana in London, suffered severe heart problems. He was admitted to the St. George’s Hospital. A fortuitous cancellation allowed Nasir Sahib to undergo an immediate operation, a rare occurrence due to the typically long wait times in UK hospitals. Following the surgery, the medical team delivered a deeply disheartening prognosis. Confronted with this dire situation, Bajwa Sahib’s son sought the prayers of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh.
Huzoor’srh response was one of faith; he asserted that life and death are in God’s hands, not in the hands of the doctors and promised to pray for Bajwa Sahib’s recovery. Remarkably, within a week, Bajwa Sahib began to exhibit signs of improvement, an event that seemed to manifest as a miraculous second lease on life granted by Allah the Almighty.
This extraordinary recovery was a testament to how Allah listens to the prayers of the Khulafa. (Majlis Ansarullah USA, “Stories of My Elders”, www.youtube.com)
Life’s desire fulfilled
Bajwa Sahib moved to Dallas, USA, in the last decade of his life. When he was free from his children’s responsibilities and financial burdens and was in relatively good health, he would announce his wish to offer his security services to Huzooraa, once again. We thought it was not practical for an 80-year-old man to undertake such a strenuous job, but as the saying goes, love needs no reason.
When he heard that Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa, was coming to Houston in 2018, he was determined to go and see him. Due to his age, he was not very mobile and had to use a wheelchair for any movement outside the house, but nothing could stop his passion to meet Huzooraa. We tried to convince him that it would be hard for him to go to Houston for four days, but he was adamant. Through his willpower and passion, he overcame the challenges and made his way to Houston.
Once there, his life’s desire was to offer prayers behind Huzooraa, and Allah fulfilled it the very first day. He then desired to be able to see Huzooraa up close, and again Allah fulfilled that too the next day. His final desire was to meet Huzooraa; surely enough, Allah fulfilled that desire. His wheelchair was parked along the route Huzooraa was to take. And then that lovely moment came that he had earnestly prayed for: Beloved Huzooraa stopped by him and said, “Assalamu alaikum. How are you, Bajwa Sahib?”. Father’s reply was as sweet as it could be, “Assalamu alaikum, Huzoor. Please pray that Allah may remove the weakness of my legs, I wish to serve you.”
Devotion to Khilafat leads to success
His eating habits, especially in his final years, were focused on relishing fish and honey. Whenever we would go out to eat, Abu would insist on getting fish, even if that restaurant was not particularly known for its seafood. He loved to consume a small quantity of honey of different kinds on a daily basis. He would ask one of his daughters-in-law to bring him honey from Russia. We found out that both of these were favourites of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh. Huzoorrh also used to like honey from various countries.
The only advice he would have for any Ahmadi would be to strengthen the bond with Khilafat. If Abu had written any will for his children, it would have been to have devotion to Khilafat in order to be successful in life. Abu’s own life was a testimony to this. It was his firm belief that all he had ever been blessed with was because of the devotion that he and his elders had for Khilafat.
Abu was very content with every aspect of his life, and we never saw him unhappy, worried, or ambitious for material things. He was always thankful to Allah for His countless blessings on him and his family and was truly content.
On 11 May 2019, the night between Friday and Saturday, Nasir Saleem Bajwa Sahib – whom we called Abu (father) – peacefully, in his sleep, crossed the shore of life and met his Creator.
اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّاۤ اِلَيۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ