‘Pray to Allah Almighty that He strengthens you in your faith’: Students from Lajna Imaillah Italy meet Hazrat Khalifatul Masih

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Students from Lajna Imaillah Italy were blessed to meet with and seek guidance from Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V, may Allah be his Helper, through a virtual mulaqat held on 18 December 2022. 

Before the mulaqat commenced, Huzooraa kindly asked if everyone was sitting comfortably and if the room was sufficiently heated. Huzooraa then invited Asifa Rehman Sahiba to recite a portion of the Holy Quran, followed by its English translation, presented by Nadia Sahiba. Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa then allowed the students to ask any questions they had. 

The first question was about whether one could see God, to which Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa replied that one was not able to see God physically, however, Allah has His own ways of guiding like instilling in the heart a Quranic verse for example. Huzooraa added, “In that form, I have experienced that it is from Allah Almighty; some verses of the Holy Quran […] that shows that it is from Allah Almighty. And, after that, they come true as well. So, it is definite that it is from Allah the Almighty.”

Huzooraa asked Sadr Sahiba Lajna if all the participants were secondary-school students, to which she replied that there were a couple of university students and the rest were studying at different levels at school. Huzooraa also asked whether English was taught at schools in Italy. “They study in Italian, but English is also taught as a subject at schools. However, some of the participants are from Ghana, so they speak very good English,” Sadr Sahiba said. Huzooraa said, “Yes, as for Ghanaians, I know they are very well-versed in English.”

A student then said that often, girls were forbidden from using social media by parents etc., even though, she said, there was no such restriction placed on boys. She asked Huzooraa what could be done about this.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa answered that in his sermons, he had addressed everyone, not just girls, about the potential dangers of social media. 

Huzooraa said, “Whether they are boys or girls, I addressed everyone in my sermon. I did not say that girls should not go on Facebook, or that they should not use WhatsApp or that they should not use Twitter excessively. Rather, I warned the Jamaat members, especially those who are not of mature age — young boys, children and girls — that they should not go to it because sometimes it can lead them to the wrong kind of media and platforms, where minds are polluted and poisoned. So that is why they were told to refrain from it.” 

Huzooraa added that some social media accounts were beneficial and that Jamaat accounts and websites on social media could be visited. Huzooraa explained that wherever girls were forbidden, so too were boys. Huzooraa explained that if a husband was telling his wife to not use social media, but he was always glued to his phone screen, television or tablet, then this was wrong. Huzooraa said that the Promised Messiahas had explained that husbands should show a good example to their wives.

Upon being asked how an individual could be consistent in achieving their goals, whether religious or worldly, Huzooraa said:

“For that, the first thing is that you will have to increase your willpower. If you are determined that you have to achieve this goal, then you will be consistent; and then, also pray to Allah Almighty that ‘These are my goals, and I think they are very much beneficial for me, and I like them, it is my desire, so Allah help me in this.’ If they are good for you, then Allah Almighty will also help you and give you the power, determination, and consistency to do that thing. 

“It all depends on you. If you become relaxed or if you are always depressed, [thinking] ‘Oh, I cannot achieve this goal and that goal,’ then you cannot. Your willpower should be very strong. If that is strong, then you can achieve everything.

“Always keep in mind that, ‘you are the person who can do everything’ and for that, you will have to work hard. And alongside working hard, you also pray to Allah Almighty to help you.” 

A young Nasirah, 8, said to Huzooraa that her teacher asked her why it was that Muslim girls wore the hijab, whilst boys did not. Huzooraa said that, firstly, no one was asking her to wear a hijab at such a young age anyway.

Huzooraa added: “Yes, when girls reach the age of maturity, they are told to observe the hijab, because boys have a habit of staring at girls. […] However, girls do not have this bad habit. […]”

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa explained that women were admonished to wear the hijab so that they may be safeguarded from the evil looks and intentions of the men. Huzooraa then referred to the statement of the Promised Messiahas, wherein he said that if people could guarantee that from now on all men would remain chaste and not stare at women, then we might allow relaxation with regard to the hijab. Otherwise, Allah had stated in the Holy Quran that both men and women should lower their gaze. In addition to that, women had been told to observe the hijab as they could not blindly trust men. Huzooraa then gave the example of a woman from the UK who wrote an article in which she had stated that men only supported women to abandon modest clothing because they wanted to look at them in revealing clothing. 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said that the hijab was a sign of piety. He gave the example of Italy being a Catholic country and how Catholic nuns observed modest clothing and adopted a sense of modesty. Huzooraa said that she should tell her teacher, “‘You people follow Mary, who also used to wear modest clothing and cover her head. She wore loose-fitting dresses. We have also adopted Mary’s way of clothing; hence, we wear the hijab.’” 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa was asked why, when someone was about to pass away, Muslims recited Surah Ya Sin. She asked what the wisdom was behind doing this. 

Huzooraa explained that it was done, “for the satisfaction of their soul.” Huzooraa said that the subject matter of this Surah was such that even at other times, one could recite it for the satisfaction of one’s heart. “If you recite it, know the meaning of it and then ponder over the subject matter in it, then you will feel satisfaction in your heart,” Huzooraa said. 

Upon being asked why Muslims slaughtered animals on Eid-ul-Adha, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:

“It is just a sacrifice in remembrance of the sacrifice made by Hazrat Ibrahim, peace be upon him, who was ready to sacrifice his son, Ismaelas; so, [it is done] just to remember that he was [told to] sacrifice his son, his only son – for the sake of Allah Almighty. And this is a symbolic action. We sacrifice the goat to express our sentiments that we are ready to sacrifice everything in the cause of Allah Almighty.” 

One student asked Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa what one was supposed to do when one lost faith. 

Huzooraa said: 

“You should try to find out the reason. If it is because of some fellow beings, some people, some officials, or some of your friends, then you should always think that you have not accepted Islam or Ahmadiyyat because of these people. You understood the religion and accepted Islam and Ahmadiyyat. You understood the claim of the Promised Messiahas and felt that he was the right person who claimed to be the Promised Messiah. And you understand that Islam is the true religion and the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is the last of the Prophets and the Quran is the last sharia. So, if you are determined to learn more about your religion, then instead of losing faith, you should try to read the Holy Quran and pray to Allah Almighty that He strengthens you in your faith. 

“But normally, people lose their faith because of some worldly things, or some of the bad attitudes of some of their fellow beings; or, even in the Jamaat, sometimes with their fellow friends or office-bearers. So, always keep in mind that you have not accepted Islam and Ahmadiyyat because of anyone, but just to save yourself and bring yourself closer to Allah Almighty. If you are keeping this point of view in mind and you have this type of understanding, then you will never lose your faith.”

Huzooraa then said that apart from the causes he had explained, was there any in the questioner’s mind for which she thought people lost faith? She said that sometimes she did not feel motivated to pray or recite the Holy Quran. Upon this, he said:

“Then, for that, you should also pray to Allah Almighty that He gives you the strength to be strong in your faith. And you should also read the Holy Quran. Whenever you have any questions in mind you should ask your missionary or you can even write to me.

“But the conditions do not remain the same all the time; sometimes you are relaxed in religious activities, and other times you are very much firm and wish to bow before Allah Almighty, pray to Allah Almighty and cry before Allah Almighty for all the requirements and needs and forgiveness of your sins. So, it all depends; you cannot say that you can always be very much strong in your faith, but if you are praying to Allah Almighty, He will keep you strong all the time.

“Moreover, whenever you pass through this episode or this condition, then you should do more istighfar [and recite] ‎اَسْتَغْفِرُ‭ ‬اللّٰهَ‭ ‬رَبِّىْ‭ ‬مِنْ‭ ‬كل‭ ‬ذَنبٍ‭ ‬وَّاَتُوْبُ‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ. Seek Allah’s forgiveness and ask Him that He may strengthen you in your faith. So, do more istighfar and Allah Almighty will save you from it.”

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The next questioner said that in the life of Prophet Mosesas, many things happened that were recorded in the Bible, Torah, and the Holy Quran. A lot of these things, she said, had not been explained by scientists. For example, she said, when the sea parted through his staff and his staff turned into a snake. She asked Huzooraa how one could explain these things. 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa asked her if she was studying in secondary school; to which she replied, she was studying at the “linguistic high school”. Huzooraa said: 

“Then, you can read the commentary of the Holy Quran; there, you can also find out the explanation of it. The thing is that it is not the stick. Allah Almighty only wanted to show the miracle to the followers of Moses, to the Jews, the Israelites.”

Huzooraa explained, “It was actually the place where the Nile was falling into the sea, and there are times when the water recedes. […] So, it was that time when the water receded and they passed the river through that gap. But when the army of Pharaoh was coming, at that time it was – because of the natural process [of tides] – the water started coming again into the sea and both sides joined together and they [Pharaoh’s army] all drowned in it. So, although it was a miracle, it happens and it still happens.”

As for Prophet Moses’ staff becoming a snake, Huzooraa said that the staff “looked like a snake. It was not a real snake. That is why, when Allah Almighty first showed this miracle to Mosesas, he himself got afraid of this change of the stick and he ran away from the place. Allah Almighty said, ‘No, don’t worry. It is still a stick. It is [just] looking like a snake.’ So, it also happened that those magicians threw their ropes and they became like snakes because they mesmerised the whole of the viewers standing there. But, when Allah Almighty asked Moses to throw a stick, he threw the stick and the process of mesmerism was finished and was shaken off. And the people realised that it was all a magic [trick].” Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said that prophets, however, did not mesmerise or perform magic. Rather, it was Allah who made something appear to the viewers as something else. 

Huzooraa added that even in our times, a similar phenomenon existed in the medical world, where some patients believed to see objects that only existed in their minds and psychiatrists affirmed this. 

Fareedah Ahmad Sahiba said that a majority of people in Europe often expressed hatred towards the Holy Founder of Islam, Prophet Muhammadsa, and even in school, she said, wrong teachings were attributed to him which further increased hatred in the new generation. She asked Huzooraa, being an Ahmadi and student, what she could do in this regard. 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said that when any wrong thing is attributed to the Holy Prophetsa, one should take a stand and tell them the truth of the matter. Huzooraa said that even an Italian author [Laura Veccia Vaglieri] wrote a book [An Interpretation of Islam] some time ago in which she said that the Prophet Muhammadsa possessed excellent morals and that whatever negative thing was said about Islam was wrong. Huzooraa added, “You should keep that book in front of you, prepare a lecture and then request to speak on this topic. University students should hold seminars at their universities, explaining the true Islam. Or you could hold seminars on your own, invite your female friends to it and inform them about the authentic history and that a distorted version of the history [of Islam] was being spread by those people.”

Upon being asked what the difference was between Sunni, Shia, and Ahmadi Muslims, Huzooraa said:

“Sunnis and Shias are the people who are still waiting for the Imam Mahdi and Promised Messiah.” 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa explained that Sunnis believed in the four Khulafa-e-Rashideen who succeeded the Holy Prophetsa, whereas the Shias said that Hazrat Alira was the only rightly-guided Khalifa and they do not believe in the other three. “But, Ahmadis say that all four Khulafa were rightly guided Khulafa, plus we believe that, according to the prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa, the Imam Mahdi and Messiah who was to come in the Latter Days has come in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadian. And the Holy Prophetsa and the Noble Quran, itself, told us of some signs, [saying] ‘these signs will occur or will happen at the time of the claim of the Promised Messiahas.’ And those signs, quite a number of them, have been fulfilled; and at that time there was a claim of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas and the time was also mature when it was prophesied about his coming. So, we believe that that person who was to come according to the belief of all the Muslims, in the Latter Days, has come in the person of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas.”  

Huzooraa then gave a couple of examples of the prophecies and signs that had been fulfilled, such as the prophecy regarding modern means of transportation and the signs of the eclipse of the Sun and the Moon. 

“So, this is the difference between us and other non-Ahmadi Muslims. They are still waiting or sometimes they refuse now that he will come. So, that means, they are trying to refuse to accept the prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa but we say, there is no [reason] to refuse or deny it. We say that the claim is there, and all the prophecies have been fulfilled. So, you must accept the Promised Messiahas.”

Upon being asked how one could stop people from using foul language, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said that if Ahmadis did not correct their morals, then there was no benefit in accepting the Promised Messiahas. Huzooraa said that the Promised Messiahas had stated that one should strengthen their relationship with God and also look after their fellow human beings, after having pledged allegiance to him. “What is the point of being an Ahmadi if one does not care for each other?” Huzooraa said, the Promised Messiahas had also once stated with regard to Jalsa Salana that, if one did not care for another and did not respect another’s feelings, then what was the point of coming to the Jasla? 

Huzooraa said that whoever used foul language was wrong and should be told that such language and behaviour did not behove a true Ahmadi Muslim.

Upon being asked why Allah created Satan, Huzooraa said that God did this so that the good people could be differentiated from the bad ones. Huzooraa explained that those who did good would be rewarded with eternal bliss — heaven. And those who did evil deeds would be punished in hell. Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said that Satan was not a physical entity; and added that every evil thought was Satan’s whisper. Huzooraa added, “If you shun evil thoughts from your mind, you would distance yourself from Satan. If you follow through on your good thoughts and intentions, you would be counted among those who obey Allah Almighty and you would come close to God.”

Upon being asked how one could instil a love for salat and Quran, Huzooraa explained that one should remember the favours, Allah bestowed upon us; He had created us and had bestowed man with many things through His attribute of ar-Rahman, He listened to our prayers and provided for us, He had revealed the Holy Quran, which contained all matters required for man’s success. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said that one should also read the translation and commentary of the Holy Quran so that their love for this Book could increase. Moreover, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said, one should supplicate during salat so that Allah may increase one’s love for salat. And when one’s love for Allah increased, they would be more inclined to pray to God to offer thanks to Him. 

A science student asked how she could convince those who tried to explain everything through science that there was a God, the Creator.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa explained that every creation required a creator. Likewise, a creator has created the universe. Huzooraa said that that Creator or Originator of the Universe was believed by Muslims to be God the Exalted. 

Huzooraa also told the questioner to read the books Our God, and Ten Proofs for the Existence of God. Huzooraa added that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh had dedicated a chapter to this subject in his book Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth. “If you increase your knowledge, you will be able to give a response to such people,” Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said. 

As for those who raised an objection with regard to God being All-Powerful, and as to why he could not make Islam instantly victorious, Huzooraa said, “Allah the Exalted is All-Powerful but He has also enacted some laws of nature.”

Alluding to those who don’t believe in God, Huzooraa said, for example, Richard Dawkins, “We sent the Holy Quran, the Five-Volume Commentary to him, and various other books about the existence of God, and said, ‘You object to Allah’s existence, read this and then reply to it.’ He replied, ‘I’m not interested in reading anything.’”

Huzooraa said that if they spread their beliefs to people, then they should be open to reading about other people’s beliefs too, and only then would they truly be able to draw a comparison. 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa then conveyed his salam and the mulaqat came to a successful end.

(Report prepared by Al Hakam)

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