“We are here to change the world”: Nigerian AMSA students meet Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa

Ahmadi students from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Student’s Association (AMSA) of Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Nigeria had the opportunity to meet Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa, Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, through a virtual meeting held on 9 January 2022. 

The students asked Huzooraa questions from a wide range of topics and thoroughly enjoyed the meeting. 

The meeting started with a recitation from the Holy Quran by Hafiz Salaudeen Mudathar Sahib, AMSA President of Ogun State. An Urdu poem, composed by Hazrat Dr Mir Muhammad Ismailra, in praise of the Holy Prophetsa, was recited by Habib Jimoh Sahib, Assistant Talim Secretary AMSA Nigeria. While reciting the poem, the AMSA members present joined in the chorus of “alaikas-salatu, alaikas-salaam”, meaning, “Peace be upon you [O Prophet]”. 

A report of AMSA Nigeria was then presented by Abbsa Agbaje Sahib, Mohtamim Umur-e-Tulaba (Student Affairs). He said the total count of Ahmadi AMSA students across universities and polytechnic institutes in Nigeria was 543. AMSA Nigeria – under the umbrella of umur-e-tulaba department of Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Nigeria – had been involved in a lot of activities including holding CV boot camps, preparing Ahmadi students for life after university, internships during studies, giving opportunities to Ahmadi students to apply for international scholarships and to assist them in this, for example, the Common Wealth Scholarship. AMSA Nigeria also organised preaching sessions on Islam Ahmadiyya in Nigerian universities, organised sports during national university conventions, like Taekwondo, football and table tennis.

Huzooraa asked Abbas Agbaje Sahib if he was a muallim (missionary)for the Jamaat, to which he said he was. Abbas Sahib said Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa granted him permission to pursue his studies and after doing so, he qualified as a sustainability specialist. 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa asked if the students present in the meeting were from only Lagos and Ojokoro, or if they had come from all across Nigeria. Abbas Sahib said those present were from all over Nigeria and were representing their respective regions. Huzooraa noted that the Jamaat’s Minaret International University was being built and would soon join the other universities of Nigeria. 

Abbas Sahib reported that Huzooraa had asked him in the virtual meeting with the amila of MKA Nigeria (the week prior) about the number of Ahmadi khuddam students who were studying medicine. Abbas Sahib reported he did not have the numbers of specific subjects the khuddam students were pursuing in that meeting but had acquired the data. Seven khuddam students in Nigeria were currently studying medicine, 26 were studying computer science, 72 were studying engineering, and the rest were studying other subjects. 

Huzooraa said “masha-Allah” and asked what types of engineering the students were studying. Abbas Sahib said he did not have the breakdown, and after listening to Huzooraa list types of engineering – civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer engineering – Abbas Sahib said that Ahmadi students were pursuing all of these areas of engineering in their studies. 

Huzooraa asked how many students from the seven who were studying medicine belonged to the Waqf-e-Nau scheme. Abbas Sahib said there was only one. Huzooraa asked, “Will he devote his life after completing his education?” Abbas Sahib said he believed he would “insha-Allah”. 

Next, Abbas Sahib said the AMSA students present had questions they wanted to ask. Huzooraa accepted the request. 

Awwal Afolayan Sahib was first to ask a question. Seeing his name tag, Huzooraa remarked, “‘President AMSA Lagos State’, I see. Masha-Allah! What are you studying?” Awwal Sahib said he was studying Arabic at Lagos State University. 

Awwal Sahib then asked what the best action was towards those Jamaat members who indulged in social vices – whether to punish them, excommunicate them from the Jamaat, or try as much as possible to correct their ways through exhortation. 

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:

“Just to expel them from the Jamaat is not the solution. You have to admonish them, advise them first and if they repent, i.e. they leave those vices, then well and good. Otherwise, they can be given some other punishments, for instance, we can say, ‘Okay, if you do not want to repent, then we shall not take chanda from you, or you will not be allowed to be given any Jamaat office or any service of the Jamaat.’ 

“Those who are of pious nature, even this punishment is enough for them. And you should also advise them that being an Ahmadi Muslim, ‘We should now portray in ourselves the true picture of Islam’, not that the people raise their fingers by saying that ‘these are Ahmadi Muslims. They claim themselves to be the people who have accepted the Reformer of the Age, the Promised Messiahas, and they claim that they are going to spread the message of Islam all across the world, and they say, “We are better than the other Muslims”, and even then, this is their behaviour’. 

“If you properly ask them to change their lives and try to be true Ahmadis, then most of them understand it. Otherwise, every person has some shortcomings, we cannot say that every one of us is perfect or even all of us are perfect. There are shortcomings in us but those minor shortcomings can be ignored. 

“Otherwise, if a person is persistent in doing wrong things, then you have to be persuasive and keep on advising them. This is why Allah the Almighty has asked us – [and] even the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him – that:

ذَكِّرۡاِنَّمَاۤ‭ ‬اَنۡتَ‭ ‬مُذَكِّرٌ

“Yes, ‘Keep on advising them and this is your duty’ – not to expel somebody. If someone wants to be in the Jamaat, expelling the person is not the solution. But if a person himself wants to leave the Jamaat, then that’s a different thing. And if a person has made some gross mistake and a great sin, then just to make him realise that he has done something very bad and he has committed a heinous crime, then he can be expelled from the Jamaat for some time. When he asks for forgiveness, then he can again be included in the Jamaat. 

“But apart from that, if it is minor mistakes or some small vice in a person, then our job is just to advise them and admonish them and try to make them understand and realise the responsibility of an Ahmadi.” 

Photo courtesy of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Nigeria
Photo courtesy of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Nigeria

Abdul Mojeed Abdul Qayyum Sahib, Unit President Yaba Tech said some Ahmadi parents did not want to give their children’s hand in marriage to Ahmadis whose parents were not Ahmadi Muslims. He asked for Huzoor’s advice to such parents and youth. 

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said:

“If a person is a new convert, he is better than the non-Ahmadi. […] If a boy and girl want to get married and they have some understanding, and they are Ahmadis, then it is better for the parents to permit them to get married instead of saying ‘No, you are a new convert and we shall not give our girl’, or ask the boy that he should not marry a girl who is a new convert.

“It is better to marry with an Ahmadi girl or boy than to marry with a non-Ahmadi, and parents should not be that much rigid in this regard.”

Huzooraa asked Mojeed Sahib if he was going to get married, to which he said he was soon going to marry. Huzooraa smiled and said, “If she is a new convert, then it is okay, you are allowed.”

Rabiu Hasbiyallah Sahib asked how one could get Ahmadi students to remain active in AMSA activities despite being surrounded by immorality in and around university campuses. 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said:

“As I have already said, the true teaching of Islam should be practised and portrayed by every Ahmadi, especially the students.”

Huzooraa emphasised:

“An Ahmadi Muslim should be a true portrayal of the Islamic teaching. And […] make them realise – that being an Ahmadi, this is their duty. And from time to time, just keep on reminding them [about] their bond with Ahmadiyyat by sending them the conditions of bai‘at, [saying] ‘these are the conditions on which you accepted Ahmadiyyat and this is your bond and this is your promise that you will give precedence to your religion over worldly matters. If they realise it, then they will understand it.” 

On the free-mixing of genders, Huzooraa said:

“This is a great challenge that in the present-day atmosphere, the environment – the university even – is not very favourable. Girls and boys mix up with each other and sometimes they go to the extent to make intimate relations with each other. But Ahmadi students should avoid these things.

“You should only have interaction with the girls when you are in need of anything with regard to your studies. It is not a sin to talk to a girl, but it is sin to go to the extent where your relations are un-Islamic or immoral. This is why the Holy Quran says, Allah the Almighty says, that there should be a distance between man and woman. This is why there is a commandment of hijab and veil. And this is why it is also the saying of the Holy Prophetsa that if you want to get married, you should try to pick a girl who is a religious-minded and pious girl. If our students realise all these things, then they will try to change themselves.”

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa continued:

“You see, we are here to change the world – we claim that we are going to reform the world. If we ourselves indulge in these bad things, then how can we fulfil our promise? In your Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya pledge, you say, ‘I will sacrifice my this, this, this …’ If you cannot sacrifice your emotions, if you are not practising the teachings of Islam, then how can you fulfil your pledge?

“So make every khadim realise that ‘this is your pledge, this is our bond, these are the conditions of bai‘at and we have to fulfil all these things so that we can reform ourselves and, as a result, reform our nation, and then we shall be the country that will prosper. Otherwise, if we behave like this, Allah the Almighty will punish us. And we must realise this fact that ultimately, we have to go, leave this world, and face our fate in the afterlife.’

“These are the things you have to make them realise – if they understand it, well and good; otherwise our duty is only to advise, and to keep on advising them and admonishing them, as I have already said.”

Abdul Quadri Olanrewaju Sahib asked Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa what the social media guidelines were for Ahmadi students. 

Huzooraa said:

“On social media, there are some good things and bad things as well, but unfortunately the bad things are outnumbering the good things. So, you Ahmadi students can also create a platform on social media where you provide to Ahmadi students, to Ahmadi youth and to others as well, the things that can help make you better morally, which can help you to enhance your educational level, which can help you to better your spiritual level. And those sites on social media that are helpful for educational betterment or some other things can also be promoted and give your comments to them and suggest to your khuddam and students that they can visit those items.

“And those social media platforms which are spoiling your life, their programmes are making you morally corrupt – or can corrupt you spiritually or morally – then ask your students not to see them. […]

“But if you create your own social media platform, that would be better. Then at least those who are very much fond of visiting social media – if you have your own social media which can help you to increase their knowledge and make them morally and spiritually better – that would also help them to quench their thirst with regard to social media.”

Sodiq Seniola Sahib, Vice President AMSA Nigeria said that in Nigeria, some people educated themselves about technology so they could carry out cybercrime. He asked Huzooraa how this could be stopped. 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said that if one realised their religious duties and responsibilities, then even after having learned about modern-day technology and how to use it, they would not fall into vice such as cybercrimes. 

“If we know what are the good things and what are the bad things, then we shall definitely leave those things which are not good for us. But if we don’t understand, if we have become addicted to those things which are now available on social media – as I already said – and that can lead us to cybercrimes, then we cannot do anything. It is a matter of realisation. If you realise who you are and what are your duties, then you can stop doing all these things. Otherwise, you cannot do anything else. 

“You see, this is a big charm on social media nowadays and that leads to cybercrime. This is what Satan said to Allah the Almighty when Allah said to the angels, ‘Submit yourself to Adam’, and Satan refused to do it. Even after that, he said […] ‘I am made of fire’ etc. and secondly, ‘Now, since you have asked me to get out of here, from Paradise, I will try my level best to make people do bad things; I will try my level best to make them go astray; I will try my level best to try to follow bad things – so this is what is happening nowadays. And social media and all these things are also playing their role in this regard; they are helping Satan fulfil his promise. 

“And Allah the Almighty said, ‘That is okay, most of the people will follow you, but I will put all of them in Hell; I will fill Hell with them’. So, this is a matter of realisation, a matter of understanding.”

Huzooraa said Ahmadis should regularly keep in touch with their fellow Ahmadi students and members and make them realise their duties to protect them from such harm. 

Ibrahim Talabi, Vice President of AMSA Nigeria asked how one could preach to someone who was not listening. 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:

“Allah the Almighty has said to the Holy Prophetsa that ‘you cannot forcefully convey your message to every person. Those who do not want to listen to your message, leave them.’ That is their fate that they are going to face,” and Allah would deal with them however He liked.

On who to preach to, Huzooraa advised:

“Instead of wasting time on those who do not want to listen to you, try to find some people – there are quite a number of pious people even, and righteous people, or those who are morally good people – who want to listen to you, or at least those who would like to listen to some good things from you if not completely about your religion. 

“In this way, you can try to befriend those who are morally good, who are of pious nature, and then, when they become your friends, you can tell them who you are, what is Ahmadiyyat and why we believe in Ahmadiyyat. So, this is the way of preaching to them”.

Otherwise, Huzooraa said, we could not “force anybody” to listen to us. “People are nowadays indifferent with regard to religion. Although they say they are Muslims, or they are Christians, they are not practising Muslims or Christians or of any other religion. 

“So it is better to find out about people who want to listen to you, instead of wasting your time on those who are just the people [who] do not pay heed to your words.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa

Lawal Ibrahim Sahib, Unit President AMSA Futa asked how one could balance enjoying life in school and religious activities. 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa advised:

“Your first religious duty is offering five daily prayers, right? Get up early in the morning for Fajr prayer and offer your Fajr prayer, then recite the Holy Quran and then get yourself prepared for your college, university or school. After attending your school for 6-7 hours, when you come back, if there is homework given to you by your teachers or any assignment given to you by the university professor, then complete it. 

“And after that, if you have time, you should try to increase your knowledge by reading some religious knowledge that will also – alongside increasing your secular knowledge – change your mindset; you will try to change yourself and try to be spiritually and morally good.”

Huzooraa said that if it was not possible to give time to Jamaat activities – for example to Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya – during the weekdays, then at the weekends, students should give time to the Jamaat. Huzooraa continued:

“[…] being a student, your first duty is to concentrate more on your studies but alongside it, never ever leave the five daily prayers and the reading of the Holy Quran.”

Wadud Ambali Sahib, Unit President Oau said most students were challenged by staying consistent in their religious life and studies. 

Huzooraa said:

“As far as your secular education is concerned, I have already said being a student, your first priority should be your education. And alongside it, whenever you find time, apart from reading the Holy Quran and knowing the meaning of the Holy Quran, you should also read the literature of the Jamaat. As I have already said, it will change your mindset. 

“Alongside your educational activities and secular education or other general knowledge books, if you are reading the religious books and the Jamaat literature, then it will increase your spiritual and moral knowledge as well. 

“So you have to allocate some time. In the university or college, you spend only 6-7 hours at the most. Our university students even sometimes, some days they only spend one or two hours, there are only two, three periods or one period. And you have the remaining free time which you can use in the library by reading. 

“When you are in the university, you go to the library, read the book which can increase your knowledge and when you are at home, you should also have some religious books, some Jamaatliterature on your bedside, then before going to sleep, you can even read those books. Or whenever you find some time, you read the literature. 

“This way you have to manage – you allocate some time. If you have an extra one, two, three hours [in] which you think you should study and you have already studied in the university and read some other secular books or general knowledge books, then you should read religious books. You will have to study both these books side by side. 

“You have 24 hours in a day. After having six hours’ sleep, you have 18 hours. And if you spend six hours in school or university, then you’ll have 12 hours. If you spend some time with your family and eating and this and that, then [it would take] two hours, which leaves 10 hours. Then, for prayers and everything, two hours at the most, again eight hours [are left]. If you are going to play outside – if you are playing soccer or football, or whatever it is – at least two hours there, [leaving] six hours. In the remaining six hours, you have enough time, at least you can give one or two hours daily to your religious studies and that will increase your knowledge. 

“If you only give one or two hours to your religious studies, that is enough to maintain your religious level or even better it, enhance it.”

Adeleke Jubril Sahib, Unit President AMSA Lautech asked how students could fulfil their financial obligations to the Jamaat. 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said:

“If you are being given some pocket money by your parents, then you can give your Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya chanda because since you are not an earning member, Chanda Aam is not obligatory on you. And if you have done Wasiyyat, then you can pay the small amount available with you […] and you can pay some Waqf-e-Jadid and Tahrik-e-Jadid chanda if you have money. 

“If you don’t have money and your parents are not giving you any pocket money, and you are not even getting any scholarship or any other stipend, then Allah the Almighty is not making it compulsory on you and obligatory on you that you must pay chanda. You are free from all these things. 

“But at least, at the same time, to fill this gap of not paying chanda, you can pray to Allah the Almighty in your five daily prayers and after that, you can even do some prayers while walking, sitting, standing or even after prayers. 

“During the time of the Holy Prophetsa, the poor people came to see the Holy Prophetsa, and they said, ‘These rich people offer their five daily prayers as we do and they do jihad of the sword (at that time) and we are also doing so, as much as we can; but at the same time, they are rich people, they have money, they can sacrifice more than us. What shall we do? How can we compete with these people?’ The Holy Prophetsa said ‘Okay, I can give you one tip. After each prayer, you can recite or say “subhanallah” 33 times, “Alhamdulillah” 33 times, “Allahu Akbar” 34 times, then you can also get the same reward. Because you don’t have money, so you are praying to Allah.’ 

“But later on, when these rich people came to know about this, they also started doing this dhikr [remembrance]. Then, the poor people again came to the Holy Prophetsa and said, ‘These rich people now know what we are doing, so they have started doing the same thing again – they are also doing the dhikr of“subhanallah”, “Alhamdulillah” and  “Allahu Akbar”, so now stop them, they should not do it.’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘How can I stop them? If Allah has given the chance to do all these good things, then let them do it, but you will get your reward.’ 

“So, Allah rewards you for your deeds and for your intentions:

اِنَّمَا‭ ‬الْاَعْمَالُ‭ ‬بِالنِّيَّاتِ

[Sahih al-Bukhari]

“Allah gives reward according to your intention. If you have good intentions, Allah will reward you, whether you pay chanda or not. But whenever you have money, you can pay chanda, or sadaqah, or charity.”

This concluded the question and answers with Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa. The mohtamim of umur-e-tulaba, Abbas Sahib thanked Huzooraa for his time and for answering the students’ questions. 

After Huzooraa conveyed his salaam, the meeting came to an end.  

(Report prepared by Al Hakam)

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