Atfal from Germany travelled to the United Kingdom for the blessed opportunity to meet Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa. The audience took place at the new Mubarak Mosque in Islamabad, Surrey.
The opening question was regarding the Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand. A Tifl asked Huzooraa why Allah did not save the victims as they were His worshippers. Huzooraa explained the concept of martyrdom in Islam and highlighted the fact that since time immemorial, worshippers had been martyred due to their faith, including Ahmadi Muslims.
Discussing the shootings, Huzooraa said:
“The blessings of being martyred whilst praying double”, while further saying, “Martyrdom, in Islam, is an immense honour”.
Huzooraa then emphasised the importance of life in the Hereafter and addressed the Atfal saying:
“You should etch this in your hearts that the real life is the life after death. This worldly life is just temporary – then [in the next life] will all of your worries vanish.”
The topic of atheism was raised by a youngster who wanted to know how to prove the existence of God to an atheist. Huzooraa presented a two-part answer, first saying that the foremost thing to do is “establish a relationship with Allah yourself”. Further, Huzooraa recommended two books to read: Our God by Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra and Ten Proofs for the Existence of God by Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IIra.
With respect to the importance of establishing a relationship with Allah, Huzooraa explained, “To establish a personal relationship, Allah says you must work hard. He says you must do Jihad to find Him.” Huzooraa added, “Ahmadi Muslims should establish a relationship with Allah and then tell others about their own incidents of the acceptance of prayers.” Huzooraa said that they should be able to tell atheists, “You say God does not exist but my prayers have been accepted.”
Another Tifl from the German delegation asked if Islam permitted vegetarianism. Huzooraa explained that the whole notion is down to personal preference; one can eat whatever they like, so long as it is Halal. Huzooraa said “Islam emphasises to keep your diet balanced. Eat meat protein, bean protein and vegetables etc.” Throughout his answer, Huzooraa explained that the issue was on personal preference and did not relate to religion as such.
“How can we establish love for Khilafat” was asked to Huzooraa upon which he responded by saying, “Pray for Khilafat that Allah enables us to be obedient to the Khalifa of the time and that Allah establishes Khilafat forever.” Huzooraa concluded by stating, “This love is given by Allah, so pray for it.”
Huzooraa chose a young member of the audience, who had his hand up, to ask a question. He wanted Huzoor’s advice on how to be patient, upon which Huzooraa lovingly responded by saying to the child that he was still young and should have patience. Huzooraa then gave insight into ways to be patient saying:
“The Quran says to avoid all immoral things; to just pass by and avoid them. If someone swears and uses abusive language, just pass by them. Also, one should do istighfar [seek repentance] a lot and pray that Allah grants you patience.”
The next question was regarding Jews and Christians and whether they can enter heaven, even though, according to the questioner, they had been cursed in the Holy Quran. Huzooraa replied by saying “Allah has also commended Jews and Christians in the Holy Quran; Allah has said that among them are pious people as well. You should always read the context of the verse first. Allah has only cursed those who do bad deeds; He did not curse them generally … it was about those people who were causing discord.”
Regarding questions concerning the Holy Quran, Huzooraa strongly emphasised that the whole context of a particular verse or passage should be read first, before asking a question. And when we ask such questions, we should have the verse and reference at hand.
A member of the Atfal group was holding a microphone and to his fortune, Huzooraa said, “You have the microphone so you may ask your question”. His question was about shaking hands with women and whether it was permissible to shake hands with senior members of staff. Huzooraa said:
“In general you must not shake hands [with the opposite sex]. The Holy Prophetsa advised not to shake hands with women as sometimes it may lead to wrong. The instruction has a lot of background to it. However, if a senior teacher who is elderly or any senior teacher for that matter puts her hand forward to shake your hand then, you are a child and so, there is no harm to do so. Nevertheless, you must not be the one initiating it.”
A Tifl told Huzooraa about a discussion he was having with his Muslim friends about Khatm-e-Nubuwwat (finality of prophethood). He asked Huzooraa what the Ahmadiyya viewpoint is regarding the true translation of the Khatamun-Nabiyyin. Huzooraa explained by stating:
“[Muslims] say that the appearance of prophets has stopped and none can now come. We say that the word khatam means stamp, meaning that if there is a prophet to come, then he can only come with the stamp of the Holy Prophetsa. It is not only us who believe this; a plethora of past Muslim scholars also held this view.”
“Huzooraa, why do you wear a turban?” one Tifl innocently asked. Huzooraa smiled and said:
“As this has been a tradition of previous Khulafa, I thought I would also wear one. I had to wear something – a topi or a turban. It is a tradition in the subcontinent to wear a turban and also in other countries like Sudan, Somalia and Yemen etc. who wear their own kind of turban – dress codes develop. It is not essential that all the coming Khulafa wear a turban.”
Huzooraa spoke of his childhood after a Tifl asked Huzooraa about his hobbies as a child. Huzooraa said that he would play cricket after Asr prayer to Maghrib prayer, and after Maghrib prayer, he would stay indoors as it was not permissible for them to leave the house after Maghrib during that time.
The topic of creation was raised by another Tifl. Huzooraa explained to the boy that we believe in evolution, however we do not believe that humans were created from monkeys – humans were always humans.
A member of the group asked how one can establish taqwa in an age where dangers of the internet and social media lurk. Huzooraa said:
“There are also decent things on the internet and social media. There is MTA, speeches, dars of the Holy Quran, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV’srh question and answer sessions, speeches of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra, books, my addresses etc. – you should listen to these. Why does one need to watch pornography, immodest images or play games like Fortnite that waste money? Use the internet in the proper way and you will have the opportunity to do good.”
Huzooraa said that one should not be addicted to social media and the internet and emphasised the importance of being regular in the five daily prayers to all Atfal present.
Huzooraa also gave advice on studies to the group, highlighting the need to develop the correct way to study, recall information and the need to revise constantly. Huzooraa said to be regular in revision and to revise daily, especially paying special concentration on weak subjects. Huzooraa said that if another student excels in studies but does not offer his prayers, it does not mean he is better than you.
“Did you miss your family after you became Khalifa and had to leave Pakistan?” one Tifl asked. Huzoor said:
“My son already resided here, my daughter and wife also joined me later – so my immediate family was with me. Apart from this, there was my mother, others, and there was Rabwah. I would remember them; even now, sometimes, I remember Rabwah. However, there is so much work and I get so busy that I do not even have the chance to reminisce or miss these things.”
The Atfal group were blessed to ask many questions, after which they had the opportunity of taking a group photo with Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa.