On 27 February 2022 members of the UK’s Pan-African Ahmadiyya Muslim Association (PAAMA UK) – men and women – met with Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa through a virtual meeting.
Members of PAAMA UK sat in the Baitul Futuh Mosque, London and were connected virtually with Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa who was in Islamabad, UK.
The meeting started with Huzooraa conveying his salaam and asking if Tommy Kallon Sahib, President PAAMA UK was present. Tommy Kallon Sahib confirmed his presence to which Huzooraa said, “Ok, Masha-Allah”.
Huzooraa then called Ali Muwanda Sahib to recite a portion from the Holy Quran. Seeing him, Huzooraa remarked, “You are getting old now.” Sharif Bhunno Sahib presented the English translation of the Quranic verses.
Tommy Kallon Sahib, President PAAMA UK then said a few words of gratitude in which he said:
“It is an honour and a privilege of inestimable proportions for us to be blessed with an audience with our beloved Huzoor at this virtual mulaqat. For this, we proclaim the glory of Allah […]
“Since the pandemic started and Huzooraa inaugurated this priceless series of virtual mulaqats, we have been able to behold ever more closely the profound wisdom of Huzoor’s guidance, the remarkable depth of Huzoor’s knowledge and the inspirational abundance of Huzoor’s love.”
He said the day was “historic” as it was the first-ever virtual meeting of PAAMA UK with Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa and prayed PAAMA members always stayed obedient and loyal to the institution of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya.
After Tommy Sahib finished speaking, Huzooraa lovingly said “Jazak-Allah. I thought you would take some more time. Masha-Allah, as usual, your address was very elaborate and comprehensive. Masha-Allah. With this, you have made my work easy.”
Some of the Lajna PAAMA UK members then recited a taranah (choral poem). The men’s side, which included Atfal, Khuddam and Ansar recited taraney next and raised slogans too.
Addressing Ali Muwande Sahib, with a loving smile, Huzooraa said “You said that it is because of my prayers you are getting old. My prayers are to keep you young, not old.” Everyone thoroughly enjoyed Huzoor’s words.
Lajna PAAMA members then had the opportunity to ask questions to Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa.
Mariyum Bosu Sahiba asked about what expectations Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa had from PAAMA UK Lajna members.
“The same expectations as they are for men and boys. Lajna should also make their plan and programme, they should also spread the message of true Islam, they should also try to increase their religious knowledge, general knowledge, they should also try to be good – even better than the men – in morals and even sometimes you guide the men. Your responsibility is to raise your children in the best way, in the best manner so that they grow up as good Ahmadi Muslims.
“This is the duty of each and every Muslim woman and being the member of Lajna PAAMA – you are living here in the Western world where religious activities are not taken seriously, or not considered good even, too much is spoken against religion – so here you will have to maintain your traditions and your religion as well. This is your duty.”
Aisha Usman Sahiba quoted the Holy Quran and requested Huzooraa to explain why the following verse mentioned “wives” and not “husbands”:
“O ye who believe! surely among your wives and your children are[somethat arereally]your enemies, so beware of them.” (Surah at-Taghabun, Ch.54: V.15)
Huzooraa opened the verse reference in a copy of the Holy Quran and, giving the lexicon meanings of the original Arabic of the verse, said:
“The Quran here has used the word:
“And azwaj doesn’t only mean ‘wives’. In my view, azwaj means both ‘husband’ and ‘wife’. If the husband is not good, you have to be very much careful and vigilant. Beware of their activities if they are doing against Islam and Ahmadiyyat.
“So this is my view. And in a number of our Quran translations, it has been translated as ‘wives and children’ but the Arabic word used is azwaj that means ‘spouse’ – and spouse includes both.
“So, I tried to find out why we have used this. Ultimately, I found that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh was also of this view, that azwaj means spouse. And he has translated it in his Urdu translation [as] not ‘wives’ but ‘spouse’ – so your ‘spouses and your children’. If you use the word ‘spouse’ then you don’t have any question. It is solved.
“Even sometimes your husbands are also your enemies if they are asking you to act against the teachings of Islam and Ahmadiyyat. This is why sometimes women have more influence on men and quite a number of times we see that men have more influence on their wives. So this is why I think those who were translating it were influenced – during that time the women were not very much aware of the Islamic teachings. But now you are very well educated, you know the meaning of the Quran, you can read the Holy Quran, you know the tradition of Islam and Ahmadiyyat, you have the knowledge.
“Even sometimes our women are more knowledgeable than men – then here you can say ‘beware of you husbands and children’.”
Another Lajna member, Khola Sahiba, referred to an instruction received by Lajna Uganda about the profile pictures of girls. She asked how parents should explain to young girls why their photographs should not be used as profile pictures.
To this, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said that if the girls were young, below the age of 12, their pictures could be used by their parents as profile images.
Huzooraa also added that:
“Women should not display their pictures on their profiles – not only the girls [but also] grown-up women, those who are mature, those who have attained their age of maturity because that can harm them.
“There are quite a number of men who are not of good nature, they can take advantage of their profile pictures by using them somewhere which is not appropriate.
“This is why I say women should be very much careful as there is hijab and purdah essential for women, not for men. Men have only been asked that they should lower their gaze, keep their eyes low. They should not see the women without any restriction. But women have been asked that along with lowering their gaze, they should also cover their faces.
“This is why this is the Islamic teaching that you should not permit men to misuse your profile, your picture or they blackmail you somewhere or they contact you and then you will be in trouble. This is the only thing. […]
Huzooraa said this instruction was not only for Uganda Lajna but all Ahmadi Muslim women in the world. Referring to Uganda Lajna, Huzooraa, with a smile, said:
“I think Uganda Lajna is more particular in implementing this directive. So I am happy that they are active Lajna. Uganda Lajna is quite active.”
Jannat Sahiba asked how one could remain resolute in Allah the Almighty in the current trying times the world is going through.
To this Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said:
“When you have more work and you are absorbed in your worldly activities and doing your job, and busy in your business and other jobs, then normally it is seen that you don’t pay full attention to your prayers.
“I take it the other way around. Nowadays, since you have lost your jobs, there are some problems, whenever a person is in trouble they try to bow before Allah the Almighty more than before.
“You say that ‘how can one remain resolute to Allah the Almighty’?’ This is the time that you pay full attention towards Allah, observe your prayers on time and pray to Allah the Almighty that He removes all these problems and you come out from this difficult time.
“So, in my view, you should be more resolute than before. When you are having a good job, you are earning money, you are busy in your worldly activities, then normally we see that people forget who Allah is and when to worship or should we worship or not? You don’t remember Allah the Almighty.
“Generally, what we experience in this world is that those people who are worldly people, those who are involved in worldly things, normally do not pay attention to the worship of Allah the Almighty.
“This is why atheism is increasing in this Western world because they think that what they are doing is because of their abilities, their education, their knowledge and their better financial positions.
“This is what we observe normally that those who are worldly people do not pay attention to praying to Allah the Almighty and try to follow the injunctions and commandments given to us by Allah the Almighty. Rather these are poor people who pay more attention towards Allah.
“And now if you think that this is the time when you are in problem, in trouble, then you pray to Allah the Almighty that Allah removes all your problems. And also promise that whenever your conditions come to normal you will never leave observing fervent prayers, offering fervent prayers. This is the time that you bow before Allah more than before. […]
“When you are in trouble, your child is sick, you pray to Allah the Almighty. When you yourself are in trouble or sick then you pray to Allah the Almighty that He give you sound health. This is the time you pray to Allah the Almighty […]”
Another Lajna member asked if Ahmadi women could wear artificial nails and eyelashes. Huzooraa said:
“Yes, there is no problem with it. If they are clean then you can use them, and after your function when you are wearing these nails, you can remove them.
“But your own nails should not be very long. This is the tradition, the hadith of the Holy Prophetsa that you cut your nails so that no dirt, no dirty thing gets into it and when you are eating you may have contaminated food and the contamination can go through your nails to your stomach. This is why Allah the Almighty says that you cut your nails, keep your nails clean.
“But if for some function you are wearing nails just for one or two hours, then there is no problem.”
Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa then gave the men’s side the opportunity to ask questions.
Nooruddeen Jahangeer Khan Sahib said he was asking the first question on behalf of Alhasan Bangura Sahib who was not present. Huzooraa asked why Bangura Sahib was not there to which Nooruddeen Sahib said he was not feeling well.
The question was how PAAMA UK could better serve the needs of the African people. For example, could PAAMA collaborate with organisations like Humanity First and serve Africans, he asked.
“Who has stopped you from doing it? You can work in collaboration with any of the organisations […] Apart from Humanity First, there are quite a number of charity organisations with whom you can start your work.
“But, first, you make a plan – what is your plan? What type of work do you want to do? What type of project do you want to start in Africa? And if Humanity First or IAAAE or even our central Jamaat organisation, or auxiliary organisation are doing any project in Africa, pan-African members can help them.
“You are here now, financially you are better off than those people living in Africa so you can contribute towards those projects which are being run by Humanity First or other Jamaat auxiliary organisations, or Jamaat’s central system or IAAAE or any other charity. So, you can help them.
“You can find out in which part of the country – or which country – people are more in need of some development projects so that you can ask Humanity First or other organisations that ‘these are the people who are deprived of their basic necessities and they should be helped.’
“And then, if you have any idea that how these people can be helped, you can give your idea to those people and even extend your help to them. You can ask them that ‘PAAMA as a whole can also be part of this project in any way you are in need of.’”
Hakim Mensa Sahib, General Secretary of PAAMA UK said that the African continent was marred with war again. He asked for Huzoor’s advice to the leaders of African nations.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said:
“Which part of the world is free of these things? Not only Africa; now Europe is also marred with it. Even now the situation in Europe is more dangerous than in Africa because this situation can circle the whole of the world.”
Huzooraa said he had been always saying that:
“For peace of the country and the society, you need justice and absolute justice. Until and unless our leadership is honest and do justice to their work, to their people, we cannot maintain peace in the society and these things will continue.
“Wherever you see that the leadership is good, they are honest with their people, those countries are flourishing or developing to some extent.”
Huzooraa said that leaders were not honest across the world. He continued:
“We pray, we ask the leadership to be honest and recognise their Creator. Until and unless they recognise their Creator and believe in this that all their deeds are being seen by God Almighty and whatever they are doing they will be answerable for it, if not in this world, in the Hereafter – then they will do good.
“We have to make them realise that there is one God and don’t think that this is the only world. In the Hereafter, you will be answerable for all your deeds. And whatever the responsibility you have been entrusted you will be asked for it. And if you are not discharging your duties properly then Allah the Almighty will punish you.
“This is the only thing that can reform them. That is what I have been telling all the time, whenever I get the chance, to the leaders that always think that Allah the Almighty is watching over us.
“If we realise this fact then it will be okay, otherwise, it will continue like this. We can only pray, or make the effort to convert the whole of the country or the continent into true Islam. Then, as you have heard, you have listened to in the recitation [of the Holy Quran] recited before you, then you will be one nation, one people and will be honest with each other, and discharge your duties towards each other, and discharge your duties towards Allah the Almighty.
“This is the only solution. Otherwise, there is no hope of any reformation.”
Nasir Ahmed Owusu-Konadu Sahib, a young PAAMA member, was next to ask a question. Hearing his name, Huzooraa remarked, “I see, you are Konadu’s son?” To this, Nasir Sahib said he was. Huzooraa said “Masha-Allah, now grown-up”.
Nasir Sahib said some PAAMA members did not attend some of the Jamaat meetings as they were held in the Urdu language, which the PAAMA UK members could not understand. He asked what could be done about the situation.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:
“The organisers and the office-bearers should be held responsible for it. Why are they conducting their meetings in Urdu?
“I have asked many a time that 70% of our meetings should be conducted in English so that everyone can understand it. And English-speaking people should also be given the chance to speak in the meetings – in their speeches, addresses or whatever it is – whether they hold any office or not, doesn’t matter. […]
“If some people do not understand then 70% of the meeting – the agenda of the meeting or the items– should be in English and 30% in Urdu.
“This is the responsibility of national amir sahib – national amir sahib is sitting here – and your local Jamaat presidents that they should ask their office-bearers that the meetings should be conducted in English so that everyone can benefit from it.”
Huzooraa said those who did not attend the meetings due to this reason were “losing the blessings of at least sitting in an atmosphere where Allah and His Prophet’s name are being discussed and being narrated […] and the passages of the Promised Messiah’sas books are being read”, however, the fault was of the office-bearers who did not conduct the meetings in English.
Addressing Nasir Sahib, Huzooraa said:
“You can convey my message to your Jamaat president.”
The next question was by Haruna Appiah Sahib. He noted that according to the Promised Messiahas jihad in this day was by the pen as Muslims were not being attacked by the sword. Haruna Sahib asked why Ahmadi Muslims who were persecuted in countries like Pakistan could not retaliate in the name of jihad as they were being attacked physically.
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said:
“The Promised Messiahas has said that ‘I have come to this world in this age to establish peace and I have come on the footsteps of the Messiah of Moses. Did Jesus Christ ever fight against his enemies? No. He was persecuted, he was beaten, even he was put on the cross although Allah saved him from there, he tolerated all these things.
“So, the Promised Messiahas said that I have come on the footsteps of Jesus. This is why he says ‘now jihad of the sword is not permissible’. And he quoted a hadith, a tradition from the Holy Prophetsa, it is in Bukhari, that now jihad is not permissible during the time of the Promised Messiahas.
“And our work is to spread the message of true Islam; of love, peace and harmony. What we are gaining through this message is more than what we can achieve by fighting with each other. What shall we gain by fighting?
“Those Pakistanis who have come to join Ahmadiyyat, they are from among those people, they have the same mentality, same psyche, some of them are from some martial tribes, but despite that, when they accept Ahmadiyyat they say ‘now the teaching of Islam Ahmadiyyat is that you should show patience and bear all these atrocities being committed against Ahmadis by opponents.”
Huzooraa said the Promised Messiahas said that the Holy Prophetsa prophesied the followers of the Messiah and his Jamaat would face atrocities but they should show tolerance.
“This is why we are not retaliating, otherwise we can retaliate – but what will happen? We shall shatter the peace of the country, which is already in danger.
“Once a person said to the third Khalifa that ‘Permit me, we can organise some group and use petrol bombs and other bombs and create disturbance in the country’. He said ‘Yes, you can do it but then Allah the Almighty will say “Ok, you and your opponents do whatever you like and I am leaving you.”’
“If Allah the Almighty leave us, then we don’t have any safe place.
“So it is better to follow the commandment of Allah the Almighty that during the time of the Promised Messiahas we should spread our message through love, peace and harmony and show patience.
“This is why we do not fight, otherwise we have the power to fight.”
Talha Owusu-Konadu Sahib, another youngster was next to ask a question. Seeing him Huzooraa asked if he was the first or second born ‘Konadu’. Talha Sahib said he was the second.
He then expressed to Huzooraa that he knew he loved Huzooraa immensely, however felt his passion for worldly things like when watching football, exceeded, at times, his passion to listening to Huzooraa. He desired to know how he could develop more passion and love toward Khilafat so that all other loves became secondary.
“It is a tradition and the Promised Messiahas also has said that we should love each other for the sake of Allah. And it is a tradition, Allah the Almighty says that ‘if two believers love each other for the sake of Me, to please Me, then I will love them and I will shower My blessings on them abundantly.
“If you think that you love the Khalifa of the time because of the love of Allah the Almighty then all other loves should go on the side, put them aside. And only one thing should be at your forefront and that is the love of Allah the Almighty. And for the love of Allah, you love your Khalifa and you love each other. The Khalifa loves, because of the sake of Allah, he loves his followers, the members of the Ahmadiyya community.
“If this is in your mind, your love of football and other games will not take over your love to the Khilafat and Allah.
“Once a son of Hazrat Alira – the fourth Khalifa of the Holy Prophetsa – asked the father, ‘Do you love me?’ The father said, ‘Yes, I love you’. And then the son said, ‘Do you love Allah the Almighty?’ Hazrat Alira said, ‘Yes, I love Allah the Almighty’. So then the son asked, ‘Then how can two loves be in one heart? You love me and you love Allah the Almighty’. Hazrat Alira replied that “When the time of love of Allah comes, then your love goes away, then there is no love for you. Then [there is] only one love and that is Allah.’
“If you are comparing these things, if it is the time for prayer and at the same time you are watching a football match on the television which you love very much, then you put off the television and then pray first, properly, not quickly – very fervently and then after that, if you have time then you can watch the match again. […]
“If the Khalifa of the time is addressing and giving a speech live directly to you, addressing you directly, then you listen to him first and you can see the recording of the match later on.
“Otherwise as I have said, two loves cannot be kept in one heart at a time. You have to see your preference order. Which love do you prefer more? Your religion, your attachment to Khilafat, your love to Allah the Almighty? Or your love for your football match or the team you like more.
“You will have to decide yourself. How can I ask you to love the Khalifa more? You will have to decide yourself, I know you have a pious nature.”
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said to Tommy Kallon Sahib, President PAAMA UK that the time had finished and the questions that remained could be asked next time.
Huzooraa added that those who desired for their questions to be answered urgently could write to him and he would reply through a letter.
Tommy Kallon Sahib then requested Huzooraa to lead everyone in silent prayer to which Huzooraa accepted.
At the end Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said:
“One of your PAAMA members is also sitting with me here, Yahya […] He is sitting here, so you have a participation, your presence in this room as well.”
Tommy Kallon Sahib and the PAAMA UK members appreciated this loving comment and after Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa conveyed his salaam, the meeting came to an end.
(Report prepared by Al Hakam)