At 5:45 pm BST on Sunday, 22 May 2022, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa arrived at the Tahir Hall, Baitul Futuh, London to deliver an address to members of the 43rd Majlis-e-Shura UK. This was the first public event attended by Huzooraa in person at Baitul Futuh since the pandemic started.
2022 marks 100 years since the establishment of Majlis-e-Shura in Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya, which was started by Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra. The first Shura of the Jamaat was held on 15-16 April 1922 in Talim-ul-Islam High School, Qadian.
Over the weekend (21-22 May 2022) various other Jamaats around the world also held Shura gatherings and the representatives of Shura listened to Huzoor’s address live on MTA International, along with the wider Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat.
To commence the final proceedings of the 43rd Majlis-e-Shura UK, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa invited Hafiz Fazl-e-Rabbi Sahib to recite a portion of the Holy Quran (Surah al-Mu‘minun, Ch.23: V.1-12). Tahir Selby Sahib presented the English translation of the Quranic verses.
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa took to the podium and conveyed his salaam to everyone. After reciting tashahud, ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Huzooraa said:
“As you are all aware, during the past couple of years, the Covid-19 pandemic has curtailed and restricted events all across the world and our Jamaat functions were also greatly affected. Thus, in the last couple of years, the UK Jamaat and the other jamaats held their national Majalis-e-Shura virtually and the agenda was very limited compared to normal. Therefore, today, it is a means of joy that after around three years, Allah the Almighty has enabled the Majlis-e-Shura of the UK Jamaat to convene in person and for the proceedings to take place fully once again. I think the same is with Canada, Germany and the United States and some other countries.
“Alhamdulillah, this year also marks the centenary of the institution of Majlis-e-Shura. And so, I hope all members will have reflected upon this milestone and appreciated how, ever since its foundation, the institution of Majlis-e-Shura has gone from strength to strength and its scope has greatly increased.
“Even a cursory glance through the history of our Jamaat is enough to testify to the fact that the help and support of Allah the Almighty has always been by our side and has enabled the Jamaat to progress and flourish in all respects. And this is certainly true with regard to the institution of Majlis-e-Shura – the blessed scheme that was sown 100 years ago has not only taken firm root, but has flourished and its roots are now spread all across the world.
“Indeed, in every country where the Jamaat has been able to establish its full organisational structure – that is nizam-e-Jamaat – Majlis-e-Shura takes place and continues to progress. Whilst the UK Jamaat was established more than a century ago, the institution of Majlis-e-Shura on a regular basis was introduced here several decades later and it was actually after the migration of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh that it started to function in a much more streamlined and efficient manner. Now, with the grace of Allah, I consider that from a purely administrative and procedural perspective, the institution of Majlis-e-Shura in the UK is very well-developed.”
Huzooraa said he hoped the other countries where Shura was being held had the same developed system – for example in Germany, the USA, Canada and countries in Africa.
Huzooraa said that while the procedural format of Shurawas well-established, he believed “there remained a considerable lack of understanding amongst some office-bearers and delegates of the true weight of their responsibilities and the trust placed in them.”
“In this regard, always remember that the Majlis-e-Shura is a body that is unlike any worldly parliament or assembly. If we cast an eye upon the proceedings of worldly parliaments, we often see how endless debates take place that lead to nowhere, other than to fuel hostilities and bitter conflict amongst the parliamentarians. Ultimately, their proceedings often serve to sow division within their people and often ferment tensions between nations, as we are seeing at this time.”
Huzooraa said that in those political settings, normally two sides had opposing agendas and their respective members came with preconceived agendas or policies that they wanted to push, without thinking about the merits of others. “They desire their party policies are adopted and try to impose their personal beliefs and wishes upon others.”
Huzooraa said more often than not, “Politicians crave power and lust after public approval and desire to increase their own political authority or status.” Huzooraa said members of political parties prioritised their own party over the nation, truth and justice.
On the other hand, unlike any other political or worldly group, Majlis-e-Shura was a “consultative body that has far greater value and stature than any other parliament or congress. But this can only remain the case so long as the members of Majlis-e-Shura are those who personify integrity and manifest the highest moral values and remain free from all forms of politics or deception.”
Huzooraa said Shuradelegates should always remember that the principal objective of Majlis-e-Shura was “to formulate proposals that serve to fulfil the divine mission of the Imam of the Age […] the Promised Messiahas, who was sent to revive the noble and glorious teachings of the Holy Prophetsa and to spread the message of Islam to all corners of the world.”
Therefore, Shuramembers were bound to present their sincere recommendations to the Khalifa of the time. The Khalifa would then consider the advice with the sole objective of facilitating the message of Islam and drawing mankind towards its Creator and fulfilling the rights owed to one another. Huzooraa said, “Hence, I hope and expect that you will have conducted your duties with pure intentions and in an appropriate way, at all times.”
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said Shuramembers had not gathered for any worldly purpose – their participation was solely for propagating their faith and religion. “So, you must fulfil your duties with the utmost seriousness and with absolute integrity. If you participate with this spirit, you will never think that only you can be right or that your opinion has greater weight than others. You will not seek to establish groups like a world political party; rather, you will recognise that as members of the Jamaat and as members of Majlis-e-Shura, there is only one party […] that is the divine party of Allah the Almighty.”
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said it would be wrong to say that all the proceedings of Majlis-e-Shura, around the world, were free from defects. Some members of Shura debated over trivial issues and did not help the proceedings in any way.
“I hope that none of you will have engaged in meaningless debates merely to assert your intellectual superiority over others or to satisfy your ego; rather, I hope and expect that whatever opinion or counsel you have given was offered sincerely, with the fear of Allah coursing through your veins and keeping in mind the primary objective of Majlis-e-Shura which is to bring about the successful spread of the message of Islam to all peoples and nations of the world.
“As I said earlier, this year marks 100 years since the foundation of the institution of Majlis-e-Shura within our Jamaat and at such times, it is important to reflect on the past so we can better appreciate the blessings bestowed upon us by Allah the Almighty.”
The first Majlis-e-Shura that took place in 1922 showed that the full budget for the entire Jamaat presented by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra was just 55,000 rupees – which equates to £150,000-250,000 today. Huzooraa said that now, by the grace of Allah, the UK Jamaat’s budget alone was in millions of pounds. The case was similar in other countries.
Huzooraa said there were times in the Jamaat when it could not even cover the costs of those who had sacrificed their lives to serve the Jamaat. Those pioneering devotees of the Jamaat made great sacrifices and never complained, despite their families going hungry at times. Huzooraa said those life-devotees were examples for all current-day life-devotees, office-bearers and members of Majlis-e-Shura.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said such financial hurdles had now been overcome and no excuses could be made in terms of the budget. Huzooraa said large sums were donated to fund the Jamaat’s activities. But we must ask ourselves “whether we still have the same spirit of sacrifice, tolerance and patience that those before us displayed.” Are we ready to serve Islam with the same passion and dedication that our predecessors did? “And are we ready to make every possible sacrifice for the sake of our faith or are the words we repeat in our pledges simply hollow and meaningless claims? This is something for every office-bearer and every Shura delegate to reflect upon.”
Huzooraa said everyone was witness to the fact that the blessings of Allah continued to rain down on the Jamaat. The Jamaat now had the financial ability to hold many tabligh and tarbiyat events.
“Many members of the Jamaat are excelling in financial sacrifice for the sake of Allah to the extent that apart from those projects funded through Chanda Aam or official financial schemes of the Jamaat, some Ahmadis are personally funding the construction of mosques in poorer countries.”
Huzooraa said that following the fire that took place several years ago at the Baitul Futuh complex, the UK Jamaat had been raising funds for the reconstruction. Huge sums had been raised, predominantly by UK Jamaat members. On witnessing the huge blessings of Allah and the great spirit of sacrifice amongst members of the Jamaat, “It is incumbent upon every one of you that you should increase your supplications in gratitude before Allah the Almighty.” Huzooraa said members of the Shura should recognise the fact that such projects “are only possible due to the divine blessings of Allah the Almighty and the spirit of sacrifice ingrained within the members of the Jamaat for the sake of serving the mission of the Promised Messiahas.”
At the same time, every office-bearer and Ahmadi must keep in mind that financial sacrifices did not free us from our fundamental duty of improving our spiritual and moral state. The Shuramembers should not think they were free of their responsibilities after Shura. “Rather, from now on, you must continually strive to better your spiritual and moral condition. Moreover, you should bow down in prayer beseeching Allah the Almighty to cover your shortcomings and praying that whatever plans have been made and which are subsequently approved by the Khalifa of the time are then implemented in the best possible way.”
Huzooraa said every office-bearer and Shura member had the responsibility to continue to improve their spiritual and moral states and that of other Jamaat members too. If this was the case, then our individual and collective bond with Allah would prosper. If we developed in His worship, we would draw the everlasting blessing of Allah. “Thus, you should pray that Allah blesses all the plans and recommendations made by Shura and it should not be just that you only excel in terms of your administration. Far more importantly, you must pray that you are counted amongst those whose worship of Allah the Almighty continues to increase and whose spiritual and moral states become such that they become true role models for others.
“If you can live your lives in such a way, you will find that people are naturally drawn to you – both in terms of conveying the message of Islam to others and with regard to the moral training of the members of the Jamaat.”
Huzooraa emphasised that if all Ahmadis improved spiritually, the gates of tabligh would “be cast wide open and new avenues for spreading Islam will emerge.”
“In terms of tabligh and tarbiyat, I also wish to take this opportunity to remind all members of the Majlis-e-Shura about the crucial importance of the publication and dissemination of the Holy Quran and all Jamaat literature”. Huzooraa said that in the past, there were limitations in funds to print these, but now, with the grace of Allah, the Jamaat was printing books and copies of the Quran in the hundreds of thousands. For example, this year, a new beautifully bound copy of the Holy Quran was printed. The English translation of the Holy Quran and the Urdu split-word translation was also reprinted.
Huzooraa said that according to reports, members of the Jamaat were not purchasing and distributing copies of the Quran and the literature, and stores were full of books that had not been sent out due to the lack of demand. “It should have been the case that the national jamaats frequently sent new requests for further literature to the centre to the extent that it would have been a challenge for Wakalat-e-Isha‘at to keep up with the demand. True justice with regard to isha‘at [publications] requires that the books would fly off the shelves in both the central and national stores and that they would reside in the homes of every Ahmadi and in the hands of tabligh contacts across the world.”
Huzooraa said all Jamaats must make a firm effort that our literature is disseminated far and wide, much more than before. Ahmadis were to be urged to buy and distribute these books. Social media platforms were also to be utilised to spread the message of Islam and Ahmadiyyat. All Ahmadis must be encouraged to view the content by MTA International and other Jamaat platforms. Thousands of pious souls across the world were being introduced to the Jamaat and entering Ahmadiyyat through MTA International. However, MTA International was still not fulfilling its purpose to reach an external audience. Therefore, every Shuramember and office-bearer should “make a concerted effort and plan to introduce MTA to non-Ahmadis and non-Muslims”.
“I wish to reiterate and remind you all that if, as Shura delegates and office-bearers, you play your role with dedication and humility and bow down in sincere prayer, seeking the mercy of Allah the Almighty, then surely His help and blessings will rain down upon the Jamaat more than before. Moreover, you will also, insha-Allah, inspire other Ahmadis to spread the message of Islam with a new passion.
“Today, some of our opponents allege that Ahmadis say one thing but do another and that our beliefs and practices have no link to Islam. These are baseless allegations, but it is a reminder to us that we must ensure that there is never even the slightest contradiction or discrepancy between our words and deeds, and that all of our acts are according to the teachings of Islam.
“Certainly, today, where we are witnessing a complete lack of peace and security in the world, the only pathway to salvation and the only way to free humanity from the destruction” is for mankind to recognise and submit before its Creator. “We must take the lead and awaken the people of our nations”, Huzooraa said. “Yet we cannot do this until we are ourselves living up to the teachings and values instilled in us by the Holy Quran, the Holy Prophetsa and in this era by the Promised Messiahas.”
We must ensure that as many people as possible hear the message of Ahmadiyyat and understand the purpose of the advent of the Promised Messiahas, Huzooraa said. It was only then that members of the Shura were fulfilling their purpose, helping the Khalifa of the time and ensuring that all members of the Jamaat across the world were united at the hand of Khalifatul Masih towards the true and final victory of Islam.
(Report prepared by Al Hakam)