Philosophy of spiritual companionship: Huzoor addresses National Majlis-e-Shura UK 2023

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The 44th Majlis-e-Shura UK concluded on Sunday, 21 May 2023 at the Tahir Hall of Baitul Futuh Mosque, blessed by the presence of Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa.

Arriving shortly after 13:00 BST, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa greeted the attendees and called Hafiz Fazl-e-Rabbi Sahib to recite a portion of the Holy Quran, who recited verses 59-60 of Surah an-Nisa’. This was followed by the English translation of the verses, presented by Jonathan Butterworth Sahib.

Huzooraa then took to the podium and delivered a faith-inspiring address in which he reminded the delegates of their duties, urging them to emulate the Sahabah, the Companions of the Holy Prophetsa.

During his compelling address, Huzooraa drew extensively from a historic Shura address delivered by Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra in 1944.

After opening his address with tashahud, ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Huzooraa prayed for the delegates of Majlis-e-Shura and for the best possible results of their deliberations. He reminded them that their responsibilities do not cease with the conclusion of the shura. They must strive to ensure that all recommendations approved by the Khalifatul Masih are enacted, praying that Allah the Almighty enables them to serve with the required spirit and diligence. Referencing his recent Friday sermon, Huzooraa shed light on his expectations of each participant, urging them to play their respective roles to the fullest. Huzooraa said, “I would like to reiterate […] that your responsibilities do not cease once the shura concludes. Rather, you should consider that your duties have only just begun. Once the formal proceedings end, all delegates and office bearers of the Jamaat must strive to ensure that whatever recommendations are approved by Khalifatul Masih are enacted.”

Huzooraa then expanded on the importance of emulating the Companions of the Holy Prophetsa, emphasising the need for spiritual transformation and cleansing, unwavering loyalty, and readiness for sacrifice. He reiterated that the rank of a companion was not limited to those who met the Holy Prophetsa physically but could extend to those who spiritually connected with the Holy Prophet’ssa teachings. Huzooraa said, “Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra quoted a part of a couplet of the Promised Messiahas that:

صحابہ سے ملا جب مجھ کو پایا

“It means, ‘You shall join the companions, when you join with me.’

“These illuminating words convey the glad tiding that those who wholeheartedly accept the Promised Messiahas will, through the grace of Allah, join the rank of the companions of the Holy Prophetsa. Clarifying this point, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra explains that it does not mean that a person from a different era will gain the capacity to physically see and meet the Holy Prophetsa. Of course, that is impossible and against the laws of nature. Rather, it means that through one’s righteous acts and deeds, a person can attain the spiritual rank of a companion.”

Dwelling deeper into the concept of spiritual companionship, Huzooraa presented the analogy of a royal court and said that trusted courtiers spent less time with the monarch compared to servants and domestic staff. Nonetheless, the latter are not considered close companions of the monarch, even though they come and go within the royal household and spend a great deal of time in close physical proximity to the monarch. Hence, a companion does not necessarily require physical proximity to the leader but a spiritual connection allied with unyielding loyalty. A faithful companion, he stated, is one with firm belief and conviction, who endeavours to live according to the moral values and teachings of the one they follow.

Huzooraa also underscored the variety in the ranks of the companions of the Holy Prophetsa, ranging from those who simply had the chance to meet him once to those who laid down their lives in his defence. Achieving the status of a companion after the era of the Holy Prophetsa required greater effort and sacrifices, he explained, but it was not an impossible task. Huzooraa said, “Allah the Almighty, out of his beneficence and grace, has eternally opened a Divine spiritual door, leading to companionship for all those righteous souls, whose hearts are filled with an ardent desire to be amongst the companions of the Holy Prophetsa of Islam. And, in this era, having entered the fold of the Promised Messiahas and taken his bai‘at, those who serve his mission faithfully can also attain the status of being his companion. So, I urge all of you to reflect upon the words of the Promised Messiahas that:

“‘صحابہ سے ملا جب مجھ کو پایا’

“[‘You shall join the companions, when you join with me.’]

“Strive to avail the eternal gift bestowed to mankind by Allah the Almighty, of gaining the spiritual companionship of the Holy Prophetsa, and the Promised Messiahas.”

Huzooraa explained that this requires that, having accepted the Promised Messiahas, we strive ever more to act upon the sunnah of the Holy Prophetsa, absorb his teachings and establish a living relationship with Allah the Almighty. It requires us to be ready for all possible sacrifices and to hold a deep and resolute determination to spread the message of Islam.

Huzooraa inspired all participants to strive for the spiritual companionship of the Holy Prophetsa and the Promised Messiahas. Huzooraa instilled in the hearts of the delegates the resolve to fulfil the purpose of their advent, which is to bring people closer to Allah the Almighty.

Huzooraa further reflected on the philosophy of spiritual companionship and its necessity in the age where Islamic teachings are to be conveyed through logical proof and rational evidence. In this era, Huzooraa explained, the global acceptance of our teachings may not be instantaneous but rather gradual, requiring unwavering patience and trust in Allah.

Further delving into the speech of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra, Huzooraa highlighted that trials and tribulations serve to strengthen one’s faith and to demonstrate Allah’s majestic glory. He noted that such trials are integral to the spiritual salvation and true freedom of Allah’s followers. Citing the historical trial that followed the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, Huzooraa reminded attendees of Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra fortitude and patience amidst immense grief. This reinforced the importance of remaining steadfast in faith during difficult times.

In the contemporary context, Huzooraa lauded Ahmadi Muslims’ sincere devotion to the Holy Prophetsa, their acceptance of the Promised Messiahas, and their resolve to make sacrifices for their faith. Acknowledging the global challenges that Ahmadis face, Huzooraa affirmed that no suffering could match the companions’ distress at the Holy Prophet’ssa demise, reinforcing the faith’s resilience and strength.

Closing his address, Huzooraa reminded the shura delegates of the responsibility entrusted to them, to prioritise their faith over worldly matters and to remain committed to fulfilling the mission of the Promised Messiahas. He urged delegates to demonstrate the same trust in Allah as was shown by Hazrat Abu Bakrra, stating that only by living such lives can they truly serve as servants of the Holy Prophetsa and fulfil the purpose of the Promised Messiah’sas advent.

Huzooraa said, “With the Grace of Allah, today, millions of Ahmadi Muslims remain sincerely devoted to the Holy Prophetsa and, according to his command, have accepted the Promised Messiahas. In this era, it is the members of our Jamaat who strive to live their lives according to the noble and righteous examples of the companions and stand ready to make every possible sacrifice for the sake of their faith. Whatever suffering or problems we may endure, none of which can ever match the distress felt by the companions of the Holy Prophetsa upon his demise. Ahmadi Muslims will, insha-Allah, always remain steadfast and resolute in our faith. Not only do we verbally claim to be ready for every possible sacrifice, but in practice, Ahmadis worldwide have manifested immense sacrifices to fulfil their objective of furthering the mission of the Promised Messiahas.

“Therefore, before concluding, I wish to reiterate that, as delegates of the Majlis-e-Shura, you must, at all times, act with the fear of Allah Almighty ingrained in your hearts and recognise the trust placed in you. Never forget that we are the people who pledged to give precedence to our faith over all worldly matters and have sworn that we will strive to fulfil the mission of the Promised Messiahas until our dying breath and endure every form of sacrifice and suffering required to achieve this.

“For the sake of the prosperity of our Jamaat and to fulfil our religious objectives, we must exhibit the same conviction and trust in Allah the Almighty as was displayed by Hazrat Abu Bakrra, who when faced with the ultimate crisis, remained patient and steadfast. Only if we strive to live our lives in this way, can we fulfil our duties as servants of the Holy Prophetsa; only then can we fulfil the purpose of the advent of the Promised Messiahas.”

Reminding delegates of their duty to represent their respective jamaats faithfully, Huzooraa urged them to set aside personal desires and serve their faith and religion selflessly. He highlighted that such service is a blessing of Allah Almighty and can lead to attaining the love of Allah and the pleasure of the Holy Prophetsa. Huzooraa reminded the delegates to “Always pay heed to the trust placed within you by the members of the Jamaat, who have elected you to represent them at the shura, and through which you have gained the opportunity to serve your faith. Always remember that you must not be representatives and delegates of your respective jamaats in name only. Rather, in reality, you must set aside all personal and worldly desires and make every effort to fulfil your true purpose, which is to serve your faith and religion until your dying breath. Consider every opportunity to serve your faith as an immense blessing of Allah Almighty.”

In his closing prayer, Huzooraa prayed that all may be forever recipients and beneficiaries of the Holy Prophet’ssa blessed prayers, fulfilling their objectives with humility, devotion, and loyalty. In the end, Huzooraa led everyone in a silent prayer.

After the address, Huzooraa graciously granted an opportunity to the various groups of delegates to have photographs taken with him.

Following this, Zuhr and Asr prayers were offered at 14:15 BST, further enriching the spiritual ambience of the day.

At 14:35 BST, Huzooraa left for the Nasir Hall. As attendees were still arriving from the mosque, he chose to stay in the gallery, amidst the people. It was an inspiring sight as Huzooraa stood among the congregation for a short while, giving everyone the opportunity to greet. Subsequently, he joined the delegates for lunch in the Nasir Hall. Huzoor’saa relaxed demeanour around members of the Jamaat added an atmosphere of comfort and warmth to the event.

At 15:25 BST, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa went to inspect the newly-inaugurated offices. As Huzooraa came to the front of the Baitul Futuh complex to depart, a large crowd of men, women and children had gathered to catch a glimpse of their Imam. They were singing poems and raising slogans of takbir. Huzoor’saa departure at 15:50 BST marked the end of an inspiring and spiritually uplifting event.

(Report prepared by Al Hakam)

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