On 23 October 2021, students from Western Canada were given the opportunity to meet with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa in a virtual meeting.
The mulaqat commenced with a recitation from the Holy Quran by Mudasar Sahib, after which Ali Sahib presented the English translation. Sameer Sahib recited a poem composed by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiahas. Saaib Sahib then read out its translation.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa then turned to Sadr Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Canada, Zubair Afzal Sahib, and asked what the programme was. Sadr Sahib stated that 115 students from Western Canada were present in the mulaqat, of which some students had questions they wished to ask Huzooraa and seek guidance on.
The first question was asked by Faiz Sahib who said that it had been observed that some students who graduated were not paying chanda at its prescribed rate. He asked Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa how this problem could be addressed and how they could be motivated to pay the prescribed rate.
“If they are working, or are getting any stipend, or any scholarship, or any pocket money, they should pay according to that – on that money which they are earning regularly […] Some university students are doing research, and they also earn a small amount – some stipend, or some money – then they should pay according to that. So, you can just tell them, ‘If you are earning, it is better to give your chanda according to the prescribed rate. After all, you are not giving your chanda to sadr Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya, or to the Jamaat. You are paying chanda – membership chanda – for the sake of earning Allah’s love.’”
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa added that if they found it difficult to pay the prescribed rate of chanda due to other expenses, or they could not afford to pay it, “then they can ask Sadr Sahib, if it is Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya chanda, or if it is Jamaat chanda, they can ask the Jamaat’s administration, that ‘because of this reason, I am unable to pay chanda according to the prescribed rate.’”
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said that one can only advise them, and not force them.
Ibtisam Sahib said that morally, humans knew that stealing and killing was a sin. Likewise, he said, Ahmadi Muslims know that we must fast, when we are healthy and able to do so, and offer our prayers. He asked Huzooraa if it was considered a sin if one was not regular in these things.
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa answered:
“You see, killing someone or stealing something is a sin, and that [act of stealing and killing] affects people. It is a matter of usurping the rights of others or committing brutality against other human beings.
“As far as missing your Salat, or not keeping fast, despite the fact there is no general reason for missing it, is concerned, you are not practising one of the commandments of Allah Almighty and something that is an obligatory commandment for a true Muslim. Allah Almighty says that ‘I can forgive some of your sins which concerns Me, or with regard to Me, or which is not affecting other people; but I will not forgive your sins which you are committing against other fellow beings.’ […] So, killing somebody or stealing somebody’s wealth etc. is a greater sin than not praying sometimes; but prayer is also an obligatory commandment for a true Muslim. So, this is why we always say that we have to fulfil both rights – huququllah, the rights of Allah, and huquq-ul-ibad, the rights of human beings – these go hand in hand”.
Sejeel Sahib asked that at times, one hears people say negative things against office-bearers or against the administrative system of the Jamaat. He asked what one should do in this case.
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said:
“Office-bearers should reform themselves and observe their inner-self; [they should ask themselves] whatever they are doing, is it according to the teachings of the Quran, the teaching of Allah Almighty, the teaching of the Holy Prophetsa. If office-bearers are right and performing their duties with the fear of Allah, then yes, they can be excused and the blame will be on those people who are saying negative things against office-bearers”.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said that one should try to explain and advise those people who speak against office-bearers and the system of the Jamaat. If they persist in such actions, then one should leave their company and pray for them that may “Allah Almighty save them from going astray.”
Mowhidullah Sahib stated that in Canada, religion was a very sensitive topic which most people did not like to discuss. He asked how one could approach non-Ahmadis and Muslims in schools and teach them about Islam.
“If [religion] is a sensitive topic for your friends and fellow students, and they do not want to hear you or they do not want to talk to you on this topic, then you can pray for them that Allah Almighty changes their hearts. So, out of sympathy, out of love for human beings, you should pray for them, then Allah Almighty will accept your prayers.
“The thing is that it is not a matter of religion. Now, quite a number of people do not believe in God. They are becoming atheists. So, the first thing is to make them realise that God does exist. When they know who God is and [believe] in the existence of God, then they will learn about religion. And if your own behaviour, your own attitude is pro-religion and they see something different in you which is not present in them, then they will be attracted [to religion]. So, your personal behaviour, your personal portrayal is also very useful and the main thing for spreading the message of Islam and bringing people closer to Allah Almighty”.
Tanzil Sahib stated that during the coronavirus pandemic, a great transformation occurred in everyone’s lives. Some positive things like the virtual classes with Huzooraa had also happened. He asked Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa when the personal, physical mulaqats with Huzooraa would start again.
“You see, you are sitting in Calgary, Canada, 8,000 miles or so from here – so whenever you come here, you can meet me. I have started personal mulaqats with people already; but, apart from that, this is another avenue which has been opened for us by Allah Almighty. So, we are utilising it”.
Fahad Sahib said that sometimes, office-bearers hold strong views against decisions that have been made in amila meetings. He asked Huzooraa what his guidance was for such a situation.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa answered:
“In the present-day world, we believe in democracy. Once a decision is made, by the majority of the amila members, we should try to follow it, obey it. Any decision taken in the Shura, its recommendation is given to Khalifatul Masih. All your recommendations come to me here. After my approval, then they are sent back to the respective jamaat, or the concerned authorities, for implementation.
“So, it means that if they are holding a strong opinion against a decision of the Shura, they are refusing to accept the decision made by Khalifatul Masih. If they refuse to accept the decision made by Khalifatul Masih, what is the use of their being an Ahmadi? On the one side they say, ‘We shall obey you in all your advice and orders’.
“Sometimes people say [that the decision] was not a ma‘ruf decision. Ma‘ruf decision means any decision that is according to the Holy Quran, which is according to the Islamic teachings, which is according to the sunnah [practice of the Holy Prophetsa]. Even the term ‘ma‘ruf decision’ has been used in the Holy Quran […] Those people who do not follow the decision, or speak against the decision and hold a strong opinion against the decision of the Shura, actually refuse to accept the decision of Khalifatul Masih”.
Next, Mueez Sahib had the opportunity to ask a question. He asked what Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V’saa guidance was for students who were newly married and were still completing their studies. He asked how one could balance married life with studies.
Answering his question, Huzooraa said:
“If you are a student, or you are living with your parents, or you are totally relying on your parents, your parents are bearing the cost of your livelihood and your wife’s as well. The first thing is that you should try to get married when you are earning your own income. And now, since you are married and a student at the same time, then your focus should be on your studies first; complete your degree and whatever education you are trying to get so that ultimately, you will have a better position and a better job to satisfy the demands of your wife. So, if your wife realises that whatever time you are spending on studies is ultimately going to be for her benefit, then she’ll give you time [to focus on your studies]”.
Qasim Sahib said that there were a lot of negative sentiments in the public, including those of Jamaat members, regarding the Covid vaccine. He said that some office-bearers were not vaccinated also. He asked Huzooraa for guidance on this matter and asked how one could encourage others to follow government guidelines.
“Whatever the government is doing is for our betterment; and we should acknowledge it by accepting the vaccine. So, if an office-bearer is not doing it, they are doing wrong […] My advice is that they should get the vaccine”.
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa explained that people should also wear masks too. Huzooraa said that even those members of the Jamaat who entered Islamabad were required to show that they have been vaccinated. Then they have to undergo a test for Covid, and even then, when they enter, they are told to wear masks. “Even in the mosque, during Jumuah prayer, you must have seen that those sitting in front of me are all wearing masks”.
Hassan Sahib, after mentioning the prophecy, “The Sun will rise from the West”, asked Huzooraa what the timeframe was for this and what the responsibility of Ahmadi Muslims was.
“We cannot give you the timeframe precisely. It is a prophecy and it will be fulfilled, insha-Allah, when the time comes; but our duty is that with prayers, with our own actions and deeds, with our knowledge, we should try to achieve this target as early as possible, even during our age. It is quite possible that we may see this prophecy fulfilled during our time”.
Shehzad Sahib stated that in Western countries, most businesses and other aspects of life have a connection with interest, like banking and the insurance system. He asked how one could avoid this situation.
“Nowadays, you cannot avoid this system. Even the shirt you are wearing, it is quite possible that some interest is involved in it […] So, you cannot totally avoid this. This is why the Promised Messiahas has said that in this present-day banking system, there is too much up and down. It is not the same type of interest that was being charged in the olden days”.
Thus, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa explained:
“Interest is when you give some amount to somebody with the intention of getting some extra amount – that is the clear interest which is prohibited in Islam; or if you invest some amount somewhere, with the intention of getting only profit, not loss, then that is also wrong […] Even the bread you eat, there is some interest involved in it. Would you [rather prefer to] die of hunger? Whereas the Quran says that if you are dying, even pork is permitted, the flesh of a dead animal is also permitted, if you are dying of hunger. So, if these things are permissible for the bigger purpose, which is your life, then this type of interest is also permissible, but we should not intentionally try to give money to somebody with the intention of getting interest only, or take some money from somebody with the intention of paying it back [with interest]”.
Muneeb Sahib asked that in the Jamaat, there has always been a special focus on producing doctors and lawyers; however, we have seen technological advancement change the dynamic of the world. He asked what other fields Huzooraa recommended Ahmadi students to pursue.
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said:
“I never said these are the only two fields which our students should pursue. Even to the waqifeen-e-nau, I have given 6, 7, 8 different types of professions”.
Huzooraa said that as the world of technology was advancing, one could also go into this field.
After this, Huzooraa conveyed his salaam and the meeting drew to a close.
(Report prepared by Al Hakam)