Tayyaba Ahmed, Hartlepool
مَیں تیرى تبلیغ كو زمین كے كناروں تک پہنچاؤں گا
“I shall carry your message to the ends of the earth.” (Divinely revealed words to the Promised Messiahas in 1898, Tadhkirah [2018 edition], p. 407)
Hartlepool is a coastal town with a shipbuilding and fishing history, in the North East of England. Being on the coastline, it appears as if it is one of the edges of the earth. Visiting the Seaton Carew beach, where we walked many times with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh and enjoyed fish and chips, can seem to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, particularly at sunrise.
After the demise of my mother, my father continued his tabligh pursuits under the kind and benevolent guidance and attention of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh. One of his patients, Mr Edward Ahmad Wrigley, a fisherman (by hobby at least, if not by trade), accepted Ahmadiyyat at this time, followed by two other family members. He was one of the 13 people that accepted Ahmadiyyat through my father’s tabligh efforts, alhamdulillah.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh continued to visit Hartlepool, once bringing his beloved Urdu Class with him and on another occasion, bringing a group of relatives, including Mirza Mansoor Ahmad Sahib, his son Sahibzada Mirza Masroor Ahmad – now Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa, and Mirza Muzaffar Ahmad Sahib. It was a most blessed trip and some years later, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa himself related how memorable the trip had been for him also, particularly as at one point whilst performing wuzu [ablution] in our dining room, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh had unexpectedly and lovingly embraced him.
The Nasir Mosque
“And every one has a goal which dominates him; vie, then, with one another in good works …” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.149)
My father had long dreamed of having a mosque in the town which he and his family had made home. Thus, during the last years of his life he made it his goal to do everything possible to fulfil this dream.
Not long before his demise, my father had identified and initially negotiated a plot of land in a suitable location in Hartlepool for a mosque. Although he passed away in early 2000, and so did not see the mosque himself, but by the grace of Allah, it was a great honour and comfort when Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa came to lay the foundation stone of the mosque in 2004 and then again to inaugurate it in 2005.
Alhamdulillah, it will always be a source of great honour and happiness for the Hartlepool Jamaat that their town has had the blessed visits of three Khulafa of the Promised Messiahas. In fact, Hartlepool was also fortunate to host respected Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa a third time in 2007 for a very blessed regional Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Ijtema, by the grace of Allah.
The “Prince of Patience”
“Self-control personified, a Prince of Patience he was; Everyone was fond of him, to him everyone gave his heart”.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh has described my father as a “Prince of Patience” and there is no doubt that he showed a great deal of patience both during my mother’s illness and his own.
I remember, once, during her final months of illness when I was helping her clean her teeth, he reminded me to make sure the water was warm for this. He looked after her in minute detail. In fact, even in happier times when we were teenagers, if he ever came home to find her doing housework on her own, he would remind us by saying it was embarrassing that our mother should be tidying on her own. We would immediately get up and begin helping!
If I am to choose another incident of exemplary patience and wisdom, it would be April 1999, when my husband’s cousin, Mirza Ghulam Qadir Sahib, was martyred in Pakistan. The only news we had at that time was that he had been shot; there were no particular details relating to the circumstances.
The late Mrs Amtul Haye Khan Sahiba (of Yorkshire) had informed my husband, who immediately booked a flight to Pakistan. We were living in Hartlepool at this time and I probably phoned my father to inform him of what had happened. Without my asking and without any hesitation, he offered to pay for the flight. My sister happened to be with him watching and listening to the phone-call at the time. She related that her impression was that my father wished that he himself should have gone.
Undeniably, my father was, as Huzoorrh described, a paragon of self-control during his painful illness with oesophageal cancer. My brother, Abid, has described the last few years of his life in some detail. Suffice to say, if I can remember my father cry, it was only for the love of Allah and Allah’s dear ones. Perhaps a month before his demise, I remember he sat with Taalay in an armchair by the fireplace, reading about the events of the life of Prophet Yusufas (Joseph) from the text of the Holy Quran, tears running down his face.
رَّبِّ ارۡحَمۡہُمَا كَمَا رَبَّیٰنِیْ صَغِیْرًا
“My Lord, have mercy on them even as they nourished me in [my] childhood.” (Surah Bani Isra‘il, Ch.17: V.25)
وَ لَا تَہِنُوۡا وَ لَا تَحۡزَنُوۡا وَ اَنۡتُمُ الۡاَعۡلَوۡنَ اِنۡ كُنۡتُمۡ مُّؤۡمِنِیْنَ
“Slacken not, nor grieve; and you shall certainly have the upper hand, if you are believers.” (Surah Al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.140)
As I write these final lines, I am hoping in the near future to leave our beloved town of Hartlepool, the last of my siblings to do so, with the intention of, insha-Allah, moving closer to the Markaz and the abode of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V, may Allah be his Helper.
For those of us that are, or insha-Allah will be, the “Sajidas” and “Hameeds” of today – whether you are homemakers, students, missionaries, doctors, lawyers, teachers, women, men, young or old – I end as I began with the words of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa followed by a list of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V’saa sermons guiding us on tabligh (courtesy of Lajna UK Tabligh Department).
I pray that I am enabled by Allah to be counted amongst you, wherever you may be. Amin. May Allah enable us to fulfil our responsibilities always. Amin.
“We have been commanded to convey the message and we cannot hold back from this, nor will we do so. We will complete what we must do. Only God Almighty knows who will be guided and will not. We will fulfil the task given to us but at the same time it is the promise of God that He and His Messenger will prevail, God willing, that is why we have hope that one day the majority will come into our fold”. (Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa, Friday Sermon delivered on 8 September 2017)
Some tabligh-related sermons delivered by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa
Building of mosques and tabligh: Friday Sermon, 16 June 2006
Tabligh and the revival of Islam: Friday Sermon, 9 April 2010
Tabligh by Companionsra of the Promised Messiahas: Friday Sermon, 9 March 2012
Invite to Allah with wisdom and goodly exhortation: Friday Sermon, 8 September 2017
Calling unto Allah: Friday Sermon, 8 October 2004
Tabligh: Friday Sermon, 13 March 2015
Building mosques, unity and accord: Friday Sermon, 5 April 2013
Spread the message of Islam to the Hispanic community: Friday Sermon, 10 May 2013
Conveying the true message of Islam: Friday Sermon, 28 April 2017
Requirements of a waqif-e-zindagi and waqif-e-nau: Friday Sermon, 22 October 2010
Attributes of a momin (true believer): Friday Sermon, 20 April 2018
Tabligh and the revival of Islam: Friday Sermon, 9 April 2010
Practice truth in all aspects of your life: 9 September 2011
Tabligh and wisdom – responsibilities of missionaries, office holders and Ahmadis: Friday Sermon, 5 April 2013
Responsibilities of emigrated Ahmadi Muslims: Friday Sermon, 6 April 2018
Concluding address, Lajna Imaillah National Ijtema: September 2017
The Promised Messiahas and preaching of Islam in the West: 23 August 2015