Come what may, the history of Islam Ahmadiyyat proves that this Jamaat has consistently been the epitome of positivity and making the best of circumstances, even in the most testing times.
Whether it was the patience the Promised Messiahas preached to exercise when opponents spewed hate-filled propaganda, the strength Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira gave to the Jamaat when disputes began to appear on a small scale, the hope Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra radiated to Ahmadis as they set up new lives in the barren land of Rabwah, the slogan of “we will always be smiling” Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh taught and practised at the face of anti-Ahmadiyya persecution, the great opportunity Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh saw in England after he was forced to migrate, or the comfort, guidance and prayers of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa during this pandemic, Jamaat members have been taught to explore new avenues in adversity.
The coronavirus pandemic has been no different. During his message on Friday (27 March 2020), Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa graciously referred to an initiative of Al Hakam where Al Hakam asked Ahmadis how they have been positively spending their time at home in lockdown. Huzooraa pointed out that most had responded by saying that they were using the opportunity to further expand their religious knowledge; studying the Quran, hadith and writings of the Promised Messiahas etc.
Huzooraa encouraged all Jamaat members to focus on offering congregational prayers at home, increasing their religious knowledge and praying for the pandemic to end.
Soon after Huzoor’saa message ended, the influx of comments on our Twitter feed and website dramatically increased, with Ahmadis across the world sharing their isolation stories, while also setting new targets “to complete Ruhani Khazain” or to offer more “voluntary prayers”.
Jamaat members said how they had now taken this opportunity to develop spiritually and intellectually.
Tahir Machengo from Kenya explained how “the mosque is out of bounds, so we just pray at home with our families and loved ones.” Then, the routine his family now follows starts with “tahajjud prayers, Fajr prayers and dars-ul-Quran, after which we make a circle and everyone reads one ruku of the Quran.”
An Arab Ahmadi lady from Canada told us how her children are attending online Jamaat classes and then memorise “three chapters from the Holy Quran.”
From Belgium, Rayan Ecaan, explained how isolation was actually a “golden opportunity” for him:
“This is a golden opportunity to read all the books of the Promised Messiahas. Also, it is interesting to read the history of Islam. We should take this time to read these hidden gems so we can benefit during this difficult period…”
It certainly is a “golden opportunity” for us as there are no more long commutes, getting packed lunches ready, school runs to drop and pick up kids or the hustle and bustle of modern-day lifestyles. It is a moment to ourselves; to improve wherever we can, both individually and collectively as families.
Following Huzoor’saa address, Ahmadi Muslims across the board have set new positive targets for themselves and their families to grow spiritually and increase their religious knowledge. One comment on Twitter said, “Just completed the Ark of Noah [Noah’s Ark] … Now starting Paigham-e-Sulh.”
Shahina Noor told us that she is, Insha-Allah, “going to read all volumes of Ruhani Khazain” – a wonderful and praiseworthy target.
A lady from Canada explained how she had now started to teach her “niece to read the Holy Quran and her Nasirat syllabus, reading books of the Promised Messiahas, watching MTA, connecting with my family and finally just taking proper measures and not panicking at all”.
In fact, the education of children has been a constant theme throughout the comments we received.
Students spoke of completing school or university tasks and overcoming their previous procrastinations.
Along with workouts, healthy eating, spring cleaning and other ticks on their checklists, they have set targets “to read all those articles of Al Fazl and Al Hakam that have been left due to shortage of time and documentaries from MTA”, as Armaan explained.
Zainab, a student, told us that “all of my university courses have been shifted to online format, so I study and join as part of the class online via video call. I write letters to our beloved Huzooraa … Another excellent way to pray for the end of this deadly disease, is to attend multiple online services being offered by the Jamaat now. This involves online dars, Quran classes and many other services that can help us all to build our morale and spirituality in this time.”
As families have had a chance to breathe from their busy schedules and reconnect during this pandemic, Ahmadi Muslims have created positive environments within their homes. Parents are now staying at home with their children, but utilising this “golden opportunity” to set positive examples within their household.
Muhammad Dawood from India explained how “we as a family have set a daily schedule. We offer Namaz on time. The kids are memorising portions of the Quran” while the adults read the Promised Messiah’sas books.
One parent noted how there is “more time with kids to learn Quran, Salat and Islamic history”, while Faraz Rabanni from Ghana explained on Twitter how “it’s more like a family reunion … We have got Tafsir-e-Kabir dars after Fajr, Ruhani Khazain dars after Maghrib” and “MTA, Al Fazl and Al Hakam to fuel the day, Alhamdolillah.”
Another parent described how they were avoiding consuming negative news over the media, staying away from getting depressed and instead, their family was “reading Hazrat Masih-e-Maud’sas books, attending online Quran classes…” And relaxing by playing board games.
A father had the following to say about the effects of the pandemic on family life:
“We have been offering congregational prayers on time at home for last 2 weeks with children. This is something I haven’t done with this much regularity since moving to UK 13 years ago. We do offer prayers but with jobs and busy lifestyles it is sometimes combined or offered individually during busy life style. Our children have been following atfal activities on online platforms.”
Others have taken the wisdom of grandparents to teach grandchildren:
“My children have been using WhatsApp to call their Nana Abu … Every day, he tells us stories of Prophets. We do a 4-way call with cousins and listen together. This helps us to stay connected, learn good things from our elders and make life-long memories.”
Nida Salahat from the UK explained how her child is now “learning all about Allah, His creation. Practicing some calligraphy too.”
Another parent, Qayyum Muzaffar, spoke of how they have turned their house into a mosque:
“Turning our homes into mosques – yes, alhamdolillah, my son (first year student of Jamia UK) came back home and we are trying to do congregational prayers, watch MTA and catch up on documentaries and discuss them. Yes, this time is not only our family time, but a time to increase our bond with Allah the Almighty.”
Members of the public, across the internet, are expressing their difficulty to find meaning, purpose and directions whilst sitting at home. By the grace of Allah, Ahmadi Muslims have steered their boats in the right direction and have begun to sail towards self-improvement, helping humanity and developing their connection with God. One comment said how “it truly feels like we are living a new life altogether; from homeschooling the kids and devising ways to keep them busy to spending an enormous amount of time in the kitchen preparing 3 meals a day! … Following Huzoor’saa instructions, we are trying our utmost to improve the quality of our ibadat [worship]; from engaging in zikr-e-Ilahi all day – especially while doing household chores – to reading works of the Promised Messiahas to watching programmes on MTA.”
Usman wrote the following on our website:
“A close friend and convert shared this comment with me a few years ago that is very relevant these days as the world is locked down and in isolation mode. He said if someone was to lock him in a room by himself prior to learning about Islam Ahmadiyyat, he would go crazy! Now, after accepting the Imam of the age and having read numerous books, if someone was to lock him in a room, he would be completely content as he could close his eyes and reflect in peace on those spiritual treasures.”
In his message two Fridays ago, Huzooraa instructed Jamaat members to watch MTA programmes together with the family. Our feedback reflects how Ahmadis have responded to this and are “catching up” with MTA documentaries, watching MTA through its “YouTube Channel” and listening to their “favourite tilawat recitations” on MTA.
Rouba Alzaid explained, “I am spending most of my time listening to MTA 3, especially the [Al-Hiwar al-Mubashar]; the last three days from Qadian were amazing!”
On Friday, 27 March Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa made it categorically clear that “prayer” is our “strongest weapon” always. He drew the Jamaat’s attention to continue prayers for the wider world and for the world to be “cleansed” of this virus. Comments show how Ahmadi Muslims are listening to this guidance of Huzooraa as well; some praying for the “pandemic to end”, whilst others aiming to offer more “voluntary prayers”.
Other Jamaat members have noted how spending time in isolation has been a “spiritual experience” for them and that “this time in isolation has definitely opened my eyes and made me realise that we should use our time wisely and fill our day with reading Jamaat material.”
Another comment said that there has now been a “focus on more prayers and reading Malfuzat. Doing graphic design from home. Reading the Holy Quran with tafsir and dua [prayer] for all humanity…”
Missionaries of the Jamaat responded as well and explained their adaptations to continue Jamaat tabligh and tarbiyat efforts, taking most things online and offering group classes.
Kashif Virk, a missionary based in Sweden commented by saying:
“Jazakumullah for this great initiative, which Beloved Huzooraa mentioned in the special message … I have started translation of a book of the Promised Messiahas into Swedish. Instead of physical meetings for tabligh, focus has changed on spreading the true message of Islam online through various means. I believe now is the time to present the beautiful teachings of Islam, when the world has other concerns than unjustly criticising religion.”
Auxiliaries from Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya joined the conversations and described how they are striving to think of new ideas to continue Jamaat progress and aid members of the public.
Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Australia commented on their scheme of “turning our homes into mosques” and that they are “praying for the world and spending this time in reflection and enhancing our knowledge” of Allah the Almighty. Overall, Jamaat members have shared very promising and positive responses with us and continue to do so.
After all, we are one Jamaat and should stay connected with one another. Only time will tell how long this tragic pandemic will last. Until then, we urge Jamaat members to continue implementing the advice of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa of advancing both spiritually and intellectually during this lockdown.
Please do continue to update us on how you’re spending this time at home! You can comment on our website, tweet us, send us Telegram messages and photos (@theweeklyalhakam) or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org