Shermeen Butt, Lajna UK
In the post-Covid-19 new normal, Lajna Imaillah UK held their first ever live virtual National Talim and Tarbiyat Day on 19 July 2020. Alhamdolillah, although an online event, it featured a very traditional Lajna programme.
The proceedings began with recitation of the Holy Quran with bilingual translation in English and Urdu. This was followed by Sadr Lajna UK, Dr Fariha Khan Sahiba taking the Lajna pledge. The National Tarbiyat Secretary Michelle Rahman Sahiba, who compered the event, gave a brief introduction to the day’s schedule.
The first presentation was a lecture given by the National Talim Secretary Rubina Nasser Sahiba on the book of the Promised Messiahas, Our Teaching. The message of the book was explained through presentation slides based entirely on key quotes from the book.
Some of the main points of the lecture were how to achieve righteousness, what our God requires of us, the greatness of God, the three means of guidance in the form of the Holy Quran, sunnah and hadith and finally, the Promised Messiah’sas message to Muslims to pay heed to his call.
The salient points of the lecture were then briefly explained in Urdu by Rubina Nasser Sahiba, again through presentation slides.
The second feature of the day was a slide presentation given by Sadr Lajna UK, Dr Fariha Khan Sahiba, who spoke simultaneously in English and Urdu to explain the topic of akhlaq – morals. Sadr Sahiba cited the noble example of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and the two titles given to him of Al-Sadiq (the Truthful) and Al-Amin (the Trustworthy).
Quoting from the Holy Quran, hadith, guidance of the Promised Messiahas and Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa, Sadr Sahiba explained the merits and indeed the need to practice truthfulness and the importance of instilling it in our daily lives.
Likewise, the significance of trustworthiness was explained through hadith and quotes of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa highlighting the need to practice it in everyday life in minor matters as well as major ones and to avoid deceit on every level.
Conversely, through its narration the presentation compelled the participants to juxtapose the virtues of truthfulness and trustworthiness against their own persons which proved very impactful.
The presentation had interactive elements where the participants were asked to respond in real time and this made the whole learning process that much more engaging and meaningful.
Next, Sister Faosat Sanni, Head of PAAMA Ladies UK (Pan African Ahmadiyya Muslim Association) gave a slide presentation entitled “Equality and Diversity”. She started off by giving some background information including laws on equality as well as hate crime and inequality statistics in the UK.
Sister Faosat Sanni then explained the Islamic solution to these issues by giving examples from verses of the Holy Quran and the farewell sermon of the Holy Prophetsa. She mentioned the creation of PAAMA within the Jamaat and how it celebrates diversity among Ahmadi Muslims. Her presentation encouraged learning and understanding each other’s idiosyncrasies and righteousness was highlighted as the solution to the issue of racial prejudice.
Living our lives by the motto of “Love for all, hatred for none” is the best way to spread racial harmony.
Following this, Sadr Sahiba gave a brief summary of Sister Faosat’s presentation in Urdu. This concluded the first session of the day and Sadr Sahiba led the silent prayer before breaking for an hour and a half for Zuhr prayer and lunch.
The second session of the day started at 3pm with the recitation of the Holy Quran with translation in both English and Urdu.
Next, Wajeeha Ahmedi Sahiba and Attiya Uddin Sahiba presented a virtual workshop on emotional health and well-being. The theme was centred around family life and in particular, on children. It gave general advice but also highlighted the effect of the current lockdown situation on emotional health. Relevant advice from hadith and quotes of the Promised Messiahas, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra and Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa was highlighted.
Various other helpful points and advice of professionals in the field were given. Parenting styles were explained and creative and practical solutions were given. The interactive elements of the workshop kept the participants engaged and enthused. The presentation concluded on the point that ultimately it is prayer that helps us through.
The last feature of the event was an address by Sadr Lajna Dr Fariha Khan Sahiba, who spoke about the lockdown situation and how it has impacted the way we function as a community, specifically how it has increased our appreciation of the blessed institution of Khilafat because of social distancing measures and not being able to see beloved Huzooraa face to face. She also urged prayers for Huzooraa.
Sadr Sahiba touched upon some aspects resulting from the lockdown and counselled that we should all practice righteousness. Sadr Sahiba spoke in some detail about problems faced in finding suitable matches for our young women. She advised both daughters and mothers to follow the guiding principles of Islam in finding the right match. She highlighted the need to shun certain prejudices in this regard and instead, be open-minded, reminding that our Holy Prophetsa came to free us of all prejudice and here we are shackling ourselves to trivial matters.
The number of participants who logged on to the event reached 1,000 within minutes of the programme starting. Lajna UK had to quickly provide another link for more ladies to join. Alhamdolillah, the total number of Lajna attendance at the virtual event was 5,673.
With the sheer grace of Allah, Lajna UK has received extensive and overwhelmingly positive feedback following the event. Especially poignant and heartening are messages from those sisters who, due to ill health, had not been able to physically attend Lajna events for some time and were delighted to join the virtual event.
We are humbled in our gratitude to Allah the Exalted and hope and pray to continue to strive to try and do what is expected of us.