On 13 February 2022 local presidents – sadran – of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya UK had the opportunity to meet Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa, Khalifatul Masih V through a virtual meeting.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa was in Islamabad, Tilford, UK while the rest joined virtually and were seated in the Baitul Futuh Mosque, London.
After conveying his salaam Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa asked who was present in the meeting apart from the presidents. Rafiq Hayat Sahib, Amir UK reported that apart from the local presidents Huzooraa granted permission for the national amila, regional amirs and regional missionaries to be in the meeting but they would not ask any questions but would participate as listeners.
Huzooraa then called Hafiz Furqan Sahib to recite a portion of the Holy Quran followed by the English translation by Shafiq Kusi Sahib. After Shafiq Sahib finished, in a light-hearted comment Huzooraa said:
“Are you not feeling cold? You are wearing a half-sleeved shirt; other people are sitting with their jackets, mufflers and everything. You are from Ghana not from Siberia.”
Shafiq Sahib and those present thoroughly enjoyed Huzoor’s remark.
Rafiq Hayat Sahib, Amir UK then thanked Huzooraa for giving the UK presidents his precious time. Amir Sahib reported the following about the progress of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya UK:
• The UK Jamaat has 35,131 members
• 141 branches and 15 regions
• 43 mosques and centres including 27 purpose-built mosques
• 34 field missionaries, 15 missionaries in Jamia Ahmadiyya UK and 12 office missionaries
• The largest Jamaat in the UK is Guildford (554 members) and the smallest and newest Jamaat is Northern Ireland (16 members)
• The Baitul Futuh Mosque project is due to be completed this year (2022) and two other mosque projects thereafter will start in Huddersfield and Cardiff
• The UK Jamaat has been working hard in the pandemic to help neighbours, friends and other Jamaat members in providing food, medication and other support. They have also provided help to local authorities and the NHS including facilitating numerous vaccination centres at UK mosques
• Various virtual programmes for tarbiyat, tabligh and talim have been held
• The Voice of Islam radio is operational in Greater London and Manchester which is proving to be an excellent means of preaching
Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa then asked how many sadran were in the meeting. Huzooraa was informed there were 105. To this Huzooraa remarked:
“Is that so? 105 [sadran] cannot be introduced individually – 105 minutes are required for this and you only have 50 minutes at most […] What do the sadran have to say? Do they want to say anything?”
The sadran then had the opportunity to ask Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa any questions they had for him.
Mubarak Ahmad Sahib, Sadr Tooting asked Huzooraa for guidance concerning the increasing possibilities of a third world war. Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa asked Mubarak Sahib what his local Jamaat had done in preparation for it. Huzooraa said “Are you Sadr Jamaat Tooting? […] If there were a third world war, there would be a need for bunkers, have you dug those?”
Mubarak Sahib said they only had a small centre for their Jamaat. To this, with a smile, Huzooraa said:
“Exactly. What guidance then? The government will give guidance itself when the world war happens […]
“It is said that if Ukraine and Russia go to war then there’s the danger of this evolving into a world war and resultantly nuclear weapons can be used.
“I have been warning of this for a long time, that governments should come to their senses. Nevertheless, from what it seems Russia says ‘We have no intention [to go to war]’ – America and Europe are adamant about going to war. And the current situation is that neither Europe nor Russians want to leave Ukraine. So, let’s see what happens.
“It is your duty to pray. Continue to pray that Allah the Almighty safeguards you from a world war.
“And you just have a small [jamaat] centre – you cannot do anything else. Neither can you make bunkers in houses. So, we will see what happens.
“It is prayer alone that can save you.”
Huzooraa then said:
“I thought your question was going to be: ‘What methods can we adopt through which 100% of our Jamaat members become those who offer all their five daily prayers with great fervency and anguish. And how can we enable all our Jamaat to be those who recite the Holy Quran? And how can we make efforts towards making our whole Jamaat such that their connection with Allah the Almighty becomes extremely strong to the extent that it cannot waver?’
“So, these are the efforts you [sadran] should make – do what your tasks are.
“When the war breaks, it is these aspects that will also save you.”
Rafiq Salih Nasir Sahib, Sadr Birmingham South said some parents struggled and worried over finding suitable matches for their daughters for marriage. He asked what guidance Huzooraa would give to those parents and the Jamaat’s organisation.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said:
“Has the guidance I have given before not reached you?
“The fact is, finding suitable matches is a problem everywhere – especially for those girls who are to get married within the Jamaat. […]”
Huzooraa said that in special circumstances parents wrote to him concerning finding matches for their daughters and he instructed the organisation of the Jamaat on what to do.
Huzooraa continued speaking about finding matches for marriage and the rishta nata department:
“The problem of the rishta nata secretaries was not created today – the issue has always existed and is faced by every country. This problem existed during the time of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh too and it was for this reason that he instructed that the secretaries for rishta nata should not be elected, rather they are to be appointed and more than one secretary [for rishta nata] can be appointed. They were made because there were problems with matches then and these issues exist today.
“And the solution to these problems is that the Jamaat should make all possible efforts. For this, I have said in various sittings – in Lajna and in Khuddam too – that the Holy Prophet’ssa instruction of focusing on piety and religion when finding a match should be focused on. For this tarbiyat is requited. Activate your tarbiyat department at the Jamaat level – and individually Lajna, Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya and Ansarullah [auxiliaries] should activate their [tarbiyat departments] too.
“As a result, a pious and religious atmosphere will be created. It is then that we can say that due to that tarbiyat such an atmosphere has been formed that both the girl and boy desire that religion is given preference and they get matches based on religion. The level of tarbiyat carried out is your duty.”
On issues that sometimes remain and affect marriages, Huzooraa said:
“In reality, the problem is that sometimes boys marry outside [the Jamaat]. Parents of girls don’t pay attention to this either.”
Huzooraa said there was an increasing situation – though not the norm yet – where parents said “‘Our daughters are studying right now’ and the girls themselves want to be highly educated too. The boys aren’t educated that much. As a result, a gap in the level of education develops and problems arise due to this as well. However, some people do not give importance to this difference and by Allah’s grace, they get married and are living together.
“Therefore tarbiyat is needed. If your tarbiyat department becomes active and every [Jamaat] organisation’s [tarbiyat department] becomes active, and everyone firmly believes that we are to give religion priority [while finding a partner] then neither will boys go outside [the Jamaat] for marriage, nor will marital issues develop for girls and nor will pointless and self-made hurdles be placed before girls.
“This duty is for the rishta nata secretaries and the tarbiyat secretaries – it should be a joint effort with all the auxiliaries. It is then that these issues can be resolved.
“Obviously, as the Jamaat spreads these issues will develop and increase too. Now if your Jamaat has reached more than 35,100 members, then problems will arise relatively as well. When there were problems at 10,000 it felt like a lot, and now accordingly [to the number of Jamaat members] they will increase.
“The best solution to this is that our tarbiyat is correct and we are those who give precedence to faith over the world according to the instruction of the Holy Prophetsa.”
Rana Irfan Shahzad Sahib, Sadr Fazl Mosque said that during the pandemic some Lajna members moved houses to a new locality however found it difficult to get to know other Lajna members, including their local sadr. He asked Huzooraa what such Lajna could do.
With a smile, Huzooraa started his answer by remarking, “Are you a representative of Lajna or the Jamaat?” Rana Irfan Sahib said he received this feedback from the regional sadr Lajna. With a smile still on his blessed face, Huzooraa said:
“Okay, the men don’t have any issue then? It is only the Lajna, right?”
Everyone present thoroughly enjoyed these remarks by Huzooraa.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said that even before the pandemic Ahmadis had begun moving closer to the Markaz in Islamabad, UK.
“When the Lajna relocate to a new place, due to the restrictions born out of the pandemic […] they do not have the same contact with the Jamaat as before. You have said yourself that owing to this they have online contact only. At the moment, where the question of holding Jamaat programmes arise, they can only be online currently.
“Apart from this, individually, tell me what kind of restrictions you people are implementing? Is there any? People go to each other’s houses, meet one another and keep in contact.
“Lajna members do not gather in person for meetings but no one has stopped the Sadr of Lajna or the Lajna amila from speaking to people on the phone or to visit their homes and find out the situation [of Lajna members]. From this, they [the new Lajna members in the area] will feel they have been welcomed in the new locality they moved to.”
Huzooraa said the regional Sadr Lajna should inform their local Lajna sadran and their amila to keep in contact with new Lajna members. “This is Lajna’s duty,” Huzooraa said, and they should make a complete plan in this regard. Huzooraa said the men could share their experiences and solutions with Lajna too to tackle this issue.
Chaudhry Shabaz Ahmad Sahib, Sadr Aldershot said lots of Jamaat members were moving to the areas around the Markaz in Islamabad. However, some of these Jamaat members were upset or angry with some office-bearers therefore, at times, they did not cooperate. Shabaz Sahib asked how the situation could be resolved.
“I have addressed this on many occasions, I have spoken about it in sermons through the years. More recently, as the sermons have been on the Companionsra [of the Holy Prophetsa] this issue did not come up much, however, see my sermons before 2018 and 2017. Many times I have spoken about how office-bearers should behave with others.
“One point is that office-bearers should always keep in mind the saying of the Holy Prophetsa:
سيد القوم خادمهم
[The leader of the nation is the servant of the nation]”
Huzooraa said office-bearers, sadran and amila members should see themselves as servants.
“Sometimes people say to me ‘I have been given this or that office [uhdah]’. I often tell them not to say ‘I have this office’ but to say ‘I have this service’ instead. ‘This is an opportunity to serve that Allah the Almighty has given you, therefore, benefit from this opportunity to serve.
“And by fulfilling its obligations, try to gain Allah’s pleasure too. Do not pay attention to pleasing any office-bearer, or intimidating others as you have become an office-bearer yourself. You are to focus on what Allah wants from us. We are brothers amongst ourselves: رُحَمَاءُ بَيْنَهُم – there should be mercy with each other.
“An office-bearer should always remember to speak softly and with love and to gain the trust of people.
“Secondly, office-bearers must keep the secrets of others. It should not be that they hear something from someone and go and tell others, or their amila members – and then, the amila member cannot keep it a secret and go on to tell someone else or it is mentioned at home, knowingly or unknowingly. As a result, the secret goes out to people. This reduces trust. Therefore, it is the first task of an office-bearer to establish trust.”
Huzooraa said small jamaats were created so people could develop a close connection with each other. This was the duty of the office-bearer that they got to know their members easily through their Jamaat being only a few hundred people.
“On her Platinum Jubilee, the Queen in her letter had written ‘Your servant, Elizabeth’ at the bottom. Now that was a political thing – she wrote ‘Your servant’ for herself but you people have been commanded by Allah’s Messengersa to become servants, not for political reasons but in the real sense, to gain the pleasure of Allah.
“For this reason, office-bearers should first understand their responsibilities and keep the secrets of others.”
Huzooraa said those who had reservations about a qaza decision could object and appeal against it in the system of the qaza itself. However, if a decision at every level had been made against them, then even if the member still thought they were in the right, they should “accept it for the pleasure of Allah and give precedence to the Jamaat.”
Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa noted that the jurists within qaza did not personally know the people involved in the case they were dealing with and there was no conflict of interest, therefore it was wrong to say sides were taken. Despite this, some people complained and even though since the time of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh appeals are not made to Khalifiatul Masih, Huzooraa said he would sometimes ask for cases and their decisions to be forwarded to him so that the complaints are resolved. Huzooraa noted that after looking at the case, he would see that for the most part, the decisions made by qaza were correct.
“Now it cannot be that both parties are satisfied. Whomever the decision is against, will be displeased to some extent and have reservations. And it cannot be said that the decision was 100% correct. If it was 70-80% correct, it should anyhow be accepted to gain the pleasure of Allah”.
Emphasising the importance of office-bearers being friendly and trustworthy, Huzooraa continued:
“This can only happen when you have a personal relationship with people; when you are in a position to reason with them and they are ready to listen to you. They should have the trust that ‘Sadr Jamaat, or secretary tarbiyat, or secretary umur-e-ama or any other secretary explains the matter to us in the capacity of a brother and friend and we should listen to them’. If you create such a mindset then people will understand.”
Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa referenced the Holy Prophetsa who said he could make wrong decisions too if a person who spoke well convinced him through deception. But the decision would not be the fault of the Prophetsa and if it was indeed a wrong decision then the person who convinced him to make that decision through his speech would be filling his own belly with fire.
Huzooraa said the qazis in the Jamaat were in a similar position and appeals could be made by those who did not agree with their decisions.
Huzooraa emphasised that office-bearers should become “servants and friends” of Jamaat members.
Tariq Mahmud Sahib, Sadr Birmingham Central said some families claimed they were Ahmadi Muslims but they did not cooperate or attend the mosque and events.
Huzooraa said, “Keep advising them, that ‘If you believe yourself to be a member of the Jamaat then look at what the Promised Messiahas instructed and try to abide by those conditions. You repeat the oath, so try to fulfil that oath.’ In this way, slowly explain to them. If someone says they are not Ahmadi and are not to be contacted, that is a different matter. Otherwise, it is your duty to continue to explain to them with love and bring them closer. It is a constant effort, right?”
Tariq Sahib said that the members in his Jamaat would only come to the mosque or event if someone from Rabwah, Pakistan was attending as a representative. To this, with a smile, Huzooraa remarked:
“This means they are running from you, not the Jamaat. If they have a relation to Rabwah, it means they have some kind of contact, right? Like I have said before, be friends with people. If someone does not attend, don’t approach them and say ‘Come to namaz’ or ‘There is a meeting on this day, attend it’, or ‘Give your chanda for Waqf-e-Jadid and Tahrik-e-Jadid’. Don’t say anything to them.
“For such people, phone them once a month and only ask about how they are doing. Slowly such people automatically will begin to get closer to you. You are not to demand of them to do anything and only ask how they are.”
Huzooraa said that if appropriate when passing their house, the Sadr could knock and give their salaam to them and see how they were. “You have to put the hard work in,” Huzooraa said.
Ibrahim Bonsu Sahib, Sadr Leicester said there seemed to be disengagement in Jamaat members from Jamaat activities, especially among the youth when they entered universities and also from among the new migrants when they started jobs. He asked for Huzoor’s advice on dealing with the issue.
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said:
“This is very common among teenagers. When they go to secondary schools and then after to the universities, they think that now they are more busy in their secular education. This is why they try to avoid Jamaat activities or they are not very much active in the Jamaat activities.
“So, this is the job of Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya – if they are of the Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya age – that they should try to advise them, keep in touch with them, make regular contact with them. And, also if they are girls then it is the duty of Lajna Imaillah, and Jamaat secretary tarbiyat and the Sadr Jamaat should also help them in this regard.
“Our work is just to keep on reminding them what are their duties, and what are their responsibilities and what are their obligations being an Ahmadi.
“That is the only thing we can do and this is the only thing which has been asked to the Holy Prophetsa by Allah the Almighty that keep on advising them and reminding them that what they are. And being a true Muslim, what should be their duties.
“So, this is a regular process. You should not just give up because in two or three meetings or in some of your activities they did not take part. Or they are not very active in paying their chanda, offering their congregational prayer or even coming to the Friday prayer. So, this is a regular process and you have to be persistent in it, persuasive. And that is the only solution.
“Make them realise why they are here. Quite a number of the families who just migrated to this country from Pakistan came here because of the condition prevailing there against Ahmadis. And make them realise that ‘You are here because of the Jamaat and now it is your duty and obligation. Then try to be a true Ahmadi and involve yourself in Jamaat’s activities.
“Keep on reminding them. This is a continuous process as I have said and one day they will change.”
Shahriyar Muneeb Sahib, Sadr Baitul Futuh East said that in terms of finding matches for marriage, at times the boy’s side would go to the girl’s house, see the match and reject it. He noted that in this manner it was quite hurtful for the girl’s family. He asked for the solution.
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said:
“Yes, indeed it is [hurtful] […] You people are in the field, you should advise on what approach should be taken and the rishta nata secretary should reflect on this too.
About proposals and information about a possible marriage match, Huzooraa said basic information about the girl should be given, for example, her level of education, her height etc, to the person arranging the proposal. After that, they should be asked to pray and if after praying for that proposal they accept it, then they can go to see the girl.
“The fact is, they merely go to see the girl and say ‘We liked this one, not that one’, etc. Sometimes what happens is that the proposal is accepted but after some time the boy or the girl says ‘Previously, I accepted the proposal and said yes to it, but now my heart has fallen cold and I do not want to go ahead with the proposal.’ This causes problems and it happens from both sides.
“Nevertheless, as, at times, this happens more from the boy’s side, and the girl’s feelings are different too, or especially when it has happened more than once or twice with someone that they are rejected after being seen, then the girl’s side get very emotional and the girl gets emotional too and then they write to me as well about what happened.”
To deal with such issues, “It all comes back to activating the tarbiyat department”, Huzooraa stressed.
“And when you suggest a proposal then the boy involved should be told ‘It is not right that you go, see [her] and come back. If you have some reservations, tell us before. Not that you play with the feelings of someone else. These are matters that are to be communicated, you will need to explain these to them constantly.
“Marriage proposals should not be made without praying. It is Allah Who knows the unseen. For this reason, the Holy Prophetsa said to pray for marriage proposals, so that if it is better for you, it goes through. Not that you first go and see the match and then later say ‘We prayed and the result of our prayers were not positive.’”
Huzooraa said prayers should take place before going to see the proposal and not vice-versa. It was not right to give vain hope to the girl’s side, Huzooraa said.
“They go there [to see the girl], have tea tea, eat and drink and give them hope, and thereafter say ‘The results of our prayers were negative. Our istikhara did not bring positive results.’ They are not so saintly that they get answers to their istikhara – the main thing is a sense of consolation, right?
“What is istikhara? It is imploring Allah for goodness – that ‘If this proposal is good for me, then make it easy for me and satisfy my heart.’ If they are satisfied then they can send the proposal. And the girl’s side should pray too and if they are satisfied after praying then they can go ahead with the proposal.
“It is wrong to first go and see [the girl] – like someone who goes to the market and buys something and after purchasing it, returns it the next day and gets a refund. This is not right. A girl is not like a commodity that can be bought and then returned. This should be instilled in people.”
Next Masroor Ahmad Sahib said that due to the pandemic-related restrictions, children under 12 could not attend the mosque and other programmes. Masroor Sahib noted that restrictions in the UK were easing and asked Huzooraa when these children would be able to participate in Jamaat programmes.
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said he never stopped children from attending and this was a matter to be decided with the local amila and regional amir, or if it was a Markaz mosque then the national amir should be consulted and decisions made according to the easing of restrictions by the government and the local Jamaat’s capacity, etc. They should decide what protocols and systems are to be put in place.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said:
“Children from the ages of 12-15 require the most tarbiyat – if they are attending then that’s fine. […]
“The restrictions have finished but the conditions have not fully changed. When the conditions go back to normal then they can come regularly.”
Huzooraa said these decisions and plans are to be made by the local Jamaat themselves.
Masroor Sahib said that children and Lajna members constantly asked this question, that’s why he put it before Huzooraa. In response, with a smile, Huzooraa said:
“Okay, if they ask constantly then say that I said: ‘Get hold of your Sadr Jamaat, he is to make the decision.”
All present enjoyed Huzoor’s response.
Mubashar Ahmad Sahib, Sadr Battersea said his local Jamaat members were actively taking part in chanda but not so much in Wasiyyat. He asked Huzooraa for guidance.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:
“The same amount of effort you make towards attaining financial sacrifices for the chanda of Tahrik-e-Jadid and Waqf-e-Jadid and collecting Chanda Aam is not put in by your tarbiyat department to get people to offer salat, neither do they [the tarbiyat department] get people to pay attention to read the Holy Quran.
“Maal ashras are actively held but the tarbiyat ashras are such that it doesn’t matter if someone participates or not and therefore it doesn’t have the impact and attention it should. So, all of your power, all of your machinery is focused on gathering money – this is not a tax we are to collect; the real aim is tarbiyat.
“If your tarbiyat takes place then chanda will automatically be given. For this reason, activate your tarbiyat department and when it becomes active then the wasiyyat department will be assisted automatically.”
Huzooraa said the wasiyyat department should work to encourage members to read and study Al-Wasiyyat. Huzooraa advised short quotes from the Al-Wasiyyat about wasiyyat, nizam-e-Jamaat and nizam-e-Khilafat should be sent to people, even on their phones.
“You send text messages that namaz timings have changed and it goes viral in your Jamaat immediately. Nowadays circulars don’t go out, but messages go out on phones. So, send a quote every day on phones and people will read it and their tarbiyat will get done. When their tarbiyat happens, then they will begin to pay attention to good deeds themselves. And when they read quotes from Al-Wasiyyat – that it draws attention to righteousness, staying connected to Khilafat, the importance of Khilafat, the status of the Promised Messiahas, the importance of wasiyyat, then tarbiyat will happen, people will pay attention to wasiyyat and also salat. And the work of your secretary maal will automatically be fulfilled.”
Nabeel Ahmad Nagi Sahib, Sadr Walton-on-Thames said when they held tabligh stalls in their towns a lot of atheists would come and talk to them. Nabeel Sahib asked how to speak with atheists.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa asked Nabeel Sahib if the atheists even listened to them. To this Nabeel Sahib said that very few did listen. Huzooraa advised to raise the following arguments to atheists and to say:
“‘We believe in God and we have personal experiences with Allah. These are the Signs of the acceptance of our prayers. These are the prophecies that have been fulfilled that Allah the Almighty gave to prophets. These are the prophecies in the Holy Quran that Allah gave and was fulfilled in the time of the Holy Prophetsa and are being fulfilled to this day. In this era, Allah sent the Promised Messiahas who was the servant of the Holy Prophetsa and he gave prophecies and they were fulfilled in this manner.
“After seeing all of this, we have no option but to believe there is a Being Who communicates all of these matters of the unseen. And if you say some astrologers, educated people or those who know physiognomy make correct predictions by looking at situations then their predictions, over many years, only manifest a handful of times. Whereas these prophecies that are from prophets – or that have come to us – have come in succession.
“Apart from this, when we individually experience the acceptance of prayers we believe there is an existence of God, Who accepted them. Even in some difficult or impossible circumstances, these things happen.
“So, there are the personal experiences, the prophecies that you can talk about with them then slowly – if he has an interest – he will listen, otherwise he will laugh, make jest of you and walk off and you can then sit back down quietly. You fulfilled your obligation.
“To guide is Allah’s work and to convey is ours. Keep this in mind. Allah even told the Holy Prophetsa that ‘You cannot make someone Muslim by forcing them.’”
Rana Abdul Wadood Khan, Sadr Newham asked if the Jamaat could help local authorities in distributing vouchers etc. to those in need? The local authorities would categorise people (irrelevant of their religion) who deserved those vouchers and thus the authorities needed help in the distribution of those vouchers.
Huzooraa said it was permissible and that if Muslims even gave their sadaqa to atheists or a Christian or anyone else who was in need, irrespective of their faith, they would be rewarded for it by Allah.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said:
“Why shouldn’t we help? Regarding the Hilf-ul-Fuzul committee that the Holy Prophetsa joined [before prophethood] set up to help those in need, the Holy Prophetsa said – during his prophethood – that ‘Even if they called me today to help people, I would go’. He did not say ‘If they call to help Muslims, I will go then.’ He was even ready to be part of the committee of the kafirs [disbelievers] to help in this regard. […]
“We should help. We are to help everyone. [If not] then what service of humanity has been done? You have not claimed ‘We are ready to help Ahmadis’ – you raise the slogan of ‘serving humanity’ and if you raise the slogan of serving humanity then faith and anything else is removed. If they are atheists or anyone else, that is a matter between them and God. Where their worldly necessities are concerned, as a human, it is our duty to fulfil them.”
Huzooraa said to Amir Sahib UK that an hour had passed. Amir Sahib thanked Huzooraa for his time and requested for silent prayer to which Huzooraa accepted and led everyone in silent prayer.
This concluded the meeting and Huzooraa conveyed his salaam.
(Report prepared by Al Hakam)