On 12 February 2022, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa granted a virtual audience to 69 new Ahmadi Muslim converts from UK Jamaat.
The mulaqat commenced with a recitation from the Holy Quran by Hafiz Muhammad Ahsan Sahib followed by its English and Urdu translation. The English translation was presented by Luke Sahib and the Urdu by Jamil Sahib. Following this, Uzma Shehzadi Sahiba recited a nazm.
Then, Hamza Ilyas Sahib presented a brief report and background of the mulaqat. He reported that the mulaqat was being jointly hosted by the National Department of Tarbiyat & Waqf-e-Jadid for Nau Mubai‘een (new Ahmadis), and the National Tabligh Department. He said, in planning for this mulaqat, help was sought from Lajna Imaillah, Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya, and Majls Ansarullah. He added that strong support was also offered by the Pan-African Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK as well as the UK Arabic and Bangla Desks.
He further reported that the preparations for this mulaqat began in November 2021. He stated that 69 new converts were present including 26 ladies and 43 men.
Following this, some new converts had the opportunity to share their journeys to Islam Ahmadiyya. The first to share was Zubair Zafar Sahib, who is 42 and is married with three young children. After conveying his salaam to Huzooraa, he said that he was born and raised in a traditional Sunni household in the North-West of the UK.
Hearing this, Huzooraa asked:
“Your immediate family is also Ahmadi? Your wife and children?” To this, Zubair Zafar Sahib replied that he and his wife both accepted Islam Ahmadiyyat and added that he would raise his children as Ahmadis. Zubair Zafar Sahib said that throughout his adult years he deeply loved Islam and always knew it was the truth, however, he said, that those years were also confusing for him. He said he was disheartened by the level of disunity within the Muslim Ummah. At that time, he did know any Ahmadi nor much about Ahmadiyyat apart from the usual rhetoric. The little he knew about Islam Ahmadiyyat, and the things he was told about it, led him to believe that it was not the truth. However, he said, a few years ago, he took interest in comparative religion and watched many debates between Christians and Muslims, and always found the matter of crucifixion troubling. He said, “The fact that Muslims seem to have differing, conflicting theories amongst themselves about what happened [with regard to the crucifixion], without any historic record or evidence, was very troublesome to me.”
He said that he had always wanted to know the true meaning of the verses in Surah al-Nisa with regard to the matter of crucifixion. During his search for an answer, he began to read a lot and came across an article on the Alislam website regarding Hazrat Isaas and the lost tribes in Kashmir. Zubair Sahib said that he did not even realise that he was surfing on an Ahmadi website. He said that the article was “eye-opening” and clicked on a link to the book, Jesus in India. “I opened this PDF book and dived straight into the main chapters without even realising who the author was,” said Zubair Sahib. He added that this book had a profound impact on him. He said, “It was like every single question and issue I had was being answered.”
Zubair Sahib narrated that when he realised who the author was, he was perturbed “but I just couldn’t just shake off the effect of the book and what was contained therein,” he said. He added that he had also understood, after reading the book, what was meant by the breaking of the cross, as prophesied by the Holy Prophetsa.
After this, he said that he continued to read the books of the Promised Messiahas and fell in love with his writings. He said that he had spent an entire year, during the pandemic, reading and praying, “but if I was to look back now,” Zubair Zafar Sahib said, “I would say that I knew the truth immediately at the very beginning and was just delaying and resisting.”
He said that he and his wife did bai‘at in November 2020.
Hearing his journey to Islam Ahmadiyyat, Huzooraa said, “Masha-Allah, very faith-inspiring.”
Next, Asma Begum Sahiba, 27, from Blackpool, narrated that her journey to Islam Ahmadiyyat began when she moved to Georgia from the UK in the beginning of 2020 to pursue her medical education. There, she met someone with whom she would discuss Islam and the death of Jesusas. She said that she was given the book, Jesus in India, and then read the book, The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam. She then started watching MTA to increase her understanding of Islam Ahmadiyyat and prayed to Allah Almighty to guide her to the truth. Thereafter, she saw three dreams indicating the truthfulness of Islam Ahmadiyyat. She added that after her first dream she started reading more books of the Promised Messiahas such as Noah’s Ark. After seeing her second dream she started asking non-Ahmadis as she was confused after seeing these dreams. Whilst narrating this, Asma Begum Sahiba became very emotional. Hearing the emotion in her voice, Huzooraa said, “You can sit down and continue.” After sitting down, Asma Begum Sahiba continued that her friends told her to stop reading about Ahmadiyyat, however, she continued to read and study about Islam Ahmadiyyat and prayed to Allah. Then, Asma Begum Sahiba said that in her third dream she saw that she was doing bai‘at. She said that this was when she knew that Ahmadiyyat was the true Islam.
Following this, a short video, displaying messages for Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa from atfal and nasirat new converts was played and presented before Huzooraa.
After the video, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said, “You are 69 [people] here. If I ask you to introduce yourselves one by one then it will take time, and you have only 25 minutes left.” Huzooraa then asked, “How many of you are new converts [that is] those who did bai‘at during the last three years?”
Responding, Ilyas Sahib said that 19 men, out of the men present, did bai‘at recently in the last three years. From the ladies’ side, it was said that 10 did bai‘at in the past three years.
Thereafter, Ilyas Sahib said that some members had a few questions they wished to ask. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa graciously accepted this request.
A Lajna member asked Huzooraa why, despite the Holy Quran being revealed in Arabic, some Arabs still failed to understand what was written in it regarding the demise of Prophet Jesusas and the coming of the Promised Messiahas.
Answering this, Huzooraa said:
“The Quran, although it is in Arabic, there are some commandments which need some interpretation and these Arab scholars could not interpret them properly. During the time of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, the Companionsra of the Holy Prophetsa used to understand it, and this is why when Surah al-Jumu‘ah was revealed to the Holy Prophetsa and the verse وَّاٰخَرِيۡنَ مِنۡهُمۡ لَمَّا يَلۡحَقُوۡا بِهِمۡ [And(among)others from among them who have not yet joined them] was revealed, some of the Sahabara asked, ‘who are those people who will come in the Latter Days and will be like us?’ Then, the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, explained to them. So, they could understand it. But now, these so-called scholars do not understand. Even there are quite a number of old [past] scholars in Islam who have interpreted the verses of the Holy Quran in the same way as we do. So, it is not necessary that the [Arabs today] understand each and everything, even now their language has changed quite a lot. And they [ordinary Arabs] could not fully comprehend all the words of the Holy Quran and the meaning of the Holy Quran. But the scholars, they understand. [However] they have their own vested interests. This is why they do not want to let the people understand what the true meanings of these verses are. So, this is the reason, and it has been dealt with in quite great detail in our literature. They are ignorant of their own language […] This is why quite a number of Arab scholars even have written commentaries of the Holy Quran. They knew that the verses themselves could not be understood by everyone. This is why there was a need to explain them, and the commentaries were written, even in Arabic.”
Next, Tabassum Sahiba asked Huzooraa how one could overcome depression and have patience. She said that it had been four years since her parents passed away and said that she was not able to overcome this depression. She added that she was living alone and since then she had to start working and earning for herself whilst studying.
Huzooraa asked her how old she was; to which she replied that she was 23. Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said:
“If you remember Allah Almighty, then Allah Almighty will give you comfort. So, whenever you feel depressed, you feel upset, you [should] bow before Allah, pray to Allah Almighty in your prayers; and if it is not prayer time, then [you pray] in your nawafil [voluntary prayers], you cry to Allah Almighty that He enables you to overcome this situation and gives comfort and patience to your heart. So, this is the only solution. This is why Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quranاَلَا بِذِكۡرِ اللّٰهِ تَطۡمَئِنُّ الۡقُلُوۡبُ that for the comfort and patience of your heart you have to remember Allah. So, this is the only solution now. And, at the same time, you should also try to make good friends who are helpful to you and that will also work.”
Next, a Lajna member said that women were commanded to observe purdah. She asked what commandment was for men with regard to purdah. Answering, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said that the place in the Holy Quran where women had been commanded to observe purdah, before that, men had been commanded to lower their gaze. Huzooraa explained that it was only in those societies that were practising Islamic teachings where men lowered their gaze.
“When morals deteriorate, when little attention is paid towards religion, when man turns away from religion, becomes [engrossed in] worldly [matters], then only worldly desires remain [in such a person].”
Islam had commanded women to cover themselves to protect their honour. Huzooraa said, “That is why the Promised Messiahas has said that ‘if men reform themselves and a guarantee is given that men have been reformed, then I will agree that there be somewhat relaxation in women’s purdah”.
Huzooraa said that ever since Prophet Adam was bestowed prophethood by Allah the Exalted, Satan asked God to grant him respite till the Day of Resurrection so that Satan may lead some people astray. Allah granted him respite but told him that ‘My servants would not follow you.’ And thus, Huzooraa said, we were seeing today that people were being led astray. Huzooraa said that both men and women had been commanded to observe purdah.
Following this, a member of Lajna asked about the duration of the mission that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdias was assigned by Allah the Exalted. Answering her question, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:
“[…] It is the promise of Allah the Almighty to the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace, that ‘I will fulfil all the promises I have made to you.’ They will be fulfilled, insha-Allah Ta‘ala. And the world shall witness them. There are still many promises [of God] yet to be fulfilled. Similarly, the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace, said that ‘it took more than three hundred years for Christianity to spread; however,’ he said, ‘that it will not be three hundred years before you will see that the majority of Islam Ahmadiyyat shall have established throughout the world.’ So many prophecies are yet to come true. A lot of things are yet to come to pass. Therefore, we cannot say that the mission of the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace, has been completed. The mission is yet to be concluded. And until it is fulfilled, insha-Allah, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya shall continue to make progress and prevail over the world, and then Islam Ahmadiyyat shall be victorious. After that shall the Signs of the Day of Resurrection come.”
Next, Mustafa Yusuf Sahib, said that he became an Ahmadi three months ago. He said he was originally from Somaliland and had many Sunni Muslim scholars in his family and country. He said that he would like to learn the fundamental beliefs of the Ahmadiyya teachings because when he would go back to his country, he said, he had no argument to present to them about Ahmadiyya. Hearing this, Huzooraa said:
“First tell me, if you do not know that fundamental aqeedah then why did you accept Ahmadiyyat […] Any new thing, any concept, any religion, you should not accept without knowing its basic things.” Huzooraa further said, “Since you have accepted Ahmadiyyat, you might have known some of the basic things and now [the] first thing [is that] you should read the literature of Ahmadiyyat and to strengthen your faith. And for that, there are quite a number of books such as Invitation to Ahmadiyyat and The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam,and there are some other books of the Promised Messiahas which will help you to increase you in your faith. So, the fundamental aqeedah is that it was the prophecy of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, that in the latter-day a reformer would come, the Messiah and Mahdi would come”.
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa explained that Ahmadis believed that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas was the Promised Messiah and Mahdi. The non-Ahmadis believed that Prophet Jesusas would descend from heaven and join hands with the Mahdi and then they both would work together to spread Islam. Huzooraa said that Ahmadis did not believe Prophet Jesusas would physically descend from heaven and said “that person who was to come, according to the prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa, had to be from among the ummah of the Holy Prophetsa.”
Huzooraa further expounded, “There were some Signs foretold by of the Holy Prophetsa and there were heavenly Signs and worldly Signs. And one of the heavenly Signs was the eclipse of the Sun and the Moon in the particular month – that is Ramadan – and on particular days: on 13th and 28th, first and second day. [According to the Hijri calendar, the dates on which a lunar eclipse can occur are 13, 14 and 15. And the dates on which a solar eclipse can occur are 27, 28 and 29]. So, that eclipse occurred in 1894 and the claim of the Promised Messiahas was there already. And that eclipse also occurred in 1895 in the western hemisphere. So, we say that since this was the prophecy, and during that time [of Hazrat Ahmadas] the ulema of that age used to say that ‘this was the Sign of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi that the eclipse of the Moon and the Sun will occur, and since it has not occurred, the claim of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani[as] as Promised Messiah and Mahdi is a false claim’; but, when it happened, then they started saying that ‘no, it [the prophecy] is not true.’ So, these people, so-called ulema, do not want to hear. If they think twice, without a biased [view], pray to Allah Almighty that ‘O Allah Almighty, guide us on the right path’ then Allah Almighty will guide them.”
Mustafa Yusuf Sahib asked if it was permissible for him to pray behind a non-Ahmadi Imam in Somaliland. Answering, Huzooraa said, “You should try to avoid it. You can just tell them that you believe in that the Messiah and Mahdi who was to come in accordance to the prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa, has come and you believe in him and if he [the non-Ahmadi imam] says, ‘no, you are a kafir’ then you cannot pray behind him, but if he says nothing, then, yes, you can pray.”
Sherwayne Nurse Sahib asked for advice for building a close relationship with God. Explaining, Huzooraa said:
“First thing is you [should] try to learn the words of the prayers, and especially Surah al-Fatihah. Do you know Surah al-Fatihah?” Sherwayne Nurse Sahib replied that he was still learning it. Huzooraa said, “Try to learn it in Arabic text and then the meaning of it […] You should also try to offer your five daily prayers, and if possible, in congregation. Apart from that you [should] offer nafl: supererogatory prayers. And pray to Allah Almighty that He give you the strength to be firm in your faith, and just seek Allah’s help in this regard. So, never ever leave any prayer. Make it a point that five daily prayers are obligatory and you have to offer them. And try to offer these prayers very fervently. And when you are bowing down, in the sajdah position, then you should cry and seek Allah’s help. Then, you will see, within months, you will see a change in yourself.”
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa then led everyone in silent prayer and the mulaqat came to a close.
(Report prepared by Al Hakam)