On Saturday, 29 April, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V, may Allah strengthen his hand, arrived at the Baitul Futuh Mosque and led the Zuhr and Asr prayers before proceeding to the Tahir Hall to address the concluding session of the UK Waqifaat-e-Nau Ijtema 2023.
Upon arrival, after conveying salaam to all attendees, Huzooraa invited Adeeba Sadaf Sahiba to recite a portion of the Holy Quran. The selected verses were 37-38 of Surah Aal-e-Imran. Rasheeqa Khan Sahiba presented the English translation.
Bushra Ghalib Sahiba was then invited to recite an Urdu poem written by Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra – Ehed shikni na karo, ehl-e-wafaa ho jao.
Huzooraa then asked Dr Maleeha Mansur Sahiba, Secretary Waqifaat-e-Nau UK, to present the ijtema report.
Maleeha Sahiba thanked Huzooraa for gracing the gathering with his presence. She informed Huzooraa and the audience about the schedule of the day starting from 10am and about the various group discussions and workshops that took place, for example, how to write letters to media outlets and how to better serve the Jamaat. 1,213 waqifaat-e-nau were in attendance this year, as compared to 1,154 waqifaat in 2019, when the ijtema last took place.
The ijtema commenced at 10am with the opening session, chaired by Dr Fariha Khan Sahiba, Sadr Lajna Imaillah UK. Thereafer, according to Huzoor’saa guidance, the ijtema programme was based on group discussions. These workshops included how to fulfil our role as waqifaat-e-nau, understanding how Islam champions the rights of women, the importance of developing a strong attachment to Khilafat, and a careers guidance workshop for older nasirat. Tabligh workshops included how to respond to common allegations and how to partake in Jihad of the Pen, which included a practical session on writing letters to newspaper editors. A panel discussion was held for older waqifaat on striking a balance with the many roles they are blessed to have. Morever, for nasirat, fun and activity zones were held to develop their bond of sisterhood.
Following the report, at 17:15 BST, Huzooraa took to the stage to deliver the concluding address.
Huzooraa said that it was with the grace of God that the UK National Waqf-e-Nau Ijtema was taking place once again. Huzooraa reminded everyone that they were specifically dedicated to the service of Islam before their birth. Thus, their utmost priority must always remain their faith above all worldly things. Huzooraa said that he would be talking about what it actually meant to give precedence to faith.
“Once you comprehend what it means to prioritise and value your faith over all else, it will have a profound effect on how you live your life. It will drive you towards a process of self-reformation and enable you to serve the Jamaat in the best possible way.”
Huzooraa said that a person who gave precedence to their faith would naturally be inclined to lead a moral life and instil within themselves the values that Islam advocated.
While the world continues to be Godless, it becomes incumbent on the waqifaat-e-nau to prove themselves to be true servants of God’s religion and for this, one must recognise their true status and values.
Waqifaat-e-nau are girls who can and should bring about a moral and spiritual revolution in the world, just as our lord and master, the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, brought about a revolution.
The Holy Prophetsa had said that when the Muslims would experience spiritual malaise, at such a time a Messiah would appear who would revive faith and bring people back to their Creator. The Promised Messiahas called Muslims and non-Muslims alike to the true religion, Islam, and as his servants, having dedicated their lives for the service of their religion, waqifaat-e-nau had an even greater responsibility than other Ahmadi Muslims to be examples and living models of the true Islamic teachings. They ought to strive to establish God’s teachings in this world so as to encourage others to follow suit.
“Through your words and especially your deeds, you must educate and inspire others towards the fact that as human beings, we must fulfil each other’s rights and live in peace and harmony. You must guide others about the importance of upholding human values and treating one another with love and kindness and respect. However, you cannot expect to influence others until you yourselves are acting upon Islam’s teachings.
“In this regard, the foremost duty of a Muslim is to worship Allah as He desires. Accordingly, as members of the waqifaat-e-nau scheme, you must always protect and safeguard your prayers. Consider salat to be your constant companion.
“It should not be that you delay or miss prayers because of your worldly affairs or education. Do not be lazy or fall prey to weak excuses that take you away from Allah’s worship; rather, ensure that you offer salat on time and with deep care and concentration.
“Occasionally, due to bad weather or other genuine reasons, Zuhr and Asr or Maghrib and Isha can be combined, but even then they should be offered at the earliest possible time. Furthermore, a Muslim should recite and ponder over the Holy Quran each day and strive to act upon its teachings.
“As waqifaat-e-nau, you have pledged your lives for the service of your faith and so, it is especially incumbent upon you to study the Quran and identify its various teachings. Every command of the Quran is vitally important and must not be taken lightly.”
Huzooraa then said that the Holy Quran reminded us of our many duties, for example in respect to parents and our duties towards them, purdah and guarding one’s modesty from men and wearing the hijab.
“It is true that in the non-Muslim world, the concept of purdah and hijab has long been criticised. Yet now, certain non-Muslims are actually calling for safeguards that mirror Islam’s teachings. They are coming to realise the need for caution following reports of countless cases of men harassing and abusing women at all levels of society.
“Relatively recently, a survey found that 97% of women aged between the ages of 18-24 in the UK had been harassed by men. Across all age ranges, 70% of women said they had faced sexual harassment in public. As a result, there have been calls to establish safe spaces for women or to have women-only events.
“Similarly, recently a new report found that many women and girls in the UK were leaving sports and exercise because they felt uncomfortable as though they were being sexualised by being forced to wear sports kits that exposed much of their bodies.
“Thus, you should never harbour any form of inferiority complex or embarrassment regarding hijab or any other of Islam’s teachings. Instead, you should feel pride in your religious beliefs and be confident in the expression of your faith. Certainly, there is no Islamic injunction or restriction that is without reason or logic. Each Islamic teaching is based upon human nature and the means for ensuring societal peace and harmony.”
Huzooraa said that immodesty was rife in society, whether it was on television, social media or outside in parks and beaches etc. Every waqifa-e-nau girl must show a strong character and “seek to embody Islam’s teachings in all respects”.
Another aspect of Islam’s teachings Huzooraa wished to highlight was speaking the truth. Even when joking, one should not be deceptive or lie.
“Furthermore, Islam teaches that a person should treat his relatives with love and affection and waqifaat-e-zindagis and waqifaat-e-nau should try to manifest this quality even more than others.
“With the grace of Allah, the Waqf-e-Nau scheme has reached a stage where many of the early waqifaat-e-nau girls are now mothers. Indeed, even many of those born some years later are now married and starting their families. The responsibilities of such waqifaat-e-nau are much increased. Where before they had to concentrate primarily on their own moral state, now they are also directly responsible for the training of the next generation of the Jamaat. To fulfil this duty, Ahmadi mothers must manifest the highest standards of worship of Allah and inculcate within themselves the very best morals.
“Most of you have been brought up and educated here and so you understand this society and recognise its ills and vices. Utilise this knowledge to not only save yourselves from its ill effects but also to guide your children so that they avoid the moral pitfalls and traps that await them as they grow and develop.
“Without a shadow of a doubt, it is a great challenge of the time for Ahmadi mothers to ensure that our future generations remain attached to their religion. Moreover, be ever mindful of your duty to bring people towards God.”
Huzooraa then said:
“Every waqifa-e-nau must start with their own home. Treat your younger siblings and children with love and care and strive to nurture a love of Allah within their hearts. Thereafter, reach out to your neighbours, friends and the wider world. Never waver in your efforts to develop a righteous society in which the teachings of Allah the Almighty reign supreme. Be ready for every sacrifice for the sake of your faith and take inspiration from those noble women from the past who attained the highest spiritual ranks.”
In every age, righteous women had played a massive role for the sake of their faith and belief in Allah. Huzooraa gave the example of the female disciples of Jesusas who excelled in their faith and showed immense courage for their belief. It was Mary Magdalene and two other women who came to the help of Jesusas when he spent three days in a tomb-like cave following his deliverance from the cross.
The Holy Quran specifically mentions two very pious women – Hazrat Maryamas and the wife of the Pharoah. In the case of the latter, “she remained faithful to Allah even though she was the wife of a disbeliever”.
During the blessed era of the Holy Prophetsa, the sacrifices of women reached new heights and shall forever remain examples for times to come. They bore untold grief and suffering for the sake of their faith. Huzooraa then outlined how cruel treatment was meted out to the early Muslims.
“Once the Holy Prophetsa observed a Muslim husband and wife – both of whom were slaves – being horrifically tortured in this way by their merciless master. They were forced to lie in the blistering heat upon boiling sands and were relentlessly beaten and hard stones were placed upon them all the while their owner demanded they renounce their belief in the Holy Prophetsa. Despite their agony, they never once wavered in their faith.
“Upon observing their torment, the Holy Prophetsa became overwhelmed with emotion and grief and turned to Allah in prayer. The Holy Prophetsa addressed the Muslim husband and wife and consoled them to remain patient and gave them the glad tiding that they would receive the greatest of Allah’s reward and bounty soon.
“Ultimately, as a result of the incessant torture, the husband lost his life. At that moment, when the Muslim lady had lost her husband, her owner still failed to show any mercy. Instead, he took a spear and violently pierced open her stomach, causing her death.
“In worldly terms, that woman had no rank or status. Indeed, as a slave, she was part of the weakest class of society and considered no more than a chattel or property of their owner. Yet due to her absolute conviction in the truth of the Holy Prophetsa and her impeccable standards of faith, that lady who the world looked down upon scaled the highest spiritual peaks and her noble status has been etched indelibly in history forevermore.
“Another awe-inspiring example from early Islam is that of Hazrat Umm-e-Ammarara who demonstrated outstanding bravery and steadfastness, far beyond many Muslim men during various battles in the early period of Islam.
“Likewise, we have before us the extraordinary example of Hazrat Umar’s sister who tolerated the wrath of her enraged brother in order to ensure that the sanctity and dignity of the Holy Quran was preserved. Seeing his sister’s supreme level of faith moved Hazrat Umarra and proved a watershed moment in his life leading him to accept Islam.
“Moving forward to this era, with the grace of Allah, many Ahmadi women have also rendered great sacrifices for the sake of their faith.
“In Pakistan, it is not only Ahmadi men who have embraced martyrdom. Ahmadi women have also given their lives for the sake of their faith. With unwavering courage, they remained firm in their faith till their last breath and never yielded to the brutalities and cruelties they were subjected to. In reality, history is replete with the magnificent role Muslim women have played for the sake of their faith and they serve as role models for all those waqifaat-e-nau who have pledged in this era to give precedence to their faith over all worldly matters.
“Always remember that such stories are not just for us to read about or to consign to the history books; rather, they ought to inspire us to remain firm in our faiths and navigate the challenges of modern society. Accordingly, every Ahmadi lady and girl, especially members of the waqifaat-e-nau scheme must understand that now it is their turn to take up the mantle of being ready for every possible sacrifice for the sake of their faith.
“There are countless moral ills and vices prevalent in today’s society and increasingly, people are abandoning religion. Under such circumstances, waqifaat-e-nau must take a stand for the sake of Allah the Almighty. You must strive to eradicate all traces of worldliness from your minds and ensure that you do not fall prey to the superficial attractions and glamour of the world. Instead, seek to live your lives according to Islam’s teachings.
“Be ever willing by giving precedence to your religious convictions. Guard your faith and seek to establish an everlasting living bond with Allah; bow before Him in all humility and sincerely pray that you can effect a profound change in the world through tabligh and your righteous conduct. Strive every day to play your role in uniting mankind under the banner of the Holy Prophetsa so that the people of the world join together as one in prostration before Allah the Almighty. If you rise to this challenge, you will fulfil the objective of your life and be able to claim that you are waqifaat-e-nau, not just in name but far more importantly in spirit and deed.
“Whether young or old, I reiterate that you must always seek to fulfil the righteous pledge made by your parents before your birth which you later affirmed, of giving precedence to your faith over worldly matters and spending your lives in the service of Islam.
“May Allah the Almighty grant you all the ability to do so. May you all fulfil your duties and be amongst those who bring about a true and everlasting revolution in the world. Amin.”
Thereafter, Huzooraa led everyone in silent prayer before departing at around 17:51 BST.