Where stars descend – Chapter 6 (Nurturing the future) – Part II

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Asif M Basit

Click here for Part I

In keeping with the same topic, I feel that I should mention something that has always been spiritually uplifting for me. Classes with Huzooraa began in October 2003. Young children would attend those classes. They would ask innocent questions, narrate innocent jokes and Huzooraa would answer their questions and narrate jokes, simple enough for them to grasp. Huzooraa would teach them the alphabet and other lessons to do with it and ask simple riddles that they could answer.

The sun of the Fifth Khilafat had only just risen then. Those opponents of the Jamaat who had seen dreams of the destruction of the Jamaat after the Fourth Khilafat, God forbid, were only just beginning to fathom what had happened. Having observed the commencement of the Fifth Khilafat and the subsequent strength of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya, the opponents’ mouths were left shut.

However, their despair caused them to stoop even lower in aggression. The depth of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V’saa character and personality had not yet become apparent to anyone. (The truth is that even today, nobody has been able to completely grasp the depth of his personality, whether Ahmadi or non-Ahmadi. This, I say, first and foremost, on my own behalf.)

In their malice and spite, the enemy had started to make various aspects of Huzoor’saa noble character a target of ridicule and mockery. They would ridicule his style of talking, make jest of his sermons and when the classes started, they began mocking those classes by saying, “Go on! Carry on teaching children their ABCs! How will you give guidance to the Islamic Ummah!” (God forbid!)

Huzooraa is resolute! I am certain that we are unaware of a lot of the comments that were made at that time. However, permit me to say that as far as my experience goes, whenever waves have collided with the colossal and firm station of Huzooraa, they have been rendered useless as Huzooraa remains firm and unmoved at every onslaught. He remained unmoved then and continues to remain so today. Huzooraa absorbs the force of every onslaught, yet he does not move an inch from his position, so much so that he protects the crowds of Ahmadis that stand behind him! Neither do I claim to have observed the state of his heart, nor can anybody do so.

Whenever we are struck with sorrow and grief, we immediately write to our beloved leader or talk to him in person. Much like children, we immediately run to him and virtually say, “That person said something which really hurt me!” or, “I have a problem that I need to share with you” or, “My relative is extremely ill and needs your prayers” or, “I am extremely worried for my well-being” etc. We all forget that for this man, there is no other person with whom he can share his pain and anguish to alleviate his burdens. He is a person who stays awake for everyone and cries only before his Lord, Who appointed him as the Imam of the final community of God.

Thus, Huzooraa does not just face the onslaughts that we observe on the Internet or social media. Only God knows what else the enemies and hypocrites write to Huzooraa about in their anonymous letters. Come what may, his vision surpasses the petty and trivial onslaughts that come his way!

The opponents had begun hurling abuse and mocking those classes, but despite the other extraordinary tasks he was appointed with, he would sit with those fortunate children on almost a weekly basis, sometimes teaching them the alphabet, while at other times asking them simple riddles.

In a previous chapter, I have already shown how our sight cannot even see the horizons Huzooraa has his eyes set on. Those children began to grow and with time, they started attending the class known as Gulshan-e-Waqf-e-Nau Atfal, after which the older children (who no longer remained children) started attending Gulshan-e-Waqf-e-Nau Khuddam and sat in their beloved master’s presence.

Then, from among those who attended that class, some began to become recipients of Huzoor’s endless love in Tulaba Jamia ke Sath Nashist. Those children who started off learning their ABCs with Huzooraa and found it extremely difficult to converse in Urdu, were now, in those very nashists (sittings), conversing with Huzooraa in Urdu. Most of them were now able to deliver speeches in Urdu before Huzooraa. There was a special God-given light in their speech, which could easily be seen by the viewer. The colour that was most manifest in that light was the colour of inspiration from Huzoor’s love and attention. It was a ray of that very same light that one day penetrated my heart.

I had sought permission from Huzooraa to start a programme on MTA for the youth of the Jamaat that would be conducted by students of Jamia Ahmadiyya, who would answer the youth’s questions. In effect, the youth would be answering the questions of the youth and we found it to be the best approach to answering questions the younger generation had in their minds. Without a pause, Huzooraa immediately replied, “Of course! What’s stopping you?”

Such a remark, with Huzoor’saa full approval, boosts the smallest of efforts. My experience is that if a proposal is not met with Huzoor’s full permission or pleasure, then that idea should be set aside. Even if the proposal is met with a response like, “Okay. Do it and see what happens”, a second thought should be given to the idea.

Initially, after such responses, I thought that I should go ahead with the idea in any case. In all those situations, my proposal always resulted in disaster or very near to it. Huzoor’saa pleasure is met with only on a fortunate proposal, at a fortunate hour, at an hour of God’s blessing and that becomes evident from Huzoor’s tone and expression.

Thus, it was with Huzoor’saa motivating approval that we started planning the programme. Alongside preparations, the name of that programme was under consideration. Whatever name came to mind would be noted down. When the list of proposed names had been prepared, I presented it to Huzooraa during a mulaqat for guidance and approval. Huzooraa approved the name as “Beacon of Truth”.

The time for the recording came; there were three stools on the set with different coloured curtains as the backdrop. In that simple setup, the first recording took place. Mansoor Ahmad Clarke Sahib (Missionary, London Region) presented the programme, while Ayyaz Mahmood Khan Sahib (Missionary, Central Department for Publications and Translations), Qaasid Muin Ahmad Sahib (Missionary, MTA International) and Shahzad Ahmed Sahib (Missionary, The Review of Religions) sat on the panel. At that time, they were all students of Jamia Ahmadiyya UK.

The time for the recording came and I went and sat in the control room. As I peered up at the screen and looked at those young faces, a wave of emotions struck me. My eyes became filled with tears. I recalled those day when Mansoor Clarke was just a small child and would travel from Birmingham with his mother to attend every class. He could not read Urdu and so, before every class, he would go through the text of what he was to read in Urdu but written in English text. His mother would call me a few days before the class expressing her anxiety, saying that he had not prepared his part properly and was not sure whether he would be able to speak. So, she would suggest that he should stay in the nearby guesthouse so that he could focus properly.

I also recalled the young Qaasid Muin, when he was seated in Huzoor’saa class at the age of 12 or 13. During one class, Huzooraa asked the children who they knew in a certain picture that was displayed on the screen. When Huzooraa asked about a certain companion of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra, no one was able to reply, but Qaasid put his hand up and answered that it was Hazrat Mirza Sharif Ahmadra. Huzooraa asked that little boy, “Kamal kar diya hei! (Very impressive!) How did you manage to recognise him?”

But today, the seeds that Huzooraa had himself sown; the seeds that Huzooraa had himself nurtured through classes and personal mulaqats; those who he raised up himself were now ready to absorb any onslaught for the sake of their religion. Where are they, who mocked and ridiculed those classes! God’s divine decree had shut the mouths of the opponents in such a remarkable way!

Was it not these very children who would be taught their ABCs by a wise teacher! Was it not these children who would try to decipher the simple riddles asked by a farsighted leader! It was these very children who would receive boxes of food from the simple, yet elevated valiullah (man of God) and would go home and eat with their families, who savoured every bite, believing it to be tabarruk (blessed)! Even at such an act of innocence, opponents laughed and mocked us.

But look, how the tables have turned! You still cannot comprehend what has happened and are lost in the depths of darkness. History is not ready to accept you! But here, every day, we are making history and history will testify that every day and every night, not one, but many beacons of truth were lit.

Eventually, when the programme had been recorded, a copy was sent to Huzooraa for guidance and approval. Very graciously, Huzooraa approved the programme. But Huzoor’s graciousness knows no bounds! In relation to some work, I was at the University of Cambridge, when I received a call from Zaheer Ahmad Khan Sahib (Lecturer, Jamia Ahmadiyya UK). He told me that he had just had a mulaqat with Huzooraa, in which Huzooraa very lovingly showed the first recording of the programme with great pride. Huzooraa himself turned the DVD player on and then fast-forwarded the programme to different places. Huzooraa would tell him with great love how the students had done tremendously.

That same year, the annual MTA Forum took place in which many representatives of foreign MTA studios had come to attend. During his address, Huzooraa mentioned Beacon of Truth and very lovingly praised the work of those students. Huzooraa described how one of them stood as the presenter, while the rest took to the panel and in that manner, sought to defend the religion of Islam. When you think about it, it is extraordinary. It was Huzoor’saa wonders that were at work, yet Huzooraa still applauded his servants!

In 2012, the first class from Jamia Ahmadiyya UK graduated. Huzooraa handed them their degrees. Many of them were those who, not too long ago, were young children and grew up in Huzoor’s classes. Huzooraa would very lovingly give them chocolates, while on other occasions, would give them pens. Sometimes, Huzooraa would give them caps and would tell them to try them on to check if the size was correct. Occasionally, Huzooraa would put them on for the children and say, “Don’t wear it like this. It should be worn like this,” and would show them himself how they should be worn.

That day, the children whose caps Huzooraa would straighten himself were graduating as missionaries of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam! That day, Huzooraa himself handed them their Shahid Degrees.

The following year, in 2013, the next class graduated. Huzooraa graced their graduation also. That day too, there were faces among the graduating class that the enemies would have laughed at, seeing them in Huzoor’s classes. Abdul Quddus Arif, Musawer Ahmad Shahid, Shahzad Ahmed, Aqeel Ahmad Kang, Qaasid Muin Ahmad. The foundations for their progress were laid in those very classes, where they were taught the alphabet, asked simple riddles and basic religious questions.

It was these very children who would sing nazms and taraney [poems] in their innocent voices. I remained a silent witness to all of this. If emotions of happiness could strike me, then the one who had played the biggest role in it must surely have been moved and indeed fervently praised Allah the Almighty. Huzooraa would have been happier than any parent whose child proves successful. But who can say that they have witnessed Huzooraa getting emotional at this?

That day, on their graduation, Huzooraa was educating them in the secrets of a successful future; Huzooraa was handing them the keys to prosperity. Huzooraa told them to ponder and reflect over the Holy Quran and to delve into the different meanings of its verses. If they found any new meanings or interpretations in the Holy Quran, then they should inform Huzooraa about it and get it endorsed by him, after which they should spread it widely. Huzooraa was harvesting his crops; the crops that we saw as children; the same children who the enemy saw and made a target of scorn.

The enemy would laugh, but divine decree would laugh at the enemy, saying, “What do you know? You know nothing! No work of God’s appointed Khalifa is without purpose. No effort of his goes in vain!” At first, the enemy would laugh at the fact that a specialist in agriculture had been made a Khalifa. They continued to laugh, but the Promised Messiahas had already explained something to us in relation to this.

God Almighty has created both the physical and spiritual world for us, but both worlds run parallel to each other. Where God Almighty has made provisions for us in the spiritual world, so too has He done in the physical world. Physical hunger can be satisfied through material foods, while spiritual thirst can be quenched through worship.

The same is the case with agriculture. It is the knowledge of sowing seeds, nourishing plants and letting them stem and branch outwards. The parallel to this in the spiritual realm has been shown in the form of Huzoor’saa classes.

During one class, a student of Jamia Ahmadiyya from the Gambia, Abdullah Dibba, who is now a missionary, asked whether Huzooraa still had an interest in agriculture. Huzooraa replied, “Now you are my crops. How you prove yourselves in the field will determine whether I have had a good harvest or not.”

Through MTA, millions of viewers can see how Huzooraa planted the seed of spiritual education and thereafter nourished his harvest. Not only in classes, but in personal mulaqats, Huzooraa spiritually charges them. He provides them shade, while at other times, teaches them how to bear the intense rays of light.

Once one harvest is ready, millions of Ahmadis reap its benefits, the greatest being the message of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas and his Khalifaaa. Alhamdolillah!

It is well-nigh possible that God Almighty had intended to show this sublime example through Huzoor’s expertise in agriculture. Otherwise, we are all aware, we are all witnesses, we have all experienced and we are all ready to swear on oath and declare that Huzooraa possesses the keys to the knowledge of the Quran and the knowledge of the world. If anyone is in doubt, then they can listen to Huzoor’saa weekly Friday Sermons, his discussions with world leaders and politicians, interviews with the press, which are now all available on YouTube and social media. The evidence is all there.

In talking about classes, there is another form of “class” that Huzooraa conducts. It is those sessions, students present their research to Huzooraa and talk about their respective fields. Now, these sessions have also become a permanent feature of Huzoor’s tours. Researchers belonging to the Ahmadiyya Jamaat throughout the world have the good fortune of presenting their research before Huzooraa.

Those sittings are unique in their own right. When those programmes reach MTA at the end of a tour, I have the opportunity to watch what I always find most intriguing; classes with students of research. It is always a fascinating and spiritually uplifting experience.

For instance, some students would be researching honey, some would be getting experience in stem-cell research, some in archaeology, some in cancer research, some would be studying the causes of Alzheimer’s disease, while others would be pursuing higher degrees in research, for example, MA, MSc, MPhil and PhD. With great interest and attentiveness, Huzooraa listens to all presentations on such topics and asks them questions related to it. But what’s more is that Huzooraa explains many solutions to the problems the students may be facing. Huzooraa also tells them about such things to which the students have to concede that their research had not yet taken them there.

Regarding one such sitting with Huzooraa, I openly expressed my astonishment. But the calm and tranquillity on Huzoor’s countenance was followed with a serene smile; the very smile that gives us all purpose. Huzooraa said:

“By listening to them, at times, something comes to mind and so, I either mention it or ask a question. I haven’t studied those fields, but I know a little bit about what is being said, so I ask my question or make a remark based on that knowledge.”

Although I carefully listened to Huzoor’saa response, the question still remained in my mind. Then, I understood, when I pondered over an incident of the Promised Messiahas. He had heard his children arguing over whether wealth was better or knowledge, to which Hazrat Ahmadas told them, “Neither knowledge, nor wealth is better; Allah’s grace and mercy is best!”

Just as God was pleased with the Promised Messiah’sas humble ways, so too is the case with the person who is seated on the throne of Khilafat, whom God has Himself selected. He has bestowed upon the Khalifa a large portion of the promise that He would grant him both secular and religious knowledge. If Khilafat truly is a manifestation of God’s omnipotence (and indeed it is), then how is it possible that God’s omnipotence is not manifested in the Khalifa’s every word and deed.

سُبْحَانَ اللہِ وَبِحَمْدِہِ سُبْحَانَ اللہِ الْعَظِیْم

“Holy is Allah, with all His praise; Holy is Allah, the Great!”

When Huzooraa graciously assigned me the responsibility of all programmes of MTA, one day, he instructed, “Form a team that can assist you in work.” Huzooraa initiated the programme Persecution, then transformed it into Rahe-Huda. Huzooraa then initiated Beacon of Truth, followed by programmes like Tarikhi Haqaiq, Fiqhi Masail and thus, the viewers of MTA began to feel a change in the variety of programmes presented on MTA. (Here I should clarify that any programme on MTA that had any amount of good in it was a result of Huzooraa; any shortcomings and errors were faults on our part.)

Thus, Huzooraa began to sow the seeds for many programmes of MTA and the numbers increased very rapidly. Huzoor’s instruction to form a team was in this very backdrop. It had only been four years since Jamia Ahmadiyya UK was established. The most senior class had only just reached Darja Salisa (the fourth year). I had sought permission from Huzooraa to get assistance from the students of Jamia. Huzooraa very lovingly granted permission. Ansar Bilal Anwar sahib (Missionary, Germany), Musawer Ahmad Shahid Sahib (Missionary, Finland), Abdul Quddus Arif Sahib (Sadr MKA UK and lecturer at Jamia UK), Ayyaz Mahmood Khan sahib (Missionary, Central Department for Publications and Translations), Jeryullah Khan Sahib (Missionary, Germany), Qaasid Muin Ahmad Sahib (Missionary, MTA International), Muhammad Anas Ahmad Sahib (Missionary, Markaz), Sabauz Zafar Sahib (Missionary, New Zealand), Mudabbir Din Sahib (Missionary, MTA International), Mustanser Qamar Sahib (Missionary, New Zealand), Raza Ahmad Sahib (Missionary, London Region) and Zafir Mahmood Malik Sahib (Missionary, The Review of Religions) very swiftly began to play a role in this team.

At the time, they were still studying at Jamia. On the one hand, the programmes on MTA were expanding and growing as a result of Huzoor’saa love and attention, while on the other hand, students of Jamia were being trained to bear the responsibilities of these very tasks. All the while, Huzooraa was well-aware where he would plant each seedling and from where the growth would be most fruitful. The very students that would seek the blessings of Khilafat from Huzooraa in sittings, classes and mulaqats are now spreading those blessings among the masses and are the sources of those blessings being spread globally.

As I write these lines, the very young faces of those children who would sit in those classes and talk innocently are coming before my eyes. Those young children are presently serving not just the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, but the world at large. Safeeruddin Qamar (Camera Operator, MTA International), Tawqeer Mirza (Editor, MTA International), Faiz Ahmad (Architect), Fateh Ahmad (Civil Engineer), Azhar Ashraf (Student of Medicine), Tasweer Ahmad (Student of Medicine), Danish Ahmad and many more young faces come and go before my eyes. They were children who had sat in Huzoor’saa presence from very young ages and were recipients of the blessings of Khilafat.

I have had the blessing of being able to see them spreading those blessings throughout the world. 17 years have passed with me standing silently and witnessing all this. There are many things that I have not been able to fathom and have not had the audacity to ask about. On a daily basis, there are thousands of letters waiting to be read by Huzooraa. Those letters include such that were written by people in desperation to share their joy and happiness with Huzooraa, but most of them entail those that were written in desperation by people who were extremely worried and anxious.

Every day, Huzooraa reads letters to do with someone’s grandmother falling and breaking a bone, someone’s grandfather’s chest infection, failure in examinations, loss of jobs, domestic disturbance and violence, the disobedience of spouses and children and incurable terminal illnesses. The letters bear the pain and suffering of many Ahmadis and non-Ahmadis. Then, there are administrative issues, for instance, a government’s restraint on building a mosque, protests by locals on building a mosque, local police arresting Ahmadis for no logical reasons whatsoever or the martyrdom of an Ahmadi on the basis that they believed in the Imamas of the latter days.

These are just samples of what Huzooraa experiences on an average day. Otherwise, there is indeed so much more that Huzooraa prays for and has to solve. Having read such letters, Huzooraa attends our classes, but Huzoor’s countenance always bears the radiating smile that gives us warmth and comfort.

An observer may think that such calm and relaxation could only be possible if Huzoor’saa entire day’s schedule was merely to attend that class, lead the five prayers and nothing more. But the world is not aware that this soul is the most burdened soul on the face of the Earth! In their love for Huzooraa, people openly express their pain and anguish and place their feelings at his threshold! Some tell Huzooraa of their cases in qaza and umur-e-ama and how they are demanding for justice, some request prayers from Huzooraa, some seek Huzoor’s forgiveness for scheming against the Jamaat’s system, others seek pardon for displeasing Huzooraa, while the opposing party urges not to forgive the other party, otherwise justice would not be served.

Alongside this, Huzooraa continues to produce solutions for the Jamaat’s administrative issues. On top of that, the responsibility for each decision he makes lies on him, which he is answerable for only to Allah. He leads prayers, enters the world of confronting everyone’s problems and thinks of ways to solve those problems, but the moment he steps into the hall for a class with Waqifeen-e-Nau, his smile illuminates the atmosphere! He sits and talks to the children, answers any questions they may have, enquires regarding a student’s relatives whether their operation was successful and whether they are recovering, while asking others whether their exams – which they said they were going to have – were successful.

If he observes someone wearing summer-appropriate clothing in the winter, he asks whether they are not cold in such clothes. Throughout all this, the participants and organisers are kept engrossed in the class. If only we could always remember this prayer at such moments:

اَللّٰھُمَّ اَیِّدْ اِمَامَنَا بِرُوْحِ الْقُدُسِ

(O Allah, strengthen our Imam’s hand with the spirit of purity!)

If we are incapable of doing anything else, then this is the least we can do because only Allah can relieve Huzoor’saa anguish and pain. It is only a result of complete trust in Allah that despite the anguish and pain people pile up before him, Huzoor’s priority remains our sentiments, our wellbeing and our betterment.

May Allah make it so that whenever we see Huzooraa, whether in person or on the screen, the essence of the following couplets remains in our minds:

دعا کرو کہ سروں پر رہے وہ ابرِ کرم

دلوں میں نور کی جو کھیتیاں اگاتا ہے

(Pray that the shade of Mercy remains over us, which cultivates the fields of nur [light] in our hearts)

دعا کرو وہ شجر عمر بھر رہے قائم

وہ جس کے سائے میں ہر شخص چین پاتا ہے

(Pray that that tree stands upright for eternity, in the shade of which every human attains serenity)

دعا کرو کہ نہ آنچ آئے اُس کے سر پہ کبھی

جو سب کو پیار سے اپنے گلے لگاتا ہے

(Pray that no anguish afflicts him ever; He, who lovingly embraces everyone)

دعا کرو وہ خزانہ کبھی نہ ہو خالی

جو غم نصیب غریبوں کے کام آتا ہے

(Pray that the treasure never ceases to exist, that which benefits the innocent, anguished people)

دعا کرو کہ نہ گہنائے تا ابد وہ چاند

جو ظلمتوں میں دئیے پیار کے جلاتا ہے

(Pray that that moon never sees an eclipse, which ignites the flames of love in the depths of darkness)

دعا کرو کہ وہ پرچم سدا بلند رہے

خدا کے دیں کی طرف جو ہمیں بلاتا ہے

(Pray that the flag never ceases to soar in the skies, which summons us towards God’s true religion)

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