Asif M Basit
One afternoon, I sent some documents to Huzooraa which were rather extensive. The papers were sent to Huzooraa in the daily correspondence that gets presented every afternoon. After a very short period, I received a phone call from the private secretariat that Huzooraa had been through the file and that I should come and collect it.
When I went to collect the file, which was more of a bundle of papers, I found that Huzooraa had been through it thoroughly and then added a lengthy note at the end for guidance. At various places in the file, Huzooraa had made corrections.
Thus, one day, when another such file had to be presented to Huzooraa for guidance, I endeavoured to not leave a single typo lest I cause him any discomfort. I went through the document many times over and asked others to do the same so as to ensure that there was no such error. I sent the file in the morning and received it that very evening.
On top of the file, Huzooraa had written a long comment. He had been through the entire document and had not corrected anything. I thanked God for enabling me to send the document without any errors and thus, not causing Huzooraa any discomfort. To relive the joy, I went through the file once more. But this time, I found that towards the end, تھے had been corrected to تھی and this had somehow been missed. Huzooraa graciously corrected this mistake. As Huzooraa had corrected it with a pencil, therefore I was unable to spot the correction initially.
This, however, suggested the meticulousness with which Huzooraa had read each word.
Returning to the subject of Friday Sermons and how and when Huzooraa finds time to prepare it, I was fortunate to once witness a spectacle of how Allah has blessed Huzoor’s time. Everything in Huzoor’s office is placed in a certain order so that Huzooraa can easily and quickly access them. I have seen Huzooraa refer to the electronic dictionary to his right many times, to either find the definition of a word or to enquire about the correct pronunciation of a word.
For instance, Huzooraa once said:
میں اکثر اپنی تقریروں میں کہتا ہوں کہ خطبہ میں بیان ہونے والی باتوں کی جگالی کرتے رہیں۔ انگریزی میں اس کے لئے لفظ پتہ ہے؟
“I often urge everyone in my speeches to revise [jugali] everything that is said in my Friday Sermons. Do you know what this word [jugali] is in English?” I replied that I did not. Huzooraa explained that jugali in English is “cud”.
Huzooraa then searched the dictionary for this word, played its correct pronunciation and read out its definition. Huzooraa added, “Look, the second definition given for this word is exactly what I said. Even in English, it means ‘to think or talk reflectively.’”
Although there are many other dictionaries in Huzoor’s office, I have personally seen Huzooraa refer to this one. I have also witnessed many a time now how Huzoor’s pen will be writing continuously without any breaks, but then at times Huzoor’s pen has dried out and without a pause, Huzooraa will either pick up another pen to keep up the momentum or swiftly open his drawer, pick out a new cartridge and replace the old cartridge with the new one. Huzooraa will all the while carefully listen to what I have to say and provide guidance too. I have observed those cartridges being picked out from the same drawer, in the same place.
Never is even a second wasted in such moments due to everything being placed in a specific location. Allah the Almighty vouchsafed to the Promised Messiahas that his time would not be wasted. His responsibilities have been handed down to his Khulafa and thus, their time has also been blessed in this manner.
A few years ago, upon receiving approval for an official audience with Huzooraa, I woke up on the day of the mulaqat with a terrible cough. I was apprehensive to attend the mulaqat and see Huzooraa in this state. However, my mulaqat had been approved and I could not miss it of my own accord.
Therefore, I turned up at the private secretary’s office and requested the private secretary to inform Huzooraa that although I was present, I was suffering from a severe cough and was apprehensive to see Huzooraa in such a condition. The private secretary conveyed my message to Huzooraa and as he exited Huzoor’s office, he gestured for me to enter.
As I entered, Huzooraa said, “Work doesn’t stop.” With that, Huzooraa turned around, opened a cabinet and graciously handed me a packet of lozenges. Very lovingly, he said, “Take this. It will kill some germs at least.” The cough that had made it difficult for me to complete a sentence had now somehow been suppressed and thereafter, was quickly cured.
A few years ago, when, due to a change in climate, Huzooraa had been suffering from a severe cough, Huzooraa turned around and got himself a lozenge out from the same cabinet. Huzooraa graciously gave me a lozenge too. Thus, everything has been placed in such a manner that it does not waste a single second of Huzoor’s time.
There are many interesting anecdotes related to the television placed opposite Huzoor’s desk and how it saves Huzoor’s time. In previous chapters, I have narrated incidents to do with this television and the DVD player linked to it, in light of how some MTA programmes have been checked on this television, as and when Huzooraa so wishes.
When I was once instructed to play an MTA programme on Huzoor’s television for the first time, I had not a clue what to do; how the television switched on, how the DVD player functioned and how the DVD tray opened were all unknown to me. There were neither any remote controls nearby to operate them, nor could I find any buttons to help me in that predicament (even if there were, in those moments, I probably still would not have been able to operate them).
I turned around and noticed that Huzooraa had opened two drawers to his right to search for the remote controls. Huzooraa then instructed, “Switch it on”, to which I assumed that Huzooraa wanted me to play the programme with the remote control. Huzooraa extended his hand, but immediately said, “No, I will operate it myself from here. I have set it according to my preferences. I don’t want you changing the settings, otherwise my time gets wasted.”
Every time after that, when I have played an MTA programme for Huzooraa, I have noticed that he picks out the same remote controls from the same drawer. The DVD player is always open by the time I reach the television. As the programmes are being played on the screen, Huzooraa remains occupied in his work while he reads and signs letters. Whenever there is something that needs editing, Huzooraa provides guidance on it. When Huzooraa wants to hear something again, he rewinds the programme to the relevant part. Then, when he has provided guidance, I return to the DVD player to find it open and I thereby replace the DVD with what was originally in the player. Sometimes, Huzooraa ensures that I have replaced the DVD with the originally inserted DVD.
As stated earlier, Huzooraa writes the entire text of the Friday Sermon himself. May Allah bless our beloved Imamaa with a long, healthy life and may He assist him with the Holy Spirit. This is just Friday Sermons; the rest of Huzoor’saa addresses are prepared in a similar fashion. I have encountered such blessed moments in which Huzooraa has recounted Allah’s favours upon him, for which I will always remain grateful.
Once, while talking about Jalsa Salana Germany, Huzooraa said, “Whilst preparing for my address to Lajna, I had written something, but it remained incomplete and I left it there. I was unable to carry on and so, I left it there. Only after a few moments, my brother, Dr Mirza Maghfoor Ahmad, came and mentioned something the mayor of a German city had said. From what he said, I was able to find a good point to carry on with the speech and thus, the point I wished to make was conveyed.”
I once sought guidance regarding a function at the opening of a mosque. After Huzooraa had provided guidance, I commented, “Huzoor, by Allah’s grace, mosques are being inaugurated all the time”, and then asked, “How do you find time to prepare an address before every such event? On some tours, I have seen that one function will immediately follow another.”
Huzooraa replied by saying, “When the external guests give their talks, they usually address the conditions and state of affairs of the area. These change from region to region. Have you not noticed that as they deliver their speeches, I will be writing things down? I make a note of the aspects they describe and address those very issues in my speech too.”
Huzoor’s addresses to every graduating class of Jamia Ahmadiyya are unique in their own right; they resemble a father’s advice to his child before sending him off on a noble mission. This father, however, is the general of this army and has in his hand the artillery necessary for combat. The advice Huzooraa gives to the students and the manner in which he delivers it is a special, spiritual spectacle.
Once, whilst in the company of Huzooraa, a day after Huzooraa had addressed Jamia students at their convocation, I was able to express my sentiments openly regarding the ceremony. After hearing what I had to say, Huzooraa replied, “I did not know what I would say on the way to Jamia. I had jotted a couple of things down on a piece of paper, but then, when I saw the students, whatever came to mind, I said it.”
And what a speech that was! They indeed had spiritual wisdoms enveloped in it. Many a time, it has so happened that I have expressed my sentiments about a speech and Huzooraa has replied, “I am not an orator. I never took part in any debates in college and very rarely did I ever deliver speeches.”
I never had the courage to say so, but every time, I would think, “Huzoor, what is left in being an orator? The effect Huzooraa has on his audience is very rarely seen in the crowds of other orators.”
Such expressions can be thought of in one’s imagination but are very difficult to express. Huzooraa spoke beautifully about his dear mother in the Friday Sermon following her demise.
Towards the end of the Sermon, Huzooraa said that after Khilafat, her conduct towards him transformed completely. Huzooraa said that before every tour, she would express that she was praying for Huzooraa. Huzooraa continued by saying, “She knew me very well – no one knows more about a person than their mother. She was aware of my nature also, that I talk briefly and prefer to speak less. She would always say, ‘May Allah bless your speech and your addresses.’ She would especially say that she was offering nawafil [voluntary prayers] for me and that she would pray for me in her sajdas [prostrations].’”
Those who were able to witness the time in Rabwah when Huzooraa was nazir-e-ala and amir-e-muqami, are all aware of how much experience Huzooraa had in public speaking. In Rabwah, Huzooraa always assigned the responsibility of delivering the Friday Sermon in the central mosque to someone else.
For leading the daily prayers in Masjid Mubarak, Huzooraa had appointed others as the imams. He would perhaps lead nikahs and funeral prayers only when it was under the instruction of Khalifatul Masih, whose every instruction he followed to the letter.
Generally in Pakistan and especially in Rabwah, various functions would be held throughout the year and to invite Huzooraa was considered a great honour. Huzooraa would thus attend; however, he would never deliver a lengthy speech. Whilst inaugurating a wing of Fazle Umar Hospital in Rabwah as the special guest, one of the workers delivered a speech and conveyed the specifics of the new wing to the audience.
Thereafter, Hazrat Sahibzada Sahib (may Allah strengthen his hand) took to the podium and the crux of what he said is, “You have just heard a speech. Now join me in dua [silent prayer].”
Other such functions were very similar to this. If ever his talks were longer, then they too would only contain a few more sentences. Those who had the good fortune to converse with Huzooraa before Khilafat, all bear witness to the fact that Huzoor’s speech would be fluent, beautiful, captivating and inspiring, all of which are attributes of a good speaker, although Huzooraa rarely spoke publicly.
With regard to a Friday Sermon, Huzooraa narrated an incident. Huzooraa said that during the first Jalsa Salana of the third Khilafat, Huzooraa was 15 years old and was assigned duties at the Langar Khana (kitchen). He continued doing this duty for many years. During one of the early Jalsas of the third Khilafat, Huzooraa, having finished his duty, proceeded towards the Jalsa site to listen to the inaugural address.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh said that until the previous night, he did not have a topic in mind to speak on. Then he prayed to God and said, “O Allah, I have not assumed this responsibility of my own accord. You bestowed this duty on me. Therefore, please help me understand, otherwise I will recite Surah al-Fatihah and say that Allah did not give me a subject to speak on.”
Then, Huzoorrh said that Allah the Almighty revealed in his heart a topic which he then spoke on. This incident was new to me and very inspiring. I assumed that this was the entire incident, but Huzooraa continued, “Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh was a lecturer of a college. He then became the principal. He would have to speak publicly on a daily basis. He was also sadr Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya. He would address shuras. As sadr Ansarullah, he would have to tour different places and address gatherings. Yet still, at the time of his first address, this was his state.”
This incident had now inspired my faith even more. I had not seen the incident with the view Huzooraa had described. Huzooraa then said another sentence, which is a magnificent proof of the existence of God:
اب اُس کا سوچ لو جسے تقریر کا کوئی تجربہ ہی نہ ہو
“Now think about the person who has no experience in public speaking.”
To those who are reading these lines, come, let us reflect about that man who never had any experience of public speaking before being bestowed the mantle of Khilafat; who never had the experience of being an orator, nor did he declare so. This is a man who has been divinely selected to disseminate the message of Islam to the corners of the earth. Did God not know that His chosen person was of a quiet disposition? Was there a lack of orators in our Jamaat? But God Almighty told us what He was in search of – the one who is most respectable in the sight of God is the one who sets the highest standards of taqwa. And through Huzoor’s election, Allah showed us who has set the highest standards of taqwa in this age.
Allah has breathed his spirit into this noble person and blessed his speech in such a manner that it has a tremendous impact on listeners. His soft tone and polite style of talking is more appealing to listeners than powerful and forceful speeches. Through this individual has the message of Islam reached the corners of the earth. Not just thousands, but millions have seen the truth and reality of Islam through him. Many people who were originally opposed to Islam, having met him, proclaimed that if what he said was the truth, then their views on Islam were wrong because what he has said could not be wrong.
The whole world has heard this individual’s message being conveyed at the British parliament and many other parliaments of the world. This individual has conveyed to American politicians the message of truth and has said that if they wish to accept his plea, then they may do so, otherwise they should await the outcome of their actions as only then would they understand.
Where seemingly influential scholars and leaders of Islam have submitted to Western influence and compromised their teachings, Huzooraa has looked those very leaders in their eyes and unequivocally said that the Islamic teachings of purdah and modesty are appropriate, necessary and crucial, otherwise the moral fabric of society would be shattered.
This very individual has directly addressed heads of states through letters and urged them to return to the right path. Many leading journalists and media outlets request him for interviews and meetings. Have influential leaders, politicians and intellectuals not given this individual standing ovations in grand and majestic events? The same people have praised him in many different ways and many of them have acknowledged his wisdom in merely one sentence uttered by him. But what weight does our reflection hold? This age has spoken for itself!
Once, during Rah-e-Huda, a caller expressed his desire to formally enter the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. When he was asked as to what made this decision easier for him, he responded by saying:
“I had heard a lot of speeches of maulvis and would watch a lot of Islamic channels on TV. A lot of commanding and forceful speeches would be relayed. Once, I switched MTA on and found your Imam speaking moderately on the teachings of the Holy Prophetsa; he was calm and collected. His manner of speaking swayed my heart and I have now decided to become an Ahmadi Muslim.”
لگتا تھا دیکھنے میں انسان کم سخن
جب بولنے پہ آیا، زمانہ پہ چھا گیا
“He who appeared quiet and silent, grasped the world upon taking to the stage.”