Asif M Basit
A few days ago, I had the opportunity to read Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud, Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad Sahib’sra commentary on an incident mentioned in the Holy Quran where Prophet Moses’as hand turned white. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra interpreted it by saying that it signified the divine guidance and direction that was to be delivered through Moses’as hand to his people.
However, when looking at its physical meaning, it could also suggest the divine light (nur) that radiated from his hand. God Almighty grants divine light (nur) to His chosen ones, such that emanates from them and enlightens the fortunate ones.
Huzoorra went on to say that people visited him and met him, however what they would be saying would be a lot different from what Huzoorra could see in them. He said that at times, when people would kiss his hand, Huzoorra would feel as though his hand was being contaminated with impurity and filth.
When I read this, it made me reflect on my own deeds. We too, by the grace of Allah, meet Hazrat Khalifatul Masih regularly. Although we may not have the courage to physically look up at our master, but Huzooraa sees us.
Yes, it is a source of great joy and blessings knowing that Huzooraa has seen us, no doubt! But we can never know which aspect of our personality’s prism is being observed by Huzooraa.
Many days were spent in this thought. I prayed for myself in any way that I could. My only desire was for Allah to conceal my shortcomings, for I am but a weak human being. No matter how I appear in my exterior, only God knows that there is nothing in me that Huzooraa would like to see in us. There are only weaknesses and shortcomings. It is only due to God’s attribute of Al-Sattar (the Concealer of flaws) that I am blessed with Huzoor’s love and affection.
How upsetting would it be if God’s chosen one was to see my hidden flaws! It was by the sheer mercy of God that during those very days, I got to read Mansab-e-Khilafat, authored by Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra.
In this, Huzoorra mentions the responsibilities of Khulafa by saying that the mission and purpose of a Khalifa is the same as that of a Prophet, which is:
یَتۡلُوۡا عَلَیۡہِمۡ اٰیٰتِہٖ وَ یُزَکِّیۡہِمۡ
“They recite His signs unto them and purify them.”
My heart felt at peace once I read this as I began to understand that if the Khalifa’s role is to purify man, then surely, he needs to see our conditions in order to remedy us. Without any diagnosis, he cannot perform this task.
In fact, God Almighty has blessed us in keeping our dignity intact by explaining those things to His chosen one which we consider embarrassing. It would not be wrong to say how truly fortunate the person is whose weaknesses become apparent to Huzooraa and in return, Huzooraa purifies him. Thus, I felt at peace.
From then on, not only did I have the courage to reveal my weaknesses to Huzooraa, but whenever I felt that Huzooraa had observed something beyond that which the human eye can grasp and consequently guided me, I considered it the truth. It does not behove a person to start defending themselves before the Khalifa, nor be dishonest.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa has such regard for the dignity of those sitting before him that he does not even ask them direct questions (aside from administrative matters where it becomes imperative).
As far as personal matters are concerned, Huzooraa always guides the person indirectly. If the person picks up the hint, then surely they are fortunate, otherwise they are extremely unfortunate.
For example, when Huzooraa asked me, “Do you look after the needs of those who work with you, or do you misuse your authority by dominating them?”, it would have been wrong for me to say, “No, no! I am not like that. I am very affectionate. I could never do such a thing!” It would suffice to say, “Huzoor, I try to look after them. Please pray that I am able to look after their every need in a fair manner.”
We can never be certain that the shortcoming we are free from today won’t creep up on us tomorrow. We can never be sure which of our actions could lead God to remove His Merciful Hand from over us. At such occasions, we can only request for prayers. God Alone is aware of that which is hidden from us.
However, it is God Who said that He grants His chosen ones knowledge of the hidden and unseen. Who is there other than Huzooraa today who is truly worthy of being recognised as a chosen one of God? If anyone else claims this, then they are liars. We can never know what information Allah bestows upon His Khalifa.
However, no opportunity should be wasted in seeking the prayers of our Imamaa. I would like to present some incidents before you that I consider to be a means of enriching my spirituality. After the occurrence of these incidents, there is not a shadow of doubt in my mind that God Almighty has bestowed Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa with the divine farsightedness that sees beyond any ordinary human being’s foresight and can ultimately read the hidden questions, thoughts and feelings of an individual.
In this context, I recall an incident that occurred not too long ago, which resulted in causing my hairs to stand on end. A question and answer session of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh was to be broadcast on MTA and in this regard, I wanted to seek advice from Huzooraa regarding something.
I had only started asking the question, “Huzoor, there was a question and answer session of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh which was held in Canada …” when Huzooraa carried on by saying, “… and the language for that session was English. Someone got up and asked a question in Urdu, to which Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh told him that it was an English session and so he should ask his question in English. And the type of English he used resulted in Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh having to tell him that that was not English! Is this what you wanted to ask about?”
I was completely spellbound. I couldn’t fathom what had just happened! I had only mentioned two facts – that it was a question and answer session and that it was held in Canada. There had been numerous question and answer sessions held in Canada throughout the time of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh.
How did Huzooraa manage to reach the specific moment that I wanted to seek guidance about? And that too with so much detail? Every aspect that Huzooraa described was so precise as if he had just watched it a few moments ago. I began thinking how remarkable it was that Huzooraa was able to pinpoint the exact detail I wanted to seek his guidance on, without actually mentioning much detail.
In the same state of perplexity, I was asked by Huzooraa, “Batao! Yahi hei na?” (Tell me, is that the one?)
I replied in the affirmative and said that it was this very incident that I had intended to ask about. There was a broad smile on Huzoor’saa face. However, my condition was such that I do not know whether to call it fear, being alarmed or utter astonishment. Even whilst writing this I do not know what to call it.
I hastily asked, “Huzoor, how did you know?” I have never attempted to be so hasty in full consciousness. You can see from this how awe-stricken I was. Huzooraa merely replied, “You said that it was a session held in Canada and so, many years ago, I saw that (question and answer) session on MTA. I thought you would be asking about this incident.”
I was still dumbfounded. However, Huzooraa graciously gave guidance on the matter and then asked, “Aur kiya kehtey ho?” (What else?)
There were two or three other matters that needed Huzoor’s guidance. I flicked through my notes but could not remember what I was looking for. I peered upwards and saw Huzooraa occupied in his work with a serene smile on his face. Towards the end of the mulaqat, I sought permission from Huzooraa to depart.
As I left the office, I felt as if I had left a completely different dimension and entered the real world again. Whoever I relayed this incident to later, all became astonished and would ask how it was possible. Some even said that I must have mentioned more detail to Huzooraa. But I would try and convince them of the reality of the event.
My mentioning Canada cannot be considered a hint because dozens of question and answer sessions had occurred there. How this happened, what happened, I am not in a position to say. But what did happen was that in that moment, Allah had disclosed knowledge upon His chosen one from on high. I consider it my good fortune that I was able to witness one of those moments.
Similarly, a while ago, when a revered lady of the Jamaat passed away, MTA Pakistan produced a programme on her life that included interviews from her relatives and close ones. Three narrations were such that they required Huzoor’s guidance.
I took the DVD of the programme for Huzooraa to view. Huzooraa took out the remote control for his DVD player while I stood beside Huzooraa as he reviewed the programme. Huzooraa watched a portion from the beginning and then fast-forwarded the video. The first part where Huzooraa stopped was what I had intended to seek guidance on and so, I sought guidance.
In my mind, I thought what a coincidence it was! Huzooraa fast-forwarded the DVD again and played it from another place. That was the second matter I had intended to seek Huzoor’s guidance on!
Now, it had surpassed mere coincidence. In any case, I told Huzooraa that that was something else I needed guidance on and Huzooraa gave instructions regarding it. Huzooraa fast-forwarded it a third time and when he played it, Huzooraa asked, “And this is the third matter you wanted to enquire about? Am I correct?” I replied, “Yes Huzoor”. Who can say that that was coincidence?
I looked at Huzooraa in astonishment, but Huzooraa was calm as if nothing had happened; as if it was an ordinary event; as if there was nothing for me to be excited about. I couldn’t bring myself to ask Huzooraa, but I did say that those were the three issues I wanted to enquire about, with the intention that maybe Huzooraa might disclose as to how he always got to the place I had questions about.
But Huzooraa simply replied, “Chalo, poochni theen to pooch leen. Jawab bhi mil gya” (So you wanted to ask and now you know). My effort was of no avail. I would never find out how this incident occurred.
The same is the case of Huzoor’s Friday Sermons. Indeed, everyone will agree that at times, during the course of the week, an issue may occupy our minds to the extent that it causes concern for us.
For instance, our child has asked us a question for which we don’t have a sufficient answer, or we are burdened by something so much that we cannot find a way out. But the moment we hear the first sentence of Huzoor’s Friday Sermon, we become astonished. It may have happened many times that Huzooraa drew our attention to the key that could solve our issues during the Friday Sermon.
From this, we can understand why we are told time and again to attentively listen to the sermons of Huzooraa, repeat the key points among ourselves and to watch them repeatedly. This proves that Huzoor’s sermons are in actual fact our lifeline. When we listen attentively to Huzoor’s sermons, sometimes they remind us of what we already knew, yet it was as if we had never known.
Who else is there other than Allah the Almighty who provides Huzooraa the knowledge and insight into what the Ahmadis are thinking at present, what they need guidance on and the answers they require?
Granted, Ahmadis regularly write letters to Huzooraa and inform him of their issues, but the answers to hundreds and thousands of letters cannot be given in a single sermon. So, how is it possible?
In the science of psychology, there is a term known as collective psychology, but in psychological terms, it only denotes the thinking of a specific nation or country. The root of this term stems from the German psychologist, Carl Jung’s theory of collective unconscious.
Jung suggested that people residing in the same locality or people belonging to the same culture or people of the same origin adopt similar inclinations as a result of collective unconscious. But when we talk of the Jamaat, we see it spread throughout the world.
People belonging to every culture and civilisation belong to this Jamaat. Despite their distinct backgrounds, they all share the commonality of being Ahmadi Muslims. To assess the heartbeat of every Ahmadi, to read their pulse and grant ample guidance to the Ahmadis in his sermons accordingly can only be done by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih, the Khalifa who has been appointed by God. It was regarding the voice of the Khalifa, that it was once said:
جو آرہی ہے صدا غور سے سنو اس کو
کہ اس صدا میں خدا بولتا سا لگتا ہے
(Hearken to the call that is being cried, for in that cry, God seems to be speaking.)
The solution to the problems lurking in our minds are these very sermons. Every sentence of the addresses Huzooraa delivers on an international level to the political and diplomatic audience answers not one, but many questions.
Many a time, after those addresses, politicians and dignitaries have conceded that the questions they had had in their minds were answered by Huzooraa without them asking. Many times, they have admitted that the mind-set with which they entered was quickly changed as a result of listening to Huzooraa.
In daftari mulaqats (official meetings with Huzooraa) no one can think of asking about personal matters, bearing in mind Huzoor’s busy schedule. However, very often it has happened that a personal matter had been occupying my mind for some time and Huzooraa asked about that issue towards the end of a daftari mulaqat.
At other times, it has so happened that when all the items on my list for seeking guidance had been covered and Huzooraa was occupied in his work, I would not know what to do. I would not have received any indication to depart. If Huzooraa hasn’t indicated anything, then how can I casually walk out.
Then Huzooraa follows on with the loving, “Aur kiya kehtey ho?” (What else do you wish to say?), which gives me the courage to say what I had on my mind. Huzooraa listens as if that was what Huzooraa wanted to hear. He then very lovingly gives guidance, even though it may be about a personal matter.
I am certain that those who have had the opportunity to speak to Huzooraa in mulaqats can attest to the fact that every time, it was as if Huzooraa knew we had something to say, so much so that at times, Huzooraa tells us what we had on our minds.
This is something which brings fear of Allah into our hearts, because our beloved Imam bears the capacity to see that which the ordinary human eye cannot see. This results in us praying to Allah the Almighty, Who is also Al-Sattar, to cover our shortcomings and keep them concealed.
But at the same time, it is with great pleasure that we thank Allah, Who has granted us a shield in the form of Khilafat, which protects us from every onslaught. Shields are always at the frontline and Hazrat Khalifatul Masih is far, far ahead of us, as we crawl behind.
Allah reveals to the Khalifa of the time the state of our baser selves. Then why don’t we, instead of praying that everything remains hidden from our Imam, open our hearts for Huzooraa to see. Everyone is able to meet Huzooraa in the form of letters.
Let us endeavour to openly express ourselves to Huzoor! Regardless of anything, Allah will reveal to Huzooraa what we conceal in our hearts. Why not open the pages of our lives and present them before Huzooraa so that he may “purify” us.