On 29 August 2021, members of the national amila of Lajna Imaillah USA were blessed with a virtual meeting with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa.
The meeting was initiated by Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa by leading everyone in silent prayer.
One by one, the amila members began to introduce their roles and report on their work. Huzooraa asked questions on progress, achievements, targets and plans and gave valuable guidance on how to improve the departments.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa asked the in-charge of waqifaat-e-nau USA, Mabroor Jattala Sahiba how many waqifaat-e-nau there were. To this, she reported there were 769 who had been officially recorded; however, many waqifaat had moved to the USA in the past years from other countries and their transfers were being processed.
Huzooraa asked if the USA waqifaat-e-nau syllabus was followed and how frequently classes were held. The secretary for waqifaat-e-nau reported that national virtual classes, for all waqifaat, were held twice a month while local classes took place twice a month as well. The number of participants in the national virtual classes was about 250 waqifaat-e-nau and almost 70% of local waqifaat attended their local classes.
Huzooraa asked what age group attended the classes the most. To this, the secretary said that the younger girls attended more than the older ones. To this Huzooraa said this meant that as the waqifaat-e-nau grew, their interest in these classes diminished.
“You should make them realise that being waqifaat-e-nau, they should attend the classes and study their syllabus and whatever is prescribed for them […] even those who have reached the age of 21+, they should also be given some books”.
Speaking with Dr Aziza Rahman Sahiba, Secretary Umur-e-Talibat (Student Affairs) who was also the Lajna liaison for rishta nata (department for marriages), Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa asked how many matches her department had made this year. Dr Aziza Sahiba reported that since January, they were able to complete 22 matches between Ahmadi women and men. Hearing this Huzooraa said, “Through your department? Masha-Allah! So, the men didn’t do anything.”
Huzooraa then asked Dr Aziza Sahiba about the student affairs’ department. During the discussion, Huzooraa asked how many girls were studying medicine, to which Dr Aziza Sahiba said 11 Lajna members were studying medicine.
Huzooraa asked what professions Lajna in the USA preferred the most. To this, Dr Aziza Sahiba said they preferred medical fields and teaching professions.
Sabahat Ali, General Secretary was next to report. Responding to Huzoor’s questions, she reported that there were 66 majalis out of whom 92% sent their reports every month – to this Huzooraa said, “Masha-Allah”. Sabahat Ali Sahiba reported the tajnid (census) of Lajna Imaillah USA was about 8,000. Hearing this, Huzooraa said, “8,000? Masha-Allah you are increasing.” Huzooraa also noted that quite a number of Ahmadi immigrants were arriving in the USA so the tajnid should continue to increase. Huzooraa said that tajnid secretaries at all the grassroots level should be active and reporting.
Discussing the reports they received from majalis, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said all reports that the centre received should be returned with feedback and comments from the respective national amila secretaries.
Huzooraa said the general secretary should also reply and acknowledge each and every sadr whenever they sent reports. This was important so that all the majalis stayed active and knew their reports were given importance. If they did not receive acknowledgements or feedback, they would begin to relax, Huzooraa said.
Zuna Ahmad Sahiba, secretary tarbiyat was next to report. Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa asked her the plan for the year and what the department had achieved so far. Speaking on the importance of getting Lajna members active, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa advised:
“Start with your office-bearers – if they are active, if they are regular, if they are following the instruction of the centre – including your own amila members here at the centre – then they will achieve good results […]
“When your amila members, from every level, from the grassroots level to the national level, are active, then at least 50% or more will be participating in your activities, in your programmes.”
Addressing Zuna Sahiba, Huzooraa asked how many Lajna members in the USA were reciting the Holy Quran every day. Huzooraa was told that 63% per cent were reciting the Quran daily, to which Huzooraa said:
“If only your amila members do tilawat [recitation of the Holy Quran] daily, then you can achieve the target of 60%, leave aside the other members. It means you are not doing much effort to include your amila members in your programme. So, you start from your home first – the home is your amila.”
Advising on how to make the questionnaire for Lajna members, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said that it should be made in such a way that would not irritate Lajna members or make them hesitant to answer.
Zuna Sahiba said that another project they carried out was to educate Lajna members about Huzoor’s weekly Friday sermons and to encourage them to listen to them. From a tarbiyat perspective, a project they started was to ask two tarbiyat related questions to Lajna members through an online form about Huzoor’s sermon and the tarbiyat lessons derived from it.
Huzooraa asked Zuna Sahiba about what they did if no tarbiyat aspect was narrated in his Friday sermon as recently they had been focused on the history of Islam. To this, she replied that if one looked closely, a tarbiyat aspect could always be found from Huzoor’s Friday sermons, no matter the subject.
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa agreed and said:
“[…] Then it’s good. It means you are working hard, masha-Allah.”
Zuna Sahiba reported that 100% of the majalis in the USA were relayed Huzoor’s Friday sermon summaries and questions and discussions were held on them.
“I think you should also make some interactive programmes so that they raise questions on the sermons and then you answer them. Or, they themselves interact with each other. There should be a group of Lajna members who discuss these things in their own group.”
The tarbiyat secretary said they were aiming for this and prompted Lajna members to discuss the sermons.
Talking about the importance of dressing modestly and the Islamic purdah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said:
“Even purdah and modest dress and the modesty of women is a commandment of Allah the Almighty in the Holy Quran.”
Huzooraa also said to cater for different backgrounds of Lajna members and to hold tarbiyat sessions specific to their backgrounds and level of education.
Dr Amatul Rahman Sahiba, secretary talim (education) reported next. Huzooraa asked a series of questions regarding the syllabus and the books set for Lajna to read. Speaking about the Promised Messiah’s Malfuzat, Huzooraa said that volumes one to three had been translated into English, so they could use them.
Sadeeka Kukoyi Sahiba, the national tajnid secretary reported to Huzooraa next. Talking about her background, Huzooraa asked if she was Nigerian, to which Sadeeka Sahiba said her father came from Nigeria and that she was born in America. Advising her on how to compile an accurate tajnid, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said:
“You should have your own information source and your respective secretary tajnid in each and every majlis should go to each and every household and then find out how many Lajna members are living there, and how many new [members] have come into that majlis.”
Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa then spoke with Cassandra Shafeek Sahiba, National Khidmat-e-Khalq (Service to Humanity) Secretary. She reported that a number of initiatives had started within Lajna USA for khidmat-e-khalq, including public soup kitchens for those in need, an “Are You Ok?” initiative to keep Lajna members connected with each other during the pandemic and also a “Make A Mask” project.
Talking about charitable projects in Africa, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said:
“I think United States Lajna should fund at least one model village every year and that will cost you around $80,000 to $90,000. Are you ready to take this responsibility?”
Cassandra Sahiba replied by saying, “Yes!”
To this, with a smile, Huzooraa said, “May Allah the Almighty help you.”
Secretary Sehat-e-Jismani (physical wellbeing) Dr Khadijat Ogunbiyi Sahiba reported to Huzooraa. The first question from Huzooraa to her was whether she did any exercise or went for walks. Khadijat Sahiba said she power walked. Huzooraa said she should also ask amila members to exercise regularly too or to go for walks.
Secretary Tabligh, Amatul Quddus Shams Sahiba reported to Huzooraa. Huzooraa asked how many bai‘ats they had achieved. Quddus Sahiba reported that in the last 18 months, through Lajna Imaillah USA, seven people converted to Islam Ahmadiyyat and out of them, five had done bai‘at in the last eight months.
Giving guidance on targets, Huzooraa said:
“Try to make some ambitious targets and then try to achieve those targets.”
National Nasirat Secretary, Nurjamilah Bahri Sahiba reported. Huzooraa asked her the total number of nasirat in the USA, to which she said there were 1,331. Hearing the number, Huzooraa asked if she was satisfied with this number to be accurate and advised, “You have to contact your respective nasirat secretaries in various majalis and ask them to update and recheck their nasirat tajnid.”
Discussing the religious and moral training of Ahmadi girls, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said:
“You should also make a programme so that they do tilawat of the Holy Quran daily and try to learn the meaning of it.”
Shazia Shakur Sohail Sahiba, Secretary Umur-e-Kharija (External Affairs) was next to report. Giving guidance, Huzooraa said:
“You should also try to hold seminars on women’s rights in Islam through umur-e-kharija and invite non-Muslims in your seminars, then they will know what true Islamic teachings are and what Ahmadis are doing.”
Aziza Rana Sahiba, Secretary Ziafat reported to Huzooraa and introduced herself. Huzooraa asked what she had prepared for the Lajna members, to which she replied that palak paneer, pilao and lasagne had been prepared. Huzooraa asked if Lajna was paying for this, to which Aziza Sahiba replied in the affirmative. Hearing this, Huzooraa said, “Why? Ask the Jamaat, they should take care of Lajna members.”
Aziza Sahiba replied that as only a handful of Lajna members were attending, this opportunity was given to them and they were happy to carry it out. Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa smiled and said it was okay.
Laeeqa Mirza Sahiba, Secretary Tarbiyat Nau Mubai‘at (New Converts) was next to report. Huzooraa asked how many new converts she had under her supervision, to which Laeeqa Sahiba said there were 66 new members, all of whom were from different ethnicities and backgrounds.
Guiding on how to educate new Ahmadi converts, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said:
“You should see the background of different people and try to do training and tarbiyat according to their backgrounds. You cannot just make one plan and programme for each and every new convert. So those who have a Christian background, you tell them what the Quran is, what the ahadith are, the history of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and various other things.
“And those who are from Muslim backgrounds – although quite a number of them do not know how to read the Holy Quran – even then, they have some knowledge of the Holy Quran and they have some basic information about Islam […]
“Then, from among Muslims, some of them have Arab backgrounds and some are Asian – Indo-Pakistani backgrounds. So, you will have to make your plan according to their individual conditions.”
Ruqaiya Asad Sahiba, Secretary Isha‘at reported. Huzooraa asked if they printed a Lajna magazine, to which Ruqaiya Sahiba said the Ayesha magazine was printed and sold twice a year. Regarding the frequency of its publication, with a smile, Huzooraa said:
“There are four seasons; it should at least be quarterly.”
Huzooraa also asked her to try to increase the number of subscribers too.
Shaheena Bashir Sahiba, Muavina Sadr for Lajna media watch reported. She said her department encouraged Ahmadi Lajna members to write articles on Islam and respond to allegations and have them printed in the media, whether locally or nationally. 118 letters written by Lajna about Islam were published in the last year in the USA, both online and print media. Giving guidance, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said:
“You should also try to make personal relationships with your female journalists – not only from the Ahmadi members, but outside the Jamaat as well.”
Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa then asked Sadr Lajna Imaillah USA, Dhiya Tahira Bakr Sahiba, if she wanted to ask anything. Sadr Sahiba asked what to do about those Ahmadi girls who were moving away from religion and were not practicing it, despite keeping an affinity with being called an Ahmadi Muslim. To this, Huzooraa said:
“Allah the Almighty says in the Holy Quran that your job is just to keep on reminding the people and advising them. And pray for them as well. It should not be that after some time, you give up. No, we are not going to give up.
“Since they declare themselves to be an Ahmadi and they do not want themselves to be removed from the Jamaat, then it is our duty to use each and every measure to bring them to the fold of Ahmadiyyat in a way which has been prescribed in our literature and, most importantly, in the Holy Quran.
“So tell them that ‘these are the injunctions and commandments’. The Quran says you should wear modest dress – this is the Quranic injunction. The Quran says you wear the hijab and do purdah – that is a Quranic injunction. It is not that the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam is only imposing it and practicing it. No, this is a Quranic commandment. And there are so many others – doing tilawat, offering five daily prayers, etc.
“These are the things which you have to make them realise – so keep on doing it gently, with love and care. They should also realise that you are their sympathisers; whatever you are doing is for their betterment. You are trying to save them from the wrongs of this society. Once they realise it, then they will, one day, follow you.
“And pray for them as well; of course, we have to pray.
“But after some time, after advising them once or twice or three times or four times, you leave it and give it up. Then this should not be the case. You have to be very persuasive. Try to be persuasive; that is your job and that is the commandment given in the Holy Quran:
فَذَكِّرۡ اِنَّمَاۤ اَنۡتَ مُذَكِّرٌ
“[‘Admonish, therefore, for thou art but an admonisher.’ (Surah al-Ghashiya, Ch.88: V.22)]
“That is the injunction given to the Holy Prophetsa. Keep on advising them, keep on admonishing them, try to explain to them the good teachings of Islam. This is your job.”
Guiding the amila members further on how to serve and implement their responsibilities, Huzooraa said:
“Start from your amila members; if your amila members at the national level, at the regional level (as I already said) and at the local levels, are active and following your programmes and plans, then this means you have achieved 50% or more of your target. Whereas your figures show that only 33% of the Lajna members are participating – that means your amila members are not active in following the instructions on the programmes and plans.
“So, try to see whether your amila members are following your plans or not. If they set their good examples, then the [Lajna] members will also follow them.
“We have to set our own example, then we can hope for better results.”
This concluded the meeting and Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa conveyed his salaam, bringing the mulaqat to an end.
(Report prepared by Al Hakam)