Work hard and excel in studies: Khuddam students from Canada meet Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V

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Students from Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Canada were blessed with a virtual meeting with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa on Sunday, 3 October 2021. 

The meeting started with a recitation from the Holy Quran by Azeem Cheema Sahib and the English translation of the verses was read out by Tahir Mazhar Sahib. 

An Urdu poem, written by the Promised Messiahas, was then recited by Aqil Butt Sahib. The English translation of the couplets was read out by Burhan Goraya Sahib. 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa then turned to Sadr Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Canada, Zubair Afzal Sahib and asked how many students were present. Sadr Sahib reported 168 students were present. 

Sadr Sahib then requested Huzooraa for permission for the students to ask questions. 

The first student, Hamza Khalid Sahib, asked, “Due to Covid-19, there has been an increase in various mental health issues, especially in students. What advice would you give to Ahmadi youth to help them cope with such issues?”

Huzooraa asked Hamzah Sahib if he had “collected any data” and seen how many students had suffered due to Covid-19. Huzooraa continued:

“It is generally said that [the] cause of the mental health issues among students – one of the causes – is Covid because they are not going outside, they are not allowed to be involved in their activities, studies and other extracurricular activities, sports […]

“But for an Ahmadi student, you must remember that Allah the Almighty says […]

اَلَا‭ ‬بِذِكۡرِ‭ ‬اللّٰهِ‭ ‬تَطۡمَئِنُّ‭ ‬الۡقُلُوۡبُ

“That if you remember Allah, then it will give comfort to your heart. So, an Ahmadi student during these days should bow before Allah, he should pray his five daily prayers more fervently than before, he should try to do the tilawat of the Holy Quran and seek guidance from the Holy Quran”.

Huzooraa said that by reading the Holy Quran, students should find the “purpose of life” and the ways in which Allah the Almighty says that comfort of the heart could be achieved.  Huzooraa said, “The best way is the remembrance of Allah.”

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa then referred to his recent address to Lajna Imaillah UK where he addressed these matters. (Al Hakam’stranslation of this address can be read in the 20 August 2021 issue of Al Hakam, pp. 18-25) 

Speaking on the social cause of mental health issues, Huzooraa said that those who were involved in worldly things, would be more likely to suffer from mental health issues because they had frustrations – their priorities were different, which was why they suffered. 

“If your priority is to seek nearness to Allah the Almighty, to get close to Allah the Almighty, then I can say at least 95% of your frustrations will be removed.”

The next question was by Tahmeed Sahib who asked, “The Promised Messiahas mentions that followers in his Community ‘will excel in knowledge and will confound all others with the light of their truth, reasoning and signs.’ Beloved Huzoor, how can we become a part of these blessed members?”

Huzooraa said:

“To achieve anything, you have to work hard. If a student is hard-working who believes in Allah the Almighty, and a student is also hard-working who does not believe in Allah the Almighty, and both are trying to achieve and excel in their knowledge and wisdom, Allah the Almighty will give reward to both of them since both of them are working hard to achieve their goal and objective. But, for a person who is a religious person, who believes in Allah the Almighty and thinks that ‘I am from the community of the Promised Messiahas whom Allah the Almighty has promised that He will excel his followers in wisdom and knowledge’, then he has to pray to Allah the Almighty that ‘both of us are working hard to achieve this goal, but I believe in You, so I pray to You that You give me more wisdom and give better results of my effort.’ 

“In this way, you can have better results. Otherwise, if you are not praying to Allah the Almighty, you are not discharging your duties you owe to Allah the Almighty, you are not following the commandments of Allah the Almighty, then you will not achieve these things.”

Huzooraa said having and practising faith and believing in Allah the Almighty should not be seen as a “negative point”; rather, it was “a plus point, because you are not only achieving all these goals here in this world, but it will also help you in the Hereafter.”

Huzooraa said if one “works hard” and tries to “excel” in their respective field, then “insha-Allah, you will succeed and excel. But if you half-heartedly discharge the duties you owe to Allah the Almighty, then the result will not be as favourable, as positive as you think it should have been.

“For a believer, you have to keep in mind you have to discharge your duties you owe to Allah the Almighty, alongside working hard in your field of study.”

Next, Talha Sahib, a post-graduate student, asked, “What is the best way for a student to manage his obligations towards Khilafat, his studies, his family and towards his physical and mental health?”

Huzooraa said his question should have first been, “How best can we discharge the duties we owe to Allah the Almighty – huquq-ul-Allah?” 

Huzooraa continued:

“If you discharge your duties to Allah the Almighty, the ultimate result of that will be that you will be discharging your duties for Khilafat as well. What does the Khalifa say? That you bring a big change in your life, you try to be closer to Allah the Almighty, you offer your five daily prayers, you do tilawat of the Holy Quran daily, you find out the commandments given in the Holy Quran and try to practise those things, find out what are the dos and don’ts in the Holy Quran […] These are your obligations.”

In terms of managing time for studies, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa advised:

“Secondly, your studies. As long as you are a student, you have to work hard. Your goal and objective should be to excel in your studies, as I have already said, for that you will have to work hard.

“A good Russian student studies almost 12-13 hours a day; do you spend that much time in your studies? If not, then it means there’s still a gap and you have to fill that gap. You have to work hard […]

“Offering your five daily prayers, you spend only two hours. If you offer nawafil [voluntary prayers], another extra one hour or 45 minutes. So three hours. And your body also has a right on you and that is you must have some sleep and that should be up to six hours. So six, plus three for prayers – nine hours. 

“And if you are praying fervently for three hours, you are trying to pray as has been commanded to us by Allah the Almighty, then if you work for 11 hours or 10 hours, even then it will be equivalent to the work or study done by [a] non-believer for 14 hours […]

“So, nine hours plus 10 hours, 19 hours? Plus, one and a half hour for your eating [etc.] 20 hours and 30 minutes? Then, one hour outside, games and play, or any recreation. 21 hours and 30 minutes? And then give some time to your family, have a good chat with them, discussion [etc.] in one hour, that is enough. 22 hours and 30 minutes? Then for studying – increasing your knowledge, general knowledge, 30 minutes to one hour. 

“In this, you have to do some time management. So, you manage your time in this way that you excel in your study – you will be discharging your duty towards Allah the Almighty and as result, towards Khilafat and to your religion, to your Jamaat. And on the weekends, you give some time to your Jamaat – Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya work. And then at the same time, spend [the] weekend with your family members as well.

“You make a plan for five working days and two weekend days. This is how you can manage and do justice. You have to find out the ways on your own.”

Another student said, “Some of us khuddam feel at times that we are ready for marriage; however, when we discuss this with our parents, we are often discouraged or told that ‘you are not ready to carry this big responsibility’. What is beloved Huzoor’s advice on discussing this topic with parents?”

As the khadim asked the question, Huzooraa asked his age, to which he said he was 18 years old. To this, Huzooraa said the khadim was still young, but he could still get married. 

Huzooraa said:

“You shouldn’t worry at this age. Anyway, if you get married, no problem – I don’t have any objection. I would actually like it if you got married.”

Going into detail about the correct age of marriage, Huzooraa advised:

“If you get married at this age, I will be happy. 

“You see, if you are an irresponsible boy and your behaviour is just as irresponsible, which your parents can observe in you, then obviously they will say you are not ready to carry the big responsibility. But if you show responsible behaviour, then they will not say this.

“[The actual question is] who will be ready to marry you? Obviously, the girl would like that the husband should be working somewhere, earning some money, so that he can meet the expenses and can run household affairs, all these things, right?

“If you’re ready and you can do it without depending on your parents, then you should get married. 

“In the olden days, when boys used to get married at an early age, they were not relying on their parents – they would earn their own money and they would run their family affairs on their own.”

Addressing the khadim, Huzooraa, with a smile, said:

“If you’re ready to do that, and you get married now, today and immediately after this meeting, I won’t have any objection. You see, your resources are limited and you are still studying and you are relying on your parents even on your studies; you take pocket money from your parents and when you get married then your wife will also demand some pocket money, you will ask your father again, ‘Give me some more money so that I can give to my wife’, no? Then how can you get married, right? 

“But if you have a job, yes, you should get married as early as possible. Immediately after you complete your studies and you find some job, then you can get married”.

Huzooraa said in some cases, circumstances were different and the parents should be able to differentiate the circumstances. Huzooraa said to the khadim that if there was a special case and the khadim needed Huzoor’s special recommendation, then he could write to Huzooraa directly and “I will personally approach your parents to help you”, Huzooraa said. 

The next question asked was how one could stay protected from Satan. 

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said:

“Allah the Almighty has asked us to pray to Allah the Almighty:

اَعُوْذُ‭ ‬بِاللّٰهِ‭ ‬مِنَ‭ ‬الشَّيْطَانِ‭ ‬الرَّجِيْمِ

“This is the prayer given to us by Allah the Almighty Himself. If, at any time, you think Satan is trying to overcome you then say:

اَعُوْذُ‭ ‬بِاللّٰهِ‭ ‬مِنَ‭ ‬الشَّيْطَانِ‭ ‬الرَّجِيْمِ

“Say istighfar:

اَسْتَغْفِرُاللّٰهَ‭ ‬رَبِّيْ‭ ‬مِنْ‭ ‬كُلِّ‭ ‬ذَنْبٍ‭ ‬وَّاَتُوْبُ‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ

“There are so many other prayers:

رَبَّنَا‭ ‬ظَلَمْنَا‭ ‬أَنفُسَنَا‭ ‬وَإِن‭ ‬لَّمْ‭ ‬تَغْفِرْ‭ ‬لَنَا‭ ‬وَتَرْحَمْنَا‭ ‬لَنَكُونَنَّ‭ ‬مِنَ‭ ‬الْخَاسِرِينَ

“When Satan attacked Adam, peace be upon him, then he prayed this [above].

رَبِّ‭ ‬اِنِّيْ‭ ‬ظَلَمْتُ‭ ‬نَفْسِيْ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬اعْتَرَفْتُ‭ ‬بِذَنْبِيْ

“So there are so many prayers. 

“So you should seek Allah’s help and if you are fervently praying in your five daily prayers and seeking Allah’s help and asking Him to protect you from the attacks of Satan, then Allah the Almighty will save you, insha-Allah

“And, at the same time, you should loathe and hate the things which are taking you towards Satan.”

Huzooraa said adult content, and other immoral content on television and the Internet and on social media like on Instagram and Facebook etc., should be avoided to be protected from Satan. Huzooraa said, “They are all taking you towards satanic things, so just avoid those things.”

For when a bad thought arose in someone’s mind, the advice Huzooraa gave was:

“Then immediately say اَعُوْذُ‭ ‬بِاللّٰهِ‭ ‬مِنَ‭ ‬الشَّيْطَانِ‭ ‬الرَّجِيْمِ and say istighfar. 

“You have to be determined and firm if you want to avoid Satanic attacks, you have to fight with Satan.”

Next, Fahad Sahib asked, “How can students who get anxious in front of a crowd be able to improve their public speaking skills?”

Huzooraa lovingly responded, “You don’t seem to be such a person, are you?”

Fahad Sahib said he sometimes did feel anxious while speaking in public. Huzooraa then asked Fahad Sahib what situations he faced in terms of public speaking. Fahad Sahib said he would have to give presentations at times in university etc. 

Advising on public speaking, Huzooraa said:

“Before going in this type of function, you should stand before the mirror and repeat your speech and address three to four times loudly.” This would give some confidence, Huzooraa said.

Huzooraa further advised:

“Secondly, you must think that all those before you, in front of you, are just ignorant people and you are the only knowledgeable person. Then it will also develop some confidence in you, create some confidence in you.

“And also seek Allah’s help. Pray to Allah the Almighty that Allah the Almighty help you. Say اِهْدِنَا‭ ‬الصِّرَاطَ‭ ‬الْمُسْتَقِيْمِ[Guide us in the right path] and بِسْمِ‭ ‬اللّٰهِ‭ ‬الرَّحْمَانِ‭ ‬الرَّحِيْمِ  [In the name of Allah the Gracious the Merciful]. So, in this way, you will also get some strength.”

Shehzad Sahib asked whether money sent to friends and relatives was considered sadqa [charity]. 

Huzooraa said that the intention would be the deciding factor. Huzooraa narrated the hadith of the Holy Prophetsa that “deeds are determined by intentions alone.” If someone was giving the money as sadaqah, then it would be so. And if someone was giving it as a gift, then it would be a gift. It was all about the intention, Huzooraa emphasised. 

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Photo courtesy of @AMYACanada/Twitter

Discussing the way of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Amrul Momineenaa said:

“Once, a person brought some goat meat for the Holy Prophetsa and the Holy Prophetsa asked, ‘Where did you get it from’. He said, ‘Somebody sent this as sadaqah for me’ […] The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘It is a sadaqah for you, but since you have brought it for me, you are not giving me sadaqah, you have brought [it] here for me to eat as a gift. So, it is a gift for me, so I can eat it.’”

Huzooraa said, “It all depends on the intention.”

Further, Huzooraa said, “You should be generous; why should you give sadaqah to your relatives and friends? You should give them a gift if you want to help them.”

Commenting on the way Shehzad Sahib spoke, Huzooraa lovingly said, “You also speak Urdu in a French accent, not only English.” 

Faizan Sahib, who said he was a second-year perceptual neuroscience student, asked, “With the situation of the pandemic, we have seen the rise of technology greatly influence ourselves. What is Huzoor’s guidance regarding the study of technological advances and how it can help the Jamaat and serve humanity?”

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said:

“Who has given you the wisdom and brain […]? Allah the Almighty. So, it means it is Allah’s work. Allah the Almighty has asked you that you can do research and excel in it, right? And Allah the Almighty will help you – he will reward you for your research and if you are praying to Allah the Almighty then it will help you at the same time, as I have already said.

“And this technological advancement is for the benefit of human beings. As long as it is beneficial for human beings, you should get benefit out of it. But where it is being used to destroy humanity and polluting the minds of the people, as in the Internet and Facebook and Instagram and so many things, then, a true believer, a momin, an Ahmadi Muslim, should avoid these things. 

“As long as this technological advancement is beneficial for human beings, we must use it, we have to use it. This is for our benefit and it is Allah’s help to us. We have to show gratitude to Allah the Almighty that He has given us such an advancement. But when they are being used for polluting our minds, then we should avoid them and say istighfar.”

The next question was by Abrar Sahib who asked what to prioritise when it came to Jamaat work and studies, as the khuddam pledge stated that khuddam would give preference to religion and faith over the world. 

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa explained:

“As long as you are a student, you should give more time to your studies. And give your weekends to the Jamaat, right? Because after completing your education, you are going to be more beneficial for the Jamaat, more productive for the Jamaat than now. 

“So, increase your knowledge, excel in your studies, complete your education and after completing your education then you can give more work to the Jamaat. But, at present, you should do justice to your studies first, and then, if you have spare time during the normal weekdays, you can give time to the Jamaat. Otherwise, you can give time at the weekends.

“But it doesn’t mean that in the name of getting education you just waste your time here and there gossiping and seeing non-sense, Internet and pornography and say ‘I am very busy in doing my job’. You are not busy in that sense.

“So, you have to see to it that honestly, what you are doing, is for the sake of your studies; then, well and good, do it first. And then, second preference should be the Jamaat.”

However, “at the same time”, Huzooraa said that giving precedence to faith over the world “also means that wherever it comes that somebody asks you that ‘you should not pray five daily prayers’, then you should say ‘no, I cannot do this. I cannot stop praying.’”

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For students, giving precedence to faith over the world also meant that “whenever prayer time comes [during university], whether it is Zuhr or Asr time, then you offer your Zuhr prayer and Asr prayer. And then after that, start your studies again. So, this is the meaning at present, that what are the obligations on you by Allah the Almighty of His rights […]

“And Allah the Almighty says that you offer five daily prayers on time and if possible, in congregation. But in university, you cannot offer your prayer in congregation – only if there are four, five Ahmadi students can you join together and offer your prayers in congregation. 

“Otherwise, whenever prayer time comes, first ask your professor and teacher that ‘this is my prayer time, give me 10 minutes so that I can offer my prayer.’ And then offer your Zuhr and Asr prayers and then come back and start your studies again.”

For students, “This is the meaning at present” of giving precedence to faith over the world, Huzooraa highlighted. 

Huzooraa said:

“It does not mean that for the sake of your studies, you just leave your prayers. No. You have to do justice; you pray whenever there’s prayer time and continue your studies after that. But as far as other Jamaat work is concerned, then you should give your weekends to the Jamaat work and give more emphasis to your studies.

“But where there are Allah’s rights, then there should not be any compromise.”

Shakur Sahib asked, “How can an Ahmadi Muslim in the field of law assist the Jamaat and which area of law does Huzoor recommend?”

Huzooraa asked Shakur Sahib if he was studying law, to which he replied in the affirmative. Huzooraa asked what areas he liked and preferred. Huzooraa then said:

“If there is any chance of getting specialisation in any of the fields in law, then you should do human rights law. But don’t go into criminal law”. 

Dr Zubair Sahib was next to ask a question. Huzooraa asked him about his family background and who his father was. 

Dr Zubair Sahib then asked, “How can we convince our younger khuddam brothers to pursue post-secondary education instead of entering the workforce after high school.”

Huzooraa said:

“This is what I have been saying, and even previous Khulafa have also told our students that they should continue their studies, they should not stop their education after secondary school, they should at least graduate and further their studies. 

“This is why Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh started the programme of giving gold medals and it was his wish that we should have at least 100 Nobel laureates in the community – Nobel prize winners – and we should have at least 1,000 top scientists in our community, which we do not have at present. So we have to encourage [students]. 

“This is why umur-e-tulaba department has been founded here in Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya, alongside the secretary talim and the Jamaat system, to encourage the students that instead of stopping their education after secondary education, they should continue, go into universities and further their studies. 

“And even if they think they cannot go into research or some other science subjects or professional fields like engineering and medicine, then they should at least sit in the competition examination and go into the civil service – we should at least have a good number of civil servants in the government. And if you attained only secondary education, we cannot achieve this target.

“In each and every field, an Ahmadi should be present. And for that, you have to encourage them and this is why the department of umur-e-tulaba was formed – that they should encourage the students. 

“This is the job of the parents as well. If the parents are educated, they will ask their children to further their studies after completing their secondary school. And if parents are illiterate or not very well-educated, they will say, ‘Now you can go and work’ – this is not the right thing.”

Huzooraa said:

“The minimum education of an Ahmadi student should be graduation, and after that, he can choose different fields.”

Turning to Dr Zubair Sahib, Huzooraa said, “This is your duty. You are a young man, you can encourage them. Send my salaam to your father.” 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said that there was time for one more question. 

Umair Sahib was given the opportunity to ask a question. He asked, “In the Western world, it is considered unusual to get married inside the family to a cousin. This generation is beginning to adopt Christian ways of getting married. As a Muslim, is it encouraged to get married to your cousins, or does Islam give you the right to get married to another family within the Jamaat?”

Huzooraa said:

“If they consider getting married to cousins as not right, they’re wrong, because Allah the Almighty says that you can get married with your cousins. You cannot say Allah the Almighty has given any commandment which is wrong – the people are wrong, but not Allah the Almighty.

“Secondly, this is not the Christian way, this is the present-day world way. Christians even used to get married to cousins – I don’t think there is any prohibition in Christianity to get married [to cousins].”

Huzooraa said that we should say it was not wrong to get married within cousins. Those who say that the children born could develop health issues due to marriage within the family was a different matter and was actually not entirely true as only those people who married a lot, for generations, within the same family, developed these issues. Otherwise, lots of other people have children with health issues, even though they are not married within the same family. 

“As far as the commandment of Islam is concerned, or the ethics is concerned or the science is concerned, there is no harm in getting married to cousins. But if they like to get married outside the family, yes they can marry […] but with the condition that the person should be an Ahmadi Muslim so that your generation does not deviate from the true teachings of Islam […]

“This is why we always emphasise that a boy and girl should get married with an Ahmadi boy and girl. Otherwise, there is no harm in marrying outside the family.”

Advising Umair Sahib – who had not decided where he wanted to get married – Huzooraa said:

“If you find a good match in your family, then don’t refuse it. If your parents suggest that we have a good match for you within the family, then prefer it first. And after that, if you have some other concerns then you can go outside – outside the family, but within the Jamaat.”

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa conveyed his salaam and gave prayers to all the khuddam and the meeting came to a close. 

(Report prepared by Al Hakam)

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