The topic of Tawakkul ‘Alallah (Trust in Allah) is broad and profound, bearing in it all spiritual truths. This is reason enough for me not to ever attempt to indulge in such discourse. I am neither acquainted with the depths of the subject nor do I acquire a status, spiritually nor academically, to write on it. Nonetheless I feel obliged to share some experiences for the benefit of everyone, for in my opinion these experiences are the property of the members of the Jama’at.
With the sheer grace of God, and as a result of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V’saa graciousness, I was able to dedicate my life for the service of the Jama’at in 2004. Other than this there is nothing from my life worthy of being mentioned. Whatever I have intended to mention today would not have been possible had Huzoor-e-Anwaraa not affectionately accepted this humble one. The level of weaknesses and flaws are such that I am unable to even meet eyes with Huzoor. It is only and only due to Huzoor’s
love that he accepts us in his company. When this humble servant presents himself to Huzoor in those precious moments there is no moment that can be considered an ordinary one; every moment is a precious memory that I shall cherish forever.
I have had the good fortune of being able to meet Huzoor regularly since 2004 for Daftari Mulaqat (official meetings) but I have also had the opportunity to be in his company even before his divine appointment to Khilafat. Back then Huzoor was the Nazir Taleem (Director of Education for Jama’at Ahmadiyya Pakistan).
The Exposure of “Exposure”
I remember when the time came to pursue my Master’s Degree after accomplishing my Bachelors, I expressed my desire to Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad sahib to seek private education to complete my Masters rather than attending University. Huzoor refused this by saying,
“The exposure that you will get from attending University will not be possible by sitting at home”.
Each and every word of this guidance proved to be true in every respect. It is a fact that the experiences one encounters when attending university cannot be experienced by sitting private
exams. With extremely enlightening teachers & professors and inspiring libraries, universities offer an atmosphere like no other. Whether intentionally or otherwise, students learn a lot from outside the lecture rooms. This is the provision that benefits the students throughout their lives.
However, it needs to be said that the exposure one gains from the blessed company of Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa cannot be achieved through any library, university or scholar. The feeling of that exposure can only be summarized in one word. Enlightenment. And what a feeling that is! If even one word uttered by Huzoor is not considered extraordinary then it is due to a lack in understanding, because whatever Huzoor utters eventually comes to fruition.
It is difficult to select what to mention and what to leave out. In this chapter, I intend to focus on the subject of Tawakkul.
Often people express the desire to have been around during the time of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, or if only they had been alive during the time of the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace. These yearnings are indeed signs of love and affection but what more can we do other than call them mere wishes. Nothing can be done about it, but is it not enough to satisfy us spiritually that we are ever so fortunate to be living during the time of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya?
We were born in the era in which we witness the vicegerent and successor of the Awaited Messiah and ultimately the Prophet Muhammadsa. Thus a complete reflection of the noble examples of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa and his servant Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas can be found in the present day in the person of Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa.
The twenty-eighth of May, 2010 was the blessed day of Friday and will forever remain a day which will be remembered by all Ahmadis, in which the cruel enemies brutally attacked Ahmadis in an attempt to cripple the propagation of the Jama’at. Dozens of Ahmadis were riddled with bullets and martyred instantly. Every television channel gave coverage to this cruelty and act of terrorism. There was hardly any Ahmadi in the world whose heart was not torn by this horrific attack.
The time for the Friday prayer had come upon us here in London. As customary, every Ahmadi has the desire to listen to the words of Huzooraa during his Friday sermons, yet that Friday the urge was even more so. Here in MTA we thought that under the circumstances Huzooraa may not travel to Baitul Futuh, Morden and would deliver the Friday sermon from the Fazl Mosque. Thus, preparations for broadcast were also made in the Fazl Mosque.
Huzoor’s entourage departed from the Fazl Mosque at the usual time and arrived at Baitul Futuh. Huzooraa delivered his Friday sermon at the customary time. The serenity, which has always been evident on Huzoor’s blessed countenance, the serenity from which our hearts feel at peace was being displayed even at that moment. So, in this manner a heavy part of the anxiety that was being face by the members of the Jama’at vanished.
Furthermore, it was presumed that the entire sermon would be delivered giving details about the tragedy as bullets were fired at one of our mosques resulting in a mass loss of lives. However, an ordinary person’s understanding cannot touch the level of wisdom, which Allah the Almighty has bestowed His chosen Khalifa with.
Huzooraa guided the Jama’at towards religious and spiritual betterment during the Friday sermon and towards the end Huzoor informed the Jama’at of the attacks in Lahore, and instructed the Jama’at to pray.
One sentence still echoes in my mind; Huzooraa said that it was unclear whether the attackers had been dominated or were still present in our mosques. It was a very subtle indication, that to say anything at that moment would be premature. Thus, Huzooraa left it at that and in a manner told the Jama’at not to pay heed to any
rumours nor become a means of spreading them further, whether intentionally or unintentionally, directly or indirectly.
Huzoor’s Unyielding Focus
Now, I shall turn to the matter I had desired to write about. Shortly after the atrocity occurred I had the opportunity to meet Huzoor.
It so happened that a few days earlier I had written to Huzoor-e- Anwaraa for guidance regarding some matters concerning MTA. Huzoor very graciously returned the letter at the end of which was written,
For further details, meet me, either on Friday evening or Saturday morning.
It had been my intention to make myself available on Friday evening in the Private Secretary’s office. My plan was that if Huzoor wished to call me then I would present the matter otherwise I would go again on Saturday morning.
But that very morning the devastating incident occurred which shook all Ahmadis from the core. Like every Ahmadi, I was also of the thought that if we could become emotional by this event then the sentiments of the Imam of our Jama’at could not possibly be comprehended. What would he have been feeling at that moment?
Every Ahmadi who was slaughtered in that event was a child to him, nay, far beyond that! Thus, I thought to myself that it would not be appropriate for me to present myself at such an occasion. But then, I became doubtful! How can I make a decision against what the Khalifatul Masih had already instructed? It was in this state of perplexity that I arrived at the Private Secretariat.
I sought the advice of Munir Ahmad Javed sahib, Private Secretary to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih. He told me to sit and that if Huzoor called me I could go in otherwise I should wait until further instructions or come back the following day. I sat in the waiting room. No longer than a few moments had passed when the Private Secretary opened the door of Huzoor’s office and told me that Huzoor was calling me.
I entered the office with confused anticipations. The champion of Islam was seated as elegantly as always. I took a glance up and noticed that the atmosphere in the office was as serene as it always was. Huzoor was very comfortably occupied with the daily office work. I sat down on the chairs in front of Huzoor.
“Kiya kehtey ho?” [What brings you here?]
This most affectionate and loving remark always gives the individual the courage to speak. I can’t imagine how I would have been able to speak otherwise.
I mentioned the matter concerning MTA, which I had written to Huzoor about previously. Huzoor very graciously gave guidance concerning the matter as if that was the only issue Huzoor had on his mind and was the focus of his attention.
Who are we? And what is the status of our issues in front of Huzoor’s workload? But it is my experience that whenever we present something before Huzoor, no matter how petty, this loving and caring individual attends to our requests for help, carefully listening to our problems and thus providing ample direction. When the average man faces two issues simultaneously he becomes distressed and thinks about giving up. But the one who is chosen by God to lead His mission and to guide mankind on the right track is the only person capable of managing the thousands of problems that come his way simultaneously. Not only that, but he is also capable of providing the solutions which we had not yet thought of. At times, it is felt that the problem we had mentioned had now become Huzoor’s only concern. This in itself is the first sign of satisfaction for us.
Even at that unusual hour I felt this. Huzoor’s attentiveness and guidance solved my problem entirely. Those who meet Huzoor
regularly will know that departing Huzoor’s office is also a challenging task. Despite being aware of the value of every minute of Huzoor’s schedule it is disrespectful to get up on one’s own accord. But then again, to remain seated is also a means of consuming Huzoor’s precious time. But the loving voice of Huzoor when he says,
“Aur? Bus? Chalo phir”
(Is that all? Alright then, off you go.)
makes this step all the more simpler for a person. It was with those very words that I almost left Huzoor’s office that day. But that was not the only confusion I faced.
The Ahmadis of Pakistan had just faced an unimaginable trial and yet, there I was, leaving the office without any apparent sign of concern. It is common courtesy to pay respects and customary also. Not only that but it was a practice of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. But this was different. It was paying respect to the one who had lost over eighty of his children in one single day. And that day was today.
God gave me the strength to say, “Huzoor, I am very sorry about what happened today”. Usually this sort of a comment follows with a predictable gesture and response. But Huzoor very courageously and with utmost dignity said,
“Yes, it is very sad. Only God knows what they (the opponents of the Jama’at) plan further. We can’t predict what they will do in the future. But they are writing their devastating fate with their own hands. I have said this before as well.”
How blessed are we! This champion of God waves the standard of truth high in the sky as he combats falsehood.
Come what may, this champion of Islam has his eyes set on the victory of God. He stores in his heart the grief of all the blood that has been shed. But he does not merely carry that grief with him. He stands before his Lord with his grief. That tragedy may have occurred but his vision assesses what needs to be done further; what is about to happen and the means through which falsehood can peer its ugly head again. He ponders over how he can elevate the truth so high that the world can see it. He is concerned about how he can give strength to the members of his community so that they too can move forward with him and focus on the victory of truth as their sole concern. These are not fears; rather they are the possibilities that God Almighty has appointed his chosen one with. He has set such a high standard of Tawakkul [trust in Allah] that it is an example for every member of his Jama’at, nay every Muslim in the world, rather every human being alive.
Huzoor mentioned the details of that event in the weeks to come with utmost courage. The world may know it as courage but we know it as Tawakkul, which holds in it the noble reflections of the Holy Prophetsa and the Promised Messiahas.
Then at the occasion of Jalsa Salana Germany, Huzoor expressed his sentiments of the Lahore attacks. Upon Huzoor expressing his sentiments, Ahmadis became extremely moved. But just imagine that if Huzoor was to openly express his emotions and feelings then the hearts of all Ahmadis would be torn to pieces. We would not be able to bear it. Thus, Huzoor portrays the perfect example of Tawakkul today. When Huzoor presents himself before God and openly expresses his emotions, it is a sight only Allah and Huzoor know of. But the mere thought of it shakes our souls from the core.
Divinely Inspired Farsightedness
Then there is another incident. On the twenty-sixth of September 2015 the complex adjacent to Masjid Baitul Futuh, Morden, caught fire. Initially it was thought that there had been some carelessness in the kitchen, as a result of which the alarms were triggered. On that occasion, I was out filming in London with Syed Mir Mahmood Ahmad Nasir sahib. We were filming those areas where Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IIra resided or delivered lectures during his tour of 1924.
On our way back I received a text message of one of my colleagues, Qaasid Muin Ahmad, that the fire alarm had been triggered. (The MTA offices and studios are located in the Baitul Futuh complex.) It had happened many times before, where the fire alarms were set off either as a fire drill or due to the smoke caused by the food regularly cooked at Baitul Futuh. But I then received the message that the entire complex, including the various administrative offices, kitchen, MTA offices and Libraries had all been evacuated as the fire began to spread. Now I began to realise the gravity of the situation.
Having dropped off Syed Mir Mahmood Ahmad sahib at the guesthouse in the Fazl Mosque, I set off for Baitul Futuh. When I reached there, I glanced up at a scene, which caused my heart to tremble. Waves of black and white smoke were rising into the sky as the front part of the building was completely charcoaled from the inside. Wherever I could, I parked my car and headed closer and closer towards my colleagues who stood there in shock. Every individual, whether Ahmadi or one of our neighbours, stood in horror. There were offices inside, official records and most important of all, MTA’s Archive Library in which countless videos and footage of our Khulafaa were stored. The MTA equipment, which amounted to hundreds of thousands of pounds, was all kept there.
The images of my office began to appear before my eyes. Hundreds of letters from Huzoor-e-Anwaraa spanning the last seven to eight years, in which his guidance at every step through his own writing was all stored in that very complex. Each and every word of Huzoor is precious to us but there lay a precious treasure of such guidance on a daily basis. The thought of those letters stuck in the mind as I watched the smoke rise higher and higher. At a few occasions, when the smoke blew big puffs in the air I saw bits and pieces of paper floating in the sky above, as a result of which my heart began to sink. I prayed to God, “Ya Allah! Don’t let these letters be those written by your beloved one!”
I was tormenting myself as the thought arose many a time to have those letters scanned and preserved but with that, the response was always, Insha-Allah, someday.
The lesson I learnt that day was that as soon as I received a letter or response from Huzoor I would immediately make a copy of it. We think that we have sufficient time, but the time of a nation and the time of an individual are two separate dimensions. Where the matter involves God’s selected one the concept of time and space takes a different form. We should never equate the time of the Jama’at with the time of our own baser selves. Our personal time is nothing compared to the precious time of the Jama’at. One second wasted in the service of the Jama’at could make us answerable to our future generations. With those thoughts, I stood silently watching the smoke.
In the evening, the programme Rah-e-Huda was to be broadcast live, but the staff at Baitul Futuh told us that until further notice, no one could enter the complex as it was unclear whether the fire had stopped spreading or whether it had taken a different course. Under the circumstances, I sought to pursue the proper protocol in cancelling the live broadcast and the decision was made to repeat the previous show, as there were no recording facilities.
Then we received the news that the fire had reached the MTA Library. After hearing this, we all went into shock. I had only just received the news, that my mobile phone rang. I looked at my phone and I saw Private Secretary which usually only means one thing. Urgent!.
I immediately picked up my phone and Munir Javed sahib said something which was short yet comprehensive. “Huzoor is calling you”. Without any pause, I rushed to my car and raced towards the Fazl Mosque, Putney. Alhamdolillah my car was parked at a place that allowed me to easily access the road to the Fazl Mosque. On such occasions, it is the sheer grace of God that the notorious traffic of London has never caused any hindrance. Within twelve to fifteen minutes, I was standing in the Private Secretary’s office.
Munir Javed sahib told me that Huzoor had just left the office for his residence but said he would notify Huzoor. After ten minutes the light bulb outside Huzoor’s office lit up which meant that Huzoor was now in his office. If my memory serves me correctly, then I am certain that the words below are what Huzoor said to me as I entered the office (the crux of which I have preserved): Huzoor said,
“What’s the matter? You seem worried?”
“The fire spread to such an extent that it has engulfed our library.”
“So what? Incidents like these don’t halt the progress of Jama’ats.”
With anguish in my voice, I replied,
“Huzoor, the library stored programmes of the Khulafaa which has now probably burnt to ashes”.
“The Promised Messiahas recorded his voice on a gramophone. You know this, right? We lost that too. What could be more precious to us than that? With its loss, the progress of the Jama’at didn’t stop; we carried on progressing. Don’t you agree?”
“Yes, Huzoor. That is true”.
What more could I say? I didn’t have the audacity to say that this thought didn’t even cross my mind. We just stood there in mourning. Huzoor then asked,
“Do you know how to put out a fire?”
He asked again,
“Would they have let you enter the complex in order to extinguish the fire?”
“Then you should have immediately come to Masjid Fazl and prepared the studios here. The MTA staff should have gathered here and planned a way forward so that no hurdle should disrupt our broadcast.”
The feeling of shame felt at such an occasion can neither be described nor is there any need to. You can probably imagine the feeling I felt then. I sought Huzoor’s forgiveness after which Huzoor immediately instructed,
“Now prepare a news bulletin to be read out on MTA. But you have probably not even had anything to eat. I can tell from your face that you are hungry and thirsty. First of all, go outside, have something to eat, then prepare this bulletin and bring it back to me.”
I exited the office. My heart was filled with love and emotion for Huzoor. Even in such circumstances, Huzoor could think of the hunger and thirst of an unworthy and undeserving servant. Who can say that they have been acquainted with a king of this nature? Huzoor is such a king who is not just concerned about the physical wellbeing of one or two individuals but the spiritual and physical welfare of millions around the world.
In keeping with Huzoor’s instruction, I took a biscuit from a plate, which lay before me and ate it. After that, I commenced with composing the report. It was necessary that I authenticated the details through credible sources. For instance, the time the fire started, where it reached and whether it was still spreading or not. Having acquired the relevant information from credible sources I prepared the report to be read out on MTA. Many renowned media outlets provided coverage to the fire. Ahmadis around the world were worried due to the outbreak of the fire. It was probably due to that concern that Huzoor had that news bulletin prepared under his direct supervision.
After I prepared the report I presented it to Huzoor. Huzoor carefully read through the text. Huzoor made a phone call himself enquiring about the latest on the fire. Before handing back the report, Huzoor made one amendment. There was a line which said, “According to the London Fire Brigade the fire is under control and efforts are being made to extinguish the fire”. Huzoor added the following words before this statement,
“With the grace of Allah…”
Huzoor then remarked,
“They would not have been able to do anything themselves”.
I then mentioned to Huzoor that we were not broadcasting Rah-e- Huda live and instead, we had planned to play the previous week’s recording. Huzoor replied,
“The programme will be aired live! Immediately have the studios here (in the Fazl Mosque) prepared and have your team ready. The work of the Jama’at is never cancelled due to petty issues.”
Huzoor’s vision can never be predicted. What we considered to be a state of emergency, with everyone panicking, was, in fact, a proof of Huzoor being a chosen one of God. His sight is set far into the horizon whereas all we see before us are clouds and smoke. The anxiety began again. Not because of any emergency, but in wanting to fulfil Huzoor’s command.
There is an English term, “smokescreen” which means to hide the truth or the facts. The world attempts to cloud our vision through such smokescreens both in the verbal and literal sense. Shortsighted people like us cannot see beyond it without the spiritual lenses, which the Holy Quran has termed “Khilafat” and the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa has called “a shield” and regarding which the Promised Messiah (as) has said that it shall remain among us so that it may protect us and so that we may be aware of that which our eyes cannot see and as a result grant us wisdom, insight and awareness. The Quran categorically states that our eyes cannot reach God but God can reach them. However, Khilafat can make our vision such that they are susceptible to infusing God’s manifestation.
The report was eventually broadcast on MTA. Rah-e-Huda was also broadcast live, later that evening. There is always the facility for people to call in and people called. Not only did they ask questions but we received many calls from people merely expressing their concern over the fire. Towards the end of the programme the report was read out once again and the viewers were notified of the latest events.
Towards the end of the programme I went downstairs with the intention of informing Huzoor that the broadcast went smoothly. But as I approached the last few steps, I realized that Huzoor was sitting in Mahmood Hall among guests who had travelled from abroad to meet Huzoor. It was approaching the time for Maghrib prayer. I stood outside the door of Mahmood Hall through which it was anticipated that Huzoor would go to lead the prayer.
We could hear Huzoor’s voice through the audio system as well as the guests’. The Khuddam and Atfal were very fortunate to have spent so much time with their Imam. They asked questions to which Huzoor gave them the answer to every one of their question. Huzoor carefully listened to their problems and guided them as well as giving them advice. They were all ecstatic due to the fact that they were able to converse with Huzoor as well as being in his blessed presence.
There was no sign of sorrow or anguish due to the events that had occurred earlier during the day. Indeed, Huzoor wanted to know about the latest regarding the fire, but I remembered again that this was the same person who had earlier said to me that it was all “With the grace of Allah”. It was this that reminded me that the Khalifa’s eyes were set on the grace and blessings of Allah and that is what he beseeched. How, then, can the Jama’at that follows in the footsteps of a person so exalted in the field of Tawakkul [trust in God] ever be deemed weak? It is the example that every Ahmadi follows and should follow!
The following Friday Sermon Huzoor informed everyone of the details of the Baitul Futuh Fire. In this manner Huzoor gave everyone strength and brought everyone to the level of Tawakkul that God Almighty has bestowed upon him. He instructed everyone to mould themselves in a manner that enabled them to absorb the blessings of Allah and keep their goals high.
Only recently did “law-enforcers” in Pakistan storm the Tehrik-e- Jadid offices in Rabwah and without any reason, arrest innocent employees and missionaries of the Jama’at. That very morning, I had a Mulaqat with Huzoor and again had the opportunity to witness the exalted level of Tawakkul that Huzoor possesses. Huzoor was most certainly concerned and worried for his beloved Ahmadis but it was not the only thing which had grasped
Huzoor’s attention. His expectations and trust were completely with Allah.
A few moments later, a journalist would come and interview Huzoor. The entire interview had one focal-point which Huzoor spoke around: Tawakkul. Huzoor said that the oppressors may continue to oppress, but neither would we take the law into our own hands nor would we respond to aggression with aggression. We put all our cries for help at the Divine Threshold. Although we do peacefully protest by means of the pen and media but if we were not doing this much, then we are indirectly supporting the oppressors. This was the gist of what Huzoor said that day.
Talking about the oppression and persecution of Ahmadis reminds me of another incident, which shows Huzoor’s high standards of trust in Allah, foresight and unyielding resolve. This dates back to 2008 when Huzoor instructed that the Jama’at be kept informed of the persecution of Ahmadis in Pakistan through a monthly broadcast, “Persecution News”. Preparations were made immediately and once the programme was ready for broadcast it was first sent to Huzoor for approval.
When the letter, which was sent to Huzoor along with the recording, came back, it had his note on it. The note was very encouraging for all those who had participated. Huzoor wrote:
“A great effort! May Allah enable the standard to increase even more. When can I see the next programme?”
That was very comforting and encouraging for all of us. It spiritually uplifted us to a great degree. Without wasting a single moment, we proceeded with the next show, in which we decided to cover the discrimination of Rabwah and the people therein and how the citizens of Rabwah were being treated unfairly. We collated the research and interviewed various senior members of the Jama’at in Rabwah and thereafter recorded the programme. Accompanying me in the programme were Abid Waheed Khan sahib and Mashood Iqbal sahib (to cater for the English speaking audience and the Urdu speaking audience correspondingly).
The programme was sent to Huzoor for approval. I sent the recording on a Monday and thereafter waited anxiously. That day I received no response. The following day was spent in anticipation but I began thinking that it may be a long wait. However, in the evening Abid Khan sahib rang me and told me that he had just had a Mulaqat with Huzoor and Huzoor did not like the programme. He also told me that Huzoor had instructed that I meet Huzoor straight away.
The next day was a Wednesday and as it was so late, I could not request a Mulaqat as the names had already been approved for the following day. Thus, I requested for a Mulaqat the following day and was told that there were no official Mulaqats on Thursdays and that there was no possibility before Saturday morning. Accordingly, I requested a Mulaqat for Saturday morning.
The anxiety and distress with which I spent the seventy-two hours of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday cannot be put into words. Huzoor had taken out thirty minutes of his valuable time to watch our programme which ended up being a means of discomfort for Huzoor. I became furious at my sense of satisfaction and started to think that instead of celebrating the fact that Huzoor was pleased with our first attempt I should have spent the time in Istighfar (seeking God’s forgiveness) and prayers. It wasn’t as if we had hit a milestone! It was Huzoor’s loving manner that he appreciated our effort. In fact, it was a test of character! I realized that the next attempt should have been made with even more care and through a lot more prayers. Nonetheless, that was the state I was in during those very long hours.
I arrived at the Fazl Mosque on Saturday morning but my heart was racing. No matter how many times you may have met Huzoor and conversed with Huzoor, it always seems as if it is the first time meeting him. I can attest to this that every Mulaqat I have had with
Huzoor has always been like a first encounter because in every
Mulaqat I return home learning something new.
How long do we continue to act upon the valuable lessons Huzoor gives us? Do we even remember each and every advice Huzoor has given us? This is something we can only answer on an individual level. It is truly impossible to act out every lesson we learn from Huzoor in our Mulaqats without the grace and help of God.
But this, in fact, was my first Daftari Mulaqat (official meeting) with Huzoor and that too due to bringing discomfort to my master. I began to recite all the prayers my mother taught me as a child. In my bewilderment, I found myself reciting the prayer for embarking on journey! Anyhow, those minutes felt like decades. Eventually, I was called to Huzoor’s office. I got up and started walking. As I entered Huzoor’s office I was expecting an admonishment. I also thought that if I collapsed right then, it might be more embarrassing than what had already happened.
With my eyes looking down I entered the room, when I heard a loving voice,
“Hanji? Kiya kehtey ho?” (Yes, what brings you here?)
I could not think of anything other than to remain silent.
“It seems that you have spent these days extremely worried”
I replied, “Yes Huzoor. All three days I have spent in utter shame”. Huzoor asked,
“Three days? Why not four days? I sent the message four days ago. You know, one can pray a lot more in times of distress.”
(I also learnt a lesson here that one should not talk figuratively or around rough estimates, rather one should speak precisely.) I responded, “Huzoor, the programme was not of a good standard. I apologise”. Huzoor then asked me,
“In the first letter, I wrote, ‘May Allah enable the standard to increase even more’. I thought that you would come to ask me how to improve?”
Now, I was lost for words. I came with the expectation that I would be admonished. But I only saw the love and affection of Huzoor. If only I could just express that had I known that was Huzoor’s intention then I would have literally come running to meet Huzoor.
Thereafter, Huzoor most affectionately instructed that we record the programme again and instructed,
“Never mention the oppression we are facing in a manner which suggests that it has weakened us. Never even think that the opposition we face can ever affect the progress of the Jama’at.
What you say on television is reaching every Ahmadi so for this reason you should carefully select your words so that the viewers can focus on remembering the blessings of Allah as opposed to grieving over the injustices and trials. Now go back, re-record this programme and remember to mention the services the Jama’at has rendered and continues to render to Pakistan while the officials are oblivious to the needs of Pakistan. Tell everyone how, by the grace of God, the Jama’at has managed to provide those facilities in such a small town which only the largest cities can provide. Tell them how this community is more organized and a lot more helpful.”
Huzoor then mentioned the names of a few people whom I should contact.
I was relieved of all my fears, anxieties and worries. The only concern I now had was that each and every word of Huzoor during that Mulaqat should be preserved.
It was in that state that I was hastily noting down everything being said to me. I had never heard such concise and comprehensive words. The words were few but the meanings were multiple. Huzoor had given such wonderful insight into the matter that no aspect seemed to be untouched. Huzoor then took a pause, which was most probably to give me time to note everything down carefully. As soon as I finished writing and looked up, Huzoor said,
“Bus? Chalo Phir”
(Is that all? Then, off you go.)
In this manner, the Mulaqat came to a close. However, it had been more than a Mulaqat. It was a chapter in the lessons of life. It was a completely unique angle of looking at and understanding the persecution the Jama’at faced on a daily basis. We only see the wrong done to us as a wrong. However, what we fail to see is how this persecution is pushing us to achieve higher excellences.
I spent most of my life in Rabwah. Many a time, did I benefit from the extraordinary facilities of Fazl-e-Umar Hospital there. I spent so much time studying in the Khilafat Library that I am forever indebted to the library and the people there. I had the good fortune of being able to teach in a prominent institution like Nusrat Jehan Academy. I witnessed before my eyes the spread of greenery throughout Rabwah. I experienced the spiritual and intellectual atmosphere of Rabwah. But never did I ever think that there was a divine sign in each of those elements. It went from being a barren desert to a town buzzing with thousands of residents and visitors and bearing in it the facilities of a big city. That Mulaqat had shaken me from the core.
I swear by God that the effect that that Mulaqat had on me is to this day fresh in my heart and mind, and shall remain so. The reason being that during the Mulaqat I had the opportunity of seeing Huzoor’s divinely inspired insight. I can also swear by God that on that occasion I realised that by standing behind my Imam who is a shield (as said by the Prophet Muhammadsa) I possessed no fear of anything or anyone. Albeit with shame, but I shall not hesitate in saying that maybe for the first time did my heart cry out an earnest prayer for Huzoor like no other previous prayer said for Huzoor. My life and soul is laid down before him!
We spend our lives searching for weak supports in vain, when in fact God Almighty has provided us with an ironclad support in the form of Khilafat. If we hold fast to this then we shall face no fear. It provides us security. I can also say that on that day I found out what the meaning of the word “inspiration” really is. By the grace of God, I also realised that if we want to find real inspiration then we don’t need to look for any poet, artist or scientist, rather we have a man who has been commissioned by God with the spirit of truth, to spread the truth to the corners of the world. God enable us to understand this and continue to live our lives by it. This individual who calls us towards God saves us from all forms of idol-worships and idolatries.
In any case, we recorded our programme again in line with Huzoor’s directives, mentioning the miraculous greenery of Rabwah, the parks, the housing, the building work, the swimming pools, the Nasir Fire Brigade Service, the Ambulance Service and Tahir Heart Institute. In this manner, we mentioned all of this as homage to Allah and showed that it had all been done in the midst of opposition and persecution. It was, however, a very brief glimpse of what the Jama’at had managed to achieve in such circumstances.
Alhamdolillah, Huzoor was pleased with the show and consequently, the appreciation of the general public grew. It is my experience that whenever any MTA programme receives Huzoor’s attention God Almighty blesses it in such a way that the people begin to appreciate it. It was this very programme that evolved into Rah-e-Huda, the Urdu programme answering questions of Ahmadis and Non-Ahmadis in regards to the literature of the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as. This very programme later went on to be broadcast live from the blessed village of Qadian and continues to do so. It is also my experience that the programmes that were never given this sort of attention were like planes that taxied on the runway but never could take off.
At the end, I wish to say that Sir Muhammad Iqbal was a controversial figure. His thought may have been, and in fact was, at times subject to much confusion. But he once said something which was very apt:
“If you want to witness the true reflection of Islam, then you will see it in Qadian.”
I conclude my article with an amendment to this remark: if you want to witness the true reflection of Islam then look no further than the person of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih! The level of Tawakkul which the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) and his humble servant Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) wished to see in us, is practically personified in our Imam, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa. Allah enable us to comprehend this fact and follow the footsteps of Huzoor (aa).