My journey to dedicating my life as a Waqf-e-Zindagi [life devotee]was almost bound to happen but unexpected at the same time. Growing up as a Waqf-e-Nau and knowing that my parents had dedicated my life before I was born made me feel special and different from the majority of my friends, but it also came with huge expectations that stayed with me during school and college. Whilst everyone was hanging out with friends, going to parties, mixing with boys and girls, I had this underlying responsibility to not follow the trend because I knew the Jama’at had something bigger for me to accomplish in the future. Not knowing what that would be, I still kept focus on my own goals and avoided chasing anything that would lead me away from my targets and I limited myself to always keeping the picture of Waqf at the forefront of my mind. I remember when I was in college, at the age of 17, I was blessed to have a mulaqat with Huzooraba where I asked for his guidance on the career I should pursue and the course I should study at university. I was surprised because a lot of my family and friends expected me to do Medicine, Law or go to Jamia but in the mulaqat, Huzooraba asked me what subjects I’m interested in or good at. I mentioned to Huzooraba that the subject I am best at and got the best grades in was English Literature and to my surprise Huzooraba said to do that as an undergraduate degree then a Masters in the same subject. When Huzooraba said that, I felt a massive weight off my shoulder because it was something I wanted to do myself and now that Huzooraba had also told me that I should do it, I felt contentment and the drive to succeed in it.
A real turning point occurred in the final year of my undergraduate degree where I failed one coursework module and had to resit in the summer. The course instructors told me that I had to pass the resit otherwise I would not be able to resit the module again and would most likely need to retake the year. I was extremely nervous not only because I would waste a year but also because I felt I would be letting Huzooraba and my family down who had high expectations for me as a Waqf-e-Nau. One night I was especially nervous about passing and I prayed to God and begged Him to allow me to pass this module and my degree, and I said that, if that happened, I would somehow dedicate my life to the Jama’at and not pursue any other career or job. After the prayer I felt that I had really tried to leave it up to God and hoped that something would happen where I would finally pass this degree. I remember when the results came in September, I opened my laptop to see the grades online and it said I passed.
My family were happy and celebrating, but I knew because of that prayer God had done it for me and when I really needed help and support, He gave it to me. So I had it in my mind to now dedicate my life to His service. After my degree I applied for the Masters course at the same university and got in and that was much easier to finish because I was more mature and able to take the initiative in my work. After that year I remember I had just finished the course and was at Fazl Mosque in London and Amer Safir (Chief Editor of Review of Religions) met me randomly, when I was just about to leave the Mosque to go home. He asked me what I was studying and what plans I had for the future and added “Have you ever thought about working for the Jama’at or doing Waqf?” I said that I was already a Waqf-e-Nau but I had been thinking about serving the Jama’at in some way. He said he thought I would be useful in the Review of Religions because I did English Literature and he said he would write to Huzooraba about it. Surprisingly, he called me a few days later saying Huzooraba has asked to see me about Waqf, and that time I was shocked as I didn’t expect it to move that quickly. But I went to the mulaqat and, remembering the promise I made to God to serve the Jama’at, I opened my mind to whatever Huzooraba would want me to do. In the mulaqat Huzooraba directly said to me that being a Waqf-e-Zindagi is not like any other job in the world and doesn’t pay much, and whether I was ready for that. I said “Yes Huzooraba I am ready.” He said “Okay fill in the paperwork and start in the Review of Religions”. Completely surprised, a few days later I was serving in the Review of Religions under the guidance of Huzooraba and I felt my focus and dedication to serving the Jama’at came true in a way I would have never expected.
I have been serving as a Waqf-e-Zindagi for the past 8 years, and it has been extremely rewarding, fulfilling and challenging, which is in line with my own nature, and what I wanted out of life. I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel to different countries like America, Canada and around Europe to make content for the Magazine and to push the message of the Promised Messiahas to the West. We are constantly trying to push the boundaries and set the trends in what the world consumes, and putting out the message of Ahmadiyyat in new and innovative ways that is easily digestible to young and old. Using platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, we are engaging people in ways that have never been done before like social experiments, podcasts, talk shows and seminars. Combining this with writing articles on Islamic issues and addressing misconceptions people have about my faith keeps me on my toes with current world events and political changes. I have had to increase my ability to learn new software, skills and also increase my stamina to work and think creatively so that the team and myself can best serve the world with the message of Islam.
There is hardly a day off because there is always more work to do but living life with a purpose and passion is more fun than living a life of mediocrity. I feel like my inclination to the Jama’at has helped me to find my purpose in life, and also my attachment to Khilafat has lead me along this path where I can serve my faith and create a stronger connection with God by serving Him and His creation every day of my life.
View Khuddam Pledge as a Personal Challenge: Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih V
Extracts from the speech of Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih V from the concluding session of MKA UK National Ijtema 2021
Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK was incredibly privileged to have Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih Vaba, address Khuddam at the concluding session of the National Ijtema—marking two years since Huzoor’s previous address at a Khuddam National Ijtema.
The address ranged from explaining the true purpose of organising Ijtemas, stating the responsibilities of Khuddam and their value to the Jama’at, as well as giving a challenge to Khuddam to strive for academic excellence in their respective fields.
Below we present extracts from the address.
From the outset, Huzooraba stated that despite the natural inclination to socialise after two difficult years spent socially distanced and isolated, “It is very important to recognise that the primary objective of the Ijtema is not merely for the Khuddam and Atfal to gather together and enjoy each other’s company. Rather, the true and overriding objective of the Ijtema is the spiritual, moral and religious development of the participants.”
Further explaining this, Huzoor said “The Ijtema provides a place for you to take a step away from the material world, and focus your time and energy on absorbing and experiencing those speeches, competitions, and activities that will increase your piety and standards of righteousness.”
“These Ijtemas are held to ensure that every single Ahmadi, both male and female, and regardless of their age, ethnicity, or social background, understand that they are each of great value and importance to the Jama’at.”
Huzooraba then spoke of the restrictions on Atfal, where only Atfal aged 12 – 15 years were allowed to attend the Ijtema. Huzooraba said “I hope in the future the need for such restrictions will be removed. But it was important for those aged 12 to 15 to attend, as this is a crucial age in terms of one’s religious and moral development. Having attended the various events, and programmes held specially to cater for their needs, I hope the Atfal will now appreciate their true worth and value in the eyes of the Jama’at.”
Huzooraba then stated “Indeed, all Khuddam and Atfal should recognise that they are of great value, and that each Ahmadi is a precious member of the Jama’at of the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him).”
Talking about the importance of the youth, Huzooraba said “It is a fundamental truth that the children and youth of each nation have a great role to play in the progress and well-being of their community.”
To elaborate, Huzooraba quoted the second Khalifah—Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmadra—to explain the purpose of the Ansar, Lajna and Khuddam auxiliary organisations. Huzooraba said “If there is any weakness, laziness, or deficiency amongst the central Jama’at administration, or within a particular auxiliary body, the other bodies are there to bridge the gap and to take up the mantle, to ensure that the highest spiritual objectives of our community are fulfilled, and that the community of the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) continues to march forward.”
“So, every member of the Jama’at, irrespective of whether they are an officer bearer or the members, should always reflect upon the fact that they have a personal responsibility to the mission of the Promised Messiahas”.
Addressing Khuddam, Huzooraba went on to say that “If the members of Khuddam display the highest morals, give priority to their faith, maximise their religious and secular knowledge—and above all, are those who act upon the commandments of the Holy Quran, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and are fully obedient to the Khalifah of the time, then the rate of progress of your Jama’at will increase manifold.”
Huzooraba then explored the importance of the responsibilities of the older Khuddam, particularly focussing on the influence they have on the younger generations. “Do not think that your behaviour or conduct is something that does not impact others. Rather, the next generation is looking directly towards you. And so do not let them down. Always remember, that if you do not pay close attention to discharging your duties to Allah the Almighty, and to one another, and do not seek to elevate your religious, spiritual, and intellectual standards, then you will not only be harming yourself, but also those who follow in your footsteps. You will be setting a harmful example for the next generation. And so, if they go astray, you will be held responsible”.
Summarising the importance of this point, Huzoor said “Just as the sun rises without fail each morning, our each and every day should give rise to glad tidings of the spiritual progress and advancement of the members of the Jama’at.”
Referring to the banner and official slogan of Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya ‘A nation cannot be reformed without the reformation of its youth’, Huzoor said “View these words as a personal challenge to live up to […] you must strive to attain the highest moral and spiritual standards and to be a true asset for your nation and community. Otherwise, just to repeat these words without any action is utterly meaningless.”
Then addressing the younger members of the audience, Huzooraba reminded them of the example of early Islam, where “Very young men, aged 18, or 19 not only took part in the major battles of that time, but were given the rank of commanders. They acted with outstanding courage and manifested the highest levels of faith. So do not underestimate your abilities or think that you can focus upon your faith and religion at a later time in your life. Rather, even as teenagers and young adults, you should understand your value and importance.”
Offering practical examples for spiritual progression, Huzooraba said “You must be regular in offering the five daily prayers and do not speedily offer them without your attention. Rather, your prayers should be offered carefully with proper concentration, and with the true love of Allah embedded within your heart. Use that time of prayer to build your relationship with Allah. And do not just pray for yourself or your family, but also pray for your faith, for the Jama’at, and nation. Additionally, all Khuddam and Atfal should do Tilawat daily, even if it is just a few Rukus. You should try to understand the meaning of the Quran so that you can learn the best morals and know what Allah desires from you.”
Most importantly, Huzooraba singled out the quality of being truthful. “As you leave this Ijtema today, you should do so with the firm and sincere intention to always speak the truth, and to act with honesty at all times, and under all circumstances […] all Khuddam should understand that speaking the truth and acting with integrity is the means of gaining the nearness of Allah, whilst falsehood is equivalent to shirk — that is associating partner with God.”
“Those who purposely lie or deceive are no different to the idol worshipers who make falsehood their god, and who think that they will benefit from lying whilst fearing they will suffer if they adhere to the truth.”
Continuing on the qualities Khuddam should inculcate, Huzooraba said “Another very important quality and virtue that you should all develop is to become compassionate, loving, and considerate of others. Seek to establish the ties of mutual love, brotherhood and harmony. For a nation or community to be strong, it requires people to be united and to care for one another, and to share in each other’s joys and sorrows.”
Lastly, Huzoor addressed those Khuddam who are students or in higher education. “All students, whatever their age or level, should work diligently and seek to achieve the best possible results. And as you progress to adulthood, you should strive to reach the apex of your chosen profession.” Referring to the observation in the Jama’at that generally, girls are excelling more than boys in education, Huzoor said “I lay down the challenge to the members of Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya to strive to redress this imbalance, and to endeavour to achieve the very best results in your academic career.”
Stating that it was God’s promise to the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) that members of his community will excel in gaining knowledge and understanding, Huzoor encouraged Khuddam to strive to be one of those who manifest this promise.
Beloved Huzoor concluded his address with the prayer that “May Allah the Almighty grant all of you the humility to truly comprehend your immense responsibilities and to fulfil your obligations as members of Khuddamul Ahmadiyya. May you fulfil the rights to Allah the Almighty, and to His creation, and be those who illuminate the name of our Jama’at in the world, and play a distinguished role fulfilling the mission of the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him). It is my sincere and ardent prayer that you are successful in this. May Allah the Almighty continue to bless Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya in all respects. Ameen.”
Echoes of Durood in the British Countryside
By the grace of Allah, on the idyllic Hampshire countryside are marquees, filled with passionate young Ahmadis sharing their zeal in this year’s National Ijtema, with the theme this year placing particular emphasis on “The Power of Durood Shareef”. For the first time since 2019, the Ijtema is physically taking place. Once again Atfal and Khuddam brothers from across the UK are united, evoking feelings of enthusiasm and eagerness as individual and team competitions take place. With careful social distancing measures and masks covering each face, this Ijtema is a unique one, but the sheer gratefulness each attendee feels to be here is what makes this event so incredibly special and blessed.
One Khadim, Ismail Ahmad from London, described how special it felt to him to be here:
“If you think about it, how many events are happening due to COVID? Very, very few. For an Ijtema to be happening currently during COVID, and for Khuddam to get together… it’s just a remarkable thing.”
Certainly, the sole existence of the Ijtema is astonishing. Re-establishing the feeling of unbreakable brotherhood and enhancing the unity of each member creates a sense of enormous fulfilment for all. Not to mention the theme of the Ijtema this year is most definitely a spiritually motivating one for it educates others on the importance of Allah’s divinely appointed Messenger (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him).
The facilities in this year’s Ijtema are greatly organised, with humble volunteers helping set up the exhibitions. Another Khadim, Akram Ghauri from Southwest England told us:
“The exhibitions are a great part of this Ijtema. The exhibitions of the different magazines and the one on Syed Taalay Ahmad Shaheed are really relevant for younger people. Not to mention that the volunteering work, the people that set this all up, all the work that they do is inspiring; it shows selflessness.”
Furthermore, the number of attendees this year is what makes the Ijtema so special. The indescribable sense of cheerfulness that is etched on each attendee’s smile is what lifts the atmosphere to such a level that only members of the Ahmadiyya Community are perhaps familiar with here today, an exemplary display of diversity and companionship. The familiar sense of fraternity and belonging is what binds each Ahmadi here today into one integration. This was further reflected on by a Khadim working behind the scenes, Shehryar Sheikh:
“The Ijtema this year has so far been really successful, Alhamdulilah. One of our roles in the Atfal team is to try and maximise attendance. So, in my eyes, one of the inspiring things is the number of people that came to the Ijtema. Just seeing the fruits of all the work that has been going on behind the scenes, is quite incredible.”
Overall, the essence of this year’s Ijtema is outstanding. It is a quintessential example of unity, spirituality, and devotedness. This event has moved Ahmadis across the UK and encourages them to join in and relate their incidences of religious inspiration. The theme echoes across the hearts of Ahmadis not only in the UK, but across the world as people have been watching the events online. This ijtema has touched the souls of the deep lovers of the Holy Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). This ijtema will indeed be a memorable one—of course, the greatest rewards for attendance, other than the blessings of God Almighty, is seeing the Khalifah of the time: Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul-Masih Vaba.
It’s Only an Hour, But its Impact Lasts Forever
We spoke to Khuddam at today’s Birmingham Virtual Mulaqat with Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih V (aba) at Darul-Barakat Mosque. Khuddam knew the importance and impact that such Mulaqats have on their lives.
Students aged between 16-19 from Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK had the blessed opportunity to be part of a virtual Mulaqat with Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih Vaba today. 60 Khuddam from the Midland regions gathered in Darul-Barakat Mosque Birmingham to gain invaluable guidance from Huzooraba. Most had not been part of a Mulaqat or any gathering with Huzoor since before the pandemic. Others told us about the significance of this Mulaqat for them personally. Yesterday a Virtual Mulaqat of Khuddam in the London regions took place in Baitul Futuh Mosque in which close to a dozen questions were presented to Huzoor individually by Khuddam who took much solace in them being answered by their Khalifah.
A similar atmosphere was found in Birmingham today, we spoke to Khuddam about their feelings prior to the Mulaqat and what they wanted to get out of this gathering and found an eagerness in them to see and interact with Huzooraba. Ahmad Sadiq, 17, from Walsall said:
“I saw Huzoor a long time ago, almost 2 years ago now. Not being able to see him for long is really upsetting and this is my first opportunity for a Mulaqat. Today I hope to gain better understanding of Ahmadiyyat and Islam. I’m looking forward to listening to the answers Huzooraba gives to Khuddam as they will be beneficial to me as well”
Khaqan Ahmad, 17, from Birmingham West who is a Waqfe-Nau and hoping to go into medicine said:
“Last time I was in a Mulaqat was a few years ago when I was a tifl so this Mulaqat holds great significance for me as it is my first Mulaqat as a Khadim. To me the Khalifah of the time means a universal leader, a leader for everyone and not just Muslims. I was really impacted by Huzoor’s last Friday Sermon on Talay Sahib Shaheed and I want to ask him how we can also become a beloved of Huzooraba.”
Khaqan also told us that Huzoor’s Khutbah inspired him to be more passionate and inculcated a unique sense of love for the Khalifah of the time. Undoubtedly, for Khaqan and so many others it was clear that this Mulaqat would shape their futures.
Mohtamim Tarbiyyat, Attique-ur-Rahman explained the importance of Khuddam to be part of these Mulaqats. He said:
“Today’s Mulaqat is important because after having two years of just seeing Huzoor visually – delivering sermons etc. these Khuddam needed an opportunity to continue to advance their relationship with Khilafat in a setting where they could have a conversation with him. We have already seen the benefits these Mulaqats have been having on Khuddam and Atfal that have been a part of Mulaqats across the global Jama’at and how their life has been impacted. It has been like a kickstart for Khuddam, they have been motivated from these Mulaqats to serve the Jama’at in a better way and to become a better person.”
Labeed Butter, 19, from Walsall who is starting university soon explained to us that he wanted to gain a deeper understanding of Islam after speaking to his local Murrabi, thus he wanted to be part of this Mulaqat. He told us he was spiritually motivated and wanted to be the first to speak to Huzooraba today.
Yesterday’s Mulaqat in Baitul Futuh saw an enthusiastic group of Khuddam eager to meet and learn from their beloved Khalifah. Indeed these gatherings are unique and remembered forever—as such one should never underestimate the impact that this hour will have on all those part of the Mulaqat, especially the youngsters who are in such a key developmental stage of their lives.
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