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Editorial

COVID-19: A Frightening Future?

By Daniyal Kahlon

Photo: Wokandapix

General panic. Schools shut. Empty store shelves. Overflowing hospitals. Insufficient number of NHS staff. Countrywide lockdown.

Living in Britain in the 21st century, who would have thought that we would find ourselves in such an alarming situation. It is almost as if the entire fabric of our society is being torn apart. Not by an Armageddon-like Nuclear war that many might have imagined, or a great calamity in the form of a natural disaster- rather by an invisible enemy that we cannot see coming. The paranoia of not knowing how and when we can contract this disease is frightening enough.

Scientists are working day and night to find a cure to this disease. Hospital staff are working tirelessly to care for the increasing number of patients with limited amount of resources available to them. World leaders are scrambling to figure out the best possible course of action to minimise the impact of the virus on both human lives and the economy. Great Britain is focusing on ‘flattening the curve’- essentially to allow the virus to take its course over a long period of time, rather than all of a sudden, so that the NHS is not overburdened.

This unexpected situation may be disrupting our perception of our normal routines; however, it is also giving us a chance of bringing out the best in us. Coming together in such dire times and serving the community is what really matters, and this is exactly what the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association is doing. Muslim youth volunteers are on the front lines providing those in need with sufficient supplies and aid.

It is impossible to predict, at this moment in time, how long this pandemic will last and how much worse it will get. There is much uncertainty as to the future of this pandemic, however, as Muslims we can find comfort in the words of our beloved master, the Holy Prophet (sa):

مَا أَنْزَلَ اللهُ دَاءً إِلاَّ أَنْزَلَ لَهُ شِفَاءً

“There is no disease that Allah has created, except that He also has created its treatment.”

(Sahih Bukhari, Book of Medicine, Hadith 1)

Only because a cure has not been discovered yet does not mean that there isn’t one. The silver lining in all this is that we unlike the rest of the world, we have Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih V (aba) caring for us by giving us fresh guidance regularly. Whenever such guidance is given, I feel the part of the verse of Khilafat being fulfilled:

‘and that He will surely give them in exchange security and peace after their fear’

(Chapter 24, Verse 56).

As Huzoor (aba) mentioned in his special message on Friday 27 March 2020, Ahmadi Muslims feel a sense of hopelessness if they do not hear their Khalifa address them directly, and his address certainly proved that; in the sense that our fear was turned into peace just by hearing the Khalifa address us in these times of uncertainty.

His holiness (aba) even referred to the fact that as law abiding citizens of the country that we live in, at this moment in time congregating in mosques to offer the Jummah prayer is not advisable by the government. Hence Ahmadi Muslims were instructed by Huzoor (aba) to pray at home, in congregation if possible. Huzoor (aba) also referred to the fact that in some situations it may be difficult to render religious duties and practises, just as the Promised Messiah (as) would sometimes not offer Jummah whilst on a journey.

Although some people may think that it would be more rewarding to render religious obligations routinely even in such circumstances, it is important to remember the statement of the Holy Prophet (sa) that ‘Religion is easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way.’ Hence it is imperative to keep a balance and judge the situation, and act accordingly.

Eventually a cure for this disease will be discovered, God willing. Until then it is best to follow the advice of the authorities and stay home, in order to stay safe and keep others safe.

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The Power of Durood Shareef

Understanding the Need for Durood Shareef in Today’s World.

The Promised Messiahas says that there is now one way for us to seek salvation and the love of Allah. That is through complete devotion and obedience to the Prophetsa. As Allah the Almighty says to the Holy Prophetsa :

Say, If you love Allah, follow me: then will Allah love you and forgive you your faults. And Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful. (3:32)

This year’s theme approved by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul-Masih Vaba is: The Power of Durood Shareef.

The importance of such a theme cannot be taken lightly. Rather it is a theme that should be part and parcel of our entire lives. The love of the Holy Prophetsa should be infused within us with such vigour that we, as Ahamdi Muslim youth, are always ready to sacrifice ourselves to defend the honour of the Holy Prophetsa and seek to obtain the blessings of Allah the Almighty by invoking Durood on His beloved Messengersa.

The importance of loving the Holy Prophetsa was once explained by the Prophetsa himself. Hazrat Anasra narrates that Prophetsa said:

“None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father, his children and all mankind.”

It is only by increasing our knowledge about the life of the Holy Prophetsa that we can truly love him and understand his exalted station. We should inculcate in ourselves, based on that knowledge, love, honour, and respect for the Holy Prophetsa; which is a requirement of our faith.

To truly send Durood, we must be conscious of the rank and honour that Allah the Almighty granted the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa.

The Promised Messiahas stated:

“I always wonder how high was the status of this Arabian Prophet, whose name was Muhammad, (thousands of blessings and peace be upon him). One cannot reach the limit of his high status and it is not given to man to estimate correctly his spiritual effectiveness. It is a pity that his rank has not been recognised, as it should have been. He was the champion who restored to the world the Unity of God which had disappeared from the world; he loved God in the extreme and his soul melted out of sympathy for mankind. Therefore, God, Who knew the secret of his heart, exalted him above all the Prophets and all the first ones and the last ones and bestowed upon him in his lifetime all that he desired.

He is the fountainhead of every grace and a person who claims any superiority without acknowledging his grace is not a man but is the spawn of Satan, because the Holy Prophetsa has been bestowed the key to every exaltation and he has been given the treasury of every understanding. He who does not receive through him is deprived forever. I am nothing and possess nothing. I would be most ungrateful if I were not to confess that I have learnt of the true Unity of God through this Prophet. The recognition of the Living God we have achieved through this perfect Prophet and through his light. The honour of converse with God, through which we behold His countenance, has been bestowed upon me through this great Prophet.”

Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe! You also should invoke blessings on him and salute him with the salutation of peace. (33:57)

We should send blessings upon him, keeping in mind his high status and the great pains and lengths he went to  so that we could learn Islam, and with a realisation that even now it is only possible to come closer to Allah if we have love for him in our heart and follow his footsteps.

The Durood that we send upon the Prophet Muhammadsa should be heart-felt. The Promised Messiahas stated in a letter to one of his companions:

“Stay intensely focused in invoking Durood and seek blessings for the Holy Prophetsa with the same sincerity and discernment with which one seeks blessings for a dear one.”

Durood Shareef is a way to gain blessings, wipe out our faults and elevate our spiritual rank. Hazrat Anas bin Malikra narrated that the Holy Prophetsa said:

“Whoever sends salutations upon me once, Allah will send peace upon him tenfold, and will erase ten sins from him, and will raise him ten degrees in status.”

Durood Shareef is thus an essential part of the life of a Muslim. There is no other person upon whom so many blessings are sought, and in consequence of which so many blessings are reaped.

In today’s world where the blessed and noble character of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa is deliberately mischaracterised in the media, it is essential for us to not only counter such negativity by manifesting his exalted status, but it is equally important for us to always invoke salutations upon him.

It is only when we truly begin to love our beloved Prophetsa that we can truly be counted as Muslims, this is because it is in his practice that we find perfection, and it is by emulating his example that we can come to understand the significance and value of the teachings of Islam.

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How Shall This Year be Blessed? His Holiness’ Hope Before a Warning

How the world ought to welcome 2021: turning towards God Almighty and discharging the rights of others.

At the end of today’s Friday Sermon, to mark the beginning of the New Year in light of current circumstances, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba – the Head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community said:

“Today is the first day of the new year and is also the first friday of the year. Pray that this year is blessed for the Community, for the world and for humanity. May we continue to discharge our obligation and turn towards God Almighty and continue to better the standards of our prayers. And may others, understanding the purpose of their creation, become those who discharge the rights of God Almighty and instead of neglecting each others’ rights, by following the injunctions of God, become those who fulfil the rights owed to others. Otherwise, God Almighty – in His own manner – draws the attention of the world towards His commandments. I wish we and the entire world understand this vital point and make provisions for our life and the hereafter. 

For the past year we have been facing a very dangerous pandemic. There is no country which has not felt its effects, in some places [its effects] are stronger and others they are less. Yet it seems that the majority does not want to pay attention towards the question that perhaps this pandemic is from God so that we incline towards discharging our rights and obligations – none wish to ponder this question. Could it be that God wishes to stir us [into action]? He wishes to tell us something? He intends to draw our attention towards something? No mind ponders upon this. 

A few months ago I wrote letters to many heads of government to draw attention towards this, and tried to explain with regards to Covid and, using the words of the Promised Messiahas, drew their attention towards this that such afflictions befall man from God when he forgets his rights and obligations, and instead excels in transgression. So pay heed to this. Some did write back. However, their replies were of material nature saying that they too want the same; they spoke from a worldly angle. They spoke not on spiritual matters, and the matter of God, which I had explained, was not even mentioned. They do not wish to take any steps towards reforming their condition, nor do they wish to become the sincere sympathisers of their nations and draw its attention towards the real objective, despite knowing that the effects of this pandemic will be dire. Every leader knows this, every learned knows this, every analyst knows this. Despite this, there is no inclination towards the real solution, rather, only an effort towards material pursuits. 

As a result of this pandemic, not only is every individual becoming financially weak and the health effects are of course there too, but alongside this many are becoming economically weak too. The economies of great nations are falling apart. Those of material disposition have only one solution, that when such a situation arises where the economy collapses, the economies of smaller nations ought to be controlled. They ought to be entrapped and brought under influence and then, through deceit, their wealth should be captured. As a result blocs will be formed and are beginning to emerge. War will break out and it is now being said that, in one manner, it has already begun. And it is not a distant reality that a full out war with weapons breaks out too which shall be a terrifying war indeed. Then shall these people fall into a deeper well. The poor countries are already in a dire state, but [as a result of this war] the richer nations shall also be crushed in a most frightening manner. 

Therefore, before the world reaches such a condition, we ought to discharge our obligations and alert the world. This year shall be blessed when we discharge our rights upon such manner that we make the world understand. Of course, in order to do this, we ought to evaluate our own conditions. We who have believed in the Imam of the age – the Promised Messiahas – [should ask ourselves] have our own conditions become such that alongside discharging the rights we owe to God Almighty, we discharge the rights of others – purely for His sake? Or do we need to reform ourselves and push our affections for others to greater heights? Thus, every Ahmadi ought to hearken, that a great task has been assigned to him [or her] indeed! And in order to discharge this task, every individual ought to foster an atmosphere of love and brotherhood within the Ahmadi society. Then bring the world under the flag which was hoisted by the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa – which is the flag of the Oneness of God Almighty. It is only then that we can become successful in the objective for which Bai’at is undertaken. It is only then that we can truly discharge the rights we owe as a result of such Bai’at. It is only then that we can become recipient of the grace of God Almighty. It is only then that we have the right to give and receive congratulations for a new year. May God Almighty enable us to do so. Every Ahmadi man, woman, child and elderly, after understanding this, ought to pledge that this year he [or she] will, in order to bring about a revolution in the world, employ all his faculties. May God Almighty enable every Ahmadi to do this.”

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Editorial

New Year’s Message from Sadr Majlis MKA UK

My Dear Brother,

Assalamoalaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu

The moment a year ends and a new one begins is a special moment in any society or culture. Attached to such a time is the celebration of one era ending and a new one beginning. But what we, as Ahmadi Muslims, have been taught is such moments also mark an opportunity for us to introspect, to reflect upon our lives and evaluate how much we have spiritually progressed.

The year 2020 has perhaps been one of the most difficult in recent memory and has hindered the plans and aspirations of many. It is true that though we had to put our lives on hold, but we as Ahmadi Muslims should always take comfort in the fact that no matter the circumstances, the door of God is never shut nor are the paths that lead to Him. We ought to take this opportunity to grade ourselves on all of the points that Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih Vaba explained in his 2018 Friday Sermon on how to celebrate the start of the New Year, for it is only then that any new year’s celebration can become meaningful to us. Moreover, more than ever before our resolutions must revolve around discharging the rights of our neighbours.

We have all heard the story of how Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih IVrh once celebrated the New Year in London prior to his Khilafat. Let us then, cherish the virtue that we have done during 2020 and resolve to carry it on in 2021. I pray therefore, that may 2021 be a source of blessings and prosperity for you and may we all collectively, quicken our pace towards Allah the Almighty.

Wasalam

Khaksar
Abdul Quddus Arif
Sadr Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK

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