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.
Honouring our Pledge: What, Where, When and Why?
The theme for the Khuddam year beginning now is “Honouring our Pledge”. It’s time to start evaluating whether we’re fulfilling the promise we’ve been making.
Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK is happy to announce the new theme approved by Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih Vaba as Honouring our Pledge. Here’s a quick read to get you thinking about the theme and what the focus will be for this Khuddam year.
Of course, we all know that Islam lays particular emphasis upon fulfilling one’s promises; whether they relate to everyday matters, one’s family, work or religion. But in this case the theme refers to our Khuddamul Ahmadiyya pledge: the one where we stand-up, place our right hand above our left, and recite in unison at the beginning of Khuddam gatherings. This year’s theme is not about a pledge, rather the pledge. (Download it here!)
The Khuddam pledge goes back to the inception of Khuddamul Ahmadiyya itself. All auxiliaries within the Jama’at have their pledges according to their aims and objectives. As part of the Khuddam pledge Tashahhud is recited and then the pledge reads:
“I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammadsa is the servant and messenger of Allah. I solemnly pledge that I shall always be ready to sacrifice my life, wealth, time and honour for the sake of my faith, country and nation. Likewise, I shall be ready to offer any sacrifice for guarding the institution of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya. Moreover, I shall deem it essential to abide by any ‘maroof’ decision made by Khalifatul-Masih. Inshallah”.
This is what we pledge (and have been pledging since we were Atfal, though the Atfal pledge speaks about honesty and not using foul language instead).
The Khuddam pledge can be traced back to 1938 where only the first part relating to sacrificing wealth, time and honour can be found. It was later that amendments were made by Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih IIra adding to the pledge.
The Khuddam pledge talks about sacrificing four things we hold dear:
Though a true Khadim is always ready to sacrifice his life—as we saw in the recent example of Syed Taalay Ahmad Sahib Shaheed—in this day and age what we are asked of most frequently is to sacrifice our wealth and time. Wealth is sacrificed in the form of chandas and charity whereas time is sacrificed by committing a certain portion of it in pursuit of the Majlis’ activities. If we reflect upon the history of Islam, this is indeed a very small sacrifice that we are being asked to make. Today’s jihad is that of self-reformation and we are not burdened as Muslims were burdened in times of the past. Therefore, this makes it even more important to ensure we are living up to the little we are being asked to commit.
Undoubtedly, this new year will bring a revived focus around the pledge and what it means. But on an individual level we should begin contemplating and evaluating the extent to which we fulfil our pledge.
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.”
Meet the Young British Teenagers Eager to Seek the Guidance of their Khalifah
The Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been guiding the youth since the beginning. Today’s Mulaqat is no different.
Today at the Darul Aman Mosque in Manchester dozens of Ahmadi Muslim Youth had the opportunity to have a virtual Mulaqat with Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih Vaba. The group of young Khuddam between the ages of 16-19 were mostly from the North of the UK.
Speaking to a lot the Khuddam still in their educational years, we found them eager to seek the guidance of Huzooraba in many ways. Some had prepared questions to seek guidance on their studies, whilst others had theological questions—all knew the value of Huzoor’saba words. This is the third virtual Mulaqat of Khuddam this year with the first two taking place the previous weekend in Baitul Futuh and Birmingham.
Tanzeel Ahmad from Bolton had a question to present before Huzooraba in relation to Durood Shareef. This was Tanzeel’s first Mulaqat since becoming a Khadim and he is currently doing his A-levels. One Khadim after the other explained to us how important gaining Huzoor’s wisdom was. Before the Mulaqat Tanzeel said:
“Everyone wishes to gain nearness to the Holy Prophetsa and I want to seek Huzoor’s guidance on how we can gain his nearness, especially since it is the Khuddamul Ahmadiyya theme for this year.”
Azib Imran, also of similar age, told us he wanted to be part of this Mulaqat so that he could become a better Ahmadi Muslim. A lot of the Khuddam were born in the UK and despite being raised in a materialistic society they told us that society should turn towards the Khalifatul-Masih for advice and guidance since he is a Man of God. Some such as Hamza Ahmad, who is starting Jamia next month, expressed that he has always been drawn towards the Khalifah of the Time and wishes to serve him as a Murrabi and has never felt inclined towards a non-waqfe profession.
A lot of Khuddam were greatly moved by the Friday Sermon delivered at the martyrdom of Syed Talay Sahib and had questions that revolved around martyrdom.
Takreem Ahmad from Bradford, who had the opportunity to do Tilawat in the Mulaqat said:
“My entire life has been guided by Huzooraba as a waqf, Huzoor instructed I go into medicine instead of Jamia and since I have started my studies my sense of duty to the Jama’at has only increased.”
With the National Khuddam Ijtema coming up next weekend, many Khuddam were excited at the prospect of attending the Ijtema after the pandemic. Undoubtedly, whenever the Ijtema takes place these youngsters are at the forefront in registering their interest and travelling from all around the country to attend.
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