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On the second day of the Tabligh trip, the Khuddam engaged in Tabligh in the Argentinian capital, Buenos Aires.
Monday, 21 February 2022
Everyone woke to offer their Tahajjud prayers, which was followed by Fajr at 5.15am.
We visited the studios of Radio Continental, one of the most popular radio stations in Argentina. Their work includes giving a voice to the minorities in Argentina. One of the presenters, Mr Gabriel, reached out to Marwan Sahib and invited him to talk on the radio and talk about the work we’re doing in Argentina.
We met the president of the radio station along with Mr Gabriel who received us with a very warm welcome. We presented some gifts to them and took photos with them. They mentioned that they plan to talk about our visit in their talk show tonight as well as on their social media accounts and website.
The director shared his personal contact details and asked us to keep him updated throughout our trip so they could continue to post about us. We then proceeded to a room for refreshments and had a discussion with them.
I gave them the example of the UK’s LBC radio station and suggested that they give Marwan Sahib a slot. The general public could then call and ask questions to Marwan sahib directly, enabling them to learn about Islam Ahmadiyya. The director confirmed that similar shows were already in place.
We visited the Museo del Holocausto de Buenos Aires – a Holocaust Memorial Museum. A chief Rabbi was also invited from the Shalom Salaam Group, a group that the Rabbi and Marwan Sahib are running together to strengthen the relationship between Muslims and Jews in which Marwan Sahib is teaching Islamic Studies.
The acting director of Radio Jai, a Jewish radio station based in Buenos Aires, was also invited. Marwan Sahib is invited every week for a talk on this station. Before the tour started, gifts were presented to the Rabbi and the sub director.
A tour guide named Alejandro gave us a tour of the museum in English towards the end of which, we saw an old Torah script from 8th century Greece, called the Zifr Torah. At the time when the Jews were being persecuted by the Nazis, concerns rose about the Zifr Torah’s safeguarding as the Nazis were relentlessly burning down synagogues. This script was taken to a mosque where a mufti offered to keep it safe. Later, when the situation improved for the Jews, the Torah was returned to them.
Due to the scripture being very old and not in a condition to be used regularly for services, it was decided to keep it in a museum. This emphasises the great relationship between the Jewish and the Muslim communities.
We saw a quote written on a mirror which was taken from the Bible stating, ‘Whoever saves one person, it is as if they saved the whole of mankind’. Marwan Sahib pointed out that this was the teaching of Islam outlined in the Holy Quran.
We had lunch and offered Zuhr and Asr prayers.
We split ourselves into groups and made our way to the interfaith event inside the Palacio San Martín, a palace that serves as the Ceremonial Headquarters for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship. An introduction was given by Marwan Sahib followed by a Spanish talk by the Minister of Worship, Mr Guillermo Oliveri. Marwan Sahib presented a gift of gratitude to the minister before his departure.
The meeting continued with everyone introducing themselves and their stories of how they found their way to their respective religions and the reasons they practice it.
This was concluded with a Q&A session in which our Argentinian Ahmadi brothers and sisters answered questions zealously while displaying love and knowledge for their faith. At the end of the event, I was invited to speak.
During this, Marwan sahib received a call from Telemax – a national TV station – asking for an interview on the phone about the delegation’s objectives. They heard about the interfaith event, which they were unable to join, and requested Marwan Sahib to record an interview immediately so they could also cover it.
Marwan Sahib mentioned that even a month ago, it seemed impossible for such an event to take place at the Palacio San Martín. A few weeks earlier Marwan sahib went to see the Minister for some other matters, during their meeting he mentioned that a delegation from the UK was coming and that we were trying to book a hall for an event. The Minister offered the hall in the Palace and the very next day an organiser from the Palace called to finalise the visit and to discuss arrangements for the event.
And so the hall was booked where today, by the grace of Allah, we were able to hold this historic event. Events such as this in the Palace are rare and the other religious leaders present were surprised by this, expressing that despite being established for centuries in Argentina, they have not been able to hold events in the Palace.
This is indeed a sign of the truth of Islam, the Holy Prophetsaw and the Promised Messiahas. There is no doubt that due to the prayers of Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih Vaba, Allah’s support is behind all this, Alhamdulillah.
The event was also publicised by the Ministry on their Twitter account.
Saludamos a los jóvenes que participaron de una jornada de diálogo interreligioso de las comunidades mormona @NotiSUD, islámica @AhmadiaArg, judía @isaacsacca, católica y cristiana @CatedraldelaFe_ .
Agradecemos el reconocimiento por promover la paz y la convivencia. pic.twitter.com/1ou3Bo8LIR
— Secretaría de Culto (@CultoARG) February 21, 2022
After the meeting, Shahrukh Sahib and Fatteen Sahib exchanged contact details with some of the members present.
Following this event, we went to a shopping district to buy some essential clothes as there was no confirmation about the arrival of our luggage, especially given that we are to fly off to Ushuaia soon.
We offered Maghrib and Isha prayers, which was followed by Dinner
Tabligh Trip to Guatemala: Report Day 2
05:30 (GMT-6) – We landed at Guatemala City Airport, went through border control, and collected our bags.
Whilst waiting for some of us who went to the washroom, Fatten Anjum Sahib (Murabbi Silsila) was approached by 2 American women. They said that they have been seeing us wearing the hoodie and were wondering if we were a football team. Fatten Sahib told them that we are from the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community from the UK and have come to spread the peaceful message of Islam in Guatemala. He also told them that they have done something similar last year when we went to Argentina. One of the women asked how long our stay will be here so Fatten Sahib told her that we are staying for a week. The women wished us good luck in our work here and then said “Salam Alaikum”.
06:30 (GMT-6) – We were picked up by respected Amir Nafees Sahib, who is serving as National Amir Sahib Guatemala and Missionary In-Charge, along with Sadr sb MKA and another Jama’at member from Guatemala Jama’at who drove us to the Baitul Awwal Mosque.
Amir Sahib Guatemala and Khuddam welcoming the UK delegation at Guatemala City Airport arrivals.
07:20 (GMT-6) – We settled in in the Guesthouse where we will be staying for the week. Local Jama’at had breakfast prepared for us.
08:00 (GMT-6) – We helped Amir Sahib and the Khuddam present here to setup gazebos, tables, and chairs for an interfaith event that happened at 12:15 in the mosque fields where different religious leaders, lawyers, and several parliament members were invited to the mosque.
Interfaith event setup is done by MKA UK delegation and Guatemala Jama’at
09:05 (GMT-6) – Amir Sahib told us to rest and be ready to come to the field at 12:00 for the event.
12:00 (GMT-6) – We went to the field to help with the final touch-ups. Fatten Sahib and Yasir Sahib got the certificates ready which we were presented as gifts to the delegates we met from MKA UK along with the Spanish translation of the book “The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam” by the Promised Messiah (as) and also “The Great Western Revival” by Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih V (aba).
Amir sb invited Hibat ul Mohsin Abid sb, Mohtamim Tabligh UK, to come and say something to the audience as a representative of the Majlis. After Bismillah, Hibat ul Mohsin sb thanked the local community for their hospitality. He mentioned that “We are part of Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association and our motto is that: A nation cannot be reformed without the reformation of its youth. And as the youth of the association, we have come to spread the peaceful message of Islam. The message we are here to share with the people of Guatemala is that of peace. Our leader and current Khalifa have been a visitor to this mosque and to Guatemala and he has spoken about how vital peace is for society. Hence as Muslims, we believe in peace, and in fact, the word Islam means peace”.
After the delegates shared some words on the theme of the event “Islam is Peace”, respected Amir Sahib Guatemala addressed the guests. He talked about the efforts of the Jama’at on a national and international basis to establish peace through sharing the message of Islam and calling all to turn towards their Creator. Amir Sahib then clarified that the true essence of Islam can be learned from the following three sources, the Holy Qur’an, the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (sa), and Ahadith. Attention was brought to the progress made in establishing peace through collaboration between the Jama’at and the local community, with encouragement to continue in these efforts.
Evangelist Church Representative speaking about peace
After Dua, the gifts were presented by Amir Sahib followed by food which was cooked by the local Jama’at members.
Gifts were handed by respected Amir Sahib Guatemala.
Whilst eating, Fatten Sahib had the opportunity to talk to some local guests sitting at his table. One woman said that she was introduced to Islam a month ago by a local Ahmadi Lajna, Victoria Sahiba, who asked her to come to help out with Humanity First in Nasir Hospital Guatemala. She said that every time she reads more about Islam, she further falls in love with Islam.
She asked for some clarification from Fatten Sahib and then Hibat Ul Mohsin Sahib spoke to the woman and answered some of her concerns and also took her on a tour of the Mosque. She also observed us offering Zuhr and Asr Prayers in the congregation.
Group picture with the delegates that were given gifts.
15:15 (GMT-6) – Amir Sahib took us on a mosque/office tour.
Amir Sahib showing us the offices in the Mosque.
View from the mosque.
View of the field whilst winding up.
18:00 (GMT-6) – We went to do some essential grocery shopping before returning to the Mosque for congregational Maghrib & Isha Prayers which then followed by a debrief for tomorrows plans with Amir Sahib.
Tabligh Trip to Guatemala: Report Day 1
11:30- All the members taking part in the Tabligh trip to Guatemala gathered in Islamabad, Tilford. Upon the request of Sadr MKA UK, beloved Huzoor (aba) graciously granted permission for a Mulaqat. We were anxiously waiting in Islamabad to see our beloved Imam and capture the most precious moment of our Tabligh Waqf e Arzi Trip. The mixed feeling of excitement and nervousness was evident on everyone’s faces.
Sadr Sahib was told that Huzoor (aba) will be going up to the MTA studios for a virtual Mulaqat and that we should line up outside the Private Secretary Office for a mulaqat with Huzoor (aba). In anticipation of this moment, all Khuddam lined up at the bottom of the office stairs to catch a glimpse of our Imam.
Around 11:30am, beloved Huzoor (aba) walked down the stairs from the Private Secretary Office. Seeing Huzoor (aba) come towards us, surrounded by Allah’s Noor, all of us were stunned to say something. Once Huzoor (aba) was close to us, we managed to say ‘Assalamo Alaikum Huzoor’.
Beloved Huzoor (aba) asked, “Who’s going to Guatemala? How many are you?”, whilst looking around and then stopping at Attaur Rahim Ahsan Sahib, who is currently serving as Muavin Sadr in MKA National Amila. Ahsan Sahib answered saying that it is 10 of us but due to wearing a mask Huzoor (aba) did not hear him. So, Hibat ul Mohsin Abid Sahib, who is currently serving as Mohtamim Tabligh in MKA National Amila and is also Ameer-e-Qafilah for this trip, answered: “We are 10 who will be going.”
Beloved Huzoor (aba) then asked, “What are you going there for? What is the plan?”
Mohsin Sahib replied that we are going for Tabligh and we have planned around 9-10 Tabligh activities with the Amir and Missionary In-charge Sahib of Guatemala, Amir Nafees Sahib.
Beloved Huzoor (aba) looked around again and stopped at Rabeeb Mirza Sahib (Murrabi Silsila) who is currently posted to MTA translation, and said, “You guys are also taking Maulvi Sahib with you? Are you taking him for Islah [reformation]?” Huzoor (aba) had a beautiful smile after saying that.
Beloved Huzoor (aba) then asked, “For how long are you going? Two weeks?” Mohsin Sahib answered that we are going only for a week and will depart from there next Saturday.
After that Huzoor (aba) asked, “Who knows Spanish?“ Mohsin Sahib replied, “Only Tahir Rehman Sahib”. Upon this Huzoor (aba) said, “Acha. That’s fine. Just be like the mutes and talk in sign language.” Huzoor smiled and said, “Allah Hafiz” twice before he made his way to the MTA studios.
We all were brimming with passion and were feeling ready to embark on this grand expedition.
Rabeeb Mirza Sahib (Murabbi Silsilah) led us in silent prayer before we made our way to Heathrow Airport on the minibus. MKA Amoomi sent Baseer Ahmad Sahib to drop the team at the airport and ensure a safe departure.
A picture with Sadr Sahib before Mulaqat with Huzoor Aqdas (aba)
13:00 – We went through check-in. Some people commented on the hoodie we were wearing saying that it was looking nice and asked where we were going.
13:50 – Congregational Zuhr & Asr prayers in the multi-faith prayer room at Heathrow Airport. Rabeeb Mirza Sahib (Murabbi Silsila) led the prayers.
15:00 – An American man started speaking with Tahir Rehman Sahib and Fatten Anjum Sahib (Murabbi Silsila) pointing at the Ahmadiyya logo and the phrase is written in Spanish, ‘Musulmanes Por La Paz’, on the hoodies we were wearing saying that it says ‘Muslims for Peace’. He then asked if we have a mosque/centre in Los Angeles as he sees this logo and the phrase ‘Muslims for Peace’ every day on the way to work as it is near a traffic light.
Group picture during a layover at Los Angeles Airport.
Tahir Sahib told the man about our mosque in Los Angeles where his relatives live and the man could go visit anytime and get more information about our Jama’at.
15:20 We departed from London on a United Airlines flight to Los Angles from where we will take a connecting flight to Guatemala City.
18:30(GMT-8) – Arrived at Los Angeles Airport. Fatten Anjum Sahib (Murabbi Silsila), Fahim Nasir Sahib, and Sami ullah Sikandar Sahib were taken separately into interrogation rooms where they were asked about where they are going and why they are going.
Fatten Anjum Sahib told the interrogators that we are going for a Tabligh trip to Guatemala where we have some inter-faith programmes planned and also are meeting the British Ambassodor and spreading the peaceful message of Islam which is portrayed wrongly on social media.
Fatten Sahib also introduced the Jama’at to the interrogator and also told him about beloved Huzoor (aba) visiting the US. At the end, before Fatten Sahib was allowed to leave the interrogator asked him what Huzoor’s (aba) name is out curiosity as he wanted to further research on the Jama’at.
22:20(GMT-8) – The team boarded flight from Los Angeles to Guatemala City.
Day 2 – Khidmat-e-Khalq Trip to Poland/Ukraine
Monday, 9 May 2022
Offered Fajr Namaz in congregation.
We got ready to do some essential shopping for food preparation in the camp and for the accommodation before driving to The Camp at 8am.
Cleaned and set up our campsite. Three of the team, Akbar Butt Sahib, Mohammad Malas Sahib and Jamil Bhatti Sahib, were in the kitchen preparing breakfast and lunch, and cleaning the kitchen area.
Fatten Anjum Sahib overlooked the food stall serving hot beverages and breakfast. For breakfast, 50 doughnuts and 40 sandwiches were served.
Qammar Sethi Sahib and Shahmeer Baloch Sahib offered assistance for the American Waqf-e-Arzi team with clearing out some equipment and medicine which needed to be sent to Ukraine.
We have noticed that whenever we are serving something to someone or are interacting, we are observed by the people around us very closely. Everyone has a close eye on us.
A few of us also had a chance to speak to people around us; a Khadim was wearing a ‘Jinnah’ cap whilst serving, so a volunteer worker from a camp in Ukraine approached him and asked him regarding the ‘Jinnah’ cap if it’s connected to Islam. The Khadim answered that in Islam we must cover our heads for prayers and the ‘Jinnah’ cap is just formal cap worn in Pakistan. The volunteer really liked the cap.
One Khadim was serving coffee to someone. The person was very happy about the Khadim’s work so he started sharing stories and showing pictures of his volunteer work in this crisis.
Another Khadim was approached by a lady who is also a volunteer from an Israeli camp. She was asking where we guys are from. The Khadim told her that the camp is originally from the Humanity First team from Germany and six of us have come from the UK as volunteers to help. She also asked from what community we are from and was very keen to learn about Ahmadiyyat which she never heard about before. She also said that she will search for Ahmadis in Kababir and wants to learn more about the blessed movement.
Lunch was served to everyone; approximately 50 plates of warm food (Rice and Chickpeas Salan) were served.
Two Ukrainian families, which included some medical patients, were helped in crossing the border to Poland.
Mohtamim Khidmat-e-Khalq Akbar Butt Sahib placed all the medicine in the medical tent in their respective order and also checked to see if they are still useable.
The Israeli medical camp also brought a patient to our medical tent for treatment. This shows how the blessings of Allah have been showering on us this whole time.
A lady came to drink ‘Chai’ (tea) who is working for a different medical team further ahead within the camp. She asked us regarding Humanity First. Two Khuddam introduced Humanity First to her, so she expressed her desire to help the Humanity First medical team instead. This shows how the blessings of Allah come in such mysterious ways. Who knew that Chai would attract that many people towards the Humanity First camp and learn more about Humanity First and our beautiful teachings of Islam?
Throughout the day, a lot of refugees were helped by us carrying their heavy bags to either the border or from the border to the refugee bus station.
At the end of the day, we served 600 cups of coffee and 350 cups of Chai.
We also helped with the construction of a mosque on the campsite.
After Maghrib & Isha Namaz, we had a talk with Athar Zubair Sahib about the guidance he has received from beloved Huzoor (aba) throughout his time serving for the Jama’at. One piece of advice he gave us was that we should keep our hearts clean and keep doing ‘Taubah’ (repentance for our sins) and ‘Istighfar’ (seeking forgiveness).
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