“Whoever comes into this world has to pass away one day. However, fortunate are those who are enabled by God Almighty to serve their faith and community.”
– Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (May Allah be his Helper) [Press Releases on 21st October, 2016]
People say “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone”. Truth is, you knew exactly what you had, you just didn’t think you would lose it.
Take the example of ‘life’ itself. We understand the laws of nature laid down by God Almighty. We know that God has decreed death for all of us, as He so rightly states in the Holy Qur’an: ‘Every soul shall taste of death.’ [Holy Qur’an 3:186]
But why is it that although we claim this deep-rooted ideology of life is ingrained in our minds, we fail to anticipate the loss of life? Life could be taken from us in the blink of an eye.
Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic is taking the world by storm. A disease that has caused the government nationwide to impose restrictions and enforce a number of measures for the public to adhere to in an attempt to bring this outbreak to a halt. The bottom line is that the disease is still spreading like wildfire and nobody remains invulnerable to it, anyone could fall victim to this pandemic – we mustn’t take life for granted.
The Holy Prophet, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) once said: “There are two blessings which many people lose. (They are) health and free time for doing good.” [Sahih Bukhari, Book 81, Hadith 1]
It is during dire times like these that we should make an effort to remember God Almighty most and show some gratitude. We have been blessed with a roof over our head, food on our table and air in our lungs.
But one unparalleled blessing we all share, which will forever remain the biggest favour bestowed on us is that God Almighty has enabled us to believe in the Imam and Mahdi of this age. Not one community, sect or movement truly likens itself to what we have been blessed with; Khilafat. Though, we, Ahmadi Muslims, make up less than 1% of the world’s population… God chose to bless us with a divine successorship; Khilafat. If we’re not grateful now, we may not be able to seize another opportunity in this life to be grateful later. We turn to God during times of adversity but if we don’t continue to do so during times of prosperity when God willing, we overcome this pandemic, then how can we expect God to remember us?
Spiritually Charged Audience
Like many University graduates I had dreams and expectations to land an amazing job after graduation, as this is what I was led to believe. I ended up with a 1st class degree from a good university. However, when I actually started looking for a job, my degree didn’t help me much and the realities of life hit me. Like many people I ended up in a job not related to the field I studied. I was constantly depressed and unhappy. By the grace of Allah, I had a personal audience with Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih Vaba. I told him about how I felt and all my problems. Beloved Huzooraba listened to my struggles and advised me to “study ICT or Computing”. At first, I was reluctant to go back to education again, but I finally heeded his advice and did a conversion course in computer science. By the grace of Allah, that has been the best decision of my life, I managed to secure an amazing job even before I finished my degree and then have gone on to work with some amazing companies. By listening to Huzooraba, I discovered that software engineering is my passion and now I am in a job and field, which I love. I find it amazing that such advice which came from a meeting of only a few minutes was so spiritually charged that it really did change my life.
I have been following the whole debate around the stock market: taking money back “from Wall street to Main street”. Recently, we saw small investors invest in stocks which sent certain stocks shooting through the roof, however, as they quickly fell many people lost out. Unfortunately, it became quite evident that it wasn’t as simple as people hoped it would be. I am certain some of us, who have been following this saga, will ask were these actions just? According to the House Committee on Financial Services, the answer is no. This whole episode reminded me of the chapter of the Holy Qur’an which pertains to being just in all matters. Perhaps it’s now time to stop running our entire financial edifice on cash that does not exist.
The Spirit of Sacrifice
As you are aware, MKA UK has been covering the security shifts for Islamabad (whilst adhering to social distancing guidelines). Before the pandemic, these would be covered by Khuddam from across the country as each region took turns to bring a dozen Khuddam who would perform their voluntary duty for an entire day. As lockdown began, this responsibility fell to those Qiadats around Farnham and Muqami region as a whole. Khuddam have been much lifted by the manner in which Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih Vaba has shown his love for those performing these duties (see article in January 2021 edition). Recently, I learnt of a khadim in my Qiadat who walked nearly 1 hour to Islamabad so that he could cover his voluntary post. Though we have not really been offering prayers at the Mosque for over a year now, I believe the spirit of the second aspect of Islam—rights owed to humanity—is ever alive and growing.
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