Ever since I have moved to the UK, I have been blessed with numerous opportunities to serve the Jama’at including numerous experiences with Khilafat. One such incident happened during Hifazat-e-Markaz duty. During this duty, I was asked to stand guard by the door where Huzooraba enters and exits the Mubarak Mosque. I was also advised to present Huzooraba with a shoehorn as Huzooraba exited the mosque. At the time, I was trembling with excitement to have been given such a blessed opportunity, one that all Ahmadis dream of. However, at the same time, this was a very daunting experience. I grew more and more anxious as the moment came closer and this was becoming apparent to others around me. One of Huzoor’saba security guards came and reassured me that everything would be fine and gave me further instructions on how to present the shoehorn to Huzooraba.
Finally, when Huzooraba exited the mosque, I did as I was instructed and presented the shoe horn to Huzooraba. However, Huzooraba noticed me and the tremble in my hand and asked, “Are you not an Ansar yet?”. I replied that I was still a Khadim. After Huzooraba left, I realised that this short conversation had lifted the tremble and anxiety from my body. I thought to myself that Huzooraba may have spoken to me to make me feel at ease. After this incident, all I wanted to do was inform my family back in Pakistan. My mother was especially moved and I thought to myself that this was such a minor thing in the eyes of those who did not have a Khalifah, yet for us even the smallest of encounters with Huzooraba leaves a lasting memory.
In these times, we tend to take a lot of things for granted. This incident is one that may seem very ordinary and small to a normal person; however, these are the opportunities which Ahmadis from around the world pray to experience. This was indeed, one of the greatest moments of my life, Alhamdulillah.
Shahid Diaries – Sarfraz Bajwa
A Murabbi narrates anecdotes from staying in Islamabad during the pandemic
Huzooraba took a lot of care of us while we were here, down to the smallest details. During one class he began asking us how the food is. A few students said it’s normal Langar food: Daal, Aloo Gosht and occasionally pasta. I had been craving buttered chicken for the past week so I jokingly asked Huzooraba if we could have buttered chicken. Huzooraba laughed and jokingly said there was a lot of fat in butter which was not good for my health. I jokingly replied that I would have less butter and more chicken. Huzooraba laughed but said he agreed that they should make food that everyone wants to eat so that people do not feel the urge to go out and get fast food since going outside into public places and restaurants was a risk due to COVID-19. I thought that that was the end of that.
The day after that class Huzooraba came for Asr prayer as usual. However, after prayers he came outside into Masroor Hall where our class was staying. He came and inspected our beds and sleeping area. As we had just moved in not to long before, many of us still had their clothes in their suitcases. I had recently ordered quite a few things online and they were scattered all over my bed and my area. I was not next to my bed so Huzooraba asked one of my classmates whose bed this was to which he replied it was Sarfraz’s bed. Huzooraba said that it was very messy and then continued to the rest of the beds. He noticed that most of us were living out of our suitcases so he instructed Sadr Khuddamul Ahmadiyya to get some sort of cupboards to put our clothes in. Then Huzooraba made his way to the kitchen and the first thing Huzooraba said to the chefs as soon as he walked in was “Aap ko buttered chicken banana ata hai?” [Do you know how to make buttered chicken?] The chefs were startled at this question and said yes and instantly began reciting the recipe for buttered chicken and describing how it was made. Huzooraba laughed and said that they should make it then. When I asked Huzooraba if we could have buttered chicken, I said it as a joke just to make Huzooraba laugh. I could not have imagined Huzooraba would come out, go to the kitchen and tell the chefs to make it for us! I realised how much love and attention Huzooraba was showing us.
Two days later the cupboards arrived and we set up our areas. That day Huzooraba came out again to inspect our sleeping area. I had tidied up and sorted my things away neatly, so I was looking forward to Huzooraba seeing the difference. But Huzooraba only inspected the area on the other side of the hall briefly before going back inside. I didn’t think too much about this until the next class when Huzooraba asked me if I had tidied my area. I said that I had. Huzooraba said it was quite unorganised last time. I explained that I had ordered a few things online and just left them lying around to open later. But I had packed them all away in the cupboards Huzooraba had gotten us. Huzooraba said “main doosri dafa tumhari jagah peh nahi aya taakeh tumhai yeh na lage ke main baar baar chaapah maarne aajata hoon” [I did not inspect your area the second time in case you start feeling like I have come to raid your area.] I laughed and said that I had organised everything in the cupboard. This was a beautiful example of Huzoor’saba compassion, he did not want me to feel embarrassed in case I had not yet been able to tidy up.
The Sermon that Brought Khuddamul Ahmadiyya into Existence
1938 marks the year of the establishment of Khuddamul Ahmadiyya by Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmadra, The Promised Son. Initially, its aim was to encourage young individuals to serve the Jama’at. However, today its impact can be felt in hundreds of countries with thousands of members actively working in various roles in the Jama’at.
On 1 April 1938, Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih IIra presented the idea of forming Khuddamul Ahmadiyya to the community. Throughout the speech he stressed the need to reform the youth. He explained how this organisation would need to work to properly achieve its goal. He also mentioned the many advantages of this organisation, what it can contribute to the Jama’at and how it will nurture and develop the minds of young individuals. He said:
“I have frequently reminded the Jama’at that a nation cannot be reformed without reforming its youth. If the new generations are devoid of faith and the principles established by Allah the Almighty through His Prophets, the nation cannot develop and take a step forward. Of course, development will happen, but it will happen and stop, or it will prosper, but then hardships will occur. This way, it will rise and fall like the mountains. But hardships are not a good thing, rather they are bad, and should be dealt with as fast as possible. Thus, it is clear that [especially in this era] without proper training, one cannot deliver the true message of Islam to the world.
It is crucial to cultivate and improve the upbringing of children and women. If one wants to ensure the success of Tehrik-e-Jadid, then he needs to establish associations for young people just like there are for Lajna Imaillah. When this idea arose in some young individuals in Qadian, they set up an organisation named Khuddamul Ahmadiyya with my permission. As it is beneficial to work with people of a similar nature, I permitted them to include people with similar experiences. But I also urged them, if possible, to have other individuals and also to consider that those who join gain interest in helping. I advised not to include people who are learned scholars in the Jama’at. Due to this, some companions misunderstood and one missionary came to meet me and asked, ‘are you angry with me?’ I replied, ‘I am not. What gave you this idea that I am angry with you’. He said ‘I have been informed that you are not allowing me to join the ranks of Khuddamul Ahmadiyya’. To which I then replied, ‘This situation is not just for you, but for anyone who possesses special skills, they are prohibited from joining, and the reason for this is that if the elders are also permitted to join, this would result in only the elders being elected as president, the secretary etc. They would always accept the elder’s advicex and due to this, they will not think on their feet and would remain unintelligent.’ For example, if one joins any association or gathering, it would be natural to elect the Khalifatul-Masih as he holds the highest status with Allah, so he would be elected president. As a result, the training gained by working as a president will be neglected, and the Jama’at will be deprived of this experience.
Thus, I have especially advised them not to include intellectuals and scholars, so they can work and gain experience by doing things themselves. However, you can accommodate individuals of the second or third rank to gain interest in working and figure out how the Jama’at operates. I have noticed that so far, they have worked very hard and very well. I understand that if I had allowed missionaries like Maulvi Abul-Ata Allah Dita or Maulvi Jalaluddin Shams, or any missionary to join the organisation, any announcement that they have written so far would have been written by them. They would be the ones to have addressed any objection, and no young individuals would be aware of how they are being answered. Therefore, I stopped the missionaries from joining [Khuddamul Ahmadiyya]. Although I have said to ask for advice from [scholars], if you write anything, write it yourself, so you feel responsible for it even if you feel extremely worried. So, they read books and asked people regarding what ideas to address. After this, they wrote essays and reviewed them multiple times. But when they finally presented the articles, they were written brilliantly. I have realised that their articles are on par with other articles. Even if it takes them a month or two to produce something that people like me, who are well versed in writing, can produce in one or two hours without any aid: while it took them ten people working for a month to produce it but what resulted is that the spiritual knowledge hidden from their eyes appeared in front of them; they read and expanded their knowledge. If they continue this, many works of literature like the recorded books of Islam, commentary of Islamic texts, books of Ahadith, books of jurisprudence, the books of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas and many more like this will appear in front of them, and their souls will thrive with knowledge.”
Hazrat Musleh Maudra also emphasised that community branches outside of Qadian should also set up Khuddamul Ahmadiyya in their respective regions. He also advised on how each Khadim should act. He stated that “You should forget that anyone else in Qadian is left for this role. You should understand as if you are the only one who has been tasked with this responsibility, as one cannot call himself a true believer if he implies that this is my role and that is your role. A true believer is not one that chooses his responsibilities”.
Indeed, from this we learn that Khuddamul Ahmadiyya was formed with high expectations from the second Khalifah. It is when we understand our role as Khuddam that we can work towards fulfilling the grand task of reforming our youth.
Connection with Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya
The Qaid of Dundee Qiadat shares his experience of Khilafat in relation to the acceptance of prayer
Khilafat is a divine source of guidance and being an Ahmadi Muslim I believe we are immensely fortunate to experience this on a day-to-day basis. Even though some of us cannot physically see our beloved Khalifah every day we still have a powerful spiritual connection with him.
Personally, I have experienced a connection with Khilafat in a variety of different ways. One example is the satisfaction and reward when you write to beloved Huzoor-e-Aqdasaba for prayers.
There are a multitude of examples that I can narrate on acceptance of prayers but the one I have selected is from the time when I moved to the UK and claimed asylum in order to escape persecution in Pakistan. During this initial period, I was moved to a detention centre where I was held for almost 5 weeks. The availability of a fax machine in the detention centre meant I wrote to beloved Huzoor-e-Aqdasaba for prayers every day. I had a great desire to attend my first ever Jalsa Salana UK and expressed this through various letters to Huzoor-e-Aqdasaba.
For various reasons, the first detailed interview regarding my detention could not be completed in the initial meeting and it seemed very unlikely that I would be able to attend Jalsa Salana that year as it was a mere three weeks away. Despite this, I had faith and continued writing letters to Huzoor-e-Aqdasaba daily.
After a long week, I was informed of the decision of my case – it was rejected. I was shocked, worried and mostly saddened that I will now definitely miss Jalsa Salana UK. At this point I increased the number of letters I sent to Huzooraba, sending him 2 letters a day. I appealed the decision and my court hearing was scheduled with just two weeks to go until Jalsa.
The day prior to my hearing, I phoned the Private Secretary’s office and requested if they can pass my request for special prayers to Huzoor-e-Aqdasaba. I was interviewed in court for several hours. Once the judge was happy that she had all the necessary information, I was informed that due to her busy schedule she wouldn’t be able to give a decision on my case anytime soon. This meant that, even if within the next week there was a positive decision, I would still miss Jalsa Salana. I immediately wrote a letter to Huzoor-e-Aqdasaba explaining the whole situation.
Early the next morning, my phone rang whilst I was still half asleep. It was a call from my solicitor in which he informed me that he had some good news. He had just received a fax from the Home Office that I had been granted Refugee status. I was in shock for a while because the news came so unexpectedly. My heart was full of praise to Allah for He had listened to the prayers of the Khalifah. To this day, it astounds me that I was the recipient of the blessings of those prayers.
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