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Khidmat-e-Khalq

What guidelines has Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih V (aba) outlined for Khuddamul Ahmadiyya?

By Anas rana - Naib Sadr & Dr Haris Khan - Waqf-e-Nau Doctor
Published on December 24, 2021 at 4:00 pm

The central remit of the Khidmat-e-Khalq department is serving humanity and since the inception of Khuddamul Ahmadiyya, Khidmat-e-Khalq activities have formed an important part of its output. Throughout the years successive Khulafa have expanded and reiterated our responsibilities to the wider society and our responsibilities towards Allah the Almighty. I would like to draw your attention to some of the addresses by Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih Vaba, which have guided us on how to better fulfil this responsibility. On the specific point of our responsibilities towards Allah and humanity Huzooraba stated:

“A righteous deed is a ladder to rise towards Islam and God. The reality of a good deed needs to be borne in mind… Satan misleads people in every way and leads them astray from the path of Truth. The Promised Messiahas gave the example of a self-indulgent person, who chooses to donate left over bread to a hungry person, despite having a freshly prepared meal to hand. This does not comply with the Divine commandment that Allah the Exalted says: ‘And they feed, for love of Him, the poor, the orphan, and the prisoner.’ He did not feed the poor from what was Ta’am (means desirable food) for him, but from the left-overs. This is not a true act of virtue. To attain a true act of virtue demands a lot of self-reflection and endeavour. True virtue cannot be acquired without having absolute faith in God Almighty. True virtue is attained when one develops  faith in God Almighty as All-Seeing, Who is totally aware of everything and possesses knowledge of the unseen.”

This is an essential point that we all should follow when we are performing any services to humanity. Our responsibilities are not fulfilled unless we make them true acts of virtue. To achieve that level of virtue we need to constantly look at our actions and critically reflect on our intentions and our efforts. Huzooraba further highlighted the nature of worship and how it relates to serving humanity at the inauguration of Nasir Mosque in Kent:

“When we study the details of how to worship in the Holy Qur’an… A person’s prayers will not be accepted if they do not seek to help the poor and deprived. A person’s prayers will not be accepted if they are not fulfilling the rights of orphans. A person’s prayers will not be accepted if they are not striving to end all forms of slavery. And a person’s prayers will not be accepted if they do not show mercy to one another and indeed to all forms of God’s creation.

Furthermore, and as I have said, Islam teaches Muslims to fulfil the rights of God’s creation, and so it is necessary for a Muslim to fulfil the rights of those mired in poverty and to help those who are orphaned or enslaved. That is why for the cause of social welfare the Ahmadiyya Community has opened various hospitals, orphanages and schools, both in Africa, and in other under-developed parts of the world. In places where people do not have access to water the Ahmadiyya Community is devising plans and running projects to provide them with clean drinking water by installing hand-pumps and other devices.”

Here Huzooraba highlights just how important the concept of serving humanity is in Islam, so much so that it is an essential requirement for having our prayers accepted. Each and every one of us is urged to form a living connection with God and we cannot achieve that without caring for those in need.

At the inauguration of the Nasir Hospital in Guatemala in 2018 Huzooraba further stated:

“Ever since its foundation, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has always sought to be on the very front lines of serving humanity, whether it be directly through our own Community’s schemes, through Humanity First or through the support of other charities and good causes… we do not discriminate against any community or people and do not give any priority to our own members. We seek no praise and no reward for such efforts because we are merely doing what our religion has taught us to do. Our motivation and our desire to serve others is driven entirely by the teachings of Islam. The guiding light for any true Muslim is the Holy Qur’an, which was revealed to Islam’s Founder, the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa. Time and again, the Holy Qur’an has instructed Muslims to serve mankind and to fulfil the needs of those who are suffering or are deprived in any way. It requires Muslims to be selfless and consumed by a love for others. It requires us to be ever-ready to make sacrifices for the sake of the peace and well-being of other people.”

The key takeaway here for us is that our actions always need to be selfless and never with a goal of receiving a reward other than what Allah the Almighty grants us through His mercy.

Huzooraba also elaborated on how we should provide assistance to people and referencing the Holy Qur’an said:

“The hallmark of a true Muslim is that he should care for all of God’s creation and should comfort and support those in need, whether they seek their help or not. Hence, it is not enough for a Muslim to wait until someone asks for help; rather, it is his duty to recognise the suffering of others and to make whatever sacrifices are required in order to help them overcome their challenges or troubles.”

Huzooraba has also specifically highlighted that we should always keep the end goal in mind. We want to assist people to allow them to stand on their own feet. Huzooraba stated:

“In chapter 90, verses 15–17, Muslims are instructed to feed the hungry, to show empathy and love to orphans, and to help anyone in need, especially those mired in poverty or who are defenceless and weak. Muslims are taught to be the ones who comfort and love those people who have been failed by society and to carry the weight of their burdens on their own shoulders. Muslims are duty-bound to help underprivileged people, so that they can stand upon their own two feet, live with dignity, and be freed from their desperate circumstances. In return, the Qur’an states Muslims will be rewarded with increased spirituality, which in turn will take them towards God Almighty and make them recipients of His pleasure.”

In 2019, Huzooraba reiterated this at the historic address at the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Headquarters in Paris. Commenting upon the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, Huzooraba stated:

“He taught that spiritual advancement was intrinsically linked to serving humanity and so a Muslim could not attain the love of God Almighty just through worship and prayer, rather the love of God Almighty required Muslims to serve humanity.”

This specifically highlights some of the areas we need to think about when serving humanity and further it highlights the need to keep the dignity of people in mind whenever we help them. This process of helping will increase our spirituality and bring us closer to God. This is how we fulfil the purpose of our existence in this world. Huzooraba further highlighted the importance of keeping the dignity of those we are helping in mind:

“Even in small matters, the Holy Prophet of Islamsa paid great attention to ensuring that the feelings of underprivileged people were protected. For example, he instructed Muslims to always invite the poor and needy to their dinner parties or social gatherings. If less affluent people were exploited by the rich or powerful, the Prophet of Islamsa instructed his followers to help the weaker party attain justice.”

The eradication of suffering has wide ranging implication in society not least for the attainment of peace. Huzooraba summarised this in the following way:

“Where, out of human sympathy, we seek to eradicate poverty and destitution, we also consider it to be the key to developing sustainable peace in the world. Only if people have food to eat, water to drink, shelter, schooling for their children and healthcare will they be able to live in peace and escape the deadly clutches of frustration and resentment that lead people towards extremism.

These are all basic human rights and so until we help people flee poverty and destitution, we will not see true peace in the world.”

This shows the importance of Khidmat-e-Khalq work and why Huzooraba places such importance on it. It is central to our prayers being accepted and is itself a form of worship. Huzooraba has also highlighted how to serve humanity and what real service entails. This only scratches the surface of Huzoor’saba advice and guidance on how to serve humanity and what it means. I hope this will encourage you to dig deeper and further understand what is required of us and how to truly bring about a change in society.

Khilafat

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.

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Khilafat

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.

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Khilafat

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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