The Diary – April 2016
Germany Tour – Extracts from ‘A personal account of Abid Khan Sahib (Incharge Central Press & Media Office). On 23 May 2015, Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih V [aba] and his Qafilah (entourage) set off for an 18 day tour to Germany, where Huzoor [aba] would grace the Jalsa Salana with his presence.
MTA panel discussion in the heat
The 3 days of Jalsa proved to be extremely hot and although there was air conditioning within the main hall and some other parts of the complex, it still felt extremely hot at all times. The hottest day was the first day where temperatures reached 37 degrees (98.6F).
I had been nervous all day because MTA had asked me to take part in a live panel discussion about Khilafat during the afternoon break. The other guests in the panel would be Ameer Sahib Germany and MTA’s Managing Director, Munir-ud-Din Shams.
I have never been comfortable appearing on MTA or doing broadcast interviews and I was especially nervous because this slot was soon after Jumma and so I assumed that many Ahmadis would be watching in different countries at that time. The studio was outside and due to the weather it was extremely hot and this made me even more nervous. As I kept wiping dry my forehead, I was continually praying that Allah helped me to avoid any mistakes or to forget my words mid-sentence!
MTA had asked me to narrate a few incidents about Khilafat that I had personally witnessed and so I had identified a few incidents which I thought would be of interest. Unfortunately, I was unable to narrate all of the incidents because the allocated timeslot was not enough to cover the ground that had originally been suggested.
When I was answering questions I could see from the presenter’s face that he was trying to hurry me along and was urging me to quickly finish my 6 answers. It was not the most ideal environment to narrate the stories but I tried my best.
Example of simplicity of Huzoor
One small point I wished to narrate on the MTA programme but was unable to due to the lack of time regarded Huzoor’s simplicity and humility that I had personally witnessed.
During the very harsh and cold winters in the UK, on many occasions I have entered Huzoor’s office and been astonished to see that there was no heating on in the office. Rather, Huzoor was seated at his desk, wearing a thick, warm overcoat and I had even seen Huzoor wearing a scarf inside his office. Each time, I saw this scene, I felt so emotional that our beloved Khalifa was sitting in the cold, wearing his overcoat to keep warm, whilst the rest of us sit in our own offices with the heating turned up.
That is the example of Khalifatul Masih, wherein he cares not for his own comfort and just continues to work selflessly for the Jamaat, no matter what the conditions.
Huzoor’s guidance about displaying photographs
A lady from the Croatian delegation asked Huzoor why photos of the Promised Messiah [as] and his Khulafa were displayed in the homes of Ahmadis or in Jamaat buildings.
In response, Huzoor said that if a person thought that by displaying a photo of the Promised Messiah [as] or the Khalifa it would increase their spirituality or make them closer to Allah then they were wrong. However, Huzoor said that if an Ahmadi displayed a photo of the Promised Messiah [as] or Khalifa-Waqt in their homes because of their attachment to them – in the same way that people display photos of their family members – then there was no harm. However, wherever there was a risk of photos being considered of greater value than this then they ought not to be displayed. Thus, Huzoor said that the Jamaat did not allow for any photo of the Promised Messiah [as] or his Khulafa to be displayed inside a Mosque because that was where people bowed down before Allah.
Similarly, Huzoor said that when he visited Australia in 2006, the local Jamaat had arranged for an official stamp to be printed with Huzoor’s photo on it and upon learning this Huzoor instructed that all of the stamps should be destroyed. Huzoor also said that some people were able to recognise the truth of Ahmadiyyat by seeing the photos of the Promised Messiah [as] or the Khulafa. He said that people in various countries had narrated that only after seeing a photo did they realise that the person they had previously seen in their dreams was the Promised Messiah [as] or one of his successors. Thus, in this era, photos were a means of guiding some people towards the truth.
Huzoor’s guidance about Khilafat
One of the guests asked Huzoor why it was that from Khalifatul Masih II [ra] onwards, all of the Khulafa of the Promised Messiah [as] had been from amongst his own family. This is a question that is often asked and Huzoor’s answer was very beautiful and logical.
He said it was simply a matter of God’s Will and that if we observed the family of the Prophet Abraham [as] we see that many of his descendants were Prophets of God and so this is for God to determine not for any man.
A cause of sadness
During the days of Jalsa and indeed for the rest of Huzoor’s tour of Germany, it became apparent that Huzoor was suffering with severe hay fever. Whenever you see Huzoor in any form of discomfort it is very upsetting and so seeing Huzoor suffer with the ill effects of hay fever was distressing.
On those occasions where I have seen Huzoor unwell or in any form of discomfort I have always wished that I had inherited some medical knowledge from my father who was a doctor so that I could perhaps find a way of helping. Once in London, when Huzoor was somewhat unwell, I even mentioned to Huzoor that I wished I could offer some service.
Huzoor smiled and responded by saying:
“All I need is dua – that is enough”
Nonetheless, despite the obvious discomfort, Huzoor did not let it affect his schedule in any way. In fact, those final days were perhaps the busiest of the entire tour.
Huzoor calling Ameer Sahib Sanghar
After the meeting, Huzoor walked directly to the Jalsa Gah for the concluding session of Jalsa Salana. Before the session commenced, there was a Ba’ait ceremony. As Huzoor, walked towards the area where he would lead the Bai’at, I saw him point in the direction of an Ahmadi and instructed him to come forward. Huzoor said that he would represent Pakistan at the Bai’at ceremony. The Ahmadi was the Ameer of Sanghar Jamaat in Pakistan. It was quite amazing how Huzoor had noticed him in the crowd of thousands.
Throughout Pakistan, Ahmadis face difficulties and persecution, and Sanghar, which is a district in Sindh, is one area where the situation is particularly dangerous for Ahmadis. No doubt, the Ameer of Sanghar will have witnessed many difficult situations and so it seemed to me that on that day the Khalifa-Waqt bestowed upon him a very special reward and blessings for his services. Alhmadolillah.
Huzoor’s love for the family of martyrs
Upon the conclusion of Jalsa Salana, Huzoor returned to his residence for a few minutes. However, as the vast majority of Ahmadis began their journeys back to their homes, Huzoor’s duties recommenced just a few minutes later, as he had meetings with new Ahmadi converts and also interviews with a German journalist and a Croatian documentary maker.
As Huzoor walked towards his office, he was introduced to an Ahmadi family, who had been directly affected by the 28 May attacks in Lahore. There was an Ahmadi lady, who was with her two young children. Her husband and their father had been martyred on 28 May in Garhi Shahu. She had now remarried and was with her new husband, who was the brother of her martyred husband. Very lovingly, Huzoor met each of the family members in turn. Thereafter, Huzoor started to walk towards his office.
When the daughter of the Shaheed (martyr), Huba—tul—Waheed (7), observed this, she immediately said:
“Huzoor, mainay aap say kuch baatein karni thi!” (Huzoor, I wanted to say a few things to you!)
Upon this, Huzoor very affectionately said that that he had to meet some other people and that he would talk to her a little later. The little girl was extremely sweet and Huzoor had responded to her love with a very loving reply.
Of course, Huzoor is he who fulfils all of his promises, and so when his meetings concluded, Huzoor sought out the little girl and asked her what she had wanted to say to him. Upon this, the 7-year old girl said she wanted to request Huzoor’s prayers for her family. Thereafter she said:
“Aur doosri baat – aap ka kabb chakar lagra hai hamari taraf?”
Perhaps, the closest translation to her words would be:
“And secondly, when are you going to pop round our house?”
As she said these words, we all started to laugh and Huzoor laughed and enjoyed her comment as well. Such informality in front of Khalifa–Waqt is extremely rare and perhaps exhibited only through the innocence of children. It was a very beautiful and lovely scene, wherein the love of Khalifa–Waqt for the young child of a martyr and the love of a bereaved child for Khalifa– Waqt was there for all to see.
As he left, Huzoor gave both the little girl and her brother some chocolates as a gift.
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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