The world was a very different place 104 years ago. By 28th December 1916, the Great War had entered its 884th day. The Ottoman Empire’s power was fading as it had to contend with the Arab revolt, which saw the city of Mecca attacked and overthrown, while Medina was placed under a siege that would last for over two and a half years! And all of this was against the backdrop of World War I.
Like the rest of the world, ordinary folk thousands of miles away in Great Britain had to contend with the harsh reality of food shortages while the social elite mourned the death of famous Austrian composer Eduard Strauss.
With the world in turmoil, a young Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmoud Ahmadra entered his second year as the second Caliph (Khalifatul-Masih) to the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas (d. 1908). At just 25 years of age, on 28th December 1916, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra used the community’s annual gathering (Jalsa Salana) as an opportunity to direct the world’s attention towards the remembrance of Almighty Allah, the one and true means by which the world could realise a lasting peace.
This speech and the profound effect that it had, and continues to have, on a great many people was recently highlighted by Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih Vaba in a Friday Sermon (19th February 2021). In his sermon, Huzooraba made reference to the methods by which one can remember Almighty Allah as outlined by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra. One of these was the central importance of praying Tahajjud, the early-morning voluntary prayer.
In his speech, which would later be published in book form in multiple languages, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra beautifully set out thirteen tips for how a person can discipline himself / herself to the degree that they can perform the Tahajjud prayer with great sincerity and consistency. These points have been reproduced below for our benefit.
How to Get Up at Night for Tahajjud
One way—not very useful in my opinion—is to use the alarm clock. It creates dependency and fails to produce the resolute will. If you go to sleep having resolved to get up for Tahajjud, you will be in a state of worship all night. Being determined, you will then get up. Those depending on the alarm clock, but lacking determination, will often shut the alarm clock to go back to sleep. When they do get up, they generally feel sleepy in Prayers. Their dependency prevents them from full wakefulness and alertness. However, under certain circumstances the alarm clock may be used by beginners or others.
There are thirteen methods that can assist [one] in getting up at night. Anyone who sincerely tries them will, God willing, take benefit. There may be difficulties in the beginning, but in the end these methods will prove useful. I have derived these methods from the Holy Qur’an and Hadith. It is by Allah’s Grace that these points, which remained hidden from others, have been manifested to me. To save time, I will only give my conclusions without quoting the references.
1. It is a law of nature that everything reverts to its original state if similar circumstances reappear. Often, in old age, a person suffers from his childhood diseases. The same happens to birds and trees. This law can be helpful in cultivating the habit of getting up during the night. Perform Zikr for a while after Isha The more Zikr you perform, the earlier you will get up for Zikr before the morning.
2. Do not talk to anybody after Isha Although sometimes the Holy Prophetsa continued his conversation after Isha, as a general rule he forbade it. There are two reasons: (a) if you start talking, you will sleep late and will not be able to get up early in the morning; and (b) if the conversation concerns things other than faith, your attention will be diverted. You should go to sleep while thinking of your faith; you will get up with the same thoughts. It is not forbidden to carry out office work or other important assignments after Isha. But in that case, it is better to spend some time in Zikr before going to sleep.
3. Perform Wudu (ablution) before going to bed, even if you are already in a state of ablution. It affects the heart and creates a special kind of freshness. If you go to sleep in that state of freshness, you will get up in the same condition. This is a common observation. Someone smiling at bedtime is generally smiling when he gets up; one who is crying, will wake up crying. With ablution you will be fresh at the time of sleep and fresh when you wake up. It will also help you in getting up.
4. Recite some Zikr before falling asleep; this will cause you to wake up again for Zikr during the night. The Holy Prophetsa used to perform Zikr in the following manner before going to sleep: He recited Ayatul–Kursi (verse 2:256) and the last three chapters of the Zikr — the Holy Qur’an; he then gently blew upon his hands and lightly passed them over his body three times. Then he turned towards his right and said:
اَللّٰهُمَّ اَسْلَمْتُ نَفْسِيْ اِلَيْكَ وَوَجَّهْتُ وَجْهِيْ اِلَيْكَ وَفَوَّضْتُ اَمْرِيْ اِلَيْكَ رَغْبَةً وَّرَهْبَةً اِلَيْكَ لَا مَلْجَأَ وَلَا مَنْجَأَ مِنْكَ اِلَّا إِلَيْكَ اَللّٰهُمَّ اٰمَنْتُ بِكِتَابِكَ الَّذِي اَنْزَ لْتَ وَنَبِيِّكَ الَّذِيْ اَرْسَلْتَ
Allahumma inni aslamto nafsi ilayk. Wa wajjahtu waj hi ilayk. Wa fawwadtu amri ilayk raghbatan wa rahbatan ilayk. La malja’a wa la manja’a minka illa ilayk. Allahumma aamanto bikitabikal-ladhi anzalta wa nabiyyikal-ladhi arsalta.
O Allah, I put myself in Thy protection, and turn my face towards Thee and assign all my affairs to Thee, with complete inclination and fear of Thee. There is no refuge or protection from Thee except towards Thyself. I believe in Thy Book, which Thou hast revealed, and Thy Prophet that Thou hast sent.
All believers should perform this Zikr and then continue with another form of Zikr until sleep takes over. An important recitation during this period is:
سُبْحَانَ اللّٰهِ وَ بِحَمْدِهٖ سُبْحَانَ اللّٰهِ الْعَظِيمِ
Subhan Allahi wa bi Hamdihi, Subhan Allahil-Azeem
Holy is Allah, with His Praise;
Holy is Allah, the Greatest.
The condition in which a person goes to sleep stays with him all night. If someone sleeps while performing Tasbeeh (Glorification of God) and Tahmeed (Praise of God) he will remain in that spiritual state all night. It is a common observation that ladies or children, who are disturbed or are in pain at bedtime cry when they turn over onto their sides during sleep. Similarly, if someone goes to sleep reciting Tasbeeh, he will recite Tasbeeh when he will turn his side. God Almighty says:
تَتَجَافٰی جُنُوۡبُہُمۡ عَنِ الۡمَضَاجِعِ یَدۡعُوۡنَ رَبَّہُمۡ خَوۡفًا وَّ طَمَعًا ۫ وَّ مِمَّا رَزَقۡنٰہُمۡ یُنۡفِقُوۡنَ
Their sides keep away from their beds; and they call on their Lord in fear and hope, and spend out of what We have bestowed on them. (32:17)
To a casual observer, it may not appear that Muslims keep away from their beds. The Holy Prophetsa went to sleep and so do all the Muslims. But in truth their sleep is not sleep; it is a form of Tasbeeh. They appear to be sleeping, but in reality they are not. Their sides keep away from their beds; they are busy in the remembrance of their Lord.
5. Resolve firmly at bedtime to get up for Tahajjud. God Almighty has given man the power to make his mind obey his will. Philosophers have accepted this principle. Decide firmly that you will get up for Tahajjud. While your body sleeps, your mind will be alert [and] it will wake you up exactly at the desired time.
6. The sixth method is only for those who are particularly strong in faith. Instead of performing Witr (three Raka’at prescribed as essential) after Isha, leave Witr for Tahajjud In general, people are regular in performing the obligatory worship, but show slackness in the voluntary. The Witr are Wajib—[meaning] an essential act of worship, not obligatory but more important than the voluntary [prayer]. When a Wajib is combined with the Nawafil, it would strengthen one’s resolve to observe both. The soul will not rest until the Wajib has been observed. So, the Nawafil will also be observed. One who has already performed Witr may not get up for Tahajjud, even if he is awake. His soul will feel at ease. But if the Witr are still due, the soul will be restless and will awaken him. Only the strong in faith should practice this method; the weak ones may deprive themselves even of the Witr by doing so.
7. The seventh method is also for those who have excelled in spirituality. They should start offering Nawafil after Isha Prayer and continue until they begin to doze off in Prayers and are overpowered by sleep. Even though the total amount of their sleep will be reduced, they will find themselves awake at the time of Tahajjud. This method is an exercise for the spirit.
8. The eighth method has been practiced by many Sufis. I have not felt the need for it myself; but it is beneficial. If you get into the habit of oversleeping, then change the soft bed to a hard one.
9. Take dinner several hours before going to bed. Eat before Maghrib Prayer or immediately after it. Sometimes the spirit is active, but the body is not. The body acts like a yoke: if the yoke is too heavy, it strangles the spirit. The stomach should not be full at bedtime. It has an adverse affect upon the heart and makes a man lazy.
10. Do not go to bed unclean. Angels associate with those who are clean; they do not approach the unclean. Once, the Holy Prophetsa was offered something with a strong odor. He did not eat it but permitted his Companions to do so. He explained to them that the angels, who visit him frequently, did not like such odors. Angels abhor filth. Once Hadhrat Khalifatul-Masih Ira went to bed without washing his hands after dinner. He saw a dream in which his elder brother wanted to present him the Holy Qur’an, but when Hadhrat Khalifatul-Masih Ira was about to touch it, his brother withdrew it and said, “Do not touch the Holy Qur’an; your hands are not clean.” Physical cleanliness affects purity of the heart. Those who are clean will have the help of angels to get up; the unclean will not be approached by them. So, keep your bodies clean.
11. The bed should be clean. Many people ignore this matter. Remember that spirituality is directly influenced by cleanliness of the bed. Take special care in this respect.
12. Husband and wife should avoid going to sleep in the same bed. Amongst ordinary Muslims, this habit can harm spirituality, but it does not affect the spiritually advanced. The Holy Prophetsa slept in the same bed with his wives. He possessed a lofty spiritual status and his spirituality could never be compromised. Ordinary Muslims should be careful. A carnal passion adversely affects spirituality. That is why Islam teaches:
کُلُوۡا وَ اشۡرَبُوۡا وَ لَا تُسۡرِفُوۡا
…eat and drink but exceed not the bounds… (7:32)
Why does Islam prohibit us from exceeding the limits? Because it harms spirituality. People with self-control will not suffer by sleeping together, but ordinary Muslims may find that it keeps their minds inclined towards passion. This hurts spirituality and prevents them from getting up.
13. The last method is particularly superior. It helps in getting one up for Tahajjud and saves one from many sins and weaknesses. Before retiring for sleep, ponder over whether you have any malice or harbour any rancour or prejudices against anyone. If so, remove it. The purification achieved by this exercise will enable you to get up for Tahajjud.
The heart should be totally clean at bedtime. Anybody who considers such thought to be of some worth, should remind himself that he may be free to indulge in them during the day; but he has no need for them at night. After all, he is not going to fight anybody during the night.
Once rooted out, such thoughts will generally not recur. Even if they do, their damage will not be particularly serious. The result of a thing depends on how long it has been influenced by something else. If you wipe something with a sponge, it will be moist. But if you soak the sponge for a long time, it will be drenched. Thoughts that linger and are repeated in your mind all night would overpower your heart.
Such thoughts cannot do much harm during the day because the mind is absorbed in other activities. But during the night, the mind is free to be influenced. Eliminate all bad thoughts against others that occur at bedtime, lest they become rooted. Eradicating them will not then prove difficult. Moreover, should you breathe your last during the night; you will miss the opportunity of asking forgiveness for this sin.
Once you eliminate the rancour, you will be free from it permanently. When you purify yourself at night, you will certainly be blessed with the opportunity of getting up for Tahajjud.
Inspirational Accounts of Pioneering Life Devotees of Ahmadiyyat
When the Holy Prophetsa declared his prophethood to the people of Arabia, they turned against him. Those who were once his dear friends became thirsty for his blood, so much so that they set a bounty for his capture. On the other hand, there were some who supported him and stood by his side like in the battle of Badr [the first battle fought in Islam]. There were some who, despite having only the very basic necessities of life, opted to go on preaching campaigns. This was merely because of the level of trust that they had in God Almighty, that whatever should happen to them, God would not waste their faith.
One of the moving incidents found in the history of Islam is Hazrat Imranra, whose entire family was martyred in front of his eyes but he did not let go of his trust in God, and as a result the Holy Prophetsa gave him the glad tidings that his family are in paradise.
The dedication of life at that time required the person to lay his life down for the propagation of Islam through defensive wars and other confrontations but as time elapsed, there became a change in the nature of dedication. Once the Holy Prophetsa assigned companions to teach the Holy Qur’an to some people of a certain tribe, and seventy huffaz [people who have memorised the entire Qur’an] were appointed for this task. They had no idea of what the future held for them. They presented their lives for the pleasure of God Almighty. Later there was a conflict and many were martyred.
The meaning of dedicating one’s life in accordance to the custom of the Ahmadiyya Jama’at is to serve the Jama’at whilst leaving behind all worldly desires and to take the service of the Jama’at as one’s prime objective keeping only the pleasure of God Almighty in mind. After dedication, there remains no room for personal desires or preferences, rather the life of the devotee becomes the property of the Jama’at. The following is a verse from the Holy Qur’an:
قُلْ اِنَّ صَلَاتِيْ وَ نُسُکِيْ وَ مَحْيَايَ وَ مَمَاتِيْ لِلّٰہِ رَبِّ الْعٰلَمِيْنَ
“Say, ‘My Prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are all for Allah, the Lord of the worlds.” [6:163]
In accordance with this verse, the first devotee in the Ahmadiyya Jama’at was Hazrat Hakeem Maulana Nooruddinra, who moved to Qadian at the instruction of the Promised Messiahas.
Upon receiving a letter from Batala (a city in India), which read “Come and tend to a patient”, he replied “I am no longer the owner of my decisions, rather without the permission of the Promised Messiahas I cannot leave my position”. Therefore the sender acquired the permission of the Promised Messiahas to accompany Hazrat Hakeem Maulana Nooruddinra with him to Batala which was graciously granted.
On another occasion it has been reported that Hazrat Hakeem Maulana Nooruddinra said that “After coming to Qadian, I never thought of my hometown and thought of Qadian as my final destination.”
In September 1907, the Promised Messiahas initiated the “Life devotee” campaign and 13 people signed up for it in the early stages. On mentioning the qualities of Life devotes, Huzooras said “They should be content and wealth should not bother them, when the Holy Prophetsa sent someone for a Tabligh campaign, the appointee would prepare himself instantly for the task without demanding any allowance for the journey, nor making an excuse of longing for their families. This work can only be undertaken by such a person who dedicates himself for Allah the Almighty. God helps righteous people from Himself, as they take on a life of hardship for His sake.”
Expanding further on the qualities of life devotees, the Promised Messiahas stated that “They should be those who are patient and steadfast. There should be no negative enthusiasm in their nature. They should have the power to answer all hate speech with love. If they feel at risk of facing dishonesty or being deceived then they should leave such company or environment. They should keep doing their appointed tasks quietly and willingly”.
These are some of the qualities that the life devotees of this era should always keep in mind and act in accordance with to be counted as the successful. Some faith inspiring incidents of early life devotees are laid out below that show how they all manifest the qualities which were expected of a true life devotee.
Firstly, we begin with the account of Mubarak Ahmad Nazir, Missionary of Canada. On relating an interesting incident of his father when Mubarak Ahmad Nazir was eleven years of age, he said that “My father, Al Hajj Maulavi Nazir Ahmad Alira was a pioneering Missionary of Islam Ahmadiyyat. In 1945, I accompanied my father to Sierra Leone on a ship through a perilous journey. It took about three months from Qadian (India) to go to Sierra Leone and during this time I became seriously ill because of that long journey. I remember when we were about to board the ship, every passenger had to be checked by a doctor to make sure that they are fit to travel. When I went for my check up, the doctor looked at me, took my temperature, assessed me and evaluated my condition, and he told my father (Maulavi Nazir Ahmad Alira) ‘This boy I cannot carry… because he is at the point of death and in our ship we don’t have a cold storage room. I will only carry him under one condition that you sign on this paper that if he dies on the way, you will allow us to throw him overboard.’ I was the only son and I remember my mother started crying and said ‘Let’s take another ship.’ My father said ‘Don’t worry about him! Nothing is going to happen.’ He said ‘I don’t know when I will get another ship, I’m a Missionary, and I’ve been assigned a duty by His Holiness.’ I faintly remember he held my hand and he asked the doctor ‘Where do I have to sign?’ and whilst signing he jokingly or quiet sternly also said ‘If he dies throw him into the sea, but nothing will happen to him!’ Mubarak Ahmad Nazir ends on the note that the eleven year old child [pointing to himself] now is Alhamdulillah eighty five years old.”
This incident expresses that if you put your trust in God, for His cause, then He will also help you in your trials and tribulations. The fact of the matter is you should not lose hope at the first sign of difficulty. Zahoor Hussainra of Bukhara was another missionary, who travelled to Russia and faced trial and persecution. He reports that whilst in prison he saw the second Khalifara in a vision and Hazrat Musleh Maudra scolded him saying that “I have sent you to preach and you are quiet.” Upon this, he felt ashamed, and started to learn Russian with some of the inmates who knew the language. He was later freed and returned to India.
The lesson to be learnt here is that regardless of the circumstances, one should not get hopeless, rather he should make the best of what he is confronted with, like in this example of imprisonment where learning a language was the last thing anyone could have thought of, yet Maulana Zahoor Hussainra took this time and made use of it. He learnt the language by talking to others and not worrying about what would happen to him in that state of capture. Only he who trusts in God has the strength to carry out these tasks despite such overwhelming tribulation.
A similar incident is found when, on 15 February 1920, Dr. Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra, arrived at the port of Philadelphia by ship from London as the first Missionary. As soon as he arrived, the immigration officer interviewed him and asked the reason for his arrival. He said that he had come to this region as a preacher of Ahmadiyyat, the true Islam. At that time, it was not customary to obtain a visa before coming to the United States. The immigration officer admitted people and allowed them to enter, but sometimes some people were barred from entering and were sent back.
A long interview was conducted with Dr. Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra in which he was asked if he believes in polygamy like other Muslims. Dr. Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra replied with full confidence that yes I have the same belief as what Hazrat Jibrailra revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, the Messenger of God, in our Holy Book, the Holy Qur’an. The immigration officer asked, “Will you also preach this polygamy here?” To which he replied, “Of course I will.” The immigration officer said “You know, it’s against our law.” To this he replied that we Ahmadi Muslims do not do anything against the law, but these laws are made by human beings based on mutual understanding and they also change. On this the immigration officer denied him entry to America saying that if he spread his teachings and changed the environment, he would make a mess in America. Dr. Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra politely asked the immigration officer if there was another option available to him. The immigration officer said you would be arrested and brought before a judge and they will prosecute you for refusing to obey the officer. He replied, “I accept this second option.” He was arrested that evening and sent to prison.
Dr. Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra waited for the trial in jail and spent this time preaching to other prisoners, and sent the report to Hazrat Musleh Maudra. Almost every day he would write a letter to Huzoorra and send a report of his preaching by post. During his time in prison, according to some reports, he had converted between seventeen and twenty-two people to Ahmadiyyat.
When he was brought before the judge, the judge was very impressed with his personality and the way he dressed and after an interesting conversation, the judge allowed him to enter the United States legally. Meanwhile, he also received enthusiastic replies through letters from Hazrat Musleh Maudra, in which it was announced that no power in the world could stop him from entering the United States. Henceforth, he established the first mission in Philadelphia.
This was again the level of trust and honesty with God Almighty that led to him entering a land legally where preaching was against the law. He not only preached but converted many people to Ahmadiyyat before even stepping onto US soil.
The last account presented in this piece is the account of a Missionary had who travelled to Spain. Due to the lack of financial resources of the community, Hazrat Musleh Maudra requested many of the missionaries stationed in Europe, to return home. Maulana Qamar Ilahi Zafar, having read the message from the Khalifahra, wrote back requesting permission to continue to work as a self-financed missionary. After receiving permission from Huzoorra, he worked as a street vendor selling homemade perfumes, primarily in El Rastro, an open-air market in Madrid. He often used his stalls as an opportunity to introduce the Islamic faith. For example, he reportedly used to chant,
“Huelan esta fragancia tan agradable, sin embargo esta fragancia no durará
mucho tiempo entre vosotros, pero yo conozco un aroma que es permanente y eterno.
Si lo desean, pueden tomar mi tarjeta y contactarme”
Meaning that “The pleasant fragrance that you are smelling does not last long, but I know of a scent that is permanent and eternal [i.e. Islamic teachings]. If you wish, you can take my card and contact me.” Under the rule of Francisco Franco, non-Catholic missionary work was banned and as a result Maulana Qamar Ilahi Zafar faced several arrests by the state police. Often, his perfume stall was subjected to vandalism from members of the general public. In spite of this, he managed to publish a number of books in Spanish during the Franco era.
Thus, we learn what the true essence of devotion means and what it takes to fulfil it, looking up on several key pioneering Missionaries, to understand how they stepped outside their comfort zones to spread the teaching of the true Islam. They have set the bar for all to follow. They have laid out the guide posts in which we can shape our lives and try to become devotees of the same calibre.
May Allah bless these souls and enable us to follow their footsteps. Ameen.
Waqf-E-Nau Highlights From The Year
Waqf-e-Nau retreat and a virtual mulaqat
The National Waqf-e-Nau Retreat held by MKA UK
MKA UK’s Waqf-e-Nau Retreat was streamed live on YouTube on 27 February 2021, and at the time of writing, it has been viewed over 13,400 times.
Throughout the day various important topics were covered including emphasising the importance of listening to Huzoor’saba Friday Sermons as well as presenting specific instructions for Waqifeen-e-Nau given by Huzooraba.
A live discussion was held where a few young Waqifeen-e-Nau discussed the importance of having a strong relationship with Khilafat and the Jama’at as well as requesting Huzooraba for guidance every step of the way. A similar segment was arranged to educate Waqifeen on the history of Jamia and to answer questions regarding studying in Jamia.
A particularly enjoyable session was held with Omair Aleem, in-charge of Makhzan-e-Tasaweer, in which he spoke about Waqf and his many precious memories with Huzooraba formed through accompanying him on numerous tours.
Other key highlights included informative careers workshops where three Waqifeen-e-Nau described their areas of work and how Hazrat Khalifatul-Masihaba guided them with respect to their area of expertise. An interactive quiz was also held where approximately 800 people participated. It comprised of questions about general knowledge, history of Islam, history of the Jama’at and the scheme of Waqf-e-Nau.
To conclude the programme, a keynote address was delivered by Sadr Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK from the MTA Studios in Islamabad. The subject of his speech was the famous announcement of Hazrat Musleh Maudra, “A servant of God is looking for you”. He also mentioned some incidents of Hazrat Amirul Mumineenaba from when Huzooraba was serving as a Waqf-e-Zindagi in Ghana.
Waqf-e-Nau university students Mulaqat with Huzooraba
In what proved to be a blessed weekend for Waqifeen-e-Nau in the UK, on 28 February 2021, Waqf-e-Nau university students from Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK were blessed with an opportunity to have a virtual mulaqat with Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih Vaba.
The students were seated in the Baitul Futuh Mosque, London and a live stream connected them with Hazrat Amirul Mumineenaba in Islamabad, UK.
After a short video presentation showcasing highlights of the Waqf-e-Nau Virtual Retreat that took place the previous day, Huzooraba opened the floor to the Waqf-e-Nau students to ask questions.
Question: What can a Waqf-e-Nau medical student do to ensure that he becomes the best doctor for the Jama’at? (By Hamaad Muin Ahmad)
Answer: Huzooraba said:
“A medical student should study regardless of whether he is a Waqf-e-Nau or not. If you do not study well then you will not attain a degree. Therefore, whether one is a medical student or studying in any other field, they should concentrate on their studies and secondly, they should focus on their prayers and in strengthening their relationship with Allah. They should offer their five daily prayers at their appointed times. If an atheist studies diligently and works hard whilst not believing in God, it does not matter; he will still be granted the reward by Allah the Almighty for his hard work that he puts in his studies. But an Ahmadi Muslim is someone who claims that he believes in Islam, in the existence of Allah the Almighty and has conviction that Allah the Almighty grants him His help. So along with his studies, he will also have to prove that he has a strong relationship with Allah. Therefore, when prayer will be accompanied with the hard work of an Ahmadi, it is then that they will attain true success. Do not think that just because an atheist attains success, therefore, you should attain success too [without prayer]. There is a difference between the two and you have to consider this difference. There is a very subtle difference between the two which ought to be remembered. If you keep this in mind, then you will develop a relationship with Allah the Almighty and you will pay attention towards your studies as well. In this way, you will be able to achieve your targets.”
Question: Should a Waqf-e-Nau, who is studying and also has a responsibility in the Jama’at, prioritise their studies or Jama’at work? (By Abdul Bari Mughal)
Answer: Huzooraba said:
“If they are studying, then they should examine whether they can be just with their Jama’at responsibilities along with their studies or not. If they cannot do justice then let the [Jama’at] authorities know, especially in the exam period, that I have exams going on so I cannot give full time to the duties. Then at that time, focus on your studies. After exams, on weekends or during any such spare time, one should give time to the Jama’at, instead of wasting it. But you should not use study as an excuse that you cannot do Jama’at work and not even study at that time. Give first preference to studies but give service to Jama’at in your spare time. When your studies are complete, you should write [to the Jama’at] and say that you are ready to fulfil your Waqf [life dedication] and that you are giving your complete time for the service of the Jama’at. Then without any greed or ulterior motive, fulfil your Waqf too.”
Journey of a Waqf doctor
Reflections from Waqf-e-Arzi
Ever since I was in year seven or eight, Huzooraba always used to call me “Dr Sahib”. At that time, I didn’t have the slightest inkling that I was going to become a doctor.
My dad is a dentist, so this could possibly have been a reason. However, for this to materialise is unbelievable and shows Huzoor’saba foresight and how Allah blesses his words. It also shows Huzoor’saba wishes for Waqifeen-e-Nau to be involved in professions where humanity can be served and people can be helped. I’m sure many of us have experienced ourselves or seen from classes when Waqifeen-e-Nau ask Huzooraba as to what they should go into, Huzooraba almost always states a field that can be useful for the Jama’at and humanity.
The Promised Messiahas says,
“Sincerity towards others and love for humanity is a part of faith. The definition of the ‘highest moral values’ is that sincere kindness and sympathy be professed towards all humanity without any expectation of reward or recompense. This is what is known as true humanity… Allah the Almighty never forsakes those people who hold within their hearts sincere love for humanity.”
This is what all of us should strive to achieve.
When I got to my first year of A-levels, I had a mulaqat with Huzooraba and asked his advice on what career I should pursue. I wasn’t too sure at the time and was thinking of doing something in finance or economics. Huzooraba said that if you are good at science then you should do Medicine. I said “I am good at Biology, but I don’t really enjoy Chemistry”. To this Huzooraba smiled and stated “Phir tumay Chemistry to parni paray gi” which meant “So then you will have to study Chemistry”.
When I got home, I reflected upon what had happened in the mulaqat and it soon sank in that, as Huzooraba had said it, I would have to study medicine.
My parents and I then had a discussion in the next few weeks, and we all came to the agreement that I should get some work experience to find out more about medicine. I was very fortunate to get the opportunity to go to Tahir Heart Institute in Rabwah for a month in Ramadan. What I observed and experienced there was unbelievable. It was a state-of-the-art facility, one of the best hospitals I had seen. In addition, it had top specialists, junior doctors and various different health care staff who were all working together united under the banner of Khilafat to serve humanity for the sake of Allah the Almighty. This was the first time I had seen such a unique environment in a hospital.
Working alongside these specialists and junior doctors, and having the opportunity to talk to them regularly was extremely inspiring and motivating. It made me realise how much impact you can have as a medical professional, especially in conjunction with having Allah’s Blessings and Huzoor’saba prayers and guidance. I saw and spoke to many patients and the families of patients who had made miraculous recoveries, and this happened quite regularly at Tahir Heart. This combination of having a professional and academic yet spiritual environment—where doctors engage in prayers before procedures, where supplications and attributes of Allah such as Howa-Sha’afi “He is the healer” are framed around the walls of the hospital, where even non-Ahmadi maulvis come to seek treatment because they know the calibre and the integrity of Ahmadi healthcare professionals convinced me that I definitely wanted deen [religion] in my life going forward.
Coming back to the UK, I finished my A-levels, submitted my UCAS application and did the entrance exams, but I didn’t get into Medicine at the time. I was so upset and lost as to what I should do now.
After some time, my parents and I had a discussion and we looked into studying Medicine in Europe. We decided to go to Huzooraba to seek his advice and see what he thought about doing Medicine in Europe as at the time we only knew of one Ahmadi studying Medicine abroad.
I remember going into the mulaqat and explaining my situation to Huzooraba. Before I had even finished my sentence, Huzooraba said why don’t you look at doing Medicine abroad in Europe somewhere. We were all astonished at how Huzooraba knew even before we had asked him and were so grateful to Allah for His Khalifah who took away all the worries and anxiety we had. This again shows the wisdom and the judgement that Allah has blessed our beloved Huzooraba with and I’m sure most of us have experienced this in a mulaqat where Huzooraba answers our question and alleviates our anxiety even before we have asked him. This is why we’re so lucky to have Khilafat.
I did two entrance exams for universities in Czech Republic and asked Huzooraba about which university I should pick. Myself and two other Khuddam ended up being one of the first batches of Ahmadis in recent times to go to Europe to do Medicine in 2012.
Alhamdulillah, by the blessings of Allah, and Huzoor’saba prayers, the university Huzooraba had picked for me ended up having fourteen Ahmadis compared to none in the other university I had also received an offer from. We had our own little Jama’at, did our Namaz [Congregational Prayers], Jummahs [Friday Prayers] and Eid Prayers together, and used to go out for food and activities regularly. This helped us all greatly and created a home away from home for us.
Initially, however, when I went to Czech Republic it took time to adjust to everything. A new place, new people, new language. I remember writing to Huzooraba regularly for prayers and FaceTiming my family a lot, and when I came back to the UK, I tried to get mulaqats with Huzooraba every time by saying I’m a Waqf-e-Nau from Czech Republic only here for a few days. It worked the first few times but then Private Secretary office caught on to my excuse!
The first big exam of my first year in university was a make or break, a very tough exam and it was Chemistry, something I hadn’t enjoyed from the very beginning. I remember thinking back to Huzooraba saying, “Chemistry to parni paray gi” a few years back in my mulaqat during my A-levels and was again amazed by Huzoor’saba foresight and how true his words were.
I remember studying a lot for this tough exam. When I came back to the UK, I got a mulaqat with Huzooraba, I was really stressed and told Huzooraba about this exam. Huzooraba just smiled and advised me to recite Surah Al-Fatihah before starting the exam and to try my best. Then he said to me “Tension na lo, mojay karo” which literally translates to “Don’t stress, relax and enjoy yourself”. I was lost for words. I was so stressed, and I couldn’t believe Huzooraba had said this to me. It was like a huge burden off my shoulders. After Huzooraba said this, everything just became so much smoother, I was so much more relaxed, I passed that exam miraculously and I became much more settled and comfortable in university. From that day on, I started to regularly write to Huzooraba and it was just the blessing of his prayers that I enjoyed the rest of my course so much and even my toughest exams I passed extraordinarily.
This was where I truly learnt that the key to success is working hard, praying regularly, writing to Huzooraba frequently, giving Sadqa [charity] and offering Nawafil [voluntary prayers]. Whenever younger Ahmadi students ask me how to do well, that is what I advise them.
Alhamdulillah, by Allah’s Grace and Huzoor’saba prayers, I graduated in 2018.
I remember going to Huzooraba with a big basket of fruit after I graduated, and it was one of the best feelings to be able to tell Huzooraba I was able to accomplish the main goal he had given me. Since then, I’ve been blessed to have worked in various Hospitals in London such as West Middlesex hospital and Guys & St Thomas hospital which is due entirely to Allah’s Grace, Huzoor’saba prayers and blessings of Waqf.
Huzooraba has advised me to pursue Cardiology. Last year, I had the opportunity to do Waqf-e-Arzi [short-term dedication] with Humanity First in The Gambia. Upon completing my Waqf-e-Arzi, I received a job offer from a leading Cardiology centre in Central London. This continued to show me the innumerable blessings in beloved Huzoor’saba words and the blessings of doing Waqf-e-Arzi.
We should all try our best as Waqifeen-e-Nau to always be ready to give up our time and go do Waqf-e-Arzi as it is such a blessed experience and gives us a taste and a constant reminder of our future goals. When you become a qualified professional, it is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities at work and lose sight of our long-term goal which is to be of service to the Jama’at in whichever way is required.
One of my favourite verses from the Holy Qur’an that helps me stay focussed on this is goal is:
وَ مَا ہٰذِہِ الۡحَیٰوۃُ الدُّنۡیَاۤ اِلَّا لَہۡوٌ وَّ لَعِبٌ ؕ وَ اِنَّ الدَّارَ الۡاٰخِرَۃَ لَہِیَ الۡحَیَوَانُ ۘ لَوۡ کَانُوۡا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ
“And this life of the world is nothing but a pastime and a sport, and the Home of the Hereafter — that indeed is Life, if they but knew!” [29:65]
It is a reminder of our bigger purpose: to fulfil our Waqf, serve Khilafat and humanity, and not to get caught up in worldly desires.
In regard to the spirit of Waqf-e-Arzi, Huzooraba advised a young doctor doing Waqf, in This Week With Huzoor, “Always remember that you are going there for the sake of Allah with a spirit of service to mankind.”
As Waqifeen-e-Nau, we should try our best to be of as much service as possible to Khilafat, the Jama’at and humanity, as this is the sole purpose of our Waqf. We are extremely blessed to have Huzoor’saba guidance, prayers and advice available to us every step of the way. If we utilise this by building and maintaining a strong relationship with Allah the Almighty and Huzooraba, we will all succeed in this life and in the hereafter, Insha’Allah [God Willing].
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