A Messenger of Peace in the Lion City – Khalifah of the Promised Messiahas Visits Singapore

No Comments | January 2014
© Michael Stieghner/MDSimages.com

© Michael Stieghner/MDSimages.com

Translated by Professor Amtul Razzaq Carmichael
Based on official Urdu Reports by Abdul Majid Tahir

On the 21st of September 2013, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and Khalifatul Masih Vaba, embarked on an historic seven week tour of Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. In his Friday sermon on 20th September, His Holiness asked the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to pray for the success of this tour. The main purpose of such tours undertaken by His Holiness is to promote the true peaceful teachings of Islam and spread its message of justice and brotherhood. To enhance the religious and spiritual training of his followers, His Holiness led the five daily prayers in congregation and presided over classes and meetings with members of the Community. For Ahmadis, the highlight of this tour was the honour to have a private audience with His Holiness, during which Ahmadis seek advice on personal matters, support and prayers of their revered leader.

Singapore was the first destination of this Asia-Pacific tour and Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V’saba second visit to the country.

Brief History of Ahmadiyyat in Singapore

The first Ahmadiyya Muslim missionary, Maulana Ghulam Ahsan Ayyaz, arrived in Singapore in 1935. He faced intense persecution in pursuit of his work as a missionary, enduring beatings, encountering threats to his life and even surviving an assassination attempt (having been pushed out of a moving bus) for preaching Ahmadiyyat. Notwithstanding such oppression, the Singapore mission was one of the flagship missions of the Tahrik-e-Jadid scheme.1 The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community purchased land for the construction of its first mosque in Singapore in 1947; the Fourth Successor of the Promised Messiahas and Fourth worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmadrh laid the foundation stone for the Taha Mosque in 1983; the construction of this beautiful octagonal Mosque complex was completed in 2001. Adjacent to the Mosque is a two-storey mission house, the foundation stone of which was laid by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba in 2006.

21st and 22nd of September 2013

Just after 5 p.m., Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba bade farewell to a number of devotees who had assembled in the grounds of the Fazl Mosque in London as he departed for his seven week tour, leaving for the airport after leading the silent prayer. His Holiness arrived at Singapore’s Changi Airport Jet Quay CIP terminal at 3:15 p.m. local time and was greeted by ‘Umara (National Presidents) and Presidents from the Ahmadiyya Muslim communities in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea and Myanmar (former Burma). Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V’saba accommodation had been arranged at Lotus Apartments in the Joo Chiat district just a few minutes drive away from the Taha Mosque. His Holiness led the afternoon (Zuhr and Asr) prayers before taking a short period of rest at his residence.

At 7:55 p.m., Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba travelled to the Taha Mosque. Many hundreds of Ahmadi men, women and children had gathered to greet His Holiness; the devotees were overjoyed at the arrival of their spiritual leader. More than 2000 Ahmadis had travelled from all over Indonesia and 500 Ahmadis arrived from Malaysia for this blessed occasion. It is awe-inspiring to note that many families made intense personal sacrifices in order to undertake this journey, including a delegation from North Sumatra, which travelled for 10 hours by boat, then 10 hours by road, followed by another 6 hours by boat and finally a further 12 hours by road in order to reach Singapore. An Ahmadi gentleman from Sosa, Indonesia, sold his land in order to purchase a ticket to travel to Singapore and partake in the blessings of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V’saba visit. Another sincere Ahmadi who serves as the Sadr Khuddamul Ahmadiyya of Singapore (President of the youth auxiliary of the Community, responsible for organising key events and programmes) explained that he left his job for the tour of his Holiness:

“By quitting my job, I now have the ability to dedicate the full‐time required for His Holiness’ tour. I did not have to think twice. Being the Sadr Khuddam [President of the youth auxiliary, serving the Community and serving His Holiness is better than any job, no matter how much it pays in the world. If I do not set an example as the Sadr Khuddam, then who else will carry out the work? I do not need a worldly job – all I need is to serve the Jama’at [Community and to serve my Khalifah.”

The crowds were desperate for a glimpse of His Holiness; the love and joy could be seen gleaming from their countenances. They chanted slogans and sang welcoming poems and others recited prayers to greet Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba, who responded with a smile and wave. Thereafter, His Holiness led the evening (Maghrib and Isha) prayers before retiring to his residence.

23rd September 2013

After leading the dawn (Fajr) prayers at 6 a.m., His Holiness spent a few hours of his morning attending to his official duties. At 11:30 a.m., Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba granted a private audience to 239 members from 39 families from Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. During a private audience of this nature, Ahmadis request His Holiness for prayers, seek advice on various matters pertaining to education, careers, marriage and any other personal concerns. In turn, they are counselled by His Holiness, who lends them support and advice and distributes pens to students and chocolates to young children.  The International Press Secretary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community reports that:

“With each day that passed the private audiences increased to the point that on the final few days of the tour to Singapore the door of His Holiness’ office was constantly open and rather than sit at his desk, His Holiness would be stood before it. Ahmadis would enter, meet His Holiness, have their photo taken and then the next family would enter. Many of them would be in tears both before and after they went into His Holiness’ office. One could clearly see how much being in the vicinity of the Khalifah meant to them. This was an indescribable opportunity for them, one they would never forget.”

One guest, who had come from Sri Lanka, explained the obstacles he had to overcome to travel to Singapore to meet His Holiness:

“We were preparing for this journey from Sri Lanka ever since we discovered His Holiness was going to visit Singapore. I have been saving money since April so that I could travel here with my family. It was very tough as my three‐year‐old and seven-year‐old were both desperate to see His Holiness; however I could not afford to bring them with me. I have been crying for weeks because of this, but I had no other option but to come on my own. The private audience I had with His Holiness was so wonderful. Seeing His Holiness with my own eyes produces an electric current within me. His face is like a star in the sky. May Allah enable us to remain attached to Khilafat until our final breath.”

Following the conclusion of these meetings, His Holiness led the afternoon (Zuhr and Asr) prayers in congregation at 1:30 p.m. His Holiness granted a second set of private audiences to 209 Ahmadis from 48 families from Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Myanmar, Thailand, Bangladesh and Oman at 6 p.m that evening. At 8:40 p.m., Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba led the evening (Maghrib and Isha) prayers before retiring to his residence.

24th September 2013

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba was busied by his official duties after leading the dawn (Fajr) prayers in congregation. At 11 a.m., His Holiness granted a private audience to 76 Ahmadis from 23 families in a session lasting two and a half hours. After leading the afternoon (Zuhr and Asr) prayers in congregation, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba, tended to some administrative matters. At 6 p.m., His Holiness granted another private audience to 289 Ahmadis from 75 families. At the conclusion of this session, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba held an official meeting with five non-Muslim scholars (which included a university professor, high ranking officials and medical technologists) from the Philippines. The meeting proved highly useful in clarifying many misconceptions about the Ahmadiyya faith. Salient points from the discussion are summarised below:

His Holiness stressed that Ahmadis, in accordance with the guidance contained in one of the Ahadith (sayings of the Holy Prophetsa), believe that anyone who recites the Kalimah (a declaration professing that there is no God but Allah and Muhammadsa is His Messenger), is a Muslim.

He underscored that Ahmadis regularly undertake to invite mainstream Muslims to join the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community concomitant with the direction of the Holy Prophetsa, who had foretold the coming of the Messiah in the latter days and had enjoined Muslims to accept him when he appeared. His Holiness added that by entering the fold of the Ahmadiyya faith, mainstream Muslims will find themselves a part of a structured and organised Community that embraces the singular aim of serving and propagating the teachings of Islam.

In response to a question with respect to how internal conflicts within Muslims may be resolved, His Holiness elucidated that the widespread discord prevailing within the Muslim Ummah (nation) today is in accordance with a prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa who had foretold that the advent of the Promised Messiahas would take place during a time of similar strife and schism. God has appointed the Promised Messiahas as an arbitrator to resolve dissent within the Muslim world, a philosophy to which the Qur’an and Ahadith both lend allegiance. Therefore, the only rational conclusion to end internal conflicts within the Muslim community is to follow the path prescribed by the Messiah of the time.

Responding to a question regarding the procedure whereby one becomes an Ahmadi, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba stated that one would need to take the Bai’at (written and verbal oath of allegiance) of their free will, emphasising that there is no compulsion in religion. Those wishing to embrace the Ahmadiyya faith in Islam would also be required to strive in earnest to abide by the 10 conditions of Bai’at.2

The feedback from this meeting was extremely positive, with the guests all visibly obliged and impressed with His Holiness’s dedication and fervour in responding to their questions to their complete satisfaction. At 8:45 p.m., His Holiness led the evening (Maghrib and Isha) prayers in congregation before retiring to his residence.

25th September 2013

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V’saba day commenced by leading the dawn (Fajr) prayers in congregation at 6 a.m. at the Taha Mosque. Thereafter, His Holiness tended to his official duties and at 11 a.m. granted a private audience to 311 Ahmadis from 54 families. Following the conclusion of this meeting, His Holiness led the afternoon (Zuhr and Asr) prayers in congregation at 1:30 p.m.

At 5:20 p.m., Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba chaired a meeting of the Executive Body of Lajna Ima’illah (women’s auxiliary organisation of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community) from Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. During the meeting, His Holiness sought an overview of the number of Lajna members in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia and the number of new converts to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba directed Lajna officeholders to ensure that they have a clear and comprehensive understanding of the constitutional structure of the department they represent along with the responsibilities allocated to their department and their designated role within it. He advised every president and office holder to discharge their duties in accordance with the ethos of their individual departments and be mindful of the spiritual and humanitarian standards required of them as officeholders of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. A question-and-answer session followed, wherein His Holiness responded to questions from Lajna members, the salient points whereof are detailed below:

His Holiness greeted by dignataries on arrival in Singapore.

His Holiness greeted by dignataries on arrival in Singapore.

It is not a standard practice of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to accept the Bai’at (initiation into the Community) of a minor under the age of 16, since they are dependent. We should maintain a close bond with them until they are 18 and legally independent. By that age, they will have attained maturity and will be able to withstand any difficulties that may arise as a result of accepting Ahmadiyyat.

During Nasirat (Ahmadi girls between the age of 7-14) meetings, the pledge of allegiance3 should be led by the National or Local President or the Nasirat Secretary.

Ahmadi women can attend functions organised by non-Ahmadi Muslims as long as these functions do not include any practice pertaining to Shirk (associating partners with Allah).

It is imperative that Lajna Ima’illah in each country and within their respective regions organise a Seerat Jalsa (a meeting to raise awareness about the pious life and noble character of the Holy Prophetsa).

Only under exceptional circumstances should Ahmadi children be made to learn the Holy Qur’an from non-Ahmadi instructors. Should circumstances necessitate this, it should be done under careful supervision in order to caution against differences in ideology and interpretation of the Holy Qur’an by mainstream Muslims that could skew the children’s fundamental religious concepts.

It is absolutely vital to teach Ahmadi children the recitation, subject matter and commentary of the Holy Qur’an.

His Holiness ariving at the Taha Mosque.

His Holiness ariving at the Taha Mosque.

According to the Islamic framework of distribution of financial responsibilities within marriage, the onus of being a provider is on the husband. A woman cannot be forced to contribute towards the expenses of running a home – however, she may do so of her own free will.

His Holiness clarified that anyone who takes the Bai’at (initiation) enters the fold of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and is an Ahmadi. The term Nau Muba’ay (new converts of the Community) is merely an administrative term and all new converts should be referred to as Ahmadis.

His Holiness underlined that many people enter the Ahmadiyya faith in Islam after undertaking extensive research of Ahmadiyya literature in print and online. Requests for Bai’at (initiation) are individually assessed prior to approval.

His Holiness directed Lajna Ima’illah to make concerted efforts in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to facilitate the integration of new converts into the Community.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba reiterated that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community maintains a policy of not accepting any financial contributions from Ahmadi women who choose to marry non-Ahmadi men.

Under certain limited circumstances, Ahmadi men are permitted to marry non-Ahmadi women, and their offspring are regarded as Ahmadis. Upon attaining maturity, these children are offered a choice to reaffirm their affiliation with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

Ahmadis are not permitted to offer Salat (prayer) behind a non-Ahmadi Imam since contrary to the directions of the Holy Prophetsa,they have refused to accept the Messiah and Imam of the age.

Those women who are unable to fast during the month of Ramadan are required to offer Fidya (a financial offering given to the needy in lieu of fasting). However, if at a later date, they are able to make up their missed fasts, they are obligated to do so.

In order to ensure that officeholders within the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community conform to the highest standards of morality and piety, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba reiterated that Ahmadi women who do not observe purdah should not be appointed to Sadr (President) Lajna office. Moreover, he emphasised that Lajna officeholders should dress modestly and exhibit qualities of humility and decorum.

His Holiness underscored that men were not permitted to participate in the financial schemes of Lajna Ima’illah. These schemes, which are designed for the offering of financial sacrifices, are purely for the purpose of the personal and spiritual development of Ahmadi women.

At 6:40 p.m., Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba presided over the Executive Body meeting of Ansarullah (Ahmadi men over the age of 40). His Holiness directed them to ensure that they possess a full understanding and knowledge of the ethos of their organisation and discharge their duties in accordance thereof. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba advised Ansarullah to make concerted efforts to integrate new converts into the fabric of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and energise their proselytisation work. He underscored that it was imperative to spread the message of the Ahmadiyya faith in Islam to the widest possible audience. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba noted that there was room for improvement in giving Chanda (financial contributions given to established schemes to support and advance the cause of proselytisation and other communal services of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community).

Following the conclusion of this meeting at 7:45 p.m., His Holiness held a meeting with the Executive Body of Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi boys and men between the age of 15 and 40) from Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar along with a representative from Thailand.Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba reiterated the importance of attaining a thorough understanding of the ethos of their organisation and discharging their duties in accordance thereof. Salient points from the discussion are summarised herein below:

In response to a question about the usefulness of a personal facebook account to promote the effort of preaching, His Holiness responded that Ahmadiyya Muslim Community already has a well-established Facebook page, which is quite adequate for this purpose. With the personal Facebook accounts, there is always a potential for misuse.

His Holiness directed the Majlis Sultanul Qalam4 (a group of young learned Ahmadis working together to respond to allegations against Islam and its noble Prophetsa) team to make earnest efforts to respond to the various allegations against Islam that are regularly levelled today from different quarters.

With respect to celebrating one’s birthday, His Holiness advised that instead of wasting money on candles and cakes, one should spend that money to help the poor and needy. He noted that if someone reminds him of his birthday, he celebrates it by offering two Rakat Nafl (voluntary prayers), and gives Sadaqah (charity) to express his gratitude towards Allah for giving him life and the capacity to obey His commandments. His Holiness added that his supplications include beseeching Allah for His blessings.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba cautioned that the Promised Messiah’sas picture should be used judiciously in Ahmadiyya literature distributed for the purposes of proselytisation. The sagacity of the recipients of such literature should be assessed prior to the dissemination of the books or pamphlets in question.

His Holiness stated that under certain circumstances it is legally mandatory to take out life insurance, e.g., in pursuance of a mortgage. In these situations, it is permissible for Ahmadis to take out life insurance.

His Holiness clarified that while it was permissible to take out a mortgage for residential property, it was prohibited to undertake a mortgage in pursuance of conducting a property business because such a business would then be based on interest.

In response to a youth who mentioned that many Chinese were leaving Buddhism for Christianity, His Holiness said that the Ahmadi youth should make greater efforts to promote the true Islam as the message of Ahmadiyyat (true Islam) would satisfy people’s hearts more than any other teaching, but it is our responsibility to convey this message far and wide.

His Holiness mentioned three points to remedy inactive youth i.e. those not actively participating in the activities of the Community: Firstly, active youth must ensure they established high standards and are regular in coming to the mosque. One cannot be preached to unless the person himself observes what he asks of others. Secondly, rather than being harsh or strict – they should be treated with love and compassion. They should be persuaded rather than forced into realising the benefits of staying close to the Community. Thirdly, it is imperative the Ahmadis prayed for their fellow brothers.

Following the conclusion of this meeting, His Holiness led the evening (Maghrib and Isha) prayers in congregation at 8:35 p.m. before retiring to his residence.

26th September 2013

His Holiness led the dawn and then afternoon prayers in congregation while spending the rest of the day attending to his official commitments and duties. The principal engagement of the day for Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba was a keynote address delivered at a reception held in his honour at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel at 6 p.m. During this address, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba elucidated the basis for a just economy; the need for equity between nations; the misrepresentation of Islam and his concerns at the increasing risk of a Third World War.5
The reception was attended by more than 200 guests, of which over 100 were non-Ahmadi dignitaries and guests from all over Southeast Asia, including Mr. Lee Khoon Choy, a founding member of Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party, who attended the reception despite being nearly 90 years of age. Mr. Lee Khoon Choy has enjoyed a distinguished career, during the course of which he has served as Singapore’s Ambassador to various countries including Syria, Egypt, Pakistan and Indonesia. In his welcome address, Mr. Lee Khoon Choy stated that he had witnessed the name of Islam being tarnished over the decades, and as a consequence he appreciated the efforts of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in highlighting the true and peaceful nature of Islam to the world.

Mr. Lee Khoon Choy, who has been recognised as one of the world’s most influential Chinese, also held a private audience with His Holiness, wherein His Holiness, responding to a question stated that he had only experienced jet lag for 24 hours and found the weather in Singapore to be warmer and more humid than London’s. His Holiness reciprocated the love and affection shown by the revered leader of Singapore and presented him with a signed copy of his book, World Crisis and Pathway to Peace. His Holiness promised to send Mr. Lee Khoon Choy the Chinese translation of this book as well.

Prior to the reception, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba held private meetings with various dignitaries including Dr. Nishta Birdi, the First Secretary to the Indian High Commissioner, Ms. Judith Slater, Deputy High Commissioner UK and Mr. Thomas Bondiguel, Premier Secretaire of France.

Mr. Lee Khoon Choy, who served as Ambassdor of Singapore to various countries, meeting His Holiness.

Mr. Lee Khoon Choy, who served as Ambassdor of Singapore to various countries, meeting His Holiness.

Mr. Thomas Bondiguel, Premier Secretaire of France, meeting His Holiness.

Mr. Thomas Bondiguel, Premier Secretaire of France, meeting His Holiness.

Dr. Nishta Birdi, the First Secretary to the Indian High Commissioner, meeting His Holiness.

Dr. Nishta Birdi, the First Secretary to the Indian High Commissioner, meeting His Holiness.

Journalists from Indonesia meet His Holiness.

Journalists from Indonesia meet His Holiness.

Thereafter, two journalists from the Indonesian print media, one from a newspaper called KOMAS and the other from a weekly magazine known as Purwah Diyya Prabanar interviewed His Holiness. During the course of this interview, His Holiness reiterated that the purpose of his visit was to promote the message of peace. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba warned that in order to save the world from destruction, it was imperative to adhere to the principles of justice and fairness. His Holiness stated that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community faces intense persecution in Pakistan and the Fourth Head of the Ahmadiyya Community [Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmadra had to flee the country in 1984 as a consequence of an anti-Ahmadiyya ordinance being passed that forbids Ahmadis from even uttering the Islamic salutation of peace, i.e., “Assalam-o-Alaikum.” Under the draconian ordinance, Ahmadis are liable to three years’ imprisonment for “crimes” such as reading the Holy Qur’an or uttering the Islamic declaration of faith (the Kalimah). Moreover, in order to obtain a Pakistani passport, Ahmadis must choose between applying as Muslims or non-Muslims – in the former case they are compelled to sign a declaration denying the truthfulness of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadian. His Holiness himself spent time in prison under these brutal and unfair laws.

However, notwithstanding such intense persecution, Ahmadis do not remonstrate nor respond in violence because they believe that it is the responsibility of the government to provide protection to its citizens. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba clarified that while Ahmadis were free to pursue politics on an individual level, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has no political desires, ambitions or goals. His Holiness stated that if he were to be granted freedom of speech by Indonesian authorities, he would be keen to visit Indonesia. His Holiness offered to send representatives of the Ahmadiyya Mulsim Community for a live debate on television with mainstream Muslims in order to clarify the differences and misunderstandings regarding the Ahmadiyya faith in Islam. His Holiness said that such a public debate will provide a platform to the public to arbitrate on the truth for themselves.

During the course of the day, His Holiness presented four local charities with donations of SGD 5000 each on behalf of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Singapore. The charities are: 1) National Kidney Foundation of Singapore, 2) Singapore Cancer Society, 3) Children’s Cancer Foundation and 4) Singapore Red Cross. His Holiness led the guests in silent prayer to conclude the formal session of the evening and dinner was then served.

His Holiness concluded the event by inviting all the guests to come forward and bid farewell on an individual basis. His Holiness returned to Taha Mosque to lead congregational evening prayers (Maghrib and Isha salat) before retiring to his residence.

27th September 2013

After leading the dawn (Fajr) prayers in congregation at 6 a.m., His Holiness attended to his wide and varied official commitments, before arriving for Friday prayers at the Taha Mosque at 1:30 p.m. A large number of men, women and children had travelled from Singapore and neighbouring countries to partake in the blessing of prayers led by His Holiness. The Singapore Jama’at arranged overflow prayer grounds to enable over 1500 Ahmadis to say their Friday prayers behind Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba. In his Friday sermon, relayed live across the globe via Muslim Television Ahmadiyya (or MTA – the official channel of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community), Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba encouraged Ahmadis to cultivate the habit of self-reflection in order to achieve spiritual progress and enhancement. The Friday prayers were followed by the International Bai’at ceremony, (new converts take the oath of allegiance upon the hand of the Khalifah to enter the Ahmadiyya faith in Islam whilst Ahmadis passionately re-affirm their commitment to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community by abiding by the ten conditions of Bai’at).

At 5:45 p.m., a disabled woman from Myanmar held a private audience with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba. Following the conclusion of this meeting at 6 p.m., Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba presided over a session with 71 Waqfe Nau children (Waqfe Nau are Ahmadi boys and girls whose parents have dedicated their children’s lives for the service of the Community) and Khuddamul Ahmadiyya from Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. During this session, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba clarified that the concept of Waqfe Nau is a pledge for a life-long commitment and not a mere title. This commitment is first made by parents before the birth of their child that they shall strive in earnest to invest time, energy and prayers to bring their child up to the highest standards of morality and piety in order to serve Islam and the Community. This commitment must be reaffirmed by the child when he reaches 15 years of age. Upon completion of their professional studies, the Waqfe Nau youth are granted a further opportunity to affirm their commitment to their cause, whereupon they are appointed as deemed appropriate to their vocation to serve the Ahmadiyya faith in Islam. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba reiterated that the necessary procedural requirements must be followed in managing the education and training of Waqfe Nau. In Indonesia there are currently 60 Waqfe Nau who have completed their graduate studies and who must seek instructions from the centre (headquarters) regarding their deployment.

The Bai’at Ceremony - or inititation into the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at - True Islam - at the hands of His Holiness the Khalifah of the Promised Messiah.

The Bai’at Ceremony – or inititation into the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at – True Islam – at the hands of His Holiness the Khalifah of the Promised Messiah.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba reminded the Waqfe Nau youth that it was their duty to promote the true teachings of Islam to the world. He stated that Ahmadis believe that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadian was a non-law-bearing prophet and was the Messiah foretold by the Holy Prophetsa, and that Jesusas has passed away in accordance with the Qur’anic principle that every individual must die.

One of the Waqfe Nau children inquired how it could be said that the Holy Prophetsa was a mercy for the entire universe when he was a prophet sent to Earth and the Qur’an speaks of life beyond Earth as well. His Holiness explained in response that the term universe in this context meant the universe inhabited by human beings. As for the forms of life elsewhere in the universe, only God knows best the methods and means used for their guidance. A summary of the salient points from this meeting is presented below:

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba expressed his sadness at the barbaric persecution of Ahmadis in Indonesia. His Holiness urged young Indonesian men to pray for their country and for such human rights abuses to come to an end.

He clarified that while a Waqfe Nau may participate in politics, his service to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community must be his priority.

In response to a question with respect to what was better – independence or peace, His Holiness espoused that freedom and peace had an interdependent relationship and one could not exist without the other. His Holiness said that where there is freedom, there will be peace and where there is peace, they will have the freedom. His Holiness suggested that Indonesia should settle its internal political conflicts through negotiation.

He noted that Ahmadis are law-abiding citizens and loving the country where they lived is part of our faith. His Holiness added, however, that in countries such as Pakistan, there are certain laws in place that prohibit Ahmadis from offering Salat (the formal Islamic prayer) and pursuing other Islamic practices, thereby making it impossible for Ahmadis to conform to such legal provisions. He stated that Ahmadis do not retaliate or respond in any form of violence to persecution, and strive to live as law-abiding citizens seeking redress to the law wherever possible.

 Journalists interviewing His Holiness.

Journalists interviewing His Holiness.

At the end of this session at 7 p.m., Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba granted a private audience to 518 Ahmadis from 82 families, following which at 8:45 p.m., His Holiness presided over a class with Waqfe Nau girls. His Holiness issued directions for a documentary to be made on Singapore for the Muslim Television Ahmadiyya International. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba reiterated that the Waqfe Nau scheme did not merely confer a title, but was a lifelong pledge. His Holiness advised these girls to write at least 4-5 letters to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba annually. A summation of the main points from this discussion is given herein below:

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba advised the Waqfe Nau girls to be regular in offering the five daily Salat (formal prayer), recite the Holy Qur’an and regularly read books by the Promised Messiahas.

His Holiness explained that a Waqfe Nau girl is not obligated to marry a Waqfe Nau boy nor was there any obligation for Waqfe Nau parents to commit their children to the Waqfe Nau scheme.

Suitable professions for Waqfe Nau girls include becoming doctors, teachers, linguists, architects, historians and researchers.

In the unfortunate event of the parents of a Waqfe Nau child being expelled from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the child’s pledge to the Waqfe Nau scheme is automatically annulled since parents play a vital role in the upbringing of Waqfe Nau children. Should the parents be pardoned and accepted back in the Community, the pledge of Waqfe Nau may be reinstated.

His Holiness reiterated that Waqfe Nau youth must consult the centre (headquarters) before applying for any jobs.

Following the conclusion of this session at 9:45 p.m., His Holiness led the evening (Maghrib and Isha) prayers in congregation before retiring to his residence.

28th September 2013

After leading the dawn (Fajr) prayers in congregation at 6 a.m., Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba attended to his official duties. At 10:30 a.m., His Holiness granted an audience to more than 20 Indonesian guests representing various media and educational institutions and think tanks. During the question-and-answer session, His Holiness shed light on the true teachings of Islam and clarified various misconceptions concerning the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Some important points of discussion included the following:

Speaking on the issue of the growth and advancement of the Ahmadiyya faith in Islam, His Holiness stated that, “We believe that if not in this generation, then in future generations, we will win the hearts of people across the world in vast numbers. It will be a long process, but no doubt we will be successful.”

Upon being asked whether there could be more than one Khalifah within Islam, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba rejoined that, “In order to make progress Muslims should unite under the leadership of one person. This is in accordance with the prophecy of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa that the institution of Khilafat will be established within the community of the Promised Messiahas.”

In response to a question regarding whether the institution of Khilafat and democracy were compatible, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba elucidated that, “Khilafat has no role to play in government and will never interfere with matters of state. We have no political ambitions or desires. We believe entirely in a separation of religion and matters of state.”

His Holiness was also asked why Ahmadi Muslims were against the notion of violent Jihad. In response, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba explicated how the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa only undertook defensive wars for the protection of all religions. Moreover, His Holiness stated that, “Today, the main attacks on Islam are raised in the electronic and print media. Thus, the Jihad of today is to publish literature and books supporting the true and peaceful teachings of Islam. That is what we are doing.”

Concluding with a response to a question regarding the beliefs of Ahmadi Muslims, His Holiness underlined that, “All our teachings and beliefs can be easily accessed in our literature and on our websites. Our missionaries are ready to answer any question at any time. We have never hidden any of our beliefs and we never will.”

At 11:30 a.m., Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba granted a private audience to 732 Ahmadis from 106 families from Indonesia, Cambodia and Sri Lanka, at the conclusion whereof His Holiness led the afternoon (Zuhr and Asr) prayers in congregation at 1:30 p.m. Thereafter, His Holiness attended to his official duties, granting another private audience to 646 Ahmadis from 109 families from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Singapore, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong at 6 p.m. The families of the three Ahmadis brutally martyred in Indonesia three years ago, as well as families who were driven out of their homes after their homes were burnt down, also held a private audience with His Holiness. They found the opportunity of the audience with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba most overwhelming. At 8 p.m., Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba led the evening (Maghrib and Isha) prayers in congregation before retiring to his residence.

29th September 2013

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba led the dawn (Fajr) prayers in congregation at 6 a.m., and dedicated a few hours of his morning attending to his official duties as the worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. At 11:30 a.m., His Holiness granted a private audience to 250 Ahmadis from 60 families from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. At 1:30 p.m., Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba led the afternoon (Zuhr and Asr) prayers in congregation, which were followed by another private audience with 178 Ahmadis, including volunteer teams who were involved in taking care of a variety of arrangements during His Holiness’s visit to Singapore. At 8 p.m., Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba led the evening (Maghrib and Isha) prayers in congregation before retiring to his residence.

30th September 2013

After leading the dawn (Fajr) prayers in congregation, His Holiness spent a few hours of his morning attending to his wide and varied official duties. At 11:15 a.m., Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba presided over a meeting with the National Executive Body of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Indonesia. Upon learning the number of people participating in making financial contributions to the Community and those who have entered the institution of Wasiyyat (a system of dedicating 10% of an individual’s income and estate for the purpose of the propagation of Islam along with leading a life of piety and devotion to the Almighty), Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba issued directions for such voluntary financial contributions to be increased. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba also looked at results compiled from various efforts to proselytise. A summary of the salient points from the meeting is presented herein below:

His Holiness directed that the Promised Messiah’sas book, Haqiqatul Wahi, should be translated into Indonesian. Moreover, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba directed all Ahmadis to read this book for it comprehensively addresses all objections levelled against the beliefs of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The Promised Messiahas stated himself that whosoever reads this book can respond to any allegations against Islam.

His Holiness issued directions for translation teams to acquire new blood, with experienced members continuing to provide guidance and support to new recruits, but with the latter taking on the chief task of translation. His Holiness noted that women from the Community render excellent translation services and that these services should be utilised.

His Holiness underscored the importance of encouraging education and rewarding high achievers with gold medals. Moreover, students in need of financial assistance should be lent the requisite support from the Community to continue their education.

A proposal was discussed to set up hospitals and schools providing voluntary and charitable services in Indonesia in an effort to enhance the Community’s services to humanity.

His Holiness directed Ahmadis to serve their country in every field including public service, e.g., entering the political sphere and enrollment in the armed or naval forces.

The delegation undertook a pledge to train 100 doctors, 100 engineers, 100 scientists and 100 lawyers for the centenary celebrations of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Indonesia in 2025.

The discussion included the issuance of various administrative directives by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba and concluded at 12:25 p.m.

Thereafter, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba presided over a meeting with missionaries and religious instructors from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines and Myanmar. A total of 140 officials from 8 countries attended the meeting, the salient points whereof are detailed below:

His Holiness directed the instructors and missionaries to focus on the moral training of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in their respective regions.

He emphasised that it was imperative to train all Ahmadis to be regular in offering the daily Salat (prayer), reciting the Holy Qur’an daily and regularly watching MTA.

His Holiness stressed the importance of maintaining strong working relationships with local public and political officials in their respective regions such that any misunderstandings may be quelled.

His Holiness reiterated that it was imperative for all Ahmadis to read and re-read the Promised Messiah’sas books and make earnest efforts to study and comprehend the translation and commentary of the Holy Qur’an.

All Ahmadis should endeavour to reinforce to themselves the messages and lessons relayed in His Holiness’s weekly Friday sermons.

Thereafter, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba met the National Executive Councils from Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. The crux of the discussion is presented herein below:

His Holiness underscored that it was vital to provide adequate support and guidance to those who join the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Our goal must be to ensure that they become an integral part of the Community as soon as practically possible.

His Holiness underlined that the monetary system of collecting financial contributions from members of the Community is not akin to a tax, and new converts should, under the care and guidance of experienced members, be encouraged to contribute generously to this scheme.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba directed that the message contained in his book, World Crisis and Pathway to Peace, should be spread to the widest possible audience.

His Holiness instructed the Ahmadiya Mustlim Commnity Singapore to print his speech delivered at his Welcome Reception at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel for tabligh (propagation) purposes. Thereafter, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba graciously blessed a brick to be used for laying the foundation of a community center to be constructed in Kuala Lumpur and led the afternoon (Zuhr and Asr) prayers in congregation at 1:30 p.m.

Later that afternoon, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba led a heartfelt and emotional silent prayer alongside a crowd of devotees who had gathered in the grounds of the Taha Mosque in order to bid farewell to their beloved leader. Many of the devotees appeared visibly moved and overwhelmed with emotion. Following the conclusion of the silent prayer, His Holiness departed for the airport to take his flight to Sydney, Australia.

 

ENDNOTES

1.  The Tahrik-e-Jadid scheme is a structured and institutionalised process whereby Ahmadi Muslims offer financial sacrifices (funds totalling in the millions of pounds sterling each year) for the propagation of the teachings of Islam worldwide. The scheme was set up in 1934 by the Second Successor of the Promised Messiahas, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra.

2.  Please see http://www.alislam.org/apps/cob/webapp/

3.  http://nasirat.org.uk/nasirat-pledge/

4.  Sultan Al-Qalam (King of the Pen) was a title given by Allah to the Promised Messiahas.

5.  See the current issue for Hazoor’saba address.

 

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