The Quest for Peace Down Under – Khalifah of the Promised Messiahas Visits AustraliaNo Comments | February 2014
Translated by Professor Amtul Razzaq Carmichael
On the 21st of September 2013, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaba (5th Successor to the Promised Messiahas), Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, embarked on a seven week tour of Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. In his Friday sermon on 20th September, His Holiness directed 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 enhance the spiritual and moral training of Ahmadis living in different parts of the world. After visiting Singapore, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba continued his journey to Australia. This was the second visit of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba to Australia, the first one being in 2006.
During this 27 day tour of Australia, the official day of His Holiness started at dawn (between 4:30am to 5:30am) with the leading of the dawn prayers (Fajr). Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba would spend most of the morning attending to his wide-ranging and varied commitments as the supreme leader of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba would respond to the correspondence from Ahmadis asking for prayers, guidance and support in various matters. His Holiness would also oversee the official reports about the activities of the 204 countries where Ahmadiyya Muslim missions are established. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba also found time in his busy schedule to provide opportunities for private audiences to thousands of Ahmadis, listening to their problems, challenges and difficulties, providing them with moral and spiritual support and helping them through prayers and advice. His Holiness also conducted Ameen celebrations (first complete reading of the Holy Qur’an) and Nikah ceremonies (the Muslim declaration of marriage). These extensive activities of His Holiness were arranged around the prayers offered in congregation. In the evening His Holiness would conclude his official day with evening prayers (generally offered around 9:00pm) in congregation.
Below, we present highlights of the long and busy schedule of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba during his visit of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
1st October 2013
His Holiness arrived at Sydney International Airport on October 1st 2013 at 5:05am (local time). At the airport, His Holiness was welcomed by dignitaries, high ranking officials, local officials of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and Honorable Kevin Conolly, Member Parliament of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly.
At Baitul Huda (Headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Australia in Marsden Park, Sydney), Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba received a rapturous welcome by the Ahmadis residing in Australia. Along with the Ahmadi men, women and children of Sydney, many dedicated Ahmadis travelled from Melbourne (876 km from Sydney), Brisbane (924 km from Sydney), Adelaide (1375 km from Sydney), Perth (5 hours flight from Sydney) in order to become part of this blessed and momentous occasion. His Holiness affectionately returned these slogans and poems of dedication and commitment, with the greetings of peace.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba led the afternoon prayers (Zuhr and Asr) at 1:30pm. His Holiness granted a private audience to 155 members of 34 families in a session starting at 6:30pm and led the evening prayers (Maghrib and Isha’) in Baitul Huda Mosque at 8:00pm. After this, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba retired to his residence.
2nd October 2013
At 11:00am, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba was interviewed by journalists from The Daily Telegraph, The Standard and Blacktown Sun newspapers. Below is a brief summary of these interviews:
A journalist asked His Holiness regarding the differences and disagreements between Ahmadi Muslims and other Muslims?
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba explained that the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa prophesised that that a time would come when Muslims would completely forget the essence of the teachings of Islam; even their mosques would be devoid of guidance. At that time, God will send the Messiah and Mahdias who would bring about the reformation of Muslims and would clarify the true teachings of Islam. His Holiness stated that Ahmadis believe that this prophecy has come true and Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadianhas been appointed by God as the Messiah and the Mahdias.
On the contrary, other Muslims are still waiting for a Messiah and the second advent of Hazrat ‘Isaas (Prophet Jesusas) and they believe that he will descend from the heavens. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba said that Ahmadis believe the second coming of Prophet Jesusas is a metaphorical concept entailing that the Messiah of the latter days would be similar to Prophet Jesusas in many respects.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba confirmed that Ahmadis believe that the Holy Prophetsa is the last law-bearing prophet. Explaining the concept of “Seal of the Prophets”, His Holiness said that the teachings brought by the Holy Prophetsa had such a powerful spiritual impact that the status of a non-law bearing prophet may be granted by God to one who faithfully adhered to these teachings. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba stated that we believe that the status of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas was that of a non-law bearing prophet.
Explaining the purpose of his visit, His Holiness espoused that the main purpose of his visit is to meet the members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and oversee their moral and spiritual training. His Holiness said that he aims to inculcate the values of loyalty to their country in his followers in accordance with the commandments of the Holy Prophetsa and to reiterate that Ahmadis should be law-abiding citizens of Australia. Another purpose of the visit is to listen to the problems and challenges faced by local Ahmadis and provide them with support, guidance and prayers.
His Holiness explained that he uses his Friday sermons and speeches to highlight issues and problems and guides his Community to reform themselves in light of the teachings of Islam. His Holiness said that he aims to promote teachings of harmony, love, affection, brotherhood, and a sense of sympathy and fairness amongst Ahmadis.
Addressing the question of acceptance of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community by the Australian public, His Holiness said that amongst all the Muslims communities, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the most accepted in every society. He said that Ahmadis openly profess their loyalty and love towards the nation they reside in and this practice is part of their faith. His Holiness said that the Ahmadiyya message is one of peace, illustrated by the Community’s slogan: ‘Love for All, Hatred for None.’
Commenting on the ever-increasing threats to world peace, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba said that the solution lies in the practice of absolute justice; the standard of absolute justice has been set in the Holy Qur’an. The sense of fairness is meant to be so strong that one should be prepared to testify against one’s own family if the demand of justice requires it. This is the true Islam and through this, peace and justice can prevail in a society.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba replied to a question regarding the establishment of peace in Syria by saying that peace will be established in Syria when both parties, the government and the rebels, treat each other with mutual respect and fairness. Referring to his recent Friday sermon, His Holiness said that the government and the opposition group must understand their responsibilities and should act justly, otherwise the entire country will be consumed by turmoil. In fact, he said, the entire region will be affected and its peace will be destroyed.
Explaining the procedure of appointing the Khalifatul Masih, His Holiness explained that the Khalifah is chosen by the Electoral College comprising of key officials, missionaries and scholars. Individuals are nominated during the meeting of the Electoral College and the Khalifatul Masih is elected by the majority vote.
About his background, His Holiness said that after graduating from Pakistan, he devoted his life to the services of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and served in Ghana for eight years. Then he served the Jama’at in various capacities in Rabwah, the headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Pakistan. In 2003, he was elected to lead the Community as the Khalifatul Masih.
A journalist asked His Holiness, “What is your advice to Muslims and non-Muslims?” His Holiness said that we are all human beings and creation of Allah the Almighty. Allah loves His creation and we should also strive to live with love and brotherhood and fulfil each other’s rights.
Highlighting the charitable services of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness described that youth in the UK have raised £35,000 through charity events. Eighty percent of that amount was shared with non-Muslim charities. In the USA, Ahmadi youths collected more than 10,000 pints of blood for government hospitals through the ‘Muslims for Life’ campaign.
His Holiness said that the beauty of the Community is that it functions according to the instructions and guidelines of the Khalifah. Other Muslim communities do not have such leadership. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is spread across 204 countries and has one leader; in all these countries, our teachings, our slogan, our character, and our administration is the same. We live peacefully and we propagate the teachings of peace. Wherever we reside, we are loyal to that nation and abide by its laws.
This interview concluded at 11:30am. For the rest of the day, His Holiness held two sessions of private audience with 410 Ahmadis in total; led afternoon and evening prayers in congregation at the appointed times; and busied himself in office work.
3rd October 2013
His Holiness spent most of his day attending to his official commitments and led prayers in congregation at Baitul Huda Mosque; dawn (Fajr) at 4:30am and afternoon (Zuhr and Asr) at 1:30pm. At 5:10pm, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba carried out an inspection of the arrangements for the Jalsa Salana (Annual Convention) Australia and addressed those who had volunteered for the event, highlighting the blessings and the importance of the Divine institution of Jalsa Salana. After a further session of private audience with 218 Ahmadis from 48 families, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba led the evening prayers (Maghrib and Isha’) at 8:35pm in congregation before retiring to his residence.
4th October 2013
After his usual morning routine, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba inaugurated the 29th Jalsa Salana Australia. The Friday sermon of His Holiness was relayed live across the globe by MTA (Muslim Television Ahmadiyya, the satellite channel of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community) and led afternoon (Asr) prayers in congregation.
In the evening, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba was interviewed by journalists from ABC radio and television. ABC radio and television is relayed in 24 countries. The salient points of the interview are presented below.
A renowned journalist Bill Birtles said that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is not that well-known in Australia. His Holiness replied that we are a small community and we will endeavor to raise awareness by arranging humanitarian activities such as charity walks to raise funds for local charities as we do in the UK and the “Muslims for Life” campaign in the USA.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba said thatthe main purpose of his visit was firstly, to meet the members of the Community and guide them. His Holiness said that secondly, if he gets the opportunity, he would like to convey the message of peace to the society and nation. His Holiness said that he would like to discuss with the leadership of this nation how peace can be achieved and what steps should be taken to avoid further chaos and destruction.
His Holiness answered questions about the Syrian crisis, world peace and the impending threat of a third world war.
Highlighting the plight and persecution of Ahmadis in Pakistan, His Holiness explained that in 1974, the Pakistan National Assembly declared Ahmadis as non-Muslims for the purpose of the law and the constitution. In 1984, General Zia-ul-Haq stripped Ahmadis of their very basic human rights. His Holiness explained that Ahmadis are fined and imprisoned for up to three years for merely saying Asalamo ‘Alaykum (Islamic greeting meaning, ‘Peace be on you’). Ahmadis, by law, are prohibited from using Qur’anic prayers, or even performing everyday activities like ordinary Muslims. His Holiness said that the Muslim clerics in Pakistan use their power and influence to carry out vicious crimes and atrocities against Ahmadis. His Holiness mentioned incidents in Lahore in 2010 when two Ahmadi Mosques were attacked and nearly ninety members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community were martyred and hundreds were injured. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba said that every week he receives news regarding persecution and martyrdom of Ahmadis in Pakistan.
His Holiness spoke about the persecution of Ahmadis in Bangladesh. He said that Muslim clerics are against the Jama’at but the government is not. Regarding the persecution of Ahmadis in Indonesia, His Holiness stated that in some areas, the local administration is against the Jama’at. Whenever the Muslim extremists get the opportunity, they attack Ahmadis, stone their mosques and damage their properties.
A journalist asked a question regarding the violent response of some Muslims about an anti-Islamic film made in the US. His Holiness said that he had condemned both the film and the violence, which is against the teachings of Islam. His Holiness mentioned in a Friday sermon that the best response to such provocation is to share the life history of the Holy Prophetsa with the world and shed light on his true and noble character.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba stressed that Muslims practising the true and peaceful teachings of Islam have no problem fitting in with the western culture and society. It is our faith that Allah the Almighty is for the entire world and the entire human race is Allah’s creation. Allah loves His creation. Hence, it is incumbent upon a true Muslim to live in his society with peace, love and brotherhood. If the Muslims living in these western nations were to practice these teachings, they would not to face any difficulty or challenges.
Following the ABC radio and television interview, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba granted private audience to 182 Ahmadis of 41 families and led the evening prayers (Maghrib and Isha’) at 8:30pm in Baitul Huda mosque. Subsequently, His Holiness visited the Ameer (National President) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Australia before retiring to his residence.
5th October 2013
On the second day of Jalsa Salana Australia, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba delivered an address to the ladies. This address was transmitted live all across the globe via MTA. After this session, His Holiness left for the men’s area and led the afternoon prayers (Zuhr and Asr). At 6:00pm His Holiness granted a private audience to a total of 50 families consisting of 156 individuals. At 9:00pm His Holiness led the evening prayers (Maghrib and Isha’) before retiring to his residence.
6th October 2013
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba gave a concluding address to more than 4,000 participants of Jalsa Salana Australia. This Jalsa was attended by 181 International guests and 64 non-Ahmadi guests.
After leading the afternoon prayers (Zuhr and Asr) in congregation, a most dignified ceremony of International Bai’at took place. In this ceremony 10 men and 4 women accepted Ahmadiyyat and took an oath of allegiance to the Unity of God, vowed to believe the Holy Prophetsa as the ‘Seal of Prophets’ and promised to abide by the ten conditions of Bai’at. The beauty and spiritual energy of this ceremony can be appreciated fully, if witnessed. To express a bond of commitment, the men placed their hands upon the hands of their beloved Khalifah’s hand while following the words of His Holiness, while the ladies, in the Islamic tradition of Purdah (Islamic way of outer covering) and modesty, repeated the words after their beloved Khalifah. This opportunity was taken by the entire Jalsa gathering to refresh their oath of allegiance to Khilafat. The International Bai’at ceremony was telecast live throughout the world via MTA.
Despite his extremely busy schedule during the Jalsa Salana, His Holiness found time in the evening to grant a private audience to 161 members of 46 families including 6 Ahmadis from Indonesia. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba led evening prayers (Maghrib and Isha’) in Baitul Huda Mosque at 8:15pm and retired to his residence.
7th October 2013
At 11:00am His Holiness presided over a Waqfe Nau class attended by male youths who have dedicated their lives to the service of Islam Ahmadiyyat. The theme of the class was that those who make a bond of commitment and dedication to God encounter success and happiness and those who chase this world at the expense of their faith eventually lose everything. Afterwards, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba held a question and answer session. The key points are summarised below.
A question was asked that if the use of alcohol and drugs is prohibited by the teachings of Islam, then why are cigarettes are not forbidden? His Holiness explained that the philosophy behind these prohibitions is that the potential harm of these activities is far greater than any potential benefit. Cigarettes are harmful and can cause lung cancer. The Promised Messiahas did not approve of smoking and called it a repulsive habit. The Promised Messiahas also said that if smoking was available at the time of the Holy Prophetsa, he would have forbidden this unpleasant practice.
A boy asked that whilst Muslim men do not usually shake hands with women, if a lady puts forth her hand unexpectedly, what is the best way to deal with the situation? His Holiness explained his practice of always inviting those people to meetings who have a certain level of familiarity with the practices and teachings of Islam; these guests are politely briefed in advance that His Holiness does not shake hands with women as a sign of respect for ladies. His Holiness went on to say that if you find yourself in a position where a lady puts her hand forward for a handshake unknowingly, then to save her from embarrassment, you can shake her hand as this is an intricate situation.
A student asked His Holiness whether the Jama’at will allow students to work and pay off their student loans before working for the Jama’at. His Holiness said that it all depends on the need. If the Jama’at needs the student’s service urgently, it will take the responsibility of paying off student loans, otherwise students may continue to work and pay off their loans.
His Holiness explained that there is no Islamic teaching or precedence that dictates men to keep their trousers above the level of their ankles. The Islamic philosophy of attire is that it should not become a means of boastfulness and conceit.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba explained that it is inappropriate to accept Bai’at from a minor; people should reach the age of maturity, develop their understanding and should fully comprehend what Bai’at means before their Bai’at is accepted.
This class ended at 11:45am and was followed by a Waqfe Nau class with ladies (those who have dedicated their lives for the service of Islam Ahmadiyyat). His Holiness expounded on the true meaning of being Waqfe Nau by saying that Waqfe Nau children are those who devote their lives for the sake of God the Almighty. Their parents vow to devote them before birth. When these children grow up, they confirm this commitment. A highly distinct feature of the Waqfe Nau youth is that they work harder to obey the commandments of Allah the Almighty and strengthen their bond with Allah the Almighty by offering Salat. Hence, the five daily prayers should be offered in the best possible manner and Nafal (voluntary prayers) should be offered sometimes. Older children should offer Nafal more often than younger ones. This brief comment was followed by a question and answer session: the salient points are presented below.
His Holiness advised that to improve their proselytisation skills, Waqfe Nau should read the book Introduction to the Study of Holy Qur’an by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmadra. This book highlights the need for Islam and the life and character of the Holy Prophetsa. The book also briefly mentions the need for the advent of the Promised Messiahas. Another book recommended for this purpose is Da’watul Ameer. These books very eloquently elaborate on prophecies and current matters.
His Holiness explained that Waqfe Nau ladies should serve the Community by increasing their religious knowledge and skills and bringing up their children well.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba agreed with the sad fact that nearly all the terrorist groups today associate themselves with Islam. Therefore, people think that Islam and terrorism go hand in hand. As Ahmadi Muslims, we must clear this misconception. His Holiness said that Islam is a religion of peace and that he had stressed this point in his concluding speech at Jalsa Salana (Annual Convention) UK 2013. His Holiness mentioned that his book World Crisis and Pathway to Peace is helpful to clarify these refined concepts.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba clarified the process regarding Waqfe Nau youth taking up employment untill their services are needed by the Community. However, His Holiness said that this should be done following proper protocols and procedures.
When asked which country he would like to visit the most, His Holiness replied, ‘Any country where Ahmadis live. I like to meet with them and this is the main purpose of my visits.’
A 12 year old girl asked whether the persecution of Ahmadis in Pakistan is similar to the persecution of Sahibzada Abdul Latif in Afghanistan, at whose martyrdom Allah the Exalted revealed to the Promised Messiahas that the land of Afghanistan was being rejected by God. His Holiness replied that the state of Pakistan is dire; the economy, law and order and governance all are virtually non-existent. The country is known as a terrorist state in the world; this is the Divine rebuke for the country for mistreating the message of the Promised Messiahas.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba explained that a Khalifah is elected by the members of the Electoral College consisting of various key officials of the community from all over the world; during the election a number of people are nominated and voting by a show of hand takes place to elect the next Khalifah with a majority vote.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba explained that the way we translate the Holy Qur’an is same as non-Ahmadi Muslims, the only difference is in the verses about the death of Prophet Jesusas. The Ahmadiyya translation of these verses is supported by the key historic Islamic scholars. On this note, His Holiness expressed the need to translate literature into English to help young Waqfe Nau become conversant in the evidence about the death of Prophet Jesusas.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba said that the key factor in the upbringing of children is to be personal role models; parents need to be regular in Salat (formal prayer in Islam), recitation of the Holy Qur’an and should have high moral values. Thus, parents should lead by example.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba clarified the misconception that Islam is a culture or social platform. The Holy Qur’an has many commandments; in the Holy Qur’an, the word Taqwa (righteousness) is mentioned more than 100 times. By following the teachings of Islam, we will achieve the purpose of our creation. Our aim and goal is to attain the love of God, not cultural benefits. The purpose of religion is to bring people closer to God and to promote love and unity amongst people.
His Holiness encouraged Waqfe Nau ladies to undertake careers in medical research, history and other fields and aspire to win the Nobel Prize.
Advising a young Waqfe Nau who is married to a missionary, His Holiness stated that she has the dual responsibility of being a role model for others by her skills and expertise in running her household, regularity in worship, morality, actions, words and modesty, as well as being a wife of missionary. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba said that the wife of a missionary should be the beacon of modesty and humility.
The class ended at 12:40pm, following which Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba granted the honour of private audience to 66 people from 20 families and the missionary incharge of the Solomon Islands. At 1:45pm Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba led the afternoon (Zuhr and Asr) prayers in congregation. This was followed by a Nikah ceremony.
Addressing the importance of righteousness in Islamic marriage in the Nikah ceremony, His Holiness reiterated the concept of Taqwa; His Holiness explained that absolute truth and commitment to God make the foundation for a long, happy and successful marriage. It is the responsibility of both families to make concerted efforts to nurture this new relationship built on love, affection and truthfulness. In order to strive for a pious and decent next generation, actions and deeds should follow the commandments of Allah.
At 6:00pm, His Holiness held a meeting with male students at college or university. A research article was presented on the topic of schizophrenia and its causes. This mental illness, is uncommon (1% of the world’s population suffers from it); the cause of the disease is unknown and there is no curative treatment. Newer research into the causes and potential treatment was presented. Another researcher presented data on the effectiveness of face masks in preventing chest infection. His Holiness commented that the homeopathic treatment, aconite 1000 can be an effective treatment for the common cold. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba encouraged that research data should also be collected from Fazl-e-Omar Hospital, Rabwah, Pakistan.
At 7:00pm His Holiness granted an audience to female students at college or university. One researcher, studying for her PhD, presented findings that success in mathematics at school level is largely due to parental input, competitiveness amongst students, professional teachers and the practical way of teaching. Another PhD student presented an informative paper on Eco-hydrology, which is a new branch of science that focuses on making the best use of water resources in the face of a growing world population. At the end of the session at 8:00pm, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba led an Ameen ceremony before leading the evening prayers (Maghrib and Isha’) in congregation. Afterwards, His Holiness retired to his residence.
8th October 2013
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba attended to his office duties for most of the day and led prayers in congregation at the appointed times. His Holiness graciously granted a private audience of 210 members of 49 families in the morning and 200 Ahmadis from 49 families in the evening sessions.
9th October 2013
After leading the dawn prayers (Fajr) in congregation, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba and his staff left for the airport to fly to Melbourne. This was the first visit of a Khalifatul Masih to Melbourne. A warm and enthusiastic welcome awaited Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba in Melbourne, where scores of dedicated men, women and children turned out to welcome their holy leader. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba led the afternoon (Zuhr and Asr) prayers in congregation.
Ahmadiyya Centre Melbourne is a large two storey building acquired by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in 2006. It is a beautiful example of architecture in which 4,000 people can offer prayers at one time. The are 250 car parking spaces. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community paid $800,000 Australian dollars for this building which is now estimated to be nearly $6 million.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba granted a private audience to 228 members of 40 families from Victoria Melbourne. Many of these Ahmadis had the privilege of seeing Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba for the first time in their lives. These families have faced intense persecution in Pakistan, with some family members having served jail sentences and others had been martyred for adhering to their beliefs.
At 9:00pm, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba led the evening prayers in congregation before retiring to his residence.
10th October 2013
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba led the morning prayers in congregation at 5:30am in the morning. After tending to his official commitments His Holiness led the afternoon prayers in congregation at 1:30pm. At 6:00pm, 170 members of 49 families had the honour to attend a private audience with His Holiness, after which evening prayers were offered in congregation before His Holiness retired to his residence.
11th October 2013
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba delivered the Friday sermon in Melbourne and it was a sheer blessing of God that the peaceful message of Islam Ahmadiyyat was relayed live across the globe from Melbourne for the first time ever.
In the evening, His Holiness attended a function at the Princess Reception Centre, which was attended by 220 guests including local dignitaries and high ranking officials, politicians, doctors and lawyers. In his keynote address, His Holiness stressed the importance of mutual unity and love to tackle the unrest in the world. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba explained that crises like the Arab Spring, the unrest in Syria and Libya are all results of a practice where the rights of one section of the community are usurped by others. His Holiness proposed that the solution of the current world problems lies in the practice of absolute justice. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba expressed his disappointment that the United Nations is not an effective agency in ending world crises.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba led the evening prayers in congregation at 10:00pm and retired to his residence.
12th October 2013
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba visited the Royal Botanical gardens in the morning and spent some time absorbing the picturesque beauty of Mount Dandenong. The afternoon prayers (Zuhr and Asr) were offered at the appointed time in congregation in a restaurant.
In the afternoon, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba held a class of the local Waqfe Nau male youths. Addressing the youths, His Holiness explained that all pleasures, happiness and contentment is inextricably linked in belief in God. A bond of commitment and dedication to God leads one to God; those who find God ultimately get the blessings of both their faith and this world. Those who forsake their faith to run after worldly pleasures and delight end up with neither their faith nor worldly pleasures. This was followed by a question and answer session, the salient points of which are summarised below.
One youth asked His Holiness about how he prepares for his Friday sermon. His Holiness replied “I prepare them and find the references myself. If there is a reference that needs to be typed or printed out, then I share that reference, page number and name of the book, with my office so that they can either type or print it out for me.”
His Holiness reiterated the target of taking the message of Islam to 10% of the population of every country.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba explained that we have very good resources for preaching, including a Facebook page. Therefore there is no need to make personal Facebook pages for this purpose. However, as an organisation, a Facebook page can be developed by putting proper procedures and practices in place.
Discussing his technique of preaching, His Holiness explained that the first step is to make people appreciate the existence of God and then progress to the understanding of religion.
His Holiness explained that to make people understand the existence of God is a fine philosophical concept; God can be understood as the highest level of Creator is God. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba recommended the books Our God, The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam as well as the 5th and 6th chapter of the book Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth to hone these concepts.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba explained that the signs of acceptance of prayer is a powerful argument for the existence of God. His Holiness explained that we cannot convince others of the existence of God unless we can present our own experience as evidence.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba recommended that a division of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Student Association should be established in Australia; this is a seasoned organisation that is well established in many parts of the world.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba reiterated the importance of being regular in offering five daily prayers, the recitation of the Holy Qur’an and the devotion and commitment to enhance one’s religious knowledge.
The class finished at 8:20pm and was immediately followed by a class with Waqfe Nau ladies. The highlight of the class was a question and answer session with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba. A brief summary of this session is presented below:
A young lady asked Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba that if he had a daughter who was Waqfe Nau, what career would he choose for her? His Holiness explained that with the grace of God, he does have a daughter but she was born before the Waqfe Nau scheme was launched; His Holiness explained that he would have brought his daughter up well so that she would make the right choice for herself in how she wished to serve the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
Advising about career choices of Waqfe Nau ladies, His Holiness explained that there is no hard and rigid structure in this regard. The aptitude and interest of an individual is the main factor to define their career choices. The Holy Prophetsa has said that the best knowledge to acquire is the knowledge of faith and the knowledge of the body. The professions that Waqfe Nau ladies might find helpful are medicine, teaching, research, archaeology, and languages in order to help with translation projects of the Community.
His Holiness encouraged the youth to watch the Waqfe Nau classes on MTA and keep themselves abreast with the directives of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba by listening to his addresses and Friday sermons.
When asked to tell the youth about any faith inspiring incidents from his younger years, His Holiness related an incident when he needed something within the next 15 minutes. He was shy and hesitant to ask his father, therefore he prayed to God saying, ‘I do believe in You and my faith will be consolidated and enhanced if You with Your grace grant me my wish.’ His Holiness recalled that he waited 12 then 13 minutes and then 14 minutes passed and nothing happened. At the 15th minute, his father called him and gave him whatever his wish was!
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba said that he liked Melbourne; he said that all places are nice but his main focus was for Ahmadis of each place to become nice and pious people.
In response to a question why we cannot see God, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba said that God is evident in all His creation. All flowers, vegetables and fruit trees are living examples of the existence of God. God is all-powerful, His Holiness gave the example that chlorophyll is needed for plants to grow however, he recently saw a plant which does not have any leaves but instead a beautiful flower grows on just a stem. These are all displays of the immense capabilities and creative powers of our God.
In response to a question about what age girls should start to wear a headscarf, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba responded by saying that this is a progressive process. At a very young age girls should start covering their legs with leggings when wearing dresses. By the age of 10 years, girls start wearing a scarf and build this up promptly at the age of 12.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba explained that the best way is to start wearing a headscarf early so that girls get used to it. Some girls say that they would start wearing headscarf at the age of 12, then the delay until 13, then again they delay it to 14 years of age; once this trend sets in, then they are hesitant to wear the headscarf. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba explained that it is really important to understand that girls should not worry that other girls will laugh at them because of their headscarf and make fun of them; one way to tackle this is to start wearing a headscarf early in order to overcome any hesitation.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba explained that young ladies in their late teens and early 20s must appreciate that the purpose of Purdah is Haya (modesty and virtue). Haya is an integral part of a woman’s dignity and most Western nations practiced this until recently. His Holiness said that he finds it strange that men are regarded well-dressed when they have worn a shirt, tie and suit while women are considered well-dressed when they expose the flesh. His Holiness counselled Ahmadi girls that Haya acts as a barrier for others’ inappropriate looks and advances.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba advised pregnant women to pray that God grants them a pious and virtuous child who adheres to their faith and does not bring the family’s name into disrepute. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba reminded the young ladies of the prayer of the mother of Hazrat Maryamas when she was pregnant. She prayed that her progeny would adhere to the commandment of God and be pious and virtuous and serve the faith.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba again reminded the young ladies to focus on their faith; by adhering to faith worldly successes become inevitable, but if one forgets faith due to their desire for this world then one loses everything.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba explained that practice fasts should be observed from the age of 13 and 14 and we should aim to become regular in fasting from the age of 17 to 18. His Holiness advised that even when not fasting, we should get up for Sehri (an Islamic term referring to the meal consumed early in the morning by Muslims before fasting), offer Nafal Salat and do the recitation of the Holy Qur’an.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba led the evening (Maghrib and Isha’) prayers in congregation before retiring to his residence.
13 October 2013
Along with commitments of leading prayers and official and administrative duties, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba inspected the Ahmadiyya Centre Melbourne including MTA offices and the library. His Holiness also attended a dinner with local officials of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
14 October 2013
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba left Melbourne today for Sydney. A heartfelt and emotional farewell was extended by the Melbourne Ahamdis, His Holiness left for the airport after leading in silent prayers. Ahmadis if Sydney offered an emotional and affectionate welcome back to their holy leader when Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba arrived in Sydney at 2:45pm. His Holiness led prayers in congregation at their appointed times, granted a private audience to 164 Ahmadis and retired to his residence are 9:00pm.
15 October 2013
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba remained busy carrying out his official commitments and found time in a busy schedule to grant a private audience to 194 Ahmadis.
16 October 2013
Today was the Muslim festival of Eidul Adha, when Muslims commemorate the ultimate sacrifice of the Prophet Abrahamas. The Eid sermon delivered by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba was relayed live across the world via MTA. His Holiness urged Ahmadis to develop true comprehension of God since only true love and fear of God enables one to gain to gain salvation from sin. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba led all prayers in congregation from dawn to late evening including Eid prayers. In the evening, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba laid the foundation stone of the guest house in the grounds of Baitul Huda.
17 October 2013
His Holiness was interviewed by a journalist from ABC Newsline. In his interview, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba explained that the purpose of his visit to Australia in order to meet Ahmadis, listen to their problems and advise and guide them. His Holiness said that he also aimed to raise the morality and spirituality of his followers. There are almost 4,000 Ahmadis resident in Australia and most of them are immigrants who have sought asylum in Australia to escape bitter persecution in Pakistan and other countries.
In addition, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba led all congregational prayers at their appointed times and granted a private audience of 158 members of 39 families.
18 October 2013
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba delivered a Friday sermon at Baitul Huda Mosque in Sydney, which was telecast across the globe via MTA. His Holiness later inaugurated the Khilafat Centenary Jubilee Hall. The inauguration ceremony was attended by local dignitaries, officials and office holders. In his keynote address, His Holiness thanked the broad-mindedness of the audience and in light of Islamic teachings jettisoned misunderstandings that have led to the violent image of Islam. His Holiness explained that the it was been foretold centuries ago that Muslims will lose touch with their teachings and adopt unislamic ways and that in the latter days, a reformer will be appointed by God to reform Muslims and bring the entire world to the peaceful message of Islam. His Holiness said that we believe in Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadian as the Promised Messiah of our age; after his demise, his successors, entitled Khalifatul Masih, continue with his mission of peace. In his address His Holiness also mentioned current threats to world peace and possible solutions to avert a third world war.
19 October 2013
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba was interviewed by journalists from the SBS radio station. After a brief introduction to Ahmadiyyat, His Holiness openly answered questions about the prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa that in latter days Muslims would give up Islamic teachings and that at that time, the advent of the Promised Messiahas would take place to reform the people of latter days. The signs of truthfulness of the Promised Messiahas include the fulfillment of the prophecy of an eclipse of the moon and the sun. His Holiness explained the concept of Khilafat and the fact that after the unfair and unjust ordinance passed in Pakistan in 1984, the Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community cannot function in his role as Khalifatul Masih whilst living there.
From dawn to late evening, His Holiness led all prayers in congregation at appointed times and granted a private audience to 190 Ahmadis of 47 families in the morning session.
In the evening, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba held a meeting with the Executive Council of Lajna Imaillah (an auxiliary for women above the age of 15). His Holiness reminded them that it is the responsibility of the President of Lajna to go through all the reports from the country and then forward them to various departments with her comments.
His Holiness directed the Executive Council to set themselves the target that every member should listen to the Friday sermon. This is essential for the religious training of Lajna and only then will they be able to train their children. His Holiness also suggested that the salient points of the Friday sermon should be circulated by email. His Holiness stressed that it is the responsibility of Lajna to make sure that their family offers the five daily prayers on time.
His Holiness espoused that it is good practice to give auxiliary organisations targets for monetary schemes such as Tehrike Jadid and Waqfe Jadid. This practice improves the overall standard of financial sacrifice for the whole Jama’at. His Holiness advised that Lajna must understand the philosophy behind making financial sacrifice. Those ladies who are behind in financial sacrifice should be reminded politely but should not be harassed or hassled. It is good humanitarian action for ladies to visit old people’s homes, schools and hospitals. The profile of the leaders of the Ahmadiyya Community can be raised by doing fundraising for various charities. For this purpose, all ladies who have got sewing and knitting skills can make material that can be sold at an annual fairs to raise funds.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba stressed that the standard of Purdah of the Secretary Nasirat (an auxillary for girls 7-14 years of age) should be high, as she acts as a model for the youth of the Community. His Holiness also stated it is important to hold an annual quiz for Nasirat. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba said that in order to enhance the religious training of Nasirat, they should be given one or two pages of a book of the Promised Messiahas to read and that it would be a good idea to encourage essay writing amongst Nasirat. His Holiness suggested there are many important topics for Ijtema speeches for example, ‘Our God’, ‘Khilafat-e Ahmadiyya’, ‘Blessings of Khilafat’ and ‘Service of Others’. His Holiness explained that girls over the age of 10 learn better by group discussion and he instructed that it is imperative to allow Nasirat opportunities to express themselves and their opinions. He stated that it is absolutely vital that we know what Nasirat’s problems are so that we can help to solve them.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba instructed the President of Lajna Imaillah to make a committee consisting of well educated women who should in turn prepare topics for discussion such as marriage, husbands, children, respect of relatives and Purdah with Nasirat.
His Holiness stated that it is vital that new converts are integrated into the system of the Community as soon as possible and practical.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba said that it would be wise to develop a website for Nasirat and that the model of the UK Lajna site may be an appropriate one to follow.
After the meeting Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba visited the Hasan Musa Library and directed that this library facility should be publicised and made accessible to all who wish to use it.
His Holiness then granted a private audience to 160 members of 40 families and presided over an Ameen ceremony before leading evening prayers in congregation.
20 October 2013
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba granted private audience to 179 members of 49 families as well as the missionary incharge of Australia.
His Holiness held a meeting with the Executive Council of Khuddamul Ahmadiyya (an auxiliary for youth 15-40 years of age). Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba instructed that the president should read each and every report from his country and comment on this before passing it to the relevant secretaries. By reading the reports, the president of an organisation can become aware and develop an understanding of what is going on in his membership and what needs to be done. His Holiness instructed that a concerted effort should be made to involve the youth of the country in the system of financial sacrifice as well as undertaking activities to help others. Young people can integrate into society by organising events like charity walks and enhance their standing in society.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba explained that it is the job of the Executive Committee to enhance the skill and desire amongst young people to understand the books of the Promised Messiahas.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba expressed disappointment that people seek asylum on the basis that they are unable to practice religion and are persecuted in their own countries; thus they seek asylum in the name of God but when they are established in Western countries some of them tend to forget God!
His Holiness instructed that the efforts for proselytisation of Islam Ahmadiyyat should be enhanced and that those who have accepted Ahmadiyyat should be integrated into the mainstream system of the Community as soon as possible and practical. There may be a need to arrange crash courses to enhance the skillset and knowledge of newcomers.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba instructed that the system of religious training for children at the weekend to enhance their religious knowledge should be very structured and organised. His Holiness also said that for students attending university, an Ahmadiyya Muslim Student Organisation should be developed.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba stressed that communication regarding sensitive matters and the Jama’at should be carried out with extreme care and judiciously; people’s privacy should be protected and their self-respect should be safeguarded.
In response to a question, His Holiness responded that Muslims are allowed to donate organs to save lives and that this is a good philanthropic act.
At the end of the meeting, at 7:00pm, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba held a meeting with the Executive Council of Ansarullah (an auxillary for men over 40 years of age). His Holiness reinforced the importance of getting involved in charity fundraising and raising the positive profile of Islam. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba instructed that ideally prayers should be offered punctually, the recitation of the Holy Qur’an should be performed daily and we should make every effort to engender a bond of commitment between our children and the mosque.
This meeting was followed by a meeting with the National Executive Council of Australia. His Holiness reminded attendees that Chanda (finanacial contributions) is not a tax; the system of financial sacrifice in the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is intedend to assist the spiritual development of members. His Holiness directed that 50% of the members of any Jama’at should be associated with the blessed system of Wassiyat.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba reminded the Executive Council of Ansarullah about the good practice of circulating the salient points of the Friday sermon to all members of the Community for their education and training.
To address the rising issue of marital problems, His Holiness instructed that the Reformation Committee should intervene early and meet monthly to have a good understanding of potential problems and to work out solutions.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba stressed that education sessions with young people should be very interactive; all their questions should be listened to seriously and answers should be such that young people can understand. His Holiness said that it is wise to interact with the youth of the Community with love and affection.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba instructed that officeholders should improve their communication skills and attitude; that officeholders should overcome any personal grudges, respect other’s dignity; and if they see any weaknesses they should seek to reform them with affection, love and prayer.
To the suggestion that a Jamia could be established in Australia, His Holiness instructed that a comprehensive feasibility report should be prepared to explore this possibility.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba gave clear instructions that women can sit in a hall with men during Tabligh meetings but that women should have separate dining facilities.
21 October 2013
His Holiness spent most of the day attending to his official duties before visiting a beach in the suburbs of Sydney. In the afternoon Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba watched a football match between the two teams in the grounds of the mosque. In the evening His Holiness visited the Community’s catering department.
From dawn to late evening, His Holiness led all prayers in congregation at the appointed times.
22 October 2013
His Holiness led silent prayer before leaving Sydney to fly to Brisbane at 10:45am. The flight was delayed and Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba arrived in Brisbane in the late afternoon. Upon his arrival, His Holiness inspected the mosque complex and led the afternoon prayers in congregation. In the evening, His Holiness led the evening prayers in congregation before retiring to his residence.
23 October 2013
In the morning, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba granted private audience to 210 members of 36 families. In the evening, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba attended a reception to celebrate the inauguration of the Masroor mosque. Before the reception, His Holiness held a meeting with local officials and dignitaries. In his keynote address to the guests, His Holiness thanked the guests and explained showing gratitude is the part of our religion. He said that the purpose of the creation of man is to serve humanity and to raise the standard of worship. His Holiness again stressed that the practice of absolute justice is absolutely vital to attain world peace and avoid a third world war.
His Holiness led the dawn, afternoon and evening prayers in congregation at the respective times.
24 October 2013
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba spent most of his day attending to his wide and varied official commitments. His Holiness granted a private audience to 234 members of 56 families in the evening and presided over an Ameen ceremony before the evening prayer in congregation.
25 October 2013
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba delivered a Friday sermon from the Masroor Mosque in Brisbane which was relayed live via MTA. The building work at the mosque started in December 2012 and the cost of building the mosque was AU $4.5 million. To attend this blessed ceremony people had travelled from as far as Ottawa. In the evening His Holiness granted a private audience of 269 members of 57 families and found time in his busy schedule to preside over an Ameen ceremony.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba also led all five daily prayers in congregation at their appointed times.
26 October 2013
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba visited the Duranbab Tropical Fruit and Research Park. In the evening, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba most graciously led a Nikah ceremony. During the Nikah sermon His Holiness stressed that the foundation of a couple’s life together should be on truthfulness and absolute fear of God. The Qur’anic verses which are recited during the Nikah invite one to ponder and focus on the life in the Hereafter. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba explained that those who make it a purpose of their life to seek Allah, end up getting the benefits of both worlds; while those who run after this world at the expense of the faith are left with with restlessness, anxiety and stress.
In the evening, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba attended a dinner for the volunteers who have carried out various duties during the visit of His Holiness to Australia.
27 October 2013
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba left Brisbane for Sydney after offering the dawn prayers (Fajr) in congregation and having meetings with some high ranking officials of the community. In Sydney His Holiness carried out his routine commitments. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba led all the daily prayers in congregation at their appointed times.
28 October 2013
After a heartfelt farewell and emotional send-off, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba left Australia for Aukland, New Zealand. His Holiness led silent prayer before setting off on the third leg of his blessed journey.