The ‘Majlis-e-Shura’ is a consultative body within the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, where members discuss recommendations for moral and spiritual betterment. We present the official transcript of the address by the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community at the concluding session of the 40th Majlis-e-Shura UK 2019.
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khailfatul Masih V (aba) said:
“With the Grace of Allah, the National Majlis-e-Shura of the UK Jama’at is now reaching its conclusion. I am confident that all of you will, according to your individual capacities, have taken a full part in the proceedings of the Shura.
Initially the agenda is prepared for the Shura, then sub-committees are formed and these items of the agenda are then discussed in the sub-committee. Then, after having discussed those items in the subcommittee a report is prepared and presented before the full house. Further discussion has taken place and I hope some of you will have given your opinions and recommendations in light of the sub-committees findings.
I am confident that every one of you, according to your abilities, will have given your suggestions and cast your votes with integrity and, certainly, this is what is expected of a Momin (a true believer). Now, in this concluding session, I will elaborate upon the responsibilities and duties of a Shura member, in light of a speech given by Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra), on the occasion of one of his Majlis-e-Shura.
Above all else, Hazrat Musleh Maud[i](ra) instructed that Shura members must inculcate within themselves خَشِیَّۃُ اللہ – the ‘fear of Allah the Almighty’. Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) said that a person’s speech and oratory, no matter how eloquent or well-spoken they may be, would not prove to be their means of success in this life or the next. Rather the key to success and victory in this life and in the Hereafter is to proclaim رَبُّنَا اللہ– that ‘Our Lord is Allah’ – and to live one’s life according to this paramount principle.
Certainly, we must develop within ourselves the spirit of:
رَبَّنَاۤ اِنَّنَا سَمِعۡنَا مُنَادِیًا یُّنَادِیۡ لِلۡاِیۡمَانِ اَنۡ اٰمِنُوۡا بِرَبِّکُمۡ فَاٰمَنَّا ٭ۖ رَبَّنَا فَاغۡفِرۡ لَنَا ذُنُوۡبَنَا وَ کَفِّرۡ عَنَّا سَیِّاٰتِنَا وَ تَوَفَّنَا مَعَ الۡاَبۡرَارِ ﴿﴾
“Our Lord, we have heard a Crier calling us unto faith, ‘Believe ye in your Lord,’ and we have believed. Our Lord, forgive us, therefore, our errors and remove from us our evils, and in death number us with the righteous.” (Chapter 3, Verse 194)
If we, Ahmadi Muslims, are not endeavouring to live our lives in this way and do not strive towards righteousness, then ask yourselves what is our worth and status in comparison to the major powers and nations of the world?
Even today, when our Jama’at has millions of members across the world, the truth remains that we represent a very small proportion of the world’s Muslims and, compared to the overall population of the world, our Jama’at’s numbers are a mere drop in the ocean. If our Jama’at is viewed through the lens of materialism, it must be said that we are entirely insignificant. Indeed, if you look at the numbers of our Jama’at in purely material terms it can be said that our status is not even that of an insect or a speck of dust.
However, there is one thing that sets us apart and in which we can take great pride and that is that we have heard the cry of the Caller of this era and upon hearing it we have proclaimed that ‘we listen and we obey’ and have entered his blessed fold.
This is our foundation.
This is our identity.
This is our true value.
And so this great blessing should remain at the forefront of our minds and embedded in our hearts at all times. As members of the Community of the Promised Messiah (as), the Fear of Allah should take priority and precedence over all of our thoughts and reflections. Our views, opinions and beliefs should all be rooted in the fear of Allah the Almighty. Hence, if we are given the opportunity to present our experiences or views we must ensure that the fear of Allah consumes every fibre of our beings as we speak.
The fear of Allah should control our tongues.
The fear of Allah should rule our hearts.
The fear of Allah should govern our every suggestion and statement.
As Shura members, you must keep in mind that you have been called to give your honest opinion for the sake of the religion of Allah the Almighty. Therefore, every recommendation you make, no matter how big or small, should be based on the fear of Allah. Every comment or view must be entirely truthful and devoid of all forms of self-interest.
Furthermore, all of us must continuously value, cherish and protect that unique element which enables us to stand with pride before the world and which compels even the worldly powers and materialistic people to recognise our strength and value. Certainly, if in the world today others respect us and perceive our true significance it is only due to the fact that they can see that we are a united community who stand together at all times, in all circumstances, at the hand of Khalifatul Masih[ii]. They appreciate the fact that we are the ones who are earnestly striving to spread the true teachings of Islam, which are of peace, love and humanity, across the world.
We are the ones who are propagating that Islam which was practiced and preached by the Holy Prophet of Islam (sa). This is the reason that scores of good natured and intelligent people, both Muslims and non-Muslims, are being drawn towards our Jama’at each year. Consequently, all Shura members bear a heavy burden of responsibility and must always keep in mind that their suggestions, their service to the Jama’at and their means of taking service from others, must be entirely devoid of personal interest, ego and self-regard.
A deeply profound and precious point made by Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) was that even if a person makes a wrong decision, it will not ultimately prove an obstruction in the progress and success of the Jama’at, so long as it was made with the best of intentions and with the fear of Allah in his heart. Conversely, if a person makes a correct decision but does so without the fear of Allah and without seeking His nearness, then, despite being right, it will not prove a means of success and instead will lead to harm. Thus, if we make a decision without the fear of Allah embedded in our hearts, even if it is correct, eventually other factors will emerge which will negate the effectiveness of our decision and prove detrimental.
However, if we make an error of judgement, whilst retaining the fear of Allah in our hearts, then the rectification of that mistake will be made by Allah the Almighty Himself. Through His Grace and Mercy, He will protect us from any harm and enable us to walk upon a path that leads us towards success and security. Some people may query this logic and ask how a wrong decision can lead to prosperity, whilst a correct decision can lead to harm? This is a worldly way of thinking and, in answer to this question, Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) cited an incident from the life of the Holy Prophet (sa) in which the Holy Prophet (sa) saw in a dream that he was performing the Tawaaf of Khaana Kaabah.
In order to fulfill the dream and to attain the blessings and pleasure of Allah the Almighty, the Holy Prophet (sa) set out towards Khana Kaabah[iii]so he could do Umra and perform the Tawaaf. He did not make this decision for any personal benefit or to increase his own status or influence in society. Nor did he make it in order to assert his authority over the Makkan people. Despite his noble intentions, this decision was wrong, as it was not the Decree of Allah that he should go for Umra that year.
It was an innocent mistake whereby the decision of the Messenger of Allah (sa) was rooted purely in the fear of Allah and his all-encompassing desire to fulfil what he believed to be Allah’s Will. As a consequence, regarding this decision, in chapter 48, verse 2 of the Holy Quran, Allah Ta’aala states:
اِنَّا فَتَحۡنَا لَکَ فَتۡحًا مُّبِیۡنًا ۙ
“Verily, We have granted thee a clear victory.”
Allah the Almighty makes it clear that the error in judgement was due to the Holy Prophet’s (sa) unconditional love for Allah the Almighty and his absolute determination to be obedient to His Will. Thus, Allah the Almighty stated that instead of causing harm or damage, this mistake would prove the basis and an everlasting symbol for a great victory of Islam in the future. In fulfillment of this promise, the entire world came to see how gloriously that innocent mistake foreshadowed a monumental and historic victory for Islam!
On the other hand, another incident from the time of the Holy Prophet (sa) proves the point that a logical and well-reasoned decision will ultimately prove fateful if it is bereft of spirituality and the fear of Allah. At the Battle of Uhud, the Holy Prophet (sa) stationed a group of his followers at a certain place and instructed that no matter what, regardless of whether victory or defeat occurred, they were not to leave their assigned post under any circumstances. However, when the enemies of Islam were on the verge of defeat and in a state of retreat, the Muslims disregarded the instruction of the Holy Prophet (sa) and left their post, even though true obedience and the fear of Allah demanded that they remain in position.
The result was that the seemingly certain victory of the Muslims was transformed into a catastrophic and tragic defeat. Accordingly, I wish to remind every one of you that you must remain immersed in the fear of Allah and you must respect the dignity of one another and speak considerately and above all always speak the truth, if you want success in your efforts and plans. Your sole objective should be to attain the love and pleasure of Allah the Almighty in all circumstances.
At all times, be determined and ready to sacrifice your time, wealth and life for the cause of Islam and ensure that there is not even a trace of personal interest or ego clouding any of your decisions or intentions. You should never be motivated by a desire to attain the praise of others. For example, when you give Chanda or make other financial sacrifices you must ensure that they are given purely for the sake of Allah the Almighty and not to impress any individual. Always give precedence to your faith over all worldly matters and understand that the work of a spiritual community is far different from the work of an ordinary worldly company or group.
For example, in worldly organisations the projects and goals are limited and whatever is earned tends to be invested in the same limited area. However, if the Promised Messiah (as) or his Khulafa had followed such worldly principles, then our Tabligh[iv]efforts would have been stopped in their tracks. For example, if it was decided that funds received through Chanda would only be spent in the country or city from where they were donated then our Jama’at could not flourish or continue to spread worldwide.
Alternatively, if it was decided that the Jama’at’s limited funds would only be spent on Tabligh, but not on Ishaat or elsewhere, then our Jama’at’s continued progress would be at risk. Similarly, if it was decided that we should stop building mosques in order to save money, we would soon see that our Jama’at’s spiritual development would grind to a halt and we would no longer witness the blessings of Allah the Almighty. Hence, we have an array of objectives and tasks and they must all be fulfilled.
The national budget should be drawn up in a way that enables the various spheres of work of the Jama’at to be fulfilled and to improve. Above all else, when preparing a budget or allocating resources, it is necessary that the fear of Allah remains at the front and centre of one’s mind. If proposals are made in a God-fearing way and funding is allocated in accordance with the instructions of the Khalifatul Masih then our Jama’at’s limited resources will surely be blessed manifold by Allah the Almighty. This is what our history has always shown and the same remains the case today. Our limited resources should be utilised for Tabligh, Tarbiyyat[v], the publishing of literature and building new mosques.
It should be used to help the poor and needy.
It should be used to provide education to those who have no access to it.
It should be used to fund the medical treatment of underprivileged and deprived people.
It should be used to help nourish and raise vulnerable children, such as orphans.
If we look objectively at our Jama’at’s budget, it is rational to wonder how it will ever be possible to fulfil all of these objectives and tasks. The reality is that the funds we raise are nothing in comparison to the budgets of nations and of countless worldly organisations. However, due to the blessings of Allah the Almighty, where worldly communities spend millions upon millions, we can achieve far more at a fraction of the cost. Moving on, in terms of your conduct as members of Majlis-e-Shura, it is essential that you maintain the highest moral standards and treat others with love, respect and kindness.
You should set a personal example for others to learn from and follow. Only if you are observing the true principles of Islam can you sincerely encourage others to do the same. Only then can you inspire other Ahmadis to increase their financial sacrifices for the sake of Allah and to give their time for the service of the Jama’at. Furthermore, it is imperative that you do not forget whatever you have heard or learned at this Shura once the proceedings draw to a close.
Recognise the fact that your duties do not end today as you walk out of this hall, but continue throughout the year. In terms of the budget that has been debated and approved by the Shura, it is your obligation as Shura members to motivate the members of your respective Jama’ats about the importance of financial sacrifice, so that the budget can be achieved and so that the great tasks of our Jama’at – some of which I have just outlined – can be fulfilled.
Remember that believers have been created in order to awaken others and certainly not that he himself remains in a state of slumber. Our opponents are taking all possible measures in order to impede the progress of our Jama’at. In Muslim countries, on a daily basis, schemes are being hatched and immense efforts are being made to frustrate our Jama’at’s growth.
Yet in spite of their cruel and unjust endeavours, Allah the Almighty is granting us continued success. Many of you migrated to the UK from abroad, whilst others have grown up here and taken benefit from the educational opportunities that exist. Most importantly, Allah the Almighty has enabled all of you to serve the Jama’at.
Indeed, here at this Shura, you have been given the opportunity to come as representatives of your respective Jama’ats. Now it is up to you to prove that you are not just representatives in name, but are genuine ambassadors of your Jama’ats through your conduct and standards of righteousness. Remember that a true Shura representative is he who is the one who speaks truthfully on behalf of those whom he represents and strives earnestly to implement whatever is decided in the better interests of the Jama’at. Consequently, if and when the decisions of this year’s Shura are approved by me, you must spend the coming year striving to implement them regardless of whether they are related to Tabligh, Tarbiyyat or the budget.
If you fail to do so, how can you call yourself a representative of the Jama’at? In reality, you will only be a representative in name and will not have fulfilled the trust placed in you. Another element of fulfilling your duty as a representative of your Jama’at is to be an example for your local Jama’at members and to guide them with love and compassion. In terms of Tarbiyyat, you should motivate them to take part in all of our Jama’at events and programmes.
In terms of Tabligh, you should not only take personal responsibility for spreading the message of Islam but you should also activate those people who you represent. In terms of the financial budget, you can only fulfil your duties when you, with the fear of Allah in your heart, make appropriate financial sacrifices according to whatever you earn and fulfil your pledges. Thereafter, you must encourage the other members of the Jama’at about the importance and benefits of financial sacrifices.
At the end, I reiterate the fact that your duty as a representative of your Jama’at will continue throughout the year. So, if the decisions of this year’s Majlis-e-Shura are approved by me you must ensure that you personally make every possible effort to fulfil them and strive to ensure that others are also making a concerted effort to implement them. With these words, it is my sincere hope and prayer that the fear of Allah remains firmly ingrained in your hearts and that you take all of your responsibilities very seriously and devotedly strive to fulfil your obligations as members of Majlis-e-Shura.
May Allah the Almighty grant you the ability to do so. Ameen.”
[i]‘Musleh Maud’ means Promised Reformer and refers to Hazrat Mirza Bashir-Ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad, the Second Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. He formally established the Maljis-e-Shura as a body within the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, although its roots can be traced to the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as).
[ii]Successor (Caliph) to the Promised Messiah
[iii]The Kaaba is the cube shaped building found in Makkah, modern day Saudi Arabia which Muslims refer to as the House of God. It is in the direction of the Kaaba that all Muslims perform their formal prayers to God five times a day.
[iv]Propagating the true message of Islam
[v]Moral and spiritual training