Faith Inspiring Address by Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to Ahmadi Muslim Youth
On Sunday 8th September 2019, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, addressed Ahmadi Muslim youth at the concluding session of the 2019 National Ijtema (gathering) of Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya (MKA), UK. MKA is an auxiliary organisation of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community comprising of male members from the ages of 15-40. The event was attended by over 6100, and the speech was beamed live across the world through the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s official TV station, Muslim TV Ahmadiyya (MTA). The objectives of the Ijtema are to educate the Muslim youths of the true peaceful teachings of Islam and to inspire them towards serving both their faith and nation to the best of their abilities. The theme of this year’s Ijtema was ‘The Existence of God.’ The official full transcript of the address delivered by His Holiness on this occasion is presented below.
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) said:
‘With the grace of Allah, you are now reaching the conclusion of this year’s Khuddamul Ahmadiyya Ijtema. I am confident that you will all have endeavoured to enhance your moral and spiritual standards and sought to increase your religious knowledge, rather than just spending all of your time in sports or games.
Taking part in sports and doing exercise is important, because it enables a person to stay fit and if a person is physically strong and healthy, he is better able to worship and fulfil the rights of Allah the Almighty and His creation. However, your main focus at the Ijtema and throughout the year, should always be on increasing your spirituality and religious knowledge.
In order to gain secular knowledge and to advance in education, the majority of Ahmadi youth study very hard; however, in many cases, the same effort and struggle is not being made for the sake of gaining religious knowledge.
Hence, the main reason we hold Jalsas and Ijtemas is so that all the participants can join together to elevate their spiritual and moral standards and increase their religious knowledge and to recognise that they should continually seek to better themselves. Most importantly, attending the Ijtema should focus the minds of all participants on the foremost requirement of strengthening their bond with Allah the Almighty.
Most of you will be aware of the famous saying of Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) [second worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community] in which he addressed Khuddam by saying that:
‘Nations cannot be reformed without the reformation of the youth.’
These enlightened words have not only become the main slogan of Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya, but have also become the basis of its activities and schemes. However, it is not enough to merely repeat this slogan or to have it printed on posters or badges; rather you must understand its true meaning and the underlying philosophy behind these profound words.
The reason Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) assigned this slogan to Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya was to emphasise how important it was for the youth to not only gain secular education, but above and beyond this, to constantly develop their relationship with Allah the Almighty.
For example, when offering Salat [obligatory prayer] it should not be that you are standing there out of necessity, to superficially fulfil the requirement of your faith; rather, you should enjoy every moment of prayer and cherish the opportunity to open your hearts before your beloved creator.
Those words of Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) also demand that the members of Khuddamul Ahmadiyya strive to increase their religious knowledge, because having knowledge of Islam’s teachings will automatically increase a person’s spirituality and bring them closer to Allah the Almighty.
Furthermore, only if an Ahmadi understands his faith can he become an example to others, show the world the beauties of Islam and remove the widespread misconceptions that exist about our religion.
Thus, it is very important that every Khadim does not simply repeat this slogan, but also ponders over its meaning and grasps what it personally requires of them. You should appreciate that it is no ordinary slogan, but is actually the guarantor of the success and continued prosperity of our Jama’at and indeed the pathway leading to the salvation and advancement of our nations.
These few words are, in essence, the means to take you towards fulfilling your life’s purpose. They reinforce and reiterate the fact that the success of our Jama’at and our nation is directly linked to the spiritual and moral state of the youth. If every Khadim pays heed to this then it will enable them to follow the commands of God Almighty and to stay away from immorality and wrongdoing.
Moving on, we can all see that we are living in an era in which mankind is not only moving away from religion, but is also hurtling away from a belief in the existence of God. In such circumstances, every Ahmadi must prove to the doubters and sceptics that God does exist, that He is a living God and that Islam is the final religion revealed by Him.
Do not underestimate your role in this effort or consider it to be the job of other people to convey this message.
Indeed, Ahmadi youths must lead this effort and wholeheartedly accept this great challenge of our time.
For this, you must live your life in a way that fulfils the purpose of your creation and fulfils the purpose for which Allah the Almighty made this world. If you are successful, you will be amongst those who are the recipients of Allah’s Mercy and rewards and you will not only attain the fruits of your labour in spiritual terms, but will also reap the benefits in your worldly endeavours. Allah the Almighty will bless you in material terms because you gave priority to your faith over all worldly matters and sought to reform yourselves in accordance with the teachings of Islam.
For quite some time, I have been mentioning the blessed companions of the Holy Prophet (sa) in my Friday Sermons. They were the esteemed group of people for whom history bears witness that they not only pledged to give precedence to their faith over all worldly matters, but more importantly, they fulfilled that pledge in the most astonishing fashion. They spared no effort to discharge their oath and gave every possible sacrifice for the sake of their faith. As a result, Allah the Almighty enabled them to excel in spiritual and moral terms and to play an outstanding role in the spread of Islam.
At the same time, He also blessed them in worldly terms, so that those who worshipped Him day and night and were truly obedient to the Holy Prophet of Islam (sa), saw their trade or businesses thrive – to the extent that some even became millionaires, in today’s terminology. However, such wealth never took them away from their faith or corrupted them in any way; rather, it led them towards even greater sacrifices for the cause of Islam.
Hence, you should always keep in view your obligation to prioritise your faith and you should continually evaluate your efforts to spiritually and morally better yourself. This is imperative not only for your own benefit but also for the benefit of your nation. Each Khadim should serve as a means of pride for their country and be amongst those who take their people towards peace and prosperity.
In today’s world, the tragic reality is that vast majority of people across society have forgotten their creator and have little or no idea how disastrous the consequences will prove to be if they fail to repent and reform.
Therefore, every Khadim should take on the responsibility of striving to save their nations from the punishment and anger of Allah the Almighty, which they are currently racing towards at great speed.
It is up to you to guide the people of your nation and to bring them back towards God Almighty.
For this, you must personally develop the highest standards of spirituality and morality.
You must set an example of truthfulness and integrity and practice what you preach.
To attain true righteousness it is necessary, according to the command of Allah, to be regular in offering Istighfar. The way to offer Istighfar is not simply to ask Allah the Almighty to forgive your past mistakes or sins; rather, you should not only look to the past, but should also look to the future. Thus, when seeking forgiveness for your previous mistakes, you must also be utterly resolute in your determination to stay away from such vices moving forward.
Sometimes I am asked, including by members of our youth, how a person can know if their sins have been forgiven and whether Allah has accepted their repentance. Of course, as ordinary human beings, we cannot expect to be explicitly informed from the heavens whether each of our sins has been forgiven.
Nonetheless, Allah the Almighty has Himself taught us that if a person offers Istighfar [seeking forgiveness for one’s sins] sincerely and is unwavering in his resolve of never repeating his past sins or vices then it is safe to assume that his repentance has been accepted. This is the philosophy of Istighfar, wherein a person is forgiven his past indiscretions when his heart is purified and becomes filled with hatred for whatever sin or wrong act he was previously involved in.
Conversely, if a person offers Istighfar, but continues to repeat the same mistake, it cannot be said that his contrition is sincere and so it will not be accepted. Therefore, it is essential to offer Istighfar with sincerity until you develop a firm aversion to those wrong things you have done in the past.
If you reach that stage, you can be fully confident that Allah has forgiven you and that the doors to His mercy, love and bounties have been opened up to you, both in this world and in the next.
Apart from Istighfar, you should continually seek the help of Allah by repeating the prayer:
‘Guide us on the right path’.
This prayer should be offered with total humility and a firm intention to stay on the path of righteousness and to reject the advances of Satan, who constantly seeks to entice us towards engaging in the type of illicit and deceitful behaviour that will surely incur the wrath of Allah.
Hence, every Ahmadi, man or woman, young or old, having accepted the Promised Messiah (as) and pledged to prioritise their faith over all worldly matters, should repeatedly offer this prayer in order to stay rightly guided.
Always remember that being steadfast in your faith and showing perseverance is the way to protect yourself from wrongdoing. When a person shows even a hint of weakness or negligence in his faith, it is an invitation to Satan to take advantage and to guide him astray.
In today’s world, in all directions, there are countless temptations and attractions that can easily take a person away from their faith and towards transgression. For example, indecent television programmes and films are constantly being broadcast or streamed and serve to weaken the moral fabric of society.
Similarly, the influence of social media is ever-increasing and many videos and posts are those which encourage or facilitate immorality. The same is true with many computer games that people play online, especially young children of the age of twelve to fifteen or other teenagers.
Unquestionably, the harmful aspects of modern technology can easily take people away from God, away from the worship of Him and, over time, weaken a person’s faith in the existence of God Almighty.
Accordingly, if any of the Khuddam or Atfal are falling prey to such vices, they should realise that they are letting themselves come under the utterly destructive influence of Satan, who proclaimed from the outset his intention to take people away from God. And Allah the Almighty has made it clear that those who end up in the clutches of Satan will be held accountable and punished by Him.
Remember, Allah the Almighty has given human beings a mind of their own and the right to choose between good and bad. By graciously sending His Prophets to the world, Allah the Almighty has clearly distinguished between what is right and what is wrong and those who oppose the Prophets of God, are those who are assisting Satan in his quest to destroy religion and belief in God Almighty.
It is no exaggeration to suggest that in this era, more than ever before, society is engulfed by satanic influences.
I have already mentioned how social media can harm a person’s faith and take them on the wrong path. In addition, pornography, drugs, online gaming, gambling, immoral and inappropriate relationships, going to nightclubs and many other things are amongst those satanic influences, which are entirely harmful and are taking people away from God Almighty.
Very regrettably, some members of our youth are also being lured towards these dangerous and immoral pursuits. As their minds become consumed by these worldly and superficial attractions, they neglect to offer Istighfar. They forget that they have accepted the Imam of the Age, the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi (as).
They even overlook the fact that they have accepted the Holy Prophet (sa) as the final law bearing prophet and that the Holy Quran is the final law bearing Book revealed by Allah.
It is a source of deep regret for me that there are members of our Jama’at who have more interest in keeping updated with the latest films and social media posts than they have in studying the Holy Quran, offering Salat and seeking to perform righteous deeds.
Though our Jama’at makes a lot of effort towards fulfilling the needs of others through Khidmat-e-Khalq, services to humanity and charity, the truth remains that the majority of the work is being done by a minority of our members. There are many who remain idle and fail to sacrifice their time and wealth for the benefit of mankind.
Similarly, we cannot claim that a majority of Ahmadis are offering their prayers with the devotion and spirit that is required. Nor are they studying the Holy Quran deeply or seeking to act upon its instructions.
Ultimately, we cannot claim that the majority of our youth are those who are truly giving precedence to their faith over all worldly matters.
How then can we hope to reform our nations, if we are failing to reform ourselves?
This is the stark truth and so until each and every one of us reflects upon our actions and seeks the Help of Allah and repents before Him, we can never be truly successful or fulfil the real objectives of our life.
In this regard, some people say that if Allah desires for us to reform then He should reform us Himself. This attitude is wrong and ignorant. I have already explained that Allah the Almighty has given human beings free will.
Also, some Ahmadis question the involvement of the Jama’at in certain matters, which they consider as their personal issues. Some things are indeed personal in nature, however, where a personal matter interferes with our religious duties, it becomes an issue for the Jama’at, because as Ahmadis, we have all pledged to give precedence to our faith over all worldly matters.
If an Ahmadi violates the demands of his faith, they are breaking their pledge and so it becomes the duty of the Jama’at, whether at a Jama’at level or through the auxiliaries, to take action by trying to guide him back towards the right path.
Therefore, always remember, that if you weaken in your faith or become embroiled in immoral or vain acts, the Jama’at’s Nizaam will seek to guide you and to explain the importance of reformation. Without doubt, Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya will and should constantly remind the Khuddam and Atfal about the importance of offering Salat and coming to the mosque.
It is their duty to make it clear to every Khadim that a failure to observe these basic religious duties will take them away from their faith. Such matters do not remain personal, but are a matter of concern to the Jama’at, because if Ahmadis are not fulfilling the rights of Allah and are not prioritising their faith over worldly matters, then they are not only hurting themselves, but also the Jama’at and the wider society.
Where an individual weakens, it weakens the collective and this is the core point underpinning the slogan that ‘nations cannot be reformed without the reformation of the youth.’
If those amongst us are falling prey to wrongdoing and their spiritual, moral and practical standards are all declining, then how can we be those who reform others? Rather, we will ourselves fall into the arms of Satan and become spellbound by his influence and lead others astray.
It will reduce the precious slogan of Khuddamul Ahmadiyya to an artificial motto, comprised of hollow and meaningless words. Instead of benefitting society, such people will sow division and spread disorder. Instead of raising the moral and social standing of society, they will be lowering and debasing it. They will be a source of hindering the progress of their society and their nation, rather than being a source of pride and honour for it.
Thus, the Jama’at has a fundamental role to guide Ahmadis away from immoral and improper activities.
Of course, some things remain personal to us. However, even in those personal matters, there are occasions where it is the duty of the Jama’at to guide members and to intervene. For example, every person has the right to choose their profession or vocation. Islam permits people to establish businesses or to engage in commercial activities.
I mentioned before how some of the companions of the Holy Prophet (sa) had businesses or traded goods through which they acquired a lot of wealth. Thus, there is nothing wrong with earning money, so long as it is earned lawfully and in accordance with Islamic values. For instance, Islam does not permit a Muslim to produce, keep, distribute or sell alcohol and the Holy Prophet (sa) cursed those who did so.
Marriage is also a personal matter for each individual, on condition that they are abiding by the instructions of the Holy Quran in this regard. Thus, no one has the right to compel a person to marry against his or her will. If an Ahmadi man finds an Ahmadi woman he likes and she consents, then they are free to marry, and their parents should help them in this regard.
However, a man should not marry merely to satisfy his sexual desires and so to ensure the sanctity and true value of marriage is understood and upheld, the Jama’at guides Ahmadis on matrimonial issues where needed.
In short, when Ahmadis engage in immoral activities, even in their personal dealings, it is the duty of the Jama’at to protect and preserve the integrity and righteousness of our community, as well as the wider society, by guiding them towards reformation.
Satanic influences in the modern world are ever increasing and are being used to curb religion and to weaken moral standards and the only way to save ourselves from such harmful things is by turning towards Allah the Almighty and bowing before Him. This is true for every person, no matter how pious they are and this is the reason that even the Prophets, who were pure in character, offered Istighfar.
For example, we see in chapter 12, verse 54 of the Holy Quran how Hazrat Yusuf (as) sought the help of Allah the Almighty by praying in the following words:
“And I do not hold my own self to be free from weakness; for, the soul is surely prone to enjoin evil, save that whereon my Lord has mercy. Surely, my Lord is Most Forgiving, Merciful.”
Here we see how a person who was destined to be a prophet of God affirmed that without the help of Allah and without His mercy, it was not possible for him to be saved from the wrong path.
If even the noble Prophets require Allah’s Grace and Mercy to be saved, then what can be said of an ordinary person?
Surely, it is only by turning towards Allah with true sincerity and humility, seeking His forgiveness and compassion that a person can remain on a right path. Most certainly, it is the foremost duty of every single person, who has accepted the Promised Messiah (as), to pay heed to this message. The alternative is that a person remains negligent and fails to fulfil the pledge that he made when taking the Bai’at of the Promised Messiah (as).
Do not be under the illusion that failing to fulfil one’s pledge is a small matter. Rather, in the Holy Quran, Allah the Almighty has said that each person will be held accountable for their pledges. At the very minimum, every person should be honest, courageous and free from hypocrisy.
Thus, if a person does not want to follow the teachings of Islam or does not want the Jama’at to guide him, then he should openly declare that he is not a member of the Jama’at.
On the other hand, once you have taken Bai’at [oath of allegiance] and pledged to give precedence to your faith over all worldly matters, you must seek to fulfil its demands to the best of your abilities. You must offer Istighfar as much as possible, so that you can be saved from the so-called freedoms of the modern world, which are actually shackles that serve only to pull mankind away from the path of true prosperity.
Each of you should pray that you are saved from modern-day vices and that you remain pure of mind and free from all immoral thoughts and desires.
Be ever determined to fulfil your pledge, most especially the fundamental pledge to give precedence to your religion over all other things.
Be amongst those Khuddam who truly understand that they have been given the duty to reform their nations and for this, they must first reform themselves.
Be amongst those Khuddam who are determined to unite the whole world in a firm belief in the unity and oneness of God Almighty and be those who play their role in bringing mankind together, under the glorious banner of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa).
These are the values that must be instilled within us and it is to embed these values that we hold Jalsas and Ijtemas.
It is my ardent and heartfelt prayer that the members of Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya and Atfalul Ahmadiyya are those who cherish and protect their Islamic values and realise that their every success will be based upon staying true to their core identity as Ahmadi Muslims.
Otherwise, your pledge and claim will be rendered hollow and will be grounded in hypocrisy and hypocrisy is a vice that is not only hated by religious people, but also by other worldly people.
At the end, I pray that may Allah the Almighty instil in your hearts nobility, purity and may you live your lives upholding the highest moral and spiritual standards.
May you continually fulfil the rights of Allah the Almighty and of His creation at every juncture and moment of your lives.
May the Almighty continue to bless Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya in all aspects – Ameen.’