Ahmadiyyat

UNTOLD STORY SPECIAL: Khalifatul Masih, The Muazzin, an Empty Mosque and a Worldwide Audience

Recollections of Syed Mohammad Ahmad Nasir

3rdApril 2020

Today is 3rd of April 2020 …. It is Friday.  Hazrat Khalifatul Masih (aba) is to deliver the Friday Sermon from Masjid Mubarak, Tilford, UK.  

I made it a point today, that even though there were not going to be any people to offer Friday Prayer from Islamabad, I would still get ready as I normally did for other Jumma (Friday Prayer). 

It was an incredible day…. The likes of which I had never seen in my life or heard of…

At about 12:15, I went to the Private Secretary’s office to make sure everything was fine, and for the liaison about daily activities and to go over the Jumma planning.  

It had been decided that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih (aba) would deliver the sermon from inside the mosque and only the Muazzan – the one who calls the Azan or call to prayer –  would be present, and there would  be cameras.

Then at 12:20 or so, I went to check the mosque.

All the preparations had been carried out as normal – the MTA staff had checked the transmission van, laid all the cables, and installed the cameras inside the mosque.  

I saw the MTA staff standing outside the mosque, next to the transmission van.  All of them were ready to go, but there was something different about them.  The MTA staff are truly dedicated to their task, they work hard, but normally there can be a light heartedness about them. Today, they were all quieter than usual. 

I went inside the mosque, with the MTA staff, and we sanitised the podium and other fixtures inside the mosque.

I brought the foam mat out, which we place where Huzur-e-Anwar stands during Khutba (Friday sermon).  Then I checked the mosque for security reasons, as I would do, on any other Jumma day. 

We checked the sound system, as is the routine. 

As the time of the Khutba approached, all the departments which would normally be involved in the Jumma day preparations were active, albeit it on a different scale.  Security made sure that all the posts were covered. The cleaning crew made sure that Islamabad was ready for jummah. MTA had done all their preparations and the other departments had completed their assigned tasks.

Everything was set. 

I laid out Huzur-e-Anwar’s prayer mat, one of the last things we do before Jumma commences.  

At about 12:35, a missionary, Safeer Ahmad, who graduated from Jamia Ahmadiyya UK in 2019, came to call the Azan.  As he entered the mosque from the men’s entrance, he saw me on the other side of the mosque and raised his two hands putting them in front of his face, as if to ask me for prayers. He was a bit anxious.  

As the Azan was being called, it was an extraordinary scene.  During normal Jumma days, the mosque would be filled up with people to its capacity. There were none today. The time for Jumma was fast approaching, but inside the mosque there was one lonely soul the Muazzin.  It was indeed a sign of these challenging times.  

It was partly cloudy outside, with sunlight beaming through some of the long windows.

Though I was moving about inside the mosque, checking everything, I paused. I paused when the missionary called out ‘hayya alas salah’ (come to prayer)……… That was the time, when it hit me as to how people listening to those words ‘come to salah’ (prayer) would hold themselves back and not be able to come to the mosque. 

It was a sad moment. But Alhamdolillah, my sadness lasted for a fleeing moment because that sadness was immediately replaced by thoughts that “InshAllah, Huzur-e-Anwar will come to the mosque and deliver the khutba… it really doesn’t matter if there are people physically sitting in front of him or not… InshaAllah, he will deliver khutba”.

I remembered the story of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) when he had proclaimed that “even if the whole world leaves you  (the Promised Messiah (as)), I will continue on.”

At 12:50, I made kawa (a herbal drink) for Huzur-e-Anwar and placed it on the podium and then went outside the mosque.

Inside the mosque, there was only one person sitting, the Muazzin … what a moment for him!  

At about 13:05 Huzur-e-Anwar came out of the house… he walked towards the mosque. Normally, I never look towards Huzur as he goes towards the mosque. Today something compelled me to look towards him. He had no expressions of sadness or worry. On the contrary, he radiated hope and calmness.

He walked into the mosque.  I followed him, but only to the shoes area.  Huzur walked alone towards the mehrab…. He said ‘salaam’ (peace be upon you) and asked for Azan to be called. He sat down and then started the Khutba….. and the Khutba went live worldwide. 

I sat down in the shoe area, the door to the mosque was open… so I could see everything.  Huzur was delivering khutba. And there was only one person in audience, inside the mosque. And he was sitting to the right of mehrab.  

A person could be forgiven for feeling a bit sad, if upon looking at the scene which I saw – Huzur delivering Khutba with only one person in the audience. That person (the Muazzin) was sitting with his head down, tense, and shaken, that his name will be written in history as probably one of the most blessed of people, due to these challenging events in human history. I don’t think he even moved his body at all. He just remained still. 

Alhamdolillah, Alhamdolillah, Alhamdolillah, everything was fine. From what I saw, no one could see from Huzur’s expressions that there were no people in front of him except that one.  Huzur spoke to his Jama’at, a Jama’at, which with the blessings of the Creator is spread around the world.

His audience were not just the few hundred people who could possibly have been inside Masjid Mubarak. His audience were each and every Ahmadi living in every corner of this earth.

Somehow I felt that today, more than ever, Ahmadis had tuned in to watch Huzur’s Khutba.

Maybe these are trying days from our Creator. But I have a firm belief that Insha’Allah one day, that one person who sat in audience will turn into one million… all in front of Huzur-e-Anwar…. all watching him, all listening to the Khalifa of the Promised Messiah (as) , and all being drenched in blessings from the presence of their beloved Imam, InshaAllah.

As Huzur came out of the mosque, he called over Munir Odeh, Director of Production of MTA. Huzur asked “sub theek hogiya” (was everything fine?) 

Munir Odeh replied , “Ji Hazoor”. (Yes, your Holiness) 

Hazoor asked “did you show my face only?”,

Munir Odeh  responded,  “face and mosque walls”.

Huzur said “also sifaat e bari Taalah”  (the attributes of Allah displayed on the mosque wall)

Munir Odeh replied  “yes”

Huzur said “theek hay” (very well)

I felt that it was significant for Huzur-e-Anwar to say “sifaat e Bari Talaah” and not just ‘walls’ because in these trying times, Huzur has again and again alerted the Jamaat to concentrate on prayers and ibadat (worship) and to turn towards the Creator with a new zeal.

Huzur showed hope… there was peace about him… contentment… and serenity. 

An Urdu translation of this article is available here

24 Comments

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  • So emotional and heart touching article.
    ‎اللهم ايد امامنا بروح القدس و بارك لنا في عمره و امره O’ Allah strengthen our Imam with the Spirit of holiness and bless us through his long life and Khilafat.

    • This is a Khutba Jummah that no Ahmadi can ever forget. At a time where masjids of the world are closed, only and only our Khalifa can stand up and deliver a Khutba Jummah in an almost empty mosque because there are millions of Ahmadis sitting in front on their screen waiting to hear his blessed words, full of wisdom, full of love and compassion for his Jamaat and all of humanity.

      You wrote this article with your heart and your words touched us profoundly. Jazakallaho ahsanal jaza for sharing these moments before and after Jummah.

  • This is very emotional and historical. I read the article with goose bumps and without redirecting to anything else. JazakAllah for sharing it with the worldwide Ahmadiyya Community.

  • SubhanAllah what a beautiful and emotional article.
    May Allah the Almighty bless our Belived Imaam with a long and healthy life and may we all be able to attain the blessings of the Khilafat. May the world heal very soon so we can all go to the masjid and pray behind our beloved Huzoor. Ameen.

  • These days are historic and at the same time very emotionally testing for all of us.

    Reading this article, one can understand the level of spirituality a man of God like Huzoor is blessed with.

    While we are all worried and tense, Huzoor by the grace of Allah is personification of courage, patience, Taqwa, Tawakkal and firm belief in Allah..

    May Allah keep him and all jamaat safe and healthy. Aameen.

  • What a nice account of the event. Felt like seeing the actual scene instead of reading. Jazakumullah.
    May Allah continue to strengthen the hands of our beloved Imam and bless us with his long life and blessed Khilafat. Amin

  • This was the most difficult article to finish reading. I kept crying. For those who were so near, yet so far. For Safeer who I cannot imagine what was going through his mind — he was there for all of us, and alone with God’s man on earth! For our beloved Khalifa, whose love and concern for his followers, who could not be with him inside the Masjid. At the end of the day, however, all of us around the world were so blessed and happy and thankful to God to watch the sermon of our master, Hazrat Amirul Mu’minin (aba). May Allah bless him for his wise and steady leadership that gives us all strength. Thank you Ahmad bhai for sharing this story.

  • Amazing article Subhan Allah u r Lucky One u See every thing.but Really this day was very Speacial Jummah tul Mubarak in Mubarak Mosque. I also See all the Time Huzur e Anwar and Safate e bari tala . I have No word to Express my Feelings…….Just say Subhan Allah .
    Form Germany

  • Amazing article. Deep with emotions and truly moving. JazakAllah for sharing.

    As a Jama’at each and every person has love for our beloved Imam and spiritual father. May Allah strength his hand and bless him with the best of health, ameen.

  • اللہ تعالی ہمارے پیارے حضور اقدس کو صحت و سلامتی والی لمبی زندگی عطا فرمائے آمین ہماری ساری جماعت کو اپنی حفظ وامان رکھے نوع انسانیت پر رحم فرمائے اس وبا کو اپنے فضل و کرم سے دور فرمائے آمین
    مبشر احمد طاہر فنگسٹڈ جرمنی

  • Very heartwarming article. I had to pause many times and re read many sentences to really understand the feelings of Ahmad sb with tears in my eyes. Shukria for sharing your feelings with us.

  • This article is written so beautifully when you are reading it you are living it Historic day and what a blessed Muazzan 1 in the billions MashaAllah

  • Alhamdollilah. Amazing article. May Allah bless our imam with a great victory of Islam and Ahmadiyyat. Ameen.