Address by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) at the concluding session of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association UK National Ijtema 2021 on Sunday, 19th September 2021
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta`awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) said:
‘With the Grace of Allah, this weekend, Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK is holding its national ijtema, after an interval of one year due to the COVID pandemic. Prior to this year’s Jalsa Salana UK, many Ahmadis expressed their heartfelt desire and desperation that the Jalsa should take place this year, so they could once again experience the blessed atmosphere of Jalsa Salana. Many of you will have held similar feelings about the Khuddamul Ahmadiyya ijtema, and now that it has taken place, I am sure you will have enjoyed it very much.
However, it is very important to recognise that the primary objective of the ijtema is not merely for the Khuddam and Atfal to gather together and enjoy each other’s company; rather, the true and overriding objective of the ijtema is the spiritual, moral, and religious development of the participants. The ijtema provides a place for you to take a step away from the material world and to focus your time and energy on absorbing and experiencing those speeches, competitions, and activities that will increase your piety and standards of righteousness.
As I just said, we were able to hold the Jalsa Salana UK [annual convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community] last month, after a period of two years, and many of you will have heard the various speeches which sought to enhance the spirituality of those attending and to increase their religious knowledge. I am confident that many members of the Jama’at [community], be they men or women, younger people or elders, will have taken inspiration from Jalsa speeches. Indeed, many people wrote letters to me that my speeches, and those of certain other speakers, had a powerful and very positive effect upon their hearts. They wrote how the Jalsa had motivated them towards elevating their spiritual levels and striving for true righteousness. Whilst this is encouraging, the key point is that such changes ought not to be temporary, but should be long lasting.
So, I reiterate, that these ijtemas are not held for social or recreational purposes; rather, the various auxiliary organisations hold their ijtemas to spiritually motivate their member through activities that are specially tailored for them according to their age and understanding. They are held so that the members can spend time with their peers and focus on developing their spiritual state and religious knowledge. They serve to address the particular challenges and issues that are faced by the members of each auxiliary organisation, and to help them overcome those challenges so that they can fulfil the commands of God Almighty in the very best way. Furthermore, the ijtemas are held to ensure that every single Ahmadi, both male and female, and regardless of their age, ethnicity or social background, understand that they are each of great value and importance to the Jama’at. Thus, I hope and pray all of you will have fully engaged with the ijtema activities and programme to the best of your abilities.
This year, due to the continuing need to take certain precautions, only Atfal [boys between the ages of seven and fifteen], aged twelve to fifteen, have been permitted to attend the ijtema. I hope in future the need for such restrictions will be removed, but it was important for those aged twelve to fifteen to attend, as this is a crucial age in terms of one’s religious and moral development. Having attended the various events and programmes held specially to cater for their needs, I hope the Atfal will now appreciate their true worth and value in the eyes of the Jama’at. Indeed, all Khuddam and Atfal should recognise that they are of great value and that each Ahmadi is a precious member of the Jama’at of the Promised Messiah (as). Nevertheless, this value is not to be taken for granted; rather, it can only remain intact and be justified if you recognise that each of you has a role to play in upholding the dignity of the Jama’at of the Promised Messiah (as) and ensuring its continued progress and prosperity.
It is a fundamental truth that the children and youth of each nation have a great role to play in the progress and well-being of their community. Certainly, a community whose children and youth are instilled with a spirit of service and devotion to their cause are those that are destined to scale the highest peaks of success and progress. Indeed, it was to ensure the continued progress of the Jama’at that the Second Khalifa (ra) founded the auxiliary organisations of Ansar, Lajna and Khuddam [auxiliary organisations for men over the age of 40, women, and men under the age of 40]. In this regard, Hazrat Musleh Mau’ud (ra) stated that if the central Jama’at and auxiliary administrations worked in tandem to their full capacity, then the overall speed of fulfilling the objectives of the Jama’at would be greatly enhanced. Furthermore, he stated that the auxiliaries also served as a safety net to ensure that the progress of the Jama’at never faltered. If there is any weakness, laziness or deficiency amongst the central Jama’at administration or within a particular auxiliary body, the other bodies are there to bridge the gap and to take up the mantle to ensure that the highest spiritual objectives of our community are fulfilled and that the community of the Promised Messiah (as) continues to march forward.
These are not just theoretical words, but we have seen this in practice. For example, certain Jama’at office bearers, perhaps due to their elderly age, sometimes become overly cautious or rigid in their ways. Of course, caution is sometimes necessary, and every decision should be properly thought through and based on wisdom. Yet, caution should never be used as justification to disguise a person’s laziness or tendency to procrastinate. And so, if laziness does creep in at any level, the presence of the Jama’at and auxiliary administrations ensure that no lasting harmful effects are felt. For instance, if any of our men become lazy or fail to fulfil their duties, our ladies are there to step into that breach by becoming more active and serving with even greater passion. Alternatively, if the Lajna or Ansar fail to properly fulfil their duties, the Khuddam are ready to step up. If God forbid, all three auxiliaries or organisations become lazy or weak, the central Jama’at administration under the Ameer or Sadr can continue the work of the Jama’at. Alternatively, if the central Jama’at administration ever shows weakness, the auxiliaries are there to ensure the fulfilment of the Jama’at’s work.
Nonetheless, the aim should always be that the central Jama’at administration and the three auxiliary organisations are all continually working at an optimum level. In their respective circles, they should develop programmes and events that will cater for the spiritual and moral progress of the members of the Jama’at whilst also fulfilling our great objective of spreading the message of Islam to others. If the central Jama’at and auxiliary organisations work and serve in this way then, insha’Allah, there is nothing that can stop the progress of the Jama’at and the fulfilment of the objective of the Promised Messiah (as). Certainly, I have always observed that in those countries where the administration at all levels is very active, the Jama’ats are developing and progressing at a good pace. Conversely, where they succumb to laziness, the rate of progress declines.
So, every member of the Jama’at, irrespective of whether they are an office bearer or are members, should always reflect upon the fact that they have a personal responsibility to the mission of the Promised Messiah (as). Each of you has taken the Bai’at [pledge of initiation] of the Promised Messiah (as) and pledged to prioritise your faith and religion over all material and worldly matters. Such pledges on their own are meaningless, and so, you must make them meaningful by making every possible effort to fulfil your pledge. You must focus upon the grand objective of our Jama’at, which is to spread the message of Islam to all parts of the world and to convey the teachings of peace, love and security to all peoples and nations.
As members of Khuddamul Ahmadiyya, you are in the prime of your life, in terms of your health and physical and mental capabilities. Hence, for the overall success of the Jama’at, it is essential that Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya fulfils its role and duties in the best possible way. If the members of Khuddam display the highest morals, give priority to their faith, maximise their religious and secular knowledge and above all, are those who act upon the commandments of the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Prophet (sa) and are fully obedient to the Khalifa of the time, then the rate of progress of your Jama’at will increase manifold.
Furthermore, the well-being of our future generations is also linked to you. Many of you have been blessed with children of your own and are now directly responsible for the next generation of our Jama’at. The true role and value of a father is illustrated by the saying of the Holy Prophet (sa) that there can be no greater gift that a father bestows to his child other than inculcating within them the best morals and virtues. If you truly wish to bequeath the best gift to your children, you must first look at yourself and ensure that you are acting virtuously and are a true role model for them. Certainly, the older Khuddam between the ages of 25 and 40 must recognise that they are now at an age where they will be directly influencing the next generation.
During a recent virtual mulaqat [audience with His Holiness], a young Khadim asked me how younger Khuddam could reform and guide those older Khuddam who are not acting in the right way and who exhibited moral failings. I mentioned this point at the Ansar ijtema last week, as it applied to them as well. Here again, I would like to mention that this is something for the older Khuddam to seriously reflect upon, especially those who have children. Do not think that your behaviour or conduct is something that does not impact others; rather, the next generation is looking directly towards you, and so, do not let them down. Always remember that if you do not pay close attention to discharging your duties to Allah the Almighty and to one another, and do not seek to elevate your religious, spiritual and intellectual standards, then you will not only be harming yourself, but also those who follow in your footsteps. You will be setting a harmful example for the next generation, and so if they go astray, you will be held responsible. The Holy Prophet of Islam (sa) stated that the father is the guardian of the home and, as such, he will be held accountable by God Almighty on the Day of Judgement if he does not fulfil his duties of guardianship.
Always keep at the forefront of your mind that there are two paramount rights that a true Muslim must fulfil – those owed to Allah the Almighty and those owed to His creation. If you are fulfilling both of these rights, then you will naturally guide your children to the right path. You will also become a mentor and guide for the younger Khuddam, who you should consider as your younger brothers. The best way to guide other people is always by setting your own pious example for them to observe and learn from.
Moreover, keep in mind, that the life and success of any community is not dependent on any single generation; rather, those nations who truly prosper, and who have the ability to change the world for the better, are those in which generation after generation are steeped in a desire to serve their cause and who are ready for every possible sacrifice to ensure that the progress and success of their community never slows. Always remember that we are the community of those people who have accepted the Imam of the age, the Promised Messiah (as), and who claim that we will spread the true teachings of the Holy Prophet (sa) to the corners of the world. This requires that each Ahmadi constantly strives to improve their own spiritual and moral standards by acting upon the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Prophet (sa).
Therefore, we cannot afford to relax or rest easy until we are certain that every member of our Jama’at leaves no stone unturned in their efforts to gain the nearness of Allah the Almighty. Just as the sun rises without fail each morning, our each and every day should give rise to glad tidings of the spiritual progress and advancement of the members of the Jama’at. Until that is our state, we cannot be content.
On your banners, you proudly display the slogan bestowed to Khuddamul Ahmadiyya by Hazrat Musleh Mau’ud (ra) [second worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community from 1914-1965] that, “nations cannot be reformed without the reformation of the youth.” However, these are not just words or a motto to take pride in, but should be a wake-up call for the members of Khuddam and should motivate and inspire you. This slogan is displayed prominently at your Khuddam events so that these profound words become deeply ingrained in the hearts and minds of every Khadim. Indeed, each Khadim, whether they are an office bearer or not, should view these words as a personal challenge for them to live up to, wherein they must play their role in the reformation of their nation by reforming themselves. Hence, you must strive to attain the highest moral and spiritual standards and to be a true asset for your nation and community. Otherwise, just to repeat these words without any action is utterly meaningless.
I also wish to remind the administration of Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya that if all their office bearers at each level strive to personally improve and focus upon their spiritual development, it will have a prodigious effect on the Majlis. Even without holding any special programmes or events, you will become a means of guidance and instruction through your personal example. Other Khuddam will see that you are sincere and will seek to emulate you, insha’Allah [God willing].
I also wish to say to the younger Khuddam, that they should not think that because they are young, they do not need to be concerned about their religion or spiritual state and that theirs is an age merely of leisure and fun. Certainly, at your age, you should be involved in positive forms of recreation and other good activities, but at the same time, you should recognise that you are now reaching the age of full maturity. In fact, in the olden days, people would often get married in their teenage years and they would take on the associated responsibilities. Furthermore, in early Islam, very young men aged 18 or 19 not only took part in the major battles of that time, but were given the rank of commanders. They acted with outstanding courage and manifested the highest levels of faith. So, do not underestimate your abilities or think that you can focus upon your faith and religion at a later time in your life; rather, even as teenagers and young adults, you should understand your value and importance.
In addition, all Khuddam should focus upon the pledge you have made to be ready for every possible sacrifice for the sake of your faith, country and nation. It should not be that you proclaim these words aloud, but that your actions remain silent. If you truly wish to fulfil your pledge, then first and foremost, the most important thing is Namaz [prayer], the practical solution of your being a good Khadim. You must be regular in offering the five daily prayers. Do not speedily offer them, without due attention; rather, your prayers should be offered carefully, with proper concentration and with the true love of Allah embedded within your heart. Use that time of prayer to build your relationship with Allah. Do not just pray for yourself or your family, but also pray for your faith, for the Jama’at, and for your nation.
Additionally, all Khuddam and Atfal should do tilawat [recitation of the Holy Qur’an] daily, even if it is just a few rukus. You should try to understand the meaning of the Qur’an, so that you can learn the best morals and know what Allah desires from you. One method you can adopt is to choose any one instruction or command of the Holy Qur’an, and make it your firm intention and target to abide by that, come what may, so that it becomes a permanent feature of your life. If everyone makes a resolute effort to leave aside one harmful thing, whilst seeking to adopt one quality or virtue taught by the Qur’an, then over the course of a year, you will be saved from a multitude of vices and will have replaced them with many virtues. The more you tread upon the path of virtue and righteousness, the more you will seek out goodness and avoid evil, because goodness begets goodness, whilst evil begets evil.
Specifically, there is one noble quality which I would like to particularly emphasise and that is the virtue of speaking truthfully. As you leave the Ijtema today, you should do so with a firm and sincere intention to always speak the truth and to act with honesty at all times and under all circumstances. It should not be that there is even a tiny degree of falsehood or misrepresentation in your speech. In all places and at all times, you must hold firm to the truth and never depart from it. Where the Tarbiyyat department in Khuddamul Ahmadiyya seeks to ensure the Khuddam are regular in the five daily prayers, in reciting the Qur’an and in reading the books of the Promised Messiah (as), they should also focus on ensuring that our Khuddam are those who always speak and act truthfully.
All Khuddam should understand that speaking the truth and acting with integrity is the means of gaining the nearness of Allah, whilst falsehood is equivalent to shirk, that is associating partners with God. In this regard, the Promised Messiah (as) has said one must leave aside all forms of idol worship and falsehood. In fact, falsehood is also an idol and he who relies upon it, is he who abandons trust in God. So, by speaking falsehood, a person forsakes God. Thus, uttering falsehood, lies or untruths of any kind is not a minor thing, but is a very grave sin that you should avoid at all costs. Those who purposely lie or deceive are no different to the idol worshippers, who make falsehood their god and who think they will benefit from lying, whilst fearing they will suffer if they adhere to the truth. Let it be clear that if you speak the truth for the sake of God Almighty and for the sake of acting upon HIs teachings, you will never be harmed or suffer in the long-term.
Another very important quality and virtue that you should all develop is to be compassionate, loving and considerate of others. Seek to establish ties of mutual love, brotherhood and harmony. For a nation or community to be strong, it requires its people to be united and to care for one another and to share in each other’s joys and sorrows. Regrettably, sometimes very minor things or insignificant quarrels escalate and cause serious issues and fights amongst those who should be like brothers. If such behaviour enters our community, then the whole Jama’at is defamed by such actions and our slogan of, “love for all and hatred for none” is rendered hollow. So, always treat each other with love and affection and seek to establish true harmony amongst yourselves.
There is nothing courageous in manifesting anger; rather, we learn from a Hadith that the one who is truly brave is he who controls his temper and subdues his anger. In another Hadith, it is narrated that the Holy Prophet (sa) said that on the Day of Judgement, Allah the Almighty will state those who love each other purely for His sake shall be granted shelter in Allah’s abode of mercy. Thus, if we wish to enter the shade of Allah’s mercy and grace, we must show love to one another. We must leave aside all petty grudges and be compassionate and forgiving. This is how we can establish true bonds of mutual love and harmony in order to gain the love of Allah the Almighty. Do not take this lightly; rather, seek to adopt such qualities and to desist from wrongdoing.
As I said before, the reformation of Khuddam is not merely something for you as individuals, but is actually intrinsically linked to the development and reformation of the entire Jama’at. Consequently, in all respects, you should be observant of the true practices of Islam. Seek to inculcate righteousness and reject all vices to the extent that you develop a deep-rooted aversion and hatred for all forms of immorality and evil. Your ambitions should not be limited to today’s worldly or material pursuits; rather, your priority should always be fulfiling the rights of Allah the Almighty, worshipping Him alone and fulfiling the rights of one another.
Furthermore, I also wish to give a message to those Khuddam and Atfal who are currently in education. I hope that over 30% of the members of the Khuddam are students and so, alongside the worship of God and offering their prayers, they must also pay special attention to their studies. All students, whatever their age or level, should work diligently and seek to achieve the best possible results and, as you progress to adulthood, you should strive to reach the apex of your chosen profession. Indeed, our Ahmadi youths should seek to enter every good profession or career, whether linked to government services or otherwise, and to reach the highest levels. This is easier said than done and so you must work hard and strive to excel in your studies.
It should not be that our Khuddam leave education after their GCSE’s or A-levels, in the pursuit of some easy money; rather, they should enter higher education and gain the best possible qualifications. In recent times, it has generally been observed in our Jama’at, that our girls are excelling boys in education. In light of this, I lay down the challenge to the members of the Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya to strive to redress this imbalance and to endeavour to achieve the very best results in your academic career. If you are successful, it will not only be to your benefit, but it will also benefit the wider society and will be a means of pride for our Jama’at in upholding its dignity and honour. Your success will also, Insha’Allah, prove to be the guarantor for the academic success of our future generations, who will learn from your example. In this way, a perpetual cycle of academic excellence will, Insha’Allah, be established within our youth.
Certainly, you must try to reach the pinnacle in all fields of learning, because it is God’s promise to the Promised Messiah (as) that within his community will be people who excel in attaining knowledge and understanding. So, strive to be amongst those who manifest this promise of God the Almighty and who will surely be the recipients of His favour and blessings.
May Allah the Almighty grant all of you the capability to truly comprehend your immense responsibilities and to fulfil your obligations as members of Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya. May you fulfil the rights owed to Allah the Almighty, and His creation, and be those who illuminate the name of our Jama’at in the world and who play a distinguished role in fulfiling the mission of the Promised Messiah (as). It is my sincere and ardent prayer that you are successful in this. May Allah the Almighty continue to bless Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya in all respects – Ameen.
(After leading a silent prayer, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) said:)
There is an announcement that now I will launch a website; the SalatHub website. The SalatHub site is a website that is designed to make Jama’at members learn Salat in an interactive way. It provides resources such as videos about Namaz, audio recordings of how to recite Namaz, its split word and detailed translation. It also has an interactive quiz, where users can test themselves on Salat and improve in their Arabic Salat and translation. It is hoped that this app makes the learning of Salat easy.’