Farrukh Tahir, Canada
Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has a beautiful name indeed. ‘Masroor’ means one who is happy or smiling.
Personally, I did not know how to smile. People would often approach me and ask me why I was so serious or frowning all the time. In fact, my own family tells me that I struggled to smile as a child. It was not a big deal to me, nor did I give it any thought, but when the people closest to me kept bringing it up more and more, it started to get to me. I had no idea what I should do about it, but God has His ways of lifting spirits. Something happened that changed my life forever.
We often hear of God’s love being compared to a mother’s unconditional affection for her child; God’s love for His creation is infinitely more vast, not just in theory, but also in experience.
No matter how far away we are from home and our loved ones, God is always watchful over His people and manifests His love and compassion to give us warmth. Today, the greatest manifestation of that love and kindness, especially for me, is our Caliph, Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba).
A Blessed Journey with the Caliph
I remember in 2017, when the Caliph (aba) was going on a tour to Germany, he graciously allowed a colleague of mine and I to go along with him in his envoy. It was more than a dream come true for me to humbly accompany him on this journey. During that journey, I felt an overwhelming sense of love and warmth emanating from the Caliph (aba) toward me. Despite his busy schedule, every moment he had to spare, he would ask if I had eaten or if I was doing well. Despite this love and warmth, however, I could not wipe the frown that had forever etched itself on my face – something I was still oblivious to. On top of that, being in such close vicinity to the Caliph (aba) – someone chosen and appointed by God Himself – I naturally felt the awe of God more closely and heavily than ever before.
In my interactions with the Caliph (aba), I started to notice a sense of worry in his expressions toward me. He looked at me very deeply at times, which made me a little worried, too. But, I could not figure out if it was just me, or if there was an actual problem.
‘You Should Always Keep Smiling’
It was on one evening, while I was standing in a mosque hallway that the Caliph (aba) emerged from a doorway next to me. I was not aware that he was going to arrive there at that moment. I froze up, stood there and stared – insensibly yet involuntarily frowning. He caught a glimpse of me and turned toward me. I’m not entirely sure how my face looked like, but I started to panic internally as I did before any interaction with him. At that moment, however, a sense of calmness overcame me like never before. The Caliph (aba) called me toward himself and lovingly held onto my arm. He looked at me, and without saying anything, started to smile and laugh. These moments, to me, felt like a lifetime of bliss. He then, in the most warm and comforting tone, said to me:
تم ہنستے نہیں۔ تم مسکراتے رہا کرو
‘You don’t laugh very often. You should always keep smiling.’
At that moment, I realised how much he really cares for me, how much he must have thought about that, and how the love and warmth of God really feels like. From that very moment, I finally started to laugh and I finally learned how to actually smile and promised to always do so.
And who better to teach me how to smile than the one whose smile is so beautiful and contagious, and whose name means happiness and smiling.
About the Author: Farrukh Tahir is a recent graduate from the Ahmadiyya Institute of Languages and Theology Canada.