Manal Odeh, Kababir
It is by Allah’s grace that I was born into a God-fearing family, keen to raise its children with noble morals, with a love of God Almighty and in obedience to His teachings.
Since childhood, I was told that we should not act in any manner that angers God.
The Caliph of the time has been of great importance in our lives. His photo was always hung in our house, and we always enjoyed the poems written by my beloved father about the community and Khilafat [the Caliphate]. Thus, this environment led me during my teenage years to pray to God Almighty earnestly to one day grant me a righteous husband like my father, for he was an exemplary role model throughout my life.
This was the beginning of my relationship with God Almighty, which culminated in the response to this supplication. He blessed me with a marriage to a young man in whom I saw a great distinction from other young people in our neighborhood. He grew up with the love of God Almighty and in obedience to Him. Praise be to God.
My marriage with Muhammad Sharif Odeh was a milestone in learning more about the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
In the marital home, I have imbibed an additional dose of love for Khilafat. Our children also grew up in this atmosphere.
The first of these blessings was visiting the center of Khilafat frequently, meeting the Fourth Caliph, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad (rh), and seeking blessings from his prayers.
Years passed during which I went through many trials, difficulties, and crises, which Allah was always able to resolve. Praise be to God.
A Sign from God
The first story that I would like to mention is what happened to me on one night of Ramadan when my husband was in I’tikaaf [a dedicated period of prayer in seclusion during the last ten days of Ramadan] in the mosque. Back then, we had three young children.
Ramadan that year was during winter, I wished one day to pray the tahajjud prayer [pre-dawn voluntary prayers] in the mosque which is just a few steps from our house.
Thus, I prepared myself, put on my coat, and proceeded to the door. But suddenly I felt a hidden force preventing me from leaving the house. I was very confused by this, and after a few moments I thought again of going out to the mosque. However, once more, I was unable to, because there was something stopping me. I asked my Lord for forgiveness and said: ‘What is this? I intend to go out to pray, so why do I feel this way?!’ While I was in this state of confusion, I lay down on a sofa and relaxed a bit, then I suddenly smelt fire.
I immediately got up to look for the source of the smell. I checked my bedroom and lifted the quilt, upon which I saw a burning flame in the form of the letter ‘U’ in English. In that bed my young children Rana (four years) and Salah Al-Din (one year) were sleeping. As it was so cold, I had put them to sleep in our big bed with an electric quilt; it was quite old and this had apparently lead to a short-circuit.
My eldest daughter, Amatul-Hayy, was six years old at that time. She had spent that night at her aunt’s house. I pulled the cable of the quilt, grabbed both children in my arms and left the room while they were still sleeping. Then I ran to the kitchen to get water by which I managed to extinguish the fire that would have otherwise surely turned my life upside down. But this was God’s grace and mercy.
After I put out the fire, I cried uncontrollably out of tension and emotion on one hand, and out of gratitude to Allah on the other. When the holy month was over, I’tikaaf had ended, and Eid had arrived, the smell of the fire was still in the house despite the cleaning campaign that I had undertaken.
The irony in the story is that when I told my husband what had happened, he cried, saying that when he was in his seclusion, he had asked Allah to show him a sign. He thought that he had not got one, but he was now certain that it had come in the form of saving our children. Praise be to God.
Protection Through the Caliph’s Prayers
The second story happened with our daughter Amatul-Hayy when she was eight years old. Due to her upbringing in a home which loves religion and Khilafat [the Caliphate], she told her friend once while they were playing: ‘Let us clean and polish the mosque’s windows to gain Allah’s blessings instead of playing uselessly’ (This is what her friend told us later when she visited us at the hospital).
Meanwhile, I was helping my husband and working with him in the shop that we had. I was finishing my work at school at noon, then working in the shop so that my husband could follow up with Jama’at [community] work and Tabligh [propagation]. Our children used to play around us in the mosque’s courtyard or at their grandparents’ house till we would go back.
Amatul-Hayy lowered herself from the window of the second floor to clean it from outside. This caused her to fall vertically on her head.
At that moment, my husband was in his office at the mosque, he came out upon hearing her hitting the ground.
He carried her and hurried to me at the shop to tell me what had happened and so that I could follow him to the hospital. I drove to the hospital where I heard the doctors talking among themselves about the fractures in her skull and that the situation was not reassuring. It lasted for some time until an Arab doctor came and advised my husband to move our daughter immediately to a larger specialised hospital in Haifa.
In the meantime, my husband updated the Fifth Caliph, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) on the situation and to ask for Huzoor’s (aba) [His Holiness’] prayers. Huzoor (aba) prayed and Allah the Almighty heard and accepted his supplication.
We went to the other hospital. After the examinations and the CT scan, the specialised professor said that there were three fractures in the skull that had caused bleeding, but this bleeding was confined to the layer of the membrane before the brain. Thanks be to God, it did not reach the brain. Thus, we were informed, the blood would be absorbed until it was gone.
Our daughter was in hospital for eight days, after which she returned home in good health. This accident did not leave any side effects at all. May God Almighty bless the Caliph (aba) and support him with the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Reassurance of the Caliph
As for the third story, it is about our youngest son, Bashir al-Din Mahmoud Ahmad, and the blessing that we obtained from the supplications, instructions, and directives of our master, the Fifth Caliph, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, (aba). At the time, Bashir was 12 years old, studying at the Ahmadiyya School, where I work as a teacher. I was teaching the eighth grade that day when Bashir knocked on the classroom door and asked to talk to me. I saw his face was white and pale, he was sweating and said he was tired after his Physical Education class.
I tried to reassure him and called my husband immediately to tell him about Bashir’s condition. That night he had returned from London after the live Arabic talk show (Al-Hiwar Al-Mubashar) at a late hour. He had only slept a little but he felt that it was necessary to take Bashir to the hospital. They went to the hospital, while I called my uncle, Professor Majed Odeh, who is head of a department in the hospital. I told him what had happened and that they were on the way.
I continued my lesson, but my heart and mind were on Bashir until I finished school and hurried to the hospital. The examinations showed that there was a problem that had not yet been defined. Then my uncle told me that Bashir should stay overnight in the hospital to follow up on the tests. I never knew that Bashir was suffering from something; from the tests during pregnancy and after his birth, everything indicated that he was fine.
The tests showed that Bashir has had a certain heart problem since birth. Doctors in our country and abroad unanimously agreed that it required surgical intervention, and that the operation was dangerous and not guaranteed. Our pain was great, our anxiety greater, but our trust in God was our refuge.
My husband told me that we must travel with Bashir to London to meet Huzoor [His Holiness] to ask for prayers. It was his intention, before we left for the journey, to request Huzoor to kindly put his blessed hand, on which he wears the ring of the Promised Messiah (as), on the chest of Bashir and pray. But he had been too shy to ask for that when the mulaqat [meeting with His Holiness] took place. Here, I want to point out that the revelation ‘I am with you, O Masroor’ was miraculously manifested in front of our eyes during that mulaqat, as we got what we wished for without asking!
When the time of the mulaqat came; we entered the office of Huzoor and sat in his presence.
He asked what was wrong, so I told him what had happened. His Holiness said jokingly, ‘I am not a doctor, so what do you want from me?’
By the grace of God, whenever we meet Huzoor, I always feel happiness and reassurance, so I talk to him as one would to a loving father. However, in this meeting, and due to the severity of my tension and concern, I felt that my tongue had contracted. As such, we had asked Munir Odeh, my brother-in-law, to accompany us to clarify the matter to Huzoor. When Huzoor was talking to us and giving us his instructions, I turned to Munir and asked him to write everything down. Huzoor told me with a smile like a kind father, ‘do not worry, he is writing’.
The meeting ended and we stood for the picture. We were about to leave the office when His Holiness called us back, he put the Promised Messiah’s (as) ring on Bashir’s chest and prayed for him, then he opened the top buttons of his shirt and put the ring again on his heart and prayed more.
After that, our Caliph (aba) followed up on Bashir’s health with Dr. Ali Mumtaz, a pediatric cardiac surgeon, from the USA. He, alongside a team of consultants from the institution where he works, opined that Bashir did not need any operation. After praying, he refused the Israeli doctor’s suggestion to have an Angiography for him because the artery was too delicate so there would be a risk, and this was a very rare case in the world.
He suggested instead that we do a stress MRI in Tel Aviv; this surprisingly showed that Bashir did not need any operation. Thanks be to God Almighty.
My tongue and pen cannot describe our feelings when we left Huzoor’s (aba) office that day. Praise be to God; four years have since passed and our son is absolutely fine.
I ask God Almighty to perpetuate the blessings of Khilafat [the Caliphate] upon us, and to give Huzoor (aba) a long and healthy life as he is an asset to the whole of humanity. Ameen.