Concluding Address by the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community at the Annual Gathering of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK 2022
On 17th September 2022, the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) delivered an address to conclude the National Ijtema (Annual Gathering) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association UK (Lajna Ima’illah). The 3-day event which was held at Old Park Farm in Kingsley, United Kingdom, was attended by more than 6800 women and girls. The official transcript of the address delivered by His Holiness on this occasion is presented below.
*Please note that this transcript may not be reproduced without express permission, either on other websites or in print format.
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz and Bismillah, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V (aba) said:
‘With the grace of Allah, after the last few Covid-affected years, Lajna Ima’illah UK has once again had the opportunity to hold its National Ijtema on a larger scale and I hope and pray you will have greatly benefited from the programmes. Lajna Ima’illah members should always ponder over and reflect upon the objectives of their auxiliary organisation and what it means to be part Lajna Ima’illah. When Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) established Lajna Ima’illah, he named it following great deliberation and thought, as “Lajna Ima’illah” literally means a community of the servants of Allah the Almighty. So when you have entered the community of the servants of Allah the Almighty, and pledged to be servants of your faith, you must understand your responsibilities.
First and foremost, all members must pay close attention to protecting their faith. They must strive to reach the spiritual level and height required of a true believer. In the Holy Qur’an, addressing the unlettered desert-dwelling Arabs of the time, Allah the Almighty said, ‘Say you have not believed yet, but rather say, we have accepted Islam.’  Here Allah the Almighty commands that whilst those rural people should say they have accepted Islam and become Muslim, they should not claim to have believed or to have gained true faith. This is because the standard of faith required of a sincere believer far exceeds mere acceptance of Islam. Anyone who recites the Kalimah [Islamic creed] can say that I am a Muslim, but not everyone can say they are a believer or have acquired true faith. Proclaiming that Allah the Almighty is the One and Omnipotent God, the Holy Prophet (sa) is His Messenger and Islam is a perfect religion, represents only the most basic level of belief. Absolute faith requires a far higher level of belief and understanding. And one cannot reach that level until and unless they act upon all of the commands of Allah the Almighty.
So, the first thing that every Ahmadi must remember is that they must strive to become complete in their faith and belief. Regarding this, the Promised Messiah (as) said, ‘Believers are those whose acts and deeds testify to their faith. Upon their hearts their faith is engraved. Believers are those who give precedence to their Lord and attaining His pleasure above all else.’ So, giving precedence to one’s faith over everything else is paramount and fundamental to attaining the status of a believer. Remember, giving precedence to one’s faith is a pledge that every Ahmadi makes when they take the Bai’at (Pledge of Allegiance). and it is also core tenet of the respective pledges of each of the auxiliary organisations.
The Promised Messiah (as) further states: ‘Believers tread steadfastly upon the narrow and difficult path of righteousness for the sake of God and they become immersed in His love.’ True believers do not follow the path but rather remain firmly on the path of righteousness, no matter what worldly pressures or challenges they face. They consider Allah the Almighty to be everything and their entire existence and life’s purpose is to attain His pleasure. Whatever personal relationships or worldly desires they have fail in comparison to their love for God. People make great efforts to care for their loved ones or to fulfil their own worldly needs. But if those relationships or needs become their priority, then according to the Promised Messiah (as), such people cannot be sincere in their faith. The Promised Messiah (as) further states: ‘And true believers are those who stay far away from all those things that, like false idols, are an obstacle in the way of God, be it moral failings, evil deeds, or negligence and laziness.’ 
We live in a society and time where at every turn, there are temptations that lead a person towards sin or to act in a way that incurs the displeasure of Allah. Indeed, often people do not even realise their conduct is wrong. For example, some people do not keep good relationships with their neighbours and fail to fulfil their rights. Further, mocking or taunting someone is entirely wrong. Another social wrong occasionally observed at Ijtemas or gatherings is that ladies ensure there is a good place for them and their children to sit, but if another child comes towards them, they usher them away or express irritation. It has also been observed that a mother offers her child a snack but does not offer anything to the other children sitting nearby. Rather than setting a positive example of sharing to her child, the mother leaves the other children empty-handed. Such behaviour is the height of bad manners and always remember, if you fail to show kindness to others, your children will learn the same. Conversely, if you are kind and considerate your children will naturally observe and learn from you and you will be doing their Tarbiyyat [moral training] through your manners and etiquettes.
In the Qur’anic verse just mentioned, Allah proclaims: ‘Say you have not believed yet, but rather say we have accepted Islam.’ This means that true belief does not exist until there is complete obedience to Allah the Almighty. In terms of our Jama’at, complete obedience to Allah the Almighty also requires an Ahmadi Muslim to be respectful of the organisational structure of our Jama’at, referred to as the ‘Nizam-e-Jama’at’. Remember, our Jama’at’s Nizam [structure] has been established and created by the Khalifa of the time and through the Nizam, the works and schemes of the various national Jama’ats and the auxiliary organisations occur with his permission and approval. If a Jama’at office bearer is not serving properly, or his conduct is a matter of concern, it should be reported to one of his senior officers or supervisors. However, to sit in a gathering, whether public or private, speaking against the office bearer or complaining about the Jama’at, or aggressively confronting the person you have an issue with is wrong and contrary to the spirit of our Jama’at. Such behaviour cannot lead anywhere good. Instead grudges will ferment and eventually the faith of the complainant will weaken.
It has been observed that if, at the local level, Ahmadis fail to listen to their local Jama’at office bearers, or those assigned some level of responsibility, it leads to further descent. Eventually, such people start raising questions or complaints against Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya [the Ahmadiyya Caliphate] and they fail to heed the guidance and instructions of the Khalifa of the time. Ultimately, some people become distant from their religion and lose faith. Certainly, a genuine grievance or concern should not be ignored or swept under the carpet. However, rather than starting an argument or creating division within the Jama’at, take the matter to a higher level and seek to resolve the issue fairly and appropriately.
Moving on, you should all be aware that the worship of Allah is fundamental to true belief and faith. Nizam is the cornerstone of reforming an individual, whilst at the same time it serves to unify and strengthen the collective bond amongst Muslims. Though it is not obligatory for women to worship in the mosque, whenever they join together for Eid prayers, Ijtemas or any other occasion, they should ensure that as Allah the Almighty has commanded the rows for prayer remain straight. Further, when it comes to Jalsa, Ijtema, or other Lajna programmes, the objectives and dignity of the event can only be maintained if those attending pay full attention and have a sincere intention to act upon all the good things they learn. If we cannot even keep straight lines during Namaz [daily prayers] or if we walk during the speeches at Jalsa or Ijtema, and ignore the request of those on duty to remain silent or argue with them, it is reflective of something much deeper and of grave concern. Slowly but surely, such behaviour progresses until a person moves away from their faith.
In a worldly sense, people have a heartfelt and burning desire to listen to and please their most beloved people. Indeed that love often inspires them to love the people near and close to their beloved. Yet, those human ties bear no comparison to the love we owe to Allah the Almighty and His Messenger (sa). As I have said repeatedly to love Allah and His Prophet (sa) requires that we strive to act upon their commands.
Today’s society has become morally corrupted and spiritually decayed, as the harmful effects of the mainstream media and social media continue to drive people away from religion and belief in God. Even in schools, very young children are being taught inappropriately and immoral things which they are far too young to comprehend. As a result, children from a very young age are being conditioned by their schools and the wider society into a secular way of thinking and away from religious values and teachings. In such conditions, the onus is very much upon parents to ensure the moral training of their children. These days even children’s cartoons or computer games include storylines or characters that are wholly inappropriate and take away children’s innocence. Children themselves should also be very much careful and vigilant on seeing their cartoons and parents should definitely supervise while children are viewing, seeing and watching cartoons.
The long-term consequences of such exposure are extremely dangerous and can easily take our future generations away from religion and away from moral values. Thus, parents must keep a close eye on what their children are exposed to. And to counter the outside influences, Ahmadi parents must develop a purely Islamic atmosphere within their homes where the commands of Allah are acted upon, and the best morals are displayed. Remember, children are intelligent and highly observant, so there should not be any discrepancy between what you teach them and your conduct and character. Certainly, if Ahmadi parents fail to instil Islamic values and teachings within themselves, their children will grow up to be heavily influenced by the materialism and godlessness of today’s society. Accordingly, it is vital that Ahmadi parents very carefully strive to better themselves so that they can properly train and guide their children.
As I have already said, if any of the Jama’at office bearers have caused you offence or acted in a way you did not think was right, strive to resolve the matter calmly by speaking directly to the person or his superior. If you are still unsatisfied with the outcome, write to the Khalifa of the time. However, never discuss such issues in front of your children, otherwise it will have a very harmful effect on them. Ultimately, it will develop a hatred of religions within them, and they will become susceptible to the superficial glamour of worldly things and come under the wrong influence of society. Talk to your children every day and tell them those things that will bring them closer to Allah the Almighty and His Prophet (sa). As I have said many times before, it is essential that Ahmadi parents develop a genuine friendship and mutual trust with their children from the very beginning. Whilst this is the duty of both parents, it is especially incumbent on Ahmadi mothers to forge a loving and close bond with their children and to instil religious values within them. You should encourage your children to talk to you freely and openly. Children are naturally curious, and it is the duty of mothers to answer their questions. If the mother does not know the answer you should search for it, rather than leave it unanswered. In this regard, Ahmadi girls and women must seek to increase their religious knowledge and be aware of contemporary issues. If you increase your knowledge, it will also serve to increase your faith. Strive to develop an interest of religion in your children. Explain to them why religion is important and to be valued above all else. Ensuring your children’s moral and spiritual training is a huge task and the foremost challenge for Ahmadis who have children growing up in today’s society and mothers have the main role to play in this effort.
Quite often, the examples of righteous people are narrated in our Jama’at programmes; they are not presented just as stories from the past to entertain us. Rather, the pious examples of our predecessors should guide and inspire us and our children to take up the mantle of being devoted servants of our faith. We learn from them what qualities and virtues Muslims should adopt so we can join the ranks of true believers. For example, a believer is she who remains truthful in all circumstances. When it comes to speaking the truth, people often convince themselves there is nothing wrong with the occasional untruth, or a so-called white lie. However, any untruth, no matter how big or small, is a major wrong and a sin.
Many of us are aware of the well-known Hadith [saying of the Holy Prophet (sa)] in which an individual who possessed many weaknesses and vices came to the Holy Prophet (sa) and asked him which one evil he should abstain from, as he did not think it possible for him to leave all his vices. In reply, the Holy Prophet (sa) instructed he should abandon falsehood. The individual was pleased by the Holy Prophet’s (sa) response and thought it would be easy for him to stop lying whilst continuing with his other vices, However, it later inspired that whenever he thought of doing something immoral or sinful, he stopped himself and thought that if he were caught, he would have no choice but to admit his offence because of the pledge he had made to the Holy Prophet (sa). As a result, overtime he became free of all the evils and vices he was previously affected with. He could easily have continued to lie, however, once he had made a pledge to the Holy Prophet (sa), he was determined and committed to fulfilling it and eventually joined the ranks of the righteous and reached the proper standard of a believer.
All of you attending the Lajna Ijtema has also made a pledge to your faith, and you must strive earnestly to fulfil it. Regrettably, personal or domestic issues are often brought to my attention concerning disputes amongst Ahmadis. It is not the case that only Punjabi or Urdu-speaking ladies write to me about such matters; ladies raised and educated in the West also write to complain about the behaviour of their in-laws or their family members. They sometimes also include the Nizam-e-Jamaat in their complaint by writing that an office bearer is closely allied with their relatives and so is not impartial. Often, when these cases are carefully investigated, it is found that there is a degree of exaggeration or falsehood on both sides. If both parties in such matters were to act upon the truth, the dispute would be resolved in a far less fractious way. Similarly, it would make it much easier for Jama’at office bearers or Darul Qadha [Board of Arbitration] to make the correct decision. Difficulties arise where people depart from the truth and embellish the fact to make the case more favourable to them irrespective of what is right or fair. Remember, there can never be blessings in falsehood as Allah the Almighty knows the truth. Hence, I reiterate that falsehood is a sin of the highest order which can quickly destroy the peace and happiness of families and cause grave damage to your community.
Regarding the harmful effects of falsehood in lying, I shall give another example. Sometimes an office bearer may visit the home of an Ahmadi unexpectedly. The first point is that office bearers should try to be mindful of the convenience and personal circumstances of the Jama’at members. We should not cause unnecessary difficulty and so should visit at a convenient time. However, if it will happen, that an office bearer visits at an inconvenient time, the Ahmadi must not resort to falsehood. Sadly, there have been occasions where a child has informed their mother that the Jama’at guest is at the door and the mother has instructed her child to say she is not at home. Of course, the child’s natural instinct is to wonder why their mother is asking them to lie. Though, certain inappropriate things are taught to children in schools, one good thing is that schools here place a lot of emphasis on telling the truth. Thus, if a mother asks her child to lie, he would be confused, and it can only have a very damaging and lasting effect. If someone is genuinely not in a position to greet their guests, they should simply apologise and ask the guest to come at another time and this is quite the Islamic way. Yet, if a parent resorts to falsehood their child will observe hypocrisy in their parent. They will see that their mother tells them to be close to Allah, to tell the truth and to show good morals, yet on the other hand, she is doing the opposite. Upon observing such duplicitous behaviour children will lose trust in what their parents tell them, become resistant to what they teach them and eventually move away from their faith. In such circumstances the cause and blame lies solely with their parents.
Another quality and virtue that Allah the Almighty has instructed believing women to develop is to remain patient regardless of the circumstances. A believer should always maintain their dignity and tolerate any difficulty or pain patiently and keep their trust in Allah. For example, it should not be that an Ahmadi woman hears something she does not like from a third party and without thought picks up the phone and starts quarreling or sending abusive messages to the person she feels slighted by, whether in the family in context or otherwise. Though it is true in the past, some extremely ill-tempered and ill-mannered ladies have engaged in very heated arguments and fights even at Jama’at, such as the Ijtema, we might assume that in the West people are well educated so such things cannot happen here, but regrettably, from time to time they do. It is not only the matter of the past; hence we should constantly analyse our conduct and not think that certain habits or shortcomings are only prevalent in people from particular nation or region. Indeed, due to the effects of social media and the internet, inappropriate traits and ill-moral practices prevalent in one part of the world are crossing borders at an incredible speed.
Moving on, another quality and virtue of a believer is humility. It is very easy to say you are humble but sometimes a person’s conduct belies such claims. For example, some people who consider themselves humble do not realise that the way they speak to others cause them pain and reflects their arrogance and pride. At all times we must be cautious and conscious that we never manifest even the slightest degree of pride or consider ourselves superior to others. Where on the one hand arrogance causes disorder and restlessness in society, it also plays a very negative role in the moral upbringing of one’s children. This is something to seriously ponder and to act upon.
Another virtue required of a believer is that they should have a habit of being regular in Sadaqah [alms] and spending in the way of Allah the Almighty. With the grace of Allah, most of our members are those who generously give Sadaqah to help the poor and needy and make great sacrifices to fulfil the needs of the Jama’at through Chanda [financial contributions]. Now, as the economic state of the world worsens and people’s financial condition becomes strained, some people may think that they should focus on their own needs and tighten their giving hands. In such circumstances, we should remember those in greater need than us and help and support them as much as possible. Regarding the blessings of financial sacrifice, it is narrated in a Hadith that the Holy Prophet (sa) said that two angels descend each morning; one prays that may Allah bless and increase the wealth of a person who spends generously in the way of Allah and who seeks to support the weak and vulnerable. The other angel prays that may Allah destroy and withdraw the wealth of a person who is niggardly and miserly. 
Another basic Islamic commandment is of purdah [the veil], which in today’s world is often criticised and attacked by the opponents of Islam. Consequently, some Muslim women come to believe they are being oppressed or discriminated against. The Promised Messiah (as) has given a great deal of guidance based on the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Prophet (sa) regarding purdah and explained why it is an essential component of a peaceful and harmonious society.
Firstly, it wrong to assume Allah the Almighty only instructs women to safeguard their modesty. In reality, where in the Holy Qur’an Allah the Almighty instructs women to lower their gaze and to observe purdah, men have also been instructed to keep their gaze down. Therefore, to say that men have complete freedom whilst women are oppressed or restricted is wrong and such false concepts have emerged due to satanic and worldly influences seeking to drive Muslim women and girls away from their faith. Some women say it is difficult to observe purdah in the Western world, but such attitude reflects a needless and misjudged inferiority complex.
At this year’s Jalsa I presented examples of young professional Ahmadi women, for example, doctors who worked whilst maintaining their purdah. On those occasions when their employers sought to prevent them from observing the hijab, the Ahmadi women took a stand and said they would not compromise their faith. They would not remove their scarves just to satisfy their employers. They would not forsake their modesty for the sake of their career. They made it clear that they would much rather lose their jobs than be forced to dress in a way that was against their beliefs. In the end, seeing their intelligence and no doubt being impressed by the courage of their convictions and their standards of morality and decency, their employers changed their minds and permitted them to work whilst observing purdah. Do not therefore, submit to the pressure of the world. The commands of Allah are timeless and only if we act upon them can we live fulfilling lives and protect ourselves and our future generations.
I also wish to remind you that you must be extremely vigilant when navigating the online world. People make profiles on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat or other social media applications and display or share their personal photos and videos and engage in the frivolous conversations or chats. A person may think it is a harmless way to spend time but such things have a habit of quickly getting out of hand and lead to an array of major vices, social ills, and are damaging to one’s mental health. Even if you post something innocently it does not mean the person who sees your display picture or with whom you converse is innocent or to be trusted. For example, there are increasing cases of boys or men receiving photos from women or girls and then later blackmailing them by threatening or circulating them online or to misuse them unless they submit to their demands.
So, before joining any social media platform you should be extremely cautious and if you must utilise them for a particular reason such as education, you must ensure you protect your modesty at all times. The Promised Messiah (as) once stated that some people were suggesting that Muslim women should abandon purdah and follow the western and non-Muslim ways of dress. He said that such efforts, encouraging Muslim women to stop observing purdah were wrong and dangerous. Explaining his view, he said that those opposed to purdah should asses the moral standards of those nations where there is no concept of it.
With reference to this, we can easily judge the moral standards of today’s Western society, by the fact that, as mentioned earlier, in western countries there is a growing trend and movement to teach small children in schools or elsewhere things that are entirely beyond their comprehension and not at all age-appropriate. They are trying to sexualise innocent young children by teaching them things they are not ready to process. Throughout history, children are not exposed to such things at such a young age, so why now is there a need to force very small children into discussions about sex? All it serves to do is to destroy the innocence of youth and is bound to have long-term harmful effects. The Promised Messiah (as) went as far as to challenging the opponents of the purdah by stating that if they could prove that living in a completely free society with no concept of purdah or modesty would lead to better, greater morals and virtue than certainly purdah could be discarded, and he would accept he was wrong. The Promised Messiah (as) states, ‘it is clear that when men and women are young and have a license to mix freely the results are bound to be extremely dangerous. They are very likely to be overcome by passion and lust.’  Hence, there is tremendous wisdom underlying the Islamic injunction of purdah. Rather than naively assuming that men and women will never be overtaken by their passion, Islam’s teachings are based upon the reality of human nature. Thus, our Ahmadi ladies and girls must ensure that their dress remain modest and at the very least is according to the minimum standards of purdah.
At the end, I reiterate the Allah has said that only those who remember Him and give precedence to their faith are successful. So, offer your prayers carefully and ponder our each of the words rather than just going through the motions or paying lip service to the words of prayer. The prayers of a sincere woman have immense value and so always pray for yourselves, your husbands, your children, your society and your Jama’at. Always pray with the thought that you are submitting yourselves before Allah, Who is your Creator and He alone is the One Who can remove your anxieties and troubles. He alone is the One Who can elevate you from the basic standards of acceptance of Islam to the level of a true believer and of one who is truly firm in faith. He alone, through His grace and mercy, can ensure that your children remain close to their faith and can stay attached to the religion. He is the One Who will save your husbands from wrongdoings and guide them on the right path. If our Ahmadi women can fulfil their duties and objectives then Insha’Allah [God-willing] they can, and will bring about a great moral and spiritual revolution in their homes, in their cities, in their nations and the entire world.
May Allah enable all of you to give rise to such spiritual revolution and may the future generations of the world say that Ahmadi mothers and girls of this era played an outstanding role in saving them and ensuring that they remained on the path of the true spiritual salvation. May Allah enable it to be so. May Allah the Almighty continue to bless Lajna Ima’illah in all respects. Ameen’
1. The Holy Qur’an 49:15
2. Majmu’ah Ishtihaaraat, Vol. 2, Announcement no. 272, ‘Tablighul-Haqq’
3. Sahih al-Bukhari Kitab al-Zakat Hadith no. 1442
4. Malfuzat Vol. 7 pp. 134-135, 1985 Edition