Personal Moments with Huzur after his Friday Sermon

The last week has been a very emotional time for Ahmadis the world over. When Huzur mentioned in his Friday sermon that he had undergone a heart procedure and requested prayers, it shocked so many of us, as we had not been expecting Huzur to make this announcement. Immediately, our hearts were filled with prayers and deep concern for Huzur’s health. I first heard of this when I was translating Huzur’s sermon live.

On Monday, a few days after Huzur’s Friday Sermon, I had the opportunity to meet Huzur in an official Daftari Mulaqat in the morning, along with brother Ibrahim Ikhlaf, Head of the Translation Research Department in the Markaz, as Huzur had assigned both of us some joint projects we have been working on.

Before I entered the office, I asked the private secretary about Huzur’s recent schedule. He informed me that on Friday, later after Huzur’s Friday sermon, Huzur returned to the office and continued work as normal. I glanced at Huzur’s schedule on the desk of the Private Secretary, which showed that evening, family Mulaqats were continuing as well, albeit at a slightly reduced quantity. From Friday, Huzur had also resumed leading the prayers. Official/Daftari Mulaqats had begun after Huzur’s Friday Sermon. Officials from many different departments have met Huzur in the past few days from a range of departments.

As we entered Huzur’s office, Huzur’s desk was filled with perhaps 8-9 folders of different correspondences and letters. Huzur would remove various letters and correspondences, read and write instructions on them, and return them to the respective folders. Huzur would multi-task by speaking to us.

The scene was exactly the same as I had seen Huzur countless times before his operation. Now, after his procedure, I witnessed Huzur in the exact same routine. Huzur did not give any impression that he had just been through a major procedure. Huzur looked up and, as we took our seats, asked what work we had come to seek guidance on.

Very emotionally, I said: “Huzur, we want to enquire about your health! How are you feeling?”.

“You can start, as I am feeling fine!” said Huzur, again indicating we should begin our conversation about Jama’at and work matters.

I then spontaneously said: “But Huzur, we love you, and we are concerned for you!

Huzur understood our sentiments out of deep love, huge worry and concern and that our emotions probably reflected those of millions of Ahmadis, and simply wanted to ensure Huzur was healthy and wanted to find out details for this reason:

Once again, I humbly asked about Huzur’s procedure. Finally, Huzur said:

“Alhamdulillah, the procedure was successful, and now after, my heart, which was previously used to a much lower level of blood flow, is now receiving a much higher blood flow.”

I mentioned to Huzur that after his sermon, one senior doctor from The Review of Religions team had exclaimed to the rest of the team that they were amazed how Huzur had shown such mobility, resilience and commitment to the Jama’at by returning to duty so quickly after a major procedure. Huzur, out of humility, listened to my comments but remained silent, all the while with piles of work spread across his desk in front of him.

I asked Huzur about the gap between the operation date and Jumu’ah:

“Monday is when the operation took place,” said Huzur

I asked “Huzur, didn’t doctors say you should reduce physical exertion?”.

Huzur replied, “Doctors said I should rest for a few or three days, which I did. And this is why after a few days, I led Jumu’ah prayers as I mentioned to them I would do so, and they advised it was fine.”

I asked Huzur how he was feeling now. Huzur said: “I am fine, Alhamdulillah. I was fine before as well.”

I mentioned to Huzur that I had been translating the Friday sermon live when Huzur suddenly made this announcement, and it took me aback. I sought guidance from Huzur about the correct words to use in the English translation where Huzur described his procedure so as to be sure the incorrect information was not conveyed in languages across the world, and Huzur guided me accordingly.

Brother Ibrahim Ikhlaf asked Huzur how he knew about the malfunction of the heart valve and whether Huzur had felt something prior that initiated this.

Huzur replied: “It is through regular checks, but I have been having heart issues for some time now, for four years! And I was taking medication for it.”

Finally, both brother Ibrahim Ikhlaf Sb and I implored Huzur to get some rest.

Huzur smiled and said: “You have come here with two laptops, and people come here and bring their issues to me, so I have to spend time dealing with them, how would I rest?”

I said, “Huzur, if we knew you were undergoing a procedure, we would never have requested a Mulaqat”

Brother Ibrahim Ikhlaf said, “yes, Huzur, we had requested before we had any idea about your procedure!”

Overwhelmed with emotion, I asked again “Huzur, how are you feeling now?” Ibrahim Ikhlaf Sb also repeated this concern as well.

Huzur smilingly looked at brother Ibrahim Ikhlaf and said: “If I am speaking and dealing with you, I must be fine, right!”

We said to Huzur “We will not take any more time Huzur” but Huzur then insisted we detail the various official Jama’at matters we had originally planned to bring before Huzur. As a result, we presented those matters on Huzur’s instructions. Huzur gave detailed guidance on a range of issues, until after quite some time, when all the official issues had been exhausted, Huzur said “Ok, you can go now!”

After the Mulaqat I attended the Zuhr prayer in Masjid Mubarak which Huzur led.

From the outside Huzur seemed in good spirits and in relatively good health, all things considered. Huzur would not discuss at any point any physical pain he had encountered, but speaking to various doctors who are not directly linked, they told me that naturally this a major procedure in which one can encounter a lot of pain.

Brother Ibrahim Ikhlaf and I emotionally discussed how it was possible for Huzur to continue all his activities so normally after a major procedure: leading the prayers, dealing with official and personal matters, leading Jumu’ah, replying to hundreds and hundreds of correspondences from around the world and many other tasks.

On even a normal day after hard work, I feel exhausted and need a break. How was Huzur still carrying out all this work in this situation?

Surely, it is only the Grace of Allah the Almighty, and the unwavering determination of Huzur to fulfil his duties as Khalifatul Masih.

Huzur offers every selfless sacrifice for the sake of Allah and the Jama’at and loves the Jama’at like a mother loves her child, constantly putting himself into difficulty to serve, and never expresses any complaint or suffering. Huzur has always continued to serve in a manner that astonishes us all and requires us to pray for him even more.

Naturally, there are many genuine requests and issues that need to be raised to Huzur on a personal and official level.

I thought afterwards that, at the very least, a considerable amount of Huzur’s time could be saved without all the petty issues, avoidable complaints, fights and marital breakups.

I also thought that, as officials and office holders, we could save Huzur’s time by avoiding unnecessary requests and complaints that are not in the spirit of progressing the Jama’at.

I too reflected how I could have on many occasions saved Huzur’s time and could do so in the future.

I remember on one occasion Huzur himself said, many years ago, in a Friday Sermon that if all the time that he spends dealing with petty and avoidable issues were to be saved, Huzur could spend that time instead on the true purpose of Khilafat, to progress the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat.

Personally, I also felt that, with the extra time, perhaps, just perhaps, Huzur could also get a tiny bit of rest!

Along with praying for Huzur constantly for his long and healthy life, as Huzur himself requested, we need to protect and safeguard this trust of Khilafat that Allah the Almighty has blessed us with, Insha’Allah.

“O Allah, support our Imam with the spirit of Holiness and bless us with his long life and Khilafat”

About the Author: Syed Amer Safir is the Chief Editor of The Review of Religions.

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