Women and Islam

The Timeless Example of Women in History: An Inspiration for Muslim Women Today

Address by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba), Khalifatul Masih V (aba) at the Concluding Session of the Waqfaat-e-Nau National UK Ijtema 2024

After reciting Tashahhud, Ta`awwuz and Bismillah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) said:

Alhamdulillah, today you are once again holding your National Waqfaat-e-Nau Ijtema. As members of Waqfaat-e-Nau, you comprise those ladies and girls whose parents dedicated their lives to the service of their faith before their birth. Those of you who have reached the age of 15 and above have independently renewed this noble pledge to spend your life in the service of your religion.

Further, with the grace of Allah, many older members of Waqfaat-e-Nau have now become mothers and are raising the next generation of Waqfeen-e-Nau. The responsibilities placed on the shoulders of such mothers is twofold; not only must they strive to fulfil the demands of their pledge, but they must also endeavour to instil within their children those moral values and exceptional qualities that should be the hallmark of a Waqf-e-Nau. Indeed, the primary responsibility of such women is to ensure the proper moral training of their children so that Islamic teachings and values are instilled within them from a young age and they grow to become devoted servants of their faith. Therefore, the personal conduct of Ahmadi mothers must always be righteous and virtuous.

Furthermore, such women should impress upon their husbands the fundamental importance of acting righteously at all times. Only then will you lay the foundation for your children to develop the highest morals and the best manners, and you will inspire them to establish a firm bond with Allah the Almighty. Hence, it is paramount that your homes are filled with virtue, piety, and, above all, the worship of Allah the Almighty.

Certainly, as members of Waqfaat-e-Nau, you must always protect and safeguard your prayers. Ensure you offer every namaz on time and with humility, sincerity and deep concentration so that you may develop an unbreakable bond of love and loyalty with Allah the Almighty. Likewise, in each prayer, bow down before Allah and pray that your children grow to be pious, truthful and firmly attached to their religion. Pray they may develop an everlasting connection with Allah the Almighty and grow to be ever-ready to serve their faith.

Similarly, those Waqfaat-e-Nau who are not yet married, be they young Lajna or Nasirat, should understand that their principal objective is to develop a pure bond of love and friendship with Allah the Almighty and the primary means to achieve this is Salat. Offering just two or three prayers in a day is of no value; rather, you must offer all five daily prayers attentively and with heartfelt emotion at the prescribed times. Always pray that Allah grants you the ability to be righteous, to do good, and to walk upon the gilded path that leads directly to the nearness and pleasure of Allah the Almighty and is a means of attaining His rewards.

Remember, you can only achieve your religious objectives through prayer and by forging a sincere bond with God wherein you become ready and willing to make any sacrifice for His sake. Otherwise, remaining within the Waqf-e-Nau scheme is futile and meaningless. Take inspiration from the noble and honourable women who have come before you. Throughout history, countless women from the communities of the prophets of God made outstanding sacrifices for their faith and religious beliefs.

For example, the female disciples of the Prophet Jesus (as) manifested immense courage and devotion for their faith. Christians continue to take pride in the sacrifices made by those pious women who conveyed the teachings of Jesus (as) day and night and remained utterly faithful to him and their faith even at the times of their greatest trial. When Jesus (as) was put on the cross, his male disciples all fled in fear, yet his female disciples remained loyal to him in spite of the grave threat of punishment and persecution from the governing authorities. They found the tomb in which Jesus (as) had been placed after he was taken down from the cross, tended to his wounds and took him to safety. Those pious women proved themselves ready for all possible sacrifices for the sake of their faith.

Moreover, during the era of the Holy Prophet (sa), the astounding sacrifices and extraordinary service to their faith demonstrated by Muslim women reached a pinnacle that shall forever remain an example for all mankind. Those pioneer Muslim women placed great emphasis on learning their faith and attaining a deep understanding of their religious beliefs and practices. In turn, the knowledge they acquired instilled within them the courage and passion to spread their faith to others.

For instance, we often present the example of the incredible bravery and faith shown by the sister of Hazrat Umar (ra). She did not merely verbally accept Islam by offering the Kalimah, rather, every fibre of her being was infused with a passionate desire to learn the teachings of the Holy Qur’an so that she could act upon every one of its commands. As such, she invited a learned Companion of the Holy Prophet (sa) to her home who recited the Qur’an and explained its meanings to her and her husband.

As many of you will know, it was during such a lesson that her brother, Hazrat Umar (ra), unexpectedly arrived at her home. Knowing her brother was a ferocious opponent of Islam, she hid the Muslim teacher before letting him enter. Hazrat Umar (ra) had suspected that his sister and her husband had accepted Islam and had overheard the Holy Qur’an being recited as he approached. Upon entering, his suspicions were confirmed, and he could not control his rage. Thus, he furiously lunged forward to punch his brother-in-law. However, his sister ran towards him with incredible defiance and bravery and shielded her husband. As a consequence, she was violently struck in the face. But even as blood poured from her nose, she did not take a step back or become frightened. Instead, with monumental bravery and utter fearlessness, she proclaimed that Hazrat Umar (ra) could do whatever he wished but that they would never forsake the teachings of Islam.

Observing his sister’s faith and courage profoundly affected Hazrat Umar (ra). Suddenly, his rage was tempered, and he felt ashamed and embarrassed at having caused her injury. Thereafter, he asked to see the Holy Qur’an. His sister first placed some conditions and then she called the Companion out of his hiding place to recite the Qur’an. As he heard the verses of the Holy Qur’an recited, the heart of Hazrat Umar (ra) was overwhelmed by its purity and its magnificence. At that moment, his life was completely transformed. Having entered his sister’s home as a fierce opponent of Islam, he left convinced of its truth and immediately went to the Holy Prophet (sa) and accepted Islam.

This was all due to the boundless courage of one woman, whose bravery and resolute faith proved the means of bringing Hazrat Umar (ra) into the fold of Islam.

Similarly, in my series of Friday sermons about the Companions of the Holy Prophet (sa), I have spoken of several other distinguished Muslim women, such as Hazrat Umm Ammarah (ra), who made colossal sacrifices and demonstrated incredible fortitude for the sake of Islam. They fearlessly partook in battles, patiently withstood horrific persecution and spent their entire lives dedicated to the service of Islam. They manifested unconditional love and obedience to the Holy Prophet (sa) and served as a timeless example for Ahmadi Muslim women and girls, especially all of you who are members of the Waqfaat-e-Nau scheme.

Thus, apart from studying the Holy Qur’an and inculcating love for Allah the Almighty, our foremost objective should be to develop a profound and pure love for the Holy Prophet (sa) within our hearts. If and when such a bond is formed, you will automatically seek to act upon every instruction given by Allah the Almighty and His Messenger (sa). Only then will you be able to call yourself a true Muslim, and only then will you be able to fulfil your duties as Waqfaat-e-Nau.

May Allah the Almighty grant all of you the capability to do justice to the demands and obligations of being a part of the Waqf-e-Nau scheme. Moreover, may this Ijtema not merely prove a means for you to gather together for the day and spend time in each other’s company, rather, may you all leave this Ijtema with a burning desire to bring about a spiritual and moral revolution within yourselves and a steadfast commitment to live your lives as true Muslims. May all of you come to possess an unshakable conviction in the truth of your faith so that you can respond confidently and without hesitation or fear to all those who raise questions or make false allegations about the teachings of Islam. May it be that you never fall prey to any sense of embarrassment or complex about your faith and religious beliefs. Indeed, may it be that you acquire the inner-strength and courage to manifest your faith fearlessly and to live according to the teachings of Islam at all times.

For instance, upon reaching the age of maturity, you should wear a headscarf in public and dress modestly at all times. Never fear what other people will say or think. Be confident and proud of who you are and what you represent. Similarly, continually focus on increasing your religious knowledge because the true jihad of this era is to convey Islam’s magnificent teachings far and wide. Certainly, it is the duty of Waqfaat-e-Nau girls and ladies to play an outstanding role in Tabligh. May Allah the Almighty enable you to do so.

At the end, I pray that may all of you come to fulfil your religious and spiritual objectives in the best possible way, and may you be ever-ready to make all necessary sacrifices for the sake of your faith, and may all of you be at the forefront of bringing about a spiritual and moral revolution in the world, Ameen. JazakAllah.’