Prioritising Serving Your Faith Above All Else

Address by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) at the Concluding Session of the Waqf-e-Nau UK National Ijtema UK 2024

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

‘Today, with the grace of Allah, you have had the opportunity to participate in the National Waqf-e-Nau Ijtema. I hope and pray that whatever positive and beneficial things you have learned come to form a permanent feature of your life.

Certainly, for the perpetual progress and well-being of any nation or community, it is of the utmost importance that its youth are well-educated and of high moral standing. Unquestionably, the followers of the Holy Prophet (sa) must always strive to live according to Islam’s true teachings. Only then can they be considered true Muslims.

The Promised Messiah (as) repeatedly emphasised this point to the members of the Jama’at. For example, on one occasion, he stated that Allah the Almighty desires to make his community an example for all others. This means that Allah desires the followers of the Promised Messiah (as) to uphold and abide by Islamic teachings in all aspects of their lives.

Of course, to faithfully act upon any teaching requires you to have knowledge of it and understand what it represents. Consequently, every member of Waqf-e-Nau should carefully read the Holy Qur’an, as it is the ultimate source of guidance for all mankind. You should study the Qur’an every day and identify the commands of Allah the Almighty. Likewise, many precepts of Allah the Almighty have been conveyed to us through the noble words and blessed practice of the Holy Prophet (sa) – the Ahadith and Sunnah.

Moreover, in this era, we are incredibly fortunate that the Promised Messiah (as) has expounded upon and explained Islam’s teachings to us. Thus, in addition to studying the Holy Qur’an and learning from the Hadith and Sunnah, Ahmadis must regularly read the books of the Promised Messiah (as). It is particularly important that you, as Waqf-e-Nau, consistently strive to increase your religious knowledge, because you have all solemnly pledged to be ever-ready to serve your religion and faith. Certainly, you can only fulfil this convent with God if you understand your religion and its teachings. 

One key point I wish to bring to your attention today is the importance of obedience. Obedience is the chief means of strengthening the bonds of unity amongst communities. In fact, the Promised Messiah (as) has said that no nation or community can thrive until its members possess the qualities of devotion, sincerity and loyalty to their Imam.

When a person reaches a certain age, sometimes questions arise regarding their faith. In particular, young people sometimes ask, “Why should we do this?” or “Why should we not do that?” If such questions or doubts ever arise in your mind, seek to find the answer by reflecting upon the Qur’an’s teachings and studying relevant Jama’at literature. If needed, ask a missionary to explain the matter, or you can write your question to me. However, it should never be that you think, “Why should we accept or follow the instructions we have received?”

Especially as Waqf-e-Nau, you should never fall prey to such thoughts, as you are the people who have pledged to live your lives in the service of Islam and according to the direction of the Jama’at. Indeed, the standard of obedience of the Waqifeen-e-Nau should be far higher than others, and you should strive wholeheartedly to fulfil whatever is asked of you by the Jama’at.

History attests to the fact that those nations or communities who lacked obedience became divided and weak. In fact, the Promised Messiah (as) has written that a lack of obedience caused the downfall of the communities of all the prophets who came before the Holy Prophet (sa). Similarly, after the blessed era of the Holy Prophet (sa) and the Khulafa-e-Rashideen, the level of obedience and unity amongst the Muslim Ummah decreased over the course of time. This led directly to an age of spiritual darkness and decay within Islam, whereby Muslims departed entirely from their religious teachings. As a result, they were deprived of the blessings and pleasure of Allah the Almighty. It was then that Allah the Almighty sent the Promised Messiah (as) to revive and rejuvenate Islam’s true teachings. And so, never forget that all of you have pledged to be at the forefront of serving his divine mission. Hence, I reiterate that obedience to your faith and Jama’at is a prerequisite.

Another injunction of the Promised Messiah (as) is that a true Muslim must always seek to excel in virtue and beneficence. He taught that a single act of kindness or goodness invariably leads to another. If you exhibit grace, integrity and piety, you will gain the nearness of Allah the Almighty and become the recipient of His blessings and rewards. Thus, as a Waqf-e-Nau, always seek to excel in goodness and ensure your act is well-intentioned, kind and virtuous.

You may wonder what conduct and acts are considered good by Islam. In this regard, I reiterate that you must carefully study the Holy Qur’an as Allah the Almighty has stipulated what is right and what is wrong. Indeed, at one place, the Promised Messiah (as) stated that there are approximately 700 commands of Allah the Almighty given in the Holy Qur’an. Certainly, foremost amongst all virtues and duties of a believer is to fulfil the rights of Allah by discharging the rights of His worship, and the fundamental means of worshipping Allah is Salat. As Muslims, we must offer every namaz [prayer] with deep concentration, in a pure state of humility and with the utmost respect and etiquette. If we pray in this way, we will naturally draw closer to God and form a strong and lasting bond with Him. In addition, if our spiritual connection with Allah grows, we will instinctively be inclined towards other acts of goodness and virtue.

Alongside His worship, Allah the Almighty has commanded us to fulfil the rights of all of His creation. We are taught to be kind, compassionate and sympathetic towards others. Though there are some younger children here, most of you sitting before me have reached an age of understanding and relative maturity. Indeed, many of you are now Khuddam and have families of your own. As a result, you no longer have the excuse of youthful ignorance and nor do you have time to waste. Instead, you must recognise that now is the time to stand up and discharge the sacred vow initially made before your birth, which you have since independently renewed. Now is the time for you to prioritise serving your faith above and beyond everything else. Pivotal to this is that you must cultivate a sincere and pure bond with Allah the Almighty.

Never forget that the Promised Messiah (as) said that the greatest cause of fear and anxiety for any Ahmadi should be whether they possess taqwa – true righteousness. If this is the standard expected from all Ahmadis, surely, the burden weighs even heavier upon you as Waqifeen-e-Nau to be constantly restless and fearful about whether you are righteous. Do not think that you are too young to be concerned about such things. Do not wait for tomorrow, rather, now is the time to ensure that your every moment, every thought, and every act is governed by the fear and love of Allah the Almighty. If you strive to be close to Allah, rest assured that His choicest blessings will Insha’Allah rain down upon you, and He will keep you in His protection.

Ensure that all faculties, abilities, and talents that Allah has blessed you with are utilised for noble purposes – that is, in essence, what taqwa is. For example, taqwa is when one’s eyes are used only to see what is good and pleasing to Allah and never to view immoral and indecent things. Taqwa is when one’s hands are used to benefit and aid others and never cause harm or injury. Taqwa is that one’s legs, feet and every step lead them in the direction of God Almighty and far away from sin and transgression. Taqwa is that one’s mind should remain pure and free from evil or impure thoughts or intentions. In this era, corrupting influences lie at every turn and corner, each wilfully drawing people away from morality and forcefully pushing them towards evil and vice. In particular, extremely harmful, indecent and violent content proliferates the internet and social media. Similarly, incredibly immoral and toxic content is also widespread on streaming services, online gaming and television. As a result, we see distressing stories in the news of children or young people whose lives have been destroyed due to their online activity and exposure to horrific content. So, every Ahmadi, and especially the Waqifeen-e-Nau, must be aware of the risks.

You must exhibit moral courage and fortitude and guard yourselves from such dangerous and destructive influences. Only view programmes that are educational or which have a positive impact on your mind. Stay far away from all immoral, indecent and illicit programmes. Otherwise, be in no doubt that consuming vile content will profoundly damage you and your personality. It will drive you away from righteousness, it will push you away from your faith and it will prevent you from fulfilling your pledge as a Waqf-e-Nau. So, take time each day to self-reflect and analyse your conduct, as you have here today. It should be your firm intention to identify the commands of Allah the Almighty and to act upon them with sincerity and devotion. Only then will you truly fulfil your pledge as a Waqf-e-Nau, and only then will you prove of benefit to the Jama’at.

In fact, Waqifeen-e-Nau often ask me, “How can we benefit the Jama’at?” The simple answer is you must act upon Allah’s commands, fulfil the rights of His worship, serve His creation and save yourselves from all forms of immorality and impropriety. Furthermore, if you are a student, you must fully engage with your studies and make every effort to excel and attain the highest possible level of education. Indeed, the distinguishing feature of a Waqf-e-Nau ought to be that they excel in their studies and chosen fields. It is not enough just to have targets or goals, but you must strive to achieve them.

Whilst it is not essential that every Waqf-e-Nau will directly come into the service of the Jama’at full-time, it is necessary that every Waqf-e-Nau strive to attain excellence and distinction in their education.

Further, if you are instructed or permitted to work externally, you should pursue those professions that will enable you to draw closer to Allah the Almighty and be a means of serving humanity and benefit to the world. Where hard work and professional success will personally benefit you, it will also open up many opportunities for tabligh and enable you to present the immaculate teachings of Islam to people within your circles of influence. And so, with these words, I pray that Allah the Almighty enables all of you to forever uphold, defend and act upon the true teachings of Islam. May you recognise the true status and value of the teachings of the Holy Qur’an, live your lives in an exemplary fashion and excel in all good works. May you always be a source of pride for your Jama’at and of outstanding benefit to your society and nation. May you protect yourselves from the dark shadows of materialism, vice and godlessness that have taken root in the world. And may you take refuge under the eternal shade of the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Prophet of Islam (sa). May Allah the Almighty grant you the ability to do so, Ameen.’