Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba, Khalifatul Masih Vaba, Fifth Successor to the Promised Messiahas and Head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, left London on 14th May 2012 for a tour of Holland, Germany and Belgium, during which he attended the Jalsa Salana (Annual Conferences) of each country. After visiting Holland for seven days (a report of which has been published in our October 2012 edition), Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba travelled to Germany. We present here the highlights of the tour of Germany undertaken by His Holiness during May and June 2012.
by Abdul Majid Tahir, translated by Professor Amtul Razzaq Carmichael
May 22nd, 2012
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba, affectionately known as “Huzur” by the members of the Community, arrived in Germany from Holland after crossing the border at Hunxe in a convoy accompanied by his staff and family. A reception committee, comprised of dignitaries from the Ahmadiyya Community in Germany, welcomed him at the border and escorted the convoy to the Baitus Subuh Mosque in Frankfurt. A large number of men, women and children were gathered on the grounds to give their Khalifah a warm and affectionate welcome. Despite a long journey, Huzuraba continued with his official commitments, meeting with Amir Sahib Germany (National President of the Ahmadiyya Community Germany) Abdullah Wagishauser and advised on various matters.
May 23rd, 2012
After attending to official commitments, His Holiness had mulaqat (private audience) with families from the Ahmadiyya Jama’at (Community) in Germany. Mulaqat is a blessed opportunity for families to meet their Khalifah and leader in private and to talk to him in person. Families travel hundreds of kilometres for this privilege. Huzuraba will often give younger children chocolates and gifts school children and university students with a pen. After more official commitments in the afternoon, Huzuraba held additional family mulaqat in the evening.
May 24th, 2012
His Holiness spent the morning attending to official duties, replying to posts and advising on various matters. The rest of the day was dedicated to family mulaqat.
May 25th, 2012
After attending to his official duties, Hazrat Khalifahtul Masih Vaba delivered the Friday sermon in Baitus Subuh in Frankfurt. Nearly 2000 people listened to the sermon in the mosque and it was relayed across the globe through MTA, Muslim Television Ahmadiyya International. His Holiness related many faith-inspiring examples of the obedience of the Companions of the Promised Messiahas. The rest of the day was occupied with official duties, family mulaqat and an Ameen ceremony for children who had just completed their first entire reading of the Holy Qur’an.
May 26th, 2012
Hazrat Khalifahtul Masih Vaba spoke with the students of Jamia Ahmadiyya Germany (Ahmadiyya School of Theological and Religious Studies), where they presented speeches on the topic of Akhireen (people of the latter days) and the importance of Khilafat as mentioned in the Promised Messiah’sas book, Al-Wasiyyat (The Will). Hazrat Khalifahtul Masih Vaba instructed that the new building of the new Jamia should have a library and a common room.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba asked the Jamia students about current affairs, including the Eurozone crisis, Greece’s financial problems and the world economic situation, explaining that they should be familiar with current world affairs. He said that as the German Chancellor is playing a leading role in managing the current financial crisis, students should be aware of what is occurring in their own country. If they are not, they will be accused of not integrating into society. One student commented that by “integration”, some people meant forfeiting the Islamic practice of purdah (covering). Huzuraba said that this was not integration, but immodesty. He explained that integration should be based on the principle outlined in the Hadith: that every good thing is a Muslim’s lost property. Thus to integrate, we should adopt the good aspects of our country’s culture, contribute to the society effectively and do our best for the welfare of our nation. Integration does not mean ignoring purdah. His Holiness also instructed Jamia students to not cut themselves off from society and to maintain social ties with neighbours, school friends and other Germans. Moreover, locals should be sent Christmas cards, congratulated on the arrival of the New Year and sent letters on the Islamic blessed day of ‘Eid, explaining this Muslim celebration. Later, Huzuraba attended another Ameen ceremony followed by family mulaqat.
May 27th, 2012
Huzuraba held a Waqfaate Nau class. Girls gave presentations on excess involvement in fashion, inappropriate use of mobile phones, watching unsuitable TV shows, extravagant wedding ceremonies and the negative impact these have on Ahmadi girls. His Holiness explained that the unsupervised use of mobile phones by children can lead a child into bad company, while young people’s phones can be targeted by unsavoury people who can lead their impressionable minds astray. Huzuraba also took questions on various topics. First, he explained that Islam allows women to go out to work, but instructs them to speak firmly whilst talking to men, in order to eliminate any possibility of misunderstandings. Next, he explained that the istakhaara is a special prayer to seek the guidance of Allah the Exalted about a particular matter, and that it is not always necessary to see a dream for guidance; in some cases peace of mind is granted regarding the matter in question. Finally, he clarified that Muslims do believe in the concept of evolution within the species; this is why religious teachings have progressively advanced with the evolution in human intellect and understanding.
Afterwards, a Waqfe Nau class was held, in which Waqfe Nau boys presented on the history of Ahmadiyyat in Germany. In 1922, Mubarak Ali Bengali Sahib and Malik Ghulam Farid Sahib were sent as missionaries to Germany. In 1923 a foundation stone was laid for the Berlin mosque,
although it could not be built for various reasons. In 1955, Hazrat Musleh Mau’udra (Khalifatul Masih II – Second Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community) visited Nuremburg and Frankfurt on his first trip to Germany. 1957 and 1959 saw the inaugurations of Masjid Fazl-e-Omar in Hamburg and Masjid Noor in Frankfurt. Hazrat Musleh Mau’udra had demonstrated a strong commitment to preaching in Germany. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIra who visited in 1967, identified the Germans’ potential to accept Islam on the basis of a blessed dream. In the recent past, the Ahmadiyya Jama’at Germany has been fortunate enough to be blessed with multiple visits from Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVra, and in more recent years from Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba.
Huzuraba also answered questions from the Waqfe Nau boys. He advised a young man who had presented a question on God, to use his personal experiences of acceptance of prayer as evidence of the existence of God. Explaining that “Gog” and “Magog” are the political forces that promote Shirk (association of partners with Allah), he explained a Hadith that reciting the first 10 and the last 10 verses of Surah Al-Kahf, Chapter 18 of the Holy Qur’an, will counter these forces. He also explained that Islamic banking is a complex issue and a team of Islamic jurisprudential experts have to meet to work out many of its details. A young man was advised by His Holiness to write his Ph.D thesis on Islamic banking. Finally, on the topic of Wasiyyat, Huzuraba said that it should be pledged at an age where maturity and understanding have developed, around the age of 15.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba then visited Limburg for the inauguration of the Baitul Ahad Mosque. The Limburg Ahmadiyya Community started in 1984 with only four people, and has now grown to an efficient and hard-working group of 200 members. Huzuraba said that having a mosque increases Ahmadis’ responsibilities. The name of the mosque proclaims the oneness of God, and Ahmadis should come to this mosque leaving behind the world and focus on praying to one God only. An Ahmadi respects, protects, and looks after any place of worship. After planting a commemorative tree, Huzuraba returned to Frankfurt and attended a wedding.
May 28th, 2012
Hazrat Khalifahtul Masih Vaba travelled to Giessen to lay the foundation stone of the Baitus Samad mosque. The Ahmadiyya Community in Giessen was initiated in 1986 and currently consists of highly educated members, including doctors and scientists. The attending dignitaries were impressed by the teachings of Islam as it gives voice to women, shuns extremism and keeps faith separate from politics. His Holinessaba praised the Ahmadiyya Jama’at Germany’s commitment to building mosques, and mentioning that Giessen was a university town, he said that Islam promotes the seeking of knowledge and that with the building of this mosque, the beautiful teachings of Islam will become even more apparent to all. After the laying of the foundation stone and silent prayers, he returned to Frankfurt to attend a Walima (wedding reception.)
May 29th, 2012
The morning was spent in official duties and family mulaqat. Later, Huzuraba travelled to historically significant Friedberg in order to lay the foundation stone for a mosque. The Ahmadiyya Jama’at there consists of 285 well-educated members, who are well-integrated into the local society. It had been an enormous challenge to obtain a suitable site and planning permission for the mosque, but eventually a site was found in 2011. The Lord Mayor explained that because of the local laws, the mosque has to be built in an industrial area; but that this will help Muslims to integrate into society and raise awareness regarding Islam. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba noted that the Ahmadiyya Jama’at Germany is the fastest in Europe in building mosques. He was pleased to see a thriving relationship between Ahmadis and local Germans. Islamic teachings are clear and unambiguous; a man needs to worship God and fulfil the rights of others. This ceremony received good coverage in the local press. Later, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba travelled back to Frankfurt and attended another wedding.
May 30th, 2012
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba attended a reception in his honour at the Military Headquarters in Koblenz. In his address, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba focused on the issues of human rights and
loyalty to one’s country. His Holiness graciously answered questions from the attending officers. He explained that most Ahmadis living in Germany have been accepted as they escaped the persecution in their home countries. In response to one question, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba explained the process by which the election of the supreme head of the Ahmadiyya Community takes place. A Khalifah could be elected from Europe or Africa. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba explained that the Ahmadiyya Community has accepted the Messiah of the age, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadian and that it believes in fulfilling obligations to Allah and to mankind. Ahmadis are involved in preaching. They are also active in serving humanity, particularly in African villages. This visit was also given extensive media coverage In the afternoon, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba visited Baitul Tahir and met the local Ahmadiyya Jama’at. He visited the library and instructed that the library be completed with sets of Ahmadi books. Then he travelled back to Frankfurt where he met with some official dignitaries and conducted family mulaqat.
May 31st, 2012
Huzuraba set off for Karlsruhe to inspect preparations for the 37th Jalsa Salana (Annual Convention). Afterwards, he inaugurated the Jalsa radio. After leading silent prayers, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba went to his accommodation.
June 1st, 2012
This was the first day of the 37th Jalsa Salana. After the flag hoisting ceremony, Hazrat Khalifatul
Masih Vaba outlined the certain difficulties with Jalsa preparations last year and how they were overcome this year, in his Friday sermon. Huzuraba explained that the policy of an Ahmadi is to regard any good thing as his lost property and we should adopt this attitude.In fact, when
Huzuraba explained this to a high-ranking German official once, he responded by saying that with this attitude, the Ahmadis would soon win the world over. That afternoon, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba met over 300 Ahmadi university students who were completing Ph.D., Masters, and Bachelor’s degrees. Students described their research: one Ph.D student was researching a plant extract which might be used later on in medicine, and Huzuraba advised him to research plants, such as bitter gourd. Speaking to a Ph.D student researching skin cancer, Huzuraba explained that the principle of homeopathy is to bring the disease to the surface to then be treated, and suggested that research be done on Wiesbaden’s hot water springs, which contain elements that might be helpful in treating skin ailments. Discussing Pakistan with a doctoral student in agriculture, Huzuraba noted that its natural resources had been mishandled and canals and dams had not been properly maintained, which led to the dams’ inability to hold water. Moreover, the unnecessary logging has negatively affected both the economy and the environment, and new trees need to be planted. Other Ph.D students noted their projects: one researching the use of zebra fish in medicinal products, sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry and another exploring thalidomide’s use in treating bone cancer. His Holiness was especially interested in the research of a doctoral student working on wind energy and discussed sources of energy to be used for the African model villages. Finally, Huzuraba noted that the financial crisis in the Eurozone was inevitable, since the 27 countries had adopted a common currency without adopting a common economic policy, in contrast to the US, where all fifty states are under one economic policy, making a common currency sustainable.
June 2nd, 2012
Hazrat Khalifahtul Masih Vaba addressed Lajna Imai’llah (Women’s Auxiliary of the Ahmadiyya Community) during the second day of the Jalsa Salana. After handing out the academic excellence awards to Ahmadi Students who had achieved outstanding success in education, His Holiness explained in his address that Islam awards women a high status, and rewards them equally with men for good deeds. An Ahmadi woman’s purpose in life is to bring about a pious revolution in this world, rather than being allured by its glitter and charm. She is also expected to achieve high standard of modesty and prayers. His Holiness gave inspiring examples of the sacrifices made by Muslim women and encouraged today’s women to engage in Jihad (to strive or struggle hard) of the self to spiritually reform. Later, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba addressed German dignitaries and guests in English. During the afternoon, His Holiness held a question and answer session with university students. He explained that Islam allows family planning when carried out for good reasons, although women should consider both their age and the wishes of their husbands. Secondly, he noted that while Ahmadi women can study law and go into practice helping deprived women, the practice of criminal law may not be compatible with an Ahmadi woman’s lifestyle. Moreover, while women can continue their education after they are married, this should be a decision made amicably by both husband and wife. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba said that Islam allows and encourages carrying out medical experiments on unclaimed dead bodies as well as organ donations, since doing this helps humanity. Speaking on the current economic crisis, His Holiness quoted a famous saying: “Born in debt, live in debt, die in debt,” and cautioned against taking out loans to buy luxury items, although taking out a mortgage is acceptable, since the same amount would otherwise be spent on rent. However, borrowing money to buy smaller things such as a sofa, or so on., cannot be justified by any Ahmadi, Moosi (a person who has bequeathed at least 1/10th of their property to the Community as detailed in The Will) or not.
His Holiness also advised students to enhance their bond with God Almighty by understanding His true status, reciting the verse asking for the Right Path, and praying to Allah that they might find Him. Huzuraba advised against the long-term use of life support machines, saying that while using them for 12-14 hours to look for signs of improvement is fine, prolonging the agony further is not recommended, although euthanasia is not allowed.
Another question was whether Salat (the Islamic formal Prayer), can be offered while wearing nail polish, to which he responded by saying that cleanliness is what is required and polish does not affect it. His Holiness said he does not recommend that Ahmadi women enter frontline politics at this stage. Commenting on Ahmadis in Pakistan and some Arab countries, he compared them to the People of the Cave (Ashaabe Kahf), in that they face extreme hardship and persecution. Huzuraba also said that women can go to other countries for their education as long as they have their parents’ permission and stay in single-sex housing. Asked about sex education in schools, His Holiness advised mothers to maintain strong friendships with their children, so that they can explain right and wrong when their children start to learn such matters at school. He also encouraged students to learn Chinese, since China is an emerging power and in the future the
Jama’at will need people to translate literature into Chinese.
June 3rd, 2012
The final day of Jalsa Salana started with the International Bai’at, (Oath of Allegiance) followed by the academic excellence awards. In his concluding address, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba explained that Ahmadiyyat is destined to succeed according to the Divine prophecies. God has promised the
Promised Messiahas that his Jama’at (Community) will succeed. Afterwards, His Holiness met with new converts from Germany, Afghanistan and some Arab countries. He advised one new convert to focus fully on offering his Salat on time, understanding the meanings of the Holy Qur’an and enhancing his spirituality. Many converts told their heart-rending stories of sacrificing careers, families, and relationships in order to accept Ahmadiyyat. His Holiness told them that they had accepted Ahmadiyyat because they believed it to be the true religion and therefore it was important to follow its teachings and not be distracted by other Ahmadis, who did not completely follow Islamic teachings. The role models they need to follow are the Holy Prophetsa, the Promised Messiahas, and the Khulafah of Ahmadiyyat. Huzuraba advised converts with family members hostile to their conversion to maintain affectionate relationships with them and to preach to them and support them with prayers. He also warned that a Third World War is a possibility if people do not reform themselves, and that we should pray for the world to be saved from it, especially since there are similarities between the current financial crisis and the economic situation between the last two World Wars. His Holiness then travelled back to Frankfurt.
June 4th, 2012
His Holiness met with a number of delegations. First, Huzuraba met and advised a Member of the National Assembly of Tunisia who had attended the Jalsa and was most impressed and spiritually moved by it. He had even slept on the floor of the main marquee to make sure that he did not miss any part of the proceedings. A delegation from Hungary also met with His Holiness and was impressed by the peaceful teachings of Islam, the dedication and commitment shown by Ahmadis during Jalsa, and noted that this was the practical depiction of Islam in the world. The delegation from Malta consisted of two people who were being preached to; one of whom was of Sudanese origin. His Holiness commented on the fact that the people of Sudan had not benefited from significant business with other countries. A delegation from Iceland consisted of a father whose son had accepted Ahmadiyyat, and who was impressed by the positive impact of Ahmadiyyat on their son and the excellent manners of their Ahmadi daughter-in-law. Huzuraba advised a Danish student who was studying Islam to read The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam and Introduction to The Study of the Holy Qur’an. After meeting with the Estonian delegation, His Holiness met with several delegations from Arab countries, which also included new converts who shared how they accepted Ahmadiyyat. Commenting on Syria, Huzuraba said that the two Muslim sects fighting were destroying their own economy and integrity and that their cruelty was becoming excessive, and this will leads to Allah’s decree coming into action. Through infighting, Syrians are giving Western countries the opportunity to intervene and promote their own interests. Ahmadis have no power to intervene in this situation; they can only advise and pray for them. Huzuraba also commented on how some Ahmadi women do not observe proper purdah: their hair is showing, they do not cover the face while wearing makeup, they do not wear knee-length coats, or they dress inappropriately, while other women do not do proper wudhu (ablution) for fear of wiping off their makeup. His Holiness explained that he constantly brings these matters to women’s attention in his addresses. Allah’s commandment is to continue to give advice in order to address weaknesses; aggression has no role here. He also warned that those who do not observe proper purdah show weakness; this is an inevitable part of human nature, which is why the Holy Qur’an commands us to keep reminding and giving advice. He also explained that new converts should not take ordinary Ahmadi women for role models but rather the wives and female Companions of the Holy Prophetsa. In fact, Huzuraba encouraged the new converts to become an example for all Ahmadi women and spread the real teachings of Islam through their practical examples. Allah is not nepotistic, He will only make those people leaders who correctly follow the teachings of Islam. On bringing up children, His Holiness advised women to persist in a Jihad (hard struggle) against the self, keep an eye on their children, forge a strong bond with the mosque and maintain a close connection with the system of Jama’at.
The delegations from Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro met Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba and reported that they were most impressed by the spiritual impact of the Jalsa Salana. Some of them even witnessed spiritual signs. During a meeting with a German Member of Parliament, Pakistan’s political situation was discussed: the law of the jungle is the rule, Ahmadis are bitterly persecuted and are not allowed to build minarets on their mosques, and even foreign aid ends up in Swiss bank accounts. Members of the Turkish delegate related heart-rending accounts of their acceptance of Ahmadiyyat and their perseverance in the face of intense family opposition. The delegates from Tajikistan and Lithuania were most impressed with the organisation of the Jalsa. They were advised to be regular in offering Salat. Delegations from Mali, Bosnia, Slovenia, and Macedonia liked the message of “Love for All, Hatred for None”, and how Ahmadis helped others. Later, fourteen couples had the honour of having their Nikah ceremonies (Islamic formal and public declaration of marriage) led by Huzuraba. During his sermon, His Holiness emphasised that righteousness (Taqwa) should be the foundation of any relationship, that if it is the basis of marriage, then the next generation will also be righteous, always seek Allah’s pleasure, and give precedence to their faith over the world. This makes the basis of a successful marriage. A Bulgarian delegation, which had also attended the Jalsa Salana, mentioned to Huzuraba that they were impressed with Ahmadis’ focus on educational excellence and the limiting of their worldly desires. They especially liked the Islamic teaching of wishing for others what we like for ourselves. The day ended with family mulaqat (meetings).
June 5th, 2012
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba left for Achen. Achen is the westernmost town in Germany and is historically significant as an engine town. Its first Jama’at was established in 1977. His Holiness laid the foundation stone for Masjid Mansoor, and in his address emphasised the Islamic teachings of peace, kindness, and mutual cooperation. He also explained that Muslims had to endure 13 years of persecution in Makkah before they were allowed to fight in self-defence, and that this permission to fight was to be used to protect places of worship, including cloisters, churches, and synagogues. Huzuraba instructed Ahmadis to demonstrate through their actions building the mosques, along with safeguarding the rights of all religions and places of worship, and that they should enhance their personal actions and deeds. This ceremony was attended by many dignitaries and was given extensive media coverage. After visiting the historic Achen Town Hall, a 14th century building where German kings used to be coronated, His Holiness and the rest of the convoy bade farewell to the German Jama’at and travelled to Belgium.