Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V – A loving father, a unique role model
At the request of Al Hakam, Respected Mirza Waqas Ahmad Sahib penned impressions and sentiments related to his father, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V(aba). May Allah reward him abundantly for this.
Huzoor’s(aba) personal life at home is a practical reflection of the guidance Huzoor(aba) gives in his sermons, classes and addresses to auxiliary organisations. This is not from today or since he was chosen as Khalifatul Masih, but rather, as far as my memory goes, it has always been his way to live his life according to the commandments of Allah. The same is the case today. However, ever since the responsibility of Khilafat was given to him, this has acquired a new demeanour.
One thing that I have always noted is that Huzoor(aba) always pays special focus on worship; to strictly adhere to the timings of Salat himself and to inculcate this in his family. This is such an aspect of Huzoor’s life that has always remained etched on my mind.
There were many challenges during our time in Africa, but beyond the challenges of the time, what remains a strong memory is Huzoor’s adherence to the five daily prayers. If there is anything that Huzoor(aba) has constantly asked us about since childhood, it is about performing Salat. His immersion in Salat and his weeping is exemplary. To completely cut off from the affairs surrounding him and to devotedly stand before God is a special characteristic of Huzoor(aba).
Patience is considered to mean remaining quiet in times of difficulty. However, the true definition of patience can be seen in the person of Huzoor(aba).
When we were in Ghana, the house that was given to Huzoor(aba) was not exactly one of comforts. Many problems were faced whilst living there. There was an old generator for use at night that could only be used for three hours at any one time, and so the three hours would be spread over a longer period of time, turning it off frequently and switching it back on. It would only be used when necessary. Otherwise, we would try to make do without it.
No matter the circumstances, we always saw that not only did he never complain, but he always found ways of praising Allah and showing gratitude to Him. This true definition of patience was one we learnt from Huzoor(aba).
However, it should be clear that it was not as if Huzoor(aba) would not make any plan in times of difficulty. It is another key characteristic of Huzoor(aba) that he plans to the best and highest of standards.
He always relied solely on Allah for favourable outcomes in difficult circumstances, and along with this trust in Allah was his habit of hard work. Whilst living in Africa, whenever there were difficult situations, for instance when the roof started to leak or when there was a shortage of water, he never complained, nor did he ever speak out about the unfavourable circumstances and nor did he feel shame in practically doing work with his own hands. Whatever the circumstances, he bore hardships wholeheartedly. Neither did he fear any challenge, nor did he allow us to be fearful. We never saw him fearful and this was something he expected of us as well, to never be afraid of anything. Huzoor(aba) is extremely courageous and brave and he has never wanted for us to have any form of cowardice in us. If ever we saw fear in him, then it was the fear of Allah.
Our house in Ghana was pretty much in a jungle. Scorpions and snakes were frequently seen. However, he never permitted us to be afraid of such things. If seen, Huzoor(aba) would kill a small snake or scorpion himself. Once, he killed a considerably large snake. Thus, neither did he fear anything, nor has he permitted us, since childhood, to be afraid.
I have noticed that it is for this reason that Huzoor(aba) is able to commit all his matters to God. To plan to the best of his ability and to rely on Allah for good results is a teaching that Huzoor(aba) not only taught us verbally, but also practically through his example.
I recall that once, on the second day of Jalsa Salana, Huzoor(aba) received the news that our grandmother [Hazrat Sahibzadi Nasira Begum Sahiba] had fallen severely ill. Huzoor(aba) was told that perhaps it was her last few moments. Obviously, Huzoor(aba) was somewhat perturbed by hearing this news, but he did not allow this to affect his routine during the Jalsa days, nor did we feel that it had distracted him from his routine. The Jamaat did not have the slightest clue that alongside the concerns for the entire world, in those moments, Huzoor(aba) was worried for the health of his mother. He continuously remained informed about her illness and continued to pray for her.
We witnessed Friday, 28 May 2010. Huzoor(aba) was occupied in preparation for his Friday Sermon. He still had to get ready for going to the mosque when he received the news of the attacks on our mosques in Lahore. Huzoor(aba) constantly remained informed about the news of the attacks. He would enquire about updates and would pray too. In his office, he continuously received phone calls and faxes from all around the world. At home too, we received phone calls from relatives. This all continued, however, we saw that despite all his concerns and worries, he did not let it affect his preparation for Jumuah. And the world saw that the Jumuah prayers happened as usual.
Huzoor(aba) went to the Baitul Futuh Mosque, delivered the Friday Sermon, returned and enquired about the latest news. He issued instructions to the Jamaat in Pakistan in a detailed manner. He gave guidance to them at every moment. However, Huzoor(aba) did not let all this anxiety wear him out as it does a normal human being.
It is a fact that the pain the loss of lives caused Huzoor(aba), it did not cause anyone else. But as the leader of this Jamaat, his sight was set on Allah. The Jamaat is Allah’s, the sacrifice was made for Allah, then only Allah could get us out of the storm of difficulties. Progress was in His hands and the reward for martyrdom was in His hands.
This is only an example of how Huzoor(aba) never stopped in his efforts and always relied solely on Allah for His help and succour. I have always seen Huzoor(aba) pass through tirbulent trials and tribulations while completely depending on Allah. The results of such moments, by the grace of Allah, are before everyone.
It is also worth mentioning that the wellbeing and security of members of the Jamaat are of paramount importance for Huzoor(aba). Huzoor(aba) was in India, when such circumstances arose that were not favourable for him travel further to Qadian. A state official from Delhi said to Huzoor(aba)that if he desired, security arrangements could be made for Huzoor to travel to Qadian. Huzoor(aba)replied:
“Only Allah can provide security. There are always hundreds of Ahmadis around me, and during Jalsa, they will be in their thousands. I care for each one of them. I cannot afford to compromise the security of any one of them.”
From this, we can assess the concern Huzoor(aba) has for every Ahmadi. Even though every Ahmadi is ready to sacrifice their life for the sake of Khilafat, but the life of every Ahmadi is very dear to Huzoor(aba). So when fate manifests itself and the Jamaat has to offer the sacrifice of lives, his patience is exemplary. And in normal circumstances, Huzoor(aba) does his best through prayer and effort for their welfare.
The strongest of men are sometimes helpless when it comes to controlling emotions, but an individual who has complete trust in Allah and has entrusted everything to Him, his emotions are then subservient to His command and will. In such circumstances, at home we always witness, and the Jamaat too witnesses it now, that in trying times, Huzoor(aba) never complains and does not permit fear to be caused, rather he prostrates before his Lord and urges the Jamaat to do the same. Even at home, we have always been taught this and his actions have always practically taught us to do so.
My mother [Hazrat Sahibzadi Amatul-Sabooh Begum Sahiba] once told me that when they heard the news of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih III’s(rh) demise, they were in Ghana. They received the news at night. In one hand, Huzoor(aba) held the telegram while in the other, Huzoor(aba) held the torch through which he was able to read the message. Huzoor(aba) continued to read the telegram, and pain and grief began to overcome their hearts. The hand with which Huzoor(aba) was holding the torch began to tremble severely. And that was it. After that, all his emotions, all his pain was expressed before God.
My mother told me that Huzoor(aba) spent the entire night praying in grief and expressed his heart’s content in his prostrations. The next day, we had to go to Ghana’s city of Accra and the entire journey was spent in supplications. Whenever Huzoor(aba) spoke to us children, he told us about the importance of Khilafat and its establishment. Even then, the routine works were not affected, which gave further strength in our belief in Huzoor(aba) being a realist. It was impossible for him to do anything living so far away; all he told us to do was pray, which he did a lot, and that the work of the Jamaat continues, which he practically showed.
In our childhood, Huzoor(aba) would narrate stories to us, but such stories that carried morals. One story that I recall frequently listening to was about Hazrat Bilal(ra) and his patience and perseverance, especially the chapter to do with when Hazrat Bilal(ra) would repeatedly respond to the opponents with
“Ahad! Ahad!” [God is One! God is One!].
This is something I recall Huzoor(aba)frequently narrating. Huzoor(aba) would explain how Hazrat Bilal(ra) was tormented in so many ways, yet despite that, he bore all hardships for his faith and remained resolute in his faith. The other stories resembled this and were all true and had morals in them.
From these incidents, the level of his faith in Allah’s unity becomes clear. He never made any worldly means parallel to Allah; he never let any trying time come in between him and his Lord.
Another extraordinary trait of Huzoor(aba) that has always had a great impact on me since childhood is his love and relationship with Khilafat. I always noticed since childhood that he would write to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih regularly and constantly.
I was very young when I once said,
“Why don’t you photocopy one letter and change the date each time before sending it?”
I realised that Huzoor(aba) did not like what I said. He expressed his dislike, but also explained,
“I write this out of my own love; I am not compelled to do so. Photocopies can be sent when one is compelled to. One should say istighfar [repent] for such a thought.”
In this manner, Huzoor(aba) established love and respect for Khilafat in our hearts from a very young age.
Huzoor(aba) kept a close eye on our tarbiyat and would not ignore even the smallest aspect of tarbiyat. Whenever possible, he would take us on trips. On such trips, according to the available means, he would openhandedly and wholeheartedly arrange for our entertainment so that we would fully enjoy the trip; it was not as though he would be tight-fisted in spending on us, however at the same time, he never misspent his money either. In entertaining us, he ensured that we, his children, enjoyed ourselves.
Whatever time he had when not performing his official Jamaat duties, he would spend it with us at home. Huzoor(aba) always detested unnecessarily eating meals and sitting in pointless social gatherings in the name of Jamaat-related work. He never stayed out unnecessarily with the excuse of Jamaat duties, rather he would give that time to us, his family.
When going on trips, children sometimes pull tantrums and get irritable, and the father, who is responsible for the family, sometimes loses his temper. But even in such cases, I always noticed that Huzoor(aba) would remain cheerful and would talk to us calmly and lovingly. This way, we would understand, and the joy of the trip would not be compromised.
There was always an awe-inspiring presence of Huzoor(aba). The awe was not such that hindered us from talking openly with him, but at the same time, it was not as if we could do or say whatever we liked in front of him.
The overriding aspect of Huzoor’s(aba) personality, when remembering him at home, is of Salat. No matter what we were doing, no matter what we were talking to him about, if it was time for Salat, then Salat would take precedence.
Once, we went to Karachi and we reached our destination quite late at night. It took us even longer to finally get some rest. In the morning, we woke up with a little delay in Fajr prayer – there was still some time, but very little. The concern and distress with which Huzoor(aba) woke us up was something that made a lasting impression on me, something that I remember even today. Huzoor’s entire being was shaken because the time for prayer was nearly over. He hurriedly woke us all up and got ready for Salat.
This was when we were very young, and in that naïve age, I said,
“There is still time; what is all the fuss about?”
This sentence was uttered by a child out of ignorance, but that day, I realised that Huzoor(aba) does not tolerate even the slightest remark when it comes to worship. Huzoor(aba) was displeased at my comment. Huzoor(aba) has always had a “no nonsense policy” when it comes to Allah’s worship.
From a very young age, Huzoor(aba) has always urged us to focus on our Salat. This is the same even today.
When I came to the UK in 2003 for education, the foremost thing that Huzoor(aba) paid stress on was the regular offering of Salat. He has always said, and on that occasion, he repeated,
“If you continue to offer your Salat, Allah will continue to protect you.”
When speaking to Huzoor(aba) on the telephone, Huzoor(aba) would enquire about my prayers. As we got older, Huzoor’s manner in explaining things to us changed, yet the things he would stress even in childhood, he continued to draw our attention to even as we got older, and this remains to date.
The 16 years that we spent in the Fazl Mosque, even there Huzoor(aba) would call me daily on the telephone to wake me up for Salat.
After coming to Islamabad, one day Huzoor(aba) thought that perhaps I had not turned up for Salat. Huzoor(aba) called me on the phone and enquired whether I had gone for prayer. Then there are our children; Huzoor(aba) emphasises the same things for their tarbiyat, especially Salat.
One can assess from Huzoor’s state whilst waking us up in Karachi that Huzoor’s every good deed is solely for the sake of Allah and not for displaying to others. Not just Salat, but every pious deed performed by Huzoor(aba) is in following the instructions of Allah and seeking His pleasure. He has never performed any good deed for mere display.
After Khilafat, there has been a drastic change in Huzoor’s routine. Huzoor’s entire schedule has now been sacrificed for the sake of the Jamaat. But at home, he keeps a close watch over our tarbiyat and edification.
One noteworthy fact is that after being bestowed the mantle of Khilafat, the advice that Huzoor(aba)has given to the Jamaat was always expected of us too. Salat has always remained the foremost priority in Huzoor’s life and after Khilafat, he has urged the Jamaat to pay attention to the importance of Salat, while also drawing our attention especially to this. Despite his schedule becoming even more intense, he continues to pay attention to Holy Prophet’s(sa) example of showing an excellent conduct to his family.
Out of his busy schedule, though relatively less than before, yet he still takes time out for his family. At breakfast, he enquires about members of the household, the needs of the house, and whatever is needed at home, he arranges for that to be done. Huzoor(aba) remains occupied in his office all day, but in the evenings, he takes out time for his family and has tea with us – our children also get the chance to spend a few moments with Huzoor(aba). In this short period of time, Huzoor(aba) listens to what the children have to say and affectionately talks to them. If anyone is unwell at home, Huzoor(aba) attends to them. We all, including our children, understand how busy Huzoor’s schedule is, and so when Huzoor(aba) takes time out to visit us, even for a few moments, it comforts us and brings great joy to us. Huzoor(aba) asks us how we are and listens carefully; he asks us about our regularity in taking medication. If we have not yet informed the doctor, Huzoor(aba)arranges for the doctor to see us.
He is very particular about personal hygiene. Regular bathing, clean clothes, cleanliness of socks etc. are all things that he is particular in himself and has taught us about and inculcated in us. He has never felt any shame in doing manual labour and his own work himself, something he has taught us also. He has always taught us to do our own work ourselves.
Once, in Rabwah, when I was very young, my bicycle’s tyre had punctured. I asked one of the workers in our house to have the tyre changed. When Huzoor(aba) found out, he was not pleased and explained to me,
“By doing this, a person never gets into the habit of doing their work themselves. According to one’s capacity, one should do their work themselves.”
After Khilafat, the pace of Huzoor’s life has increased manifold; everything moves at a greater speed. We had to adjust to this change also. We also had to come to the realisation that Huzoor’s life has taken a completely fast-paced path. For this reason, whatever time Huzoor(aba) takes out of this fast-paced, extremely busy lifestyle for our sake, we consider it a blessing.
Sometimes we are stunned when Huzoor(aba) takes time out to attend to us and our children. Everything is running simultaneously – taking care of the smallest things, making arrangements for our entertainment, ensuring the children are happy, talking to the children and concentrating on their tarbiyat.
Along with our children, we are aware that the focus of Huzoor’s life is the success and progress of the Jamaat; his days and nights have been sacrificed for this cause. Therefore, the few moments that we have to spend with Huzoor(aba) at home, we consider it to be a lot of time. Even a little of Huzoor’s attention is deemed a lot.
Huzoor(aba) always took great care of us before Khilafat and continues to do so now after Khilafat. Prior to Khilafat, we saw this love and affection from a father. However, after becoming Khalifatul Masih, with the responsibility of the smooth functioning of the Jamaat and all the duties associated with it, he takes time out to take care of the welfare of members of his family, talks to us, gives us advice, looks after our needs and fulfils them. This love from Huzoor(aba) is such that has left a great impact on all of us in our house.
May Allah enable us to properly appreciate the attention and love Huzoor(aba) gives to us. May He enable us to pay gratitude. May the importance of this blessing always be in our minds and the minds of our children. May Allah always keep Huzoor(aba) healthy and secure.