Honesty, Dedication and Righteousness – Role of an Office Bearer
Address to National Qaideen Forum of Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK
In the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, an administrative system, running under the direct guidance and supervision of the Khalifah (caliph), helps administer all its various activities. On 22nd December 2019, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba), Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and Fifth Khalifah (Caliph), addressed the National Qaideen Forum of Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK, a youth auxiliary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, at Islamabad, Tilford, UK. Although addressing an auxiliary body, His Holiness’s message addressed all office bearers of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in general.
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz and Bismillah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V(aba) said:
‘With the Grace of Allah, you have gathered here today for the Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya Qaideen Refresher Course and the first thing I wish to remind you is that ‘Qaid’ means ‘leader’ and a proper leader is someone who leads by example and takes his people on a path which he walks upon himself.
Certainly, the responsibility of a Qaid, or for that matter of any Jama’at or auxiliary office bearer, is not at all insignificant or ordinary.
Rather, their duty, regardless of the level at which they are serving, demands that they strive their utmost to be an excellent role model for the other members of the Jama’at.
In this regard, it is of paramount importance that all Jama’at or auxiliary office bearers have a firm conviction in their hearts that Allah the Almighty is looking at them at all times and will hold them accountable for their actions.
They should never forget that though they may be able to hide things from other people, they can never conceal anything from Allah the Almighty.
He knows all that we do and whatever is in our hearts and so keeping this in mind, every office bearer must strive to fulfil their responsibilities to the best of their abilities and save themselves from any form of weakness in their faith, or from neglect in their duties.
You must constantly pay heed and reflect upon the pledge made by every Ahmadi to forever ‘give precedence to their faith over all worldly matters.’
As an office bearer, you must uphold this pledge at all times and utilise the skills and capabilities given to you by Allah the Almighty for the fulfilment of your Jama’at duties.
If all our Jama’at office bearers serve with this spirit of keeping the fear of Allah in their hearts, we can bring about a great spiritual transformation, not just within our Jama’at, but also amongst the wider society and humanity at large.
As a Qaid, or in whichever position you serve the Jama’at, you must prove yourself to be a person who others consider sincere and a positive role model from whom they can learn and benefit.
They should have full confidence in you and recognise that there is nothing you ask from them that you are not doing yourself.
As you will be aware, certain offices within our Jama’at are elected, whilst others are made by appointment.
Regardless, of how a duty is bestowed, it is always given with the belief and expectation that the office bearer will seek to discharge their responsibilities with honesty, integrity and dedication.
So, as Qaids, you must seek to fulfil the faith placed in you by your Majlis, by the Sadr Khuddamul Ahmadiyya and ultimately by Khalifa-e-Waqt.
You must spare no effort and utilise all of your faculties and talents to fulfil your responsibilities.
You must be an excellent role model and endeavour to do full justice to the trust that has been placed in you.
If all the Qaideen serve in this way, it will lead to the success and prosperity of the Majlis and you will play your role in helping the Jama’at fulfil the great objectives and mission of the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi(as).
For we have accepted that person whose advent was foretold by the Holy Prophet(sa) and who was sent by Allah to revive the true teachings of Islam and to bring mankind back towards its Creator.
Thus, at all times, the Qaideen and other office bearers, must ensure they are living their lives according to the teachings of the Promised Messiah(as).
Only then will you be in a position to guide others towards spiritual and religious prosperity.
Of course, every Ahmadi should be very familiar with the instructions and guidance of the Promised Messiah(as), which are an everlasting treasure for our Jama’at.
At the same time, the Jama’at or auxiliary office bearers should consider that they are the first addressees and recipients of his instructions and so, before anyone else, it is up to them to obey him in every single respect.
Only if our office bearers inculcate such qualities and values will we begin to fulfil the objectives of the advent of the Promised Messiah(as) and for which he founded the Jama’at.
On one occasion, the Promised Messiah(as) spoke about the proclamation of faith in the Oneness of God that every Muslim makes:
لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّااللَّهُ
‘There is no God except Allah.’
He said that our declaration of faith should be made with complete sincerity and heartfelt fervour and with an intense desire to develop an unbreakable spiritual bond with Allah the Almighty.
Similarly, the standard of our prayers and remembrance of Allah should be exemplary and made with complete certainty in the Oneness of God.
Furthermore, the Promised Messiah(as) said that his followers should exhibit the highest possible standards in fulfilling the rights of humanity.
They should have sympathy and love for their brothers and sisters within the Jama’at and also for the members of the wider world.
Whilst these were general instructions for all Ahmadis, our office bearers must pay special heed to these blessed words of the Promised Messiah(as) and seek to live their lives accordingly.
We are living in an age where people are moving far away from God Almighty and so their goals and aspirations are devoid of spirituality.
For example, people have worldly employment or responsibilities, which they fulfil according to worldly rules and regulations.
As a result, they achieve certain limited targets or influence others to some extent through materialistic ways and means.
However, the work of a purely spiritual community, founded according to Divine Will, is completely different because it is underpinned by a direct and constant link with Allah the Almighty.
Thus, any representative or office bearer of a divinely established spiritual community can never be successful in discharging their duties save for the blessings and mercy of Allah the Almighty.
And to attain His blessings, our office bearers must develop an unwavering conviction in the truth of:
لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّااللَّهُ
‘There is no God except Allah.’
Thus, if you wish to succeed, you must, above all else, turn towards Allah the Almighty.
The primary way to achieve this is through Salat and so you must ensure you offer the five daily prayers on time and strive to offer them in congregation as much as possible.
Secondly, you must make it a daily feature of your life to recite and study the Holy Quran and consider it the ultimate source of inspiration for your work and service.
This will enable you to derive a code of practice and action plan for yourself and your Majlis and ensure that your targets and strategies are devised in a way that will prove fruitful and blessed.
Make it a point that a Qaid or an office-bearer should not waste time waiting for a direct instruction from their superior or the Sadr Khuddam before doing any work.
Of course, the centre will give you targets, a general framework to follow and will highlight your key responsibilities.
At the same time, you must also take personal responsibility and develop new ways and means to enhance the progress of your Majlis.
Furthermore, always remember that the Promised Messiah(as) repeatedly expressed his heartfelt desire that each member of the Jama’at should become a muttaqi– meaning a righteous and pious person.
In fact, this is not only his direction – but is the instruction of the Holy Prophet(sa) and indeed the commandment of Allah the Almighty.
In the eyes of Allah the Almighty, righteousness is whatever is virtuous and moral and so a truly pious person is he who, before conducting any activity or before speaking, remembers that Allah is watching over them.
They ask themselves whether what they are about to pursue is according to the teachings of Islam and if it is not, they refrain.
People often ask what is permissible and what is unlawful according to the teachings of Islam.
On one occasion, upon being asked a similar question, the Promised Messiah(as) gave a beautiful guiding principle.
‘Fear Allah the Almighty and do everything.’
These words of the Promised Messiah(as) are filled with boundless wisdom and reflect the fact that if a person truly fears God, it is not possible for them to knowingly act contrary to His teachings and commands.
They will never disregard righteousness or morality and nor will they ever seek to further their own interests at the expense of others or manifest any form of injustice.
Hence, as Qaids, your every action and intention must be for the sake of pleasing Allah alone and not to gain the praise of any individual or to win the ‘Alm-e-Inaami’.
I do not mean that hoping to win the Alm-e-Inaami is wrong or that you should not accept the thanks or recognition of others for your efforts.
Of course, the Alm-e-Inaami and similar awards are a means of recognising, recording and endorsing the excellent efforts of a Qaid or Region and encourage others to learn and better their efforts in future.
However, for a servant of the Jama’at, for a true believer and righteous person winning an award or gaining praise should never be their motivation; rather, their intention and desire must simply be to please Allah the Almighty.
Unquestionably, Allah’s love and grace are the ultimate rewards and this is why the Promised Messiah(as) once said that:
‘If you please Allah, the sun will never set upon you.’
This means that if a person is devoted to seeking the pleasure and nearness to Allah, they will overcome whatever challenges or difficulties that may arise and will observe that the blessings of God Almighty will continually rain down upon them.
Therefore, building a personal bond with Allah the Almighty is the golden key, which will enable you to unlock the doors to prosperity in your Jama’at duties and all other aspects of your lives.
To forge such a connection and union with Allah the Almighty, it is also important that you offer the Tahajjad prayer with regularity.
When a person makes a special effort to develop a bond and living relationship with Allah the Almighty through Tahajjad, it naturally leads them towards fulfilling the rights of mankind.
So the closer you are to Allah, the more your hearts will open up to the Khuddam and Atfal in your region and you will earnestly desire to help and guide them.
Always remember that the Promised Messiah(as) has said that entering his fold should be akin to starting a ‘new life’ and this requires a person to be ready to make every possible sacrifice for the sake of their faith and to consider everything else secondary to Allah the Almighty.
If a person lives their life with this righteous spirit, even whilst living in this material world, they will find that Allah becomes their friend, their helper and their protector and He will enable them to overcome whatever challenges of trials they face.
It is also vitally important that you and the members of your Majlis take every opportunity to increase your religious knowledge, rather than focusing solely upon secular education.
Today, with the Grace of Allah, we have a great treasure trove of Jama’at literature easily available, both in printed form and electronic form on the various Jama’at websites.
In particular, on Alislam.org the commentaries of the Holy Quran are available, as are the books of the Hadith, the books of the Promised Messiah(as) and the books and sermons of the Khulafa.
Therefore, it is extremely easy for people to increase their religious knowledge, as long as they are willing to sacrifice their time to read and study.
Another crucial point taught by the Promised Messiah(as), which I wish to bring to your attention, is that members of his Jama’at should constantly strive to improve their moral standards by remaining in control of their emotions and their tongue.
Hence, every Ahmadi, but especially office bearers, should pray that Allah enables them to develop the qualities of compassion, humility and meekness.
Furthermore, it should not be that you are kind and considerate in public, whilst you are harsh or unjust within your home.
A truly righteous person is he or she who remains kind and caring at all times and in all circumstances.
A truly pious person is he who practices what they preach and whose standards of morality and decency remain of the highest order both in public and in private.
Thus, you should be kind and warm-hearted in all of your dealings, whether it be with the members of your Majlis, with other Ahmadis, the wider society or whether it be with your family and friends.
In essence, it is not just your duty to guide others, rather you must first embody those instructions and principles that you try to instil in them.
Furthermore, to increase your religious knowledge and to improve your moral and spiritual standards, you should listen very carefully to the sermons and addresses of the Khalifa-e-Waqt.
You should reflect upon what I say and ensure you are acting upon all of my guidance and instructions.
When you are following this guidance and instructions, the members of your Majlis will naturally learn from you and you will become a positive role model for them.
Leading on from this, you should understand that the principal objective and task of Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya is to stand on the front lines protecting and guarding the institution of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya.
The best way to do this is by listening to and acting upon the words of the Khalifa-e-Waqt and to be completely loyal and obedient to Khilafat at all times and in all circumstances.
You cannot fulfil this great duty, until and unless, you recognise the fact that the success or failure of our Jama’at hinges upon our unity.
To become united we must follow the means taught by Allah the Almighty Himself and in this era, He has established the institution of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya as the spiritual rope that keeps us bound together.
Consequently, to help ensure the continued unity of our Jama’at, you must ensure you are personally loyal and obedient to Khilafat and seek to increase the bond between the Khuddam and Atfal in your area with Khilafat.
If you are able to achieve this, you will be playing your role in protecting the Jama’at and guarding the institution of Khilafat.
Without any shadow of doubt, if the Jama’at of the Promised Messiah(as) remains united at the hand of Khilafat, we will continue to witness the blessings of Allah rain down upon us.
We may confront challenges, we may encounter grief, we may face persecution – yet, rest assured that if we remain under the shade of Khilafat, all trials and tribulations are destined to pass and in their place, great glad tidings and eternal prosperity will surely emerge.
With these words, I pray that you will have all benefited from the discussions and mutual exchange of ideas at this year’s Refresher Course and the guidance given to you by the National Khuddam team or by Sadr Khuddamul Ahmadiyya.
Moreover, I hope and expect that, having listened to my address, you will return to your Majlis much more determined to fulfil your duties and that before asking the members of your Majlis to inculcate whatever you have learned here, you will first seek to adopt those things within yourself.
As Qaid, you may be treated with respect by the Khuddam and Atfal in your Qiadat, but I hope and pray that their respect is whole-hearted and not given out of a sense of duty or necessity; rather, I pray they genuinely respect you and consider you their friends, because they know that you uphold their dignity and meet them with love, sincerity and kindness.
Certainly, your concern for them should be heartfelt, you should pray for them and above all, you should earnestly desire and strive to bring every single person in your Majlis closer to their Creator.
May your efforts help foster an everlasting bond between the Khuddam and Atfal in your area and the Jama’at.
At the end, I pray that may all Khuddam and Atfal have firm faith in God’s Unity, in the truth of Islam and the truth of the Promised Messiah(as).
May they fulfil the conditions and demands of the Bai’at of the Promised Messiah(as) and be amongst those who are forever loyal and obedient to the institution of Khilafat.
May Allah the Almighty enable you to fulfil your duties in the best way possible and enable Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya to continually progress and flourish, Ameen.’