Khilafat Day Special
By Asif Basit
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V’s exclusive words about the Mubarak Mosque and the institution of Khilafat
God’s chosen Khalifa has a unique relationship with God Almighty. While this reality is manifested in Huzoor’s(aba) speeches, lectures and sermons, it is also manifested through other means.
It was around two weeks after Huzoor(aba) had shifted to Islamabad. Although the Mubarak Mosque had not yet been formally inaugurated, the mosque had already been inhabited following the shift. Huzoor(aba) arrived in Islamabad on 15 April at around 7pm, and about an hour later, Huzoor(aba) led Maghrib prayer in which hundreds of men, women and children were present. After that day, it was never felt as though this small village was yet to be populated, but rather as if it had always been populated in all its glory. This is during those very days when final touches were still being given inside and outside the mosque.
I had the opportunity to meet with Huzoor(aba). I had not yet uttered anything when Huzoor(aba) said,
“In your view, the mosque doesn’t look congested due to the calligraphy, does it?”
I remained silent – this was due to the low value and worthlessness of my opinion. With the fear that my view could potentially conflict with Huzoor’s(aba) view, I attempted to be cautious, when Huzoor(aba) asked again,
“Tell me. What does your aesthetic sense say?”
At first, I thought, Who am I and what value does my artistic taste have? But then I realised that this instruction surpassed the invitation of expressing my point of view. Therefore, I immediately answered,
“When I saw it without the calligraphy, it seemed more spacious.”
Huzoor(aba) understood his servant’s dilemma and responded by saying,
“Yes, when I turned around to leave the mosque having led prayer one day, I felt as though the mosque had become somewhat crowded due to the calligraphy. But then the thought occurred to me, what could be better than the attributes of Allah surrounding the worshippers. As worshippers wait for prayer, they can reflect as they are reminded of the attributes of Allah. Then I thought that it was fine as it was.”
With a bit of courage, I said,
“To the right of the mihrab, the attributes of Allah begin with Al-Muntaqim [the Avenger] and similar attributes…”
“More names are yet to be included; in the mihrab is to come the word ‘Allah’. And the mosque is circular, so you can start from anywhere. In any case, it is important that we are reminded of such attributes of Allah, otherwise one tends to be complacent. If God’s glory and majesty remains in one’s mind, one treads very carefully.”
We – who consider this mere adornment and decoration of the mosque, mere calligraphy, and who walk out of the mosque unaware of our surroundings, with only the thought of where we placed our shoes, leave the mosque saying Salaam and chatting away with others – never reflect on how particular Huzoor(aba) is about each minute detail to do with mosques; how he gives specific guidance; how detailed and precise his instructions to organisers and workers are; how his attention is always drawn to the fact that a mosque is Allah’s house and how all worshippers can give their full attention to Allah.
How great is the solution that Huzoor(aba) has provided to the instruction of remembering Allah while waiting for Salat. The words of Allah have been written in beautiful calligraphy and are a means of enhancing the beauty of the mosque. Whilst waiting, when our attention is drawn to these names, it will act as a way of keeping us occupied in the remembrance of the Divine.
I believe it was in the same mulaqat in which I said,
“Huzoor, the world has rarely witnessed a mosque being inhabited so quickly.”
“Yes, from the day I arrived here, local residents have been coming for prayer. Many people travel from London, and since my arrival, delegations have arrived to meet me. The mosque remains filled with their presence. On the weekends, people come with their children. I have arranged for a screen behind which women can also offer prayers in the mosque. Women are very happy as before, they were not able to pray directly behind the imam in this manner. Now this too is possible due to this mosque.”
Huzoor’s(aba) faith-inspiring thoughts and reflections on the Mubarak Mosque were heard by all in the 17 May Friday Sermon when Huzoor(aba)inaugurated this mosque. Every Ahmadi takes back a wealth of spiritual sustenance from Huzoor’s(aba) every sermon. As I deem it to be the property of members of the Jamaat, one lesson that I took home with me from the Mubarak Mosque’s inaugural sermon is as follows:
The day after Huzoor(aba) shifted to Islamabad, I wrote to Huzoor(aba),
“If Huzoor permits, we would like to prepare a special programme on the new Markaz.”
The reply came, saying,
“Enquire after the work has been completed.”
In complying with the instruction, I put aside this thought for when the work would be completed. Even though I readily accepted the instruction, the true wisdom behind it would become clear to me later on.
Then in a mulaqat, Huzoor(aba) said,
“The name of the mosque is to be written outside; the Kalima is to be written outside. Everyday a board is placed with different styles of inscription on the path I use to go to the mosque. But I am yet to make a decision.”
From the very first day, MTA’s camera operators began filming the site from different angles. Every angle was captivating. When seeking approval for using only one shot in a promo for MTA, Huzoor(aba) instructed,
“Not yet. When it is inaugurated, then you may.”
Now, when the mosque had been inaugurated and prayers had been said that this mosque may serve as a perfect reflection of Masjid Mubarak in Qadian and that this mosque may continue the extraordinary task that had started in Masjid Mubarak in Qadian, I realised that there was something special in Huzoor’s heart for this mosque. Regarding its name, Huzoor(aba) said that his attention was drawn to the very revelation that the Promised Messiah(as) had received regarding Masjid Mubarak that the mosque would be a source of blessings, would itself be blessed and every blessed deed would be performed in it.
Huzoor(aba) inaugurated the mosque on 17 May. The very next day, I had the blessed opportunity to meet Huzoor(aba). As I entered, I congratulated Huzoor(aba). With great love and affection, Huzoor(aba) spoke with this humble servant about this blessed mosque. Where I felt that my heart permitted, I said,
“Huzoor, yesterday when you inaugurated the mosque and didn’t lead dua afterwards, everyone was surprised. Some thought that perhaps Huzoor had forgotten to.”
“Yes, those present there too thought the same and tried to remind me. I told them,
‘First, come inside.’
Then, when I went inside and said a few words before sajda-e-shukr, people realised why I had not performed dua. As soon as we went into prostration, it was as if people were given a medium to express their emotions. It was also good in this respect that people have been writing to me from all over the world saying that they too were a part of this sajda.”
I then said,
“The prayer that Huzoor said for this mosque to be a perfect reflection of Masjid Mubarak in Qadian, that too moved many people.”
“But I also expressed the desire that may this mosque pave ways for us to travel to Masjid Mubarak in Qadian, to Mecca and Medina; may it create the means for us to travel to all of Islam’s actual Marakiz [plural: Markaz]. The actual desire is this.”
On the same topic, Huzoor(aba) said, “I have said to have:
لَا رَادَّ لِفَضْلِہ
[No one can repel His bounty] written in green, just as these words have been inscribed at the entrance of Masjid Mubarak Qadian. The Promised Messiah(as) was shown in a vision that angels were writing something at the entrance of Masjid Mubarak in green ink in rehani [Arabic font-style] text. Those words were:
لَا رَادَّ لِفَضْلِہ
They first wrote it in black ink, but I asked for it to be written in dark green.”
My attention was drawn to the instruction which was conditional to the work being completed in the mosque. Allah had put great attention for this mosque in Huzoor’s heart; the realisation of the connection with Masjid Mubarak, Qadian; the desire to spread Islam from here. It was perhaps as if the work for this mosque should be completed and the similarity with Masjid Mubarak should be made manifest at the entranceof the mosque first.
Whatever it was, every worshipper in the mosque will have felt that offering Salat has a completely new experience after the sermon. The sajda was an extraordinary sajda. Every Ahmadi who was a part of it, either present or viewing it live on MTA, was very fortunate.
In the same mulaqat, I said that in a recent mulaqat with Huzoor(aba), a young Ahmadi, who had travelled as part of a delegation from another country, asked Huzoor(aba) how he felt after coming to Islamabad. In response to the question, Huzoor(aba) said,
“You have never asked how I felt after leaving Pakistan and living where I had lived until now.”
I said to Huzoor(aba) that I had a similar question:
“The life Huzoor lived in Pakistan was completely different to the life Huzoor now lives after being bestowed the responsibility of Khilafat…”
“How many years did I live in Rabwah – how many years from 1984 to 2003? 19 years? The 19 years of service to the Jamaat that I spent in Rabwah was a time of freedom. I would sometimes walk, sometimes cycle and sometimes drive wherever I desired; from my home to the office and then back; if time permitted, I would go to the bazaar. Even after being appointed nazir-e-ala, I would freely go wherever I pleased. It was the persistence of Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya that under the circumstances, a Khadim should remain with me for security. I had told him too that if he was to perform his duty, then he should do so at a distance. When I came here, the days of my freedom vanished.”
I then said,
“Huzoor, where you were living prior to this was not even a proper flat. There was a lack of space also…”
Huzoor(aba) immediately responded,
“I never felt any discomfort there, rather I liked the office there because everything was in arm’s reach. Whatever I needed was always nearby. Thus, I never felt any discomfort there.”
Whilst talking about Huzoor(aba) being bestowed the mantle of Khilafat, I said,
“Huzoor, I have a question: When Allah informs many pious people around the world about who the Khalifa will be, then how is it that the person who Allah has selected for this purpose is left unaware of it?”
“It is only he who is left unaware. Or perhaps Allah deliberately does not inform him. If Allah was to inform him beforehand, then only God knows how he would bear that burden. Allah bestows this responsibility solely to him who never desired the responsibility and so, even if God was to give that person a sign, his mind would not even be able to grasp the true meaning. If someone ever narrated such a dream to me in which they received an indication of this, I always interpreted it another way because I could never have imagined that I could be given this responsibility. For this reason, if that person receives a direct indication or is told through others, then he can never understand it to mean this.”
It was a very special moment. I said,
“Huzoor, people immediately performed Bai‘at at your hand. At some point, you must also have been bestowed conviction in being the Khalifa?”
“When my name was proposed, my state was indescribable. I was certain that it could not be me. But when the election was completed, Allah’s decree manifested itself. Then, it became a question of obedience to Allah; and in obedience to Him, He quickly granted me the ability to accept this decision. The belief was also put in my heart that where God Almighty had Himself placed this responsibility on my shoulders, He too would grant me the strength to carry and fulfil it. And He continues to do so.”
I must admit here that whenever I have had the opportunity to meet Huzoor(aba), I always feel as though I am in the midst of a chosen one of God. This creates an awe in one’s heart. But when Huzoor(aba) narrated this, my heart felt something that is not possible to describe.
Let us, with special emphasis, pray on Khilafat Day: O Allah! The individual You selected as our leader and guide is very dear to You and You are very dear to him; we are dear to him and he is dear to us. By means of this connection of love between us all, enable us to tread those ways that this beloved servant of Yours calls us on for they are the paths that lead to You. O God! Always keep this beloved of Yours and ours in security and peace because today, the flag of Islam rests in the hands of this man. You made him the leader of faith in this day and age and it is his love that attracts our hearts towards him. Keep him forever smiling in this age of hard-heartedness so that the world may be attracted towards him and Islam’s name may hail victorious.
Long live Syedna Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V.