On 7thApril 2019, the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) addressed the concluding session of the UK National Waqf-e-Nau Ijtema (gathering), an event held for male members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the UK who have pledged their lives for the peaceful service of Islam. A day earlier a similar event was held for the female members. The event took place at the Baitul Futuh Mosque in London and was attended by more than 1700 people, including just under 1400 members of the Waqf-e-Nau scheme. The full transcript of the address delivered by His Holiness on this occasion is presented below.
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community(aba) said:
“With the Grace of Allah, the numbers of Ahmadi parents who are dedicating the lives of their children for the sake of their faith continues to rise and so each year thousands of children are being born into the Waqf-e-Nau scheme. You are all also amongst those fortunate people whose parents, prior to your birth, pledged your lives for the sake of Islam and many of you have now reached an age of maturity.
Some are in school, whilst many have completed their higher education. Having done so, some of you are now serving the Jama’at [Ahmadiyya Muslim Community] full-time as Waqf-e-Zindigi [life devotees], whilst quite a number are now posted in the field as missionaries after completing their studies and training from Jamia Ahmadiyya. There are others who, with the permission of the Jama’at, are pursuing various professions. However, it is vitally important that those who are working privately must set aside as much time as possible for the service of their religion and should always keep in mind that they are Waqf-e-Nau.
First and foremost, every member of the Waqf-e-Nau scheme should understand that his Waqf [devotion] is only of benefit and of real value if he has established a sincere connection with Allah the Almighty. And the principal way to build a relationship with Allah the Almighty is through the worship of Allah and Namaz [formal prayer in Islam]. Hence, regardless of anything else, you must all be regular in offering the five daily prayers with a spirit of sincerity and devotion to Allah the Almighty.
Furthermore, it is a religious obligation upon every Ahmadi Muslim man to offer their prayers in congregation. Consequently, those of you who live within a reasonable distance of a mosque or Salat Centre must make every effort to attend congregational prayers. Namaz in congregation should be a daily and paramount feature of your lives.
As I said, many Waqf-e-Nau have reached an age of maturity and understanding and many have entered adulthood. Yet, never mind offering the five daily prayers in congregation, there are some who, upon being asked, admit that they do not even offer the five daily prayers regularly. What is the purpose and benefit of such a Waqf?
On the one hand, they have pledged their lives for the sake of Allah the Almighty. Yet, on the other hand, they remain neglectful of that part of their religion, the worship of Allah, which, after the declaration of faith, is the most fundamental obligation upon any Muslim. Therefore, remember that your vow to dedicate your life can only be of value and prove worthwhile if you act upon the commands of Allah the Almighty and remain staunchly devoted to Him at all times.
If you are not fulfilling the basic duty of worship of Allah, how can it be possible to form a relationship of fidelity and sincerity with Him?
So, if you want to show that you are not just a Waqf-e-Nau in name, and that you have genuinely given your lives for the sake of Islam and are determined to fulfil the pledge made by your parents, you must prioritise this indispensable aspect of your faith.
You must elevate your standards of worship and ensure that not a day goes by in which you fail to fulfil the primary obligation of offering the five daily prayers.
Let it be clear that failure to do so will mean that your Waqf is rendered entirely meaningless and futile.
Furthermore, as members of Waqf-e-Nau, it is critical that you strive to act upon all the other commands of Allah the Almighty and to fulfil the rights of one another. The standards of a Waqf-e-Nau, both in terms of fulfilling the Haquq’Allah – the rights of Allah, and in discharging the Haqooq-ul-Abaad – the rights of Allah’s Creation must be far higher than others.
In short, you should never sit back in contentment merely because your name is included in the list of the Waqf-e-Nau. Rather, you must understand the scale of your responsibilities and your everlasting obligation to your faith. At all times, it is your duty to better your moral standards and to increase your religious knowledge. Never forget that your parents pledged your lives for the sake of your religion and prayed for you.
In this regard, it is important to remind all parents of Waqf-e-Nau children that from the very moment they dedicate the life of their unborn child for the sake of the Jama’at, they should pray fervently that Allah the Almighty enables their child to fulfil the demands of Waqf. Similarly, parents must also pay close attention to the moral and religious training of their children and guide them on how to fulfil their Waqf.
Now after briefly addressing the parents, I turn my attention back to the Waqifeen-e-Nau. You must all understand your responsibilities and the standards expected of a Waqf-e-Zindigi. In essence, Waqf means to fulfil the rights of Allah the Almighty, the rights of His creation and to constantly strive to advance your knowledge and to raise your moral and spiritual standards. It means to practice your religion at all times and in all circumstances. Indeed, it is not enough to know your faith, rather you must practice it in all respects.
As Waqifeen-e-Nau, you must know the expectations of the Promised Messiah(as). What did he desire from the members of the Jama’at and especially of those Ahmadis who pledged their lives for the sake of Islam? For this, you must read the books and writings of the Promised Messiah(as) where he has on many occasions clearly stated his expectations.
I shall also now mention, in my own words, some of the blessed guidance of the Promised Messiah(as) in this regard. On one occasion, the Promised Messiah(as) said that if a person desires a pure life and to attain the bounties of the Hereafter, it requires them to strive and struggle to reach that point where they can sincerely claim that their life, their death, their sacrifices and their prayers are all for the sake of Allah the Almighty.
The Promised Messiah(as) said that, just like Hazrat Ibrahim(as), the voice of our hearts should pronounce and declare that I have become utterly submissive to my Lord. With great clarity, the Promised Messiah(as) said that a person who does not meticulously follow the commands of Allah and fails to recognise that the worship of Allah is his life’s overriding objective cannot attain the status of a true believer.
Thus, you should understand that even though you are living in a Western society, you must live your lives in an Islamic way seeking to attain the pleasure of Allah the Almighty. You must resolutely keep hold of your religious values and traditions. You must bring about those pious changes in your life that will enable you to fulfil the rights of Allah the Almighty and His Creation. You must always seek to improve and better yourself and to raise your spiritual and moral standards and increase your knowledge.
The Promised Messiah(as) also taught that those who associated themselves with him should devote their lives to their faith in the same way he did. So, we must keep the great personal example of the Promised Messiah(as) firmly within our sights at all times. During his life, the Promised Messiah(as) devoted his every day and every night for the sake of Islam. Till his final breath, every moment of the Promised Messiah’s(as) life was spent in fulfilling his divine mission, to revive and spread the true teachings of Islam throughout the world.
For example, on one occasion, the Promised Messiah(as) said that he continued to work until he felt as though he was about to collapse due to extreme exhaustion. Only at that point of complete fatigue would the Promised Messiah(as) lie down and rest for a short period. This was the noble example of the Promised Messiah(as) and it is our task to follow in his blessed footsteps.
I have no doubt that if the members of Waqf-e-Nau are able to collectively follow his example even to a very small degree they will be able to bring about a spiritual and moral revolution in the world.
In terms of your work, as you enter adulthood it is not essential that you will all be called into the full-time service of the Jama’at. As I said earlier, many of you, with the permission of the Jama’at, are employed elsewhere. However, wherever you are working, you must not let the world consume you and overtake your lives.Rather, your first priority must always remain your Waqf.
You must strive to excel in the worship of Allah the Almighty and persistently endeavour to increase your moral and spiritual state and to increase your religious knowledge. Irrespective of where you are working or living, you must live your life as a practical manifestation of Islam’s teachings and seek to propagate your religion far and wide.
Utilise your God-given capabilities and skills for the sake of your faith. Only if you live your life in this way will you be living as a true Waqf-e-Nau. On one occasion, the Promised Messiah(as) referred to the fact that Allah the Almighty has praised Hazrat Ibrahim(as) in the Holy Quran with the words:
وَإِبْرَاهِيمَ الَّذِي وَفَّىٰ
“And of Abraham who fulfilled the commandments?” (Ch.53, V.38)
وَإِبْرَاهِيمَ الَّذِي وَفَّىٰ
“And of Abraham who fulfilled the commandments?” (Ch.53, V.38)
This verse means that Hazrat Ibrahim(as) fulfilled the pledge he made to God Almighty with complete obedience and loyalty and, as a result, was the recipient of the love of His Creator.
Now it is up to all of you to fulfil the sacred covenant you have made with Allah the Almighty. To do so is not an easy or simple thing. The pledge of a Waqf-e-Zindigi and of a Waqf-e-Nau is a vast and everlasting undertaking. It is to give away your life for the sake of your faith.
As I have said already, it requires you to continually improve your standards of worship and to enhance your moral and spiritual state. Unquestionably, if all the Waqifeen-e-Nau fulfil their pledges, we will certainly witness a great revolution and spiritual transformation in the world. However, there is a very long way to go.
Sometimes, young married couples come to meet me and the husband or the wife proudly says ‘I am a Waqf-e-Nau, my wife or my husband is Waqf-e-Nau and so is our child’. It is good that their entire family is part of this blessed scheme. However, as I have said many times, just holding the title of Waqf-e-Nau is meaningless. It becomes meaningful when a member of Waqf-e-Nau understands the demands of their pledge and faithfully strives to fulfil it to the best of their abilities.
To honour your pledge requires constant effort, great passion and enormous sacrifices. It requires complete devotion to your Creator. The Promised Messiah(as) once said that the means to gain Allah’s nearness is to manifest complete submission to Allah the Almighty in the way of Hazrat Ibrahim(as), who sacrificed his entire being and tolerated every possible hardship for the sake of Allah.
It is for this reason that Allah the Almighty has testified to the obedience and sincerity of Hazrat Ibrahim(as) in the Holy Quran. Hence, this is the standard which every member of Waqf-e-Nau should strive to emulate. At another place, the Promised Messiah(as) said that true loyalty and sincerity to God Almighty requires the death of one’s own desires and aspirations. It requires that a person gladly forsakes all of his personal and material desires and is ready to tolerate all forms of rejection and humiliation for the sake of Allah the Almighty.
Furthermore, the Promised Messiah(as) said that idol worship does not simply mean to worship a tree or stone or anything such, rather anything and everything that stands in the way of a person gaining the nearness of Allah the Almighty, and takes precedence over Allah the Almighty is a form of idol worship.
All of you should deeply reflect upon this point and assess your own lives to see if you are being taken away from your faith by the many worldly activities and superficial pursuits that are common today. If such material interests cause a person to forget Allah the Almighty, how can he or she claim to follow the example of loyalty and obedience displayed by Hazrat Ibrahim(as) or to reach the standards expected by the Promised Messiah(as)?
Though many Waqf-e-Nau are busy with their professions or business, they must not let their worldly work interfere with their worship of Allah the Almighty. Similarly, children who play computer games or have other hobbies must ensure that these pursuits do not lead them to neglecting their prayers and religious duties.
Instead, they must develop the habit of leaving such things whenever it is time for Namaz and ensure that their faith always takes priority over worldly matters. The Promised Messiah(as) said that the members of his Jama’at should remember that until a person is completely sincere in their devotion to Allah the Almighty and willing to endure every trial and tribulation for His sake, they will not attain true morality and righteousness.
Hence, this is the standard of loyalty to your faith required to gain the nearness and blessings of Allah the Almighty. As I mentioned before, just being a part of the Waqf-e-Nau scheme and having this title is nothing to be proud of. Therefore, if someone informs me that he, his wife and children are all Waqf-e-Nau, they should realise that this alone means nothing until and unless they solemnly strive to reach the high standards of obedience required by the Promised Messiah(as).
Until you prioritise your religion over all worldly matters being part of Waqf-e-Nau is just worthless. In addition, you must always pray for yourselves that Allah the Almighty helps you to fulfil your duties and responsibilities to your faith. Here, I also wish to remind the younger boys who are still in Atfal, as well as the Khuddam that, as Waqf-e-Nau, you must be very active members of Atfal-ul-Ahmadiyya and Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya.
You should be role models for the other Atfal and Khuddam and be ready for any duty or sacrifice required. Furthermore, the standard of worship of a Waqf-e-Nau should be higher than other Ahmadis. As I have said, you must be diligent in offering Namaz in congregation and you should recite the Holy Quran every day.
Only then can you call yourself a true Waqf-e-Nau. Alongside the obligatory prayers, the older Waqf-e-Nau boys should offer Nafl prayers regularly. Only then can you call yourself a true Waqf-e-Nau.
Additionally, the older Atfal and all members of Khuddamul Ahmadiyiya should carefully read the translation of the Holy Quran and study the commentaries of the Promised Messiah(as) and the Khulafa. You should identify the commands of Allah the Almighty and be determined to act upon them to the best of your abilities.
Only then can you call yourself a true Waqf-e-Nau.
At all times, the conduct and manners of a Waqf-e-Nau should be of the highest order.
Furthermore, whilst all Atfal and Khuddam should dress appropriately and should speak and interact with others in a respectful and moral way, Waqf-e-Nau should have even higher standards.
Compared to girls, boys are more easily influenced by the immodesty and indecency prevalent in modern society. However, our boys should always guard their modesty and not fall prey to immoral and indecent activities.
You should respect your parents, listen to them, care for them and pray for them.
Likewise, treat your brothers and sisters with love and affection and set a pious example for them to learn from.
If you are married you must set the best possible example for your wife and children. Treat them with love and care and fulfil their needs. Strive earnestly to ensure that the next generation of Ahmadis remains faithfully attached to the Jama’at.
Similarly, those of you are looking to get married, should seek pious Ahmadi girls so that your future generations are raised in a righteous environment. Only if you are playing your role in protecting the future of our Jama’at can you call yourself a true Waqf-e-Nau.
You should also be strong in body and strong in mind. You should be ready for hard work and any service for the sake of your faith. You should be ready to tolerate all challenges and to make all necessary sacrifices for the sake of the Jama’at.
In terms of Tabligh, Waqf-e-Nau should be at the forefront and consider it their personal duty to spread Islam’s teachings. For this purpose, you must be armed with religious knowledge. Hence, I reiterate the importance of trying to understand the deeper meanings of the Holy Quran and to read the books and magazines published by our Jama’at.
Moreover, always remember that it is the duty of a Waqf-e-Nau to propagate the mission and objectives of the Khalifa-e-Waqt and to be his constant helper. You can only do this if you are completely obedient to Khilafat. Only if you are following the guidance and instructions of Khalifa-e-Waqt can you urge others to do the same.
Whilst all Ahmadis should make it a regular habit to listen to my Friday sermons and other programmes, it is especially vital that Waqifeen-e-Nau listen and take notes and reflect upon what I have said and try to inculcate whatever they learn into their daily lives. Furthermore, a Waqf-e-Nau should be free from all forms of arrogance and pride.
Instead, humility and forbearance ought to be your hallmarks. Only if you try to develop all of these qualities will you be able to gain the pleasure and nearness of Allah the Almighty.
May Allah the Almighty enable all of you to understand your duties and responsibilities and to fulfil the demands of Waqf in the very best way.
Whether you are working full time for the Jama’at or working privately, you must strive to fulfil that sacred pledge made by your parents before your birth.
May Allah the Almighty enable you to continue to increase your knowledge and understanding of your faith.
May He grant you the capability to elevate your moral and spiritual standards and may He enable you to continually increase your service to the Jama’at and to fulfil your pledge with true sincerity – Ameen.”
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