Friday Sermon: Exemplary Servants of Islam Ahmadiyyat

November 16th, 2012

A day of death is appointed for each person who comes in this world. God states that everything in this world is going to perish; however, He also gives the glad-tiding that after the end of the transitory life of this world, eternal life will begin. Those whose deeds will be in accordance to God’s pleasure, who will give preference to faith, will be inheritors of blessings in the eternal life. They will be granted forgiveness and mercy and will be given nearness to God because they would have tried to gain His pleasure and would have tried to make their lives worthwhile. It is true that the extent of God’s mercy and forgiveness encompasses the smallest of good done by any person. However, those who make endeavouring in the cause of God their everything and are ever engaged in paying the dues of God and the dues of mankind to the best of their abilities, whose objective and goal is the heightening and publication of the religion of God and whose standards of high morals are acknowledged by all are the people about whom God and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) has said that Paradise becomes binding for them. The glad-tiding of Paradise is also given to those who give their lives for faith and attain the status of martyrdom.

God states that doubtless such people depart from the world and in the eyes of the world they die but they attain an eternal life in the sight of God. He states that such people should not be considered dead because they are alive. The departure of such people also facilitates ways and means of life for those they leave behind. While people who are ever ready for the sake of gaining pleasure of God and to uphold His name and who give such a sacrifice fearlessly attain eternal life for themselves, they also teach lessons of eternal life to their coreligionist brothers.

Today it is only the people of the community of the Muhammadan Messiah who try to spend every minute of their lives for publication of faith, and they do so till their last breath, or they are martyred for the sake of their faith, targeted by the oppressors for the ‘crime’ of accepting the Muhammadan Messiah. Today’s sermon is about two such people; one of them a life-devotee of the community and the other a martyr.

Hafiz Jibarel Saeed sahib: He served the community of the Muhammadan Messiah from childhood till his passing away and took the message of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) to the world. The message for the publication of which, in accordance with God’s promise to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was sent. Hafiz sahib was a passionate and dedicated Ahmadi who remained active with all his capacities till his last moments. Certainly he fulfilled his pledge like a true servant of the community and a real life-devotee. He was born thousands of miles away from Rabwah and Qadian, in a small village of Ghana, probably where even proper education was not available. His father’s good intentions made him a Hafiz of the Holy Qur’an. Not only did he memorise the Holy Qur’an, he also became one of those who truly acquire insight into faith and thus he took the great teaching of the Holy Qur’an to his countrymen as well as many others. Thus, this sincere and loyal son of Ghana became an excellent helper of Khulafa of the time and garnered many honours for Ghana.

Hafiz Jibrael sahib was a missionary and naib Ameer of Ghana. He passed away on 12 November in a hospital in Accra after a month’s illness. Inna lillahe wa inna illaihe rajo’oon.  His medical reports had been sent here and also to USA because a proper diagnosis had not been done in Ghana and further tests were being carried out. Plans were also afoot for him to travel to London or the USA for treatment, but God’s decree came to pass.  

Hafiz sahib was born on 2 February 1954. His father was a missionary in Ghana. In 1970 Hafiz sahib went to Rabwah for Hifz (memorisation of the Holy Qur’an). With the grace of God, he was the first Hafiz of Ghana. He had the honour that once Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih III (may Allah have mercy on him) graciously did arm-wrestling with him. Soon after he returned to Ghana after completing his Hifz, he went back to Rabwah where Hafiz sahib received his Shahid degree from Jamia Rabwah. He also took Fazil Arabic examination from Punjab University. In 1982 he was appointed as a missionary in Ghana and he also took charge on a regional level. Four years later he was transferred to Fiji. In 1987 he was sent to Tuvalu where he was the first every missionary. While stationed in Tuvalu he established Ahmadiyyat in the Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands and Micronesia. In 1991 he went to neighbouring Kiribati. He served South Pacific Islands for eight years and returned to Ghana in 1984.

Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) appointed him as naib Ameer of Ghana for Tabligh and he served in this post till his passing away. Under his supervision refresher courses were held in the Tarbiyyat centres and Tabligh centres in Ghana which were attended by Imams as well as new converts. Hafiz sahib’s great success was that his Tabligh efforts bore numerous fruits and many new Jama’ats were established and many mosques were built. In some instances connection was not maintained after Bai’ats were taken in remote areas of the country. As a result of the influence of non-Ahmadi religious leaders those new converts became distant. When Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V stressed that those people should be brought back, Hafiz sahib made full efforts and as a result hundreds of thousands were brought back in the Nizaam of the Jama’at. With the grace of God, now strong ties are maintained with those Ahmadis. In view of the objections raised by the people in the South Pacific Hafiz sahib wrote a book entitled, ‘Islam in the Islands: Removing the Impediments.’  He gave a speech at UK Jalsa last year.

Hafiz sahib was sent back to the Pacific Islands on tours. He made a tour in 2001 and again in 2003. He went for a six week tour in 2001 when he visited many places and organised the Jama’ats and received further Bai’ats.  Ahmadiyyat was established in the Solomon Islands in 1988. In 1991 Hafiz sahib sent a report to Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) saying that he had returned to Solomon Islands after two years to find that his work of two years ago was all but gone. A Muslim League business man had undone all his hard work. He apologised to Khalifatul Masih that he could not visit the place any earlier and requested prayers that his efforts to restart work bore fruit. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) expressed regret and displeasure at this but Hafiz sahib did not rest for a minute after this and resolved to retrieve all that was lost. He worked very hard and did not stop for two years. As a result now a strong Jama’at is established in the Solomon Islands with hundreds of Ahmadis. Hafiz sahib’s work there consisted of getting the Jama’at registered and up to fully training it. We have a mosque and a mission house there.  Hafiz sahib also made significant input to the Solomon Island Jama’at during his later tours.

During his Australian tour of 2005 Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih met the Sadr sahib of the Solomon Islands, Mubasher Martin Russell sahib. He said that he had come into Ahmadiyyat through Hafiz sahib in 1994 and prior to the establishment of Jama’at there was no Muslim on the Islands.

Hafiz sahib wrote in a report that he was on tour of the Islands in September 2001 when the World Trade Centre incident took place. Hafiz sahib was much concerned as Marshall Islands, where he was due, has a large US air base and the defence of the Island is in American hands. He recalled the difficulties he had to face ten year earlier during the first Gulf War. He prayed a lot as well as deliberated a lot whether to return or to stay on. People advised him to return home as the situation was critical but Hafiz sahib prayed that he had gone there on the instructions of the Khalifa of the time and did not wish to return without attaining his purpose. After praying he felt the conviction to go ahead with the task, so he went to the Marshall Islands.  Upon arrival at the airport he came to know that a Pakistani person had been detained there only because he was a Muslim. When the immigration officer saw Hafiz sahib’s passport he asked him what job he did. Hafiz sahib replied he was a missionary. He was asked what his religion was; he replied he was an Ahmadi Muslim. The question was repeated and Hafiz sahib gave the same reply, that he was an Ahmadi Muslim. With the grace of God, the immigration officer issued visa. Soon Hafiz sahib realised that the entire media was attacking Islam and indeed this tour had great significance. People were frightened even to come near Muslims. Hafiz sahib had an opportunity to defend Islam. The local Ahmadi were anxious due to the propaganda on the radio. Hafiz sahib approached the broadcasting people and was given the chance to inform people in detail about Islam on air. This proved most beneficial. Hafiz sahib appreciated that the Khalifa of the time had asked him to make the tour at just the right time. Forty nine new Bai’ats were received at this occasion.

Tributes have been paid to Hafiz sahib by those with whom he worked in Ghana. It is said that Hafiz sahib had an obsession about Tabligh work. He would go with teams of people doing Tabligh and would keep an eye on their work. He was an extremely patient and tolerant person who would affectionately explain when a mistake was made. If complaints were received about the Tabligh work of mu’alameen, rather than discharge the person, his aim would be to make them active once again. He had connections with important non-Ahmadi religious scholars. As a result of his extensive Tabligh work the Jama’at is recognised in the north of Ghana. Due to opposing Imams some twenty years ago it was difficult to establish the Jama’at in northern Ghana. In the early days of Ahmadiyyat Ahmadis were taken to law courts, fined and imprisoned in the north west of the country. However, now the situation has completely turned around, and the Muslims, who once opposed, including their Imams, are coming into the fold of Ahmadiyyat.

Hafiz sahib had a good relationship with both the rich and the poor of Ghana. With the help of the well-off he used to build mosques. He once said in an MTA interview that life-dedication and service of the Jama’at was in his genes. Such was his overwhelming sense of service that he wrote his last letter to Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih from his ICU bed in hospital. He wrote that he was in great pain and was tearful. He said there was a lot of work to be done but he had no strength. Thus, he was concerned till his last moments to take the message of Ahmadiyyat, true Islam to others and bring them in its fold.

Once he related in an interview that the Ghana Jama’at decided that a child should be sent to Pakistan for Hifz of the Holy Qur’an. He was chosen and when he was asked, he agreed. Two people were on their way to Pakistan for training at the Jamia. All three had their medical check. The other two passed but the doctor said that Hafiz sahib was too skinny and perhaps would not be able to withstand the extreme heat and cold of Pakistan. Hafiz sahib’s father felt very sad and started praying. He told the Ameer Jama’at that his son would definitely go and during his supplication at Tahajjud he heard a voice saying that there is success for the righteous. His father was heartened by this and started concentrating on improving Hafiz sahib’s health. A couple of weeks later another medical was taken and Hafiz sahib was deemed fit. Once he was in Pakistan, whenever his father wrote to him he would say that his going to Pakistan was God’s decree and he should pay attention to his studies.

Hafiz sahib leaves behind his widow, two sons and two daughters. His endeavour was for his children to shine in religious knowledge and with the grace of God they are strongly connected to the Jama’at and are also highly educated. With God’s grace Hafiz sahib had the privilege to go for Hajj in 2007.

One of his colleagues writes that Hafiz sahib was one year behind him in Jamia but ended up far ahead. Apart from knowing the Holy Qur’an by heart, his recitation was most melodious. He was a very capable missionary with full grip on his work and his knowledge. He understood the Nizaam of the Jama’at very well and followed it in the smallest of detail. Abdul Sami Khan sahib, editor of Daily Al Fazl writes that Hafiz sahib had learned Urdu well and used to help class fellows with English. He participated in English and Arabic speeches and essay writing. He was always cheerful and played good football. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said he had indeed never seen any trace of sadness on Hafiz sahib’s face.

Ameer sahib of Fiji writes that he first met Hafiz sahib when he came on tour in 2003. He was endeared to observe that if Hafiz sahib was awakened during the night he would say verses of the Holy Qur’an. He used to do Tabligh to people of all ages and temperaments accordingly and would deliver the message of Islam in his every day conversations. A missionary sahib writes that when Hafiz sahib toured Tuvalu and Kiribati his family would be on its own and Hafiz sahib did not worry about this. He would say that Khalifatul Masih had sent him to spread the message of Islam and he had his prayers. On his return to Ghana he kept in touch with everyone in the Pacific Islands. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V sent him on another tour of the islands in 2010 during which he accomplished all the tasks. Among the people who took their Bai’at through Hafiz Jibrael sahib is a medical doctor from Kiribati whose family also became Ahmadi. The doctor is an expert in the Kiribati language and has finished translation of the Holy Qur’an in it and it is currently being revised.

May God grant Paradise of His pleasure to this esteemed son of Ahmadiyyat and may He bestow thousands of excellent helpers like him to Khilafat e Ahmadiyya. It is extremely sad to lose a capable, humble and loyal server of the Community like him but we submit to the will of God for in it is a believer’s dignity and it is his way. Inna lillahe wa inna illaihe raji’oon. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said that may God remove the concerns he has owing to his humanness. A Madrassa for Hifz of Qur’an is now established in Ghana and Ghana Jamia is also ready to prepare missionaries of Shahid level. May God make it so that servants of the Community surpassing Hafiz sahib are created!

The other person gaining accepting with God that was mentioned in the sermon today was someone who was recently granted the status of martyrdom in Quetta. He joined those about whom God states in the Holy Qur’an: ‘Think not of those, who have been slain in the cause of Allah, as dead. Nay, they are living, in the presence of their Lord being well protected,’ (3:170). It is an honour exclusive to the Ahmadiyya Jama’at that today its members are killed in the way of God. They offer their lives to protect their faith. It has been mentioned many times before that the ploys of the enemy to kill and pillage will not turn Ahmadis from their faith. InshaAllah.

Manzur Ahmad sahib was martyred in Satellite Town, Quetta on 11 November. Ahmadiyyat came in his family through his father’s great grandmother who took her Bai’at directly from the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Manzur sahib was born in Quetta and had a hardware shop there. He was walking to his shop in the morning when two persons on a motor bike approached him. A scuffle ensued and he was fired at by one of the assailants and was martyred on the spot. Inna lillahe wa inna illaihe raji’oon. He had faced religious enmity for quite some time. Our Jama’at is being boycotted in the area. A Maulwi from Dera Ghazi Khan has arrived in the area and has declared Ahmadis as ‘liable to be killed’. Manzur sahib was a very affectionate person and always helped anyone in need of financial assistance. He was most hospitable to guests arriving from the centre. He keenly participated in all the monetary schemes and was currently serving the Jama’at in many capacities. He was a Moosi. His father and his wife had seen specific dream recently. He leaves behind his widow, two daughters, a son, his father, a brother and two sisters. His biological mother had passed away and he is survived by his other mother.

Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih asked that prayers for Pakistan should be made. Ahmadi martyrs are trying to fulfil their pledges and their loyalties. May God soon bring that hour when Ahmadis can live in peace there! Muharram starts from today and during Muharram they try and make Kerbala for Ahmadis more than at other times. In fact, they kill each other as well. Rather than take a lesson from Kerbala, Muslim is killing Muslim. Invoking Durud and alms-giving should be enhanced in Muharram. Also pray for the harsh times that Muslim Ummah faces. May they adopt the path of truth so that they are saved from their troubles! There is no other way out for Muslim Ummah apart from accepting the Imam of the age.