In today’s Friday sermon Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih gave an exposition reviving the Waqfe Nau spirit. He recited the following Quranic verses at the start of the sermon:
‘Remember when the woman of ‘Imran said, ‘My Lord, I have vowed to Thee what is in my womb to be dedicated to Thy service. So do accept it of me; verily, Thou alone art All-Hearing, All-Knowing.’(3:36)
‘And when he was old enough to work with him, he said, ‘O my dear son, I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering thee. So consider, what thou thinkest of it!’ He replied, ‘O my father, do as thou art commanded; thou wilt find me, if Allah please, of those who are patient.’ (37:103)
‘And let there be among you a body of men who should invite to goodness, and enjoin equity and forbid evil. And it is they who shall prosper.’ (3:105)
‘It is not possible for the believers to go forth all together. Why, then, does not a party from every section of them go forth that they may gain better understanding of religion, and that they may warn their people when they return to them, so that they may guard against evil?’ (9:122)
The above verses speak of wishes of a mother, good upbringing by father and mother that enhances the spirit of sacrifice in children and the objective of dedicating life for the cause of faith. The first verse (3:36) expresses a mother’s desire to dedicate her child to faith, the next verse (37:103) mentions a father’s upbringing of son in the cause of God and the son’s readiness for sacrifice. The father’s training linked the son with seeking pleasure of God, who not only was ever ready for sacrifice but was also prepared to do so displaying an excellent model of patience and resolve. The third verse cites those groups which spread good and forbid what is evil and the fourth verse mentions that in order to distinguish between good and bad insight into faith is essential. This insight is found in Shariah, the Holy Qur’an because God has stated that He has: ‘…chosen for you Islam as religion…’ (5:4) The reason to follow all of the above is to be among those who save the world from destruction. In order to fulfil this requirement, God established the Ahmadiyya Community through the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). This is the only community in which one sees mother-to-be praying passionately as, woman of Imran did in the aforementioned verse, freeing the unborn child from the shackles of the world and dedicating it to service of God and praying for acceptance of this. No mother apart from the Ahmadi mother today dedicates her unborn child to God, be she from Pakistan, from India, from Asia, Africa, Europe, America, Australia or Oceania. Who presents her child to the Khalifa of the time for an important undertaking and then prays to God to accept the dedication, with the concern lest the Khalifa of the time does not accept the dedication. This situation cannot come to pass anywhere else apart from the Jama’at because this is the only community which operates under the auspices of Khilafat, established by God through the true and ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).
It is the Ahmadiyya Jama’at alone which has fathers who bring up their children in such a manner that when the children reach adolescence they are ready for every sacrifice. These children write to the Khalifa of the time saying, ‘the first pledge was my parents, I now make the pledge myself; send me to sacrifice wherever you choose. You will always find me among those who are patient and who have resolve and those who do not shirk away from the pledge of their parents.’ These children qualify to be members of Ummah of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) who fulfil the dues of being in the Ummah of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Good upbringing by the parents and their own piety has taught them the aspects of dues of God as well as dues of mankind, and they have passion for Tabligh and service for humanity.
It should always be remembered that living and progressive communities do not ever let these thoughts, pledges and fervour die. They constantly remind themselves of these aspects in order to keep the fervour invigorated. If there is ever any laxness, they make plans to overcome it and in light of God’s commandment of: ‘So go on reminding…’ (87:10) it is indeed the task of the office of Khilafat to remind time to time so that there is no reduction in the speed of progress. So that one after the other group is prepared to spread God’s message in the world just as constantly flowing streams make the land green and verdant, one group after the other can be source of spiritual vibrancy. Those who are familiar with farming with irrigation will know that if the water supply is cut off before the entire crop is watered the irrigation has to be started all over again. This causes waste of time and water. Similarly, if there is no constant effort in the task of Tabligh or people to perform the task are not available, the fragmented efforts create hindrances.
Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said that today he would like to remind that when Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) had initiated Waqfe Nau scheme it was with the hope and with the prayer that groups of people to serve faith will always be available and that the current of flowing water will never be broken. Translators will be available to the Jama’at, Tabligh and Tarbiyyat workers will be available to the Jama’at in good numbers, and other departments of the administration of the Jama’at will also have life-devotees available at all times. This should be kept in mind. Parents should not relinquish their responsibility after dedicating their children [to Waqfe Nau]. Without doubt the passion to dedicate one’s children is commendable and each year thousands of requests are made to dedicate children. However, once the dedication has been made, the parents’ responsibility increases. The initial preparation has to be done by the parents. By being a role model for their children, they have to connect them to God and to inculcate the significance and importance of Nizam e Jama’at (the administration of the Community) in them from an early age so that their minds are not diverted. So that when they reach an age of understanding and participate in Jama’at programmes it is ingrained in them that they are to only serve faith. It is required to inculcate in Waqfe Nau children that they are to serve faith.
More Waqfe Nau children should be going to Jamia. The facts and figures before Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih showed that apart from Pakistan the numbers in other Jamais were small. There are 1,033 Jamia students in Pakistan Jamia. The number is 93 in India, which Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih felt may be incorrect in which case he asked to be informed of the correct number. Report dated June 2012 shows 70 students in Germany, they now have 80 students; these include students from other European countries. Canada has 55 students, the number may have increased, including American students. UK has 120 students, the number may have increased. Here too students from other European countries are included. In Ghana a new Jamia has been opened providing Shahid level education, there are 12 students here and there are 23 students in Bangladesh. The total number of Jamia students is 1,400 whereas the total number of Waqfe Nau boys is close to 28,000. The field before us is the entire world, and this does not mean all the continents or even all the countries of the world. Rather, we have to reach every town and every village in the world and a few missionaries cannot do this task.
When they are young, children are quite enthusiastic and happy about being in Waqfe Nau. However, the European environment, company of friends etc. diverts their attention from Jamia and onto other educational subjects. Once they pass their GSCE/secondary schooling their preferences change. The inclination of some children can be seen quite early on, like some are drawn to science. Certainly such children should be encouraged in this regard but the majority opt for different subjects blindly following the others after secondary school. Children have not quite made their minds up when they reach what is called Year 10 in this country and in USA and Australia it is called Grade 10. If the upbringing of the parents inculcates in the child from the start that he or she is in Waqfe Nau and whatever he or she has is of the Jama’at, there would be attention to consult the centre when choosing subjects.
As mentioned before, today it is only Ahmadi parents who dedicate their children with fervour, but it cannot be said that the majority also pays specific attention to their upbringing. Parents of Waqfe Nau children will have to reflect on how much are they trying to beautify the gift of dedication before offering it to the Jama’at and how much are they honouring their obligations. There is all manner of freedom in these countries and for this special supervision and attention is required. Parents should not be carefree in Asia and Africa either. It is the obligation of both parents to make special endeavour in this regard.
Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih told Waqfe Nau children aged 13 and 12 to start thinking about themselves and ponder over their importance and not simply be happy that they are Waqfe Nau. They will appreciate their importance when they will realise their objectives. As for those who are 15 and 16 years old, they should have a very good understanding of their importance and their responsibilities.
The verses recited at the start do not only mention the wishes and responsibilities of the parents or the Nizam e Jama’at. Rather the children’s attention is also drawn.
Firstly, every Waqfe Nau child should be mindful that his mother wished to dedicate him or her, before his or her birth, for a very important cause and then also prayed most humbly for acceptance of this. Thus, the Waqfe Nau child should keep this wish of his or her parents, because later the father also joins in, in mind and respecting it should try and be a rightful candidate to be dedicated for God’s cause. This can only be when effort is made to make one’s heart and mind, one’s word and deed according to God’s pleasure.
Secondly, it is a huge favour of the parents on Waqe Nau children and as such the children should pray for the parents and should have regard for every step that the parents take. There should be a realisation that they too have to be part of the pledge that their parents are trying to fulfil and should happily accept their Tarbiyyat and never even remotely let down the pledge of their parents. A Waqfe Nau child should be mindful that he or she should be foremost in abiding by giving precedence to faith over worldly matters.
Thirdly, promise to show patience and resolve in every sacrifice for the sake of gaining God’s pleasure. No matter how hard the time, he or she has to honour the pledge of Waqf regardless. No worldly greed should ever make them stumble in their pledge.
Nowadays, there is much blessings of God on the Jama’at. During the second Khilafat there were times when the financial situation would be so dire in Qadian that the basic allowance could not be paid in full to Jama’at workers for several months. After migration to Rabwah, such situations again came to pass, yet, the life-devotees never complained. Even during 1970s and 1980s the situation in Africa used to be such that the allowance used to be spent in the first two weeks of the month. The local life-devotees maybe could eat just once a day in the allowance that was given to them, yet they always honoured their pledge.
Fourthly, to develop and make efforts for the commitment to be counted among those who spread good and who forbid evil. To set good models of this; when this will come to pass and good will be followed and evil will be shunned, people will be drawn to the good models.
Fifthly, to attain insight and perception of Holy Qur’an and Ahadith, to recognise/identify good and evil and to read the books and discourses of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and to constantly try to increase religious knowledge.
Those who are being educated at Jamia are given religious education. However, once through the Jamia one should never assume to have attained the height of knowledge. It is beneficial when regularly enhanced by fresh knowledge. The Waqfe Nau children who do not attend Jamia should try and read as much Jama’at literature as possible. They should study the Holy Qur’an with translation and commentary and books of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) which are available in their languages.
Sixthly, what God has commanded and Waqfe Nau children should pay attention to is to spring onto the practical field of Tabligh. Some Waqfe Nau girls complain that they do not have a Jamia and cannot attain religious knowledge. If they study on their own, they will be drawn to Tabligh within their sphere and will have opportunities. This will lead to further enhancement of their religious knowledge. The field of Tabligh is open to everyone and every Waqfe Nau needs to enter in it. They should participate in this with great enthusiasm and should consider not to rest till the world is brought under the banner of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Such realisation and enthusiasm leads onto enhancing religious knowledge.
Seventhly, each Waqfe Nau should be specifically mindful that he or she is included in that group of people who are to save the world from destruction. If you have the [required] knowledge and you also have the opportunity but you do not have true passion to save the world from destruction and do not have the compassion to save mankind from destruction then your endeavour will not have the angst. And perhaps it will also not be as blessed. Each compassionate heart should be drawn to prayer in conjunction with effort to spread God’s message. It is the angst-filled prayers that will make us successful in our objective.
Everyone should remember not to limit their prayers to themselves. On the contrary, our prayers should flow in every direction and no person should be deprived of the beneficence that God has today granted us. These should be the thoughts of a true Waqfe Nau and a Waqfe Zindagi (life devotee). Hoping for success without this is mere presumption. Without this one only has the title of Waqfe Nau and it has no more significance and it is neither our objective to merely seek titles nor was it our parents’.
As mentioned before, it is important for the Waqfe Nau children and their parents to fulfil their responsibility. Attention is drawn once again that in order to spread religion in the world, religious knowledge is required and such knowledge can be attained the most from an institution which has this as its objective. Such an institution is known as Jamia Ahmadiyya in our Jama’at. Today, Jamia is not just in Pakistan and Qadian, rather we have Jamia in UK, Germany, Indonesia, Canada and Ghana. A new Jamia has opened in Ghana to the level of Shahid. The old Jamia there only prepared Mu’alims after three years’ study, now it will prepare Shahid missionaries who will serve Africa. There is also a Jamia in Bangladesh. Tabligh task is extremely extensive and can be best done by a trained missionary and for this reason maximum number of Waqfe Nau members should join Jamia.
Given the numbers of Jamia student cited earlier we cannot have missionaries everywhere. Until we have full-time missionaries it will be very difficult to have revolutionary change or have revolutionary Tabligh. Reports received from all over the world only give details of up to July 2012. There are 25,000 Waqfe Nau children over the age of 15, of which 16,988 are boys. The number of Waqfe Nau children in Pakistan is 10,687, followed by Germany with 1,887 boys and 1,155 girls. In UK the number of boys is 918 and girls make up 880, the total being 1,798. However, the number of students in Jamia is very low in both these countries especially as students from other European countries also attend their Jamia. Similarly the numbers in the Canadian Jamia which also has US students is low. Jama’ats demand to have more missionaries. They should prepare Waqfe Nau children to go to Jamia. In Canada and USA the Waqfe Nau children over the age of 15 number about 800. If these children are prepared, the numbers attending Jamia in the next two years can be considerably increased.
If educated in Jamia may not necessarily make one a missionary. Having acquired religious knowledge translators can be prepared to translate the books of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). They can be specialised in languages at Jamia. Those who are not attending Jamia should also learn languages. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) had said as regards languages, and it is essential, that three languages should be learned: one’s own language, Urdu and Arabic. Arabic has to be learnt anyway; to read the Holy Qur’an and commentaries and a large amount of other literature. Unless one knows Arabic properly one cannot translate the Holy Qur’an. Urdu is necessary because real insight of faith can be attained through the books of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). His books, commentaries and writings are a treasure which can bring about a revolution in the world and impart real Islamic teachings to the world, interpreting the Holy Qur’an.
There was a time that Jama’at faced difficulty in translation work. There is still some difficulty but now Jamia graduates from different counties are drawn to this work. Students also exercise translating works of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II (may Allah be pleased with him) while at Jamia. Their supervisors report that the standard of translation is good, even if it is not very good it can be polished. In any case effort has been initiated in this regard. But these are just a handful of students. We need a large number of diverse linguists. If anyone other than Jamia students is skilled at languages, as mentioned earlier, they should also learn Arabic and Urdu.
Some people have raised objections here and in Germany about the standard of education in Jamia. This is a wholly unwarrantable objection. The complaint is that after graduating from Jamia the students are not fluent in Arabic. Jamia does not only focus on languages and a wide range of subjects are taught there. If some students are inclined to languages, InshaAllah they will be specialised. With the grace of God the education of Jamia is based on extensive studies. As Jamia in Pakistan are established long-term, there students are given specialist training. This information from Germany is mere excuses for not sending children to Jamia. With the grace of God, graduates of UK and Canadian Jamia have proved very effective in Tabligh. Those who carp are merely troublemaking or perhaps have hypocritical leanings.
Next Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih gave advice from the department of Waqfe Nau, some of which will be perhaps repetition of what has already been said.
When reaching adolescence Waqfe Nau children should be aware that they have to present themselves to the Jama’at. Parents should draw their attention to this matter at every juncture of their education. Guidance should be sought from the Waqfe Nau department about the education of children, if they opt for subjects which the Jama’at does not have a need for, the Waqf should be withdrawn.
Girls of Pakistani origin, living here, who can speak Urdu should learn to read it. They should also learn the local language, as well as Arabic and then they should present themselves for translation. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said he has noticed that women and girls are more adept at translation work. Girls can dedicate themselves as doctors as teachers as can boys.
Local Waqfe Nau department should hold bi-annual forums for members. The department has a complaint that once the Waqfe Nau reference number is issued, some parents lose touch on local and national level or do not stay in touch as they should. If after several years of no connection the department mentions withdrawing the Waqf, the parents complain. The Waqfe Nau syllabus now goes up to the age of 21. It should be studied and any exams organised should be taken. Beyond the age of 21 Waqfe Nau members should study the commentary of the Holy Qur’an in Urdu or the Five Volumes in English. They should also study the books of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and listen to Friday sermon and other addresses regularly and should send in report regarding this.
In some places the Waqfe Nau secretaries are not very active. Elections are going to take place this year. Reports should be sent from Jama’ats as to who is active and who is not. In light of this, even if a person has received more votes but is not active, they will not be elected.
If in places special arrangement for Waqfe Nau is not available they can join their peers in following the general syllabus of Atfal, Khuddam or Lajna. Or the syllabi can be merged.
The Waqfe Nau syllabus can be translated in different languages. This has been done in Sweden. Efforts should be made for French translation by France of Mauritius. It should be promptly reported on who will do the translation and the work should be completed in two months.
Waqfe Nau members should daily read religious books, even if a few pages. 100% Waqfe Nau members should listen to the Friday sermon. Once Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih found that only 10% present in a class listened regularly. The department as well as parents should pay special attention to this. The administration should try and make interactive Waqfe Nau programmes. Each country should form a committee to ascertain within three to four months what its requirements for the next ten years are. How many missionaries will they require, how many translators, how many doctors and other experts. Waqfe Nau department should properly follow up these reports.
Some Waqfe Nau members wish to go into business or join the police or the army. They may do so but their Waqf should be withdrawn. Each country should also have a Waqfe Nau career guidance committee.
Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih has reiterated it many times that when Waqfe Nau members turn 18 they should renew their pledge in writing.
A magazine entitled ‘Ismail’ has been started for Waqfe Nau boys and another entitled ‘Maryam’ for girls. These should be translated in German and French. Articles can be written and published locally or material can be accessed from UK which can be translated in local languages and published in conjunction with Urdu.
May God enable all those parents who have dedicated their children for Waqfe Nau to bring up their children and pray for them in a way that would make them rightful Waqfe Nau members. May these children be the delight of their parents’ eyes and may be enabled to honour their parents’ pledge and be included in that group of people in the true sense whose task is solely to publicise faith. May God enable them so!