After reciting Tashahhud, Taawwuz and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) said that he would first all like to mention something regarding this site which the Jamaat has obtained for holding the Friday Prayers and where they say it will also be held next week. Due to the close proximity of this area to the airport and the coming and going of airplanes, there might be some noise and at times it may be very loud.
Huzur said that despite the noise, he will continuously try to speak loud enough so that everyone present can understand his words. If the sound [from the airplanes passing] remains at its current level then it is tolerable. Anyways, the Friday Prayers could not be held at Baitus Subuh because the space would have been too constricted. Further they said that they could not obtain any other hall or place [to hire] at a suitable price. However, Huzur said that he felt that a hall could have been located if the arrangements had been made on time. Our people have a habit of starting work at the very last minute and think wishfully that the work will get done at the end of the day. With the Grace of Allah many tasks are done in the Jamaat often in emergency situations and the way we are able to complete such tasks is more or less unmatched by anyone else. However this does not mean we should abandon pre-planning altogether. Because of wishful thinking, negligence and failing to give due importance we still have not obtained permission to hold Friday Prayers or any other programmes in the newly purchased building opposite to Baitus Subuh, Baitul Afiyat.
Huzur further said that as soon as the Baitul Afyat building had been purchased, serious work should have started to attain permission or to make any alterations necessary for it to be used. Had work on this begun immediately, we would not be facing these huge obstacles today.
Huzur said Perhaps Ameer Sahib and the administration will say this is not underlying reason or that this was inevitable. In any case, this is slackness on their part as they habitually delay matters until later, which is the reason why we face these hurdles today. May Allah the Almighty grant wisdom and sense to the administration, may He save them from indulging in wishful thinking and may He enable them to carry out their duties properly understanding the facts and realities. Since you have elected your office holders it therefore is your duty to constantly pray for them to carry out their work wisely.
Huzur said that the alternative was that a limited number of people are called for the Friday Prayers and women restricted from attending. In Pakistan and elsewhere where there is opposition to the Ahmadiyya Community women are restricted from coming for the Friday Prayers. In Algeria there is a complete ban on us saying the Friday Prayer. But there it is restricted due to unjust laws or out of fear of opponents, whereas here there is religious freedom and so any restrictions are only due to our slackness and showing negligence to various matters.
After these few words, Huzur then said that for today's Friday Sermon he had initially selected a different topic. However as he was going to lead the funerals of some deceased, some of their accounts have come to light and therefore decided to say some things about them. They include a martyr, a missionary and a granddaughter of the Promised Messiah (as). Some of the qualities they possessed are examples of piety for all people in the Community and they are role models for many of us to derive lessons from. And so Huzur said he deemed it appropriate to speak in detail about these deceased individuals rather than mention them briefly. All of these are those who fulfil their pledges and intentions and give precedence to the faith over the world and returned to their Maker in this state.
The first of the deceased is our martyred brother, Retired Professor Dr Ashfaq Ahmad Sahib, who was martyred last Friday. He was the son of Sheikh Sultan Ahmad Sahib of Lahore and was 68 years old. Last Friday he sat in his car to head towards Baitul Tauheed for the Friday Prayers. On the way an opponent of Ahmadiyyat on a motorcycle shot him and he was thus martyred. Surely to Allah we belong and to Him we shall return.
Ahmadiyyat began in his family through the martyrs paternal grandfather, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Sahib, when the Promised Messiah (as) was in Ludhiana. His family originated from Sangroor, Eastern Punjab, India. After an elder of the area, Pir Meeraan Baksh Sahib accepted Ahmadiyya, he invited the grandfather of the martyred to do the same. The grandfather of the martyred along with his family joined Ahmadiyyat.
With the Grace of Allah the deceased was a Moosi. He had immense love for Khilafat. He was regular in offering Tahajjud. He was very hospitable and helped in service to humanity. He always complied with office bearers and was a very pious and sincere individual. He was always at the forefront of serving the Community and possessed a very high moral standard. He was enthusiastic about calling others towards God. Due to his high moral standard and being very friendly and social, he was always accepted by his students and fellow professors. He would often invite his fellow professors home for dinner where he would introduce the Ahmadiyya Community very effectively. For this reason he would sometimes get threats however he never cared about such things. From childhood the martyred held great passion to serve the Community. He was enabled to work in various departments on the Jamaat level and auxiliary level. After settling in Sabsazaar, he served excellently as Sadr and Naib Zaeem-e-Aala. He was appointed this year as Secretary Dawatalillah in Alama Iqbal Town Lahore. In an excellent fashion he began in this task and formed programs.
The martyr's brother relates that the martyred saw a dream in the time of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV (rh). His brother says that I suddenly remembered the dream two days afterwards. He says that in the dream I see that an announcement is being made in a mosque in the area belonging to non-Ahmadis, that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV (rh) has passed away. I see there is a knife in the letter box in the house. He interpreted this at the time to mean that seeing the knife inferred sacrifices will have to be made by the Community. The announcing of passing away of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV (rh) in his dream could mean that the Community would progress to such a degree during his time that his passing would be specially announced on speakers.
In his view the dream was fulfilled through the announcements that were made on MTA and the knife indicated towards his martyrdom. This was his interpretation, which appears to be a correct one, that it signified his martyrdom which has come to pass.
The second deceased who I will speak about is respected H. Nasir-ul-din Sahib, Missionary in-charge of East Godavari, India, who passed away on 7th April 2017 as a result of drowning in the Godavari River at the age of 42 – 'Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.'
The deceased's father, respected A. Shahil Hameed, was the first Ahmadi in his area of Kavishri Kerala and the Ahmadiyya Jama'at was established through him in that area while his mother, respected Chila Kerobi Sahiba, was also among the pioneer Ahmadis [in that area]. The deceased graduated in 2000 from [Jamia Ahmadiyya] Qadian and served in various areas of the Telangana and Andhra province as a very successful missionary. He also served in one of the larger Jama'ats in Shinta Konta. He was looking after all the Jama'ats that were assigned to him by training them with great wisdom. At the time of his demise, he was serving as the Missionary-in-Charge of East Godavari district.
At the time of his demise, he was serving as the Missionary-in-Charge of East Godavari district. His wife says that they had to live in certain places where there was only a Jama'at centre and therefore he would take his wife and children and lead the prayer and also deliver a Dars [Quranic lecture] and he continued this practise right till the day before his demise. Herein lies a great lesson for the missionaries that even if the members of the Jama'ats are situated at long distances and no one comes for prayer even then the prayers must be offered whether it be by gathering one's family to form the congregation. Despite severe opposition, he remained loyal to his Waqf [pledge of life devotion] and never wrote to the center to be transferred.
His simplicity was such that his wife states that he never bought any furniture and they had no furniture of their own in the house. He would always say that they are life-devotees and they will go wherever the Jama'at instructs them to go therefore their furniture and personal items of the house should not become a hindrance when they are transferred elsewhere. Thus, they should make do and manage with whatever provisions the Jama'at has given them. This is also an example for the Waqifeen-e-Zindagi [life-devotees].
Last year, he was transferred to Amla Porum and there he was so committed to teaching the children Holy Quran that he would travel one kilometre everyday either by foot or cycle and would teach them the Holy Quran and then return back. This is also an example for the missionaries.
He used to say that he often saw Hazrat Musleh Mau'udra and his father in his dreams and his father would be signalling to him and calling him. Thus, he attained martyrdom from this point of view as well that he was away serving his faith and it was during this that he passed away and therefore this is also a form of Shahadat [martyrdom]. He was extremely devout, offered the Tahujjad [pre-dawn voluntary prayer] and was extremely courageous Mujahid [one who strives] in the field of preaching and many a times the opponents captured him and physically persecuted him.
A Mualim, Wazir Sahib, says that he was regular in the Tahujjud prayer, offered his prayers with extreme humility and fervency, recited the Holy Quran daily, he was extremely good-natured and exemplary person. He had a special love for Khilafat and took great care in offering the prayers in congregation. He was extremely hospitable, liked simplicity and refrained from spending extravagantly.
May Allah the Almighty elevate his status and grant patience and steadfastness to his children.
The next person is respected Sahibzadi Amatul Wahid Beghum Sahiba, who was the wife of Sahibazada Mirza Khurshid Ahmad Sahib. She passed away on 10th April 2017 at approximately ten o'clock in the night. She died at the age of 82- – 'Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.'
She was the youngest daughter of Hazrat Mirza Sharif Ahmad Sahib and was also my paternal aunt. She was the paternal granddaughter of the Promised Messiahas and she was the maternal granddaughter of Hazrat Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan Sahib. She has been buried in Bahishti Maqbrah, Rabwah.
Dr Nuri Sahib has written regarding her that she was ill for approximately the last twenty years and was suffering from cancer but she endured these illnesses with great patience and strength. Dr Sahib writes that she continued her activities cheerfully and without any kind of fear and she was content with the will of Allah the Almighty. Right up until the last days of her illness, she continued with the household chores and also looked after her husband. Her relationship with her husband was exemplary. Although she was ill herself but when her husband, Sahibzada Mirza Khurshid Ahmad Sahib, underwent angioplasty, she completely ignored her own illness and helped take care of him.
Huzur said that she had met him after his Khilafat for the first time in Qadian and twice in London. Despite being more senior in relation and age, she always met with great humility. Huzur said although she was my mother's sister-in-law but she was the youngest daughter of Hazrat Mirza Sharif Ahmad Sahib and therefore she was almost the same age as my eldest sister. Therefore, my mother always treated her as one of her own children and she too never considered her as her sister-in-law, in fact I saw that she always showed my mother great respect and held her in great esteem and this was an exemplary relationship.
Her Nikah [marriage] ceremony took place on 26th December 1955 and was led by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II (ra). Through the grace of Allah the Almighty she was blessed with six sons, four of whom are devotees of life. Two of them are working as doctors at the Fazl-e-Umar Hospital. One of them has a PhD doctorate and works in Nazarat-e-Ta'leem, and one is a lawyer who works for the Legal Advisory office in Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya.
Her services for Lajna [women's auxiliary organisation] span over twenty nine years in which she served as: Secretary for Trade & Industry and also as the primary Deputy Sadr [President].
She was extremely obedient to her superior office-bearer, irrespective of a difference in age or family ties. Huzur also said that his wife informed him that "when she served as Sadr Lajna [President of the women's auxiliary organisation] in Rabwah for two years, the deceased worked alongside her in the capacity of Secretary for Trade & Industry, as well as Deputy President. She always worked passionately with great humility and obedience. Whichever work was assigned to her, she completed it with great fervour and dedication."
Her husband, Mr Mirza Khurshid Ahmad Sahib states: "She did justice to her responsibilities of being the wife of a life devotee. She never demanded anything from me. She ensured a good upbringing for the children and it is the result of her good moral training that by the grace of Allah, from six sons, four of them have devoted their lives. Aside from her own children she also looked after the children of the workers at home, with great care and attention. If any of them had not had the opportunity to learn to read the Holy Quran, she would teach the children of the workers alongside her own. There is a number of children of a certain age that learnt to recite the Holy Quran and also the translation from her."
She was very regular in her prayers and would consistently recite the Holy Quran. She ensured that her children developed a habit of praying and would send them the mosque. After the Fajr [dawn] prayers she would urge her children to recite the Holy Quran and would ensure they did this. She would look after the poor as well as those that worked for her and would ensure their comfort.
In her home, she brought up many girls of less fortunate backgrounds and provided the means for their secular education as well as ensuring for their moral training. She also brought up the daughter of one of her workers and at the time of her wedding, she [i.e. the deceased] sent a message to all her Nand's [husbands' sisters] that if they did not attend this wedding, she would not attend any of their children's weddings. This was the level of her intimate relationship that she expressed with those that were underprivileged.
Her youngest sister in law writes: "I once asked her at what age did she become regular in offering her Tahajjud [pre-dawn voluntary prayer] prayer. At first she did not answer and attempted to change the subject, however after I persisted she said that she had been offering her Tahajjud prayers regularly since she was twelve years old. In addition to this, she herself took on the responsibility of paying for the dowry and education of many girls. Similarly she would also secure funding for the girls from the Lajna Dastkari Fund [a start-up fund]. She organised the Ronaq [pre-marital gathering organised for the bride] of some girls of poorer backgrounds who, otherwise had no means to arrange this and would provide food from her own home.
These were all great qualities that she possessed. May Allah the Almighty enable her children to adopt these attributes and may they always maintain a bond of loyalty with Khilafat. May Allah elevate her status.
Huzur said that after the prayers he will lead the funeral prayers in absentia of all of the three deceased that he mentioned earlier.