“It is incumbent upon women to partake in the propagation of faith” – Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad
On 2 September 2023, the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, addressed the women’s side of the Jalsa Salana Germany and spoke about the role and rights of women in Islam.
Throughout the address, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad narrated faith-inspiring sacrifices made by exemplary and pious Muslim women of the past as well as their extraordinary forbearance in upholding their faith in the face of extreme persecution. His Holiness explained that these examples serve as a reminder for men and women to increase in their faith.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad commenced his address by highlighting the character, sacrifice and the legacy of those women who had derived great benefit from the blessed company of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad stated:
“Those Muslim ladies (during the period of early Islam) strived to portray the true image of Islam at every juncture of their lives – whether it pertained to obedience to Allah the Almighty, elevated levels of worship, domestic and societal responsibilities, educative responsibilities of children, physical and financial sacrifices, or opportunities of displaying courage and bravery for the sake of Islam. Thus, these women laid an exemplary foundation at every opportunity and step of their lives.”
His Holiness mentioned how pioneering women of Islam went on expeditions and travelled for the sake of Islam, and so too did Ahmadi Muslim women.
Advising that Ahmadi Muslim women should serve that cause of Islam to their best of abilities, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Instead of merely repeating the oath that we will give precedence to our faith over the world, each and every one of us should assess whether we are truly adhering to this oath not.”
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad addressed the topic of religious freedom and presented examples of this right granted to women from the very inception of Islam.
“By no means does Islam command women to stay locked behind closed doors nor did Muslim women do so at the very onset of Islam, rather they would come to listen to the sermons of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). They would partake in battles, treat the wounded, embark on expeditions, mount and ride (horses and camels), seek knowledge from men and then teach others too.”
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad also emphasised the injunction of purdah (covering) that women would adhere to whilst undertaking the aforementioned tasks.
“Thus, they (women) were granted complete practical freedom. They were only commanded to observe Hijab – whilst practising their freedom – so that those avenues that lead to sin remain shut, but if they can be more cautious, they may wear the niqab (face covering). However, to remain trapped at home and detached from academic and educative works is not what Islam teaches nor has this ever been practiced in the past.”
In the end, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad once again reminded the attendees of their responsibilities in this day and age with regard to personal development.
“The battle that is to be fought today is that of the pen; it is the Jihad of the distribution of literature and the jihad of propagating the message of Islam. Thus, it is incumbent upon women to partake in the propagation of faith and to utilise this spiritual tool designated to spread the message of Islam. They ought to seek religious knowledge from the Holy Quran, the sayings of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and the writings of the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) in order to acquaint themselves with Islamic teachings, and to lead by example. Only then will they be able to serve Islam.”
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