“What is truly of most importance is prayer, indeed it is our prayers that shall accomplish all the tasks.” – Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad
On 10 January 2021, Missionaries serving the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the Greater London area were granted a virtual official meeting and audience with the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad.
His Holiness presided the meeting from his office in Islamabad, Tilford, whilst the Missionaries joined the meeting virtually.
During the meeting, which lasted around 55 minutes, all present had the opportunity to personally speak to His Holiness and to seek his prayers and guidance.
Addressing the Missionaries, His Holiness reiterated that Mosques of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the UK should strictly adhere to the laws of the land in relation to social distancing. Whilst they remained open, prayer services would continue but with limited attendance to ensure that the services complied with Covid-19 protocols.
His Holiness instructed that Missionaries should adapt their work during the Covid-19 lockdown to ensure that the moral training of Ahmadi Muslims continued. Similarly, they should continue to find ways and means to convey Islam’s teachings to the wider public. Every possible effort should be made to break down barriers between the peoples of different faiths and beliefs and to increase tolerance and mutual understanding.
In terms of catering for the moral training of Ahmadi Muslims, His Holiness said that the Missionaries should increase online meetings, classes and send daily audio recordings through which the members could increase their religious knowledge.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Whilst remaining within the protocols prescribed by the government and whilst fully observing the restrictions implemented by the government, we should do as much work as we can. It should not be that we completely sit idle and in the near future our members forget that there is even supposed to be a Dars (religious study) that is delivered after the prayers. Rather than going from one extreme to another, the middle path can be adopted.”
His Holiness said that whilst observing government guidelines on social distancing, Ahmadi Muslims should continually seek to fulfil their religious obligations. Furthermore, given how Covid-19 was spreading at a rapid rate at this time, Ahmadi Muslims living in the UK should ensure that they only left their homes where it was essential.
“Every Missionary should continually advise the members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in their areas that they should not roam the streets needlessly. If Ahmadi Muslims go to parks, even there they should maintain social distancing according to the government guidelines. Other than that, as places of worship are currently allowed to open, people can come to pray in the Mosques. They should bring their own prayer mats or at least a piece of cloth to place at the point where they prostrate during the prayer. Furthermore, Mosques should be kept particularly clean these days. For example, they should be vacuumed on a daily basis.”
On a number of occasions, His Holiness emphasised that Missionaries should reach out to Ahmadi Muslim youth in particular.
“Try also to attach the Ahmadi Muslim youth to the Mosques. Elderly people do come, however the youth should also attend the Mosques. As many as the elderly come to the Mosque, the same number of young people should also come.”
Speaking to another missionary, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Try to bring the youth closer and in these days make a special effort to make the youth regular in observing their prayers.”
The Missionaries informed His Holiness about the various online initiatives taking place, such as religious classes for children and elders. Additionally, social media was being utilised to reach out to those not part of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to inform them of the true teachings of Islam.
His Holiness also instructed the Missionaries to regularly contact Ahmadi Muslims during the lockdown to find out about their wellbeing and needs.
As the meeting reached its conclusion, His Holiness reiterated the need for the Missionaries to establish a strong personal relationship with God Almighty. In this regard, he particularly encouraged the offering of the voluntary prayers offered during the night known as Tahajjad.
“You should offer Tahajjad prayers regularly. Due to the fact that there is plenty of time nowadays, an hour-long Tahajjad is not difficult in the current circumstances. You should offer the voluntary prayers for an hour at night and also in normal circumstances you should make an effort to maintain this. What is truly of most importance is prayer, indeed it is our prayers that shall accomplish all the tasks, God willing. Pay attention towards prayers and increase your relationship with God Almighty. It is this which is of the upmost importance for us. Pay much attention towards prayers and seeking the forgiveness of Allah the Almighty.”
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