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- Press Release - Lajna Imaillah Ghana
Ahmadiyya Muslim Women (Lajna Imaillah) Ghana to launch Global Centenary Celebration. 21/10/22: The Women’s Association of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Ghana is set to launch a year-long celebration in commemoration of the global Centenary Anniversary of Lajna Ima’illah. The theme for Ghana’s celebration is: Building Resilience in Self Reformation: A Path to Peace and Sustainable Development. The Women's Association of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was established on 25th December 1922 to foster unity, promote spiritual and moral education, and advance the welfare issues of women and children within the community across the world. Lajna Ima’illah is established in over 200 countries across the world with our international headquarters in the United Kingdom. Each country will be executing a series of activities over the year for its celebration. The National Sadr (President) of Lajna Imaillah Ghana Hajia Anisa Nasirdeen Iddrissu says “under the current trend of events across the world, it is time for women to get involved in the high spiritual development of the society so as to instill the fear of God and the love for the world in the hearts and minds of our people. I call on my members to gear up and actively participate in all the programs lined up for this soul lifting period”. The Ghana chapter celebrations will be launched in Accra as follows: Date: 13th November Time: 9:00am Venue: Ahmadiyya Mission House, Osu Nyaniba Estates. We Look forward to welcoming your participation and also opportunities to discuss the works and impact of Lajna Imaillah in Ghana. Jazakumullaha ahsanal jazaa (May God bless you with the best of rewards), Amen. -END- For further information kindly Contact: The General Secretary, Lajna Imaillah Ghana: 0244549805 Press Coordinator: 0201503575
- APPOINTMENT OF HAJIA NABEELA N. WAHAB HAMMOND AS A HIGH COURT JUDGE
Hajia Nabeela N. Wahab Hammond is the current General Secretary of Lajna Imaillah Ghana. Prior to this she served in various capacities in Lajna Imaillah including the Regional Isha’at Secretary of the then Greater Accra Region in 2010; National Isha’at Secretary in 2011; a position she held until she was appointed National General Secretary in 2016. In 2017, she requested leave from the position of General Secretary on medical grounds and handed over to the Naib General Secretary the time. In 2018, she was re-appointed General Secretary during the tenure of our Late Sadr, Hajia Rukia Khalid. Hajia Naeema served as General Secretary until 2020 when she was again appointed General Secretary during the tenure of Sadr Hajia Anisa Nasirudeen Iddrisu Sahiba. In the year 2020, Sadr Hajia Anisa Nasirudeen Iddrisu Sahiba also appointed Hajia Naeema Coordinator of the Workshop and Training Committee and Coordinator of the Centenary Committee of Lajna, positions she holds currently. Hajia Naeema was called to the Ghana Bar to practice as a lawyer in October, 2008. She was adjudged the overall best female student of her class. She holds an LLM in International Maritime Law obtained from the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) in Malta in 2012, where she graduated as the best overall student of her class. She practiced as a lawyer from the Office of the Attorney-General in Ghana from 2008 until July 2022 when Alhamdulillah she was appointed by the President of Ghana as a High Court Judge. On her own behalf and on behalf of National Amila, Lajna members in Ghana and beyond Sadr Hajia Anisa Nasirudeen Iddrisu Sahiba wishes to express our profound gratitude to Allah Subhanahu Wata’Allah for elevating our own Hajia Nabeela Naeema Wahab Hammond to the status of a High Court Judge, Masha’Allah. We congratulate her and pray for success in her new office. May we remember her in our prayers in order that Allah may out of His Grace guide her affairs and enable her to conduct herself and administer justice in a manner that is in accord with the laws of Ghana and may be pleasing to Him. Amen. Her Ladyship, Ayekoo!
- PURDAH: A RETRACTING ROPE OR A SPRINGBOARD TO SUCCESS?
A Muslim woman can be seen going about her activities outside with her head well-covered and her stature draped with a length of loose outer garment. This is the Islamic way in accordance with the clear commandments in the Holy Qur’an – the Islamic sacred scripture. (24:31) Say to the believing men that they restrain their eyes and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Surely, Allah is well aware of what they do. (24:32) And say to the believing women that they restrain their eyes and guard their private parts, and that they disclose not their natural and artificial beauty except that which is apparent thereof, and that they draw their head-coverings over their bosoms, and that they disclose not their beauty save to their husbands, or to their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands or their sons or the sons of their husbands or their brothers, or the sons of their brothers, or the sons of their sisters, or their women, or what their right hands possess, or such of male attendants as have no sexual appetite, or young children who have no knowledge of the hidden parts of women. And they strike not their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may become known. And turn ye to Allah all together, O believers, that you may succeed. (33:60) O Prophet! tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers that they should draw close to them portions of their loose outer coverings. That is nearer that they may thus be distinguished and not molested. And Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful. (24:61) As to elderly women, who have no desire for marriage — there is no blame on them if they lay aside their outer clothing without displaying their beauty. But to abstain from that even is better for them. And Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. ‘Purdah’ is a word of Persian origin meaning a screen or curtain. The word is commonly used in reference to the modest attire that Muslim women wear in line with the Islamic teaching that there should be a limit to which male and female can freely mix outside of marriage. The Islamic Purdah, rather than depriving women of their rights, maintains the respect, honor, morality and spirituality of a woman and protects her from a cluster of societal tangles and moral blemishes. In a world teeming with immorality and immodest ways that are adopted in the name of ‘freedom’, it is seen that the Islamic Purdah observed in a Muslim lady is commonly met with objection and indignation. In this article, as an Ahmadi Muslim woman who understands and reveres this Islamic commandment and finds contentment in adopting the mode of dressing prescribed by my Faith, I wish to enlighten my readers about the wisdom, truth and purity of the Islamic Purdah. I wish to state in clear terms that the Islamic Purdah is the route that granted me true and actual freedom. After stating this, I must explain my understanding of ‘freedom’. Freedom is the state of being unchained or independent of any external force that takes away one’s rights or prevents one from achieving his or her full potential. In brief diversion, let me clarify that Islam has from the very beginning given women their full rights. Declarations contrary to this result from a lack of knowledge about Islam. To help out, I present a link to an address delivered by the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community – Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(a.b.a). This was the address delivered by His Holiness(a.b.a) for the Ladies Session of the Jalsa Salana (Annual Convention) in U.K. 2021. Read through for profound insight: https://trueislam.co.uk/articles/womens-rights-true-emancipation-through-the-teachings-of-islam/ It is declared that having to abide by a certain mode of dressing that keeps a woman shielded from the harmful gazes of men is tantamount to trapping a woman and preventing her from dressing the way she wants. The actuality is that in Islam, each human being is free to make whatever choice they prefer for themselves, and if any Muslim woman fails to abide by the actual essence of Purdah even while the prescribed attire is worn, she is not following the Islamic injunction. The question now is who has the true freedom – a modestly-dressed Muslim woman or a ‘free’, immodestly-dressed woman. While the dress restriction in a Muslim lady is imposed by God the Almighty Himself, the Master of the Universe; an immodestly-dressed lady is trapped by the desires, wishes and standards set by a morally-corrupt society. A Muslim lady gets ready in the morning donning her loose outer garment and piece of cloth neatly tucking in her hair, with the full knowledge and contentment that this is being done for God, and intending to set out of the home to complete her daily tasks for the sake of God. Knowing with full certainty that her only Protector and Provider is God Almighty, as she sets out to complete her goals of noble intention for service to humanity, it gives her deep joy to prepare herself for work by dressing in accordance with His injunctions which are meant for her own betterment, and for the betterment of society. Therefore, while a Muslim lady finds gratitude and fortitude in the knowledge that every commandment of our Merciful Creator is for our benefit, and willingly abides by them to win His pleasure, how pitiful is the state of a woman who spends time in the morning dressing to fulfil the low wishes of society and seeking their approval and likeness, by exerting so much mental energy to conform to the unrealistic and vain standards set on her by the public? This is along with her knowledge of the prevalent harms she is attracting towards herself – but I believe that the most worrying harm is in the strife for illusory things which only provide temporary joy, and can never render complete satisfaction and contentment. Indeed, the only source of complete contentment and fulfillment is in connection with one’s Creator. Each living entity on the Earth, created by God, has a natural attraction and need for connection with its Creator, without Whom we are nothing. It is a choice of whether to win the pleasure of the One to Whom all shall return, or the approval of those who will inevitably return to Him as well. Thus, it is in observing Purdah that I find satisfaction and happiness and become free from the vain demands of society which, if I seek to fulfill and prioritize over my religious values, will certainly lead to my downfall both in this world, and in the Hereafter. A Muslim woman observing Purdah is safe from the risk of becoming lured into traps that would ruin her physical, moral and spiritual state and which would retract her away from her Creator. A Muslim woman does not become susceptible to falling into these traps which lay in wait with doors wide open. The Purdah safeguards me in these ways and grants me true freedom from societal, moral and spiritual harm as I go out to fulfil my goals, reminding and keeping me conscious of my values and my purpose. This is the path to success. Further expounding on the wisdom in the prescribed attire of modesty in women, inherent human nature can only concede that it is improper for women to shamelessly reveal themselves. This is proven by natural instincts which any decent mind experiences, as well as the fact that humanity has declined in morality over the centuries. Just going back to the 19th century, we find clearly how unacceptable it was in the customs of the society for a woman to put her body on show for the eyes of all. Statistically, we know the difference in the ratio of religion-affiliated persons compared to today. This is why back in just the 19th century, if even a lady’s legs were exposed, it was met with protest and outcry and pointed out as an indecent act. This was not to keep a woman confined or to prevent her from going about society to achieve honorable success for herself. Rather, it was in the nature of right-thinking individuals to know that it is morally and naturally inappropriate for women to expose themselves freely in front of men. In the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the female gymnastics team of Germany chose to wear full-body suits, boldly expressing their discomfort in having to put on revealing attires. How sad that women have to put themselves in such natural discomfort only to satisfy the base desires of the public. As technology advanced, as people began to drift farther away from religion, worldly glitters and materialistic desires engulfed the minds and lives of a massive number. In this ‘modern’ world, a woman dressed modestly with a long dress is pointed out as old-fashioned. A teenage girl in her class who doesn’t wear tight clothes or short, revealing blouses is labelled plain and looked down on. It is of no surprise that today, a Muslim woman’s modest attire is not met with the response it should be met with; that the eyes of those unfortunately steeped in worldly obsessions are blind to the moral and spiritual sparkles glistening in the lengths of cloth keeping a lady covered, decent and safe from the dangers of society, and her heart pure and clean. It is worth considering whether the troubles in society prevalent today, including adultery and fornication, are as a result of Purdah, or as a result of no Purdah. How unfortunate are those that fail to behold the wisdom and security of the modest dress and veil that keep safe the honor, respect and dignity of a woman and hold intact her potential to shine and succeed both in this world and in the next world. Indeed, not only is a Muslim woman protected from stepping into a tangle of sin, but through her Purdah she protects her fellow beings in society from stumbling as well. True freedom is in the heart knowing that one is doing the right thing for one’s soul, for one’s fellow beings, and hence for the pleasure of God, the Almighty. True freedom is this – that as mere human beings, our every action and intention is for the sake of attaining the pleasure of the One Almighty God Who created us and gave us all that we have, so that we are among those with whom He is pleased. Ultimately, this life will come to an end, and we need to live this life such that in the next life, which is the everlasting life, we would be in prosperity. Therefore, no true freedom can be found in taking the option of going against the will of our Creator and sacrificing or shedding off our modesty in order to gain some temporary pleasures and to achieve goals full of vanity. A lady without Purdah, who nevertheless is dressed in a decent manner, still is susceptible and exposed to the dangerous avenues compared to a Muslim lady. Undoubtedly, Purdah is a blessing from Allah that has safeguarded men and women. Indeed, would the Loving and Gracious God, Who has provided all the fruits, vegetables and elements to sustain His creation, and all the roses, birds and stars to calm our eyes and hearts, ever prescribe anything detrimental to us? Without a doubt, each one of His commandments is for our own immense benefit, and we must never forget that God Almighty is Independent of us while we are ever-dependent upon Him. Hence, the Islamic Purdah instructed by Allah the Almighty is filled with wisdom, light, and benefit to the Muslim woman and the world around her. Indeed, Purdah in us Muslim women is what beautifies our lives. It is what enables us to succeed, and allows and inspires us to do anything we desire for the betterment of humanity, without holding us back in the slightest. They think I’m trapped but my heart soars free Their notions so pressed but my dreams sail above My Purdah reminds me of who I am, My purpose in this life, and to Whom I belong Keeping me linked to my values, Shields me from evil, with beauty in and out Beauty in its true sense, is what Purdah has granted me How grateful I am to You O Allah And how I wish this, That rather than gazing on time-wasting folly, If only the world would see what it should see!
- Islam and Knowledge
‘Seeking of knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim man and every Muslim woman.’  This Hadith (saying of the Holy Prophet Muhammad(sa)) underlines the importance given by Islam to the pursuit of knowledge. The Holy Founder(sa) of Islam instructed Muslims to ‘seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave’,  which is contrary to a common notion that childhood is the time to learn and adulthood is the time to implement it in practical work – further proved wrong by the very words of God Almighty to the Holy Prophet(sa) of Islam, “say, ‘O my Lord, increase me in knowledge.” (20:115). This prayer was taught to the Holy Prophet(sa) when he was 55 or 56 years of age, indeed showing us that one must continuously search to gain more of this limitless treasure at every stage of one’s life. The high stress laid on this in Islam indeed goes to expectation, as in the very first Quranic revelation from Allah the Almighty to the Holy Prophet(sa), He has urged every Muslim by commanding, “Read thou in the name of thy Lord Who created,” (96:2) – hence the great emphasis laid on the acquisition of knowledge in Islam. For the elders as well as the young ones, for women as well as for men, Islam enjoins this obligation on the same scale for all. But what is the basis for the teaching that one should exert all their energy into more and more learning? The Holy Qur’an has instructed us to utilize all the faculties bestowed on us by the Gracious God, so that we may progress in our nearness to Him. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V(aba) states: “Unique amongst all creation, Allah the Almighty has given mankind the insight to appreciate that whatever He has created has been made for our benefit, on condition that we use it in the right way.”  Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II(ra) says: “Whatever faculties God Almighty has bestowed upon mankind, He has also provided the means and the resources for those faculties to be utilized.”  We find stated in the Holy Qur’an that: “Only those of His servants who possess knowledge fear Allah.” (35:29). What an illuminating statement! Knowledge is required for Taqwa (fear of Allah), and as stated in one Hadith: ‘The best provision for the journey to the Hereafter is Taqwa.’  Hence, knowledge provides the key without which righteousness is beyond reach. As explained by our Fifth Khalifa(aba) , by pondering upon God’s creation, one perceives God Almighty and appreciates His perfect creation, and is consequently drawn towards Him, their faith enhanced. As Ahmadi Muslims, it is our duty to carry on the mission of the Promised Messiah(as), and for this he has directed us to the Jihad of the Pen, which is to strive to propagate the true teachings of Islam using words, through reasoned arguments with study and logic, along with prayer. We Ahmadi Muslims must be at the forefront for the defense of our Faith, to establish the truth and bring the whole of mankind closer to our Creator. As the early Muslims equipped themselves with physical armour and weaponry for the cause of Islam in order to save the whole of mankind from destruction, for the Jihad of this era we must equip ourselves with knowledge. For this, Islam puts our secular studies at equal importance as our religious studies. Vastness of knowledge is the key to not only personal progress, but for the progress of our Community, and thus indeed, for the progress of the whole world. Education moreover enables one to serve one’s nation, another route to the strengthening of one’s faith as the Holy Prophet(sa) taught that ‘love of one’s nation is a part of faith.’  Furthermore, all this makes it crystal clear that, having established the high necessity of learning, the rank of the job of teaching others must be truly acknowledged and respected. We must give maximum respect to those who selflessly undertake the duty of teaching others, and indeed we must ourselves aim to share the knowledge we gain with others, as it is in fact an act of charity. Answering a question by a Khadim about how one can be grateful to Allah the Almighty, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V(aba) mentioned a number of ways of showing our gratitude to Allah, including the sharing of knowledge as well as the sharing of wealth with the needy; by using the good things we have, in any capacity, that Allah the Almighty has bestowed upon us, in order to benefit other people and His Creation.  Spending in the way of God includes not just money, but also includes sharing with others the knowledge that Allah the Almighty has bestowed upon one. This is why the teaching profession is given much priority in Islam. Moreover, the act of teaching the Holy Qur’an is highly exalted in Islam, as seen from the Hadith: “The best among you is the one who learns the Qur’an and teaches it.”  God Almighty promises us that He increases for those who give away for His sake, and such clear proof of this is present in the act of teaching others, as in no way does it diminish one’s own store of knowledge, but rather, greatly and continuously increases it. Moreover, the Holy Prophet(sa) informed us that, “Anyone who spends something in the way of Allah will have it recorded for him seven hundred times over.”  Hence, rather than gluing our gaze on things that are of secondary importance, as is common in some of today’s societies in educational institutions particularly in the teaching profession, we must be wholeheartedly thankful to Allah for these sparkling opportunities of both acquiring and rendering knowledge, and must strive to excel in these for the uplift of humanity, through hard work and prayer. There is such gratifying news for us in the Hadith that: “The word of wisdom is the lost property of a believer, so that wherever he finds it, he should take it, because he is the one most entitled to it.”  Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II(ra) expounds on this Hadith by writing, “For a true seeker of knowledge, the whole universe, with all its constituents, is an open book of learning from which he can acquire knowledge to the best of his capacity and efforts.” He also explains that the Holy Qur’an is the fundamental source of all wisdom and eternal truth, and belongs to the believers.  Hence, we must seek to grab whatever knowledge and wisdom we find, as pieces of treasure that truly belong to us, with the same level of passion we would use to re-acquire a most cherished, lost artefact that originally belonged to us. The treasure-house of all knowledge, the Holy Qur’an, the revealed Word of God, gives us such clear and dazzling insights into areas including science, history, physics, geology, economics, to name merely a few. The Holy Qur’an is an ocean of eternal truths and insights, and there is no wisdom which is not contained in this Book of Allah. A revelation to the Promised Messiah(as) from Allah the Almighty Himself was: “All good is contained in the Qur’an.”  The Fifth Successor of the Promised Messiah(as) tells us that, “In truth, all types of knowledge are contained within the Holy Qur’an.”  On another occasion, he states that, “Certainly, out of all the heavenly scriptures, the Holy Qur’an is unique in terms of the vast amount of insight it has given about the universe and its inception and how it has encouraged scientific research and the pursuit of knowledge.”  Professor Dr Abdus Salam repeatedly drew attention to these very features of the Holy Qur’an, and became the first Muslim Nobel Laureate, winning a Nobel Prize in Physics. The Promised Messiah(as) says: “The members of my sect shall so excel in knowledge and insight that they will confound everyone with the light of their truth, and by dint of their arguments and signs.”  We must throughout our lives strive to broaden our scope of secular and religious knowledge. Let us endeavour to act upon the instructions and commandments of our Faith and use all our God-given abilities and opportunities to pave pathways to such progress and advancement through which we personally benefit and through which all of humanity benefits. We must pray to Allah for this, because He alone is the Bestower of knowledge. “Holy art Thou! No knowledge have we except what Thou hast taught us; surely, Thou art the All-Knowing, the Wise.” (2:33) References  Hadith (Baihiqi)  Address at Jamia Ahmadiyya UK and Canada Convocation – 5th March 2017  Address at first international Ahmadiyya Muslim Research Association (AMRA) conference – 14th Dec 2019  Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II(ra) : The Review of Religions June 2020 edition –‘The Truth About Salvation’  Hadith (Chehl Ahadith)  Address at first international Ahmadiyya Muslim Research Association (AMRA) conference – 14th Dec 2019  Hadith (Sakhavi)  Gulshan-e-Waqfe nau Khudam – 25th Nov 2017  Hadith (Bukhari, Kitab Faza’ilul Qur’an)  Hadith (Tirmidhi)  Hadith (Tirmidhi)  ‘Forty Gems of Beauty’– by Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad, M.A.(ra)  ‘Noah’s Ark: An Invitation to Faith’ page 43 – by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as)  Address at concluding session of educational camp for Muslim children – 14th April 2014 : https://www.pressahmadiyya.com/press-releases/2014/04/head-ahmadiyya-muslim-community-addresses-ahmadi-muslim-youths-importance-religious-secular-education/  Address at first international Ahmadiyya Muslim Research Association (AMRA) conference – 14th Dec 2019  ‘Divine Manifestations’ page 24 – by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as), the Promised Messiah and Mahdi
- Muslim women urged to participate in PHC
Nalerigu (NE/R), June 13, GNA – The National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association of Ghana, Hajia Anisa Iddrisu Sahiba, has called on members of the Association to participate in the upcoming Population and Housing Census (PHC) for national development. “I am encouraging you to come out and be counted. None of you should be left out, and if you are asked about your religion, our religion is Islam and we are Muslims. Do not say you are an Ahmadi. We want you all to be counted as Muslims,” she said. Hajia Sahiba made the call when she met about 153 members of the Association, also known as Lajna Imaillah, from 13 circuits at Nalerigu, the North East Regional capital, as part of her nationwide tour. The visit allowed the National President and her entourage to interact with their members and to encourage them to take up their responsibilities as handmaidens of Allah. Hajia Sahiba was in the company of Dr Fatima Abbas Eshun, the National Vice President, Ms Sarah Berge, the Assistant Financial Secretary, Mrs Katura Anderson Ibrahim the National Tahrike Jadid and Waqfe Jadid Secretary and Hajia Rahmat Ainooson, Secretary Umoore Talibaat. She said it was important for the Muslim women to take a keen interest in the PHC to propel development and entreated them to ensure that all their family members took part in the national exercise. The National President, who is also referred to as Sadr, told her members that “Whatever we are doing, let us ensure that we are doing it with honesty and do it the proper way as members of Lajna Imaillah.” She prayed for God’s blessings for them as His handmaidens in their various endeavours and grant them the grace to work as women and earn genuine capital to support their families and the works of the Association and the religion at large. “As women, we have duties towards our families, already we are performing such duties, but we are encouraging you to perform such duties with much love. Do not create confusion in your homes, you must be very peaceful because our motto is love for all, hatred for none.” Hajia Sahiba, who earlier planted a tree at a site designated for the construction of a mosque and mission house in the Region, said in commemoration of the Centenary Celebration, members in every country was mandated to plant at least 1,000 trees. She said the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission had already started its tree planting exercise in January 2021 and had so far planted about 800 trees in Ghana before the government’s Green Ghana project. “We embarked on this exercise in January this year and when we heard of the government’s Green Ghana project we took the opportunity to acquire the free seedlings to aid our programme.” Mr Karim Abdulai Issahaque, the North East Regional President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission, said it was a blessing to have the National leadership of the Lajna Imaillah in the Region interact with its members. Mr Issahaque noted that the National President had touched on very critical National issues, especially the PHC, and reiterated the need for women to take part in the exercise. GNA
- Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission plants trees at Tingnyoring
Tingnyoring (N/R), June 12, GNA – Some members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission on Saturday visited the Tingnyoring community in the Kumbungu District of the Northern Region and planted about 500 trees. The varieties included mango and shea to help protect the environment. The exercise, which fell in line with the national Green Ghana project, formed part of activities to mark the Centenary celebration of the establishment of the Lajna Imaillah Ghana (the women’s wing) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission. Hajia Anisa Iddrisu, Sadr (National Leader) of Lajna Imaillah Ghana, who addressed members at the Tingnyoring community before the tree planting exercise, said Lajna Imaillah Ghana was established in 1922 and would be 100 years in 2022, hence some activities including tree planting to mark the celebration. Hajia Iddrisu said the tree planting exercise was being replicated in all the 27 zones of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission across the country including Yendi, Salaga and Nalerigu. She said since January, this year, over 750 trees planted by some members of Lajna Imaillah Ghana were doing well. She spoke about other tree planting initiatives of the group and said in May, this year, it initiated the mahogany plantation project at Shai Hills where over 3,000 mahogany trees were planted and advised members of the Tingnyoring community to nurture the trees to grow. Hajia Iddrisu spoke about the Centenary celebration of Lajna Imaillah Ghana and encouraged members in the Tingnyoring community to actively participate in the activities lined up towards the celebrations by honouring their obligations to Allah, which she said held a lot of benefits for them. She further advised the women to take good care of their homes and children and teach them to be respectful in society to prepare them for future leadership roles. Maulvi Abdul Jabar Adam, who is the Tamale Zonal Missionary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission, said protecting the environment and planting trees were dear to Allah, adding that such acts brought blessings to those who planted trees. Maulvi Adam encouraged the group to continue to impress community members to desist from cutting trees in the area to help safeguard the environment. GNA
- National Amila Lajna Imaillah Ghana meet Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (atba)
On 24th January 2021, the national amila of Lajna Imaillah Ghana met with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aa) in an inspirational meeting wherein Huzooraa outlined his expectations of Ghanaian Lajna. Hazrat Amirul Momineen(aa) initiated the meeting with dua. Masjid Mubarak, Islamabad on 24th January 2021 Huzoor(aa) asked Nabila Naima Wahab Sahiba, General Secretary about the number of majalis in Ghana, to which she reported that there were 162 majalis. Huzoor(aa) said to ensure every majlis sent their report and emphasised for all the majalis to remain active. Muavina Sadr and Secretary Wasiyyat, Maryam Bentu Sahiba presented her report next. Huzoor(aa) asked Maryam Sahiba various questions about the department and what the total tajnid of Lajna Imaillah Ghana was. Huzoor(aa) was told the total number of Ahmadi Muslim women in Ghana was 30,000. In response, Huzoor(aa) said: “Then your musiyat [members of the Wasiyyat] should not be less than 15,000.” Maryam Sahiba reported that by the grace of Allah, many members had applied and are waiting for approval. Zainab Abdus-Salam Sahiba, Headmistress of the TI Ahmadiyya High School in Ghana and honourary member of the amila of Lajna Imaillah Ghana reported next. Huzoor(aa) enquired of Zainab Sahiba about the school and the total number of students. Zainab Sahiba reported that 2,434 students currently studied at the Ahmadiyya Senior High School. Hearing this, Huzooraa remarked, “Masha-Allah, very flourishing”. Speaking with Secretary Tabligh, Fadila Muhammad Sahiba, Huzoor(aa) noted that her assignment was “very important” and said, “You should try to fix some target [for yourselves] which is challenging, not an easy target … Make a comprehensive and detailed programme to see how can we achieve this target.” Huzoor(aa) then asked how many Lajna members were participating in tabligh activities and said that at least 3,000 Lajna members – out of the 30,000 – “should be active da‘i ilallah [callers towards God] – those who are doing tabligh actively.” Secretary Tarbiyat for new converts, Haja Farooq Sahiba reported to Huzooraa next. Regarding the new converts department, Huzoor(aa) emphasised that all the records of new converts in the last three years should be properly logged and secretary tarbiyat for new converts should personally endeavour to contact every single convert or at least respective local secretaries of new converts should be in contact with them. Secretary Ziafat, Maryam Segu Sahiba was asked by Huzoor(aa) if any food had been prepared for the amila members that day. During this light-hearted conversation, Huzoor(aa) also began listing various Ghanaian cuisines. Huzoor(aa) was pleased to hear that jollof rice and soup had been prepared for the amila members. Secretary Umur-e-Talibat, Rahmat Ayub Sahiba reported next to Huzoor(aa) and upon being asked, reported that there were 208 university-going Ahmadi women students, but this number was due to change as records were still being received and verified. Hazrat Amirul Momineen(aa) asked secretary sehat-e-jismani if she took part in any sports and in a light-hearted comment, said that preparing cuisines like fufu, kenkey and banku were also a form of good exercise which Lajna members take part in. The Lajna members enjoyed this observation of Huzoor(aa) and confirmed this was certainly the case. Secretary sehat-e-jismani also reported on various initiatives in place to promote exercise amongst Ghanaian Ahmadi Muslim women. Later, Huzoor(aa) advised naib secretary sehat-e-jismani that she should regularly participate in sports herself so that she could be an example for others. Advising Secretary Nasirat, Hazrat Amirul Momineen(aa) said: “Try to complete your tajnid from the grass-root level. Ask your respective secretary Nasirat to go door-to-door in their majalis and complete their Nasirat list. I think you will find more Nasirat than you have at present on your list.” Hazrat Amirul Momineen(aa) asked Sara Saeed Sahiba, Secretary Talim to present a summary of her annual plan. Sara Sahiba said that they had planned a syllabus and were aiming to increase participation of Lajna in talim classes. Huzoor(aa) asked if the department had suggested any book for Lajna to study during the year and how many members were reading it. Sara Sahiba reported the recommended book was Noah’s Ark and 1,547 members were currently reading it. Huzoor(aa) then asked secretary ishaat about any Lajna magazines that were being published. She reported that the 38th annual Khadija magazine was now published and the department was currently compiling the first Nasirat magazine. Huzoor(aa) asked her to send him a copy of the Khadija magazine. Addressing Katura Ibrahim Sahiba, Secretary Tahrik-e-Jadid and Waqf-e-Jadid, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih(aa) commended the efforts of Lajna Imaillah Ghana towards these funds and after hearing the contribution of Lajna in the last year, Huzoor(aa) said, “Masha-Allah. This is why, because of Lajna, Ghana has come in the list of the top 10 contributors”. Hazrat Amirul Momineen(aa) asked secretary tarbiyat for her annual plan. She reported that they had designed a syllabus and aimed for 90% of Lajna members to be able to read the Arabic text of the Holy Quran, its translation and read the Quran daily. She also reported that there were daily flyers sent to Jamaat members and door-to-door meet-and-greets to enable the tarbiyat of members. Secretary tarbiyat said efforts were being made to ensure all Lajna members improved their purdah. Hazrat Amirul Momineen(aa) appreciated these efforts and added, “And also make sure that 100% of your Lajna members are offering the five daily prayers.” Hazrat Khalifatul Masih(aa) then asked various questions to sadr Lajna Imaillah Ghana, including how she carried out the reporting system and whether she goes through the reports personally. Sadr Sahiba said that each majlis sends their report and she, along with her amila members, goes through the reports and sends constructive feedback to improve their performance. Huzoor(aa) then opened the floor to questions. The first question asked was what Huzoor’s expectations were for Lajna Imaillah Ghana regarding their contribution towards Ahmadiyyat. In response, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih(aa) said: “My expectations are that 100% of your Lajna members should be regular in offering five daily prayers. My expectation from you is that 100% of your Lajna members recite the Holy Quran daily. My expectation is that at least 50% of your Lajna members involve themselves in preaching and tabligh activities. My expectation is that 100% of your Lajna members study some book of the Promised Messiah, peace be upon him. “My expectation is that all the Lajna members who are married should train and bring up their children in a way that they become good Ahmadis. My expectation is that all the Nasirat members are as regular in offering prayers as Lajna and recite the Holy Quran and try to learn religious, Islamic knowledge and also try to learn what the Promised Messiah, peace be upon him, expected from us – and that is to increase our level of piety and righteousness. “My expectation is that all the Lajna members should follow the motto of ‘Modesty is part of your faith’ … These are some of the expectations. “If you achieve this, then you will be one of the best Lajnas of the world. And I hope that Ghana Lajna, if they try, are among one of the best Lajnas of the world.” A question was asked how the Jamaat should pray for the third world war to be averted and to be protected from the ill effects of the coronavirus. Huzoor(aa) said: “First, reform yourself and try to follow the teachings given to us and the commandments given to us in the Holy Quran and try to be a good Muslim. And if we are following the teachings of Islam and then, at the same time, praying in our five daily prayers, while in prostration, we should pray fervently to Allah the Almighty that Allah saves us from the torment of the world war and also saves us from the ill effects of this coronavirus and also saves us from all bad things, so that the world becomes a place of peace for us. “But it cannot be achieved until we try to reform ourselves; we try to change ourselves; we try to follow all the commandments of the Holy Quran given to us by Allah the Almighty. So, in this way, if we reform ourselves, insha-Allah, Allah the Almighty will remove all the difficulties and will make this world a peaceful place to live, like a heaven. Allah the Almighty even says in the Holy Quran that you can develop and create Paradise on this earth and that can only be achieved when you are following Allah the Almighty’s commandments.” Another Lajna member reported to Huzooraa about an MTA programme she participates in and said the response from non-Ahmadis was very positive. Huzoor(aa) asked the member what the feedback was on the new MTA Ghana channel and whether positive feedback was received? She reported that lots of non-Ahmadis tune in and make a lot of phone calls to enquire about more and overall, the feedback was very positive with lots of people engaging with the new channel. A question was asked regarding the literacy of Lajna members and how the umur-e-talibat secretary could improve literacy. Huzoor(aa) responded by saying: “The nasirat secretary should make it a point that all their nasirat members at least complete their middle school … And when they enter Lajna Imaillah, then secretary umur-e-talibat should make it a point to try and find out the talent. If your students are talented, then they should be given the opportunity to have a better and higher education to go to university. And if, because of some financial restraints and some other problems, they cannot do it, then the Jamaat should be informed of it and we should not waste such talent. “Apart from that, you should also make it a point to reflect on how, according to your condition, you can improve the literacy rate? You know your situation better than me. So, make a plan and whatever plan you make, send it to me for approval. And then, if there is any financial help needed in this plan, then I can ask your sadr Lajna or even the Jamaat to help you. But the plan should be very much practical and try to improve the level of education of your members.” Sadr Lajna took the opportunity to thank Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa for granting them the meeting and for his kind letters sent to Lajna Imaillah Ghana full of prayers and valuable guidance. Sadr Sahiba said she shared the contents of those letters with other amila members who were then motivated even more. At the end of the meeting, Huzoor(aa) said: “I am happy I have seen you. May Allah the Almighty bless you and let you achieve all those expectations which I have explained just now. Allah bless you all.” Huzoor(aa) then conveyed salaam to everyone and the meeting ended
- Lajna Ghana at new height of motivation after mulaqat
The national amila of Lajna Imaillah Ghana had the immense honour of a virtual mulaqat with Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih V(may Allah be his helper) on 24 January 2021 and were particularly pleased that of the three auxiliary organisations in Ghana, the first virtual mulaqat was granted to Lajna Imaillah Ghana. Amila members gathered at the Wahab Adam Studio in Bustan-e-Ahmad in Accra and MTA Ghana provided the video link to Huzoor’s office in Islamabad, UK. 41 out of 56 amila members were able to attend, alhamdulillah. All Covid-19 safety protocols were observed. Even though it was a virtual mulaqat, it felt as though members were physically in the presence of beloved Huzoor(may Allah be his helper). Muhasiba Mal, who was appointed as an amila member only a week before the mulaqat, stated that she had never met Hazrat Amirul Momineen(atba) and it felt as though she was in his presence, physically. She said that she felt very blessed to have had the opportunity to meet with beloved Huzoor (may Allah be his helper), interact with him and watch other amila members interact with him. She was grateful and humbled by the opportunity afforded to her to serve in the amila and her luck at meeting Hazrat Amirul Momineen (atba) shortly after her appointment. Secretary Tahrik-e-Jadid and Waqf-e-Jadid stated that she felt as though she was meeting with beloved Huzooraa face to face and it was the first time in her life to speak with him. She stated that she was overwhelmed and most humbled. Honourary member in-charge of Kumasi, Sefwi, Obuasi and Sekyere Zones also stated that she had served in different capacities as an amila member for about 20 years and alhamdulillah, had met beloved Huzoor(may Allah be his helper) a few times; however, although the meeting was a virtual meeting, it felt as though she was in the physical presence of Huzoor(may Allah be his helper) and she was overjoyed. During the mulaqat, members introduced themselves to Huzoor(may Allah be his helper) and informed him of the departments they were responsible for. Huzoor(may Allah be his helper) asked meticulous questions and in so doing, he drew the attention of amila members to the areas of their departments they needed to concentrate more on to improve their work. While describing how the meeting with Huzoor(may Allah be his helper) would improve her work as a national amila member, the general secretary wrote that before the mulaqat, she looked forward to reporting to beloved Huzoor(may Allah be his helper) on the improvements that had been made. She was hoping to inform Huzoor(may Allah be his helper) that alhamdulillah, 23 to 26 zones of the 27 zones in Ghana were submitting regular reports as compared to the 12 to 15 zones that were submitting reports in the 2018/19 Lajna year. She was looking forward to telling beloved Huzoor(may Allah be his helper) that alhamdulillah, all amila members had been submitting departmental reports each month of this Lajna year as well. However, after beloved Huzoor’s meticulous questions about the number of majalis in these zones that were submitting regular reports and after stating his expectations for Lajna in Ghana, she felt encouraged to work even harder with all amila members to increase work in all inactive majalis and have an even more improved report to submit to Huzoor(may Allah be his helper) at the earliest possible time, insha-Allah. Secretary tabligh also wrote that the expectations of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih(atba) for Ghana encourages her to work harder to achieve more in tabligh. Considering the number of jamaats, the world over, which Hazrat Amirul Momineen(atba) has to supervise, it was exceptional to observe Huzoor’s in-depth knowledge about the activities of all the departments, the tajnid and the way of life of the people in Ghana. Naib secretary Nasirat wrote that after listening to Huzoor’s interaction with Secretary Nasirat and Huzoor’s questions about the tajnid of Nasirat in Ghana, she became very anxious that she would be asked a question about her department that she may not be able to answer satisfactorily. Naib secretary tajnid, who was appointed to serve in the amila four months prior to the mulaqat, stated that she was excited at meeting Huzoor(may Allah be his helper) for the first time in her life, but also pleasantly surprised at the in-depth knowledge Huzoor(may Allah be his helper) had of all activities and the questions Huzoor(may Allah be his helper) asked. Sadr Lajna Imaillah Ghana also stated that she felt blessed. The interactions with Hazrat Amirul Momineen(atba) were most kind and loving. This became manifest when Huzoor(may Allah be his helper) asked the secretary ziafat what meals she had prepared for the amila members for lunch, after the mulaqat. It was a delight to hear Huzoor(may Allah be his helper) mention some of the favourite Ghanaian dishes. It was also kind of beloved Huzoor(may Allah be his helper) to enquire about the welfare project or programmes planned for Lajna members in Ghana in his interactions with muavina sadr II in-charge of Khidmat-e-Khalq. Alhamdulillah, the mulaqat was a most spiritually inspiring and blessed mulaqat. An amila member who had served the Jamaat for over 25 years and was once national Lajna sadr, now an honourary member, stated that seeing Huzoor(may Allah be his helper) rekindled her faith in Islam Ahmadiyyat. Secretary Nasirat said that she felt spiritually inspired. Another amila member wrote that she felt special and blessed. Secretary tabligh stated that she had never met Hazrat Amirul Momineen(atba) even though it had been her dream to meet and interact with him someday. She wrote that she felt blessed that one year after being afforded an opportunity to serve as an amila member, her dreams had materialised. She wrote that alhamdulillah, the meeting with beloved Huzoor(may Allah be his helper) virtually was a blessed opportunity. Secretary for new converts stated that it was a blessed opportunity and she hoped and prayed that despite beloved Huzoor’s very busy schedule, other sisters may derive blessings from such an opportunity too, insha-Allah. Many other amila members had similar comments, alhamdulillah. One amila member stated that having interacted with Huzoor(may Allah be his helper), her suggestion was that all efforts should now be made to engage other Lajna in Jamaat work to fulfil the expectations of Hazrat Amirul Momineen(atba) for Lajna in Ghana, as soon as possible. Almost all amila members wrote that the point which they liked the most was Hazrat Amirul Momineen’s advice and expectation that all members should offer their Salat five times a day, lead lives as good Muslims, bring up their children to become righteous and insha-Allah, Allah would then make Lajna in Ghana one of the best in the world. Huzoor(may Allah be his helper) said that once we do this, Allah would have mercy on us and answer our sincere prayers for world peace. Alhamdulillah, Lajna Imaillah Ghana’s virtual mulaqat with Hazrat Amirul Momineen(atba) was a blessed one, an extremely uplifting experience and a most loving interaction, inspiring all amila members to do more. It is our prayer that other sisters may be able to experience this, insha-Allah.
- Women’s Leadership And Participation In Conflict Transformation And PeaceBuilding: Muslim Leadership
It is permissible for a woman to be an authority and leader in any position for which she is qualified, although some positions are specific only to men such as the position of prayer leader and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. It is however incorrectly claimed by some people that women can have no authority in Islam because men have been given the responsibility to lead, defend, and maintain the livelihoods of women, their wives and their children. This claim is obviously the contrary evidenced in Suratul al-Nisa 4:35. This verse clearly expounds that women are most important companions to men as most of the affairs of society are entirely motionless without involvement of women. Alhamdullilah, Muslim women in most parts of the world today and in the era of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) have engaged themselves in education, science, politics, peace building and in many more outstanding fields which are instrumentally assisting the society towards rapid progress. It is very surprising to note however that the contribution of Muslim women in leadership and peace-building and other significant sectors are mostly unknown to most Muslim and non-Muslims alike. It is therefore important that we re-examine and bring to the fore the magnificent contributions of the first Muslim women who lived during Islam’s formative period and how we as modern Muslim women can emulate their viable political, social and financial models with modern applicability Khadija Bint Khuwaylid (r.a.) What greater example can we give than the first wife of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) Khadija Bint Khuwaylid (r.a.). Hazrat Khadija (r.a.) was the daughter of Khuwaylid Ibn Assad, a famous merchant in Makkah. Hazrat Khadija (r.a.) had been married and got widowed twice. She inherited the wealth of her father and two husbands. Instead of keeping the wealth stagnant or spending it lavishly, she intelligently invested the wealth in trade and business. She became a very successful merchant in Makkah. Among the trade caravans of Quraysh, Hazrat Khadijah’s caravan led by men appointed by her, outweighed all other caravans put together. Her business was the most acclaimed one, known for its fair dealings and high quality goods. Hazrat Khadija (r.a.) was constantly proactive in cases of peace building in society and was an exemplary leader worthy of emulation. She protected and catered for those who were mostly orphans. She gave most part of her earnings to the needy, the poor, widows and the sick and provided the dowry of poor girls to get married. Besides this she was very instrumental in the propagation of Islam as she gave the prophet (s.a.w.) complete independence from all kinds of financial worries and sacrificed everything for the cause of his Prophet Hood. Hence, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) is quoted to have once said, “Khadijah (r.a) aided me with her wealth at a time when no one else did.” (Musnad Ahmad, Vol.6, p.118). Aisha Bint Abu Bakar (r.a.) Hazrat Aisha Bint Abu Bakar (r.a.) was another very powerful and outstanding leader. Her magnanimity benevolence and knowledge in the Quran and Ahadith are well documented. Hazrat Aisha Bint Abu Bakar (r.a.) was the youngest wife of our beloved Prophet (s.a.w.) and most beloved daughter of his nearest friend Hazrat Abu Bakar (r.a.). Hazrat Aisha (r.a.) was a female scholar of great eminence and a voice of authority in Islamic jurisprudence over 1000 years ago. She was considered more knowledgeable than most of her male contemporaries in matters related to Quranic interpretation, poetry medicine and history. Men and women alike consulted her in the acquisition of knowledge. She also rendered legal decisions and delivered speeches publicly, powerfully and eloquently. Aisha’s standards provide a culturally authentic paradigm for Muslim women seeking a leading role in political, judicial or religious spheres Shafa Bint Adwiya Shafa Bint Adwiya was also an intelligent woman skilled in politics and respected for her wisdom. It is said that the second Caliph Umar Ibn Khattab, who is accorded great deference in Islamic tradition, highly valued Shafa’s opinion and consulted with her.Most importantly, he placed her in a leadership position by entrusting her with the administration of the marketplace in Medina. As such, she played the leadership role of ensuring that all business transactions were in accord with the law. She protected consumers against fraud and other unsavory practices. These very powerful women described above are representative few of many others who lived, fought, learned, worked and led during Islam’s foundation and beyond. Their male companions and Caliphs who assumed leadership roles after the demise of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) treated them with respect, admiration, and appreciation as equals due to their numerous contributions, active role in public decision making, as leaders, voters, and good citizens who promoted effective public policies that benefitted all citizens. A perusal of entries in a biography dictionary (PLEASE CHECK) published by Aisha Abdurrahman Bewley (Used as comprehensive reference source of Muslim women achievers) shows that Muslim women in historic Islam have been successful as leaders, scholars, business women and social entrepreneurs alongside fulfilling their roles as wives and mothers. While many Muslims around the world learn about such Muslim women, their relevance to contemporary time is frequently overlooked. Yet, by learning about and celebrating their examples, men and women can better understand and build upon notions of “proper” Muslim women’s roles while using a culturally authentic perspective. Some Modern day Muslim Women and their Contributions In our modern time, Muslim women still assume remarkable leadership roles, excel in their chosen careers and contribute immensely in their various fields. A few who may be mentioned are: Dalia Mogahed, Tawakkul Karman and Malala Yousafzai. Dalia Mogahed Dalia Mogahed was the first Muslim woman in the White House back in 2009 and one of Barack Obama’s ‘closest advisors’ advocating the views and opinions of Muslims across the US in the most simplistic, recognizable and agreeable way. She has contributed immensely to matters on western involvement in the Middle Eastern conflicts. Governmental influence on the lives of many Muslim Americans is now bigger than it has ever been and to have a Muslim woman influence a part of this is an achievement. Tawakkul Karman Tawakkul Karman is a journalist, politician, a human rights activist and one of ten (10) Muslims who have won the Nobel Peace Prize. Her face is stapled to the 2011 Yemeni Uprising and she is also known to have co-founded “Muslim Journalists Without Chains”. She became the first Arab woman and the second Muslim woman to win a Nobel Prize and the second youngest Nobel Peace Laureate to date. Impressive, don’t you think? Malala Yousafzai Also worth mentioning is the ever brave Malala Yousafzai. As an activist at the age of 16, she was the youngest holder of the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17, standing up for the right of education and freedom. The instrumental contributions and roles that women in Islam have made towards peace-building and wellbeing in society from the time of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) till date cannot be overemphasized. Due to their bold encouragement and endless contributions to men companions during the early stages of Islam, a peaceful society was built in Madina and other Muslim territories. In this modern age, Muslim women have not stopped contributing, they have strived and achieved professional, financial and social successes in accordance with their understanding of religious scriptures and are contributing significantly in peacebuilding in various countries across the world.
- PURDAH, AN OBLIGATION TO EVERY AHMADI MUSLIM WOMAN
You must carry out a struggle against your desires and self-interests. You must struggle and face up to the prescription held by certain segments of Society about you. You must be courageous and strive to establish your pure values in the face of ridicule and mockery, and you must strive to always implement the laws and teachings of the Qur’an in your daily lives. Only then will you be deemed a true-believing woman. I sometimes receive complaints or reports that though some Ahmadi girls or women do cover their heads, yet when they go to the mall they wear tight jeans and t-shirts or blouses that barely reach their waist. Remember that such clothing and such immodesty is a mockery of your religion. On many occasions, I have reminded Ahmadis that Allah has not only commanded purdah of the face but has commanded purdah of the entire body. This is also clearly evident from the verse of the Holy Quran (Ch. 24:32). Thus, when you go outside of your home, it is necessary that you wear a loose overcoat or a long shawl. If you fail to follow this, not only is it a violation of purdah, but it is also a display of immodesty and the Holy Prophet (may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) taught that modesty is a part of faith. Indeed on another occasion, he taught that every faith has a special and unique characteristic, and Islam’s is modesty. Those who do not observe modesty have been cursed. Therefore, to protect your faith and to become a true model of Islam, you must correct any weaknesses that exist in what you wear and you must always protect your chastity because by doing so your faith is protected. It may be that the very minimum acceptable level of purdah requires you to only cover your hair and chin. However, if you adopt this form of purdah, then you should not wear make-up. Islam does not stop women from working, but such work-that requires a Muslim woman to compromise her sanctity by wearing inappropriate clothing or uniform-is not permitted. Certainly, there are Ahmadi women throughout the world, who are working as doctors, teachers, engineers, scientists and in many other professions, and they conduct these careers whilst maintaining the proper standards of modesty and upholding their hijab. Selected synopsis of addresses to Lajna Imaillah on Purdah by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (atba), Khalifatul Masih V Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
- HADHRAT AMMAN JAAN
(Wife of the Promised Messiah (AS) AN EXEMPLARY LEADER OF OUR TIME) “Some people are born great, some people achieve greatness and some people have greatness thrust upon them” (William Shakespeare) Munavara (Nabbo) Ghauri author of Hadhrat Amaan Jan (An inspiration to us all) eulogized the virtuous wife of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmed (a.s) - the Promised Messiah and Mahdi (a.s) as a rare individual who fits into all three categories mentioned in the quote by William Shakespeare. Hadhrat Nusrat Jehan Begum (ra) is known within the Ahmadiyya Muslim community by two other names, Umul –Mu’mineen meaning Mother of the Believers, signifying her value and the respect with which she is held by the community as the wife of the Promised Messiah (as). She is also affectionately called Amman Jan by family members and close associates usually translated as Respected and Dear Mother. She has been described by Amtu Shakur Tayyaba Ahmed in an article published in the Review of Religions (April 2017), as a modern-day example of the spiritual, moral and personal excellence which can be achieved by following the commandments of Allah as contained in the Holy Qur’an and by the blessings of Allah, the One God. Munavara (Nabbo) narrates in his book that, ‘Hadhrat Umul-Mu’mineen was a spiritual and physical mother, a mentor, a carer of orphans and a guardian of the vulnerable and sick. She was a personification of Islamic values, a pillar of support for the Promised Messiah and faithful to the institution of khilafat from its early inception. He added that, “Her influence has rippled through the blessed progeny of the Promised Messiah(as), like a strong but imperceptible undercurrent”. Her values and moral training influences the Jamat even today, as she was the matriarch of a blessed progeny, that includes 4 of 5 of the khulafa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to date. She was born in 1865 and passed in 1952 Her Worship It has been reported that, Hadhrat Amman Jan (ra) had the highest standards of worship in this modern age and is an excellent example for women living in this materialistic world of ours. It is known for example that her worship was outstanding at all times and she offered her daily prayers with such humility, love and devotion that those watching could not help but be affected. In the monthly days when she was not required to offer Salat (prayers), she would instead spend the time after the Adhan (call to prayer) praying and remembering Allah . In Ramadan, whilst in good health, she always fasted and made a special effort with regard to worship in this month and in addition to her five daily prayers she also woke up in the night to offer Tahajjud (late night/pre-dawn) prayer, offered an extra early morning prayer (called chasht in Urdu) and then a mid-morning prayer (ishraq) along with other extra voluntary prayers. Charity Amman Jan(ra) was extremely regular in giving charity in this month and also regularly cooked food, often herself, for three or four people as fidyah (expiation for those who cannot fast). She recited the Holy Qur’an often and asked the girls in the house to recite to her regularly too. It was her practice in these days to recite Darud (invoking Allah’s Blessings on the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and to ask Allah’s forgiveness in the form of Istighfar. She encouraged those around her to do the same. If she knew that any of her daughters or granddaughters were fasting, she would make special food for them in the evening. She would also keep note of children who were offering prayers in congregation so that she could express her pleasure on these actions. It was her tradition to invite her children regularly to open the fast in the evening at her house. Service to Humanity As the wife of the Promised Messiah(as), Hadhrat Amman Jan(ra) had an extremely large household, full of elders, relatives, children, orphans, widows, household helpers and a regular stream of guests from the community. She worked hard, and it is related by her son, Hadhrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (ra), that she was regularly busy cooking, spinning, boiling milk, feeding buffaloes, growing flowers and herbs in addition to training and helping the house hold attendants. She would daily go walking in Qadian and visit ladies and relatives. She would enquire after people’s health on these visits and would advise ladies with regard to the running of their households, compliment them on any tasty food she was offered, and suggest home improvements which could be done within a low budget e.g. making simple clothes or cushions. Thus even her daily routine was spent in the service of humanity and in the kind guidance of ladies. She was even known to also make enquiries about prisoners who were in jail due to financial debts and sent money to such Muslims and even non-Muslim prisoners so that they could enjoy a good meal. Financial Sacrifice Hadhrat Amman Jan(ra) was always at the forefront of making financial sacrifices for the Jamat. There are three incidents which give an indication of her spirit of financial sacrifice. In May 1900, when the Promised Messiah (as) announced that he needed a hundred people to donate one hundred rupees each to build Minaratul Masih in Qadian, a total of 10,000 Rupees, Hadhrat Amman Jaan(ra) responded by selling some property in Delhi and giving 1000 rupees (a significant amount in those days) herself for this appeal excelling others in fulfilling this appeal- a great proof of her faith in the Promised Messiah(as) On the occasion of one Jalsa (Annual Convention), when Jalsa expenses were undertaken by the Promised Messiah (as) himself, it became apparent that there was no food for guests that evening. The Promised Messiah (as) immediately sent a message to his trusted and beloved wife, Hadhrat Amma Jaan(ra), who soon provided some jewellery which could be sold to cover the expense of the food that evening. On the demise of the Promised Messiah (as), she herself settled any monies owed to others by her beloved husband by selling her own jewelry and did not ask community members to help her with this although countless members would have been pleased to do so. Hadhrat Musleh Ma’ud(ra), the Second Khalifa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, has written about this: ‘My heart was deeply affected [by the fact] that Allah Almighty had given the Promised Messiah (as) such a loving and co-operative partner.’ Her Dignity Another aspect of her personality was the very feminine quality that Hadhrat Amman Jan (ra) exhibited. She was extremely conscious of women’s dignity and honour. Her daughter, Hadhrat Nawwab Mubaraka Begum (ra), describes this quality in the following words: ‘Hazrat Amman Jaan(ra), compared to most, had a much higher standard of righteousness and this specific quality is worth keeping in view. She would often warn that the honour of ladies is very delicate. She did not approve at all of women who were inappropriately friendly with each other or who made unsavoury jokes with each other. She would like wives who were most loving to their husbands and would express her appreciation in this regard.’ Hadhrat Amman Jan(ra), is the best modern day example of a “Mo’minah” - a true believer, because her every act was aimed at winning the Pleasure of Allah Almighty. Performing good deeds was the principal occupation of her life, and as Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (Atba) highlighted in his Khilafat Centenary speech; “…faith and good deeds are an integral part of one another. Without faith, deeds are nothing and without good deeds, faith is incomplete” (The Review of Religions, May 2008: Vol.103, Issue 05, pg. 74.) Hazrat Amman Jan(ra) most clearly understood this. It is for this reason that it is imperative that the inspirational life of Hadhrat Amman Jan(ra), a life filled with worship and sacrifices, a life of great honour (as a prophet’s wife) and joy, becomes available to members of Lajna Immaillah Ghana. May Allah enable us to emulate her exemplary conduct. Especially for those women who are burdened with the difficult but most rewarding task - the moral training of our children, the next issue of “The Khadija” would be under this topic “The moral training of our children” Hadrat Amman Jan(ra) shared our responsibilities and concerns and demonstrated how to effectively raise a righteous progeny, primarily by her own excellent examples.