Friday Sermon: Maulvi Abdul Wahab Adam – An Exemplary Ahmadi
Sermon Delivered by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad at Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
Today the Friday sermon was a tribute to the late Maulawi Abdul Wahab Adam Sahib.
Huzoor said the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) received the revelation: ‘People whom We shall direct by revelation from heaven will help you.’ (Tadhkirah, p. 850, 2009 edition) even before his claim and received it many times. Later, in 1907 this revelation was accompanied with: ‘… They will be coming to you by every distant track. (Tadhkirah, p. 975, 2009 edition). This revelation has been fulfilled with great glory, during the lifetime of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) as well as with reference to Khilafat established after him and through him. Not only are these individuals inclined to the Jama’at, rather they dedicate their lives to the cause of the mission with great zeal and sincerity and thus become excellent helpers of the Promised Messiah and are also helpers of his Khulafa.
Some of these people came from far off countries to learn faith and took it back to their countrymen. They came at a time in the 1960s and 1970s when correspondence with their home countries could take up to six months. Yet, they came with high resolve and perfect conviction to dedicate their lives to serve faith and were ever ready to make every sacrifice for the mission of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). This is a testimony of the truthfulness of the Promised Messiah as well of Khilafat e Ahmadiyya. Such people are pious-natured and God’s grace is on them and it makes them shine brilliantly like a star. One such sincere and devoted individual was respected Abdul Wahab Adam Sahib.
He came to Rabwah in those times from a far-off country to seek knowledge of faith and became an excellent helper of Khilafat. He came to Rabwah when it was still being built and communication with Africa took very long. He operated on every gesture of the Khalifa of the time and accepted every decision of the Khalifa of the time with complete conviction and not only every instruction, big or small, but he used to be deeply concerned to even fulfil every wish of the Khalifa of the time. Huzoor worked with him for eight years in Ghana and found him so and also found him so when Huzoor became Khalifatul Masih.
Huzoor said it was known that Wahab Adam Sahib passed away recently. He had been in the UK for the past one year and had only returned home in late February. His duration of service to Jama’at was over fifty years. Huzoor said his personality and loyalty cannot be stated in few words but Huzoor presented a few aspects of his personality.
Ahmadiyyat came in Wahab Sahib’s family through his parents and he was a born Ahmadi. It was his father’s deep wish for his son to become an Ahmadi missionary and although he passed away while Wahab Sahib was very young, his mother ensured to fulfil his father’s wish and sent him to Rabwah along with Basharat Rasheed Sahib. Wahab Sahib was born in district Adansi, Ghana in 1938 and received his early education locally. He was sent to Jamia Rabwah in 1952 and in 1960 he obtained his Shahid degree. He returned home to Ghana and served there till 1969. He then became principal of Jamia in Ghana. At the time residences used to be small mud huts with no bath rooms. Straw mats used to be stood on their sides to create privacy for bathing. In 1971 he was appointed naib-Imam Fazl Mosque, London. In 1975 he was appointed Amir and missionary-in-charge Ghana, a position he served for thirty nine years.
Wahab Sahib was sent to Pakistan as an adolescent to be trained at Jamia, Rabwah along with Saleh Sahib to increase the number of indigenous local teachers in Ghana. They both worked very hard. Saleh Sahib fell ill in 1957 and was sent back home where sadly he passed away in 1958 at the age of 19 years. Meanwhile Wahab Sahib continued with his studies and returned home as a missionary. This inspired many other young Ghanaians to become missionaries and later a Jamia was opened in Ghana which has now gained the status of international Jamia and young men from all over Africa go there to attain Shahid degree.
Wahab Sahib used to say that in early days there was no electricity in Rabwah and drinking water had to be brought in from out of town. The roof of the hostel building was made of unbaked bricks and leaked when it rained. Wahab Sahib used to joke that at times their suit cases would float in rain water! He also narrated that as a student he found studying logic and jurisprudence in Urdu quite difficult. Once exam was approaching and he was quite anxious and went to see Maulana Rajiki with a friend to ask his prayers. Maulana Rajiki raised his hands for prayer and asked them to join in prayer. After finishing with prayer Maulana Rajiki told them that he while praying he saw the Promised Messiah in a vision with his blessed hand on the heads of both the students. He interpreted this to mean that they will be successful with the blessings of the Promised Messiah. Miraculously, Wahab Sahib stood first in his class!
Wahab Sahib had received many honours, among them were the following: He was the first African central missionary from Ghana. He was the first Amir and missionary-in-charge of Ghana. He was the first African Ahmadi to have the honour of becoming Amir Maqami Rabwah in representation of Khalifa of the time. He was the first African central missionary who was enabled to serve in Europe. He was also enabled to tour different countries in representation of the centre, countries like Canada, Germany, Benin, Mali, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Jamaica.
He established a foundation in his mother’s name which helps the needy. Ghanaian Jama’at made vast advancements while he was Amir. There are more than four hundred schools in Ghana run by the Jama’at and seven large hospitals and two homeopathy clinics. Wahab Sahib arranged for large billboards with the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) photograph erected on two highways of Ghana with the message that the awaited Messiah has come!
Wahab Sahib also received many worldly accolades: At the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace, Korea, USA gave him an award of ambassador of peace for his selfless services for peace. Government of Ghana awarded him a special national award of Companion of the Order of the World in acknowledgement of his work in education, health, agriculture and national peace. In 2007 University of Cape Coast, Ghana awarded him an honorary PhD.
Other responsibilities held by Wahab Sahib were: He was a member of Centre for Democratic Development, Ghana. He was the vice-chairman of Ghana Integrity Initiative. He was a member of National Peace Council. He was a co-founder and national president of Council for Religions and he was a member of the National Reconciliation Commission.
During the difficult times faced by the Jama’at in Pakistan in 1974, Wahab Sahib worked night and day with the Imam of the Fazl Mosque and relayed information to press and media. He was made deputy editor of the magazine Muslim Herald in 1973 where he initiated two new columns entitled London Diary and Questions and Answers.