Living as a Muslim woman in modern-day society

15th September 2019

His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba)

His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba)

Sunday, 15 September, Bordon, Hampshire: Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih V arrived in the ladies’ Ijtema Gah at 12:28 BST earlier today to conclude the Ijtema of Lajna Imaillah and Nasirat-ul-Ahmadiyya UK.

Upon arrival, Huzooraa invited Amatul Mujeeb Owusu Sahiba to the stage for recitation of the Holy Quran – chapter 59, verse 23 to 25 – along with its translation.

Huzooraa then instructed all ladies to stand up for the pledge, the wording of which was repeated after Huzooraa by all those present and those watching live on MTA.

After the Lajna pledge, Nida Mansur Sahiba was called to the stage to recite an Urdu poem written by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV rh.

In her report, Dr Fariha Khan Sahiba, Sadr Lajna Imaillah UK started off by thanking Huzooraa for gracing the Lajna Ijtema with his presence.

The theme of this year’s Ijtema was the Attributes of Allah the Almighty. Many activities were given for young girls, for example workshops and games. AMRA provided activities such as stargazing.

The total attendance of Nasirat and Lajna Imaillah on Saturday was 4,325.

After Sadr Sahiba’s report, Huzoor distributed prizes to outstanding majalis – regional and local chapters.

After reciting Tashahud, Ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said that with the conclusion of the Ijtema, it was Allah’s grace that alongside the continued progress of the Jamaat, Lajna Imaillah UK has taken many steps forward during the previous few years, both in terms of members and the scope of its activities.

Huzooraa said that Lajna has progressed and many new schemes and initiatives have been introduced in previous years. However, with all success, every effort must be made to protect our core Islamic values and our Muslim identity.
More than ever before, for this to be a reality, we must act on all commands of the Holy Quran; we must pay heed to the writings of the Promised Messiahas, who was sent to rectify all misguidance and bring mankind to the right path. It was the Promised Messiahas who was to carry the message of Islam to the corners of the earth by introducing the universal teachings of the Quran to the world. His claim was that his era was for the propagation of the true teachings of the Quran. As his followers, it is our duty to encourage others to come to this path of true prosperity. It is our obligation that we show to the world that Islam’s teachings are the means of attaining true contentment.

People may argue that Islam has already spread globally and may query as to what benefit it has done to the world. There are 1.8 billion Muslims in the world, and thousands among them claim to be Islamic scholars, however this has not led to true peace and prosperity. Huzooraa said that the simple and clear reason for this is that there is division and dissent and the teachings of Islam are interpreted in differing ways.
Huzooraa said that in the midst of all this, we are fortunate that we have accepted the Imam of the age, and in order to fulfil this great objective, Allah has not left us bereft or ill equipped. In today’s world, television, radio, print media and social media are just a few ways through which global communication has become instantaneous.

Elaborating further on this, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said:
“These are all technologies that we as a Jamaat are utilising to spread the teachings of Islam. However, it is not enough to merely convey the message of Islam to others, rather our objective can never be fulfilled until each and every one of us becomes living and practical examples of the benevolent and noble teachings of Islam. This is why the Promised Messiahas repeatedly spoke of the need for members of his Jamaat to live their lives in accordance with Islamic values and to live and breathe its teachings.

“I should also add that we cannot claim to be unique in utilising these modern technologies, rather worldly people have spared no effort in using the latest means of communication to broadcast programmes and content. Most regretabbly, and worryingly, much of the content being broadcast or streamed in the world today serve only to weaken the moral and spiritual fabric of society and to take people away from what is good and decent.”

Huzooraa carried on by saying that when people living in poverty-stricken areas of the world see people living in rich countries and how they are living, they seek to follow their footsteps which only leads them to further frustration.

Huzooraa then spoke of explicit content available at ease, for instance pornogrpahy and other foul content on social media and how a true Ahmadi Mulsim must steer clear of this. Addressing the Lajna members, Huzooraa said:
“You, as members of Lajna Imaillah, must rise to this challenge. Indeed, it is the task of Ahmadi men, women and our youth as members of the community of the Promised Messiahas to use modern day technologies to counter the influence of irreligious and immoral forces and to show that upholding religious values in the contemporary world is not just possible but is absolutely vital.

“First and foremost, we must ourselves avoid the profane and the vulgar. We should view or partake in only those things that encourage piety, strengthen our faith and enable us to gain the pleasure of Allah the Almighty.

“As people who have accepted the Promised Messiahas, we should absorb those things that increase our knowledge of his teachings, which are in reality the teachings of the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophetsa. Consequently, we should take benefit of the positive aspects of modern technology, whilst saving ourselves from the damaging and destructive powers.”

Speaking of an unfortunate truth of a very small minority within the community, Huzooraa said:

“Regrettably, the truth is that many of our Jamaat members – both men and women – are ignoring their duty to spiritually and morally reform themselves, despite having taken the Bai‘at of the Promised Messiahas. They are becoming influenced by the materialistic and irreligious forces that darken today’s society. They have fallen prey to the poisonous effects of modern technology and are spending far more time absorbing vain and superficial content than seeking to develop their bond with Allah the Almighty or increasing their spiritual and moral standards.”
Providing an antidote to such immorality and indecency, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:

“Every one of us knows how much time we are devoting to watching religious programmes or studying religious texts in comparison to viewing content that promotes materialism and immorality. In this era, Allah the Almighty has blessed us with MTA, which has many programmes that increase a person’s religious knowledge and so Lajna members must strive to watch it as much as possible and to ensure their family members are also benefiting. Unquestionably, women play an indispensable role in society because the future generations lie in their laps and grow up in their tender care.”
Huzooraa drew their attention to studying religious books and said that this does not mean that light entertainment is also prohibited. However, MTA and religious programmes must be given preference. Huzooraa said that MTA has been seeking feedback of what type of programmes should be produced. As Lajna gives valuable feedback, they should write to MTA after observing it carefully and give their feedback.

There are many Ahmadi women who migrated to Western countries. Such mothers should ensure that they and their families remain firm in their religion and do not steer away from religion.

Huzooraa then reminded Lajna members that integration does not mean to fall prey to wrong and immoral values. He said that many have been living here for generations and they have easily integrated by taking and learning the good values from Western countries. Huzooraa said, “Those who fail to protect and preserve their religious values are those who fail to fulfil their pledges.”

With moral values degrading day by day and some Ahmadi women being affected by this negatively, such women should realise that these actions have nothing to do with the success of a nation. Can it be said that nightclubs, flaunting your body, dancing with men or drinking alcohol can help a country to succeed? Secular people try to promote such harms and justify them in the name of freedom, however these are considered obscene and immoral by Allah and His Prophetsa.

“Though such things are championed as examples of free and modern societies, the reality is that such impropriety serves only to shatter the foundations upon which a truly thriving and compassionate society is built. To debase and lower a society’s moral compass in the name of freedom is a means of undermining the strength and unity of civilisation at a collective level as well as individually harming the people within that society.”

Speaking about the realisation the world is having with regard to such moral vices, Huzooraa explained:

“Let it be clear that a time will surely come when the people of these developed countries will realise that what they considered to be freedom was actually the means of their destruction. Now we have reached a stage where even some non-Muslim are speaking out to condemn these extreme levels of immodesty and indecency within their societies and they admit that the lowering of moral standards correlates with the rise in frustration and anxiety amongst the general public. As a result, there is absolutely no reason for any of you to bear an inferiority complex or to feel embarrassed upon the practice of your faith.

“Worldly people may claim that exposing one’s body, dressing suggestively or bringing sexual behaviours into the public arena are signs of progressive society and one in which freedom of expression is valued, however they could not be more wrong.

“All Ahmadis, whether men or women, whether young or old, must understand that from a religious perspective, such behaviour is the height of immorality and cannot be tolerated by religious people who have pledged to prioritise their faith over all worldly matters. Therefore, while living in the Western world, it is of vital importance, that Ahmadi Muslims guard themselves against the ills of society.

“As I said before, you should not just protect yourselves but should strive to save others from moral decay and highlight the importance of virtue and morality. This is how to serve your nation and if you are sincere in this effort, then rest assured, Allah’s help and mercy will be with you every step of the way.”

On the subject of mental health, Huzooraa said:

“In today’s world, much is spoken on the importance of mental health and mental wellbeing. In this regard, always remember that real peace of mind is attained through the nearness of Allah the Almighty and not by pursuing the frivolous and futile attractions of the world. This point is made in chapter 13, verse 29 of the Holy Quran where Allah the Almighty has clearly stated,

اَلَا بِذِکْرِ اللہِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوْب
“Aye, it is in the remembrance of Allah that hearts find comfort.”

With regard to this verse, Huzooraa said that Allah has clearly shown that through His remembrance, peace can be attained.

“Hence, do not think that the so-called freedom of the modern world or material lifestyles can inspire peace within a person’s heart, rather it is the remembrance of Allah that inspires a person towards a genuine and lasting contentment.

“The reality is that righteous people feel satisfaction and joy in their hearts whenever they remember Allah the Almighty and reflect on His blessings and the beauty of His creation. For example, they recognise the glory of Allah as they pass by trees and forests; they perceive Him as they observe vast oceans and lakes or glorious mountain ranges; seeing the beauty and perfect harmony of nature leads them to not only praise Allah but also to reflect upon His majesty and consider how He created the heavens and earth and all that encompasses the universe.

“Anyway, the main point I wish to make is that Allah the Almighty has stated that true peace of mind cannot be attained through worldly freedom or by partaking in the meaningless attractions of the world, rather it can only be achieved through the nearness of Allah the Almighty and keeping Him in your heart and mind at all times.”

Huzooraa then instructed that we should remember that Islam is a religon of moderation and balance and it does not say that we should isolate ourselves and forsake all worldly pursuits. There is no harm in pursuing recreational endeavours, however, we should never let them dominate our actual and foremost goal. We should never consider worldly pursuits to be the means of salvation or success as even seemingly good things can prove to be dangerous. Huzooraa gave the example of salt water, that it will not quench a person’s thirst and will only make a person more thirsty.

Huzooraa also said that if a person disregards Allah and continues performing sins considering it to be their water for life, then that person will be headed for disaster. Prophets are those who bring us to the true spiritual water. If we disregard those prophets, then we will be headed for destruction. As Ahmadi Muslims, we are fortunate that we partake of the spiritual water of Islam given to us in this day and age by the Promised Messiahas.

Addressing a recent mindset that has taken shape in the minds of some, Huzooraa said:

“Another thing I wish to mention is that some Ahmadi men and women, including some of our youth, think that the Jamaat places unnecessary constraints on their lives and are denying them their freedoms. However, if they look carefully and fairly, they will realise that the Jamaat is not denying their rightful freedoms in any shape or form, rather the Jamaat serves only to uphold the teachings of Islam and to morally guide the members of the Jamaat accordingly.
“We strive to encourage all Ahmadis to act upon the true teachings of their religion, which are the means of true freedom and liberation. Regrettably, there have been cases of a few young Ahmadi men or women who became so influenced by the wider society that they left their homes and abandoned their faith. For some time, they may have considered themselves to be free or to have attained the liberties and fun that they sought. Yet, later on, many came to regret their decision and expressed their embarrassment and shame of having left the Jamaat and sought to re-enter its fold. They admitted that what they thought would be a life of freedom had proven to be the opposite and soon realised they had embarked upon a destructive and dangerous path.

“Always remember that basic wisdom and intelligence requires and indeed it is the teaching of God Almighty that a person investigates and researches carefully the pros and cons before taking any step or decision. We who call ourselves Ahmadi Muslims and claim to have accepted the Promised Messiahas must not only weigh up the materialistic pros and cons but should also assess the spiritual and religious benefit or harm before making a decision or adopting a new path.

“No matter the extent of the material benefits, a true Ahmadi should always be ready to give up such things if they do not correspond to their religious teachings. Priority should always be given to our spiritual and religious values. After all, we proclaim and pledge that we are the people who will forever give precedence to our religion over all worldly matters.”

On the ever important and crucial subject of modesty, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said:

“Before ending, I also wish to remind you that the Holy Prophetsa said that modesty is an integral part of our faith. Thus, whilst living in the West, Ahmadi women should not follow those fashions and trends that are justified in the name of freedom of choice but are in reality a means of immorality and immodesty. You should not adopt those fashion trends which expose your body rather than preserving your modesty.

“At all times, Ahmadi women and girls should follow those fashions that are within the confines of modesty and through which their chastity is preserved. It should be clear that every Ahmadi woman and girl dresses and acts in a respectable way and according to the principles of modesty.

“Sometimes, some Ahmadi women or girls fail to cover their heads, their hair or even their chest for the sake of fashion and this is completely contrary to the requirement of their faith. Furthermore, some ladies wear burqa coats in the name of purdah, but their coats are so fitted that they resemble a skin-tight shirt. Such coats that expose a person’s physical attributes are not appropriate for Muslim women or girls. The coats you wear should cover your bodies and your scarves should be worn properly over your heads.

“Always be conscious of your dress so that no one can ever question your modesty and be proud of the fact that purdah is the means of guarding the honour and chastity of a Muslim woman. Every Ahmadi man and woman has a circle within which they are dutybound to remain and that circle is simply whatever Islam teaches. Hence, our limits are not decreed by any individual, rather they have been decreed by Allah the Almighty.

“Some people think that Ahmadiyyat is stricter than Islam, but this is wrong because Ahmadiyyat and Islam are one and the same thing. The standard of purdah required by Islam has been very clearly stipulated in the Holy Quran and so you should read the Holy Quran carefully to see what the required standards of modesty are.”

Towards the end, Huzoor prayed that Allah may enable all to act upon the true teachings of the Holy Quran and Islam.

Huzoor then led everyone in silent prayer.

After dua, Huzoor listened to some taraney (choral poems) before saying Salam and departing the Lajna Ijtema Gah.

Reference

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