Simple Lifestyle and Humility of the Ahmadiyya Khalifa

Godly people i.e. those who develop a relationship of love with God experience no urge to pursue earthly desires or worldly pleasures. Instead, God remains the sole purpose of their lives.

Simple Lifestyle and Humility of the Ahmadiyya Khalifa

Godly people i.e. those who develop a relationship of love with God experience no urge to pursue earthly desires or worldly pleasures. Instead, God remains the sole purpose of their lives.

The article was first published in Al Fazl London dated 21 February 2022 and is translated from Urdu by Light of Islam translation team.

HASEEB AHMED GHAMAN, GERMANY

MAY 27, 2022

Recently, a video of a famous Pakistani anchor, Aniq Naji, went viral in which he apparently expressed sympathy towards Ahmadis and also tried to give them advice on how to save themselves from the atrocities they face in Pakistan. At the end of the video, he voiced some strong criticisms of the leadership of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. I do not intend to get into the details of the video, but I will definitely address the criticisms levelled at the Ahmadiyya leadership. Since I have never written an article and am not used to writing any, readers may find this piece a bit unusual. Similarly, I am not very fond of Pakistani media nor do I follow it very much. However, after watching the video and listening to the statements made about the Ahmadiyya leadership in it, I felt that these baseless objections should be addressed because the observation of an ordinary Ahmadi like myself differs greatly from these allegations. The objections raised by Mr Aniq Naji are not novel. For a long time, attempts have been made to create a false impression in the minds of the people about the Ahmadiyya leadership, particularly through social media, that the Ahmadiyya leader lives a flamboyant life. I will mention five points below that would validate the simple lifestyle and humility of the Ahmadiyya leadership, i.e. the Fifth Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community – 1. The source of Huzoor’s (Ahmadis lovingly address their Khalifa using this term) personal income 2. Huzoor’s regular diet 3. Huzoor’s residence 4. Huzoor’s concern regarding Jama’at (Community) expenses 5. Huzoor’s extremely humble character.

Source of Huzoor’s personal income

Abid Khan Sahib, Huzoor’s press secretary, writes in his diary dated 15 October 2021:

As he was going through his mail, Huzoor mentioned a letter he had received from an Ahmadi enquiring the source of Huzoor’s personal income. I was very disturbed to hear that an Ahmadi would harbour such curiosities or concerns. Even if asked out of innocent curiosity, in my view, it did not behove an Ahmadi to ask such a question to Khalifa-Waqt.

Personally, I thought that such a question did not even warrant a reply, however, Huzoor has nothing to hide and desires for any question or ill-thought, which could potentially weaken the faith of an Ahmadi, to be answered.

Thus, despite the personal nature of the question, Huzoor had sent a reply to the Ahmadi answering the question directly.

Mentioning that, Huzoor said:

“I wrote to the Ahmadi that Allah the Almighty has blessed whatever I have through His Grace and Blessings. I have a farm in Pakistan that has proven successful and yields a personal income, as well as some other personal sources. As I have a background in agriculture and farming, I have developed some new agricultural techniques that are used on my farm and they have produced good results. Though, most of all, it is Allah’s Fazl (blessings).”

As I listened, I continued to feel sadness that an Ahmadi had asked about this matter.

I recalled how in a previous Mulaqat, I was amazed when Huzoor mentioned to me that when he travels abroad, he personally pays for the travel expenses of Hazrat Apa Jaan, Huzoor’s respected wife.

I remember saying to Huzoor that Khala Saboohi (Huzoor’s respected wife) had continuous Jamaat duties during Huzoor’s travels, meeting Lajna members, attending events and much else.

Huzoor acknowledged that this was true but stated that he did not wish for even a penny of the Jamaat to be spent unnecessarily and so he preferred to pay for such travel costs personally.

Very beautifully, Huzoor said that if you are content then even with a small or meagre income, you can manage easily.[1]

Huzoor’s regular diet

During their travels and stays, heads of state and other great leaders are usually served lavish meals. The more the number of dishes prepared and the larger the menu, the greater the leader’s glory. Similarly, prominent leaders are often seen dining in opulent and well-known five-star hotels.

For a long time, my wife’s aunt had the opportunity to host Huzooraba during his visits to Germany. She claims that Huzoor’s menu is very different from what most people expect. His diet is very simple and minimal. There are no more than two dishes prepared. Meals typically include pulao, boiled rice, lentils, pumpkins, potatoes, and meat. Huzoor eats one or a maximum of one and a half roti, and this roti is half the size of the ordinary bread made in our homes. Breakfast is also a very simple meal, consisting of a half or one fried egg or potato. Even desserts contain only zarda (yellow rice) etc. which Huzoor rarely prefers. By no means does it appear to be a lavish meal or menu.

Similarly, unlike other leaders, Huzoor will not be seen eating at any famous or expensive restaurant. It is clear from this that Huzoor’s way of eating and living is clearly distinct from that of world leaders and heads.

Huzoor’s residence

World leaders who give importance to worldly conveniences live in large palaces and prefer to live comfortably. Huzooraba lived in Masjid Fazal in London for 16 years before relocating to Islambad, Tilford on April 15, 2019. That same year, I had the opportunity to travel to Islamabad and attend a meeting with Muniruddin Shams Sahib. Muneer Sahib stated that he had seen Huzoor’s residence at Masjid Fazl London, where he had resided for long 16 years. He described the residence as being similar to any small, cramped flat in London. The bedroom is so small that one can get on the bed only from one side.

Anyone who has seen London’s cramped and small flats will understand how insufficient the space is. Furthermore, it is natural that the more commitments and responsibilities a person has, the more they need open space and require comfortable facilities so that after adequate rest, they can regain energy and perform all of their duties diligently. Despite being the leader of millions and having a hectic schedule, Huzoor stayed in such a cramped place for so long. This is sufficient to demonstrate Huzoor’s modesty and simple way of life.

Huzoor’s concern regarding Jama’at expenses

This was most likely an incident in December 2011. I was a second-year student at Jamia Ahmadiyya Germany. During the winter holidays, I decided to travel to the United Kingdom with two of my fellow students to meet Huzooraba. To accommodate the cold weather, I wore a warm shalwar kameez to the meeting. As soon as I entered Huzoor’s office, I felt extremely cold. I did not get much time to think about it during the meeting. However, when Huzoor called me to take a picture with him, my body began to shiver due to the severity of the cold. Huzooraba noticed this and inquired, “Are you feeling cold?”. “Yes, Huzoor!” I replied.

Anyway, the meeting was over. The way we saw God’s Grace in the rest of the journey after the meeting is an entirely different story. But I could not help but wonder why it was so cold in Huzoor’s office. The secret was not revealed to me for many years until I read the May-June 2015 issue of the diary of Abid Khan Sahib – Huzoor’s press secretary, in which he mentioned seeing Huzoor wearing a warm overcoat and scarf in his office during the winters[2]. When I read this, I immediately remembered my meeting and realized why it had been so cold in Huzoor’s office. Huzoor’s concern for Jama’at expenses, despite the availability of a heater, is a supreme example of his extreme humility that no other leader can ever match.

An incident of Huzoor’s humility

I would like to share another instance of Huzoor’s extreme humility that has left an impression on me. Abid Khan Sahib mentioned this in his April 2017 diary. Huzooraba was on one of his tours to Germany and his usual residence was in Bait-ul-Sabuh, Frankfurt. A few days later, Huzooraba left Bait-ul-Sabuh for the inauguration of some mosques and was staying outside Bait-ul-Sabuh. Huzooraba returned to Bait-ul-Sabuh, Frankfurt and it was discovered a few days later that when Huzooraba returned to Bait-ul-Sabuh, there was no hot water facility in his residence and he had been using cold water. Finally, after some time, perhaps a day, Huzooraba requested to repair it.[3]

When worldly Kings and leaders experience even a slight decrease in their comfort, they become irritated and do not like their ease to be compromised in any way. However, one is amazed at the impeccable character of the Ahmadiyya Khalifa that he continued to use cold water for several days without raising any complaints.

These brief examples provide strong testimony that the Ahmadiyya leadership is unrivalled in its simplicity and humility, which cannot be witnessed elsewhere.

Dispelling another myth

Finally, I would like to address another point raised by Mr Aniq Naji, who objected to the Ahmadiyya leadership’s use of Mercedes cars. I will mention three points in this regard.

Firstly, every person desires for their father, whom they view with great respect, to have all sorts of conveniences and comforts and the nicest of cars. Every Ahmadi loves their Khalifa more than their father and prioritizes him over all of their loved ones. They would be ready to compromise the ease of their father or close relatives, but would never wish their Khalifa to experience any kind of distress or discomfort.

Secondly, Huzooraba visits big houses and parliaments and meets many heads of state to spread Islam’s peace-loving teachings all over the world. In the eyes of Ahmadi Muslims, the Ahmadiyya Khalifa ranks above all world leaders and heads. No Ahmadi would want their beloved Khalifa to appear inferior or less visible in the presence of these world leaders – even from a worldly perspective.

It is also worth noting here that the Mercedes car used by Huzoor was not purchased by Jama’at but was offered as a gift by a sincere family, who have been offering cars to Khilafat since the time of the Fourth Khalifa. May Allah reward them with His best rewards.

Thirdly, despite being the leaders of their nation, the heads of western countries are generally regarded as the servants of the nation, as mentioned in one of the narrations of the Holy Prophetsa. However, the western people never tolerate any wasteful expenditure by their leaders. Nonetheless, we see that the same people never question why their leaders travel in Mercedes or other expensive vehicles. This is because they represent their country wherever they go and use these vehicles for the sake of their country. Similarly, the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community travels not for the fulfilment of his personal needs, but for the sake of Allah and to spread the teachings of Islam. In all his journeys, Huzoor introduces people to the peaceful Islamic teachings and answers the allegations raised against Islam.

I would like to ask one question to all those who criticize Khilafat. What endeavours have you made so far in service of Islam? Which houses and parliaments have you visited to present Islam’s peaceful teachings? How many non-Muslims have you met and introduced them to Islam’s beautiful teachings? How many non-Muslim journalists have you spoken with? How many peoples’ misconceptions have you dispelled and conveyed to them Islam’s peaceful teachings? Undoubtedly, even the collective efforts of all the so-called advocates of Islam, along with those who criticize Ahmadiyya Khilafat, cannot ever equal the Ahmadiyya Khalifa in his great services to spread the beautiful and peaceful teachings of Islam.

The simplicity and humility of Huzooraba can be seen even by an ordinary Ahmadi living far away, such as myself. It is a shame that worldly people are unable to perceive this eternal beauty. Indeed, such [Godly] people are obviously much more beautiful on the inside than they appear on the outside, and this is a characteristic of Auliya – Allah’s friends. They have no connection to the world or its pleasures, instead, God remains the sole purpose of their lives. I conclude this article with an excerpt from the writings of the Promised Messiahas, the Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

Such a believer begins to show signs and characteristics of Divinity, just as the iron rod at this stage exhibits the qualities and effects of fire. But this does not mean that the believer has become God. The fact is that love of Allah has the quality of transforming the outward human self into its own form, while inwardly there still remains the inherent human frailty. At this stage, for the believer, God is the bread upon which depends his life, and God also becomes the water by drinking which he can save himself from death, and God is also for him the cool breeze that brings solace to his heart.

Hence, it would not be improper to say, by way of metaphor, that God at this stage enters into the believer and penetrates into his every fibre, making his heart into His throne. So the believer does not see by his own spirit but rather he sees by the Spirit of God, and it is by His Spirit that he hears and speaks and attacks his enemies.[4]

REFERENCES

[1] Abid Khan’s Tour Diary

[2] Abid Khan’s Tour Diary

[3] Abid Khan’s Tour Diary

[4] Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Part Five, pp. 296-297 (English Edition)

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