Hazrat Yunus (as)

Jonah (as) was a prophet of Allah who lived in 9th Century B.C. His story has been detailed in the Holy Qur’an where he is called Yunus (as) and in the Jewish Old Testament where he is called Yona, as well as the Bible in the ‘Book of Jonah’.

Hazrat Yunus (as) lived the city of Nineveh in Mesopotamia at the time of the rule of King Jeroboam II. Allah gave Hazrat Yunus (as) the task to tell the people of Nineveh to amend their ways and save themselves from being punished by Allah. Nineveh was an ancient Assyrian city which dates back to 5000 B.C.E. It was one of superpower cities of its time, a major cultural, political and trading centre of its region. For Hazrat Yunus (as) to preach repentance to the city of Nineveh would have been similar to that of a modern prophet doing the same in New York or Paris today. This was no small task and required huge courage and belief. The Qur’an describes Hazrat Yunus (as) as a just and pious prophet who was ultimately successful in persuading the people of Nineveh to repent.

 

Old Testament

The Old Testament described the story of Hazrat Yunus (as). It states that when Allah told Hazrat Yunus (as) about his task of preaching to his people, Hazrat Yunus (as) fled from the city of Nineveh and went against what Allah had commanded him to do as he felt the people of Nineveh were not going to listen to his message.

“Go at once to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish.

The Old Testament then goes on to describe after fleeing Nineveh, on his travels from Jaffa to Tunisia via ship, a huge storm appeared and the sailors reluctantly threw Hazrat Yunus (as) overboard where he was swallowed by a fish.

So they picked Jonah up and threw him into the sea; and the sea ceased from its raging. But the Lord provided a large fish to swallow up Jonah; and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Whilst in the belly of the big fish, Hazrat Yunus (as) prayed to God and returned to Nineveh to complete his mission.

‘Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth. When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

This described that the people of Nineveh finally accepted Hazrat Yunus’ (as) message and the whole nation all came together as one to seek forgiveness from their Lord. The King commanded his people to stop their wrongdoings so that their punishment from Allah would be averted. He said to his people:

“All shall turn from their evil ways and from the violence that is in their hands.”

The Holy Qur’an Account

The Holy Qur’an tells us that Hazrat Yunus (as) did not go against Allah’s command and flee the city of Nineveh. According to the Quran, divine Prophets are sinless and incapable of disobeying God’s command in the way in which Hazrat Yunus (as) was represented to have done in the Bible. Prophets are an example of what other people should follow and disobedience to God is therefore the last thing of which a Prophet is capable.

It is therefore, not possible that Hazrat Yunus (as) would have even thought of fleeing from the presence of the Omnipresent God. Hazrat Yunus (as) was not angry with Allah, rather he was angry with his people because they had stubbornly rejected Allah’s Divine Message that he had gone to deliver to them. So Hazrat Yunus (as) fled from his people, not from Allah.

The story of Hazrat Yunus (as) is mentioned in six places in the Holy Qur’an. In Chapter 37, verses 140-149, Allah says:

And surely Jonah also was one of the Messengers, when he fled to the laden ship; and he cast lots with the crew of the ship and was of the losers. And the fish swallowed him while he was blaming himself. And had he not been of those who glorify God, he would have surely tarried in its belly till the Day of Resurrection. Then We cast him on a bare tract of land, and he was sick; and We caused a plant of gourd to grow over him. And We sent him as a Messenger to a hundred thousand people or more, and they believed; so We gave them provision for a while.[12]

Another differing point between the Old Testament account and the Quranic account is which type of fish swallowed Hazrat Yunus (as). The Biblical account often narrates a whale. Certain whales do exist in the Mediterranean sea. However both the Holy Qur’an and the Biblical version mention a ‘big fish’. There is no exact confirmation what kind of big fish actually swallowed Hazrat Yunus (as) but it would need to be large enough to swallow a man whole and allow him to breathe for 3 days. The Holy Qur’an also refers to Hazrat Yunus (as) as the ‘Man of the Fish’ in Chapter 68:

‘So be thou steadfast carrying out the command of thy Lord, and be not like the Man of the Fish when he called to his Lord and was full of grief’

‘Had not a favour from his Lord reached him, he would have surely been cast upon a bare tract of land, while he would have been blamed by his people.’

‘But his Lord chose him and made him one of the righteous.’

Moral of the story

The story of Hazrat Yunus (as) teaches us some very important lessons.

We should always have faith in Allah and trust his decisions

Hazrat Yunus (as), when sent to the powerful city of Nineveh, was faced with the daunting task of preaching to a city of great size and stature. Hazrat Yunus (as) did indeed deliver Allah’s message to them, however when he saw that rather than listening to Allah’s warning, the people of Nineveh merely ignored the message and mocked Hazrat Yunus (as), he lost hope that the people of Nineveh would ever understand Allah’s message.

Allah is the only power we should turn to whenever we face any trouble

When Hazrat Yunus (as) was thrown overboard and into the belly of the big fish, he realised that he was wrong in having lost hope. Immediately, Hazrat Yunus (as) turned to Allah for help. He prayed so fervently and admitted his mistake, Allah saved him and allowed him to return to Nineveh again to continue delivering the message of Allah. Hazrat Yunus (as) prayer is told to us by Allah in the following verse and one which we should recite regularly.

‘And remember Dha’l-Nun, when he went away in anger, and he thought that We would have never caused him distress and he cried out in depths of darkness, saying ‘There is no God but Thou, Holy art Thou. I have indeed been of the wrongdoers.’ (21:88)

Seeking repentance, doing Istighfar can save us from our own wrongdoings

Not only did Hazrat Yunus (as) seek forgiveness, but when he returned to Nineveh to deliver Allah’s message again, the people of Nineveh recognised their wrongdoing and sought forgiveness from Allah and asked for their punishment to be averted. The young, the old, the rich, the poor, the children, they all removed their fancy clothing and put on simple clothing made of sack-cloth. The King of Nineveh himself, upon hearing the warning given by Hazrat Yunus (as), removed his royal robes and sat down in the dust. The King told his people not to eat or drink, but to give up their evil ways. The people of Nineveh gathered on a mountaintop and called to God urgently for forgiveness so that Allah may turn to them with love and mercy and save the nation from doom.

Allah accepted their prayers and saved the nation. Nineveh continued to flourish until it was attacked and destroyed by the Persians in 612 B.C.E Furthermore, Allah was pleased with their repentance, even though belated, that he highlighted the people of Nineveh as an example to the disbelievers in the Holy Qur’an.

‘Why was there no other people, save the people of Jonah, who should have believed so that their belief would have profited them? When they believed, we removed from them the punishment of disgrace in the present life, and We gave them provision for a while.’ (10:99)

The story of Hazrat Yunus (as) is similar to that of the Holy Prophet (saw) and the people of Mecca. Initially, the Meccans also rejected the message of the Holy Prophet (saw) and opposed him greatly but after Mecca was conquered, the Meccans submitted to the Holy Prophet (saw), believed in him and saved themselves from divine punishment. The Meccans became the inheritors of the Holy Prophet’s (saw) message and true believers.

 

Final resting place of Hazrat Yunus (as)

The final resting place of Hazrat Yunus (as) is not confirmed. Some say Palestinians claim that his sanctuary is at Halhul, just north of Hebron whilst the Lebanese claim his grave to be near Sarafand. Another possible location is near the city of Mosul in Iraq. Mosul is not far from the ancient city of Nineveh where Hazrat Yunus (as) was sent with his mission.

Written by Mashel Chaudhry

 

References:

https://www.alislam.org/video/nation-of-jonah-averting-disaster-through-taubah/

https://www.reviewofreligions.org/12508/jonahas-and-the-big-fish/

The Holy Quran Five Volume Commentary in English – 2018 Edition

Aladdin and his Lamp

Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) recalled the story of Aladdin and his lamp! Aladdin was an impoverished person who found a lamp. When he rubbed the lamp a genie appeared who made anything Aladdin wanted come to pass. Hazrat Musleh Maud said that as a child he thought Aladdin’s lamp was real and later realised it was not so. However, when he reached old age, he appreciated that there is a phenomenon as Aladdin’s lamp. This lamp does not work on oil but on resolve and determination. Whoever is bestowed this lamp by God makes it work! Owing to the fact that resolve and determination are Divine qualities, when God says ‘Be’ it happens. Similarly, when following God, and in accordance with principles laid down by Him, while acting upon His commandments and praying to Him and seeking His help a person says ‘Be’, it happens. Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said he was convinced of the properties of Aladdin’s lamp in childhood but dismissed them during adulthood. However, upon reaching old age and after experiencing life for a long period of time he realised that the story of Aladdin’s lamp was true. However, it is a metaphorical tale and the lamp connotes resolve and determination, which when rubbed, makes things, no matter how big, happen instantly. 

Moral Story – The Promised Messiah (as)

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) used to relate a story about a rich man who ran a large langar (public kitchen). Many impoverished people ate daily from the langar, but it was badly mismanaged, and the owner was not very good at supervising matters. His employees were dishonest. Those whose job was to buy groceries used to buy expensive groceries and, in less quantity, than needed and some others took some of it home. The malpractices of those who cooked and prepared food at the langar ranged from handing over food to their families or eating it themselves, leaving the storage area open, where at night dogs and jackals would ransack and demolish foodstuff. As a result, the owner ran a huge debt which he was informed of after twenty years of mismanagement. He did not want to close the langar. He consulted his friends for advice but did not mention his own failings. His friends pointed out to him that the storage area did not have a door and dogs demolished the stored food. There would be much damage limitation if a door could be put up there. So, the man ordered that a door be put where food was stored. When at night-time the dogs and jackals saw the door, they raised a hue and cry as to what would they eat now as this was the eating place for all the dogs of the area! A seasoned old dog among them calmed them down. He said someone who has let his property pillaged for twenty years and did not take notice is not going to oversee if a lock is put on the door or not. He assured them that they could still eat off the storeroom.

The moral of the story is that is a lot of difference between possibly wanting something done and actually wanting to do something. The dogs and jackals raised a hue and cry over what if the man wanted to lock the door, but the seasoned old dog said what if he did not want to lock the door, why make the protest!

 

The Holy Qur’an and Water

On a quiet relaxed weekend morning, I was slumped on the sofa enjoying my favourite book, when I became distracted by the sound of heavy rain. I sat back and glanced out of the window but to my surprise, it wasn’t raining. I went up to look where the sound was coming from – someone had left the shower running to heat up the bathroom and the water. As I was walking back down the stairs an image flashed before my mind of children in parts of the world who walk for miles to get a little water to survive and it made me think how it is so easy to forget about other people around the world who are in desperate need for something that is taken advantage of water.

children rushng for miles to get clean water for drinking purposes

Water is an important means of survival and a blessing for us the Holy Qur’an says, and it is Allah “Who gives me food and gives me drink” [26:80].

Clean, freshwater helps our brains function, little access to clean water increases the risk of disease and long-term health problems that can be prevented. By donating to projects like the Humanity First Water for Life project we can contribute towards the range of clean water solutions being provided for people in low-income countries.

Leaving the tap running whilst brushing our teeth or washing dishes has become the norm in many households. We should try to reduce the amount of food and drink we waste to please Allah and help the environment as he has sent “down from the sky water which is full of blessings, and we produce therewith gardens and grain harvests” [50:10], consequently, we should reuse and recycle water. Recycling is a process and regarded as a key part of the green movement. Recycling doesn’t mean we can only renew certain materials like plastics, paper and glass. Recycling water helps to conserve energy as well as other natural resources.  Islam guides us to consider our environment and our surroundings the Holy Qur’an says,

“He it is Who sends down water for you from the clouds; out of it you have your drink, and there grow from it trees on which you pasture your cattle.” [16:11]

By installing a rain barrel, collected rainwater can be boiled to drink and wash dishes or vegetables. Water used for washing clothes can be recollected and used to mop floors or be used in toilets or for plants. Also, by reusing water from a glass or bottle, you can feed your plants, rinse or soak dishes or use it to flush the toilet. Most water we use in the kitchen can be recycled: leftover tea water without sugar can be used to feed plants. Additionally, the water used to wash vegetables is 100% reusable to wash dishes, clean the house, feed the plants or flush the toilet. When we cook pasta, the water doesn’t need to be thrown down the drain, the colander can be placed over a large pot and the pasta water can be used in the garden. Whilst waiting for the shower to warm up, we can collect the excess water in a bucket to wash the dishes or cook with. There are various ways to recycle water outdoors too, for example, whilst watering plants, the drain water from plant pots can be collected with a thick waterproof sheet or box and used to flush the toilet or water other plants.

The Holy Quran mentions “Say, Tell me, if all your water were to disappear in the earth, who then will bring you clear flowing water?” [67:31]

This verse informs us that all life whether physical or spiritual depends on water. We are ever grateful to Allah that he has provided us with water on the earth to drink and grow crops from. It is good to be thankful and mindful instead of wasting.

The Holy Quran says “Do you see the water which you drink? Is it you who send it down from the clouds, or are We the Sender? If We so pleased, We could make it bitter. Why, then, are you not grateful?” [56:69-71].

If we find ways to save the environment and help others, we will be rewarded for it in the hereafter: “and if they keep to the right path, We shall certainly provide them with abundant water to drink” [72:17]

“Remember me, and I will remember you; and be thankful to me and do not be ungrateful to me” [2:153].

[1] https://www.alislam.org/quran/26:80

[2] https://www.alislam.org/quran/50:10

[3] https://www.alislam.org/quran/16:11

[4] https://www.alislam.org/quran/67:31

[5] https://www.alislam.org/quran/view/?page=3194&region=E55

[6] https://www.alislam.org/quran/56:69

[7] https://www.alislam.org/quran/72:17

[8] https://www.alislam.org/quran/2:153

The Story of Hazrat Nuh (as)

Background

The story of Hazrat Nuh (as) also known as Noah is a story known to everyone despite of what faith or community you are from. We have all heard of the Ark of Noah and the flood that came as a punishment on his people. The story of Hazrat Nuh (as) has been mentioned in most Holy scriptures such as the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Bible. According to the Bible Hazrat Nuh (as) was an inhabitant of Iraq (Genesis 11:9), it is said that he lived in a valley surrounded by huge mountains in Mesopotamia in Southern Iraq. Very little is known of his childhood or youth, according to the bible Hazrat Nuh’s (as) father was Lamech who lived nine generations after Hazrat Adam (as). He appeared about nine generations after Hazrat Adam (as) and ten generations before Hazrat Ibrahim (as).

Prophethood

Hazrat Nuh (as) was a law-bearing prophet, which means that he brought Shariah (a divine law). Another example of a law-bearing prophet is the Holy Prophet (saw). In the Holy Qur’an it says:

Translation:

[29:15] And We certainly sent Noah to his people, and he dwelt among them a thousand years save fifty years. Then the deluge overtook them, while they were wrongdoers.

This verse is quite well-known, and some people misunderstand the “thousand years save fifty years” as Hazrat Nuh’s (as) age. However, the verse does not mean that Hazrat Nuh (as) lived to be 950 years of age, this verse actually relates to the length that his Shariah lasted which was about a thousand years.

During this time many people had become corrupt, they had started to worship idols and become disbelievers this included his own wife and son. Some of the more known idols were Wadd, Suwa, Yaghuth, Yauq and Nasr.

Due to this corruption within the people, Allah the Almighty sent Hazrat Nuh (as) as a messenger to guide his people back to Allah.

In the Qur’an it states:

Translation:

[7:60] We sent Noah to his people and he said, ‘O my people, worship Allah, you have no other God but Him. Indeed, I fear for you the punishment of the great day.’

In the Holy Qur’an it also states that:

Translation:

[71:3-4] He said, ‘O my people! surely I am a plain Warner unto you, ‘That you serve Allah and fear Him and obey me.

This verse shows many things, firstly it shows the courage that Hazrat Nuh (as) depicted and the significance of his role. The people of Hazrat Nuh (as) had become so corrupt with their righteousness that he had to warn them to come back to the right path and believe in the unity of God.

 The Holy Qur’an states: 

Translation:

[7:61] The chiefs of his people said, ‘Surely, we see thee to be in manifest error.’

The people of Noah had become quite very disrespectful, they would ignore him and dubbed Hazrat Nuh (as) a liar.

 Translation:

[23:25-26] And the chiefs of his people, who disbelieved, said, ‘He is only a man like yourselves; he seeks to make himself superior to you. And if Allah had so willed, He could have surely sent down angels with him. We have never heard of such a thing among our forefathers. ‘He is only a man stricken with madness; wait, therefore, concerning him for a while.’

The people of Hazrat Nuh (as) questioned his authority and his truthfulness. From this verse it appears that his people did not accept a mortal to be able to be a messenger of Allah. But this verse also shows that his people were challenging Allah the Almighty. Hazrat Nuh (as) had to bear a lot of disappointment due to this and he would pray to Allah constantly asking for forgiveness for his people. Hazrat Nuh (as) had gone to great extents to warn his people of the coming punishment but they would not listen, instead they threatened him.

 Translation:

[71:8] “And every time I called them that Thou mightest forgive them, they put their fingers into their ears, and covered up their hearts, and persisted in their iniquity, and were disdainfully proud.

This verse is an example of the ignorance that his people showed towards him.

 Translation:

[11:33] They said, ‘O Noah, thou hast indeed disputed with us long and hast disputed with us many a time; bring us now that with which thou threatenest us, if thou art of those who speak the truth.’

The people had started to challenge Allah the Almighty and threatening Hazrat Nuh (as).

Throughout his prophethood, Hazrat Nuh (as) had to endure a lot, he was persistent in delivering the message of Allah, but his people were ignorant, they did not listen and threatened him. In this day and age we cannot even fathom what Hazrat Nuh (as)  experienced.

Eventually Hazrat Nuh (as) asked Allah the Almighty for help.

 Translation:

[26:118-119] He said, ‘My Lord, my people have treated me as a liar. ‘Therefore judge Thou decisively between me and them; and save me and the believers that are with me.’

In Surah Al-Qamar it states

 Translation:

[54:11] He therefore prayed to his Lord saying, ‘I am overcome, so come Thou to my help!’

Building of Ark 

 Translation:

[11:38] ‘And build thou the Ark under Our eyes and as commanded by Our revelation. And address not Me concerning the wrongdoers. They are surely going to be drowned.’

Hazrat Nuh (as) was instructed to build an ark, he obeyed immediately and started building an ark of wood with the help of the followers. It has been said that the chiefs of the people would laugh at them when passing by.

Allah the Almighty told Hazrat Nuh (as) to load the ark with all the animals that would be needed, a pair of each, male and female. Hazrat Nuh (as) was also told to bring his family on board except those against whom God’s judgement had already been passed. He also instructed him to bring all those on board who had accepted him as a Messenger of Allah.

 

The Flood

The punishment that came onto the people of Hazrat Nuh (as) was a great flood. That was as high as the mountains and destroyed all the disbelievers. In the Holy Qur’an it says:

 Translation:

[54:12-13] Thereupon We opened the gates of heaven, with water pouring down; And We caused the earth to burst forth with springs, so the two waters met for a purpose that was decreed.

As previously mentioned, that Allah the Almighty told Hazrat Nuh (as) to gather all the believers and his family members. This however did not include his wife and son, who were disbelievers.

In the Holy Qur’an there is a record of Hazrat Nuh (as) speaking to his son.

 Translation:

[11:43-44] And it moved along with them on waves like mountains. And Noah cried unto his son, while he was keeping apart, ‘O my son, embark with us and be not with the disbelievers.’

He replied, ‘I shall soon betake myself to a mountain which will shelter me from the water.’ He said, ‘There is no shelter for anyone this day, from the decree of Allah, excepting those to whom He shows mercy.’ And the wave came in between the two; so he was among the drowned.

 

 Translation:

[11:46] And Noah cried unto his Lord and said: ‘My Lord, verily, my son is of my family, and surely, Thy promise is true, and Thou art the most Just of judges.’

Suddenly a wave came between them and took his son away.

This is indeed a very sad account, but this shows that nobody is exempt from the punishment of Allah, not even the son of a Prophet of Allah. This verse also portrays the intensity of the punishment that bestowed upon the people of Hazrat Nuh (as).

Allah the Almighty told Hazrat Nuh (as) that the ark would float and finish its journey.

The flood had risen to the extent that it covered the entire habitation. The ark floated on waves as high as mountains. Even the tops of mountains were under water.

Allah the Almighty had taught Hazrat Nuh (as) some prayers which were recited by his followers on his ark.

The prayers were:

 Translation:

[23:29-30] “And when thou hast settled on the Ark — thou and those that are with thee — say, ‘All praise belongs to Allah Who has saved us from the unjust people!’

“And say, ‘My Lord, cause me to land a blessed landing, for Thou art the Best of those who bring men to land.’”

Allah rescued Hazrat Nuh (as) and those with him in the ark, while those who rejected him were drowned as a punishment.

Eventually Allah the Almighty made the rain stop.

 Translation:

[11:45] And it was said, ‘O earth, swallow thy water, and O sky, cease raining.’ And the water was made to subside and the matter was ended. And the Ark came to rest on al-Judi. And it was said, ‘Cursed be the wrongdoing people.’

This verse says that the Ark came to rest on a mountain called Al Judi. In the Holy Bible the Ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.

 

After the Flood

 Translation:

[10:74] But they rejected him, so We saved him and those who were with him in the Ark. And We made them inheritors of Our favours, while We drowned those who rejected Our Signs. See then, how was the end of those who had been warned!

In the Holy Qur’an it also states:

 Translation:

[37:76-81] And Noah indeed did cry unto Us, and what an excellent answer did We give to his prayer! And We saved him and his family from the great distress; And We made his offspring the only survivors. And We left for him a good name among the following generations — ‘Peace be upon Noah among the peoples!’ Thus indeed do We reward those who do good.

On the new land Allah the Almighty had bestowed numerous blessing and prosperity to Hazrat Nuh (as) and his followers.

Hazrat Yusuf (as)

Hazrat Yusuf (as) was one of the noble Prophets of God. In the Holy Bible he is known as Joseph and in the Holy Qur’an there is an entire Surah dedicated to his life story. The story of Hazrat Yusuf (as) goes into detail like no other Prophet mentioned in the Holy Qur’an. Hazrat Yusuf (as)’s life bears a close resemblance to the life of the Holy Prophet (saw) and in his story there were many signs and prophecies which were later to be fulfilled in the life of the Holy Prophet (saw).

 

Background of his Family

Joseph was the eleventh son of Prophet Jacob, otherwise known as Israel. He was the elder of the two sons of Rachel. The names of the eleven brothers of Joseph as given in the Bible are as follows: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun, Benjamin, Dan and Naphalti, Gad and Asher.

Joseph possessed the unique characteristic among all Prophets of God that not only was he himself a Prophet of God but his father, Jacob, his grandfather Isaac, and great grandfather Abraham were all God’s chosen Messengers.

 Once some of the companions of the Holy Prophet (saw) asked him as to who was the noblest of men. The Holy Prophet (saw) replied: “Truly the noblest of men is the Prophet Joseph who was the son, grandson, and great-grandson, or a Prophet of God (Bukhari, Kitab Bad’ul’Khalq)

The First Revelation

 In the Holy Qur’an, the story of Hazrat Yusuf (as) starts with him as a child narrating a dream to his father:

“Remember the time when Joseph said to his father, ‘O my father, I saw in a dream eleven stars and the sun and the moon, I saw them making obeisance to me.’ (12:5)

 This dream is very important because the whole of Hazrat Yusuf (as)’s life revolves around this dream. The eleven stars – who were the brothers of Joseph were to make obeisance to him, meaning they would become loyal and obedient to him. This dream foretold of Hazrat Yusuf’s greatness and truly came to be as the parents and brothers of Joseph came to live in the land where Joseph held power as a Minister of State.

 

 Point of Resemblance #1: The Holy Prophet’s (saw) first revelation in the cave of Hira also predicted that he was to become the most honoured man of the human race.

 Point of Resemblance #2: Joseph related his vision to his father and the Holy Prophet (saw) at the instance of his wife Khadija related his first revelation to Waraqah bin Naufal, who was one of the elders of the family. (Bukhari)

After hearing his son’s dream, Jacob forbade him to tell his dream to his brothers because they would become envious and would be tempted to plot against him.

“He said, O my darling son, relate not thy dream to thy brothers, lest they contrive a plot against thee; for Satan is to man an open enemy.” (12:6).

Point of Resemblance #3: Just as Jacob upon hearing Joseph’s dream told him that when his brothers heard of it they would plot against him and seek to do him harm; similarly when Waraqah bin Naufal heard of the first revelation of the Holy Prophet (saw), he told him that a time would come when his people would plot against him and turn him out of their town.

 Allah says in the Holy Qur’an that He will deal with Joseph according to his dream, and Joseph will attain the greatness promised to him in his vison. Allah will also ‘teach thee the interpretation of things’ meaning that God would teach Joseph how to interpret dreams.

 Joseph received the promise from God, that he will be bestowed Prophethood and through him he would bestow distinction on Jacob’s family also. God would make them believe in Joseph and thus they would share with him the favours and blessings of God.

 

Point of Resemblance #4: Just as Jacob believed in the truth of Joseph’s dream, similarly when Waraqa bin Naufal heard of the first revelation of the Holy Prophet (saw) he accepted it as the true word of God.

 

 

Enmity of Josephs Brothers

Joseph’s brothers were annoyed that instead of them, who, as they thought were superior to him in every respect, he had won the affection of their father and had become the centre of his attention.

Point of Resemblance #5: Similarly, when the Holy Prophet (saw) made his claims about prophethood, the Meccans believed that he was too small a person to be given the such a high rank of a Prophet and that the Qur’an ought to have been revealed to one of the great men of Mecca or Ta’if (43:32)

‘Kill Joseph or cast him out to some distant land, so that your father’s favour may become exclusively yours and you can thereafter become a righteous people.’ (12:10)

According to the Qur’an, Joseph’s brothers first secretly made a plan to kill Joseph, and they went to their father asking him to send him with them. One of the brothers of Joseph opposed the idea to kill him and suggested instead that he should be dropped into a deep well where some travellers might pick him up. The brothers of Joseph were from a well respectable family. They were not habitual criminals and in their heart of hearts disliked the foul deed, though they were temporarily blinded by hatred and jealousy.

One of them said, ‘Kill not Joseph, but if you must do something, cast him into the bottom of a deep well; some of the travellers will pick him up.’ (12:11)

Point of Resemblance #6: Similarly, the Quraish of Mecca also conspired to put the Holy Prophet to death (8:31).

Point of Resemblance # 7: Some plotters objected to kill the Holy Prophet (saw) and instead made a compact to boycott and starve the Holy Prophet (saw) and his followers to death which was then later broken by citizens who opposed it.

The brothers of Joseph asked their father to send Joseph with them so that he may enjoy himself and play while they watched over him. Joseph was 11 or 12 years old at the time of this incident – a young boy who would need to be looked after. Jacob feared that the brothers would be irresponsible and Joseph would be devoured by a wolf while they were not paying attention to him.  But Jacob was already informed by God in a general way of the plot of Joseph’s brothers to kill him.

So, when they took him away, and agreed to put him into the bottom of a deep well, they had their malicious design carried out; and We sent a revelation to him, saying, ‘Thou shalt surely one day tell them of this affair of theirs and they shall not know.’(12:16)

Joseph was informed by Allah through revelation that there would come a time when God would bestow upon him power and glory and he would then inform his brothers of the bad treatment they had given him.

Point of Resemblance #8: Similarly, the Holy Prophet (saw) was informed by revelation that though his enemies would compel him to flee from Mecca, he would return home victorious (28:26).

And they came to their father in the evening, weeping.

They said, ‘O our father, we sent forth racing with one another, and left Joseph with our things, and the wolf devoured him, but thou wilt not believe us even if we speak the truth.’(12:17,18)

Josephs brothers nervously came to their father and told him that Joseph had been eaten by a wolf and placed a false blood-stained shirt as proof of their lie. Jacob knew that they had made up this story. In his heart of hearts Jacob thought Joseph to be alive but at the time he resigned to the inevitable.

Point of Resemblance #9: Just as Josephs brothers falsely claimed he had been slain, the disbelievers falsely declared the Holy Prophet (saw) to be slain first in the battle of Uhud and then again at Mecca.

And there came a caravan of travellers and they sent their waterdrawer. And he let down his bucket into the well. ‘Oh, good news!’ said he, ‘Here is a youth!’ And they concealed him as a piece of merchandise, and Allah knew full well what they did. (12:20)

Joseph’s brothers cast him into a deep well in the wilderness, but Allah always takes care of His chosen servants. Allah so arranged that immediately afterwards a caravan arrived and a man was sent to fetch water from a well and he happened to go to the very well in which Joseph was. They looked at Joseph as a treasure and saw in him a youth of promise.

When a member of the caravan took Joseph out of the well, his brethren became aware of it and declared Joseph to be their slave, and sold him to that very caravan for a small price. Their purpose of selling Joseph was not to get money, but they feared that if the caravan thought him to be a free man instead of a slave, they would return him home.

 

The Potiphar’s House

The Egyptian who bought Joseph was known as Potiphar (Gen 39:1). He was captain of the royal guard – an officer of high rank in ancient times. He was struck by the noble appearance of Joseph and asked his wife to treat him with such honour and affection as are not ordinarily shown to a slave or servant. He expressed the hope that they might one day benefit by his ability or, if he proved to be worthy, might adopt him as their son.

And when he attained his age of full strength, We granted him judgment and knowledge. And thus do We reward the doers of good. (12:23)

And she, in whose house he was, sought to seduce him against his will. And she bolted the doors, and said, ‘Now come.’ He said, ‘I seek refuge with Allah. He is my  Lord. He has made my stay with you honourable. Verily, the wrongdoers never prosper.’ (12:24)

The Potiphar’s wife planned to seduce Joseph but failed in her efforts and Joseph successfully resisted her temptation. For the sake of God, his True Lord and Master he followed the right path and refused to be seduced into sin. He not only abstained from the sin but he also warned the Potiphar’s wife against its evil consequences saying “the evil doers never prosper.”

Joseph had been shown manifest signs before. He had seen the wonderful dream that foretold of his future greatness, and the revelation he had received when cast into the well which also pointed to his later eminence and glory. Surely a person who was being prepared for the exalted office of a Prophet could not degrade himself before an idolatrous woman. A person who had witnessed such signs could not stoop to such evil.

Point of Resemblance #10: Just an attempt was made to lead Joseph away from piety and decency, similarly the idolaters of Mecca made an unsuccessful attempt to make the Holy Prophet (sa)  give up preaching the Unity of God by offering to make him their King, give him wealth, or offer in marriage the most beautiful girl in Arabia. The offer of course was rejected by the Holy Prophet (saw) with the historic words, “If you place the sun on my right hand and the moon on my left hand, I will never give up preaching the Oneness of God.”

When Joseph saw that his master’s wife was not listening to his warnings to stop her evil deeds, he thought he should no longer stay in the room, so he hurried to leave her presence. To prevent him from leaving the room, she ran to the door to reach it in time before Joseph succeeded in getting out. During the race to the door she pulled at Josephs shirt and tore it at the back. The Potiphar was at the door when this happened and his wife said:  What shall be the punishment of one who intended evil to thy wife, save imprisonment or a grievous chastisement?’

He said, ‘She it was who sought to seduce me against my will.’ And a witness of her household bore witness saying, ‘If his shirt is torn from the front, then she has spoken the truth and he is of the liars. (12:27)

‘But if his shirt is torn from behind, then she has lied and he is of the truthful.’ (12:28)

The Potiphar’s wife started to falsely accuse Joseph of being the guilty of sin, but a witness from her household pointed out that Joseph’s shirt was torn from behind, which means that Joseph was truthful and the woman was to blame. Joseph’s master believed him to be innocent of the terrible charge brought against him by his wife. And said:

‘O Joseph, turn away from this and thou, O woman, ask forgiveness for thy sin. Certainly, thou art of the guilty.’(12:30)

The incident with the Potiphar’s wife became public and the local women began to gossip.

The Potiphar’s wife heard what the women of the city were saying about her infatuation with Joseph. So, in order to remove their suspicions, she invited them to a feast. When all the guests were assembled, she asked Joseph to come out and serve them. As soon as they glanced at his face and saw his innocent, angelic expression, they became convinced of his purity, and all their suspicions as far as Joseph was concerned were gone. 

They were so struck by his appearance that in a state of forgetfulness some of them happened to cut their hands with the knives they had. Having made the women admit that their suspicions were baseless and that the sinful act had not yet been committed, Potiphar’s wife made an open confession before her guests who were her friends that she had failed in her efforts to tempt Joseph into sin. Strange are the ways of God. The very way by which this woman sought to bring disgrace upon Joseph proved to be the means of his future greatness.

She said, ‘And this is he about whom you blamed me. I did seek to seduce him against his will, but he preserved himself from sin. And now if he do not what I bid him, he shall certainly be imprisoned and become one of the humbled.’ (12:33)

He said, ‘O my Lord, I would prefer prison to that to which they invite me; and unless Thou turn away their guile from me I shall incline towards them and be of the ignorant.’ (12:34)

So his Lord heard his prayer, and turned away their guile from him. Verily, He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. (12:35)

God brought about these circumstances so that Joseph should no longer live in the evil company of his masters wicked wife and her evil companions.

 

Imprisonment

The ill-fame of Potiphar’s wife spread in wider circles. Her people thought that the best way to put a stop to this scandal was to imprison Joseph so that public might come to regard him as the offender and the blame might be shifted from that guilty woman to this innocent man.

Then it occurred to them (the men) after they had seen the signs of his innocence that, to preserve their good name, they should imprison him for a time. (12:36)

There were two young men in prison with Joseph. They are known in the Bible as the butler and the baker (Genesis Ch 40). In prison, Joseph was held in very high regard for his piety, and due to this the young men asked him to interpret their dreams.

And with him there entered the prison two young men. One of them said, ‘I saw myself in a dream pressing wine.’ And the other said, ‘I saw myself in a dream carrying upon my head bread of which the birds are eating. Inform us of the interpretation thereof; for we see thee to be of the righteous.’ (12:37)

Joseph used this as an opportunity to preach to the people. He was very considerate in preaching the truth and assured them that he would not keep them long and finish his talk with them before their meal-time. He taught them that Prophethood is beneficial for the entire people to whom he is sent, for all men profit by it according to their respective capacities.

 In this world we see that there is power in numbers, but that is not so with God. Though He is One and Alone, He overpowers all and dominates over all. Things which claim to be from God must be accompanied by some evidence of Divine authority and power. The religion which claims to come from Heaven must have heavenly evidence to support its claim.

 Only that religion can be said to be a true religion which satisfies both the physical and spiritual needs of man. Only that religion can be said to be the right religion which saves men from shirk or setting up equals to God. How can people look to worship the things God has created rather than worship God Himself? He then explained to them the meaning of their dreams:

‘O my two companions of the prison, as for one of you, he will pour out wine, for his lord to drink; and as for the other, he will be crucified so that the birds will eat from off his head. The matter about which you inquired has been decreed.’ (12:42)

And of the two, he said to him whom he thought to be the one who would escape: ‘Mention me to thy lord.’ But Satan caused him to forget mentioning it to his lord, so he remained in prison for some years. (12:43)

When this prisoner busied himself with the satanic work of preparing and offering wine to his master, the purifying influence of Joseph’s holy company was gone and he forgot to speak of him to the King.

And the King said, ‘I see in a dream seven fat kine which seven lean ones eat up, and seven green ears of corn and seven others withered. O ye chiefs, explain to me the meaning of my dream if you can interpret a dream.’ (12:44)

The King had seen a dream which made him anxious. He was convinced that the dream was true and he asked asked the learned men of his court to interpret it. The man who escaped the prison Joseph was in, asked permission of the court to go to Joseph. Because of his past experience this man was sure that Joseph would be able to interpret the vision correctly.

He replied, ‘You shall sow for seven years, working hard and continuously, and leave what you reap in its ear, except a little which you shall eat. (12:48)

Joseph interpreted the dream and advised the people to lay up corn for the years of famine and suggested to them the way in which they could safely do so. By leaving corn in the ear for that was the safest way of preserving it. The seven years of famine would be so severe that all that the people had stored up during the first seven years of plenty would be eaten up except very little which might be saved, for fear lest the famine become prolonged or for the purpose of seed.

Point of Resemblance #11 – at the time of the Holy Prophet (sa) there was also a terrible famine in Arabia which lasted seven long years. It was so severe that some people were forced to eat carrion. The Holy Prophet was requested to pray to God for the removal of famine. He prayed to God and the famine left the land after the people had been reduced to the most pitiful plight (Bukhari and Muslim).

‘Then there shall come after that a year in which people shall be relieved and in which they shall give presents to each other.’(12:50)

After seven years of famine, rains would fall and bring relief to the famine-stricken people of Egypt. When the King saw that the wise men of his court failed to interpret his dream and that Joseph had not only interpreted it rightly but had also suggested a remedy, he realized that Joseph was no ordinary man and desired to release him from the prison. But Joseph refused to be released until a full inquiry was made into his case and he was proved to be innocent of the charge laid against him. The King called on the women who gossiped and they confessed the truth and bore witness to the innocence of Joseph. The Potiphar’s wife also confessed that she was the guilty party. The King had become so convinced of the righteousness of Joseph that on hearing the accusation against him he at once believed it to be false.

Joseph said, ‘I asked for that enquiry to be made so that he (the ‘Aziz) might know that I was not unfaithful to him in his absence and that Allah suffers not the device of the unfaithful to succeed. (12:53)

As Joseph was a Prophet of God, the plotters against him could not succeed and hence God caused their plot to be exposed and defeated. Joseph declared that he had caused this inquiry to be made, not to make a show of his own purity but to prove that nobody can lead astray the man whom God Himself protects from evil. Man, by nature falls into evil and it is God’s connection alone which can lead him to the right path.

And the King said, ‘Bring him to me that I may take him specially for myself.’ And when he had spoken to him, he said, ‘Thou art this day a man of established position and trust with us.’ (12:55)

High Position

The King bestowed Joseph the honour he had deserved by admitting him to his special favour. It is likely that the King offered Joseph the post of Prime Minister but Joseph preferred to take charge over the financial department. This way he would be free from the material cares and court conspiracies and could focus his attention on running the department which concerned the King’s dream.

And thus did We establish Joseph in the land. He dwelt therein wherever he pleased. We bestow Our mercy on whomsoever We please, and We suffer not the reward of the righteous to perish. (12:57)

Famine was in the country and Joseph was at the height of his power. Joseph had risen to such eminence that his brothers could not recognize him because they could not imagine that the boy they had cast into the well and who was sold as a slave could rise to such a high position.

Point of Resemblance #12: Much in the same way the Meccans marvelled at the power and prestige the Holy Prophet (saw) had gained.

And when he had provided them with their provision, he said, ‘Bring me your brother on your father’s side. Do you not see that I give you full measure of corn and that I am the best of hosts? (12:60)

Joseph’s brothers arrived in Egypt to obtain their ration of corn during the time of famine. Joseph showed kindness to them and asked them to bring their brother Benjamin to him.

And he said to his servants, ‘Put their money also into their saddlebags that they may recognize it when they return to their family; haply they may come back.’ (12:63)

Joseph showed great patience and self-control and did not display any such emotion as must have risen in his compassionate heart upon seeing his brothers. He asked his servants to put their money in their saddlebags so they might appreciate the favour that was shown to them and be made to return.

Joseph’s brothers returned to their father and told him to send their brother Benjamin with them otherwise they will not receive further ration of corn. In their spirit there was still a boastfulness when they addressed their father.

He said, ‘I cannot trust you with him, save as I trusted you with his brother before. But Allah is the best Protector, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.’ (12:65)

Jacob told his sons that despite their tragic experience with Joseph it is a pity that even now they should not rely on the protection of God but on their own power. He further hints that he did not entrust Joseph to their care before nor would he entrust the care of Benjamin to them. His trust now as before, lay in God alone.

Jacob then made his sons give him a solemn promise in the name of Allah that they will return their brother to him. And when they made the promise he said “Allah watches over what we say.”

Jacob knew from Divine revelation that Joseph was alive so he asked his sons to enter separately so that Joseph might have an opportunity to meet and talk to Benjamin in private.

When they visited Joseph, Joseph brought his brother with himself and said “so grieve not at what they have been doing” – he assured Benjamin that he was his brother who was presumed dead, and he would protect him from their mischief.

And when he had provided them with their provision, he put the drinking-cup in his brother’s saddlebag. Then a crier cried, ‘O ye men of the caravan, you have been guilty of theft.’ (12:71)

Joseph had drunk water from a cup and happened to place it among Benjamin’s things, not knowing it was there.

Joseph had put a drinking cup into his Benjamin’s sack without his knowledge, thinking that it would be useful for the journey. The royal proclaimer said that the kings measuring cup was missing. The royal measuring cup which seemed to be in Joseph’s hand when he was saying farewell to his brother happened to be placed in Benjamin’s sack by mistake and nobody knew how it found its way there. When the caravan was searched it was found in Benjamin’s luggage along with the drinking cup which Joseph had himself put there. Joseph at once understood how the mistake had occurred but thinking that all of this was God’s plan for keeping Benjamin, he kept silent until the caravan was gone. This is how Benjamin remained behind with Joseph.

The brothers accused Benjamin of theft and disowned him and even refused to acknowledge them as their brother.

They asked Joseph to take one of them as his servant instead of Benjamin. But Joseph said that it would be an act of injustice on his part to detain an innocent person in place of a guilty one.

“Return ye to your father and say, ‘O our father, thy son has stolen and we have stated only what we know and we could not be guardians over the unseen. (12:82)

When Josephs brothers returned to their father they said they made their solemn promise to him quite honestly that they would bring Benjamin back, but they did not expect what had happened.

‘And inquire of the people of the city wherein we were, and of the caravan with which we came, and certainly we are speaking the truth.’” (12:83)

He replied, ‘Nay, but your souls have embellished to you this thing. So now comely patience is good for me. May be Allah will bring them all to me; for He is the All-Knowing, the Wise.’ (12:84)

Joseph’s brothers automatically accused Benjamin of being a thief without thinking that there could have possibly been a misunderstanding. The verse shows that Jacob had been foretold by God that Joseph was living and that the brothers would come back safe. Jacob hints that God had revealed to him the reality of the matter and whatever had happened had happened in fulfilment of a Divine plan for the welfare of the family.

They said, ‘By Allah, thou wilt not cease talking of Joseph until thou art wasted away or thou art of those who perish.’ (12:86)

He replied, ‘I only complain of my sorrow and my grief to Allah, and I know from Allah that which you know not. (12:87)

Jacob poured out his heart to God in whom all holy men seek solace. God had informed Jacob of not only Joseph being alive but also of his being in Egypt.

And, when they came before him (Joseph), they said, ‘O exalted one, poverty has smitten us and our family, and we have brought a paltry sum of money, so give us the full measure, and be charitable to us. Surely, Allah rewards the charitable.’(12:89)

His brothers came before him and began to beg for corn even though their real purpose of returning to Egypt was to find their brothers.

Joseph could not bear to see his brothers in this state degrading themselves by begging for corn and decided to reveal his identity. He disclosed it to them indirectly saying “Do you know what you did to Joseph and his brother when you were ignorant?” At the same time, he was comforting them by saying that they should not worry about their past misdeeds because what they had done was as a result of ignorance as they did not realize the full implication of their deeds. In this difficult occasion, Joseph showed such good manners teaching us that man can move to great moral heights. 

The brothers asked in surprise “Art thou Joseph?” upon which Joseph revealed his identity to them. He then gently told them that one could not overcome difficulties by merely begging and suffering oneself to be degraded, but that the secret of all success lay in piety and patience, in hard work and in trusting in God Who was ever the Protecting Friend of the righteous.

The good nature of Josephs brothers finally revealed itself. They admitted that in spite of all their opposition to Joseph, God had exalted him over them and he deserved it; for it is they who had been the sinners.

He said, ‘No blame shall lie on you this day; may Allah forgive you! And He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy. (12:93)

Joseph had a very noble character. He did not make them beg for forgiveness for what they did, and immediately pardoned them. The large-hearted and generous forgiving of his brothers by Joseph shows the greatest resemblance to the Holy Prophet (saw).

 

Like Joseph, the Holy Prophet too gained honour and power in flight and banishment. And when after years of exile he entered his native town as a conqueror, at the head of ten thousand companions and Mecca lay prostrate at his feet, he asked his people what treatment they expected from him. The Meccans replied: “The treatment that Joseph accorded to his brethren”. To this the Holy Prophet said “then no reproach should lie on you this day. This noble treatment by the Holy Prophet (saw) in front of his bloodthirsty enemies, is unparalleled in history.

 

Joseph gave his shirt to his brothers to present to their father so that the sight of it might please him, and so that he might pray for his brothers and forgive them. Even before the caravan reached home, Jacob told his people he hoped to meet Joseph soon even though they thought meeting him was just the wishful thinking of an old man. But Jacob knew it as a fact and a certainty. The members of Jacobs family refused to believe it possible and thought Jacob was just blinded his judgement by his love for Joseph.

And when the bearer of glad tidings came, he laid it before him and he became enlightened. Then he said, ‘Did I not say to you: I know from Allah what you know not? ’(12:97)

When the shirt was presented to Jacob, his knowledge of Joseph being alive based on divine revelation was now converted into factual knowledge. 

One good action leads to another. When Joseph pardoned his brothers, the weight of sin to some extent became lifted from their hearts. They repented of their sins, and asked their father to pray to God to forgive them as well. They realized that man’s anger is nothing compared to God’s wrath.

He said, ‘I will certainly ask forgiveness for you of my Lord. Surely, He is the Most Forgiving, the Merciful.’(12:99)

Jacob said to them that it will take some time for him to fully reconcile with them. But he comforted his sons by drawing their attention to the great mercy and all-comprehensive forgiveness of God.

Joseph had gone out of town to receive his parents. Although his real mother had died, his step-mother was much entitled to his respect and affection as his real mother.

Joseph presented his parents to the King, and they fell prostrate before God, thanking Him for raising Joseph to such an eminent position. Thus, the first revelation Hazrat Yusuf (as) received as a child was fulfilled.

 

Conclusion

God’s prophets have high moral characters. Joseph’s brothers had left their home for food, but Joseph speaks of their coming to him as a special favour of God to himself.  Again, he mentions being taken out of prison and makes no mention of being rescued from the well lest his brothers feel ashamed.

For righteous servants of God, neither prosperity nor adversity can make them forget their Lord and Creator. Even during his reunion with his parents and brothers after a long time, Joseph felt the flame of Divine love rising in his chest, and ignoring and forgetting all, he turned to his Lord and Master.

The life-story of Hazrat Yusuf (as) in the Holy Qur’an finishes by telling us that it was not just a mere tale. It embodied mighty prophecies relating to the future of the Holy Prophet (saw).

The Holy Prophet (saw) is told that like the brothers of Joseph, people would not believe in him unless they saw him rise to power and glory and themselves suffered humiliation and disgrace.

Assuredly, in their narrative is a lesson for men of understanding. It is not a thing that has been forged, but a fulfilment of that which is before it and a detailed exposition of all things, and a guidance and a mercy to a people who believe. (12:112)

By Naima Arif

Prayers from the Qur’an

Amongst the innumerable favours that have been showered upon mankind by Allah the almighty, one of the most precious is the Holy Qur’an. The Holy Book which is the word of God contains complete guidance for all of mankind, laws and commandments as well as historical accounts of prophets. One way to establish a connection with Allah the Exalted is through prayer. Here we have compiled a list of prayers found in the Qur’an taught to us throughout history.

 

 

30 Days Prayer Challenge

Ahkaamul Qur’an

The Promised Messiah (as) has emphasised several times in his books and Malfuzat the importance of Commandments of the Holy Qur’an. Al-Hafizoon started compiling the direct commandments of the Holy Qur’an, comprising only few words for easy reference and memorisation. We have compiled a book titled ‘Nisabul-Hifz’ in which we have included 100 Ahkaam with English and Urdu translation. Each Friday one commandment is sent to the members of Jama’at on social media. They are enjoined to memorise it, reflect its meaning and use in their day to day talk. By the grace of Allah, these commandments are being warmly received and memorised. These commandments are useful in preparation of speeches and talks as they cover a wide variety of moral and spiritual topics.

Easy Homemade Tassel Bookmarks

 

SUPPLIES:

  • Double-sided decorative cardstock
  • scrapbook paper cut into 8″ x 2″ pieces
  • Yarn (use thinner weight yarn)
  • Scissors
  • Hole Punch (use a small 1/8″ circle hole punch)
  • Laminator (optional)

PROCEDURE:

  1. Start by wrapping yarn around your four fingers, but not too tight. You want to make sure you have room to tie the tassel knot at the top. When you have your desired weight or bulk of yarn for your tassel, cut off the end leaving about 8 inches hanging down.
  2. Then take the end and wound it between your index and middle fingers a couple times and pull. Create a knot here and carefully released yarn from your bottom three fingers.

 

 

 

      3.  Then with your scissors, cut the bottom                                yarn loop creating a nice fringe for your                                  homemade tassel.

      4.  Finally, secure another piece of yarn (about 9″                    long and folded in half) by sliding it through                        the top loops and stringing the cut ends                                through the folded end and pulling tight                              creating a knot at the top. Voila! You now                              have a pretty tassel.

       5. Then it’s just a matter of attaching it to your                        pretty paper. Punch a hole at the top and                              secured with a knot at the top, trimming off                        any excess yarn.

       Send pictures of your creation for a feature in Ayesha Magazine or               on the Nasirat Website.

         Website link:

          https://club.chicacircle.com/easy-homemade-tassel-bookmarks/ 

Supplies:

 

      • Double-sided decorative cardstock
      • scrapbook paper cut into 8″ x 2″ pieces
      • Yarn (use thinner weight yarn)
      • Scissors
      • Hole Punch (use a small 1/8″ circle hole punch)
      • Laminator (optional)

PROCEDURE:

  1. Start by wrapping yarn around your four fingers, but not too tight. You want to make sure you have room to tie the tassel knot at the top. When you have your desired weight or bulk of yarn for your tassel, cut off the end leaving about 8 inches hanging down.
  2. Then take the end and wound it between your index and middle fingers a couple times and pull. Create a knot here and carefully released yarn from your bottom three fingers.
  3. Then with your scissors, cut the bottom yarn loop creating a nice fringe for your homemade tassel.
  4. Finally, secure another piece of yarn (about 9″ long and folded in half) by sliding it through the top loops and stringing the cut ends through the folded end and pulling tight creating a knot at the top. Voila! You now have a pretty tassel.
  5. Then it’s just a matter of attaching it to your pretty paper. Punch a hole at the top and secured with a knot at the top, trimming off any excess yarn.

Send pictures of your creation for a feature in Ayesha Magazine or on the Nasirat Website.

  Website link:

    https://club.chicacircle.com/easy-homemade-tassel-bookmarks/ 

Christmas – Theme of the Month

Christmas is a Christian celebration marking the birth of Hazrat Isa (as) which takes place on 25th of December in the West, but not in the Eastern Orthodox community, who in fact celebrate it on the 7th of January. The celebration was created some hundred years after Christianity began and the way in which people celebrate it has changed too.

It used to be a time for reflection on the teachings of Hazrat Isa (as), visiting Church for mass and praying. Now it is more focussed on buying presents, having parties, drinking and decorations. You may even find that your non-Christian friends are celebrating Christmas too. So why don’t we celebrate it?

It is important to remember that Christmas is not an Islamic celebration. As Muslims, we don’t even celebrate the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammed (saw), so why would we celebrate the birthday of any other prophet? The reason we don’t celebrate birthdays of prophets is because birthdays aren’t important, what is more important are the teachings and examples that the prophets have given us.

What is strange about the 25th of December is that this date is actually incorrect, as Hazrat Isa (as) was not born in Winter.

The Holy Quran teaches us that he was born at a time when fresh dates are found on palm-trees in Judea. After delivering Hazrat Isa (as) under a palm-tree an angel spoke to Hazrat Maryam (as) saying:

And shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree; it will drop upon thee fresh ripe dates. (19:26).

So, not only are Christians celebrating a prophet’s birthday, which is below the esteem that Allah has granted him, but they’re also doing so in the wrong month! This shows two very good reasons why we as Muslims shouldn’t join in with Christmas celebrations.

As Muslims we get the chance to celebrate two Eids every year and both have meaning as well as many blessings associated with them. This isn’t to say that you can’t enjoy the winter season; we can enjoy the lights, eat mince pies and send season’s greetings cards to our friends. Each year, the jamaat prints out season’s greeting card which you can distribute to friends and neighbours.

Moreover, we can respect their festivities by taking extra care of the elderly who are lonely at this special time in their lives. We can visit sick children in hospitals, and we can feed the homeless who are neglected. Not forgetting our neighbours, to check to see if they are in need of anything which you can help them with. This is how an Ahmadi would celebrate this festive holiday.

 

A DIY Chanda/Charity Jar Full of Sparkle and Shine

 

SUPPLIES:

  • Gold Mirrored/ or any Mason Jar
  • Standard Mouth Slot Lid & Band
  • Gold or any other color Spray Paint
  • Any other color Glitter Tape

 

 

 

PROCEDURE:

1.    Cut the Glitter Tape to slightly longer than the jar circumference. 

2.    Slowly wrap the jar with the tape, making sure that it stays straight. 

3.    When you reach the other end, overlap the pieces slightly.

4.    If you are using the coins to save up for something, you could use some Sharpie Paint pens to write “Charity Fund”, or name of Chanda or Charity you are raising funds for.

Send pictures of your creation for a feature in Ayesha Magazine or on the Nasirat Website.

Owner/Author Taylor Bradford Studio DIY & Yoobi Website link:

https://taylorbradford.com/diy-coin-bank-full-sparkle-shine

Supplies:

 

      • Gold Mirrored/ or any Mason Jar
      • Standard Mouth Slot Lid & Band
      • Gold or any other color Spray Paint
      • Any other color Glitter Tape

PROCEDURE:

1.   Cut the Glitter Tape to slightly longer than the jar circumference. 

2.    Slowly wrap the jar with the tape, making sure that it stays straight. 

3.    When you reach the other end, overlap the pieces slightly.

4.    If you are using the coins to save up for something, you could use some Sharpie Paint pens to write “Charity Fund”, or name of Chanda or Charity you are raising funds for.

Send pictures of your creation for a feature in Ayesha Magazine or on the Nasirat Website.

Owner/Author Kelly Mindell Studio DIY & Yoobi Website link: https://studiodiy.com/2015/08/18/diy-glittery-graphic-pencil-cases/

Glitery Graphic Pencil Case – DIY Art Project

 

SUPPLIES:

  • Pencil Cases

  • White Paint + Colored Paint of Your Choice (We

    used neon!)

  • Paint Brush

  • Label/Adhesive Paper

  • Scissors or Craft Knife

  • Mod Podge

  • Glitter

  • Confetti

  • Printable Stencil

PROCEDURE:

1.     Print out the stencil templates (or other

design of your choice!) on adhesive label paper

and cut out the black shapes/letters using scissors

or a craft knife (be really careful!). Be sure to save

the hearts from the inside of the glasses and the

center of the “O” from ZOMG.

 

 

2.     Peel the backing off the stencil and adhere to the pencil case where desired.

3.     Paint over the stencil with white paint to act as a primer. Let dry completely.

4.     Paint with your color of choice and let dry, then peel back your stencil! If any paint seeped through, clean up the edges with a thin paint brush.

5.     For the sunglasses: Adhere just the outline of the hearts to start and paint white. Let dry. Then put the “lens” cutouts that you saved on top of the white paint. (If the adhesive backing is super sticky, stick it onto your hand first to dull down some of the adhesive.) Then paint with the color you’d like and let dry. Remove the stencils. Lastly, paint mod podge over the remaining white heart shapes and sprinkle with glitter. Let dry, then seal with a final layer of mod podge over top the glitter!

6.     Fort the confetti case: Paint the entire side of the case with mod podge and sprinkle with confetti. Let dry. If necessary repeat with a second layer, otherwise seal the confetti on with a final layer of mod podge.

Send pictures of your creation for a feature in Ayesha Magazine or on the Nasirat Website.

Owner/AuthorKelly Mindell Studio DIY & Yoobi Website link: https://studiodiy.com/2015/08/18/diy-glittery-graphic-pencil-cases/

 

Supplies:

  • Pencil Cases

  • White Paint + Colored Paint of Your Choice (We used neon!)

  • Paint Brush

  • Label/Adhesive Paper

  • Scissors or Craft Knife

  • Mod Podge

  • Glitter

  • Confetti

  • Printable Stencil

PROCEDURE:

1.    Print out the stencil templates (or other design of your choice!) on adhesive label paper and cut out the black shapes/letters using scissors or a craft knife (be really careful!). Be sure to save the hearts from the inside of the glasses and the center of the “O” from ZOMG.

2.     Peel the backing off the stencil and adhere to the pencil case where desired.

3.     Paint over the stencil with white paint to act as a primer. Let dry completely.

4.     Paint with your color of choice and let dry, then peel back your stencil! If any paint seeped through, clean up the edges with a thin paint brush.

5.     For the sunglasses: Adhere just the outline of the hearts to start and paint white. Let dry. Then put the “lens” cutouts that you saved on top of the white paint. (If the adhesive backing is super sticky, stick it onto your hand first to dull down some of the adhesive.) Then paint with the color you’d like and let dry. Remove the stencils. Lastly, paint mod podge over the remaining white heart shapes and sprinkle with glitter. Let dry, then seal with a final layer of mod podge over top the glitter!

6.     Fort the confetti case: Paint the entire side of the case with mod podge and sprinkle with confetti. Let dry. If necessary repeat with a second layer, otherwise seal the confetti on with a final layer of mod podge.

Send pictures of your creation for a feature in Ayesha Magazine or on the Nasirat Website.

Owner/Author Kelly Mindell Studio DIY & Yoobi Website link: https://studiodiy.com/2015/08/18/diy-glittery-graphic-pencil-cases/

Paint Scrape Eid Cards – DIY Art Project

 

SUPPLIES:

  • Heavyweight paper, such as cardstock or          watercolour paper trimmed to 8.5″ x 5.5″

  • A2 sized envelopes

  • Acrylic Paints (Thicker paints may need to be         thinned with water.)

  • Masking Tape or Washi Tape      

  • Old Credit Card or Rewards Card

  • Paper Towel and Cleaner or Wipes – you will                    be making a mess!

  • Metallic Gold Alphabet Letter Stickers (or              whatever stickers you like)

PROCEDURE:

1.     Start by taping your paper down to your work        surface. Since I was making notecards, I had my              paper cut to 8.5″ x 5.5″. Your work surface will be         getting paint on it, so please don’t do it on your      expensive marble countertops or your heirloom              chest. Have cleaner on hand to clean up quickly                after each piece.

 

 

 

2.     Drip drops of paint along one side of your  paper. Stagger the drops and vary the colours. Have fun Experimenting with drop placements  and colour combinations.

3.     Place an old credit card or gift card above the drops on one side of the card and scrape down pulling the card off the edge of the paper on the other side.

4.     Wipe off the card and remove all the paint before moving to the other side. This will keep both sides looking the same and keep your colors from mixing too much.

5.     Repeat step 3, scraping the paint down off the edge of the paper again.

6.     Finally, peel up your piece from the work surface and wipe away any paint that went off the edge of the card.

7.     Okay, so after you have scraped your paint, cleaned up your mess, and let your beautiful artwork dry, you are ready to finish up your cards. 

8.     All that’s left to do is fold them in half and add a greeting to the front (if you like). When your cards are folded, you can call them done if you like a simple abstract look, or you can add greetings to the front with letter stickers. You can use a variety of metallic gold stickers for the cards.

Send pictures of your creation for a feature in Ayesha Magazine or on the Nasirat Website.

Owner/Author Jennifer Hadfield Website link: Tatertots & Jello  https://tatertotsandjello.com/desk-organization-command-center/

 

 

 

 

 

Supplies:

  • Heavyweight paper, such as cardstock or watercolour paper trimmed to 8.5″ x 5.5″

  • A2 sized envelopes

  • Acrylic Paints (Thicker paints may need to be thinned with water.)

  • Masking Tape or Washi Tape      

  • Old Credit Card or Rewards Card

  • Paper Towel and Cleaner or Wipes – you will be making a mess!

  • Metallic Gold Alphabet Letter Stickers (or whatever stickers you like)

PROCEDURE:

1.     Start by taping your paper down to your work surface. Since I was making notecards, I had my paper cut to 8.5″ x 5.5″. Your work surface will be getting paint on it, so please don’t do it on your expensive marble countertops or your heirloom chest. Have cleaner on hand to clean up quickly after each piece

2.     Drip drops of paint along one side of your paper. Stagger the drops and vary the colours. Have fun experimenting with drop placements and colour combinations.

3.     Place an old credit card or gift card above the drops on one side of the card and scrape down pulling the card off the edge of the paper on the other side.

4.     Wipe off the card and remove all the paint before moving to the other side. This will keep both sides looking the same and keep your colours from mixing too much.

5.     Repeat step 3, scraping the paint down off the edge of the paper again.

6.     Finally, peel up your piece from the work surface and wipe away any paint that went off the edge of the card.

7.     Okay, so after you have scraped your paint, cleaned up your mess, and let your beautiful artwork dry, you are ready to finish up your cards. 

8.     All that’s left to do is fold them in half and add a greeting to the front (if you like). When your cards are folded, you can call them done if you like a simple abstract look, or you can add greetings to the front with letter stickers. You can use a variety of metallic gold stickers for the cards.

Send pictures of your creation for a feature in Ayesha Magazine or on the Nasirat Website.

Owner/Author Jennifer Hadfield Website link: Tatertots & Jello  https://tatertotsandjello.com/desk-organization-command-center/

Ramadhan – Good Deed Calendar

 

Use the following good deeds to write/ decorate

on the calendar and carry out these tasks each

day during the month of Ramadan:

  1. Bake and give food to a neighbour
  2. Donate money/food/clothes/toys to a charity                   of your choice 
  3. Explain to a non-Muslim friend about why we                fast during Ramadan
  4. Teach something beneficial to a younger                    sibling or younger family friend
  5. Recite, or listen to, an extra page of Qur’an                 today
  6. Donate to Humanity First
  7. Write a Letter to Huzoor (may Allah be His                   helper)
  8. Make sure to smile at everyone today!                      (Smiling is sadaqa)
  9. Make a card or note to tell someone you love                 and appreciate them
  10. Pick up rubbish from the street and put it into                the bin
  11. Look out for someone lonely at school, and                  make time to talk and play with them
  12. Pray 2 nafal for Huzoor (may Allah be His                   helper)
  13. No complaining day today
  14. Let someone go ahead of you in a line, show         patience

15. Recylcel/reuse paper, make an effort not to waste water when washing

16.  Read a religious story to your younger sibling or friend

17.  Extra Tasbeeh: Say Alhamdulillah 100 times, and reflect on blessings in your life that make you say “Alhamdulillah”

18.  Visit somebody in hospital

19.  Find opportunities to give genuine compliments throughout the day, and make someone smile

20.  Say Assalam-o-Alaikum to as many people as you can today!

21.  Extra Tasbeeh: Say SubhanAllah 100 times, and reflect on the wonderful things in the world that make you say “SubhanAllah”

22.  Sponsor an orphan

23.  Help parents with laundry

24.  Call grandparents for a chat or visit them 

25.  Lend books to a friend

26.  Pray in the mosque today

27.  Buy a gift and give it to a loved one

28.  Help your parents with some extra house work or chores

29.  Treat an animal with extra kindness

30.  Make an effort to learn something new today

Send pictures of your creation for a feature in Ayesha Magazine or on the Nasirat Website.

Owner/Author Jennifer Hadfield Website link: Tatertots & Jello  https://tatertotsandjello.com/desk-organization-command-center/

 

 

 

 

 

Use the following good deeds to write/ decorate on the calendar and carry out these tasks each day during the month of Ramadan:

  1. Bake and give food to a neighbor
  2. Donate money/food/clothes/toys to a charity of your choice 
  3. Explain to a non-Muslim friend about why we fast during Ramadan
  4. Teach something beneficial to a younger sibling or younger family friend
  5. Recite, or listen to, an extra page of Qur’an today
  6. Donate to Humanity First
  7. Write a Letter to Huzoor (aba)
  8. Make sure to smile at everyone today! (Smiling is sadaqa)
  9. Make a card or note to tell someone you love and appreciate them
  10. Pick up rubbish from the street and put it into the bin
  11. Look out for someone lonely at school, and make time to talk and play with them
  12. Pray 2 nafal for Huzoor (aba)
  13. No complaining day today
  14. Let someone go ahead of you in a line, show patience 
  15. Recylcel/reuse paper, make an effort not to waste water when washing
  16. Read a religious story to your younger sibling or friend
  17. Extra Tasbeeh: Say Alhamdulillah 100 times, and reflect on blessings in your life that make you say “Alhamdulillah”
  18. Visit somebody in hospital
  19. Find opportunities to give genuine compliments throughout the day, and make someone smile
  20. Say Assalam-o-Alaikum to as many people as you can today!
  21. Extra Tasbeeh: Say SubhanAllah 100 times, and reflect on the wonderful things in the world that make you say “SubhanAllah”
  22. Sponsor an orphan
  23. Help parents with laundry
  24. Call grandparents for a chat or visit them 
  25. Lend books to a friend
  26. Pray in the mosque today
  27. Buy a gift and give it to a loved one
  28. Help your parents with some extra house work or chores
  29. Treat an animal with extra kindness
  30. Make an effort to learn something new today

Send pictures of your creation for a feature in Ayesha Magazine or on the Nasirat Website.

Owner/Author Jennifer Hadfield Website link: Tatertots & Jello  https://tatertotsandjello.com/desk-organization-command-center/

United Under One Hand: Memories With Khilafat

Our mulaqat was in November 2018. First, we greeted Huzoor (may Allah be His helper), and then we sat down. A few minutes later, he asked me: “What have you got in that book?” In my hand was a book that I had brought with me in which I had written some ahadith. I showed Huzoor (may Allah be His helper), and he was very impressed. He said that my handwriting was very neat. Then he called my sisters, Saariya and Manaahil. He gave each of us a chocolate and a pen. Finally, we had a picture of everyone with Huzoor (may Allah be His helper). Sabeeka Rashed, age 9 

My name is Naima and I am 10 years old. Let me tell you about my most memorable moment with beloved Huzoor (may Allah be His helper). My most memorable moment with beloved Huzoor (may Allah be His helper), was when I got a prize for my Nazam at the National Ijtema 2018 from Huzoor (may Allah be His helper). When my name got called up, I felt nervous but happy at the same time because all I ever wanted in my life was to get an award from beloved Huzoor (may Allah be His helper). Whilst we were waiting for beloved Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) to arrive, I was waiting eagerly for the life time moment to arrive for me to get an award and cherish this beautiful memory forever. Now whenever I see the beautiful trophy that I received from the blessed hands of Huzoor (may Allah be His helper), I re-live the moment and thank Allah to give me this opportunity. I hope all of you reading this get to experience a moment with our beloved Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) that you can remember forever. Naima Ahmed, age 10 

I’m going to tell you my most memorable moment with my beloved Huzoor (may Allah be His helper). We were sitting outside in the scorching heat under the canopies. It was last year’s UK’s Jalsa (2018). Temperature was in the 30s. Children, babies, adults were all hot and it was extremely difficult to find any shade. The heat was unbearable. It was the second day of Jalsa, when Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) goes to the ladies for the Lajna address. However, due to the weather, it was hard to concentrate. Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) ‘s speech ended, and then the Nasirat and Lajna Nazam presentations were being echoed throughout. We knew it might be the time that Huzoor could come out very soon. It was all hope, that our beloved Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) possibly might pass our way. But this can only happen sometimes. No one knows if this year would be that lucky year. However, as always, my mum told us to pray that Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) indeed does pass so we are able to see him, even just a glimpse would make our Jalsa the best ever.

I am eager, excited, nervous and start to pray.  We look around and hear notifications from the duty holders for everyone to stay seated, remain quiet, and not move, as Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) will probably pass our way. We all shriek in excitement and our hearts are filled with happiness and joy. My mum says to me and my younger brother and sister to sit close and say salaam and wave when Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) passes. We wait. Then, something happens. Everyone starts to move out of their places. The duty holders tell us Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) is not coming this way. Oh no!! I am so sad. It was so close!

But hang on. What’s that happening now? Oh, my goodness! Huzoor (may Allah be His helper)!!! There he is!! We see him walking! Oh My God, we are stunned. He’s coming our way!! We are huddled together and come up on our knees to get a better look. Masha’Allah he is so beautiful. Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) is walking so gracefully and saying salaam to everyone as he passes. Then, he starts approaching us and waves! Oh wow, it was beautiful. We were all shrieking with happiness!

We start to say how staying in the heat was all worthwhile in the end. But wait a minute. Again?! We can see Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) coming back!! He’s going to pass us the second time! This is unbelievable! We are literally just staring in amazement. Our beloved Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) passed us twice! Alhamdolillah. I cannot explain the joy of that day.  The weather was unbearable, but as my mum said, it was all worth every pain and discomfort seeing the real, cool sun come our way! There are many memorable memories with beloved Huzoor (may Allah be His helper), but I really wanted to share this one with you, as I’m sure it’s something we all can relate to.  Inaya Ahmad

One of my fondest memories of Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) from when I was younger happened when we were staying at Hadeeqatul Mahdi during Jalsa. I think I would have been around 6 or 7 at the time. It was late in the evening and my older brother and I were fighting as per usual. One thing led to another and it resulted in my bracelet being broken. It was my favourite bracelet and I think I must have been somewhat devastated because the way it was broken seemed irreversible. I can’t remember exactly what happened after that but later that evening I was stood next to Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) who was working at his desk. I remember him taking my bracelet (well, at the point it was more like a singular chain) and examining it carefully under the light of the lamp. I looked at his hands with curiosity as I saw him working with the metal clasp of the bracelet. It wasn’t possible to restore to how it was originally but by bending the mental chains he managed to join the bracelet in a different way. I looked on with fascination as I saw my bracelet fixed. Now that I’m older and more aware I know how busy Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) is during Jalsa and it makes me immeasurably grateful that he was able to take time out of his schedule to solve such a comparatively insignificant issue. It also taught me the valuable lesson of not giving up even if a solution isn’t immediately obvious. Yusra Dahri 

2014 was my first travel to see my beloved Khalifa at UK Jalsa. I remember during the USA delegation Mulaqat Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) mentioning Hasan Hakeem of Zion Jamaat and Haji Dhul Yahqub of Milwaukee Jamaat and his wife Nycemah being his dear African American friends who lived some time in Ghana while he was there. Hearing that, I felt so proud and touched that Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) and I had close connections to these humble individuals. When the mic was passed to the ladies side everyone gave short introductions. I sat in the back row. After each lady Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) asked if they were a convert. Each said no but born Ahmadi. When the mic came to me I introduced myself. Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) said to me you must be born Ahmadi. I said yes. He said you look like a born Ahmadi. My heart had melted! It was amazing and a feeling of acceptance that my Khalifa could see that I was born Ahmadi. During my time in London for Jalsa everyone I had approached or approached me assumed I was a convert. I had no idea why they assumed that but Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) could tell right off the bat that I am born and raised Ahmadi which made me feel so special and confirmed to myself that I have been carrying my Ahmadiyyat well and my parents have raised me well to the best of their abilities. Khalida Bakr – USA

It was the year 1956, I was in year 10 and Hazrat Musleh Ma’ood (ra) was writing the Tafseer of the Holy Qur’an, “Tafseer-e-Sagheer”. Huzoor (ra)used to call students from year nine and ten to come and listen to the Tafseer of the Holy Qur’an with his wife, Hazrat Uma-e-Nasir Sahiba. While Huzoor (ra) would be reciting the Tafseer, Hazrat “Choti appa” Maryam Siddiqa sahiba used to take notes. This was a regular practise, occurring twice a week in the mornings. Huzoor (ra) never sat on a chair, rather he would sit on the floor on a mattress with a big round pillow to rest his arm on. There was a very spiritual atmosphere and whenever I think about those days, I count myself very lucky.

Another beautiful memory I have with Hazrat Musleh Ma’ood (ra) is during the days of Jalsa Salana in Pakistan. Rabwah used to be a very busy city with so many special trains and buses hired for the event. Hazrat Musleh Ma’ood (ra)used to take Bai’at (pledge of allegiance) in the morning before the Jalsa Salana programme used to start. The arrangements for the ladies to take Bai’at used to be in Hazrat Ume Nasir Sahiba’s  house. Huzoor (ra) as usual used to sit on the floor on a mattress with a round pillow. I used to do duty with one of my teachers known as “Ustani Memoona” who was Nazima. My duty was filling out the Bai’at forms and taking the thumb impressions. One of Huzoor (ra) wives sat near Huzoor (ra) and the Lajna would put their hand on her hand one by one, repeating the words. We were not sitting too far from Hazrat Musleh Ma’ood (ra) but at the time didn’t realise. I consider myself one of the luckiest people having experienced those blessed days. Halima Rashid 

I went to Jalsa three years ago, and for me it was the best experience I’ve ever had by far. I want to start by saying that I wasn’t expecting to be invited to go, plus it was my first time going out of my country. But since I was invited, I got lots of expectations of this great event, expectations that were later overcome at Jalsa UK. The first thing I saw and felt when I arrived to Jamia UK was the warm welcoming, it felt like being with my family, it felt like being in my country. Love was floating in the air, everyone smiling, new people meeting and talking… It was a paradise for me. I felt so relaxed, confident, happy and blessed. I met so many people, everyone was so kind, and it reminded me why I’m Ahmadi Muslim now, Alhamdolillah. It also reinforced my faith, and I could see that we are more than just a few people in my Jamaat. It empowered me to spread the word, even more than I was doing at that time. Insha’Allah.

I also met the Khalifa (Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (may Allah be His helper)), but at that time it had only been months of me being a new Muslim, so I didn’t really know what to do, how to feel about it and most importantly, how important was the Khalifa. But I really wanted to learn more, and I thought that meeting the Khalifa could change this perspective. And it did. I remember, the days before the meeting, I had so many questions, but when I met him all those questions just went away, I was in a blank state. I just introduced myself to him and I told him how happy I was. In the end, it was nice to meet him, nice to listen to his answers which he gave to the other members of my Mexican delegation. Maybe I didn’t do many questions at that moment, but those questions remained in my mind, and in a certain way it has helped me to send these questions in my letters to Huzoor (may Allah be His helper), and only God knows, but this has surely helped me to build a relationship with the Khilafat through these years, Alhamdolillah. Alicia Fabiola Gonzalez Crespo – Mexico