In his address to Lajna and Nasirat on 30 September 2018, Huzoore Aqdas (aba) presented a number of modern-day examples of female role models in the Jama’at. Huzoor (aba) explained that these role models show us that Allah the Almighty continues to manifest the truth of the Promised Messiah (as) throughout the world and that He continues to instil the spirit of sincere sacrifice within Ahmadi Muslim women and girls across the world.
Huzoor (aba) said:
“Unquestionably, out of His sheer grace and mercy, Allah the Almighty has bestowed, and continues to bestow, the Jama’at of the Promised Messiah (as) with countless devoted women who have understood the demands of their faith and acted upon them, no matter the grave trials or tribulations that ensued.
Such women have excelled in piety, righteousness and virtue. They have made colossal sacrifices for their faith and have followed in the golden footsteps of those outstanding Muslim women who sacrificed everything for the sake of their religion in the early Islamic period. It is often easier for people to relate to real-life examples and so I shall now mention some of the Ahmadi women who have made great sacrifices for the sake of Ahmadiyyat in recent years. Their cases testify to the fact that a spirit of true sacrifice is alive and well within our Jama’at”.
The narrations below are presented in Huzoore Aqdas (aba)’s own words:
Anjum Sahiba from Canada
The first lady I shall mention is Anjum Sahiba from Canada, who accepted Ahmadiyyat after substantial research and investigation. Ultimately, she came to the realisation that the Promised Messiah (as) was the true representative of the Holy Prophet (saw) in this era. She understood that whatever the Promised Messiah (as) taught was a manifestation of the original teachings of Islam and she realised that the way to attain Allah’s favour was to join the blessed community of the Promised Messiah (as) and to be ready for whatever sacrifices were required.
Thereafter, in reality, she did have to make many sacrifices for the sake of her faith. After she took Bai’at in 1994, her husband became infuriated and tried his utmost to force her to abandon her faith in Ahmadiyyat. He forcefully prevented her from attending the Friday prayers, or any other Jama’at events, and even brought some non-Ahmadi Maulawies into their home, who tried to coerce her to leave Ahmadiyyat. However, their concerted efforts proved to be in vain. No matter how cruelly she was pressured, harassed and persecuted, she remained firm in her faith and displayed exemplary steadfastness.
As a result, her husband mercilessly removed her and their three children from the family home and threw them onto the streets. As she had nowhere else to go, Anjum sahiba took her children to a motel where they stayed for some days. Upon this, her family spread rumours that Ahmadis were funding her, but this was completely wrong. In fact, where she had previously lived comfortably, she took work as a domestic cleaner to earn just enough money to shelter and feed her children. Despite the harrowing change of circumstances she was forced to endure, her resolve never faltered.
She did not let the intense pressure she faced lessen her faith even an iota. After some time passed, she received marriage proposals from non-Ahmadi men, but she rejected each one and said that she would only ever marry an Ahmadi man. Upon this, one man who had proposed to her was so impressed by her faith that he began to learn about Ahmadiyyat and soon he was also convinced by the truth of the Promised Messiah (as). They later married and, ever since, their family has maintained a loyal and sincere relationship with the Jama’at. Accordingly, this brave lady, not only guarded her own faith and that of her children, but also brought a non-Ahmadi into the fold of Ahmadiyyat.
Noor Jahan Sahiba from Calcutta
Another lady, Noor Jahan Sahiba from Calcutta in India, accepted Ahmadiyyat in 1981. A major reason she converted was after seeing how the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was engaged in the service of Islam by doing Tabligh throughout the world. She was particularly moved by the fact that the Jama’at had established a system of financial sacrifice, that is Chanda, with the purpose of propagating Islam far and wide. She observed her Ahmadi friends, who were very regular in paying Chanda, and, after some time, told them that she also wished to donate some money as sacrifice. However, she was informed that the Jama’at only accepted Chanda from Ahmadis and so could not accept her offer. Upon this, she informed that she had read several books published by the Jama’at and already considered herself to be an Ahmadi in her heart, even if she had not officially taken the Bai’at.
Due to her ardent desire to take partake in Chanda, she openly took Bai’at, despite the fact that her father and other relatives immediately turned against her. They harassed and abused her and she had to endure a period of severe financial hardship. However, Allah the Almighty rewarded her patience and sacrifices, as she got a job at a school and was subsequently appointed as headmistress. Furthermore, rather than her being led away from Ahmadiyyat by her family, the opposite proved true because the rest of her family came to accept Ahmadiyyat eventually. Alhamdulillah.
Raisa Sahiba from Kanpur, India
Another lady I wish to mention is Raeesa Sahiba, from Kanpur in India. When she accepted Ahmadiyyat along with her children, she had to pass through many struggles. Even before accepting Ahmadiyyat, her financial circumstances were dire and she made a very basic living selling bangles in different villages. After taking Bai’at, she was forced to withstand even greater hardships and worries, because much of her family turned against her.
However, with the grace of Allah, Allah the Almighty rewarded her patience, because soon her material state began to improve and instead of having to travel to the villages, she was able to establish her own independent shop. Seeing how Allah the Almighty had improved her circumstances increased her faith even more. Hence, where previously she was living a very impoverished life, she is now at the forefront of making financial sacrifices for the sake of her faith.
Sanjeeda Sahiba from India
I also wish to narrate a faith-inspiring incident of a lady, Sanjeeda Sahiba, from India. In the year 2000, her husband accepted Ahmadiyyat and he preached to her and soon she also accepted the truth of the Promised Messiah (as). Following her Bai’at, her own family turned vehemently against her and completely disowned her. They physically beat her and sought to intimidate her with various threats.
Yet, she showed remarkable courage and stayed firm in her faith. She was originally from a wealthy family, but after accepting Ahmadiyyat her father told her that she would be cut off from the family inheritance and all her rights, unless she revoked her belief in the Promised Messiah (as). Upon this, Sanjeeda Sahiba replied to her father saying:
“You are trying to force me to give up my faith, by cutting me off from this worldly inheritance, but let me tell you that, in return for forsaking these few rupees, Allah the Almighty has already given me a priceless reward worth more than all the money in the world in the shape of Ahmadiyyat. Thus, I swear that I do not care even in the slightest for the loss of any material wealth or my share of the family inheritance!”
Alfa Sahiba from India
Another Indian lady, Alfa Sahiba, from District Sitapur accepted Ahmadiyyat, even though all the other people in her village were non-Ahmadis. As a result, she was subjected to horrific persecution and even her parents threatened her and mocked her. They tauntingly asked her:
“Who now will marry your daughters? They will be left all alone as spinsters!”
Upon this, Alfa Sahiba responded with great forbearance. She said that she had accepted Ahmadiyyat for the sake of Allah the Almighty and was convinced that He would take care of all her needs, no matter what. She said that her daughters would, Insha’Allah, marry Ahmadi Muslims. With the grace of Allah, her resolute patience and steadfastness has been rewarded, wherein two of her daughters are now happily married with Ahmadi missionaries/mu’alims (religious teachers), whilst she was close to arranging a match for her other daughter with a good-natured Ahmadi youth at the time this incident was recorded.
Wafaa Sahiba from Spain
In Spain, an Ahmadi lady, Wafaa Sahiba, had to endure many problems and anxieties after accepting Ahmadiyyat. For example, her husband divorced her, but this did not weaken her faith and she bore this trial with great fortitude. Alhamdulillah, later she was blessed by Allah the Almighty with a good and happy marriage to an Arab Ahmadi. With the grace of Allah, she continues to excel in righteousness and financial sacrifice for the sake of the Jama’at.
Maryam Khatoon Sahiba from Pakistan
In 2011, an Ahmadi Muslim lady, Maryam Khatoon sahiba, from Layyah in Pakistan was martyred when she was attacked by non-Ahmadis.
Just aged 26, and the mother to three young children, Maryam sahiba was fired upon by anti-Ahmadi opponents in her home and due to the severity of the injuries, she was martyred at the scene. These are just a handful of incidents, which illustrate that in different nations across the world, Ahmadi Muslim women are giving whatever sacrifices are required by their faith.
Young Nasira from Bangladesh
In Bangladesh, there is a village where there are just a handful of Ahmadis and they have been subjected to intense persecution and have suffered every type of social boycott and pressure. Even a ten-year-old Ahmadi girl, in Year 4 at school, was not spared from these cruelties. Whilst at school, her teachers told her that her father was now a Christian and that he was destined for hell.
They cursed and abused him in front of this little girl. They also tried to influence her by promising her a beautiful home and the best food and schooling if she separated from her father. Upon this, the little girl remained strong and said:
“My father cannot be hell-bound because he is regular in Namaz and neither can he be a Christian as Christians do not perform Namaz!”.
“I will never leave my Jama’at or my father, no matter what you offer me. In fact, after seeing the example of my father, my belief in Ahmadiyyat is even stronger.”.