Bustan-e-Waqf-e-Nau classes were the highlight of my entire childhood. It is memories from attending these classes that I believe have genuinely instilled my love not only for Khilafat but Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya as a whole. As everyone knows, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV (ra) started the Waqf-e-Nau scheme and Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (may Allah be His helper) has nurtured the youth of this scheme in such a loving and insightful way that those of us experiencing this first-hand in London, as well as the many youngsters watching on MTA, were able to foster an understanding of our responsibilities. The blessings of MTA international have enabled all adults and youth to tune into these classes held with Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) and learn so much from them.
At the very inception, Bustan classes were a lot more intimate due to it including a handful of children, and now with the increasing number of parents dedicating their children as Waqf-e-Nau, these classes have increased greatly in number as well as Gulshan-e-Waqf-e-Nau classes, Masha-Allah.
Over recent years, Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) has taken time out of his busy schedule to also hold classes with Waqf-e-Nau around the world in the countries he has been able to visit. From those classes too, we can see the same consistency in Huzoor’s love, patience and focus with children he is meeting with. This is incredible to watch as it makes you realise that Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) loves all members of the Jamaat and is available for guidance and support for everyone.
When we are young, we absorb a lot from the environment we are in. Our parents do their best to instil the love and understanding of Khilafat from a young age and that love is carried with us into our adult lives. Attending Bustan-e-Waqf-e-Nau from the young age of about 10, my love for Khilafat was further reinforced by the attention Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) gave to us all in those classes.
There are certain things in my tarbiyat that have been a strong result of attending those classes, for example wanting to be able to read and write Urdu as much as possible came from the fact that we were handed out diaries or notebooks by Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) in a class. In the following classes, Huzoor would attentively ask us whether we had worked on any Urdu in our books and would reward those who had done so with a pen or sweets. He would also ask us meanings of words or phrases in nazms, speeches and Urdu rhymes that we would sing as a group. When we would answer questions correctly, we would be rewarded and that instilled the passion towards wanting to learn as much as possible about Islam, the Jamaat and the world.
These classes were not like teacher-taught lessons in school where you just sit and listen; Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) would make them as interactive as possible by engaging with us and sometimes on an individual level. At times, Huzoor would ask children specific questions from the programme of the class as well as enquiring about how certain members of their family were. He would narrate events from his own past in a way that we could grasp and always with a purpose of us learning something from these events.
Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) would ask for us to share jokes with him and would sometimes have jokes of his own that he would share with us and we would all join in with a joyous laughter as young children do. These were precious moments, being able to sit amongst the small number of children who were able to gain the specific attention of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih. There is nothing in this entire world quite like such moments.
Growing up and now attending Gulshan-e-Waqf-e-Nau, I have witnessed that Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) has maintained the same focus and love towards us attending these classes as he did in the Bustan-e-Waqf-e-Nau classes. However, there is a subtle difference in the information and guidance that Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) focuses on. He opens the platform to us to ask questions about problems that we face in school or society with our purdah, guidance about marriage and children etc. and answers these questions very clearly. In doing so, he enables us to gain confidence in how to deal with such scenarios, whether religious or related to morals.
A few years ago, there was a class where all the Gulshan-e-Waqf-e-Nau girls made rotis (traditional Indian flatbread) including myself. Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) took the time in this class to have us all show him the rotis we had made with our own hands and would inspect everyone’s as well as trying a little bit of them and praising those that were well made. We then took these home to share with our families as tabarruk. Huzoor (may Allah be His helper), taking so much interest in such activities, motivates us towards such things and this has also been the case in our educational fields.
We have been able to seek guidance on what professions are good for serving the Jama’at as Ahmadi Muslim women, and Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) has graciously taken his time explaining the different fields that are worthy of going into. When someone achieves high grades in their education, Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) expresses his joy to that individual again by usually rewarding them with a pen and words of praise. This then pushes individuals to want to continue to do well and now, as a result, we have many capable doctors and researchers etc. that attend these classes.
It is impossible to explain just how much of an impact Huzoor (may Allah be His helper) has made and is making on the young lives of the Jamaat. He is always available whenever you need him and never abandons anyone whether they are Waqf-e-Nau or not, whether child or adult. These are some memories for those who have had and continue to have the privilege of attending these classes and experienced as a group and many of us have also been blessed to have even more personal experiences with Huzoor(may Allah be His helper) in these classes and mostly in our mulaqaats (private meetings) with him.
It is important to remember then that the least we can do for someone who has dedicated his life to guiding and supporting all members of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, is to try our best to make Huzoor’s (may Allah be His helper) task easier in as many ways as possible. For example, by regularly listening to his sermons and speeches and obeying every single thing that he guides us about, by spreading the love for Khilafat and the Jamaat amongst others as much as possible, by paying attention to the youth and those members who are struggling in the Jamaat, by our intentions and our practices, by taking part in as much Jamaat work as we can, by treating those outside of the Jamaat with love and respect and by understanding the will of Khilafat, we can make that little bit of difference that might hopefully make Huzoor’s life easier and his task easier.
We should be there for Khilafat with humility and devotion and not be like the people who told Moses (as) to “go thou and thy Lord and fight and here we sit.” (Holy Qur’an; [5:25]) We should step forward to truly understand and practice responsibilities as Waqf-e-Nau, as Ahmadi Muslims and as servants of God Almighty.