Message from President PAAMA UK to the Members of PAAMA Midlands Region on the Occasion of the First Midlands Region General Meeting
Dear Members of PAAMA Midlands Region!
Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah.
May the Lord of mankind open unto you all the gates of His mercy and may He so ordain that you are always accompanied by the supplication of His angels. Ameen.
I start by congratulating Midlands Region on the holding of your first General Meeting. A humble beginning yet a significant milestone in the evolution of your region. I regret that I am unable to join you on this historic occasion yet I am grateful for the opportunity to address this message to you all.
I also take the opportunity to thank the members of your region, especially your most worthy Regional President and the members of his Regional Executive, for your continual support of all the initiatives launched by PAAMA since the appointment of the new administration. I am grateful to have a brother like Toban Ephram, your Regional President. He needs no introduction as you all know all about his utmost commitment and devotion to duty. Consequently, Midlands Region has been at the forefront of all PAAMA affairs despite your relative distance from the Markaz.
The geographical dispersion and diversity of PAAMA UK is indeed one of our many challenges. For my part, however, I perceive our diversity and dispersion not an obstacle but as a vital resource – a source of strength and collective enrichment. In the fulfilment of our aims and objectives, it is a great blessing for us to be able to call upon the experiences of members from across the UK and from different parts of the continent of Africa.
The Jama’at of the Promised Messiah (as) is destined to engulf the whole of mankind; it is destined to assimilate peoples of all backgrounds and from all walks of life. And just as the rainbow is made up of different colours and but remains so harmonious that the lines demarcating one colour to the next completely disappear, so must we, as a Jama’at and as an Association remain diverse as we grow and expand yet maintain our unity and solidarity.
Another challenge facing our Association is a critical mass of members over recent years that have not taken active part in the affairs of PAAMA. As many of you would know, I have initiated modalities that are aimed at the reintegration of such members fully into the Association by reaching out to them, and, in general, by increasing the level of communication within PAAMA.
On this note, I am encouraged by your participation in this first General Meeting. I note with immense pleasure that some members have travelled from far and wide to join in this blessed occasion. Your collective attendance here today is a source of great delight and I pray it reinforces your passion for PAAMA and the Jama’at.
I say to you and, through you, to all others not present that there is a place and a role for everyone in PAAMA. We must defy all abstractions by which our Association can be reduced: north versus south, office bearer versus non-office bearer, British-born versus born in Africa, Saharan versus sub-Saharan; and seize the opportunity to show our solidarity, to demonstrate our generosity of spirit and, most of all, to embrace our common heritage as followers of the same Prophet (saw), believers in the same Promised Messiah (as), servants of the same Khalifatul Masih (aba) and children of the same Mother Africa.
Allah has been most gracious to us by making us Ahmadi Muslims. By His grace and by His grace alone, He has made us followers of that Messiah and Mahdi concerning whom Allah Himself said: ‘His time will not be wasted.’ This means that he himself and everyone of his Community will have their time fully occupied. This requires that every moment of our lives should be devoted to the worship of God, to seeking His pleasure, to the service of His faith and to the promotion of the welfare of His creatures.
As members of PAAMA, our involvement in and services to the Jama’at, like our worship of Allah, must remain permanent and should not vary like the changing of the seasons. We must seek to maintain a permanent relationship with Allah through His worship and we must seek to win His pleasure through constantly striving in His cause. For this, Salat has a permanent importance. Salat is key to maintaining a living relationship with our Maker. In this regard, I remind you of the blessed words of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV (ru) who once remarked:
“Worshiping Allah is not like the changing of the seasons, the worship of Allah throughout one’s life must be like a permanent bond with Allah. Indeed worship is as essential and can be compared to the air we breathe. There are many factors in sustaining life, however the importance of breathing air in sustaining life is the central, most important and essential, and it is required at every moment. Worship has the same relationship with man’s spiritual life. Worship can be sustained at any time with ‘Zikr-e-Illahi’, that is, the remembrance of Allah, but as per the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and the detail we learn from the Hadith, Salat is the minimum ‘Zikr-e-Illahi’ without which a person cannot stay alive.”
Let me conclude my message by thanking all organisers and participants of this event. Without your sacrifices, this event would not been a success. And in all events like today’s, a few people might have encountered certain inconveniences and discomforts. These should be borne cheerfully. We should forgive and overlook any faults on the part of the organisers and assist them with prayers so that such shortcoming are removed and future events exceed expectations.
I pray that Allah blesses you all with a safe, pleasant and comfortable return journey home and may He reunite you in peace with your dear ones. Allah bless you all with His grace and may the moonlight of His bounty illumine all your abodes. Ameen.
President Pan-African Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK