Today’s Friday sermon was delivered by Khalifatul Masih V (May Allah be his Helper) from Baitul Futuh mosque, London. After Tashahhud and Surah Fātiḥah Huzoor preceded that every person who comes to this world will leave it one day and there is nothing in this world that is permanent or will stay here forever. Some people go back to Allah Almighty when they are still infants, some in a very young age while others live till they get old. However some people reach the highest point of their age about which Allah mentions in the Holy Quran as ‘Arza-ul-Umer’. In this age, they return to the condition of dependency and lack of knowledge which is similar to the condition of infants and finally return to their Creator.
No matter what the age is of the departed soul, it leaves the relatives in grief and utter sorrow. However, certainly there are some people who when depart this world leave behind a very large circle of grieving people and if such a favorite personality passes away in a very young age and very suddenly, the intensity of sorrow increases many folds. Allah Almighty has always advised the sufferers of any kind of loss to recite ‘Ina Lilah e Waina Alla-e-Rajeehoon’. It means that we belong to Allah and it is to Allah to whom we all shall return. Upon reciting these verses and showing patience over the loss, Allah not only exalts the status of the departed soul but also blesses the sufferers with solace, peace and comfort.
Recently, a very beloved young student of Jami’a, Raza Saleem passed away at the age of 20 years. (Ina Lilah e Waina Alla-e-Rajeehoon). One of his relatives told that after hearing the sad news when I went to express my condolences to his family, we were surprised to see that the mother of the deceased said that my son was very dear to me but the One who has called him back is much more dearer that than. This is the exemplary reply and the grace of the momin that is found in the followers of the Promised Messiah. There is no crying or wailing even though the intensity of the sorrow is great. Who else can feel the extreme sorrow more than the mother and the father on the death of their young child? Regarding the condition of the father I got to know that upon receiving the news he cried and prayed but when he got the complete information, he recited ‘Ina Lilah e Waina Alla-e-Rajeehoon’ and became peaceful. Thus, this is the exemplary grace of the Momin’s that such a big loss cannot be forgotten so easily but the believers present their grief and anguish to Allah Almighty and prays for his comfort and for the departed soul.
I got to know about the incident just before the departure from Germany and during the journey I was informed about the demise of the young boy. Throughout the journey, his face came in front of my eyes many a times and I got time to pray for him. He was a lovely child and I have a personal relationship and awareness about all the students of Jami’a U.K as they frequently visit me. During the meeting if I have some time, we engage in a question answer session. In the last meeting with the young boy, I remember that he had a few questions to ask from me and I answered them in great detail. His father later informed me that he was very happy from today’s meeting as it lasted for about 15 to 20 minutes and a great exchange of knowledge took place. During the meetings, deep love and respect in his eyes was very evident. When he got admission in Jami’a I had a feeling that he might be more interested in sports and he will have the devotion similar to all the young boys of his age. But this boy proved my estimation to be wrong. He was very active in studies despite his interest in sports and possessed a very high level of devotion and dedication towards Jama’at. There was a passion to become a yielded sword for the Khilafat and the religion. And he actually practically proved to be one as described by his friends and fellow students. Few outstanding characteristics that were evident from numerous writings about him presented to me by his friends, Jami’a students and his family were that he was very modest and hospitable, possessed very good manners and exceptional devotion for the Khilafat and Jama’at. Such people according to the saying of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) are included among the people for whom paradise becomes mandatory and are praised by everyone. This boy, who possessed extreme dedication for his religion, took part in the sports so that he may retain a healthy body to be able to serve Jama’at to the best of his abilities.
Everyone who wrote about his particulars, the expressions reflects his good qualities. Mr. Raza Saleem who was the son of Mr. Zafar Saleem (who works at our private secretary office) passed away in an accident during hiking in Italy on September 10th, 2016 (Ina Lilah e Waina Alla-e-Rajeehoon). He was born on September 27th, 1993 in Guildford, U.K. and was a member of Waqf-e-Nau. In his family, Ahmadiyyat came through his great grandfather Mr. Allahdin Sahib who was related to Qadian and entered the Jama’at at the hands of the Khalifatul Masih the second. Raza Saleem got admission in Jami’a in 2012 and was the first missionary in his family. He just finished the third year and was going to start the fourth year at Jami’a. The late was a Moosi and had filled the Wasiat form that was in process. I wrote to the related department that his Wasiat is accepted.
Apart from the parents, his family included 2 brothers and 2 sisters. Hafiz Ijaz Ahmed Sahib, who is a teacher at Jami’a and in charge of hiking department (who also accompanied them) while writing some of the details of the incident he says that one day before we had reached the top of the mountain and we spent the night at a hut that was approximately 500m downhill. We had already hiked down through a very difficult trail and there were 10 other hikers along with us. We started our journey down at 8 am in the morning when the weather was good. We were walking down in a line when Raza suddenly trembled over the stone or slipped his foot and could not maintain balance. He fell down with his head over. Although he was wearing a helmet, but his head injured severe wounds. Doctors believe that he was unconscious or lost his breath before he received the injuries. Hafiz Ijaz Sahib says that he and another Jami’a student Mr. Humayyun tried to catch onto him (although his hand touched him) but were very unfortunate not to be able to do so and he fell into the ditch. Other students tried to save him by going down into the ditch but I did not allow because it was very dangerous to do and might have resulted in more loss. I tried to help other students and hikers climb up again who had travelled some distance down in the ditch because no one had the ability to walk due to the sudden shock. The emergency service was immediately contacted after the accident and the rescue helicopter reached within 20 minutes. Raza was just right in front of our eyes and we informed the rescuers of his exact location. We were not informed about Raza’s death until the entire group reached the helipad. Within one hour all the students were transported to the nearest city. The weather was very clear on the day we were hiking and the track we took is called ‘Normal track to peak’. Raza’s father went to that place and the local people there informed that it was a normal track and everyone young or old hikes on it. An old person came to him and told that he goes there for walk every day. He said that generally everyone uses the track and there is nothing dangerous about it but it was indeed the decree of Allah. I have mentioned the entire incident because some people are sending messages and making very wrong comments that he went alone, the weather was not suitable to hike or their hiking kits were not sufficient. The local news printed mentions that he had all the necessary equipment and carried the hiking essentials. All the people making such ill comments should act wisely and instead present their condolences to his family. There was no fault of the administration or anyone else and it was indeed just the decree of Allah and that was the age he was given by his Creator. The fellow students who were on the hike with him are very shocked and may Allah give them the comfort and courage to return back to their normal lives. His memories cannot be forgotten but this should not create any fear in the hearts of the students of Jami’a Ahmadiyyat.
Saleem Zafar Sahib writes that he was a very beloved son of mine and a boy of great qualities. He was very truthful and would not hide if he committed any mistake from the fear of getting scolded. He would accept his mistake and was very loving and caring towards children. If his sister would scold his nephews he would indeed start weeping due to his sensitive nature and said that one cannot the children by beating or scolding.
He would very happily mention about his meeting with me to his parents and would include us in his happiness. Before the meeting, he would always trim his nails fearing that while shaking hands his nails might not hurt me. How many of people are there who would actually think so deeply and so caringly. He would always feel happy by giving things to others. Since his childhood, whenever we used to get sweets for him and if he used to get hold of them he would just go and distribute them amongst his friends and other fellows. He would always take students (who travelled from outside London) to his house and offered them lunch/dinner. If food items were prepared for him to take to his hostel, he would not take them until it was in sufficient enough for all his roommates. He would say that I cannot eat stuff hiding it from others. He would also take his fellow students clothes to his home for laundry. He had a very beloved relationship with his siblings and would work for them with full responsibility. He would not spend much on himself but used to spend very openheartedly for others.
He had a very high level of love and devotion for the Promised Messiah and the institution of Khilafat and would never hear a word against them. Also he would not remain quiet on any ill stuff said about them. If he would get to hear any foul comments against Ahmadiyyat his face would go red. He was a very patient boy and we would have to take care of his necessities. He would always help his fellow students and especially the ones who would travel from outside Europe. Many people and senior students have written to me that he would help us with English language exams. Anger was not a part of his personality and he was always found smiling. He would mention very ethical jokes and people would love it. He was very punctual with Salat and his father says that Allah gave him the opportunity of being the devotee of his life for his religion. He would always speak the truth and his father says that I always wanted him to be a religious scholar and missionary. His father even asked me and I told him that he had already become a Murabi even before completing the education of Jami’a. His journey as I said before he had started for a healthy lifestyle and was indeed a religious journey. May Allah exalt him Ameen.
Once he had gone to Manchester for Waqf-e-Aarzi and upon his return someone gave him an envelope. Upon opening it he found that there is some money in it. He returned it to the person who gave and said that uncle we are not allowed to take this. The same person wrote a letter to me that a young boy who is becoming a Murabi and his actions surprised us and if such young people are devoting their lives for the service of Islam then the Jama’at will definitely experience a spiritual enhancement.
His mother said that my boy was obedient to the Jama’at and his parents. Although there is a love relationship with every child but his love towards me was very different. He would take care, listen to me, talk very ethically on every issue, was very loving towards children and respectful towards elders. He would help me with house chores and would enquire me from time to time if I was tired of doing the work. He was never able to see me worried and said that I don’t want to see tears in your eyes. Upon his return from Jami’a he would enquire about everyone and the weekly routine. When he was a child he would just run off to Islamabad immediately after coming from school when he would get to know that Khalifat-ul-Mesiah fourth has come over there. He would say that I have to meet Huzoor and will spend some time out.
Dr. Nusrat Jahan Sahiba from Rabwah is here these days and suffering from an illness. May Allah bless her with health. She had a relationship with their family. He used to say that I pray a lot for her and may Allah give her health. May Allah listen to his prayers for her. She writes that I had a dream that on Friday evening many people are coming to my home and many photos are being clicked. She got scared and woke up and told her husband that I saw a dream which has scared me so please give charity while going to office. But we received the sad news before that.
His mother says that whenever I used to get him any clothes, he would just wear them happily and would really appreciate. He was very much known for his hospitality. If someone would invite him for lunch or dinner he would never forget them and if they ever travelled to Islamabad, he would invite them to his house. Before going for this trip, he was teaching his mother how to write in Urdu on the mobile phone so that she wouldn’t depend on her other children to inquire about him so now she could directly text him and that he would reply her directly. She says that he would try his best to act upon every advice given to him and told the same to friends. Once he told his mother that I want to become such an extraordinary Murabi that I spread the word of truth to everyone and help enter folds of people in this Jama’at so that you are proud of me.
His sister says that he was a very beloved brother. Although he was young but he had a very exalted and deep thinking. Despite being very young he used to take care of everybody and would converse with people on topics respective to their ages. He has never hurt anyone. He would listen to everything very obediently and would answer very respectfully. He would take special care of the people who would go to Islamabad for work. He would provide them with tea and other food. He would always serve them and people used to say that it is only this boy who serves us.
His brother says that he was a very simple natured person. He would just say the right thing very simply. We recently bought a new car for him and gave him a surprise. The first thing that he asked about the car was its price. He said that I should be living a very simple life because I am a Murabi and should not be using or buying expensive things.
His sister, Amtul Hafeez Sahiba says that one of his qualities was that he would not hear anything against any person. He had the ability to change people’s negative thinking into good thoughts. He always used to say that we should appreciate and concentrate on other’s good qualities and instead of talking about their negative traits we should pray for them.
One of the examples of his simple nature is that his mother used to get him new clothes on every Eid and that would worry him a lot that it may not portray a materialistic image of him. So would always wear his old jacket over those new clothes.
Qudoos sahib, a teacher from Jami’a says that I know Raza since he was a child. When he joined Jami’a, I was in the Shahid class. Although I did not get to spend more time with him at Jami’a but we were often together during other Jamaati events. He used to work a lot on Khuddam ul Ahmadiyya Ijtemas and would engage in question answer sessions. He would mostly have a duty in the hygiene department that focuses on cleaning. He would never question as to why was he always required to work in this department, instead would undertake his duties with devotion, responsibility and respect. Qudoos sahib says that he was an extraordinary intelligent student. He would sit in the first row very attentively and would talk in a very smiley manner. I don’t ever remember that he ever expressed anger and would always reach out to help others. He liked to watch cricket but would always ask his teacher before leaving to enquire about score. During this hike we spent a night at a hut where the restroom did not have a lock. We asked him to stand outside the washroom while it was occupied and he performed his duty very happily. He also offered himself for the duty if anyone had to use the restroom during the night time.
After the hike, he had to travel to Croatia with his class mate Zaafir sahib. During the hike, Zaafir sahib injured his eye so Raza expressed extreme concern and worry. He told his class mate that after ending the hike we will go to the hospital and get the eye medically examined. Zaafir sahib writes that Raza was a very dedicated devotee of Ahmadiyyat. Hard work, consistent and respectful nature was some of his positive traits.
Zaheer sahib, also a teacher at Jami’a writes that I had the opportunity to teach Raza’s class since two years. One of the distinct qualities that I found in him was that whatever work was given to him, he would do it with utmost hard work and responsibility. If other fellows would leave the work, he would be doing it alone until its completion. He would never ask irrelevant questions. His questions would always revolve around the criticism on Islam in the western world and would tell that he is asking because this question had arisen during his discussion with some non-Muslim or non-Ahmadiyya person. Allah had blessed him and specially inculcated the want to defend Islam and Ahmadiyyat for all the criticism. Zaheer sahib says that I offered him a ride twice and he dropped his usb stick in the car. His memory device would always contain audio version of Promised Messiah’s books and never contained any irrelevant stuff.
Syed Mashood Sahib, another teacher at Jami’a tells that he was part of the tutorial group. Apart from studies he would take part in the extracurricular activities. In comparison to other students his general knowledge was outstanding. During the last year, he memorized more than 500 poetic verses to take part in one of the poetry competitions. He would not just memorize the verses by heart but would understand the actual meaning with the help of teachers. He was very fond of tabligh (spreading the world of Allah) and during last year when he was sent to Wolver Hampton for work, he not only distributed Jama’at literature/pamphlets but also set up information stalls. During this time, we met a Christian man who was informed about Ahmadiyyat and the journey of Jesus Christ (peace be on him) towards Kashmir by Raza. He listened with interest and was even taken for a tour of mosque. He also accompanied a group of students to Spain last year where they distributed 50,000 Jama’at pamphlets.
Mansoor Zia Sahib, an instructor at Jami’a writes that he was a very soft natured student. I have never seen any sign of anger on his face except the times whenever someone criticized Khilafat or Ahmadiyyat. This is reflective of the fact that his heart was full of love for Khilafat. He knew about a lot of things from the Friday sermon delivered and would actively participate during its discussion in the classroom. He would often spread the word of Allah and Ahmadiyyat on social media and would prepare answers to all the allegations very keenly with his tutors.
His class fellow Safeer Ahmad Sahib writes that I belong to Belgium and Raza was aware of the fact that I do not travel to home on the weekends. Therefore, he would always take me to his home for food. He would always help me and guide me for English language exams as I am weak at the subject. Another class fellow exclaims that he was a very soft natured person who would meet others very happily. He was always ready to help others. When we set up Jamaati stalls, Raza used to engage very effectively with the people who used to come to gain information. He possessed diverse knowledge and used to gather other fellows for recreational activities. I remember one incident that in August 2014 during our setup of the tabligh stall, a group of Britain First came to us and started to ask questions from Raza in a very angry and unpleasant manner. However, Raza answered them so patiently and ethically that they were impressed and were convinced that Ahmaddiyya Muslims are not amongst the extremist Muslims.
Zaafir Sahab says that one day during our time at Jami’a he stood up and got the marker in hand. He exclaimed to me that we waste our free time at Jami’a and we should plan to make this time productive. Likewise, we had planned to engage with teachers to study other subjects during free time. In the past hiking events, whenever I used to slip on the mountains Raza used to be very worried and concerned and told me to walk with full concentration. Last year, on one of the hikes I suffered from altitude sickness so Raza would always ask about my condition and would console me but little did we know that what was written in the destiny. On the weekends he would study about the allegations against Jama’at and would search for answers from his teachers.
Hafiz Taha Sahib who is also a student at Jami’a says that he was a devotee of Khilafat and loved the institution with all his heart. He would not stand anything against the institution of Khilafat. Once a person (who had driven himself away from the Jama’at) said something against Khilafat. Raza told him that I can hear to anything you say except your ill remarks against the institution of Khilafat
Daniyal, another student says that after last year’s hiking trip all of us were taking hiking lesson from Hafiz Ijaz Sahib for this year’s hike and Raza was very happy. We were all making videos on phone and were sending it out to other fellows. He always tried his best to keep us happy. He would try his best not to waste time. Every week he would study some new book and tried not to miss his Tahajud prayer. He would ask his friends to wake up him very strictly for Tahajud prayer if he was not up till that time.
Apart from Jami’a studies he was very eager to study about other subjects. He was very fond of poetry and possessed great general knowledge. People have written to me a number of incidences that reflect all these qualities. May Allah exalt the status of departed soul and may he be given place amongst the beloveds of Allah, Ameen.
As I have mentioned before, this young boy was already a religious scholar and a missionary even though he had not yet passed out from Jami’a. He had special love, honor and respect for the institution of Khilafat. May Allah bless every Jami’a student throughout the world to advance in sincerity and faithfulness towards their duties and the Jama’at. The friends of Raza shall not only be mentioning his good qualities but the requirement of good friendship is that they should adopt the same qualities and use them for the service of religion. May Allah provide to me and to the Khalifah’s in future with such dedicated helpers, Ameen. May Allah grant the peace of heart to Raza’s parents and his siblings, Ameen. May they always stick to the patience that they have shown and stick to the will of Allah, Ameen. May they be the receivers of Allah’s blessings and may Allah protect them from big losses and difficult situations in the future, Ameen.
After the Friday prayer, Hazoor led the funeral prayer of Raza Saleem.