On 3 October 2021, the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad held a virtual online meeting with student members of Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya (Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association) Canada.

His Holiness presided the meeting from the MTA International Studio in Islamabad, Tilford, whilst the students were gathered in the Aiwan-e-Tahir Hall in Peace Village, Toronto.

Following a formal session starting with recitation of the Holy Quran, the members of Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya had the opportunity to ask His Holiness a series of questions regarding their faith and contemporary issues.

One of the Khuddam asked for His Holiness’ guidance about the rise of mental health issues, particularly during the COVID period and asked for advice on how Ahmadi Muslim youth can cope with mental health issues.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“It is generally said that one of the causes of mental health issues among students is COVID because students are not going outside, they are not allowed to be involved in their activities, or their studies or in other extra-curricular activities such as sports etc. But for an Ahmadi Muslim student, you must remember that Allah the Almighty says, ‘Aye! It is in the remembrance of Allah that hearts can find comfort’ (Holy Quran 13:29) – that if you remember Allah it will give comfort to your heart.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:

“So, an Ahmadi Muslim student during these days should bow before Allah the Almighty. He should offer the five daily prayers even more fervently than before, he should try to do the recitation of the Holy Quran and seek its guidance… The best way is the remembrance of Allah.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad further said:

“So those who are involved in worldly things, naturally and obviously they will suffer from the mental health issues because they have frustrations. Their priorities are different and so this is why they suffer. If your priority is to seek nearness of Allah the Almighty, to get closer to Allah the Almighty, then the majority of your frustrations will be removed.”

One Khadim asked as to how Ahmadi Muslims can live up to the promise made by Allah to the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) that his followers will excel in knowledge and understanding.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“To achieve anything, you have to work hard. If there is a student who is hard-working, and believes in Allah the Almighty, and another student who is also hard-working but does not believe in Allah the Almighty, and both are trying to achieve and to excel in their knowledge and wisdom, Allah the Almighty will give reward to both of them since both of them are working hard to achieve their goal and objective… Then we (Ahmadi Muslims) have to pray to Allah the Almighty that, ‘both of us are working hard to achieve this goal but I believe in You. So I pray to you that you give me more wisdom and give better results of my efforts’.’ So in this way you can have better results, otherwise if you are not praying to Allah the Almighty, you are not discharging your duties that you owe to Allah the Almighty, you are not following the commandments of Allah the Almighty, then you will not achieve a better result. So do not think this is a negative point; it is a plus point because you are not only achieving all these goals here in this world but it will also help you in the Hereafter.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad further stated:

“So keeping in view all these things, if you work hard in whichever field you have chosen for yourself and try to excel in it, God willing, you will succeed and excel. But if you half-heartedly discharge the duties you owe to Allah the Almighty, then the result will not be as favourable or as positive. So, for a true believer you have to keep in mind that you have to discharge your duties that you owe to Allah the Almighty alongside working hard in your field of study.”

Another Khadim asked His Holiness for guidance on the best way to manage one’s obligations towards Khilafat, family, studies, as well as one’s physical and mental health.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Your question should first be, ‘how best can we discharge the duties that we owe to Allah the Almighty because if you discharge your duties towards Allah the Almighty, the ultimate result of that will be that you will be discharging your duties towards Khilafat as well. And what does the Khalifa say? That you should bring a (positive) change in your life; try to be closer to Allah the Almighty; offer your five daily prayers; recite the Holy Quran daily; find out the commandments given in the Holy Quran and try to practice those things.”

Answering the second part of the question pertaining particularly to studies, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Secondly, in terms of your studies, as long as you are a student you have to work hard. Your goal and objective should be to excel in your studies and for that you will have to work hard. You see a good student studies almost 12 to 13 hours a day… So you will have to see if you are studying that much? If not, it means you are not doing justice (to your studies).”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad further said:

“On the weekends, you should give some time to do some work for our Community and Khuddamul Ahmadiyya work, and at the same time, spend the weekend with your family members as well.”

One Khadim asked how students can increase their confidence in front of others and improve their public speaking skills.

Giving practical advice on this issue, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Before such events, you should stand before the mirror and repeat your speech and address three or four times out loud, then it will give you some confidence… And also seek Allah’s help. Pray to Allah that He helps you. Pray, ‘Guide us on the right path’ and, ‘In the Name of Allah the Gracious, The Merciful’. Then in this way you will also get some strength.”

Answering a question on whether money that is given to friends and relatives can be considered as ‘Sadqa’ or charity, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“If your intention is that this money that we are sending is ‘Sadqa’ then it is Sadqa. If your intention is that this money that you are sending to your friends and relatives is not Sadqa, but rather it is a gift for them then it is not Sadqa – your deeds depend on your intentions.”

Narrating an incident from the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Once a person brought some goat meat for the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) asked, ‘where did you get it from?’ The man replied that ‘somebody sent this as Sadqa to me’. Now Sadqa is prohibited and not permissible for the prophets and even the families of the prophets. So, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘It is a Sadqa for you, but since you have brought it for me you are not giving me a Sadqa, rather you have brought it here for me to eat as a gift, so it is a gift for me and I can eat it.’ So it all depends on the intention. You see, you should be generous! Why should you give Sadqa to your relatives and friends? You should give them gifts if you want to help them!”

One Khadim asked His Holiness how technological advancements can help the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and be used to serve humanity.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Who has given wisdom and the brain to human beings? Allah the Almighty. So it means it is Allah’s work. Allah the Almighty has asked you to do research and to excel in it and Allah the Almighty will help you. He will reward you for your research if you are praying to Allah the Almighty at the same time as well. These technological advancements are for the benefit of human beings, so as long as it is beneficial for human beings we should get the benefit out of it. But where it is being used to destroy humanity and to pollute the minds of people – as is often the case with the internet and with social media sites like Facebook and Instagram and many other things [which are being misused], then a true believer, an Ahmadi Muslim, should avoid these things.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:

“So long as these technological advancements are beneficial for human beings we must use it – we have to use it. This is for our benefit and it is Allah’s help to us and we have to show gratitude to Allah the Almighty that He has shown us such advancement. But when they are being used for polluting our minds then you should avoid them and offer Istighfar.”

During the meeting, His Holiness also spoke about the importance of gaining higher education and not just stopping at secondary school level.

His Holiness went on to talk about the lofty aspirations and educational targets set by the Third Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad in this regard.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“The third Khalifa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community started the programme of giving gold medals [for academic achievements] and it was his wish that we should have at least 100 Nobel Prize winners in the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and that we should have at least one thousand top scientists in our Community which we do not have at present. So, we have to encourage and this is why the Department of Student Affairs (Umoor-e-Tulaba) has been formed in Khuddamul Ahmadiyya and the Secretary of Education (Talim) within the Community, to encourage students that they should – instead of stopping their education after secondary education – continue and go into universities and further their studies. Even if they think that they cannot go into research or some other science subjects or professional fields like engineering or medicine, then at least they should sit in the competition examinations and go into the Civil Service so that we should have a good number of civil servants in the governments.”

Explaining that the responsibility of encouraging the younger generation to attain higher education rests not just on the Community but also on the shoulders of the parents, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“This is the job of the parents as well. If the parents are educated they will ask the children to further their studies after completing secondary school, and if the parents are illiterate or not very well educated they will say, ‘Okay my son, just start any sort of work.’…This is not the love that parents should show to the children. Rather they should ask them to further their studies. The minimum education of an Ahmadi Muslim student should be graduation, and then after that they can choose different fields.”

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