Another person to meet Huzoor in Philadelphia was an African-American convert to Islam, Mahershala Ali.
Along with his wife and infant daughter, Mahershala had travelled across the country from their home in Los Angeles to meet Huzoor.
I was interested to learn what had attracted him to Islam and the experience of meeting Huzoor.
Telling me why he had accepted Islam, Mahershala said:
“What attracted me to Islam was that it made a clear differentiation between man and God. In Christianity, there is an emphasis on Jesus (as) over God and I personally was very attracted to the concept that God is All-Powerful and all people, including the Prophet of Islam (sa) were human beings. Over time, I learned more about the Holy Prophet (sa) and also the signs of the latter days. I was also very taken by the good character shown by the Ahmadis I met. It seemed as though they did not just preach the message but lived their lives according to Islam. I have now been an Ahmadi for 17 years and I never had a single doubt or regret. If anything, my gratitude increases each day at how my faith guides me.”
Speaking about his meeting with Huzoor, Mahershala said:
“I have met Huzoor on four occasions including today and it is always extremely humbling. It is an opportunity to be in the presence of that person who has been called by Allah the Almighty to guide the world. There is a light in Huzoor’s personality and great depth. I feel as though he can see through us and knows who we are and what we are. Huzoor is a beautiful spirit and a beautiful soul As Ahmadiyyat grows and spreads, there might come a time when it is not possible to meet the Khalifa personally and so I feel very fortunate to live in this time where I can converse with Huzoor directly and not just through MTA.”
It was very interesting to meet Mahershala and to learn about his life.
Through his personal career, Mahershala has become well known and famous and so, as he left the Mosque, a few young Khuddam approached him and sought to meet him and have their photo taken with him. After a few seconds, Mahershala stopped them and said,
“It is not about me”.
In this way, very subtly, he reminded the Khuddam that their focus should remain on the blessed presence of Khalifa-Waqt.