On 18th June 2012, Hazur’s Qafila left Chicago and travelled to Ohio. It proved to be a very long and tiring day. On that day those of us who had travelled from London were able to get some kind of understanding of the vast distances that separated American cities.
After a drive of around 400km we arrived in Dayton at 8.15pm and visited the Fazl‐i‐Umar Mosque, which is the oldest purpose‐built Mosque constructed by the USA Jamaat. It was inaugurated in 1964 and has a rich history based on the many sincere and devoted African‐American Ahmadis who live nearby.
Upon arrival at the Mosque we saw that once again there were hundreds of Ahmadis there to greet Hazur. The ‘naaray’ were extremely loud and passionate and as I looked around I saw many people with tears streaming down their faces.
The Mosque had recently been renovated and extended, so Hazur‐Aqdas inspected the changes. Despite the fact that it was late evening and Hazur had been either working or travelling all day, Hazur did not show any form of tiredness.
It was becoming quite clear to me that Hazur’s true objective for the tour was to meet with Ahmadis, to help them and to show love to them. Our Khalifa was there only to give.
Even though it was late and we still had to travel for another couple of hours to our final destination, Hazur‐Aqdas waited with the local Jamaat for Namaz time, which was at 9.15pm, rather than proceed and offer prayers at the final destination.
The local Dayton Jamaat had organised a small tea reception and as I looked around the room and as I spoke to some of the locals I could feel and sense the elation in their hearts. It truly seemed that in a matter of minutes in the company of the Khalifa, the hearts and minds of the local Ahmadis were being cleansed and spiritualised.
Even upon completion of the Maghreb and Isha prayers, Hazur did not leave immediately but stood for pictures with the local Jamaat and then distributed chocolates to the children present.
Despite being the youngest member of staff travelling from London, by that time I was feeling somewhat exhausted. I make that admission with a sense of shame because when I looked at Hazur, whether he felt tired or not I do not know, he never once showed it. His patience and generosity of spirit was something that I had seen for many years but in the few days of the tour I was seeing to an even greater degree.