I took out my laptop and started to do some work but quite often local Ahmadis of different ages would come up to me and start talking. I soon realised that due to their love of Khilafat they were keen to talk to me about Hazur and the Jamaat.
Some of their questions were quite straightforward such as asking me what work I did. Others asked questions that were harder to answer. For example some used to ask me what Hazur’s opinion of the United States was, whilst others would question me about Hazur’s daily routine or his views on various issues. To such questions I used to reply that ‘If you really want to know the answer to this then you should ask Hazur yourself!’
Some of the younger generation would often ask me my personal feelings about how it felt to work and live close to the Khalifa. I used to explain that being close to the Khalifa was truly priceless. I said that no worldly rewards or work could ever compare. I told them Hazur’s love and warmth was such that it instilled a feeling of unparalleled happiness and contentment.
In terms of working with Hazur, I said that Hazur was very loving and forgiving. I had made many mistakes over the years. Never had Hazur reprimanded me in a harsh or severe manner. Instead Hazur would always guide me with a smile and with an affectionate tone.
I also spoke of how even though Hazur was so busy, he still gave guidance to every Department every step of the way. I said that I had seen so many times that if a person followed his direction and guidance it always led to success, but wherever a person thought they could do something on their own it invariably led to mistakes.
I gave an example of Hazur’s wisdom which I had witnessed myself. I said that some time ago I had informed Hazur that a council in the UK had made a policy that they would allow Muslim students to delay their examinations during Ramadan because it would be difficult for them to sit exams whilst fasting. I said that at the time I thought Hazur would be pleased to hear this story but on the contrary Hazur immediately said that this was a wrong policy that needed responding to.
Hazur said that such a policy gave the impression that Muslims wanted preferential treatment and also it gave the impression that young children were forced to fast during Ramadan. Therefore it could give the impression that, God forbid, Islam was a cruel religion.
Hazur dictated a letter and told me to send it to the Daily Mail who had printed the original article. As one of the most read newspapers in the UK getting a letter published is very difficult. But within half an hour of sending the letter by email I received a call from the Daily Mail saying they were so impressed by the letter that they wished to publish it as their ‘Letter of the Day’ and then a few days later I received a gift from them in recognition that it was now considered ‘Letter of the Week’.
Based on my experiences I told the young Ahmadis that the key to success was to follow Hazur’s guidance no matter what. There could be times when Hazur’s decision was different to what you had hoped, but as soon as his guidance was received it ought to be accepted with full confidence and contentment.
From their part I found the Ahmadi youth in America to hold very mature and loving feelings towards Khilafat. Often, I would speak to children who were eleven or twelve or young teenagers and the way they would speak about Khilafat was genuinely astonishing, especially given that many of them had never met Hazur personally and had only seen him on MTA.
For example one boy said to me that he felt so lucky to be born in an era where there was true Khilafat to guide him, particularly considering that for 1300 years the world did not have this blessing.
Another boy said that the unity of the Jamaat under Khilafat was something he truly appreciated when he saw how divided other groups were.
One boy, who had a Mulaqat later in the day, said he had never met Hazur before but he already knew that when he met him, it would inspire him to be a better person and to spread the message of Ahmadiyyat to the corners of the earth.
Another boy spoke of the ‘light’ of Khilafat and that it was an institution that was incomparable to all else. He said ‘How can I describe Khilafat when it is truly unique?’
These were just a few of the comments of some of the young Atfal and Khuddam I met whilst in America. The way they talked about Khilafat was a further sign in favour of the truth of Ahmadiyyat. Such love could only be instilled by Allah in people so young.