by Mehpara Khan, New Zealand
They waited in the rain. Wearing their red head scarves, with flags in their hand the Nasirat stood patiently, waiting for the arrival of their beloved Khalifa (aba).
Then, almost as if Allah Ta’ala was testing their patience, a perfectly sunny evening turned grey and cold showers came down from the skies. While some adults fled for shelter these young Ahmadi girls were determine to brave whatever the weather had to offer, just for a glimpse of their beloved Imam. And they were rewarded!
I was lucky enough to be standing with them and to witness a new generation experience that unique moment when you lay first lay eyes on the Khalifa of the age.
Their raw emotion was hard to suppress. As soon as the Nasirat saw their beloved Khalifa, their eyes welled up. Girls as young as five and six started crying .. One seven year old Nasirat and Waqfaate Nau standing beside me began crying uncontrollably, so much so that she caught the attention of a body guard who asked her, through gesture, what was wrong. All she could manage was a shake of her head and a big smile. Later I asked her why she was crying and she said “When I see Huzoor I get emotional.”
Months of rehearsal culminated into a few brief moments when our voices rose up above the crowd and welcomed Huzoor (aba) with “marhaba, marahaba, asalaam, asalaam. “We sang until our throats hurt, and our tears drowned out our voices.
Our dear Huzoor (aba) was welcomed into the brand new mosque Baitul Muqeet. Huzoor (aba) inspected the mosque, finding entry ways and passages that even I hadn’t noticed . One was a door that connected the men’s’ and ladies’ areas of the mosque.
An Ahmadi sister on twitter put it well when she said “expect the unexpected” and that was exactly the case! As we came inside and collected our emotions, our most dear Huzoor (aba) then appeared in our foyer through a side door. I have never seen a crowd of women go quiet so quickly! Huzoor (aba) greeted us with salaam and asked brief questions of the National President about our prayer hall and crèche. With a quick glance at our astonished, but delighted expressions he greeted us with salaam once again and returned upstairs to lead the Maghrib and Isha prayers.
Seeing Huzoor (aba) in person, feels surreal. Reading Namaaz behind him is an experience that is unhurried, relaxed and calming as if every ounce of joy within the prayer is being relished to the full. Following Huzoor (aba) in namaaz is a highly emotional experience that sends chills through your spine and an electric shock to your soul.
We are experiencing some of the most blessed days of our lives. Like thirsty ones in search of water it feels like we will never have our fill. For the Nasirat I stood with, I know that the day Huzoor (aba) arrived will be a memory they will never forget. I see them in their old age sitting with their grandchildren retelling it over and over again. Their story begins with “I waited in the rain….”