Once in a Lifetime…

Occasionally somebody says something, which stays with you for a very long time. Often this individual has absolutely no idea to what extent their words have touched you. It is a peculiar situation; you are rendered totally awe-struck whilst your awe-inspiring friend remains none the wiser! Well, I was fortunate enough to have gone through this exact scenario not too long ago, and the indelible mark this conversation has left is cause enough for me to share it with you.

Most weeks after Jum’uah (Friday prayers), a friend and I would make our way back from the Mosque towards our respective universities. Just outside the train station, where we parted ways, was arguably the best tea-shop in England. So naturally, before returning to the hum-drum of university life, we would stop for a quick cup of free leaf-tea and a scone. We were both Ahmadis and the Friday sermon delivered by our beloved Caliph each week would direct a part of our conversation towards some religious or spiritual matter.

Now I can’t remember the exact topic that brought us on to it but while nibbling away, we began discussing Ba’ait (the initiation ceremony into the Ahmadiyya Muslim community). After giving my two pennies worth, I stopped and let my far wiser friend share his thoughts. It was at this point that we had our moment.

‘I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot’ he said, with a suitable stroke of his beard. ‘New converts do their research and then join the Jamaat and know more than us born Ahmadis. That’s why I think every born Ahmadi should convert to Ahmadiyyat once in their life.

There you have it.

Ok, fine. You may well be right in thinking that I have made too much of this innocuous statement, but I can’t begin to tell you how much of an impact it has had on my life.

Soon after he had delivered it, we stopped talking and went our separate ways. Admittedly I didn’t feel a sudden rush of spirituality nor did this single line instantly realign my moral compass. Rather it made me think. Jalsa Salana wasn’t too far away and each year, I thought to myself, I would put my hand on the shoulder of the guy in front of me, repeat some words and leave that overcrowded marquee just as I entered it. What use was that? Quite quickly I came to the conclusion that it was no use at all.

Events transpired over the next few months or so which forced me to study the teachings of the Promised Messiahas and the claims upon which Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya was founded. They turned out to be pretty convincing. The non-Ahmadi Muslim I was discussing them with agreed too.

As a result, 2013 became the year I finally converted to Islam Ahmadiyyat. Yes there have been ups and downs but at least I’ve taken the first few steps. I cannot press upon you enough the significance of reading up on the beliefs you claim to profess and deciding for yourself that here is where you definitely belong. Trust me, it feels good. So good, in fact, that I texted my friend to let him know that I had followed his sage advice. Unfortunately, he’d changed his number and by the time I had his new one, the poignancy of the moment had passed.

No. He still doesn’t know.

We hope you enjoyed the second of our #StudentReflections pieces- bringing you the introspections of Ahmadi students at universities. If you’d like to submit a piece for consideration, please email studentreview@reviewofreligions.org.

The header image was originally posted by Sirsheraz, and can be found here

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