The management of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Nigeria, through the office of its Missionary-in-Charge, has organized a 7-day national refresher course for 206 Missionaries after the last Jalsa Salana at the Jamiatul Mubashireen Campus, Ilaro, Ogun State, Nigeria.
The course, which was held in accordance with the directive of the Fifth Khalifah of the Promised Messiah, the Supreme Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba), was declared opened by the Amir (National President), Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Nigeria, Dr. Mashhud Adenrele Fashola and flanked by the respected Acting Missionary In-charge, Maulvi Adnan Tahir Sahib.
In his brief remark, the Amir Sahib expressed his appreciation of the Khalifah’s directive for organizing the course and beaconed on the Missionary participants to constantly and continuously seek more knowledge and guidance of Allah. He stressed the need to strive to achieve moral and spiritual reformation of Nigerians for national prosperity. Advising the Missionaries, he emphasized that “To be successful, Missionaries must adopt the legacies of the Holy Prophet Muhammad [saw] and the Promised Messiah [as] among which are: humility, prayerfulness and use of practical strategic approaches.”
He further harped on the need to take the advantage of the large workforce of Missionaries with which the Nigerian branch of the global Community is blessed and also the relative freedom of religion in Nigeria to work towards achieving increasing expansion of the Jamaat in the country.
On his part, the Acting Missionary-in-Charge spoke on the objectives of the refresher course. He said that having spent years in the field, the programme would offer the participating Missionaries the opportunities to share knowledge and experiences.
Maulvi Adnan further said that in view of the large number of the available missionaries vis-à-vis the large amount of funds being expended on the programme, they must all strive to derive maximum benefits from the programme and use it to achieve greater advance in the fear of Allah, which is the real hallmark of the true Ulama (scholars) described as the inheritors of the Prophets. He also introduced Missionary Qasim Oyekola as the Official Coordinator of the course.
The timetable of the week-long course featured an array of 25 lectures, four different periods for the review of selected books, and seven discussion sessions. It was also packaged with two different periods for health talk and medical check-up as well as two periods for sports. The daily classes had interludes of afternoon breaks for Salaat, lunch and siesta and a Jumu’ah service on Friday.
The collective spiritual practices and experiences had by the participants include the daily compulsory prayers offered in congregation inside the Jamiatul Mubashshireen Mosque. The Salat (prayer) Team regularly and randomly appointed individuals either as Adhan announcer or as Imamus-Salat (Prayer leader) for each of the daily Salaat. More so, the daily Fajr, Maghrib and Ishaa Prayers featured concomitant Dars (lessons) on the Quran (using the Five-Volume Commentary by Hadrat Musleh Mauood (ra)), the Hadith (Prophetic Traditions) and Malfoozaat (Speeches) of the Promised Messiah (as) respectively. Tahajjud prayer, though not said in congregation, was strongly recommended to be offered individually.
The Jumu’ah (Friday) service offered during the course was led by Muallim Dhun-Nurain Bello. After the prayer, all the participants listened to the live broadcast of the Friday Sermon of the Supreme Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community [atba] which began at 2:10 pm local time. The Khalifah of Islam’s sermon focused on the life of Hadhrat Mirza Anas Ahmad, a great-grandson of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi and Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, who passed away recently. It was an apt narrative of a life of devotion, obedience to and sacrifice in the cause of a divine movement for the listening Missionaries to emulate.
Furthermore, the two health talks were delivered by Muallim (Dr.) Oni Olawale and Pharmacist Abimbola Taoheed. The management also organized medical tests on hypertension, hepatitis B and diabetes for the Missionaries courtesy of Ahmadi Muslim Medical and other Health Professional Assembly of Nigeria [AMHPAN].
For physical fitness, the participants had general daily early morning walk, spanning some 10 to 20 minutes. Mainly, football and volleyball were played for recreation, usually in the early hours of the day just before breakfast and after the day’s session in the evening though there were occasional racing by a few participants.
In his closing remark, the acting Missionary In-charge emphasized on writing letters, at least, monthly, to the Hadrat Khalifatul Masih V (atba); secondly, ensuring the watching of live broadcast of the Huzur’s (atba) Friday sermons by their Jamaat members; and, thirdly, holding daily Quranic classes in their respective Jamaats. He went further to impress the importance of carrying out such obligations as the hallmarks of the high sense of responsibility of a missionary.
In his closing remark, Muallim Oyekola Sahib particularly expressed his appreciations to the Khalifatul Masih (atba), the management, the members of the various course working-teams and the Missionaries.
The missionaries in attendance ranged from the longest-serving Missionaries since 1965 to the most recently inducted ones in 2018.
Eminent scholars that anchored the various discussion sessions and lectures included the Amir, Alh. Abdul-Azeez Alatoye, Dr. Saheed O. Timehin, Maulvi Abdul-Azeem Ahmad, Maulvi Nadeem, Muallim Qasim Oyekola and Muallim Abdul-Hadi Babarinde. Others were: Alh. Abbas Iromini, Muallim Ibrahim Adejimi, Maulvi Nurudeen Okubena, Muallim Abdul Hakeem Ariyo, Maulvi T. O. Shoboyede, Dr. Abdul-Majid Bello, Maulvi Muhammad Hashim Sahib, Muallim A. Daramola, Muallim J. Nurudeen and Muallim A. Tirmidhi, among others.
Many of the lecturers, coordinating officials and participants interviewed expressed their deep impressions about the course. For instance, the Amir was ecstatic to remark that: “….Allah has directed the Huzur Anwar (atba) to direct this programme. I think it is extremely useful. I have learned a lot from this. It has brought us together. It has increased the love between us. Even by addressing them, I found out that a lot of the Muallimeen (Missionaries) are also developing some attachment, some tenderness, some love for the Amir……It’s a great thing that the Huzur (atba) has directed….May Allah make it have a great impact on our performance in respect of our Tabligh and Tarbiyya…”
To the Naib Amir (Deputy Head) South-West, Alhaji Alatoye, “It’s the right action taken at the right time….I believe the Missionaries need information to be shared in terms of the administration of the Jamaat ……..so that they can explain very clearly to the members so that we can be on the same page….it’s an excellent arrangement.” And the Acting Missionary-in-Charge, expressing his expectation from the Missionaries in the aftermath of the course, said: “…….my expectation is….Alhamdulillah you are complete Missionaries…but the Refresher Course is purposed to refresh you again….and when you go back , as I mentioned some three or four things, you will try your best to follow them and to implement those things in your Jamaat and bring your members near to God, near to the Holy Prophet (saw) and the Khalifah of the time (atba).”