The Missionary In-Charge of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Nigeria, Maulvi Afzaal Ahmad Rauf has toured various branches (Jamaats) of the Community in Kogi State between 19th and 20th June 2019.
The high profile visit which took him to places (Jamaats) like Lokoja, Okene, Kabba, Iyamoye, Ayegunle-Gbede, Al-Azhar, Ayetoro-Gbede and Ayere, among others, marked his first time meeting with the members of the Jamaat in this part of the country, following his appointment to the office by Khalifatul Masih V and the Supreme Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (may Allah be his Helper).
Intimating the members of the aims of his visit, the eminent Islamic scholar disclosed that he has come to familiarize with members of the Jamaat in Kogi and to urge them to brace up their efforts on the propagation (Tabligh) of the message of Islam and Ahmadiyya to the people in the State.
He admonished the members to strengthen their faith and double their sacrifice in the cause of Allah. Furthermore, he urged them to preach the message of the Jamaat through exhibiting good characters and adhering to Islamic practices and principles, particularly, the reformed Islamic systems (Nizaam) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat.
His Eminence was accompanied by Maulvi Nasir Mahmood, the Central Missionary in charge of Abuja, Kogi, Nasarawa and Benue States.
Courtesy Visits to Traditional and Religious Leaders
As part of his itinerary, Maulvi Afzaal Ahmad also paid courtesy visits to various Traditional and religious leaders in the places toured, among whom were the Olu of Ayegunle-Gbede, HRH, Oba Michael Oloruntimilehin Ayeni, the Obaro of Iyamoye, HRM, Oba Ibrahim Muhammad, the Chief Imam of Ayegunle-Gbede, Alhaji Musa Olorunkemi, Chief Imam of Ayetoro-Gbede, Alhaji Tiamiyu Arobani, and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Ayegunle-Gbede Branch, Reverend Ayepeku.
Receiving his eminence, the Olu of Ayegunle-Gbede was quick to commend Ahmadiyya for establishing Ahmadiyya Secondary School in his town years ago when there was none in the whole town. He, however, requested for further support of the Jamaat for the school, lamenting its current poor state, due to near-neglect by the successive Governments, in the aftermath of it’s taking over decades ago.
While responding to His Royal Highness, Maulvi Afzaal stated that Ahmadiyya represents the motto of love for all; hatred for none, and service to humanity, irrespective of creed, colour, and religion. He said the Jamaat will assess the government educational policy and look into an area of support.
Speaking further, he said, “In one year, I have traveled across the country and known the worth of Nigeria.” “Nigeria is great and beautiful but, presently asleep. It must wake up and realize its potentials.” Adding that, “the leaders must give good leadership direction to the people.”
He further noted that members of Ahmadiyya donate from their income to sacrifice for the human community. He, therefore, urged the larger community to emulate practice and contribute towards their collective community development. He harped on community leadership and followership to uphold prudency, accountability, and transparency in the management of available resources, for, billions of aids have often come to the country from various foreign governmental and non-governmental donors but with little to show for their impactful utilization.
“Ahmadiyya Excels” – CAN President
The President of the Ayegunle-Gbede branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor expressed his appreciation for the visit, describing it as a demonstration of the common unity and brotherhood of humanity despite the difference in religions. He noted that there has been no religious crisis in Ayegunle-Gbede.
Speaking on Ahmadiyya, the revered Christian leader remarked, “Among all my Muslim friends, Ahmadiyya is a different group with a unique feature of truth and love. Ahmadiyya excels.”
Responding, Maulvi Afzaal Ahmad complimented, saying that Muslims and Christians have common grounds that unite than divide them, and for the Ahmadi Muslims who do not only believe in Jesus Christ of Nazareth (peace be upon him) but also in the advent of the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him), the adherents of the two religions are closer to each other still.
“Islam Has Come To Unite Us”
At the residence of the Chief Imam of Ayegunle-Gbede, Maulvi Afzaal Ahmad impressively stated that “No doubt, Islam has come to unite us. The Holy Prophet (saw) has said that ‘a Muslim is he from whose hands and tongues other Muslims are secured.’ This is the message to be spread everywhere; and because of this, we are moving around urging humanity to practice Islam in the best manner.”
Speaking further, he said, “Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat believes in one God, the Holy Prophet (saw) and the Promised Messiah (as) who came in fulfillment of the prophecies of the Holy Prophet of Islam”.
Furthermore, he urged the revered Imam, “You are responsible for building the faith of the people here. Having known Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat beliefs for long, it is incumbent on people, in line with the instruction of the Holy Prophet of Islam (saw), to convey his (the Holy Prophet’s) salaam (greeting of peace) to him (the Promised Messiah), even though it may be difficult. Concluding that, “As the Chief Imam, I humbly urged that we join in the effort of teaching the beautiful message of Islam”.
In his response, the Chief Imam expressed his gratitude to Ahmadiyya for the establishment of the Ahmadiyya Secondary School in Ayegunle-Gbede. He also acknowledged how, a few decades ago, he personally requested a prominent member of the Jamaat who was then a Federal Commissioner to exert his influence to ensure the then ongoing road construction is channeled through Ayegunle-Gbede Township, which he successfully facilitated.
The climax of his working visit was his meeting with the Naib Amir, North (Deputy National President for the North), Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Nigeria, Dr. Y.A.Habeeb Sahib and some of the members of the Executive Council of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Kogi Circuit. The meeting which was held on 20th June, at Al-Azhar Jamaat, Lokoja, featured a discussion on crucial issues relating to preaching outreach (Tabligh) and other related Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat’s affairs.