Fortitude and Complete Trust In Allah in the Face of Adverse Health – The Example of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba)

Fortitude and Complete Trust In Allah in the Face of Adverse Health – The Example of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba)

May 12, 2024 Other, Personal Accounts

By Abid Khan



I write a few days after the Friday Sermon delivered by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) on 3 May 2024. By now, Ahmadis around the world will be aware that towards the end of the sermon, with utter humility, simplicity and grace, Huzoor mentioned that he had recently undergone a heart procedure.

Addressing, the members of the Jamaat, Huzoor said:

“Pray that however much life Allah is to grant me is one that is healthy and active.”

Sitting in the Mosque, I felt a collective intake of breath from those in attendance as Huzoor informed of his recent procedure. A sense of shock that Huzoor had been unwell allied to a sense of relief that the procedure had proven successful. Those feelings and emotions were mirrored around the world as Ahmadis watched the sermon live or learned of Huzoor’s health condition via the surge of messages published online in the minutes and hours that followed in which countless Ahmadis expressed their love and prayers for Khilafat.

Without question, every aspect of the life of Khalifa-Waqt is an example for others and testament to his utter devotion to fulfilling the mission of the Promised Messiah (as) and his love for the members of the Jamaat.

It is in light of this, I wish to share a few recollections related to how I have seen Huzoor respond to his health challenges in recent times.


Feeling unwell

I have been immensely fortunate to serve Huzoor and the Jamaat as a Waqf-e-Zindighi (life devotee) since 2007 and, for the first 15 years, I never once heard Huzoor mention any worries about his health.

Over the years, there were occasions where Huzoor would be suffering from flu or a heavy cold, yet would continue with his normal routine and work. Occasionally, I would ask Huzoor to take rest but he would reply that if he took any rest, the files on his desk would pile up even higher. On other occasions, he would respond that Ahmadis had come to meet him and so even if he was not feeling well, he did not wish to cause them any disappointment by cancelling their Mulaqats.

It has only been in the past couple of years, where, very occasionally, Huzoor has mentioned some concerns.

For example, I recall how, several months ago, I reported for Mulaqat and presented my daily report to Huzoor. After the report concluded, Huzoor permitted me to remain in his office whilst he continued to review the files of correspondence on his desk. I cannot recall exactly for how long but I think I remained in his office for approximately a further thirty minutes.

When I started serving as Press Secretary, for several years, Huzoor would often permit me to stay in his office for long periods as he reviewed his files of correspondence. It was a period of immense blessings and training for me. In more recent times, it has generally been the case that after my report is presented or whatever work is to be discussed, Huzoor will grant me leave. Thus, on that particular day, as I remained in Huzoor’s office, observing him working, I could not help but recall those earlier times. I felt happiness and joy at spending those extra moments in Huzoor’s company.

I was not, however, prepared for what Huzoor said upon completing his work and as he stood to return to his residence.

Huzoor said:

آج مجھے کچھ گھبراہٹ تھی۔ طبیعت ٹھیک نہیں ہے اور اسلئے میں نے تمہیں پاس رکھا۔ اسلئے شائد تمہیں آج تھوڑا سا کم ٹائم ملا ہے گھر میں بچوں کے ساتھ۔



“Today, I felt a little unease for I am not feeling well and that is why I kept you here with me. So, today you might have a little less time at home with your children.”

I felt a surge of love for Huzoor as he said these words. I wished to say a million things to express my love for him but, instead, I managed only to thank Huzoor for permitting me to sit with him and prayed that he would soon feel better.

Feeling unwell during travel to Germany

Towards the end of August last year, Huzoor travelled to Germany to grace the Jalsa Salana after an interval of 4 years.

As per the normal routine, the Qafila travelled to Germany via the Channel Tunnel. Upon reaching Folkestone, from where we would take the Eurotunnel, the Qafila stopped at the on-site services for a few minutes.

Huzoor took a seat just outside the cafeteria and I took the opportunity to ask Huzoor if he would like some tea or coffee.

In response, Huzoor said that he was not feeling well at all and I should just bring him some water. Huzoor looked physically quite frail and so I felt anxious thinking of how the majority of travel still lay ahead and how it would be many hours till we reached Baitus Sabuh in Frankfurt. I felt worry and sadness as I brought Huzoor the water and observed him in pain.

A few minutes later, Huzoor returned to his car and we soon boarded the train.  As we crossed the English Channel, Huzoor remained in his car. A few minutes into the journey, Mahmood Khan sahib, who was driving Huzoor’s car, came and said that Huzoor had asked if I had brought any biscuits or snacks.

I quickly grabbed a bag which I had next to me and took out what I considered to be the nicest biscuits and other snacks and gave them to Mahmood Khan sahib, who took them to Huzoor’s car and presented them to him.

I prayed that Huzoor and Khala Saboohi (Huzoor’s respected wife) would like them and that Huzoor would feel better after eating something.

Upon arriving in France we continued to drive for some time before stopping for lunch. Huzoor gave no indication to the Germany Jamaat officials who had come to welcome him that he was not feeling well and led the Zuhr and Asr prayers as normal. Thereafter, for several days, including the days of the Jalsa Salana itself, Huzoor remained somewhat unwell, yet his work routine remained unaffected.

Never resting

Whenever Huzoor mentioned to me that he has not been feeling well, I would always wish that I could offer some service to him. I would think that if only I had studied medicine and become a doctor, I could have served Huzoor far better.

Perhaps reading my thoughts, on one occasion, Huzoor remarked:

 “ڈاکٹرز مشورے دیتے رہتے ہیں، لیکن شفاء صرف اللہ تعالیٰ کے ہاتھ میں ہے۔”


“Doctors may give their opinions and advice but the power of healing is purely in the Hands of Allah.”

Despite our desire that Huzoor will take some rest or personal time, he rarely, if ever, does.

Last summer, a few weeks before the UK Jalsa Salana, I was at home with my children when they asked if it would be possible for us to go on a summer holiday for a few days.

It came to my mind that perhaps it might be possible for us to visit Spain for 3 or 4 days in between the UK and Germany Jalsas. However, it was just a fleeting thought and I certainly had not reached the stage where I had considered requesting permission from Huzoor.

Later that day, after having presented my daily report during Mulaqat, Huzoor sat back in his chair and, smiling, asked me if there was anything else.

Though, I had not planned to mention anything and before I had time to consider if the plan was at all viable, I found myself asking Huzoor if it would be permissible for us to travel to Spain in the summer.

Suddenly, I noticed Huzoor’s demeanour change and his tone became firm. I cannot recall his exact words but I could sense that Huzoor was not pleased and within a few seconds he indicated that the Mulaqat was over and I should leave his office.

I was stunned and devastated. I felt angry at myself that I had made such a request when I had not prayed about it and nor had I thought it through.

In the past, whenever I had requested some leave, Huzoor had always granted it and encouraged me to spend time with my family. The same was true with other Waqf-e-Zindighis or office bearers. Thus, alongside my regret, I came to the conclusion that it had been wrong to ask for any leave during such a busy period. I felt ashamed.

Immediately, I wrote a letter of apology to Huzoor and sought his forgiveness. My entire evening was spent in a sense of apprehension.

The following day, as I reported for Mulaqat, I was extremely nervous and worried. I wondered if Huzoor had received my letter yet and was anxious if Huzoor was displeased with me.

As I entered Huzoor’s office, I felt instant relief as I saw Huzoor look up and greet me with a beautiful and utterly radiant smile.

Before I could say anything, Huzoor said:

“Yesterday, when you mentioned visiting Spain, I misunderstood and thought that you were suggesting that I should take a break and go to Spain between the UK and Germany Jalsas! I was wondering what had possessed you to suggest such a thing.”

Then Huzoor said: 

“If you wish to go with your family, you certainly can!”

I felt the heavy burden of guilt that had weighed me down for the previous 24 hours lift.

Thereafter, I said:

“Huzoor, I no longer have any desire to go to Spain. I don’t know why I even mentioned it. It was a mistake on my part.”

Huzoor replied that I should not worry and if I wish to take a break then I should. He even picked up the calendar on his desk and told me the specific dates where I could take leave. I thanked Huzoor but, in my heart, I decided that I would not avail any time off.

Nevertheless, Huzoor did not forget and a few weeks later, he himself asked when I was planning to take leave. At that time, I again mentioned to Huzoor that I no longer desired any time off. Nonetheless, Huzoor instructed that I should and that even if I was not going abroad, I should take my family somewhere in the UK. As a result of Huzoor’s instruction, in August, we went for a very pleasant short break in the North of England which our children continue to talk about and remember with great fondness.

Huzoor’s response when he thought that I was asking him to take a break is illustrative of his utter devotion to fulfilling his duties as Khalifatul Masih. Whatever personal time, desires or interests he has, he sacrifices them all for the sake of the service of the Jamaat.


Mulaqat after return from Canada

Earlier this year, I was invited by Canada’s Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya to travel to attend a ‘Jalsa Khilafat’ they were holding in Peace Village.

Huzoor had approved their request and instructed me to attend but he also instructed me to keep the visit as short as possible. I thought that, perhaps due to the unrest in the world at large, Huzoor considered it better to keep the visit brief. Whatever the reason, I was glad that the time I would be away from Huzoor would be minimised.

I was due to fly out on the evening of 2 February and my return flight to the UK was on the evening of 4 February, arriving back in London early morning on Monday, 5th February.

A day prior to departure, I informed Huzoor during Mulaqat that I was due to travel the next day and sought Huzoor’s permission in this regard.

Huzoor enquired when I would return and I said that, Insha’Allah, I would be back by Monday morning.

Upon this, very lovingly Huzoor said:

چلو پھر انشاءاللہ تمہارے سے منڈے کو ملاقات ہو گی۔


“Ok then, Insha’Allah, I will see you on Monday.”

With the Grace of Allah, the visit went well but throughout my stay in Canada I was anxious to return home and prayed that there was no delay to my return flight.

Alhamdulillah, I returned to the UK on time and by the time I reached Islamabad it was mid-morning. I had just reached home when I received a message from the Private Secretary’s Office that Huzoor was enquiring if I had returned. Further, Mubarak Zafar sahib (Additional Wakilul Maal) also informed that, during his Mulaqat that morning, Huzoor had enquired if I had returned. I felt extremely humbled by Huzoor’s concern and love and waited with anticipation for the opportunity to meet him later that day.

Later, when I met Huzoor, he enquired about my trip. He was aware of the fact that, upon reaching Canada, I had left my computer bag on the plane, which contained an iPad. Thankfully, a flight attendant found it and it was returned to me later the same evening.

Huzoor smiled and said:

“You still have a tendency to do things in haste and so you probably left the plane as quickly as you could and forgot all about your bag!”

I responded by saying that this was indeed exactly what had happened!

Huzoor then narrated an incident from before his Khilafat, where he too had left a small bag on the plane containing his family’s passports. On that occasion as well, with the Grace of Allah, the bag was found and returned to Huzoor.

I mentioned to Huzoor the events I had attended in Canada and that, in one sitting, I had mentioned that the level of protocol and respect that I was being afforded by my hosts was too much. It was something I did not feel at all comfortable with and nor did I consider appropriate.

Alhamdulillah, Huzoor expressed his appreciation of the fact that I had highlighted this point publicly.

As the Mulaqat came to an end, Huzoor mentioned that the following day I should not report for Mulaqat as he would be attending hospital as a day-patient for an endoscopy procedure.

I felt very worried and prayed that Huzoor would not feel any discomfort and that whatever investigations or tests were taken would lead to an appropriate treatment for the symptoms of ill-health that Huzoor had felt for some time.


Mulaqat after endoscopy

The day after the endoscopy, I reported for Mulaqat and immediately asked Huzoor if he was well and how the procedure had gone.

Upon this, Huzoor said:

“Alhamdulillah, I did not feel any pain whatsoever. I chose not to have an anaesthetic. Rather, I received some spray to numb the area where the endoscopy entered. Afterwards, the doctor who performed the procedure said she had never seen a person, who, whilst awake during the procedure, did not flinch even once or indicate any discomfort.”

Smiling, Huzoor continued:

“In response, I said to the doctor that it must have been her expertise that meant that I did not feel any pain! She very much appreciated it. When I returned to Islamabad, I did not lead the Isha prayers because my throat was a little sore but I did come to the office in the evening as normal.”

Thereafter, Huzoor said:

“Anyway, your prayers certainly helped as well and now let’s wait and see what the results are.”


Learning of Huzoor’s medical procedure

A few weeks later, I learned that the National UK Waqf-e-Nau Ijtemas that were due to take place at the end of April had been postponed on Huzoor’s instructions.

I wondered what the reason might be and it did occur to me that perhaps it was linked to Huzoor’s health and he might be having some treatment.

One day, in early April, I mentioned to Huzoor that the Ijtemas had been postponed and Huzoor confirmed that it was because he was due to have some medical treatment around that time.

A few days later, during Mulaqat, I asked Huzoor the details of his upcoming procedure. I was aware that perhaps Huzoor may not wish to share the details, however, most graciously, Huzoor informed that his heart valve was to be replaced.

Thereafter, Huzoor said:

“I will be required to remain in hospital for one night unless there is any complication.”

Hearing this, I felt a shudder in my spine and trembled at the thought of something going wrong.

Yet, I was also amazed at the look of calm and total trust in whatever Allah had decreed on the face of Huzoor.

Thereafter, Huzoor indicated that I should start giving my daily report and the normal daftari part of my Mulaqat started and Huzoor listened and gave instructions as normal.

Nonetheless, I felt distracted and whilst I was speaking to Huzoor, I was, at the same time, thinking about his health and upcoming treatment.

As the Mulaqat drew to a close and I walked towards the door, Huzoor called me back momentarily and said:

“Keep what I have told you about my treatment to yourself.”


Huzoor’s immense grace

On 27th April, one of my nieces was due to be married at Islamabad. It was the ardent wish of our family that Huzoor would grace the wedding with his presence. At the same time, where I wished for the sake of my niece and my family for Huzoor to attend, at the same time, I did not wish to cause him any element of discomfort or burden so close to his heart procedure.

Yet, due to his immense grace and kindness, on the morning of the wedding, Private Secretary Sahib confirmed to me that Huzoor would, Insha’Allah, attend.

Upon this, when I met Huzoor that day in Mulaqat, I said:

“Huzoor, our entire family is overcome with joy and gratitude to Huzoor that he is participating in the wedding. However, the rest of my family is not aware that Huzoor has a medical procedure in two days and so the gratitude I feel in my heart is beyond any words that I have. Jazak’Allah Huzoor.”

Huzoor smiled and did not say anything and instead indicated me to continue with my normal report.


Precious moments with Huzoor

The next day, 28 April, was the day before Huzoor was due to have the procedure. If I had thought even for a moment that Huzoor might be anxious or worried, I would have been completely wrong.

Rather, that day, Huzoor seemed utterly relaxed. In the morning he very lovingly met a delegation of Khuddam who had travelled from Norway.

In the evening, when I had Mulaqat, Huzoor asked about my niece’s wedding.

At the wedding, my elder brother Fareed had the honour of sitting next to Huzoor. Later, he had told me how, during the dinner, he had complimented to Huzoor the quality of the cooking of the Ziafat team.

I mentioned this to Huzoor.

In response, Huzoor said:

“Yes your brother asked me who had trained the chefs in the Ziafat team and I told him that I had personally trained them. For example, when they started, it was their routine to use gharam masalay which are harmful and so I instructed them to use fresh spices and to grind them in-house rather than buying processed spices from the shops.”

Though Huzoor was in a very good mood, I kept thinking about the medical procedure and so, at one point, suddenly, I asked Huzoor that:

“Huzoor, how can I serve you tomorrow? What khidmat (service) can I do?”

Upon this, Huzoor smiled. I think he appreciated my sentiments but, at the same time, reminded me of the need to be practical and understand one’s limitations.

Huzoor said:

“!تم دعا کرتے رہنا، یہ تمہاری خدمت ہو گی۔ اور کیا کر سکتے ہو؟ تم ڈاکٹر تو نہیں ہو”


“You should continue to pray, this will be your service. What else can you do? You are not a doctor!”

Thereafter, in very precious moments that I shall treasure forever, Huzoor mentioned very lovingly the opportunity I had had to be in his close proximity over many years.

Huzoor said:

“Abid, you have spent more time with me than you did with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV (rh) and more than you were able to spend with your parents. Hence, though your father trained you well, it has been me who has been able to do your training and Tarbiyyat more than others.”

Already emotional at the thought of Huzoor’s heart procedure, as Huzoor said these words, I struggled to control myself. There was much to say and yet I knew that however I would respond would be an inadequate response to Huzoor’s grace and love.

In response, I simply said:

“Huzoor, I remain extremely weak and repeatedly make many mistakes but I do know that your training has led to some positive changes in my personality which I feel. For example, when I was young, I used to share anything and everything that I saw and heard with others. Yet, from you I have learned the importance and value of discretion and keeping confidences.”

Smiling, Huzoor said:

“Yes, some people cannot help but tell things to other people because they believe it will make them popular, gain credit or illustrate their importance. However, that is not the right way at all.”

With that, Huzoor took out a box of chocolates from his desk and gifted them to me and my family and indicated that I should take leave.

As I was leaving, I felt overcome by worry about the treatment and wondered when I would meet him again.

I asked Huzoor:

“Huzoor, when will I meet you next?”

Upon this, Huzoor said:

“Tomorrow (Monday) is the procedure. So, you can enquire on Wednesday regarding Mulaqat.”

I was surprised that Huzoor was planning to be in the office just two days after the procedure and, again was amazed, at his utter devotion to serving the cause of Ahmadiyyat. I had assumed that Huzoor would be required to rest for at least a week.

As it turned out, Huzoor did not even take two days of rest.


“Alhamdulillah, I am well and pray that all remains well in future.”

On the day of the heart procedure, 29 April 2024, I observed Huzoor lead the Fajr prayers as normal. Thereafter, later that morning, he travelled to London for the procedure.

Throughout the day, I prayed for Huzoor’s health. I did not know when exactly the procedure was to take place or how long it would last. So, I waited several hours till the evening until I called Huzoor’s son, Sahibzada Mirza Waqas Ahmad sahib to enquire after Huzoor’s health.

To my relief, he informed that the procedure was complete and that Huzoor was well. Alhamdulillah.

I sent a message to Huzoor shortly afterwards enquiring after his health. I did not expect any reply but, most graciously, Huzoor responded and said:

“Alhamdulillah, I am well and pray that all remains well in future.”

I looked forward with great anticipation to Huzoor’s return to Islamabad the next day and, hopefully, the opportunity to meet with him soon.


Mulaqat after Huzoor’s return

Around 12.45pm on Tuesday 30 April, Huzoor returned to Islamabad.

A few minutes later, I received an instruction from Huzoor to report for Mulaqat later in the day.

Where I was extremely pleased that Huzoor was feeling well enough that he was planning to return to the office the same day, I also felt a desire that he would have at least taken one full day to rest. As it was, the only day that Huzoor did not come to the office during this period was the day of the procedure itself.

Thus, after Asr prayer, I reported for Mulaqat and felt relief and joy at seeing him look well as he sat at his desk.

The only indication that Huzoor had been through a heart procedure was perhaps that his face seemed a little reddened and very slightly swollen. As I observed him, I felt that Huzoor looked more radiant and beautiful than ever. Certainly, there was no hint of what Huzoor had been through. I was amazed and have no doubt that such fortitude and strength is granted to Khalifa-Waqt alone by Allah the Almighty.

I asked Huzoor how he was and he responded with an Urdu phrase that I did not understand.

Seeing my blank expression, Huzoor explained and said:

“It means that if one’s deeds and conduct are good then they are well.”

I said that by that definition surely Huzoor is well and far better than all of us!

I asked Huzoor how the procedure had gone.

In reply, Huzoor said:

“Alhamdulillah, the valve that required replacing was done successfully. Throughout the procedure, I was semi-conscious and was praying constantly. The surgeon was good but anyway, it is all due to Allah’s blessings.”

Huzoor continued:

“Naturally, once the procedure was over there was some discomfort and I felt a degree of heaviness in my heart. However, bhai (Sahibzada Dr Mirza Maghfoor Ahmad) informed that this was normal as suddenly the blood flow from the heart was much increased and it takes a while to adjust.”

In response, I said:

“Huzoor, before the procedure you instructed that I report for Mulaqat on Wednesday and I thought that was optimistic and that you would need to rest for much longer. Yet, within 24 hours you are back at your desk!”

Huzoor smiled and said:

“The Private Secretary just saw me before you came in and asked me if I was not going to rest. However, for me resting is to be at my desk and sitting in my office chair. This is how I feel comfortable.”

I felt embarrassed to bring any official work or news to Huzoor’s attention but Huzoor asked me what the news from Gaza was and other matters that had come to light in the past couple of days.

After around 20 minutes, Huzoor indicated for me to take leave and as I walked out, I heard Huzoor say to Munir Javed sahib (Private Secretary):

“Now bring in my daak (correspondence).”

And with that, Huzoor’s work resumed.

As Huzoor mentioned in his Friday Sermon, on the advice of his doctors, Huzoor did not lead the prayers for a few days but other than that, his work routine continued almost as normal.

With the Grace of Allah, in the days since, I have felt that Huzoor’s health has continued to improve.

May Allah the Almighty grant Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) a long and healthy and fully active life. And may all Ahmadis worldwide be a means of comfort and joy for our beloved Imam. Ameen.


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Fortitude and Complete Trust In Allah in the Face of Adverse Health – The Example of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba)