By the Grace of Allah, Jamia Ahmadiyya UK hosted their first guest lecture over Zoom. The lecture was by an alumnus of Jamia Ahmadiyya UK, respected Usman Shehzad Butt Sahib. Respected Usman Sahib is currently serving as a Missionary in Stevenage, next to this he also serves in Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya as Muavin Sadr for Mental Health.
The topic that Usman Sahib spoke on was ‘The Youth and Contemporary Issues’. This topic is essential for any missionary and is one of the most essential issues that we have to face in the field. Usman Sahib used his experience in the field and the issues he came across to share his expertise on the matter with the students of Jamia.
The session began with the recitation of the Holy Qur’an and translation, followed by a short introduction of the speaker. After this, the lecture began. Usman Sahib began with advising the students on approaching the youth with humbleness and ‘not thinking too much of yourself.’ Rather, letting yourself be open and approachable to the youth. Usman Sahib explained that the youth of today have been raised with modern smartphones and social media. He mentioned the fact that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates who are the founding fathers of technology today restricted their own children’s use of the products they provide for the masses. Usman Sahib went on to say that today’s issues ranged from social media, addiction, pornography, peer pressure to mental health. Today’s youth are very much aware of all of these things so one should not believe that young people are not involved or unaware of these things. He went on to say, “It is essential that you yourself cannot let yourself be compromised especially in regards to social media.” He then stated that the most vital thing is that one should be non-judgemental of the youth as they have previously been judged by others. He mentioned that whenever he took troubled youth to meet Huzoor abaabbreviation for "May Allah be his helper" they would state that Huzoor abaabbreviation for "May Allah be his helper" did not judge them in any way.
Usman Sahib further stated that he would often tell the Khuddam he met to find God before God found them. Usman Sahib then mentioned that mental health was increasingly a major issue, one that could not be ignored. People who lost their jobs or were struggling in school, such situations were affecting their mental health. Therefore, it cannot be stressed enough how important mental health is.
After mentioning some of the issues faced, Usman Sahib shared a faith inspiring incident that he was a witness to. Usman Sahib stated that a Khadim called him one day and said to him, “Murrabi Sahib I have decided to leave the Jamaat and join Christianity.” Usman Sahib thought that he had made his mind up already. As Ramadan was approaching, Usman Sahib suggested the Khadim to do itikaf, he said that he could use the spare bedroom in his own house if he wished. The Khadim agreed to this. During his itikaf, the Khadim had a dream in which he saw that those Christian friends of his who were preaching to him were calling him to a house that was on fire and through this dream Allah the Almighty brought him back to the Jamaat.
Usman Sahib added, “The point of this story is that it is your job to be available and be there for people. It is essential that you do what you preach and that people see that this person is always saying the right thing and doing the right thing, he’s not judging me so they will approach you sooner than later. Some will attach themselves with you very quickly and others will take their time, but in the end they approach you. Therefore, it is essential that you are available to people.” Usman Sahib also touched on the issue of the relationships between children and their parents.
The guest lecture was followed by some questions and answers from the students and was concluded with silent prayer.