Strength in the face of adversity: an alumni story

Despite being one of the largest world religions with 1.8 billion followers, Islam and its adherents are disunited. Conflict is a hallmark of the dealings between Islamic nations and fatwas of death are handed out to members of different sects copiously. It goes without saying, a reformation and a rejuvenation is needed to remind the Islamic world of the true teachings of Islam.

As per the abundant prophecies found in the Holy Quran and in the Ahadith, The Messiah and the Mahdi that was prophesied for the latter days, came to re-establish the true and original teachings of Islam. That promised messiah came in the person of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India in 1889. It was revealed to him by God the Almighty that, ‘I will cause thy message to reach the corners of the Earth’. Every single day that has passed since the inception of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community pays testimony to the truthfulness of that prophecy. And over a century after, even today, makes no exception.

The missionaries that the community trains are living examples of how the message of The Promised Messiah, which had humble beginnings in a village unbeknownst to the world, has made its way to the corners of the Earth.

One such example is that of Respected Usama Joya Sahib, a graduate of Jamia Ahmadiyya UK in 2015. When asked, he described himself as a quiet student who never really liked to come forward. He never liked public speaking and preferred to get through his 7 years of training at Jamia Ahmadiyya UK with his head down. However, little did he know, God was preparing him for a task that exceeded all of his expectations.

An unexpected posting

Upon his graduation in 2015, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V, the worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community posted Respected Usama Sahib to the French-Speaking Island of Mayotte. Despite his premonition that his posting would be somewhere closer to home, this news came as a big surprise to Usama Sahib. With news as big as this, it is human nature to feel scared and unsure especially with a task and responsibility that had never once crossed his mind.

Islam in Mayotte

Mayotte is a predominantly Islamic country where the presiding sect is Salafism. Prior to the arrival of the message of Ahmadiyyat, the children who would attend the Salafi schools and mosques were indoctrinated with a violent and strict view of Islam. Hence why, when one of the Salafi scholars of Mayotte, Imam Saindu Zaidu, heard of the message of Ahmadiyyat through the community’s international satellite TV channel called MTA, the backlash from the Salafis that ensued was violent and tumultuous. So much so, that his family home was completely destroyed, resulting in him having to house his family in a corrugated metal shack.

This paints a portrait of the landscape and atmosphere that was awaiting Respected Usama Sahib, who is a European of Pakistani descent, in the Island of Mayotte. The language was different, the food was alien and most ominously of all, the indoctrination of the Salafis against the minority sect of Ahmadiyyat was beginning to ride a violent tide.

The blessings of Khilafat

Amongst all these open-ended questions about what life would be like across the globe in a different country, tranquillity and support was sure to be found in the words of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba). Upon meeting with His Holiness, Usama Sahib was told that he could be like the famed Islamic military commander, Muhammad Bin Qasim, who brought Islam to Sindh at a very young age of around 16/17. His Holiness (aba) said to Usama Sahib that ‘at the young age of 25, you are not much different to Muhammad Bin Qasim’.

Usama Sahib described his feelings upon receiving such inspiring words from the Caliph. He said that it made him feel like a ‘Mujahid’ (someone who strives tirelessly to fulfil God’s work). However, despite the serenity he felt after this, he couldn’t help but feeling the weight of the responsibility become heavier. After all, the Caliph of the time had compared Usama Sahib to one of Islam’s most highly acclaimed commanders; now he had to live up to that accolade.

Duty calls during a family tragedy

Just before Usama Sahib had departed for his posting, his father was diagnosed with cancer. He obtained permission to stay a few weeks with his father whilst he was in hospital. Despite his father’s terminal illness, he advised his son to make haste with the instructions from the Caliph and depart to Mayotte to fulfil his responsibilities as a missionary. Without questioning, he made plans to depart and booked his ticket. Little did he know, that would be the last time he would see his beloved father.

The phone call came around a month after arriving in Mayotte, it was his mother who informed him of his father’s passing. Usama Sahib described the news to be like a mountainous weight suddenly resting on his shoulders. His family were insisting on him to obtain permission from His Holiness to return home for the funeral. However, he made a courageous decision. He decided that he will stay in Mayotte and fulfil his duties as a missionary, the very same duties his dying father had told him to set out to undertake without deliberation. That mountainous grief was once again dissipated by the blessings of Khilafat. After Usama Sahib had sent a letter requesting prayers for his family during this difficult time, he received a phone call from His Holiness. Throughout the call, His Holiness expressed his condolences and prayed for Usama Sahib’s family. Usama Sahib said that to this day, he has never felt an iota of regret for not attending his father’s funeral, purely due to the benevolence he had experienced from Khilafat as a result of his decision to stay where his duties were.

Picking up the reins of a new nation

In light of the struggles and sacrifices that Usama Sahib readily endured, the fruits of his efforts are visible for all to see and taste. Although the majority of the nation are already Muslim, Usama Sahib had to build an administration of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Mayotte from the ground up. He first began with Urdu and English classes for the locals, this was essentially the first Ahmadi run Islamic School in Mayotte which started in 2015/16 with around 12/13 students. Eventually, he turned these classes into question-and-answer sessions so that those subtle issues and problems that locals had with Islamic Jurisprudence could be addressed directly. Since 2015 there are now over 70 students that are studying in the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s Islamic school. Now there is a systematic syllabus that is taught to the different age groups at the school. Usama Sahib expressed his happiness that the Ahmadi Islamic school consists of 60% Ahmadi Children and 40% non-Ahmadi children. This shows that the non-Ahmadis are now realising the truth of Islam that is being taught in the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s Islamic school. This is testament to the truthfulness of Ahmadiyyat in Islam, that even the people who have been subject to propaganda aimed against Ahmadis from their Imams, are now sending their children to the same Islamic school.

By the Grace of God, the Almighty, now in Mayotte, due to the tremendous work and dedication by Usama Sahib, all levels of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s administration are now fully active. That includes Lajna Imaillah, Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya and Majlis Atfalul Ahmadiyya. They all have their separate auxiliary events and classes which is aiding the learning and devotion within the new generation of Mahorai Ahmadi Muslims.


The work that is now being carried out through the continuous passion and zeal of Respected Usama Sahib is much needed in the face of the growing promiscuity within the youngster of Mayotte. Due to the growing influence of social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, teenagers are being exposed and influenced by the negative influences of European online celebrities. But the work and growth of the auxiliary organisations of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Mayotte is a formidable force for good to battle these issues.

Jamia Ahmadiyya UK offers training to young individuals who wish to sacrifice their lives for the propagation of the true Islam to the corners of the Earth. The very motto of the Institute is taken from The Holy Quran, Az Zumar 39:70

وَأَشْرَقَتِ الْأَرْضُ بِنُورِ رَبِّهَا

“And the Earth will shine with the light of her Lord”

This is the ethos of this Divine institute and that is made clear through the leaps and bounds that we witness from its graduates, year in and year out, to shine the light of God’s message to all parts of the world. And as you have all read above, Respected Missionary Usama Joya Sahib is just one shining example from an ocean of many of the greatness of God’s favour upon His divine community.