A group photo of students and staff at the TI Ahmadiyya Secondary Commercial School, Ghana, 1977. Seated 8th from left, (Hazrat) Sahibzada Mirza Masrooor Ahmad Sahib

I was born in Ghana and I stayed there for 6 years. So one doesn’t recall much from the first 6 years of his life however I had the opportunity to travel back to Ghana and re-visit those places where we resided, especially towards the end of our stay – that part I do remember. I recall that we did not use to have electricity but we had a generator which would run on diesel and would be used in the evening for an hour. We would cook food etc. during that hour. I also recall the roof leaking of our home because it was rainy and tropical weather and due to this reason the roof would often leak with water – buckets would be placed underneath it and I remember playing in the sand – we had a small house. This is what my memory can recall. 

When Huzooraba went to Ghana he initially went to Salaga in the north – he remained there for some time. Then from there Huzooraba shifted to Sachara in the west. In the beginning the house that he stayed in was in a village. In those days there was a drought in Ghana as well as a famine and it was difficult to get hold of supplies, hence it was a great sacrifice of Huzooraba and my mother because supplies could not be obtained. But my mother tells me that Huzooraba generated his own resources. In fact, even in today’s time due to the conditions Huzooraba is telling us to keep a stock of supplies – it’s because Huzooraba has experienced such conditions first hand in Ghana because that time had extreme conditions in which supplies would run out. Sometimes there would be milk and other times there would not. But my mother narrates that due to the grace and blessings of Allah the Almighty milk and eggs were in constant supply. Huzooraba would grow vegetables and had a small poultry farm comprising of chickens. Hence, Huzooraba would generate things himself. First few weeks or a month [in such a place] is kind of a panicky situation as you are unaware as to where you can obtain what item especially for a household with children. However, after that initial time you become settled and you learn about getting certain resources from certain places. Then you can fulfil your needs from local resources. For instance, wheat was not available there, so Huzoorabanever complained about this but would make roti’s from local crops mixed with corn.  

Huzoor’saba home in Salaga

My mother narrates that Huzoorabawould also take care of guests with his limited resources and he would show hospitality to them– he would not exceed his resources to show off –  but the best of whatever food was available at home he would present to the guests. In those days’ water had to be brought from outside and cleaned and Huzoorabahas mentioned this many times. The toilets during those days were not flushing ones but required manual flushing by using a bucket of water. A particular individual would visit and he stayed for quite some time – after using the washroom he would not clean it. Huzoorabawould wake up in the middle of the night around 3:00 am and would attend to the cleanliness. Huzoorabashowed great patience in this regard and done this for quite a number of days. My mother would say that because he was to become Khalifah Allah the Almighty was training his patience. 

My mother narrates that there have been great blessings of Allah the Almighty upon us. Never did we run short of milk and eggs – these were the blessings during a time of famine and drought. Yes, there were challenges and a lack of resources but Huzoorabaand my mother narrates that they enjoyed their time there. In that environment if nothing else was available we would eat local food – but even in the most difficult times we never ran short of milk and eggs. In fact, Huzoorabahas narrated this incident that once my mother told Huzoorabathat there is no milk for the children in the morning – Huzoorabareplied ‘Do not worry, through Allah’s blessings it shall be arranged’. Around 100 miles away supplies had arrived to a Murrabi Sahib consisting of milk packs too. Murrabi Sahib thought that Huzoor’sabachildren are young and I should take some for them. He got some milk from there and took a bus and reached us and gave us the milk after travelling 7-8 hours – in those days’ transport was difficult too. So this is how Allah the Almighty supplied us with things. 

There was a lot of sacrifice and difficulty – but also a lot of God’s blessings.  If you undergo any difficult time with patience and thankfulness, then you receive blessings for it. However, if you complain and there is negativity then you are deprived of blessing. This has been the way God has dealt with Waqfeen. When they have been thankful and content in their resources God Almighty has continued to bless them. 

An African King with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh , (Hazrat) Sahibzada Mirza Masroor Ahmad can be seen standing behind Huzoorrh

I also remember the darkness of the night and the leaking roof and we would be eating together. After eating, Huzoorabawould often narrate some Islamic incidents to us. I remember Hazrat Bilal’sraincident and the way he sacrificed. Huzoorabawould tell us that look how much cruelty Hazrat Bilalrahad to face yet he still said God is one. Huzoorabawould tell us this so that from childhood we remain attached to the unity of God. He was establishing within us to always remain firm on the concept of Tawhid. 

I also remember in my school the teacher would get angry and tell me to say that Jesus is the son of God – I would reply by saying he is not the son of God. Out of anger she would sometimes even become abusive. I remember those words of that teacher telling me : ‘say Jesus is the Son of God!’ Then Huzoorabawent to my school and explained that we do not believe him to be God but the prophet of God. Then the teacher left us in peace.