10 Jun Pioneer Dinner honors Legacies of Faith in St. Louis
“I shall cause thy Message to reach the corners of the corners of the Earth”
Every Ahmadi around the world knows of this revelation to the Promised Messiah in the early days of his calling but few are so directly connected as the early American converts to Ahmadiyyat from the early 1920’s to 1950’s. This generation of Ahmadis laid the foundation of today’s Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA in small town and cities across the US far away from the remote birthplace of Ahmadiyyat.
Who were these men and women? What was their story? Where are the loved ones they left behind?
This year the Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya USA invested in the search to identify these individuals and reconnect their families to the their spiritual family of Ahmadiyyat.
On Saturday June 7th 2014 at Baitul Hafeez Mosque in St. Louis, with blessed prayers of Huzoor (aba) MKA USA sponsored its first Ahmadi Muslim Pioneer Dinner for 4 notable personalities who played major roles in establishing Ahmadiyyat in the St. Louis area. The goal of the dinner was to show surviving family members the great work their ancestor had done and let them know that Ahmadiyyat is part of their heritage and we as the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community are part of their spiritual family.
The 50+ guests enjoyed a brief presentation of Ahmadiyyat in America by Naib Sadr and Local Tabligh Secretary Dr. Basiyr Rodney, followed by a short speech by Naib Sadr Junayd Latif expressing our connection through Ahmadiyyat and inviting guests back to this spiritual home their ancestors had helped build.
Abu Bakr Ladd of St. Louis Jamaat talked specifically about the honorees and their achievements.
After each honoree was mentioned, the family of the the honoree was presented a plaque signed by MKA Sadr Dr. Bilal Rana in honor of the dedication and sacrifice of their ancestor for the cause of Islam.
The plaque will also serve as a reminder that these families are associated with Ahmadiyyat and within Ahmadiyyat there will always be a home.
Respected President St. Louis Dr. Naseer Ahmad closed the event by relating personal experiences with the honorees and mentioning other members who had not been mentioned on this occasion. He showed the deep respect these great individuals received by men and women of every background due only to their love of Islam and Ahmadiyyat.
The only surviving honoree Respected Munir Ahmad (88) of St. Louis offered timeless advice for the young men of Ahmadiyyat. He said “A khadim must always be ready to serve”. Though he had very little, He said, Allah always gave him enough to be able to serve others.Therefore, every khadim must use what he is given to help others.
A family member of another honoree, who had been restricted from practicing Islam after his grandfather had passed said ” I always knew I was supposed to be Muslim…My mother denied it of me but I never adopted any other faith because I knew Islam was right for me”
Though he and his siblings never accepted Ahmadiyyat his soul never seemed to want to connect with anything else.
Ahmadiyyat was imprinted on his heart and now 60+ years later he is still drawn to its beauty.
May Allah the most Merciful establish peace in their hearts and allow these family members to grow closer to Ahmadiyyat.
This dinner is the first of many set to launch at historic Jamaat CentersSee More Photos
Junayd Latif – Zion