Fozia Mangla Ṣāḥiba, Wife of Saifullah Hanjra Ṣāḥib
I will never forget the morning of December 21, 2015, when I received a phone call, the likes of which I hope and pray no one ever receives. My beloved husband Saifullah Hanjra’s co-worker called to inform me that Saifullah has been injured at work, and that I should immediately reach the hospital.
At that moment, I had thought it was a minor injury and never could have imagined that my whole life was about to change. Within an hour, I was at a Hospital in Mississauga, and along with relatives tried to assess what had happened. We were told that Saifullah was working at a nearby construction site. He was on a ladder tightening industrial pipes, and lost balance and fell. As a result of the fall, he sustained a fractured skull, causing internal bleeding & inflammation. He was kept in intensive care for 3 days. By Allāh’s decree, he passed on December 25, 2015, at the age of 40 years. Innā lillāhī wa Innā Ilaihī Rājiʻūn!
Saifullah was born in November, 1975 in a small village of Samander, Jhang, located a few miles from Chiniot & Rabwah. His father, Mohammad Akram Hanjra Ṣāḥib, a School Master, was the first one in Samander to accept Aḥmadiyyat. During and after construction of Rabwah in 1950’s, Samander and Koat Qazian (a nearby Village) became the central hub for Aḥmadī Muslim scholars who were on their Tablīgh Missions. Many Tablīgh Jalsas and debates were held in Samander, and as a result many of Mohammad Akram Ṣāḥib’s cousins and extended family accepted Islām-Aḥmadiyyat . Mohammad Akram Ṣāḥib had four sons and four daughters. Saifullah was the youngest. His older brother is Mohammad Zafrullah Hanjra Ṣāḥib, Missionary Chino, California.
After our marriage, Saifullah moved from Pakistan to Canada in 2001, and we resided in Peace Village since then. We are blessed with four young children: Faran-Saifi, Saalik, Anoosh and Amsaal. The youngest is 3 years old and oldest 13 years.
Sometimes we take for granted those we love. And it is not until we lose them that we realize the sheer importance they played in our lives. As I am sitting down to write a few lines about my late husband, I am overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude for having had such a great life partner.
Allāh blessed us with a perfect family, Al-Ḥamdū lillāh! We had abundance of Allāh’s blessings in our humble abode and did not need to rely on worldly objects to attain happiness and contentment.
He loved our children very much. The first thing he wanted to do after returning from work was spend time with them. And no matter how tired he was, he would help me feed and bathe them. He would involve the kids in cleaning the house, and then take them out for fun. On the weekends, he would take them out to Tim Hortons for breakfast, and they would always look forward to going out with him.
Saifullah wanted one of his kids to become a Hāfiz Qur’ān. So after our oldest son (Faran) was born, we started thinking about sending him to Hifzul Qur’ān School in Rabwah, as the Hifz School in Canada had not yet started. Fortunately, by the time Faran had reached of age, the Hifzul Qur’ān School had started here in Canada, and by the Grace of Allāh, Saifullah registered him. Furthermore, Saifullah always helped Faran in the memorization and was very patient and supportive of him. By the Grace of Allāh, Faran is expected to complete his memorization within a month or so and will, Inshā’Allāh, become a Hāfiz Qur’ān.
Saifullah always emphasized the importance of Durūd Sharīf (invoking blessings upon the Holy Prophetsa) to our family. When he wasn’t reading books, he would keep reciting the Durūd Sharīf.
Saifullah used to work 10-12 hours a day, six days a week. But even after a long day, he was always very helpful and considerate. For instance, he would help me with household chores (i.e. cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.). He would clear my car of any snow before heading to work in the morning, so that I wouldn’t have difficultly taking the kids to school. If our kids cried in the middle of the night, sometimes he would wake up and take care of them, asking me to remain sleeping.
He was very satisfied with life. He wanted his family to enjoy life to its fullest. Whenever he was home, he would take the kids along when going to Baitul Islām Mosque for prayers. He would schedule a time for the kids to watch MTA, after which they would be given access to toys/gadgets for playtime. However, he always encouraged them to play sports. Both our sons, along with their father, were very fond of Soccer. He was very thankful to Allāh for the kids, and considered them gifts of Allāh.
My husband had an introverted personality. However, he had a great sense of humor, once you knew him. He was known to tell jokes, and occasionally pulled some light-hearted pranks on his friends. Even in these playful gestures, he retained a respectful boundary. Once, he noticed the keys of an Aḥmadī friend and coworker laying somewhere (they had apparently fallen out); he quietly snuck them in his pocket. Later, when his friend realized the keys were missing and started looking around, keenly observing him, Saifullah inquired as to what was wrong. Upon being told, Saifullah withdrew the keys and said, “O, you should have just asked me!’
No matter how busy, he never forgot his Creator. He was very keen on performing the daily prayers on their prescribed times. He would recite the Holy Qur’ān daily. After receiving his pay cheque from work, he would first ensure his Chanda was paid before thinking of any other expenditures.
His devotion to Jamā‘at work was extraordinary. In his local Halqa he was responsible for collecting Chanda at the Khuddām and Jamā‘at level. Every week, he would schedule a time to call people for pledges and donations, and would then go door-to-door for collections. For many years, his Halqa won awards for 100% collection. He also showed the same efforts for his duties in the Cleanliness Department during Jalsa Sālāna. He would work long hours before, during and after Jalsa.
Eventhough he was the youngest, he would look after his siblings as much as he could. He kept in regular contact with all his relatives. He would also help the less-fortunate in his hometown in Pakistan, whenever they sought his help.
One of his hobbies was reading books, and as such he was an avid reader. He usually read Rūḥānī Khazā’in and other Jamā‘at books. While waiting for his ride to go to work, he would utilize the time to read books of Aḥādīth, and even managed to memorize the entire Qaṣīda during this wait time. Furthermore, he would read different types of English works to improve English, and took classes to work on his English, despite the busy work schedule. Later on, he also went back to college to obtain certification in Industrial Plumbing.
He was very hardworking and self-disciplined. He had a very good daily routine and followed it dilgently.
One of his dreams was to meet Huzūr Anwaraa in London and visit Europe. Six months prior to his demise, by the Grace of God, he had the opportunity to have Mulaqāt (meeting) with beloved Huzuraa. In the same trip, he also visited relatives in Germany and Pakistan.
Only a few days before his demise, he jokingly remarked that he wasn’t ready to join Majlis Ansārullāh because he looked too young. Alas, he just turned 40, but had not yet, officially, joined Majlis Ansārullāh.
My husband lived an exemplary life. Indeed, he has left a big void in our family, which will never be filled. However, I am glad and thankful for all the unforgettable memories and impressions he has left upon myself, the kids and the rest of our family and friends. He will always remain close in our hearts. He is a beacon of light and demonstrated the importance of balance in life in the overall happiness of family; a balance that involves Jamāʻat, work and family. He lived his short life according to the teaching of Islām-Aḥmadiyyat. I feel very blessed and honored to have spent the last 15 years with such a good person.
Saifullah was a Mūsī. His funeral prayer (Janāza Hāzir) was held after Maghrib and ʻIshā’ prayers on December 27, 2015 led by Respected Amīr Ṣāḥib, Jamā‘at Aḥmadiyya Canada. His burial took place on December 28, 2015 at the Maple Cemetery in Maple, Ontario. Both events were attended by thousands of Aḥmadī friends and family.
Our Beloved Imām, Hazrat Mirzā Masroor Aḥmad, Khalīfatul-Masīḥ Vaa led his Janāza Ghā’ib on January 27, 2016 at Mahmood Hall, Baitul Fazl London, UK.
I will end this note with the prayers of Huzoor Anwaraa , which he wrote in a letter to Murrabī Zafrullah Ṣāḥib dated on January 9, 2016:
“I am very sorry to hear about the demise of your brother. Innā Lillāhī wa Innā Ilaihi Raji‘ūn. May Allāh keep late (Saifullah) in the shade of forgiveness and cover him with his blanket of mercy, and heighten his status. May Allāh give you (and your family) patience. And may he safeguard you against evils and keep you in His guards and safety. May Allāh be with you. May Allāh give you strength & capacity to bear this grave sorrow.”