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ZAFRULLAH DOMUN

a profile

 

FAMILY BACKGROUND

Zafrullah Domun, the third child of a family of seven children was born in Mauritius on 25 th August 1953 in the village of Saint Pierre, Mauritius. His father Adam Domun (1918-2006), a blacksmith/Cartwright by profession, was himself a born Ahmadi. In fact, his grand-father, Ramzan Domun, was among the earliest ahmadis of the island of Mauritius. He joined the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in 1917 only 2 years after the arrival of the first missionary, Sufi Ghulam Mohammad. When he presented himself for bai'at, Sufi sahib observed that his bai'at was already accepted through the blood that he had shed in the cause of Ahmadiyyat. Sufi Saheb was referring to an incident that took place at the Saint Pierre Sunni mosque in 1917, where opponents to the message of Ahmadiyyat resorted to violence and aggressed some pro-Ahmadis who had gathered there for a discussion. Ramzan Domun, who was present there, received a severe injury in the head and bled profusely.

At that time Ramzan Domun was about 43 years old, married since 18 years and the father of 3 daughters. It was after his bai'at that he was b less ed with two sons and another daughter: Adam, born on 9th December 1918, Abdul Rashid, born November 1920 and Raquiba born in 1923. All the children were groomed in Ahmadiyya Islamic culture and married inside the jamaat. Adam Domun got married in 1948 to Nusrat Ramjaun, the daughter of Mahmood Ramjaun, a religious learned and respected Muslim of Montagne Blanche, known to have been a recipient of revelations. He joined the Ahmadiyya jamaat around 1933.

 

HOME EDUCATION

When Zafrullah was born, his maternal grandfather was delighted to see his first grandson. According to Zafrullah's mother, he used to ask her to leave Zafrullah in his custody for his upbringing and teaching. But that was not necessary, as the daughter, having well retained the teachings of her father, disciplined her home with the love of Allah, His Prophet saw and His Holy Book. She endeavoured to sustain a spiritual atmosphere at home, favouring religious knowledge over everything else. It was due to her influence that Zafrullah would at an early age memorize the short chapters of the Holy Book and develop love for Allah and for Prayers.


ACADEMIC & RELIGIOUS LEARNING

In 1956 the family left Saint-Pierre for Trèfles, in Rose-Hill. It was there that Zafrullah would receive all his academic and religious education. After primary school he went to The New Eton College, The T.I. Ahmadiyya College where he finished his Cambridge School Certificate. He then went to the Royal College in Curepipe to finish his Higher School Certificate.  

In the early nineteen sixties Zafrullah, his brothers Siddique and Mobasshir and his sister Salim a would walk daily to the Dar-us-Salaam Mosque, the island's central Ahmadiyya mosque, almost a mile away in Rose-Hill, for religious education. This closeness with the Dar-us-salaam mosque, which remained their major cultural centre, helped them to develop a special relationship with Islam and Ahmadiyyat. Being of an extrovert nature, Zafrullah could easily communicate and thus won the respect and friendship of many, young and old alike. In his early twenties Zafrullah used to go the mosque on bicycle for almost all his prayers, especially the Esha prayer, when he would remain in the mosque long after to be the last person to leave the mosque.


PARTICIPATION IN JAMAAT'S ACTIVITIES

From an early age he started delivering speeches promoting the teachings of the Promised Messiah as and the caliphs (r.a.), inculcating in members the love for a true spiritual life. He would soon be elected Qaed Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya for Rose-Hill, President of the Rose-Hill Jamaat, and member of the national Majlis-e-amla until he became national Amir in 1988 at the age of only thirty five, an office which he held until 1998. During his tenure of office, be it qaed/president or amir, he was known to show a strong inclination in favor of religious practices against worldly engagements. Several times he would clash with young members concerning carom or domino tournaments. His argument would be the verse of chapter 23 of the Holy Quran where the believer is required to avoid everything useless (laghav) and instead be constant in his salaat.


WORKING LIFE

Zafrullah Domun had no opportunity to go to university after completing his Higher School Certificate in 1973. Being the eldest son of a grown-up family with only one bread-winner, Zafrullah accepted the recommendation of one of his teachers and started working as a Reservations Clerk in the aviation department of Rogers and Co Ltd. Thus would begin a successful career that would take him through supervisor and manager to general manager and even director of some companies when he retired after 30 years to devote his time to the mission that he had received from Allah.


TRAVELS OVERSEAS

Working in an aviation company, he got the opportunity to travel a lot and visit many countries. This helped to broaden his mental horizons. His first trip abroad was in 1975 to London for training purposes, but he made it a duty to visit the London Mosque, where he met the missionary-in-charge and other influential members, namely Sir Zafrullah Khan and even Hazrat Khalifatul Masih III who was on a visit there. His other trips abroad were in 1981 to Qadian, in 1982 to attend the first Jalsa Salana of the 4th caliph in Rabwah. In 1988 he was so overwhelmed on hearing the death of Zia-ul-Haq as a result of the prayer-duel challenge that he made a round trip journey to England in seventy hours to congratulate the caliph. In 1989 he attended the centenary Jalsa Salana in London and in the International Majlis Shoora that followed he was one of the two presidents of the sub-committees. In 1998, he went to attend the Jalsa Salana in Washington DC where the 4th caliph was present. This coincided with the end of his office as amir. When he came back, he left for Rabwah on vacation. All this shows his great devotion and attachment to the Community. In the course of his travels, he has also visited Lesotho, Mozambique, Reunion Island, France, Monaco, Belgium, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Africa.


EARLY SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES

Zafrullah has from an early age been a seeker of the Absolute Truth: the quest for the ultimate knowledge of the Supreme Creator, proofs of His existence, how He is, how to reach Him, how to pray. Today, he explains having received guidance through dreams and revelations at an early age. In 1975, once in his sleep, he saw a piece of paper falling from heaven. When he opened it he saw the following words written on it: Fa'bo doullaha moukhleseena lahoud deen which means: worship Allah being sincere in obedience to Him. At another time he saw that together with the Ahmadiyya caliphs and other prophets his picture was in the Holy Quran. He also received the following as a revelation: An'ta Sheikhul Masihoul lazi Laa yozaao waqtohou. This means you are the great Messiah whose time is not to be wasted. Knowing quite well that this revelation was addressed to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), he concluded that, as a follower of the latter, he should not waste his time.

At another time he saw in a dream that he was looking in a cupboard in the library of the Ahmadiyyya Mosque at Rose Hill. He saw a middle-sized bottle of perfume on which there was an effigy of Hazrat Mirza Bashir uddin Mahmood Ahmad (r.a.), the second caliph in Jamaat Ahmadiyya. He took plenty of that perfume in the cup of his hand and rubbed his whole body with it. Later on, he understood that he would partake in the knowledge that was vouchsafed to the second caliph through reading his books and speeches. In the late nineteen seventies he saw Hazrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad (r.a.), the third caliph in a dream and the latter told him: Laa ilaha illallah is the cornerstone of all philosophy.


LEARNING – A NEVER-ENDING QUEST

The quest for learning that animated his life has remained with him even till now. Apart from religion he was also very keen in studying world economics and politics and acquiring general knowledge. As soon as he started earning a salary he subscribed to Newsweek and the Government's daily Reuters and Agence France Presse news bulletin and spared no opportunity of buying magazines like Readers Digest, “Science et vie” and National Geographic and books on various subjects. All this helped him as well as his family members and his friends to acquire general knowledge. When he went to England for the first time in 1975, he came back with a luggage full of books. He had the opportunity of purchasing rare books unavailable at that time in Mauritius such as the Masnavi of Mawlana Rumi which he knew had been for a long time a favorite of Hazrat Masih Maoud (as). Over the years he would acquire a large collection which now forms a rich personal library.

From the Jamaat's library in Rose Hill, he would read almost all the copies of Review of Religions, Al Fazl, Ansarullah, Tashheezul Azan, Misbah, Khalid that would come in his hands. In addition he read the sermons Khutbate Nur, Khutbaate Mahmood Vol 1, 2 and 3. Later on he would also read the early speeches of Hazrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad which have been published from time to time separately. In the early 1980s he had the rare opportunity of reading the first volume of the book Hayaate Qudsi by Molvi Rajeqi sahib (r.a.), which he considered a rare jewel. For years he had to wait before he could read the whole book. But to him it was a spiritual delight of a rare kind.

In those early days he was not very conversant with the Urdu language, but he had an urge to read the writings of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (a.s.). He took the pains of learning by himself and spared no occasion of being coached by elders. One such person was his maternal uncle Mobarack Ramjaun, a teacher by profession, who had been his tuition teacher from primary to secondary education. He encouraged Zafrullah to persevere in reading jamaat's Urdu literature such as the daily Al-Fazl of Rabwah, and never to abandon. Progress would be seen little by little. Zafrullah often says that, in those days he used to open his dictionary several times in order to understand a paragraph.

In the same way he spared no pains to acquire a good grounding in Arabic in order to understand Allah's Words from His Holy Book. Even at present he is trying to learn Persian so that he may be able to appreciate the beautiful couplets that are written in that language.


IMPARTING KNOWLEDGE

His acquaintance with Urdu made him realize the high value of the caliph's Friday sermons for the moral uplift of the community. He made a major contribution in having these sermons translated and circulated and delivered in the local language in every mosque on the island on Fridays. He saw to it that whatever he read in Urdu could be shared with the members of the Jamaat on the occasion of Jalsas or ijtemas. It was thus that the members of the Jamaat were able to acquaint themselves with some rare gems like Irfaan-e-Ilahi, Zikr-e - Ilahi, Malaekatoullah, Taqdir-e-Ilahi and many more. He personally delivered some of these speeches and the others were delivered by other members of the Jamaat who were conversant with the Urdu language.


BIRTH OF MUSLIM TELEVISION AHMADIYYA

It was during his amaarat that the seed for the birth of Muslim Televison Ahmadiyya was laid. It so happened that in 1989, on the occasion of the centenary jalsa, at the suggestion of Mr Nasser Sookia, an active local member, the first international audio broadcast via telephone of the caliph's Friday sermon was successfully organized. Eventually, as Amir, Zafrullah Domun would take steps to organize this broadcast every Friday depending upon the availability of funds. It was from this event that the idea of MTA emerged. And to have this engraved in history, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad (r.a.) chose to launch the 7 days 24 hours service of MTA from Mauritius on 7th January 1993. Consequently live Friday sermon of the caliph which fulfills a prophecy of the second caliph, Mirza Mahmood Ahmad (r.a.), became a reality in Ahmadis' homes around the world.

During his tenure of office as Amir he strived hard to uplift the organisational function of the Majlis-e-Amla and the National Majlis-e-Shoora and reinforce the function of the Amir and make it earn its due respect. But he was never attached to the position. When in June 1998, he learnt in the U.S.A. that he was no longer the Amir of the Jamaat in Mauritius, he immediately phoned his brothers and told them to go and meet the new Amir and assure him of their full support. Moreover in the U.S., he bought a gift for the new Amir, a ring on which was inscribed alaisallaho be kaafiin abdohu. He requested the caliph to pray for blessings for this gift. The caliph, appreciating the gesture, took the ring and rubbed it with the one on his finger, the one inherited from Hazrat Massih Maood (as), prayed and gave it back to him. Zafrullah Domun presented the ring to the new Amir during a function at Dar-us-Salam mosque immediately upon his return to Mauritius.


NEW FAVOURS AND RESPONSIBILITIES FROM ALLAH

At that time Zafrullah Domun was nearing 45. He might have thought he now could devote more time to his family and his profession. But Allah had other plans for him. Two years later would begin what has been referred to as the Divine Manifestation and which has brought about the creation of Jamaat Ahmadiyya Al Muslimeen.

Since 1982 Zafrullah Domun is married to Rooksana Ramjaun, the daughter of Abdool Wahed Ramjaun and Masooda Bhunnoo. He has one son and two daughters.