Maleeha Mansur, Hayes
With the Muslim world in such division and disarray, some would say that much like how Pope Francis has embarked on a project of ‘modernising’ the Catholic Church, perhaps Islam too is in need of a reformation. Many Muslims would indeed be furious at such a proposal, after all, Islam claims to be the last and most perfect religion. We read in the Holy Qur’an “This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favour upon you and have chosen for you Islam as religion” (Chapter 5: Verse 3). How can it be then that the followers of such a perfect faith are in the condition that we find the Muslims in today?
Let it be clear that, the state of the Muslim world today and indeed the Islamic revival I am alluding to were both prophesied by the Holy Founder of Islam 1400 years ago. He made it clear that there would come a time when the condition of his own followers would be that of a divided and unfortunately, a spiritually hollow community. However, he further foretold that at that time God Almighty would safeguard His religion by means of sending a reformer to the world to revive the Islam to its full glory.
However, was there a reformer? And how did he ‘revive’ Islam?
Ahmadi Muslims believe that in fulfilment of the prophecy, 128 years from today, in the remote town of Qadian in India, a humble Muslim by the name of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was Divinely appointed as that very reformer. What was the reformation he brought? Was it the warfare and bloodshed we see today? Quite the contrary. His community, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, now established in over 200 countries, is the most peaceful Muslim community and the sole to be united under one leader.
The crux of its objectives, in line with the message the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) brought, is to fulfil the rights of God and the rights of Mankind. The community’s motto is simple “Love for all, Hatred for None”, manifested in its actions from building hospitals, schools and water wells in the developing world to running blood bank drives and poppy appeals in the developed world. When it comes universal brotherhood, the Promised Reformer, wrote as follows:
“My countrymen, a religion which does not inculcate universal compassion is no religion at all. Similarly, a human being without the faculty of compassion is no human at all. Our God has never discriminated between one people and another. This is illustrated by the fact that all the potentials and capabilities which have been granted to the Aryans have also been granted to the races inhabiting Arabia, Persia, Syria, China, Japan, Europe and America. The earth created by God provides a common floor for all people alike, and His sun and moon and many stars are a source of radiance and provide many other benefits to all alike. Likewise, all peoples benefit from the elements created by Him, such as air, water, fire and earth, and similarly from other products created by Him like grain, fruit, and healing agents, etc. These attributes of God teach us the lesson that we, too, should behave magnanimously and kindly towards our fellow human beings and should not be petty of heart and illiberal.” (Message of Peace, Page 6)
What is the glory of Islam that the Promised Reformer has restored? He has taught us to prostrate our heads at the threshold of the Almighty and has tied our hands to the service of humanity. This is true Islam. This is the Islam that wins the hearts and minds of the world. This is the perfected religion which was revealed to Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).