The True Khalifa of Islam

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By Navida Sayed

Khilafat is a very important concept in Islam which safeguards permanence of religion. Khilafat, which is also referred to as Caliphate in the western world, began in Islam with the four consecutive Rightly-Guided Khalifas who led Muslims after the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be on him) death. However Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) prophesied about Khilafat during his lifetime. He said:

“Prophethood shall remain among you as long as Allah shall will. He will bring about its end and follow it with Khilafat on the precepts of Prophethood for as long as He shall will and then bring about its end. A tyrannical monarchy will then follow and will remain as long as Allah shall will and then come to an end. There will follow thereafter-monarchical despotism to last as long as Allah shall will and come to an end upon His decree. There will then emerge Khilafat on precept of Prophethood.” The Holy Prophet said no more
(Masnad Ahmad)

 In the current times, in search of a meaningful and authoritative leadership with a vast desire for caliphate some Muslims around the world have fallen prey to and are being exploited by extremists. The media has provided huge coverage to the self-constructed IS caliphate in the Middle East since its inception, resulting in an extreme misrepresentation of Islam by the political and militant Caliph of IS directing Muslims to fight and wipe out the non-Muslim world.

The IS caliphate is an ideology borne of geo-political and economic reasons and extremely misconstrued distortions of Islam to satiate their own desire. The leader of the IS has misled and lured many Muslims merely by his own self-proclaimed title as a Caliph. Many misguided Muslims especially disaffected youth believe that the IS leader is a true caliph enabling IS to successfully recruit Jihadi brides and suicide bombers.

There is absolutely nothing Islamic about the leader of IS or his followers, they follow their own path of exploitation, bloodshed, brutality and murder. They are vagabonds in the guise of Muslims without true Islamic or Godly values. The crimes of IS and their brainwashing of suicide bombers clearly reflects how IS followers have forgotten their Creator and become steeped into barbarity in their ruthlessness.

The entire world is in a state of turmoil, and Muslims in particular are facing astounding difficulties, both as a result of their own wrong actions and as a result of their own failure to accept the signs and guidance contained in the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith. Consequently, Muslims are in a state of loss and endeavour to find peace in the world. The Muslim Ummah desperately yearns for unity, and true Khilafat is the quintessence of this unity.

The Khalifa of Islam, the spiritual leader of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, is the only solution for the problems that the Muslim world faces. The Holy Quran tells us,

‘Allah has promised to those among you who believe and do good works that He will surely make them Successors in the earth, as He made Successors from among those who were before them; and that He will surely establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them; and that He will surely give them in exchange security and peace after their fear: They will worship Me, and they will not associate anything with Me. Then whoso is ungrateful after that, they will be the rebellious.’
[24:56]

Khilafat is a divine blessing and without it there can be no solidarity, cohesion and unity amongst Muslims. No one other than Allah can guide individuals towards true Khilafat

Today the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the only Muslim community in the world that is united at the hand of one leader, who is known as Khalifatul Masih. He is the successor to the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (peace be upon him). After his demise in 1908, critics awaited the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to fall apart bringing an end to Islam’s revival. However, God so decreed that the institution of Khilafat was re-established in Islam on 27 May 1908. Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be on him) prophecy was fulfilled, and the rest as they say is history; community of Muslims who accepted the Khalifa has grown remarkably since.

The Ahmadiyya Community stands witness to the fact that when a Khalifa passes away, his death brings a great shock to the Community of believers. Everyone becomes fearful and apprehensive and turns to Allah fervently praying. In this process of repentance of sins through prayers every individual seeks Allah’s guidance and prays for a rightly-guided Khalifa who is elected by the community.

The Ahmadiyya Khilafat is spiritual and religious in nature primarily focusing on moral and spiritual matters but also giving words of advice to worldwide political leaders through correspondence to uphold justice and social harmony. The Ahmadiyya Khilafat holds the motto of ‘Love for all, hatred for none.’ Following the teachings of its founder, it believes and practices the Jihad of the pen. It categorically condemns terrorism, and rejects violent extremism. It teaches loyalty to one’s nation and obedience to the law of the land where one resides.

The fifth and current Khalifa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (may Allah be his Helper) serves as the worldwide spiritual and administrative head of millions of Ahmadi Muslims spread across 206 countries. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (may Allah be his Helper) is a world leader like no other, connected with members of his community through written correspondence as well as meeting many of them on a daily basis. Every Friday he gives a Friday sermon simultaneously translated in up to six languages addressing Ahmadi Muslims worldwide.

The Ahmadi Muslim community feels a sense of security and peace under the rightly- guided Khalifa to such an extent, that parents of Ahmadi children have been dedicating their child for the service of Islam before their birth in a scheme called Waqfe Nau. The Ahmadi Waqfe Nau grow up and renew their pledge for the sake of faith at the age of 18. Today there are over 68000 Waqfe Nau children around the world. Most of the boys are young missionaries but overall both the girls and boys excel in academic qualifications and careers in medicine, engineering, science, languages, teaching and many other careers. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is very aware that the only way to true salvation is by worshiping One God and serving humanity and working towards peace. Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (may Allah be his Helper) is the world’s leading Muslim figure promoting peace and inter-religious harmony and the true Khalifa of Islam.

 

 

 

Empowerment of Women in the 1920s: The story of Lajna Ima’illah

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Sameen R. Chaudhary, London

It is generally acknowledged that the role of women changed during and after the World Wars. With the men away on the battle field, it was up to women to hold down the fort at home, taking on war jobs that went beyond their traditional roles. Mechanics, factory workers, farmers; jobs that before were ‘men’s jobs’ were now being done by women. Posters of strong women and propaganda challenged the stereotypes and encouraged women to work, because the nation demanded, nay, depended on it for their survival. It was perhaps intended to be a temporary break from the norm until the men returned. Once begun however, many of these women found it difficult to go back to their roles pre-war. They had come to a realisation almost by default; that they were capable and intelligent enough to do a man’s job and for them that meant that they were now equal.

There was a quiet revolution for women happening elsewhere in the world around the same time, 1922 to be precise. There were no posters, and no propaganda. And women were not being told to leave their traditional roles temporarily. These women had already been given an equal status by their faith, Islam, more than a thousand years earlier, but they did not have to act like men to prove it. This revolution recognised the uniqueness of women and the contributions they could make to further a nation, as women in their own right. This revolution occurred in India. Here, even though approximately 1.3 million men had gone off the fight the war, still women did not have to take on the role of men. Instead they were taught how to flourish in their own role as women. When a woman is allowed to achieve everything on par with men, but in her own way, without having to prove that she can act like a man- that is not just equality. It is freedom. Freedom to be a woman, and freedom to be equal in the true sense of the word.

These women I speak of, Ahmadi Muslim women were relatively financially poor but rich with enthusiasm and love for Islam and even managed to wholly finance the first mosque in London while living in 1920s India. The Second Khalifa, the spiritual head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community set up an auxiliary women’s organisation called Lajna Ima’illah in December 1922. Its aim was self-education and training of women, both in spiritual and secular terms. For example, as is still the norm in rural parts of the East, women learn crafts such as sewing and embroidery. One of the first departments created within this auxiliary was that of Industry and Handicraft, after some ladies used their skills to make artefacts and hold an exhibition where they were sold. The proceeds went to good causes. And thus this department was born with its roots in the empowerment of women by encouraging them to learn and use their skills to eradicate unemployment.

In short, it allows them to pursue means by which they can improve their skills and earn their own money-an important feature for some women when claiming their independence. But crucially, it allows them to do it in a way that does not compromise any other aspect of themselves. So often women who have multiple roles face the harsh reality of having to put one role above the other: A working mother may feel the guilt of leaving her child whilst she goes to work sometimes out of financial necessity and sometimes out of having to make a financial contribution to her household as this is what her ‘equality’ entails. The Second Khalifa of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, with his amazing foresight, recognised the importance of making women independent and eradicating unemployment as a means to empower them, rather than empowering women because they needed to fill the shoes of men. Even today in many cultures financially independent women are still feared. But he encouraged them at a time when working women were scarce amongst those that were financially supported, by giving them a higher cause: to earn their own money and spend out of it for the cause of faith thereby raising their spiritual status as well.

For over 10 years now I have watched my mother serve in the capacity of Secretary for Industry and Handicraft for Lajna Ima’illah UK; watched all kinds of women work hard, to learn new skills, to set up their own businesses sometimes in the face of adversity. I have seen women take on their roles as women and entrepreneurs with dignity and grace, and above all, creating a work life balance where their womanhood is not compromised. Skills such as cooking, sewing and handicrafts may seem old fashioned and out dated. But only a look at some of the most popular TV programmes currently suggest otherwise. It is not only these skills that can be developed, but whatever you wish. The idea is to help all those who have not pursued other career routes to work for themselves, giving them true independence and the ability to answer to no one but themselves and God. Women have organised bazaars with a footfall of over 3,000 women, providing a platform for many business women to sell and advertise their products and services. They work in temporary industrial sized kitchens in the outdoors, and feed over 10,000 women every day for three days every year at the Annual Convention for the Ahmadiyya Community. It is not pretty or dainty work, and it is certainly not for the weak. The strength, stamina and resolve of such women is remarkable. And they are not alone. A huge voluntary task force of women work long hours providing security, shelter, food, and comfort of every kind to their guests during this time.

As India celebrates its all women flights, Lajna Ima’illah has been running its own organisation, own events and own programme of education and reform for all women and girls for decades upon decades. Indeed, it is now an organisation global in scope, working in over two hundred countries around the world. Perhaps here in the UK in the future Lajna Ima’illah can reach the level of holding exhibitions such as those in Earl’s Court and the Excel Centre, mirroring the humble efforts of those first pioneers back in the 1920s.

Service To Humanity

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Luton & Bedford Poppy Appeal Fundraising 2016

by Mrs Hamida Iqbal, Luton, UK

God says in the Holy Qur’an, chapter 2, verse 198.

“.. And whatever good you do, Allah knows it…”

And in a tradition of the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him,

Abu Musa Ash’ari relates that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Charity is incumbent upon every Muslim. He was asked: If a person should have nothing?’ He answered: He should work with his hands to his own benefit and also give alms. If he is not able to work?   He should help a needy helpless one.   If he cannot do even that? He should urge others to goodness. If he lacks that also? He should restrain himself from doing evil. That too is charity.”
(Riyadh As-Salihin, Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, p.36)

Below are some words quoted from the writings of the Promised Messiah (peace be on him) as related by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V at the International Conference of the charity Humanity First on Saturday, 24th January 2015 at Baitul Futuh Mosque.

“There are only two complete parts of faith. One is to love God and the other is to love mankind to such a degree that you consider the suffering and the trials and tribulations of others as your own and that you pray for them.”

“Ahmadi Muslims bow down in sincere prayer praying that Allah enables them to serve with a true spirit of sympathy, compassion and love for mankind. They seek Allah’s Help to develop a truly selfless spirit whereby they consider the pain and desperation of others as their own pain and desperation. They pray that they are able to remove the tribulations and suffering of other people.”

At another occasion he said:

“To truly love God and Islam requires a person to love his nation. It is clear, therefore, that there can be no conflict of interest between a person’s love for God, and love for his country.”
(Speech delivered at the Military Headquarters in Koblenz, Germany, 30th May 2012)

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V’s guidance resonates the hearts of millions of Ahmadi Muslims the world over.   And for this reason, whenever there is a need to raise money at charity events, the Lajna (Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association) from Luton and Bedford, like any other Lajna members elsewhere, are always ready to sacrifice their time and money to put into practice the advice of our beloved Caliph and they do this with much dedication and passion.

So, this year when local president, Mrs Huma Qadeer announced that she would like to once again help collect money for the Royal British Legion’s (RBL) Poppy Appeal, many came forward to volunteer.

From 31st October to 10th November 2016 smiling volunteers took turns to sell poppies throughout the day at supermarkets in Luton and Bedford. Included were poppies hand knitted by Lajna which later became a sell-out item. Many customers were amazed to see hijab-wearing Muslim ladies manning the poppy stalls. When asked, Mrs Qadeer explained the importance of being an integral part of society how their involvement highlighted the desire for peace and unity between all peoples, nations and religions.

Indeed, we take our guidance from Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V who has previously commented on the Poppy Appeal:

“Muslims are obliged to be loyal to the country in which they live. Honouring those who fought to defend and safeguard one’s country is an important principle of Islam and in fact is an important principle of peace – especially when it is carried out with a sincere heart and for the sake of winning God’s pleasure.”

Mr Colin Woods, who has been a member of the Royal British Legion (RBL) for 19 years, said:

“I am truly moved by the commitment shown by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women Association in helping to sell poppies and have received excellent feedback from members of the public who have nothing but praise for the efforts of the ladies, some even said that they never thought they would ever see Muslims selling poppies. Unfortunately there is so much bad press about Muslims today, but I have been enlightened and proud to have met and worked alongside the ladies of the AMWA and have a genuine respect for the work they do.”

As a mark of gratitude, Mr Woods extended an invitation to Mrs Qadeer to lay a wreath of poppies on Remembrance Sunday, 13th November in Luton.

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Speaking after the service, Mrs Huma Qadeer said Remembrance Sunday gives us the opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to the many brave men and women of the armed services who had sacrificed their lives to defend and safeguard our country and it also gives us the opportunity to build relationships within our diverse community to promote peace, tolerance and humanitarian support.

Later on the same day Mrs Qadeer was interviewed by Ms Yasmeen Khan of BBC Three Counties Radio.   Ms Khan congratulated her for the huge amount of money collected. When asked what reactions she received while out and about. Mrs Qadeer responded by saying, the public had been absolutely fantastic. They had been so generous in giving and they really appreciated that Muslim women were here to help in such a wonderful cause.

The hard work for the poppy appeal fund raising paid off with Luton and Bedford lajna raising over £11,500 which surpassed previous collections.

We are blessed as members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community that we have our beloved Khalifa to guide us – in this case, towards fulfilling the ninth condition of Bai’at (pledge as an Ahmadi):

‘That he/she shall keep himself/herself occupied in the service of God’s creatures for His sake only and shall endeavour towards the beneficence of mankind to the best of his/her God-given abilities and powers.’

I end with these words of The Promised Messiah (peace be on him) and prayers that we are able to live up to them.

“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…”
(Paigham e Sulh, Message of Peace.)

The Media Virus Against Islam

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By Navida Sayed, London, UK

News about virus outbreaks resulting in major global pandemics always raises alarm and concern, Zika being the latest to hit the headlines. The current global IT and digital networks connecting the cyber world are also witnessing the rise of malicious software and Internet security threats. Other than biological and technical viruses, which most people are aware of, something else is lurking around. The latest newly emerging uncontained virus, without immunity or a cure in sight, is highly contagious and rapidly spiralling out of control contaminating vast parts of the population around the world – the media virus against Islam.

In the recent months, the world has witnessed a wave of atrocious, barbaric, terrorist attacks carried out wrongly in the name of Islam. Leading media outlets are cognizant of the fact that terrorists have nothing to do with Islam, yet their skewed negative media coverage against Islam acts as a powerful catalyst in promoting fear and feuds. The degree of antagonism and hatred against Muslims, as a result of bad press, has arguably reached new heights and peak negativity.

During any catastrophic incident, facts are often obscured by perceptions, but the assumptions and connections with Islam are distorted and blown out of proportion. The words Islamism, ‘Islamists, and Islamic terrorism, instantly diffuse via media outlets sparking anger, grief, fear, anxiety and hatred. These terms are innovations of the mass media and not mentioned anywhere in the Quran. The religion is Islam, and the followers are Muslims.

The impact of the media virus against Islam is affecting people from all walks of life to the extent where individuals instantly react without a pause for thought. Social media such as Twitter and Facebook is laden with hundreds of concoctions of racist, abusive, derogatory comments against Islam. The negative and offensive comments are shared across the board by enraged individuals who believe they have mastered the teachings of Islam; clearly and evidently they don’t know the first thing about Islam, and they are driven purely by negative media content about Islam.

The media virus feeds off the extremists by giving them the platform they are pining for; at the same time in the rat race to sell their story, the media create chaos and panic in society often resulting in knee jerk reactions by many individuals.   The most detrimental impact of the media virus has affected the most vulnerable people in society, and the world is witness to the fact that nearly all of the terrorist attacks committed in recent times were by individuals who hardly practiced Islam. The perpetrators of the attacks were persons going through some life crisis and angered by their situation, by individuals under the influence of drugs and alcohol or by people with a history of mental illness.

Sensationalism in journalism has always existed, but the irony is that now almost every media outlet reporter thinks he or she is an expert on Islam, featuring sensationalistic headlines and articles randomly citing cherry-picked verses or writing about topics without any knowledge or insight. Such reporters are not an authority on Islam but claim undisputedly accurate opinions about the faith. They recklessly report inaccurate facts and are responsible for inciting and instigating hate crimes, only to attract readers and increase sales.

The way to defeat the so-called Jihadists is not to fall prey to their motives for creating disorder and chaos in the world which is what we are witnessing as a story in the media is picked up by multiple sources, and the hatred amplifies across the board. The media virus propaganda and sensationalized negative accounts about Islam presented as truth and breaking news will damage society by creating great divisions and barriers.

Journalists need to take responsibility in combating extremism, not add fuel to the fire and cause unrest in society. They should be unbiased in an attempt to bring about incremental positive change to make the world a better place. Journalists and reporters have a duty towards the information they present to the public bearing their well being in mind.

Both biological viruses and cyber attacks on a global or minute scale are dealt with extreme efficiency and speed. Likewise, the media virus against Islam is also in need of a cure and immunity to contain it quickly so that the media world can focus on dealing with the real deadly threat of extremism in the world. The best way to defeat extremism is to stand united against it.

The worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, said:

 “The early Muslims were only ever permitted to raise their swords in a defensive war when the opponents themselves physically raised their swords in an effort to eliminate Islam. However, in this era religious wars are not being physically fought against Islam but rather the media is being used to attack Islam and to misrepresent it. Thus, we must ourselves use the media to counter these attacks and inform the world of the true teachings of Islam.”

Regardless of the surge of hatred against Islam in the recent days, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association continues with life and preparations for the community’s 50th Annual celebration of Jalsa Salana UK. An annual international conference of a community, which encourages interfaith dialogue, advocates peace, tolerance, love and understanding among followers of different faiths. Our community firmly believes in and acts upon the Qur’anic teaching: “There is no compulsion in religion.” (2:257) We firmly reject violence and terrorism. Thousands are expected to attend the three-day International event in the suburbs of Hampshire. Our annual convention is not only a platform against extremism based on a jihad of love and not a jihad of the sword. It is a deeply spiritual and inspirational experience in an atmosphere, which radiates the tranquillity of love and message of peace.

The Jalsa Experience

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 by Aalia Qureshi, London, UK

Thoughts of a Teenager

Once again, the dazzling, long-awaited season of summer among its incessant delights has at long last reached us.  Another year has passed us by in the blink of an  eye.  And this can mean only one thing for the Ahmadiyya Community; the blessed Jalsa Salana – Annual Convention – is finally upon us! The endless wait has finally come to an end! Along with the anticipation for the coming 3-day spiritual festivities comes an onslaught of charming childhood memories: from losing my family in the seemingly infinite, vast marquees to running gleefully on the enormous, green fields with friends and family.

The purposes for which our beloved Promised Messiah (as) asked us to hold an annual Jalsa Salana are indeed plentiful: they consist of social interaction – building ties of kinship and friendship with our fellow Ahmadi sisters and brothers; spiritual improvement – to better ourselves in terms of our closeness to God and dedication to our faith as well as intellect – to advance our knowledge of the morals, principles and reasoning surrounding not only Ahmadiyyat but the very world itself such as politics, environmental issues to name but a few.

Personally, my favourite part of this annual convention is the Pledge of Allegiance held at the very hand of our beloved Khalifa Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, on the third and final day. The sensation of being connected to the entire Community, hand to shoulder, is like no other; utterly extraordinary.   Moreover, the chorus of disparate languages unanimously translating our beloved Khalifa’s sacred words merges to form an otherworldly harmony and emanates an overwhelming sense of unity and devotion to Allah. Disparities overlooked, ethnicities disregarded, and hope of past sins forgiven we are all stripped down to our cores by his mere words: Ahmadi Muslims with one purpose – to worship Allah and lend a hand out to those in need of it for as long as we are on this Earth. The subsequent prostration following our renewal of faith is one of complete peace and harmony accompanied by a sense of rejuvenation and replenishment: a fresh start, a new beginning.

The notion that this entire convention is constructed with just the voluntary donations of us Ahmadis is absolutely astounding in view of the vast quantities of food prepared, the enormous amounts of provisions provided in addition to the intense manual labour put in for the ultimate Jalsa experience we all assuredly will receive. Even more so, the fact that our Jalsa Salanas are put together wholly by volunteers from the Community is outright phenomenal. Despite this, it would be naïve to lose sight of the fact that none of this would be feasible without the Grace and Help of Allah.   We should all be indebted to Allah for bequeathing upon us with all His Grace and Wisdom the power and strength to organise and carry out this wonderful Annual Convention.

An Eid Message to the Muslim World

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By Navida Sayed

Year after year the celebration of Eid ul-Fitr marks the first day of the rest of the year ahead to put into practice the goodwill, piety and self-discipline acquired during Ramadhan. Eid is a joyous day celebrated by young and old dressed in new clothes. People from all diversities flock together wealthy and poor, to stand side-by-side, shoulder to shoulder and offer congregational Eid ul Fitr Prayer promoting universal brotherhood. They greet and embrace each other in a spirit of peace; a joyous celebration at the end of Ramadan, a sacred month providing the training opportunities of spiritual cleansing, increased devotional worship, self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, generosity, and charity.

Sadly this Ramadhan we have witnessed a dismal wave of barbaric terrorist attacks in Orlando, Istanbul, Dhaka, and Baghdad and most recently Islam’s holy sacred site Medina. Killing innocent civilians on a holy day and daring to carry out a terrorist attack in a holy city in the close vicinity of our beloved Holy Prophet’s (peace be upon him) burial place, substantiates more than ever the fact that the terrorists have no regard for Islam whatsoever.

Regardless of the fact that the Muslim world has united to condemn the attack at one of Islam’s holiest sites, the biggest problem is that there is no unity or guidance amongst the Muslims. Unfortunately many misinformed individuals fall prey to the non-righteous so-called Muslim clerics, misleading and luring them to believe that they will be rewarded and go to heaven by committing evil, cruel and barbaric terrorist acts.

Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Promised Messiah, warned about this more than a hundred years ago concerning the Dajjal, a term which has two connotations: First, it signifies a group which supports falsehood and works with cunning and deceit. Secondly, it is the name of the Satan who is the father of all falsehood and corruption. [Haqiqat-ul-Wahi, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 22, p. 326][i] saying:

‘Remember, the sum total of the evils which the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) prophesied would spread in the latter days, is Dajjaliyyat, of which the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has said there are hundreds of branches. Hence, those Maulavis are also branches of the tree of Dajjaliyat who blindly follow the beaten path and have abandoned the Holy Qur’an, so that though they recite it, it doesn’t get past their tongues. Today Dajjaliyat is spreading its web like a spider. The disbeliever with his disbelief, the hypocrite with hypocrisy, the alcoholic with his drinking, and the Maulavi with his preaching without practice and with his black heart, are all weaving the net of Dajjaliyat. Nothing can break up this web but the heavenly weapon, and no one can wield this weapon but ‘Isa who should descend from that very heaven. So ‘Isa has descended and the promise of God was bound to be fulfilled. [Nishan-e-Asmani, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 4, p.369] [ii]

Tragically, due to the lack of harmony and unity amongst Muslims, Islamic nations have so much internal animosity where persecution and disorder is prevalent. It is a time to set aside differences and engage the renowned and influential scholars involved in discussions, to educate the public about false ideologies. Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmed explained a very important Hadith regarding the latter days and the enemies of Islam.

Our Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saw in a vision that the Dajjal was performing the circuit of the Ka‘bah, and was doing it stealthily, like a thief, so that he could destroy the Ka‘bah whenever the opportunity offered…. Every intelligent person will interpret this revelation as a vision through which the spiritual condition of the Dajjal was revealed to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and that this allegory presented itself to him in a vision in which he saw the Dajjal was circuiting the Ka‘bah like an actual person. What it meant was that the Dajjal would be a bitter enemy of Islam and would hover around the Ka‘bah with evil intentions. We know that just as the watchman goes around the houses at night, so does a thief. But while the watchman seeks to protect the houses and to catch the thief, the thief’s motive is to steal and plunder. Thus the interpretation of this vision of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is that the Dajjal will be preoccupied with trying to violate the sanctity of the Ka‘bah, while the Promised Messiah, who was also seen performing circuit of the Ka‘bah, would be busy protecting the House of Allah and trying to apprehend the Dajjal. [Ayyam-us-Sulh, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 14, pp. 274-275] [iii]

Thus this Hadith indicates that in the latter days the thief, who is designated Dajjal, will try his utmost to demolish the structure of Islam, and that the Promised Messiah, out of his devotion to Islam, will raise his supplications to heaven, and that all angels will lend him their support so that he should be victorious in this last final battle. He will neither get tired, nor dejected, nor will he slacken his efforts, but will try his utmost to catch the thief. [Haqiqat-ul-Wahi, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 22, pp. 323-324][iv]

In this day and age, the continuous effort to eradicate the false ideology of jihad and extremism in the entire world is being carried out with great strength by the grand leadership of the true Khilafat of Ahmadiyya Islam established after the Promised Messiah.

Eid Greetings to the entire Muslim world with hope and prayers that all Muslims unite under one banner of peace to save the world from destruction.

I end with the words of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace),

‘Alas! Heaven is bearing witness and you do not hear; the earth is crying out: One is needed, one is needed, and you pay no attention! O unfortunate people! arise and see that in this time of distress, Islam has been trodden underfoot and has been maligned like criminals. It has been counted among liars and has been written down among unholy ones. Then would not God’s jealousy be aroused at such at time? Understand then that heaven is drawing close and the days are near when every ear shall hear the affirmation: ‘I am present’.

(Kitab-ul-Bariyyah, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 13 , pp. 228 -330 – Essence of Islam, Vol. IV, pp. )

[i] Ġulām Aḥmad, Chaudhry Muḥammad Ẓafrullāh Khān, and Munawar Aḥmad Saʻeed. The Essence Of Islam. Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications, 2005. Print. pg.202

[ii] Ġulām Aḥmad, Chaudhry Muḥammad Ẓafrullāh Khān, and Munawar Aḥmad Saʻeed. The Essence Of Islam. Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications, 2005. Print. pg.284-285

[iii] Ġulām Aḥmad, Chaudhry Muḥammad Ẓafrullāh Khān, and Munawar Aḥmad Saʻeed. The Essence Of Islam. Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications, 2005. Print. pg.287

[iv] Ġulām Aḥmad, Chaudhry Muḥammad Ẓafrullāh Khān, and Munawar Aḥmad Saʻeed. The Essence Of Islam. Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications, 2005. Print. pg.288-289

To Volunteer Is A Part Of Life

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Sameea Jonnud, Aldershot, UK

I noticed #volunteersweek trending on Twitter and the messages people were posting about the volunteers that are so important to so many charitable groups. It made me think about how important volunteering is to members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community here in the UK and around the world. In fact volunteering is so much a part of being an Ahmadi Muslim that most of the time we do not even realise that is what we are doing.

From an early age our youth are encouraged to volunteer at events; in fact this process begins with children who are encouraged to help out when they see adults doing so.

Jalsa UK, an annual convention, every summer is a prime example of this; the bulk of the event, hosting over 30,000 people, is set up and run by a team of 5000 volunteers. From installing a water supply system, directing traffic, cooking and serving three meals a day to children keeping guests supplied with water, the event would not be possible without these volunteers. And most of the time you will find these people working long hours with smiles on their faces.

In the parts of Jalsa run by the women’s auxiliary it is the same; teams of women are enabled to work five days accommodating guests from around the world, driving buggies to transport guests and luggage and ensuring toilets and showers are kept clean and well stocked. During the time of the Jalsa programme itself teams are present to direct and assist guests, keep them fed and hydrated, provide first aid and pick up litter.

It is not only during Jalsa that we see volunteers appear; any event during the year is the same with teams of volunteers on standby to make these smaller events successful. The recent Lajna UK meena bazaar, a traditional ladies only fete, was awash with colour and a display of skills in arts and craft as well as home cooked food. The reason it was successful was, of course, the teams of dedicated women creating the beautiful displays, running various stands and cleaning up afterwards.

The numerous fundraising events held by the youth and men’s auxiliaries as well as members of Lajna are so successful because participants and organisers volunteer their time and efforts. Hundreds of thousands of pounds are raised in this way through events at local as well as national level.

So after being given the opportunity and ability to participate in all this volunteering what do the volunteers actually get out of it that keeps them continuing to volunteer? They get to learn skills they would not otherwise learn, the satisfaction of helping others and the ultimate goal, to win the pleasure of God. And, incidentally, as the young are kept busy and given responsibilities in helping others they don’t have the inclination to get involved in any antisocial, misguided activities which is an added by-product.

I have to say though, for most of us we don’t even think that we are specifically volunteering anymore because it has become so much a part of our lives and without it we feel like we’re missing out somehow.

During the time I have been enabled to volunteer at events, I have served water, cleaned toilets, picked up litter, arranged duty rotas, driven golf buggies and served meals to a couple of thousand people at a time. I’ve picked up many skills, enjoyed working with lots of different people and loved all of it. I thank God for giving me the opportunity to serve and after all this I can really appreciate all of the people who sacrifice their time to help others.

So finally a big thank you to all volunteers everywhere, without whom the world would not be the same!

The Muslim Council of Britain and Ahmadi Muslims

La ilaha illallah Muhammadur Rasulullah (6)

Navida Sayed, London

Religious persecution in Pakistan against Ahmadis has existed since they were declared non-Muslims in the amendment introduced in Pakistan’s Constitution in 1974. Since then, many hard line Muslims refuse to have anything to do with Ahmadis considering them as social outcasts; many Ahmadis have faced bitter persecution and some have been murdered for their beliefs.

Religious extremists and radical sectarian clerics use Pakistani blasphemy laws as their means to gain mutual support and justify targeted attacks against Ahmadi Muslims. In 1986, the Pakistani blasphemy law, PPC 295-C, was promulgated. It calls for the death penalty to perpetrators of “blasphemy”. The Supreme Court remarked in a written judgment in 1993 that an Ahmadi who shows any commitment to the Kalima (Islamic declaration of faith) defiles the name of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings upon him).’[i] Tragically the main victims of this blasphemy law have been Ahmadi Muslims who wouldn’t even contemplate the thought of defiling the Holy Prophet’s (peace and blessings upon him) name.

Hate campaigns against the Ahmadis in the UK have been brewing over the last few years, but alarmingly the Pakistani blasphemy laws have paved their way onto the streets of UK, leading to the brutal murder of an Ahmadi, Asad Shah, who was killed outside his shop in Glasgow on 24 March 2016, by Tanveer Ahmed, in a religiously prejudiced attack. ‘His death was celebrated by some anti-Ahmadi Muslims on the Internet, who believe that the sect is heretical and therefore worthy of persecution.’[ii] Such an atrocious attack and loss of an innocent life shakes one to the core, and brings into question security of Ahmadi Muslims in the UK. Certainly, extreme, narrow-minded, bigoted clerics with obscure views must be stopped from radicalising people in the UK.

As Ahmadi Muslims, we believe the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian was a non-law bearing Prophet, who came in servitude of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him). Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad vigorously upheld the finality of the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) demonstrating in word and practice that he strongly believed the Holy Prophet as Khātam-an-Nabiyyīn, Seal of all the Prophets and the last law-bearing Prophet.

In a statement on 6th of April 2016, the Muslim Council of Britain, MCB presented a mealy-mouthed response, as to where it stands about the Ahmadiyya Community. Stating, ‘Muslims should not be forced to class Ahmadis as Muslims if they do not wish to do so.’[iii]

MCB further stated that ‘Ahmadi Muslims do not believe in the finality of the Prophethood of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him).’ [iv]

I would like to remind the MCB and all those who take it upon themselves to decide who is or is not a Muslim, that this is a matter between a true believing Muslim and Allah alone.

Most Muslims must be familiar with Hadith or Traditions that Usama bin Zaid was an appointed commander of a division, by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings upon him). On one occasion Usama confronted an unbeliever whom he was about to kill, the unbeliever recited the Kalima, affirming his faith in the truth of Islam. Usama killed him nevertheless. Usama protested that the man’s reciting of confession of faith was due to his fear of death and was not an indication of repentance. Thereupon the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said:

“Did you peep into his heart to see whether he was telling the truth or not?” and went on repeating: “How will you answer on the Day of Judgement when his confession of faith will be cited in evidence against you?” Usama says: “On hearing the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) repeat this so often I wished that I had become a convert to Islam only that moment and had not been guilty of what was charged against me”
(Muslim, Kitabul Iman).[v]

Likewise, only Allah knows what is in our hearts as Ahmadi Muslims. We declare ourselves Muslims, nobody has the right to say that, God forbid, our Islam is a pretence, that we deny Islam, or deny the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings upon him).

Every person who enters the fold of Islam becomes the equal of everyone else, regardless of which society he belongs to. I would like to remind affiliates of the MCB of our beloved Prophet Muhammad’s (peace and blessings upon him), a most prominent message for mankind.

‘Returning from Muzdalifa, the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) stopped at Mina. It was the eleventh day of the month of Dhu’l-Hijja. The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) stood before a large gathering of Muslims and delivered an address, famed in history as the farewell address of the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him). In the course of the very detailed address he also said:

‘O men, what I say to you, you must hear and remember. All Muslims are as brethren to one another. All of you are equal. All men, whatever nation or tribe they may belong to, and whatever station in life they may hold, are equal’. While he was saying this the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) raised his hands and joined the fingers of the one hand with the fingers of the other and then said: ‘Even as the fingers of the two hands are equal, so are human beings equal to one another. No one has any right, any superiority to claim over another. You are as brothers.’

Then the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) further said:

‘Even as this month is sacred, this land inviolate, and this day holy, so has God made the lives, property and honour of every man sacred. To take any man’s life or his property, or attack his honour, is as unjust and wrong as to violate the sacredness of this day, this month, and this territory. What I command you today is not meant only for today. It is meant for all time. You are expected to remember it and to act upon it until you leave this world and go to the next to meet your Maker.’ [vi]

We call upon all the Muslims of the world to bear in mind the words of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) and become united as one under the banner of true Islam.

[i] https://www.persecutionofahmadis.org/opening-narrative/

[ii] “Muslim Brotherhood Umbrella Group: ‘We Won’T Kill Them, But Ahmadis Aren’T Muslims’”. Breitbart. N.p., 2016.

[iii] “Position Statement: The Muslim Council Of Britain And Ahmadis | Muslim Council Of Britain (MCB)”. Mcb.org.uk. N.p., 2016.

[iv] “Position Statement: The Muslim Council Of Britain And Ahmadis | Muslim Council Of Britain (MCB)”. Mcb.org.uk. N.p., 2016.

[v] Aḥmad, Bashīruddīn Maḥmūd, and Bashīruddīn Maḥmūd Aḥmad. Life Of Muhammad. Surrey: Islam International, 1990. Print. pg.239-240

[vi] Aḥmad, Bashīruddīn Maḥmūd, and Bashīruddīn Maḥmūd Aḥmad. Life Of Muhammad. Surrey: Islam International, 1990. Print. pg. 182-186

Stand United Against Extremism

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Sameea Jonnud, Aldershot, UK

It is so common these days to hear about terrorist atrocities being committed by extremists and while many right wing groups are also a cause of terror, for a Muslim it is more painful when Muslim extremists kill and maim innocent people and say it is in the name of Islam.

When the 7/7 bombings occurred, when Lee Rigby was murdered, as a Briton I felt sadness at the pain caused to my fellow countrymen. After the Paris and Brussels attacks I felt the same sadness as my fellow Europeans were hurt and as a human I feel the same whenever I hear about terrorists causing death and destruction around the world.

I am not alone in the sadness I feel; the majority of the world shares these feelings because those who are carrying out these acts of terror are an extremist minority. There is a quote attributed to Edmund Burke:
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.”
And so we must act in whatever way we are able, to counter the message of the extremists.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community with a motto of “Love For All, Hatred For None”, has always spoken out against extremist actions, especially when the name of Islam is used to justify terror as Daesh have been doing for the past few years.

Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has said:
“It is a dire need of the time to respond to all forms of fanaticism and extremism with Islam’s true message of peace and harmony.”

After the Paris attacks in November 2015 a nationwide campaign was launched by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the UK to show solidarity against extremism. It included features in national and local press and adverts on 100 buses across London.

Rafiq Hayat, National President Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK, said:
“We stand united with all who oppose extremists because our strength stems from our unity. The campaign will send a clear message that IS has nothing to do with Islam and that extremism will never succeed.”

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has always believed in the true, peaceful teachings of Islam and promotes this constantly. The Caliph has taken this message around the world speaking at the Capitol in Washington, the European Parliament and to politicians, military leaders and people from Australia, Japan and around Europe. This is how Ahmadi Muslims counter the hatred spread by extremist Muslims and felt in the hearts of those extremists who oppose Islam.

Unfortunately the need for the message of unity remains and the campaign continues with tomorrow’s launch of the United Against Extremism bus adverts in Scotland. For Ahmadi Muslims there is an added poignancy in this after the recent murder in Glasgow of popular local shopkeeper Asad Shah who was killed by a Muslim extremist because he was an Ahmadi Muslim.

Ahmadi Muslims are used to their fellow believers being persecuted and attacked merely for their faith and the news of murders such as Asad Shah’s are sadly an all too common occurrence. May 2010 saw the incident which wrenched the hearts of all Ahmadi Muslims around the world when terrorists in Pakistan murdered scores of worshippers at their mosque in Lahore during Friday Prayers. 86 people died that day, people who had merely gone to their mosque to Pray. The answer to violence is not more violence and it is telling that the Caliph on that occasion, as on others, advised his grieving Community to react with prayers.

Now the murder of Asad Shah has brought the violence against Ahmadi Muslims closer to home. The fact that a Muslim extremist has killed a fellow Muslim on British soil is bad enough but it is appalling that there are others who hold extremist views and support the actions of the murderer. Those Muslims who openly celebrate the death of an Ahmadi for ‘insulting Islam’ should realise they are complicit to some degree in the extremism that is a blight upon Islam.

The fact is that no person can decide who is or is not a true Muslim; that is between a believer and God. So as Muslims it should be for all of us to join together and condemn the extremist views that are killing innocent people. And as British people of all religions it is up to us to stand united in the face of the extremism that is shattering the peace of this beautiful world and declare that we are United Against Extremism.