A Message of Peace in the Land of the Rising Sun – A global Muslim leader visits Japan.

No Comments | April 2014

Translated by Professor Amtul Razzaq Carmichael

 

The Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and Fifth Successor to the Promised Messiahas, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba, undertook an historic trip to Japan in November 2013. This was His Holiness’s second visit to the island nation. As part of his one week tour, amongst other engagements, His Holiness addressed a press conference attended by more than 64 journalists and media members. On 9th November, His Holiness delivered a keynote address on Islam and the Qur’anic principles of peace, at an historic reception held at the Mielparque Hotel in Nagoya.  In addition to promoting the true teachings of Islam, His Holiness’ visit mainly focused on enhancing the spiritual and moral training of the members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. This visit to Japan was the final stop of a four-country tour of Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

Ahmadiyyat in Japan

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, the Promised Messiahas, expressed his wish to publish a concise book in Japanese containing a summary of all the basic facts about Islam, in order to convey the message of Islam to the people of  Japan. Ahmadiyyat was first established in Japan in 1935, during the era of Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmadra, the Second Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Under the auspicies of Tahrik-e-Jadid (a scheme devoted to the establishment of Ahmadiyya missions worldwide in order to lay the foundations for propagating the message of Islam), Sufi Abdul Qadeer Niaz arrived in the Japanese city of Kobe. He was later supported by the services of  Maulawi Abdul Ghafoor. However, both had to leave Japan with the onset of World War II. A Japanese native, Muhammad Awais Kobayashi, embraced Ahmadiyyat and visited Rabwah in 1959. In October, 1945, the Second Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, saw a dream which suggested that the Japanese nation would respond to the call of Islam and flocks of them would enter the fold of Islam akin to the flocks that responded to the teachings of Prophet Abrahamas. In 1966, Mirza Mubarak Ahmad, the Director of Foreign Missions of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, visited Japan. The first Ahmadiyya Mission House was bought in Nagoya in September 1981, which is comprised of a two-storey building. In 1989, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s efforts to propogate its beliefs, received a dramatic boost with the publication of the Japanese translation of the Holy Qur’an. In the same year, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmadrh, the Fourth worldwideHead of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, visited Japan and delivered the first ever Friday Sermon by any Khalifah of the Promised Messiahas in that country, in Nagoya. In 2006, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba, the Fifth and current worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, visited Japan and for the first time in the history of Ahmadiyyat, the Friday Sermon was relayed live from Japan across the globe through Muslim Television Ahmadiyya (or ‘MTA’ – the official channel of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community headquartered in the UK). His Holiness motivated the Community in Japan to build their own mosque; recently an excellent property has been acquired by them for this purpose.

A Typical Day of His Holiness in Japan

During this six-day tour of Japan, His Holiness commenced his day by leading the dawn (Fajr) prayers in congregation. His Holiness spent the better part of his mornings attending to his official commitments, which include, inter alia, responding to thousands of letters from Ahmadis worldwide, seeking guidance and prayers and overseeing official reports with respect to the activities of the Ahmadiyya Muslim missions in 204 countries. Moreover, His Holiness granted a private audience to hundreds of Ahmadis; listening to their problems, providing them with moral and spiritual support and aiding them through prayers and advice. His Holiness also attended Ameen (the celebration of the first complete reading of the Holy Qur’an) and Nikah (the legal solemnisation of marriage according to Islamic teaching) ceremonies during his visit. These activities were scheduled around the five daily prayers offered in congregation. His Holiness concluded his day by leading the evening (Maghrib and Isha) prayers (generally offered around 9pm) in congregation.

Arrival; 5th November 2013

His Holiness arrived in Japan at 5pm accompanied by his entourage. Upon his arrival, dignitaries from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Japan and other local officials greeted His Holiness. His Holiness resided at the Ana Intercontinental Hotel, Tokyo, during his visit. After leading the evening (Maghrib and Isha) prayers in congregation in one of the halls in the Hotel, His Holiness retired to his suite.

Trip to Nagoya; 6th November 2013

His Holiness departed for Nagoya following a silent Prayer. During this picturesque journey, His Holiness’ motorcade took a short break for lunch in a restaurant at the foot of Mount Fuji, from where the snow-capped mountaintop was clearly visible. His Holiness admired the natural splendour of the landscape, and took photographs and made a video thereof. Following lunch, His Holiness led the afternoon (Zuhr and Asr) prayers in congregation. During this 350-km journey, His Holiness stopped at Ashinoko Lake — located in the Hakone area of Kanagawa Prefecture in Honshu, Japan, a spot of breathtaking natural beauty. Upon his arrival in Nagoya, a crowd of devotees and the local MP, Hon. Miyake Isao, greeted His Holiness. That evening, His Holiness visited the Ahmadiyya Muslim Centre, wherein he received a warm welcome by Ahmadi men, women and children and led the evening (Maghrib and Isha) prayers in congregation. As His Holiness was departing in his car, he was presented with a bouquet of flowers by the owner of the local printing press who has been involved in printing many of the publications of the Community.

Educating the Youth; 7th November 2013

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba presided over a class with Khuddam (an auxiliary organisation for male members of the community aged fifteen to forty) and Atfal (an auxiliary organisation for boys aged seven to fifteen), during which the children gave various presentations. The presentations were followed by a Question and Answer session, during the course of which His Holiness shed light on the exalted status accorded to the Holy Prophetsa in Islam. On the question of undertaking research into the Christian Faith, His Holiness related an incident of Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Nur-ud-Dinra, the first worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and Khalifatul Masih who was debating the concept of the Holy Trinity with a Christian leader. At the end of their discourse, the clergy tried to conclude the discussion by saying that the concept of the Holy Trinity was such that Asian minds were unable to grasp it, to which the Ahmadi scholar rejoined that Jesusas was also of Asian origin and perhaps he also failed to grasp the concept of the Holy Trinity!

Furthermore, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba enumerated that while God cannot be seen by the naked eye, we can still appreciate the power and glory of His Creation. His Holiness quoted Mount Fuji as an example of the manifestation of the Power of God. Shedding light on his daily mail, His Holiness revealed that he receives nearly 500-2000 letters a day. He reads each letter or a summary thereof and responds to them. He stated that hepersonally signs 700 of such letters every day. When asked what his childhood career or ambition was, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba responded by saying that he wished to become a doctor or join the armed forces.

This class was immediately followed by a class with Lajna Imaillah (an auxiliary organisation for ladies above the age of 15) and Nasiratul Ahmadiyya (an auxiliary organisation for girls between 7 to 15 years). These young women gave presentations espousing the religious trends in Japan, Ahmadis’ ambitions to increase the Islamic community and their passionate desire to convey the peaceful message of Islam to the Japanese people.

Thereafter, His Holiness granted a private audience to 123 members of the Community and an official delegation from Korea.

Friday Sermon, meetings with the Executives; 8th November 2013

After delivering the Friday Sermon, which was relayed live across the globe via MTA, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba gave an interview to a well-known journalist from The Asahi Shimbun (one of the five national newspapers in circulation in Japan) and cast light on the peaceful message of Islam.

Thereafter, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba held ameeting with the National Executive Body of Ansarullah (an auxiliary organisation of the Community for men aged over 40). His Holiness advised them to increase their religious knowledge and to undertake concerted efforts to spread the message of Islam in Japan. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba reiterated the principle that the power of prayer must underpin all such efforts.

The meeting with members of Majlis Ansarullah, was followed by a meeting with the National Executive Body of Lajna. His Holiness directed the Lajna members to circulate the salient points of the Friday Sermon every week to all their members and to learn a short book of the Promised Messiahas, Our Teaching, to consolidate their religious knowledge. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba further directed that all Lajna meetings must be conducted in Japanese and to make earnest efforts to integrate all female new converts within the system of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Following some administrative questions, this meeting concluded at 7pm.

Following the conclusion of this meeting, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba visited the Baitul Ahad Mosque complex – a building purchased at the cost of $800,000, and discussed plans with respect to its renovation with local architects. Thereafter, His Holiness attended a barbeque with local Ahmadis before retiring to his residence.

Reception with Japanese dignitaries; 9th November 2013

At 12:15pm, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba held ameeting with the National Executive Body of Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya. His Holiness directed them to ensure that they possess a full understanding and knowledge of the ethos of their organisation, hold National Refresher Courses and be regular in offering the five daily prayers. Furthermore, His Holiness advised them to study the books of the Promised Messiahas, to accelerate efforts to proselytise and fast track the process of publishing relevant literature in the Japanese language. At the conclusion of this meeting at 12:45pm, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba met with the Translation Committee, which is overseeing the revision of the Japanese translation of the Holy Qur’an, and rendered valuable support and guidance.

That evening, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba attended a reception attended by 117 guests, including Members of Parliament, local leaders, professors, doctors and lawyers. Speakers at the Reception paid tribute to the services rendered by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to the people of Japan, including those by Chaudhry Sir Muhammad Zafarulla Khanra, (a renowned politician, statesman and international jurist – who became the first Muslim Asian and only Pakistani President for both the UN General Assembly and the International Court of Justice), in restoring a respectable status to Japan, following the end of World War II and for the humanitarian assistance provided during the natural disasters of 1995 and 2011.

It is noteworthy to mention here that, when the treaty of peace with Japan was signed in San Francisco, 8 September 1951, at the 1951 San Francisco Peace Conference, Pakistan was the only major country invited from South Asia (as China was not invited, and India and Burma stayed away from the Conference for their own reasons). At the conference, Pakistan delegation led by Foreign Minister Chaudhry Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khanra, strongly argued for treating Japan with respect. Sir Zafarulla Khanra said:

“The peace with Japan should be premised on justice and reconciliation, not on vengeance and oppression. In future Japan would play an important role as a result of the series of reforms initiated in the political and social structure of Japan which hold out a bright promise of progress and which qualify Japan to take place as an equal in the fellowship of peace loving nations.”

Return to Tokyo; 10th November 2013

His Holiness left Nagoya for Tokyo by train – a crowd of Ahmadi men, women and children gathered in his hotel lobby to bid farewell to their revered leader. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba travelled via the Nozomi Super Express, which can reach speeds of 300 km/h. The train arrived in Tokyo just after 12:30pm, whereupon members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Tokyo received His Holiness with a warm welcome. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba stayed at the Ana Intercontinental Hotel and led the afternoon (Zuhr and Asr) prayers in congregation in one of the hotel halls. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba addressed a Press Conference attended by 64 guests, journalists, Members of Parliament, professors, doctors and other dignitaries. Addressing the occasion, Dr. Jimi Shozaburo, MP, expressed his gratitude towards the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for its services rendered to aid victims of the tsunami and earthquakes in Japan. He also mentioned the landmark speech by Chaudhry Sir Zafarulla Khan in a meeting held in San Francisco in 1951, opposing all unfair sanctions against Japan subsequent to the events of World War II.

Historical Tokyo; 11th November 2013

His Holiness visited the Asakusa neighbourhood of Tokyo, best known for its many temples, the oldest and most notable  being the Buddhist Asakusa Kannon Temple (also referred to as the Sensoji Temple). This part of Tokyo is extremely popular among tourists. As it happened, a couple who live in the vicinity of the Fazl Mosque, the first mosque built in London, were also visiting Tokyo at the time and were overjoyed to see His Holiness there. They approached His Holiness and took pictures with him.

Later that afternoon, His Holiness granted a private audience to 87 members of 24 Ahmadi families from Korea, Japan, Thailand and Pakistan. Following the conclusion of this session, His Holiness presided over several official meetings and thereafter chaired a meeting for Executives of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Japan. His Holiness directed that an appreciation and understanding should be promoted for the institution of Chanda (a scheme whereby members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community worldwide make financial contributions for funding the various religious and charitable activities undertaken by the Community globally), which must not be perceived as a tax. Instead, Ahmadis should partake in this scheme at the prescribed rate, in order to reap Allah Almighty’s Blessings. Advising on the common challenge of motivating Ahmadi youth to participate in religious activities, His Holiness stated that young members of the Community should be taught in Japanese and in an engaging manner. His Holiness emphasised the need to persevere in our efforts and focus on prayers. Moreover, he underscored the need for the young generation of Ahmadis to understand the true concept of God in this fast moving and busy world by studying the works of the Promised Messiahas. An ambitious idea of building a mosque in Tokyo was also discussed. Following the conclusion of this meeting, His Holiness attended an Ameen ceremony before leading the Maghrib and Isha prayers in congregation.

Farewell; 12th November 2013

After a heartfelt and emotional farewell, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba departed for Tokyo Airport in order to take his return flight to the UK. Upon his arrival at Heathrow Airport, His Holiness was received by various dignitaries from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, UK. A large number of dedicated Ahmadi men, women and children were present  to welcome their revered Khalifah back to the Fazl Mosque in London.

The Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and Fifth Successor to the Promised Messiahas, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba, undertook an historic trip to Japan in November 2013. This was His Holiness’s second visit to the island nation. As part of his one week tour, amongst other engagements, His Holiness addressed a press conference attended by more than 64 journalists and media members. On 9th November, His Holiness delivered a keynote address on Islam and the Qur’anic principles of peace, at an historic reception held at the Mielparque Hotel in Nagoya.  In addition to promoting the true teachings of Islam, His Holiness’ visit mainly focused on enhancing the spiritual and moral training of the members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. This visit to Japan was the final stop of a four-country tour of Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

Ahmadiyyat in Japan

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, the Promised Messiahas, expressed his wish to publish a concise book in Japanese containing a summary of all the basic facts about Islam, in order to convey the message of Islam to the people of  Japan. Ahmadiyyat was first established in Japan in 1935, during the era of Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmadra, the Second Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Under the auspicies of Tahrik-e-Jadid (a scheme devoted to the establishment of Ahmadiyya missions worldwide in order to lay the foundations for propagating the message of Islam), Sufi Abdul Qadeer Niaz arrived in the Japanese city of Kobe. He was later supported by the services of  Maulawi Abdul Ghafoor. However, both had to leave Japan with the onset of World War II. A Japanese native, Muhammad Awais Kobayashi, embraced Ahmadiyyat and visited Rabwah in 1959. In October, 1945, the Second Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, saw a dream which suggested that the Japanese nation would respond to the call of Islam and flocks of them would enter the fold of Islam akin to the flocks that responded to the teachings of Prophet Abrahamas. In 1966, Mirza Mubarak Ahmad, the Director of Foreign Missions of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, visited Japan. The first Ahmadiyya Mission House was bought in Nagoya in September 1981, which is comprised of a two-storey building. In 1989, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s efforts to propogate its beliefs, received a dramatic boost with the publication of the Japanese translation of the Holy Qur’an. In the same year, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmadrh, the Fourth worldwideHead of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, visited Japan and delivered the first ever Friday Sermon by any Khalifah of the Promised Messiahas in that country, in Nagoya. In 2006, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba, the Fifth and current worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, visited Japan and for the first time in the history of Ahmadiyyat, the Friday Sermon was relayed live from Japan across the globe through Muslim Television Ahmadiyya (or ‘MTA’ – the official channel of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community headquartered in the UK). His Holiness motivated the Community in Japan to build their own mosque; recently an excellent property has been acquired by them for this purpose.

A Typical Day of His Holiness in Japan

During this six-day tour of Japan, His Holiness commenced his day by leading the dawn (Fajr) prayers in congregation. His Holiness spent the better part of his mornings attending to his official commitments, which include, inter alia, responding to thousands of letters from Ahmadis worldwide, seeking guidance and prayers and overseeing official reports with respect to the activities of the Ahmadiyya Muslim missions in 204 countries. Moreover, His Holiness granted a private audience to hundreds of Ahmadis; listening to their problems, providing them with moral and spiritual support and aiding them through prayers and advice. His Holiness also attended Ameen (the celebration of the first complete reading of the Holy Qur’an) and Nikah (the legal solemnisation of marriage according to Islamic teaching) ceremonies during his visit. These activities were scheduled around the five daily prayers offered in congregation. His Holiness concluded his day by leading the evening (Maghrib and Isha) prayers (generally offered around 9pm) in congregation.

Arrival; 5th November 2013

His Holiness arrived in Japan at 5pm accompanied by his entourage. Upon his arrival, dignitaries from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Japan and other local officials greeted His Holiness. His Holiness resided at the Ana Intercontinental Hotel, Tokyo, during his visit. After leading the evening (Maghrib and Isha) prayers in congregation in one of the halls in the Hotel, His Holiness retired to his suite.

Trip to Nagoya; 6th November 2013

His Holiness departed for Nagoya following a silent Prayer. During this picturesque journey, His Holiness’ motorcade took a short break for lunch in a restaurant at the foot of Mount Fuji, from where the snow-capped mountaintop was clearly visible. His Holiness admired the natural splendour of the landscape, and took photographs and made a video thereof. Following lunch, His Holiness led the afternoon (Zuhr and Asr) prayers in congregation. During this 350-km journey, His Holiness stopped at Ashinoko Lake — located in the Hakone area of Kanagawa Prefecture in Honshu, Japan, a spot of breathtaking natural beauty. Upon his arrival in Nagoya, a crowd of devotees and the local MP, Hon. Miyake Isao, greeted His Holiness. That evening, His Holiness visited the Ahmadiyya Muslim Centre, wherein he received a warm welcome by Ahmadi men, women and children and led the evening (Maghrib and Isha) prayers in congregation. As His Holiness was departing in his car, he was presented with a bouquet of flowers by the owner of the local printing press who has been involved in printing many of the publications of the Community.

Educating the Youth; 7th November 2013

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba presided over a class with Khuddam (an auxiliary organisation for male members of the community aged fifteen to forty) and Atfal (an auxiliary organisation for boys aged seven to fifteen), during which the children gave various presentations. The presentations were followed by a Question and Answer session, during the course of which His Holiness shed light on the exalted status accorded to the Holy Prophetsa in Islam. On the question of undertaking research into the Christian Faith, His Holiness related an incident of Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Nur-ud-Dinra, the first worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and Khalifatul Masih who was debating the concept of the Holy Trinity with a Christian leader. At the end of their discourse, the clergy tried to conclude the discussion by saying that the concept of the Holy Trinity was such that Asian minds were unable to grasp it, to which the Ahmadi scholar rejoined that Jesusas was also of Asian origin and perhaps he also failed to grasp the concept of the Holy Trinity!

Furthermore, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba enumerated that while God cannot be seen by the naked eye, we can still appreciate the power and glory of His Creation. His Holiness quoted Mount Fuji as an example of the manifestation of the Power of God. Shedding light on his daily mail, His Holiness revealed that he receives nearly 500-2000 letters a day. He reads each letter or a summary thereof and responds to them. He stated that hepersonally signs 700 of such letters every day. When asked what his childhood career or ambition was, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba responded by saying that he wished to become a doctor or join the armed forces.

This class was immediately followed by a class with Lajna Imaillah (an auxiliary organisation for ladies above the age of 15) and Nasiratul Ahmadiyya (an auxiliary organisation for girls between 7 to 15 years). These young women gave presentations espousing the religious trends in Japan, Ahmadis’ ambitions to increase the Islamic community and their passionate desire to convey the peaceful message of Islam to the Japanese people.

Thereafter, His Holiness granted a private audience to 123 members of the Community and an official delegation from Korea.

Friday Sermon, meetings with the Executives; 8th November 2013

After delivering the Friday Sermon, which was relayed live across the globe via MTA, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba gave an interview to a well-known journalist from The Asahi Shimbun (one of the five national newspapers in circulation in Japan) and cast light on the peaceful message of Islam.

Thereafter, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba held ameeting with the National Executive Body of Ansarullah (an auxiliary organisation of the Community for men aged over 40). His Holiness advised them to increase their religious knowledge and to undertake concerted efforts to spread the message of Islam in Japan. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba reiterated the principle that the power of prayer must underpin all such efforts.

The meeting with members of Majlis Ansarullah, was followed by a meeting with the National Executive Body of Lajna. His Holiness directed the Lajna members to circulate the salient points of the Friday Sermon every week to all their members and to learn a short book of the Promised Messiahas, Our Teaching, to consolidate their religious knowledge. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba further directed that all Lajna meetings must be conducted in Japanese and to make earnest efforts to integrate all female new converts within the system of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Following some administrative questions, this meeting concluded at 7pm.

Following the conclusion of this meeting, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba visited the Baitul Ahad Mosque complex – a building purchased at the cost of $800,000, and discussed plans with respect to its renovation with local architects. Thereafter, His Holiness attended a barbeque with local Ahmadis before retiring to his residence.

Reception with Japanese dignitaries; 9th November 2013

At 12:15pm, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba held ameeting with the National Executive Body of Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya. His Holiness directed them to ensure that they possess a full understanding and knowledge of the ethos of their organisation, hold National Refresher Courses and be regular in offering the five daily prayers. Furthermore, His Holiness advised them to study the books of the Promised Messiahas, to accelerate efforts to proselytise and fast track the process of publishing relevant literature in the Japanese language. At the conclusion of this meeting at 12:45pm, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba met with the Translation Committee, which is overseeing the revision of the Japanese translation of the Holy Qur’an, and rendered valuable support and guidance.

That evening, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba attended a reception attended by 117 guests, including Members of Parliament, local leaders, professors, doctors and lawyers. Speakers at the Reception paid tribute to the services rendered by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to the people of Japan, including those by Chaudhry Sir Muhammad Zafarulla Khanra, (a renowned politician, statesman and international jurist – who became the first Muslim Asian and only Pakistani President for both the UN General Assembly and the International Court of Justice), in restoring a respectable status to Japan, following the end of World War II and for the humanitarian assistance provided during the natural disasters of 1995 and 2011.

It is noteworthy to mention here that, when the treaty of peace with Japan was signed in San Francisco, 8 September 1951, at the 1951 San Francisco Peace Conference, Pakistan was the only major country invited from South Asia (as China was not invited, and India and Burma stayed away from the Conference for their own reasons). At the conference, Pakistan delegation led by Foreign Minister Chaudhry Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khanra, strongly argued for treating Japan with respect. Sir Zafarulla Khanra said:

“The peace with Japan should be premised on justice and reconciliation, not on vengeance and oppression. In future Japan would play an important role as a result of the series of reforms initiated in the political and social structure of Japan which hold out a bright promise of progress and which qualify Japan to take place as an equal in the fellowship of peace loving nations.”

Return to Tokyo; 10th November 2013

His Holiness left Nagoya for Tokyo by train – a crowd of Ahmadi men, women and children gathered in his hotel lobby to bid farewell to their revered leader. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba travelled via the Nozomi Super Express, which can reach speeds of 300 km/h. The train arrived in Tokyo just after 12:30pm, whereupon members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Tokyo received His Holiness with a warm welcome. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba stayed at the Ana Intercontinental Hotel and led the afternoon (Zuhr and Asr) prayers in congregation in one of the hotel halls. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba addressed a Press Conference attended by 64 guests, journalists, Members of Parliament, professors, doctors and other dignitaries. Addressing the occasion, Dr. Jimi Shozaburo, MP, expressed his gratitude towards the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for its services rendered to aid victims of the tsunami and earthquakes in Japan. He also mentioned the landmark speech by Chaudhry Sir Zafarulla Khan in a meeting held in San Francisco in 1951, opposing all unfair sanctions against Japan subsequent to the events of World War II.

Historical Tokyo; 11th November 2013

His Holiness visited the Asakusa neighbourhood of Tokyo, best known for its many temples, the oldest and most notable  being the Buddhist Asakusa Kannon Temple (also referred to as the Sensoji Temple). This part of Tokyo is extremely popular among tourists. As it happened, a couple who live in the vicinity of the Fazl Mosque, the first mosque built in London, were also visiting Tokyo at the time and were overjoyed to see His Holiness there. They approached His Holiness and took pictures with him.

Later that afternoon, His Holiness granted a private audience to 87 members of 24 Ahmadi families from Korea, Japan, Thailand and Pakistan. Following the conclusion of this session, His Holiness presided over several official meetings and thereafter chaired a meeting for Executives of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Japan. His Holiness directed that an appreciation and understanding should be promoted for the institution of Chanda (a scheme whereby members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community worldwide make financial contributions for funding the various religious and charitable activities undertaken by the Community globally), which must not be perceived as a tax. Instead, Ahmadis should partake in this scheme at the prescribed rate, in order to reap Allah Almighty’s Blessings. Advising on the common challenge of motivating Ahmadi youth to participate in religious activities, His Holiness stated that young members of the Community should be taught in Japanese and in an engaging manner. His Holiness emphasised the need to persevere in our efforts and focus on prayers. Moreover, he underscored the need for the young generation of Ahmadis to understand the true concept of God in this fast moving and busy world by studying the works of the Promised Messiahas. An ambitious idea of building a mosque in Tokyo was also discussed. Following the conclusion of this meeting, His Holiness attended an Ameen ceremony before leading the Maghrib and Isha prayers in congregation.

Farewell; 12th November 2013

After a heartfelt and emotional farewell, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba departed for Tokyo Airport in order to take his return flight to the UK. Upon his arrival at Heathrow Airport, His Holiness was received by various dignitaries from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, UK. A large number of dedicated Ahmadi men, women and children were present  to welcome their revered Khalifah back to the Fazl Mosque in London.

The Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and Fifth Successor to the Promised Messiahas, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba, undertook an historic trip to Japan in November 2013. This was His Holiness’s second visit to the island nation. As part of his one week tour, amongst other engagements, His Holiness addressed a press conference attended by more than 64 journalists and media members. On 9th November, His Holiness delivered a keynote address on Islam and the Qur’anic principles of peace, at an historic reception held at the Mielparque Hotel in Nagoya.  In addition to promoting the true teachings of Islam, His Holiness’ visit mainly focused on enhancing the spiritual and moral training of the members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. This visit to Japan was the final stop of a four-country tour of Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

Ahmadiyyat in Japan

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, the Promised Messiahas, expressed his wish to publish a concise book in Japanese containing a summary of all the basic facts about Islam, in order to convey the message of Islam to the people of  Japan. Ahmadiyyat was first established in Japan in 1935, during the era of Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmadra, the Second Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Under the auspicies of Tahrik-e-Jadid (a scheme devoted to the establishment of Ahmadiyya missions worldwide in order to lay the foundations for propagating the message of Islam), Sufi Abdul Qadeer Niaz arrived in the Japanese city of Kobe. He was later supported by the services of  Maulawi Abdul Ghafoor. However, both had to leave Japan with the onset of World War II. A Japanese native, Muhammad Awais Kobayashi, embraced Ahmadiyyat and visited Rabwah in 1959. In October, 1945, the Second Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, saw a dream which suggested that the Japanese nation would respond to the call of Islam and flocks of them would enter the fold of Islam akin to the flocks that responded to the teachings of Prophet Abrahamas. In 1966, Mirza Mubarak Ahmad, the Director of Foreign Missions of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, visited Japan. The first Ahmadiyya Mission House was bought in Nagoya in September 1981, which is comprised of a two-storey building. In 1989, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s efforts to propogate its beliefs, received a dramatic boost with the publication of the Japanese translation of the Holy Qur’an. In the same year, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmadrh, the Fourth worldwideHead of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, visited Japan and delivered the first ever Friday Sermon by any Khalifah of the Promised Messiahas in that country, in Nagoya. In 2006, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba, the Fifth and current worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, visited Japan and for the first time in the history of Ahmadiyyat, the Friday Sermon was relayed live from Japan across the globe through Muslim Television Ahmadiyya (or ‘MTA’ – the official channel of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community headquartered in the UK). His Holiness motivated the Community in Japan to build their own mosque; recently an excellent property has been acquired by them for this purpose.

A Typical Day of His Holiness in Japan

During this six-day tour of Japan, His Holiness commenced his day by leading the dawn (Fajr) prayers in congregation. His Holiness spent the better part of his mornings attending to his official commitments, which include, inter alia, responding to thousands of letters from Ahmadis worldwide, seeking guidance and prayers and overseeing official reports with respect to the activities of the Ahmadiyya Muslim missions in 204 countries. Moreover, His Holiness granted a private audience to hundreds of Ahmadis; listening to their problems, providing them with moral and spiritual support and aiding them through prayers and advice. His Holiness also attended Ameen (the celebration of the first complete reading of the Holy Qur’an) and Nikah (the legal solemnisation of marriage according to Islamic teaching) ceremonies during his visit. These activities were scheduled around the five daily prayers offered in congregation. His Holiness concluded his day by leading the evening (Maghrib and Isha) prayers (generally offered around 9pm) in congregation.

Arrival; 5th November 2013

His Holiness arrived in Japan at 5pm accompanied by his entourage. Upon his arrival, dignitaries from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Japan and other local officials greeted His Holiness. His Holiness resided at the Ana Intercontinental Hotel, Tokyo, during his visit. After leading the evening (Maghrib and Isha) prayers in congregation in one of the halls in the Hotel, His Holiness retired to his suite.

Trip to Nagoya; 6th November 2013

His Holiness departed for Nagoya following a silent Prayer. During this picturesque journey, His Holiness’ motorcade took a short break for lunch in a restaurant at the foot of Mount Fuji, from where the snow-capped mountaintop was clearly visible. His Holiness admired the natural splendour of the landscape, and took photographs and made a video thereof. Following lunch, His Holiness led the afternoon (Zuhr and Asr) prayers in congregation. During this 350-km journey, His Holiness stopped at Ashinoko Lake — located in the Hakone area of Kanagawa Prefecture in Honshu, Japan, a spot of breathtaking natural beauty. Upon his arrival in Nagoya, a crowd of devotees and the local MP, Hon. Miyake Isao, greeted His Holiness. That evening, His Holiness visited the Ahmadiyya Muslim Centre, wherein he received a warm welcome by Ahmadi men, women and children and led the evening (Maghrib and Isha) prayers in congregation. As His Holiness was departing in his car, he was presented with a bouquet of flowers by the owner of the local printing press who has been involved in printing many of the publications of the Community.

Educating the Youth; 7th November 2013

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba presided over a class with Khuddam (an auxiliary organisation for male members of the community aged fifteen to forty) and Atfal (an auxiliary organisation for boys aged seven to fifteen), during which the children gave various presentations. The presentations were followed by a Question and Answer session, during the course of which His Holiness shed light on the exalted status accorded to the Holy Prophetsa in Islam. On the question of undertaking research into the Christian Faith, His Holiness related an incident of Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Nur-ud-Dinra, the first worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and Khalifatul Masih who was debating the concept of the Holy Trinity with a Christian leader. At the end of their discourse, the clergy tried to conclude the discussion by saying that the concept of the Holy Trinity was such that Asian minds were unable to grasp it, to which the Ahmadi scholar rejoined that Jesusas was also of Asian origin and perhaps he also failed to grasp the concept of the Holy Trinity!

Furthermore, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba enumerated that while God cannot be seen by the naked eye, we can still appreciate the power and glory of His Creation. His Holiness quoted Mount Fuji as an example of the manifestation of the Power of God. Shedding light on his daily mail, His Holiness revealed that he receives nearly 500-2000 letters a day. He reads each letter or a summary thereof and responds to them. He stated that hepersonally signs 700 of such letters every day. When asked what his childhood career or ambition was, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba responded by saying that he wished to become a doctor or join the armed forces.

This class was immediately followed by a class with Lajna Imaillah (an auxiliary organisation for ladies above the age of 15) and Nasiratul Ahmadiyya (an auxiliary organisation for girls between 7 to 15 years). These young women gave presentations espousing the religious trends in Japan, Ahmadis’ ambitions to increase the Islamic community and their passionate desire to convey the peaceful message of Islam to the Japanese people.

Thereafter, His Holiness granted a private audience to 123 members of the Community and an official delegation from Korea.

Friday Sermon, meetings with the Executives; 8th November 2013

After delivering the Friday Sermon, which was relayed live across the globe via MTA, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba gave an interview to a well-known journalist from The Asahi Shimbun (one of the five national newspapers in circulation in Japan) and cast light on the peaceful message of Islam.

Thereafter, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba held ameeting with the National Executive Body of Ansarullah (an auxiliary organisation of the Community for men aged over 40). His Holiness advised them to increase their religious knowledge and to undertake concerted efforts to spread the message of Islam in Japan. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba reiterated the principle that the power of prayer must underpin all such efforts.

The meeting with members of Majlis Ansarullah, was followed by a meeting with the National Executive Body of Lajna. His Holiness directed the Lajna members to circulate the salient points of the Friday Sermon every week to all their members and to learn a short book of the Promised Messiahas, Our Teaching, to consolidate their religious knowledge. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba further directed that all Lajna meetings must be conducted in Japanese and to make earnest efforts to integrate all female new converts within the system of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Following some administrative questions, this meeting concluded at 7pm.

Following the conclusion of this meeting, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba visited the Baitul Ahad Mosque complex – a building purchased at the cost of $800,000, and discussed plans with respect to its renovation with local architects. Thereafter, His Holiness attended a barbeque with local Ahmadis before retiring to his residence.

Reception with Japanese dignitaries; 9th November 2013

At 12:15pm, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba held ameeting with the National Executive Body of Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya. His Holiness directed them to ensure that they possess a full understanding and knowledge of the ethos of their organisation, hold National Refresher Courses and be regular in offering the five daily prayers. Furthermore, His Holiness advised them to study the books of the Promised Messiahas, to accelerate efforts to proselytise and fast track the process of publishing relevant literature in the Japanese language. At the conclusion of this meeting at 12:45pm, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba met with the Translation Committee, which is overseeing the revision of the Japanese translation of the Holy Qur’an, and rendered valuable support and guidance.

That evening, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba attended a reception attended by 117 guests, including Members of Parliament, local leaders, professors, doctors and lawyers. Speakers at the Reception paid tribute to the services rendered by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to the people of Japan, including those by Chaudhry Sir Muhammad Zafarulla Khanra, (a renowned politician, statesman and international jurist – who became the first Muslim Asian and only Pakistani President for both the UN General Assembly and the International Court of Justice), in restoring a respectable status to Japan, following the end of World War II and for the humanitarian assistance provided during the natural disasters of 1995 and 2011.

It is noteworthy to mention here that, when the treaty of peace with Japan was signed in San Francisco, 8 September 1951, at the 1951 San Francisco Peace Conference, Pakistan was the only major country invited from South Asia (as China was not invited, and India and Burma stayed away from the Conference for their own reasons). At the conference, Pakistan delegation led by Foreign Minister Chaudhry Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khanra, strongly argued for treating Japan with respect. Sir Zafarulla Khanra said:

“The peace with Japan should be premised on justice and reconciliation, not on vengeance and oppression. In future Japan would play an important role as a result of the series of reforms initiated in the political and social structure of Japan which hold out a bright promise of progress and which qualify Japan to take place as an equal in the fellowship of peace loving nations.”

Return to Tokyo; 10th November 2013

His Holiness left Nagoya for Tokyo by train – a crowd of Ahmadi men, women and children gathered in his hotel lobby to bid farewell to their revered leader. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba travelled via the Nozomi Super Express, which can reach speeds of 300 km/h. The train arrived in Tokyo just after 12:30pm, whereupon members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Tokyo received His Holiness with a warm welcome. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba stayed at the Ana Intercontinental Hotel and led the afternoon (Zuhr and Asr) prayers in congregation in one of the hotel halls. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba addressed a Press Conference attended by 64 guests, journalists, Members of Parliament, professors, doctors and other dignitaries. Addressing the occasion, Dr. Jimi Shozaburo, MP, expressed his gratitude towards the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for its services rendered to aid victims of the tsunami and earthquakes in Japan. He also mentioned the landmark speech by Chaudhry Sir Zafarulla Khan in a meeting held in San Francisco in 1951, opposing all unfair sanctions against Japan subsequent to the events of World War II.

Historical Tokyo; 11th November 2013

His Holiness visited the Asakusa neighbourhood of Tokyo, best known for its many temples, the oldest and most notable  being the Buddhist Asakusa Kannon Temple (also referred to as the Sensoji Temple). This part of Tokyo is extremely popular among tourists. As it happened, a couple who live in the vicinity of the Fazl Mosque, the first mosque built in London, were also visiting Tokyo at the time and were overjoyed to see His Holiness there. They approached His Holiness and took pictures with him.

Later that afternoon, His Holiness granted a private audience to 87 members of 24 Ahmadi families from Korea, Japan, Thailand and Pakistan. Following the conclusion of this session, His Holiness presided over several official meetings and thereafter chaired a meeting for Executives of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Japan. His Holiness directed that an appreciation and understanding should be promoted for the institution of Chanda (a scheme whereby members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community worldwide make financial contributions for funding the various religious and charitable activities undertaken by the Community globally), which must not be perceived as a tax. Instead, Ahmadis should partake in this scheme at the prescribed rate, in order to reap Allah Almighty’s Blessings. Advising on the common challenge of motivating Ahmadi youth to participate in religious activities, His Holiness stated that young members of the Community should be taught in Japanese and in an engaging manner. His Holiness emphasised the need to persevere in our efforts and focus on prayers. Moreover, he underscored the need for the young generation of Ahmadis to understand the true concept of God in this fast moving and busy world by studying the works of the Promised Messiahas. An ambitious idea of building a mosque in Tokyo was also discussed. Following the conclusion of this meeting, His Holiness attended an Ameen ceremony before leading the Maghrib and Isha prayers in congregation.

Farewell; 12th November 2013

After a heartfelt and emotional farewell, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba departed for Tokyo Airport in order to take his return flight to the UK. Upon his arrival at Heathrow Airport, His Holiness was received by various dignitaries from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, UK. A large number of dedicated Ahmadi men, women and children were present  to welcome their revered Khalifah back to the Fazl Mosque in London.

 

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