A Man of Peace

No Comments | October 2018

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community © Makhzan e Tasaweer

A Man of Peace
Compiled by Tariq Malik, USA

For over 100 years, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been guided under one leader. While in the beginning it was guided by the founder, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, after his death in 1908, the community has been led by his successors, who unify the community and guide them in matters both spiritual and worldly.

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The fifth successor and current worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba, has worked tirelessly to promote peace and warn against the dangers of international conflict and nuclear weapons. He has addressed the US Congress at Capitol Hill, British Parliament, Canadian Parliament and the European Parliament, addressing key issues regarding global peace.

In these and other addresses, His Holiness has highlighted the connection between justice and peace, has urged for nuclear disarmament and mutual cooperation, and has elaborated on the true Islamic teachings with regards to conflict, justice, and peace.

On the Connection between Peace and Justice

‘The truth is that peace and justice are inseparable – you cannot have one without the other. Certainly, this principle is something that all wise and intelligent people understand. Leaving aside those people who are determined to create disorder in the world, no one can ever claim that in any society, country or even the entire world, that there can be disorder or a lack of peace where justice and fair dealing exist.’

On Islam’s View of Inequality

‘The Qur’an, thus, makes clear that all people are born equal. Furthermore, in the final sermon ever delivered by the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, he instructed all Muslims to always remember that an Arab is not superior to a non-Arab and nor is a non-Arab superior to an Arab. He taught that a white person is not superior to a black person and nor is a black person superior to a white person. Thus, it is a clear teaching of Islam that the people of all nationalities and all races are equal. It is also made clear that all people should be granted equal rights without any discrimination or prejudice. This is the key and golden principle that lays the foundation for harmony between different groups and nations, and for the establishment of peace.’

On Justice Between Nations

‘However, today we find that there is division and separation between powerful and weaker nations. For example, in the United Nations we find that there is a distinction made between certain countries. Thus, in the Security Council there are some permanent members and some non-permanent members. This division has proved to be an internal source of anxiety and frustration and thus we regularly hear reports of certain countries protesting against this inequality. Islam teaches absolute justice and equality in all matters and so we find another very crucial guideline in Chapter 5, Verse 3 of the Holy Qur’an. In this verse it states that to fully comply with the requirements of justice, it is necessary to treat even those people, who go beyond all limits in their hatred and enmity, with fairness and equity. The Qur’an teaches that wherever and whoever counsels you towards goodness and virtue, you should accept it, and wherever and whoever counsels you towards sinful or unjust behaviour, you should reject it…Another requirement for peace between nations based on justice is given in Chapter 15, Verse 89 of the Holy Qur’an where it states that no party should ever look enviously at the resources and wealth of others. Similarly, no country should seek to unjustly appropriate or take over the resources of another country on the false pretext of trying to assist or support them. Thus, on the basis of providing technical expertise, governments should not take advantage of other nations by making unjust trade deals or contracts. Similarly, on the basis of providing expertise or assistance, governments should not try to take control of the natural resources or assets of the developing nations. Where less educated people or governments need to be taught how to properly utilise their natural resources, then this should be done.’

‘If there are real issues between two countries that may escalate into war, then the rest of the countries can get together and solve those issues using the highest standard of absolute justice and without any prejudice to either party. If these standards are used, the disputing countries will have to listen to such arbitration. If any one of those countries refuses to accept and creates a war-like situation, then all other countries can jointly declare war against that country. No one country can fight against the joint organisation of all the countries of the world. It will have to surrender. When the warring country agrees to peace, then the underlying problem should be resolved with total justice and equity in such a way that the country has no reason to hold any grievance against the others.’

‘When one country begins to give precedence to its own interests over those of other countries, then the standards of justice become imbalanced. On the face of it, the country’s political interests start turning into material and economic benefits. Nevertheless, this is such a vicious cycle that it does not allow a person to escape from the circle of one’s own ego and self interest…The spread of vested interests has widened so much that they have all but masked the requirements of justice.

If we leave alone the apparent animosities between nations, then due to the political, geographic, or economic value of certain countries, other nations have tried to overpower them through their greed and might as a means of serving their own interests. Consequently new alliances have begun to form. The main cause of all of this is that man has forgotten His Creator and His teachings…Superpowers have a hand in the policy-making of the minor countries and even the ordinary people are aware of this. The superpowers play a role in either supporting the political governments or uprooting them. Consequently the people of these minor countries develop hatred in their hearts against the superpowers, even though, in my opinion, it is the leaders of those countries who are the most to blame.’

On Preventing a Third World War

‘Today, the world stands in great need for people of all religions, and even those who do not believe in religion, to come together. There is an urgent need for people of all races, nationalities and ethnicities to unite to a common purpose to save the world from destruction. All peace-loving people must join together to firmly stop all forms of cruelty wherever they occur. Everyone should remove all hostility, hatred and malice from their hearts, otherwise such enmities will ignite and cause the destruction of this world. The signs of a world war are rapidly appearing on the horizon and there is only one way to save ourselves from its devastating consequences and that is to beseech the One God, Who is compassionate to His creation, for His Mercy. It is my prayer that the world becomes inclined towards this.’

‘The weapons available today are so destructive that they could lead to generation after generation of children being born with severe genetic or physical defects.

The devastating and destructive effects of such warfare will not be limited to the war and its aftermath, but will pass from generation to generation. These are the real consequences of such warfare, and yet today there are selfish and foolish people who are extremely proud of their invention and describe what they have developed as a gift to the world.

But let it be clear that if nuclear weapons are used again today, then it is quite possible that parts of certain countries could be completely wiped off the map. They could cease to exist.

What causes great fear is the knowledge that such nuclear weapons could end up in the hands of such people who either do not have the ability or who choose not to think about the consequences of their actions.

If the major powers do not act with justice, do not eliminate the frustrations of smaller nations and do not adopt great and wise policies, then the situation will spiral out of control and the destruction that will follow is beyond our comprehension and imagination. Even the majority of the world who do desire peace will also become engulfed by this devastation.’

On the Arms Trade and Nuclear Weapons

‘Both at an international level and at a national level, we are seeing polarisation and a hardening of attitudes towards one another. Instead of pointing fingers and blaming one another, now is the time for solutions. In my opinion there is one ready-made solution that can have an instant impact and begin the process of healing the world. I refer to the international arms trade, which I believe has to be curbed and restricted.

Whilst the primary interest of every nation should be the well-being of mankind and achieving peace, it is a sad truth that business interests and the pursuit of wealth invariably take priority over such concerns.

No country or group should be under the illusion that they are safe, because when wars start they evolve rapidly and often unexpectedly.

Today, several countries have acquired nuclear weapons, and if even just one such weapon is ever used, the consequences will be unimaginable and will live on long after we are gone. Rather than leaving behind a legacy of prosperity for our coming generations, we will be guilty of leaving behind only sorrow and despair. Our gift to the world will be a generation of disabled children, born with defects and intellectual disabilities. Who knows if their parents will even survive to care for and nurture them?

We must always remember that if we seek to pursue our own interests at all costs, the rights of others will be usurped and this can only lead to conflict, wars and misery.

My message to the world is to look at tomorrow, and not just to today. Let us leave behind a legacy of hope and opportunity for our children, rather than burdening them with the horrific consequences of our sins.’

On Islam and Tolerance

‘[A] religion that requires belief in and respect of all prophets and believes that the teachings revealed to them at the time of their advent was true, then how can it be said that such a religion does not teach tolerance of other faiths? How can it not teach reconciliation and harmony with other faiths? How can it teach the habit of religious intolerance and advocate living with others in anything but love and affection? It is impossible. That there is no forbearance in this religion and no freedom of opinion or speech is an unfounded allegation against Islam.

I would like to say that the very name ‘Islam’ contains an antidote for cruelty, the inability to put up with others and the absence of tolerance. I shall define some of the main meanings that the word ‘Islam’ incorporates. One meaning is peace, another meaning is submission and obedience, yet another is making peace and achieving reconciliation. One meaning is to leave someone when he is likely to cause you harm, another meaning is to walk together in harmony.

An excellent example of this tolerance and forgiveness was set by the Holy Prophet of Islamsa who forgave all the persecutors at the time of the victory of Makkah. History bears testimony to this event. Ikramah was the greatest enemy of Islam. Despite the general amnesty proclaimed by the Holy Prophetsa on the day of victory, Ikramah picked a fight with the Muslims, suffered a defeat and then fled. When Ikramah’s wife pleaded for his forgiveness, the Holy Prophetsa forgave. Immediately after forgiveness, when Ikramah appeared before the Holy Prophetsa, he said to him arrogantly, “If you think that because of your forgiveness I have also become a Muslim, then let it be clear that I have not become a Muslim. If you can forgive me while I remain steadfast on my own faith, then that is fine, otherwise I leave”. The Holy Prophetsa said: “You can, no doubt, remain steadfast on your faith. You are free in every way.” Moreover, thousands of Makkans had not accepted Islam and despite their defeat exercised their right of freedom of faith. So this is the teaching of the Holy Qur’an and the example set by the Holy Prophetsa on this matter.’

‘Islam puts so much emphasis on the importance of religious tolerance that it will be impossible to find such high standards anywhere else. Other people tend to believe that until other religions are proven to be false, they are unable to prove the truth of their religion. Islam’s approach is very different because it teaches that whilst Islam is a true religion sent for all of mankind, the truth is that all prophets of God were sent to all people and nations of the world. This is clearly mentioned in the Holy Qur’an. Allah has said that all prophets were sent by Him with teachings of love and affection, and so all true Muslims must accept them. No other religion so willingly and openly praises every faith and every nation as Islam does. Because Muslims believe that prophets were sent to all people and all nations they cannot ever consider them to be false. Thus, Muslims cannot disrespect, mock or insult any of the prophets of God, nor can they injure the sentiments of the followers of any religion.’

On Immigration and Refugees

‘Indeed, some immigrants have been guilty of such crimes and their shameful conduct has perpetuated such fears and anxiety. Given this, let me make it categorically clear that any Muslim who violates the honour of a woman or abuses her in any way is acting entirely against Islam’s teachings. Islam considers such behaviour as evil and has mandated exceptionally strong punishments for those guilty of such immoral and reprehensible crimes.

Society should not reject genuine refugees who are suffering through no fault of their own. Society should not cast aside innocent people who only want the opportunity to live in peace and who desire to be good citizens and follow the laws of the land in which they live. Instead, we should be there to give a helping hand to those whose lives have been broken, who have been tormented and who are utterly helpless, vulnerable and defenceless.

Let us prove our humanity.

Let us show our compassion.

Let us be there to shoulder the burdens of those who are in desperate need.

On the other side, immigrants also have great responsibilities in their new countries. As I have said, they must seek to contribute to their new society and strive to integrate. They should not isolate themselves or cut themselves off from the local community, but should serve their adopted home and work towards its continued development and progress. Together, we must seek to find ways in which people of different backgrounds and heritages can live together harmoniously.’

The important thing to remember is that His Holiness’ emphasis on peace, harmony and justice is a truly Islamic message, not a new campaign. As he says: ‘These past 100 years prove and serve witness to the fact that the members of the Ahmadiyya Community have always fulfilled the requirement of being loyal to their country and have always steered absolutely clear of all forms of extremism, rebellion and disorder. In reality, the fundamental reason for this loyal and loving approach is due entirely to the fact that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a true Islamic religious community. Our Community stands apart, as we have continually introduced the true and peaceful teachings of Islam to the people of the world and we have always strived for those true teachings to become accepted as the real Islam.’

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