Is Islam for Germany?No Comments | July 2011
After reciting Tashhahud, Ta’awwudh and Bismillah, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V(aba) said:
“All the distinguished guests:
Assalamo ‘Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahe Wa Barakatohu – Peace and blessings of Allah be upon you all.
First of all I would like to thank all of the guests who, despite not being a part of our religion, are attending this event taking place within our Annual Convention (Jalsa Salana).
This programme today has been organised specifically for our non-Ahmadi friends, and indeed the majority, or at least quite a number of guests, are non-Muslim.
Certainly, your attendance at this event demonstrates your broad-mindedness, whereby as citizens of Germany, you appreciate that it is important to understand and recognise each another, irrespective of religious differences.
A large majority of the Ahmadis in Germany are not of German origin. In fact, apart from just a few people, the vast majority are of either Pakistani or Asian origin. This shows that not only have you come here irrespective of religious differences, but also irrespective of national and cultural differences.
It is said that some of Germany’s indigenous population has Asian ancestry. It may seem that many of the world’s nations are divided by their cultures and languages, but the truth is that their cultures and languages often have common roots.
If we look, for example, at the case of the Indo-Pak sub-continent, we observe that for a very long period various nations came and inhabited its lands. If we look just at Pakistan, we find that dozens of tribes and ‘brotherhood’ systems existed. Over many eras these distinct groups came to form one nation.
Let me speak here though of the Pakistanis or other nationals who have come and settled here in Germany from different parts of the world. There is no doubt that with the passing of time their children and grandchildren, regardless of colour and race, will come to call and view themselves as true Germans. Indeed, many have already rapidly absorbed themselves into the German way of living, and they have adopted the local traditions and eating habits.
Moreover, as a means to protect this country, some have even joined the German armed forces, whilst to uphold and protect the law, others have joined the civil service and law enforcement agencies. Some have chosen to work in different departments of the social services, whilst others are facilitating economic progress by being involved in various trade and industries. Then there are immigrants who have become scientists and, therefore, are contributing towards the scientific progress of the nation. All of these efforts and activities prove the loyalty of these people towards Germany, and shows that they are an active part of the nation.
It is due to your relationship with such Ahmadis, who are originally from Pakistan and who you have come to know well over the past few years, that you have come to attend today. It is my prayer that God maintains your enlightened way of thinking, and also that He continues to increase this quality that you have all displayed.
May the thought never cross your minds that these immigrants come from such and such country, or that they are of such and such religion, and thus they cannot became part of the German nation. If this thought develops then it will become a means of causing restlessness in society.
Remember, that it is small and apparently insignificant issues and minor suspicions that lead to major problems, which do not only harm a few individuals or groups, rather they actually hinder the progress of the entire country.
No loyal German citizen can tolerate that the great efforts they have made to raise and maintain Germany to its current high standing should ever be put at risk. In truth, one who loves his country can never contemplate such an act.
Those Ahmadi Muslims who have settled here, they too love their adopted country and always desire that it advances. It is not only the moral obligation of every Ahmadi who has migrated here and who has been accepted by the German nation, but also his religious duty, to be loyal and devoted to his country.
It is a great quality of Western nations that they have kept faith and religion separate from politics and government for some time. Religion for each individual is left as a personal matter between him and God. Politics and government are considered to be secular matters.
Perhaps as a consequence of the bad experiences of previous eras when there was no separation between Church and State, or perhaps due to the extremism of certain Muslim groups in the modern era, we find today that many Western countries have become anxious and fearful at just hearing the name of a religious organisation, or the name of Islam itself. Consequently, often without pausing to think or consider, a negative response takes place.
Because of the actions of certain Muslim groups, this reaction is quite justified, as some Muslims have portrayed a most terrifying image of Islam in which extremism and terrorism are prevalent. The fact is, however, that this is an Islam that they have concocted themselves and has no link to true Islam whatsoever.
Islam teaches that unjustly killing any one person is like killing all of mankind. This principle is derived from the Holy Qur’an, which states:
…Whosoever killed a person – unless it be for killing a person or for creating disorder in the land – it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and whoso saved a life, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind… (Ch.5:V.33)
Further to this beautiful Qur’anic teaching, the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw) has said that whoever commits suicide cannot be a believer and is destined to go to hell.
If you look at these points together and analyse the teachings of Islam, you will see that any act of terrorism through which innocent people are killed, be it self-serving suicide bombings or otherwise, are completely and entirely against the teachings of Islam. These hateful acts are not eliminating disorder in the world, but in fact are fuelling disorder.
As a result of terrorism in the world today, there are thousands of children who are being orphaned. At the other extreme, thousands of parents are faced with burying their children, whilst thousands of women are being left as widows. Suicide bombings are completely devastating and wrecking the local economies. When economies fail, this again leads to restlessness and ultimately disorder.
Here I would also like to say that the current method of warfare is destroying the lives of the local citizens, without any regard for humanity at all. Innocent lives are being taken during such wars. This approach to war not only shows brutality, but is also proving to be a means for destroying the local economies. Thus, from the perspective of an Ahmadi Muslim, we are against all forms of disorder and indiscriminate bloodshed.
We are also opposed to indiscriminate firing and bombing by governments, because when such bombardments take place it results in human rights being completely usurped, and consequently lives are lost for no reason whatsoever.
As I have said, in the Western world the Church and State are kept separate. Whatever the reasons were that led to this separation, the end result has been beneficial. This system of government runs in a much smoother and just manner.
This positive experience of the Western governments is in complete contrast to what they observe in the Muslim world.
What they see is the seemingly deeply religious inclinations of the Muslims. They see certain Islamic governments adopting very harsh measures and even using violence against their own people. They also observe the extreme acts of various terrorist organisations, and due to lack of knowledge and understanding, they object to Islam rather than object to the extreme acts themselves. Consequently, they display a very severe reaction against the religion of Islam.
It is our claim that Islam is a universal religion, for all of mankind, which is why its teachings cover all aspects of life – from minor seemingly insignificant matters, to matters of vast importance and international concern.
The text of the Holy Qur’an remains in its exact original form today. Not even one letter has been added or taken away from it, and even many Orientalists and non-Muslim historians have testified to this truth.
So what does the Holy Qur’an say?
It teaches us that religion is a personal matter for each individual to determine for himself.
In one verse, the Holy Qur’an teaches us that: there should be no compulsion in matters of faith (Ch.2:V.257). Some of you may not be aware that this verse was revealed when the Holy Prophet of Islam(saw) had already established a government in Madinah. At the time, a covenant had already been made with the Jews and other tribes, and a functioning system of government was in place in which the Holy Prophet(saw) had already been accepted as Head of State.
The injunction to keep religion and government independent of each other was revealed at that time and in those circumstances, even though the difference between right and wrong had become manifest, and even though the Muslims believed their religion to be true and their teachings to be unparalleled.
With this injunction it became clear that these excellent teachings were to be spread through love and affection, rather than by force or by acting unjustly towards others.
Allah has said that a requirement for a just government is that it should separate religious matters from matters of State, and every citizen should be afforded his due rights.
This principle is absolute and without exception, to the extent that you must act justly even with those people who have displayed hatred towards you, and who due to this opposition have persecuted you repeatedly in every possible way.
The Holy Qur’an states:
O ye who believe! Be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah. Surely, Allah is Aware of what you do. (Ch.5:V.9)
This is the key principle to running a government, that religion should play no part in it. Religious differences should not be an obstacle to the implementation of justice.
Now, after hearing all of this, how can anyone allege that the teachings of Islam are not just? I do not believe that those who consider themselves to be just and educated can deem the teachings of Islam to be wrong once they have come to understand it.
Certainly, it is a person’s right to categorise those Muslim groups who do not follow the true teachings of Islam as wrong. Those who commit wrong acts and deeds should be condemned no matter what religion they subscribe to. This truly is real justice and is essential for the peace of the world, so that the values of love and affection can thrive and prosper.
In this short time it is impossible for me to mention all of the beautiful teachings of Islam to you, but I would say that because all of you here today are well-educated, I would urge you not to make a judgement based on just one side of the story.
In fact, look at the true picture of Islam portrayed by the Ahmadiyya community. The portrayal of Islam that we present is not a new representation of Islam. Our Islam is in exact accordance with the Holy Qur’an and the teachings of the Founder of Islam, the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw). It is on these teachings that you should base your judgement.
We believe that the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as), is the Reformer of the Age and the Promised Messiah, whom the followers of all the religions had been waiting for, in accordance with their scriptures and teachings. He came to establish a relationship between man and God, and also to remind man to discharge the rights due to others. He came to transform this world into a haven of peace.
He once said:
‘The task for which God has appointed me is that I should remove the malaise that afflicts the relationship between God and His creatures and restore the relationship of love and sincerity between them. Through the proclamation of truth and by putting an end to religious conflicts I should bring about peace and manifest the Divine verities that have become hidden from the eyes of the world.’ 
Religious hatred has engulfed the entire world. I should say rather that in the modern era, some who are opposed to Islam such as the followers of other religions, agnostics or atheists, unfairly target the teachings of Islam.
Yet in this era the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community(as) has rendered those who object to Islam’s teachings totally speechless. He has done so through his acts and through his writings, in which he has presented the beautiful teachings of Islam to the world. Through his life’s work he has ensured that his followers continue to act upon the true teachings of Islam. We see a small glimpse of his teachings in the quote that I have just narrated.
What he has said is not something new, rather it is entirely rooted in the teachings of the Holy Qur’an. It is upon these teachings that I shall now speak further.
When the National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Germany requested me to address you, he mentioned the current heated debate surrounding ‘Whether Islam belongs to Germany’, or ‘Do Germans need Islam?’, or ‘Is Islam for Germans?’ – Different phrases are being used.
This debate is leading to a very strong and negative reaction against Islam in Germany and in certain other countries. As far as any negative reaction against Islam is concerned, I have already briefly discussed this when I said that a person should not hastily jump to conclusions and immediately agree with one side of the story. Analysis and investigation requires that any matter of debate should be viewed from a just and fair perspective.
As I said, there is currently a very intense debate taking place about Islam’s role in Germany. On the one side there are some Muslims who believe that Islam does belong to Germany, whilst at the other end of the spectrum there are opposing groups who believe it does not.
The truth is that this is a very bizarre and false debate that is being conducted just for the sake of argument, and it is leading to very negative consequences. It is pushing people towards a path paved with danger, and as a result, is causing distress and hatred.
Neither Islam nor its Founder have ever claimed that Islam is only for Germans, or only for any particular nation or only for any particular continent. If Islam was limited to any particular area, then every effort would have been made to propagate it in that area only and this is how it should have been. However, Islam’s claim is that its teachings are complete and perfect and that it enables people of every era to fully recognise their Creator. Its teachings draw a person towards discharging the rights owed to God’s Creation, to the very highest standard.
The most excellent example of this was displayed by the Founder of Islam, the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw), during his lifetime.
Here it is with some regret that I must say that the opponents of Islam have tried to portray the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw), in a very negative and prejudiced manner.Because of this Islam has been maliciously portrayed in the most barbaric fashion.
Unfortunately, some Muslim organisations due only to their vested interests, have also portrayed Islam in a totally wrong light. They do this despite the fact that Islam teaches us to live in society and to run governments in such a way whereby every citizen is granted his due civic rights.
This perfect model was demonstrated so exceptionally by the covenant of Madinah drawn up by the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw). In the society of Madinah every single person enjoyed freedom of religion, and everyone had the free will to be sanctioned according to their own religious laws and scriptures.
It should therefore be clear that such debates and questions are used only as a means to attain cheap worldly and political fame. Apart from this, such debates are meaningless, and so in my opinion they have no value whatsoever.
Some German people, who consider themselves indigenous Germans, are perhaps worried that Islam will be forced upon them. As I said earlier, Islam does not claim to be only for a particular region or country.
Yes, Islam does make one claim, which has been mentioned clearly in the Holy Qur’an. In this verse the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw) is directly addressed. The Holy Qur’an states in Chapter 7, Verse 159:
Say, ‘O mankind, truly I am a Messenger to you all from Allah…
Therefore, the claim made here is that the Prophet Muhammad(saw) was sent as a Messenger for the entire world. Of course, Germany is a major part of the world, and so it is also our duty to convey the message of Islam to the people of this country with a spirit of love and affection. There is no room for any form of compulsion and neither has Islam ever been spread by force.
From the time of the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw) until today, Islam has only been spread through preaching. This is a long and historical debate which time does not permit me to speak on. I will say only this much that in Europe at one time there was an Islamic Government in Spain. During that era there were Ministers and officials who were non-Muslims, for example of the Christian faith.
The true meaning of Islam is love and affection, and this is the beauty of our religion. It is this teaching that the Ahmadiyya Community is spreading throughout the world today.
One such teaching, which I mentioned earlier, is that you must display justice – even to your most stern enemies. This principle is such that no wise person can deem it to be wrong. It follows naturally that a person’s conscience cannot accept compulsion in religious matters, or a lack of justice. Both of these points are so clear that the question of whether the German temperament and laws are compatible with the teachings of Islam, is rendered completely futile.
Apart from what I have already mentioned, there are countless other verses of the Holy Qur’an that guide us as to how to maintain peace in society. I shall, therefore, now present a few more examples from the Qur’an so that you can further understand the enlightened teachings of Islam, and so that every peace-loving citizen can stand up against those who erect walls of hatred against the peace-loving Muslims.
From the beginning to the end, the Holy Qur’an is filled with a message of peace and love. Due to time constraints, I shall only present to you a few of the commandments from one particular Chapter, which is Chapter 17 of the Holy Qur’an.
The Holy Qur’an teaches us the importance of showing love and respect to our parents. The first relationship a new-born child has is with his mother and father. Indeed, this relationship begins even before the child’s birth when he is carried in the womb of his mother, for a period of nine months. During these months, the mother is often subjected to great pain, yet she bears this pain and difficulty with great happiness. Hence, even before the child is born, the mother develops love for him in her heart.
Thus, it is clear that that the parental relationship is one of absolute love and this love is pure and entirely selfless. This is why God, Who is our Lord, and Who is our Creator and Sustainer, has commanded us that secondary only to His Worship, a person’s parents are most deserving of a child’s care and attention. Therefore, in all matters, you should treat your parents lovingly and with kindness. In this regard the Holy Qur’an states:
If one or both of them attain old age with thee, never say unto them any word expressive of disgust, nor reproach them, but always address them with kindly speech. (Ch.17:V.24)
In fact, the Holy Qur’an states further:
And lower to them the wing of humility out of tenderness. And say ‘My Lord have mercy on them even as they nourished me in my childhood. (Ch.17:V.25)
Will or can any society oppose such a golden principle? Will or can any law say that you should not behave in an excellent manner towards your parents? Surely not.
No matter how much you investigate you will never find man-made laws and principles that protect and give such honour to parents, as you find God Almighty has afforded them in the Holy Qur’an. It is He who has taught us to understand this reality, that the first lesson of love, affection and peace occurs in the cradle. If the people of developed countries are able to understand this universal truth, the anxieties of the elderly will forever be removed. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:
And give thou to the kinsman his due, and to the poor and the wayfarer, and squander not thy wealth extravagantly. (Ch.17:V.27)
This is the second principle to establish peace and love in society. When a child leaves his parent’s home he comes into contact with his close friends and relatives, and so that is why it is said that you should discharge their rights as well.
One clarification I would make here is that the basis of Islamic laws is the discharging of the rights due to others, whereas secular or worldly laws are generally designed to fulfil and satisfy self-interests, rather than collective interests. When one only keeps in consideration the attainment of his own rights, then he is liable to carry out injustice; however, when a person keeps in mind the rights of others, a spirit of sacrifice naturally develops within him.
The truth is that being willing to make sacrifices is the only means to guaranteeing the spread of love and peace. If a person displays a spirit of sacrifice, then the heart of the other party also naturally softens towards him. Thus, in summary, this verse of the Holy Qur’an teaches us to be extremely kind to our close relations and to fulfil their rights.
The verse I have just narrated also speaks of the necessity to fulfil the rights owed to the poor and needy. This refers to that category of people who are weak, deprived and who cannot fight for their rights. They too should be given their due rights. When you fulfil the rights of such people, a spirit of love will be fostered within society at every level, and such a society will be a guarantor for peace and love. The alternative is a situation where innocent people are deprived of their due rights, and have to face very severe conditions and illnesses due to the neglect of their rights. They are even unable to bear their basic daily expenses, and so because of all of these factors, they are staring death in the face. It is not unlikely that their children, witnessing all this hardship and deprivation, will one day in the future react to the cruelty they have seen all their lives and become rebellious. Thus, they will become a cause for the destruction of peace of the society.
Therefore, with regard to the poor and deprived, Islam admonishes us to continue caring for them, irrespective of their religion or nationality. This is why giving charity and the doing of good acts have been given such great importance. Indeed, it has even been stressed that when you help the weak amongst you, you should not seek anything in return, or show that you have done them a favour. You should give financial sacrifices in such a way, that when you give with your right hand, your left hand should not even be aware of this act.
The verse I have just narrated also includes the commandment that you should look after those who are travelling or on a journey. This too is an excellent moral quality and a great service to mankind, because such kindness requires personal sacrifice. For example, you can only help others if you are willing to sacrifice your own wealth and time. That is why it is stated that you should not spend extravagantly, nor should you spend so much on your own comfort that in doing so, you forget the comfort of others. If you are extravagant then you will destroy the peace of the society and you will be deemed a sinner in God’s eyes.
The restlessness rife in the Muslim world today exists because the majority of Muslims fail to implement this commandment. The gap between the rich and poor continues to widen and thus society is becoming ever more polarised. If the real and beautiful teachings of Islam, were observed then such restlessness would be easily prevented.
Next, I would like to speak about the rights of children. These rights too have been established in a magnificent manner by the Holy Qur’an. The responsibility for the education and moral training of children has been placed upon the wider society as well as upon every individual. The Holy Qur’an states:
And kill not your children for fear of poverty. It is We Who provide for them and for you. Surely, the slaying of them is a great sin. (Ch.17:V.32)
Firstly, parents have been given the responsibility to provide for the education and moral upbringing of their children. This is a vast responsibility placed on them. If they fail to fulfil this responsibility, it is as if a parent has ‘killed’ his child. The children are not only the progeny of their parents, but are also an asset of the nation. Indeed, they are a trust of the nation in the hands of the parents. The suitable training and education of a child guarantees the prosperous future of the nation. This is why the responsibility has been placed on the parents; they should not be reluctant to spend on their children’s well-being out of selfish motives, nor should they make excuses of being too busy to train and educate their children.
The Holy Qur’an has stated very clearly, that if a parent is guilty of such neglect, then that such neglect is akin to ‘killing’ the child. If every child who is born into this world, who has the suitable mental and physical faculties to be an excellent servant to his nation, is deprived of education due to limited resources, then that is a waste of his faculties, and so is also similar to ‘killing’ the child.
This is not only the responsibility of the parents. In fact, there is also a duty of care placed on the wider society. If even the society does not fulfil the rights of the child, then the society is also responsible for the ‘killing’ of that child. Thus, both the parents, who are the central point of providing education and moral training and the wider society, are bound by this duty towards the child.
The real assets of an advancing and progressing nation are its children, and so therefore, they should be taken care of. If you fail to do so, then instead of the children becoming a means of success for the nation, they can become a means for its destruction. Their lives will have been destroyed and this is what is meant by being ‘killed’. The responsibility for their ‘death’ would principally rest on the parents, but also on the government and the society at large. They will all be deserving of punishment in the sight of God.
Thus, you can see very clearly that Islam does not simply pay attention to the needs of the time, but also fully protects the requirements of the future generations.
The world today, which considers itself exceptionally developed and advanced, may have now understood this key point, but 1400 years ago Islam had already introduced and explained this principle with great vigour.
Thus, today I would like to inform you that in the light of this basic Islamic teaching, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at within its limited resources, provides the means for education to both Ahmadi and non-Ahmadi children, who have the potential to succeed in education. These educated children are developing into hugely beneficial individuals for their respective nations.
Generally, our Ahmadi children who are living in Germany are excelling in education. We are also catering for their moral training, so that they can play a significant part in the future success of Germany. In this way, in each country, Ahmadi Muslims are playing a prominent role in the success of the nation.
Then the Holy Qur’an commands:
And come not near the property of the orphan, except in the best way, until he attains his maturity, and fulfil the covenant; for the covenant shall be questioned about.(Ch.17:V.35)
This verse refers to orphaned children. An orphan is also a part of the deprived section of society, and so his protection and his care is the responsibility of the wider society. If a child’s parents leave behind property for an orphan, it is the responsibility of the society to protect and administer their estate, until the child reaches maturity. If the child’s guardians are well-off, then they should themselves bear any associated costs, or if not, it is certainly the responsibility of the government or the wider society to fulfil this role. However, if there is no other alternative, and if the orphan child has enough property or wealth, then, a responsible amount can be paid from the inheritance itself towards safeguarding the inherited wealth. No matter what, the guardian should not be reckless in his duties in a manner whereby when the child reaches the age of maturity his entire inheritance has been wasted.
Thus, the right of inheritance has been protected by the Holy Qur’an, which further teaches us that when an orphan becomes sound of mind and understanding, then all of his inheritance should be returned to him. These are the beautiful teachings of Islam which preserve the rights of such orphaned children. Allah commands that these rights be granted, and if they are not, then you will be held to serious account by Him.
A further teaching of the Qur’an is that in all matters of business, one must act with complete honesty and straightforwardness. We are taught that if you earn any money through dishonesty it will be devoid of any blessing, and will be a means of causing unrest in the society. In this regard it is stated in the Holy Qur’an:
And give full measure when you measure, and weigh with a right balance; that is best and most commendable in the end. (Ch.17:V.36)
I say once again, in worldly trade and industry and in business matters, honesty is the key to success for society, and is a guarantor for peace, and is also a guarantor for the excellent relations between people. God Almighty also draws our attention towards displaying excellent morals. The Holy Qur’an says:
And walk not in the earth haughtily, for thou canst not rend the earth, nor canst thou reach the mountains in height. (Ch.17:V.38)
This verse teaches us that a great moral quality is humility and humbleness. We must refrain from all forms of arrogance, whether it is arrogance pertaining to knowledge, whether it is arrogance pertaining to wealth, or whether it is arrogance based on nationality or government. Any form of arrogance will prevent you from progressing to a higher level.
There always comes a time when a person faces difficulties and hardships. At an individual level we often see that people face ups and downs. Even amongst the rich, we see changes of fortune, and we see the same with governments as well.
Take for example the current economic situation of the world. There was a time when some governments used to claim that nobody could compete with their economic might, and it seemed as though they felt invincible. But then the economic crisis came, and even a few years later, the world remains in grave economic turmoil.
We also find that there are many natural disasters that are occurring almost daily, and which have engulfed certain countries in their destructive paths. Their entire infrastructure has been destroyed. Some say that these disasters are a result of climate change, or of natural causes, but we attribute these disasters to the Power of God the Almighty. When Allah the Almighty wishes to break the arrogance of those who believe themselves to be superior, then through various means He displays His Might.
Let it be clear, whichever countries believe themselves to be safe, they are not safe. Instead of trying to determine who is right and wrong, the world should be seeking God’s Help, Guidance and Protection. And it is only this protection that can lead mankind to the true path of humanity.
In this short time, I have mentioned just these few points and yet I have taken much longer, and still the Holy Qur’an is filled from cover to cover with wisdom and guidance. Due to a shortage of time I have only indicated towards certain points, but even then these few points have taken quite a long time, for which I apologise.
In conclusion, I will say once again that the world has now become a global village. Nations are constantly intermixing. This is why we should draw attention to raising the standard of human values, and we should recognise our Creator.
It is my prayer that we are always amongst those who think in this way. Finally, I would once again like to thank you all for coming here today to attend this event, and by doing so enlightening this gathering with your presence.
Thank you very much.”
1. Lecture Lahore – Essence of Islam, Vol.4, p.111