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God’s Beauty and Beneficence – Part 7

God’s attributes confer beneficence for mankind and attract man towards his Creator; the primary four attributes of God mentioned in the Holy Qur’an.

One purpose of all religions is to bring about peace, both individual and collective. Despite this, there remains a misconception that religion is often associated with conflict, for example, that reli- gious differences cause strife. Often this is due to a lack of understanding of the true nature of religious teachings. Islam is a universal religion in that it recognises all the previous prophets of God. The message of Islam contains a prescription for the establishment of peace. It emphasises to the believer the importance of one’s duty to God as well as one’s duty to man. One of the key duties of man to his fellow human beings is the showing of compassion and kindness. In addi- tion, mutual respect for other faiths is an important factor in developing an atmosphere of peace and understanding and fostering the conditions for inter- religious dialogue. In this issue of The Review of Religions is an address delivered by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V from London, on the occasion of the Annual Conference of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Qadian, India. In this address, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V draws attention to the importance of peace, tolerance and sympathy for mankind. The address discusses the importance of respect for the followers of other faiths. It is explained how the writings of the Promised Messiah(as) illustrate the vital importance of sympathy for mankind: ‘Show compassion to the people and do not harm them with your speech, or hand, or with any trickery. Continue to endeavour for the welfare of all creatures …’ Regarding the importance of service to humanity: ‘…whatever kinds of needs G o d ’s cre a t u res have, you should attempt to fulfil them, 2 The Review of Religions – February 2005 By Mansoor Saqi EDITORIAL irrespective of which people or which religion they belong to …’ and furthermore: ‘Sympathy for mankind is such a quality that if a man were to leave it and contin- uously distance himself from it then gradually he would turn into a beast. Man’s humanity demands it and he remains a human being only as long as he treats his b rother with politeness, civility and kindness … .’ The world has recoiled in horror and dismay from the scale of the tragedy inflicted by the tsunami in Asia. People all over the w o r l d have responded to the disaster that has unfolded on their television screens and the s u ffering of the victims has generated international grief and an international willingness t o help – there has been a huge response by individuals to the appeal for financial aid. This disaster reminds us of the need for compassion and sympathy for all humans and of the giving of humanitarian aid to all peoples in need of help. Such compassion is a hallmark of humanity. 3 EDITORIAL The Review of Religions – February 2005 In this journal, for the ease of non-Muslim readers, ‘(sa)’ or ‘sa’ after the words, ‘Holy Prophet’, or the name ‘Muhammad’, are used. They stand for ‘Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa s a l l a m ’ meaning ‘Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him’. Likewise, the letters ‘(as)’ or ‘as’ after the name of all other prophets is an abbreviation meaning ‘Peace be upon him’ derived from ‘Alaihis salatu wassalam’ for the respect a Muslim reader utters. The abbreviation ‘ra’ or (ra) stands for ‘Radhiallahu Ta ’ a l a a n h u and is used for Companions of a Prophet, meaning Allah be pleased with him or her (when followed by the relevant Arabic pronoun). F i n a l l y, ‘ru’ or (ru) for Rahemahullahu Ta ’ a l a m e a n s the Mercy of Allah the Exalted be upon him.