‘Those Who Live in Glass Houses Shouldn’t Throw Stones’
Imtiaz Ahmed Sra, Canada
Recently the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association of Canada organised a series of interfaith discussions on the topic ‘God: Fact or Fiction?’ at universities across Canada. By the grace of Allah, I was able to present the Islamic perspective at multiple talks.
One such talk was held at McMaster University where atheist, Christian, and Muslim speakers were invited to present. During the Christian speaker’s presentation, he stated that the day’s event had been organised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, but that they were in no position to discuss the topic of God, since one of their own youth members did not understand their concept of God and ended up leaving the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. That youth later accepted Christianity and eventually became a renowned Christian scholar and pastor. The Christian speaker continued to speak about this individual for the rest of his speech.
Admittedly I was taken aback by the direction the Christian speaker had taken, as this was not envisioned as a debate. Each speaker had been asked to present their point of view and answer questions at the conclusion of the programme.
I immediately started reciting durud sharif [sending salutations of peace and blessings on the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa)], praying to Allah to help and guide me.
By the grace of Allah, the Exalted, a few points came to mind. After presenting my point of view on the given topic, I said that although this forum had not been intended to be a debate, since the Christian speaker had attacked Islam, I had no choice but to respond to his claims.
To counter the the Christian speaker’s claim that because a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community had left, their credibility in discussing God is invalid, I stated that while people leave communities all the time, seldom do we see people leaving the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Each year hundreds of thousands of people enter into its fold and it is the fastest-growing Muslim sect in the world.
I went on to say that since the Christian speaker had mentioned a specific individual who had once Ahmadi, I would take the opportunity to talk about people who had been mentioned in the Gospels. According to the speaker, Jesus (as) is God and he also had disciples, to whom he had shown many miracles and had influence over. One such disciple was Judas Iscariot, who famously betrayed Jesus (as). I offered the Christian speaker to enlighten the audience about Judas.
There is also the story of a disciple of Jesus (as) who was very dear to him – Peter. Jesus (as) had given Peter the keys of heaven, yet Peter denied Jesus (as) three times. I shared that I wished the Christian speaker had thought twice about sharing the story of an individual Ahmadi Muslim leaving the community, given the stories about Judas and Peter. As the saying goes, ‘those who live in glass houses, shouldn’t throw stones.’
Unplanned, the emcee gave the Christian speaker five minutes to respond to my comments, so I also requested an additional five minutes to respond to him. The Christian speaker took his fiveminutes to respond, but failed to give any explanation to my points. I pressed him during my five minutes to respond to my comments. During the question-and-answer session, he apologised for offending Ahmadi Muslims.
How interesting that the topic and tone of the event took a completely different turn than what was anticipated! Allah the Exalted came to my aid so I could defend Islam’s honour. Sufficient for us is Allah and an Excellent Guardian is He. Ameen.