Contemporary and Social Issues

Personal Moments with His Holiness, Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Reflecting on the Current State of the World

His Holiness (aba) discusses World War III and the potential fallout from a nuclear war

Syed Amer Safir, UK

We are passing through unprecedented times as we stand at the brink of potential global conflict of unimaginable consequences. During a recent private audience, I had the blessed opportunity to ask His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba), Khalifatul Masih V (the Fifth Caliph)  a few questions regarding the current state of the world and potential outbreak of a World War, in the context of His Holiness’ address at the IAAAE Annual Symposium 2022 and in light of current world circumstances. Below is the text of the discussion for the benefit of our readers. 

Amer Safir: Huzoor (Your Holiness), we were very scared after hearing Huzoor’s address at the IAAAE. 

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V (aba): In what sense?

Amer Safir: Huzoor, although you have regularly spoken on the consequences of a nuclear war, this was the first time we heard Huzoor speak about a blueprint for redevelopment in the aftermath. On the table I was sitting at, people were seriously contemplating purchasing land in Africa. Some people were saying that now the situation seems to be escalating and if God forbid it continues to do so into a nuclear conflict, how will we even benefit from rations in the event of a global catastrophe of such devastation?

His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) delivering an address at the IAAAE International Symposium 2022

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V (aba): Generally during difficult conditions one may at least avail of rations for two to three months to sustain one’s food and water in-take. 

However, in a worst case scenario of nuclear warfare occurring, resulting in an extremely dreadful aftermath –  what will be left? Apart from the grace and mercy of Allah, nothing else can remain.

So first you have to see what will be left in the extreme scenario of nuclear conflict, if any vegetation or animal-life even survives. A new life would have to be started as such because in the aftermath of nuclear warfare, the effects of the radiation will have far-reaching consequences. Whether above ground or underground, the radiation will penetrate, and normally where humans die, there vegetation will also die. Scientists have said that for several years the radiation can directly impact the soil above ground. However, as radioactive elements are absorbed by the soil, even the soil underground may become unusable. Some experts say that after a number of years it may become possible to grow crops once again. The soil would have to be removed to a few feet underground and then that soil may be able to be utilised to grow vegetation. However, at that point whether seeds are even available to grow has to be seen. 

In short, this is such a potentially terrifying and horrific scenario that humankind cannot even envisage. Who knows who will survive and who will die in such circumstances? This is why, as I have been warning for some time now, the world needs to take heed and come to its senses.    

It is said that in the USA bunkers have been made, some of which range from 1.5 million to 4.5 million dollars to purchase. Wealthy people are buying these bunkers, which are created based on the extent to which they can endure or withstand an atomic bomb. But what benefit will they serve by just a handful of wealthy people surviving and the less well-off all perishing?

In terms of access to food and sustenance, food is currently exported to Africa, but we may have to obtain food from Africa. We can invest in farming in Africa as the possibility may increase for Africa – or any other regions of the world not directly impacted – to in future become the breadbasket for the world. 

When the Promised Messiah (as) said that ‘O Europe you are not safe, and O Asia you are not immune either, and O people living on islands, no false gods shall come to your rescue. I see cities fall and settlements laid to waste…’

it is interesting that Africa is not mentioned here. So my mind turns to the possibility that maybe, the African continent will be saved. This is a thought that arises, or it may be the case that perhaps a large part of Africa will be spared. So we can invest in Africa as in the future, Africa may help to feed the world.  

Amer Safir: Huzoor, can you kindly explain how Africa will feed the world when at present in some countries of Africa, circumstances may seem as if it not in their means?

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V (aba): There is much potential in Africa. This shortcoming is due to a lack of proper planning, investment and honesty. If proper planning and honesty are established and vested interests are shunned, then there is huge unused potential in Africa. There is a need to realise this potential and to benefit from it appropriately. 

Amer Safir: Huzoor, there are many engineers, architects, doctors and some others who can practically help fulfil the redevelopment vision Huzoor outlined in the IAAAE address. What can other Ahmadis who do not have these skills do to play a role?

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V (aba): An Ahmadi should pray that the world may be saved from this disaster before it happens, and should also pray to be protected from the aftermath should it occur. What else can we do? When we see darkness before us it leads us to explain to others of the consequences. Only Allah can now save the world and can instil some sense into these people, or render any efforts of giving them explanations fruitful. This is why I wrote letters to world leaders around one or two years ago saying to them that in order to save the world from destruction, they should come to their senses and should not neglect their Creator. However, they fail to take heed or understand. They are overcome by materialism and only Allah’s mercy can save them.

But you should keep in mind that nobody can assert with 100% certainty what exactly will now come to pass. We can only pray that Allah saves us from this annihilation, if that is the decree of Allah. And if the decree of Allah is otherwise, then may Allah make it so that such widespread devastation is prevented in which large sections of humanity perish across the world.

Amer Safir: We observed through Covid some people changed their lives to either become closer to God, or at least gave greater priorities to their families and more important aspects of life which previously they neglected. Will a global conflict also serve the same purpose of being a turning point or warning? 

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V (aba): Indeed it is a warning. In such circumstances there are people who turn towards Allah. And that is what I have been saying on many occasions, which is that noble-minded and sincere individuals will turn towards God and religion. But when they do, there should be a guide for such people who are seeking the truth. So this is why it is imperative we have contact with people beforehand, so when the situation arises and people ask ‘what shall we do now?’, we can be there afterwards to guide them towards God and to show them the path to do so. It is only if we have connections with people beforehand that we will be able to guide them after. If we do not have proper interactions prior to this, it will become more difficult because people will not even be familiar with who we are. 

And so, on a very large scale, we must spread the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat far and wide. We need to convey to people what our objectives are and outline our purpose of bringing humanity towards God. We have to explain to them that we must give regard to human values to save the world from catastrophe. 

Amer Safir: Huzoor, in the event of such widespread destruction, how would we be able to effectively communicate our message when many forms of communication may be destroyed? 

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V (aba): Whilst some facilities may be destroyed on the ground, there may still remain satellites in space and it may be possible to continue communication with means such as satellite phones which we can use to maintain normal contact. There might be other forms of communication or systems that we can utilise. If Africa and other regions are spared from the devastation, those saved can communicate with others in different regions. But we will have to wait to see what those circumstances will be. It may be that there will be some degree of destruction in some areas but other areas will be saved. Sometime Allah gives a lesson by making a smaller area an example, but does not bring about complete obliteration. Allah may provide an example in a certain area to show that humanity’s inability to cope with the local destruction, as a warning to show that ‘envisage if such destruction occurred across a much larger area’.

Amer Safir: Huzoor, you went to Hiroshima and visited the museum there, can Huzoor share what it showed regarding the atom bomb?

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V (aba): In Hiroshima there were numerous models and pictures which depict for example, a person sitting somewhere and who is frozen in that position after the point when the atom bomb made impact. Some were stunned and died in that position, the flesh from their body melting and coming off. Some buildings that survived the blast, such as one with its dome and rods were preserved. Sometimes people became frozen in their position after the blast but did not immediately die. 

Through the interpretation of verses of the Holy Qur’an Allah the Almighty infers to us about such fire or destruction that would reach the heart of a person even before the body.

These tell us that such catastrophes envelop a person all of a sudden. 

Models in Hiroshima museum depicting the scene after the nuclear bomb was dropped. The skin of those directly affected literally melted away due to the intense heat and radiation.

Amer Safir: Huzoor, in other recent wars and conflicts, to some extent we have been able to shield our children from the news. But with the current situation, children are quite exposed to the news. My niece mentioned in her school the class were given instructions about what to do in the event of war and how to prepare here in the UK, for example finding underground shelters and having other essential items at hand such as torches. My daughter mentioned to me she is very scared and there must be many other children feeling the same. How can we reassure our children in this situation, who are very afraid?

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V (aba): You can provide explanations to children based on your wisdom and understanding. Explain to them that Allah the Almighty has said when the rights of justice are usurped, when the rights of Allah are neglected, when materialism, greed and worldliness envelop the people completely, then this is the outcome. We can observe the precipice the world has now reached as a result of adopting this path and the logical consequence of this is the outbreak of war. If the world does not avert a war then the result will be catastrophe and destruction. There will be some who survive, and some who will not survive. 

However, despite the destruction that occurred during World War II, and in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, entire cities were reconstructed and redeveloped after. We should still make efforts because life and death is in the hands of Allah alone. We should pray that those who survive are saved and protected from the long-term implications, suffering and anxieties. But first of all we should pray that Allah saves us and averts this.

The prayers of children are especially accepted. And so make children increase their prayers and draw their attention towards supplicating.

Amer Safir: Some people take sides in the current Russian/Ukraine conflict. 

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V (aba): Whoever is right or wrong, everyone will have a stance. No one is 100% right nor 100% wrong. Look at the realities and facts and then form an opinion. 

Amer Safir: Huzoor, the biggest question on everyone’s mind is, is there still a chance to avert war and save the world from a nuclear war or global conflict?

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V (aba): There is still a chance if we fulfil the rights due to Allah and His creation. It is however important to keep in mind, and the Promised Messiah (as) has explained, that when people commit injustices, oppression and cruelties towards other people, they will face punishment in this world. Allah’s wrath descends for injustice and wrongdoing towards others in this life. 

In matters of religion, Allah does not bring about complete destruction, rather such destruction is brought about due to not fulfilling the rights of people. In matters of the deen (religion) Allah will bring about punishment in the hereafter. For example, for those who commit Shirk (associating partners with God), Allah’s wrath will be manifested on them in the life to come.

Amer Safir: Is there anything else that we can do now, Huzoor?

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V (aba): We should keep praying that people fulfil the rights due to Allah and His creation and the disorder and strife comes to an end.

Write to Putin, write to Biden, write to the NATO leaders to resist engaging in warfare and not to take measures that will lead to war and that will destroy the world. In whichever country one resides, the people there should write to their respective leaders as far as possible.