Love of Caliphate Blooms in Waiblingen

His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community recently gave an address at the inauguration of the Nasir Mosque in the German town of Waiblingen. Here’s how the local guests reacted to the event and to the words spoken by His Holiness (aba):

‘Positively radiant’ — Elsa Sachs, Schorndorf

How did you feel, seeing our Caliph for the first time?

Very good. I was so happy when he entered – it instantly became warm. It was so beautiful. I was constantly looking at him. 

How did you like his speech?

Superb, superb. Very calm. And his way of speaking was radiant. Positively radiant. I don’t know. I am just really content. I would like to visit again if he comes. 

‘I felt that he brought so much warmth into the room.’ — Lily Herlitz, Schorndorf

How did you feel meeting our Caliph for the first time? 

I saw him for the second time. I had already seen him on Saturday [at another event]. Today, I was very happy to see him. I felt that he brought so much warmth into the room. It just felt something like relief. 

How did you like his speech?

The speech was very, very good, because a lot of people misunderstand Islam. So I liked how he explained everything. Even regarding women, the speech I listened to on Saturday, he explained everything nicely. I think he explained very well what his religion stands for.

‘I was very impressed with his words.’ — Martina Lanpharter, Schweigheim 

How did you like today’s speech of His Holiness?

I was very impressed with his words. Until now, I didn’t know much about your community. I was very impressed about the things he said regarding education and peace.

How did you feel, seeing him for the first time? 

Well, I got to know that he is similar to our pope. Like a person of an elevated status. Therefore, it is an honour to have met him. 

What are you taking with you from today?

Well, what he said, especially regarding the education of women. I really liked it. Also that human beings should live in peace with each other. I think it is very beautiful that your belief is influenced by this. Furthermore, I was very impressed by the hospitality and friendliness of everybody I met here. 

‘. . . He is a very special human being.’ —  Dr Peter Zaar, First Official of the Rems-Murr District

You had the opportunity to meet His Holiness today. How was your experience?

Well, he has a very strong charisma. One notices that he is a very special human being, even if one meets him for the first time and one is not part of your community. Therefore, it was a very beautiful day for me as well.

What will you especially take with you from the speech?

Well, that speech addressed us a lot. He really addressed each and every guest. It was also my first time to understand every word of a Muslim speech. As he said, one realises that commonalities of our monotheistic religions, which shows us that we are more related than apart. 

Have you also met the community? What do you think about the community, especially regarding its work here in Waiblingen and its surroundings?

In this regard, all speakers were united. All mentioned the huge social commitment, which really is outstanding. Your community has over 400 members here in the district of Rems-Murr. But still almost every citizen knows about some social activity of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

‘It was very pleasant.’ — Karl Braungard, Evangelical Pastor,  Winnenden

You had the opportunity to meet his Holiness the Caliph today, what was your experience meeting him?

It was very pleasant. Also, what he said, content-wise, was very open minded, even to us as Christians. Regarding social activities and for peace, he opened up perspectives too. I really liked it, because until now I haven’t had much contact with the Ahmadiyya Community. But this was a very good beginning, I think.

You just mentioned the speech of His Holiness. What impression did it have?

As I said, I really like it. I also heard his appreciation for us Christians and that working and living together is very much possible through the belief in God, despite the differences but due to the many commonalities. 

‘Wow, this should be preached much more to the world.’ — Petra Hafner, MP from the Die Grunen Party, Waiblingen

What did you like especially about the speech? 

I found it remarkable that we can all only live together in peace. That we all have equal rights regardless of where we are from. And also, the sentence that all the different skin colours are there so that we get to know each other . . . This deeply impressed me. I thought, ‘Wow, this should be preached much more to the world.’ Because this is the foundation of belief. If all religions would live after this basic principle, we would have more peace on earth. 

His Holiness also spoke about the role of women in Islam. What did you take from this?

I picked up something. Respectively, the example which he gave, that if a father educated his three daughters well, so that they can become self-reliant, he will receive paradise. This is an essential basic principle of equal rights.

‘. . . People like him are a chance for a better world — Benedikt Paulowitsch, Mayor of Kernen im Remstal

You had today the chance to meet His Holiness. How was that meeting for you?

Something very special. I think he’s a person with a deep understanding of our times and a deep understanding of what people need, especially people who need help, like poor people, people who are disabled, and that was a really special event for me also. 

You also had the chance to listen to His Holiness’ speech. Which impact did the speech have on you?

I have the feeling that people like him have the chance to build bridges between people within a society and between societies, and that was my deep feeling that people like him are a chance for a better world, for peace between different groups and religious freedom. 

You had the opportunity to meet His Holiness. If you would describe His Holiness’ personality to someone who hasn’t met him, how would you describe him?

First of all, one naturally has huge respect. But once you meet him, you see that he is a very warm-hearted personality, who also has a sense of humour. It was very nice talking to him. He is very open and interested in his fellow human beings. And the special mixture of his spiritual charisma on one hand and on the other hand his beautiful treatment of his fellow humans turns a meeting with him into something outstanding. 

‘He was radiating dignity’ — Matias Wanzeck, Lutheran Reverend, Waiblingen

You had a chance to listen to His Holiness’ speech, which impact did the speech have on you?

It was very interesting and very hopeful, what he said, and I think he’s preparing a common ground for the people here in the country and all over the world, to live together in peace. For me it was a good message, and I think this is the ground where we can work together, Christians and Ahmadiyya Muslims. It was a message of hope. 

What did you think of His Holiness?

He was radiating dignity, and looking at all the Ahmadis, you could tell how valuable of a moment this is to experience His Holiness’ presence. That was very impressive. Then I had the opportunity to listen to his address; I found it very interesting that he didn’t read off a prepared address, but he responded to each previous speaker and adapted his message to what had been conveyed. I thought that was very nice and also very dignifying and appreciative towards the conversational partners. And I think he was able to familiarise us with the important points of the Ahmadiyya message and give insight. To me it is an important point for the coexistence for different religions to say that you need to care for your neighbours and to care about the wellbeing of the entire society and to not worry too much about your own. 

‘. . . Very warm, very grounded, very human.’ — Volker Schad, Backnang

His Holiness also spoke about the role of women in Islam, a controversial theme which is also discussed in public. What impact did this have, did you learn anything new?

That was totally surprising to me because traditionally the way Islam is portrayed in its relationship to women is the opposite. So, there was a big emphasis on a human connection, on eye level, that women are encouraged to be educated, to be active as contributors and be treated with respect and with dignity. So, it’s the opposite of the black-and-white image that you get fed by the mainstream media in Germany. It was very, very eye-opening.

We saw and heard His Holiness. What did you think of this encounter?

Inspiring. I think it’s beautiful when a religious leader, who has responsibilities in the whole world takes time for personally meeting the communities he’s responsible for. I wish for the same closeness and openness from other leaders who have responsibilities worldwide, because I found this very impressive.