English Translation of Keynote Address by Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslims Community at the Inauguration of the Noor Mosque in Frankenthal, Germany on 9th September 2023
Translated from Urdu by The Review of Religions Translation Team. The Review of Religions takes full responsibility for any errors in translation
*Please note that this transcript may not be reproduced without express permission, either on other websites or in print format.
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta`awwuz and Bismillah, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba), Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Fifth Successor to the Promised Messiah (as), said:
‘All distinguished guests, Assalamo Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahe Wa Barakatohu (may the peace, blessings and mercy of Allah be upon you all).
Of the various people who came and expressed their views here today, the first was Daud Majoka Sahib. He is here today as a representative of our National Amir. Amir Sahib, Abdullah Wagishauer, who is a German native, could not attend today as he was not feeling well. Hence, [Daud Majoka] shared some sentiments on his behalf and also mentioned the history of Frankenthal. He mentioned some of the services rendered to humanity. Not only is service to humanity a societal responsibility of ours, rather it is also a religious duty. Islam has commanded to serve humanity, to serve the deprived, destitute and those in need. [It also commands] to serve the citizens of a city, and if this is done, then one’s standard of worship will reach a level that pleases God and God will accept such supplications. In fact, it is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an that if you do not fulfil the rights of other people, if you do not fulfil the needs of the needy, if you do not care for orphans, if you do not carry out such virtuous deeds which benefit others, then your worship will not be accepted and it will be turned back to you.
Hence, this is our teaching. When this is the teaching and it is understood properly, then a person or community that practice these things cannot be opposed. This is why Daud Sahib mentioned that it is pleasing to see that the people of this city appear to be kind natured and do not needlessly raise opposition. Even if someone did have reservations, they did not openly object, like in other places where we have faced opposition and there was even a court case filed after which the court ultimately decided in our favour. The neighbour [who filed the case] even said that he had thought of leaving his home and moving elsewhere. In any case, I am grateful to the people of this city for their mindset and approach.
I also wish to thank the council who rendered help and I am also thankful to the mayor. This expression of gratitude is our religious duty, because Islam teaches us that those who are not grateful to other people cannot be grateful to God. Thus, when we express gratitude, it is not merely a formality, rather it is so we may attain the pleasure of Allah the Almighty. It is the duty of a true Muslim to adopt such conduct and to live their life in a manner that is pleasing to their Creator.
I have mentioned on various occasions and will mention to you as well, that rights of neighbours have been outlined to such an extent that the Founder of Islam (sa) said that one owes so many rights to others that if they do not fulfil them they will fall into sin. In fact, the Companions used to say that the rights of neighbours were enjoined to them so much so that they thought perhaps their neighbours would be given a share in their inheritance.
The Holy Qur’an teaches to care for one’s neighbours. It also gives a vast definition of who neighbours are; those who live beside your home are your neighbours, those who accompany you in journeys are your neighbours, your work colleagues are you neighbours and your subordinates also fall under this category. Hence, all of them should be given their due rights. As for homes, not only are those living beside the home neighbours, in fact the next 40 homes are also neighbours. When this is how vast the scope of neighbours are, then it is not even possible for any sort of disorder or misconduct to arise. It is the duty of every Ahmadi, wherever they may be, to go to these lengths in fulfilling the rights of neighbours.
The State Secretary for the Ministry of health is here and made some very nice remarks. I would like to express my gratitude to him as well. The things he said are in fact the real Islam for us; that one should show full cooperation to the country and its citizens and to remain ready to offer any sacrifice for the nation. In fact, the Founder of Islam (sa) taught us that love for one’s nations is a part of faith. Hence, our faith necessitates that we love our country. When one loves their country, then naturally they will be prepared to offer every sacrifice for its sake. For this reason, it is not possible for Muslims who settle here – those who are true Muslims – who become a part of this country and benefit and continue to benefit from this country, to go without offering any sacrifice for it. No, rather, love demands sacrifice for the beloved. It is this very sacrifice that compels us to completely adhere to the country’s laws and strive to foster an atmosphere of peace, reconciliation and harmony; to fulfil the rights of our neighbours and to also fulfil the rights of the government.
Similarly, a member of parliament remarked that indeed, peace is crucial in this time. We are grateful to the government for granting us permission, and this permission was surely granted to us with the thought we are peace-loving people. And the very purpose of coming into a mosque is so that we not only worship the One God, but also fulfil the rights of His creation. As I mentioned in the beginning, if we are not fulfilling the rights of humankind then our worship is futile. Allah the Almighty has told us that such worship is useless, and He does not have any regard for it. Thus, when one develops this mentality, then indeed one can expect peace, tolerance and harmony from such a person or community.
This mosque has been named the Noor Mosque. The Member of Parliament also alluded to this. The Holy Qur’an also states that Allah the Almighty is the light of the heavens and the earth. If Allah the Almighty is the light of the heavens and the earth, then we – as religious people – are commanded to adopt the attributes of Allah the Almighty. Hence, if Allah the Almighty is light, then every true Ahmadi must strive to spread that light. This light translates to fulfilling the rights of Allah the Almighty and His worship and conveying the true message of Islam and religion in light of His teachings. Religion does not teach us to quarrel, argue and fall into dispute with one another. Rather, religion teaches us peace, tolerance, love, affection and harmony. When we begin to think like this, then one cannot envision anything else but peace. This is our approach and the principle we strive to abide by; this is the teaching we try to act upon.
The lord mayor also spoke in reference to the word ‘peace’. In reference to the mosque, I have said this many times and at present I will reiterate my point. The reason why a person who comes to the mosque, is a true Muslim and abides by the teachings of Islam lives in peace and respects every religion is because firstly, we believe that every religion is true and every religious founder was sent by Allah the Almighty. Every religion has come to spread teachings of love and affection. If permission to wage war has ever been given in Islam, then the reasoning for it has been clearly mentioned in the Holy Qur’an; after enduring a long period of persecution in Makkah, the founder of Islam, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) migrated to Madinah. However, the disbelievers and idol worshippers continued to pursue him. At that time, this injunction was revealed in the Holy Qur’an that the Muslims should respond to their oppressors in a like manner; if they wage war, then the Muslims should also fight against them. Why should Muslims wage war? For what purpose? The Holy Qur’an also makes clear mention of this, that if they are not stopped, then no religion will remain in the world; no church, synagogue, temple or mosque would remain.
Thus, when a mosque is built, we are also taught that we must protect the places of worship of other faiths too. This should be the mindset of a true Muslim. If it is not the case, then such a Muslim does not truly embody Islam. Even here, the lord mayor has drawn our attention toward the name ‘Noor Mosque’, and I would also like to tell our Ahmadis here – and I am expressing this before you all – that we must honour the name [of this mosque] and strive to spread its light throughout its surroundings. We must convey the peaceful and tolerant teachings of Islam to the world and also act upon them.
These days, we are in dire need of tolerance and peace. We must prevent wars. We are swiftly heading into a war, and so we must reflect. The only means to safeguard against this is to fulfil the rights of one another and rid of all forms of extremism and oppression in society. The Holy Qur’an teaches us that even the enmity of a nation should not cause you to abandon justice. You must establish justice because this in fact is righteousness. Thus, when we act upon this teaching, peaceful teachings will spread and a light will shine over society that spreads peace and security.
In underdeveloped and third-world countries, we not only build mosques but we also serve people of all faiths and backgrounds indiscriminately. We have built schools, hospitals and model villages to provide amenities to people. We also make efforts to provide them drinking water. In this way, we render services to establish a society in which people have access to these amenities. When such amenities become available in the world and when the world focuses on fulfilling the rights of one another, then attitudes undergo a change. Then one’s mind would not even go towards fighting and arguing, but to peace, harmony and love. This is why we carry out this work, irrespective of whether a person is a Muslim or not. All we have in mind is that true light can only be manifested when we spread that light to the hearts of others, without any greed. Our objective is to establish in them the love for Allah the Almighty, that they understand God Almighty, Who is their Creator, and that they recognise Him. This is a lofty objective for which we strive, but at the same time, we do not desire anything in return for this, and we do not seek to make any personal gain. Our only purpose is that people recognise their Creator. When they recognise Him, they will stop making so much effort to act upon their worldly pleasures, desires and cravings, or stop making so much effort in desiring these. Instead, they will wish to recognise the One Who created them, to act upon His commandments, and strive to attain His love after knowing Him, so that they also have a good end in the life after death.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community strives in all places to attain this goal. The mayor prayed that this city becomes one of peace. May your conduct here be peaceful, and may every citizen live in peace. It is also my prayer that this city not only becomes one of peace, rather, that the world becomes an abode where there is peace.
The wars taking place nowadays can have terrifying consequences if they expand further. The possibility of this is very clear, and the outcome will be harrowing. Furthermore, the weaponry that can be used in the wars is such that will cripple our future generations, and children will be born with severe disabilities. Millions of people will be wiped off the face of the earth. Hence, in this regard, we must strive and make efforts to establish peace, love and harmony on a small level, and on a large scale too, and to draw the attention of our governments towards this.
There are government representatives here as well today. To them, I say that you should pay attention to establishing an atmosphere of peace and security, so that the world avoids a major world war, so that we do not bequeath to the next generations a future where [vast numbers of] people will suffer from paralysis, nor one that destroys the economy or ruins cities. Instead, we should leave behind an atmosphere of joy. That, too, can only happen when we understand the objective and purpose of our lives, which is to recognise our Creator. May Allah Almighty enable us to do so.
I say to the Ahmadis who reside here, you should propagate the message [of Islam Ahmadiyyat], more than before, to this city and this country. Likewise, I thank the Prime Minister, who sent a message expressing her sentiments. May Allah Almighty reward her for the way in which she spoke of us. Thank you. Peace be upon you.’