English Translation of Keynote Address by Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community at the Inauguration of the Nasir Mosque in Waiblingen, Germany on 5th 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 Tashhahud, 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 Barakatuhu (may the peace, blessings and mercy of Allah be upon you all).
First of all, I am grateful to Allah the Almighty for enabling the members of our Community in this area to build a mosque where they can congregate and do justice in worship. They will not only do justice to their worship, but there are various other matters that are necessary for [the benefit of] society, neighbours, and for their own progress for which they will be able to ponder and strive to act on.
After this, I would like to thank the mayor of this city, the councillors of our area and the general public and neighbours for creating ease in the construction of this mosque and helping us.
This mosque that has been built is not only for men, rather the woman are also delighted for it. Just now, after the prayers, I went to meet the women and children in the mosque. One of the women said to me, “We have been praying for a long time for Allah to grant us a home. I would even write to you for prayers. Today, we are happy that we have a mosque where we can congregate.”
Hence, a mosque is where men, women and children can all congregate. They hold programmes that are beneficial for their moral training. They not only give them religious knowledge but these programmes also incline them towards attaining secular knowledge as well. They are taught how they must adhere to the country’s laws. They are taught about how they can become good citizens. They are taught how to be good to their neighbours. Hence, alongside worship, people coming to the mosque are taught all of these things.
Ameer Sahib [National President] mentioned that charity work was done in this area which people greatly appreciated. Serving humanity and charity work are the very means by which the standards of humanity can be gauged. By the grace of Allah, this is a wealthy nation, and there are not many needs but even still, the Community strives to carry out whatever charitable service is required. However, in poorer nations such as in countries of Africa, or other lesser developed countries, not only does the Ahmadiyya Community build mosques, but we also build schools, hospitals, model villages where basic needs are provided, they are provided with the means for clean water and orphanages are built. These are all the charitable works that we do around the world, irrespective of religion or background.
I have mentioned on various occasions, and will reiterate here again, that the majority of our charitable work, whether in the form of schools, hospitals, and various other institutions are benefitting hundreds of thousands of people around the world, who are not Ahmadi. In fact, seventy to eighty percent are not only non-Ahmadi, but they are not even Muslims. Many of the people who benefit are Christians, Pagans, or belong to other faiths.
Thus, working for the welfare of people is our hallmark and to carry out these services is a part of our faith. Allah the Almighty has instructed us to carry out work for the betterment of the people. Allah the Almighty states that if a person does not fulfil the rights of fellow mankind, then the worship one performs in the mosque for His sake will be thrown back onto that person. Firstly, one must fulfil the rights of people and then turn to Allah, in turn Allah will accept their prayers and grant them a reward. This is the teaching that we should strive to follow.
The National President mentioned that the Lord Mayor helped greatly in obtaining the land and so I wish to thank him again. He then assisted during various other stages of the construction. Therefore, he is deserving of our gratitude. In the same way we owe thanks to our neighbours.
With regards to the state secretary for integration – although I do not know the details – but based on the brief introduction that I have before me, he also spoke briefly today and mentioned that there are many trials facing the world today. The point that I really liked was his statement that religion guides towards the solutions to all these problems.
These days, people are drifting away from God Almighty. The Church has raised this concern and so has the Mosque, followers of other faiths also hold the grievance that people are moving away from religion and from the One who created them. As a result of this we face a number of issues. The various diseases in the world, wars or other issues result from the fact that we have forgotten that we are from the progeny of Adam and have been created by that God, Who brought this entire world into existence.
There are people of different colours, belonging to different religions, belonging to different nations. As the Qur’an mentions, this is for recognition. Being part of different peoples, and being divided into tribes, different races and backgrounds is so people can recognise one another. In reality everyone is equal; therefore, as a people, we should recognise this distinction. When we understand this distinction, then many of the issues that he [i.e. state secretary] has mentioned, [will be solved], the coronavirus pandemic, other diseases, storms and hurricanes etc.
However, there are many issues that we have created ourselves owing to which there is turmoil and chaos in the world. The reason for this as I mentioned is that we are forgetting our Creator and we are moving away from religion. If we grasp this reality and ponder over the true teachings of religion, then there is not a single religion – whether it is Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism or any other – that teaches its followers to usurp the rights of others and create disorder. The founder of each religion taught love and harmony, and we must adopt this teaching. Nonetheless, Islam has taught us that it is our duty to discharge the rights owed to others. As I mentioned in the beginning, if we do not fulfil the rights of other people and do not help others, if we do not carry out welfare work, if we do not look after those in need, or look after orphans or the needy, then our worship will be futile as will attending the mosque. Hence, this is our approach and we work in line with this principle.
Similarly, the member of the provincial parliament was in attendance. She also spoke about freedom of religion and I thank her for this. She spoke about obeying the law of the country. This is a fundamental tenet. Islam strictly commands one to follow the laws of the land. Islam has commanded us that after obedience to Allah and His Messenger (sa), one should adhere to the laws of the government, because it has granted them religious freedom, permission to build mosques, and permission to worship. If a government gives religious freedom, one should not only be grateful to them, but should follow the laws of that government with even more adherence.
Islam also teaches that love for one’s nation is part of faith. Hence, in this regard, it is our responsibility to follow not only the laws of the country but also those in authority, and to show complete cooperation with the government. This is what can prevent strife and disorder, and develop an atmosphere of mutual love and brotherhood and establish peace. If this is not the case, then peace cannot be established at all.
The state secretary also spoke about education as well. In this regard, I shall say that our Messenger (sa) laid so much emphasis on education, that he once stated that a person should seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave, that is, to continually seek knowledge. It is knowledge and education which shall enlighten you to broaden your mind, and enable you to attain high morals, and with this, you will be able to draw the attention of the world to peace and to make efforts towards this. In fact, he [the Holy Prophet (sa)] even mentioned the education of women – there are generally doubts and misgivings about Islam usurping the rights of women – the Holy Prophet (sa) stated that you should provide a good education to your daughters. He said that one who has three daughters, and gives them a good upbringing, makes them a beneficial part of society, and provides them with the means to stand on their own two feet, then such a person shall enter paradise. This is the status of women; which Islam teaches us. It tells us that they should acquire such an education, and one should give special emphasis to the education of women, so that the next generation will be taken care of. When this is the case, then indeed, the one who raised them will enter paradise, and the children which such a woman then raises shall attain a good status in this world and the next.
Then, I wish to thank the representative of the district for his words about giving us a place in this country, and for granting us religious freedom. For this, we are grateful to him. Many of the people who have migrated here from Pakistan have come from such circumstances where they did not have any religious freedom and their freedom to practice their religion was seized from them. What can be greater than the fact that after coming here, they now have the freedom to worship the One God, and can openly tell people that they worship the One God and what their religion teaches.
The mayor of this city also mentioned some wonderful sentiments. He said that it was a dream that has now been fulfilled. Indeed this was a dream of the Ahmadiyya Community, which has been fulfilled. As I mentioned in the beginning, a woman said that it was a dream that has been fulfilled. Today, our men, women and children, have attended and gathered here to worship. This is how we will hold our other programmes as well.
As I have mentioned, the mayor also expressed the same, that religious freedom is a very important right. If the government affords its citizens freedom of religion, it will create peace and foster brotherhood and affection in society. Islam instructs us to fulfil the rights of our neighbours. Now that a mosque has been built, some of our neighbours may have doubts or reservations, or that because of the mosque people have gathered in large numbers; some slogans were being raised, some people may have been disturbed. However, in respect to the rights of neighbours, Islam teaches that everyone who lives within 40 houses from you are your neighbours and you must fulfil their rights. The Founder of Islam has laid such emphasis upon fulfilling the rights of neighbours that his Companions and followers remarked, “We thought that perhaps our neighbours would also be entitled to a share from our inheritance.” This is the extent to which this [right] has been emphasised. And the definition of a neighbour is anyone who lives within 40 houses from you, those who travel alongside you, those who work alongside you in offices and those you meet whilst traveling. You must try to fulfil their rights as neighbours. Islam has drawn our attention toward fulfilling the rights of every member of society and to consider them our neighbours. When one achieves this, it will create a spirit of peace, love, tolerance in society. After this has been established properly, it also becomes a means for the progress of a country – not only for those directly involved, but also for the nation as a whole. Thus, this is our mindset and this is the message we spread as the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
I hope that after the construction of this mosque, Ahmadis will further refine their conduct, morals and teachings and present them to the rest of the world, to this society, in their environment, to the people of this city, and to their neighbours. They will then learn that the true teachings of Islam are of peace, love, and tolerance. Furthermore, [they will learn that] by abiding by this very teaching, we can fulBil the rights of Allah the Almighty and the rights of humanity.
May Allah the Almighty enable all of our Ahmadis who live here to become a symbol of tolerance, love and peace for you all. With this prayer, I would like to conclude my address. Thank you.’