Untold Stories

Untold Stories: Peace Amidst Terror

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Alhassan Alhassan Ahmad, Ghana

My name is Alhassan Alhassan Ahmad. I am originally from Tamale in the northern region of Ghana. I was born to a proud Sunni Muslim family. My family was a large, comprising my father with his three wives and 18 children.

After my primary and secondary education in Ghana, I travelled to Egypt in the year 1985 to study at the prestigious Al-Azhar University, where I studied Arabic language and Islamic shariah (Islamic Law). Then I further obtained an MBA degree in Finance at City University in the USA. I then worked in a bank in Cairo, Egypt until August 2007, when I travelled to Canada and was blessed to become a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. This is my journey to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

In 1992, while still residing in Egypt, I remember that there was an upsurge in terrorist attacks in the world, especially in Europe. Many innocent people were being killed. A Nigerian friend of mine studying in the UK visited me, where we had various discussions. Amongst our conversations we spoke about the terrorist attacks that were on the rise. He stated that due to the so-called Islamic terrorism, Muslims, especially those living in Europe, felt shy to portray their identity as Muslims. What drew my attention more during the conversation was when he stated that amidst the ongoing brouhaha, I learned of an Islamic group called Ahmadiyyat who moved about preaching against the so-called Islamic terrorism. And they preach to people that Islam means peace and does not advocate what the so-called Muslim terrorists do in the name of Islam. He said the only group wiping our face of shame in all of Europe is this group. My friend added that unfortunately, all the other Muslim groups label these Ahmadis as kafirs (infidels), but they, in fact, were busy working for the true teachings of Islam and trying to maintain the honour of Muslims. That is when I started harbouring thoughts about this Islamic group called Ahmadiyyat.

Fast forward to 2008 in Canada, where I met a brother in the person of Mohammed Siddiq. He was the person who started teaching me about the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. He took me several times to Bait-ul-Islam (House of Peace), which was one of the Ahmadiyya Mosques in Toronto, to perform the Jumu’ah [Friday] prayers. My first time praying with Ahmadis was in that mosque, where I was given a warm welcome by the National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Canada, Lal Khan Malik and some other members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Mohammed Siddiq later introduced me to an Arab from Kababir in the person of Falahuddin Odeh, who also gave me more insights about the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and gifted me with some books of the Promised Messiah (as) in the Arabic language. All the while, I had not yet wholeheartedly accepted the community. Falahuddin Odeh invited me from time to time to his house, where we watched Muslim Television Ahmadiyya (MTA), listened to some sermons of His Holiness (aba), the 5th Khalifah (Caliph) and also watched the programme Liqa Ma’al Arab together. We will later have question and answer sessions between myself, Falahuddin Odeh and Mohammed Siddiq.

Falahuddin Odeh advised that I perform the istikharah prayer and continue fervently praying to Allah the Almighty to guide me. So, I did exactly that and, upon much deliberation, decided one day to join the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. That was in May 2008. What also facilitated my joining the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was deliberating over Chapter 3, verse 105 of the Holy Qur’an, which states, ‘And let there be among you a body of men who should invite to goodness, and enjoin equity and forbid evil. And it is they who shall prosper.’ Looking back, before the acceptance of Ahmadiyya, I realised it was the Ahmadis who were championing this verse during the rise in terrorist attacks.

His Holiness (aba) visited Toronto, Canada, where I was privileged to have an audience with him. When I shook Huzur’s (aba) (His Holiness’) hand, I felt the spiritual aura, the feeling was like holding the hand of a man of God, my whole body trembled.

About three years after the audience with Huzur (aba), I remembered a dream I had seen in 1992 when I was in Cairo. I had the dream four times, in all of which I saw the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa). What was strange was in the fourth dream, I replied to the Holy Prophet (sa) in the Arabic language to which he did not respond – as if he did not understand the Arabic language. So, I recalled that the fourth dream is what had manifested in my audience with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) because during the audience, I spoke in the Arabic language to beloved Huzur (aba). Huzur (aba) then turned to National President Lal Khan and asked if I was not from Ghana. So, his Holiness (aba) requested that I speak in English. Then I reflected and realised that I had seen the Holy Prophet (sa) but in the manifestation of Huzoor (aba).  Afterwards, anytime I have an audience with Huzur (aba), I feel as if I’m in the presence of the Holy Prophet (sa). This also made me realise that the second coming of the Holy Prophet (sa) in the person of the Imam Mahdi is true, and his Khulafa (Caliphs) who followed after him too are all true.

After accepting and joining the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the lives of my family and me completely changed because I realised that we now had an Imam, a leader we can rely on for advice and guidance. The beautiful and true teachings of Islam, which we were not practising before, we now started practising through the active tarbiyyat (moral training) and tabligh (preaching activities) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. After becoming an Ahmadi, I also had the opportunity to wholeheartedly serve the faith and humanity at large under the special guidance of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya. My waqf (dedication) was accepted by my beloved Khalifatul Masih V (aba) and I have been serving as an Imam or missionary and Ustaz (religious teacher) in Ghana from February 2015 to date. Alhamdulillah, I feel contented for being accepted into the Community alongside my wife and three children.