UK Annual Convention

REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 39 U.K. ANNUAL CONVENTION The Twenty fifth Annual Convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Great Britain was held on 27th, 28th and 29th July, 1990, at Islamabad, Tilford Surrey. The major aim of these Annual Conventions that are held all over the world is that sincere members of the Community should be able to derive spiritual benefits and advance in God realisation. Another purpose and advantage is that the meeting of friends from far and wide, will strengthen mutual ties and the circle of brotherhood. The programme commenced with Friday Prayers after which Hazrat Mirza Tahir, Head of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, hoisted the Ahmadiyya flag He then returned to one of the two mammoth tents which had been erected to accommodate approximately ten thousand persons from fifty-four different countries, and delivered -the first of his four convention speeches. Among those who attended were British members of Parliament, the Mayor of Waverley Council, advocates of Human Rights and many outstanding religious and political figure from home and abroad. He referred to the religious oppression and atrocities which Ahmadis. continue to be subjected to in Pakistan. He read extracts from letters received from some of the persecuted members of the Community and praised their patience and steadfastness under these hardships. He stated that the country is in a state of political, social, economical and moral decline. The main cause of this situation is that Ahmadis have been persecuted to such an extent in Pakistan that it is forbidden for them, even to mention the name of Allah or Muhammad, peace be on him. He agreed with those political and religious leaders in Pakistan who had made public statements to the effect that the country was undergoing punishment from God and that it stood on the brink of disaster. This was the direct result of atrocities perpetrated against innocent Ahmadis who. had been murdered and whose homes had been burned for no other reason than that they were Ahmadis. Commenting on reports from Pakistan that the public were asking for the return of military rule for the achievement of peace in the country, he said that it was ironic that the people are turning to the army for salvation which has been the cause of their woes and misfortunes for the past eleven years. Neither the politicians nor the army can save the country from disaster. The situation has reached a point of no return. The disaster can only be avoided if the 40 REVIEW OH RELIGIONS Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad addressing the gathering at the Ahmadiyya Annual Convention at Islamabad, Tilford, Surrey Sections of the multi-national audience RKVIKW OF RKLIGIONS 41 people of Pakistan turn towards God, repent and seek forgiveness from God for their malpractices. HazratMirza Tahir Ahmad stressed and declared on oath that only the prayers of the Ahmadis can save Pakistan and the people who are persecuting them. During the third session on the second day of the Convention Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad delivered a special address to. the ladies of the Community. He spoke on the need of maintaining peaceful home life which is disappearing both in the East and West. He said that in the East the eldest son or guardian takes over after the death of the father which is accepted by the first generation but contention and hatred arise in following generations causing family splits. He said that in order to teach Islam Ahmadi women have to create a model Islamic society. They are often anxious that their sons and daughters should marry into rich families which gives rise to ill-feeling and other problems. Sometimes well educated girls are looked for so that they can earn income for the family. This is an attitude of greed. In the West married couples generally consider their parents to be a burden and a liability while Easterns people are often extremely critical of their daughters-in-law. This, adversely, effects peace .of mind. The Holy Prophet of Islam stressed the need to maintain good relations with relatives and that not to do so is .displeasing to God. Pakistani culture is not necessarily Islamic -culture and could hinder people from appreciating and accepting Ahmadiyyat or the True Islam. Love of material pleasures is given top priority in the Western world which creates feelings of false pride. The Quran teaches that at all times one should endeavour to strengthen family ties. World peace cannot be guaranteed until peace is first established in the home. Many Ahmadi Muslim women living in the West are observing purdah (veil) while in Pakistan many women are neglecting to observe Islamic principles. Married women should respect their in-laws as they would their own parents. Parents, also, should treat their daughters-in-law as they would their own daughters. It is essential to keep a peaceful atmosphere in the home. RKVIKW OF RELIGIONS Sections of the multi-national audience RKVIKW OF RELIGIONS 4 5 During the fourth session on the second day Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad delivered another address in which he reviewed the progress of the work of the Community throughout the world and mentioned that despite the opposition by its opponents, Ahmadiyyat or the True Islam has now become firmly established in one hundred and twenty four countries by the Grace of God and that during the past year one hundred and twenty three thousand people had Joined the .Community. The translation of the Holy Quran had .now been translated into fifty two languages and in a few years time the target of one hundred languages would be achieved.. Twenty-five new missions have been established in Africa and, in addition to elsewhere, a mission has been established in Berlin. An extension has been added to the mosque in. Spain. Articles about Alimadiyyat appeared in five hundred and forty-eight newspapers while two hundred and twenty-three programmes were shown on television and four.hundred and seven were broadcast over the radio. In Africa there are three hundred and thirty-nine schools and twenty-seven hospitals in operation as well as five printing presses under construction! Thirty-four thousand copies of the Holy Quran were dispatched to different countries. These were some of the achievements during the past year mentioned by Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad. He also spoke about the services rendered by certain individual Ahmadis, He said that during the past fourteen hundred years no Muslims have rendered such services for the sake of Islam as have been done by the Ahmadis. In his final address on the third day of the Convention Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad turned his attention to recent international changes. He said that there are two super powers which dominate the world with their economic systems. Today the West thinks that it has won a victory over Communism but this is not a fact. There are multiple questions requiring attention before it becomes clear whether there will be peace or war. Ahmadi Muslims seek no material advantages from any government but are more keen to give than to receive. After dilating on some of the weaknesses and defects in Communism he dwelt on some of the defects prevalent in the Western system. Many criminal activities are not treated with sufficient seriousness. The abolishment of capital punishment has encouraged crime. Alcoholism and drug addiction is worsening and provokes crime. Much money is being spent on luxuries and pleasures for personal gratification. 44 RHVIEW OF RELIGIONS Pornography is an example. Thirty or forty years ago there was a greater regard for moral values. Under the capitalist system wealth is .concentra- ted only in the West. Western nations fear German unification. United Germany will decline in the beginning but will emerge a-strong and wealthy country later on. Eastern European countries will turn to Germany for help and guidance; and their wealth will also tend to gravitate towards Germany. SOURCE OF BLESSINGS The convention was attended by brothers and sisters from all over the world maMng’it truly an international arid spiritual occasion. They came from as far away as Indonesia, Malaya, South Africa, East and West Africa, Pakistan, India, the .Middle East, America, Canada, Russia and other countries. In addition to the speeches delivered by Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Supreme Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Community, other speeches were delivered by prominent .members of the Community and also by non-Muslim guests who expressed’their appreciation of the peace loving activities of the Community and who also expressed their abhorrence of the persecution under which members are suffering in Pakistan. Throughout the proceedings of the Convention simultaneous translati- ons were being given in English, Arabic, French, German, Indonesian and some other languages.

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