The Middle East

Friday Sermon

FRIDAY SERMON (The following is the gist of the Friday sermon delivered by Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Head of the world-wide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, at the London Mosque on 17 August, ‘1990) The situation in the Middle East is worsening day by day and as Muslims mainly populate the area it is of great concern to Muslims all over the world who are particularly anxious about the holy cities of Mecca and Medina where once the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) used to walk and sweeten the air with his breath. The Holy land is beset with dangers and conspiracies causing the whole world of Islam to feel deep anguish and particulary by the Ahmadiyya Community in Islam today. Other Muslims may consider it to be a pretension offensive to some other Muslims who feel that they are the standard bearers of Islam. Nevertheless what I have said is true.. Today politics has become corrupt and devoid of justice and righteousness (taqwa). Those Muslim countries which claim their superiority in upholding Islam are not projecting and practising the high ideals of Islam including justice. Politics is linked with their selfish interests and that is why we see contradiction being practised in the world of Islam. All the sects of Islam throughout the world, except the Ahmadiyya Community, have allied with one country or another. The Ahmadiyya Community insists that one should only support Islamic values. If one has true love for Islam then one should be loyal to those principles which are in accordance with teachings of Islam. Today we do not find politics based on the morals taught and practised by the Holy > Prophet of Islam. Non-Muslim nations claim that it is only they who are practising justice and are its custodians, and that without them justice would disappear from the world. Muslim countries are making loud claims in the name of Islam but the truth is that justice is neither being observed by them nor by the other side. I will now deliberate about the situation in the Middle East caused by Iraq attacking a small neighbouring state and occupying it before the world knew about it. It created an uproar throughout the world. On account of the pressure put on Iraq by America and her allies I have become very much concerned. The undignified exchanges between President Bush and President Saddam Hussain, and the names they have been calling each other, is regrettably amazing. The background to all 6 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS this is that a large and powerful Muslim country has attacked and occupied a smaller one. Similar incidents have occurred in far more dangerous forms in so many other parts of the world; and they continue to happen. President Saddam Hussain told the President of the United States that if he truly wants to uphold justice then he should apply it everywhere in this region as there are other-unlawful occupations which have occurred with the co-operation and patronage of the United States. There is, for instance, the occupation of the West Bank of Jordan by Israel which is daily being made more permanentlmmigrants from Russia are now being settled there. It is being occupied by people with a different religion and with whom Arabs have much enmity. The West has taken no action and its concept of justice remains entirely unconcerned. Syria is another Muslim country which marched into Lebanon and occupied it. The West should also have taken action and forced their withdrawal. If it is talking in terms of justice it should consider all the incidents in the region as a whole. If there is no lawful reason for President Saddam Hussain to attack and annex Kuwait then there is less justification for the Jews of Israel to attack and occupy the West Bank of Jordan which they have annexed. In addition to that some atrocities are alleged to have taken place. The Western powers gave much publicity to the fact that a Britisher was shot dead on the border of Iraq while endeavouring to leave the country. It is one incident In the Lebanon and other areas the Jews have continually committed atrocities and in broad daylight they destroyed the atomic plant in Iraq. These incidents have been absolutely ignored by the Western world and not a single finger was raised against them. But when one man is killed in Iraq there is an uproar in the media throughout the world and when unarmed people in a camp in Lebanon were slaughtered, including mothers and children, no nation raised a voice against it. Justice should be practised and implemented everywhere. There was another uproar when some British air hostesses were said to have been raped by Iraqi soldiers. Later the story was proved to be fabricated and incorrect. The West closes its eyes to the numerous incidents of cruelty and rape inflicted upon innocent Muslims. For a long time innocent women have been raped in Kashmir and the stories which I have received make one’s hair stand on end. The West closes its eyes to them but highlights a false and fabricated incident reported to have happened in Iraq. During the life time of the Holy Prophet of Islam there is no record of Muslims committing excesses during the wars in which they were FRIDAY SERMON 7 engaged.People were free to move about as they wished and they were not subjected to injustices by them. Islam teaches that if one asks for protection then it should be granted to him even if he is from an enemy country. Iraq has violated this high moral teaching of Islam when it declared that all British nationals living in Kuwait and Iraq are neither allowed to leave nor live in their homes. They should gather in a particular hoteLLikewise nationals from some other countries are not allowed to leave. It is obvious that the Government of Iraq is using them as hostages. Let alone being against the teachings of Islam to hold hostages, it is against the customary protocal all over the world. In which country today whether Islamic or not, can we find politics based and practised on a high standard of righteousness? Or even on an elementary standard of Islamic morals? Every where there are gaps. Taking the United Nations resolution as an excuse, nations are blockading Iraq from all sides. They are preventing anything from entering or leaving the country. It should be known first of all that the United Nations did not stipulate that-the boycott should cover every kind of necessity. Also the United Nations certainly did not decide that a country should be compelled to boycott Iraq if it did not wish to do so. America and Britain are both involved in enforcing these unjustified actions. On one hand there are the allegations of immoral conduct by Iraq which we accept. On the other hand, however, America and Britain are themselves acting far more immorally under the guise of diplomacy. They are also including Jordan as a target of there injustices. East Jordan has always been a faithful friend to the West and more so than other countries in this area although Saudi Arabia has also been on co-operative terms but its case is not one of fidelity because all the interests of Saudi Arabia are associated with the interests of America. They are two names of one and the same thing. It is not just a matter of fidelity. East Jordan has been a faithful friend of the West for a long time. It would die if it were to boycott Iraq; and if Iraq attacked it, it would not have the power to resist even for a few hours. The West is threatening Jordan and insisting that it should cease all trade with Iraq which is part of a plan to starve its people to death until it surrenders. There are many evil consequences which make the soul tremble. The question is where is justice? The West practises diplomacy very cleverly which in Islamic terminology is called Tajim (deceipt). It is gentle in its words and presents its statements in such a way as to make them appear logical. The situation is becoming clear and obvious and this dangerous crisis is deepening day by day. There are other dangers which, as yet, are not so 8 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS obvious. When we first glance at a small fish pond we just see the water but on looking a little closer we see some fish swimming just below the surface. On looking more closely we are able to see fish swimming around near the bottom of the pond. Similar is the case with worldly matters. There is the superficial look of the ordinary person who, after a while, is able to see more clearly; and there is also the look of an intelligent believer. There are many dangers which have not yet become obvious to you but time will show them to you. It is my prayer, and I wish that you offer it also.that Allah may remove these dangers which are hovering over the head of Islam. The reaction of different sections of Muslims has created a very unfortunate and dangerous-situation. In one of my recent sermons I delivered a message to the world of Islam on this matter. Statements were sent to Muslim leaders. The essence of it was that; in order to settle their differences Muslims should return to the teachings of the Holy Quran instead of trying to settle their problems with politicians. When two Muslim countries are about to go to war with one another then all Muslim countries should deliberate together and put pressure on that country bent upon mischief. After listening to the views of both sides efforts should be made to establish peace between them. If, however, despite all efforts, reconciliation is not achieved and one country attacks the other then it is the duty of the other Muslim countries to fight the aggressor. It is not mentioned that help should be sought from non-Muslim countries.I have full faith in the teachings of the Holy Quran and if Muslim nations acted upon this teaching which I have just explained then no matter how powerful a Muslim country may be all the other Muslim countries together would have the united strength to suppress the guilty country if it persists in its action. If this is an impossible teaching then it would not have appeared in the Quran. The teaching is clear and commands that if a Muslim country rebels,however large or powerful it may be, other Muslim countries should get together and try to settle the matter. Muslims should take advantage of it. What happened, however, is that Saudi Arabia not only invited America and Britain to send forces but also pressed other countries of the world to come and array their forces against Iraq. It is said that these are defensive measures to make stable the situation. Another aspect is that most of the other Muslim countries are under pressure from the major powers to send their forces. Some may have sent them on their own accord. It is also the folly of Pakistan to have promised to send armed forces to Saudi Arabia which will fight alongside the U.S.A. and Britain against the Muslim country of Iraq. The situation is becoming extremely volatile. It is made to believe that FRIDAY SERMON 9 all these steps have been taken just to protect Saudi Arabia from Iraq. I fear the danger is that after disarming Iraq the major powers will permit Israel to attack it; and if Jordan continues to follow her present policy of assisting Iraq under enforced circumstances then there is danger that Israel may occupy the rest of Jordan also as she did in the West Bank. Furthermore, because the Muslim countries have united against Iraq they would not be able to separate and help Iraq as to destroy it and annihilate it for good. There are some underground plots in motion. In some places C.I.A. agents are working and also some traitors to help implement the schemes of major foreign powers. The history of Islam is an open witness to the fact that whenever the Western powers have checked the progress of a rising Muslim nation or have broken it into pieces through an act of war or harmed it in any other way, it was always through the help of some Muslim countries. Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad quoted some instances from Islamic history where Muslim countries demonstrated with other powers. A similar situation is being connived again today with the involvement of Saudi Arabia and other Muslim states. The greatest danger is Israel because it has been complaining for a long time that it is in danger of being attacked by chemical warfare from Iraq. Now the world of Islam has risen to protect the interests of Israel. At present Iraq is rising as a great power and it is not impossible that if it continues to rise it will digest the neighbouring countries and may create a united world of Islam in the Middle East in which there would be a high percentage of the world’s oil wealth. It may also become self-sufficient in other fields also and become a great military power. These are the fears of other nations. What can be done ? I feel that there is still time for the situation to be saved from disaster. There is, however, no way out for the Muslims except that they should return to Allah and His Messenger. Iraq should uphold Islamic teachings and values and not make Islam a target for world ridicule. Iraq should.allo,w foreign nationals to have unrestricted freedom. They are innocent trusts of Iraq according to the teachings of Islam. Misappropriation of this trust can lead to dire consequences. The fire of revenge will become so intense that it could lead to the death of thousands of Muslims. The Government of Iraq should observe Taqwa (fear of God and righteous conduct) and return to the teachings of Islam. There is no other path of peace open for them. It should declare to the world that it is fully prepared to accept whatever decisions are made and withdraw from 10 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS Kuwait. Then there will be peace. The decision should be made by the world of Islam and other countries should not be included. Why cannot this step be taken before bloodshed as Iraq returned annexed territory to Iran after years of bloodshed? Iraq should withdraw from Kuwait. Muslim countries have become divided into two and are ready to battle with one another. It is necessary that Iraq should widely proclaim the message over the radio and television throughout the Islamic world that it admits its mistakes and wants to revert to the teachings of Islam. Such an appeal to the Muslim world would win support for Iraq in the Muslim world. If Muslim countries return to the teachings of Islam then Allah would be their Protector and He would protect Iraq from the dangers hovering over its head. If my appeal is heeded then Muslims would benefit from it because what I am saying is in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Quran. If, however, this advice is rejected through pride and arrogance then I warn them today that the world of Islam is going to face such extreme dangers that for a long time it will be in lamentation and banging its head against the wall. It will see no way how to regain its lost power. Muslim countries have reached a stage from where, if they advance quietly, with wisdom and without creating violence, they can become a great power within fifteen years. I want to remind the members of the Ahmadiyya Community that they should pray fervently with a painful heart. In whatever way Muslims might have maltreated them, or might do so in the future, they will be answerable for it to God. As I have said we Ahmadis are faithful to Islam. We do not fear the politics of the world. I would also like to give you some good news. The Promised Messiah has written in his book Hamamatul Bushra that God has given him glad tidings about Arabia and that he should watch over it and guide its blessed and successful. Today, as his humble representative, I am discharging that duty and I convey this revelation to the whole world of Islam. If this sincere advice which I have given is acted upon then there is no doubt that Muslims will be blessed and successful. They will be exalted both in this world and in the next, however, under slavery of their temporary interests, they should, God forbid, neglect the teachings of Islam then no power on earth will be able to save them from the wrath of the world and from the wrath of God. May God grant us the blessings of Islam and happiness of heart and remove our restlessness from which, I am sure, every Ahmadi is affected due to the plight of Muslims today.

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