The Reality of Islam for the Japanese people
The worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and Fifth Khalifah, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba addressed an audience of more than 100 Japanese dignitaries and guests on 9th November 2013 at a special reception held at the Mielparque Hotel in Nagoya, Japan. During the event various dignitaries also took to the stage including Nagoya Mayor, Kawamura Takashi, Congressman Kudo Shouzo, and Member of City Parliament, Mr Yoshiaki Shouji. All of the dignitaries took the opportunity to welcome Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba to Japan and praise the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s commitment to peace and serving humanity. The dignitaries particularly spoke of their appreciation at the relief efforts conducted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the aftermath of the 2011 Tsunamis. We present below the keynote address delivered by His Holiness, Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba.
Keynote Address by Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
“Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Raheem – In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, Ever Merciful.
All the distinguished guests,
Assalamo Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatohu – peace and blessings of Allah be upon you all.
First of all I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the guests for accepting our invitation to this evening’s reception. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Japan is very small and the majority of our members who live here are either of Pakistani origin or from other non-Japanese backgrounds.
Yet despite this, you are attending our function, and so certainly this proves your open-heartedness and kindness. This gesture is even more praiseworthy given that you have come to attend an event hosted by a Muslim sect, at a time when a great fear and mistrust of Islam has developed in much of the world. And so, bearing all of this in mind, it is essential I offer my gratitude to all of you.
In society it is very normal to say thank you or to express appreciation as a courtesy to others. However, those people who follow the true teachings of Islam do not express gratitude out of any formality, but do so because our master, the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, taught that a person who does not express thanks to his fellow human beings is also ungrateful to God Almighty. Thus, to offer thanks is an essential part of faith for any true Muslim.
Islam’s true teachings are so complete and beautiful that at every level they guide believers towards an enlightened path lit up with love, affection and brotherhood. However regretfully, there is a large group of Muslims who have forgotten these teachings and are now involved in entirely wrong acts. They are being led by their so-called religious scholars or leaders who are misguiding them for purely selfish reasons and only to fulfil their own vested interests.
They justify such acts in the name of Islam, even though what they teach has nothing to do with its pure and noble teachings. Islam’s very name means peace and brotherhood. The Arabic word from which the word ‘Islam’ derives means to spread peace and security and to spread compassion and love. These teachings form the reality of Islam.
Furthermore, Allah the Almighty commands Muslims to not only adopt these attributes themselves but also to spread peace, love and affection throughout the world.
Allah has emphasised such compassionate teachings to such an extent that He has commanded that a Muslim should not exhibit any form of injustice even against his most ardent enemy. In Chapter 5, Verse 9 of the Holy Qur’an, Allah the Almighty states:
“O ye who believe! Be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness.”
Furthermore, for the sake of establishing the highest standards of fairness and equality, Allah commands Muslims in another verse of the Holy Qur’an to become witnesses in the cause of justice for Allah, even if it means they have to testify against themselves, their parents or their loved ones. Thus, these are the standards of justice advocated by the Qur’an and they underpin Islam’s desire to prevent all forms of cruelty.
Throughout the Holy Qur’an, Allah has given teachings of love, affection and a spirit of reconciliation. In today’s world we find that some so-called Muslims are involved in the most barbaric and horrific crimes, whereby they are even killing innocent women and children indiscriminately through suicide bombings and terror attacks. How tragic and sorrowful it is that they are committing such heinous acts.
Certainly what they are doing is completely against the teachings of Islam. Indeed, the Qur’an says that the killing of just one innocent person is akin to killing all of mankind and so under no circumstances does a Muslim have the right to commit such atrocities.
One crime which Islam has deemed even worse than murder is to create disorder and strife. The reason for this is that the harm caused by those who seek to create disorder can reach unimaginable levels. Disorder and strife can easily escalate, causing huge conflicts to erupt at whatever level of society is targeted – be it the family home, the town or city, the wider society or in terms of the relations between different nations.
The result of such conflicts can be extreme bloodshed and violence from both sides. And so that is why Allah has said in the Qur’an that those who create disorder are committing a crime that is even greater than unlawful killing. Hence these are the beautiful teachings of Islam and it is these very teachings that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community adopts and spreads to all parts of the globe.
You should not think that our teachings are a new form of Islam. Indeed as I have already said, they are found in the Holy Qur’an. It is not a different teaching; rather, the reality is that these are the teachings of the Founder of Islam, the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa. And about the latter days, the Holy Prophetsa prophesied that a time would come when Muslims would be consumed by darkness and would deviate entirely from the teachings of the Holy Qur’an.
He said at that time, a person would appear who would be truly guided by Allah, and who would impart the true Islam and establish the real character of the Holy Prophetsa to the world. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes that our Founder, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadian, was that very person who was sent for the spiritual reformation of this era and whose task was to spread the true message of Islam to the corners of the world.
It is to fulfil these objectives that we Ahmadi Muslims translate the Holy Qur’an into various languages of the world, build mosques, establish mission houses and preach our message wherever and whenever we can. Our mosques are symbols of peace and beacons of light. Normally, those who do not know real Muslims are sometimes afraid of mosques. But remember that mosques are beacons of light that illuminate their surroundings.
And so in our mosques, apart from the worship of God, the rights of God’s creation are fulfilled and schemes are developed to serve humanity and those in need. Thus, our mosques are not built to cause any pain to mankind, but on the contrary, are built for the sake of protecting and loving all people. If we look back at the very early history of Islam, we see that during the first 13 years of his prophethood, the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa and his followers were subjected to the most brutal persecution at the hands of the disbelievers of Makkah.
As a result of the sustained opposition the Holy Prophetsa was eventually forced to migrate to the city of Madinah. However despite being driven out of their homes, he and his companions were not left alone in peace, but rather some 18 months later the disbelievers travelled from Makkah and waged war in an effort to entirely eliminate Islam and to kill the Holy Prophetsa and his followers.
Upon such circumstances, Allah commanded the Holy Prophetsa to raise an army of Muslims to fight back against the Makkan forces. However, within this command, there was a shining example of Islam’s beauty that is truly unparalleled. Allah said in the Qur’an, that permission to fight was given because those who wished to kill the Muslims were not just opposed to Islam but were opposed to all religions. Thus, Allah said that if the Muslims did not respond to their attack, then no churches, no synagogues, no temples, no mosques, nor indeed any places of worship would remain safe.
And so permission for this defensive war was given as a means to protect the people of all religions. Consequently, whenever and wherever in the world the Ahmadiyya Community builds a Mosque we do so with the belief and conviction that it is our duty to protect the places of worship of all religions. And the doors to the mosques which are for the worship of the One God are always open for the people of all religions.
It is certainly the case that our mosques and our teachings are filled entirely with peace, love and affection. We wish to serve and assist all people who are in any form of distress or difficulty. We wish to alleviate their suffering, because that is true Islam. That is why we are running humanitarian projects on a permanent basis in the poor countries of the world. We are also helping those people who ar suffering from any type of natural disaster. This is why our teams have worked and are still working in the areas affected by the tsunami and other natural disaster-hit areas.
In today’s world at all levels people are raising their fingers and accusing one another of destablising the world and destroying its peace. And at a political level, some nations are accusing others of acting in this way. Indeed, it is a cause of great regret that some Muslim countries are riven with conflict, whereby the leaders and the people are fighting one another. They are involved in such extreme bloodshed, even though the need of the time is for establishing peace and to stop unnecessary accusations and criticisms of one another.
Having witnessed the cruel acts of some so-called Muslims, I am sure many of you will have reservations or even a fear of Islam and consider it to be a religion of terrorism. But the truth and reality of Islam is what I have explained to you and not what is commonly portrayed. Islam is not an extremist or harsh religion, though it cannot be denied that evil and utterly wrong practices have developed amongst certain so-called Muslims. What they profess and how they act are completely wrong, yet to deem the religion as barbaric is surely unjust.
Thus, where it is said that Islam is a religion of terrorism and extremism, it can only cause great pain and distress to Ahmadis and other Muslims who seek to follow the true teachings of the religion. Therefore, people should not unjustly injure the feelings of innocent Muslims by calling Islam an evil or cruel religion, when nothing could be further from the truth.
In my capacity as the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, I have been constantly warning the people and nations of the world that it is imperative that we spread love and affection in today’s world, rather than spreading hatred and igniting grievances amongst one another. The need of the time is for us to step forward with a spirit of reconciliation because if we do not become true ambassadors of peace a great calamity could easily befall the world.
Today, even a number of smaller nations have come to possess nuclear weapons and it is quite possible that they could eventually end up in the hands of extremists who do not care or realise what devastation can be caused by such weapons. As I said, I am trying to make the world aware of the grave risks that exist and so I request all of you to also try your utmost to promote peace in the world.
You should make all parties aware that rather than treading a path of cruelty and severity and rather than looking at each through a lens of hatred, we should all look at one another through a lens of love and peace. Where cruelty exists we should make efforts to bring it to an immediate end. The Japanese nation and its leaders comprise those people who understand the necessity for world peace more than any other people. You are those people who know the full devastating effects of the nuclear weapons and the carnage that ensues.
You are the people who know better than any other the horrific consequences of modern warfare. Thus, I would request you all to play your effective role in this regard. Play your effective role in bringing peace in the world. It is my prayer that may Allah grant the leaders and people of the world the ability to act with wisdom, so that a collective effort can be made to stop all cruel and barbaric elements of society from their heinous activities.
Whilst every government claims they wish to end all forms of cruelty and save the world from destruction, yet it looks as if two blocs are being formed in the world before our very eyes. The opposing blocs are engaged in claims and counter-claims against one another and through such statements the friction between them is increasing by the day. The only possible result of such acts will be increasing hostilities and peace will become an ever more distant dream.
Thus, once again I pray that may Allah grant the world wisdom and sense. I pray that instead of spreading malice and hatred, all parties join together and make a collective effort to end all forms of evil, so that our future generations can be saved from the indescribable destruction that would certainly arise if nuclear weapons were ever used again by any country.
At the end, I would like to once again thank all of you for taking the time to attend this event and for listening to what I have said today. May Allah bless you all and may Allah bless this great nation of Japan. Thank you very much.”