One will agree that in today's turbulent world, peace is a word which is commonly heard of due to the hostilities that surround us. The question which arises here is whether or not that word is actually practiced and if so then who by?
Islam and Peace Today
Unfortunately, today Islam is brought in to the front line of all violence that is perpetuated by some insignificant extremist groups, which are found in all cultures, religions and societies. Consequently, there are people out there that actually believe Islam is the root cause of all these problems. The issue here, is that they simply don't know any better. The majority of today's society that embraces negative views about Islam, upholds those views entirely on what the media portrays. Not realizing the major biases, which are involved.
To counteract all misconceptions a Peace Luncheon was organized by the External Affairs team of the community in Australia. This is one of very many efforts carried out by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to illustrate the uniqueness and difference in Islam's teachings to the behaviors of those groups and/or individuals.
Ahmadiyya Community and Its Peace Efforts
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was founded in March, 1889. The name Ahmadiyya was given to the Community by the Promised Messiah-Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to commemorate the name of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). The followers of this Community are known as Ahmadi Muslims.
At present, this Community is found in 181 countries of the world with its membership exceeding 200 million worldwide. Its goal is to propagate the true Islam, provide service to humanity, and to unite the world in peace and tolerance.
The future of world peace greatly depends upon the way it is tackled today.
|It is clearly evident that the structure of this community is based on the idea of peace and inter-religious harmony, once more through their slogan which is, 'Love for all, Hatred for none'.
It is proved that Islam is the only religion that totally rejects the notion that truth is the monopoly of any single faith, race or people, instead it professes that Divine guidance is a general bounty that has sustained humanity in all ages. This attitude is what promotes peace, harmony and mutual respect amongst religions and improves the quality of relationships with other faiths.
His Holiness, late Mirza Tahir Ahmad in his book- Islam's Response to Contemporary Issues, stated;
The Peace Luncheon started off with the receiving of guests, by both the men and women of our community and when hands were extended for greeting purposes a unique saying was used, 'We shake the hearts of people rather than their hands'.
The proceedings began with Mrs. Lorrette Khan delivering the opening note in which she gave a brief outline about the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. She stated that 'the purpose of this gathering is to bring us all on the common platform of peace, love and unity', she further went on to stressing that 'we should look into working together in educating ourselves by way of exploration, this will enhance our understanding of other religions and help us in bringing ourselves closer together'.
Mr. Javed Ahmedi was the next speaker representing the Ahmadiyya Community, as he conveyed his talk he emphasized that 'the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association provided its 'services to humanity regardless of colour, class or creed'. He further went on to saying that a religion that does not inculcate universal compassion is not religious at all. Similarly, a human being without the faculty of compassion is no human at all, a point for the whole of humanity to acknowledge and understand.
The event flowed systematically with one unique and well structured item after the other. There were a variety of guest speakers, one of which was Mr. Douglas Webster who is a member of the UN and is affiliated to inter-faith. Mr. Webster pointed out to the audience that he had 'attended previous Ahmadiyya functions before, but this was the first time he had heard the community talking about themselves'. Moreover he stressed and pointed out that "the Ahmadiyya Community proves to be and IS the PURE FORM OF ISLAM.
Mr. Kerry Bartlett the Federal Member for Macquarie underlined that 'we should focus on things that unite us rather than the things that divide us' and towards the end of his speech concluded by saying 'let's embrace today's slogan, that is Love for All and Hatred for none', which affirms that this slogan is one for all of humankind to follow.
Amongst the array of guest speakers, a unique touch was added to the entire day, by Ms. Souri Hayati who recited a soothing melodious chant in Persian.
|One is able to recognise the true depth and genuineness of a faith or religious community through the feedback and comments expressed by others. Upon being asked how long she had been a member of her community for a guest had answered, "I converted years back, but if I had known about the Ahmadiyya community back then I probably would have converted to that". The extent of respect, understanding and gratitude that was given to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community on that day was very much appreciated.||There was a slide show/talk presented by Mr. Fawaz Ahmad in which he spoke about the highlights of the Ahmadiyya Community and one core feature of his talk was on a 'Water for life' program run by this Association. This community has a history of serving mankind through various works such as building schools, hospitals/ clinics, assisting with education, health, food and security on a global scale. More recently, a lot of work is done by The Ahmadiyya Community's humanitarian organization, commonly known as Humanity First. They send huge consignments of non-perishable foods, clothing, medicine etc, to many countries including Bosnia, Africa, America, Bangladesh and Pakistan, just to mention a few.|
Quality lunch was provided and a range of fruit platters were prepared for desert. With the weather proving to be sweltering hot, the fruit tasted as good as it looked and was perfect to end the day with. With this a quote is brought to mind;
"What greater delight is there than to behold the earth appareled with plants as with a robe of embroidered works, set with Orient pearls and garnished with the great diversitie of rare and costly jewels. But these delights are in the outward senses. The principle delight is in the mind, singularly enriched with the knowledge of these visible things, setting forth to us the invisible wisdom and admirable workmanship of almighty God.
John Gerard, 1633, (The Herbal)
Therefore, to clarify the above question of whether or not peace is practiced and if so then who by, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad the present supreme leader of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community declared in his sermon,
"So a religion whose essence is to worship God and to serve humanity- how can you imagine that its followers will fight in the name of religion as is being alleged these days? If calling himself a Muslim one does that, then he is acting against the teachings of Islam. It is certainly not the teaching of Islam. Islam is a religion of tenderness, of love and affection and of human dignity. Islam honours and respects not only all the prophets but also those who believe in them. It respects leaders of all religions, of all nations and issues commandments to respect them".
(Review of Religions, February 2005)
The Organising Team
Organiser: Nasir Ahmedi
Team: Fawaz Ahmad, Majeed Paracha, Ahmad Khan
Lorrette Khan, Farhana Ahmedi and Daisy.
Reported by: Afsha Ahmedi - Editor
Ahmadiyya Australia website