Author: Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa
Islam International Publications Ltd.
Fazal Malik & Farhan Khokhar, Canada
World Crisis and the Pathway to Peace is a compendium of a series of lectures given by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V – Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa. The book also comprises of personal letters written by Huzooraa to many world leaders.
The lectures were delivered at various locations of significant importance, such as the British Parliament, German Military Headquarters in Koblenz, Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. and the European Parliament.
The letters were written to various world leaders at the time, such as President of United States Barack Obama, Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper and UK Prime Minister David Cameron.
The central theme of the book is world peace and how it can be attained. The letters serve as a reminder that it is the responsibility of world leaders to set an example by creating a pathway that can lead to peace. The lectures and letters convey that at the heart of attaining world peace are two very important values: establishing absolute justice and promoting loyalty to the nation.
The failure of organisations such as League of Nations and the United Nations has resulted in two major world wars and countless wars ranging on every continent. Despite relentless well-intentioned efforts, peace has eluded humans. The book provides an excellent discourse on the reasons for this failure.
One recurring theme is the institutional discrimination, which is directly responsible for the destruction of peace. The Holy Quran teaches that our ethnicities exist for the purpose of identifying one another. They are not means to entitle anyone to claim superiority over another. The Holy Prophetsa emphasised this point in his Farewell Sermon, reminding us that no Arab is superior to a non-Arab nor is a white person superior to a black person. Speaking at Capitol Hill, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa says, “…it is also made clear [in Islam] that all people should be granted equal rights without any discrimination or prejudice. This is the key and golden principle that lays the foundation for harmony between different groups and nations for the establishment of peace.”
Blatant disregard of another nations’ territory and rights of its people is only a symptom of the main problem. No country today is following the basic guidelines of justice that can lead towards a pathway to peace in the world.
The basis for the guidelines to be followed, to achieve world peace are the gems parted throughout the book:
- No country should attempt to acquire another country’s wealth or natural resources
- The military should serve as peacekeepers and not the front-line offensive used to fulfil the vested interest of a country in acquiring resources of another country
- It is the duty of all nations to keep a balance in their region. If a transgressing nation refuses to give rights to its citizens, then the more stable and powerful nations must extend any help and use any and all diplomatic measures before using military force
- Once a transgressing nation has been subdued by other military powers, no revenge and no imposition of restrictions (for example, undue economic sanctions) should be placed on them. Instead, they should be assisted to return to normal
- Every effort should be made to give the poorer nations their due status
In addition to the principles that nations must adhere to in order to establish peace in their nations as well as in the world, two very interesting lectures encourage the reader to reflect upon themselves and the rights of their fellow citizens.
Loyalty to the nation that a person resides in is of key importance in Islam. “How can an individual citizen stop his own country from cruelty and injustice?” asks Huzooraa in a lecture delivered in Hamburg, Germany. Through non-violent means, is the simple answer. “If a just minded citizen sees that his government is acting in an oppressive way, then he should raise his voice in opposition and see to guide his country to the right path.”
There is a general fallacy that Muslims are loyal only to their faith and hence cannot be loyal to the nation they live in. This is a great fallacy because “according to the teachings of Islam, the definition and true meaning of ‘loyalty’ is the unequivocal fulfillment of one’s pledges and covenants.” The Holy Prophetsa of Islam has taught us that “Love of one’s nation is part of your faith,” therefore to “truly love God and Islam requires a person to love his nation.”
The book is full of sincere advice that serves as a beacon in a dark and stormy night; a lighthouse on the edge of a rocky cliff. Sifting through the pages, the reader will realise that the advice given in the book can only come from a person whose heart yearns for the betterment of his fellow humans; the author clearly desires to save humanity from the destruction it is heading towards at an unprecedented speed.
Economic instability, political intrigues, uprisings and revolts have become common events in the developing nations. Religious extremism, injustice, and poverty are burning down the last remnants of any peace that may have existed among the people of these nations. Given the instability caused by these conditions among billions of humans, how can peace prevail? Some ways that we learnt from the lectures and letters presented in the book to achieve peace can be summarised in three points:
1. Loyalty to the nation is one of the greatest human values. The people who have excelled in this quality are the Prophets of God
2. World peace is not as elusive as people believe, however, it requires that nations practice the principles of absolute justice and disregard greed
3. Be compassionate and sympathetic towards your fellow humans, be they your neighbours or nation. Help those who need help, without any expectation of material gains
While the guidance is from a religious leader and is based on religious teachings, the book should not be mistaken for a pathway to be followed by the religiously inclined only. The principles mentioned by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa are universal.
Since the late 19th century, world leaders have tried every conceivable approach to create a world full of peace. However two world wars, a cold war and numerous ongoing military conflicts represent failure of these principles. Huzooraa has presented an approach to the world leaders that has not been tried, to date. Each day that passes without sincere efforts in implementation of this precious guidance, is another day where we witness humanity barrelling towards the nuclear abyss. The stakes are high; may Allah enable world leaders to heed the call of the Khalifa.