28 May: Yaum-e-Takbir and the Lahore Martyrs

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Ata-ul-Haye Nasir, London

Of the eight nuclear powers of the world, Pakistan was the seventh to announce its nuclear capability on 28 May 1998.

Nuclear tests were carried out at Ras Koh Hills in the Chaghi area of Balochistan and the day was labelled Yaum-e-Takbir (Day of Supremacy); the day is celebrated on the same date every year.

Such milestones are not reached in days or months, but it takes years of tireless efforts of many to reach fulfilment.

Pakistan’s nuclear project was established in 1972 by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who had initiated it in his days as minister for fuel, power and natural resources. This was well before he went on to become president and prime minister of Pakistan.

Shortly after the fall of East Pakistan in 1971 and the preceding war with India, Bhutto initiated the programme by calling top brass physicists and engineers to a meeting held at Multan in January 1972.

Those who played a significant role in the success of this initiative included an Ahmadi Muslim Noble Laureate, the renowned scientist Dr Abdus Salam Sahib as well. Upon accomplishment of the programme, he never got the appreciation and is now among the unsung heroes of the nation. Why? Merely for being an Ahmadi Muslim, all thanks to the draconian, discriminatory and decadent laws of Pakistan.

Wiki commons | Molendijk, Bart/Anefo

A Pakistani Nuclear Physicist, Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy recently wrote an article about the contributions of Dr Abdus Salam Sahib, with regard to the Nuclear Program of Pakistan, published in the daily Dawn, on 30 November 2019. (https://www.dawn.com/news/1519654)

His article also brings to life two Chinese physicists, Jinghan Sun and Xiaodong Yin, who stated details about the role of Dr Abdus Salam Sahib in the Atomic Program of Pakistan in their article titled “Abdus Salam and China – A View on Salam’s Influence on China’s Science Development Based on His Six Visits to China”. This was published from Beijing in March 2019.

These authors have drawn upon transcripts of various meetings held at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and revealed Dr Abdus Salam Sahib’s efforts to seek China’s help for Pakistan’s nuclear programme.

The Lahore Martyrs

While commemorating the so-called Yaum-e-Takbir in 2010, another incident was to overshadow the “greatness” of this day and leave it blemished as the darkest of days in the history of Pakistan.

It is strange how history writes its own course, despite our efforts to twist or turn it in the way we like. From then on, 28 May turned into a day that Pakistan could no longer boast about, and rather feel ashamed about.

Ten years on, the world has not forgotten the brutal and inhumane attacks on two Ahmadi mosques in Lahore. More than 80 Ahmadis lost their lives while worshipping Allah the Almighty in Jumuah prayers; dozens left injured and thousands traumatised.

The world failed to believe that such attacks were carried out on members of a community that had always been at the forefront of service and remained loyal to their country – when the country was in the making, when it was made, during its formative years and ever after.

Regardless of the persecution, Pakistani Ahmadis continue to remain loyal to their country. Hundreds of thousands of Ahmadis still continue to live in their homeland despite having the choice to flee to foreign lands.

24 years after his demise, Dr Abdus Salam Sahib rests eternally in the soil of the same Pakistan that never acknowledged his unparalleled contribution and services.

Ahmadis of Pakistan have deep love for their country, thanks to the Islamic teaching:

حُبُّ الْوَطَنِ مِنَ الْاِیْمَانْ

“Love for one’s homeland is part of faith.”

Pakistan has unfortunately turned into a bunch of ironies. Takbir, or supremacy, is associated to Allah the Almighty in Islamic context. A nuclear test was associated to this tenet, we can assume, as a reminder that the ultimate supremacy only lies with Allah the Almighty and not to the military or nuclear strengths of a country. The day was, we assume again, named ‘Yaum-e-Takbir’ to always keep the reminder alive.

Ironic it is that on the same day, some Pakistani militants attacked hundreds of innocent Ahmadis as they uttered “Allahu-Akbar” (Allah is Supreme) in their prayers and slayed so many of them.

This ruthless show of inhumane brutality left the worldwide Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya in deep grief. But then the world witnessed that Ahmadis, under the Divine leadership of Khilafat, never lost their patience and never retaliated. They had before them the Holy Quran, that states:

وَ لَنَبۡلُوَنَّکُمۡ بِشَیۡءٍ مِّنَ الۡخَوۡفِ وَ الۡجُوۡعِ وَ نَقۡصٍ مِّنَ الۡاَمۡوَالِ وَ الۡاَنۡفُسِ وَ الثَّمَرٰتِ ؕ وَ بَشِّرِ الصّٰبِرِیۡنَ

الَّذِیۡنَ اِذَاۤ اَصَابَتۡہُمۡ مُّصِیۡبَۃٌ ۙ قَالُوۡۤا اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَ اِنَّاۤ اِلَیۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ

“And We will try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives, and fruits; but give glad tidings to the patient, who, when a misfortune overtakes them, say, ‘Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.’” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.156-157)

It is hard to digest that a community of millions can so calmly and peacefully absorb the grief inflicted upon them.

But then at the same time, it is not true that the community did not react to it. They did. The grief kept them up all night and it was during these nights that they would react to it. Not by taking up arms; not by opening fire at the camps of their opponents; not by making it to streets. They would spend nights bowing and prostrating before Allah the Almighty and beseeching His help. While the attacks were still underway in Pakistan, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa delivered his Friday sermon in London.

He addressed the worldwide Ahmadiyya Jamaat and told them what our response was going to be. The plan was such that no one was going to be harmed, no one injured but the Jamaat was to come out of this great atrocity with a greater strength, greater zeal and was to strive even harder to take the message of Islam to every human being of the world. It was to show the world what true Islam is.

“Allah the Almighty is certainly capable of taking revenge from those who have tried to cause this collective harm. He knows better how He will show His Power, how He will catch those who commit these mischief and oppression. But may Allah make these people, who are repeatedly challenging the honour of God and are increasing in oppression, a sign and example for people; Insha-Allah, it will happen.” (Friday Sermon, 28 May 2010)

Ten years on, we can all witness how these simple words have brought about a revolution that could never have happened with guns, bombs or grenades. Not even with nuclear bombs for that matter.

28 May remains to be Yaum-e-Takbir, but not for those who had initially coined the term. It has moved out of their home and settled with Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya.

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