Syed Shamshad Nasir, Missionary, USA
Muhammad Ahmad Sahib of Detroit, Michigan reports that Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Detroit participated in the 2020 International Day of Peace, hosted by Troy Area Interfaith Group (TIG) in collaboration with the KYND (Know Your Neighbour Daily) on 17 September 2020.
The Troy Area Interfaith Group exists to invite all faith communities to gather, grow and give for the sake of promoting the common values of love, peace, and justice amongst all religions locally and globally. The TIG believes that peace amongst people and nations requires peace among the religions.
The programme was organised to share prayers and readings about peace from faith leaders of different traditions, officials, and members of our community. Ahmadi Missionary, Shamshad Nasir Sahib was also among the speakers. The mayor of Troy also attended and spoke during the programme.
The programme moderator Edward Chezick of Shir Tikvah introduced the agenda and briefly introduced the Interfaith leaders and public officials. He then invited Rev Christina Hallam of the North Minister to present and read prayers from the Bible. She read prayers from the Holy Bible and at the end thanked him for the invitation and the opportunity to present.
Following that, the moderator invited Shamshad Nasir Sahib of Michigan to address and read prayers from the Holy Quran.
Shamshad Nasir Sahib started off by thanking the organisers for putting together such a needed programme during these difficult times. He then introduced Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya.
“The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes in the finality of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. We believe in the five pillars of Islam and in the coming of the Messiah foretold by every major religion along with Prophet Muhammadsa”, said Shamshad Sahib.
He then explained that we believe that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadian is the Messiah and Mahdi. He laid the foundation of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in 1889 and died in 1908. After his demise, his successorship started and now we are in the time of his Fifth Khalifa, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, may Allah be his Helper.
“These kinds of programmes are the only way to bridge the differences between communities and we welcome such efforts”, said Shamshad Sahib.
He further said that, “We all need to come together to bring peace in our homes, communities, and the world. Individually we can work to bring peace in our homes but collectively we can work together to bring peace in our society. We welcome everyone in our mosque in obeying the teachings that Prophet Muhammadsa taught us, which is to love and live in peace and harmony.”
“We must love people as only prayers will do nothing if we hate others on one hand and pray on the other. God does not like people who are cruel and usurp the rights of others. We must cleanse our hearts, respect each other as per the teachings of the Holy Quran”, said Shamshad Sahib.
Shamshad Nasir Sahib then recited verses of the Surah al-Fatihah, the verses of which praise the Almighty God and contain prayers for humanity. He concluded his dissertation by providing the translation of the verses he recited.
Edward Chezick invited Rabbi Menachem Caytak of the Jewish Center of Troy. Rabbi Menachem narrated a story on the Jewish inmates and the sufferings they went through and then urged for peace in our lives. He later prayed from his scriptures.
Padma Kuppa represented the Hindu Faith and read prayers from the Hindu scriptures.
Mayor of the City of Troy, Ethan Baker then thanked all the organisers and the attendees for organising such a wonderful programme. He then presented a proclamation on behalf of the City of Troy. He mentioned that in 1984, the UN declared 17 September as the International Day of Peace. Mayor Baker declared 17 September 2020 as the “Day of Peace in the City of Troy”.
Then Mr Yunus, Chairman of the Intercultural Association of Michigan, was invited to say a few words. He highlighted that we needed peace and harmony now more than ever due to so many things happening in the world, including Covid-19. He also read verses of the Holy Quran.
At the conclusion, Edward Chezick thanked all the presenters, faith leaders, public officials and the attendees. Approximately 56 people attended the programme.