Jazib Mehmood, Student Jamia Ahmadiyya Ghana
There have always been allegations against Islam. Since the time of the Holy Prophetsa, opponents of Islam have continuously made thoughtless and baseless allegations. The coming of the Promised Messiahas was symptomatic of the weak state of the Ummah (Muslim people).
At the time, Muslim scholars were also coming under the influence of Christianity, unable to stand firm against the tide. The Promised Messiahas speaks of this weak state of Muslims and describes the need for a reformer in these words:
“… in this present era, religious capacities have died away and sin and impiety have taken their place. The mutual interaction of people on the one hand and their worship on the other – everything has become corrupted.
“If this affliction was all that plagued the people, there was no harm or danger. But in addition to all these things, the greatest calamity, regarding which I am compelled to speak time and again and which every heart possessing sympathy for Islam has already felt or can feel, is the poisonous effect of today’s natural medicine, astronomy and flawed philosophy, which is attacking Islam and Muslims.
“The scholars pay no attention to this because they can barely find time from their wars with one another, waging internal conflicts and declaring one another disbelievers …
“Therefore, from every direction Islam is victim to the arrows of the foolish and the ignorant. In this age, those necessary conditions, which undoubtedly call for the advent of a reformer, have reached their pinnacle.” (Malfuzat [English Translation], vol. 1, p. 94-95)
In this era, the words of the Promised Messiahas apply almost perfectly on the scholars of Islam today, who, misguided in their actions, have contended themselves to attack their own rather than defend Islam.
The recent uproar of diehard Muslims over what Google results showed for the “Caliph of Islam” is a sad example of the priorities of the Muslim Ummah. During his lifetime, the Promised Messiahas made his priorities clear – the rejuvenating of Islam. He wrote:
“The new life of Islam demands a great sacrifice from us. What is this sacrifice? It is our lives; on this sacrifice depends now the life of Islam, the life of Muslims, and the manifestation of God in our time. Sacrifice is of the essence of Islam and this is the Islam that God wants to restore. To bring about this great transformation, it was necessary that God Himself should establish a workshop, adequate and efficient in all respects. So He, the Most Wise, Most Powerful, let this workshop come into being by sending this humble one to undertake this work of reforming mankind.” (Victory of Islam)
The life of the Promised Messiahas is a living testimony of his purpose – the defence of Islam. His biography brims with books, pamphlets, announcement and a variety of challenges, all given in defence of Islam. However, as an example, it will suffice to say that when the Promised Messiah’sas book, The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam, was read out at the Conference of Great Religions in 1896, the reaction was immediate and involuntary. One newspaper wrote:
“The participants at the conference showed great interest in the lecture of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian. His paper was an expert and flawless defence of Islam, a great number of people belonging to all sections of society came from far and wide to hear it.” (Civil and Military Gazette, Lahore, referenced in The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam, p. xxiv)
Another newspaper declared:
“We are not followers of Mirza Sahib, nor do we have any kind of contact with him. However we cannot be unjust in our commentary.
“In answering the questions, Mirza Sahib relied solely on the Quran. Every major Islamic principle was beautifully expounded on using logical and convincing arguments.
“To first use logical arguments to prove the existence of God and to then quote the Word of God is a style which we find most charming. Not only did Mirza Sahib expound on the philosophy of Quranic teachings, he also explained the philosophy and philology of the Quranic language. In short, Mirza Sahib’s lecture was complete and comprehensive, replete with gems of knowledge, wisdom, truths and mysteries.
“The philosophy of the Divine was so marvellously expressed that the entire audience was left nonplussed. His lecture was the best attended with the hall being packed from top to bottom.” (Chaudhwin Sadi, Rawalpindi, 1 February 1897, referenced in The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam, p. xxv)
The Promised Messiahas passed away in 1908. But since then, his successors have continued his work. Hazrat Ahmadas founded the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for many purposes. But the priority of the community was always the same: defending Islam. He speaks of his community’s purpose of defending Islam in these words:
“At the present time, Islam is being attacked as in the case of the People of the Elephant. The Muslims suffer from many weaknesses. Islam is deprived and the ‘People of the Elephant’ are in strength. But even now, Allah the Exalted desires to manifest a similar demonstration as in the past. God Almighty will employ small birds, as it were. What is our community in comparison to them? In the face of their unanimity, strength and wealth, we hold no position at all.
“However, the incident of the People of the Elephant is before us and we observe the immensely consoling verses that have been revealed in the chapter under discussion. I too have received the same revelation, which clearly demonstrates that the succour and help of God Almighty will definitely do its work. Of course, only those people believe this who love the Quran. What regard can such a person give to these matters if they have no fondness for the Quran and possess no love for Islam? The very meaning of Islam and faith is to align one’s thoughts and desires with the will of God. God does not care for the honour and dignity of any person who has no indignation and jealousy for Islam, irrespective of who they may be; such a person is no practising Muslim.
“Do not view the affairs of God with contempt and consider worthy of pity those who have rejected the truth on account of prejudice and have said that there is no need for anyone’s advent in this era of peace. Pity be on them. They do not see how Islam is besieged by its enemies and onslaughts are being waged against it from all directions; the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is maligned. Yet, despite all this, they say that there is no need for anyone?” (Malfuzat [English Translation], Vol. 1, p. 180-181)
Today, our present head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa, has carried on the work of the Promised Messiahas as did the successors before him. Regarding the defence of Islam, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa, in 2006, said:
اِدۡفَعۡ بِالَّتِیۡ ہِیَ اَحۡسَنُ فَاِذَا الَّذِیۡ بَیۡنَکَ وَ بَیۡنَہٗ عَدَاوَۃٌ کَاَنَّہٗ وَلِیٌّ حَمِیۡمٌ
“That is, ‘Defend with that which is best’. Then that person, between whom and you was enmity, would suddenly change to a devoted friend. Therefore, [this can only happen] by [following] the beautiful teaching of defending Islam and making these teachings a part of [our] lives. In order to erase all these allegations that are raised against Islam with our practical example, it is necessary to convey this message.” (Khutbat-e-Masroor, Vol. 4, p. 299, Friday Sermon 16 June 2006)
Following the example of the Promised Messiahas, Huzooraa has continued defending Islam in the face of all allegations and attacks. When a newspaper published obscene cartoons of the Holy Foundersa of Islam, as opposed to the violent reactions of some Muslim communities, Huzooraa defended the blessed model of the Holy Prophetsa and guided his community towards the best reaction; prayers, durood and promotion of the great character of the Holy Prophetsa through education.
The community has tried its best to spread the book, The Blessed Model of the Holy Prophet and the Caricatures, a compilation of the sermons Huzooraa delivered defending the personality of the Holy Prophetsa. The book is available online.
In a world where Islamophobia reigns supreme, Huzooraa started the Annual Peace Symposium early on in his Khilafat, inviting people of all faiths to understand the true teachings of Islam.
Recently, for the second time, Huzooraa sent letters to the heads of major religions and countries around the world, inviting them to create a peaceful and just society as Islam teaches. Again, a compilation of Huzoor’s addresses on the subject has been widely published under the title, World Crisis and the Pathway to Peace. This book is also available online.
When the Catholic Pope raised allegations against Islam, Huzooraa immediately answered them, clearing Islam’s name and expounding upon its teachings. (Friday Sermon, 15 September 2006)
When an opponent of Islam wanted to burn the Holy Quran in public, Huzooraa explained why this was wrong and explained the beautiful teachings of the Quran. Huzooraa advised him to desist from such actions, as they incite the emotions of Muslims and invite the displeasure of Allah.
Recently, when the president of France declared Islam to be in crisis, Huzooraa emphasised that Muslim nations needed to unite, to be able to stop these careless attacks on Islam. Huzooraa stated:
“If the world knew that Muslims are united, that they believe in the same One God and His Messengersa and are ever ready to present sacrifices for their sake, then the non-Muslim world would never act in this way and never would a newspaper be emboldened to publish caricatures of the Holy Prophetsa.” (Friday Sermon, 6 November 2020)
It is of great regret that since the Promised Messiahas established the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Muslim Ummah has chosen to ignore these efforts of the Jamaat and have opted to cherry-pick quotes, make self-serving allegations and raise trite objections against the Jamaat.
In this age, only the Khilafat of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is defending Islam in the best manner. Perhaps the most unique aspect of our Khalifa’s defence of Islam is that Huzooraa is the only Muslim leader who has hugely emphasised reciting durood as a response to defend the Holy Prophetsa, has prayed for and urges his followers to also pray for change and sets practical examples himself in reflecting the noble conduct of the Holy Prophetsa.
Today, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa has put forward the best defence of Islam and continues this objective.