1 November 2019
European Tour 2019: A Review
After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz, and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:
Recently, I toured some of the European countries and two of those countries, Holland and France, also held their JalsaSalanas [annual conventions]. Moreover, inaugurations of mosques and other events with non-Ahmadis also took place. There was an event at UNESCO Headquarters in France, which was held with the permission and invitation of their administration. In that event, I had the opportunity to explain the Islamic teachings and to highlight the role of Muslims in the advancement of knowledge and science. UNESCO is an agency of the UN, which has been established for the promotion of education, science and culture. Freedom of the press, eradication of poverty and the conservation of world heritage etc. are also among its objectives. I informed them of the teachings of Islam, the services of the earlier Muslims and their contribution and the role of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community with regards to these objectives.
Likewise, [I presented] the Islamic teachings before politicians and intellectuals in Berlin, which is the capital city of Germany. I discoursed in view of the notion that exists in the minds of Europeans and is especially prevalent in Germany and other European countries, that Islam is not compatible with the culture and civilisation of Europe and Islam should therefore not come and is a danger to Europe. Some prominent intellectuals, politicians and diplomats were also present there. This had a very positive impact on them which they later expressed. Likewise, Allah the Almighty granted the opportunity to introduce Islam and its teachings in other events. Alhamdolillah [all praise be to Allah] that we were able to witness the blessings of Allah the Almighty everywhere.
Now, I will briefly mention some impressions of the guests who participated in the various events, which demonstrates how these people were able to understand the true teachings of Islam, thereby removing their misconceptions.
In Holland, I also had the opportunity to address the Dutch guests on the second day of the Jalsa. 125 non-Muslim Dutch guests participated in that event. A councillor from Nunspeet, where our centre is currently located, while giving his impressions, stated:
“A long time ago, I was not too keen to visit here”, i.e. having a relationship with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. “However, with the passage of time, our relations improved.” When I arrived there, he was also present to welcome me. He further states, “I have listened to the Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community before and wanted to listen to him again. I am very impressed by everything he has said because it seems that it has developed a deeper relationship between us. You”, i.e. the Ahmadiyya Community there), “are an active part of the society. Attending this Jalsa has further strengthened that relationship.”
Herman Meet Sahib, a guest who attended from the city of Rotterdam said:
“I was very anxious prior to coming to the Jalsa thinking that Muslims are going to gather at this convention and who knows what may happen! However, upon arriving here, I was greatly surprised that people were simply discussing peace. What I liked most about His Holiness’ address was that he spoke with great courage.” He further stated to his Ahmadi friend, “The pope speaks of peace in general terms but your Khalifahas directly and openly addressed the powerful nations.”
Then, there was a Dutch couple who participated in this event. They said:
“The atmosphere of the Jalsa was incredible. Everyone was showing kindness and it appeared to be a heavenly atmosphere.” In relation to my address they said, “The address has had a great impact on us and we were also impressed by the translators, who were simultaneously translating in an excellent manner.” This depends on the translator and standard of their translation. Hence, our department for translation should make efforts in this regard; MTA is already doing so; but other countries should also ensure that the translation in their functions and Jalsas is accurate.
Another guest, Dini Harkin Sahib, participated in the event. He says:
“I have an academic background. Four years ago, I started teaching Dutch in a Dutch institute. There, I met a Pakistani family who used to come to learn the language. Our relationship strengthened and I reassured him that I would assist them in every manner. Their children would also meet me. They would spend some time with me every week and I also gained some knowledge about the Jamaat through these children.” Following this, he says, “I have now come here and I am feeling very happy. Your Khalifa speaks about peace and mutual harmony.” He further says, “I am a Christian myself and I am able to observe that your Jamaat does not only treat Ahmadis kindly, but in fact treats the adherents of all religions with kindness. Hearing such matters from a Muslim leader in particular has greatly impacted me because there are many misconceptions regarding Islam these days.” He further says, “His Holiness mentioned the turmoil that has spread across the world and also emphasised the need to establish peace. We live together on the earth and we should collectively strive to establish peace.”
Then, there was the inauguration of the mosque which was constructed in the city of Almere in Holland, which is the second purpose-built mosque of the Jamaat. The chairman of the church in Almere, Haiyo Witzel Sahib was in attendance. He says:
“The message of your Jamaat is a message of peace. Your Khalifa delivered an excellent speech on peace and religious freedom. Previously, Catholics and Protestants lived peacefully in Almere. We now hope that Ahmadis will also live peacefully with us.” As a representative of the church, he mentioned this, but in fact, the general impression of the people there is that by the grace of Allah the Almighty, all of the Ahmadis that live there, live in cohesion and are very peaceful.
An Arab guest, Zakariya Sahib, was in attendance. He says:
“I really enjoyed the event. I listened to the address of your Khalifa and if we desire to establish peace, then we should act in accordance with his address.” He further says, “As an Arab, I would also like to say that the Holy Quran was recited at the start of your event, which I really liked because it is uncommon to hear this at events in these countries.”
Then, there was a local guest, Diene Sahiba. She says:
“This function was very well organised. I listened to the speech of your Khalifa and it was very good. Excellent arrangements had been made for the women as well. I have attended for the first time, but I will come to the mosque and meet the women of the Jamaat again and increase our acquaintance.”
There was another local guest. He says:
“This was my first opportunity to attend such a programme [organised] by Muslims. Before I came, my neighbour warned me to be careful. He said that one never knows when and what Muslims might do. However, I greatly enjoyed coming here. The members of your Jamaat took great care of us right from the beginning until the end.”
Then, another guest, a lady from the local area, Evelin Sahiba, says:
“It is highly unfortunate that the world is not shown this image of Islam. The members of your Jamaat are very hard-working and hospitable. I have seen this mosque for the first time today, however I wish to come here in the future again as I have found peace in your mosque.”
There are countless impressions of similar nature, however I have only mentioned a few.
Following this was the tour of France. The Jalsa was also held there and a similar sitting with non-Ahmadi and non-Muslim guests was organised and approximately seventy-five guests attended.
One of the guests was a lady, who is an anthropologist by profession. She says:
“When the Khalifa said that he condemned the various attacks that took place in France, he made it clear that Islam has no link with such attacks.” She further says, “From the true image of Islam as presented by the Imam of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, it appears that Muslims can easily integrate into the Western world.” She further said, “It is incorrect when people say that Islam does not have a place in the Western world and that Muslims cannot live in cohesion here. Such people should have listened to today’s speech.”
Then, there was a non-Ahmadi guest, Murtaza Sahib, from Iran. He says:
“Today, I became aware of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat and the status of Khalifatul Masih for the first time. People create a lot of propaganda in the world against Islam. Today, your Khalifa gave all of them an outstanding answer. The state of the Muslims is such that they are not even aware of their belief and faith. These people should learn Islam from your Khalifa.”
The truth is that the reality of the teachings of Islam can only be understood by attaching oneself to the Imam of the time, the Promised Messiah and Mahdias. Until these Muslims do not realise that they have to pledge initiation to the Promised Messiahas, they will not be able to learn about the true Islam.
Nevertheless, he says, “Today, the Khalifa made it clear what Jihad truly means and how it is being misinterpreted. The incidents presented by the Khalifa in relation to the initial period of Islam and account of the Holy Prophetsa prove that Islam is a peaceful religion. This is the first time in my life that I have heard the message of Islam explained with such wisdom.”
Then, a non-Ahmadi guest from Morocco, Sufyan Sahib, says:
“From today’s address I realised that you are all in fact the true and real Muslims and those people, who say that you are not Muslims, are completely incorrect. Everything the maulvis [religious clerics] taught me about Ahmadis from my childhood was false. However, in France, people are afraid of Islam and Muslims. We did not know how to defend Islam and how to dispel their fears. Today, your Khalifa defended Islam in an excellent manner.”
As I mentioned before, one can only learn about the actual Islamic teaching after taking the oath of allegiance to the Promised Messiahas.
Jacob Sahib was another guest in attendance and belongs to the Christian faith states:
“The world stands in need of more events such as this one. Your Khalifa is removing the distances between people of different nations and faiths. He has told us that the terrorists are working to accomplish political objectives. Religion stands for good and should not be feared. His Holiness repeatedly spoke about freedom. All of this was something new for the French people as they have a completely different perception of Islam.”
Maxine Onfray was another guest and works for a think tank. He stated:
“Today is a wonderful day in my life. I had the chance to directly listen to your Caliph. He was entirely correct in saying that we are currently passing through such dark times which are filled with hate. However, he also taught us that this not due to faith, and that people need not fear Islam. His Holiness is absolutely correct in saying that the terrorists have hijacked faith in order to fulfil their political agendas. This is certainly true and I completely agree with him on this.” He then further he stated, “In light of the Islamic teachings His Holiness explained to us how we can leave this world a better place for our future generations.” He further stated, “This address should be published and shared with all of us.” This was the impression by a member of a think tank.
Then, as I mentioned earlier, there was an event in UNESCO on 8 October which was attended by 91 guests. The ambassador of Mali in UNESCO, ministers of French interior and foreign affairs, religious advisor to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, director of the religious advisory, president of the NATO Memorial, members of parliament, counsellors, mayors and other people connected with different institutions of the government also participated in this event.
While expressing his views, Oumar Keita Sahib, the ambassador from Mali at UNESCO, stated:
“The Head of the Ahmadiyya Community is spreading peace and I would like to congratulate him for doing so. UNESCO is the ideal venue to discuss peace.” He also expressed his sentiments on how he learned a great deal from the address and he stated, “This is precisely what the Muslim Ummah needs right now.” He is a Muslim himself and lives in Mali. He said, “The concept of universal justice and harmony depicted by His Holiness is a dire need of the world today.”
The President of NATO memorial, Mr Breton, expressed his pleasure at attending this event. He stated:
“This conference was very significant and historic. It can lead to the establishment of peace, tolerance and brotherhood. I wish for the maximum number of people to listen to the message of the head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.” He then stated, “His Holiness speaks about true Islam, which teaches peace and tolerance. This message is completely contrary to the actions of terrorists. His Holiness is making strenuous efforts to promoting this message of peace.” He then further said, “This is an essential task and we are also ready to support him.” He then stated, “Every single one of us should strive towards the establishment of peace. This work should be carried out on all levels, and in this regard, we should all lead by example.”
Diallo Sahib, the president of the Catholic organisation associated with Mali, which is located in France, also attended this event. He stated, “I was familiar with Ahmadis from before. All religions should spread the message that we received today to others. After listening to this very beautiful address of His Holiness, I now have this ardent desire in my heart to personally pray for the progress of Islam.” He himself, however, is a Catholic. He then stated, “All of the world’s problems would be resolved if the Islam that His Holiness speaks about is established in the world. When there is respect for the feelings of others, peace will become prevalent everywhere. There is a dire need of establishing mutual respect. Each one of us follows their respective faiths. However, we have one common belief, which is in the existence of God.”
Another guest, Bernard Sahib stated:
“The Islam presented before us today was completely different than the propaganda we see on the television. This is true Islam.” He said, “Today, I acquired knowledge about the Holy Prophetsa and how he established a magnificent society in Medina. Today, I found out about Islam’s significant role in education and spreading knowledge worldwide.”
A member of a human rights’ organisation in France also attended this event. He stated, “This speech was excellent and insightful. The steps needed for education and its advancement were mentioned in detail. His Holiness also mentioned the services rendered by Islam in the field of education. It was fascinating to learn about this.”
A city council member also attended this event. He stated:
“I am in charge of the department in the council that works to tackle against issues of racism.” Then he state, “I find what His Holiness said today extremely important, particularly, when he spoke about facilitating equal opportunities for the women to attain education and establishing mutual harmony in religious matters. Then His Holiness mentioned about the educational and health-related projects which the Jamaat started in the deprived areas of Africa. Usually, when Islam is discussed in France or other nations, various fears are mentioned. Islamophobia is prevalent in our society, so I was delighted to get an opportunity to hear positive things about Islam.” He states, “I wished to come here to find out more about your community and how it operates. Hence, today my wish was fulfilled.”
Another guest, Alexander Sahib, stated:
“The Caliph presented a message of peace and his speech was full of truth. His Holiness expressed his views very emphatically and categorically. I believe that the Ahmadiyya Community has clearly explained the subject of slavery. This message is magnificent, and of all the Muslims, Ahmadis, who are a small community, have presented this message.”
A female journalist in attendance says:
“I listened to the address, which was wonderful. I was especially amazed to hear just how much Islam has contributed in the world towards the advancement in education, to learn about the huge role of the Muslims in this regard and His Holiness gave numerous examples of these. In this address, His Holiness gave examples from the Holy Quran and from the [life] of the Holy Prophetsa about how they laid the foundations for a peaceful society.” She further says, “I have learnt a great deal today”.
A guest by the name of Mr Bresiouu Willy, a charity worker, says:
“It was a very important function and the message was excellent and historic. It was a message that the whole world needs to hear. My knowledge has increased through this address and I have come to learn the true meaning and importance of peace.”
Then, there was the opening of the mosque in Strasbourg, which is another city in France, near the border of Germany. Approximately 191 guests were in attendance, among whom was a female member of parliament, 5 mayors of different locations, representatives of different religions, heads of different associations, people from different walks of life and also people from the small neighbouring towns and villages. These people came especially due to the fact that they had reservations against Islam, rather some harboured enmity, but when they came and attended, their impressions completely changed.
Martine Sahiba, a member of the French parliament says:
“I am so pleased that His Holiness delivered such a comprehensive speech, addressing peace and brotherhood, and this message was for the whole world.” She then says, “Ahmadi Muslims are so active, are always ready to go out and do something and their motto truly emanates from their actions.” She then says, “I shall come visit again some time when there are fewer people around, so that we can sit and discuss in a more relaxed environment. In doing so, I will gain a better understanding of your values and this is very necessary for the betterment of our society.” She then says, “Your Caliph spoke about peace and tolerance which is a very important message for France and the French people. The French people need to know that the Islam we hear about in the media is very different indeed from the true Islam. We need to learn about this true Islam.”
A deputy president of one of the departments from the council of Barin attended the function. He says, “We have a Buddhist European Centre for the Tibetans in our area. I am familiar with different religions and am fully aware of the services of the Christians, Jews, Judeo-Christians, Buddhists etc., yet I am so impressed after listening to the address today, firstly due to the words of His Holiness, and secondly, due to his concept of ‘Love for all, hatred for none’. He presented a complete image of Islam. He spoke about Islam in a manner which is completely different to the way Islam is portrayed and understood nowadays. His words are truly reflective of his views. He firmly believes in keeping the doors open for everyone and this is precisely what I have learnt from today’s address, and this is surely the path to peace.”
Mr Eubajia and another woman, who perhaps was his wife, were also in attendance at the opening of the mosque in Strasbourg. They said:
“Prior to accepting the invitation to this function, we conducted some research on the internet and learnt about your Community. After learning about the efforts of the Community, we wholeheartedly accepted the invitation and we were particularly delighted at the fact that the Community promotes a better understanding between different faiths. Furthermore, the Islamic teachings on human rights, in particular those of the neighbours were highlighted in the address.”
Hence, prior to attending our events, many of the attendees research about our Community via the internet and learn a great deal about the true teachings of Islam.
One guest commented:
“I find it impossible to express my feelings at this moment. Before, I had no idea of this Community within Islam. I met some members of the Community who invited me to this event, so I conducted some research on the internet and decided to come, and what a great decision it was! I cannot leave without praising what I have heard today. This is a peaceful branch of Islam and the true image of Islam, which is filled with humanity and love. I am now aware that the Islam that is portrayed to us is in fact not the true Islam, rather it is something completely different. I have also learnt that the Islamic moral teachings are the same as those of Christianity.”
These people have no choice but to say this, but in private sittings, many also expressed that [the moral teachings of Islam] are far greater than those of Christianity. He continues, “Having heard what the Caliph had to say, I am certain that this is an extraordinary Community.”
Mr Justin, President of the District Council in the city, said:
“In the beginning I had many reservations when I heard that a mosque was going to be built here, but after hearing that your motto is ‘Love for all, hatred for none’, I thought to myself, how could I not accept the invitation of those who raise such a loving slogan in this day and age? The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community can act like a sword and play a vital role in fighting terrorism and extremism. In France, the people do not yet know enough about the Community, but we should look to the viewpoint of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in tackling extremism and the current problems and we should learn from them, which is why you have a great task ahead of you.”
Mr Lue Ginzec, the Mayor of one of the cities said:
“This is the first time I have visited a mosque. If this is what one experiences when they visit a mosque, as I have experienced today, then I shall come to the mosque every day. I was so pleased to come to the mosque and I felt so much comfort and peace that I cannot begin to describe it.”
Thereafter, we travelled to Germany on 14 October for the inauguration of the mosque in Wiesbaden. The inaugural ceremony took place in a famous hall in the city as there was limited space in the actual precinct of the mosque. A total of 370 guests attended this function, including the lord mayor, among others. There were also members of the Federal Government and government representatives of different ministries. There were directors of different departments of the government, police officers, priests, professors, doctors, lawyers etc. and people of all walks of life.
The priest of a Catholic Church said:
“His Holiness covered all the points in a very comprehensive manner and I completely agree with all the points mentioned by His Holiness in his address. To love others and to fulfil the due rights of God Almighty all form part of my own beliefs and teachings as well. Similarly, till this day I had never heard such a broad and comprehensive explanation of the concept of God in Islam, in which not only was His Perfect Unity mentioned, but also that He is the same One God and Lord of all religions, nations and civilisations and that He is All-Knowing and distinguishes not between any of His creation in neither creed nor nation, when it comes to granting His providence.” He then says, “How great would it be if all the leaders of the world would deliver such speeches about peace. I now wish to remain in contact with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and I will certainly come to visit the mosque.”
These people themselves have entertained the idea that the God of Islam and the God of Christianity are not the same, but when the truth is made evident to them, they have no choice but to accept it.
A representative of a Church in Mainz was also in attendance. He says:
“What His Holiness said about the rights of neighbours and the Islamic teachings he presented was completely new to me and very interesting. This is the first time I have heard any religious leader give so much emphasis on the rights of neighbours.”
A lawyer who works in a law firm says:
“The broadmindedness of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community had already amazed those in my office, but after hearing what you said about the rights of neighbours and the vastness of the definition of a neighbour, whereby the whole city is counted, has left me even more astonished. Likewise, the scope of attention and sympathy of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has become even wider for those who live in this city.”
Another guest, Susanne, who is a teacher, says:
“What I liked most of this address was that all mankind has One Creator and we all believe in the same God. This is something we should all keep in mind.”
Conny, who belongs to the Die Grune party and works in the integration department in the Wiesbaden Parliament, says:
“This address was extremely inspiring. One of the aspects which I felt was extremely important and which I shall never forget was that all Ahmadi Muslims were advised to become valuable citizens in their area. Not only should the Ahmadis act upon this, but we should all do so too. If all the Muslim sects were openminded like the Ahmadi Muslims, then it would become easy for us to co-exist.”
Here, I would like to make it clear that although we do live together, but at times, there are some who tend to show weakness [and compromise their own teachings]. Thus, you should speak to others whilst remaining grounded within the teachings of Islam, and by staying within this sphere of moral conduct, we can tell others about our teachings, thus there is no need to show any fear. The meaning of integration is to display high moral conduct whilst explaining the teachings of Islam.
Nevertheless, I shall now present the impressions of the next guest who is a schoolteacher. He says:
“This was the first time I came to know about your Community and the organisation was fantastic. I found it very important that the Caliph said that more attention needs to be given to tolerance and that we should treat followers of other religions, and in fact the whole world, with love and affection. This is rarely witnessed in our society these days and other religions are also forgetting this. However, you have given importance to these values. I will now certainly visit your mosque and seek the answers to all the questions that are in my mind.”
A doctor from a local hospital said:
“If religious leaders give the teachings that were presented today by the Imam of the Ahmadiyya Community in his address, then we would be able to establish respect for one another in our society. The church must also promote a similar message. At present, there are many questions that the church has failed to address.” He himself belongs to the Christian faith and further said, “The church has so far avoided answering many of the questions that the Imam of the Ahmadiyya Community raised and answered from many angles, and without any hesitation he elaborated on the Islamic teachings.” He then said, “The most pleasing aspect is that all of His Holiness’s explanations and commentaries are such that it establishes peace and harmony.”
A female guest, Heike Brader Sahiba, said:
“His Holiness explained that God Almighty is the Lord of all the Worlds and the depth of this concept interested me greatly. The most astonishing fact was that although God Almighty is One and without any partner, but He is the God of all religions and people, Who cares for everyone without any distinction.”
Thus, for the wise and those who deliberate, they are left with no option but to accept Tauhid [the Oneness of God] and it is imperative for them to accept the One God Who is the All-Powerful. It is the responsibility of every Ahmadi to spread this message of Tauhid to others.
Bauer Sahiba commented:
“It was a great honour for me to be a part of this blessed gathering. All the reservations and misconceptions that I had were removed by the Imam of the Ahmadiyya Community where he explained and outlined the Islamic teachings. I have now understood many things.”
One guest remarked:
“The most important teaching to establish peace that was mentioned in the speech was that one should always be mindful of the values and beliefs of others. I was aware of the fact that there are many sects within Islam, but I was completely unaware of this peaceful [Ahmadiyya] Community.”
Muktari Sahib, who works in the Wiesbaden Police force, said:
“Todays programme demonstrates that Muslims wish to present a different side of Islam, which proves that in reality Islam is a peaceful religion. I really liked the fact that the Caliph mentioned that the Ahmadiyya Community operated various projects in Africa.”
The Baitul Hameed Mosque was also inaugurated in Fulda and 330 guests attended the ceremony. The lord mayor was in attendance, however, after welcoming us outside, he then left. The mayors of other localities were present as well as council members, former members of parliament and chairmen of various parties. The chairman of the Round Table – which is a religious committee – was also present. The people of Fulda have many reservations about Muslims, in fact, there is opposition there. This was an old centre for Christianity and is famous for upholding their traditions. It is the wish of the Church to uphold their traditions, however the people of that area are also moving away from Christian values altogether. Owing to this fear, not all of the Church representatives attended the event. Similarly, some members of parliament did not attend the event and it was for the same reason the lord mayor said that he would not like to speak at the event, instead he said he would welcome everyone and also sat down but owing to fear of opposition he did not sit on the stage. The sentiments of some of the guests that attended the event is as follows:
Regarding the part of my speech where I mentioned that all of us ought to unite on a common ground and through this we can achieve global peace, Harald Sahib said:
“Given the circumstances of the present global climate, the [aforementioned] principle that was outlined is worthy of being followed and this in fact is exactly what the world needs at this moment in time.” He then said, “I now know that whatever we had been informed about Islam previously was not an accurate representation of the true teachings of Islam. Therefore, today’s event was beneficial and the message I take back is of peace.”
A teacher of a local school said, “This message ought to be played in school to the students and they ought to be asked which religion presents such a beautiful teaching?” He then said, “At the very least, I would like to be given a copy of the proceedings so I can share the experience of this evening with my students.”
A mayor of a neighbouring town said:
“The Imam of the Ahmadiyya Community addressed both the reservations and also explained the true teachings. He clearly highlighted the reasons why there is agitation in certain parts of the society and the reasons why the peace of the society is being destroyed. Despite all this, he never injured the sentiments of any other sect or faction of society, rather he spoke whilst explaining human values and presented ‘food for thought’ for the entire world at large.”
Doctor Koehler said:
“I was greatly impressed by how receptive the Ahmadiyya Community is, which was explained by the Caliph when he said that in order to uphold the rights of others, everyone must open their hearts and remove all misconceptions.” She further stated, “I also strive to ensure that there is religious tolerance in my hospital and that people are content through spirituality. I found peace and contentment in this event and I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to come here today.”
As mentioned previously, there was an address in Berlin on the topic of Islam & Europe and the comparison between civilisation and culture. In this event there were 27 members of the National Assembly, including 3 representatives from the Foreign Office. There were also directors of religion and politics; 5 professors; vice-president of the Berlin University and Professor Steinbach, who is an accredited Professor of Middle Eastern Studies in Germany. In addition to this there were political officers of the French and United States Embassies, various representatives of the government, religious figures, representatives of the church and other communities. There were also representatives from the press and media, as well as Amnesty International.
Alexander Sahib, who is a member of parliament, said:
“The message of peace and harmony that was explained by His Holiness was based on the teachings of the Holy Quran and supported those teachings with the help of the Quran and the example of the Founder[sa] of Islam. Although the subject of the address was novel and dealt with contemporary issues, however, the Caliph supported his views with original Islamic sources. This proves that from the outset, Islam and the Holy Quran teaches compassion, peace and harmony amongst all of mankind. In my opinion this address ought to spread far and wide so that people in the West would understand the true teachings of Islam.”
Niel Annen, Minister of State said:
“Having listened to the explanation and analysis in which the Imam of the Ahmadiyya Community explained Islam and Ahmadiyyat as well as introducing how religion as a whole plays a role in society, I feel that the Ahmadiyya Community strives for the rights of human values. This not only safeguards the rights of a certain religion or sect, rather, it supports human values on a global scale.”
Christoph Strack Sahib said:
“I have seldom attended a programme or seen such a programme organised by a Muslim community where the atmosphere of the event was so peaceful, and the speeches at the event were so comprehensive and inclusive. It pleased me to see that someone was able to highlight the hidden conflicts concealed behind the seemingly progressing and civilised society.” He further said, “His Holiness clearly outlined the dangers of the impending nuclear war.”
Christine Buchholz Sahib, who is a member of parliament, said:
“The Imam of the Ahmadiyya Community correctly pointed out the crux of the current problems, and since he has correctly identified them, therefore the remedies he pointed out for solving the agitation among the people are lasting.”
Zaklin Sahiba, another member of parliament, said:
“The Imam of the Ahmadiyya Community highlighted his beliefs from various angles and left no ambiguities.” She then said that she agreed with every word of the speech.
Professor Heribert Hirte said:
“By ensuring that their members seek education, the Ahmadiyya Community has distinguished itself from all other religious movements. The outcome of a community that places so much emphasis on education is that they would go on to lead others, as opposed to follow something blindly.”
Axel Sahib, Member of Parliament, said, “I will go back and read this address again. I will spread its message as far as I am able to.”
Sabine Leidig said:
“I do not ascribe to any faith but the manner in which the Imam of the Ahmadiyya Community – in his capacity as a religious leader – has shown compassion for our future generations and warned the leadership of the consequences has had a profound effect on me. It is my desire to spread this message so that humanity at large could realise this and so that they take responsibility for our future generations.”
Professor Christoph Gultman said, “I really enjoyed the programme and I learnt a lot from listening to the address. I have also noted down many references of the Holy Quran that were mentioned in the address. I will now read the address again when I reach home.”
A guest, who is a Christian, states:
“Prior to this event, I had never heard how much emphasis Islam lays upon peace and seeks for its establishment. I am delighted that the address of the Head of the Ahmadiyya Community was heard by the representatives of various political parties. Similarly, I saw a Jewish Rabbi and Muslims from other sects here as well.”
Another guest commented:
“The attention of every individual was drawn towards their responsibilities as to how they can establish peace. His Holiness explained in very simple terms that mankind must live with one another with a spirit of peace, and love and one of the most important factors for this is to respect one another. His Holiness also mentioned that there are plentiful resources in the world and enough for everyone if they are utilised properly.”
Another guests said:
“His Holiness directed our attention towards various aspects. The very first thing he mentioned was that in today’s society, religion is not given any importance and is seen in a negative manner. As Christians, we also feel the same. Aside from this, what I felt was extremely important in His Holiness’ address was the importance of education and moral training. In this regard, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a model for everyone. If people were to realise what their Holy Book teaches, they will be safeguarded from many of the ills of today.”
Thus, it is the responsibility of the Ahmadi youth to pay particular attention towards reading and studying the Holy Quran. They should then inform others of its teachings and they will have no choice but to ponder over it, learn of its wisdom and act upon it and accept it.
One of the guests in attendance was a spokesperson for Amnesty International. He states:
“I was extremely pleased from what I heard today. The explanation of civilisation and culture with reference to the Second Caliph [of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community] and their relationship with one another is something that even the intellectuals of today cannot refute.”
He further states:
“The Caliph has elucidated upon the verses of the Holy Quran in an excellent manner. These are the same verses which the opponents of Islam present by taking them out from its context.”
Another guest, Nahawandi Sahiba, states:
“By circulating this address on a wide-scale to Europe will help remove the reservations and negative views people have about Islam.”
The Mahdiabad Mosque was also inaugurated and members of Germany’s National Parliament, the lord mayor, members of the Federal Assembly, speaker and deputy speaker of the Federal Assembly, five local mayors of the area and five chairmen of parliament and approximately 170 guests were present. One of the guests in attendance was the vice mayor, who said:
“I will certainly go back and spread the words of the Caliph. Whenever anyone levels an allegation against Islam, I will try to defend Islam by presenting the words of the Caliph. His Holiness did not only address us but also the members of his community and told them after building the mosque, they must serve mankind even more than before.”
A guest, Angelika Sahiba, said:
“From today’s address I learnt that we should assess our general day-to-day conduct with others. We must extend our help to our friends and strangers alike.”
Another guest stated:
“We were extremely delighted to have attended this event. Many of our reservations have been removed and the manner in which tolerance was explained is something that is of importance to all faiths.”
Another guest, Ulf Sahib, who is a Consultant of the Minister President, states:
“What I liked most about the address by His Holiness was that he mentioned such aspects which lead to establishing unity amongst all faiths. I am a member of a Christian church and despite there being many differences between our faith and the manner in which we worship, the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community highlighted such aspects which everyone can agree to. I personally believe that we all have One God, however we worship Him in different forms.”
Nevertheless, they are accepting the truth even if it is just this to extent.
Witecke Sahib was another guest in attendance. He states, “In his address, His Holiness beautifully explained the status of women in Islam and the honour of women in society.”
May Allah the Almighty enable their hearts to understand the true teachings of Islam, enable them to accept its teachings, believe in the true concept of the Unity of God and unite under the banner of the Holy Prophetsa. This is the only means to attain prosperity because their temporary worldly progress cannot secure the means to attain true prosperity.
I would also like to mention some details regarding media coverage. News reports were published in Holland by two media channels, RTV Nunspeet and Euro Times, and its coverage reached 75,000 people. During the Bait-ul-Afiyat Mosque opening, a news channel of Almere reported on this event which reached out to 1.5 million people. Similarly, thousands of people received this news through various social media platforms. They have estimated that the total media coverage during the tour of Holland reached 1.6 million people. The majority of this coverage was in regard to the opening of the mosque in Almere which was covered by a national TV channel.
The National News Agency of France published an article on the address delivered in UNESCO. The author of the article wrote at the end that he was surprised that the Khalifa did not mention anything about the persecution against Ahmadis.
In relation to the Mahdi Mosque opening in Strasbourg, the DNA newspaper published a report and was also covered by a radio channel. Through these various media outlets, the news reached out to millions of people.
In Germany, there were events held in Wiesbaden, Fulda, Berlin and Mahdiabad. According to the report of their secretary for external affairs, the message was conveyed to approximately 49 million people through 13 newspaper reports, four TV channels, one radio station and 12 reports through electronic media.
Similarly, The Review of Religions conveyed the message through their means to approximately 1.5 million people.
As I mentioned earlier that may Allah the Almighty enable the people to understand this message.
After the Friday Prayers, I shall lead a funeral prayer in absentia of respected Maulvi Mahmood Ahmad Sahib, who was a missionary from Palghat, Kerala, India. He passed away on 15 October at the age of 54:
اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّا اِلَيْہِ رَاجِعُوْنَ
“Surely to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.”
Ahmadiyyat entered his family through his father, respected Maulvi K Muhammad Alvi Sahib, who was a very prominent scholar among non-Ahmadis. Owing to his acceptance of Ahmadiyyat, he faced intense opposition and hundreds of people in the province of Kerala accepted Ahmadiyyat through him.
The late Maulvi K Mahmood Ahmad Sahib left his college studies on the advice of his father and joined Jamia Ahmadiyya and graduated in 1988. He was a great scholar, very pious and regular in his prayers, observing the fasts and offering the Tahajud prayer. He was extremely devout in his worship, looked after the poor, extremely patient and full of gratitude and a sincere person. He had a very deep knowledge of the Holy Quran, Ahadith, books of the Promised Messiahas and the Khulafa. He was very proficient in Arabic, Malayalam and Tamil. He also kept his own personal library, which included many rare and unique books.
The deceased had the opportunity to serve in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Lakashadweep and outside of India, he served in Kuwait. He was a very good speaker and debater.
In 1994, upon the instruction of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh, he had the opportunity to debate against a very staunch opponent of the Jamaat along with respected Maulana Dost Muhammad Shahid Sahib and Hafiz Muzaffar Ahmad Sahib.
The deceased was a Musi and leaves behind two wives and three daughters. By the grace of Allah the Almighty, two of his son-in-laws are also life-devotees. One of his son-in-laws writes:
“In the vacation of his final year during his Jamia studies, he did not go home on the instruction of his father and instead dedicated the entire time to study the books of the Promised Messiahas.” This is a great example for the students of Jamia.
In order to completely wipe out Ahmadiyyat from Kerala, all of the non-Ahmadi Muslim sects got together and formed an organisation called Anjuman Ishaat-e-Islam. This organisation travelled all across Kerala and held gatherings in which they spoke against the Ahmadiyya Community and raised allegations against the writings of the Promised Messiahas. In response to this, the Jamaat held various gatherings which were all conducted by Maulvi K Mahmood Sahib.
In 1998 and in 2015, the Jamaat had very historic debates against the Anjuman Ishaat-e-Islam and the deceased had the opportunity to represent the Jamaat in this debate. Aside from this, he also had the opportunity to successfully debate against the Ahle-Quran and Ahle Hadith sects. The deceased was very regular in his prayers and began observing the Tahajud prayer from a very young age.
His son-in-law writes that there is an incident from his youth that once the deceased could not offer his Tahajud prayer. Upon this, his father said to him, “My son, do you not wish to attain the status of Maqam-e-Mahmood?” After this, he always remembered this advice and adhered to this for the rest of his life, to the extent that despite his illness and state of extreme weakness, he continued to fulfil this advice. He had a bond of great love and affection for Khilafat and was extremely loyal. In any talimi, tarbiyati and tablighi sitting, he would always devote a large part of the time to speak about the subject of Khilafat and would often become very emotional when speaking on this subject.
In 2015, a lady, along with her children, accepted Ahmadiyyat and her husband was out of the country at the time. When he returned, the deceased preached to him and he asked the deceased why it was essential to believe in Khilafat. Upon this, the deceased spoke about the status of Khilafat and its importance and blessings in such an emotional manner that tears began to flow from his eyes. Although he had heard everything else as well but this in particular had such a profound impact on the non-Ahmadi that he immediately accepted Ahmadiyyat.
In reality, he was a Sultan-e-Naseer [great helper] of Khilafat. May God Almighty grant him His mercy and forgiveness. May He elevate his status and enable his progeny to continue his good deeds.
(Original Urdu published in Al Fazl International, 22 November 2019, pp. 5-11. Translated by The Review of Religions.)