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Rape in Islamic law: Establishing the crime and upholding the rights of the innocent

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The teachings of Islam stipulate that the state is responsible for the protection of the interests (maṣāliḥ) and rights (ḥuqūq) of their citizens. Through protecting these interests and rights of every individual, Islam has laid the foundations of a peaceful society. Based on the Holy Quran, all schools of Islamic jurisprudence agree on five main types of human interests (maṣāliḥ) which need to be protected by the state: 

1. Religion (dīn)

2. Life (nafs

3. Intellect (ʿaql

4. Offspring (nasl)

5. Property (māl)

The impairment of any one of these five constituents jeopardises the safety and well-being of the individual, which leads to unrest and disorder in society at large. If a person who violates these interests is found guilty by a court, state law will impose a punishment on them. 

The objectives of punishment in Islam are to establish justice, reform offenders, and caution other members of society.

Definition of Crime in Islam and a brief note on Islamic punishments

The definition of crime in Islam is: Any act by which a person is forcibly harmed physically or mentally, whereby harm includes physical violence, bodily harm, attack on one’s honour, and death. (Imam Shāfiʿī, al Umm, Vol 6; Ibn Rushd, Bidayat al-Mujtahid, Vol 2; Imam Ibn Taymiyya, al-Siyasat al-Shariʿah)

In Islam, there are three main types of punishment for crimes: statutory punishment (ḥadd), retaliatory punishment (qiṣāṣ) and discretionary punishment (taʿzīr).

As this article particularly aims at focusing on the Islamic perspective on establishing the elements of the crime of rape, we will only talk about the definition of ḥadd and taʿzīrQiṣāṣ need not be discussed as it is not a prescribed punishment in Islam for crimes like rape.

Ḥudūd

In Islamic law, ḥadd refers to a punishment imposed by Allah the Almighty or the sunnah for certain. Once a ḥadd is warranted through the prescribed procedure, the court or the state or the aggrieved party are not permitted to make any concessions in the implementation of these punishments.

According to most scholars of Islamic law (fuqahā), there are seven ḥudūd in Islam (Al Fiqh al-Islami wa adillatohu by Prof Dr Wahbah az-Zuhaily); however, according to Imam Abū Ḥanīfa the following five crimes are liable to the ḥadd punishment: 

1. Theft (sariqa)

2. Fornication/Adultery (zinā)

3. Consuming alcohol (shurb)

4. Becoming intoxicated (sukr)

5. Slander (qadhf) – especially in the case of sexual abuse or adultery. (Ibid)

It is to be noted that ḥudūd are the strictest punishments set in the Quran and sunnah and whenever these punishments are prescribed, clear guidance has also been given regarding investigation, witnesses, evidence and clues etc. for establishing the crime. A qāzi, or judge, must strictly follow the prescribed guideline and if the evidence does not meet the given standard, ḥadd punishment cannot be imposed. 

However, the victim of a certain crime is never deprived of true justice because if the defendant’s guilt is proven through evidence other than the prerequisite for the imposition of the strictest ḥadd penalty, a taʿzīr penalty may be imposed.

Taʿzīr

The taʿzīr penalty is distinctly different from the ḥadd and qiṣāṣ punishments and is left to the discretion of the court. While the basis for establishing a crime punishable by a ḥadd penalty are strictly guided by the Quran and sunnah, a crime which is punishable by a taʿzīr can be proven on the basis of any kind of credible evidence presented before the court of law. The court has the power to determine and impose a taʿzīr. Thus, crimes that do not meet the strict criteria of ḥudūd, but the evidence proves the defendant guilty, can be tried and punishment imposed by way of taʿzīr.

After this basic introduction to the different kinds of Islamic punishments, we now take a look at the Islamic stance on zinā (adultery) and ightiṣāb (rape).

Defining zinā (adultery) and ightiṣāb (rape)

All Islamic schools of jurisprudence broadly agree that zinā is the unlawful and mutually consensual sexual intercourse between a man who is sane and who has reached the age of puberty (bulgh) and a woman who is not his legal spouse. (ʿAlaʿ al-Din Abu al-Kasani, Badaʿi al-Sanaʿi, Vol. 7, Dar al-Kutub al-Arabi, Beirut, 1982)

According to this definition of zinā, the Mālikī, Shāfiʿī and Ḥanbalī schools of Islamic jurisprudence define rape as the forced performance of the aforementioned act as coerced adultery or rape.

According to Ḥanafī jurisprudence, ightiṣāb or rape is defined as coercing a woman to commit adultery against her will, and also includes determining whether or not the plaintiff incited the defendant to commit this act.

Thus, the definition of rape in Islam is:

“Forcible illegal sexual intercourse by a man with a woman who is not legally married to him, without her free will.” (Such definitions are generally agreed on in Islamic countries, for instance Pakistan, where section 6 of the Enforcement of Ḥudūd Ordinance (VII of 1979) defines it on similar lines)

Punishment of rape (ightiṣāb) in Islam

Although, in Islamic jurisprudence, the term of forced adultery (zinā bil-jabr) has also remained in use for rape, most Arab jurists use the term ightiṣāb, which means violating the inviolability of a woman by force. 

As for the punishment of this heinous crime, most jurists suggest that it is essentially the same as that for zinā or adultery, which is one hundred lashes or stoning if the perpetrator is married. 

Some scholars such as Imam Mālikrh and Imam Abū Ḥanīfarh suggest that the perpetrator would also be required to pay a mahr (dowry money) to the victim. (Al-Muwatta, 4/1063; Al-Muntaqa Sharh al-Muwatta’, 5/269)

Al-Muwatta Imam Malikrh

Some scholars have written that if the victim of rape was abducted forcefully from her home or from some place other than her home and then raped under the threat of a weapon, such an act would warrant another or higher ḥadd punishment which is the punishment of Muharabah mentioned in verse 34 of Surah al-Maʿidah:

اِنَّمَا جَزٰٓؤُا الَّذِیۡنَ یُحَارِبُوۡنَ اللّٰہَ وَ رَسُوۡلَہٗ وَ یَسۡعَوۡنَ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ فَسَادًا اَنۡ یُّقَتَّلُوۡۤا اَوۡ یُصَلَّبُوۡۤا اَوۡ تُقَطَّعَ اَیۡدِیۡہِمۡ وَ اَرۡجُلُہُمۡ مِّنۡ خِلَافٍ اَوۡ یُنۡفَوۡا مِنَ الۡاَرۡضِ 

“The reward of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive to create disorder in the land is [only this] that they be slain or crucified, or their hands and their feet be cut off on alternate sides, or they be expelled from the land.”

A detailed discussion specifically with regard to the punishment of rape in Islam demands great detail, which is not the scope of this article. Here, the focus remains on how the crime of rape is established in light of the teachings of Islam.

Establishing the crime of rape

A basic principle that is found in both Islamic jurisprudence and the laws of the land, is that due attention must be paid to protecting innocent people from false allegations. This means that allegations and claims are not acceptable unless there is valid proof and that the accused must be treated as innocent until proven guilty. This principle is synonymous with the following statement of the Holy Prophetsa

لَوْ يُعْطَى النَّاسُ بِدَعْوَاهُمْ لَادَّعَى رِجَالٌ أَمْوَالَ قَوْمٍ وَدِمَاءَهُمْ

“Were people to be given everything they claimed, they would not stop short of making claims on the blood and property of others.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

In light of the guidance given in this hadith, a serious calumny of rape or sexual assault will only be acceptable if proved through evidence that cannot be denied. According to scholars of Islamic jurisprudence, an allegation of rape can be established in three ways:

1. Establishing rape in the most definitive manner

The classical Islamic law defines ightiṣāb (rape) as a coercive form of zinā (adultery) and almost all scholars of Islamic jurisprudence agree that the allegation of rape can be proved in the most definitive manner in two ways: 

i. Through testimony of four witnesses – a limit prescribed in the Holy Quran for establishing zinā

ii. Through confession of guilt by the perpetrator 

According to fuqahā, if an allegation of rape is proved with this level of certainty, it would warrant a ḥadd punishment for the guilty – the strictest punishment prescribed by Islam. 

The famous eleventh-century Muslim scholar, Imam Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr has noted an ijmaaʿ(unanimous agreement of scholars) on this issue and states: 

وقد أجمع العلماء على أن على المستكرِه المغتصِب الحدَّ إن شهدت البينة عليه بما يوجب الحد ، أو أقر بذلك  فإن لم يكن فعليه العقوبة

“The scholars are in unanimous agreement that the rapist is to be subjected to the ḥadd punishment if there is bayyinah (four witnesses) against him, which would warrant the ḥadd punishment to be imposed. [The imposition of the ḥadd punishment would also apply] if the accused rapist admits to his crime himself. In a situation where the above two instances do not apply, then [according to the other evidence that may be brought against him] he would have to bear aqoobah [taʿzīr].” (Al Istidkar 146/7, Bidayah al-Mujtahid 221/4)

Here, Imam Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr has made a clear distinction between what warrants a punishment stipulated by Islamic law (ḥadd), and what warrants a discretionary punishment to be imposed. 

He states clearly that in a situation where four witnesses testify against the perpetrator, or the accused himself confesses the crime, the ḥadd punishment will be imposed. When these two aforementioned conditions are not met, then a second type of punishment may be imposed on the accused at the discretion of the court or judge. The latter is not stipulated by Islamic law; rather, it is determined according to circumstantial evidence that may be brought against the defendant; the purpose being to uphold justice and to deter any similar cases from occurring in the future.

In essence, all jurists, based on the Quranic injunction, agree that as zinā is performed consensually by both parties, it calls for the strictest requirement of four witnesses only. Whereas in the case of ightiṣāb, where the victim is coerced into performing the act, there appears to be a disagreement of opinion. While some schools maintain the strictest demand for four witnesses only, even in the case of rape (Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi in Fatawa al-Radhawiyah, Vol. 13, p. 613, Fatwa no. 252, Kitab al-Hudood wa al-tazir; www.islamweb.net, search “fatwa no. 70220”, “Proving rape by modern medical means”, issued 1 May 2017, accessed 9 January 2022), the majority are inclined towards exploring all avenues of investigation described above, but only if four witnesses cannot be produced as primary evidence. 

2. Establishing rape if the victim becomes pregnant

In Islamic law, if a woman becomes pregnant while out of wedlock, she will be subjected to prosecution for adultery and punishment for the crime as proven. However, if such a woman denies committing adultery and claims that she was raped by someone, there is a disagreement among Muslim jurists whether her claim would be investigated or accepted without investigation. 

Most jurists of the Ḥanafī, Shāfiʿī and Ḥanbalī schools suggest that the excuse of such a woman would be accepted without investigation, and she would not be prosecuted or punished. However, Imam Mālikrh, the earliest Muslim jurist, gives his strong views on the issue and states that the excuse of such a woman would only be acceptable if she brings forth strong evidence supporting her claim. Such proof of rape can be shown by the bleeding caused by the incident if she was a virgin, or if she screams for help and is found by witnesses in a state that proves her ordeal. If she does not provide similar circumstantial evidence, then she is subjected to the stipulated punishment and her claims will be rejected. (Al-Muwatta, 5/1208)

This shows that even in cases where no perpetrator is accused of rape, whose innocence or guilt is under question, a very strong approach is taken in the verification of such claims. This only goes to show how seriously this crime is taken in Islam. 

3. Establishing rape through other forms of evidence

We shall now see if Islam permits the acceptance of evidence other than witnesses or not. It is alleged by the opponents of Islam that if a rape victim is not able to produce four witnesses to support her claim, she is subjected to strict ḥadd punishment for calumny (qadhf).

A very interesting incident in this regard can be found in the history of Islam, narrated by Imam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya in his book Al-Turuq-ul-ukmiyyah.

During the Caliphate of Hazrat Umarra ibn al-Khattab, a woman became infatuated with a young man from Medina. But, despite her persistence in pursuing this man, he did not reciprocate her pining for a relationship.

Medina
Medina

Due to the young man’s refusal, she applied egg white to her garments and thighs before going to Hazrat Umarra claiming that she had been raped by the young man – exhibiting the stains on her garments as evidence against him. 

Hazrat Umarra referred her to some women to inspect her purported evidence. The women concluded that the stains appeared to be from seminal fluid. Upon this, Hazrat Umarra had intended to impose a punishment on the young man, but the young man denied such allegations and pleaded to Hazrat Umarra to further deliberate over his case and confirm the authenticity of the woman’s purported evidence. 

Hazrat Umarra then called upon Hazrat Alira to help in further investigating the claims. Hazrat Alira inspected her garments and poured hot water on the stains. The outcome cast doubt on the claim as the result was very similar to that of egg white. 

Hazrat Alira is said to have gone to the extent to have the result taste-tested before confirming that it was egg white that the woman had used as evidence to prove that she was raped. Upon this, Hazrat Alira strictly demanded her to speak the truth, which she eventually did. (Al-Turuq-ul-ukmiyyah fi al-Siyasat al-Shariʿah, Fasl fi suwari lil-hukam bil-firasah, p. 70)

The athaar (the sayings, actions and consent of the Companions of Prophet Muhammadsa) mentioned in Islamic history helps a reader to draw these important conclusions.

Firstly, in the absence of four witnesses, Hazrat Umarra and Hazrat Alira scrutinised the purported evidence. The procedure adopted clearly proves that although the testimony of witnesses or confession are the primary evidence to prove someone guilty or otherwise, the absence of preliminary types of evidence does not hinder further investigation of a serious crime like rape; nor is the woman subjected to ḥadd if she is not able to produce witnesses.

Secondly, Hazrat Umarra, after having viewed the evidence brought before him, did not make any mention of an Islamically stipulated punishment (ḥadd); rather, due to the absence of four witnesses in this case, the option of taʿzīr was considered which, as described above, is a discretionary punishment below the strictest Islamic punishment of ḥadd

Thirdly, we can ascertain the importance of scrutinising the authenticity of evidence in extreme detail. In cases where certain vile allegations are made, there needs to be firm contingencies in place that protect innocent people from calumnies such as rape.

Important note

The above is a theoretical debate based on Islamic jurisprudence and not advice for anyone to settle cases of such heinous crimes extra-judicially. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community strongly believes that such criminal matters should be pursued through the law of the land.

(Content prepared and published under the responsibility of Al Hakam)

An attack on Khilafat: The hypocrites’ slander (Ifk) against Hazrat Aisha and analysis of Surah al-Nur

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    Ataul Fatir Tahir, Al Hakam

    The Holy Quran which contains Sarah al-Nur Chapter 24 and talks about the Idk against Hazrat Aisha
    The Holy Quran

     “Khilafat is a divine reward and there is none who can stop it. It is a vehicle for the spread of Allah’s light and whoever desires to end it, in fact, wants to extinguish the light of Allah.” (Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra, Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 6, p. 330)

    The Holy Quran is Allah’s word, perfectly authored and profound in meaning. Every letter, word, sentence and theme has a purpose – they are not arbitrary, as the random fall of rain droplets. Topics or verses may seem unsystematic to the untrained eye, yet they are not.

    An example is the connection in the Holy Quran between the slander – commonly known as Ifk – against Hazrat Aishara and the verse promising Khilafat to Muslims, both of which arrive closely together in Surah al-Nur (chapter 24). Seemingly exclusive verses uncover a deceptive attack by the hypocrites amongst Muslims on the future establishment of Khilafat in Islam.

    Early themes in Surah al-Nur

    The promise of Khilafat in the Quran arrives in verse 56 of Surah al-Nur (The Light). Allah starts the surah (chapter) by declaring, “[This is] a surah which We have revealed and which We have made obligatory; and We have revealed therein clear Signs, that you may take heed.”

    In the opening verses, the surah lays out Islamic punishments for illicit sexual relationships and for those who wrongly accuse “chaste women” of illicit relationships “but bring not four witnesses”.

    The Event of Ifk (false imputation) – in which the hypocrites, with some success, spread vile rumours accusing Hazrat Aishara, the noble wife of the Holy Prophetsa, of having an illicit relationship with Hazrat Safwanra bin Mu‘attal – is then addressed by Allah from verses 12-20.

    The slander against Hazrat Aishara was serious and had some companions in doubt and affected the Holy Prophetsa too.

    Describing the intensity of this slander and its effects, The Seal of the Prophets (Vol. II) reads:

    “Abdullah bin Ubayy and his wretched followers propagated this lie so widely, and disseminated such a twisted version of it that the Muslims began to lose their peace of mind. Certain Muslims, who were of weaker dispositions and unmindful, became victims of this propaganda as well. Hence, this era was especially a time of full force for the hypocrites, and their most desirable weapon was to spread false and filthy propaganda in order to slander the Holy Prophetsa and his relatives. These rumours were spread so cunningly that on certain occasions, due to not having in depth knowledge of affairs, the Holy Prophetsa and his most prominent Companions could not even find the opportunity to rebut these allegations, and their poison would continue to spread. In these instances, latter Muslims who were not in the habit of thorough investigation and deep thought, would consider this misinformation to be true and begin relating these accounts. It is in this manner that these narrations have found way into the collections of such Muslims who are the Waqidi type, etc. […]”. (Seal of the Prophets, Vol. II, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra MA, p. 419)

    Allah strongly condemned the slander against Hazrat Aishara and questioned why Muslims even entertained them:

    لَوۡ لَاْ اِذۡ سَمِعۡتُمُوۡہُ ظَنَّ الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ وَ الۡمُؤۡمِنٰتُ بِاَنۡفُسِہِمۡ خَیۡرًا ۙ وَّ قَالُوۡا ہٰذَاۤ اِفۡکٌ مُّبِیۡنٌ

    “Why did not the believing men and believing women, when you heard of it, think well of their own people, and say, ‘This is a manifest lie?’” (Surah al-Nur, Ch.24: V.13)

    Addressing the hypocrites who forged the accusation, Allah asks, “Why did they not bring four witnesses to [prove] it?” and that “Since they have not brought the [required] witnesses, they are indeed liars in the sight of Allah!” (Surah al-Nur, Ch.24: V.14)

    The slander was so serious that Allah said:

    “Were it not for the grace of Allah and His mercy upon you, in this world and the Hereafter, a great punishment would have befallen you for [the slander] into which you plunged.” (Surah al-Nur: V.15)

    The Quran then admonished:

    “[…] you uttered with your mouths that of which you had no knowledge, and you thought it to be a light matter, while in the sight of Allah it was [a] grievous [thing].” (Surah al-Nur: V.16)

    Instead, Allah says, Muslims should have said:

    “It is not proper for us to talk about it. Holy art Thou, [O God], this is a grievous calumny!” (Surah al-Nur: V.17)

    Surah al-Nur firmly establishes that accusations must be supported with substantial proof, and in the case of illicit relationships: four witnesses. Otherwise, Allah strictly instructs Muslims not to entertain such rumours ever again:

    یَعِظُکُمُ اللّٰہُ اَنۡ تَعُوۡدُوۡا لِمِثۡلِہِ اَبَدًا اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ مُّؤۡمِنِیۡنَ

    “Allah admonishes you never to return to the like thereof, if you are believers.” (Surah al-Nur: V.18)

    A sudden change

    In his tafsir (commentary) of Surah al-Nur, Hazrat Mirza Bashirudin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IIra notes that the theme of the surah seems to drastically change when verse 36 arrives:

    “Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The similitude of His light is as a [lustrous] niche, wherein is a lamp. The lamp is in a glass. The glass is as it were a glittering star […]”.

    Then, in verse 56, Allah suddenly talks about Khilafat and its establishment:

    وَعَدَ اللّٰہُ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا مِنۡکُمۡ وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ لَیَسۡتَخۡلِفَنَّہُمۡ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ کَمَا اسۡتَخۡلَفَ الَّذِیۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِہِمۡ ۪ وَ لَیُمَکِّنَنَّ لَہُمۡ دِیۡنَہُمُ الَّذِی ارۡتَضٰی لَہُمۡ وَ لَیُبَدِّلَنَّہُمۡ مِّنۡۢ بَعۡدِ خَوۡفِہِمۡ اَمۡنًا ؕ یَعۡبُدُوۡنَنِیۡ لَا یُشۡرِکُوۡنَ بِیۡ شَیۡئًا ؕ وَ مَنۡ کَفَرَ بَعۡدَ ذٰلِکَ فَاُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الۡفٰسِقُوۡنَ

    “Allah has promised to those among you who believe and do good works that He will surely, make them Successors in the earth, as He made Successors [from among] those who were before them; and that He will, surely establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them; and that He will, surely give them in exchange security [and peace] after their fear; They will worship Me, [and] they will not associate anything with Me. Then whoso is ungrateful after that, they will be the rebellious.” (Surah al-Nur: V.56)

    Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra writes that where many commentators would accept the “randomness” of the Quran, followers of the Promised Messiahas refused to accept that the Quran had no purposeful order. (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 6, p. 322) Huzoorra goes on to uncover a profound link between the apparent changes in themes across Surah al-Nur – from the surah addressing illicit relationships, the lie against Hazrat Aishara, to the promise of Khilafat.

    Why the slander against Hazrat Aishara?

    Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra reveals the slander against Hazrat Aishara by the hypocrites who called themselves “Muslims” was carefully orchestrated as a deliberate attack on the future system of Khilafat by attacking Hazrat Abu Bakrra who they saw was going to play an instrumental role in the establishment of Khilafat. The opening verses of the surah, reference to the slander against Hazrat Aishara and the verse promising Khilafat uncover the ploy of the hypocrites who attempted to take two birds with one stone.

    This accusation was not an attack due to personal resentment against Hazrat Aishara – she had no authority politically, financially, or a say on conflict and wars (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 6, p. 324). Deeper evil intentions were involved.

    Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra concludes that the slander on Hazrat Aishara had two possible reasons. Either the accusation was true, but no Muslim can accept this and Allah nullified such a thought; or the accusation was by people who wanted to attack certain others through Hazrat Aishara and therefore achieve their motives.

    “Now, we must ask who those people were that the hypocrites wanted to defame through which the leaders of the hypocrites would benefit. Also, who were the people that the hypocrites could take their frustration out on through this [slander against Hazrat Aishara]?

    “With little thought, it can be established that by accusing Hazrat Aishara, enmity against two people can be revealed. First, the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, and second, Hazrat Abu Bakrra. This is because she was the wife of the former and the daughter of the latter. Both these men were such that their defamation could bring political benefits and advantages to their enemies. […]

    “The slanderers could not take away the status the Holy Prophetsa possessed. What they feared was that their objectives after [the demise] of the Holy Prophetsa may still not be achieved […] sensing this danger, they accused Hazrat Aishara with the aim of reducing her respect and status in the eyes of the Holy Prophetsa and through this, the eminence and status that Hazrat Abu Bakrra [her father] possessed amongst the Muslims would be ruined […]”

    “This is the reason why Allah the Almighty speaks of Khilafat after the incident of accusations against Hazrat Aishara.” (Ibid, p. 325)

    Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra notes that during his time in Mecca, the Holy Prophetsa had no political or worldly power and influence. However, in Medina, after the Prophet’ssa arrival, a Muslim state was established. The hypocrites feared that through Khilafat of the Holy Prophetsa, the Islamic government would continue and the desires of the hypocrites to attain power reduced to naught.

    Chief of the hypocrites, Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salool’s desire for power

    The central hypocrite behind the slander against Hazrat Aishara was Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salool. The reason he was so bitter takes us back to when the Holy Prophetsa was still in Mecca and Islam had not spread to Medina.

    Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra explains that before the Holy Prophet’ssa arrival in Medina, Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salool was chosen to rule Medina – the Aus and Khazraj tribes had experienced tribal wars between each other for a long time and finally decided to settle the disputes and unify and elect one king; Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salool was chosen.

    During the same timeframe, some of the Aus and Khazraj tribe members met the Holy Prophetsa and accepted Islam. More members of the tribes in Medina went to meet the Prophetsa in Mecca and accepted Islam and the religion began to spread rapidly amongst the tribes.

    As the Holy Prophetsa and his Companions were facing severe persecution in Mecca, the new converts of Medina – known as the Ansar – invited the Prophetsa to migrate and relocate to Medina, which the Prophetsa accepted.  After his migration to Medina, the Prophetsa was unanimously chosen as the leader of the state of Medina and became the political king for the populace and the spiritual king for Muslims.

    The leadership Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salool was previously chosen for ended, creating great resentment in his heart. The Aus and Khazraj had a new king who was the leader of both spiritual and worldly realms for them, and Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salool’s past authority was forgotten. This angered him and he joined the Muslims as a hypocrite, causing mischief throughout his life.

    He still had his eyes on leadership and was worried over the spread of Islam in the future. He could not take away the kingship of the Holy Prophetsa and therefore took aim at the institution of Khilafat by slander.

    Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salool manufactured the vile accusation against Hazrat Aishara, daughter of Hazrat Abu Bakrra. If Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra daughter was maligned successfully, Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salool and the other hypocrites saw it as harming any future leadership in Islam – Khilafat being their core target.

    It wasn’t just Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salool who had his eyes on leadership; Musaylima al-Kadhab possessed similar ideals and told the Prophetsa that he would accept Islam, along with his “large” following, if he was given leadership – an offer the Holy Prophetsa firmly rejected. 

    Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra notes that “It is for this reason that Allah the Almighty said in the Holy Quran:

    اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ جَآءُوۡ بِالۡاِفۡکِ عُصۡبَۃٌ مِّنۡکُمۡ

    “Meaning, ‘Those who slandered Hazrat Aishara are a group from amongst you who call themselves Muslims’.

    “Allah then says:

    لَا تَحۡسَبُوۡہُ شَرًّا لَّکُمۡ بَلۡ ہُوَ خَیۡرٌ لَّکُمۡ

    “[Meaning], ‘Don’t think this slander will have harmful consequences; rather, the accusation will ultimately result in your progress and success.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 6, p. 326)

    Failure of the hypocrites to attack Khilafat

    In Surah al-Nur, Allah goes on to promise true Muslims the divinely supported institution of Khilafat and reminds them that no matter how much effort the hypocrites exert, they will fail in their plots and attacks to hinder the creation of Khilafat.

    Ultimately, the leader of the munafiqeen (hypocrites), Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salool was disgraced and died in the very life of the Holy Prophetsa, and the divine promise of Khilafat manifested. In the Holy Quran, Allah promised that the hypocrites would be punished when speaking about the slander against Hazrat Aishara and this ultimately came about.

    The ploy attempting to demean Khilafat was exposed by Allah, and attempts of the hypocrites failed miserably.

    “An illustrious niche”: Allah, Prophets and Khilafat

    Caliph in Ahmadiyya Muslim Community who did the commentary of Sarah al-Nur
    Tafsir-e-Kabir is an in-depth commentary of the Holy Quran by Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud, Khalifatul Masih II (ra)

    In his insight on the themes of Surah al-Nur, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra gives the reason why, in verse 36, the subject suddenly changes, seemingly without any reason. After talking about the penalties for illicit relationships, accusations and the slandering of Hazrat Aishara, and before the promise of Khilafat (in verse 56), Allah says in Surah al-Nur:

    اَللّٰہُ نُوۡرُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ مَثَلُ نُوۡرِہٖ کَمِشۡکٰوۃٍ فِیۡہَا مِصۡبَاحٌ ؕ اَلۡمِصۡبَاحُ فِیۡ زُجَاجَۃٍ ؕ اَلزُّجَاجَۃُ کَاَنَّہَا کَوۡکَبٌ دُرِّیٌّ

    “Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The similitude of His light is as a [lustrous] niche, wherein is a lamp. The lamp is in a glass. The glass is as it were a glittering star. […]”

    Huzoorra says “the Light” is Allah, the “lamp” is prophethood which protects the light of Allah and “the glass” is Khilafat that acts as a “reflector” of the divine light which prophets project.

    In this verse, Allah teaches:

    “The existence of Khilafat is essential like prophethood because through it [Khilafat], the age for the manifestation of divine majesty is extended and divine light is safeguarded for the benefit of the world for a long period of time.” (Ibid, p. 323)

    If there was no Khilafat after the Prophetsa, then the spread of Allah’s spiritual light and the protection of that light through the Holy Prophetsa would have also ceased. Therefore, Khilafat had to be established.

    A natural consequence of understanding the meaning of this verse is that Muslims desire Khilafat. Hence, Allah, in verse 56, promises true believers the reward of Khilafat that He would establish for them:

    وَعَدَ اللّٰہُ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا مِنۡکُمۡ وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ لَیَسۡتَخۡلِفَنَّہُمۡ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ کَمَا اسۡتَخۡلَفَ الَّذِیۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِہِمۡ ۪ وَ لَیُمَکِّنَنَّ لَہُمۡ دِیۡنَہُمُ الَّذِی ارۡتَضٰی لَہُمۡ وَ لَیُبَدِّلَنَّہُمۡ مِّنۡۢ بَعۡدِ خَوۡفِہِمۡ اَمۡنًا ؕ یَعۡبُدُوۡنَنِیۡ لَا یُشۡرِکُوۡنَ بِیۡ شَیۡئًا ؕ وَ مَنۡ کَفَرَ بَعۡدَ ذٰلِکَ فَاُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الۡفٰسِقُوۡنَ

    “Allah has promised to those among you who believe and do good works that He will surely, make them Successors in the earth, as He made Successors [from among] those who were before them; and that He will, surely establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them; and that He will, surely give them in exchange security [and peace] after their fear; They will worship Me, [and] they will not associate anything with Me. Then whoso is ungrateful after that, they will be the rebellious.” (Surah al-Nur, Ch.24: V.56)

    Hypocrites always fail

    By refuting the slander against Hazrat Aishara and immediately following it with the verse promising Khilafat’s establishment, Allah reminds Muslims that the hypocrites will ultimately fail and the promise of Khilafat will continue. Their ploys were reduced to nothing and despite creating a big stir amongst the Muslims, the hypocrites ultimately failed.

    Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra writes:

    “The slanderer’s central aim was to disgrace them [the Khulafa] and to reduce their respect in society; however, God Almighty desires to raise their status instead.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 6, p. 329)

    History does repeat itself and hypocrites crop up in divine communities; however, their attacks and desire to end Khilafat have never seen success and, insha-Allah, never shall.  

    Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Ahmadiyya Khalifa had warned the world of Nuclear devastation

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    Ata-ul-Haye Nasir, Al Hakam

    The Ahmadiyya Khalifa, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa had been calling the world leaders for a long time towards establishing world peace and warned them to avoid the usage of nuclear weapons which could initiate huge devastation.

    Recently, five of the world’s most powerful nations – the US, Russia, China, the UK and France – have agreed that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought” in a rare joint pledge to reduce the risk of such a conflict ever starting. (The Guardian, 3 January 2022, “Five of world’s most powerful nations pledge to avoid nuclear war”)

    On 24 March 2012, during his keynote address at the 9th Annual Peace Symposium of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya UK, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa, said:

    “Japan is the one country to have experienced the abhorrent consequences of atomic warfare, when it was attacked by nuclear bombs during the Second World War […] The nuclear bombs that were used at that time and which caused widespread devastation, were much less powerful than the atomic weapons that are possessed by even very small nations today […] Let it be clear that if nuclear weapons are used again today, then it is quite possible that parts of certain countries could be completely wiped off the map. They could cease to exist […]

    “Recently, a very senior Russian military commander issued a serious warning about the potential risk of a nuclear war. It was his view that such a war would not be fought in Asia or elsewhere, but would be fought on Europe’s borders, and that the threat might originate and ignite from Eastern European countries.” (www.reviewofreligions.org/6305/the-devastating-consequences-of-a-nuclear-war-and-the-critical-need-for-absolute-justice/)

    On 9 March 2019, while addressing the 16th Annual Peace Symposium of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya UK, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa stated:

    “If there is a nuclear war, we will not only be destroying the world today but we will also be leaving behind a lasting trail of destruction and misery for our future generations. Hence, we must pause and reflect on the consequences of our actions. We should not consider any issue or conflict, whether within a country or at an international level, to be insignificant.” (www.pressahmadiyya.com/press-releases/2019/03/head-ahmadiyya-muslim-community-warns-intensifying-global-hostilities-risk-disastrous-nuclear-war/

    Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad Khalifatul Masih V

    On 29 November 2020, during a virtual mulaqat of Majlis Atfal-ul-Ahmadiyya Germany with Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa, a question was asked “Would life ever become normal again after Covid?” Huzooraa replied:

    “Allah the Exalted knows best. Even though it may return to normal, the economic state that has developed after the coronavirus pandemic will have consequences for the world. Even if there is no physical warfare or major conflict, it will still take years for the global economic situation to stabilise. However, usually, we observe that the economic situation worsens under such circumstances which more often than not leads to warfare.

    “By looking at the current situation of the world, it does seem that it could eventually lead to wars. If a war is ignited after the coronavirus, then the situation of the world will become even more perilous and it will take many years for the situation of the world to return to normal.

    “So, we must pray that may Allah the Exalted grant the people of the world sense and wisdom so that instead of bowing before materialism and usurping the rights of one another, the world’s leaders and nations are able to see sense and strive for peace and harmony. If they try to work together so that the world becomes more united, they will be able to return the situation to normal much faster. If such efforts are not made, then the situation will not return to normal and it may take many years for the situation to return to normal and a very dire situation will unfold.

    “However, I feel that it is quite possible that a war or a conflict could break out after this pandemic of coronavirus ends and its ruinous effects could last for many years before it returns to normality. Thus, we must pray that such circumstances may not arise, that may lead to wars and that world leaders act with sense so that the global situation can stabilise as quickly as possible and return to normal. To achieve this, it is necessary that mankind turns towards God […] We should inform people that there is only one solution to help the situation of the world return to normal and that is for mankind to turn to Allah the Exalted and to fulfil His rights and the rights of His creation.” (Al Hakam, 29 October 2021, Issue 189, pp. 7-9)

    On 22 May 2021, during a virtual meeting of the Gambian journalists with the Ahmadiyya Khalifa, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa, a journalist referenced Huzoor’s book, World Crisis and the Pathway to Peace, and said that Huzooraa had paid a lot of emphasis on global peace. He asked about the importance of justice and why it was crucial to speak out against injustices. In response, Huzooraa said:

    “[…] In the case of worldly affairs, if there is no justice, there is no peace. If you have double standards, as we can see in today’s world shown by the big powers, they cannot maintain peace in the world. This is what happened when the League of Nations was formed. The League of Nations was formed to maintain justice and give equal rights to each and every nation, but it failed. Resultantly, there was an eruption of the Second World War. And the same is happening with the UNO – they are not maintaining justice, they have double standards for poor countries and for the rich countries, for Western countries and African and Asian countries. This is why you can see there is disturbance in the world today. So, if there is no justice, there is no peace.” (Al Hakam, 28 May 2021, Issue 167, pp. 1-2)

    On 11 September 2021, during a virtual meeting of UK Khuddam with the Ahmadiyya Khalifa, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa, a question was asked as to what was Huzoor’s opinion on the current state of the world? In response, Huzooraa said:

    “You see, if people do not recognise their Creator and their Lord – Allah the Almighty – and do not discharge their duties to Him and what Allah the Almighty has told us to do, if they do not do it, then the world is going to doom itself very fast. This is why we are here. We have to let the people understand that ‘if you do not practice what Allah the Almighty has said, if you do not change yourself, then this is going to be your fate’. And only those will be saved from a bad end of their lives who remember Allah the Almighty.

    “Everywhere you see, there are atrocities, there are cruelties, brutalities happening – whether it is being done by the big powers to the poorer nations, or whether it is within the nations, within the Muslim ummah or even small countries. Everywhere there is chaos.

    “We have to help them understand what their duties are. And this is the duty of an Ahmadi, to inform people and this is a great responsibility on our shoulders.

    “This is why I have been telling, all the time, to the people of the world – to politicians, to leaders – that they ought to change themselves and try to establish true justice, absolute justice in the world and discharge their duties to their Creator and their fellow beings. Otherwise, there is no guarantee [about] what is going to happen, and what we can see is a very dark and bleak end of this world.” (Al Hakam, 17 September 2021, Issue 183, p. 6)

    May Allah enable the world leaders to pay heed to the most sincere advice and guidance given by the Ahmadiyya Khalifa, Hazrat Mirza Masroor AhmadaaAmin.

    The Ahmadiyya system of justice in conflict resolution

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    In the context of establishing justice, all institutions and schools of thought have their roots in the history of religion – the institution that first gave the concept of right and wrong. It was precisely this distinction between right and wrong that laid the foundation for civilisation in human society, which today the world is very proud of; so proud that the world has forgotten its very foundation.

    Relationship between religion and civilisation

    Historically, mutual conflicts had their origin in the way livelihoods were earned. When the resulting disputes could not be resolved through mutual understanding – as humans, by nature, tend to think they are in the right – an external authority was required. Such authority was available to God’s messengers through divine revelation. Thus, religion and civilisation are inseparable, both in meaning and in practice.

    The history of religion shows that in every age, religious and spiritual leaders have guided their followers on mutual conflicts. And it is also known that the most detailed guidance in this matter has been given by Islam.

    The system of divine law revealed at the hands of the Holy Prophetsa served first for the individual and then, when the state of Medina was established, tribes and nations in case of conflicts. The judiciary came into being, legal procedures were devised and a penal code was set up.

    The purpose of all of this was and is to maintain peace in society through justice. The primary purpose of all this was and still is the reformation of wrongdoers. The purpose of all of this was to work as a deterrent and remains so to this day.

    The present age and the role of religions in establishing peace

    The number of religions increased over time. The known history of religion shows that the followers of each religion associated to it an element of finality. Moreover, these religions were for specific times and regions. They were limited to a certain audience in a given period of time. God Almighty continued to guide mankind through the periods of intellectual and spiritual evolution.

    Thus, when so many systems of divine law – as each religion took it to be – encountered each other, conflict resolution became impossible.

    Since the followers of these religions were considered citizens of one state or another, they were bound by their respective state laws. 

    Therefore, the only possibility of conflict resolution through religious laws narrowed down to reconciliation and arbitration; and that too in matters of civil nature that do not legally require involving the law of the land. In general, the arbitration systems of religious communities refrained from interfering in criminal offences. It has now become a generally accepted rule within religious communities to honour the state law and is now seen as unacceptable and unethical for any member of the public, a religious community or its leader or even a spiritual head to decide cases of criminal nature.

    Arbitration system of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat

    The founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, interpreted the Islamic system of divine law according to the changing times to resolve mutual conflicts and gave guidance – ranging from personal affairs to matters of transnational nature. The same continued in the time of his successors and still does. However, a body with the name of Dar-ul-Qaza – of no legal standing but functioning only by way of arbitration – has been set up to resolve day to day matters that are legally allowed to be resolved thus.  

    Formal establishment of Dar-ul-Qaza

    As the Community progressed, the number of people continued to multiply; growing to the extent where all mutual conflicts could not be decided by the Khalifa alone – especially for a thorough investigation to be carried out before any decision was served.

    In view of these circumstances, and the fact that every disputed matter should be carefully heard, all evidence be carefully examined, witnesses appear before the arbiter and the right judgment be passed, the Second Khalifa to the Promised Messiahas, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra established the institution of Dar-ul-Qaza (or Dar-ul-Qada – arbitration council) in 1919. 

    From the very beginning, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra issued detailed instructions for Dar-ul-Qaza, whose task was to arbitrate in conflicts arising from the day-to-day affairs (of civil nature) of Community members. For criminal matters, he instructed from the beginning that the parties should turn to the country’s courts of law. Civil cases are however brought before Dar-ul-Qaza by Ahmadis who abide by its decision.

    The founder of Dar-ul-Qaza in the Ahmadiyya Community, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra, described its philosophy as such:

    “There are certain areas of the Islamic law that infringe into the legal and political system, but the government does not demand them to be seen as such. For instance, in Qadian, there is the office of qaza where the government has itself given permission to resolve such cases internally and tends not to interfere in matters that do not legally require the involvement of the police. 

    “Therefore, it is our duty to establish within the Community a procedure of conflict resolution, under Islamic law, in matters where the government does not interfere and over which the government has given us the freedom to decide in any way we deem fit. And if we are able to establish a part of the system of divine law, but abstain from doing so, then that would essentially mean that we are desecrating the system of Islamic law. So, we must now take practical steps for this very important and necessary purpose which God Almighty has placed in our discretion and should have no regard for the weakness or stumbling of any individual in the Community.”  (Inqilab-e-Haqiqi, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 15, p. 106)

    Procedures of Dar-ul-Qaza

    Access to this arbitration system in the Ahmadiyya Jamaat is completely free of charge and Dar-ul-Qaza does not receive any remuneration from the parties.

    No special form or application on any special type of paper is required to access this system of arbitration. The application is filed in writing and the system comes into operation. It should be noted that this legal system performs the functions of arbitration and mediation which is carried out only if both parties agree in writing to seek the help of this system.

    In the first stage of the proceedings, the parties present their case before an arbiter (qazi) appointed by Dar-ul-Qaza. This hearing may take place in one session but can spread over several, depending on the nature of the case. 

    Since both parties have made a written agreement at the beginning, the decision of Dar-ul-Qaza is in principle acceptable to both. If both or one of the parties feel the need to appeal the decision, they can do so and the case is referred to the appellate arbitral tribunal (murafa‘ah-e-ula). If any of the parties still feel the need to appeal against the decision made by the murfa‘ah-e-ula, the matter is referred to the higher arbitral tribunal (murafa‘ah-e-aliyah), i.e. a board in which the arbiters involved decide on the basis of testimonies and evidence all over again.

    (Usually, the murafa‘ah-e-ula precedes the murafa‘ah-e-aliyah. However, in order to expedite the resolution of matrimonial conflicts, the murafa‘ah-e-aliyah comes directly after the first arbiter [qazi-e-awal].)

    If the disagreement from a party or both still persists, they may appeal to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih. If Hazrat Khalifatul Masih notices any deficiency in the case or how it has been dealt with (gathered from the evidence and other supporting material in the file), he may ask Dar-ul-Qaza to revisit the whole case.

    At this stage, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih, having reviewed the case, may uphold the decision, or he may instruct Dar-ul-Qaza to make necessary amendments.

    Criminal offences and Dar-ul-Qaza

    In all matters related to criminal offences, the law enforcement authorities have to be contacted in the first instance and told to follow the legal procedure as advised by the authorities in accordance with the laws of the country. In such matters, Dar-ul-Qaza does not interfere in any way at any stage, and all these steps are determined in accordance with the laws of the country.

    For instance, if an Ahmadi’s house is robbed, the Ahmadi will not be expected to get in touch with Dar-ul-Qaza. They will automatically know that they must immediately go to the police, follow their instructions, cooperate with the law of the land and then comply with the outcome.

    In all matters of criminal nature, no Ahmadi would go and complain directly to Khalifatul Masih. They may, however, ask for prayers in an audience or through a letter, or ask for advice and follow it.

    Those who send Hazrat Khalifatul Masih the details of their ongoing cases in writing or present them during an audience are all witness to the fact that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih never passes judgement on the case and always advises to cooperate with the law of the land.

    Some instructions from Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa regarding Dar-ul-Qaza

    Right from the onset of Dar-ul-Qaza to this day, all Khulafa (plural of Khalifa) have urged Dar-ul-Qaza to settle conflicts in light of Islamic teachings. They have kept a watchful eye on the code of Dar-ul-Qaza so that no principle is formulated that contradicts the Islamic system of divine law.

    Hazrat Khalifatul Masih is keen on ensuring that not even a word from Dar-ul-Qaza is such that it may hurt a party’s self-esteem. On one occasion, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa instructed the nazim (official in charge) of Dar-ul-Qaza:

    “Instruct arbiters to use words in their judgments that generally do not offend anyone.” (Instruction of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa to the nazim of Dar-ul-Qaza)

    hazrat-mirza-masroor-ahmad-724x1024.jpg

    In the very early days of his Khilafat, in 2003, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa addressed the Dar-ul-Qaza officials and said:

    “We have a system of Qaza in the Community, both at a local and central level. Dar-ul-Qaza cases are also such where every arbiter should set off impartially and with prayers. Neither party should ever get the impression that the arbiter listened more closely to the other, or that their stance was not fully considered in the decision, or that the other party was given any favours. Even though the person against whom the judgement is rendered will usually complain, the matter of the arbiter himself should be completely flawless. The Holy Prophetsa said that a judge who decided after a thorough investigation and whose judgement turned out to be correct would receive two rewards, and if he made a wrong judgement despite his best efforts, he would receive one reward for his efforts and good intentions.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-I‘tisam, Bab Ajr al-hakim idh ijtahada fa-asaba au akhta‘a) (Friday Sermon, delivered by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa, 5 December 2003)

    The last two decades have shown that Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa has seen the establishment of justice, at all levels of society, to be the precursor of peace and has emphatically delivered this message to not only members of the Jamaat but also to world leaders. For instance, he said:

    “Allah the Almighty has commanded justice, and justice is something that is essential to be established in everything; from the basic unit of the society, i.e. the home, to international affairs. This is the very thing that can bring peace to the world at all levels.” (Friday Sermon, 25 October 2013, Khutbat-e-Masroor, Vol. 11, p. 586)

    In light of this same Islamic teaching, he said in a directive to Dar-ul-Qaza:

    Qaza only has the task of protecting rights. So just ensure that rights are protected.” (Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V ke Qazai Faislay wa Irshadat, Vol. 1, p. 400)

    In the last two decades, hundreds of conflicts have been submitted to Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa by way of appeal, and he has ensured that the rights of the innocent are not violated. If, in line with the sunnah (practice) of the Holy Prophetsa, forgiveness can bring about reform, he has reminded the claimant of this option. He has, where the culprit is found to have exhibited cruelty, instructed Dar-ul-Qaza to ensure that the innocent is recompensed and justice is served to both the innocent and the perpetrator. We must remind everyone that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih does not decide on any matters of criminal nature, but only civil cases that filter through for his consideration.

    However, for an actual arbitration system to be successful, it is also necessary that it be based on a clearly defined jurisdiction. This, in the case of the Dar-ul-Qaza, is established under Islamic law and overseen by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih. This ensured, Dar-ul-Qaza then functions independently within its remits.

    One community member wrote about their case to Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa, asking for his advice. The reply of Huzooraa is given below:

    “I have received your letter. Your case is still pending with Qaza and I do not interfere in matters of Qaza. May Allah help you to cooperate with Qaza in this matter with righteousness. Amin.” (Ibid, p. 404)

    This means that until the matter has not passed through all stages and reached the stage where the parties may appeal to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih, Huzooraa has allowed the legal system to freely continue in its jurisdiction.

    It is important to reiterate here that cases presented to Dar-ul-Qaza are not of criminal offences which are always for the law of the land to decide; this is common knowledge for every Ahmadi. The example of a robbery presented above is sufficient to prove this point.

    Dar-ul-QazaThe first point of reference 

    It is commonly known among members of the Ahmadiyya Community that should there be a conflict, they can contact Dar-ul-Qaza and let their case go through the steps described above.

    Since the very purpose of this institution is to ensure justice and impartiality, every case presented before it is given thorough consideration. 

    Even if a person presents their case to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih, Huzooraa would instruct them to contact Dar-ul-Qaza to ensure the protection of the rights of both the claimant and the defendant.

    Let us take the example of a woman who complains directly to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih about her husband not taking care of her and their children and only spending their wealth on himself. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih, while graciously giving her and her husband advice, will also direct her to take her case to Dar-ul-Qaza so that all details of the matter can be presented to the arbiter and an impartial decision be secured.

    When a case is referred to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih, which is not a civil conflict but falls under criminal law, there is a standing instruction that it must be forwarded to the law enforcement agencies of the country. We have said above that this is a standing instruction that need not be reiterated on every occasion. However, the following commandment of the Holy Quran is never to be disregarded:

    وَ لَا تَقۡرَبُوا الۡفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَہَرَ مِنۡہَا وَ مَا بَطَنَ

    “[…] and that you approach not foul deeds, whether open or secret”. (Surah al-An‘am, Ch.6: V.152)

    A tradition of Sunan Abi Dawud tells us that the Holy Prophetsa said:

    إِنَّ اللّٰهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْفَاحِشَ الْمُتَفَحِّشَ

    “Allah does not love anyone who is obscene and vulgar.”

    Thus, if allegations are of criminal nature and presented to the law of the land, but spread obscenity if discussed in public, then Hazrat Khalifatul Masih, as the leading proponent of Islamic teachings, may advise that obscenity should not be made public as it benefits no one but harms society in general. This, however, does not mean that the matter should not be subjected to state law. 

    Similarly, if Hazrat Khalifatul Masih advises someone not to lodge or pursue the case on the Community’s platform (owing to its criminal nature), it would be wrong to imply that his advice means dropping the case altogether. It will still remain the claimant’s choice to pursue the law of the land. 

    Hence, the Ahmadiyya justice system aims to guarantee the establishment of justice under the supervision of Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa. Thousands of people are benefitting from this justice system. However, in cases of criminal nature, Ahmadis are advised to seek justice through the law of the land.

    Note: This is a broad introduction to the system in general. Ahmadis should directly seek guidance on individual matters and exceptions with Dar-ul-Qaza.

    (Prepared by and published under the responsibility of Al Hakam)

    Serve the Jamaat to attain Allah’s nearness and pleasure: National amila and qaideen of MKA Nigeria meet Huzoor

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    On 2 January 2022, the national amila and qaideen of Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Nigeria met Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa in a virtual mulaqat. 

    Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa started the meeting by leading everyone in silent prayer. Huzooraa then spoke to every member present and asked them about their duties in Majlis Khuddamul-Ahmadiyya Nigeria while also giving them valuable guidance on how to work better and improve.  

    Speaking with Abdul Jabar Ayelaagbe Sahib, Naib Sadr (South West), Huzooraa asked what regions were part of the South West area and how many Khuddam there were. Abdul Jabar Sahib listed the regions, after which Huzooraa remarked that it was “quite a big region”. Jabar Sahib reported there were over 4,000 khuddam in his own region, while in the whole of the South West region of Nigeria, there were over 6,000 khuddam. To this, Huzooraa said:

    “But I think your tajnid is not up to the mark. You should have more khuddam than this number because I know quite a few new converts are coming to join Ahmadiyyat and there should have been much more than this. […] Try to expedite this job now.”

    Olagunju Abbas Sahib, Naib Sadr (Northern Region) reported next. Huzooraa said, “Abuja, the headquarters [of the Jamaat], is also in your region?”, to which Abbas Sahib confirmed it was. Huzooraa said the majalis in the Northern Region were “quite scattered” and asked for the total population of khuddam and the number of majalis in the region. Abbas Sahib reported there were close to 1,000 Khuddam and six majalis. Huzooraa asked if there was a majlis in every city, to which Abbas Sahib replied there was not. 

    The Motamid, Fashina Idris Sahib was next to report. While talking to him, Huzooraa smiled and said, “You are the actual person who should be asked these questions. What is the total number of your majalis?” Fashina Sahib said there were 348 Khuddam majalis in Nigeria. Huzooraa asked how many of these were active and said that “active” meant those who “have been sending their reports regularly every month.” Fashina Sahib said 107 were active in every respect and that for the rest of the majalis, work was being done to activate them further. The majalis that sent six to seven reports a year were considered as “inactive” Fashina Sahib said. Huzooraa asked if comprehensive comments were given to the Khuddam reports, to which Fashina Sahib said they were. Fashina Sahib said that the inactive regions were slowly improving and they would be raised to a good level in no time “with your [Huzoor’s] prayers”. With a smile, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said:

    “It should be your prayer and your hard work. When you have your hard work and prayer, then my prayers will work. If you are not working hard and you are not praying for them, then my prayers will not work.” 

    Fashina Sahib said they would, insha-Allah, work on this. 

    Huzooraa also commented on the heavy traffic of Lagos – where Fashina Sahib lived – and that it was probably about an hour’s drive to the Jamaat’s headquarters in Ojokoro “because traffic is too much. You start in the morning and you are stuck on the way and by Zuhr time, you reach Ojokoro”. Fashina Sahib laughed and said, “You are quite right […] Yes sir, that is Lagos for you.”  

    Ahmed Bello Sahib, Mohtamim Maal (Finance) reported and answered various questions asked by Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa about budget matters etc. Talking about the standards of financial sacrifice between those who earned well – like doctors and lawyers etc. – and the poor, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said:

    “They [who earn well] are not very few. Those who have good jobs, lucrative jobs, do not come forward to pay their chanda. Only poor people are the people who sacrifice.”

    Advising on how to collect chanda effectively from all members with regularity, Huzooraa said:

    “You have to work hard on it. You see, at the grass-root level, you must ask your qaideen and respective nazim maal that they should work hard and make a proper budget. They should go door-to-door to each and every khadim and prepare their budgets at the grass-root level. 

    “You say, ‘We had 100,000 bai‘ats, 60,000 bai‘ats, 50,000 bai‘ats’ – where are they? If they are having bai‘ats, they should be included in your financial system, or if they are new converts, even after three years, they should be included in it. You have to work hard.” 

    Agbaje Abdul Hakeem, Mohtamim Umumi (General Affairs) reported next. Huzooraa asked about their departmental plans for the year. Abdul Hakeem Sahib said they were training khuddam and also standardising the uniform for umumi [security] duties. Huzooraa asked if they provided umumi duties to the Jamaat’s mosques on Fridays for Jumuah prayer. Abdul Hakeem Sahib said they did and that they secured all the Jamaat’s mosques through umumi duties where they stood guard during Friday prayers. The Jamaat’s mosques in Nigeria totalled more than 1,000, he reported, and they were provided with security through Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya. 

    Talabi Ahmad Sahib, Mohtamim Sehat-e-Jismani (Physical Health) was next to report. Huzooraa asked him what exercise he did, to which he replied he played football regularly. Huzooraa asked how many khuddam played football, if they had teams and whether they had facilities to play in Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya. Talabi Sahib said there were many khuddam who played football, especially during ijtemas. Khuddam also played regularly in regional teams. To this, Huzooraa said “Masha-Allah”. 

    Abbas Agbaje, Mohtamim Umur-e-Tulaba (Student Affairs) reported next. Huzooraa asked if he worked or whether he was a student – Abbas Sahib said he was a sustainability specialist and studied environmental management. Huzooraa asked how many khuddam students there were in Nigeria, to which he said there were 696 students, of which about 302 were studying in various academic institutions, approximately 69 were Jamia Ahmadiyya students and about 305 were in secondary schools. Huzooraa asked how many university students there were, to which Abbas Sahib said they were still acquiring the exact number as many were transitioning into university. 

    Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa asked Abbas Sahib how many Ahmadi students were studying sustainability management. Abbas Sahib said the course was not yet popular in Nigeria so there were not many. Huzooraa smiled and said, “You are the only person who can be singled out in this subject in Nigeria. It means you are quite a competent person.” 

    Abbas Sahib thanked Huzooraa and said he did his master’s degree in the UK. Huzooraa asked what university he went to. Abbas Sahib said he studied at the University of Greenwich in Kent, UK. Hearing this, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa remarked, “The Kent area is called paradise of the UK.” Abbas Sahib agreed and said the area was very beautiful. 

    Oladiti Taofeek Sahib, Mohtamim Talim (Education) presented his report. While advising on what books of the Promised Messiahsa the amila members and khuddam should study first, Huzooraa said the well-educated amila members should read The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam and Noah’s Ark, and all other khuddam should read Noah’s Ark

    Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa asked Folorunsho Abdul Kabir Sahib, Mohtamim Nau Mubai‘een (New Converts) how many new converts MKA Nigeria had, to which Folorunsho Sahib said there were 262. Huzooraa enquired about the plans in place for the education of new converts. Folorunsho Sahib reported they encouraged the new converts to read Invitation to Ahmadiyyat and Conditions of Bai‘at and Responsibilities of an Ahmadi – they were also planning to hold an ijtema for them in 2022. 

    Huzooraa asked about the religious backgrounds of the converts – whether they came from Muslim backgrounds or Christianity etc. Folorunsho Sahib said most of the converts were either from Muslim or Christian backgrounds. 

    Ismail Lawal, Mohtamim Isha‘at (Publications) was next to report. Huzooraa asked if there were any regular publications by MKA Nigeria. Ismail Sahib said they published a monthly magazine and the khuddam who wanted a print edition could purchase it through subscription, otherwise the magazine was uploaded to the MKA Nigeria website for all khuddam to read for free. There was another magazine printed by MKA Nigeria annually, Ismail Sahib reported. Hearing this, Huzooraa said “Masha-Allah”. 

    Abdus Samad Lawal Sahib, Mohtamim Taribiyat (Moral Training) was next to report. Huzooraa asked for the tarbiyat plan and asked Abdus Samad Sahib what he did as a profession. Abdus Samad Sahib said he was a missionary. To this, Huzooraa conversed in Urdu and asked if he had studied from Jamia Ahmadiyya International in Ghana, which Abdus Samad Sahib confirmed. Huzooraa said:

    “Being a missionary, you should have a very comprehensive plan for tarbiyat.” 

    Addressing Abdus Samad Sahib, Huzooraa also said: 

    “You [missionaries] should come and stay with me for two months.”

    Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa asked how many khuddam were regular in the five daily prayers. Abdus Samad Sahib half of the khuddam were regular. Advising on how to get khuddam to offer their five daily prayers and other religious duties, Huzooraa said: 

    “Make them realise that five daily prayers is an obligatory thing and every Ahmadi Muslim should offer the five daily prayers – if not in congregation, then at least at home, or wherever he may be. Secondly, they should do tilawat [recitation of the Holy Quran] every day – a small portion of even one ruku or two rukus, or some verses. And apart from that, you should give them some passages from the books of the Promised Messiah[as] which are good for their spiritual uplift and betterment. The tarbiyat department should help them in this regard. 

    “If you have a [Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya] website, every day you can put a new passage from the book of the Promised Messiahas which is good for their training and spiritual betterment. You should post every day a news passage […] you should also check how many of them are reading it.”

    Huzooraa said they should keep track of the visits on their khuddam website and the numbers who were reading the content. 

    Speaking with Joda Abbas Sahib, Mohtamim Tajnid (Census), Huzooraa asked what the tajnid was of MKA Nigeria – Joda Sahib said it was estimated to be 19,000; however, they had only recorded 5,000. Huzooraa asked why the remaining 14,000 were not recorded or accounted for and said that the number should actually be more than 19,000. Huzooraa said:

    “[…] it should be more than that. In my view, your tajnid should not be less than 100,000. If the figures of your jamaat are correct, if the number of bai‘ats you receive every year is correct, then the Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya number should not be less than 100,000. [It should be] even more than that. So, you have to work on it.

    “If you think the figure given by the jamaat is not correct, then you can talk through Sadr Sahib to Amir Sahib, or the respective person who is on this duty in the Jamaat – the respective secretary – so that they can coordinate with you; and with Lajna, with Ansar, and every auxiliary organisation because you are the people who can better train these new converts. If they are included in your tajnid and involved in all the activities, all the programmes made by you, they can easily, and in a better way, [be] involved in Jamaat activities. 

    “Try to find out where you are lacking, and if you have to take some special measures in this regard, you will have to take [it]. You can give your suggestion to the jamaat as to how you can improve your tajnid so that secretary nau mubai‘een and mohtamim nau mubai‘een and other secretaries in different [auxiliary] organisations can have a coordinated and concerted effort.”

    While talking to Abdul Kabir Muhammad Sahib, Mohtamim Tarbiyat Rishta Nata (Moral Traning in Marital Issues), Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa instructed there should be a list of all the khuddam who needed to get married so that proposals could be made. 

    Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa asked Alaka Abdur Roqeeb Sahib, Naib Mohtamim Talim how many classes were held every week by MKA Nigeria. Alaka Sahib said three classes, across all regions, were held every week. Huzooraa remarked, “Masha-Allah”.  

    Shittu Abdur Roqeeb Sahib, Muavin Sadr said he was assigned with the “Stop the Crime” campaign focused on the youth. Huzooraa asked how they went about the campaign. Abdur Roqeeb Sahib said they picked a month, chose a prevalent crime in society – for example fraud and cyber-crime – and then educated members on how to save themselves from those crimes. Huzooraa asked if they saw good results and whether the government of Nigeria appreciated their efforts. Abdur Roqeeb Sahib said they saw promising results and reported their findings to the minister for youth in Nigeria. The Nigerian government appreciated their efforts, he said.   

    Huzooraa asked Alli Abdul Azeez Sahib, Naib Mohtamim Sehat-e-Jismani (Physical Health) what sports he took part in and if his health was good. Alli Sahib said he was healthy and cycled sometimes and played some football too. 

    Huzooraa asked the same question to Waliyyullah Oni Sahib, Naib Mohtamim Sehat-e-Jismani (Physical Health), to which Waliyyullah Sahib said he did Taekwondo. Huzooraa asked if he was training Khuddam in Taekwondo. Waliyyullah Sahib said he did train Khuddam and nationwide about 729 Khuddam in Nigeria were trained in taekwondo. Hearing this, with a smile, Huzooraa remarked:

    “Really? Masha-Allah. So now you can fight against extremists.” Everyone present thoroughly enjoyed the comment. 

    Huzooraa asked Abdeoye Abdul Hadi Sahib, Naib Mohtamim Atfal (North) how many atfal there were in his area and if they were active. Abdul Hadi Sahib said there were about 700 atfal in the north, most of whom were active, but not 100% of them. To this, Huzooraa smiled and said, “So make them active, perfect.” 

    Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa asked Mustapha Abdul Qudus Sahib, Naib Mohtamim Atfal (South West) how many atfal were present in the whole of Nigeria and if they were active members. Mustapha Sahib said there were more than 6,000 atfal and most were active. Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said:

    “Try to involve each and every tifl in your programmes.”  

    Huzooraa asked Abdul Kareem Hussein Sahib, Naib Mohtamim Isha‘at for Audio and Video if his department was taking part in organising the virtual mulaqat, to which he confirmed that they were.

    At this, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa had spoken to all the amila members and qaideen present and then turned to Akinyemi Roqib Sahib, Sadr Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Nigeria and said:

    “Sadr Sahib, now time is over. I have already given you more than one hour, so I think that is enough. I just wanted to acquaint myself with your amila members and that has been done. So that is all.

    “I hope Allah the Almighty helps you to work hard for the betterment of the Jamaat and Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya and every mohtamim, every office-bearer realises their duty and make it realise that they are working – or they should work – for getting Allah’s pleasure. Allah the Almighty help you.”  

    (Report prepared by Al Hakam)

    USA, Russia, China, UK and France pledge to avoid nuclear war

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    Ata-ul-Haye Nasir, Al Hakam

    Five of the world’s most powerful nations – the US, Russia, China, the UK and France – have agreed that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought” in a rare joint pledge to reduce the risk of such a conflict ever starting. (The Guardian, 3 January 2022, “Five of world’s most powerful nations pledge to avoid nuclear war”)

    The Guardian reported:

    “Such a common statement on a major issue of global security has become a rarity at a time of increasing friction between Russia, China and the west. With Moscow threatening to invade Ukraine and China signalling its readiness to use military force against Taiwan, the joint statement represents a renewed commitment to prevent any confrontation turning into a nuclear catastrophe.” (Ibid)

    Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa, Khalifatul Masih V had been calling the world leaders for a long time towards establishing world peace and warned them to avoid the usage of nuclear weapons which could initiate huge destruction.

    On 24 March 2012, during his keynote address at the 9th Annual Peace Symposium of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya UK, Huzooraa said:

    “Japan is the one country to have experienced the abhorrent consequences of atomic warfare, when it was attacked by nuclear bombs during the Second World War […] The nuclear bombs that were used at that time and which caused widespread devastation, were much less powerful than the atomic weapons that are possessed by even very small nations today […] Let it be clear that if nuclear weapons are used again today, then it is quite possible that parts of certain countries could be completely wiped off the map. They could cease to exist […]

    “Recently, a very senior Russian military commander issued a serious warning about the potential risk of a nuclear war. It was his view that such a war would not be fought in Asia or elsewhere, but would be fought on Europe’s borders, and that the threat might originate and ignite from Eastern European countries.” (www.reviewofreligions.org/6305/the-devastating-consequences-of-a-nuclear-war-and-the-critical-need-for-absolute-justice/)

    On 9 March 2019, while addressing the 16th Annual Peace Symposium of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya UK, Huzooraa stated:

    “If there is a nuclear war, we will not only be destroying the world today but we will also be leaving behind a lasting trail of destruction and misery for our future generations. Hence, we must pause and reflect on the consequences of our actions. We should not consider any issue or conflict, whether within a country or at an international level, to be insignificant.” (www.pressahmadiyya.com/press-releases/2019/03/head-ahmadiyya-muslim-community-warns-intensifying-global-hostilities-risk-disastrous-nuclear-war/

    Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad Khalifatul Masih V

    If we look around the world, there are several conflicts all over the globe, which are causing great tensions between many major powers.

    One such conflict is the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which had begun in February 2014, over the status of Crimea and parts of the Donbas.

    Recently, during a speech on 21 December 2021, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin said that he will consider a military response if Russia feels threatened by NATO. The Guardian reported:

    “By massing troops at Ukraine’s borders, however, Russia has made it clear that an attack is on the table.

    “‘If our western counterparts continue a clearly aggressive line, we will undertake proportionate military-technical countermeasures and will respond firmly to unfriendly steps,’ Putin said in televised remarks. ‘I’d like to stress that we are fully entitled to do that.’” (The Guardian, 21 December 2021, “Putin warns of possible military response over ‘aggressive’ Nato”)

    On 30 December 2021, Financial Times stated:

    “As Vladimir Putin threatens possible military action on Ukraine, western military analysts say Russia’s president could contemplate a wide range of scenarios – from targeted missile strikes to a limited incursion from the east or south of the country, and even a full-scale invasion backed by cyber warfare […] US intelligence information shared with European allies suggests Russia is preparing a possible invasion, according to US and EU officials, who gave the caveat that Putin had not yet made a final decision.” (Financial Times, 30 December 2021, “Airstrikes or invasion: what are Putin’s military options for Ukraine?”)

    Then, on 31 December 2021, The New York Times reported:

    “Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, warned on Friday that the Kremlin perceives the United States and its allies as stoking the war in eastern Ukraine […] ‘Unfortunately, we see the United States and other NATO nations supporting the militaristic intentions of Kyiv, provisioning Ukraine with weapons and sending military specialists,’ Mr Lavrov said.” (The New York Times, 31 December 2021, “Russian Foreign Minister Levels New Warning on Ukraine”)

    CNN reported that the American President, Joe Biden told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on 2 January 2022, that the US and its allies “will respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine”, according to a readout of a call between the two leaders provided by the White House. (CNN, 3 January 2022, “Biden tells Ukrainian president US ‘will respond decisively if Russia further invades’”)

    Mercy Kuo, an author from The Diplomat, had a conversation with Karen-Anna Eggen, a PhD fellow at the Norwegian Institute of Defence Studies. While answering a question, Karen-Anna Eggen said:

    “Both Ukraine and Taiwan are small powers grappling with a persistent, and recently growing, threat posed by greater powers, in this case, Russia and China, who both believe these states are rightful parts of their territory or at least sphere of influence in the case of Ukraine. This takes place in a context of heightened global tensions and great power rivalry. The U.S. is a part of both conflicts, although it has not extended the same security guarantees to Ukraine as to Taiwan.” (The Diplomat, 4 January 2022, “Russia-Ukraine Tensions: Signals to China – Insights from Karen-Anna Eggen”)

    On 4 January 2022, NATO announced to hold a virtual meeting of foreign ministers from the 30 member nations to assess the situation in Ukraine and upcoming talks with Russia. “The extraordinary meeting of the alliance members on Friday will kick off a week of intense diplomacy over the military buildup on Ukraine’s borders and initiatives to ease the tension between the Cold War foes.” (Independent, 4 January 2022, “NATO to hold foreign ministers meeting over Ukraine”)

    On 5 January 2022, Josep Borrell, EU’s top diplomat visited the east Ukraine front, which was welcomed by Kyiv as a show of solidarity against the threat of a major new military confrontation with Moscow. He flew by helicopter to the easterly Luhansk region, the first EU High Representative to do so since the outbreak of the conflict in 2014, as part of a Western diplomatic push in support of Ukraine.

    “A very timely visit against the background of Russian blackmail, escalation and threats,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in a statement while accompanying Borrell. (Reuters, 5 January 2022, “EU’s top diplomat visits east Ukraine front to show support against Moscow”)

    Taiwan’s conflict is also starting to heap up, as stated by the Daily Mail:

    “China could carry out a surprise attack on Taiwan by turning military drills near the island into a genuine invasion, Taipei’s defence ministry has warned in a new report.” (Daily Mail, 13 December 2021, “China could carry out a surprise attack on Taiwan by turning drills near the island into a genuine invasion, Taipei fears”)

    Then, Reuters reported on 22 December 2021, that Taliban soldiers in Afghanistan disrupted the erecting of a security fence by the Pakistani military along the border between the two countries. Reuters also quoted Afghan defence ministry spokesman, Enayatullah Khwarizmi, who confirmed this incident. (Reuters, 22 December 2021, “Afghan Taliban stop Pakistan army from fencing international border”)

    Even though this dispute about the fences on the Durand Line is not a new one, but the recent incident has raised some eyebrows.

    There is another ongoing conflict between India and China as well over some disputed territories. Recently, China has “renamed” 15 places in the north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, India, in a region which Beijing claims is “South Tibet”. China’s civil affairs ministry announced that it had “standardised” in Chinese characters and Tibetan and Roman alphabets, the names of 15 places in Zangnan or South Tibet, according to a report by the state-run Global Times daily. (Independent, “China ‘renames’ 15 places in India in latest spat between the two powers”)

    In response, Arindam Bagchi, a spokesperson for India’s federal external affairs ministry, said that “Arunachal Pradesh has always been, and will always be an integral part of India. Assigning invented names to places in Arunachal Pradesh does not alter this fact.” (Ibid)

    Moreover, there are the on-going conflicts in Kashmir and Palestine as well.

    In recent times, the anti-Muslim campaigns by some extremist elements of the Indian society have also intensified to an alarming extent.

    For the last 19 years, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa had been calling the world leaders towards establishing world peace and granted valuable guidance in this regard.

    On 29 November 2020, during a virtual mulaqat of Majlis Atfal-ul-Ahmadiyya Germany with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa, a tifl asked Huzooraa, “Would life ever become normal again after Covid?” Huzooraa replied:

    “Allah the Exalted knows best. Even though it may return to normal, the economic state that has developed after the coronavirus pandemic will have consequences for the world. Even if there is no physical warfare or major conflict, it will still take years for the global economic situation to stabilise. However, usually, we observe that the economic situation worsens under such circumstances which more often than not leads to warfare.

    “By looking at the current situation of the world, it does seem that it could eventually lead to wars. If a war is ignited after the coronavirus, then the situation of the world will become even more perilous and it will take many years for the situation of the world to return to normal.

    “So, we must pray that may Allah the Exalted grant the people of the world sense and wisdom so that instead of bowing before materialism and usurping the rights of one another, the world’s leaders and nations are able to see sense and strive for peace and harmony. If they try to work together so that the world becomes more united, they will be able to return the situation to normal much faster. If such efforts are not made, then the situation will not return to normal and it may take many years for the situation to return to normal and a very dire situation will unfold.

    “However, I feel that it is quite possible that a war or a conflict could break out after this pandemic of coronavirus ends and its ruinous effects could last for many years before it returns to normality. Thus, we must pray that such circumstances may not arise, that may lead to wars and that world leaders act with sense so that the global situation can stabilise as quickly as possible and return to normal. To achieve this, it is necessary that mankind turns towards God […] We should inform people that there is only one solution to help the situation of the world return to normal and that is for mankind to turn to Allah the Exalted and to fulfil His rights and the rights of His creation.” (Al Hakam, 29 October 2021, Issue 189, pp. 7-9)

    On 22 May 2021, during a virtual meeting of the Gambian journalists with Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa, a journalist referenced Huzoor’s book, World Crisis and the Pathway to Peace, and said that Huzooraa had paid a lot of emphasis on global peace. He asked about the importance of justice and why it was crucial to speak out against injustices. In response, Huzooraa said:

    “[…] In the case of worldly affairs, if there is no justice, there is no peace. If you have double standards, as we can see in today’s world shown by the big powers, they cannot maintain peace in the world. This is what happened when the League of Nations was formed. The League of Nations was formed to maintain justice and give equal rights to each and every nation, but it failed. Resultantly, there was an eruption of the Second World War. And the same is happening with the UNO – they are not maintaining justice, they have double standards for poor countries and for the rich countries, for Western countries and African and Asian countries. This is why you can see there is disturbance in the world today. So, if there is no justice, there is no peace.” (Al Hakam, 28 May 2021, Issue 167, pp. 1-2)

    On 11 September 2021, during a virtual meeting of UK Khuddam with Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa, a question was asked as to what was Huzoor’s opinion on the current state of the world? In response, Huzooraa said:

    “You see, if people do not recognise their Creator and their Lord – Allah the Almighty – and do not discharge their duties to Him and what Allah the Almighty has told us to do, if they do not do it, then the world is going to doom itself very fast. This is why we are here. We have to let the people understand that ‘if you do not practice what Allah the Almighty has said, if you do not change yourself, then this is going to be your fate’. And only those will be saved from a bad end of their lives who remember Allah the Almighty.

    “Everywhere you see, there are atrocities, there are cruelties, brutalities happening – whether it is being done by the big powers to the poorer nations, or whether it is within the nations, within the Muslim ummah or even small countries. Everywhere there is chaos.

    “We have to help them understand what their duties are. And this is the duty of an Ahmadi, to inform people and this is a great responsibility on our shoulders.

    “This is why I have been telling, all the time, to the people of the world – to politicians, to leaders – that they ought to change themselves and try to establish true justice, absolute justice in the world and discharge their duties to their Creator and their fellow beings. Otherwise, there is no guarantee [about] what is going to happen, and what we can see is a very dark and bleak end of this world.” (Al Hakam, 17 September 2021, Issue 183, p. 6)

    May Allah enable the world leaders to pay heed to the most sincere advice and guidance given by Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa. Amin.

    Opinion: Netflix’s Cobra Kai can learn from Islamic principles of conflict resolution

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    Atif Rashid, UK

    Cobra Kai | Netflix

    The Karate Kid is one of the most popular and iconic karate films ever made. A coming of age story about a young boy bullied by his peers, Daniel LaRusso learns to defend himself through a wise Japanese sensei, Mr Miyagi. Along the way, he learns lessons not just about martial arts, but also about life. “Lesson not just karate only. Lesson for whole life. Whole life have a balance. Everything be better”, Mr Miyagi advises. 

    30 years on, the same actors have reunited in a continuation of the story. Cobra Kai on Netflix follows a similar pattern to the original with rivalries, life lessons and plenty of karate. It has a cult following with analyses and theory videos sprawling the internet about what happens next, who the real bullies are, the morals of each character and the styles of their dojos.  

    Miguel, a young boy with asthma who gets bullied, finds a sensei in the person of Johnny Lawrence – the main antagonist in the original film who was defeated by LaRusso. Lawrence was taught an uncompromising aggressive karate style by his bullish sensei John Kreese in the dojo called Cobra Kai. “Strike First. Strike Hard. No Mercy” was the motto. Three decades on, Lawrence has messed up in life, a low-paid manual job, an estranged son and nothing going for him. Daniel LaRusso on the other hand is an extremely successful businessman selling cars. They eventually go on to reopen competing dojos with opposing methods and ideologies. It would become a rivalry lasting many seasons, causing multiple injuries to teenagers, a school-wide brawl and time in juvenile detention.

    Miguel joins Cobra Kai and learns to conquer his fears, stand up to his bullies, and be strong, brave and confident. Students who join Miyagi Do run by Daniel LaRusso in the same style as Mr Miyagi, learn about balance, honour, harmony and karate for self-defence alone. Throughout the seasons, these two dojos, and indeed their fighting styles, clash. Miguel takes the unrelenting and fierce style of Cobra Kai to the extreme, on the verge of becoming a bully himself and doing anything and everything it takes to win – even if it means taking advantage of an injured opponent and striking him on the injury. His sensei, Johnny Lawrence realises that the same merciless style of karate taught to him had not done him any favours in life. What is karate, and indeed life, without honour and mercy? He scolds Miguel and tells him by showing mercy when required, he could be a better fighter, and thus a better person than he could ever become.

    This reminded me of Islamic teachings about crime, punishment, peace and conflict. Both of these dojos represent two different ways of dealing with an aggressor. One is to fight fire with fire and be aggressive, showing no mercy. The other is to wait until you’re attacked and then fight only to restrain your opponent, which is a more passive approach opening up the possibility of a deadly counterattack and persistent aggression. The problem is quite similar to the one presented by Jewish and Christian teachings respectively. In Judaism there is an emphasis on retaliation, taking what is rightfully yours by force and punishing severely:

    “But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.” (Exodus, 21:23-25)

    Christianity is much the opposite. The emphasis is on forgiveness, turning the other cheek, and not fighting back:

    “But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.” (Matthew 5:38-40) 

    Both approaches are deeply flawed. You cannot forgive those who will keep attacking until they kill you, nor can you turn the cheek or hand over your cloak to someone who will strip you naked. Likewise retaliating in every situation, even when your opponent is overpowered and reconciliatory, is cruel and unjust. It makes you the bully and aggressor. Both these ideologies cannot work as stand-alone principles for life or any conflict resolution. With one you will be taken advantage of, with the other you will become the aggressor. In today’s age, superpowers aim to do the same – cripple and exploit other nations for their benefit. 

    The Islamic approach is one of balance and that brings the best possible outcome for social peace and harmony. 

    This is summed up in the Holy Quran as: 
    “And the recompense of an injury is an injury the like thereof; but whoso forgives and [thereby] brings about an improvement, his reward is with Allah. Surely, He loves not the wrongdoers.” (Surah al-Shura, Ch.42: V.41)

    In other words, if you have to fight or punish then you can but only to the extent that you have been wronged. Not an iota more. However, if you can forgive and it is likely to lead to reformation then that is the most desirable outcome. 

    The Quran then gives more detailed guidance with these principles: 

    Don’t let mere enmity incite you to aggression. (Surah al-Ma‘idah, Ch.5: V.3)

    The old rivalry of Daniel and Johnny meant that despite being very similar themselves and now grown up, they could not get over their animosity towards each other and often clashed.

    Fight only in defence. (Surah TaHa, Ch.20: V.40)

    Conversely, Cobra Kai students are often incited to start fights and take down the competing dojo.

    When one attacks you, stay strong and do not turn your back. (Surah al-Fath, Ch.48: V.17)

    Whilst karate trains you to fight and defend yourself, Miyagi Do didn’t sufficiently instil the deep-rooted bravery and self-confidence that is needed to finish a fight. 

    Keep fighting until the opponent’s injustices end. (Surah al-Anfal, Ch.8: V.40)

    Miyagi Do students don’t know how to do this. They keep getting attacked and can hold their own in a fight, but their passivity emboldens the enemy to return.

    At the slightest indication of peace, desist from fighting. (Surah al-Anfal, Ch.8: V.62)

    Characters do sometimes apologise and try to end fights and call a truce, but underlying resentments take longer to resolve. 

    Do not go overboard or transgress. (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.191)

    Cobra Kai students attack when unprovoked and aim to injure and maim their opponents.

    Always be on your guard and take precautions. (Surah al-Nisa, Ch.4: V.72)

    Miyagi Do is often caught off guard and their weaker members are picked on.

    The issue Miyagi Do had was that their style was too soft. Students excelled in karate but were not able to stand up to incessant bullying. The over-reliance on self-defence and never to strike first meant that while they could defend themselves just enough to not be totally annihilated, they could not withstand the onslaught of violence and “no-holds-barred” approach of Cobra Kai. The latter style bred overconfidence and a violent merciless approach which made their adherents simply unpleasant characters.

    Miyagi Do excels at teaching students to control themselves, regulate their breathing and emotions, and make every move with thought and grace. Cobra Kai excels at building confidence, being strong and fierce, and taking down your opponent. A mix of both is what’s needed. In the latest season, this is just what’s happened – the two dojos combine, but it didn’t have to take four seasons to get there

    The Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, taught:

    لَيْسَ الشَّدِيدُ بِالصُّرعَةِ، إِنَّمَا الشَّدِيدُ الَّذِي يَمْلِكُ نَفْسَهُ عِنْدَ الْغَضَبِ

    (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad)

    That a strong person is not one who can knock someone down. A truly strong person is one who can control their anger and emotions. Miyagi Do taught this to students more than Cobra Kai but in practice, emotions often flared and anger resulted in deepening rifts and rivalries.    

    Many other conflicts arose in the show because of minor, petty misunderstandings which could’ve been easily resolved. A potentially healthy rivalry quickly turned ugly. To avoid this they should have refrained from making assumptions (Ch.49: V.13), communicated calmly and clearly (Ch.33: V.71), found common ground (Ch.3: V.65) and learned from one another through healthy competition (Ch.2: V.149). 

    A lot of the fights simply arose out of personal conflicts between two individuals from the opposing sides. Rather than the entire dojos getting involved, they should have come together to mediate between the two (Ch.49: V.10). And if one individual was to persist, the entire moral pressure of the combined dojos would have been sufficient to reform him. Excellent principles for any conflict resolution. But then again, it wouldn’t make for a very good TV show, would it?

    If Cobra Kai students were taught to be calm, measured and balanced, they would succeed more in life. If Miyagi Do students were taught to be braver, confident and assertive, they could defend themselves better. If both adopted Islamic principles, then they would get the best of both worlds.  

    How did you spend your life? A reflection by an Ahmadi convert

    4

    Reem Shraiky, UK

    It seems like it was yesterday when I gave birth to my first son, who is now already in secondary school! It seems like the recent past when I was a student at university, or even at school when my greatest concern was to finish reading the book I had started in order to start another one. At that time, my biggest dream was to grow up and study English literature and literary criticism at university to become the president’s translator.

    The days have passed quickly, worries and dreams have changed; some dreams have been achieved and others simply vanished as my view of the world changed with the passage of time, as did my priorities.

    And here I am! I have reached the age of full maturity, so, I begin to look back at the past, sometimes with sadness, and with pride at other times. I have lost loved ones and fate has separated me from my siblings; I have not seen them for more than 12 years. God alone knows when I will see them or if I will truly see them in this world!

    In middle age, only one idea and thought comes to mind: “How did I spend my life?”

    The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa said:

    لاَ تَزُوْلُ قَدَمَا ابْنِ آدَمَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مِنْ عِنْدِ رَبِّهِ حَتَّى يُسْأَلَ عَنْ خَمْسٍ عَنْ عُمْرِهِ فِيمَا أَفْنَاهُ وَعَنْ شَبَابِهِ فِيمَا أَبْلَاهُ وَمَالِهِ مِنْ أَيْنَ اكْتَسَبَهُ وَفِيْمَ أَنْفَقَهُ وَمَاذَا عَمِلَ فِيمَا عَلِمَ

    “The feet of the son of Adam shall not move [on the Day of Judgement] until he is asked about five things: About his life and what he did with it, about his youth and what he wore it out in, about his wealth and how he earned it, and where he spent it on, and what he did with what he knew.” (Jami‘ al-Tirmidhi)

    The days that pass do not come back, and each passing day brings us closer to the end of our lives.

    How fortunate you are, who were born Ahmadis; you opened your eyes to this world, seeing the Khalifa, hearing him and receiving his guidance. 

    Have you ever asked yourselves, “What would have happened if I had been born into a non-Ahmadi family? Am I really qualified to receive Allah’s guidance? Would I have been worthy enough for Him to guide me to Islam Ahmadiyya?”

    In other words, have you ever asked yourself, “How do I spend my life?” and “Have I served Khilafat? Have I honoured it with the estimation which is its due? So that when I stand in front of my Lord, and He asks me how I spent my life, I will say: ‘O Lord, by Your grace, You established the Khilafat and commanded me to obey and support it, and I spent my life in its service, as the service of Khilafat is the service of Your religion.’” 

    It is the mercy of God Almighty to His servants and creation that He sent for them Prophets and Messengers to bring them out of darkness into the light and to take them to the highest levels of spirituality and civility. The summit of all of this was that God Almighty sent our Master Muhammad, the chosen one, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

    Unfortunately, his followers either forgot his teaching or exceeded the limits of their religion and distorted it, so Allah sent His Promised Messiahas as a faithful servant of the Holy Prophetsa to revive his noble teachings. 

    And after his demise, Allah the Most Merciful did not take off the hand of His mercy; rather, He established by His sheer grace the second rightly-guided Khilafat that was, is, and will remain the custodian and servant of this great religion: Islam. 

    Whosoever was born in this light and followed it has achieved great success and was saved. Whosoever, despite being born in this light has chosen darkness, ruined their soul and is indeed a loser. 

    Whosoever was guided by Allah’s grace and mercy to follow this light later in their lives, wish they had never known darkness, and after that, if they truly submit themselves to Allah and become a servant of Khilafat, they will be like those who were born Ahmadis and attach themselves to Allah’s religion.

    As for my own self, I experienced the light of Khilafat first-hand later in my life, I sipped from its nectar and became intoxicated with its spiritual wine, but with my weaknesses, shortcomings and sins, I always fear that Allah might not have accepted me. This is why my daily prayer is that Allah may enable me to serve Khilafat to my last breath and that I will meet Him while He is pleased with me. Amin

    Opinion: Riots in Kazakhstan and ramifications – Past warnings of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih

    Ata-ul-Haye Nasir, UK

    The recent protests in Kazakhstan which began on 2 January 2022, as a reaction to a surge in fuel price, led to the resignation of the government, and now protests have escalated to complete chaos in the country.

    The protests began in Zhanaozen, Western Kazakhstan, and have spread across the entire country. Although the fuel price cap has been restored in an attempt to appease the public, protests are still continuing and have taken a more political angle – Kazakhstan is experiencing one of its most severe public unrests.

    “A presidential palace was torched. There have been reports of protesters storming municipal buildings, police vehicles set on fire, armed officers out on patrol, shots and even explosions”, DW reported. (www.dw.com/en/kazakhstan-whats-behind-the-unrest/a-60343674)

    On 29 November 2020, during a virtual meeting of Majlis Atfal-ul-Ahmadiyya Germany with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa, a question asked to Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa was “Would life ever become normal again after Covid?” He replied:

    “Allah the Exalted knows best. Even though it may return to normal, the economic state that has developed after the coronavirus pandemic will have consequences for the world. Even if there is no physical warfare or major conflict, it will still take years for the global economic situation to stabilise. However, usually, we observe that the economic situation worsens under such circumstances which more often than not leads to warfare.” (Al Hakam, 29 October 2021, Issue 189, pp. 7-9)

    Kazakhstan is a tightly controlled country that cultivates an image of political stability, helping it attract hundreds of billions of dollars of foreign investment in its oil and metals industries over three decades of independence.

    The President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev requested the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) – a Russia-led military alliance – to quell the protests. On 6 January 2022, limited numbers of Russian paratroopers, plus contingents from Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan were sent as a “peacekeeping” force. (Financial Times, 6 January 2022, “Russian forces arrive in Kazakhstan after president seeks help”)

    Senior US officials are urging Kazakhstan’s leaders to find peaceful resolutions while questioning the wisdom of the country’s decision to seek assistance from a Russian-dominated military alliance. Kazakhstan borders Russia and China, making it of strategic interest to the United States. US companies such as Chevron and ExxonMobil have invested billions in the country’s energy sector. (Politico, 6 January 2022, “U.S. Embassy ramps up security as officials urge calm in Kazakhstan”)

    The turmoil in Kazakhstan has “presented Russia with yet another opportunity to reassert its influence in its former Soviet domain, one of Mr. Putin’s most cherished long-term goals.” (The New York Times, 6 January 2022, “In Kazakhstan, Putin Again Seizes on Unrest to Try to Expand Influence”)

    There are speculations that the “uprising” in Kazakhstan could be a tactic to divert Russia’s attentions from Ukraine.

    “Ongoing mass protests in Kazakhstan have briefly diverted attention away from the biggest geopolitical question that has vexed Europe in recent weeks – whether Russia will wage war against Ukraine.

    “Although the issue will soon return to the agenda, it has lost urgency in light of the unrest unfolding in Kazakhstan, Russia’s large Central Asian neighbor.” (www.dw.com/en/opinion-kazakhstan-unrest-will-curtail-moscows-aggression/a-60352765)

    The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Central Asia have also called for restraint and dialogue.

    Speaking to journalists on 6 January 2022, in New York, the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, Stéphane Dujarric, said the Organization continues to follow the situation “very closely.” 

    “Mr. Dujarric confirmed several contacts between the UN and the authorities in the country, including a call on Thursday morning between Special Representative Natalia Gherman and the Deputy Foreign Minister, Mukhtar Tileuberdi.  

    “During these exchanges, appeals to exercise restraint, refrain from violence and promote dialogue to address the situation, were reiterated by Ms. Gurman, in behalf of the Secretary-General.” (https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/01/1109252)

    In recent advances, “Kazakhstan’s president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, has said he personally gave the order to security forces and army to ‘open fire with lethal force’ in the past days, against protesters he called ‘bandits and terrorists’.

    “In an uncompromising address on Friday, Tokayev said lethal force without warning would continue to be used against violent protesters, and also blamed ‘so-called free media outlets’ for helping fan unrest.” (The Guardian, 7 January 2022, “Kazakhstan president says he gave order to ‘open fire with lethal force’”)

    In his address, the President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev also said that “20,000 bandits” had attacked the main city of Almaty. He has blamed foreign-trained “terrorists”, without giving evidence. The interior ministry says 26 “armed criminals” and 18 security officers have been killed so far in the unrest. (BBC, 7 January 2022, “Kazakhstan unrest: Troops ordered to fire without warning”)

    Lilia Shevtsova, an expert on Russia, wrote:

    “Today, Ukraine is the jewel to fight for. But it won’t end there: Belarus, whose embattled leader relies on Russia’s support, could be the next prize in the geopolitical rivalry – or perhaps it will be Kazakhstan, where popular anger at the corrupt, Russian-backed regime has erupted. The drama is just beginning.” (The New York Times, 7 January 2022, “Ukraine Is Only One Small Part of Putin’s Plans”)

    Sky News reported:

    “The circumstances in Kazakhstan are very different from the crisis over Ukraine, but their respective fates will play into a wider, high-stakes power struggle between the world’s democratic governments and resurgent, authoritarian regimes.

    “Unlike in Ukraine, protests this past week in Kazakhstan were not generated by a desire for closer ties to the West or a resistance to Russian influence, but were instead – on the surface at least – triggered by anger at a hike in fuel prices.

    “There is also a suspicion that factions within the ruling authoritarian elite could be exploiting the chaos to further their own interests.” (Sky News, 7 January 2022, “Kazakhstan’s fate will play into a much wider high-stakes power struggle”)

    The Chinese President, Xi Jinping has said that the country firmly opposes external forces deliberately fostering unrest and instigating a “color revolution” in Kazakhstan. He ensured that China is willing to provide necessary support and help to Kazakhstan through this difficult time. (Bloomberg, 7 January 2022, “China Says It Supports Kazakhstan’s Efforts to End ‘Chaos’”)

    The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken has questioned Kazakhstan’s decision to seek Russian military aid. He told the reporters that it was unclear why the deployment was happening. He said:

    “One lesson of recent history is that once Russians are in your house, it’s sometimes very difficult to get them to leave. […] It would seem to me that the Kazakh authorities and government certainly have the capacity to deal appropriately with protests to do so in a way that respects the rights of protesters while maintaining law and order. […] So it’s not clear why they feel the need for any outside assistance. So we’re trying to learn more about it.” (BBC, 8 January 2022, “Kazakhstan unrest: Blinken questions Russian troop deployment”)

    In response to Blinken’s comment, Russian foreign ministry said that he should reflect instead on US military meddling around the world, and called this remark “typically offensive” and accused him of joking about tragic events in Kazakhstan. It said Washington should analyse its own track record of interventions in countries such as Vietnam and Iraq. (Reuters, 8 January 2022, “Russia reacts furiously to Blinken jibe over troops in Kazakhstan”)

    In regards to the question whether the unrest in Kazakhstan has changed Putin’s calculations about Ukraine, some say that he may not want to engage in two conflicts at the same time, while others say Russia has the military capacity to do both. The instability in Kazakhstan may even add new urgency to Putin’s desire to shore up Russia’s power in the region. (Independent, 8 January 2022, “Kazakhstan adds uncertainty to talks with Russia on Ukraine”)

    The EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell condemned the violence in Kazakhstan and offered help in finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict. He urged Kazakh authorities to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and underlined that “outside military support should respect the sovereignty and independence of Kazakhstan.” (TRT World, 9 January 2022, “EU condemns widespread violence in Kazakhstan”)

    On 9 January 2022, the authorities in Kazakhstan said that 164 people were killed during the recent unrest. The deputy defence minister, Sultan Gamaletdinov, said that a “counterterrorist operation” was still underway and would continue “until the terrorists are completely eliminated and the constitutional order is restored in the Republic of Kazakhstan”. (The Guardian, 9 January 2022, “Kazakhstan says 164 people were killed in week of unrest”)

    While the Ukraine’s fate is being discussed at the US-Russia talks, Ukrainians took to the streets on 9 January 2022, to defend their independence and champion an additional cause – that of Kazakhstan’s protests. The demonstrators in Kyiv and Kharkov, held signs that read “Say no to Putin” and flew Kazakhstan flags alongside Ukrainian ones. (Al Jazeera, 10 January 2022, “‘Say no to Putin’: Ukrainians support protests in Kazakhstan”)

    On 10 January 2022, while speaking at a video conference of leaders of the Russian-led CSTO, Vladimir Putin claimed that the unrest in Kazakhstan was the result of foreign meddling, and said that the Russian-led military bloc should take steps to ensure future attempts to interfere in the region failed. He said:

    “The events in Kazakhstan are not the first and far from the last attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of our states from the outside.” (The Guardian, 10 January 2022, “Foreign meddling behind Kazakhstan unrest, Putin claims”)

    Now, a superpower, Russia, has entered as a “peacekeeping” force, it must ensure the establishment of peace there, instead of exploiting the situation for its own interests.

    In this regard, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa, Khalifatul Masih V has warned world powers. While addressing the external guests at Jalsa Salana Holland 2019, he said:

    “Modern society is consumed by self-interest and greed. Disorder, conflict and warfare are on the rise and the principles of equity and justice are being consistently discarded. 

    “This is illustrated by the foreign policies of many powerful and rich countries. It has been a constant theme of modern history that dominant powers have sent their armies to distant lands, on the pretext of establishing peace, but time has proven that their real objective has been to protect and enhance their vested interests. […]

    Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa

    “The world is now so inter-connected that the ramifications of hostilities in one part of the world, are bound to spread beyond borders and we have seen many examples of this in recent years. 

    “Hence, if we genuinely desire peace, whether in our personal lives or at a collective level, the pivotal point is that we should like for others what we like for ourselves. As I said before, this simple principle is the foundation for true peace in the world. […]

    “Every government and every political leader – be they from the United States, China, Russia, European countries, the Muslim world or elsewhere – routinely condemn warfare and bloodshed. However, the reality is that their opposition to such matters tends to remain limited to their interests and their people. Their cries in favour of the rule of law, justice and human rights are all too often rendered hollow when their interests are at stake. […]

    “Instead of calling the different parties to the negotiating table and establishing fair and honest dialogue, major powers have habitually interfered in the conflicts of other countries by arming or funding whichever side supports their interests. They are pouring petrol on an open flame and the result is that innocent people, including women, children and the elderly, are losing their lives and observing the torment of their families.” (www.reviewofreligions.org/18944/the-need-for-outward-and-inner-peace/)

    The motivation behind the political manoeuvres by world powers, following the unrest in Kazakhstan, are not entirely clear, however, we can see world powers setting themselves up to benefit from hostilities and protests to serve their vested interests. The ramifications of these unrests can easily spread across the world and a “dark and bleak” future – as Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa put it – seems to be at our doorstep.

    Opinion – War in Afghanistan: Victory for the weapons industry

    Ata-ul-Haye Nasir, UK

    The Wall Street Journal, published a piece on the last day of 2021 titled “Who Won in Afghanistan? Private Contractors, saying that while the US lost its 20-year campaign to transform Afghanistan, many contractors won big; those who benefitted from the outpouring of government money ranged from major weapons manufacturers to entrepreneurs.

    The story read, “Since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, military outsourcing helped push up Pentagon spending to $14 trillion, creating opportunities for profit as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq stretched on […] One-third to half of that sum went to contractors, with five defense companies – Lockheed Martin Corp., Boeing Co., General Dynamics Corp., Raytheon Technologies Corp., and Northrop Grumman Corp. – taking the lion’s share, $2.1 trillion, for weapons, supplies and other services.”

    The world is now – albeit slowly – accepting the fact that the extensive wars initiated by the West in Muslim countries, never helped establish world peace or resolve conflicts; instead, they caused catastrophe for those Muslim countries and boosted the arms trade and weapons industry back in the West.

    Western governments spend heavy sums of their annual budgets for military supplies for their armies fighting on battlegrounds, on the other hand, they supply weapons to the extremists involved in those very battles – directly or indirectly.

    Newsweek, in an article published on 18 May 2015, titled “Arming the Enemy in Afghanistan”, wrote: 

    “It was 2010, and Jeffrey Brown, a Pentagon auditor, was walking with a U.S. Army escort through Nangarhar University in Jalalabad, an Afghan city near the Pakistani border. They had just stepped toward one of several sand-colored buildings on campus when the soldier stopped Brown and looked out at the sun-bleached hills in the distance. ‘If the Taliban were shooting only AK-47s, we wouldn’t have to worry,’ he said. ‘But we know they have M-16s, and we’ve taken sniper fire from those hills.’” 

    The piece continued to say, “Last year [2014], a U.S. audit revealed that the Pentagon lost track of many of the 465,000 light weapons the U.S. supplied to Afghan security forces. Part of the problem: shoddy American record-keeping. Many of the serial numbers on the guns were duplicated or entered erroneously in two databases. But the audit also found that some 80,000 of the weapons in question were surplus AK-47 assault rifles, which the Pentagon had replaced with M-16s but failed to take back from the Afghans.”

    In its defence, the US argues it provided arms to the local Afghan government to fight the rebels, and it was their negligence that the Taliban somehow got their hands on those weapons. This is an utterly weak excuse by the US as it was their own negligence that they provided such dangerous weapons to an “irresponsible” government. 

    In an interview with the BBC in 2018, Gen John Nicholson, the head of US forces in Afghanistan, claimed that Russia was supplying arms to the Taliban, and the Russian weapons were being smuggled across the Tajik border to the Taliban. (BBC, 23 March 2018, “Russia ‘arming the Afghan Taliban’, says US”)

    After the US finally withdrew from Afghanistan in August 2021, it left behind huge amounts of weapons at the disposal of the Taliban. Reuters, on 19 August 2021, reported:

    “About a month ago, Afghanistan’s ministry of defense posted on social media photographs of seven brand new helicopters arriving in Kabul delivered by the United States.

    “‘They’ll continue to see a steady drumbeat of that kind of support, going forward,’ U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters a few days later at the Pentagon.

    “In a matter of weeks, however, the Taliban had seized most of the country, as well as any weapons and equipment left behind by fleeing Afghan forces.” (Reuters, 19 August 2021, “Planes, guns, night-vision goggles: The Taliban’s new U.S.-made war chest”)

    Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa, alongside condemning the havoc and inhumanity created by extremist circles of the Muslim world, highlighted that the supply-chain of the weapons of extremists traced back to Western countries. For years, he has been telling the West that if they wanted to establish peace in Muslim countries, especially in the Middle East, they had to stop the weapons’ supply.

    On 17 October 2016, during his address at a special reception at Canada’s National Parliament in Ottawa, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said:

    “Certain Western countries have always had an interest in the oil reserves of the Arab world and this interest has motivated their policies over a long period of time. Further, they have sold huge stocks of weapons to Muslim countries without considering the potential consequences. What I am saying is nothing new or concealed, rather it is well documented. 

    “For example, a recent report by Amnesty International published in December 2015 states that, ‘decades of reckless arms tradinghad contributed to the terrorism conducted by Daesh. It stated that the majority of weapons being used by Daesh were originally produced in the United States and Russia.

    “Furthermore, Patrick Wilcken, a Researcher on Arms Control at Amnesty concluded the report by stating, ‘The vast and varied weaponry being used by ISIS is a textbook case of how reckless arms trading fuels atrocities on a massive scale.’” (www.alislam.org/articles/human-values-foundation-for-peaceful-world/)

    During his address at the 14th National Peace Symposium of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya UK, held on 25 March 2017, Huzooraa said:

    “In my opinion, there is one readymade solution that can have an instant impact and begin the process of healing the world. I refer to the international arms trade, which I believe has to be curbed and restricted. We all know that in order to fuel their economies, Western nations are selling weapons abroad, including to those nations that are embroiled in warfare and armed conflicts. For example, just a few weeks ago, it was widely reported that the new US administration is signing off on a new arms deal for the sale of sophisticated and precision-guided missile technology to Saudi Arabia.

    “Furthermore, a United Nations report published last year found that when it comes to the sale of arms, normal rules of law do not apply. It found that an array of companies, individuals and countries had long been contravening an international arms embargo on Libya and supplying arms to different factions there […] A well-known CNN host recently said that curbing the arms trade could result in a loss of jobs amongst American defence companies.” (www.amjinternational.org/address/curb-on-arms-trade-and-dialogue-between-nations/)

    Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad Khalifatul Masih Vaa addressing the 2018 Peace Symposium

    SW Londoner, while reporting on the National Peace Symposium of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya UK held on 17 March 2018, reported:

    “The Caliph lamented the self-interest and greed exhibited by some of the world’s major powers, who he accused of putting weapons before welfare.

    “‘Quite openly and proudly, the major powers are trading arms that are being used to kill, maim and brutalise innocent people,’ he said.

    “‘Whilst the economies of the selling countries may attain short-term benefit, their hands are covered in the blood of hundreds of thousands of people.’” (www.swlondoner.co.uk/news/22032018-ahmadiyya-muslim-community-leader-calls-for-unity-at-national-peace-symposium/)

    A man of God continuously calls the world to peace, not in mere words, but through practical steps, which investigations then go on to confirm, often years later.