Courtesy of Mr Ewout Klei, De Kanttekening newspaper and MTA International
On Sunday 25 November, award-winning Dutch Journalist, Ewout Klei, was given the opportunity for an exclusive interview with Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa for the national weekly newspaper De Kanttekening.
After attending the Peace Symposium held in London earlier this year, Ewout Klei said that he was inspired to show the beliefs of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat to his Muslim Turkish readers.
The interview covered a wide range of topics including the prophethood of the Promised Messiahas, blasphemy laws, world peace, Jihad and the crucifixion of Jesusas.
The Dutch journalist asked why Ahmadi Muslims opposed the mainstream Muslim view that a prophet cannot come after the Holy Prophetsa whilst also believing Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas to be a prophet. Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa responded by saying:
“It is not that we have made our own type of Islam. This was foretold by the Prophet of Islam that in the latter days, a person will come to revive the teachings of Islam because after a long period of time there will be a dark era within Islamic sects. People will forget the true interpretation of the Holy Quran and its teachings.”
Further expounding on the question, Huzooras said, “We believe that the person who was to come, according to the prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa of Islam, has come in the person of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadian and he has both the titles of Messiah and Mahdi.”
Huzooraa elaborated on the heavenly signs which were foretold by the Holy Prophetsa that were to occur at the advent of the Messiah in the latter days. Huzooraa said that according to a prophecy by the Holy Prophetsa, when the Messiah would come, there would be solar and lunar eclipses in the month of Ramadan. Thus accordingly, there were eclipses in the Eastern Hemisphere in 1894 and in the Western Hemisphere in 1895.
Other signs such as technological advancements, improvement of transportation and the establishment of the printing press were highlighted by Huzooraa.
The journalist, who writes for De Kanttekening newspaper asked, “How does your community respond to blasphemy?” Huzooraa responded by saying, “According to the teachings of Islam, there is no punishment for blasphemy.” Proof from the lifetime of the Holy Prophetsa was then cited by Huzooraa to prove that blasphemy was not punished at the dawn of Islam. Huzooraa said, “Neither was it practiced by the prophet of Islam nor by his four rightly guided Khulafa.”
Further, Huzooraa explained, “These present-day Muslims have concocted just to fulfill their own desires. Their mentality is such that they are interpreting Jihad in the wrong way.”
When asked about whether he thought the blasphemy laws in Pakistan would eventually be repealed, Huzooraa responded by saying, “No, it will remain. The blasphemy law should be there to protect all prophets and all leaders, to create and develop an atmosphere of peace, love and harmony. Nobody should speak ill of any other leader of a community or religion.”
Explaining the concept of Jihad, Huzooraa presented the Quran’s philosophy of permission of retaliation by the sword against enemies saying, “It was to save religion, not only Islam.” Further Huzooraa said, “The Quran has categorically said that you should not kill a person without a particular or genuine reason”, and that “the killing of one person is equal to killing the whole of humanity.”
Ewout Klei discussed the current condition of the world and asked Huzooraa, “You, as a Caliph, have a mission of Peace, but how do you stay optimistic in a world full of suffering and pain?”
Huzooraa responded by stressing on why peace had diminished, highlighting the fact that “because of forgetting religious teachings people are not discharging their duties towards their fellow beings. Every person has their own vested interests. This is why you see the disturbance, cruelty and brutalities that are being committed everywhere – just to have their own vested interests.”
Huzooraa eloquently explained how religion was the answer to world peace by saying:
“Being a missionary community, we believe that religion has the potential and true religious teachings have the potential to create and develop peace in society. The reformer of the age, the founder of the Ahmadiyya community has taught us that if you follow the true teachings of Islam and spread the true message of Islam, then you can create and develop peace.”
Underlining his optimism with regard to world peace, Huzooraa explained to the journalist how the founder of the community prophesied that within three hundred years, the majority of the world would realise that Ahmadiyyat is the truth.
Huzooraa said, “In the next hundred years you will see that the majority of people will realise it. If they do not, then they will face the wrath of Allah.”
Ewout Klei enquired about the Ahmadiyya belief of Jesusas surviving the crucifixion – a view that was new to him. Huzooraa presented the Ahmadiyya belief of Jesusas travelling to India after surviving the cross whilst informing the Dutch journalist about the book of the Promised Messiahas, Jesus in India. Huzooraa explained how this view was now prevalent amongst academics saying, “This concept is now not only amongst Ahmadis, there are quite a number of non-Muslim scholars, those who have written books on this, that Jesus did not die on the cross, rather survived and migrated to another place.”
The topic of Jihad was also raised and the Quran’s verses which give permission to wage war were discussed. Huzooraa explained by saying, “The Quran says that if they are waging war against you, then you can wage war, but the Quran also says that whenever they [the enemy] extend the hand of peace, you must accept it.”
Further, Huzooraa said, “If anyone extents the hand of peace and reconciliation then you must accept it. The Quran only says that you are permitted to retaliate, but with some conditions. At the same time, it also says that if you behave cowardly, then you will be punished. Once a war is waged on you then you use a firm hand on your enemies.”
Talking about the change in circumstances and the nature of today’s Jihad, Huzooraa said, “The interpretation of the Ahmadiyya community is that in the early part of Islam, the enemy used to use swords against Muslims. Now they are using literature and other media to spoil the name of Islam. So, we should use the same type of weapon, that is literature and the pen.”
The journalist asked about persecution of Ahmadis and what action Huzooraa thought Western countries should take to protect Ahmadis and against those countries who persecute Ahmadi Muslims. Huzoor replied,
“We are happy that they are doing what they can to protect in their capacity; we do not call for boycotts or stop aid to countries that persecute. I do not believe that Western nations should stop their financial aid because if they do this, then the poor people of those countries will suffer. And we do not want to take revenge in this way, that humanity suffers in any way.”
To conclude the interview, Ewout Klei requested for a final message for his Muslim Turkish readers. Huzoor said:
“Nowadays the world is heading towards a big chaos and anytime a world war can erupt, so we should play our role to bring peace in society and honour each other’s sentiments and emotions; respect each other.”