Romaan Basit, Student Jamia Ahmadiyya UK
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a term we all have become very well acquainted with, as a result of the recent heavy media coverage. This violence and oppression, although having taken a turn for the worst this Ramadan, is nothing new. It has been around since the early twentieth century with the formation of the Jewish State of Israel in 1948, or even before as it brewed under British Mandatory Palestine.
As we see the tension building, injustices against the Palestinians continuing and the conflict worsening on a daily basis with no current sign of cessation, the minds of the masses have been filled with various questions: “Where is all this headed to?” “What is the fate of the Muslim world?” “Where are the Muslim leaders?” “Why are they not speaking out or doing anything to condemn these atrocities?”
A natural question that may lead on from this is, “What has the Ahmadiyya Khilafat done in the face of such crisis?” In this piece, I will briefly present the unparalleled efforts of the Ahmadiyya Khilafat in not only consistently condemning these attacks, but also in guiding the Muslim ummah, right from the very onset of this crisis, for the solution.
It is hard to put an exact date to when this conflict began; however, the crisis came to surface when the State of Israel was in the making – the decades leading up to its inception in 1948.
Much oppression had been meted out against the Jews in Europe between the two great wars and consequently, they were left without land to their name. In turn, when Palestine was colonised by the British after World War I, great pressure was put on Britain to hand over a piece of land to the Jews – a land that could be their homeland. This was one of the main aims of the Zionist Movement, founded and led by Theodor Herzl. In 1948, this is exactly what happened, and a part of Palestine was given to the Jews, which, without wasting a single moment, was declared the Jewish state by its Zionist leadership.
Amidst this political theatre, did the Muslims have a voice? Did they have anyone to represent them on diplomatic level?
These complicated questions bring us to the initial query: Did the Ahmadiyya Khilafat have anything to offer in this situation?
Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra, the Second Khalifa
Interestingly, in 1946, two years prior to Israel being formed, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra, the Second Khalifa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, had a divinely inspired vision foretelling a challenging and delicate situation looming the horizon of the Muslim world. He had this vision published in Al Fazl with all its details in a feature article titled “Al-Inzar” (The Warning). The article warned the community of an upcoming challenge for the Muslim world, and that the only way it would be able to face this challenge was by leaving their differences aside and uniting together as one nation. He also instructed the Jamaat to especially pray for the Muslim world during his Friday Sermon of 30 August 1946.
Just two years later, the Jewish State of Israel was created, bringing along a whole array of problems for the Arab Muslims in not only Palestine but the whole region. Who would have known this clash would one day turn into a global crisis?
As the first Arab-Israel war broke out in 1948, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra wrote a treatise titled, “Al-Kufru Millatun Wahidah” (Kufr is a nation united), calling on all Muslims to unite and pull together as one to face this challenge. This article was published on 21 May 1948 in Al Fazl, just six days after the formal establishment of Israel. He wrote:
“The day which was prophesied by the Holy Quran and the ahadith hundreds of years ago; the day which was prophesied in the Torah and Gospels; the day which was told to be painful and dangerous for the Muslims has seemingly arrived. Jews are being inhabited in Palestine.”
“I draw the attention of the Muslims to understand the sensitivity of this time and remember that today, the saying of the Holy Prophetsa, ‘Al-Kufru Millatun Wahidah’ (Kufr is a nation united) is being manifested to the letter.” (Al Fazl, 21 May 1948, pp. 3-4)
“This article had a great impact in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and other Arab countries. Syrian radio stations aired its summary and many Arabic newspapers published its excerpts, including Al-Yaum, Al-Akhbar, Al-Nasr and Al-Urdan.” (Al Hakam, 19 February 2021, “Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud’s services to the Muslim cause: Guidance for Turkey, peace in the Arab world and the Kashmir Movement”)
Later that year, in December, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra delivered an address at Law College Lahore, titled The Status and Future of the Islamic World in Light of the Current Situation. Once again, he drew attention to the prevalent crisis and advised the Muslim world regarding it:
“In my view, the future of the Islamic world is completely safe, provided we act upon those ways of success which the Holy Quran has fixed for us […] Islamic countries should dispel their internal enmities and create a passion of sacrifice for each other. The people of the Islamic countries should travel extensively to each other’s countries […]
“Islamic countries should make trade relations with each other. We should help those countries where Muslims are comparatively more underdeveloped, for example Western and Eastern Africa etc., by establishing relief organisations. The Holy Quran has declared tabligh as the best way for Islam’s progress. We should pay attention to this.” (Al Fazl, 14 December 1948, p. 2)
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra did a lot more for the Palestinian cause. This was just a taste of the advice he was giving to Muslims at the inception of Israel.
Hazrat Mirza Nasir Ahmadrh, the Third Khalifa
By the end of the 20th century, Muslim nations had plunged into infighting; the onset of the worst form of Muslim-against-Muslim conflict in modern history – that we witness today – was in the making. At this sensitive point in time, the Ahmadiyya Khilafat was still there, in absence of any other leadership, to advise and guide the Muslim world.
This was during the Khilafat of Hazrat Mirza Nasir Ahmadrh. In a Friday Sermon delivered on 24 July 1981, he gave the guidance that was the dire need of the time for the Muslim world. He said:
“Pray fervently for the reformation of the Muslim Ummah. Rabbi Aslih Ummata Muhammadin. ‘O Lord, reform the Ummah of Muhammad’. This was, in fact, a prayer which was revealed to the Promised Messiahas; and in this one prayer, every type of reformation is encompassed […]
“So, pray a lot that Allah the Almighty takes away these worries from the Muslim Ummah, and that He makes such means, by which the Muslim world can follow the paths of guidance revealed in the Quran, in order to attain the love of God; and that they are able to stop actions which displease God and incur his wrath.”
Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmadrh, the Fourth Khalifa
As Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmadrh was elected as Khalifatul Masih IV in the summer of 1982, it strikes one to notice that the first ever message he sent out to his community through Al Fazl was a heartfelt appeal to pray for the Palestinians. Elected on 10 June 1982, this appeal for prayers appeared in the Al Fazl of 13 June 1982:
“There is such a wound in our hearts, which gets deeper and more painful by the day. Our hearts continue to bleed with every passing moment. Here, I am talking about the extremely inhumane atrocities being carried out against the Muslim world at the hands of Israel.
“There is no doubt that we are a small and feeble community in the eyes of the world; however, you and I are fully aware, that we are the humble servants of our Lord. We have always remained recipients of His grace and He listens to our supplications.
“I would like to bring to the attention of every Ahmadi – man, woman, old and young – to supplicate with great fervour, that Allah may have mercy on every person who is associated with our Master, the Holy Prophetsa.
“I have complete faith in Allah the Almighty that He will accept our supplications made with heavy hearts; healing our wounds and granting us peace.”
During his Khilafat, he continued to speak up against the oppression carried out by Israel against Palestine. Responding to a long-standing allegation that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat were agents of Israel, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh delivered a whole sermon on 15 March 1985 wherein he refuted this allegation by highlighting services of the Jamaat for the Palestinian cause. He said:
“Before the United Nations General Assembly made the oppressive decision to divide Palestine, who warned and cautioned the Muslim world, creating a commotion in the Arab and non-Arab countries alike? That passionate warning came from Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra. He wrote a heart-rendering pamphlet and had it circulated in abundance.
“Does the Islamic world have any sense of honour? Do they not possess the love for Islam that would allow them to forget their animosity towards each other and unite?
“Whenever Islam or the Islamic world faces danger, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat and its Khulafa always have had (with the grace of Allah the Almighty) the outstanding capacity and distinctive honour of being the foremost to draw attention to these dangers.”
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa, the Fifth Khalifa
Our present Khalifa, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa, has also warned the Muslim world to realise that the root cause of their plight lies in them being disunited. He has openly condemned the injustices of Israel, in fact, like all his predecessors, he has condemned all injustices wherever in the world.
His underlying message for the Muslim world is a continuation of the same advice: unity is the only plausible solution.
Without the entire Muslim world coming together, such problems can never be solved. And the world is yet to take heed of the blessed words of our khulafa.
In July 2014, as violence against Palestinians of Gaza escalated, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa categorically condemned the oppression and gave a detailed analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He said:
“With great regret, it must be said that today, it is the ill fortune of many Muslim countries that they are no longer united. Members of the public are fighting amongst themselves; citizens are also fighting with governments, whilst governments are inflicting cruelty upon their public. Therefore, not only has unity been lost, but great cruelties and injustices are being perpetrated.
“The result of the lack of unity is that non-Muslim countries now have the confidence to do whatever they please against the Muslims and this is the very reason that Israel is currently engaged in killing scores of innocent Palestinians in the cruelest manner.
“If the Muslims were united and followed the path of God then the collective strength of the Muslim nations is so great that this cruelty could never have taken place.”
Just last week, during the sermon delivered on Eid-ul-Fitr 2021, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa once again spoke up for the rights of the Palestinian Muslims, in a time where no other Muslim leadership seems to be around. He said:
“Today, we must sincerely pray for the Palestinian people who are currently being subjected to grave cruelties. In recent days, when they went to pray in the Al Aqsa Mosque, they were brutally attacked and beaten by the state authorities. Similarly, they are being forced out of Sheikh Jarrah, a small neighbourhood, which is their own land.
“Certainly, Muslim countries should come together and play their role to protect the Palestinians and other Muslims who are being oppressed in the world. However, the Muslim world is divided and there is a complete lack of unity amongst the Muslim nations. Certainly, in this instance, the Muslim countries have failed to show the reaction they ought to have. They have given weak statements, whereas if they had all come together and given a united statement, it would have had a far greater impact and carried much more weight.”
“May Allah grant sense and wisdom to the Muslim leadership. May He also give sense to the Israelis that they may refrain and withdraw from their injustices. Further, may Allah guide the Palestinians who are suffering from a lack of leadership, if there is any injustice from their side – though in reality, this is not the case. If they (the Palestinians) are using sticks they are being subjected to heavy missiles and sophisticated weaponry, which is something I have mentioned before as well. There is no comparison in terms of the force being used by both sides. We must, therefore, pray for the Palestinians. May Allah the Almighty better their situation and create the means for their freedom and may they continue to hold on to their rightful places and land that were allotted to them in the initial treaty.”
More than 70 years of atrocities and bloodshed of innocent Muslims have gone by, but as they say, it is never too late. Unity and sincere prayers are the only way forward for the Muslim world. The advice of Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa is still around and so are his prayers. All the Muslim world needs to do is pay heed.