Muhammad Salik, Myanmar Correspondent
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Myamnar held the fifth Religious Founders Day ceremony in Mandalay on 1 September 2019. The Jamaat has been holding this ceremony since 2017.
T Muhammad, who is also known as U Khin Maung Nyunt, National Jamaat President Myanmar relayed to the press that the goal of the ceremony was gaining a better understanding of religions and the importance of honouring the dignity of prophets and religious founders. He also highlighted that the ceremony aimed to highlight morals, including mutual love and respect among the believers of different religions.
The event commenced with the recitation of the Holy Quran followed by the opening speech by Thura U Aung Ko, Minister of Myanmar’s Religious and Cultural Affairs. During the speech, he called for the followers of various faiths to promote peace and shun hate speech. The minister particularly praised the well-known identity of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Jamaat for religious tolerance shown by its community members and their efforts towards charitable works.
Minister Thura U Aung Ko also spoke of an event at Mandalay National School that was also attended by a former delegate from the Myanmar Jamaat, Hazrat Abdul Rahim Nayyarra (companion of the Promised Messiahas).
The school was founded by Abdul Razak, one of the nine martyrs of Myanmar and a cabinet minister in General Aung San’s pre-independence government. It is a prominent and highly regarded institution where interfaith and racial harmonies are inculcated to the young students.
Thura U Aung Ko also said that Nayyar Sahibra gave three interfaith speeches at the Mandalay National School in which he specifically highlighted the similarity between Islam and Buddhism.
U Aung Kyi, Minister of Immigration and Human Resources of Mandalay Division also attended the event, representing the chief minister and read out a message on his behalf.
The event was then followed by various speeches of religious leaders. Firstly, Ashin Ramachandra spoke about the importance of religious harmony from the Hindu perspective.
The famous venerable Buddhist monk, Dr Ashin Nanda Sara (lecturer and master of Abhidama) addressed the audience on the topic of the importance of religious harmony from the perspective of Buddhism.
Following that was a speech from Archbishop Marco Tin Win, who highlighted the religious tolerance in the age of Jesusas.
Khalil Ahmad Sahib, Missionary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Myamnar then articulated about the importance of religious tolerance exemplified by the founder of Islam, the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa. He quoted passages from the Holy Quran and various incidents from the life of the Holy Prophetsa that showed his great religious tolerance while also quoting the Promised Messiahas.
The message from Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V, may Allah be his Helper, was conveyed by T Muhammad, National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Myanmar. In the message, Huzooraa stated:
“We must also appreciate that God desires a compassionate and caring society for everyone. It is for this reason that God has continually sent His prophets and righteous representatives to every part of the world to guide humanity towards fulfilling the rights of God Almighty and discharging the rights due to one another.
“God assigned them for the purpose of reforming mankind and to develop a spirit of love, compassion and brotherhood amongst all people. Indeed, this constitutes the core message of all religions and therefore, we should utilise all of our resources and capabilities to serve God’s creation by fostering a better society and spreading the message of love, affection and peace at every level.”
During the closing speech, the national president of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Myanmar expressed gratitude to the attendees for participating, who included all the respected monks, Dr Ashin Nanda Sara, Myawadi Min Gyi Sayadaw, Hindu and Christian religious leaders, the Consulate General of India HE Mr Nandan Singh Bhaisora, dignitaries and all the other honourable guests.