Ali Fatty, Student, Jamia Ahmadiyya International, Ghana
In the world today, most internationally recognised and celebrated days are yearly commemorated but with the little effect seen in the purpose of their memorial; their celebrations have become more mundane and fanfare rituals.
For example, a few months ago, on the 21 September, the world celebrated the International Day of Peace to raise awareness of the importance of encouraging and promoting peace-building nationally and internationally, all amidst a global arms conflict that continues to distress and consume much of the globe.
In the past few months, the China, Taiwan and US political tussle and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have been the latest political sagas affecting international peace. The entire world is in a political limbo and an economic recession that engenders much of the world’s standstill in peace-building.
According to a report by the IMF, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is continuing to destabilise the global economy:
“Beyond the escalating and senseless destruction of lives and livelihoods, it has led to a severe energy crisis in Europe that is sharply increasing costs of living and hampering economic activity.’’ (The Guardian, 11 October 2022)
In hindsight, after the destructive first and the second World War, humanity saw the dark side of war and to prevent the further happenings of world wars, world leaders came together and thought of formulating an international multilateral organisation that would be democratic, legitimate and would have the moral onus to deliver the aims of establishing peace in the world – which became known as the United Nations.
The United Nations was established for this very purpose. However, for many years, the organisation has been the subject of criticism and scrutiny for failing in its responsibility to uprightly address issues that are a bone of contention to all its member states and the world at large. It is further accused of siding with powerful countries to oppress less powerful countries and has been used as a puppet by some powerful states to fulfil their vested interests at the expense of poorer countries.
The recent 77th United Nations General Assembly meeting held in New York City seems to be a watershed moment in history, as both the US president, Joe Biden and the Japanese prime minister, Fumio Kishida, called for the expansion of the Security Council and support for permanent and non-permanent seats in the Security Council for countries in Africa and Asia, to make the security council reform agenda efficaciously.
This revelation came as several leaders of African countries beckoned that the 1.4 billion population of the African continent deserves better and fair representation in the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council; where decisions are made, that directly or indirectly affect the interests of their countries and citizens. (www.worldometers.info/world-population/africa-population)
The current political and economic status quo of the world shows that the threat of a Third World War seemingly looks very prominent. Many political pundits have underscored that the Third World War has in fact already started.
For example, according to the former British Army officer, General Sir Nick Carter, the global economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic could lead to new threats to the countries’ security, including a Third World War. He elaborated:
“There is a risk [of a Third World War] and I think we need to be conscious of those risks. I think we are living at a moment in time where the world is a very uncertain and anxious place.”
He further expounded:
“I think the real risk we have, with quite a lot of regional conflicts that are going on at the moment, is that you could see escalation lead to miscalculation and that is a thing I think we have to guard against.” (www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/coronavirus-thirdworld-war-general-nick-carter-armymilitary-b1669621.html, The Independent, 8 November 2020)
For almost two decades, the worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa has been raising alarms about the urgent need to arrest the decline of peace and the threat of an impending Third World War.
In 2004, Huzooraa established the National Peace Symposium in the UK where religious leaders, dignitaries, ambassadors, politicians, diplomats, civil rights organisations, parliamentarians and all stakeholders of different backgrounds are invited and Huzooraa delivers the keynote speech, addressing guests regarding the bleak situation of the world, the lack of peace, the need for justice and the way forward based on the teachings of Islam.
During an address to the British Parliament in June 2013, he stated in succinct words that a lack of mutual respect among countries could cause a catastrophic world war:
“The world has become a global village, and so a lack of mutual respect and a failure to join together to promote peace will not only harm the local area, city or country, but in fact will ultimately lead to the destruction of the entire world. We are all well aware of the horrific devastation caused by the last two world wars, due to the acts of certain countries. The signs are that another world war is on the horizon. If a world war breaks out, the western world will also be deeply affected by its far-reaching and devastating consequences.” (www.reviewofreligions.org/9084/the-critical-state-of-world-peace/)
On 14 March 2015, while addressing the 12th National Peace Symposium of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya UK, Huzooraa said:
“The world is being consumed by various issues that are leading to frustration and resentment, which in turn are undermining peace. For example, the effects of the financial crisis continue to be felt in much of the world. […] Then there is the conflict in Ukraine and the global arms race. These are all threats to world peace that are not linked to Islam, but rather have developed as a result of an unquenchable thirst for power, influence and resources.” (“Muslim Leader says Justice and Honesty required to prevent Outbreak of third World War”, www.pressahmadiyya.com)
On another occasion, in May 2021, during a virtual meeting with journalists from the Gambia, he told them that justice is a prerequisite in peace-building. He stated:
“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 why you can see there is a 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:
“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)
Moreover, Huzooraa reiterated that the recognition of God and fulfilling His right is a cornerstone in establishing global peace. In the contemporary world, it’s very clear that mankind is day by day moving away from the belief in God and material worship has become the new religion of the modern world.
Thus, any approach taken by world leaders to solve the mayhem proves cumbersome and a further conduit of chaos and fruitlessness. The need to believe in God as a source of establishing peace in the world was beautifully encapsulated in this statement of Huzooraa:
“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, which 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)
Huzooraa, while addressing guests and dignitaries at a reception held in Zion City, USA to mark the official opening of the Masjid Fath-e-Azeem in that city, elucidated the mission of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the world:
“Our only mission and our sole aspiration are to win the hearts of mankind through love and to bring people closer to God Almighty. So, to become true worshipers of Him and fulfil the rights of one another.
“It is the paramount objective of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to direct mankind to the path of spiritual salvation and to ensure that all people, irrespective of their caste, creed, or colour, live together with the spirit of goodwill and harmony and in true peace and security.” (Al Hakam, 21 October 2022, Issue 240, p. 4)
May Allah the Almighty enable mankind to find the panacea for the current volatile and vitriolic situation of the world. May he enable man to recognise Him, build a relationship with Him and fulfil His rights and the rights of His creations. Amin.