The World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad held various virtual online meetings with audiences based in the UK and abroad. Below are selected quotes of His Holiness from the concluding address for the Annual Conventions (Jalsa Salana) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Qadian, India and Guinea Bissau on 26 December 2021.
Islam’s Teaching on Religious Tolerance
“Although the majority of the world is distancing itself from religion, there is nevertheless a group of people, which criticises others on the basis of religion and deems it essential to raise allegations and ridicule other religions in order to prove the superiority of its own religion. But, even if we leave other religions aside, still allegations are raised against Islam that it does not show any consideration to others. However, Islam completely rejects the notion of mocking other religions. Islam teaches not to raise allegations against the founders of other religions and to falsify them thereby, or to falsify them and raise allegations against them. Islam undoubtedly presents itself to be the final religion and that its teachings are all-encompassing. However, it does not state that the founders of other religions are false. Islam teaches that prophets of God Almighty appeared among every nation of the world in order to guide them.”
Freedom of Religion in Islam
“Another misconception about Islam due to the lack of awareness of its teachings and history, is that Islam is an extremist religion, and due to its teachings of compulsion, it was spread by force at its inception and efforts are still being made to do so today. This allegation is one that has no basis. When one reads the Holy Qur’an, they will find that it negates, and teaches to refrain from the idea of compulsion on many occasions, as is stated:
‘And if thy Lord had enforced His will, surely, all who are in the earth would have believed together. Wilt thou, then, force men to become believers?’ (Holy Quran 10:100).
“Allah the Almighty has revealed that this teaching is the truth and for your benefit. It is better that you accept it, but if you wish not to, that is your choice. Allah the Almighty will then judge us on the Day of Judgement and the affairs of this world will have come to an end. No one has the right to compel anyone in this world if they wish not to accept a religion. Hence, Islam does not punish anyone in the world on the basis of religion.”
Peace can only be established with absolute justice
“If we look at the United Nations it can be clearly seen that there is bias and injustice (in its policies). Either it shows such overwhelming favour to the victim that there comes a time when the oppressed becomes the oppressor, or it sides with the oppressor to such an extent that life becomes impossible for the oppressed…”
“Lasting peace can only be established when a balanced approach is adopted by the people of influence at every level. Where they listen to the issues and perspective of both sides, then mediate and remove grudges…”
The impact of economic exploitation
“You can see in the day today, where there is a great increase in materialism, that there is a huge effort to fraudulently devour the wealth of others. In fact, this injustice is also taking place on the international stage as well. Affluent nations are wrongfully consuming the wealth of poorer nations by various schemes and ploys.”
“Now certain African nations are raising their voice in protest that after giving them independence, the powerful countries of the world are unjustly seizing their wealth under the guise that they are spending it on the development and security of the countries from where the wealth is being usurped. They extract millions of dollars’ worth of wealth a year and do not spend it on those countries from where the wealth is taken. The result is that a hatred for the more developed countries is building in the poorer nations, the outcome of which could be extremely destructive and dangerous.”
“The poor are exploited for their cheap labour to produce goods. The wages are so low that they barely provide for two meals a day to a family. However, the rich are making billions of dollars’ worth of profit from this cheap labour. This is the very thing that is giving birth to restlessness and there will come a time when as a result, the poor will erupt forth like lava. This is because the modern modes of communication have created awareness within people and a realisation, and news from one place of the world travels rapidly to other parts. This has increased the desire of material goods in the poorer nations. When a poor person sees that he is being mistreated in this way, it increases his restlessness and peace is shattered. This is why Islam instructs, that for the sake of removing such discontent from society, take care of the rights of others in all your dealings. This is the means of lasting peace.”
Fulfil the rights of all
“You should see all of humanity as your children; there should be a passion for serving one another. When this becomes the case, how beautiful, peaceful and harmonious a society it will be. If only the Muslims of the world came to understand this!”