The Great Western Revival is a collection of addresses on world peace by His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul-Masih V and Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. This collection of speeches, delivered in the UK, France and Germany, provide an incredible insight on what the foundations for peace look like in today’s world.
Modern society has witnessed chaos despite there existing evolved peace-keeping mechanisms in the modern world. The human race has survived two world wars and brushed closely with others. One would imagine that lessons from those wars and conflicts would be enough to keep mankind firmly away from any pretext of war. However, we find mankind slipping back intopre-world war modes—especially with the current Ukraine-Russia conflict. His Holiness provides guidance on how we can resolve these issues and achieve lasting peace. What is striking is that His Holiness’ message is not new nor reactionary. Rather it is the same message that has been propagated by His Holiness for nearly 20 years; furthermore, crisis after crisis (such as the global financial crisis of 2008, the Syrian war, the refugee crisis etc.) has been assessed with great foresight. For instance in 2008, His Holiness delivered an address at the UK parliament in which he, very vividly, described how a breakdown of global finance coupled with a disregard for absolute justice would have dire consequences that would inevitably become the precursors to war. Such words hold true to this day, as we witness the social unrest that has been caused by failing economies.
His Holiness does not shy away from pointing out injustice, wherever it may exist and in which ever form it may be in. For example, it discusses the decline of Muslims from world-leading academics and scholars who ushered in the Enlightenment, to the Muslim world being blighted by ineffective leadership and by the heinous acts carried out in the name of Islam. When reading The Great Western Revival it feels as if the past is almost juxtaposed with present day circumstances with the reader being led on a journey through the roads of history that intertwine through the streets of Baghdad and end up in modern day Europe.
Another major theme that recurs throughout the book is immigration. The solution to the immigration crisis that has been presented by His Holiness and it lays the responsibility of rebuilding lives of immigrants, largely, upon the immigrants themselves. His Holiness explains that although it is the responsibility of governments to assist those fleeing war-torn areas, it is principally the responsibility of the immigrants to become beneficial members of their new societies and become such people that are a means of progress, peace and harmony, and not of division.
His Holiness has delivered speeches in various countries across the world. His message however has been clear and consistent: mankind has to turn to its Creator in order to attain true, lasting peace, otherwise the world is hurtling towards catastrophic wars. It is a stark message but one that cannot be ignored, and the evidence and analysis presented is sobering.
The Great Western Revival became a Sunday Times Bestseller in August 2021 and can be purchased from Waterstones and Foyles here.
“It is very important that we have a spiritual leader from the Muslim faith here in the UK who preaches peace and harmony. It is very important, as there are a lot of British people who have been led to believe that Islam is violent and have a very negative perception of it, and so what His Holiness is saying is a very powerful antidote to that view.” (Sir Vince Cable, 5 January 2018).
Nauman A Hadi, Director Publications, Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (@naumanhadi125)