UK: Nearly 40,000 attended Britain’s biggest annual Islamic gathering

UK: Nearly 40,000 attended Britain’s biggest annual Islamic gathering

The Khalifa of Islam led the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in a pledge of peace and obedience

Some 40,000 Muslims came together in the Hampshire countryside, where they raised the Ahmadiyya Flag Lawa-e Ahmadiyyat and Union Jack and formed a human chain to pledge their loyalty to their faith, country of residence and to reject violence and extremism.

The event is affectionately known as Aalmi Bai’at (International Initiation).

The Khalifa of Islam and the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, led the thousands in reaffirmation of their oath of peace and obedience at Hadeeqatul Mahdi in Alton, today, the last day of the three-day conference.

In concluding address His Holiness addressed the convention delegates participating from over 100 countries in the last session and spoke on Islamic teachings of kindness towards parents.

At the end of his address, His Holiness announced the final delegate count stood at 38,300, a better than 10 percent increase over the previous years convention attendance.

UK: Women have a role to play in Islam – Ahmadiyya Leader

UK: Women have a role to play in Islam – Ahmadiyya Leader

The worldwide spiritual leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, Hazrat Amirul Momineen Khalifatul Masih V, has asked the Islamic community to move away from the mind-set of undermining the capabilities of women.

He intimated that it was important to recognise the role women played in world affairs for which reason he underscored the need for Muslims to accord other Muslim women the needed respect and dignity.

Addressing Ahmadi Muslim women at the 50th convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, popularly known as Jalsa Salana in Hampshire in the United Kingdom on Saturday, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V said women had a role to play in Islam and as such should be recognised.

The Jalsa Salana which ended Sunday, brought together more than 35,000 delegates from over 90 countries including the Ameer and Missionary in charge of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Ghana, Maulvi Mohammed Bin Salih.

Dignify women

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V deplored the manner Muslim women were undermined and undignified adding  that it was time to move away from the status quo that placed women in second fiddle positions in society.

He stated the Holy Quran frowned on stifling the efforts of women and spoke against the manner in which the scriptures were ignored in the pursuit of ‘man-made laws’.

The spiritual leader bemoaned the segregation between men and women in other parts of the world especially usurping rights of women which he described as unacceptable.

Religious violence

Touching on religious violence, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V condemned the act of creating disorder in society in the name of religion adding that “those who deprive women their rights and cause violence in the name of Islam will be punished.”

For him the rights and dignity of women in Islam were well established and the religion accorded them a special status.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V presented awards to some Ahmadi student women enrolled in tertiary institutions in the UK who excelled in various academic fields.

Source/Credit: Graphic Online Ghana

India: Some mullahs do not want Ahmadiyyas to be counted as Muslims

India: Some mullahs do not want Ahmadiyyas to be counted as Muslims

The data on religious affiliation from the 2011 population census was released last month. Some information from the count – like the decline in Parsi-Zoroastrians numbers by a fifth since 2001 – has been received with gloom, but the statistic on Ahmadiyyas, a sect which is persecuted in many countries because of beliefs that are seen as renegade, has evoked resentment among some Muslim clerics.

According to Ahmadiyya organisations, they number around 1000000 in India and 60 million worldwide. Their population in India is an estimate as the census has never counted them separately, but the 2011 population count has identified 119 members, including 99 in Punjab where the birthplace of the sect, Qadian, is located. This means that only one of every thousand Ahmadiyya has used the option in the census form to identify their sect; the others have marked themselves only as Muslim. Other groups like Bohras, too, have opted not to fill the question about their sect – only 33,460 did, though this group has several lakh members in India. Members of some mainstream sects have not approved of the inclusion of Ahmadiyyas as Muslims. Recent reports in Urdu newspapers that the latest census has not counted the sect separately have annoyed clerics.

The sect was founded in the nineteenth century by a religious teacher named Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who proclaimed himself as the messiah prophesised in the Semitic religions. He also added figures from other religions, like Krishna, Zoroaster, Lao Tzu – founder of Taoism, Guru Nanak, to the list of teachers. His followers are also called Qadianis. Pakistan, which has the largest population of this sect, has declared them non-Muslims. The country does not allow members of the sect to list ‘Islam’ as their religion in their passports, thus restricting them from going on the Haj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

“Muslims share some fundamental beliefs: one is the belief in Allah and that Mohammad is the last prophet**. There are many Muslim sects and they have a lot of differences, but all of them believe in these two fundamental principles,” said Mehmood Daryabadi, a cleric from the orthodox Tablighi sect. “But they (Ahmadiyyas) say that another prophet was born in Qadian.”

Mehmood Ahmed, an Ahmadiyya from Mumbai, said that their beliefs are not different from the mainstream sects. “We also believe in Allah and that Mohammad is the last prophet, but we interpret the [word ‘khatim’ which others translate as ‘last’ in] Koran differently,” said Ahmed. “When we translated the Koran from Arabic we referred every ayat (sentence) with a supporting phrase. This is different from the literal translation that other sects do.”

Daryabadi said that a meeting of Islamic scholars held in Mecca in 1972 it was agreed that the sect is not Muslim. “All Muslim sects do the Haj (pilgrimage). There are no restrictions on any sect, but the Qadianis are not allowed,” said Daryabadi. “If Muslims all over the world do not consider them as Muslims why is the government of India identifying them as such?”

The Indian census enumerates six main religious groups; the others are listed in the ‘other religions and persuasions’. This category includes Parsi-Zoroastrians, Jews, Bahais, Animists and nature worshippers. About 7.9 million people out of 1210 million Indians who were counted in the last census are from this classification which includes 33,304 atheists. An official from the directorate of census operations, Maharashtra, said that citizens have the freedom to not report their sect and most have chosen not to do so. For instance, the census counts only 374 Shias though the community is estimated to form 15-20% of India’s Muslim population of 172 million.

Daryabadi suggested that Ahmadiyyas should list themselves in the ‘other religions and persuasions’ category. “India has many other religious minorities; Ahmadiyyas can be recognised as a minority.”

It is unlikely that India, where the Ahmadiyyas enjoy religious freedom, will take away their religious identity and force them to be identified as a separate group.
Source/Credit: Hindustan Times

UK’s PM commends Ahmadiyya’s contribution to global peace

UK’s PM commends Ahmadiyya’s contribution to global peace

London: Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK), Theresa May, has commended the Ahmadiyya Muslim community for its contribution to global peace, especially its “United Against Extremism” Campaign.

She spoke yesterday at the closing ceremony of the Jalsa Salana, the 50th yearly convention of the Muslim group.Represented by the Minister of Aviation, Lord Ahmad, the British Prime Minister said: “The Jalsa Salana is an opportunity to celebrate the community’s huge contribution to society, whether it is raising money for the Poppy Appeal, holding interfaith iftars during Ramadan, or helping to deliver aids to poorest people around the world. That is the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in action: compassionate, charitable and absolutely committed.”

May, who officially commiserated with the group over the murder of the British Ahmadi Muslim, Asad Shah, said: “This year, we were shocked and sickened by the murder of the British Ahmadi, Asad Shah,” describing the late member as “a man who was passionate about peace and understanding between communities – values that define Ahmadis, but also our country, too. We must continue to uphold those things, and we must do so together. One excellent example of that is your “United Against Extremism” campaign.”

She expressed satisfaction about her interaction with the community’s global leader, His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad and her visit, recently, to the UK headquarters of the group, Baitul Futuh Mosque, adding, “Your motto – ‘love for all, hatred for none’ – shines from all you do. It is a message we would all do well to live by, especially as we build a stronger, more united future.”

At the opening ceremony last Friday, the head of Nigerian delegation, who is also Amir of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Nigeria, Dr. Mashhuud Adenrele Fashola, chronicled the milestones of the group in the last 100 years of its existence in the country.

In another development, as purveyors of information, media operatives within the Muslim community worldwide have been urged to uphold professionalism, responsible journalism as well as reliance on the authentic sources as their watchwords in the discharge of their duty.

The advice was the kernel of engagement yesterday at the discussion session that preceded the closing ceremony at Oakland Farm in Alton, Hampshire, London, venue of the event.

Anchoring the ‘role of media in stopping radicalisation’, Missionary of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Canada, Farhan Iqbal, who tasked Muslim journalists to ensure that the true teachings of Islam reach all the corners of the world, said: “Most time, thousands, and even millions of people, are listening or watching or reading the news, and that is why the media have a big responsibility. If they just pick their information from inauthentic sources, this could go a long way to create misconception.”

Issues such as terrorism organisations, or young people who have become radicalised, journalists should ensure they get their information from the authentic sources. That is why the Ahmadiyya Muslims have taken it as a priority to engage this kind of issues objectively and passionately so that clarity could be provided to dispel this misconception.”

Source/Credit: The Guardian Nigeria