Sunday, December 16, 2007

Islam means Peace

Ahmadiyya Muslims show path of love and tolerance


The clash of civilisations and talk of jihad are not non-existent in the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim community, but used to condemn all forms of terrorism and highlight that Islam’s true teaching is of love and compassion for all of God’s Creation.

Denouncing the fear instilled among populations around the world with the justification of terrorism in the name of religion, Naseer Ahmed Shahid, missionary of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Belgium told Tejinder Singh, “Islam rejects any kind of violence and against any kind of people or religion.” He said, “Islam means peace according to Arabic lexicon,” adding that the Muslim greeting, “Assalaamo alyikum” means, “Peace be on you.” Naseer said, “It will be hypocritical to say that and then use a knife.”

Explaining the inherent meaning of Jihad, Naseer told New Europe, “Based on sayings of the Prophet Mohammad and the words of Koran, the greatest and most significant Jihad is the fight against one’s own evil. Another Jihad is to convey the message to other people through wisdom, good behaviour and logic, making friends out of even enemies.” “Koran does not say call to Mohammad or Islam but call to Allah.” “Smallest or least form of Jihad is that if because of one’s faith, one gets attacked by people who are around, and then one can defend oneself,” he argued.

Reiterating that the obligation of every Muslim is to show love to all people, irrespective of their religion, caste, creed or race, Naseer said, “In this regard the Ahmadiyya Community wants to extinguish the fire of Jihad which is misrepresented by vested interests and misunderstood thus giving Islam a label of intolerant religion while the Ahmadiyya Community calls for ‘Love for all, hatred for none.’”

The Ahmadiyya Community is trying to carry the message of love and brotherhood of Islam through inter-faith conferences and trying their best to explain teachings of Islam through gatherings.

Asked to comment on punishments being meted out to media writers or cartoonists, Naseer told New Europe, “Islam does not sanction corporal punishment against blasphemy and those judgments are more based on personal gains and wrong beliefs.” There have been attacks on the Ahmadiyya Community in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Indonesia in the recent past but the “Community has not responded with violence and sticks to the principle of the spirit of love for humanity and with out taking the law in our hand we only inform the authority to its responsibility to provide peace and security for every citizen of the country.”

Going down memory lane, Naseer said, “The Ahmadiyya Community was established in 1889 by Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) in a small and remote village, Qadian, in the Punjab, India. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a religious organisation, international in its scope, with branches in over 189 countries in Africa, North America, South America, Asia, Australasia, and Europe. It represents the most dynamic denomination of Islam in modern history, with worldwide membership of tens of millions.”

Advocating “peace, tolerance, love and understanding among followers of different faiths,” Naseer concluded, “The Community firmly believes in and acts upon the Qur’anic teaching: ‘There is no compulsion in religion.’ (2:257). It strongly rejects violence and terrorism in any form and for any reason.”

1 comment:

Amaro'to kotha chhilo said...

Tejinder - thanks for the piece on Islam and peace.
Take care,
Ekram