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Interfaith Dialogue ( 8 Jun 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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The Ahmadiyya position: Ahmedi teachings prohibit protests, demonstrations, industrial strikes and agitations

Dr. Iftikhar Ayaz


The Ahmadiyya Muslims are now a well recognised and a well respected community in the world. They are known to be law abiding, peace loving and completely non violent. Their teachings prohibit protests, demonstrations, industrial strikes and agitations. They have shown great dignity in enduring the pangs of persecution in Pakistan and elsewhere. Just last week over a hundred of their members while offering the weekly Friday prayers in the two mosques in Lahore, Pakistan, were barbarically massacred but they have sustained this catastrophic tragedy in silence. They are also unique being a community of over 200 million people representing all races, nations, cultures and languages heralding from over 190 countries of the world but solemnly united under one spiritual leader divinely designated as ‘Khalifa’. The community was founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India, who claimed to be the Promised Messiah.


The present khalifa, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the fifth Successor of the founder of the community, was compelled to reside in London, U.K. because of the legislation passed by the Government of Pakistan prohibiting Ahmadis to practise as Muslims in Pakistan.


In this brief article it is my intention to review the services of the Ahmadiyya community to humanity in general and to Pakistan in particular.


The founder of the community, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, clearly stated the importance of good relationships with fellow human beings. He said:


“I admonish you to adhere to two primary principles- Keep your affairs with Allah on the straight path and treat the human beings with sympathy and good manners.” (Malfoozat, Volume 9, page 35)


The Ahmadis strongly supported and struggled for the creation of Pakistan and along with other Muslims migrated from Qadian, their headquarters in India. The editor of the Newspaper “Rangin,” Mr. Arjan Singh, writes in his book, Sair-i-Qadian:


“So far as our information goes we could say with confidence that the Ahmaddiya community is a strong supporter of the activities of the Muslim League. It is well known that they have besides contributing thousands of rupees, devoted their efforts for the success of the Muslim League.”


The Ahmadis were at the forefront of safeguarding the Muslim Political Rights during the Montague- Chelmsford Reforms of 1917, when the British Prime Minister Herbert Asquith had recognised the increasing demand for India’s self-rule. The then Imam of the Ahmaddiya Muslims, Mirza Bashirudeen Mahmood Ahmad, was invited by the Governor General of India, Lord Frederick, to address the special conference on the subject which was held in Delhi on 13th November 1917. Subsequently, the Ahmadiyya Community played a prominent role in the political developments leading on to the creation and formation of Pakistan.


An eminent Ahmadi leader, Sir Muhammad Zafrullah Khan, also played a key role in the politcal negotiations representing the Muslims of India at the Round Table Conference. Sir Zafrullah was the President of the All India Muslim League in 1931-1932. Khawaja Hasan Nizami of Delhi in the Urdu Newspaper ‘Munadi,’ writes in its 24th October 1934 issue about Sir Zafrullah:


“His political sagacity is greater than any Muslim in India. The Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for India, the Viceroy, and all British politicians admire his ability and Hindu leaders too, though reluctantly, acknowledge that this man is their rival- a very able, effective and accomplished rival. During the Round Table Conference, every Hindu, Muslim and Englishman acknowledged Chaudhry Zafrullah Khan’s merit and confessed that amongst the Muslims, Chaudhry Zafrullah is a person who has full command over the complexities of politics. Zafrullah is faultless and his character is irreproachable.”


History speaks for itself and there is no room in this brief exposure to go into detail. However, it is evident that from the very inception of the All India Muslim League in the Punjab in 1907, to the partition of the subcontinent in 1947- for forty long years- the Ahmadiyya community and its eminent members faithfully and persistently rendered crucial and outstanding services towards the freedom movement which culminated in the creation of Pakistan.


Sir Zafrullah also had the distinguished honour of being the first Foreign Minister of Pakistan and in that capacity he eminently served the cause of the Muslims in Kashmir and Palestine. After the most disgusting legislation of 1974, when Bhutto declared Ahmadis to be non-Muslims and then the shameful Ordinance passed by General Zia ul Haq in 1984, the wife of the first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan, had this to say as reported in the Daily Dawn, Karachi, July 10th 1985:


“During the past one year, Newspapers have reported murders of Ahmadi notables in mysterious circumstances. More recently, hundreds of arrests have been made of members of this peace loving Community. Those arrested have been reportedly subjected to physical torture, while the charge against them is usually that of wearing Kalima Tayabba badges. This situation deserves to be condemned forthrightly without any reservations. It is known history that while the Ahmadiyya Community supported the cause of Pakistan, most of Mullah Community, their present persecutors, opposed the creation of Pakistan tooth and nail. The two great Quaids, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan, appreciated the contribution of Ahmadis towards the Muslim cause and recognised it by appointing Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrullah Khan as the first Foreign Minister of Pakistan. In those great days, Pakistan had not been reduced to a theocratic State, and not only Muslims, regardless of the auxiliary beliefs, but even Hindus, were given Cabinet posts. The rights of minorities and small groups were not paid just lip service, but were protected with deliberate effort.” (Daily Dawn, Karachi, July 10th 1985)


Soon after the formation of Pakistan, the Ahmadiyya community raised a voluntary ‘Furqan Force Battalion’ for deployment on the Kashmir border.


The Battalion was placed at the disposal of the Commander in Chief of the Pakistan Army on 10th July 1948. Some of the Army Officers in this Ahmadi unit were Major Waqiuz-Zaman, Major Hamidullah and Capt. Nehmatullah Sharif. The entire cost of maintaining Furqan Force Battalion at the Kashmir front was borne by the Amadiyya community. The Furqan Force Battalion established a high reputation for discipline, courage, bravery and an eager spirit of service and sacrifice.


The Ahmadiyya community has always been at the forefront of services in the cause of the freedom of Muslims, particularly the Palestinian Arabs. This was acknowledged by the ‘Nawa-e-Waqt’ Magazine of 6th March 1982. It stated:“In their struggle to win their freedom, the Arab nations were fully represented by Zafrullah Khan at the International Forum of the UN General Assembly.”


Appreciating the Ahmadiyya community’s services to the Muslims of Tunisia, Morocco, Iran, Egypt and Jordan, the famous Egyptian leader Al Sayad Mustafa Momin stated in an interview to the Associated Press of Pakistan published in various Pakistani Newspapers of 24th and 25th March 1952: “Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrullah Khan holds an enviable position in the world of Islam. He is looked upon as a top most Statesman in the Middle East in general and in Egypt and other Arab countries in particular. By his forceful support of Tunisia, Morocco, Iran and Egypt at the United Nations, he has served the cause of Islam in a way no other leader has been able to do so.”


Of the many Ahmadis who have rendered selfless sacrifices to the nation of Pakistan, the eminent one is Dr. Abdus Salam who was a world renowned nuclear physicist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Nuclear Physics. His significant contributions towards the development of scientific research in Nuclear Physics have been universally acknowledged.


Commending Dr Salam’s services, Mr. Ishrat Usmani once the Chairman of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, said:


“Most of the scientific effort in Pakistan is in a large measure due to Salam’s imagination and the weight of his personality. Salam is a symbol of the pride and prestige of our nation in the world of science.”


General Ayub Khan appointed Dr. Salam as Chief Scientific Advisor to the President of Pakistan (1961-1974). Dr. Salam was also the founder and Chairman of the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Committee (1961-1964).


Dr. Abdus Salam served as a Scientific Secretary at the first Atoms for Peace Conference convened by the UN in Geneva, Switzerland. Later, he also served the cause of world science as the Director of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy.


In recognition of his unique services, in addition to the Nobel Prize, Dr. Salam was awarded several other prizes from 19 different nations.


It is very unfortunate for Pakistan that on account of submission to Islamic extremism, fanaticism, and Mullah hatred against Ahmadis, Pakistan, by passing legislation in 1974 declaring Ahmadis non-Muslims , lost the unique services to the country of its two distinguished sons, Sir Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrullah Khan and Dr. Abdus Salam.


The prejudice against Ahmadis was so strong, that even after the demise of Dr. Abdus Salam, the Government removed the word ‘Muslim’ engraved on his epitaph. What a disgrace and what a shame!


However, such acts of animosity and ruthless discrimination have never deterred Ahmadis from serving and sacrificing for Pakistan.


The Ahmadiyya community offered to the Pakistan Army 15000 soldiers and 199 Officers who were well trained in the battlefield during the Second World War. They offered unique sacrifices in the cause of the motherland. In this article, only a sampling of their valiant and splendid services can be mentioned.


Major Gen. Akhtar Hussain Malik’s extraordinary planning and speedy execution put the rival troops to flight in the Chamb Sector during the 1965 War with India. Brigadier Abdul Ali Malik stood like a rock in the path of the heaviest armoured advance of the elite Indian War machine.


Squadron Leader Khalifa Muniruddin Ahmad served in the Air Force with great distinction. Thousands of Ahmadi officers and ranks in the Armed Forces of Pakistan helped in the defence of the motherland. The names of Major Munir Ahmad and Major Qazi Bashir also stand out prominently. There are countless examples of the valour and the dauntless courage of many Ahmadi soldiers standing tall with their comrades in arms. Other Ahmadis whose loyalty and devotion were inspiration included Gen. Chaudhry Ahmad, Gen. Iftikhar Janjua and Air Marshall Nasir Zafar Chaudhry.


Today, the Ahmadiyya Muslims are doing all that they can to appease the suffering of humanity, to appease poverty, and provide health facilities, education, clean drinking water, alternative energy sources and training in skills leading to economic development in Africa, Asia, the Far East, the Pacific and other Regions of the world. They have established a special unit, Humanity First, to respond to all such needs and also to natural disasters and catastrophes. For the moral and spiritual education of the world they run a Satellite Television Station (MTA), which broadcasts in seven languages around the clock every single day.


Such is this community, with love for all and hatred for none, serving Islam and humanity devotedly with the determination to raise the banner of Islam and the dignity of humanity all over the world and do whatever it can for the welfare and wellbeing of all, without any discrimination whatsoever.


The Ahmadiyya Muslims have won respect and admiration from all sections of the world community for their loyalty and peace loving practices. They have a golden heart for humanity. They have a track record of people who are honest, hardworking, innovative, reliable, responsible, and with high morals. They are a treasure for the nation wherever they are, but unfortunately Pakistan has shelved this treasure of human resources on account of sheer, meaningless, damaging religious prejudice, extremism and hatred by passing deliberate legislation and ordinances against Ahmadis.


Alas! Pakistan would open its eyes at this very critical juncture in its history and get the Ahmadiyya Muslims on board to extinguish the rising flames of terrorism, corruption and devastating situation of law and order in the country.


Dr. Ayaz is the Consul General of Tuvalu in the United Kingdom. He is also the Senator of World Nations Congress, the Director of World Media Forum, Vice Chancellor International Academy of Letters, USA, Universal Peace Federation Ambassador of Peace and a member on the UN Committee for the Rights of Minorities


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