Muslim leader says justice is a pre-requisite to conflict resolution

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Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad addresses Canada’s first National Peace Symposium

On 22 October 2016, the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad delivered the keynote address at the 1st National Peace Symposium hosted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Canada.

The event was held at the Baitul Islam Mosque in Peace Village, Vaughan, with an audience of over 600 people, comprising government officials, including the Mayor of Vaughan, Hon. Maurizio Bevilacqua, Member of Parliament, Deb Schulte, and City Councillor, Marilyn Iafrate.

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During his keynote address, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was an entirely peaceful sect of Islam because it followed the true teachings of Islam. Hence it should not be considered to be a ‘liberal’ or ‘reformist’ group.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“It is absolutely true that we, Ahmadi Muslims, are peace-loving and seek to build bridges of love and hope between different religions and different communities.  However, this is not because we have deviated from Islam or ‘modernised’ it in any shape or form. Rather, it is because we follow Islam’s authentic teachings.”

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His Holiness referred to a saying of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), that Muslims should love for others what they love for themselves. His Holiness said this principle laid down the foundations for peace and it was incumbent on Muslims to reflect upon this.

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Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Do we have ambitions to be mired in poverty and to go to bed hungry every night? Do we want our children to be plagued by ill-health, to be uneducated and to be placed in danger? Of course, no normal person would ever hope for any of these things. Therefore, as Muslims, we must seek prosperity not only for ourselves but also for others.”

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His Holiness said that conflicts arose between people and nations from time to time, however rather than prioritising self-interest, they ought to be resolved with justice and fairness.

The Caliph referred to chapter 4, verse 136 of the Holy Quran that requires a Muslim to be willing to testify against himself, his parents and his loved ones in order to establish justice.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

Islam teaches that a Muslim’s first loyalty must always be to the truth and so a person must never hide the facts or give false testimony. A person should not be governed by his own personal desires, as this leads to bias and prejudice and takes a person away from what is fair and what is right. This enlightened principle is the means to solve the problems of the world and to transform all forms of hatred into peace, tolerance and mutual respect.”

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His Holiness said that Muslims are in fact commanded to go beyond the level of adopting justice. The Holy Quran says that a person should “give like kindred”.

Explaining this teaching, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

It means that a person should offer sympathy and compassion and be willing to serve others without any expectation, just as a mother serves and selflessly nourishes her child without any desire for reward or recompense. This is the altruistic and benevolent spirit that Islam advocates and teaches, wherein it calls on Muslims to open their hearts for the good of mankind.”

Referring to the treatment of prisoners of war, His Holiness said that in the modern world it was often the case that prisoners were kept in inhumane conditions with little or no recourse to justice.

In complete contrast, His Holiness narrated the example of the Battle of Badrwhere the non-Muslims of Mecca waged a war against Islam.

The Muslims were victorious and the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) instructed the prisoners or war that could read and write to educate the Muslims who were illiterate. This was their means of freedom.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

It was an incomparable example of how even from amongst a state of bitter war and conflict some good could ultimately be retrieved. Those who had themselves shown no mercy towards the Muslims were treated with compassion and consideration and utilised as teachers.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:

“This example exhibited two beautiful aspects to the character of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). On the one hand, he was neither vengeful nor bitter towards those who had persecuted him and his followers. Secondly, it proved how highly he valued education and learning. He desired for people to better themselves and to progress in all spheres of their lives and education was the key to this.”

Highlighting the Quranic teaching of not casting envious looks at the wealth of others, His Holiness said that ignoring this principle had led to world’s peace being undermined time and time again.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Some governments completely ignore the human rights abuses taking place in countries because they wish to have access to the oil or natural resources of those nations. However, members of the public are not blind, deaf or dumb. They can see that such policies are not based on justice and naturally this leads to frustration and anger.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:

“Nations must be fair in their dealings and should not be governed by narrow self-interest but rather by what is right, what is just, and what is in the interest of the world at large.” 

Concluding his address, His Holiness warned of the possibility of an imminent Third World War.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“We are charging madly towards a catastrophic and devastating world war. The consequences of such a war do not bear thinking about. The misery, horror and destruction could last for generations to come. Therefore, we can only hope and pray that Allah the Almighty grants wisdom and sense to humanity.”

Prior to the keynote address, various dignitaries spoke about the importance of peace and the efforts of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

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Lal Khan Malik, the National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Canada said:

“This Symposium is being held to promote a deeper understanding of Islam and inspire a concerted effort for lasting peace. We have the honour of launching our first national Peace Symposium today here with a keynote address by His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat.”

Hon. Maurizio Bevilacqua, the Mayor of Vaughan said:

“When I think about you, Your Holiness, I think about your incredible message; the message of peace, love and compassion, and also something the world needs a lot more of – that is, interfaith dialogue and interreligious harmony.”

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Deb Schulte, MP said:

“I want to thank His Holiness very much for taking the time to come to Parliament Hill (on 17 October). He gave a wonderful speech with a message of love for all and hatred for none, focusing on religious tolerance around the world. He also included several suggestions on policy direction that we might want to take and we very much appreciate the time that he took to share his wisdom with us.”

City Councillor, Marilyn Lafrate presented a gift to His Holiness to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Canada and said:

“Most people will know that I am probably the most ardent champion of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. A Community that speaks to love, speaks to tolerance, speaks to giving back to the community which is very unique.”

After the event’s proceedings, His Holiness met personally with dozens of guests and dignitaries.

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