More than 35,000 attend and 96 countries represented The World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, has delivered a powerful and authoritative response to critics of Islam who blame the world’s problems on the religion. His Holiness made the comments during his concluding address at the 49th Jalsa Salana (Annual Convention) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the United Kingdom on Sunday, 23 August 2015.
Whilst delivering a comprehensive defence of Islam’s true teachings before an audience of over 35,000 gathered at Hadeeqatul Mahdi in Hampshire, His Holiness condemned all forms of terrorism and extremism as completely against the teachings of Islam. This year delegates from 96 countries attended the Jalsa Salana. Apart from the thousands of Ahmadi Muslims, many non-Ahmadi and non-Muslim guests and dignitaries attended the three-day convention. One of the highlights of the Jalsa Salana was the pledge of allegiance, known as the Bai’at that took place on Sunday afternoon, where the participants pledged allegiance to Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad as the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph) of the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him). The participants formed a human chain leading to the Khalifa as they repeated the words of the pledge in unison.
In his concluding address, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad rejected the notion that religion was the cause of violence or warfare. His Holiness also said that amongst those who claimed Islam to be a religion of violence were people who continued to justify the deployment of nuclear weapons against Japan during the Second World War and those who had supported the failed military interventions in Libya in 2011 and Iraq in 2003 in which hundreds of thousands of innocent lives had been lost. Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said: “Many people in the developed world consider religion to be the primary cause of world disorder, however this is due to a misunderstanding of religion itself. The disorder and injustice we see around the world is not as a result of religion, rather it is being perpetrated by self-interest and greed. It is a result of people misusing the name of God to fulfill their vested interests, and it is also a result of the denial of the very existence of God.”
His Holiness recounted how recently an academic he met had stated that religion should evolve and adapt to suit the modern age and the latest cultural trends. Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad responded: “Religion is there to lead and guide humanity, not to follow people’s worldly desires. And so we believe in that book (the Holy Quran) which has been preserved for more than 1400 years and whose teaching is in every way perfect and complete. It is a teaching for the people of every age and every land!”
Speaking about the desperate state of much of the world, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said: “Today we are clearly seeing the fulfilment of the prophecy of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) in which he said a time would come when the Muslim clerics would not spread anything but ignorance, injustice and disorder and their words would be at complete odds with their deeds.” Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said that anti-Islamic powers were taking advantage of the widespread conflict within the Muslim world and were fanning the flames of fear and mistrust of Islam. Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said: “We see that the opponents of Islam are levelling false allegations against Islam as a matter of routine.
They are declaring Islam to be a religion of disorder and extremism whereas others are portrayed as the flag bearers of world peace and harmony.” Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued: “On the one hand we see that certain leaders or commentators say that Islam is not a violent religion, yet on the other hand they are also claiming that there is a link between Islam and extremism. Their remarks are contradictory and an attempt to placate all sides. Thus let me make it clear that no other teaching promotes peace and tolerance to the extent that Islam has championed.” Later in his address, His Holiness said that Islam teaches one to favour others and to prioritise their rights over one’s own rights. However, the major powers rarely sought to favour those who were vulnerable and any help or aid they gave was generally contingent on the fulfilment of certain conditions or criteria.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said that before objecting to Islamic teachings, those opposed to Islam should look to their own examples. His Holiness said that those who had dropped atomic bombs on Japan continued to feel no sorrow or shame. They continued to claim that the use of nuclear weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki were acts of bravery and honour, even though hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children were killed and generation and after generation had suffered the ill effects of those devastating attacks. His Holiness concluded ended his address by praying for world peace and for mankind to exhibit a spirit of true compassion and love for one other. Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said: “May Allah implant the sympathy and compassion that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) had for humankind in all of our hearts.”
The Jalsa Salana concluded with a silent prayer led by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad. Apart from the 5 addresses delivered by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, various other speakers and scholars took to the stage during the course of the three-day event. Various exhibitions were also on display including a photographic exhibition documenting the history of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, an exhibition displaying a replica of the Shroud of Turin and a human rights exhibition.