Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Concludes 42nd Lajna Imaillah Ijtema UK With Inspiring Address

28 September 2021

“We are living in a time of ever-rising materialism and worldliness where, despite being intelligent and despite having eyes to see with, most people are living a life of spiritual and moral blindness in which they consider anything that shimmers or glistens to be made of gold.”

“The world will be forced to admit that the riches of the world have left them spiritually penniless and morally bankrupt.”

On 26 September 2021, the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad delivered a faith inspiring address from the MTA studios in Islamabad to conclude the National Ijtema (Annual Gathering) of Lajna Imaillah UK, the ladies auxiliary organisation of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

The 2-day event took place at the Baitul Futuh Mosque in London and was attended physically by just under 3,800 women and girls from across the UK.

During the concluding address, His Holiness spoke about several key issues facing the world today including the dangers of materialism, social media, freedom of religion, the means of positive integration of immigrants and the role of Ahmadi Muslims to convey Islam’s peaceful teachings across the world.

During his address, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad spoke about the immense technological advancements that have taken place in this modern age, particularly in the area of mass communication.

Reflecting on the pace at which these changes have occurred, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“In today’s world, human knowledge and understanding has rapidly progressed in all secular fields and, as a result, communication is now extremely advanced and easy in comparison to previous eras. Distances have eroded through modern means of travel and through the various means of electronic and digital communication, such as the telephone, radio, television and the internet. This technological revolution that has taken place would not have seemed plausible even half a century ago. The rapid advance of communication, through the development of the smartphone and other smart technologies, could not have been envisaged even ten or fifteen years ago.”

Explaining the impact that these advancements have had on society, His Holiness outlined how in the blink of an eye people living in remote parts of the world can connect with others from around the world and that, this had enabled people to “exhibit and promote their beliefs, values and culture” to people across the globe.

His Holiness also explained that such technological advancements have not only been a force for good but have fuelled materialism and aggravated tensions in society.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“When they, who are living the most impoverished of lives, see the precipitous development and the luxuries afforded to those living in other parts of the world, it naturally leads to feelings of restlessness and grief at their own desperate plight. Therefore, where satellite technology and the internet has turned the world into a global village, it cannot be said that it has only proven a force for good.”

His Holiness explained that modern technologies were exacerbating rifts in society between the rich and the poor.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“At a time when mankind considers itself more civilised and developed than ever before, the reality is that majority of people in the world are continuing to live at the base poverty level or even below it. Adding petrol to the fire of their torment is the fact that they are now constantly exposed to images of the affluent lifestyles and immense purchasing power of people in developed countries, whilst buying even the most basic essentials for their families remains a daily struggle for them.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad further stated:

“Thus, instead of bridging the gaps that exist in society, modern technology has served only to shine a glaring light on the inequalities and injustices that exist. In turn, this has naturally fermented feelings of anguish, anxiety and discontent amongst those who are forced to endure great adversitySo, where on the one hand, rich governments and their people reassure themselves that satellite television and the internet is providing people living in poor countries with entertainment, the reality is that the technology has served to drive an even greater wedge between the haves and the have nots.”

His Holiness also shone light on the rising issue of materialism and all-encompassing consumerism that continues to erode the social and moral fabric of society.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“We are living in a time of ever-rising materialism and worldliness where, despite being intelligent and despite having eyes to see with, most people are living a life of spiritual and moral blindness in which they consider anything that shimmers or glistens to be made of gold. They fail to realise how superficial they have become and remain ignorant of the far-reaching consequences and harm caused by rampant materialism.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:

“They will see how all that they have considered as good and progressive has actually triggered a spiritual and moral malaise the like of which perhaps the world has never seen before. They will be forced to admit that the riches of the world have left them spiritually penniless and morally bankrupt.”

His Holiness went on to explain that this spiritual corrosion and seething sense of greed is also having a negative impact on mental well-being.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Increasingly, people are suffering from anxiety, depression and other mental health issues on a far greater scale than ever before. It is my firm belief that the root cause of this is that they have been trapped by their materialistic pursuits and cravings and, above all, because they have abandoned faith in God Almighty. We are living in a world where no matter how rich someone is, they always want more. Instead of being grateful for what they have, they are preoccupied by what they do not.  Where men have been corrupted by an extreme desire for wealth, women are also certainly involved in this unholy race.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:

“These vain pursuits serve only to increase frustration and anxiety and are leading mankind towards darkness rather than to enlightenment. If people living in the under-developed world are being adversely affected by what they see on TV or the internet, we can only imagine how much harm is being inflicted on people living here at the very epicentre of materialism, greed and consumer culture.”

His Holiness also spoke about the need for parents to be mindful of what children are watching and consuming through the plethora of available media platforms in the modern day.

His Holiness said that it is an “extremelyharrowing state of affairs” whereby parents are often wholly unaware of the damaging content their children are viewing on their phones and tablets, all the while hiding from their parents.

Drawing particular attention to the potential detriments of social media and their impact on children, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“It is common knowledge that these [social media] platforms are constructed in a way that makes them addictive and, just like any addiction, the results are often horrific.  For example, very recently, a report by the Wall Street Journal found that Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, tried to cover up its own internal study because it proved that access to its platform was causing huge levels of anxiety and other dangerous mental health issues amongst children and teenagers. It found that amongst those children in the UK who had suicidal thoughts, 13% admitted that it was their use of Instagram that had driven them to consider taking their own life.”

His Holiness also spoke about the need for Ahmadi Muslims to stay true to their identity and objectives, particularly as many Ahmadi Muslims living in the Western world have migrated here as a result of fleeing religious persecution in other countries.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“All Ahmadi Muslims living in the comfort of the West, should recognise their good fortune and realise that a great religious responsibility lies upon their shoulders. The very reason for your coming here or your parents or grandparents was so you would be able to practice your religion freely and so it is incumbent upon you to strive to fulfil this objective rather than becoming immersed in the material ways of Western nations.”

Speaking particularly about the plight of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Irrespective of their place in society, whether working as businessmen, professionals, labourers or if they are in education, Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan continue to be the victims of grave persecution and injustice. Even very small Ahmadi Muslim children, in Year 1 or Year 2, are being harassed by other children or their teachers and this is having a damaging effect on them.  In terms of higher education, certain professors and members of faculty at Pakistani universities are filled with venomous anti-Ahmadi prejudice and bigotry.”

 

Expounding further on the need for Ahmadi Muslims to stay true to their principles whilst taking full advantage of the freedom available here in the West, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Remember why you have this chance and never forget who you are, rather take pride in your faith and religion. Where you strive to excel in your studies, you must also remember that your faith should take precedence over all worldly and material matters. If your priorities are in order, you will live your lives in a way to be proud of and you will also prove to be of benefit to this country. Strive to be a good citizen and, to achieve this, you must utilise your capabilities, faculties and skills for the benefit of others and play your role in building a better and more harmonious society.”

Shining a guiding light on the concept of integration, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“You should seek to integrate but, as I have said in the past, integrating and contributing to your country does not require you to violate your moral compass and forsake your religious values. Rather, the way to successfully integrate into Western nations is to contribute to the success of the nation, whilst maintaining your religious identity. Indeed, this should be the hallmark and distinguishing feature of Ahmadi Muslims living in the West. Sacrificing your moral standards and values is not going to help your country in any way.”

Speaking of the damaging long-term impact of wide-spread immorality, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“The tragic reality is that those who consider themselves the most civilised and progressive people of the modern world fail to understand the immense harm and far-reaching consequences of the immodesty and vulgarity that pervades today’s society… God knows better when, but one day, they will surely realise the error of their ways and will admit that liberalism has gone too far but, by then, it will be extremely difficult for them to re-establish higher morals in society. Thus, it is the duty of all Ahmadi Muslims to ensure that they stand up for what is right and to have the courage of their convictions.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad further stated:

“If we are successful in achieving this then, when others come to realise their mistakes, we will be ready to guide them and to present them an alternative and better system of morals. Certainly, I hope and pray that our Community will be there to protect society and to arrest its moral decline before it reaches the point of no return.” 

Speaking about the attainment of true contentment and inner peace, His Holiness referred to Chapter 13, Verse 29 of the Holy Quran in which Allah the Almighty states:

“Aye! It is in the remembrance of Allah that hearts can find comfort.”

Explaining the application of this verse in today’s day and age, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Certainly, the glitz and glamour of the world can never provide true and lasting contentment, no matter how attractive it appears at first sight. As we ponder over this verse, we know that it is not just a claim of the Holy Quran, rather the lived experience of the righteous and God-fearing members of our community testifies to the fact that true contentment and inner peace is attained through the worship and remembrance of Allah and not through worthless forms of recreation or superficial means of entertainment.”

His Holiness outlined that whilst recreation and exercise were certainly of benefit to living a healthy lifestyle, however advised that such activities that ‘increase a person’s lust for material things’ must be avoided.

Likening such fruitless activities and engagements to ‘salty seawater,’ Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Indeed, superficial and ostentatious pursuits are akin to salty seawater, which instead of quenching one’s thirst, serves only to increase it. A person lacking intelligence and wisdom will keep drinking from the cup of salt-water expecting that it will eventually satiate his thirst. Needless to say, it can never quench a person’s thirst, rather it will slowly poison him and ultimately cause his death.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:

“Alternatively, the best water is that which comes down from the heavens in the shape of rain and which is the means of our life and existence. That fresh water gives life to the soil beneath us and is the means of sustaining all forms of life…we should seek to immerse ourselves in that heavenly, spiritual water that is life-giving and which purifies our soul. It is that sweet water that will sustain us and grant us peace of mind and it can only be attained through the nearness of Allah and by following His commands.”

Speaking to the convention, His Holiness gave guidance on the importance of modesty as a core tenet of Islamic faith.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Ahmadi Muslim women and girls should always remember that, in the name of fashion or following the latest trends, they should not sacrifice their modesty… Ahmadi Muslim women should pay careful attention to protecting their modesty and chastity. Failing to do so is to violate the commands of Allah and those limits established by Islam for the sake of protecting the dignity and virtue of Muslim women.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:

“Keep in mind, that any limits placed upon you by Islam are a means of guarding your honour and protecting you from the everyday risks that exist in society, where women are constantly harassed, abused and exploited.”

His Holiness also laid particular emphasis on the importance of dressing modestly and that Ahmadi Muslim women should never feel any form of complex or insecurity as a result of this.

Speaking to Ahmadi Muslim women, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“You should set an example of modesty for others to learn from and demonstrate your power, confidence and self-worth through the manifestation of your faith.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:

“Certainly, if you have self-confidence and are free from all complexes about your religion it will cast wide open the doors to Tabligh (propagation of the message of Islam) and the spread of Islam in this part of the world, Insha’Allah (God willing).”

Nearing the end of his address, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Always remember that you must not only shield yourselves and your children but you must also play a great and prominent role in conveying the message of Islam throughout the world. It should be your lifelong objective to win the hearts and minds of humanity so that one day, Insha’Allah (God willing), the people of the world will all join as one under the banner of the Holy Prophet of Islam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:

“This is the great task given to the Community of the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) by Allah the Almighty and it is the foremost duty of Ahmadi Muslim men and women to serve wholeheartedly in this cause.  If we want to rise to this challenge and to bring about a spiritual revolution in the world, we must first start by reforming ourselves.”

Concluding his inspiring address, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad stated:

“It is up to us to bring about a moral and spiritual revolution in the world and so train your children so that they grow to be ready to take up the mantle of serving the mission of the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him). May Allah enable all of you to fulfil your duties in the best way and may you all prove to be shining stars of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. May Allah the Almighty continue to bless Lajna Imaillah in all respects. Ameen.”

The Ijtema concluded with a silent prayer led by His Holiness.

https://www.pressahmadiyya.com/press-releases/2021/09/head-of-ahmadiyya-muslim-community-concludes-42nd-lajna-imaillah-ijtema-uk-with-inspiring-address/