Means of Peace
Address delivered by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba), Khalifatul Masih V, Head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim community to German guests on the second day of Jalsa Salana Germany (Annual Convention) on 26 June 2010 in Mannheim, Germany.
After reciting Tashahhud, T‘awwuz and Bismillah, Hudhur(aba) said:
“All our brothers; guests present here today – Assalamu ‘Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahe Wa Barakatohu – peace and blessings of Allah be upon you all.
I have been asked by our National President, Abdullah Wagishauser Sahib, to say a few words before our German brothers, who are not of our community but have close relations with the Jama’at or the members of the Jama’at.
I will talk today about the word peace. Peace is one of those things that the world has always searched for, and this is true in this age as well. Both on an individual level and national basis, people and governments of every country are also in search of peace and are making every effort to attain it.
The poor think that the rich have peace of mind and are content. Upon closer analysis, however, we see that the rich are just as restless and distressed; and whosoever is restless and distressed cannot be deemed to be in a peaceful state. On a national basis, the same is true for the underdeveloped, developing and developed countries.
Because of the modern modes of transport and the media, the world today has become a global village, and so this lack of peace can be openly seen in every part of the world.
In some places the economic crisis has caused distress; although perhaps not in a state of famine, but the absence of the latest means for the ease of life and capital goods for comfort in the world today are causing restlessness. In the rich countries, although there is no famine, no drought and no lack of food, the means of life, of easy life, are lacking for quite a number of people do not have these means. When various equipments and facilities are advertised in the media it further incites the desire of the people. This not only causes restlessness among the poor, but also causes restlessness in the middle classes of the more affluent or well to do countries. This anxiety results in restlessness, and this restlessness affects peace at home.
Here in Germany a survey has shown that even though strict divorce laws exist, divorces are on the increase. One cause of this is – as the self-survey shows – unemployment and non-fulfilment of material desires. I feel this is quite right an observation. Moreover, rows between politicians and people running the governments also result in restlessness in a country.
In the race to create different blocs in the world, various governments try to make aid agreements with other countries that affect the economy of their own countries, and this causes restlessness amongst the common public and then destroys peace. Examples can be seen amongst the people of the developed countries, and Germany is by no means exempt from this.
In today’s world the market slump and financial crisis has caused anxiety amongst the common people and has destroyed the peace of governments as well.
In short, from the domestic to national and international level a state of restlessness prevails and everyone wants to escape from it.
Their restlessness at heart is not only due to the economic crisis, but even many well-off people are in reality victims of this anxiety. Even though they have all the worldly means for comfort, they cannot attain peace in their hearts.
In this short time I cannot say much but express a few words on this state of affairs.
External tension and the desire for peace, and anxiety within and the desire for peace can be seen in every place and at every level. So, neither internal peace is prevailing among the people nor is external peace. Either the world should try and strive for external peace so that the people can come out of that state of anxiety and tension and make their lives peaceful, or the world should try and strive for internal peace so that the people can come out of that state and make their lives peaceful.
But how can such peace be attained?
Despite the majority of the world harbouring a desire for peace and wanting comfort, this is one question for which the world does not want to hear its solution. Or if the people want to attain the solution and live in comfort, they are not ready to follow the way that can lead to its attainment – this way is just as easy as it is difficult, and this principle and the solution are mentioned in the Holy Qur’an by the Creator of this world. The Qur’an says:
…it is in the remembrance of Allah that hearts can find comfort. (Ch.13:V.29)
Mankind today is far-removed and negligent of the remembrance of God in the true sense. Some deny the existence of God altogether. This is why they do not wish to pay any attention to it.
Others think that religion is the cause of restlessness in the world. Although they believe in the existence of the Creator of this world, but due to a lack of understanding of true religious teachings, or due to the incorrect interpretation by those who have the knowledge of religion and are thought to be scholars, they hold (these people who are against religion hold) religion responsible for the disorder and the problems that have arisen in the world, and also for causing the gulf amongst the religions to widen. This has caused a group to become disinterested with religion and faith.
If we reflect, then it becomes manifestly clear that if the world and the Creator of the world are one, and He has created all mankind, and if all religions have come from Him, then the apparent restlessness and anxiety among people should not exist.
In reality there is not a widening gap. Prophets were sent to all nations; some of them told us about the prophets that would follow, and some told us about a final prophet at whose hand the world would unite so that no difference amongst religions should remain.
According to our belief, this last prophet was the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him; but he was not taught to use force to convert whosoever did not believe in him. In fact, the full verse of the Holy Qur’an is as follows:
There should be no compulsion in religion. Surely, right has become distinct from wrong; so whosoever refuses to be led by those who transgress, and believes in Allah, has surely grasped a strong handle which knows no breaking. And Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (Ch.2:V.257)
Therefore, it is clear that according to the prophecies of the past prophets, this prophet has also come from that same God Who sent prophets before in the world. He came so the world should unite and become one people and so that peace in the world could be guaranteed.
However, this verse clearly states that if someone does not accept this, then remember that ‘there should be no compulsion in religion’.
And this practice was followed by the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his rightly guided Successors and those Muslims who had religious knowledge, or I should say rather, true religious knowledge and did good works. They only took up the sword when cruelties had exceeded all limits and then only when, as a last resort, war was forced upon them.
If we examine this teaching to not use force, we find that it does not stop here, but it further adds that you should explain to the oppressor, who in the name of religion is being cruel to you, that you and we are after all the creation of God. The Prophet and Book which you believe in are also from God. And the religion, Prophet and Book in which we believe in are also from that same God. If you are mistaken in understanding the message of God according to your book, then all right, do not accept this last Prophet, but by sticking to this point do not destroy the peace of the world. Come to create an atmosphere of love and affection. Let us gather on the values we share. And the ultimate common value is the Entity of God Almighty. God Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an:
Say, ‘O People of the Book! Come to a word equal between us and you – that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partner with Him, and that some of us take not others for Lords beside Allah.’ But if they turn away, then say, ‘Bear witness that we have submitted to God.’ (Ch.3:V.65)
This teaching is such that it removes malice and hatred in the heart. In fact, this feeling will emerge forcefully that despite differences of religion, we are the creation of One Creator and Lord. So to win the pleasure of the Creator, live as one by removing all religious differences and putting human values foremost, so that we can become united against that devil who wants to destroy the peace of the world.
Today, another factor playing a major role in destroying the peace of the world is that some people think that because they are intelligent, well-educated and liberated they are free to ridicule founders of religions and they think there is no harm in making any kind of fun and mockery against them. This is not freedom, but, in the name of freedom, this is an ugly stain on the face of humanity. This is similar to destroying human values. This is an unsuccessful effort to remove the restlessness and anxiety in one’s heart and it is like playing with someone’s dignity.
When even if the most shameless person reacts against these actions, it is obvious that he will react in the wrong way to take revenge. This is an attempt to cause harm and loss, and then new avenues of disorder are opened.
I believe that the Muslims of today who do not have proper leadership and who adopt a wrong attitude at certain times do so as a direct result of this incitement. And that group which wants to serve its own vested interest is exploiting this for its benefit.
One may well wonder that if peace can be attained by belief in the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, then why is there a lack of peace amongst Muslims or the Muslim groups? As I have said previously that following the time of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of God be upon him, peace prevailed as long as Muslims followed the true teachings of Islam and maintained an earnest desire for peace.
Secondly, after the demise of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, evils began to take root with the passage of time. This is something that has occurred in every religion and the same happened with Islam. Self-serving causes and scholars led the Muslims astray by exploiting them, but Islam did not rest its case there. The law and customs of the world follow the laws of nature.
The Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, had foretold about this state of the Muslims. He had also prescribed the remedy; that in such circumstances, at such time, a Promised Messiah and Reformer will appear in my people who will gather Muslims and will work on removing their evils. The Muslims who gather at his hand, and even those non-Muslims who gather at his hand, will follow those teachings which are the real teachings of Islam and which guarantee peace in the world. The 120 years history of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community bears testimony to this; as a community we always try to establish peace in the world.
Very recently a massacre occurred at the Ahmadiyya Mosques in Lahore in which 86 Ahmadis were martyred and many were injured. In keeping with the true teachings of Islam, we have not come out onto the streets in protest, even though Ahmadis come from the same people of Pakistan who take up arms on petty matters and who march on roads in violent protest and destroy national assets. However, having understood the true teachings of our faith enabled us to react with patience and tolerance and to live within the limits of the law.
So long as the guidance in the form of Khilafat remains in the Ahmadiyya community, no disorderly reaction will ever be displayed. We believe that the God who has fulfilled the promise of Khilafat will also fulfil the promise that peace in the world will only be established through Khilafat. You may consider this the wishful thinking of a religious leader, but I say with firm conviction that the world will see this fulfilled one day, InshaAllah (God Willing).
Therefore, as I said before, external and internal peace are the two most important matters of which the world is in search, but external peace cannot be established until there is peace within. So, if we want to make the world an abode of peace, then you should look for the ways to establish peace within your heart. When man makes internal peace the means of acquiring external peace, then irrespective of religion, creed or colour, every person will have feelings of sympathy for all others, as without this, peace cannot be established.
Man generally desires peace for himself but not for his opponents. A man desires peace for himself, and that he should remain free from economic problems, and that his wife and children should be able to live in peace and that his country should not face any kind of disorder, crisis, restlessness or war, but he will not have these desires for his opponents. In fact, he will not desire this for anyone else to the extent he desires it for himself. As I have said before, this is all because of the fact that man has become far-removed from his Creator.
When the belief is established that there is an Omnipotent Higher Authority, Who is above us and Who is the Creator of whatever is in the heaven and the earth, and Who is watching every action, and that Supreme Being desires that peace should not be established for any particular individual – I should make it clear again – that Supreme Being desires that peace should not be established for any particular individual, but, in fact, desires that it will spread throughout the world. That Supreme Being does not want peace for any specific country, but desires it for all countries of the world.
So one should broaden one’s mind for the sake of the Creator of the entire Creation, just as for himself; until this way of thinking and belief is established, peace cannot be secured for the world.
It is clear that the battles and disorder that prevail in the world are all due to the bad intentions of people. To establish peace in the world, the League of Nations was created, but due to some ill-intentions, after only twenty years the world was engulfed in another World War.
Then there is the United Nations (UNO), a body whose ill-intentions became obvious from its outset when it allocated a veto power to certain superpowers. The superpowers adopted certain principles for themselves and different ones for other weaker countries. Can peace be established in this way?
Furthermore, Islam teaches us that if one country wrongly attacks another, then other neighbouring countries should try to make peace between them with equity. Do not exceed the limits to punish the cruel after ending the war.
Only a peace treaty and appropriate punishment should occur but never to the extent that many are deprived of their rights; for example, by usurping their land and taking over their resources. Such acts will undoubtedly create a reaction that will destroy peace – the German people are well-aware of this fact.
Therefore, whenever worldly people who are far-removed from God prescribe rules and regulations, there will certainly be some flaws in them.
If, according to the commandment ‘choosing for others what you choose for yourself’ is not properly practised, real brotherhood and peace cannot be done. It can only be made when, instead of moving away from the One God, we try to attain the nearness of God Almighty.
We, Ahmadi Muslims, sincerely believe and spread this message that true peace cannot be established without believing in the One God.
In our prayers, when we regularly proclaim that all praise belongs to God, Who is Lord of all the Worlds, it means that He is the Sustainer of whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth. He is such a Praiseworthy God Who takes care of the Christians. He is the One Who takes care of the Jews and He is the One Who takes care of the Muslims and He also takes care of other religions. In the same way He takes care of Asians; He takes care of Africans; He takes care of the Europeans and also those who dwell on the Islands.
When it becomes our way of thinking that our relations with all countries is based on our relationship with God Almighty, then we will find the Glory of God in every creature. And then certainly one can bear no enmity or hostility against anyone else. One will not bear any malice in his heart for any nation or person, because it is not possible that, on the one hand, a person worships the One God, and on the other, he bears hatred and grudges in his heart. This is the true internal, beautiful peace that when established in our hearts guarantees every kind of external peace.
Therefore, to blame religion to be the root of restlessness and disorder, without rhyme or reason, is an allegation raised against God due to a misunderstanding of God’s message.
The subject of peace is so vast that one cannot do justice to it in such a short time. I have only indicated a few hints in the hope and prayer that you will ponder over it. The Ahmadiyya Muslim community is trying to spread human values and the existence of God all over the world.
I am most thankful to all of you who have spared your precious time and who came here to attend this function.
Thank you very much.”