By Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, delivered on 14th January, 2005
O ye men, worship your Lord Who created you and those who were before you, that you may become righteous. (Al Surah Al-Baqarah 2:22)
He stressed the importance of different worships especially Salat and he went onto quoting an insightful quote from the Messiah of this age that links congregational prayer with Hajj. Promised Messiah(as) said: “Allah desires to make all of mankind as if they were all one person. This could also be called a democratic singularity. Under this concept the diverse mankind could be considered as one individual. The purpose of religion is also that the human race be united in the form of the beads of a Tasbeeh (rosary) through one thread. The congregational prayers or Salat is also for such unification so that all the worshipers are counted as one. The reason why we are prescribed to stand shoulder to shoulder is so that whoever has greater wisdom or spiritual charisma is able to influence the weak. It is hoped that spiritual influence of the wise will diffuse into the weak. The Hajj is also for the same plan. Allah started the plan of democratic singularity by instructing that all Muslims of a locality should say the five prayers in congregation in the local mosque. So that the moral qualities can be exchanged and the wisdom and light replaces weaknesses. By such interaction Muslims are introduced to each other and develop affection for each other. Such introduction is very important as that leads to affection which is the basis of the unification. … The second Divine instruction is that on Friday for the Friday prayer Muslims should gather in the main mosque of the township. It is hard for all the people of the town to get together on a daily basis. Therefore, it was suggested that all the citizens of a town should at least weekly get acquainted with each other and promote unity. By such a scheme, eventually, all of them will unite in one body or singularity. Then on an annual basis Allah has prescribed that the Eid prayers be said at a regional level so that acquaintance and affection grows wider and helps in the process of democratic singularity. In the same theme, for the unity of the whole world, Allah has prescribed, to perform Hajj at least once in one’s lifetime so that representatives of all people assemble together in the expanse of Mecca. In summary this is Allah’s desire that affection and love among mankind progresses.” (Malfoozat 4/5 p 100-101)
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An invitation to other religions: demonstrating human rights and Universal Brotherhood from their scriptures
By Zia H Shah MD
I was very happy to see the rescue of the 33 miners in Chile, in October of 2010, after an ordeal of more than two months. I noted all the international media focused on this and I wondered how wonderful our human community will become if we valued every human life regardless of race, religion or creed, with a similar zeal. I also wondered where do the human rights come from and what is the worth of an individual human life. This reminded me of a verse of the Holy Quran that declares the worth of human life to be priceless, it equates the saving of one life to the saving of the whole humanity:
“We (Allah) prescribed for the children of Israel that whosoever killed a person — unless it be for killing a person or for creating disorder in the land — it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and whoso gave life to one, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind.” (Al Surah Al-Ma'idah 5:33)
In what may be considered by others a self-indulgent thought, I rejoiced that the human rights and the dignity of human life comes from the Holy Quran. It seems self evident to me that followers of other religion will not agree, some may even violently disagree, but, here I suggest a peaceful solution. I will demonstrate the roots of the human rights and the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in my holy scripture, in my comments and the links that I offer here and I would plead that the Christians, the Jews, the Hindus and the Buddhists will reciprocate the favor and make their case from their respective scriptures.
The Holy Quran not only encourages rights of others and justice but prescribes unilateral goodness even in the face of evil:
“And who is better in speech than he who invites men to Allah and does good works and says, ‘I am surely of those who submit?’ And good and evil are not alike. Repel evil with that which is best. And lo, he between whom and thyself was enmity will become as though he were a warm friend.” (Al Surah Fussilat 41:34-35)
I suggest the 30 articles as a matrix or yard stick against which we choose to measure our respective scriptures. Let this Knol be a purist’s pursuit to demonstrate the elegance of his or her own scripture without maligning others. Let the race begin, and do not focus on just one article of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights, rather show how your scripture is in line with or better than all the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration!
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The Muslim Times
Alislam.org now has an International News Blog, covering secular as well as religious news, the Muslim Times. The Times aims at delivering a message of Universal Brotherhood. It already has more than a dozen Editors covering different countries and aims at covering each and every country, with a dedicated page, in near future God Willing! It will cover already published news and will have a broad scope:
The mission statement of the Muslim Times is to promote the Universal Brotherhood of mankind first presented in human history by the Holy Quran and spelled out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in secular terms, in recent history.
To see the homepage click here
Journey of man: A genetic odyssey, a documentary
By Spencer Wells
DNA is more than 99% similar among all humans, so all claims for discrimination, like caste system, polygenetic theory of human origin or some people being the ‘chosen people’ are only self indulgence. There is very little difference in the intellectual abilities of different races or families. The Journey of Man is a documentary by Spencer Wells, talks about our evolution, our recent history, and how we came to be to the way we are today. The story starts when ancestors of San bushman in Kalahari Desert in Namibia started migrating out of Africa some 50,000 years ago. The findings and data discussed in this documentary are in line with the Universal Brotherhood as expressed in the Quranic verse, “O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female; and We have made you into tribes and sub-tribes that you may know one another.” (Al Surah Al-Hujuraat 49:14)
To watch the documentary click here.
This tree of Homo sapiens here fits very well with another verse of the Holy Quran, “And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the diversity of your tongues and colors. In that surely are Signs for those who possess knowledge.” (Al Surah Ar-Rum 30:23)
It was very profound and prophetic that the Holy Quran linked the study of languages and ethnicity 14 centuries before it became obvious to the modern linguist and also mentioned in this verse that there are several Signs of Allah in the study of these subjects and their interrelation.
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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Islam
By Zia H Shah MD
With the election of a son of a Kenyan man to the highest office in USA we see gradual perfection of the vision expressed in the words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” But at the same time, suicidal bombings by terrorist, the outrageous violations of human rights in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, the indifference to the so called collateral damage in air bombings, have again rekindled the question as to what are the human rights and where do they come from. The events since September 11, 2001 have jolted every citizen of the planet earth with renewed quaking and put them on a quest to look for answers. Is life of an American more sacred than a non-American? What if he or she is a Muslim? Are all humans truly created equal? Where did the words, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal;’ come from? To one exposed to Western propaganda only these words came from the pen of President Thomas Jefferson, as he authored United States Declaration of Independence in 1776. But a more cultured Westerner may know what Wikipedia mentions, under the heading all men are created equal, “Many of the ideas in the Declaration were borrowed from the English liberal political philosopher John Locke.” But that is where Western scholarship ends. Locke lived in the seventeenth and eighteenth century. Such is the dissociation of the Western writers in terms of ignoring the beauties of Islam, that they can attribute all such liberal ideas with a straight face to Western philosophers, despite the fact the Muslim literature has been replete with mention of the Holy Prophet Muhammad saying to a crowd of more than a hundred thousand people, at the time of the final pilgrimage, an event that itself symbolizes human equality, “All of you are equal. All men, whatever nation or tribe they may belong to, and whatever station in life they may hold, are equal. Allah has made you brethren one to another, so be not divided. An Arab has no preference over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab over an Arab; nor is a white one to be preferred to a dark one, nor a dark one to a white one.” The whole of his sermon is recorded in history and has been more famous and cherished than the Gettysburg address in the Muslim world over the centuries. This is where human equality began, not only for the Muslims but for the whole of humanity!
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Islamophobia, Racism and anti-Semitism
By Atif Munawar Mir
We all know the turn that German racism took when Hitler became leader of the country. We hoped the lesson had been learned, but the newspapers of the last years and months increasingly prove how wretchedly easy it is to forget the past and repeat the same mistakes. Across the whole of Europe, there is an enormous resurgence of racist sentiment; it is even springing up in regions where it used to be rare or nonexistent. Weren’t the six million Jews wiped out in Nazi concentration camps enough? There are even those who maintain that the concentration camps never existed. How is this possible? Islamophobia is the new racism and anti-Semitism as the Arabs are Semites.
What is it about Islam that frightens the western world? Has Islamophobia risen merely because of the emergence of the Muslim radical? The answer, of course, is no. Unfortunately, many journalists, politicians and interest groups in Europe and America frequently accuse Islam of being totalitarian and terrorist in nature as well as inherently hostile to non-Muslims. Some of them also argue that instead of encouraging Muslims to integrate, Islam motivates Muslims to take over their western homelands by introducing shariah. In other words, Islamophobes argue that the true Islamic teachings of Islam pose a threat to western values and as such Muslims must make a choice between their host country and their religion. These baseless accusations against Islam are reminiscent of the prejudice and discrimination that Jews faced before World War II. Granted that Islamic terrorists do bear some responsibility for fuelling Islamophobia, but a religion of one billion should not be classified as a religion of terrorism and intolerance due to the actions of a tiny minority.
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What’s New at
The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam by Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, The Promised Messiah & Mahdi(as). New Edition PDF.
Address to Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya UK 2010 National Ijtima (Urdu Video) by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V(aba) on 26 Sep 2010 at Islamabad, Tilford, UK.
Address to Lajna Imaillah UK 2010 National Ijtima (Urdu Video) by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V(aba) on 3 Oct 2010 at Islamabad, Tilford, UK.
iPhone & iPad App: Ahmadiyya Islamic News
Universal app for iPhone and iPad. iOS4 ready. Graphics update for retina display. Share news links via email. [Search "Ahmadiyya" on App Store or Android Market for other apps]
Demystifying “Shariah” The Washington Post article by Nasim Rehmatullah and Amjad Mahmood Khan.
UK Parliament Debate on Pakistan and Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Westminster Hall, 20 October 2010, 2:30 pm [pdf]
Online Book Browser a new Al Islam project for online book reading. A lot of books have been added to the project site and more being added. You can read books in your web browser without opening PDF files. PDF files also available for download.
Persecution News and Updates
For latest updates about the persecution of peaceful Ahmadiyya Muslim Community please visit www.ThePersecution.org or at the The Persecution Blog
Terrorism Has No Religion (Winter 2010)
Online Qur’an Education System take advantage of this noble service of Online education of the Holy Qur’an and learn the Holy Qur’an in depth to better understand the its teaching.
Videos about Hajj
A National Geographic movie: click here
Universal Brotherhood in Islam as described in the Malcolm X movie: click here
Actual footage of Malcolm X interview after Hajj: click here
An American lady who found peace in Islam goes to Hajj: click here
CNN reporting experience of a Muslim convert performing Hajj in 2009: click here
A short Alislam documentary about Hajj: click here
Four Ahmadi Muslim friends from New York narrating their Hajj experience: click here
Ku Klux Klan: a secret history
This is a history channel documentary of a hideous chapter in USA history. The modern form of racism for the twentieth century is Islamophobia. Celebrating the golden words of George Santayana, ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,’ the documentary is a reminder to the fair minded that if they do not stop the right wing extremists, Islamophobic agenda now, what hideous shapes and colors it could take down the line.
To watch click here
Prof. Laura Veccia Vaglieri: an Italian Orientalist
Prof. Laura Veccia Vaglieri contributed several articles to the Encyclopedia of Islam. She was a pioneer of Arabic and Islamic studies in Italy, Veccia Vaglieri served as professor at the Naples Eastern University and was the author of books on the historical and institutional analysis of the Arab and Muslim world. The back cover of her book, an interpretation of Islam, published by Goodword Books states:
“The Prophet Muhammad at God’s behest, called men to the worship of one God and proclaimed that, by responding to this call, mankind would achieve true dignity, honour, prosperity and happiness. Within an astonishingly brief period, and over vast areas which were in the grip of ignorance, darkness and confusion were finally dispelled, order was established and all manner of beneficent institutions sprang into life, a high moral order was set up and the blessings of knowledge, learning and science began to be widely diffused. The strength of this message was its crystal clear simplicity and marvelous easiness, for Islam reached out to the soul of the people without having recourse to long explanations and involved sermons. Thanks to this message, bringing the ideals of tauhid, resalat, peace and harmony, paganism in its various forms was defeated, and human dignity finally became a reality. Islam taught right thinking, proper action and honest speaking, and for these reasons it found its way, without any difficulty, into both the minds and hearts of men.”
She also wrote about human equality in Islam in this book. She states:
“Islam, which has never made any distinction of race or colour among men, which considered the white and the black, the nomad and the settled farmer, the ruler and the subject as all alike, not only in theory but also in practice (and as a matter of fact in the tent, in the palace, in the mosque, in the market, they all mingled together without reserve and with no sign of contempt or arrogance towards each other), never countenanced any humiliating treatment for slaves. Is it not fitting to remember here, while talking of the social equality imposed by Islam, the beautiful episode of King Jabale, who, having become a Muslim, went in great state to Makkah. While he was making the ritual tour around the Ka’bah, he struck a Bedouin who had accidentally trodden on his rich mantle. The Caliph Umar ruled that he was to receive a similar blow from the Bedouin because in Islam all men are alike. Jabale refused to submit to this and that very night he left with his five hundred knights and went straight to Byzantium where he became a Christian. Many years later, in the midst of honours and riches, the memories of Islam still filled his eyes with tears.
History furnishes many examples of slaves to whom high and honourable positions were given (among others, Bilal, who, because of his beautiful voice was accorded the high honour of being the first muezzin in Islam) and of freedmen who occupied high government positions, even rising to the Caliphate.”
The Seat Not Taken
By John Edgar Wideman
He is a professor of Africana studies and literary arts at Brown and the author, most recently, of “Briefs.” He wrote:
Over the last four years, excluding summers, I have conducted a casual sociological experiment in which I am both participant and observer. It’s a survey I began not because I had some specific point to prove by gathering data to support it, but because I couldn’t avoid becoming aware of an obvious, disquieting truth.
Almost invariably, after I have hustled aboard early and occupied one half of a vacant double seat in the usually crowded quiet car, the empty place next to me will remain empty for the entire trip.
I’m a man of color, one of the few on the train and often the only one in the quiet car, and I’ve concluded that color explains a lot about my experience. Unless the car is nearly full, color will determine, even if it doesn’t exactly clarify, why 9 times out of 10 people will shun a free seat if it means sitting beside me.
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