Citing the following verses of the Holy Qur’an, Hudhur spoke about the recent martyrdoms as well as other Ahmadiyya sacrifices in Indonesia in today’s Friday Sermon.
‘O ye who believe! seek help with patience and Prayer; surely, Allah is with the steadfast. And say not of those who are killed in the cause of Allah that they are dead; nay, they are living; only you perceive not. And We will try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives, and fruits; but give glad tidings to the patient, Who, when a misfortune overtakes them, say, ‘Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.’ It is these on whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy, and it is these who are rightly guided.’ (2:154 – 158)
A few days ago three Indonesian Ahmadis were martyred in a brutal and barbaric attack which has saddened every Ahmadi. However, as ever, as a Community as well as on individual basis, we have reacted to this incident with patience and steadfastness. We take this stance for the sake of God and say: ‘Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.’ Today none can understand these Quranic verses more than an Ahmadi. Our enemy repeatedly persecutes us and we continue to reiterate these verses. An Ahmadi, regardless of belonging to Indonesia, Pakistan or any other country, gives the sacrifice of life and property as it befits a true believer in the spirit that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) infused in us. This is in accordance with the teaching of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and how he trained his Companions. Through the ages followers of each Prophet of God always displayed courage of belief when Pharaoh-like people made them choose between giving up their belief and losing their life. In the time of Moses (on whom be peace) when people realised that his was not worldly magic but in fact was a manifestation of Divine support and as they realised that his message was from God, they accepted him. The Pharaoh was slighted by this and vowed to punish them, to which they said: ‘They said, ‘We shall not prefer thee to the manifest Signs that have come to us, nor shall we prefer thee to Him Who has created us. So decree what thou wilt decree; thou canst only decree concerning this present life.’ (20:73). Whereas, we are the followers of the most excellent among the Prophets to whom the perfect Shariah was revealed and by putting it in practice we can attain high stations of belief. Later, his true and ardent devotee brought back faith from the Pleiades and strengthened our belief. Would we then, waste our belief in fear of Pharaoh’s disciples? O’ enemies of Ahmadiyyat, wherever on the earth you are, if you want to persecute us, go ahead, but you cannot shift our belief. Such was the response of the people of Indonesia in the recent incident.
The Jama’at that was attacked consists of merely 30 people from 7 families. They had been receiving threats but they refused to yield to the enemy who wanted them to leave the Jama’at. Local mullah demanded that they send their mu’allum (religious teacher) away although the mu’allum was a local man. When opposition grew 20 Khuddam from neighbouring Jama’ats started coming for security duty of the mission house as in most of these situations the enemy has the backing of the police. Owing to mounting animosity in Indonesia, we have been vacating our mission houses and the authorities have either put locks on them or if others have taken over our mission houses they are not deterred by the authorities. So, we decided not to vacate our mission houses. Here, the attackers entered the mission house armed with knives, machetes and sticks while the police looked on. As we have all heard, they martyred three Ahmadis whereas five were injured. The attack was most brutal and reminiscent of the barbarity of the pagans of the dark ages. As before, they did all this in the name of one who was ‘Mercy for all the worlds’ (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), who had come to this world to dispense mercy and whose rules of engagement during battle consisted that no dead body was to be mutilated. Here, the bodies were disfigured to such an extent that initially they could not be identified correctly. These people exceeded pagans in degrading dead bodies. We are all saddened and most anxious by the martyrdoms and the disregard of our dear ones but the greatest cruelty of all is that this attack was carried out in the name of our master, the benefactor of mankind (peace and blessing of Allah be on him).
The brutality was so intense that the national press has covered it. They have refrained from showing video footage of the attack on the grounds that they are not suitable for viewing. The Al Jezeera channel usually gives such news but they have made an exception with this incident saying the images are too brutal and dreadful. Indeed, the police stood by as the throng attacked and started killing. They striped off the clothes of three Ahmadis and hit them with sticks, the images are unbearable.
Asian Human Rights have said that some religious scholars have deemed this attack as correct. This is committing ignorant deeds comparable to those of thousands of years ago in the name of Islam. The Economist has reported that this barbarity did not take place in an incident between Muslims and Christians; rather Muslims perpetrated it against Muslims. It suggests that the video of the attack may be seen only if one had the nerve to watch; a completely different kind of barbarism.
The Ahmadis who have seen the video clip have written similar sentiments to Hudhur, saying they could not watch more than a minute or so. A lady wrote to Hudhur that she saw it secretly from her children and wept and her children became very worried as to why she was crying. An Algerian Ahmadi has written to Hudhur that after seeing the clip they burst out sobbing, so dreadful are the images. Yet, these people have even hardened their children for they could be seen clapping in the video.
Newspapers like New York Times and the Financial Times covered the news. A lecturer of an Islamic university wrote in ‘Jakarta Times’ that this incident showed that there were no sentiments for the minorities in the society. He said that Ahmadis had worked shoulder to shoulder in the building of the Indonesian nation. Indonesia was introduced to twentieth century mindset by Ahmadi scholars and that the Quranic translation that Sukarno studied was an Ahmadiyya translation. He said the nation was in this community’s gratitude. Hudhur said at least the educated people and the media of Indonesia have the courage to speak up against persecution. This gives hope of betterment. If only the educated people and the media of Pakistan would also be like this.
Hudhur explained that enmity against the Community is not new in Indonesia. Our Community has been persecuted in some Muslim countries in the manner that divinely led communities have always been persecuted. In Indonesia, the mullah has always led people astray in opposing the Community. He fears that if people accepted the truth his importance would diminish and his lack of knowledge would be exposed.
The introduction of Ahmadiyyat in Indonesia happened in a wondrous way. The nation had the honour that four people went to Qadian in person to accept Ahmadiyyat rather than an Ahmadi missionary going to Indonesia with the message. It was in 1923 that 4 young Indonesian men came to India for religious education and found their way to Qadian. These were: Maulwi Abu Bakr Ayub sahib, Maulwi Ahmad Nur-ud-din sahib, Maulwi Zani Halaan sahib and Haji Mahmood sahib. On their request, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II (may Allah be pleased with him) arranged for their religious education during which the reality of Ahmadiyyat unfolded on them and they accepted it. They spread the light of this message to their country via letters. When Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II (may Allah be pleased with him) returned from his European visit of 1924, these students requested that attention was also given to the eastern isles, either by a personal visit by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II (may Allah be pleased with him) or by sending a representative. It was in 1925 that Hadhrat Maulwi Rahmat Ali sahib arrived at Sumatra in an alien culture. However, his resolve overcame all the barriers. He learnt the language and began Tabligh and soon started discussion and debate with ulema (religious scholars). He established the first Jama’at within a few months when 8 people took bai’at. Soon the ulema gave a fatwa against reading Ahmadiyya literature and listening to Ahmadi lectures. When the Jama’at increased in numbers, its boycott ensued and the press also started writing against it. At one point a crowd of 3000 people gathered in front of Maulwi sahib’s home and shouted slogans and were abusive. Later, Haji Mahmood sahib also came to Indonesia. Although the mullah initially tried that he renounced his belief, he soon recovered. On this the ulema tried to deport Maulwi Rahmat Ali sahib but the authorities declined to get involved in religious matters. In December 1927 our missionary excelled in a high profile debate whereas the opponents failed. This paved the way for further Tabligh and the third Jama’at in Indonesia was formed. In 1930 Muhammad Sadiq sahib was also sent to Indonesia. Just as Ahmadiyyat gained popularity, animosity against it also grew. In the early days 3 Jama’ats faced many difficult trials. They were stopped from offering Salat and were forced to, God forbid, call the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) a liar or face expulsion from the area. Maulwi Abu Abkr Ayub sahib returned from Qadian. Restrictions were placed on him during Tabligh. He was made to appear before a chief district officer who inundated him with questions which he replied to most eloquently. This had a very positive effect on the officer who discharged Maulwi sahib with honour.
During the independence movement for Indonesia Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II (may Allah be pleased with him) fervently announced that Muslims should support the Indonesian Muslims in their independence movement and all the Ahmadiyya missions around the world were asked to support the movement. After Sukarno declared independence, according to the pronouncement of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II (may Allah be pleased with him) the Ahmadi missionaries and other Ahmadis fully participated in the movement. Syed Shah Muhammad sahib met with Sukarno and expressed his eagerness to take part in the independence movement. He was given the task of reading Urdu news on the radio. Abdul Wahid sahib and Malik Aziz sahib also read Urdu news for a while. Such was the enthusiasm of Syed Shah sahib that a former minister said he accepted him as a member of the nation. His services were acknowledged and he was awarded on an official level with high praise. In addition to these services, Ahmadis also gave their lives in the independence movement of Indonesia.
Yet, the ulema and the extremists continued their persecution. Hudhur mentioned some past Indonesian Ahmadi martyrs. In 1947 six Ahmadis were martyred. These were: Jaed sahib, Sura sahib, Saeri sahib, Haji Hassan sahib, Radin Salih sahib and Dahlan sahib. They were martyred in a village of Java. They were attacked with sticks and stones in front of their families by a Wahhabi group who had forced them to forsake Ahmadiyyat but they all remained resolute. In 1949 there were further martyrdoms. These were: Sanusi sahib, Omo sahib, Tahyan sahib, Shahromi sahib, Soma sahib, Jumli sahib, Sarman sahib, Uson sahib and two ladies; Idot sahiba and Uniah sahiba. They were martyred in a West Java village and were also attacked by a Wahhabi group with sticks and stones and dragged out of the village and martyred in a most barbaric way. They too were forced to forsake Ahmadiyya but they remained steadfast.
In 2001 an era of intense animosity against Ahmadis started. Papook Hassan sahib, who was 55 years old, was martyred in June when he bravely faced 100 attackers who had come to destroy our mosque. He sustained serious injuries and passed away on his way to the hospital. In 2002, government workers joined these people. Two mosques were attacked and homes were damaged. In July 2005 our central mosque was attacked and damaged while the police looked on. Later the government sealed off the mosque. In September 2005 our detractors attacked five Jama’ats and damaged mosques and did looting. 86 homes were damaged, some were burnt. In October 2005 the enemies attacked 3 Ahmadi homes and caused damage. In February 2006 23 homes were damaged, 6 homes were burnt and shops belonging to Ahmadis were damaged and their cattle were stolen. More than 100 Ahmadis became homeless and the area had to be abandoned. In 2007 one of our mosques was felled and 26 Ahmadis had to move to another area. In September 2007 one of our mosques was attacked three times and damaged. In December of the year, two further mosques were attacked and damaged. The police sealed off 9 of our mosques. Such have been the circumstances but Indonesian Ahmadis have remained resolute and steadfast in their belief. The recent martyrdoms are a continuation of the persecution but this time the local as well as international press has covered the incident. Hudhur gave details of the three martyrs.
Tubaqus Chandra Mubarak sahib shaheed: He was 34 years old, a born Ahmadi who leaves behind a widow who is 5 months pregnant. He had intended to give his unborn child’s name for Waqfe Nau which will InshaAllah be now processed. He was a very sincere Ahmadi as is his entire family. He was very regular in offering his Prayers in congregation at the mosque. A day prior to martyrdom, his wife had asked him not to go to his Jama’at work to Cikeucik citing her pregnancy as the reason, but he chose to go. His task was to drive Khuddam to Cikeucik. At the time of the attack he was inside the mission house and was in the front. The opponents brutally attacked him with knives, and then they suspended him and continued to beat him. Later they took him down and hit him with sticks and disfigured his dead body. His younger brother identified his body by a mark.
Ahmad Warsono sahib shaheed: He was 38 years old and leaves behind a widow and 4 children. He was introduced to Ahmadiyyat in 2000 during the visit of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him). He studied Ahmadiyya literature and took his bai’at in 2002. Prior to bai’at he did not treat his parents well but after becoming an Ahmadi he developed spiritually as well as morally and his parents were very happy with him. Once he was in dire need of money to pay his rent and meet some other expenses. He prayed intensely. A man came by and asked him to do a job and he could meet all his expenses with the remuneration he got. At the time of the attack he was inside the mission house. He was brutally attacked with knives, machetes and sticks. His body was brought out where it was continually beaten while the police looked on. His body could also not be identified initially.
Roni Pesarani sahib shaheed: He was 35 years old and had taken his bai’at in 2008. He leaves behind a widow and two daughters. Prior to bai’at he was a murderer, robber and gambler and was introduced to Ahmadiyyat by one of the other martyrs. He saw a dream about a holy person who had a turban on. When he saw a photo of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) he recognised the face as the one he had seen in his dream. He read Ahmadiyya literature and took his bai’at in 2008 which transformed his life. His wife was astonished at his spiritual transformation. God enabled him to not only give up all his past evils, but accept Ahmadiyyat and then go on to attain the status of martyrdom. He became regular in his Salat and also offered Tahajjud. He was very regular in his chanda and was keen at doing Tabligh; his Tabligh resulted in many bai’ats. He often expressed his wish to die as a martyr. He was also attacked with knives, machetes and sticks. His body was brought out, abused and disfigured.
These are the people who have been given the glad-tiding of Paradise by God. They are shining stars of Ahmadiyyat, may God elevate their status and grant steadfastness to their families and be their Protector and Helper. May He strengthen the belief of every member of the Indonesian Jama’at.
Regarding one of his visions, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had mentioned people of far-away places who would follow the path of Sahibzada Abdul Lateef shaheed. Hudhur said these martyrs are also among those people of ‘far-off’ places, many among whom have never even seen the Khulafa of Ahmadiyyat yet their sincerity is commendable. In the vision the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) saw that in his garden a tall branch of Fir tree is cut off and he asks for it to be erected in the ground once again so that it can grow and bloom. He explained that he interpreted this as God giving us many substitutes of Sahibazada Lateef shaheed. The martyrdoms in Indonesia have left exemplary models and shown that those living thousands of miles away from Qadian have proven the truthfulness of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Those of us left behind should self-reflect over the state of our belief at all times.
After each martyrdom we should pledge that not only will we not allow our belief to be wasted by the persecution, rather we will enhance it and will not take any such action which may discredit our traditions and our patience, which may discredit our loyalty to our country. As mentioned before, the Indonesian Jama’at played a role in forming the country. An Ahmadi is loyal to whichever country he or she lives in. This loyalty demands that we pray that may God release our countries from the clutches of oppressors and may He never impose such rulers on us who do not know mercy. We resort to law for worldly planning but we never take the law in our hands, we only turn to God. Our reliance is more in turning to God than in legal remedies. Our reliance is on His mercy. And now, as before we will turn to Him. Hudhur advised to always say the prayer: ‘…O our Lord, pour forth steadfastness upon us, and make our steps firm, and help us against the disbelieving people.’ (2:251). May not even one of us ever falter in his or her steadfastness.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that the time is near when these mischievous people will not be seen any more. He said if God so willed these people would not have inflicted pain, and those who inflict pain would not have been born, but God wishes to teach patience through them.
Hudhur prayed that may each Ahmadi march onwards with prayers and patience in order to attain our objective. May God grant us steadfastness and may He destroy every mischief-maker and may we witness fulfilment of the promises of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Our detractors have no personal animosity against us. It is because of their enmity towards the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) that all this is taking place. May God make the enemy a cautionary sign and those among them who are not to reform may be punished by God. Hudhur said prayers should be made for the injured of Cikeusik, two have been discharged from the hospital but three remain hospitalised. Addressing Indonesian Ahmadis Hudhur said, the prayers of all Ahmadis are with them. Hudhur is receiving letters expressing concern and anxiety about Indonesian Ahmadis, the images of the barbaric persecution have pained every Ahmadi. May God keep every Ahmadi in His protection and safe from every evil in future and may the enemy’s plots rebound on him.
Hudhur said he would lead funeral Prayers in absentia of the three martyrs. In addition he would also lead funeral Prayer for an Ahmadi young man who lost his life in the suicide attack in Mardan, Pakistan on the Punjab Regiment. He was receiving training there. He was the nephew of two of our Waqfeen e Zindagi.