In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Ever Merciful.
Love for All, Hatred for None.
1889. . .1989
Delivered in 1989 by Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad,
Head of the world-wide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
One hundred years ago today, an amazing event took place in an obscure and tiny hamlet, in the province of the Punjab, India. It was an event which was destined to change the course of history. There appeared a religious leader specifically commissioned by God to lead mankind as the Promised Reformer of the latter days. His name was Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (1835-1908), the Founder of the world-wide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. He laid the basis for the unification of Mankind in a unique manner. He resolved the conflicts and paradoxes prevailing in the religious world regarding the advent of a global reformer.
The followers of all great religions -- Jews, Christian, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, and Confucians anxiously awaited the advent of a Promised Reformer, as predicted in their holy scriptures. The Jews expected the Messiah to rejuvenate Judaism; the Christians claimed that the second advent of Jesus would bring nigh the Kingdom of Heaven; the Muslims believed the Messiah and Mahdi would join forces to bring about the final renaissance of Islam; Hindus awaited the coming of God Him-self in the form of Krishna; and the Buddhists were hopefully waiting for the reincarnation of Buddha.
How could God send different Messengers simultaneously each calling to the same God in his own diverse way, inviting mankind unto divergent paths and conflicting ideologies? That was the perplexing question addressed by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad under Divine guidance and revelation. It was revealed to him that all the prophecies regarding the advent of various reformers were no doubt true. They, however, implied that only a single claimant would be raised who would combine in his person the qualities, roles, and spiritual powers of all the great World Reformers whose advent had been promised. Indeed, he would be a soldier from God wearing the garbs of different prophets. He also proclaimed that the religion chosen by Almighty God for the universal manifestation of His Unity was Islam.
Thus, in accordance with the Divine command, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed to be the global Reformer who was destined to be raised in Islam in complete subordination to the Prophet Muhammad - the last law-bearing prophet may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. It was an astonishing claim. It was even more astonishing that this solitary voice, raised from a small, unknown village, seemingly insignificant to the world at large, was heeded at all. Some people responded to this call with complete faith and devotion. There were many others who raised a storm of hostility, the like of which has seldom been witnessed in the history of mankind. His followers were subject to extreme persecution. They were deprived of religious freedom and fundamental human rights. Laws were even enacted in some countries rendering Ahmadis liable to severe punishment and prosecution for the mere act of professing and practicing their faith. Yet, this phenomenal opposition utterly failed to arrest the progress of Ahmadiyyat. On the contrary, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is marching forward even faster today than ever before. All hostile fanatics, be they individuals, groups or governments, have totally failed in their efforts to exterminate Ahmadiyya from the face of the earth.
God stood by His Servant, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, fulfilled all His promises and prophesied in 1898, that He would "cause his message to reach the corners of the earth." Today, Ahmadiyyat stands established in 120* countries, and the pace of its growth is destined to engulf the whole of mankind. God saved his followers (Ahmadis), protected them from all evil designs and showered His innumerable blessings upon them. It is, therefore, to extol the name of Allah and sing his praises for His innumerable bounties that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is celebrating the year 1989 as the Thanksgiving Centenary Year.
On this auspicious occasion, I most humbly and sincerely invite all my fellow human beings to seriously study the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam with the prospect of joining its fold. I call upon God, Who is All-Knowing and Ever-Present, as may witness, that the message of Ahmadiyyat is nothing but Truth: it is Islam in its pristine purity.
The salvation of mankind depends on accepting this religion of peace. Islam is the religion which does away with all discrimination between man and man, and demolishes all barriers of race, color and creed which divide humanity. Islam liberates man from the bondage of sin and strengthens his ties with his Creator. It is a religion so simple, yet so highly organized as to meet the demands and the challenges of the changing world.
Islam permits no exploitation, be it social, political, economic
or religious. The political philosophy of Islam has no room for false or deceptive
diplomacy. It teaches absolute morality, and enjoins justice and fairness to
friend or foe alike, in every sphere of human interest. Islam neither permits
coercion for the spread of its own message nor gives license to other religions
to do so. Indulgence in terrorism, even in the name of the noblest objectives,
is entirely incompatible with the teachings of lslam. It is to this Islam that
I invite Mankind.
I am fully aware that in the eyes of many cursory observers, Ahmadiyyat has not as yet emerged as a potent force capable of bringing about the global moral and spiritual revolution.
Yet, my trust is in God. Weak and humble though we are, God has graciously chosen us as His instrument to usher in a new era of global peace and unification of mankind. Listen to what the Promised Messiah proclaimed towards the close of the last century, in the light of Divine revelation by him
" The time is near when I should attain a magnificent victory, because in support of what I state, there is another voice which speaks; and in support of my hand there is another hand which operates. Yet, the world cannot perceive it, but I behold it. There is a heavenly spirit which speaks in me and grants a new life to every word and every letter of mine. A commotion and upsurge has erupted in the heaven which has caused this earthly body to stand up at God's behest. Every such person who has been denied forgiveness and salvation shall soon see for himself that I do not make these claims on my own. Can they be seeing eyes which fail to recognize a man of truth? Can he be deemed alive who has no awareness of this Heavenly call?" The Promised Messiah & Mahdi Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian.
It is likely that many will turn a skeptical ear to what I say, wondering at the certitude and firmness of my faith in the glorious future of Ahmadiyya. The weak and oppressed proponents of Christianity, at the end of the first century of the Christian era, must have felt somewhat as I feel today. They were looked down upon, jeered and mocked at by the people of that age. Yet, I have no doubt whatsoever that a day will dawn before the end of the next century when people of that age will look back with no less amazement at the incertitude and disbelief of the people to day.
In the end, let me invite you once again with all my heart to accept the call of the Promised Reformer, wherein shall you find the peace and contentment of heart which can only be acquired by submission to the Will of God.
May Allah Bless you all.
Mirza Tahir Ahmad
Supreme head of the world-wide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.