The Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Khalifatul Masih V (the Fifth Khalifah—Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) , delivered the keynote address at the International Conference of the charity Humanity First on Saturday, 3rd March 2018. Humanity First works around the globe on humanitarian projects, building hospitals, drilling wells and holding free health clinics for the poor and underserved. Go to www.humanityfirst.org to find out more.
The 3-day conference, held at the Baitul Futuh Mosque in London, was attended by more than 220 delegates from 27 countries around the world. The full transcript of the address delivered by His Holiness on this occasion is presented below.
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz and Bismillah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba)said:
‘During these days, all of you, who are representatives of Humanity First from different countries, have gathered here to attend your International Conference, which is being held after an interval of three years. I hope and expect that during the course of the event you will have honestly reflected upon whatever efforts have been made by Humanity First to benefit and serve humanity.
Hopefully, you will have analysed the quality and standard of your work in previous years and assessed the effectiveness of the various humanitarian projects and schemes that have been established under the banner of Humanity First. I also expect that you will have discussed your future plans and analysed how, moving forward, you can best utilise the resources of Humanity First and considered what steps and new methods can be adopted to further benefit humanity and to increase the scope of Humanity First’s services to mankind.
Certainly, in today’s world, there is a great deal of uncertainty and inequality. Increasing numbers of people are desperately suffering and facing grave hardships. In almost every part of the world, restlessness, anxiety and conflict are on the rise. Much of the disorder and suffering is entirely man-made and a direct result of the wrongful conduct and injustices perpetrated by humans. Wars are being fought, conflicts are erupting and horrific cruelties are being committed. We are seeing civil wars taking place and we are also seeing wars between nations. Both domestically and at an international level, society is becoming increasingly divided and fragmented. On an almost daily basis, we see terrorist and extremist groups conducting heinous attacks and perpetrating unspeakable cruelties targeting innocent people.
Further, catastrophic natural disasters are continuing to occur across the globe, wreaking havoc and causing indescribable devastation and grief. Thus, unquestionably, the world we are living in is extremely volatile and turbulent. As I said, the suffering caused by today’s wars and conflicts is entirely man-made. At the same time, according to our beliefs, even the natural disasters are not random events, but are a result of the negligence and failures of mankind. We firmly believe that Allah the Almighty is the Most Merciful and loves His creation, but at the same time, mankind is rapidly moving away from God Almighty and failing to fulfil His rights and consequently depriving itself of His Mercy. Nevertheless, irrespective of the cause of the suffering, if we claim to be true Muslims it is our obligation and paramount duty to assist all people who are facing difficulties and to strive to alleviate their pain and distress.
Our religion of Islam has taught us two overarching means of serving mankind. The first way is to bring people towards their Creator and to inspire them towards fulfilling His rights. Accordingly, it is the duty of every true Muslim to try to bridge the rift and void that is growing between humanity and God Almighty. The second primary means of serving mankind is to help people in their time of need and to utilise whatever resources are available, in order to bring ease and comfort to those who are deprived or facing trials and tribulations. Indeed, it was to fulfil these two principal objectives that Allah the Almighty sent the Promised Messiah(as) , in servitude to the Holy Prophet of Islam(sa) and established the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. With the Grace and Mercy of Allah, since its inception, our Jama’at [community] has continued to strive towards fulfilling these two fundamental goals and, under the guidance of Khilafat-e- Ahmadiyya [Caliphate—Successorship to the Promised Messiah (as) , Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) ,Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community] will continue to do so, Insha’Allah.
Of course, Humanity First was established in order to fulfil the second objective of the Promised Messiah’s(as) advent. Hence, the sole ambition and aspiration of Humanity First should always be to alleviate the physical and mental suffering of mankind. As an organisation, the core duty of Humanity First is to fully utilise its resources, and the capabilities and skills of those who serve it, to help the deprived and the destitute.
Wherever people are facing material suffering and deprivation of any kind, Humanity First should seek to be at the forefront of providing aid and assistance. No matter where in the world, or which communities they hail from, Humanity First should seek to provide relief to those mired in poverty or hardship.
This is your mission. This is your duty. This is your faith.
Always remember that the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Promised Messiah(as) , directed the members of the Jama’at on countless occasions towards serving others and towards fulfilling the needs and rights of mankind. On one occasion, the Promised Messiah(as) said:
Allah the Almighty repeatedly commands that, irrespective of religion or ethnicity, you should show love and compassion to all people. Allah commands us to feed the hungry, free those shackled in bondage, pay off the arrears of those mired in debt, shoulder the burdens of others and fulfil the rights of sincere love owed to mankind.
On another occasion, the Promised Messiah(as) said:
Each day, every person should analyse himself and see to what extent he is concerned for others and to what extent he shows love and compassion to his brothers. Compassion for others is a huge demand and responsibility that weighs heavy on mankind.
The Promised Messiah(as) went on to narrate a Hadith highlighting the importance of serving others. The Promised Messiah(as) said:
In one Hadith, it is narrated that on the Day of Judgement, Allah will say, I was hungry and you did not feed Me, I was thirsty and you did not give me water, I was sick and you did not meet or comfort me. Upon this, those being addressed will ask that, O our Lord, when was it that You were hungry and we did not feed You? When was it that You were thirsty and we did not quench Your thirst? And when was it that You were sick and we did not comfort you? In reply, God Almighty will say that, a person dear to Me was suffering in this way and you did not show any compassion or kindness to him. To show love to him would actually have been to show love to Me. Similarly, to another community, Allah the Almighty will say, well done, you showed love and compassion to Me. When I was hungry you fed Me and when I was thirsty you quenched My thirst. The members of that community will then ask, O our Lord, when did we serve You in this way? We do not know ourselves. In response, Allah will say, when you showed love and compassion to a person dear to Me, you were actually manifesting your love for Me. Thus, to love Allah’s Creation is something truly great and deeply appreciated by Allah the Almighty.
Hence, as a Jama’at, we have always strived to fulfil our duty of serving others for the sake of Allah the Almighty and we are doing this in different ways and through various means.
According to our abilities, we seek to feed those who are hungry, we seek to give water to those who are thirsty and we seek to care for those who are sick or suffering in any way and to provide them with suitable treatment, as you have already seen in some of the short footage.
Thus, all of you who are serving in Humanity First must remember that this is your purpose and so, with great devotion, you should expend your energies for the sake of this blessed cause. Certainly, it was to fulfil this objective of serving others selflessly for which Humanity First was established. This is what sets you apart from other organisations, because you are not serving in Humanity First only due to your good nature or as a worldly duty; rather, your service is actually a demand and calling of your faith. As I have explained, serving humanity is a fundamental tenet of Islam.
Islam requires us to bandage the wounds of those in pain, to remove the anxieties of those who are distressed and to show love and compassion without any desire for recognition or worldly reward. Thus, wherever any person is suffering or facing cruelty, it is your duty to be there to help and support them. Always try to increase your output and never become lazy or satisfied with your past achievements. Instead, your target should always be to elevate the standard of care provided by Humanity First through increased service and by helping as many people as possible.
As I said before, the conduct of mankind has played a direct role in causing the wars and conflicts of today and it has also led to the natural disasters that have taken place. Yet at the same time, it is certainly not the case that every human who suffers in these disasters is at fault; rather, it is part of nature that when catastrophes or tragedies occur, even the innocent and blameless are affected. Hence, at all times, we should utilise our capabilities and skills to the very maximum in order to remove the hardships of such innocent people and to comfort those stricken by grief. We should be there to wipe away the tears of those who have been left bereft, heartbroken and vulnerable. We should be there to give hope to those who were previously hopeless.
Anyway, in terms of disaster relief, with the grace of Allah, in response to many natural disasters in recent years, Humanity First has sent their teams to provide food, water, shelter and other forms of aid, as we have already seen in some of the videos shown here. Similarly, you have now started to reach and serve in certain war-torn areas.
Furthermore, you are providing education to children by building schools or furnishing existing ones with necessary equipment. You are also providing healthcare through the establishment of hospitals or medical camps. Particularly in Africa, you have done some excellent work in order to serve humanity. May Allah the Almighty bless the efforts of all those who have contributed to this effort.
Similarly, in Pakistan, in Tharparkar, you have endeavoured to provide the local village people with clean drinking water. May Allah reward you for this. Here, I would like to say something that in the film shown with regards to the digging of wells and providing food in the Tharparkur area, too much music was involved. When we prepare such type of documentaries it should be without any music. So, why I am saying this is so that other organisations, or Humanity First in other countries, should not take advantage of this. It is not permissible. It would have been better if they had included some poems or humming of the poems.
Anyway, now I go further. In Guatemala, Humanity First USA has built the Nasir Hospital which is now close to completion. However, do not think that the construction is the end; rather, it is only the end of the beginning. Now, you will need to acquire doctors, nurses and other staff to ensure that the hospital does not become a white elephant, but comes to fulfil its mandate and mission to serve the local people by providing high quality healthcare to them. Therefore, Humanity First must make a proper plan to ensure that the hospital proves sustainable and a means of serving humanity in the best possible way. May Allah the Almighty bless all of your current and future projects and enable you to execute the good plans that you have made.
I pray that all of you take your responsibilities seriously and inculcate a true spirit of sincerity, humility and dedication within yourselves. Most importantly, you should always keep in mind that whatever opportunities you have to serve are due to the blessings and favours of Allah the Almighty and because you are following the true teachings of Islam, as taught to us by the Promised Messiah(as) . Any opportunities you have been afforded are due to your being a part of his Jama’at.
Furthermore, any success of Humanity First is not due to the personal qualities of any of its chairmen or directors. Nor is it due to the capabilities of any individual; rather, it is due entirely to the Grace of God the Almighty and the favours which He has bestowed on the followers of the Promised Messiah(as) . Thus, in light of this, every Ahmadi who
serves in Humanity First should remain forever grateful to Allah the Almighty for the opportunity to serve and to gain His blessings and rewards. Furthermore, in order for your work and services to be blessed, it is of crucial importance that you remain faithful and loyal members of the Jama’at at all times. Otherwise, your efforts will prove fruitless and you will be like any other worldly organisation.
With these words, I pray that Humanity First continues to go from strength to strength and fulfils its objectives of serving humanity, irrespective of caste, creed or colour, throughout the world. May Allah reward all of you for your sincere efforts and enable you to increase your service to humanity – Ameen. Now, join me in silent prayer.’