In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Ever Merciful
International Press and Media Desk
AHMADIYYA MUSLIM ASSOCIATION
22 Deer Park, London, SW19 3TL.
Tel / Fax 020 8544 7613 Mobile 07795460318
5 February 2008
Indian Delegation has audience with Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadatba
On 3rd February 2008, His Holiness, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad met with a number of Indian dignitaries including Mr Avinafh ra Khanna, Member of Parliament for Hoshiarpur, India. The meeting was around one hour long during which informal discussions took place. A number of important issues were discussed such as current world affairs, the inter-relationship between different religions and the main differences in belief between the Ahmadiyya Community and other Muslims.
At the outset Mr Khanna commented that he felt the world was ‘becoming a smaller place’ due to the vast development of various forms of communication. His Holiness agreed with this sentiment but stated that as the world became smaller in this sense, the spirit of love between mankind ought to increase and that a sense of understanding and tolerance ought to be fostered.
The discussion later turned to the important role that leaders play due to the influence they hold amongst their followers. In this regard His Holiness stated: “In society at all levels there are leaders. There are political leaders, religious leaders, professional leaders and so many other types. However what each one should remember is the responsibility they hold as others will naturally follow in their footsteps. For the peace and well being of society it is imperative that good natured people come to the fore so that others naturally follow in their wake.”
It is evident that in today’s society there is a great deal of mistrust regarding the beliefs of others and indeed religion itself has become tarnished in the eyes of many due to the militant acts of certain misguided individuals and also due to bias prevalent in many media organisations. In this regard His Holiness said: “There is certainly difference in belief between the various religions. However, it should always be remembered that we are all human beings and therefore a sense of tolerance and love should be spread across all peoples no matter their religion. If this principle is obeyed, then and only then, will we see the emergence of a truly peaceful society.”
Since its inception the Ahmadiyya Community has been subject to persecution and the most vicious persecution it has faced has come from within the wider Muslim community. In Pakistan laws have been passed against the Community that are still active and in other countries such Indonesia and Bangladesh members of the Community have been subjected to great cruelty. In respect of such persecution one member of the Indian delegation requested His Holiness to speak of the actual differences in belief between the Ahmadiyya Community and the rest of the Muslim world. In response, His Holiness explained that all major religions were awaiting a Reformer to unite and bind society, however if each religion was sent a different person then that process could never unite but would instead further divide.
His Holiness stated that it was the Ahmadiyya Community’s belief that Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian was sent by God Almighty as the Promised Messiah and Mahdi for the entire world. He was sent to unify the world under the umbrella of Islam and bring mankind back towards God Almighty. Speaking about why the non-Ahmadi Muslims refused to recognise the Ahmadiyya Community he said: “The non-Ahmadi Muslims believe that no Prophet can come after the Holy Prophet Muhammadsaws, whereas we believe that a non-law bearing Prophet can come so long as he is amongst the followers of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsaws. Because of this belief we have been ostracised by the rest of the Muslim world despite the fact that we swear by Kalima, that is the Declaration of Faith that: ‘There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger’.”
The meeting drew to a close at around 1.15pm following a series of photographs which were taken. Just before the close of the meeting His Holiness spoke of how being ‘strong willed’ in one’s faith is sometimes taken in a negative context, however it was his belief that the members of the Ahmadiyya Community were the most strong willed of all people. This did not mean that they would ever impose their beliefs on others or use coercion of any form to spread their faith because such acts were completely alien to the teachings of Islam. His Holiness said that in fact what he meant was that it was his belief that members of the Ahmadiyya Community were filled with, more than any other people, a conviction in the truth of their faith and that their beliefs could not be shaken or swayed by the forces of any worldly power.