Tuesday, February 7, 2017

India: Ahmadiyyas on a mission to spread Islam’s virtues


“Today, Islam is being tweaked by those who are spreading terror. Islam does not teach killing innocent people. We hope holding dialogues will help open people’s minds.”

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: The Hindu
By Jyoti Shelar | February 08, 2017

Prophet Muhammad had foretold that a messiah would arrive to revive Islam.

A tiny community in the city is spearheading a massive campaign to propagate the true meaning and teachings of Islam. The Ahmadiyya community, a sect of Sunni Muslims, feels their religion has been misunderstood in the backdrop of terror attacks across the world.

They are now reaching out to the policy makers, students and professionals with one message: we are closing in on World War III and we should take steps to avoid it. In the past few months, the community members have met professors from the Indian Institute of Technology, students from the Mumbai University, doctors and other professionals in and around Mumbai Central, where the city’s only Ahmadiyya mosque is located.

Syed Abdul Hadi Kashif, missionary in charge of the community in Mumbai and Goa, says, “There are so many terror attacks all over the world and a Muslim name comes into focus each time. We are not comfortable with this. Islam does not teach this.” Mr. Kashif said the true teachings of Islam were not reaching people. “We believe some form of injustice is the root cause of these attacks. Injustice at all levels needs to be stopped.”

The Ahmadiyyas are a 20-million strong community with a presence in over 209 countries, including over 10 lakh in India. In Maharashtra, there are more than 5,000 members of which over 1,000 are in Mumbai.

Prophet Muhammad had foretold that a messiah would arrive to revive Islam. While other Muslim sects still await the messiah, the Ahmadiyyas believe that he arrived in 1889 in the form of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in Qadian, Punjab. The current khalifa, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, who is based in London and governs the community, is Ahmad’s fifth successor.

“Today, Islam is being tweaked by those who are spreading terror. Islam does not teach killing innocent people,” says Masarrat Ahmad Mundasgar, president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat. “We hope holding dialogues will help open people’s minds.”

‘Signs of WWIII’

The community is gearing up for a peace symposium on February 11, where speakers from various communities will speak on the need for world peace. C.G. Suhail, a volunteer with the community, says, “We are witnesssing events similar to the run-up to WWII. The League of Nations then was helpless. Now, the United Nations is being used by major powers for their own benefits.” He said with India, China and Pakistan boasting of nuclear power, the effects of a war will be destructive.

The community in its conversation will focus on doing away with injustice, spreading the true teachings of Islam, propagating the message of peace and harmony, and preaching respect for all religions. “We are reaching out to intelligent, knowledgeable people; the mission is bound to have a multiplying effect,” said Zahid Ur Rahman, another volunteer.



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