Thursday, August 3, 2017

Ghana: The world is at risk if Muslims become nonentities, says missionary of Ibadan Ahmadiyya community


The first thing I want to point out is that these conditions [Ba'it] were not propounded by the founder of the Jama’at [Mirza Ghulam Ahmad]. They are the same conditions that were assigned to be upheld by whoever is ready to become a Muslim by the holy Prophet Muhammad.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: Nigeria Tribune
By Toba Olaitan | August 3, 2017

The missionary of the Ibadan Circuit of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Mualim Abdul Hakeem Ariyo, in this interview by SAHEED SALAWU, speaks on the significance of the “International Bai’at (initiation ceremony),” which was a highlight of the Jalsa Salana (annual convention) of the Jama’at, the 2017 edition of which was rounded off last Sunday by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the United Kingdom, transmitted simultaneously to all the circuits worldwide.

What is the significance of the International Bai’at (initiation ceremony) as part of this year’s annual convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the United Kingdom, which was observed by all Ahmadis across the world?

I want to start my response from the nature of the Jalsa itself. You know, the United Kingdom is a country, just like Nigeria is, and in Nigeria, we have our own Jalsa also, so what is our concern with the UK Jalsa?

The nature of the UK Jalsa is that it is international Jalsa. So, it is different from Nigeria Jalsa. What makes this so is the presence of the Khalifah. That is where the Khalifah of the time [current head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community] is. Wherever the Khalifah is, whatever programme is held there belongs to members all over the world. So, for that reason, the UK Jalsa is an international Jalsa. Every country has the privilege of holding the Jalsa once in a year at its own convenience. In Nigeria, we will hold ours in December, insha’Allah. For the UK Jalsa, there are representations by members from all over the world – from Nigeria, the United States, everywhere. That is one of the reasons for the special nature of the UK Bai’at. Because the Khalifah is in the UK, whoever signs the Bai’at there does so directly at the hands of the Khalifah. That is a Bai’at ceremony that unites the world of Ahmadiyya. So, at one and the same time, the Bai’at takes place. It is just like we have seen it done here and it is like that all over the world. So, the significance is that because of the presence of the Khalifah, we all have the opportunity of renewing our Bai’at – those of who are already in the Jama’at and those who are just coming in. So, as they are taking their own [Bai’at], we are also renewing our own.

And the significance, really, lies in the purpose of Bai’at. The purpose of Bai’at is to rekindle our faith in God and strengthen our resolve to dedicate ourselves to the service of God. So, after the Bai’at, we are expected to be more devoted to the cause of faith, be more active in obeying the behests of Almighty Allah. It is meant to reawaken us to our responsibilities. So, whatever we have forgotten, now we are reminded. The points of Bai’at were enumerated before the ceremony. These are steps that are geared towards revitalising us so that we are reinvigorated.

What are the conditions to be upheld to become a bona fide member of the Ahmadiyya Jama’at?

The first thing I want to point out is that these conditions were not propounded by the founder of the Jama’at [Mirza Ghulam Ahmad]. They are the same conditions that were assigned to be upheld by whoever is ready to become a Muslim by the holy Prophet Muhammad. The first condition has to do with faith. One who joins this fold must hold on to faith, oneness of Almighty God without any deviation or explanation – Almighty God is one, and He is one! We should hold Him to be one in principle; we submit to Him, we obey Him, we do everything He commands, the only God. We must not associate anything with Him in whatever form. The second one [condition] has to do with making sure that all vices are eschewed. We should not cheat; we should not usurp others’ rights; we should not commit adultery… We should shun all these vices. The third condition has to do with observance of solat, which is five times a day. A Muslim must be firm at it. Then as we pray, we seek forgiveness; we invoke blessings on the holy Prophet Muhammad; we try to be regular in tahajud [night] prayer, along with the five daily prayers. There are other conditions like keeping away from unlawful customs. Any custom that is at variance with Islam, we should do away with it. Another thing is that we should be committed to the principle of faith. That the words of the Qur’an should be binding on us. There is no compromise.

Then we should make sure we do not do harm to any human being. We must be good to everyone. Another one [condition] is living in humility. We should be submissive. We should be humble; we should not be proud. Also, we should be completely cooperative with the founder of the Jama’at, because he is the one through whom we are taking the allegiance of submission to God. We make the promise through him. So, we should be dedicated to that promise. We should hold on to our union with him in obedience…in everything. We should not claim acceptance of him and then be going about doing something else. So, these, in summary, are the conditions.

What is the essence of taking this oath of allegiance yearly?

Like I said earlier, the purpose of Bai’at is to rekindle our faith in Allah and strengthen our dedication to His service. With it, we become more devoted to the cause of faith. It reawakens us to our responsibilities and reminds of the ideals we may have forgotten. When Prophet Muhammad (salla llahu ‘alayhi wasalam) prophesied the state of the world in the latter days, he particularly focused on the Muslims. He gave a picture about the Muslims of the latter days that is so horrible. And for that reason, he told us that God did not intend to destroy us and so He will give us another chance. So, the coming of the Mahdi [Mirza Ghulam Ahmad] was to reform us. The Qur’an says the whole world is placed at the mercy of the Muslims for success. If the world must know peace, if the world must progress, if the world must see anything good, the Muslims have an important role to play in achieving it. If the Muslims now become nonentities, then how will the world benefit? So, for that reason, the coming of the Mahdi is for the Muslims in the first place, to reform them so that the world at large will be easily reformed. So, what the Ahmadiyyat has been blessed to have achieved is the continuation of the message of the holy Prophet Muhammad (salla llahu ‘alayhi wasalam).

How can Nigeria prosper as a nation?

Everybody has a role to play if things must change. If we really want change, change will come. One way or the other, we are all responsible for getting to where we are. As much as it concerns everyone, everyone must have their own change, and the state itself.

What can be done to check the current wave of terrorism across the world and Nigeria in particular as being manifested in the activities of Boko Haram and other forms of insecurity, including wanton killings of innocent citizens?

We have turned a blind eye to our Creator. All of us must go back to God. And leaders of religions should eschew their love for materialism and face the real path of God. They should teach the followers the right things about God. Most leaders of religions are greedy. But if we all obey the commandments of God and embrace modesty in the discharge of our affairs, all these evils will disappear.


Read original post here: Ghana: The world is at risk if Muslims become nonentities —Ariyo, missionary, Ibadan Ahmadiyya community


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