Mayor of Mississauga welcomes Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to Canada

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Mayor Bonnie Crombie praises integration of Ahmadi Muslims during meeting at Baitul Islam Mosque

On 24 October 2016, the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad was visited by Bonnie Crombie, the Mayor of Mississauga at the Baitul Islam Mosque in Peace Village, Canada.

During the meeting the Mayor welcomed His Holiness to Canada and spoke of her admiration at the way Ahmadi Muslims had successfully integrated into Canada. She also thanked His Holiness for the continued charitable endeavours of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Canada, including providing large contributions to local food banks in Mississauga.

Upon learning that youth unemployment levels in Mississauga were significant, His Holiness said that schemes should be developed to provide jobs and skills to young members of society.

His Holiness said that he considered youth unemployment to be a security issue as economic hardship was a trigger for crime and radicalisation.

The Mayor asked His Holiness about his recent travels. In response, His Holiness informed that during the past three months he had attended the Annual Convention (Jalsa Salana) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the United Kingdom, Germany and most recently in Mississauga where the 40th Jalsa Salana Canada was held. @AhmadiyyatIslam

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Muslim leader says justice is a pre-requisite to conflict resolution

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad addresses Canada’s first National Peace Symposium

On 22 October 2016, the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad delivered the keynote address at the 1st National Peace Symposium hosted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Canada.

The event was held at the Baitul Islam Mosque in Peace Village, Vaughan, with an audience of over 600 people, comprising government officials, including the Mayor of Vaughan, Hon. Maurizio Bevilacqua, Member of Parliament, Deb Schulte, and City Councillor, Marilyn Iafrate.

During his keynote address, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was an entirely peaceful sect of Islam because it followed the true teachings of Islam. Hence it should not be considered to be a‘liberal’ or ‘reformist’ group.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“It is absolutely true that we, Ahmadi Muslims, are peace-loving and seek to build bridges of love and hope between different religions and different communities.  However, this is not because we have deviated from Islam or ‘modernised’ it in any shape or form. Rather, it is because we follow Islam’s authentic teachings.”  

His Holiness referred to a saying of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), that Muslims should love for others what they love for themselves. His Holiness said this principle laid down the foundations for peace and it was incumbent on Muslims to reflect upon this.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Do we have ambitions to be mired in poverty and to go to bed hungry every night? Do we want our children to be plagued by ill-health, to be uneducated and to be placed in danger? Of course, no normal person would ever hope for any of these things. Therefore, as Muslims, we must seek prosperity not only for ourselves but also for others.” 

His Holiness said that conflicts arose between people and nations from time to time, however rather than prioritising self-interest, they ought to be resolved with justice and fairness.

The Caliph referred to chapter 4, verse 136 of the Holy Quran that requires a Muslim to be willing to testify against himself, his parents and his loved ones in order to establish justice.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

Islam teaches that a Muslim’s first loyalty must always be to the truth and so a person must never hide the facts or give false testimony. A person should not be governed by his own personal desires, as this leads to bias and prejudice and takes a person away from what is fair and what is right. This enlightened principle is the means to solve the problems of the world and to transform all forms of hatred into peace, tolerance and mutual respect.”

His Holiness said that Muslims are in fact commanded to go beyond the level of adopting justice. The Holy Quran says that a person should “give like kindred”.

Explaining this teaching, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

It means that a person should offer sympathy and compassion and be willing to serve others without any expectation, just as a mother serves and selflessly nourishes her child without any desire for reward or recompense. This is the altruistic and benevolent spirit that Islam advocates and teaches, wherein it calls on Muslims to open their hearts for the good of mankind.”

Referring to the treatment of prisoners of war, His Holiness said that in the modern world it was often the case that prisoners were kept in inhumane conditions with little or no recourse to justice. 

In complete contrast, His Holiness narrated the example of the Battle of Badr where the non-Muslims of Mecca waged a war against Islam.

The Muslims were victorious and the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) instructed the prisoners of war that could read and write to educate the Muslims who were illiterate. This was their means of freedom.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

It was an incomparable example of how even from amongst a state of bitter war and conflict some good could ultimately be retrieved. Those who had themselves shown no mercy towards the Muslims were treated with compassion and consideration and utilised as teachers.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:

“This example exhibited two beautiful aspects to the character of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). On the one hand, he was neither vengeful nor bitter towards those who had persecuted him and his followers. Secondly, it proved how highly he valued education and learning. He desired for people to better themselves and to progress in all spheres of their lives and education was the key to this.”

Highlighting the Quranic teaching of not casting envious looks at the wealth of others, His Holiness said that ignoring this principle had led to world’s peace being undermined time and time again.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Some governments completely ignore the human rights abuses taking place in countries because they wish to have access to the oil or natural resources of those nations. However, members of the public are not blind, deaf or dumb. They can see that such policies are not based on justice and naturally this leads to frustration and anger.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:

“Nations must be fair in their dealings and should not be governed by narrow self-interest but rather by what is right, what is just, and what is in the interest of the world at large.” 

Concluding his address, His Holiness warned of the possibility of an imminent Third World War.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“We are charging madly towards a catastrophic and devastating world war. The consequences of such a war do not bear thinking about. The misery, horror and destruction could last for generations to come. Therefore, we can only hope and pray that Allah the Almighty grants wisdom and sense to humanity.”

Prior to the keynote address, various dignitaries spoke about the importance of peace and the efforts of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

Lal Khan Malik, the National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Canada said:
“This Symposium is being held to promote a deeper understanding of Islam and inspire a concerted effort for lasting peace. We have the honour of launching our first national Peace Symposium today here with a keynote address by His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat.” 

Hon. Maurizio Bevilacqua, the Mayor of Vaughan said:

“When I think about you, Your Holiness, I think about your incredible message; the message of peace, love and compassion, and also something the world needs a lot more of – that is, interfaith dialogue and interreligious harmony.”

Deb Schulte, MP said:

“I want to thank His Holiness very much for taking the time to come to Parliament Hill (on 17 October). He gave a wonderful speech with a message of love for all and hatred for none, focusing on religious tolerance around the world. He also included several suggestions on policy direction that we might want to take and we very much appreciate the time that he took to share his wisdom with us.”

City Councillor, Marilyn Lafrate presented a gift to His Holiness to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Canada and said:

“Most people will know that I am probably the most ardent champion of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. A Community that speaks to love, speaks to tolerance, speaks to giving back to the community which is very unique.”

After the event’s proceedings, His Holiness met personally with dozens of guests and dignitaries. @AhmadiyyatIslam

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Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community delivers Friday Sermon in Peace Village, Canada

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad leads funeral prayers of two eminent personalities of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and later leads Bai’at ceremony

On 21 October 2016, the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad delivered his weekly Friday Sermon at the Baitul Islam Mosque in Peace Village, Ontario, Canada.

During his sermon, His Holiness reflected upon the lives of two eminent personalities of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Both Imam Bashir Rafiq Khan and Dr Nusrat Jahan passed away in England on 11 October 2016 after having spent their lives serving the cause of faith and humanity.

Beginning his Friday sermon, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Whoever comes into this world has to pass away one day. However, fortunate are those who are enabled by God Almighty to serve their faith and humanity.”

Amongst other notable aspects of his life, Imam Bashir Rafiq Khan had served for a number of years as an Imam of the Fazl Mosque, the first Mosque built in London. He strived to spread the true peaceful teachings of Islam through various means and also initiated the English magazine,‘The Muslim Herald’.

His Holiness mentioned that Imam Bashir Rafiq Khan served the cause of faith diligently and placed great trust in prayers and always advised his children to remain loyal to Khilafat.

Mentioning the life and services of Dr Nusrat Jahan, His Holiness said that she was a renowned gynaecologist in Pakistan, who had trained in England. She dedicated her life for the service of faith and humanity and served in the Fazl-e-Umar Hospital in Rabwah, Pakistan.

His Holiness said she selflessly served with great compassion for her patients and the large number of people she treated will be ever indebted to her.

His Holiness mentioned that she studied and worked for some time in the UK and never compromised her Islamic practice of adorning the veil.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Dr Nusrat Jahan was never under any inferiority complex. She carried out all her professional works diligently whilst observing full Purdah, and so she was a role model for those girls who say they cannot work whilst wearing the veil.”

His Holiness mentioned the narrations of a number of people who had been affected by her pious and kind character.

In conclusion, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad prayed:

“May Allah elevate the status of the deceased and may Allah grant Fazl-e-Umar Hospital with more doctors who serve with loyalty whilst fulfilling their responsibilities.”

Following the conclusion of the Friday Sermon, His Holiness led an emotional Bai’at ceremony in which several people took the pledge of allegiance at the hand of the Khalifa for the very first time. @AhmadiyyatIslam

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Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community makes historic address at Canada's National Parliament

Thursday, 20 October 2016

 Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad delivers address calling for equality and justice

·      The Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community welcomed to Canada by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

·      Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad officially recognised during Question Period in House of Commons

·      Dozens of Ministers, Senators, MPs and policy makers receive Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad in Parliament

·      His Holiness presents Louise Arbour with Sir Zafrullah Khan Award for Public Service

On 17 October 2016, the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad was welcomed to Canada’s Houses of Parliament by Prime Minister, Rt Hon. Justin Trudeau, Cabinet Ministers and over 50 MPs and Senators.

Later in the day, His Holiness delivered an historic keynote address entitled “Human values – the foundation for a peaceful world” to an audience of more than 225 people at a special reception held at the Sir John A. Macdonald Building at the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa.

More than 110 guests attended, including over 50 Members of Parliament. The event was also attended by a number of Government Ministers including Hon. Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and the official representative of the Prime Minister and Hon. John McCallum, Minister for IntegrationRefugees and Citizenship.

Also in attendance were Senators, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, including 11 Ambassadors of State, media representatives, academics, NGO leaders, religious leaders and prominent figures from various other sectors of society.

During his keynote address, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad addressed various issues of global importance, including the risk of a global war, religious freedom, increasing radicalisation and extremism and international relations.

His Holiness called on the world’s governments to display true justice and equity in all matters. His Holiness also presented Islamic teachings and offered solutions to the world’s problems based on the teachings of the Holy Quran.

Reflecting upon the need for unity in society, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Irrespective of differences of background, I believe that on the basis of humanity, we are all joined together, and should therefore be united. All people and all organisations, must collectively endeavour to uphold human values, and strive to make the world in which we live, a better and far more harmonious place.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:

“If human values and human rights are not upheld in one country or region, it has a knock-on effect upon other parts of the world and such wrongdoing can spread further afield. Conversely, if there is goodness, humanity and prosperity in one part of the world, it will have a positive effect on other societies and other people.”

Speaking about the increasing conflict in the world, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“As a result of modern forms of communication and transport, we are all now much closer together and are no longer confined or bound by geography. Yet, it is a strange and tragic paradox that even though we are more connected than ever before, we are actually growing more distant by the day. It is extremely regrettable, and a source of grief, that instead of uniting and spreading love amongst mankind, the world has paid far greater heed towards spreading hatred, cruelty and injustice.”

His Holiness admitted that fear of Islam was growing in much of the world. However, he said that fear of the religion itself was completely unnecessary.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Let me reassure all of you that Islam is not what you commonly see or hear portrayed in the media. As far as my knowledge of Islam is concerned, I only know of that Islam whose teachings are based on its name. The literal meaning of the word ‘Islam’ is peace, love, and harmony and all of its teachings are based upon these noble values.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:

“Unfortunately, it cannot be denied that there are some Muslim groups, whose beliefs and actions are in total contrast to Islam’s teachings. In complete violation of Islam’s fundamental teachings, they are perpetrating the most horrific violence and terrorism in its name.”

His Holiness said that universal religious freedom was a pre-requisite for any successful and tolerant society.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“The Holy Quran categorically states in chapter 2, verse 257 that ‘there should be no compulsion in religion.’ What a clear, comprehensive and unequivocal statement that enshrines freedom of thought, freedom of religion and freedom of conscience. Thus, my belief and my teaching, is that every person, in every village, town, city or country has the undisputed right to choose his or her religion and to practice it.”

His Holiness said it was a cause of regret that governments in the Muslim world and also some Western Governments had sought to restrict the religious rights of some communities within their nations.

His Holiness said that any attempt to curb religious freedom was dangerous.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Every individual has the right to peacefully preach and propagate his or her teaching to others. These freedoms ought to be guaranteed as basic human rights, and so legislative assemblies or governments should not unduly involve themselves in such matters.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:

“It is not wise for governments or parliaments to place restrictions on the basic religious practices or beliefs of people. For example, governments should not concern themselves with what type of clothing a woman chooses to wear. They should not issue decrees stating what a place of worship should look like. If they overreach in this way, it will be a means of restlessness and heightening frustrations amongst their people. Such grievances will continue to exacerbate if they are not checked and ultimately will threaten the peace of society.”

Speaking about the role of Government according to Islamic teachings, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“It is the task of the government and parliamentarians, as guardians of their nations, to legislate in a way that gives rights to their citizens rather than takes their rights away.”

His Holiness said that though religious freedom was a principle of vital importance, wherever there was a risk of extremism or incitement to hatred, it was the task of Governments to intervene and take firm action in order to protect their people.

His Holiness also spoke of the need for justice both in domestic affairs and international relations.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“To be handed the keys to government is a huge trust and so we often see heads of state pledge to serve their nations faithfully and with absolute justice. Sadly, in many cases such honourable pledges prove to be hollow words.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:

“In some countries, there are dictatorships or unjust governments, yet the major powers turn a blind eye to their cruelties, because those governments happen to support them and facilitate the procurement of their interests. Yet, in countries where the leaders or governments do not bend to the whim of the major powers, they are quite happy to support rebel elements or to demand regime change. In truth, there is no difference in the way the respective governments are treating their own people. The material difference is only that in some cases the governments cooperate with the major powers, whilst in others they do not.”

His Holiness criticised certain Governments for selling weapons to some Muslim nations “without considering the potential consequences”. He said such weapons often end up in the wrong hands or are used in order to kill innocent civilians.

Citing Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen as a prime example of injustice and reflecting upon its potential consequences, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“It is well known that Saudi Arabia is using weapons purchased from the West in its war in Yemen, in which thousands of innocent civilians, including women and children, are being killed and so much destruction is being wrought. What will be the ultimate result of such arms trading? The people of Yemen, whose lives and futures are being destroyed, will not only bear hatred and seek revenge from Saudi Arabia but will also bear hate towards Saudi’s arms suppliers and the West in general.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:

“With no hope or future prospects left, and having witnessed the most horrific brutality, members of their youth will be prone to radicalisation and in this way a new vicious cycle of terrorism and extremism will arise. Are such destructive and devastating consequences worth a few billion dollars?”

His Holiness also said that international institutions such as the United Nations needed to ensure fairness and equity between members states.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“If only the major powers and the international institutions, such as the United Nations, had truly acted upon their founding principles, under all circumstances, then we would not have seen the toxic plague of terrorism infect so many parts of the world. We would not have seen the world’s peace and security repeatedly undermined and destroyed. And we certainly would not have witnessed the huge refugee crisis, which now confounds and frightens the people of Europe and other developed countries.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:

“The United Nations must also play its role in establishing peace in the world, unencumbered by politics, injustice or favouritism.”

Concluding, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“I hope and pray that Allah the Almighty enables the United Nations and the world’s governments to act in this way so that true and long-lasting peace may be established. The alternative does not bear thinking about, because if we continue as we are then the world is charging madly towards a huge catastrophe in the shape of another world war.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:

“May Allah grant wisdom to the world’s leaders and policy makers so that the world we leave behind for our children and future generations is a world of peace and prosperity.”

During the event, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad presented Hon. Louise Arbour, the former High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations and a former Canadian Supreme Court Judge with the Sir Zafrullah Khan Award for Public Service. This award recognised her outstanding public service during her long and distinguished career.

Upon receipt of the award, Hon. Louise Arbour said:

“I am deeply honoured to receive this very prestigious award that is named after a great jurist, lawyer, judge and a great diplomat. I am particularly honoured to be associated with Sir Zafrullah Khan, as he was a Chief Judge and President of the International Court of Justice… I have also always been deeply impressed by the promotion of the culture of peace that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has stood for and continues to stand for.”

A number of guest speakers also took to the stage.

Hon. Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and official representative of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said:

“It is an honour and privilege to be here tonight to welcome His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Fifth Caliph and leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to Parliament Hill. All of Parliament Hill has come together today to join His Holiness, to celebrate with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and to demonstrate our strong support… The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community makes an enormous difference here in Canada and always demonstrates Love for All, Hatred for None.”

Dr. James J. Zogby, Vice-Chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom said:

“Your Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, on behalf of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom I am honoured to be with you tonight. What has always impressed us about the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is how, despite being all too often victims of persecution, you remain champions for the rights of others who are being persecuted. In a world where intolerance seems to be increasing the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community remains a strong advocate of tolerance and goodwill.”

Earlier in the day, His Holiness held a range of meetings with Federal Ministers of Canada’s Government, Senators and MPs. His Holiness also held a meeting with Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau.

The Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was also officially recognised by the Speaker of Parliament during a session of Question Period, in which all present members of the House of Commons, including the Prime Minister, stood and gave His Holiness a standing ovation.

Further, Hon. Judy Sgro MP, read out a Members Statement in the House of Commons that stated:

Mr. Speaker, earlier today the global spiritual leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community arrived in Ottawa for a formal visit to Parliament Hill.

During his time with us, he will meet with Cabinet Ministers, Senators, Members of Parliament, and the Prime Minister in an effort to further underscore his peaceful message of love for all and hatred for none.

This work is part of an ongoing effort undertaken by His Holiness to showcase the peaceful nature and beauty of the faith (of Islam) and while calling on global powers to advance an agenda of peace, religious freedom, and the advancement of human rights in Canada and around the world.

I applaud His Holiness and members of the global Ahmadiyya faith for their work, and I extend a hand of friendship on behalf of my constituents and the people of Canada.”

The special reception concluded with a silent prayer led by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad. Following dinner Parliamentarians and guests were able to meet personally with His Holiness. @AhmadiyyatIslam

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