BLASPHEMY & ISLAM

Who is committing blasphemy, the critics of Islam or the so-called clergy and their followers?  

IMAM LAIQ AHMED ATIF, MALTA

I would like to start by stating that, our Lord and Master, the Chief of the Prophets, the Chief of all mankind, Muhammadsa, the chosen one was the perfect man with the highest and loftiest character, millions and millions of blessings and peace be upon his noble soul. Ameen

The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdias, a true and devoted lover of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, has expressed his love for him in an exceptional way. He says: “After God I am inebriated with the love of Muhammadsa; if this is infidelity, then by God I am a great infidel.”

 This love was instilled in him by the Divine who bestowed on him the following revelation: “Every blessing is from Muhammad on whom be peace and blessings of Allah. Blessed is He Who taught and he who was taught.”

 The Promised Messiahas, further states that: “We have attached ourselves to a Prophet who manifests God to us. A poet has put it beautifully:

Muhammad of Arabia, King of both the worlds;

Whose threshold is safeguarded by the Holy Spirit

I cannot call him God, but I do say;

To recognize him is to recognize God

How shall we express our gratitude to God who bestowed upon us the good fortune to follow the Prophet who is a sun for the souls of the righteous as there is a sun for the bodies. He appeared in a time of darkness and illumined the world with his light. He was neither tired nor fatigued till he purified all parts of Arabia from associating partners with God. He is the proof of his own truth for his light is present in every age and true obedience to him purifies a person in the manner clear and transparent water of a river cleanses dirty linen.” (Chashma-e-Ma’rifat, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 23, pp. 302-303)

Undoubtedly, we all love the Holy Prophet Muhammad, infinite blessings of Allah be upon him. But what does true love mean? What is the right way to express our gratitude and sincerity with him?

This is a crucial question of utmost importance that every Muslim must find the answer for.

In recent weeks, the world has witnessed the closure of roads, violence, aggression, killing, disruption in the law and order, a great deal of congestion and extreme inconvenience for the general public on the streets of Pakistan. This all was staged with the slogan of love for the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa.

Is this truly the way to show love for him? What was his character and what were the examples he set for us to follow in his footsteps?

For me as an Ahmadi Muslim, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him, is dearer to me than my own life; and if I had 1000 lives, I would be ready to sacrifice them all in an instant for his sake. He is the love of my life. We have been taught that after Almighty God, we must love the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa above all else.

However, rationality requires me to deliberate, what does true love mean? Does it mean to kill others, create a chaotic situation in the country, create inconvenience for the general public, block roads, burn tyres, cars, buses and properties or, does true love demand that we follow his noble example and divine teachings brought by him (ignoring the misinterpretations of today’s clerics) and become well-wishers of humanity just as he was titled by God as a “Blessing for the entire mankind”?

I truly believe that true love means to truly follow the guidance and footsteps of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa. Therefore, we must substantiate our claim with concrete examples and must try to become like him as without actions, it is just a hollow claim which does not qualify on any merits.

Hazrat Musleh Maood, Khalifatul Masih IIra, has very beautifully summarised the duties of a citizen as explained by Islam and practiced by the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, in his book: ‘Ahmadiyyat or the True Islam’, p. 250-256, that are guiding principles for all of us to reflect upon and to follow. I would like to mention a few.

A duty of a Muslim citizen is that he should greet everybody he meets with the salutation, ‘Peace of God be upon you,’ thus laying the foundations of good fellowship. A Muslim is required to visit those of his friends and neighbours who may be ill, to console and cheer them.

Muslims are told to avoid undignified conduct and such conduct as is likely to offend or annoy others. The Holy Quran says that the Muslims should walk in the streets and bazaars in a dignified manner.

Muslims must not throw refuse into streets or public places. The Holy Prophetsa has said that God is displeased with a man who throws refuse on to streets or places of public resort. On the other hand, Muslims are required to help in keeping such places clean and free from obstruction or danger. The Holy Prophetsa says,

‘God is pleased with a man who removes from a road that which is likely to cause annoyance or obstruction.’

Muslims are prohibited from quarrelling in public places, and thus disturbing the peace and comfort of others. They must not utter abuse, or do any other act likely to offend or annoy.

Another duty of a Muslim is to exhort people to virtue and to warn them against evil. But he must do so with kindness and affection, lest people out of contrariness, should recede further from virtue.

Another duty of a Muslim is not to endanger the lives and safety of others. For instance, the Holy Prophetsa has prohibited people of an infected area from going outside that area, and people from other areas from entering an infected area. This injunction anticipated by a matter of centuries quarantine regulations and other similar measures, which are supposed to be the result of the wisdom gained from modern science and research.

A Muslim should be ever ready to make sacrifices for national and patriotic causes, and should be active in the discharge of his civic duties and responsibilities.

Another duty of a Muslim is to save the life of a person who is in danger; and if he fails to render assistance in such a case he draws upon himself the anger of God. The Holy Prophetsa has said, ‘A man who sees another being murdered and does not render him any assistance or make an effort to save him, is under the curse of God.’ It is, therefore, the duty of a Muslim to rescue the drowning, help in putting out fires, and to render assistance in times of calamity like earthquakes, mining disasters, railway collisions, volcanic eruptions, storms, etc.

In short, whenever and wherever there is danger to life and security, a Muslim must render every assistance in his power towards the work of rescue; if he fails in this duty, he is answerable to God for his default, and would not deserve the grace and mercy of God. Again, a Muslim is prohibited from pointing a weapon or an arm even playfully at another.

Such is a Muslim! But by Muslim I do not mean the so-called Muslim of today who has entirely forsaken Islam and looks to the West for moral and spiritual sustenance of every description. By a Muslim I mean the Muslim of thirteen hundred years ago, whose type has been revived in the present age by the Promised Messiahas.

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About the Author: Laiq Ahmed Atif is currently serving as an Imam and National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Malta. He is a very regular writer in national and international newspapers and journals, in Urdu, Maltese and English. amjmalta@gmail.com

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