This week we saw a program, broadcast in the UK on Channel 4, which showed the tragic story of a mother whose son embraced Islam and then misled by extremists went to Somalia to kill the non-believers. Four and a half years later he was killed when he and his companions tried to attack non-Muslims in Kenya.
We present an alternative narrative which shows that the Holy Quran’s command to conduct a jihad does not mean that a Muslim should go out and slaughter innocent non-Muslims. This is a reading of parts of the English translation of the Promised Messiah’s (as) book, “British Government and jihad”.
Last week was VE day which was celebrated with great pomp and ceremony. In this khutba we look at the Holy Quran’s teaching that persecution is worse than killing. It is shown that the treatment of Germany after the First World War, which may be regarded as being in line with mosaic law, led to such deprivation that it led to the rise of Nazis in Germany. The attempts to appease Nazis, which may be regarded as being in accordance with Jesus’ teaching to turn the other check, led to unimaginable persecution and suffering. The Allies had to turn to the Quranic teaching that persecution is worse that slaughter to overcome the Nazis and put an end to persecution.
But it is the Middle East and the Fertile Crescent that is the most, well, fertile area for antique urbanity. Not that this makes the job of firmly planting a flag on the oldest city any easier. Cities in this region have not shouted their claims, or investigated them, or tried to trade them for the tourist dollar, as energetically as have the big hitters in ancient city fame, such as Rome, Athens or even Cirencester.
Iraq for instance has Kirkuk, once the ancient Assyrian capital of Arrapha, founded around 2,200BC, and with the ruins of a 5,000-year-old castle to prove its bona fides. Then there is nearby Erbil, capital of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, which claims settlements dating back to 6,000BC.
Iran meanwhile has Susa, now the delightfully named Shush, administrative centre of Shush Country, which has an acropolis – a sure sign of ancient city status – that is carbon-dated to around 4,200BC, and evidence of permanent homemaking going back another 800 years. Susa’s claims are somewhat dented, however, by the fact that it was downgraded to “small settlement” between the 15th and 20th centuries.
Jerusalem and Beirut can both claim urbanisation going back to at least 3,000 BC, as can Jericho in the West Bank.
In this very interesting article The Guardian have tried to pin point the oldest city in the World, and as expected the large majority of the places which can lay claim to this title fall within the Middle East. Its sad to note, as mentioned in one of the comments, that these ancient, beautiful cities are being (or have already been) destroyed by men due to their inhumanity towards other men.
World Ameer of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Association for the propagation of Islam, President of its UK branch and Dr Zahid Aziz spoke at the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday 19 November 2014.
Hazrat Ameer spoke on the long history of peaceful propagation of Islam by the Lahore-Ahmadiyya to the West, which started when its founder invited Queen Victoria to embrace Islam and continues to this day. He also stressed that Islam abhors violence particularly in propagation of Islam.
Dr Zahid Aziz used the Holy Quran and hadith to show that there is no punishment of apostasy in Islam, Jihad does not mean violent attacks on innocent people but a peaceful struggle for the advancement of religion of Islam and that Islam does not allow men to beat their wives.
Shahid Aziz made clear that although an Islamic organisation the Lahore-Ahmadiyya is different and distinct from all others and believe that
the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the last prophet and after him, no prophet shall come, whether an old one or a new one;
all those who say they are Muslims, should be regarded as such because it is for Allah to decide who is right and who is wrong;
women have equal rights to men;
science and Islam are not contradictory;
there is nothing un-Islamic in technology, he pointed to use of astronomical calculation to find the beginning and end of Ramadan and the earlt adoption by the Lahore-Ahmadiyya of live streaming which they use for streaming sermons, lectures and prayers over the internet.
Many tragic events have struck the Muslim world in the past few weeks. These are recognised as tragic by everyone. But in this video Dr Zahid Aziz talks about certain events of the past few days which are not recognised as tragic for the Muslim world, but they certainly are!
As Muslims, one of the things that is demanded of us, is that we must all publicly apologise and stand up together against the random acts of violence of some people who call themselves Muslims.
I find the notion that all Muslims must publicly condemn someone else’s acts just because they so happen to be Muslims bizarre. Not only is it silly to suggest that unless we condemn them we must somehow support them, but it also lends a level of legitimacy to those people.
Rather than apologise, and cower to the media and public we should be following the example of the greatest Muslims of the past and drive civilisation forwards through science and engineering and the teachings of The Holy Quran.
The Independent has a great article which goes through just 20 examples of how Muslims changed the World for the better.
Many modern surgical instruments are of exactly the same design as those devised in the 10th century by a Muslim surgeon called al-Zahrawi. His scalpels, bone saws, forceps, fine scissors for eye surgery and many of the 200 instruments he devised are recognisable to a modern surgeon. It was he who discovered that catgut used for internal stitches dissolves away naturally (a discovery he made when his monkey ate his lute strings) and that it can be also used to make medicine capsules. In the 13th century, another Muslim medic named Ibn Nafis described the circulation of the blood, 300 years before William Harvey discovered it. Muslims doctors also invented anaesthetics of opium and alcohol mixes and developed hollow needles to suck cataracts from eyes in a technique still used today.
The Holy Prophet (s) said that at the time of the Messiah the burden of war will be lifted. World War One led to such carnage that it was thought that there would never be another war and the League of Nations was set up.
But World War II was even more devastating than World War I. This time whole cities were carpet bombed. During World War I devastating weapons were invented. During World War II even more terrible weapons were invented such as the atom bomb and later the Hydrogen Bomb.
Use of the Atom Bomb on Japan showed that if there is another World war there is a real possibility that the whole world will be destroyed.
This is another sign that Hazrat sahib was the Promised Messiah because it was after he appeared that all people realised that they can no longer afford to go to war.
For a war to be classed as a just war it has to meet certain criteria – the three Cs – cause, conduct and conclusion and this khutba shows that WWI did not satisfy the criteria under any head. Although the ordinary people made great sacrifices and they should be remembered, the War itself cannot be justified as a Just War.
Allah gives us a very clear distinction between Worldly leaders, such as President Obama, and Prophets. He tells us that Worldly leaders are only interested in their own self interests where-as Prophets only follow the command of Allah.
We look at these verses of The Holy Quran in more details and use example of the recent past to explain them.
How are Muslims and Islam talked about in the UK press? This is the question linguist Professor Tony McEnery wanted to answer.
His team looked at the usage of the phrase ‘Muslim World’, and Mr McEnery argues that this phrase, which was used 11,000 times in articles discussing Islam written from 1998 to 2009 by the British press, highlights an unsettling trend in the media — using language that characterizes Muslims as violent and unusual — a trend that, as he shows, has a long history and he asks us to change.
We have set the video above to start playing at 2 minutes and 7 seconds, as this is when Professor McEnery begins his speech on the above topic.