Freedom of religion in any civilized society includes the fundamental human rights to profess, practice and preach one's spiritual convictions, regardless of whether the State or other persons in society approve of those beliefs and practices. There can be no compulsion in matters of religion. Just as no one can be forced against their will to listen to a discourse, no one has the liberty to obstruct the peaceful preaching of a message to others, either. And the preaching of Islam is an appeal to the spiritual conscience of men and women. As the Holy Qur'an says, 'the truth has come from your Lord: let those who wish to believe in it do so, and let those who wish to reject it do so' (18: 30). Divine Messengers in the past had repeatedly been asked to convey the situation as it is: "People, the Truth has come to you from your Lord. Whoever follows the right path follows it for his own good, and whoever strays does so to his own loss: I am not your Guardian" (10:109).
For a century or so, the mainstream Ahmadis had relied on these sublime Islamic principles of freedom of human conscience and the liberty of individual choices in their extraordinary efforts in spreading the message of Islam-Ahmadiyyat among hostile opponents and other adversarial elements everywhere. Yet, today they are increasingly intolerant. This is starkly visible in Kerala these days, even as the message of Allah, being conveyed through the Divine Reformer of our times, the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius, has recently reached the corners of India.
When the disciples of the Khalifatullah (atba) recently sought to convey the Divine message in the town of Karunagappally, the Ahmadi youths in Kerala (India) got enraged and wanted to extinguish the possibility of the message reaching the common Ahmadis. In his Friday Sermon of July 18, 2014, in the course of his expositions on the Holy Month of Ramadan, the Khalifatullah (atba) took note of the Tabligh Incident.
Read the Extracts from the Sermon:
Recently in the month of Ramadan (last week), some of our members from Kerala/Tamil Nadu went in a town of Kerala to distribute our message/pamphlet with a spirit of goodness to give the message, and thus to benefit to the maximum from their efforts for the cause of Allah in this blessed month. At the same time, I must precise that there is absolutely no compulsion in religion (Islam). Nobody is to be coerced to listen and accept the message of Allah and the Khalifatullah.
And if you do not have the intention to listen to the message and accept it, therefore, you must not also restrict other brothers and sisters from listening and accepting the message. This is what happened in that town of Kerala (Karunagappally), where our brothers went on the field of tabligh and distributed the message, especially to the Ahmadis, but unfortunately, in the course of their mission, there came to them a group of more than 25 Ahmadi youths from the Ahmadiyya Association who came to fight with them, brutalising and persecuting them right then in the month of Ramadan. Like I said, if you on a personal level are not interested to listen to the message, then do not come to stop your brother to do his duty, and as for you, you should not restrict the others from listening.
There was a time when our dynamic brothers of Ahmadiyyat sacrificed a lot to go on mission to spread the message of the advent of the Messiah and the message which Allah revealed through him. At that time, it was the other Muslims who used to brutalise, menace and persecute them, and there were even some who killed those Ahmadis. What do we see today? The Ahmadis have taken at their turn the torch to persecute the true followers of the Messenger whom Allah has chosen for you all, to revive Islam, that is, those same teachings which Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) and Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) brought and revived. Whereto are the Ahmadis going? In which baseness have they fallen?
In Kerala, some days back, there were also Ahmadis who were not stubborn who listened and took the message, whereas the stubborn ones took recourse to violence, and even hurt our brothers physically in this holy month of Ramadan. Is this the example taught by both Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) and Hazrat Massih Ma’ud (as)? When those ill-mannered youths had recourse to violence and menaces, the Ahmadi Muballighs and the Amir of that place did nothing to stop such assault and violence against our brothers.
In Kerala, our brothers, like Janab Amir Jamaludin Sahib and Janab Amir Thahir Sahib, and our other dynamic brothers who each doing to the best of their abilities great works to pass on the Divine Manifestation, that is, the message of Islam. We can only pass on the message, not open the hearts of people to force them to accept the message. It is only Allah who has the capacity to open hearts and give Hidaayat (right guidance). Each (of our brothers) is making his efforts to contribute in this great work, and each has his part of work he is ding to make Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam (the true teachings of Islam) shine in the four corners of Kerala, India and the entire world.
I therefore ask my Ahmadi brothers from Kerala, do not follow the trace of the Satan, lest you slip and fall from a place where you shall hurt yourselves immensely. Do not become the persecutors of such people who, for the cause of Allah are seeking to spread His message with all sincerity and capability. If you accept the message, it will be good for you, but if you reject it, then you shall be accountable for this before Allah, not before the Khalifatullah or anyone else.
But bear in mind that there was a time when you also (as the body of Ahmadiyyat) suffered and is still suffering persecutions from the hands of the other Muslims. Is it that when you have been persecuted by the hands of these people who call themselves Muslims, has this in any way diminish the value of the veracity of Hazrat Massih Ma’ud (as) or your faith in him?
Are you then bent on persecuting another part of the body of Islam, of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) and Hazrat Massih Ma’ud (as) – the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam? Do you want to make history by being labelled the persecutors of the disciples of the new Messiah, or do you want to become those who helped his cause/mission for the love of Allah?
Therefore, in this month of Ramadan, each of you know his own deed and intention, and it is only Allah who knows who have spent the whole month of Ramadan in serenity, and have maximised this blessed month without feeling tired, and with a sincere heart. We pray Allah that He accepts our fasts, supplications, prayers and our sacrifices which we make in His path, for His cause.
The word Ramadan is constituted of 5 alphabets: Re, Mim, Dward, Alif and Nun and each alphabet holds a special significance:
1. ‘Re’ for Rahmat-e-Ilaahi : The Divine Favour.
2. ‘Mim’ for Muhabbat-e- Ilaahi: The Love of Allah
3. ‘Dward’ for Dwaman-e- Ilaahi: The Guarantee of Allah
4. ‘Alif’ for Amman-e- Ilaahi: The Protection of Allah
5. ‘Noon’ for Noor-e- Ilaahi: The Light of Allah.
In the month of Ramadan there are 5 special acts of worship: fasting, night prayers, Quran recitation, spiritual retreat and the acts of worships of Laila-tul-Qadr (the Night of Decree). One who performs these 5 Ibaadat out of sincerity, he shall be entitled to the five rewards which I previously mentioned. Insha-Allah.
“Innallahu ma-allaziinat taqaw wallaziina hum-musinuun” – Allah remains with those who lives a good life and who do good.