In his Friday Sermon of 11 May 2018 (24 Shabaan 1439 AH), Hadhrat Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim (atba) of Mauritius gave a profound discourse on the significance of the Holy Month of Ramadan to the fortunes of the Muslims. Drawing on episodes of sacred history, Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba) surveys the great obstacles early believers had to confront to establish Islam in its Arab heartland, especially in Ramadan of the years after the Hijra. Indeed the narratives of history testify that the companions of the Holy Prophet (sa) were fasting in Ramadan even as they were winning critical battles against the forces of evil and oppression in the land. Hunger, thirst, sex- no basic human needs could come in the way of great striving in pursuit of lofty responsibilities.
Only those who know the past can shape the future. Through the vital lessons in sacred memory, Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba) calls our attention to the grave responsibilities of today. To confront the challenges being mounted by anti-Islam forces in the world and to create a just world where the Muslim Ummah as a whole can flourish, Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba) provides important advices and insights for the Muslim leaders of today. The spiritual discourse underscores the need for fostering the spirit of unity within the Ummah. This unity can only be forged by showing healthy respect for the diversity of thoughts and ideas among the various strands of Muslims today, especially by their States in their administrative and governance frameworks. Fundamental human rights such as freedom of speech and expression should be institutionally protected, with no one being allowed to sit in judgement over the faith/beliefs/convictions of others. Pointing to the prevailing scenario of bewildering disunity, deepening sectarianism and intolerance, creeping injustice and social strife in the ‘Islamic’ world, Hadhrat Saheb (atba) exhorts the Muslims and their influential leaders to rise above their sectarian perceptions/ ‘majoritarian’ prejudices against their brethren in faith and to ensure justice for everyone regardless of their identity or personal beliefs.
Illustrating his point, Hadhrat Saheb (atba) notes the searing irony of a State (Pakistan) claiming to profess ‘Islamic’ values in its Constitution and the Laws and yet denying the freedom of conscience and of expression to its own citizens. Unfortunately for the hapless people of Pakistan, the deadly poison of competitive politics over religious/sectarian identity has cast its long shadow over the integrity and fairness of the nation’s governance structures. Of late, the national criminal law is being wantonly and rampantly misused by thuggish/fascist elements in society to curtail human rights in the land- they seek to intimidate religious minorities- including the ‘Ahmadis’; arrest and imprison contrarian individuals for their personal opinions. Nasir Ahmad Sultani, the Pakistani Muslim citizen of Ahmadi sect who claims to be a recipient of Divine revelations in this era, has been arrested by the authorities under the notorious ‘Blasphemy Law’ and he remains imprisoned even after a year. This is a clear case of abuse and excess of the legal process. For, the State and the Law should have no business curtailing the freedoms of thought, belief, conscience, speech, expression of any individual. It is indeed the responsibility of the State and the Law to protect the various manifestations of free speech so long as there is no direct incitement to imminent violence. How should we look at a Law/State that behaves like a predator than a protector of human rights?
In a society that has politically sanctioned the murder/lynching of innocents in the name of ‘Allah’/ ‘Honour of the Holy Prophet’, etc., the imprisonment of a man for his opinions might seem trifle. The administrative/judicial measure of a period of imprisonment for the accused in ‘Blasphemy’ cases was apparently to ‘protect’ the ‘accused’ from the blood-thirsty Mullahs who are baying for human blood in public meetings! Such is the dire state of affairs in Pakistan that the country sits on the brink of losing its original moorings.
Hadhrat Khalifatullah’s timely appeal for justice and respect for human rights also contains within it a Divine warning for the Pakistani society. A society that does not tolerate religious diversity and respect freedom of conscience of individuals only ends up challenging Allah’s Grand Order of Things. In the name of their mundane power to define ‘legitimate religiosity’, they are playing ‘God’ and denying justice and rights of people! When a nation’s leaders exceed the bounds, they ignore common sense and the lessons of history, only to write its destiny in bloody conflicts and thereby they finish peace (‘Islam’) in the land with their own hands- see the fate of ‘Islamic’ nations in our times- Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, etc. Indeed it is for the righteous people-sincere believers- to stand up for the type of society they want to be, in Pakistan and beyond.
Read the Extracts from the Sermon:
‘...We must not be divided among ourselves. We must stop this division and not let it continue. On the contrary we are all Muslim brothers and we must unite when we hear all the sacrifices made and we must fight to preserve the teachings of Islam. So, let us forget our differences. I as the Khalifatullah of this era, I tell you, let us unite, stop fighting among ourselves, and let us preserve the Tawhid and Sunnah of our beloved prophet Hadhrat Muhammad (pbuh).
It is unfortunate that Muslims and Muslims are fighting each other, and everyone treats his brother as non-Muslim, judges his faith and institutes laws to prevent his Muslim brother from practicing Islam as ordered by Allah. All massacres against Muslims of any group in Islam, be it Sunni, Shia or Ahmadi, etc., do we have the approval of God to decree that the one who says: LAA ILAAHA ILLALLAHU MUHAMMADUR RASSULLULLAH, is not a Muslim?
How is it that there are Muslim countries like Pakistan - whose name Paak means pure - but unfortunately at the head of this country, there are people who do not act like really pure citizens from this 'Paak' land to make prevail the tolerance of religions and the faith and Aqidah of people. Hadhrat Muhammad (pbuh) and the basic teachings of Islam even forbid anyone to force anyone to accept the religion of Islam. But in the case of Ahmadis, it is unfortunate that Muslims are preventing their fellow Muslims (like them) from practicing the same ISLAM. And now, under the blasphemy law, they are arresting Ahmadi Muslims and all those who support freedom of expression in this branch of religion to imprison or kill them. Indeed horrible what they are doing!
I appeal to you: Abandon your non-Islamic practices you do in the name of Islam and let Allah make His own judgment. You disagree that such and such individuals are Muslims or not? So why dirty your hand and conscience? Let Allah do His work. He is the best Judge. It is He who knows very well who is Muslim or not. He alone knows who is sincere to Him and Islam.
It is unfortunate that you are using worldly means to prevent Ahmadi Muslims from practicing Islam. Yes, I specify, ISLAM. Ahmadis have one God, it's ALLAH, and our prophet is indeed Hadhrat Muhammad (pbuh), and our sacred book is indeed the Holy Quran, and our Shahada is verily: LAA ILAAHA ILLALLAHU MUHAMMADUR RASSULLULLAH. Who can erase our belief from our heart? Who can do that when Allah is our Protector? Allah knows very well His true servants, and His true servants are scattered among the different groups of Islam, and the day has come when Allah is doing the sorting to bring forth His good servants so that they can bring back the glory of Islam.
History repeats itself, but only I am not perfect like our noble prophet Hadhrat Muhammad (pbuh) but in spite of that, Allah chose me to try to become a little Muhammad, in order to follow in his footsteps and to become worthy of being a prophet-reformer in the Ummah of Hadhrat Muhammad (pbuh) for the reform of Islam and Humanity as a whole. Never, never could I even reach the height of the ankle of my master Hadhrat Muhammad (pbuh). When Allah say that I am an Adam, a Dawud etc., this does not mean that my status is greater or better (than Hadhrat Muhammad (pbuh)) or that I am creating another religion, but that simply means to say that Allah has reflected in me all these qualities, the excellences of all His prophets - only not 100% - so that I may be able to do the noble work (and the responsibility thereof) that He has placed on my shoulders.
It is unfortunate that Muslims use the (mundane) laws they have developed to prevent people from practicing Islam and expressing their opinions. Despite the fact that even though Nasir Ahmad Sultani called me a liar, and proclaimed that he was the truthful one, it has been more than a year since the Pakistani authority arrested him, and since March 2017 we have been without news of him. As Khalifatullah, I appeal to the Pakistani authority to release him. Beware. It is not you who must judge him, but it is the task of Allah. Whether truthful or not, it is not for you to punish or honour him. It is only Allah who will settle the matter with him and with all those who are liars, who use the name of Allah to proclaim to come from God when they have not received the divine command to do so.
Do not take justice in your hands when you do not know how to do justice, when you cannot judge with an open mind and hear out the concerned party (with justice). Allah does the best; so why are you in a hurry to exterminate people because of their faith? Have you received any revelation from Allah to kill Muslims like yourselves? I repeat: Let Allah settle the matter with His creatures. He alone knows who is true and who is false. The truth must triumph, Insha-Allah.
Wa makaru wa makarallah wallaahu khairul makereen.
And they (i.e. the infidels) planned, but Allah planned. And Allah is the best of planners. (Al-Imran 3: 55).
The time has come for us to stop judging the faith of our brothers and sisters and to analyze our own faith, and certainly the month of Ramadan is the perfect month/ time to do that. In this month of Ramadan (which is just around the corner), let's take away all the hatred we had against our brothers who share the same religion as us (in this case, Islam). Let us all pray together in this blessed month that Allah the Exalted gives us strength and success to lay the foundation of this Sahih Al Islam (of this authentic Islam) so that ISLAM is once again unified and solid.
May Allah (swt) help us to become among those who will raise the great value (the greatness) of Islam, and that during Ramadan and beyond this month we can give due respect and value to all the 700 divine commandments that are found in His Sacred Book (the Quran), and help us to become such individuals who practice what they say. Ameen.
O believers, in this blessed month of Ramadan, send many Darood on our beloved and noble prophet Hadhrat Muhammad (pbuh), on his companions, his biological and spiritual descendants for all times. Insha-Allah, Ameen.
To read the first part, click Ramadan in Islamic history.