Saturday, December 28, 2019

'Be Helpers in the Cause of God'


Become the Helpers of Allah!

O you who believe! Become helpers of Allah: As said Jesus, son of Mary, to the Disciples, ‘Who will be my helpers in the cause of Allah?’ The disciples answered, ‘We are Allah’s helpers!’ then a portion of the Children of Israel believed, and a portion disbelieved: But We gave power to those who believed, against their enemies, and they became the ones that prevailed.” (As-Saff, 61: 15)

In the history of nations, on occasion they are obliged to take certain basic decisions. This had equal application to worldly as well as divine communities. When confronted with such situation, using a well-known phrase, they have to decide: “to be or not to be?” This is the question. Today the question is whether you will advance or you will perish.

In the religious world, since the origin of faith is divine, this option is not applicable. It is already decreed that the divine communities will advance. There is never a question of retreat. For the achievement of the goal set for them, they are always prepared to sacrifice all. Such an occasion has now arisen in the history of the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam. The verse that I have just recited is most appropriate for our times also.

Even if Jesus (as), the Messiah and the Prophet of Allah is dead, but his image has come yet again in this era through the will of Allah to give you all a new lease of life. Had the Christians and Muslims understood the real scope of this truth, they would have stopped waiting for the physical descent of Jesus, son of Mary, Prophet of Allah to the Israelites.

Now, a new era has dawned. This era is that of Islam and perpetually so, till the end of times. Even though the origin of all religions or faiths is divine, but through the course of all these centuries, people have lost their original essence, i.e. the unity of God. Thus, with time, association with God became widespread in religions which were basically monotheists and true. Their teachings were falsified to quench the thirst for power of the modern divines [i.e. the high priests, pundits, etc.]

But now, with the rise of a Man of God who has come in the mantle of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to revive the true teachings of all previous faiths, the time is crucial, and help is needed to break all false doctrines which have crept in the pure faith.

The Holy Quran instructs those who believe to enlist themselves as: Helpers in the cause of Allah, in the same manner as Jesus (as), the son of Mary who asked his disciples: ‘Who amongst you will help me for the sake of Allah?’ So Allah enabled a party of the Children of Israel to believe while another party disbelieved.

Furthermore, Allah says: “We gave power to those who believed, against their enemies, and they became the ones that prevailed.”

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

The Larger Meaning of 'Kalima'


On the occasion of the 9th Jalsa Salana of the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam in Kerala (India) at the historic Noor'ul Islam Masjid, Mathra (South Kerala) on 22-23 December 2019, Imam-e-Jamaat Hadhrat Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim (atba) of Mauritius addressed the gathering of spiritual seekers, elucidating on the purpose of faith. True faith in, and worship of, the Lord Almighty, the Unique creator and sustainer of the universe, requires more than mere verbal declarations. When the heart truly recognizes the Majesty and All-encompassing Power of the Lord over all affairs, it becomes capable of ignoring all selfish desires  and worldly diversions. Such a heart  inspires righteous action, carrying out tasks in service of our common humanity. Hence, true belief in 'Tawheed' is a great blessing: it removes inner vices and transforms our negative emotions, sorrows and worries; thereby creating a veritable state of paradise on earth for the believer, notes Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba) in the special message. 

Read the Text of the Sermon Below:        

'My dearest disciples,
Assalamoualaikum Warahmatullah Wabarakaatuhu.

It gives me great pleasure to know that the Kerala Jamaat is holding its Jalsa Salana on the 22nd & 23rd December 2019. Masha-Allah. May Allah (swt) bless your efforts and reward you immensely in this life and the hereafter for all your sacrifices and works for the cause of Allah. I pray to Allah (swt) that this Jalsa Salana may prove to be a step forward towards realizing the aims and objects for which the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam has been founded. Like I keep saying, the banner of Islam has to be raised high; higher than all other banners, and the message of the Holy Quran has to be conveyed to every human being, of every colour, race and culture, etc. We are witnessing a dark era wherein there is a sense of frustration all round. Despite all worldly comforts there is unrest and uneasiness in every heart. This is because people have abandoned the worship of the One True God.

Alhamdulillah, in this darkened era, Allah has manifested His light of guidance through the advent of His Chosen One, i.e. this humble self, the Khalifatullah (Caliph of Allah). I have often made it clear that you should not be happy just with the fact that you are called Muslims and that you believe in the Shahada Laa Ilaaha Illallah, i.e. There is no god but Allah. Those who read the Holy Quran know well that God Almighty is not pleased with mere verbal statements nor does mere talk develop any inner goodness in a person. Unless the nature of one’s deeds and actions undergoes correction, nothing can be achieved. 

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Good Manners: Prophetic Insights


Ghibbat… Some Hadiths: Part- IV

By the grace of Allah, I continue the subject of my Friday sermon on “Ghibbat” - backbiting, thinking badly of a person, being jealous of him, and seeking to harm him only for the purpose of having the satisfaction of seeing others spit on him and dishonour him.

This is a subject that must be developed again and again for the education of all people in general and especially for our members of the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam. If you analyze this subject in depth, you will also find that in our society that we are living today, there are problems between brothers where you see a brother humiliating his own brother, whereby he takes him as an inferior person. If someone knows his own person well, then he would never consider others to be inferior. Hazrat Massih Ma’ud (as) explained this in this way, that you need to implant in your thoughts the idea that you are worse than others, and thus you will see how, Insha-Allah this remedy will actually work.

On top of that, Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) said that a person should not consider someone else as inferior, because when you analyze your own being, you will find that it is you who are inferior, and if you have some honour it is just because Allah is doing Pardah Poshi with you. If you have any status, any rank, any knowledge, any intelligence, or you have money, beauty, lots of children etc., then, it’s just by the grace and blessing of Allah.

When someone understands this well, then when he sees someone who is inferior to him, he will be ashamed and shall not consider him as a lowly person, and this is a reality whereby when you sees the other person, and you think that despite his difficult situation he is more advanced than you in the field of sacrifice, sincerity and striving to spread the Deen-e-Islam, etc. So, you are ashamed, and you seek divine forgiveness and you never again dare to consider him as an inferior being [of low status].

Saturday, December 14, 2019

'Kitab-ul-Adab': On Envy and Enmity


Ghibbat- Part IX

Last week I told you about my own experience, and I also gave you the example of those who are sincere in their joy and desire to do similar work as that of their brother and this is not jealousy. And I have also explained to you about those who are jealous by citing a Hadith of Nabi Kareem (pbuh) which is found in the compilations of Hadiths of Muslim and Bukhari, in chapter Kitab-ul-Adab and reported by Hazrat Abu Huraira (ra).

So if a person has [If you have] this contentment [pleasure for others’ success & joy] in him [in you], then while thanking Allah (swt) you should benefit from this joy, and the advantage that is mentioned here is that you have to compete with others in good deeds, in good works. And it is as a result of this desire which has been created that it has been said that if you find some good in someone, then try to surpass him in this good action. This is not forbidden, but jealousy means that you seek to change one’s beauties into evil, into bad deeds. It is nowhere mentioned that human nature is bad. No! Because it is the creation of Allah. If man (human) uses his nature correctly according to the situations that arise, this is what we call high and excellent qualities, admirable qualities, and good actions.

So, there is the desire to exceed a person, but it should be done only in the accomplishment of good deeds [Fastabikul Khairaat], but you should not do this by changing his good qualities into bad qualities [by portraying his good deeds as bad deeds], or you seek such defects in him that he does not even have, or you seek his weaknesses [such weaknesses that he indeed has] and you spread this news everywhere. So when you do all this, you do it because of jealousy and the Quran does not give you permission to do this at all.

Then it has been said not to develop enmity, and like I just openly said that it is because of certain animosity that jealousy is created. 

Monday, December 9, 2019

'Taqwa': 'Shun the Roots of Evil'


'Ghibbat'- VIII

Alhamdulillah, Summa Alhamdulillah, today also I continue my series of sermons on Surah Al-Hujurat, and [more specifically] the Hadiths on the subjects of “Ghibbat” (backbiting, gossips - spreading misinformation), thinking badly of others and spying on people, etc.

I now quote a second Hadith that is very long and found in [the book of] Muslim and also in [that of] Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Adab.

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) as saying: Avoid suspicion, for suspicion is the gravest lie in talk and do not be inquisitive about one another and do not spy upon one another and do not feel envy with the other, and nurse no malice, and nurse no aversion and hostility against one another. And be fellow-brothers and servants of Allah.” (Muslim)

In another version of this Hadith, reported in Muslim, Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) tells us to stay away from badzani, to think badly of a person, because badzani is a bad kind of lie. Do not stay engaged in looking for the faults of others. Do not spy on your brothers, do not be greedy for good things, do not be jealous, have no enmity for your brothers, do not be insolent. Do not break relations with your brothers. Become servants of Allah and live like real brothers. A Muslim is a brother to another Muslim. And do not commit injustice among you. A Muslim does not diminish his brother and does not humiliate him either.

And Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) also pointed to [in the direction of] his heart and said that: Taqwa is here.

Friday, December 6, 2019

‘Jihad’: The Views of Imam Al-Mahdi


Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) of Qadian, the man who claimed under Divine revelations that he is the long- awaited Messiah of the Latter Days and the Mujaddid and Imam Mahdi’ of the 14th century of Islam, lived his life at a very significant period in world history (1835-1908 AD; 1250-1326 AH). The times witnessed a great political transition in India and elsewhere, with the decline and fall of the mighty Mughal Empire (1526-1857) and the simultaneous rise and rise of the British colonial suzerainty over the whole subcontinent (1857-1947) as well as other regions/nations around the world. As it happened, the Christian-missionary activities among the Muslim peoples became yet another front in the larger battle of the European imperial powers in Asia and Africa for land, riches and souls. Hence, the world of religious debates also became a battle field, with Islam coming under relentless attack at the hands of an ascendant Christianity. Hence, along with the political flux, also came profound questions of spiritual doctrine and of practical significance for the Muslims of the day. 

The debate around the doctrine of Jihad in Islam is fairly representative of the kind of issues and concerns that characterized the Muslim-Christian encounter in the colonial era in India. Against the backdrop of the anti-Muslim rhetoric by the Christian missionaries in India, there were incidents of violence involving such preachers, and those who attacked them were apparently motivated by religious hate. There are searing ironies in the whole episode: the Christian missionaries, in their zeal for tarnishing the fair name and image of Islam, propagated a false doctrine of Jihad among the ignorant masses, whereby they claimed that it is obligatory for Muslims to kill disbelievers/enemies. Certain Muslim divines, without a deeper examination of all issues, also agreed with this false notion of Jihad that legitimated extreme intolerance and indiscriminate violence against all non-Muslims. The expressions of bigotry and senseless acts of violence against innocent victims is often directly linked to the myth-making around Jihad.

Several learned Muslim scholars during the period wrote treatises against the widespread distortions and grave misunderstandings that characterized the popular concept of ‘Jihad’. For instance, Maulvi Chiragh Ali of Hyderabad (1844-1895) wrote the classic ‘A Critical Exposition of the Popular Jihad’, setting forth the historic/persecuted circumstances of the early Muslim community forming the actual context of the Qur’anic verses concerning Jihad. He wrote: 

...A cruel or revengeful tyrant may not be justified in taking up arms in his own defence, or in seeking to redress his personal wrongs and private injuries; but the whole Muslim community at Makkah was outraged, persecuted and expelled- and the entire Muhammadan commonwealth at Madina was attacked, injured and wronged- their natural rights and privileges were disregarded- after such miseries the Muslims took up arms to protect themselves from the hostilities of their enemies and to repel force by force; and were justified by every law and justice’. (A Critical Exposition of the Popular Jihad, p. xxiv-xxv, Delhi: Idarah-i-Adabiyati Dilli, written in 1885; reprint 1984)

Likewise, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (1817-1898), the illustrious founder of the Aligarh Muslim University and a towering Muslim personality of the age, also wrote extensively to elucidate the true concept of Jihad in Islam. He emphatically asserted that ‘as long as the Muslims can affirm their faith in One God and preach it in peace, the religion does not permit them to rise against the rulers irrespective of their faith or race’. 

Further, he avers that ‘Islam admits no scope for mischief, treachery, mutiny or rebellion. In fact, whosoever guarantees peace and security, he be a believer or disbeliever, is entitled to Muslim gratitude and obedience’.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

'Keep Away from Spreading Rumours'


'Ghibbat': Part VII

Alhamdulillah, Summa Alhamdulillah, today I continue my series of sermons on the subject of “Ghibbat” (backbiting, palavers, etc.). And like I told you, I come now with Hadiths on the subject.

Understanding Hadith reports: The need for Caution 

We should know, even in the case of reporting Hadiths, that we should be very careful lest we do not report the words of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) in the right way. For example : Hazrat Abu Huraira (ra) narrated that Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) said that the worst people are those with two-mouths

That is to say, he comes here and say something and then he goes elsewhere and reports another thing [i.e. not the original wordings]. In other words, he is a great hypocrite and a circulator [of news… i.e. gossip-monger/ tale-teller]. The translator is him who is hypocrite and a tale-teller as he is the one circulating the news on that person and telling it in a twisted manner. He uses such wordings which has not been originally spoken. He puts it in the way that he has understood it, even if the wordings may resemble and mean the same thing. But we should be very careful when doing translations; first of all we should say the exact translation and then we can state that it means such and such things. [i.e. give the exact translation/ meaning of the original sayings, and then you explain what has been stated in the original saying].

'Two-Faced' Persons spread false stories to ruin relations

That is why when we cross-check this Hadith, we find that those are not the exact wordings of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) – i.e. his Hadith. When we look at it closely, we find that these are indeed not the words he used. The Hadith is in fact like this:- Abu Huraira reported: 'The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,Verily, among the worst of people is one with two faces, he who comes with one face to these and another to those" (Bukhari, Muslim). 

As for the conclusion we draw from this Hadith, despite the fact that the first choice of words used means nearly the same thing, i.e. double-face and two tongues, two mouths, but the exact wordings which have been used is: two faces

Likewise, out of the context of the Hadiths, when a circulator readies himself (or herself) to spread some news (on someone), he either add to it or remove some words from the original talk of someone, and thus he change the actual meaning of the saying/ talk.

When we now analyse the Hadith where Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) has mentioned that the worst kinds of people are those with two faces, this is because the curse of being double-faced remains linked with betrayal (betraying someone) and it becomes an integral part of it.

When we look at the circulation of news and gossip and tell-tales in a global way, we will find that much disorder is created because of those hearsays. Sometimes, it enters the fold of close family circle and sometimes it reaches till a point that family ties are broken, in such a way that it becomes difficult to connect them again.

Friday, November 29, 2019

'Jihad' and World Politics


One of the most misunderstood and much maligned concepts in the world of religion today is the doctrine of ‘Jihad’ in Islam. Unlike any other matter of devotional piety in any religion, ‘Jihad’ brings around it images of a deadly cocktail of religion, identity politics and armed violence involving wily politicians, extremists and terrorists; generating genuine anxiety, confusion and fear among the people. Indeed, ‘Jihad’ has come to mean different things to different people in our times. 

In our deeply troubled world, where powerful nations set the rules of the global game, non-State actors are also increasingly becoming vital players. In States where turbulent political conditions exist, ‘Jihad’ is almost invariably associated with the call to arms and violence by certain Muslim-groups ostensibly working to protect the collective interests of the Muslim communities concerned. For many governments with separatist movements or insurgent groups in their territorial domain; ‘Jihad’ is nothing but an ideology of unbridled violence and mayhem championed by non-State actorsIn sharp contrast to this, the groups fighting States look upon ‘Jihad’ as the ideology of their political resistance against unjust regimes- the moral and ethical justification for their militant campaigns against governments that ‘oppress’ the people. Inspired by their own notions of injustice and agency; often seeking retribution for alleged past crimes of the State concerned or to induce change in State policies vis-a-vis certain matters; organized groups as well ‘lone wolfs’- including suicide bombers- perpetrate violent crimes, targeting symbols of State power. These attacks often indiscriminately impact civilians as well, leading to ‘collateral damage’- unnecessary suffering for common people caught up in such incidents.

For instance, the horrific 9/11 terror attacks in the United States of America at the beginning of this century- in the year 2001- directed at the symbols of American military and economic heft resulted also in the death of thousands of people going about their everyday lives. The terrorists who executed this most audacious attack claimed they were driven by the ideals of ‘Jihad’ in committing this mass murder. Those who waged this ‘war’ on America were seeking vengeance upon the country for its dreadful policies abroad- including military interventions that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people, and even destroyed entire societies in the Muslim world. Despite the moral high-ground the parties in conflict- States and the terror groups- seek to assert for themselves, both State terrorism and non-State terrorism are problematic for their means and methods of warfare and also due to the profound consequences such violence has upon its innocent victims, common folks like us.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Secular Despair and Spiritual Hope


The dismal state of contemporary politics 

When it comes to politics, many people are nowadays apprehensive of the future of their very own land as well as that of their generations and the general population of their country. What we see nowadays is that human rights are being forsaken for money politics and the power of the fittest, especially in the corrupted realm.

This is indeed a very delicate topic to develop [like in my Friday Sermons], yet very important, as politics, true unadulterated politics is really important for the good day-to-day running of our society, countrywide as well as worldwide.

Even if good people, with good and clear conscience strive to uproot the bad weeds in society and seek to transform the political world and make it a better place for the good management of the country, but unfortunately they are met with many obstacles in their way. One of these obstacles is money, the power of money, its power to buy the conscience of people and to put aside honesty and morality, and to dance to the tunes of the corrupted. Alas, our society today, in its global view is deteriorating day by day, and the evils of society are becoming rampant to such an extent that law and order also, in many countries of the world are getting corrupted and unable to function properly to defend the best interest of the nation and the world. The people of the world are suffering due to this mismanagement of their individual societies, which in turn have a bad repercussion on the global society.

Muhammad as the ultimately True & Perfect Political Figure

By the grace of God Almighty [Allah], Islam has the necessary measures to transform a society and make it function properly, and all credit goes to Allah Almighty through His commandments through the ages, and which have been perfected in the glorious and perfect book, the Holy Quran, and put into practice by none other than the best and seal of all prophets, Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh).

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Divine Signs on a Dawah Journey


Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba) visits Madagascar

By the grace of Allah, I have returned from Madagascar after a week there and I need to say that it was through pure divine grace that Allah manifested such success. La Ghaliba Illallah. When I landed in Madagascar my disciples received me in an emotional way for my last visit there was in 2015. They expressed themselves openly, how they were sad that the Khalifatullah [i.e. this humble self] did not come to visit them [since then]. There was so much emotions on their faces and tears were in their eyes, tears of joys, such extraordinary joy. And when I left them to return to Mauritius, they were very sad and did not want to let me go back. They wanted me to remain with them for a long time.

So, I do not have words poignant enough to describe that one week [which I spent with them]. I do not know where to begin and how to end as there were many extraordinary events.

There were signs which Allah (swt) manifested and which was witnessed by my disciples in Madagascar. One of these is that when we were going to a faraway village, and night was about to come, one of my disciples by the name of Nasir – who is a university student – told me before all those present in [our] transport: “O Caliph of Allah, we are in a place in which it rarely rains, and the people and animals, as well as the plants suffer a lot due to lack of rain water. Please pray that Allah (swt) bless this village and rain falls.” So, when said this, I told him: “OK, let’s pray!”, and it was not yet night and yet it was so hot and the sun was still bright [despite that it was nearing sunset]. Like there is a saying in Creole, “the sun was burning us to such a point that our brain was melting”.

I raised my hands and prayed in that village. When I have finished my supplications [duahs], after ten minutes, the sky became dark and there was the manifestation of lightning, such lightning which emitted an extraordinary light. Everybody was frightened by the sound of thunder. We all know that when lightning manifest, its manifestation is for few seconds only with great noise, i.e. thunder. But concerning this particular manifestation of lightning, it gave such a great light that all people kept on looking up in the sky. And the miracle in it is that the light formed the name of Allah in the sky. So, I was not the only one to witness such manifestation, but the people there. I remained silent [when I saw this] and it was the others who were crying out to others to look up in the sky to see that great divine manifestation [miracle]. Then, after five minutes, there was heavy rainfall. That rain kept on falling for five days and the people benefited from it.

So, Alhamdulillah Summa Alhamdulillah (by the grace Allah), it was such a week spent in Madagascar where the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam made spiritual progress which cannot be described in few words. Allah manifested His countless grace and favours. Allah is Great and His favours also are great.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

'Khataman-Nabiyyine': The Seal of Divine Favours


On the Advent of Prophet-Reformers in Islam

'O children of Adam, if there come to you messengers from among you relating to you My revelations, then whoever fears Allah and reforms - there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.” (Al-Arraf 7: 36).

This directive has been given to those who believe in the Holy Quran. When a prophet is sent among them in the future, they must be careful not to deny him. On the contrary, they must welcome him with open arms and reform themselves so as not to be ashamed before God on the Day of Judgment. But if there was no prophet after the revelation of the Holy Qur’an, how can one follow this direction found in this same book? Especially when it teaches us the following prayer: 

“Guide us on the right path, the path of those upon whom You have bestowed Your favours.”

Allah (swt) here asks us to pray that we should be among those who have been rewarded by Him. Moreover, the Holy Quran mentions four dignities that are accessible to those who receive the favours of Allah (swt), namely: The rank of prophets, the truthful ones, the martyrs and the pious ones - those who walk on the right way.

Whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger ... these are among those upon whom Allah bestows His blessings, namely, the prophets, the truthful, the martyrs, and the righteous. And what good companions are these!” (An-Nisa 4 : 70)

Thus, of these four categories of rewards, the prophets rank first. How then can we say that there will be no more prophets in Islam?

Our Holy Prophet (pbuh) has been called Khataman-Nabiyyine, and a misinterpretation of this term has given rise to a great misunderstanding where we have translated it as meaning ‘last prophet’, while in reality it means ‘seal of the prophets’, that is, without the seal of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) or without his confirmation [i.e. without any one confirming the fact that he is the follower of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) and Islam, coming as an Islamic reformer based on Islamic teachings and the approval of Allah], no prophet can come any more. To become a prophet, one must be a disciple / follower of the Holy Prophet (pbuh).

Hazrat Aisha (ra) explained the term “Khataman-Nabiyyine” in these words: “Say he is ‘Khataman-Nabiyyine’ but do not say that there will be no more prophets after him.” (Takmila Majma’ul-Bihar, 85).

To be the seal of the prophets is an honour, to be the last of the prophets gives no greatness whatsoever. Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) himself said, “I am superior to all previous and future prophets.” (Ad-Dailmi)

Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Blessings of Jalsa Salana


The subject which I have chosen to address you for my opening speech of this (Mauritius) Jalsa Salana for the year 2019 is: The benefits and blessings you derive when you attend the Jalsa Salana. When you come and participate in the Jalsa Salana which was first instituted by the Promised Messiah Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), it is a means to remind you that you need to reduce your love for this world and increase your love for Islam, and whereby this will create an extraordinary love for Allah in the hearts of all people who are present, and it is also a reminder that this love needs to be increased day by day till it becomes like a fire which burns in your heart and in your whole body.

When you participate in the Jalsa Salana [marking your presence in the gathering and listening to the speeches etc.], you develop a taste [feel] and an extraordinary love develops in you for the Holy Prophet (pbuh) as well as for Hazrat Massih Ma’ud (as). And when you mark your presence in the Jalsa Salana in a continual way, you shall be cut from all mundane influences and shall become wholly for Allah. When you become for Allah (swt) only, when you prepare yourselves for your life after death, this in fact also represents a [good] preparation for you to leave behind all the pleasures of this world. When you participate in the Jalsa Salana and you listen to the speeches, then your body [i.e. the congregation as one body] and your soul shall be rid from all weakness and fatigue. Your physical body and your soul will remain in a wakeful state and you will receive such an extraordinary determination which transforms you into stable and very talented people.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Islam and International Law


Religion, Law and State

In his Friday Sermon of 08 November 2019~ 10 Rabi’ul Awwal 1441 AH, Imam- Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam Hadhrat Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius spoke about the significance of law in upholding the dignity of the individual as well as in sustaining the global order for the collective progress of human kind. Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba) identifies the distinctive contribution of Islamic values to the development of International Law in this context. 

It is instructive to note that while modern international law was for long considered to be a product of Western, Christian civilization and generally traces its origins to the legal problems that emerged in the context of the European imperial conquests (of South America in the 16th century and Asia and Africa in the subsequent centuries); there is increasing recognition in the academic literature now regarding the  profound debt the discipline owes- in shaping the contours of the subject- to the seminal writings and juristic interpretations of Hazrat Imam Muhammad Al Shaybani (ra), the great disciple of the great Muhaddith Hazrat Imam Abu Hanifa (ra), almost eight centuries before European scholars like Hugo Grotius- the 'father' of international law- began to engage with, and write about, the discipline.   

International Law as it stands today may broadly be defined as an ensemble of normative rules and diplomatic practices that guide actor-expectations in the world of international relations. And the actors on the global scene include, besides the States, international organizations, a host of official governance networks; multinational corporations, indigenous communities and the civil society organizations campaigning on reforming the systems of global governance. Despite the dynamic nature of the actor-interactions as well as the development of global rules in specific areas; the foundational values of International Law remain the same: sovereign equality and peaceful co-existence of States; the sanctity of covenants and the bindingness of legal obligations; the obligation of the Parties to act in good faith; respect for the symbols and signs of sovereignty of States, including the privileges of ambassadors and State agents; respect for diversity of community traditions and practices, etc.  Hadhrat Saheb (atba) illustrates these points with reference to Qur'anic verses and Prophetic practices, as it is the task of the true believers in this era to shun hypocrisy and work to create a just world under Islam. 

Read the Friday Sermon Below: 

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Mauritius Elections and the Muslims-II


The PM and the Politics of 'Development' 

Mr. the Prime Minister (of Mauritius- Mr. Pravind Jugnauth) said that there are (all-round, economic) development in the four corners of the island. These words are not true, Mr. Prime Minister! Say instead that there are continual development in some specific places only. We quote a single example that is obvious and that all Mauritius is witnessing. This is the Prime Minister’s constituency. All ministries are mobilized to please him.

The Prime Minister is preparing himself [he is preparing the ground] for the next elections. But if only he had made similar developments for other constituencies like those he did for his constituency! But unfortunately the mandate of this regime is coming to an end and the Muslim community has been forgotten.

Bring a single piece of evidence to show what development has occurred in the various places where the minorities, including the Muslim community reside. We do not ask you to bring the Metro Express to our door [in our place] as you promised the people of Saint-Pierre, but at least give our youth healthy leisure so that they do not fall into the hell of drugs and other plagues. But again the minorities must be blind to vote again for the parties that boycotted development in these places. After all, who will raise his voice in a council of ministers where the Muslim community is under-represented and where there is no one to raise his voice in its favour? Our patience, Insha-Allah, will bear fruit.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Mauritius: Politics and the Muslim


Political theory privileges democratic form of governance. A democracy works on the edifice of rule of law coupled with constitutional checks and balances and effectively functioning public institutions, manned by people who do their duties without fear or favour. Periodic elections ensure people's participation in the governance process in a democracy, nudging the rulers to listen to the aspirations and will of the people; formulate accomodative and  inclusive policies that adjust or settle diverging interests and specific claims of several communities and social groups inhabiting the land. In a progressive democracy, the interests and rights of all peoples/ social communities- including ethnic, racial, religious and linguistic minorities- find political accommodation and social recognition within the framework of national law and policy. 


It is against this ideal of a multicultural and multi-ethnic society reflecting the diversity of its peoples and respecting the equal rights of all communities that we can examine the lived reality of our nation-States. In his Friday Sermon of 25 October 2019~ 26 Safar 1441 AH, Imam- Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam Hadhrat Muhyi-ud-Din Al Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) takes a closer look at the state of national politics in his home country, Mauritius, at a time when the Island-nation is gearing up for the general elections in the coming week. As responsible citizens, it is the duty of everyone to participate in the electoral process to ensure that good and just representatives are elected to  serve the larger cause of the nation and the people, reminds Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba)

The forthcoming elections are also a time for  soul- searching for the Muslim community of Mauritius. Representation in all levels of government, including the civil services, is critical for ensuring that the legitimate interests and rights of the community are not overlooked. However, in the absence of prudential interventions to protect its identity, the minority community continues to see erosion of its political space and identity-related group rights, including the right to exercise its religious freedoms under the Shariah. 

Setting the agenda for discussion, Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba) highlights a number of social justice issues that need urgent political attention at this point of time. In a cultural environment where every community's sacred festivals are acknowledged and celebrated, it is scandalous that the country does not observe Eid-ul-Adha Holiday, the biggest festival day of the Muslims. One can only agree that the situation does indicate an appalling neglect and cultural insensitivity towards a minority community. Likewise, Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba) also calls attention to the anomalous situation created by the virtual abandonment of Muslim Personal Law in the country, especially for the Mauritian women- those of them who are in religious marriages are deprived of the legal sanctity of a civil marriage. 

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Elections 2019: Whither Mauritius?


On the Forthcoming General Elections

As you know, Sunday, 06 October 2019, the Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth announced as a Breaking News the dissolution of the parliament and fixed the date of the general elections on 07 November 2019. He made this announcement after he made the launch of the Metro Express on Thursday, 03 October 2019 which was funded by the Government of India, and after a live speech from India by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is right after the launch that Pravind Jugnauth - according to the instructions from his Gurus and counsellors - without thinking, on Sunday the 06 October 2019 in the afternoon made this announcement. By doing so, he applied his authority with such arrogance and announced the political registration for 3 days: Wednesday, 09 October to Friday, 11 October, and the Nomination Day on 22 October, and he fixed the date of the general elections on Thursday, 07 November 2019. He had plenty of time to announce the general election until March or April of next year.

He ignored dates such as 01 and 02 November which are public holidays, as well as the 03 November that falls on a Sunday, but instead, he chooses another day [in the middle of the week]. A panic and great fear took hold of him, lest he loses in the upcoming election, thus losing this power, especially with so many scandals in his government. So, on 06 October he announced the elections for the 7th day of November. He only gave a delay of one month to hold the general elections. He does not give the other political parties time to prepare themselves properly. It is true that after five years (2014-2019) the National Assembly must be dissolved by the end of December 2019. I do not want to go into details on this subject, but what is deplorable is that the date chosen for the elections falls on a Thursday where there are exams that will take place on that day for the School Certificate (SC) and Higher School Certificate (HSC) students. So, on 06 October, the day of the announcement, the Election Commission officials had to find alternative places so as not to disturb the conduct of these examinations.

So, out of 9,41,719 voters, 104,903 voters will have to vote on 07 November in a different place from where they are used to. These are tactics that he [the current Prime Minister] is using so that young students of the SC and HSC do not have time to think about which political party they are going to vote for because they have to focus on their final exams which are very important.

Students who have exams scheduled will be very worried on election day where there will be a lot of traffic jams and so they may be late in their exam rooms. The vagueness persists a lot on this case. Young students of voting age show their disagreement and anger and say that the government has not thought about all this and then everyone will not have the chance to vote and that’s a shame.

In addition, traffic jams will certainly affect the candidates [students]. All of this will have a negative effect on their schedule. Other candidates say that it is a bad choice to hold the elections the same day as the exams, because the votes of the young people are very important.

For me (the Khalifatullah) the right to vote is to have the future of Mauritius in hand so that it does not fall into wrong hands. So all voters must make good choices, without the slightest trace of communalism. They have to go to the polls, they have to fulfill their civic right to elect people who are honest, and who are not corrupt and who are respectable, so as to have a better future, a better Mauritius, a clean Mauritius for our future generations.