Written for The Muslim Times by Dr. Abdul Alim
Sometimes there is such mix of intense happiness and sadness in our hearts that it is indescribable and indistinguishable from each other. With some sad-happiness (if there is a word like that), in the core of my heart I know Dr. Mehdi Ali has succeeded and achieved the ultimate aim of human life which is to give up his life to his Maker in the final expression of his love for Him and for His creation. This expression is prophetic in nature characterized by ones’ annihilation in absolute love. There is no doubt in my mind about what prompted him to dare the hatred that has become endemic to some parts of Pakistan. It was his obedience to his Imam, the Head of the Ahmadiyya community. In the love of this obedience, which serves to heal the sufferings, he could dare to take on any kind of hatred.
Why do Ahmadiyya Muslims have hospitals in Pakistan when they know there is hatred and danger for them? Why to do they continue to serve the country despite terrible injustice? Why do they only pray silently and not take to the streets in protests? Because they have grown up with Love for All and Hatred for None. Why did the Holy Prophet keep preaching to the people of Mecca and why did he still pray for people of Taif despite having been badly injured? Because, he was the mercy and love for mankind and the role model for the founder of Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam.
Love does not accept defeat. It is absolute and endowed with inherent success. It changes people, it conquers hearts and is the ultimate winner.
This paradox of love and hatred that Ahmadiyya Muslims encounter not just in Pakistan but in many other Muslim countries, was resolved for me during a meeting in London in 1997. After becoming an Ahmadiyya Muslim in Pakistan and having faced my share of trials and tribulations- in most cases being an object of hate- once in a meeting, I expressed my frustration with how difficult it is to live in Pakistan to the fourth head of the Ahmadiyya Movement. I said to him that people have become cruel, unforgiving and corrupt and I could not bear to live in Pakistan. How could people be like that? His answer, you also come from them- don’t you? why and how did you become different? I was left speechless with that answer. He wanted me to stay and serve Pakistan and I returned.
It is indeed intriguing to see amazing transformation in people once truth and love has conquered them. The same people who you had given up on, having embraced the truth, become absolute gems of humanity. Allah chooses to send his messengers to worst of the people with magnificent latent qualities. The same Arabs, who were the worst examples of human cruelty, debauchery and viciousness, became the best of the people on this earth when they joined the Holy Prophet of Islam as his companions. An embodiment of Universal love, the Holy Prophet conquered all with his patience and fortitude.
I find a lot of similarities among people from Punjab and Mecca. Here also we have the murderers like Qadri, like perhaps Abu Jahal, and Taliban who put to shame the medieval non-believers in Mecca, but then it also has people like Master Abdul Qudoos, Sahibzada Mirza Ghulam Qadir and Dr. Mehdi Ali Qamar among many others who were martyred in Lahore on May 28, 2010. Allah chose Punjab to send his Promised Mahdi and Messiah. This very understanding tells me that a great triumph is unfolding for Ahmadiyya Muslims globally, as “Love for All and Hatred for None” grows and conquers hearts. This conquest is not possible without sacrifices, one which deeply saddens us but also makes us intensely happy by showing us that we have been chosen by God to demonstrate the ultimate expression of our Love for Him and humanity by giving up our lives for Him, in service of His creation.
We will not be defeated by hatred because Love nourishes us through Khilafat. We will continue to serve Pakistan because it is part of our Faith and we are unshaken in our belief that love will ultimately triumph. For our beloved God, Prophet and Imam, we are willing to pay the price of that victory.