by Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IV.
Foreword to the Present Edition Hadrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad rh, the fourth successor of the Promised Messiahas and the head of International Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama‘at (1982–2003), delivered a lecture on February 24, 1990 at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London. The lecture, entitled Islam’s Response to Contemporary Issues, was later published in 1992 by Islam International Publications Ltd., London, England. The central theme of the lecture is peace in this world: or to be more exact the teachings of Islam regarding peace. In the world which suffers today from violence, bloodshed, conflict, wars, violation of human rights, socio-economic exploitation of the third World and everything which violates peace and creates discord, we need peace more than anything else. In his introduction the author says: For today’s address, I have categorised some areas in which the contemporary world stands in need of guidance: 1. Inter-religious peace and harmony 2. Social peace, in general 3. Socio-economic peace xviii Islam’s response to contemporary issues 4. Economic peace 5. Peace in national and international politics 6. Individual peace The lecture is as relevant today as it was at the time when it was delivered, especially in the backdrop of the rise of the so-called ‘Islamic Fundamentalism’. Islam is portrayed today as a religion of violence. To call Islam a religion of violence is a contradiction in terms, for Islam means peace. 9/11 gave an excuse to the vested interests to launch a new ‘crusade’ against Islam. The present book meets this challenge adequately. We also hear from some quarters the need for interreligious dialogue—to which the Quran invited the People of the Book more than 1400 years ago. The lecture comprehensively deals with this issue. If one runs through the contents and the index of the book one would realize how wide the scope of the book is. Discussing peace under various heads the author has covered a wide variety of topics which branch out from the basic theme and has thus created an aesthetically pleasing and intellectually satisfying motif in which various Islamic themes are woven together with a magic touch, as it were. It is a compulsory read for non-Muslims as well as for those Muslims who have forgotten the true message of Islam. Mirza Anas Ahmad M. A. M. Litt. (oxon) Wakilul Isha‘at, Rabwah 24 December 2006