Supplied Content (Edited)
Auckland, December 31, 2017
While many New Zealanders will be enjoying ‘Survivors’ Breakfast’ or going home after a long night out tomorrow, a group of youngsters will take to parks and streets as a part of their annual cleaning campaign.
Members of the New Zealand Chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) will undertake their civic duties on New Year’s Day tomorrow (January 1, 2018) as they have done over the past several years.
AMYA in other parts of the world would undertake similar tasks on New Year’s Day as an expression of their solidarity and loyalty to the city and country in which they live.
The youngsters in Auckland will assemble at ‘Baitul Muqeet,’ the Ahmadiyya Mosque (located at 20, Dalgety Drive, Wiri, Manukau) at 3 am for predawn prayer to supplicate for peace, harmony and co-existence in the world and then proceed to Central Auckland.
They will clean Albert Park, Myers Park, Grafton Cemetery and adjoining streets.
Proud Muslim New Zealanders
AMYA New Zealand Chapter President Aseem Zafarullah said that the ‘Cleaning Campaign’ is undertaken every year because “we are proud Muslim New Zealanders who love our City and our Country.”
“Throughout the year, AMYA organises blood donation drives, feed the hungry and assist the elderly so that we can serve our nation and our neighbours better. By cleaning the streets in the early hours of New Year’s Day, we set the standard for the rest of the year as to how we will make it a meaningful year,” he said.
The True Jihad
Mr Zafarullah said that as the young Ahmadiyyas rise at 3 am on January 1 every year for this noble cause, they are waging true ‘Jihad,’ that is, a struggle to better themselves and serve their country.
“Jihad, unfortunately, is a very misunderstood term and actually means to ‘strive’ or ‘struggle’ for any cause. Prophet Muhammad has said, ‘Love for one’s country is a part of Faith,’ and emphasised the need to serve humanity. Thus, the first and greatest form of Jihad in Islam is to improve oneself and help to uplift all humanity. Therefore, our greater Jihad is to manifest this love through service on different occasions and drive a counter-narrative to the increasing negative perceptions of Islam throughout the world,” he said.
Love and Mercy
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, has said, “Our Jihad is not a Jihad of swords, guns or bombs. Our Jihad is not a Jihad of cruelty, brutality and injustice. Rather, our Jihad is of love, mercy and compassion. Our Jihad is of tolerance, justice and human sympathy. Our Jihad is to fulfill the rights of God Almighty and of His Creation.”
Mr Zafarullah said that people can speak to the AMYA members on duty.
“In the spirit of partnership, Non-Muslims are also welcome to participate in the Clean-Up Campaign,” he said.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a dynamic, fast-growing international revival movement within Islam. Founded in 1889 by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) whom the community believes is the long-awaited Promised Messiah, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community spans over 210 countries with membership exceeding tens of millions. Its motto of ‘Love for all and hatred for none,’ is evidenced through the peaceful actions of its millions of followers. The current worldwide spiritual leader of the community, the Khalifa (Caliph) resides in London.
The New Zealand branch of Ahmadiyyas was established in 1987. It is a registered charitable organisation and endeavours to be an active and integrated community within New Zealand society.
‘Baitul Muqeet’ Mosque of Ahmadiyyas in Wiri, Manukau, Auckland
(File Photo supplied by Ahmadiyya Jama’at)