“Prophet Muhammad peace be on him is a mercy for all mankind and Jesus peace be on him didn’t die on the Cross,” said Imam Shamshad Nasir of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community of Detroit.
Report by Muhammad Ahmad Detroit
Milford Public Library hosted an event titled “Meet a Muslim” on December 12, 2018, where 35+ guests from the area attended the event. The library director, Ms. Karin Boughy invited Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Imam Shamshad Nasir to introduce Islamic belief system and answer questions from the audience.
Milford is a village in Oakland County about 40 miles west of Detroit, Michigan with an approximate population of 10,000. Milford is one of the earliest cities where hydropower made it possible for it to become one of the first communities to have electric lights, in 1892. A year later, telephone service was available in the Village. As a point of reference, nearby South Lyon did not have electric lights until 1932.
Library Director, Ms. Karin Boughy introduced Imam Shamshad Nasir to the audience as the regional Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community covering the mid-west region and then invited Imam Shamshad to the podium to deliver his talk.
Imam Shamshad Nasir started his talk with the greetings of peace. He then gave a brief summary and overview of the Islamic belief system and the fundamental tenets of Islamic faith. He mentioned the five basic pillars of Islam being the “Kalima” i.e. declaring that There is no God but Allah and Muhammad (pbuh) is his messenger, five daily prayers, Fasting, Zakat (charity) and Pilgrimage (Hajj) to Makkah.
“Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a progressive, peaceful and inclusive community and believes the long-awaited Messiah of the latter days has come in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian. This distinguishes Ahmadiyya Muslim Community from the rest of the Muslims” said Imam Shamshad Nasir
In response to a question, Imam Shamshad Nasir said “We believe Jesus to be a true prophet of God, however, we don’t believe that God Almighty has any partner. We believe in complete unity of God. God doesn’t have any partner in the form of a son or otherwise”
He further elaborated that we believe Jesus’ Mother Mary to be a pious and virtuous woman who we respect tremendously. So much so that not only her name is mentioned in the Holy Quran but also a whole chapter has been named after her. The mention of Jesus in the Bible as the son of God is purely metaphorical just as we say all the time that we are all children of God. This doesn’t mean we are the biological children of God as if He has a wife.
Imam Shamshad was asked to explain the difference between Sunni and Shia Muslims to which Imam responded that they both believe in the Holy Book, Quran and the Prophet of Islam and all the fundamental pillars of Islam. The differences are more on the successorship to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) after his demise.
In response to one of the audience objections that Holy Prophet’s teaching are not peaceful and rather he taught violence, Imam Shamshad Nasir responded “This is completely false and baseless accusation which has no historical or any evidence or merit. Holy Prophet (PBUH) was mercy for the mankind whose entire life was dedicated to peaceful teachings and actions. Any of the wars that he fought were forced upon him and his followers and they were left with no option but to defend themselves against the aggression of the outnumbered enemies who wanted to kill him and completely annihilate his followers.”
All in all just a few hundred people died during his life in all of the wars. When you compare that to the massive death toll and destructions from the modern-day wars, it pales in comparison and it becomes evident that these wars were defensive and stopped as soon as the aggression from the other party stopped.
Imam Shamshad Nasir offered the questioner the book “Life of Muhammad” and asked to read the book to get the true picture into the life of the Prophet Muhammad(PBUH). Imam elaborated that it matters where you get your information and facts about Islam and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Getting the information from unauthenticated sources will lead to this kind of misunderstanding and perceptions that has no truth whatsoever.
Another attendee asked as to what Caliphate is, to which Imam responded “It refers to successorship to the Holy Prophet after his demise to carry on his mission”
One of the audiences asked about the verses in the Holy Quran regarding violence and Jihad. Imam Shamshad Nasir responded that there is not a single verse in the Holy Quran that mandates violence. You simply have to read the verse in its full context to understand the subject matter being discussed. Simply reading a few verses before and after will give a very picture as to what is the real issue being narrated. Many people take these verses out of its complete context and try to present these as objections and in support that this support violence. At the same time, there is no doubt that Islam does permit to defend oneself against aggression.
Approximately 20 books titled Life of Muhammad (PBUH) were given to attendees. Death on the Cross booklets was also distributed to the attendees along with other brochures and literature.
The program and Q&A session lasted almost for two hours.
The book “Life of Muhammad” was also given to the library administration for library records.
In the end, Imam Shamshad Nasir thanked all the attendees for attending the program and asking all the questions. Imam Shamshad also gave his special thanks to Karin Boughy for inviting Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to attend and participate in the program.
Karin Boughy thanked Imam Shamshad Nasir and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for accepting her invitation to come to attend the program and take questions and provide candid answers to the questions from the audience.
Later many attendees met and asked questions informally and had friendly conversations with the Imam and members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.