Professor Amtul Razzaq Carmichael – UK
5th May 2020
Based on an address delivered by the Second Caliph, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra) on December 28, 1946
The Second Caliph, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra) advised the men and women of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to aspire to demonstrate to the world what the communities of prophets look like. The world is watching Ahmadis from two perspectives; some with hope, resting their hopes for success with those zealous individuals who have accepted the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. While others watch Ahmadis for any weaknesses to justify their criticism and defame this community. Our community and brethren wish to establish the Sovereignty of God in this world and save people from the impending trials, tribulations and disasters that are about to consume them. Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra) advised Ahmadi Muslims to focus on these four points.
Worship of God
Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra) explained that the first and the foremost responsibility of a Muslim is to engage in the worship of God. In the Holy Qur’an, the terminology used for worship is ‘Iqamatus-salah’ (establishing prayer). This term explicates that no worship can be termed as true worship till one is regular and perseveres in maintaining quality and regularity of worship. Salat (prayer) must be offered in congregation, exceptions being an illness or inability to get to the mosque. Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra) stressed that it is of utmost importance to ensure that each one of us is regular in congregational prayers. Congregational prayers should be offered in the mosque. If there is no mosque nearby, then people should gather in one house to offer prayers and if even this is not possible, then congregational prayers should be offered with the members of the household.
Hard Work and Diligence
The second point that Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra) drew the attention of the community towards was to get into the habit of working hard. He expressed his concern that many youths of our community are not industrious; they get overwhelmed by the task ahead of them and evade their responsibility. This is a dangerous weakness; lazy and work-shy individuals prefer to eschew work rather than committing to it. This behaviour leaves them ill-prepared to deal with future challenges effectively. To attain mastery in time management and competence in the given responsibilities is a colossal responsibility of our community; we must not come short and offer excuses for failure. The practice of proffering excuses is reprehensible and can ruin nations. Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra) advised that we all must engender the spirit of sparing no effort in any given task. Unless this spirit is engendered in our youth, they will not be inspired to make true sacrifices.
Training of Women
Thirdly, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra) emphasised that we must support and establish Lajna Imaillah (auxillary organization for women) everywhere. Unless women stand shoulder to shoulder with men, in serving the faith, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community will not make progress. If women are not equal partners in endeavours to progress Islam, Islam will never succeed. No matter how much men train children in the mosque, if the teachings of Islam are not reinforced at home, the message will not get through. If women are not engaged, unable or unwilling to support efforts to progress Islam, children will get confused between the mosque and home and the peace of domestic life will be ruined.
Truthfulness: Unambiguous and the Whole Truth
Fourthly, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra) highlighted the importance of developing a strong spirit of truthfulness in the community. A nation that adheres to the truth, cannot be defeated. The Holy Qur’an has directed believers to be truthful in every aspect of their lives, not only truth but the straight truth with no ambiguity. This means the truth that is pure, clean, clear, whole and not twisted or bent in any way. An unclear and twisted truth is akin to a lie. That is why the Holy Qur’an has commanded that Muslims speak the whole truth with such clarity that it can only be interpreted in one way.
In summary, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra) reiterated that prayers in congregation should be given priority over everything else, the practice of truth should be exemplary, hard work and commitment to work should become our second nature and reformation and moral training of women should become a key priority of our community. He said that these are the four walls on which the building of Islam is built and those who follow these four pieces of advice, their tasks and preaching efforts will be blessed. Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra) prayed that we are enabled to instill these four practices in our lives. If we do so, our transformation will be evident, and God and His angels will bear witness to our efforts.
About the Author: Professor Amtul Razzaq Carmichael MD, FRCS (Gen Surg), MBBS, is a consultant. She qualified in 1987 with gold medals for academic Excellence and undertook her surgical training at major teaching hospitals in London, Edinburgh and Philadelphia. She has authored many articles for major peer reviewed scientific journals. She is a senior member of The Review of Religions Editorial Board as well as Assistant Manager.