Islam — A Model for Global Peace
Friday Khutba by Dr M. Saeed, for Lahore Ahmadiyya UK, 28 April 2023
وَ اِذۡ قَالَ رَبُّکَ لِلۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃِ اِنِّیۡ جَاعِلٌ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ خَلِیۡفَۃً ؕ قَالُوۡۤا اَتَجۡعَلُ فِیۡہَا مَنۡ یُّفۡسِدُ فِیۡہَا وَ یَسۡفِکُ الدِّمَآءَ ۚ وَ نَحۡنُ نُسَبِّحُ بِحَمۡدِکَ وَ نُقَدِّسُ لَکَ ؕ قَالَ اِنِّیۡۤ اَعۡلَمُ مَا لَا تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۳۰﴾
“And when your Lord said to the angels, I am going to place a ruler in the earth, they said: Will You place in it such as make mischief in it and shed blood? And we celebrate Your praise and extol [praise enthusiastically] Your holiness. He said: Surely I know what you do not know.” (The Holy Quran, 2:30)
I have chosen today’s topic because of the painful power struggle taking place in Sudan, a country with a 97% majority Muslim population. It started during the Holy Month of Ramadan on 15th April 2023, which equates to the 24th of Ramadan 1444 A.H.
This would have been a few hours after millions of Sudanese Muslims, and Muslims around the world, would have been searching the ‘Lailat-ul-Qadr’, or the ‘Night of Majesty’ on the 23rd of Ramadan, beseeching their Lord with the Quranic words:
سَلٰمٌ ۟ۛ ہِیَ حَتّٰی مَطۡلَعِ الۡفَجۡرِ ٪﴿۵﴾
“Peace! it is till the rising of the morning.” (The Holy Quran, 97:5)
As you are aware, the Sudanese clash is taking place between the military and paramilitary forces. One of my dear colleagues is also caught up in this conflict. This brings home for me the anguish of this conflict on the Sudanese population, having seen some first-hand video footage of the dark night being lit up by stray live ammunition.
Hundreds of innocent people have already died, and thousands have been injured. She was so looking forward to celebrating Eid with her family in her home country and is now stuck with spillage of blood on the very streets she grew up on.
As Muslims, and remember the word ‘Muslim’ is defined as: ‘one who has made peace, with God as well as with man, through submission to God’, we have a responsibility to spread and maintain peace.
As Muslims we all have taken the declaration of faith, i.e., our staunch belief in Allah and His Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). This naturally carries a huge responsibility in respects to how we conduct our lives.
We are quite quick to mention we believe in Islam, which means ‘entering into peace’ and also means ‘submission to God’, yet our actions at times belie our faith. This can only caste a bad impression then on our non-Muslim friends in relation to the faith we follow.
In practise, Islam confers peace to an individual in the first instance, and if the individual as the smallest unit of society follows the Islamic teachings, this peace will ultimately spread to the family, then to the neighbourhood, followed on by the city, then the nation, and ultimately on a global scale. The teachings we have to follow are those contained in the Holy Quran and preserved in the Holy Hadith of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
The verse I recited at the onset of this sermon, reminds us of the high ideals that mankind was created by Allah Almighty for. However, we have the propensity or predisposition to shed blood if we are not careful. The ultimate goal of our Creator is for us to explore the world and the Universe, for us to make use of its material and spiritual forces for our betterment and the benefit of others, and be its righteous rulers and his vicegerents (khalifas), in other words His earthly representatives, in fact His holy earthly representatives.
If you look closely, pride is the root-cause of all evil. It is when we believe we are superior to others that we start usurping their rights and this ultimately leads to violation of human rights, bloodshed and in the worst-case scenario, death. This is the one evil that we all should strive to subdue. The Holy Quran goes on to state a few verses after the verse recited earlier, and occurs very early on in the Holy Quran as a warning to humankind:
وَ اِذۡ قُلۡنَا لِلۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃِ اسۡجُدُوۡا لِاٰدَمَ فَسَجَدُوۡۤا اِلَّاۤ اِبۡلِیۡسَ ؕ اَبٰی وَ اسۡتَکۡبَرَ ٭۫ وَ کَانَ مِنَ الۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ ﴿۳۴﴾
“And when We said to the angels, Be submissive to Adam, they submitted, but not Iblīs. He refused and was proud, and he was one of the disbelievers.” (The Holy Quran, 2:34)
The evil of pride therefore is the warning and if we do not pay heed, this leads us to refusing Allah’s commandments. In ‘Sahih Muslim’ the 2nd most authentic collection of Hadith of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), in the ‘Book of Faith’, under the chapter ‘The prohibition of pride and the definition of it’, Hadith number 171 states:
“It is narrated on the authority of Abdullah bin Masud that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), observed: ‘He who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of pride shall not enter Paradise.’ A person (amongst his hearers) said: ‘Verily a person loves that his dress should be fine, and his shoes should be fine.’ He (the Holy Prophet) remarked: ‘Verily, Allah is Graceful and He loves Grace. Pride is disdaining the truth (out of self-conceit [undue pride in oneself]) and contempt for the people’.” (https://sunnah.com/muslim:91a)
So, it is the contempt of people that takes the state of Heavenly bliss away from us.
On the topic of pride, in his translation of Mishkat-ul-Masabih, Maulana Fazlul Karim, lists seven objects of pride, which includes: ‘wealth’ as the 5th and then ‘strength and power’ as the 6th object of pride.
This is why the current bloodshed is taking place in Sudan — wealth, power and strength is what is driving man to kill man. But when the fire of hatred rages in the soul, the poor bystander is also killed.
How can these butchers and murderers reconcile with the Quranic verse:
اَنَّہٗ مَنۡ قَتَلَ نَفۡسًۢا بِغَیۡرِ نَفۡسٍ اَوۡ فَسَادٍ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ فَکَاَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِیۡعًا ؕ
“… whoever kills a person, unless it is for manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he had killed all mankind….” (5:32)
Now, in relation to pride, the Mujaddid [Reformer] of the 14th century Hijrah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian states:
“Arrogant, too, is the person whose wealth, power and glory make him contemptuous of his brother, for he has forgotten that it was from God that he received his rank and dignity.” (Nazool-ul-Masih, p. 24; Ruhani Khazain (2008 Edition), Vol. 18, p. 402)
An individual can only find peace through His connection with Allah and emulating Allah’s colours or attributes in his dealings with the living and inanimate objects around him. This peace then allows internal and external peace. This requires us being fearful of our wrong deeds and leading a righteous life. Only then can we be the inheritors of the two Gardens that Allah promises in the verse:
وَ لِمَنۡ خَافَ مَقَامَ رَبِّہٖ جَنَّتٰنِ ﴿ۚ۴۶﴾
“And for him who fears to stand before his Lord are two Gardens.” (The Holy Quran, 55:46)
The Holy Quran reminds us that Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the role model for us to follow as he has been sent as ‘a mercy to the nations’, as the Holy Quran states:
وَ مَاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنٰکَ اِلَّا رَحۡمَۃً لِّلۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۷﴾
“And We have not sent you but as a mercy to the nations.” (The Holy Quran, 21:107)
In the Holy Prophet’s (pbuh) example, therefore, we have a template to follow to ensure peace is established in the world.
Remember, Islam brought peace in the times of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) when Islam was followed to its fullest and can do so again. The Holy Quran states:
اِنَّمَا الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ اِخۡوَۃٌ فَاَصۡلِحُوۡا بَیۡنَ اَخَوَیۡکُمۡ وَ اتَّقُوا اللّٰہَ لَعَلَّکُمۡ تُرۡحَمُوۡنَ ﴿٪۱۰﴾
“The believers are brethren so make peace between your brethren, and keep your duty to Allah that mercy may be shown to you.” (The Holy Quran, 49:10)
وَ اعۡتَصِمُوۡا بِحَبۡلِ اللّٰہِ جَمِیۡعًا وَّ لَا تَفَرَّقُوۡا ۪ وَ اذۡکُرُوۡا نِعۡمَتَ اللّٰہِ عَلَیۡکُمۡ اِذۡ کُنۡتُمۡ اَعۡدَآءً فَاَلَّفَ بَیۡنَ قُلُوۡبِکُمۡ فَاَصۡبَحۡتُمۡ بِنِعۡمَتِہٖۤ اِخۡوَانًا ۚ وَ کُنۡتُمۡ عَلٰی شَفَا حُفۡرَۃٍ مِّنَ النَّارِ فَاَنۡقَذَکُمۡ مِّنۡہَا ؕ کَذٰلِکَ یُبَیِّنُ اللّٰہُ لَکُمۡ اٰیٰتِہٖ لَعَلَّکُمۡ تَہۡتَدُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۳﴾
“And hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together and do not be disunited. And remember Allah’s favour to you when you were enemies, then He united your hearts so by His favour you became brethren. And you were on the brink of a pit of fire, then He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes clear to you His messages that you may be guided.” (The Holy Quran, 3:103)
So, this is a very powerful verse of the Holy Quran that helps us reflect on how the animosity and disunity in the people of Arabia was dispelled and instead love was instilled into their hearts.
It is a timely reminder for our Jamaat [Movement] that the Mujaddid [Reformer] of the 14th century Hijrah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, in the ten terms of the pledge (baiat), has the 4th term of the pledge as follows:
“That I will not inflict any injury on the people generally, and in particular on the Muslims, under any undue provocation by tongue or hand or in any other manner.”
So, as Muslims belonging to the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, we, therefore, have a very important task at hand to ensure the message of Islam is spread with full zeal and fervour, in order for the revolution of a peaceful of Islam to speedily spread.
Every week, Imams throughout the Muslim world remind the worshippers on a Friday, in the second sermon [khutba]:
اِنَّ اللّٰہَ یَاۡمُرُ بِالۡعَدۡلِ وَ الۡاِحۡسَانِ وَ اِیۡتَآیِٔ ذِی الۡقُرۡبٰی وَ یَنۡہٰی عَنِ الۡفَحۡشَآءِ وَ الۡمُنۡکَرِ وَ الۡبَغۡیِ ۚ یَعِظُکُمۡ لَعَلَّکُمۡ تَذَکَّرُوۡنَ ﴿۹۰﴾
“Surely Allah commands (the doing of) justice and the doing of good (to others) and the giving to the near of kin, and He forbids indecency and evil and rebellion. He instructs you that you may be mindful.” (The Holy Quran, 16:90)
May Allah bring peace globally in the Muslim World and destroy the plans of the perpetrators of injustice, evil and rebellion, be it from internal or external forces. Aameen.
بَارَکَ اللّٰهُ لَنَا وَلَکُمْ فِي الْقُرْآنِ الْعَظِیْم، وَنَفَعَنَا وَاِیَّاکُمْ بِالْآیَاتِ وَالذِّکْرِ الْحَکِیْم۔ اِنَّہٗ تَعَالیٰ جَوَادٌ کَرِیْمٌ مَلِکٌ بَرَّ رَوُوفُ رَّحَیْمٌ۔