Peace, God and Islam

Hundreds of Kiwi Muslims will gather at their south Auckland mosque over the Auckland anniversary weekend. The occasion for this gathering is to celebrate the annual Ahmadiyya Convention or ?Jalsa Salana?, an annual event first started over a hundred years ago by the community?s founder Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, in the small Indian village of Qadian. Since its inception, the ?Jalsa Salana? has become a worldwide event, celebrated by the Ahmadi Muslims in hundreds of countries the world over.

Explaining the rationale behind holding of this convention, the community?s founder advised his followers, “The primary purpose of this Convention is to enable every sincere individual to personally experience religious benefits; They may enhance their knowledge and – due to their being blessed and enabled by Allah, The Exalted – their perception [of Allah] may progress. Among its secondary benefits is that this congregational meeting together will promote mutual introduction among all brothers, and it will strengthen the fraternal ties within this Community…”

The theme for this year?s convention is ?The Living God? – discussing man?s connection to God and how this can lead to a positive change in the society. ?We live in a time when association with religion is no longer an expected norm. Unfortunately this can eventually lead to a breakdown of man?s connection to his creator, which all great religions have laid so much emphasis on?, says Mr Bashir Khan, the president of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in New Zealand. ?This year?s annual Ahmadiyya convention serves as a reminder that belief in God?s existence, and His connection to the creation is the key principle underlying our beliefs.?

A special session will be held on Saturday the 28th January starting at 11 am, open to guests from all faiths. This years gathering has already attracted representatives from Samoa, Germany and Australia. The event thus forms part of the community?s continuous desire to increase understanding between all faith groups.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a dynamic, fast-growing international revival movement within Islam. Founded in 1889 by Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) in Punjab, India, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community spans over 206 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 New Zealand branch of this community was established in 1987 and has now expanded to over 500 members. It is a registered charitable organisation and endeavors to be an active and integrated community within New Zealand society.

If there are solutions to the problems inside Islam, they have to come from within Islam. ?We must support any initiative that truly has peace at its heart. ?Peace within Islam, and peace with the rest of the world.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community are derided as “fake” Muslims. ?Ostensibly, because they genuinely seek peaceful coexistence and do not follow the central tenet of turning the globe into one Caliphate.

Instead of writing them off, these are in fact the people that need our support. ?There is not a lot you can do. ?But you can start by no longer saying or writing any sentence that starts with “All Muslims are…”