Message to the Ahmadiyya Convention
Held in Columbus, Ohio, August 1992
by Hazrat Ameer Dr. Saeed Ahmad (Head of the Movement)
The Light & Islamic Review (US), November/December 1992 Issue (Vol. 69, No. 6, pp. 18–19)
وَلۡتَکُنۡ مِّنۡکُمۡ اُمَّۃٌ یَّدۡعُوۡنَ اِلَی الۡخَیۡرِ وَ یَاۡمُرُوۡنَ بِالۡمَعۡرُوۡفِ وَ یَنۡہَوۡنَ عَنِ الۡمُنۡکَرِ ؕ وَ اُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الۡمُفۡلِحُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۴﴾ وَ لَا تَکُوۡنُوۡا کَالَّذِیۡنَ تَفَرَّقُوۡا وَ اخۡتَلَفُوۡا مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَا جَآءَہُمُ الۡبَیِّنٰتُ ؕ وَ اُولٰٓئِکَ لَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ عَظِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۰۵﴾ۙ
“From among you there should be a party who invite to good and enjoin the right and forbid the wrong. And these are they who are successful. And be not like those who became divided and disagreed after clear arguments had come to them, and for them is a grievous chastisement” (Holy Quran, 3:104–105).
I consider it a great honour to be asked to send this message on the occasion of the Ahmadiyya convention at Columbus, Ohio. I feel a sense of joy when I visualise the august gathering of men and women who have assembled here to grace this convention. You must have travelled from far and wide, and sacrificed both time and money for this spiritual rendezvous. I pray to Allah to reward you for the interest taken by you for attending this convention.
I have chosen verses 103 and 104 of chapter 3 for my message because these contain clear messages for those who discern the truth, accept it with conviction and remain steadfast in their belief even in the face of great adversities. In fact, it is such devotees of Allah who have been called upon by these verses to enjoin the right and forbid the wrong.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“Most surely, Allah will raise up for this Muslim community, at the head of every century, one who shall revive for it its faith.”
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, was chosen by Allah as the Mujaddid or the Religious Reformer in the fourteenth century of the Islamic era. Hazrat Mirza sahib used the Holy Quran as the basis for his arguments. All the books he wrote on Islam were also based on Quranic philosophy. In his book Izala Auham, he stressed the imperative necessity of preparing and publishing the translation of the Holy Quran in English, and its dissemination in the West. He further foretold that this momentous task could only be best accomplished by him or by one of his followers who is a part of him — but not so well by anyone else. These predictions of Hazrat Mirza sahib were destined to be fulfilled in the person of Maulana Muhammad Ali.
I can say with all conviction that we have been selected by Allah, in the aforementioned verse, to invite to good, enjoin the right and forbid the wrong. Only we, the members of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, propagate Islamic teachings in their pristine form as these were presented by Hazrat Mirza sahib himself. The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement interpreted the Holy Quran under Divine guidance, and he reminded the world that Islam is a universal, peaceful, tolerant, rational, inspiring and non-sectarian faith.
Having reminded the party of faithful of their obligation towards the propagation of Allah’s message to fellow human beings in the first verse, in the next verse Allah points out the dangers which are inherent for those members of this party who fall prey to division and disagreements after clear arguments have been delivered to them. History is replete with examples of people who suffered downfalls and destruction because of internal disunity and bickering.
Perhaps Hazrat Mirza sahib foresaw these difficulties when he offered the following warning, coupled with solace, to his disciples in his book Kishti-e Nuh:
“It is necessary that you should be tried with various afflictions and adversities as the faithful before you were tried. Beware that you do not stumble. The world cannot inflict any harm upon you if you have a strong bond with heaven. It is your own hands, and not your enemy’s, that cause you a loss. If your earthly honour is lost, God will give you an eternal glory in heaven. Forsake Him not, therefore. You must suffer various afflictions, and be deprived of some long-cherished hopes, but grieve not, for your God tries you as to steadfastness in His path.”
We should, therefore, derive strength from these prophetic pronouncements of our Founder and should not be overpowered by unfavourable circumstances. As presaged by Hazrat Mirza sahib, we will insha-Allah be able to overcome external pressures if we desist from letting internal discord get the better of us.
Coming back to the subject of propagation, it gives me immense satisfaction when I say that by the grace of Allah the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement has lived up to the expectations of Hazrat Mirza sahib. The English translation and commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali has since been translated into Spanish, French and Dutch languages. German, Russian and Chinese translations are forthcoming.
As was once envisaged by our Founder, of late the erstwhile barriers of prejudice and bigotry have been dislodged in most parts of the world. Changing attitudes have made the conditions conducive for spreading the truth contained in the Holy Quran. The example of the former Soviet Union is a case in point. People of the very land, where till recently it was considered taboo even to utter God’s name, now crave for spiritual guidance. It was thus in keeping with this growing need for spreading Allah’s teachings in this part of the globe that the Russian translation was undertaken by our Jamaat and is now nearing printing.
I understand that honourable Professor Alexandre Sadetsky, translator of the Holy Quran into Russian, is also present in this august assembly. May Almighty Allah bless him and grant acceptance to his phenomenal effort and make the Russian translation a source of light and guidance for the Russian speaking people.
I end my message with earnest prayers and good wishes for each one of you. May Allah grant us the wisdom to recognize the truth, the strength to accept it, the conviction to adhere to it, the power to practise it, and the good fortune to live by it.