By Atta-Ul Naseer, Imam & National President Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Greece
The attacks in Paris or any other place in the world which result in innocent lives being lost are extremely barbaric and categorically against the teachings of Islam.
The fourth supreme head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community wrote in his book Murder in the name of Allah,
“As far as Islam is concerned, it categorically rejects and condemns every form of terrorism. It does not provide any cover or justification for any act of violence, be it committed by an individual, a group or a government….. I most strongly condemn all acts and forms of terrorism because it is my deeply rooted belief that not only Islam but also no true religion, whatever its name, can sanction violence and bloodshed of innocent men, women and children in the name of God.”
So if someone claims to represent Islam and acts in contradiction to the peaceful teachings of Islam then the educated people would know that they are only representing their evil desires. Some people would argue that Islam promotes violence and to support their argument they would present the Islamic belief of Jihad. The Islamic belief of Jihad is one of the most misunderstood beliefs by certain Muslim as well as non-Muslims. Prophet Muhammad claimed to be a prophet in 610CE. He spent the next 13 years in Makkah in suffering extreme persecution at the hands of the people of Makkah. After 13 years when this persecution did not end, he migrated to Madinah where he was unanimously accepted by Muslims, Jews and idol worshipers as the leader of Madinah. The people of Makkah launched an attack on Madinah. Muslims believe that this was the time when God gave permission to physically defend themselvesfor the first time in the following verses and not just themselves but also to defend Christians and Jews:
“Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged – and Allah indeed has power to help them – Those who have been driven out from their homes unjustly only because they said, ‘Our Lord is Allah’ – And if Allah did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques, wherein the name of Allah is oft commemorated. And Allah will surely help one who helps Him. Allah is indeed Powerful, Mighty.” (Surah Al-Haj Verses 40-41)
Jihad is an Arabic word which means to make and effort, endeavour and strive in a noble way. There are three main types of Jihad. The greatest and most difficult form of Jihad is the Jihad of the self i.e the struggle to improve the inner self, the struggle to stay pure, moral, modest, humble, kind, loving, understanding, helpful and all the good attributes a person can think of. The second form of Jihad is to inform people about the true teachings of the Holy Qur’an with love and affection. Islam has been very clear that there is no compulsion in the matter of religion(Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 257). Everyone is free to choose whatever religion they want to choose.
The third and the lowest form of Jihad is the Physical Jihad. However, this does not allow a Muslim to start attacking others. Islam gives permission to defend physically when someone attacks. It is completely in accordance with logic and common sense because being in Greece if someone attacks us wouldn’t we defend ourselves or would we let the attackers kill us, our children, our women and destroy our peace. I am sure that every logical person would understand. However, this teaching is also exploited by some so-called Muslims to recruit terrorists who have no knowledge of Islam. The Islam that they have learnt is from the exploiters.
Finally, in the present times the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the only community which has the longest running caliphate since 1908. It is the only most united Muslim Community in the world at the hand of one caliph with branches in 207 countries and membership exceeding 160 Million. The founder and caliphs of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community have always condemned terrorism and always promoted interfaith dialogue, mutual understanding and co-existence while respecting the beliefs of others. The true message of Islam defends other faiths and their places of worships and has no room for those who are ever ready to destroy others.