Friday, November 11, 2005

Ramadan message from the Ahmadiyyas

Ramadan message from the Ahmadiyyas
Nov 5 2005
By The Huddersfield Daily Examiner

THE world's second largest faith is Islam. Most people
know there are Sunni and Shia Muslims but it's not
generally realised that among Islam's 1.3bn adherents
are Kharijis, Alawis, Ismalis, Wahhabis and a host of
other "denominations".

There are almost as many factions and divisions in
Islam as in Christianity, each following its own
traditions and insights into the faith.

With some 200m followers worldwide the Ahmadiyya
Movement is one of the smaller groups but with over 70
centres in the UK they are rapidly expanding and the
Ahmayyada Community in Huddersfield has almost
outgrown its mosque on Lower Fitzwilliam Street.

Founded in the Punjab in 1889 by Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam
Ahmad, (peace be upon him) the Ahmadiyyas believe
their founder to be the fulfilment of prophecy, the
"promised Messiah" and renovator of Islam, a belief
that has often put them at odds with mainstream

But they are extremely open and welcoming. Totally
rejecting violence and fundamentalism they were quick
to condemn Islamic terrorism and the suicide bombings.

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Enthusiastic ambassadors for their beliefs they
combine orthodox practice with modern thinking and as
they regard Islam as a universal faith make a point of
preaching and teaching in the language of the country
they worship in.

Last Friday was the final Friday in Ramadan, commonly
known as Juma–til–Wida , which along with every Friday
has a special importance for Muslims.

Firstly this afternoon there was a live TV broadcast,
in Urdu (but with a running English commentary
available) by the appointed head of the Ahmadiyya
Muslim Community, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad.

For Muslims Ramadan is a month of prayer, spirituality
and forgiveness and in his address he described the
blessings and benefits of Ramadan and the duties and
obligations of a believer.

"If during the experience of Ramadan one's inclination
is turned to Allah and to following the way of Allah,
then we should adopt it in our daily lives" he said
and urged all Muslims to continue to act in accordance
with the instructions of God and the practices of the
Holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (peace and blessings
of Allah be upon him.)

With the mosque rapidly filling more prayers were said
and then a sermon, in English, by the Regional
Missionary, Maulana Ghulam Ahmad Khadim.

He noted: "Through fasting we can achieve nearness to
our master, to God Almighty, and in Ramadan everybody
tries to create the love of Allah in his heart and ask
His forgiveness."

During this holy month a more concentrated effort is
made to say the personal Tahajad prayers which are
offered in solitude during the hours of darkness,
alone and in the presence only of God.

In the last 10 days of Ramadan (Itikaaf) devout
members, men and women, disconnect themselves from
worldly affairs, stay in the mosque and pray.

Reflecting on the tragic earthquake in Pakistan
Maulana Khadim reminded us that Ramadan is also a
month of sacrifice and charity (Fitrana) when
exceptional compassion should be shown to all those in

"We should continue the blessings of Ramadan," Maulana
Khadim said.

"During Ramadan we have drawn closer to God Almighty.
We have shown our obedience and given sympathy and
help to the poor and needy. We should pray to Allah
that these noble qualities should continue throughout
our lives."

With the end of Ramadan and the celebration of Eid
almost upon us and with Christmas, that celebrates the
birth of Jesus, the Christian Messiah, rapidly nearing
the message from the mosque was universal.

Draw nearer to God, be obedient and ask His
forgiveness. Show charity and compassion. Peace and
goodwill to all mankind !

To all, Eid Mubarak - Blessed Eid!

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