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USA: Ahmadiyya Muslim Community discusses leadership in Islam


…[T]he Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has exhibited a deep commitment to the community and by holding events such as the one June 10, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community continues to promote awareness and understanding of the fact that we are one community and one family.

File photo: Community invited at Ahmadiyya mosque.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch |
Source/Credit: Mercury News
By Idrees Munir | June 27, 2012

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Silicon Valley held a panel discussion on the topic of “Khilafat Leadership in Islam, Political and Spiritual” June 10 at the Milpitas Community Center.

The in-depth discussion detailed that Muslims all over the world, numbering more than 1 billion, are in a state of social and political disarray. Many Muslims seem to have concluded that secular goals such as individual freedom and the rights of women cannot be achieved within the framework of the Islamic way of life. Others have adopted an extremist viewpoint and use militant means to acquire political hegemony under a misguided belief that this serves the cause of Islam. The root of this disarray and dissolution lies in the vacuum of leadership that exists in Islamic societies today. Only the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, a dynamic and reformist organization within Islam, offers a viable solution to this problem by reviving the true and pristine teachings of Islam. And it was this solution and this message that was being presented at the June event.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community propounds Khilafat, the institution of functional leadership, as a means for achieving a lasting peace in the world. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which has an international outlook and a presence in more than 200 countries, categorically rejects the use of violence in any form and divests Islam of fanatical beliefs and practices by championing Islam’s true and essential teachings of moderation, tolerance, peace, love, and justice. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes that Islam offers a perfect balance between secular and spiritual aspects of life.

After a reception during which several members of the Bay Area community including public officials, political, religious and community leaders mingled with each other, the program started shortly after 5:30 p.m. with a recitation from the Holy Quran.

Introductory remarks were then made by Aftab Jamil, vice president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s Silicon Valley chapter.

Jamil commented that it was wonderful seeing new and old friends together again and the event itself was a celebration of the diversity within our community and the commonality of purpose that we all share in building a community that is based on peace, harmony, security and justice for all. These sentiments were in fact echoed by each speaker that followed underscoring the motto of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, “Love for All, Hatred for None.”

In his welcoming address, Wasim Malik, president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s Silicon Valley Chapter and national vice president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, USA, mentioned that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which is the oldest Islamic organization in the United States of America, is a dynamic community with a global membership exceeding tens of millions. The community is an embodiment of the benevolent message of Islam in its pristine purity. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community categorically rejects violence in any form, endorses the separation of church/mosque and state, and continues to be an advocate of human rights across the globe. Wherever the community is established, it endeavors to exert a constructive influence of Islam through social projects, educational institutions, health services, Islamic publications and construction of mosques, despite being bitterly persecuted in some countries.

Malik’s comments provided a transition to the event’s awards and appreciation ceremony. Given that the event itself was about leadership, Jamil said that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community wished to recognize leaders within our community who have demonstrated excellence in public service and civic responsibilities.

These included Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese; Milpitas Mayor Jose Esteves; Chief of Police Dennis Graham; ex vice mayor of San Jose and currently the president of San Jose Kiwanis Club and president of Cambrian Senior Center, Judy Chirco; hunger advocate of Presbyterian Church of Northern California, Pat Plant; and member of the Advisory Committee on Small and Minority Business to United States Secretary of Commerce, Teresa Coxus.

Receiving his award from Malik, Supervisor Cortese said that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is truly remarkable in its having served various people all over the world. He said that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has taken its due seat at the table to promote freedom of conscience and communal harmony thereby propagating not only its own religious beliefs, but the beliefs of other faiths and religions as well as the fundamental values and principles of our country’s constitution.

During his acceptance speech, Mayor Esteves remarked that he is inspired every time he attends an Ahmadiyya Muslim Community event. He said that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has exhibited a deep commitment to the community and by holding events such as the one June 10, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community continues to promote awareness and understanding of the fact that we are one community and one family.

In her remarks, Cox emphasized the importance of celebrating peace and brotherhood. Paying tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, she read an excerpt on his vision of freedom and peace from “Living the Dream.”

Other members of the Bay Area community who were recognized at the event included Armando Gomez and Althea Polanski of the Milpitas City Council; Anita Mukherjee, suicide prevention associate; Deepka Lalwani and Mark Tiernan, candidates for Milpitas City Council; the Rev. Susan Overland of the Center for Spiritual Living; Ms. Wei-Chien Lee, counselor, San Jose State University; the Rev. Abigail Schairer of the Center for Spiritual Living; the Rev. Gerald Sakamoto of the San Jose Buddhist Church; the Rev. Mark Denni of the San Lorenzo Family Church; Terra Wood-Taylor of First Unitarian Church of San Jose; and Head Priest Bajwa of the Sikh Temple, San Jose.

Esteves introduced the event’s keynote speaker, Imam Mubasher Ahmad, missionary of the North West Region of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, USA. In his keynote address, Imam Mubasher explained the concept of Caliphate or more accurately, Khilafat in Islam. A Khalifa, Mubasher explained, is one who comes after a prophet of God and serves as his successor. The true or rightly guided Khalifa is one who is connected to the divine creator and one who is committed to serving mankind. The basic mission of a Khalifa is to promote spirituality and he has no political, material or temporal agenda. Imam Mubasher gave a brief exposition on the role of the Khilafat (the spiritual institution of successorship to prophethood) in the history of Islam. The first Khilafat was established following the death of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) however following this, the term Khilafat was somewhat erroneously used to refer to the political and temporal leaders of the Islamic world as in the case of the Ottoman Empire. It was in 1908, upon the death of the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908), that the institution of a spiritually inclined and divinely inspired Khalifa was reinstituted fulfilling God’s promise to safeguard the message of Islam through the system of Khilafat.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s fifth and current spiritual leader, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, resides in the United Kingdom.

Under the leadership of its spiritual successors, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has now built more than 15,000 mosques, more than 500 schools, and more than 30 hospitals. It has translated the Holy Quran into more than 60 languages. It propagates the true teachings of Islam and the message of peace and tolerance through a 24-hour satellite television channel (MTA or mta.tv), the Internet (alislam.org) and print (Islam International Publications) which includes The Muslim Sunrise launched almost 90 years ago in the United States (muslimsunrise.com).

————-
Idrees Munir is member of the local chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

Read original post here: USA: Ahmadiyya Muslim Community discusses leadership in Islam

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