Ahmadiyya Times

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Faith and Country: Seek peace with your neighbors

The Holy Prophet has said, “Muslims should want for others what they want for themselves.” This is the Islamic version of the famous “Golden Rule” espoused by saints, scholars and prophets for thousands of years: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Imam Shamshad Nasir is missionary for the south west region, USA

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
By Imam Shamshad A. Nasir | November 17, 2010

The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, set an excellent example for us to live in peace and harmony with others. This is also in accordance with the Holy Quran, which says the only way to attain God’s grace is by following the example of Prophet Muhammad.

There is an incident in early Islamic history that demonstrates how Muhammad was the highest example of humbleness and forbearance in dealing with those opposed to one’s goals – much as the Park 51 Islamic Center in New York City has stirred up fear and anger against Islam, Muslims and the building of mosques.

In the year 628 AD, on the basis of a dream, the Prophet Muhammad announced he would go to Mecca (240 miles away) to perform Umrah, the lesser pilgrimage. When he reached the town of Hudaibiya near Mecca with his followers, he stopped and set up camp. Some Meccan leaders came to meet with him and told him he would not be allowed to enter Mecca to perform Umrah.

The leaders of Mecca viewed Islam as the chief threat to their religious beliefs and accepted way of life. To stop Muhammad and the Muslims from doing Umrah, the Meccans offered a humiliating agreement to the Muslims known as the Treaty of Hudaibiya.

And while this agreement would end hostilities between the Muslims and the Meccans, the terms of this treaty were extremely insulting to the Muslims. But still the Prophet Muhammad signed the treaty with all these humiliations to win the peace for all.

Winning and keeping the peace was Muhammad’s chief goal. This is the lofty example Muhammad showed in his negotiations with the Meccans. He was never demanding or arrogant or abusive to those who were against him. He put all his trust and faith in God and relied on His Help in all trials and negotiations.

So, how are Muslims today following the example of the Holy Prophet when it comes to negotiating? Are Muslims sensitive to the feelings and concerns of the members of other religions as they would like the members of other religions to be sensitive to them?

When it comes to the building of an Islamic center near Ground Zero in New York City, the negative reaction – in large part instigated and orchestrated by political and religious conservatives – is understandable. It does not make it right, nor does it make it an accurate portrayal of most Muslim’s intentions.

Ideally, a mosque should be a place of peace for the lovers of peace, where people from all faiths are welcome.

If this desire for peace is not present on both sides, then the proponents of a mosque should first correct this by educating their own members, if need be, and by reaching out to the people in the neighborhood where they wish to have a mosque and win the community over before any groundbreaking or renovation starts.

This is the way and example of the Holy Prophet of Islam, and as such, it is the model for all Muslims to follow: seek peace with your neighbors. Do not seek to impose yourselves or your beliefs by force. Respect the rights and feelings of others so that you may receive the same treatment in return. Win the friendship and respect of your neighbors by first being friendly and respectful.

The Holy Prophet has said, “Muslims should want for others what they want for themselves.” This is the Islamic version of the famous “Golden Rule” espoused by saints, scholars and prophets for thousands of years: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Therefore, regardless if the proposed building is a mosque, a church, a temple or a synagogue, there should be equal respect and opportunity for the freedom and practice of religion.

Ahmadi Muslims living in America, like most Muslims here, are intensely grateful to be living in a country where they are free to practice their faith. We know that in many so-called Muslim countries this freedom is not given to other religions or even other sects of Islam. This is un-Islamic and a disgrace to the true teachings of Islam and the example of the Prophet Muhammad, who granted charters of religious freedom to Christians, Jews and even idol worshippers. It is just this spirit of respect and tolerance that is so badly needed today. It is why Ahmadi Muslims make it a point to consider the feelings of others and to dispel fear and distrust with dialog and education whenever we seek to build a new mosque or acquire a building to be used as a mosque. If we don’t win the approval of the community in question, we don’t pursue our mosque plans until such approval is given.

We must all guard against fear being used to incite people to deny others the same rights they enjoy and expect as Americans. If only some of us are free, then none of us are free.

Imam Shamshad A. Nasir is imam of the Baitul Hameed Mosque in Chino.

Read original post here: Seek peace with your neighbors

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Filed under: Chino, Peace, Shamshad Nasir, USA

Faith and Loyalty: Muslim memories of Frederick

Being a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, I come together with my American brothers and sisters to say, “I will always remember the sacrifices of our veterans.”

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: Fredrick News Post | Opinion
By Ahmed Khan | November 17, 2010

As I was walking through West Patrick Street this past Veterans Day in Frederick, I was thinking about the military history that had affected this area. It was nearing dusk and I came upon the intersection of West Patrick Street (the National Road) and South Market Street (Md. 355). I saw an exhibition panel that had the words “Crossroads of America” written on it. Even though it was describing a physical crossroad, it also expressed how the crossroads of loyalty and love for this nation can bring Americans together.

The three years of my childhood that I spent in this modest town years ago allowed me to be the American-Muslim I am today. Being a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, I come together with my American brothers and sisters to say, “I will always remember the sacrifices of our veterans.”

AHMED KHAN
Aberdeen

Read original post here: Muslim memories of Frederick

Filed under: Ahmed Khan, Country, Loyalty, USA