Beliefnet
Muslim Youth USA

by Haris Raja 
     In the first week of May 2017, nearly 300 young Muslim men from the US went to visit the Khalifa of Islam, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad in London, UK. The event was organized by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association USA. Mirza Masroor Ahmad is the Head of the world wide Ahmadiyya Muslim community. For the members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, His Holiness is the spiritual leader and guide. The purpose of this visit was to inspire the young members of the community and provide them an opportunity to develop a strong bond with His Holiness.
     The group had an opportunity to offer congregational prayers behind His Holiness. Islamic daily prayers are obligatory on men to perform in congregation.  The three-day visit served as an excellent reminder for all group members to offer their prayers in congregation.  Islamic prayer is a way of meditation through which believers reflect on improving their spirituality. It teaches them self control, unity and discipline. Portions of the Holy Quran are also recited during the prayer to reflect on the teaching of the Holy book for Muslims. His Holiness’ marvelous recitation of the Holy Quran during the prayers penetrated the hearts of the followers and many shed tears in a highly charged spiritual environment.
     The group also had a blessed audience exclusively with His Holiness. This was a remarkable opportunity for the group to ask questions and seek guidance. During the session, His Holiness put a special emphasis on the daily recitation of the Holy Quran and admonished the attendees to reflect on the real meaning of the Quran. He encouraged the youth to acquire the true understanding of their faith and become adherents of the peaceful teachings of Islam.  His Holiness told the youth that they need to become model citizens of the their society and should attract others towards their faith through their strong and decent character.
     Finally the group had an opportunity to renew their pledge at the hands of His Holiness. This pledge of allegiance is to declare that the adherents will obey His Holiness in every thing good. There are ten conditions in the pledge of allegiance. All of these conditions are related to the spiritual well being of the adherent. For example, Believing in the Unity of God, offering daily prayers, understanding the true meaning of the Holy Quran, staying away from all kinds of vices and evils, serving humanity to one’s maximum ability, being gentle and kind to others, becoming a peaceful human being are among these conditions. The pledge of allegiance took place in the historical Fazal Mosque, the oldest Mosque in London. Although its not a very big mosque, it was overcrowded and group members were fervently waiting for the arrival of His Holiness to lead the pledge of allegiance. There were cries of repentance from sins and prayers to achieve the pleasure of God all over. It was an ecstatic atmosphere worth remembering for everyone who was taking part in the pledge.
     The hospitality shown by the host Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association UK was marvelous. They welcomed us with warm greetings, treated us with sumptuous meals and took great care of us for which we are grateful.
     This visit to see His Holiness was a life changing experience for many. In today’s political climate where young Muslim men are often portrayed in a bad light, young men of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community are proudly adhering to their faith. Their trip to London was an assurance that they are safeguarded from the wrong influences and are peaceful and law-abiding citizens of the country they live in.

By Ahsan Jattala 

With Mother’s Day here, we can use this opportunity to remind ourselves of the respect that is due to to all mothers. Mother’s Day isn’t just meant to celebrate our mothers once a year, but rather it reminds us of the respect due to our mothers every day. We live in a fast-paced society where it’s sometimes very easy to get consumed in our own lives and forget to check on how our mothers are doing. Let’s take a second to pause on our lives and let our mothers know how much we appreciate them for all that they have done for us. A mother is due the highest of respect. This is what my faith has taught me since I was a child.

As a Muslim, I have been taught that kindness to both parents is of the utmost importance. In our holy book, the Quran, it is stated, “Worship God and join not any partners with Him; and be kind to your parents(4:37).” Respect and kindness to parents are spoken of in the same verse as not associating partners with God. This emphasizes the weightiness of the issue since associating partners with God is the ultimate wrong in Islamic teachings.

The Prophet of Islam has said that a mother is worthy of kindness three times before anyone else. This is not by any means a knock on the fathers out there, but rather an elevation of the status of mothers to such a high level. Our mothers are our first teachers and they are also our first vessel for food and shelter. They have been biologically entrusted with carrying us before birth until we are ready to enter the world. For this reason, mothers are given three times the respect before fathers. It is said that paradise lies at the feet of the mother and this analogy is meant the illustrate how important Islam sees mothers and overall women in the wider scope. They are, after all, the ones who teach us love, respect, and honor. Women are the backbone of society and a vital part of securing a future for life overall.

To all of the mothers out there, I commend you for all that you do and I know you have the toughest of jobs on this planet. Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms and future moms to be.

by Amir Nasir Quraishi 

To my Christian brothers and sisters everywhere I hope and pray that you will have blessed day this Easter. As a Muslim living here all my life, I have often enjoyed going on Easter egg hunts as well as watching The Ten Commandments, which came on TV during this time. Nonetheless it is awful what happened to the two Coptic Churches in Egypt.

As Ahmadi Muslims, we wholeheartedly condemn terrorism near and far. It is horrific what happened 5 days ago in Egypt when ISIS claimed responsibility for the senseless killings that took the lives of 44 individuals in two Churches. The Quran says, “Whosoever kills an innocent human being, it shall be as if they have killed all mankind.” (5:33)

To All Muslims who do horrendous things, they should remember the teachings of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) and the Covenant he made with the Christians of his time.

“This is a message from [Prophet] Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them.

Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them.

No compulsion [in religion] is to be on them.

Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries.

No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses.

Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate.

No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight.

The Muslims are to fight for them.

If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray.

Their Churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants.

No one of the nation (of Muslims) is to disobey this covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).”

Those who follow Islam are meant to be the protector of people of all faiths, not their enemy. It is awful what Muslims have done in the name of religion to people of other faiths and how they have forgotten their humanity. Unfortunately this year, two Churches will not be able to celebrate their holiday including other Christians living in these places.

I request all my Christian friends that they remember the victims in their prayers, and pray for Muslims world over that they will stop these actions, and learn to love God and His creation according to the true teachings of Islam.

I wish you all a truly blessed Easter holiday.

by Kwabena Osman 

As the world marks earth day, various activities will take place reminding us what we do or don’t do which is causing the deterioration of this beautiful place where we live. As people who live on this earth and enjoy its bounties we are responsible for its protection.

The world is fast losing its rain forests. Humans need to take action to reverse this. Advising Muslims more than fourteen hundred years ago, the beloved Prophet Muhammad said: “If a Muslim plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or animal eats from it, it is regarded as charity from him”. By this he encourages Muslim’s to play their role in protecting the earth by planting trees.

It is in this spirit that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association in the USA continue their tradition of planting thousands of trees across the country. By this we abide by the true teaching of Islam as taught by the Prophet Muhammad who also said: ‘The World is green and beautiful and Allah has appointed you his stewards over it”