Beliefnet
Muslim Youth USA

by Nayyar Ahmed Khokhar 

Some of the most persistent critics of Islam and Muslims in general are constantly on the move to find allegations that can be leveled against the teachings of this peaceful religion. One such allegation is the use of a concept known as “Taqiyya”, which in crude definition is one hiding in plain sight and masquerading as peaceful citizen while harboring malicious intent of harming the very fabric of their country of residence. Personally, I stumbled upon the concept of Taqiyya while having an argument on social media with one such critic. Being raised as an Ahmadi Muslim I had never even heard of such practice to be a part of Islamic teachings..

Many of my American friends are misled and misinformed by so called Muslim scholars and extremists who believe Taqiyya to be a real teaching practiced by Muslims, especially those who live in the West. Rest assured, Taqiyya has no roots or teachings in Islam as you will discover in this article. Islam is a religion that promotes the ideology of justice that can only be achieved by speaking the truth.

For a peaceful society to exist, it is essential for truth to prevail giving rise to a civil culture. Free exchange of ideas based on such truth becomes a hallmark of a civilized society. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) encouraged Muslims to speak the truth and to maintain honesty across all facets of life, whether personal, for business or on a state level. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) practised truth and honesty so much so that even before the advent of Islam, per Arab traditions, he was given the titles of “Al-Amin” and “Al-Sadiq” by the leaders of Mecca, which literally means the one who is Truthful and Trustworthy.

“Taqiyya” literally means prudence, fear or caution and to further elaborate this practice I will now quote an excerpt from the writing of Qasim Rashid, who is a human rights activist and advocate of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the United States, “…the Quran requires a Muslim to obey and be loyal to those in his charge. Prophet Muhammad added, “You should listen to and obey your ruler, even if you [despise him].” While national loyalty does not forbid dissent, that dissent must be expressed legally and peacefully — never violently. Critics like Robert Spencer claim Islam allows Muslims to engage in Taqiyya, treachery against non-Muslims. However, the Quran unequivocally forbids lying or hiding the truth and Prophet Muhammad instructed, “It is obligatory for you to tell the truth.”

The Holy Quran emphatically rejects lying or practicing Taqiyya with the intent of causing harm to another human being. Islam explicitly upholds the sanctity of life and emphasizes to believers that to save one life is as if to save all mankind (Quran 5:33). Hence, such practice is rejected by the Quran and Hadith, and does not represent the overall sentiments of a billion Muslims who are law-abiding and peaceful citizens of their respective countries, and bear no such intent to cause harm to their country of residence.

by Zohaib Zafar

March 23rd marked 129 years since when the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was founded. It has been a tumultuous journey for our community. Hundreds of Ahmadi Muslims have been killed by so called Muslims and many of us have been forced out of our homes into exile. All of this has happened because we accept Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian as the long awaited Messiah that the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad peace be upon him had foretold, which many extremists believe makes Ahmadi Muslims worthy of persecution.

This year on March 23, which fell on a Friday, many Ahmadi Muslims decided to take the day off from school and work. They were out on the streets trying to have dialogue about Islam and the challenges the world currently faces. It is no secret that terrorism in America done in the name of Islam has been steadily decreasing in the past couple of years. We can now completely eliminate what is left of both Islamophobia and extremism within the Muslim American community through more dialogue and acceptance of all Americans regardless of religion or race.

by Nayyar Ahmed

The Middle East countries’ policies towards Israel have been divided and can be described as either understated or mute. I caution the reader not to confuse a call for action with war or conflict – a peaceful dialogue between nations can resolve many, if not all, such issues. However, it still remains to be seen how and when a unified front of Arab leaders will address this issue using an element of justice to resolve this decades old regional conflict. With a fragmented Middle East’s blind pursuit of materialism and a lust for black gold– the finite commodity of oil so precious the world could come to a stop without its production, has instilled greed and a lack of empathy in Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations.

The Muslims of the Middle East, with all its gold and glory, have turned a blind eye to the Palestinian cause and while protestors will take the streets, burn the flags of Israel and USA, shout rants of ‘death to Israel and America’, this is their extent of empathy with no reasonable and rational approach. A few days later, everything goes back to normal and once again, driven by their fallacies, they fall victims to greed for materialism which can only be equated to drawing water from a mirage. The Worldwide Supreme Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, while delivering a historic address at York University said “In short, money talks and morality is left nowhere to be seen. How on earth can peace be achieved in such an environment?”

While it is painful for our Palestinian brothers and sisters to suffer, it is the discord among Muslims and due to a lack of consensus on true Islamic teachings that we are losing our identity and voice as Muslims. The cornerstone of Islamic teachings about governance is the strict adherence to justice and equity. Saudi Arabia sets itself as a poor example of Islamic principles for other Muslim countries to follow with its harsh laws that offer no protection for people to worship freely or show any political affiliation out of free will. This Wahhabi ideology adopted by Saudis in the name of Islam has been the primary cause for home-grown extremists and terrorists and with the creation of internet and social media the ideology has sailed across continents gaining support. Slowly but surely this ideology has evolved into the Frankenstein’s monster we now know as ISIS.

Muslims must understand that governance requires equal rights for every human being, Muslim or otherwise, at the heart of which lies true justice. Only by adopting true Islamic principles and exonerating ourselves from worldly pursuits, we will conquer the hearts of people out of true love which will make us recipients of God’s pleasure. Mirza Masroor Ahmad (May Allah Be His Helper) during his lecture at York University concluded that “If we truly want peace in our time then we must act with justice. We must value equality and fairness. As the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) so beautifully stated: we must love for others, what we love for ourselves. We must pursue the rights of others with the same zeal and determination that we pursue our own rights. We should broaden our horizons and look at what is right for the world, rather than what is only right for us. These are the means for peace in our age.”

Israel is a country with a pluralistic government and harbors an astounding 17% Muslim demographic who freely practice their faith, build mosques and even call the Adhaan—the Muslim call to prayer. Although I, for one, stand in support of Israel and its pluralistic laws, I also stand in support of a bipartisan agreement and believe in a two-nation theory. I implore world leaders to make decisions that bring peace and harmony among nations, and removes the bigotry of hate from the hearts and minds of common people.

by Munassar Alam

As one ponders over the state of the world, they come to realize that humanity has made tremendous progress over the last few centuries. Mankind has created megacities, flying machines, calculators the size of just a few atoms, and have set foot on the moon. One could say that humanity will continue to grow exponentially in technology, progressing more and more. However, these excellent technological advances have not come without a price. Looking at today’s society, one also witnesses a moral decline. Promiscuity is accepted and rampant, and true brotherhood or comraderie is seldom found. People have effectively disregarded religion and deemed it as ancient myths. The Qur’an exactly prophesized this 1400 years ago: “When Our signs are recited unto him, he says ‘Fables of the ancients’” (83:14)

The religions of today are not excluded from this either. Religion itself is so perverted that it can be used for the most frightening of purposes. Segregation based on religion was widespread only a few decades ago, and some countries continue to do so even today. Those claiming to be religious barely understand their own religion, and only seldom follow its commandments. Take the case of Islam. Throughout the Middle East, radicalism is spreading like wildfire and claiming the lives of many innocent humans. It is the fanatical religious clerics who are at blame for this. They have claimed to be launching a supposed “Jihad against the infidels” when they barely know what the word Jihad even means. They say “there is no God except God” while they slaughter all those who do not conform to their insane ideology including their own brothers in faith. Such Muslims break a fundamental Islamic teaching:
“And slay not the soul, the slaying of which Allah has forbidden, save for a just cause” (17:34).

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

Still fresh on society’s mind are two world wars, where countless innocent lives were lost. Such devastation which the world never saw before was brought up in this day and age. Such chaos is the sign for the messiah called for by all traditions. The world is in dire need of a man gifted with divine light who can illuminate this world and clean it of its moral depravity. Yet, the messiah should have already appeared, as it seems far too late now. In fact, I claim he did appear in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian. Championing the message of peace and global stability, his mission was to purify religion and cleanse the world of moral vices as well as end all religious wars. After he passed, a pure Caliphate was established to continue his mission and purify mankind. His ardent followers continue preaching his message to the ends of the Earth, accelerating past any obstacle. The Ahmadiyya Muslim community of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is rapidly expanding to encompass the humble souls of this world who seek only the truth. Find out more at alislam.com.