Hazrat Ameer in the UK
Editors: Shahid Aziz Mustaq Ali
By Akbar Abdullah, Editor HOPE, USA
Announcements and News
The Promised Messiah speaks
The Second South Africa Case
Announcements and News Friday
Webcasts: Please note that the Friday khutba and prayers, the dars, as well as all meetings are broadcast over the Virtual Mosque at the time stated above.
Acquisition of New Equipment The UK jamaat has acquired the latest printing equipment. This is a digital printing machine with automatic duplex facilities and direct printing from a computer. The means that rather than first having to print the material and then copy it resulting in loss of sharpness especially in pictures it can be printed directly from the computer. The machine has facilities to staple pages so that booklets can be produced automatically in one process triggered from the printer. The Light in your hands was printed on our new machine and we look forward to your comments.
Meeting with a distinguished member of the Lords Hazrat Ameer-i-Qaum, Dr Abdul Karim Saeed Pasha Sahib held a fruitful meeting to benefit our Jamaat in the United Kingdom with Lord Eric Avebury, a human rights activist and a distinguished parliamentarian. After Dr Mujahid Ahmad Saeed sends us the photographs taken during this important meeting with a text report we shall include the material in the first one of our two supplements we intend to publish. Our readers can obtain more information about the political agenda of Lord Avebury by accessing his website on the Internet.
Luncheon in Woking by Br Azhar-udDin Ahmad in honour of Hazrat Ameer Mr Azhar-ud-Din and Mrs Samira Ahmad hosted a welcome lunch in honour of Hazrat Ameer, Head of the Worldwide Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, on 13th November, 2011 at Jholpali Restaurant, Byfleet, Woking, England. Brother Nasir Ahmad has submitted a detailed report of this event and Dr Jawad Ahmad has provided us elegant photographs of the luncheon meeting which will be part of our first supplement of the two of Hazrat Ameer's last two weeks of activities in the United Kingdom which we intend to publish.
Jumah prayers (London)
In the late morning of Friday, Brother Azhar -ud-din drove Hazrat Ameer-i-Qaum from Birmingham to our London Mission House where the latter delivered khutba and led the Jumah prayers. Mr Tim Miller, the Vice-President of
2 the European Chapter of the Universal Peace Federation attended the Jumah prayers as an observer of Hazrat Ameer's sermon and prayers, and after the prayers he delivered a brief message of peace. Dr. Zahid Aziz followed Mr Tim Miller, and delivered his speech on the "Importance of Advent of Masih-e-Maood”.
Nasir Ahmad and Dr Jawad Ahmad invite Hazrat Ameer to tea Towards the final days of Hazrat Ameer-iQaum, Dr Abdul Karim Saeed Pasha Sahib's final leg of the tour of UK & Mainland Europe, Brother Nasir Ahmad & family hosted a farewell tea party in his honour in their residence on last Sunday afternoon.
The President of the UK jamaat lauds Hazrat Ameer’s efforts Sister Jameelah Khan, President of AAIIL, UK expresses a highly favourable opinion of Hazrat Ameer’s mission to the United Kingdom and the Mainland Europe. In a telephonic conversation with me she stated that she marvels at the energetic spirit of Hazrat Ameer which the latter has demonstrated by his visit to the UK Jamaat. She said that it is due to his stamina, sincerity and faith. JazakAllah!
Hazrat Ameer’s departure from the UK
Hazrat Ameer, Dr Abdul Karim Saeed Pasha and Dr Mujahid Saeed at Heathrow before departure for Pakistan
The Promised Messiah Speaks Muslim scholars’ misunderstanding of the doctrine of jihad Remember, the doctrine of jihad, as understood by the present day Muslim scholars, who are called Muslim priests, and the form in which they state this doctrine to common people, is absolutely incorrect. Its result is nothing except that they, through their passionate sermons, turn the men of brutish qualities into venomous beasts dispossessed of all pious virtues of humanity. Thus, so it happens. I know for certain that the sin for all the brutalities and unjust bloodshed that results at the hands of these ignorant conceited persons, who are quite unaware of why and for what reason, in its early period, the necessity for war arose for Islam, rests on the shoulders of these Muslim priests who secretly keep teaching such doctrines, which lead to such sorrowful bloodshed. When these people meet the government officials they kneel so low to greet them as if they are ready to prostrate before them. But when they sit in the gatherings of their compatriots they repeatedly insist that this country is Dar-al-Harb. In their hearts they consider waging jihad as their religious duty. There are few of them who are not of that view. These people are so firm in their belief about jihad, which is completely erroneous and against the teachings of the Quran and hadith, that if someone does not agree with their view about this they call him Anti-Christ and declare him deserving of the penalty of death. Accordingly, I am subject to such decree and some Muslim priests of this country have declared me an Anti-Christ and a heretic. Without any fear of the Laws of the British Government they have issued a private decree about me that this person deserves to be put to death, his property looted and his women abducted. And, that one doing so is worthy of great Divine reward. But for what crime! Only this: that my being the Promised Messiah and preaching against their doctrine of jihad and declaring the coming of their
Hazrat Ameer, in a pensive mood (perhaps reflecting upon the quality of lunch) and Mr Azharud-Din Ahmad blood-shedding Messiah and blood-thirsty Mahdi, on whom they have pinned great hopes of pillage, as completely false doctrines became the cause of their rage and enmity. But they should remember that the doctrine of jihad as it is in their minds is not correct as its first step is shedding the blood of human sympathy. We have a two-fold response to their question that when jihad was permissible in the earlier period, what is the reason that it is now prohibited? Firstly, that the view about jihad is mere conjecture, which has exceptions. Our Holy Prophet (s) did not raise the sword against anyone except those who first raised the sword and mercilessly slaughtered innocent and righteous men, women and children. And they killed them in such a distressing manner that even now reading those accounts makes us cry.
The Second South Africa Case Some Memories Shahid Aziz As many eyewitnesses to the historical events that took place in the case Sheikh Jesseim v Sheik Nazim and the MJC have passed away, Dr Mujahid Saeed has asked me to write down some personal memories of my participation in these momentous events and to share them with you.
Two cases in South Africa: In the eighties there were two court cases in South Africa where the question whether Ahmadis were Muslims or not was discussed. In the first
case our jamaat was directly involved and the case started with two plaintiffs, Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam Lahore and Mr Ismail Peck against the Muslim Judicial Council. After much legal wrangling and many hearings, eventually the case became Ismail Peck v MJC. On the day the hearing of the substantive matter started the defendants withdrew. Although this meant that we won by default Hafiz Sher Muhammad still proceeded to present our case announcing that if the Defendants decide to rejoin the proceedings at any stage there will be no objection from the Plaintiff. His evidence continued for a week but the Defendant did not reappear. Mr Ismail Peck was declared to be a Muslim and therefore, by extension, so were all Ahmadis. We printed and published the book The Ahmadiyya Case which is a translation by Dr Zahid Aziz of the evidence presented to the court by Hafiz Maulana Sher Muhammad. The second case did not directly involve us. It was between two Sunni imams, Sheikh Jasseim and Sheikh Nazim and Sheikh Jasseim, and the M J C, whose President, I think, Sheikh Nazim was.
How the second case started : In South Africa each mosque has an endowment by way of land, shops and other property and the income from that endowment bears the mosque’s expenses and pays the imam’s salary. Most Sunni mosques joined together many years ago to form the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC), a body to which they assigned the authority to issue fatwahs or religious opinions. Sheikh Nazim was the head of the MJC and Sheikh Jasseim the imam of a mosque. It seems that when this mosque was built there was not much income from its endowment as it lay some distance from the main city and its facilities. However, as population increased and the city expanded the mosque’s property became extremely valuable and the income, mainly rental, increased many fold. It is said that Sheikh Nazim wanted his son to be appointed the imam of this mosque. The problem was that, in South Africa, imamat was regarded as hereditary making it impossible for Sheikh Nazim to remove Sheikh Jasseim. So it remained until some Lahori-Ahmadis visited Sheikh Jasseim. As they talked the Azan was
4 called and Sheikh Jasseim asked the Ahmadis to join him for prayers. They responded by saying that as he regarded them as kafirs they could not pray behind him. At this the Sheikh said that it seemed to him a silly comment for had it been a Hindu or a Christian he would have asked them to wait as he goes to pray. The fact that he asked them to join him in namaaz shows that he regarded them as Muslims. Upon this, the Sheikh led the prayers and members of our jamaat prayed behind him providing Sheikh Nazim with the excuse to start a campaign to oust Sheikh Jasseim from the imamship of the mosque. Then other things happened. There was a wedding at the house of someone called Rakip where Sheikh Nazim said that Sheikh Jasseim was an Ahmadi lover and thus unfit to lead a Muslim congregation. Eventually, Sheikh Jasseim was dismissed by his local board under pressure from Sheikh Nazim. Sheikh Jasseim promptly sued both Sheikh Nazim and the MJC for breach of contract by an unfair dismissal and defamation of character. As a consequence of these issues the question of what Ahmadis believe arose all over again.
Before the hearing started : Hafiz Sher Muhammad again went to South Africa and spent a long time there. Mr Masud Akhtar Choudhry was also there to translate and interpret for Hafiz sahib. And, Rishad Khan was organizing things as Sheikh Jesseimâ€™s solicitor. Zahid translated material and, as luck would have it, as fax had been invented (!) fax it to the solicitors. Hafiz sahib would ring me from South Africa and give me a long list of references to dig up and send him. Fortunately, at that time I worked in Central London and on many days I would take a longer lunch hour and go to some library or other to find the books from which Hafiz sahib wanted photocopies as original source material. As the hearing date drew closer the question of court interpretation arose. And for some reason known only to himself, Hazrat Ameer, Dr Saeed Ahmad Khan sahib, asked me to go to South Africa to translate and to interpret in the High Court.
Lahore-Ahmadiyya Mosque Suriname
Threats and mind games : At that time Mr M R Malik was very closely involved with our jamaat. He would ring me almost daily to talk about things and we became friends and occasionally we would meet to go out. As young men all over the world do we would go out to exciting places in Central London and the West End. I mention a few, as I believe they still exist, and if any of our young members want a bit of excitement, as we did, they can also go and spend many happy hours there! These were: the India Office Library, the Library of SOAS, the University of London Senate House Library and the British Library etc. I discussed my trip to South Africa with him. One day he rang me asking me to meet him as he had important information. As he had contacts with many organizations I was curious to find out what it was. When we met he warned me that there are plans afoot to assassinate Ahmadis who go to South Africa for this case. I was sure that this was just an empty threat but I immediately rang South Africa and spoke to Hafiz Sahib to warn him. It seems that such threats had been made in South Africa as well and Rishad Khan, the solicitor there, had arranged for a paramilitary guard to protect Hafiz sahib. When I got home I told Riffat, my wife, about this in the hope that she will come up with a suitable excuse for me to get out of the trip. I
5 assume that it was after checking my life insurance policies (!) that the reply she gave was this. She said Allah provides for even those who have neither a mother nor a father. If I believed that I provided for the family then I should not go but if I believed that Allah provides then I should go. Second, she said that she did not expect her husband to turn his back to the enemy.
Hazrat Ameer broadcasting on Eid But that wasn’t the only problem that arose. At the time I worked for British Telecom in a department called Logistics. One day a clerk came and told me that the pen I had ordered had arrived. I had indeed ordered some biros so I asked her to put them in the stationery cupboard. She was insistent on my collecting this pen so I told her not to be silly and just put the pens where people could get them. I was later told that someone had ordered a gold Parker pen and the lady was trying to get me to accept it and to sign a receipt for it. Many years later, after I had moved to another part of BT I saw someone in Holborn who worked with me in Logistics and asked him about the gold pen incident and why the pen was so specifically offered to me. He told me that the black members of staff, and this was about one third of the section, resented my going to South Africa for a “holiday” which if you remember had apartheid at the time. They had set this trap for me. They hoped that I would accept the pen, they would inform BT internal investigation team and I would be charged with theft and dismissed. Of course having acquired a criminal
record and without a reference I would not have been able to get another white-collar job. But I guess, Allah saves His own people.
Getting to South Africa : At that time, many countries, because of its apartheid policies, did not recognize South Africa. This meant that if a person has a South African visa in their passport they would be denied entry to places like Pakistan. I explained this to the embassy and they stamped a visa on a blank sheet of paper. To be able to take maximum leave I took a night flight. I remember I had a meeting with suppliers which over-ran and I rushed to the underground. There was some kind of incident and there were thousands of commuters being off-loaded at King Cross. I fought my way out as there was no point in waiting and ran down the road. Zahid and I used had spent some time in halls of residence in the area so I knew the back streets. Anyway I got to the airport just in time, checked-in, found my seat and discovered I had dropped my wallet. As I began to panic the air hostess walked straight up to me and asked me if I was Mr Aziz and after seeing my passport handed me my wallet. This is one time I’ve been glad to have been brown among a sea of white faces! The plane landed at Nairobi and then at Johannesburg where I had to change planes for Cape Town. At Johannesburg the security at the airport was the way it is now at most airports. I had to empty my pockets in a box and walk through the machine which bleeped. I had to go back and take off my belt and shoes and tried again. There was no response to my protests that the machine was malfunctioning. Every time I had to take off one more item and try again until I was a picture of “there’s no place to hide anything”. At which point the Sergeant went: “You may be right, put your clothes back on.” I have to say that it is not easy to drag a trolley full of books with one hand while trying to pull your pants up with the other as you hop on one leg; especially when scores of people are laughing and clapping. Although I was grateful for the experience I don’t really want to repeat it.
Mrs Sabiha Saeed (wife of Hazrat Ameer), Mrs Bano Anwar, Mr Azhar-ud-Din Ahmad, Mr Shahid Aziz and Dr Mujahid Saeed
Sana Ullah Amritsari and secret plans : I arrived at departures. I looked around and saw what I guessed were some of the witnesses from Pakistan who were appearing against us. They must have boarded the plane at Nairobi. To check my guess, I went and lent on a pillar close to them so that I could hear what they were saying. They were indeed talking about the hearing in which Hafiz Sher Muhammad was appearing as a witness. One asked the other: “Why is it only Ahl-i-Deoband who conduct this jihad against the Qadianis?” The other replied: “Who else is going to do it? Barailvis? They are tombworshippers and Qadianis will defeat them in a minute.” I was grateful to learn that we could easily defeat the vast majority of Muslims living in the sub-continent in one minute. “You are right,” said the first man, “Maulana Sana ullah Amritsari declared them a kafir and carried out a jihad against them all his life.” The other replied: “The less you say about Sana ullah the better. All you needed was to give him ten rupees and he would declare anyone you wanted a kafir or a Muslim.”
They also said that they will be using Qadiani’s original books so that we will not be able to ask for the original and how they had to bring a ton of books with them to make sure. This proved to be very useful because when I went to collect my luggage I stood close to the belt to see what they had brought. They had been very kind and labeled each package with the names of books. To my delight I noted that they were indeed original Qadiani books but mostly those written by the likes of Mirza Bashir ud Din Mahmud Ahmed, Mirza Bashir Ahmad etc.
Work starts : As I got out I found our brothers from the South Africa jamaat waiting for me, worried at the delay in my coming out. I think it was Rishad Khan, the solicitor, Sulaiman and one more person whose name I can’t remember. We drove to Rishad’s house. Hafiz sahib was anxious for me to arrive because there was still a lot of work to be done in translating materials from Urdu into English. There were also other difficulties such as the fact that when Hafiz sahib arrived back in
7 apartheid so much that he may not be able to do justice to the South African case. Later on, when the Court decided in South Africa’s favour, Sir Zafarullah told Mr De Villiers that had he known that white judges were going to give such an unjust decision he would not have withdrawn from the case.
Our plans :
Interior of one of the Lahore-Ahmadiyya mosques in Holland Pakistan after the first case, the Government of Pakistan confiscated a lot of his books as if such confiscation would actually change the facts. I asked Rishad if he could get hold of a couple of PCs. Before I left the UK I had been experimenting as a part of my job with introducing PCs using word processing etc. to BT so I knew what would be useful. Shabir, a friend of Rishad’s, provided two PCs and a matrix printer. We hired a typist and by the following day, off we went translating. I directly keyed-in material but Masud sahib would write out the translation and the typist we had hired would key it in. He had much typing to do as Masud sahib had already translated a lot of the material. Zahid would of course send his translations in a typed format. The following day we met Sheikh Jasseim’s advocates, Mr De Villiers, one of the top barristers in South Africa, and his assistant whose name I cannot now remember.
An interesting incident : Mr De Villiers had been part of the team which put South Africa’s case regarding, I think it was Namibia, to the World Court. He told us of an interesting conversation he had with Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khan who was one of the judges of the International Court. Mr De Villiers told us that when the court started hearing the case Sir Zafarullah excused himself saying that he hated the system of
Mr De Villiers started by asking Hafiz sahib how he would explain matters to the opposition barrister under cross-examination. To my astonishment, the Great Hafiz replied: ‘With love’. It would be many years before I would learn that Hafiz sahib was correct and my fist waving and shouting in the court did not further our cause. I told everyone about our opponents’ plans and the books I had seen and suggested that at the very start we announce that we are not Qadianis and we will not respond to any quotations from their books. This was agreed. Hafiz sahib then asked Mr De Villiers to make an application to the court at the very beginning asking for the court not to sit on Fridays because of Friday prayers. This was agreed. It reminded me of the incident at the start of the First South Africa Case when the opposition’s maulvi stood and asked everyone to raise their hands and pray for the truth to be victorious. Hafiz sahib immediately leapt to his feet and asked all Ahmadis to stand up and join the others in their prayers and say Amin. All I can say is that Allah listened to our Sunni brothers’ prayer and granted it and truth was victorious. Mr De Villiers then started going through the evidence. Long days were spent going through Hafiz sahib’s evidence. If Mr De Villiers didn’t fully follow something, Hafiz sahib would become very anxious and say to me: “explain to him because if our advocate doesn’t understand the issue, how will he explain to the court.” And then set about finding more references for translation. Once the hearing started the routine was to arrive at Mr De Villiers chambers which was a few minutes’ walk to the court, go through what was going to happen during the day, then proceed to the court for an all-day hearing, go back
8 to the chambers have a debriefing there, come home and start translating more materials. I was amazed at Hafiz sahib’s capacity for hard work. He would give evidence all day and then go through books looking for references all night.
A prayer : The night before the hearing I prayed to Allah for the truth to prevail and if I find the opponents’ case to be convincing then not to let my long family association or pride stop me from accepting the truth.
The battle commences : The hearing started and Mr De Villiers made his application for Friday off. The judge looked at the other barrister who turned and asked his clients. To my surprise but not to Hafiz sahib’s there was much whispering and then no objection was raised to our application. I was put on the stand because first the judge had to be convinced that I would be able to interpret properly and second because I had to swear to interpret faithfully. I got the shock of my life when the opposition barrister started to cross-examine me. “You support Sheikh Jesseim, don’t you?” he said. “I support the oppressed everywhere.” I replied. “Who paid your fare?” “I paid it out of my own pocket. I have the receipt here. Do you want to see it?” And so it went on until he asked me to look at a translation and give my opinion as to its accuracy. I was puzzled and Mr De Villiers, who must have noticed the change in my expression, immediately leapt to his feet and raised some objection. The judge did not allow it and asked me to answer the question. I had had the few seconds I needed to collect my thoughts and declined to comment. The barrister then took me to another transla-
tion and asked the same question and I gave the same answer. When the barrister tried it a third time the judge stopped him. I surveyed the opposition bench which I think had about twelve anti-Ahmadi experts including Professor Ghazi who was the main witness against us and Prof Khurshid Ahmad of the Jamaat i Islami and many others. Two came from Al Azhar to criticize Hazrat Sahib’s Arabic but left after about a week without saying anything. Fourteen against one, I thought the odds were still in our favour! The Public Gallery was full of people shouting slogans against us which were making me angry but not having any impact at all on Hafiz sahib. Hafiz sahib took the stand and I requested the judge if he may give his evidence while sitting down. The judge agreed but Hafiz sahib would not sit down and insisted on giving evidence while standing. The judge then ordered Hafiz sahib to sit down and he agreed. He started by saying that he will not reply to any question or objection based on the books by Qadiani. I noticed this caused much consternation among our opponents. I started interpreting for Hafiz sahib and suddenly one of the opposing team leapt up and started whispering in their barrister’s ear who then rose with an objection. As Hafiz sahib and I usually spoke in Punjabi I had started translating in Punjabi whereas the oath I had taken said that I would interpret in Urdu. The judge asked me whether this was correct and I it was and explained the reason. I confirmed that I could interpret in Urdu. (To be continued)
Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.
Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at Islam Lahore (UK) The first Islamic Mission in the U.K. established 1913 as the Woking Muslim Mission Dar- us-Salaam, 15 Stanley Avenue, Wembley, UK, HA0 4JQ Centre: 020 8903 2689 President: 020 8524 8212 Secretary: 01753 575313 E-mail: email@example.com Websites: www.aaiil.org/uk | www.ahmadiyya.org | www.virtualmosque.co.uk Donations: www.virtualmosque.co.uk/donations