The Power of Prayer

IL-QAWWA TAT-TALB

Niżamuddin Auliya, qaddis minn Delhi, kien il-bniedem għaref għal ħafna qaddisin. Bis-saħħa tiegħu, l-għarfien inxtered sewwa fl-Indja.

Xi azzjoni ta’ Niżamuddin Auliya dejqet lil re tad-dinastija Tughlaq li kienet taħkem lill-Indja dak iż-żmien. Ir-re kien tielaq fuq vjaġġ f’dak il-perjodu. Ir-re qal li se jikkastiga lil Niżamuddin Auliya wara r-ritorn tiegħu.

Id-dixxipli ta’ Niżamuddin Auliya bdew jinkwetaw kif saru jafu b’dan. It-tħassib tagħhom żdied hekk kif ir-re beda triqtu lura lejn daru.

Huma ssuġġerew li billi r-re kien ġej lura, kellu jsir sforz għall-konċiljazzjoni qabel ma r-re jasal Delhi.

Niżamuddin Auliya wieġeb, “Kollox jinsab f’idejn Alla. X’nista’ nagħmel? Dak li Alla jixtieq, Huwa jwettaq. Jien se nibqa’ nitlob lil Alla għall-maħfra, il-ħniena u l-għajnuna tiegħu. Għax, Alla l-Ħanin jaċċetta talb tal-qaddejja umli Tiegħu.”

Meta r-re kien wasal aktar fil-qrib, l-inkwiet tad-dixxipli ta’ Niżamuddin żdied. Huma reġgħu sostnew li ma tantx kien għad baqa’ bogħod. Niżamuddin Auliya qal, “Tinkwetawx, Delhi għadha ’l bogħod.”

Fl-aħħar ir-re wasal fil-qrib. Kienet id-drawwa tar-rejiet Iżlamiċi li huma ma kinux jidħlu fil-belt tul il-lejl. Dan għaliex din kienet id-drawwa tal-Qaddis Profeta Muħammad, il-paċi tkun fuqu. Għalhekk, hekk kif ir-re wasal qrib, huwa ssetilja barra l-belt, u ħareġ avviż li kien iħabbar id-daħla tiegħu fil-belt li kienet se sseħħ l-għada.

Id-dixxipli ta’ Niżamuddin Auliya għal darba oħra insistew li r-re kien wasal biex jidħol fil-belt. U Niżamuddin Auliya reġa’ qalilhom, “Delhi għadha ’l bogħod.”

Hekk kif id-dawl tal-jum beda jinxtered, id-dixxipli tiegħu bdew jinkwetaw ħafna dwar x’tip ta’ tpattija se jkun hemm. Iżda minflok waslet l-aħbar li r-re miet f’xi inċident u daħal il-ġisem tar-re mejjet fil-belt minfloku.

Għalhekk, fejn jidħol Alla, anki r-rejiet ma jiswew xejn ħdejh, għaliex il-kuntentizza vera tilħaq lil dawk biss li għandhom relazzjoni mas-Setgħani. Huwa veru li, meta qaddej umli jitlob b’sinċerità sħiħa, Alla l-Ħanin jaċċetta t-talb tagħhom. Bla dubju hemm qawwa kbira fit-talb.

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Courtesy and Good Talk

KELMA TAJBA U ĠUSTA!

Huwa importanti li niżnu sew il-kelma qabel ma ngħiduha; u dejjem ngħidu kelma tajba u ġusta, għax, kelma tajba u ġusta tiżen ħafna fl-iskala.

Laiq Ahmed Atif | amjmalta@gmail.com | ITTORĊA 1 ta’ Awissu 2021

Il-bniedem ħafna drabi jgħid jew jagħmel affarijiet li jeħduh qrib il-ħażen u ’l bogħod minn Alla. Alla jgħid fil-Koran Imqaddes li s-suċċess żgur jasal għand dawk li jemmnu, u għand dawk li huma umli fit-talb tagħhom, u għand dawk li jevitaw kull ħaġa ħażina (23:2-4).

Għalhekk, huwa importanti ħafna li aħna dejjem nimxu mal-verità u l-ġustizzja, u nibqgħu sodi fuq it-tjieba u l-pjetà. Huwa wkoll importanti li nibnu relazzjoni tajba mal-oħrajn u biex ikollna konsiderazzjoni u rispett għal xulxin.

Wieħed mill-prinċipji ewlenin li kull ċittadin għandu jipprattika fil-ħajja ta’ kuljum tiegħu huwa li jkollu relazzjonijiet tajbin mal-bnedmin ta’ madwaru. Imma kif nistgħu nibnu relazzjonijiet tajbin mal-oħrajn? Kif nistgħu nibnu l-pontijiet bejn in-nies?

Huwa billi nieħdu ħsieb is-sentimenti ta’ xulxin, u billi nuru attitudni ġenwina u ta’ mħabba u rispett lejn xulxin. Barra minn hekk, sabiex nistabbilixxu relazzjonijiet sodi, għandna  dejjem ngħidu l-verità u kelma tajba; u qatt ma nlissnu kliem li jweġġgħu s-sentimenti ta’ ħaddieħor, u dejjem inżommu lsienna milli ngħidu kliem mhux xieraq. 

It-tjubija u l-pjetà huma obbligatorji fuq il-kuxjenza ta’ persuna, fit-twemmin tagħhom, fl-ilsien tagħhom, u fil-morali. Imma, l-iktar sensittiva minn dawn l-affarijiet tirrigwarda l-ilsien. Ħafna drabi, persuna tabbanduna l-biża’ ta’ Alla u tgħid xi ħaġa li tweġġa’ lil ħaddieħor.

Il-bniedem ġust dejjem iżomm l-umanità kollha fil-konsiderazzjoni tiegħu. Għalhekk, Alla għallem li persuna għandha tikkontrolla lsienha, u tastjeni milli tagħmel kummenti inutli, assurdi, mhux xierqa u bla bżonn. Għax, l-ilsien waħdu huwa biżżejjed biex ibiegħed raġel mit-tjieba.

Huwa bl-ilsien li wieħed jesprimi l-arroganza, u huwa bl-ilsien li wieħed jibda jiżviluppa tendenzi bħal tal-Faragħuni. Jekk il-bniedem ma jikkontrollax l-ilsien tiegħu huwa minnu li żgur jintemm fil-problemi, għax l-ilsien malajr jikkawża ħsara.

Jiena dejjem nikkwota d-diskors tal-Qaddis Profeta Muħammad, is-sliem għalih, fejn qal li: “Jiena niggarantixxi l-ġenna lil dak li jissalvagwardja mill-ħażen l-organi privati tiegħu u l-ilsien.”

Il-Fundatur tal-Komunità Ahmadiyya jispjega dan u jgħid li dan juri li l-ħsara kkawżata mill-ilsien hija perikoluża. Għalhekk, persuna ġusta għandha żżomm kontroll fuq ilsienha. Persuna li tibża’ minn Alla ma tgħid xejn li jmur kontra t-tjieba. Allura, aħkmu fuq ilsienkom, u tħallux ilsienkom jaħkem fuqkom b’tali mod li titkellem bla sens mingħajr l-ebda konsiderazzjoni.

Qabel ma tgħid xi ħaġa, irrifletti fuq il-konsegwenzi li jġib kliemek. Irrifletti dwar jekk Allah l-Eżaltat jippermettilek tgħid xi ħaġa bħal din, u sakemm ma taħsibx fid-dettall fuq dan, titkellimx. Huwa aħjar li ma titkellem xejn milli tgħid xi ħaġa li tikkawża l-ħażen u d-diżordni, u tweġġa’ s-sentimenti ta’ xi ħadd, tikkawża wġigħ lil ħaddieħor, jew tumilja lil ħaddieħor.

Huwa neċessarju wkoll, madankollu, li wieħed jikkonsidra meta u fejn għandu jgħid dak li jrid, u l-mod ta’ kif wieħed jitkellem għandu jkun ġentili, rispettuż u konsiderat sewwa.

Għalhekk huwa prinċipju ewlieni li niżnu sew il-kliem qabel ma nitkellmu, u dejjem ngħidu kelma diċenti, kelma ta’ mħabba, kelma ta’ kompassjoni, kelma ta’ għerf, kelma ta’ għaqal, kelma ta’ maħfra, kelma ta’ rikonċiljazzjoni, kelma ta’ paċi, u kelma tajba u ġusta. Għax, kelma tajba u ġusta tiżen ħafna fl-iskala.

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Id-Dawl 44

ID-DAWL August 2021: http://ahmadiyya.mt/iddawl_dir/Id-Dawl_Numru_044.pdf

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How to overcome addiction

Laiq Ahmed Atif | Times of Malta | Monday 26 July 2021

The Sunday Times of Malta (July 11) carried the findings of a research study by the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD), titled ‘Alcohol use among young people – the national situation’.

This study shows that alcohol remains the most widely consumed substance both in Malta and across Europe. It did find a decrease in alcohol consumption and risky drinking behaviours but suggested that this is “still relatively high”.

The findings of this research, and similar studies, show some common factors among youth in relation to alcohol consumption. These include peer-pressure to try something new, to have fun and party, the pressure from social circles and the easy availability of alcoholic drinks.

Whenever the subject of drinking comes up in discussion, many are defensive: “I don’t drink a lot”, “I don’t drink regularly” or “I only drink a few times a week”.

This reminds me of a story. There was once a man who had committed many crimes and had exceeded all limits. After he was caught and was about to be hanged for all his crimes, he was asked whether he had a last wish.

He said he wished to meet his mother. When his mother came closer he told her he wanted to say something in her ear. He then bit her ear so hard that she cried loudly in pain.

Hearing all this noise, the guards rushed forward and cursed him: had he no shame? Despite having committed so many crimes, moments before his death he does injury to his own mother.

The criminal replied: “Indeed, today is when I have done a good deed. When I committed petty crimes and people used to complain to my mother, she took my side and, despite knowing the truth, she did not reprimand me. As a result, I became bolder and a big criminal. Had she stopped me from committing minor evils at the time, I would not have become a criminal.”

The moral of this story is that every habit, good or bad, starts with small steps. With the passage of time, it becomes an unbreakable habit and then an addiction.

Had my mother stopped me from committing minor evils at the time, I would not have become a criminal

To avoid falling into addiction, it is important to be resistant early on. Vanity disguised as entertainment can quickly turn into a serious problem, affecting behaviour, health and one’s social and economic well-being. Addiction leads to an aversion towards the more important matters of life. In the Holy Quran, believers are admonished to shun all that which is vain (23:4).

If someone has already developed bad habits, how is it possible to overcome them?

Once again, God has taught us another beautiful way to remove bad habits and help addicts. God says: “Surely good works drive away the evil ones.”

(Holy Quran, 11:115)

This everlasting principle suggests effective ways to overcome and eradicate these habits. Setting a good example is one such method, as it wins over the hearts of others and makes them improve themselves. The emulation of good habits makes bad habits gradually disappear.

It further means that if a person desires to get rid of an evil habit, he should begin to practise a corresponding virtue. In this way, he will soon get rid of his evil habit.

These words tell us that, to avoid the evil consequences of our misdeeds, we should engage in virtuous acts. The more virtue we practise, the more secure we will become from the consequences of our evil deeds.

This is a very simple yet rational and profound principle: counter bad habits with that which is good, replace evil with virtue, replace a bad habit with a good one.

Mere abstention would not serve the purpose unless it is replaced by something valuable, something greater, something more attractive, which cultivates a positive change in a person.

There is no one better than parents to guide their young children, through their compassionate training and by leading with their own excellent example.

Laiq Ahmed Atif, President Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta, amjmalta@gmail.com

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Pride and Arrogance

Kburija u Arroganza

Imam Laiq Ahmed Atif | amjmalta@gmail.com | Il-Leħen 25 ta’ Lulju 2021

Il-Qaddis Profeta Muħammad, is-sliem għalih, kien qal: “Ma jidħolx il-Ġenna min f’qalbu għandu b’toqol ta’ atomu kburija. Wieħed raġel qal: ‘Il-bniedem iħobb li l-libsa tiegħu tkun sabiħa u ż-żarbun sabiħ.’ Qallu l-Qaddis Profeta Muħammad: ‘Alla huwa ġmiel, u jħobb il-ġmiel. Il-kburija hija ċ-ċaħda tal-verità, u li tistmerr lin-nies u tidħak bihom.’”

Dan id-diskors juri biċ-ċar kemm huwa importanti li l-bniedem għandu jkun umli u down-to-earth, u dejjem juri rispett u korteżija lejn l-oħrajn.

Imma ħafna drabi aħna ma nifhmux, x’inhi eżattament l-arroganza u l-kburija? Xi jfisser li tkun arroganti? Nixtieq insemmi xi affarijiet biex nispjega l-attitudni arroganti u kburija, kif nifhimha jien. Il-fehim ta’ dan għażiltu mit-tagħlim tal-Koran Imqaddes.

Skont il-Koran Imqaddes, l-arroganza hija waħda mill-agħar dnubiet li jista’ jumilja persuna f’din id-dinja u l-oħra. Għalhekk, aħna mitluba biex nevitaw l-arroganza għax l-arroganza hija despikabbli f’għajnejn Alla, il-Mulej tal-Glorja.

Kull min ma jurix tjubija lejn ħuh li huwa fqir, din hija arroganza. Kull min iħares lejn ħuh minħabba li jqis lilu nnifsu aktar mgħallem, jew aktar għaqli, jew aktar profiċjenti, jew aktar diċenti, jew isbaħ minnu huwa arroganti. Hekk ukoll dak li, minħabba l-ġid, jew il-pożizzjoni għolja, jew id-dinjità tiegħu, iħares lejn ħuh bħala inferjuri, huwa arroganti għax jinsa li l-ġid, il-pożizzjoni u d-dinjità tiegħu ġew mogħtija lilu minn Alla.

Bl-istess mod dak li jiftaħar bis-saħħa fiżika tiegħu, jew is-sbuħija tiegħu, u jagħti isem ħażin lil ħuh li jwaqqgħu għaċ-ċajt u jipproklama d-difetti fiżiċi tiegħu huwa arroganti. Min jidħaq bid-diżabilità ta’ xi ħadd, għandu sehem ta’ arroganza. Wieħed li jsejjaħ lil ħaddieħor b’ismijiet ħżiena biex jumiljah, huwa wkoll arroganti.

Wieħed li ma jdurx lejn Alla, wieħed li ma jitlobx, u jiddependi biss fuq ir-riżorsi u l-fakultajiet tiegħu, mhuwiex umli, għax hu ma jagħrafx li Alla huwa l-oriġini ta’ kull qawwa, ġid u saħħa, u jiddependi fuqu nnifsu biss.

Min bil-kburija jikkoreġi l-pronunzja ta’ kelma ta’ ħuh huwa arroganti. Min ma jistmax bil-kortesija lil ħuh u jitbiegħed minnu jieħu sehem fl-arroganza. Min jirrabja ma’ ħuh bilqiegħda ħdejh jieħu l-arroganza. Min jidħaq b’wieħed li huwa okkupat fit-Talb jieħu l-arroganza. Min ma jurix ubbidjenza sħiħa lejn Alla, u ma jobdix il-kmandamenti Tiegħu, jieħu sehem fl-arroganza.

Min ma jagħtix kas ta’ ħaddieħor, u wieħed li ma jurix id-dħulija mad-dgħajfin, jieħu sehem fl-arroganza. Min ma jurix il-qalb tajba, il-kompassjoni, u l-imħabba lejn bnedmin oħra sħabu, għandu wkoll sehem fil-kburija.

Il-purifikazzjoni morali hija diffiċli ħafna u ma tistax tinkiseb mingħajr il-grazzja ta’ Alla, il-Glorjuż. Il-purifikazzjoni u l-Grazzja Divina tista’ tinkiseb ukoll, l-ewwel, permezz ta’ sforzi kontinwi, ippjanar, fedeltà u dedikazzjoni sħiħa u devozzjoni; it-tieni, Talb u qima; u t-tielet, li żżomm kumpanija mal-ġusti.

Għalhekk, ejjew nippruvaw biex ma jkollniex arroganza u egoiżmu fina nfusna, f’kull rispett sabiex inkunu salvati mill-ħerba totali, sabiex nippurifikaw lilna nfusna, u sabiex nilħqu s-salvazzjoni.

Ejjew, għalhekk, induru lejn Alla u nħobbu kemm jista’ jkun u nibżgħu minnu ħafna. Ejjew, inkunu qalb safja b’intenzjoni pura u ġentili u umli u ħielsa minn kull inkwiet sabiex inkunu nistgħu nirċievu l-ħniena divina, sabiex aħna nkunu murija l-ħniena mis-sema, sabiex aħna nsiru dawk li nħobbu lil Alla, u huma maħbubin tal-Mulej tal-Glorja.

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Eid-Ul-Azha 2021 Mubarak

Eid-Ul-Adha Mubarak 

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Taking Care of Parents

Nieħdu Ħsieb il-Ġenituri

Uri tjieba lejn il-ġenituri, qatt tgħidilhom kliem iebes jew ta’ stmerrija, iżda indirizzahom bil-ħlewwa, ġentilezza, umiltà u tenerezza.

LAIQ AHMED ATIF| It-Torċa  | 18 July 2021 | amjmalta@gmail.com

Għexieren ta’ snin ilu, ma kienx hemm id-djar tal-anzjani, u l-ġenituri kienu jgħixu fil-familja. Anke llum il-ġurnata, f’ħafna pajjiżi inkluż il-pajjiżi Musulmani, insibu li l-ġenituri jgħixu mat-tfal tagħhom. Din il-kultura hija komuni ħafna f’diversi pajjiżi madwar id-dinja.

Illum il-ħajja saret daqshekk mgħaġġla li t-tfal ma jsibux biżżejjed ħin biex iqattgħu l-ħin mal-ġenituri tagħhom, u jieħdu ħsiebhom. Għalhekk, ħafna ġenituri m’għandhom l-ebda għażla oħra ħlief li jgħixu fid-djar tal-anzjani. Jien ċert li, jekk ikollhom għażla, ħafna minnhom żgur jippreferu li jgħixu mat-tfal u man-neputijiet tagħhom, fid-dar tal-familja.

Għaliex naħseb hekk li l-ġenituri jippreferu l-ħajja mal-familja? Jiġifieri, dan ifisser li d-djar għall-anzjani ma joffrux servizz tajjeb?

Irrid nagħmilha ċara li dan mhux il-każ. Id-djar tal-anzjani joffru servizz eċċellenti, u dan nafu sew, għax żort ħafna drabi xi djar tal-anzjani qabel il-pandemija. L-anzjani qed jingħataw kura u servizz eċċezzjonalment tajba ħafna, u m’għandi l-ebda dubju f’dan, ikun xi jkun.

Imma din hija n-natura tal-bniedem li dejjem jixtieq jgħix ma’ dawk li jħobbuhom b’tant passjoni u b’kumpassjoni enormi, minn qalbhom.

It-tieni, irridu nifhmu li, mard fiżiku huwa ħafna iktar faċli biex tfejjaq jew ittaffi, iżda t-trawmi psikoloġiċi profondi li minnhom qed ibatu numru konsiderevoli ta’ ġenituri u membri anzjani tas-soċjetajiet moderni, huma ferm aktar diffiċli biex jiġu identifikati, mogħtija l-konsiderazzjoni xierqa u l-attenzjoni dovuta sabiex jiġu kkurati.

Ħafna drabi l-ġenituri jsiru ferħanin b’ġesti żgħar, u jaġixxu bħallikieku rċevew il-barkiet kollha tad-dinja u tas-smewwiet, bħallikieku sabu teżor prezzjuż, bħallikieku x-xewqat kollha tagħhom ġew sodisfatti, bħallikieku l-ħolm kollu tagħhom sar realtà.

Dan l-aħħar qrajt il-poeżija ta’ Dun Karm, jisimha ‘Waħdi’. F’din il-poeżija huwa joħlom dwar il-memorji sbieħ, inkluż id-dar tal-familja. Jgħid kemm kienet sabiħa l-ħajja meta kien hemm atmosfera naturali fi ħdan il-familja. Biex nagħti silta minn din l-poeżija:

Ftakart fik, ja dar ħienja u sabiħa,          _________     Dar mimlija bI-imħabba u bil-ġid; Dar missieri, dar ommi, dar ħuti,            _________    Dar il-ħidma tal-moħħ u tal-id.

U fl-aħħar il-poeta jgħid li,

F’dik il-għafsa ta’ qalb reġa’ lura             _________      Il-ħsieb tiegħi, u l-ħolma spiċċat … F’xatt il-baħar, taħt qamar tal-fidda,         _________      Sibtni waħdi fuq xifer il-blat.

Din il-poeżija turi l-għafsa li jħossu l-ġenituri meta huma jgħixu ’l bogħod mill-familja tagħhom. Huma jħossuhom waħedhom, anke jekk ikollhom il-kumditajiet materjalistiċi kollha, anke jekk jingħataw kura u servizz eċċellenti.

Meta nħarsu lejn ir-reliġjonijiet u s-soċjetajiet ċivilizzati, nindunaw li kollha kemm huma taw importanza kbira għar-rispett lejn il-ġenituri. Alla jgħid fil-Koran Imqaddes: “U aħna amarna lill-bniedem biex ikun ħanin mal-ġenituri tiegħu.” (Il-Koran, 46:16)

Alla jgħid fil-Koran Imqaddes li huwa obbligatorju li nieħdu ħsieb il-ġenituri tagħna, u dejjem nittrattawhom b’mod ġentili.

Sidek amar, “Uru tjieba lejn il-ġenituri. Jekk xi ħadd minnhom, jew it-tnejn li huma, jixjieħu miegħek, qatt tgħidilhom kliem iebes jew ta’ stmerrija, iżda indirizzahom bil-ħlewwa. U b’umiltà u tenerezza itlob: Sidi, ħenn għalihom bħalma rabbewni meta kont żgħir.” (Il-Koran, 17:24-25)

Dan juri biċ-ċar kemm huwa importanti li nieħdu ħsieb tajjeb lill-ġenituri tagħna, u mhux biss li nieħdu ħsiebhom, imma nitolbu għalihom regolarment sabiex jekk xi ħaġa hija nieqsa mis-servizz tagħna, Allah jagħtihom dak kollu li huwa tajjeb għalihom.

Barra minn hekk, huwa importanti immens li kuljum niltaqgħu mal-ġenituri tagħna, inqattgħu ħin fil-kumpanija ta’ xulxin, ngħidulhom ftit kliem ħanin u sabiħ, nagħtuhom xi massaġġi, u nuruhom l-imħabba u l-mogħdrija. Għax, ‘fejn tħobb il-qalb jimxu r-riġlejn’. Meta nagħmlu dan, nindunaw li wiċċhom jixgħel bit-tbissima u d-dawl tal-ferħ.

Niftakru sew li l-ġenituri tagħna kienu magħna f’kull mument kemm ta’ ferħ jew ta’ niket. Huma dejjem kienu spalla effettiva għalina f’mumenti tal-isfidi. Għalhekk, tassew jistħoqqilhom li nieħdu ħsiebhom tajjeb ħafna, u nkunu grati lejhom, għax “min ma jiżżix ħajr lin-nies, lanqas ma jiżżi ħajr lil Alla”.

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The abortion debate and Islam

Laiq Ahmed Atif | The Malta Independent on Sunday | 18 July 2021

Human life is so precious and sacrosanct that the Holy Quran resembles the killing of one as the killing of entire humanity. God says in the Holy Quran: “… Whosoever killed an innocent human being, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whosoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind” (5:33).

This was further emphasised and elaborated by the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him, during his last address known as the farewell address, where he said: “Your lives and your possessions have been made immune by God to attacks by one another until the Day of Judgment. God has made the lives, property and honour of every human sacred. To take any human being’s life or property, or attack their honour is unjust and wrong.”

Furthermore, he presented a golden principle of human dignity and sacredness and said: “None of you has faith until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”

These are the guiding principles for me when I look towards the prevalent debate about terminating pregnancies and abortion on demand. Undoubtedly, every human life is sacred without any distinction, be it a one-day-old child or a child in the mother’s womb.

Whilst doing my research before writing this article, one of the most difficult subjects for me to write on, the mere thought of this subject inflicts pain and gloom on myself and many other lovers of humanity. I was therefore deeply surprised and saddened to see that there are so many countries that have legalised unconditional abortion.

In the days before Islam, there lived certain tribes in Arabia which considered the birth of girls as a disgrace to their families and some of the chiefs used to kill the girls soon after their birth. They thought that they would save their honour by such an action. The Holy Prophet Muhammad abolished this cruel custom and established the human dignity and elevated it to such a higher position.

The Holy Quran has recorded this barbaric custom with extreme pain stating: “And when the girl-child buried alive is questioned about, ‘for what crime was she killed?’” (81:9-10)

Therefore the message is very clear that Islam believes in life, in human dignity and sacredness of human life. And that is what we should all uphold as a principle that every human life should be dealt with great dignity and sacredness as there is no doubt that life begins from the moment of conception.

In the recent months, this debate is gaining momentum here in our country, and so many arguments and examples of other countries are being presented in favour of the legalisation of abortion.

My humble and simple question is: Have countries where abortion is not a crime achieved the highest standards of human dignity? Have those countries succeeded in giving women their due rights? Does this mean that such countries have become immune to child abuse and violence against women? Are those countries free from every kind of abuse against women, such as rape and domestic violence?

I doubt this is the case. Why then should we tread on the same unsuccessful path that has not bore the desired fruits and results? Why not decide once and for all that human life is sacred and is beyond the human domain.

As far as Islam is concerned, it condemns abortion as also condemned by all world religions. Islam goes to great lengths to protect the sanctity of all human lives and views the practice of abortion as tantamount to taking the life of another human being. The Holy Quran also forbids abortions due to a fear of financial strain, God says:

“Kill not your children for fear of poverty. It is We Who provide for them and for you. Surely, the killing of them is a great sin.” (17:32)

Reducing the honourable process of reproduction to an economic choice nullifies one of the main purposes of the institution of marriage and is against the spirit of Islamic teachings.

However, when under the condition that a mother’s life or health is jeopardized by giving birth, Islam gives greater rights to the mother and abortion becomes permissible to save the life of the mother. Therefore, when a mother’s life is threatened, her life is given preference, and only on the basis of a medical exigency it is permissible. This exception is only on the medical grounds alone, and no other reason, logic and argument is entertained in the favour of abortion.

Laiq Ahmed Atif is President Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta. amjmalta@gmail.com

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