Malta 2014 International Religious Freedom Report

The Holy QuranSource/Credit: http://www.state.gov

The constitution guarantees freedom of religion and establishes Roman Catholicism as the state religion. It makes Catholic religious education compulsory in state schools. The government amended the law on marriage to recognize the supremacy of the state, rather than ecclesiastical authorities and tribunals, to decide annulment cases.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim community and other religious groups continued to sponsor events to promote religious acceptance and interfaith dialogue.

In meetings with the government, civil society, and religious leaders, the U.S. Ambassador and embassy officials encouraged religious tolerance. The embassy promoted religious freedom and tolerance, and encouraged religious accommodation, particularly for North African migrants, at an iftar hosted by the Ambassador and a human rights awareness training seminar organized with the government’s detention service…

Section III. Status of Societal Respect for Religious Freedom

In July aMusulmani-Ghall-Paci private sports club did not allow a Muslim woman to use its pool because she wore a “burkini,” a type of swimwear for women covering the whole body, except the face, hands, and feet. The club refunded her membership fee. There are no restrictions on styles of swimwear at public beaches.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim community continued to sponsor an annual peace conference to promote understanding and religious acceptance through interfaith dialogue. Other ecumenical and interfaith activities took place on a regular basis.

Both major political parties organized iftar celebrations during Ramadan to highlight shared values of social justice and to the honor religious diversity of the country’s citizens… Read more:  www.state.gov

Posted in #AhmadiyyaMalta, Ahmadiyya: The True Islam, www.Ahmadiyya.org.mt | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Chief Imam of Ghana speaks at Ahmadiyya Convention UK

Chief Imam of GhanaThe National Chief Imam of Ghana has shown his support for the persecuted Ahmadiyya Muslims and called on Muslims to forget their differences and unite.

96-year-old Sheikh Dr Osman Nuhu Sharubutu who himself is a Sunni Muslim was appointed as the National Chief Imam of Ghana in 1993. He is also a member of Ghana’s National Peace Council. He expressed his support for the Ahmadiyya community while speaking at the community’s annual Islamic Convention which is taking place this weekend in the UK.

While speaking at the convention Sheikh Nuhu said:

” I am delighted to attend the annual Ahmadiyya convention. In Ghana the Ahmadiyya Muslim community is well known for its efforts towards peace and interfaith work. The community has peacefully existed along with other sects, and there is no hiding the fact that Ahmadiyya community has done a lot of work for the promotion of education and helped improve health care. We have a long history of strong and friendly relations with the Ahmadiyya community, I have always sought advice from the community’s National President on important matters. In Ghana, we have a Ruet-e-Hilal (moon sighting) Committee and the Ahmadiyya community is a prominent member of the committee.”

The Sheikh ended his speech by saying:

Even though our sects are different, all of us Muslims are united, Our cause is the same. We have a strong belief that Prophet Muhamamd PBUH is our Messenger, our book is the Holy Quran and Kabba is our Qibla (direction). Like Allah has brought us together in this blessed location, I pray that Allah also brings us together in Heaven on the day of Judgement”

Posted in #AhmadiyyaMalta, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta, Ahmadiyya: The True Islam, Caliphate - Khilafat, Islam stands for peace!, www.Ahmadiyya.org.mt | Tagged | Leave a comment

Quran copies desecrated at Mater Dei hospital

Source/Credit: The Times: Saturday, July 30, 2016. Il-Koran Imqaddes – Gwida għall-Umanità KollhaIl-Koran Imqaddes - Gwida għall-Umanità Kollha

Several copies of Muslim holy book the Quran kept in Mater Dei hospital’s multi-faith room were desecrated yesterday, the Ministry of Health said this morning. 

Slices of pork laid inside copies of the holy book, according to photos posted to Facebook by the Islamic Community of Malta.

Vandals also left behind a printout featuring a photo of Father Jacques Hamel, a Christian priest whose throat was slit by Islamic State terrorists in Normandy earlier this week, under the heading ‘Victim of Islam’.

The “act of degradation” happened at some point yesterday afternoon, the ministry said. 

In a Facebook post, the ICM said that it would not fall for the perpetrators’ bait and encourage hate in “this beautiful country”. 

“We urge our fellow Muslim brothers to act responsibly,” the ICM added. 

In a tweet, Archbishop Charles Scicluna also condemned the vilification, saying “not in our name”. 

I condemn the vilification of the Quran at Mater Dei Hospital. I condemn the abuse of the name of Martyr Fr Jacques Hamel. Not in our name.

The Health Ministry condemned the “cowards” who carried out the desecration, and expressed its solidarity with the Muslim community. 

Hospital authorities have reported the case to the police. 

In a statement this afternoon, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Malta categorically condemned the act.

It noted that it always condemned every act of extremism and terrorism, wherever and for whatever reason it was committed. The killing of Christian priest, Fr Jacques Hamel, in France, was also condemned by the community all over the world, it said.

The community said that the act of vilification of the Holy Quran at Mater Dei Hospital was an act of provocation and hatred and it was sad that the vandals also left a printout photo of Fr Hamel, under the heading ‘Victim of Islam’.

“We think that this is very irresponsible and unjustified statement. The truth is, Fr Hamel is not the victim of Islam, but he is the victim of some ignorant, hatemonger, hardliner and extremists people who claimed to be Muslims.

“But, their actions cannot be justified according to the teachings of Islam and the Holy Quran – the sacred book of Muslims.”

TimesOfMalta –    TVM.com.mt    –    Independent.com.mt  –  tvm.com.mt – Newsbook.com.mt  –  

Posted in Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta, Ahmadiyya: The True Islam, Interfaith | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Ahmadiyya condemns France Church Attack

Terrorism has no religion _11All members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community throughout the world have been left shocked and devastated by yesterday’s murder of Father Jacques Hamel in a church in France.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community considers this to be an outrageous and evil attack that can never be justified in any way or under any circumstances.  

The teachings of the Holy Quran and of the Founder of Islam, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) are of peace, tolerance and love for humanity.

The Quran says to kill even one innocent person is akin to killing all of humanity (Quran 5:33).

Throughout his life, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) condemned all forms of warfare, violence and injustice. He strictly instructed his followers that even in a state of defensive warfare, Muslims were not permitted to attack any religious leader, any place of worship or to target innocent people such as the elderly, women and children.

Today no nation and no group has waged war against Islam. Muslims are living freely here in the West and are able to practice their religion and so Muslims should be grateful for these freedoms. Thus the hatred manifested by terrorists and extremists is completely incomprehensible. Such terrorists and extremists are not defending Islam but rather are serving only to defame and discredit its name and its teachings.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community offers its deepest condolences to the family of Father Jacques Hamel and to all those affected.

We further offer our sympathies to Pope Francis, the Roman Catholic Church and to the people of France. We share in their grief and we share in their outrage.

We pray for peace in the world and for an end to all forms of terrorism, extremism and hatred.Do not kill

Posted in #AhmadiyyaMalta, Interfaith dialogue, Islam means Peace | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Khalifa of Islam is grieved on the loss of Abdul Sattar Edhi

Edhi Sahib for peace prizeStatment by Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community following death of Abdul Sattar Edhi

 

Following the recent death of the renowned humanitarian Mr Abdul Sattar Edhi in Pakistan, the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad has said: 

 

“I was very saddened to hear about the passing of Mr Abdul Sattar Edhi. On behalf of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, I would like to extend my condolences to his family and loved ones.

 

Abdul Sattar Edhi was an extremely sincere man who devoted his entire life to serving humanity. Living his own life with great simplicity, his only concern was to selflessly serve others and to help those in need. Indeed, it was his exemplary humanitarian and philanthropic work that led him to being the second recipient of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Prize for the Advancement of Peace.

 

I pray that Pakistan is blessed with many more people who exhibit the same selflessness, sincerity and humanity that Abdul Sattar Edhi displayed throughout his life so that Pakistan can be saved from its current plight and move towards a better and brighter future.  

 

May God Almighty have mercy on the deceased and grant patience to his family members and all of those left bereaved at this difficult and sad time.”

Abdul Sattar Edhi

Abdul Sattar Edhi Sahib

Edhi Sahib

Posted in #AhmadiyyaMalta, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Humanitarian Work - Serving Mankind, Humanity First | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Ramadan – a Muslim month of fasting, sacrifice, prayers and self-purification

Who can understand the importance of food and water more than those who have ever passed through hunger, thirst or any kind of famine during their life time? The month of Ramadan is also an exercise for having such hard and difficult experiences. And these experiences, at one side provide opportunity to reform the spirituality and to increase in the love of God, on the other, they are also a time to understand the sufferings and problems of those who do not have sufficient food or water for their life; and to develop great feelings for the vulnerable and destitute people of this planet. Indeed, the Ramadan is a clear understanding of the two basic principles of Islam – rights of God and rights of people. 

It is obligatory for Muslims to fast one month every year in the month of Ramadan. The Holy Quran states: “O ye who believe, fasting is prescribed for you during a fixed number of days as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may safeguard yourselves against every kind of ill and become righteous.”

The true purpose of Ramadan, as of all forms of Islamic worship, is to draw people closer to Allah and closer to mankind. Though normal pursuits and occupations are carried on as usual, the emphasis on moral and spiritual values and concentration on them are intensified, and everything is subordinated to the main purpose. The hearing, the sight, the tongue, the mind are all under stricter control. For instance, not only vain talk, but much talk is also eschewed, so that there should be greater concentration on remembrance of Allah and reflection upon His attributes.

The Holy Quran elaborates more and says:

“The prescribed fasting is for a fixed number of days, but whoso among you is sick or is on a journey shall fast the same number of other days; and for those who are able to fast only with great difficulty is an expiation — the feeding of a poor man. It is better if one performs a good deed with heart-felt pleasure and in obedience. If you possess knowledge, you would appreciate that fasting is better for you.”

According to one Hadith, the Holy Prophet saw said that in addition to one’s spiritual development, fasting is necessary for our physical health as well which is confirmed by today’s science and the physicians.

Therefore every Muslim should first keep this in mind that fasting has been prescribed for the sake of Taqwa and rigor is necessary to attain Taqwa. Sacrifice in the path of God is necessary for attaining His pleasure. We should take advantage of the exemptions that Allah the Exalted has granted us as a favor looking at our condition and inabilities but should not exceed the limits.

The Promised Messiah as, the Founder of Ahmadiyya Community said:

“The one, whose heart looks forward to Ramadan so he could fast, will not be deprived of the (blessings of) fast in the heaven if an ailment prevents him from fasting in Ramadan. There are many people in this world who are used to making excuses and think that they would be able to deceive God the way they deceive other people in the world. The ones who are accustomed to making excuses look for issues and add other tangential details to justify themselves, but they are not justified before God the Exalted. As far as the ancillary discussions are considered, they could go on forever. If one desires, one could offer salat in sitting position for his entire life and never keep fast, but God is aware of everyone’s intentions. God the Exalted knows the one who has a pure heart, and He rewards him more as He appreciates the heartfelt pain. The people who make excuses depend on self-concocted justifications but these explanations have no value before God the Exalted.”

“The Promised Messiah as further said, “When I fasted for six months, once a group of prophets met me (in a vision). They asked me why I had put myself through such hardship, and advised me to abandon it.” Promised Messiah as said, “So when man puts himself through hardship for the sake of God, He, very compassionately says like parents that why he has put himself through hardship.”  (Malfoozat, Volume 2, p.564, New Edition)

Fasting in Islam begins everywhere at the first appearance of dawn, and ends with sunset. During this period one is expected to abstain from all food and drink completely.

It is not just physical hunger and thirst that constitute the Muslim fast, but the nights prior to the beginning of the fast acquire a far more important character and play a central role in the institution of fasting. The Muslims wake up many hours before dawn for individual prayer and the remembrance of God.

Also the Holy Quran is recited in every Muslim house much more than in ordinary days. A greater part of the night is thus spent in spiritual exercises which make up the very essence of fasting. During the day, apart from restraining oneself from food and water, all Muslims are particularly exhorted to avoid vain talk, quarrels and fights, or any such occupation as is below the dignity of a true believer.

In Islam, alms-giving and care for the destitute is so highly emphasised that it becomes part of a Muslim’s daily life. However when it comes to Ramadan, the month of fasting, Muslims are required to redouble their efforts in this field. It is reported of the Holy Prophet that spending in the cause of the poor was a routine daily practice with him which has been likened unto a breeze, never ceasing to bring comfort and solace to the needy. However during Ramadan, the reporters of the Ahadith – the sayings of the Holy Prophet (Peace be on him) – remind us that the breeze seemed to pick up speed and began to blow like strong winds. Alms-giving and care for the destitute are so highly emphasised, that in no period during the year do Muslims engage in such philanthropic purposes as they do during the month of Ramadan.

The institution of fasting is extremely important because it cultivates the believer in almost every area of his spiritual life. Among other things, he learns through personal experience about what hunger, poverty, loneliness and discomfort mean to the less fortunate sections of society. Abstention from even such practices during the month of Ramadan as are permissible in everyday life plays a constructive role in refining the human character.

May Allah the Exalted help us to benefit the most from the blessings, bounties and favours of Ramadan, and may He forgive us all our sins and may He accept all our prayers. Ameen

 By: Laiq Ahmed Atif, President Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta:  amjmalta@gmail.com ; Photo: Google Images

Posted in Ahmadiyya: The True Islam, Islam, www.ahmadija.org.mt | Leave a comment

Worst creation under heaven

HadithSource/Credit: TimesofMalta, Tuesday, May 24, 2016 by Laiq Ahmed Atif

The spilling of innocent blood of human beings has become common place in the ever changing, civilised and modern contemporary world. In just a few days the world witnessed massacres in Nigeria, Turkey, Belgium and Pakistan. In these barbaric and heinous attacks, dozens of innocent people lost their lives and many were grievously wounded. It looks like humanity is under a great threat.

Many years ago, the fourth caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community wrote with extreme sadness about the killing of innocent humans: “So much blood has been spilled throughout history that the whole world could be painted red with it – with plenty to spare. When will man stop killing his fellow men? When will his thirst for blood ever be quenched?”

Unfortunately, this thirst for blood is increasing at a massive rate. More sadly, in many of such events we find that some so-called Muslims, individual and organisations, are involved.

Recently, several thousand religious activists protested the execution of convicted murderer Mumtaz Qadri in Islamabad, Pakistan. The protesters chanted that it was the ‘love of the Holy Prophet Muhammad’ which obliged Qadri to shoot Salman Taseer, then governor of Punjab, thus he should not have been executed. Moreover, they were demanding the immediate imposition of Islamic laws (according to their interpretation and understanding), the execution of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman convicted for alleged blasphemy, and so on.

I believe that the true love of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, does not demand the shedding of innocent blood or the imposition of one’s religious beliefs on others.

True love requires the saving of lives and showing kindness, compassion and mercy towards fellow human beings, respecting freedom of religion and conscience of every person. One of the attributes of God is As-Salam, meaning the source of peace. The very name of Islam means ‘peace, submission and kindness’. The Prophet was declared in the Holy Quran as a ‘mercy for the mankind’.

Prophet Muhammad was very kindhearted and merciful. He not only preached to the people to show kindness to each other but also to all living souls. He even treated animals with great care and love. He forbade the practice of cutting tails and manes of horses, of branding animals at any soft spot, and of keeping horses saddled unnecessarily.

Whenever he engaged in a defensive war, he used to firmly order that, even during war, women, children, elderly people and animals should not be killed. When the Prophet was so compassionate towards all living souls, then how could these terrorists justify the killing of humans in his name?

I believe that whoever is involved, directly or indirectly, in these terrorist attacks, is the enemy of mankind. He is far from being called as a human being. These were the people who were called “the worst creation under the canopy of Heaven” by the Prophet Muhammad.

He said: “There will come a time upon the people when nothing will remain of Islam except its name and nothing will remain of the Quran except its words. Their mosques will be splendidly furnished but destitute of guidance. Their divines will be the worst people under the heaven; strife will issue from them and avert to them.”

The religious leaders of the Muslim world are not playing their role enough to extinguish this fire of terrorism; instead there are many who are fuelling to it. The madrasas (religious schools) are becoming the nurseries of extremism. The suicide bomber in the Lahore attack was a teacher in a madrasa in Lahore, where he studied for years.

In January, after the Peshawar school attack, a national action plan was established by the Pakistani government to crack down on extremism and terrorism. Unfortunately, it is not being implemented fully.

I think, in the short term, there should be a clean sweep operation wherever there is a need, around the world. And in the long term there should be reforms in madrasas, in their syllabuses and in their preaching and practices. No one should be allowed to use places of worship and religious schools to preach hatred, violence and extremism. Law must act ruthlessly against the murderers of mankind.

It is the huge responsibility of religious leaders, including me, that they should not let the places of worship and religious school to become the haven of terrorism. They should not leave any stone unturned in making these places an abode of knowledge, peace, compassion and mercy. They must truly reform their souls and become the true lovers of mankind; and save themselves from becoming “the worst creation under the canopy of Heaven”.

Laiq Ahmed Atif is president of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta. Find More:

Posted in #AhmadiyyaMalta, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta, Islam, Islam means Peace, Laiq Ahmed Atif | Tagged , , | Leave a comment