Ahmadiyya donates books to Msida School

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta donated a selection of children’s books to the Msida Primary School.

The president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Laiq Ahmed Atif met with the Head of School and presented her books on behalf of the community. He said: “The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community promotes the education and the reading of books and believes in helping local communities and schools. Education is the key to success and books are one of the most valuable contributions one can make to the school’.

The Head of School Ms. Ungaro thanked the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for such a valuable contribution. She said that “this is not the first time the school is getting help from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and has always extended its support to the school and has contributed in many schools projects.” NewsBook  –  Independent

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Ahmadiyya wishes you all a Very Blessed and Happy Eid Mubark!

The Muslims celebrate Eid twice a year, Eid-ul-Fitr and the other, which comes about 10 weeks later, is called Eid-ul-Adha.

Eid-ul-Fitr is a festival that marks the end of the Holy month of Ramadan. This joyous day is celebrated to give thanks for the blessings of Ramadhan. Muslims attend the Congregational Eid prayer service which is held in the morning. They wear new clothing, cook delicious food and invite friends and neighbors to celebrate with them. Fasting during Ramadhan inspires sympathy for the hungry and needy, and encourages Muslims to donate generously to the poor.

Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta wishes all Muslim brothers and sisters living in Malta and worldwide, a very Peaceful, Blessed and Happy EID MUBARAK!

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Traditional Ramadan Iftar Reception

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta organised a Traditional Ramadan Iftar Reception on Monday 19th June at the Kennedy Nova Hotel, Gzira, which was attended by many respectable guests.

Imam Laiq Ahmed Atif, President Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta explained the concept of fasting in Islam and quoted verses from the Holy Quran and Sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him.

He explained that the true purpose of Ramadan, as of all forms of Islamic worship is to draw people closer to God.

Ramadan is a clear manifestation of two basic tenants and fundamental principles and basics of Islamic teachings, they are – the Rights of God, and the Rights of fellow human beings.

It is a physical, moral and spiritual discipline, and the object is the promotion of righteousness and security against evil.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: ‘He who abstains from food and drink during the period of the fast but does not restrain himself from uttering a falsehood, starves himself to no purpose.’

The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community says:

“These forms of worship are essential for the purification of the spirit… To be moderate in eating and drinking and to bear hunger and thirst are necessary for the purification of the spirit and promote the capacity for visions. Man does not live by bread alone. To discard all thought of eternal life is to invite Divine wrath.

It should be remembered that the fast does not mean merely that a person should abstain from food and drink over a certain period. During the fast one should be occupied greatly with the remembrance of God. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) occupied himself greatly with worship during the month of Ramadan. During that month one should discard one’s preoccupation with eating and drinking; and cutting asunder from these needs should address oneself wholly towards God.

Unfortunate is the person who is bestowed material bread and pays no attention to spiritual bread. Material bread strengthens the body, and spiritual bread sustains the soul and sharpens the spiritual faculties. Seek the grace of God, as all doors are opened by His grace.”

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Ahmadiyya Malta celebrates Ramadan Iftar at Peace Lab

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta holds “Traditional Iftar Dinner” at the Peace Lab, Hal-Far, Malta, to celebrate the blessed month with its residents. Fr. Dionysius Mintoff OFM welcomed the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to Peace Lab and said that this occasion is a real reflection how Ahmadiyya Muslim Community cares for the fellow human beings, and translates its motto Love for All, Hatred for None into actions. Together we can build a cohesive and peaceful society.

Laiq Ahmed Atif, the Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Malta highlighted the importance of Ramadan and presented the verses of the Holy Quran and the Sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him. He explained that the important lesson Ramadan teaches us is that to serve the mankind. And the Ahmadiyya community is always committed to serve the fellow human beings and extend its unconditional love and brotherhood and a hand of friendship to all. 

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Death for blasphemy?

Source/Credit: The Times of Malta, Friday June 2, 2017, by Laiq Ahmed Atif

The contemporary time we live in is full of horrendous and heartrending news. Not a single day passes without such horrific news of killing and bloodshed in the name of God, and in the name of his prophets who were the messengers of peace, brotherhood and love for mankind.

Recently, a university journalism student Mashal Khan was murdered on baseless accusations of blasphemy in Pakistan.

After the investigation, the police confirmed that they did not find any proof of blasphemy against him.

This incident is not the first of its kind; there have been many other cases where people accused of blasphemy have been killed by an angry mob. Pakistan’s blasphemy law prescribes a death penalty for those guilty of blasphemy.

This law has been used to persecute and unfairly target the minorities and those who do not toe the line with the majority Sunni Muslims. Many a times, it is used for personal grudges and vested interests. In brief, this law has been extensively misused.

The religious imams and clerics openly claim in public gatherings and on print and electronic media, that the moment blasphemy is committed, the person is liable to the death penalty.

Such views are not limited to Pakistan alone, but there are many Muslim clerics and imams who believe the same in many other countries. These clerics exploit the ignorance of the people and mould it for showing their strength and power, and to keep a hold on people.

Such are the leaders about whom the Holy Prophet Muhammad warned the Muslims more than 1,400 years ago to be watchful and be careful. 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 leaders and clerics will be the worst people under the Heaven; strife will issue from them and avert to them.”

There is not a minor punishment prescribed in the Holy Quran for blasphemy, let alone the death penalty
 

This saying speaks volumes about the academic dishonesty of such so-called clerics who openly claim but do not substantiate their claims with proofs from the Holy Quran and the life of the founder of Islam.

Keeping different sayings of the Prophet Muhammad in view, one can categorize Islamic scholars and imams into two categories; Ulema-e-Haq (truthful and good scholars) and Ulema-e-Soo (untrustworthy and dishonest scholars).

The true and honest scholars are those who always promote love, tolerance, harmony, brotherhood, peace, human welfare, unity and build bridges between people. Their every word and action is motivated by the extreme and merciful love for mankind. They enlighten people about spirituality and strive to instil the love of Creator and the creation in the hearts and minds of people.

The disloyal scholars and imams are those who misguide people, who commit academic dishonesty, who spread hatred and promote hate speech for their personal and vested interests, who discourage dialogue, who build walls and barriers, who exploit the ignorance of their people for violence, bloodshed, extremism and terrorism; and those who make their people narrow-minded through inflicting fear in their hearts and minds to broaden their thoughts and knowledge, and those who issue baseless fatwas (edicts) against others, etc.

The question is why Mashal Khan was killed cold-bloodedly? Does Islam permit anyone taking the law into his hands; and what is Islam’s position on blasphemy?

There is no doubt that blasphemy is the most repugnant, detestable and loathsome act, which touches on the sensitivities of all decent-minded and believing people. No matter which faith one belongs to, any violation by words or deeds of the sanctity of God or his chosen messengers, is considered deeply offensive.  In fact, Islam condemns every form of blasphemy. The use of abusive and filthy language cannot be permitted against any human being, so how could it be acceptable against religion, divine messengers and God? However, there is no physical worldly punishment prescribed for blasphemy in Islam, whatsoever.

I personally, as a student of the Quran for many years, have read the Quran numerous times and failed to find a single verse, or a part of a verse, which declares blasphemy to be crime punishable by human beings.

The Islamic punishments are divided into two, the crimes committed against God and against man. The crimes committed against God are only punishable by God and man has no authority to go into that domain, and blasphemy is part of that. The Holy Quran elaborates this point and states:

“Verily those who annoy Allah and His Messenger – Allah has cursed them in this world and in the hereafter, and has prepared for them an abasing punishment (Ch.33:V.59).”

There is no worldly punishment prescribed in this verse.

According to the Holy Quran all the messengers were mocked and ridiculed by their opponents. Similarly, the Prophet Muhammad, was also blasphemed throughout his life. Despite all the ill-treatment and disrespect shown to him and the Quran, God instructed him not to retaliate, God says: “We will, surely, suffice thee against those who mock (Ch.15:V.96).”

There is not a minor punishment prescribed in the Holy Quran for blasphemy, let alone the death penalty, not even a permanent social boycott is permitted against the blasphemers.

The Holy Quran gives clear guidance on how Muslims should behave when they are faced with those committing blasphemy. Instead of punishing the blasphemers, believers are advised to leave the company of such people until they change the topic of their conversation. God says:

“When you hear the Signs of Allah being denied and mocked at, sit not with them until they engage in a talk other than that; for in that case you would be like them (Ch.4:V.141).”

How beautifully God has summarised this entire subject; after this clear guidance how can anyone justify the punishment of death for blasphemy in Islam?

For me as a Muslim, the Holy Prophet Muhammad is dearer to me than my own life; and I am ready to sacrifice even if I have 1,000 lives for his sake. HE IS MY ROMANCE OF LIFE. 

However, rationality requires from me to deliberate, what the true love means? Does it mean to kill others or loose myself in fighting with others, to substantiate my love with him, or the true love demands to follow his noble teachings as taught by him (ignoring the misinterpretations of today’s clerics) and become the well-wisher of humanity, and follow his footsteps and character and become blessing for humanity as he was titled by God as a “Blessing for the entire mankind”?

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

Read original post Times of Malta. Death for blasphemy?

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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

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Fasting (is-Sawm)

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Fasting during the month of Ramadan

The FastingFasting during the month of Ramadan

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