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ALHAJI ABDULAZEEZ ALATOYE APPOINTED AS NEW AMIR, AHMADIYYA MUSLIM JAMA’AT NIGERIA (UPDATED)

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The Supreme Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at worldwide Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (May Almighty Allah be His helper) has appointed Alhaji (Barr.) AbdulAzeez Alatoye as the new Amir (National Head) of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria.

This was contained in a release signed by the General Secretary of the Muslim Organization, Alhaji Abbas Iromini and made available to our correspondent. Alhaji Alatoye was hitherto the Naib Amir (Deputy National Head) South West region. He succeeds Dr. Mashhud Adenrele Fashola who has been serving in that capacity for the past 15 years.

It will be recalled that the organization held its annual national forum (Majlis Shoora) last month at Tahir Mosque Ojokoro Lagos where representatives across the country participated in the National Executive Officers’ elections.

Alhaji Alatoye, alongside with the newly approved members of the National Executive Committee will resume office on July 1, 2019.

Brief Profile of the New Amir
Born on the 13th of February, 1963, Alhaji AbdulAzeez Folorunso Alatoye had his tertiary education at the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin where he bagged Unique Distinction in Accountancy in 1991. He obtained a Diploma in Law from the Executive Business School, Ikeja Lagos in 2011 and Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of Bradford, the United Kingdom in 2012.

Professionally, he is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK); a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN); Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and a Member of Nigeria Taxation Standard Board and Fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Management.

He is the Founder and Senior Partner of Ascension Consulting Services.

His Journey in the Jama’at
Alhaji Alatoye joined the Ahmadiyya Community through the maternal grandfather biat in 1975. In 1981, he personally signed the biat. Since then, he has been holding sensitive posts within the Jamaat. For instance, he was the Tabligh Secretary between 1982 and 1985 and Financial Secretary between 1985 and 1989 of Inisa Jamaat Osun State. At the auxiliary level, he held the post of an Internal Auditor of Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Nigeria (Youth Wing) between 1988 and 1990.

At the National Level, Alhaji Alatoye was appointed as the Naib Jalsa Officer II (Deputy Conference Officer II) between 2009 and 2019; Naib Amir South West region (2013-2019); Treasurer (2010-2019); Vice Chairman Humanity First Nigeria (2011-2019); Chairman Sad Sala Jubilee Committee (2016-2019); Chairman South West Mosque Building Trust Fund Committee (2016-2019); Chairman Economic Empowerment and Development Committee (2014-2019), among others.

His areas of interest include Tabligh (Preaching), Holy Qur’an and Mosque Building. He is an advocate of honest service to Almighty Allah and Humanity.


NAMES AND PORTFOLIOS OF THE NEWLY APPROVED NATIONAL EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

S/N. NAME POST
Alhaji AbdulAzeez Alatoye National Amir (Head)
Alhaji Abbas O. Iromini General Secretary
Barr. Muhammad Bashir Badr Secretary Tabligh (Preaching)
Alhaj. M.M. Shittu Secretary Tarbiyat (Religious & Moral Training)
Mr. Tajudeen Oladoja Secretary Ta’lim (Education)
Alhaji Mudathir Dada Secretary Isha’at (Publication)
Engr. Imran Adeyemi Secretary Sami’ wa Basari (Audio-Video)
Alhaji Hassan Sunmonu Secretary Umur Kharijiyyah (External Affairs)
Alhaji Muslihu Ali Secretary Umur Amma (General Affairs)
Mr. Abdul Rahman Adetunji Secretary Dhiyyafat (Hospitality)
Mr. Mudathir Adefarati Secretary Mal (Finance)
Alhaji Dauda Kehinde Sokunbi Add. Secretary Mal (Finance)
Mr. Shakirudeen Abdus Salam Secretary Wasaya (Wills)
Mr. Abdul-Hakeem Akintobi Secretary Ta’limul-Quran & Waqf-Ardhi
Mr.Nafiu Taiwo Ajimoti Secretary Tahrik-Jadid
Mr. Abdul Ganiy Babalola Secretary Waqf-Jadid
Mr. Muhammad Tirmiziy Ajibike Addl. Secretary Waqf-Jadid & Nau Muba’in (For New Converts)
Builder Bashirudeen Asimiyu Towolawi Secretary Jaidad (Properties)
Alhaji Muslihudeen Ademoye Secretary Waqf-Nau
Prof. Abdur Rahman Abdullah Secretary Zira’at (Agriculture)
Mr. B.O. Ghazal Secretary Sanat-o-Tijarat (Industry and Trade)
Mr. Issa A. Shokunbi Muhassib (Accountant)
Alhaji Muheeb Lanre Idris Amin [Treasurer]
Mr. Hussein King Internal Auditor

NEW YEAR GOODWILL MESSAGE BY THE AMIR OF AHMADIYYA MUSLIM JAMA’AT OF NIGERIA

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The entire members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of Nigeria heartily rejoice with Nigerians and the government on the occasion of the new year 2022 that just started.

Just like the year 2020, the year 2021, was also a challenging one for the country, no thanks to the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic especially with the discovery of OMICRON Variant. The efforts of the government and the health institutions in curtailing the pandemic are well commended. The masses are further urged to implement all COVID-19 protocols to further stop the spread of the OMICRON Variant.

The Jama’at further recognized and applaud the indomitable spirit for survival and resilience of Nigerians in the face of daunting challenges in the socio-economic, political, and technological spheres. The religion of Islam has no room for terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, ritual killing of human beings, exploitation of any kind or any act of wickedness against one another. The government, as a matter of urgency, is urged to be more proactive towards eliminating the social vices which are now daily occurrences in the country.

The high level of poverty, unemployment, and under-employment are still serious challenges to Nigerians, in spite of the abundance of both human and material resources at our disposal. It is incumbent on all levels of government to provide affordable food, health care facilities, shelter, security, and good road network for the populace.

On the part of Nigerians, they should not lose faith in the present government and continue to support her with prayers and good deeds. They should also be alive to their civic responsibilities.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of Nigeria also uses this medium to admonish Nigerian government on corporate and all-embracing governance, maintenance of equity and justice as well as fair play. No region should be segregated or denied rightful needs. This act will no doubt, bring about peaceful coexistence and progress to the country. There should be justice for all. Leaders of all agitators should be invited for a meeting in a bid to address all contending issues in an amicable way. The government is urged to eschew nepotism, religious bigotry among other ills.

Pointedly, as the 2023 general elections draw nearer, the Jama’at hereby advises the President, General Muhammad Buhari GCFR to ensure a hitch-free election exercise at all levels. All necessary machinery must be put in place to achieve free and fair elections. All political parties must resolve their differences internally. Politics should be seen as a game of numbers and not a do-or-die affair. No eligible voters should be disenfranchised. Nigerians must be allowed to exercise their civic duty without any form of molestation. Electoral malpractices must be totally wiped out. Government should ensure appropriate electoral reforms are duly signed into law.

Conclusively, the role of religious bodies towards the attainment of our dream country cannot be over-emphasized. Religious leaders must continue to preach peace and unity. Religious Centres must be Holy places void of social vices and where worshippers are well enlightened on a true value system.

We pray fervently for a new order and more prosperous years ahead for Nigeria.

Signed:

Alhaj (Barr.) Alatoye Folorunso AbdulAzeez
Amir (National Head)
Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat of Nigeria.

The Truth Newspaper@ 70 Years: Reminiscing the Pioneering Muslim Newspaper in Nigeria

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Just like the Presbyterian Reverend, Henry Townsend had pioneered the first-ever newspaper in Nigeria with the founding of Iwe Iroyin in 1859 (Philip Onuoha (2015), History of Nigerian Mass Media, National Open University of Nigeria, p. 21), The Truth Newspaper enjoys historical relevance of being the first and longest-running Muslim Newspaper established in Nigeria seventy years ago, precisely, in December 1951, by the prominent expatriate Muslim Missionary and Journalist, Maulvi Naseem Saifi Sahib.
Maulvi Saifi Sahib served as the Chief Missionary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in Nigeria and West Africa for twenty years, from 1946 through 1966. As such, The Truth Newspaper was not only used as an official newspaper of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, but has ever been used as a means of actualizing media contribution of Islam to the religious, literary, social, and educational development of Nigeria in particular, and humanity, in general.
It is interesting to note that, initially, the newspaper was being published monthly and entitled The Nigeria Ahmadiyya Bulletin from August through November 1951 (The Nigeria Ahmadiyya Bulletin, The Nigeria Branch of the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya, Qadian, September 1951, Vol 1. No. 2.) It, however, acquired its nomenclature of The Truth in December of the same year, and, subsequently, began to publish weekly henceforth (The Truth Newspaper, December 1951, Vol. 1, No. 1).

More interestingly, a host of historians and chroniclers of the history of media in Nigeria have reckoned with the pioneering place of The Truth Newspaper in the trajectory of Muslim newspapers publication in Nigeria. For instance, in the page 26th of his pioneering work published in 1968 and titled, Landmarks of the Nigerian Press – An Outline of the Origins and Development of the Newspaper Press in Nigeria (1859 to 1965), the renowned media scholar and practitioner, Increase H. E. Coker acknowledged that “The only regular Muslim newspaper was the one started in Lagos at this period and entitled Truth. It was pioneered by the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, Lagos branch, which continues to subsidize its production.”

Incidentally, Ahmadiyya is also reputed for pioneering in Nigeria the first Muslim-established school that combined both Islamic and secular education. Again, it also pioneered Muslim hospitals through the establishment of the first Muslim medical dispensary in Nigeria in 1961 and continues to run a number of schools and hospitals, and clinics across various states in the country till today. (Centenary History of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in Nigeria, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Nigeria, (2016), p. 175).

To continue with our tracking of the memory lane of The Truth Newspaper, it is exciting to note that the noble mission of this Newspaper, as stated by the veteran journalist-founder in its maiden edition, is that it aims at “calling humanity toward the Creator of the Universe” and “inviting every soul to the fountainhead of peace – Islam.” This is “the message that THE TRUTH has pledged to impart to every soul in West Africa in particular and the rest of the world in general” (Our Message, Editorial, The Truth Newspaper, December 1951, Vol. 1, No. 1, p.3).

The newspaper pages feature News segments, From the Holy Quran, The Friday Sermon, Special Interviews, Features, Photo News, Children’s Corner, Our Women, Personalities, Yoruba and Hausa Columns, and Sports pages.

From any evaluation of media history in Nigeria, three factors should evidence the long history of media relevance, contribution, and popularity of the The Truth in Nigeria: (1) the fact that, regardless of being a foreigner, its founder was elected as the first Vice-President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists for many years, the Treasurer of the Nigerian Press Club and an Executive Member of the Guild of Newspaper Editors (Naseem Saifi, My Hearty Thanks, The Truth Newspaper, Friday, 5th August 2016, p.13).      His contemporaries in the newspapers industry are the revered Segun Osoba, Late Alhaji Kayode Jakande( John West)  Late Bisi Onabanjo( Ayekoto Fame) Late Alade Odunewu( Allah De)Late Muslim Kola Animashaun ( The Voice of Reason, Late Bisi Lawrence( BizLaw).

Secondly, that the first Nigerian staff of The Truth Newspaper, Mr. Yisa A. Safi, was offered Federal Government Scholarship for journalism at the then London Polytechnic in October 1953 by the then British Colonial Administration in recognition of the contributions of The Truth in Nigeria.  At the completion of the study, he returned to serve the country under the Federal Ministry of Information till his death in 1969 (Z.O. Elias, First Nigerian Ahmadi to Serve The Truth Passed Away, The Truth, Friday, MAY 30 – June 5, 1969, p. 7).

Thirdly, and in contemporary history, the current chairman of the editorial board of The Truth Newspaper, Dr. Qasim Akinreti, has been the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Lagos State Council from 2017 through December 6, 2020. He is a member Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, and The International Press Institute, IPI. Dr Akinreti has contributed his quota to the growth of the Nigerian media through practice and teaching and research. One of his latest co-authored books is entitled “The Secrets of Online/Multimedia Journalism: A handbook for African Journalists. Currently, he is the Deputy Editor of Digital Media, Voice of Nigeria.

From the above, it is not surprising that Maulvi Naseem Saifi once reminisced how, while traveling by sea in the company of Nigeria’s first indigenous President, Nnamdi Azikwe, (himself a journalist and publisher of the renowned nationalist newspaper, The Pilot), he “was surprised to hear him (Azikwe) talk about The Truth; he knew almost everything about it, even the press where it is printed.” (Naseem Saifi, My Hearty Thanks, The Truth Newspaper, Friday, 5th August, 2016, p.13).

Today, taking the advantages offered by the postmodern-day Information Communication Technology (ICT) through online journalism, The Truth Newspaper has since 2016 begun its online publication via www.thetruth.ng. This has continued to avail the immediacy, frequency, and global reach of its publication. Observably, through its news stories, editorials, features, and opinion columns, etc., the newspaper has been renowned for its coverage of a wide range of issues of religious, social, health, and educational relevance in Nigeria, over the years.

Al-Hafiz Yunus Omotayo is a Missionary of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of Nigeria and Correspondent of The Truth Newspaper. E-mail: al-hafiz@thetruth.ng

 

 

Six reasons Muslims – or anyone – should not celebrate Christmas

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By Frasat Ahmad, Missionary, USA. (Published in The Weekly Al-Hakam)

Christmas has come. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, they say. The jolly atmosphere, the Christmas spirit, the love and the joy are infectious. What’s not to like! Why not join in and spread the Christmas cheer?

Jesus(as) is highly revered in both Christianity and Islam, right? So what’s the harm in celebrating him? Christmas is a religious festivity celebrating the birth of a man whom Christians believe to be not only the son of God, but God Himself.

Simply put, as Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV(rh) puts it, “It is a religious affair. As such, you should not celebrate it, because your religion is not Christianity; it is Islam.” (Children’s Class [programme on MTA], The Fazl Mosque, recorded 27 April 1991).

Granted, but Christmas is still a cultural phenomenon. So, why can’t we participate in the cultural festivities of Christmas?

Here are six reasons why Muslims – and Christians – should not celebrate Christmas, religiously or culturally.

  1. Jesus(as) was not the son of God or God incarnate

Allah the Almighty is very clear about this. On multiple occasions in the Holy Quran, He disassociates Himself from the notion that Jesus(as) is His son or that Jesus(as) shares a portion of His divinity. In fact, Allah the Almighty expresses abhorrence about this:

یٰۤاَہۡلَ الۡکِتٰبِ لَا تَغۡلُوۡا فِیۡ دِیۡنِکُمۡ وَ لَا تَقُوۡلُوۡا عَلَی اللّٰہِ اِلَّا الۡحَقَّ ؕ اِنَّمَا الۡمَسِیۡحُ عِیۡسَی ابۡنُ مَرۡیَمَ رَسُوۡلُ اللّٰہِ وَ کَلِمَتُہٗ ۚ اَلۡقٰہَاۤ اِلٰی مَرۡیَمَ وَ رُوۡحٌ مِّنۡہُ ۫ فَاٰمِنُوۡا بِاللّٰہِ وَ رُسُلِہٖ ۚ۟ وَ لَا تَقُوۡلُوۡا ثَلٰثَۃٌ ؕ اِنۡتَہُوۡا خَیۡرًا لَّکُمۡ ؕ اِنَّمَا اللّٰہُ اِلٰہٌ وَّاحِدٌ ؕ سُبۡحٰنَہٗۤ اَنۡ یَّکُوۡنَ لَہٗ وَلَدٌ ۘ لَہٗ مَا فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ مَا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ وَ کَفٰی بِاللّٰہِ وَکِیۡلًا

“O people of the Book, do not exceed the limits in your religion, and do not say anything except the truth about Allah. Verily, the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was only a Messenger of Allah and a fulfilment of His word which He sent down to Mary, and a mercy from him. So believe in Allah and His Messengers and do not say, ‘They are three.’ Desist, it will be better for you. Verily, Allah is the only One God. Far is it from His Holiness that he should have a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. And sufficient is Allah as a Guardian.” (Surah al-Nisa, Ch.4: V.172)

وَّ اَنَّہٗ تَعٰلٰی جَدُّ رَبِّنَا مَا اتَّخَذَ صَاحِبَۃً وَّ لَا وَلَدًا

“The Majesty of our Lord is exalted. He has taken neither wife nor son unto Himself.” (Surah al-Jinn, Ch.72: V.4)

Jesus(as) also plainly explains that he was not the literal son of God or God himself, but rather the epithet was used as a symbolic term of endearment for him. We read in John 10:31-36:

“The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus replied to them, ‘I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?’ The Jews answered Him, ‘We are not stoning You for a good work, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Has it not been written in your Law: ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be nullified), are you saying of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?”

Here, Jesus(as) explicitly details that all messengers of God, upon whom the word of God came, are considered godly in a symbolic sense. Romans 8:14 demonstrates that this same symbolism was used for the term “son of god.”

We read, “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”

  1. Christmas is a paganistic holiday

“Christmas is really about bringing out your inner pagan,” says historian Kenneth C Davis. (The unexpected origins of popular Christmas traditions, CBS News).

The Gospels make no mention at all of the date of Jesus’ birth and early Christians were not at all interested in the birth of Jesus(as). It was only three centuries after Jesus’ birth, when Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, that Christmas was first celebrated. Even then, it was not widely celebrated. Christmas only became popular in 800 CE, when Charlemagne was crowned emperor of the Roman Empire on Christmas Day. (The Origins of Christmas: Pagan Rites, Drunken Revels and More, Newsweek).

In order to make Christianity more palatable to pagans, early Christian church leaders assimilated pagan traditions into their Christmas festivities (Gerd Schwerhoff, “Festivals”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages).

As German historian Wolfgang Behringer writes, “Christmas, the festival of the ‘birthday of the Lord’, has been celebrated on December 25 since 354, probably in order to suppress the birthday festival of the pagan god Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun).” (Behringer, Wolfgang, “Christmas”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online)

Centuries before the birth of Jesus(as), pagan Europeans celebrated the winter solstice, rejoicing in the arrival of longer days and extended sunlight. In Scandinavia, the Norse people celebrated Yule, the winter solstice, where fathers and son would bring home large logs and trees, which they would set on fire to keep them warm. Romans would celebrate the birthday of Mithra, their sun-god, on December 25. Mithra’s birthday was considered the most sacred day of the year. (History of Christmas, History Channel)

Scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazer unravels and explains the uncanny similarities between pagan traditions and Christmas. He writes:

“It was a custom of the heathen to celebrate on the same twenty-fifth of December the birthday of the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these solemnities and festivities the Christians also took part. Accordingly when the doctors of the Church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should be solemnised on that day … Thus it appears that the Christian Church chose to celebrate the birthday of its Founder on the twenty-fifth of December in order to transfer the devotion of the heathen from the Sun to him who was called the Sun of Righteousness” (Sir James George Frazer, the Golden Bough, Ch. 37, Oriental Religions in the West).

He continues:

“The coincidences of the Christian with the heathen festivals are too close and too numerous to be accidental. They mark the compromise which the Church in the hour of its triumph was compelled to make with its vanquished yet still dangerous rivals.” (Ibid)

Because of its all-too-obvious connection to pagan rituals and God’s abhorrence of idolatry in both Christian and Muslim traditions, Muslims – and Christians – should abstain from any traditions associated with Christmas, including decorating Christmas trees, mistletoes, Yule logs, Christmas carols, etc.

  1. Muslims do not celebrate birthdays of prophets, nor did the early Christians

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV(rh) states:

“Birthdays are not an Islamic tradition in themselves. In the early centuries of light, when Islam was pure, when Islam was all that it was created for, nobody ever held birthdays in memory of anyone else. For instance, Hazrat Muhammad’s(sa) birthday – who was the founder of Islam – was never celebrated by his followers, by the followers of his followers, by the followers who followed in the generations thereafter.

“It’s a Western concept wedded to Islam, and unfortunately in the Western traditions. These are just celebrations creating irresponsibility rather than responsibility; sometimes they create disorder; sometimes they create disturbances of peace.” (Question & Answer Session, recorded on 25 November 1984, The Fazl Mosque)

As mentioned earlier, early followers of Jesus(as) were not in the least bit interested in celebrating the birth of Jesus(as), nor is there any mention in the Gospels or early Christian literature that Jesus(as) or his disciples celebrated his birth. (Why is Christmas on Dec. 25?, Washington Post)

  1. The Bible and the Holy Quran affirm that Jesus(as) wasn’t born on 25 December (or even in winter)

The Gospels make no explicit mention of the birth date of Jesus(as). We do, however, read in Luke 2:7-8, that Mary “gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.”

Here, we ascertain that Mary had to give birth to Jesus(as) outside in the open, because there was no guest room available to her. She also placed newborn Jesus(as) in an outdoor manger as a makeshift cradle.

The average low temperature in Bethlehem in late December is 4-6 degrees Celsius and it rains an average of 11 days in December (AccuWeather).

Is it possible that a woman could give birth outdoors in near freezing weather conditions while it was likely raining? Can a newborn survive in such severe weather conditions? It seems highly improbable.

Also, why would a heavily pregnant Mary travel nearly 100 miles, from Nazareth to Bethlehem, in the freezing cold? Even Christian scholars admit that it was highly unlikely for Mary to travel in winter while pregnant.

Dr Henry M Morris, Christian apologist and author of The Defender’s Study Bible, writes:

“A more probable time would be late September, the time of the annual Feast of Tabernacles, when such travel was commonly accepted. Thus, it is rather commonly believed (though not certain) that Jesus’ birth was around the last of September.” (Notes for Luke 2:8,13)

The Holy Quran also points to the high likelihood that Jesus(as) was born much earlier than winter. Allah the Almighty states in chapter 19, verses 23-26:

“So she conceived him, and withdrew with him to a remote place. And the pains of childbirth drove her unto the trunk of a palm-tree. She said, ‘O! would that I had died before this and had become a thing quite forgotten!’ Then he called her from beneath her, [saying], ‘Grieve not. Thy Lord has placed a rivulet below thee; And shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree; it will cause fresh ripe dates to fall upon thee.’”

According to the Holy Quran, the birth of Jesus(as) took place at a time when fresh dates were found on palm-trees in Judea. Dates in that region do not grow or ripen in winter. According to Israel’s largest and most popular news and content website, Ynet News, “The date harvest season begins in late July and ends in October” in Palestine/Israel (Israeli dates take world by storm, Ynetnews)

Thus, Jesus(as) was most likely born in July to October, rendering it senseless to celebrate his birth on 25 December.

  1. Christians themselves disagree over exact birthdate of Jesus

12 percent of the world’s Christians celebrate Christmas on 7 January, believing it to be the true birth date of Jesus(as). Orthodox Christianity, the third largest Christian denomination with an estimated 260 million followers, follows the Julian calendar whereas the rest of Christendom follows the Gregorian calendar.

To understand this discrepancy, a brief history lesson is necessary. In 325 CE, when the Council of Nicaea convened to deliberate the divinity of Jesus(as), they also needed to standardise the date of the church’s most important holiday, Easter. To do so, they decided to base it on the Julian calendar, a solar calendar which Roman ruler Julius Caesar had adopted in 46 BC.

However, the Julian calendar overestimated the length of the solar year by about 11 minutes. Naturally, the calendar and the solar year became increasingly out of sync as the centuries progressed.

The discrepancy in the dates of Christian holidays had become so drastic that in 1582 CE, Pope Gregory XIII convened a group of astronomers and proposed a new calendar, known as the Gregorian calendar.

The majority of the Christian world adopted the new Gregorian calendar, as it resolved the discrepancies in dates of Christian holidays. But the Orthodox Church, which had split into its own chasm of Christianity during the Great Schism of 1054, objected to the change.

To accept the Gregorian calendar would mean accepting an occasional overlap between Passover and Easter, a move that went against holy texts of Orthodox Christianity. So, the Orthodox Church rejected the Gregorian calendar and continued to rely on the Julian calendar. The calendar drift continued for Orthodox Christians and today, there is a 13- day difference between the two calendars, placing Orthodox Christmas on 7 January. (Why some people celebrate Christmas in January, National Geographic)

  1. Prophet Muhammad(sa) has prohibited us from imitating Christians or Jews

The Holy Prophet Muhammad(sa) explicitly instructed, “The one who imitates those other than us [in faith and religious rituals] is not from among us. Do not imitate the Jews and Christians.” (Jami‘ al-Tirmidhi, Chapters on Seeking Permission, 2695)

Again, he declared:

“He who imitates any people [in their actions] is considered to be one of them.” (Sunan Abi Dawood, Book of Clothing, 4031)

The Promised Messiah(as) emphasises this point when he states:

“How disgraceful it is that one is known to be from the Ummah of the magnificent Prophet(sa), but spends life like disbelievers.” (Malfuzat [Urdu], Vol. 2, p. 187, Published 1985)

Muslims living in Western countries should suffer no inferiority complex about their religion. Their conviction in Islam should be so strong that it eradicates any pressure to conform or mould oneself to un-Islamic cultural norms of other cultures.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V(aa) firmly declares:

“It is essential for us to not bear any form of inferiority complex, neither children, nor elders. It is our claim that we are the people who will bring about a religious and spiritual revolution in the world. So, only those people can bring this religious and spiritual revolution, who are free from all kinds of inferiority complex.” (Friday Sermon, 22 June 2012)

Why Muslims do not Celebrate Christmas

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Shamshad Ahmad Nasir, Missionary, USA

With Christmas just gone by, I feel that it is an opportunity to write about the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s beliefs and views about Christmas and its related celebrations. Do Muslims celebrate Christmas? No, Muslims do not celebrate Christmas. Many people know this, but they do not know why. If Jesus, peace be upon him, is so revered in Islam, why do we not celebrate his birthday? It is necessary to point out that Jesusas and his mother Hazrat Maryam (Mary), are revered highly by Muslims.

The Holy Quran mentions the name of Jesusas 25 times and that of Hazrat Maryam 34 times. In fact, a whole chapter in the Holy Quran has been dedicated to Hazrat Maryam (Surah Maryam, chapter 19) which gives a detailed account of the birth of Jesusas and the related circumstances.

As far as celebrating Christmas as the birthday of Jesusas is concerned, we, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, do not celebrate it, just as we do not celebrate the birthdays of any other prophet.

We believe that celebrating a prophet’s birth amounts to adopting that prophet’s teachings as a way of life. If the teachings are not followed, the Almighty’s displeasure is invoked. To quote an example from the Gospel, Jesusas preached non-violence to his followers. He said that if someone slaps you on one cheek, do not retaliate violently, but to turn the other cheek towards the attacker (Matthew 5:39).

If this policy of non-violence, and humbleness was strictly adhered to by the followers of Jesusas, surely peace would reign on earth. This is just one example, there are scores of others related to everyday life.

Was Jesusas born on 25 December?

The other question that needs to be addressed regarding Christmas is whether 25 December is the actual date of birth of Jesusas. According to the Bible, when Jesus was born, shepherds slept outside in the open to tend to their sheep and date palms were the seasonal fruit. When the baby (Jesusas) was born, Hazrat Maryam shook a date palm tree and ate the dates that fell:

“And shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree; it will cause fresh ripe dates to fall upon thee.” (Surah Maryam, Ch.19: V. 26)

She drank water from a nearby stream. It was the season of the ripening of dates, probably around August or September. Both the Quran and Bible (New Testament, Luke 2:7-8.) give evidence of the actual time of Jesus’ birth as autumn rather than winter.

Winters, and especially winter nights in Bethlehem are too cold to sleep in the open. Christians themselves are unsure of the actual date of the birth of Jesusas. The consensus was to adopt the date of the ancient rituals related to the Winter Solstice, as the day of his birth (Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th edition).

When the authenticity of the date of an event is doubtful, how can it form the basis of a celebration reflecting Christian faith and beliefs? And last but not least, the Christmas spirit has become a business and marketing venture leading to wasteful expenditure and activities that negate the spirit and teachings of Christianity.

Today, Christmas has been all about receiving and not giving. Children expect adults to give them expensive gifts, rather than being content with what they have.

Why Muslims do not celebrate Christmas in a nutshell

In a nutshell, Ahmadi Muslims do not celebrate Christmas because:

  1. People should follow the teachings of their prophets and take the time for reflection, rather than make their birthdays’ occasion for merriment and enjoyment.
  2. The Quran and Bibleboth give evidence that 25 December is not the date of birth of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him).

Editor’s notes

Today, if Muslims do celebrate Christmas day or Christmas eve, they should keep in mind that Christians take Jesus Christ to be the son of God (and God within Trinity). Therefore, Christians are celebrating the birth of their god on Earth, God forbid! This is shirk and associating with shirk is the greatest sin according to the Holy Quran. Thus, how can Islam allow celebrating Christmas? Or why would a Muslim think they can celebrate Christmas when it so strongly opposes the core tenets of their religion?

We should educate our children about Islam and not compromise our faith due to cultural influences. We can live harmoniously with other Christians in their country and be their friends too without commemorating a core tenet of another faith as nowhere does Islam say you can join their festivals, especially when they go against your own religion – in this case, shirk and pagan traditions.

Even Prophet Muhammadsa told Muslims not to imitate Christians and Jews:

“The one who imitates those other than us [in faith and religious rituals] is not from among us. Do not imitate the Jews and Christians.” (Jami‘ al-Tirmidhi, Chapter on Seeking Permission)

Other aspects of Christmas traditions, like Christmas trees, Santa Clause and Christmas decorations also have Roman paganist origins – and paganism is shirk.

Muslims should celebrate their own festive days like Eid to the fullest and respectfully allow other religions to celebrate theirs.

We can agree to disagree with Christian doctrine, theology and practices peacefully and steer clear of being influenced by them or participating in them. Other religions do not celebrate Christmas either, so why does the need arise for Muslims to celebrate Christmas then?

That is why it is essential to study Islam deeply and teach the upcoming generations about why Muslims do not celebrate Christmas – or, for that matter, any other non-Islamic traditions. In this way, the essence of Islam and the pure teachings of Prophet Muhammadsa will be instilled within the new generation of Muslims, especially those living in the West.

 

Source: The Weekly Al Hakam

 

REMINISCING MY QADIAN JALSA EXPERIENCE

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Maulvi Nurudeen Okubena

By the special grace and mercy of the Almighty Allah, I was privileged to attend the 2018 Jalsa Salana Qadian, India.

It was actually my first presence and experience in Qadian, the birthplace of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), the Promised Messiah and founder of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. As an African Missionary leaving the shores of Africa for the first time, I was filled with happiness and a great aspiration to see Qadian.

On arriving at Qadian after a journey of several hours on road from New Delhi, and despite witnessing such cold weather for the first time in my life, the sight of Qadian was indeed pleasing and I was more pleased when I saw more than thirty (30) fellow Africans at the Conference with a very high spirit and great enthusiasm to participate in all the Jalsa proceedings.

I was exceptionally marvelled with the spirit of brotherhood at the Jalsa and, most especially, with the high spirit of sacrifice displayed by the workers at the Convention. Both the young and old were always ready to offer every sacrifice for the comfort of the guests of the Promised Messiah (as). The volunteers on security duties were always there at every moment, even in the extreme cold of the night. May Allah reward them all abundantly.

One great thing about Qadian was that everyone meets each other with cheerfulness and happiness. Most especially when some of our Indian/Pakistani brothers realised that an African Missionary, like myself, could speak and understand the language of the Promised Messiah (as); they all showed great love and affection.

Another wonderful scenario I witnessed at Qadian was that, despite the extreme cold weather, you would find people very early in the dawn trooping in large numbers to participate in the Tahajjud (the supererogatory night Prayer). I could remember that while there, I tried on so many occasions to observe prayers at the Mubarak Mosque but, on every occasion, I was told the place is filled up. However, I eventually had the opportunity to do so. Alhamdulillāh!

It was indeed pleasing to have the opportunity to pray at Baitu Dua, Baitul fikr and several other rooms of the Promised Messiah (as). One surprising fact is the enthusiasm and zeal in every attendee to get an opportunity to pray in these holy rooms, and one could see a feeling of contentment and conviction of acceptance of prayers in the countenance of everyone who had had the opportunity of praying there.

While in Qadian, considering the distance we traversed to reach there, one thing that always struck my mind was how the message of the Promised Messiah (as) was able to spread from such a remote village to the entire world. This, therefore, further strengthened my conviction that he, indeed, was a Chosen One of the Almighty Allah.

Another striking thing about Qadian is the feeling of tranquillity one experiences while there. One always feels secured in Qadian. And, even, adherents of other faiths who live nearby do how high level of love and affection to all Jalsa attendees.

Also, witnessing the presence of the attendees at Jalsa who have traveled from different parts of the world, I could see the fulfilment of the prophecy vouchsafed to the Promised Messiah that:

يأتيك من كل فج عميق

That is, “He shall come to you from every far region.”

I was able to meet people from virtually all the continents of the world and everyone displayed a great level of love for the other.

I was extremely pleased with the various speeches at the event. The facilitators were versatile and learned and the speeches were really soul inspiring.

Qadian is a place to be visited by all, to experience the bounty and favours bestowed by Allah to the Imam of the Age. May the Almighty Allah give us all the grace to do so. Aameen

Maulvi Nurudeen Okubena
Head of Programming, MTA Africa, Nigeria Studios

Signs I Witnessed: Restoring life to the dead!

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By Tamim Abu Daqqa
Ahmadi Muslim Scholar

By the end of 2013, my mother had suffered horrible pains due to cancer. Her condition had deteriorated that we had to call my brothers abroad to be with her in her last days or moments, especially since all the physical signs had shown obviously that the end of my beloved mother was close.

During those critical days, it happened that I was supposed to travel to the UK for ‘Alhiwar Almubashir’ (The Live Dialogue) TV program on MTA (Muslim Television Ahmadiyya). Though I’m a regular panelist in this program, I hadn’t presented previously any excuses for not attending the program, nor had asked Huzur (Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Fifth Khalifa of the Promised Massiah, the Head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Community) for the permission to stay with my mother, whose health had reached the irreversible stage of multiple organ failure.

Despite all, I decided to travel entrusting myself to Allah Almighty. I told my mother about my decision, and also told her that, if she didn’t want me to travel, I would cancel the flight and would do what was needed to stay with her.  She said: ’Go, trust Allah’.

I had visited her on the eve of my flight to the UK to say goodbye, thinking that I would never see her again. I told myself that it might be Allah’s will to have mercy on me, and not to suffer witnessing her death and burial. My attitude seemed inexplicable to many: my brothers had come back from abroad, then, I wanted to leave!

I had kept contacting my brothers and sisters till the last moment before the plane took off. They said she had been suffering what seemed agony of death, although she had few short moments of consciousness.

As I arrived at Heathrow Airport, I immediately phoned my family to check out my mother. They informed me she has become closer to death. That restless situation, the phone calls, the tension, and the fear of the inevitable end had made me concerned to the extent that I had forgotten my hand luggage with my passports as well in the trolley without noticing- as I was still on the phone when I rode the car – till I reached my residence. I restored this bag miraculously the next day (This is another remarkable story that I will tell later).

Huzur (May Allah be his helper) had been informed about the deteriorated condition of my mother. He blamed me in my first meeting with him for traveling and said that I should have stayed with her. I told him that I had asked her and she preferred that I would not quit the honor of Jihad even at those critical last moments of her life.

Then, by the end of my visit, and before my flight back to Jordan, I had met Huzur (May Allah be his Helper) again. We both spoke in English in the meeting, He said with kindness: How is the “Walidah” (a very respective way of mentioning the mother, which is an Arabic word and became an Urdu word too).

I replied, ‘Huzur, she is in the terminal state!

I meant that she is leaving us any time soon, based on what I had been told by my brothers and the medical reports. However, I had felt that it was not appropriate to be sure about the death of any person based on the apparent physical causes that do not bind Allah’s will Who owns life and death. Then, clarifying, I said: “But, if it is Allah’s decree to revive her, that is another issue…” At that moment I felt that Huzur (May Allah be his Helper) was looking at me with a special glorified divine look. He didn’t talk and I, too, kept silent. I felt that Allah Almighty’s decree had fulfilled something. It was a very special moment!

Before leaving London, I had phoned my brothers and sisters. They said she was alive and that she slightly looked a little better. I had flown back to Amman post-midnight. So, I had to visit her the next morning.

The next morning, my brothers told me that the doctors had discharged her. So, instead of going to the hospital, I went to the family home. A few minutes after my arrival, the ambulance had dropped her home. She seemed better. I left her to rest and, then, talked to her.

She cried as she told me about the remarkable vision she had seen during her last day in the hospital.

“I saw an angel roaming around in the room. The angel stopped at my bed. I felt that he has come to take me. So, I recited the Shahada (I bear witness There is no god but God. Muhammad is the messenger of God). Then, I heard loud voices of many people screaming my name. Thereafter, I heard a voice saying: ‘Prophet Mohammed is here!”

“I looked and it was the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him). He waved to the angel, ordering him to stop. Then, the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him) grabbed my right sleeve pulling me upwards as if he was helping me to stand up, and told me:

“Your son Tamim saved you, he loves Allah and His Prophet.”

“Then, the scene faded and I got better as you can see now”.

She had never stopped crying as she was asking my brothers to follow what I follow i.e. to believe in the truth of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Massiah and Mahdi (Peace be upon Him), and embrace the Ahmadiyya community.

Although she signed Bai’at long years ago, and she had believed in the truthfulness of Ahmadiyya ever since after she had seen a clear dream, but I think that Allah Almighty wanted to keep her faith firmer.

She told all the people who had visited her about this vision, and that she was in full conscience when she had that experience. Her general health got better; that she was able to eat again, and even regained the ability to walk a few steps. Afterward, my brothers traveled back to their jobs.

My mother had lived for forty days after that remarkable sign took place. Although her health had deteriorated in the last three days, she passed away in peace after she had fulfilled her message confidently.

Undoubtedly, I’ve been blessed with that statement by the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him), and this is a great blessing for which I couldn’t express thanks enough. Every time I remember this blessing, the feelings of gratitude and divine love fill my heart. This sign was a renewed sign for the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him) of bringing life to the dead. The sign, and the statement of the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him), I believe, is a witness on the truthfulness of Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi (peace be on him) in whom I have believed and followed; and is a witness on the truthfulness of Khilafat.

That vision should not be ascribed to the muddled dreams of some patients, because what happened after was obvious and strong. My mother’s health had got better and she had lived for forty days contrary to medical reports and what everybody thought that she had reached death. Allah Almighty had shown me the restoration of life to the dead to set my heart and mindfully at rest and not to doubt His Power. Despite that, when I had told Huzur (may Allah be his Helper) that my mother would die, I hadn’t doubted Allah’s power, but I shouldn’t have said so.

Many close friends knew about this special incident. I didn’t want to talk about it earlier, and I still don’t, but the sincere intention to proclaim the grace of Allah Almighty and present people some small evidence of the truthfulness of our Imam Mahdi (peace be on him); and that we receive the same blessings that the early Muslim believers had received, encouraged me to write.

Signs and good tidings are commonly bestowed upon our Jamaat (Ahmadiyya Muslim Community) by the grace of Allah. There are many signs all Ahmadis and their relatives have witnessed. Every Ahmadi family has seen these signs and good tidings all the time. They always share these stories in their meetings and sittings. Actually, these had been a means to strengthen their faith and establish their firm belief in the imminent conquest of Islam.

By Tamim Abu Daqqa
Ahmadi Muslim Scholar
Translated from Arabic by Fajr Ataya, the writer’s wife

From Misrepresentation to Representation of Facts: A Rejoinder to a Propaganda against Ahmadiyya

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By Al-Hafiz Yunus Omotayo

The enterprise of peddling propaganda or fabrication or misrepresentation or misinformation or a combination of them all against the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community by some self-appointed ‘gate-keepers’ of Islam among the mainstream Muslim scholars has been an age-long trend. Their main objective has invariably been to distance the uninformed or ill-informed Muslim public, in particular, from discovering and embracing this divine community of Muslims whose fundamental mission is to revivify the Islamic faith and practice that have suffered adulteration at the hands of the so-called Muslim scholars.
Emphatically, Ahmadiyya has the overarching objective of reaffirming, restating and reinstating both the lost Islamic orthodoxy and orthopraxy through its concerted global missionary organization, under the guidance of its worldwide Supreme Head – the Khalifah.
Of course, while the over thirteen-decade-history of Ahmadiyya had continuously witnessed viral spread of coordinated and systematic propaganda and opposition against it, it is worthwhile to note that their spread has always come with concomitant viral spread and embracement of the message of Ahmadiyya across the world. Hence, today, Ahmadiyya continues to grow and glow with tens of millions of memberships spread across over 220 countries and territories.
An instance of such anti-Ahmadiyya campaigns which this piece seeks to refute is an anonymous write-up that has gone viral in recent time. It is titled AHMADIYYA ARE NOT MUSLIMS. In exposing the vicious propaganda by the writer, this piece adopts a point-by-point rejoinder format that first reproduces each of their misrepresentations and then straightforwardly deconstructs and reconstructs them with correct representation of facts about Ahmadiyya and its founder, beliefs, practices and history.
ANTI-AHMADIYYA MISREPRESENTATION: AHMADIYAH ARE NOT MUSLIMS
CORRECT REPRESENTATION: AHMADIS ARE MUSLIMS because they profess the Islamic credo: There is no God but Allah and Muhammad (saw) is His Servant and Messenger. They uphold the Islamic fundamental belief in Allah, the Angels, the revealed Scriptures, Divine Messengers and the Last Day and observe the Islamic Salat, Zakat, Fasting and Hajj as prescribed. The Holy Prophet said: Whoso observes our Salat, faces our Qiblah and eats our Islamically slaughtered animal, is a Muslim (Sahih Bukhari).
ANTI-AHMADIYYA MISREPRESENTATION: In the Name of Allāh: Read and Share for the sake Of Allāh, Protect your Friend, brother, Sister, Parents From the poison of Qadianis.
CORRECT REPRESENTATION: In the Name of Allāh: read and share for the sake of Allāh, guide your friend, brother, sister, parents to the truth and blessings of Ahmadiyya as distinct from the fabrications of its opponents.
INTRODUCTION
ANTI-AHMADIYYA MISREPRESENTATION: Ahmadiyyah, also known as Ahmadis or Qadianis is a Movement Founded in Punjab- British India at the end of 19th Century by a Man Called Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908). The Movement is directly or indirectly sponsored by Britain as it will be explained fully below.
CORRECT REPRESENTATION: Ahmadiyyah, the members of which are known as Ahmadi Muslims (but incorrectly and derogatorily called Qadianis by the opponents) is an Islamic revivalist movement founded (based on divine guidance and in fulfilment of Quranic and Prophetic prophecies) in Punjab – British India – about a decade toward the end of 19th Century by a man called Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) (1835-1908). The Movement is NOT directly or indirectly sponsored by Britain.
In truth, several available evidences and facts strongly and conclusively prove that Ahmadiyya could never have been an agent of the British Government. Notably, at the time when India was under the yoke of the British colonial rule and Muslims, in particular, were being awed by the mighty power of their colonial masters, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is found to be the only champion of Islam of the age that wrote with courage two powerful epistles of Islam to the then Queen of England and Empress of India, Her Majesty, Queen Victoria. The first, titled Tohfa-e-Qaisariyyah [A Gift for the Queen], was written and published in 1897 on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty, while the second, Sitara-e-Qaisarah [Star of the Empress], was written on 20 August 1899 and published on 24 August, 1899. In the former, after making a faith-inspiring case for the unity of God and prophethood of Muhammad (saw) on the one hand, he went on, on the other hand, to vehemently decimate Christianity – the religion of the British – through a staunch rebuttal of the doctrines of Trinity, Atonement and sonship of Jesus. He concluded by boldly inviting Her Majesty to Islam and passionately prayed: O Almighty God! Thou art all Powerful, we beseech Thee that Thou mayest so turn the heart of our gracious Queen that she may give up all creature worship and see the light of Islam. Let her believe in the One God and His Messenger, Muhammad, till the end of her days.”
Clearly, Ahmadiyya has ever been sponsored directly by Allah’s mighty grace and support through the dedicated religious struggle (Jihad) by, foremost, its Holy Founder and the successive Supreme worldwide Heads and members of the Community as it will be explained fully below.
……………………………To be continued!

A SYNOPSIS OF ISLAM IN QUINQUEPARTITE PARAGRAPH

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By Al-Hafiz Yunus Omotayo

Islam, derived from “salm” – a word meaning peace, denotes submission to the will of Allah to engender a life in peace with oneself, with one’s Creator, fellow humans and the world. “Verily, the true religion in the sight of Allāh is submission” (Qurān, 3:20). As a divinely-inspired human institution, the term “al-dīn al-islāmi” translates to the Islamic way of life (sīrah), of religion (millah), of law (sharīah), culture (ādah), judgement (qadhā), governance (hukm) and rule (mulk).
Islam emerged on the global scene in the seventh century A.D. as a world religion (Qurān, 25:2) and a recrystallization of the ancient Mesopotamian abd Abrahamic family of religious traditions (Qurān, 5:16; 22:79). As a sharīah, an ideology and social order, it proclaims a mission that seeks to actualise what it christens as ihyā al-ardh ba’da mautihaa i.e. a revolutionary renaissance of the cosmos, of all ramifications of human intellectual, religious, social, economic and political existence (Qurān, 57:18). Likewise, it envisions a globalization of the world order of Allāh on earth (Qurān, 61:10) and a realization of both terrestrial and celestial paradisiacal existence for the human race (Qurān, 55:47). Recognising the weak nature inherent in humanity (Qurān, 4:29), Islam sets about to define and explain the meaning, essence and purpose of human life and to structure and guide all manifestations of man’s existence in order to enable him attain his rightful status of a being created in the image of God and to live a peaceful and prosperous life here and the Hereafter.
Muhammad bin Abdullah (saw), the Holy Prophet of Islam, who is represented as the Seal of the Prophets (Qurān, 33:41), is the recipient of the Holy Qurān (Qurān, 25:2), the Divine Scripture of Islam, which embodies the fundamentals and, in some cases, the details of the theological teachings, the legal doctrines and legislations and the socio-political and economic principles and systems of Islam (Qurān, 16:90). In the 23-year span of his prophetic mission at Makkah and Madīnah, Prophet Muhammad (saw), through his Sunnah (Practice), proffered divinely-sanctioned model conception s, interpretations and applications of the Qurānic teachings and worldview for the the Muslims (Qurān, 33:22).
Islam represents itself as Dīn Allāh – the religion of Allāh (Qurān, 110:3), as Dīn al Hanif – the primordial religion of man, and as Dīn al Fitrah – the natural religion or the religion that is natural to the human nature and essence (Qurān, 30:31). This conceptualisation enshrines Islam as a trans-human ideological order and system and a civilizational movement whose mandate is to invite to and construct for man a cosmic order that follows and fulfills Allāh’s tripartite intentions for bringing about human existence on earth: the intention that man should establish the worship of and servitude to the Divine [ibādatullāh] (Qurān, 51:53); that he should acquire and exert his rightful status of being God’s vicegerent on earth [Khalīfatullāh fil-ardh] (Qurān, 2:31); and as a corollary to the above, that he may populate the earth and explore, exploit, organise and usufruct the available human and cosmic resources to construct a robust and glorious human civilization on earth [isti’mār fil-ardh] (Qurān, 11:62).
Islam, whose simple, humane, comprehensive and universal teachings are constructed upon the intrinsic values of human brotherhood, peace, love, understanding and respect, is decreed to be globalised, not localised; to be followed, not to follow; and to dominate and predominate, not to be dominated. Today, with over 1.8 billion followers, Islam is the second largest but the fastest growing religion in the world.

AHMADIYYA OPENS ULTRA-MODERN MOSQUE IN APATA

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– Lays foundation of two others in Ogun State

It was a historic week for the Nigeria Branch of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Worldwide as its National Head (Amir), Barr. Alatoye Folorunso Azeez commissioned a newly built ultra-modern Mosque in Apata (Oyo State) and a newly renovated one in Ilaro (Ogun State) respectively.

The Apata Mosque was single-handedly sponsored by a family. It is a two-storey building with the ground floor set aside for ablution area and car park.
It will be recalled that the foundation laying stone of the ultra-modern mosque was done in 21st March 2021, barely six months ago. At a go, the Mosque could accommodate about 500 worshippers.

Amir Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of Nigeria, Alhaji (Barr) Alatoye Folorunso Azeez commissioning newly ultra-modern Mosque in Apata, Oyo State, with him Apata Circuit President, Alhaji Teslim Oniyide; Bldr Bashirudeen Towolawi; Sadr Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya Nigeria, Dr Taofeek Sanni and others.

The same donor also completed the building of a mission house at Jankata (Apata) branch of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of Nigeria. It is a well-structured three-bedroom (ensuite) apartment meant for a would-be missionary for the branch.

Amir Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria, Alhaji Alatoye Folorunso Azeez commissioning three-bedroom at Jankata (Apata), Oyo State, with him, Missionary in Charge, Murabbi Afzaal Rauf Ahmad; Former Amir, Prof Mashhud Fashola; Circuit President Apata, Alhaji Teslim Oniyide and others.

Similarly, the National Head also commissioned a newly renovated Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Central Mosque at Igbogidi, Ilaro, Ogun State.
The foundation stone of the Mosque was laid in 2001 after the plot of land was donated by Late Pa Ajayi in the year 2000. Prominent members of the Ahmadiyya Community in Ilaro contributed immensely to the successful construction of the place of worship.


Barr. Alatoye, after praying fervently for the donors emphasized the importance of building mosques and mission houses, stressing that spiritual blessings and everlasting rewards from Almighty God are attached to the noble initiative.

He said: “It’s more rewarding if we strive to build houses for Allah than constructing so much flats for worldly financial gains. Let us follow the footsteps of companions of the Holy Prophet who constructed buildings for the sake of Allah. We should also ensure that our Mosques are well structured and attractive than even our personal houses.

“The roles of the youths in recent times towards the building of the Mosques and Mission Houses can not be over-emphasized. They are proving to be the backbone of the Ahmadiyya Community. May Allah continue to shower blessings on them.”

FOUNDATION STONE LAYING OF TWO MOSQUES AT OGUN STATE
In the same vein, the foundation stones of two ultra-modern Mosques were laid at Iyesi-Ijaba and Iju-Onibukun (Ogun State) branches of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

The Amir enjoined members of the Islamic body to put their trust in Almighty God alone and strive to complete the projects in no time, not minding the economic challenges facing the nation.

“It is a known fact that the nation is presently facing serious economic challenges, but we should not be bothered. We are only experiencing trying times. Almighty Allah will always pave way for his people. Let us have the mindset of completing these projects soon,” Barr. Alatoye advised.

Pic 1& 2: The proposed Ahmadiyya Mosque Project Iyesi-Ijaba. Pic 3&4: Amir Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria, Alhaji Alatoye Folorunso Azeez laying the foundation of Ahmadiyya Mosque Iyesi-Ijaba Jama’at, Ota, Ogun State. Pic 5: Amir Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria, Alhaji Alatoye Folorunso Azeez (2nd right) leading the prayer, with him, Naib Amir, Finance/Admin, Alhaji Mufadhil Bankole (right), Circuit President, Bro. Abdul Ghaniyu Salman; President, Bro Najeem; Ishaiat Secretary, Alhaji Mudathir Dada and others. Pic 6: Amir, Alhaji Alatoye Folorunso Azeez addressing the Ahmadiyya Muslim members, with him, Naib Amir, Finance/Admin, Alhaji Mufadhil Bankole (right),General Secretary, Alhaji Abbas Iromini.

AMIR INSPECTS ONGOING MISSION HOUSE PROJECT AT SABO, ILARO

On the way back to the National Secretariat in Lagos State, the National President and his entourage inspected the ongoing mission house project at Sabo-Ilaro. The project is a storey-building. The Amir led a special prayer at the site.

WORKING VISITS TO EDE, EJIGBO
The National Head further made short trips to Ede and Ejigbo branches of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of Nigeria to inspect landed properties, ongoing projects and familiarise with members of the community.

In his address, Barrister Alatoye urged all and sundry to always display the good qualities of Ahmadi members and serve as role models to non-members in a bid to win more souls into the religious body.

“Let me use this medium to request our teeming members to exhibit true teachings of Islam. We must work on our morals and characters such that outsiders will be willing to join the Ahmadiyya train. Let us convert people with the best of behaviors and good neighborliness,” the Amir posited.

Pic 1: Amir Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria, Alhaji Alatoye Folorunso Azeez (4th right) Circuit President, Ede Jama’at, (right), Bro Oni; Bldr Bashirudeen Towolawi and Nurudeen Akinreti, during the familiarisation tour to Ede, Osun State. Pic 3: Amir, Alhaji Alatoye Folorunso Azeez briefing the Ede Jama’at. Pic 4: Amir, Alhaji Alatoye Folorunso Azeez leading the prayer, with him, Maulvi Mubarak Bello (left), Bldr Towolawi and others.

WORKING VISITS TO EJIGBO

Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat of Nigeria Statement on Nigeria @ 61

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The entire members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of Nigeria thank Almighty Allah for the survival of Nigeria as a country and its people to date. We rejoice with Nigerians home and abroad on the celebration of the 61st independence anniversary.

The Jama’at salutes the fighting spirits of Nigerians in the face of daunting challenges in the socio-economic, political and technological spheres. Let me make it abundantly clear that Islam as a religion has no room for terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, the ritual killing of human being, extortion of any kind or any act of wickedness against another fellow human being especially the aged, women and children.

It is rather regrettable that despite the abundance human and material resources at our disposal, the country is wallowing in abject poverty, unemployment and under development due to lack of value system. Accordingly, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of Nigeria urge Nigerians and government to renew our faith in the unity of purpose, peaceful coexistence and progress of the country.

Pointedly, we are calling for political solutions to all agitations from contending groups. We believe if there is justice devoid of pretence and deceits, we are stronger as a country than smaller units. We advise our President, General Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, as a father for all to call all leaders of the agitators, some opinion leaders and leading traditional rulers to a crucial meeting to fashion the best peaceful and meaningful way forward. This needs to be done as urgently as possible.

The Jama’at is equally worried over political developments in the country towards the build up to the 2023 general elections especially assassinations and attempted assassinations. We call on political parties to resolve their differences through an internal resolution mechanism. Politics should be taken as service to the people and not as a business of seizing power to make money through do-or-die means.

Specifically, we advise that the electoral law under review should be looked at from transparent, reliable and beneficial ways. We join the call for the electronic transmission of election results in the interest of fair play and the best utilization of technology.

The Jama’at noticed the spirited efforts of the government to tackle insecurity across the land. We believe the perpetrators of evil and crimes against humanity must be named, shamed, and face the wrath of the law.
We pray fervently for a new order and more prosperous years ahead for Nigeria.

Signed

Alatoye Folorunso Azeez
Amir Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat of Nigeria