On the Ahmadiya Community

Here is a brief history on this community https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmadiyya

In the Quran it is made clear that the last Prophet and Messenger of Allah would be Muhammad.

Therefore, for this community to suggest that their Leader Mirza Gulam Ahmed of Qadiyan to be the Promised Messiah and believe that the Prophet Jesus Christ died and was buried in Kashmir, Pakistan. These beliefs fall outside the settled views of all the recognised authorities of Islam.  They are therefore considered more a cult, then they are as part of the mainstream Muslim community. As a religious scholar it is incumbent on me to make people aware of the knowledge and teachings of Islam and to share these in the spirit of open and honest dialogue.  It is for others to decide the rights and wrongs of particular arguments that are being presented.

Islam protects their right of everyone to practice whatever religion they choose. Or to practice none if they chose to do so. I condemn all acts of violence, terrorism and persecution against anyone because of what they choose to believe.  I was saddened to hear about the recent killing of a member of the Ahamidiyya community in Glasgow, and hope that the perpetrator will face the full force of the law for this atrocity.

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On Participation

I believe in this statement, (usually attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville the celebrated French political thinker and historian) that “we get the leaders that we deserve”

There as some within the Muslim community who say that voting in elections is “haram” or forbidden, I do not subscribe to this view. I believe that as citizens we have duty to participate in all elections and to be active members of the communities in which we belong.

I champion community cohesion and spend much of my time in inter-faith dialogue, encouraging people of all faith and non to have conversations and debate. So that we can all get to know and understand each other better.  I believe that by doing this we can find common cause, and develop ways in which we can work together to tackle the social ills that affect us all – from the need to provide food and shelter to the most vulnerable members of our communities, to welcoming Refugees and Asylum seekers into our communities as brothers and sisters in humanity

On Knowledge

The word “Ilm” which is translated as “Knowledge” is used about 704 times in the Quran. 

The Prophet Mohamed ( Peace be upon Him) said ” The seeking of knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim”  -Al-Tirmidhi

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “A servant of God will remain standing on the Day of Judgment until he is questioned about his (time on earth) and how he used it; about his knowledge and how he utilized it; about his wealth and from where he acquired it and in what (activities) he spent it; and about his body and how he used it.” 

Al-Tirmidhi

 

It is a duty on every Muslim to seek knowledge and truth, so that they can become better people, and be able to serve their communities in better ways.  

On Forgiveness

This is a very famous Hadith which I often share.

“ An old woman made a habit of throwing rubbish on Prophet Mohamed ( Peace be upon him) whenever he passed in front of her house, which was on the path that he took on his daily visits to the mosque. Even when the rubbish was being thrown, he would pass silently without showing any anger or annoyance. This was regular and daily event.

One day when the Prophet was passing by, the woman was not there to throw her rubbish on him. He stopped and asked the neighbour about her whereabouts. The neighbour informed the Prophet that the women was ill and had taken to bed.  The Prophet politely sort permission to visit the woman.

When allowed, he entered the house, where the woman thought that he had come to take revenge when she was unable to defend herself due to sickness. But the Prophet that he had come not to take revenge, but to see her and to look after her needs ,, as it was the command of Allah that if one is sick, a Muslim should visit them and should offer help if help is needed.

The Old Woman was greatly moved by this act of kindness and love showed by the Prophet. She saw this as an example of greatness and immediately took to accepting Islam as a way and guide to life”

This Hadith teaches us not to forgive acts of petty vengeance against us, but to seek to overcome intolerance, through acts of love and kindness.

On Sadiq Khan MP

During 2003 and 2013 I was Imam of Tooting Islamic Centre. During this time Sadiq Khan was also MP of the constituency in which the Mosque is based.  As Imam I often hosted Open days and Exhibitions and invited people of all faiths and non to come and join in and participate. Amongst the regular participants was the Leader of the Council Edward Lister, who is now Chief of Staff of the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.  I supported many community led campaigns, which were also supported by Sadiq Khan including the Free Shaker Amer Campaign, also supported by Jane Elision MP and many others of all political parties. On several occasions I have been on opposing sides of the argument from Sadiq Khan. For example, I was against same sex marriage, and Sadiq Khan voted for it. I was against the extension of police detention without making any criminal charges of terrorist suspects from 28 days to 42 days. Sadiq voted for the longer detention.

I do not think that us being on the same platforms on issues that we agree on should be interpreted as endorsements by him on all the views that I hold, nor should it be seen as me supporting him on all the views that he hold. In fact, I d not think that it is unusual that the MP for Tooting and the Imam for Tooting are sometimes both at the same place at the same time. In a democracy we should be able to have contested views and be able to share them in the spirit of healthy exchange and debate.  

On Zac Goldsmith MP

I have said earlier, that I have been shocked and taken aback at the attack that Mr Goldsmith mounted against me.  I took this picture at the end of a meeting that he was on the platform at (How to Be a Councillor) and to which I was invited. I was introduced to him at the meeting, so he is aware at who I am, and not some random person who he took as selfie with on the street, as some people have suggested.  

ISG 1 Pic

 

I am non- political. I will work with and support anyone who is in common cause with the issue that I am also interested in. For example, I have worked with Jane Ellison MP on the Free Shaker Ahmed campaign and support her campaign against Female Genital Mutilation.

I helped Tania Marthas (Twickenham) MP, particularly in trying to connect local Muslim leaders with MPs and acting as abridge building between different communities.

ISG 4 Pic

In the last local election, in Tooting, I supported the Conservative candidate Dan Watkins, as I thought that he would better represent my concerns on local and national issues

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Finally….

Islam means “Peace” and is a religion of peace. Islam has provided me with frame of reference through which I can understand and live my life, and the platform on which I can campaign for equality and social justice, for all. We all do not have agreed on all points, but what we all must do is have open debate and dialogue, and continue to search for truth and meaning. It is only this way that we can build better societies.

I hope this page has acted as corrective to some of lies and misinterpretations of my views and opinions. I also hope that it has provided some openings for further learning and understanding of the Faith and Practice of the Religion of Islam