The Amir of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Baba F Trawally, has been speaking about forgiveness and tolerance as he issued a traditional New year’s message to the world.
Below is his full address:
We are very much pleased and grateful to Allah Almighty for blessing us with the opportunity to witness yet another New Year 2023. By the grace of Allah Almighty, we have ended the year 2022 successfully as individuals and collectively as a Nation. We should always ponder over what made us stand together, lived side by side in peace and harmony, our progress, development and our advancement and achievements. This year, I want to draw our attentions to some important topics which I believe if we live by, can help us successfully go through this year and at the end bid it farewell looking back with great smiles and joys of incredible achievements. Indeed, for the past year, we’ve had our challenges, individually and collectively but we thank Allah Almighty for giving us the strength and power to move on. This year I would like to draw our attention to the following:
FORGIVENESS: As a people, one of the greatest qualities we can possess is that of forgiveness. If man has the ability of forgiving those who wrong him, he indeed will find acceptance at the threshold of God Almighty. Man is weak and man goes against the commandments of Allah Almighty and sometimes do things that Allah Almighty forbids him to do. But at the end, Allah Almighty turns to man with mercy and forgiveness whenever man turns to Allah Almighty and seek forgiveness for his sins and shortcomings. The same way, no matter who wronged us or how they wronged us, we should always find a place in our hearts to forgive and seek reconciliation.
PATIENCE: Man is created of haste and man like to hastily achieve his dreams. But Allah Almighty has commanded us that we should seek help through patience and prayers. Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran:
And seek help with patience and prayer; and [b]this indeed is hard except for the humble in spirit, (Chap 2 verse 46)
O ye who believe, seek help with patience and prayer; surely, Allah is with the steadfast. (Chap 2 verse 154)
For that reason, we should always have patience and put all our trust in Allah Almighty. We should have patience in our day-to-day dealings, we should have patience with our families, we should have patience in our expectations and we should show patience with each other. We should pray for each other and remember each other in our prayers and also always pray for our country and be patient. If we can do that, then indeed we can achieve a lot as a people and as a nation.
TOLERANCE: One of the hardest but most rewarding quality of man is tolerance. If one possesses the ability or willingness to tolerate, accept and entertain opinions or behaviours different from his own, and have peace with others, then that individual will also live peacefully and will be admired and loved by the people in that respective society where he lives. It is true that we cannot always have the same opinions, we cannot all belong to the same religions and faiths, we cannot all come from the same tribes, we cannot all come from the same race, but indeed there is a beauty in this and one can admire the great power of Allah Almighty. The Holy Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Muhammad Mustapha(saw) beautifully demonstrated this when he lived side by side with Jews and Pagans in Medina and as such he was revered and respected in that society and the City of Medina enjoyed a lasting peace. So people of this great Nation of ours, we should accept our differences and tolerate each other and be just in our dealings. Our differences should be a source of uniting us rather than dividing us as enshrined in our National Anthem: Let justice guide our actions Towards the common good, and join our diverse peoples to prove man’s brotherhood.
UNDERSTANDING: We need to communicate better as a people in order to understand each other and remove doubts and misunderstandings and in doing so we can move forward as a nation and as a people. The Government should communicate better with the citizens, Political leaders should communicate better with their party militants, the elders should communicate better with the younger ones, religious leaders should communicate better with their followers, family heads should communicate better with their families and teachers and youth leaders should communicate better with their students and followers. We should always preach what is good and we should always instil that sense of understanding in each other. When we understand each other through proper channels of communication, then we can live in peace and harmony.
Peace is a gem that we as a Nation should always jealously protect and cherish, without peace we cannot develop this country and without peace we will not even be able to worship our God in the proper way. We should always promote peace and do away with whatever may jeopardise that peace. The people of this great Nation are known for their smiles, friendship and brotherhood, for that reason we should always live like brothers and sisters and always wish good for each other just as mentioned by the Holy Prophet of Islam Hazrat Muhammad (saw) that:
“None of you can be true believers till he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.” (Hadith)
We have seen Nations who lived by this progress greatly and those who gave their back to this beautiful teaching have suffered the consequences. For that reason, we should remain peaceful and we should remain united and in doing so, we can be assured that we are marching toward and building a lasting peaceful society for us and our children and generation to come.
Finally, I call on our citizens to be Law abiding and know that in Islam love for One’s Country is part of Faith. We should always help and take care of the poor and needy among us and always look after their welfare.
I am hereby extending to you the warmest salaam, love, prayers and HAPPY NEW YEAR of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V(May Allah be his Helper), the Spiritual and Supreme Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad. On behalf of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at the Gambia, I humbly wish you all HAPPY NEW YEAR 2023.
May Allah Almighty accept all the humble worships, devotions and sacrifices that we have made during the past year and bless this new year 2023 with even more fruits, success, development and blessings. May He continue protecting and blessing our beloved and dear motherland, the Gambia and her people and shower peace, security, prosperity and stability on us all and humanity at large. Ameen.