On the 21st of July, the world celebrated International Day of Peace to raise awareness on the importance of encouraging and promoting peace-building nationally and internationally, all amidst a global arms conflict that continues to distress and consume the larger population of the globe.
In the past few months, China, Taiwan and US political tussle and the Russia annexation of Ukraine is the latest political saga affecting international peace today. The entire world is in a political limbo and economic strife that engenders much of the world’s standstill in peace building.
For example, according to a report by IMF, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is continuing to destabilize the global economy:
‘Beyond the escalating and senseless destruction of lives and livelihoods, it has led to a severe energy crisis in Europe that is sharply increasing costs of living and hampering economic activity” (IFM tells central banks to focus on inflation as recession looms, The Guardian, 11 October 2022)
In hindsight, after the destructive first and the second world war, humanity saw the dark side of war and to prevent the further happenings of world wars, world leaders came together and thought of establishing an international multilateral organization that will be democratic, legitimate and will have the moral onus to deliver the aims of establishing peace in the world.
The United Nations was established for this very purpose, however, for many years, the organization has been a subject of constructive criticism and scrutiny for failing its responsibility to uprightly address issues that are a bone of contention to all its member states and the world at large.
It is accused of side-lining with powerful countries to oppress less powerful countries and has been used as a puppet by some powerful states to fulfil their goals. The multilateral organization is said to be not fair in its dealing with Third World countries.
The recent 77th UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) meeting held in New York City seems to be a watershed moment in history, as both the president of the United States of America, Joe Biden and the Prime Minister of China Fumio Kishida called for the expansion of the security council and that they support permanent and non-permanent seats in the Security Council for countries in Africa and Asia, to make the security council reform agenda efficacious.
This revelation came as several leaders of African countries beckoned that the 1.5 billion population of the African continent deserve a better and fair representation in the United Nations General Assembly and security council; where decisions are made, which directly or indirectly affects its 1.5 billion population. Whether these calls will be heard and implement or not, we will leave that to the future.
The current political and economic status quo of the world showcases that the threat of a Third World War seemingly looks very prominent. Many political pundits have suggested that Third World war has already started.
However, for almost two decades a global Muslim leader; the worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (atba) has been raising alarms of the need to arrest the decline of peace and the threat of an impending Third World war. The caliph is so prescient of the nature of the circumstances of the world. Moreover, we believe that the Caliph is indeed a man of God and chosen by God to guide the world from darkness to light, thus, whatever warnings and suggestion he ushered are guided by God the Almighty.
In 2009 the Caliph established the National Peace Symposium in the UK whereby religious leaders, dignitaries, ambassadors, politicians, diplomats, and parliamentarians of different backgrounds are been invited and the Caliph been the keynote speaker, addresses the guest regarding the precarious situation of the world, the lack of peace, the need for justice and the way forward based on the teachings of Islam.
During an address to the British Parliament in London in June 2013, His Holiness stated in succinct sentences that lack of mutual respect among countries could cause a catastrophic world war:
“The world has become a global village, and so a lack of mutual respect and a failure to joint together to promote peace will not only harm the local area, city or country, but in fact will ultimately lead to the destruction of the entire world. We are all well aware of the horrific devastation caused by the last two world wars, due to the acts of certain countries. The signs are that another world war is on the horizon. If a world war breaks out, the western world will also be deeply affected by its far-reaching and devastating consequences.” (https://www.reviewofreligions.org/9084/the-critical-state-of-world-peace/)
In 2015 address at the National Peace Symposium of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Caliph specifically mentioned Ukraine as a severe threat to world peace:
“The world is being consume by various issues that are leading to frustration and resentment, which in turn are undermining peace. For example, the effects of the financial crisis continue to be felt in much of the world…. Then there is the conflict in Ukraine and the global arms race. These are all threats to world peace that are not linked to Islam, but rather have developed as a result of an unquenchable thirst for power, influence and resources.” (https://www.reviewofreligions.org/11693/the-golden-principles-for-world-peace-2/)
On another occasion, ln more recently, in May 2021, he told a group of journalists from the Gambia that justice is prerequisite in peace building. He stated:
“If there is no justice, there is no peace. If you have double standards, as we can see in today’s world shown by the big powers, they cannot maintain peace in the world…. This is why you can see there is disturbance in the world today. So, if there is no justice, there is no peace.” (REF)
“I have been telling, all the time, to the people of the world- to politicians, to leaders – that they ought to change themselves and try to establish true justice, absolute justice in the world and discharge their duties to their creator and their fellow beings. Otherwise, there is no guarantee [about] what is going to happen, and what we can see is a very dark and bleak end of this world.”
Moreover, his holiness reiterated that the recognition of God and fulling his right is a cornerstone in establishing global peace. In the contemporary world, it’s very clear that mankind is day by day moving from the belief in deity and material worship has become the new religion for the modern world; thus, any approached taken by world leaders to solve the mayhem proves cumbersome and a further conduit of chaos and fruitless.
The need to believing in God as a source of establishing peace in the world was beautifully encapsulated in this statement of the Caliph:
“I feel that it is quite possible that a war or a conflict could break out after this pandemic of coronavirus ends and its ruinous effects could last for many years before it returns to normality. Thus, we must pray that such circumstances may not arise, that may lead to wars and that world leaders act with sense so that the global situation can stabilise as quickly as possible and return to normal. To achieve this, it is necessary that mankind turns towards God […]
“We should inform people that there is only one solution to help the situation of the world return to normal and that is for mankind to turn to Allah the Exalted and to fulfil His rights and the rights of His creation.” (Al Hakam, 29 October 2021, Issue 189, pp. 7-9)
His Holiness whilst addressing guest and dignitaries at a reception held in Zion City to mark the official opening of Ahmadiyya Mosque (Masjid Fath-e-Azeem) in that city elucidated the mission of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the world:
“Our only mission and our sole aspiration is to win the hearts of mankind through love and to bring people closer to God Almighty. So to become true worshipers of Him and fulfil the rights of one another”.
“It is the paramount objective of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to direct mankind to the path of spiritual salvation and to ensure that all people irrespective of their cast, creed, or colour live together with the spirit of goodwill and harmony and in true peace and security”
May Allah the Almighty enable mankind to find the panacea for the current volatile and vitriol situation of the world. May he enable man to recognize him, build a relationship with him, fulfil his rights and the rights of his creations. Ameen!