Tens of thousands of Ahmadiyya Muslims are gathering in a field in Hampshire to take a pledge of peace and loyalty, a pledge that goes back more than 100 years and has been a cornerstone in the community’s history of peace.
Attendees will form a human chain which will be televised live around the world so that a virtual global chain of Ahmadiyya Muslims unite to reaffirm their commitment against violence.
At the 51st Annual Convention (Jalsa Salana) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, taking place in the countryside near Alton, Hampshire, the Caliph (worldwide spiritual Head), of the community, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, will urge Muslims to follow the true teachings of Islam.
His Holiness has repeatedly emphasised Islam’s commitment to peace, saying: "To truly love God and Islam requires a person to love his nation. It is quite clear, therefore, that there can be no conflict of interest between a person’s love for God, and love for his country. As love for one’s country has been made a part of Islam, it is quite clear that a Muslim must strive to reach the highest standards of loyalty to his chosen country, because that is a means of reaching God and becoming close to Him.
"The only thing the terrorists are achieving is to completely violate the teachings of the Holy Quran and of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Let it be clear that they are not practicing Islam, rather it seems as though they have invented their own hate-filled and poisonous religion.”
Rafiq Hayat, UK President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, said Ahmadi Muslims were united with all those who stood for peace, humanity and justice: "We are entrusted to spread the true message of Islam as a religion of peace and of salvation and to counter divisiveness and extremism. There is no compulsion in religion and a fundamental aspect of Islamic belief is that people are free to choose their path in life. Therefore, extremism is completely contrary to the very core of our belief.