To truly love God and Islam requires a person to love his nation

I would firstly like to inform you that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself taught that the love for one’s nation is a part of faith.’ Thus, sincere patriotism is a requirement in Islam. 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 the 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. Hence, it is impossible that the love a true Muslim holds for God could ever prove to be an impediment or barrier preventing him from displaying true love and faithfulness towards his country.

Unfortunately, we find that in certain countries, religious rights are curtailed or even completely denied. Therefore, another question that can arise is whether those people who are persecuted by their state can still maintain a relationship of love and loyalty to their nation and country.

With great sadness, I should inform you that these circumstances exist in Pakistan, where the Government has actually legislated against our Community. These anti-Ahmadiyya laws are practically enforced. Thus in Pakistan, all Ahmadi Muslims have been officially declared by law to be ‘non-Muslims’. They are, therefore, forbidden from calling themselves ‘Muslim’. The Ahmadis in Pakistan are also prohibited from worshipping in the way Muslims do or acting in accordance with any Islamic practice or custom that could identify them as Muslim. Thus, the state itself in Pakistan has deprived members of our Community of their basic human right to worship.

Bearing in mind this state of affairs, it is quite natural to wonder how, in such circumstances, can Ahmadi Muslims follow the laws of the land? How can they continue to display loyalty to the nation? Here I should clarify that where such extreme circumstances exist, then the law, and loyalty to the nation, become two separate issues. We, Ahmadi Muslims, believe that religion is a personal matter for every individual to determine for himself and that there should be no compulsion in matters of faith. Thus, where the law comes to interfere with this right, undoubtedly, it is an act of great cruelty and persecution. Indeed, such state-sanctioned persecution, which has occurred throughout the ages, has been condemned by the vast majority.

If we glance at the history of Europe, we find that people in this Continent have also been the victims of religious persecution, and as a result, many thousands of people had to migrate from one country to the next. All fair-minded historians, governments and people have deemed this to be persecution, and extremely cruel. In such circumstances, Islam advocates that where persecution goes beyond all limits and becomes unbearable, then at that time, a person should leave the town or country and migrate to a place where he is free to practise his religion in peace. However, alongside this guidance, Islam also teaches that under no circumstances should any individual take the law into his own hands and nor should he partake in any schemes or conspiracies against his country. This is an absolutely clear and unequivocal command given by Islam.

Despite the grave persecution they face, millions of Ahmadis continue to live in Pakistan. Despite being subjected to such sustained discrimination and cruelty in all aspects of their lives, they continue to keep a relationship of total loyalty and true allegiance to the country. Whichever field they work in or wherever they are based, they are constantly engaged in trying to help the nation to progress and succeed. For decades, the opponents of Ahmadiyyat have tried to allege that Ahmadis are not loyal to Pakistan, but they have never been able to prove this or show any evidence to support their claims; instead, the truth is that whenever there has been a need to make any sacrifice for the sake of Pakistan, for the sake of their country, Ahmadi Muslims have always stood at the forefront and been constantly ready to make every sacrifice for the sake of the country.

Despite themselves being a victim and target of the law, it is Ahmadi Muslims who follow and abide by the laws of the land better than anyone else. This is because they are true Muslims, who follow true Islam.

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