At the beginning of every year, many share greetings and wish one another a happy and prosperous new year. People make their plans and road maps for the coming year to make their lives better, full of happiness and prosperity. The year begins with messages of hope and great aspirations with great expectations of a better future.
Some strive to experience a better spirituality and moderate life; some restrict their expectations to the acquisition of worldly benefits and achievements of one kind or another such as good health, financial security, matrimonial contentment, friendships, success in studies, improvement in business and profession, and acquisition of property, etc.
The worldly achievements are also blessings and should be cherished too. There is, however, the experience of spiritual happiness and prosperity which far exceed that of worldly satisfaction.
Having personal resolutions and setting some goals for future are well and good but I think we must make collective resolutions that will affect all of us, in one way or another.
Recently, in a special reception in Nagoya, Japan, the head of the Ahmadiyya Community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, conveyed a strong message of establishing peace, unity, reconciliation and solidarity with each other. He spoke clearly about the need of peace, unity and security and combating violence and extremism; avoiding every possibility of war and conflict. I believe this is a great collective resolution that needs the input of all of us.
He said: “In my capacity as head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, I have been constantly warning the people and nations of the world that it is imperative that we spread love and affection in today’s world, rather than spreading hatred and igniting grievances among one another. The need of the time is for us to step forward with a spirit of reconciliation because if we do not become true ambassadors of peace, a great calamity could easily befall the world.”
Only with love can you win the hearts of people
I hope and pray that 2014 will be a year of peace, security, solidarity and unity. Moreover, that the human values of decency and brotherhood will prevail over every kind of jealousy, animosity, extremism and insecurity. So that, mankind can cherish the fruits of serenity and tranquillity across the globe.
The world situation is not ideal and we see different kinds of conflicts erupting time after time. And it is very true that, as they say, as you sow, so shall you reap. Thus, it becomes more important than ever before for all of us to work hard in a positive direction and let us sow the seeds of hope and optimism, let us put aside all the differences and let us unite for the common good. We can make our world a better place for all of us by making the correct choice between love and hate and play our role as torch bearers of love, mercy and forgiveness.
For, indeed, only with love can you win the hearts of people. Love and true sympathy are the very antidotes of terrorism and serve as an effective weapon and an instrument for the establishment of peace. Moses, Jesus Christ and Prophet Muhammad also won the hearts of their bitter enemies by forgiving them, those enemies who always persecuted them and their followers severely and insulted and humiliated them mercilessly.
This magnanimous display of compassion and forgiveness on their part found a place in the hearts of their enemies. Let us all use the same weapon of compassion, forgiveness and love for our unity to eradicate hatred from the world and keep on marching in the path of progress.
I would like to conclude with prayers and a great message from the spiritual head of our community. He says: “Rather than looking at each through a lens of hatred, we should all look at one another through a lens of love and peace… I pray that, instead of spreading malice and hatred, all people join together and make a collective effort to end all forms of evil so that our future generations can be saved from that indescribable destruction that would certainly arise if nuclear weapons were ever used again by any country.”
Laiq Ahmed Atif is president of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Malta.
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