Serving Humanity – A Form of Worship of Allah // Inauguration of Nasir Hospital in Guatemala

All the distinguished guests, Peace and
blessings of Allah be upon you all. Firstly, I would like to express my
gratitude to all of our guests who are attending today’s event here in Guatemala. Undoubtedly, today is a source of
great joy and delight for members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community as the very
first hospital built by Humanity First in either Central or South America
is being inaugurated. In this regard, we consider it to be an extremely
significant and landmark occasion. Whilst, Humanity First is an independent charity
and has its own mandate and strategies, at the same time it was originally founded
by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Through financial contributions, and other
means Ahmadi Muslims across the globe support the efforts of Humanity First, so, that it can increase the scope of humanitarian projects and further its reach, thus Humanity First has a deep and lasting
connection with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and so todays’ not only a day of happiness
for the members of Humanity First but for Ahmadi Muslims worldwide. You may well be wondering why
we have built this hospital. The answer is very simple. It has been built with purely one intention and
that is quite simply to serve humanity but providing high quality healthcare
to the people of this nation. Also, I wish to clarify at the outset
that having built this institute, this will not be the end of our
services to this country. Rather, it is my prayer that this proves to be
the first of many humanitarian projects established by Humanity First in this region. Indeed, I hope and pray that the opening
of the hospital serves as a launch pad propelling Humanity First towards furthering
their mission of providing relief, support, and opportunities to people throughout the world. Perhaps some of our guests may be surprised
or even perplexed as to why a Muslim community has so much passion and
determination to help and serve non-Muslims. To answer this question, I should explain
that ever since its foundation, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has always
sought to be on the very front lines of serving humanity. Whether it be directly through
our own community’s schemes, or through Humanity First, or through the support
of other charities and good causes. For example, over the past few decades, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
has opened many hospitals and schools across Africa, in which the local
people are provided access to healthcare and excellent education. Irrespective of their ethnicity,
religion, or social background. Most of the patients treated at our
hospitals in Africa are non-Muslims and around 90% of the students who study
in our schools are non-Muslims. Thus, we do not discriminate against
any community or people and do not give any priority to our own members. In terms of education, the schooling
we provide is from primary age all the way up to higher secondary education. Our objective is for all children to be literate
and to have firm educational foundation upon which they can build their future lives. Furthermore, we also provide scholarships for
talented students who otherwise, would not have the means for higher studies;
so, they can fulfil their potential and build a better future for themselves, for
their people and for their nations. Accordingly, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community whether directly or whether
through Humanity First or otherwise, has a long history of serving
humanity, of providing opportunities and offering comfort and help to people
who are living impoverished lives. We seek no praise and no rewards for such efforts because we are merely doing what
our religion has taught us to do. Our motivation and our desire to serve others is
driven entirely by the teachings of Islam. The guiding light for any true Muslim is the Holy
Qur’an which was revealed to Islam’s founder The Holy Prophet Muhammed (saw). Time and again, the Holy Qur’an has
instructed Muslims to serve mankind and to fulfil the needs of those who are
suffering or are deprived in any way. It requires Muslims to be selfless
and consumed by love for others. It requires us to be ever ready to make
sacrifices for the sake of the peace and wellbeing of other people. For example, in Chapter 3, Verse 111,
Allah the Almighty has stated, “That a Muslim is he who enjoins
what is good and forbids evil”. Here, the Qur’an explains that true Muslims
are the people who promote goodness, stay away from evil and injustice and encourage
others to do good deeds as well. Only a person who has a sincere
love for humankind and feels the anguish of Allah’s
creation can be caring and sympathetic in the way the Qur’an desire. Such profound love for humanity is only
possible if your heart is pure and free from malice and selfishness. In Chapter 2, Verse 84 of the Holy Qur’an,
Allah the Almighty instructs Muslims to speak kindly at all times, to be considerate
of the feelings of other people and to love and protect vulnerable members
of society such as orphans, children, or those living
in poverty or destitution. Thereafter, in Chapter 51, Verse
20, the Holy Qur’an states, that the hallmark of a true Muslim is that he
should care for all of Allah’s creation and should comfort and support those in need
whether they seek their help or not. Hence, it is not enough for a Muslim
to wait until someone asks for help. Rather, it is his duty to recognise
the suffering of others and to make whatever sacrifices are
required in order to help them overcome their challenges or troubles. Further, in Chapter 90, Verse 15 to 17, Muslims
are instructed to feed the hungry, to show empathy, and love to orphans
and to help anyone in need especially those mired in poverty
or who are defenceless and weak. Muslims are taught to be the ones who comfort and love those people who have
been failed by society and to carry the weight of their
burdens on their own shoulders. Muslims are duty-bound to help
underprivileged people so that they can stand upon their
own two feet, live with dignity, and be freed from their desperate circumstances. In return, the Qur’an states Muslims will be
rewarded with increased spirituality, which in turn will take them
towards Allah Almighty and make them a recipient of His pleasure. Similarly, in Chapter 2, Verse
196, the Holy Qur’an states that if a person wishes to save himself
from humiliation, degradation, and ruin he must be kind, generous
and do good to others without expectation of anything in return. Chapter 4, Verse 37 of the Holy Qur’an states that Muslims should care for their
neighbours and re-iterate that it is the duty of a true Muslim to fulfil
the rights of the needy or orphans. It instructs Muslims to be benevolent and to
treat anyone under their supervision with love, patience and affection. For example, if a Muslim has
a subordinate at work, they should treat them with
kindness and generosity. Furthermore, in Chapter 47, Verse
39, of the Holy Qur’an, Allah the Almighty instructs Muslims to spend
their wealth for the sake of helping others. Those who are unwilling to do so have been
declared as niggardly and the Qur’an states that such miserly ways are not liked by Allah and
are a means of darkening a person’s soul. All these verses I have quoted emphasise
the fact that if a Muslim desire to attain the love of Allah the Almighty, they
must first show love to creation of Allah. The verses clearly illustrate
that the very foundation and bedrock of Islam is service to humanity. My purpose in sharing these
Qur’anic quotes is so that you all know that Islam is not what
is commonly portrayed in the media. It is not a religion of extremism,
violence or terrorism. Rather, it is a religion of love,
compassion and tolerance. It is a religion that considers
service to humanity as a fundamental obligation
placed upon its followers. Thus how could it be possible that
a true Muslims be hard-hearted or fails to help who are suffering
or facing any type of hardship. Having given some Qur’anic references let me give
some examples of the founder of Islam, The Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) with
regard to service to humanity. In the modern era, it is often alleged
that The Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) was a belligerent leader who encouraged
his followers to be violent. However, let it be crystal-clear that this is a grave injustice made
against his blessed character and nothing could be further from the truth. The Prophet of Islam (saw) championed the
rights of all people, of all races, and of all beliefs and was a source of
unparalleled mercy and a grace for all mankind. From every pore and fibre of his being
gushed forth an eternal spring of love and compassion for humanity. For example, on one occasion The
Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) said, “I am with the weak because
aiding the weak and poor “is a means of reaching Allah the Almighty.” Furthermore, The Prophet of
Islam (saw) taught that, “The Almighty Allah was most pleased
with those who helped the poor, “who filled the empty stomachs and who
arranged medical treatment for them.” Hence, if a person claims to be
true Muslim it his obligation and overriding duty to assist all
those who are facing difficulties and to strive to alleviate their
distress and heartache. In the modern ear, the person, who according to our faith
was sent by Allah the Almighty to enlighten the world of the
true teaching is Islam, was the founder of the Ahmadiyya
Muslim Community, who we believe to be was the Promised Messiah
and Imam Mahdi (as), the guided one. He was sent to show the world what Islam truly is and to propagate its teachings
to all parts of the world. Where he came to enlighten non-Muslim about Islam, he also came to reform the Muslims themselves who have forgotten the original
teachings of their faith and bring them back towards the
Islam taught by the Holy Qur’an and The Holy Prophet (saw). Above all, he constantly drew the
attention of mankind towards fulfilling both the rights of Allah
Almighty and of one another. On one occasion, the Promised Messiah (as) said, “Serving humanity is itself a
form of worship of Allah.” At another place the Promised Messiah (as) said, “My state is such that if someone is in distress,
whilst I am engaged in the obligatory prayer “and I hear their grief it is my ardent
desire to break the prayer “and try to help that person and to shower
them with as much love as possible.” The Promised Messiah (as) further said: “To fail to help a brother in their time
of need is utterly immoral and wrong.” Furthermore, the Promised Messiah (as) said, “If a person did not have the material
means to help someone struggling “or facing difficulty, they should at
the very least furmenty pray that ‘Allah the Almighty remove their problems’.” He taught that sincere prayer required
a soft and pure heart and so Muslims had a duty to be sympathetic
towards the pled of others and consider their trials as
though they were their own. On another occasion,
the Promised Messiah (as) said: “More than anyone else I implore people
to manifest the highest morals “and love towards non-Muslims
such as Hindus and others.” The Promised Messiah (as) said: “Treat all the creation of God with such deep
love as though they are your close family members. “Treat mankind in the same way
that a mother treats her child. “This is the way you should be,
not that you help someone only “so that you can attain benefit later
or take a favour in return” Similarly, the Promised Messiah (as) said: “In chapter 16 , verse 91 of the
Holy Qur’an, Allah the Almighty “has instructed Muslims to act with
justice and to do good to all other. “Hence, you must treat even those people with
love who have done no good to you. “In fact, you should go beyond
this and favour them “and care for them as a mother
cares for her child.” What a magnificent and noble teaching. We have all seen and felt the pure love
that a mother has for her child. A mother has no expectation of reward
nor does she seek recognition, all the while she loves her child
more than she loves herself and never becomes in her resolve to
nourish and protect her offspring. This mother-like spirit of selflessness that
Islam requires Muslims to develop in their heart for all of humanity and not
just their own progeny. In practical terms, the Promised Messiah (as)
wasted no opportunity to serve others. For example, he lived in a very small village
in India, in the nineteenth century, where there were no proper medical
facilities available. Thus, out of a desire to serve humanity, the
Promised Messiah (as) studied traditional, native medicine and would keep a stock
of such medication in his home. As a result, the local people would visit him,
and irrespective of their cast, creed or colour, he would distribute medicine to
them according their needs. Many people, especially the poorest and
most deprived members of society, benefitted greatly from his provision. The only desire and objective
of the Promised Messiah (as) was to serve humanity and this
was the great treasure and legacy that he has left
behind for his Community. Thus the efforts of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to serve humanity in all parts of the world, are entirely motivated out of the desire to
serve humanity and alleviate suffering. This is why Humanity First is today opening its
first hospital in this part of the world. With all my heart, I hope and pray
that it fulfils its mandate and proves exceptional means to be a place
for alleviating suffering of people regardless of their religious beliefs,
regardless of their age, and regardless of their ethnic
or social backgrounds. As I have said, we desire no reward
or praise from the world. Our only target is to seek the love
and favour of Allah Almighty. We are forever inspired by the words of the
Promised Messiah (as) who said that: “Serving humanity was the fulfilment of
serving the true means of our lives “and attaining the blessings and
bounties of Allah Almighty.” I am confident that it will
now be clear to all of you that we have not constructed this hospital in
order to profit or to gain favourable publicity. Rather, our only objective is to serve the people
of your nation by providing high quality healthcare to the people of this land. Rest assured that any funds generated
by the hospital will be used to further serve the people of Guatemala
and not even a penny will be sent abroad. Whatever money will be made through patient fees, will be reinvested to ensure that those who cannot afford treatment can receive it at a
subsidised fee or if feasible for free. Apart from this, any additional
income will be used to maintain and improve the hospital facilities
or find new ways to serve humanity. Our previous humanitarian projects testify
to the truth of what I have just said. Wherever we have built schools or hospitals, we have never taken any of the
income out of the country. Rather we have always reinvested it locally in a
way that helps the people of that nation and the same will be the case
for the people in Guatemala. (InshAllah) God Willing, this will not be the end
to our commitment to serve this nation, but it is only the start. Certainly, it is my prayer and sincere
hope that this hospital is the first of many humanitarian projects that
we establish in this part of the world. I pray that we continue to increase
our efforts to fulfil our duty and responsibility to serve humanity. It is my prayer that Allah the Almighty
blesses the hospital in all respects, and enables it to go from strength to strength and it proves to be a shining example
of service to humanity. I pray that it provides the best
possible care for patients and that the doctors and staff work tirelessly
for the sake of providing relief to people. Especially, to those who are poor and deprived. May Allah the Almighty bless the work
of the doctors and the medical staff and enables them to heal and
cure through His Grace. It is my prayer that the administration
manages the hospital in a way that the poorest people who are
otherwise afford treatment, heavily subsidise their care and
wherever possible free treatment. This hospital has been named
the ‘Nasir’ hospital, and ‘Nasir’ means ‘to help and support others’. So I pray that the hospital forever
lives up to its name in all respects. I pray that this develops into an outstanding
institution known for its high calibre and above all for its unrelenting commitment to
helping the most vulnerable members of society. At the end I pray that all people,
irrespective of religion, race or ethnicity join together
in the service of humanity and work towards the betterment of society with
the spirit of love and cooperation. Today’s world has become a global village
as every nation is interconnected and the means of communication are instantaneous. Now, as every before it has become the duty of
all humankind to foster brotherhood and mutual love amongst people
of all nations and all beliefs. Regrettably, the sad truth remains that
instead of elevating our love and compassion the opposite is proving true. Selfishness and a culture of ‘Me’ is prevailing
over the world and across all Society. Thus I pray with all my heart
that mankind forsakes greed and foregoes the pursuit of narrow self-interest and instead becomes to recognise the importance
of protecting all of humanity and of showing kindness, compassion
and love to Allah’s creation. I pray that a spirit service of humanity takes
permanent root in society so that our future, and leave behind a better world for our children
and coming generations to live in. May Allah the Almighty enable us to fulfil these
responsibilities and in this regard, Ameen. With these words, I would like to,
once again, thank all of our guests for joining us at today’s event. Thank you very much.

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