Ahmadiyya Board of Arbitration celebrates its centenary
On 20 January 2019, the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad delivered the keynote address at the International Refresher Course for the Ahmadiyya Board of Arbitration (Darul Qadha) to mark 100 years since the committee’s establishment.
114 representatives of the attended from 15 countries for the weekend event held at the Baitul Futuh Mosque in south-west London on 19-20 January 2019.
During his address, His Holiness drew the attention of the attendees towards fulfilling their responsibilities as arbitrators, according to the esteemed standards of justice and truthfulness outlined in the Holy Quran and by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him).
Expressing his pleasure over the committee having been established for 100
years, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“With the Grace of Allah the Almighty, it has been 100 years since the establishment of Darul Qadha in the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. We are gathered here today so that upon completion of 100 years we show gratitude to God that He has enabled us to administer this institution for 100 years and has given us the opportunity to serve within it.”
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:
“Certainly, it is only the Grace of Allah the Almighty that He has enabled Darul Qadha to continue for the past 100 years. Nevertheless, a member of Darul Qadha can only be a true recipient of the beneficence associated with this institution if he fulfils the pre-requisite responsibilities that are entrusted to him.”
Speaking of the weight of responsibility upon the arbiters, His Holiness said that upholding the requirements of justice was of paramount importance and that no decision should ever be taken lightly.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“The arbiters have very important responsibilities. Therefore, they should make every decision wisely, with due diligence and must utilise all their capabilities to uphold the highest standards of justice at all times… Every matter must be pondered over in detail and should not be taken lightly.”
To outline the standards of justice expected by Islam, His Holiness quoted chapter 5 verse 9 of the Holy Quran which states:
“O ye who believe! Be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah. Surely, Allah is aware of what you do.”
His Holiness said that this verse contains detailed guidance and exhorts the readers to keep in view that God Almighty is aware of what is in people’s hearts. Decision makers in particular therefore should deliver their verdicts and opinions with complete sincerity and maintain the highest standards of integrity and impartiality at all times.
His Holiness said that the Holy Quran requires such standards of justice that a person must be ready to testify against himself or his close relatives in order to uphold the truth.
Speaking of the level of piety that the arbiters must strive to attain, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“It is necessary that an arbiter should analyse and ask himself whether he would be able to bear witness against himself if he himself was a claimant in a case. Would they be able to uphold absolute truth in all circumstances?”
His Holiness said the demands of justice required for the members of Darul Qadha to be truly God-fearing.
Furthermore, it was necessary that each arbiter analysed the facts of each case carefully and prayed sincerely before reaching a decision.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“For our arbiters, it is not enough to only know the law, or the teachings of Islam or for him to possess sound opinion, rather being righteous is also of crucial importance. In order to attain righteousness, one must have a strong relationship with God Almighty and so each arbiter should engage in special prayers during the proceedings of a case and when reaching a verdict.”
His Holiness also stated that in any case or proceedings, both parties should be listened to without prejudice and should be given ample time and attention.
His Holiness also said that regular refresher courses should be organised at a national level in order to revise the responsibilities of Darul Qadha and its members, such as how to conduct proceedings impartially and how to draft decisions.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad concluded his address and said:
“May Allah enable you all to fulfil your responsibilities whilst upholding the lofty standards of justice. May Allah enable you to implement all that you have learnt and discussed in this refresher course.”
The event concluded with a silent prayer followed by dinner and photos with the delegates.