Younus AlGohar recently spoke to journalists from the Ceylon Tamil Mirror in Sri Lanka. The following are some excerpts from their discussion.
Wahhabism as an Instrument for Terrorism:
I have been speaking on this subject for many years now. I am happy that the issue of Wahhabism has become so popular throughout the world, especially in British and American media. Many members of think tanks from the British and American media industries have done their research on the matter and they have come up with the conclusion that it is the Wahhabi school of thought which is intolerant to all other religious segments within Islam. [Wahhabis] cannot coexist with other religions.
What I personally perceive is that the United States of America has been the superpower for many years. Russia is also striving to become a superpower through various means. China’s economy is booming; they’re almost the world superpower now in terms of economy.
On the other hand, we have Saudi Arabia. They don’t have any industry; they don’t manufacture anything [besides] oil. They also want to become the superpower. They have discovered the newest form of industry: terrorism.
They are exploiting this belief system, modifying the thoughts. What is happening now is: a wrong message about religions is going towards people of the world. Islam is not a bad religion; it has been practised in this world for the past 14000 years. Had it been a bad religion, it should have shown its true colours since the religion was established.
One thing is very important: we need to study Wahhabis well. What is their agenda and thought process? What do they want to do? It is not simply a religious sect.
They want to become a superpower using their religion as a ladder, as an instrument.
This is why most of the money [the Saudis] make from oil, they are spending on the spread of Wahhabism. If you go to any developed country in the world - Canada, USA, Europe, Ireland, England, Australia, New Zealand, etc. - they have their people preaching their school of thought. Secular countries like USA and UK allow all religions to practise their faith and build their churches, mosque and temples. They follow the Human Rights Charter, so they never thought very deeply as to why Saudi Arabia is so eager to preach their religion in their countries.
First they build a mosque. They send one of their trained preachers from Saudi Arabia or they find somebody in that country and train them there. They give them a salary. Then they tell the [recruit], ‘We are your brothers. Take this much money more. We are striving in the way of God. Take this message across people; convince them to become religious and to visit the mosque at least five times a day.’
Then, they brainwash them. The true and original teachings of Islam are a barrier for this kind of nuisance. So they modified the teachings and they gave them something entirely alien to the religious theology which was established by Prophet Mohammad some 1450 years ago.
They say, ‘Muslims all over the world are being subjected to a lot of oppression. People are being killed everywhere, so we need warriors. We need Jihad. To carry out Jihad, we need a lot of money and volunteers.’
They tell people, ‘You practise Islam. You go to the mosque every day, and even then you are not sure whether you will end up in heaven or hellfire. Let me tell you the simplest way to enter paradise: go for Jihad. Sacrifice your life and kill the infidels. The moment you die in the name of God, you will directly enter into paradise. There will be 70 virgins waiting for you.’
How ISIS Lures in Youth
Terrorism is just one way of killing people. How you are convinced to carry out carnage of people depends on what the driving force behind terrorism is. You can’t simply associate terrorism to Islam only. There have been many different religions and political parties all over the world which have been involved in terrorism. For example, about 20 years ago, there was the Irish Republican Army. Then, we have terrorism in some form in Hinduism and Christianity too. Among the Jewish community, there is a particular group that call themselves Zionists. They are those who want power, who want to rule the world.
That is exactly what Saudi Arabia is [striving for]. Where is the money coming from that supports people who are working for ISIS? They are living luxurious lives: they have guns, they don’t work, they feed their families and they drive nice cars. Somebody is supporting them.
Unfortunately, when greed takes place in your heart, you forget many moral obligations.
For example, Turkey thought, ‘ISIS has a lot of oil. If we buy from them, it would be a lot cheaper.’ So the Turkish government has been buying oil from ISIS. They are an American ally, but at the same time, what they’re doing is supporting terrorists one way or another.
Turkey is a Muslim state and they don’t follow the Wahhabi school of thought. Their version of Islam used to be the Sufi version of Islam. Turkey has been a wonderful Muslim country. However, some factions among Muslims can turn into extremists any time, especially when greed is booming from the heart.
Similarly, most of these individuals who are now part of the ISIS are coming from young generations who were born in Australia, Canada, the UK, France, Belgium, Denmark and Norway. They have been living a western lifestyle. They had girlfriends and slept with them without religious marriage vows; they would be drinking alcohol as well.
When they are reminded, ‘You’re a Muslim. Your parents are Muslim. What are you doing?’ They say, ‘I’ve done it all my life. What should I do now?’ [The Wahhabis tell them],‘All the sins of your life will be washed away if you just hold the gun and start killing infidels.’
Let me give you an example: you were born in a Muslim family and you were born in Canada, USA, Denmark, UK, France or Australia. You lived all your life like a playboy. You would go to the disco, drink alcohol and sleep around. Then, one day somebody comes and tells you, ‘You will burn in hellfire.’ You then reply, ‘Really? What should I do?’ They say, ‘You will do more [with ISIS] than you are doing now. How many girls do you sleep with every week? 5-7? When you join ISIS, there are plenty of young girls. There is money, ammunition and cars.’ Young people are lured into this.
How come people who used to go to disco clubs and sleep around have had a sudden change of heart? It is not a change of heart.
When you do something wrong, you have guilt that you’re doing something wrong. When someone comes and says, ‘I will tell you how to do all these things in a better way and you won’t even feel guilt,’ you will agree.
ISIS have guns; they have become thugs. They attack innocent people, they kill their men and take away their women and young girls. If they capture 1000 girls in one area and they have 100 soldiers, they give each soldier 10 girls. They sleep with them and they kill them.
This Jihad is the worst form of a crime.
This is a horrendous, heinous crime. People who are part of ISIS are raping dozens of girls every day and they’re killing them. The worst thing is: they are told, ‘You are pure.’
They used to do this before, but when they did it, they had a guilt in their heart that this is wrong; this is a sin, a crime against humanity. However, now they’re doing it more and more and they don’t have guilt. They think what they’re doing is a servitude to God. This is not Islam, this is terrible.
I used to get confused how com teenage girls who dance and drink alcohol - from Australia, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Germany, Canada and America - want to become part of the Islamic State? Then I came to know because they will enjoy [themselves] there more. It is about money, lust.
In, for example, England, they have to hide it from their parents. They dress up conservatively, put a hijab around the neck in front of their parents. They go out, throw it away; when they have a boyfriend and have sex, they have guilt. However, when they go there, they do everything; but now they don’t have guilt.
How Terrorism Will Be Eradicated
It has to get really dark before dawn. When the sun sets, it starts to get dark. The night then starts to grow. The more the night grows, the darker it gets. Then, just before dawn, the darkness reaches its peak.
So when this oppression and tyranny - in whatever form, under whatever name it is being carried out - is about to reach its peak, then some divine intervention will take place.
There is one personality. Almost every religion is waiting for the Awaited One. Some call him Kalki Avatar. Muslims call him Imam Mehdi. The Sikh community also awaits a personality, Kalki Daar. The Jewish community is waiting for the Messiah and Christians are waiting for Lord Jesus Christ.
It is going to get a little worse and then, with divine intervention, these holy dignitaries from God will show up in public. They will set everything right, I have firm belief. Before they come, we have to do our homework.
For example, in Sri Lanka, we should be more careful.
We should realise that curbing terrorism is not against any religion.
What happens is, when a government starts to curb terrorism, the religious scholars protest and say, ‘This is religious discrimination. You can’t do this against our religion. You are suppressing our people and this is oppression.’ They make it a political issue, but we need to carefully understand [the situation].
This is not a war against any religion. This is not against Islam. It is against people who are enemies of humanity.
In Sri Lanka, it is very unfortunate that certain areas are controlled by [Wahhabis], such as Kathanpuri, near Batticaloa.
ISIS is not exporting people into Asian countries; it is the ideology.
They do not infiltrate people from Syria or Iraq into these countries; they find people who already practise the Wahhabi school of thought. They are doing it online. Nobody is coming or going, so you think everything is fine.
As long as there are Wahhabis, it is a time bomb. They can explode and time. If there are Wahhabis in any area, all they need are instructions from ISIS. They are already mentally prepared.
Behind ISIS, the driving force is the Wahhabi school of thought which is totally the opposite of the Sufi school of thought.
Bawa Muhaiyaddeen was a Sri Lankan Muslim Sufi. About 100 years ago, he went to Philadelphia, USA. He never spoke English. He just spoke; Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Jews would all come to listen to him. They would feel peace. A lot of Americans joined him and then he died.
So basically, in order to stop people getting radicalised, we need to have spiritual people.
To cool down a very hot room, we need to open some windows. When there is radicalised community living in the area (and the youth is getting radicalised), we need to promote Sufi thoughts which will dilute it. People will return to the original faith.
The solution is not in killing; the solution is in the change of the heart.
They need to understand that the philosophy they have been told is wrong. This has been done on an academic level. The solution is to tell them, ‘What you have been told is not Islam. This is not islam.’ Messiah Foundation International is doing it all over the world.
I’m sure that people in Sri Lanka, especially Muslims, must be aware of my activities and read about it. When they read my articles and hear my speeches, they will know who I am. They will know that I know everything about Islam and Sufism, and what I am telling them is from the core of the Quran.
The first time I came to Sri Lanka was in 1989.
A lot of people, when we started coming here, thought we would convert them into Islam. No, we’re not here for converting people. We ourselves do not practise any religion. We practise love and spirituality.
Although, I claim that there is nobody who knows about Islam more than I do. This is not a very arrogant claim; it is based on reality. What we need today is not religions. We need love and spirituality. This will solve the problems.
Raising Awareness of Wahhabism
What we need to do is diffuse this school thought academically. We need to raise the issue and raise awareness.
If somebody doing wrong things is so powerful that people are afraid of him and nobody wants to tell him that he is wrong, he will never come to think that he is wrong. There has to be a voice to tell him, ‘What you are doing is wrong.’ If one person said, ‘You’re wrong,’ he will get angry. If two people say, ‘You are wrong,’ maybe he will get even more angry. But if five, then ten, then a hundred people say it, one day, he will think, ‘Maybe I am wrong.’
All you need to do is study Wahhabism first: their tenets, principles and school of thought. They’re only loyal to their religious leader. If their leader says to them, ‘Kill your mother,’ they will do it. If he says, ‘Kill your son,’ they will kill their son. This is a cult of death and hatred.
This is all because of wrong information. You need to give them right information.
I understand that some people have gone so wrong that you can never put them right. They can never be repaired mentally. But we need to concentrate on the youth before they’re tempted.
It is all about temptations: sex, alcohol, power and guns. When they use a pistol or a gun often, they become trigger-happy.
The Difference Between Wahhabism and Sufism
When Prophet Mohammad went back to Mecca from Medina, he was victorious. He established the Islamic country in the land of Hijaz, so there was no need for Jihad anymore.
Some cricketers in the off-season [routinely] take care of their bats. They oil them and knock them, preparing them for the season. Similarly, the Islamic soldiers at the time of Prophet Mohammad used to take care of their swords. They would be sharpening them and putting oil, trying to buff them and prepare them for a new war.
However, after the Islamic country was established, these warriors asked the Prophet, ‘What happened to Jihad? What will we do now?’
Then Prophet Mohammad said to them, ‘We have carried out Jihad which was a Jihad of lower impact. Now, we go towards a greater form of Jihad.’ They were really surprised and thought, ’In a smaller form of Jihad, we were using a sword and chopping heads of people. The Prophet is calling it a smaller Jihad. What could be a greater Jihad? The Prophet said, ’In smaller Jihad, you were standing in front of your enemy. You were able to see your enemy so you could kill him. But in greater Jihad, you cannot see your enemy because your enemy is inside you.’
Prophet Mohammad said, ‘When a person is born, he is born on natural, divine instincts. He is not born as a Muslim, Hindu or Christian.’
When the babies are born, they don’t have any religion.
Prophet Mohammad said, ‘When a person is born, an evil spirit is born with him.’ When you have deceit, arrogance and greed - you hurt and harm others, depriving others of their rights and you want everything [for yourself] - these kinds of evil traits do not come from the human soul. They come from the evil which is born with everybody.
The Companions of the Prophet asked him, ‘Was the evil born in you too?’ He said, ’Yes it was born with me too, but with my spirituality, I purified him. Now, the greater Jihad for you is to purify the evil which is inside you.’
Purifying that evil is Sufism.Now you can understand these philosophies are parallel to each other: Wahhabis want to promote that evil spirit and Sufis want to purify it.
Prophet Mohammad said, ‘In the eyes of God, killing one person is equal to killing the entire humanity.’
There was a war against enemies of Islam at the time of Prophet Mohammad. One of the Muslim warriors was fighting along with Prophet Mohammad. He got so injured that he was in so much pain. He was saying to other Companions, ‘I wish I could die. I can’t bear the pain.’ He then killed himself. When this was reported to Prophet Mohammad, ‘One of our soldiers who was badly injured killed himself,’ the Prophet said, ‘He will go into hellfire. He committed suicide.’ When Prophet Mohammad said, ‘This is wrong and he will be punished,’ for such a dedicated and loyal servant, how can suicide bombing be an Islamic act?
In the circumstance he committed suicide, to a normal human brain, it was understandable. We’d think, ‘If he killed himself, it was okay. His life was already ruined.’ It was not okay for Prophet Mohammad. He said, ‘You cannot take your life, it is strongly prohibited in Islam.’
How can now these Muslims allow young children to wear a explosives? Not only will he kill himself, but also another 100 - 200 other people. This is unholy, un-Islamic. This is against the principles of Islam and teachings of Prophet Mohammad. This is evil. Muslims need to understand that.
As long as you are a Wahhabi, you won’t understand it, because Wahhabism is about becoming powerful. Those who do not believe your philosophy, they must be killed. This is Wahhabi school of thought. It is not just about non-Muslims. If a Muslim says he is not a Wahhabi and he does not want to practise Wahhabism, Wahhabis say, ‘Forget about the non-Muslims; kill him first.’ They think the only true way of Islam is Wahhabism. If Wahhabism was the true way of Islam, why didn’t it exist at the time of Prophet Mohammad?
I know the roots of Wahhabism. Now, we see, it is a big monster. It was a silent revolution taking place for centuries. It was so horrible and detestable in the beginning, that people didn’t even want to hear about Wahhabism.
The founder of Wahhabism, Mohammad bin Abdul Wahhab Najdi, when he presented his philosophies, was kicked out from his town. Muslims said, ‘This is not Islam.’ When Ibn Taymiyyah presented this sort of philosophy about Islam, he was boycotted and kicked out from his town. People never appreciated this heinous type of Islam. It is not Islam at all.
But then, the Wahhabi school of thought found a sponsor and a common interest: the Saud family.
Saudis needed manpower and Wahhabis needed sponsorship. The land of Hijaz was part of the Ottoman Empire. With the help of British armies, they supported the Saud family. There was a pact between Wahhabis and Saudis: you will help them and they will help you. [Part of the pact is that] Saudis rule the country and have to let Wahhabis promote Wahhabism.
In the last 5 years, 80 billion dollars have been spent on the promotion of the Wahhabi school of thought.
There are big mosques all over the world. In all these countries, in front of the Wahhabi mosques who are funded by Saudi Arabia, we go there, hold banners and say, ‘Wahhabis are evil.’
Achieving Peace in Sri Lanka
All people should be given their rights. There should be no discrimination. There should be one identity: that you are a Sri Lankan citizen, whether you are Tamil, Sinhalese or anybody else. When you give equal rights and there is no oppression or deprivation among any minority, they will all love the country. There will be no war or hatred.
If you want something and the government gives it to you, and I want something and the government will give it to me, then I have no complaints. There should be equality. Then this nation will prosper.
It is possible. When the hearts are purified, greed, arrogance and hatred are pushed out and evil is rooted out, then you will never hate anybody or deprive them of their rights. Tamil, Pakistani, Sinhalese or Indian - these are only names.
We are all human beings. The colour of my blood is the same as yours. We shouldn’t be taking pride in being who we are. We should be more concerned about what we are.
Are we helping each other or depriving others of their rights? I feel the pain if my baby cries and I don’t have money to feed my baby. I should see if others’ babies are crying and they don’t have money to feed the babies - do I still feel the pain for that baby? If I do, I’m a human being.
This will happen when the evil thing that we have been talking about is purified. You’ll begin to love everybody. If we keep saying, ‘You should love each other,’ this will never happen. For example, if you’re suffering from a fever, without medicine, you will never get well. What happens is that people say, ‘No deprivation or hatred. You should all love each other. You’re all brothers. There should be equal rights.’ This is just emotional and verbal diarrhoea.
We need spiritual medicine. We need to solve the problem. We need root out the evil. Only Sufism and spirituality can do that because it gets to the root. The divine energy goes inside and purifies it.
Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism - everything including Islam came from God. I am promoting divine love. If I am against Islam and I am in favour of Christianity, I am fooling myself because all these religions came from the same source.
Rejecting one religion and accepting another is not divine.
If you have five children and somebody comes and tells you, ‘I love one of them and I hate the other four,’ being a father, you will say, ‘What are you talking about? All five are my children.’ Think like God. It was God who sent Jesus, Moses and Mohammad. He wants to love everybody. It is impractical to say that Christianity is good but Islam is bad.
Acceptance is one thing and practice is another. We don’t ask people to practise; we are talking about acceptance. It is when you say, ‘You’re a Muslim? Good. And you’re a Christian? Good. And you’re a Jew? That is very good. I accept all these three. Let’s live together in peace and love. Let’s coexist in one society.’ And we can because all these religions have come from the same God. We shouldn’t be rejecting any religion.
These problems come from people, not religions.
Buddhism is a wonderful religion; Buddha means enlightened one - and enlightenment is our message.
With slight difference in vocabulary, all the religions are the same.
For example, we say there is Satan; in Buddhism, there is no such thing. They say, ’It is negative energy and this is positive energy.’ Only the words are difference; nothing else is different. [Enlightenment is the message of Buddhism and] this is the message of the Quran and Bible.
The Bible says, ‘Love you Lord, love your God with all your heart and soul. He is inside you; bring him inside.’ The Quran says, ‘I am inside you, but you don’t want to see me.’ Why? There is an evil spirit that does not want you to see God inside you, because then you will become good.
Islam is not bad, but people who call themselves Muslims but do not practise Islam are bad. They call themselves Muslims but they don’t practise the real, original Quran. Prophet Mohammad was a wonderful leader. The Dalai Lama said recently that the teachings of Prophet Mohammad can help curb terrorism from the world.
The Significance of Miracles
We have done spiritual healing and there are so many cases where people were healed, but personally speaking, we should not be looking for miracles in life. We should be practical. There are so many great spiritual people but the world is suffering. Our greatness is not helping them. We have given them wrong hope, that everything will change in the blink of an eye. This will never work. Although miracles are true, the change has to come from people.
People will change the world; miracles won’t change the world.
Miracle workers came to the world, like Jesus. Jesus was the most powerful miracle worker. He showed miracles but the world didn’t change.
The change will come when you change, when you purify yourself.
To say, ‘I will show a miracle and change the world,’ is a false hope. So many great prophets came to this world like Adam, Abraham, Moses the Liberator, Jesus the Son of God and then Mohammad, Beloved of God; but we are still suffering.
We have to raise awareness. If I am ‘His Holiness’, Dalai Lama is ‘His Holiness’ and Ravi Shanka is ‘His Holiness,’ then why are you not ‘Your Holiness’? They are human beings like you and me. Why should we not purify ourselves? If everyone becomes Dalai Lama, if every single person on Earth becomes Ravi Shankar, the world will become beautiful.
God has given this ability to every single man and woman. Why should there be only one ‘His Holiness’? God is just. God wants everybody to become ‘His Holiness’. Messiah Foundation does not believe in one person being holy and the rest are not. You have the same calibre as Ravi Shankar, as Dalai Lama.
My Lord Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi said, ‘God is not unjust. He has given this potential, he has given this spiritual calibre to every man and woman. All you need to do is open your heart, cast out this evil and you will become purified. You will become holy.’
It is not time for miracles. In this age, miracles are not going to serve us.
We need a revolution in which every single human being should change himself.
We want all humanity to become glorified, purified so that we are equal in the eyes of God.
We have been suffering at the hands of politicians for social justice. The social justice has never been given to humanity. But now is the time from God - he wants all human beings to become equal, at least spiritually.
If I am able to perform miracles, you should be able to perform miracles. Your God is the same God as mine. My blood is red and so is yours. You have two eyes and I have two eyes; you’re as intelligent as I am. Every human being is holy; there is no human being that is unholy. Nobody is greater than the other. The knowledge that I advocate will make everybody Dalai Lama; that knowledge will make everybody like me. Why should we not spread the word of love? Why should we not spread the knowledge which will make everybody a great person? It is not impossible anymore. Why should we restrict the knowledge for the elite only?
We are living in this modern age where every person can become a Moses now. 20 years ago, there was no concept of smart phones and FaceTime; science has become so advanced. God is introducing some advanced spiritual powers. Some time ago, to appear on a television show was symbolic to [fame]. Now we have Periscope and Livestream so the value of the television has gone down because everybody can broadcast himself.
When everybody becomes Dalai Lama, who will be ‘His Holiness’? All you need to do is to enlighten the heart. Everybody can become enlightened.
It is not just a message. We have practical, academic knowledge with the help of which everybody can become holy.
This is true that God wants to love everybody. Whether you are a Muslim, Christian, Jew or don’t practise any religion, God wants to love you. God wants you to purify yourself and you become holy. Let’s pray that we heed towards this knowledge and become purified. Whether or not we become Hindu, Christian or Muslim, we should become loving human beings.