I was listening to a
video of the late Dr Israr Ahmed on the Ahmediyya. I have a low opinion of our
traditional Islamic scholars who are mostly extremely narrow minded bigots but
Dr Israr Ahmed is even more extreme! You do not ex-communicate a
community that is 20 million strong. Instead, what is required of right
thinking Muslims is to:
1. Study the reasons why
this phenomenon of someone declaring himself a Nabi has occurred in the first
place. What falsehoods do the Muslims believe in which led to it and clean up
our act. The answer here is simple. It is our false beliefs in the return of
Jesus (pbuh) towards the end of times and also in the coming of a Mahdi. There
are also scholars who have said that the Mahdi and Jesus are the same person
and not two different persons. There are also scholars who have agreed that
Jesus died and will not return. So if the Mahdi and Jesus are one and the same
and a Mahdi will come and not Jesus, then the Mahdi is Jesus like. This is
precisely the claim made by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad at the beginning of the 14th
century Hijra because there is another hadith predicting the coming of a Mahdi
in the 13th century. Having rejected Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's claims, have the
Muslims recanted on the false hadiths and the false interpretations of the
Quran? This was a disaster waiting to happen because of the existence of
the false ahadith and the Muslims who believe in them. If it is kufr for the
Ahmediyya to believe in what they believe, it is equally kufr for the Muslims
to believe in the false ahadith even after these have been proved to be false.
2. What made Muslims in
such large numbers join the sect? What is missing among the mainstream Muslims
that is found in this sect? There were no monetary or worldly incentives for
people to join, but on the other hand people who wished to join had to sign a
pledge to diligently observe every pillar and tenet of Islam and pay Zakat
@6.25% which is 250% of what other Muslims pay. The missionary and religious
zeal among the people who joined this sect is clearly far greater than what is
found among the mainstream Muslims.
The response to such a
strong movement cannot be saying that the founder is wajib-e-qatal (deserving
to be killed) and those who join it are murtad (apostates) for whom the
appropriate punishment is death as Dr Israr has done. Such a response is both
barbaric and insane.
A terrible mistake
facilitated by the false ahadith, false interpretations of the Quran and false
beliefs almost the Muslims has happened and it is best to accept the mistake
and make changes.
The Ahmediyya community
broke up into two groups - one which believes that their founder is not a nabi
but zilli nabi or a shadow nabi and the other which believes that he was nabi.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself revised his claim and said that he was a zilli nabi
and not a real nabi. There is therefore scope for rapprochement of the various
groups and views.
To the Ahmedi's
themselves, it must be obvious that all this business of the coming of a Mahdi,
is a figment of the imagination of weak escapist minds. The prediction that the
people will flock to the Mahdi in hordes and accept Islam making it the
dominant religion has failed. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is therefore not such a Mahdi
predicted in our false ahadith. Mahdi literally means only "rightly
guided" and in that sense, anyone who is rightly guided can be called a
Mahdi. The true legacy of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is not his views or his writings
or his beliefs or his claims but the dynamism that he brought among the Muslims
and the desire for excellence which needs to be celebrated and preserved. He
was otherwise another mortal prone to error and his error does not take away
anything from the great contribution his followers have made. His legacy is
also not to blindly follow the imams (Taqleed) but to chart out a new path and his followers
can best honour his memory not through Taqleed of his ways and views, but by
rejecting what they find was an error of his judgment. We do not become lesser by acknowledging and accepting a mistake and nothing changes otherwise. What is there anyway in a name or nomenclature? What does actually change by calling him only an Imam and not Nabi? His argument that calling him a Nabi would make prophet Muhammad (pbuh) appear greater than Jesus (pbuh) was specious to begin with and contradictory to the Quran which instructs the Muslims not to make any distinction between the prophets. In any case, such a claim has made no difference to the perceptions of people.
Umar Khan Sb
asks "Why do you call them good Muslims?"
The answer is
very simple. Read the Quran verse 9:5 in which the only proof that is asked of
a person who claims to be a Muslim is that he should “establish regular prayers
and practise regular charity” For such people, Allah asks the Prophet (pbuh) to
open to them the door of Islam “for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful”
Now who are we
to close the door of Islam to a people who:
1. Pray five times a day plus Tahajjud
2. Pay 6.5% as Zakat when the rest of the
Muslims pay only 2.5%
3. Observe fast during Ramadhan
4. Perform Hajj
5. Are engaged in spreading Islam in the
If you consider
their practices, they are better Muslims than those who hate them on each of
the five parameters.
Now, for their
calling Mirza Ghulam Ahmad the promised Mahdi, blame the ahadith rather than
him. Do the Muslims recant on their numerous ahadith as falsehood that
prophesise the coming of a Mahdi? I believe, the prediction is that he would
come in the 13thcentury Hijra. “When one thousand and two hundred and forty
years will pass, God will raise Mahdi.”(An-Najmus Saqih, Vol. 2, p. 209). We are now in the 14th century. So, if no
Mahdi has come, then the hadith is false. With the 13th Century coming to an
end and Mirza Ghulam Ahmad not seeing anyone else more qualified than himself,
do you blame him for courageously picking up the throne which no one else was
prepared to touch and placing it on his own head? This tragicomic situation has
arisen only because many of our ahadith are falsehoods. The ahadith contradict
the Quran on every subject.
Let us recant
on our ahadith that falsely prophesise the coming of a Mahdi in contradiction
of the Quran and concede that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is the victim of a false
hadith rather than a deliberate sinner and accept the Ahmadiya back into the
fold of Islam. In any case, we are no one to shut the door on them and it does
not behove us to play God. The Ahmadiya are more sinned against than sinning.
What has attracted many Muslims to the sect is its zeal, dynamism, love of
Islam and love of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and not any worldly gain. Are we so
blind that we cannot see that they are a sincere people even if they are
misguided in our opinion?
Why do Muslims try to second guess Allah and say who will be punished by
Allah? Isn't trying to second guess Allah itself a serious form of kufr? Who
has given the Muslims such authority to second guess Allah?
Have the Muslims become so devoid of any good that they can only define
their worth in terms of their degree of hatred for other communities? Isn't it
kufr to bear hatred in our hearts for other people and desire their punishment?
When Allah does not rule out forgiveness for the Christians inspite of
their believing in the divinity of Jesus (pbuh) and their concept of trinity,
why do the Muslims think that the Ahmadiya's will not be forgiven? Does Allah
judge us by the best of our deeds or by our worst? Those who think that the
Ahmadiya's are certain to be punished for their being an Ahmadiya believe in a
God who judges people by their worst. If good deeds are the criteria, the
Ahmadiya community is way ahead of their detractors and haters.
There is no doubt in my mind about two things:
1. There is no mention of any Mahdi in the Quran or the return of Jesus
(pbuh). The Quran is categorical in saying that Muhammad was the last of the
prophets. Belief in a Mahdi who has already come or a Mahdi who will come or
the second coming of Jesus are all equally false.
2. This issue is such a burning issue only because we have come to
worship not only Allah but also our Nabi, and while we are more tolerant of
those who associate partners with Allah, we are extremely intolerant of those
who associate a Nabi with our Nabi to the extent that our Kalima mentions only Muhammad
to the exclusion of all others. This is contrary to the Quran instructing us
not to make any distinction. This over reaction is a form of kufr. Nabi is not
an object of worship and there have been thousands of Nabi's. A false claimant
should have been a problem if he in any way, tried to undermine Islam and the
last messenger. On the contrary, there is absolute affirmation in the religion revealed
to Muhammad (pbuh) without an iota of change by the Ahmadiya.
Ironically, if you read the history of the sect, it is extreme love for
our Prophet Muhammad (SAS), and the desire to save Islam and the Muslims from
the onslaught of the Christian Missionaries, that pushed Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, to
believe and declare himself a Nabi. If intentions are the yardstick to determine
kufr, then Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is free from the taint although he is mistaken in
his belief that he was a nabi.
The counter attack that comprehensively defeated
the propaganda war of the Christian Missionaries for all time to come and made
them run for cover, was the brainchild of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and published in his book “Brahin-e-Ahmadiyya”.
Other Islamic luminaries of the time had no effective answer. The book was
hailed by several Islamic luminaries of the time. The following is in the words
of Muhammad Hussain Batalavi.
“In our opinion, it is in this time and in the present circumstances, a
book the like of which has not been written up to this time in Islam, and
nothing can be said about the future; Allah may bring about another affair
after this. Its author, too, has proved himself firm in helping the cause of
Islam, with his property, his person, his pen, his tongue and his personal
religious experience, to such an extent that it is rarely seen among Muslims
who have gone before. If someone thinks that my words are Asian exaggeration
then show me at least one such book that confronts opponents of Islam
especially the Arya Samaj with such gusto and enthusiasm. And point out such
supporters of Islam who have taken upon themselves to help the cause of Islam
with their property, their person, their treasure, their pen, and their tongue.
And who has successfully challenged, with all his manly courage, opponents of
Islam and deniers of revelation that if they doubt divine revelation to visit
him and experience, observe and taste it. (Batalavi, 1884: 169-170)”
The above was before Mirza Ghulam Ahmad declared himself
a nabi, after which the same Muhammad Hussain Batalavi became his foremost
denouncer. The book has been used extensively by the likes of Ahmed Deedat with
great effectiveness although Deedat is not an Ahmadiya.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was at first even reluctant to accept
the bayat (pledge) of those who were eager to offer their bayat to him and
therefore, I do not believe that his declaring himself as nabi subsequently, had
anything to do with the desire for self-glorification. It was the desire to
defeat the fitna of dajjal (as he saw it) in the form of the onslaught of the
Christian and Arya Samaj missionaries, that made him see himself as the
promised Mahdi, as he alone had an effective answer for them. The fact is that
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, has rendered yeoman service to the cause of Islam and the
community of his followers continue to do so,
The problem to my mind, lies in the numerous ahadith on the Mahdi to
come, which have influenced the founder of the Ahmadiya sect to think for good
reasons, that he is such a Mahdi. Do those who oppose the Ahmadi beliefs recant
from those numerous ahadith about the Mahdi? I, who consider all those ahadith
as false, and does not believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a nabi, or that a
Nabi/Mahdi is foretold, has no problem with the Ahmadiya and their beliefs,
while those who believe in such ahadith about a Mahdi, have a problem!
As for me, I differ with Mirza Ghulam Ahmad even on
his ideas that shaped his counter attack although it proved very effective. I
do not think that the defence of our Prophet and the defence of Islam requires
us to attack the attackers’ religion and their concept of their holy men. Islam
is strong enough to stand on its own on an absolute standard and requires no
argument based on historical relativism or any other kind of relative
Since this article is based on a request to explain the meaning of Wakhātama L-Nabiyīnain in verse 33:40 of the Quran, it is not complete without taking into account the argument of the Ahemdiya community for believing their imam to have been a prophet. They quote verse 4:69 in their support on one of their websites.: alislam.org/library/articles/khataman-nabiyyeen-through-the-eyes-of-the-promised-messiah/
“And whoso obeys Allah and this perfect Messenger shall be among those on whom Allah has bestowed His blessings, i.e. the Prophets, the Truthful (Siddiq), the Martyrs (shuhuda), and the Righteous (saliheen). And they are an excellent company. (4 [Al-Nisa]:69)”
to infer that whoso obey Allah and His perfect Messenger, can be a Prophet, Siddiq, Shuhuda or a Saliheen!
The error is obvious. What the verse is saying is that such a person will find himself in the exalted company of the prophets, the Siddiq, the Shuhuda and the Saliheen in the Hereafter, and not that such a person will become a Prophet, Siddiq, Shuhuda and Salih. A person can be considered a Salih or Shahid or Siddiq or all three depending upon his talent and what he makes of himself through effort. Not everyone who obeys Allah and His Messenger can become a Siddiq or Shuhuda although everyone can be among the saliheen by being righteous. What these words mean are explained in my article:
The Role Models in the Quran
To become a prophet is beyond man. The best he can hope is to be admitted to the company of the prophets in the Hereafter.
The last Messenger has given us the Last Book, which is enough to guide man to the straightway, the way of those on whom is Allah’s grace. We do not need an imam or a prophet to guide us anymore. The Book is enough for a guide. (75:19) Nay more, it is for Us to explain it (the Qur’an) and make it clear:
Since Sunnis and Shias and their
hundreds of factions and divisions denounce and cast “brimstone and
fire” on each other as non-Muslims (kaafir) – meree nazar may
tu hai kaafir, teree nazar may main' hun' kaafir, yet all are
accepted as this Muslims and that Muslims without any discrimination.
One must ask as to why the Ahmadis are specifically discriminated
against and persecuted in Pakistan for calling themselves Muslims and
particularly so on State basis?
What is the Islamic justification for
that in the “Islamic State”?
Is it not the obligation of any State
worth its salt to protect all its non-combatant and allegedly
peaceful Ahmadi minorities who are its citizens?
They say, it was a Shia Muslim who
though is highly and commonly regarded as the “Father of the
Nation” except of course denounced by the religious brigade – fee
sabilillah fasaad , the mischievous Johnnies who came later and
disturb the peace! Is it not up to the State then to punish them?
If Mirza G. Ahmad designated himself as
everything religious on earth and his followers are mislead to accept
it, is it not up to God whose ad-Deen they flouted, to deal with them
– la kum Deenu-kum wali ad-Deen?