Origin and History
The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said: ‘I asked God for three things, He gave me two and didn’t give me one. I asked God to save my nation from being destroyed by natural calamities and He gave it to me. I asked God to protect my nation from defeat at the hands of a foreign enemy and He gave it to me. I asked God to save my nation from being destroyed from within, and He did not give it to me.’ (Ibn Khuzaimah)
‘ Dominion over palm and pine’; that’s how the British Empire was described by the historians. By the late 17th century it had colonised many parts of the world, including vast regions of the Muslim world.
Colonisation was not only about exploiting natural resources; but also to indoctrinate the conquered peoples to uphold British ideology and faith. Missionaries worked feverishly in different areas of the British Empire to spread the message of Christianity. Schools were set up and different tactics were employed to reach their goals.
As the Muslims began to realise the danger of what they were facing, they united, mobilised and launched ‘freedom’ assaults to free their lands from the clutches of the ruthless Empire. Hand to hand combat and armed confrontations were nothing new to the British, but as the Muslim attacks grew relentless and deadlier, they adopted a new tactic, ‘divide and dominate’. Instead of squaring off with the Muslims face to face, they incited individuals among the Muslims to form their own groups and to split away from Mainstream Sunni Islām. Ideological warfare was launched against the Muslims, as were the instructions of Louis IX, the so called “Lieutenant of God on Earth” who failed miserably in his Crusader attempts.
One of the groups that formed during that time were the Qadiyani group, also known as Ahmadis, which came into existence in the year 1889.
Fable Steps to Fame
Of course, not just anyone can come up and announce himself to be a ‘Prophet’ of God. Mirza Ghulam Ahmed understood this and took his mission one step at a time. Initially he claimed to be a Revivalist of Islām. He said: “We are Muslims. We believe in the One God without a partner and in the Testimony of Faith. We believe in the Book of God, the Qur’aan, in His Messenger Muhammad. We believe in angels, the resurrection, Hell and Paradise. We observe the prescribed prayers and the fast. We turn to the Qibla for prayers and forbid ourselves what is forbidden by God and His Prophet and permit ourselves what is permitted. We add not a thing to the Islāmic Law, nor subtract any thing from it. Islāmic law is above change.”
With claims such as this and possessing powerful articulate skills, he was able to gain considerable ground with many Muslims. In the year 1891 he claimed to be the ‘Promised Messiah’ and the Mahdi. Finally, in the year 1901 he took the plunge and announced that he was a Prophet of God.
The 31 favours of Qadiyanism…
In order for Mirza to gain favour with all people, he incorporated into his faith elements of every religion that was present in his area; thus, his doctrine incorporated Indian, Sufi, Islāmic, and Western elements.
Mirza Ghluam Ahmed had claimed so many things that it is difficult to chronologically arrange them.
- He claimed to be God and the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. He has written, “I saw in my dreams that I AM ALLĀH /God and I believed, no doubt I am The One Who created the Heavens.” [Aaina-e-Kamaalaat]
- He claimed to be nine prophets. He said, “I am Adam. I am Noah. I am Abraham. I am Ishmael. I am Moses. I am Jesus and I am Muhammad.” [Roohaani Khazaaim]
- He claimed to be the mother of Prophet Jesus and then he claimed to be Prophet Jesus himself. He said the ‘first God’ converted him into Mary. After two years, God made him pregnant for ten months, after which God converted him into Jesus. [Roohaani Khazaain]
- He claimed that he was Muhammad, the Messenger of God. “Muhammad is the Messenger of God and those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful amongst themselves.”(Qur’aan 48:29) He claimed that in this divine revelation, he himself was named Muhammad and also the Messenger. [Roohaani Khazaain, vol. 18, page 207]
- He claimed to be the Mahdi and the Promised Messiah, though he did not fulfill any of the conditions laid by Prophet Muhammad regarding the Mahdi and the Promised Messiah.
- In a lecture given in Sialkot in 1904, he declared that God had informed him that Krishna who had appeared among the Aryas thousands of years ago was indeed a prophet of God upon whom the Holy Spirit descended from God, but that later his teachings were corrupted and he began to be worshipped. Here he claimed that he was the avatar whom the Hindus were awaiting in the latter days, and that he had appeared in the likeness of Krishna invested with the same qualities.
The Ahmadiyah group split into two individual groups. This occurred after the death of Hakim Noor-ud-Din, the first successor of Mirza Ghulam Ahmed. The first group is known as ‘Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’ and the second, the smaller one, is known as ‘Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islām’.
The differences between the two can be summarised in two points. The first point is their belief regarding the prophethood of Mirza Ghulam Ahmed. The Lahore Ahmadiyya group considers Mirza Ghulam Ahmad a Prophet in the metaphorical sense of the word; whereas, the Ahmadiyyah Muslim Community holds that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a Prophet, holding all necessary qualities a Prophet should have.
The second difference is how they view mainstream Sunni Muslims. The Lahore Ahmadiyya group believes that any person who professes the Testimony of Faith to be a Muslim, and cannot be called a non-Muslim.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes that any Muslim who has not accepted Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s claim is a non-Muslim, even if the person has not even heard the name of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in his life.
Blasphemous Qadiyani Beliefs
Some principles of Ahmadiyyah, their view on the finality of the Message of God, the Qur’aan, Prophet Muhammad and Jihad.
Finality of the Message of God
Mirza Ghulam Ahmed claimed to be a true ‘Muslim’ in some of his works and speeches; but, at the same instance, many of his blasphemous statements can be found ‘scattered’ in his books. He said, while openly degrading Islām: “We believe that a religion which does not have the continuity of Prophethood (as in Islām) is a dead religion. We call the religions of the Jews, the Christians and the Hindus dead only because now there are no prophets in them. If this were the position in Islām too, we would be no more than mere storytellers! Why do we regard it superior to other religions?” (Malfoozat-e-Mirza, Vol. 10, page 127)
He also said: “How absurd and false it is to believe that after the Holy Prophet (Muhammad) the door of the divine revelation has been closed forever and that there is no hope of it in the future till the Day of Resurrection! Can a religion having no direct trace of Almighty God be called a religion? say, by Almighty God, that in this age there is no one more fed up than myself with such a religion! I name such a religion as ‘Satanic’ religion and not a divine one. I believe that such a religion guides towards Hell and keeps one blind in life.” (Zamima Braheen-e-Qadianism, Part V, Roohani Khazain, Vol.21, p354)
From these quotes it is quite clear that Mirza Ghulam Ahmed despises the religion of Islām and claims it to be a ‘dead’ religion because the ‘chain’ of prophethood has ended. Conveniently enough, he was chosen to be a Prophet of God to ‘complete’ Islām and keep it alive!
As Muslims, we believe that the Message of Islām was completed before the death of Prophet Muhammad. God says: “This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islām as religion.” (Qur’aan 5:3)
We believe that no Prophet will come after Prophet Muhammad. He is the final Prophet of God to mankind. God says: “Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of God and the last of the Prophets.” (Qur’aan 33:40)
The Prophet prophesied that a number of ‘quacks’ would emerge, each claiming to be a Prophet. He said: “Indeed, there will be in my nation thirty liars; each claiming to be a prophet. I am the last of the Prophets; no prophet will come after me.” (Tirmidthi)
The Prophet said: “The tribe of Israel was guided by prophets. When a prophet passed away, another prophet succeeded him. But no prophet will come after me; only caliphs will succeed me.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
The Prophet foretold that every one hundred years, God would send a person who would revive the religion of Islām. He said: “Indeed God will send a revivalist at the head of every one hundred years to revive the religion of Islām.” (Abu Dawood)
These revivalists have no ‘divine’ connections. They carry the traits of a true, believing Muslim. They would work strenuously to bring people back to the texts of the Qur’aan and Prophet Way.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmed said: “Qur’aan is God’s Book and words of my mouth.” (Advertisement dated 15th March 1897, Roohani Khazain vol.22 p.87)
After this blasphemous claim, Mirza Ghulam Ahmed began to interpret the Qur’aan as he liked and felt necessary. Each time a verse of the Qur’aan seemed to pose a ‘threat’ to his claim, he simply reinterpreted the meaning to suit his whims. Prior to his claim of being a Prophet, Mirza Ghulam Ahmed strictly adhered to the proper understanding of textual proofs. He even viewed the verse of the Qur’aan which stated that Prophet Muhammad was the last of the Prophets to be exactly that, clear evidence that Prophet Muhammad was the last Prophet to mankind. After his claim of Prophethood, he revisited this text and reinterpreted it to mean that Prophet Muhammad was not the final Prophet to mankind; but, that his prophethood signified a ‘seal of approval’, i.e. that he was the beauty of the Prophets and Messengers and their best, but not the last!
Mirza claimed that a number of the verses of the Qur’aan were revealed to him to signify his grandeur. He claimed that the following verses were among many that were revealed to him again.
- “Say, if you really love Allāh , then follow me.” (Qur’aan 3:31)
- “And We have not sent you but as a Mercy for All the Worlds.” (Qur’aan 21:107)
- “He is the one who has sent His Messenger with guidance.” (Qur’aan 9:33)
In this manner, his followers became ‘companions’, his family became ‘Ahlul-Bait’ (i.e. the members of the respected family) and his wife became ‘Mother of the Believers.’
In order to protect himself, he said: “Yes, in support (of our claims) we also present those Prophet Traditions which are according to Qur’aan and do not contradict my ‘divine revelation’. As for the rest of the Prophetic Traditions, I toss them aside like wastepaper.” (Roohani Khazain vol.19 p.140)
Muslims believe that the Qur’aan are the words of God, they were revealed to Prophet Muhammad through the Arch-Angel Gabriel, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him. God says: “Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’aan and indeed, We will be its guardian.” (Qur’aan 15:9)
Interpreting the Qur’aan is not left up to just anyone; there are levels of the interpretation of the Qur’aan, the highest of which is interpreting the Qur’aan with the Qur’aan. The second level is interpreting the Qur’aan with authentic prophetic narrations. The third level, is interpreting the Qur’aan with the Companions’ statements. The fourth level, which is a weaker level, is to interpret the Qur’aan through language (like a translation of the meanings of the Qur’aan). One cannot interpret any verse the way they fancy!
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
The followers of Mirza claim that Mirza was superior to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). They claim: “The mental development of the Promised Messiah (i.e. the Mirza Qadiani) was higher than that of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). And this is only a part of the superiority which the Promised Messiah has over the Prophet. The mental faculties of the Prophet could not manifest fully owing to the deficiency of civilisation; although the ability existed. They have now manifested themselves fully through the Promised Messiah by virtue of the advancement of civilisation.” (Review of Religions, May 1929, Qadiani Mazhab, p.266, 9th Ed. Lahore)
Mirza further degraded Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) stating that part of his revelation was false, and that he misunderstood parts of the revelation given to him by God! (Roohani Khazain vol.3 pp.166-167)
He even ridiculed God Almighty and the Prophet, saying: “And God chose such a despicable place to bury the Holy Prophet which is extremely smelly, dark and cramped!” (Roohani Khazain vol.17 p.205)
As Muslims we love and respect Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). We do not ascribe to him divine attributes. God says: “Say (O Muhammad), “I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God.” (Qur’aan 18:110)
The claims of Mirza need no response, but it is noteworthy to mention how Mirza died! He died in a shameful way, in a public toilet in Lahore while having been stricken with cholera!
One of the fundamentals that we are taught in Islām is self-defence. When someone harms us, we don’t simply ‘turn our cheek’. We defend ourselves. Defending yourself and protecting yourself from a foreign invader is something that no human being will dispute. One cannot simply cancel out Jihad by some ill perceived notion that he is receiving a ‘command from God’!
Mirza Ghulam Ahmed was truly the ideal British Agent! He openly said: “For the sake of British Government, I have published and distributed 50,000 leaflets in this country (i.e. India) and other Islāmic countries, the result of which was that hundreds of thousands of people have given up their ‘filthy’ ideas about Jihad.” (Roohani Khazain vol. 15 p.114)
He also said: “From my early age till now when I am 65 years of age, I have been engaged, with my pen and tongue, in an important task to turn the hearts of Muslims towards the true love and goodwill and sympathy for the British Government, and to obliterate the idea of Jihad from the hearts of stupid Muslims.” (Kitab-ul-Bariyah, Roohani Khazain vol. 13 p.350)
Mirza supposedly, and quite conveniently, ‘received’ divine revelation from God that ‘Jihad’ was abrogated and no longer a part of Islām! He said: “From today human Jihad which is done by sword, is being abrogated by the order of God. From now on, anyone who lifts a sword on a Kafir/non-Muslim and calls himself a Ghazi/fighter for the sake of God, is disobeying that Messenger (i.e. Muhammad). After my arrival, there is no Jihad with the sword. We have raised the flag of Peace and Friendliness.” (Collection of Advertisement p.295, vol.3)
In the Scale
Concluding part of the Ahmadiyyah article, includes a quick overview of the fallacies of Mirza Ghulam Ahmed, and the stance of mainstream Muslims towards Ahmadiyyah.
Fallacies of a ‘so-called’ Prophet
Every Messenger and Prophet sent by God was aided with a number of miracles. Knowing this, Mirza had to settle for ‘prophecies’ which he said would materialise in his life; this was done as a bid to cement his call to Prophethood. Now the tricky part with making a prophecy, on the part of a quack, is that you have to convince people. Mirza wrote: “God revealed to me that frequent rains will come down. Due to their frequency villages will be destroyed. After them, severe earthquakes will follow.”
Some of his followers were ecstatic, their leader had spoken! In fact, this does not qualify as a ‘prophecy’ He didn’t say where and when this torrential rainfall would occur… of course, logically speaking; this is bound to happen just about anywhere on the face of earth!
With prophecies like these, he wasn’t able to bring ‘on-board’ the followers he was looking for. So he had to ‘upgrade’ the prophecies he was supposedly receiving from God, so on February 20, 1886 he declared that indeed God revealed to him that he would marry blessed women and would have numerous children from these new wives. At the time of this prophecy he was 46 years old, he did not marry anyone despite his desperate bid to marry ‘Muhammadi Begum’.
Muhammadi Begum was the daughter of Ahmad Beg, who was one of his followers. Mirza Ghulam Ahmed asked her father to marry her to himself which he refused. Out of desperation, Mirza proclaimed that he would marry her because this was the decree of God. He offered bribes and great amounts of wealth to Ahmad Beg, but it didn’t work. He thereafter begged him to marry his daughter, but when this failed, threats were issued against him. Ahmad Beg did not budge from his position and married his daughter to an ordinary soldier. At this, Mirza proclaimed that the husband of Muhammadi would die soon afterwards and that he would marry her. He fixed a period of three years for this to materialise…Twenty two years later Ghulam Ahmad died but the soldier lived for another forty years and she lived even longer!
An example of another failed prophecy was with the Christian, Abdullah Atham. A debate ensued between this individual and Mirza in the year 1893. Neither of the two succeeded in this debate, but Mirza was very insulted. On June 5, 1893 he announced that he had been informed by God that Abdullah Atham would die within fifteen months, i.e. by September 5, 1894. The deadline came and went and Abdullah Atham lived for a long time after.
Dr. Abdul-Hakim, a Sunni Muslim, entered into a discussion with Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and then challenged him to an open debate, in which he called him a liar. Mirza didn’t take this too well, so he prophesied that Abdul-Hakim would die during his life. On May 4th, 1907 Dr. Abdul Hakim responded with his own prediction that Ghulam Ahmad would die before him. Ghulam Ahmad died within a year on May 26th, 1908, at the age of 68 and Dr. Abdul Hakim lived for many years after him.
After two disappointments and proving himself to be a false prophet, he announced again that God had given him the news, “Verily, We give you tidings of a meek boy.” He announced the date of the birth of the boy to be September 16th, 1907 which was never fulfilled. On October 1907 he pronounced yet another revelation from God, “I shall soon bestow upon you a righteous boy” and his name was announced to be Yahya. This son never came, proving beyond doubt that he was never a Prophet!
Muslims Position Towards the Qadiyanis
The Qadiyanis also known as Ahmadis and Mirzais, have been declared as non-Muslims by thousands of Muslim scholars. The following statement was issued by the Islāmic Fiqh Council:
The claim that Mirza Ghulam Ahmed was a Prophet and that he received revelation makes him and anyone who agrees with him an apostate, who has left the folds of Islām. As for the Lahoris, (Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islām) they are like the mainstream Qadiyanis. The same ruling of apostasy applies to them as well, in spite of their claim that Mirza was a ‘shadow and manifestation of Prophet Muhammad’.
This was also mentioned in the World Muslim League Conference, held in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, from the 14th to the 18th of Rabi al-Awwal 1394H (April 1974) wherein the members unanimously reached the conclusion that the Ahmadi/Qadiyanis are not Muslims.
In the end, it can be concluded, without a shed of doubt, that Mirza was a liar who wanted sudden fame. At times, it seems, that he wasn’t ‘all there’. He said in poetry written by him: “I am an earthworm! Not a human being, I am the obscene part of man and the shameful place of humans.” (Braheen-e-Qadianism V, Roohani Khazain vol.21 p.127)
God says: “And who can be more unjust than he who invents a lie against God, or says: “I have received inspiration,” whereas he is not inspired in anything; and who says, “I will reveal the like of what God has revealed.” And if you could but see when the wrong-doers are in the agonies of death, while the angels are stretching forth their hands (saying): “Deliver your soul! This day you shall be recompensed with the torment of degradation because of what you used to utter against God other than the truth. And you used to reject His signs (revelations) with disrespect!” (Qur’aan 6:93)