Questions and Answers [on Ahmadiyyat]
The Islamic Guardian (UK), 1979 Issue (The FIRST Issue, pp. 12–14)
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed to be the Promised Messiah. Does that not mean that he claimed to be a prophet?
Definitely not! Ahmadis believe that the Promised Messiah was to be a Mujaddid [Reformer] of the Muslim nation, appointed to the task of defeating the false Church doctrines and propagating Islam among the Christian nations. Hazrat Mirza has frequently elaborated this point. For instance, he writes in Taudih Maram:
“If it be objected that the like of the Messiah must also be a prophet because the Messiah was a prophet, the reply to this is … that our lord and master (the Holy Prophet Muhammad — Editor) has not laid it down that the coming Messiah shall be a prophet; nay, he has made it clear that he shall be a Muslim and bound by the Law of Islam like ordinary Muslims” (pp. 9–10).
In Ainah Kamalat-e-Islam he states:
“It must be remembered that the claim of being the Promised Messiah is not in any way greater than the claim of being a recipient of Divine communication or a Mujaddid from God. … To give the name ‘Promised Messiah’ to the Mujaddid of this age seems to be based on the expediency that his great task is to overthrow the supremacy of Christianity and counter their attacks, and to shatter with strong arguments their philosophy … and to establish fully the evidence of Islam against them” (p. 340).
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed to be a recipient of Divine revelation. Is this not another way of claiming prophethood?
According to the clearest teachings of Islam, Divine revelation as granted to non-prophets will continue forever as a blessing for the righteous among Muslims.
The Holy Quran says:
لَہُمُ الۡبُشۡرٰی فِی الۡحَیٰوۃِ الدُّنۡیَا وَ فِی الۡاٰخِرَۃِ ؕ
“For them (i.e., the auliya or friends of God) is good news in this world’s life and in the Hereafter” (The Holy Quran, 10:64).
The good news (mubashsharat) here has been described by the Holy Prophet Muhammad as the only thing that remains of prophethood after him. The Holy Prophet has also said:
“There will be among them (i.e., Muslims) men to whom God will speak though they would not be prophets” (Sahih Bukhari).
The Holy Prophet has termed such a person as a muhaddath (one spoken to by God though not a prophet).
The Promised Messiah has clearly denied the allegation against him that he claimed to be a prophet while affirming that God spoke to him as He has promised to speak to non-prophets. For instance:
“I am not a prophet but a muhaddath from God and a recipient of Divine communication so that I may renovate Islam” (Ainah Kamalat-e-Islam, p. 383);
“There is no claim of prophethood but of being a muhaddath which has been advanced by God’s command” (Izalah Auham, p.421);
and so on.
Can you name the mujaddids of the first thirteen centuries?
Even if we could not name them, this would not disprove their coming. The Holy Quran states that prophets appeared among all the nations of the earth, and so the fact that the names of only a few of them are known cannot be used to argue that prophets have only appeared among one or two nations. Similarly, the Holy Prophet’s hadith proves the coming of mujaddids in all centuries even though it may not be possible to name them all.
However, many Muslim religious figures in history have claimed to be the mujaddids of their eras; in addition, Muslim religious scholars of the past have described some of their predecessors as mujaddids of their times. In fact, Shaikh Ahmad of Sirhind, India, is quite commonly known in the Indian sub-continent as simply Hazrat Mujaddid Alf Thani (Mujaddid of the second thousand — he appeared at the head of the eleventh century Hijrah).
From historical sources the following list of mujaddids may be compiled:
- First century: Umar ibn Abdul Aziz
- Second century: Imams Shafii and ibn Hanbal
- Third century: Abu Sharh and Ashari
- Fourth century: Abu Ubaidullah, Abu Bakr Baqilani
- Fifth century: Al-Ghazali
- Sixth century: Abdul Qadir Jilani
- Seventh century: Ibn Taimiyyah, Muin-ud-Din Chishti
- Eight century: Ibn Hajar Asqalani, Salih ibn Umar
- Ninth century: Sayyid Muhammad Jaunpuri
- Tenth century: Imam Suyuti
- Eleventh century: Shaikh Ahmad of Sirhind (India)
- Twelfth century: Shah Waliullah of Dehli (India)
- Thirteenth century: Sayyid Ahmad Barelavi (India).
And, of course, the Mujaddid of the fourteenth century of the Hijrah is Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India (1835–1908 C.E.).
Some Muslims consider you as kafirs [non-Muslims] and excluded from the pale of Islam. What do you say to that?
Let us quote the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement on this point:
“We believe in the five pillars of Islam … We believe that there is no god besides God, and that Muhammad is His Messenger and the last of the prophets. We believe that whoever adds to, or detracts from, the Islamic Shariah [Islamic Law] even one whit, is excluded from Islam. And we instruct our community that they believe in La ilaaha ill-Allah Muhammad rasul-Allah; and that they consider as their duties salah, saum, zakah, hajj, and other obligations imposed by God and His Prophet, and act according to Islam … It is incumbent to believe in all those things which, according to the ijmaa of the Ahl Sunnah (i.e., the orthodox), constitute Islam” (Ayyam Sulh).
Thus, by the grace of Allah, not only are we Muslims but we are also the only group dedicated purely to the propagation of Islam.
Muslim leaders, both religious and political, have publicly recognised and applauded our efforts to propagate Islam. Among such leaders are the late Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah (Founder of Pakistan), the late Liaquat Ali Khan (first premier of Pakistan), and the famous Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar, to name but a few.
As for those Muslim ulama [clerics] who dub us kafirs, it is a fact that they call each other kafir as well. The Munir Inquiry Commission Report (Pakistan, 1954) concluded that almost every Muslim sect or group in Pakistan was considered kafir by someone or other of the ulama! Thus, these verdicts of kufr against us have no value or credibility or basis.
It may be noted that the Quaid-e-Azam was strongly opposed to any such verdicts against those who declared themselves to be Muslims, and he adhered to the Lahore Ahmadiyya view that all those who recite the Kalimah Tayyibah are Muslims:
“He said that it was totally wrong to place restrictions against Ahmadis joining the All India Muslim League. … He further advised the Kashmir Muslim conference not to create sectarian conflicts, and to gather all those who recite the Kalimah under one flag” (Reported in Inqalaab, 3 June 1944).
Note also that in the days when the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement managed the Woking Mosque and Mission, many famous Muslim leaders prayed there behind the Ahmadi Imams of the mosque. Among such leaders were Tunku Abdur Rahman of Malaysia, the late King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, and the late President Ayub Khan of Pakistan.
It should be added, to close the reply to this question, that even some of the Takfir-happy ulama, who issue verdicts of heresy in all directions, do not consider us as kafirs. The famous Pakistani politico-religious leader, Sayyid Abul Ala Maudoodi, who died in September this year, once wrote in a letter:
“I do not consider the Qadianis (the Rabwah Movement — Editor) and the Ahmadis (the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement — Editor) to be in the same category. … The Ahmadi group is included in the Muslim community. … We cannot issue a religious verdict (of kufr — Editor) against them since they deny the prophethood of Mirza [i.e., the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement]” (Letter ref. no. 182, dated 23 Muharram 1357 (about 1938/1939) from Darusalam, Pathankot, Punjab, India).