How we accept Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s Teachings?

by Dr. Zahid Aziz

The Light (UK), August 2008 Issue (pp. 7–8)

After receiving the following question by e-mail, I asked the enquirer’s permission to reply to it on our Lahore Ahmadiyya blog. He agreed to this. So here is the question and the answer I published:

“It being really informative to visit your site, I have a question in my mind. If Hadhrat [Hazrat] Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani is considered only a Mujaddid [Reformer] and not an Ummati Nabi then it is not incumbent upon us to accept his teachings as it is only the Being of Nabi that we are bound to obey according to Arkan-i-Iman.

“Waiting for your reply,
Thanks in anticipation!
Tahir Mahmood, Advocate”

My reply was as follows:

“Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib issued the ten conditions of the baiat [pledge] in 1888. No follower or opponent believes that he had claimed to be a prophet at that stage. Yet he was taking people into his discipleship, who no doubt had to accept him as teacher. In 1900 he announced that his followers would be known as Muslims of the Ahmadiyya Section. Even those who consider him as a prophet acknowledge that at that time he had not claimed to be a prophet. Yet he had many followers who accepted his teachings.

“And what are his teachings which they must accept? He declared:

“I instruct my Jamaat that they should believe in this Kalima Tayyiba [pronouncement of faith] from the bottom of their hearts: La ilaha ill-allah Muhammad-ur Rasulullah, till they die, and that they believe in all the prophets and all the books whose truth is established from the Holy Quran, and that they accept as being obligatory: fasting, prayer, zakat and hajj and all that has been prescribed as obligatory by Allah and His Messenger, and that they accept as being forbidden all that has been forbidden, and follow and adhere to Islam in a correct and proper way.

“To sum up, it is obligatory to accept all those matters regarding belief and practice on which there was consensus by the pious ones of the olden times, and which are considered to constitute Islam by the consensus of opinion of the Ahl as-Sunna.” (Ayyam-us-Sulh, p. 87).

If by his teachings you mean the main differences between him and other Muslims, then please remember that he proved his different interpretations on the basis of the Quran and Hadith, and not on the basis that because he is a prophet therefore he must be accepted. Regarding the death of Jesus and his own claim to be Promised Messiah, he declared to the Ulama:

“I admit this myself that if my claim to be Promised Messiah is against the clear rulings of the Quran and Hadith, and in fact Jesus is bodily alive in heaven, and will descend to the earth at some time, then even if my claim is supported and confirmed by thousands of my revelations, and I show not just one but one hundred thousand signs in support of it, all these are worthless because no claim or sign is acceptable if it is opposed by the Quran and authentic Hadith.” (Majmua Ishtiharat, v. 1, p. 242).

Regarding another main difference with other Muslims, that of the continuity of revelation, he wrote:

“Those who deny ilham [revelation] coming in this Umma [Muslim nation] have not pondered over the Quran nor met those who receive ilham.… You read many verses in the Book of Allah, the Holy Quran, that Allah spoke to some men and women, and commanded them (to do things) and prohibited them (from doing things), but they were not prophets or messengers of the Lord of the worlds. …

“If people doubt my ilham and wonder how Allah can speak to someone in this Umma who is not a prophet, why do they not make the Quran the judge in this dispute, and refer the matter to Allah and His Messenger if they are believers?” (Hamamat-ul-Bushra, Ruhani Khazain, v. 7, p. 297)

He also wrote in the above book:

“Non-Quranic sources must be judged on the basis of the Quran, whether it is a hadith of the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, the vision of a holy man (wali) or the revelation of a saint (qutb), for the Quran is a book whose authenticity is guarded by Allah and He said: ‘We have revealed the Quran and We are surely its guardian’.” (Hamamat-ul-Bushra, Ruhani Khazain, v. 7, p. 216)

Therefore he made people accept his teachings by proving them from the Quran, and not by saying that they must be accepted because he is a prophet. We accept his teachings on the basis of the following verse of the Quran (which he has alluded to above):

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اَطِیۡعُوا اللّٰہَ وَ اَطِیۡعُوا الرَّسُوۡلَ وَ اُولِی الۡاَمۡرِ مِنۡکُمۡ ۚ فَاِنۡ تَنَازَعۡتُمۡ فِیۡ شَیۡءٍ فَرُدُّوۡہُ اِلَی اللّٰہِ وَ الرَّسُوۡلِ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ تُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِاللّٰہِ وَ الۡیَوۡمِ الۡاٰخِرِ ؕ

“O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from among you; then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day.” (The Holy Quran, 4:59)

We consider him as included in the category of

“those in authority from among you”.

Perhaps you could clarify whether you take him to be the “Messenger” referred to above in the words

“obey Allah and the Messenger”.