Unity of Nations through the Kalima of Islam
As proposed by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
The Light (UK), December 2008 Issue (pp. 7–8)
A hundred years ago in India, the militant Arya Samaj sect of the Hindu religion was vilifying and abusing the Holy Prophet Muhammad in the most vitriolic terms in publications and speeches. In this acrimonious atmosphere, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, proposed how peace and friendship could be established between Muslims and Hindus, including these bitter opponents of Islam. In a speech he wrote, to be read out at a meeting organised by the Arya Samaj in December 1907, he put forward the following proposals:
“None is more persecuted than we are, for while we regard with honour and respect all the prophets who have been accepted as such by other great nations of the world and believe in them as true prophets of God in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Quran, the Holy Prophet, our love for whom knows no bounds, is openly abused in lectures and writings by our very neighbours. We do admit, and a public declaration of this admission we consider to be our happy duty, that Moses and Jesus and the other prophets were all the holy, righteous and chosen prophets of God, and that the holy men through whom guidance was brought to the people in this land of the Arya people and other righteous leaders of the Aryas, such as Rama and Krishna, were all the chosen servants of God to whom He sent down His grace and upon whom he showered His blessings. But is there any body who would listen to our complaint that other people do not deal with us in the same liberal and humanitarian spirit? From whom should we seek justice in this matter?
“Consider how beautiful this teaching of the Holy Quran is, for it lays down the basis of peace and union in the world. It requires all the different peoples to become one people, for it demands of all that they should revere the sacred religious leaders of the others. …
“We [Muslims and Hindus] live in one country and are one another’s neighbours. Let us then live in such peace and friendship that we may be as parts of one body. … Are you then prepared, my friends, to take this step to lay the basis of the long-desired union by accepting this principle of peace, namely, that we regard those rishis and avatars of yours, who are accepted and highly revered by millions of your people, as truthful and righteous servants of God, you also may in like manner believe with a sincere heart in the prophethood of our Holy Prophet Muhammad, upon whom be peace and the blessings of God, and unite with us in reciting the holy words which are so dear to every Muslim’s heart:
La ilaha illa-llah-u Muhammad-ur rasul-ullah,
‘There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of God.’ …
“To uproot all enmities and to establish a true and sincere union, it is sufficient that as we look upon your rishis and avatars as true prophets of God, you should also express a belief in the truth of our Holy Prophet and make this declaration public. We cannot, of course, act in accordance with all your current beliefs, for Almighty God has informed us that the scriptures which are in your hands have had alterations and changes made in them by human hands. Moreover, your own religious differences are so great that the beliefs of one sect contradict those of another, and it is useless to enter into these discussions, for the final commandment of God as contained in the Holy Quran has freed us from all other obligations. Therefore all we desire of you is that you should believe in the truth of our scriptures and prophets in the same manner as we believe in the truth of your scriptures and prophets.”1
It is noteworthy that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has here appealed to the Hindus to accept the Holy Prophet Muhammad and to acknowledge the Kalima [pronouncement of faith] that is common to all Muslims. He has not asked them to accept himself as prophet. If he had claimed to be a prophet himself, he would have asked them to accept him as prophet as well, along with the Prophet Muhammad and the earlier prophets that Muslims believe in. He does not say to them that it is his Movement which believes their ancient holy men to be true and therefore they should reciprocate by accepting him, along with the prophets before him, as true! Rather, he invites Hindus towards the Holy Prophet Muhammad and the prophets that are accepted by all Muslims.
A further point to note is that he claims that by Hindus accepting the Kalima the enmity between the two communities will disappear, giving way to union, peace and friendship. Can such a man then create discord among the existing people who already profess that same Kalima by declaring all of them as unbelievers and kafir [non-Muslims] unless they become his followers?
It is, thus, abundantly clear from this lecture dated December 1907, written just 6 months before his death, that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad neither claimed to be a prophet nor did he declare other Muslims as outside the pale of Islam.
- Translation of the speech quoted from The Review of Religions, January 1908, pages 11, 12 and 13. ↩︎