Causes of the Internal Dissensions in the Ahmadiyya Movement (Part 13)

by Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din

The Light (UK), June 2010 Issue (pp. 4–8)

I have now discussed almost all the points of controversy. I will add here something about myself. I entered into the baiat [pledge] on 22nd November 1893 and pledged at the hand of the holy Hazrat [Mirza Ghulam Ahmad] to hold religion above the world. I made the utmost efforts to fulfil this promise. The holy Hazrat bestowed special favours upon me. He was affectionate to me as one is to a dear child. He prayed for me, and said quite unique prayers. Purely through the grace of God and the kindness of Hazrat Mirza sahib towards me, I was able to be of service to him in difficult times, as few in the Movement had the chance to do. Accursed is the man who makes a show of his services. I was his adviser in the most delicate matters, which no one knows about but me. He sought my advice regarding the future of the members of his family and what would happen after him, and he acted on my recommendations. On my insistence, he prayed to God in certain matters, and informed me of God’s decision. I conclude this by asking you: Leaving aside those few persons whose ambitions have been thwarted by me, what was the opinion of thousands of you about me? Say honestly, in what regard did you hold me, and how you saw with your own eyes the special favours bestowed upon me by the holy Hazrat, that Imam accepted by God.

Then came the time of the Hakim [Nur-ud-Din] sahib. I had a very special relationship with him. What he said about me in his lectures and sermons, you have yourself heard and read. And then came the time when I went to England [in September 1912].

I am embarrassed to mention these matters but when one is facing cowardly attacks then it is unjust to remain silent. I went to England and I obeyed Hazrat Hakim sahib till the end of his life. I followed the manner of preaching Islam that he suggested. I sought his guidance on the smallest of matters and adhered to it till he passed away and left his testimonial of being happy with me.

Then I ask you: what was your opinion about me before his death? Let the district of Sialkot in particular ponder. Many of your elders received revelation that I was on the right path in the matters of controversy. The recipients of revelation among you supplicated before God as to whether I was in the wrong or the Mian [Mahmud Ahmad] sahib in matters of propagation. One of them, whose revelations were valued by both Hazrat Mirza sahib and Hazrat Hakim sahib, received about me the revelation: ‘ala-sirat-il-mustaqim (‘he is on the right path’). Al-Fazl itself [magazine started by Mirza Mahmud Ahmad] declared that my going to England was in fulfilment of the prophecy of the holy Hazrat Mirza sahib.

Then came the time when Allah made my efforts bear fruit. Lord Headley accepted Islam and its news reached India. I called it the fulfilment of the prophecy and vision of Hazrat Mirza sahib when he saw himself catching birds in London, and at that time I wrote a poem about it. This was not only my judgment, but many leading men of the Movement stated the same. Sayyid Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi also wrote a poem to the same effect which was published in Badr or Al-Fazl.

In Al-Fazl itself, dated 17th December 1913, an article was published entitled Lord Headley, in which it was written:

“Thirteen centuries ago, Allah the Most High gave the news about Islam that He would make it grow and spread, and broadcast it all over the world. Great rulers would follow it and it would prevail over all other religions. As this promise was given by the Powerful, Omnipotent One, Whose every word is true and firm, it could not be averted. The world then saw how God brought Islam out of obscurity into fame, how He spread it in the East and the West and brought millions of people into its fold. Then, in accordance with the law of God, it went into decline and decay. Muslims ceased to act on that holy scripture which God had revealed for their guidance. Their fall began, and their degradation became worse and worse everyday. This tribulation came upon them that they might realise their weaknesses, be warned of their errors, regret their sins and repent of their faults. But when they did not turn away from the wrong course, nor did they turn towards God, other nations were made dominant over them. Islam’s position was taken by Christianity, and Muslims became the subjects of other nations.

“Even then they did not reform themselves, their wicked ways increased beyond all limits, and they were not motivated by their decline to strive for self-improvement. Then, just at the time when their spiritual crops dried up and those who were thirsty for the truth were left unable to swallow and had parched lips, God opened the doors of the heavens for their guidance and scattered the wind of good news all around telling the world of the coming of the victories of truth. He sent the pleasant rain of His mercy so that the worthy ones should manifest their righteousness. God sent His appointed one [Hazrat Mirza sahib] who descended upon the minaret of Damsacus with the support of not two but thousands of angels. The world saw his wonders. The dead were raised to life, the sick were healed, the lepers were cured, the blind began to see, the deaf began to hear, and the crippled began to walk.

“His messianic spirit changed the world. Before, in the world of Islam no one was willing to go out to serve the religion. The situation was as described in the poetic verse [by Hazrat Mirza sahib]:

‘Everyone is preoccupied with his own business, no one is concerned about the religion of Ahmad’,

and in the saying:

‘What concern have you for others, take care of your own problems’.

“Now, due to the efforts and hard work of the second Messiah, hundreds of thousands of champions rose up for the service of Islam with their lives. They pledged at his hand to hold religion above the world in every matter. They donated money beyond their capacity for the propagation of the faith. They spent day and night in concern and worry as to how to spread Islam.

“God made many great promises through His Messiah for the success of these people. Hence He foretold that the same Europe which, so hope the opponents of Islam, will destroy and ruin Islam, shall one day repent of its sins at the hands of this Messiah and join the servants of Islam, and it shall work not for the destruction but for the establishment of Islam. By the grace of God this promise was fulfilled, and by the hands of the servants of this Messiah Europe has begun to turn towards Islam. Thus, God has enabled the honourable, respected Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din sahib, who has gone to England for the propagation of Islam at the cost of making many sacrifices, to bring many British people into the fold of Islam. The best indication of his success is that his achievement is quite unlike that of the Christian missionaries whose call has only been answered by the ignorant sections of the population of India, apart from rare exceptions, by those who hope to gain worldly benefits by becoming Christians, and therefore a large section of the converts to Christianity are from the lowest classes. But those in England responding to the call of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din are educated people, and an aristocrat belonging to an exalted family, Lord Headley, has declared his acceptance of Islam. He has thus fulfilled the word of God which He sent to us a long time ago through His appointed one, giving the news of the spread of Islam in Europe.

“Congratulations then, O you Ahmadiyya community, that the truth of your Imam has also been proved in Europe, going beyond Asia. Congratulations, O you Ahmadiyya community, that the trees of your efforts are bearing the finest fruits. Congratulations, O you Ahmadiyya community, that your opponents have suffered another defeat. Congratulations, O you Ahmadiyya community, that God the Most High has yet again set His own seal of confirmation upon your truth!

“Where are the opponents of the Ahmadiyya Movement, those who declared the Promised Messiah to be a kafir [non-Muslim]? Let them observe this invisible hand of help, as to how God the Most High places blessings in the works of this community. …”

This was in the editorial columns and the Mian sahib himself was the editor. I myself sent a speech for the December 1913 annual gathering from England, in which it was clearly stated that the prophecy of Hazrat Mirza sahib had been fulfilled. That article was read out in the presence of the Mian sahib and Hazrat Hakim sahib during the jalsa [annual gathering] and was printed in the newspapers. At that time, no one wrote to me or informed me to say that my conclusion was wrong. In short, the entire Ahmadiyya Movement declared the new mission in England to be a fulfilment of the prophetic vision of Hazrat Mirza sahib.

Then there is my approach to propagation, which was set out to me in writing by Hazrat Hakim [Nur-ud-Din] sahib, that I should teach only that

“there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger”.

His letter, which I quoted earlier, is dated December 1913, showing that even up to three months before his death this was his instruction. In short, Allah the Most High, purely out of His grace and favour, made my efforts fruitful, and the whole of the Movement was at one with me.

Then another phase came upon the Movement. Mian [Mahmud Ahmad] sahib became the head of one section of the Jamaat [Movement]. There was a wait to see what stand I would take in the matters of difference. During that time the columns of Al-Fazl remained largely silent. Then when my article on the khilafat [caliphate] was published, or perhaps Ch. [Chaudhry] Fateh Muhammad [from England] informed the Mian sahib of the situation in private letters, immediately the whole of my mission was declared worthless. It was announced that no one should provide me with assistance. O you unwise ones! This work is not dependent on anyone’s assistance. It is God Who takes care of all. Attempts were made to boycott the Islamic Review. The door of allegations opened. I was called a rebel, and those newspapers were given financial help which accused me of rebellion. Alas! By having a different opinion, have we become such enemies of yours that you are ready to cause us every harm? Plans were made to attack my character. Ch. Fateh Muhammad wrote private letters and asked Mian sahib not to publish them. But they were published. It was stated in them that some English ladies have doubts about my character. These vague words were used to commit an injustice against my character. The letters did not contain any truths which were necessary to be published. Today a newspaper writer says that, in obedience to instructions from the Mian sahib, he withholds his pen from making allegations against the Lahore group. Why was he not stopped earlier? It is clear that those newspaper writers received money from Qadian who constantly filled their columns with vile words against us. If they have been stopped now, this could have been done earlier, but then new responsibilities have other requirements.

O wise people of this Movement, think for God’s sake. Can having a difference with the Mian sahib and refusal to enter into his baiat [pledge] make me a sinner and hypocrite, as Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan has written? First, he called me a sinner. Now, because of his position of responsibility, he has considered it appropriate to replace this by the word hypocrite. Although the Mian sahib in a private letter sent to Peshawar has watered down the meaning of the word sinner (fasiq) so much that it has become meaningless, it is perhaps not possible to give the word hypocrite a toned-down meaning. O wise ones, I ask you: Was my connection with the Ahmadiyya Movement for the past twenty years, which I outlined above, going to lead to me becoming a sinner, hypocrite and deceiver? And could God the Most High find only a sinner, hypocrite and deceiver at whose hands to fulfil a prophecy of His Messiah? If what you are doing today is right, it casts doubt on the promises made in the Quran. Hazrat Mian sahib should either declare that he was wrong to say in Al-Fazl that Lord Headley’s acceptance of Islam was in fulfilment of the prophecy made by the Promised Messiah, or that he did it out of fear of Hazrat Hakim sahib while not believing it. But if this opinion was right then why was my work opposed?

I am, after all, the same person that I was at the death of Hazrat Hakim sahib. My way of working and preaching now is the same as it was during the time of Hazrat Hakim sahib. So, should I consider you as seekers of the right path or as followers of factionalism? As long as Hazrat Hakim sahib was alive, you people regarded my work as right and correct, and you even had revelations to that effect. You wrote poems in my praise. You regarded it as a blessing to serve me by cleaning my shoes and cooking food for me. Then Hazrat Hakim sahib died, and I had a difference of opinion with your leader, which is an entirely sincere difference. So today you call me a hypocrite and declare all my work as wrong. If you had recourse to honesty, then as long as I was working along the same lines in England, you could not change your opinion about me. Now your heads are ringing aloud with the religious concept that a person’s earlier deeds can become null. But remember that it is only opposition to a man appointed by God that makes someone’s earlier good deeds go to waste. Opposition to a man who is not appointed by God does not make anyone subject to such punishment. But I am not even opposing but having merely a difference of opinion.

Then I ask Mian sahib himself: On what grounds did he stop Maulvi Sher Ali from going to England to assist me? Did he not make an affirmation to Hazrat Hakim sahib, in February 1909, when I also took the baiat of obedience, that he would obey him, and did he not say: I will obey your orders and those of future khalifas? Was there not an order in regard to Maulvi Sher Ali, and did he not come to Lahore to buy his ticket in obedience to that order? Why was he stopped? It is perfectly true that I always called for Maulvi Sadr-ud-Din sahib, not only now but since I went to England. Due to certain circumstances and qualities I preferred to have him in England rather than Maulvi Muhammad Ali sahib, and events have proved my view to be right. But the answer to the question is not whom I wanted to have in England. The question is, since Maulvi Sher Ali had been ordered to go to England, under what principle did the Mian sahib stop him? For his guidance he had before him the example of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Abu Ubaidah. If the Mian sahib declined to obey the khalifa on the basis of his own judgment, why does he compel others to obey the khalifa, when he himself could not do it?

Then I was further surprised that he separated Ch. Fateh Muhammad from my mission without reason. He is working on the same principles as myself, and not only him, but sometimes the Mian sahib himself and his disciples, according to need, follow the same path of propagation as myself. What was the need to place another burden upon the community by separating Ch. Fateh Muhammad from me? I had never asked the Sadr Anjuman to provide me with his help. The fact is that the advisers of the Mian sahib are very short-sighted. They want to raise some issue within the community and feel that their success lies in keeping some controversy going.

Dear ones! All these are wrong paths. You will soon find that the path you have opened by separating Ch. Fateh Muhammad from me and the Woking Mission is not only wrong but will create many problems. Anyhow, all these events show that at this time obstinacy is prevailing over right thinking. We read in the Quran that wherever you see good work being done, you must not oppose it merely because it is being done by those who have a difference of opinion with you. Then I am surprised by the unrighteous actions being employed in connection with the translation of the Quran. You declare in your newspapers that the translation being done by Maulvi Muhammad Ali is wrong, yet you try to take it from him. If you want to print it then I put to you a proposal. I am prepared to be responsible for a half of the printing costs, and you pay the other half. Let us then print the Quran and distribute it free. Other conditions we can settle among ourselves.

In short, if the new activities from Qadian were based on truth and right, then can someone explain to me why this obstinacy is being shown? I am also extremely concerned that in our Movement difference of opinion is being taken as meaning animosity. There is dangerous mutual hatred and desire to destroy each other, instead of brotherhood, love and politeness. Allegations are being made against one another. All those ways of civility and friendliness which, according to Islam, we must show towards every human being, are absent. Think for God’s sake, if this is the condition of the Jamaat created by the man who was purified by God, the group which represented the latter day appearance of the companions of the Holy Prophet, and to which applied the description

“He made you brethren by His favour”,

then why do we need enemies in the world? This condition itself runs counter to the truth of this Movement.

Come, have mercy on the Movement and leave such things. Resolve differences of opinion among yourselves harmoniously. This problem would be finished tomorrow if Mian sahib laid claim to be appointed by God; otherwise, he cannot be considered as free of error nor can the refusal by someone to enter into his baiat make that person a sinner. Some people said to Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din that they had not entered into his baiat. He replied: Now you are my brothers in spiritual leadership, if you enter into my baiat then you will be my disciples. One of them was my brother Khwaja Jamal-ud-Din and another Malik Sher Muhammad, B.A. Despite not having entered into the baiat of the khalifa, did these people not play a full part in all the projects of the Ahmadiyya Movement? Did not Hazrat Hakim sahib look upon them with favour? Did not the Mian sahib go to Kashmir and give them the same entitlements as are due from one brother to another, and they reciprocated in the same way? So, what has happened now, that not entering into the baiat of a khalifa is treated with the cutting off of social relations, friendship, and conversation? You say that if an Ahmadi does not enter into the baiat of Mian sahib, believes his actions to be wrong, has a difference of opinion with him, and tries to convince others of his viewpoint, then he becomes unworthy that the followers of the Mian sahib should meet or communicate with him or have any dealings with him. If this is correct, then how would you deal with anyone else in the world because non-Ahmadi Muslims would be worse, and non-Muslims worse still? It would mean that followers of the Mian sahib would not be able to meet with, speak to, or eat with anyone except those of their own community.

Now I make a last request to Hazrat Mian Mahmud Ahmad sahib:

  1. If he has been appointed by God through revelation then he must announce by a sworn statement, in the style of the oath proposed in the Quran, which Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib himself also used, that he has been raised through revelation, and that he is the one whose coming has been prophesied by Hazrat Mirza sahib in his Will (Al-Wasiyya), and that he has been informed by revelation that he is the manifestation of the second power (Qudrat Sani). Who does not want that time to come soon? I want to make a decision at least about myself. If he makes such a sworn declaration, it would then be unlawful for me to write anything against his beliefs. I will then either accept him or I will have recourse to prayer. In any case, I would become silent.
  2. If he is the Promised Reformer (Muslih Mau‘ud), then he must declare on oath that he has received revelation that he is the promised son mentioned in the ‘green notice’ [by Hazrat Mirza sahib]. If he has not been informed through revelation then he must stop his disciples from saying that he is the Promised Reformer or promised son. Why is he silent on this? This silence is highly damaging. One of his followers has written a booklet to show that the Mian sahib is the Promised Reformer. The other side has published a refutation of this. Why does he not clarify his position? Why is he afraid? Irresponsible persons are speaking on his behalf. Of course, if it is merely his own human judgment that he is the promised son mentioned in the ‘green notice’, then he must declare this also. I have heard that in reply to a question from Ch. [Chaudhry] Abdullah Khan of Bahlulpur he has denied being the Divinely-appointed one mentioned in Al-Wasiyya but considered himself the son prophesied in the ‘green notice’.

The Mian sahib must also clarify the following points in the declaration. Upon his birth, Hazrat Mirza sahib wrote:

“A son has been born in the house of this humble servant, who has been given the names Bashir and Mahmud by way of omen. After I receive full disclosure by revelation, I will let it be known, but as yet it has not been disclosed to me whether this boy is the Muslih Mau‘ud, who shall have long life, or if it is someone else”.

The question is, Did Hazrat Mirza sahib ever receive any such disclosure, and did he ever write anywhere that he had received disclosure by revelation?

He has written something in his book Siraj Munir, but not that he received disclosure by revelation. This view is proved correct because, long after Siraj Munir, when the book Tiryaq-ul-Qulub was written, Hazrat Mirza sahib expressed his view that the younger brother Bashir might be the promised son. Then there was his view about the youngest son, Mubarak Ahmad, that he would be the promised son, which I need not repeat here.

I say to Mian Mahmud Ahmad sahib: These are the works of God, by which the Almighty wishes to establish in this world the true knowledge of His Uniqueness, that the words of revelation are God’s words, and the words of the one who receives revelation are the words of a human being. This is why sometimes the one who receives revelation can make an error in interpreting the revelation. In any case, if you have been informed by Divine revelation that you are the promised son then declare it. But if you have not been so informed, then instruct your followers to refrain from calling you as ‘Promised Son’, ‘Promised Reformer’, ‘a great prophet of God’, and ‘the pride of messengers’, which is what they are doing, and causing a dangerous mischief thereby in the world. Whatever they say should be according to your instructions.

Along with this, I also add here that you should declare, in a few words, your belief about the prophethood of Hazrat Mirza sahib, and also let people know in what sense you regard non-Ahmadis as unbelievers.

I take this opportunity to submit respectfully that I am your servant. I feel no hesitation in working under your leadership. You are the flesh of my master. Of course, if your belief is that Hazrat Mirza sahib was a real and full-fledged prophet in his own right then I say with great regret that in terms of this belief I part company with you forever. However, if your belief is the same as mine, that my master the Promised Messiah was a servant of the Holy Prophet Muhammad and Ahmad and his follower, and that only because of perfectly following the Holy Prophet, the Khatam-un-Nabiyyin [Seal of the Prophets], he became the reflection of a prophet with partial prophetic qualities, and that it was in this sense that the Holy Prophet spoke of the coming Messiah as prophet of God, then I hope for the day when the mutual differences will come to an end, and a way might be found of working under your command.


— Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, 24 December 1914.

Postscript Note:

A distinguished follower of Hazrat Mian sahib has just told me that the Mian sahib does not accept the doctrine that the khalifa is infallible, even though the ordinary followers do believe this. If this is true, then why is his opinion regarded as supreme over the collective view of the Anjuman? If he really believes that his opinion is fallible, and that there is no Divine promise that he shall not remain adhering to an erroneous opinion, then it is most dangerous to give the khalifa those powers which belonged to the Promised Messiah who could be protected from error by his true revelation. Anyhow, the Mian sahib himself should declare his belief in this matter.

Editor’s Note: This concludes the serialisation of the translation of the Urdu booklet Ikhtilafat Silsila Ahmadiyya Kay Asbab (‘Causes of the Internal Dissensions in the Ahmadiyya Movement’) by Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, which he wrote after his return to India, in late 1914, from his first visit to England where he established The Islamic Review and the Woking Muslim Mission in 1913.