Ahmadiyyat — The Citadel of Islam
by Mian Rahim Bakhsh
Table of Contents:
- The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement
- The Establishment of Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat-e-Islam, Lahore
- The Operation Regeneration
- Comparative Study of Religions reveals Islam as a Super Religion
- Reformation Par Excellence
- The Significance of Jihad
- Sunrise from the West
- The Truth will speak for itself
- Ahmadiyyat — The Citadel of Islam
- The Ten Terms of the Pledge of Fealty [Baiat] as prescribed by the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement
Mian Rahim Bakhsh has put a personal effort into bringing out this easy-to-read booklet. I am sure any reader who spares time to go through these pages will be better informed on the subject after reading them. This will help clear some doubts and misconceptions about the Ahmadiyya Movement and the claims of its Founder, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib; it will also give an idea of the services the Founder and his followers have rendered to Islam.
This booklet is not meant to be a comprehensive account of all there is to know about Ahmadiyyat but will certainly be thought-provoking; and raise interest to find out more about a Movement which has been much misrepresented to the world.
It is hoped this treatise will serve its purpose and is highly commended.
Saeed Ahmad Khan
Ameer Jamaat Ahmadiyya
بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ
“In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, The Merciful”
وَ قُلۡ جَآءَ الۡحَقُّ وَ زَہَقَ الۡبَاطِلُ
“And say: The Truth has come and, falsehood has disappeared” (The Holy Quran, 17:81).
Dedicated to all Seekers of Truth and who sincerely believe in the Kalma Tayyaba:
لَآاِلٰہَ اِلَّااللّٰھُ مُحَمَّدٌرَّسُوْلُ اللّٰھِ
“There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his Messenger.”
بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ
“In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful”
Ahmadiyyat — The Citadel of Islam
1. The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement:
The Ahmadiyya Movement was started about a century ago some time in the eighties of the nineteenth century A.D., corresponding to the fourteenth century Hijra, by its Founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (Allah’s mercies on him) in India. He claimed himself as Mujaddid [Reformer], who was commissioned by Allah for the Revival of the Religion of Islam, and Reformation of the Muslims in this age. In his capacity as Mujaddid, namely a Reformer, he also claimed to be the Promised Messiah, who according to a reliable Hadith (Saying of the Holy Prophet [Muhammad] (pbuh)) was to appear in the latter ages of Islamic era to expound the Truth of Islam and to propagate it in the whole world. This prophecy relating to the advent of Messiah, he said, had been fulfilled in his person, because the original Messiah, Jesus Christ [AS], who had been sent as prophet to the tribes of Bani Israel [Israelites], had died a natural death in his own time, and as generally believed by Muslims, to have been raised to heaven and to descend from heaven in the latter age of the Muslim era, this would not happen. He asserted that a positive proof of the death of Jesus Christ was forthcoming from the text of the Holy Quran, and he quoted a number of verses of the Quran in support of his assertion. (The matter will come under discussion later). Moreover, he asserted, that the death of Jesus Christ has since been established on historical ground, and it has been discovered on research that after escaping death by crucifixion, he went about in search of the lost tribes of Bani Israel to deliver his prophetic mission and finally came to the valley of Kashmir, where he died and was buried in a well-known grave now existing in Srinagar, Kashmir. Reference is invited in this connection to Khawaja Nazir Ahmad’s remarkable book “Jesus in Heaven on Earth”, which establishes this position.
In the light of this conclusive evidence, based on Quran and historical research, surely the general belief of the Muslims that the prophet Jesus Christ was not crucified but he was raised to heaven by Allah in his corporal body, and after staying in heaven alive for more than two thousand years, he will descend from heaven to earth, and extirpate all Christians to bring about the domination of Muslims; such belief does not hold water, and the idea obviously seems to have been incorporated into the Islamic theology by Christianity. Hence once the death of Jesus Christ, the Bani Israel prophet is established without any shadow of doubt, the prophecy of his second advent hardly presents any difficulty in understanding the metaphorical sense, underlying the prophecy, namely, the second advent of Messiah would be in the form of a Muslim Saint bearing the image of Jesus Christ. Thus the claim of Hazrat Mirza Sahib (Allah’s mercies on him) as Mujaddid and Promised Messiah holds good and is in accord with Quran and Sunnah. It is also clear beyond any doubt that Mirza Sahib never claimed himself as prophet who brought a new religion other than Islam, but that he was not only a true Muslim, but a stalwart champion of the Religion of Islam. In fact, he always claimed himself to be a humble and devoted servant of the Last and Greatest Prophet, Muhammad (pbuh), and he not only spent all his life in devout submission to Islam and Quranic injunctions, but also proved a redoubtable advocate of the cause of Islam by expounding its Eternal Truth and presenting it in its pristine purity as the Religion of Humanity for all time. Thus, the allegations of his claim for prophethood are absolutely false and malicious and need never be entertained for a moment. Indeed, Hazrat Mirza Sahib held the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in the highest esteem and ever held him as the Last and Greatest of prophets, and always sent Salwat and Darood [salutations] on him.
2. The establishment of Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat-e-Islam, Lahore:
After the death of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, and on the death of his immediate successor, Maulana Nur-ud-Din, sharp differences arose among the followers of Hazrat Mirza Sahib, regarding some fundamental principles of vital importance concerning the doctrines of Nubuwwat [prophethood] and Takfir of Muslims [dubbing Muslims as non-believers], on account of which Maulana Muhammad Ali, the leading and devoted disciple of Hazrat Mirza Sahib, had to leave Qadian and he moved to Lahore where he established the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat‑e‑Islam to represent the Ahmadiyya Movement. It should therefore be borne in mind in this context that the true representative of the Ahmadiyya Movement is the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat‑e‑Islam, Lahore, on account of its sound position on the doctrines of Nubuwwat and Takfir, as it holds that Hazrat Mirza Sahib was not a prophet nor he claimed himself as such, and that a believer or declarer of Kalima is a Muslim and cannot be declared a Kafir (i.e., heretic).
The Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat‑e‑Islam was established in 1914, under the dynamic leadership of the Great Maulana Muhammad Ali, the well-known translator of the Holy Quran in English and Urdu with comprehensive commentary notes. Besides translating the Quran, he was also the author of a number of standard works on Islam, such as, The Religion of Islam, Muhammad — the Prophet, The Early Caliphate, A Manual of Hadith, The Living Thoughts [of Prophet Muhammad], etc., etc. Admittedly, the late renowned Maulana Muhammad Ali, who was a devoted disciple of the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, was the ablest and greatest exponent of Islamic Religion in the present age, and Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall has accordingly paid a befitting tribute to Maulana Muhammad Ali to the effect that the said Maulana was the only living person who had rendered greatest service to Islam. The Maulana could thus be ranked among the most distinguished and greatest scholars and commentators of the Quran in the epoch of Islam and could be held as the highest authority on the Religion of Islam in this age. The Maulana has left his heritage in the Ahmadiyya Anjuman, Lahore, with its present Headquarters located at Darus‑Salaam, 5 Usman Block, New Garden Town, Lahore. This Anjuman is, therefore, the true representative not only of the Ahmadiyya Movement but it also stands for the Real Religion of Islam in its beliefs and practices of Islamic Doctrines and Tenets in their pristine purity.
3. The Operation Regeneration:
It was through the Ahmadiyya Movement that its Founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (Allah’s mercies on him) of Qadian, in commitment of his Divine Assignment as Mujaddid, brought about the Renaissance of Islam by a marvellous transformation in the Islamic world for the revival of Islam as a spiritual force and regeneration of the Muslims to attain their moral and spiritual glory. The desideratum essentially required was the restoration of true faith and sincere belief in the existence of God, Allah (ایمان بااللہ [Iman-billah]), His Unity and His Immanence. With the passage of time after the initial glorious period of the Islamic era, genuine faith in the existence of God had degenerated into a mere lip profession based on traditional convention which lacked in real conviction. According to a Hadith, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) is said to have defined the nature of true faith to be so convincing that you behold God every moment of your life, and if your conviction is not so realistic, you at least conceive Him as watching you all the time. The call for acquisition of such true faith was made by the Holy Prophet (pbuh) for elimination of all evils and sin from the social fabric of Islam. Says the Holy Quran, Surah Al‑Imran, verse 193:
رَبَّنَاۤ اِنَّنَا سَمِعۡنَا مُنَادِیًا یُّنَادِیۡ لِلۡاِیۡمَانِ اَنۡ اٰمِنُوۡا بِرَبِّکُمۡ فَاٰمَنَّا ٭ۖ رَبَّنَا فَاغۡفِرۡ لَنَا ذُنُوۡبَنَا وَ کَفِّرۡ عَنَّا سَیِّاٰتِنَا وَ تَوَفَّنَا مَعَ الۡاَبۡرَارِ ﴿۱۹۳﴾ۚ
“Our Lord, Surely we (the believers) have heard a crier calling to the Faith, saying: ‘Believe in your Lord.’ So we do believe. Our Lord grant us protection from our sins and remove our evils and make us die with the righteous” [The Holy Quran, 3:193].
Throughout centuries of the Islamic era, this call has echoed through the saintly personalities of the righteous God’s chosen (اولیاء اللہ [Auliah‑ullah]), who perceived God’s Existence by communion with Allah by way of Ilham (الہام [non-prophetic revelation]), and transmitted this Iman (ایمان [faith]) to their followers. Such saintly personalities have appeared from time to time and place to place to illumine and infuse this spirit of faith among their contemporaries, and thus contributed to the spread of Islam. And in the present age of Islam’s decadence, this cry for faith has echoed with the advent of the Mujaddid and Promised Messiah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (Allah’s Mercies on him), who called upon the Muslims to imbibe this true faith, possessed by him on the basis of his personal experience of direct communion with God in the way of Ilham (الہام), which through God’s grace is granted to His chosen saints (اولیاء اللہ [Auliyah‑ullah]). It is admitted on all hands that the conferment of such communion with Allah, technically called ilham (الہام), is a favour granted by Allah to the righteous saintly persons, and it does not tantamount to Allah’s communion with prophets which is technically called wahy‑e‑nabuywwat (وحی نبوت [prophetic revelation]), which has been terminated after the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), as he was the Last in the line of prophets. Hazrat Mirza Sahib’s claim of being recipient of this non‑prophetic revelation (الہام [ilham]) was therefore, in no way, a contradiction of the doctrine of (خَتَمِ نَبوّت [Khatam‑e‑Nabuwwat]) (Termination of Prophethood) and he always refuted such claim in the strongest terms. He claimed that Allah’s favour of such non‑prophetical revelation (الہام [ilham]) had been granted to him in abundance in order to enable him to furnish first-hand evidence of the Existence of God, which was based on personal experience and observation. And in proof thereof he announced a number of predictions foretelling future events, apparently unlikely to happen, but which came out true in the course of time. In this age of scepticism and disbelief in the Existence of God, such prophetic utterances and their fulfilment were of paramount importance and were expressly needed to provide a positive proof of His Existence. He accordingly challenged his compatriots and all sceptics at large to personally witness the factual position with regard to such astounding occurrences happening in response to his prophetical utterances. The most prominent events of this nature were:
- The Mysterious death of the Arya Samaj leader Pandit Lekhram, who was stabbed in his own house, in broad daylight, but the murderer could not be traced, and,
- The tragic and ignominious end of a false claimant as prophet Dr. Dowie of America, an arrogant archenemy of Islam who had vowed to efface Islam from the face of the earth.
In both cases, Hazrat Mirza Sahib had sternly warned the culprits to desist from abusing Islam and its Founder [Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)], failing which they would meet a disastrous punishment by Allah as foretold by him. To witness the fulfilment of such prophecies must evidently lead to instil a real conviction in the Existence of a Living Almighty Allah, who controls not only the entire universe but also the human affairs. Undoubtedly, such experience is essentially provocative to generate a re‑awakening of a true faith (ایمان بااللہ [iman billah]) for the spiritual regeneration of the Muslims and humanity at large. In fact, a genuine and sincere conviction in the Existence of Allah is the very keystone for moulding the life of man on the Islamic pattern of righteousness. The impact of a real faith on the life of man is vindicated by the fact that the inner faith reflects on the actions of man, and so reacts on his way of life as to purify him from all sins and evils, and lead him to spiritual advancement. Truly speaking, a real and sincere faith in Allah is the sine qua non [prerequisite] of the life of integrity and virtue as enjoined by Islam! And this was the requisite provided by Hazrat Mirza Sahib with his claim of direct communion with Allah by Ilham (الہام), and it was demonstrated by him in the lives of his followers, who on joining his Jamaat, turned a new leaf in their lives and thereafter led virtuous lives which became models of virtue and truthfulness.
4. Comparative Study of Religions reveals Islam as a Super Religion:
Another remarkable feature of Hazrat Mirza Sahib’s mission was to establish by strong arguments and reasoning, the Truth of the Religion of Islam and its supremacy in excellence and comprehensiveness over all other religions and schools of thought prevailing in this age. He accomplished this object by publication of his earliest and most noteworthy book — The Barahin‑e‑Ahmadiyya, in which he proved by logical reasoning and strong arguments the Truth of the Religion of Islam, and its unique characteristics of excellence and beauty in comparison with other religions; and on these grounds, he challenged advocates of all other religions to come forward and refute or countermand the arguments advanced by him. For this purpose, he also held a number of debates and discussions with the leading opponents of Islam, who were indulging in vile denunciation of the Religion of Islam and defiling the sublime character of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) in a most derogatory manner, which was proving disparaging to the faith held by Muslims in the doctrines of Islam, and this tendency of doubt was resulting in vast conversions of Muslims to other faiths like Christianity and Hinduism. Hazrat Mirza Sahib took a firm stand against all these adversaries of Islam, and flouted their base allegations and accusations against Islam so forcefully and at the same time focussing light on the merits and beauties of the Religion of Islam so excellently that the tables were turned in no time, and the ball was rolling in the other court. The opposition had been left with no choice but to fend for themselves and literally took to their heels winding up their propaganda apparatus. The advantage that accrued to Islam out of these debates and discussions was immense: the general public, the world over especially of the West, were awakened to the merits of the Religion of Islam and began to appreciate the excellent qualities and beauties of this religion which led to acceptance of Islam and conversion to this faith.
At the same time, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement produced a copious amount of literature on the comparative study of religions to highlight the merits of Islam in the religious field, and his success in this field was superb, and was acclaimed in superlative terms at the historic convention of Religions held at Lahore (Punjab) in December 1896. On this auspicious occasion, a Paper written by the Mirza Sahib in his capacity as an advocate of the Religion of Islam, was read out in the convention amid a vast congregation. The dissertation comprised five subjects selected for discussion by the convenors of the convention, which are of fundamental importance for all religions. These five subjects related to:
- The physical, moral and spiritual conditions of man,
- The state of man in the after life,
- The real object of the existence of man, and means of its attainment,
- The effect of actions in the present life and the life to come, and
- The Sources of Divine Knowledge.
This speech was delivered in a large assemblage consisting of votaries of all the religions and it was listened to with rapt attention; and it was so absorbing in interest that in view of its being lengthy, the convention was specially extended by one day to complete the speech. The most remarkable thing about the speech was that it was based on the teachings of Islam, and the subject matter was entirely drawn from the text of the Holy Quran. Another thing worth noting was that during the course of delivery of the speech, which lasted for several hours, the massive audience listened to it spellbound and glued to their seats or standing on their feet. And at the conclusion of the convention the Treatise of Hazrat Mirza Sahib, as foretold by him before the opening of the Conference, was adjudged unanimously by the convenors of convention as the best, most impressive and the top most exposition of the Religion of Islam from among all the speeches delivered by the advocates of other religions — Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and even other Muslim speakers! And thus the world witnessed aghast a unique phenomenon of the Triumph of the Religion of Islam over all other religions of the world in this age. This was in accord with the proclamation made by the Quran fourteen hundred years before:
ہُوَ الَّذِیۡۤ اَرۡسَلَ رَسُوۡلَہٗ بِالۡہُدٰۦ وَ دِیۡنِ الۡحَقِّ لِیُظۡہِرَہٗ عَلَی الدِّیۡنِ کُلِّہٖ ؕ وَ کَفٰی بِاللّٰہِ شَہِیۡدًا ﴿ؕ۲۸﴾
“He (Allah) it is who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth (Islam) that He may make it prevail over all other religions; And Allah is enough for a witness” (The Holy Quran, 48:28).
How this proclamation resounded so miraculously on this occasion of the Convention of Faiths! For a fuller account of this conference, reference is invited to the booklet, entitled “The Teachings of Islam” to be had from The Ahmadiyya Anjuman, Darul-Kutub Islamia, 5 Usman Block, New Garden Town, Lahore. This is the English version of the original Urdu text, couched in Hazrat Mirza Sahib’s own words and style, published much earlier entitled (اسلامی اصول کی فلاسفی [Islami Usool ki Philosophy]). The credit for this marvellous achievement of the Triumph of Islam in this age, undoubtedly goes rightly to the Imam, the Mujaddid, the Mehdi, the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (May Allah shower His Mercies and Blessings on him)!!!
5. Reformation Par Excellence:
Hazrat Mirza Sahib in accomplishment of his mission as Mujaddid carried out a number of reforms among the Ummat-i-Muslima [Muslim World], which were essentially needed for true understanding and practice of the Islamic principles and doctrines in their pristine purity. These reforms were aimed at expunging the Islamic Religion of all the spurious dogmas, innovations and false superstitious ideas and customs which had, in the course of time, crept into and corrupted the purity of the Religion of Islam by its contact with other religious cults such as Christianity and Hinduism. Such reforms were the outcome of proper understanding of the Holy Quran. Hazrat Mirza Sahib had a profound love and deep understanding of Quran and he inculcated an earnest study of the Divine Book to grasp its true meanings and import. These reforms embraced a wide range of subjects of major and minor importance. The major issues involved were concerned with the death of Jesus Christ, the Israel Prophet, and the consequent appearance of the Messiah from among the Muslims, who would be in the image and likeness of the Israel Prophet, Jesus Christ, and the second issue which came up for clarification was the real significance of Jihad. The misconceptions on these points among the generality of Muslims were creating a degenerating effect on the Muslims as it had set in a state of inertia and led them to believe that they were to await the reappearance of the original Jesus Christ in person in order to exterminate all Christians and so to spread Islam in the world. And in the second place regarding jihad, they were and are still under the misconception that a war-like Mahdi would appear in the Muslim Ummah who would establish the kingdom of Islam on the point of sword. I cannot do better to throw light on these points at issue than to quote at length from my earlier publication entitled “The Debt Forgotten” as under:
The Death of Jesus Christ and the Second Advent of Messiah:
The pronouncement made by Hazrat Mirza Sahib to the effect that Jesus Christ, the Bani Israel prophet and Messiah, had died a natural death after spending a normal span of life to fulfil his mission — that he neither died on the Cross nor was lifted bodily to heaven — was the most startling statement to the Muslims as well as the Christians, and falling as a bombshell to explode the old cherished conception, caused a furore of provocative protests on all sides. The hitherto admirers and believers in his saintly personality, turned suddenly hostile and bitter enemies. In spite of sound reasoning based on Quranic references and reliable Traditions and appeals of fair-mindedness, the orthodox Ulama could hardly overcome their prejudices and the opposition gathered in force and vehemence, culminating in a joint pronouncement of the charge of heresy (Fatwa‑e‑Kufr). It is said that the opposition actually grew up on the claim of Mirza Sahib as Messiah and Mahdi which followed the announcement of Jesus Christ’s death — a claim considered far premature and too presumptuous by the leading Ulama for a man of Mirza Sahib’s status. But it is sadly overlooked that the claim stands a priori on the proof of the death of Jesus Christ; if this postulate is proved through Quranic text and the law of nature that pervades this universe of ours, there is no escape from the conclusions that follow.
If Jesus Christ was as much of a mortal as all the other prophets and the Quran makes no exception in his case, and he did die a natural death like all other prophets including the greatest Prophet, Muhammad (pbuh), how can you explain the reappearance of the real Jesus in his original physique to claim his second advent? How can the doctrine of the reappearance of Jesus in his original corporate body after living in the same corporate self in heaven for over two thousand years can hold water and could be acceptable? Is not then the fact of the death of Jesus Christ, a sine qua non [prerequisite] for the truth of Mirza Sahib’s claim, and a decisive factor in accepting his authority?
An examination of this most ticklish problem will reveal the actual position. The view held by the orthodox opposition is that the original Jesus Christ who was sent as prophet to Bani Israel some six centuries before the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was at the time of crucifixion actually lifted to heaven, and ever since, these two thousand years, is still living there in flesh and blood in order to be sent back to earth in the same body to bring about the promised dominance of Muslims in the world! The entire conception is based on a single phrase occurring in Quran about Jesus, namely (رَفَعَہُ اللّٰہُ اِلَیْہِ [ra-fa’a-hullah elaihay]), literally “God raised him to Himself.” Now this phrase occurs in two contexts in the Quran:
اِنِّیۡ مُتَوَفِّیۡکَ وَ رَافِعُکَ اِلَیَّ
1. “I will cause you to die and raise you to Myself” (The Holy Quran 3:55), and,
وَ مَا قَتَلُوۡہُ یَقِیۡنًۢا ﴿۱۵۷﴾ۙ بَلۡ رَّفَعَہُ اللّٰہُ اِلَیۡہِ ؕ
2. “And they killed him not for certain, but Allah raised him to Himself” [The Holy Quran, 4:157–158].
The meanings of ‘rafa’ (رفع) are however quite clear from the first context. When God said to Jesus that He will cause him to die, there can be no question of Jesus being raised alive to heaven. So the appropriate rendering in the first context is obviously
“I will cause you to die and exalt you in My presence.”
The same sense of exaltation and honour holds good in the second verse:
“And they (Jews) killed him (Jesus) not (on the cross to cause ignominious death) for certain but Allah (caused him to die a natural death and thus) exalted him in His presence” (The Holy Quran, 4:157–158).
This rendering is clear and supple enough to solve the puzzle. This idiomatic sense of the word (رفع [rafa]) is amply illustrated in Arabic sayings elsewhere in the Quran, and also in a Hadith, viz.,
وَمَا تَوَاضَعَ أَحَدٌ لِلَّهِ إِلاَّ رَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ
“Allah exalts him who humbles himself for Allah” [Sahih Muslim, 2588].
But apart from the discussion and wordy warfare over the meanings of a few words and phrases such as (رفع [rafa]) and (توفیٰ [tawaffa]) so keenly contested by the so‑called Ulama [religious clerics] (though their idiomatic meanings are clear enough) let us see how the proposition sounds, prima facie [at first sight], to the average man of intelligence and education.
To a man of reason and scientific knowledge, a belief in the physical ascension of Jesus to heaven and his escape from death over a period of twenty centuries would be like believing in the ante‑diluvian [old] notion of the earth being a stationary flat disc, with the sun and the moon revolving round it, which has long since been discarded in the light of the facts discovered and authenticated by science with regard to the revolution of the earth and its orbital motion round the sun and its rotation round its own axis. Has not yet the passage of time opened the eyes of the holders of orthodox views to the futility of such a conception? A century has elapsed since Mirza Sahib proclaimed the death of Jesus Christ, and still all these hundred years the eyes of the Muslims have been fixed on heaven in vain to watch the descent of the original Jesus from the celestial regions to his terrestrial abode! After all, how long is this wait going to last? And for heaven’s sake, where and what is the ‘heaven’ above, which forms the resting place of a mortal being like Jesus the prophet of God, sent to the Israelites, as stated by the Quran:
وَ رَسُوۡلًا اِلٰی بَنِیۡۤ اِسۡرَآءِیۡلَ ۬ۙ
“And (Jesus) was sent a Messenger to the children of Israel” (The Holy Quran, 3:49).
Evidently, it is clear that the version of Hazrat Mirza Sahib as announced by him regarding the death of Jesus is in accord with and based on the correct rendering of the Quranic text as well as in keeping with the laws of nature. The Holy Quran describes the situation thus:
فَلَمَّاۤ اَحَسَّ عِیۡسٰی مِنۡہُمُ الۡکُفۡرَ قَالَ مَنۡ اَنۡصَارِیۡۤ اِلَی اللّٰہِ ؕ قَالَ الۡحَوَارِیُّوۡنَ نَحۡنُ اَنۡصَارُ اللّٰہِ ۚ اٰمَنَّا بِاللّٰہِ ۚ وَ اشۡہَدۡ بِاَنَّا مُسۡلِمُوۡنَ ﴿۵۲﴾ رَبَّنَاۤ اٰمَنَّا بِمَاۤ اَنۡزَلۡتَ وَ اتَّبَعۡنَا الرَّسُوۡلَ فَاکۡتُبۡنَا مَعَ الشّٰہِدِیۡنَ ﴿۵۳﴾ وَ مَکَرُوۡا وَ مَکَرَ اللّٰہُ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ خَیۡرُ الۡمٰکِرِیۡنَ ﴿٪۵۴﴾ اِذۡ قَالَ اللّٰہُ یٰعِیۡسٰۤی اِنِّیۡ مُتَوَفِّیۡکَ وَ رَافِعُکَ اِلَیَّ وَ مُطَہِّرُکَ مِنَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا وَ جَاعِلُ الَّذِیۡنَ اتَّبَعُوۡکَ فَوۡقَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡۤا اِلٰی یَوۡمِ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ ۚ
“But when Jesus perceived disbelief on their (Jews) part he said, who will be my helper in Allah’s way. The disciples said, we are helpers in Allah’s way: we believe in Allah; and bear thou witness that we are submitting ones our Lord! We believe in that which thou hast revealed and we follow the messenger, so write us down with those who bear witness. And (the Jews) planned (to crucify Jesus), and Allah also planned (to save Jesus the death on cross). And Allah is the best planner. When Allah said: O Jesus, I will cause thee to die (a natural death) and exalt thee in My presence (so that you are honoured as a prophet) and will clear thee (of the calumnies and ignominies framed against you) by those (Jews) who disbelieve; and make those who follow thee above those who disbelieve, till the day of Resurrection…” (The Holy Quran 3:52–55).
So according to this Quranic version, the true position is that while delivering his apostolic mission to the Jews, Jesus Christ faced severe opposition from the contemporaneous Jews who did their utmost to put him to death by crucifixion in order to malign him thereby with an ignominious death. But Jesus escaped death on the Cross, as he was taken down from the Cross alive and on getting healed, he escaped Jerusalem and wandered about other lands in search of his ‘lost sheep’, till he finally migrated to Kashmir described by the Quran as:
وَ جَعَلۡنَا ابۡنَ مَرۡیَمَ وَ اُمَّہٗۤ اٰیَۃً وَّ اٰوَیۡنٰہُمَاۤ اِلٰی رَبۡوَۃٍ ذَاتِ قَرَارٍ وَّ مَعِیۡنٍ ﴿٪۵۰﴾
“And We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign, and gave them refuge on a lofty ground having meadows and springs.” (The Holy Quran, 23:50),
he died there and was buried in Srinagar, Kashmir, where his grave is well-known as ‘The Prophet’s Grave’.
Once, therefore, it is established that Jesus Christ suffered death six centuries before the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the question of his descent and second advent takes a new meaning, and what appeared an enigma seems easy of solution. The conclusion must force itself that the second advent of Jesus is in the metaphorical sense, and connotes nothing but the spiritual resemblance of a Mujaddid appearing in his image and spirit. Is it not significant that although there are so many references in the Holy Quran about Jesus being raised to heaven as held by the orthodox view, there is no single verse of the Holy Quran mentioning the descent, i.e., (نزول [nazool]) of Jesus Christ from heaven, as believed by the orthodox. Whatever references exist regarding the second advent of Christ, are found only in the Traditions which are in the way of prophecies projecting into distant future the degeneration of the Muslims, and the regeneration of Islam through the reappearance of the Messiah. Taken in this light, the second advent of Jesus assumes its true significance in the person of Mirza Sahib his claim for Messiahship amounts to nothing more than a spiritual affinity with the original Jesus Christ. There is yet another and a more cogent reason for christening the Mujaddid of this century as Jesus Christ.
As foretold by the Holy Prophet (pbuh), the rise of Christendom at some distant future time would be phenomenal, while the Muslims themselves would degenerate and Islam would be at its lowest ebb: it would then be destined through the agency of the Mujaddid of the time to deal a deathblow to the false Christianity not by force of arms, but on intellectual grounds; the second advent of Messiah would thus clarify the position regarding the original purity of Jesus’ true faith and reclaim, as it were, the ‘lost sheep’ among his own followers in the West; thereby to bring about supremacy of Islam and its regeneration. Thus it seems quite appropriate in this context to call the Mujaddid of this age after the name of Jesus or in other words pronounce it metaphorically as the second advent of Christ.
Did not Mirza Sahib, then, render an invaluable service to the cause of Islam by unravelling for the first time, the mystery of Jesus’ life and death, and by bringing the real facts of Jesus’ life to light not only to rectify the illusions of the Muslims, but to deal a death‑blow to the hostile spirit of the dogmatic Christianity prevalent at the time. Indeed, the Muslims stand under an obligation to Mirza Sahib in his vindicating the Islamic thought by purging it of the quagmire of Grecian myths and absurdities which had crept in the first instance into Christianity, and thereafter into Islamic thought in the course of its widespread contacts. Is it, therefore, not incumbent upon the Muslims to feel grateful to the Mirza Sahib, for resolving such erroneous notions, and is it not obligatory upon them that in true appreciation they should pay due homage to the great sage and Mujaddid of the century?
Obviously at the time of Mirza Sahib’s proclamation of his claim of the Promised Messiah and Mehdi, the entire Islamic world was steeped in the belief of the Israelite Jesus’ return from heaven to earth, and the Muslims had pinned their faith to the advent of a warrior Mahdi, and they were expecting that both these Divine Agencies would wipe out in a miraculous manner all the unbelievers from the face of the earth, and thereby establish the Kingdom of Islam. It had thus created a fatalistic mentality, which left them in a helpless lassitude and inactivity fatal to their very existence. It was, therefore, of vital urgency at the time to root out the mistaken notion of waging a bloody Jihad (جہاد بِاالسیف [jihad‑bis‑saif]) on the return from heaven of the Israelite Jesus and Th the advent of Mahdi. Instead it was essential to arouse them into a well directed action by instilling a firm faith in the truth of their religion, and infusing a missionary spirit for propagation of the true teachings of Islam through which it was bound to attain supremacy over all other faiths and become a world force.
6. The Significance of Jihad:
What is Jihad? Muslims had been and may still be labouring under the illusion that Jihad means fighting for the cause of Islam by putting all the unbelievers to the sword and thus achieving domination through sheer force of arms. Strangely enough both to the Muslims and the antagonists of Islam, jihad was synonymous with the ‘battle cry’ for waging war against the infidels and unbelievers, till they surrendered themselves to the fold of Islam. There was no quarter for the non‑Muslims to exist with the Muslims. Such ideas had led to what has been termed as the ‘Pan‑Islamism’ movement. It was, however, believed that the initiative in this direction was to be taken by the Promised Messiah and the Mahdi under whose banner the Muslims would rally and be led to conquest and world domination. Muslims had to do nothing of their own accord, but must await the advent of these Heavenly agencies to regain their power and lost glory. Such vainglorious dreams were indeed like building high castles on slippery sands and were shattered by Mirza Sahib, who gave a realistic Islamic significance to Jihad, which could hardly suit to satisfy the vision of glory held by the Muslims; as the interpretation of Jihad by Mirza Sahib would offer nothing but imposition upon his followers the severe ordeal of sincere devotion, self denial, sacrifice withal missionary zeal of propagation of Islam by pen and platform. How could this dreary spectacle charm the lively imagination of the downtrodden Muslims? What use was Mirza Sahib, who was without power or pelf, but aimed at spreading Islam through conviction rather than conquest, so he must be dubbed a heretic (کافر [kafir]), because he banned ‘Jihad’ and prohibited the Muslims under the present circumstances to take to the sword as means of Islamic revival. So to them the prospects were most disappointing! Be that as it may, let us however see what has been the verdict of time. A full century has elapsed since Mirza Sahib proclaimed the true significance of Jihad in the face of bitter opposition, but mark the change. The same orthodox Muslims, and the generality of Muslims holding such orthodox views, have, during this period, veered round the point of view held by Mirza Sahib, and even the hostile non‑Muslim world, has come to accept the truth of the matter, namely, that Islam won its rapid march through moral and spiritual force rather than the sword force. There is now a cry on the very lips of the orthodox opposition that the present‑day desideratum [need] for spreading Islam constitutes a different type of Jihad — a ‘Jihad‑bil‑Qalam [Jihad by the pen]’ enacted with missionary activities. How has it come to pass that ‘Pen’ has by their own admission substituted ‘Sword’ in fighting the battles of Islam? Nobody among the Muslims will, these days, contest the stand taken by the Great Mujaddid of the time long before to the effect that it is through missionary propaganda that the revival of Islam and its diffusion is destined to take place. It is now admitted on all hands that in matters of religious beliefs, it is not coercion but conviction that carries the day. The truth of the principle (لَاۤ اِکۡرَاہَ فِی الدِّیۡنِ [laa ikra ha fid‑deen]) that ‘there is no compulsion in religion’ has at last dawned on the Muslim intelligentsia. It is now firmly believed even by the orthodox as well as the generality of Muslim intelligentsia that even in the past this has been true also, and the light of Islam was spread through the venerable savants and saintly personages like Sufis and Aulia, and not on the point of sword of the kings and conquerors. Such Sufis and Aulia‑i‑Kiram have appeared from time to time and place to place in the realms of the Islamic world, and their names are held in high esteem and veneration. The test of time, past and present, has amply borne out the truth of Mirza Sahib’s announcement regarding Jihad, and the real significance of the term has come to be realised, and there hardly exists any doubt, nowadays, as to the intrinsic meaning of Jihad.
However, to recapitulate, the word ‘jihad’ is derived from the root ‘jahada’, of which the dictionary meaning is ‘to strive’. Obviously, strife for the attainment of a goal can assume different forms of action in consonance with the circumstances and requirements of time. There was a time when it had become incumbent upon the Muslims to defend Islam by recourse to the sword, as the attack on their religion and existence had been launched in the same form. But, admittedly, the time to wield the sword in defence of Islam, the religion, has passed. The present day onslaught against Islam is an intellectual challenge, which must of sheer necessity be answered, in the same coin. Hence, Jihad bil‑Qalam [Jihad by the pen] must take the place of Jihad‑bis‑Saif [Jihad by the sword] in the present age. In fact, a saying of the Holy Prophet throws abundant light on the real significance of jihad. On return from a successful campaign of battle with the enemies, he uttered,
“We have returned from a petty jihad to a greater jihad”,
meaning thereby, that the fighting with sword was relegated to the position of a small jihad as compared to the greater jihad signifying the battle of self — the endless, relentless, perpetual fight against evil tendencies and practices. The Holy Quran has used this word in this context, when it says:
فَلَا تُطِعِ الۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ وَ جَاہِدۡہُمۡ بِہٖ جِہَادًا کَبِیۡرًا ﴿۵۲﴾
“So obey not the disbelievers, and strive against them a mighty striving,” (The Holy Quran, 25:52).
This is a Mekkan revelation, and there are a number of other revelations of the Mekkan period when injunctions to take up arms against unbelievers had not yet been revealed to the Holy Prophet (pbuh). The term ‘jihad’ in such verses therefore conveys the sense of struggle with evil forces and upholding the Islamic faith by facing all tribulations and persecutions. Evidently ‘jihad’ presents so many facets of the same phenomenon of upholding good against evil, of truth against falsehood, of right against wrong; whatever form it assumes, it will be ‘jihad’ all the same; there is a subjective jihad within every soul and there is the objective ‘jihad’ outside in social, religious and spiritual circles for uplift through all possible efforts. What Mirza Sahib professed and declared was the launching of a ‘jihad’ suited to modern conditions — a campaign against the forces of scepticism, atheism and cynical attacks on Islam and its Founder, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) which were and are still undermining the Muslims’ faith, and barring the way to proper understanding and due appreciation of the Holy Prophet. It was no time, he said, to lament the lost temporal glory of Islam or to resort to martial force to regain it in the context of present day situation. It is an age of reason and rational thinking, and the best way to present Islam to the modern world was through propagation by utilising the modern means of platform and press. For this purpose, the Muslims must in the first place arm themselves with a moral force of their own by conforming to the true teachings and spirit of Islam, and sacrificing their all to spread the Faith throughout the world. This, he inculcated, is the real jihad, both subjective and objective which will on the one hand regenerate the Muslims and on the other hand win over the world to the kingdom of Islam. Let Muslims think over the matter clearly and conduct a thorough search for the best means of propagation of Islam. It is to be regretted that though the Muslims have realised that the better and only way lies in the constructive program chalked out by the Great Sage and Mujaddid of the age, they have failed to accept and follow him. However, it is not too late to rally to his side to raise aloft the banner of Islam.
7. Sunrise from the West:
Another startling and most astounding declaration made by Hazrat Mirza Sahib, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, was regarding his call to the West to accept Islam as the True Religion of humanity. This conclusion was based on the saying of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) quoted in one of the Traditions to the effect that in the latter era of Islam, the sun will rise from the West. Taken in the literal sense, it would be a strange and un‑natural phenomenon, which seems incomprehensible, as it would mean a reversal of the rotational movement of the earth on its axis so that the sun would appear rising from the West. Hazrat Mirza Sahib, however, with his spiritual insight, interpreted the Tradition in its metaphorical sense, as foretelling a momentous event to occur in the future career of Islam — the sun rising from the West indicating the spread of Islam in the Western countries of Europe and America, and its acceptance by the Occident. He beheld visions of actually delivering lectures on Islam in London, and catching some white birds indicating thereby that his mission will reach the Western countries and members of the white races will enter the fold of Islam. Accordingly, Mirza Sahib’s mission was specifically directed to the propagation of Islam in the West. But his visions of Islam gaining a foothold in the West and conversion of European nations to Islam were treated as a wild dream and a fantastic idea, the pursuit of which was nothing short of a wild goose chase. Notwithstanding, his zeal for establishing Islamic Missions abroad, and in getting the Holy Quran’s translation into foreign languages, particularly in English, and for production of Islamic literature in English by starting an English journal ‘The Review of Religions’ was unbounded; and he exhorted his followers to devote their lives in the fulfilment of these aims. Subsequent events have amply shown that these were not mere vain assertions, and persons of deep insight and enlightenment the world over have already visualised Islam’s triumphant march in the West. The dreams of Hazrat Mirza Sahib also have since come out true with the establishment of Woking Muslim Mission by the late Khawaja Kamal-ud-Din in 1914 for the propagation of Islam in the West, and an account of the European converts to Islam through its propaganda efforts has been compiled so well in the book “Islam our Choice”. The Dawn of Islam has perceptibly shone on the Western horizon, as evident from the tributes paid to Islam and its founder by eminent men of letters and thought like Carlyle, H.G. Wells and so on.
It would, therefore, be useful to analyse the situation at the time when Hazrat Mirza Sahib beheld such ‘fantastic’ visions and made such prophetic utterances. Muslims on the whole, were then retrograde in every sphere of life and a pall of despair and gloom had fallen over the entire Muslim world. Imagine, at such a time, a secluded person like Mirza Sahib, a mere recluse, living in a remote village isolated from all social contact with the world, uneducated, rather uninitiated in the Western literature or Sciences, coming forward and declaring boldly in unequivocal terms that since Islam embodies all the religious truths needed for emancipation of mankind, and as its principles conform truly with human nature, its appeal cannot fail to win Europe to its cause; in fact, it is the only religion that will stand the challenge of the time despite all the scientific progress and rational outlook of this modern age, because it is in conformity with the principles of Islam. He did not try to give an apologetic exposition of Islam for acceptance by the West, as it is intrinsically in accord with its scientific thought. He advocated Islam in its pristine purity — a true faith in the Unity of an Almighty, Merciful God, a sincere belief, in the Quranic revelation as the original word of God, in the efficacy and sincerity of prayer, in the existence of angels, of hell and heaven as a sequence of life in the hereafter, and all other principle doctrines of Islam — and boldly asserted that science and human knowledge are ultimately bound to bow their heads to the sublime truths embodied in the Quran. At a time when the great Muslim intellectuals and men of genius were searching for apologetic explanation of Islamic principles and doctrines so as to accord with Western thought here was a man without any inkling into the Western learning, here was the man who was asserting that Islam needed no light from the West to make its appeal, but that the case was reverse, and in reality the West stood in need of the light of Islam to lead it to the goal of spiritual attainment and ultimate salvation of mankind.
8. The Truth will speak for itself:
The reader would, no doubt, pose the question —What was then the source of Hazrat Mirza Sahib’s inspiration urging him to make such stirring proclamations; what force lay behind this man which impelled him to utter things beyond the ken and knowledge of the great men of learning and intellect of his age? How could a man of Mirza Sahib’s calibre with meagre learning and shorn of all worldly glory, challenge the Western civilisation to accept the Truth of Islam as the Religion of Humanity for all time? Could this man, Hazrat Mirza Sahib, be labouring under delusions of false pretensions? Or the facts expounded above reveal the Truth of Mirza Sahib’s claims as a Divinely Inspired Mujaddid, who rendered a yeoman service to the cause of Islam in raising its banner aloft, and infusing a true spirit and sincere faith in the Truth of Islamic principles against the undermining influence of western Civilisation? In all fairness and with an open mind and impartial understanding, the Truth will speak for itself from the recesses of your heart.
9. Ahmadiyyat — The Citadel of Islam:
From the foregoing account of the Ahmadiyya Movement, it is abundantly clear that it represents the Religion of Islam in its original pure form as the only True and Complete Religion of humanity for all time. Undoubtedly, therefore, Ahmadiyyat is the veritable Citadel of Islam. It enshrines in its fold all the basic and fundamental principles of Islam as laid down in Quran and Sunnah but shorn of all extraneous matters relating to spurious innovations, false and superstitious ideas and practices borrowed from other religions and mythological figments of imagination repugnant and foreign to Islam. In any case, it is a haven of peace in its inner circles free from and above all sectarian wrangles, bickerings and acrimonious disputes relating to interpretations of Shariat [Islamic law] constituents and legislation. Thus, on joining the Ahmadiyya Movement, one loses his sectarian identity as Shia, Sunni, a Hanafi, a Hanbli, a Chishti, a Qadri, etc., and discarding all sectarian differences assumes the mantle of a true simple Muslim, holding and respecting views or any of the savants, Imams, and God‑fearing Muslim scholars so long as such views are in accord with the Quran and Sunnah. At the same time, Ahmadiyyat has actually brought about a unique social order of fraternity among its adherents, which is above all blood relationship, and which is depicted by the Quran in the description of the true believers in such eulogistic terms as:
وَ الَّذِیۡنَ مَعَہٗۤ اَشِدَّآءُ عَلَی الۡکُفَّارِ رُحَمَآءُ بَیۡنَہُمۡ
“Those with him are firm of heart against the disbelievers and compassionate among themselves” (The Holy Quran, 48:29).
As regards the outer defences, the citadel of Ahmadiyyat is impregnable against the onslaughts of all irreligious forces of hostile criticism of Islam, and against all degenerating influences of scepticism and atheism. On the other hand, the Ahmadis are infused with a spirit of faith and enthusiasm to spread Islam all over the world; and accordingly they have sallied forth for this purpose to all corners of the world in the West and East in spite of their meagre resources and want of material facilities. The Ahmadiyya Anjuman, Lahore, has thus set up their missionary branches in England, Germany, Holland, America, Africa, West Indies, South America, Fiji, Canada, etc. The missionary work undertaken and accomplished by the Ahmadiyya Movement is well-known and unique, and the names of Maulana Muhammad Ali, the famous translator of the Holy Quran in English and Urdu, and of Khawja Kamal-ud-Din of the Woking Muslim Mission fame stand out prominently and will ever remain memorable for rendering monumental services in the cause of Islam. Thus the Ahmadiyya Movement (Lahore Section) holds a distinctive position in upholding the cause of Islam and its propagation throughout the world, in the present age. The call of the Ahmadiyyat is thus the call of Islam, and it holds the banner of Islam for the world to rally round it in order to establish the glory of the Divine Faith of Islam! Hence, it is not only imperative but incumbent upon every Muslim — nay, it devolves upon him and upon every seeker of Truth, a duty to join the ranks of this Jamaat to help the cause of Islam, bearing in mind that disinterestedness or opposition to this Movement will be harmful and injurious to this sacred campaign for the propagation of Islam!
Lastly, a word about the nomenclature of the Movement. It would certainly be a misnomer, if the name of the Movement is in any way affiliated with the name of the Founder. Far be it from the truth as the name Ahmadiyya is in fact qualified with the name of the Holy Prophet, Muhammad (pbuh). The Founder of the Movement has himself explained this nomenclature to be called after the name Ahmad of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). It is admitted on all hands, as also mentioned in the Quran that the Holy Prophet bore two names, one as ‘Ahmad’ and the other as Muhammad (pbuh), representing two phases of his life. The first name denoted in the name ‘Ahmad’, is representative of the Prophet’s Meccan life of utter helplessness, persecution and victimisation at the hands of the opposition disbelievers, but withal depicting super human fortitude on the part of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), who suffered extreme tribulations in delivering the Divine Message of Islam. But, despite such relentless persecution by the opposition, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) stood firm and resolute in the discharge of his apostolic mission, but while facing such inhuman persecution, he gave expression to the highest glorification of the Supreme, Immanent, Almighty Being — Allah —in such glowing terms as no one has ever done before, nor after him; and hence befitting his surname ‘Ahmad’. As this state of extreme helplessness and distressful afflictions were to be the lot of Hazrat Mirza Sahib and his followers, he surnamed his Jamaat after the name ‘Ahmad’ of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) in commemoration of his Meccan life of utter helplessness. And so it came to pass —Hazrat Mirza Sahib and the band of his helpless followers were subjected to the severest ordeals of suffering and persecution at the hands of the opposition, but the Promised Messiah and his Jamaat stood firm and resolute in the accomplishment of the mission entrusted to them, relying completely on Allah’s Succour. So help them Allah, the Omnipotent, the Merciful!! In ending this subject, I put forward a fervent appeal:
If you are an earnest and ardent seeker-of-Truth, and are interested in upholding the cause of the Religion of Islam and its supremacy in the entire world, please fill in the attached form of membership with a declaration of your voluntary contribution of a monthly subscription, and send the form with your signature and address to the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Lahore, through its branch in U.S.A. on the address:
Ahmadiyya Anjuman, Ishaat-e-Islam, California, U.S.A.
However, before recounting the Ten Terms of the Pledge of Fealty, which has to be executed for membership of the Jamaat, some important points in this connection may be noted, which should be borne in mind to understand the true position with regard to the claims of Hazrat Mirza Sahib as Mujaddid and Promised Messiah vis-a-vis the aspersions and allegations of prophethood and declaration of Muslims as kafirs (infidels). From a careful study of the Terms of the Pledge, it is abundantly clear that such accusations are absolutely baseless, and nothing short of false and malicious allegations. In fact, these Terms of Allegiance exonerate Hazrat Mirza Sahib completely of all such allegations, and establish his unassailable true position to the effect that he was not a prophet and he never claimed to be a prophet, and he never declared his opponent Muslims as kafirs. The mode of taking the Pledge at the hands of Hazrat Mirza Sahib is in itself a positive proof that Hazrat Mirza Sahib could never be a claimant for prophethood because at the time of taking the declaration of the Terms of the Pledge, he used to recite the Kalima Tayyaba himself and ask his follower to do the same namely:
اَشْهَدُ اَنْ لَّآ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا اللّٰهُ وَحْدَهٗ لَا شَرِيْكَ لَهٗ وَ اَشْهَدُ اَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهٗ وَرَسُوْلُهٗ
Ash‑hadu al‑la ilaha illallahu, wahdahu la sharika lahu wa ash‑hadu anna Muhammadan abduhu wa Rasuluh.
and thus with the declaration of the Kalima himself, he gave a positive evidence that he was not a prophet, but a follower of the Last Prophet, Muhammad (pbuh), and as such he could never declare those who rejected him as kafir, outside the pail of Islam. Thus he was a true believer in the Finality of Prophethood of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Moreover, a close study of the Terms of the Pledge present an irrefutable evidence in support of the above postulate, namely, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement was not a prophet in the technical sense which terminates the continuation of prophethood after the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and he never claimed to be a prophet as such. The Terms of the Pledge administered to his followers enjoin complete submission and obedience to the injunctions of the Quran and Sunnah and to the Holy Prophet’s teachings and to follow in his footsteps to achieve salvation. Under the Terms of the Pledge, the relationship established between the Founder and his followers is merely of brotherly and fraternal nature for obedience to the Holy Prophet, and compliance with the injunctions of the Quran and Sunnah, and thus the submission demanded by the Master from his devotees is merely of advisory nature inculcating complete obedience to the injunctions of Quran and Sunnah.
The Call of the Mujaddid and Promised Messiah of the time is thus the call of Islam as the True Religion of humanity and to establish its spiritual domination in the whole world.
The motto laid down by the Founder of Ahmadiyya Movement is — Service to Islam above all. And the slogan of the Ahmadiyya Movement — Viva‑La‑Islam —The Religion of Humanity.
The Ten Terms of the Pledge of Fealty as prescribed by the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement:
The Terms of the Pledge to be declared on joining the Ahmadiyya Movement are reproduced as under:
However before taking the pledge, the person joining the Ahmadiyya Movement utters the Kalima Tayyaba, namely,
اَشْهَدُ اَنْ لَّآ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا اللّٰهُ وَحْدَهٗ لَا شَرِيْكَ لَهٗ وَ اَشْهَدُ اَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهٗ وَرَسُوْلُهٗ
Ash-hadu al-la ilaha illallahu, wahdahu la sharika lahu wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa Rasuluh.
“I bear witness that there is no God but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad (pbuh) is His servant and His messenger.”
And, thereafter, declares the following Terms of the Pledge:
- That I declare in all sincerity that from now till I am laid in the grave, I will desist from associating anyone with Allah.
- That I will shun falsehood, adultery, sensual gaze and all kinds of inequity and impiety and perfidy and sedition, disloyalty, and will not submit to carnal passions under the most provocative instigation.
- That I will regularly perform my prayers five times in accordance with the injunctions of Allah and the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and so far as possible, I will say the Tahajjud Prayers (Voluntary Nightly Prayers), and call for Blessings on the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him (Darood), and seek Allah’s forgiveness and will crave for His mercy.
- That I will not inflict any injury on the people generally, and in particular on the Muslims, under any undue provocation by tongue or hand or in any other manner.
- That I will ever remain faithful to Allah under all circumstances whether in grief or respite, or distress or prosperity, and will be always content with Allah in calamity, and will be ready to bear willingly any disgrace and affliction in His path, and will not abandon Him on occurrence of any calamity; but instead will move forward.
- That I will abstain from following the traditional customs, and indulging in licentiousness. That I will comply fully with the Quranic injunctions, and will follow in every way, the commandments of Allah and the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
- That I will entirely shun arrogance, haughtiness, and will spend my life in humility, and meekness, politeness and gentleness in consonance with the Quranic injunctions as contained in verse 63 of Chapter Al-Furqan [Chapter 25]: “And the servants of the Beneficent are they, who walk on the earth with humility,” and in verse 37 of Chapter Bani Israel [Chapter 17]: “And go not about in the land exultingly.”
- That I will keep the Faith, and the honour of the Faith, and my sympathies with Islam, more dear than my life, my honour, and my wealth and my children, and, even more precious than everything dear to me.
- That I will be compassionate with all mankind for Allah’s sake only, and as far as possible, I will utilise my God-given energies to benefit them with Allah’s favours.
- That I will maintain fraternal relations with Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, exclusively for Allah’s sake with the pledge for submission in the right cause till my death, and in this fraternal kinship will be so thoroughly steadfast as to be above all blood relations and connections, and all subjugatory positions.