The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement

A Short Study of the Life of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 11: Disservice of the Ulama

Ulama Abuse the Promised Messiah:

Another charge against Ahmad is that, in his dealings with the orthodox ulama, he was very severe. As a matter of fact, the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement, in this case also, paid back the opposing ulama in their own coin. No sooner had he announced that Jesus Christ was dead and that he himself was the Messiah who was to appear among the Muslims than they denounced him in the most scurrilous terms and applied to him every hateful epithet which they could think of. The following are only a few examples taken from the pages of Ishaat-us-Sunna, a periodical issued by Maulvi Muhammad Husain of Batala, which had become the mouthpiece of the ulama:

Hidden enemy of Islam; The second Musailima; Dajjal; a liar; a cheat; accursed one; he should have his face blackened, and a rope should be tied round his neck and a necklace of shoes put over him, and in this condition he should be carried through the towns of India; a satan, a evil-doer; Zindeeq; most shameless; worse than Dajjal; has the manners of ruffians and scavengers, nay those of beasts and savages; progeny of Halaku Khan and Changez Khan, the unbelieving Turks, this shows that you are really a…

The literature produced against Ahmad teemed with such scurrilous epithets, and even worse than these; no abusive word could be thought of which was not applied to him merely because he claimed to be the Promised Messiah. In addition to this, fatwas were issued against the founder and the members of the Ahmadiyya movement, declaring them to be too polluted to set foot in a mosque, declaring even their dead bodies to be unfit for a Muslim graveyard, and pronouncing their marriages to be illegal and their property to be lawful spoil for others, so that it was no sin to take it away by any means.

Ulama as described in Hadith:

It was ulama of this type whom the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement sometimes dealt with severely, and, if he occasionally made a retort in kind and gave a bad name to such irresponsible people who had lost all sense of propriety and decency, he could not be blamed according to any moral code. Thus he writes in one of his latest books:

“Those ulama of the latter days whom the Holy Prophet has called the Yahud [Jews] of this umma are particularly those Maulvis who are opponents of the Promised Messiah and are his sworn enemies and who are doing everything possible to bring him to naught and call him kafir, unbeliever and Dajjal … But those ulama who do not belong to this category, we cannot call them the Yahud of this umma.”1

Elsewhere, explaining his attitude, he says:

“This our description of them does not apply to the righteous but to the mischievous among them.”2

It cannot be denied that a certain class of ulama is spoken of in very strong words in Hadith itself. Thus, in one hadith, the ulama of the latter days are described as

“the worst of all under the canopy of heaven”,

and it is added:

“From among them would the tribulation come forth and into them would it turn back” (Baihaqi). According to another hadith, the Holy Prophet is reported to have said:

“There will come upon my umma a time of great trial, and the people will have recourse to their ulama, and lo! they will find them to be apes and swine.”3

Ulama’s Disservice to Islam:

There is almost a consensus of opinion that what was stated about the evil condition of ulama had come true in the present age. Writing shortly prior to the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement, Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan wrote in his book, Kashf-ul-Litham, to this effect, admitting clearly that this condition of the ulama could be plainly witnessed at the present time. It is at least certain that the debasement of the ulama and the advent of the Messiah are described as contemporaneous events. Equally certain it is that the ulama in this age have done the greatest disservice to Islam by wrangling among themselves and wasting all national energy in internal dissensions and not caring in the least for the sufferings of Islam itself. They have entirely neglected their prime duty of upholding the cause of Islam as against the opposing forces and have brought further discredit on it by their narrow-mindedness in fighting among themselves on the most trivial points, thus making themselves and Islam itself, whose champions they are supposed to be, the laughing-stock of the world.4

If these people, when reminded of their duty, turned against the man who was commissioned to lead Islam to triumph and heaped all sorts of abusive epithets upon him, thus hampering the great work which he was to accomplish, he was justified in calling them unworthy sons of Islam, and, in a spiritual sense, the illegitimate offspring of their great ancestors.



  1. Barahin Ahmadiyya, Part 5, Supplement, p. 114, footnote.
  2. Al-Huda, p. 68, footnote.
  3. Kanz-ul-Ummal, vol. vii, p. 190.
  4. A very severe contest has been raging in the Muslim world over the accent of the “Amen” recited after the Fatiha in prayers, the majority holding that it should be pronounced in a low voice, and a small minority, the Wahabis, holding that it should be pronounced loudly. How often has the sacred and serene atmosphere of a congregational prayer been disturbed by the taking up of cudgels to belabour an unfortunate member of the congregation who happened to pronounce the Amen aloud! Cases have gone up as far as High Courts of Judicature to determine the right of one section to say their prayers in certain mosques which were built by Muslims of another persuasion. Even this becomes insignificant when one finds that a great struggle is carried on over the pronouncement of the letter dād, which some read as dād and others as zād, the real pronunciation lying somewhere midway between the two, and fatwas of kufr have been given against one another on a matter of which a man possessing a grain of common sense would not take notice.