The Great Reformer (Vol. 2) [‘Mujaddid-e-Azam’]

Biography of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian

by Dr. Basharat Ahmad

Translated by Akram Ahmad

Chapter 70: The Beliefs of Hazrat Mirza in his own Words

Dispute following Hazrat Mirza’s Demise regarding his Beliefs:

The historical narration of the events of Hazrat Mirza’s life has ended. After this, God willing, I would like to provide the reader with a glimpse of his character and morality.

But before embarking on that, I consider it necessary to present Hazrat Mirza’s beliefs in his own words because of the widespread misunderstanding that exists about his beliefs both within and outside Hazrat Mirza’s organization. During the course of this biographical narration, Hazrat Mirza’s beliefs have been referenced from time to time.

These references show that Hazrat Mirza always maintained that his beliefs were the same as those of the Ahle-Sunnat-wal-Jamaat. Hence there should have been no need to separately discuss his beliefs here. But it is with great sorrow and grief that I have to state that in April of 1911, three years after Hazrat Mirza’s demise, his son Mirza Mahmud Ahmad devised a new belief of calling Muslims as unbelievers.

According to Mirza Mahmud Ahmad’s belief, all Muslims of the world who have not taken Hazrat Mirza’s pledge, though they may not even have heard Hazrat Mirza’s name, are unbelievers and outside the pale of Islam! Then, three years later, i.e., in 1914, after the death of Maulana Nur-ud-Din, he ascribed the claim of prophethood to Hazrat Mirza. As I have detailed earlier in this biography, both these beliefs are cruelty and slander against Hazrat Mirza.

In that same year, 1914, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad laid the foundation for an innovative system of organizational rule by a Caliph which was totally contrary to the last will and testament of Hazrat Mirza. In addition, the system was also against the basic tenets of Islam because the foundational principle of the caliphate system was that the caliph can do no wrong and must be obeyed without questioning so that even those who may validly criticize an action of the caliph were deserving of punishment. The logical consequence of this belief was that the position of such a caliph for practical purposes became similar to that of the Pope.

Perhaps the similarity between the Messiahs demanded that the same kind of exaggeration of status take place about the Promised Messiah of Islam as took place with the Israelite Messiah. The Israelite Messiah’s status was elevated from a prophet to god while the Promised Messiah’s status was increased from mujaddid (reformer) to a prophet.

If the succession of Jesus was established in the form of the papacy, a similar succession was established in the form of the caliphate in Qadian where Mian Mahmud Ahmad declared that the caliph can do no wrong and unquestioning obedience is due to him. This was the reason that prompted some of the closest disciples of Hazrat Mirza which included Maulvi Muhammad Ali, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig, Dr. Syed Muhammad Husain Shah, Sheikh Rahmatullah, and others to leave Qadian in March 1914, and establish an organization in accordance with Hazrat Mirza’s will called the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam Lahore (the Ahmadiyya Organization for the Propagation of Islam, based in the city of Lahore). Maulana Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi, another loyal disciple of Hazrat Mirza also joined the Lahore organization later.

Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam Lahore is the organization that is now “the successor of God’s appointed caliph (Hazrat Mirza)” and its objective and beliefs are those of Hazrat Mirza.

It was regarding this affair that Hazrat Mirza had received a Divine revelation:

لاہور میں ہماری جماعت کے پاک ممبرموجودہیں۔

“Pious members of our Organization are present in Lahore.”

This revelation was a prophecy of future events and contained advice for future seekers of truth as follows: When the mischief of impure and misleading beliefs arises in Qadian and the will and last testament of the God-appointed Caliph is trampled under the feet, then O Seeker of Truth, if you desire to find out the objective and beliefs of the pious and trusted appointee of God and the mujaddid of the time then go and seek it in Lahore where,

“Pious members of our organization are present.”

It would now be futile to seek pious members in Qadian — the center for Hazrat Mirza’s pious disciples is now based in Lahore… Given this situation, I consider it necessary to summarize again in one place the beliefs of Hazrat Mirza written by his own pen and which cast light on the points at issue. As pointed out, these beliefs are cited verbatim from Hazrat Mirza’s own writings:

Hazrat Mirza’s Beliefs:

  1. The gist and essence of our religion is that “There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” (Izala Auham, page 137).
  2. “We believe firmly that the Quran is the last of the Heavenly books and not a jot can be added to or taken away from the laws, limitations, ordinances, injunctions, commandments and matters detailed therein” (Izala Auham, page 137).
  3. “I am not a claimant to prophethood, neither am I a denier of miracles, angels, Lailat-ul-Qadr (the Grand Night), etc. On the contrary, I profess belief in all those matters that are included in the Islamic principles of faith and, in accordance with the belief of the Ahle-Sunnat-wal-Jamaat, I believe in all those things that are established by the Quran and the Hadith. I regard any claimant to prophethood and messengership after our lord and master Muhammad Mustafa (may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) – the last of the messengers (khatam-ul-mursalin) – to be a liar and unbeliever (kafir)” (From a statement dated October 2, 1891).
  4. “I firmly believe that our Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is Khatam al-Anbiya (Seal of the prophets), and no prophet, either new or a previous one, shall come for this ummah (Islamic nation) and not a jot of the Quran shall be abrogated. Of course, muhaddathin (people of great spiritual elevation, to whom God speaks) will come who will be spoken to by God, and possess some attributes of full prophethood by way of zill (reflection)” (Nishan Asmani, page 28).
  5. “We too curse anyone who claims to be a prophet. (Majmua-e-Ishtiharat, page 224)
  6. “I have not claimed to be a prophet, nor have I said to them that I am a prophet. But these people have acted hastily and made a mistake in understanding my words” (From the translation of Hamamat-al-Bushra, page 79).
  7. “The name prophet of Allah for the Promised Messiah as stated by the blessed tongue of the Prophet was in the same metaphorical sense as is accepted in the books of the noble Sufis. Otherwise a prophet after the Seal of prophets is meaningless” (Anjam Atham).
  8. “I do not have any religion except Islam, I do not have any book except the Quran, I do not have any prophet except Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) the Seal of the prophets” (Anjam Atham, page 143).
  9. “In Islamic law (shariah), muhaddathin are the successors of the Prophet” (Shahadat-al-Quran, second edition, page 27).
  10. “It has been my belief from the beginning that a person does not become an unbeliever or Dajjal (Antichrist) because of rejecting my claims” (Tiryaq-ul-Qulub, page 130).
  11. “I do not call anyone who recites the kalimah (the Muslim declaration of faith) as an unbeliever” (Tiryaq-ul-Qulub, page 130).
  12. “It is the height of dishonesty that it is they who brand us as unbelievers and then accuse us of calling all the Muslims as unbelievers” (Haqiqat-ul-Wahy, page 120).
  13. “We also believe that, as for those righteous and perfect people who attained great spiritual advancement through their association with the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), then we can attain their excellence only in a reflective sense. There are also certain qualities of excellence that are no longer possible to attain” (Izala Auham, page 138).
  14. “I enjoin upon my followers that they should have whole-hearted faith in the Kalima Tayyiba: La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammad-ur rasul-ullah (There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah), and should die in that faith. They must believe in all the prophets and all revealed books, whose truth is proven from the Holy Quran. And they must adhere to Islam, properly and correctly, by considering obligatory upon themselves Salat (prayer), Saum (fasting), Zakat (charity) and Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah), and all duties laid down by Allah and His Messenger; and by considering as unlawful all that is prohibited. To conclude, it is obligatory to believe in all those matters, relating to faith and practice, on which the past righteous religious elders of Islam were agreed, and which, by consensus of opinion of the Ahle-Sunnat, are held to constitute Islam. And we call heaven and earth to bear witness that this is our religion. Whoever attributes to me anything contrary to this religion, he is forsaking fear of God and honesty, and committing slander against me; and on the Day of Judgment I shall have my claim against him as to when he cut open my bosom and saw that instead of my above profession I am actually at heart opposed to these statements. Beware; indeed the curse of Allah is on the liars and fabricators” (Ayyam-us-Sulh, page 87).

Hazrat Mirza stressed the need to eschew exaggeration. A couple of his quotes on the subject are:

  1. “Just as the person who exceeds the limit in rejection is in a dangerous condition, likewise he too is in a dangerous condition who, like the Shias, exceeds the limit in acceptance” (Reproduced from Hazrat Mirza’s letter in Al-Hakam, Vol. 3, page 29).
  2. “They should not, like the Christians, become foolish friends and ascribe unjustified attributes to their spiritual leader” (Tuhfa Golarwiyya, page 15).

By Allah! This is a clear admonishment for Mirza Mahmud Ahmad and his fanatical followers. May Allah have mercy on us all, and guide us on the right path.