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Appendix 3: The use of Strong Language against the ‘Ulama’

Appendix 3: The use of Strong Language against the ‘Ulama’

True Conception of the Ahmadiyya Movement

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

The use of Strong Language against the ‘Ulama’1

Another charge against the Founder is that, in his dealing with the orthodox ‘ulama’, he was very severe. As a matter of fact, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, 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 al-Sunnah, a periodical issued by Maulawi [Maulvi] Muhammad Husain of Batala, which had become the mouthpiece of the ‘ulama’:

“Hidden enemy of Islam”; “The second Musailma”; “Dajjal”; “a liar”; “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, an evil­doer”; “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 Hazrat Mirza 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 a lawful spoil for others, so that it was no sin to take it away by any means.

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 ummah are particu­larly those Maulwis [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 Yahud of this ummah,”2

Elsewhere, explaining his attitude, he says:

“This our description of them does not apply to the righteous but to the mischievous among them.”3

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”.4

According to another hadith, the Holy Prophet is reported to have said:

“There will come upon my ummah 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.”5

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 al-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,6 thus making themselves and Islam itself, whose champions they are supposed to be, the laughing­stock of the world. 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.

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Footnotes:

  1. The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, 1984 edition, pp. 88–92.
  2. Barahin Ahmadiyya, Part V, p. 114.
  3. Al-Huda, p. 68.
  4. Baihaqi, kitab Shub al-lman.
  5. Kanz al-Ummal, vol. vii, p. 190.
  6. A very severe contest has been raging in the Muslim world over the accent of the Amin [Ameen] recited after the Fatihah 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 Amin aloud! Cases have gone up to 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 dzad which some read as dad and others as zad, the real pronunciation lying somewhere midway between the two, and fatwas of kufr [pronouncements of heresy] have been given against one another on a matter of which a man possessing a grain of common sense would not take notice.

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