True Conception of the Ahmadiyya Movement
by Maulana Muhammad Ali
Significance of the Claims
The true conception of the Ahmadiyya Movement is only this, that it is a great movement for the propagation, spread and defence of Islam in the world, and all the distinguishing features it possesses are a means to achieve this great end. So much so that accepting the claims of the Founder is also not an object in itself but only a means to achieve the object of the spread of Islam. The greatest thing is that with the acceptance of these claims one feels in oneself a very strong faith which invigorates one to make every sacrifice for the sake of Islam. The logic of this belief may or may not satisfy everybody, but the fact is that those who kept company with the Founder of the Movement or came into spiritual contact with him after his death, felt a real zeal for the propagation of Islam and became fully convinced that Islam was going to overpower the world. It seems something is lacking in us that we do not rise up to the occasion and acquaint the world with the real teachings of Islam, otherwise Islam possesses such a spiritual beauty within it that, whether it is materialism which seems at present to sweep away everything along with it or the net of Christianity which seems to be spreading all over the world today or the dominance of any other force, all of them are going to be subdued by Islam; all heads have to bow down before its invincible principles of peace and spiritual well-being. This faith and this love for the religion of Islam inspires every Ahmadi to do his best for the cause of Islam.
Without faith and love the will to sacrifice cannot exist. The spiritual contact with the Founder stimulates in Ahmadis this faith and love. Thus, a change occurs in them as it does in a tree which has been engrafted upon. That is why there is a tremendous difference between the attitude of an Ahmadi and that of a non-Ahmadi. The latter is waiting for somebody else to come and help him in the cause of Islam and the former is convinced that this is his work and it is he who is responsible for it and has the power to do it. Differences in the outlook of these two persons are quite obvious. Waiting for Jesus Christ to come down from heaven is an escapist’s refuge. Belief in the claims of the Founder enlivens Muslims and they know for once and for all that nobody is coming from above to raise them from the slough of despondency into which they have sunk so deeply; they themselves have to struggle hard for their own deliverance.
Those who enter into fealty with the Founder know full well that the prophecies of the Holy Prophet have come true. It was prophesied that the days of the glory of Islam would be followed by poverty and misery among Muslims, but Islam would again rise in its full splendour and overpower the world with its spiritual force and the era of the onward march of Islam would start anew. This is the age when the prophecies relating to the dominance of Islam with the advent of the Messiah are going to be fulfilled. It is our duty now to carry the message of Islam to all the corners of the world. The power to conquer the hearts is inherent in Islam. But the Muslims must work and sweat for its success.
The acceptance of the claims of the Founder has thus changed the lethargic attitude of his followers. It has given them a new power of faith which is palpable behind all the activities of the Ahmadiyya Movement. This is the only object in accepting Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as the Promised Messiah, Mahdi and Mujaddid [Reformer]. This does not mean that Islam was incomplete before and by accepting the Founder our religion has been perfected. Islam was indeed perfected at the time of the revelation of the verse:
This day have I perfected for you your religion,1
but the faith in man keeps on waxing or waning, as we have it in Bukhari:
“The faith increases and decreases”.2
Acceptance of the Promised Messiah’s claim is a great source of enhancing our faith in Islam. The uphill task of the propagation of Islam cannot be done without this strong faith, particularly when this path is not strewn with outward honours and glories and it does not have the thrills and attractions of an adventurous life like that of a politician.