Truth Vindicated after Forty Years
by Maulana Hafiz Sher Muhammad
Truth Vindicated after Forty Years
The people of Fiji, most probably, may not be aware that there are two sections of the Ahmadiyya Movement, viz., Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat-e-Islam Lahore, the headquarters of which is in Lahore, Pakistan and which works in Fiji through its Centre at 12 Bau Street, Suva. The other section is the Qadiani Jamaat, the headquarters of which is in Rabwah, Pakistan and which works in Fiji through its Centre at Samabula, Suva.
Differences of Belief:
Foremost amongst many differences of belief between the two Jamaats has been the issue of Takfir-e-Muslimin [dubbing Muslims as non-Muslims], i.e., as to whether all those Muslims who do not believe in the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement [Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian] are to be considered kafir [non-Muslims] and out of the pale of Islam, or Muslim.
The Qadiani Jamaat (Centre at Samabula) believes that all Muslims who have not entered in the Baiat (pledge) of the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement are kafir and out of the pale of Islam, even though these Muslims may have never heard the name of the Founder or even though they may be believing in the Founder’s truthfulness. The crux of the matter according to the Qadiani Jamaat is the formal entry in the Baiat of the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement on the terms of belief entertained and preached by them.
As against the above Qadiani belief the Lahore Ahmadiyya Jamaat (Center at 12 Bau Street, Suva) believes that every person, who recites ‘Kalimah-e-Tayyibah’ [“There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” (La-ilaha illallahu Muhammad-ur Rasul Allah) — The Pronouncement of the Faith of Islam] لَآاِلٰہَ اِلَّااللّٰھُ مُحَمَّدٌرَّسُوْلُ اللّٰھِ is a Muslim, no matter to what sect he belongs and no matter whether he believes in the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement or not. According to them non-belief in a Mujaddid or Promised Messiah is simply a sin like many other sins for which a person is accountable to Allah but one is not thrown out of the pale of Islam, nor does one become a kafir by committing a sin.
The issue of Takfir-e-Muslimin was the first difference of belief which arose amongst the members of the Ahmadiyya Movement after the passing away of the Founder of the Movement and ultimately it led to the split of the Movement into two sections.
The Founder’s Belief:
The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib, the Promised Messiah and the Mujaddid [Reformer] of the 14th century Hijrah did not at any stage during his lifetime entertain a belief that any Muslim could be rendered kafir or thrown out of the pale of Islam for not entering in his baiat [pledge] or for not believing in him or his mission. Scores of quotations are available in his writings to this effect; we quote a few hereunder:
“It is my faith since the very beginning that no one is rendered kafir by not believing in my claims” (Tiryaq-ul-Qulub, p. 130).
“Isn’t it astonishing, that a person who recites Kalimah, belongs to the people of Qiblah, believes in Allah, Unity of Allah and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), entertains real devotion to them and believes in the Quran, is called a kafir at par with Jews and Christians, nay is considered even worst then them” (Aina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam, p. 259).
“O ye Maulvis [clerics], will death not overtake you one day that you are engaged in calling the whole world as kafir through trickery and audacity, forgetting that Allah has ordained: ‘Say not to anyone who offers you salutations (salaam) you are not a believer’” (Itmam-e-Hujjat, p. 23).
“In the present era all their efforts are directed at reducing the number of Muslims by throwing them out of the pale of Islam through the orders and Fatwas [religious edicts or rulings] of the Maulvis [clerics] of ill-disposition. Even though there are thousands of reasons for one’s being considered a Muslim, ignoring these they pick up a trivial and baseless ground for dubbing them as kafir and considering them worse than Christians and Hindus — O ye Muslims be mindful of Allah and desist from setting such bad examples of your Maulviat [the state of being an immoral cleric] and expertise in Islamic jurisprudence. Further the already small number of Muslims and don’t assist in increasing the number of kafirs” (Izala-e-Auham, p. 594–597).
Now look at his two Persian verses rendered into English hereunder:
“O Brothers, why are you calling a reciter of Kalimah a kafir,
If you have any fear of Allah then dig out the roots of your own kufr [the state of being a kafir] from your person.”
“What is your accomplishment, if you have engaged in the takfir of your own people?
If you are really a man then be up and convert a Jew to Islam.”
After the Founder’s Death:
The Founder died in May 1908 and after his death, the Jamaat Ahmadiyya as it was called at that time, devoted all its attention to the work of the propagation of Islam under the leadership of Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din Sahib, who succeeded the Founder as head of the organisation. The teachings of the Promised Messiah had kindled a burning light in the hearts of the followers and gave them a new zest for the triumph of Islam on other religions which made them dedicate all their efforts towards the achievement of the goal. The Jamaat was making great progress and growing faster when suddenly Mirza Bashir-ud-din Mahmud Ahmad, son of the Founder and the Editor of a magazine, ‘Tashhiz-ul-Azhan’, wrote and published an article in April 1911 under the title, “Muslim is he who accepts all the Mamurs (those appointed by Allah).”
In this article Mian Mahmud Ahmad wrote:
“… so not only that person who does not call the Promised Messiah a ‘kafir’ but does not accept his claim to be ‘Promised Messiah’, has been declared a ‘kafir’ but even that person also, who secretly considers the Promised Messiah as true in his claims, and even does not openly deny it but is reluctant to give a pledge (baiat) has been shown as a Kafir” (Tashhiz-ul-Azhan, April 1911, p. 141).
The article of Mian Mahmud Ahmad created commotion not only in Ahmadis but also among all the Muslims of India. At that time, Khwaja Kamal-ud-din Sahib was conducting a preaching tour of India. Now wherever he went for a lecture or speech, people confronted him with questions about this article and enquired as to whether a person who does not believe in Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib is considered a Muslim by the Ahmadis or not?
In order to set the matter at rest Khwaja Kamal-ud-din, with the permission and under the signature of Maulana Nur-ud-Din Sahib, issued a proclamation wherein he offered an interpretation of the word ‘kufr’ used in the article by Mirza Bashir-ud-din Mahmud Ahmad. The proclamation read:
“… Mirza Bashir-ud-din Mahmud Ahmad the son of my late Imam [Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian] has used the word kafir in his magazine ‘Tashhiz-ul-Azhan’ for those who do not believe in the Promised Messiah. I have read this magazine and I don’t find any ground for so much of hue and cry being raised on this as in Arabic language ‘kufr’ means denying and ‘kafir’ means one who denies. It appears to me that the son of the Founder has used the word ‘kafir’ in this sense of a denier, or else if the word ‘kafir’ be taken as meaning ‘out of the pale of Islam’ like Hindus and Christians, then neither mine nor Mian Mahmud Ahmad Sahib’s opinion in this matter has any worth when the late Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib never called those who did not believe in him, to be kafir or out of the pale of Islam.’’
“I approve it — you may publish it.”
Signed: Nur-ud-Din, 18 August 1911.
Publishers: Khwaja Kamal-ud-din, B.A. Pleader, Ahmadiyya Buildings, [Lahore].
The publication of this proclamation would have mitigated the ill effects of Mian Mahmud Ahmad’s articles but most unfortunately the arrogant Mian Mahmud Ahmad interjected in these words after its publication:
“What right he (Khwaja Sahib) has to explain meanings of my articles during my lifetime. If he had any doubts, he could have made enquiries from me because it is my belief that all Muslims who do not believe in the Promised Messiah are kafirs and are out of the pale of Islam.”
Assertion of this belief of ‘Takfir-e-Muslimin’ by Mian Mahmud Ahmad caused the first wedge in the ranks of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. These differences had not yet been resolved that Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-din Sahib passed away in 1914 and Mian Mahmud Ahmad was proclaimed as Khalifah [Successor] in his place.
Mian Mahmud Ahmad the Khalifah:
On Mian Mahmud Ahmad’s assumption of office of the Khalifah, many well-known associates of the Founder who were considered the stalwarts of the Ahmadiyya Movement refused to take a pledge of allegiance with Mian Mahmud Ahmad till such time as he recedes from his belief of ‘Takfir-e-Muslimin’. On the other hand, Mian Mahmud Ahmad’s attitude grew more rigid and he started propagating his belief in more offensive words.
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the late President of India, was Editor of a magazine Al-Hilal in those days. He wrote about this matter in the Al-Hilal of 25th March 1914, in these words:
“Since quite some time this Jamaat (Ahmadiyya) has been divided into two groups because of the differences on the issue of takfir. One group believes that non-Ahmadi Muslims too are Muslims even though they don’t believe in the claims of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib, while the other group openly proclaims that those who do not believe in Hazrat Mirza Sahib are kafir — اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَ اِنَّاۤ اِلَیۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ — Mirza Bashir-ud-din Mahmud Ahmad is the leader of the latter group and they have now declared him as their Khalifah but the first group does not recognise him. The articles published by Maulana Muhammad Ali in this behalf and the unparalleled courage and boldness with which he had expressed his opinion while residing in Qadian is in fact an event which will go down in the history as the greatest event of this year” (Al-Hilal, 25th March 1914).
And who was this Maulana Muhammad Ali? Not an ordinary man. Maulana Muhammad Ali was the Secretary General of the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya at Qadian, during the lifetime of the Founder and Maulana Nur-ud-din. He was the Editor of the Review of Religions and later had the distinction of being the first Muslim who translated the Holy Quran into English. Parents entertain great hopes of bright career of their sons on completion of their education. Maulana Muhammad Ali obtained M.A. 1st class, 1st in Mathematics from the Punjab University and earned a Gold Medal. After that he did his law degree from the same University with distinction and made preparation for starting his legal practice. On a visit to his spiritual leader, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib, he found that the Promised Messiah desired that he dedicate his life to the service of Islam rather than going after worldly gains and this great man left everything — the career in legal profession, his parents, relations, property, everything, — and dedicated his life to the cause of Islam. He accepted a humble life in Qadian at an inkling of his Imam. And what type of a person he was let none but the Promised Messiah testify:
“During this period that is from the time he began staying with me I have studied him both outwardly and inwardly and have found him to be a very superior person in his character and gentleness. He is humble, modest, righteous and internally pious person. He is a man possessed of many enviable qualities…” (Majmua-e Ishtiharat, Vol. 3, p. 137).
“… I am confident that my insight will not fail me that this young man will make many strides in the path of Allah and I am certain that by the grace of Allah he will set such good examples of taqwa [piety] and steadfastness in his dedication to religion which will be worth following by his contemporaries — O, Allah please ordain it thus — Ameen” (Majmua-e Ishtiharat, Vol. 3, p. 158).
This was the man Muhammad Ali and now this man was confronted with the problem of safeguarding the sanctity of the Kalimah-e-Tayyibah and preserving the true teachings of the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement which were being rocked at the hands of none but the son of the Founder. The decision was not easy to make, it demanded great sacrifices. It meant bidding goodbye to a Jamaat of six hundred thousand members including friends and relations, literature, an established centre and organisational structure, which he had helped raise with his sweat and blood and for just safeguarding the sanctity of the Kalimah-e-Tayyibah and preserving the teachings of the Promised Messiah. But this great man had been trained and groomed by the greatest man of his era, the Promised Messiah, and offering sacrifices in the path of Allah and righteousness was the central point of this training, therefore, he felt no difficulty in taking the right decision. He parted with the organisation which was now contradicting the teachings of the Founder, and the Quran. He came to Lahore and engaged himself in the propagation of Islamic work and became the torch bearer of Islamic revival in the present age.
On the other side, Mian Mahmud Ahmad accelerated his expedition of Takfir-e-Muslimin as will appear from the following quotations:
“So whatever has been ordained in the Holy Quran about non-belief in a Prophet, the same applies in the case of Mirza Sahib” (Al-Qaul Al-Fasal, p. 33).
“If we don’t believe in him as a Prophet then a dangerous flaw occurs (in iman [faith]) which is enough to render one a ‘kafir’” (Haqiqat-ul-Nabuwwat, p. 204).
“It is obligatory for us not to consider non-Ahmadis as Muslims” (Anwar-e-Khilafat, p. 90).
“… and one who does not believe in the Promised Messiah, whatever his reasons for this non-belief, he is kafir” (Zikar-e-Illahi, p. 22).
“The third matter to which he (Maulana Muhammad Ali) calls my attention is the issue of ‘Kufr and Islam’. He says the path of peace is that we consider non-Ahmadi as Muslims but I say the path of peace is that we accept the decision of the Holy Quran. The Holy Quran calls the non-believers in a Prophet a kafir, and the same Allah calls Mirza Sahib a Prophet” (Haqiqat-ul-Amar, p. 17).
“Is there any such irreligious non-Ahmadi who will marry his daughter to a Christian or a Hindu? You call them kafir but in this matter he is better than you in spite of being a kafir, but you even being Ahmadi marry your daughters to kafirs” (Malaikat-ullah, p. 46).
“We met a person in Lucknow who is a great scholar. He said ‘many of your adversaries falsely propagate about you that you call us kafir. I cannot believe that a person of your vast capacity would be saying so’. Sheikh Yaqub Ali was talking to him. I told him, ‘you tell him that we in fact call him a kafir’. On hearing this he was much astonished” (Anwar-e-Khilafat, p. 92).
“All such Muslims who have not entered in the baiat [pledge] of the Promised Messiah, whether they have not heard the name of the Promised Messiah, are kafir and out of the pale of Islam. That these beliefs have my full concurrence. I readily admit” (Aaina-e-Sadaqat, p. 35).
His younger brother Mirza Bashir Ahmad, M.A. surpassed him when he wrote:
“Every such person, who believes in Moses but does not believe in Jesus or believes in Jesus but does not believe in Muhammad or believes in Muhammad but does not believe in the Promised Messiah, is not only a kafir but a confirmed kafir and out of the pale of Islam” (Kalama-tul Fasal, p. 110).
Maulana Muhammad Ali, who had great love for his Imam, felt concerned on reading such writings of the sons of the Imam. He was especially concerned on the mutilation of the teachings of the Promised Messiah by his sons. Because of this concern he tried to persuade Mian Mahmud Ahmad time and again to desist from this game of Takfir-e-Muslimin but in vain. He had foreseen the results that would flow from these unwise, unethical proclamations of Mian Mahmud Ahmad and warned the Qadiani Jamaat in 1930 in these words:
“The Qadianis are trying to sail in two boats at a time. On the one hand they declare four hundred million Muslims — believers in the Kalimah — to be kafirs and on the other they include themselves amongst Muslims, refusing to adopt a new Kalimah and a new faith. But this condition cannot exist for long. Either the repulsiveness of such a doctrine would at last create an aversion in the minds of the majority of these people and they would refrain from attributing a claim of Prophethood to the Founder or would accept the ultimate result of their belief, which is that the old Kalimah shall have to be discarded to give place to a new one” (The Ahmadiyya Movement, p. 254).
Thereafter addressing Mian Mahmud Ahmad in 1940, he wrote:
“We know that today you have blindfolded your followers through your priest craftmanship but tomorrow their eyes will definitely open and your Jamaat will ultimately revert to correct belief. Hollow is the foundation of exaggeration and any edifice raised in exaggeration is bound to collapse, if not today definitely by tomorrow” (Qadiani Tabligh, p. 3).
No one paid heed to the call of this pious man but his prophetic words came true in 1953.
In the year 1953, Anti-Qadiani Riots spread throughout the province of Punjab, Pakistan and the Government of Pakistan imposed Martial Law after extensive damage caused to the life and property of Ahmadis through arson and rioting.
After the restoration of normal condition, a court of Inquiry was appointed which was named as: “Report of the Court of Inquiry into the Punjab Disturbances of 1953”.
Many ulama [clerics] including Mian Mahmud Ahmad Sahib appeared in this court. During the course of proceedings, the Qadiani Jamaat and Mian Mahmud Ahmad had to recede from the position they had been pursuing for the last forty years. In the matter of those Muslims who do not believe in the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement they admitted in the court that they consider those Muslims within the pale of Islam and ascribed the same meanings to the word ‘kafir’ which Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din had offered in 1911 but were rudely rejected by the arrogant Mian at that time.
This way a manifest triumph of the truth for which Maulana Muhammad Ali and his associates had been crusading. Relevant portions of the ‘Report of the Court of Inquiry into the Punjab Disturbances of 1953’, are reproduced hereunder:
“The written statement submitted by the delegate of the Qadian Section to the court of enquiry defined a Muslim in the following words:
“A Muslim is a person who belongs to the ummat [Muslim nation] of the Holy Prophet and professes belief in Kalimah Tayyibah” (p. 218 of the Inquiry Report).
The following remarks of the Judge are self-explanatory:
“On the question whether the Ahmadis (i.e., the followers of the Qadian Section) consider the other Mussalmans [Muslims] to be kafirs in the sense of their being outside the pale of Islam, the position taken before us is that such persons are not kafirs and that the word kufr, when used in the literature of the Ahmadis in respect of such person is used in the sense of a minor heresy and that it was never intended to convey that such persons were outside the pale of Islam” (p. 199 of the Inquiry Report).
The actual answers given at the court were as under:
Q. “Do you include Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib among the mamurs (appointed by God) whose acknowledgement is necessary to be called a Muslim?”
A. “I have already answered this question. No one who does not believe in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib can be taken as out of the pale of Islam.”
Q. “You have now stated that if one honestly does not believe in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib, even then he remains a Muslim. Is it your belief from the very beginning?”
Q. “When the use of word ‘kufr’ is likely to generate misunderstanding and bitterness, will it not be better either to drop its use or use it sparingly?”
A. “We have been trying to use it sparingly since 1922.”
How far Mian Mahmud Ahmad’s answer was true and how far his statement regarding a change in 1922 was correct is belied by the very fact that a public debate in Rawalpindi took place in the year 1937 between the two sections of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat only on this question of Takfir-e-Muslimin.
The stand of Maulana Muhammad Ali was vindicated in the Court of Inquiry in 1954. The sanctity of the Kalimah-e-Tayyibah was restored Mian Mahmud Ahmad took refuge under the interpretation of the word kufr offered on his behalf by Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din in the year 1911. This was the triumph of the truth. Had Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad not insisted on calling Muslims kafir in the year 1914, the split in the Ahmadiyya Movement would not have occurred, and the History of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat would have been much different than it is now.
It is an irony that the Qadiani Jamaat did not learn a lesson from history and in spite of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad’s statement in the Court of Inquiry it continued to insist upon its Takfir-e-Muslimin. A Jamaat which was groomed in a false dogma for 42 years, it is not easy to bring change of belief in them. The continued insistence of the Qadianis on Takfir-e-Muslimin resulted in Anti-Ahmadiyya riots in Pakistan in 1974 and consequent declaration by the Government of Pakistan of the Ahmadis to be a non-Muslim minority in Pakistan.
This is evidence of facts which cannot be denied by anyone until the Qadianis submit to the sanctity of the Kalimah-e-Tayyibah and consider all Muslims to be Muslims whether they believe in Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib or not, and until they recede from their stand on takfir, this decision will not be changed.
These days Qadianis all over are busy telling people to come with them and see their Centre and how large a Jamaat they possess and what big buildings are in their Centre. This is nothing new for us. We have been hearing this since 1914. The matter of dispute between them and us is not the size of the property or the size of the Jamaat. When the split came in 1914, the whole world knew six hundred thousand persons were on one side and one man, a solitary righteous and pious soul, waged his Jihad against them to keep the sanctity of the Kalimah. He had nothing but the assistance from Allah on his side. You always had the abundance of material resources — we don’t dispute that — but we ask only one question — whose stand on beliefs has been vindicated? Who was right — on whose side was the truth that ultimately triumphed?
- What is the position in SHARIAH [Islamic Law] of the term GHAIR TASHRI NABI (non-law-bearing prophet)? Is this term traceable in the Holy Quran and the traditions (HADITH)? If not, what is its source and origin? Who was the first person, after the Holy Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) to coin this term? How long after the death of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was this term coined? And what was the meaning given to this term by the person who coined it?
- Hazrat Mirza Sahib [Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian] has always called the revelation of Allah to him as WAHI-E-WALAYAT [prophetic revelation] and not WAHI-E-NABUWWAT [saintly revelation]. If he has claimed Wahi-e-Nabuwwat for himself in any of his writings, can you please quote such writings?
- Did any WALI (Saint), MUJADDID (Reformer), MUHADDATH or any other person call himself a NABI (Prophet) and/or a RASUL (Messenger) prior to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Sahib?
- If a NABI calls himself a NABI and RASUL, and a WALI (Saint) too calls himself a NABI and RASUL, then what is the difference between the two?
- Does a person become a KAFIR and go out of the pale of Islam by not believing in the claim of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Sahib? What did Hazrat Mirza Sahib write about this?