Ahmadiyya Muslim Community: Controversial Muslim Sect Continues to Grow – The Times

My blog in The Times today.

Ahmadi Muslims challenge mainstream Islam

There is a palpably tranquil atmosphere in the Baitul Futuh Mosque in Morden, London. Hundreds of guests, including: MPs, Secretary of States and Senior Members of the Armed Forces, are slowly making their way into Western Europe’s largest Mosque – which can accommodate 10,000 worshippers – an impressive white building, donning a 16m dome and two lofty minarets.

Men in big grey, traditional hats, with amiable faces and warm smiles greet each attendee as they enter the Mosque for the 2013 Peace Symposium, now in its 10thyear. The Mosque, built in 2003, belongs to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, a branch of Islam seen as “heretical” by mainstream Islam.

British governments of the past and present have been rather fond of the Ahmadis, whom they believe to be a more acceptable face of Islam in Britain, as opposed to, say, Salafism. “I commend the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK’s commitment to tolerance, respect and support for charitable causes,” Prime Minister David Cameron said before the event.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community – not to be confused with the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement – believe that a 19th century Indian man, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was the Promised One awaited by the world religions. He was, according to Ahmadi doctrine, the Messiah, a Prophet and the Mahdi (the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will rid the world of evil) all rolled into one. For orthodox Muslims, this is not only farfetched, but also blasphemous – it is the reason why mainstream Islamic scholars deem Ahmadi Muslims non-believers.

But excommunication has never deterred the Ahmadi community from fulfilling what they believe to be their purpose: to spread peace across the world and unite the world religions.

It is therefore not surprising that the Ahmadi community enjoy such high-profile support: espousing peace and rejecting all forms of extremism is one of the best ways for Muslim groups to win the government’s heart, or so it seems. It is perhaps why organisations like the Quilliam Foundation and the Sufi Muslim Council have enjoyed government backing in recent years.

Ed Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, one of the speakers at 2013 Peace Symposium, says to the packed hall of 1,000 people: “…Both here in the UK and around the world, [Ahmadis] bring people together of all faiths to champion peace.”

Siobhain McDonagh, MP and Chair of the UK All Party Parliamentary Group for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, says: “In the past several years I have learned a great deal about Islam from your Community – I have learned that Islam is built on the rights of life, equality, tolerance and justice.”

A view of the Peace Symposium HallThe key speaker at the event, which is entitled, Pathway to Peace, is Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the spiritual leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. His official title is Khalifatul Masih V, the fifth successor of the Messiah. He is commonly called His Holiness, and has been leading the tens of millions of Ahmadis since 2003.

His Holiness, who resides in London, is not one to deal in platitudes. His keynote speech, rather bleakly, forewarns of a potentially imminent world war. That is, of course, if the world does not act swiftly and cohesively. “There are multiple reasons to think the world stands on the brink of disaster,” he says.

His speech, drawing on major world events such as: the current Syrian Civil War, the economic crisis, conflicts in the Far East between North and South Korea, is interspersed with constant references to “peace”, “justice” and “integrity”.

His solutions are based on spiritual teachings rooted in the Quran and not, as some might have hoped, practical political ones. He says: If we want true peace and if we want to save the world from destruction then we must act with justice, integrity and be ever faithful to the truth.” He adds that the Western World is not immune from such conflicts and the United States is directly involved with South Korea’s struggle with North Korea and Japan’s against China.

Indeed, the Ahmadis, along with various mystical strands in Islam, such as Sufism, provide a well-needed counterbalance to the extremist elements within Islam. While modern day, mainstream Islam may shun Ahmadi beliefs, it has a lot to learn from their patience, tolerance and peacefulness. Ahmadis are currently persecuted in Pakistan, Indonesia and are unwelcome in Mecca.

Yet, the Ahmadiyya sect has many progressive beliefs. Their fourth spiritual leader, Mirza Tahir Ahmad, postulated in his magnum opus, Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth that Socrates, Buddha, Krisha and other well-known religious founders were all prophets. He also constantly affirmed that the Quran supports the idea of evolution, providing God controls it.

hisholinessAfter His Holiness’ keynote speech, he meets some members of the press in a more intimate setting in the Mosque. His Holiness is wearing a white turban, which complements his white and grey beard, a long black coat and a fashionable Armani watch.

Despite holding many progressive beliefs, and reassuring everyone that he, and all Ahmadis must have “love for all and hatred for none”, his views on same-sex marriage don’t quite fit with secular, liberal British values. Upon being asked about the issue he laughs, pauses and then says: “The Quran says it is illegal. Homosexuality is against the nature of a person. If everybody has same-sex marriage, humankind will vanish from the face of the earth.” No matter how progressive many Muslims claim to be, most refuse to budge on the issue of homosexuality.

In spite of this, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community say they are rapidly growing. Speaking to some of the Ahamdis, they often appear to engage in hermeneutical gymnastics in many of their scriptural interpretations, yet their heterodox views are surprisingly coherent. Today, it represents one of the fastest growing movements in Islam and there is little wonder why. Their message of peace is refreshing amidst a barrage of Islamic fanaticism. The sense of calmness and gentleness which radiates from many Ahmadis is, as opposed to proselytising, a greater way to gain adherents.

“People will find it hard to find any other group who are as against extremism as the Ahmadiyyas,” says His Holiness. He adds: “We are spreading the true message of Islam.”

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  2. well written , well done omar.

    Keep it up!!!!
    everyone should listen to their hearts and live in peace. islam was founded to unit people not create divisions.
    BE HAPPY AND MAKE OTHERS HAPPY

  3. May I kindly be informed whether the Ahmediyas are engaged in charitable work in non Ahmediya Muslim Area.
    Md.Zia-ul-Haque, B.Sc, LLB, Alim(Cal)
    Alim & Advocate

    • Charitable works done by Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is done for whoever is in need regardless Race, caste creed, or Religious affiliation.
      99.9% of the time, primary beneficiaries of their charity work are non Ahmadis.
      Ahmadis are actively involved in charities such as Humanity First etc.

      • Md.Zia-ul-Haque May 28, 2014 — 7:28 am

        Being a Sunni Muslim may I be permitted to join with you in your charitable work.In fact I will also contribute some amount.
        Md.Ziaul-Haque

  4. ‘am leaving u soon.but i promise anybody who hold unto two things the quran and my sunna(not ghulam ahmad sunna)will never go astray.”…prophet muhammad(saw).
    We look @ two things about ghulam ahamd.his unfulfilled prophecies and his understanding of jihad.
    He belives jihad shouldnt be done in a physical manner but by the pen which contradicts many verses of the quran 4 jihad should be done in the way of Allah with our wealth,body,mind and intellect.datz why he has d backing of beritish government and their purpose is to make muslims 4get about jihad and be their psychological slaves.
    Any muslim knows that terrorism is not in any form jihad so what is their khalifa talkn about dem been peace makers.there is no way to islam except ahlus sunnah jamah and others are hertical.

    • Monsur you are quite wrong in your comments. The Prophet (SAW) did not only advocate Jihad by the sword, in fact this was seen as a last resort and the lowest form of Jihad. Even looking at his sunnah (the importance of which you have so accurately emphasised) it was only when driven out of his Mecca and persecution to that extent occurring that he resorted to the sword. The begging of his life is testament to this.

      • Sorry brother Amir, To correct you I should point out that even after migrating to Madina Sharif, symbol and example peace, Holy Prophet Muhammed (SWA) made all efforts not to use sword but was compelled to retaliate when Meccans in collusion with some non Muslims and Jews started limitless torture.
        Nd.Zia-ul-Haque,B.Sc, LLB, Alim(Cal)
        Alim & Advocate

  5. asalam alaykum brothers,i think d issue of ahmadiyya is clear.
    If any muslim believe islam is complete as a way of life then whats the need to accept ghulam ahmad as a prophet.
    U may say he came 2 reform a decaying islam but that should be d work of d quran,sunnah and the ulema not a prophet.
    He claim he receives revealation from Allah which we have to follow but dat bring question mark about the quran as Allah’s final testament.
    More importantly we look at d understanding of the sahabas to dz issue none of dem ever believe there would be a prophet after muhammad (saw).the muslims are d best community raised up 4 mankind and d sahaba re d best muslims.so who do we want to follow d Sahabas or ghulam ahmad?
    Allahu alam

  6. Abdulsalam Ahmad Rex July 20, 2013 — 8:29 am

    Has Jesus come back or has dajjal arrive

  7. I was just reflecting on a past visit to Makkah. To dispel your myth of a lack of unity. I stood shoulder to shoulder in salah with at various times Shia, Sunni’s, Salafis and sufis. All united in their rejection of any new Prophet after Muhammad of the Quraysh SAW.

  8. Dear Abdus Samad

    I find it interesting that you can say with such confidence that millions of adherents of Islam are just “mimicking like parrots”. You must truly possess some special skills granted by Allah Almighty that you are able to look at the condition of their hearts and make such a bold (and quite frankly arrogant) declaration. Is it any wonder why there is so much division in the Ummah?

    I do however understand what you were trying to do but I don’t think you can really justify your approach, unless of course you share a very close and intimate relationship with brother Omar but by the sound of the way the conversation was going I don’t believe that is the case. When giving Naseeha you must always remain polite, tender and humble otherwise you are in fact being arrogant, because in essence it means you consider yourself better than the person being addressed, but at the same time you forget that you too probably harbour great weaknesses, whatever they may be. Furthermore the Holy Quran advised the Prophet (saw) as follows:

    [3:160] And it is by the great mercy of Allah that thou art kind towards them, and if thou hadst been rough and hard-hearted, they would surely have dispersed from around thee. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them, and consult them in matters of administration; and when thou art determined, then put thy trust in Allah. Surely, Allah loves those who put their trust in Him.

    So far it seems your method was in direct contrast to the above verse of the Quran advising tenderness and was actually pushing away rather than bring us closer. Consider this is my Naseeha for you.

    I also think brother Omar would take exception to the allegation that he is being “used” by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Brother Omar can clarify better than I, but I highly doubt anyone asked him to write the article. Rather he was probably invited to the event, then given our version of things and then he independently proceeded to write what he believed was correct and proper. You are free to contest any claim, and it is indeed important in the search for truth, but again you seem to be belittling brother Omar’s abilities of comprehension as compared to your own, which is another form of arrogance on your part.

    You say that the Ahmadiyya Muslims reject the confirmed beliefs from the time of Rasoollullah (saw). This is another subtle form of arrogance. From the beginning of time Allah Almighty has been sending Prophets/Messengers to the world, and those people have consistently over time gone astray by adding/subtracting from the faith. This even happened to Bani Israel who even had a huge number of Prophets sent to them, alas they still unfortunately went astray. Take a look at Christianity. They were taught Tawheed by Isa (as) and the early Christians practiced this as evidenced from Surah Kahf and also the great debate that took place at the First Council of Nicaea (CE 325) where the early Christians rejected the idea of Trinity. Yet they still went astray thereafter and raised a mere mortal to the realms of divinity.

    This is the reason why Allah Almighty constantly sends Prophets to the world in order to bring people back to the path. Muslims are also prone to making mistakes and the fact there is a prophecy of the appearance of the Mahdi and also the Prophet Isa (as), is evidence that the Ummah would need prophets to fix their plight. Never has a Prophet been sent without the need to rectify the beliefs and/or practices of the people he is sent to. We both agree that Isa (as) is a Prophet and he will remain so until the Day of Judgement. This idea of rectification is also further evidenced by the fact the Mahdi has been called the Judge in the Hadith. What do you think he will come to judge? If he is from Allah it will of course be matters of faith, and the fact he will be from amongst the Muslims glaringly indicates that it will be Muslims he will judge and direct them towards the correct beliefs and practices. Take a good look around the Muslim world. Do you not see a need for such an Arbitrator for the Muslim Ummah? Also the very title “Mahdi” means Guided one. I suggest it will be Allah who will guide the Mahdi. Therefore if he receives guidance from Allah Almighty, it only makes sense that the Mahdi will eventually be guided to inform people of his appearance otherwise how can anyone make the claim to be Mahdi without the express permission of Allah Almighty? Otherwise, how will he know for certain that he is the true Mahdi and perform all the great works that he is destined to perform? The only real difference between the aqeedah of Ahmadiyya Muslims and other Muslims is the identification of who the Messiah will be…Ahmadi Muslims believe it was a metaphorical 2nd Coming in the form of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), whereas others believe it will be a physical descent of the same Isa (as) from 2000 years ago. There really is no other real difference between us. Therefore your allegation that Ahmadiyya Muslims have rejected the confirmed beliefs of the time of Rasoolullah (saw) is completely and utterly baseless.

    At the end of your comments you have made reference to the health of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) as evidence of what you call his so called falsehood, whereas his illness is in fact a proof of his truth and more importantly is proof of the truth of Rasoolullah (saw). We all agree that Isa (as) is to descend draped in 2 yellow clothes. I will ask you to look at the interpretation of wearing yellow clothe as described by Hadhrat Allamah Muhammad Bin Sireen (rh). You may be surprised to find that on page 83 of “Dreams and Interpretations” under the heading “Donning Yellow Clothes” it states “It suggests sickness and anxiety.” Go buy the book from any Islamic book shop and take a look. I’m sure like me you also hold Hadhrat Muhammad Bin Sireen (rh) in great esteem. Therefore the illness of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) was a fulfilment of a prophecy of Rasoollullah (saw) therefore mocking his illness is mocking Rasoolullah (saw). I will advise you to tread carefully. I also find it amusing that the opponents of the Ahmadiyya Muslims like to focus on the death of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), but then forget about his life. He wrote Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya in 1879 and from the beginning and thereafter maintained that he was guided by Allah Almighty to write this book. Therefore that means that from the time of writing this book, until his death in 1908, he was making such claims for a period extending nearly 30 years. Now let’s put this into context. The Holy Qur’an states in reference to Rasoolullah (saw):

    [69:45] And if he had forged and attributed any sayings to Us,
    [69:46] We would surely have seized him by the right hand,
    [69:47] And then surely We would have severed his life-artery,
    [69:48] And not one of you could have held Us off from him.

    Allah Almighty has clearly stated that if even the greatest of Prophets naodhu billah lied about being from Allah or made up any of the revelations, then Allah Almighty would not have spared him. Incidentally you may find a similar teaching in the Torah about false claimants. Therefore, how can we even think that any false person claiming to receive revelation from Allah Almighty would be spared, and that too that he would be spared for a longer period than the 23 years it took for the revelation of the Qur’an?

    [6:22] And who is more unjust than he who forges a lie against Allah or gives the lie to His Signs? Surely, the unjust shall not prosper.

    The fact that Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) was allowed by Allah Almighty to continue propagating his claim to being the Imam Mahdi, and then claimed to be the returning Isa (as) and attributed many prophecies to Allah Almighty for nearly 30 years is evidence of his truth. He did not relent from this claim until the very end of his life. Not only that, but then his Jama’at continuously grows and progresses is further proof of his truth. If you deny this then you are guilty of denying the verse of the Quran I quoted from Surah An’am (ch 6:22). To then deliberately ignore the evidence from his life and seek weak excuses to mock a person’s death is the height of ignorance. Remember, the opponents of Islam also mock the death of our beloved master Muhammad Rasoolullah (saw). From what I have read so far, Hadhrat Mirza sahib’s death did not occur in the way you describe, however at this stage I will not enter into a long debate on this subject as my comment has become too long already plus I have not performed a thorough enough investigation of all the sources on this subject to make any statement with any real authority. I will however maintain that he did NOT die an accursed death on the basis that he was a true in his claim therefore unless you present to me all the sources that discuss the final moments before his death, and then using proper historical methods you evaluate their veracity and make some common sense conclusions then I will not entertain any tabloid level allegations that only present half-truths that are presented in a conniving manner to try and support the narrative you wish to convey.

    Wassalam
    Usman

    • Dear Usman,

      I find your narrative rather entertaining. Whilst I don’t disagree with certain aspects of your commentary, especially related to my conduct, the rest of your diatribe is a fallacious argument. Claiming the other party is arrogant whilst making bold statements about tafsir and interpretation of hadith is the height of hypocrisy.

      Like most of the Ahmadiyya community your research is based on argumentation and reasoning from within your community. I have sat with descendents of Mirza Ghulam and presented Mutawattir Hadith that confirm the finality of Prophethood in Muhammad SAW. They were surprised as they had never read them.

      You hang onto books from within your own community as if they are direct revelation. Presenting your interpretations as if no other understanding ever existed. When anyone questions the authenticity of the tafsir you follow, question the authenticity of hadith you quote or understanding and spurious links, they are immediately targeted as being devisive, haters who follow lying Mullahs. Accusing someone of denying an ayat of the Quran because they deny the Ahmadiyya Tafsir is hostile and ridiculous.

      This is why the Ahmadiyya community will not academically debate Muslims. It is easier for them to claim that Muslims are dividing the Ummah than to engage them in direct face to face scholarly discussion.

      To claim that because Allah allowed Mirza Ghulam to continue propagating his new religion is the absolute weakest of arguments. Has Allah not permitted the English defense league to continue propagating their message of hatred. Is it not mentioned in hadith that their will be over 30 false claimants of Prophethood. This kind of weak argument can be used for anything. This “What else could it mean” interpretation is not academic argument. Within your attempt at academic discourse you have used an understanding only found within the Ahmadiyya community.

      The hadith you have quoted is from Sahih Muslim and clearly identifies Isa AS as the one covered in two light yellow cloths. Many other hadith confirm that it will be Isa AS returning, contrary to the assertion of your community. In the same collection of hadith it clarifies that Isa AS will return as he did not die as affirmed by other hadith and the Quran itself.

      I would love to see independent statistics as to the expansive growth of the Ahmadiyya, do you have a link?

      Your entire argument is fallacious rhetoric at one point making spurious links between one part of a hadith and a book on dreams (which is no evidence to base an entire religion on), later you require absolutely every piece of evidence related to Mirza Ghulams death in order to accept your own communities version of his death. He is your communities prophet do you not know how he died?

      I would advise you follow your own guidance with Ahmadiyya sources to check their veracity.

      I will leave you with a quotation from one of the most moderate of Islamic scholars. “…I clearly stated that Mirza Ghulam Ahmed is a false prophet and is considered outside the fold of Islam, as are his followers”.

      I accept Hamza Yusufs moderate understanding which is reflected in Muslims across the globe. The attempt by the Ahmadiyya to propagate the myth that it is Indian subcontinent scholars linked with terrorism and wahabis that believe the Ahmadiyya are outside of the fold of Islam is a heinous lie. Muslims across the world are united in belief in the finality of Prophethood it is mainstream opinion based on over 100 ayat of the Quran and over 200 hadith. During the lifetime of the Prophet false messengers came, it was clarified at the time their would be no further prophets.

      To you your religion and to us Islam. May Allah sincerely guide you to the truth of peaceful submission by your rejection of the false Islamic prophethood of mirza ghulam. May Allah forgive me for my errors and thank you for taking the time to reply.

      • Dear Abdus Samad

        Apologies for the delay responding to you. I’ve had a few busy days. In regards to the whole issue of Prophethood, I think you need to study the actual Aqeeda of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) on this matter before you jump all over this. As you seem to be an academic, I think you will not be someone who rejects an argument without making an objective and thorough study of the source material that you speak against. Einstein has said “Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance” and an even better example is the hadith “hearsay is not like seeing” which suggests thorough investigation is essential to confirm a truth.

        I can assure you that Ahmadis accept all the Sahih and Muttawatir Ahadith especially those in reference to the finality of Prophethood. We consider Hadhrat Muhammad Mustafa to be the greatest of all creation to ever have existed, and no one has or will exceed his status. In the words of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), he was: “Nabi Karim, khairul anam, Muhammad Mustafa, Ahmad mujtaba, Khatamul mursalin, rahmatul aalameen.” May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. We consider Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) to be the servant, nay the slave of our beloved Muhammad (saw), and we hold the Quran to be the direct revelation of Allah and the ultimate authority in matters of deen. Unequivocally we consider Hadhrat Muhammad (saw) to be the last Messenger of Allah. Also, like most other Muslims we believe that Hadhrat Isa (as) is to return to this earth in the latter days based on the sayings found in the Sahih Hadith. We, like most Muslims believe that when he returns he will be leading the Muslims against the disbelievers and will be working to spread Islam throughout the world, and after his mission is complete, Yaum-e-Qiyamah will be upon us. However the problem we must reconcile is the status of Hadhrat Isa (as) on his return…will he still be a prophet or not? From a purely logically point of view, I cannot accept that a prophet will ever be stripped of the blessing of prophethood. Also, the fact that Isa (as) has been referred to both Nabi and Rasool in the Quran confirms his status as such in my opinion. Therefore ultimately the question is, does Isa (as) being a prophet on his return break the “Seal” or “Khatam”? if I am not mistaken, I think you will accept that Isa (as) will definitely be referred to as both Nabi and Rasool on his return, and “when” he returns his followers will call him “Nabiullah”. Please advise if you agree. If you agree, then there really is no need to debate the finality of Prophethood. The real debate is whether or not Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) was true in his claim. If he is false (as you assert) then finality of prophethood is a moot point. However if we believe that he was true in his claim then we have no choice but to consider him a prophet based on the evidence from the Quran and Hadith that Isa (as) is a prophet. I hope you can understand the point I am making and that you agree this in principle. This is a very simple logic that in my opinion does not require extensive academic research.

        You also state that Ahmadis never academically debate our beliefs. I think this is unfair. Whenever I have got into a debate or seen a debate it is usually the non-Ahmadi party that avoids the academic discourse. They will jump from subject to subject without fully establishing the point and eventually they always resort to insulting the character of the man we consider the fulfillment of the prophecy of Rasoolullah (saw). At that stage the debate cannot continue because it has reached a point where one party is unwilling to entertain the opposing view and listen to it respectfully. I’m sure you will agree that if a debate is to be had, then the purpose of it should not be to “win”, but it must be to get to the bottom of the subject to understand what is the answer to the question being discussed. At the end of which both parties must accept the point they sincerely believe to be true. There is of course room for disagreement but it must always be done in a respectful and dignified manner with an understanding that perhaps the other party just doesn’t get the point you are making. That way our academic debates will always remain peaceful and we must always leave with a desire to pray for the guidance of the other party. We are all after all humans and prone to mistakes and errors of judgement. Therefore hate must never enter the equation, which is why from my reading of the Quran I can never accept that Islam (or anyone’s aqeedah for that matter) is to be forced upon the “disbelieving” party. There are plenty of verses in which Allah has clearly stated that the Messenger is only responsible for the plain delivery of the message and that Allah will deal with people’s beliefs on the Yaum-e-Qiyamah.

        If however you wish to pursue a proper academic discourse with Ahmadis on these matters then I would recommend that you visit http://www.JihadOfThePen.org which is an official Ahmadiyya Muslim blog where Islam is defended and the Ahmadiyya views are debated. A number of the contributors (like yourself) have performed a deep study of the various sources and may be in a better position to “academically” debate you than I am.

        Regarding Hamza Yusuf, if you carefully study his statement, you will find that he came to that conclusion without making an independent study of the Ahmadiyya beliefs, rather, he took the words of other (Pakistani) scholars and accepted them without question. This was after he said himself that to declare takfir on anyone is an extremely dangerous action that must not be done lightly, yet he has risked having the label of kuffar applied to himself based on what some other “scholar” has said. In such matters it is better to remain silent if you have not done sufficient study rather than pander to the crowd, especially for someone like Hamza Yusuf who puts himself forward as a scholar. I think he made an error of judgement by doing so. I’m sure if you asked Mr. Hamza Yusuf how many books he has read of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) he will say zero. Therefore you cannot say that he has come to that decision after performing a careful study of the beliefs, which is a shame because a number of Ahmadis, me included, used to look upon him with great respect.

        Having said all that, I think it’s all good that we have an academic debate which in essence is a struggle of the mind. However we must not forget there is another way open to us to reach the truth of such matters, and that answer rests on the prayer mat. Allah Almighty is Al-Hadi therefore He is the Ultimate Guide. Therefore perhaps we should try to approach the threshold of the Almighty and seek guidance directly from Him rather than relying on our weak intellects, after all faith is a matter of the heart, and not the mind.

        May Allah guide you to the truth. From a sincere wellwisher.

        wassalam
        Usman

      • Dear Usman,

        To clarify, I have access to the full works of Mirza Ghulam Ahmed both in the original languages and with a rendering into the English language (something you probably don’t have access too yourself.

        I find the Ahmadiyya dialogue frustrating and essentially boring. I have yet to meet any Ahmadi who didn’t render the same point by point dialogue which has been refuted repeatedly.

        The point is so simple a child could understand it… Isa AS was a Prophet before Muhammad SAW. When he returns he will still be a Prophet from before Muhammad. Just because he is returning it doesn’t make him a new Prophet after Muhammad.

        No prophet ever authored a book – please research this. Mirza Ghulam authored a number of books.

        Regarding Hamza Yusuf – You should retract your comment about his research or confirm from him directly as your statement is incorrect. The point he references was related to the Lahoris not to the main Ahmadiyya group.

        Usman without any disrespect intended you appear to have been brainwashed into believing the takfir of the Ahmadiyya is a “Pakistani” issue. As you mentioned other Pakistani scholars are you referring to Al Azhar University the well known Egyptian University mentioned in Hamza Yusufs statement? Are you referring to Hamza Yusuf who primarily studied in Mauritania as Pakistani? Are you suggesting that he is not a scholar?

        Let us leave these as rhetorical questions for now. I cannot bear to hear another bold statement from an Ahmadiyya who relies so heavily on English translations of hadith and core Ahmadiyya references for their understanding. It is an embarrassment to scholarship.

        The Quran clearly states that denial of any of the Prophets is disbelief. Therefore the Ahmadiyya believe Muslims are disbelievers according to statements of Mirza Ghulam and the first Ahmadiyya caliph. Just as we Muslims believe the Ahmadiyya are disbelievers for accepting the impossible prophethood of Mirza Ghulam.

        To each their own.

        Ultimately Allah guides and Misguides.

      • Brother you have to read the Quran over an over again to fully understand its meaning but even then one cannot fully understand it, there many things which mankind will never fully understand until the day of judgement. You say isa will descend back in the physical form how absurd is that to even think like that. Has any prophet physically ever come back descending down from the heavens? You make it seem like a cursed movie. What Muslims believe an what the Christians believe is basically the same which is against the laws an nature of Allah the Master. Has not the name Ahmed been mentioned in the Quran many a times ? Has not Allah called Moses, Ahmed? Has he not called isa , Ahmad? An above all he has called Muhammad as Ahmed too , meaning that name it self carries. Big notion if any one who has the desire to believe. Allah created the whole earth an the heavens an everything for Adam as he is HIS only son an ordered all his other creations to bow to him as Adam was HIM. It’s in the Quran where Allah has mentioned that he made Adam the vicegerent for his earth , so if he lived an died whereas all is for Adam then how possibly can isa come back in physical form , yes it’s written in the Quran but its also written that Muhammad is the seal of prophet hood meaning no new law or religion will come to pass. MESSANGERS an prophet will never finish , Allah can do whatever he wants, HE is the creator an destroyer of everything. Don’t get in a battle with The Lord as hell will be the only abode. Gulam Ahmed never said anything against the verses or meaning of the Quran. All his writings are in love for his master Allah an then Muhammad as it was commanded by Allah. Muslims believe mehdi will come with a sword on a horse an will start killing the non believers while isa will descend from the heaven , is all of this a comedy for you people ? As Allah says I give wisdom an knowledge to whomever I choose an certainly Muslims these days have gone far astray to the truth. Allah has said in the Quran I will make sects from amoung you so that u may taste punishment for disbelieving the truth after believing in it. Anyways only solution to all of this is to take out the hatred once an read the Quran over an over again an bow to The Lord if the worlds. Heavens an all that is inbetween an may be, may be you will be shown light. God bless

    • I just noticed this:
      “The only real difference between the aqeedah of Ahmadiyya Muslims and other Muslims is the identification of who the Messiah will be…Ahmadi Muslims believe it was a metaphorical 2nd Coming in the form of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), whereas others believe it will be a physical descent of the same Isa (as) from 2000 years ago. There really is no other real difference between us. Therefore your allegation that Ahmadiyya Muslims have rejected the confirmed beliefs of the time of Rasoolullah (saw) is completely and utterly baseless”.

      I’m sorry perhaps you can elaborate is Aqeedah the only aspect of Islam. You appear to be sweeping under the carpet the issue in aqeedah of the finality of Prophethood. It’s kind of a big difference. Like Judaisms rejection of Jesus AS. Really a very silly argument.

    • Sorry brother Amir, To correct you I should point out that even after migrating to Madina Sharif, symbol and example peace, Holy Prophet Muhammed (SWA) made all efforts not to use sword but was compelled to retaliate when Meccans in collusion with some non Muslims and Jews started limitless torture.
      Nd.Zia-ul-Haque,B.Sc, LLB, Alim(Cal)
      Alim & Advocate

  9. Dear Omar,

    As an independent journalist you have simply taken the word of the Ahmadiyya community itself on its growth and published this in a mainstream newspaper further propagating it as if it has some basis?

    I have met Muslims from across the world, from Sunni, Shia, Sufi and Salafi groups. Never have I come across a Muslim who refuses to confirm their own beliefs.

    I believe you are an Ahmadiyya who believes in Mirza Ghulam Ahmeds Prophethood. I believe you are hiding your beliefs in order to further the Ahmadiyya cause through pushing such waffle as the largest mosque in western Europe and the rapid growth of the community despite having no secondary data to back it up.

    You have created an identity of someone who has an affinity with Sufism in order to further propagate your image. You frequently quote Hamza Yusuf yet refuse to acknowledge his opinions regarding the Ahmadiyya community.

    If I am wrong please do correct me.

    • Fine. I am a Sunni Muslim and definitely not an Ahmadi. Please leave me alone now, brother. Salam.

      • Salam

        I find it interesting that brother Omar has written only one article of the Ahmadiyya Muslims as far as I know and just because he hasn’t come outright to declare them as Kafir, then obviously brother Omar must be one of them right?…it’s completely absurd. It’s not as though declaring Takfir is a pillar of Islam now is it.

        Some people need to concentrate more on their own Imaan and consider what progress they are making and keep in mind that being suspicious of people’s intentions is not a moral that is advocated by the Quran or Sunnah. If you find someone’s views agreeable then you should not be afraid to accept it, if disagreeable then that is your choice. Would you reject the views of Christians just because they have a different understanding of God to you, especially if they don’t say anything fundamentally against the teachings of Islam? Of course not.

        Beware of suspicion, it only leads to the breakdown on the peace in society. Always keep a good opinion of somebody’s intentions, I’m sure brother Abdus Samad could find something in Quran, Sunnah and Fiqh that agrees with this view since he considers himself such an expert on such matters.

        Wassalam

        By the way, my name is Usman, and just to be clear, I am a Muslim who has accepted the Imam Mahdi (as) and am a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat.

      • Asalaamualaikum, According to the consensus of Muslims whether Sunni, Shia, Salafi or Sufi the finality of Prophethood is an integral aspect of the Islamic creed. No Prophet in any form will come after Muhammad SAW.
        Supporting the propagation of lies spread by the Ahmadiyya is something you should reflect on as a Muslim. If you had any journalistic integrity you would have written a piece clarifying the lack of evidence for a rapid growth instead you have written an article which will be used by the Ahmadiyya to support their claims as secondary evidence. You have a responsibility as a Muslim and a journalist to propagate the peaceful message of Islam, not a false Islamic Prophet from a New religion. During the lifetime of the Prophet, false prophets came forward and Ayats of the Quran and multiple hadith were presented to oppose this possibility.

        You should ideally consult an Aalim on the best way to repent from your propagation of disbelief, and investigate the legitimacy of the claims you have written in the article and retract any falsehood, and Allah knows best.

        There is no compulsion in religion – Ahmadiyya are free to propagate their separate faith.

        Wa salaam

      • I do think your point on the increase in Ahmadis is valid. I have changed the sentence in the second from last paragraph.

      • Dear Usman,

        Thank you for your comments which to the untrained eye might seem rather palatable. My comments to brother Omar may have been rather precocious but my intention was to get to the truth, to force his hand as it were. Omar has clarified he is a Sunni Muslim, therefore like Muslims from across the globe (Sunni, Shia, Salafi and Sufi) he rejects the false testimony of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

        I do appreciate your points regarding my conduct although ultimately as he is a Sunni Muslim Omar should not have written the article at all.
        Muslims have a duty to advise and guide other Muslims when they go astray. I wanted to clarify Omars beliefs in order to provide naseeha. Perhaps not the best approach, but my intention was the peaceful defense of Islam.

        As a member of the Ahmadiyya Community you follow a number of practices similar to Muslims. It is however like a parrot mimicking the words of its owner rather than Islam itself. In many articles and statements your current spiritual leader and others state that Ahmadiyya is the true Islam. Muslims have a duty to contest this.

        Omar is being used by your community to propagate unevidenced claims in the mainstream media, again it is important to contest this.

        It’s interesting that you refer to Quran and Sunnah whilst your community rejects the confirmed beliefs of Muslims from the time of the Prophet SAW until today.

        Your comments allude to a number of well known ahadith, It’s mentioned in At-Tirmidhi that the Prophet SAW said “It is part of a man’s good observance that he leaves things that do not concern him”. I would state that the propagation of false claims in the media by a person of any faith do not fit in this criteria.

        In another hadith “Actions are but by intention”, this has been understood to mean if in accordance with the Sunnah not generically. Then other hadith relating to suspicion, for Omar to be openly propagating Ahmadiyya beliefs this again does not fall into the category of Suspicion from a fiqh perspective as the action is clear for all to see. I have not sought to find faults with Omar he has openly shown them to the world.

        Eloquence of speech or sounding like your making sense does not equate to Islam Usman my brother in humanity.
        It is easy to make statements sounding as if they have an Islamic premise which appeal to those that have little knowledge of Islam.

        You had mentioned that takfir is not a pillar of Islam. I agree and neither is following just those pillars the complete Islam. Islamic creed are the foundations of the religion. Finality of Prophethood in all linguistic and possible ways in Muhammad SAW is that which is necessarily known in Islam.

        The falsehood in his claims was proven by his death from diarrhoea. No prophet ever died from such a thing.

    • Abdus-Samad,
      Could you explain to me why your email address is the slogan of Ahmadi Muslims? I’m not going to divulge your email address, I’m just very confused.
      Thanks

      • Dear Omar,

        “Love for all hatred for none”

        I use this email address in order to open conversation with Ahmadiyya. The Ahmadiyya community are a community which often does not like to respond to questions or contentions with their beliefs from Muslims. The email address opens the dialogue.

  10. Dear Abdus Samad

    Your obsession with finding out Omar’s beliefs really is getting tired. What will you do with knowing this information…will you subsequently reject everything he says as false if he confirms his belief in the Ahmadiyya doctrine? That is completely the wrong approach. If somebody speaks and tells the truth, we must not reject it simply because we have discriminatory attitudes towards them. That is unjust and not in keeping with Islamic teachings. Just let it rest. If Omar does not wish to elaborate and answer your question, then stop being rude and continuously pressing him on it. At the end of the day, it really isn’t anyone else’s business but his.

    Wassalam

    • Dear Anonymous,

      Brother Omar is a journalist in the public sphere writing articles about Islam. I’m asking a perfectly reasonable question of someone who has placed himself in the public eye.

      You appear to be making statements and making assumptions about me then answering them yourself. I am sure people would also find your comments rather rude which us why you may have chosen to remain anonymous.

      It is for brother Omar to answer the question it certainly wasn’t directed at you and as an accomplished journalist I am confident he will be able to write a few lines in response.

      The statements I had made regarding the statistics for the Ahmadiyya Communities growth and the claim that it is the largest mosque in Europe have not been addressed.

      Hiding ones beliefs for the majority of Muslims is impermissible, except in certain difficult circumstances. If you were aware of such fiqh rulings you would not make such silly statements.

      I have asked a rather simple question about which school of thought Omar adheres too and I am being harangued by anonymous posters. If Omar does not want to answer the question, I am sure that he will write a response to clarify that.

  11. Asalaamualaikum,

    Dear Brother Omar,

    It’s not not a trick question. You either believe Mirza Ghulam Ahmed was a Prophet of Islam or you believe he was not. There’s no middle ground with such a question. You’ve taken a few days to respond even on your own blog.
    I’m not sure why you can’t answer the question?

    From this article it suggests you are from the Ahmadiyya community from other articles it suggests otherwise. You have my email address if you want to reply directly.

    Any update on the stats?

  12. I’m not sure why your not responding brother? Also just wondered where the statistics for the growth of the Ahmadiyya Muslims comes from ? I was doing some research and it turns out the Ahmadiyya Mosque isn’t the largest in Europe. Others are larger in the UK for prayer space, then if the additional space is included not usually used for prayer then also other mosques are even larger.

  13. Dear Omar,

    I’m still awaiting your response. Do you believe that Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmed was a Prophet of Islam?

  14. Interesting why Abdus Samad would ask this question. In all my years of professional writing and blogging I have never seen someone ask about the faith or beliefs of the blogger. What difference does it make what Mr. Omar believes? You are free to accept or reject the content of this blog post.

    • I don’t see an issue with understanding the belief system of the writer. Surely in all your time as a writer and blogger you have looked at the background of at least some blogger or other. For example if someone works as a medical rep for a particular company then it would be useful to know this if their were extolling the virtues of a product in their blog.

      I can’t believe a person would read blogs without any interest in the writers background, it shows a little naivety in my opinion.

  15. Dear Abdus Samad,

    No I am not an Ahmadi. Why did you think that?

    • You didn’t answer my question. Do you believe Mirza Ghulam Ahmed from Qadian – founder of the Ahmadiyya faith to be a Prophet of Islam?

  16. Thanks for your open mindedness that shows through your words. Great to read some stuff that,tries to rise above the differences, May Allah be with you. When you say that no matter how liberal Muslims can be, they refuse to budge on the issues like homosexuality, I must say there is a limit to everything and man would do well to remember it. Ahmadies have been known to never to say anything to gain appreciation from the people, but to seek Allah’s happiness. The issue of homosexuality needs to be tackled in the right way, which does not employ the use of violence.

  17. Dr. AMIR MAHMOOD KAHLOON April 15, 2013 — 12:54 pm

    The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a dynamic, fast growing international revival movement within Islam. Founded in 1889, it spans over 200 countries with membership exceeding tens of millions. Its current headquarters are in the United Kingdom.

    Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the only Islamic organization to believe that the long-awaited Messiah has come in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) (1835-1908) of Qadian. Ahmad(as) claimed to be the metaphorical second coming of Jesus(as) of Nazareth and the divine guide, whose advent was foretold by the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad(sa). Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes that God sent Ahmad(as), like Jesus(as), to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and reinstitute morality, justice and peace. Ahmad’s(as) advent has brought about an unprecedented era of Islamic revival. He divested Islam of fanatical beliefs and practices by vigorously championing Islam’s true and essential teachings. He also recognized the noble teachings of the great religious founders and saints, including Zoroaster(as), Abraham(as), Moses(as), Jesus(as), Krishna(as), Buddha(as), Confucius(as), Lao Tzu and Guru Nanak, and explained how such teachings converged into the one true Islam.

    Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the leading Islamic organization to categorically reject terrorism in any form. Over a century ago, Ahmad(as) emphatically declared that an aggressive “jihad by the sword” has no place in Islam. In its place, he taught his followers to wage a bloodless, intellectual “jihad of the pen” to defend Islam. To this end, Ahmad(as) penned over 80 books and tens of thousands of letters, delivered hundreds of lectures, and engaged in scores of public debates. His rigorous and rational defenses of Islam unsettled conventional Muslim thinking. As part of its effort to revive Islam, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community continues to spread Ahmad’s(as) teachings of moderation and restraint in the face of bitter opposition from parts of the Muslim world.

    Similarly, it is the only Islamic organization to endorse a separation of mosque and state. Over a century ago, Ahmad(as) taught his followers to protect the sanctity of both religion and government by becoming righteous souls as well as loyal citizens. He cautioned against irrational interpretations of Quranic pronouncements and misapplications of Islamic law. He continually voiced his concerns over protecting the rights of God’s creatures. Today, it continues to be an advocate for universal human rights and protections for religious and other minorities. It champions the empowerment and education of women. Its members are among the most law-abiding, educated, and engaged Muslims in the world.

    Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the foremost Islamic organization with a central spiritual leader. Over a century ago, Ahmad(as) reminded his followers of God’s promise to safeguard the message of Islam through khilafat (the spiritual institution of successorship to prophethood). It believes that only spiritual successorship can uphold the true values of Islam and unite humanity. Five spiritual leaders have succeeded Ahmad(as) since his demise in 1908. It’s fifth and current spiritual head, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, resides in the United Kingdom. Under the leadership of its spiritual successors, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has now built over 15,000 mosques, over 500 schools, and over 30 hospitals. It has translated the Holy Quran into over 70 languages. It propagates the true teachings of Islam and the message of peace and tolerance through a twenty-four hour satellite television channel (MTA), the Internet (alislam.org) and print (Islam International Publications). It has been at the forefront of worldwide disaster relief through an independent charitable organization, Humanity First.

  18. Thanks for such an objective and illuminating article. As an Ahmadi I have found most articles on the internet about the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to be prejudiced and unfair. Hopefully in time Muslims will come to see us as a peace living group with only the best of intentions.

  19. Very positive article. Really enjoyed reading it. However I think your comment about his Holiness (or Huzur as Ahmadis would call him) not providing “practical political” solutions is slightly unfair in my opinion. Huzur is not a politician and therefore you cannot expect him to provide a micro-analysis of how each Head of State should run their country. The solution, as Huzur has put it, is a universal one which is based on the implementation of a broad range of values (i.e., justice, peace, mutual understanding, tolerance, etc.). Each country has unique problems and prevailing attitudes and cultural sensitivities to contend with. Therefore, arriving at the point where peace is achieved will not necessitate the exact same step-by-step approach from each country. Peace can only be achieved through the implementation of these great Islamic values, and they are all practical…it just requires people to put them into practice when a given situation arises. However having said that, I thought this was a brilliant piece and hopefully the wider Muslim community can take the example of Ahmadi Muslims and hold similar conferences, as it is an excellent way to remove misconceptions and barriers between communities.

  20. ‘….a well-needed counterbalance to the extremist elements within Islam’
    Sorry this just doesn’t make sense..it is a select few that are the ‘extremists’, whilst Islam itself does portray peace and unity.

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