By S. Arshad, New Age Islam
14 December 2019
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a sect of Muslims who believe in all the basic tenets of Islam including their belief in the prophethood of the Hadhrat Mohammad pbuh. The only deviation in their belief system, according to the mainstream Sunni Muslims is that they believe in the claim of the founder of this sect Ghulam Ahmad of being the promised Mehdi and Messiah. Ghulam Ahmad was an Islamic religious scholar of the late 19th century in India. He claimed to be the promised Mahdi and Messiah which the mainstream Muslim Community rejects.
There are a number of Hadiths predicting the advent of Mahdi and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ towards the end of the world. Together they will render Dajjal ineffective and establish peace, equality and justice on Earth. The Hadiths say that Hadhrat Mahdi will appear somewhere near the Kaaba and the Dajjal will be eliminated in Palestine. Moreover, more than one century have passed since the death of Ghulam Ahmad in 1908. All these facts repudiate his claim of being the promised Messiah and Mahdi. Another fact about the Mahdi according to the Hadith is that he will belong to the Prophet’s family and will be among the successors of Hadhrat Fatima.
Due to the claim of being promised Mahdi, there is a general opinion among the Muslim clergy that they are a deviant (Gumrah) community among Muslims. In Pakistan, they are also considered Kafir by a section of the Muslim clergy. There a law has been passed declaring them non-Muslim and they have been barred from calling themselves Muslims and their places of worship mosques (Masjid). They cannot fight the elections as Muslims but as non-Muslim minority. They are persecuted and killed in Pakistan in all the fields of society. Despite this fact, the number of Ahmadis is increasing in the country day by day and presently their population is about 40 lakh. They are reported to be spread in almost all the countries of the world and in some countries they are in sizeable population. They are found in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Suriname, and Fiji etc. In Ghana, their population is 16 per cent of the total Muslim population. Their total population in the world is an estimated 20 million (2 crore).
Now, the question is: What should the position of mainstream Muslim community be towards the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the light of the Quran? Do they Ahmadiyya Muslims qualify to be called Muslims according to the principles of the Quran? Let’s examine whom the Quran calls a Muslim.
One who believes in the Abrahamic religion (the oneness of God) is a Muslim. The Quran called all those who believed in one God even before the historical Islam came, Muslims only on the basis of the proclamation the faith in one God.
Al Hajj: 76
The Quran says Abraham was a Muslim. He was neither Jew nor Christian. All the successors of Abraham who believed in one God were called by the Quran a Muslim.
“And this was the legacy that Abraham left to his sons, and so did Jacob; "Oh my sons! Allah hath chosen the Faith for you; then die not except in the Faith of Islam." (Al Baqarah: 132)
Prophet Yusuf A.S. was called a Muslim
“O my Lord! Thou hast indeed bestowed on me some power, and taught me something of the interpretation of dreams and events, - O Thou Creator of the heavens and the earth! Thou art my Protector in this world and in the Hereafter. Take Thou my soul (at death) as one submitting to Thy will (as a Muslim), and unite me with the righteous.” (Yusuf: 101)
Queen of Saba, Bilquis who was a worshipper of the Sun converted to Islam and said, “Aslamto” (I believe or I become a Muslim)
“" She said: "O my Lord! I have indeed wronged my soul: I do (now) submit (in Islam), with Solomon, to the Lord of the Worlds." (Al Naml: 44)
Prophet Lut a.s. as was called a Muslim by the Quran.
“But We found not there any just (Muslim) persons except in one house:” (Az Zariyat: 36)
The followers of Hadhrat Musa a.s. were called Muslims by the Quran
“Moses said: "O my people! If ye do (really) believe in Allah, then in Him put your trust if ye submit (your will to His) (Muslimeen)." (Yunus: 84)
Prophet Noah as is called a Muslims by the Quran.
“My reward is only due from Allah, and I have been commanded to be of those who submit to Allah's will (in Islam).”(Yunus: 72)
The sons of Prophet Jacob a.s. say “We are Muslims”
“They said: "We shall worship Thy god and the god of thy fathers, of Abraham, Ismail and Isaac, - the one (True) Allah: To Him we bow (in Islam)." (Baqarah: 133)
According to the Quran, the real Deen is one and that is Islam. Belief in one God and His prophets is called Islam. All the prophets from Hadhrat Adam as to Hadhrat Mohammad pbuh were the prophets of Islam and therefore, the Quran call the followers of all the prophets Muslims. The Quran rejects terms like Jews and Christians as unIslamic as they have been coined by the followers of different prophets to distinguish themselves. In the eyes of the Quran all the believers in one God without associating partners are Muslims.
From all the above quoted verses, it becomes clear that the Quran considers all those who proclaim faith in one God (Allah) and his prophets Muslims. Therefore, everyone who says he believes in Allah and prophets is a Muslim. According to Hadith, the prophet pbuh once became very angry with a Muslim, who, in a battle killed an enemy even after he proclaimed faith saying, ‘La Ilaha Illallah Mohammadur Rasulullah’ at the pretext that he said the Kalima only to save his life and had not become a Muslim at heart. From this Hadith, the basic principle of Islam becomes evident: Anyone who proclaims faith in God and his prophet is a Muslim and his blood becomes Haram on Muslims. After that he will be accountable to only God for all his deviations in his faith, his sins and his misdeeds. No Muslim has been appointed policemen on any other Muslim. The Quran clearly says La Ikaria fid Deen. On another occasion it says, ‘Lana A’malona Wa Lakum A’amalukum’.
In fact those who call them non-Muslim and declare them Kafir and Wajib ul Qatl render themselves sinners. The Ahmadis should be allowed to exercise all their religious and social and political rights in Pakistan and elsewhere. They should be allowed to call themselves Muslims and their places of worship Masajid.
So far the deviations and innovations in their faith are concerned; mainstream Sunni Muslims should adopt the peaceful way of dialogue and discussion which has been prescribed by the Quran. Muslims should publish literature pointing out the flaws in their faith and fight their beliefs ideologically in the light of the Quran and Hadith if they think they are on the wrong path. After that, they should leave the matter to God. No one will be accountable for the wrongs of others.
It is also an important point to note that the number of Ahmadis converting from Islam is increasing day by day despite the killings and persecution in Pakistan. This provides a point for introspection to the mainstream Sunni Muslims of Pakistan and elsewhere. This may be a result of the inner quest of a section of Muslims for a peaceful Islamic society where there is no violence and persecution in the name of jihad and religion.
The violent and anarchic ways of life of the Muslim community and mass killings of minorities in the name of jihad and puritanism may have pushed them towards the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. It is a fact that a large section of mainstream Sunni Muslims want to migrate to England, the US, Canada and other European countries for a peaceful life though they are not Ahmadis or Shias or Christians and they do not perceive any threat. Sectarian violence against Shias, Christians and Hindus has become a daily event in Pakistan. Therefore, the mainstream Sunni Muslims, instead of blaming the Ahmadis should introspect and try to bring reformation within their own community and bring a change in their mindset and attitude towards other sects of Muslims and the followers of other religions. Faith should be considered the personal affair of every individual.
S. Arshad is a regular columnist for NewAgeIslam.com
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