March 24, 2016, is a crucial date for those concerned about Muslims. On that fateful day, Asad Shah, a 40-year-old from Scotland, was the first Ahmadi to be murdered by a Muslim for a religious reason in a Western country.
That horrible act, committed in Glasgow, was because of the belief held by many Muslims that Ahmadis falsely claim to be following Islam.1 The Asad Shah murder is a deadly escalation of an ongoing hate campaign in the Islamic world.2
These deteriorating circumstances call for mediation, especially in the context of honour and shame based Muslim cultures. The purpose of this article is to offer an opportunity for both sides to address their differences and for Western outsiders to begin to understand the serious issues that are at stake.
I present many questions about the nature of this difficult fight between Ahmadis and the Islamic world. You are invited to contact me with answers which will be reflected upon and considered in future updates of this article.
May my approach lead to a better understanding from both sides and the prevention of more bloodshed.
Before we deal with the particulars of the controversy here are a couple of general questions: Are we witnessing a dreadful pattern that started at the beginning of Islamic history? Back then, did the prophet of Islam exhibit kindness in principle when his mission began and then cruelty against opposition when more powerful?3 While moderate Muslims correctly insist on reading the Quran and the Hadith in their historical context, are not the extreme principles they display for all time?
Not all Muslims have the same interpretation of the Quran. Ahmadis believe their explanation is correct, mainly because it was given by their supreme first leader, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmed (1835–1908).
Some Muslims may quote writers from the Ahmadiyya community out of context to expose Mirza Ghulam Ahmed as making contradictory statements, automatically disqualifying him as the promised Messiah. Therefore, the following Muslim arguments against the Ahmadis must be carefully examined to determine if they contain truth. A number of them are based on books that are not yet officially translated from Urdu into English. Since I do not speak the main language of Pakistan I am unable to look at the important context.
Ideally, Ahmadis are in the best position to study the quotations and write informed responses. Some of what follows may be offensive; it is not the author’s intent to hurt anyone. Please forgive if this article causes upset. Rather, I present another side of those claims to make possible a better understanding and more-informed decisions.
Hence, I shall prove in this book that Jesus (peace be upon him) did not die on the cross neither did he go up to the heavens nor it should ever be hoped that he will return to the earth from the heavens; rather, he died at the age of 120 years in Srinagar in Kashmir, and his grave is in the Khanyar region of Srinagar. (Maseeh Hindustan Mein, Roohani Khazain4, Vol. 15, p. 14).
Authentic narrations of Hadith prove that our holy Prophet (pbuh) said in the person of Jesus two such qualities were combined which were not present in any other prophet. Firstly, he lived his full life, i.e. he was alive for 125 years. Secondly, he toured most of the parts of the world … now it is obvious if he had ascended to heaven at the age of only 33 years, then the tradition of 125 years would not have been correct, neither could he have toured at such a young age of 33. These traditions are not only mentioned in the authentic and ancient books of Hadith, but they are so popular among all the sects of Muslims that none can be imagined more famous. (Maseeh Hindustan Mein, Roohani Khazain, Vol. 15, pp. 55-56).
How old was Jesus when he died? One hundred and twenty years or 125 years?5
The meaning of the verse (Surah 5:117/118) is that the Christians will go astray after the death of Hazrat Isa (pbuh) and not during his lifetime. So if we assume that Hazrat Isa (pbuh) is not yet dead, then we will have to agree that the Christians are not yet digressed, and this is absolutely false.
Rather the verse is saying that the Christians remained faithful only until the lifetime of Hazrat Isa (pbuh). From this it becomes known that corruption had already begun during the time of the Disciples. If the period of the Disciples had been such that the Christians had still been on the right path, then in this verse Allah would not have linked it with the lifetime of Hazrat Isa (pbuh) only, but would have included the lifetime of the disciples as well.
Thus at this juncture a very good point of the period of corruption in Christianity is illustrated and which is that in truth, during the time of the Disciples themselves, the seeds of Shirk (associating partner with God) were sown in Christianity. (Anjam e-Atham, Roohani Khazain, Vol. 11, p. 321).
And in the very first instance, he (Paul) implanted the bad seedling of Trinity in Damascus. And this Pauline Trinity started from Damascus. (Chasma-e-Maseehi, Roohani Khazain, Vol. 20, p. 377).
Mirza Ghulam Ahmed says in his book quoted above, Anjam-e-Atham, Roohani Khazain, Vol. 11, p. 321, that false teachings in Christianity came only through Jesus’ disciples after the death of Jesus in AD 125. However, does he not contradict himself in his book Chasma-e-Maseehi, Roohani Khazain, Vol. 20, p. 377, where he says the Trinity was introduced by Paul who is known to have died in about AD 65? The Injeel was written and most of its content distributed widely among the early churches by about AD 90.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was the first man after so many years to whom Allah revealed in 1891 that Jesus (pbuh) did not go to the heavens, but died a natural death on earth in Kashmir. (An Ahmadi Answers, Article by Nasim Ahmad, grandson of Khalifa Mirza Tahir, Mubasshir Ahmad, 1928 – 2003).
Did Sir Syed Khan, a prominent 19th-century Muslim scholar, thinker and reformer of the Indian subcontinent, not make a similar claim in 1882, nine years earlier? (Tafsir of Quran Majid, 6 volumes, Vol. 2, comment on Surah Maida verse 117, see also Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, Fazal Karim, p. 335).
Just as the Injeel has preached celibacy, similarly in Buddha’s teachings it is desired. (Maseeh Hindustan Mein, Roohani Khazain, Vol. 15, p. 78).
The Injeel does not preach celibacy. Does not the Quran contradict Mirza Ghulam Ahmed by stating in Surah 57:27, that monasticism was invented by Christians? It includes the state of celibacy.
Bagwa Matteyya, whose other name was Maseeh came to India … it is written that all the followers of Buddha used to console themselves with the future hope that they will achieve the fruits of salvation by becoming followers of Metteyya. (Maseeh in Hindustan, Roohani Khazain, Vol. 15, pp. 81-82; 84, 92).
Do not both, Muslims and Ahmadis, believe that Jesus was sent only to the Israelites?
… it should be kept in mind that the Gospel of Barnabas … stated that Jesus was not crucified nor did he die on the cross. Although this book is not included in the Gospels there is no doubt that it is an ancient book and it belongs to the period in which the other Gospels were written. Is it not open to us to regard this ancient book as a book of history of ancient times and make use of it as a book of history? (Masseh in Hindustan, Roohani Khazain, Vol. 15, p. 21).
Has the Gospel of Barnabas not clearly been identified as a fraud? The following reasons are given by those who hold this position:
The author does not understand the language, history or geography of the first century AD. There is no ancient evidence for the book. The internal evidence of the book suggests it was written in the fourteenth century. There are Muslim scholars who agree with this dating.6
There is another important statement by the Holy Prophet. During his last illness, the Holy Prophet said to his daughter Fatima: “Once a year Gabriel used to recite the Quran to me. This year he recited it twice. He also told me that every succeeding prophet has lived up to half the age of his predecessor. He told me that Jesus, son of Mary, lived to 120 years. Therefore, I think, I may live to about 60 years.” (Invitation to Ahmadiyyat, Mirza Bashir Ahmed, p. 17).
Mirza Ghulam Ahmed passed away when he was 73 years old. Given that he claimed to be a prophet, should he not have died at the age of 30, based on that formula?
Every person who believes in Moosa but does not believe in Isa, or believes in Isa and does not believe in Muhammad, or believes in Muhammad but does not believe in the promised Masih (Mirza Ghulam Ahmed), such a person is not only an unbeliever (Kafir) but a thorough unbeliever (Pakka Kafir) and an outcast from the Islamic fold.(Kalimatul Fasl, Mirza Bashir Ahmed, p. 110; see also Arbaeen No. 4, p. 7; Istihar Meyar Alakhbar, 25 May, 1900; Aina-e-Sadaqat, p. 35).
Ahmadis condemn Muslims who call them unbelievers. Is this not hypercritical since they do exactly the same, according to the above passage?
The promised Masih (Mirza Ghulam Ahmed) is Muhammad ur Rasulullah himself who was reincarnated in the world for the propagation of Islam. Therefore, we do not need a new Kalimah. Yes, if somebody else would have reborn instead of Muhammad ur Rasulullah then this need (to have a new Kalimah) would have arisen. (Al Fast, Mirza Bashir Ahmed, p. 158; see also Ek Ghalati Ka Izalah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad; Al-Fazl, September 16, 1925, Qadiani Mazhab, p. 275).
Since the Ahmadiyyas believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmed is Prophet Muhammad incarnate, is it correct to say that for them the Muslim creed “La ilaha illallah Muhammad ur Rasulullah”7 means “La ilaha illallah mirza Rasulullah”?
… people who refrain altogether from eating meat gradually suffer decline of the faculty of bravery … Thus there is no doubt that morals are affected by food. Conversely those who are given to a diet consisting mainly of meat and eat very little of greens suffer a decline of meekness and humility … We observe daily that thousands of insects infect impure and stale foods and are generated in unwashed wounds. Dirty linen secretes hundreds of lice and all sorts of worms are generated inside a person’s stomach. (The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, pp. 9-10; 14).
How can such statements be proven as rational and scientific? Did not Louis Pasteur prove that the theory of spontaneous generation was wrong? Do these things not remind us of stories about Muhammad, how he conflated meteorites and stars8 and thought that an embryo’s resemblance is determined by which parent climaxed first?9
The truth is that the spirituality of the (reincarnated) Holy Prophet at the end of the 6th millennium (i.e. these days in the form of Mirza), is much stronger, more complete and forceful than in those early years, rather it is like the 14th (full moon) night. (Khutbah-e-Ilhamiyah, Roohani Khazain, by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Vol.16, pp. 271-272).
Does this mean that Mirza Ghulam Ahmed is greater than the prophet of Islam? Seventeen Hadith are quoted by Sunnis against Ahmadis, saying that there will not be any prophet after Muhammad.10 How do Ahmadis interpret those reports?
Those who can afford it have to pay various contributions, amounting to about 25% of their monthly income. Those who pay at least 10% of their salary, wealth, jewellery, property and dowry in life and at time of death are promised heaven. (ex-Ahmadi).
Are these statements true and how does the monetary giving of Ahmadis compare with that of Sunni and Shia Muslims?
Numerous Hadith on Jesus’ return are quite literal, describing things that he would do during his return (e.g. praying behind the Mahdi, destroying Christianity, killing the Antichrist, etc.11). Since Mirza Ghulam Ahmed also claimed to be the promised Messiah,12 in which way has he fulfilled them?
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was considered a reformer who would unite mankind and the world’s religions.13 How do Ahmadis explain the fact that he could not even unite his own followers, such as the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement and others?14 Let alone the many other sects of Islam, which are cruelly fighting each other.
To turn out a liar in his own prophecy is the biggest disgrace of disgraces. (Maseeh Hindustan Mein, Roohani Khazain, Vol. 15, p. 382).
A sign of the evidence of God in my favour will appear on the death of Mr. Pigott, the arrogant pretender to divinity, who shall be brought to destruction within my lifetime. (Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in The Sunday Herald, Boston, June 23, 1907).
John Hugh Smyth-Pigott was excommunicated by the Church of England as a result of his blasphemous claims in 1909. Afterwards, he commented, “I am God. It does not matter what they do.”15 All this happened one year after Mirza Ghulam Ahmad died.
Since Smyth-Pigott did not repent or retract his statement, “I am God”, even one year after the death of Mirza Ghulam Ahmed, is it correct to conclude that the founder of the Ahmadis got this prophecy wrong?
Every Muslim values and appreciates my books. He gets knowledge from them, confirming and accepting my message. Only the sons of the prostitutes don’t confirm and accept me. (Roohani Khazain, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Vol. 5, pp. 547-548).
Our enemies have become the pigs of the jungle and their women have become worse than bitches.
(Najamul Huda, Roohani Khazain, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Vol. 14, p. 53).
In light of the above passages, why do Ahmadis propagate the slogan, “Love for all, hatred for none?”
First I had intended to write 50 parts. But instead of 50, I remained content with 5. And since there is only a difference of a zero between 50 and 5, that is why that promise has been fulfilled with 5 parts. (Dabacha Braheen-e-Ahmadiyya Hissa Panjam, Roohani Khazain, Vol. 21, p. 9).
The four parts of my book should be returned to me, and the offered money that they are dying for, should be taken from me. (Arbaeen, Roohani Khazain, Vol. 17, No 4, p. 458).
Instead of making excuses, would it not have been better to apologise for a broken promise to the people who demanded a refund after about 20 years? After all, they had paid upfront for the 50 volumes but only received five.
Stop speaking about the Son of Mary. Superior to him is Ghulam Ahmad. (Roohani Khazain, Vol. 18, p. 240).
Jesus was a habitual liar, had a habit of uttering obscenities. (Roohani Khazain, Vol. 11, p. 289).
I wish Hazrat Isa had not come in this world. (Roohani Khazain, Vol. 9, p. 417).
Jesus came to a particular nation and sadly the world did not get any spiritual benefit from him. He left an example of such a prophethood whose harm proved to be greater than its good. Sufferings and conflicts increased due to his coming. (Ittmam-al-Hujjat, Roohani Khazain, Vol. 8, p. 308).
Are Ahmadis not holding Jesus in high honour?
Asad Shah was the first Ahmadi victim in the West of a fierce religious war between two sides. Both claim to be Muslims. The word Islam is translated as submission and Muslims believe that it brings peace. In whatever way the questions raised will be answered, the warring parties may vehemently insist, “Surrender to our version of Islam and then you will have peace.”
As a result, some may switch sides; others may leave both views all together. Is there an alternative to this forced-upon freedom from strife?
One of the biblical names given to Jesus Christ is Prince of Peace.16 Anyone who truly wishes to follow him will be left in no doubt as to what this means. Jesus himself offered a holistic peace when he said, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened. I will give you rest. Love God, love your neighbour and your enemy. Forgive as you have been forgiven. Do to others as you would like them do to you.”17
This profound summary of the Injeel explains why it is translated Good News. Please contact the author to find out more about it.
2 blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/03/the-questions-nobody-wants-to-ask-about-asad-shahs-murder-2/ (Accessed on 27.04.16)
3 For one of many articles that argue this point from orthodox Islamic sources see: christianityexplained.net/explainedto/muslims/Are_Radical_Mu_slims_Representing_True_Islam.pdf
4 All the books in the Roohani Khazain series were written by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Only some of them have been officially translated into English. Various editions may have different page numbers.
5 The Christian position on this and all the other arguments of Ahmadis has been made clear in various other articles. For example here: christianityexplained.net/explainedto/muslims/response.to.where.did.jesus.die.pdf, christianityexplained.net/explainedto/muslims/Response-to-Ahmadiyya-Death-on-the-cross.pdf, www.answering-islam.org/Ahmadiyya/index.html
6 For more details see: www.answering-islam.org/Green/barnabas.htm
7 There is no God but God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God.
8 Surah 15:16-18, 37:6-10, 67:5, 72:8-9, Sahih Muslim Nr. 5538, Tafsir of Ibn Abbas on those verses
9 Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 4, Book 55, Nr. 546
10 scribd.com/doc/31789147/Decison-of-Court-Qadyanis-Are-Not-Muslims-by-Muhammad-Bashir pp.20-25
15 independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/ooh-vicar-our-appetite-for-randy-rectors-1020519.html; alislam.org/library/books/Approaching_the_West-20080817MN.pdf. Book page 16, pdf page 22.
16 Isaiah 9:6, Ephesians 2:13-18
17 Matthew 11:28-30, Mark 12:30-31, Matthew 5:44, 7:12, Ephesians 4:32