by Imam Sheharyar Shaikh
I do not believe that one should boycott anyone from holding a dialogue. One always learns something from an exchange, no matter how abhorrent or deviant their beliefs may be from one’s vantage point. One of the few exceptions I make is in the case of the lay Muslim’s engagement with the Ahmedi (Qadiani) missionaries and proselytizers. I list this due to the risk of losing one’s iman, thereby destroying one’s eternity as a result of such interactions if one isn’t fully cognizant of the opposing agenda. The mainstream Muslim boycott of the Ahmediyya Jamaat is in the best interest of the Muslims because of its deceptiveness and trickery in getting a lay Muslim to agree to certain points favourable to them in a discussion and its need for Muslims to attend their community events and programs in order to gain legitimacy in the eyes of the wider audience.
At any major Ahmedi event held in western countries, the overwhelming majority of Ahmedi attendees hail from Pakistan with Sunni Punjabi roots. The Ahmedi missionaries have made deep inroads in convincing the lay Sunni Punjabi Muslims, beyond others, of their version of Islam. Sure, a token Arab or a white Canadian may be seen meandering about in the corner, but it does not change the fact that the Pakistani Punjabis at home or abroad continue to fill their organizational rank and file. If the Ahmedi missionaries subject the Pakistani Muslims of small towns and villages to a “pir”-like persona of Ghulam Ahmed, they present a overly pacifist, rational, “science-friendly” Islam to the urban middle class Pakistanis and young professional Muslims overseas. The latter category, often cut off from their religious support and family system, become easy prey.
One thing not brought readily to the table are Mirza Ghulam Ahmed’s bizarre visions, his 20-year obsession with a 14 year old girl, Muhammadi Begam, his absurd religious interpretations, his claims of being 202 historical/honoured figures of other nations (male and female), his use of foul language toward his opponents, vulgarity in his writings, abnormal quirks of behaviour and his unfulfilled prophecies which he presented as evidence of his truth. Of the 86 books Mirza wrote in his lifetime (most of which are rubbish and can be readily read at www.alislam.org) the Muslims are usually presented two works: Mirza’s The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam and Revelation and Rationality, Knowledge and Truth penned by his grandson, Tahir Ahmed (along with a team of helpers and translators).
The Ahmedi missionaries frame the discourse by limiting the discussion to the present status of Jesus – whom the mainstream Muslims believe to have ascended physically into heaven by divine miracle. Whether Mirza Ghulam Ahmed fits the profile of a divinely sent prophet, let alone Jesus (peace be on him), is largely neglected. But herein lies the test. Even if the world accepts Mirza’s half-baked theory of Jesus being taken off the cross, carried to India to live a happily married life with kids and eventually buried there at a ripe age of 120, it still needs to be proven how Mirza the claimant qualifies to be Jesus upon his return. Mirza certainly did not “break the Cross” if that means Christianity’s final annihilation – much as their cult claims. He certainly did not “end all wars”, religious or secular; WWI broke out a few years after his death.
One thing the Ahmediyya Jamaat never reveals on its own is the official status of the 1.5 billion Muslims from its point of view. Whereas they express much furor over being ostracised from the mainstream Muslim community, they hide the fact that it is their leaders who declared the mainstream Muslims asinfidels for rejecting Mirza Ghulam Ahmed (May Allah deal with him) as a prophet.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmed unequivocally called his non-followers:
“non-Muslims” (tazkira-e majmu’a-e ilhamat, pg. 600),
“complete kafir(s)” (infidels) (Kalimatul-fasl, p. 110)
“bastards” (walad ul-haram) (Anwar ul-Islam, pg. 30, RK vol. 9, pg. 31)
“children of whores” (dhuriyyat ul-baghayaa) (A’ina-e Kamalat-e Islam, pg 547-548, RK vol. 5, pg. 547-548)
“swines… and their women have become worse than bitches” (Najm ul-Huda, pg. 53, RK vol. 14, pg. 53)
So much for the “Love for all, hatred for none” slogan.
If there was ever a hope of turning to true Islam, Ghulam Ahmed’s son and a spiritual authority of the Ahmedis made clear that “(Ghulam Ahmed) has instructed us in detail that we differ with (the rest of the Muslims) in each and every thing (in Islam).” (Khutba-e Mirza Mahmud, al-Fazl, v.19, pg. 13). Moreover, he called it a “fard” (religious obligation) to consider all Muslims as “infidels” (Anwar-e Khilafat, 70). This even includes their “six month old babies” (Paygham-e Sulh, vol. 24, No. 49, August 3, 1936). Mahmud Ahmed went on to declare that those Muslims who have not given allegiance to Ghulam Ahmed are “infidels (kafirs) and out of the pale of Islam, even if they have not heard the very name of Maseeh Ma’ud (i.e. Mirza Ghulam Ahmed)” (Aina-e Sadaqat, pg. 35).
Now comes the point of how to deal with the Ahmediyya Jamaat, especially in the West. The overall best policy for the Muslims is to not deal with them at all, unless strictly for da’wah conducted by those who are acquainted with this cult’s vile agenda. It neither is, nor ever will be inshaAllah a serious threat to the global Muslim community. Our organization [North American Muslim Foundation] was approached many times to hold debates with them, and let it be known that we are always ready to hold a debate so long as it is public. With reference to the upcoming conference on the Prophet (s) to occur at the Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto on Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012, (for which we have so far received 4 invitation cards, 2 email invitations, a letter by mail and personal invites), I strongly advise the Muslims not to attend it. The purpose behind the event is to to attract the naïve Muslims to their ground for possible conversions by posing themselves as the foremost “defenders” of the Prophet’s honour. Secondly, it is to present themselves as peace-loving Muslims to the Canadians so as to win their sympathies and support.
Of course had they cared for the Prophet’s honour they would have rejected Ghulam Ahmed who claimed equality with or superiority over the Prophet (s) in the following words:
“..I am Muhammad (pbuh)” (tatimma-e Haqiqat ul-Wahi, pg. 521)
“I have been declared the very being (وجود) of Muhammad (Ek Ghalti ka Izala, pg. 10)
“Whosoever differentiates between me and Mustafa (s) has neither seen me – nor recognized me” (Khutba ilhamiyah, pg. 171)
And no, he is not “Muhammad (pbuh)” who is greater in glory than ever before in the form of Mirza Ghulam Ahmed (آگے سے بڑھکر ہيں اپنی شان مي ) (Badr Qadyan, 25 October, 1906, pg. 14).
How shameful it is that the Acting Consul General of Pakistan in Toronto, Imran Ali, has emailed all Pakistani-Canadians “requesting” them to make “the (Ahmedi) event a success” – this too from his official capacity! Subhaanallah, to my knowledge the Consul General Imran Ali has never officially promoted any mainstream Muslim event, let alone for a cult that heavily relies on obtaining immigration visas to Canada based on false claims and smearing Pakistan’s image. I have heard the Ahmediyya leadership vilify Pakistan before non-Muslim attendees during their Ahmediyya conference at University of Waterloo. What I have not heard is their use of “Zindabad”(long live) for Pakistan at their events as they routinely do for others.
And here is the Consul General of Pakistan Imran Ali, so concerned to promote an Ahmediyya event that he even asks us to “invite fellow Canadians” to it. I can just see the Ahmediyya leadership ‘high fiving’ each other for being able to so easily exploit such a gullible and incompetent diplomat; a cult he called “Muslim” in the email – perhaps not knowing or caring that the Ahmediyya Jamaat has a non-Muslim status in the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan which he represents.
Article 260 of the Constitution of Pakistan states:
A person who does not believe in the absolute and unequal finality of the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him), the last of the Prophets or claims to be a prophet in any sense of the word or of any description whatsoever, after Muhammad (peace be upon him), or recognize such a claimant as a prophet or a religious reformer, is not a Muslim for the purposes of the Constitutional Law.
The Application for Pakistani passport contains the following declaration:
DECLARATION (FOR MUSLIMS ONLY)
I do not recognize any person who claims to be a prophet in any sense of the word or of any description what so ever after Muhammad (peace be upon him) or recognize such a claimant as prophet or religious reformer as a Muslim. I consider Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani to be an imposter nabi and also consider his followers, whether belonging to the Lahori or Qadiani group to be non Muslims.
You need to remind Imran Ali albeit with respect that his responsibility as Consul General is to improve consular services of Pakistan in Toronto, for which he is paid for by the taxpayers, and certainly not to promote Ahmediyya events in his official capacity. Jazakallah khayr.