Published November 5, 2018Click here for the full response in PDF format.
To: Idara Dawat-O-Irshad, USA, Inc.
P.O. Box 22885 Alexandria, VA 22304
Dear Members of Idara Dawat-o-Irshad USA:
We are in receipt of your “Open Letter” of November 3, 2018 addressed to the leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which also has been posted on your organization’s website. This letter’s purpose is to address the numerous factual inaccuracies, misstatements and misrepresentations contained in your letter.
Your letter betrays a fundamental understanding of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s beliefs and practices and what its founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, peace be upon him, believed. Of course, the best source for this understanding is reading the words of the founder himself, which you fail to mention anywhere. He writes:
“The gist of our faith is: La Ilaha Il-lallah Muhammadur Rasulullah. (There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah). Our belief, which we hold in this life here on earth and to which we will continue to adhere firmly till the time that we pass on to the next world, is that our spiritual leader and master, Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, is the Seal of the Prophets and the Best of the Messengers. At his hands religion has been perfected and the blessing of Allah has been consummated which lead man to the right path and further on to God Himself. We hold this positive belief with absolute certainty that the Holy Qur’an is the seal of all divine books and not an iota can be added to or subtracted from its prescribed teachings, inhibitions, commands and injunctions. There will be no revelation or word from God which may amend or abrogate or change or alter any of the injunctions of the Holy Qur’an. If anyone subscribes to such views, in our opinion, he ceases to belong to the body of believers and becomes an infidel thereby." (Izala e Auham: Roohani Khaza'in Vol. 3, p. 170).
In another instance, he writes:
"We do believe that there is none worthy of worship except God Almighty and Sayyedna Hadhrat Muhammad, the Chosen One, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is His Messenger and the Khatamul [Nabiyeen]. We believe that angels are a reality, that Resurrection is a reality and the Day of Judgement is a reality; that Heaven is a reality and so is Hell. We do believe that whatever the Glorious and Majestic God has stated in the Holy Quran and whatever our Prophet, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has stated is all, according to the aforementioned statement, the truth. We do believe that the person who subtracts an iota from the Islamic law or adds to it as much, or lays the foundation in any manner for rejection of Islamic injunctions, or attempts to declare unlawful what has been made lawful in Islam, is an infidel and a renegade to Islam. We admonish our Jama'at that they must adhere tenaciously to the fundamental article of Islamic faith: La Ilaha Illallah Muhammadur Rasulullah. ‘There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is His Messenger,’ as long as they live and that they should die holding fast to the same belief. Also they must have firm faith in all the Messengers of Allah and revealed Books which have been authenticated by the Holy Quran. They should abide strictly by the Quranic injunctions. They should strictly observe prayers and fast, pay Zakat and perform the Hajj (pilgrimage). They should observe Islam by fully complying with all the injunctions, obligations and prohibitions pronounced by God and His Messenger. In short, all such matters, be they beliefs or deeds, on which there was consensus of opinion among our righteous predecessors and as are understood to be Islam by the general consensus of opinion of those who follow the traditions of the Holy Prophet of Islam, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, should be complied with as being obligatory. We call to witness the Heaven and the Earth, that this is indeed exactly our Faith." (Ayyamus Sulh, 1st Edition: Roohani Khaza'in Vol. 14, p 323).
Thus, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad clearly explains that his followers unmistakably believe in all of Islam’s core articles and principles. His words alone serve to rebut the entire substance of your allegations. So there remains no doubt, however, we address each of your points in turn:
First, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad never claimed to be a prophet who brought any new law or teachings. He claimed to be a subordinate prophet (nabi-ul-ummati), which is implied by his title Imam Mahdi and Messiah as foretold in the Holy Quran and Hadith, of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), who was the seal of the all prophets (Khataman Nabiyeen). He nowhere claimed to be a “reincarnation” of Prophet Muhammad – he came in fulfillment of the prophecies of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) regarding the advent of the promised reformer and messiah that all faith communities await. Ahmadiyyat is a not a new religion, but a revival of Islam’s true and essential teachings as Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) taught and practiced; Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a prophet only in the sense of being subservient to Prophet Muhammad.
Second, you claim Ahmadi Muslims, “promote sectarian and intolerant ideas.” In fact, Islam has at least 73 sects within it, and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a sect of Muslims within the fold of Islam. The writings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad are replete with references that Ahmadi Muslims, as followers of the Holy Qur’an and the teachings and practices of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), practice no coercion or hostility to anyone – whether Muslim or non-Muslims – in matters of faith. This attitude towards coercion is in harmony with (not in violation of) the Qur’an – see, e.g., “There is no compulsion in religion” (The Holy Qur’an 2:256) and “Will you then force others to believe?” (The Holy Qur’an 10:10). Ahmadi Muslims are known to be among the most tolerant and inclusive Muslim communities in the world. Moreover, contrary to your contention, Ahmadi Muslims do not, “profess to be the only real Muslims and representatives of Islam.” We pass no judgment on whether one who professes to be a Muslim and recites the Shahada is a Muslim and leave that matter entirely to Allah – we simply assert that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad came to revive Islam’s true and essential teachings as the Mahdi (reformer) and Masih (messiah) prophesized to come. We represent Islam alongside everyone else and hold the unique vantage to be the only global Islamic community with a central leader and a unified voice.
Third, your letter wrongly asserts our beliefs about the Prophet Jesus (Hazrat Isa) (peace be upon him). Mirza Ghulam Ahmad never rendered any demeaning or vulgar remarks against Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) or his revered mother, Mary (Maryam). Quite the contrary, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad preserved the honor and integrity of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) by explaining to the world that the Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) survived the crucifixion and found the, “lost sheep of the House of Israelites” for which Allah sent him. Indeed, far from “belittling” Jesus (peace be upon him)’s mission, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad extolled that mission by explaining how it was miraculously fulfilled. Finally, whatever so-called “retribution” made by “Christian evangelicals” against Muslims has nothing whatsoever to do with the beliefs of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.
Fourth, you wrongly contend that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, “prohibited . . . freedom, independence and self-determination.” Mirza Ghulam Ahmad spoke against a violent and bloody jihad by the sword and implored Muslims to practice their faith by enjoying full freedoms and rights conferred on them by the then British Government. He spoke about independence of belief and practices while working within a just society and government, not by violently subverting it.
Fifth, you wrongly contend that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, “proclaimed the entire mankind, except those who accept his irrational notions and agree to financially contribute to his organization, as disbelievers and hell-bound.” Mirza Ghulam Ahmad said no such thing. He shared his claims to the world, peacefully and with dignity, through the written word and dialogue, having written and self-published over 85 books. Moreover, the allegation that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is, in effect, a family business enterprise is belied by the most fundamental of divine promises contained in the Holy Qur’an, namely that an impostor would never be permitted by Allah to succeed: "And if he had forged and attributed any sayings to Us, We would surely have seized him by the right hand, And then surely We would have severed his life-artery, And not one of you could have held Us off from him.” [The Holy Qur’an 69:45-48].Our members voluntarily sacrifice time, wealth and all available resources to serve Islam.
Finally, you have pejoratively referred to Mirza Masroor Ahmad (may Allah be his Helper) as “CEO of the Ahmadiyya Mission.” He is a not a corporate CEO; he is the spiritually elected caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and international leader to tens of millions of Ahmadi Muslims. In the spirit of open dialogue, it is vital to not level ad hominem attacks on the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and its leadership and, instead, respectfully employ terms that the Community itself uses when referring to their own leadership.
In sum, at its core, your letter is an effort to falsify the beliefs of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and its founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, and render defamatory and scurrilous invectives against a peaceful community of American Muslims. You seek to sow the seeds of discord simply because you disagree with another Muslim sect.
We invite all seekers of truth to visit www.alislam.org and study the beliefs, practices and works of the 129-year-old Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. To learn more about His Holiness, Mirza Masroor Ahmad (may Allah be his Helper), and the work he is doing to advance peace the world over and to serve humanity, please visit: https://www.khalifaofislam.com/.
Amjad Mahmood Khan Dr. Waseem Sayed
National Secretary for External Affairs National Secretary for Tabligh
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA See e.g., Tatimmah Chashma-e-Ma‘rifat, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 23, p. 380