Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

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The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (also referred to as the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at or simply Jama'at Muslim Ahmadiyya) ' onMouseout='HidePop("50363")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Arabic_transliteration">transliterated
Arabic transliteration
Different approaches and methods for the romanization of Arabic exist. They vary in the way that they address the inherent problems of rendering written and spoken Arabic in the Latin alphabet; they also use different symbols for Arabic phonemes that do not exist in English or other European...

: ) (Urdu
Urdu
Urdu is a register of the Hindustani language that is identified with Muslims in South Asia. It belongs to the Indo-European family. Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in some regions of India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an...

: احمدیہ جماعت) is the larger of two communities that arose from the Ahmadiyya movement
Ahmadiyya
Ahmadiyya is an Islamic religious revivalist movement founded in India near the end of the 19th century, originating with the life and teachings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad , who claimed to have fulfilled the prophecies about the world reformer of the end times, who was to herald the Eschaton as...

 founded in 1889 in India by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Mīrzā Ghulām Aḥmad was a religious figure from India and the founder of the Ahmadiyya Community. He claimed to be the Mujaddid of the 14th Islamic century, the promised Messiah , and the Mahdi awaited by the Muslims in the end days...

 of Qadian
Qadian
Qadian is a small town and a municipal council in Gurdaspur District, north-east of Amritsar, situated north-east of Batala city in the state of Punjab, India....

 (1835–1908). The original movement split into two factions soon after the death of the founder. (The other branch is the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat-i-Islam.)

The community is led by the Khalifatul Masih
Khalifatul Masih
Khalifatul Masih sometimes simply referred to as Khalifah is the elected spiritual leader of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and is the successor of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian...

 (“successor of the Messiah”), currently Khalifatul Masih V
Mirza Masroor Ahmad
His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad is Khalifatul Masih V, the spiritual leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. He was elected as the fifth successor of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad on April 22, 2003, a few days after the death of his predecessor Mirza Tahir Ahmad, the fourth Caliph for the Ahmadiiya...

, who is the spiritual leader of the community and the successor to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement, declared that he was the “Promised One” of all religions, fulfilling the eschatological prophecies found in world religions. He stated that his claims to being several prophets (religious personages) converging into one person were the symbolic, rather than literal, fulfillment of the messianic and eschatological prophecies found in the literature of the major religions. The motto of the Ahmadiyya Community is “Love for All, Hatred for None”.

Six articles of faith



Ahmadis believe in the same six articles of faith believed in by most Muslims, with a difference of opinion regarding Khatam-e-Nabuwat (finality of prophethood).
  1. Unity of God (Tawhîd)
  2. Angels (Mala’ikah)
  3. Books
  4. Prophets
  5. The Day of Judgment
  6. Divine Decree

Unity of God


The first article of faith is to firmly believe in the absolute Oneness of God. Acknowledgment of the Oneness of God is the most important and the cardinal principle of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The belief in the Unity of God influences man's life in all its aspects. All other Ahmadiyya beliefs spring from this belief. The denying of God’s Oneness, and the associating of any other with Him (a doctrine termed Shirk, from an Arabic root for "sharing"), is the gravest sin in Ahmadiyyat's religion.

Angels




According to Ahmadiyyat, the second article relates to the belief in angels. They are spiritual beings created by God to obey him and implement his commandments. Unlike human beings, angels have no free will and cannot act independently. Under God's command, they bring revelations to the Prophets, bring punishment on the Prophet's enemies, glorify God with his praise, and keep records of human beings' deeds. Angels are not visible to the physical eye. Yet, according to the Ahmadiyya Community, they do sometimes appear to man in one form or another. This appearance, however, is not physical but a spiritual manifestation.

Ahmadiyyat regards angels as celestial beings who have their own entity as persons. The major role they play is the transmission of messages from God to human beings. According to the Qur’an, the entire material universe as well as the religious universe is governed by some spiritual powers, which are referred to as angels. Whatever they do is in complete submission to the Will of God and the design that he created for things. According to Ahmadiyyat, they cannot deviate from the set course or functions allocated to them, or from the overall plan of things made by God.

According to Ahmadiyyat, there are many angels in the universe but there are 4 main archangels.

Gabriel – the Angel of Revelation, Michael, Raphael – the Angel of Weather, and Azrael – the Angel of Death.

Books


The third article relates to the belief in all Divine Scriptures given to their respective Prophets. These include the Books believed in by Orthodox Muslims as well, namely:
  • The Torah
    Torah
    Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

     of Moses
    Moses
    Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

     (Tawrat)
  • The Gospels of Jesus
    Jesus
    Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

     (Injeel)
  • The Psalms
    Psalms
    The Book of Psalms , commonly referred to simply as Psalms, is a book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible...

     of David
    David
    David was the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel according to the Hebrew Bible and, according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, an ancestor of Jesus Christ through both Saint Joseph and Mary...

     (Zaboor)
  • The Scrolls of Abraham (Suhaf)
  • The Kitab
    Ginza Rba
    Ginza Rba or Siddra Rba, "The Great Book" is the largest of the many holy scriptures of the Mandaean religion...

     of Yahya
    John the Baptist
    John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

  • The Qur’an of Muhammad
    Muhammad
    Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...



The Torah of Moses comprises the first five books of the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament, known as the Pentateuch, which are: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.

The Gospels of Jesus are the first four books of the New Testament of the Bible which are: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Yahya is also known as John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

, and is revered by the Mandaeans
Mandaeism
Mandaeism or Mandaeanism is a Gnostic religion with a strongly dualistic worldview. Its adherents, the Mandaeans, revere Adam, Abel, Seth, Enosh, Noah, Shem, Aram and especially John the Baptist...

 and Sabians
Sabians
The Sabians of Middle Eastern tradition were a monotheistic Abrahamic religious group mentioned three times in the Quran: "the Jews, the Sabians, and the Christians." In the Hadith they are nothing but converts to Islam, while their identity in later Islamic literature became a matter of...

 (who are mentioned in the Qur'an as people who 'shall have their reward with God' - just like Jews and Christians). Their Holy Books include the Ginza Rba
Ginza Rba
Ginza Rba or Siddra Rba, "The Great Book" is the largest of the many holy scriptures of the Mandaean religion...

 and the Book of John.

Asides from these Books, the Ahmadiyya Community views books outside the Abrahamic traditions such as the Avesta
Avesta
The Avesta is the primary collection of sacred texts of Zoroastrianism, composed in the Avestan language.-Early transmission:The texts of the Avesta — which are all in the Avestan language — were composed over the course of several hundred years. The most important portion, the Gathas,...

 of Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of prophet Zoroaster and was formerly among the world's largest religions. It was probably founded some time before the 6th century BCE in Greater Iran.In Zoroastrianism, the Creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and no evil...

 and the Vedas
Vedas
The Vedas are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism....

 and Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
The ' , also more simply known as Gita, is a 700-verse Hindu scripture that is part of the ancient Sanskrit epic, the Mahabharata, but is frequently treated as a freestanding text, and in particular, as an Upanishad in its own right, one of the several books that constitute general Vedic tradition...

 of Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 as having divine origin but having been corrupted by humans with the passage of time.

Prophets


The fourth article of faith is the belief in all divine prophets sent by God. According to Ahmadiyya belief, the Islamic technical terms "warner" (natheer), “prophet” (nabi), “messenger” (rasul) and “envoy” (mursal) are synonymous in meaning. The belief in prophets of the Ahmadiyya Community is different from that of the Orthodox Islamic, Jewish, Zoroastrian or Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 belief of prophets. There are two kinds of prophethood in Ahmadiyya, law-bearing prophets, who bring a new law and dispensation such as Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

 and Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

; and non-law-bearing who appear within a given dispensation such as Jeremiah
Jeremiah
Jeremiah Hebrew:יִרְמְיָה , Modern Hebrew:Yirməyāhū, IPA: jirməˈjaːhu, Tiberian:Yirmĭyahu, Greek:Ἰερεμίας), meaning "Yahweh exalts", or called the "Weeping prophet" was one of the main prophets of the Hebrew Bible...

, Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 and Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Mīrzā Ghulām Aḥmad was a religious figure from India and the founder of the Ahmadiyya Community. He claimed to be the Mujaddid of the 14th Islamic century, the promised Messiah , and the Mahdi awaited by the Muslims in the end days...

. Adam
Adam
Adam is a figure in the Book of Genesis. According to the creation myth of Abrahamic religions, he is the first human. In the Genesis creation narratives, he was created by Yahweh-Elohim , and the first woman, Eve was formed from his rib...

 is regarded as the first human with whom God spoke with and revealed to him his divine will and thus the first prophet but is not regarded as the first human on earth by the Ahmadiyya Community, contrary to Orthodox Islamic, Jewish and Christian beliefs. Aside from the belief in all prophets in the Old Testament of the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

, in Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

, John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

 and in Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

, the Ahmadiyya Community also regards Zoroaster
Zoroaster
Zoroaster , also known as Zarathustra , was a prophet and the founder of Zoroastrianism who was either born in North Western or Eastern Iran. He is credited with the authorship of the Yasna Haptanghaiti as well as the Gathas, hymns which are at the liturgical core of Zoroastrianism...

, Krishna
Krishna
Krishna is a central figure of Hinduism and is traditionally attributed the authorship of the Bhagavad Gita. He is the supreme Being and considered in some monotheistic traditions as an Avatar of Vishnu...

, Buddha
Gautama Buddha
Siddhārtha Gautama was a spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. In most Buddhist traditions, he is regarded as the Supreme Buddha Siddhārtha Gautama (Sanskrit: सिद्धार्थ गौतम; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) was a spiritual teacher from the Indian...

, Confucius
Confucius
Confucius , literally "Master Kong", was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher of the Spring and Autumn Period....

 and Ghulam Ahmad
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Mīrzā Ghulām Aḥmad was a religious figure from India and the founder of the Ahmadiyya Community. He claimed to be the Mujaddid of the 14th Islamic century, the promised Messiah , and the Mahdi awaited by the Muslims in the end days...

 as prophets. Ahmadis believe Muhammad to be the final law-bearing prophet but teach the continuity of prophethood.

The Day of Judgment


The fifth article of faith relates to the Day of Judgment. According to the Ahmadis, after belief in one God, belief in the Day of Judgement is the most emphasized doctrine mentioned in the Qur’an. According to Ahmadiyya, the entire universe will come to an end on the Day of Judgment. The dead will be resurrected and accounts will be taken of their deeds. People with good records will enter into Heaven while those with bad records will be thrown into Hell. Hell is a temporary abode in Ahmadiyya and not everlasting, much like in mainstream Judaism. It is like a hospital, where souls are cleansed of their sins.

Divine decree


The Ahmadiyya Community believes that divine decree controls the eventual outcome of all actions in this universe. Within the boundaries of divine decree, man is given free will to choose the course. It is likened to the Hindu concept of Karma, though different. Ahmadis believe that they will be judged on the basis of their intentions and deeds on the Day of Judgment. Ahmadis believe that science is the study of the acts of God and religion is the study of the word of God and the two cannot possibly contradict each other. They believe that Adam, the first man (Homo sapiens), and Adam, the prophet, are two different people who came in different times. So Adam as Prophet is not the first human created but Adam as a Homo sapiens was the first human being. Ahmadis do believe in the theory of programmed evolution..

Fulfilment of prophecy


Ahmadi teachings state that the founders of all the major world religions were working for the establishment of 'Islam' in its broadest sense, being part of the divine scheme of the development of religion and had foretold of its completion and perfection. The completion and consummation of the development of religion came about with the coming of Muhammad; and that the perfection of the ‘manifestation’ of Muhammad’s prophethood and of the conveyance of his message was destined to occur with the coming of the Mahdi
Mahdi
In Islamic eschatology, the Mahdi is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will stay on Earth for seven, nine or nineteen years- before the Day of Judgment and, alongside Jesus, will rid the world of wrongdoing, injustice and tyranny.In Shia Islam, the belief in the Mahdi is a "central religious...

. Thus, the Ahmadiyya Community regard Ghulam Ahmad as the “Promised One” of all religions fulfilling eschatological prophecies found in the scriptures of the Abrahamic religions
Abrahamic religions
Abrahamic religions are the monotheistic faiths emphasizing and tracing their common origin to Abraham or recognizing a spiritual tradition identified with him...

, as well as Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of prophet Zoroaster and was formerly among the world's largest religions. It was probably founded some time before the 6th century BCE in Greater Iran.In Zoroastrianism, the Creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and no evil...

, the Indian religions, and others.

Christianity


Ahmadis believe that many verses of the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 and New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 were prophecies regarding the ‘promised Messiah’ of the end times and that they were fulfilled through the appearance of Ghulam Ahmad such as those found in the Book of Revelation
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

 and those about the Second Coming of Christ mentioned by Jesus in the 24th chapter of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

. Ahmadis also cite the passage found in Chapter 12 of the Book of Daniel
Book of Daniel
The Book of Daniel is a book in the Hebrew Bible. The book tells of how Daniel, and his Judean companions, were inducted into Babylon during Jewish exile, and how their positions elevated in the court of Nebuchadnezzar. The court tales span events that occur during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar,...

 using the day-year principle
Day-year principle
The day-year principle, year-day principle or year-for-a-day principle is a method of interpretation of Bible prophecy in which the word day in apocalyptic prophecy is symbolic for a year of actual time. It is used principally by the historicist school of prophetic interpretation...

.
The time of the abolishing of the daily sacrifice is interpreted by Ahmadis as meaning the supersession of the Judaic law by another, i.e., that of Islam and the ‘abomination that maketh desolate’ as referring to the banning of idol worship brought about with the foundation of Islam. Thus 1,290 days are interpreted as 1,290 years of the Islamic Hijri calendar
Islamic calendar
The Hijri calendar , also known as the Muslim calendar or Islamic calendar , is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. It is used to date events in many Muslim countries , and used by Muslims everywhere to determine the proper day on which to celebrate Islamic...

, corresponding to the year 1875 in which, as per Ahmadiyya belief, Ghulam Ahmad began to receive divine revelation with continuity. Ahmadis maintain that as per Judeo-Christian
Judeo-Christian
Judeo-Christian is a term used in the United States since the 1940s to refer to standards of ethics said to be held in common by Judaism and Christianity, for example the Ten Commandments...

 prophecy regarding the coming of the Messiah and Second Coming of Christ Ghulam Ahmad appeared at the end of the 6,000th year from the time of the Biblical Adam
Adam
Adam is a figure in the Book of Genesis. According to the creation myth of Abrahamic religions, he is the first human. In the Genesis creation narratives, he was created by Yahweh-Elohim , and the first woman, Eve was formed from his rib...

 and that with his advent the final 7,000th age has begun.

Islam


Ahmadis cite numerous passages from the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

, works of exegesis
Tafsir
Tafseer is the Arabic word for exegesis or commentary, usually of the Qur'an. Ta'wīl is a subset of tafsir and refers to esoteric or mystical interpretation. An author of tafsir is a mufassir .- Etymology :...

 and hadith
Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

 in support of their views. Ahmadis believe that Coming of the Messiah, Isa (Jesus, Son of Mary) and the Mahdi prophecised in Islam were, in fact, two titles or roles for one and the same person. As Jesus of Nazareth, the prophet had died. Ghulam Ahmad is believed to have appeared in accordance with the prophecies of Muhammad. He is regarded as the Mujaddid of the 14th Islamic century and the spiritual readvent of Muhammad.
Ahmadi thought holds that the promised reformer has been called Isa and Masih (Messiah) in Islamic eschatology
Islamic eschatology
Islamic eschatology is concerned with the al-Qiyāmah . Like the other Abrahamic religions, Islam teaches the bodily resurrection of the dead, the fulfillment of a divine plan for creation, and the judgement of the soul; the righteous are rewarded with the pleasures of Jannah while the unrighteous...

 by virtue of his task to refute what they perceive as the erroneous doctrines of Christianity and has been called the Mahdi by virtue of his task to reform and guide the Muslims, but consider his advent to be the continuation of the prophethood of Muhammad.

Hinduism


The spiritual reappearance of Krishna
Krishna
Krishna is a central figure of Hinduism and is traditionally attributed the authorship of the Bhagavad Gita. He is the supreme Being and considered in some monotheistic traditions as an Avatar of Vishnu...

 and the Kalki avatar, who in the classical Hindu Vaishnavas tradition is the tenth and final avatar awaited by the Hindus.

It may be noted that the Ahmadiyya Community regards Krishna as a prophet of God. Also, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad stated that the terms ‘avatar’ and ‘prophet’ were synonymous and that the Avatar is the equivalent of the Qur’anic Messenger.

Buddhism


Members of the Ahmadiyya Community believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is the fulfilment of the prophecy of appearance of the Maitreya
Maitreya
Maitreya , Metteyya , or Jampa , is foretold as a future Buddha of this world in Buddhist eschatology. In some Buddhist literature, such as the Amitabha Sutra and the Lotus Sutra, he or she is referred to as Ajita Bodhisattva.Maitreya is a bodhisattva who in the Buddhist tradition is to appear on...

 Buddha, a future Buddha who is believed to usher in an age of peace and security.

It may be noted that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Mīrzā Ghulām Aḥmad was a religious figure from India and the founder of the Ahmadiyya Community. He claimed to be the Mujaddid of the 14th Islamic century, the promised Messiah , and the Mahdi awaited by the Muslims in the end days...

 himself wrote in his famous book, “Jesus in India” that the Maitreya
Maitreya
Maitreya , Metteyya , or Jampa , is foretold as a future Buddha of this world in Buddhist eschatology. In some Buddhist literature, such as the Amitabha Sutra and the Lotus Sutra, he or she is referred to as Ajita Bodhisattva.Maitreya is a bodhisattva who in the Buddhist tradition is to appear on...

 Buddha was in fact Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 Christ, who according to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Mīrzā Ghulām Aḥmad was a religious figure from India and the founder of the Ahmadiyya Community. He claimed to be the Mujaddid of the 14th Islamic century, the promised Messiah , and the Mahdi awaited by the Muslims in the end days...

, travelled to India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

 and Tibet
Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

 (predominantly Buddhist regions at the time) to preach to the local Jews who had migrated there and converted to religions other than that of Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 (Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 etc.).

Ghulam Ahmad stated that he was the ‘Reflection of All Prophets’ and he regarded Siddharta Gautama Buddha
Buddha
In Buddhism, buddhahood is the state of perfect enlightenment attained by a buddha .In Buddhism, the term buddha usually refers to one who has become enlightened...

 as a Prophet. Also, quite similar to the Ahmadi belief in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as the Jewish Messiah (stated above), it seems that Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 acts as a ‘door’ through which Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is the Jewish Messiah and also the Maitreya
Maitreya
Maitreya , Metteyya , or Jampa , is foretold as a future Buddha of this world in Buddhist eschatology. In some Buddhist literature, such as the Amitabha Sutra and the Lotus Sutra, he or she is referred to as Ajita Bodhisattva.Maitreya is a bodhisattva who in the Buddhist tradition is to appear on...

. This is because as Jesus was the Jewish Messiah and also the Maitreya according to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed that he had fulfilled the Second Coming of Jesus and in turn, thus, he had also fulfilled the Second Comings of the Jewish Messiah and the Maitreya.

Reflection of All Prophets


Mirza Ghulam Ahmad stated that he had been bestowed the attributes of all Biblical and non-Biblical Prophets, in accordance with a verse of the Qur’an which states that all prophets will converge into one person in the future. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad stated that this was due to his receiving revelation from God in which God called him:
The Champion of Allah in the mantle of Prophets.


The Biblical Prophets include Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ishmael, Moses, David, Solomon and Jesus. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has also likened his advent to that of Adam as the initiator of a new age. In various writings Ghulam Ahmad has stated that both himself and Adam were born twins on a Friday, and that as Adam was born in the final hours of the sixth day of the week, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was born in the final years of the sixth millennium as per Qur’anic and Biblical prophecy, a day in the estimation of God is a thousand years. Ghulam Ahmad is also believed by the Ahmadiyya Community to be the Second Coming of Noah due to the prophecy made by Jesus in .

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad also likened himself to the Qur’anic figure Dhul-Qarnayn
Dhul-Qarnayn
Dhul-Qarnayn , literally "He of the Two Horns" or "He of the two centuries" is a figure mentioned in the Qur'an, the sacred scripture of Islam, where he is described as a great and righteous ruler who built a long wall that keeps Gog and Magog from attacking the people who he met on his journey...

, who is often equated with Cyrus the Great
Cyrus the Great
Cyrus II of Persia , commonly known as Cyrus the Great, also known as Cyrus the Elder, was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire. Under his rule, the empire embraced all the previous civilized states of the ancient Near East, expanded vastly and eventually conquered most of Southwest Asia and much...

.

Demographics



Estimates of the worldwide population of the Ahmadiyya Community vary widely. Some Ahmadiyya sources estimate the worldwide population to be as high as 200 million. According to some estimates, the country with the largest percentage of Ahmadis is the African republic of Ghana
Islam in Ghana
The spread of Islam into West Africa, beginning with ancient Ghana in the ninth century, was mainly the result of the commercial activities of North African Muslims. The empires of both Mali and Songhai that followed ancient Ghana in the Western Sudan adopted the religion. Islam made its entry into...

. The country with the most Ahmadis is Pakistan
Religion in Pakistan
The state religion in Pakistan is Islam, which is practised by about 95-98% of the 187,343,000 people of the nation. The remaining 2-5% practice Christianity, Hinduism and other religions. Muslims are divided into two major sects: the majority of them practice Sunni Islam, while the Shias are a...

, where they number approximately 4 million. Ahmadiyya has 2,011,000 adherents in the African Republic of Benin
Religion in Benin
According to the 2002 census, 27.1 percent of the population of Benin is Roman Catholic, 24.4 percent Muslim, 17.3 percent Vodun, 5 percent Celestial Christian, 3.2 percent Methodist, 7.5 percent other Christian, 6 percent other traditional local religious groups, 1.9 percent other religious...

, one million adherents in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, 200,000 in Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, 100,000 in Bangladesh 30,000 in Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, 30,000 in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, 25,000 in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 and around 15,000 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

Most Ahmadis are from Asia, mainly the Indian Subcontinent and Indonesia and a considerable number from the continent of Africa. In the year 1957, there were 100,000 Ahmadis from the African Republic of Ghana. As of 1994, there were 150,000 converts to the Ahmadiyya Community from French-speaking countries.

The Ahmadiyya Community claims that it is established in over 200 countries of the world in all six continents and is the only community to have translated the Qur’an into over 118 languages. These include translations in German, Spanish, Swahili, French, Russian, Norwegian, Italian, Dutch, Gurmukhi, Persian, Pashto, Japanese, Tamil, Chinese and even Yiddish. The most famous translations of the Qur’an done by an Ahmadi author are the Tafseer-e-Sagheer and Tafseer-e-Kabeer, which are Urdu translations of the Qur’an with commentary by the Second Khalifa of the Ahmadiyya Community, Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad. Tafseer-e-Sagheer is the smaller commentary while Tafseer-e-Kabeer is the larger ten-volume commentary; an English rendering of the Tafseer-e-Kabeer consists of five volumes. The first author of an English translation of the Qur’an was an Ahmadi (though not a member of the Ahmadiyya Community, belonging to the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement), Maulana Muhammad Ali. In the year 1980, the Ahmadiyya Community living in the city of Calgary, in Canada, distributed copies of the Qur’an to Inuit communities in the Arctic Circle
Arctic Circle
The Arctic Circle is one of the five major circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. For Epoch 2011, it is the parallel of latitude that runs north of the Equator....

 near the North Pole.

History


The Ahmadiyya Community was founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in 1889. After the death of his first successor Hakeem Noor-ud-Din in 1914, there was a split upon the election of the second successor Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad, which gradually led to certain doctrinal differences between those who accepted the Caliphate (namely those who accepted Mahmood Ahmad as their leader) and those who preferred the central Ahmadiyya council.

The split in 1914


The split in 1914 resulted in the formation of the Ahmadiyya Community and the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement
Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement
The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islam, Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat-i-Islam Lahore , also known as the Lahoris, formed as a result of ideological differences within the Ahmadiyya movement, after the demise of Maulana Hakim Noor-ud-Din in 1914, the first Khalifa after its founder,...

, also known as Anjuman Isha`at-e-Islam. The primary reason for the split was ideological differences on key theological issues as well as differences over the suitability of the elected Khalifa (2nd successor) Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad
Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad
Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad , was Khalifatul Masih II, head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and the eldest son of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad from his second wife, Nusrat Jehan Begum...

 (the son of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad). The Lahori Group claimed that a family member of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad could not be a Khalifa. Every Khalifa after the first one, however, has been related to him. The third and fourth Khalifa were his grandsons and the current Khalifa is the great-grandson of the founder.

The key ideological differences leading to the split pertained to the status of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad being a prophet or simply a mujadid, and the status of Muslims not accepting Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's claims.

The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement believes Muhammad to be the last of the prophets, and that after him no prophet can appear—neither a past one like Jesus, nor a new one. They believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is referred to as a Prophet in the metaphorical sense only (as other saints have been referred to as well), and not in the real and technical meaning of the word as used in Islamic terminology. In contrast, the Ahmadiyya Community hold that Muhammad was the last law-bearing prophet and new non-law bearing prophets can come after him. They hold Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to be a Prophet (with all the qualities of a prophet like Jesus) but subordinate and deputy to Muhammad.

Another key difference that led to the split was regarding the status of Muslims who have not accepted Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's claims. The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement believes that any person who professes the Kalima Shahadah is a Muslim, and cannot be called a kafir
Kafir
Kafir is an Arabic term used in a Islamic doctrinal sense, usually translated as "unbeliever" or "disbeliever"...

(non-believer) by anyone, regardless of whether he/she believes in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s claims. In contrast, the Ahmadiyya Community believes that any Muslim who rejects a Prophet of God (irrespective of his name or status) becomes a kafir of that Prophet. Believing in the Prophets of God (whether law-bearing or non law-bearing) is an article of faith and one who rejects any article of faith becomes a kafir in that context. The cited commentary by Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad
Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad
Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad , was Khalifatul Masih II, head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and the eldest son of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad from his second wife, Nusrat Jehan Begum...

 explains this point by drawing a parallel with the advent of Hadhrat Muhammad; the people who do not believe in him are called kafirs, but if this is because they never heard about his advent, they are not subject to divine punishment. In general, the terms "Ahmadi Muslims" and "non-Ahmadi Muslims" are used throughout the Community’s official website.

1953 riots and selective martial law


Selective martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

 was declared in Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

 on March 6, 1953, by the Pakistan Armed Forces, in response to civil unrest following anti-Ahmadiyya agitations. The civil administration failed to contain the anti-Ahmadi violence, instigated by certain religious leaders. This was the first time in the short history of the state that the military has been required to take over the administration of an entire city. Lieutenant-General Azam Khan
Azam Khan (general)
Lieutenant General Muhammad Azam Khan was a senior general of the Pakistan army who served under General Ayub Khan, the first military ruler of Pakistan. As a general, Khan oversaw the suppression of anti-Ahmadiyya violence following the Lahore riots of 1953, and served as the top army commander...

 oversaw the suppression of anti-Ahmadiyya violence following the 1953 riots. Then-captain Rahimuddin Khan
Rahimuddin Khan
Rahimuddin Khan Afridi is a retired four-star general of the Pakistan Army who was the fourth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee from 1984 to 1987. He was also the longest-serving Governor and martial law administrator of Balochistan, from 1978 to when he resigned in 1984...

 was part of the military deployment
Military deployment
Military deployment is the movement of armed forces and their logistical support infrastructure around the world.-United States:The United States Military defines the term as follows:...

 heading the army takeover of Lahore.

Persecution



Confident of state support, the Jamaat-e-Islami
Jamaat-e-Islami
This article is about Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan. For other organizations of similar name see Jamaat-e-Islami The Jamaat-e-Islami , is a Pro-Muslim political party in Pakistan...

 contested the 1970 elections in Pakistan, only to suffer big reversals. Thereafter, Jamaat started a widespread anti-Ahmadiyya movement in Pakistan. In 1973, Maududi condemned them as heretics in his book, Qadiani Problem. (The word "Qadiani" is a derogatory term for Ahmadis used by opponents of the Ahmadiyya Community.)

Their agitation against Ahmadis resulted in widespread anti-Ahmadiyya sentiment throughout Pakistan. This anti-Ahmadiyya movement led Pakistani prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to declare Ahmadis as constitutionally "non-Muslims".

Persecution in 1984



In 1984, the Government of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, under General Zia-ul-Haq, passed Ordinance XX
Ordinance XX
Ordinance XX is an legal ordinance of the Government of Pakistan that was promulgated under the regime of General Zia-ul-Haq and is meant to restrict members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community from applying certain Islamic terms to their own religious practices and beliefs.-Precedent:Ordinance XLIV...

, which banned proselytizing by Ahmadis and also banned Ahmadis from identifying themselves as Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s. According to this ordinance, any Ahmadi who refers to himself as a Muslim by either spoken or written word, or by visible representation, directly or indirectly, or makes the call to prayer as other Muslims do, is punishable by imprisonment of up to 3 years. Because of these difficulties, Mirza Tahir Ahmad
Mirza Tahir Ahmad
Mirza Tahir Ahmad was Khalifatul Masih IV, Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and fourth successor to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad...

 moved the Ahmadiyya Community's headquarters to London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, UK.

Successors of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad



The history of the Ahmadi Khilafat has spanned an entire century, is still continuing, and has seen 5 Caliphs lead the community thus far.
Name Picture Lifespan Caliphate Notes
Khalifatul Masih I.

Hakeem Noor-ud-Din 

1841–1914 1908–1914 Renowned physician of India, close companion of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, he sent the first Ahmadiyya missionaries to the UK, and successfully dealt with internal dissensions within the community.
Khalifatul Masih II.

Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad

Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad
Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad , was Khalifatul Masih II, head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and the eldest son of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad from his second wife, Nusrat Jehan Begum...

 
1889–1965 1914–1965 Son of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Mīrzā Ghulām Aḥmad was a religious figure from India and the founder of the Ahmadiyya Community. He claimed to be the Mujaddid of the 14th Islamic century, the promised Messiah , and the Mahdi awaited by the Muslims in the end days...

, was elected as Khalifa at the young age of 25, considered to be the 'promised son'. He established the entire organisational structure of the community, and is known for extensive missionary activity outside the subcontinent of India.
Khalifatul Masih III.

Mirza Nasir Ahmad

Mirza Nasir Ahmad
Hafiz Mirza Nasir Ahmad was Khalifatul Masih III, head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. He was elected as the third successor of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad on November 8, 1965, the day after the death of his predecessor and father, Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad.Nasir Ahmad is credited with...

 
1909–1982 1965–1982 Spoke himself for the Ahmadiyya Community at the National Assembly of Pakistan, laid the foundation of the first prayer area in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 after 750 years. He oversaw the compilation of the dreams, visions, and revelations and the dialogues of the founder, Ghulam Ahmad
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Mīrzā Ghulām Aḥmad was a religious figure from India and the founder of the Ahmadiyya Community. He claimed to be the Mujaddid of the 14th Islamic century, the promised Messiah , and the Mahdi awaited by the Muslims in the end days...

.
Khalifatul Masih IV.

Mirza Tahir Ahmad

Mirza Tahir Ahmad
Mirza Tahir Ahmad was Khalifatul Masih IV, Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and fourth successor to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad...

 
1928–2003 1982–2003 Led the community through periods of severe persecution, provisionally changed the Ahmadiyya headquarters from Rabwah
Rabwah
Rabwah is a private city in the Chiniot District of Punjab Province, Pakistan located on the Chenab River near the historic city of Chiniot...

 to London and launched the first Ahmadiya satellite TV channel by the name of Muslim Television Ahmadiyya International.
Khalifatul Masih V.

Mirza Masroor Ahmad

Mirza Masroor Ahmad
His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad is Khalifatul Masih V, the spiritual leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. He was elected as the fifth successor of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad on April 22, 2003, a few days after the death of his predecessor Mirza Tahir Ahmad, the fourth Caliph for the Ahmadiiya...

 
1950–present 2003–present Presently guiding the community through a period of global skepticism towards Ahmadiyyat, regularly holds peace conferences. Launched sister channels MTA 2
MTA 2
MTA 2 also known as MTA Ath-Thania is the second television channel of the MTA International satellite network. It was launched in early 2004. The programmes are broadcast throughout Europe and parts of Africa below the Sahel region. The channel was established under the auspices of Mirza Masroor...

 and MTA3 Al Arabiyya
MTA 3
MTA 3 also known as MTA3 Al Arabiya is the third television channel of the MTA International satellite network. It was launched on 23 March 2007. The programmes are broadcast throughout the Middle East, North Africa and North America. It is also available for live streaming via the Internet...

.

Humanity First



Humanity First
Humanity First
Humanity First is an international charitable trust established to promote and safeguard the preservation of human life and dignity. The organisation works with vulnerable communities in over 40 countries spanning 6 continents, and is now registered in 33 countries...

 is an international non-profit, non-sectarian humanitarian organization which, though entirely independent, is in collaboration occasionally with other organizations such as the Red Cross Foundation, the United Nations and Amnesty International. It is run entirely by volunteers who do not get paid. 93% of donations go to the need at hand and administration costs are very low. Thus, when aid is given, occasionally, more than 100 times the money donated is exhumed. It gives aid to all in need regardless of sex, race, culture, nationality, religion or political allegiance. It has helped in the past with Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

, the Pakistan earthquake, Cyclone Sidr
Cyclone Sidr
Cyclone Sidr was the strongest named cyclone in the Bay of Bengal...

, the Haiti earthquake
2010 Haiti earthquake
The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake, with an epicentre near the town of Léogâne, approximately west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. The earthquake occurred at 16:53 local time on Tuesday, 12 January 2010.By 24 January, at least 52 aftershocks...

, Pakistan flood, and other disasters. It also creates schools, IT centers, gives food aid, and creates water pumps/sanitization facilities in developing countries. This organization was created by the Ahmadiyya Community’s Fourth Khalifa, and is run by the Community, though it is not affiliated with it directly as is a secular organization.

Ahmadiyya Muslim Mosques, Community buildings, and structures



Views of Shia and Sunni Muslims about Ahmadis


Mainstream Islam rejects the claim of the Ahmadiyya Community that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a Messiah. They reject the doctrine of the continuity of prophethood and consider Ghulam Ahmad and thus his followers to be non-Muslims. In 1974, Pakistan's parliament amended the country's constitution to legally define Ahmadis as non-Muslims: "A person who does not believe in the absolute and unqualified finality of the Prophethood of Muhammad... or claims to be a Prophet... or recognizes such a claimant as a Prophet or religious reformer, is not a Muslim..."

Further reading


Periodicals


The Muslim Sunrise
The Review of Religions
Monthly magazine since January 1902
Islam International Publications Ltd., ISSN
International Standard Serial Number
An International Standard Serial Number is a unique eight-digit number used to identify a print or electronic periodical publication. Periodicals published in both print and electronic form may have two ISSNs, a print ISSN and an electronic ISSN...

0034 6721

Al-Fazl International
Weekly newspaper since 7. January 1994
Islam International Publications Ltd., ISSN 1352 9587

External links