Mirza Tahir Ahmad

Mirza Tahir Ahmad

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Mirza Tahir Ahmad (December 18, 1928 – April 19, 2003) was 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...

 IV, Caliph
Caliph
The Caliph is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah. It is a transcribed version of the Arabic word   which means "successor" or "representative"...

 of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the larger of two communities that arose from the Ahmadiyya movement founded in 1889 in India by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian . The original movement split into two factions soon after the death of the founder...

 and fourth successor 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...

. He was elected as Caliph on June 10, 1982, the day after the death of his predecessor, 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...

.

In 1974, he was nominated as a member of the Ahmadiyya delegation which appeared before the Parliament of Pakistan to defend the beliefs of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. As 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...

 IV, Tahir Ahmad attended the 100th Annual Jalsa Salana
Jalsa Salana
Jalsa Salana is a formal gathering of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community initiated by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the community who also claimed to be the Promised Messiah and Mahdi of the latter days. Usually, the gathering spans over three days, commencing on Fridays when the Friday Sermon ends...

 (annual gathering) being held in 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....

, 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...

 in 1991. It was the first time an Ahmadiyya Caliph had returned to Qadian since the partition of India
Partition of India
The Partition of India was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India on 14 and 15...

 occurred in 1947 when the community relocated from India to Pakistan.

Tahir Ahmad is perhaps best known for his "Question & Answers" sessions. During his Caliphate
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

, the community experienced structural and financial growth including the launch of the first 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...

 satellite television network, Muslim Television Ahmadiyya, in 1994.

Early life



Mirza Tahir Ahmed was born in 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....

, 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...

 on December 18, 1928. He obtained his early schooling in Qadian and joined the Government College, Lahore in 1944, a few months after the death of his mother, Syeda Maryam Begum. After graduating with distinction from Jamia Ahmadiyya (Theological Academy) in 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...

, he continued his education and obtained his honours degree in Arabic from the University of Punjab, 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...

.

In 1955, he visited England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 for the first time with his father, who advised him to remain there to improve his knowledge of the English language and become familiar with European social habits. He studied for two and a half years at the School of Oriental and African Studies
School of Oriental and African Studies
The School of Oriental and African Studies is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the University of London...

 at London University but returned to 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...

 in December 1957 without having graduated. Instead, during his stay in London Tahir Ahmad visited different parts of England including Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

 and also some parts of Western Europe.

Upon his return in 1957, Tahir Ahmad married Asifa Begum and was appointed the vice president of the newly established Waqf-e-Jadid Foundation. The main task of the Waqf-e-Jadid was to educate community members that lived in rural areas of Pakistan. It was as part of his work in Waqf-e-Jadid that he also started treating poor people with homeopathy
Homeopathy
Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine in which practitioners claim to treat patients using highly diluted preparations that are believed to cause healthy people to exhibit symptoms that are similar to those exhibited by the patient...

.

During the Pakistani parliamentary investigations regarding the status of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the larger of two communities that arose from the Ahmadiyya movement founded in 1889 in India by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian . The original movement split into two factions soon after the death of the founder...

, a delegation of five members was sent to plead the community's case. Amongst the delegate members, Tahir Ahmad was the youngest. Shortly after, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was declared non-Muslim by the Pakistani National Assembly
National Assembly of Pakistan
The National Assembly of Pakistan is the lower house of the bicameral Majlis-e-Shura, which also compromises the President of Pakistan and Senate . The National Assembly and the Senate both convene at Parliament House in Islamabad...

. This has remained the constitutional and legal position of Pakistan up to this day.

Caliphate


The Majlis Intikhab Khilafat (Electoral College
Electoral college
An electoral college is a set of electors who are selected to elect a candidate to a particular office. Often these represent different organizations or entities, with each organization or entity represented by a particular number of electors or with votes weighted in a particular way...

), convened at Mubarik Mosque in 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...

, 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...

 elected Mirza Tahir Ahmad as the fourth successor 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...

 and head of the community on June 10, 1982.

After taking office, Tahir Ahmad worked to restore the Community with a new passion. 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...

, the anti-Ahmadiyya legislature passed by General Zia ul Haq's government on April 16, 1984, compelled him to leave 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...

 immediately. Details of this journey can be found in the book A Man of God by Ian Adamson. He decided to come to England where he established his base during his years of exile
Exile
Exile means to be away from one's home , while either being explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened with imprisonment or death upon return...

.

Return to India


In 1991, Mirza Tahir Ahmad returned to India to attend the 100th Annual Jalsa Salana
Jalsa Salana
Jalsa Salana is a formal gathering of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community initiated by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the community who also claimed to be the Promised Messiah and Mahdi of the latter days. Usually, the gathering spans over three days, commencing on Fridays when the Friday Sermon ends...

 (gathering) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the larger of two communities that arose from the Ahmadiyya movement founded in 1889 in India by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian . The original movement split into two factions soon after the death of the founder...

 in 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....

, 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...

. This was the first time a Caliph
Caliph
The Caliph is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah. It is a transcribed version of the Arabic word   which means "successor" or "representative"...

 of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community had visited India since the partition of India
Partition of India
The Partition of India was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India on 14 and 15...

 in 1947. This relocation effort was led by 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...

.

Muslim Television Ahmadiyya



One of Mirza Tahir Ahmad's achievements as 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...

 was the establishment of the Muslim Television Ahmadiyya (commonly referred to as MTA). This satellite-based channel broadcast it's first show on August 21, 1992 from 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...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. Originally, it started with a weekly one-hour program, televising the Friday sermon of Khalifatul Masih IV.

Today, MTA broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, is watched by millions of people on five continents, and consists of three channels. Every Friday, broadcasts still include Khalifatul Masih's Friday sermon, simultaneously televised into six languages. Important events of the Community are also televised in most major languages around the world.

International Bai'at


Another added feature to the community activities was the international initiation ceremony, which was started by Mirza Tahir Ahmad in 1993 during the Jalsa Salana
Jalsa Salana
Jalsa Salana is a formal gathering of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community initiated by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the community who also claimed to be the Promised Messiah and Mahdi of the latter days. Usually, the gathering spans over three days, commencing on Fridays when the Friday Sermon ends...

 of the community in Surrey along with a scheme of propagation. The International Baiat
International Baiat
Bai'at or Bay'ah is an Islamic practice which is literally translated with the meaning to sell. In a religious context it means oath of allegiance. With this oath, the convert to a certain community declares himself/herself a part of that community...

 ceremony was broadcast live across the world and the new converts join the community by pledging their allegiance to the Khalifa. He equated it with the Pentecost
Pentecost
Pentecost is a prominent feast in the calendar of Ancient Israel celebrating the giving of the Law on Sinai, and also later in the Christian liturgical year commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Christ after the Resurrection of Jesus...

 and said that if anything, the original Pentecost must have been a vision prophesying the Bay'ah
Bay'ah
Bay'ah , in Islamic terminology, is an oath of allegiance to a leader. It is known to have been practiced by the Islamic prophet Muhammad...

. He stated that there is no evidence of it being an historical occurrence but that 'Nobody can deny its factual occurrence in the Bay'ah where millions of people are initiated at the hand of one man simultaneously in every continent in diverse languages through the power of the Spirit of Holiness. This international oath of allegiance takes place every year at the annual gatherings of Ahmadis - The Caliph of the community accepts the oath of allegiance.

Homeopathy


Mirza Tahir Ahmad was a world-renowned homeopath
Homeopathy
Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine in which practitioners claim to treat patients using highly diluted preparations that are believed to cause healthy people to exhibit symptoms that are similar to those exhibited by the patient...

. He took interest in the books collected by his father Mirza Basheeruddin Mahmood Ahmad. After trying a couple of remedies for his own migraine
Migraine
Migraine is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by moderate to severe headaches, and nausea...

 and his wife's long-standing ailment, he was fascinated by the efficacy of homeopathic remedies. Before his Caliphate, he was already treating thousands of visitors at the annual conventions. After his election, his expertise was called upon by Ahmadis all over the globe through letters, as well as by leading doctors in London. He embarked upon a program of training others through classes televised on MTA International. These lectures were later compiled in a book (below).

Marriage, children and family


Tahir Ahmad married Asifa Begum in 1957. They had 5 children together, all daughters. His daughters are Shaukat Jehan, Faiza, Yasmin Rehman Mona, Atiatul Mujib Tooba and one daughter who died in infancy. He had no sons but later he took on the upbringing and educational training of a boy, Bashir. Asifa Begum died from pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer refers to a malignant neoplasm of the pancreas. The most common type of pancreatic cancer, accounting for 95% of these tumors is adenocarcinoma, which arises within the exocrine component of the pancreas. A minority arises from the islet cells and is classified as a...

 on April 3, 1992.

Tahir Ahmad was the grandson 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...

, the founder of 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...

, he was the son of 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 second Caliph
Caliph
The Caliph is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah. It is a transcribed version of the Arabic word   which means "successor" or "representative"...

 from his wife Syeda Maryam Begum, and was the half-brother of 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...

, the third Caliph. His mother was the daughter of Syed Abdul Sattar Shah, a companion of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

Death


After suffering a heart failure, Mirza Tahir Ahmad died on April 19, 2003 at 9:30 am GMT in 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...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. Tahir Ahmad's body was taken to Islamabad, Tilford
Tilford
Tilford is a small village about two miles south of Farnham in Surrey, England. It lies within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty- History :The name "Tilford" is probably derived from "Tila's ford" or "Tilla's ford"....

 where he was buried on the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community's
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the larger of two communities that arose from the Ahmadiyya movement founded in 1889 in India by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian . The original movement split into two factions soon after the death of the founder...

 property. His successor 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...

 as 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...

 V, led the funeral prayer. The service was held at on April 24, 2003 at 2:00 p.m, attended by over 40,000 people from around the world.

Writings, Speeches and Question/Answer Sessions


Mirza Tahir Ahmad bears the distinction of being a religious figure who answered questions from inviduals of various faiths, professional backgrounds, cultures and mindsets around the world in various meets and forums. He would answer any and all questions, whether related to Islam or not, and do it according to the sphere of understanding of the questioner. The answers displayed not only his vast knowledge of various science, history, cosmology, civic and social studies, but a deep knowledge of world religions, and their incorporated changes through the ages. He would answer these questions without preparation or assistance, and more surprisingly even answered questions from politicians, often giving them straightforward and very effective, fitting advice in various matters pertaining to their respective jurisdictions and political systems. This was considered an extraordinary feat as no other individual displayed such widespread knowledge about almost anything, and that too in interactive, live forums, completely without specific preparation.

"Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth"



Mirza Tahir Ahmad wrote among many others, a book named “Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth” which was a further development on a talk he gave in Zurich, Switzerland in 1987. It covered many topics relating to the present day world. In this book he argued a scientific rebuttal to the theories of biologist Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins
Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS, FRSL , known as Richard Dawkins, is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author...

. He also argued that Socrates
Socrates
Socrates was a classical Greek Athenian philosopher. Credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, he is an enigmatic figure known chiefly through the accounts of later classical writers, especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon, and the plays of his contemporary ...

 was a prophet
Prophet
In religion, a prophet, from the Greek word προφήτης profitis meaning "foreteller", is an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and serves as an intermediary with humanity, delivering this newfound knowledge from the supernatural entity to other people...

 of the ancient Greeks. In addition to these statements, he also stated several other prominent figures from history being at the level of prophethood, due to their accomplishments and their influence over other figures far into history, both on a moral and materialistic progressive compass.
The book covers a vast array of subjects, from religion, to science to secular traits in the present age. It attempts to substantiate, through various bases of argument, how God has been ever present in the constantly evolving developing world of man.

Books

  • Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth – Examines the relationships between science, philosophy and religion
  • Sawaney Fazl - E - Omer - Official Biography of 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 second Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
    Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
    The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the larger of two communities that arose from the Ahmadiyya movement founded in 1889 in India by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian . The original movement split into two factions soon after the death of the founder...

  • An Elementary Study of Islam
  • Gulf Crisis and The New World Order
  • Christianity - A Journey from Facts to Fiction – Examines and discusses a variety of current Christian beliefs through logic and reason
  • Murder in the Name of Allah
  • Zahaqal Baatil (
  • Reality of punishment of apostasy in Islam (Urdu)
  • Khatame-Nabbuwat (Urdu pdf)
  • Homeopathy
  • Some Distinctive Features of Islam
  • Islam's Response to Contemporary Issues
  • Kalam-e-Tahir (Poetry Book)

External links