Guest post by RAMEEZ RAJA
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (AMC) was founded by Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in 1889 in village Qadian, District Gurdaspur, Punjab. He claimed to be the “Reformer” of the age and fulfilled all the revelations of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) regarding the second advent of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi (the Guided One). Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had written over 80 books and one of his greatest scholarly works was The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam. After his claims, he was criticized by the mainstream Muslim as well as the Christian community. The reason put forth was his book Jesus in India which describes that Jesus is dead and is buried in Khanyar area of Srinagar, Kashmir and above mentioned claims.
After his demise in 1908, AMC has been headed by respective successors and currently Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad is spiritual head of the AMC worldwide. Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad has delivered speeches in several parliaments in the West regarding the futility of the nuclear weapons and has sent official letters to the heads of the states which possess nuclear warheads. Most of his speeches and letters are collected in a book World Crises and the Pathway to Peace and is distributed free all over world in order to save this world from nuclear destruction.
After the partition in 1947, majority of AMC migrated to Pakistan. At that time AMC was headed by Hadhrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad and Chinab Nagar area in Punjab province was selected for settlement. AMC is known for its contribution to Pakistan in both civil and military services. However, after 1974, Pakistan ignored all the contribution from AMC. For instance, Sir Chaudhary Zafarullah Khan and Dr. Abdus Salam had served Pakistan in academic, scientific and foreign services but their contributions won only few academic hearts.
In 1974, Pakistan Assembly declared AMC as non-Muslims and in 1984 an ordinance “White Paper” was passed against AMC. Since 1974, Ahmadis in Pakistan are persecuted without any mercy and more than 250 Ahmadis are assassinated because of their faith. Ahmadis are arrested under the blasphemy laws (Blasphemy clause section295-C) and there are more than fifty Ahmadis that are implicated under the blasphemy law PPC 295-B in Pakistan. The Ahmadiyya Mosques received a special mention in the law that Ahmadis are prohibited from calling their mosques a Masjid. A number of mosques were attacked, demolished and dozens were sealed by the authorities. The Ahmadis in Pakistan are also victims of conscience and are awarded prison for saying Salam (the Islamic greeting).
The Ahmadiyya press is not free and criminal cases are registered against the AMC magazines and periodicals under anti-Ahmadiyya law i.e. PRC 298-B/C in Pakistan. The Ahmadis working in press and publication departments (editors, printers and publishers) are put behind bars by the authorities in Pakistan.
The AMC is totally excluded from the mainstream political affairs in Pakistan. Moreover, Ahmadis are not even represented in the town council of Rabwah where 95 percent population is Ahmadi. It is interesting to note that Pakistani citizens cannot cast vote unless they reject and denounce Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Ahmadis are facing different challenges while receiving education and there are some cases where Ahmadi students were denied admission in professional colleges in Pakistan. For instance, in 2008, all the male and female Ahmadi students of the Punjab Medical College Faisalabad were expelled by the college administration supported by the anti-Ahmadiyya groups of people.
The Ahmadis are resigning from their jobs in the government sector due to discriminatory behaviour form the other side. The story does not end here; Ahmadis are attacked in their private businesses as well. The anti-Ahmadiyya people issued Fatwa that all the dealings with Ahmadis are Haram/illegal (prohibited by Sharia) and the attacks on Ahmadiyya owned business are common in Pakistan.
Not only in Pakistan, Ahmadis are also persecuted in states like Indonesia, Algeria and Bangladesh. An Ahmadi person namely Asad Shah was murdered by Tanveer Ahmad (Sunni Muslim) in Glasgow, UK in 2016 only because of Asad’s faith. This is so embarrassing that Islam that teaches peace, compassion and brotherhood are wrongly interpreted by so called custodian of Islam to harm other people’s belief and faith. Islam teaches that to kill an innocent is akin to kill all of mankind (Quran: 5:33).
The Holy Prophet of Islam himself said that whosoever sheds the blood of an innocent person is not a Muslim. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has deemed such people as weak in faith and to be sinners. Islam’s denouncement of innocent killings is the question to all those people who believe in violence in the name of Islam and God. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was sent as a prophet of mercy to all mankind (21:108), irrespective of differences of religion or belief. There is nothing mentioned in the Quran that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was sent by God as a mercy for Muslim community only. The Quran also states that “There should be no compulsion in religion” (2:257). Therefore, according to Islam, this is a personal matter between an individual and God and all people have the right to choose whether or not to believe in any religion.
The founder of AMC, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has explicitly stated that “If somebody abuses you, you should pray for him and if somebody harms you and you should love him”. The AMC believes in peace and works worldwide under the slogan of Love for All Hatred for None. Recently a terrorist attack in London, UK was strictly condemned by AMC and Ahmadi women in UK participated in the event at Westminster Bridge by holding hands to show solidarity with the victims of the London terror attack. Moreover, Ahmadis with banner Love for All Hatred for None in UK gathered on Westminster Bridge along with Jews, police and tourists to pay respect to the four people killed in the terror attack. Not only this occasion, AMC every time condemned such barbaric acts and believes in peace and brotherhood.
AMC as a minority community is always persecuted particularly in Pakistan because of their faith and have been forcibly alienated from the mainstream Muslim community since 1974. The persecution of Ahmadis is based on the false allegations that Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, God forbid, profusely insulted the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and changed the Muslim creed. The pseudo and myopic religious scholars have wrongly guided the Muslims that AMC is not believer of the finality of the Prophethood of the Hadhrat Muhammad (pbuh). However, the founder of the AMC explicitly states in Persian couplet that “My life and my heart, everything is but a sacrifice for the beauty of my beloved Muhammad (pbuh); I am as if, the dust of the alley of Muhammad (pbuh)”. He and AMC have firm belief in the finality of the Prophethood of the Muhammad (pbuh). He states that I am just a follower of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) with a particular mission to revive Islam.
This writer condemns the recent killings of two Ahmadis in Pakistan and also those brutal innocent killings that are done in the name of God and Islam. Islam has nothing to do with extremism and force and God has not given any right to human being to kill an innocent being. In other words it is symbol of ignorance and disrespect to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who was known for his mercy, love and brotherhood. How could one disrespect others faith and behaves in an irresponsible way? This article is in the form of an appeal to all Muslims; the Ahmadis too have a right to life and right to practice their religion under the shadow of Islam.
Rameez Raja is a Ph. D Scholar, Department of Political Science, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, Email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org