It is true. MGA did in-fact abrogate Jihad. This had been an accusation that Muslims had made about MGA for years and years, however, we never had the complete set of data to prove it. But now we do. It is important to note, after the community split into 2 distinct sections, both sections totally denied this belief and claim by MGA. The Lahori-Ahmadi’s totally downgraded MGA’s position, whereas the Qadiani’s only slightly downgraded MGA. Later on, by 1947, the Ahmadiyya Khalifa authorized offensive Jihad, and thus, totally contradicted MGA, since MGA had claimed that all religious wars had come to an end based on his own advent. Nevertheless, by 1947, the Ahmadiyya Khalifa authorized offensive Jihad and created an Ahmadi only batallion and they fought in Kashmir.
—MGA becomes a prophet, however, he doesn’t fully announce it until November of 1901, in the famous annoucement, “Eik Ghalti Ka Izala” in english as “Correction of an Error”.
—In his book, Arba’een, Part-4, MGA directly abrogated Jihad.
Some commentary from Nuzhat Haneef
“”””The Urdu words that I have translated as “the command for jihaad was entirely abolished” are ‘qat`an jihaad kaa hukm mauqoof kar diyaa gayaa’. I have provided the Urdu transliteration in case some readers suspect that I have used the word “abolish” incorrectly. The Urdu word ‘mauqoof’ means “Stopped; ceased; abolished; dismissed” and ‘mauqoof karnaa’ — the grammatical construct used by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad — means “To stop; to leave off; to abolish; to dismiss” [FEROZSONS, p. 748]. (It is possible to erroneously think that Mirza
Ghulam Ahmad might have meant “suspended” rather than “abolished” since ‘mauqoof’ can have that sense but that sense is found in the construction ‘mauqoof rakhnaa’, not in ‘mauqoof karnaa’.)
• The word ‘qat`an’ – “entirely” – used by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad makes it clear that he means abolishment or abrogation rather than suspension.
• Even if Mirza Ghulam Ahmad did mean that jihaad has been suspended rather than abolished, he is still contradicting his other statement quoted above because that does not even allow suspension.
• Although Mirza Ghulam Ahmad does not explicitly say here that he is the one who is abolishing jihaad, it is obvious that he is the one doing it since he, according to his claim, is the only Divinely appointed prophet present at the time.
• The fact that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is describing a change in religious commands is obvious from the rest of the passage. He explains how, in the Holy Prophet’s time, the killing of women and children was forbidden. And he has stated at the outset that he is describing the progression put into effect by God. So, the next thing forbidden is killing of all people, not just women, children, and the old. In case you still have some doubts regarding Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s abolishment of martial jihaad, I’d like to point out that he wrote a poem titled ‘deenee jihaad kee mumaanay`at kaa fatwaa maseeh mau`ood kee tarf say’ —
“The Fatwaa of the Prohibition of Religious Jihaad from Maseeh Mau`ood” [RK, v. 17, p. 77; Appendix of Tohfa-e- Goldrawiyah].
And, here are some excerpts about jihaad from another of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s books, Government Angrayzee aur Jihaad – “The British Government and Jihaad”; the Ahmadiyya Movement’s English translation of this book is available in The Muslim Sunrise, Issue 3, 2003, although I have provided my own English translation below.
[The command for jihaad is found in the Quraan, 22:40-41: Permission (to take up arms) is given to those against whom war is made …] But this command was specific to the era and the time; it was not for ever. [RK, v. 17, p. 6; approximately first half of the page; Government Angrayzee aur Jihaad]
… I am surprised that, since these days no person kills the Muslims for the sake of [or in connection with] religion, then according to which commandment do they kill innocent people. Why do their maulvees not prevent [or prohibit] them from these improper acts due to which Islaam is defamed. … [RK, v. 17, p. 13; starts approximately middle of the page; Government Angrayzee aur Jihaad]
… Look I have come to you people with a commandment which is that from now on the jihaad of the sword is terminated but the jihaad to purify one’s soul [still] remains. And I have not stated this thing on my own. Rather, God intends this very thing. Think about that hadeeth of Saheeh Bukhaaree where it is stated in the description of Maseeh Mau`ood that ‘yada` al-harb’ [he will put an end to war], that is, when Maseeh comes then he will end religious wars. [RK, v. 17, p. 15; starts at 3rd line from top; Government Angrayzee aur Jihaad]
The first and third excerpts above clearly show Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s position on the Quraanic permission for (defensive) martial jihaad: the permission was for a limited time and Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has now brought a new commandment pertaining to religious wars. The second excerpt shows that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is against the misapplication of the permission for martial combat. I have no issue with this (i.e., his being against misapplication)
and do not deny that there are writings of his in which he explains the circumstances under which martial jihaad is allowed. (I do not know whether Muslims were, in fact, killing innocent people in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s time but if they were I have no problem with Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s position.)
My issue is that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was not merely trying to correct a wrong interpretation of the concept of jihaad; he clearly says that he is abolishing martial jihaad, although he himself also said that no teaching of the Quraan can be terminated or suspended. The references already provided show this and I will provide one more a little further below.
But for now let me discuss one other issue brought up in the quotation above, in the last excerpt. In this passage Mirza Ghulam Ahmad mentions a hadeeth of the Holy Prophet related to war and the Maseeh Mau`ood. The following points need clarification:
• Mirza Ghulam Ahmad translates ‘yada` al-harb’ as ‘deenee jangoan kaa khaatimah kar day gaa’, i.e., “he will end religious wars”. Firstly, there is an error of translation in this. The Arabic word ‘harb’ means war, not necessarily religious war but Mirza Ghulam Ahmad translates it as religious wars. Secondly, the word has been used in the hadeeth in a construction that literally means “the war”; this can be understood as “war, in general”, or “all war”, rather than any specific war or any specific kind of war. So, if Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was really living up to this hadeeth, he should have managed to put an end to all war in the world.
• In any case, the hadeeth is not saying that the Maseeh Mau`ood will abrogate the permission to engage in war; it seems to say that, one way or another, he will manage to put an end to war. Applying this to martial jihaad in particular, we could take the hadeeth to be predicting that martial jihaad (although allowed) will not be conducted (due to the prevailing circumstances) in the time of, or even after, the Maseeh Mau`ood.
• In any case, according to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s own policy stated elsewhere, Hadeeth cannot be given precedence over the Quraan. If the Quraan has given a teaching regarding jihaad then it must hold regardless of what we might find reported as a hadeeth. Now here is another passage from Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, to further elaborate his position on jihaad, and show that he claimed that the new commandment about jihaad was from God:
From this day, the human jihaad that was performed with the sword [i.e., martial jihaad], has been stopped by the command of God. Now after this whoever lifts a sword against a kaafir and refers to himself as a ‘ghaazee’ [a jihaad participant who is not martyred], he disobeys that Noble Messenger, the blessings of Allaah and peace be on him, who stated thirteen hundred years ago that upon the coming of the Maseeh Mau`ood the jihaads of the sword will come to an end. So now after my appearance there is no jihaad of the sword. … The one who fights evil with evil is not from among us. Save yourself from attack by the mischievous. But do not yourselves engage in mischievous confrontation. [RK, v. 16, pp. 28-29; starts at 5th
line from bottom of p. 28; Appendix to Khutbah-e-Ilhaamiyyah]
Here are some comments on this passage:
• It is clear from this passage that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is definitely canceling the permission for martial jihaad and he claims that it is being done by the command of God; he is not merely correcting a misconception about the existing permission for martial jihaad.
• Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has stated in another book that the teaching of the Quraan is till Resurrection. So, why is it that God is changing His teaching now?
• The sentence “Save yourself from attack by the mischievous” is somewhat confusing. One might think that it means that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is allowing defensive fighting. However, as the Ahmadiyya Movement itself emphasizes (as I will show shortly), the Quraan only allows martial jihaad in defense. So, if that kind of martial jihaad is also being allowed by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, then what is it that “[f]rom this day, … has been stopped by the command of God”? This new command of God must have stopped something that was originally
allowed in the Quraan. Since aggressive or offensive martial jihaad was never allowed, that could not be what is now being stopped. So, it must be defensive martial jihaad that is being stopped, since that is the only kind of martial jihaad the Quraan ever allowed.
See Nuzhat Haneef.
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