Nowadays, Ahmadis believe that any person, from any religion is allowed to eventually go to heaven (see the official 5-volume commentary on 4;169-170, page 589). This is in opposition to the major Abrahmic faith groups, i.e. Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is interesting to note that MGA also held the same belief for the majority of his life, or at least until 1882 officially. I had spent the last few years searching for the very first instance of MGA leaving the islamic position on hell. However, just recently (2016) we have found what seems to be the very first instance of MGA changing his position on the eternity of hell for any disbeliever.
What is the islamic position?
The islamic position on hell is that it is for all disbelievers and eternal, it never ends. However, the Quran does say that even some Muslims will go to hell, but will be later released to heaven after time served (see Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 4:165–170).
In 1882, MGA reiterated the islamic position in Braheen e Ahmadiyya, Vol. 3
Transliteration::: “Kafir or Mushrik k jo shirk or kufar par marian un k gunah nahi bakhshay ja’ain gay or Khuda un ko un k kufar ki halat ma apni marfat ka rao nahi dikhlay ga, haan jahanam ka rah dikhlaya ga jis ma wo hamasha rahain gay” (rk vol. 1 page 264, which is Ba. vol. 3).
English: “”The disbelievers and idolaters who die in their state of denial and idolatry
will not be forgiven. Nor will God show them the path of His cognition while they are in disbelief. But He will show the way to Hell, wherein they will abide forever.”” (see Braheen e Ahmadiyya, english edition (2016), online, page 172).
Commentary on this quote
MGA simply quoted 4:168-169 and translated them from the Quran. Obviously, he translated them per the classical islamic position. This is interesting, since Ahmadi authors have historically mis-translated the important arabic words in these verses, and on purpose, since they wanted to create a new conception of hell and Takfir. See more here for MGA calling Muslims as Mushriks and Kafirs in 1907. Its important to note that MGA’s Takfir was different since he never banished anyone to hell after 1901. Moreover, Elijah Muhammad and the NOI read Ahmadiyya qurans in the 1930’s and 40’s and created another twisted version of heaven and hell, i.e. that they don’t even exist. The NOI followed Muhammad Ali’s quran and took their beliefs from the author as he twisted the words of Allah.
In 1901, MGA moves away from the islamic position
“Those condemned to hell shall dwell therein for a long period which is metaphorically described as forever, but then the attribute of mercy will be manifested and, as is mentioned in a Hadith, God will stretch forth His hand into hell and all those who fall into His grip will be taken out of hell.” (24th May 1901, Al-Hakam), also see (Malfuzat, Volume 2, page 14).
Commentary on this quote
After years and years of believing that hell was eternal for Kafirs, MGA and his team simply called the arabic word that is used as a metaphor, which seems to be the official answer on anything when an Ahmadi is stuck.
In 1906, MGA reiterates his new hell position
”It is unreasonable and is contrary to the perfect attributes of God, the Glorious, that once a person has been condemned to hell, only the Divine attributes of chastisement should be manifested in his case and the attributes of mercy and forgiveness should be suspended forever and should not come into operation. From what God Almighty has said in His Book, it appears that those condemned to hell shall dwell therein for a long period which is metaphorically described as forever, but then the attribute of mercy will be manifested and, as is mentioned in a Hadith, God will stretch forth His hand into hell and all those who fall into His grip will be taken out of hell. This Hadith indicates that in the end all will attain salvation as the hand of God is unlimited and no one can be left out of it. ” (Chashma Masihi, Ruhani Khazain, Volume 20, Page 369) (as translated by the unofficial Ahmadi website, ahmadi.answers.com).
In 1917, Muhammad Ali published his commentary on the Quran
In terms of 4:169, he writes: “Except the path of hell, to abide in it for a very long time, and this is easy for Allah”
My commentary on M. Ali and 4:169
This is a blatant lie by Muhammad Ali. It isn’t hard to tell the arabic word here infers to heaven being forever, not a very long time. M. Ali should be ashamed of himself for knowingly twisting the word of Allah.
Mahmud Ahmad and the Qadianis agree with the Lahoris on this topic
The 5-volume commentary on the Quran which was written by Malik Ghulam Fareed tells us:
“Except the way of hell, wherein they shall abide for a long long period, and that is easy for allah” (see page 589)
Gaps in the research
The period from 1882 to 1900 is blank in terms of quotes from MGA about hell. If anyone sees any, please email me or contact via twitter or FB.
Ahmadis then present hadith out of context
MGA had only mentioned that there were some hadith which somehow eluded to the idea that hell would be empty at some point, however, these are weak hadith from unknown books. Moreover, anytime Allah talks about hell being empty he is only talking in terms of Muslims. Ahmadi authors knew this…however, they twisted the words of Muhammad (Saw) so as to match their other twisting of the Quran.
Ahmadis have been changing the meanings of the Quran since 1880, when MGA began denying the miracles of Esa (As). This trend never changed, he mis-translated “Rafaaa”, “Mutawafeeka” and later on “Khatam”, he just never stopped. I have had Ahmadis on social media complain that they have the same quran as Sunni’s, why is there a problem? Well, the problem is your false translations.