What was MGA’s position on pictures of prophets or saints? Did MGA allow Ahmadi’s to post his picture on their wall? In the below, we have a reference from Malfuzat (with a sub reference of ), in this quote MGA says that he only had his picture taken for tabligh and MGA admits that in his opinion, white people are sooo advanced in knowledge that just by seeing someone’s photo, they can make judgements about his truthfulness (which is a ridiculous notion altogether). Even in Barahin-i-Ahmadiyya Vol. 5, MGA expressed his concerns with his photo (see the quote in the below). We have another quote from 1915 wherein the 2nd Khalifa said that MGA was against his photo being hung on a wall or in someone’s house, the irony of this is that in 1965, when Mirza Nasir Ahmad took over, this practice was abandoned and Ahmadi’s began selling photo’s of MGA and his sons and posting them on their walls and etc. This entire topic was discussed in the islam_Ahmadiyya reddit forum herein.
In Malfoozat Page 557, while opposing “tasawwur e Shaikh”, a sufi term describing worship of God through the image of shaykh (a spiritual leader), in mind, Mirza says:
“that deity worship starts from tasawwur e Shaikh (to keep picture of shaikh in mind while praying Allah), subsequently, the need of shaikh’s picture was felt so that it should keep sticking in imagination of the worshipper before the idea further developed into making of metal and stone sculptures and deities and the worshipper took them an alternate for pictures. Ultimately, the concept evolved into idol worshipping.”
However, when an objection was raised on the picture of Mirza sb he immediately took a U turn on it and said:-
“This is an attack on my intent by the opponents. The reason for drawing a picture was that we intend to do tabligh in the cities of Europe, particularly in London but these peoples do not pay attention till they come to know of full particulars of the prophet. These Europeans are so advanced in the knowledge of photography and drawing picture that they are able to judge the truthfulness or falsehood of a claimant of prophethood from his picture. So i have got my photographs made for the purpose of tabligh. If the opponents are so much against the drawing picture then the should get their eyes removed because every eye has image in it.”
(Page 556 Malfoozat).
The scan work
Barahin Ahmadiyya volume 5 page 490-492, online english edition
“Despite all this [i.e. benefits of photographs], however, I do not like it at all that people of my Jama‘at should, without an unavoidable desperate need, make it an occupation of publishing my photo routinely because this is how innovations slowly take root and culminate into idolatry.
I, therefore, admonish my Jama‘at here, too, to refrain from such deeds as far as is possible for them. I have seen cards of some people on the back of which I have noticed my picture in a corner. I am vehemently against such publication. I do not want anyone in my Jama‘at to be guilty of such an act. It is one thing to do something for a legitimate and useful cause, and quite another to be like the Hindus who hang the pictures of their elders on the walls everywhere. It has always been observed that such frivolous deeds end up in idolatry and grave errors, like those which found their way among the Hindus and the Christians.”
Al-Fazl of 1915
The 2nd Khalifa said it was impermissible to buy or sell photos of the Promised Messiah & Khulafa. He adds that MGA forbade hanging his photos at home & in Jamaat offices.
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