In British-India, after the famous rebellion of 1857, all remaining islamic groups were forced into submission to the British. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan wrote that Jihad wasn’t legal, the Ahl-e-Hadith movement also wrote that Jihad was not allowed against a government that allowed religious freedom (See the comments by Syed Muhammad Hussain Batalvi in his newspaper, ahl-e-Sunnah in the 1880’s). In fact, MGA was also a member of the ahl-e-hadith aka Wahabi’s, they even arranged his second marriage in 1884 and read the Nikkah.
Historically, MGA and his team wrote “The British government and Jihad” and had it published on May 22, 1900. This is the same era wherein MGA began to realize that he was in-fact a prophet. In this book, MGA forcefully wrote against Jihad. MGA asserted that the commandment for Jihad was time-specific and not forever. MGA seems to have waffled and was purposely unclear.
Right after that book came Arba`een wherein MGA also claims that Jihad is finished from this time forward. MGA then discussed how he stopped Jihad in Tohfa-e- Goldrawiyah. However, Griswold noted in his famous essay vs. Qadianism that MGA had only temporarily stopped Jihad, since the conditions for Jihad were not present in British India. However, MGA quoted the hadith from Bukhari wherein it was written that Religious wars would end during the time of the Messiah. MGA and his team were academically dishonest in this regard, the hadith from Bukhari explains how the Mahdi will convert the world to Islam, the Messiah would convert the Jews and Christians and thus, Jihad would end, and Jizya, since everyone would become Muslim.
However, after WW-2 and the end of British rule (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. The offensive Jihad that was authorized was via the Furqan Force in Kashmir, this was an Ahmadi-only regiment. Ahmadi’s also had control of Azad Kashmir, via Ghulam Nabi Gilkar. Thus, the offensive Jihad of Ahmadi’s took place in Kashmir in 1947-1949. After MGA died, an Ahmadi claimed that MGA was a law-bearing prophet and had abrogated Jihad.
[RK, v. 17, p. 6; approximately first half of the page; Government Angrayzee aur Jihaad](Via Nuzhat Haneef)
“”[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. 13; starts approximately middle of the page; Government Angrayzee aur Jihaad](Via Nuzhat Haneef)
… 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. 15; starts at 3rd line from top; Government Angrayzee aur Jihaad](Via Nuzhat Haneef)
… 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. 443; marginal note; Arba`een Number 4, (Via Nuzhat Haneef)
[Marginal note:]“””Allaah Almighty has gradually decreased jihaad, that is, the severity of wars/fighting. In the time of Hadrat Moosaa [Moses] the severity was so much that even accepting faith could not save [one] from being killed and even infant children were murdered/killed. Then in the time of our Prophet, the blessings of Allaah and peace be on him, the killing of children and the old and women was forbidden and then for certain nations, their being saved from punishment was accepted merely by the payment of ‘jizyah’ [a tax levied on non-Muslims for exemption from military duty] in lieu of faith. And then in the time of Maseeh Mau`ood the command for jihaad was entirely abolished.””” (see Nuzhat Haneef, page 171).
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](Via Nuzhat Haneef)
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)
______________________________________________________________________________________________ROR 1902-English edition
See page 47
“”We, as a sect, do not acknowledge any temporal ruler other than the British Government, as Khalifa of the Muslims….”
_______________________________________________________________________________________________Links and Related Essays
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