This entry is based on an English translation of the Urdu text available in one of Mirza Mahmud’s books, Mash-ale Rah, pages 207 and 208. Mash-ale Rah is collection of all of Musleh Maud’s speeches. In english as “The torch that guides the way”.
In the entire history of Ahmadiyya, starting from the late 1800s till today, we’ve seen extensive softening of language used, especially when speeches and writings are presented externally in non-Urdu languages (primarily English). Take for example the way that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad firmly labeled anyone who didn’t accept him as a non-Muslim:
“”God Almighty has disclosed to me that whoever has been apprised of my advent and does not accept is me is not a Muslim and is accountable to God “”(source)
We would never hear the current Khalifa say such words, especially not on screen. Similarly, we see an interesting divide in how chanda was institutionalized as compulsory, but is not really much of a concern today to people as a guarantee of their membership (an Ahmadi user on the subreddit has claimed that only 35% of members pay chanda).
The title of the post comes from the writings of Mirza Mahmud describing how the organization of Khudam-ul-Ahmadiyya is compulsory for all male members aged between 15 and 40:
“””If someone doesn’t register their name in Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya in this 15 day period, we will sue them. Then whose crime [not registering] is proved, they shall be ostracized for three days. Nobody would be allowed to talk to them in these 3 days. Fathers won’t be allowed. Mothers won’t be allowed. Wives won’t be allowed. Sons won’t be allowed. And nor would any close relative or friend be allowed. During this period it is the duty of mothers, fathers, wives, kids and all other relatives that they throw him out of their home like a dirty rag is thrown out of a home.”””
The families who heard such rhetoric back then are likely dead today. But Mirza Mahmud was seemingly a man of god and at the time forced young Ahmadis into working for the Jamaat, with coercive and manipulative tactics. It is no surprise a book such as this one has not been translated in English and these quotes are not put on banners at Khuddam Ijtimas, instead sticking to the diplomatic nations cannot be reformed without the reformation of the youth.
Today, these forms of control exist but in much subtler ways – while you are not explicitly told that your membership is contingent on helping the Jamaat or paying your chanda, there really aren’t any options for you to simply leave the Jamaat. It’s a brand you’re expected to carry for the rest of your life, because the alternative is for your parents, extended relatives, and friends to ostracize you to the degree which non-Ahmadiyyat has been connotated through internal narratives as the worst possible state to be in.
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