"The greatest gift of Ahmadiyya teachings is that they
introduce you to the true concept and reality of God."
I was born in Nigeria in 1974 but grew up mostly in Pakistan. Looking back
at my life, I have to admit that I have been extremely fortunate in many ways.
I had the most loving and caring parents who sacrificed a lot for the education
and proper upbringing of their children. I was the youngest in my family, with
three older sisters. So you can say I was spoiled once by my mother and three
times by my sisters.
I would describe our household as moderately religious. My mother
constantly taught me the value of good morals. I remember having a sense
from a fairly young age that I was expected to do the "right thing," i.e. tell the
truth, respect elders, not be extravagant, and so on. My parents paid great
attention towards their children's education. They commuted long distances
for six years just so we could go to school in Lahore where education standards
When I was finishing my high school, my father encouraged me to apply
to the U.S. for college. Luckily I got admitted to MIT and joined there in the
fall of 1993 as a freshman. Life at MIT was quite difficult in the beginning.
Classes were tough, language was a bit foreign, and culture was very different.
There were adjustments to be made at many levels. It was perhaps the result
of exposure to alternative ways of life, or perhaps the natural consequence of a
maturing mind that I began to ponder seriously about the pre-suppositions of
life that a child grows up with.
I had been raised as a Muslim with a strong emphasis on the belief in God.
I had never questioned what I had been taught thus far, but this now turned out
Short Stories by American Converts to Islam 91
to be an uneasy compromise. Should I believe in Islam simply because fate had
me born into a Muslim family? Why should one take religion seriously when
its primary determinant seems to be the flip of a coin that decides which family
one is born into? Why should one put so many constraints on life because of a
God that may or may not exist?
The questions were many, but I struggled with finding acceptable answers.
At the same time the conventional understanding of Islam seemed more and
more intolerant and irrational to me. Muslims who advocated on behalf of
Islam enthusiastically split hairs when it came to religious dogma, and yet
seemed oblivious to the basic tenets of justice, tolerance and human civility.
For example, otherwise sane looking people would actively support the idea
that anyone who chooses to leave Islam should be condemned to death. I was
beginning to be put off by religion.
It was around these early years in college when I found out that an old
friend of mine from high school, Hamid Sheikh, was an Ahmadi Muslim. I
had known him for over eight years but never knew that he was an Ahmadi
Muslim. My impression of Ahmadi Muslims at that time was quite negative,
formed largely by the general social attitude towards Ahmadi Muslims in
Pakistan. In my mind Ahmadiyya Community was some weird cult devoid of
common sense. Therefore, when I found out that a good friend of mine was an
Ahmadi Muslim, I was quite surprised.
At this point, however, I was less interested in the finer details of differences
between Ahmadiyya Islam and Sunni Islam teachings. I had enough trouble
trying to understand religion at a basic level and did not care much about
complicated sectarian discussions. So I badgered Hamid with some general
questions about God, religion and the purpose of man's creation. We had
some discussions, and Hamid gave me two books to read: Islam's Response to
Contemporary Issues by the Fourth Khalifa, and his biography, A Man of God.
I had been searching for a logical and humane approach towards religion
but was disappointed with what I had found thus far. However, reading Islam's
Response to Contemporary Issues was a totally refreshing experience. I was not
yet ready to say that I believed in a particular religion, but I remember saying
to myself after reading the book that if there ever were a religion worthy of
following, it must look like the one described in that book.
I loved the way the Fourth Khalifa approached religion. He spoke with
the precision of a scientist. He always began with "first principles" and then
gradually built his case through the rules of logic. There was also a deep sense
92 BYTHE DAWN'S EARLY LIGHT
of love, compassion and humanity in whatever he wrote or said. It is hard to
express it in words, but I fell totally in love with his personality.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community began to provide me with the
answers that I had been searching for. But conviction of the heart and mind are
two separate issues. There were always more questions that I could have asked.
At what point do I draw the line between skepticism and belief?
I did not know the answer to this question. I was also perturbed by the
idea of praying for myself. How could I do that if I were not willing to call
myself a believer? Wouldn't that be hypocritical? Even selfish perhaps? And
then there was the chicken and the egg problem. If one needs to have faith to
pray sincerely, and must pray sincerely to have faith, where should I begin?
My solution to these conundrums was that I could only pray to a possible
God. I would pray that if You are truly there then guide me to what is right
and what is true. In my heart I already had the suspicion that the truth might
be Ahmadiyya. Therefore, afraid that I might stay away from it because of the
social sanctions against it, I would add that I was willing to pay whatever price
it took to find and accept the truth.
Over the next few years, I continued to read whatever I could on Islam
Ahmadiyya. I did not discuss this much with others. I preferred to study on my
own instead. The web was a great tool for me. Alislam.org, the Community's
website, was just beginning to develop and I must have been one of its most
voracious consumers at the time. My greatest attractions were the "Q&A"
sessions conducted by the Fourth Khalifa, as well as his sermons. I could spend
hours listening to him.
While I found the message of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community very
attractive, I was extremely repulsed by the attitude of orthodox clerics towards
the Community. How could they lose all sense of humanity and prevent Ahmadi
Muslims from practicing their faith in Pakistan? How could man become
arrogant enough to decide who is a Muslim and who is not, as a matter of law?
It was because of such attitudes of orthodox clerics that I never took them
seriously in their allegations against the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
After finishing my undergraduate education at MIT, I decided to pursue a
doctorate in Economics, also at MIT. I finished my PhD in 2001 and moved to
Chicago to start my first job as an Assistant Professor at University of Chicago.
While I was in Boston, I had stopped going to the local mosque for a long
time because I could not pray behind an Imam who condoned an intolerant
interpretation of Islam. There was an Ahmadiyya mosque near Boston but it
Short Stories by American Converts to Islam 93
was far and I did not have a car. So now that I had a car in Chicago, I thought I
should look for an Ahmadiyya Muslim mosque.
Once I found the local Ahmadiyya Muslim mosque in Chicago, I began
going for Friday prayers. I might have done so for the rest of my life without
becoming an Ahmadi Muslim. I had already acknowledged that the Ahmadiyya
interpretation of Islam was the only one that made sense. Why then go through
the hassle of conversion and all the social conflicts that come along with it?
After all, what is the line beyond which one says, "I believe"? The human mind
is a specialist when it comes to making excuses.
However something changed in March of 2002. 1 cannot say how and why.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad said that the key to a person's heart is in Allah's
hands. So one day Allah changed my heart. There is no other explanation for
it. I felt a strong desire that I must sign the initiation form. I had to do it. There
was no other option for me anymore. Like a kid in the candy store, I had to
My parents were quite unhappy at my decision to become an Ahmadi
Muslim. This trial has been the most difficult for me since the last thing I ever
wanted to do was to upset my parents in their old age. It is all the more difficult
given how much they have done for me. But life ultimately owes its existence
to God, and I pray that we may all find peace in Him.
While there are sacrifices in the path of a convert, these are overshadowed
by the fact that man at his core is a moral being. There is nothing more rewarding
than being truthful to one's conscience. The greatest gift of Ahmadiyya teachings
is that they introduce you to the true concept and reality of God. Everything
that is pure and good is to be found in God. Therefore one can never be truly
spiritual unless one tries to get closer to God by developing attributes that are
in His likeness: developing compassion for humanity, being sincere, treating
everyone with absolute justice, and saying the truth even when it may have
negative immediate consequences. When one struggles to become better only
to attain closeness to God, God never leaves such a person alone. This is the
ultimate lesson of Islam Ahmadiyya and the ultimate gift for a convert.
I have been fortunate to serve the Community in various capacities. One
of my greatest joys has been the many friendships that I have formed through
MKA. I have had the privilege of meeting many remarkable individuals whose
sincerity, desire to serve humanity, and selfless dedication to work tirelessly
for the good of others, leaves me awestruck. At a time when religion has been
distorted to create mayhem in many parts of the world, the Ahmadiyya Muslim
Community provides a true picture of what Islam is supposed to be.
Atif Mian left Islam for Ahmadiyya after the 9-11 attacks If you read his short story, this is the general impression. He has never written academically in terms of Ahmadiyya, nor has he engaged anyone on social media in discussion. See here: https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/09/06/atif-mians-conversion-to-ahmadiyya-story/. Nabeel Qureshi also felt some sort of resentment with Islam after the 9-11 attacks.
Zafrullah Khan helped Ahmadi’s get into high military positions and civil service
When Zafrullah Khan was foreign minister of Pakistan, he helped Ahmadi’s get good jobs at a disproportionate rate (see Brush). Ahmadi’s continued to be favored in Ayub Khan’s government in the 60’s. It wasn’t until 1974, then Ahmadi’s were finally ousted.
If Atif Mian works with this council, does he agree with all the laws of Pakistan?
Remember, Ahmadi’s go around and call all Muslims as Terrorists if they consider Ahmadi’s as non-Muslims. Well, its the law in Pakistan, and thus Ahmadi’s like Qasim Rashid and many others, consider all Muslims as terrorists. Will they consider Atif Mian also a terrorist since he is helping such a government? https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=Brown
A grandson of MGA was made an economic adviser in Pakistan in the 1960’s
Ahmadi’s were given lots of government jobs and special treatment from 1947–1974. Read about it here: https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/10/15/sind-holdings-was-owned-by-mirza-muzzafar-ahmad/
Intro One of my “Ahmadiyya-Research-Team” friends in the UK recently found a book titled “Shaheed Marhoom Ke Chashm deed waqiat” Part 1 and 2, (Eye witness account of sahibzada Abdul Latif”). This book is written by his beloved student, Syed Ahmad Noor Kabuli, who also took Baiyat of MGA and subsequently claimed himself to be a prophet. The plain reading of book gives us an impression that Abdul Latif was not mentally sound person. This Syed Ahmad Noor Kabuli eventually claimed prophethood and was most likely ex-communicated by the Khalifa. Syed Ahmad Noor Kabuli admitted that he was drinking the water dripping from mirza ghulam coffin. Apparently, as MGA’s coffin was being transported from Ahmadiyya buildings in Lahore to the train station, Ahmadi’s had put ice in MGA’s coffin to keep his body from smelling and etc. As Ahmadi’s were escorting the coffin of MGA through the streets of Lahore, many people began throwing feces at the motorcade, it was a huge scene. Syed Ahmad Noor Kabuli still drank the ice water that was oozing out of MGA’s coffin. This book was published on December 26th, 1921.
Here is the summary of this short book, written by a friend
“Abdul Latif lived in a village called Syedgah near Khost Afganistan. He was a friend of governor of the area who pays him remuneration for livelihood. Amir of Kabul has also fixed his remuneration at Rs 1100/- He had 4 wives and 18 children.
He was a negotiator on behalf of Amir e Kabul to decide borders of afghanistan with the British. When he was busy in negotiations with Britishers some one gave him a book of MGA. He was very happy to receive this book and offered reward to the doner of book. He read and liked the book and told his colleague that this is the man whom the world was waiting for. Now he has come.
At first, Molvi Abdul Latif thought Allah would select him for the job of reformer because there was none like him, but now after reading MGA’s book he come to know that god has sent the reformer. He then sent some of his students to Qadian to see the Masih e Moud as to who and how is he? Some student after visiting MGA in Qadian cast doubts on him but abdul latif said you are wrong in your doubts, this man is a true Masih. Then he sent Molvi Abdul Rehman his close friend, to MGA with gifts, dresses and Baiyat letter. Abdul Rehman stayed in Qadian and returned with MGA’s book for Mullah Abdul Latif.
After two or three months Abdul Latif sought permission from Amir e Kabul for Hajj. Amir e Kabul has been pleased to allow and gifted him many horses, camels and cash for Hajj expenditures. Instead of going to Makkah, he reached Qadian via Khost and Bannu. He stayed there for many months. He used to go on walk with Masih e Moud, and do not remove dust from his cloths till Hazrat sb (MGA) does so.
He received many ilham. Once while he was sleeping in guest room, suddenly got up and said Muhammad s.a.w. has been laid over me like a fabric sheet and has entered into me in such way that he s.a.w. can not be separated from me and then he received ilham meaning His s.a.w. body is of Noor, fragrance like pearl and this noor is under my control. (Nauzubillah).
Once while coming back from walk Molvi Abdul latif said to me (the author ANK), have you seen your father coming behind you. I said he had died long ago. He said no he was there. Once after walk he came to us and told that a Beautifully dressed HOOR from Jannah came to me and said have a look on me, I said no I would not look to you till Masih e Moud is before me. The author (ANK) claims that he had some ahmadi JIN in his possession, when he was imprisoned, these Ahmadi JINN offered him to destroy the city of Kabul for his release from Jail but he did not accept their offer.
His six months leave was over and he started preparation to leave for Kabul. When he left Qadian, hazrat sb (MGA) accompanied him about 1.5 miles. While parting, Molvi Abdul Latif fell on MGA’s feet and holding on to his feet, started crying and saying pray for me. Hazrat sb said ok I will pray for you but leave my feet first. Molvi Abdul Latif said no He would not leave the feet. Hazrat sb said this is my order and order is above the respect. Then he released the feet of Hazrat sb.
On way to Kabul few Chakralvi came to talk to him of MGA he said he is Ahmadi. But he calls himself Ghulam Ahmad the chakralvi replied. Molvi Abdul Latif said don’t call him Ghulam Ahmad because if you call him Ghulam Ahmed then he would become Syed and meaning Chief and chief is the servant of his tribe.
He said god has made the person of Muhammad Arabi s.a.w. And Ahmad Qadiani one and the same (Nauzubillah) so I swear upon god in whose hand is my soul I saw Muhammad and Ahmad in one person. (Nauzubillah) then he said he has destroyed himself so much in Masih e maoud that my person and person of Muhammad has become same and that the person of Muhammad has become inseparable from mine. (Nauzubillah).
He came back to Khost and started Tabligh of ahmadiyyat, wrote many letters to eminent peoples of area. The news reached Amir of Kabul who put up the case before Ulema. He was offered to repent which he denied and said he want it to be finished soon. So he was sentenced stoning to death. While few stones were pelted on him he was again offered to repent but he refused it again.
He was stoned in a hindoo cremation area, His dead body was recovered by the author and buried in a graveyard inside Kabul. But because of Shirk related gatherings at his grave the government removed the body remnants from there and were disposed of in a river.
Mian Shamshuddin was disabled and so poor so that he lived his entire life in a 3’x3′ room and only ate if someone would remember to send him some food. Mian Shamshuddin had been a moosi since 1919, but had begun payments for his wasiyyat since 1901 – presumably his birth year. The Jamaat official went on to discover that despite his meager means, Mian Shamshuddin Sahib had paid his wasiyyat through 1990. This was an exemplary feat, but its grandeur became even harder to comprehend when the Jamaat official learned that Mian Shamshuddin Sahib had passed away in 1950; i.e. Mian Shamshuddin Sahib had forgone his own sustenance and focused so much on paying his chanda that he paid chanda wasiyyat for 40 years after his death. (Jalsa Salana USA West Coast 2010, The Significance and System of Financial Sacrifice in the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community)
Intro The conversion of Syed Abdul Latif to Ahmadiyya and his subsequent state killing is a strange subject. Syed Abdul Latif was supposed to go to Mecca for Hajj, for that the government of Afghanistan had given him lots of money and 6 months of vacation time. However, somehow,
Syed Abdul Latif went to Qadian and lived in the company of MGA for 6 months. This is very strange, it is possible that he was working directly for the British government. He even came into contact with an Arab who was also visiting Qadian. Towards the end of 1902, MGA was summoned to Jhelum in connection with the Karam Din defamation case. Syed Abdul Latif traveled with MGA to Jhelum to assist MGA in his court case. Syed Abdul Latif was put to death by the Afghan government on July 14th, 1903. Syed Abdul Latif was imprisoned for 4 months (See RoR-english, Nov/Dec 1903 edition). Which means that he left Qadian roughly March 1903. His story is also discussed in the english-ROR of November-1912, see pages 452-454.
MALFOOZAT Volume 3 page 496 and Volume 4 page 364
“”Sahibzada Abdul Latif left behind good example, if examined carefully his incident is greater than the incident of Hazrat Imam Hussian a.s. because Imam Hussain a.s. Was neither imprisoned nor chained it was only a war where Imam Hussain had an army and if His men were killed, the army of Imam Hussain killed the soldiers of other side as well. Contrary to that Molvi Abdul Latif sb was imprisoned with chained hands and feet. There was no chance of escape for him. The martyrdom of Molvi Abdul Latif is such a great martyrdom that it has no other example in 13 centuries of Islamic history””.
An additional reference that we need to find
Frank Martin, an Italian engineer serving at that time in Kabul, was a witness to the whole event. He writes:
“This new man (Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani), therefore, if his preaching was listened to, would upset Muhammadanism, and as he preached that Mussalmans must regard Christians as brothers, and not as infidel, this would render useless the Amir’s chief weapon, Jehad (religious war), in case of English or Russian aggression. So the Amir, when he heard of all this, sent word to the Moullah (Latif) to return, and the Moullah did so, preaching the new religion as he came and as soon as he was well within the boundaries of the country, he was made prisoner and brought to Kabul.”
Frank A Martin Under the Absolute Amir , Harper and Brothers, London, 1907, p. 203.
The quote “””After Maghrib I saw the young man in Masjid Mubarak and I pointed the Promised Messiah (PBUH) out to him. After salutation and shaking hands he sat opposite the Promised Messiah (PBUH). At that time Hadhrat Sahibzada Abdul Latif was already seated immediately opposite the Promised Messiah (PBUH). After introducing himself, in a somewhat brusque manner the young Arab addressed the Promised Messiah (PB UH), and said, “You claim that you are eloquent in Arabic but you are I unable to pronounce the letters ‘ain’ and ‘qaaf like the Arabs .And you falter in your speech. These impediments detract from your eloquence. Witnessing the gross arrogance and the harsh manner of his address Sahibzada Abdul Lateef lost his cool and in this disposition was about to strike the Arab with his fist when the Promised Messiah (PBUH) caught hold of his hand, put it on his thigh, and put his own hand over it. Then the Promised Messiah (PBUH) said to the Arab, My claim concerning eloquence in the Arabic language relates to written Arabic and I do not claim that I can speak like those whose mother tongue is Arabic. I would therefore suggest that you look through some of my Arabic books which you will find in the guest house. Only then will you be able to assess my proficiency in Arabic. Then he said, “Many earlier sages had foretold that Imam Mahdi would stammer somewhat. Therefore a trace of stammering in my speech is proof of my truth. It Then the Arab guest said, “The companions who sit with you and are influenced by you do not seem to comprehend the measure of respect due to a guest. Had you not caught hold of his clenched fist this gentleman would surely have hit me.” In reply the Promised Messiah (PBUH) said, “Like you this gentleman is also a recent arrival and he belongs to a region i.e. Afghanistan, where the inhabitants are known for getting excited rather quickly. Surely his sentiments sprang directly from his love for me.” At that point of time Hadhrat Moulvi Noor-ud-Deen who was sitting at a distance said, ” Hadhrat Abu Bakar (MAPH) once slapped someone who was rude and irreverent in the presence of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).” With a smile on his lips the Promised Messiah (PBUH) said that here was a discernible resemblance. ”