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Stoning and Hand Cutting—Understanding the Hudud and the Shariah in Islam by Professor Johnathan Brown

Intro
Dr. Jonathan A. C. Brown is a Director of Research at Yaqeen Institute, and an Associate Professor and Chair of Islamic Civilization at Georgetown University. He is the editor in chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and the Law, and the author of several books including Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenges and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet’s Legacy.

The essay

 

Often the only things people in the West associate with Islam are stoning and hand chopping. These images permeate our culture, from the trailer of hits like Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) to straight-to-cable pablum like Escape: Human Cargo (1998) (again, in the trailer… ‘If you can’t live by their rules, you might die by them’). There is no better example of how our society has consistently and profoundly misunderstood Islam and its tradition of law, known as the Shariah. Stoning and hand chopping do feature in the Shariah, but their actual function can only be understood by stepping back and examining how the Shariah conceives of law overall. Only then can we make sense of its severest corporal and capital punishments, known as the Hudud (pronounced Hudood).

The Idea of God’s Law

The Shariah is not a law code, printed and bound in volumes. It’s the idea of God’s law. Like other broad legal concepts like ‘American law’ or ‘international law,’ the Shariah is a unified whole that contains within it tremendous diversity. Just as American law manifests itself as drastically different traffic laws or zoning codes in different states or locales, so too has the Shariah’s application varied greatly across the centuries while still remaining a coherent legal tradition.

The Shariah is drawn from four sources. The first two are believed by Muslims to be revealed by God either directly or indirectly: 1) the revelation of the Qur’an (which itself, contrary to the claim of a prominent Trump supporter, contains relatively little legal material), and 2) the authoritative precedent of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, known as his Sunna (often communicated in reports about the Prophet’s words and deeds, called Hadith). These two sources work in tandem. The Sunna is the lens through which the Qur’an is read, explaining and adding to it.

The second two sources are the products of human effort to understand and channel the revelation of God through the Prophet (peace be on him): 3) the ways that the early Muslim community applied the Qur’an and the Sunna, and 4) the further extension of this tradition of legal reasoning by Muslim scholars in the centuries since. The human effort to mine these sources and construct concrete, applicable rules from the abstraction of the Shariah is known as fiqh. If Shariah is the idea and ideal of God’s law, then fiqh is its earthly—and thus its inevitably fallible and diverse—manifestation.

There’s More to Law than Law and Order

A great irony in the ubiquity of stoning and hand cutting in the popular imagination is that these punishments constitute a minuscule portion of the Shariah. The tradition of law in Islam is the Muslim effort to answer the question ‘What pleases God?’ in any particular situation. As such, unlike what we think of as law in modern states, the Shariah encompasses every sphere of human activity. Most of these areas would never see the inside of a courtroom in a Muslim state let alone in the West (though, oddly, obscure points in Islamic law do sometimes come up in cases on freedom of religion). If we were to look at a typical, comprehensive book of fiqh (well over a dozen volumes, usually), we’d find that the core subjects of the Shariah are the forms of worship in Islam, including prayer (and the rules of ritual purity needed to perform it), fasting, charity tithes, the pilgrimage to Mecca and hunting and slaughter of animals (about 4 volumes out of 12). Only then would we find recognizable areas of the law such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, contracts, property, liability, injuries, etc. Although they are seemingly the only thing most people know about the Shariah, in a typical book of fiqh less than 2% of the book is devoted to the hudud crimes and their punishments.

Criminal Law in Islam and The West

In order to understand Islamic criminal law, we have to make sure we understand what we mean by criminal law in the first place. Most areas of law in the US, Europe and elsewhere are civil law, meaning they deal with people’s rights over and obligations to each other. These include contracts, marriage, property, etc. The government might play a role in adjudicating disputes in these areas through the infrastructure of courts, but these are disputes between private parties over wrongs they do each other.

Crimes are about wrongs done to the public, society or state as a whole, and in most modern states it is the government that acts to bring people who’ve committed them to justice. Of course, wrongs to individuals and wrongs to society can coincide. In old (like, very old) English law, if a man murdered another man in the street, then two wrongs had been done. The murderer had wronged the victim’s family by killing him, and he had also wronged the king by violating his ‘peace,’ or the overall order of his realm (hence our term ‘disturbing the peace’). The murderer was answerable to both aggrieved parties.[1] Centuries (and many, many legal turns) later, we find OJ Simpson on trial for two wrongs: one civil (for wrongful death and the damages this caused the victim’s family), and one criminal (murder) for which he was prosecuted by the state.

As we all recall, OJ was found innocent in his criminal trial but liable (i.e., guilty) in his civil trial. How could this be if the two trials were, in effect, for the same act? Did he commit murder or not? The two trials produced two different results because of different standards for meeting the burden of proof. In civil cases in the US, the jury only has to conclude that the preponderance of evidence indicates that the person is guilty (i.e., over 50% likelihood), while in a criminal trial the jury must be convinced ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’[2] There are different burdens of proof because of the differences in punishments for civil and criminal wrongs. Civil wrongs are punished by compensation. Criminal wrongs are punishable by incarceration or corporal or even capital punishment. In the West, the notion that judges or juries should exercise extra caution in finding someone guilty of a crime comes from canon law (the law of the Catholic Church) in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, as does the notion of innocent until proven guilty.[3]

The Shariah has remarkably similar features (actually, I think that Western canon law was influenced a great deal by Islamic law, just as Western philosophy and science were profoundly shaped by Muslim scholars in those fields from the tenth to the thirteenth centuries… but that’s another issue). Muslim jurists didn’t categorize law into civil and criminal law, but these labels are nonetheless useful in trying to understand the hudud. The categories that Muslim jurists used were those of violations of the ‘rights of God’ (ḥuqūq Allāh) as opposed to violations of the ‘rights of God’s servants,’ i.e., human beings (ḥuqūq al-ʿibād). The rights of human beings include the right to physical inviolability (in other words, one can’t be killed or harmed without just cause), the right to dignity, the right to property, the right to family, and the right to religion.

Just as in modern human rights, these rights are not absolute. They can be infringed upon with just cause. But they belong to all human beings regardless of whether they are Muslims or not. If someone breaks your toe, smashes into your car or reneges on a contract they made with you, they owe you compensation because they have violated your rights. They owe this even if they didn’t intend any of these actions since the damage was done and they were the cause. The same applies in American civil law (in both Islamic and American law, an exception would be if you smashed someone’s car because someone else threw you onto it, which was out of your control). Along the same lines, according to the rights of human beings in the Shariah, if someone steals your phone from you, they owe you either the return of your phone or its replacement value. If someone kills your family member accidentally, then your family is owed the compensation value as specified in the Qur’an and the Sunna. In such cases, as taught by the Prophet ﷺ, the job of the judge is to “ensure that all those with rights receive them.”[4]

Violations of the ‘rights of God’ in the Shariah are an important counterpart to crimes in the Western legal tradition. Of course, the ultimate ‘right of God’ upon mankind, as explained by the Prophet ﷺ, is for God to be worshipped without partner, and this right extends to other acts of worship as well, like giving the zakat charity.[5] But, unlike human beings, God is eminently beyond the capacity of any creature to harm. Also unlike human beings, God has “ordained upon Himself mercy” (Qur’an 6:54), and promised that His “mercy encompasses all things” (Qur’an 7:156). This element of God’s vast mercy plays a crucial role in the other rights of God that Muslim jurists have identified, namely the crimes known as the hudud.

What are the Hudud?

The concept of hudud in Islamic criminal law is not found in the Qur’an, though it is referred to in hadiths considered authentic by Muslims.[6] Ḥudūd in Arabic is the plural of ḥadd, meaning limit or boundary. The Qur’an mentions the “limits of God” several times, warning Muslims of the sin of transgressing them and that they should not even approach them (Qur’an 2:187). But nowhere does the phrase appear in the clear context of labeling certain crimes (see Qur’an, 2:229, 4:14, 58:4, 65:1, though 4:14 is followed by a discussion of sexual impropriety).

As the famous scholar Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328) noted, definitions for the categories of crimes (and their corresponding punishments) in Islamic law were the products of human reason and not scripture.[7] Early Muslim jurists probably inherited the concept of a category of crimes called hudud from references to it made by the Prophet ﷺ and the early generations of Muslims. Muslim scholars have agreed that the hudud include: adultery/fornication (zinā), consuming intoxicants (shurb al-khamr), accusing someone of fornication (qadhf), some types of theft (sariqa), and armed robbery or banditry (ḥirāba). Muslim schools of law have disagreed on whether three other crimes should be included as well: public apostasy (ridda), sodomy (liwāṭ) and assassination/premeditated murder for purposes of robbery (ghīla).[8]

What is in common among the hudud crimes is that their punishments are specified in the Qur’an or Sunna and that they are considered to be violations of the rights of God.[9] Of course, some of the hudud are also violations of the rights of humans as well. Sariqa (the hudud-level of theft, see below), qadhf (sexual slander) and ḥirāba (armed robbery, banditry) are obviously violations of people’s rights to life, property and/or dignity.

The scriptural commands that specify these hudud punishments are, in summary:

  • Zinā: The Qur’an commands that men and women who engage in fornication be lashed 100 times (Qur’an 24:2), and hadiths add that if the person is single and has never been married then they should also be exiled for a year.[10] The Hanafi school of law does not accept the additional punishment of exile because it does not deem the hadiths in question strong enough evidence to alter the Qur’anic ruling. It was agreed upon by all the Muslim schools of law that the Qur’anic punishment referred to here was for unmarried people. Married men and women guilty of adultery are punished by stoning, as demonstrated in the Sunna of the Prophet (peace be upon him).[11]    
  • Sariqa: the Qur’an specifies that the thief, male or female, should have their hand cut off “as a requital for what they have done and as a deterrent ordained by God” (Qur’an 5:38).
  • Qadhf: The Qur’an commands that anyone who accuses someone of adultery and does not provide four witnesses to the alleged act should be lashed 80 times and should never again have their testimony accepted (Qur’an 24:4).
  • Shurb al-Khamr: Though the Qur’an prohibits drinking wine (khamr) and intoxication, the punishment for drinking comes from the Sunna. The most reliable hadiths state that the Prophet ﷺ would have a person lashed 40 times for intoxication, but the caliphs Umar and Ali subsequently increased this to 80 after consultation with other Companions.[12]
  • Ḥirāba: This crime is understood to be set out in the Qur’an’s condemnation of “those who make war on God and His Messenger and seek to spread harm and corruption in the land.” The Qur’an gives it the harshest punishment in Islam: crucifixion and/or amputating hands and feet (Qur’an 5:33). The vast majority of Muslim scholars have held that this verse was revealed after a group of men brutally blinded, maimed and murdered a shepherd and then stole his camels. The Prophet ﷺ ordered the killers punished in exactly the same way.[13] Yet prominent scholars were skeptical of reports that he had actually ordered the murderers’ hands or feet cut off.[14] This disagreement between the punishments ordered by the Qur’an and by the Prophet ﷺ may have been because the Prophet’s order came before the verse was revealed,[15] but the ambiguity is generally understood as illustrating that the ruler/state has discretion in deciding the proper punishment for ḥirāba.[16]

The hudud do not cover what most legal systems would consider the most serious part of criminal law: murder. But this does fall within what we can term Islamic criminal law. Although the Qur’an and Sunna conceptualize murder, accidental killing, as well as physical injuries done to others, as private wrongs against individuals and their families, from the time of the Prophet ﷺ it was the state that oversaw these disputes and carried out punishments. These were violations of the rights of people, but they also touched on the realm of public order and violence, which was the territory of the ruler.[17] Since cases of homicide were brought by the victim’s kin (much like in the West until the nineteenth century), the state (in the person of the judge or governor) would be responsible for bringing cases for victims with no kin, on the basis of the Prophet’s ﷺ saying that “The authority (sulṭān) is the guardian of those who have no guardian.”[18] The state also often took responsibility for compensating victims and their families when the guilty party could not be identified.[19]

God’s Mercy and Applying the Hudud Punishments

Violations of people’s rights have to be restituted because those people have suffered actual damage or loss. God, on the other hand, is not actually harmed by violations of His rights. In the case of the rights of God, it is God’s mercy that defines Islamic legal procedure. Only an adult Muslim of sound mind and who is aware that one of the hudud acts has been prohibited by God and still intentionally engages in it is even theoretically liable for the punishment.[20] In this regard, the hudud crimes differ from violations of the rights of people, such as accidental manslaughter or accidentally damaging someone’s property, where intention is not required and children’s families are liable for the damage they cause.

The central principle in the application of the hudud punishments is maximizing mercy. This was formulated clearly in a hadith attributed to the Prophet ﷺ that was also echoed by prominent Companions, among them his wife Aisha and the Caliphs Umar and Ali. The best-attested version states, “Ward off the hudud from the Muslims as much as you all can, and if you find a way out for the person, then let them go. For it is better for the authority to err in mercy than to err in punishment.”[21] Within a century of the Prophet’s death Muslim scholars had digested this hadith into the crucial legal principle of ‘Ward off the hudud by ambiguities (shubuhāt).’[22]

Some might argue that this doctrine was developed by Muslim jurists in the generation after the life of the Prophet ﷺ to remedy the Qur’an’s harsh punishments. In other words, they inherited a regime of severe punishments and maybe they thought they needed to find some way out of applying them. Or one might argue that the Prophet himself ﷺ preached warding off the hudud if at all possible because he was uncomfortable with the punishments revealed in the Qur’an.

But neither of these theories could be correct. The establishment of a harsh regime of punishments alongside a nearly unreachable standard of proof occurs together within the Qur’an itself. The Qur’an ordains that those who commit adultery should be lashed 100 times, but just one verse later it states that anyone who accuses someone of adultery without four witnesses to the act is punished with 80 lashes for slander.[23] Why would a message seeking to establish an order of law set up harsh punishments but then make them almost impossible to apply? We will discuss this later, but now let’s turn to the ambiguities (shubuhāt) that Muslim jurists elaborated to avoid applying the hudud.

The Muslim jurists who developed the massive and diverse body of fiqh took the Prophet’s command to ward off the hudud very seriously. Some of the procedural safeguards were found in the Qur’an itself, such as the requirement for four witnesses to zinā. A significant number were added in the hadiths. In the most famous case (there are six known instances) of the Prophet ﷺ ordering a man stoned for adultery, the man comes to the Prophet ﷺ and confesses his sin. The Prophet asks him if he is crazy, and when he continues to insist the Prophet ﷺ suggests that perhaps he only kissed the woman.[24] In order to prevent witnesses from assuming sex was occurring when perhaps the couple was just embracing or lying on top of one another, the Prophet ﷺ required the witnesses to testify that they’d seen “his penis enter into her vagina like an eyeliner applier entering into its container.”[25] Because the man who confessed, Māʿiz, insisted on confessing four times to the Prophet ﷺ, the majority of Muslim scholars require all confessions of zinā to be done four times. Anything less cannot be punished by the hudud.[26]

Based on the same case of Māʿiz, jurists agreed that even someone who had confessed to zinā could retract that confession at any point and no longer face the hudud punishment. Finally, even external signs such as pregnancy were not considered proof that zinā had occurred in the opinion of the majority of Muslim scholars. For example, if a woman’s husband had been away for years, he could have been miraculously transported to be with her.[27] Or she could have been raped. The one school that did consider pregnancy determinative proof of zinā (assuming the woman didn’t claim she had been raped) allowed the possibility that a woman could be pregnant for up to five years. Normally in the Shariah such miraculous or fantastic claims would carry no weight in legal matters. But as possible ambiguities to prevent application of the hudud, they were accepted.[28]

This immense allowance for ambiguities in ruling on sexual offenses can be seen most clearly in the Hanafi school of law, which was the official school of the Ottoman Empire. When prostitutes and their clients were caught, they were not tried for zinā due to the (admittedly outlandish) ambiguity that prostitution was structurally similar to marriage; both were exchanges of sexual access for money (in the case of marriage, the groom’s dowry payment).[29] This is not because Muslim scholars had any sympathy for prostitution or a low regard for marriage, but rather because they hunted for any possible ambiguity to avoid implementing the hudud.

In the case of sariqa, the strict definition of the crime laid out by the Sunna explains why I’ve been so reluctant to translate it as theft. Sariqa is only a very specific kind of theft. First, hadiths specify that a thief would only have their hand cut off stealing something over a certain value.[30] In another hadith, as well as in the practice of the Companions, we are told that an accused thief should be prompted two or three times to deny that he stole.[31] In court procedure, what this means is that, even if the thief is caught red-handed, with the usual number of witnesses (two) testifying that they saw him steal, all the thief has to do is claim that the item was his, and enough ambiguity would be established to make hand cutting out of the question.[32] On the basis of an instance in which a man stole a cloak from under a sleeping man’s head, jurists concluded that only something stolen from a secure location (ḥirz), a concept determined by local custom and conditions, merited the hudud punishment.[33] The Prophet ﷺ also exempted acts of misappropriation done blatantly in the open.[34] In the end, the list of requirements that Muslim scholars agreed on to eliminate all ambiguities reaches (see Appendix Requirements for Amputation for Theft from al-Subki). As a result, as described by scholar Rudolph Peters, it is “nearly impossible for a thief or fornicator to be sentenced, unless he wishes to do so and confesses.”[35]

This system of making it virtually impossible to implement the hudud punishments through ambiguities characterized the hudud crimes of intoxication and, to a lesser extent, sexual slander as well. Someone who smells of alcohol would not be liable for the hudud punishment. Even someone who was seen drunk and vomiting up wine was not subject to the hudud punishment according to most Muslim jurists because he could have drunk the wine accidentally.[36] Since Muslim scholars have disagreed a great deal about what constitutes an intoxicant, the approach to applying the hudud punishment has been to follow Imam Shafi’s position that “people are only punished based on certainty.”[37]

Off the Hook? How Non-Hudud Crimes were Punished

Of course, just because an ambiguity was found to avoid the hudud punishment, this did not mean that the alleged wrongdoer was off the hook. Rather, their offense simply dropped from the upper echelon of violations of the rights of God to the violations of the rights of human beings. Such offenses were punished according to taʿzīr, or discretionary punishment set by the judge. So a thief who had been caught red-handed by two, upstanding witnesses (the standard evidentiary bar for crimes) stealing a bar of gold from a safe deposit box could avoid the hudud punishment by simply denying he had done it. He would not have his hand cut off. But there was still sufficient evidence to convict him of theft at the level of ghaṣb, or usurpation (similar to petty larceny or the civil wrong of conversion in common law). An unmarried couple found naked in bed could not be punished for zinā, but they could still be severely disciplined.

A judge or governor could also draw on his authority to maintain public order to punish offenses that fell below the threshold of hudud. For example, someone who stank of wine and was obviously drunk might not be punished at the level of hudud, but he could still be punished below that level.[38] In the case of armed robbery/banditry, if the perpetrators repented and surrendered, then these ambiguities would drop the offense from the hudud range. But they were still liable for the punishments for homicide and non-hudud theft.[39]

Unlike American laws’ different burdens of proof in civil versus criminal cases, the main protection against conviction for a hudud crime was not the burden of proof (though this was almost unachievable in the case of zinā). The escape hatch was more often provided by the nearly endless list of ambiguities that the judge saw as his duty to explore.

The analogy of American criminal versus civil law is still useful since it helps us understand how the accused could be found innocent of an act in one category of law by its standard of evidence and simultaneously found guilty of the same act in another category of law. It was much easier to produce the evidence needed to convince a judge that a perpetrator was guilty of a taʿzīr offense than a hudud one. In the Shafi school of law, for example, someone could be convicted of non-hudud theft based on the testimony of one man and two women. And in the Hanbali school slaves could testify in non-hudud cases.[40] But no major Muslim school of law allowed women or slaves to testify in hudud cases since the more restrictions on who could bear witness the more difficult it was to convict the accused.[41]Since taʿzīr is, at its core, determined at the discretion of the judge, some punishment could be assigned without reference to any fixed standard of proof at all.

Discretionary punishment was historically the primary category of punishment in the Shariah. In some schools of law, jurists developed detailed tables of punishments within their schools of law for what taʿzīr punishments applied to what sorts of offenses. Lashing, the bastinado (smacking the soles of the feet with a cane) and, to a lesser extent, incarceration, have been the main methods of punishment. Although there has been disagreement on the details, the most common position among Muslim jurists is that the upper limit of taʿzīr punishments is that they cannot reach the punishment for the equivalent hudud crime. This was simple in the case of sexual indiscretion or intoxication, for which the hudud crime had a fixed number of lashes. The most that a taʿzīr punishment could be was 99 lashes for sexual crimes or one day less than one year of exile. Theft was a different matter. Petty theft was generally handled by lashing or short jail time, while repeat offenders could be sent to prisons for thieves (see for more on the types of punishments used in Islamic civilization.

One of the most important features of how the hudud crimes were conceptualized in the Sunna and by later jurists was the central role of avoiding tajassus (seeking out offenses done in private) and providing satr (finding excuses for, or turning a blind eye to, private misconduct. These concepts were rooted in the Qur’an, which forbids tajassus (Qur’an 49:12), and the Sunna, where the Prophet ﷺ repeatedly ignores a man trying to confess to having “violated one of the hudud.”[42] “If you seek out a people’s secret or shameful areas,” the Prophet ﷺ warns, “You’ll ruin them.”[43]

The Companions understood this as key to legal procedure. The prominent Companion and governor of Kufa, Ibn Masʿūd, was brought a man “whose beard was dripping with wine,” but Ibn Masʿūd’s only response was, “We have been forbidden to seek out faults. But if he does something openly before us, we would hold him responsible for that.”[44] One reliable report tells that the caliph Umar heard rowdy voices from inside a house in Medina, so he climbed over the wall and found a man with a woman and wine. When he confronted the man, he replied that, while he was indeed committing a sin, Umar had committed three: he had violated the Qur’anic commands against seeking out faults in others (49:12), climbing over the walls of houses (2:189) and entering homes without permission (24:27). Umar admitted his fault and left.

As with other areas of Islamic criminal law, the application of the hudud ultimately fell under the authority of the ruler or state. Although the Prophet ﷺ warned that, once a hudud crime had reached the authority, the trial had to be held, this was meant to emphasize that no one could expect favoritism.[45] The Prophet ﷺ and the early caliphs made it clear that the ruling authority could suspend the hudud punishments entirely if this was necessary, as the Prophet ﷺ ordered for soldiers who stole while out on campaign and as Umar famously ordered for theft in times of famine.[46] As the famous Hanafi jurist al-Kāsānī (d. 1191) wrote, “It is not permissible to carry out the hudud without the probability of some benefit.”[47]

Historical Application of Hudud in Islamic Civilization

The Muslim judges who applied the rules of fiqh also took the command of the Prophet ﷺ to ward off the hudud by ambiguities as a divine command. All indications are that the hudud punishments were very rarely carried out historically. A Scottish doctor working in Aleppo in the mid-1700s observed that there were only six public executions in twenty years. Theft was rare, he observed, and when it occurred it was punished by bastinado.[48] A famous British scholar of Arabic in Egypt in the mid-1800s reported that the hudud punishment for theft had not been inflicted in recent memory.[49] In the roughly five hundred years that the Ottoman Empire ruled Constantinople, records show that only one instance of stoning for adultery took place (contrast this with colonial America/USA, where over fifty people were executed for various sexual crimes between 1608 and 1785).[50]

Jurists’ theories of far-fetched ambiguities found real-life application. A Muslim woman in India in the late 1500s whose husband had died in battle was suddenly found to be pregnant and was accused of fornication. She claimed that her husband had been miraculously brought back to life every Friday night, when he would visit her. Jurists of India’s predominant Hanafi school of law were consulted on the case and replied that it was indeed technically possible for such a miracle to have occurred.[51]

The concept of non-invasiveness (i.e., avoiding tajassus) and covering up faults (satr) also became real practices. Wine drinking, fornication, prostitution, and homosexuality became widespread in medieval Islamic civilization. Yet Muslim scholars could do little more than complain about this.[52] One scholar in Mughal India himself strayed into wanton ways, taking up womanizing and throwing drinking parties. When the market police climbed over the wall of his house to break up one such party he reprimanded them by reminding them of the caliph Umar’s lapse. The police left the scholar’s house in shame (the scholar later reformed himself, reports his biographer). In the extreme west of the Islamic world, the chief judge of Fez in the early 1300s was respected by everyone for his fairness and knowledge. But he was criticized for hiring someone to ‘sniff out’ alcohol on people’s breath. ‘And he deserved that criticism,’ added one Muslim chronicler.[53]

Instances in which thieves did have their hands cut off were shocking to local populations. The famous Moroccan scholar and traveler Ibn Battuta (d. circa 1366) recounts how, in Mecca, when a judicial official had ordered a young man’s hand cut off for stealing, the youth later murdered that judge.[54] The Mughal emperor Akbar the Great (d. 1605) was furious when he found that his chief judge had carried out the execution of a man convicted of a hudud offense, citing the principle of avoiding this through ambiguities. The judge fell from imperial favor and eventually died in exile.[55]

The best illustration of how seriously judges took the command to ward off the hudud as a religious duty is a near soap-opera level scandal from Mamluk Cairo in the year 1513. A magistrate from the Hanafi school of law had a gorgeous wife, who was lusted over by a Shafi magistrate. This Shafi judge took advantage of his colleague’s absence to enter the couple’s house and consummate the affair. But a jealous neighbor who also was in love with the wife informed the husband, who immediately returned home, busted into his room and found the couple in his bed. The Shafi magistrate pleaded with the fuming husband, offering him money not to disgrace him publically. The man’s wife pleaded along Shariah lines, saying, “Satr is called for.” But the husband refused and locked them in the bedroom until the authorities arrived. When confronted, the Shafi magistrate confessed to zinā and even wrote out his confession before another magistrate.

Hearing of this scandal, the Mamluk Sultan, al-Ghūrī, was livid at the corruption uncovered amongst his magistrates. So he asked for a ruling by a Shafi judge, who declared (correctly) that the couple should be stoned. The chief judge affirmed, and the Sultan, who had been acknowledged as overly zealous in punishment, was elated. He’d be commemorated for his justice, he exclaimed, since “history would record that someone was stoned for zinā in his time.”

But in the meantime, the couple retracted their confession. Leading scholars wrote that the hudud punishment would have to be dropped. The Sultan responded in outrage, “O Muslims! A man goes into the house of another man, commits iniquity with his wife, they are caught together under the covers, the man confesses to what he’d done and writes a confession with his own hand, and they say after all this that he can retract it?!” The Sultan convened all the senior judges and jurists at his court, including the then nonagenarian pillar of the Shafi school, Shaykh al-Islam Zakariyyā al-Anṣārī (d. 1520). One leading Shafi scholar, Burhān al-Dīn Ibn Abī Sharīf (d. 1517), replied to the Sultan, “That is God’s law,” warning that whoever executed the couple would be liable for their murder. Zakariyyā al-Anṣārī agreed. Enraged, the Sultan executed the couple anyway, fired all the chief judges and scholars from their judgeships and teaching positions and sent Ibn Abī Sharīf into exile.[56]

We must appreciate what took place in this episode: several leading scholars and judges of Mamluk Cairo accepted dismissal from their posts and exile rather than affirming the application of a hudud punishment. Writing a century later, the historian Najm al-Dīn al-Ghazzī (d. 1650) remarked that the Sultan’s crime of executing two people without legal right and ignoring the protocols of the Shariah was a cause of the fall of the Mamluk state, which the Ottomans conquered only three years after this scandal.[57]

Aside from the hudud, Muslim judges have historically generally been conservative about carrying out capital or severe corporal punishment. For example, one of the few instances in which a judge can refuse to enforce the ruling of another court applying another school of law is if that other school has more severe rules on issues like requiring execution for murder.[58] When one of the Ottoman sultans ordered a group of merchants to be executed for disobeying his ruling on fixing prices, a Muslim jurist intervened, objecting that, “It is not permitted to kill these people in the Shariah.” The sultan replied that the merchants had disobeyed an order he had issued, and the scholar replied, “What if your command did not reach them?”[59]

Why Have Rules if You Don’t Follow Them? Law in Pre-modern versus Modern Societies

When my students read about Shariah law, their first reaction after learning about the hudud is, ‘Why have punishments you’re not going to apply?’ This question strikes at the root of the incongruity between modern law and how many view the Shariah. Although it seems obvious and, indeed, essential to many today, the notion that a legal system should function as a routinized and efficiently ordered machine stripped of cultural fictions and traditions is fairly new. It is a product of legal reforms envisioned by modernists like the English philosopher and jurist Jeremy Bentham (d. 1832).

Prior to the comprehensive legal reforms in American and British law from the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth, having laws on the books that were not intended to be applied was normal. In fact, it’s still a feature of law today in the US. How many times do we see signs warning us that littering will be punished by a maximum fine of $1000? How many of us know anyone who has been fined $1000 for littering? How many college students are allowed to drink under the age of 21? To quote the conservative legal scholar Robert George (and also Paul of Tarsus), law is our teacher. It is not just a means of resolving disputes or maintaining order. It is a statement by authoritative voices within a society of how that society should be.

Another major historical change was in law enforcement. Modern law enforcement as we know it emerged in Great Britain in the early 19th century. It is no coincidence that Britain was also the first state to transition into a new stage of human history, comparable in its dramatic changes to humans settling down in agricultural communities five millennia prior: that of a modern, industrialized society. This involved changes in every area of human life, from culture and religion to political representation and economic power.

Pre-modern states like France or Britain, not to mention massive multinational empires, were highly decentralized. Often, the ruler had little direct control outside major urban areas and sometimes only around the capital. What technologies like the railway (Britain was joined by railways in 1851, followed by the US) and the telegraph (in regular use by the 1850s) enabled states to do was actually project their authority among their populations on a scale never possible before. At the same time, improvements in health care and sanitation meant that, for the first time, the population of a city like London actually grew on its own without depending on immigrants (previously, morbidity in European cities was so high that they were death traps, with higher death than birth rates).[60] By 1850 more than half the population of Britain lived in cities, a milestone reached globally around the year 2000. That meant that problems of crime in cities also saw manifold increases.

So as far as law is concerned, what the modern industrialized, urbanized state and society meant was 1) unprecedented challenges of law and order, 2) a new vision for an ordered, rational, technicalized and bureaucratized world, and 3) the technological, administrative and financial resources to pursue this vision and tackle new challenges.

It is difficult for us to imagine how law and order functioned prior to these mid-nineteenth-century developments. Prior to 1830, Britain had no organized police force. Though major cities like New York and Boston developed police forces by the 1840s, only after the Civil War did official police forces become a normal feature of urban life in America. Ironically, formal police forces in the US South developed out of the Slave Patrols that had formed decades earlier to track the movement of slaves and free blacks out of fear of rebellion.[61]

Of course, cities had not been lawless up to this point. As early as 1285 the British monarchs had instituted decrees to safeguard law and order in London, just as Louis XIV (d. 1715) did in Paris. But these ad hoc, often unprofessional, watchmen were only found in the capital cities. More importantly, they did not engage in preventative policing (walking the beat) nor investigation of the wide range of crimes reported. The same applied to the institution of the shurṭashiḥna, or fawjdār (all meaning, roughly, police) in Islamic civilization, which can first be found under the early caliphs.[62][62]

Prior to the nineteenth century, the only law enforcement officials in cities and towns around the world were the equivalents of local marshals or sheriffs, whose main job was to handle prisoners and provide security in the court. In Britain, if someone committed a serious crime, the assumption was that “a great hue and cry” would be emitted and that a crowd would bring the perpetrator to the courthouse to stand trial.[63] Outside of Islamic metropolises like Cairo or Istanbul, where Shariah courts were readily available to litigate people’s disputes, people in rural areas probably settled most disputes informally within village or family networks.[64]

Marshals and sheriffs conjure up images of the Wild West, and this is actually helpful. As in films like High Noon (1952) or Tombstone (1993), marshals in pre-modern towns were on their own. Only in exceptional situations could they call on and deputize private citizens for a posse (short for posse comitatus). Films like The Wild Bunch (1969) and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (also 1969), in which tough and endearing groups of outlaws are eventually mowed down mercilessly by the sheer ordered force of the modern state, commemorate the losses and gains felt at moving from the self-help and community of the pre-modern to the regimented and impersonal world of the modern.

Simply put, pre-modern states did not have the means to engage in the type of law enforcement that we consider normal today, particularly preventative policing and the investigation of mundane crimes. This important fact lies behind the severity of punishments found in Islamic law and in many pre-modern legal systems for that matter. Though scholars of criminal law continue to disagree on the best means of deterring crime, a common approach has been the utilitarian one formalized by Bentham. Its basic premise is the following equation:

(E)xpected Punishment/Deterrent power = (S)everity of Punishment x (P)robability of getting caught…. E = S x P. [65]

In a system where there are few or no police or where the police do not busy themselves investigating crimes, moderately intelligent criminals faced little chance of being caught. According to the E = S x P equation, if the probability (P) of being caught is minuscule, then in order for any meaningful deterrent effect to be created the severity of punishment (S) must be mammoth. Frightening punishments were seen as the only way to deter potential criminals whom police (what few there were) would never be able to reach. We can see this clearly in Britain in the 1700s and early 1800s. In 1820 there were over two hundred crimes punishable by death in Britain, including stealing firewood and poaching fish from another’s fishpond.[66] The colony of Virginia had the death penalty for taking vegetables or fruits from a garden.[67]

But, similar to the hudud, few people convicted of these offenses were actually executed. Putting thousands of petty offenders to death was not the intention of the law in Britain or its colonies. Scaring people into not breaking the law was. Inevitably, judges and juries would find procedural loopholes to reduce the punishment, such as purposely undervaluing stolen goods to drop the crime from grand larceny (punishable by death) to petty larceny (punishable by flogging).[68]

And we can see how the mind-boggling advances in technology and administrative capacity in the mid-1800s changed Britain’s legal landscape. More effective policing, better prisons and, more importantly, better municipal services and a much-advanced economy meant that more offenders were caught and convicted.[69] (P) went up dramatically, so (S) dropped accordingly. By 1900 Britain had only four death-penalty offenses.

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

No discussion of criminal law in the Shariah can pass without addressing the issue of Western revulsion at flogging, the most prominent form of punishment historically employed by Muslim courts, and at the dramatic hudud punishments of amputation and stoning.

Today we think of incarceration as the normal way of punishing crime, so much so “that it becomes difficult to conceive of a moment when prisons were not at the core of criminal justice,” to quote one noted scholar.[70] But prisons have been the exception, not the rule, for punishment in human history. They are immensely costly, especially for the perennially cash-strapped pre-modern state, and carry with them constant worries over security. Prior to the seventeenth century, when the situation in Europe changed, the main use of prisons globally had been for detaining suspects pending and during trial, not for punishment.

Corporal punishment, on the other hand, is quick and cheap. Although many condemn it as barbaric today, inflicting some form of pain on the body of the perpetrator has been the main means of punishing serious wrongdoing in human society. In Europe from the Middle Ages through the 1700s, horrendous types of mutilation were standard punishment: amputating hands, fingers, ears, tongues, burning with hot tongs, drawing and quartering, etc.[71] Thomas Jefferson recommended cutting a half-inch hole in the nose of women who engaged in sodomy.[72] To understand how this situation changed, one must appreciate important trends in criminal punishment that accompanied industrialization in the early-modern and modern West.

In the eighteenth century, in Western Europe and later Britain, the dominance of execution and severe corporal punishments made way for various forms of forced labor, imprisonment, and deportation to the colonies. Although the first modern prison opened near Philadelphia in 1790, the philosophy behind it had been maturing for decades. Growing out of institutions for forced labor in the seventeenth century, particularly in continental Europe, prisons emerged as institutions that combined incarceration and forced labor by those who had committed crimes that would otherwise have been punished by death.[73] In the Quaker colony of Pennsylvania, thinkers like the founding father Benjamin Rush (d. 1813) began articulating a theory of reformative justice in which harsh corporal or capital punishments would be set aside in favor of purifying the convict’s soul in hopes of eventual redemption.[74] Hence the origin of the American penitentiary, where prisoners are divided into their own small cells and given meager rations for the purposes of focusing them on reflection and consulting the Bible. This model, even after its secularization and allowance for more socialization, has since been exported widely.

This historical arc seems comprehensible enough—corporal punishment to prisons; brutal medieval mutilation makes way for more sanitary executions, makes way for forced labor in prisons, which in turn makes way for the modern penitentiary, where criminals are ‘reformed.’ But the reality is hardly so simple. Rather than a progress from brutality to enlightenment, Western criminal sanctions have simply expressed new and highly idiosyncratic cultural understandings of what is and what isn’t ‘cruel and unusual punishment.’

America abandoned public corporal punishment for the penitentiary and reforming the convict by properly directing his soul. But that guiding was done by stunningly brutal means more reminiscent of Abu Ghraib than a place of worship. Through the mid-nineteenth century, prisoners were flogged relentlessly, gagged and stuffed into small lockers where they couldn’t kneel or lie down, and had their faces flooded with freezing water. What seems to have been the most deadly of all treatments was forcing prisoners into extended periods of total isolation with enforced silence.[75] All of this was somehow seen as more humane than previous, unenlightened methods of punishment such as placing people in stocks to be pelted by fruit.

The same erroneous conflation of cultural convention with enlightened progress can be seen in British colonial rule in India. When the British East India Company took over the responsibility for administering Shariah law in the areas of India it controlled in the late 1700s, British officials were exasperated and shocked. They were primarily frustrated at how hard it was to execute criminals under the Shariah. They considered it a “barbarous construction” that the family of someone who had been murdered could accept compensation money from the murderer instead of insisting on his execution. British officials couldn’t help seeing this as some sort of pay off.

But what truly morally shocked British officials was the use of amputation as a punishment, and they eventually outlawed it in 1834. Hence we find the bizarre confusion expressed by one British woman over how a local Sikh ruler who rarely had criminals executed but instead punished them with amputation was somehow not considered cruel by his subjects (the amputation the British were referring to was mainly not hand cutting but rather an Indian punishment of cutting off the nose as the most severe taʿzīr punishment; ironically the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb [d. 1707] had banned this as alien to the Shariah).[76] British fetishization of corporal punishment alongside a cavalier attitude towards its capital elder sibling is beautifully captured in the ironic title of J. Fisch’s book on colonial law in India, Cheap Lives and Dear Limbs.

As US law professor Peter Moskos recently pointed out in his book In Defense of Flogging, the notion that imprisoning someone in a cell is somehow more humane than subjecting them to brief but intense bodily pain is a collective cultural fiction. And it is totally belied by the reality of prison-life in America. Even societies in which vicious corporal punishment was common, notes Moskos, “rarely if ever placed a human being in a cell for punishment.” “Consequently,” he concludes, “that we accept prisons as normal is a historical oddity.”[77] And incarceration in the general population of a US prison is mild treatment compared to placement in solitary confinement, a common practice in US prisons. As nineteenth-century American penitentiaries discovered, solitary confinement causes dramatic and often irreparable psychological damage. In 2011, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture concluded that just fifteen days in solitary confinement “constitutes torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” and after that period irreversible psychological damage can occur.

The profound failings of the US prison system further indict it as a cruel and unusual form of punishment. First, prisons in the US have totally failed to reform those sent there, which is not surprising considering convicts are placed not around positive role models but around other criminals in an environment where 5% of prisoners say they had been sexually assaulted just within the previous year and in which drug use is rampant.[78] The result is that the US has by far the highest population of prisoners in the world and the second highest per capita.

Second, US prisons are cruel and unusual in that they destroy and atomize communities. As Anne-Marie Cusac points out, prior to the penitentiary movement, corporal punishment or humiliation was carried out in public, often in the town square. Criminals might be publically humiliated, but such public pain “understands criminals as existing within that community.”[79] Prior to the mid-twentieth century, many prisons were in the center of towns, with prisoners still nearby their families. Now most prisons are in rural areas incredibly distant from the urban neighborhoods most disproportionately affected by incarceration. In America, even after release from prison, felons are denied the right to vote and are nearly unemployable. Around 5.3 million Americans who would otherwise have a voice in their communities and country’s political process are denied the vote due to a past felony.[80]

The American neurosis over criminal justice is even more evident in the application of the death penalty. Developed as supposedly more humane alternatives to hanging, the electric chair, and lethal injection only euphemize the violence being done in the act of execution. As a US federal judge observed in his decision regarding an execution in 2014, a society that carries out executions must acknowledge the brutality of the act and not try to disguise it by supposedly less violent means (which often fail to work as quickly and painlessly as they are supposed to).

How Should Muslims Understand the Hudud Today?

Today the hudud are relevant mostly in their absence from the legal stage. When they do appear it is with great controversy. With the exception of a few states like Nigeria,[81] Sudan,[82] Iran,[83] and Saudi Arabia, the criminal laws of majority Muslim countries have been replaced by modified British or European imports.

How do Muslims make sense of the hudud’s absence? Can we justify it or, taking things one step further, can we justify not calling for their return? Muslim scholars have followed several tacks in negotiating these profound questions. In the mid-twentieth century some argued that the hudud were abandoned because of Western pressures during the colonial period and that, if restored, the hudud would help mold more law-abiding and harmonious societies. Once reaffirmed, these scholars argued, the punishments themselves would rarely ever be carried out.[84] Others have more recently argued that a revival of the hudud would be inappropriate for the foreseeable future because our political and social environments make removing all ambiguities (shubuhāt) systematically impossible.[85] It’s assumed that this situation is a result of colonialism and the globalization of Western values. But some scholars have argued that this had been the case for almost a millennium. Hence the extraordinary rarity of the hudud being carried out.

Taken to a higher level of detail, one Shariah argument for the hudud not being obligatory at present is that, like a person trying to perform ablutions on a missing limb, the ‘locus of the ruling’ has vanished. According to this argument, whatever the motivation for Muslim states abandoning the hudud, their absence makes them irrelevant until someone decides to revive them. Another argument is that our current era is an “age of crisis and necessity” (ḍarūra). Since in Islamic law ‘necessity makes the prohibited permissible,’ Muslim states under foreign domination or other constraints are allowed to lapse in ways that would otherwise not be allowed.

The Mauritanian scholar Abdallah Bin Bayyah has made the interesting argument that he based on the Prophet ﷺ prohibiting cutting off the hand of Muslim soldiers who stole while on campaign. Instead, the Prophet ﷺ punished them with lashes or delayed the punishment until the need for a full fighting force had passed.[86] Though Muslims are not literally in the land of the enemy, Bin Bayyah writes, they are in “a land of anxiety” where many Muslims feel uncomfortable with the hudud’s harsh physical punishments.[87] It’s as if the Abode of Islam has been culturally conquered, with Muslims becoming allergic to their own revealed tradition.

The most important point to note is that Muslim scholars have affirmed that what is essential for Muslims is to believe that the Shariah is ideal law and that the hudud are valid in theory. The actual implementation of the hudud comes at the discretion of the ruler/state and is not necessary for people to be Muslim.[88]

Can We Escape the Controversy?

Today few issues are brought up more in the media to question the civility of Islam than the hudud. Few issues are more often invoked to allude consciously or unconsciously to a clash of civilizations between the benighted past of Islam and the enlightened present of the West. When the Sultan of Brunei announced in 2014 that his country would phase in Shariah criminal law, hudud included, there was an international outcry at this return “to the dark ages.” Few issues are as political as the hudud.

The hudud are, in fact, the perfect storm of controversy and grievance. To the twentieth-century West, with its phobia of physical punishment, prison-centered approach to criminal justice and increased social permissiveness in matters sexual, the hudud are barbarity embodied. In the Muslim world, reeling from colonialism and the globalization of Western norms, the hudud have re-emerged for many as icons of a commitment to Islamic authenticity. To many Islamist movements around the world, the notion of re-establishing the hudud became both the symbol and substance of a longed-for restoration of an authentic past and an independent future.

To be fair, holding the hudud up as the symbol of a true, godly order is not some modern fabrication. The Mamluk Sultan al-Ghūrī was not unusual in hoping to be associated with stoning an adulterer. A quick glance through any chronicle of medieval Islamic civilization will yield mention of rulers or dynasties praised for ‘upholding the Limits of God.’ But, as we have seen, the hudud were really not much more than symbols of submission to the idea of God’s law.

It’s hard to know if those countries that do enforce hudud punishments today represent a continuation of pre-modern Islamic legal practice or not. The hudud are probably carried out in Saudi Arabia at a higher rate than they were historically in Muslim societies.[89] But they are still very rare. Between 1981 and 1992, there were four executions by stoning in Saudi Arabia and forty-five amputations for theft. In a one-year sample (1982-83), out of 4,925 convictions for theft, only two hands were cut off. The rest of the guilty were punished by taʿzīr. In the same time period, out of 659 convictions for hudud-level sexual crimes, no one was stoned. Many death sentences are the result of political punishments, not the hudud.[90][90] In Nigeria’s northern states, all of which have adopted Shariah-based legal codes, a few amputations for theft have taken place. There have been at least two sentences to death for adultery, but in all cases so far ambiguities were found to release the guilty party.

Like American conservatives calling for a return to some imagined utopia of the 1950s, the authentic past that modern Muslim states claim to revive with the hudud is mostly an imagined one. It is envisioned to fend off the loss of identity and autonomy that so many have felt in the modern age. So it is no surprise that countries today where the hudud are actively enforced either define themselves by their resistance to the Western imperial order (Iran), by claims to embody Islamic authenticity (Saudi Arabia), or lie on sharp cultural, religious and political fault lines between Western cultural and military imposition on the one hand and strong traditions of indigenous identity on the other (Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan).

So today it is almost impossible to discuss the hudud apart from consuming political tensions and conflicts over identity and autonomy. In 2005 the Swiss Muslim scholar and intellectual Tariq Ramadan called for a moratorium on corporal punishment, stoning, and the death penalty in the Muslim world. He was subsequently savaged by both Western critics of Islam who saw his call as too little and by some more conservative Muslim ulama who saw it as transgressing the commands of God.

Could we imagine some alternate reality in which a complex, cosmopolitan Muslim state passed through the wrenching processes of industrialization, centralization, and urbanization while preserving a Shariah legal regime intact? The Ottoman Empire actually offers something fairly close to that. It passed through significant industrialization and urbanization. Though by the mid-1800s the Ottomans were certainly feeling the political and cultural pressures of European power, they escaped the worst of Western colonialism until World War I.

The Ottoman Penal Code of 1858 is a fascinating artifact of a modernizing, unquestionably Shariah-legitimate criminal law. The Code was produced as part of the Ottoman state’s reform of its entire administration in light of new technologies and new challenges. The 1858 Code reformed the penal system by replacing existing punishment such as the bastinado with forced labor (kürek), prison, fines and exile (it also retained the death penalty for some crimes). The Code drew almost all of this content nearly verbatim from the French Penal Code of 1832.

And yet the Code’s Islamic legitimacy was not in question. It begins ‘In the name of God, the most Gracious, the most Merciful’ and was approved by the Ottoman religious establishment, which remained deeply conservative until the end of the empire. The 1858 Code never mentions hudud, but this was not because it eliminated them. Rather, this was because the whole Code explicitly limited itself to reforming the taʿzīr level of punishments. Since the hudud had not been an effective presence in legal application, replacing the taʿzīr area was tantamount to overhauling the entirety of Ottoman criminal law. By not removing the hudud and instead leaving them in effective abeyance, the 1858 Code avoided assaulting a major symbol of Islamic legitimacy. The punishments it introduced were set by the French, but they were just as ‘Islamic’ as the ones previously used by Ottoman judges, since taʿzīr was a matter of discretion not specified in the Qur’an and Sunna. Moreover, the first paragraph of the 1858 Code commits to not violating any rights of individuals under the Shariah, and it even retained people’s rights to the Qiṣāṣ process in the case of homicide should they choose it.

Let’s imagine that the Ottoman Empire had not been on the losing side in World War I and that it had continued on to the present day, maintaining its 1858 Penal Code (which survived until 1923 anyway) with slight modifications. Would we hear the same controversies we do over executions in Saudi Arabia or reviving the hudud in Brunei? Probably not as much, because the hudud would have continued as a symbol with no noticeable role in the law.

Yet there would, no doubt, still be some protests. As Amnesty International objected over Brunei’s announcement, the Shariah is problematic because it assigns harsh punishments “for acts that should not even be considered crimes.” The bottom line is that many modern objections to the Shariah in general and to the hudud in particular are not about specific punishments. They are about many Muslims’ insistence that acts like fornication should be condemned as criminal in the first place. Perhaps they are even about the insistence that such acts should be deemed morally reprehensible at all.

It’s worth considering that the crimes human societies have judged the most acutely harmful—murder and rape—are not included among the agreed upon hudud crimes. Perhaps the hudud are not necessarily the most grievous crimes in terms of the toll they take on their victims or society. Fornication and hudud-level theft are offenses almost by definition done in private, as intoxication could be as well. They are done out of the sight of all but God. Perhaps these stringent laws, which God’s mercy has made almost impossible to apply, exist primarily to remind people of the enormity of the sins that they usually get away with.

Appendix: Requirements for Amputation for Theft from al-Subki

This is a fatwa given by Taqī al-Dīn ʿAlī b. ʿAbd al-Kāfī al-Subkī (d. 756/1356), a senior Shafi scholar and judge from one of the leading scholarly families of Damascus:

The Imam and Shaykh, may God have mercy on him, said: It has been agreed upon that the Hadd [punishment] is obligatory for one who has committed theft and [for whom the following conditions apply]:

  • [the item] was taken from a place generally considered secure (ḥirz)
  • it had not been procured as spoils of war (mughannam)
  • nor from the public treasury
  • and it was taken by his own hand
  • not by some tool or mechanism (āla)
  • on his own
  • solely
  • while he was of sound mind
  • and of age
  • and a Muslim
  • and free
  • not in the Haram
  • in Mecca
  • and not in the Abode of War
  • and he is not one who is granted access to it from time to time
  • and he stole from someone other than his wife
  • and not from a uterine relative
  • and not from her husband if it is a woman
  • when he was not drunk
  • and not compelled by hunger
  • or under duress
  • and he stole some property that was owned
  • and would be permissible to sell to Muslims
  • and he stole it from someone who had not wrongfully appropriated it
  • and the value of what he stole reached ten dirhams
  • of pure silver
  • by the Meccan weight
  • and it was not meat
  • or any slaughtered animal
  • nor anything edible
  • or potable
  • or some fowl
  • or game
  • or a dog
  • or a cat
  • or animal dung
  • or feces (ʿadhira)
  • or dirt
  • or red ochre (maghara)
  • or arsenic (zirnīkh)
  • or pebbles
  • or stones
  • or glass
  • or coals
  • or firewood
  • or reeds (qaṣab)
  • or wood
  • or fruit
  • or a donkey
  • or a grazing animal
  • or a copy of the Qur’an
  • or a plant pulled up from its roots (min badā’ihi)
  • or produce from a walled garden
  • or a tree
  • or a free person
  • or a slave
  • if they are able to speak and are of sound mind
  • and he had committed no offense against him
  • before he removed him from a place where he had not been permitted to enter
  • from his secure location
  • by his own hand
  • and witness is born
  • to all of the above
  • by two witnesses
  • who are men
  • according to [the requirements and procedure] that we already presented in the chapter on testimony
  • and they did not disagree
  • or retract their testimony
  • and the thief did not claim that he was the rightful owner of what he stole
  • and his left hand is healthy
  • and his foot is healthy
  • and neither body part is missing anything
  • and the person he stole from does not give him what he had stolen as a gift
  • and he did not become the owner of what he stole after he stole it
  • and the thief did not return the stolen item to the person he stole it from
  • and the thief did not claim it
  • and the thief was not owed a debt by the person he stole from equal to the value of what he stole
  • and the person stolen from is present [in court]
  • and he made a claim for the stolen property
  • and requested that amputation occur
  • before the thief could repent
  • and the witnesses to the theft are present
  • and a month had not passed since the theft occurred

[1] The compensation paid to the victim or the family was the wergild (lit. man price) or bot, while the wite was paid to the king or lord for breaking the mund (peace); Bruce O’Brian, “Anglo-Saxon Law,” in Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History, ed. Stanley Katz (London: Oxford University Press, 2009), 1:82; F.W. Maitland, The Constitutional History of England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1908), 107-9.

[2] This well-known phrase does not appear in the US Constitution, but was adopted into American law around 1800 from English law. It was first formally articulated in England in the 1780s, though it was actually used in 1770 in Boston by the future President John Adams and Robert Paine in their defense of the British soldiers involved in the Boston massacre; see James Q. Witman, The Origins of Reasonable Doubt (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008), 187, 193-94; and http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1000&context=fss_papers.

[3] Heikki Pihlajamäki and Mia Korpiola, “Medieval Canon Law: The Origins of Modern Criminal Law,” in The Oxford Handbook of Criminal Law, ed. Markus Dubber and Tatjiana Hörnle (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 214-215; Kenneth Pennington, “Innocent until Proven Guilty: The Origins of a Legal Maxim,” The Jurist 63 (2003): 106-24.

[4] Abū Bakr al-Khaṣṣāf, Adab al-Qāḍī, ed. Farhat Ziadeh (Cairo: Maṭbaʿat al-Jablāwī, 1979), 254.

[5] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī: kitāb al-jihād wa’l-siyar, bāb ism al-fars wa’l-ḥimār; Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim: kitāb al-īmān, bāb man laqiya Allāh bi’l-īmān…; kitāb al-zakāt, bāb ithm māniʿ al-zakāt.

[6] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī: kitāb al-muḥāribīn min ahl al-kufr wa’l-ridda, bāb kam al-taʿzīr wa’l-adab.

[7] Jonathan Brown, “Taʿzīr,” Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

[8] This minimal list is held by the Hanafi school (NB: for Hanafis, ḥirāba was included under the heading of sariqa). All other schools consider public apostasy (ridda) and sodomy to be among the hudud crimes as well. In the Maliki school, ghīla (assassination or murder to steal someone’s money) is considered a hudud crime punished by death. See Wahba al-Zuḥaylī, Mawsūʿat al-fiqh al-islāmī, 14 vols. (Damascus: Dār al-Fikr, 2010), 5:714-15; Ṣāliḥ ʿAbd al-Salām Al-Ābī, al-Thamar al-dānī fī taqrīb al-maʿānī Ḥāshiyat Risālat Ibn Abī Zayd al-Qayrawānī. 2nd ed. (Cairo: Muṣṭafā al-Bābī al-Ḥalabī, 1944), 423, 432, 435.

[9] There is some disagreement over qadhf, which some scholars consider to be a violation of the rights of human beings only; Manṣūr b. Yūnus al-Buhūtī, al-Rawḍ al-murbiʿ, ed. Bashīr Muḥammad ‘Uyūn (Damascus: Maktabat Dār al-Bayān, 1999), 466; al-Khaṣṣāf, Adab al-Qāḍī, 217, 333; Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Qurṭubī, al-Jāmiʿ li-aḥkām al-Qur’ān, ed. Muḥammad Ibrāhīm al-Ḥifnāwī and Maḥmūd Ḥāmid ‘Uthmān, 20 vols. in 10 (Cairo: Dār al-Ḥadīth, 1994), 6:476 (on verse 24:4).

[10] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī: kitāb al-muḥāribīn min ahl al-kufr wa’l-ridda, bāb al-iʿtirāf bi’l-zinā; Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim: kitāb al-ḥudūd, bāb ḥadd al-zinā, bāb man iʿtarafa ʿalā nafsihi bi’l-zinā.

[11] There has long been effective consensus on the punishment of stoning for adultery, which was even accepted by the Muʿtazila school of thought (though not by the Kharijis). In 1973, the famous Egyptian ʿālim and scholar of law Muḥammad Abū Zahra (d. 1974) stated at a conference in Libya that he seriously doubted the reliability of the reports that the Prophet ﷺ had engaged in stoning, considering it too cruel a punishment (this was reported by two scholars in attendance, Muṣṭafā Zarqā’ and Yūsuf al-Qaraḍāwī, see Muḥammad Abū Zahra, Fatāwā, ed. Muḥammad ʿUthmān Bashīr (Damascus: Dār al-Qalam, 2006), 673. There is a modern theory that stoning is taʿzīr, and thus discretionary, since the Prophet ﷺ said that God gave “a path out” (Qur’an 4:15) for a non-married virgin who had fornicated with the 100 lashes mentioned in the Qur’an and then an additional year of exile added by the Prophet ﷺ as taʿzīr; the punishment for the married adulterer would mirror this, with 100 lashes from the Qur’an and then stoning as the Prophet ﷺ added, discretionary taʿzīr. Dr. Jasser Auda argues in his book Naqd naẓariyyat al-naskh that stoning was Jewish law practiced in the beginning of Islam and then abrogated by Surat al-Nūr. See Jasser Auda, Naqd naẓariyyat al-naskh (al-Shabaka al-ʿArabiyya li’l-Abḥāth, 2013). What has emerged as very controversial in the modern period is the notion that there could be a verse of the Qur’an concerning stoning that was removed (naskh) by God. Most pre-modern Muslim scholars had no problem with the notion that the Qur’an originally included a verse stating ‘The noble man and woman, if they commit zinā, surely stone them both,’ but that God ordered the verse removed while maintaining the ruling intact. The famous Shāfiʿī/Ashʿarī Hadith scholar Abū Bakr al-Bayhaqī (d. 458/1066) stated that he knew of no disagreement on the possibility of a verse of the Qur’an being removed in its entirety (naskh al-tilāwa) while its ruling remained; Abū Bakr al-Bayhaqī, al-Sunan al-kubrā, ed. Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Qādir ʿAṭā, 11 vols. (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya, 1999), 8:367. A leading traditionalist scholar of the twentieth century, ʿAbdallāh al-Ghumārī (d. 1993), however, denied the possibility of naskh al-tilāwa. He deemed it rationally impossible and added that all reports describing it as having occurred are narrated by too few transmissions (āḥād) to match the certainty of Qur’anic verses. He notes that the most reliable piece of evidence, namely the reports of the caliph ʿUmar in Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī that he worried that people would abandon stoning because it was not found in the book of God, do not actually include the wording of the supposed verse with that ruling, as pointed out by Ibn Ḥajar (though Ibn Ḥajar does not doubt that there was such a verse); ʿAbdallāh b. al-Ṣiddiq al-Ghumārī, Dhawq al-ḥalāwa bi-bayān imtināʿ naskh al-tilāwa, 2nd ed. (Cairo: Maktabat al-Qāhira, 2006), 12, 14; Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī: kitāb al-muḥāribīn min ahl al-kufr wa’l-ridda, bāb al-iʿtirāf bi’l-zinā. Most ulama do not accept al-Ghumārī’s argument. For one thing, another sound narration of the hadith from ʿUmar includes his saying, regarding a Qur’anic verse on stoning, that “We recited it, understood it and heeded it” (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī: kitāb al-muḥāribīn…, bāb rajm al-ḥublā min al-zinā idhā aḥṣanat). Although al-Ghumārī does not discuss this narration, he rejects as insufficient proof all the hadiths mentioning verses of the Qur’an being removed. See Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī, Fatḥ al-Bārī, ed. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Bin Bāz and Muḥammad Fu’ād ʿAbd al-Bāqī (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya, 1997), 12:168, 173-74. See also al-Albānī, Silsilat al-aḥādīth al-ṣaḥīḥa, #2913.

[12] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim: kitāb al-ḥudūd, bāb ḥadd al-khamr.

[13] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim: kitāb al-qasāma wa’l-muḥāribīn…, bāb ḥukm al-murtaddīn wa’l-muḥāribīn.

[14] Sunan of Abū Dāwūd: kitāb al-ḥudūd, bāb mā jā’a fī al-muḥāraba.

[15]  Jāmiʿ al-Tirmidhī: kitāb al-ṭahāra, bāb mā jā’a fī bawl mā yu’kalu laḥmuhu.

[16] Al-Qurṭubī, Jāmiʿ li-aḥkām al-Qur’ān, 3:509-11.

[17] Mālik, al-Muwaṭṭa’: kitāb al-ḥudūd, bāb mā jā’a fī al-rajm; bāb tark al-shafāʿa li’l-sāriq idhā balagha al-sulṭān.

[18] Musnad of Ibn Ḥanbal (Maymaniyya print), 4:133 (The hadith reads:”man taraka mālan fa-li-warathatihi wa man taraka daynan aw ḍayʿatan fa-ilayya wa anā walī man lā walī lahu afukku ʿanhu wa arithuhu mālahu wa’l-khāl wārith man lā wārith lahu yafukku ʿanhu wa yarithu mālahu); 4:131 (This narration adds aʿqilu ʿanhu); 6:47.

[19] Al-Shāfiʿī, Kitāb al-Umm (Beirut: Dār al-Maʿrifa, 1393/1973), 6:21; See also Muwaffaq al-Dīn Ibn Qudāma, al-Mughnī, ed. ʿAbdallāh al-Turkī and ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ al-Ḥulw, 12 vols. (Cairo: Hujr, 1986), 9:476, 10:9, 22; Muḥammad al-Sarakhsī, al-Mabsūṭ, 30 vols. in 15. (Beirut: Dār al-Maʿrifa, [1978]), 10:219; al-Buhūtī, al-Rawḍ al-murbiʿ, 461; Aḥmad al-Qudūrī, The Mukhtaṣar, trans. Ṭāhir Maḥmood Kiānī (London: Ta-Ha Publishers, 2010), 530-31.

[20] This is based on a hadith in which the Prophet ﷺ says that, “The pen has been lifted [from writing a person’s deeds] for three people: the person sleeping until they wake up, the person afflicted [with some madness] until they recover, and the youth until they grow up,” on the Prophet’s question to a man confessing to zinā, “Do you know what zinā is?” and on the practice of the caliph ʿUmar, who ruled that, “There is no hadd except on the one who knew it (lā ḥadd illā ʿalā man ʿalimahu)”; Sunan of Abū Dāwūd: kitāb al-ḥudūdbāb fī al-majnūn yasriqu aw yuṣību ḥaddanSunan of Abū Dāwūd: kitāb al-ḥudūdbāb rajm Māʿiz bin Mālikal-Bayhaqī, Sunan al-kubrā, 8:415. See also al-Qudūrī, Mukhtaṣar, 544.

[21] This hadith can be found in Jāmiʿ al-Tirmidhī (kitāb al-diyāt, bāb mā jā’a fī al-qiṣāṣ), with a similar version narrated by Abū Hurayra (Sunan Ibn Mājahkitāb al-ḥudūdbāb mā jā’a fī al-satr ʿalā al-mu’min wa dafʿ al-ḥudūd bi’l-shubuhāt) (weak according to all). Scholars like Tirmidhī and Bayhaqī consider the narrations attributing this to Aisha rather than the Prophet ﷺ to be more reliable; al-Bayhaqī, Sunan al-kubrā, 8:413. For other Companions making similar statements, see al-Bayhaqī, Sunan al-kubrā, 8:413-15. According to Ibn Ḥajar, the most reliable version is Umar’s saying, “For me to err in the hudud because of ambiguities is more preferable for me than to carry them out because of ambiguities.” See Shams al-Dīn al-Sakhāwī, al-Maqāṣid al-ḥasana, ed. Muḥammad ʿUthmān al-Khisht (Beirut: Dār al-Kitāb al-ʿArabī, 2004), 42.

[22] See Intisar Rabb, “Islamic Legal Maxims as Substantive Canons of Construction: Ḥudūd-Avoidance in Cases of Doubt,” Islamic Law and Society 17 (2010): 63-125.

[23] Qur’an 24:2, 4, and the Qur’an reiterates the need for four witnesses again in verse 2:15.

[24] aḥīḥ al-Bukhārī: kitāb al-muḥāribīn min ahl al-kufr wa’l-ridda, bāb lā yurjamu al-majnūn wa’l-majnūna, bāb hal yaqūlu al-imām li’l-muqirr laʿallaka lamasta aw ghamazta; Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim: kitāb al-ḥudūd, bāb ḥadd al-zinā, bāb man iʿtarafa ʿalā nafsihi bi’l-zinā.

[25] Sunan of Abū Dāwūd: kitāb al-ḥudūd, bāb rajm Māʿiz b. Mālik, bāb fī rajm al-yahūdiyayn.

[26] Ibn al-Amīr al-Ṣanʿānī, Subul al-salām, ed. Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Marʿashlī. 3rd ed, 4 vols. (Beirut: Dār Iḥyā’ a-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 2005), 4:9.

[27] ʿAbd al-Wahhāb al-Shaʿrānī, al-Mīzān al-kubrā, 2 vols. in 1 (Cairo: Maktabat Zahrān [no date]. Reprint of 1862 Cairo ed. from Maktabat al-Kastiliyya), 2:145.

[28] Sulaymān al-Bujayramī, Ḥāshiyat al-Bujayrimī ʿalā al-Minhāj (Cairo: Maṭbaʿat Muḥammad Shāhīn, 1380/1960), 345; Mullā ʿAlī al-Qāri’, Sharḥ Musnad Abī Ḥanīfa, ed. Khalīl Muḥyī al-Dīn al-Mīs (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya, n.d.), 487; Muḥyī al-Dīn al-Nawawī, al-Majmūʿ, ed. Muḥammad Najīb al-Muṭīʿī (Jedda: Maktabat al-Irshād, n.d.), 5:211.

[29] James Baldwin, “Prostitution, Islamic Law and Ottoman Societies,” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 55 (2012): 125.

[30] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī: kitāb al-ḥudūd, bāb qawl Allāh taʿālā wa’l-sāriqu wa’l-sāriqatu….

[31] Sunan of Abū Dāwūd: kitāb al-ḥudūd, bāb fī al-talqīn fī al-ḥudūd; Sunan al-Nasā’ī: kitāb qaṭʿ al-sāriq, bāb talqīn al-sāriq.

[32] Mullā Hüzrev, Durar al-ḥukkām sharḥ ghurar al-aḥkām, 2 vols. (Istanbul: Fazilat, n.d. Reprint of Amīriyya print, n.d.), 2:82.

[33] Al-Buhūtī, Rawḍ, 469; Sunan of Abū Dāwūd: kitāb al-ḥudūd, bāb man saraqa min ḥirz.

[34] Jāmiʿ al-Tirmidhī: kitāb al-ḥudūd, bāb mā jā’a fī al-khā’in wa’l-mukhtalis wa’l-muntahib.

[35] Rudolph Peters, Crime and Punishment in Islamic Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 54. The same was observed by the British in the application of the punishment for theft in India in the late 1700s. See Jörg Fisch, Cheap Lives and Dear Limbs: The British Transformation of the Bengal Criminal Law 1769-1817 (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner, 1983), 76.

[36] Al-Ṣanʿānī, Subul al-salām, 4:41; al-Buhūtī, Rawḍ, 467.

[37] Al-Bayhaqī, Sunan al-kubrā, 8:549

[38] Al-Buhūtī, Rawḍ, 467.

[39] Al-Qurṭubī, Jāmiʿ li-aḥkām al-Qur’ān, 3:515.

[40] Al-Khaṭīb al-Shirbīnī, Mughnī al-muḥtāj, 4:176; al-Shaʿrānī, Mīzān al-kubrā, 2:225.

[41] Al-Shaʿrānī, Mīzān al-kubrā, 2:227.

[42] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī: kitāb al-muḥāribīn min ahl al-kufr wa’l-ridda, bāb idhā aqarra bi’l-ḥadd…; ṢaḥīḥMuslim: kitāb al-tawba, bāb fī qawlihi taʿālā inna al-ḥasanāt tudhhibna al-sayyi’āt.

[43] Sunan of Abū Dāwūd: kitāb al-adab, bāb fī al-nahy ʿan al-tajassus.

[44] Sunan of Abū Dāwūd: kitāb al-adab, bāb fī al-nahy ʿan al-tajassus.

[45] Sunan of Abū Dāwūd: kitāb al-ḥudūd, bāb al-ʿafw fī al-ḥudūd mā lam tablugh al-sulṭan.

[46] Sunan of Abū Dāwūd: kitāb al-ḥudūd, bāb al-sāriq idhā yasriqu fī al-ghazw a-yuqṭaʿu.

[47] Lā yajūzu iqāmat al-ḥudūd maʿa iḥtimāl ʿadam al-fā’ida; Abū Bakr al-Kāsānī, Badā’iʿal-ṣanā’iʿ (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya, 2003), 9:248.

[48] Alexander Russell, A Natural History of Aleppo, 2 vols. (London: no publisher, 1794), 1:331.

[49] Edward Lane, Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians (New York: Cosimo, 2005), 112.

[50] Fariba Zarinebaf-Shahr, ‘Women in the Public Eye in Eighteenth-Century Istanbul,’302–304; Anne-Marie Cusac, Cruel and Unusual: The Culture of Punishment in America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009), 22.

[51] ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Badā’ūnī, Muntakhabu-t-Tawārīkh, trans. W.H. Lowe (Delhi: Renaissance Publishing, 1986), 3:146.

[52] See, for example, al-Suyūṭī complaining about a brothel that continued operating in Cairo; Al-Suyūṭī, al-Taḥadduth bi-niʿmat Allāh, ed. Elizabeth Sartain (Cairo: al-Maṭbaʿa al-ʿArabiyya al-Ḥadītha, 1972), 175.

[53] This scholar’s name was Saʿd Allāh Banī Isrā’īl; Badā’ūnī, Muntakhab, 3:88. For this point of prohibiting tajassus, see Sunan of Abū Dāwūd: kitāb al-adab, bāb fī al-nahy ʿan al-tajassusThe judge in question was ʿAlī b. Muḥammad al-Zarruwaylī (d. 1319 CE); Muḥammad b. Jaʿfar al-Kattānī, Salwat al-anfās wa muḥādathat al-akyās mimman uqbira min al-ʿulamā’ wa’l-sulaḥā’ bi-fās, ed. ʿAbdallāh al-Kāmil al-Kattānī et al., 3 vols. (Casablanca: Dār al-Thaqāfa, 2004), 3:180. 

[54] Ibn Baṭṭūṭa, The Travels of Ibn Battuta, ed. H.A.R. Gibb, 3 vols. (New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 2004), 2:219.

[55] Al-Badā’ūnī, Muntakhabu-t-Tawārīkh, 3:129-130.

[56] Muḥammad b. Aḥmad Ibn Iyās, Badā’iʿ al-zuhūr fī waqā’iʿ al-duhūr, ed. Muḥammad Muṣṭafā (Cairo: al-Hay’a al-Miṣriyya al-ʿĀmma li’l-Kutub, 1984), 4:340-45; Najm al-Dīn al-Ghazzī, al-Kawākib al-sā’ira bi-aʿyān al-mi’a al-ʿāshira, ed. Jibrā’īl Jabbūr, 3 vols. (Beirut: Dār al-Āfāq al-Jadīda, 1979), 1:102-5, 295.

[57] Al-Ghazzi, al-Kawākib al-sā’ira, 1:103.

[58] Al-Khaṣṣāf, Adab al-qāḍī, 349.

[59] Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-Shawkānī, “Rafʿ al-asāṭīn fī ḥukm al-ittiṣāl bi’l-salāṭīn,” in Majmūʿ fīhi sabaʿ rasā’il li’l-imām al-muḥaqqiq Muḥammad b. Ismāʿīl al-Amīr al-Ṣanʿānī, ed. Muḥammad al-Ṣaghīr Muqaṭṭirī (Beirut: Dār Ibn Ḥazm, 2004), 452-3.

[60] Andrew Lees, The City: A World History (London: Oxford University Press, 2015), 49.

[61] G. Edward White, American Legal History: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 74.

[62] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī: kitāb al-aḥkām, bāb al-ḥākim yaḥkumu bi’l-qatl ʿalā man wajaba ʿalayhi….

[63] Lawrence M. Friedman, A History of American Law, 2nd ed. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1985), 577.

[64] Wael Hallaq, Sharīʿa (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 163.

[65] I draw this equation from lecture notes from Professor Neal Katyal’s course on Criminal Law at Georgetown Law School, 9/11/15.

[66] E. P. Thompson, Whigs and Hunters: The Origin of the Black Act (New York: Pantheon Books, 1975), 270–77.

[67] Cusac, Cruel and Unusual, 28-29.

[68] J.S. Cockburn, A History of the English Assizes 1558-1714 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972), 128-133.

[69] J.J. Tobias, Crime and Industrial Society in the Nineteenth Century (New York: Schocken, 1967), 249-50.

[70] Norval Morris and David J. Rothman, eds., The Oxford History of the Prison (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), vii.

[71] John Langbein, “The Historical Origins of the Sanction of Imprisonment for Serious Crimes,” Journal of Legal Studies 5, no. 1 (1976): 36.

[72] Cusac, Cruel and Unusual, 21.

[73] John Langbein, “The Historical Origins of the Sanction of Imprisonment for Serious Crimes,” 51.

[74] Cusac, Cruel and Unusual, 36, 41-44.

[75] Cusac, Cruel and Unusual, 53-56.

[76] Radhika Singha, A Despotism of Law: Crime & Justice in Early Colonial India (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1998), 3, 9, 24, 52, 54-55.

[77] Peter Moskos, In Defense of Flogging (New York: Basic, 2011), 50.

[78] Moskos, In Defense of Flogging, 52, 56.

[79] Cusac, Cruel and Unusual, 13.

[80] Moskos, In Defense of Flogging, 74.

[81] Gunnar J. Weimann, “Nigeria,” in The [Oxford] Encyclopedia of Islam and Law. Oxford Islamic Studies Online. 05-Dec-2016. <http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t349/e0071&gt;.

[82] Hudud have been in place in Sudan since 1991. The main manifestations have been flogging for intoxication; Olaf A. Köndgen, “Sudan,” in The [Oxford] Encyclopedia of Islam and Law. Oxford Islamic Studies Online. 05-Dec-2016. <http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t349/e0079&gt;.

[83] In Iran, the amputation for theft is very rarely carried out, though in Imami Shiism it is only the fingertips that are cut off, not the hand. Stoning is not carried out; Hassan Rezaei, “Iran,” in The [Oxford] Encyclopedia of Islam and Law. Oxford Islamic Studies Online. 05-Dec-2016. <http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t349/e0056&gt;.

[84] ʿAbd al-Ḥalīm Maḥmūd, Fatāwā, 2 vols. (Cairo: Dār al-Shurūq, 2002), 2:434; Maḥmūd Shaltūt, al-Islām ʿaqīda wa sharīʿa, 14th ed. (Cairo: Dār al-Shurūq, 1987), 302-4.

[85] ʿAlī Jumʿa, al-Bayān li-mā yashghalu al-adhhān (Cairo: al-Muqaṭṭam, 2005), 71-2; see a 2013 interview with Yūsuf al-Qaraḍāwī and its transcript.

[86] Sunan of Abū Dāwūd: kitāb al-ḥudūd, bāb al-sāriq yasriqu fī al-ghazw a-yuqṭaʿu.

[87] ʿAbdallāh Bin Bayyah, Tanbīh al-marājiʿ ʿalā ta’ṣīl fiqh al-wāqiʿ (UAE: Muntadā Taʿzīz al-Silm fī al-mujtamaʿāt al-Muslima, 2014), 83-5.

[88] Shaltūt, Fatāwā, 45; Jumʿa, al-Bayān, 71; Bin Bayyah, Tanbīh, 83-4.

[89] Knut Vikør, Between God and the Sultan: A History of Islamic Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 266.

[90]  Frank Vogel, Islamic Law and Legal System (Leiden: Brill, 2000), 246-47; Vikør, 266.

Disclaimer: The views, opinions, findings, and conclusions expressed in these papers and articles are strictly those of the authors. Furthermore, Yaqeen does not endorse any of the personal views of the authors on any platform. Our team is diverse on all fronts, allowing for constant, enriching dialogue that helps us produce high-quality research.

 

Links and Related Essays
https://yaqeeninstitute.org/jonathan-brown/stoning-and-hand-cutting-understanding-the-hudud-and-the-shariah-in-islam/#ftnt_ref88

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/12/01/ahmadi-trolls-continue-to-harass-professor-johnathan-ac-brown/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/08/20/the-kashif-chaudhry-vs-professor-johnathan-brown-beef-continues/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/06/12/professor-johnathan-ac-brown-vs-qasim-rashid-june-2017/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/03/14/professor-johnathan-ac-brown-comments-on-ahmadiyya/

Ahmadi-trolls continue to harass Professor Johnathan AC Brown

Intro
Ahmadis hate all Muslims in America and around the world.  Its no secret.  Recently, they asked Professor Brown if Ahmadis were Muslim.  He gave the standard opinion per the consensus of Scholars, basically, telling Ahmadis that they are non-Muslim.  This has infuriated Ahmadis, they now hate Professor Brown and are trolling him.

Professor Brown’s recent statements on Ahmadiyya on his FB page, Nov–2017
“””So is social media just packed Ahmadis who think that if they convince ME they are Muslims somehow that’s going to mean something? I keep saying, “Guys, I’m not the problem. I don’t know of ANY Muslim scholar who says you’re Muslim. Even if I did say that, I’d get pilloried for breaking with consensus.” But they just keep badgering me about how etc etc etc. I say, “Please, I’m genuinely asking for this, please find me a fatwa from a scholar saying Qadiyanis are Muslims.” They never reply to that! They just badger me more!”””

The Kashif Chaudhry vs. Professor Johnathan brown beef continues

Intro
Ahmadis hate Muslims, since 1889.  They have been attacking all Muslims within their reach. Ahmadis are vicious animals and their mullahs have brainwashed them to be difficult and evil.
Furthermore, Ahmadis go around social media harrassing Muslims and making silly parallels.  

Just today….Kashif has went after Professor Johnathan AC Brown once again and his comments on Ahmadis and etc.  Please check out Professor Johnathan Browns post here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155668374789850&set=a.10151199848444850.479272.507354849&type=3&theater&comment_id=10155670042514850&notif_t=like&notif_id=1503193884302088

My previous essays on this topic
https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/12/professor-johnathan-ac-brown-vs-qasim-rashid-june-2017/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/professor-johnathan-ac-brown-comments-on-ahmadiyya/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/06/ahmadi-trolls-are-offended-by-me-and-my-blog/

Ahmadis lie about their Messiahs Takfir
So the issue here is that most Ahmadis have never studied the books of MGA properly, nor are they capable of critical thinking.  This is exactly the case with Kashif and his boyfriend, Qasim Rashid.  These people just keep yelling their Ahmadi arguments and never research ahmadiyya critically, further, they have no idea what MGA and his sons wrote on Takfir from 1906 to 1924.

See these essays also: 
https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/mirza-bashir-ahmad-did-takfir-on-all-muslims-and-lahori-ahmadis-1916/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/03/qasim-rashid-keeps-lying-about-his-messiahs-takfir/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/13/ahmadis-consider-all-muslims-as-terrorists-and-kafirs/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/05/mga-calls-all-muslims-as-mushriks-aka-kafirs-1907/

 

Professor Johnathan AC Brown vs. Qasim Rashid June–2017

Intro

Professor Johnathan AC Brown comments on his FB page vs. Qasim Rashid

Re: the Ahmadiyya question, I don’t generally talk about this because I’m not a specialist and there is a whole South Asian political history dimension that I’m not part of. But there are three points I feel comfortable making:

1) the Ahmadi tradition needs to be taken for what its representatives say TODAY, not what Mirza Ghulam Ahmad wrote or said a century ago. Every tradition has the right to redefine itself, so scriptural gotcha games are not useful. To clarify, what I mean is: for example, if Mirza Ghulam Ahmad said ‘Anyone who denies my prophecy is not a Muslim,’ but Ahmadis today say this is not what we believe, then their words should be definitive.

2) Ahmadi representatives have to stop throwing other Muslims under the bus and using tragedies to promote their narrow agenda. I first saw this after the San Bernardino shooting, when an Ahmadi representative came on CNN to say that this sort of thing would not happen if more Muslims would only embrace [insert name of current Ahmadi caliph, I forgot]. I almost choked on my comfort chips, and even the anchor wasn’t having any of it.

3) Ahmadi representatives need to stop using current geo-political crises like ISIS and terrorism to try to bully Sunni and Shiah leaders into accepting Ahmadis within the fold of Islam. Whether or not Ahmadis are Muslims is a real discussion of theology and identity that needs to take place with integrity, not as part of a PR ploy. Ahmadi representatives have to stop invoking grossly inaccurate and damaging bullying tactics like saying that Sunni extremism is the cause of Islamophobia (ala Kashif Chaudhry) or that saying Ahmadis aren’t Muslims is terrorism (ala Qasim Rashid).

Just my three cents.

The scans

Links and Related Essays
https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/12/01/ahmadi-trolls-continue-to-harass-professor-johnathan-ac-brown/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/08/20/the-kashif-chaudhry-vs-professor-johnathan-brown-beef-continues/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/mirza-bashir-ahmad-did-takfir-on-all-muslims-and-lahori-ahmadis-1916/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/03/qasim-rashid-keeps-lying-about-his-messiahs-takfir/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/13/ahmadis-consider-all-muslims-as-terrorists-and-kafirs/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/05/mga-calls-all-muslims-as-mushriks-aka-kafirs-1907/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/03/14/professor-johnathan-ac-brown-comments-on-ahmadiyya/

Professor Johnathan AC Brown comments on Ahmadiyya

Intro
Professor Johnathan AC Brown is an amazing young muslim.  I appreciate his scholarly aptitude and have learned soooo much from his lectures.

He was recently recorded and prompted by Ahmadiyya press to comment on the Ahmadiyya Movement.  The video is posted in the below.

1.  He basically says that they have the right to be Muslim.  And he understands that they differ in terms of prophethood with the mainstream.

2.  However, not many people have researched Ahmadiyya as deep as me.  Hence, they don’t know the exact picture.  Ahmadis differ with Sunnis/Shias on almost every single subject inside Islam.

3.  Professor Brown doesn’t know how Ahmadiyya leadership purposely got themselves declared non-Muslim in 1974.  Nor does he know that MGA never led Salaat nor did he ever lead a Khutbah Juma.  

In conclusion
I love Professor Johnathan AC Brown and his comments were on point.

The video

Out of fear from Ahmadi’s and MGA’s fake prophecies, Batalvi registered to buy a gun (1898-1899), but was denied

Intro
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was really close friends with Batalvi going back to his childhood days, in fact, they even shared some of the same teachers.  However, MGA began praying for people to die as early as 1880, nevertheless, by 1884 he was at odds with the ulema of India in terms of his claim of getting divine revelation.  By 1889, MGA had turned on Muslims as he claimed that Esa (As) was dead and never returning and indicating that he (MGA) was an Esa (as) and others could also come.  By 1893, he was telling the world that Lekh Ram would die violently, he was thus murdered in Lahore and was still alive until he got to the Mayo Hospital in Lahore and the Ahmadi doctor who just so happened to be on duty let him die (March 6th,1897).  Athim was also given many death threats and eventually died of old age, which MGA argued fulfilled his prophecy.  MGA beat the case, the same way he beat all of his cases, with the help of the British government.  Kashful Ghita was published by the Ahmadiyya jamaat in 1898 in english.  In this book MGA denied that he was publishing a death prophecy, he fell back and said it was just a prayer.  Furthermore, he denied ever having a dream/ilham which indicated the end of the British Government within 8 years, however, by 1929, many Ahmadi’s came forward and admitted that MGA did in-fact have this dream/ilham, thus proving that MGA lied in his book.  The British courts dropped the case vs. MGA and forced him and Batlalvi to sign a 6 clause declaration, wherein both of them agreed to stop insulting each other in the press and to stop doing death prophecies aka Mubahila’s.  Thus, the British government ordered MGA to stop his silly death prophecies again.  This was because of the help that MGA’s father gave the British in 1857, hence, MGA was above the law in British India. Even when MGA was totally guilty of breaking the law, the Brits pardoned him.  MGA had some insults written about Batalvi in his newspaper also (the al-Hakam, however, in court MGA denied any connections to that newspaper).  Batalvi never engaged MGA ever again.

Oct-November of 1898
Some Muslims of India ask Batalvi to officially engage MGA in a Mubahila (see Dard page, 604–608).  On November 10th, 1898, Muhammad Baksh of Lahore (manager of the Ja‘far Zatalli, Tajul Hind Press), along with a colleague of his, Abul Hasan Tibbati, published a reply to the Ahmadi’s of Patiala, Simla, Allahabad, Batala, Amritsar, Lahore, Bhera, Sialkot and to MGA.

October 1898
MGA’s house is raided and searched by Inspector Rana Jalal-ud-Din Khan, who had arrived in
Qadian under the command of the Superintendent of Police and surrounded MGA’s house. The Superintendent and the Inspector then climbed up to the roof of the mosque much to the consternation of Maulana Abdul Karim Sialkoti who was present on the roof and witnessed
this police action (see Mujadid e Azim, abridged english version).

MGA responds to the question of Mubahila with Batalvi
November 21st, 1898

“”””If I am, really a liar and an impostor as Muhammad Husain and his friends declare me
to be, then let me be disgraced. But if it is not so, O God, then bring disgrace upon them as
they have tried to bring disgrace upon me. Let them be disgraced within the next 13 months—
December 15th, 1898, to January 15th, 1900.””” (see Dard, page 605)Dard claims that MGA published an announcement, however, we haven’t found it as of yet.

MGA’s death prophecy vs. Batalvi is now official
MGA and Ahmadi’s were now praying that some disgrace happen to Batlavi in the in next 13 months.  This was against the order that MGA had just signed with the British government, Via Judge Captain Douglas wherein he promised to stop making “death prophecies” and “disgrace predictions”.

November 30th, 1898
On November 30th, 1898, MGA issued another leaflet in which he instructed his followers to observe patience under every kind of provocation. They should purify their hearts and stick to their ways of humility, meekness and love. They should persevere in prayer and wait for the judgement of God promised in his leaflet dated November 21st, 1898.

Breach of peace by MGA on December 1st, 1898?
There was an apprehension of a breach of the peace and that therefore MGA and Maulawi Muhammad Husain should both be bound over to keep the peace under section 107, Cr. P. C. Muhammad Husain, he said, had bought a sharp dagger made at Bhera which he showed as his weapon of self-defense. The Gurdaspur police endorsed the report and confirmed the allegation that MGA was violating the order of Capt. Douglas which prohibited him from making such prophecies.

Dec 5th,1898
On December 5, 1898, Batalvi applied for an arms licence for a pistol on the plea that his life was in danger on account of the prophecy made by MGA, Batalvi argued that MGA was getting his death prophecies fulfilled by his fanatical followers, thus Batalvi’s life was in danger. The case was fixed for hearing against MGA on January 9, 1899.

MGA gets an official notice to appear in court on Jan 9th, 1899
MGA came to know about the case instituted against him between December 10 and 15, 1898 and this book was published on December 27, 1898, in which he assured the Government and acquainted them with the peaceful principles of his Jama‘at. In this book, he also drew the attention of the authorities to the abuse and vituperation to which he was being subjected by
Maulavi Muhammad Hussain Batalvi and his friends. In the defense statement filed with the District Magistrate of Gurdaspur on January 27, 1899 (see Hidden Treasures).

The Kashful-Ghita was thus published
Dard tells us that MGA and his team wrote as follows:

“”””To recapitulate, five charges have been brought against me in this case: (1) that I habitually make prophecies of death or injury to others, (2) that I have disregarded the terms of the notice signed by me in Dr. Clark’s case by publishing a prophecy on November 21, 1898, (3) that I pre-arrange the fulfilment of my prophecies or make secret attempts to fulfil them afterwards, (4) that my writings are harsh and provocative, and (5) that my prophecy of November 21, 1898, is likely to cause a breach of peace.

My reply to them is:

(1) that no such prophecy was ever been published without the consent of the person about whom it was made and that it is only after much persistence on his part that such a course had been adopted,

(2) that the notice in question contains no prohibition against making a prophecy,

(3) that this was only a suspicion, not having the slightest evidence in support of it, and that the good conduct of my followers, the high moral tone of my teachings and the absence of any such assertion on the part of those about whom the prophecies were made, are strong proofs to reject such a supposition completely,

(4) that my writings are not provocative in the least, and this becomes clear on comparison of the
writing of the two parties, and

(5) that the prophecy had been made and fulfilled without causing any breach of peace.”””” (Life of Ahmad by A.R. Dard, online edition of 2008, pp. 633-634).

However, MGA lied about his 8-year prophecy of demise about the British Government
In roughly 1895, MGA saw a dream that he interpreted to mean that the demise of the British government would happen in 8 years.

Jan 9th, 1899 at Gurdaspur
MGA reached the court compound at about 10 o’clock, and waited till noon. The lawyer engaged by Maulawi Muhammad Husain could not come that day and at his telegraphic request the hearing was postponed by Mr. J. M. Dowie to January 11th, 1899.  The attitude of the magistrate (Dowie) appeared to be stiff. In a note he asked the parties to show cause why they should not both be bound over for a period of 12 months and also furnish security of Rs. 1,000 each (see Dard).

Jan 11th, 1899 at Gurdaspur
The hearing began on the 11th at Gurdaspur. MGA was represented by Mr. W. Browne, Sh. Fadl
Din, Sh. Ali Ahmad and Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din. Mr. Browne admitted that his client had issued the following: Ishtihar dated 1.11.1898 (b) Ishtihar dated 3.1.1899 (c) Ishtihar dated 6.1.1899 (d) Kashful Ghita (e) Ishtihar dated 7.1.1899. Maulawi Muhammad Husain admitted in court that he had published in his paper.

Batalvi’s comments in terms of MGA were discussed
1—-“”””That the Qadiani is a Dajjal of this time, a second Musailma, perfidious, deceiver, cheat,
liar and impostor, and that he is the enemy of the faith of Islam and all other heavenly faiths.””” (Vol. 16, No. 1, p. 6.).

2—“””Had we been under Muslim rule, we would have given you (Ahmadas) a proper reply. We
would have at once cut off your head with a sword and made you a dead body”””. (Vol. 18, No. 3, p. 95).

3—“””Otherwise He would send down the severest punishment upon you and drive you to
destruction””” (Vol. 15, No. 1, p. 15. See also Vol. 18, No. 7, p. 215).

4—-“””‘If you are a man and have any courage, then prove both your claims in an assembly of
learned men—you will not come into the field—I challenge you to a Mubahala. Come out into the field of Mubahala and take an oath”””. (Vol. 14, No. 12 p. 338).

5—-“””Have pity on the creatures of God and give up stratagems. Either accept Islam—or prove by means of a controversy or a Mubahala that these articles of faith which you profess do not
lead to Kufr.”””” (Vol. 18, No. 3, p. 77 See also Vol. 17, No, 12, p. 384; Vol. 18, No. 4, p. 132).

6—-“”””Having expressed many a time my readiness to have a Mubahala with him, I prevented his having recourse to a challenge for Mubahila. I showed the mischief contained in the conditions added by him to a Mubahila—when these machinations of his were broken and he was left helpless he devised another plan which he published in his Ishtihar of May 19th, 1897,
viz. both parties should pray to God without coming into the presence of each other. This
showed clearly that he was unable to have a Mubahila with me in my presence, and that
therefore no one should go to him in Qadian. I accepted this method also.””” (Vol. 18, No. 7, p.
197).

MGA’s comments in court at Gurdaspur
MGA stated in court that the prophecies about the Rev. Abdullah Athim and Pt. Lekhram had been made at their written request and with their consent.

Muhammad Bakhsh, who was a prosecution witness at Gurdaspur
He stated that he had been at Batala from 1893. In his opinion there was real danger to Muhammad Husain from MGA. Sayyid Bashir Husain, Police Inspector, also appeared in court and deposed that there was real danger to peace and that there had been strong suspicion against MGA in the matter of the murder of Pt. Lekhram. There was no suspicion against Muhammad Husain. The houses of MGA’s enemies were also searched when Pt. Lekhram was
murdered (See Dard).

January 13th, 1899 at Gurdaspur
MGA presented over 50+ witnesses to the court, however, the court complained that these were too many.

January 17th, 1899 at Gurdaspur
After asking MGA to reduce his amount of witnesses a second time.  The case continued.

January 27th, 1899 at Dhariwal

MGA presented the court with a 20-page letter in english (See Dard, 614-634).  MGA defended himself against all allegations.  Nevertheless, the case was extended.

Feb 3rd, 1899
MGA is sent a letter from the British courts that he might be forced to pay 1000 rupees as guarantee that he would keep the peace and thus not cause a “breach of peace”, which was against the law.

February 14th, 1899
MGA and his team wrote another letter begging to not have to pay the 1000 rupees and full of flattery.  (See Dard, pages 635-638).

February 24th, 1899
The Judge makes a final decision on the case, he forces MGA and Batalvi to sign a 6-clause declaration, wherein they will not be able to insult each other or make prophecies about each other (see Dard).  The case ends with this declaration.

The 6-clause declaration
(1) I will abstain from publishing any prophecy which implies or might reasonably be
considered to imply that any person will suffer disgrace or be an object of the Divine displeasure.

(2) I will abstain from publishing any appeal to God requesting that He will, by disgracing any person or by granting a sign that any person is an object of the Divine displeasure, show who is right and who wrong in any matter of religious controversy.

(3) I will abstain from publishing as an inspired message any statement which implies
or might reasonably be held to imply that any person will be disgraced or is an object of the
Divine displeasure.

(4) I will abstain from employing in any controversy with Mirza Ghulam Ahmad or any
friend or follower of his any abusive epithet or injurious expression and from publishing any
writing or picture which might cause him pain. I promise not to use with reference to him or
any friend or follower of his such expressions as Dajjal, Kafir, Liar, Kadiani. (note: Kadiani
spelt with a means cheat. J. M. Dowie). I will publish nothing with refererce to his
private life and family relations which might reasonably cause him pain.

(5) I will abstain from challenging Mirza Ghulam Ahmad or any friend or follower of his
to resort to any appeal to God (Mubahala) for the purpose of showing who is right and who wrong in any controversy. I will not challenge him or any friend or follower of his to make
any prophecy with reference to any person.

(6) I will to the utmost of my power induce any persons over whom I have influence to act
on their part in the manner in which I have promised to act in clauses 1,2,3,4,5′.

A six clause declaration?

A reference to this case in Seeratul Mahdi

“””This case registered against him for maintenance of Public Law keeping Arms and Ammunition under section 107 of criminal procedure code. The court of Mr dowie Deputy Commissioner Gurdaspur exonerated hazrat sb being bailable offence on 24 february 1899. The case was filed on the application of Molana Muhammad Hussain Batalvi and on the report of in-charge Police station Batala on 1st December 1898. Detail published in Al-Hakam March 1899.”””

Links and Related Essays

https://www.alislam.org/library/books/A-Hidden-Truth.pdf

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/12/30/mirza-ghulam-ahmad-lies-about-his-relationship-with-his-newspaper-al-hakam/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/12/25/in-the-early-1890s-mirza-ghulam-ahmad-claimed-that-the-british-governments-control-of-india-would-end-in-8-years/

http://www.aaiil.org/text/books/mga/kashfulghita/kashfulghitaenglish.pdf

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/12/26/the-mirza-family-was-above-the-law-in-british-india/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/10/18/mirza-ghulam-ahmad-sent-abdul-hameed-to-murder-dr-clark-after-lekh-ram-was-murdered/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/10/18/when-athim-didnt-die-in-15-months-mirza-ghulam-ahmad-and-company-made-excuses/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/12/17/lekh-rams-murder-the-details-aryasamaj-lekhram/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/12/26/did-mirza-ghulam-ahmad-claim-to-be-the-messiah-in-1889/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/12/28/a-discourse-with-the-imaginary-messiah-mirza-of-qadiyan-1889-ishaat-us-sunnah-khayali-masih-mirza-qadiyani-se-guft-o-gu/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/12/09/mirza-ghulam-ahmad-was-considered-a-kafir-in-1884-before-his-wild-claims/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/03/31/batalvi-sent-some-of-his-children-to-qadian-for-schooling/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/12/25/mirza-ghulam-ahmad-vs-molana-muhammad-hussain-batalvi-and-muslims-leaders-in-british-india-in-august-of-1891/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/05/30/nikama-nabi-or-the-useless-prophet-by-babu-ghulam-mustafa-sb-son-of-muhammad-hussain-batalvi/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/12/01/mirza-ghulam-ahmad-vs-batalvi-1891-1892-era-mga-sent-10-lanats-on-batalvi/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/03/19/mirza-ghulam-ahmad-had-5-written-debates-no-oral-debates/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/10/15/mirza-ghulam-ahmads-debate-with-batalvi-summer-of-1891-was-stopped-by-the-british-govt-on-mgas-behalf/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/08/30/batalvi-ka-anjam-by-mir-qasim-ali-1931/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/11/24/batalvi-calls-mga-a-drunkard/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/12/10/the-fatwa-e-kufr-vs-mirza-ghulam-ahmad-1891/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/02/17/mirza-ghulam-ahmad-quoted-and-commented-on-178-in-1884-in-the-braheen-e-ahmadiyya-vol-4-he-then-connected-178-with-the-return-of-the-messiah/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/02/03/in-1884-before-his-wildest-claims-mga-defined-inni-mutawafeeka-wa-raffa-as-i-shall-give-you-full-reward-and-shall-raise-you-towards-me/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/12/09/mirza-ghulam-ahmad-was-accused-of-claiming-prophethood-in-the-1879-1884-era/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/12/09/muhammad-hussain-batalvi-gave-mirza-ghulam-ahmad-a-glowing-review-in-1884/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/06/17/nooruddin-urged-mirza-ghulam-ahmad-to-make-the-claim-of-being-like-the-messiah-1882-1884-era/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/12/25/mirza-ghulam-ahmad-vs-molana-muhammad-hussain-batalvi-and-muslims-leaders-in-british-india-in-august-of-1891/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/07/16/the-queen-of-the-princely-state-of-bhopal-invested-heavily-1878-into-mirza-ghulam-ahmad-and-his-braheen-they-were-disappointed-by-the-product/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/01/11/mirza-ghulam-ahmads-court-cases/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/12/25/mirza-ghulam-ahmad-claimed-that-the-rule-british-government-in-india-will-end-in-8-years/

Tags
#ahmadiyya #ahmadiyyatrueislam #ahmadiapartheid #Ahmadiyyat #rabwah #qadian #meetthekhalifa #muslimsforpeace #ahmadiyyafactcheckblog #nolifewithoutkhalifa #AhmadiMosqueattack #AhmadiyyaPersecution #Mosqueattack #trueislam #atifmian

 

GRISWOLD, H.D. – “Mirza Ghulam Ahmad: The Mehdi Messiah of Qadian.” Lodiana, India, American Tract Society. 1902.

Intro
Dr. Griswold wrote extensively about Ahmadiyya, he even confirmed that it was called Qadianat.  He wrote in 1902, 1905 and 1911 about Ahmadiyya.  Walter then followed with his work on Ahmadiyya wherein he heavily referenced Griswold.

The Full Book
http://files.qern.org/qarchives/misc/griswoldopt.pdf

Griswold, The Mehdi Messiah of Qadian (1902)

The full text

Much of this article relates to the apocryphal Ahmadiyya claim that Christ did not die on the cross but came to Kashmir and died in Srinagar. The collection of Griswold Papers at Cornell University does not include this article and it is not mentioned in the catalogues of the American Bible Society, British Library, Library of Congress, New York Public Library or OCLC. It is mentioned in the “Ahmadiya Bibliography” in H.A. Walter’s The Ahmadiya Movement (Calcutta: Association Press/Oxford University Press, 1918). Walters indicates that Griswold was personally acquainted with Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and cites quotations from conversations with Ahmad at Qadian. He notes in the Preface that Dr. Griswold, who was Secretary of the Council of American Presbyterian Missions in India, and Rev. Thakur Dass, had in their pamphlets answered from the Christian viewpoint the claim of Mirza Ghulam Ahmadto be the “Promised Messiah” who has come “in the spirit and power” of Christ.

review by James Hurley, New Jersey, USA

Title

MIRZA GHULAM AHMAD
The Mahdi Messiah of Qadian,

by
H. D. Griswold.

The American Tract Society

Lodiana, 1902

In the Village Of Qadian, [Gurdaspur] District, [Punjab], there lives an old man about Sixty four years of age, venerable in appearance, Magnetic in personality, and active in intellect. This is the Mirza Ghulam Ahmed, Chief of the village of Qadian, and hence popularly known as the “Qadiani” founder of the Ahmadiyah Sect: a new Sect in Islam named after himself. His family is of Moghal descent, having emigrated from Samarkand, Turkistan, in the reign of Babar. Following the example of his father [Mirza Ghulam Murtaza] Khan, who was an hakim or Yunani Physician, he himself professes to be expert in medicine, (witness his [plague pamphlets]). He claims to be enthusiastically loyal to the British Government, and he cites as proof of the loyalty of his family the services rendered to Government by his father and elder brother(or Cousin) during the mutiny of 1857, on account of which the letter (sic) received honourable mention in Sir Lepel Griffin’s book, “The Punjab Chiefs“(Vol II.PP.49—50, new edition by Massy). Religious enthusiasm, if not ambition, seems to run in the family. Mirza Imam-ud-Din1 a first cousin of Mirza Ghulam Ahmed, became the Guru of the chuhra or sweeper community and claims to be the successor of Lal Beg. In like manner, Mirza Ghulam Ahmed himself glories in being the founder of a new Sect, end claims to be the present day successor and representative of Jesus Christ. So much for the man. We now cone to his claims.

The Mirza Sahib claims to be at once the promised Mahdi and the promised Messiah. This is against the ordinary Mohammedan belief that these will be not one person, but two seperate (sic) persons. That is, the Mahdi will be a descendant of Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad and mother of Hussain, and the Messiah will be the Lord Jesus Christ at his second coming. Both the Mahdi and the Messiah will be men of blood, who together will fight against the Kafirs until they are over come. Such is the orthodox view. From this description of the premised Mahdi one might conclude a priori that many Soi disant Mahdis would be likely to appear in the course of the history of Islam, and, as a matter of fact, several have appeared, the Sudanese Mahdi being the most notable.

He and his successor were wild fanatics, who wought to fulfil to the letter the expectation of a bloody-witness the fanatical heroism of the letter on the field of Omdurman. But so far as I am aware, among Mohammedans, with the exception of [Biha Ullah] the successor of the Ban (sic) and one or two mad man, the mirza sahib alone has had the boldness to claim to be the promised Messiah. Through his claim to be at once the promised Mahdi and the promised Messiah the Mirza Sahib desires, it would seem, to focus all the Messianic expectations of Islam upon his own person. Thus in two respects the Qadiani doctrine of the Mahdi is heretical as tried by the standard of Muslim orthodoxy. First, the promised Mahdi and the promised Messiah are to be one person – not two – and that person has already come and lives at Qadian. Secondly, the Mahdi is to be a man of peace, not a man of blood, The Lord Jesus Christ was a man of peace, and so the Mirza Sahib – in his assumed character as the “[Masil-i-Masih]” or the analogue and representative of Christ for this generation, must also be a man of peace. Of the two ideas, the idea of the Messiah and the idea of the Mahdi, the former is determinative and the later subordinate and so when they are fused together and applied to one person, the idea of the [Mahdi] will add nothing to the idea of the Messiah, except, perhaps to emphasize the notion of spirtual warfare. This then is the theory which underlies the Mirza Sahib’s polemic against the doctrines of a bloody Mahdi and the kindred doctrine of Jihad. As he says: “To believe in me as the promised Messiah and Mehdi is to disbelieve in the popular doctrine of jihad” (Memorial to Sir William Mackworth Young, March 5th,1898).

But the Mirze 5ahib’s most important claim is that he is The Promised Messiah. By this he does not mean that he is the very person of Jesus Christ reincarnsted in India, for he does not accept the doctrine of Transmigration. His meaning simply this that just as, according to the interpretation of Jesus, John the Baptist was the Elijah which was to come (Matt: XI 14.), because he came “in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Luke i, 17), so he, the Mirza Sahib, is the Messiah which is to come, because he was come in the “spirit and power” of Christ. The grounds of his claim to be the promised Messiah may be summarised under three heads, namely Critical, prophetic and historical.

Critical Ground

First, then, the critical ground. Briefly stated, it is this that on the basis of all the evidences available, the Mirza Sahib concludes that Jesus Christ did not die on the cross. His reasons for this conclusion are as follows:-

  1. Certain, inferences based upon the Gospel narratives, to the effect that Jesus when He was removed from the Cross was not really dead, but only unconscious through loss of blood and the pain of the wounds in his hands, feet and side. He remained on the cross only a few hours, and his legs were not broken. Moreover, the women who came to anoint His body were asked: “why seek ye the living among the died?” (Luke xxic.5) And finally the Post Crucifixion appearances of Jesus to his disciples were those of the body of a living man and not of a disembodied spirit; Since He ate and drank with His disciples and allowed them to touch him. In short, this is a revival of the “Swoon theory”.
  2. The Marham-i-Isa or “ointment of Jesus” otherwise called the “ointment of the disciples” is refered to as “the first” clue to this all important discovery.” According to the Mirza Sahib, this ointment is spoken of by Jewish, Christian, Parsee, and Muhammaden physicians alike, and over a thousand books on medicine contain a description of it” ([Kashful Ghita] P. 25). The Mirza Sahib’s theory is that after three days Jesus recovered from the swoon and that than the disciples applied this wonderful ointment to his wounds with such success that within the space of forty days He was entirely healed and ready for foreign travel. It is unnecessary to say that we have here the “fraud theory” of the resurrection, the disciples of Jesus being represented as acquainted with the facts and yet solemnly declaring that Jesus rose from the died.
  3. The Mirza Sahib refers to the Russian traveller, Jesus Died in Kashmir‘s “[Unknown Life of Christ]” in proof of this his thesis that Jesus actually visited India after his escape from the Cross. That is, the forty days which, according to the New Testament narrative, are followed by the Ascension, are, according to the assertion of the Mirza Sahib, followed by Jesus’ separation from His disciples, in order to visit India,Tibet, and Cashmere. It is nudless (sic) to say that the “[Unknown Life of Christ]” ie accepted as anthentic by no competent scholar. But even granting for the sake of argument it is authenticity, it contradicts the conclusion of the Mirza Sahib in two important particulars: (a) It makes Christ visit India not after his crucifixion, but in the interval of sixteen or seventeen years between his visit to Jerusalem at the age of twelve and His public appearance at the age of thirty; and (b) it asserts in unequivocal language the actual death of Jesus Christ on the Gross.(pp.l33,195).
  4. The Mirza Sahib claims that there is archaeological evidence that Jesus visited India and died in Cashmere at the advance age of 120. The tomb of a certain Yus-ASAF is situated in Khan Yar Street, Srinagar. It is asserted that the keepers of this tomb regard it as the tomb of a Shahzada-Nabi or Prince-Prophet. But Muhammad was the last of the Prophets. Therefore it must have been one of the Hebrew Prophets. Whose tomb could it be but that of Jesus? Besides, the first part of the name Yus-Asaf is clearly a corruption of Yasu(1) or Jesus, and Asaf (from Hebrew asaf together) means gatherer. Hence according to the Qadiani interpretation Yus Asaf means Jesus the Gatherer of the lost sheep (i.e., the ten lost tribes) of the house of Israel.
  5. The Mirza Sahib cites the testimony of the apacryphet (sic) Gospel of Barnabas, which he regards as genuine, in support of his contention that Christ died did not die on the cross.
  6. In “A Prospectus of the Review of Religions” the Mirza Sahib writes: “The spiritual death of Christianity is important evidence of the death of its founder; for if Jesus is living, why does not his influence work?”
  7. Jesus’ interpretation of “the Sign of Jonah the prophet” is regarded by the Mirza Sahib as a confirmation of the same view. Jesus said: “As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the fish; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matt xii.40). But, says the prophet of Qadian, Jonah entered the belly of the fish alive, remained there alive, and came out alive. So must Jesus have entered the tomb alive, remained there alive, and come out alive, in order to make the analogy complete.

It will be observed that the Mirza Sahib’s theory of the death of Christ may be summed up in two theses: (a) Negatively, Jesus did not die on the cross in Jerusalem; and (b) positively, he did die in Srinagar, Cashmere. For the first thesis the proof is found

  1. In certain inferences from the Gospel narratives which contradict their uniform tenor,
  2. In the testimony of the spurious Gospel of Barnabas
  3. In the unfounded statements concerning the MARHAM-i-ISA and
  4. in the asserted spiritual death of Christianity.

In like manner, the second thesis depends for its proof upon the unauthenticated testimony of a Russian adventure, together with the imaginary archaelogy of a poor little tomb in Srinagar, clearly that of a Muhammaden Pir (SAINT).

From all this, it is manifest that the Mirza Sahib is at once very clever at the manipulation and manufacture of evidence and very ignorant of the principles which govern historical research and determine the comparative value of historical sources. The adventure of the Mirza Sahib in the field of literary and historical criticism can not be pronounced a success. But the Qadiani Savant demonstrates, to his own satisfaction at least, that Jesus did not die on the cross at Jerusalem, but died in Cashmere. This theory of the death of Christ is given great emphasis, because in the view of the Mirza Sahib it is absolutely fundamental to his claim to be the promised Messiah. In a verbatim report of a discussion between the Mirza Sahib and the Delhi Maulvis, which took place Oct 5,1891, the Mirza Sahib says: “If Christ was in reality exalted in body form alive to heaven, then there is no need of further controversy, and my claim to be the promised Messiah is in vain. The reason is that my claim is based upon the natural death(Wafat) of the Son of Mary.” That is, if the Christian belief that Jesus Christ died on the cross, rose again the third day, and ascended into Heaven, be true, then the predicted second coming of Jesus Christ will be the second coming of “this same Jesus” (Acts I.11) and not of one who comes merely in His “spirit and power.” Hence the Mirza Sahib tries to break down the Christian belief that Jesus passed by the way of death and resurrection into the glory of His Father, and also the Muhammadan belief that Jesus Christ without death was “taken up” to God. His conclusion is that “Christ died like ordinary mortals” ([Kashful Ghita], P.l3) and the consequences which he would draw from this conclusion areas are as follows:-

(A) Negatively,(1) the over throw of the doctrine of Christ’s sacrificial death, resurrection, ascension and second coming as accepted by Christians and (2) the overthrow of the belief that Christ was “taken up” to God and will come again to the help of the Mahdi as accepted by Muhammadans; and (B) positively, the leaving of the way open for the coming of one who will come in “the spirit and power” of Christ, yea who has already come in the person of the Moghul Messiah, Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian.

So much for the first ground of the Mirza Sahib’s claim to be the promised Messiah, namely his Critical theory of the death of Christ. We now come to the second or prophetic basis of his claim.

Prophetic Ground

In the first number of “[The Review of Religions]”(Jan 1902,P.1) it is formulated thus: “Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, whom God has chosen to be his Messiah, has come in fulfilment of the prophecies given to Jews, Christians and Muhammadans.” First, then, as to the alleged Jewish prophecies concerning the Mirza Sahib and his Mission. It is chiefly by resorting to typology that the Mirza Sahib finds in the old testament material suited to his purpose. He has a doctrine of “Parallelism”, which l heard from his own lips at Qadian. Briefly stated it is this:- There are two tribes of fundamental importance in divine revelation namely, the children of Israel and the children of Ishmael.

The great prophet of the former were Moses and Christ. Christ was the final prophet of the Jews, the last brick in their national and religious structure. Their rejectiono f Christ involved their own rejection and the loss of their nationality. Then came the turn of the children of the children of Ishmael. According to Deut:XVIII.18, a prophet was raised ‘Like Unto’ Moses from among the ‘brethren’ of the Israelites in the person of the great law-giver “Muhammad” (Rev of Rel. May 1902 P. 206). Muhammad therefore was the first Ishmaelitish prophet, as it were the Moses of Islam. But Moses and Christ were separated by an interval of twelve or fourteen centuries. Hence, in order to preserve the parallelism, another prophet must arise twelve or fourteen centuries after Muhammad, who will be, as it were, the Christ of Islam. Who can this be but Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian? The relation between these great prophets may be set forth in the form of a proportion. Thus, as Moses is to Christ, so Muhammad is to Ghulam Ahmad; or again, as Muhammad is to Moses, so the Mirza Sahib is to Jesus Christ. In a word, as Moses is a type of Muhammad, so Jesus of Nazareth is a type of Ahmad of Qadian.

But the Mirza Sahib, on the basis of Jewish prophecy, claims to be not only the Messiah of Islam, but also the Second Adam. Here, too, a theory of parallelism or resemblance is determinative. At the close of the sixth day, God created the first Adam. But one day is with the Lord as a thousand years. Therefore at the lose of sixth millennium or the beginning of the seventh, the second Adam is to appear. But we are now at the beginning of the seventh millennium, if we reckon according to the Lunar year, which his the inspired mode of reckoning; and so the time is fulfilled for the Second Adam to be manifested. Where is the second Adam to appear? “In the East and not in the West,” says the Mirza Sahib, “for from Gen.ii.8, we learn, that God had put the first Adam in a garden eastward. It is therefore necessary that the Second Adam should appear in the East, in order to have a resemblance with the first in respect of his locality” (Rev. of Rel. Jan. 1902, P. 15). It may not be out of place to remark here, for the benefit of those who practice an extremely literalistic interpretation of the chronological and geographical details of Scripture, that people like the Qadiani Sahib can use the same methods.

We now come to the alleged Christian prophecies concerning the Mirza Sahib, i.e., those found in the New Testament. It is absolutely essential to the Mirza Sahib’s position to show that by the second coming of Christ is meant, not a personal coming of the same Jesus who suffered on the Cross, but only the advent of one coming in His “Spirit and power.” This he attempts to prove in two ways, (1) through a comparison between Ellijah and Jesus, and (2) through his theory of the death of Christ. As regards the first point, the Mirza Sahib refers (Tauzih-i-Maram, pp.1-4) to the fact that in the Bible only two persons are said to have gone to Heaven alive and to be expected tus to return, namely Elijah and Jesus. But according to the interpretation of Jesus, the second coming of Elijah (Mal. iv.5) was fulfilled in the coming of another person in his “spirit and power”, namely John the Baptist. But by analogy, the second coming of Jesus must be fulfilled in the same way, i.e., by the coming of another person in His “spirit and power”. This interpretation is further strengthened by the Mirza Sahibs’ View of the death of Christ. He did not die on the Cross and so the doctrine of a literal resurrection and ascension, which is bound up with the doctrine of His Sacrificial death on the Cross, is a myth. Jesus died in Cashmere like any ordinary man, and this resurrection will be at the time of the resurrection of all men. He is not risen. How then can He return in person? Hence His second coming must be the coming of another person in His “Spirit and Power”. This is the ground on which the Mirza Sahib refers all New Testament prophecies of the second coming of Christ to himself. As he says: “The promised one has come and is among you” (Kashf-ul-Ghita, p.26).

The Mirza Sahib has an interesting doctrine of the Millennium, which is based largely upon the twentieth chapter of the Apocalypse. In fact, be teaches three millenniums: (a) the millennium of the Devil’s imprisonment (A-D. 1—1000), during which time the prophet Muhammad appeared; (b) the millennium of the Devils’ freedom and renewed activity marked by the declension of Islam and a terrible growth of evil; and (c) the millennium of Gods’ reign, the down of which has already appeared, since the promised Messiah has come.

As usual the lunar year is the basis of reckoning. Thus, according to the Mirza Sahib, “the days in which we are living mark the termination of the respite granted to Satan,**** , but as he does not like that his freedom should be restrained and his authority taken away, a struggle between the good and evil attractions must naturally be the result” (the ‘good attraction’ being the Mirza Sahib and the ‘evil attraction’ those who oppose him). Note, that, according to the Mirza Sahib, both advents are followed by a millennium, —–the advent of Jesus of Nazareth by the negative millennium of the Devils’ imprisonment, and the advent of Ahmad of Qadian by the positive millennium of the Kingdom of God.

The passages in Muhammadan literature which the Mirza Sahib refers to himself are found in the Quran and in the Ahadis. From the Quran there is the well-known prediction of a coming one whose name is Ahmad, which runs as follows: “And (remember) when Jesus the son of Mary said. O Children of Israel, of a truth I am God’s apostle to you to confirm the law which was given before me, and to announce an Apostle that shall come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad”. * 2 
This is the Quranic Version of Christ’s prediction of the Holy spirit, the comforter parakletos John xiv.2, xvi.7), in which, according to the orthodox Muhammadan interpretation, Jesus prophecied the coming of Muhammad (h2. Ahmad ‘the praised’ Periklutos). The Mirza Sahib refers this prophecy to himself, because he professes to have come in the “spirit and power” of Muhammad (Rev. of Rel. Aug 1902. pp. 331-332) and because he bears the name Ahmad (Vid. Izala-i-Auham.p.673). Dr. Imad-ud-Din points out (Tanzin-ul-Aqwal, pp. 11-17) that from the 15th century on no less than four bearing the name of Ahmad have appeared in India and made extraordinary claims. Their names are, (1) Shaikh Ahmad of Sirhind, (2) Saiyad Ahmad Ghazi of Rae Bareilly, who in his assumed character as the Imam Mehdi unstituted a Jihad against the Sikhs (A.D.1826-1827), (3) Syed Ahmad Khan, and (4) the subject of our sketch Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian.

In all of these cases the possession of the name ‘Ahmad’ seems to have exerted a fatal fascination. The Sudanese Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad of Gondola, who from A.D. 1881 to 1885 was a cause of riot and ruin in the Sudan, bore also the same fateful name., or take the case of Mirza Ali Muhammad the Persian “Bab” Mohammad the prophet of Arabia is reported to have said: “I am the city of Knowledge and Ali is the Gate of the city.” Hence the possession of the name ‘Ali’ on the part of Ali Muhammad, the name of the first of the Twelve Imamas and the name of the gate of the city of knowledge, was in its probable ‘Ahmad’ in the case of the above-mentioned five. In the light of these facts let no one say: “Whats’ in a name?”

But the Mirza Sahibs’ name is not Ahmad simply, but Ghulam Ahmad, i.e. Servant of Ahmad (Muhammad). In his assumed character as the promised Ahmad the Mirza Sahib would doubtless be glad to drop the name ‘Ghulam’, if he could. He virtually does this; for the name of his first important work is “Brahin-i-Ahmadiyyah,” i.e., Ahmadiyya proofs, and the name of his sect is The Ahmadiyyah, or the society of the promised Ahmad.

There is no certain reference to the second coming of the Messiah in the Quran. Hence the Mirza Sahib can find no support in Islam for his claim to be the promised Messiah, except in the pages of the Hadis, or sayings ascribed by tradition to Muhammad. For example, the folowing from the SAHIH OF BUKHARI on the authority of Abu Hurairah*3 : “what will be your condition when the son of Mary shall descend among you, and your Imam from you?” Clearly here is a reference both the messiah who will descend from heaven and to the Imam Mehdi who will come from the people of islam. But the Mirza Sahib translates it as follows: “what will be your condition when the Son of Mary shall descend among you? Who is he? He will be your Imam, who will be born from among you.” (Tauzih-i-Maram,p). This is interpretation in the interests of the theory that the Messiah and the Mahdi are one person, and that that person is to be born of a Muhammadan family, a condition which renders possible the Mirza Sahib’s candidacy for the honours of Messiah ship.

The appelation “Son of Mary” is explained metaphorically (Istiaritan) as referring to some body coming in his “Spirit and Power”, another tradition, cited by the Mirza Sahib, is to the effect that when Christ comes, He will break in pieces the Cross. This the Mirza Sahib interprets as a prediction of the destruction of the Religion of the Cross by himself as the promised Messiah and Mahdi through a spiritual Jihad, in which the weapons of war will be goodly arguments and heavenly signs (Vid. Tauzih-i-Maram, p. 7, and Zarurat-ul-Imam,p.24).

It is not necessary to refer to other traditional sayings. Before leaving this point, however, it might be well to ask once for all, “what is the nature and value of the prophetic basis of the Mirza Sahib’s claim to be the promised Messiah?” We have already seen that predictions and allusions are cited for this purpose from the Jewish Scriptures, the Christian scriptures and the Muhammadan Hadis. The prophetic basis, then, is threefold, Jewish, Christian and Muhammadan. The Muhammadan basis consists of sayings ascribed by tradition to Muhammad, — sayings often of very uncertain historical value. What of the Jewish and Christian basis? The Mirza Sahib has a way of regarding any verse in either the old testament or the New testament, which fits in with his purpose and doctrine, as authentic and reliable; while, at the same time he holds that the Scriptures have been tampered with and changed.* 4 
The Mirza Sahib lays it down as axiomatic that no Christian has a right to appeal to the testimony of the Quran concerning the supernatural in the life of Christ, because “the revelation of the Quran is not with him a divine Revelation, but the fabrication of a man” (Rev. of Rel, April 1902, p. 144). It is a poor rule which will not work both ways. What right has the Mirza Sahib to quote, as the inspired witnesses of this Mission, books which have undergone the extensive “alterations and corruptions” which he claims have taken place? In fact, for the Mirza Sahib the Bill (Bible?) can logically have only the value of a collection of Jewish and Christian traditions.

Historical Ground

We now come to the last and in some respects the most important basis of the Mirza Sahib’s claim to be the promised Messiah, which I have ventured to call for lack of a better term the historical basis.

In short, it is this that the historical appearance of the Mirza Sahib himself in the likeness of Christ is the supreme proof of his claim to have come in the “spirit and power” of Christ. In his character and personality, in the purity of his heart the wideness of his sympathy, in the peaceful character of his mission, in the signs which accompany his appearance such as miracles and prophecies, and in the political circumstances and moral needs of his age, —– in a word, as regards his whole character and environment, he claims to be the “Masil-i-Masih” or the one “like unto” Christ. If we analyse these asserted points of resemblance, we shall find that they resolve themselves into two classes: (1) those having to do with the Mirza Sahib’s environment, political, moral, and religious, and (2) those touching his Mission, Signs, work, and character. We shall take up these points briefly in the above order.

  1. A. Parallel between the environment of Jesus of Nazareth and the environment of Ahmad of Qadian.
    1. As regards political circumstances, the parallel is summed up in the statement that just as the Jewish Messiah appeared in Palestine when it as subject to the Roman Government, so the Moghal Messiah has appeared in India while it is subject to the British Government (Vid. Rev. of Rel., May 1902, p. 206). The question naturally arises at this point, Has the Mirza Sahib any Mission to fulfil toward the people of India as a deliverer from foreign domination? He denies this most emphatically. Moreover we know that Jesus Christ had no such Mission. Hence, the Mirza Sahib in his character as the Masil-i-masih can properly entertain no such ambition. We know too that his family remained loyal to the Government in the trying days of the mutiny. His only political Mission toward the people of india, as he tells us over and over again, is to teach them to be loyal and obedient to the British Government. Nevertheless, the following point is to be noted. In the five articles of faith which the Mirza Sahib published as his “Five principal doctrines” in a memorial to Sir William Mackworth Young, dated March 5th 1898, the third article reads thus: “To preach Islamic truths with reasoning and heavenly signs and to regard GHAZA or JEHAD as prohibited under present circumstances” (italic mine). This reminds us of the papal attitude towards Queen Elizabeth, which is well known to all students of her region. In 1569 Pope Pius V. issued a bull against Elizabeth, absolving her Roman Catholic subjects from their allegiance and Commanding them to wage a Papal Jehad against the Protestant queen. But this absolute command was soon qualified by the bull of Pope Gregory XIII, issued in 1580, which released the English Catholics from the obligation to resist Queen Elizabeth and allowed them to continue their allegiance to her until they should be powerful enough to rebel openly. In other words, the bull of pope Gregory XIII, declared a Papal Jehad against Elizabeth to be impracticable and prohibed under present circumstances.” Likewise, according to the Mirza Sahib’s article of faith, a Jihad against the non-muslim world is prohibited, not absolutely, but “under present circumstances.” If the phrase “under present circumstances” means anything, it must mean this or something like it. It is possible however, that the phrase is meaningless, being used for the sake of literary padding with an inadequate sense of its implication. We will give the Mirza Sahib the benefit of the doubt, especially since the phrase occurs no where else, so far as I know, in his writings.
    2. As regards conditions, the Mirza Sahib draws a rather impressive parallel between th emoral and religious needs, which nineteen hundred three years ago required the presence of Jesus Christ and the same needs today both in Islam and in Christianity, which will equal insistence, according to the Mirza Sahib, call for the promised Messiah. Morally, the times are out of joint. “Society is rotten to its very core” (Rev. of Rel., p.60) The special sins of Christendom are drunkenness, prostitution, and gambling; and those of Islam are the ghazi spirit, immorality, lack of love, etc., and such evils “call for a reformer.” The Mirza Sahib’s principle is that necessity itself is proof (Zarurat-ul-Imam) p.25) i.e., since the true reformer has appeared at Qadian, the very necessity which called for him may be cited s proof of the reality of his claims. Religiously, the condition of things is no better. The fear of God has vanished from before the eyes of men. Islam is cursed with the doctrines of Jihad, a bloody Mehdi, and tomb-worship, and besides there is no unity of belief on such important doctrines as the death of Christ and his second coming (Vid. Zarurat-ul-Imam. p. 24-25) and as regards christianity, it is cursed with false doctrines such as the deification of Jesus Christ and belief in His atoning death, of the Jews in the time of Christ, the Pharisees believed too much the sadducees too little, and the whole religious life of the time was marked by formalism in worship and unrighteousness of life. So it is today in Islam. Muhammadens of the old school, who are under the guidance of the ignorant Mullahs, outstrip Roman Catholics and Buddhists in their reverence for Saints and devotion to tomb-worship. In short, they are superstitious and believe too much. On the other hand, Muhammadens of the new school, e.g. the followers of Sir Syed Ahmad, hold very loose views on the subject of revelation and resurrection. They are rationalistic and believe too little. A divinely-appointed Umpire is necessary, in order to arbitrate between the various positions and to restore “the golden mean” such is the Mission which the Mirza Sahib claims for himself. He is Hakam*5 or umpire in religious matters for the present age.
  2. B. The parallel between the Mission of Jesus of Nazareth and the Mission of Ahmad of Qadian.
    1. The special claims which the Mirza Sahib makes in respect of his Mission are as follows:
      1. He claims to be, like Jesus Christ, a divinely appointed Mediator between God and Man, and so a true intercessor with God for man. His doctrine of mediation may be summarised almost in his own words:- The very nature of man calls for a mediator. In order to fulfil his high office, a mediator must have at once a close connection with the divine being and a deep sympathy with mankind; in fact, he must share in the attributes of both. Thus he may be called metaphorically an image of the divine being, the Son of God, or the representative, manifestation, or incarnation of God upon earth (Rev of Rel. Jan. 1902, p.5.). As such he is at once a perfect manifestation of humanity. If the question be raised, why, is it not allowable that every one should suk deliverance for himself by directly repenting before God and asking for protection and support, the answer is that it is the spiritual connection of an imperfect being with a perfect man, by which the former gets a remedy for the weakness of his soul and a deliverance from the passions of the flesh. Those who undergo a perfect regeneration, through such a spiritual connection, acquire all the blessings and morals of the intercessor and become his perfect images. (Ved Rev. of Rel. may 1902, pp. 165-187). Thus as the mediator is the spiritual image of God, so the disciple is in duty bound to become the spiritual image of the mediator. This is the ethical principle of the Ahmadiyya movement. The Christian has little or no fault to find with the abstract doctrine of mediation, as formulated by the Mirza Sahib, since it is taken almost word for word from the New Testament. It is to be noted, however, that the Mirza Sahib teaches the doctrine of mediators many, in apposition to the Christian doctrine that there is one mediator between God and men, the Lord Jesus Christ.

He says; “It is unreasonable to assert that in the whole world and during all ages there has been but a single manifestation of God. Every age stands in need of new light and a new representative” (Rev. of Rel., Jan. 1902, pp.5-6). In this emphasis on the need of an Imam in every generation (Zarurat-ul-Imam,1898) the affinities of the sage of Qadian are with the Shiahs. The doctrine of an inspired succession of Imams among the Shiahs is the analogue of the doctrine of repeated incarnation among the Hindus.

      1. The Mirza Sahib claims, in the second place, that he is the divinely appointed UMPIRE (Al-Hakam) to arbitrate among the warring sects and jangling creeds, and the divinily sent Mahdi to wage, with the weapons of second reasoning and clear demonstration, a spiritual Jihad against all enemies of the truth such as Aryas, Christians and Mullah-guided Muhammadans, and especially to destroy from off the earth the mischievous doctrine of the Cross.
      2. Thirdly, the Mirza Sahib claims that the spirit of his mission is identical with that of the Mission of Jesus Christ. Like Jesus he claims to be a man of peace. There is to be no appeal to the sword. If at times the Mirza Sahib has felt constrained to smite with the sword of his mouth such men as Pandit-Lekh-Ram, Deputy Abdullah Atham, Dr: Henry Martin ClarkMaulvi Muhammad Hussain and Mullah Muhammad Bakhsh, it is because in his opinion these men are like unto the ancient “Scribes, pharisees and hypocrites” which the Lord Jesus denounced.
    1. : To sum up, the Mirza Sahib claims to be the Imam-uz-Zaman or spiritual leader of his time, the mediator between God and man, the promised Mahdi or spiritual warrior of God, Hakam or divinely-sent Arbitrator, the second Adam, the true Ahmad or spiritual manifestation (بروز) of the prophet Muhammad, the promised Messiah, and metaphorically a manifestation of Deity.

In the light of these titles we need not be surprised to learn that a man who began by regarding himself as the Masil-i-Masih, or the one ‘like unto’ Christ has discovered at least that he is ‘greater’ than Christ. Listen to the following: “I wonder** what peculiarities there are in the Son of Mary, which make him a God. Do these consist in his miracles? But mine are greater than his. Were his prophecies very clear and true? But I shall be guilty of concealing a truth., if I do not assert that the prophecies which almighty God has granted me are of a far better quality in clearness, force and truth, than the ambiguous predictions of Jesus. Can we conclude his divinity from the words used of him in the Gospels? But I swear by the Lord* that the words expressing my dignity revealed from God* are for more weighty and glorious than the words of the Gospels relating to Jesus. But notwithstanding all this superiority, I cannot assert divinity or sonship of God*** My Superiority lies in being the Messiah of Muhammad, as Jesus was the Messiah of Moses” (Rev. of Rel., May 1902, p. 206). And note the following: “The word of God revealed to me contains expressions on whose strength I could establish, such more easily than Jesus, my claim to DIVINITY”(J.J.P. 205). Such expressions, occur, for instance in one of the latest inspirations of the Mirza Sahib(DAFI-UL-BALA, April 1902, p.7), where we read, in Arabic of course, words of which the following is a literal translation. “Those are to me as a son. Thou are from me and I from Thee” (انت منی بمنزلتی اولادی انت منی وا انا منک )

Thus the way is open for the Mirza Sahib to make still large claims. He may yet spell Ahmad without the letter m(Ahad, the unity of deity) as Dr: Imad-ud-Din surmised.

    1. So much for the claims of the Prophet of Qadian. We now come to the credentials by which the supports his claims. These consist of “Signs” both natural and supernatural. Under the head of the Natural Signs which accompany the Mirza Sahib’s Mission are mentioned his eloquence in the Arabic tongue, profound understanding of the Quran, the growth in the number of his disciples, (the number given last year ranging from 10,000 to 50,000 Rev of Rel. Aug:1902, p.336). The magnetism of his personality, the good effect of his teaching on the lives of his disciples, etc., etc. Under the head of “supernatural signs” may be reckoned answers to prayer, miracles, and prophecies. The statistics for this head are as follows: Answers to prayer 30,000 (Zarurat-ul-Imam, 1898, p. 24), or is it 10,000? (Rev. of Rel. May 1902, p. 205), and supernatural signs 150 (J.J. P. 205). It is quite likely that the Mirza Sahib confines his strictly supernatural signs to prophecies alone, since of his chief disciples, Maulvi Abdul Karim, declares, evidently with the approbation of the Master, that “the only species of miracle to which reason, science and the laws of nature are perfectly reconciled is prophecy” (Rev. of Rel. Aug,1902, p.317). So that when the Mirza Sahib claims to have “restored the dead to life in the manner in which Divine Law has allowed it” (J.J.P. 205) his meaning is probably only this that through the living water of his teaching he has, metaphorically speaking, quickened those who were dead in sin. Prophecy, then, is the supreme evidence of the Mission of the Qadiani Sahib. We may divide his so called prophecies into three classes: (a) those relating to the death or disgrace of definitely mentioned individuals, (b) those pertaining to natural events such as plague, eclipse, etc, and (c) those declaring the victory of the Ahmadiyya cause and the defeat of all opponents.

Prophecies

Maulvi Muhammad Hussain, the Editor of the ISHAAT-US-SUNNAT, declares (reply to the KASHFUL-GHITA. P.17) that “the prophet of Qadian has predicted the death & O., of no less than 121 persons.” Of thse it will be sufficient to mention only two, namely, Pandit Lekh Ram and Deputy Abdullah Atham. The Mirza Sahib predicted the death of Pandit Lekh Ram, his chief antagonist in the Arya Samaj, and soon he was murdered by somebody or other under circumstances which gave rise to the strong suspicion that it was the deed of a pretended Muhammadan inquirer. Again, during the Amritsar controversy (May 22 to June 5, 1893), the Mirza Sahib predicted the death of his Christian antagonist Deputy Abdullah Atham, which was to take place within the space of fifteen months, i.e., before Sept: 5, 1894. It was believed at the time that the life of Mr. Atham was in danger, and precautions were taken by his friends, in order to guard him from possible assassination. He himself in an upon letter to the Mirza Sahib, which appeared in the NUR AFSHAN, uttered words to this effect: I am afraid not of your prophecy, but of your followers: Mr. Abdullah Atham, however, survived the Mirza Sahib’s prophecy, i.e., the period of time covered by his prediction. Of course the Mirza Sahib had to justify the failure of his prophecy by a new revelation, to the effect that the life of Abdullah Atham was prolonged, because he had to some extent acknowledged the majesty of Islam, — to this extent at least that he was filled with perturbation and fear on account of this Islamic or rather Ahmadiyyah prophecy (FATAH ISLAM) dated 5th Sept, 1894, pp.1-6). The reasoning of the Mirza Sahib is essentially as follows: If Mr. Atham had been as persistent in his hatred and contempt of Islam as before, he would have died within the fifteen months. He did not die within this time. Therefore his attitude towards Islam must have changed, and as proof of this he instances his removed from place to place, perturbation of spirit, fear of snakes, etc. But the original prophecy of Abdullah Atham’s death, like all prophecies of punishment, was conditional. It contained the proviso, “unless he turn toward the truth” (BASHARTE KI HAQQ KI TARAF RUJU NA KARE). But since the predicted death did not take place within the time specified, the conclusion is inevitable, says the Mirza Sahib, that the condition of escaping death was fulfilled, namely that Abdullah Atham to some extent softened in his attitude towards Islam. Hence, according to the Mirza Sahib, the prophecy was fulfilled within the time specified. This is a classic instance of the Qadiani Sahib’s special pleading. About eighteen months after, Mr. Atham, already an old man, died at Firozpur. Such is the nature of the fulfillment of the Mirza Sahib’s predictions in two test cases. The reader may judge for himself as to the truth and holiness of such a prophet and his likeness to Jesus Christ, and yet Maulvi Abdul Karim one of the Mirza Sahib’s prominent disciples, has lately had the face to write as follows: “Coming two individuals** the representatives of the worshippers of falsehood, Almighty God recealed to him (i.e. to the Mirza Sahib) prophecies of their death, which were made public. THE FULFILMENT OF THESE PROPHECIES BY THE WRATH OF GOD CONSUMING ATHAM AND LEKH RAM has at least sealed the truth of Islam and its founder” (Rev. of Rel., Aug 1892, p. 533). Rather let us say, it has sealed the falsity of the Ahmadiyyah and its founder, for it is a slander of the genuine Islam to represent its cause as in any way dependent on the fulfilment of the malicious and ungodly predictions of the prophet of Qadian. That Maulvi Muhammad Hussain was right in calling the Mirza Sahib’s prophecies “dangerous” and “mischievous6 has already been recognised by Government in an order prohibiting the Mirza Sahib from publishing alarming and mischievous prophecies, challenges, and inspirations, and exacting an agreement from him to that effect. (In the case of Maulvi Abu Said Muhammad Hussain versus Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Deputy Commissioner, Gurdaspur, in an [order dated Feb 24th, 1899], effected a settlement by exacting a promise from both parties. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, solemnly promised

  1. To refrain from publishing any prediction involving the disgrace of any person, or in which any one should be re-represented as an object of God’s displeasure.
  2. To refrain from publishing any challenge to appeal to God to indicate the signs of His displeasure, such as disgrace, etc., the party in a religious controversy which is in the wrong.
  3. To refrain from publishing any writing purporting to be an inspiration, the object of which can be reasonably taken to be the disgrace of any person, or the representing of him as an object of the divine wrath.

Vid the NUR AFSHAN Ludhiana Sept: 14th 1900, and the AKHBAR-I-AMM LAHORE, March 17th 1899.)

It must be admitted, however, in justice to the Mirza Sahib, that he has uttered not only malicious prophecies announcing the death or disgrace of his enemies., but also benevolent prophecies announcing to himself, or to his friends, the birth of Sons. But these prophecies have not always been remarkable for the exactness of their fulfilment. Sometimes the predicted Sons do not appear at all; and sometimes, when they do appear, they turn out to be daughters, to the immense disgust of all concerned. The prophetic trade is not without its humours: (Vid [‘ASAI MUSA], p. 40, and [Gul Shigufta]p.30).

The plague has furnished the Mirza Sahib an occasion for various prophecies (vid. DAFI-UL-BALA April 1892), and in due time he will doubtless have something prophetic to say about the destruction of St: Pierre in Martinique and with reference to the illness of King Edward VII. In 1898 he published “A Revealed cure for the Bubonic Plague” in which a quack medicine known as the Marham-i-Isa or “Ointment of Jesus” is declared to be “the specific remedy” for the plague, since it has been “prepared sobly under the influence of Divine Inspiration”. In 1902, he published the Dafi-ul-Bala, in which the cause of the plague is traced to the world’s refusal to accept him, the prophet of Qadian, and to its ill treatment of him, and in which accordingly the the remedy prescribed is, that “people with sincere heart accept him as the promised Messiah;” or at the very best cease from reviling and persecuting him. In this, his latest plague pamphlet, there is no mention of the “Revealed Cure” of 1898. Can it be that the MARHAM-I-ISA is already Mansukh or abrogated? It appears, however, that the action of Government in the case of Hakim Muhammad Hussain, MARHAM-I-ISA manufacturer, Lahore has deterred the Mirza Sahib from the public exploitation of the history and virtues of this ointment in the Panjab. (see the order issued by the Deputy Commissioner of Lahore, dated 19th Oct: 1899, and also the decision of the Chief Court of the Panjab in the appealed case, dated 8th June 1900).

The Mirza Sahib’s plague prophecies illustrate well the delphic ambiguity of his oracles, and also the way in which the indefinite is made definite Post Evetum. For example, in the BARAHIN-I-AHMADIYYA(1880) occurs a revelation, in imitation of the style of the Quran, thus: “Say, with me is a testimony from God; will ye them believe? Say, with me is a testimony from God; will ye then submit?” (Arabic text). According to the Mirza Sahib’s interpretation (DAFI-UL-Bala, April 1902,p. 9), the first ‘Testimony’ refers to the testimony of heaven through a solar eclipse in the month of Ramzan; and the second ‘testimony’, to the testimony of the earth through the plague. Again, in the DAFI-UL-Bala, p. 6, foot note, he refers to a revelation given ten years ago (in 1892), the literal translation of which is: “Build a slip before my eyes and according to my command.” (Arabic text). Note that in the translation of Arabic revelation the Mirza Sahib adds POST EVENTUM the words, “which shall deliver from the coming plague” (Jo Anewali Mari Se Bachaegi). Again in Feb: 6th, 1898 the Mirza Sahib announced the following revelation: “God has revealed to me that an outburst of the disease in this country, and especially in the Punjab, is yet to be feared, which may take place in the coming winter or in the winter following it (A Revealed Cure, p.1). How delightfully clear and definite this prophecy is. And what unique information it provides. Lastly, in April 1892 the Mirza Sahib issued the following oracle: “As long as the plague continues in the world, even if for seventy years, God will protect Qadian from its fearful devastation, because this is the seat of His Apostle” (Dafi-ul-Bala, p. 10). Note the ambiguity of this prophecy. It may mean either absolute protection from the plague or protection from such a devastation as shall be ‘fearful’. The Mirza Sahib has provided carefully for the latter alternative by making the original prophecy more explicite: “God said, I will protect Qadian from this devastation, especially from such a devastation that people will die like dogs of the plague” (Dafi-ul-Bala p. 17). The literal translation of the original prophecy reads thus: “God is not such a one that He will afflict them, in as much as thou art in the midst of them. He has had compassion on the village:” (Arabic text). Such is the original revelation, of which the above-mentioned passages are very free renderings on the part of the Mirza Sahib, with editorial additions as well, which are not found in the original Arabic. It is well for the Mirza Sahib that he thus provided for unpleasant possibilities, if the report be true that before the end of May, 1902 seven people had already died of the plague in Qadian (Vid Nur Afshan, May 23, 1902).

The reason why the village of Qadian enjoys such unique protection from the plague is to be noticed. It is because it is the seat of God’s Apostle, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. In harmony with this is the fact that on the front page of the Mirza’s publications, Qadian is called Dar-ul-Aman or “Place of Peace”, a title usually applied only to Mecca. It is clear from many indications that the village of Qadian is to be converted, if possible, into a twentieth century Mecca. (In fact the village of Qadian has a double honour. It is the home of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and so the centre of the Ahmadiyyah Sect. It is also the home of his cousin Mirza Imam-ud-Din, the spiritual preceptor of the sweeper community, who arranges for a yearly mela of his brother Lal Begis at Qadian. Every thing is to be new, fresh and upto date — a new apostle, a new revelation, a new pilgrimage, etc., etc., The Mirza Sahib, began with the claim to be the Masil-i-Masih or the one ‘like unto’ Christ; but he soon discovered that he is ‘greater’ than Christ, and in the new capacity he arrogates to himself the right to revile Christ. (“He taught one thing and did anther.” Rev. of Re., p. 42; Christ sadly lacked the quality of philanthropy.” Id.p.106; “In the Life Of Jesus There Is The Confession Of Sin, Repentance Like That Of Sinners, And Deeds Similar To Those Of The Guilty” Id p. 113; “Jesus was addicted to the habit of drinking” Id. p. 114 under the heading “The DRUNKENNESS OF JESUS*” 7 ; Id. p. 300. see also the NUR AFSHAN, Sept 12, 1902. And yet, strange to say, the Mirza Sahib claims to be the “perfect image” (Rev. of Rel June 1902, p. 251) of such a character.

Likewise, the Mirza Sahib claims to be the Ahmad promised in the Quran, since he has come as the BURUS ( ) or ‘spiritual reappearance’ of the prophet Muhammad. How long will it take the Masil-i-Muhammad to become ‘greater’ than Muhammad? The Mirza Sahib claims to be reformer of Islam. He is in reality a DESTROYER OF ISLAM, and as such he is recognised by the great mass of Indian Muhammadans, as the numerous FATWAS issued against him abundantly testify. Even his own cousin and fellow townsman, Mirza Imam-ud-Din, says concerning him: “If he were a follower of Muhammad, he would not abuse the family of the prophet, nor would he so amend (Tarmim) the Quran as virtually to abrogate (Tansikh) it” (Gul Shigufta, 1899, p. 19).

It is not necessary to do more than mention the third class of the Mirza Sahib’s prophecies: Viz, those which declare in general terms the victory of the Ahmadiyyah cause and the overthrow of all opponents. These prophecies are very numerous. A good example is found in the Dafi-ul-Bala (p.8): “The time is coming when I shall exalt thee to such a high position that the world shall praise thee. Success is with thee and failure with thine enemies” (vid Rev of Rel., June 1902, p. 247).

Proselytizing

We now come to the methods which the Mirza Sahib employes in making known his mission to the world. There are four: namely, literature, public disputation, the challenge and educational work. The Mirza Sahib fully appreciates the value of the press. He has his own printing press and book depot at Qadian. He publishes two papers —- “Al-Hakam” in Urdu, and “the Review of Religions” in English. He pours forth a constant stream of notices, open letters, memorials to Government, handbills etc., etc., it is claimed that “during the last twenty two years he has written about fifty books in Arabic, Persian and Urdu” (Rev. of Rel., Feb 1902, p.63), and that “these books**** have been circulated not only in India, but in distant countries like Persia, Arabia, Kabul, Syria and Egypt” (Kashf-ul-Ghita p. 4). He has an ambition to exploit his doctrines in the west. I have in my possession an open letter, dated June 16th 1902, addressed to The Editor of (Name to be supplied). It begins thus: “Sir I beg to inform the western world through the best medium of your esteemed Journal, of a new discovery.” And then follows a description of “the greater discovery” of the age, namely that Jesus Christ dies in Cashmere and that his tomb exists there ‘unto this day’.

Public disputation is another favourite method of making known the Ahmadiyya ‘Gospal’. The prophet of Qadian thrives on notoriety. Whatever the result of a controversy may be, the Mirza Sahib is sure to score an advantage, since every such encounter is made to furnish material for new books, notices and pamphlets in bewildering abundance; and by such means he keeps himself before the attention of the public.

The ‘challenge’ plays an important part in the tactics of the Mirza Sahib. Sometimes it is a challenge to a discussion. Again, it is a challenge to prove some point historical or doctrinal, as e.g. that the miracles of Jesus were greater in number and congency than the miracles of the Mirza Sahib, success to carry with a reward of one thousand rupees: Vid. Siraj-i-Munir, (advertisement on the back cover). Or again, it is a challenge to a literary contest in Arabic composition, addressed to Christian Maulvis and commanding them to justify their title of Maulvi by producing within two months a work in Arabic rivalling the style of an Arabic book written by the Mirza Sahib, and at the same time to earn the promised reward of Rs. 5000// or else to drop the title of Maulvi: (see “A Criterion to test the Righteous and the wicked,” 1894). Or again, it may be a challenge to a prophetic contest, as e.g. in the Dafi-ul-Bala,p.10 where Aryas, Sanatan Dharmis, Christians, and Mulla-guided Muhammadans are challenged in turn to predict the safety from plague of some particular city. If they refuse to accept the challenge, then the inference, which must be drawn, according to the Mirza Sahib, is tht “the true God is that God, who has caused His Apostle to appear in Qadian.” This is a good instance of the Qadiani “bluff.” or yet again, it may be challenge to a Mubahala, or contest in mutual cursing, with appeals to God for judgment, (Comp, Kashful Ghita, p. 29, and the Ishtihar of Mullah Muhammad Bakhsh Nov: 3rd 1898). Or again, it is a challenge to Almighty God to grant an “extraordinary heavenly sign.” In his “prayer,” dated Nov: 5th 1899, the Mirza Sahib says: “If thou dost not show within the three years, that shall be computed from January 1900 to December 1902, some heavenly sign to support and confirm my claims,***** be thou witness that I shall never again look upon myself as a righteous being.” Lastly, it is reported that the Mirza Sahib is preparing a challenge to be sent to Dr. John Alexander Dowie of Chicago. A passage at arms between the faith-healer of the West and the another of an “inspired” plague remedy in the East would certainly be entertaining. The Mirza Sahib evidently intends in this way to bring his claim, to the attention of the Western world. He has the dream of a world-wide propaganda.

The educational work under the care of the Ahmadiyyah movement is still in its infancy, there is a school at Qadian, with primary, Middle and High school department, where the sons of Mirza Sahib’s followers may receive instruction. A noticeable feature of the school is the encouragement given to the study of Hebrew. Two candidates for the Entrance Examination appeared last year from his school, with Hebrew as one of their subjects, and one of the two passed it. So far as I know, the first attempt to acquire a knowledge of Hebrew on the part of the Indian Muhammadans has been among the followers of the prophet of Qadian.

Conclusion

Our sketch of the Ahmadiyyah movement is about finished. From this rapid survey, what conclusion must we draw concerning the character, intellectual, moral, and religious, of the founder of the Ahmadiyyah sect? Intellectually, he possesses as certain cleverness in manipulating his materials and in advertising his claims in a highly sensational manner. He is a master of the art of ‘posing’ before the public. He now and then displays a certain acuteness in attacking the christian position. For example, the following on Mark XVI. 17.18: “If we are told to take these verses metaphorically and not literally, to take the ‘swallowing of poison’ for subduing violence, and ‘snakes’ for mischievous persons, for instance, then without losing our right of objecting ot this foolish straining of the meaning of plain words, we may ask why the miracles which are ascribed to Jesus should not be read in the same light as the signs which he said his followers will show. Jesus repeatedly said that his followers shall show the same signs, and even greater than those, which he showed**** If there si any truth in the statement that the signs promised to be shown by the followers are only metaphorical descriptions of excellent moral qualities, the conclusion cannot be avoided that the miracles of the master must have the same reality.” (Rev. of Rel., May 1902, pp. 195-196). As regards his linguistic training in Arabic and Persian, it is considerable as to extent, but entirely traditional as to quality. He has no knowledge of critical methods of research in either history or philology. His lack of acquaintance with critical methods of investigation in the field of history has already has already been sufficiently exposed in connection with the statement of his theories concerning the death of Christ. There is no criticism of the sources. There is no examination of rival theories. Sweeping statements about the Marham-i-Isa are made, e.g. that “Over a thousand books refer to it,” and yet detailed references to these books are not given, etc. In fact, one wonders why the Mirza Sahib has stooped to historical investigation at all. Why did he not cut the “GORDIAN KNOT” at once by giving to the world a “revealed” history of the life and death of Christ, Just as he has given it a “revealed cure” for the bubonic plague?

In the field of philogy his ignorance and presumption are simply amazing, for example, the Arabic word خنزیر Khinzir. ‘Pig’, is explained as a compound of خنز Khinz ‘very Foul’ and ار ar ‘I see’. Literally, then (‘I see it is very foul.’ and then he goes on to say: “But what is till more wonderful is that in Hindi this animal is known by the name of سؤر Suar, which is composed of two words سؤ su and ار ar; the latter part of the Arabic word: and the former, being the exact equivalent of the first part of the first part of the Arabic from*** Suar is therefore an Arabic world.” (Rev. of Rel. March 1902, pp.99-100). On evidence such as this, is based the Mirza Sahibs greatest philological “discovery” that “Arabic is the mother of all languages,” (Id,p.100). The veriest tyro in comparative philology will recognize from this at once that the Mirza Sahib’s so-called philology bears about the same relation to a sound critical philology as astrology bears to astronomy, or alchemy to chemistry. The Mirza Sahib has made known to the world no less that three great discoveries – one “a revealed care for the Bubonic Plague.” another that Jesus Christ died in Cashmere and was buried there. “a new discovery which is one of the most important events in all annals of discoveries”, and the third that “Arabic is the mother of all languages.” this last being “one of the greatest discoveries of the age.” Verily the achievements of the Qadiani Savant are wonderful. In the matter of propounding startling theories, he has all the facility of a German scholar; and in the way in which he has advertised and pressed his claims, he has the push of a Nebraska ‘hustler’.”

Two interesting points of contact are manifest between Mirza Ghulam Ahmad the founder of the Ahmadiyyah and Pandit Dayanand Sarasvati the founder of the Arya Samaj. The founder of the Arya Samaj held that the Vedas contain hints, ‘germs’, prophecies of all the great scientific discoveries of modern times. Likewise the founder of the Ahmadiyyah declares, concerning the Arabic language, that “the descriptive words of ignorant Bedouins disclose treasures of scientific facts which, we know not how many thousands of years afterwards, were discovered by the world” (Rev: of Rel, Feb 1902.p.80). The second point of resemblance in that both the sage of Qadian and the sage of Gujrat are patrons of the ‘twofold sense’. Thus the Mirza Qadiani can be a literalist of the literalists when it suits his purpose so to be., and with equal readiness he can allegorize any passage he pleases, when the literal meaning is obnoxious to him. Thus by means of an allegorical interpretation (استعارف) he is even able to find a certain truth in the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Divine love and human love being, as it were, two persons of the Trinity, and the enthusiasm which results from the union of these two being the third. In like manner, it requires only a limited knowledge of Pandit Dayanand’s commentary on the Riq Veda to assure one that he too was an uncritical patron of the twofold sense.

In gathering materials for his system, the Mirza Sahib is eclectic, so that his theology is a syncretism derived from many different sources. In his doctrine of the “heavenly light,” or “light of the spirit of God,” (Rev. of Rel., May 1902, p. 188), and in his teaching concerning the annihilation of self, mystic union with Muhammad, and ‘imitation’ of him, he is a Sufi (id.p.189). In his emphasis on the necessity of an Imam, he is a SHIAH. In his relationalistic theory of the death of Christ, he is a M’utazilite. In his abstract doctrine of a mediator, he is a Christian. And in his emphasis on ‘natural law’, he is a rationalist (naichri). Furthermore, in his assumed character as the MASIL-I-MASIH, or the one ‘like unto’ Christ, he continually uses New Testament phraseology, such as the Holy Spirit, son of God, regeneration, etc., etc.

It may cheerful be admitted that the Mirza Sahib sometimes says good things. For example: “The very nature of man calls for a mediator” (Rev. of Rel.,p. 165), “unless a man has seen His beauty and tasted of His goodness, he cannot love the Almighty Being” (Id. p. 177); “The system of prophets that rose among the Israelites after Moses and Walked in the footsteps of their great predecessor, is without a parallel in the history of the world” (Id.p.69); “The object of man’s life in this world is that the window of his heart should be opened towards God” (Id. p.294). Moreover, the Mirza Sahib’s crusade against Jihad and the Ghazi spirit, if sincere, is commendable. So, too, in his rejection of tomb-worship, and the emphasis which he puts on the necessity of a manifestation of the power of God in every age.

So much for the intellectual character of the Mirza Sahib. What of his moral and religious character? He himself as the representative of God on earth and the mediator between God and man, claims to be smiless and morally perfect. For the mediator is described as “a perfect manifestation of Divinity and a perfect manifestation of humanity” (Rev. Rel: May 1902,p. 173). The perfection of the mediator is not to be constructed, however, as the independent and absolute perfection of the Creator, but only as the dependent perfection of a creature. For, as the Mirza Sahib tells us. (Id. p.182). “He only is perfectly sinless, who strengthens his soul by drawing the Divine power by means of ISTIGHFAR and does not cease for a single movement to ddraw it by his supplications, prayers, and cries,” (the implication being of course that the Mirza Sahib does this). The followers of the prophet of Qadian show great reverence for their master and are enthusiastic over the winsomeness of his character.

As regards those who are outside the Qadiani Camp, all, so far as I know, whether Hindus, Aryas, Muhammadans or Christian, are at one in regarding the Mirza Sahib as a deceiver; but they do not agree as to the nature of his deception, whether it is conscious or unconscious. The opinions, on this point, concerning him may be summed up under three judgments: (1) that he is a conscious deceiver, (2) that he is insane, (3) that he is self-deluded. The opinion of the late Dr: Imad-ud-Din is that the Mirza Sahib is an out and out fraud. He pronounces him a cunning schemer (chalak). He writes: “It looks to me as if a number of men in the same secret had formed a Committee, with the Mirza Sahib as Chairman, the purpose of which is to secure, by making Messianic claims, a large Muhammadan following, and then when the time is ripe, to make a political demonstration against the peace of the country” (Tauzin-ul-Aqwal, p.5).

In the numerous FATWAS, which Muhammadan Associations all over India have issued against the Mirza Sahib, the strongest words of denunciation are used. Thus he is called KAFIR ‘unbeliever’; DAJJAL ‘Anti-Christ’, mulhid ‘heretic’, murtadd ‘apostate’, KAZZAB ‘LIAR’, Be-Iman ‘Faithless’, Daghabaz ‘Deceitful’ etc; etc; with such epithets as these is the ‘certificate’ filled, with which Muhammadan orthodoxy has dismissed the Mirza Sahib from its fellowship and service.

The second judgment concerning the Mirza Qadiani is voiced in the quaint words of an old Afghani boxwala, uttered in my hearing, to the effect that the Mirza Sahib’s brain has become maddled “US KA DIMAGH BAITH GAYA”). This opinion concerning the Mirza Sahib is similar to the opinion of Festus concerning Paul that “much learning” has made him “mad” the following reflections of the old AFGHANI on the subject are too good to go unmentioned: “If the Amir of Kabul were only in authority here, how soon the Mirza Sahib would lose his head. Every body says what he pleases under the British Government. The lion and the goat drink from the same spring.” In connection with the theory of the Mirza Sahib’s insanity, it may not be without interest to mention that at least tow persons in the PANJAB, who are acknowledged to be insane, have lately claimed to be Jesus Christ, one a weaver of Ludhiana, and the other a former student of the Forman Christian College, Lahore. The madness of the latter takes the shape of writing periodical letters to the Principal of the College and urging that his claim to be the Messiah be spudily admitted. In the light of these facts, the theory that the Mirza Sahib himself is insane is certainly a possible one.

On the whole, however, it seems to me that the third judgment is the safest one, namely that the Mirza Sahib is honest, but self deceived. So far as I am able to judge, his writings everywhere have the ring of sincerity. His persistency in affirming his claims in the face of the most intense and bitter opposition is magnificant. He is willing to suffer on behalf of his claims. And besides this, if, in the sober and matter-of-fact West, Dr. John Alexander Dowie of Chicago can claim to be the promised Elijah, we ought not to be surprised if in the warmer and more imaginative East Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian has claimed to be the promised Messiah. To both alike may be granted a measure of pity on the ground that they are the probable victims of unconscious self-deception.

But whether the Mirza Sahb be consciously a deceiver or only self-deceived, one thing is pretty certain on the basis of all the evidence, and that is that he is an impostor. Malicious predictions of the death of people and scandalous insinuations against the character of Jesus Christ in the very spirit of a Celsus and Julian are not the works of one who has been sent from God. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” We need not altogether deny to the Mirza Sahib the possession of certain signs and the honour of fulfilling prophecy. For he and such as help to swell the fulfilment of the prediction found in the Apocalypse of Jesus (Matt. XXIV. 24), to wit that “there shall arise FALSE CHRISTS and FALSE PROPHETS, and shall show great signs and wonders; so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect;” and also the prediction found in the Apocalypse of Paul (2 Thess. ii.9), where there is mention of one. “Whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all powers and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceit of unrighteousness for them that are perishing.”

What about the future of the Ahmadiyyah movement? Last year Maulvi Abdul Karim, one of the disciples of the Mirza Sahib, asserted that “over 50,000 persons have accepted the messenger of God” (Rev of Rel, Aug: 1902. p. 336). And this year (Aug 1902) a prominent follower of the Mirza Sahib, told me that the number of adherents of the Ahmadiyyah movement, including men, women, and children, had already reached 70,000. I known not on what calculations these figures are based, nor am I able to check them, since the new Census Returns are not yet accessible but, however exaggerated these figures may be, it is pretty clear that the numbers of the new sect are increasing.

The Ahmadiyyah movement in India may in several respects, be compared with the BABI movement in Persia. Though the public career of Mirza ‘Ali Mohammad the BAB was very short, only six years, A.D. 1844-1850, and these mostly spent in prison and terminated by his execution, and though his followers suffered unspeakable persecution from the Persian Government, nevertheless (or possibly on account of this) the BABI movement has grown until the number of Persian BABIS is reckoned at from 500,000 to 1,000,000, Lord Curzon inclining to the latter figure. (Persia, Vol 1.p. 499). The Ahmadiyyah movement is still in its infancy. It may attract a large following from the ranks of orthodox Muhammadanism, very much in the same way that the ARYA SAMAJ is preying upon orthodox Hinduism, or Christian science upon orthodox christianity, if circumstances prove favourable. Circumstances unfavourable to the growth and perpetuity of the new sect would be, the speedy death of the founder without a strong and capable successor, or conflict with ‘the powers that be,’ or such a development of doctrine on the part of the Mirza Sahib as might scandalize his followers.

But the most important point of contact between Babism and Qadianism lies in the similar claims of their respective founders. The persian Mirza,’Ali Muhammad, at first claimed to be only the Bab, or gateway of approach, to the IMAM MAHDI, the twelfth or ‘concealed’ Imam, who was expected to come again, but afterwards he put in a claim to be the IMAM MAHDI himelf (Vid. The Episode of the Bab by Edward G. Browne M.A., Vol. ii.p. 290). Of the two rival successors of the Bab, namely Mirza Yahya Subh-i-Azak and Nurza Hussain ‘Ali Biha Ullah, the latter anticipated the former by claiming for himself, or at least allowing his followers to claim for him, that he was the promised Messiah. Thus the BIHAIS say that “Biha is Christ returned again, even as he promised,” and that “as each incarnation is superior to preceding one, Biha is greater than Christ.” (Vid.sell, Essays on Islam,p.79,83,97). Biha Ullah died at ACRE in 1892 and was succeeded by his son ‘Abbas Effendi Abdul Biha who is the present head of the movement. Abdul Biha “the servant of the Glory (of God)” claims to be in some mystical sense the same being as his father and therefore hear to all his titles and perfections (see THE MORNING STAR July 1, 1902,pp. 76-77). He is at once Abdul Biha and Biha Ullah. What a perfect parallel to the Mirza Qadianis claim to be both the servant of Ahmad (Ghulam Ahmad) and the promised Ahmad himself. Thus the Persian Mirza ‘Ali Muhammad and his self-appointed successor Biha Ullah divided between themselves the titles of ‘promised Mahdi’ and ‘promised Messiah,’ the one assuming the first title, and the other the second. But the Indian Mirza Ghulam Ahmad arrogates to himself Both Titles. Similarities cannot be pursued further in detail. Suffice it to say that in the Sufi type of doctrine taught, in the emphasis on the necessity of a permanent succession of Imams, in the employment of the allegorical method of interpretation, and in the general nature of the reforms inculcated, such as the abolition of religious warfare and the promulgation of the sentiment of loyalty toward the Government under which one lives, there is a striking resemblance between the Babi movement in Persian and the Ahmadiyya movement in India. In fact, the resemblance is so close as almost to suggest imitation. It is true that between these two movements, which have so many points of contact, there are also important differences, notably in their attitudes towards Christianity, the Babis being friendly and even fraternal, which the Ahmadiyyah movement rivals the Arya Samaj in the bitterness of its attacks on Christianity.

An interesting parallel may also be drawn between the Ahmadiyyah movement and the Arya Samaj. Both are distinctly Panjabi movement, the Ahmadiyyah being native to this province, while the Arya Samaj though as an organization born in Bombay, has yet become thoroughly naturalized in the Punjab and finds its greated triumphs here. In this respect they differ from the Aligharh movement and the Brahmo Samaj, which have arisen and flourished in the United Provinces and Bengal. It is remarkable that just as two reform movements have sprung up within the bounds of orthodox Muhammadanism, the Aligarh movement being marked by liberal and rationalistic tendencies and the Ahmadiyyah movement by a conservative temper; so two reform movements have grown up in the bosom of orthodox Hinduism, the Brahmo Samaj representing a very rationalistic form of Hinduism, while the Arya Samaj, on the other hand, represents a far more conservative type.

What should be the attitude of Christian apologist toward the Mirza Sahib? Hitherto the practice has been to largely to ignore him, the only important exception being found in the Nur-Afshan, and in the Amritsar controversy, together with the literature which has grown out of it. The theory has been that it would be almost Infra Dig to give to his wild statements and absurd claims the honour of a serious examination. And besides it has been felt that since the Mirza Sahib loves notoriety and thrives on it, the proper thing to do is to defeat this desire by refusing to notice him. The proverb has also been applied to him: “Give him rope enough and he will hang himself,” the belief being that in his “Vaulting ambition” he will overdo the matter and defeat his own purpose. But it seems to me that the policy of ignoring the Mirza Sahib is in danger of being misunderstood. The refusal to answer him may be interpreted by thousands of ignorant Muhammadans as inability of his followers. Prof J.N. Farquhar of Calcutta condescended to answer an adventurer like Thakur Khan Chandra ji Verma, lest a refusal to answer him should be misinterpreted. The same reason holds good in the case of the Mirza Sahib. Public disputation of course is rarely to be commended. But in my opinion there is a decided need of carefully prepared pamphlets and handbills to be widely distributed among Muhammadans, exposing the baselessness of the Mirza Sahib’s views concerning the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. Other points may be safely left to be dealt with the Vigorous polemic of Muslim orthodoxy.

Lastly, what thoughts suggest themselves in connection with the Qadiani movement?

  1. The Ahmadiyyah represents a revolt from orthodox Islam in the direction of a more mystical and emotional type of piety. In this respect, too, it is akin to the Babi movement. It hungers after a personal manifestation of God, and it professes to have found this in the person of the Mirza Sahib. It reveals a longing more or less sincere for a revival of religion in the world. In these respects, it is a good illustration of the ferment and unrest, the groping after something that will satisfy, which characterizes the religious life of India today.
  2. The Ahmadiyyah is thus a kind of half way house between Islam and Christianity. Muhammadan converts, who relapse, have already shown a tendency to find their resting place in the Ahmadiyyah; and, on the other hand, some who were for time under the influence of the Mirza Sahib have become decided christians. (Vid. Mukhtasar Kawaif-i-Yusafi, 1894, for an account of such an experiment). All the more is the latter a possibility, since the Mirza Sahib’s assumed character as the promised Messiah makes it inevitable that his followers will become more or less familiar with the ideas and phraseology of the Bible, and such knowledge will doubtless in God’s providence contribute sooner or later to coming of His Kingdom in the hearts of many.
  3. The vigour and enthusiasm with which the Messiah of Qadian, in season and out season publishes, his own name and sounds forth his own praises, puts us to shame whose only mission it is to make known the more of Jesus Christ, the true Messiah and the Saviour of the world.

The hope of the world is not in the Messiah of Qadian, so notorious for malevolent predictions; but in Jesus Christ of Nazareth who loved His enemies and gave His life for them.

  1. The Mirza Sahib’s claim to be the promised Messiah has stirred up endless discussion within the ranks of Indian Muhammadanism. His very claim has by contrast forced to the front the person and claim of Him whom christians and Muhammadans alike recognize as the Messiah sent of God.
  2. And finally the Mirza Sahib’s own impressive diagnosis of the moral and spiritual evils of the day both in Islam and in Christianity ought to help to constrain us, not indud to give thanks that the promised deliverer has already come and is in our midst, but rather to lift up our eyes with longing and prayer to God that soon, whether through a personal appearing in glory to rule the earth in righteousness, or through a widespread and powerful outpouring of His spirit, the Christ of God may come.

POSTSCRIPT ——- According to the Report of the Census of India for 1901, Vol. Xvii, p. 143 “the sect return shows 1,113 followers, males over 15, of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian.” Mr. H. A. Rose, the editor of the Report, says that “the return is probably a complete one” for the Panjab and North-West Frontier Provinces. Ten thousand would probably be a liberal estimate for all India of the Mirza Sahib’s following including man, women, and children.


References

Footnotes
Ref Notes
1 See his writings [Didi-Haqq], [Gul Shigufta] and [Hidayat Name].
2 Arabic Text in original footnote: (Sura LXI.6.)
3 Arabic Text
4 (Vid. Ref: of Rel., Feb 1902, n 66 My attitude towards the British Government”, 1895, p.7: “Jesus Christ had impaired pure and simple teachings to his disciples in the shape of Injil, which was deliberately corrupted by his subsequent so called followers to such an extent that the present God of Christians can in no way be identified with the God of the Son of Mary.”).
5 Zarurat-ul-Imam, p, 24.
6 Reply to the Kashf-ul-Ghita p.1.
7 “A man who drinks wine so long as he lives and likes the company of women of dubious character, sinners and drunkards, does not present an example worthy of emulation”

 

Can @AtifRMian be trusted by the Pakistani government and Muslim people?


Intro

Recently, Prime Minister Imran Khan has constituted an 18-member Economic Advisory Council (EAC) with the induction of a few world-renowned economists to ensure the availability of best possible professional advice to the government on economic policies.  Just a few weeks ago, Professor Atif Mian wrote an op-ed that was published in the Dawn newspaper, in this he gave 3 crucial areas that needed reform in Pakistan’s economic future.  However, Atif Mian doesn’t understand that Pakistan was invented solely for the purpose of failing.  Pakistan was created by the British as a buffer state, and is thus economically unstable.  Pakistan doesn’t have a proper product mix, nor does it generate enough tax revenue to break even, nor has it ever.  Nonetheless, we have collected lots of data on this topic and have shared in the below.

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.

Ahmadi’s are loyal to the Mirza family, no one else and have political backing from the UN
Ahmadi’s can never be trusted.  This is similar to how a Sikh killed the Prime Minister in India, thus raising the question of allegiance in India.  Thus, Pakistani’s are highly concerned with Ahmadi’s and their allegiance to the Mirza family.  Furthermore, Atif Mian cannot be trusted, since we know that he will be leaking all internal affairs data from this committee to his Khalifa in London.

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

The US Govt has cut funding to Pakistan
https://www.google.com/search?q=US+cuts+funding+to+Pakistan&rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS803US803&oq=US+cuts+funding+to+Pakistan&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l4.3958j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

No developing country should ever trust the IMF or WB
FACTS!!!  pakistan has to fix their economic woes from within.  However, with corruption, its impossible.

What will IK do next?
https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/364299-imran-khan-govt-in-the-ye-of-the-storm

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/

IHC to hear petition against Dr Atif Mian’s appointment
https://www.samaa.tv/news/2018/09/ihc-to-hear-petition-against-dr-atif-mians-appointment/

Twitter stories
https://twitter.com/search?q=atif%20mian&src=typd

Tags
#ahmadiyya #ahmadiyyatrueislam #ahmadiapartheid #Ahmadiyyat #rabwah #qadian #meetthekhalifa #ahmadiyyat #muslimsforpeace #ahmadiyyafactcheckblog #nolifewithoutkhalifa #AhmadiMosqueattack #AhmadiyyaPersecution #Sialkot #Mosqueattack #atifmian

Related Videos
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ga24mIQDlYA

Kashif’s Twitter Meltdown. American Journalist Cynthia D. Ritchie harassed and called “ISI Whore” after she refuses to let Ahmadiyya hijack her Reputation as a respected Journalist and retweet the fake prosecution stories of the Ahamdiyya sect!

Intro
Ahmadi’s are vicious and ruthless.  Especially the immigrants, the Ahmadi’s born in the West normally don’t care about religion in general.  Ahmadi’s are willing to call anyone a terrorist if they don’t support the Ahmadiyya cause.  They have fought the entire Muslim community in the USA, Canada, Germany and the Uk and many other countries.  Recently, they had a twitter beef with a respected journalist, Cynthia Ritchie.  Cynthia loves Pakistan and Pakstani people….she spent the night at Kashif’s house, has been very friendly with Ahmadi’s.  However, recently Ahmadi’s have turned on her since she wasn’t in full agreement over the false Ahmadiyya persecution narrative.

Related Essays
https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/04/07/the-mirza-family-loved-the-persecution-they-call-is-free-press/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/07/03/abdul-sami-zafar-tells-the-inside-story-on-the-may-29th-1974-rabwah-train-attacks/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=revolver

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=fiona

A recent tweet by Cynthia
2 of your members R becoming some of the worst examples of your creed: “Love For All, Hatred For None”; these members, included, R bigots. Comparing me 2 the Taliban because I won’t RT their tweets & don’t agree 100% w/their thinking.

The screenshots

Cynthia’s twitter account

A video in Urdu explaining this whole situation

#ahmadiyya #ahmadiyyatrueislam #ahmadiapartheid #Ahmadiyyat #rabwah #qadian #meetthekhalifa #ahmadiyyat #muslimsforpeace #ahmadiyyafactcheckblog #nolifewithoutkhalifa #drsalam #AhmadiMosqueattack #AhmadiyyaPersecution #Sialkot #Mosqueattack

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