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Ahmadiyya leadership authorized violent Jihad in 1947-48

Intro
I recently had an Ahmadi brag to me on social media in terms of his commitment to Ahmadiyya.  He also mentioned that his Khalifas only ask him to do peaceful things.  I asked him if he knew about how in 1947-48, Mahmud Ahmad, the Ahmadi-Khalifa at that time, he seems to have disregarded the writings of his father (Mirza Ghulam Ahmad), and thus authorized violent Jihad.

The reference work
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My commentary
Dr. Khan tells us in his academic work on Ahmadiyya (see From Sufiism to Ahmadiyya) that in 1947-48, Mahmud Ahmad changed his views on Jihad and totally contradicted Ahmadiyya dogma on the topic. 

Dr. Khan quoted Tarikh-i-Ahmadiyya
He quotes the famous “History of Ahmadiyya” by Dost Muhammad Shahid, vol. 5, page 699

Another quote, from Bashir Ahmad Rafiq, “The Afghan Martyrs”
“Just as offering Namaz is compulsory similarly in this faith when the need arises it is equally compulsory to fight…. It should be clearly remembered that ‘Jehad’ is included in those matters which Islam declares to be an essential part of the faith. It has even been said that at the time of ‘Jehad’ whoever turns his back IS condemned to Hell. II (Report Majilis Mushawarat 1950).

Related Essays
https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/11/14/ahmadis-are-hypothetically-allowed-to-kill-other-ahmadis/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/08/18/ahmadiyya-and-its-violent-past-the-early-1930s/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=zafar+ali+khan

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/07/24/basheer-uddin-mahmud-ahmad-was-accused-of-immoral-behavior-at-qadian-1938-he-calls-it-normal/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/07/23/the-city-of-sodomy-by-shafiq-mirza-an-ex-ahmadi/

MGA abrogated Jihad in 1900, as he became a prophet, however, by 1914, both Qadiani and Lahori-Ahmadi’s deleted this belief from themselves

Intro
It is true.  MGA did in-fact abrogate Jihad.  This had been an accusation that Muslims had made about MGA for years and years, however, we never had the complete set of data to prove it.  But now we do.  It is important to note, after the community split into 2 distinct sections, both sections totally denied this belief and claim by MGA.  The Lahori-Ahmadi’s totally downgraded MGA’s position, whereas the Qadiani’s only slightly downgraded MGA.  Later on, by 1947, the Ahmadiyya Khalifa authorized offensive Jihad, and thus, totally contradicted MGA, since MGA had claimed that all religious wars had come to an end based on his own advent.  Nevertheless, by 1947, the Ahmadiyya Khalifa authorized offensive Jihad and created an Ahmadi only batallion and they fought in Kashmir.

TIMELINE
1900
—MGA becomes a prophet, however, he doesn’t fully announce it until November of 1901, in the famous annoucement, “Eik Ghalti Ka Izala” in english as “Correction of an Error”.

—In his book, Arba’een, Part-4, MGA directly abrogated Jihad.

Some commentary from Nuzhat Haneef
“”””The Urdu words that I have translated as “the command for jihaad was entirely abolished” are ‘qat`an jihaad kaa hukm mauqoof kar diyaa gayaa’. I have provided the Urdu transliteration in case some readers suspect that I have used the word “abolish” incorrectly. The Urdu word ‘mauqoof’ means “Stopped; ceased; abolished; dismissed” and ‘mauqoof karnaa’ — the grammatical construct used by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad — means “To stop; to leave off; to abolish; to dismiss” [FEROZSONS, p. 748]. (It is possible to erroneously think that Mirza
Ghulam Ahmad might have meant “suspended” rather than “abolished” since ‘mauqoof’ can have that sense but that sense is found in the construction ‘mauqoof rakhnaa’, not in ‘mauqoof karnaa’.)

• The word ‘qat`an’ – “entirely” – used by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad makes it clear that he means abolishment or abrogation rather than suspension.

• Even if Mirza Ghulam Ahmad did mean that jihaad has been suspended rather than abolished, he is still contradicting his other statement quoted above because that does not even allow suspension.

• Although Mirza Ghulam Ahmad does not explicitly say here that he is the one who is abolishing jihaad, it is obvious that he is the one doing it since he, according to his claim, is the only Divinely appointed prophet present at the time.

• The fact that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is describing a change in religious commands is obvious from the rest of the passage. He explains how, in the Holy Prophet’s time, the killing of women and children was forbidden.  And he has stated at the outset that he is describing the progression put into effect by God. So, the next thing forbidden is killing of all people, not just women, children, and the old.  In case you still have some doubts regarding Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s abolishment of martial jihaad, I’d like to point out that he wrote a poem titled ‘deenee jihaad kee mumaanay`at kaa fatwaa maseeh mau`ood kee tarf say’ —

“The Fatwaa of the Prohibition of Religious Jihaad from Maseeh Mau`ood” [RK, v. 17, p. 77; Appendix of Tohfa-e- Goldrawiyah].
And, here are some excerpts about jihaad from another of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s books, Government Angrayzee aur Jihaad – “The British Government and Jihaad”; the Ahmadiyya Movement’s English translation of this book is available in The Muslim Sunrise, Issue 3, 2003, although I have provided my own English translation below.

[The command for jihaad is found in the Quraan, 22:40-41: Permission (to take up arms) is given to those against whom war is made …] But this command was specific to the era and the time; it was not for ever. [RK, v. 17, p. 6; approximately first half of the page; Government Angrayzee aur Jihaad]

… I am surprised that, since these days no person kills the Muslims for the sake of [or in connection with] religion, then according to which commandment do they kill innocent people. Why do their maulvees not prevent [or prohibit] them from these improper acts due to which Islaam is defamed. … [RK, v. 17, p. 13; starts approximately middle of the page; Government Angrayzee aur Jihaad]

… Look I have come to you people with a commandment which is that from now on the jihaad of the sword is terminated but the jihaad to purify one’s soul [still] remains. And I have not stated this thing on my own. Rather, God intends this very thing. Think about that hadeeth of Saheeh Bukhaaree where it is stated in the description of Maseeh Mau`ood that ‘yada` al-harb’ [he will put an end to war], that is, when Maseeh comes then he will end religious wars. [RK, v. 17, p. 15; starts at 3rd line from top; Government Angrayzee aur Jihaad]

The first and third excerpts above clearly show Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s position on the Quraanic permission for (defensive) martial jihaad: the permission was for a limited time and Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has now brought a new commandment pertaining to religious wars. The second excerpt shows that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is against the misapplication of the permission for martial combat. I have no issue with this (i.e., his being against misapplication)
and do not deny that there are writings of his in which he explains the circumstances under which martial jihaad is allowed. (I do not know whether Muslims were, in fact, killing innocent people in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s time but if they were I have no problem with Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s position.)

My issue is that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was not merely trying to correct a wrong interpretation of the concept of jihaad; he clearly says that he is abolishing martial jihaad, although he himself also said that no teaching of the Quraan can be terminated or suspended. The references already provided show this and I will provide one more a little further below.

But for now let me discuss one other issue brought up in the quotation above, in the last excerpt. In this passage Mirza Ghulam Ahmad mentions a hadeeth of the Holy Prophet related to war and the Maseeh Mau`ood. The following points need clarification:

• Mirza Ghulam Ahmad translates ‘yada` al-harb’ as ‘deenee jangoan kaa khaatimah kar day gaa’, i.e., “he will end religious wars”. Firstly, there is an error of translation in this. The Arabic word ‘harb’ means war, not necessarily religious war but Mirza Ghulam Ahmad translates it as religious wars. Secondly, the word has been used in the hadeeth in a construction that literally means “the war”; this can be understood as “war, in general”, or “all war”, rather than any specific war or any specific kind of war. So, if Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was really living up to this hadeeth, he should have managed to put an end to all war in the world.

• In any case, the hadeeth is not saying that the Maseeh Mau`ood will abrogate the permission to engage in war; it seems to say that, one way or another, he will manage to put an end to war. Applying this to martial jihaad in particular, we could take the hadeeth to be predicting that martial jihaad (although allowed) will not be conducted (due to the prevailing circumstances) in the time of, or even after, the Maseeh Mau`ood.

• In any case, according to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s own policy stated elsewhere, Hadeeth cannot be given precedence over the Quraan. If the Quraan has given a teaching regarding jihaad then it must hold regardless of what we might find reported as a hadeeth.  Now here is another passage from Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, to further elaborate his position on jihaad, and show that he claimed that the new commandment about jihaad was from God:

From this day, the human jihaad that was performed with the sword [i.e., martial jihaad], has been stopped by the command of God. Now after this whoever lifts a sword against a kaafir and refers to himself as a ‘ghaazee’ [a jihaad participant who is not martyred], he disobeys that Noble Messenger, the blessings of Allaah and peace be on him, who stated thirteen hundred years ago that upon the coming of the Maseeh Mau`ood the jihaads of the sword will come to an end. So now after my appearance there is no jihaad of the sword. … The one who fights evil with evil is not from among us. Save yourself from attack by the mischievous. But do not yourselves engage in mischievous confrontation. [RK, v. 16, pp. 28-29; starts at 5th
line from bottom of p. 28; Appendix to Khutbah-e-Ilhaamiyyah]

Here are some comments on this passage:

• It is clear from this passage that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is definitely canceling the permission for martial jihaad and he claims that it is being done by the command of God; he is not merely correcting a misconception about the existing permission for martial jihaad.

• Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has stated in another book that the teaching of the Quraan is till Resurrection. So, why is it that God is changing His teaching now?

• The sentence “Save yourself from attack by the mischievous” is somewhat confusing. One might think that it means that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is allowing defensive fighting. However, as the Ahmadiyya Movement itself emphasizes (as I will show shortly), the Quraan only allows martial jihaad in defense. So, if that kind of martial jihaad is also being allowed by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, then what is it that “[f]rom this day, … has been stopped by the command of God”? This new command of God must have stopped something that was originally
allowed in the Quraan. Since aggressive or offensive martial jihaad was never allowed, that could not be what is now being stopped. So, it must be defensive martial jihaad that is being stopped, since that is the only kind of martial jihaad the Quraan ever allowed.

See Nuzhat Haneef.  

Links and Related Essays
https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/09/30/mga-explains-how-he-misunderstood-his-prophethood-in-1880-and-realized-it-later-on/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/08/19/mga-abrogated-jihad-in-his-book-arbaeen-1900/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/12/15/ahmadiyya-leadership-authorized-violent-jihad-in-1947-48/

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#ahmadiyya #ahmadiyyatrueislam #ahmadiapartheid #Ahmadiyyat #rabwah #qadian #meetthekhalifa #muslimsforpeace #ahmadiyyafactcheckblog #nolifewithoutkhalifa #AhmadiyyaPersecution #trueislam

“The utter extinction of Jihad” (1902) by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

Intro
MGA denied all types of offensive and violent Jihad, especially against a government that allowed for total religious freedom.  However, Ahmadi’s deny this nowadays, since most Ahmadis’ don’t follow MGA, they follow their Khalifa’s.  In fact, in 1911, Ahmadi’s were calling MGA a law-bearing prophet based on the idea that he abrogated Jihad.  In 1947, the Ahmadiyua Khalifa authorized Violent and offensive Jihad and thus contradicted his fathers’ work.  The Mirza family even wrote that it was OK to kill Ahmadi’s, since Pakistani Ahmadi’s were fighting vs. India and many Ahmadi’s were in the Indian military in 1947, see the Furqan Force.

This essay was published in the ROR of January 1903
http://www.reviewofreligions.org/wp-content/pdf-downloads/RR190301.pdf#page=22

Noorudin said that if MGA even claimed law-bearing prophethood, it was OK
https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/02/23/noorudin-didnt-care-if-mirza-ghulam-ahmad-claimed-even-law-bearing-prophethood/

Related Essays
https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/12/05/from-1901-to-roughly-1924-ahmadis-believed-mgamuhammad/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/01/04/nabi-ullah-ka-zahoor-aka-appearance-of-the-prophet-of-allah-1911-by-muhammad-zahir-al-din/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/12/15/ahmadiyya-leadership-authorized-violent-jihad-in-1947-48/

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

Scans

“The Ahmadiyya Print Jihad in South and Southeast Asia” (2009) in Islamic Connections: Muslim Societies in South and Southeast Asia, eds. M. Feener and T. Sevea



Intro

The British govt. used Ahmadiyya ideology all around their empire.  They let Ahmadis sell the “Review of Religions” with full freedom, whereas most islamic literature was banned.  Soon, Ahmadiyya jamaat’s began popping up Africa, Fiji and all other British colonies.  In this specific essay, I have found research work on how Ahmadiyya was allowed to penetrate Singapore.  This essay here is from “The Ahmadiyya Print Jihad in South and Southeast Asia” in Islamic Connections: Muslim Societies in South and Southeast Asia, eds. M. Feener and T. Sevea (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2009), 134–148.  Feel free to read the Ahmadiyya version of events here:  https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/10/28/ahmadiyya-version-of-events-in-singapore/

Enjoy…

The data 
On 13 July 1925, over two thousand people gathered at the Victoria Memorial
Hall in Singapore to protest against the influx of Ahmadiyya influences into
Malaya. The protestors asserted that under no circumstances should Muslims
possess any books published by the Ahmadiyya, and called on the government
to enforce a ban on the admission of Ahmadiyya literature into Malaya. The
Ahmadiyya responded to this call for the curtailment of their publications
by arguing that the protestors had failed to realize the important role played
by their publications in propagating the message of “true” Islam to the far
corners of the world.1 Indeed, the Ahmadiyya were among the earliest Muslim
groups to realize the utility of print media both to respond to criticisms
levelled against Islam, and to transmit Islam globally. It was in the light of
this that H.A.R. Gibb in his 1932 survey of modern Muslim movements
credited the development of the modern Muslim apologetic to this group.2
Apart from winning adherents to their association (jama‘at), their effective
use of the print media enabled the Ahmadiyya to play an important role in
shaping modern Muslim thought in early twentieth-century Southeast Asia.
Their tracts, journals, and books proved to be important models for a host
of modern publications by Islamic organizations such as the Muhamadiyyah
and Sarekat Islam.

This chapter examines the centrality of publishing to the emergence of
the Ahmadiyya movement and its expansion beyond South Asia, particularly
to Southeast Asia. More broadly, it seeks to provide insights into the impact
The Ahmadiyya Print Jihad in South and Southeast Asia 135
of print technology on religious life, as well as to the transmission of Islamic
concepts and the development of new Muslim organizations. In contrast
to Benedict Anderson’s assertion that the rise of print ushered in a shift in
literary and mass consciousness from a religiously based culture to secularized
discourses,3 the proliferation of religious journals and tracts during the period
studied in this chapter clearly demonstrates the ability of religious communities
to adopt modern communications technologies. These technological changes,
however, did usher in wide-ranging changes in religious discourse and
conceptions of authority.4

The Ahmadiyya provides an interesting case study into the impact of
print on religion because from its very inception, it set out to transmit its
message globally and strove to develop physical as well as textual links with
places as far removed as America, China, Ghana, and Indonesia. Print was
clearly the medium of choice for the transmission of what they perceived to
be the true message of Islam. In stark contrast to the Tablighi Jama‘at, a near
contemporaneous South Asian Islamic revivalist movement that prizes the
oral tradition over the written and looks to personal communication as the
medium for religious revival,5 the Ahmadiyya seem almost to have negated
the need for personal individual contact through the use of modern means
of communication. The Ahmadiyya have established printing presses at all
of their major centres, be they in Qadian, Rabwah, Woking, or Southfields.
It has been said that the corpus of literature produced by the movement
makes the Ahmadiyya the best documented religious movement in modern
Islam.6 I would further argue that the very emergence and development
of the movement has also been inextricably linked with processes which
are characteristic of print revolutions, including the fragmentation of
religious authority and the development of transnational linkages. In fact,
the movement was so thoroughly influenced by the transforming effects of
print that it self consciously re-interpreted the Islamic idea of jihad in terms
of a “textual struggle”.

The expansion in print technology facilitated the emergence of what has
been described by Armando Salvatore as a “public Islam” and a concomitant
fragmentation of religious authority. Public Islam essentially describes an Islam
contested in the public arena through the mass media.7 The emergence of this
public Islam was inherently linked to the rise of new interpreters of Islam who
were not necessarily trained in the traditional Islamic sciences, but were able
to use the print media to challenge the monopoly of the traditional religious
authorities, namely the ulama and Sufis, to interpret the sources of Islam.8
Understanding the impact of print on Islam then must take into account the
contestations over religious authority that occurred in the public arena.
136 Iqbal Singh Sevea

The sheer number of printing presses established in nineteenth-century
India and the volume of material published suggest that the print media
was more extensively employed by the Muslims of South Asia than almost
anywhere else.9 Far from seeing themselves as being on the periphery of
the umma, a number of Muslim intellectuals in South Asia felt that they
were uniquely placed to provide intellectual leadership and guidance to the
Muslims of the world on a host of legal, socio-political, and religious issues.
The prevalence of established core-periphery approaches in the academic
study of Islam has limited South Asia to the fringe of the Islamic world as a
mere recipient of influences. This has detracted from an appreciation of the
contribution of the South Asian Muslim intelligentsia to the evolution of
Islam and to Muslim societies beyond the subcontinent. Many of the works
published in South Asia were widely translated and circulated in Southeast
Asia. For example, while there has been a growing interest, post-September
11, in tracing nefarious connections between individuals in Southeast Asia
and madrasas (schools, seminaries, or educational institutions) in Afghanistan
and Pakistan, broader and more representative patterns in the development
of Muslim networks and the exchange of texts and ideas between South and
Southeast Asia are still understudied.

While channels for the distribution of Islamic texts had linked South
and Southeast Asia for centuries, the rapid expansion of print accelerated,
intensified, and multiplied such connections. It also expanded the reach and
activities of Muslim writers to other areas of Asia previously not connected
with those networks. The expansiveness of the print arena in the early twentieth
century is strikingly illustrated by the case of Maulana Muhammad Barkatullah,
a professor of Indian origin at the Tokyo School of Foreign Languages, and
his associate Hasan Hatano, a Japanese convert to Islam. Fearing British
censorship against their “seditious” writings, Maulana Barkatullah and
Hatano published their works, including the journal El-Islam and the tract
“Proclamation of Liberty”, in Tokyo and used Singapore as a base to smuggle
their publications into India.10

Nevertheless, while acknowledging the activation of such far-flung
networks one should simply not conflate any such transregional connections
with the idea of “pan-Islam” as it developed in the late nineteenth century.
In fact, a number of prominent “globalizing” intellectuals of that period were
opposed to the very use of the term, pan-Islam, to describe their views. “Pan-
Islam” was seen by some as an Orientalist invention that conjured up images
of an Islamic world united against the West and Western civilization. It also
served, they believed, to dismiss valid political reactions to colonial policies
as mere assertions of religious fanaticism. In a speech made in response to a
The Ahmadiyya Print Jihad in South and Southeast Asia 137
lecture by D.S. Margoliouth on “Pan-Islamism”, the modern Indian intellectual
Ameer Ali (1849–1928) argued that the idea of “Pan-Islamism is a figment of
the [Western] brain, an invention designed to help in destroying the liberty
of Mussulman nations”.11 Instead of simply assuming the existence of a “pan-
Islamic” consciousness, it is important to understand the ways in which print
media facilitated the transmission of a wide range of Islamic religious and
social ideals, and the development of diverse Muslim communities.
The Ahmadiyya Community : Emergence and
Expansion
The Ahmadiyya are the followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835–1908)
of Qadian, Punjab, who proclaimed himself as the renewer of Islam in the
nineteenth century. Ghulam Ahmad did not receive a traditional Islamic
education in madrasas, but rather was educated at home by private tutors. He
later took up work in the colonial law courts of Sialkot. He first announced
his claim to leadership of the Muslim community in his Barahin-i Ahmadiyya
[Proofs and Ahmadiyya], published in 1882. The formal foundations for
the Ahmadiyya as a distinct religious community were laid in 1888 when
Ghulam Ahmad published an isthihar (literally, “advertisement”) declaring
himself as the renewer of the age and called upon Muslims to offer him
ba‘ya or allegiance.12 It is significant to note for the purposes of this chapter
that Ghulam Ahmad used the newspaper as a medium to call for people to
offer him ba‘ya. This isthihar was followed shortly later by a formal initiation
ceremony held in Ludhiana. At a gathering (jalsa) on 27 December 1891,
Ghulam Ahmad announced that the movement will hold annual gatherings
in Qadian with the declared objective of enabling followers to increase their
religious knowledge, strengthen their fraternal bonds with each other, and
chart plans for missionary activities overseas.13

In 1914, the movement split into two factions, one based in Qadian
and the other in Lahore. This split stemmed from differing interpretations
of the founder’s claim to leadership.14 The Qadian group subscribed to the
view that Ghulam Ahmad was a continuation in the line of the prophets.
The Lahore faction, on the other hand, rejected this view and argued that
Ghulam Ahmad was a mujtahid, renewer of the age, and not a mahdi or a
prophet. This split was institutionalized after the publication of an article by
the Qadian faction in their journal al-Fazl (Virtue) calling for the social boycott
of those who did not pledge allegiance to Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Hasan
(1889–1965), the second khalifat al-masih (Successor of the Messiah) of the
Qadian faction.15 After the split, the group based in Qadian formally called
138 Iqbal Singh Sevea

itself the Jamaat-i Ahmadiyya, while the Lahore faction officially named itself
the Anjuman Ishaat-i Islam. The Jamaat-i Ahmadiyya officially claims to have
more than 200 million adherents in over 180 countries.16 For the purposes
of this chapter, the term Ahmadiyya is used to refer to both factions. Any
reference to theological or organizational detail specific to a particular faction
will be identified when relevant to the discussions that follow.
Both the Lahore and Qadian factions established themselves in Southeast
Asia. Indonesia proved to be a particularly important base of their activities.
In fact, the Qadian branch considered Sumatra and Java to be amongst their
most successful foreign missions.17 It is estimated that there are 542 branches
of the movement scattered over various Indonesian islands, 289 mosques,
and 110 preaching centres.18 The institutional presence of the Lahore faction
in Indonesia can be traced to the arrival of Mirza Wali Ahmad Baig and
Maulana Ahmad in 1924.19 The institutional presence of the Qadian branch
is dated to the arrival of Maulvi Rehmat Ali in Sumatra in 1925.20 Ahmadiyya
sources, however, reveal that at least a dozen students from Indonesia were
already studying at their Theological College in Qadian prior to the setting
up of Ahmadiyya bases in the Indonesian Archipelago.21 It can be surmised
that initial contacts with Ahmadiyya teachings were established through the
circulation of texts. Journals such as the English language Muslim India and
Islamic Review, and a number of Ahmadiyya books published in India and
England, had been widely circulated in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia by
the 1920s. As will be noted below, both factions also established journals in
a number of Southeast Asian languages. These links were further augmented
by the arrival of the leader of the Lahore branch, Kamal-ud-Din, who made
a two-month-long tour of Malaya, Java, and Rangoon in 1921.22
As both factions developed their own organizational tools, they set up their
own channels of communication and bodies through which they vigorously
circulated texts and sent out missionaries. For various financial, organizational
and theological reasons, a discussion of which is beyond the scope of this
chapter, the Qadian faction proved to be more successful in gaining adherents
overseas. The Anjuman-i Taraqi-i Islami (Council for the Advancement of
Islam) had been established at Qadian to oversee the development of a training
college for missionaries and coordinate the despatch of missionaries. It was,
however, during the era of Bashiruddin Mahmood Hasan that the impetus
and organizational structure for overseas missionary activity was strengthened.
Mahmood Hasan, who had himself authored a number of books including
Tafsir-i Kabir (Exegetic of the Most High), Debache Tafsir al-Qur’an (Prologue
to an Exegesis of the Qur’an), Remembrance of Allah, and Way of Seekers,
laid great emphasis on the need for missionaries to learn local languages and
The Ahmadiyya Print Jihad in South and Southeast Asia 139
actively promoted the translation of the Qur’an into various languages. In
1934, he ushered in the Tahrik-i Jadid or the “New Scheme”, the main aims
of which were to develop the movement’s missionary activities through the
establishment of a central fund to finance both the publication of literature
for the propagation of “true” Islam, and the creation of foreign missions in
various countries.23

While the Lahore faction did not gain as many adherents, it can be
argued that by virtue of being less controversial than the Qadian faction, their
writings succeeded in making a more important contribution to mainstream
modern Muslim thought in Southeast Asia.24 Their theological stance on the
position of Ghulam Ahmad and the fact that they strove in their writings to
emphasize the similarities between the Ahmadiyya and mainstream Muslims
ensured that their writings appealed to a wider range of Muslim intellectuals
and groups who did not agree with the theology of the Qadian faction.
The Ahmadiyya “Print Jihad”
The centrality of printing to Ghulam Ahmad’s mission is reflected in the
fact that he published more than eighty-eight books in Urdu, Arabic, and
Persian, and founded a number of journals such as the Urdu weekly journal
al-Hakam (Wisdom) in 1897 and the al-Bard (Cold) in 1902. The setting
up of the English language journal The Review of Religions in 1903 marked
the first concerted effort to spread his message beyond South Asia. In the
absence of an institutional presence in the English speaking world, the journal
was envisaged as a medium to prove “by the means of signs and reasons the
truth of his claim of having been sent by God” and convey to them “the
heavenly secrets and deep truths which have been discovered by him, along
with a reference to the scriptures from which they have been derived”.25
Over time, the Ahmadiyya were to establish a number of other journals
in Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, English, and other languages. In addition to
publishing tracts and journals, Ghulam Ahmad stressed the importance of
utilizing the medium of the newspaper through the publishing of isthiharat
and engaging in newspaper debates with other individuals and groups. From
its very inception, the movement was to employ the print media consciously
and effectively to expand both within India and beyond. Indeed, the need
to disseminate Ahmadiyya teachings in print was elevated to the status of a
religious duty. Not trained in the traditional Islamic sciences, Ghulam Ahmad
himself employed print media to challenge the monopoly on interpretation
by traditional religious scholars and develop his own position as an authority
on Islam. He even referred to his newspaper articles as an extension of the
140 Iqbal Singh Sevea

Islamic concept of itmam al-hujjah or the “completion of proof ”, which is
used when the unveiling of truth by a Messenger of God in his addressees
occurs to the extent that the addressees have no excuse, but stubbornness
and enmity to deny it.26

The emergence of the Ahmadiyya movement and its extensive use of the
print media must be located within the ambit of the contestations of “public
Islam”, and the attempts by various Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh revivalists groups
to use the public media to propagate their views and attack their rivals in
early twentieth century South Asia. The early development of the movement
thus occurred in an environment characterized by the hardening of communal
identities as a result of the policies of the colonial state,27 and the need to
respond to polemical publications produced by Christian missionary bodies in
India. Within the context of the Punjab, it is particularly important to note
the impact of the activities of the Arya Samaj, a Hindu revivalist group which
effectively utilized the print media to disseminate their religious programme as
well as critique other religious groups. Controversially, Arya Samaj publications
critiqued aspects of Islam and promoted the “reconversion” of Muslims to
Hinduism. Like many other modern Indian Muslim intellectuals, Ghulam
Ahmad attacked the traditional religious authorities for failing to meet the
criticisms levelled against Islam by the missionaries and groups such as the
Arya Samaj. By publishing articles, tracts, and books, he was not only able to
engage members of the Arya Samaj and Christian missionaries in theological
debates, but also to respond to their critiques of Islam. This was reflected
clearly in The Review of Religions where it was stated that one of the aims of
the journal was to “defend Islam, the Holy Qur’an, the Holy Prophet and
the Prophet of this Age and answer all kinds of objections levelled against
any of these”.28

One of the most common charges levelled against Islam by outside
critics in these modern polemics was that it promoted violent struggle. A
number of Ghulam Ahmad’s contemporaries such as Ameer Ali and Zafar
Ali Khan (1873–1956) set about to address this charge in different ways
and to expound on what they felt was the true nature of the Islamic concept
of jihad (struggle).29 Ghulam Ahmad himself spoke in terms of a qalam ka
jihad or a jihad of the pen. Ghulam Ahmad argued that both the ulama
and Western scholars had erroneously interpreted jihad solely in terms of
armed struggle.30 There were essentially two strands in his ideas on jihad.
Firstly, civilization had reached a stage where battles were not to be fought
by swords, but rather with words.31 This point is best illustrated in a quote
from The Review of Religions:
The Ahmadiyya Print Jihad in South and Southeast Asia 141
ours is the age of publicity and propaganda and now Islam will come to its
own not through military conquests but by conquering the hearts and minds
of men, with its beautiful teachings. To always think in the terms of physical
conquests may be the philosophy of the erratic German political thinker
— Nietzsche. It is not that of Islam. Islam’s greatest need and opportunity
lies in the diffusion and dissemination of its message which possesses a far
greater striking power than any sword, gun or bomb.32
Ghulam Ahmad argued that it was stipulated in the Qur’an that Muslims
were only to react in accordance with the threat they were confronted with.
In modern times, Muslims and Islam were being threatened by religious
polemics in the shape of anti-Islamic books, articles, and tracts. Hence, the
present need was for Muslims to publish. In one of his isthihars to a newspaper,
Ghulam Ahmad wrote,

There is peace and freedom from every direction. Today the threats to Islam
are from the method of the pen. This is why it is important that a response
be given with the method of the pen. Allah has stated in the Qur’an that
one should make the same preparations as one’s enemy is making against
you. Study the kind of preparations that the enemies of Islam are making
today. It is not that they are gathering armies. Rather, they are publishing
many different kinds of books and tracts.33

Such was the urgent need for the qalam ka jihad that Ghulam Ahmad stated
that it was permissible for Muslims to use sood (interest earned from money
saved in banks) to fund the setting up of presses and production of publications.
He hastened to clarify that he was not challenging the view that sood was not
declared by God to be haram (unlawful). He was merely stating that Islam
had provisions for the use of sood in the case of a jihad upon which life and
death were dependent as was the case today.34 It is worth noting that Ghulam
Ahmad was opposed to the view that the mahdi’s role was to raise the sword
against the enemies of Islam, this he argued had been a false interpretation
of the role of the mahdi.35 His writings indicate that he believed that the role
of the mahdi, or the role he envisaged for himself, was to propagate Islam
through speech (zuban) and the pen (qalam).

Supporters of the movement claim that Ghulam Ahmad did not abrogate
the older tradition of jihad but returned it to its truer and wider significance.
Throughout the publications of both factions of the Ahmadiyya movement,
it is stressed that Ghulam Ahmad’s correcting of the “false” portrayals of
jihad was one of his greatest contributions to modern Islamic thought.36
Ghulam Ahmad had himself repeatedly stressed that Muhammad’s jihad had
142 Iqbal Singh Sevea

taken the form of the propagation of Islam and that Muhammad had for a
long period of time resisted raising arms even in the face of severe physical
threat. He also equated his interpretation of jihad with the days of Moses.37
Such an exposition of jihad did not go unchallenged. Ghulam Ahmad was
accused of weakening the spirit of the Muslims to confront their position
of disempowerment and for attempting to reconcile them to the position of
colonial subjugation.38 More disturbingly, he has also been accused of being
part of a British and Jewish conspiracy to weaken Muslims by destroying
their concept of jihad.39

The Ahmadiyya print jihad was motivated by the need to respond to
anti-Islamic polemics and to disseminate what they felt was the message of
“true” Islam. The print jihad was essentially an extension of the munazara or
public debates that occurred between missionaries and Muslims throughout
the nineteenth century.40 Ghulam Ahmad who had himself been an active
participant in these munazara was one of the first to extend these oral
disputations to the realm of print. The journal al-Hakam was envisaged
by him as a means of continuing these munazara. An isthiharat of Ghulam
Ahmad’s with regards to a proposed public debate between himself and Pandit
Kharak Singh of the Arya Samaj, provides insights into the new modalities
he sought to introduce to expand the munazara tradition into the new wider
public arena. He emphasized that participants should publish and circulate a
tract on the points of contention before the debate and that a report of the
debate should be published in the newspapers.41

The print jihad was also to be carried out by the Ahmadiyya against
other “inauthentic” presentations of Islam. Hence, the Ahmadiyya publication
al-Hamza initiated and extended print debates with missionaries as well as
Muslim figures such as Muhammad Husayn Batalvi, an adherent of the ahli
Hadith and editor of the journal Isha’at-us-Sunnah. Muhammad Husayn
Batalvi and Ghulam Ahmad carried out a long-drawn public debate through
their respective journals, each accusing the other of “false Islam”.
It is important to note that in his al-Hakam, Ghulam Ahmad called on
Muslims not to look to the government to ban anti-Islamic polemics, but to
involve themselves in disputing these works through the publication of tracts.
They had to, in his words, become “Muslim religious controversialists”.42 In
his view, the exposition of “true” Islam lay in the response to such writings
by figures knowledgeable on Islam.43 This was particularly demonstrated in
the wake of the controversy over the publication of the Ummahat al-Muminin
(Wives of the Prophet) by a Christian missionary. Ghulam Ahmad resisted a
memorandum by the Anjumman-i Himayyat-i Islam calling on the government
to ban the tract. He argued that this reflected a position of weakness and
The Ahmadiyya Print Jihad in South and Southeast Asia 143
that the need of the hour was for Muslims to contest such writings in the
public arena.44

It has been suggested that the Ahmadiyya negation of the concept of
jihad has resulted in them occupying an extreme position in the spectrum of
Muslim thought on the relation between jihad and da‘wa or proselytization.45
While acknowledging their rejection of violent jihad, such a view fails to
grapple with the Ahmadiyya recasting of jihad into a polemic or “textual
struggle”, and the propagation of Islam via the modern media. This chapter
argues on the other hand, that for the Ahmadiyya, jihad was precisely the
process through which da‘wa was carried out.
Print and the Transmission of Ahmadiyya to
Southeast Asia
The Ahmadiyya set out to challenge Christian missionary activities and
contest varying interpretations of Islam not only within India, but also well
beyond the boundaries of South Asia. The Lahore faction’s journals provide
an interesting account of the arrival of Mirza Wali Ahmad Baig and Maulana
Ahmad, their first missionaries in Java. They were reportedly on their way to
China when they stopped over in Singapore. Here, they heard that Christian
missionaries were making headway in Indonesia through their publications
and missionary activities. The two are said to have set off immediately for
Java to confront the missionaries.46 It is worth noting that the Ahmadiyya
were keen in drawing from the experience of Christian missionaries in
establishing printing presses and circulating their publications. To this effect,
the Ahmadiyya not only modelled their own journals on those published by
Christian missionaries, but also looked to missionary accounts and histories to
tap on their knowledge on how best to manage presses and develop networks
for the transmission of religious knowledge.47

These networks of transmitting printed texts played a central role in the
development of the Ahmadiyya in Southeast Asia. Not only were journals
and texts published in India and England widely circulated in the region,
but both factions of the movement also published a number of journals in
Bahasa Indonesia, Javanese, and Dutch. The Qadian branch, for instance,
established a journal in Bahasa Indonesia known as Sinar Islam (Rays of
Islam). The activities of the Lahore branch were concentrated largely in Java
where they founded two Javanese journals, Moeslem and Risalah Ahmadiyya.
Both factions also strove to translate the writings of their leaders into local
languages. It has already been noted above that Bashiruddin Mahmood Hasan,
leader of the Qadian faction, laid great stress on the need to translate the
144 Iqbal Singh Sevea
Qur’an into local languages. The Javanese and Bahasa Indonesia translations
of the tafsir (exegesis) written by the Lahore faction’s leading religious figure
Muhammad Ali, proved to be one of the most influential Ahmadiyya text in
Southeast Asia. Agus Salim (1884–1954), an important Indonesian intellectual
and statesman, celebrated the tafsir as an exposition of the Qur’an that was
suited for the mind of the modern Muslim youth. Muhammad Ali’s tafsir,
in Salim’s view, not only removed various misconceptions about Islam,
but also refuted accusations made by non-Muslims against Islam. H.O.S.
Tjokroaminoto (1882–1934), the first leader of the Sarekat Islam, also drew
heavily from this tafsir. So impressed was he by the tafsir that he began work
on translating it into Bahasa Indonesia.48

Given the transnational dimension of the Ahmadiyya, journals and
newspapers were the key media through which their doctrine and beliefs were
defined and disseminated. These publications expounded their views on a
whole host of political, legal, economic, and social issues. Equally important,
if not more so, was the regular publication of the weekly khutba (sermon
delivered before the Friday prayers) of the khalifa by the Qadian faction in
their journals. Their publications allowed the Ahmadiyya to develop and guide
communities in areas where they did not have a strong institutional presence.
They were able to rely on a small or weak organizational structure as long as
networks for the transmission of texts remained open. One interesting example
is that of the Philippines, where the Ahmadiyya claimed that despite regular
attempts, they had failed to receive permission from the government to build a
missionary centre. In order to spread their message, they sent in a large number
of tracts and books published in the English language.49 This demonstrates the
role of the printed tract as a means of linking transnational communities and
facilitating the development of transnational communities. In the absence of
missionaries and personal contacts, the Ahmadiyya devised a novel method
of gaining adherents, they published ba‘ya forms for membership initiation
in the journals they were sending out to the Philippines. These forms could
then be signed by people intending to join the movement and sent back to
Qadian. Ahmadiyya publications also ensured that the movement in Southeast
Asia continued to be linked to and guided by its centres in South Asia. This
is particularly the case with the Qadian faction for which the city of Rabwah
in Pakistan — built by the community in the wake of the Partition of India
— and London, the current abode of the Ahmadiyya leadership, continue
to be the nerve centres of their activities.

The active involvement of the Ahmadiyya in the public arena did not
go unchallenged. As was the case in India, a number of Muslim figures in
Southeast Asia used the print media to attack the movement. The pages of
The Ahmadiyya Print Jihad in South and Southeast Asia 145

Sinar Islam reveal that the Ahmadiyya was engaged in prolonged polemics
against publications such as Pembela Islam (Defenders of Islam), published
by the reformist organization Persatuan Islam, and Sinar Acheh (Light of
Aceh). In fact, in 1933 representatives of the Qadian faction and members
of PERSIS engaged with each other in two heavily publicized debates,
one in Bandung and the other in Jakarta.50 Many of the anti-Ahmadiyya
writings published in Southeast Asia themselves drew from South Asian
writings against the movement. Muhammad Iqbal (1897–1932) was one
such modern Indian intellectual whose English and Urdu writings rejecting
the Ahmadiyya movement were not only extensively quoted by Southeast
Asian opponents of the movement, but also translated and published by
various Muslim organizations in the region. The Malaysian editor of the
journal Progressive Islam, Hussein Alatas (1928–2007), was among those
who drew from the work of Iqbal in developing his own critiques of the
Ahmadiyya movement.51

The two factions of the Ahmadiyya movement themselves also debated
each other through their Southeast Asian journals. The Sinar Islam of the
Qadian faction and the Javanese language journal Moeslim published by the
Lahore faction actively disputed each others’ theological views and activities.
Perhaps reacting to the claim that the Lahore faction’s publications attracted a
wider following amongst mainstream Muslims, the Qadian faction’s journals
actively sought to assert to the readership beyond South Asia that they were
the “true” representatives of Ghulam Ahmad’s message. They accused the
Lahore faction’s journals of observing a silence over matters likely to displease
non-Ahmadis, or mentioning them only in a “mutilated” form.52
This chapter has attempted to further our developing understanding of
links between South and Southeast Asian Islam by focusing on the expansion
of the Ahmadiyya movement. The flow of influences and ideas between these
two regions was intensified by the expansion of print technology in the late
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Ahmadiyya actively employed
print technology and cultivated networks of circulating publications between
the two regions. Print thus facilitated the dissemination of their vision of
“true Islam” and the development of a transnational Ahmadiyya community
(jama‘at) linking believers in South and Southeast Asia and beyond.

Notes
1. “A Voice from Singapore”, Review of Religion 24, no. 10 (October 1925):
25–26.
2. H.A.R. Gibb, Whither Islam? A Survey of Modern Movements in the Moslem World
(London: Victor Gollancz, 1932), p. 353.
146 Iqbal Singh Sevea
3. See Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and
Spread of Nationalism, rev. ed. (New York: Verso, 1991).
4. For an interesting introduction to the impact of print on religious life, see
Elizabeth Eisenstein, The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe, new edition
(New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000).
5. For a comprehensive study of the Tablighi Jama‘at, refer to Yoginder Sikand,
The Origins and Development of the Tablighi-Jama‘at (1920–2000): A Cross
Comparative Study (Hyderabad, India: Orient Longman, 2002). For more on
Tablighi connections between South and Southeast Asia, see Farish Noor’s essay
in this volume.
6. Yohanan Friedmann, Prophecy Continuous: Aspects of Ahmadi Religious Thought and
its Medieval Background (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2003), p. 11.
7. Armando Salvatore, “Muslim Publics”, in Public Islam and the Common Good,
edited by Armando Salvatore and Dale F. Eickelman (Leiden: Brill, 2004),
pp. 3–27.
8. I draw here from the work of Piscatori and Eickelman who have argued that
the expansion of print allowed for the “fragmentation of religious authority”
where religious interpretation was no longer limited or dependent on the trained
religious elite, but open to anyone who could publish. See Muslim Politics,
2nd ed. (Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2004), especially pp. 40–68,
131–35.
9. See Francis Robinson, Islam and Muslim History in South Asia (New Delhi:
Oxford University Press, 2001), pp. 66–104; and Margarit Pernau, “The Delhi
Urdu Akhbar Between Persian Akhbarat and English Newspapers”, Annual of
Urdu Studies 18 (2003): 105–31.
10. Home Department (Political) Proceedings, February 1914, National Archives
of India, New Delhi.
11. Syed Ameer Ali, The Right Hon’ble Syed Ameer Ali-Political Writings, edited by
Shan Muhammad (New Delhi: Ashish Publishing House, 1989), p. 217.
12. Friedmann, Prophecy Continuous, p. 4.
13. For a more detailed history of the Ahmadiyya movement, see Spencer Lavan,
The Ahmadiyah Movement: A History and Perspective (Delhi: Manohar Book
Service, 1974), and Friedmann, Prophecy Continuous.
14. The two factions also disagree over the issue of the leadership of the community.
While the Jamaat-i Ahmadiyya subscribes to the view that leadership lies in
the hands of the Caliph who is appointed by God, the Anjuman Ishaat-i Islam
subscribes to the view that leadership is vested in a selected body of people.
Friedmann, Prophecy Continuous, pp. 16–22.
15. For a comprehensive discussion on the theological and leadership issues that led
to the split, see Friedmann, Prophecy Continuous, pp. 11–23.
16. This figure is drawn from a press release of 2003: , accessed 2 April 2007.
17. The Review of Religions 34, no. 3 (March 1935): 85.
The Ahmadiyya Print Jihad in South and Southeast Asia 147
18. , accessed
18 August 2007.
19. Iskandar Zulkarnain, Gerakan Ahmadiyah di Indonesia (Yogyakarta: LKiS, 2005),
p. 180.
20. The Review of Religions 36, no. 10 (October 1937): 503–504.
21. The Review of Religions 24, no. 10 (October 1925): 6.
22. The Islamic Review 9, no. 4 (April 1921): 122. For details of his tour and
summaries of the lectures he delivered, refer to The Islamic Review 9, no. 6
(June–July 1921): 202–206.
23. Chaudhary Zafarullah Khan, Ahmadiyyat: The Renaissance of Islam (Rabwah,
1978), pp. 272–74.
24. This has been noted by Zulkarnain in Gerakan Ahmadiyah di Indonesia.
25. “The Aims and Objectives of The Review of Religions”, The Review of Religions
1, no. 1 (December 1924): 2–3.
26. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Majmuah Isthiharat, 3 vols. (London: Mubarak A. Saqi,
1986), I: 1–2.
27. See, for instance, Sandra B. Freitag, Collective Action and Community: Public
Arenas and the Emergence of Communalism in North India (Berkeley: University of
California Press, 1989), and Gyanendra Pandey, The Construction of Communalism
in Colonial North India (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1990).
28. The Review of Religions 1, no. 1 (December 1924): 2–3.
29. See, for instance, Ameer Ali, Political Writings, pp. 217–18; Zafar Ali Khan,
“Indian Mussalmans and Pan-Islamism” dated 14 June 1913 in Selections from
Maulana Mohammad Ali’s Comrade, compiled by Syed Rais Ahmad Jafri (Nadwi)
(Lahore: Mohammad Ali Academy, 1965), p. 297.
30. See, for instance, Ghulam Ahmad, Majmuah Isthiharat, IV: 367.
31. Ghulam Ahmad, Majmuah Isthiharat, IV: 18.
32. “Jihad in Islam”, The Review of Religions 35, no. 6–7 (June–July 1936): 289.
33. Ghulam Ahmad, Majmuah Isthiharat, V: 21.
34. Ghulam Ahmad, Majmuah Isthiharat, V: 23.
35. Ghulam Ahmad, Majmuah Isthiharat, II: 330.
36. See, for example, The Review of Religions 36, no. 10 (October 1937): 485.
37. Ghulam Ahmad, Majmuah Isthiharat, V: 22.
38. See, for example, Muhammad Iqbal, Speeches and Statements of Iqbal, compiled
by A.R. Tariq (Lahore: Sheikh Ghulam Ali and Sons, 1973), p. 126.
39. Ehsan Elahi Zaheer, Qadiniyat: An Analytical Survey, 2nd ed. (Lahore: Idara
Tarjuman Al-Sunnah, 1973).
40. Excellent studies of the debates between Christian missionaries and the Muslim
ulama can be found in the work of Avril Powell, “Maulana Rahmat Allah
Kairanawi and Muslim Christian Controversy in India in the mid-19th Century”,
Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 1 (1976): 42–63; Muslims and Missionaries in
Pre-Mutiny India (Richmond: Curzon Press, 1993); “Modernist Muslim Reponses
to Christian Critiques of Islamic Culture, Civilisation, and History in Northern
148 Iqbal Singh Sevea
India”, in Christians, Cultural Interactions and India’s Religious Traditions, edited
by J.M. Brown and R.E. Frykenberg (London: Routledge Curzon, 2002),
pp. 61–91, for an interesting article on Muslim responses to critiques levelled
against Islam.
41. Ghulam Ahmad, Majmuah Isthiharat, I: 8.
42. Quoted in Lavan, Ahmadiyah, p. 72.
43. Ghulam Ahmad, Majmuah Isthiharat, V: 23.
44. Lavan, Ahmadiyah, p. 72.
45. Egdunas Racius, The Multiple Nature of the Islamic Da‘wa (Dissertation, University
of Helsinki/Faculty of Arts, Institute of Asian and African Studies, Arabic and
Islamic Studies and Vilnius University, Institute of International Relations and
Political Science, October 2004), p. 160.
46. This story is also narrated in Zulkarnain, Gerakan Ahmadiyah, pp. 180–81.
47. The Review of Religions 45, no. 1 (January 1945): 9–12.
48. Zulkarnain, Gerakan Ahmadiyah, p. 185.
49. Sinar Islam 8, no. 6 (June 1958): 1, 20.
50. Zulkarnain, Gerakan Ahmadiyah, pp. 224–25.
51. For a further discussion of Alatas’s interaction with South Asian works and his
critique of the Ahmadiyya, see Sevea’s contribution to this volume.
52. The Review of Religions 34, no. 3 (March 1935): 82–86.

The Furqan Force

Intro
In June of 1948, the Ahmadiyya Movement was given the opportunity to have a separate army regiment.  It was called the Furqan Force and was formed in June of 1948.  At the same time, the Ahmadiyya Khalifa was negotiating a steal of a deal for the rights to a piece of land now called Rabwah.  In those days the Ahmadiyya Movement had lots of political power and was using it to spread its tentacles in the newly formed Pakistan.  The unit fought for Pakistan against India in the First Kashmir War.

Bashir Ahmad Rafiq tells us
“””In 1948 when I was a Matriculation student in Chiniot, the Headmaster once directed all students in the 9th and the 10th classes to assemble in the hall. He said that Hadhrat Syed Wali ul Allah Shah, a high-ranking office bearer of the Jamaat, would address us. His address was indeed full of fervor and enthusiasm. He explained in detail the importance of Jihad and said that at the request of the Pakistan Government the Jamaat Ahmadiyya had established a voluntary Battalion to serve at the Kashmir Front. He said that Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad had been appointed as the Commander. Further, he said that it was Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II’s wish that some students from the High School should volunteer and join the force.”””

Who is Bashir Ahmad Rafiq? 
He is a famous Ahmadi imam.  He worked out of the UK mostly and is famous in Ahmadiyya history.  He wrote many books and even left behind a blog and website.  When he was 14 years old, he volunteered and fought with the Furqan Force in Kashmir.  He writes about getting training in grenades and rifles.  He says that he heard speeches everyday about Jihad and its importance.

Bashir Ahmad Rafiq did 3 months in the trenches of Kashmir
He describes his story as grueling experience wherein he lived in a full war zone.  Due to the absence of cleanliness and sanitation, boils and pimples appeared all over his body, he was relieved of his duties and was sent for medical review.  3 months later, he was discharged from the Furqan Force, he then resumed his schooling.

The Khalifa appoints his son, Mirza Mubarak Ahmad as in-charge of this Ahmadi platoon
Under the command of Mirza Mubarak Ahmad, a platoon of 45 Ahmadi’s, eventually moved to MirajKay to fight on the Jammu front.  A newspaper, the “Lahore” seems to have requested the Khalifa, it needs to be further investigated.  An organizing committee under Mirza Nasir Ahmad, he then recruited Ahmadis to join.  By June of 1948, the Furqan Force was ready for training.  A retired British-India-era Ahmadi colonel, Sardar Muhammad Hayat Qaisarani took charge of the batallion and was stationed at Sarai Alamgir near Jhelum.  Mirza Mubarak Ahmad was the commander.  The Furqan Forced camped near Zubair and the commanding officer was called “Alam Kabob”, (a name revealed to MGA for the future Musleh Maud).  Other Ahmadi’s officers from the old British India were Major Waqi-uz-Zaman, Major Hameed Ahmad Kaleem, Major Abdul Hamid, Major Abdullah Mahar and Captain Naimatullah Sharif. (See “Ahmadiyya, British-Jewish Connections”, pages 290-292).

9 Ahmadi’s were killed during the Kashmir War
See the Weekly, “Lahore”, Lahore 31 March, 1975, also Tarikh-i-Ahmadyat, vol. 6, P. 267

While the war was going on, the Khalifa was making moves behind the scenes
The Khalifa seems to have been giving orders from Lahore, since he hadn’t moved to Rabwah yet.

The Khalifa authorizes Violent Jihad
https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/12/15/ahmadiyya-leadership-authorized-violent-jihad-in-1947-48/

MGA abrogated Jihad, but his sons re-authorized it
Ahmadi’s aren’t made to follow MGA, they follow their current Khalifa.  This is yet another point of contention.  After 1900, MGA abrogated Jihad (see Nuzhat Haneef), and Jihad of any kind of sword or martial Jihad, it was all banned, the only thing that remained was spiritual Jihad.  After this era, 1900-1902, MGA and his team never clarified this position.

A quote from Arbaeen, wherein MGA abrogates jihad in 1900
[Marginal note:] Allaah Almighty has gradually decreased jihaad, that is, the severity of wars/fighting. In the time of Hadrat Moosaa [Moses] the severity was so much that even accepting faith could not save [one] from being killed and even infant children were murdered/killed. Then in the time of our Prophet, the blessings of Allaah and peace be on him, the killing of children and the old and women was forbidden and then for certain nations, their being saved from punishment was accepted merely by the payment of ‘jizyah’ [a tax levied on non-Muslims for exemption from military duty] in lieu of faith. And then in the time of Maseeh Mauood the command for jihaad was entirely abolished. [RK, v. 17, p. 443; marginal note; Arbaeen Number 4]

 

Links and Related Essays
https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/12/15/ahmadiyya-leadership-authorized-violent-jihad-in-1947-48/

https://lubpak.com/archives/317821

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/10/20/ahmadis-hate-nuzhat-haneef-and-all-of-their-critics/

http://alhafeez.org/rashid/bjc.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabwah

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furqan_Force

http://www.bashirrafiq.com/page79/page14/index.html

  1.  Report of the Court of Inquiry constituted under Punjab act II of 1954 to enquire into the Punjab disturbances of 1953. Printed by the Superintendent, Govt. Printing, Punjab. 1954. Retrieved 4 April2012.
  2. Jump up^ Bashīr Aḥmad (1994). The Ahmadiyya Movement: British-Jewish connections. Islamic Study Forum. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
  3. Jump up^ Simon Ross Valentine (23 September 2008). Islam and the Ahmadiyya jamaʻat: history, belief, practice. Columbia University Press. pp. 204–. ISBN 978-0-231-70094-8. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
  4. Jump up^ Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan (1978). Ahmadiyyat: the renaissance of Islam. Tabshir Publications. Retrieved 4 April 2012.

“””Africa’s Muslim Authorities and Ahmadis: Curbed Freedoms, Circumvented Legalities””” by Muhammed Haron professor of Religious Studies at the University of Botswana and an Associate Researcher at the University of Stellenbosch

Intro
Ahmadiyya was used by the British Government to get the Muslims of India, Africa and many other countries.  In fact, MGA told Ahmadi’s to pray for the success of the British Government, who were vicious colonizers.   In this work, he explains how the British government used Ahmadiyya to convert common Muslims.  Christianity wasn’t working to convert Muslims, thus, the British government partnered with Ahmadiyya as a method to subjugate the masses in Africa to support and defend colonialism.  In this academic work, he refers to Lahori-Ahmadi’s as simply “Ahmadi’s”, whereas the Qadiani-Ahmadi’s are called Qadiani’s.  Dr. Balogan is another famous college professor from Africa who wrote academically about Ahmadiyya.

Who is Muhammed Haron?
We have found an essay by Muhammed Haron who is a professor of Religious Studies at the University of Botswana and an Associate Researcher at the University of Stellenbosch. He is editor of University of Cape Town’s Annual Review of Islam in Africa and the Editor-in-Chief of Duke University’s online Research Africa Reviews. He co-edited Muslim Higher Education in Postcolonial Africa (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) and co-edited Proceedings of the 2016 Islamic Civilization in Southern Africa Congress (Istanbul: IRCICA, 2018).  Pages 60-74 | Published online: 11 Dec 2018.

The academic essay
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15570274.2018.1535048?af=R&

The Ahmadiyya Community (hereafter Ahmadis) encountered difficulties to freely express their beliefs and creeds in both Muslim majority societies and Muslim minority communities. Since the Ahmadis are among those communities that departed from the traditional Muslim theological position, the traditional Muslim authorities curbed their beliefs and practices through the issuing of fatwas. In response the Ahmadis tried to avoid being harassed and persecuted by seeking ways of circumventing the legalities. This article evaluates the theological clashes that occasionally occurred between the Ahmadis and these Muslim authorities in African settings where religious communities have generally experienced relative religious freedom.

Freedom of religion or belief is not just an optional extra, or nice to have; it is the key human right. It allows everyone to follow their conscience in the way they see fit. Baroness Anelay of St Johns, 16 July 2015

Over the many decades, Muslim communities like other religious communities the world over have encountered external and internal challenges. On the external front, these communities have been challenged by Islamophobic outbursts across Europe and in other Western regions (Wajahat Ali et al. 2011Wajahat Ali et al. 2011Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in AmericaWashington, DCCentre for American

Progress.https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/religion/report/2011/08/26/10165/fear-inc/Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America],“ Wajahat Ali, Eli Clifton, Matthew Duss, Lee Fang, Scott Keyes, and Faiz Shakir. [Google Scholar]; Bayrakli and Hafez 2016Bayrakli, Enes, and Farid Hafez, eds. 2016European Islamophobia Report 2015Istanbul & Washington, DCSETA. [Google Scholar]),11 This term refers to anti-Muslim rhetoric that has been studies by various individuals and groups over the past few years. Interesting texts that cover this phenomenon is the report by Wajahat Ali et al. Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America (Wajahat Ali et al. 2011Wajahat Ali et al. 2011Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in AmericaWashington, DCCentre for American Progress.https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/religion/report/2011/08/26/10165/fear-inc/Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America],“ Wajahat Ali, Eli Clifton, Matthew Duss, Lee Fang, Scott Keyes, and Faiz Shakir. [Google Scholar]) and European Islamophobia Report 2015 (Bayrakli and Hafez 2016Bayrakli, Enes, and Farid Hafez, eds. 2016European Islamophobia Report 2015Istanbul & Washington, DCSETA. [Google Scholar]).View all notes and internally they have been confronted by numerous intra-religious differences and theological disagreements. These have, in turn, given rise to public dissensions and discord that caused the majority of adherents under traditionally minded religious leaders to pursue a policy of “ostrakonophobia.”22 This researcher searched the long list of words that describe the various phobias and he was unable to find a word that captures the “fear of being ostracized.” He thus coined this term that he derived from the Greek word: ostrakon (visit: www.fearof.net and www.phobialist.com).View all notes By this, it is meant that they applied an ad hoc policy that, to some extent, struck fear in the hearts and minds of individuals and groups who dreaded being publicly ostracized, shunned, repudiated, banned, and excluded.

Many historical examples come to the fore when reflecting upon intra-religious conflict among Muslim communities residing in (for example, Pakistan [Saeed 2007Saeed, Sadia. 2007. “Pakistani Nationalism and the State Marginalisation of the Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan.” Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism 7 (3): 132152. doi: 10.1111/j.1754-9469.2007.tb00166.x[Crossref] [Google Scholar]], Talbot 2007Talbot, Ian. 2007. “Religion and Violence: The Historical Context for Conflict in Pakistan.” In Religion and Violence in South Asia: Theory and Practice, edited by John Hinnels and RichardKing147163LondonRoutledge. [Google Scholar]) and outside (for example, Indonesia [Panggabean 2016Panggabean, Samsu R. 2016. “Policing Sectarian Conflict in Indonesia: The Case of Shi’ism.” In Religion, Law and Intolerance in Indonesia, edited by Tim Lindsey, and HelenPausacker271288LondonRoutledge.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]; Schafer 2018Schafer, Saskia. 2018. “Ahmadis or Indonesians? The Polarization of Post-Reform Public Debates on Islam and Orthodoxy.” Critical Asian Studies 50 (1): 1636. doi: 10.1080/14672715.2017.1404925[Taylor & Francis Online][Web of Science ®] [Google Scholar]]) the Muslim heartlands. More than a century ago, for example, two groups, which emerged within pre-dominantly Muslim states, namely Iran and Pakistan (Jamil 2002Jamil, Uzma. 2002. “Minorities and ‘Islamic States’: Explaining Bahai and Ahmadi Marginalization.” Unpublished MA Thesis., McGill University. [Google Scholar]), were theologically ostracized from the house of Islam. At the end of the 19th century, among the first to be rejected for their philosophy and religious outlook was Baha’ullah (d.1892) and the Baha’i faith adherents (Buck 2003Buck, Christopher. 2003. “Islam and Minorities: The Case of the Bahai’s.” Studies in Contemporary Islam 1 (2): 86103. [Google Scholar]). The second group to be repudiated for their beliefs were the Ahmadis,33 The Ahmadis are also referred to the Lahoris and they have been challenged by their theological siblings, namely the Qadiyanis who consider themselves the authentic followers of Mirza.View all notes whose founder was Mirza Ghulam Ahmed (d.1908 hereafter referred to as “Mirza”).44 Ehsan Rehan reported on November 12, 2017 that Allama Iqbal Bahisti, who was the secretary general of Majlis Wahdat—e-Muslimin and a key Shi’ite theologian, warned about the dangers that both the Bahais and Ahmadis posed; this is rather ironic during the current period knowing that many theologians in the Sunni world have also condemned the Shi’ites to be outside the fold of Islam! Ehsan Rehan, “Pakistani Shia Cleric Warns of Dangers Posed by Baha’is & Ahmadis,” Rabwah Times, 12 November 2017. See Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishàat Islam Lahore Inc. U.S.A. “Ahmadiyya Movement Contrasted with the Bahai Religion.” http://www.muslim.org/intro/bah.htm and Fuad Al-Attar, “The Difference between Ahmadis and Bahais.” Ahmadiyya: Inviting to Islam (blog), 7 January 2012. The latter provides a simplistic comparative view.View all notes The respective religious leaders of these two nascent groups offered divergent understandings of revelation and prophecy (Jamil 2002Jamil, Uzma. 2002. “Minorities and ‘Islamic States’: Explaining Bahai and Ahmadi Marginalization.” Unpublished MA Thesis., McGill University. [Google Scholar]).

The Baha’is and Qadiyanis, according to their respective founders’ claims and their ardent followers’ understandings, held the view that they were indeed recipients of revelation; and they were hence inspired prophets. They were somewhat similar to and on par with the earlier prophets who were sent by God. Related to this Khan (2015Khan, Adil H. 2015From Sufism to Ahmadiyya: A Muslim Minority Movement in South AsiaBloomingtonIndiana University Press. [Google Scholar]) mentioned that Mirza, however, regarded himself as a non-legislative prophet; but despite this self-understanding the Qadiyanis’ theological rivals, the Ahmadis, with whom they engaged in semantic squabbles over the use and interpretation of terminologies in the end split and charted out a theological path of their own (Khan 2015Khan, Adil H. 2015From Sufism to Ahmadiyya: A Muslim Minority Movement in South AsiaBloomingtonIndiana University Press. [Google Scholar]). Nonetheless, the theological assertions by both the Qadiyanis and Ahmadis contradicted the declarations made by religious authorities of the Ahl-As-Sunna wa-al-Jama’at(ASJ) (People Who Follow the Prophetic Path and Unity),55 Though popularly referred to as the ‘Ulama[that is, the learned scholars], in this essay they will be referred as Muslim theologians or alternatively as religious authorities.View all notes who represent the majority interpretation. The ASJ hold onto the uncompromising view that Prophet Muhammad was God’s last messenger who was the recipient of God’s final message, namely the Qur’an. So, from an orthodox Muslim perspective, this belief alongside the declaration that there is no other deity except God, is a non-negotiable principle. The ASJ and its representative theological bodies have thus continuously argued against the sacrilegious and heretical teachings of the Bahais and Qadiyanis/Ahmadis.

This article, which does not reflect on the Qadiyanis, gives its attention to the Ahmadis, who, oddly, see themselves theologically closer to ASJ. The Ahmadis, besides having set themselves apart from ASJ, also assumed the title Ahmadiyya Anjuman-i Isha῾at-i Islam in Lahore (Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islam) to distinguish themselves from the Qadiyanis. As a modern reformist movement led by Maulana Muhammad Ali, who led the break-away faction from the Qadiyanis, the Ahmadis took on this identity to illustrate how different they are from others, and they thus strategically employed their resources to undertake mission to all and sundry. Since the Ahmadis considered mission as a central cog in their community’s philosophy and practice they dedicated themselves in this religious venture, and as a consequence they established branches globally and this included the African continent.

Though a section of this article assesses the relationship that developed between the Ahmadis and the orthodox African Muslim communities over much of the twentieth, it also hones in on the conflict that emerged between these two religious communities within environments where both experience degrees of freedom of religion or belief. Since it is beyond the article’s scope to discuss their relationship in all the African countries, it zooms in on specific cases that illustrate the nature of the conflict and the tendentious relationship that emerged in spite of the religious freedom that had been guaranteed by state constitutions. With this in mind, the article opens conceptualizing “Muslim authority” before it charts the Ahmadis’ social history in Africa.

Muslim Authority: Identity and Status

Whenever the collective Muslim leadership describes the communities that each of them represent, they do so by stressing their Sunni identity and by extension that they are Ahl-As-Sunna wa-al-Jama’at (ASJ). Even though it is rather difficult to trace and locate the exact origins of the term, its construction and employment were intended to distinguish themselves as a religious group from others such as the Shi’ites and Ibadis with whom they differed theologically and jurisprudentially. But since other religious minorities, such as the Baha’is and Ahmadis, emerged out of the house of Islam, they stressed its use in order to highlight their deep religious differences. Being in the majority, the ASJ adherents are generally represented by trained theologians and jurists. These individuals, who have been classified as “Muslim authorities” and who regard themselves as the prophet’s intellectual cum spiritual inheritors, appropriated their positions by, among other means, issuing fatwas (legal opinions) that act as guides in both majority Muslim societies (such as in West Africa) and in minority Muslim communities (such as East Africa) (Kramer and Schimdtke 2006Kramer, Gudren, and Sabine Schimdtke, eds. 2006Speaking for Islam: Religious Authorities in Muslim SocietiesLeidenE.J. Brill. Oguntayo, Ibrahim. 2016.https://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/11/future-ahmadiyya-nigeria-beyond-first-century/[Crossref] [Google Scholar]). Furthermore, these Muslim authorities see themselves as spokespersons on behalf of the Muslims, and as a result of their status they hold theological power and influence.

Since reference is being made to “Muslim authority” (or “religious authority”), it is necessary to briefly unpack the phrase and tie it in with the issues that will be discussed further in this essay. For the purpose of this section, one draws upon Kramer and Schimdtke’s (2006Kramer, Gudren, and Sabine Schimdtke, eds. 2006Speaking for Islam: Religious Authorities in Muslim SocietiesLeidenE.J. Brill. Oguntayo, Ibrahim. 2016.https://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/11/future-ahmadiyya-nigeria-beyond-first-century/[Crossref] [Google Scholar]) informative introduction. They state, “Religious authority is an elusive concept and notoriously difficult to define.” They explain this indefinable term through the ideas of sociologist Max Weber (d.1920) who described “authority … (as) the ability … to have one’s rules and rulings followed, or obeyed, without recourse to coercive power.” And they asserted that, “It is indeed the very absence of coercion that for Weber distinguishes authority (Autorität) from power (Macht).” Taking into account these theoretical notions associated with the term, they add that,

Religious authority can assume a number of forms and functions: the ability (chance, power, or right) to define correct belief and practice, or orthodoxy and orthopraxy, respectively; to shape and influence the views and conduct of others accordingly; to identify, marginalize, punish or exclude deviance, heresy and apostasy and their agents and advocates.

A careful scrutiny of their thoughts reminds one of the role that Muslim authorities play in Muslim societies: They are “agents of social change.” They are the ones who draw thick lines between belief and unbelief. They are individuals who highlight acts regarded as irregular and unacceptable. They are the theologians who point out aberrant thoughts that might lead to heresy or apostasy, as was the case with the Ahmadis (Kramer and Schimdtke 2006Kramer, Gudren, and Sabine Schimdtke, eds. 2006Speaking for Islam: Religious Authorities in Muslim SocietiesLeidenE.J. Brill. Oguntayo, Ibrahim. 2016.https://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/11/future-ahmadiyya-nigeria-beyond-first-century/[Crossref] [Google Scholar]).

From this, one can gauge that Muslim authority holds a critical position in Muslim society. Muslim authorities find themselves in that position because of the theological and jurisprudential knowledge that they accumulated in a recognized Muslim institution such as Saudi Arabia’s International Islamic University of Medina or Muslim theological seminary such as India’s Darul-Ulum Deoband. These institutions provide them with the license to pronounce over issues that are acceptable (halal) and non-acceptable (haram). In other words, they have been authorized to act in the interest of the Muslim society as a whole, and their position is viewed religiously legitimate, since they also hold “sacred power” through their interpretation of Islam’s primary sources, namely the Qur’an and hadith. They are, to word it differently, Islam’s gatekeepers or caretakers.

Being its caretakers means that they are indeed the ones who have the “right,” as inheritors of the mantle of the Prophets, to apply their minds to any aspect of Muslim law. They are the ones who may opine whether one may marry an Ahmadi or not, and they have the authority to consider and decide whether Ahmadis or other groups (such as the Baha’is) are Muslim or not Muslim. Since this is what many of them generally do, it is perhaps an opportune moment to turn to Africa, where Muslim authorities have resided for generations and where many fatwas have been issued against unorthodox individuals and groups. To address the theological conflicts that occurred and the juridical opinions that were issued with regards to the Ahmadi teachings on the African continent, the present analysis takes into account freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) policies (Hackett 2011Hackett, Rosalind. 2011. “Regulating Freedom of Religion in Africa.” Emory International Law Review25 (1): 854879. [Google Scholar]; See Simmie 3Simmie, Tsedenya. 2017Religious Freedom and Society in AfricaNew Haven, CTThe Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, Yale University, 3 May. [Google Scholar] May 2017Simmie, Tsedenya. 2017Religious Freedom and Society in AfricaNew Haven, CTThe Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, Yale University, 3 May. [Google Scholar]) that have been adopted across the continent. At this juncture and to that end, the essay provides a brief historical and demographic assessment of both Africa’s traditional Muslim communities and the nonconformist Ahmadi communities using a few case studies.

Africa’s Muslim Communities and the Ahmadis

Africa has been the home of Muslim communities for centuries and historical records clearly mentioned that Muslims made contact during the prophetic period in the seventh century. However, Muslims connected with East and West Africa later than that; ties with the former were made during the ninth and tenth centuries and with the latter during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. From then onwards, the nascent Muslim communities developed themselves and made immeasurable contributions to the continent. Apart from having made inputs to the continent’s economy, such as creating lively commercial trading centers along the Swahili-speaking Coastal areas, they also made substantial inputs to the production of literature in thriving intellectual cities such as Mali’s Timbuktu; and they, in addition, contributed towards the transformation of the regional languages such as Ki-Swahili, Fulfulde, Makhuwa, and Afrikaans through the use of the pliable Arabic script.

One may, therefore, argue that the assortment of Muslim communities that resided in different parts of the continent made an indelible input that no social historian or geographer can ignore. So, one may confidently state that between the ninth century and the 19th century Muslims made certain that they made qualitative inputs in all spheres and that they left their footprints in each sector from which subsequent generations could benefit; the plethora of yet unedited manuscripts in Timbuktu is a typical example. So, by the time the Ahmadis consciously extended their ideas beyond South Asia through dedicated mission during the early part of the 20th century, they found Muslim communities that were active, dynamic, and inventive (Fisher 1963Fisher, Humphrey. 1963Ahmadiyyah: A Study in Contemporary Islam on the West African CoastOxfordOxford University Press. [Google Scholar]). However, while one commends these Muslims for having made their mark continentally through their efforts in commerce and education, one also comes across sections of these Muslim communities that were ill-informed about all aspects of their religion; these adopted a syncretic approach that weaved in aspects of Islam into their practicing cultures.

African culture played a pivotal role in the make-up of their identity, and even though they were taught Islam’s basics, such as the performance of the obligatory rituals, they lacked knowledge of notions of God’s oneness and deeper theological cum jurisprudential issues—hence their reliance on the Muslim authorities who were equipped with theological and jurisprudential knowledge. At this point, one should perhaps take a closer look at the Ahmadis’ theology, which they subtly stressed and dexterously disseminated among some of Africa’s theologically defenseless Muslim communities. Long before the Ahmadis began their mission in earnest on the African continent, they had developed their ideas that were based on Mirza’s teachings in South Asia, particularly Pakistan, where “the movement”—as they sometimes described themselves—started. One may too opine that African Muslims were and perhaps still are somewhat ill-informed about the views of Mirza’s theological ideas and interpretation. This argument is based partially on a 2012 Pew Research Center survey that was concurrently undertaken in South Asian and Southeast Asian nations where Muslims were in the majority (e.g. Pakistan) or were were a significant minority (e.g. Thailand). If one looks at the data in the table below, one is intrigued by the statistics (Table 1) .

Table 1. Ahmadis—Muslims or not?

Taking Pakistan and Bangladesh as South Asian examples, one notes that 7 percent of the Pakistanis who were interviewed stated that Ahmadis were Muslims, in contrast with 40 percent of Bangladeshis who opined differently. When turning to Southeast Asia, the statistics revealed that 16 percent Malaysians and 12 percent Indonesians viewed Ahmadis to be Muslims, as opposed to 23 percent Malaysians and 78 percent Indonesians, who considered them not to be Muslims. Interestingly, the statistic showed that 70 percent Thai Muslims and 61 percent Malay Muslims had never heard of the Ahmadis. These are indeed justifiably high percentages compared to Bangladesh’s 28 percent and Pakistan’s 26 percent of Muslims who had never heard of Ahmadis—these being two countries where one might assume the population might know more about Ahmadis as a separate religious group. The statistics underline that even though the Ahmadis have been around for more than a century as a distinct marginal religious community, albeit in a contested relationship with ASJ Muslim authorities, they were basically an unknown entity in three predominantly Muslim states by certain sections of their populations. And this is, of course, very different from the significant Thai Muslim community, who live in a mainly Buddhist society in which they have to deal with a different set of socio-political and religious challenges in trying to keep their identity as Muslims intact.

Nonetheless, when considering these responses and transferring them to Africa’s Muslim communities, one can find similar, if not more startling, responses. The rationale for this is based on two assumptions: the first is that some African Muslim communities do not enjoy comparable exposure to Islam’s teachings as their Bangladeshi and Malaysian counterparts, and the second is that the Muslims form part of a religious plural environment in which they have shown tolerance towards others who adhere to different beliefs and practices. In fact, in West Africa there are small pockets of Muslim communities that have fused their traditional practices with those of Islam, but they have not been ostracized, except in a few places.

Setting aside these assumptions and taking another slight detour prior to turning to the Ahmadis’ African mission, the following pertinent issues should be factored in when assessing the Ahl-As-Sunna wa-al-Jama’at’s(ASJ) theological posture towards them: Firstly, when assessing the approaches of the two groups towards Islam’s primary sources, it is clear that ASJ adherents express an orthodox position; whereas the Ahmadis/Qadiyanis embrace a heterodox one. Secondly, there is another critical difference that is related to the question of prophethood–a non-negotiable principle according to the orthodox view. On this matter the conformist ASJ, who determinedly believe that Prophet Muhammad was God’s final messenger, diametrically oppose both the unorthodox Qadiyanis and Ahmadis. The Qadiyanis, basing themselves on Mirza’s writings and pronouncements, have unwaveringly argued that Mirza was an inspired prophet. Their theologians reasoned that the Quranic word “seal” should be interpreted figuratively and not literally, as was generally understood by the orthodox interpreters. From this, the Qadiyanis derived the notion that Prophet Muhammad was not the last and final prophet. Thirdly, the Qadiyanis opined, as a consequence of this theological reasoning that those who do not accept Mirza as the promised Messiah are kafir. Kays (2006Kays, Abdul. 2006The Disciple of Dajjal: Exposing Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani’s Weird Creed. Revised & Abridged. Crown Mines. JohannesburgAl-Ilmu Noor Publications. [Google Scholar]) quoted Mirza as writing in his Kalimat ul-Fasl that “if one does not accept the revelations of the Promised Messiah … then such a rejector becomes a ‘kaafir’!”

In response to these reflections, the Ahmadis broke away from the Qadiyanis, arguing that Mirza’s pronouncements were misunderstood and that he did not say that he was a prophet. Instead, the Ahmadis averred that Mirza conveyed the notion that he was a reformer, in contrast to the Qadiyanis, who emphatically stated that Mirza was not only God’s promised Mahdi (awaited-one) and Christ’s Messiah, but also a prophet (Khan 2015Khan, Adil H. 2015From Sufism to Ahmadiyya: A Muslim Minority Movement in South AsiaBloomingtonIndiana University Press. [Google Scholar]).66 See “Difference Between Sunni and Ahmadi,” DifferenceBetween.net, c. June 2010; “What are the main difference between Ahmadiyyas and other Muslims?” Quora.com, c. July 2015.View all notes Despite the Ahmadis’ altered theological position, the ASJ vehemently condemned them along with the Qadiyanis. The ASJ Muslim authorities issued the legal view that the Qadiyanis and the Ahmadis were outside Islam’s fold. These authorities opined that their beliefs caused a great deal of consternation among all ASJ adherents. Even the Shi’ites, who expressed their discomfort with the theological views of the Qadiyanis and Ahmadis, were ironically categorized by a few extremist ASJ theologians to be outside Islam’s fold too. Though the ASJ Muslim authorities formulated their legal stance towards these two groups since the 1910s (Kays 2006Kays, Abdul. 2006The Disciple of Dajjal: Exposing Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani’s Weird Creed. Revised & Abridged. Crown Mines. JohannesburgAl-Ilmu Noor Publications. [Google Scholar]), both groups managed to survive the mainstream Muslim authorities’ persistent verbal and physical onslaught in both majority and minority settings. During the second half of the 20th century when international human rights instruments were developed and put in place, some of the bodies that worked in the interest of upholding human rights principles categorized the Ahmadis as “a persecuted religious group,” a group that had not only been marginalized and ostracized, but also been mistreated and victimized by dominant Muslim communities in countries such as Pakistan and Indonesia (Talbot 2007Talbot, Ian. 2007. “Religion and Violence: The Historical Context for Conflict in Pakistan.” In Religion and Violence in South Asia: Theory and Practice, edited by John Hinnels and RichardKing147163LondonRoutledge. [Google Scholar]; Ahmad 2017Ahmad, Usman. 2017Ahmadi Persecution: A Global IssueLondonTony Blair Global Studies Institute, June 21. [Google Scholar]). Hence, their constant appeal for the application of these instruments and their quest for the legal protection against states and communities that continue to discriminate against them on religious grounds.

The Ahmadis’ African Mission: Historical Vignettes of Selected Communities

Amidst the Ahmadis’ appeals and quest for protection in South and Southeast Asian nations of Pakistan and Indonesia, it seems that the Ahmadis have generally not faced such types of discrimination and persecution in Africa, where they began to settle in the early 1900s. In fact, when they landed on African soil and as they gradually began to do mission among Africa’s Muslim and non-Muslim communities, they socialized and interacted with communities that were very much occupied with their socio-political and cultural identities during the latter part of the colonial period. By the time the Ahmadis settled in and adjusted to the African environment, the existing Muslim communities, as well as others, were oblivious to the group’s theological teachings, and they accepted them as members of the Muslim ummah (that is, nation/society) without critically probing their theological ideas.

One may, however, postulate that the African Muslims’ attention was not so much concerned with the internal theological disagreements, and that they were more worried about the colonial rulers’ oppressive system and the Christian missionaries’, who challenged their African Muslim beliefs and practices. Since they found themselves to be defenseless, not being able to counter theologically, they sought assistance from other quarters; it was at this point in time that the Ahmadis met up with vulnerable African communities and used the opportunity to do their intended mission. So, one may state that the Ahmadis came into Africa at an opportune period. It was a time when the local Muslim authorities were helpless, since they did not know how to correctly counter Christian missionary activities. Thus, they relied on the skillful approach of the Ahmadis’ preachers who “rescued” them from Africa’s expansive Christian campaigners in different parts of the continent.

The Christian missionaries, who had set up “mission schools” and who had actively spread the Gospel, found their match in the Ahmadi preachers. During that period Ahl-As-Sunna wa-al-Jama’at authorities were ill-equipped to deal with the Christian missionaries, for they were unfamiliar with the Gospel, nor did they have in-depth knowledge about Christianity as such. Being skilled in and knowledgeable of methods of conversion, the Ahmadi proselytizers who were prepared for these eventualities thus aided these Muslim communities, salvaging them from the Gospel-filled hands of the Christian evangelists, who they saw as an extended part of the colonial powers. In these eyes of these Muslim communities, colonial rulers not only subjugated them through oppressive decrees, but also used their educational institutions as instruments of conversion, hence the African Muslim communities’ aversion to attending modern colonial mission schools.

At this point, it is appropriate to summarily describe the Ahmadis’ presence in certain parts of the African continent. The graph above reveals that the highest number of Ahmadis is to be found in Nigeria, Benin, and Tanzania; in these countries their numbers have reached over two million and together they record close to eight million members. Even though their numbers in Guinea Bissau and Egypt are miniscule, they are numerically larger than those found in Southern Africa where Ahmadis only number about 2,000 adherents (Figure 1) .

Figure 1. Ahmadis’ presence in Africa. Data Sourced: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmadiyya_by_country.

West Africa’s Ahmadis

Ibrahim Oguntayo (2016),77 Ibrahim Oguntayo, “Future of Ahmadiyya in Nigeria: Beyond the First Century.” Vanguard, 25 November 2016.View all notes in his capacity as the Publicity Committee for Centenary Celebrations of the Nigerian branch of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamat (as they are called), mentioned that, “The root of Ahmadiyya Nigeria Muslim Jamaat was planted in 1916 when the spread of the message of the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Ghulam Ahmad was brought to the newly amalgamated Northern and Southern protectorates in Nigeria.” In 2016, the Nigerians held their 64th annual convention (Jalsa Salana) to mark their hundred-year anniversary of Ahmadi existence in Nigeria. The event called “for a deep reflection on the contributions of the Jamaat to Nigeria’s development.” In Oguntayo’s informed opinion, the Ahmadis have made substantial contributions to Islam’s spread. For some reason, he did not say much about Nigeria’s rich past, of which Usman don Fodio (d.1817) was and remained a great Muslim leader in West Africa.

Nonetheless, he glowingly stated that, unlike other African states in the region, the Ahmadis succeeded in establishing 493 branches across all states. Over the Ahmadis’ hundred years in Nigeria, they set up elementary and secondary schools, and health care centers. In addition, they had, since 1966, published The Truth as their mouthpiece. In Kays’ (2006Kays, Abdul. 2006The Disciple of Dajjal: Exposing Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani’s Weird Creed. Revised & Abridged. Crown Mines. JohannesburgAl-Ilmu Noor Publications. [Google Scholar], 47) sensationally written text, he had this to say: “Mirzaees discovered that Nigeria … (was) fertile ground for spreading their weird creed. Readers of ‘The Truth’, Mirzaee organ from Lagos, will have observed how Ahmadees attempt to indoctrinate the reader with Mirza as a prophet.” He further stated that,

One of the reasons for deceiving the Nigerian Muslim easily is that his language is not Urdu … and they may also not be aware that Mirza was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde … including as an agent of the imperialists.

During the time when the Ahmadis were settling in and expanding in Nigeria and making headway with their mission, they cast their sights on neighboring states. The second stop in West Africa was the Gold Coast, known today as Ghana,88 “Ahmadiyya in Ghana,” Wikipedia, accessed July 2018.View all notes (Samwini 2006Samwini, Nathan. 2006Muslim Resurgence in Ghana Since 1951: Its Effects upon Muslims and Christian-Muslim RelationsMünsterLIT Verlag. [Google Scholar]; Turkson 2007Turkson, Peter K. 2007Ghana: If Islam becomes an Enigma. Oasis, January 10. MilanFoundation International. [Google Scholar]; Acquah 2011Acquah, Francis. 2011. “The Impact of African Traditional Religious Beliefs and Cultural Values on Christian-Muslim Relations in Ghana from 1920 through the Present: A Case Study of Nkusukum-Ekumfi-Enyan Area of the Central Region.” Unpublished Thesis., University of Exeter. [Google Scholar]; Hanson 2017Hanson, John. 2017The Ahmadiyya in the Gold Coast: Muslim Cosmopolitans in the British EmpireBloomingtonIndiana University Press.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]). The Ahmadis’ foremost missionary at that time was Abdul Rahim Nayyar who was, in fact, invited by a group of Muslims from Saltpond, and this happened during the period when the Ahmadis’ Second Caliphate was in charge. After having laid the foundations in 1921, Nayyar departed, but he was replaced by the Ahmadis’ first permanent missionary by the name of Al Hajj Fadl-ul-Rahman Hakim in 1922. According to Samwini (2006Samwini, Nathan. 2006Muslim Resurgence in Ghana Since 1951: Its Effects upon Muslims and Christian-Muslim RelationsMünsterLIT Verlag. [Google Scholar]), the Ahmadis depended much on Hakim’s skills, and he was ably supported by a Fante interpreter. Hakim, who conducted his lectures along the Gold Coast’s southern coast in the public, made profuse use of the Quran and the Bible. He, for example, spoke about how “The Bible shows Jesus did not die on the cross.” At times, these polemical topics attracted the interest of many Christians, but they also led to intra-Muslim conflict, since the orthodox Muslims did not subscribe to this Ahmadi view regarding Jesus. Besides preaching publicly, the Ahmadis made great efforts to set up a school, but they failed to do so for more than twenty years. It was only by 1950 that the situation changed. By then, the Ahmadis’ numbers had increased substantially, and they opened the doors of their first senior secondary school in Kumasi. Regionally, Ghana became the home of the second largest Ahmadi community, which according to the latest census shows that their numbers have reached 635,000. From the graph above, it seems that the Ahmadis’ demographics changed substantially during the latter part of the 20th century.

East and South Africa’s Ahmadis

Moving to East Africa. where Tanzania99 Ahmaddiya Muslim Jamaat Tanzania, “A Brief History.” http://ahmadiyyatz.org/a-brief-history/.View all notes has a sizeable Ahmadi community numbering more than 2 million, it should be noted that missionaries came to Lake Tanganika’s shores two decades before the Ahmadi community initiated their activities in Nigeria. According to the Tanzanian Ahmadis, two of Mirza’s companions, namely Hadhrat Munshi Muhammad Afzal Sahib and Hadhrat Mirza Abdullah Sahib, landed in East Africa during 1896. Subsequent to their visit, a few more came, among them Dr. Muhammad Ismail Giryanwi who was an Indian military doctor. Since they encountered a few challenges as they tried to expand their activities, they sought assistance from Qadian, the small Indian town from where Mirza established his theological movement. Their request for help coincided with the Tahrik-e-Jadid (history and renewal) scheme, a project that aimed to universalize the Ahmadi message. Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad, Mirza’s son, responded and he sent Shaykh Mubarak Ahmad on October 10, 1910, as the first Amir of the Ahmadis in East Africa.

By 1923, the Ahmadis published Al-Balagh to proclaim the Ahmadi message, and by 1930 they had built their first Nairobi-based mosque. Alongside these developments, the Shaykh circulated in 1936 the first issue of Mapenzi ya Mungu (God’s Love), their newspaper. It was a vehicle used against the Christians, who expressed the view that “we can only be saved by the blood of Jesus” in pamphlets they disseminated. The Shaykh saw it appropriate to use the pages of the new newspaper to refute the ideas of the Christians. He, according to the online report,1010 Ahmaddiya Muslim Jamaat Tanzania, “A brief history.”View all notes responded to these pamphlets by stating that human beings can “only be saved by the love of God.” He saw the newspaper, which was issued in East Africa’s lingua franca, as that critical vehicle.

As a result of the Shaykh’s sterling mission work since he arrived, the community founded the Sheikh Mubarak Ahmad Ahmadi Muslim School in 1937 and it was strategically set up in Tanzania’s Tabora. The reason for choosing this town was because it was a key Christian center that represented all denominations. It was also the home of the best secondary school country-wide, and it was set up in the vicinity of the important Christian Theological College for Priests. At this point one needs to fast-forward and mention that a year after Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV’s official visit, Tanzania’s Ahmadis celebrated their centenary in 1989. The event was celebrated with all sorts of activities, and a special edition of the newspaper was printed. The celebrations were followed by the Dawat ili-Allah (mission to God) campaign that gave way to the formation of mission houses that facilitated the process of Bai’at, the swearing of allegiance to the Ahmadi Khaliph.

Between the time the magazine, Al-Balagh, was circulating and the first mosque was built in East Africa, a delegation with Al-Haj Lord Sir Rowland George Allanson Allanson-Winn, Baron Headley (d.1935) among them went on a visit to South Africa.1111 Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya, South Africa. “About: What is the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association?,” http://khuddam.org.za/about.View all notes Unlike Tanzania and Nigeria, where contact had been made and official branches established, the Ahmadi connection in South Africa was only made in mid-1920s when Woking’s Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din and Lord Headley officially visited South Africa to undertake their mission. This was reported in the short-lived Cape Town based magazine, the Moslem Outlook.1212 The Moslem Outlook, 20 February 1926, http://www.wokingmuslim.org/work/s-africa-is-rev.htm and http://www.wokingmuslim.org/pers/headley.htm.View all notes According to Ebrahim (2015Ebrahim, Zaid. 2015. “History of the Ahmadiyya Jamat South Africa.” Al-Asr 55 (1): 3031. [Google Scholar]), the Ahmadis officially established themselves at the Cape in 1958 under the inspiration of Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad. In 2018, their members celebrated their sixtieth year on South African soil with numbers still not reaching more than 500.

During Dr. Yusuf Sulaiman’s visit to the Ahmadis’ headquarters in Pakistan, the latter gave a sermon in which he identified South Africa as a place where a branch should be set up. Ebrahim quoted the following portion of a sermon delivered on March 8, 1946, which appeared in The Sunrise of March 23, 1946:

South Africa would now be on the Ahmadiyya Tabligh Map in as much as a South African, Dr. Y. Sulaiman who was educated in England and who qualified for medical degree intended now to devote himself to work for Islam in this part of the world.

Between 1946 and 1951, Sulaiman preached to individuals from his Cape Town home, where he also held jumu’ah and ‘Id ritual prayers. Having worked in earnest, Sulaiman eventually succeeded in convincing those with whom he interacted to join the Ahmadi community. Among those who responded to the Ahmadi invitation was Muhammad Hashim Ebrahim (d.1985) and members of his family. It was this family that laid the grounds for the center in 1958. Another family from the Qadiyani school that also joined the ranks was the Hargey family.

Among the significant outcomes of the Ahmadis’ presence in South Africa were two court cases that took place at the beginnings of the 1980s and the 1990s, respectively. These were discussed by Aziz (2008Aziz, Zahid. 2008A Survey of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement: History, Beliefs, Aims and WorkLondonAhmadiyya Anjuman Lahore Publications. [Google Scholar]) and analyzed by Qadir (2016Qadir, Ali. 2016. “How Heresy Makes Orthodoxy: The Sedimentation of Sunnism in the Ahmadi Cases of South Africa.” Sociology of Islam 4 (4): 345367. doi: 10.1163/22131418-00404001[Crossref] [Google Scholar]). These legal challenges took place during the South African apartheid system which paradoxically permitted minority religious traditions such as Islam to be practiced, though the apartheid authorities restricted their practices to the religious rituals only. In this context one may ask: What was the nature of this “religious freedom” or “freedom of religion or belief (FoRB)”?

FoRB Policies in Africa’s Religious Plural Environment

FoRB: Its Conceptualization

The past few years have brought the issuance of a plethora of documents, declarations, instruments, and policies that not only identified but that explained, explored, and examined the nature of FoRB across the Commonwealth. These documents remain essential ingredients of the democratic society that is protected by the international legal system (Cross 2015Cross, Frank B. 2015Constitutions and Religious FreedomCambridgeCambridge University Press. [Google Scholar]). In a revised “Freedom of Religion or Belief Toolkit,” issued by the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 2016, FCO offered a useful definition of FoRB that is quite fitting for this article’s contents (FCO 2016). The FCO stressed that FoRB has far-reaching and profound implications and that, this being the case, it should be viewed as “the key human right” for Ahmadis around the Commonwealth, as advocated by Baroness Anelay in the opening epigram of this article. The FCO categorically specified that FoRB “encompasses not just the freedom to hold personal thoughts and convictions, but also being able to manifest them individually or with others, publicly or in private.” When considering the FCO’s policy position, then this indeed applies to the Ahmadis who should be permitted to freely subscribe to their theological stance even though ASJ adherents oppose their beliefs and practices.

Islamic law scholar Abdullahi An-Naim (2012An-Naim, Abdullahi. 2012. “Experiences of Religious Freedom in an African Context – Universal Rights in a World of Diversity: The Case of Religious Freedom.” Acta 17: 193211. Rome: Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. [Google Scholar]) offers a considerably different understanding in making the point that, “freedoms of religion is necessary for each human person to pursue what she(/he) holds as the ultimate purpose and meaning of her(/his) life.” He further notes, idealistically, “freedom of religion and other human rights are both a means and end of societal solidarity and cooperation among believers and non-believers.” An-Na’im asserts, perhaps a bit hastily, that this ideal can become a reality if two goals are achieved: the first is to enthusiastically encourage the pursuance of pivotal values such as tolerance and respect for others across all religious traditions and among diverse communities without exception (Donald and Howard 2015Donald, Alice, and Erica Howard2015The Right to Freedom of Religion or Belieft and its Intersection with Other RightsBrusselsILGA-Europe. [Google Scholar]), and the second is to resist and restrain any sort of exclusivist inclinations or hegemonic tendencies that undermine and destabilize the “freedom of religion” policy. This type of ideal scenario, if ever realized, would work in the Ahmadis’ interests. Unfortunately, however, in countries such as Pakistan and Indonesia, hegemonic propensities have erupted that have caused Ahmadis a great deal discomfort as a result of their beliefs and identity. The question that emerges is: To what extent have the Ahmadis faced similar harassments and maltreatments at the hands of ASJ adherents in African countries where they reside? In order to answer this question, it is necessary to return to at least two African countries that were described earlier.

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd’s book Beyond Religious Freedom (2015Hurd, Elizabeth Shakman. 2015Beyond Religious Freedom: The New Global Politics of ReligionPrinceton, NJPrinceton University Press.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]) studied, among other religious minorities, Turkey’s Alevi community. According to Hurd, the Alevis were treated by the Turkish government as a “heterodox” community, some of whom wish to be seen as a strand within non-Sunni Islam. Similarly, the Ahmadis who have been ill-treated by Pakistani’s ASJ Muslim authorities (representing Sunni Islam) would also want to be seen as a theological school within the broader Sunni Islamic tradition, even though they stand apart from it in their interpretation of the primary sources. ASJ Muslim authorities in both majority and minority environments exercised their power and influence, thereby reducing the Ahmadis’ claims for legal recognition as bona fide Muslims. In spite of all the ASJ Muslim authorities’ attempts in so doing, the Ahmadis managed to persist in claiming their religious space alongside Sunni Islam.

In the case of the Alevis, Hurd (2015Hurd, Elizabeth Shakman. 2015Beyond Religious Freedom: The New Global Politics of ReligionPrinceton, NJPrinceton University Press.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]) makes a further pertinent point that may also be applied to the Ahmadis, when she states, “To refuse identity-based recognition for such already existing groups … is to obstruct democratization and hinder the emergence of tolerant legal regimes for managing religious diversity.” When thinking about the Ahmadis and their respective positions in majority and minority Muslim communities around the world, then one can argue that ASJ Muslim authorities have contributed to undermining FoRB policy by not recognizing the Ahmadis’ rightful place within a democratic society, given that their beliefs differ markedly from other Muslim communities. The ideal of FoRB of which An-Na’im speaks seems to be far-fetched, as a result of the ASJ Muslim authorities’ determinedly exclusivist theological stance towards the Ahmadis. The attitude and approach of these authorities in communities where they have been influential demands further consideration of African countries—in particular, to assess whether the Ahmadis have suffered as their counterparts and in Pakistan and, more importantly, whether FoRB policies have been taken for granted and ignored.

Africa’s Muslim Authorities: Exercising Theological Power, Curbing Ahmadi Beliefs

Mention has already been made of the fact that, when the Ahmadis first made their appearance on African soil, they generally did not encounter any religious hostility. When delegations went to Tanzania and South Africa, the Muslim communities welcomed them without raising questions regarding their theological beliefs and interpretations. By and large, they experienced an environment in which there was relative freedom. Their circumstances changed later when the ASJ Muslim authorities in these countries became aware of their theological outlook. From then onwards, verbal and, at times, physical conflicts occurred. The ASJ Muslim authorities, as already indicated, made ample use of their theological positions by challenging and countering the Ahmadis’ interpretations even though their leaders argued that they, unlike the Qadiyanis, do not consider Mirza to be a prophet and that they do not subscribe to the view that non-Ahmadis are kafir.

Across the world, ASJ Muslim authorities absolutely opposed the Ahmadis and they stripped them jurisprudentially from their “Muslim” identity and other rights such as marriage and inheritance. But despite these outcomes, the Ahmadis persisted as a persecuted group by continuing with their universal mission as instructed by Mirza. By the early 1900s, Ahmadis had planted themselves in East Africa; by the mid-1910s, they had moved to West Africa; and by the end of the 1950s, they had settled in South Africa. In all of these regions, they left their footprints. This was partly to do with the zealous passion that they possessed to spread Mirza’s message, but it was also to do with the relative peaceful situation that they encountered. As a result of the latter conditions, they took full advantage by preaching to all and sundry, especially arguing against the Christian missionaries. Initially, when the Ahmadi preachers settled and preached without any opposition from within the mainstream Muslim environments, they could undertake their task without being disturbed. This, however, dramatically changed when the orthodox ASJ Muslim authorities learned more about Mirza and his disciples.

The ASJ Muslim authorities reached a consensus that, as a group, the Ahmadis had to be countered and ejected from all Muslim sacred spaces, including mosque and burial sites, and from participating in the obligatory rituals. In addition, those who were married to spouses who were Ahmadis, as Anderson (2013Anderson, J. N. J. 2013Islamic Law in Africa. Reprint edition. LondonRoutledge. [Google Scholar]) pointed out, had to divorce them. Relatedly, the local Muslim News in Cape Town on January 25, 1963, contained an article titled “Faith or Love? The Young Muslim Misled by Ahmadis” (Haron 1993Haron, Muhammed. 1993. “Muslim News (1960–1986): An Expression of an Islamic Identity in South Africa.” In Muslim Identities in Sub-Saharan Africa: Contemporary Transformations in Muslim Societies, Edited Louis Brenner210225BloomingtonIndiana University Press. [Google Scholar]). In recent years, when sectarianism became widespread, a question regarding marriage was posed to Mufti Ebrahim Desai, one of the South Africa’s foremost theologians. Desai tersely and unapologetically responded that the Ahmadis were not Muslims.1313 See http://www.irshad.org/exposed/fatwas/edesai.phpand http://www.askimam.org/public/question_detail/30867This question was posed on 14 October 2014.View all notes On the whole, the ASJ’s theological bodies conveniently used FoRB policies to their advantage, taking theological positions to ostracize the Ahmadis.

South Africa

Nonetheless, in spite of the Cape-based Muslim Judicial Council’s (est.1945) reaction, particularly through fatwas such as the simplistic sample mentioned earlier by Mufti Desai, Ahmadis in South Africa never lost hope, and they largely accepted their fate as a marginalized religious community. While some of them have contested their theological positions and their rightful status as a minority in the South Asian courts as mentioned by Kays (2006Kays, Abdul. 2006The Disciple of Dajjal: Exposing Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani’s Weird Creed. Revised & Abridged. Crown Mines. JohannesburgAl-Ilmu Noor Publications. [Google Scholar]), they also contested the issue further in the South Africa courts (Qadir 2016Qadir, Ali. 2016. “How Heresy Makes Orthodoxy: The Sedimentation of Sunnism in the Ahmadi Cases of South Africa.” Sociology of Islam 4 (4): 345367. doi: 10.1163/22131418-00404001[Crossref] [Google Scholar]). Of interest to note is the fact that the South African Muslims, who were a religious minority and a politically disenfranchized group, marginalized the Ahmadis, forcing them to undergo double discrimination—from a political dimension they were part of the Colored community that was subjugated, and from a religious dimension they were verbally and physically mistreated by the Muslim community from which they emerged. The MJC declared the Ahmadis to be apostates long before the court cases mentioned above. In addition, Abdul Kays, who was part of the collective editorial committee of the Cape Muslim newspaper, the Muslim News (1960–1986), described the founder of the Ahmadis in distasteful terms in his sensationalist booklet1414 It was first published in 1965 and then revised in 2006.View all notes branding them theologically as non-Muslims.

Ghana

While the Ahmadis had to tolerate the maltreatment at the hands of the MJC and its followers, related encounters were also recorded elsewhere on the continent. Samwini (2006Samwini, Nathan. 2006Muslim Resurgence in Ghana Since 1951: Its Effects upon Muslims and Christian-Muslim RelationsMünsterLIT Verlag. [Google Scholar]) narrates that, in Ghana, the Tijaniyya and Ahmadi discord in the 1940s continued unabated. In one case, Ghana’s Muslim authorities in the town of Tamale even went so far as to encourage the children to stone the Ahmadis, since they were viewed as a major theological threat. Although no such abuses were recorded at the Cape, the Ahmadis felt the extent of ostrakonophobia.

Returning to the year 1994, Ghana witnessed an escalation of conflict between the Tijaniyya and Ahmadis. This time, according to Turkson (2007Turkson, Peter K. 2007Ghana: If Islam becomes an Enigma. Oasis, January 10. MilanFoundation International. [Google Scholar]), the conflict took place in the Ghanian town of Wa. Turkson reported that this skirmish resulted in the burning down of an Ahmadi mosque, resulting in a return of old tensions that existed for some time. Besides the Muslim community’s battles with the Ahmadis, other intra-Muslim conflicts were also prevalent, such as the animosities between the Tijanis and Wahhabis and the violence that took place between them in Ghana’s Wenchi Zongo district during 1995. Apart from these intra-Muslim conflicts, hostilities were also chronicled between the Muslims and Pentecostal Christians in Kumasi, Takoradi and Walewale in 1998. Since the Ahmadis and others were drawn into these persistent scuffles, it created a very unpleasant atmosphere that undermined Ghana’s FoRB policy.1515 See United States Department of State, International Freedom of Religion Report, Ghana, 2016.View all notes

When considering the conflictual outcomes of the relationship between the larger Muslim communities and the minority Ahmadis, one wonders on what theological grounds the Muslim authorities give support to violence against the minorities such as the Ahmadis. The question is: What policy of FoRB should be observed and respected within the nation-state? One should bear in mind that most of the African nation-states are multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-cultural, and, of course, multi-religious. Being multi-religious implies that religious adherents should respect and tolerate one another’s traditions as per An-Naim’s (2012An-Naim, Abdullahi. 2012. “Experiences of Religious Freedom in an African Context – Universal Rights in a World of Diversity: The Case of Religious Freedom.” Acta 17: 193211. Rome: Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. [Google Scholar]) proposal, even though one may not agree with the others’ beliefs or practices. As regards the attitudes of Muslim communities, which are usually guided by their Muslim authorities, it can be argued that they need to adopt a more tolerant position that is in line with the prophetic model that they are expected to uphold–but then again one talks about the ideal and not the realities on the ground.

However, some of the examples mentioned here, along with the persecution that Ahmadis generally experienced at the hands of the ASJ Muslim authorities, demonstrate that the latter group is rather selective when it comes to observing FoRB policies. In fact, they should consider drawing lessons from Shaykh Dr Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, who is the National Chief Imam of Ghana and a member of Ghana’s National Peace Council. According to the Rabwah Times report,1616 “Chief Imam of Ghana Speaks Out in Support of Ahmadis.” Rabwah Times, 14 August 2016.View all notes he decided to broker peace with the Ahmadis and forget the past. It seems that, notwithstanding the constitutional guarantees that exist in some countries, the Ahmadis were and are still being challenged by the Muslim communities’ religious authorities, who have remained firm that no Ahmadi should be regarded as a Muslim. The general chauvinistic behavior of the Muslim authorities has affected the Ahmadis on three levels: (1) they caused the Ahmadis to remain a religiously insecure community, (2) they took away their religious rights in religious freedom environments, and (3) they forced them to be theologically ostracized and socially marginalized even though they do, like their counter-parts, have the constitutional rights to freely express their religious identity.

Conclusion

This article has essentially documented the Ahmadi community’s presence, as a religious minority community in Africa, where FoRB policies were and are still in place. It, however, illustrated to what extent this community experienced various types of abuses and persecution. Even though they splintered from the Qadiyanis, who held views that were contrary to the orthodox Sunni Islam views, they were still held responsible for subtly perpetuating these debatable theological beliefs and perspectives. The Ahmadis’ fate was sealed when the ASJ Muslim authorities under the auspices of the Mecca based Muslim World League issued a fatwa1717 Rasheed, “Consensus of the International Muslim Community on the Ahmadiyya Movement,” 15 February 2014. Auckland: At Tawqa Trust. http://www.masjidattaqwa.co.nz/ahmadiyya/Interestingly, the journal which published the fatwa seems to have erases it from its website at www.iifa-aifi.org.View all notes declaring both Ahmadis and Qadiyanis to be non-Muslims.

From then onwards, orthodox Sunni Islam Muslim authorities across the globe felt obliged to observe this decision. What this essentially meant was that, even though the Ahmadis still expressed and identified with a set of the beliefs to which Muslims generally adhere, these authorities jurisprudentially argued that they were not on par with other Muslims in terms of their beliefs. That being the case, they were thus legally viewed as a separate religious group and not as another school of thought within the house of Islam. Also important to observe is that fact that, while the Ahmadis wish to be technically regarded as Muslims, they also consciously preferred to use the term “Ahmadi” to distinguish themselves from everyone else, including the Qadiyanis. Nonetheless, as a consequence of the legal opinion issued by orthodox Sunni Islam Muslim authorities, the Ahmadis—wherever they settled around the globe—were regarded jurisprudentially as separate and apart from those traditionally defined as Muslims in both majority and minority communities (Asad 2010Ahmed, Asad. 2010. “The Paradoxes of Ahmadiyya Identity: Legal Appropriation of Muslim-Ness and the Construction of Ahmadiyya Difference.” In Beyond Crisis: Re-Evaluating Pakistan, edited by Naveeda A. Khan273314LondonRoutledge. [Google Scholar]).1818 Interestingly, apart from Pakistan, where the Ahmaddiya started out, they are now to be found in at least four majority Muslim states–namely Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, and Indonesia. While Pakistan has banned Ahmadis from using the name Muslim, other states such as Egypt have not.View all notes

ORCID

Muhammed Haron http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6907-8488

Notes

1 This term refers to anti-Muslim rhetoric that has been studies by various individuals and groups over the past few years. Interesting texts that cover this phenomenon is the report by Wajahat Ali et al. Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America (Wajahat Ali et al. 2011Wajahat Ali et al. 2011Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in AmericaWashington, DCCentre for American Progress.https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/religion/report/2011/08/26/10165/fear-inc/Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America],“ Wajahat Ali, Eli Clifton, Matthew Duss, Lee Fang, Scott Keyes, and Faiz Shakir. [Google Scholar]) and European Islamophobia Report 2015(Bayrakli and Hafez 2016Bayrakli, Enes, and Farid Hafez, eds. 2016European Islamophobia Report 2015Istanbul & Washington, DCSETA. [Google Scholar]).

2 This researcher searched the long list of words that describe the various phobias and he was unable to find a word that captures the “fear of being ostracized.” He thus coined this term that he derived from the Greek word: ostrakon (visit: www.fearof.net and www.phobialist.com).

3 The Ahmadis are also referred to the Lahoris and they have been challenged by their theological siblings, namely the Qadiyanis who consider themselves the authentic followers of Mirza.

4 Ehsan Rehan reported on November 12, 2017 that Allama Iqbal Bahisti, who was the secretary general of Majlis Wahdat—e-Muslimin and a key Shi’ite theologian, warned about the dangers that both the Bahais and Ahmadis posed; this is rather ironic during the current period knowing that many theologians in the Sunni world have also condemned the Shi’ites to be outside the fold of Islam! Ehsan Rehan, “Pakistani Shia Cleric Warns of Dangers Posed by Baha’is & Ahmadis,” Rabwah Times, 12 November 2017. See Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishàat Islam Lahore Inc. U.S.A. “Ahmadiyya Movement Contrasted with the Bahai Religion.” http://www.muslim.org/intro/bah.htm and Fuad Al-Attar, “The Difference between Ahmadis and Bahais.” Ahmadiyya: Inviting to Islam (blog), 7 January 2012. The latter provides a simplistic comparative view.

5 Though popularly referred to as the ‘Ulama [that is, the learned scholars], in this essay they will be referred as Muslim theologians or alternatively as religious authorities.

6 See “Difference Between Sunni and Ahmadi,” DifferenceBetween.net, c. June 2010; “What are the main difference between Ahmadiyyas and other Muslims?” Quora.com, c. July 2015.

7 Ibrahim Oguntayo, “Future of Ahmadiyya in Nigeria: Beyond the First Century.” Vanguard, 25 November 2016.

8 “Ahmadiyya in Ghana,” Wikipedia, accessed July 2018.

9 Ahmaddiya Muslim Jamaat Tanzania, “A Brief History.” http://ahmadiyyatz.org/a-brief-history/.

10 Ahmaddiya Muslim Jamaat Tanzania, “A brief history.”

11 Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya, South Africa. “About: What is the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association?,” http://khuddam.org.za/about.

12 The Moslem Outlook, 20 February 1926, http://www.wokingmuslim.org/work/s-africa-is-rev.htm and http://www.wokingmuslim.org/pers/headley.htm.

13 See http://www.irshad.org/exposed/fatwas/edesai.php and http://www.askimam.org/public/question_detail/30867 This question was posed on 14 October 2014.

14 It was first published in 1965 and then revised in 2006.

15 See United States Department of State, International Freedom of Religion Report, Ghana, 2016.

16 “Chief Imam of Ghana Speaks Out in Support of Ahmadis.” Rabwah Times, 14 August 2016.

17 Rasheed, “Consensus of the International Muslim Community on the Ahmadiyya Movement,” 15 February 2014. Auckland: At Tawqa Trust. http://www.masjidattaqwa.co.nz/ahmadiyya/ Interestingly, the journal which published the fatwa seems to have erases it from its website at www.iifa-aifi.org.

18 Interestingly, apart from Pakistan, where the Ahmaddiya started out, they are now to be found in at least four majority Muslim states–namely Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, and Indonesia. While Pakistan has banned Ahmadis from using the name Muslim, other states such as Egypt have not.

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  • Aziz, Zahid. 2008A Survey of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement: History, Beliefs, Aims and WorkLondonAhmadiyya Anjuman Lahore Publications.
  • Bayrakli, Enes, and Farid Hafez, eds. 2016European Islamophobia Report 2015Istanbul & Washington, DCSETA.
  • Buck, Christopher. 2003. “Islam and Minorities: The Case of the Bahai’s.” Studies in Contemporary Islam 1 (2): 86103.
  • Cross, Frank B. 2015Constitutions and Religious FreedomCambridgeCambridge University Press.
  • Donald, Alice, and Erica Howard2015The Right to Freedom of Religion or Belieft and its Intersection with Other Rights.BrusselsILGA-Europe.
  • Ebrahim, Zaid. 2015. “History of the Ahmadiyya Jamat South Africa.” Al-Asr 55 (1): 3031.
  • Fisher, Humphrey. 1963Ahmadiyyah: A Study in Contemporary Islam on the West African CoastOxfordOxford University Press.
  • FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office). 2016Freedom of Religion or Belief Toolkit: How the FCO Can Help Promote and Protect This Human RightLondonFCO.
  • Gualtieri, Antonio. 2004The Ahmadis: Community, Gender, Politics in a Muslim SocietyMcGillQueen’s Press.
  • Hackett, Rosalind. 2011. “Regulating Freedom of Religion in Africa.” Emory International Law Review 25 (1): 854879.
  • Hanson, John. 2017The Ahmadiyya in the Gold Coast: Muslim Cosmopolitans in the British EmpireBloomington:Indiana University Press.
  • Haron, Muhammed. 1993. “Muslim News (1960–1986): An Expression of an Islamic Identity in South Africa.” InMuslim Identities in Sub-Saharan Africa: Contemporary Transformations in Muslim Societies, Edited Louis Brenner210225BloomingtonIndiana University Press.
  • Hurd, Elizabeth Shakman. 2015Beyond Religious Freedom: The New Global Politics of ReligionPrinceton, NJPrinceton University Press.
  • Jamil, Uzma. 2002. “Minorities and ‘Islamic States’: Explaining Bahai and Ahmadi Marginalization.” Unpublished MA Thesis., McGill University.
  • Kays, Abdul. 2006The Disciple of Dajjal: Exposing Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani’s Weird Creed. Revised & Abridged. Crown Mines. JohannesburgAl-Ilmu Noor Publications.
  • Khan, Adil H. 2015From Sufism to Ahmadiyya: A Muslim Minority Movement in South AsiaBloomingtonIndiana University Press.
  • Kramer, Gudren, and Sabine Schimdtke, eds. 2006Speaking for Islam: Religious Authorities in Muslim SocietiesLeiden:E.J. Brill. Oguntayo, Ibrahim. 2016. https://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/11/future-ahmadiyya-nigeria-beyond-first-century/
  • Panggabean, Samsu R. 2016. “Policing Sectarian Conflict in Indonesia: The Case of Shi’ism.” In Religion, Law and Intolerance in Indonesia, edited by Tim Lindsey, and Helen Pausacker271288LondonRoutledge.
  • Qadir, Ali. 2016. “How Heresy Makes Orthodoxy: The Sedimentation of Sunnism in the Ahmadi Cases of South Africa.” Sociology of Islam 4 (4): 345367. doi: 10.1163/22131418-00404001
  • Saeed, Sadia. 2007. “Pakistani Nationalism and the State Marginalisation of the Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan.”Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism 7 (3): 132152. doi: 10.1111/j.1754-9469.2007.tb00166.x
  • Samwini, Nathan. 2006Muslim Resurgence in Ghana Since 1951: Its Effects upon Muslims and Christian-Muslim RelationsMünsterLIT Verlag.
  • Schafer, Saskia. 2018. “Ahmadis or Indonesians? The Polarization of Post-Reform Public Debates on Islam and Orthodoxy.” Critical Asian Studies 50 (1): 1636. doi: 10.1080/14672715.2017.1404925
  • Simmie, Tsedenya. 2017Religious Freedom and Society in AfricaNew Haven, CTThe Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, Yale University, 3 May.
  • Sullivan, Winnifred FallersElizabeth Shakman HurdSaba Mahmood, and Peter G. Danchin, eds. 2015Politics of Religious FreedomChicago, ILUniversity of Chicago Press.
  • Talbot, Ian. 2007. “Religion and Violence: The Historical Context for Conflict in Pakistan.” In Religion and Violence in South Asia: Theory and Practice, edited by John Hinnels and Richard King147163LondonRoutledge.
  • Turkson, Peter K. 2007Ghana: If Islam becomes an Enigma. Oasis, January 10. MilanFoundation International.
  • Wajahat Ali et al. 2011Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in AmericaWashington, DCCentre for American Progresshttps://www.americanprogress.org/issues/religion/report/2011/08/26/10165/fear-inc/ Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America],“ Wajahat Ali, Eli Clifton, Matthew Duss, Lee Fang, Scott Keyes, and Faiz Shakir.

Links and Related Essays

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/09/20/islam-vs-ahmadiyya-in-nigeria-1975-by-dr-ismail-a-b-balogan-b-a-ph-d-london-university-of-ibadan/

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15570274.2018.1535048?af=R&

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/08/09/mirza-ghulam-ahmad-told-indians-to-pray-for-the-success-of-the-british-government-1897/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/05/22/ahmadiyya-in-gambia/

FISHER, HUMPHREY (1963). AHMADIYYAH: A STUDY IN CONTEMPORARY ISLAM ON THE WEST AFRICAN COAST. OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS. P. 130.CENTENARY KHILAFAT-E-AHMADIYYA. TAHRIK-E-JADID ANJUMAN AHMADIYYA PAKISTAN. 2008. P. 296.

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/05/22/ahmadiyya-in-gambia/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/02/19/dr-balogan-the-famous-african-ahmadi-who-left-ahmadiyya-in-1974/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/09/01/who-is-farimang-mamadi-singhateh-the-governor-general-of-the-gambia-and-an-ahmadi/

Islam, A Study in contemporay Islam on the West African Coast by Humphrey J. Fisher (1963) Pages 1-25

Islam, A Study in contemporay Islam on the West African Coast by Humphrey J. Fisher (1963) pages 26-61

Islam, A Study in contemporay Islam on the West African Coast by Humphrey J. Fisher (1963) pages 62-99

Islam, A Study in contemporay Islam on the West African Coast by Humphrey J. Fisher (1963) pages 99-141

Islam, A Study in contemporay Islam on the West African Coast by Humphrey J. Fisher (1963) pages 141-183

Islam, A Study in contemporay Islam on the West African Coast by Humphrey J. Fisher (1963) pages 141 to end

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/09/01/the-ahmadiyya-playbook-in-africa/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/02/19/dr-balogan-the-famous-african-ahmadi-who-left-ahmadiyya-in-1974/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/09/01/who-is-farimang-mamadi-singhateh-the-governor-general-of-the-gambia-and-an-ahmadi/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/09/20/professor-humphrey-j-fisher-and-j-spencer-trimingham-called-ahmadiyya-a-maritime-implantation-in-west-africa/

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

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=above+the+law

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=violent+jihad

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/bulletin-of-the-school-of-oriental-and-african-studies/article/humphrey-j-fisher-ahmadiyyah-a-study-in-contemporary-islam-on-the-west-african-coast-x-206-pp-london-etc-oxford-university-press-for-the-nigerian-institute-of-social-and-economic-research-1963-35s/4E2803CA59EC8969CDC8FB27BFDC9059

https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Ahmadiyya_Movement_in_Nigeria.html?id=91fKHAAACAAJ

https://books.google.com/books?id=C2DxBwAAQBAJ&pg=PA11&lpg=PA11&dq=Humphrey+J+Fisher+and+ahmadiyya&source=bl&ots=-eayPuf3b5&sig=kFuL6U5O65Sh0_d66-Mge0VOmPM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjHwaSon8rdAhWQIDQIHQGcD_AQ6AEwDHoECAIQAQ#v=onepage&q=Humphrey%20J%20Fisher%20and%20ahmadiyya&f=false

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

 

 

The Hanafi Muslims vs. Ahmadi’s in Mauritius (1930’s)

Intro
My team and I have found a transcript from the 1930’s about the Hanafi Muslims of Mauritius against the Ahmadi’s of Mauritius.  Read about the history of Ahmadiyya in Mauritius here.

The data
Rose Hill mosque in Mauritius, 1930’s

Links and Related Essays

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/05/01/the-history-of-ahmadiyya-in-sri-lanka-aka-ceylon/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/07/29/the-history-of-ahmadiyya-in-mauritius/

http://www.alhakam.org/26-july-1-august/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/09/20/professor-humphrey-j-fisher-and-j-spencer-trimingham-called-ahmadiyya-a-maritime-implantation-in-west-africa/

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

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=above+the+law

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=violent+jihad

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/bulletin-of-the-school-of-oriental-and-african-studies/article/humphrey-j-fisher-ahmadiyyah-a-study-in-contemporary-islam-on-the-west-african-coast-x-206-pp-london-etc-oxford-university-press-for-the-nigerian-institute-of-social-and-economic-research-1963-35s/4E2803CA59EC8969CDC8FB27BFDC9059

https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Ahmadiyya_Movement_in_Nigeria.html?id=91fKHAAACAAJ

https://books.google.com/books?id=C2DxBwAAQBAJ&pg=PA11&lpg=PA11&dq=Humphrey+J+Fisher+and+ahmadiyya&source=bl&ots=-eayPuf3b5&sig=kFuL6U5O65Sh0_d66-Mge0VOmPM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjHwaSon8rdAhWQIDQIHQGcD_AQ6AEwDHoECAIQAQ#v=onepage&q=Humphrey%20J%20Fisher%20and%20ahmadiyya&f=false

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

 

The history of Ahmadiyya in Liberia (Africa)


Intro

The British government allowed the Mirza family free reign in Africa.  After WW-1 and WW-2, the British came to gain many territories in Africa, some taken from the French, Italians, Germans and others.  Nevertheless, the British used Ahmadiyya and the Mirza family to spread their tentacles in Africa.  We have covered Ahmadiyya in the Gambia and other places, sees the links at the very bottom.

Liberian Rubber during WW-2
Apart from Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka) and the Belgian Congo, Liberia possessed one of the few remaining sources of rubber for the Allies. To guarantee a steady supply of rubber from the world’s largest rubber plantation, operated at Harbel by the Firestone Company since 1926, the US government built roads throughout the country, created an international airport (known as Robertsfield Airport), and transformed the capital, Monrovia, by building a deep water port (the Freeport of Monrovia).  In 1944, with its entry into the war, Liberia adopted the US dollar and became one of only four countries in Africa to join the newly formed United Nations.

After WW-2, 1948
It seems that Liberia was a puppet state of the USA.  Their history is unclear.

1952
Ahmadiyya was introduced to Liberia during the era of the Second Caliphate, the movement today represents an estimated 10% of the country’s Muslim population, which should be 85,000 people.  However, this number seems dubious and devoid of proper research.  The earliest known record of an Ahmadiyya missionary in Liberia dates back to the 1950s, when Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, a missionary based in Sierra Leone at that time, visited Liberia in the spring of 1952. Staying in the country for a period of one month, Sadiq took the opportunity to meet the President of LiberiaWilliam Tubman and presented an English translation of the Quran as well as other Islamic literature.[2][3] However, the Ahmadiyya movement was first established four later, by Muhammad Ishaq Sufi. As per instruction of Caliph Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad, Sufi arrived in the capital Monrovia on 6 January 1956. A year later, on 12 June 1957, Sufi met with President Tubman as well, this time in his presidential palace.[2][3]

1970
As part of his tour of West Africa during the early period of his reign, the third caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Mirza Nasir Ahmad, visited Liberia. Invited by President Tubman, the caliph arrived at the Roberts International Airport, just outside the nation’s capital, Monrovia, for a two-day visit on April 29, 1970. Accompanied by a special representative of the president, Colonel Henri R. Gobson, and also a number of Governors, the caliph journeyed to the president’s Executive Mansion and conferred in a private audience with the president. Later, the Ahmadiyya mission invited the caliph for a dinner, at the now defunct Ducor Hotel. The following day, he returned to a dinner at the Executive Mansion tendered by the president in his honor, during which the president described him as “one of the greatest leaders in Islam”. On May 1, 1970, the caliph left the country.[4][5][6][7]

The fourth caliph, Mirza Tahir Ahmad, visited Liberia between January 31 and February 2 1988.[3]

Links and Related Essays
https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/09/20/professor-humphrey-j-fisher-and-j-spencer-trimingham-called-ahmadiyya-a-maritime-implantation-in-west-africa/

Sherman, Frank. Liberia: The Land, Its People, History and Culture. Intercontinental Books, 2010

“The World’s Muslims: Unity and Diversity” (PDF). Pew Forum on Religious & Public life. August 9, 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-24. Retrieved February 22, 2014.

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/05/22/ahmadiyya-in-gambia/

FisHer, Humphrey (1963). Ahmadiyyah: A study in Contemporary Islam on the West African Coast. Oxford University Press. p. 130.Centenary Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya. Tahrik-e-Jadid Anjuman Ahmadiyya Pakistan. 2008. p. 296.

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/05/22/ahmadiyya-in-gambia/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/02/19/dr-balogan-the-famous-african-ahmadi-who-left-ahmadiyya-in-1974/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/09/01/who-is-farimang-mamadi-singhateh-the-governor-general-of-the-gambia-and-an-ahmadi/

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

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=above+the+law

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=violent+jihad

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/bulletin-of-the-school-of-oriental-and-african-studies/article/humphrey-j-fisher-ahmadiyyah-a-study-in-contemporary-islam-on-the-west-african-coast-x-206-pp-london-etc-oxford-university-press-for-the-nigerian-institute-of-social-and-economic-research-1963-35s/4E2803CA59EC8969CDC8FB27BFDC9059

https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Ahmadiyya_Movement_in_Nigeria.html?id=91fKHAAACAAJ

https://books.google.com/books?id=C2DxBwAAQBAJ&pg=PA11&lpg=PA11&dq=Humphrey+J+Fisher+and+ahmadiyya&source=bl&ots=-eayPuf3b5&sig=kFuL6U5O65Sh0_d66-Mge0VOmPM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjHwaSon8rdAhWQIDQIHQGcD_AQ6AEwDHoECAIQAQ#v=onepage&q=Humphrey%20J%20Fisher%20and%20ahmadiyya&f=false

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

The history of Ahmadiyya in Mauritius

Intro
Ahmadiyya ideologies were promoted by the British government all over their vast empire.  Especially after WW-1 (1919) and WW-2 (1945).  On the 27th July 1928: Hafiz Jamal Ahmad was sent to Mauritius as a missionary. He spent the next 21 years serving there, propagating the message of Islam on this island. He passed away on 27 December 1949 and was buried there. On his demise, the 2nd Khalifa said about Mauritius, “Blessed is that land where one as supremely resolute and pious as him is buried”.

Links and Related Essays
http://www.alhakam.org/26-july-1-august/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/09/20/professor-humphrey-j-fisher-and-j-spencer-trimingham-called-ahmadiyya-a-maritime-implantation-in-west-africa/

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

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=above+the+law

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=violent+jihad

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/bulletin-of-the-school-of-oriental-and-african-studies/article/humphrey-j-fisher-ahmadiyyah-a-study-in-contemporary-islam-on-the-west-african-coast-x-206-pp-london-etc-oxford-university-press-for-the-nigerian-institute-of-social-and-economic-research-1963-35s/4E2803CA59EC8969CDC8FB27BFDC9059

https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Ahmadiyya_Movement_in_Nigeria.html?id=91fKHAAACAAJ

https://books.google.com/books?id=C2DxBwAAQBAJ&pg=PA11&lpg=PA11&dq=Humphrey+J+Fisher+and+ahmadiyya&source=bl&ots=-eayPuf3b5&sig=kFuL6U5O65Sh0_d66-Mge0VOmPM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjHwaSon8rdAhWQIDQIHQGcD_AQ6AEwDHoECAIQAQ#v=onepage&q=Humphrey%20J%20Fisher%20and%20ahmadiyya&f=false

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

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