A chronicle and a critique of the legislative and the judicial events leading to a gradual denial and erosion of religious freedom to Ahmadis in Pakistan. This work is intended to provide an insight into the background of the Supreme Court judgment in the Ahmadis' case.
Elucidation of Objectives is an English translation of Taudih-e-Maram (Urdu), a companion volume of the two treatises Fat-he-Islam and Izala-e-Auham, written in 1891 by Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, The Promised Messiah and Mahdi as, Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at. The book contains a detailed refutation of the conventional Muslim and Christian belief that Jesus was raised to the heavens alive and shall return in his material body sometime in the latter days.
The Promised Messiah as has also discussed at length such abstruse and subtle themes as the nature of Angels, their relationship with God and man, and how they function as intermediaries and carry out divine commands. (Read Online
A concise and thorough life sketch of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the promised Messiah whose advent had been prophesied by all the religions of the world.
Report of The Court of Inquiry
The third difference between the two parties arises out of the scope of the doctrine of jihad, the texts relating to which are to be found in Sura XXII verses 39 and 40, Sura II, verses 190 to 194, Sura LX, verse 8, Sura IV verses 74 and 75, Sura IX, verse 5, and Sura XXV, verse 52, which are as follows :—
Sura XXII, verses 39 and 40 :
39. “To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight) because they are wronged;—and verily, God is most Powerful for their aid;—
40. (They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right,—(for no cause) except that they say, ‘Our Lord is God.’ Did not God check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of God is commemorated in abundant measure. God will certainly aid those who aid His (cause);—for verily God is Full of Strength, exalted in Might, (able to enforce His Will).”
Sura II, verses 190 to 194 :
190. “Fight in the Cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loveth not transgressors.
191. And slay them wherever ye catch them and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there: but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith.
192. But if they cease, God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
193. And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God; but if they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression.
194. The prohibited month for the prohibited month,—and so for all things prohibited,—there is the law of equality. If then any one transgresses the prohibition against you, transgress ye likewise against him. But fear God, and know that God is with those who restrain themselves.”
Sura LX, verse 8 :
“God forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and Justly with them : For God loveth those who are just.”
Sura IV, verses 74 and 75
74. “Let those fight in the cause of God who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter, to him who fighteth in the cause of God,— whether he is slain or gets victory—soon shall We give him a reward of great (value).
75. And why should ye not fight in the cause of God and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? Men, women and children, whose cry is: ‘Our Lord ! rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from Thee one who will protect; and raise for us from Thee one who will help’ ”
Sura IX, verse 5 :
“But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.”
Sura XXV, verse 52 :
“Therefore listen not to the Unbelievers, but strive against them with the utmost strenuousness, with the (Qur’an).”
As to the doctrine of jihad, the Ahmadi view is that what is called ‘jihad-bis-saif’ is permissible only in self-defence and that in stating his own view on this question Mirza Ghulam Ahmad merely expounded a doctrine which is based on, and directly follows from, the several texts in the Qur’an and that he did not profess to repeal or abrogate any rule or injunction of the Qur’an. The contention of the other parties, however, is that the words in which Mirza Sahib expressed himself on this point clearly show that he was not merely expounding a Quranic doctrine but was repealing an existing law of the Qur’an. In this connection reliance is placed on such expressions as—
“Main ek hukam le-kar ap logon ke pas aya hun woh yeh hai keh ab se talwar ke jihad ka khatima hai”
(I have brought a commandment for you people; it is that henceforth jihad by sword is forbidden).
“Ab jihad din ke liye haram hai”
(Now jihad for the sake of religion is prohibited.)
“Din ke tamam jangon ka ab ikhtitam hai”
(All wars for religion have now been forbidden.)
“Masih ke ane-ka yeh nishan hai keh woh din ki lara’iyan khatam kar-dega”
(The sign for the advent of Messiah is that he will stop wars for religion.)
“Main ne jihad ki mumana’at ke bare men nihayat mu’assir taqriren kin”
(I made effective speeches in support of prohibition of jihad.)
“Main ne jihad ke khilaf sad-ha kitaben tehrir kar-ke Arab aur Misr aur Bilad-i-Sham aur Afghanistan men Government ki ta’id men sha’e ki hain”
(I have written hundreds of books against jihad and published them in Arabia, Egypt, Syria and Afghanistan in support of the Government.)
“Masih mau’ud ke waqt qat’-an jihad ka hukam mansukh kar-diya gaya”
(The injunctions relating to jihad were abrogated in toto during the time of the promised Messiah.)
“Ab zamin ke fasad band kiye gaye”
(Tumult on earth has, henceforth, been stopped.)
“Ab jo din ke liye, talwar uthata hai aur ghazi nam rakh-kar kafiron ko qatl karta hai woh Khudawand-ta’ala aur ua-ke rasul ka na-farman hai”
(He who draws his sword and, claiming to be a ghazi, kills infidels, disobeys God and His Prophet.)
“Mere firqe men jis-ka Khuda ne mujhe imam aur rah-bar muqarrar farmaya hai talwar ka jihad bilkul nahin—Yeh firqa is bat ko qat’-an haram janta hai keh din ke liye lara’iyan ki jain”
(Jihad with sword is totally prohibited for my community, for whom God has appointed me imam and guide. This community considers it totally prohibited (haram) to fight wars in the name of religion.)
“Islam men jo jihad ka masala hai meri nigah men us se badtar Islkam ko badnam karne wala aur koi masala nahin”
(In my opinion, no doctrine defames Islam more than the doctrine of jihad.)
“Mujhe Masih aur Mahdi man lena hi msala-i-jihad ka inkar kiarna hai”
(Merely to acknowledge me as Messiah and Mahdi is to deny belief in the doctrine of jihad.)
to be found in the writings of Mirza Sahib or his successors or followers. Relying on these and the assertion “Meri wahi men amr bhi hai aur nahi bhi” (there are commands as well as prohibitions in my revelations) in ‘Arba’ee’n No, 4, page 7’, it has been vigorously urged that the declarations contained therein amount to a repeal or modification of an. existing law to be found in the Qur’an. The reply to this from the aide of the Ahmadis is that the words and expressions used do not contain any repeal but are merely expositive of a Quranic doctrine which had for centuries been misunderstood and, that, in any case, whatever interpretation on these expressions may be put by others, the Ahmadis have always understood them to mean that no new doctrine was being expounded therein but only a reaffirmation of the original doctrine to be found in the Qur’an and that what Mirza Ghulam Ahmad did was merely to remove the dross from the purity of the original doctrine. Reference in this connection was also made by the Ahmadiya party to the tradition of ‘yuzi`ul-harb’ يضع الحرب and it was argued that what Mirza Sahib, as would appear from some of his writings, did was merely to suspend war (حرب) in accordance with this tradition and not to repeal any law. The point is of considerable importance because if it be held that these views of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad were intended to lay down, and are being understood by his followers as laying down, a new doctrine in supersession or even partial modification of the original doctrine in the Qur’an, Mirza Sahib’s claim to nubuwwat would amount to that of a tashri’i nabi and in that case it would be opposed to Ahmadis’ own interpretation of aya-i-khatam-un-nabiyin. And more particularly would this be the result if the exposition of the doctrine is based on a wahi or an Ilham. The argument is carried a step further by non-Ahmadi parties by urging that even if the view contained in these writing is merely declaratory or re-affirmatory of the original doctrine, the position of Mirza Sahib would still be that of a tashri’i nabi on the principle that declaratory legislation is itself legislation of the original if the declarant claims in himself the right to declare as distinguished from the right to interpret. The Ahmadis seek to explain the true import of these writings by referring to the relevant texts of the Qur’an which we have quoted above and by questioning the correctness of the generally held view that ayat-us-saif, the fifth verse in the ninth sura, which was revealed in Medina, repealed the earlier verses revealed in Mecca which related to the waging of war against the kuffar in self-defence or in order to rescue from oppression the believers who were living in that part of Arabia which was still tinder the influence of the kuffar. One of the cardinal beliefs of the Ahmadis, it is pointed out, is that no text of the Qur’an has been repealed by a subsequent text and that ayat-us-saif presents no repugnancy to, or inconsistency with, the verses revealed in Mecca. The whole theory of nasikh and mansukh is repudiated and the following two verses which have a bearing on the point :—
Sura II, verse 106 :
“None of Our revelations
Do We abrogate
Or cause to be forgotten
But We substitute
Something better or similar ;
Knowest thou not that God
Hath power over all things?”
Sura XVI, verse 101 :
“If we put one aya in
The place of another—
And Allah surely knows
Best what he sends down,
They say ‘Thou art indeed a forger.”
are sought to be explained on other grounds. Having explained the precise-point in the controversy, we leave this subject here but will revert to it later when we shall endeavour to illustrate how plain texts of the Qur’an have often been misunderstood and made an occasion for some of the most startling generalization wholly unjustified by any established rule of exegetics or construction.
The seeds of the controversy delineated above lie scattered over more than half a century. Difference on such doctrines as khatm-i-nubuwwat, reappearance near the Day of Resurrection of Isa lbn-i-Maryam in his earthly form, and the jihad could not fail to evoke from the ulama protests and declarations of heresy for Mirza Sahib. Fatwas of kufr therefore began to be pronounced against him immediately after he announced his commission from God in 1882. While the new movement appealed to and attracted to itself some men of intellect and influence, such as Maulana Muhammad Ali, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, Dr. Mirza Yaqub Beg and Dr. Muhammad Husain, it also roused the ire of others who considered it to be political in origin and a danger to Muslim communities and countries. Doctor Muhammad Iqbal denounced it very strongly and Professor Ilyas Burney just ridiculed it. Many others wrote and, have been writing ceaselessly against it. The Ahmadis know the value of publicity and their propaganda machinery has remained active throughout. Thus a vast mass of literature from both sides has come into existence.