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OTHER COMPLAINTS AND ACCUSATIONS
The words mulhid, murtadd, kafir, zindiq, mushrik, munafiq, fasiq, fajir, muftari, mal’un, kazzab, shaitan, iblis, mardud, shaqi are stock words in all religious controversies in Islam, and all these appellations began to be used in the literature relating to this controversy. These were followed on both sides by less technical terms, such as waladuzzina, waladul-haram (bastard), khanzir (swine), harlots, whores, bitches, drunkard, fornicator, adulterer, cheat, goonda, bloody, shameless, and many others too vulgar to mention. Since the Partition the controversy has been nothing more than a sustained campaign of abuse, often degenerating into vile and vulgar attacks on personal character, in which the Ahrar have far excelled their opponents.
Such dissensions had admirably suited the British who wanted the people over whom they were ruling to be engrossed in religious differences, so long as such controversies did not amount to a threat to law and order. If people merely disputed about one another’s right to go to Heaven or their liability to be eternally condemned to Hell, and they neither broke skulls nor demanded for themselves things of the world, the British looked upon such disputatious with complete equanimity, perhaps with satisfaction. But the moment it came to the breaking of heads, he was firm and uncompromising. Mirza Sahib had fully appreciated this blessing of the British raj which not only allowed but encouraged such controversies, and one of the chief complaints of the non-Ahmadis against the founder and leaders of the Ahmadiya movement is their utter sycophancy of the British. Mirza Sahib’s publication on jehad tends to show that the work was written with reference to the events that were happening on the Frontier where repeated incidents of murder of British officers had occurred. Every British officer who came to India was directed to beware the ghazi—the fanatic tribesman or Afghan who considered it a religious merit and financially beneficial to kill a kafir and to get a reward for it in Heaven. Such attacks, if they were prompted by religious prejudice, were of course opposed to the Islamic doctrine of jehad, and Mirza Sahib did well in contradicting this belief. But he made his exposition of the doctrine look suspect on account of the sycophantic and flattering references that were made in it to the benign British Government and its policy of religious toleration. The anger of Musalmans was further aroused when disparaging comparisons were made by Mirza Sahib between the religious intolerance prevailing in Muslim countries and the liberal religious policy followed by the British. He seems to have been conscious that his doctrines would be taken in other Muslim countries as dissemination of irtidad, and this impression of his must have been confirmed when Abdul Latif was stoned to death in Afghanistan. The celebrations at Qadian of the victory when Baghdad fell to the British in 1918 during the First World War in which Turkey was defeated, caused bitter resentment among Musalmans and Ahmadiyyat began to be considered as a handmaid of the British.
When the possibility of a separate homeland for Muslims by the Partition of the country began faintly to appear on the horizon, Ahmadis began to concern themselves with the shadow of coming events. Some of their writings from 1945 to early 1947 disclose that they expected to succeed to the British but when the faint vision of Pakistan began to assume the form of a coming reality, they felt it to be somewhat difficult permanently to reconcile themselves with the idea of a new State. They must have found themselves on the horns of a dilemma because they could neither elect for India, a Hindu secular State, nor for Pakistan where schism was not expected to be encouraged. Some of their writings show that they were opposed to the Partition, and that if Partition came, they would strive for re-union. This was obviously due to the fact that uncertainty began to be felt about the fate of Qadian, the home of Ahmadiyyat, about which several prophesies had been made by Mirza Sahib. Provisional Partition had placed Qadian in Pakistan, but Muslims in the district of Gurdaspur in which Qadian was situated were only in a majority of one per cent, and the Muslim population in that district was mostly concentrated in three towns including Qadian. Apprehensions about the final location of Qadian, therefore, began to be felt, and since they could obviously not ask for its inclusion in India, the only course left for them now was to fight for its inclusion in Pakistan. Vile and unfounded charges have been levelled against the Ahmadis that the district of Gurdaspur was assigned to India by the Award of the Boundary Commission because of the attitude adopted by the Ahmadis and the arguments addressed by Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan who had been selected by the Quaid-i-Azam to present the case of the Muslim League before that Commission. But the President of this Court, who was a Member of that Commission, considers it his duty to record his gratitude to Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan for the valiant fight he put up for Gurdaspur. This is apparent from the record of the Boundary Commission which anyone who is interested may see. For the selfless services rendered by him to the Muslim community, it is shameless ingratitude for anyone to refer to Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan in the manner in which he has been referred to by certain parties before the Court of Inquiry.
The next complaint which has been detailed before us against the Ahmadis consists in Mirza Sahib’s exaggerated reference to himself in comparison with the other prophets including our holy prophet and the use by Ahmadis for some of their own people of names, such as, Amir-ul-Momineen, Ummul Momineen, Sayyadatun Nisa, Razi Allah Anho, Sahaba-e-Karam, which have acquired special sanctity by reason of their having been exclusively used for certain persons for their being members of the prophet’s family or circle of friends. The reply to it by Mr. Abdur Rahman Khadim, who has taken great pains in unearthing ancient literature, is that most of these names have also been used in the families of certain saints including the family of the Ahrar leader Sahibzada Faiz-ul-Hasan, and by the leaders or pirs of other sects including another Ahrar leader Chaudhri Afzal Haq. It is no function of ours to decide whether the names were rightly used or not, but we are in no doubt about the effect on Muslim feelings of the use of these terms which have by their special and restricted use become sacrosanct and are exclusively associated with the memory of certain high personages in the history of Islam. The same is our view about some references to be found in the Ahmadiya literature to some ladies in the prophet’s family, though this complaint also has a precedent, perhaps more vulgar, in Qalaid-ul-Jawahir. Of course any comparison between the holy prophet and any other person, alive or dead, must cause offence to every believer. Some conversions by Ahmadi officers or officials are also proved to have been reported to the headquarters. These activities were finally stopped by a direction issued by the head of the community after the Central Government’s communique of 14th August 1952.
Reference here is necessary to the article ‘Khuni mulla ke akhiri din’ (last days of the bloody mulla), published in the ‘Alfazl’ of 15th July 1952, on which special stress has been laid by the Jama’at-i-Islami, the Majlis-i-Amal and the Ahrar in proof of the provocative character of the Ahmadiya literature. The object of this article was to show that the new State of Pakistan had been brought into existence by the Providence to finish the mulla. The document is a strongly worded invective against the mulla and seeks to show that in the past mullas have been responsible for the downfall of many a Muslim State. The instances of three Ahmadis who were executed in Afghanistan, namely, one Abdur Rahman Khan in the time of Amir Abdur Rahman, Sahibzada Abdul Latif who was stoned to death in the time of Amir Habib Ullah, and Ne’matullah Khan who was put to death in the time of Amir Aman Ullah Khan, are cited together with what befell to each of these Amirs, and it is stated that the more tolerant State of Pakistan had come into being in opposition to the mulla-ridden Afghanistan, The policy declared by the Quaid-i-Azam that all Muslims should unite and present one front is cited to foretell the fate of mullas like Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari, Mulla Badayuni, Mulla Ehtisham-ul-Haq, Mulla Muhammad Shafi and Mulla Maudoodi. The article is definitely provocative and the derisive references in it to ulama like Maulana Ehtisham-ul-Haq and Maulana Muhammad Shafi, who were both members of the Board of Ta’limat-i-Islami attached to the Constituent Assembly, and Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi whose vast learning in theology no one can question, must have offended not only the ulama specifically mentioned in the article but the entire body of ulama. There is, however, one thing about this article and that is that it was written after the All Pakistan Muslim Parties Convention in Karachi and the All Muslim Parties Convention in Lahore had constituted their Majlis-i-Amals in which the five named learned ulama had been included and the campaign for the declaration of the Ahmadis as a non-Muslim minority had been started. The article was, therefore, written in retaliation. Nevertheless it serves to show how attack by one party led to retaliation by the other and the situation went on deteriorating.
The Ahmadis are a well-knit community. Their headquarters are in an exclusively Ahmadiya town where is located a central organisation which has different departments, such as department of foreign affairs, department of internal affairs, department of public affairs and department of publication and propaganda which are to be found in the organisation of a regular secretariat. They have also a batch of volunteers, called khuddam-i-din, composed of the Furqan Battalion, which was an exclusively Ahmadiya Battalion serving in Kashmir. They do not say their prayers with or behind the other Muslims and do not give their daughters in marriage to them. All these facts, which are proved by the evidence, have been emphasised by non-Ahmadi parties to justify their demand for the declaration of the Ahmadis as a separate community. The Ahmadis seek to justify this organisational pattern on the ground that every community, if it has a definite object, policy or programme of action, is entitled to organise its affairs in its own way so that maximum results may be obtained, and as regards the allegation of their not permitting their daughters to marry non-Ahmadis, the position taken is that the marriage of an Ahmadi girl with a non-Ahmadi is not void though in the interests of the girl concerned the parents are advised to seek for her a husband from her own community, and in this connection instances of other sects and jama’ats who follow a similar practice are cited. The same is the reply to the charge of their not saying their prayers behind other Muslims, because such discrimination is observed by the other sects also. The instance of Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan’s not joining the funeral prayers for the Quaid-i-Azam has been prominently mentioned, but Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan’s reply is that since Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, who led the funeral prayers, had publicly declared the Ahmadis to be kafirs and murtadds and liable to death penalty, he could not make up his mind to join the prayers which were led by the Maulana. The position finally adopted by the Ahmadis before us on the question of funeral prayers is that an opinion of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has now been discovered which permits the Ahmadis to join the funeral prayers of the other Muslims who are not mukazzibs and mukaffirs of Mirza Sahib. This does not at all improve the position, because the necessary implication of this opinion is that prayers are not to be said for a deceased person who did not believe in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, and as such it virtually confirms the existing practice.
On the question whether the Ahmadis consider the other Musalmans to be kafirs in the sense of their being outside the pale of Islam, the position taken before us is that such persons are not kafirs and that the word kufr, when used in the literature of the Ahmadis in respect of such persons, is used in the sense of minor heresy and that it was never intended to convey that such persons were outside the pale of Islam. We have seen the previous pronouncements of Ahmadis on this subject, which are numerous, and to us they do not seem to be capable of any other interpretation than this that people who do not believe in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad are outside the pale of Islam. It is now stated that Musalmans, who do not accept the claim of a mamoor-min-Allah after the Holy Prophet, are not deniers of Allah and the prophet and are, therefore, still within the ummat. This is in no way inconsistent with the previous announcements that the other Musalmans are kafirs. In fact, these words indirectly reaffirm the previous conviction that such persons are Musalmans only in the sense that they belong to the prophet’s ummat and as such are entitled to be treated as members of Muslim society (muashira). This is very different from saying that they are Musalmans and not kafirs.
The last complaint against the Ahmadis is that of aggressive propaganda for the propagation of Ahmadiya tenets. In this respect, the instance of Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan’s speech on 18th May 1952 in the Jehangir Park, Karachi, and the practice of Ahmadi officers’ openly presiding over and speaking in favour of the movement at public meetings, and their efforts to convert those who come in official contact with them have been referred to. The conduct of Government officers and officials in becoming office-bearers of local Anjumans has been severely criticised. Reliance has also been placed in this connection on Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad’s speech, in Quetta, published in the ‘Alfazl’ of 13th August 1948, in which he appealed to his community to intensify their propaganda in Baluchistan, so that that Province may become a base for future operations and on his address at the annual meeting of Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiya., Rabwah, during the Christmas of 1951, which was published in the ‘Alfazl’ of 16th January 1952, in the course of which he made an impassioned appeal to his followers to accelerate and intensify their proselytising activities, so that persons who had hitherto been unbelievers may fall into the lap of Ahmadiyyat by the end of 1952. The address published in the ‘Alfazl’ of 11th January 1952, in which Ahmadis were persuaded not to concentrate in one department, namely, the army, but to disperse in all other departments, has also been referred to as well as several reports submitted by Ahmadi Government officers or officials to the headquarters of the result of their tabligh.
The Ahmadi propaganda was not confined to Pakistan and it appears there were reports published in the ‘Alfazl’ that tabligh in other countries by the Ahmadis stationed at those places occasionally led to assaults and disorders. A similar incident occurred in Okara where during the time of a Deputy Commissioner, who was an Ahmadi, some Ahmadi preachers went to non-Ahmadi villages where they were maltreated, with the result that subsequently an Ahmadi schoolmaster was murdered by a youth who had listened to some speeches at a meeting which had been held in order to protest against the arrests made in connection with the maltreatment of the Ahmadi preachers.
This intensive and aggressive propaganda is alleged to have offended the religious susceptibilities of Musalmans and provided a reason for the demand that the Ahmadis be declared to be a non-Muslim minority. In the course of arguments some other writings by the leaders of the Ahmadis were also mentioned in which Musalmans were either described as enemy (dushman) or as Musalmans to distinguish them from Ahmadis.