Religious Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
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Author: Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, The Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi
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Home Critical Analysis/Archives Plight of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan
Plight of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan

Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian
Holy Founder of the Muslim Ahmadiyya Jamaat

The Promised Massiah & Imam Mahdi (Peace be upon him)In the 19th century followers of all great religions-Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians and the followers of Confucius all anxiously awaited the advent of a Promised Reformer, as predicted in their holy scriptures.

In Qadian, India, there lived a holy man by the name of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. He was pious, truthful, righteous, noble and a great scholar of Islam. He claimed to receive revelations from God. In 1882, he received his first revelation of being commissioned to reform the world. Under divine guidance he claimed to be the Promised Messiah, the Imam Mahdi and the Reformer of the Latter Days. He addressed himself forthrightly to the wrongs prevailing not only in the world of Islam but also in other religions. This raised a storm of hostility against him from all quarters, the like of which has rarely been witnessed in the history of mankind.

He established the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat (Community) in 1889. Soon a group of good people, who were sincere in their love of God, gathered around him. Most of them were Muslims while some came over from other faiths. This small band of godly people started growing in numbers with every passing day. This invited the wrath and animosity of the religious leadership from all over. Mullas, priests and pundits made life very difficult, not only for the followers but also the Promised Messiah himself. Once he even seriously considered emigrating from Qadian and taking refuge elsewhere. Members of his community faced all kinds of difficulties, social boycott, loot, arson, physical assault and murder. This did not deter the divine community from the course charted for them by Allah. Ahmad gave out the clarion call to his followers in the following words:

“So listen all you who consider yourselves to be of my community. When you truly tread the path of righteousness, only then will you be counted in heaven as my community……… Do good deeds in the best of manners and reject evil with repugnance. Remember that no deed of yours which is devoid of righteousness will be ever entertained by God. An act of goodness is only that which is rooted in the fear of God. No act in which this root remains intact will be permitted to go waste. It is inevitable that you should be tried with diverse trials of pain and misfortune as the faithful before you were tried. So remain always wary lest you should stumble. The earth can do you no harm as long as you have firm ties with heaven. If ever you come to grief, you will come to grief at your own hands, rather than at the hands of your enemies. If you lose all honor of this earth. God will bestow an eternal honor upon you in heaven. So leave Him not. You are bound to suffer pain at their hands and you will be deprived of the fulfillment of many of your aspirations. However, be not heavy-hearted; God merely tries you whether you are steadfast in His cause or not. If you desire that even angels should praise you in heaven, then suffer in the path of Allah with grace and remain cheerful. Hear abuse and remain grateful and despite frustration break not your ties (with God). You are the last people raised by God, so do such deeds of piety as touch the loftiest standards of excellence”.

Ahmad wrote 85 books on different religious topics in Urdu, Persian and Arabic. He was a champion of universal peace, charity and human fraternity. When he died in 1908, his community had grown to almost half a million. It had dedicated itself to bring about a moral and spiritual revolution in the whole world. Hundred and ten years later, there are approximately 30 million ** Ahmadis in 160 countries of the world. They face opposition and persecution in most of the Islamic and Third World countries but nowhere as severely as in Pakistan.

** Current estimated population of Ahmadis around the world is around 200 million in 174 countries [Ed.]

His Khalifas
After the demise of the holy founder of the Community, Ahmadis elected their new head, Khalifatui Masih I External Link - Opens new browser window i.e. the first successor to the Promised Messiah. He was Hakim Nurud Din, a great scholar of Islam and the foremost companion of Hadrat Ahmad. He was recognized widely as a man of God and well versed in the study of the Holy Quran. When he died six years later, the Community elected Hadrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad as Khalifatui Masih II External Link - Opens new browser window. He was a marvelous seer who led the Community successfully through thick and thin over the next half a century. He produced a detailed commentary of the Holy Quran, and spoke and wrote extensively on intricate aspects of the Divine and religion. During his tenure, the Community got well organized to achieve its professed objectives and goal. By the time he died in 1965, the Ahmadiyya Community had acquired members from various countries of Asia, Europe, Africa and Americas. He was succeeded by Hadrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad, the Khalifatui Masih III External Link - Opens new browser window. During his tenure, important projects were undertaken to promote education and health in sub-Saharan countries of Africa. He campaigned for peace in the world and gave his followers the motto: “Love for All - Hatred for None”. After his death in 1982, he was succeeded by Hadrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, the Khalifatui Masih IV External Link - Opens new browser window.

Hadrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad
Khalifatui Masih IV

Supreme Head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim JamaatHadrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad was born on 18 December 1928 in Qadian, India. He was educated in India, Pakistan, and in the UK at the London School of Oriental and African Studies. In 1982, he was elected Khalifatui Masih IV, the fourth successor to the Promised Messiah, and the Head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, now approximately 30 million strong in 160 countries of the world. The anti-Ahmadiyya Ordinance promulgated on 26 April 1984 by General Zia, the then dictator President of Pakistan, made it impossible for him to function as the head of his community while remaining in the country. The Community requested him to leave Pakistan immediately and proceed to London where he currently lives. During his absence from Pakistan he has been maliciously and wrongfully charged on 17 different counts in fabricated cases. The latest case against him is under the Blasphemy Law for which the punishment is death. For more than 15 years he has not been able to visit home, and lives in exile.

Hadrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad is a great advocate of peace, absolute justice, human rights and freedom of faith and conscience. He is a friend of the poor and downtrodden. He is well known for his courage to speak his mind even in the face of strong disapproval of the high and mighty. He has written many books to convey his message, and has spoken extensively on the worldwide Muslim Television Ahmadiyya to promote peace, morality and harmony in the world.

In his book ‘Murder in the Name of Allah External Link - Opens new browser window’ he raised a few questions on the persecution and transgression advocated by Muslim clerics, and answered those as follows:

These are the questions we should all think seriously about. Muslims should consider the attitude of these ulema. For suppression, torture, execution, arson and the razing of mosques are not the Prophet's tradition. Every stone in the streets of Mecca over which the so-called apostates were dragged, bears witness to this. Every grain of burning Arabian sand where helpless people were tortured for accepting Islam does the same. The cobbles of Taif, where the blood of the Holy Prophet was spilled, bear witness to the fact that our great Master-mercifully-did not teach that religious belief was compulsory, that he did not order the burning of the houses of worship in the name of worship or the dishonoring of women in the name of honor. Muslims hang their heads in shame and their souls cry out over today's religious leaders who preach violence in the name of the Prophet. Murder in the Name of Allah (Lutteriworth Press, Cambridge, July, 1989)

He has provided free homeopathic advice and treatment to hundreds of thousand, and has popularized worldwide this inexpensive system of medicine. Among his scholarly works, the most recent is the book, “Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth External Link - Opens new browser window”.

From the Archives
PPP joins the Gang despite its own Woes Pakistan Peoples Party, the main opposition political party in Pakistan complains of the high handedness of the government and is vocal against its own deprivation of justice and fair play, but it is ironical that on the Ahmadiyya issue it does not mind even taking the lead in depriving Ahmadis of their human rights. In this policy, it is guided only by its greed for a larger vote bank. The resolution for changing the name of Rabwah, according to press reports, was moved by Said Minhais, the leader of the PPP in the Punjab Assembly.

On another occasion in July 1998, Mr. N D Khan, an ex-Federal Minister in PPP government attended and addressed an anti-Ahmadiyya Conference arranged by Majlis Khatme Nabuwwat at Gulshan Hadeed, Karachi. Mr. Khan recalled the great services Mr. Bhutto had rendered to the nation by declaring Qadianis a non-Muslim minority. He also praised the courage and steadfastness of Ms Benazir Bhutto, if that she did not yield to the international pressure to repeal the Blasphemy Law. He also offered the services of PPP for the Khatme Nabuwwat (Finality of Prophethood) campaign.

What a way for a self-proclaimed progressive party to improve its vote bank!

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