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April 7th, 2009

Mr Z. A. Bhutto

Recently on Pakistan TV channels there have been broadcasts of various functions at which the 30th anniversary of the death of Mr Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was commemorated. One speaker, addressing a gathering at his shrine (as it seems to have become), likened ZAB and his family to Hazrat Imam Husain and his family in sacrificing their lives, in this case for the sake of democracy.

No one seemed to mention the crime for which ZAB was convicted and hanged (ordering the murder of a political opponent when he was Prime Minister).

ZAB was the first leader of Pakistan who started making concessions to the fundmentalist Ulama. And seeing that the Ulama’s demands had the support of the masses, ZAB presented these concessions as an achievement on his own part. It began, of course, with the surrender of his government to these Ulama in 1974 in declaring Ahmadis as non-Muslims. Then he was forced to yield to other demands such as making Friday the holiday.

All this was done quite cynically because ZAB had no belief that Islam had any role to play in governance of the country (at least general Zia-ul-Haq actually believed that what he was doing was right). The whole of Pakistan watched this farce and acquiesced in it: a socialist and follower of Chairman Mao claiming to be introducing Islamic measures.

Since then the country had gone on increasingly to reap the rewards of surrendering to the fundamentlist distortion of Islam and to intolerance.

In December 1975 and January 1976 I happened to be visiting Pakistan. ZAB’s power was at its height. In fact, this is what it must have been like in Pharaoh’s Egypt. People told me that “walls have ears” and therefore we must not, even in privacy, utter anything critical of ZAB. People behaved as if ZAB was the “knower of the unseen and the seen”. I was told that ZAB’s government has determined who is Muslim and who isn’t, and therefore what Allah says in the Quran, what the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said and did in this respect, matters not one iota.

ZAB himself claimed that by declaring Ahmadis as non-Muslim he had resolved an issue which had been outstanding for 90 years. That is too small a claim. He should have claimed that the issue of “who is a Muslim” had been outstanding for 1400 years, and not even Allah and the Holy Prophet Muhammad had correctly resolved it, but ZAB has resolved it for ever, and now it is not Islamic Shariah but ZAB’s law which will remain till the Day of Judgment!

Just 18 months after people told me that “walls have ears” and are listening out for anyone criticising ZAB, this Pharaoh was brought down in July 1977 by the very elements that he had been trying hard to appease, and in less than another two years he had gone to met the Real and True God.

Incidentally, some people in Pakistan told me during my 1975/76 visit that you shouldn’t call yourself Ahmadi because it means you are part of a minority (aqliyyat). Those persons had all been born before 1947 and could remember pre-partition times. In those days they themselves were an aqliyyat in their country because Muslims were a minority. I wonder if at that time they considered becoming Hindus in order to join the majority!

I apologise to anyone who may be offended by my views expressed above.

13 Responses to “Mr Z. A. Bhutto”

  1. I recall back in 1979 Ahmadis brought up a quote from Promised Messiah’s book Izala Auham, a prophecy that a certain person would die in his 52nd year, but not attain the age of 52 years.  The number was derived from the value of the word ‘kalb’, Arabic for dog.

    Bhutto indeed died before turning 52, about 3 months after his 51st birthday. 

    Also, Bhutto was from a shia family and the shia use the term ‘kalb’ of Hussain for themselves, as in defenders of the faith

  2. I am surprised that ahmadis try to make prophecies of HMGA fit wherever needed.  This is  a dangerous way of thinking. 

    I would advise the ahmadis to not stretch prophecies out until they conform with there current needs.  I would advise any religion the same way. 

  3. April 11th, 2009 at 9:03 am
    From Zahid Aziz:

    So is it a concidence that he wrote a book with the title Zia-ul-Haq, right in the middle of which he mentions his ilham about a man who would fan the flames of takfir against him and meet the end which is reflected in the name Abu Lahab?

    Is it a coincidence that he saw a piece of paper with the word “Iqbal” at the bottom, and along with it he had a revelation about those who call him kafir?

    No one would have known that Bhutto was 51 years old if it had not been for the fact that when his 51st birthday came in early January (5th I think) 1979, as he was in prison his supporters all over the world celebrated his birthday, and it was broadcast to the whole world that Bhutto has reached the age of 51.

  4. MGA managed to make prophecies about Zia, but did he manage to make any prohphesies about more important matters such as:

    a.) His son and the vast majority of his followers were going to proclaim him a prophet after he died and distort his true teaching and also offer an erroneous interpretation of the Kalima. 
    b.)Some of his followers were going to deny his prophethood and
    distort his teaching in order to curry favour with main stream muslims?

    OK can you explain the earth shattering prophecy :


    Also please elaborate on the passage you wrote:

    “word “Iqbal” at the bottom, and along with it he had a revelation about those who call him kafir”

  5. my uncle was a colonel in the military at the time in Pakistan (1979) and he relates that the code used for death of Bhutto before the news was released to the public at large was ‘black dog flat’.

  6. WOW.  I didnt know about that stuff…..

    Thanks for the info…

  7. April 12th, 2009 at 9:21 am
    From Zahid Aziz:

    This is in answer to Mr Ali.

    A recipient of revelation can only make those prophecies which Allah chooses to reveal to him. Did Allah inform the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) that his own companions, in fact his closest relations  would be waging war against one another within a few years of his death, and his own grandson would be murdered by the khalifa of the time?

    I wonder if you yourself hold that event (a) took place or if you hold that event (b) took place.

    I don’t recall the “earth shattering” prophecy you mention, but I believe that prophecies made by him will be understood when they are fulfilled (such as no one knew who “Shastri” was in the revelation “The prediction of Shashtri went wrong”, until September 1965).

    The most important issue facing Muslims today is the wrong interpretation of jihad, leading to violence and killings all over the world. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad prophesied that this wrong view will cause the greatest problems for Muslims, and those who conduct such a violent jihad will not win but lose against non-Muslims.

    Regarding my reference to “Iqbal”, think of the two statements issued by Iqbal declaring Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to be kafir. That was the sheet of paper Hazrat Mirza sahib saw in his vision, signed Iqbal at the bottom, along with which he says that he had the revelation: Qadir kay karobar namondar ho ga’ay. Kafir jo kehtay they nagonsar ho ga’ay.  No one could imagine that Iqbal would issue such statements until he did so in 1933 or so, because he was such an admirer of Hazrat Mirza sahib and the Ahmadiyya movement, even after the split in 1914.

  8. The vast majority of followers i.e. 99.999999% of followers of MGA and the vast majority of his
    progeny claim that he is a prophet and suscribe to the views of Mirza Mahmood Ahmad.
    They believe that anyone who does not believe in the prophethood of MGA is a Kafir and outside the
    pale of Islam. (Please refer to the Truth About The Split by Mirza Mahmood Ahmad and Kalimat-ul-fasal)
    Infact some of the senior most ahmadis I have talked to argue that the Quaran itself states that Muhammad a.s.
    pbuh was NOT the last prophet and to deny a prophet makes you a Kafir so they are perfectly justified
    in calling me a Kafir and I should refrain from calling them a Kafir.
    MGA himself called any claimant to prophethood after the prophet Muhammad a.s. pbuh as a ‘liar and unbeliever’.

    “I have heard that some leading Ulama of this city Delhi are giving publicity to the allegation against me
    that I lay claim to prophethood. … I respectfully state to all these gentlemen that these allegations are
    an entire fabrication. I do not make a claim to prophethood. … After the Holy Prophet Muhammad, I consider
    anyone who claims prophethood and messengership to be a liar and unbeliever.”
    — Statement issued in Delhi, 2 October 1891. MI, 1986 edition, vol. 1, pp. 230-231.
    “All these allegations are entirely untrue and false. … Now I make a clear and plain affirmation of the
    following matters before Muslims in this house of God: I believe in the finality of prophethood of the Khatam
    al-anbiya, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, and I consider the person who denies the finality
    of prophethood as being without faith and outside the pale of Islam.”
    — Speech in Delhi Central Mosque, 23 October 1891. MI, 1986 edition, vol. 1, p. 255.

    So according to MGA’s claims (before they of course were abrogated) ZA Bhutto was not incorrect in calling Ahmadis as
    non muslims.
    ZA Bhutto’s accusations are not drastically different to those made by the followers of MGA upon main stream
    According to most learned muslims who had met MGA they were convinced that by the end of his life he was a claimant 
    of prophethood. Please read the views of Allama Iqbal in the following link:
    Also note that he believes that the Lahore ahmadis are in denial about the true claims of MGA.
    Bearing the above in mind are you objecting to the fact that MGA is even called a non-muslim or are you objecting
    to the fact that the state passed these laws and it is not the business of the state to legislate on who is and
    who is not a believer?

  9. April 12th, 2009 at 5:30 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    Two wrongs don’t make a right. If almost 100% of followers of Hazrat Mirza sahib call other Muslims as kafir, it does not make it right for others to call them kafir.

    You say that as HMGA wrote that the person who denies finality of prophethood is outside the pale of Islam, therefore ZA Bhutto was only doing the same. But ZAB was not doing the same, because the Pakistan constitution does not incorporate it as a principle that “he who denies finality of prophethood is non-Muslim”. If that is all the constitution said, then fine! Yes, fine! Why? Because then the courts would have to determine who is a denier of the finality, and the question would be raised whether the other Muslims who believe in the coming of Jesus are denying finality of prophethood.

    This is why, cleverly, the 1973 Pakistan constitution then declares Ahmadis as being the ones who deny finality. It is like saying in the constitution “Theft is a crime”, and then adding that “Only Mr A can ever commit the crime called theft”!

    You say most learned Muslims who had met Mirza were convinced that he claimed prophethood. Why did then the leading Muslims of Lahore accept an invitation to come to Ahmadiyya Buildings a few days before his death to listen to a lengthy speech by him?They would have hated to listen to such a man. Why did many such Muslims then write glowing tributes in their own newspapers when he died?

    As to Iqbal, please do read:

    How did Iqbal manage to describe Hazrat Mirza sahib in a published paper in a learned journal in 1900 as “probably the profoundest theologian among modern Indian Muslims”? How did he manage to call the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in a public speech in Aligarh in 1910 as “a true model of Islamic life”?

    I am prepared to have a debate with anyone, anytime, on any forum, on the specific issue of what did Iqbal think about the Ahmadiyya Movement. This propaganda needs to be nailed once and for all.

    Regarding your final point, the authority of the Pakistan NA can be judged from two points of view: Islamic and constitutional.

    According to Islam, no one can declare a kalima-professing, self-proclaimed Muslim as non-Muslim. So if the Assembly followed Islamic teachings, it could not have passed that amendment.

    Constitutionally, there is a whole host of objections. The majority, ruling party had been elected on a socialist programme, and had not claimed at election time to have competence to determine religious issues. Neither on the basis of knowledge of Islam, nor on the basis of attachment to and love for Islam, could ZAB’s government issue verdicts on Islamic issues.

    Now since the Pakistan Assembly has claimed that it can determine who is and who is not a Muslim, why don’t they determine whether the Taliban-like elements are Muslim or non-Muslim? Let’s consider some proposed amendments:

    “Any person who plans to commit a suicide bombing against Muslims of Pakistan is a non-Muslim”.
    “Any person who burns down schools for Muslim girls is a non-Muslim”.

    It is possible to argue both the above from the Quran and Hadith. Is anyone prepared to take up this cause? No, of course not!

    You will find that the Pakistan NA will claim that it only had the authority to determine whether Ahmadis are Muslims or not, and that in case of anyone else it does not have that power!

    Just after the 1974 amendment, some Shiahs in Pakistan tried instituting a court case claiming that since Sunnis recite the same kalima as Ahmadis, then if Ahmadis are non-Muslims, so are Sunnis! ZA Bhutto suppressed the case.

  10. To Ali

    Do not the majority of those whom claim to follow Jesus (i.e. Christians) believe and understand him to be a literal Son of God, while really subscribing to the views of Paul? Does that make them right in their views?

    Does this majority not believe that anyone who does not accept Jesus as their savior as being bound to hell? And do not Christians argue that the Gospels, that the Bible itself speaks of his divinity, while the Jews, the enemies of Jesus, believe he did in fact lay claim to divinity, and therefore believe him to be accursed, and as one not sent by God. Does that make it true, that he was not their Messiah?

    Did Jesus prophecy of a split in the Jerusalem church after his departure, and that his true followers (i.e James the “righteous” brother of Jesus) would break away to preserve his true teachings? Did Jesus prophecy that one day billions of Pauline Christians would, in his name, celebrate his divinity?

    But as for, Hazrat Mirza Sahib, he did write in a letter to Maulana Muhammad Ali in 1899, stating:

    “It has long been my intention to divide my community into two groups. One group consists of those who are partly for this world and partly for religion, and are not able to withstand great trials, nor can they render important services to religion. The other group consists of those who enter through this door with full sincerity and faithfulness and in reality sell themselves in this path. I wish that God would include you in the latter group.” (Letter dated 8 May 1899; facsimile in Mujahid-i Kabir, page 32)

  11. For Omar Raja:

    You made some great points.  The perspective that you speak of really comes into focus when standing where you stand. 

    I liked the arguments that you made, they were well written. 

  12. April 15th, 2009 at 3:37 am
    From Omar Raja:

    I’d like to post a question/answer from the archived forum on

    I had once posed the following question (08/23/01)

    “I make a public declaration in this house of God, the mosque, that I believe in the finality of prophethood of the Last of the Prophets (may peace and the blessings of God be upon him), and that I consider the person who denies the finality of prophethood to be a faithless man and one outside the pale of Islam.” (Manifesto, copied in Din al-Haq, p.29)

    Since the Ahmadis of the Qadian Jamaat believe that the Promised Messiah laid claim to prophethood, even if subordinate to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw), would that then make them Kafir according to the Promised Messiah’s own words?

    If this is the position that the Promised Messiah took, do the Lahori Ahmadi’s then today regard the Ahmadi’s of the Qadian Jamaat to be Kafir?

    Brother Zahid Aziz gave the following elucidating reply:

    Not this question, but a similar one regarding those Muslims who believe in the coming again of Jesus, was asked during the course that I gave recently at Columbus after our convention (as the title of my course was “Who is a Muslim according to Islamic Shariah?”).

    The answer is that whether it is those Sunnis who believe that Jesus will come again after the Holy Prophet Muhammad, or the AMI (Qadiani) members, what they say is that they do not deny the finality of prophethood. The former give an expalnation of how Jesus can come without infringing the finality of prophethood, and the latter also explain how HMGA could be a prophet without infringing the finality of prophethood.

    We may disagree with their explanation, but in determining whether someone is a Muslim, what matters is what they themselves say in explicit terms as to what they believe (however illogical it might be), and not what someone else says is the implication of their belief (however right that may be).

    As neither Sunnis nor AMI members say, in explicit words, that they deny the finality of prophethood, in fact they say they believe in it, therefore they don’t come under this stricture by Hazrat Mirza sahib quoted by you.

    I gave another example when answering this question. Many Muslims indulge in some practices (e.g. praying at tombs of saints to those saints) that amount to a denial of “There is no God but Allah”. But they still proclaim with their tongues “La ilaha ill-Allah”. Therefore they cannot be called as unbelievers and outside the fold of Islam. If a person who otherwise calls himself a Muslim but holds a belief or does an act whose consequence is that he denies a teaching of Islam, that is a matter for Allah to judge, and for us to try to correct him. But we are not entitled to expel him from the fold of Islam as he does not directly deny a basic of Islam.

  13. There is some interesting material by Mirza Mahmud Ahmad who wrote Tafseer i Kabeer, commentary on Surah Fajr written in 1945.

    In that commentary he wrote based on prophetic import of surah Fajr, that within 100 years after descent of Masih, i.e by 1990, (since claim was around 1890) a pharoah type figure would persecute the successor of the Masih, try to capture or kill him, but the pharoah instead would perish in month of Muharram, just like the pharoah in time of Musa, who also died in month of Muharram, per traditions in Hadith

    It is noteworthy that in some revelations of the Promised Messiah he has been addressed as Musa and his flock as Israelites 

    So it came to be that Zia ul Haq, the pharoah tried to apprehend a successor and follower of Masih, but he escaped, and ultimately Zia ul Haq died in 1988 in month of Muharram.

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