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March 19th, 2010

Post-1974 denials of being Ahmadi, and ironies

In the immediate aftermath of the 1974 declaration of Ahmadis as non-Muslim, some people in Pakistan issued announcements that they were not (or were no longer) Ahmadi but were ‘Muslim’. This was done usually in order to avoid facing intense hostility, discrimination, social ostracism etc. To convince their friends and acquaintances that they really meant it, they cut off all connection with the Jamaat, discarded any Jamaat books that were in their homes, strictly forbade any Ahmadi who was visiting them from making any mention of the Jamaat while in their houses, etc.

Time passed.

A person then middle aged became elderly. The elderly have a tendency to forgot recent events while their impression of events of longer ago remains strong. They often find comfort in regressing to a time sixty or seventy years ago. The person who did all the above in 1974 has a hazy memory of the denial, but does clearly remember times before that and starts speaking with affection about the Jamaat elders of those times! I wonder if according to the Maulvis such a person is now a murtadd, perhaps a “memory-loss murtadd”!

Another event in this connection. In Pakistan a person grows up in a “denial” household and impresses upon Ahmadis that for the sake of their own safety and lives they must deny being Ahmadi and become ‘Muslim’ under the Constitution, which he is proud of being.

Time passes. It is 2005. The person happens to come to U.K. where the train bombings have just taken place in London. The police are on the look out for Pakistani or Muslim looking people travelling on trains wearing backpacks. The person tells his friends that he is worried about being needlessly picked on, while being a wholly innocent person. Now his convenience lies in not being thought of as a Muslim!

I joke: If I was stopped and questioned I would show the authorities the Pakistan constitutional amendment and some anti-Ahmadiyya literature and say, look I am a non-Muslim according to the “entire Muslim Umma”, and in fact our Founder has been declared by them as being your (i.e. British) agent!

10 Responses to “Post-1974 denials of being Ahmadi, and ironies”

  1. Ultimately the truth bites. No matter how much Galileo was made to retract his heliocentric views, sun remains at the center of the solar system.

    On the opposite end, we remember Bilal for his “Ahad, Ahad” under torture and his refusal to recant. Ultimately, history is witness of him chanting the same as a freeman and victor from top of his lungs at the rooftop of Kaaba and everyone listened and responded “Labaik, Labaik.” Thus Bilal took surety of Allah, and in the long run he was not disappointed:

    16:91. And keep your covenant with Allâh when you have once made any covenant (with Him). And do not break your oaths once you have ratified them, while you have already made Allâh your surety. Verily, Allâh knows how you conduct yourselves.

    It also brings to mind the first three years of Muhammad’s prophet-hood, when the religion was preached and practiced in secrecy to avoid the unnecessary threats to the lives of the early adopters.

    Then there are those who take and break an oath in error to which Quran gives a remedy:

    5:89. Allâh will not call you to account for (such of) your oaths as are vain, but He will call you to account for (breaking) the oaths which you take in earnest (for doing a thing or not doing). The expiation for breaking such an oath is the feeding of ten needy persons (the average food) as you feed your own families with, or provide them with clothes, or liberating of some one (from the yoke of slavery or debt etc.) But whoever does not find (the means to do any of these), then he shall fast for three days. That is how you expiate your oaths when you have sworn them solemnly (and then break them). But do guard your oaths. Thus does Allâh explain to you His commandments so that you may give (Him) thanks

    In another shade of vain oath, the moral principle is that Allâh is Great Protector (against faults), Highly Forbearing of one’s mistakes:

    2: 225. Allâh will not call you to account for what is vain (and unintentional) in your oaths, but He calls you to account for what your minds resolve and accomplish (by intentional swearing). And Allâh is Great Protector (against faults), Highly Forbearing.

    As for those who gainfully break an oath, and are not remorseful:

    3:77. (On the contrary) those who take paltry gains for (shaking off their) covenant with Allâh and their oaths, it is these for whom there shall be no big share in the Hereafter, Allâh will never speak to them (lovingly) nor look at them (with affection) on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He treat them as pure; there awaits them a woeful punishment.

    Ahmadis are unique in that even if they recant Ahmadiyyat, they remain Muslims.

    However, Ahmadis who face duress and boycott in Pakistani society, have a possible remedy in history and Quran: [note – the following was posted by me in another thread that I cannot find]

    Also please recall the boycott of Muhammad PBUH by Makkans – Shib Abi Talib: “that no one should marry their women nor give women for them to marry; and that no one should either buy from them or sell to them, and when they agreed on that they wrote it in a deed.” [ Francis E. Peters, Mecca: A Literary History of the Muslim Holy Land, Princeton University Press, 1994, ISBN 069103267X, p.54]
    This decree was posted on the door of Kaaba then (and now implicitly in the Constitution of Pakistan and Pakistani society is witness to it).

    See the parallels of history:

    2:217. … But to bar (people) from Allâh’s cause and disbelief in Him and (to hinder people from) the Holy Mosque and to turn out its people therefrom is still grave in the sight of Allâh, and persecution is all the more grave an offence than killing.’ And they will not cease to fight you until they turn you back from your faith if they can. …

    The solution:

    2:218. Verily, as to those who believe and those who emigrate and struggle hard in the cause of Allâh, it is they who do (rightly) hope for Allâh’s mercy. And Allâh is Great Protector, Ever Merciful.

    4:97. Surely, the angels will ask those whom they cause to die while they were acting unjustly towards themselves (by prolonging their stay in the land of the disbelievers and thus transgressing against their own souls), `What circumstances were you in (that you did not avow Islâm openly)?’ They will reply, `We were treated as weak in the country (to express our belief).’ They (- the angels) will say, `Was not Allâh’s earth spacious enough for you to have emigrated therein?’ It is these whose abode shall be Gehenna and an evil destination it is!

    4:98. Different however is the case of those (actually) weak – men, women and children, who can find no device, nor means (to emigrate).

    4:99. As to these Allâh may pardon them (for their helplessness), for Allâh is the Effacer of sins, Most Forgiving.

    4:100. And whoso emigrates in the cause of Allâh will find in the earth an abundant place of refuge and plenty of resources. And whoso sets forth from his home, emigrating in the cause of Allâh and His Messenger, then death overtakes him, he shall have his reward with Allâh for sure. Allâh is Great Protector, Ever Merciful.

    Lets not forget the precedence of the first migration of believers in the Last Prophet was to a Christian country. Migration was a necessity then as is now as under the circumstances, it gives a believer his full potential that a life has to offer.

    [The Holy Quran – Translation by Allamah Nooruddin]

  2. The vast majority of the followers of Mirza sahib today can add for good measure that according to the Khalifas of their Prophet all those who claim to be muslim but are outside their Jamaat are preaching false Islam, that these ghair ahmadis are deniers of Allah’s prophet and consequently outside the pale of Islam and that their prophet has informed that they can only maintain the same relations with them as they would Christians or Jews.  (And these are just a few of the of numerous claims that Mirza sahib’s followers may spout.)
    That should assuage any fears that any westerner may have about the beliefs and loyalty of Ahmadis.

  3. March 25th, 2010 at 6:39 am
    From Zahid Aziz:

    Mr Ali, the difficulty with using “the vast majority of the followers” argument is that the “westerners”, whom you mention, do look at “the vast majority of Muslims”.

    When Muslims plead before Westerners, as they are pleading these days, that Islam is a religion of peace and not violence, that Islam gave women so many rights 1400 years ago, etc., the Westerners respond by saying: Look at the majority of your followers.

  4. Mental calibre of “Ulema” who declared reciters of Kalima Shahada as Kafir.
    Fazlur Rehman, son of Mufti Mahmood, leader of “Ulema” in 1974, considered as an expert on Islam, has provided solution for energy crisis in Pakistan:

    “If the purpose of Day Light Savings Time is to save energy,  why not move the clocks ahead by one year instead of one hour.  That way we can save energy for an entire year”- Maulana Fazlur Rahman.


  5. @Ali

    Another problem with the “vast majority of followers” argument is that then by the same logic Jesus Christ actually did think of himself as the Son of God. 

  6. For some light amusement, please consider the mental calibre of a Pakistan MP who supposedly had an Islamic Education Degree.

    Apparently he claimed to have studied the Tafseer of Quran written by the Prophet Moses and named the first two Surahs of the Quran as “Al-humdulillah” and Al-e-Imran!!!

    See this link.

  7. While this amendment is indeed a major development and a positive one in the political history of Pakistan, unfortunately it will do nothing to remedy the religio-political injustices caused over the years; because the committee that drafted the 18th amendment proposal explicitly stayed away from the “Islamic” provisions of the constitution.  Once again the Mullahs have had thier way and the politicians did not have the guts to stand up to them.

  8. On Pak Tea House blog, Yaseer Latif Hamdani, author of article ‘SHAME: “Progressive” 18th Amendment Ends Forever The Possibility Of A Non-Muslim Prime Minister!’ sounds, shocked, and angry at 18th amendment.

    See this link
    I’m surprised at his reaction. This 1973 Pakistan’s constitution does NOT accept, consider and declare its citizens a Muslim, who holds the same belief that Pakistan’s president and prime minister profess in their oaths to the respective offices. This declaration of their belief is part of Pakistan’s constitution. See below:
                Oath of office of The President:
    [Article 42]
    (In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.)
    I, ____________, do solemnly swear that I am a Muslim and believe in the Unity and Oneness of Almighty Allah, the Books of Allah, the Holy Quran being the last of them, the Prophethood of Muhammad  (peace be upon him) as the last of the Prophets and that there can be no Prophet after him, the Day of Judgment, and all the requirements and teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah:
    Ref: See reference here.
    Oath of office of The Prime Minister:
    Prime Minister
    [Article 91( 4)]
    (In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.)
    I, ____________, do swear solemnly that l am a Muslim and believe in the Unity and Oneness of Almighty Allah, the Books of Allah, the Holy Quran being the last of them, the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) as the last of the Prophets and that there can be no Prophet after him, the Day of Judgment, and all the requirements and teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah:
    Ref: See reference here.

  9. It would be very interesting if a Gallup poll is conducted as to who will Pakistanis prefer as president –
    Justice Bhagwandas or Zardari
    Justice Bhagwandas or anyone from Jamaat Islami
    Justice Bhagwandas or any Mullah

  10. Another hypothetical referendum as to who should run the country:

    Pakistanis (themselves)
    Malaysians (on the model of Mahatir)

    @Rashid – maybe you can take these poll ideas to the other forums that you frequently quote.