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July 31st, 2018

Lahore Ahmadiyya Community and coming of Mujaddids

Abdul Bashir has submitted the following for this blog:

Lahore Ahmadiyya Community Admits a Mujaddid for the 15th Century will not come


And I would say that for as long that as our Jamaat continues to look at its self, and others and carries on, this, system of reform that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad the Promised Messiah has setup.  Perhaps that there is maybe no need for a Mujaddid to come, because reform is being done

8 Responses to “Lahore Ahmadiyya Community and coming of Mujaddids”

  1. July 31st, 2018 at 3:14 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    Abdul Bashir needs to consult a dictionary of English to find out the meaning of the words "perhaps" and "maybe" used by the speaker in the supplied transcript.

    The speaker is saying that as long as our Jamaat (of the true followers of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad) continues the work of reform after him, on issues that have arisen recently, then there "may be, perhaps" no need for a mujaddid to come. Of course, if we do not or cannot continue that work, or issues arise that cannot be resolved by us with our human knowledge, then that would be time for a mujaddid.

    Abdul Bashir should think about the two issues mentioned by the speaker: firstly, if a woman reports being raped to the police (in a Muslim country), should she herself be charged with admission of adultery, and can DNA evidence be used to determine if the accused man is guilty, or are four eye-witnesses required who saw it happen; and secondly, is it essential to sight the new moon by the human eye to determine Ramadan and Eids.

    The speaker raised the point whether we ourselves can bring about reform in the existing Muslim practices in this regard or do we wait for a mujaddid to come to do so? Abdul Bashir might like to ponder on these two issues and answer whether we should continue to bring Islam into disrepute in the world by our existing practices or can we bring about reform ourselves?

  2. August 5th, 2018 at 1:14 am
    From Abdul Bashir:

    Be it a definitely or a maybe you surely can't agree with having such article's on your sites…

    The whole premise of that article is that there has to be a Mujaddid.  By even admitting there is a possibility you can no longer have a go at the Ahmadiyya Jamaat.

    Although I disagree with the article but according to your Jamaats belief (and quoting from the article) these "beliefs are the exact opposite of those held by the Promised Messiah."

    But I shouldn't be in wonder by such confused thinking by you.  For in a later article suddenly you decide maybe there is no need for a Mujaddid for the 15th century.

    "Thirdly, the Promised Messiah has called himself Dhul Qarnain, or the man of two centuries, and perhaps the 14th and 15th centuries might be those two centuries, and exceptionally he may be mujaddid for these two centuries"

    Whereas in the earlier article did you not show arguments that the Hazrat Masih Maud believed it was essential for the coming of a Mujaddid in every century?

    What is it, please clear this up for me.  It almost seems that the further we travel in this century the more doubt there is in the minds of your Jamaat about the coming of a Mujaddid

  3. August 5th, 2018 at 10:32 am
    From Zahid Aziz:

    It is quite absurd to equate the view that "perhaps" a mujaddid may not come soon with the views of the Qadiani Jamaat about mujaddids which we criticised in our article that Abdul Bashir refers to. (See link.) We quoted the then Qadiani khalifa as saying that the idea of the coming of a mujaddid in the future "is a fitna", which God has now "crushed for all time", and it is "false propaganda". Have we said anything like this now?

    Abdul Bashir says that in our earlier article we had given arguments that the Promised Messiah believed in the coming of a mujaddid in every century. What he should be telling us is whether those arguments were right or wrong! As the Qadiani Jamaat obviously seems to consider that he was wrong in all those numerous statements, they should say so directly! It is the duty of the Qadiani Jamaat to explain those statments. (It is our duty as well, and we have fulfilled it.)

    How and when a mujaddid will come will be determined by Allah, and only then will it be seen in what manner the Promised Messiah's statements which we quoted have turned out to be correct. Before that, we cannot know, just as Muslims didn't know how the coming of the Messiah would be fulfilled till it happened.

    Lastly, he says that as this century passes we have become more doubtful about the coming of a mujaddid. But isn't it true that with the passage of time the Qadiani Jamaat has become doubtful that a prophet will come, and in fact has been trying to quash the idea? They had declared their belief that prophethood was a blessing which had not stopped at the coming of the Holy Porphet Muhammad. Their Khalifa 2 wrote that even if a sword was placed on his neck to force him to say that no prophet can come after the Holy Prophet, he would still say that prophets can come after him, even now, and even thousands of prophets can still come. But not even one prophet came!

  4. Qadiani Khalifa 2 knew that their Khilafat system will decline and new Mujaddidin will come. 

    In explanation of HQ 15:10, Khalifa 2 described the Divine scheme of sending Mujaddidin in every CENTURY to secure and preserve the Holy Qur’an. He discusses the establishment of the Ahmadiyya Community by the Mujaddid of the 14th Century Hadhrat Ahmad (as) and finally writes about the situation in future:

    “As regards the future, our belief based upon promises made in the Qur’an is that whenever Muslim forget, or fall away from, the teachings of the Qur’an, God will, by raising heavenly Reformers, restore to them their faith in pristine purity. The teachings of the Qur’an will thus remain effective for all time and will ever continue to enjoy divine help and protection”. [HQ, 15: 10, Five Volume Commentary on the Holy Qur’an, Volume III, pp. 1265-66].

    If Qadiani Khilafat is for all time-as the caliphs now claim-, how can a Mujaddid come now/ in future ?

  5. Assalaamu 'alaikum. 

    Interesting discussion.

    [1] Has this view that a mujaddid may not appear been expressed previously in Lahore Ahmadiyya literature, or is this a new development, a change of heart, so to speak? If so, has this view been developing internally in Lahore Ahmadiyya circles for some time before someone got the courage to express it publicly? 

    [2] Is there any time period in which a Mujaddid has to appear within a century? 


  6. Dear Mr Ahmed: First, apologies for delaying publishing your comment and my response, which was due to the fact that I was away for a few days.

    You have asked about the Lahore Ahmadiyya views on this matter. In fact, Muslim scholars of all persuasions should be asked similar questions because the coming and appointment of Mujaddids "at the head of every century" is mentioned in Hadith. Therefore all Muslims are obliged to answer whether that hadith is fabricated, and if not, then what does "head of every century" mean?

    Dr Sir Muhammad Iqbal at least made his position clear by writing in 1932: "I consider all the Hadith reports relating to the Mahdi and the concepts of Messiahship and Mujaddids to be the result of Persian and other non-Arab philosophies. They have nothing to do with Arab thought or the true spirit of the Quran."

    If this position is adopted then the question arises why did some of the most eminent Muslims in the history of Islam claim to be mujaddids of their centuries (see for example this link)? If they had merely stated that they believed in this hadith, we could treat it as an error of their interpretation. But as they themselves claimed to be mujaddids appointed by Allah, it means that they made false claims which they attributed to Allah. This would apply to Al-Ghazali, Shaikh Ahmad of Sirhind and Shah Waliullah, who are among the greatest Muslim theologians, philosophers of Islamic history, who would then be placed in the category of Musailima the Liar.

    On the other hand, if Muslims don't reject this hadith as false and fabricated, then they (including you) face the same questions that you are asking us.

    We have given some human interpretations, such as there may not be a mujaddid in this century because the mission of the previous one is still as necessary as it was in his time (in fact, even more so), or that a mujaddid can be a mujaddid of more than one century. Shaikh Ahmad of Sirhind is commonly known as the Mujaddid of the Second Millennium (Alif Sani), which he called himself. Our former Ameer, Hazrat Dr Asghar Hameed (d. 2002) held the view that as Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has been called Dhul Qarnain (the one belonging to two centuries), he may be the mujaddid of the 14th and the 15th centuries Hijrah.

    As to your sarcastic observations about "change of heart" and "courage", there is another hadith about which people had a change of heart, that is the hadith relating to the re-appearance of Jesus. From believing that this hadith means that Jesus himself would come they came to believe that Jesus himself could not possibly come and that this hadith has a different interpretation. Was it the Lahore Ahmadiyya who made this change?

    Finally, please see below an extract from the Urdu translation of the Persian book Izalat-ul-Khafa by Shah Waliullah (mujaddid of the 12th century Hijrah), in which he accepts the hadith that mujaddids will come in every century and gives a list of names of mujaddids of some of the centuries before him. At the end he writes: "And so it has been till now that at the head of every century a mujaddid comes".

    Should one ask his millions of admirers why a mujaddid has not appeared in this century?

  7. Assalaamu 'alaikum w w 

    Dear Dr Zahid Aziz Sahib, 

    Many thanks for your response, Jazakallah Khayr.

    Apologiers for my delayed response as well. To be honest, I forgot after a few days of posting my initial message. 

    Firstly, please accept my apologies for giving an erroneous impression. I hadn't meant to be sarcastic as regards my choice of the words 'change of heart' and 'courage'. For instance, one may begin to question a long-held doctrine within one's heart, but may only express it after acquiring sufficient evidence to be able to establish one's point of view with some confidence. 

    Also, my understanding is that the previous mujaddideen did express some views which Ahmadis would differ from, or at least that is my impression. Why do you feel this may be? 

    Also, the Promised Messiah a.s. changed his view on a number of issue over the course of his literary life, and whilst Ahmadis may generally be more aware of wafat-e-masih & khatme-nubuwwat (at least for the other Ahmadi Jama'at), but there were a number of other issues as well. 

    And what is the view of your jama'at about his writings. If he maintained a view till his death, do you consider that binding on you, or do you depart from it in any way? Are there issues you have identified that still require further research and modification in his writings?  

    I am not sure whether your Jama'at changed it's view on the punishment for adultery from stoning to flogging at all, or did this change occur in the time of the Promised Messiah a.s. or Maulana Nuruddin r.a.? What is your research on this issue? I checked your commentaries on the verse 24:1, and the 1917 edition does not say anything against the traditional sunni view on stoning, but the 1951 edition does. The book 'the religion of Islam', published in 1936, does support the case for flogging. 

    Jazakallaah Khayr. 


  8. Dear Mr Ahmed, assalamu alaikum.

    Thank you for your kind and warm reply. My comments on it are the following.

    1. Previous mujaddids arose to combat specific evils and threats to Islam of their times. Their views on all other matters relating to Islam cannot be binding on us. Also, the arguments they used in fulfilment of their God-given missions were in the context of their times. For example, some of Imam Ghazali's arguments against the philosophers of his time might not be applicable against modern philosophies. Please note, however, that the issues which the Promised Messiah dealt with as part of his mission are as relevant now, and perhaps even more so, than in his day.

    2. I would be interested to know what other issues there were on which the Promised Messiah changed his views. Writing about the Life of the Promised Messiah in the 'Review of Religions' in the June 1906 issue (p. 229-256), Maulana Muhammad Ali says:

    “Notwithstanding the change from time to time of the attitude of  the  public towards the claims of Mirza  Ghulam Ahmad, a reader of his writings cannot discover the  least difference between the Ahmad of to-day and the Ahmad of the time of the Barahin-i-Ahmadiyya. … The one theme of all his writings is the superiority of Islam over all other religions because of the continuity of the gift of Divine revelation in this religion. It is on this that he laid stress thirty years ago, and it is on this that he lays stress to-day.”

    3. The Promised Messiah expressed views on numerous topics, a large number of which had no bearing on his own claim and status. On questions relating to Fiqh, he often asked scholars of the Jamaat to reply to the questioner. These cannot be binding on us except as a guide. Whenever he gave any arguments about his view on a matter, they were from the Quran and Hadith, and not on the basis of his own authority. Did he say that the issue of the death of Jesus is not clearly settled in the Quran and Hadith, and so I am now settling it on my own revelation and authority? No. He wrote that he has to prove the death of Jesus clearly and unequivocally from the Quran and then Hadith; otherwise it is not proved even if I have hundreds of revelations about it.

    If the rules and standards of deriving Islamic teachings from the Quran and Hadith have now changed because of the appearance of the Promised Messiah, whose word is now the final, over-riding authority, then that is in effect the creation of a new religion after the religion of Islam.

    In answer to your point, all issues always require further research. And that does not constitute "modification in his writings" because his writings were, and will remain, what he wrote!

    I may add as an example here that the Promsied Messiah has interpreted the "ass (donkey) of Dajjal" as being the railway train introduced into India by the British, on which the Dajjal rides. The Lahore Ahmadiyya scholar Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi wrote that the "ass" of Dajjal is the general Muslim clerics and Ulama, because Dajjal attacks Islam by riding on them, i.e., on  the wrong picture of Islam taught by these Ulama. This interpretation is supported by a verse of the Quran which likens the Jewish priests who don't act on the Torah as an ass loaded with books.

    Another interesting question is: What constitutes "change of view"? If someone holds a view only because it is the commonly-held view, and he has not pondered over the matter, then if he later gives it consideration and finds that it is wrong, is it a "change of view"? He had never thought about the issue when he held the first view.

    5. Regarding the punishment for adultery, I have not found any pronouncement about it by the Promised Messiah or Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din. What the PM has written about frequently is how by following Islamic teachings a person can avoid this sin. Perhaps he considered his mission to be advising people on how to avoid committing it, rather than discussing the entirely academic question (having no practical implications) of whether it was stoning to death or flogging.

    It is true that Maulana Muhammad Ali's 1917 edition of his English translation of the Quran does not argue against stoning to death, but nor does it mention that this is the punishment. The refutation of stoning to death can in fact be found earlier than 1936 where you found it. In his Urdu translation of the Quran, Bayan-ul-Quran, the third volume of which contains ch. 24, and was first published in 1924, he has dealt with the issue most comprehensively in a footnote two pages long in small print size. Presumably he came to these conclusions before that date.

    While members of our Jamaat, past and present, owe their knowledge of Islam to the writings of Maulana Muhammad Ali, a debt whch can never be repaid, we do still differ with him in some interpretations.