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 Maulana Muhammad Ali (1874-1951) 

Photo of M. M. Ali

A Mighty Striving: Full life story

Reviews of his major English works

Pakistani reviews of his Urdu work Bayan-ul-Quran

Brief life (see below)

A talk about his life

Obituary by N.A. Faruqui

Obituaries in Pakistani English language Press

Some tributes at his death

Turkish scholar who met him pays tribute

A Qadiani Editor’s tribute

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad on the position and status of Maulana Muhammad Ali

Maulana Muhammad Ali on how he was influenced by Hazrat Mirza

Brief life

Born in 1874 in Punjab (India), Maulana Muhammad Ali achieved a very high distinction in his academic studies and obtained degrees in English (M.A.) and Law (Ll. B.) by the year 1899. He joined the Ahmadiyya Movement in 1897.

As he stood on the threshold of a lucrative career in law in 1900, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, called on him to devote his life to the service of Islam. He forthwith abandoned his worldly plans and went and joined the Great Reformer in Qadian. Here he learnt those gems of Islamic truth which were uncovered in this age by Hazrat Mirza, through which Islam was now going to attract the hearts of people all over the world.

Hazrat Mirza appoints Maulana Muhammad Ali to key positions

Hazrat Mirza appointed the Maulana as editor of the Review of Religions, one of the first Islamic journals in English, which started publication in the year 1902. Through this magazine, Maulana Muhammad Ali presented the pristine, beautiful face of Islam to a modern world which had only seen an ugly image of it.

In 1905, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad published his Will in which he established the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya, a body to govern the Ahmadiyya Movement, and he appointed Maulana Muhammad Ali as the Secretary of its executive council. Hazrat Mirza empowered this executive council to be his successor, and stipulated in writing that “after my death the decision of this Anjuman in every matter shall be final and binding”.

After Hazrat Mirza’s death

After Hazrat Mirza’s death in 1908, his right-hand man Maulana Nur-ud-Din became Head of the Ahmadiyya Movement, and led the Movement according to the rules laid down by Hazrat Mirza in his Will. However, certain elements in the Ahmadiyya Movement were seeking to turn the Movement into an intolerant, narrow sect which would call other Muslims as unbelievers, and were trying to establish autocratic rule in the Movement by a family dynasty.

When Maulana Nur-ud-Din died in March 1914, these circumstances compelled Maulana Muhammad Ali to leave Qadian, and he along with other very senior members of the Ahmadiyya Movement, established the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam (Ahmadiyya Association for the Propagation of Islam) in Lahore, to continue Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s real mission and preserve his actual beliefs.

The two basic principles of belief which led to the foundation of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, which this Movement has always stressed as its key beliefs, (and which were in fact the beliefs actually held by Hazrat Mirza) are as follows:

  1. A person who professes the Kalima Shahada is a Muslim, and cannot be called a kafir by anyone.
  2. The Holy Prophet Muhammad was the Last of the Prophets, and after him no prophet can appear, neither a past one like Jesus, nor a new one.

Work as head of Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement

From the foundation of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement in 1914 till his death in 1951, Maulana Muhammad Ali led this Movement, organised its world-wide missionary activities, and produced a vast amount of highly scholarly and invaluable Islamic literature in English and Urdu.

He did translations of the Holy Quran, with full commentary, in both English and Urdu. His other chief English writings include: The Religion of Islam, Muhammad The Prophet, A Manual of Hadith, The New World Order and Living Thoughts of the Prophet Muhammad. This is a unique collection of books, dealing with all aspects of Islam and clearing the serious misconceptions about its teachings held by both Muslims and outsiders. Within their pages is a complete picture of Islam restored to its original purity — a religion of peace, tolerance and spirituality. This literature has spread to all parts of the world due to popular demand, and it is now being translated into other languages. The Maulana’s contribution and his books have been highly acclaimed by eminent Muslims outside our Movement.

A famous British Muslim translator of the Quran into English, Marmaduke Pickthall, writing in 1936, began his review of a book by the Maulana with the following words:

“Probably no man living has done longer or more valuable service for the cause of Islamic revival than Maulana Muhammad Ali of Lahore.”