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Letter from a Qadiani

Editor's reply

(The Light & Islamic Review: Vol.73, No. 3; May-June 1996; p. 14-15)

Introduction / Another proposal.

I have received a letter from a Qadiani gentleman, Sheikh Mubarak Ahmad, from McLean, VA, U.S.A., referring to an article in the January-February issue of The Light which dealt with a discussion on the Internet regarding Qadiani beliefs, involving myself, some Qadianis and a Sunni contributor.

His letter begins by saying that "every issue of The Light contains something against the Qadiani Jama'at". I don't know what Sheikh sahib means by "against the Qadiani Jama'at", but what we have been trying to do is to defend Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah, against the claims attributed to him by the Qadianis. The imputation of these claims to him has brought his person into the worst kind of disrepute, and is the biggest obstacle to the progress of his mission, the mission which the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement seeks to carry forward in the world.

Moreover, we have also been drawing attention to those extreme Qadiani beliefs which their leadership proclaimed openly for several decades, but about which today they find it expedient to maintain silence. Even very few Qadianis themselves are aware of those beliefs, and yet those doctrines are fundamental to the Qadiani philosophy. For example, today Qadianis will tell you that a Muslim is anyone who professes the Kalima and that such a person cannot be declared as kafir by anyone. Yet the main basis for the foundation of their Jama'at in 1914 was their staunchly-held belief that, except for those people who become disciples of their khalifa, the rest of the Muslims in the entire world are kafir.

The main point of Sheikh Mubarak Ahmad's letter is that, in the article that he is referring to, I had pointed out certain errors in the English translation of Hazrat Mirza's booklet Ayk Ghalati Ka Izala done by the Qadiani Jama'at, as sent by them on the Internet. The Sheikh sahib suggests to me that it would be better for the readers if in a future issue I publish this entire booklet, either in Urdu or in an English translation approved by myself. He also suggests that we should publish this as a separate booklet and place a notice in bold letters in the booklet saying that "the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement holds the same beliefs as are set out in this booklet".

I inform the Sheikh sahib that the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at Islam Lahore has published Ayk Ghalati Ka Izala in Urdu several times, and published an English translation of it over 45 years ago under the title Correction of an Error which was recently reprinted. The very fact that we publish it is an obvious indication to readers that we hold the same beliefs as are set out in it! Why should we need to insert the kind of notice suggested by Sheikh sahib? And why should one booklet be singled out to have this notice put in it?

What the Qadianis mean by the suggested wording of this notice is that one should believe in only this booklet and draw conclusions from it which are contrary to other, comprehensive writings of the Promised Messiah on the same subject.

I can put to Sheikh sahib the names of several, most detailed books of the Promised Messiah, about which the Qadianis would never say that they hold the same beliefs as are in those books. For example, Tauzih Maram, Izala Auham, Hamamat al-Bushra, Siraj Munir, Anjam Atham, Tiryaq al-Qulub, Kitab al-Bariyya, Ayyam as-Sulh, Nishan Asmani, etc. Here are nine books. Are the Qadianis prepared to put such a notice in even one of these books?

Our position can be expressed in the words: "we hold the same beliefs as are set out in the whole collection of the writings of the Promised Messiah, taken together as one body". Now, are the Qadianis prepared to make this announcement?

Another proposal.

The first sentence of Ayk Ghalati Ka Izala, as translated by the Qadianis themselves, reads as follows:

"Some members of my community who possess only a sketchy and superficial knowledge of my claims and the arguments in support of them and have had no time to study my writings closely nor have kept my company for a reasonable length of time to perfect their knowledge, some time meet an opponent's objection with a reply which is not based on facts."

Now I ask Sheikh Mubarak Ahmad: Are the Qadianis prepared to put a notice in Ayk Ghalati Ka Izala that they hold the same belief as set out in the first line of this booklet, namely that:

The writings of the Promised Messiah prior to the publication of this booklet, and his teachings expounded by him "for a reasonable length of time" preceding its publication, should be studied by Ahmadis in order to "perfect their knowledge" of his claims and the arguments in support of those claims.

If the Qadianis do not agree with this position, then they ought to explain why.