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Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad regarded other Muslims as Muslim

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Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad: Did not brand other Muslims as kafir

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Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad regarded other Muslims as Muslims

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad condemned the practice of Muslims declaring other Muslims as kafir. He wrote:

  1. “O Maulvis (religious leaders)! will you not face death one day, that you are so bold and cunning as to declare a whole world as kafir? God says that if someone uses the greeting Assalamu Alaikum for you, do not say to him: ‘you are not a believer’, that is, you must not consider him a kafir because he is a Muslim. However, you have declared those as kafir who hold the same doctrinal beliefs as you, who follow the Qibla, who forsake the worship of anything other than God, who believe the way to salvation to be obedience to the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, and consider anyone who turns away from his obedience to be accursed and doomed to the fire of hell.”

    Itmam-ul-Hujja, p. 23; Ruhani Khaza’in, v. 8, p. 302–303.

  2. “Today it is being tried to reduce the number of Muslims as much as possible and to expel them from the religion of Islam by the orders and fatwas of the Maulvis of an evil nature. Even if there are to be found in some people a thousand characteristics of Islam, all these are ignored, and some absurd and baseless excuse is found to declare them to be such kafirs as are further away from faith than even Hindus and Christians. … There are few enough Muslims already, do not reduce this small number even further.”

    Izala Auham, p. 594–597; Ruhani Khaza’in, v. 3, p. 421 and 422.

  3. “It is a matter of amazement that a person who professes the Kalima, follows the Qibla, believes in One God, believes in and truly loves Allah and His Messenger, and believes in the Quran, should on account of some secondary difference be declared a kafir like Jews and Christians, in fact even a worse kafir. … Learned people know that there were great differences among the Companions of the Holy Prophet. There was none of them who did not have any difference. … But no one called anyone else as kafir.

    Ainah Kamalat Islam, p. 259; Ruhani Khaza’in, v. 5, p. 258, 259.

  4. “Is it not a matter of amazement that in such a delicate issue so much blatancy should be shown that while a man repeatedly declares that he belongs to the religion of Islam, and he openly clears himself of the false charges that are the basis of the allegation of unbelief, but still he is pronounced to be a kafir and people are urged that, despite the fact that he professes the Kalima ‘La ilaha ill-allah, Muhammad-ur Rasul-ullah’, believes in the Oneness of God and in the essential doctrines of Islam, adheres to prayer and fasting, and follows the Qibla, he is still a kafir.”

    Ainah Kamalat Islam, p. 32; Ruhani Khaza’in, v. 5, p. 32.

  5. “Who does not know that it is a very delicate matter to declare as kafir someone who is a Muslim, believing in One God, and follows the Qibla, especially when that Muslim declares repeatedly by his writings and speeches that he is a Muslim, and that he believes in Allah and His Messenger and in the angels and books and messengers of Allah, be He glorified, and in life after death, as has been made manifest by the glorified Allah and His Messenger, on whom be peace and the blessings of Allah, in their teachings. Not only this, but he is also bound by all the commandments pertaining to fasting and prayer as explained by Allah and His Messenger, on whom be peace and the blessings of Allah. To declare such a Muslim as kafir, nay a great kafir and the Anti-Christ, cannot be the work of people who guard against evil and fear God and are in the habit of taking a charitable view of others.”

    Ainah Kamalat Islam, p. 33; Ruhani Khaza’in, v. 5, p. 33.

Therefore, according to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad a person fulfilling one of the basic requirements of a Muslim, for example, professing the Kalima, or facing the Muslim Qibla in prayer, etc., is a Muslim and cannot be declared a kafir.

His court declaration that he does not call Muslims as kafir

In February 1899, at the end of a court case between Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and one of his leading opponents, Maulvi Muhammad Husain Batalvi, the magistrate got each of them to sign a notice that he would not call the other kafir or antichrist Commenting on this, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad wrote:

If he [Muhammad Husain] had been honest in issuing his fatwa, he should have said to the judge: ‘I certainly regard him as a kafir, and so I call him a kafir’.

Considering that till now, till the last part of my life, by the grace and favour of God I still hold those beliefs which Muhammad Husain has declared as kufr, what sort of honesty is it that, out of fear of the judge, he destroyed all his fatwas and affirmed before the judge that he would never again call me kafir, or dub me antichrist and a liar. One should reflect as to what greater disgrace there could be than this.

It is true that I also signed this notice. But by this signing, no blame attaches to me in the eyes of God and the just people, nor does such signing reflect any disgrace on me, because my belief from the beginning has been that no person becomes a kafir or antichrist by denying my claim. I do not apply the term kafir to any person who professes the Kalima, unless he makes himself a kafir by calling me a kafir and a liar. In this matter, it has always been my opponents who took the first step by calling me a kafir, and prepared a fatwa. I did not take the lead in preparing a fatwa against them. And they themselves admit that if I am a Muslim in the eyes of God, then by calling me a kafir the ruling of the Holy Prophet Muhammad against them is that they are kafir. So I do not call them kafir; rather it is by calling me kafir that they come under the judgment of the Holy Prophet. Therefore, if I have affirmed before Mr Dowie [the judge] that I shall not call them kafir, it is in fact my belief that I do not consider any Muslim to be a kafir.

Tiryaq al-Qulub, published October 1902, pages 130-131

The following points emerge plainly from this extract:
  1. The Promised Messiah never called any Muslim a kafir on the grounds of not believing in his claims.
  2. It was when his Muslim opponents persisted in calling him kafir that he reminded them of the ruling of the Holy Prophet Muhammad that anyone calling a fellow-Muslim as kafir has the same epithet reflected back upon him. So it was the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s judgment against them which they brought on themselves.
  3. When a Muslim opponent signed a declaration to the effect that he would stop calling Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as kafir, the Promised Messiah had no hesitation whatsoever in signing a similar declaration about his opponent.
  4. The Promised Messiah repeatedly calls it “my belief” that a Muslim cannot be called a kafir for not believing in his claims.
  5. The Promised Messiah wrote the above lines at a time which he himself describes as “till now, till the last part of my life”. Therefore it cannot be argued that he held this belief only at an early stage in his mission and changed it later on.
After the extract quoted above, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad goes on to write about his opponent:
“In short, the man who, after getting provoked without justification, declared me kafir and prepared a fatwa concerning me, to the effect that I was a kafir, antichrist and liar, showed no fear of the commandment of Almighty God as to why he was calling as kafir people who face the Qibla and profess the Kalima, and why he was expelling from the fold of Islam thousands of servants of God who follow the Book of Allah and manifest the basic practices of Islam. However, after a threat from the magistrate of the district, he accepted for all time never again to call them kafir, antichrist or liar.”
(p. 132)
According to the Promised Messiah here, to call as kafir and to expel from Islam those people who profess the Kalima and follow the basic Islamic practices, is to show no fear of God. The Qadiani movement’s calling other Muslims as kafir falls under this condemnation of the Promised Messiah.
 See also: Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad: Did not brand other Muslims as kafir