The Qadiani Numbers
Claim of large
size exposed as invalid and a false argument
(The Light & Islamic Review: Vol.72, No.
3; May-June 1995; p. 18-19)
Introduction / Qadiani leader
admits exaggeration in number.
In any discussion with members
of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, the first argument advanced by Qadianis
- the followers of Mirza Tahir Ahmad - is that their numbers
are much larger than ours, and that this proves that Divine support,
truth and right are on their side, not on ours. However, the teaching
which has been revealed by God tells us that superiority of any group
in number, size, resources, etc. is no evidence whatsoever of the truth
of its beliefs or Divine support for it. On the contrary, we learn that
it is generally the opponents of truth who greatly exceed the followers
of truth in number. The Holy Quran gives a parable of an argument between
two men, one an arrogant disbeliever in God and the other a humble believer.
During the course of their exchange, the proud unbeliever looks down
upon his materially poor companion with contempt and says:
"I have greater wealth than thou, and am mightier in followers."
The disbeliever's argument given above is exactly the one which the
Qadianis employ against us, an argument condemned by the Quran.
Again in the Quran those who, in numerical terms, are the "many"
or the "most" are described as: (1) heedless of God's signs,
(2) deniers of the meeting with God, (3) wicked, (4) having no knowledge,
(5) not believing, and (6) being ungrateful to God. (see 10:92; 30:8;
5:49; 7:187; 11:17 and 2:243) Therefore, a group's numerical superiority
is nowhere considered in the Quran as a proof of its truth; on the contrary,
a large following is generally associated with the opponents of truth.
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad the Promised Messiah, too, never regarded
mere numbers as an indicator of success. He said:
"I am never pleased by the mere size of the Jama'at.
Although at present its size is 400,000 or more, a real Jama'at
is not one where people merely take the bai'at with their hands.
The Jama'at can only deserve to be called the Jama'at
in the true sense if people adhere to the real purpose of the bai'at,
if they actually undergo a thorough transformation for the good, and
their lives are cleansed of the pollution of sin." (Malfuzat,
vol. x, p.136.)
Indeed, in his visions of the future the Promised Messiah was shown
a time when people would turn their backs upon him, and he would be
left almost alone. He writes:
"I saw in a vision that an angel came to me and he says: 'People
are turning back'. So I asked him from whence he had come, and he
replied in the Arabic language saying: ji'tu min hazrat-il-witr,
meaning, 'I have come from Him Who is alone'. I then took him to one
side, in confidence, and asked him: 'People are turning back, but
have you too turned back?' He said: 'But we are with you.' "
(Anwar-ul-Islam, p. 52.)
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad once related the following dream:
"I am somewhere else and want to return to Qadian. One or two
men are with me. Someone said: 'The way is closed, there is a raging
sea running.' I looked, and indeed it was no river but a huge sea,
flowing in a twisting course like a snake. We turned back because
the way was impassable as yet and the route was terrifying."
(Malfuzat, vol. iv, p.298, 23rd December 1902.)
The Promised Messiah was shown in this dream that he, meaning his real
mission, would be somewhere other than Qadian, and with him would
be only a few men.
Between that place and Qadian would be an uncrossable, huge gulf, preventing
his return. This is the gulf that exists between the real beliefs and
mission of the Promised Messiah, as preserved by the Lahore Ahmadiyya
Movement, and the utterly distorted version of his teachings and aims
as represented by the Qadianis. He is left with a few men, away from Qadian.
leader admits exaggeration in number.
As to the Qadiani claims regarding their numbers, their late leader
Mirza Mahmud Ahmad admitted that his followers are in the habit of greatly
exaggerating their numbers. He said in a khutba in 1950:
"The truth is that, although we have never conducted a count,
in our estimate the number of people in the Jama'at is approximately
two hundred thousand. We cannot see more than this. It is possible
that if the branches overseas are taken into account this number may
reach three hundred thousand. The utmost limit, which it is absolutely
impossible to exceed, is four hundred thousand. But some
people in the Jama'at have now reached the stage in their exaggeration
that, when saying how many they are, they give a figure of up to two
and a half million.
" . . .
The falsehood which is now uttered,
that we number two and a half million, has no advantage but
instead leads to two drawbacks. One is that the man who says this,
gives up propagation work because he thinks that there are two and
a half million people doing this work, and so it makes no difference
if he does not do it. The second drawback is that such a man is slow
to pay his contributions because he thinks that there are two and
a half million people contributing, and so it makes no difference
if he does not pay his contributions." (Friday khutba,
18 August 1950, reproduced in Al-Fazl, 5 September 1950.)
According to this admission of "exaggeration", the real size
of the Qadiani movement was about one-tenth of that claimed
by its followers! This exposes the reality of the claims made by the