Split in the Ahmadiyya Movement
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (d. 1908) had created the Ahmadiyya Movement
not as just another sect of Islam which, like other sects and
factions, would engage in sectarian bickering and denounce fellow-Muslims
of other persuasions as being kafir and expelled from
Islam’, but he had created it as a force for the presentation
of true Islamic ideals.
Hazrat Mirza, upto even the last few days of his life in May 1908,
in his reported conversations with distinguished Muslim visitors
while staying in Lahore, spoke of himself as one of the mujaddids
of Islam (see the statement on 25 May 1908, Malfuzat, vol.
10, pp. 451 - 452, under title Need for a Mujaddid.)
Hazrat Mirza also assured them that he did not regard Muslims outside
his Movement as kafir; far from it, it was the other ulama
who were denouncing him and his followers as being outside the fold
of Islam (see the statement on 15 May 1908, Malfuzat, vol.
10, pp. 376 - 378.)
It was thus clear from his statements right up to his death (on
26 May 1908), as published in the Ahmadiyya newspapers of the time,
that his claim was that of being a mujaddid, and not a prophet.
After Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmads death in May 1908, his right-hand
man and a highly-learned Islamic scholar, Maulvi Nur-ud-Din, who
was greatly respected by Muslims outside the Ahmadiyya Movement
as well, was unanimously chosen as the Head of the Movement. However,
certain members of the family of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad wanted
to establish a hereditary succession remaining within the family,
but they were not in a position to fulfill their ambitions as yet,
especially since Hazrat Mirza’s eldest son, Mirza Bashir-ud-Din
Mahmud Ahmad, who would be the contender, was too young at this
Some 3 years later Mirza Mahmud Ahmad and his supporters, in order
to create a platform for a leadership campaign, began to promote the
view that a person could not remain a Muslim by
belief in the Kalima Shahada and the prophethood of the Holy
Prophet Muhammad only, but had in addition to acknowledge that Mirza
Ghulam Ahmad was a prophet of God.
The position taken by Mirza Mahmud Ahmad was that, just as when the
Holy Prophet Muhammad arose, the followers of earlier prophets were
required to believe in him in order to become Muslims, similarly
with the appearance now of the prophet Mirza Ghulam Ahmad belief
in him must be acknowledged in order for anyone to be a Muslim.
And belief in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, it was further asserted, is acknowledged
by taking the pledge of entry (baiat) with the Head
of the Ahmadiyya Movement who is the real and true khalifa of
all the Muslims. In a book published a little later, Mirza Bashir-ud-Din
Mahmud Ahmad expressed this doctrine in the following exact words
all those so-called Muslims who have not entered
into his baiat formally, wherever they may be, are
Kafirs and outside the pale of Islam, even though they
may not have heard the name of the Promised Messiah.
(The Truth about the Split, first published 1924; 3rd
edition, Rabwah, Pakistan, 1965, pp. 5556.)
I wrote that as we believed the Promised Messiah to be one
of the prophets of God, we could not possibly regard his deniers
as Muslims. (ibid., page 135.)
(For details, select this link.)
Maulana Muhammad Ali and other
senior and prominent members of the Ahmadiyya Movement repudiated these
notions as being both contrary to basic Islamic teachings as well as
against the expressed beliefs of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. The Maulana
explains these events in an English tract published shortly afterwards
in 1918 as follows:
M. Mahmud, a son of the founder of the movement, who
is the present head of the Qadian section of the community, began
to drift away from the basic principles of the Islamic faith about
three years after the death of the Promised Messiah, going so
far as to declare plainly that the hundreds of millions of Muslims,
living in the world, should be no more treated as Muslims. . .
. A large number of the educated members of the community, who
had the moral courage to dissent openly from the erroneous doctrines
taught by him, perceived the great danger to the whole community,
when after the death of the late Maulvi Nur-ud-Din a particular
clique in the community succeeded in raising M. Mahmud to
headship at Qadian without any general consultation. They at once
rallied round the true doctrines of the Promised Messiah, and
after in vain trying for over a month and a half to keep up the
unity of the movement, formed themselves into a separate Society,
known as the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at-i-Islam, on 2nd
May 1914, which is now earnestly working for the propagation of
(The Split in the Ahmadiyya Movement, Preface.)
Thus came into being the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, with the following
- The Holy Prophet Muhammad is the Last Prophet after whom no
prophet whatsoever can appear.
- Believers in the Holy Prophet Muhammad form a brotherhood,
and so long as a person claims membership of the brotherhood of Islam
by declaring the words ‘There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is
the Messenger of Allah’, he cannot be expelled from Islam or branded
as a kafir by any power on earth.
- Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad never claimed to be a prophet, but
was a Mujaddid in Islam, like mujaddids that arose in
Islam before him, and he was that particular Mujaddid who was
the Promised Messiah.
- Those Muslims who do not believe in Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
still remain Muslims.
Qadiani leadership creates despotic khilafat
Another related belief promoted by the Qadiani leader, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad,
was that every Head of the Ahmadiyya Movement, after Hazrat Mirza, is
actually appointed by God, he acts by Divine authority, he should possess
absolute power, and he must be obeyed unquestioningly like an autocrat.
In fact, he is supposed to be the real ruler and khalifa of
all the Muslims of the time, whom it is obligatory on every Muslim to
accept and obey.
Quite contrary to this, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had revived the true
Islamic principle of rule by consultation in the governing
of the Ahmadiyya Movement. Some 2 to 3 years before his death, he
had published his Will by which he created a body of
men, fourteen in number, as the supreme executive of the Movement.
This body he described as his successor, and he stipulated
that its majority decisions would be final and binding after his
death. No individual head was to wield absolute, autocratic power.
It was, in fact, such systems of absolute religious authority that
had brought previous Muslim spiritual movements to corruption and
ruin. The executive body created by Hazrat Mirza was set into operation
by him immediately, two years before his death.
(For details, select this link.)
After the Split in 1914, the Qadiani Movement under Mirza Mahmud
Ahmad’s leadership discarded the system established by the Founder of
the Ahmadiyya Movement and replaced it by an autocratic system of absolute
rule by the khalifa. As time went on, the office of the khalifa
appropriated more and more power, reducing the followers to a position
of the utmost servility and total blind obedience.
Sadly, the Qadianis became merely brain-washed, closed-minded
and slavish followers of their Khalifa (Head), and this has been
their condition ever since then, till today. Anything which the Khalifa
says or commands, no matter how absurd it may be, no matter how much
opposed to Islam and how much against the teachings of Hazrat Mirza
Ghulam Ahmad it may be, the average Qadianis will follow and act upon
it zealously, without thinking.