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Earlier beliefs of leading figures of the Qadiani Jama‘at

Mufti Muhammad Sadiq says: We don’t preach Hazrat Mirza's prophethood
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Mufti Muhammad Sadiq says: We don’t preach Hazrat Mirza’s prophethood

Mufti Muhammad Sadiq held a very high position in the Qadiani Jama‘at. In October 1910, before the Split and two years after the death of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, when he was editor of the Ahmadiyya newspaper Badr, he reported in this paper an account of his meeting with the famous Muslim scholar Maulana Shibli. Within this account he writes:

“Shibli asked if we believe the late Mirza sahib to be a prophet. I replied that our belief in this respect was the same as that of other Muslims, viz., that the Holy Prophet Muhammad is the Khatam an-nabiyyin. After him, no other prophet can come, neither new nor old. However, the phenomenon of Divine revelation still continues, but even that is through the agency of the Holy Prophet. By receiving spiritual benefit from him, there have been men among the Muslims who had the privilege of Divine revelation, and in future too there shall be such. As Hazrat Mirza sahib was also privileged with Divine revelation, and in his revelations God gave him many news of the future as prophecies, which were fulfilled, for this reason Mirza sahib was one who made prophecies. Such a one is called nabi in Arabic lexicology, and in Hadith too the coming Promised Messiah is called nabi.

To this, Shibli replied that certainly according to the dictionary meanings this can be so, and in the Arabic language this word does have this meaning, but the ordinary people become perturbed because they do not know this significance, and they raise objections. I said that, with us, the question of Mirza sahib’s prophethood is not such that it is included in the conditions of the Pledge (bai‘at), nor is it required to be acknowledged when taking the Pledge, nor do we go about preaching it. Our belief is what we have explained above.”

(Badr, 27 October 1910, page 9. Underlining is ours.)

The points to note in Mufti Muhammad Sadiq’s statement are the following:

  1. Ahmadis hold the same belief as other Muslims, that no prophet, new or old, can come after the Holy Prophet Muhammad.
  2. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s status was that he was one of those men in Islam who receive Divine revelation. Such recipients of revelation had existed in Islam before him and would come in the future as well.
  3. The Pledge to join the Ahmadiyya Movement does not mention that Hazrat Mirza sahib was a prophet, and Ahmadis are not required to acknowledge Hazrat Mirza sahib’s prophethood when they enter the Ahmadiyya Movement.
  4. Ahmadis do not go about preaching that Hazrat Mirza sahib was a prophet.

This, then, was the belief publicly expressed by a top-most Qadiani missionary and editor of the Ahmadiyya community’s newspaper, two years after Hazrat Mirza sahib’s death and four years before the Split. Below is displayed the image of the relevant part of this article from the original newspaper:

Badr, 27 October 1910

Quotes Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din in his support

Moreover, in the article mentioned above, Mufti Muhammad Sadiq goes on to quote a letter by Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din, then Head of the Ahmadiyya Movement, in support of his explanation. He writes:

“It seems appropriate at this point that I should include in this paper a recent letter by Hazrat Khalifa-tul-Masih [Maulana Nur-ud-Din] which he has written in reply to Sardar Muhammad Ajab Khan, and made it a sworn statement.”

That letter is as follows:

“To cut open the heart and look into it, or make others look into it, is beyond human power. If one relies on oaths, I see no oath equal to: By Allah, the Great. Neither you nor anyone else will accompany me after my death, except my faith and deeds. As this matter will be presented before Allah Almighty, I swear by Allah, the Great, by Whose leave heaven and earth exist, I believe Mirza sahib to be the Mujaddid of this century. I believe him to be righteous. I believe him to be a slave of Muhammad, Messenger of Allah, and a sincere servant of his Shari‘ah. And Mirza too considered himself to be a life-sacrificing slave of the Arabian Prophet, Muhammad ibn Abdullah.

The dictionary meaning of the word nabi, we believe, is one who gives news, having received knowledge beforehand from Allah Almighty, not one who brings a shari‘ah. Both Mirza sahib and I consider any person who rejects even an iota of the Holy Quran or the shari‘ah of the Holy Prophet Muhammad to be a kafir and an accursed one. This is my belief, and this was also I consider the belief of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib. If anyone rejects this, refuses to accept it, or calls us hypocrites, his affair is with God. — Nur-ur-Din, in his own hand, 22 October 1910.”

(For the Urdu text of this letter, see this link.)

Here Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din mentions the claim of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as being“Mujaddid of this century” and says that the word nabi is only applied to him in the dictionary sense of this word.