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Ahmadis are Generally Polite People: Treated As Heretics Whose Sentence Is Very Severe

05 February 2014

By Saeed Qureshi

Notwithstanding our respective beliefs and creeds, it has been observed that the followers of Ahmadyia faith are usually tolerant and polite people. One reason for such a polite attitude or soft behavior could be that being a minority sect they cannot afford to be aggressive and coarse. The second plausible reason possibly is that ever since the births of this sect, its followers have remained victim of oppression, hostility and persecution. As such they cannot afford to aggravate this maltreatment further.

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad founded the movement on 23 March 1889 and named it "Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat" (group or community) envisioning that its believers would revive or revitalize Islam. The other sects of Muslims that believe in the finality of the prophet-hood of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) cannot bear the sight of a sect whose founder claims to be a revivalist, a prophet or promised Messiah or new born Muhammad (saws)

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself claimed that he was a shadow of Hazrat Muhammad and the promised Messiah who was divinely ordained to revive Islam in its pristine format towards the subsequent times. The claim of the shadow of prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is not acceptable to the Muslims as the tradition tells that Prophet Muhammad was without a shadow.

But obviously the body of teachings and new interpretations that have been given in the Ahmadyia literature and books, to a great extent, offer a diametrically opposite perspective about the prophet-hood. If one goes through the books of the founder of Jamaat Ahmadyia, one would come across such perceptions that may be good and acceptable for the followers of this sect, (otherwise a well knit religious body) but that cut across the beliefs prevalent among the Muslims.

But since I cannot go into making a comparison I shall solely dwell upon the kind of social etiquette and the style of proselytizing of this 19th century Jamaat. Presently their headquarters are in Canada from where they spread their messages to the rest of the world. I have never seen this centre but the visitors describe it as a highly organized and very well kept and neatly maintained city.
They have their mosques there, guest houses, libraries, schools for both Ahmadis and non Ahmadis. They have extremely motivated volunteers working day and night without perhaps any remuneration or monetary compensations. The visitors have described the conduct and interaction of the Ahmadis in that city as friendly, soft-spoken and embodiment of humility and simplicity.

It is understandable that since the purpose of founding of this Jamaat was described as revival of Islam in its pristine form, they try to emulate the Muslims of the times of the Khilafat Rashida. I don't know how far I am correct but that is how the visitors describe their overall behavior.

They stress more on fighting with pen and not sword. This stand was interpreted by Muslims as discouraging war or Jihad against the British colonialists. It is also evident from the books of Mirza Ghulam Ahmed that he exhorted his followers not to fight with sword but with pen. But this injunction is self defeating because when the Unislamic forces are rampaging the Muslim territories with armies and deadly for centuries why Muslims should not fight back with the same weapons. To fight back with pen in face of gun seems to be rather queer logic.

To declare Qadian as an a prototype and equal in status to the Masjid Nabavi in Madina and to denigrate Hazrat Isa( Jesus Christ) as a drunkard and bastard child runs counter to the entrenched beliefs among other Islamic sects. And the claim of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad that he was the embodiment of all the exalted prophets from Adam to Hazrat Muhammad is hard for the majority Muslims to accept or believe.

But this is the realm of beliefs and religious doctrines. What I am trying to emphasize is that in matter of personal ethics and social behavior one has yet o see an Ahmadi who could be provoked, outraged or turning rough in explaining their beliefs and creed. They have been derided, ridiculed, persecuted and their graveyards and mosques ransacked and laid waste but they have seldom retaliated in the rowdy, destructive or militant fashion.

They do not shy away and rather welcome engaging in the religious debates and repartees. I wonder if their peaceful overtures can be answered back by our religious scholars, jurors and interpreters of Islamic teachings and laws in a logical manner. It would be more helpful and persuasive than killing or brutalizing this group. But what prompts Muslims not to be peaceful or humane in dealing with the Ahmadis is the hurdle that they profess a different perspective within the fold of Islam and thus are treated as apostates.

The non-Muslim religions like Christians, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists etc, are spared because they are declared non Muslims and therefore are ignores as there is provision of Dhimmies (non Muslim protected minorities) in Islam. But the difficulty with Ahmadis is that they claim to be Muslims by holding on to the most of drastic and colliding beliefs. They are therefore, treated as heretics whose sentence is very severe. The renegade Muslims have to face death. For mainstream Islam there are other inconsistencies in the religious books of Ahmadis that run counter to the commonly held traditions and beliefs of majority Muslims for the last 15 hundred years.

The writer is a senior journalist, former editor of Diplomatic Times and a former diplomat. His blog is www.uprightopinion.com



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