When I share the message of Islam to Americans, they absolutely love it and are blown away. But when I tell them that it’s from the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), they step back and force themselves to dislike it. Whenever I discuss the condition of Islam and its representation in the world today in my small West African country, The Gambia, we all agree that there is a lot of mess which needs to be solved. We all agree that Allah Almighty loves us and would not leave us to suffer in these difficult times when strangers are pelting stones at the house of neighbors from the very backyard of our beloved Master (pbuh).
We all know that the solution is in the Holy Qur’an, the ever-living book which was to guide mankind forever. But if the Qur’an is perfect and we know the model of the Prophet (pbuh), then why can’t Muslims still become united?
All sects of Islam claim to follow the same book, which is supposed to be the solution to all of our problems. So who teaches the true meaning of the Qur’an? This is where sects come into play, even though many Muslims like to believe that we are just a part of the main body of Islam and not necessarily sectarian. In Senegal for instance, a common question one would get asked is, “Who is your Serigne?” referring to the Imam, scholar or saint you affiliate yourself with. In other words, one bears the name of their scholar, automatically becoming part of a sect. When we go through the history of Islam, we can see that a new sect is formed when there is a major difference in opinion or interpretation of the word of God or an act or saying of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). The followers of all these sects claim that their founders or scholars are the solutions, because they supposedly have the better understanding of the Qur’an or deliver better speeches or memorize more quotations. So we can all agree that our problems will continue to remain as long as we do not determine who truly is the bearer of the torch, in guiding us on the right path.
This is where we must go back to the source and find the solution as said by the Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh) himself. We all agree that he warned us of a time when “…nothing will remain of Islam except its name and nothing will remain of the Qur’an except its inscription. Their mosques will be splendidly furnished but destitute of guidance. Their divines will be the worst people under the heaven and strife will issue from and avert to them.” (Mishkatul Masabih, Kitabul Ilm)
According to our beloved Prophet (pbuh), the solution is that someone appointed by Allah would come to the world and teach us the true teachings of Islam. He said to his companions, “I give you the glad tidings of Mahdi who will be raised in my Ummah at a time of digression and distress of people. He will fill the earth with equity and justice as it is filled with oppression and violence” (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 3. p. 37). It isn’t strange for Allah to appoint someone and teach him His word, as the Qur’an states: “Is it a matter of wonder for men that We have inspired a man from among them, saying, ‘Warn mankind and give glad tidings to those who believe that they have a true rank of honour with their Lord?’” (10:3). Allah never changes his ways (48:24). After the demise of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), there was still a need for the system of leadership, and this was while Islam was at its peak. Allah Almighty established Khilafat as promised in the Holy Qur’an (24:56) because it was needed to keep the Muslims safe from the evil such as that we are witnessing today.
Presently, no scholar can stand up and unite the Muslims as one family. Only someone appointed by Allah Almighty can carry this load on his shoulders as promised by Allah Himself. Whoever tries to do so on their own accord will only break their back; it is simply impossible.
The message of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (pbuh), the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, is that Allah Almighty had mercy on the world and decided to save us (as He always does). He appointed someone who would revive Islam and bring the Muslims back to its teachings as practiced by the Holy Prophet (pbuh). Every other person who claims the same office or assumes the role is a self-made reformer, not supported by the Divine.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi (pbuh) writes:
“We are Muslims. We believe in the One God without a partner and in the Kalima, La Ilaaha Illa Laah. We believe in the Book of God, the Qur’an, in His Messenger Muhammad (peace on him and God’s blessings) the Khatam Al-Anbiya. We believe in angels, the resurrection, hell and paradise. We observe the prescribed prayers and the fast. We turn to the Qibla for prayers and forbid ourselves what is forbidden by God and His Prophet and permit ourselves what is permitted. We add not a thing to the Sharia, nor subtract anything from it. The Sharia is above change. Whatever has come down to us from the Holy Prophet (on whom peace and God’s blessings), all that we accept, whether we understand or not and whether we can unravel its secrets and real meaning or not. We are believers with the Grace of God, and strict monotheist Muslims” (Nur al-Haq I, pg. 5).
Those who say Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) did not believe in Prophet Muhammad or degraded him do not know what they are really saying. His message was and is very clear to the whole world. He says:
“A man who exceeded all men in perfection, perfect as man and perfect as prophet, came into the world, endowed with the most perfect of graces. Through the Quickening and Gathering brought about by him came the First Resurrection. A dead world became charged with life. Who is he? He is the blessed prophet, Khatam al-Anbiya, Imam al-Asfiya, Khatam al-Mursalin, Fakhr al-Nabiyyin, Muhammad Mustafa (on whom be peace and blessings of God).
Beloved God! Reward this beloved prophet with Mercy and Favours with which no man from the beginning of time has been rewarded by Thee. Had not this great prophet appeared in the world, we would have known nothing of the truth of the lesser prophets like Jonah, Job, Jesus son of Mary, Malachi, John, Zachariah, etc. We would have had no proof. True, they were accepted and approved and honoured and loved by God. But we owe this to the Holy Prophet, that these other prophets came to be known as true prophets.
“God! Accept our prayers for him, send him peace, bless him and his progeny and all his companions with Thy blessings” (Itmam al-Hujja, pg. 28).
Again he writes:
“God Almighty desires to draw all those who live in various habitations of the world, be it Europe or Asia, and who have virtuous nature, to the Unity of God and unite His servants under one Faith. This indeed is the purpose of God for which I have been sent to the world. You, too, therefore should pursue this end, but with kindness, moral probity and fervent prayers” (The Will, pp 8 – 9).
What harm has the Promised Messiah done in announcing what he received from Allah Almighty?
I find the criticism of the enemies of Ahmadiyyat very interesting when they turn their whole attention to fighting against the man who claims what is mentioned above, as opposed to the actions being tagged with the name of Islam. There are tons of books, movies, caricatures, and online videos being made mocking our beloved Prophet, accusing him of evil deeds, raising allegations against him, and insulting him. Yet, these people virtually give a deaf ear and blind eye to those actions.
Is it better to defend the name of Islam and the Holy Prophet (pbuh) or will the Muslims use their time and energy to fight against Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (pbuh)? Is it better to teach the world that the actions of extremists and terrorists—the likes of who rape and kidnap innocent girls (including Muslim girls) and slaughter and bomb innocent people in gatherings (including Muslims)—are completely against the Islamic teachings, or to continuously oppose the movement of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad? There are many Muslims who believe that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his companions spread the faith through forced conversions, as opposed to showing the beauty of Islam through his noble character. Is it better to destroy these lies or go against Mirza Ghulam Ahmad? There are many Muslims who believe that the Qur’an contains contradictions and that some of its verses are no longer valid, (even though the Qur’an says it is perfect). Is it better to teach the world that the Qur’an is indeed perfect or to go against Mirza Ghulam Ahmad?
For the record, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been in existence for over 125 years and is established in 209 countries of the world and has no record of any violence in the name of our faith. Ahmadi Muslims, based on the example of the Promised Messiah (pbuh), have relentlessly defended the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and his honour far more than any other Muslim group in the world today. Ahmadi Muslims have and will continue to demonstrate true love and loyalty to Islam and humanity. No hatred can dishearten us or make us reduce the pace at which we are moving to propagate the true Islam. In fact, as proven time and time again, the opposition will only make us stronger.
The majority of the enemies of Ahmadiyyat who raise allegations against the founder of the Community do so based on small parts of his his books and his personality that are always taken out of context. They should, however, remember that many books have also been written criticizing the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and giving false interpretations of verses and chapters of the Holy Quran throughout the history of Islam. Despite all of these efforts to defame Islam, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) still stands victorious as a true servant and Messenger of Allah Almighty. This has happened and will always happen to true servants of Allah Almighty.
Commenting on the situation of the world today, the current Khalifa of Islam, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, teaches:
“…We must value and respect the religious and national sentiments of one another. There is no doubt that the Muslim Governments of today have failed their people and have unjustly seized their rights and consequently extremist and terrorist groups have taken advantage and gained in strength. Those groups are now wreaking havoc and destruction, not only in the Muslim world, but have also spread their networks of terror to the West.”