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Anti Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam

15th March 2003

Religious Adventurism in Islam


Muslims believe and follow Muhammad (pbuh) as the final prophet, and the Quran as the final holy book of Allah.Any change or deviation from this belief pushes one outside the pale of Islam.Islam, like other religions, has experienced religious adventurism in the shape of false claimants to prophethood since its inception.Most of these claimants were frankly insane and were ignored or suitably treated, rest of them were clever individuals with political ambitions.The latter, considered as religious adventurers by Allama Iqbal, are the subject of this article.Their existence owes much to the emergence of Mullahism under Imperial Islam and its expansion into an institutionalised clergy especially when Muslim Empire was disintegrating.

Musaylima, Sadjah, al-Aswad al- Ansi, and Tulayha b. Khuwaylid claimed prophethood during or shortly after the death of Muhammad (pbuh).They are known as leaders of ridda who refused to accept the authority of State of Medina to buttresses their aspirations for tribal or regional independence.Al-Aswad, ‘the veiled one’, was the leader of first ridda in Yemen.It is disputed whether he was a Muslim.He claimed to be a soothsayer (kahin), spoke in the name of Allah, and practiced sleight-of-hand.After killing the leader of his tribe, Sahar, he beheaded Muhammad (pbuh)’s two representatives and declared his independence.His rule only lasted a couple of months because his companions and the widow of Sahar, whom he had married, killed him.

Musaylima (al- kazab) declared himself prophet after the death of Howda to advance his claim for the leadership of Banu Hanifa (630 AD).He ordained three prayers, fasting, and abstinence of wine (disputed!).He also believed in Resurrection.He was rebuffed when he wrote to Muhammad (pbuh) in 632 AD for division of authority.Abu Bakar (rtu) sent Khalid b. Walid (rtu) with a large army who put an end to his life and ambitions.Shortly before death he married Sadjah, a female claimant of prophethood, from the tribe of Tamim.

Al-Harith b. Said claimed prophethood during the reign of Umayyad caliph, Abd al-Malik b. Marwan.A number of royal soldiers were suspected of supporting him.He was executed in 698-699 AD.Imam Abu Hanifa believed strongly in khutum-e-nabuwat and decreed that a Muslim becomes infidel even if he asks a claimant of prophethood to give proof of his claim.He vehemently opposed and criticised an anonymous person who was suspected of harbouring such intention during his times (699-767 AD).The famous Shi’i rebel al-Mukhtar b. Abi Ubayd is also accused of claiming himself to be a prophet.

Muhammad b. Sa’id (al-muslub) is considered as one of the four infamous forgers of hadith.He distorted the hadith ‘I am the seal of prophets and there is no prophet after me’ by adding ‘ unless Allah wills {otherwise}’.He is reported to have drawn his own conclusions from this addition and claimed prophethood for himself.He was executed on the orders of Abbasid caliph, Abu Jafar al-Mansur.Hashim b. al-Hakim, known as al-Muqanna in history, claimed prophethood in Khurasan during the reign of Abbasi caliph al-Mahadi.He is reported to have some following in that region.He was captured and executed in 779-780 AD after being defeated by the caliph’s forces.

Mahmud b. al-Faraj made an appearance in Samara in 849-850 AD with a claim that a Quran was revealed to him through the angel Gabriel.He is reported to have some followers in Samara and Bagdad.He was executed on the orders of caliph, al-Mutawakkil. 

Mirza Ali Muhammad, known as Bab (the gate), was born (1819 AD) and brought up in Shiraz, Iran.He had contemporary education till the age of 15 after which he went into business with his uncle.He married at the age of 22 and had a son who died in infancy.In Shi’i world, Hidden Imam was expected in 1260 Hijra (1844 AD) as it coincided with one thousandth anniversary of his disappearance.Bab was close to the Shaykh’is sect who believed in the imminent appearance of a divine messenger.When Bab declared himself gate (Bab) to the 12th Imam and made other claims, he was embraced by Shaykh’is, now renamed Babis.Subsequently, he declared himself to be the Hidden Imam, developing the Shaykhi school argument that Hidden Imam exists in Hurqalya (realm of archetypal images) so his return is not in the same physical body, but in a man who in Hurqalya is the archetypal figure of the Imam.After Mahdi (HiddenImam), he moved on to call himself Nuqtiyiula (Muhammad {pbuh} s’ title) and declared that the Quran and Muslim Sharia were now abrogated.Shia and Sunni scholars condemned him and Bab faced a series of imprisonment, trials, and indignities before being shot dead by a firing squad in 1850.

Mirza Husayn Ali, Bahaullah, was born in Tehran in 1817.He was the eldest son of Mirza Abbas of Nur, a Minister of State.He had early education at home and never attended school.He was an early and prominent follower of Bab and was imprisoned in 1852 following a failed attempt by Babis to kill the Shah.Bahaullah became severely ill in prison and was exiled to Bagdad (instead of execution) after intervention from the Russian Minster.Local Muslim leaders in Bagdad opposed Bahaulla’s teachings and activities until the King asked him and his followers to leave for Constantinople and later to Adianople.During this journey in 1863, Bahaullah declared himself a prophet ‘the promised one’ (as prophesied by Bab) and was accepted by the Babis, now called Bahais.However, a faction under his half brother Mirza Yahya, the original heir to Bab, broke away.Muslims refused hospitality to this traitor of the faith and the Turkish Government had to banish Babis and Bahais from Adrianople.Bahaullah and his followers were exiled to Akka (Acre), a prison town in Palestine, in 1868 while Mirza Yahya and his party went to Cyprus.Bahaullah died there in 1892 and was succeeded by Abdul Baha (Abbas Effendi), his eldest son.Abdul Baha died in 1921 and succeeded by his grandson Shoghi Effendi who died in 1957 without an heir.Bahais are now coordinated and directed by their Universal House of Justice.

Mirza Gulam Ahmad was born in Qadiyan (India) in the late 1830s.He received early education at home from Shia and Sunni tutors.He worked as a junior cleric in the Deputy Commissioner’s office (Sialkot) where he failed his promotion-examination three times.In frustration he turned towards religion and developed studious and reclusive habits.During this time, he had several meetings with Rev. Butler, an eminent Christian missionary, at the request of the Deputy Commissioner.Soon after (1876) that Gulam Ahmad resigned and returned to Qadiyan following his father’s death.During the next two decades, he invented and reinvented himself as a pious man, religious reformer (took ba’it), defender of faith, and then used twisted logic (similar to Bab) to declare himself Promised Mahadi, Promised Messiah, and finally a Prophet.A small minority of simple Muslims, some relatives (1st wife and children refused to convert), and close associates went along with him into this cul de sac where he declared Muslims, who did not accept his prophethood, Kafirs.Orthodox Muslims and their leaders condemned and declared Gulam Ahmad and his followers non-Muslim, a position now maintained by almost all Muslim States.He died in 1908 from gastroenteritis or cholera after suffering from paralysis, diabetes, and probably dementia in later age.A few years after his death, his followers (Ahmadi) were split in two factions, Qadianis and Lahoris. 

Magian culture (associated with Zorasterism, Judaism, Christianity, Chaldean, and Sabean religions) suffered repeated disintegration and rebuilding of its communities/societies while experiencing religious adventurism until Islam emancipated mankind from this morbid anxiety state through belief in the Finality of Prophethood (of Muhammad {pbuh}).A God unleashing earthquakes and plagues on demand, a prophet acting out as a soothsayer, and the idea of continuity of the spirit of Messiah have their origins in early Judaism.According to Allama Iqbal, these concepts are bastard and alien to Islam.Heretical movements in Iran took advantage of gaps in Shi’i theology by reintroducing Magian concepts in the garb of buruz, hulul, zill etc.The same trick was employed in the Sunni sub-continent where Muslims had, historically, accepted Sufi concepts such as chilla, kashaf, ilham, etc. as a part of Islam.Both movements, Bahai and Ahmadi survived due to ignorant Mullahism and a covert British support while global Muslim political power was declining rapidly.


Further Reading:

'Roohani Khazain' by Mirza Ghulam A Qadiani'Bahaullah and the New Era' by J.E. Esslemont'Qadianies and the Orthodox Muslims' by Iqbal'Jhootey Nabi - False Prophets' by Rafiq Dilawari'Talbess-e-Iblees' by Rafiq Dilawari


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