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Iqbal and the Ahmadiyya Movement

Translator's Preface
5. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
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Translator’s Preface

This booklet was written in Urdu in the early 1980s by Maulana Hafiz Sher Mohammad, the eminent scholar and distinguished international missionary of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at Islam Lahore, Pakistan. It traces chronologically the views expressed by Allama Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal regarding the Ahmadiyya Movement and its Founder, and Iqbal’s relations with the Movement and its prominent figures, from the 1890s to his death in 1938.

The need for such a survey arises because some of Iqbal’s statements which he published in the last four years of his life, repudiating the Ahmadiyya Movement, have been given vast circulation by the opponents of the Movement. These critics are capitalising on the renown and popularity of Iqbal in parts of the Muslim world, particularly Pakistan, to argue that a man of his historic stature and authority in matters Islamic had condemned the Ahmadiyya Movement as a danger which must be eliminated from Islam. These particular writings of Iqbal are presented, on a world-wide scale, as being somehow the ultimate and irrefutable proof that Ahmadis must be expelled from the ranks of the Muslims.

However, these hostile opinions of Iqbal must be placed in the context of the whole of his attitude towards the Ahmadiyya Movement, going back to his earliest days. This book shows that Iqbal held the Ahmadiyya Movement in the highest admiration and praised it openly, even sharing public platforms with its leaders, during a period of more than thirty years till he changed his stance about four years before his death. Clearly this reversal, coming 25 years after the passing away of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, cannot be ascribed to any of the latter’s beliefs or teachings which Iqbal had known for long! This book shows that Iqbal’s turn-about was due to a combination of the extreme, unacceptable beliefs coined by the Qadianis, on the one hand, and the political considerations facing Dr. Iqbal on the other.

It should be noted that in the period in the 1930s when Dr. Iqbal issued various statements in condemnation of the Ahmadiyya Movement as a whole, and this controversy was raging among the Muslims of the then India, full refutations of his new-found views were published by the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at Islam Lahore. Many such replies appeared in its Urdu and English periodicals (Paigham Sulh and The Light) from the pens of the most eminent leaders of the Movement, including Maulana Muhammad Ali. One reply in English by Maulana Muhammad Ali was published in 1935 as a pamphlet entitled Dr. Iqbal’s Statement re. the Qadianis.

As to the present booklet, the late Hafiz Sher Mohammad sent me the manuscript of his Urdu work for translation into English more than ten years ago. The translation first appeared in The Islamic Review, then of California, U.S.A., not long after. A little later in 1988, the original Urdu work was published by the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at Islam Bombay, India, through the kind efforts of Mr. Abdul Razak.

Last year I published the English translation again in The Light & Islamic Review, of Columbus, Ohio, after some revision. The same is now being published in the form of this booklet, with further minor revision and some additional material which had been missed out in the earlier translations.

Zahid Aziz, Dr.
Nottingham, England,
June 1995.

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