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Iqbal and the Ahmadiyya Movement

4. Extremist beliefs coined by Qadianis
5. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
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Chapter 4

Extremist beliefs coined by Qadianis, and the result

It was in such an enviable atmosphere of unity and harmony that the task of the propagation of Islam was being conducted when, in March 1914, Maulana Nur-ud-Din passed away. Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, who up to that time had had to restrain himself because of the towering personality of Maulana Nur-ud-Din, now began to preach and propagate his extreme beliefs regularly and freely. He announced plainly and blatantly that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a prophet in actual fact, and that anyone who did not accept him was a kafir and expelled from the pale of Islam.

With this announcement, all the mischief which had been dying down came to life again, and the daily increasing popularity of the Movement among the Muslims was replaced by a rising storm of disgust and revulsion. Those very people who had been unfailingly praising the knowledge produced by the Ahmadiyya Movement as well as its work of propagating Islam, now looked upon its beliefs and objectives with suspicion.

Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal himself, who only a short time earlier saw in the Ahmadiyya community “a true model of Islamic life”, now had to announce in guarded words:

    "Any person who believes in the coming, after the Holy Prophet Muhammad, of a prophet the rejection of whom makes one a kafir, is excluded from the fold of Islam. If the Qadiani Jama'at holds this belief, it too is excluded from the fold of Islam.”
    (Al-Fazl, 11 April 1916)

This statement was couched in cautious words because Dr. Iqbal knew that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had neither claimed to be a prophet nor declared those who did not believe in him to be kafirs and expelled from Islam. Therefore he made this statement in a hypothetical form. In these words Dr. Iqbal completely exempted Hazrat Mirza and the Lahore Ahmadiyya Jama'at because he knew that these beliefs were not held by them. 

Thus the Ahmadiyya Movement was split in two upon the death of Maulana Nur-ud-Din over the question of declaring Muslims as kafir. At that juncture, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad made a very telling comment in his newspaper, as follows: 

    “For some time, there had been two parties in this Movement over the question of takfir. One party believed that non-Ahmadis are Muslims even though they may not believe in Mirza sahib’s claims. The other party, however, declared openly and clearly that those people who do not believe in Mirza sahib are kafir absolutely inna li-llahi wa inna ilai-hi raji 'un. The head of the latter party is Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad, and this faction has now made him khalifa but the first group does not accept this. The writing published in this connection by Maulana Muhammad Ali, and the wonderful and admirable courage he has shown in expressing these views while staying in Qadian, where the heads of the other party live, is truly an event which shall always be regarded as a memorable event of this year.”
    (Al-Hilal, 20 March 1914)

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