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Iqbal and the Ahmadiyya Movement

9. Iqbal on 'Who is a Muslim?'
5. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
6. Non-English material

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Chapter 9

Iqbal on 'Who is a Muslim?'

Iqbal writes:

    "Once, under the influence of some spiritual urge, the Holy Prophet Muhammad told one of his companions: ‘Go and tell people that whoever in his life even once says with his tongue, there is no god but Allah, he should know that he shall enter paradise.’ The Holy Prophet purposely omitted the second constituent of the Kalima, i.e. Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, without professing which a person cannot be a Muslim, and he considered just the confession of the Unity of God to be sufficient.”
    (Khilafat Islamiyya, Lahore, 1923, pp. 9 –10)

At the end, I quote an extract from the statement of Iqbal which is regarded as his greatest attack upon the Ahmadiyya Movement. It is as follows:

“Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru thinks that Turkey has ceased to be a Muslim country. He does not seem to realize that the question whether a person or a community has ceased to be a member of Islam is, from the Muslim point of view, a purely legal question and must be decided in view of the structural principles of Islam. As long as a person is loyal to the two basic principles of Islam, i.e., the Unity of God and Finality of the Holy Prophet, not even the strictest mulla can turn him outside the pale of Islam even though his interpretations of the law or of the text of the Quran are believed to be erroneous.” [Translator’s Note:The words “ceased to be a Muslim country” refer to the changes then being introduced in Turkey by Kemal Atatürk, who was replacing the traditional institutions of Islamic origin by those based on Western practices. Iqbal argues here that Turkey remains Muslim despite rejecting many Islamic practices because of its continued allegiance to the Kalima of Islam.]
The extract above is quoted from Iqbal’s original English tract entitled Finality of the Prophethood: Reply to Questions raised by Pandit J. L. Nehru.


The belief of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and the members of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Jama'at is exactly that which, according to Dr. Iqbal’s view given above, makes one a Muslim who cannot be turned outside the pale of Islam by any religious leader. As Hazrat Mirza writes:

  1. “I believe in the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, as being the Khatam an-nabiyyin, and I know with perfect certainty and firmly believe that our Holy Prophet is the Khatam al-anbiya, and after him no prophet shall come for this Umma, neither new nor old.” (Nishan Asmani, p. 28)

  2. “In confronting the present Ulama, this humble servant has … sworn many times by God that I am not a claimant to any prophethood. But these people still do not desist from declaring me as kafir.” (Letter to Maulvi Ahmad-ullah of Amritsar, Al-Hakam, 27 January 1904)

  3. “Allah is that Being Who is Rabb-ul-'alamin, Rahman and Rahim, Who created the earth and the heaven in six days, made Adam, sent messengers, sent scriptures, and last of all made Muhammad mustafa, who is the Khatam al-anbiya and the best of messengers.” (Haqiqat al-Wahy, p. 141)

  4. “If all the Books of Almighty God are looked into carefully, it will be found that all the prophets have been teaching this: ‘Believe God to be one, without partner, and also believe in our messengership.’ This is why the entire Umma was taught the gist of Islamic teachings in these two phrases: There is no god except Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” (Haqiqat al-Wahy, p. 111)

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