The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement
presenting Islam as peaceful, tolerant, rational, inspiring
1. Islam
2. Publications
3. Activities
4. Ahmadiyya Movement

South Africa court case (1982-1985)

Contents of the Evidence

20. Tributes to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
5. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
6. Non-English material

Discussion forums
Site Statistics
Contact us
Search the website


The Evidence
Section 20:
Tributes to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

Translator’s Note:
It is alleged by our opponents that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has been universally considered by all Muslims to be a kafir and outside the fold of Islam. This is a totally false assertion. It is only the petty-minded mosque preachers, the ignorant mullas, and political aspirants seeking to exploit the ignorance of the masses, who have condemned Hazrat Mirza as kafir. Eminent Muslim religious scholars and leaders, especially those who were his contemporaries, have not only regarded Hazrat Mirza as a Muslim but have proclaimed him to be a great servant and champion of Islam. In this Section we present tributes to Hazrat Mirza by prominent Muslims of his time and after. Many of these reviews are his obituaries which appeared in well-known Muslim journals of the day.

1. Mirza Hairat of Delhi

He was editor of the Curzon Gazette. In his obituary of Hazrat Mirza, he wrote:
“The services of the deceased, which he rendered to Islam in confrontation with the Christians and the Arya Samajists, deserve the highest praise. He completely changed the flow of the debate, and laid the foundations of a new literature in India.

“We admit, not because of our being Muslims but being seekers after truth, that the top most Arya Samaj leader or Christian missionary could not dare open his mouth to confront the late Mirza sahib. The incomparable books which he wrote in refutation of the Arya Samaj and Christian creeds, and the shattering replies he gave to the opponents of Islam, we have not seen any rational refutation of these except that the Aryas have been hurling abuse at the Founder and the teachings of Islam in an uncouth manner, without being able to give a sensible reply. Although the deceased was a Punjabi, yet his pen was so powerful that today in the whole of the Punjab, even in the whole of India, there is no author of such power. ... and it is true that, on reading some of his writings, one goes into a state of ecstasy. Although he did not receive any regular education in Arabic language, literature or grammar, he gained such a proficiency in Arabic by his God-given intellect and nature that he could write it quite naturally. ...

“His followers are not only common and unlearned people, but include able and bright graduates, viz., B.A., M.A., and very learned Ulama. It is a matter of no small pride for a religious leader of this day that persons educated on traditional lines as well as persons educated on modern lines, both types, should become his followers. Surviving the heat of predictions of his death, opposition, and criticism, he cleared his way to reach the highest pinnacle of progress.”

(Curzon Gazette, Delhi, 1st June 1908)

2. Maulavi Bashir-ud-Din

The editor of Sadiq-ul-Akhbar, Rewari (U.P., India), wrote as follows in his obituary:
“As Mirza sahib, with his forceful speeches and magnificent writings, shattered the foul criticism of the opponents of Islam, silencing them forever and proving that truth is after all the truth, and as he left no stone unturned in the service of Islam by championing its cause to the full, justice requires that one should condole the sudden and untimely death of such a resolute defender of Islam, helper of the Muslims, and an eminent and irreplaceable scholar.”

(Sadiq-ul-Akhbar, May 1908)

3. Maulavi Sayyid Waheed-ud-Din

The editor of Aligarh Institute Gazette wrote:
“The deceased was an acknowledged author and founder of the Ahmadiyya Sect. ... He has left eighty writings, twenty of which are in Arabic. Undoubtedly, the deceased was a great fighter for Islam.”

(Aligarh Institute Gazette, June 1908)

4. Lahore Municipal Gazette

The editor wrote:
“The Mirza sahib was specially renowned for his knowledge and scholarship. His writings were also eloquent. In any case, we are grieved by his death for the reason that he was a Muslim. We believe that a scholar has been taken from the world.”

(Municipal Gazette, Lahore, 1908)

5. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

He was a very famous Islamic scholar, author and journalist in India this century. He was also President of the Indian National Congress before independence, and after the independence of India he held high posts in the federal cabinet of the Indian Republic. At the time of the death of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, he was acting as the editor of a well-known Muslim newspaper, the Wakeel of Amritsar. We give below extracts from the lengthy obituary of Hazrat Mirza that Maulana Abul Kalam Azad wrote in it:
“That man, that very great man, whose pen was a magic wand and whose tongue spell-binding; that man whose brain was a complex of wonders, whose eye could revive the dying and whose call aroused those in the graves, whose fingers held the wires of revolution and whose fists were electrical batteries; that man who for thirty years was an earth-quake and typhoon for the religious world, who, like the trumpet of Doomsday, awakened those lost in the slumber of life, he has left the world empty-handed. This bitter death, this cup of poison, which entrusted the deceased to dust, will remain on thousands, nay millions of tongues, as words of bitter disappointment and regret. The stroke of death which slaughtered, along with one who was very much alive, the hopes and longings of many, and the wails it raises of lament, will remain in memories for a long time to come.

“The demise of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib of Qadian is not such an event that a lesson should not be learnt from it, nor should it be consigned to the passage of time to efface. Such people who produce a religious or intellectual revolution are not born often. These sons of history, in whom it rightly takes pride, appear but rarely on the world scene, and when they do they bring about a revolution for all to see.

“In spite of our strong differences with Mirza sahib in respect of some of his claims and beliefs, his separation for ever has convinced the educated and enlightened Muslims that one of their very great personages has left them. And with him the mighty defence of Islam against its opponents, which was linked with his person, has come to an end. His special characteristic, that he acted against the enemies of Islam as a victorious general, compels us to express openly our feeling that the grand movement which for so long defeated and trod over our opponents should be continued in the future also.

“Mirza sahib appeared in the front line of devotees who, for the cause of Islam, accepted the dedication to sacrifice their time from the cradle, through the springs and autumns, to their graves in fulfilling the pledge of loyalty to their beautiful beloved Islam. ...

“The literature produced by Mirza sahib in his confrontation with the Christians and the Aryas has received the seal of general approval, and for this distinction he needs no introduction. We have to acknowledge the value and greatness of this literature from the bottom of our hearts, now that it has done its work. This is because that time cannot be forgotten nor effaced from the mind when Islam was besieged by attacks on all sides, and the Muslims, who had been entrusted with the defence of Islam by the Real Defender, as the means of defence in this world of causes and means, were lying flat sobbing in the aftermath of their shortcomings, doing nothing for Islam or not being able to do anything for it. ...

“Then began that counter-attack from the side of the Muslims in which Mirza sahib had a part. That defence not only shattered to bits the initial influence of Christianity, which it really had due to support from the government, and saved thousands, nay millions, of Muslims from this dangerous attack which would have succeeded, but the talisman of Christianity itself was blown away like smoke. ...

“So, this service rendered by Mirza sahib will place the coming generations under a debt of gratitude, in that he fulfilled his duty of the defence of Islam by joining the front rank of those engaged in the jihad by the pen, and he left behind him as a memorial such literature as will last so long as Muslims have blood flowing in their veins and the urge to support Islam remains their prominent national characteristic. Besides this, Mirza sahib performed a very special service for Islam by crushing the poisonous fangs of the Arya Samaj. ... His writings against the Arya Samaj shed clear light on the claim that, however much the scope of our defence may be widened in the future, it is impossible that these writings could ever be overlooked.

“Natural intelligence, application and dexterity, and continuous debates, had lent Mirza sahib a special splendour. He had vast knowledge, not only of his own religion, but also of other religions. And he was able to use his vast knowledge with great finesse. In the art of preaching and teaching, he had acquired the accomplishment that the person whom he addressed, of whatever understanding or religion, was thrown into deep thought by his spontaneous reply. India today is an exhibition house of religions, and the number of great and small faiths found here, along with their mutual struggles which announce their existence, cannot be matched anywhere else in the world. Mirza sahib’s claim was that he was the arbiter and judge for them all, but there is no doubt that he possessed a special talent to make Islam pre-eminent among all these religions. This was due to his natural ability, taste for study, and hard work. It is not likely that a man of this grandeur will be born again in the religious world of the Indian sub-continent, who would devote his highest desires in this way to the study of religions.”

(Wakeel, Amritsar)

6. Maulana Abdullah Al-Imadi

He was the permanent editor of Wakeel, and he added his own tribute a few days later as follows:
“Although Mirza sahib had not received systematic education in current knowledge and theology, yet an assessment of his life shows that he had a unique nature not granted to everyone: by the aid of his own study and his upright nature, he had attained sufficient mastery over religious literature. In about 1877, when he was 35 or 36 years old, we find him charged with unusual religious fervour. He is leading the life of a true and pious Muslim. His heart is unimpressed by worldly attractions. He is as happy in solitude as if he were in congenial company, and when in company he is enjoying the bliss of solitude. We find him restless, and it appears as if he is in search of a lost thing, no trace of which can be found in the mortal world. Islam has so overwhelmed him that he holds debates with the Aryas, and writes voluminous books in support of Islam. His debates in Hoshiarpur in 1886 were so delightful that the feeling of enjoyment has still not been forgotten. ...

“The state of ecstacy created by reading his invaluable books which were written to counter other religions and to uphold Islam, still has not faded. His Barahin Ahmadiyya overawed the non-Muslims and raised the spirits of the Muslims. He presented to the world a captivating picture of the religion [of Islam], cleansed of the blots and dust that had collected upon it as a result of the superstition and natural weaknesses of the ignorant. In short, this book raised a loud echo in the world, at least within India, which is still reverberating in our ears. Though some Muslim religious leaders may now pass an adverse verdict on Barahin Ahmadiyya, ... the best time to pass judgment was 1880 when it was published. At that time, however, Muslims unanimously decided in favour of Mirza sahib.

“As to his character, there is not the slightest trace of a blot on it. He lived a virtuous life, the life of a righteous, God-fearing person. To conclude, the first fifty years of his life, in terms of high morals and commendable habits, and in terms of services to the religion, raised him to an enviable position of distinction and honour among the Muslims of India.”

(Wakeel, Amritsar, 30 May 1908)

7. Maulavi Siraj-ud-Din

Maulavi Siraj-ud-Din was the editor of the leading Muslim Urdu daily paper, the Zamindar of Lahore, at the time of Hazrat Mirza’s death. He was the father of the well-known Maulavi Zafar Ali Khan, who himself later became editor of Zamindar. In his obituary of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad published in Zamindar, Maulavi Siraj-ud-Din wrote:
“Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib was a clerk near the district of Sialkot in about 1860 or 1861. He would be about 22 or 23 years of age at the time. We can say from personal experience that, even in his youth, he was a very virtuous and righteous person. After work all his time was spent in religious studies. He did not much meet people. In 1877 we had the honour of his hospitality at his home in Qadian for one night. In those days too, he was so engrossed in worship and devotion that he conversed little, even with guests. ... We have often said, and we again say, that even if his claims were the result of mental pre-occupation, he was innocent of pretence or fabrication. ... Scholarly figures such as Maulavi Nur-ud-Din and Maulavi Muhammad Ahsan, and products of modern education such as Khawaja Jamal-ud-Din, B.A., Khawaja Kamal-ud-Din, B.A., and Maulavi Muhammad Ali, M.A., are among his followers. Though we personally did not have the honour of believing in his claims or revelations, nonetheless we consider him to be a perfect Muslim.”

(Zamindar, 8 June 1908)

8. Maulavi Muhammad Husain Batalvi

He was a leader of the Ahl-i-Hadith sect, and editor of a journal Isha‘at as-Sunna, who later became a chief opponent of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Earlier, he wrote a comprehensive review on Hazrat Mirza’s book Barahin Ahmadiyya when it appeared in 1884, highly praising the work. Given below are some extracts:
  1. “In our opinion this book, at this time and in view of the present circumstances, is such that the like of it has not appeared in Islam up to now, while nothing can be said about the future. Its author too has been so constant in the service of Islam, with his money, life, pen and tongue, and personal experience, that very few parallels can be found in the Muslims. If anyone considers our words to be an Asian exaggeration, let him show us at least one such book which so vigorously fights all the opponents of Islam, especially the Arya and Brahamo Samaj, and let him name two or three persons who have supported Islam, not only with their wealth, lives, pen and tongue, but also by personal spiritual experience, and who have boldly thrown the challenge to all the opponents of Islam and the deniers of Divine revelation, that whoever doubts the truth of God speaking to man, he may come and observe it for himself, thus giving other religions a taste of this experience.”

    (Isha‘at as-Sunna, vol. vii, no. 6, June to August 1884, pp. 169 – 170)

  2. “According to the experience and observation of friend and foe alike, the author of Barahin Ahmadiyya lives by the Shari‘ah of Islam, is God-fearing and truthful by habit.”

    (ibid., p. 284)

  3. “The excellence of this book, and the benefit accruing to Islam from it, will not remain hidden to those who read it with a fair mind, or to the readers of this review. Therefore, in accordance with the Divine command, ‘Is not the reward for good but good’, all the followers of Islam, be they Ahl-i Hadith, Hanafi, Shiah or Sunni, are obliged to support this book and its printing. The author of Barahin Ahmadiyya has saved the honour of the Muslims. He has challenged the opponents of Islam throughout the world that anyone who doubts the truth of Islam should come to him and see for himself its truth by logical arguments drawn from the Quran, and by miracles of the Prophethood of Muhammad, by which he means the revelations and signs granted to the author of Barahin.”

    (ibid., p. 348)

9. Maulana Muhammad Shareef

The editor Akhbar Manshoor Muhammadi, Bangalore, in his review of Barahin Ahmadiyya at the time of the book’s publication, wrote as follows:
“The hyprocrites and the enemies are directing all their attacks against Islam. Atheism is attacking here, irreligion has a hold there, and somewhere else the Brahamo Samaj is wanting to prove its superiority over Islam through philosophical discourses. As for our Christian friends, all their energies are being spent on uprooting Islam, and they are confident that as long as the sun of Islam keeps on casting its bright rays on the world, all the exertions of Christianity will remain futile and the trinity unsuccessful. In short, all religions and their followers want somehow or other to burn out the lamp of Islam. ...

“It was our long-cherished wish that someone among the Muslim Ulama, whom God had granted strength to serve and aid the cause of the faith, should write a book meeting the needs of the present age, containing rational arguments and factual evidence to prove that the Holy Quran is the word of God and the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s prophethood is true. Thank God that this wish has been fulfilled. This is the very book the preparation of which had been desired for so long: Barahin Ahmadiyya, the full title of which is: The Ahmadiyya Arguments on the truth of the Book of God the Holy Quran, and the Prophethood of Muhammad. In it the author, may God increase his worth, has proved the truth of the Quran and the prophethood of the Holy Prophet Muhammad with three hundred logical arguments. The book is written by that greatest of the Ulama, the illustrious general, pride of the followers of Islam in India, the accepted one of God, Maulavi Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the great chief of Qadian, District Gurdaspur, Punjab. Glory be to God! What a marvellous book, every word of which proved the True Faith and shows the truth of the Quran and the prophethood. With what grandeur have the strong arguments been conveyed to the opponents.”

(Manshoor Muhammadi, Bangalore, 25 Rajab, 1300 A.H., p. 214)

In a later issue, he wrote:
“It is impossible to praise this book too highly. The fact is that the deep research with which this book has proved the argument for Islam upon the opponents of the faith, needs no praise or eulogy. But we cannot refrain from saying that the book is without parallel. The arguments have been put forward strongly and vigorously. The author has also disclosed his visions and revelations to the opponents of Islam. If anyone has doubt, he can attain certainty of observation with regard to these Divine revelations, which are a gift of God, by staying in the company of the author.”

(ibid., 5 Jamadi al-Awwal, 1301 A.H.)

10. Calcutta newspaper

Editor of General wa Guhar Asafi of Calcutta commented on a speech written by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad on the teachings of Islam, which was presented in a multi-religious congress held in Lahore in December 1896, as follows:
“If the paper by Mirza sahib had not been there, the Muslims would have faced degradation and shame at the hands of the other religions. But the powerful hand of God saved holy Islam from defeat, and through that paper granted it such a triumph that, let alone its adherents, even the opponents cried out spontaneously, This paper is the best of all! this paper is the best of all!

(Asafi, 24 January 1897)

11. Hazrat Sayyid Ashhad-ud-Din ‘Jhanday walay’

This saint of Hyderabad (Sind, Pakistan) was a contemporary of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. He wrote a letter to Hazrat Mirza as follows:
“I saw the Holy Prophet Muhammad in a vision. I entreated him, O Messenger of God, is this man who claims to be the Promised Messiah, a liar and imposter, or truthful? The Holy Prophet replied, ‘He is truthful and has come from God.’ So I then understood that you are right. After this, we shall not have any doubts concerning you.”

(Reproduced by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in his book Zameema Anjam Atham, p. 40)

12. Hazrat Khawaja Ghulam Farid of Chachran

The Khawaja was also a contemporary of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, and is today a famous Muslim saint of Pakistan. He told his followers:
“Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani is also right, and he is right and truthful in his affair. Day and night he is engrossed in the service of God Almighty. He has given his life for the progress of Islam and raising aloft the cause of the Faith. I can see nothing wrong or bad in him at all. If he has claimed to be the Mahdi and Messiah, that too is among the things which are permissible.”

(Isharat-i Faridi, compilation of the talks of Khawaja Ghulam Farid, by his son, p. 179)

13. Maulavi Irshad Ali of Nagpur

Joining Islam again after repenting from his conversion to Christianity, he wrote the following in reply to a Christian missionary:
“The Christian missionary Safdur Ali has challenged me to a debate with him on the truth of Islam and Christianity. ... But I can ask him that if he is so confident about his arguments and the truth of Christianity, where was he when Maulavi Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani stood in the field of debate like a brave lion and challenged him. This challenge had such an effect on you people that no Christian missionary dare confront him [Mirza Ghulam Ahmad].”

(Magazine Dastkari, Amritsar, 18 June 1899)

14. Allama Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal (d. 1938)

The renowned Muslim philosopher and poet of the Indian sub-continent published a paper in 1900 in The Indian Antiquary, a learned journal of oriental research, entitled The Doctrine of Absolute Unity as expounded by Abdul Karim Jilani. The paper deals with the metaphysical thought of this saint (d. circa 1408 C.E.) as expounded in his classic work Al-Insan al-Kamil. While commenting on Jilani’s philosophy, Iqbal writes:
“It will appear at once how strikingly the author has anticipated the chief phase of the Hegelian Dialectic and how greatly he has emphasised the Doctrine of the Logos — a doctrine which has always found favour with almost all the profound thinkers of Islam, and in recent times has been readvocated by M. Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, probably the profoundest theologian among modern Indian Muhammadans.”

(The Indian Antiquary, vol. xxix, September 1900, p. 239. The reference is quoted above in the original English; text given in bold is bold in the original. Journal published from Bombay and London; in London by Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co.)

15. Aslam Khan Baloch

When the famous Muslim journalist Mr Muhammad Aslam Khan Baloch, editor of Mu‘in-ul-Muslimeen of Amritsar, visited Qadian in 1913 during the time of Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din (Head of the Ahmadiyya Movement after the Founder’s death), he recorded his impressions as follows:
“The great catastrophies befalling the world of Islam compelled me to go to Qadian to see whether the Ahmadi Jama‘at, which for so long has been claiming that it shall conquer the world for Islam by means of a literary and missionary struggle, is actually capable of doing so. ... What I saw in Ahmadi Qadian was pure and sincere service of the One God, and wherever one’s sight turned there was the Quran. In short, I found the Ahmadi Jama‘at of Qadian in a practical sense to be true to a very great extent in its claim that it can spread Islam in the world in a peaceful way by means of preaching and propagation, and that it is a Jama‘at which in today’s world is a true follower of the Quran, purely for the sake of God, and a lover of Islam. If all the Muslims of the world, especially India, help them practically in the propagation of Islam in Europe, then certainly the European continent would light up with the rays of the sun of Islam, and this blood-thirsty Christianity, which, to satisfy the appetites of its materialistic disciples, is bent upon destroying Muslim countries and effacing Islam from the world, would face manifest defeat by this means.”

(From Ahmadiyya newspaper Badr, 13 March 1913)

16. Khawaja Hasan Nizami of Delhi:

“Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib was a very great venerable scholar of his time. We have to acknowledge his scholarship and accomplishments.”

(Newspaper Munadi, Delhi, India, 27 February – 4 March 1930)

17. Shams-ul-Ulama Maulana Sayyid Mumtaz Ali

He was editor of the famous magazine Tehzib-e-Niswan, Lahore. He wrote:
“The late Mirza sahib was a very saintly and exalted personage. And he had such spiritual power born of virtue that it could enslave the hardest of hearts. He was a very knowledgeable scholar, a reformer of great determination, and an exemplar of the most virtuous life. Although we do not believe him to be the Promised Messiah, his guidance and teaching was indeed messianic for the spiritually dead.”

18. Shams-ul-Ulama Maulana Sayyid Mir Hasan

He was a teacher of Dr Sir Muhammad Iqbal. In an interview, he gave the following evaluation of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad:
“Sadly, we did not appreciate him. I just cannot describe his spiritual accomplishments. His life was not that of ordinary men, nay, he was one of those persons who are the chosen servants of God and who appear but rarely.”

(Reported in Al-Hakam, 7 April 1934)

19. Allama Niyaz Fatehpuri:

  1. “Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib came to the defence of Islam at a time when even the greatest scholar of the Faith could not dare to confront the opponents.”

    (Monthly Nigar, Lucknow, India, October 1960)

  2. “What I have studied so far of the founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, and not only me but anyone who studies his life and character sincerely and truthfully, will have to concede that he was a lover of the Holy Prophet, in the true sense, and had within him a sincere urge for the cause of Islam.”

    (ibid., July 1960)

  3. In a subsequent issue of the same monthly, the following comment appears about Hazrat Mirza:

    “I found him to be a believer in the finality of prophethood, and a lover of the Holy Prophet in the true sense. When I studied the life of Mirza sahib, I found that he was certainly a very active, resolute and determined man. Having understood the true spirit of religion, he presented the same practical teachings of Islam as are to be found in the time of the Holy Prophet and the early Khalifas.”

    (ibid., November 1961)


The opinions cited above are those of Muslim journalists, theologians and religious leaders whose scholarship is universally recognised in the Islamic world till this day. Included among them are contemporaries of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who had observed him from close at hand. They had direct, first-hand knowledge of him. Despite differing with him in certain matters of belief, but remembering the Divine command, ‘Fear not the censure of any censurer’, they showed great sincerity, honesty and broadmindedness in making fair comment on his scholarship, virtue, righteousness and service to Islam. They gave true testimony which is preserved in the pages of history to this day.

As against this learned opinion, we have certain newspaper columnists, writers and politicians of the present day who have no requisite knowledge of the Holy Quran and Hadith, no familiarity with Islamic literature, and who have neither read any of Hazrat Mirza’s books, nor do they know anything about the Ahmadiyya Movement. They are not aware of those times or the conditions prevailing then, when, according to Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Hazrat Mirza carried out a magnificent defence of Islam by conducting a jihad with the pen from the front-line, and not only defeated the opponents of Islam but went further to establish a Jama‘at whose objectives are to make Islam predominate in the world, propagate and prove the truth of the Holy Quran, and reform the condition of the Muslims themselves. Thus was this grand Movement born. The opponents of the Ahmadiyya Movement, having read only the adverse propaganda literature produced against the Movement, level all sorts of false accusations against the Imam of the Age, the Reformer of the 14th century Hijra, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, may God have mercy on him. For the sake of their material and political ends, they are fanning the flames of hostility and ripping the unity of Muslims to shreds.

Website created and published by: Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha`at Islam Lahore Inc. U.S.A.
Contact us.