Refutation: Status of Someone Who Denies the Imam al-Mahdi – Ahmadiyya

No need for a lengthy introduction to this post. The arguments, unsurprisingly often tampered with, are littered across the internet. ”Ahmadis, Qadianis, Mirzais” say this, that and the other about people who deny the claims of Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (‘alayhi al-salam). Like so many issues that the architects of misinformation play on, this is almost always transformed by them into a complicated and grave conspiracy. The reality, however, is quite straight forward. In fact, it is so simple that I am going to break it down into a simple A, B, C:

A. Do you believe that the Imam al-Mahdi will one day appear as was foretold by the Holy Prophet (sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)?

B. On the basis of the Prophetic narrations, particularly the instruction that anyone who comes to know of the Imam al-Mahdi must offer his/her Bay’ah to him, do you believe that the Imam al-Mahdi is sent by Almighty Allah and should therefore be followed?

C. If yes to the above, what would be the status of one who denies the Imam al-Mahdi and turns his/her back on him?

= What Ahmadis have always held true to.

The fact that someone does or does not accept that Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (‘alayhi al-salam) was the Imam al-Mahdi in no way affects the above principle. Non-Ahmadi Muslims are free to believe that Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (‘alayhi al-salam) was not the Imam al-Mahdi, but they cannot, without treading upon hypocrisy, vilify Ahmadis for adhering to the stipulated and implied conditions that come with the acceptance of the Imam al-Mahdi.

Please see the following answer which is drenched with conviction and true adherence to one’s belief:

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13 thoughts on “Refutation: Status of Someone Who Denies the Imam al-Mahdi – Ahmadiyya

  1. Dear Khadim,

    There are many different definitions of “Islam” and “Eemaan”. In the end, God is the judge. For this reason, you will find it is incredibly rare that even the Khalifa mentions this issue of whether non-ahmadis are kafirs. You will not find the Khalifa in every weekly khutba saying “the ahmadis and the kafirs”, rather he speaks of the “ahmadi muslims and the non-ahmadi muslims”. If even the Khalifa avoids this issue, then of course the rest of us should avoid it much more. Another important point: as far as I know, the Khalifa has never said that all ahmadis are Believers.

    Regarding your own Belief, you should never feel certain of anything. I believe that it is reported that Allah revealed to Muhammad (pboh) the names of the hypocrites, and Umar bin Khattab was worried that he himself was one of the hypocrites, until Muhammad (pboh) reassured him that he was not of them. Then if even Umar bin Khattab was not sure of his own Belief, it would be the height of arrogance for one of us to proclaim he is a Believer.

    However, the Qur’an does give general principles, and it categorically says that a person who rejects a messenger is not a Believer. Within that statement, of course there are problems and uncertainties. For instance, rejection itself needs to be defined. What about the person who accepted Ghulam Ahmad (pboh) as a messenger, but refuses to take bai’at to the Khalifa of the time? What about the person who has rejected because he has been given the message in an improper or inadequate way? For this reason, it is God Who will decide in individual cases who is a Believer and who is a Kafir. However, in general terms, we can only assert that the Qur’an says a Believer must accept all the messengers and we believe that Ghulam Ahmad (pboh) was a messenger of God.

    Peace,
    Moosa

  2. Moosa Qureshi,

    I do not disagree with your logic. It is the same as what is floating around in my head, and it is nice to see you having penned it so well. The hadith saying there will be 73 sects of Islam, and 72 will be in the fire – after all, if a Muslim did not after conscious thought consider themselves to be in that one saved sect, why would they bother staying in it?

    In practice however, this whole situation is a lot more tricky. Just going by what you have written so far, the distinguishing factor between the Muslim kuffar and the Muslim momineen is the rejection/acceptance of the Mahdi. Accepting the Mahdi is one condition of belief. There are also many others. Why is it that we as a community can pick this one point of unity to consider others as Muslim kafir? What of the Ahmadi who does not fulfil his/her obligations as a Muslim (salat, zakat, saum etc)? Physical practise is a reflection of spiritual condition, or so I am taught by Islam. Do I quietly consider them an Ahmadi kafir? Or is this actually when the clause comes in of calling one a kafir brings it upon yourself?

    Yes the Holy Qur’an tells me that God will punish those who disobey His command. The Holy Qur’an also tells me of Allah’s infinite mercy. Call me insecure, but how am I to know for certain that my Belief despite accepting the Mahdi (as) is greater than a true lover of the Almighty who has yet to take the Ba’it?

  3. Dear Khadim,

    I can also explain it in another way. Prophet Muhammad (pboh) said that Belief would leave the earth and ascend to the highest star, and that a persian man would bring it back down to the earth. This man, we ahmadis say, was Ghulam Ahmad (pboh).

    The Qur’an 30.42 also says, regarding the advent of Islam, that “corruption has spread across land and sea”. That is to say, Allah sent His messenger because corruption had permeated the non-believers as well as the people of the Book who had received previous spiritual water or revelation. This is not my explanation, this is the explanation of Ghulam Ahmad (pboh).

    What this means is: God always sends a messenger at a time of widespread spiritual corruption, in order to bring Belief. Not every messenger brings a new religion or a new law or a new book, but every messenger brings Belief. This is because a messenger is the living manifestation of God, therefore the messenger can bring that spark of life which a written law or a book cannot always bring.

    Now if Prophet Muhammad (pboh) himself has said that Belief will depart from the earth, and one man would bring it back, then what can we say about those Muslims who reject that one man? If they are doing their Salat, they are paying Zakat, they are doing Hajj, then of course we say that they are Muslims. But what should we think is the consequence if they reject the man who brings Belief?

    This is why all the Muslims (not only the ahmadis) are agreed that the person who rejects the Imam Mahdi will be a Kafir. The only disagreement is on the identity of the Imam Mahdi. Nobody disagrees on the spiritual consequence of rejecting him.

    Peace,
    Moosa

  4. Dear Khadim,

    One other thing: there has to be a spiritual consequence of rejecting a messenger of God.

    It is not uncommon to come across muslims who say, “Yes, Ghulam Ahmad seems like a great person, and he may even be the Imam Mahdi, but we are already following Islam, Prophet Muhammad and the Qur’an, so why do we need to accept this other person?”.

    If you do not have the concept of Muslim Kafir, then you cannot answer their question. If a Muslim can reject the Imam Mahdi (appointed by God) and yet still retain his status as a Believer, then… what is the need for accepting the Imam Mahdi?

    I know this may be embarrassing and I know that we all wish to be world citizens and inclusive and non-judgmental and friendly and hold hands with everybody, and there is some value in this wish. However, the fact is that the Qur’an clearly states that the prophets and messengers don’t speak from themselves, they represent God. The inescapable conclusion is that a person who rejects a prophet or a messenger is (by proxy) rejecting God. Then on what basis is he claiming to be a Believer?

    Peace,
    Moosa

  5. Dear Khadim,

    I understand your discomfort, and I do agree that problems can arise, particularly if any person (ahmadi or non-ahmadi) behaves in an arrogant fashion and takes himself as God and passes judgment on the hearts of others. This is something which a person should be very careful to avoid. I think that Jamaat Ahmadiyya has never encouraged ordinary ahmadis to go about declaring kufr of others, at least I have never seen my ahmadi family or friends doing this. I am dismayed if you have seen this as an undertone of many comments you have read by ahmadis.

    However, I am only telling you what the Qur’an says. I am not passing judgment on the heart of a specific individual. The Qur’an clearly says to certain Bedouins: you are Muslims but you are not Believers.

    Remember also that the Qur’an says clearly that some prophets are of higher status than others, and yet Prophet Muhammad (pboh) reprimanded a muslim who argued with a jew regarding the comparative status of Muhammad (pboh) and Moses (pboh). In a similar way, the Qur’an clearly says that a person who rejects any one of God’s messengers is a kafir, and yet Prophet Muhammad (pboh) has reprimanded us to avoid attributing kufr to another muslim. It is not that Prophet Muhammad (pboh) was saying “we do not declare it, however we still think it”. It is more that: “God has said this, therefore we think it, however we ourselves do not dare to take on the mantle of God and declare it from ourselves”.

    Peace,
    Moosa

  6. 8.
    Terminology such as Muslim momin and Muslim kafir may be used to argue the Ahmadi stance in order to regain ‘Muslim’ status in the eyes of Pakistani law, for example. But does this permit an Ahmadi to declare a non-Ahmadi as a Muslim kafir as this still invokes the title of kafir on himself/herslef as per the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (saw)?
    I do not agree that the unspoken sentiment of “we do not declare it, however we still think it” is befitting of the model example of today’s world citizen that I as an Ahmadi am taught to be. I do not mean to accuse you of this personally, but this seems to be a recurring undertone of many of the comments I have read by Ahmadis on this issue.

  7. Dear IslamicKnight,

    Unfortunately you are misunderstanding the difference between a muslim and a mu’min. Let me explain:

    1. Modern muslims tend to employ the words “muslim” and “mo’min” interchangeably, but in fact every muslim is not a mu’min (believer). This is clearly proven in the Qur’an:

    “The Arabs of the desert say, ‘We believe.’ Say, “You have not believed yet; but rather say, ‘We have accepted Islam,’” [Qur’an 49.15]

    2. The muslim is a person who practises Islam, and can be defined variously as:

    (1) A person who submits to God. In this sense, Abraham (pboh) is called “muslim” in the Qur’an.
    (2) A person who says with conviction: “There is no god except Allah, and Muhammad is His messenger”.
    (3) A person who follows: (a) Kalima shahada, (b) salat/prayer, (c) saum/fasting, (d) zakat/charity, (e) hajj/pilgrimage.

    A person who complies with any of these definitions is a “muslim”. A person who rejects whatever is within these definitions is not a muslim.

    3. The mo’min (believer) is different from the muslim (person who submits) because itrelates to belief rather than practise, and it is defined as: “the believers: all of them believe in Allah, and in His angels, and in His Books, and in His Messengers, saying, ‘We make no distinction between any of His Messengers” [Qur’an 2.286]

    4. Furthermore, the Qur’an asserts that a person who rejects any messenger is a kafir or disbeliever: “Surely, those who disbelieve in Allah and His Messengers and desire to make a distinction between Allah and His Messengers, and say, ‘We believe in some and disbelieve in others,’ and desire to take a way in between,…” [Qur’an 4.151]

    5. The reason that there is a difference between a muslim and a mu’min is that of course there is a difference in religion between a person’s physical practise and his spiritual condition. A person may follow all the physical requirements of Islam and yet real belief may be lacking.

    6. The reason that God attaches particular importance to the messengers, in relation to mo’min or belief, is that it is the messengers who bring a religion to life. Without the messengers, a religion is simply a Book which a person can open or close as he likes, but the messengers actually bring the Book to life and embody the Book in their personalities. Therefore true belief requires belief in the messengers.

    7. Now of course every muslim today “believes” in the messenger Muhammad (pboh), but is this real belief or is it a belief which simply follows the general muslim masses? We cannot know, because we have now reached a stage where Islam has become such a widespread established religion that it is difficult to tell apart the person who follows Islam because it is in his heart from the person who follows it because it is only in his physical body.

    8. The true test, then, is when a “non-established” messenger presents himself to a person. This is when the mu’min follows the messenger and the kafir rejects the messenger. In this situation, both the mo’min and the kafir are muslims, but of course one is a muslim mo’min and the other is a muslim kafir.

    9. The sunni scholars says that ahmadis are not muslims. This is contrary to the definition of Islam given the Qur’an and by Prophet Muhammad (pboh) which I have described above in point 2.

    10. The ahmadi scholars believe that Ghulam Ahmad (pboh) was a messenger of God. Therefore we say that non-ahmadi muslims are muslims but they are kafirs. This is entirely in agreement with the definition of Islam given by the Qur’an which I have described above in point 3.

    Peace,
    Moosa

  8. @islamicknight101:

    You can be forgiven for misunderstanding this issue of Kufr, for it can appear complicated. In fact it is rather simple.

    What we say is:

    1. If any Muslim says he disbelieves in the Imam al-Mahdi (‘alayhi al-salam), then by his own admission of disbelief, he is technically a Kafir.

    2. If any Muslim declares the Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.) to be a Kafir, then by virtue of the Hadith declaring that if one man accuses another of Kufr, then if the one accused happens in fact to be a Muslim, then the Kufr reverts to the accuser, that Muslim will find his Takfir reverting to him – in other words, if he accuses the Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.) to be a Kafir, he will be pronouncing himself a Kafir.

    3. Notwithstanding what has technically happened above, we say, and have always said, that any such person will STILL and ALWAYS have the undeniable right to consider himself and to call himself a MUSLIM. And in our dealings with him, we will also call him a Muslim – albeit one who has declared his disbelief – Kufr – in the Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.).

    So basically, in society, that person will call himself a Muslim, and will be called a Muslim by us, and in any census will be inscribed as a Muslim. But in the eyes of God, for having rejected the one sent by Him, he will still be a Kafir.

    Is this anything new?

    No, not at all. In the Holy Qur’an, Allah declares that a person can call themselves Muslims and YET not be believers. See Surah (Al-Ĥujurāt 49:14 or 49:15 if you count Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem as first verse)

    “The Arabs of the desert say, “We believe.” (tu’minoo) Say thou: Ye believe not; but rather say, “We profess Islam;” (aslamna) for the faith (al-imaan) hath not yet found its way into your hearts. But if ye obey God and His Apostle, He will not allow you to lose any of your actions: for God is Indulgent, Merciful.”

    Thus desert Arabs were told NOT to call themselves believers (Mu’minoon) and just to stick to the label of MUSLIMS. In other words they had no Imaan, so they were Kafirs, but they had outwardly accepted Islam, therefore technically they could call themselves Muslims, even though Allah knew they had no faith at all.

    So, you have every right to call yourself a Muslim, and we will also call you a Muslim in our dealings with you, but if you reject even one of Allah’s messengers, then you lose your Imaan because of your Kufr in that messenger.

    The best policy is to accept ALL Allah’s messengers. Then everything will be simple!

  9. Have YOU read this? What has been stated by previous khulafa and the Promised Messiah’s (as) works is not at all contrary to what has been stated above. The fact is that we give everyone the right to call themselves a Muslim if they so wish, even if they disbelieve in a Prophet. We leave the final judgement down to God. Why go out of your way to seek offence when there is none intended?

  10. @ Luqman Ahmad

    You have totally missed the point. Is there any prophet in the history of the world that a Muslim can reject, yet remain a Muslim?? The answer is NO.

    You guys have lots of research to do. The Mirza [Ghulam Ahmad (as)] said that anyone who doesnt accept his claim is a Kafir (1906) and there were no strings attached in terms of being a Momin. Also…..in the Quran, Allah refers to All Muslims as Momins as well.

    Finally, in 1911, Mahmud Ahmad wrote an article on this very topic and declared all Muslims as Kafirs, and he referred to the Mirza [Ghulam Ahmad’s (as)] statements of 1906. Have any of you people read this?

    The Rash

  11. Pingback: Al-Jazeera’s Stream Discussion After-Thoughts « Demystifying the Cult

  12. Concise and indeed to the point.
    The Cult and their associates really need to ponder on this rather than waste time in meaningless chatter creating mountains from empty buckets.

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