Refutation: A Primer on Ahmadi-Muslims, Faith, Tafsir-e-Kabir (The Grand Commentary), ‘Ilm al-Hadith (knowledge of Hadith sciences) and other matters…


Assalamu ‘alaikum

Apologies for missing most of the conversations this post was inspired by, but I have found MuslimFirst to be sincere in his criticisms, although I don’t agree with all of them.  But this is not a rebuttal, more an extrapolation of the main issues which I have come across often, and would like to offer some suggestions to.

In advance, this is a long post – unintentionally – so here is a brief synopsis of the sub-headings:

I. Sunnis, Ahmadis or ‘All of the Above’???

II. Can’t Read – Won’t Read…

III. Good Ahmadi-Muslims, Bad Ahmadi-Muslims, Beautiful Ahmadi-Muslims!!

IV. ‘Faith (Madhhab) is not the eloquence of speech…’

V. Hearts Ablaze with Divine Nūr (Light)

VI. Tafsīr-e-Kabīr of Ḥaḍrat Khalifatu’l-Masīḥ al-Thānī (raḍīAllāhu ʿanhu)

VII. Assistance regarding the issue in ‘Invitation to Ahmadiyyat’ regarding ʿĪsa and the Holy Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam – as not understood by ‘MuslimFirst’

VIII. Hadith Science amongst Ahmadi-Muslims: Dirāya wa’l-Riwāya (understanding and narrator-critique)

IX. Reading ‘Sunni’ Books and where to draw the line: Ḥaḍrat Masīḥ-e-Maʿūd and Imam al-Mahdī’s ʿalayhi’s-salām status vis-à-vis Scholars of the Past

I. Sunnis, Ahmadis or ‘All of the Above’???

Firstly, I would like to clarify a tendency I have come across many posters on the blog, to conflate Ahmadi-Muslims and Sunnis as two separate strands.  I certainly don’t see it like this.  I am a Sunni – I stem from the Ahl al-Sunna wa’l Jamāʿah and consider myself to be firmly a Sunni Muslim, and I am an Ahmadi-Muslim as far as my bayʿa (allegiance) to a divinely appointed Mahdi, Mujāddid and Prophetic representative in my age is concerned.

Some posters have used the terms ‘former Sunni’ and ‘those Sunnis’ – Ḥaḍrat Masīḥ-e-Maʿūd ʿalayhi’s-salām counsels his own Jamāʿa that we believe in those matters of practice as part of Islam that have had consensus made upon them by early muslims and thus roots us firmly within the Ahl-al-Sunna (commonly referred to as ‘Sunnis’):

We counsel our Jamaat to put true and sincere faith in the Holy Kalima, La Illaha Ill-Allah, Muhammad al-Rasul-Allah, to live and die by it, also to believe in all prophets and in all books, the truth of which is sanctioned by the Quran; to observe in letter and in spirit the Fasts, Prayers, Zakat and Pilgrimage and all prescriptions and prohibitions laid down by Almighty Allah and His Prophet. We counsel them in short that their belief should include all beliefs and all rules of conduct agreed upon unanimously by early Muslims, that is, all matters accepted as part of Islam by the consensus of Ahl-i-Sunna. There is no option. And we hold heaven and earth as witness that this is our creed and this is our faith.

(Ayyamal Sulh pg. 86-87)

I do not claim to speak on behalf of everyone, but Allah as my witness, I, for one, am a Sunni and an Ahmadi Muslim – the two for me are complementary to my faith as I conscientiously try to bind myself to the words and actions of the Blessed Master-Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam and have allied myself at the bayʿa (pledge) of His appointed Mahdi ʿalayhi’s-salām.  I personally don’t see how one can be an Ahmadi-Muslim and not be a Sunni (and neither do I accept a person to be a true Sunni) if they do not bind themselves to, and abide by, the Prophetic Sunnah.  Allahu a’lam.  For an Ahmadi Muslim, the 6th Condition of Bai’at completely solidifies this principle, as they are required to:

‘…refrain from following un-islamic customs and lustful inclinations, and shall completely submit himself/herself to the authority of the Holy Quran; and shall make the Word of God and the Sayings of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) the guiding principle in every walk of his/her life [emphasis added].

Back to ‘Contents’

II. Can’t Read – Won’t Read…

The poster [MuslimFirst] has highlighted an unfortunate trend across the world – muslim and non-muslim – where less and less people are reading nowadays.  I hope this trend reverses, because there is so much in books that is to be cherished.  But having said this, we must remember that our tradition, in Islam, started off as an oral tradition: Allāh SPOKE to the Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam through Gibril ʿalayhi’s-salām; the Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam taught his Companions (raḍīAllāhu ʿanhum) verbally, by His blessed speech ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam; and the Qurʾān was initially read, recited, studied, memorized and preserved orally, as were the Ahadith.

So audiobooks, audio lectures, mp3s, cassettes, vinyl, cds, are perhaps a method of learning our Islam that is not very modern – the means on which such things are recorded may be modern, but the concept of aural teaching is actually integral to our tradition.  When books became the norm, this took over the concept of oral tradition, since the time the Qurʾān was dictated and written, up until the Ahadith collections, and now whereby most written material is read on the computer screens.  No-one doubts that reading is a habit most people are not attuned to nowadays, but the problem lies with how we then teach ourselves and our younger brothers and sisters.  I would propose lectures where these books that people find so difficult to read are publicly read out in lectures and commented upon line-by-line.  This is something that many people find interesting and discussion often ensues ensuring that people are engaging with these important texts.

Back to ‘Contents’

III. Good Ahmadi-Muslims, Bad Ahmadi-Muslims, Beautiful Ahmadi-Muslims!!

I think that there are good and bad apples in every bunch – be it an Ahmadi-Muslim bunch, a non-Ahamdi-Muslim bunch, or an agnostic bunch.   The Qurʾān teaches us to keep company with the righteous.  I consider myself – and many would perhaps consider me to be – what you may call an ‘active’ Ahmadi-Muslim.

But I have friends in the Jamāʿa and outwith the Jamāʿa.  Some of my best friends are outside the Jamāʿa and are classically trained scholars in what many would term ‘Sunnī Islām’; Similarly, in the Jamāʿa I keep the companionship of select people – scholars and non-scholars – because of their righteousness and piety, and the way they observe Islamic rulings, and their humanity and gentleness.

I do not regard all Ahmadi-Muslims alike, just as I do not regard all non-Ahmadi-Muslims alike: good and bad apples, everywhere.  Which is why one should be particular about the company they keep – within and outwith the Jamāʿa.  I remember when I first realized that some Ahmadi-Muslims were not as they should be, and a friend of mine wisely said to me – ‘where there are humans, there will be faults and sin’.  So I realize that Ahmadi-Muslims will be good and they will be bad – but, alhamduliAllah, I have not encountered many bad Ahmadi-Muslims.  Similarly, some non-Ahmadi-Muslim friends of mine are beautiful people – some are people that I try to avoid because I know what they are like.  I look at people for what they are – not what they claim to be.

Back to ‘Contents’

IV. ‘Faith (Madhhab) is not the eloquence of speech…’

Many people have spoken of our beloved Imam’s speeches and Khutbāt – some with ill-intent, others quite sincerely state that they are not enrapt by his speeches or do not find them interesting.

I think that along with the examples of Hadrat Mūsa ʿalayhi’s-salām’s impediment (whether an actual speech impediment or merely just an inability to be a comprehensive and fluent advocate), we should remember that firstly, next to the jawāmi’ al-kalim (the succinct oratory) possessed by the Master of all Prophets ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam, all others are deficient, with no disrespect intended.  Some people are given beauty in their actions or appearance, others are given beautiful speech, yet others are given both, and still others are given neither.  None of these things are said to be definitive demarcations of anyone’s piety, religiosity, nearness to Allāh, or their spiritual station.

Secondly, Ḥaḍrat Masīḥ-e-Maʿūd ʿalayhi’s-salām has a beautiful phrase in one of his books:

‘Madhhab (faith/religion) is not the eloquence of speech/oratorical skill; rather it is a pure State that is manifested in the hearts of those who come to realize/recognize their Lord’ [emphasis added]

(Forgotten which book it is in)

What a phenomenal statement!  Those who claim they cannot understand Ḥaḍrat Masīḥ-e-Maʿūd’s ʿalayhi-salām’s writings or works, should ponder over this for a few minutes and think about someone they know who manifests such a State.

When we concentrate on any speaker, Khatib or lecturer, we should concentrate on the state of their hearts, which often manifests itself in the tone of voice, facial expressions, and through the eyes – which are the windows to the soul – but at other times it is veiled form the uninitiated person who is given to physical signs and indicators.

Back to ‘Contents’

V. Hearts Ablaze with Divine Nūr (Light)

The heart is a receptor of all things spiritual – whereas the eyes only perceive that which light reflects.  If you cannot ‘see’ spirituality with your heart, then the heart is clouded and requires purification and cleansing.  If spirituality is something which is visible only to the eyes, then it is often not spirituality – the ‘nūr’ that many people talk about on peoples faces, is just one small aspect of the transcendental concept of The Full Nūr as detailed beautifully in the Holy Qurʾān – which is, essentially in the heart of Man, which reached its fullest example in the blessed illumined and illumining Heart of the Holy Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam.  Hadrat Khalifatul Masih al-Thani’s (raḍīAllāhu ʿanhu) explanationis worth mentioning here, in brief:

Allāh is the Nūr of the heavens and the Earth: The example of His Nūr is like that of a lustrous niche, in which is a lamp.  The lamp is in a glass (globe).  The glass is as if it were a glittering star.  It is lit from a blessed tree – an olive – neither of the East nor of the West, whose oil would almost be ablaze, even though fire has not touched it: Light upon Light.

Allāh Guides to His Light whomsoever He will.

And Allāh sets forth parables to men, and Allāh knows all things full well.

(Qurʾān, al_Nūr, 24:36)

Ḥadrat Khalifatul Masih al-Thani (raḍīAllāhu ʿanhu) explains this verse amazingly – no exaggeration – but the verse itself is so amazing that it would only beget awesome commentaries.  He says that the metaphor in this verse speaks of three things: (i) a lamp; (ii) a glass-globe; (iii) a niche.  The Divine Nūr is composed of these three things which, when together in this chronology, give its full luminescence.  The lamp (al-miṣbāḥ) is the essence and source of the Light.  The glass-globe (al-zujāja) capsules the flame of the lamp and protects it from being blown out, and provides it the necessary surrounding to magnify its brightness.  The niche (al-mishkāt) preserves the light.  In an amazing twist from the imagery evoked in this metaphor Hadrat Khalifatul Masih al-Thani (raḍīAllāhu ʿanhu) applies these three to the spiritual realm and the phenomenon of the Divine project: he says that these three objects mentioned in the verse may ‘respectively stand for’ (i) Divine Light; (ii) God’s Prophets who protect that light from being extinguished, adding to its luminescence and brightness, and; (iii) the Khalifas and successors of the Prophets (earthly as well as spiritual) who diffuse and disseminate the divine Light and give it a direction for the guidance of the World.

Then, turning his attention to the other part of the verse, which mentions that the oil used as fuel to light the lamp is of the ‘highest possible purity, and is inflammable to a degree which makes it (the oil) burst out into a flame without being ignited’, Hadrat Khalifatul Masih al-Thani (raḍīAllāhu ʿanhu) offers the interpretation that due to the intensity of the oil that is described, in the context of the three other objects, the light could be interpreted as referring to the Holy Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam, supported by the fact that ‘the Holy Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam has been referred to as Nūr in the Qurʾān (5:16)’.  In this case, such an interpretation would mean that the Niche (al-mishkāt) represented the blessed heart of the Holy Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam and the Lamp (al-miṣbāh) would be his purity in disposition and nature ‘endowed with the best and noblest attributes and qualities’.  The glass (globe) (al-zujāja) would therefore signify the divine light that He ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam was encircled in and nourished with.  Thus, he states, that when the light of Allāh (divine revelation) shone on the light of the Holy Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam, this resulted in the construct: nūrun ʿalā nūr Light upon Light.

For completion’s sake, it must also be mentioned that the interpretation of ‘whose oil would almost be ablaze even though fire has not touched it’ by Hadrat Khalifatul Masih al-Thani (raḍīAllāhu ʿanhu) is that the Holy Prophet’s ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam nature was so pure and divinely nourished even prior to the revelation descending on it, that he was fit for having discharged the duties of Allāh’s divine mission even thought he light of revelation had not touched him ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam.

One of the most phenomenal non-Ahmadi Muslim scholars that I enjoy listening to is perhaps the most ‘unentertaining’ in terms of intonation or oratorical skill, but it is the fact that my heart recognizes the spiritual State of the Shaykh’s heart which is the organ with which he speaks that keeps me riveted when he speaks – edge of the seat stuff – really!!!  Similarly I often like to observe the state of my beloved Imam when he is not speaking, when he is listening to the recitation of the Qurʾān or a poem in praise of Allāh or His Final Messenger ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam, and observe him deftly moving his lips, surely in salutations to the beloved Messenger ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam.  It is this deep deference to, and love for, the Holy Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam, which draws me to listen to him – regardless of whether he is jovially being humorous or speaking of something which I am not particularly interested in!

Finally, on this point, it is personal experience of mine, and others have also mentioned this: Allāh has the heart of a believer between His fingers – and He can change the Heart towards Himself in an instant.  As the Cause of all Causes (sababu’l-asbāb), Allāh can make any minor thing the cause of such a revolution in a person’s heart, and so we should earnestly repeat the prayer: ‘Yā Muqallibu’l-Qulūb thabbit qalbī ʿalā dīnika’, ‘O’ Turner of Hearts!  Make my Heart solid on your religion’.  It could be in through the most apparently unrelated Khutba of our Imam (may Allāh keep and preserve Him), that Allāh causes our Hearts to turn to Divine Unity and Obedience to Allāh.  The Baraka (blessings) of guidance can come in a fleeting instant – lest we miss it.

(For the full commentary in English, see here)

Back to ‘Contents’

VI. Tafsīr-e-Kabīr of Ḥaḍrat Khalifatu’l-Masīḥ al-Thānī (raḍīAllāhu ʿanhu)

Regarding the issue related to the Tafāsīr with which you are particularly interested, the first point is that if you are referring to the 5-volume extended commentary on the Qurʾān, then this is not the one written by Hadrat Khalifatu’l-Masih al-Thani (raḍīAllāhu ʿanhu), rather it is a very constricted translation of the 10-volume Tafsīr-e-Kabīr, although it was translated within the lifetime of the Second Khalifa (raḍīAllāhu ʿanhu).

As this page shows

The 5-volume commentary is not a strict translation of the Tafsir-e-Kabir (10vols).  Rather, as the editors clearly state:

The preparation of the Commentary was originally entrusted to a Board of Editors consisting of the late Maulawi Sher ‘Ali, Mirza Bashir Ahmad M.A., and Malik Ghulam Farid M.A, the present editor of the commentary.  The commentary is based mainly on the material culled and collected from the writings and speeches of Hadrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad, present Head of the Ahmadiyya Community…

(http://www.alislam.org/quran/tafseer/?page=-285&region=E1)

This page and the following few pages show the classical works of Hadith, Hadith commentary, Tafsīr, etc. that were referred as sources for the commentary.  Those who know about this will realise the standard of scholarship being referred to.

The 10-volume Tafsīr-e-Kabīr written in Urdu, was the original tafsīr he wrote, largely written or dictated by Hadrat Khalifatu’l-Masih al-Thani (raḍīAllāhu ʿanhu) through his Durūs on the Qurʾān (specific Qurʾānic sermons expounding its meanings) and through his writings with specific intent of writing a tafsīr.  Generally, tafāsīr are of various types – there are grammatical, legal, metaphorical, philosophical and historical tafāsīr.  Each type has its intended audiences and each caters for a specific need (the special aspects of this commentary are stated here.  In the Tafsīr-e-Kabīr, Hadrat Khalifatu’l-Masih al-Thani (raḍīAllāhu ʿanhu) makes his intention absolutely clear and this is stated in the English preface too, he says:

The second part consists of explanatory notes or commentary.  Every note first derives its authority from the tenor and spirit of the Qurʾān as expressed in various other places [known as the method of tafsīr al-Qurʾān bi’l-Qurʾān, in tafsīr studies].  Next to the Qurʾān, precedence is given to the Hadith and then come the standard dictionaries of the Arabic language…

…Special care is taken in this commentary to refute the principle objections raised against Islam by Christian writers…based either on ignorance or on deliberate misrepresentation of the true teachings of Islam on the part of these writers.   Refutation of such objections helps to remove much bias and prejudice against Islam and to create an atmosphere for a better appreciation of its teachings.

(http://www.alislam.org/quran/tafseer/?page=-287&region=E1)

This is evidently the case throughout the tafsīr, and is not something to be apologetic about.  The Qurʾān has been maligned and attacked, as has the Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam, and the tafsīr written by Hadrat Khalifatu’l-Masih al-Thani (raḍīAllāhu ʿanhu) seeks to exonerate them of these accusations.  It may not be an interesting read for some, but the tafsīr of the Qurʾān written by him serves a serious, scholarly and important purpose.  To tell you the truth, I skip most passages in the tafsīr dealing with Jews and Christians, because I am personally more interested in Islam’s message to polytheists and idol-worship, and its socio-ethical teachings.  So a tafsīr is not really meant to be strictly interesting, perhaps, it is supposed to serve and aid the understanding and purpose of the Qurʾān.  One thing strikes me as highly prominent in the tafsīr and is something that Hadrat Khalifatu’l-Masih al-Thani (raḍīAllāhu ʿanhu) is to be commended for – may Allāh bless him abundantly – and that is that the primary importance he gives to exonerating the Holy Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam of the charges levied against him is immense – I have read many tafāsīr, and few are comparable to the time or ink spent in justifying and freeing the Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam of the false derogatory accusations leveled against the Beloved Messenger ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam, and dishonorable legends that have crept into Islam.

In similar vein, he sets out his own spiritual lineage and states:

I also desire to state that since I was a pupil of the late Maulawī Nūr’ud-Dīn, Khalifatul Masih I, a good deal of what I acquired from him is reflected in the Explanatory Notes.  Thus these notes are, in fact, based upon the interpretation of the Qurʾān by the Promised Messiah, the First Khalifa and myself…

(http://www.alislam.org/quran/tafseer/?page=0&region=E1)

Just as the poster spoke of tafāsīr being beneficial as they relate to the people, similarly, Hadrat Khalifatu’l-Masih al-Thani (raḍīAllāhu ʿanhu) has sought to do the same.  His specific concentrations in his tafsīr may not interest you, but that is a different issue – it was of interest to many, and still is.

Back to ‘Contents’

VII. Assistance regarding the issue in ‘Invitation to Ahmadiyyat’ regarding ʿĪsa and the Holy Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam – as not understood by ‘MuslimFirst’

The point raised about the Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam and ʿIsa ʿalayhi’s-salām and whether he will ascend to this temporal abode from the Heavens is a rhetorical argument posed by Hadrat Khalifatu’l-Masih al-Thani (raḍīAllāhu ʿanhu).  It goes like this:

  • Muslims believe that the Holy Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam’s physical life in this world was terminated;
  • Many muslims believe that compared to the above example, Hadrat ʿIsa ʿalayhi’s-salām lives on, as he never died, and is thus somewhere in heaven.  And he will return for mankind’s final salvation to the Truth.
  • Hadrat Khalifatu’l-Masih al-Thani (raḍīAllāhu ʿanhu)’s theological argument is that this belief, stated above, is something that denigrates the station of the Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam for the following reasons:
  1. The Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam is the greatest and final law-bearing Prophet and so the there is something not quite fitting about a Prophet from another Ummah coming back to save the Prophet’s ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam Ummah.
  2. Hadrat ʿIsa ʿalayhi’s-salām’s life was prolonged, whereas The Holy Prophet’s ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam life was cut short.  The argument is that if anyone’s life should have been prolonged for the benefit and salvation of mankind then it should have been our Beloved Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam.
  • The problems that stem from this argument are:
  1. The Qurʾān fundamentally declares that Hadrat ʿIsa ʿalayhi’s-salām died.
  2. The Qurʾān does not support his being in Heaven (which is something that Ḥaḍrat Masīḥ-e-Maʿūd ʿalayhi’s-salām used to believe in before Allāh revealed to him the correct understanding of the Qurʾānic verses in this regard.
  3. The ‘sa-yanzilu (he will descend)’ verb or ‘idha nazala…(when he descends)’ used in the Ahadith are believed to mean the same as what we understand when we say the Qurʾān descended on the Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam – it was ‘manifested’ or ‘made known’.  The Qurʾān did not fall out of the sky in book form – neither will the Masih – otherwise when Hadrat Musa ʿalayhi’s-salām was asked to bring down a book from the sky, Allāh should have had no problem in doing so, but we know this clearly did not happen.
  4. The Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam foretelling ʿIsa ʿalayhi’s-salām’s coming was not from the heavens, and neither did he say that the same ʿIsa ʿalayhi’s-salām who lived 2 millennia ago would return.  Rather, the two Ahadith in Sahih Bukhari in which the Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam describes the appearance of ʿIsa in two different physical characterizations amply proves that he spoke of two different people called ʿIsa at two different occasions – one referring to the ʿIsa Masih who came for the reform of the Jews, and the second, separate, different ʿIsa Masih who was to come for the Muslims.

(On a separate point, I will soon be writing a full article, insha’Allāh, relating to the cult website’s stream of endless mistranslations, which ironically claim to correct our ‘mistranslations’!)

Back to ‘Contents’

VIII. Hadith Science amongst Ahmadi-Muslims: Dirāya wa’l-Riwāya (understanding and narrator-critique)

Relating to the point about Ahamdis not having a Hadith science as such, concentrating on the matn (main body of the tradition) rather than an analysis of the transmitters (the science of asmā’ al-rijāl, or ʿilm al-riwāya), well, this in itself is a science – the science of dirāya, to us, is more important, and so any Hadith which apparently or otherwise contradicts the Qurʾān, or denigrates the status of the Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam, will either (a) be interpreted in a way so as not to contradict a Qurʾānic precedent, or (b) be interpreted in a way denigrate the status of the Holy Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam as He ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam was perfect and the exemplar, or (c) if it cannot be interpreted so as not to contradict or denigrate, we will take other istidlāl (evidentiary elements) from it.

Failing this, we will render it as possibly tainted, without too much insistence on its chain of authority.  Otherwise, we take the chain of authority fairly seriously, but will not bend just because a chain is strong – over the other evidential sources – the sanad is not the binding or most authoritative element of a Hadith.  But we have a Hadith science which I believe is to be closer to obedience to the Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam, and one which goes further in our following of the words of the Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam than the isnād provides.  Ḥaḍrat Masīḥ-e-Maʿūd ʿalayhi’s-salām states:

It should be the duty of the members of our Community that a Hadith which is not opposed to the Qur’an and Sunnah, should be accepted and followed, however weak might be its authority, and it should be preferred to the rules framed by jurists.

[Review bar Mubahatha Batalwi wa Chakralwi,

Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 19, pp. 209-212]

…And this is not a new concept – in fact Imam al-Ghazālī’s (raḍīAllāhu ʿanhu) Ihyā al-ʿUlūm al-Dīn (The Revivification of Islamic Sciences) was criticized and even burnt in some places because it contained Ahadith which had weak chains of transmission, or weak narrators within these chains, but Imam Ghazālī (raḍīAllāhu ʿanhu) was insistent that they be obeyed and acted upon.  So some of the classical scholars, in a similar way to Ḥaḍrat Masīḥ-e-Maʿūd ʿalayhi’s-salām, went further in their devotion to the Word of the Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam to the extent that even a Hadith deemed to be weak was something that they preferred to act upon, as long as it was in conformity with the Qurʾān and the Prophet Sunna of the Beloved Messenger ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam.

It is true that the sciences around the attributes of the narrator are fairly academic, but un-ignorable nonetheless.  We should pay heed to them, but should keep it within its proper place; unfortunately, more books are written about this than the dirāyah (understanding/extrapolation) of the Ahadith and that, I think, is unfortunate.

Also, it must be remembered that one person stating that another person is a weak narrator or authority (as is the case with the ʿilm al-riwāya), is highly subjective.  We know that often, certain narrators are classified as reliable by some hadith scholars and unreliable by others.  Clearly in such cases, these analyses must be subjected to strict and solid benchmarks – and sometimes this in itself may be subjective, which is why the matn (main body of the text) and what is actually being narrated is perhaps of more importance and should be looked at more closely than the narrators, and it is this that should be subjected to the Divinely revealed sources.  These narrators, the excellent amongst them and the not so good amongst them – were all human and subject to Human weaknesses – thus they should be revered but not standardised to a degree where they are beyond any subjection to the revelatory benchmarks of the Qur’an and the Sunna, and particularly regarding the latter, I am referring to the Sunna al-mutawatira (the practice of the Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam as practiced throughout the ages by the masses so that chances of forgery and innovation are minimised).

Back to ‘Contents’

IX. Reading ‘Sunni’ Books and where to draw the line: Ḥaḍrat Masīḥ-e-Maʿūd and Imam al-Mahdī’s ʿalayhi’s-salām status vis-à-vis Scholars of the Past

There’s nothing wrong with reading ‘Sunni’ books either – I read many of them, and benefit from many of them – especially reprints of older books – older scholars seem to have been much more honest and non-polemical in their writings.  Truth is truth – even if it be spoken by a known liar!  And the Prophetic teaching is that truth should be the proverbial red camel that everyone rushes towards.  But you will often find divergent viewpoints amongst classical and modern scholars – and the essential points of faith and belief is where one cannot stand on the fence and must take a stance.  Regarding such issues, one cannot ignore that there is an Imam today that claims to be appointed by Allāh for the reform of the age.  If one believes that Imam to be true in his claim then they must defer to him and his opinion in all such matters that he states he has come to set aright.  For example, in short, a few of the essential things that Ḥaḍrat Masīḥ-e-Maʿūd ʿalayhi’s-salām has clarified for us regarding matters of faith are:

  • Tawhid and the removal of forms of shirk (associating partners with Allāh), such as believing that a certain saint or person can be prayed to or asked for something that is otherwise only sought from Allah;
  • The status and grandeur of the Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam – from the accusations leveled against the Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam by Christians and Hindus, particularly, and by doing so he saved the lives of many muslims who would have otherwise left Islam – as was a known trend in India at the time, and is still something that many ‘ex-muslims’ succumb to because of the inherent misrepresentation of Islamic Concepts regarding the Attributes of Allāh and the biographical accounts of the life of the Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam in which many Muslims even believe some spurious and shameful things;
  • The purity and untainted and protected and complete and perfect nature of the Holy Qur’an – that it is free from interpolation, reduction, excess, abrogation-proper, and that it is the revealed Word of Allāh that is manifestly pure and supreme in comparison to the other revealed scriptures, none of which claim to be free of change or modification;
  • Allāhu al-ān kamā kāna… Allāh is now as He always Was – He speaks to His chosen servants now as He spoke to them before, throughout all periods of History – and so Islam is a religion with a Living God, not one who is dumb or mute, and only spoke in the Past;
  • Establishing that the Glory and Victory of Islam will not be reliant upon someone from another prophetic period – rather, the teaching and example of the Holy Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam  is so supreme and complete, that it takes the worshipful servant to the apex of religious evolution and that Man thus becomes conversant with Allāh, to the extent that he is given a portion from the portents of Prophethood (such as true dreams, visions and non-legislative-revelation, as is specified in the Ahadith).  Thus the final victory of Islam will come through the followers of the Prophetic legacy of the Holy Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam, amongst whom one will be chosen as the ‘Masih’ for the Muslims and the guided Imam Mahdi, who will fulfill the following functions as recorded in the Ahadith:
    • Al-Masīḥ al-Maʿūd:
      • Yaksuru’l-salīb (break the cross)
      • Yaqtulu’l-khinzīr (kill the swine)
      • Yaḍaʿu’l-ḥarb / Yaḍaʿu’l-jizya (end war / end [the necessity for taking] Jizya)
    • Imam Mahdī al-Maʿhūd
      • Imāmukum minkum – He will be your Imam from amongst yourselves
      • Ḥakam – He will be the Arbiter
      • ʿĀdil – He will deal justly amongst the people

There are other aspects, such as the clarification of Qur’anic concepts, interpretation of verses and correction of islamic notions regarding revelation, angels, heaven and hell, resurrection, sin, repentance, etc.  The ‘Essence of Islam’ set of translated excerpts is a good resource to understanding some of these topics – may Allah raise the station of Ḥaḍrat Muhammad Zafrulla Khan radiAllahu ‘anhu for translating most of these excerpts, and thereby for his services to English-speaking peoples in this way.

In reading any classical or modern text, I take benefit where I can – if there is anything which contends with something that Ḥaḍrat Masīḥ-e-Maʿūd ʿalayhi’s-salām has given his decision on (in his role as the Ḥakam and ʿĀdil, both of which are his functions as the Imam Mahdi), then I will take his opinion over anyone else’s, as I know that the Holy Prophet ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam said that he will be the Imam and thus will be guided by The Holy Prophet’s ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam Prophetic legacy and wisdom, and will be Guided ultimately by Allāh for the reform and victory of Islam and the Muslims.

And our Sunni brothers and sisters agree that this will be the case – obviously when the Imam Mahdi ʿalayhi’s-salām and Masih that they await will, as they believe, be manifest sometime in the future, he obviously won’t be bound by the rules framed by the Jurists of Fiqh (fuqahāʾ), or the Imams of Hadith (muḥaddithīn) or the Exegetes (mufassirīn) – old or new – obviously he will judge amongst them as to whose opinion and ijtihād (intellectual effort) was most correct in line with Divine Providence and Prophetic Precedent, and they too will defer to his opinion on the essential aspects of faith and belief, and doctrine, upon which the old and new scholars differ.

At that time, I cannot see who would stand up and criticise the Imam Mahdi for going against the tafsīr of Albani, or Suhaib Webb, or say that ‘well, you haven’t gone through the sanad of this chain, and thus you cannot be right in certifying a Hadith as sound or not, and so we will stick to what Imam so-and-so has said’.  Rather, I am sure, that the majority would say that in this situation, the correct stance will be to side with the Mahdi.  And this is what we do.  The only real issue that Ahmadi Muslims seem to have with the non-Ahmadi Muslims is the question as to whether Mirza Ghulam Ahmad ʿalayhi’s-salām is the Mahdi or not?

What the Mahdi’s position will be amongst the modern and earlier scholars is not debated – I think all are agreed that the Imam Mahdi overrules all others, unless he himself specifically defers to someone else – an example of this would be where Ḥaḍrat Masīḥ-e-Maʿūd (as) has stated that in matters of Fiqh, the Ahmadi Muslims should follow the opinions of the fuqahāʾ (jurisprudents) of the Hanafi Madhhab, and that if they do not find a suitable (in all respects) solution to a matter there, then they should use their God-given abilities of ijtihad and reach a suitable solution.  In many issues, such as the issues pertaining to the Ṣalāt, Zakāt and personal matters such as the length of the beard or the application of Henna, matters relating to Wuḍūʿ, he has expressly given opinions in-line with and in deference to the opinion of the Ḥanafī Madhhab.  The reason he stated for this was that in his opinion, Imam Abū Ḥanīfa (rh) and his school’s extrapolation of issues from the textual source of the Holy Qur’an was a central characteristic of their legal and jurisprudential methodology, whereas others give more credence to Ahadith, comparatively.

Allahu Aʿlam.

Back to ‘Contents’

Advertisements

47 thoughts on “Refutation: A Primer on Ahmadi-Muslims, Faith, Tafsir-e-Kabir (The Grand Commentary), ‘Ilm al-Hadith (knowledge of Hadith sciences) and other matters…

  1. My family n I are in a situation where there r no ahmadis around , numerous times we have been in situations where other muslims r doing salat..so we took some pains to clarify what we shud do in such situations.

    Correct me if am wrong: It’s best to avoid praying behind a non-ahmadi..but if in a situation where there is no other option, it is ok but the salat must be performed again afterwards.

    So we always avoid putting ourselves in situations where we wud have to join the prayers but if in such a situation, we do go ahead but perform salat again at home…I did read about somebody (a khalifa perhaps) who went on hajj and performed salat in congregation but did it again later.

    Peace

  2. Thank you for the clarification about Khalifa Nur al-Din sahabi. And the reminder about guidance on praying behind an Imam who is unaware/ has rejected the Messiah. My question was actually regarding LEADING a non-Ahmadi is Salat, which Khalifa Nur al-Din (who now I understand was a sahabi) said he would not do.

    I believe there is no restriction to that.

  3. What if they are 2 groups like the Muhajirin and Ansar, or as for the Jama’at the Darwishan and Muhajirin? One group was in India (Rabwah was considered India then), the other stayed in the town of the Messiah.

  4. That’s not referring to the first Khalifa, Mawlana Nur al-Din (ra), that’s referring to another Sahabi named Khalifa Nur al-Din (his actual first name was ‘Khalifa’). He had different views from other Ahmadis.

    As far as praying behind non-Ahmadis is concerned, there is an established principle in Hanafi fiqh (jurisprudence) which the Promised Messiah (as) himself followed in that you can pray behind an Imam but with your own niyyah (intention) but follow his movements just for the sake of building unity. However, Khalifa IV (rh) (who it should be noted followed more of a Maliki madhab than Hanafi, which he himself stated) disagreed with this and said the Imam al-Salat’s niyyah supersedes the Mussali’s (individual worshipper’s) niyyah.

    As far as what the Imam Mahdi (as) himself said, it can be thus noted:

    Sa’id ‘Abd Allah al-‘Arab (radiAllahu ‘anhu – from Tripoli) once asked:

    “I shall go back to my Arab land. Once there, should I pray behind those people or not?”

    Hadrat al-Masih al-Maw’ud (as) replied:

    “Except for those who accept my truth, do not pray behind anyone.”

    Then ‘Abdullah said:

    “Those people are not aware of Huzur’s condition. And they have not yet been preached to.”

    To which Imam Mahdi (qudussAllahu sirruhu) replied:

    “First of all preach to them. Then, either they will become those who accept my truth or they will become those who reject it.”

    Then ‘Abdullah said:

    “Our folk are very harsh, and our people are Shi’is.”

    Hudhur (as) said:

    “Become a person who belongs to Allah. Whoever’s dealing with Allah becomes honest, Allah Himself becomes his Protector and Carer.”

    (Malfuzat, Vol. 2, pg. 342)

    “Some people ask: Those who do not speak ill (of you, the Promised Messiah), but do not openly reveal their belief (in you) simply because of their fear of people’s criticism; can we pray behind them?

    I reply: Absolutely NOT. This is because there is still a stumbling block in their way of accepting the truth. Moreover, they are still branches of the tree that bears poisonous and destructive fruit.

    Had they not taken worldly people to be their object of worship and Qiblah, they would have torn through all those veils and come out into the open, and they would not have be in the least disturbed by anybody’s reproaches or criticism; nor would they have been in any fear or anxiety. Rather, they would have run towards God…

    If anyone enters our Jama’at and then leaves it, the reason for this is that his satan remains with him, hidden in his garments. But if he makes the resolution, saying: “Never again will I even so much as listen to one who whispers evil suggestions to me,” then God will save him. Usually, the reason for stumbling is that contact with others (non-Ahmadis) is ongoing. They deem it necessary for their subsistence that they should become lukewarm in their relationship here (with our Jama’at). Being lukewarm alienates a person. Then they become proud and go so far as to reject (the truth).”

    (Malfuzat, Vol. 2, pg. 361, and Vol. 3, pg. 277)

    “The following question was asked: If in a certain place, the Imam leading the prayer is not aware of Hudur’s condition, should one pray behind him or not?

    Hudhur (qs) replied:

    “Your FIRST OBLIGATION IS TO MAKE HIM AWARE. Then if he accepts the truth, it is better. But if he rejects it, then do not waste your Salat behind him. And if someone remains silent, neither accepting nor rejecting the truth, then he is a hypocrite. Do not pray behind him. If someone dies, who is not of you (i.e. is not an Ahmadi) and there are non-Ahmadis present there to perform his funeral prayer, and they would not like any of you to lead the funeral prayer and there is danger of a scuffle, then ABANDON SUCH A PLACE AND INSTEAD KEEP BUSY IN ANY PIOUS OCCUPATION.”

  5. Does this equate non-Ahmadis to idolaters?

    The verse following the one quoted mentions the father of Abraham (as). Can we really consider a well-meaning non-Ahmadi who wishes to pray behind us in the same league as the father of Abaraham (as)? I do not mean to question the wisdom of the first Khalifa (as), but I am finding it difficult to reconcile this anecdote as mentioned here with our slogan of Love for All, Hatred for None. How can we love somebody and yet not be willing to “pray for” them? More importantly, in this context it seems to contradict the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (saw) who prayed to Allah for the forgiveness of the non-believers who stoned him when he tried to pass the message to Islam to them.

    “Khalifa Nur ud din sahib explained to him that let alone offer his Salat behind a non-Ahmadi, he would not even lead Salat for a non-Ahmadi.”
    I understand this statement as applied to a non-Ahmadi who has rejected the Messiah as fiercely as the Maulwi had. Can it really be applied generally to all “non-Ahmadis”?

  6. Also please share more of your research on the Native Americans and their beliefs in the coming of the Messiah. Perhaps as a blog post here if you have the time.

  7. “There will be two parties in my People whom Allah has saved from the fire; one of them will fight in India and the other party will be with Isa bin Maryam (as)” (Musnad Ahmad, Vol. 5 and Sunan al-Nasa’i, Vol. 2)

    This seems contradictory does it not? Surely the party of al-Hind is the same as the party that is with Isa bin Maryam?

  8. Extremely sorry, it was a mistake.

    The correct definitions should be “namely, “hilal” (crescent moon), “qamar” (waxing/full/waning moon) and “badr” (full moon)” .

    The hadith and the Qur’an where it mentions the eclipses in Surah al-Qiyamah mention the word “Qamar” which means according to Lane’s Arabic-English Lexicon:

    “The moon after the third night of the lunar month until the end of the month (but never the moon of the first three nights, which is called hilal.”

    http://www.tyndalearchive.com/tabs/lane/

    Lane’s Lexicon also reveals that al-Qamar is usually used to mean simply “the moon” due to the whiteness of the moon that occurs after the first three nights until the end of the moon (waxing/full/waning moon).

    There is also a fourth definition in Arabic for moon, called “Muhaq” meaning the moon on the last three nights of the lunar month.

    Therefore, in any case, it canNOT be on the first night of the lunar month of Ramadan, the hadith said the lunar eclipse would happen on the first night, the Arabic used is al-Qamar, and Qamar means moon after the third night of the lunar month.”

    Furthermore, Wikipedia states:

    “A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes behind the Earth so that the Earth blocks the Sun’s rays from striking the Moon. This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned exactly, or very closely so, with the Earth in the middle. Hence, a lunar eclipse can only occur the night of a full moon.”

    This also can very rarely occur when there is a waxing moon that is very near to becoming a full moon. Nonetheless, Qamar can also mean full moon, as explained above.

  9. ASA

    I dn’t know arabic, I’m hopeless. Could someone clarify the foll. because I am confused.

    Acid flow said:
    “There are 3 words for moon in Arabic; namely, “badr” (crescent moon), “qamar” (full moon) and “badr” (waxing moon). The hadith specifically mentions the word Qamar for the lunar eclipse, indicating it should occur in the middle of the lunar month (as full moons do).”

    According to search on the net:
    Al-Hilal (crescent moon)
    Badr (full moon)

    Qamar simply means ‘moon’..Al-Qamar ‘The moon’.

    The hadith says ‘Qamar’…meaning moon.

    Acid flow used the word ‘Qamar’ to show that the eclipse couldn’t occur on the 1st night. If ‘Qamar’ simply means ‘moon’, that doesn’t hold…as a crescent, full or waxing moon can all be called simply ‘moon-qamar’.

    Can somebody clarify please?

    Jazakallah
    Peace

  10. Hadhrat Khalifa Nur ud din sahib (may Allah be pleased with him):

    He writes that he was a friend of Maulwi Muhammad Hussein Batalwi from his pre-Ahmadiyyat days. Once the Maulwi was leading Salat when Khalifa sahib too offered his Salat in the room. After finishing Salat Maulwi sahib was very pleased as he assumed Khalifa Nur ud din sahib had offered his Salat behind him. Khalifa Nur ud din sahib explained to him that let alone offer his Salat behind a non-Ahmadi, he would not even lead Salat for a non-Ahmadi. This astonished Maulwi sahib and he said this was not the belief of other Ahmadis. Khalifa Nur ud din responded everyone had their own way and quoted the Qur’an: ‘It is not for the Prophet and those who believe that they should ask of God forgiveness for the idolaters, even though they may be kinsmen…’ (9:113) He then asked Maulwi sahib were his beliefs not those of the idolaters? He aksed that as an Imam what could he pray for non-Ahmadis who followed him in Salat, that God forgive me and also forgive him who rejects Your Messiah? He writes that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) laughed when he mentioned this incident to him.

  11. A thing to bear in mind, the awliya’Allah (saints of Islam) of the past are…of the past. So it’s good to read their books but the Imam Mahdi (as) outshines all of them.

    For example, Ibn Taymiyyah (rh) supported the death penalty for one who blasphemes against Islam. For his period and circumstances that may have been his opinion, but for today, under the judgement of the Imam Mahdi (as), it is impossible. Also, when reading the most amazing and spellbinding book Minhaj al-Talibin (Way of the Seekers) by Khalifah al-Masih Thani (radiAllahu ta’ala ‘anhu), he states that Imam Ghazali’s (rh) philosophy was centred on how to stop sin but did not go into details about how to do good. The Promised Messiah (as) incorporated both things in his books.

    The reason for my quoting them is that the post above was specifically directed at one of those ex-Ahmadis who was under the influence of non-Ahmadi Muslims as the Promised Messiah (as) himself explains. It is a predicament I do not like.

    The Promised Messiah (as) said:

    “If anyone enters our Jama’at and then leaves it, the reason for this is that his satan remains with him, hidden in his garments. But if he makes the resolution, saying: “Never again will I even so much as listen to one who whispers evil suggestions to me,” then God will save him. Usually, the reason for stumbling is that contact with others (non-Ahmadis) is ongoing. They deem it necessary for their subsistence that they should become lukewarm in their relationship here (with our Jama’at). Being lukewarm alienates a person. Then they become proud and go so far as to reject (the truth).”

    (Malfoozat Vol. 2 pg. 361)

    The Imam Mahdi (as) also corrected the saints of the past in many of his writings. For example, in Taudhih-e-Maram (Elucidation of Objectives – an absolutely BEAUTIFUL book that everyone should read), he corrects a statement of Ibn ‘Arabi (rh) that was almost stipulating Wahdat al-Wujud (pantheism).

    So it is evident through his station as Mahdi, Imam al-Zaman (Imam of the Time), Promised Messiah, Ummati Nabi, Khatam al-Khulafa (Seal of the Successors to the Prophet) and Khatam al-Awliya’ (Seal of the Saints) that he outshines all of the previous saints.

    It is also evident through his blessed life: http://www.alislam.org/library/books/Life-of-Ahmad-20080411MN.pdf

    And noble works, some of which I reproduce here:

    “‘The verse of the Quran: “Yea! whoever surrenders himself entirely to Allah and is a Muhsin (has such a strong connection with God that he may be said to see Him at the time of worship), has his reward from his Lord, and there is no fear for such nor shall they grieve” (Al-Baqarah 2:113) alludes to the three important stages of perfect goodness: Fana (self-annihilation), Baqa (regeneration), and Liqa (union with God). The words (2 :113) ‘surrenders himself entirely to Allah’ clearly teach that all our powers, organs, and whatever belongs to us should be surrendered to God and employed in His service, and this state of man is known as Fana or death, for when a man surrenders his whole self and all his powers to the will of God and totally resigns himself to His service with a complete extinction of his selfish desires and pleasures, he doubtless brings upon himself a death which the mystics call Fana.

    The clause that follows, viz., ‘and he is a Muhsin’ alludes to the stage of Baqa (regeneration), for when a man is quickened by the love of God and moves simply in obedience to His will, after a perfect and complete annihilation andforgetfulness of self and after the extinction of all selfish desires, he is granted a second life which may be called Baqa.

    And the clauses that follow, viz, “He has his reward from his Lord, and there is no fear for such, nor shall they grieve” which give a promise of reward, allude to the stage of Liqa or union with God. It is the highest stage of knowledge, certainty, trust and love…

    …Such a state is termed Liqa. The word Muhsin in the above verse most clearly points to this stage, because Ihsan, according to the explanation of our Holy Prophet (sa), signifies a perfect state in which a man has such a connection with the Almighty that he, as it were, sees Him at the time of his worship.

    This state of Liqa is fully realised by the spiritual wayfarer (salik) when his humanity is over-coloured by the Divinity and completely concealed and hidden under it, just as fire overcolours iron in such a way that apparently the iron becomes fire. And it is at this stage that some seekers after God have stumbled. The apparent has been taken for the real. The Awliya’ (friends of God) who attain to this point and those who get a glimpse of it have been called ‘Atfal Allah’ (the children of Allah) by some mystics because they throw themselves, as it were, into the lap of Divine attributes. And just as a son resembles his father in physical features and outward appearance, the beautiful attributes of God are reflected to a certain extent in such men as a result of their efforts to imitate the attributes of God…

    …Now in this stage of Liqa a man sometimes works things which appear superhuman and are a manifestation of Divine power. For instance, our Lord and Master, the Seal of Prophets (sa) threw a handful of pebbles at the infidels in the battle of Badr. But this handful of stones had such an extraordinary effect upon the enemy that not a single eye could escape it. All were blinded and frightened and were seized with panic, and it is to this miracle that the holy verse alludes:

    “When thou didst cast, not thou but God didst cast.” (Al-Anfal 8:18)

    A human being could not do it, it was the hidden Divine power that did it…

    …It should also be clearly understood that after the realisation of the stage of self-annihilation, Fana according to the mystics, and Istiqamat (steadfastness) according to the Holy Qur’an, the stages of Baqa and Liqa immediately follow. Fana means total forgetfulness of self, complete extinction of desire, and perfect surrender of will. As soon as this stage is secured, the stage of Baqa begins, and is fully realised, when this state becomes quite permanent, when complete submission to God becomes a natural propensity, when the green and blooming offshoots of obedience sprout from the heart like a natural growth, when all that is looked upon as ours becomes God’s, when the sweetest pleasures consist in his adoration and remembrance of God, and when personal desires give place to the will of God.

    Now begins the third stage. The second stage being fully realised and secured, the third condition enters into the very flesh and bones of the spiritual wayfarer and becomes part and parcel of his nature. A light descends from heaven and Divine luster illumines everything. A most sweet and pleasant love which we never before experienced sweetens the heart. Coolness, tranquility, joy and delight fill the heart as if a very dear friend, long separated from us, had suddenly come and embraced us. Words of God, lucid, delicious, blessed, delightful, rhetorical, fragrant and cheerful, begin to descend upon the holy man while standing, sitting, sleeping or waking, and it appears as if, a cool, gentle and fragrant morning breeze has come from over a garden, laden with intoxicating perfume and delight. He is drawn to God and always meditates upon Him. Life without His Love is with him an utter impossibility. He is not simply ready to sacrifice his life, property, honour and children and whatever belongs to him for His sake but he has already sacrificed everything in his heart. He feels that he is very strongly drawn and attracted but he does not know what has happened to him. He finds the heavenly light fast spreading within him like broad daylight.

    Having attained to this last stage, a man feels that he has been cleansed by many pure waters and that, all the tendons of his self having been cut, he has been created a second time and, the throne (al-’Arsh) of the Creator and Sustainer of all the worlds (Rabb al-’Alamin) has been placed within him whereon sits for ever in transcendent purity and beauty God, the Holiest, with His charming face shining with its heavenly lustre.

    But at the same time it should be remembered that these two last stages of Baqa and Liqa are not in any way acquired, but God-given gifts. Efforts and endeavours can take us only to the stage of Fana and no further. The Holy journey of all pious people comes to an end at this stage, and the circle of human excellences is complete at this point. And when the pious have attained to this stage, then all at once there blows a gentle breeze of heavenly bliss over them and takes them to the stages of Baqa and Liqa.”

    (“Mirror of the Excellences of Islam” by Seyyidina Ahmad al-Imam al-Mahdi)

    “For thirty five years, I have observed that revelation which is the source of spiritual understanding and of the knowledge of the unseen descends upon the heart. Very often a voice strikes the heart with force, as a bucket is thrown with force into a well full of water, and that water of the heart surges up like a closed blossom and arriving near the brain blooms like a flower and gives birth to words which are words of the Divine. These spiritual experiences establish that the brain is not concerned with knowledge and true understanding. It is true that if the brain is healthy and suffers from no defect it is benefited by the secret knowledge possessed by the heart, and as the brain is the centre of the nervous system it is like a machine which can pump up water from the well. The heart is the well which is the fountainhead of hidden knowledge. This is a secret that has been discovered by men of truth through true visions and I myself have experience of it.”
    (“Fountain of Divine Gnosis” by Seyyidina Ahmad al-Imam al-Mahdi)

    ““In case it is asked, if this spiritual station is already occupied by my humble person and the Messiah (son of Mary), what station would remain for our lord and master, the best of Messengers (Seyyid al-Rusul) and the Seal of Prophets (al-Khātam al-Nabiyyeen), the Holy Prophet Muhammad (ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه و سلم)? Let it be clear that his is the most exalted and superior station, the sole occupant of which is the Holy Prophet (ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه و سلم) —the Perfect Man (al-Insān al-Kāmil الإنسان الكامل) — alone. No one else can even remotely approach its unsurpassing quality—let alone attain it.

    In order to get an idea of the great spiritual station of the Holy Prophet (ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه و سلم), it must be pointed out that the stations of love and of close relationship to Allāh in the context of spiritual levels are of three kinds.
    The lowest level which in its own right is exalted enough, is where the flames of Divine love do warm the human heart even to the extent that the resultant warmth sometimes begins to function quite like fire; yet it falls short of being radiant like it. As the flames of Divine love (al-Habb Allāh) fall on love at this level, the warmth generated by these flames may be described as Peace (salām) and Tranquility and sometimes even as Angels (malā’ikah).

    The second level of love has already been described above. At this level, the two loves meet; the flame of Divine love heats up the human heart to the extent that it begins to glow like fire but its flames are not angry or aggressive but only lambent and are described as Ruh al-Quddus (The Holy Spirit).

    At the third level of love, the blazing flames of Divine love fall on the inflammable wick of human love and set it afire, enveloping it in all its parts and ramifications, and transforming it into its complete and perfect manifestation. In this condition, the fire of Divine love not only lends the human heart a kind of glow, but all of a sudden, the entire being (of the recipient) also catches fire; its flames illuminate the environs quite like the bright day. Not a vestige of darkness remains. One’s entire being turns into light, complete with its fiery qualities. This condition which is so ablaze, comes into being with the union of the two loves and is known as Ruhul al-Amin (The Protective Spirit), for it provides immunity against every kind of darkness and is free from any estrangement. Its other name is Shadeed al-Quwwah (Extreme Strength) because the revelational experience it denotes is of the mightiest degree. A mightier revelation is unthinkable. It is also called Dhul Ufuqil A‘la —the master of the loftiest horizon — because it is a manifestation of Divine revelation of the highest order. It is also known as R’a mā R’a (He saw what He saw), for the comprehension of this condition is beyond human ken, imagination, or fancy.

    This super-condition was vouchsafed to the one and only person in the entire world namely the Perfect Man. He alone is the culmination and apex of human excellence. It is in his person that the evolutionary cycle of human potentiality reached absolute perfection. Indeed he is the last point on the higher scale of the extended line of God’s creation and constitutes the absolute pinnacle of all spiritual heights. Divine wisdom initiated the evolutionary process at the lowest level of creation with the meanest of creatures and caused it to attain the highest point, the other name of which is Muhammad — peace and blessings of God be upon him صلى الله عليه و سلم. The name Muhammad (ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه و سلم) signifies the most praised one or the one who is the supreme embodiment of all perfection and excellence. Just as the Holy Prophet’s (ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه و سلم) innate spiritual station was extremely exalted and so high and lofty, the quality of revelation vouchsafed to him was also very high.

    It is too exalted a station for me or the Messiah (‘Eisa bin Maryam [‘alayhi al-salam]) to attain.

    It is known as the Meeting Point or the point (nuqtah) of Absolute Union. The earlier Prophets who foretold the coming of the Holy Prophet (ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه و سلم) envisaged the same station and its hallmark. Indeed it was to this unique station that they chose to refer.

    Furthermore, the spiritual station the Messiah and I share, could figuratively be described as that of being the spiritual son of the Holy Prophet (ṣallAllāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه و سلم). His spiritual station is in fact so lofty that the earlier Prophets described the coming of its occupant as if it were the coming of God Himself.”
    – Haḍrat Mirza Ghulām Ahmad مرزا غلام احمد, al-Masih al-Mau’ood wa’l Mahdi al-Mau’ood wa’l Imam al-Akhareen (‘alayhi al-salam عليها السلام) in his book Tau‎ḍih-e-Marām (Elucidation of Objectives)
    http://www.alislam.org/library/books/elucidation/Elucidation-of-Objectives.pdf

    “Verily the Fatiha is a holy plant that yields constantly the fruits of pure insight and fills one with drink from the goblets of truth and wisdom. When a person opens his heart to admit its light, that light enters therein and makes it aware of its mysteries, and whoso shuts this door draws, by his own act, darkness upon himself and witnesses his own ruin and joins the spiritually dead…

    …The Fatiha is truly at once a fortified castle, a bright light, a teacher and a helper. It secures the commandments of the Qur’an against addition or subtraction like securing the frontiers of a realm thus preserving its integrity. It may be compared to a camel carrying every needed provision by way of food, drink, clothing etc. that transports its rider to the land of the beloved. Or it is like a reservoir with an abundant supply of water as if it were the confluence of many streams or the channel of a mighty river. I find that the benefits of this noble Surah and its fine qualities are beyond count and defy computation and that it is not within human capacity to enumerate them, even if one were to dedicate a whole lifetime to this enterprise…

    …To be more explicit. The attributes together with the name of the Supreme Being mentioned in the beginning of this Surah, that is Allah, Rabbil-aalameen, ar-Rahman, ar-Rahim and Malike Yaumiddeen constitute, as it were, five oceans.”

    (Tafsir Surah al-Fatihah by Seyyidina Ahmad, al-Imam al-Mahdi – a book of compilations of writings of the Imam Mahdi written mostly in eloquent classical Arabic which were tafasir of Surah al-Fatihah, which reach upwards of 400 pages when compiled together)
    http://www.alislam.org/quran/Commentary-on-Surah-Fatiha.pdf

    “Say, ‘If every ocean becomes ink for the words of my Lord, surely, the ocean would be exhausted before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even though We brought the like thereof as further help.’” (The Holy Qur’an 18:110)

    “The Holy Qur’an is not matchless merely on account of the beauty of its composition, but is matchless on account of all its excellences which it claims to comprise and that is the truth, for whatever proceeds from God Almighty is not unique only on account of one quality but on account of every one of its qualities. Those who do not accept the Holy Qur’an as comprehensive of unlimited eternal truths and insights, do not value the Qur’an as it should be valued. A necessary sign for the recognition of the holy and true Word of God is that it should be unique in all its qualities, for we observe that whatever proceeds from God Almighty is unique and matchless even if it is only a grain of barley, and human powers cannot match it. Being matchless means being unlimited, that is to say, a thing can be matchless only when its wonders and qualities are unlimited and have no end. As we have just stated, this characteristic is found in everything created by God Almighty. For instance, if the wonders of a leaf of a tree are investigated for a thousand years, that period would come to an end, but the wonders of the leaf will not come to an end. That which has come into being through unlimited power, must comprise unlimited wonders and qualities. The verse,

    “Say, ‘If every ocean becomes ink for the words of my Lord, surely, the ocean would be exhausted before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even though We brought the like thereof as further help;’” (18:110)

    supports this, for the whole of creation is Words of God.

    …. Thus this verse means that the qualities of creation are without limit and endless. Now when every created thing possesses unlimited and endless qualities and comprises numberless wonders then how could the Holy Qur’an, which is the Holy Word of God Almighty, be confined to the few meanings which may be set out in a commentary of forty or fifty or a thousand volumes, or could have been expounded by our lord and master the Holy Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be on him] in a limited period? To say so would almost amount to disbelief, if it is deliberately persisted in. It is true that whatever the Holy Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be on him] has set forth as the meaning of the Holy Qur’an is true and correct, but it is not true that the Holy Qur’an contains no more than the insights that have been set forth by the Holy Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be on him]. Such sayings of our opponents indicate that they do not believe in the unlimited greatness and qualities of the Holy Qur’an.

    Whereas the Holy Quran says, “Say, ‘If every ocean becomes ink for the words of my Lord, surely, the ocean would be exhausted before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even though We brought the like thereof as further help.’” (al-Qur’an al-Karim 18:110)”
    (“Noble Virtues of the Truthful” by Seyyidina Ahmad, al-Imam al-Mahdi – an Arabic book of Divine eloquence composed by the Promised Messiah)

    “It is the attraction which the True Creator has implanted in the nature of man. The same attraction comes into play whenever a person feels love for another. It is a reflection of the attraction that is inherent in man’s nature towards God, as if he is in search of something that he misses, the name of which he has forgotten and which he seeks to find in one thing or another which he takes up from time to time. A person’s love of wealth or offspring or wife or his soul being attracted towards a musical voice are all indications of his search for the True Beloved. As man cannot behold with his physical eyes the Imperceptible Being, Who is latent like the quality of fire in everyone, but is hidden, nor can he discover Him through the mere exercise of imperfect reason, he has been misled grievously in his search and has mistakenly assigned His position to others.

    The Holy Qur’an has, in this context, set forth an excellent illustration, to the effect that the world is like a palace, the floor of which is paved with smooth slabs of glass, under which flows a rapid current of water. Every eye that beholds this floor mistakenly imagines it to be running water. A person fears to tread upon the floor as he would be afraid of treading upon running water, though in reality the floor is only paved with smooth transparent slabs of glass. Thus these heavenly bodies like the sun and the moon etc. are the smooth and transparent slabs of glass under which a great power is in operation like a fast flowing current of water. It is a great mistake on the part of those who worship these heavenly bodies that they attribute to them that which is manifested by the power that operates behind them…

    …’All that is in the heavens and the earth glorifies Him, and He is the Mighty, the Wise.’ (The Holy Qur’an, al-Hashr 59:25)

    The dwellers of the heaven and the dwellers of the earth glorify Him. This is an indication that the heavenly bodies are also populated and their dwellers follow Divine guidance…

    …Such a one shares with his fellow beings, according to their respective ranks, the bounties with which God has favoured him, like knowledge, understanding, wealth and means of comfort. He sheds his light like the sun upon the whole of mankind, and like the moon, acquiring light from God, conveys it to others. Being illumined like the day he shows the paths of virtue and goodness to others, and like the night he covers up their weaknesses and provides comfort for those who are weary. Like the sky he provides shelter under his shade for everyone who is in need, and pours down the rain of grace at its proper time. Like the earth, out of utter humility, he becomes like a floor for everyone’s comfort and gathers them close to afford them security, and offers them diverse types of spiritual fruits.
    In this context, God Almighty has said:

    ‘By the sun and its growing brightness, And by the moon when it follows it (the sun), And by the day when it reveals its glory, And by the night when it draws a veil over it, And by the heaven and its making, And by the earth and its spreading out, And by the soul and its perfection—And He revealed to it what is wrong for it and what is right for it—He indeed truly prospers who purifies it, And he who corrupts it is ruined.” (The Holy Qur’an, al-Shams 91:2-11)

    …The windows of heaven are about to open, the day is about to dawn. Blessed are those who should rise up and seek the True God, the One Who is not overtaken by any calamity, the brilliance of Whose Glory is never dimmed. It is said in the Holy Qur’an:

    ‘Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.’ (The Holy Qur’an, al-Nur 24:36)
    meaning that all the light of the heavens and the earth proceeds from God and lights up everything. He is the Sun that bestows light upon the sun, and He is the life of all the animates in the earth. He is the True Living God. Blessed are those who accept Him…

    …’By the cloud which gives rain after rain, And by the earth which opens out with herbage, It is surely a decisive word, And it is not a useless talk.’ (The Holy Qur’an, at-Tariq 86:12-15)

    Here God Almighty has set forth a well known law of nature in support of the truth of the Holy Qur’an, which is His Word. It is a matter of common observation that at a time of need rain comes down from heaven and that the vegetation of the earth all depends upon rain. When rain is held back then gradually the wells also run dry, so that the water in the earth also depends upon rain from heaven. That is why in the rainy season the level of the water in the wells also rises, the reason for which is that heavenly water exercises a pull upon earthly water. The same is the relationship between divine revelation and human reason. Divine revelation is heavenly water and reason is earthly water which receives sustenance from heavenly water. When heavenly water, that is to say, divine revelation, is held back, the earthly water also dries up gradually. That is the reason why, when a long time passes and no recipient of revelation appears on the earth, the reason of the wise is corrupted, as earthly water is corrupted and dries up.

    To appreciate this phenomenon it would be enough to cast a glance at the condition of the world immediately before the advent of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. As six hundred years had passed after the time of Jesus (as), and no recipient of revelation had appeared during the interval, the whole world had been corrupted.”
    (“Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam” by Seyyidina Ahmad al-Imam al-Mahdi – a most beautiful metaphysical, philosophical and mystical work on the inner verities of Islam)
    http://www.alislam.org/library/books/Philosophy-of-Teachings-of-Islam.pdf

  12. As far as our Hadith Science is concerned, it is not any different from the classical scholars of Islam:

    “The fundamental principles of this knowledge are that the integrity of every instance can be tested on the basis of two methods, and unless its authenticity is evidently established by both methods, one cannot vest full confidence in it. The first method is of Riwāyat. In other words, the objective is to test the external testimonies of the instance which has been narrated. Hence the purpose is to determine whether the channel through which the narration has reached us is adequately reliable or not.

    The second method is of Dirāyat. In other words, the objective is to put to trial the internal testimonies of the instance that has been narrated. That is, irrespective of the channel through which the narration has reached us, whether the instance in itself and on the basis of its environment, can be presumed to be true and authentic. Therefore, in order to audit the validity of all narrations as well as historical documentation, these two fundamental principles were invented by the Muslims.

    The Muslims have followed these principles since the advent of Islām.

    On the basis of these two fundamental principles, many terms and conditions worthy of consideration have been specified. The most common of these terms are mentioned below.

    In accordance with the principles of Riwāyat, the following terms have been deemed most significant:

    1. The narrator should be well-known.
    2. The narrator should be truthful in speech and honest.
    3. The narrator should possess the ability to comprehend and rationalize.
    4. The narrator should possess a sound memory.
    5. The narrator should not be one to habitually exaggerate, summarize or sway original reports in any way.
    6. The narrator should not have a personal interest in the narration that is related, lest one may categorize the narrator as biased.
    7. The encounter of two narrators who come after one another must be acceptable, based on their time periods and circumstances.
    8. All the links of the narration should be fully preserved and no narrator should be missing from the top, middle or bottom.
    9. As per the above mentioned characteristics, the solidity of any narration increases with an increase in the credibility and trustworthiness of its narrators.
    10. In the same manner, the strength and authenticity of a narration multiplies as the number of credible narrators increases.

    In conformity with the principles of Dirāyat the following terms have
    been deemed most significant:

    1. The narration should not be contradictory to any reliable and authentic historical record. In accordance with this principle any narration which contradicts the Holy Qur’ān, must be disregarded.
    2. The narration should not clash with any evidently proven fact.
    3. The narration should not be contradictory to any narration of greater authenticity.
    4. The narration should not be of an incident which, if true, should have a greater number of people to testify to it, yet only one narrator is existent.
    5. The narration should not have such elements as can be negated or considered ambiguous by common sense.

    (These principles are taken from:
    * Fatḥul-Mugīth, By Ḥāfiẓ Zain-ud-Dīn ‘Abdur-Raḥīm bin Ḥusain Al-‘Irāqī
    * Al-Mauḍu‘ātul-Kubrā, By Mullā ‘Alī bin Muḥammad Sulṭān Qārī, pp.291-326, “Al UmūrulKulliyyatillatī…..Al-Ḥadīthu Mauḍu‘an”, Qadīmī Kutub Khānah, Ārām Bāgh, Karachi
    * Muqaddamah Ibni Ṣalāḥ, An-Nau‘us-Sādisu wa ‘Ishrūn, pp. 83-96, Maṭba‘us Sa‘ādah Miṣr, First Edition (1326 A.H.))”

    If you read pages 13-23 of this book: http://www.alislam.org/holyprophet/Seal-of-Prophets-Vol-1.pdf , from which the above excerpt is given, any fair-minded individual may see that the Ahmadi science of Hadith is the same as that of the classical scholars. Namely, Riwayah has precedence, but Dirayah is not fully ignored either. This is backed up by various Ahadith and athars of the Sahabah and classical scholars themselves, who did the same (as can be read about in the book as applying to Hadrat ‘Umar, Hadrat ‘A’ishah, and others, radiAllahu ‘anhum).

  13. As according to Ahadith (Narrations of the Prophet Muhammad [sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam]):

    al-Masīḥ al-Maʿūd (Promised Messiah):
    – Yaksuru’l-salīb (break the cross)
    – Yaqtulu’l-khinzīr (kill the swine)
    – Yaḍaʿu’l-ḥarb / Yaḍaʿu’l-jizya awzāruhā (end war / end [the necessity for taking] Jizya)
    – He will spread wealth but people will not want to take it

    Imam Mahdī al-Maʿhūd:
    – Imāmukum minkum – He will be your Imam from amongst yourselves
    – Ḥakam – He will be the Arbiter (of Fiqh and other Islamic matters)
    – ʿĀdil – He will deal justly amongst the people

    (To check Ahādith: http://hadith.al-islam.com/Loader.aspx?pageid=261)

    There are many authentic Ahādith that deal with these aspects of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi but 1 in particular states that Masih and Mahdi and their respective qualities are in fact the same person:

    عن أبي هريرة عن النبي ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏قال ‏يوشك من عاش منكم أن يلقى ‏عيسى ابن مريم ‏ ‏إماما مهديا وحكما عدلا فيكسر الصليب ويقتل الخنزير ويضع ‏ ‏الجزية ‏ ‏وتضع الحرب ‏ ‏أوزارها ‏

    Translation (by myself):

    Abū Hurayrah (radiAllahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

    “Whosoever from amongst you that is living when ‘Īsa (Jesus) son of Maryam (Mary) arrives (yalaqa), (he is) the Imām Mahdī and Hakam ‘Adil (Just Arbiter), (he will) then break the cross (yaksaru al-Salīb) and kill the swine (yaqtalu al-Khinzīr) and put Jizyah (yada’ al-Jizyah) and war (yada’ al-Harb) to an end (awzāruhā).” (Musnad Ahmad, Hadith #9002)

    The hadīth clearly states that “Īsa ibn Maryam Imāman Mahdīyan” (Jesus son of Mary is the Imam Mahdī). Further proof of this is that the qualities of the Masīh (breaking the cross, killing the pig, and putting an end to war and jizyah) are simultaneously put together with the qualities of the Mahdī (being Hakam ‘Adil).

    Furthermore, it is narrated:

    أن رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏قال ‏ ‏لا يزداد الأمر إلا شدة ولا الدنيا إلا إدبارا ولا الناس إلا ‏ ‏شحا ‏ ‏ولا تقوم الساعة إلا على شرار الناس ولا المهدي إلا ‏ ‏عيسى ابن مريم

    The Messenger of Allah said:

    “…Lā Mahdīyun illā ‘Īsa ibn Maryam – There is no Mahdī except Jesus son of Mary.” (Ibn Mājāh, Hadith #5579)

    Also, the Prophet (sa) gives 2 different physical descriptions of Jesus of Nazareth who lived 2,000 years ago, and the person who is to come in the spirit of Jesus (as) whom he calls “Messiah son of Mary”.

    During his Mi’rāj (Night Journey to Heaven), it is narrated that he saw Jesus of Nazareth (as), the Prophet and Messiah sent unto the Israelites in Heaven with the other deceased Prophets of the past:

    “Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “I saw Jesus, Moses and Abraham. Jesus was of a rosy complexion, with curly hair, and a broad chest. As for Moses, he was of a brown complexion and stout, with straight hair, and in this he resembled the men of Al-Zutt.“ (Sahīh al-Bukhāri, Kitāb al-Anbiya, Hadith #3255)

    Then in the same book, which is considered as the most authentic Islamic narrative ba’da al-Qur’ān (after the Qur’ān) under the ijmā’ of all of the scholars of Islām of the past and present, the Prophet (sa) gives a description of the Messiah who is to come, whom he saw in a kashf (spiritual vision). Note that it is the same narrator of the Hadith (Ibn ‘Umar) and same compilation of Ahadith (Sahih al-Bukhari):

    Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah said:

    “I saw myself by the Ka’bah last night and saw a brown-skinned man – the best (that can be seen) of this complexion – with straight hair down to the his earlobes – the best (that can be seen) of this type of hair – and he had combed his hair, from which water was dripping, and he was performing the Tawaf (circumambulation) around the Ka’bah while leaning on the shoulders of two men. I asked, “Who is this man?” Someone said,”The Messiah, son of Mary.”

    Then I saw another man with bushy hair and who was blind in the right eye; that eye was like a prominent grape. I asked, “Who is this?” It was said,”The Antichrist Messiah (al-Masih al-Dajjal).” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Book of Interpretation of Dreams, Hadith #6508)

    Any fair-minded individual may see the clear explanation of Masih al-Dajjal as according to Classical (fus’ha) Arabic lexicon, Qur’an, and Hadith, as having already appeared along with Ya’juj and Ma’juj (Gog and Magog), here: https://theartofmisinformation.wordpress.com/2011/09/03/the-dajjal-2/

    This is the view taken by many contemporary intelligent non-Ahmadi shuyūkh as well, such as Shaykh Hamzah Yusuf (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0w3Z9s8oVK8) and Shaykh Imran Hussayn (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8sPNHC9lt4).

    So it can be seen that Jesus (who has passed away) had a rosy-white complexion and curly hair, and the Messiah who is to come in the spirit of Jesus (as the Qur’an, Ahadith, and consensus of Abu Bakr (ra) and the Sahabah, and many later awliya’Allah such as Imam Malik, Ibn al-Qayyim, Ibn Taymiyyah, and others stated that Jesus is dead) has light brown skin (wheatish) with straight hair.

    This indicates they are 2 different people (the Messiah of the Israelites, and Messiah of the Muslims). The word “nuzūl” does not mean to physically descend in all instances, as can be seen in the Qur’ān itself many times when Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) says that He has “sent down the Messenger, or the Qur’ān, or cows, or cattle” using the same word “nuzūl”. Therefore in any Ahadith where it is indicated that the Messiah shall appear to the east of Damascus, Syria near a White Minaret using the word “nuzūl”, it indicates that the word in that instance means he shall “appear” and not physically descend, as Jesus (as) is dead.

    Furthermore, the Messiah and Imam Mahdi are the same person, as can be seen by the 2 authentic Ahadith given in the beginning. In addition to those, there is an interesting Hadith narrated by Abū Sa’īd al-Khudrī (ra), who is the seventh most prolific transmitter of Ahadith:

    Abū Sa’īd al-Khudrī narrated, that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
    “If the bay’ah (oath of allegiance) has been taken for two caliphs, kill the one for whom the oath was taken later.” (Sahih Muslim – Hadith 4568)

    This indicates that the Ummah can never have 2 Leaders (like the Israelites did with Mūsa (as) and Harūn (as)) but only 1. Therefore the belief that Jesus will pray behind the Imam Mahdi is shattered to pieces, seeing as there cannot be 2 Imams of the Ummah, to the extent that the latter one – according to the Prophet (sa) – should be killed (ie. showing the severity of understanding there should only be 1 Imam of the Ummah).

    As far as yaksuru’l-salīb (breaking the cross) is concerned, the authentic and classical view of this is given by Badr al-Din al-Aynī (rh) in his well known commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari, “Umdah al-Qari fī Sharh Sahīh al-Bukhari” that this means to refute Christian doctrines and put an end to the dominance of Christianity as a world superpower.

    If you understand our understanding of Dajjal, the Dajjal itself constitutes the superpowers of the world that come from the false Christian tradition of today that are masters of merchandise and commerce (as can be seen by the first 10 verses of Surah al-Kahf in which it says to warn Christians that Allah did not have a son, and the 10th verse which states that out of the Ashab al-Kahf – the People of the Cave, or early monotheistic Messianic Jews – arose the Ashab al-Raqīm – the People of the Inscription (the word raqīm coming from the root word raqama, meaning to write down a price on articles of trade and commerce). Another hadith reveals that the Dajjal (Christian/Communist nations) shall be defeated by the breath of the Promised Messiah, and another one reveals that:

    “So when he makes his appearance and I am in your midst, I will overpower him with arguments on behalf of every Muslim; but if he appears after me, everyone should argue with him on their own behalf.” (Kanz al-‘Ummal Vol 7. #2076, 2025, 2079)

    To this effect, Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (‘alayhi al-salam) engaged in hundreds of debates with prominent Christian priests of his time and wrote voluminous books and thousands of letters refuting the Christian dogma, including his stalwart work, “Barāhīn-e-Ahmadīyyah ‘alā Haqīqah Kitāb Allāh al-Qur’ān wa al-Nabūwwah al-Muhammadīyyah” (Proofs of the Truth of the Book of Allah – the Qur’an, and the Prophethood of Muhammad). This was at a time that the Christians were a dominant superpower of the world and especially in India, where thousands upon thousands of Muslims were becoming Christians by the day. His efforts went so far that the Catholic Church has banned the literature of al-Jama’ah al-Islamiyyah al-Ahmadiyyah out of fear that it will convert its masses (being so rational and true).

    As far as distributing wealth that no one will want to take, brother MuslimFirst is a prime example of that, a person who does not want to read the books of the Promised Messiah, like many other Muslims and non-Muslims today. The corpus of books the Promised Messiah produced is called Ruhānī Khazā’in (Spiritual Treasures) for a reason. He said, ““The treasures that laid buried for more than a thousand years; are now being distributed by me to the one who is ready to accept them.” ([Translation of an Urdu couplet] Barahin-e-Ahmadiyyah, vol. 5, p. 117, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 21, p. 147)
    http://www.alislam.org/library/books/Hidden-Treasures-of-Islam.pdf

    As far as yaqtulu’l-khinzīr (kill the swine) is concerned, I have studied a book of Imam Ghazali (rahmatAllahu ‘alayh) called Kitab Sharhi ‘Ajā’ib al-Qalb (Book of the Beautiful Mysteries of the Heart) in which Imam Ghazali, Hujjah wa Mujjadid al-Islam, states that there are 3 states of soul that are inclined to sin:

    – Khinzīr al-Shahwah (Pig of Carnal Desires)
    – Kalb al-Ghadhab (Dog of Anger)
    – Shaytan al-Nafs (Demon of Soul)

    If it is understood that “khinzīr” here is a metaphor for “carnal desires” therefore it is fitting that the Prophet (sa) said the Messiah shall kill this pig of carnal desires, and not go around killing every pig, a feat which cannot be done by one man alone, serves no purpose, and is irrational. Another meaning of this is that when Muslims become the majority of the world (which Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad said would happen approx. 300 years after his death) the consumption of swine shall altogether be abandoned. In terms of him killing this pig of carnal desires, the 6th condition of Bay’ah has stipulated by our spiritual master the Imam Mahdi himself, is that:

    “That the murīd (initiate) refrain from following un-islamic customs and lustful inclinations, and shall completely submit himself/herself to the authority of the Holy Quran; and shall make the Word of God and the Sayings of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) the guiding principle in every walk of his/her life.”

    As far as yaḍaʿu’l-ḥarb / yaḍaʿu’l-jizya awzāruhā (ending war / end [the necessity for taking] Jizya) is concerned, the Promised Messiah (as) was a man of peace, to the extent that his final book written a day before his death was called “Message of Peace” having abolished the need for violent Jihād in modern times and replacing it with the need for Ijtihād (research) and Jihād bi al-Qalam (Striving for the Glory of Islam through the Pen), and emphasizing what was already known as the Greater Jihād of the Nafs, or the Purification of the Soul. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community furthermore is known as being peaceful in its entirety and has always been like that. As far as Jihad of the Nafs is concerned, he elucidated upon this matter in a very lucid and beautiful way in many of his books such as Chashma-e-Ma’rifat (Fountain of Divine Gnosis), Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam, and his various lectures.

    In one Jalsa Salana held in Lahore, he explained the tafsir of the following verse of the Qur’an:

    [8:61] And make ready for them whatever you can of armed force and of horses at the frontier, whereby you may frighten the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you know not, but Allah knows them.

    He explained that today, the horse you need to train is your nafs (soul), whereby you may frighten the enemy of Allah of your shahawāt and hawā (desires). He said that a person who engages in this inner battle with his soul is known as a Muttaqī (Spiritual Warrior). Some Muttaqīn fall and lose the battle. These people become atheists or Christians. Others however, win this inner battle and their soul goes to a stage of Nafs al-Mutma’innah (Soul at Peace) like the eye of a storm in a hurricane. At this point they are not Muttaqīn anymore, but now known as Salihīn. As a Muttaqī, your Salah is thawāb (reward) for you, but as a Salih, it ceases to become thawāb but is in fact the reason for your existence and in which your Heaven on Earth and eternal happiness lies.

    As far as the Imam Mahdi being Imāmukum minkum (Imam from amongst yourselves), Ḥakam (Arbiter of Fiqh and other Islamic matters), and ʿĀdil (just ruler), Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) was all these things. As Ibn ʿArabi states in his Kitab al-Mahdi that the Mahdi shall make new fatāwa not based on his hawā (desires) or ijtihād or the 4 classical madhāhib (Hanafi, Hanbali, Maliki and Shafiʿi) but based on direct revelation (ilham) from Allah, and it is for this reason that the people shall reject him saying he is not practicing Islam as is understood by the fiqh of the 4 Classical Schools of Thought, this is exactly what happened. He further, as Hakam, said that his followers should follow the fuquha’ of the Hanafi madhhab, which is what we do, and by inference it is understood that the Usul of the Hanafi madhhab should also be used. He said that if all these sources have been taken into account but still no answer can be understood for a predicament, then the ʿUlama of the Jama’at should make a judgement themselves, as understood by the hadith in which the Prophet (sa) said “Istaftu Qalbik – Make a fatwa with your own heart (as your guide)”.

    Now the verdict of the Prophet Muhammad (sa) is given in Sahih al-Bukhari in regards to who the Akharina Minhum (the latter ones) are to whom the Prophet (sa) shall appear a second time, in that a person from Persia (from the people of Salman al-Farsi) shall revive the faith of Islam which shall have ascended to the heavens in his time. This is a time described in the Qur’an as being when the Prophet Muhammad (sa) shall say:

    [25:31] And the Messenger will say, ‘O my Lord, my people indeed treated this Qur’an as an abandoned thing.’

    Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) was that Persian man (Mirza being a title of Persian royalty) who was a descendant of the Prophet (sa) through Hadrat Fatima Zahra (radiAllahu ‘anha) through his mother’s side.

    As far as location of the Imam Mahdi, there are many contradictory locations given in the Ahadith such as that he shall appear in Bayt al-Muqqadas in Jerusalem, in Mekkah, in Madinah, in Yemen, in Khorasan (Persia), in India, and in other places.

    The following Ahadith are interesting:

    “A group will fight in al-Hind (India). They will be with the Imam al-Mahdi whose name shall be Ahmad.” (Imam Bukhari has narrated this)

    “There will be two parties in my People whom Allah has saved from the fire; one of them will fight in India and the other party will be with Isa bin Maryam (as)” (Musnad Ahmad, Vol. 5 and Sunan al-Nasa’i, Vol. 2)

    ”The Holy Prophet (saw) has said that People will rise from the East (al-Mashriq) who would inform about the place of Mahdi who would be their leader that is to say that they will support him and will assist him in his task.” (Bihār al-Anwār, Vol. 13; Abū Dawūd, Vol. 2, and Ibn Mājāh)

    ”Yakhruj al-Mahdīyu min Qaryatin Yuqalu lahā Kadā’ah – The Mahdi will appear in a village called Kadā’ah.” (Jawāhir al-Asrār, pg. 55)

    The word qaryah means village, and it is indeed the same word used in the Qur’an to indicate the coming of the Mahdi (from the village of Qadian, ie. Kadā’ah).

    As far as the time of the Mahdi, the following narrations should suffice:

    ‘Islam will have three centuries of greatness after which, it will ascend back to the heaven for a thousand years.’ (Bukhari, vol. 4).

    ‘People will gather around the Imam al-Mahdi in the year 1400 AH.’ (Risalat al-Huruj al-Mahdi, pg. 108)

    ‘The Mahdi shall appear in the 14th Century’ (Mishkat al-Masabih, Book of Fitan, Chapter III, section III)

    ‘The Imam Mahdi shall appear in the 14th Century’ (al-Najm al-Thāqib dar Ahwāl Imām al-Ghayb by classical Muhaddith, al-Hajj Mirza Hussayn al-Nuri al-Tabarsi; more about the book and author: http://iec-md.org/bookstore/e-library/Imam%20Mahdi's%20Articles/books/najsaqib.htm)

    One of the greatest signs of the Mahdi, which cannot be forged by humans but is most certainly the Will of God Himself, and is narrated in the Biblical, Native American (of North, Central and South Americas), Hindu, and other traditions of coming to pass for the Promised One, is the eclipse of the sun and moon.

    (Note: as far as the Native American traditions are concerned, they also tell of the coming of the Messiah from the East, who shall have light brown skin and a voluminous beard, and of a great nation of colonialist Caucasian people conquering their lands and becoming the world superpower using their vehicles of the car, train, and plane known as “Bahanna” in the Native tradition and Dajjal in the Islamic).

    [75:9] Wa Khasafa al-Qamar – And the Full Moon is eclipsed.
    [75:10] Wa Jumi’ al-Shamsu wa al-Qamaru – And the sun and the moon are brought together.

    Seyyidina Imam Baqar Muhammad ibn ‘Alī narrated that the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

    For our Mahdi (Divine Reformer) there are two signs (Āyatayn) which have never appeared before since the creation of the heavens and the earth, namely the Full Moon (al-Qamar) will be eclipsed on the first night in Ramadan (i.e. on the first of the nights on which a lunar eclipse can occur) and the sun will be eclipsed in its middle (i.e. on the middle day of the days on which a solar eclipse can occur), and these signs have not appeared since God created the heavens and the earth. (Compilation of Daraqutni, Vol 1, page 188)

    To analyze this Hadith by Dirāyah, this is in exact confirmation of the Surah al-Qayamah where the eclipses are mentioned.

    In terms of Riwāyah, the Hadith was narrated by Shaykh al-Islam ‘Ali ibn ‘Umar al-Daraqutni (radiAllahu ‘anhu) (306 – 385) who, it should be mentioned, rapidly acquired Arabic literature and became known for his knowledge of the Islamic sciences, in particular that of ‘Ilm al-Hadith (the traditions of the Prophet). He also learnt the 7 variant readings of the Qur’an (qira’at) and was the first Islamic scholar to write a book about it. He was a master in Hadith Science, Qira’at, Fiqh, Adab (Arabic literature), and Maghāzī (historiography of the battles of the Prophet Muhammad (sa)).

    He was recognized for his wide and critical knowledge of Hadith. He had many renowned students, from Abu Nu’ayam al-Isfahani and the Muhaddith Ghani ibn Sa’id al-Hakim who himself narrates traditions from about 2,000 individuals. Imam Ghani ibn Sa’id al-Hakim remarked about al-Daraqutni that he ‘never met such a scholar as al-Daraqutni’.

    Imam al-Daraqutni checked all the Ahadith which he came upon and he finally inserted the authentic and sound ones into his Sunan, making sure of their reliability i.e. the isnads (chains of narration) and also clearly pointed to those which were adjudged to be weak, and making every attempt to fix their degree of reliability and also the reliability of the narrators and their characters.

    Not only did Imam al-Daraqutni narrate this as a specific sign for the Mahdi, but Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi (rh), also known as Mujjadid Alf Thani (Centennial Reformer of the Second Millennium of Islam) and Imam Rabbani, also narrated the sign of the eclipses being a sign for the true Imam al-Mahdi. He wrote:

    “During his [Mahdi’s] reign, on the fourteenth of the Ramadan, a solar eclipse will occur. On the first of that month, the Moon will darken.” (Imam Rabbani, Letters of Rabbani, p. 380; Letters of Rabbani, vol. 2, p. 1163)

    According to Usul al-Hadith, this Hadith can be found to be Sahih (authentic) as well.

    So the Hadith states that the full moon (al-Qamar) will be eclipsed on the first night in Ramadan (i.e. on the first of the nights on which a lunar eclipse can occur) and the sun will be eclipsed in its middle (i.e. on the middle day of the days on which a solar eclipse can occur).

    According to astronomical physics, the moon can ONLY be eclipsed on the 13th, 14th, or 15th of the lunar month of Ramadan, and the sun ONLY on the 27th, 28th, and 29th of the month. This is corroborated by scientific research carried out by Dr. David McNaughton and the late Dr. Saleh Mohammed Alladin, Retired Professor of Astronomy at Osmania University, Hyderabad, India and noted as one of the 100 top scientists of the past century (who was also Ahmadi Muslim).

    Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) said that these signs will appear for him. And they subsequently did, being outside of the sphere of human undertaking, in 1894, whereupon the moon eclipsed on the 13th night of Ramadan and the sun on the 28th. This exact occurrence (lunar eclipse on the 13th and solar eclipse on the 28th of Ramadan) happened again in the Western hemisphere of the world in 1895, whereupon a Native American spiritual teacher named Wovoka fell into a 3-day coma during the lunar eclipse, and upon awakening told his followers that “Jesus is now alive and walks upon the earth, and is living in the East.”

    There are 3 words for moon in Arabic; namely, “badr” (crescent moon), “qamar” (full moon) and “badr” (waxing moon). The hadith specifically mentions the word Qamar for the lunar eclipse, indicating it should occur in the middle of the lunar month (as full moons do).

    Thus, the sign was fulfilled, and this is outside of any human invention or forgery.

    As far as the Imam Mahdi’s name being “like my name (Prophet Muhammad) and his father’s name like my father’s”, Mirza Ghulam was the family name, and his personal name was Ahmad, the name of the Prophet (sa). His father was Mirza Ghulam Murtadha (Ghulam meaning Slave) and thus Slave of the Murtadha, while the Prophet’s father’s name was ‘Abd Allah (Slave of Allah).

    It can be noted that the Prophet (sa) was also called ‘Abd Allah by Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) Himself, and the Imam Mahdi is Ghulam Ahmad (Servant of Muhammad) or the Servant of the Servant.

    Ja’far al-Sādiq (ra), who was a Tābi’ and renowned scholar of the Ahl-e-Sunnah who personally taught Imam Abu Hanifah, and is revered by the Shi’ah community as well as an Imam, said that people all over the world would be able to listen to the Imam Mahdi’s (as) words instantaneously through simultaneous translations.

    Dhurara narrated: I asked Imam Ja’far al-Sādiq, is the proclamation true? And he said: “Yes I swear by Allah (Wallah), every people will hear him in their own language” (al-Ghaybah al-Nu’mani, Chapter 14, Signs That Will Take Place before the Coming of the Qaym)

    The Khutbah al-Jumu’ah (Friday Sermon) of the Khalifa’tul-Masih (Caliph of the Messiah), our International Supreme Head (fulfilling prophecies in the Qur’an and Ahadith about the revival of Khilafah in Islam – Caliphate) is broadcast to the world in more simultaneous translations than the United Nations. In his Sermons he often mentions the words and writings of the Promised Messiah (as), so this is an exact fulfillment of this prophecy:

    http://www.alislam.org/friday-sermon/2012-03-23.html

    Indeed the International Bay’ah (Initiation) Ceremony is further truth of that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGRjQWkj1_w

    There are narrations specifically in regards to the Imam Mahdi going into khulwah, which perhaps our Shi’ah brothers have understood to mean the Imam Mahdi is in Ghaybah (occultation). Imam Ahmad’s (as) khulwah was so secretive that he retreated in a far away place and would not allow even his family or friends to see him (much like Imam Ghazali who did the same later in his life). This was for 40 days, in the town of reclusive town of Hoshiarpur.

    “Seyyidina Imam Mahdi will certainly retire into occultation and turn away from the public during that occultation.” (al-Ghaybah al-Nu’mani by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Nu’mani, pg. 216)

    An athar of Seyyidina Husseyn bin ‘Ali (radiAllahu ‘anhu) reveals that he said:

    “Imam Mahdi will disappear from sight for a time.” (Bihār al-Anwār, Vol. 51, p. 133; al-Hurr al-Amili, Ithbat al-Hudat, Vol. 2, pg. 333 and 399)

    There is an athar that the Imam Mahdi will be first spotted by a man wearing a turban.

    “There will be a man wearing a turban who will point to the Mahdi (as) and shout aloud: “That is the Imam al-Mahdi (as), the Caliph of Allah! Obey him!” (al-Barzanji, al-Isha’ah li-ashrat al-Sa’ah, pg.164-165)

    This man wearing a turban who was the first to take the bay’ah of Seyyidina Ahmad (as) was none other than al-Hājj Mawlāna Hāfiz Hakīm Noor-ud-Din (ra), the first murīd of the Imam Mahdi. He was a Hafiz of the Qur’an, studied ‘Ilm al-Hadith and Usul al-Hadith in Makkah al-Mukurramah and Madinah al-Munawwarah having memorized thousands upon thousands of Ahadith, was a Mufassir of wide acclaim delivering his many durūs on the Tafsir of the Qur’an and compiling his own Tafsir called Haqā’iq al-Furqān (حقائق الفرقان or “Inner Verities of the Discriminant”), and a Wali’Allah (Friend of God) being given many revelations by God Himself. He was also a Muslim who engaged in Tasawwuf and self-purification, and trained in the Islamic Sciences (‘Ulum al-Islam). He was, a Shaykh al-Islam who later became the first Khalifah (Successor) to the Imam Mahdi, and wore the Prophetic turban and kept the Sunnah beard as well.
    http://www.alislam.org/library/books/HazratMaulviNooruddeen.pdf

    There was also, for example, Imam al-Hafiz Rushan ‘Ali (ra), the Head Shaykh in the Silsilah (Chain/Sanad) of the Nawsha’i Qadiriyyah Sufi Tariqah (Order) with thousands of murids (disciples) and a Hafiz of the Qur’an. He became a follower of Seyyidina Ahmad as the Imam Mahdi, and wrote an article in English about Sufism and how Imam Ahmad (as) as the Imam Mahdi was the true Sufi who engaged in Tasawwuf in modern times.
    http://www.muslimsunrise.com/dmddocuments/1981_iss_1_to_2.pdf (pp.15-42)

    The Imam Mahdi’s teachings also are ghayr tashri’i (non-law-bearing), and completely under the zhill (as a mirror reflection) and buruz (in the shadow of) the Prophet Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). These terms have been established amongst the Sufi saints for centuries, and this type of “prophethood” (which Ahmad further called as ‘Ghayr Haqiqi’ for himself) is the Akbarian view of Ummati Nabuwwah taken by Shaykh al-Akbar Ibn ‘Arabi. Indeed, Ahmad writes in his book, al-Wasiyyat that many awliya’Allah in the Ummah were Ummati “Nabis” (in terms of true dreams, revelations, and visions – ruyaa’, ilhamiyyah, mukaashifah) like this, however Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) simply did not tell them that they were as such, but simply as Muhadithin, awliya’, sadiqin, etc.

    So indeed, the Prophet Muhammad (sa) IS the Final Prophet. The type of Nabuwwah claimed by the Imam Mahdi (being Mas’um – sinless, as Ibn ‘Arabi said he would be in his Kitab al-Mahdi) due to Allah’s revelation telling him to, does not break the Khatam (Seal) of Prophethood of the Prophet Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

    As far as the signs of al-Dukhan (the Great Smoke) and Da’bbah al-Ardh (Insect of the Earth) are concerned, these are both understood as being nuclear warfare (as indicated in the Qur’an itself), and AIDS virus, both of which have come to pass. As far as the Sun (of Islam) rising from the West, this will insha’Allah come to pass as well after 200 or so more years.

    There are many, many more dalā’il (evidences) of the truth of Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) as the Imam Mahdi and Messiah, however these should suffice for now.

    May Allah guide all to the truth of his Messiah and Mahdi.

    Wa ākhiri da’wanā ani al-Hamdu liAllāh, al-Rabb al-‘Ālamīn – And our final message is to praise Allah, Lord of all the realms.

  14. JazakAllah khair.

    One more query, if I may. To paste from three places on this page – in a situation where the Hanafi School of Thought is not able to resolve a situation:

    “… then the situation demands that the ulema of the time should adjudicate upon the issue exercising care…” (Review Bar Mubahathah Batalvi Wa Chakrhalvi, pp.5-6, Ruhani Khaza’in vol. 19 pp. 212-213)
    “… if they do not find a suitable (in all respects) solution to a matter there, then they should use their God-given abilities of ijtihad and reach a suitable solution.” (muslimsunrise)
    “… then such a such a case the ʿulamāʾ of the jamāʿah should employ their God-given faculties of Ijtihād to propose a solution.” (theartofmisinformation)

    I looked up ijtihad and found it to mean making a decision by personal effort, INDEPENDANT of any School of Thought. However Khalifat-ul-Masih IV states in the pasted video link, to refer to a second (or more) School of Thought.

    Any thoughts? Is this just a matter of choice of words of some authors, or is there more to this?

  15. Assalaamu ‘alaikum

    I hesitate to ascribe anything to the Imam Mahdi (as) which he himself has not claimed for himself.

    As far as my limited knowledge goes, I know that Hadrat Masih-e-Ma’ud (as) has been declared as the Guided Arbiter (Ḥakamun ʿAdilun) in the traditions of our beloved Messenger (saw). And the Ḥakimn ʿAdilun has himself instructed his jamāʿah to follow the opinions of the fuqahāʾ (legal scholars) of the Ḥanafī madhhab (school of law/jurisprudence). He further instructed that in such a case that the fuqahā’ of the Ḥanafī madhhab do not propose a practicable opinion (e.g., he specific time/context in which the law is to be applied), then such a such a case the ʿulamāʾ of the jamāʿah should employ their God-given faculties of Ijtihād to propose a solution.

    I would infer from this, that the Uṣūl (legal methodology) applied in such cases would also be those as proscribed by the Ḥanafī legal school, but Hadrat Masih-e-Ma’ud (as) does not himself state this – the last bit is merely my inference.

    In addition, to those who know little about legal methodology, or suggest that we should follow the Qur’ān and Sunnah, to them I would say that they have not understood the legal methodology of the legal schools. Because each and every righteous Imam of the four main sunni legal schools followed ‘the Qur’an and the Sunnah’ in their legal methodology. The differences of opinion (which according to the Prophet (saw) are a mercy upon the Ummah) are as a result of various non-essential and technical aspects of legal methodology, such as which hadith to take over which other hadith, and which narrator to give preference to, etc.

    Also, Hadrat masih-e-Ma’ud (as) gave ‘preference’ to the Hanafi school of thought (as far as I understand it, this is because of the methodology of the Hanafis in specialising a very technical methodology which gave much more preference to the Qur’an vis-a-vis aspects of Ahadith – for example, they give more of an emphasis in establishing a concordance between various verses to draw inferences relating to actions and rulings (aḥkām), rather than relying upon weaker Ahadith – even though even weak hadith have a certain level of authenticity when relating to good actions (aʿmāl-e-ṣāliha).

    As for the ‘Mahdi’s school of thought’ – as I said I, personally, would be extremely cautious in declaring something for Hadrat Masih-e-Ma’ud (as) something which he has not claimed himself. Certain fatāwa of his are closer to opinions in other schools of law as opposed to those of the Ḥanafī madhhab, or some are not ‘jamhūr’ (majority) opinions within the shool itself – so it would be an over-simplification to state that he has set up the ‘Mahdi’s school of thought’ – although there is some work, therefore, that needs to be done in establishing the legal methodology that Hadrat Masih-e-Ma’ud (as) propounded.

  16. I am no scholar, so please bear with my ignorance.

    Would you agree that the Mahdi (as) actually did manage to eliminate the different schools by pointing us in one singular direction? By adopting the Hanafi School of Thought did he not eliminate the others? By outlining the route of Holy Quran -> Ahadith and Sunnah -> Hanafi School of Thought, does this not now make it a singular ‘Mahdi School of Thought’, so to speak?

  17. Also just because many Ahmadis have goatees does not mean that that is Sunnah. I have seen many Ahmadis with long beards as well and myself have worn such a beard in the past many times.

    But let’s not focus too much on the external, and focus more on the inner. Beard length is great to follow the Sunnah of Seyyed al-Rusul Muhammad al-Rasul Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). But having a long beard does not make you godly.

    The spiritual aspect of Jihad al-Nafs is the thing we should be focusing on. This is something the Sufis (not the pseudo-Sufis, but the ones that followed Sunnah) knew about such as Imam al-Ghazali and Sheikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (may Allah be pleased with them).

    This was a concept again re-iterated by the Promised Messiah, Seyyidna Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (‘alayhi al-salam). You can see that in any of his writings. For me the books I’ve been reading lately are full of that concept, namely Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam, and Elucidation of Objectives.

    The Promised Messiah (as) did not come to the earth to get a large community of followers numbering in the millions. His only goal was to lead people towards Allah (Exalted and Powerful is He). Followers come after, but it’s about quality of you as an Ahmadi-Muslim in your relationship with God, and not how many Ahmadis there are.

    The prophecies of the Prophet (sa) of the Muslims in the latter days focusing too heavily on the external (beard length etc.) and less on the inner (Jihad al-Nafs) is a proof that without following the Imam al-Mahdi (‘alayhi al-salam) you can only go so far.

    Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumi/Balkhi (RahmatAllahu ‘alayhi) probably explains this best when he says that:

    “When you associate with men of God, you may eventually become one of them. If you strive on your own, you may become a solid rock. But only the possessor of the heart can turn you into a gemstone. So, surrender yourself to the one whose heart is happy with God.”

    We can love the ‘Ulema of today and make up our own tafasir all we want, but they are absolutely no comparison to the Imam al-Mahdi (‘alayhi al-salam) who gave us that straight path to Allah.

    That is the point of Ahmadiyyah, to establish a living relationship with Allah, to seek fana’ and baqa. It’s not about giving a social structure of theological arguments. Those come with it of course but at the end of the day, it’s all about ALLAH.

  18. The purpose behind this was because you implied that we should follow what the Classical Scholars have said.

    Also I don’t know what Ibn al-‘Arabi you are referring to, but the saint and Wali Allah Ibn ‘Arabi was from al-Andalus (Islamic Spain) and that is why I referred to him as such. He is the writer of the Futuhat Makkiyya (Meccan Revelations) and it is him I was quoting.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibn_Arabi

  19. Jazak Allah for the compliment about my appearance, but I cannot accept it as I am not Muslim Sunrise. Perhaps you should post the comment on his blog.

    On the beard issue, I have never been taught that the Ahmadi position is based on anyone’s signature beards (that is not found in our books). Ahmadis across the world have lots of different beard lengths and styles and so I would not say that there is any one signature beard. The Hanafi position is one fist length – but there is a difference of opinion on this issue (on the length, not the growing of a beard). Alhamdulillah, Almighty Allah has blessed Ahmadis with a living example of virtue in my beloved Hudur (ayyadahu Allah ta’ala bi-nasrihi al-‘aziz) and I love his beard. May Almighty Allah bless each Muslim with righteousness as the longest beard in the world is no more than an aesthetic token if not grown by someone who is righteous.

  20. this is for artofmisinformation.

    are you muslimsunrise? i noticed you have a big beard, ma sha alllah, very handsome. i noticed you said that ahmadis should refer to hanafi fiqh in the beard length issue, right? that’s strange because the signature ahmadi beard is the goatee. i don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a goatee but i don’t think that’s the hanafi position.

  21. ibnu arabi and ibn al-arabi al-andalusi are different people. you’re referring to ibnu arabi. anyway, i don’t know what this has to do with the discussion we’re having. btw, ibn arabi is not a binding authority.

  22. like i said, the assumption is that a hadith that’s authentic cannot contradict the quran, read above. i even gave an example.

    i don’t see how the camel urine hadith is related to this subject. are you saying this hadith contradicts the quran? how?

    the reason to reject weak hadith is that they’re weak. simple. i gave an example of the hadith ‘consult women, do the opposite.’ will you accept it? there’s a lot that wasn’t responded to but you guys can take your time, i took a while to respond too.

    i shared a link from sunnipath and a video from imam suhaib that explained when it’s okay to use weak hadith. if you don’t feel like reading for watching then it’s basically okay to use weak hadith when they encourage islamic behaviour provided they’re not too weak. but not in aqeedah like they’re used in the invitation. and i agree imam al-ghazali was awesome. rahimah ullah.

  23. ya i know it says that but let’s be a mature and not disregard everything the man says just because he made mistakes. i was actually aware of that mistake about a year ago when i shared it on the cult.

  24. Yes but brother, Ibn al-‘Arabi (rh) clearly says that the Mahdi will “eliminate the different schools (of religious law) so that only the Pure Religion (Kor. 39:3) remains, and his enemies will be those who follow blindly the ‘ulama’, the people of ijtihad, because they will see the Mahdi judging differently from the way followed by their imams (i.e., the historical founders of the schools of Islamic law).”

    It was not my own point but that of the revered saint. I don’t think he means that the Mahdi will eliminate all these madhahib, but the point he’s trying to emphasize is that those who follow the ‘ulema who engage in ijtihad at that time, thinking that it’s enough to follow Hanifi, Maliki, Shafi’i or Hanbali, will be in the wrong. This will be due to the fact that they didn’t accept the Imam Mahdi as such.

    So what Ibn ‘Arabi means here is that sure the Imam Mahdi can have some of his fiqh coming from Hanafi, which focuses on the Qur’an the most out of the madhahib. But those who would refuse to believe in the Mahdi and rather their ‘ulema and the old 4 schools of thought in Islam, would be the “enemies of the Mahdi” according to Ibn al-‘Arabi.

    This also dispels the notion that the Mahdi will appear and the entire world will instantly recognize him as such without him even claiming to be the Mahdi.

    This is just in reply to Brother Muslim First when he said:

    “you’d expect him to be inline with what the scholars had agreed on in the past so i think it’s okay to put him up to the standards of previous scholars, not so much shaykh albani or suhaib.”

    Jazaak Allahu al-Khayr al-Jazaa’ brother Muslim First, your points are intellectually stimulating.

  25. Jazak Allah. Regarding this point I must disagree. I do not believe it is a part of the ‘Aqidah Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (‘alayhi al-salam), the Imam al-Mahdi, that he eliminated the madhahib (Schools of Thought). My understanding of the matter is that in the absence of any decision of the Imam al-Mahdi (‘alayhi al-salam) on any issue, the Ahmadi default position is to follow the rulings of the Hanafi madhhab (in most situations). Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (‘alayhi al-salam) has discussed this matter in the following passage:

    ”This is the responsibility of my community that any hadith which does not go against the Holy Quran and the Sunnah, however trifle it may be, is worth acting upon. And this should always enjoy superiority over the man-made ruling. If there is some question which does not find an answer from Ahadith, the Sunnah or the Holy Quran, then in such a situation one should follow the Hanafi School of Thought and accept the majority will. But if, for one reason or the other, one does not find an answer to his problem, even from the practices of Hanafi School of Thought, then the situation demands that the ulema of the time should adjudicate upon the issue exercising care, not like Maulavi ‘Abdullah Chakrhala rejecting the answer provided by Ahadith for no rhyme or reason. Wherever a hadith is found to be contradicted by the Holy Quran and the Sunnah, that hadith may be ignored. And one should not follow Maulavi Muhammad Hussain Batalvi blindly, who attaches great importance to the Ahadith, irrespective of their veracity over the Holy Quran and Sunnah” (Review Bar Mubahathah Batalvi Wa Chakrhalvi, pp.5-6, Ruhani Khaza’in vol. 19 pp. 212-213).

    Hadrat Khalifatul Masih al-Rabi’ has discussed this in the following questions and answer session (first question).

    Regarding our view of the Ahl-al-Sunnah, Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (‘alayhi al-salam) has written in ”Ayyam al-Sulh”:

    ”The five pillars of Islam constitute our Creed. The Revelation of God viz., the Quran which we are commanded to hold firmly on, that indeed we hold firmly on. God be pleased with Umar: Like him we have the words ‘sufficient unto us is the Book of God’ constantly on our lips. In case of conflict and disagreement between the Hadith and the Quran we follow Hazrat Ayesha (God be pleased with her) and choose the Quran, especially in the historical texts treated by all schools as above abrogation. And we believe that there is no deity, no one worthy of worship, but only Almighty Allah that our Master Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (peace and blessings of God be upon him), is His Rasul and Khatamal-Anbiya. And we believe that angels exist, that the resurrection of bodies after death is true, that the Day of Reckoning is also true, that Djanna and Gehenna are also true. We believe that every thing taught about these matters by the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet is true. We believe that he who seeks to subtract an iota from this or to add an iota to this – the Shariah of Islam and also he who makes light of the statutes and practices of Islam is devoid of belief, a denier of Islam. We counsel our Jamaat to put true and sincere faith in the Holy Kalima, La Illaha Ill-Allah, Muhammad al-Rasul-Allah, to live and die by it, also to believe in all prophets and in all books, the truth of which is sanctioned by the Quran; to observe in letter and in spirit the Fasts, Prayers, Zakat and Pilgrimage and all prescriptions and prohibitions laid down by Almighty Allah and His Prophet. We counsel them in short that their belief should include all beliefs and all rules of conduct agreed upon unanimously by early Muslims, that is, all matters accepted as part of Islam by the consensus of Ahl-i-Sunna. There is no option. And we hold heaven and earth as witness that this is our creed and this is our faith.” (Ayyamal Sulh pg. 86-87)

  26. Also notice that in the book, Ibn al-‘Arabi is called “al-Khaatam al-Awliyah al-Muhammadiyyah” (Seal of Muhammaden Sainthood). But saints came after him right?

    Also notice he states that there will be Khulafah after the Mahdi, who he calls “the Mahdi’s helpers”.

  27. Regarding the madhab (school of jurisprudence) of al-Imam al-Mahdi, the saint Ibn al-‘Arabi al-Andalusi states in his “Book of the Mahdi”:

    “He will eliminate the different schools (of religious law) so that only the Pure Religion (Kor. 39:3) remains, and his enemies will be those who follow blindly the ‘ulama’, the people of ijtihad, because they will see the Mahdi judging differently from the way followed by their imams (i.e., the historical founders of the schools of Islamic law).”

    That right there ^ is pretty self-explanatory.

    http://www.ibnarabisociety.org/articlespdf/sp_mahdi.pdf

  28. And I see nothing wrong with rejecting a Hadith that contradicts the Qur’an no matter how authentic it is. Ever read Sahih al-Bukhari and notice the so-called Hadith where it says you should drink camel urine for medicinal purposes?

    And yes the Hadith about “Love of one’s homeland is part of faith” as well as the ink of a scholar one are both considered weak according to Riwayah, but their dirayah is on point with the Qur’an so there’s no reason to reject them.

    This was the same principle applied by Hujjah al-Islam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (rahmatAllahu ‘alayh). He wasn’t just “ignorant”. Yes, he himself agreed he wasn’t learned in the ‘Ulum al-Hadith but he was a BIG scholar, a Mujjadid (Reformer of Islam) in fact.

  29. Let’s be intellectually honest here. You do realize that that “islamqa” website states that Ahmadi-Muslims are allowed to drink and do drugs, and believes our God is an English man right? And that our holy book is “al-Kitab al-Mubeen” which does not refer to al-Qur’an.

  30. walayk asalam

    i appreciate you putting in so much effort in responding. i agreed with a lot of it, even if it contradicts my behaviour (the reading bit).

    i am still not convinced by the argument from invitation mentioned. it’s definitley not an argument that can stand on its own. even you had to appeal to other arguments to support it and that’s fine for rhetoric. it’s just that khalifa sani went on about this argument for pages which makes it seem as if he believed this was an awesome argument.

    non-ahmadi sunnis often say that esa alayhi salam’s return is supposed to be a sign for the other nations. a person most kuffar hold in high esteem is testifying to the truth of al-habib sal allahu alayhi wa sallem. and everybody believes he will follow the sharia of muhammad sal allahu alayhi wa sallem. so there is honoring of muhammad sal allahu alayhi wa sallem in this scenario as well. but honestly this is not the way to go about deciding our aqeedah. we base our aqeedah on wahi, not on concepts that we understand as having the most wisdom behind them.

    about hadith, i kinda agree with your first two paragraphs until you provide a quotation. if the only thing that is to be looked at is whether or not the matn agrees with the quran or mutawatir sunan then you’d have to accept many hadith that you wouldn’t regularly accept. for example there’s a hadith “consult women, do the opposite”, it is da’eef and that’s why it’s rejected by ahl us-sunnah but it’s meaning doesn’t contradict the quran or any mutawatir sunnah so will you accept it? i can give many similar examples.

    however, ahmadis are inconsistent in applying these principles. if a hadith is good but weak, they’ll say “the meaning doesn’t contradict the quran, let’s accept it” an example is “The ink of a scholar is holier than the blood of a martyr,” (http://www.oregonlive.com/O/index.ssf/2010/07/post_1.html). but when a hadith causes controversy, they’ll reject it based on their hadith sciences (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCYwKBKyAGA). the hadith about aisha radi allahu anha doesn’t contradict the quran but is rejected. how come hadith sciences were used in one situation and not the other. why isn’t the application consistent?

    about imam al-ghazali rahmatullahi alayh, i can share two responses that i know from the ulema.
    1. imam al-ghazali was not a hadith scholar and just because he quoted weak hadith doesn’t mean it’s okay. basically he did it out of ignorance. (http://islamqa.com/en/ref/13473/ghazzali)
    2. it’s permissible to quote weak hadith if they encourage good. for example, imam suhaib talks about how imam an-nawawi used the ‘forty hadith’ hadith to encourage the people to memorize hadith although it’s weak (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehYWB1VN898&feature=channel_video_title) it’s near the beginning of the lecture. similarly, the sunnipath article says that imam al-ghazali used weak hadith in his ihya only to elaborate on basic islamic principles that he also provided sahih daleel for (http://spa.qibla.com/issue_view.asp?HD=1&ID=4049&CATE=91). however, weak hadith are usually not used for fiqh and especially not for aqeedah.

    and yes, hadith scholars do differ on some narrators which makes it seem as if the methodology is subjective. however, it is far less subjective than the methodology you’re proposing. and yea, i agree the hadith scholars were human and capable of mistakes. i remember reading that in bukhari there’s a hadith more or less to the effect that some things are good and bad luck. however syedatna aisha said whoever quotes this hadith has lied, what the prophet really said sal allahu alayhi wa sallem was IF there was such a thing as luck, it would be in these things. the latter hadith is quoted in another book, i forget which. so here, imam al-bukhari rahimahullah gave an out of context hadith.

    and the assumption is that if a hadith is sahih, it’s meaning is good. and if it doesn’t seem inline with the quran, then the muhadithin comment on it and make sense of it which is what aisha did in the above situation.

    this is one issue (hadith) which got me questioning ahmadiyya very early on in my religious phase.

    i agree that the mahdi and esa alayhi salaam do not need to conform to a particular mathhab. however in terms of aqeedah, it’s circular to say that ahmadis don’t need to consult unbiased 3rd parties (like classical scholars) but rather, they should give the upper hand to the mahdi. then how do you know this mahdi is true? because he said he’s true? you’d expect him to be inline with what the scholars had agreed on in the past so i think it’s okay to put him up to the standards of previous scholars, not so much shaykh albani or suhaib.

    wasalaam

  31. AA
    This is a brilliant read, beautifully articulated and balanced. You have highlighted areas that have missed my attention, JazakAllah for bringing this to light.
    Wasalaam

  32. Also just to add something about that famous verse in Surah al-Nur, commonly known as “al-Mishkat al-Anwar” (The Niche of Lights).

    If you notice the verse says that “The glass is as it were a glittering star.” (al-zujajatu ka anna haa kaukab.” The word “kaukab” is commonly translated as “star” but in reality the word for star in al-Lughah al-‘Arabiyyah al-Fus’ha (Classical Arabic) is “najm”.

    “Kaukab” in reality means “planet”.

    Now notice how Allah says in this ayah (sign of His truth) that within al-Mishkat (the niche) is al-Misbah (the lamp) which is glowing within al-Zujajah (the glass covering) which is like al-kaukab (the planet).

    In different parts of the Qur’an, the sun is referred to as “al-Siraj” or “al-Siraj al-Munirah” meaning “blazing lamp”. The Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is also referred to as al-Siraj al-Munirah. It basically means a lamp that gives off its own light while it is blazing ie. an embodiment of illumination from nuclear fission (like the Sun).

    So if we take al-Misbah (the lamp) in this case to mean the Sun, then notice how the glass covering that surrounds it, is spherical in shape like a planet, and is even further compared to al-kaukab (the planet) by Allah. The Sun burns on and gives off its own light, while the glass covering just takes that light and reflects that outside to the little dark niche. Glass obviously doesn’t make its own light. And seeing as al-Kaukab means planet, is spherical, and doesn’t make its own light, this is very illuminating. This verse basically shows the relationship of the Sun, and the moon then. With the sun making its own light as a burning, blazing lamp, and the moon being al-Kaukab, or a spherical celestial body that doesn’t create its own light but borrows the light of the Sun and reflects onto the world, just like al-Zujajah in this verse. So with this scientific tafsir, it astounds me beyond astonishment.

    And if that didn’t blow you away, notice how the Prophet (sa) was compared to the Sun, and the Promised Messiah (‘alayhi al-salam) is thus the Moon, seeing as he did not create his own religion (light) but borrowed the light of the Prophet Muhammad (sa) and reflected it unto the (spiritually) dark world (al-Mishkat).

    So this verse is both a manifest proof of Ahmadiyyah, as well as a proof of the Qur’an. And fittingly so, as ayah (verse) means literally “proof” or “Sign”.

    Hujjah Allah Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali also wrote an entire book upon this verse called “Mishkat al-Anwar” in which he takes this verse to signify that there are levels of spiritual darkness as well as light. This is further corroborated by other verse of the Qur’an where it mentions the Qur’an as bringing mankind out of darkness into manifest light, as well as humans having 70,000 veils covering their hearts.

    So the strange thing about that book is that when explaining the levels of spiritual light, he lists “Prophethood” as the highest stage, still attainable by Muslims within the Ummah.

    You may read the book here (in English): http://www.ghazali.org/books/mishkat/index.html

    Let that be a sign for those who take heed.

    Allahu A’lam.

Join the Discussion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s