Assalamu ‘Alaikum Warahmat Allah Wabarakatuh
Time to exhale… I have, for sometime now, been restrained in what I could write here by the shackles of life’s everyday commitments. Today I find myself free and eager to push out a few things I have been meaning to look at for some time now. One thing on my list is to write a response to a cross-reference of posts written by the user ”Farhan” across at the Cult. I must admit that I once held a good opinion of Farhan Sahib, as is in line with our tradition, despite disagreeing with his opinions regarding the Jama’at. As of late my mind has been swayed towards a different viewpoint on the basis of his expressed views. What has concerned me is that at one time Farhan Sahib seemed intent on trying to prove the falsehood of Ahmadiyya through a reasoned and apparently kind approach. His recent posts have indicated a completely different side to his approach.
At the outset I should make clear that my dislike is for the substance and approach of his highly suspect argumentation and not him personally (love the man, dislike the argument). In fact, I urge all those reading this post to join me in praying for brother Farhan; that Almighty Allah blesses him to accept the Imam Mahdi (‘alayhi al-salam) and fulfill the instruction of the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in this regard. I will deal with a number of posts here briefly, but am quite willing to expand on any point of contention anyone has.
- Post 1: Suhaib Webb’s Blog
- Post 2: The False Prophets (x4)
- Post 3: Some Terminology Changes
- Post 4: Confessions Post
- Post 5: What if the Prophet Came to You?
- Post 6: What is a Cult?
- Post 7: Is the Ahmadi Leadership a System of Khilafah?
- Post 8: To Jamia Ahmadiyya Students: Independent Authority
- Post 9: True vs Fake Spirituality
Post 1: Suhaib Webb’s Blog (see Confessions Post below)
Post 2: The False Prophets (x4)
Here Farhan has written four posts which outline the claims of the four famous false claimants to Prophethood during early Islam. No connection whatsoever can be drawn between these false claims and the true claim of Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (‘alayhi al-sama). An utterly fictitious connection is attempted at here – extraordinarily poor. These people either claimed to be independent Prophets to the Holy Prophet (sall’ Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) or wanted to be co-prophets with the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (‘alayhi al-salam) did not claim this. I don’t know how more simply I could put it. Disagree with Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (‘alayhi al-salam), that is your choice, but please do not deceive people through erroneous comparisons. Brother Lutf has dealt with this allegation here.
Post 3: Some Terminology Changes
This is perhaps the most worrying of all his posts. In this quite shocking post, Farhan Sahib attempts to draw some outragiously ”fictitious” comparisons regarding the usage of certain terms and names in Islam and Ahmadiyya. A simple example will suffice to show the deceit contained therein. Apparently, according to Farhan Sahib, while the name ”Ahmad” refers to the Holy Prophet (sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) within the Islam usage, it refers to Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (‘alayhi al-salam) in the Ahmadi vocabulary. Firstly, this is patently untrue (where is your evidence Farhan Sahib?) – even the most hardened heart would acknowledge this much. Secondly, did the author fail to recognise that the Promised Messiah (‘alayhi al-salam) is called GHULAM Ahmad (Servant of Ahmad). Using the same poor methodology, perhaps he will write a post in the future about how ”those Hanbalis” are as bad as the ”Qadianis” for referring to their Sahib al-Madhhab as Imam Ahmad – the shame! Brother Lutf has quite easily disposed of this here. I find it difficult to accept that Farhan Sahib, someone who has in the past attempted to engage with the classical texts, would not be able to do a five second Al Islam search to discover that Ahmadis very clear attribute the name Ahmad to the Holy Prophet (sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)
Post 4: Confessions Post
Here Farhan Sahib boasts about a new site which he obviously supports and advocates (bolstered by his comments on that site). The site apparantly brings to light damning information about the Jama’at. The reality is that it is nothing more than a malicious gossip (namimah), backbiting (ghibah) and suspicion filled blog. But hey, lets not let un-Islamic filth prevent a bit of Qadiani bashing. Farhan Sahib did, however, try to valiantly justify theft, gossiping and backbiting by citing the story of Nu’aym b. Mas’ud during the battle of Khandaq. In short, a Sahabi (radi Allahu ‘anhu) played a trick on some of the opponents of Islam in order to divide them. His conclusion was: ”Lesson learned: One Muslim on the inside can bring great benefit to the Muslims.”
So lets break his contention down. He compares the situation of a thief and gossip monger, who is free to live her/his life as he/she wishes, with that of a group of Muslims who were, as in Farhan Sahib’s own words: ”… under siege by Quraysh and betrayed by Banu Quraydha, one of the main Jewish tribes in Madinah that was in an alliance with the Muslims. After a month’s siege with little food and overwhelming odds, the Muslims were in a desperate state.” Is it just me, or is this yet another attempt to abuse the dignity and struggles of our heroes by using their hardship to justify acts (theft and gossip) forbidden by Almighty Allah and His beloved Prophet (sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)?
You will notice that under ”Post 1” above, I asked you to refer to this post. This is because in ”Post 1” Farhan Sahib has directed Ahmadis and non-Ahmadis alike to look towards the respected Azhari Shaykh, Suhayb Webb, for spiritual nourishment. The irony is that the very fabric of what his posts, blog and forum stand for, particularly in this ”Confessions Post”, are very strongly criticised by the same Shaykh Suhayb Webb at the site he directed people towards (here). Therefore, if he does not want to adhere to the clear instructions of the Qur’an and Prophet (sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), he should at least follow his own advice. Incidentally, respected Shaykh Webb includes the following on his blog (sound familiar?):
”…many young Muslims youth throw accusations against Muslim scholars, spend hours online insulting Sunnis,Shi`ites, Ikhwanis, Sufis, Salafis, Tableeghis, Deobandis, and every other flavor of the Muslim spectrum one can imagine. Many actually dedicate a portion of their day updating their Facebook status, insulting so-and-so through a clever blog post, warning others, listing out their faults – all this with the conviction they have “enjoined the good and forbidden the evil!” And don’t deny it, many of us cannot resist commenting on websites, or Facebook statuses, where our Islamic political, social, economic, creedal, and legal opinions – usually set in stone – are MORE sacred than the other because “we learned it from a teacher.” Yet the majority of us did not have any formal, conclusive training in the Islamic sciences – which even if we had, would not justify the bitter tone and behavior. As Imam Suhaib Webb says, “We are like firemen arguing about what hose to use, while the house burns down.”
What we must realize is that when we take part in this culture of debate, arguing, than arguing again, day after day after day, we are slowly devastating our own hearts. On social networks we feel a rush of adrenaline waiting for the counter-argument or foreign person to respond. We create intellectual forums then wait like vultures to check another person’s clearly messed up thinking to respond back with a counter-proof: “That’ll show them!” That AWESOME feeling after a lengthy response is not enjoining good or even productive: we are simply letting OUR nufoos (our souls and desires) tear apart the heart and run wild to see if they can prove ascendancy over someone else.”
(Jazaka Mullah to brother Peaceworld for sending me that link on twitter)
Post 5: What if the Prophet Came to You?
Here Farhan Sahib asks the question: What would you do if the Prophet came to you and said “I am the Seal of the Prophets, there is no prophet after him.” I fail to see the benefit in this question. Ahmadis are the great lovers of the Beloved of Almighty Allah (sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and would give their lives to protect his blessed dignity – so he should not worry how we would respond to the Holy Prophet. Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (‘alayhi al-salam) has magnificently set out the Ahmadi standard with regards to Almighty Allah when he wrote:
‘’Obedience to the Creator means that in order to make manifest His Honour, Glory and Unity, one should be ready to endure every dishonour and humiliation, and one should be eager to undergo a thousand deaths in order to uphold His Unity. One hand should be ready to cut off the other with pleasure in obedience to Him, and the love of the grandeur of His commandments and the thirst for seeking His pleasure should make sinso hateful as if it were a consuming fire, or a fatal poison, or an obliterating lightning, from which one must run away with all one’s power. For seeking His pleasure one must surrender all the desires of one’s ego; and to establish a relationship with Him one should be ready to endure all kinds of injuries; and to prove such relationship one must break off all other relationships.” (Aina-e-kamalat-e-Islam, Ruhani Khaza’in, 5:59-62)
And regarding the Prophet (sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) he has written:
Verily, my head and my life
I freely offer as a sacrifice
For the blessed dust
Underneath his feet;
And my devoted heart,
is offeringItself at the altar.
(Persian Poem, The Light of Muhammad)
He would perhaps be best advised to rather consider how he has responded to the Holy Prophet’s instruction that each Muslim must offer their bay’ah at the hand of the Imam al-Mahdi. Or, as Rehan Qayoom Sahib aptly put it to Farhan Sahib:
What if the Holy Prophet [sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] came to you and said that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was the Promised Messiah and Mahdi and that you should accept him?
Post 6: What is a Cult?
A wild and highly speculative attempt is here made by Farhan Sahib to prove that Islam Ahmadiyya is a ”CULT.” To cut to the chase, he offers the following seven characteristics of a cult which he tries to prove are each present in the Jama’at. This attempt goes a bit like this:
Psychologist Philip G. Zimbardo identified four primary factors that distinguish a cult from a regular religion, upon which Mitch Horowitz appended two;
- Behavior control, such as monitoring of where you go and what you do (ie, Umumi)
- Information control, such as discouraging members from reading criticism of the group (ie, Facebook Ban);
- Thought control, placing sharp limits on doctrinal questioning;
- Emotional control, using humiliation or guilt (ie public humiliations and ex-communications);
- Financial control, either through mandatory payments or full disclosure of financial information (the various kinds of Chanda payments);
- Extreme leadership, such as excessively revering the leader (Impermissibility of disagreeing with Mirza Masroor).
Personally, I would add another characteristic, feel free to disagree;
- To instill a siege-mentality in devotees used to keep them emotionally connected to the movement, thus overlooking logical or factual errors – we observe this in Scientology, the Branch Davidians, and the Jonestown saga.
I will here take up Farhan Sahib’s offer and ”feel free to disagree”, profusely disagree, in fact. My response is as follows:
- The responsibility of the ‘Umumi department is to ensure people’s safety. Look up classical Islam and see what the ”muhasib” used to do during the life of the Prophet (sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Take, for example, the Prophet’s very own Aunty (radi Allahu ‘anha) who used to walk the markets with a whip in her hand in order to command good and forbid evil (amr bil-ma’ruf wa nahi ‘an al-munkar). This was normally a job restricted to the markets and many other similar roles were present in other areas. Having held many Jama’at positions over the years, and observed many people in positions of authority, I can honestly say that I have never seen any behaviour control in the way that Farhan Sahib has inferred. The problem is that he has clearly written about something on the basis of third-hand information and not his own personal experience.
- You claim that Ahmadis are forbidden or discouraged from reading any criticism of the Jama’at, yet just about every Khutbah delivered my beloved Hudur (ayyadahu Allah ta’ala bi-nasrihi al-‘aziz) recently has called upon Ahmadis to refute the allegations leveled against the Jama’at. Please explain to me how an Ahmadi can fulfill this instruction if they are not allowed to read the allegations? One word – ”nonsensical.” I do agree in part, however, in that Ahmadis should not read your blog as it does not demonstrate a sincere attempt to challenge Islam Ahmadiyya (though that did seem to be your approach some time in the past – long ago).
- Thought Control by discouraging doctrinal questioning??? Again, something written by someone with little experience of the actual Jama’at. Each country generally has a Mufti Silsilah that anyone can write to. The Jama’at has a very active Dar al-Ifta’ in Rabwah which all and sundry are free to write to for fatwas. Senior Missionaries tour each country and hold countless question and answer sessions (dozens of examples on youtube). The Jama’at has a completely anonymous ”Islamic FAQ” website to which anyone can address their questions. MTA programmes like al-Hiwar al-Mubashir and Rah-e-Huda are there to answer any question. Finally, and most importantly, the Khalifah’s door is always open to all. Quite honestly, I do not know what more the Jama’at could do other than send Missionaries to knock on every door and beg people to offer their questions. Then again, if it did that, then some post would probably end on Farhan Sahib’s blog about chanda or fuel expenses (anything, everything – it doesn’t really matter as long as it takes a dig at the Jama’at).
- Emotional Control: Where is the evidence for this? I am quite happy emotionally – thank you very much! My local President and Qaids do call me up regularly to see how I am and ask if they can help me at all – does this constitute emotional control? Again, I suspect he has drawn this conclusion due to the number of bitter ex-Ahmadis circling around in his bubble.
- Financial constraints. Your criticism is really applicable to almost every Islamic entity to have ever existed in history. Anyhow, if it really does in fact need a reply, it has already been answered here.
- Where is the evidence for the sixth accusation? It feels like Farhan Sahib is just making it up as he goes along.
- Again, where is the evidence? If we do not defend our position then we are labelled cowards and stupid. Yet if we defend our position we have shackled to us the title ”siege-mentality.”
Much conjecture and little fact. I believe a pattern is emerging here?
Post 7: Is the Ahmadi Leadership a System of Khilafah?
Factually innacurate. Answered here.
Post 8: To Jamia Ahmadiyya Students: Independent Authority
Responded to here
Post 9: True vs Fake Spirituality
The mere inference that Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (‘alayhi al-salam) insulted Hadrat Abu Bakr (radi Allahu ‘anhu) smacks, again, of someone who has no real understanding of the writings of Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (‘alayhi al-salam) and should be dealt with here. Outside of writing a whole book in defence of Hadrat Abu Bakr (radi ‘Allahu ‘anhu) against the Rafida (Shi’ah), where he also penned the most beautiful poem in praise of Abu Bakr (radi Allahu ‘anhu), he has also written:
‘And I have been told that the Siddique (Abu Bakr (ra)) was the greatest in rank and the highest in station of all of the Companions’ (Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Sirrul Khilafah p.18)
”When the love of the True Divine saturated the whole of his being and its light began to manifest itself in all his actions and words and his attitudes, he was named the Siddique and he was invested with fresh and deep knowledge from the Presence of the Best of Bestowers. Faithfulness became his nature and its effects made themselves manifest in all his doings and sayings and movings and stoppings and in his senses and in his pure breath. He was included among those upon whom the Lord of the heavens and the earth had bestowed His favours. The truth is that he was a comprehensive illustration of the book of prophethood. He was a leader of those who are recipients of grace and perfection and had partaken of the nature of the Prophet. In stating this I have not been guilty of exaggeration, nor is my statement merely the result of my wishful thinking but is a reality which has been disclosed to me from the Presence of the Lord of Honour.’ (Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Sirrul Khilafah. pp.31-32)
If these statements were not enough to put down Farhan Sahib’s vile allegation, then let us address what the Imam of the Age (‘alayhi al-salam) in fact said about Abu Bakr’s (radi Allahu ‘anhu) spiritual station:
‘…all the doors leading to Prophethood have been closed except the door of Sirat as-Siddiqi, i.e., losing oneself in the Holy Prophet.’ (Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. A Misunderstanding Removed. Pg.4)
This statement very clearly shows that one cannot hope to attain the highest spiritual rank until he / she approaches our beloved Prophet (sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) upon Hadrat Abu Bakr’s (radi Allahu ‘anhu) blessed pattern. Fana’ (annihilation) is not as literal as Farhan Sahib has stated and this is evidenced in the books of the great Sufis themselves. Secondly, it is not befitting of any Muslim to discuss the spiritual ranks of this Saint and that Saint, this Prophet and that Prophet, unless the difference has been established by Almighty Allah (for example, the station of Hadrat Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani rahmat Allah ‘alayhi).
Next, Farhan Sahib, the untenable statement about agrandisement. When Almighty Allah appoints someone to a position and they are ma’mur, and it is incumbant upon them to make this known to the world. The hands and mouth of the Saintly person are left with no choice in this matter. Whereas, when someone is not ma’mur there is no obligation upon them to announce anything to the world. The statements of Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (‘alayhi al-salam) regarding his status are almost always repetition of revelation bestowed upon his by Almighty Allah and not his own opinions. With regards to his actual claim, Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (‘alayhi al-salam) has written:
”…it must be borne in mind and should never be forgotten, that, despite being addressed as Nabi and Rasul, I have been informed by God that this bounty has not descended upon me directly. There is a holy being in heaven whose spiritual grace is with me and he is Muhammad, the Chosen One(sa). It is on the basis of this relationship, and by merging myself in him, and by receiving his names—Muhammad and Ahmad (sa) – that I am a Rasul as well as Nabi, which, in other words, means that I have been commissioned by God and I receive knowledge of the unseen from Him. Thus the Seal of Khatamun Nabiyyin remains intact, for I have received his name by way of reflection and Zill, through the mirror of love. If anyone takes offence as to why Divine revelation has addressed me as Nabi and Rasul, it would be foolish of him to do so, for my being a Nabi and Rasul does not break the Seal set by God…
This notion is strongly supported by the words which the Holy Prophet (sa) used in describing his relationship with the Promised Mahdi (as), for he went so far as to give him his own name. This clearly signifies that the Holy Prophet (sa) wished to describe the Promised One as his own Buruz, just as Joshua was the Buruz of Hadrat Moses (as). And it is by no means necessary for the Buruz to be the son or grandson of Sahib-i-Buruz. What is essential is that, in respect of spiritual relationship, the Buruz must have emerged from Sahibi Buruz, and this mutual gravitation and relationship between the two must have been ordained from the very beginning” (A Misconception Removed).
Spirituality. Farhan Sahib, if you truly find no benefit in the words of Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (‘alayhi al-salam), then please call London and arrange a Mulaqat with my beloved Hudur (ayyadahu Allah ta’ala bi-nasrihi al-‘aziz) and you will meet a man wholly devoted to Almighty Allah. Listen to his speeches delivered at the last Jalsa Salana and then try to establish from them that there is no true spirituality in the Jama’at. This is a Divinely ordained Jama’at which, admitedly, is made up of men and women who are each prone to human error – this was even so amongst the community of the Prophet (sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), though the Companions are our heros and guiding stars. Having said that, there is a term which I would like to coin as ”Ahmadi Passion” which is ever present and charged with the intense love for Almighty Allah, His Prophet (sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), all of His Prophets (alayhim al-salam), the Imam al-Mahdi (‘alayhi al-salam), whose claim is clearly stated above, and all of the Saintly people of history. Come to the UK, be our guest and let us show you the love and beauty of Ahmadiyyat. Our faith will remain strong that Almighty Allah can, if He so wishes, change your heart, and the hearts of all those like you, towards the acceptance of the Imam of this age. Please actually sit and talk to people who actually have conviction in Ahmadiyya and stop relying upon the whispers of faceless bitter Ahmadis. Stop taking information from people who use fould language and steal information which they have no right over. Imam al-Bukhari (rahmat Allah ‘Alayhi) once refused to take a hadith from a man who he saw teasing one of his animals, yet you, someone who reveres Imam al-Bukhari, accept information from people who use abusive language and steal. If I may, I advise you to look at your own methodology before again questioning anybody else.
In another post Farhan Sahib very aptly writes:
But, this got me thinking, is TheCult spreading hatred against Ahmadis? Are we Anti-Ahmadiyya? Are we a hate group? This is a claim that is often levied against this blog.
What is the purpose of TheCult? In short, we are a group of Muslims who have come together to call our misguided sisters and brothers from the Ahmadiyya religion back to Islam. In other words, we want our dear brethren back. In doing so, we draw attention to flaws in Ahmadiyya beliefs, factual inaccuracies of the faith, and the unquestionable superiority of Islam over Ahmadiyya.
But, couldn’t this blog be difficult or even painful to read for an Ahmadi?
Well brother Farhan, I do agree that your blog makes for painful reading, but not for the reasons that you might have hoped for. It gained a now diminishing popularity due to the absolute fact that it calls out to man’s weakness for gossip. As has been shown, your blog contains little ”fact” and mixes any remnants of truth with hatred, ultra-subjectivity, and suspicion. In short, I think you had better revisit your question: ”…is TheCult spreading hatred against Ahmadis?” In my opinion you obviously are as clear misinformation is itself the seed of hate (something you have been sowing).
My advice to all is don’t waste your precious time reading anything on that blog. If someone has an issue, read proper texts on the subject and then address your concerns to ANYONE except for any group of faceless individuals who have no objectivity and have the following as their starting point: ”…to call our misguided sisters and brothers from the Ahmadiyya religion back to Islam.” I am still amazed at how anyone would entrust their Iman, the most valuable commodity we have, to a group of highly suspect people. Be smart and do not hold your Iman with such little regard.
Anyone is very welcome to contact me. I am not here to judge sincere Ahmadis or non-Ahmadis with genuine questions. I really am a friend and not an adversary. firstname.lastname@example.org