The Qadiani refusal to hold Islamic funeral prayers for other Muslims
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Qadiani belief that all those Muslims who do not accept
the Promised Messiah are rejecting a prophet of God, has
led them to place other Muslims in the same category as
followers of non-Islamic religions who reject the Holy
Prophet Muhammad. Therefore, as regards all those special
fraternal duties which Islam requires Muslims to perform
only towards their fellow-Muslims, the Qadianis refuse to
fulfil those obligations towards any Muslims except
members of their own movement. So in practical terms too,
they have restricted their religious relations with other
Muslims to be on the same basis as with non-Muslim
religious communities such as Hindus or Christians.
As the Islamic funeral prayers can only be held for a Muslim, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad forbade his followers from holding such prayers for any deceased not belonging to their movement. But curiously, while setting out to impose this prohibition, he admits that the Promised Messiah did not impose it In his book Anwar-i Khilafat, he begins a section entitled 'Funeral Prayers for a non-Ahmadi' with the following words:
He thus admits that the Promised Messiah allowed his followers to hold funeral prayers for deceased non-Ahmadis, and that written references bearing this out can be found. Nonetheless, he alleges that the Promised Messiah's practice was opposed to this! In other words, according to Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, the Promised Messiah preached one thing and himself did the opposite of it! This allegation is grossly insulting to the Promised Messiah, and needless to say it is absolutely false to assert that while allowing his followers, under certain conditions, to hold funeral prayers for non-Ahmadis, he himself always refrained from doing so. This is shown later in this section.
M. Mahmud considers other Muslims as non-Muslims.
After the lines quoted above, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad goes on to prohibit his followers from saying the funeral prayers for other Muslims, and then at the end he raises and answers another question as follows:
From this statement it is absolutely clear that the Qadianis treat other Muslims as belonging to another religion, like the Hindu or the Christian religion. A non-Ahmadi Muslim infant, says M. Mahmud Ahmad, must not be included among the Muslims and given the Muslim funeral rites, any more than a Christian or Hindu infant could be accorded the Muslim funeral service. Again, according to M. Mahmud Ahmad, an adult non-Ahmadi Muslim who, far from being opposed to the Ahmadiyya Movement, actually believes the Promised Messiah to be true, but has not formally joined the movement, does not qualify to receive the Muslim funeral service any more than a Christian or Hindu does.
Promised Messiah allowed funeral prayers for other Muslims.
1. When Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was asked about funeral prayers for Muslims who were not his followers, he is recorded as giving the following reply:
2. About a year before his death, the Promised Messiah received a letter from an Ahmadi, Ghulam Qadir of Jeonjal, district Gujrat, seeking guidance on various questions, including the saying of funeral prayers. The Promised Messiah instructed one of his secretaries, Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, to write the following reply on this point:
Promised Messiah's practice.
Mirza Mahmud Ahmad's allegation, referred to earlier, that the Promised Messiah's own practice in this respect was against the teaching he gave to his followers, is proved absolutely false by well-known facts.
1. Khawaja Ghu lam Farid of Chachran was a famous saint who praised and defended Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, but did not take his bai 'at or become an Ahmadi. Writing after the Khawaja's death in 1904, the Promised Messiah paid him the following tribute:
The prayer here, for the departed soul of the Khawaja to receive God's mercy and nearness, is only allowed by Islam in case of a Muslim deceased.
2. The sworn testimony of some eminent Ahmadis has been produced to show that the Promised Messiah had himself said, and even led, the funeral prayers of certain of their relatives while he was fully aware on those occasions that the deceased did not believe in his claims. (See Radd Takfir ahl-i Qibla by Maulana Muhammad Ali, published 1920, sixth edition 1970, pp.56-58)
Practice of the Ahmadiyya community.
During the life-time of the Promised Messiah and after him in the time of Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din, the Ahmadi communities in Qadian and other towns and cities used to hold funeral prayers for deceased Muslims not belonging to the Ahmadiyya Movement. Maulana Muhammad Ali challenged the Qadianis in this respect as follows:
Prayers after other Muslim imams.
The Promised Messiah never prohibited Ahmadis from praying behind other Muslims on the grounds that the latter do not believe in his claims. For several years after he laid claim to he the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself and other Ahmadis said prayers following other Muslim imams. However, the general Ulama continued to denounce Ahmadis as kafir and to subject them to severe maltreatment and humiliation in mosques, with ever-increasing hostility as time went on. Therefore, the Promised Messiah eventually instructed his followers to refrain from praying behind any such maulvis who called Ahmadis as kafir and those who were the followers of these maulvis.
The Promised Messiah made his position very clear shortly before his death. He received a letter from a non-Ahmadi in Baluchistan, dated 17th March 1908, saying that a good Ahmadi friend of his did not join the congregational prayers with non-Ahmadis friends, and asking the Promised Messiah to instruct him to pray with them. The Promised Messiah directed that the following reply be sent to this letter:
The reason given here by the Promised Messiah for not praying behind other Muslim imams is not that they do not believe in him, but that they call him and the Ahmadis as kafir, and one who calls any Muslim as kafir has the same epithet reflected back on him according to the Holy Prophet Muhammad. The Promised Messiah clearly allows Ahmadis to say their prayers behind such other Muslims who openly dissociate and separate themselves from those who call Ahmadis as kafir.
Compare the Promised Messiah's position to the instructions which Mirza Mahmud Ahmad gave to his followers:
The Qadiani belief, as expressed here, is that it is unlawful to pray behind other Muslims because they do not acknowledge the Promised Messiah to be a prophet of God. This belief is entirely opposed to the teachings and the statements of the Promised Messiah.
Mirza Mahmud Ahmad's later speech admitting the facts.
In a speech delivered many years later in 1950, covering what he called "several aspects" of this issue, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad admitted the "historical" reason why the Promised Messiah stopped his followers from praying behind other Muslim imams. He said:
It is obvious that if, as Mirza Mahmud Ahmad admits above, "for many years after being called a kafir by the Ulama, the Promised Messiah did not prohibit prayers behind them" and in fact himself "continued to pray behind them", then his stopping Ahmadis from prayers behind other Muslims could not have been because of their rejection of his claim. Had that been the case, he would have stopped prayers behind other Muslims as soon as he claimed to be the Promised Messiah.
It therefore stands proved beyond the least doubt that the Promised Messiah never prohibited his followers from praying behind other Muslims on the basis that the latter do not accept his claims or acknowledge him as prophet. This course of action was forced upon him by the unrelenting hostility of the Ulama towards the Ahmadis, and was not a consequence of his own claims or the position which he claimed to hold.