The Qadiani belief that the Kalima is no longer sufficient to make a person Muslim

[ BACK ] As Islam was made perfect and complete by the Holy Prophet Muhammad, and its beliefs do not require any change or addition after him, this means that a person today should become a Muslim in the same way as people have been doing ever since the beginning of Islam. That is to say, by expressing belief in the universally-famous formula of faith, the Kalima Shahada, which runs thus: Ash-hadu an la ilaha ill-Allahu, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammad-ar rasal-ullah, "I testify that there is no god but Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah."

However, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad put forward the doctrine, in the year 191 1, that expression of belief in the Kalima was no longer sufficient to make a person a Muslim because another prophet, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, had now appeared and belief in him must be acknowledged as well. Now it is a basic teaching of Islam that, with the coming of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, the followers of previous prophets (for example, Jews and Christians) are obliged to believe in him, and it is no longer sufficient for them to believe only in their previous prophets. Mirza Mahmud Ahmad applies this to say that as the prophet Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has now appeared, it is no longer sufficient for the existing Muslims to believe in the Holy Prophet Muhammad and all the prophets before him, but they must believe in the present-day prophet as well, otherwise they cannot remain Muslims.

In a book published in English, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, acknowledging his beliefs, writes:

"(3) the belief that all those so-called Muslims who have not entered into his [Promised Messiah's] bai 'at formally, wherever they may be, are Kafirs and outside the pale of Islam, even though they may not have heard the name of the Promised Messiah. That these beliefs have my full concurrence, I readily admit."

(The Truth about the Split, Rabwah, 1965, pp. 55-56 This book was first published in 1924, and is the translation of his Urdu book A'a-nah-i Sadqat.)


M. Mahmud Ahmad gives summary of his article.

In this book, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad also gives a summary of his first article expressing these views which had earlier appeared in April 1911. He writes regarding this article:

"The article was elaborately entitled 'A Muslim is one who believes in all the messengers of God'. The title itself is sufficient to show that the article was not meant to prove merely that 'those who did not accept the Promised Messiah were deniers of the Promised Messiah'. Its object rather was to demonstrate that those who did not believe in the Promised Messiah were not Muslims."


It is clear from this that Mirza Mahmud Ahmad is not applying the word kafir in its lesser sense of someone who denies a particular belief while still being a Muslim; on the contrary, he is calling Muslims as kafir in its usual meaning of people who are "not Muslims".

He further writes:

"Regarding the main subject of my article, I wrote that as we believed the Promised Messiah to be one of the prophets of God, we could not possibly regard his deniers as Muslims."


"Then, in my own words, I summarized the purport of the quotations as follows: Thus, according to these quotations, not only are those deemed to be Kafirs who openly style the Promised Messiah as Kafir, and those who although they do not style him thus, decline still to accept his claim, but even those who, in their hearts, believe the Promised Messiah to be true, and do not even deny him with their tongues, but hesitate to enter into his Bai'at, have here been adjudged to be Kafirs."


"And lastly, it was argued from a verse of the Holy Quran that such people as had failed to recognize the Promised Messiah as a Rasul even if they called him a righteous person with their tongues, were yet veritable Kafirs."


According to these views, the only Muslims in the whole world at any time are those who have taken the bai 'at of the Qadiani leader of the time. In the last quotation above, the closing words given as "veritable Kafirs" are "pakkay kafir" in the original Urdu book A 'i'nah-i Sadaqat, of which The Truth about the Split is the English translation. The word pakkay conveys the significance of real, true and full-fledged, meaning that all other Muslims are kafir in the fullest sense without the least doubt.

Views of M. Mahmud Ahmad's brother Bashir.

Mirza Mahmud Ahmad's brother Mirza Bashir Ahmad also expressed the same belief quite plainly. Referring to verses 4:150-151 of the Holy Quran, which say that those who believe only in some messengers of Allah and refuse to believe in others are "truly kafir", M. Bashir Ahmad writes in a book:

"Thus, according to this verse, every such person who believes in Moses but does not believe in Jesus, or who believes in Jesus but does not believe in Muhammad (peace be upon him), or believes in Muhammad (peace be upon him) but does not believe in the Promised Messiah, is not only a kafir but pukka kafir and excluded from the fold of Islam."

(Kalimat-ul-Fasal, by Mirza Bashir Ahmad, published February 1915. p.)

This statement declares all Muslims who do not belong to the Ahmadiyya Movement as being non-Muslims because of not believing in Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, just as Jews and Christians are non-Muslims for not believing in the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Again the description used is pukka kafir, meaning kafir in the real, true, and fullest sense.

This Qadiani belief led to the Split.

It was to combat these false doctrines and to keep alive the Promised Messiah's real mission that Maulana Muhammad Ali and his comrades formed the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at Islam at Lahore in 1914. The Maulana, writing at that time, explained this state of affairs as follows:

"M. Mahmud, a son of the founder of the movement, who is the present head of the Qadian section of the community, began to drift away from the basic principles of the Islamic faith about three years after the death of the Promised Messiah, going so far as to declare plainly that the hundreds of millions of Muslims, living in the world, should be no more treated as Muslims. He has laid down the basis of creating a breach with Islam itself, seeking to lay with the Ahmadiyya movement, which was a movement strictly within the circle of Islam, foundations of a new religion altogether and forcing it to take the direction which St. Paul gave to Christianity after Jesus Christ. A large number of the educated members of the community, who had the moral courage to dissent openly from the erroneous doctrines taught by him, perceived the great danger to the whole community, when after the death of the late Maulvi Nur-ud-Din a particular clique in the community succeeded in raising M. Mahmud to headship at Qadian without any general consultation. They at once rallied round the true doctrines of the Promised Messiah, and after in vain trying for over a month and a half to keep up the unity of the movement, formed themselves into a separate Society, known as the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha 'at-i-Islam on 2nd May 1914, which is now earnestly working for the propagation of Islam."

(Maulana Muhammad Ali, The Split in the Ahmadiyya Movement, first published 1918, Preface. See pp.1-2 of the 1994 reprint edition.)


Promised Messiah did not call other Muslims as kafir.

The Promised Messiah had condemned the practice of declaring of Muslims as kafir. He wrote:

"It is a matter of amazement that a person who recites the Kalima, faces the Qibla, believes in One God, believes in and truly loves God and His Messenger, and believes in the Quran, should on account of some secondary difference be declared a kafir on par with, nay even more than, Jews and Christians."

(A'inah Kamalat Islam, published February 1893, p.259)

Therefore, according to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad no person fulfilling one of the basic requirements of a Muslim, for example, professing the Kalima, or facing the Muslim Qibla in prayer, etc., can be called a kafir.


M. Mahmud Ahmad sides with opponents of Promised Messiah.

As to the allegation that he himself called Muslims as kafir, the Promised Messiah writes:

"In his booklet, AI-Masih al-Dajjal, Dr. Abdul Hakim Khan levels the allegation against me of having written in a book that a man who does not believe in me, even though he may not have heard of my name, and even though he may live in a country to which my call has not reached, he shall nonetheless be a kafir and enter This is a complete fabrication of the said doctor. I have not written this in any book or announcement. He ought to produce any book of mine in which this is written."

(Haqiqat al-Wahy, published May 1907, p.178.)

So in 1907, just a year before his death, the Promised Messiah condemned it as "a complete fabrication" of an opponent the allegation that he bad branded as kafir all those who did not believe in him even though they may not have heard of his name. And Mirza Mahmud Ahmad has made exactly the same allegation regarding the Promised Messiah, as quoted earlier:

"all those so-called Muslims who have not entered into his bai 'at formally, wherever they may be, are Kafirs and outside the pale of Islam, even though they may not have heard the name of the Promised Messiah."

Therefore, this doctrine put forward by Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, and ascribed by him to the Promised Messiah, had already been condemned by the Promised Messiah as a complete fabrication made by an opponent. The Qadianis should seriously ponder over the question whether these words of the Promised Messiah about an opponent are also applicable to them!

Promised Messiah's court declaration that he does not call Muslims as kafir.

In February 1899, at the end of a court case between the Promised Messiah and one of his leading opponents, Maulavi Muhammad Husain Batalvi, the magistrate got each of them to sign a notice that he would not call the other kafir or anti-Christ. Commenting on this, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad wrote:

"If he [Muhammad Husain] had been honest in issuing his fatwa, he should have said to the judge: 'I certainly regard him as a kafir, and so I call him a kafir' ...

"Considering that till now, till the last part of my life, by the grace and favour of God I still hold those beliefs which Muhammad Husain has declared as kufr, what sort of honesty is it that, out of fear of the judge, he destroyed all his fatwas and affirmed before the judge that he would never again call me kafir, or dub me anti-Christ and a liar. One should reflect as to what greater disgrace there could be than this ...

"It is true that I also signed this notice. But by this signing, no blame attaches to me in the eyes of God and the just people, nor does such signing reflect any disgrace on me, because my belief from the beginning has been that no person becomes a kafir or anti-Christ by denying my claim. ...I do not apply the term kafir to any person who professes the Kalima, unless he makes himself a kafir by calling me a kafir and a liar. In this matter, it has always been my opponents who took the first step by calling me a kafir, and prepared a fatwa. I did not take the lead in preparing a fatwa against them. And they themselves admit that if I am a Muslim in the eyes of God, then by calling me a ka~r the ruling of the Holy Prophet Muhammad against them is that they are kafir. So I do not call them kafir; rather it is by calling me kafir that they come under the judgment of the Holy Prophet. Therefore, if I have affirmed before Mr. Dowie [the judge] that I shall not call them kafir, it is in fact my belief that I do not consider any Muslim to be a kafir.

(Tiryaq al-Qulub, published October 1902, pp.130-131.)

The following points emerge plainly from this extract:

1. The Promised Messiah never called any Muslim a kafir on the grounds of not believing in his claims.

2. It was when his Muslim opponents persisted in calling him kafir that he reminded them of the ruling of the Holy Prophet Muhammad that anyone calling a fellow-Muslim as kafir has the same epithet reflected back upon him. So it was the Holy Prophet Muhammad's judgment against them which they brought on themselves.

3. When a Muslim opponent signed a declaration to the effect that he would stop calling Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as kafir, the Promised Messiah had no hesitation whatsoever in signing a similar declaration about his opponent.

4. The Promised Messiah repeatedly calls it "my belief" that a Muslim cannot be called a kafir for not believing in his claims.

5. The Promised Messiah wrote the above lines at a time which he himself describes as "...till now, till the last part of my life ." Therefore it cannot be argued that he held this belief only at an early stage in his mission and changed it later on.

After the extract quoted above, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad goes on to write about his opponent:

"In short, the man who, after getting provoked without justification, declared me kafir and prepared a fatwa concerning me, to the effect that I was a kafir, anti-Christ and liar, showed no fear of the commandment of Almighty God as to why he was calling as kafir people who face the Qibla and profess the Kalima, and why he was expelling from the fold of Islam thousands of servants of God who follow the Book of Allah and manifest the basic practices of Islam. However, after a threat from the magistrate of the district, he accepted for all time never again to call them kafir; anti-Christ or liar."


According to the Promised Messiah here, to call as kafir and to expel from Islam those people who profess the Kalima and follow the basic Islamic practices, is to show no fear of God. So the Qadiani movement's action in calling other Muslims as kafir falls under the condemnation of the Promised Messiah.