Original Articles

The Ahmadi Conundrum – by Aden

I don’t know if it’s true or not, but my Mom says that my first word was Allah. Well this is what supposed to happen when your house is so close to the mosque and the Azaan comes out of it 5 times a day.
I still remember my grandparents celebrating my aameen when I finished Quran at the age of 5. How everyone was so proud. When I started school, I was one of those kids who didn’t miss home. May be it was because I was so smart, and I always knew the answers to my teachers’ questions. My teacher was very impressed by my General Knowledge of religion but it was not because I read a lot of books at that age. I was just like any other kid. The whole credit goes to my grandfather and my dad who used to tell me all the stories of Prophets before bedtime.
From Adam, to Noah, to Abraham, to Moses, to Jesus and finally to our very own and very best Huzoor Muhammad (PBUH). Never did I feel as if I was any different than my fellow classmates, in fact at times I used to secretly think that I am better as I used to help them for preparation of tests or exams. Then in Grade 4, I remember someone in my Islamic studies class asked about Ahmadis from our teacher. When I listened to her answer, I was very surprised as until that time, I had no idea that my sect was hated so much by main stream Muslims. It wasn’t just a normal sectarian division based on religious differences such as Sunni, Shia or Deobandi or Brelvi; it was considered a sin to be an Ahmadi. Ahmadis are those who distort Islam, have no right to call themselves Muslims and “we” Muslims should not talk or eat with them as it is disrespectful to Islam and the honour of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

When I went home and asked my Mom about it, her reply surprised me even more. She was very clear that I don’t need to tell anyone about it. After that day, I was scared as to whether I should or should not tell my friends. It was weird because every day in the morning we would recite the same prayers, same national anthem proving our allegiance to our beloved country Pakistan; I learned the same kalima, same suras from the same Islamic studies books as them and the same Namaz for my oral Islamiat test. We used to send each other dishes for iftaar during Ramadan, exchange bangles or mehndi during Eid-ul-fitar and get all excited about whose bakra is the best during Eid-ul-Azha.

Now how can I hide it, it’s who I am, it’s my identity. Anyways, while I was fighting with myself over my identity, if ever the discussion regarding religion started, my friends would be leaving comments like Ahmadis are kaafirs, how they are bound to go to hell, all of this while I am sitting right there with them.

All this hatred made me realize what my Mom meant when she said that I don’t need to tell anyone. Then we moved to Islamabad and when I was in grade 9, we studied the constitution of Pakistan and how in 1973 Ahmadis were declared Non-Muslims. After learning that, I was shocked that Ahmmadiyya sect has been around for almost 100 years but “Muslims” realized this in 1973 that Ahmadis are Non-Muslims. Not only that, this realization came up in Pakistan, not from the Imam-e-Kaaba in Saudi Arabia or Al-Azhar University in Egypt (I gave these examples because these 2 institutions are respected regarding their opinions in matters of Islamic jurisprudence).

What about all the religious scholars who despite having religious differences regarding interpretations, have been involved with inter-faith dialogue with Ahmadis even before Pakistan was formed and still didn’t declare them Non-Muslims. Ahmadis worked with other Muslims during the struggle for an independent nation. How many people know that the person who drafted the Lahore constitution was an Ahmadi i-e Sir Zafarullah Khan. That document is the basis for the creation of Pakistan.  The reason that Muslims wanted a separate country for themselves was to have the freedom that they didn’t enjoy in Hindu Majority India. Who would have thought that the country that was created by a minority in the Indian sub-continent will persecute minorities after its creation?

Another thing which I don’t get is that why Pakistan is the only country which has made a constitutional law about Ahmadis regarding them as Non-Muslims? Every religion has sects and people disagree but nobody goes around making constitutional laws about it. Even other Muslim countries don’t define Ahmadis as non-Muslims in their constitutions.

If government is given the freedom to dictate who is a Muslim and who is not than this is a very dangerous precedent that is being set because in today’s world, no two sects agree on anything. For Sunnis, Shias are kaafirs, for Deobandis, its Brelvis and Aga Khanis are Non-Muslims in every one’s mind. Religion should be everyone’s private matter as Allah is the only one who knows what is inside anyone’s heart. A person can admit to something due to fear but not believe in it. What kind of  faith is that which is professed due to fear?

Freedom of religion is the basic principal of Islam which is evident from the teachings of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the verses of Quran. Nobody has the right to pass judgments on the “Muslimness” of any person. Not only that, in case of Ahmadis the argument has reached the point where killing them is going to get the person a place in heaven. Where do these scholars get the idea of declaring anyone wajib-ul-katal? How does taking the life of an innocent person open the gate to heaven? Simple common sense can provide reasonable and logical answers to a lot of questions but people would rather trust the interpretations of Mullahs who themselves need a crash course in basic Islam. It is so disheartening to see that in today’s world when the whole world criticizes Islam for being intolerant, Muslims are on the forefront to prove it.

 

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23 Comments

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  • It is indeed sad to see our country overwhelmed by so many miseries and yet unwilling to let go of this deep-rooted hate and bias for Ahmadi Muslims.

    I also remember similar stories from my college days. I am sure every Ahmadi in Pakistan has had to endure hate speech, if not open threats. Sad indeed!

  • Hi dear, though you have given very common but valid arguments. Dear, it is sad that why Pakistan is da only country who declared Ahmadis as non muslims. We have faith in one God you have faith in one God. We have faith in Last prophet of Allah.. Hazrat Muhammad S.A.W. Idkr. but sumwhe your scholars say that Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Kizzab had declared himself as prophet, sumwhere they say he wasnt a prophet he was awarded by special reveals(BASHARATS).. this is where the contradiction takes place. Every sec believes in finality of Rasool Allah but I heard it like Ahmadis dun believe in.. God knows the reality.. I dun know anything. but what I heard of I told u. Mirza Kizzab was punished so do the followers are.. even I am not in favor of it but.. this is what a common man thinks. I dun want to hurt you but I told u what we heard of.. Allah Hafiz

  • I wonder if we are being cursed from Allah for our treatment to minorities and vulnerables of our society.

  • I am from Bangladesh. We have a small Ahmedi community here living peacefully till about late 1990s. Then an organisation named ‘Khatme Nabuwat’ appeared, supported by some Mullahs from Pakistan, that started agitation across the country, asking Govt to declare Ahmedis non-Muslims. They attacked the Ahmedis, threw them out of their houses, burnt homesteads and closed down their mosques. Govt was mostly passive, virtually no one from the Ulema came to their rescue. Govt in Bangladesh bowed down to the pressure group by banning all their publications. Although since AL came to power, the agitators are off the street, they are stll active institutionally. The ban on their publications continue. Jamat-e-Islami, the largest Islamist party here, still demand Ahmedis be declared non-Muslim. I bave written on this issue. We need to learn from Pakistan – how one thing led to another, and today Pakistan is breaking up from within.

  • My questions is, why can not Ahmadis or Ahmadi Muslims call themselves only MUSLIMS. And for that matter, even Agha Khanis, Shias, Sunnis, why cant we call ourselves just MUSLIMS, if we all believe in one Allah, Mohammad PBUH as being our prophet, the last, and the Holy Quran, our religious book!!

    But I have to admit, that due to the media and information available in books about Ahmadi sect, I too believe that probably they are on the wrong side. As I said, we all believe in one Allah, the Prophet PBUH and the Holy Quran. All these teach us that there will be no prophet after Mohammad PBUH so why then Ahmadis claim some sort of prophethood for Mirza Ghulam Ahmed?? If we can answer this question, maybe the misperception can be removed.

  • @Bismillah, My reaction to your comment is that when constitution guarantees religous freedom, what business state has to define who is a Muslim and who is not. In fact, in Munir Commission Report way back in 1953-4, it was amply demonstrated that ‘There is no uniform definition of who is a Muslim?’ if we uniformly can’t define a Muslim, we should not try to define who is not. If we see how Pakistan slided into religious and sectarian violence, 1973 remains a watershed year. It opened the Pandora’s Box, it became a bar room brawl, everyone killing everyone else. In fact, Ahmedis, by choosing a pacifist approach to discrimination, are slightly better off than those who are involved in sectarian revenge and countre-revenge cycle.

  • It is indeed sad to see all this, but this is not limited to Ahmadis only. Every religious group differing from the wahabi doctrine is facing same fate. Comparing persecution, killings, hate speech and graphiti (from railway station bath rooms to university chalking) Shias are much more targeted than any other religious community. When I see all Ahmaddiyaa killings since 60s and Shia killings in 4 years of Quetta, Karachi, Parachinar I find they are bit protected. May Allah protect us all and let’s join hands for a better Pakistan where no one is persecuted on the basis of his/her religious beliefs.

  • A sad story. But don’t worry,Pakistan will not last for long if it sticks to its myopic religious polity. Remember religion divided India into two, then the same religion which led to the creation of Pakistan could not keep it intact. Rather the mullahs joined hands with Pakistani forces to shed the blood of Bangalis in the name of this ‘ideology’. But our people are still hostage to mullahs and the day is not far when this narrow religous biggotry will once more tear down this country into sects and sub-sects. Every sect will have its own share of this country’s pieces.

  • very good story of an Ahmadi Muslim in Pakistan . I am sure its the story of every Ahmadi in Pakistan who is studying in Pakistan. But some day they will take back all the Black Laws and equal rights to all sects in Pakistan will not be a Dream Inshallah

  • It’s a very touching article indeed & an issue that plagues society, constitution, & the democracy of Pakistan. The universal & Islamic truth is that; every individual who calls himself a Muslim is a Muslim, we are no one to judge his & her faith, otherwise we are playing God & that’s a big sin. Hopefully we’ll rescue our nation from the grips of Mullahs & make it a pluralistic society that Pakistan was created to be.

  • I think Ahmedis, by their pacifist policy, are winning adherents world-wide. More they are persecuted, more their numbers grow. Violence against Shias is more, because they fight back.

  • yes, i see kind of my story here – not in Pakistan but in UAE moreover .. yes, even there u’r better off not mentioning ur faith .. then again, good in studies n Islamic education AND practice, while Islamiyat teacher would come in class and off topic start shouting against us, true hatred i tell u.

  • A great story, truly inspiring to all Muslims I would hope…I think people should really take from this concepts of basic equality and human rights. One who grows so close to you in the same manner and pattern with the same beliefs, how can you deem that same person a non-muslim or a kafir, and persecute them mercilessly? If it isn’t you doing it, its your community and your relatives and your families, its your your countries and your leaders, and your mullahs. We all need to wake up and stand up for all of the persecuted minorities including Ahmadi’s, and talk back against those spreading hate, whether they be those whom you might love and look upto, and teach them that the hate they are spreading and teaching to your younger generations is wrong and utterly and completely frowned upon by our Creator and All Mighty Allah.

    If you are a devoted Muslim, believe in peaceful Jihad, this is the time, to fight back with words and actions, not war, against those who spread tyranny and hate amongst us all, when in fact we should all be united and have love for all, hatred for none.

  • Reading this it felt like someone was telling my story. I was in grade 1 at that time and didnt even understand the concept of sects in Islam. The problem just worsens as you get older & go into3 college or university. My brother in law would get beaten up in his hostel room while doing MBBS in Faislabad. His food snatched & thrown away in the cafeteria and eventually had to move off campus. To all those people who pay us lip service by saying “while we’re against anti ahmadi violence but why cant ahmadis just admit theyre wrong…” please! There is no justification for violence and discrimination on the basis of religious beliefs. Ever! If you think you are proper and better Muslims than Ahmadis & love The Holy Prophet Mohammad Sallalahu Alaihe Wassalam more. Then prove it by adopting his example. (Hazrat Muhammad SAW never hurt his enemy by words or by actions. He spared the people of Taif who caused him great pain & injury. When one word from his blessed mouth could annihilate them he told the Angel Gabriel to spare them lest some of them might eventually accept Islam. He gave general pardon to all the kuffar of Makkah when he entered it triumphant.) So if you think Ahmadis are on the wrong path then instead of killing us or hurting us just pray for us and we will pray for you. That May Allah guide whoever is wrong to the true path. Surely that is a better way of “dealing” with us Ahmadis.

  • tundiay baad-i-mukhalif se na ghabra ay uqab ye to chalti hai tujeh ooncha uranay kay liay

  • Its ridiculous to see that people are comfortable with their christian / hindu (may be Jewish 2)friends, but they don’t feel the same for Ahmadis. Double standards, I must say.

    No body can deny there is one big difference between MUSLIMS and AHMADIs. The status of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad!. But my question is only that if mullahs spared other muslim sects / non-muslim sects, why don’t they pardon Qadiyanis?

    When I 1st heard about qadiyanis, I was embarrassed, but with mixed feelings why they are not like us (about Mirza). Later with a chat with an Ahmadi friend, I realized that there is a difference of understanding and recognition for a muslim and a qadiyani for the status of Mirza. What my friend said is that Allah has revealed the truth to them only. Hmmm… so i stopped questioning as he cannot change my faith and I can’t change his. But we are still good friends. I can eat with him, study with him and even can drink in the same glass. (My workplace contains persons from various sects/ religions and we share common glasses / cups / plates, so its not a big deal for me. :D)

    Besides our faith, we all are human beings and we must be equally treated. Thats my point. And Ms Nudrat expressed same thoughts. A BIG sorry for the grief and pain your community is suffering, but this needs legislative amendments and Mullah free judgment which I am sorry Pakistan is lacking, and will continue to lack as We cannot expect any good from the government (and PPP thinks: from azad adliya, armed forces, Mullahs too). PPP guys will point out the incidence of Salman Taseer’s killing by the extremists. Who want to get killed for Ahmadiyans. No one. But as a first step, you can write CJ to consider the matter. Lets see of he can do something.

  • Without going into the details of where your or mine believes are different all i would like to emphasise is that most of us Pakistanis are religious biggots,Racist,Double Standards and narrow minded.We do not want to hear or see other persons point of view.
    I hope it helps to understand.

  • Thankfully Zia did not long other wise few more minorty groups like Shias,Ismailys, may have joined same fate is Ahmadis.

  • Simply Bullshit!!!

    Hindus, Christians and Sikhs are respected in Pakistan, cause they call themselves as MINORITY. Qadyanies should also accept themselves to be a minority and then get the respect of a minority.

    Also, the innocent article writer has just counted the SIMILARITIES between qadyanies and Muslims but ignored the fundamental differences, that make themselves different from all, Sunnies, Shiyas, Deobandis, Barelvis etc.

    On a side note, I don’t see any NEGATIVE comment… Is the admitting DELETING all Anti-Qadyani comments?

  • @Shuaib Nazir

    No one is deleting any comments. The fact of the matter is that not everyone is as racist as you might want them to be. Open your eyes, as far as I know, your mindset is the “minority” in Pakistan.

    Cheers.