How I joined the Lahore Ahmadiyya Jama‘at
by Sister Maha Dabbous, Egypt
(Note by muslim.org website: The article presented below was written for us by Maha Dabbous in November 1999 when she left the Qadiani Jama‘at to join us. A few months later she rejoined the Qadiani Jama‘at and wrote another article explaining her return, which is still available at the Qadiani Jama‘at website www.alislam.org. Our purpose in still keeping her first article online, as given below, is not to suggest or imply that she still maintains this position, but to show the arguments on which she based her decision to join the Lahore Ahmadiyya. Readers can compare these with the reasons she gives for her return in her article at the Qadiani Jama‘at website and draw their own conclusions as to which case is stronger.)
I come from a Sunni Muslim family in Egypt, where I was born in 1955. I was brought up and educated in Cairo. My father was a judge and my mother a housewife. They were known among all our relatives to be very good Muslims and were both very keen to teach me and my only sister the proper Islamic teachings. Because I loved them very much, I followed their good example. I was brought up to love Islam and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). From an early age, I was trained to observe the Islamic injunctions like offering the daily prayers and fasting during the month of Ramadan.
In the year 1977 I got my BSC degree in civil engineering from Cairo University, and in the same year I got married. My husband was also a civil engineer. We both traveled together to London in 1979 where my husband got his master’s degree and later his PhD. Then we settled permanently in England; my husband worked as a lecturer in the university and I worked as a structural engineer in a consultant’s design office. Allah granted us a son in 1983.
My traveling to England was a turning point in my life. It put things in proper perspective for me. The Egyptians usually think very highly of themselves. It seems that the famed pride of the Pharaohs still runs in their blood even today. I was no different; I was full of pride just for being Egyptian. I used to think that we Egyptians are the most knowledgeable people in the world. This of course applied also to the religious knowledge. I used to think that we have Al Azhar University in Egypt and that this is proof that – concerning religious matters – we are the best in knowledge. But my life in England changed my attitude to a great extent. I started dealing with other people from different nationalities and backgrounds, and I realized that other people also have knowledge and in most cases they excel Egyptians in their knowledge. This brought me down to earth and got rid of some of my Egyptian arrogance.
My life in England also revealed to me the image of Islam in the eyes of the western societies. Previously I was under the impression that the beauty of Islam was known to everybody in the world. But shortly after settling in England, I could see the reality of things. I realized that in the Western Countries, the image of Islam was very repulsive and unattractive. Islam is looked upon as a harsh and aggressive religion, which preaches violence and bloodshed. Muslims are regarded as the inferior people of the world.
I felt very protective about my religion, but in a way, I could not blame the western people for this ugly impression about Islam. It was the Muslims’ fault. Muslims are fighting together all around the world. There is no unity, no peace and no love in the Islamic countries. The Islamic commandments are mixed with a lot of impure injunctions that have nothing to do with the true Divine teachings. Muslims are lost in the pleasures of the material world, so how should the west see any good in that religion?
I used to be extremely concerned about Islam, and I used to wonder why did Allah leave His religion without any defense and protection? I believed Islam to be the final and perfect Divine religion. Why then did Allah allow the Muslims to corrupt its teachings? Why did Allah not protect His religion from such pollution?
I used to worry a lot and cry a lot while praying to Allah to save His religion from this calamity. My heart was bleeding with sorrow for my religion.
At that time I thought to myself that I should be defending Islam in some way. But I had no means of defense, except perhaps talking to non-Muslims and showing them the true teachings of Islam. So I started talking to my non-Muslim colleagues at work, and I tried to explain to them that the negative impression of Islam that they acquired through observing the Muslims of the present time had nothing to do with the original teachings of Islam. I tried my best to uncover the beautiful image of my religion, but little did I know about its true teachings, and thus, I failed to convince anybody.
Yet I was continuously praying anxiously to Allah to manifest the perfection of His final religion to mankind and to enable me to serve this religion and spread it in the world.
Allah by His Grace and Mercy answered my prayers in a wonderful way. He manifested to me His Graciousness and Mercy and He showed me that my prayers were already accepted one hundred years before. I got to know this one day, while talking to one of my Christian colleagues about Islam. At that time, another colleague at work interfered. He was a Sunni Muslim from Pakistan. He told me not to talk about Islam with anybody because Islam is not a religion to preach, and he added that only Christian people can preach their religion, and as for Islam, Allah Himself will spread it in the world. I was not convinced and I disagreed with what he said. I told him that Islam is a blessing from Allah and we are lucky to enjoy this blessing. But it is not right to keep it just for ourselves. Allah likes us to share His blessings with the others. So we must not deprive anybody of this great Divine blessing. My Pakistani colleague did not like what I said, and he mentioned that I sounded like the Ahmadis. I asked him who the Ahmadis were. He told me that they were the members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, and they believed in a new prophet who came to the world one hundred years ago. He also told me that their prophet claimed to be the Promised Messiah and the Imam Mahdi who is awaited by the Muslims. With my deep-rooted Egyptian pride I answered that we are not in need of any Mahdi or Messiah to guide us. We have the teachings of Islam in the Holy Quran and we have the example of the Holy Prophet to follow. So why do we need any body else to guide us? If we need any guidance, we can ask our scholars of Al Azhar in Egypt.
At that time I felt very angry with those Ahmadis. I thought to myself that they are even worse than the other Muslims because they believe in a prophet after the Holy Prophet of Islam.
I felt very upset and I wished to meet those Ahmadis and try to change their wrong beliefs. Allah granted me this wish instantly because my colleague mentioned that his wife had an Ahmadi friend who was preaching the Ahmadiyya teachings to her. He happened also to have some Ahmadiyya literature from her. I decided to go and see that Ahmadi lady, but first I requested my colleague to bring me the Ahmadiyya literature, and he brought them to me the next day. When he was giving me the books, he warned me saying that these Ahmadis are kafirs - disbelievers - and that I should not be influenced by whatever I read in their literature. I assured him that nothing would change my beliefs.
I read the literature and I was extremely impressed. I could sense the love of Allah and His Holy Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in every letter of these writings. I went back to my colleague and asked him why he called those Ahmadis "Kafirs". He told me that this was the verdict of the Muslim scholars; even the scholars of Al Azhar in Egypt expressed this opinion. But I told him that although I did not believe in the prophethood of the founder of their movement, I still could not call them Kafirs. They claim to be Muslims and they believe in the unity of Allah and in the prophethood of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), so how can we call them kafirs then?
I was very keen to talk to the Ahmadi lady who provided these books and my colleague arranged for this. She was a Pakistani lady. When we had our first conversation, I was very impressed by her religious knowledge. At that time I used to think that only the Arabs could have any deep knowledge about Islam. But again, little did I know.
The main subject of our conversation was concerning the second coming of Jesus. I did not have any previous opinion regarding this. I was not aware of the Sayings of the Holy Prophet regarding the appearance of the Son of Mary and the Imam Mahdi in the latter days of the world. I only remembered one thing. When I was very young, my mother once told me that some people believe that Jesus will return to the earth before the end of the world. I recall that at that time I asked her, how will we recognize him when he comes? She answered me saying that if somebody claims to be Jesus and he calls the people to worship the One and Only God, and does not abrogate any of the injunctions of the Holy Quran or annul any of the teachings of the Holy Prophet of Islam, then he must be the true Jesus.
I continued to see my Ahmadi sister, and during our meetings she proved to me from the Holy Quran and the sayings of the Holy Prophet that Jesus had already died and that the prophecies regarding his second coming were to be fulfilled by the coming of another person similar to Jesus in his mission. She also explained to me that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement, was that person who fulfilled these prophecies.
This idea appealed to me, it sounded very reasonable and acceptable. I started to study the teachings of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in depth. I was amazed and deeply moved by whatever I read. I could not find one fault in his teachings. It was an embodiment of the teachings of the Holy Quran and the practice of the Holy Prophet of Islam. The characteristic feature of his writings was the love of Allah and the Holy Messenger of Islam on one side and the love of humanity on the other. The teachings of Ahmadiyya had a beautiful taste and flavor. I could feel the real essence of Islam in every letter of these teachings. I had no doubt in my mind that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was appointed by Allah as the awaited Reformer. It was very clear to me that whatever he wrote was assisted by the Divine support. The only thing, which was preventing me from accepting Ahmadiyya, was his claim to be a prophet, because I believed that Hazrat Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was the last prophet to mankind. At that time it occurred to me that maybe Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad never claimed prophethood and that his followers claimed this for him after his demise. But when I checked this, I was told that he himself claimed to be a prophet.
I could not resist the urge forcing me to follow that exceptionally holy person. His teachings were extremely appealing to me. It was exactly what I wished for. I thought a lot about his claim concerning his prophethood. I thought to myself that he was a just and truthful man. He would never invent any false fabrication. If he said he was a prophet then I must accept this. I convinced myself through logic, his prophethood was not separate from the prophethood of the Holy Prophet, on the contrary it was born out of it. It was a blessing granted to the true followers of the Holy Prophet. So in this case, we cannot say it is a new or a separate prophethood. It was just a reflection of the original prophethood. In this way, I was satisfied to accept the prophethood of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.
So I accepted Ahmadiyya by taking the Bai`at - the pledge - in July 1989.
My heart was deeply moved. I was very thankful to Allah that He guided me to this beautiful truth. I was also very sad and sorry that I did not know about this truth earlier, I lost many years of my life without living as an Ahmadi. I had to make up for these lost years.
I wished to cry loud and announce this beautiful news to everybody in the world. The Awaited Reformer had come to save us and unite us all under one banner. He had come to clear Islam from all pollution and impurities and to spread this perfect Divine message in the whole world. I wished to convey the message of the Promised Messiah to all mankind. I felt that everybody now had the chance to follow the true teachings of Islam. I decided that I would carry this message back to my country, Egypt. I was sure that if this great news was accepted by the Egyptians, then all the rest of the Arabs would follow them very quickly.
It was time for hard work; I felt I should not lose any more time. I knew my husband and my parents in Egypt would not accept my decision. But I could not hold back.
I was ready to face any kind of hardship for the sake of Allah and His true message.
By declaring my acceptance of the truth of the Promised Messiah I started to confront an extreme opposition from my husband, relatives and friends. Even my own parents and my only sister bitterly opposed me. I had to sacrifice them all for the sake of the truth. And Allah says in the Holy Quran:
"Say: If your fathers and your sons and your brethren and your wives and your kinsfolk and the wealth you have acquired, and the trade whose dullness you fear, and the dwellings you love, are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and striving in His way, then wait till Allah brings His command to pass. And Allah guides not the transgressing people."
(Chapter 9: The Immunity: verse 24)
And for me the choice was "Allah and His Messenger and striving in His way". They were the dearest to me. For their love, I had to lose whatever and whoever I loved in my past life. My husband divorced me and took my only son away from me because he feared I might influence him with my religious beliefs. I had to leave my house that I loved. I lost interest in my property and material belongings. I even lost my job after I started wearing a headscarf, thus declaring that I had become a true Muslim. On my first visit to Egypt after my acceptance of Ahmadiyyat, I had to face the opposition from my relatives and friends that continues until today. My parents and my only sister and her husband opposed me very badly. They tried to change my beliefs in every way they could. They arranged for me to meet many religious scholars in the hope of changing my thoughts. I never refused to discuss things with these scholars, because I wished to preach Ahmadiyya to them. But nothing changed their stand, and of course, none of them convinced me to leave the truth I adhered to.
I had to start living on my own, leaving my past life behind. I started a new life as an Ahmadi. I lived in London in a place very close to the London Mosque – the center of the Ahmadiyya community that I belonged to. The members of the Ahmadiyya Jamat became my spiritual family. I continued to study the teachings of the Promised Messiah through his books and through other literature produced by the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. I devoted all my time and effort to the service of the Jamaat, and I dedicated all the means at my disposal for the purpose of preaching Ahmadiyyat to others. But for a reason I did not know at the time, I utterly failed to convince anybody.
At the end of the year 1992, I got married to an Indian Ahmadi from Qadian. Although I spent most of the time in London for the sake of serving the Jamaat, I still had the opportunity to live in Qadian for some time. Being in the birthplace of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a very pleasant experience. It gave me great pleasure and satisfaction to live in the same place where the Promised Messiah lived and preached his teachings and beliefs.
Allah granted me a daughter and a son out of my second marriage. But unfortunately things did not go as desired between me and my husband and we had to separate.
This brought me back to Egypt in July 1997. At that time my father died, and I had no choice but to stay in Egypt for a while to deal with some problems concerning the inheritance of my father’s property.
I felt very disturbed by my stay in Egypt, because I felt I was away from my spiritual family – the members of the Jamaat Ahmadiyya in London.
I could not stand the idea that I was not doing any service for my Jamaat. So I bought myself a computer with the intention of doing some work. I intended sending my work to the Jamaat in London through the Internet service. But Allah had some other plan for me. When I linked my computer to the Internet, naturally the first thing I searched for was the site of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. I found a site, but it was not the site of my community, it was the site of the Lahori movement.
At that time I remembered that when I accepted Ahmadiyyat, I heard that after the demise of the Promised Messiah, his community split into two. One was the community that I belonged to, whose center was initially in Qadian and therefore was referred to as the Qadiani movement, and the other was the Lahori movement whose center was in Lahore. When I first heard about the Lahori movement, I was told that they did not believe in the prophethood of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, and also they did not enjoy the unity of leadership. I must admit here that at that time I never tried to know more about the Lahori community because I got the impression that the differences between the two communities were concerning the leadership, and that the split happened because the individuals, who later became the Lahoris, wanted to be the leaders of the community. So I thought that it was only a political difference.
Anyway, I never had a chance to meet any of the Lahori Ahmadis in London.
Yet at that time I also remembered one more thing. Just before I came to Egypt in 1997, I went to Pakistan for a visit. My husband, knowing how much I loved the Promised Messiah and anything related to him, took me on a tour in Lahore to show me the places associated with the Promised Messiah. At that time I visited some places where I saw pictures of Maulana Muhammad Ali and some other companions of the Promised Messiah. When I asked my husband who those people were, he told me that they were the companions who split from the Jamat and established the Lahori section. I was very surprised at that time. How could such people who were very close to the Promised Messiah, go astray and create division in his community after his death? I could not believe that they could have done this.
So back to my story. When I first found the web site of the Lahori Ahmadis on the Internet, I did not bother to read any of its contents. To me they were some Ahmadis who had gone astray.
For a few weeks after that I tried to contact my Jamaat in London and to get some work done, but Allah did not enable me to do this. I even thought of designing a new Arabic web site for the Jamaat. But again Allah did not enable me to do it because he had another plan for me.
Then one day – in October 1999 - I was just exploring the web sites on the Internet, and again I came across the site of the Lahori movement. Out of curiosity I thought I’d read some of its contents. When I downloaded the web page, the first title which caught my sight was: "Arabic translation and typesetting project in Egypt". It was a report of a visit of an Ahmadi Lady to Egypt where she visited Al Azhar. During her visit to Egypt she also arranged for some of the books of the Lahori movement to be translated into Arabic, together with the typesetting of some of the Arabic books of the Promised Messiah.
Knowing how much the Azhar scholars oppose Ahmadiyya, I was very surprised and impressed by that report. How could she manage this? I wondered!
This report led me to read other contents of the site.
I continued on to read one topic after the other, I was very impressed. The beliefs and teachings of the Promised Messiah were being introduced in a very attractive manner.
Then I came across some topics addressing the Qadianis. I was struck by what was written in that respect. I realized that the differences between the Lahori Ahmadis and the Qadiani Ahmadis were based on real religious issues concerning their beliefs and practices. Before that, I had never tried to know anything about the Lahori Ahmadis, because I got the impression that they had split from the main stream as a result of some differences on the leadership of the community, and this did not concern me much. But differences regarding religious beliefs and practices were not something to be ignored.
When I first realized that the Lahoris were giving some arguments against the beliefs of the Qadianis, I felt reluctant to continue reading any further. But Allah drew my attention to something very important which was happening to me at the same time.
At that same time, I happened to be – as usual – preaching Ahmadiyya to some of my relatives. As I knew already that any religious discussion with them produced a lot of hostility and aggression, I wrote a few Arabic articles where I included some arguments in favor of the Ahmadiyya beliefs, and then I distributed the articles among them. But they did not read these articles. Instead, some gave them to their favorite religious friends to read them and then give their verdict. I was very angry. I told them that this is not right. We should not blindly follow any body in religious matters. We must not wait for anybody to make the decision for us in our religious beliefs. We must find out the truth ourselves. We must seek guidance from Allah alone and not from the people who can go astray and then lead us astray behind them as well.
And so, when Allah reminded me of all this and when I thought about my own experience with my relatives, it occurred to me that I was doing the same thing concerning my attitude towards the Lahori movement. My relatives were refusing to read the arguments in support of the truth of Ahmadiyya and they were just blindly following their religious leaders. Was not I doing the same thing? Wasn’t I refusing to read the arguments of the Lahori Ahmadis and just following blindly whatever I had been told before?
With these thoughts in my mind I continued reading the contents of the web page that was addressing the Qadianis. Every point discussed there was supported by some selections from the writings of the Promised Messiah. I read all what was written there, and for the first time since I joined the Ahmadiyya, I found myself without an answer for the arguments given by the Lahori Ahmadis.
Since I accepted Ahmadiyya ten years before, I was used to the fact that whatever arguments I heard, I would have an answer for them. But not this time. I did not have any answer to whatever was written there concerning the beliefs of the Qadiani Ahmadis. My position reminded me of the position of the Sunni Muslims when they come across any arguments in favor of the truth of the Promised Messiah. They never had any answer for these arguments, but still, out of stubbornness, they continued holding to their false beliefs.
My failure to find any answer to the arguments in favor of the Lahori movement enabled me to sense the truth in them.
Hence I started thinking deeply about the whole subject.
The person who started the Lahori movement, Maulana Muhammad Ali, was one of the closest companions of the Promised Messiah. How could he go wrong? He was also joined by other companions as well. It was not logical to me that all these companions could go astray only a few years after the departure of the Promised Messiah from the world.
I was very confused. I could not decide who was right and who was wrong. I had some very mixed feelings at that time. I loved both sides because both were followers of the Promised Messiah.
My feelings were that of a mother who had two children. Naturally she loved them both. But her children were fighting between themselves and she could not decide who was right and who was wrong because of her extreme love for both of them. Yet if there was a fight, then they could not both be right.
I wished to discuss things with one of the Lahori Ahmadis. So I contacted the web site and I was very lucky to get an answer from Sister Samina, the same lady who visited Egypt and wrote the report on the website.
We exchanged a few messages, and Allah by His grace enabled us later to meet in Cairo for a short while, when she kindly came for a quick visit.
When I met her, I was very impressed by her. I felt that I had known her for a long time. We discussed things in detail, and she cleared up many points. She gave me a lot of books to read. After she left I could not stop thinking about the matter.
Now I had to decide which one of the two communities was closer to the truth.
Both the Qadianis and the Lahoris claim to be the true followers of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad; which party was closer to his teachings?
The issue of the nature of the prophethood of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had to be the decisive point.
Each party claimed that it was the one believing in the true concept of this prophethood.
Now this prophethood must not be separated from the prophethood of the Holy prophet of Islam, otherwise it would be contradicting the Quranic declaration that the Holy Prophet was the Seal of the prophets.
I read very carefully the view of the Lahori movement concerning this matter. I found that what was written there was not very different from my own belief. I had read some of the Promised Messiah’s original Arabic books and I had already understood this point. His prophethood was a reflection of the prophethood of the Holy Prophet of Islam. So it was not a separate thing. But there was one interesting point for me here. This prophethood was to be taken in the metaphorical sense and not in the real sense.
What difference does this make? It makes a lot of difference in the practice and attitude of the Ahmadis towards the non-Ahmadi Muslims. That was the difference between the Qadiani Ahmadis and the Lahori Ahmadis.
The Qadianis take this prophethood in the real sense, and therefore they put it as a condition, that, to be a Muslim, a person has to believe in the prophethood of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. As for the Lahoris they do not put this condition. They say that the belief in the prophethood of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is enough to declare a person as a Muslim.
In this respect the Lahoris are the correct party. Since the time of the advent of the Holy Prophet, a person was declared a Muslim if he believed in just two things, that ‘There is no god but Allah’ and that ‘Muhammad was His Messenger’. Even if that person did not observe prayers or fasting and even if he did not obey the teachings of Islam, no body had the right to declare him as a non-Muslim as long as he believed in the above two points. He could be called a ‘bad Muslim’ or a ‘disobedient Muslim’ but never a ‘non-Muslim’. So here the Qadianis are wrong to put any further condition in addition to the original two conditions for declaring any person to be a Muslim, because this means that they are changing the original Islamic principles of faith.
Now here there is a very important point to clarify. It might appear from the present attitude of the Qadianis, that they do not regard the non Ahmadi Muslims as non-Muslims, as they do not verbally call them non-Muslims. But in all practical means they regard them as non-Muslims. As a Qadiani myself, I did not regard the Muslims who did not accept the truth of the Promised Messiah as ‘non-Muslims’. I just called them ‘non-Ahmadi Muslims’. Yet in all practical sense I did treat them as I would treat non-Muslims. As a Qadiani, I would have never married my daughter to a non Ahmadi Muslim and I would never pray behind a non Ahmadi Muslim. I would never even offer funeral prayers for any non Ahmadi Muslim. Isn’t this exactly the attitude of Muslims towards non-Muslims?
It is true that the Promised Messiah has asked his followers not to pray behind some non-Ahmadi Imams. But the reason for this was also explained by him. These people used to abuse the Ahmadis and call them ‘kafirs’ and according to a hadith of the Holy prophet, the person who calls somebody a kafir, becomes himself a kafir. Therefore the Promised Messiah forbade his followers to pray behind those Imams because, by declaring Ahmadis to be kafirs, they themselves became kafirs, and a Muslim must not pray behind a kafir. Yet this does not mean that Ahmadis should generalize this and make it a rule and treat all the non-Ahmadi Muslims as kafirs. In other words we must treat the non Ahmadi Muslims who do not call us ‘kafirs’, in the same manner as we would treat ‘real Muslims’.
Now regarding the leadership of the community. Previously I was under the wrong impression that the Lahori community was without a leader. This made me think that the Lahori Ahmadis must be on the wrong path, because in the unity of the leadership lies the unity of the Muslims. Unity of leadership is an essential feature of Islam and without it, the unity of the Muslims can never be achieved. But after reading some information about the Lahori movement, I found out that there was a leader for the community, though not in the image I expected. I also discovered that the Promised Messiah himself had appointed his own successor to lead his community after his departure from this world. During his lifetime, the Promised Messiah established the Anjuman — an executive body consisting of fourteen members — and he described this body as his successor. This was mentioned in his book Al-Wasiyyat. The Lahori community still holds this Anjuman as its leader. In other words, the Lahori community is the one who is following these instructions of the Promised Messiah.
Now it was obvious to me which party of the two was following the true teachings of the Promised Messiah and therefore was on the right path.
Knowing the truth was not enough for me. I had to follow it myself and also declare it to others. If I do not follow this truth, I will be a hypocrite, and if I do not declare it to others, I will be a coward.
This was a difficult situation again. When I first converted to Ahmadiyya I had to sacrifice all my material belongings and my relatives and friends. But this time it was different. It was my spiritual belongings and my spiritual relatives and friends that had to be sacrificed. I must say that the latter group is much dearer to me than the former. For me the spiritual ties are much stronger than the material or physical ones. But I had no choice; Allah and His true religion are dearer to me than anything else.
I decided to join the Lahori movement. In November 1999 I submitted my Bai`at.
Now I pray for my spiritual relatives and friends, the members of the Qadiani Ahmadiyya Jamat. I pray to Allah that they will not react in the same manner as my physical relatives and friends in Egypt did before them. I appeal to my Qadiani brothers and sisters, my spiritual family, please do not treat me in the same way as my physical family did before you. Remember how I was suffering for my own family to join me in seeing the truth of Ahmadiyya? I will be suffering for you all now to join me in following the true teachings of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. You have witnessed my pain and anguish in my prayers for the sake of my own people in Egypt. Now with this same grief and agony I will be praying for you, because I love you all.
Two parties are claiming to be the true followers of the Promised Messiah, but the truth cannot lie on both sides. Our duty is to check the beliefs and practices of both parties, then compare this with the ‘Original’ writings of the Promised Messiah. Our duty is to seek guidance from Allah alone and not to follow any body else blindly. Allah is the One who guides his true servants to the straight path, but people can lead others astray.
I pray to Allah to manifest the truth for the seekers.
I pray for the two parties claiming to be the followers of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to unite together under his true teachings.
I pray for all the Ahmadis to combine their efforts together and join hands, to spread the true teachings of Islam in the world and conquer the hearts of the entire population of the globe.
I pray for my people in Egypt to accept Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as the awaited Imam Mahdi and the Promised Messiah.
I pray for all mankind to see the beautiful truth of Ahmadiyyat.
Oh Allah! please accept my humble prayers.
LETTER OF MAHA DABBOUS
after her return to main fold Ahmadiyyat
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Ever-Merciful
A few months ago, I joined the Lahori Jamat and I stayed on that condition for about two and a half months. After that I returned to my homeland - the Ahmadiyya Jamat.
In the following pages, I will explain the reasons for my return to the Ahmadi Jamat. But before doing so, and for the sake of the reader who is not familiar with the difference between the Lahori Jamat and the Ahmadiyya Jamat, I will first explain that difference. The Ahmadiyya Jamat is the mother Jamat. It is the Jamat that is following the leadership of the Khilafat system. It is the only community existing in the world today that is enjoying the blessings of the true Islamic Khilafat system. As for the Lahori Jamat, it is a minority that has strayed away from the system of the mother Jamat and rebelled against the leadership of the Islamic Khilafat.
Now after this brief introduction, I will relate my story.
I got to know about the Lahori Jamat from its websites on the Internet. It was new information for me to know that the Lahoris had a proper organized Jamat that was propagating the teachings of the Promised Messiah. I was very impressed by the information they advertised on their website. I contacted them and I got to know more about the Lahori beliefs and, thinking that they were following the true teachings of the Promised Messiah, I joined the Lahori Jamat. When I did so, I never ever meant to make enemies with the members of my original Jamat, the Ahmadis. It just seemed to me that the members of both Jamats were true Ahmadis who loved Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad very dearly and who were striving hard to propagate his message all around the world. It appeared to me that there were only minor differences between the two parties, so why should there be any enmity between them?
Concerning faith, joining the Lahori Jamat did not change my beliefs in the truth of the Promised Messiah. My beliefs were exactly the same as before. I still believed that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was the Imam Mahdi and the Promised Messiah and the Mujadid of the fourteenth century. I also continued to believe that he was a prophet, but in a metaphorical sense.
This point needs further clarification. My belief in the prophethood of the Promised Messiah did not change in any way. Only my attitude towards this prophethood has changed. As before, I did not take it as a separate or independent prophethood. I understood it to be an image of the Holy Prophet's prophethood. As if a person is standing in front of a mirror and looking at his image. The image is not the real person. It does not have a separate or an independent entity. If the person does not exist, then his reflection in the mirror will also not exist. So this is the prophethood of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad - a reflection. This is what he himself explained in his writings and this is what every one of his followers must believe it to be, whether this follower is from Qadian or Rabwa or Lahore.
Now back to my story, after I joined the Lahori Jamat, I started to be more familiar with the differences between the two Jamats. I received messages from some members of the Ahmadi Jamat to explain to me the truth of the situation and to answer my queries and remove my misunderstandings. I also got the chance to meet some of the Lahori members and to read more literature produced by the Lahori Jamat.
I started to realize that deep hatred and extreme enmity existed between the Lahoris and the Ahmadis. This point upset me and worried me very much. I could never rest while feeling that there was an enmity or a fight between two parties who were both claiming to be the true followers of the Promised Messiah.
My intense love for the Promised Messiah was the cause for my disturbed feelings. I really love him more than my own self. The only two loves that come before his love are the love of Allah and the love of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). As a matter of fact, the reason for my deep love for the Promised Messiah is that he taught me the true love of Allah and His Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). The advent of the Promised Messiah granted me a new spiritual life and opened for me the doors of a very pleasant paradise. It also created many new hopes and renewed many old desires in my heart.
I recall my condition before accepting Ahmadiyya, when I was a Sunni Muslim. I remember how miserable I used to feel, before knowing about the advent of the Promised Messiah. I used to be extremely sad and distressed when I saw the Muslims divided and fighting together. I used to suffer badly because of their condition. I used to cry and pray to Allah to come to the aid of the Muslims, to provide help and support for His religion, to unite all the Muslims of the world under the true teachings of Islam, and to spread the message of Islam all around the globe. When Allah guided me to the truth of the Promised Messiah, my happiness knew no limits. I could see that Allah had already sent the solution for all the problems of Islam. I realized that the Ahmadiyya Jamat was the means by which Allah will unite all the Muslims under one banner, and will also lead them to the Victory they were promised. This was the beginning of the triumph of Islam in the world. So, in short, when Allah guided me to the truth of the Promised Messiah, my wishes and desires were renewed and strongly intensified.
But when I got to know about the split in the Ahmadiyya Jamat, and after I joined the Lahori Jamat, my expectations started to fade away. My hopes were being shattered in front of my own eyes. Instead of uniting the whole world under the true teachings of Islam, I found the followers of the Promised Messiah divided among themselves. My happiness disappeared and was replaced by deep grief. My heart was filled with sorrow when I realized that instead of bringing about the internal reconciliation between the different Muslim sects, the followers of the Promised Messiah have divided among themselves and hence they created yet another internal split. I imagine if the Promised Messiah was now alive, what could his feelings be?
At that time, it appeared to me that both the Ahmadis and the Lahoris were responsible for this split in the Jamat. I felt that it was the duty of all the Ahmadis and the Lahoris to strive hard to suppress and destroy this enmity between the two groups of their Jamat. This is because it was one of the purposes of the coming of the Promised Messiah to bring about the internal reconciliation of the Muslims, and it is the duty of his true followers to be the first to achieve this purpose. It is their duty to set a good example for the rest of the Muslims. It is their duty to be prepared to face any kind of hardship and to offer any kind of sacrifice to see the end of this split.
I feel frightened when I look back into the history of Islam. When I see what happened just a few years after the death of the Holy Prophet. Just a few years after his death, his followers were divided and fighting each other. They were all very close to him during his holy life. They all must have drunk from the fountain of his perfect teachings. All must have witnessed the perfect example in the life of the best man ever born on this earth. But still only a few years after his death they were fighting each other and the results of the division of the Muslims which took place at that time continues until today. The gap that was created at that time did not even remain fixed, it continued to expand over the ages and it is obvious to everybody what state the Muslims have reached today because of these initial disagreements.
It terrifies me when I think that this might be repeated in the case of the followers of the Promised Messiah. We must strive hard to prevent his followers from following that same route.
With these feelings I continued to receive messages from the members of the Ahmadi Jamat and in the same time I continued to read the Lahori literature. I never stopped or ignored reading the ideas and points of view of both parties.
They were both quoting passages from the books of the Promised Messiah to prove their own point of view. It amazed me that both parties were supporting their arguments by quoting passages from the same books. They were even both referring to the same passages in these books and using them to reinforce their two different stands. This fact was very confusing indeed. I wanted to follow the teachings of the Promised Messiah and both parties were insisting that they were the ones following his true teachings. How could anybody find out which one was the right view? I wondered!
As these thoughts were in my mind, I received an e-mail message including an Arabic booklet written by a brother from the Ahmadi Jamat. It included the answers for all the points that I had raised earlier in my discussions with my Ahmadi brothers and sisters through e-mail messages. The booklet included a part addressing me in a reproaching manner. I was very upset about this. In the beginning I thought that I was upset because of the mention of my name and the criticism attached to it that was included in the booklet. But when I thought deeply about the matter, I found out that it was not this that bothered me. I have faced worse experiences before that in the past. As a matter of fact, since I accepted Ahmadiyya, I have been facing rebuke from all directions - family, friends, religious scholars, etc. So this time it was nothing new for me, I am used to this anyway. Furthermore, this was a much milder reproach compared to my past experiences. So what was bothering and upsetting me then? When I searched deep in my heart to find the real reason, I found out that what really upset me was that I realized that the Ahmadi Jamat and myself became enemies. That was the reason for my deep grief.
It is my nature that I never allow anybody to become my enemy. I cannot live with it. I would do anything to end up any quarrel or misunderstanding between me and anybody else, as soon as possible. But all of a sudden I found myself an enemy of the people whom I loved most. The believers in the truth of the Promised Messiah are the dearest people to me in this world.
I could not live with these feelings for long. This Arabic booklet was like a slap on my face that woke me up from my slumber. It caused me a severe shock. It aggravated the problem to a level that I could not bear. I was continuously crying and praying to Allah to end my suffering and to remove my pain and distress.
Moreover, this Arabic booklet included arguments to answer all the points that the Lahoris were raising against the Ahmadis. Now it became obvious to me that I was hasty in my decision to join the Lahori group before investigating the matter more thoroughly.
I felt very depressed. By that time I had already met some members of the Lahori Jamat and I genuinely and truly loved them very much. But on the other hand I also continued to feel deep affections and intense love towards my Ahmadi spiritual family, who looked after me and nourished me spiritually for more than ten years, since I joined the Ahmadiyya Jamat in the year 1989.
I wished that this battle between the two groups would disappear so that I would not need to choose one and desert the other. I was like the child who was watching his parents fighting together. Regardless of who was wrong and who was right, he loved them both very dearly and he wanted them to stop fighting and be together all the time. He would do anything to see an end for their fight.
With these feelings, I was praying to Allah to end this calamity and to bring the peace back to my heart.
It was time for me to forget about my personal affections and to think about the real facts of the matter. As far as I understood, the differences between the Ahmadis and the Lahoris were all based on the belief in the prophethood of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. The Ahmadis say that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed prophethood and the Lahoris say that he did not claim prophethood; he only claimed muhadathiyya or prophethood in the metaphorical sense. After I studied closely the beliefs of each group, I realized something very interesting. I noticed that concerning this issue - in my view - there isn't much difference between the two parties. The differences in the beliefs of the two parties are artificial and false.
To illustrate this let us assume that somebody asked a follower of the Promised Messiah a question:
"Did Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claim to be a prophet?"
The initial response to the question will depend on whether the person who was asked this question, belongs to the Ahmadi Jamat or to the Lahori Jamat. But the rest of the answer will be exactly the same in both cases.
This means that if the person who was asked that question, belonged to the Ahmadi Jamat, his answer will be:
"Yes, he claimed prophethood, but his prophethood was a (burooz) and an image, a reflection of the prophethood of the Holy Prophet of Islam. So it is not a separate or an independent prophethood. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed to be a follower prophet - Ummati Nabi - who did not bring a new law."
And if the person who was asked the above question, belonged to the Lahori Jamat, his answer will be:
"No, he did not claim prophethood, but he only claimed a metaphorical prophethood - in other words, muhaddathiyya - which was a (burooz) and an image, a reflection of the prophethood of the Holy Prophet of Islam. So it is not a separate or an independent prophethood. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed to be a follower prophet - Ummati Nabi - who did not bring a new law."
If I am the person who asked that question, I might not even notice that there was a difference in the two answers. The end result is exactly the same. The description of the claim of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is that he claimed a "kind of" prophethood, which is a (burooz) and an image; it is a reflection of the prophethood of the Holy Prophet of Islam. It is not a separate or an independent prophethood. So Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was an (Ummati Nabi) - a follower prophet who did not bring a new law.
One team calls this "prophethood", the other calls it "metaphorical prophethood - or muhaddathiyya".
But a word of truth must be said here. If a clear one-word answer is required for the above question (Did Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claim to be a prophet?), then the truthful answer should be a "YES" because Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed a kind of prophethood. If a "NO" is given as the answer, then it will be an incorrect statement. This point was highlighted and discussed in detail by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself in his Urdu book: "Ayk Ghalati Ka Izala" that was translated to English by both the Ahmadi and the Lahori Jamats.
Although the two parties disagree about the interpretations concerning many passages of this book, they both agree at least on one point. They both believe that this book represents the true teachings of the Promised Messiah that he preached up to the time of his death.
I will quote here from the English translation of that book, which was published by the Lahori Jamat on their website. The reason for this is that what I will quote gives credit to the Ahmadi point of view. So it is better to use the translation of the Lahoris so that nobody would think that the Ahmadis are misrepresenting these writings or changing its meanings for their advantage. The Lahoris themselves understand these passages in the sense that gives credit to the Ahmadi point of view.
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad wrote in the beginning of that book:
"Some people in our Movement who are not well-acquainted with my claim and the arguments relating to it --- not having had the occasion to study my books carefully, nor having stayed in my company for a sufficient length of time to complete their knowledge --- in some instances in response to an objection of the opponents give a reply which is entirely against facts. So, despite being on the side of truth, they have to face embarrassment.
Thus it happened a few days ago that a person faced from an opponent the objection that "the man whose pledge you have taken claims to be a prophet (nabi) and a messenger (rasoul)" This was answered by only a denial, while such an answer is not correct." (Correction of an error - English translation of Ayk Ghalati ka Izala, by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, page 1 of 8 pages printed from the Lahori website)
So Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself had declared that "only a denial" to the statement that he claimed prophethood is not a correct answer. As matter of fact, it was the correction of this error that was the aim for writing that book. In that book, he explained why such an answer was not correct. He explained in detail the truth of his claim. He explained that Allah addressed him as a (Nabi) and a (Rasoul). He explained the nature and essence of his prophethood.
This means that, according to what Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad said in the above quotation, when a Lahori just says that the Promised Messiah did not claim prophethood without explaining that he claimed a kind of prophethood, his statement is incorrect. On the other hand, if an Ahmadi just says that the Promised Messiah claimed prophethood without explaining the essence of this prophethood, his answer will only be incomplete but we cannot say that it will be an incorrect answer because he did actually claim a kind of prophethood.
Nevertheless whether an Ahmadi says that he claimed prophethood or a Lahori denies this, both need to explain further. And if they are both sincere in their further explanation, we will find that both teams arrive at the same conclusion
Now the question is: why is there so much enmity between the Ahmadis and the Lahoris, if the difference between them is so trivial that it does not exist in reality?
Why is there so much debate between the two groups?
I could see clearly that the differences in the beliefs between the two Jamats are all artificial and hollow. Therefore the split in the Jamat must have occurred for some other reason.
It was time for me to think about the reasons behind this Split. It was time for me to think who was responsible for this split. Were both parties guilty? Or was their only one party responsible for this split? It was time for me to think about my own stand. Did I previously belong to the innocent party? Was it the guilty one that I have joined recently?
I have been an Ahmadi for more than ten years. During all this time not even once did I have any doubts about my stand. Despite the fact that all my family members were doing their best to change my beliefs in the truth of Ahmadiyya, not even once did a shadow of doubt pass through my mind. In spite of all the opposition that I was confronting from my family members, and even with all the problems and the hardships that I later had to face, I felt very content and happy inside and I was spiritually progressing all the time. But then after I joined the Lahori Jamat, the happiness that was connected to my acceptance of Ahmadiyya all disappeared and was replaced by pain and agony in my heart. I lost this feeling of confidence that I was on the right path. Clouds of doubt were continuously encompassing my mind and heart, rendering my soul into extreme depression and misery. The pleasant paradise that was created for my soul after I accepted Ahmadiyya was converted into a burning fire after I joined the Lahori section.
After joining the Lahoris, the change in my attitude towards the prophethood of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has influenced and disturbed my spiritual condition very badly. It made me lose the good effect of all those beautiful concepts and impressions that satiated my heart and satisfied my mind after I first joined Ahmadiyya. When I first accepted the truth of the claims of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad - from the Ahmadi point view - I was deeply impressed by that truth. When I recognized and acknowledged him as a prophet sent by Allah, I realized many beautiful facts that I never appreciated before. When I comprehended that Allah was still sending prophets to us, my soul was completely transformed. My whole being fell into prostration to thank Allah for this great blessing. I was spiritually resurrected to a new life. I become a new person. My view of religion changed completely. My perception concerning the attributes of Allah advanced to a much higher stage. Before that I used to believe in the existence of a Creator for the universe. I used to know that this creator was good. He created us and provided for all our needs then He sat down on His throne watching us quietly from a distance. If we needed His help, he would respond and provide for us what we need, but He does this while He is very far from us. I used to regard Him as if He was a great king living far above in His heavenly castle and watching us quietly while resting on His Lofty throne. I used to think that He was a silent Creator. I used to feel that He was very distant from us. I used to understand that there was a barrier that prevented me from reaching Him. I used to suppose that we were not allowed to meet Him or speak to Him. And if we tried to speak to Him, he will never answer us.
But after accepting the truth of the claim of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to be a prophet from Allah, I perceived that Our Creator is a very different Creator from the One I used to worship before.
I still continued to believe in the existence of a good Creator, but His goodness was no longer hidden, it became visible and tangible, it became manifest to the entire world. It is true that He watches us wherever we are, but He is not far away from us. The false barrier that prevented me from reaching Him was a result of my own imagination. It was created by my own wrong notions. Now I could understand that we are allowed to meet Him and see Him and speak to Him and hear His answers as well.
My belief in the prophethood of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad corrected my wrong concepts concerning our Creator. I started to understand that our Creator is present with us in every moment of our existence. Not only is He close to us, but also He is living inside us. His Graciousness and His Mercy encompass us. He is Kind, Generous and Bountiful. He is Loving, Affectionate and Compassionate. He does not wait for us to ask for something from Him. If we need anything, He provides it for us before even we realize that we need it. He is not silent. He spoke to His servants in the past and He continues to speak to them even today. Those who do not hear Him are those who are not qualified to receive these blessings. The fault lies within themselves, in their own souls. As for those who spiritually rise high enough to reach the lofty stations, they meet Him and speak to Him and hear Him as well. He is a living God. His attributes are manifested continuously in the world. Every day He manifests His attributes in a different form. He will never stop communicating with His servants. Since He created mankind, He sent His spiritual guidance to the world, even before the world was aware of the need for guidance. He constantly sent His prophets to the world with Divine guidance. His true and sincere servants responded to His call and obeyed His orders by following the teachings of the messengers whom He sent. This was the means by which the spiritual progress of mankind continued to take place. When Humanity developed to its ultimate stage, a perfect man was needed to bring the Last and Complete Divine Law. This was fulfilled with the advent of The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who came to the world with the message of Islam - the perfect and last Divine Law for mankind. The coming of the Holy Prophet did not mean the end of the descent of the Divine blessings to mankind. On the contrary, he came to open new doors for more Divine blessings. After him Allah's bounties never seized. The Holy prophet came as a Mercy for mankind, he could not have come to stop Allah's bounties and deprive mankind from the Divine blessings. His coming was to bring more and special blessings to mankind. The summit of the blessings that he brought to mankind was the creation of prophets from his Umma. His advent provided the means by which his followers could attain to the station of prophethood. This is one of the meanings of his being the "Seal of the Prophets". After his advent, prophets could be qualified to that exalted spiritual rank only through him, only by receiving his Seal, only by following his perfect example and only by complete obedience to the teachings he preached - the teachings of Islam that are included in the Holy Quran. In this way he was the Seal of the Prophets, no prophet was authorized without receiving his Seal. This was one of the special Divine blessings that Allah bestowed upon the Prophet of Islam and by which He has distinguished him among all the other prophets. Thus, he opened a new door for his followers to attain to all the exalted spiritual ranks including the loftiest spiritual station - that is the station of prophethood.
Over the ages many of his righteous and devout followers attained to different exalted spiritual ranks. The prophethood of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was the ultimate manifestation of these blessings that the Holy Prophet of Islam had provided us with. To deny this prophethood in the mildest sense or even to give it a lower status than what it really deserves, is not only doing injustice to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, but also it is a denial of the summit of the Divine blessings that the Holy Prophet has brought to the world.
But by following the Lahori beliefs, we deprive ourselves from all these wonderful facts. After I joined the Lahori Jamat, all these beautiful concepts had to be gradually suppressed inside my heart. As a result, the image of the religion of Islam returned back to its gloomy look that used to appear to me before I accepted Ahmadiyya. I lost the attractive picture of Islam that was manifested in my heart when I first accepted the prophethood of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and his teachings.
The Lahori beliefs affected even my perception concerning the attributes of our Creator. I had to return back to my original impressions. I had to suppress all those exalted concepts that were satiating my soul with the Divine water of life.
But I thought that this was not sensible. If my imagination was able to perceive and realize any good qualities in our Creator, then certainly and without any doubt, these good qualities and much better ones as well must exist in Him.
Our Creator who is the Perfect Being is never lacking in anything good, whether we can perceive it or whether it is beyond our ability to comprehend and grasp.
Moreover the Lahori beliefs reduced the eminence of the meaning of the "Seal of the Prophets" in my mind. From the Lahori point of view, the meaning of the "Seal of the Prophets" is the "Last of the Prophets". This happens to be also the meaning understood by all the non-Ahmadi Muslims who opposed the Promised Messiah, during his life and ever since that time till our present days. But the Holy Quran informs us that the Holy Prophet of Islam was the "Seal" of the prophets and it never mentions that he was the "Last" of the prophets. The "Seal of the Prophets" is a much higher position than the "Last of the Prophets". The reason is that the word "Last" implies only a physical position in time, but the word "Seal" conveys a wider meaning. One of its meanings was mentioned above. Another meaning is that it indicates the spiritual position, which means that the Holy Prophet of Islam excelled all the other prophets in his exalted spiritual station. He attained the uppermost rank and no body could arrive at a higher position than what he reached. So he put the "Seal" on the spiritual ranks.
Now when I followed the Lahori concept that the Holy Prophet was the last of the prophets, I realized that I was contradicting another Lahori belief, namely that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed to be a prophet in the metaphorical sense. There is no debate upon this point. The Lahoris admit that he was a prophet in a metaphorical sense. And metaphorical prophethood is definitely a type of prophethood; even its name includes the word "prophethood".
As a matter of fact, in many of the writings of the Promised Messiah, he clearly claims prophethood, and he explains the essence of this prophethood. Even in the book "Correction of an error" that I mentioned above, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad writes:
"It should be borne in mind that, according to this sense, I do not deny prophethood and messengership. It is in this sense that the Promised Messiah has been called nabi in the Sahih Muslim. If one who receives news of the unseen from God is not to be called nabi, tell us what he should be called? If it is said that he should be called muhaddas, I say that in no lexicon is the meaning of tahdess 'making known the unseen.' The meaning of nubuwwat is, however, making known matters of the unseen." (Correction of an error - English translation of Ayk Ghalati ka Izala, by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, page 3 of 8 pages printed from the Lahori website)
Here he clearly claims to be a prophet in the sense of burooz (as explained in the passages before the above quoted one). And this is one type of prophethood. So the Promised Messiah has here confirmed that he claimed one type of prophethood. In the same book he clearly defined what is meant by the word 'nabi" which is the Arabic word for prophet. He wrote:
"It is also to be remembered that the meaning of nabi according to the lexicon is one who gives the news of matters unseen, having received it from God. Wherever this meaning applies, the word nabi will also apply. And a Nabi must necessarily be a rasul, for if he is not a rasul he cannot receive news of the holy, unseen realm, the following verse being a bar against it: 'He [God} does not make His unseen known to anyone except a messenger (rasul) whom He chooses.' [The Quran, 72:26-27]. If, after the Holy Prophet Muhammad, the coming of a prophet according to this meaning is denied, it implies that one should believe that this Umma is destitute of Divine communication and revelation, because the person through whom news of the unseen from God is manifested, to him the meaning of nabi shall apply according to the above verse. Similarly, he who is sent from God will be the one we shall call rasul."
(Correction of an error - English translation of Ayk Ghalati ka Izala, by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, pages 2 & 3 of 8 pages printed from the Lahori website)
From the above it is confirmed that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has claimed a type of prophethood and has clearly indicated that prophethood continues in the Islamic Umma.
But according to the Lahori beliefs, the Holy Quran informs us that the Holy Prophet was the last of the prophets. Allah tells us in the Holy Quran that the Holy Prophet was the "Seal of the Prophets", and from the Lahori viewpoint, this means that he was the "Last of the Prophets". However, the Holy Quran does not specify any types of prophethood in this declaration, it just informs us that he was "The Seal of the Prophets". Then this Quranic statement must be understood to include all types of prophethoods, whether they are in the real sense or the metaphorical sense or any other sense. It includes also "Muhadathiyya" because the Promised Messiah has included "Muhadathiyya" in the types of prophethoods, when he wrote:
"Muhaddath in one sense is also a prophet, but he is such a prophet who receives his light from the lamp of prophethood of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and does not receive knowledge directly but through the agency of the Prophet." (Izalah Auham, written by the Promised Messiah, p578 - This quotation was taken from the English translation published by the Lahori Jamat and included in the book: Prophethood in Islam, p36, written by Maulana Muhammad Ali)
So we cannot exclude the rank of a muhaddath from the types of prophethood.
All this meant that if I took the Lahori position and understood the "Seal of the Prophets" to mean the "Last of the prophets", then I had to accept that no prophets could come after him, even prophets in the metaphorical sense or muhaddatheen. But this was in complete opposition to what the Promised Messiah has explained in the above quotations, he wrote:
"If, after the Holy Prophet Muhammad, the coming of a prophet according to this meaning is denied, it implies that one should believe that this Umma is destitute of Divine communication and revelation, because the person through whom news of the unseen from God is manifested, to him the meaning of nabi shall apply according to the above verse." (Correction of an error - English translation of Ayk Ghalati ka Izala, by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, pages 2 & 3 of 8 pages printed from the Lahori website)
The Quran is very precise in its wording. According to the above explanation of the Promised Messiah, the word "nabi" - that means prophet - includes every person through whom news of the unseen from God is manifested. So to deny the coming of prophets after the advent of the Holy Prophet is to deny the coming of even the muhadatheen and anybody who enjoys Divine Communication with God. This is the opinion expressed clearly by the Promised Messiah in the above last quotation.
So as a Lahori, I could not retain both stands. Either I believe that the "Seal of the Prophets" means the "Last of the prophets" and hence I have to reject that the Promised Messiah was a prophet in the metaphorical sense or even a muhaddath, and hence the verdict of the Promised Messiah applies to me, that if I deny prophethood after the Holy Prophet then this means that I "believe that this Umma is destitute of Divine communication and revelation",
I admit that the Promised Messiah was "at least" a prophet in the metaphorical sense and in this case I will have to confess that the meaning of the "Seal of the Prophets" is not the "Last of the Prophets".
The two beliefs could not be held together, either one or the other.
In this respect, the non-Ahmadi Muslims are at a better stand. They do not face this dilemma because they do not even believe in the metaphorical prophethood or the muhadathiyya of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. So they can continue in their erroneous belief that the Seal of the Prophets means the Last of the Prophets without any trouble in their minds.
But the Lahoris must find a solution for this contradiction. If they still wish to believe that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a muhaddath or a prophet metaphorically, then the only way out is to adopt the Ahmadis' understanding of the "Seal of the prophets". There is no contradiction in the Ahmadis' viewpoint whatsoever. They do not believe that the "Seal of the Prophets" means the "Last of the Prophets", so in this case their belief that the Promised Messiah was a follower prophet does not cause any contradiction to their stand.
To end this subject one thing has to be added here. If the Holy Prophet was the last prophet after whose advent no other prophets of any type were to appear, then the Holy Quran would have definitely included clear news about this. But nowhere in the Holy Quran it is mentioned that the Holy Prophet is the last prophet.
This was the end of the debate that took place inside my mind.
These thoughts forced me to start rethinking about the reasons why I joined the Lahori Jamat. I started to ask myself, are those reasons genuine grounds or was I following false illusions? Definitely I did not want to displease Allah for any worldly gains. I wanted to be on the side of those who were approved by Allah as the true Jamat, regardless who they were. So did I achieve this? If I achieved it, how come that my soul was falling down from the spiritual position that it had attained in the past? Why were the concepts of the Lahori beliefs causing my spiritual descent and retreat?
I checked the article that I wrote myself when I joined the Lahori Jamat. There I wrote my reasons for joining the Lahoris. I needed to re-examine and reassess these reasons.
Now I will discuss what I wrote in my article that still exists on the Lahori website. In that article, the reasons for my joining the Lahori Jamat can be summarized into three main points:
The issue regarding the nature of the prophethood of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and the attitude of each party towards it.
My failure to find any answers to the arguments raised by the Lahoris against the Ahmadis, on the Internet Website of the Lahoris.
The issue concerning the leadership of the Jamat.
These are the three points that I have mentioned in my article on which I based my decision to join the Lahori Jamat.
Now let me discuss each point in more detail. But before doing so, I have first to stress on one point. Whatever I am writing below is my own opinion, my own point of view. I am writing out of my own knowledge and my own experience. I have witnessed some things and I am relating them below. I will not go into the details of the arguments dealing with the refutation of the Lahori allegations. These are discussed elsewhere on the Ahmadi website, where detailed explanations are supported by many quotations as well. Here I am only writing down my own thoughts and I am expressing my own feelings. Therefore, I will only mention my own observations. As for anybody who wishes to get a more detailed answer for the allegations of the Lahoris against the Ahmadis, then he - or she - can find more information on the Ahmadi website.
The first point in my article was regarding the issue of the prophethood of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. As I have already mentioned above, in my view, there is no real difference in the beliefs of the two parties concerning this issue. What I mentioned in my article was actually based on the difference in the attitude of each party. I will quote here what I exactly wrote concerning the belief in that prophethood. But please note that in that article I used the expression "Qadiani" to identify the Ahmadi Jamat that is following the leadership of the Khilafat because this is how the Lahoris identify the Ahmadi Jamat. I wrote:
"I read very carefully the view of the Lahori movement concerning this matter. I found that what was written there was not very different from my own belief. I have read some of the Promised Messiah's original Arabic books and I have already understood this point. His prophethood was a reflection of the prophethood of the Holy prophet of Islam. So it is not a separate thing." (Extract from my article on the Lahori website)
So in that article, I have declared that as an Ahmadi I already believed in these points. I realized that prior to reading the Lahori point of view, my beliefs in the prophethood of the Promised Messiah were not different from the beliefs of the Lahoris. What was the difference then between the two parties? I again quote from my own article where I wrote:
"But there was one interesting point for me here. This prophethood was to be taken in the metaphorical sense and not in the real sense.
What difference does this make? It makes a lot of difference in the practice and attitude of the Ahmadis towards the non-Ahmadi Muslims. That was the difference between the Qadiani Ahmadis and the Lahori Ahmadis." (Extract from my article on the Lahori website)
I saw that the difference between the two parties is only in the practical actions and in the attitude towards non-Ahmadi Muslims. Concerning the viewpoint of the Ahmadis, I clarified in my article my own stand as an Ahmadi, regarding the non-Ahmadi Muslims. I wrote:
"As a Qadiani myself, I did not regard the Muslims who did not accept the truth of the Promised Messiah as 'non-Muslims'. I just called them 'non-Ahmadi Muslims." (Extract from my article on the Lahori website)
As an Ahmadi, I believed that no body could describe a person as a Kafir, if he declares the Kalima of Shahadat (La Ilaha Ila Allah, Muhammadon Rasulul Allah). As an Ahmadi I did not regard the Muslims who did not accept the truth of the Promised Messiah as 'non-Muslims', I just called them 'non-Ahmadi Muslims'. I confirm this now by insisting that since I joined the Ahmadi Jamat in 1989 and until this day, none of the Ahmadis ever tried to convince me that the non-Ahmadi Muslims are Kafirs.
As a matter of fact, I have been a member of the Ahmadi Jamat for more than ten years and during all this time, I was always taught that no body has the right to declare any body else as a kafir. The Jamat has published many books to clarify this point and to explain that any person who declares the Kalima of Shahadat (La Ilaha Ila Allah, Muhammadon Rasulul Allah) has the right to be regarded as a Muslim and nobody has the right to declare him as a kafir. Some of these books were written by the present head of the Ahmadi Jamat, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad - Khalifatul Masih the fourth - himself and naturally this reflects the opinion of the whole Ahmadi Jamat.
So back to my article. There I explained the details of the differences between the two parties concerning their attitude towards the non-Ahmadi Muslims. They were all practical things and had nothing to do with the beliefs. I gave three examples namely:
The Ahmadis do not pray behind the non-Ahmadi Imams.
The Ahmadis do not allow their girls to marry a non-Ahmadi husband.
The Ahmadis do not offer the Janaza prayers for the non-Ahmadis.
I used these three examples to illustrate the differences in attitude between the Lahoris and the Ahmadis. The Lahoris accused the Ahmadis that they were not following the instructions of the Promised Messiah concerning these three points.
Now concerning prayers behind the non-Ahmadi Muslims, the Promised Messiah himself has asked his followers not to pray behind the non-Ahmadi Imams. The reason for this as explained by him was that these people abuse the Ahmadis and call them 'kafirs' and according to a hadith of the Holy prophet, the person who calls somebody a kafir, becomes himself a kafir. Therefore the Promised Messiah forbade his followers to pray behind those Imams because, by declaring Ahmadis to be kafirs, these Imams themselves became kafirs, and a Muslim must not pray behind a kafir. As for the non-Ahmadis who do not declare the Ahmadis as kafirs, it is still not right for an Ahmadi to pray behind them. The reason for this is that the non-Ahmadis have rejected the truth of the Promised Messiah and by doing this they have implied that they regard him as a liar, whether they declare it openly or keep it quiet in their hearts. Even if a non-Ahmadi declares that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a good man but does not take the pledge at his hand, this also implies that he is not truthful in his declaration, because if he really thinks that he was truly good then he would never think that he was a liar and he would not hesitate to take the pledge on his hand.
Also by this rejection the non-Ahmadis have disobeyed the orders of Allah and His Holy Messenger, Muhammad - peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. They disobeyed Allah because Allah is the One who sent the Promised Messiah to the world with a special mission. To reject somebody sent by Allah is disobedience to Allah who has sent him. So by rejecting the Promised Messiah, the non-Ahmadis disobeyed Allah. They also disobeyed the Holy Prophet - peace and blessings of Allah be upon him - because he has clearly ordered the Muslims to wait for the advent of the Promised Messiah. He ordered the Muslims that if they recognize him, they must take the pledge at his hand, even if they will have to reach him by crawling on the icy mountains. This is how important it is to take that Pledge and follow him in complete obedience. So if after this, a Muslim rejects to take the pledge of the Promised Messiah, then he becomes disobedient to Allah and His Holy Messenger. Why then should an obedient Ahmadi follow such a person in his prayers?
So it is not a matter of the Ahmadis regarding non-Ahmadis as kafirs. It is a matter of implication. When a Muslim follows an Imam in his prayers, he follows him in every move and action. This implies his full obedience to that Imam. Now if the Imam holds beliefs different to that Muslim, it is not correct to follow him in his prayers because this implies that he accepts his beliefs also.
Concerning the second point, which concerns the marriage of the Ahmadi girls from among the non-Ahmadis. What applies to the Imam who leads the prayers applies, even more strongly and forcefully, to the husband who is the leader of his family. It is the duty of the Muslim wife to be obedient to her husband in every aspect except in matters that are opposed to the Divine teachings of Islam. How then can an obedient Ahmadi wife follow and obey her non-Ahmadi husband, who has disobeyed Allah and His Prophet? Will she follow him in his disobedience? Wouldn't this cause continuous disagreement and quarrel between them in their daily life? This is the reason why the Promised Messiah has warned his followers from allowing their daughters to marry non-Ahmadi husbands. It was for the sake of saving their future family lives from trouble. So this is a very wise advice that the Ahmadis have followed.
Now I turn to the third point, concerning the offering of the Janaza prayers for a non-Ahmadi. Recently I got to know that the Ahmadis do offer Janaza Prayers for non-Ahmadis in special circumstances provided that the Imam leading the prayer is an Ahmadi. This is in complete agreement with the advice and teachings of the Promised Messiah. So there is no need to get into any further discussion concerning this issue.
To sum up, from the above it is clear that the Ahmadis are not doing anything against the teachings of the Promised Messiah. On the contrary, they are acting upon his orders and following his advice and guidance in complete obedience and they are adhering to his teachings and applying it to the minutest details.
The Promised Messiah has founded the Ahmadiyya Jamat under Divine instructions. The purpose of founding this Jamat was not to add yet another sect to the many sects that already existed in the Muslim Umma. The purpose was to establish a new spiritual community for all the lovers of truth to join and belong to. The purpose was to create a new spiritual land for all the seekers of Divine guidance to abide in. The purpose was to form a new spiritual army for all those whose heart's desire was to strive in the cause of Allah for the sake of establishing His Unity in the world. These are some of the purposes for which Allah has founded this Jamat. Now is it conceivable that the members of such a lofty and dignified Jamat can possibly follow any other leader who does not belong to that Jamat? Whether this leader is the Imam in the mosque or the husband at home, is it logical for a member of the Jamat Ahmadiyya to accept his leadership and grant him full obedience? Is this reasonable or imaginable?
Any sincere follower of the Promised Messiah, whether he is an Ahmadi or a Lahori, who genuinely wishes to follow the teachings of Ahmadiyya, will refuse to follow the leadership of a denier of the truth of the Promised Messiah. Any true follower of the Promised Messiah will never accept this leadership; his heart will definitely reject it. If the Lahoris are really sincere in their desire to follow the advice and teachings of the Promised Messiah, they will find no escape from following the Ahmadis in their attitude and practice. They will have to stop praying behind non-Ahmadi Imams and they will have to stop marrying their daughters to non-Ahmadi husbands.
So in short, the objections raised by the Lahoris against the Ahmadis concerning their attitude towards non-Ahmadis melted away one after the other in front of my eyes. Now I could see that even in the practical attitude towards the non-Ahmadi Muslims, the Ahmadis are taking the right stand.
This confirms that the issue regarding the prophethood of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is not the real basis upon which the split in the Jamat took place. The Ahmadis' attitude towards the non-Ahmadis was not in any way contrary to the teachings of the Promised Messiah. It was in complete harmony with his teachings. The Lahoris had no solid grounds for criticizing the Ahmadis in this regard. The basis of their criticism turned out to be an imagined thing.
Now I turn to the second reason upon which I based my decision to join the Lahori Jamat - namely my failure to find any answers to the Lahori arguments that were on their Internet site.
When I first read the Lahori arguments, it was natural that I turned to the Ahmadi side to find an answer for these points. At that time I could not find any answers on the Ahmadi website on the Internet. I turned to the books I had and to the Ahmadis I knew, but I still could not find an answer. From this I wrongly assumed that the Ahmadis had no answer.
But later on, I received many answers from some sincere Ahmadis through e-mail messages, phone calls, personal visits, and new booklets written about the subject. It included all the answers for the arguments put on the Lahori Internet website. This helped me a lot to clarify many obscure points in my mind.
Now the question is: why were these answers not available when I needed them?
The answer is simple. It is because the Ahmadis were very busy doing other more important work. They are continuously striving hard to spread the message of the Promised Messiah in the world. They have answered the allegations of the Lahoris a long time ago and then they turned to do other important work. The answers were there, but I did not have access to them. It took them sometime to make these answers available to me in the language I would understand. I was not patient to wait for the answers because I was not aware that there existed any answers.
I assumed that there were no answers for the Lahori allegations against the Ahmadis because I was used to the very high standard of efficiency that existed in the Ahmadi Jamat. When the answers to these allegations were not presented instantly I thought that they do not exist. But when they were later made available, I understood that I was wrong in my assumption. The answers were all very clear and convincing. Every misunderstanding in my mind was then clarified.
But this delay in the availability of the answers of the Ahmadis to the Lahori allegations proves a very interesting and important point. Unlike the Lahoris, the Ahmadis are not engaging themselves much in the fight between the two parties. As I mentioned above, I started to realize the deep hatred and extreme enmity that existed between the Lahoris and the Ahmadis only after I joined the Lahori Jamat. Before that I was not aware of these feelings between the two parties. I am a witness for this. I have been an Ahmadi for more than ten years. During these ten years, not even once did I hear any Ahmadi saying anything bad against the Lahoris. Not even once did I see an Ahmadi book insulting the Lahoris or even written about the Lahoris. But after I joined the Lahori Jamat, I could feel straight away the bad attitude of the Lahoris towards the Ahmadis. I could see many articles and books published against the Ahmadis. I could feel that the Lahoris hated the Ahmadis.
This reveals that the fight between the two parties is not a real fight. It is a one-sided war. All the time the Lahori Jamat continued to raise allegations against the Ahmadi Jamat. In contrast to this, the Ahmadi Jamat kept quiet and instead of answering back, it engaged itself in doing other more important work for humanity. The Ahmadi Jamat only answered when it was essential for it to do so, then it quietly returned to do its very important work for humanity.
Now if the Ahmadis are answering back by way of defense, it is not their fault. It is the fault of the Lahoris because they started it.
Let me explain this in the words of the Promised Messiah himself. He said in his lecture "Message Of Peace":
"Tell me, if a person abuses another's father or calumniates his mother, does he not really attack the honor of his own parents? And if the person whose parents he has abused pays him back in the same coin, may we not hold the person who abused first to be the cause of the abuse, and regard him as the enemy of his own parents' honor? Mark how God inculcates respect and regard for the honor of others in the Holy Quran. He says:
'And abuse not those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they, out of spite, abuse Allah in their ignorance.' (6:109)
Despite the Divine teaching that idols have no worth at all, nonetheless God enjoins upon Muslims to abstain from abusing the idols, and to preach gently, lest idol-worshippers become outraged and begin to revile God, and Muslims themselves become the cause of this abuse." (Message of Peace, written by the Promised Messiah pp. 17-18, translated and published by the Lahori Jamat)
How true and sincere are those golden words of the Promised Messiah. If a person starts to abuse another, he cannot blame the other for answering him back.
When I realized all this I really felt very guilty. Instead of helping the Ahmadis in their efforts to spread Ahmadiyya in the world, I was distracting their attention. I am not this important person anyway and I cannot stop or affect this great work they are doing. But still I caused some interruption for them, because some of them had to leave their very important work to make available for me the answers I needed.
Now I know how bad my act was and I ask Allah's forgiveness for this.
With this point resolved, I need to settle the third issue upon which I based my decision to join the Lahori Jamat. That was the issue concerning the leadership of the Jamat. In this regard I wrote in my article:
"Now regarding the leadership of the community. Previously I was under the wrong impression that the Lahori community was without a leader. This made me think that the Lahoris must be on the wrong path, because in the unity of the leadership lies the unity of the Muslims. Unity of leadership is an essential feature of Islam and without it, the unity of the Muslims can never be achieved. But after reading some information about the Lahori movement, I found out that there was a leader for the community, though not in the image I expected. I also discovered that the Promised Messiah himself had appointed his own successor to lead his community after his departure from this world. During his lifetime, the Promised Messiah established the Anjuman - an executive body consisting of fourteen members - and he described this body as his successor. This was mentioned in his book Al - Wasiyyat. The Lahori community still holds this Anjuman as its leader. In other words, the Lahori community is the one who is following these instructions of the Promised Messiah." (Extract from my article on the Lahori website)
There are some points that I need to clarify here.
The first and most important point I would like to highlight here is that in my article, I had nothing to mention against the leadership of the Ahmadi Jamat. I did not see any negative points in the Khilafat system and I did not find any faults in it. On the contrary, I admitted that:
"in the unity of the leadership lies the unity of the Muslims. Unity of leadership is an essential feature of Islam and without it, the unity of the Muslims can never be achieved."
So by saying this I was not finding fault in the Khilafat system, on the contrary, I was confirming my approval and acceptance of that system. I was also clarifying that my acceptance of the Lahori system was based on its fulfillment to the condition that it enjoyed the unity of leadership as the Ahmadi system did.
Therefore I was not rejecting the Khilafat system, but I was joining a similar one.
But why did I need to join a similar one? Did this mean that I was not satisfied with the system of leadership in the Ahmadi Jamat? NO, this was definitely not the case.
By my acceptance to the Lahori system I did not mean to reject the Khilafat or disapprove of it. I based my acceptance of the Lahori system on the wrong information that I understood from the Lahori website, namely that the Promised Messiah himself had appointed the Anjuman as his own successor to lead his community after his departure from this world. This meant that he left us no choice in this matter and we had no other alternative. For this reason I assumed that the Lahoris were the community that was following the instructions of the Promised Messiah. But later on I realized that the Promised Messiah appointed the Anjuman only for the management of the Wasiyyat affairs, which is one department of the Jamat. As for the leadership of the Jamat as a whole, he did not appoint his successor and by this he meant to say that Allah would decide who would be his successor. He followed the example of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in this regard.
So the basis of my acceptance was not correct. It was due to my misunderstanding of what was written in Al Wasiyyat booklet.
As a matter of fact, when I accepted the system of the Lahoris, I was only doing this in obedience to the instructions that wrongly appeared to be the instructions of the Promised Messiah. But deep inside my heart I was very sad. The reason for my deep sorrow was my being away from the system of Khilafat.
More than ten years have passed since I joined the Jamat Ahmadiyya. During all this time, I have been working with the team of Ahmadis who were continuously striving hard to spread the message of true Islam in the world. We were all working under the blessed leadership of Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih the fourth. I had a very good relation with all the members of the Jamat whom I came in contact with. I worked closely with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih the fourth. I loved him very dearly and I respected him greatly. To me he was not just the head of the Community, he was also my spiritual leader, guide, father and friend. He is not just the head of the Ahmadiyya Jamat, he is also its living soul and its driving force. I was very honored to work under his leadership. He was the head of my spiritual family that I truly loved. I enjoyed the company of all its sincere members. I was very happy to belong to that dignified community that was Allah's chosen Jamat. But after I wrongly understood that it was the instructions of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to follow the leadership of the Anjuman as his successor, I had no choice. I had to obey these instructions. It was a big sacrifice to forsake the community that was very dear to my heart, but I thought that I was doing this in obedience to the Promised Messiah, who was sent by Allah to guide us to the true path of Islam. I expressed my feelings in these words in my article:
"This was a difficult situation again. When I first converted to Ahmadiyya I had to sacrifice all my material belongings and my relatives and friends. But this time it was different. It was my spiritual belongings and my spiritual relatives and friends that had to be sacrificed. I must say that the latter group is much dearer to me than the former. For me the spiritual ties are much stronger than the material or physical ones. But I had no choice; Allah and His true religion are dearer to me than anything else." (Extract from my article on the Lahori website)
For me, joining the Lahori Jamat was a great sacrifice that I had to present, because I was leaving behind my spiritual family whom I loved most. I did not hesitate to present this sacrifice because I thought that this was in obedience to the Divine orders that were conveyed to us in the instructions of the Promised Messiah. So I had to desert my beloved spiritual family. But I must say here that after I joined the Lahori Jamat, the Lahoris themselves became a dear family for me also. They were very kind to me and very affectionate. Some of them became very close and dear to my heart. But my feelings towards the Ahmadis, my original spiritual family, never changed.
This was the reason for my slowness and delay in admitting that I was hasty and wrong in my decision to join the Lahori Jamat. Even after I found out that all the reasons for my acceptance of the Lahori beliefs were false and imaginary, I hesitated for a while to admit my mistake. The reason for this was that I was worried that I might be inclined to take the side of the Ahmadis only just because of my personal affections and deep love towards them. I was worried that my deep love and great respect for Hazrat Khalifatul Masih the fourth was the reason behind my inclination towards accepting the system of the Khilafat Ahmadiyya. I wanted to ensure that my acceptance to the system of Khilafat was based on solid grounds and not on my personal inclinations and affections.
It was a very difficult time for me. I was confused and I mentally suffered a lot at that time. I loved the members of both Jamats very dearly because I love anybody who believes in the truth of the Promised Messiah. I wanted to belong to both Jamats because I wished that I would be with all the followers of the Promised Messiah. To escape from this difficult situation, my inner self found a solution. I thought to myself that if these two parties were united, then there would be no problem of choice for me. So I decided to try to make peace between these two communities.
At that time I started to write a letter to my spiritual father and guide, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih the fourth. In that letter I explained my feelings and my wish to unite all the believers in the truth of the Promised Messiah for the sake of uniting the whole world under the banner of Islam. I based my letter on "Paigham Sulh" or "Message of Peace", the lecture that was written by the Promised Messiah in the last two or three days of his life. I mentioned that it was very essential that both parties should respect the leaders of the other party. I also explained that if we succeed in doing this, then we can make peace between the two parties and then the members of each party can have the opportunity to get to know the other party. Each party will then be able to see how the system of the other party operates. Then the party that is enjoying Allah's approval will be winning the other party to its side. When this happens, we will find that the two Jamats will be merged into one, under the leadership of the Jamat that is enjoying Allah's approval.
I never sent this letter to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih the fourth. Before I could send it, and with the help of some members of the Ahmadi Jamat, my attention was drawn to some obvious facts.
In this letter I have put for myself the guidelines that can lead me to decide between the two Jamats without any affections involved.
First of all, I was suggesting that for the attainment of peace, it was very essential that both parties should respect the leaders of the other party. But the truth was that it was always one party only that started the attacks. As I mentioned above, the Ahmadis never started this. It was always the Lahoris who started it and the Ahmadis were only answering back in a defensive manner. So why blame the Ahmadis for it? If the Lahoris would stop their attacks, the Ahmadis will never even mention the subject.
Also I was suggesting this peace between the two Jamats so that each party can have the opportunity to get to know the other party. The expected result was that the Jamat that was enjoying Allah's approval would impress the other Jamat and would attract it to its side. This can then achieve the unity of the two Jamats.
Now I had to ask myself: Did I need to go through all this in order to decide which party was following the correct path? Did I need to wait for all this to happen in order to decide which party was enjoying Allah's approval? I have already witnessed the operating systems of both parties. I have already witnessed the results achieved by each party. I have already witnessed Allah's love and help descending upon one of these two parties. So I did not need to wait for any peace to be accomplished between the two parties. Why should I wait this long to take my decision?
And then it was the ripe time for me to return "home".
My return to the Ahmadi Jamat does not mean that I hate the Lahoris. I met some members of the Lahori Jamat and I personally love them very dearly. I will continue to have these good feelings towards them.
But of course our personal affections can never be a guide for our religious decisions. In the matters concerning our spiritual condition, we only follow the Divine guidance, regardless of our personal feelings and inclinations.
Concerning the leadership of the Ahmadiyya Jamat, I cannot follow except the only person who was appointed by Allah for this position. I am not brain washed to say this, as some people might think. I have witnessed the truth of what I am declaring here with my own eyes and for more than ten years I have been working very closely with Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad - Khalifatul Masih the fourth. During these ten years I witnessed the signs of Divine approval and support descending from heaven upon him personally and also upon the sincere members of his community.
The love and respect he enjoys from the members of the Ahmadiyya Community are not something that is false or imaginary. It is not forced or compulsory. He earned this love and respect himself by winning the hearts of his followers through the exceptional qualities of his personality. Therefore, the members of his community work under his leadership in complete obedience. This is not Shirk (worshipping anything or anybody other than Allah), as the Lahoris would think. Ahmadis do not worship the Khalifa; they just hold him as the leader of the community that was appointed by Allah to spread His unity in the world. They owe him complete obedience in submission to the Quranic verse:
"O ye who believe! Obey Allah and obey His Messenger and those who are in authority among you." (Surat Al Nisa, 4:60)
The Ahmadis are blessed by the leadership of the person whom Allah has appointed to lead His chosen community. And the blessings bestowed upon the Ahmadi Jamat are the witness for the truth of this declaration.
Now I feel so much content after returning to my spiritual home. During the period when I was away from the Ahmadi Jamat, I used to cry in anguish like a child who was taken from his mother and who was missing her warm cuddle. I felt defenseless and helpless like an orphan who was deprived of the security and peace provided to him by his father's presence. I used to feel insecure and vulnerable. I used to feel depressed and frightened. In short, I lost all the security and peace that were linked up with belonging to the spiritual family of the Khilafate Ahmadiyya.
Being a Lahori, I still felt that I belonged to the family of Ahmadiyya, but I felt that I was among the offspring that was orphaned and deprived of both parents. Being a Lahori, I still felt that I was under the shade of the tree of Ahmadiyya, but I felt that I was seeking shelter under the branch that was withered and dried up.
Any person, who genuinely and honestly compares the blessings bestowed upon the two offshoots of the Jamat, will see clearly which one is enjoying more Divine blessings. I am not talking here about numbers or material blessings. Neither numbers nor material dominance can be taken as a criterion in our case. If we take numbers or material superiority as a decisive factor, then we will have to conclude that the non-Ahmadi Muslims are more blessed than the Ahmadis and that the Christians are more blessed than the Muslims and so on.
But I am here talking about the spiritual blessings and the divine signs that are manifested every day inside the community. These need some close investigation and assessment that can only be achieved by close contact and observation, followed by an honest comparison between the two Jamats.
And that was the opportunity that Allah has granted me by His Grace. I had the chance to compare the blessings bestowed upon both communities. I could see that Allah has blessed both Jamats because they were both the followers of the Promised Messiah. But the Jamat that was following the Khalifa, whom He appointed, was enjoying more Divine blessings than the other one. If I do not admit this, I will be answerable to Allah on the Day of Judgment because I have witnessed the Divine signs and ignored them. But for the Lahoris it is different. They have only seen one side. It is their duty now to investigate the other side as well and then decide for themselves which side is enjoying Allah's approval.
It is the duty of every sincere Ahmadi in the world to strive hard in the path of Allah under the leadership of the person who was appointed by Allah for this office. We are all followers of the Promised Messiah, whose heart was full of love for every creature on this earth. We need to study his teachings and follow his example so that we can attain to the exalted spiritual station that he attained. The Promised Messiah came to unite the whole world under the banner of Islam. It is one of our very important duties to fulfill this objective. But we have first to unite our own community under the leadership that is approved and blessed by Allah.
The Promised Messiah had a very lofty mission to achieve. We claim to be his true followers and therefore it is our duty to fulfill every purpose of his advent in the world and to continue the journey he has started. We must strive hard to accomplish all the targets he planned to achieve. We must pay attention to every single detail of his mission, and fulfill all his desires, even if this will cost us whatever is dear to us in this worldly life.
I have written above what I see is the truth. Allah is my witness that I am not after any worldly gains. My only aim is the pleasure of Allah and the spread of His true message in all corners of the earth.
May Allah guide us all to His true path that leads to His pleasure and nearness. Amen.