Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Why did I Renounce Ahmadiyyah

Muhammad is not the father of any of your men
Why did I Renounce Ahmadiyyah?by Dr. Ismail A. B. Balogun A former high level Ahmadi
"...I must say, before God and man, that the more I scrutinized the claims and purported references for them, the more I discovered that the Ahmadiyyah Mission is deceiving the world and playing on the ignorance of many of their followers."
In a series of articles published in Nigeria during 1974, Dr. Ismail A. B. Balogun, a high level Ahmadi leader, refuted the tenets of Ahmadiyyah and publicly denounced the Movement he had been born and raised in. A Professor of Islamic and Arabic Studies at the University of Ibadan, Algeria, Dr. Balogun had dedicated his life to the cause of Ahmadiyyah and had raised through the ranks to become a top spokesman and ambassador for the Movement. Throughout the years, his well articulate and emotional speeches had motivated many young Ahmadis. Similarly, his public departure and the commotion and debates that pursued caused many educated individuals to realize the truth and abandon Ahmadiyyah.
Allah accept the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and repent soon afterwards; to them will Allah turn in mercy: For Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.(The holy Quran, An-Nisa, 4:17)
Subsequently, Dr. Balogun documented the reasons for his withdrawal from the Movement and included some of the ensuing debates in a book entitled "Islam versus Ahmadiyyah in Nigeria". In this book, Dr. Balogun disclosed how he, as many other highly educated individuals, had blindly accepted Ahmadiyyah out of loyalty to his parents, misinformation disseminated by the Ahmadi leadership, divisive methods of the Indo-Pakistani Ahmadi missionaries, and other subjective reasons having more to do with propaganda and cultural habits than the truthfulness of any movement.
Dr. Balogun recounts his upbringing and his blind faith in the Indo-Pakistani Ahmadi missionaries in the following passage:
"In my Childhood, I was brought up to revere the Indo-Pakistani Ahmadiyyah missionaries who guided and controlled our religious activities. When the mission came to our elders and, through the elders to us, we believed all that they told us in toto, because of the implicit confidence we had in them.
Their preaching appeared plausible to us and we accepted their arguments in good faith. They made references to Islamic books in order to substantiate their claims and we accepted the references without cross-checking them because of our confidence in them.
Their method was to alienate us against the orthodox Muslims in whom they found faults in the way they practiced Islam. The missionaries claimed to present "the true Islam" to us in the name of Ahmadiyyah.
They often impressed on us that the stiff opposition, which Ahmadis suffered in India before the partition and subsequently in Pakistan, was a conclusive proof of the truth of Ahmadiyyah. After all, no prophet is readily accepted in his own town or country. This also appeared plausible to us, hence we followed them with unalloyed confidence." (Sunday Sketch, Nigeria, Sept. 29, 1974; Islam versus Ahmadiyyah in Nigeria, p. 85-86)
Over a quarter of century ago, Dr. Balogun had accurately identified the strategy employed by high level Ahmadi missionaries to misguide the uninformed. Not only the missionaries do not publicize a complete picture of their doctrine and history, but also they distort the teachings of Islam and attempt to exasperate and capitalize upon sectarian division among few ignorant Muslims.
Dr. Balogun testified:
"Even though Ahmadiyya has been in this country for close to sixty years, I make the bold to say that, up till now, the vast majority of the adherents of the organization, within both the Movement and the Mission, are still in the dark about the details of its teaching, as well as its purpose. For example, it was only very recently, when stiff opposition to Ahmadiyyah started to rear its head in this country, that certain high-ranking Ahmadis knew for the first time that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed to be a Prophet." (Sunday Times, Nigeria, Jan. 20, 1974; ibid., p. 3)
“[The fact that Ahmadis hid their true doctrine from the membership at large is] evident in the fact that when one of the young educated Nigerian Muslims, who originally invited the Movement here, went to Britain for further studies and thereby came in contact with Indian Ahmadis, who resided then in Britain, he studied them at first hand and returned home only to withdraw his membership of the Movement. This was the late al-Haj L. B. Agusto of blessed memory." (Sunday Times, Nigeria, Jan. 20, 1974; Ibid., p. 2)
Indeed, since its very inception, the Ahmadi leadership has relied upon the well-proven methods of the Christian Missionaries to alienate the uninformed individuals from knowledgeable and sincere Muslims and selfishly increase their membership. They know only too well that the descendants of individuals somehow tricked into joining their organization are generally less likely to renounce their membership, even after they discover the truth.
Truly they found their fathers on the wrong Path; So they (too) were rushed down on their footsteps! And truly before them, many of the ancients went astray;-(The holy Quran, As-Saaffat, 37:69-71)
Dr. Balogun records that, when in 1974, the Pakistani Government and the Muslim World League both declared the Ahmadiyyah to be a non-Muslim group, he set out in earnest to defend the Movement he was born into and prove its truthfulness. However, his scholarly and thorough research into the teachings of Ahmadi leadership untangled a disturbing web of deceit and left him with no alternative but to denounce the Mission. This finding is even more significant since Dr. Balogun, even though a high level Ahmadi and a Professor of Islamic Studies, had himself been kept in the dark for over forty years.
Regarding the authenticity of the alleged references and interpretations provided by the Ahmadi Missionaries, from the Holy Quran, books of Hadith, and the writings of Muslim personalities, to lend the appearance of support to their various claims, Dr. Balogun wrote:
"My aim [in cross-checking the references offered by Ahmadi missionaries] was actually to strengthen myself against the gathering opposition to Ahmadiyyah. As a University scholar, I was conscious that my pronouncement in support of Ahmadiyyah must necessarily be backed with authentic references to Islamic sources.
In my cross-checking of the Ahmadiyyah missionaries' references, however, my findings were rather disappointing.
Consequent upon my first article on the Ahmadiyyah problem in Nigeria (Sunday Times, 20 January 1974), the Ahmadiyyah Mission members wrote extensive rejoinders which gave me a further opportunity to examine, independently, more Ahmadiyyah claims and views than hitherto.
I must say, before God and man, that the more I scrutinized the claims and purported references for them, the more I discovered that the Ahmadiyyah Mission is deceiving the world and playing on the ignorance of many of their followers.
In many cases, they quote authors [scholars] who are explicitly opposed to Ahmadiyyah ideas; but so cleverly do they quote that they often give the impression that the authors support Ahmadiyyah views.
Examples of such distortions abound in the quotations made by Dr. Bhutta in his rejoinder (Sunday Sketch, 8 September 1974) to my article. It may interest the readers to know that Dr. Bhutta is himself a Pakistani Ahmadiyyah medical missionary.
It is only by going to the source references and reading what the Ahmadis had quoted within the context in which they are set that the reader, and the seeker after truth, will realize how much the Pakistani Ahmadiyyah missionaries try to deceive the world." (Sunday Sketch, Nigeria, Sept. 29, 1974; ibid., p. 86-87)
In support of his statements, Dr. Balogun researched, exposed, and refuted many of the deceptive and false arguments used by the Ahmadi missionaries to deceive the uninformed. For instance, he wrote:
"In order to buttress their claim about Khatam-un-Nabiyyin, the Ahmadis often quote the mystic Shaikh Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi as saying, 'The Prophethood that was terminated with the person of the Prophet of Allah(SAW) was no other than the Law-bearing Prophethood, and not Prophethood itself.' (Futuhat al-Makkiyyah, Vol. II, p. 3)
This quoted statement appears on page 3 of the book, which contains over 700 pages. The book does not stop at the statement concerning the matter of Prophethood. On the contrary, it explains further at length, covering eleven pages, pages 252 to 262 inclusive, in the same volume, the different aspects of the Prophethood.
He says, among other things, that Prophethood exists among both animate and inanimate objects. With regard to human beings, he classified the Prophets into two: law-bearing prophets and follower prophets. He explains the functions of each category and concludes in both cases that, with the coming of the Prophet Muhammad, both categories have ceased to appear.
He says that what would remain for Muslims after Muhammad are speculators (Mujtahids) who would strive in their own different ways to explain the Shariah to the people according to their understanding of it. Such Mujtahids, he says, will NOT be called Prophets (Ibn Arabi, al-Futuhat al-Makkiyyah, Vol. II, pp. 254 and 255). This is certainly known to the Pakistani Ahmadi missionaries, but they hide it from their followers deliberately in order to entrench their own false idea on Prophethood…
Another example of the distortions by the Ahmadis for their selfish ends is contained in their official rejoinder to my article already mentioned.
On page 5, column 2, of Monday 11 February 1974 issues of The Truth, the Ahmadiyyah Mission quoted the following in support of the Prophethood of the Promised Messiah: 'There is no discrepancy between the two, that he (the Messiah) will be a Prophet and a follower of the Holy Prophet(SAW) for the purpose of explaining the commandments of his Shariah, and to strengthen its way, even though he does so through his revelations.' (Mirqat Sharh Miskat, Vol. 5, pg. 564)
This quotation has been extracted from the explanation of the Hadith in which the Prophet Muhammad had declared that there would be no other Prophet after him.
Indication. The Hadith, which is contained in Mishkat al Masabih, reports that the Messenger of God said to 'Ali, 'You are in the same position to me as Harun (Aaron) was to Musa (Moses): except that there is no prophet after me'. The Mishkat reports also that authentic books of Hadith are agreed on this tradition.
Now, in commenting on this authentic Hadith, Imam 'Ali Qari, who was deceitfully quoted by Ahmadis, says:
"In the commentary of Muslim, some scholars say concerning his [the Prophet's] statement 'Except that there is no Prophet after me,' that it is an indication that whenever 'Isa b. Maryam [Jesus Christ] descends, he will descend as one of the arbitrators of this Community inviting people with the Law of Muhammad(SAW), and will not descend as a Prophet.
I say that there is no inconsistency in his being a Prophet and being a follower to our Prophet(SAW) concerning the explanation of the rules of the Shariah and the improvement of his way even with revelation to him, as indicated by the saying of the Prophet: 'If Moses were alive he would have no choice but to follow me.'
That is even though he is described as a Prophet and a Messenger; and in the absence of both of them (Prophethood and Messengership), there will not be any additional attainment.
Interpretation. So, the meaning is that there will not be any new Prophet after him because he is the Seal of all the Prophets that had gone before.
In it (the statement) is an allusion that, if there were to be a Prophet after him, it would have been 'Ali; and it is not incompatible with what has clearly been related concerning the right of 'Umar because the decision is hypothetical and suppositional.
It is as if he (the Prophet) says: 'If there were to be a Prophet after me, a group of my Companions would have been Prophets; but there is no Prophet after me.'
This is the meaning of the Prophet's(SAW) saying: 'If Ibrahim had lived, he would have been a Prophet.'
As for the Hadith, which says, 'The scholars of my Community are like the Israelites Prophets', memorizers like Zurkashi, Asqalani, Damiri, and Suyuti have clearly said that is has no basis."
This quotation is from the same book and on the same page referred to by the Ahmadiyyah Mission. That is: 'Ali al-Qari, Mirqat al-Mafatih Sharh Mishkat al-Masabih, vol. 5, pg. 564.
It is clear from the quotation that the Mission has extracted what they thought would support their erroneous view from a commentary which, taken together, is explicitly opposed to the view. This is in order to give the impression that the author supports their idea.
In educated circles, such act is an errant distortion of an author's view and thought. It contradicts the international law of copyright. It is, indeed, unacceptable as well as unbecoming of a mission that wants itself to be taken seriously.
From the Islamic point of view also, it is an abominable act. Consider, for example, Quran 2:59 [also 7:162], which says, "The transgressors changed the statement from that which was made to them; so We sent a pestilence from heaven upon the transgressors, for their having gone astray.' A food for thought indeed for the Ahmadis!" (Sunday Sketch, Nigeria, Sept. 29, 1974; ibid., p. 91-95)
It is those who do not believe in the Signs of Allah that forge falsehood: it is they who lie!(The Holy Quran, An-Nahl, 16:105)
No sooner had Dr. Balogun unearth such evidence and discovered that the doctrine of Ahmadiyyah was contrary to the authentic teachings of Islam, that he and many others abandoned the Mission and embraced Islam. These fortunate individuals were blessed with the capacity to differentiate the Truth from Falsehood and the sincere faith to prefer Allah(SWT) and His Messenger(SAW) to the position, prestige, and life-style they had achieved within the Organization. Truly, they were the recipients of guidance from Allah(SWT).
Subsequent to such public expositions, Dr. Balogun became the subject of personal attacks by many senior Ahmadi missionaries. For instance, Molvi Ajmal Shahid, then the Amir of Ahmadiyyah movement in Nigeria, provided an extremely short reply in which he expressed his dismay at the "spiritual death of a brother (ibid., p. 97)" and Moulvi Naseem Saifi, the chief Ahmadiyyah missionary for West Africa, confirmed that Dr. Balogun had been very close and high in the administration and expressed his sadness that Dr. Balogun had abandoned Ahmadiyyah in favor of Islam (ibid., p. 99); other Ahmadi missionaries questioned his public withdrawal and, in an attempt at damage control, advanced a number of unbecoming and unproved accusations. In clarification, Dr. Balogun responded:
"I could have raised all the points in this article with them (e.g. the Indo-Pakistani Ahmadi leadership) internally without any publicity; but experience has shown that such criticisms will automatically earn the critic either a long-term boycott or an outright excommunication. With any of these, no other member will be prepared to listen to him... I have stated my point of view, God is my witness, purely because of my awareness of the responsibility incumbent on me towards my fellow Nigerian Muslims in particular, and the world Muslims at large. My intention is not to oppose Ahmadiyyah; I have lived in it long enough to have a soft spot for it in my heart. But that notwithstanding, whenever a clash of opinion arises between Islam and Ahmadiyyah, it behooves me to declare for Islam without mincing words." (Sunday Times, Nigeria, Jan. 20, 1974; ibid., p.17)
“Furthermore, instead of being crossed with me, calling me names and making all sorts of conjectures about me because of my renunciation of Ahmadiyyah, let the Nigerian Ahmadis take my exposition to their Pakistani missionaries for verification or denial.
Assertions. If they deny my assertions, then demand from them the Arabic books (not Urdu translations) from which they took their quotations. Then, let independent Arabic scholars translate the relevant sections within their context.
If I am proved wrong, let my father reject and disown me, and let the Ahmadis collectively curse and “crucify” me. But if I am proved right, then it becomes incumbent on all Nigerian Ahmadis, including my relations, both by blood and affinity, to reconsider their association with Ahmadiyyah, pray fervently to God Almighty as I have done to show them the way of Islam and help them to follow it.” (Sunday Sketch, Sept. 29, 1974; ibid., p. 96)
Naturally, the personal attacks levied against Dr. Balogun had nothing to do with the issue at hand and had been orchestrated solely to confuse the naive. In truth, the deceptive methods of the Mission had been exposed and independently verified by a number of individuals. The damage done to the Mission was so great that it had to disband. Many Ahmadis reorganized under the name of "Anwar-ul-Islam Movement" and rejected the unIslamic doctrines which the Ahmadi leadership and missionaries had propagated and sustained through their distortions and misrepresentations of the authentic teachings of Islam (Daily Times, Monday, Nov. 25, 1974; ibid., p. 121). May Allah(SWT) guide every sincere Ahmadi to Islam.
Among the individuals, who witnessed the written public debates between Dr. Balogun and the high level Ahmadi missionaries and recognized the falsehood of the Mission, was a well-known gentleman by the name of Mr. Alhaj A. S. Olatunde. To save face and mislead their naive followers, Ahmadi missionaries apparently had began a rumor that Br. Olatunde had recognized their "truth" and accepted Ahmadiyyah! In response, Br. Olatunde issued a public statement, which is reproduced below:
“For some months now, I have been quiet. My quietness has come as a result of a very serious study I embarked upon in connection with a burning question.
The question began with an article published by Dr. Ismail Balogun of the University of Ibadan a few months ago. It concerned the belief of the Ahmadiyya Jamat that the founder of the organization was a kind of a prophet.
Dr. Ismail Balogun, who was born into the Ahmadiyya Community, advanced cogent arguments and reasons to support his rebuttal of the claim of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to Prophethood and the need to abandon the name Ahmadiyya to denote a class of Muslims.
A series of rejoinders came from many well-known Ahmadis. The most significant thing about the rejoinders is that they are unconvincing! They have been based on shifty premises.
Dr. Ismail Balogun came out again with a final reply to all the rejoinders. His final reply contained incontrovertible facts from various books of Islam and lexicons to support his stand that after the holy Prophet Muhammad there had not been and there would never be another prophet of any kind, at least in so far as Islam is concerned.
I want to make my personal stand clear now. I support Dr. Ismail Balogun. I agree entirely with his findings. And with him I declare that Muhammad is the last Prophet of God.
I also declare that I am not an Ahmadi. It is true that I have been closely connected with the Ahmadiyya Mission for many years. During my period of association with them, the question of another prophet after Muhammad was never a point of interest in our discussions.
I am sure with this, nobody will be in doubt any more about my stand. I want to remind all Muslims of an incident toward the close of the glorious life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. It was the parting sermon he delivered on the Arafat in his last pilgrimage.
He said: "I am leaving unto you two noble things. So long as you will cling to them, you will never go astray. One of them is the Book of Allah and the other is the Tradition of His Apostle. Let him that is present tell unto him that is absent. Haply he that shall be told may remember better than he who has heard it."
With me, the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet are sufficient. I am a Muslim and anything that will tarnish my Islam is rejected with all my heart.
If there is any person or any group of persons who have been showing me any favor because they thought that I was an Ahmadi, I pray, they should now withhold or withdraw their favors. I shall be satisfied with whatever favors it will please Allah to bestow on me as a Muslim, pure and simple. May Allah open our hearts to His Truth. Amen.” (Daily Sketch, Friday, Nov. 8, 1974; ibid. p. 118-119)
Obviously, a movement whose very leaders and founders have used such deceptive methods to misguide the uninformed, for a hundred years, can not be taken seriously nor viewed as a divine organization. Each one of the arguments Ahmadi leaders have advanced in support of their organization is similarly based on deceptive claims or pure conjecture and has been solely invented to keep their unfortunate followers confused and entrapped.
We hope that individuals who have mistakenly followed Ahmadiyyah reconsider their standing in the light of all the evidence uncovered by Dr. Balogun. Should those, who have been touched by the miracles of the Holy Quran and the teachings of the last Prophet Muhammad(SAW), exhibit loyalty and obedience to Allah(SWT) and His last Messenger(SAW) or to individuals whose deception and falsehood has been continually exposed?
Those who reject Allah, hinder (men) from the Path of Allah, and resist the Messenger, after Guidance has been clearly shown to them, will not injure Allah in the least, but He will make their deeds of no effect.(The Holy Quran, Muhammad, 47:32)
Quotes taken from: "Islam versus Ahmadiyyah in Nigeria", Published by Sh. Muhammad Ashraf, Kashmiri Bazar, Lahore, Pakistan

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