WHO ARE THE AHMADIYYA?
“The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam is a modern messianic movement. It was founded in 1889 in the Indian province of the Punjab by Mirzā Ghulām Ahmad (1835-1908) and has become exceedingly controversial within contemporary Muslim circles. Claiming for its founder messianic and prophetic status of a certain kind, the Ahmadī Movement aroused fierce opposition from the Muslim mainstream and was accused of rejecting the dogma that Muhammad was the last prophet. Under British rule, the controversy was merely a doctrinal dispute between individuals or voluntary organizations, but when the movement’s headquarters and many Ahmadīs moved in 1947 to the professedly Islamic state of Pakistan, the issue was transformed into a major constitutional problem and the Muslim mainstream demanded the formal exclusion of the Ahmadīs from the Muslim fold. This was attained in 1974, when the Pakistani parliament adopted a constitutional amendment declaring the Ahmadīs to be non-Muslims.”1
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad taught he was greater than Jesus
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad wrote that Islam is a living religion and the signs given to him were proof he was the Promised Messiah,
Thousands of signs, testifying to the truth of the Prophet of God and the Book of God, have so far been manifested through me, and God blesses me with His pure word almost every day.
I do not at all consider Jesus to be superior to me in these matters. Just as the Word of God was revealed to him, so is it revealed to me; and just as he is said to have shown miracles, so have I been granted miracles, though in greater numbers. All this honour has been conferred upon me solely by virtue of being a follower of the Prophet whose spiritual station and high standing is largely hidden to the world, and he is none other than Muhammad, the Chosen One… People ask me how I could have claimed to be the Promised Messiah. Let me tell them that, through complete obedience to the Holy Prophet, one can attain a status even higher than that of Jesus. The blind call this heresy, but I say: How do you know what heresy is when you are yourselves devoid of faith and heresy is inside you? (pp.22,26 “Fountain of Christianity“)
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad taught Jesus swooned on the cross and was resuscitated – not resurrected – in the tomb.2
Unlike mainstream Islam, Ahmadiya Muslims interpret the Quran as teaching that Jesus was crucified but did not die on the cross.
And because of their saying (in boast), “We killed Messiah ‘Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah,” — but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of ‘Iesa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not [i.e. ‘Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)]: 158But Allah raised him [‘Iesa (Jesus)] up (with his body and soul) unto Himself (and he is in the heavens). And Allah is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise. (An-Nisa 4:157-158)
The Ahmadiya teach Jesus was resuscitated in the tomb and went to India to search for the lost tribes of Israel. There he adopted the name Yuz Asaf, married Mary, and had children. He then died at the age of 120 and was buried in the district of Srinagar.3
Why should anyone take Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s claims about Jesus and the New Testament seriously?
If Jesus died at the age of 120, that means He died c. AD 120. If Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is correct about the age of Jesus’ death, then he contradicts himself because he wrote,
“After he [Jesus] died, his brother James–who was his successor and a holy man–also taught the Oneness of God” (“Fountain of Christianity“, 52).
James succeeded Jesus c. AD 120? The truth is that Jesus’ brother James died more than fifty years earlier, c. AD 62. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad does not know history.
Mirza Ghulam makes similar errors throughout his writings about Jesus and Christianity. Another example of his chronological error is when he writes that Paul founded Christianity and actively opposed Jesus’ teaching after Jesus died. This is wrong because if Mirza Ghulam is right and Jesus died c. AD 120, then he is wrong about Paul because Paul died fifty years earlier, c. AD 67 (see “Fountain of Christianity“, 52-55).
Christianity and its beliefs are rooted in history. The claims of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad are not.
Give up history, and you can retain some things. You can retain a belief in God. But philosophical theism has never been a powerful force in the world. You can retain a lofty ethical ideal. But be perfectly clear about one point-you can never retain a gospel. For gospel means “good news,” tidings, information about something that has happened. In other words, it means history. A gospel independent of history is simply a contradiction in terms.4
Is the New Testament completely worthless and embarrassing?
Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed that the Christian church’s New Testament is “completely worthless” and “embarrassing”,
It should also be remembered that the clergy’s collection of scriptures is completely worthless and even embarrassing. They whimsically declare some books to be divine and others to be forged (p.10 “Fountain of Christianity“).
The New Testament is not embarrassing. Rather, it is Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s claim that Paul was “crucified by the king, and thus he met his end” (“Fountain of Christianity“, 54). Paul was a Roman citizen and therefore would not have been crucified.
Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad says that a “purer” and “holier” gospel than the four gospels of Christianity is an ancient book,
“Another incredible fact is that the ancient book of Yuz Asaf5 (which most English scholars believe to have been published before the birth of Jesus), and which has been translated in all European countries, is so similar to the Gospels that many of their passages are identical. The parables used by the Gospels are also found word for word in this book. Even if the person reading it were so ignorant as to be practically blind, he would still be convinced that the Gospels have been borrowed from the same book. Some people, including some English scholars, believe that this book belongs to Gautama Buddha, and that it was originally in Sanskrit and was later translated into other languages. If this is true, the Gospels would lose all their credibility and Jesus would be considered a plagiarist in all his teachings—God forbid. The book is available for everyone to see. My own opinion, however, is that this book is Jesus’ own Gospel which was written during his journey to India. I have proved with many arguments that it is indeed the Gospel of Jesus, and is purer and holier than the other Gospels” (pp.9-10 “Fountain of Christianity“).
The “ancient book” Mirza Ghulam Ahmad referred to is not a book written by Jesus of Nazareth. It appears to be a Christianized version of the life of Siddhartha Gautama (Jesus in India). This is a definite sign that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a false prophet.
You should follow the true Messiah, Jesus Christ
On 26 May 1908, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad died and he was buried in Qadian, India.
The fact is that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was wrong about the real Jesus of history. Jesus’ tomb is empty. Jesus rose again from the dead and is alive. I invite you to learn about the Jesus of history and read the gospel of Mark.
Learn how a former Ahmadiyya Muslim became a Christian
Nabeel Qureshi was a devout Ahmadiyya Muslim, but came to know the true Messiah, Jesus.
- Yohanan Friedmann, “Ahmadiyya.” Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān. General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe [Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2005], CD-ROM version.
- ‘Resurrection’—the word used in the Bible for what happened to Jesus after He died on the cross and was buried—refers to the supernatural event of death being undone. It refers to the continuation of Jesus’ same physical body and soul in the process of life, death and a new glorified life after death. What happened to Jesus after He died on the cross and was buried—‘resurrection’—was a miraculous work of God. ‘Resurrection’ will happen to all people on the Final Day of Judgment, but only those who have been saved from their sin through the blood of Jesus will be glorified and live in the New Heavens and New Earth (Revelation 20:11-22:21).
- Mirza Ghulam Ahmad wrote “Jesus in India” to prove,
Jesus did not die on the cross, nor did he go up to the heavens; nor should it be supposed that he would ever again come down to the earth. On the contrary, the fact of the matter is that he died at the age of 120 years at Srinagar, Kashmir, where his tomb is still to be found in the Khan Yar quarter (p.14).
- J. Gresham Machen, “History and Faith,” The Princeton Theological Review, 13.3 (July 1915), 337-338.
- Yuz Asaf is the name Mirza Ghulam Ahmad gave to Jesus after He supposedly migrated to India.