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Qadyani Movement

Belief in the Absolute Unity of Allah, and in the prophethood of Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah Be Upon Him), particularly its finality for all time to come, constitute the two basic tenants of the Islamic faith. It was Islam which apprised the humanity that Allah and Allah alone is entitled to man’s worship and adoration, and that He is the Creator as well as the Sustainer of this Universe, its sole Lord and Master, and its Sovereign Ruler. It also declared categorically that Muhammad (P.B.U.H) is the last true Messenger of Allah, and that the code of conduct he presented to the world, based on Quran and Divine Revelation, was the only one that could guide humanity on the right path and lead it to prosperity in this world as well in the Hereafter. It was, therefore, eminently deserving of unwavering adherence by man for his own eternal good.

Since the unequivocal affirmation of the finality of Syedna Muhammad’s (P.B.U.H) Prophethood has been made in the following verse of the Holy Quran (Surah 33, Ayah 40):  

Translation: "Muhammad (P.B.U.H) is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Apostle of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets (closing the line of Prophets for all time to come, in the same manner as a “seal” completes a document beyond any addition or alteration)”.  

The aforesaid announcement is supported by a number of ahadith of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) himself. One of these ahadith is : "The Messenger of Allah said (to Hazrat Ali (R.A) ) : Are you not happy that you are (in relation) to me as Harun (was to Musa), except that there is no Prophet after me.”

From the beginning, the anti-Islamic movements have played their part to harm the beliefs of the Muslim Ummah, thus trying to harm the Din (Islam) itself. These anti-Islamic movements were unable to make much headway against Tawhid (Absolute Unity of Allah) in the minds of the Muslims. So their concentration was on eroding the finality for all times to come of the Prophethood of Muhammad (P.B.U.H), and diminishing the unbounded love and respect in which every Muslim without exception held, and still holds, his great Prophet (P.B.U.H). They hoped that by weakening this concept they would be helping in the weakening the concept of Tawhid as well.

The aforesaid disruptive efforts had started during the closing years of the Holy Prophet’s (P.B.U.H) own life and immediately following his passing away. They had found expression, inter alia, in the emergence of a number of imposter prophets in the Arab peninsula such as Musailimah, Aswad Anasi, Abu Ubaidah Thaqafi, Dhul Khamar Anasi and Tulaihah Asadi. All these were, however, summarily crushed through firm and timely deterrent action, initially by the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) himself and later by first righteous Caliph Abubakar (R.A). Similar false prophet-hoods continued to raise their heads occasionally in other periods also in other lands but failed to make much impact so long as Muslim power and influence (both material and spiritual) were in zenith. The position of the Muslims changed dramatically in the 13th Hijrah century (19th century AD) when the Muslim community coincided with the rise of political, intellectual and economic ascendancy of the non-Muslim nations of the West. This provided to hitherto low-lying anti-Islam elements an environment in which they could rally their forces once again, and try to deal a decisive and crushing blow to the principles and beliefs of the Islamic faith and to the Muslim community in general.

It was during this period of adversity for the Muslim Ummah that, with the socio-political tactic of the then British Government of India, there arose in India that mischievous movement which is known as Qadianism (after the name of its domicile founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian) and Ahmadiyat.

All schools of Islamic thought were fully unanimous in their acceptance of the finality of Syedna Muhammad’s (P.B.U.H) Prophet-hood, until the founder of Qadianism (Mirza Ghulam Ahmad) put forth a claim to be a full-fledged apostle of Allah. This claim was the culmination of some lesser claims made by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (to be referred to later as “Mirza” only) to start with. His initial step, for example, was to challenge the following clear Quranic declaration to the effect that Jesus Christ had been raised alive to heaven and not killed on the Cross, as the Jews claimed and as was believed by some people later (italics provided):  

Translation:

“ And they (i.e., the Jews) said (in boast): we killed Messiah son of Mary, Allah’s messenger; however, they killed him not nor did they crucify him, but it was made to appear so unto them, and those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save the pursuit of conjecture; for certainly they killed him not; but Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah was ever Mighty, Wise: (IV, 157-158).

Mirza also repudiated the unanimous Muslim belief, based on authentic ahadith of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H), that Christ would descend alive from heaven sometime before the Judgment Day, to complete his interrupted life span and mission on earth, and that he would do so in the cause of Islam. In these ahadith, contained in Sahih-e-Muslim, which ranks among the most authentic and authoritative hadith collections, the Prophet (P.B.U.H) is on record as having stated that the period sometime before the Resurrection (i.e., Judgment day) would be characterized by widespread turmoil and upheavals in the world. It would witness the appearance on the world scene of a person named Dajjal (Antichrist), who with the help of his magic and other satanic forces, would make life miserable for its inhabitants, especially the believing Muslims who would be the special target of his atrocities. It would be then that Jesus Christ would descend from heaven at a spot on earth near a “white minaret” towards the eastern side of the city of Damascus (Syria), supported by two angels. Christ would then join the battle against Dajjal, would kill him in combat, and would thereafter lead the revival and rejuvenation of Islamic forces in the world. After living for another seven years, he would die a natural death and would be buried in the compound of the Prophet’s Mosque (P.B.U.H) in Madina Munawwara.

Sometime before the descent of Jesus Christ on earth, a person belonging to Banu Fatima (The Fatimid descendants of the Prophet (P.B.U.H)) would have been born, whose real name would be Muhammad and his honorific title Mahdi (The Rightly-guided One). Mahdi, who would be in full youth at the time of Christ’s descent, would welcome the latter on his arrival, and would serve as his chief aide both in fighting Dajjal and in bringing about the resurgence of Islam in the world.

Since the precise timing of the appearance of the Mahdi, and of the subsequent descent of Jesus Christ from heaven, is not indicated in the ahadith mentioned above, a number of persons put forward claims to being the predicted Mahdi in different periods since the passing away of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) of Islam. Before, however, they could have the privilege of greeting Jesus Christ, they themselves passed from the world scene for ever. 

The founder of Qadianism adopted an approach somewhat different from his forerunners. To start with, he averred that Jesus Christ had not been raised alive to heaven as believed by the mass of Muslims on the basis of interpretations of the relevant ahadith by the early ulama. Instead, he asserted that Christ had in fact died on the Cross, and that the person predicted to appear before the Judgment Day would, therefore, not be Christ himself but his masil (replica, likeness or prototype). Simultaneously, he claimed, first that he himself was that masil of Christ, and later that he was the promised Messiah (or Christ) in his person and not only a masil. From here he proceeded to refute the firmly-established concept of the absolute finality of the Prophet-hood of Muhammad (P.B.U.H) first calling himself a zilli nabi or  “shadow prophet” and then announcing his elevation to full prophet-hood. He thus sought to demolish a fundamental Muslim belief that is rooted in the Quranic verse quoted above, is re-affirmed in a number of the Prophet’s (P.B.U.H) authentic ahadith (one of them also cited as specimen above), and has been unanimously accepted by the Muslim Ummah for the past 13 centuries and more.