Ahmadiyya is a Movement or Sect or Jama’at in Islam founded on March 23, 1889 by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (a.s.)1 for the purpose of reforming the adulterated practices in Islam and restoring mankind to true religion of Islam and true faith in the Gracious Supreme Lord of all Creation. On the 23rd of March 1989, Ahmadiyya clocked 100 years. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (a.s.) claimed to be the Grand Reformer of the latter days promised to mankind by all past prophets in general and the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) in particular. Different names and titles have been used to describe the Promised Reformer: He has been called The Messiah son of Mary, the Promised Messiah, and Imam Mahdi (Guided Spiritual Leader). Hazrat Ahmad who had been receiving revelations for 16 years, claimed in 1885 that he had been commissioned by God Almighty for the spiritual reformation of mankind, and that his advent fulfilled the prophecies concerning the awaited Messiah, Mahdi. He published the conditions of initiation on 12th January 1889; he started the initiation of his followers on March 23rd, 1889.
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (a.s.) was born on Friday, February 13, 1835 in Qadian, then a small village in India. He was, however, of Persian descent. He was given to the study of the Holy Qur’an in seclusion and started receiving revelations around 1869, and increasingly thereafter.
He wrote many books that stirred the whole world. Initially, he was acclaimed as a champion of Muslims of Indian subcontinent through his epoch making work Braheen-i-Ahmadiyya published in 1880 in which he set forth the beauties of Qur’anic teachings, excellences of the Holy Prophet of Islam, and defended all the criticisms ever levelled against Islam, throwing a challenge to anyone to produce any similar work in defence of their religions. The book was described as the most excellent treatise ever written in the exposition of Islam and the Holy Qur’an. It came at a time when Muslims were generally very backward and unenlightened while Islam was the target of all foul attacks. Muslims were ashamed of identifying themselves with Islam and felt shy of defending the attacks on the religion by its enemies.
This is not too surprising, as Muslims had become generally corrupt in the practice of their religion. Islam had been severely adulterated by its supposed adherents and had been presented to the world as a violent, vulgar and primitive religion.
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad thus wrote scores of books in the exposition of the beauties of the unadulterated Islam as propounded in the Holy Qur’an and as practised by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).
But when in 1885, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (a.s.) claimed to be the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi, the Muslims turned against him. Rather than be discouraged, he was the more determined knowing fully well that it was expected as prophesised that the Promised Messiah would be rejected by the scholars and learned ones of the religion in his second advent . An unusual phenomenon occurred before the close of the year 1885, in which Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (a.s.) made his claims. This was the occurrence of shooting stars in unusually large numbers. This occurrence was in newspapers all over the world. Actually this is one of the signs of the appearance of messengers.
Explaining his claim, the Hazrat Sahib wrote a book titled “Jesus In India” to prove that the Messiah son of Mary (as) in his first advent had died a natural death after escaping the attempt to crucify him. The Messiah Jesus son of Mary (as) according to the book was actually put on the cross but as God had planned to rescue him, he did not actually die before he was brought down from the cross. Thereafter, he was able to migrate eastwards to another region (now Kashmir) where he met the lost tribes of Israel, lived with them to a ripe old age and died peacefully. The book adduced evidences from Christian and Muslim Scriptures, and from historical, cultural, and medical records. Given that Jesus son of Mary (as) had died, he asserted that the second advent of the Messiah could only be fulfilled by someone else to be born rather than by Jesus physically descending from heaven. The new Messiah would come in the spirit and power of the past Messiah and would resemble the past Messiah in spiritual and moral qualities and would be charged with similar function of reforming the world spiritually and morally according to established law, to save mankind from impending catastrophe.
The interpretation of the Second Advent of the Messiah son of Mary (as) is similar to the interpretation given by Jesus himself concerning the second advent of Elijah which was fulfilled in John the Baptist2 and not by Elijah descending physically from the sky as popularly expected. Hazrat Ahmad (a.s.) maintained that the world might not accept him immediately as with past prophets or Messiah, but “the third century shall not pass” before the whole world would realise that the Messiah had come and gone. At this third century, his teachings as propagated by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at in Islam shall prevail in the world; “a new heaven and a new earth” would have been established under the true Islamic dispensation. In the meantime the non-Ahmadi Muslims and Christians would keep waiting for the physical descent of the Messiah. After waiting for almost three centuries they would abandon the idea of his physical descent and would come to realise their error.
1Alaihi salaam (or a.s. for short) means ‘On him be peace’. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community thus believe that the founder of their sect is the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi whose advent has become overdue according to the signs set forth in the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Scriptures. According to the prophecies vouchsafed to the Promised Messiah (as), “much hostility shall come from the corrupt religious leaders to the followers of the Messiah. But all the hostility shall not frustrate the plan of God. Rather it shall be the source of their self-destruction, a means towards the expansion and victory of Ahmadiyya.”
It is also worth mentioning that the Promised Messiah had not come to create a new religion nor a new law. He has come to demonstrate the true faith and nurse righteousness in men, to establish the unadulterated Islam, to expound and reinterpret the Holy Qur’an, to remove the love of materialism from the hearts and replace it with the love of God, to unite mankind in the worship of one true God, the source of all Beauty and Grace, and to suppress evil and establish the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.
This piece is taken from the website of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria.
See on-line at: http://www.ahmadiyyang.org/what-is-ahmadiyya.php