Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A 'Way Out' for Ahmadiyah

A 'Way Out' for Ahmadiyah By Dr Syamsuddin Arif Published on The Brunei Times (http://www.bt.com.bn/en) Friday, May 16, 2008 Fake Prophet: Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Ahmadiyah (died 1908). Muhammad Iqbal saw Ahmadiyah as part of the colonial ...

Article: http://inci73.multiply.com/reviews/item/42

By Dr Syamsuddin Arif
Published on The Brunei Times (http://www.bt.com.bn/en)
Friday, May 16, 2008

Fake Prophet: Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Ahmadiyah (died 1908). Muhammad Iqbal saw Ahmadiyah as part of the colonial "split and rule" programme to keep the Muslims fighting among themselves. Picture: Wikimedia

"I do not believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is a prophet, nor do I accept him as a mujaddid [religious reformer]," wrote the late Ir. Soekarno in his major book, Under the Banner of Revolution (2nd imp. Jakarta, 1963, vol.1, p.345).

For the past three months, Indonesia has been deeply involved in an endless debate on Ahmadiyah. Ir. Soekarno, the first Indonesian President, was neither the first nor the sole Muslim figure to express such unfavorable view.

Long before him, the celebrated thinker Sir Muhammad Iqbal when asked by Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India, concerning Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's propaganda, emphatically replied that "no Revelation the denial of which entails heresy is possible after Muhammad. He who claims such a revelation is a traitor to Islam" (Islam of And Ahmadism, repr. Islamabad, 1990, p.8).

Iqbal saw striking similarities between the Ahmadiyah movement in India and the Babism in Persia (Iran), whose founder also claimed to be a prophet. Because their creed was political servility, both movements were supported by the British and the Russian as part of the colonial 'split and rule' program to keep the Muslims fighting among themselves.

If the Russian government allowed Babism to establish their own mosque in Ishqabad, Turkmenistan, the British let the Ahmadiyah found their mission centre in Woking, Surrey.

According to Iqbal, Ahmadism or Qadianism --so he preferred to call it-- would only bring people back to stupidity. Its chief mission is but "to carve out, from the Ummat of the Arabian Prophet, a new ummat for the of Indian prophet." (page 2)

A prominent Indian scholar, Syed Abul Hasan Ali an-Nadwi, having made an extensive study of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's life and "evolution" from a simple student turning into a hero (1880), a "promised messiah" (1891) and a self-proclaimed prophet (1910), concluded that the Ahmadiyah movement has contributed nothing but adding burden to the Muslim people, dividing them, and rendering their problems even more complicated (See: Qadianism: A Critical Study, repr. Lucknow 1980, p. 155).

That the essence of Ahmadiyah lies in accepting Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's claim to prophethood is attested by Yohanan Friedman of Hebrew University of Jerusalem in his book, Prophecy Continuous: Aspects of Ahmadi Religious Thought and Its Medieval Background, (Berkeley, 1989, p.119, 181 & 191).

Ahmadiyah was first brought into Indonesia sometime in 1925 by several students from Sumatra who had been converted and trained in Qadian, India. To help spread their dogma, the mission has published bulletins such as "Sinar Islam" (The Light of Islam - sic!), "Studi Islam" and "Fathi Islam". The resentment generated by the Ahmadi missionary activities used to drag them several times into an open debate 1933 in Bandung and other cities (See: Fawzy S. Thaha, Ahmadiyah Dalam Persoalan, Singapura, 1982).

Followers of Ahmadiyah had been declared aberrant and infidel (murtad - apostate) by Muslim scholars at the Fifth Congress of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) in 1930 in Pekalongan as well as by the Ulama Association of East Sumatra in 1935.

After a long period of silence, the Ahmadiyah question resurfaced in late 1970s and early 1980s following the Pakistani parliament's resolution to treat the Ahmadis as non-Muslim under the law.

In 1980 the Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI) under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Hamka issued a fatwa stating that Ahmadiyah is outside the fold of Islam, and its adherents apostate.

The decree was recently reaffirmed in an official statement signed by MUI chairman Prof. Dr. H. Umar Shihab and its secretary Prof. Dr. H.M. Din Syamsuddin. In addition, the Ministry of Religious Affairs in 1984 had also warned the Muslims against the danger of Ahmadiyah.

Finally, in April 16, 2008 the Supervision Committee on Cults and Sects (Bakorpakem), made known its findings that the Jemaat Ahmadiyah Indonesia (JAI) has truly deviated from Islam and so urged the Minister of Religious affairs, Attorney General, and Minister of Home Affairs to take action against it.

Indeed, according to Atho Mudzhar, senior officer at the Religious Ministry and chief of the investigation team, during three months Bakorpakem had been observing 55 Ahmadiyah communites 33 districts. As many as 35 members of the team met 277 members of Ahmadiyah. Nothing has changed among them doctrinally, since they still affirm that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (MGA) is a prophet after Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

They also believe that Tadzkirah is a collection of revelation received by MGA.

Advocates and followers of Ahmadiyah often put forth three arguments to support their position. First, an Ahmadi is also a Muslim because they have the same syahadat (faith declaration).

Try to compare this with the statement that the "orang Ahmadiyah" (Ahmadi man) is no different from "orangutan" because both are "orang" (human). Of course such thing is unacceptable.

It is clear in this case what matters is not their similarity, but rather their difference. What distinguishes orangutan from an Ahmadi is not so much its being-'orang' as its 'utan' characteristic. By the same token, what makes Ahmadiyah followers differ from the Muslims is not their apparent similarity in creed and rituals, but rather their belief in the prophethood of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

Second, it has been argued that like all other Indonesia citizens, the Ahmadiyah followers have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion so that to ban Ahmadiyah is to violate human rights and to act against the Constitution.

There is a logical twist here. To be sure, Article 29 of the very same Universal Declaration of Human Rights unequivocally states that in the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.

This means that abuse of freedom is not allowed which would disrupt order or bring damage to religion. Now what MGA and his Ahmadiyah did is like "building a new house inside someone's house" --that is to say, founding a religion within religion.

Their affirmation of MGA's prophethood is an insult to Islam. Consequently, as Dr Tony P. Chi points out in his study (1973, p.134-5): "Ahmadiyya preaching and propagation have instigated unrest and dissension in the Muslim world." Therefore, the only solution to Ahmadiyah problem is to expell it from the House of Islam and become a new religion like Mormonism in the United States.

Finally, to the suggestion that compassion should be preferred to violence in dealing with the Ahmadiyah, we reply that this advice is badly needed by the American and Israeli governments vis-a-vis the people of Iraq and Palestine.

"Abu Bakr As-Siddiq is the most compassionate among my folk (arhamu ummati)," said Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. Yet when there arose a group of apostates, he did not hesitate to take action against them.

Islam guarantees one's freedom to embrace -- not to spoil, any religion. As for the Quranic verses: "There is no compulsion in religion" (translation of the Quran surah Al-Baqarah: 256) and "For you, your religion, and for me, my religion" (surah Al-Kafirun:6), these are referring to religions outside Islam. Thus, Prophet Muhammad told the impostors to choose either to repent or be punished to death (See: Imam Al-Mawardi, al-Hawi al-Kabir, vol.13, p.109).

* The writer is an assistant professor at the International Islamic University Malaysia

The Brunei Times


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Khalid said...

In this article the author has quoted Sir Muhammad Iqbal, Soekarno and Muslim Mullah organization to prove that Ahmadiyyas are not Muslims.

I think there is no need to quote these people.

The author is a learned scholar of Islam. But strangely enough he did not quote a single verse from the Holy Quran or Sahih Hadith supporting his point of view. The absence of any verse from the holy Quran says a lot about the difficulty this learned scholar is facing proving his point.

Either he did not try hard enough or he could not find a Quranic verse or a Sahih Hadith to support his claim.

The learned scholar knows that there are verses in the holy Quran that are against his point of view. He has himself quoted some of them.

He says.
"There is no compulsion in religion" (translation of the Quran surah Al-Baqarah: 256) and "For you, your religion, and for me, my religion" (surah Al-Kafirun:6), these are referring to religions outside Islam.

It seems that the learned scholar searched all the Sihah (Six authentic books of tradition)and could not find any Hadith to support his claim. So he quoted a Qaul (saying) from a scholar of fifth century (Al-Mawardi). It is very strange that he could not quote from books of Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim, or even Imam Shafi (who was Al-Mawardi's Imam).

Secondly he forgot that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) only punished those people who rebelled against Medina's government. They were the people who said that they will not pay Zakat. No government allows their people to rebel. Yes some of these mutineers happened to claim that they are prophets. But they were not punished because they claimed to be prophets but rather they started an armed rebellion. Why did they claimed to be prophets? That is a valid question. Because they thought (Naudhu Billah) that the Holy Prophet (saw) made claimed to be prophet to become king of Arabia. And if the do the same they will also get political powers.

Moreover Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) so careful that he had orderded Muslim army who was sent to crush the rebellion that they should not attack a village where they could hear Azan (call for prayers).

For Shia Muslims this act of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) may not be a acceptable evidence. The reason is that they (Naudhu Billah) believe Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) to be hypocrite.

Other Muslim sect should be careful not to fall into this learned scholars trap. If they support these Mullahs today, they may be next in line. All sects at some time or other have issued religious edict against others. Ahmadiyyas are not the only one who have been branded as non-Muslims by the Mullahs.

Ali said...

It's OK. No problem.