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Books Section > The Promised Messiah [The Second Coming of Jesus] by Maulana Muhammad Ali Sahib > Chapter VI : Renovator (Mujaddid) of the Fourteenth Century

Chapter VI : Renovator (Mujaddid) of the Fourteenth Century:

And from among you there should be a party who invite to good and enjoin the right and forbid the wrong. And these are they who are successful. 1

Only one claimant appeared at the head of the century:

After having these preliminary discussions we must see if there has been a mujaddid during the fourteenth century Hijrah or not, in accordance with God's promise delivered to the ummah by the sacred tongue of the Holy Prophet. And if there has been any, who is that person and what work he has done and whether it is the same work, or something else which should have been done according to the needs of this age.

Let us take the first part of this question. If no mujaddid had appeared at the head of this century, it meant that the Divine promise had not been fulfilled, God forbid! We cannot say that this century did not stand in need of any mujaddid, or, no mujaddid appeared. The only question then, that remains is: Who is that mujaddid? For a seeker of truth, no doubt, the answer is simple and clear. The one who was appointed by God in this century openly declared himself to be the mujaddid and conveyed his message to the whole world. There can be more than one mujaddid in a century, of course, but the one who was going to appear at the head of this century was also going to fulfil some of the prophecies relating to this age and accordingly, a great task was awaiting him. As God willed, there appeared only one mujaddid at the head of this century throughout the world, so that the seekers of truth may find a clear sign in recognising him. In the whole world, it was only Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, who declared at the head of the fourteenth century that God had appointed him the mujaddid. If there were other claimants to this office, a person had the right to reject one and accept another. However, God's plan worked in a different way, that only one person announced himself as the mujaddid so that nobody should raise any objection against accepting his claim. Thus our first question as to who was the mujaddid appointed at the head of the fourteenth century Hijrah has been answered in a clear and explicit manner.

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's claim of being a mujaddid:

Although his claim of Divine appointment as well as his being the muhaddath (one spoken to by God), was expressly mentioned in his book, Barahin-i Ahmadiyyah, this book only reached the hands of a selected few. Therefore, he published seperately twenty thousand copies of a poster in which he clearly proclaimed himself to be a mujaddid. Besides its circulation in Urdu on such a large scale, its translation into English was also published. The preliminary remarks of this poster were as follows:

"The book, Barahin-i Ahmadiyyah, is compiled by the author who has been inspired by God and appointed by Him for the reformation and renovation of Islam. Along with this book is a poster, offering a prize of ten thousand rupees. The substance of the book is that in the world, the true religion is Islam by means of which a man believes from the core of his heart in God - Who is free from every blemish and imperfection and is pure and perfect in His attributes…. And in this book the truth of Islam has been established in two ways. Firstly, by three hundred strong intellectual arguments. Secondly, by those heavenly signs which are most essential to prove the perfect truthfulness of a true religion."

These signs, then, are divided into three categories.

"Firstly, the signs which the opponents of Islam witnessed at the hand of the Holy Prophet himself... secondly, the signs which are found permanently in the Quran… and thirdly, the signs which are received by way of inheritance by a follower through allegiance to the Book of God and the Holy Prophet. This servant of Allah has given manifest proof by the grace of Allah, the Almighty, that many of the true inspirations and signs and wonders that have been accepted are a part of the religious experience of this servant of the Faith, and the truth of these have been witnessed by many of the religious opponents, (the Aryas for instance). All these matters have been stated in this book, and the author has been given the knowledge that he is the mujaddid of this time and that spiritually his excellences resemble those of the Messiah, son of Mary, and one of them bears a very strong resemblance and a close affinity to the other. And to him has been granted, on the pattern of special grace of prophets and messengers, excellence over many great righteous servants (auliya) who have passed away before him, only on account of the blessings of following the best of men and the best of the messengers, the Holy Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. And to follow in his footsteps is the cause of salvation, felicity and blessing, and to go against him is the cause of (spiritual) remoteness (bu`d) and distress (hirman)." 2

In the aforementioned references not only has an open claim been made of his being the mujaddid of this age but the Founder has also explained the real object of the advent of a mujaddid, that is, he is sent for the support of the Islamic faith. As this support is needed in every age, therefore God had instituted the appointment of mujaddids. The Founder then put forth the heavenly signs which were granted to him in support of the truthfulness of Islam, and which showed that a mujaddid appeared only as a servant of Islam. Almost all the great `ulama of the country looked at his claim approvingly because they were expecting the advent of a mujaddid of the century. On the one hand, nobody before him had announced himself as mujaddid of the century before him, and on the other, after the Founder's claim, nobody had the courage to make such a claim even for the sake of opposing him.

After the Founder's claim, as will be shown a little later, a storm of opposition arose against him and fair and foul means were all used to denounce him and destroy his mission. But as to the point that he was the only claimant for the fourteenth century, God neither let this fact become dubious, nor did anyone suggest that the hadith about the mujaddid was inauthentic - and how could a claim based on such a fabricated tradition be true? Maulavi Muhammad Hussain Batalavi, who was the leader of the Ahl-i Hadith, himself wrote a long review on the book, Barahin-i Ahmadiyyah, and in strong words supported him and his claims and admitted his great service to the cause of Islam. In short, the Founder's claim was made when people were looking forward to it and most of them welcomed it.

The services rendered to Islam by the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement:

The reason for the acceptance of his claim was not only that it was made right at the time of its expectancy but also that the Founder was renowned for his scholarship and piety and for the services he had rendered to the cause of religion and for the strong arguments he had given for establishing the truth of Islam, and for his deep understanding of the Quran found in his writings. When people were becoming neglectful about their duty towards Islam, the Founder devoted all his time, energy and financial resources to the service of Islam and showed integrity of character, uprightness and great steadfastness in the face of severe opposition and never wavered for a moment from the mission which God had assigned to him. All these matters were combined in his person and people bowed their heads in respect before him and acknowledged openly that, in truth, this was the person who could be the true master of the ship of Islam in this turbulent age. Maulavi Muhammad Hussain's review of Barahin-i Ahmadiyyah was not an ordinary review. In it he included a summary of this great book and also recorded some of the Founder's inspirations (ilhamat). After listing all these, the review began with the following words:

"This is the sum and substance of this book. Now we express our brief opinion about it without exaggeration. In our opinion, this book in this age and in view of the present circumstances, is such that the like of it has not been written up to this time in Islam, and nothing can be said about the future; Allah may bring about another affair after this. Its author, too, has proved himself firm in helping the cause of Islam, with his property, with his pen and tongue and with his personal religious experience, to such an extent that an example of it is rarely met with among the Muslims who have gone before. If any one looks upon these words of ours as an Asiatic exaggeration, let him point out to us at least one such book that has in it such forceful refutation of all classes of opponents of Islam, especially the Arya Samaj and the Brahmu Samaj, so emphatically and forcefully, and let him give us the names of two or three persons, the helpers of the cause of Islam, who besides helping Islam with their properties, their person, their pens and their tongues, have also come forward with their religious experience and have proclaimed against the opponents of Islam and the deniers of revelation the manly challenge, that whoever doubted the truth of revelation might come to them and witness the truth thereof, and who have made non-Muslims taste of the same." 3

This is the testimony given by the pen of a person who later became the most implacable opponent of the Founder. This review, comprising 152 pages, was published in Isha'at al-Sunnah vol. 7, Nos. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11. In this review, in many places he mentions several of the Founder's inspirations . Thus on page 192 of No.7 he quoted the following ilham:

"I decided to appoint a vicegerent (khalifah), so I created Adam."

As an explanation of this ilham, Muhammad Hussain writes, (quoting the words of the Founder):

"This only connotes spiritual office and succession and Adam also does not mean the father of mankind. It means a person through whom, after establishing a movement of direction and guidance, a foundation of spiritual revival (for mankind) will be laid. In other words, he will be the spiritual father for the seekers after truth And this is a grand prophecy pointing towards the establishment of a spiritual movement at a time when this movement does not even exist in name."

Page 260, No 9, quoting the ilham: "Therefore declare openly, what thou art commanded, and turn away from the ignorant", Muhammad Hussain says:

"Similarly in the words of the verse (15:94) fasda' (therefore declare openly), he, (i.e.. the Founder), considers that the Holy Prophet was the person who was addressed in these words but when in the same words God addressed him, (i.e. the Founder), then, in these words, (not in the verses of the Quran) he considers that they refer to his lying down, sometimes wrapped up in a garment and it means his appointment for the manifestation of truth." 4

And on page 277 in this review, the Founder's claim of being a mujaddid has been reproduced:

"And the author has been given the knowledge that he is the mujaddid of his time."

The following remarks by the Founder have further been added:

"And he has been granted, excellence over many great righteous servants (auliya') and obtained characteristics of prophethood and messengership on account of the blessings of perfectly following the best of men and the best of messengers, the Holy Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. And to follow in his footsteps is the cause of salvation, felicity and blessing and to go against him is the cause of (spiritual) remoteness and distress."

At the end of this review, to silence the opponents, Maulavi Muhammad Hussain mentioned the names of many Muslim luminaries who have expressed the same views about ilham as expressed by the author of Barahin-i Ahmadiyyah. In this connection, he quoted from the books entitled Mansab-i Imamat and Sirat-i Mustaqim by Maulana Muhammad Isma'il Shahid and says:

"You should read the book Mansab-i Imamat from pages 3 to 42, then you will notice that that what I have claimed, rather all that I have said and whatever has been claimed and said in the Barahin-i Ahmadiyyah, are fully supported by that book." 5

References from the writings of Maulana Shah Abdul Aziz and Shah Waliullah and from the writings of many early dignitaries of Islam have also been quoted and all this has been put forward to prove that whatever has been stated in the Barahin-i Ahmadiyyah is precisely according to the beliefs of the

Ahl-i Sunnah wa'l-Jama`at. Towards the end of the review he writes:

"The author of the Barahin-i Ahmadiyyah has saved the honour of Muslims. He challenged the opponents of Islam to an encounter and made the announcement to most parts of the world that any one who entertained any doubts should come to him and see with his own eyes the truth of Islam by intellectual arguments from the Quran and from the miracles of the prophethood of Muhammad (by which he means his own inspirations and supernatural signs)." 6

With this prayer he ended the review:

"O God! The Guide of the seekers of truth, show mercy to him more than his own parents and more than all the affectionate ones in the whole world. O God! Create the love of this book in the hearts of the people and enrich them with the blessings of this book. And for the sake of some righteous servant of Thine, O God, confer on this humble ashamed sinner the special blessings and bounties of this book. Amin!'' 7

The Mujaddid's mission:

His claim has been mentioned above. But what was his mission? This has clearly been explained in Barahin-i Ahmadiyyah and the Poster (Ishtihar), which was published along with it. This showed that the great work which was assigned to him was not an ordinary work of reformation but the real object of his appointment as a mujaddid was to establish by intellectual and spiritual arguments and signs the supremacy of Islam over all the other religions.

Thus he writes in Barahin-i Ahmadiyyah:

"The last portion of the revelation indicates that the Holy Prophet had mentioned the appearance of this person in the above quoted hadith and a reference has also been made in God's revelation recorded in Volume III of this book. This humble servant has been shown that in lowliness, humility, trust in God, generosity, heavenly signs and illumination, he is an example of the first life of the Messiah. And the nature of this humble servant very much resembles the nature of the Messiah as if they are two pieces of the same jewel or two fruits of the same tree. The spiritual triumph of the religion of Islam which would be brought by conclusive arguments and shining proofs, whether it is in his lifetime or after his death, is destined to be accomplished through this humble servant. Though the religion of Islam has been triumphant from the beginning on account of its strong appeal to the mind of man, and though from the earliest times its opponents have met with disgrace and discomfiture, its conquests over the different sects and nations depended on the coming of a time which, by opening the ways of communication, should turn the whole world into a kind of united states. In short, in this age, every means for the propagation of religion has reached its highest limit. Although the world is overcast by darkness, yet the circuit of perversion seems to have reached its end, the power of moral deviation seems to be declining, as if it has been God's will that healthy minds are devoting themselves to the search of the straight path and good and pure natures are falling in line with the state of righteousness. The natural zeal of tauhid (unity of Godhead) has turned worthy minds towards the pure and clean spring of belief in the Oneness of God; and the weakness of the worship of created things is becoming apparent to the learned. The artificial gods are once again putting on the robes of humanity in the eyes of the wise. Moreover, heavenly help is being stirred up in such a way for the support of the true religion that the proofs and supernatural signs, by hearing about which humble and weak servants of God were given the status of Divinity, are now being manifested at the hands of the ordinary servants of the Holy Prophet…. Thus, intellectually and spiritually, the spread of the truth of the religion of Islam, depended on this age…. Thus, God intends, by raising me in this age and by granting me hundreds of heavenly signs and vision of extraordinary matters relating to the future, and deep knowledge and also by giving me knowledge of hundreds of sure arguments, to spread and propagate the knowledge of the true teachings of the Quran among all the nations and in all countries and to bring decisive proofs of the truth of Islam against them. In short, God the Most Forgiving, has granted to this humble servant, by His favour and grace, the ways and means for the propagation of Islam and in its support conclusive proofs and arguments which had not been given to anyone in the previous nations until now, and whatever unseen resources have been given to this humble servant had not been given to any of them before. That is God's grace; He gives it to whom He pleases." 8

The need for an organisation for the propagation of Islam:

The above passage clearly shows the work for which the mujaddid of this age was commissioned and the manner in which this work was entrusted to him. The real object of his appointment was the propagation of Islam so that conclusive proofs should be given of its supremacy over other religions, and by refuting all the false doctrines, the true teachings of Islam should be spread.

The work of inviting to Islam, which was particularly made obligatory for Muslims but of which they had become extremely neglectful, should be revived. Muslims should translate the following verse of the Quran in their practical life:

And from among you there should be a party who invite to good and enjoin the right and forbid the wrong. And these are they who are successful. 9

Inviting others to good, which in other words is inviting to Islam, gets preference over everything else. At another place in the Quran it is stated:

Neither those who disbelieve from among the people of the Book, nor the polytheists, like that any good should be sent down to you from your Lord. 10

Here, the good (khair) stands for the Quran, because all the paths of goodness are found in the Quran. Therefore, according to the Divine command, there should be a party from among the Muslims who should always engage themselves in calling people to Islam. In the earlier days of Islam all Muslims had that spirit breathed into them so that they were all missionaries of Islam. Their enthusiasm was such that in a short time they created a great revolution in the world by their preaching. They carried the message of Islam to different countries, such as Afghanistan, China, India, Algeria, Africa, Iran, Turkistan, Syria, etc. Then a time came when the Muslim rulers and the rich became more engrossed in material luxuries than in the work of Islam. The learned (`ulama) spent most of their time in mutual wrangling about minor theological points. In spite of that, many Muslim servants kept themselves busy with inviting people to Islam, and the great respect which is shown to them by thousands of people today is only because of their service to Islam. They were, in fact, the spiritual rulers of the Muslim world. When the worldly kings gave up the work of the propagation of Islam these spiritual kings took charge of this work. But alas! nowadays the centres and seats of the great missionaries of Islam have become only a means to earn money towards upkeeping the controllers and owners of these centres so that they may lead a luxurious life. These places have become not only a source of quarrels and disputes but also of religious deviations and innovations. Would that even a fraction of their income was spent for the cause of disseminating the teachings of Islam!

Then the Muslim nation would not have reached the state of such disgrace! Would that the Muslim kings had made some arrangements for the cause of spreading Islam which would have saved their kingdoms from destruction! However, when Muslims turned their backs on the Divine injunctions - the kings hankered after a life of luxury, the owners of the so-called spiritual seats yearned for worldly goods and honour and the learned (`ulama) wasted their time and energy in petty wrangling - the sacred mission of invitation to Islam was totally abandoned. This was the real cause of the downfall of Muslims. They threw away with their own hands what was the source of life to them and what they grabbed - physical luxuries and pleasures and the accompanying greed to procure more of them - was, in fact, the source of their destruction.

The negligence of Muslims:

What beautiful principles of success were given to the Muslims in this pure book, the Quran! Others derived benefit by following them and became successful, but as far as Muslims were concerned, they confirmed the truth of the following verse of the Quran in their persons:

Surely my people treat this Quran as a forsaken thing. 11

The Quran enjoined on its followers that there should be a group among them who should carry on inviting others to their faith. No other sacred scripture has laid down this principle except the Quran, but in practice it is only Muslims who have neglected this mission. Followers of almost all the other religions are trying to preach the doctrines of their religions to other nations. To give up this struggle amounts to death for them. But Muslims who were taught by the Quran not to be neglectful of this work, pay no regard to it. They neither care for the preaching of Islam nor have they set up any organisation for training missionaries. They neither know the needs of the Muslim world, nor do they know about the beliefs and doctrines of other religions, nor do they pay any attention to the attacks made against Islam by its opponents. It is time to shed tears at the sad plight of Muslims; there is a great spiritual treasure in their house but they are unaware of it. Why has the existence of a party for carrying the message of Islam to other people been given so much importance in the Quran? Because without it the Muslim nation could not survive. The history of the world bears testimony to the fact that the moment a nation gave up the struggle to increase its membership, decay and decline set in in its house. Some people think that the decline of Muslims was the result of the loss of their worldly kingdoms and empires. The truth, however, is that the fall of Muslims began when they started disregarding the work of inviting others to Islam and the loss of worldly power was one of the consequences of this neglect. When Muslims pay full attention to the propagation of Islam, in its true spirit, they will acquire the same splendour the promise of which is given in these words: ula'ika humul-muflihun (these are they who are successful) (3:103).

The greatest need of Islam in this age is to propagate the teachings of Islam:

Thus, when in this age Muslims were becoming heedless of the work of the propagation of Islam, God revealed to the mujaddid of this century to form an organisation for this great object. Every mujaddid is assigned a task according to the needs of his age. In these times Islam was being attacked from all sides. The religion that was sent to prevail, "over all religions" 12 was considered to be the weakest of them all. Had God not supported His religion at this hour of need it would have been difficult for Islam to stay alive as a force in the world. This support for Islam was shown in a thousand and one ways but the greatest favour God did to Islam was that He commissioned the mujaddid of this age to show to the world the face of Islam in its full splendour. Thus, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement repeatedly emphasised in his writings such as Barahin-i Ahmadiyyah and from the beginning and right up to the end kept on proclaiming the fact that the real object of his advent was the propagation of Islam and the exaltation of the Word of God. And those who entered his movement had to affirm:

"I will hold religion above the world.''

The real object of this affirmation was the formation of such a party which should devote itself unitedly to the service of Islam. Every person who joins the Ahmadiyya Movement, in fact, makes a promise that the main aim of his life is to spread the message of Islam.

The success of the work of propagation:

Of all the works, this, undoubtedly, is the work of the greatest importance for without it Muslims cannot survive. There are many other innovations and deviations found among Muslims today - and Muslims themselves stand in need of great reformation - but God wanted first to cure the disease which was the root cause of all the troubles. It was affecting not only a part but the whole body of the Muslim community. The work of establishing the truth of Islam by the mujaddid of this age will be discussed by me separately. One thing, however, which every person can understand is, that in spite of all the opposition, the Founder, before his death, was able to create an organisation, the object of which was the propagation of Islam. He equipped his followers with powerful arguments which proved very effective against all false beliefs and doctrines. God has crowned with success the efforts of this Jama'at in England, where Islam is painted in the darkest of colours. Islam is becoming popular there although it is the religion of a nation that was ruled by the English people. In a few years' time, about two hundred persons have entered the fold of

Islam and among these persons are included lords, counts, majors, captains, professors, editors, authors etc. The translation of the Quran into English with notes and commentaries has been published and this has laid a firm basis for the propagation of Islam. This is all the work of the mujaddid of the fourteenth century because it is he who laid its foundation.

Footnotes to Chapter VI:

1 3:103.

2 Ishtihar, published 1885 CE. (Quoted in Mujaddid-i A`zam, Dr. Basharat Ahmad, vol. 1, pp. 113, 114.)

3 Isha`at al-Sunnah, vol. 7, June-November, p.169, 1884 CE Batala, India.

4 Barahin-i Ahmadiyyah, vol. iv, p. 489-493.

5 Isha`at al-Sunnah, p.310.

6 Ibid. p. 348.

7 "Even if faith had gone up to the Pleiades, a man from among these would surely find it." Al-Bukhari, kitab al-Tafsir, ch. Akharina minhum (65:62).

8 5:54; 57:21; 62:4. Barahin-i Ahmadiyyah, pp.498-502.

9 3:103

10 2:105.

11 25:30

12 9:33; 48:28; 61:9


Books Section > The Promised Messiah [The Second Coming of Jesus] by Maulana Muhammad Ali Sahib > Chapter VI : Renovator (Mujaddid) of the Fourteenth Century


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