Reply to Mian Tahir Ahmad Sahibs Lecture in
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Mian Tahir Ahmad Sahib, Head of the Rabwah Ahmadiyya Movement, delivered a speech in Paramaribo, Suriname (South America) in a gathering where a large number of the members of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement were also invited. After listening to the tape of the speech, and considering carefully its contents, it becomes necessary that we should critically examine various points raised and facts mentioned therein. It is all the more essential in view of the fact that the new generation and even most of the present elders of both sections are not fully aware of the facts and historical background which started in 1905 and culminated in the Split in the Movement, in 1914. We hope after becoming aware of the other side of the picture, and critically examining the speech of Mian Sahib in the light of what we would state during our critical examination, they would be able to finally decide where lies the truth and who are the people who deviated from the truth and went astray.
On our part, we assure you that we will keep in mind the following two verses of the Holy Quran while examining the contents of the speech made by Mian Sahib:
"O you who believe, be maintainers of justice, bearers of witness for Allah, even though it be against your own selves or (your) parents or near relatives" (4:135).
After the publication of "The Will", its Supplement and his death on the 26th of May, 1908, there is no evidence of any alteration or abrogation in any book or writing of the Founder regarding his stand that the Anjuman and not an individual shall be his successor. And we do not find any indication whatsoever that he intended to establish a khilafat in the Jamaat after his death.
The Founder nominated 14 members of the Anjuman and appointed Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din Sahib as its president, Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali Sahib as the General Secretary, and Hazrat Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din Sahib as its legal advisor. We have mentioned names of only three elders, as around them revolves the story of the Split which occurred in the Jamaat. The Founder ran the Anjuman for two and a half years during his life, in accordance to the rules and regulations mentioned in "The Will" and the "Supplement".
During the life of the Founder in 1907, an incident of the extension of the Masjid (Mosque) Mubarak, at Qadian, India, occurred, which, in Divine wisdom, provided an opportunity to further explain the position and powers of the Anjuman. The Anjuman prepared a plan for the extension of the Mosque and entrusted it to Mir Nasir Nawab, father-in-law of the Founder so that he should get it done accordingly. But he wanted to do it in his own way, somewhat different from the plan. The Anjuman did not allow him to do it that way. Mir Sahib became very annoyed with the Anjuman and expressed his indignation against the Anjuman and complained about it to the Founder. The members of the Anjuman explained to the Founder that if everyone started following his own way in implementing the resolutions of the Anjuman, then how could it do its work. At this the Founder himself came to the meeting of the Anjuman and wrote the following in his own hand-writing:
Instruction by the Founder In
Handwritten Instruction by the Founder
In Printed Urdu
"It is my opinion that when the Anjuman decides a matter to be done in a particular manner, and majority of the members are in its favour, then that should be considered as the correct and final decision. But I would like to add this much here that in some religious matters which are related to my Mission, I should be informed about it. I firmly believe that this Anjuman will not do anything against my wishes. But I have added this just by way of caution, in case there is a matter regarding which Allah may have a special intention. But this position will be tenable only during my life, and after my death the Anjumans decisions in every matter shall be considered final."
(Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, October 27, 1907)
This writing of the Founder decides categorically three issues:
1. No individual shall be the Khalifa or successor of the Founder.
2. The Anjuman shall be the successor of the Founder.
3. After the death of the Founder all the matters of the Anjuman shall be decided by majority of vote and such a decision shall be considered as correct and final.
It is evident from Mir Nasir Nawabs differing with the Anjuman that the formation of the Anjuman was considered an obstacle by family members of the Founder, because it, at that time, foiled their plan for establishing family succession or Caliphate. And this also proved to be sowing of the seed of the split, which in due course of time, grew into a strong tree and caused irreparable loss to the Movement.
i.e., How wonderful it would have been, if each one of the Jamaat could be like Nur-ud-Din. Certainly it could have been so if each ones heart is filled with the spiritual light.
That is why the whole community unanimously agreed to elect him as successor of the Founder. When Hazrat Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din Sahib and other elders of the Jamaat went to Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din Sahib and requested him to accede to the wishes of the Jamaat, Hazrat Maulana said: "Mian Mahmood Ahmad and Mir Nasir Nawab do not agree to it." When these two gentlemen were approached and asked about the apprehension expressed by Hazrat Maulana, they neither denied it nor expressed their agreement. They first consulted Hazrat Amaa Jan (wife of the Founder) and in view of the over-whelming consensus of the whole community thought it expedient to agree to it. (Mian Mahmood Ahmad Sahib at that time was just 19 years old). After that Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din Sahib agreed to become the successor. This briefly is the story how Hazrat Maulana was elected as the successor of the Founder. And in these circumstances, in order to strengthen bonds of unity among the Jamaat the whole community took pledge at his hand to show their unstinted support. This pledge was not a renewal of the pledge which one takes while entering the Jamaat, and was not essential for those who had already taken pledge at the hands of the Founder. In fact, this pledge was to maintain unity in the Jamaat and was not the one which one takes while entering the Jamaat.
When Mir Nasir Nawab and Mian Mahmood Ahmad and their other relatives failed to install a member of the family as the successor, they did not want to miss the opportunity next time, that is, on the death of Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din Sahib. So they secretly started making plans and preparations for the next move during the very life of Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din Sahib, details of which will be given at due sequence.
"O my dear ones! It is Divine practice from the beginning that Allah displays His manifestation twice, so that He may foil the two false felicitations of the enemy. Thus it is not possible that He would forsake his ancient practice now. So you should not be saddened by what I have stated before you (about my death), and your hearts should not be worried, for it is destined that you should witness the second Divine manifestation. Such an advent will be better for you as it will abide with you, and will continue till the day of Resurrection. That second manifestation will not be revealed unless I leave. When I will leave then Allah will send for you the second Divine manifestation and it will stay with you forever. Allah has promised about it in the Barahin-i Ahmadiyya. But that promise is not about my person; it is concerning you, as Allah says: I shall make this community, who are your followers, dominant over others." (Al-Wassiyat)
The wording that appears in the Barahin-i Ahmadiyya (Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahibs first book 1880-1884) is as follows:
"O Jesus, I will cause thee to die and exalt thee in my presence and clear thee of those who disbelieve and make those who follow thee above those who disbelieve to the day of Resurrection."
It should have been so in accordance to what has been stated in the Quran. It says:
"And 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" (3:103)
In this writing of the Founder, he has not indicated directly or indirectly, that Qudrat-i Sania means that some sort of khilafat will be established after him, and the Anjuman which we called the successor after him shall be subservient to khilafat. It is evident from this sentence of the Founder: "That promise is not regarding my person; it is regarding you, as Allah says: I shall make this community, who are your followers, dominant over others to they day of Resurrection, that Qudrat-i Sania is the Jamaat of the Founder and not an autocratic khilafat which will remain in existence forever and carry on his spiritual mission. Mian Tahir Ahmad Sahib cannot produce a single writing of the Founder in which he has said that Qudrat-i Sania means an autocratic khilafat and such a khilafat will remain in the family by way of inheritance.
The Lahore Jamaat believes the Founder to be judge and arbiter, and considers it an act of righteousness to act and follow every judgment of the Founder, without any let or hindrance. But in preference to the Founder, we cannot accept any inference or explanation based on wrong and self-made arguments emanating from one who may consider himself on a high position. It is far from righteousness and justice to distort facts and make wrong inferences just to make a case in favour of khilafat.