A revealing account of the dissension that emerged in the Ahmadiyya community and a rebuttal to the allegations of the disssident Lahori party – (An excerpt from the book The Truth About the Split).
Death of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra)
At last came the day of which we had been afraid for so long. On Friday, the 13th March, in the morning, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra) felt his strength ebbing away and the doctors forbade everyone to enter his room. Still nobody thought that the end was so near. During his illness, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih(ra) had charged me with leading both the five daily prayers and the special Friday prayers. Accordingly, this Friday I went to the big Qadian Mosque to lead the Friday prayers. The prayers over, I went to my house for a brief visit. But immediately there came to me a servant of Khan Muhammad ‘Ali Khan Sahib, with the message that the Khan Sahib was outside waiting for me in his coach. Forthwith, I got into the coach and together we set out for the house of Khan Sahib. But we were yet on our way when a man came to us running with the news that Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih(ra) had expired, and so was fulfilled a dream of mine, dreamt long ago, that I was in a coach coming from some place when I received the news of the death of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih(ra). Under the circumstances of the time, this was a most disconcerting piece of news. The death of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih(ra) was a great shock to us. But greater than the shock was our fear of that dissension and disunity in the Community, which the death seemed to occasion. Telegrams were despatched at once to various places to inform Ahmadiyya centres of the sad event. The greater portion of the Jama‘at at Qadian engaged themselves in prayers to the Almighty. At the time of the ‘Asr prayers when a majority of the Jama‘at was present at the Masjid Nur, I made a brief speech. I said: “With the departure of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih(ra), there has devolved upon us a grave responsibility which everyone of us must prepare himself to discharge to the best of his powers. Deeds however worthy in themselves lose their worth by being associated with bad motives. This is the reason why God has enjoined the recitation of the prayer ‘I seek refuge with Allah etc. …’ at the time of reading any passage from the Holy Qur’an, and has prefixed the text ‘In the name of Allah, etc. …’ at the head of every chapter of the Qur’an. By the first, the reader seeks Divine protection against the intrusion of evil motives, and by the second, he seeks Divine assistance in the performance of good deeds. When such caution has been recommended to us even in the study of the Holy Qur’an, the undoubted word of God, the reading of which has been enjoined upon us by God Himself, how much more cautious must we be while performing other duties, however meritorious they may apparently be? Regarding Prayers, God says in the Holy Qur’an:
So woe to those who pray, but are unmindful of their Prayer. They like to be seen of men. (Ch.107:Vs.5-7)
Thus, according to this verse, even devotions to God, which lead man to God may succeed only in exciting His wrath, if they proceed from wrong motives. It is, therefore, all the more necessary that in discharging the responsibility which has now devolved upon us, we should particularly engage ourselves in addressing supplications to God and seeking His guidance with frequent iteration of the prayer:
Guide us in the right path. (Ch.1: V.6)
Lead us to the straight path, so that the special grace of God may descend upon us and His purpose become manifest to us. If God be not pleased to grant to us His help at this juncture, then we stand the imminent danger of destruction. Let us, therefore, all betake ourselves to prayer, not only at the prescribed hours of prayer but also during other hours, so that God may protect us and keep us on the right path. You should also be up at night to offer prayers and those who can should also fast for tomorrow.”
Conversations with Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali
After the speech I prayed silently together with those assembled and then all dispersed to their homes. I left the mosque and was on my way to the house of Khan Muhammad ‘Ali Khan when Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali accosted me and expressed a wish to have a talk. I, therefore, turned to follow him and together we made our way into the woods. Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali said: “Things done after proper consultation are done best. After the death of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih(ra) nothing should be done in haste. Everything should be done after full consultation.” I answered: “Without doubt things done in haste often turn out wrong. It is proper that everything should be done after due consultation. People have been coming already and there is every hope that by tomorrow there would be gathered here a fairly large number of them. When they assemble tomorrow, we should have a consultation. The men who hold any large influence in the Community all belong to places within easy distance. They will all be here by tomorrow.” Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali however interposed saying: “No, it would not be right to be in such haste. As now there is disagreement, it is necessary that the whole question be fully discussed, and then an agreed decision reached and acted upon. The Community should have at least four or five months to think and exchange views on the matter and only then should action be taken on any decision that may be reached.” I said: “But, first of all, what is the disagreement? And secondly if, in the absence of any leader, there should arise any trouble in the Community, who is going to be responsible? This is what happened at the death of the Promised Messiah(as). A consultation was held among those who had assembled on the occasion. This is also what happened in the early days of Islam. To wait for months has no precedent either in the early history of Islam or in the recent history of the Ahmadiyya Movement. To this, Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali replied: ‘There are now differences which did not exist then, and moreover, what is the harm in waiting for some time? If there is no Khalifa, what difference will it make? What is there on the morrow waiting to be done by the Khalifa?” Said I: “At the death of the Promised Messiah(as), the Jama‘at had unanimously decided that they would have a succession of Khulafa’. No consultation is needed on this point. We cannot, in fact, open the question over again. The question to be consulted about is the election of the Khalifa. And as regards your question, what is the need for a Khalifa, my answer is that besides spiritual guardianship of the Community, the function of a Khalifa is to maintain unity in the Community and to protect it against disorder and dissension. A practical definition of these functions is not possible. I cannot, therefore, enumerate the concrete forms that it may assume. Nor is spiritual governance a tangible thing that I could specify the duties which the Khalifa must perform, nor can we say when troubles may arise that we could be certain that for some time at least, there would be no need of a Khalifa. It is possible that, even tomorrow there should arise a situation calling for the interference of a guardian hand. You ought to give up, therefore, the question whether we should or should not have a Khalifa. We should discuss only the question who should be Khalifa?” Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali answered: “Here lies the difficulty. As there are differences of doctrine, there would be differences over the election of a Khalifa. How can we pledge our Bai‘at to one whose doctrines we disapprove?” I said: “Well, in the first place, the doctrinal differences are not such as would preclude one side from pledging its Bai‘at to one belonging to the other. (At that time the doctrinal differences had not become so very marked as they became later on). And then we, at any rate, are prepared to pledge our Bai‘at to one of your party.” Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali now said: “It is a difficult matter. You had better think and take counsel. Tomorrow again we will talk over the subject.” So did I request, saying: “You too had better consult your friends about the views I have expressed and let me know what they think, so that we may discuss the subject again.” Then we parted. At night, I called a meeting of my friends and reported to them our conversation. They all held that it was impossible on religious grounds to deny the Khilafat. It had been explicitly mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, that those who denied the authority of Khulafa’ were transgressors and further that the Khilafat was one of the special blessings of God to the believers and therefore they thought that it would never be proper for them to forego the Divine blessing. I told them that so far as I had understood from my conversation with Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali he would lay special stress upon that point. But the meeting held that the point involved a religious principle and could not, therefore, be sacrificed to any regard for personalities. The opposite side, it was urged had already pledged their Bai‘at to one Khalifa, and this proved that such pledging was at least permissible even according to them, and was not a sin. With our side, on the other hand, not to enter into Bai‘at with a Khalifa and thus to give up Khilafat itself, was a sin. If the party opposite was so insistent upon rejecting that which they regarded as permissible, how could they surrender a point and principle that they regarded as quite indispensable?
14 March and a Tract by Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali
As advised by me the day before, many Ahmadis had resolved to fast and even those who seldom offered the Tahajjud prayers, made up their minds to offer them this night. I was up at about two and began to get ready for the Tahajjud prayers. I was in the middle of my ablutions, when somebody put into my hand a tract which, he said, had been distributed all over the route to Ahmadis coming from outside. I looked at the tract and found that it had been written by Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali. In it, he had asked Ahmadis not to let the succession of Khulafa’ continue any longer and had stated that he had pledged his Bai‘at to the last Khalifa not as Khalifa but merely as a saint and Sufi. He had also stated that he was not aware as to who was going to be elected as the next Khalifa, but what he wished was as a well-wisher to advise Ahmadis not to have any Khalifa. Continuing, he had said that Miyan Sahib (i.e. the present writer) regarded non-Ahmadis as kuffar (disbelievers), a view which was not only wrong, but contrary to piety, and that if after all they were going to elect a Khalifa, he should be one who did not regard non-Ahmadis as kuffar, because the Khalifa should be one pre-eminent for his piety, while a person who regarded non-Ahmadis as kuffar could not be pious. Regarding himself he had said that he was a well-wisher of the Promised Messiah’s(as) family and friends and respected them all. The object of the tract was obvious and need not be dwelt upon. It could be seen by anybody who would spend a little thought and try and read between the lines. When I saw the tract I was struck with surprise, and my amazement knew no bounds. For, only a couple of days before, when I had proposed to issue a notice to the Jama‘at, suggesting that no discussion should be held on points of controversy so long as the Jama‘at did not have a chief who could direct the controversies and keep all excesses in proper check, Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali had observed that as Ahmadis outside were unaware of the internal differences of the Jama‘at such a notice was likely to prove injurious to the Movement. And now the same Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali had written not a notice but a tract and had sent it to Lahore to be printed, and not only had intended to distribute it himself, but had noted upon its first page a request to all Ahmadis widely to distribute the tract. This action of his seemed to be beyond my comprehension, and I wondered what to think of him, who while dissuading me only two days before from publishing a notice on the ground that it would prove a severe trial for many Ahmadis, had full one week before written a tract on the questions in dispute, and sent it to Lahore for printing and publishing. Could such an action, I wondered, be consistent with true piety? Was there any sincerity in the reply he made to my proposal for a joint notice? Was it not mere diplomacy? Did not such action indicate the absence of a proper fear of God? Did it not contradict the clear teaching of the revealed word of God, the teaching promulgated by the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw) – the teaching which was the mission of the Promised Messiah(as) to lead back the world and for the due observance of which Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali had taken a pledge with Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra)? Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali’s aim was only to bide time. In dissuading me from publishing the notice, his object was not to save the Community from any possible danger, but to throw the Community instead into an even more serious danger. This is evident from the fact that, even before I made my proposal for a notice, he had written a tract on those very subjects of controversy which he pretended to wish to avoid, and had it secretly forwarded to Lahore for printing. Could it be that while there was danger in restraining the Community from discussing controversial subjects, – danger of making them aware of differences in the Community, and thus creating anxiety for individual members, and so on – there was no danger when he himself wrote his tract on those very subjects, called a whole section of the Jama‘at impious, and charged some with conspiracy? It is certain Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali knew that if he had put his signature to the proposed notice, people would have demanded of him an explanation of the inconsistency between his word and deed, and reproved him in the words of the Holy Qu’ran:
Do you enjoin others to do what is good and forget your own selves…? (Ch.2:V.45)
At the same time he saw that there was nothing in the proposed notice to which he could object and from this dilemma he sought to save himself by a plea. If Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali really meant to be sincere and honest, then the proper course for him, in case he was in agreement with the substance of the notice, was to recall the tract and stop its publication, and in case he was in disagreement with the notice, to tell me frankly that it was very necessary to inform the Community of the existing differences, that he had already written a tract on the subject, and sent it to Lahore for printing and publication, and that accordingly he could not properly be a party to the notice which I had proposed to circulate. But he chose to adopt neither of these two straight-forward courses. He approved of the notice, but dissuaded me from its publication on the plea that it would make people aware of the internal differences of the Community. But himself he did not desist from publishing his tract. More than this, in the tract, he had gone so far as to say that differences had assumed such proportions that each party thought the other kuffar and deserving of the punishment of death and yet five years have passed since these discussions have been going and though they have increased in bitterness, nobody has pronounced the other party to be kuffar and deserving of the punishment of death. It appears however that Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali and his party have a strong desire to win the glory of such a pronouncement, that not so long ago they caught hold of a reporter’s mistake in the Tashhidhul Adhhan, and, in spite of an authoritative repudiation, persisted in the attitude of persecuted virtue to advertise their sufferings to the world. In short, when I read the tract, I was filled with wonder. I could see the trouble that was coming. I had little doubt now that Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali would not be satisfied with anything less than a split in the Community. In such a predicament, what course was open to a believer but to fall down in supplication before the Lord and pray for His assistance. This was then the course which I followed. I prayed. There were others in the same room with me. I roused them from their beds and told them of the tract, and asked them to pray to God. We all prayed and fasted, as did most Ahmadis of Qadian who agreed with me in their views.
Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali Proves False to Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra)
The tract is an index of Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali’s own inner mind. I have pointed out how, in the matter of the notice proposed by me and the tract that he had secretly prepared and printed, he played false with me. I now wish to point out how by publishing this tract, Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali also proved false to Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra). The most hard-hearted of men would shrink from acting with duplicity towards a dear friend who is seen lying on his deathbed. But what did Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali do? Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih(ra) wrote out the Will, and made it over to Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali, and asked him to read it not once, nor twice, but three times over, and then asked him if there was anything which had been left out, and Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali said in reply that nothing had been left out, and that the Will was all right. This Will had not been written by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra) while in the enjoyment of health. It was written in the course of illness and at a time when all hope of his recovery had been given up so far as human resources were concerned…
In short, this Will had been written at a time when its great author was passing the last hours of his holy life; when, on the one hand, the thought of the imminent meeting with his Creator and his beloved Master filled his soul with pleasurable excitement and, on the other, the fear that his death might bring to end all that he had worked and striven for during the last years of his life, filled his heart with untold anxiety; the Will had been written at a delicate hour when hope and fear between them tossed the soul of this great man. This Will had been written by one at whose hands the whole of the Ahmadiyya Community with but few exceptions had solemnly pledged the oath of allegiance. This Will had been written by one who, apart from being a Khalifa of the Promised Messiah(as), enjoyed an unquestioned pre-eminence in the whole Community in respect of piety and integrity. This Will had been written by one whose benefits both material and spiritual a greater part of the Community had enjoyed right from the time of the Promised Messiah(as). This Will had been written by one who was universally acknowledged for his great knowledge of the Qur’an and Hadith and for his undoubted devotion to them. This Will had been written by one to whose every behest Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali had sworn implicit obedience, and whose spiritual yoke rested unshakeably upon Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali’s shoulders. This Will had been written by one who even during the course of his last illness and in spite of the utmost physical prostration, underwent the trouble of giving Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali lessons in the Holy Qur’an. In short the Will had been written by one, obedience to whom was for Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali a divinely appointed duty, and under the burden of whose favours Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali was bound to bow his head. This was the Will which Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali was made to read not once, not twice, but three times over, and about which he was asked to say whether it had left out anything unsaid. Yes, this was the Will, regarding which when it had been read over by Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali when he had been asked whether anything had been left out of it unsaid, he had declared that nothing had been left out and that it was quite all right. This Will, in brief, was a remarkable Will in all respects and in all details. Its author was perfect in piety. The occasion on which it had been written was one of very special importance. Its contents were made fully known to Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali and Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali admitted that they were all right. It was his duty and a sacred duty to see that the Will was carried out. But what do we find he did? He treated the sacred trust in a way in which nobody ever treated such a trust. While he was reading the Will, his mind was occupied in planning ways of undoing the Will. He was deceiving his spiritual chief while he lay on his deathbed. His body was by the bedside of his chief but his soul was far away devising its own plans. Retiring from the presence of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih(ra), perhaps the first thing he did was to write out that tract, in which he tried to incite the Community against the Will; and although outwardly its principal objectives were myself and some other unnamed persons, what he really aimed at was to tear up that very testament which a few hours before he had solemnly received and acknowledged beside the deathbed of his spiritual chief and master.
No Plausible Pleas
Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali cannot possibly put forward the plea that the tract had been written before the Will. Even if it had been so, there was time for its withdrawal, and if he wished he could easily have recalled what he had written. He cannot put forward this plea because he himself wrote in that tract that Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih(ra) had declared that he should have a successor. Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali offers only one explanation of his conduct. He says that what Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih(ra) meant by having a successor was that a person should be selected from among the Jama‘at whose commands should be received with general respect. Such an interpretation, however, is obviously false, and I challenge Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali to say on oath, if he dares, that it was not the belief of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra) that he was a Khalifa of the Promised Messiah(as), and the Bai‘at which people pledged to him was pledged to him in his capacity as Khalifa and not merely as an advanced Sufi or saint and further that after his death Khulafa’ who would succeed him would be Khulafa’ in the same capacity. I am sure, however, that Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali will never venture to deny this on oath, because he is fully aware that he has misrepresented Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra). He is also fully aware that the many published speeches of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra) bear ample witness to what the great Khalifa thought and believed in this respect. The conduct of Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali in the whole affair is indeed very amazing. But much of the amazement disappears when we remember that once before Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali had turned his back upon the Will of the Promised Messiah(as) himself. For, we remember that after the death of the Promised Messiah(as), agreeably to his instructions contained in Al-Wasiyyat, Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali not only pledged his Bai‘at to Hadhrat Maulawi Nur-ud-Din as Khalifa of the Promised Messiah(as), but also published an announcement calling upon other Ahmadis to do the same. (The Badr 2nd June, 1908, p.6). Yet he ventures now to write that in the Will of the Promised Messiah(as) there is no mention of Khilafat at all, and that the Promised Messiah(as) never gave his sanction to Khulafa’ accepting Bai‘at from Ahmadis. Now, when it came to the knowledge of some people of the Jama‘at that Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali had not only played false with them, but had also ignored the Wills of the Promised Messiah(as) and the Khalifatul Masih, and had attempted to create a split in the Community and invited Ahmadis to signify their opinion on the subject of his tract, then they also wrote out a statement and circulated it among Ahmadis who had come from outside with a view to ascertaining their opinion on the subject. The statement requested those who agreed with it to put their signatures on it, so that it might become clear to which side the opinion of the majority was inclined. From these signatures it was found that of those assembled more than ninety per cent were of the opinion that there must be a Khalifa, and that he should possess the same functions and powers as the late Khalifa. This statement has been misrepresented by Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali and his friends as a kind of intrigue. But what I wish to ask is whether it is an intrigue to ascertain openly the views of people, whether it was not Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali who, in his tract, had first invited Ahmadis to express their opinion on the questions in dispute, and whether it was not he and his party who first opened the door to this method of ascertaining the views of the people. Thus when the door was first thrown open by them, and others were constrained by the situation to enter the same door and make use of the same method, how could there be anything to object? Still there is this to be said to the credit of others that while Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali proceeded in the business with secrecy and craft, others acted throughout in an open and straightforward manner. Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali invited people to express their opinion about his views, and then others made a similar request to the people to give them their signatures in case they found themselves in agreement with views expressed in their statement. All through Saturday, the stream of visitors continued to flow into Qadian. The idea was that as large a congregation as possible should be allowed to assemble, and the consultation made as wide as possible. By the time of Zuhr more than a thousand members from various centres had arrived and there was quite a large gathering. After the Zuhr prayers I assembled1 all my relatives and solicited their advice on the subject of the differences. Some were of the opinion that it was our duty to promulgate the doctrines that we believed to be true, and it was, therefore, indispensable that the Khalifa should be one who agreed with us in his views. I explained to them that our most important concern at that moment was to preserve unity in the Jama‘at. To have a Khalifa was with us a religious necessity. If the other party should accept this view, then the proper course would be to call for a general plebiscite, but if the party should object to such a course, then a person might be elected as Khalifa who was regarded by both parties as neutral, but if even this would not satisfy the other party, then some person might be selected from their ranks for the office of Khalifa, and to him the whole Community should pledge their Bai‘at. At my request the family of the Promised Messiah(as), to a person, agreed to these terms. Their agreement pleased me exceedingly and I thought that now the Community would be saved from the danger of a dissension. But providence had intended otherwise.
Last Conversation with Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali
When I came out, I received a note from Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali to the effect that he wanted to speak to me on the subject of our previous day’s conversation. I asked him to come to my place. There were then present with me Maulawi Sayyid Muhammad Ahsan, Khan Muhammad ‘Ali Khan, and Dr. Khalifa Rashid-ud-Din. Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali had with him some of his own friends. When conversation began, I told him it was no use discussing the question of the need or validity of Khilafat; the discussion should be confined to the question of who was to be the next Khalifa. Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali and his friends contended that nothing ought to be done for the time being, that enough time should be allowed to enable the Community to think over and decide upon the proper course they ought to follow, and that only when a unanimous decision had been reached, should we take any practical step. In reply I repeated what I had already said on the subject the day before. I also pointed out on this occasion that if after all the waiting the Community were still divided over the question, what were they then going to do? If the question was later to be decided by a majority, it was open to them even at the time to let the majority decide the question. Incidentally, the conversation turned upon the question of beliefs and Maulawi Sayyid Muhammad Ahsan had a passage at arms with Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali, in which Maulawi Muhammad Ahsan strongly upheld the view that the Promised Messiah(as) was a Prophet. I believe that if Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali were asked even now to state on oath, he will not venture to deny the truth of the incident. I, however, stopped the discussion saying that the time was not a fit one for such controversy, and that now every one should devote his thought to the problem: how to save the Community from a possible split. But the conversation showed no sign of coming to an end. Meanwhile, the noise outside increased and people got so excited that there was danger of the door being burst open. The people urged that they could wait no longer, that while we were unable to come to any decision the Community was waiting without a leader. I then said to Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali that we had better go out and consult the people assembled outside. Upon this, all at once the words escaped him, “You say so, because you know whom the people are going to elect.” I said, “Not so, I have already decided to pledge my Bai‘at to some one of your party.” But, nevertheless, he persisted in saying, “No, no, you know what they would do”, meaning that I knew that they would elect me as Khalifa. This made me despair of an agreement, and I could see that God had decreed quite otherwise. In spite of the decision, therefore, which I had come to, I saw that the other party showed no disposition for unity. These words which escaped Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali’s lips made it clear to me that the real cause of his opposition to the Khilafat was not his disbelief in Khilafat qua Khilafat but the fact that he had become afraid that the Community was bent upon choosing a particular person as their Khalifa. That this is the plain truth might be seen from the fact that only six years before, he had made a public announcement to the following effect: “Agreeably to the commands of the Promised Messiah(as), contained in the book Al-Wasiyyat, we Ahmadis, whose signatures are appended below, with perfect sincerity of heart agree that all the present members of the Ahmadi Jama‘at, as well as all those who in future may seek admission into it, should in the name of Ahmad pledge their Bai‘at on the hand of Hadhrat Haji Maulawi Hakim Nur-ud-Din Sahib, the First of the Muhajirin, the most eminent amongst us in learning and piety, and the most loyal and oldest Companion of our Imam, one whose example was held up before us by our Imam as a model for all of us, as in the couplet: ‘How well had it been if every one of this community had been a Nur-ud-Din. So would it have been indeed, had every heart been filled with the Nur (light) of certainty.’ The commands of Hadhrat Maulawi Sahib, in future, should be for us as the commands of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi(as)”. This announcement was published over the signature of a large number of the leading members of the Community. Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali was one of the signatories. The draft of the announcement which was published in the Badr of June 2, 1908, was first submitted as a supplication to Hadhrat Khalifatul, Masih I(ra) on May 27, 1908. And then after the Bai‘at of Khilafat had been held, a further announcement in the same issue of the Badr was made by Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din as Secretary, Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya. This announcement was to the following effect: Before the funeral prayers of the Promised Messiah(as) were held at Qadian, and in accordance with his instructions contained in the book Al-Wasiyyat… Hakim Nur-ud-Din Sahib was proclaimed the Promised Messiah’s(as) Successor and Khalifa, and the oath of Bai‘at taken on his hand… This announcement is being addressed as information to all members of the Movement, so that on reading it they should all in person or through letter present themselves at once to Hadhrat Hakimul Ummat Khalifatul Masih wal-Mahdi and take the oath of Bai‘at. No new will or testament had since been found by Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali that he had now come to regard Khilafat as wrong. So the truth is but this, that for their next Khalifa the Jama‘at was looking not to him but to somebody else.
Having despaired of agreement, I told Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali that as according to us to have a Khalifa was indispensable, while according to them, it was not, and as the difference was on a principle of religion, therefore, while it was open to him and his party to do as they pleased, we, who believed in the necessity of Khilafat, would meet separately and after consultation pledge our Bai‘at to one as our Khalifa. Saying this I got up and this meeting came to a close.
Bai‘at of Khilafat
It was now time for the ‘Asr prayers. After these prayers, Khan Muhammad Ali Khan, Jagirdar of Malerkotla, as executor of the Will of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra) read out the Will to a congregation of between fifteen hundred and two thousand persons, and asked them as required by the Will to choose his Successor. The people then suggested my name for the office. Upon this Maulawi Muhammad Ahsan stood up and made a short speech. He said that in his opinion also I was the proper person to hold the office of Khalifa. Then, a general cry was raised that Bai‘at should be taken. In spite of the general wish I hesitated and held back. But the popular demand grew hot, as it did at the time of the election of Hadhrat Abu Bakr(ra). Men ran over one another. Some caught hold of my hand and pulled, insisting I should accept their Bai‘at. Still I hesitated, whereupon some who sat close to me began to urge that for the safety and security of the Jama‘at I should accept Bai‘at. I noticed that men were bursting with eagerness for Bai‘at and were pushing closer and closer so that at last I was completely surrounded by them. I might even have been crushed by their weight had not some friends thought of making a cordon behind me. I did not know the words in which Bai‘at was administered, and I sought to make that a ground for holding back. I said, “I know not the formula of Bai’at.” But Maulawi Sayyid Sarwar Shah Sahib offered to repeat the formula, and urged that I should only accept Bai’at. Then I understood that such was the Will of God and to His will I submitted. I accepted Bai‘at from the people, and in spite of my reluctance, it all came to pass as it had been decreed from the beginning. Out of about 2,000 people who were present at the time, only about 50 withheld their Bai’at. All the rest took the pledge. The Bai’at over, funeral prayers were offered for Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra). The Bai‘at then had been taken. The men who entered into the Bai’at were more numerous, and the congregation which agreed on the Bai’at was larger than in the case of the last Khalifa. Nevertheless, Maulawi Muhammad Ali and his friends were not satisfied. Still they called the whole thing an intrigue. They circulated to the Jama’at at large that no decision had been reached regarding the question of Khilafat, and that all that had taken place at Qadian was the result of collusion and conspiracy.
Opposition grew until all ordinary scruples were thrown to the winds. The Paigham-e-Sulh for instance reported that the funeral prayers of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra) had been attended by some two thousand five hundred men (March 17, 1914). But the same paper a little later wrote “Those who had seen the faces of the Promised Messiah(as) and of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra) refrained from such a Bai‘at, and of all the people present nearly half refused to take Bai’at (March 22, 1914). This report obviously implied that of the men who had been in the company of the Promised Messiah(as) and of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra) not one entered into Bai’at with me, and further that of all the people present at Qadian nearly one half declined to pledge their Bai’at. The truth, as I have said, was that those who refused Bai’at did not number more than fifty, while of the 2,000 or, according to the Paigham-e-Sulh, 2,500 people who were present, more than half were those who had been in the company of the Promised Messiah(as) and Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra). Of the Muhajirin at Qadian whose number was not less than three or four hundred, only four or five held back. Apparently, according to the Paigham-e-Sulh, not one of them had been in the company of the Promised Messiah(as) and Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra). Dr. Mirza Ya‘qub Baig, Secretary Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at-e-Islam, Lahore, went even further. He wrote in the Akhbar-e-‘Aam that a majority of those present on the occasion did not even know who had been elected Khalifa. When notice was taken of this glaring falsehood Dr. Mirza Ya‘qub Baig, the author of this report wrote in the Paigham-e-Sulh of April 2, that what he meant was that of the ‘enlightened’ members present, the majority did not enter into my Bai’at. This epithet of ‘enlightened’ is so conveniently vague that what the doctor could mean by it must necessarily remain a mystery to others. For, it is open to everybody to say that only those who agree with him are enlightened and the others not. If, however, any reasonable criteria are to be applied to that expression then I can well say that not only a considerable number but a preponderating majority of those present entered into my Bai’at. The Paigham-e-Sulh and its correspondent between them furnished a refutation of the false report made by Mirza Ya’qub Baig. For, the Paigham-e-Sulh stated that the congregation consisted either of the Ansarullah or of rustics who were thrilling with eagerness to enter into Bai’at and so they did. The question what the congregation consisted of – the Ansarullah or rustics or what – is not my present concern. Whoever they were, they – according to the Paigham-e-Sulh – not only swore the Bai’at but were thrilling with eagerness for it. It was, therefore, a misstatement, nay, a case of clear falsehood on the part of Dr. Mirza Ya’qub Baig to say that of the assembled people the majority did not even know who had been elected Khalifa. The misstatement of the Paigham-e-Sulh that the majority of those who pledged their Bai’at were members of the Anjuman Ansarullah is sufficiently refuted by the fact that the total strength of this Anjuman was less than 175 and of these not all were present at Qadian at the time. And yet, according to its own report, some 2500 men were present at Qadian on the occasion.
Conspiracy Charge against the Ansarullah
Another method they adopted in order to mislead the people was to represent the Bai’at of Khilafat as the result of a conspiracy by the Ansarullah. As already said, the total strength of the Ansarullah throughout India was less than 175. So even if one were to assume that the Ansarullah made themselves very active in this affair, what influence could the opinion of a hundred or a hundred and fifty men exert upon that of two thousand and five hundred? Of what consequence was the opinion of such a small body? As for the alleged conspiracy, it will suffice for the purpose of refutation to quote a statement from the right hand man of Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali, Hakim Muhammad Husain alias Marham-e-‘Isa, a preacher of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at-e-Islam, Lahore. The statement was made by him at the time when these charges were made against the Ansarullah. It runs as follows:
“I bear witness in truth that I was for a considerable time a member of the Ansarullah, and even now, if Miyan Sahib has not removed me from membership, I consider myself one of its members. At the meetings of the Ansarullah held at Lahore in which I had the occasion to take part, I never found any body intriguing with the object of putting up Miyan Sahib2 as Khalifa, or indulging in any conversation suggestive of such an intrigue. And God is my witness in what I say. Nor did I ever receive any note from Sahibzadah Sahib which could suggest any intrigue for becoming Khalifa; nor did I ever have any conversation with Sahibzadah Sahib suggestive of any such intrigue. (Sd.) Muhammad Husain.”
A similar statement in writing was also made by M. Faqirullah Sahib, Superintendent of the Office of Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at-e-Islam, Lahore who was also a member of the Ansarullah. “There never was in my presence in the Ansarullah any conversation suggesting any such intrigue.” But, in addition to these testimonies, the fact that goes completely to disprove the allegation is that a considerable number of the members of the Anjuman Ansarullah are at present with Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali. If the purpose of the Anjuman was to raise me to the Khilafat, how could it be that as soon as I was elected Khalifa these men went over to the other side, and how could it be that in spite of having joined the other party and in spite of being aware of the intrigue to promote me to the Khilafat, they decided to keep it all to themselves? Of the Anjuman Ansarullah there are at least 10 members at present who are with Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali. The existence of such men in the Anjuman is proof positive of the fact that the charge of conspiracy brought against the Ansarullah in connection with the Khilafat is a gross falsehood fabricated out of malice to deceive the people. Another charge brought against the Ansarullah is that towards the end of the life of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra) they wrote postcards to members outside informing them that the health of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih(ra) was fast failing, and that his life was not likely to be much prolonged, so that those who wanted to see him should come to Qadian. From this, it is concluded that a conspiracy had been organised by the Ansarullah. True, postcards were written by the Secretary, Anjuman Ansarullah. It was one of the duties of the Anjuman to render service to the brethren. But the question is, who were the people to whom those cards were addressed. Had the cards been addressed only to members of the Anjuman Ansarullah even then there would have been no cause for complaint, though their enemies could then say that the motive in writing the post cards was to collect together men of their own way of thinking. But in point of fact the post cards were not written to the Ansarullah only but were written to the Secretaries of all the Ahmadiyya Anjumans. If, therefore, any conclusion is to be drawn from the writing of the post cards it is that the Ansarullah desired that on the occasion of the election of the Khalifa there should be as large a gathering as possible of the representatives of the Jama’ats and that there should therefore be an adequate consultation. Their action, therefore, was one to be commended and not one to be criticised. The post cards were a vindication of the innocence of the Anjuman Ansarullah, because, had there been any thing sinister in them, the efforts of the Anjuman would have been directed towards dissuading Ahmadis from coming to Qadian. It would have sent its intimations only to its own members so as to be able to carry out everything as it desired. But, instead, the Anjuman Ansarullah sent out timely intimation of the impending event to the whole of the Jama’at and not merely to their own members, with the result that nearly 2,000 people assembled on the occasion. In this connection, the fact may also be noted that, during the illness of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih(ra) similar intimations were sent out twice by Maulawi Sadruddin. Now, if the posting of cards by the Anjuman Ansarullah was a conspiracy, was not the action of Maulawi Sadruddin also conspiracy? Yet another method designed to defame me was to say that those who had assembled on the occasion had been tutored beforehand to suggest my name when the time came for the election of the Khalifa. In support of this, it is said that even during the lifetime of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra), Maulawi Muhammad Ismail asked some people to prepare 40 men who when the time came should pledge their Bai’at to me. I am sorry to have to say that, forced by circumstances, Maulawi Muhammad Ismail did really commit an indiscretion. He has, however, made a frank confession to me of the facts which are as follows: A friend of Maulawi Muhammad Ismail’s brought him the report that Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali had been asked by Dr. Mirza Ya’qub Baig to hold himself in readiness for the office of Khalifa, to which the former had replied that he was not equal to the burden. Upon this, the doctor had reassured him saying that he need not worry about the burden, as the doctor and his friends would render him all necessary help. [This story was current at Qadian at the time with the further addition that doctor said at the end that if Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali was not prepared to undertake the burden, they might put up the doctor for the office; God only knows what truth there was in the story. But as I have not up to now come across any evidence in support of the story, I am not prepared to give any credit to it – Author]. This friend of Maulawi Muhammad Ismail’s warned him to be on the alert, lest the other party should spring a surprise at the last moment, and in concert with a number of people make a bid for the Khilafat. The friend also pointed out the necessity for being prepared for such a contingency. Maulawi Muhammad Ismail says that after this he mentioned the danger to several of his friends, suggesting that on their side too a party should hold themselves in readiness for such an emergency. Some of the men to whom he made the suggestion approved of it but others opposed it. Among the latter he named Miyan Mirajuddin. The latter insisted that the affair was one for the decision of God, and that any such interference would be unjustified. Similarly, Maulawi Muhammad Ismail says regarding Mir Muhammad Ishaq that although he (Maulawi Muhammad Ismail) had not spoken to the latter directly on the subject, the latter having heard some of his conversation on the subject with somebody else had remarked that they (Maulawi Muhammad Ismail and his friends) must abandon any such idea, and that everything would turn out as it would please God, and that any endeavour on their part was sure to end in discomfiture. Maulawi Muhammad Ismail says that such consultations were held with not more than 8 or 10 men, most of whom were not members of the Anjuman Ansarullah. The idea was, however, abandoned because of the view expressed by some that the affair was one which belonged to God, and should best be resigned to Him, and it was abandoned particularly because it had become known that I had already decided that it was our duty to save the Jama’at from a split even if we had to pledge our Bai‘at to one of the other party. This is the truth about the incident, and although there is no doubt that Maulawi Muhammad Ismail did commit an indiscretion, we must remember that neither the Anjuman Ansarullah, nor I had any concern with the affair. Maulawi Muhammad Ismail was actuated by what he thought was a necessary precaution against a rumoured danger. Not more than 8 or 10 persons were taken in confidence in connection with it, and then it was promptly abandoned. Some members of the Ansarullah and one of my own relatives (Mir Muhammad Ishaq Sahib) strongly dissuaded him from the enterprise and when he came to know my mind, he completely abandoned any further pursuit of the idea. There was therefore, in this no conspiracy of any kind.
A Proper Rejoinder
But on the other hand, as a proper rejoinder to the charge, we on our part may mention one incident of which the communicant is no less a person than the well-known writer, the late Qadhi ‘Abdul Haq. He did not in the beginning pledge his Bai’at to me. He reported that after the death of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra), Maulawi Sadruddin, Woking Missionary and Headmaster of the Muslim High School at Lahore, when he saw that Ahmadis were not disposed to go without a Khalifa, made up his mind that a Khalifa should be elected, and as Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali by the publication of his secret tract had given away his own case, he proposed that Sayyid ‘Abid ‘Ali Sahib should be elected to the office. It was therefore resolved to prepare 40 men who would agree to pledge their Bai’at to Sayyid ‘Abid ‘Ali Sahib. For this purpose, says Qadhi ‘Abdul Haq, Maulawi Sadruddin, lantern in hand, went round the whole night visiting the 2000 Ahmadis who had assembled on the occasion. He was accompanied in those rounds by Qadhi ‘Abdul Haq himself and another person. His object was to find out at least 40 men who would endorse his views, but out of a gathering of 2000 (the majority of whom according to their report entertained the greatest aversion for me), they could not find even that inconsiderable number to support their views. Qadhi ‘Abdul Haq, of course, is now dead, but will Maulawi Sadruddin who is still alive affirm on oath that the above incident has no basis in fact; and in view of this incident was he justified in objecting to the activity of Maulawi Muhammad Ismail which was soon abandoned at the instance of Maulawi Sahib’s own friends? Besides this, there is another testimony in this connection. This is the testimony of Doctor Ilahi Bakhsh Sahib, who says:
“I remember that at the time when the illness of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra) had not yet reached so serious a stage – though his condition was daily growing worse – I happened one day to speak to Akbar Shah Khan Sahib saying that the condition of Hadhrat Sahib was getting more and more critical. May God help us. The conversation led us to the question of Khilafat, and Khan Sahib said that there was of course the danger of a split because the Lahore party would not accept the Khilafat of Miyan Sahib. On the other hand if one were to look to Khwaja Sahib, then there were others who were reluctant to accept him. There was, however, one way open which could prevent the split, and at the same time maintain the Khilafat, I inquired what; to which Khan Sahib replied that if Miyan Sahib could be magnanimous a way could be found which lay in the selection of Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali. If Bai‘at were to be pledged to him then the Lahore party as well as others would agree to accept him in common. This was a private talk which took place a considerable time before the death of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I. (Sd.) Ilahi Bakhsh 29 April 1914”
From the above testimony, it is clear that the charge which our opponents wish to prove against us is one of which they themselves stand guilty. As for the charge levelled against us, I have already shown that the incident in question arose out of an indiscretion by one or two of our members. But this was stopped at the instance of other members of our own party before it could produce any results. Other reports of a similar kind were spread from time to time with a view to prejudice the people against me. But God granted increased strength to the Movement; and although, to begin with, 99 per cent of the members of the Community, according to our opponents’ version, were with them, in a short time God brought them all over to my side so that now by His grace about 99 per cent of the members are with me.
Consultation at Lahore
Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali’s party raised the cry that the men who were assembled at Qadian at the election of the Khalifa could not represent the opinion or the advice of the Community at large. They, therefore, invited the Community at large through letters and through newspaper announcements to assemble on 22 of March at Lahore to discuss the whole question. As a result of this general invitation, there assembled at Lahore according to a report of the Paigham-e-Sulh itself, a gathering of 110 men inclusive of the local members. Only 42 came from outside Lahore and of these none, except 4 or 5 possessed any representative character. They came to the meeting in their individual capacities. The supporters of Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali at Lahore accepted the opinion of these 42 members as the deliberate opinion of the whole of the Ahmadiyya Community and announced that my Khilafat was irregular and invalid. But what actually happened was that even out of these 110 members, a further 10 subsequently came over to me and entered my Bai‘at. One of these was the same Mir Hamid Shah Sahib, now deceased, whom previously they had selected as a person suitable for the Khilafat. This left to them only 100 men. According to the Lahore party, the decision of these 100 men was the authoritative decision of the entire Ahmadiyya Community, while the decision of the very much more numerous gathering at Qadian was the result of collusion and conspiracy on the part of the Anjuman Ansarullah! The whole of the Jama’at at Qadian, with the exception of four or five individuals accepted my Bai’at, and the other party came ultimately to abandon all hope of success at Qadian. Accordingly they decided to transfer their headquarters at Lahore. An excuse was sought for Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali to leave Qadian. One day, news came to me that while Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali was leaving the mosque after performing the Friday prayers, 3 or 4 children (from 5 to 7 years of age) had expressed their intention of throwing pebbles at Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali. Upon this, at the time of my lecture on the Holy Qur’an, I spoke to the Jama’at saying that although they were only children who had said these words, yet upon a repetition of the offence, I would hold the parents of the children responsible and visit them with punishment. Later, I heard that Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali was afraid of continuing further residence in Qadian, and had therefore decided to leave the place. I, thereupon, sent Dr. Rashiduddin to assure him that he need not have any apprehension whatsoever, and that I was prepared to undertake full responsibility for his safety; and so I requested him to give up the idea of leaving Qadian. Dr. Rashiduddin also bore a letter containing the same message. Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali replied to the effect: “How can it be that I should abandon Qadian? I am only going to the hills on account of the heat in order to complete the translation of the Holy Qur’an, and for this purpose, I have already had permission of the Anjuman during the lifetime of the late Khalifa.” He also thanked me for the expression of sympathy. I was not, however, satisfied with this. So I went personally to his house in order to talk over the subject with him. I was accompanied by Khan Muhammad ‘Ali Khan Sahib and Doctor Rashiduddin. When we arrived there, there was to begin with some talk on the subject of the translation of the Holy Qur’an. I then turned the conversation to the immediate purpose of our visit. But Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali called out to a certain half-witted man known as Miyan Bagga, and started talking at random with him. When I found that Maulawi Sahib was not disposed to bring his talk with Miyan Bagga to a close, I had to get up and withdraw. Soon after this, Maulawi Sahib left Qadian. He took away with him properties of the value of nearly Rs. 3,000/ in books, typewriter, etc., on the plea of having to translate the Holy Qur’an. Some people advised me at the time to ask him to leave behind the assets. He was not likely, they said, to return, and was taking away the assets only on a false pretence. Some even went so far as to urge that the assets were a sacred trust and I must not be negligent in taking proper care of them. But I replied to them all saying that as Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali had given the assurance that he was taking those books and accessories in order to help him in the work of translating the Holy Qur’an, and that he was going out only for a few months, for the period of leave already sanctioned to him, I had no right to call his motive into question. Accordingly I said nothing.
Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali Leaves Qadian
Later events show that the suspicions of my friends were well-founded. Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali’s departure from Qadian was a departure for good, and what he had said to me was simply an excuse with nothing sincere about it. The books and other things that he had taken away with him, he refused to return in spite of repeated requests. Now so long as his name continues to be remembered the odium of this misappropriation will remain associated with him. A man who could take away books and other articles on trust for a few months and then refuse to return them could not be the leader of any community much less the leader of a Muslim community. With the departure of Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali from Qadian, Lahore became the new Madinatul Masih (the City of the Messiah). The question naturally occurred to many, whether Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali was himself the Messiah. Because so long as he was in Qadian, Qadian remained the Madinatul Masih. But as soon as he withdrew to Lahore, Lahore became the Madinatul Masih. True, a certain distinction now fell to the share of Lahore, and thus was fulfilled one of the wishes of the promoters of the Paigham-e-Sulh which had found inadvertent expression in its issue of March 10 in the following words: “At any rate, the death of the Promised Messiah(as) in this city ought to bring to Lahore some distinction.” Shrewd students of human motives will perceive and enjoy the pathetic humour of these few words in which are packed a mass of ambition, desire, longing and hope. No sooner was Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali installed at Lahore than the opposition received an added impetus.
The truth however was that Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali departed from Qadian, and with his departure was fulfilled the prophecy contained in the revelations of the Promised Messiah(as) “There are many humble ones who will be made eminent, and many eminent ones who will be made humble. So danger lies ahead!” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyyah, part V, p.89).
Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali and his friends departed from Qadian, and in their departure was fulfilled for a second time the revelation of the Promised Messiah(as). Men of Yazid-like disposition would be expelled from Qadian. The prophecy was fulfilled first by the fact that the original dwellers of Qadian refused to accept the Promised Messiah(as), and it was fulfilled for a second time by the fact that people who were envious and jealous of members of the Promised Messiah’s(as) family, and had thereby proved themselves like Yazid, now came, by a Divine design, to be expelled from Qadian. Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali departed from Qadian, and in his departure was fulfilled the divine promise revealed to the Promised Messiah(as) i.e. “I am with you and your family.” For, notwithstanding his high position in the Jama’at and his hold on all its affairs, God made him bite the dust in his contest with a weak and helpless person like me. Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali left Qadian, and by His powerful signs, did God prove that the Movement did not depend for its success upon any individual. God Himself was its Protector and that, if He wished, He could make even him, who was thought to be unworthy and a mere stripling, the instrument of His Will. In short, Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali departed from Qadian, and in his departure God furnished another powerful evidence of His Greatness and Glory. He showed Himself again with all His living signs, and manifested His effulgence in the fullness of its glory. He proclaimed to the world the fact that Ahmadiyyat was a plant of His own sowing, which no one could destroy, that Khilafat was a tree of His own rearing which no one could uproot, that this humble and helpless one had been brought through His own grace and favour to occupy the seat of Khilafat, and now there was no one who could stand against him, and that Qadian was a city beloved by Him which no one had the power to ruin. For Qadian is Makkah – the Makkah of the vicegerent and counter-type of Muhammad(saw). It is a town of the poor but under the Protection of God Almighty. And now we close with the prayer, “All praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.”
1. As far as I remember this consultation was held on Saturday but according to some, even this consultation was held on Friday.
2. i.e. the present writer.
The followers of Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali founded their own organisation under the name of Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at Islam, commonly known as Lahori Ahmadis who differ from other Ahmadis on two matters:
1. The Lahori Ahmadis regard the Promised Messiah and Mahdi(as) as only a Mujaddid (Reformer) and not a Prophet even though the writings of the Promised Messiah(as) confirm his claim that he was a prophet.
2. As a consequence of the above belief, the Lahoris argue that the successors of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi(as) should not be called Khalifas.
The members of the Anjuman at Lahore are a tiny fraction as compared to the Ahmadi Muslims all over the world who believe that the Promised Messiah was a Prophet and who owe allegiance to Khilafat.