Facts From Fiction

Did the Promised Messiah (as) Abrogate Jihad?

Portrait of the Promised Messiah (as) & Imam Mahdi (Guided One), Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as)

The Promised Messiah & Imam Mahdi, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) of Qadian (1835-1908)

Raziullah Noman, Canada

One of the allegations raised by opponents is that the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) abrogated the Islamic teaching of Jihad. This is another false allegation concocted by the opponents of Islam Ahmadiyya. During the time of the Promised Messiah (as), Muslims had forgotten the true meaning of Jihad. There were many scholars who held the false belief that Jihad refers to forcing non-Muslims to convert to Islam. According to them, the sword could be used against anyone for the spread of the faith.

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) stated:

‘I do not know from where our opponents have gathered that Islam was spread by the sword. God has set forth clearly in the Holy Qur’an:

لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ

That is: “There is no compulsion in the religion of Islam.” (2:257)

Then who has prescribed the use of force for the spread of the faith, and what force was available for the purpose? Do those people who are converted by force set such an example of sincerity and faith that without any kind of wages or compensation two or three hundred of them issue forth to oppose a force of thousands; or when their number reaches a thousand they vanquish hundreds of thousands? Is it the characteristic of the forcibly converted ones that in the defence of the faith they should offer themselves to be slaughtered like sheep and should testify to the truth of Islam with the seal of their blood? Is it expected of them that they should be such lovers of Divine Unity that they should endure every hardship in their travels in the African desert and spread the message of Islam in those regions; or that they should similarly arrive in China, not as warriors but as dervishes and should so convey the message of Islam that millions of people of that country should become Muslims; or that they should arrive in India clad in the roughest stuff and should win a great part of Aryavart to the allegiance of Islam; or should carry the credo:

لا إله إلا الله

to the confines of Europe? Now say honestly whether these can be the achievements of those who are converted forcibly to Islam, so that they disbelieved in their hearts and professed Islam only by their tongues? Indeed not. These are the achievements of those whose hearts are filled with the light of faith wherein God alone dwells.’[1]

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) only refuted the false concept of Jihad preached by the Muslim clerics of his time. There is not a single writing of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) that mentions the abrogation of Jihad till the day of judgment. He explained that the current times call for Jihad with the pen, since Islam was being attacked by the pen. 

As Ahmadi Muslims, we believe that not a single word of the Qur’an can be abrogated. We believe in every injunction of the Qur’an and authentic ahadith [sayings of the Holy Prophet (sa)].

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) stated:

‘We have been commanded to prepare for the disbelievers as they prepare for us. We do not raise the sword until our people are first killed by the sword.’[2]

This is the extract the opponents refer to. It clearly proves that we do not believe that Jihad of the sword is abrogated. There are conditions for Jihad, yet the anti-Ahmadi Muslims do not understand this. It is only in retaliation against the disbelievers who raise the sword against Islam first. Allah states:

أُذِنَ لِلَّذِينَ يُقَاتَلُونَ بِأَنَّهُمْ ظُلِمُوا

Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged.‘ (22:40)

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) then states:

‘You are aware that this era of ours is one in which no one attacks us with swords and spears on account of our religion. No one forces us to recant the Religion of Allah—the best of religions—and follow another religion. So in these days we do not require war and reprisal; there is no need for lances to be prepared and swords to be unsheathed.”[3]

The Promised Messiah (as) also stated:

‘The Jihad of this age is to propagate Islam and refute the allegations of the critics; to spread the beauty of the true religion, Islam, in the world, and to manifest the truth of the Holy Prophet (sa) to the world’[4]

He then states:

‘This is Jihad, until God produces different circumstances in the world[5]

In fact, if we look at the life of the Promised Messiah (as), we see that he practiced Jihad throughout. To spread the teachings and goodness of the Qur’an is also a form of Jihad. Allah states:

فَلَا تُطِعِ الْكَافِرِينَ وَجَاهِدْهُمْ بِهِ جِهَادًا كَبِيرًا 

So obey not the disbelievers, and fight against them by means of it (the Qur’an) a great fight[6]


Many scholars of Islam also agree with our viewpoint. The view we have mentioned is the true view of the Prophet Muhammad (sa) and his companions.

Hazrat Imam Fakhr Ud Din ar-Razi (rh) the author of the great exegesis called Tafsir-e-Kabir stated:

‘As for the verse, ‘Strive against them a great Jihad’, some say that it refers to efforts in preaching while others say it refers to fighting. Some others say it includes both. The first meaning is most accurate because this verse was revealed at Mecca and the command to fight came after the migration.’[7]

Allama Muhammad Iqbal also stated:

‘The powers of Islam are not limited. There was an age of the sword. Today is the age of the pen. It attacks from within and without and compels you from every angle to accept it’[8]

In our age, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, a famous scholar of India has written a book called The True Jihadin which he supports what Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) explained over 100 years ago.

As for the physical Jihad, we learn from Islamic history that the Holy Prophet (sa) waited as long as he could before undertaking defensive battles. Even when the Muslims were facing the harshest persecution, and some would implore the Holy Prophet (sa) for permission to fight back, he instructed against it. It was only after receiving instructions from God, that the Holy Prophet (sa) resorted to the physical Jihad. However, the purpose for this was very clear, as God stated:

اُذِنَ لِلَّذِیۡنَ یُقٰتَلُوۡنَ بِاَنَّھُمۡ ظُلِمُوۡا ؕ وَ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ عَلٰی نَصۡرِھِمۡ لَقَدِیۡرُ الَّذِیۡنَ اُخۡرِجُوۡا مِنۡ دِیَارِھِمۡ بِغَیۡرِ حَقٍّ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ یَّقُوۡلُوۡا رَبُّنَا اللّٰہُ ؕ وَ لَوۡ لَا دَفۡعُ اللّٰہِ النَّاسَ بَعۡضَھُمۡ بِبَعۡضٍ لَّھُدِّمَتۡ صَوَامِعُ وَ بِیَعٌ وَّ صَلَوٰتٌ وَّ مَسٰجِدُ یُذۡکَرُ فِیۡھَا اسۡمُ اللّٰہِ کَثِیۡرًا ؕ وَ لَیَنۡصُرَنَّ اللّٰہُ مَنۡ یَّنۡصُرُہٗ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَقَوِیٌّ عَزِیۡزٌ

‘Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged — and Allah indeed has power to help them — Those who have been driven out from their homes unjustly only because they said, ‘Our Lord is Allah’ — And if Allah did not repel some people by means of others, there would surely have been destroyed cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques, wherein the name of Allah is oft commemorated. And Allah will surely help one who helps Him. Allah is indeed Powerful, Mighty —’ (22:40-41)

Thus, the Holy Prophet (sa) only took up arms on the defensive, and in order to protect religious freedoms for all, not just Muslims. Never was it to promulgate the religion and coerce others into accepting it. Hence, the teachings of the Promised Messiah (as) and the stance of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is exactly in line with the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and the practice of the Holy Prophet (sa). 

The Fifth Caliph and Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) states:

‘The fact of the matter is that in such a time, when any nation or government uses power to destroy religion, Ahmadis have the permission to perform the Jihad and fight. The Promised Messiah (as) stated that the Messiah Jesus will suspend warfare. The meaning ofiltiwais to go forward, to put a stop to it for some time, until the time comes where those circumstances are no longer present. These are not the circumstances right now where weapons are used to destroy religion. When weapons are used to try to put an end to religion, that is when Muslims will have the right to fight, and the Ahmadis will have that right even more to do so.’[9]


[1]Paigham-e-Sulh, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 23, Pages 468-469

[2]The True Nature of the Mahdi, Page 47

[3]The True Nature of the Mahdi, Page 53

[4]Letter Addressed to Mir Nasir Nawab Sahib

[5]Letter Addressed to Mir Nasir Nawab Sahib

[6]Chapter 25 Verse 53

[7]Hazrat Imam Fakhr ud Din Razi, Tafsir Kabir, Volume iv, page 330

[8]Iqbal, Muhammad, Paigam e Sulh, 4 January 1928

[9]This Week with Huzoor, 20thAugust 2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kp22AUuJVE)