by Dr. Mahmood A. Ghazi, Former Director General, Dawah Academy, Islamabad
[From the Book: Islam and Ahmadism, Dawah Academy, Islamabad]
There are countless examples of trials and catastrophes faced by Muslims in down the ages. Muslim history saw the emergence of many heterodox and deviations movements which aimed at disturbing the unity of the Muslim Ummah, spoiling the purity of the teachings of Islam and arresting the progress of the Islamic Da’wah. A survey of Muslim history shows that most of these movements have emerged in a situation where Muslims were passing in a state of degeneration and decay. The fall of Baghdad brought in its wake many heterodox movements. With the degeneration of Muslim power in the sub-continent several attempts were made by different forces to destroy the unity of the Muslim community and to blemish the pristine character of Islamic ideology.
The nineteenth century saw the down-fall of Muslim political power in India and the emergence of British colonialism. It was a period of unparalleled conflicts between Islam and other forces. The doctrinal debates between Muslim Ulema and Christian Priests, publication of derogatory literature against Islam by Christian and Hindu writers, the emergence of many unorthodox views among the Muslims and attempts at large scale conversion from amongst the Muslims to other religious systems was the order of the day in the last decades of nineteenth century.
It was in this state of confusion and chaos that Qadianism, wrongly called Ahmadism, emerged in a far-off district of the rural area of Punjab, India. Undoubtedly, it was a disruptionist attempt initiated at the instigation of the British authorities. Primarily a political move, it was presented in a religious garb with doctrinal weapons. In the beginning, Muslims took it on face value and came out with theological tools to deal with it. But, with the passage of time, it became clear that the movement had, in fact, political dimensions and should be dealt with on a political plane. Allama Iqbal was, perhaps, the first Muslim thinker who unveiled the real countenance of this movement. He successfully tried to remove the confusion purposefully created by the Qadianis in their attempt to conceal their real motives.
During the last one hundred years the Qadianis have come out with a vast literature, designed and tailored to confuse the real issues and to push their way through that confusion. They could not meet any substantial success in the sub-continent because of the general awareness of Muslim intelligentsia about their departure from Islam. Their only success in the sub-continent was their penetration into government offices with the patronage and support of their British masters. But they were able to exploit the innocent Muslims of other parts of the world, specially Africa, and established their centers in many big cities of the world. They posed themselves as a revivalist. movement in Islam and exploited the sentimental association of the Muslims with the universal brotherhood of Islam. However, it is heartening that our Muslim brothers in Africa and other continents are getting awareness about this problem and declaring their dissociation with this remnant of the colonial period.