- 1880s- Revelations concerning Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s status
- 1886- Revelation concerning prophecy of the Promised Son and its explanation
- 1887- Mirza Bashir Ahmad I, son of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, is born
- 1889- Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad is born
- 1889- Prophecy of the Split
- 1891- Prophecy Ahmad’s son would be his spiritual successor
- 1892- Muhammadsa prophecised righteous son of the Messiah
- 1892- Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad prophecises prophetic son
- 1893- Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad is born
- 1893- Khwaja Kamaluddin Sahib accepts Ahmadiyya
- 1897- Hazrat Maulvi Muhammad Ali Sahib accepts Ahmadiyya
- 1901- Clearification of Status of Prophethood
- 1902- Revelation regarding the status of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's family
- 1902- Another of many revelations regarding Ahmad’s family
- 1905- Ahmad prophecises Khilafat
- 1906- Maulvi Muhammad Ali praises Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad
- 1908- Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad passes away
- 1908- Hazrat Nooruddin becomes khalifa
- 1908- Hazrat Maulawi Muhammad Ali Sahib accepts prophethood of Ahmad
- 1909- Hazrat Nooruddin states he will be followed an authoritative khalifa
- 1910- Nooruddin resigns from Anjuman; appoints Mahmud president
- 1911- Khawaja Kamaluddin Sahib accepts prophethood of Hazrat Sahib
- 1911- Hazrat Nooruddin names Mahmud his successor
- 1911- Hazrat Nooruddin condemns Maulvi Muhammad Ali & Lahori doctrines
- 1912- Hazrat Nooruddin refutes entire Lahori theology while praising Mahmud
- 1914- Hazrat Nooruddin passes away & the Lahoris now reject Khilafat
- 1914- The Lahori's claim early victory
- 1944- The Promised Son Prophecy Fulfilled
- 1944- Maulwi Muhammad Ali Sahib mocks The Promised Son
- 1952- The Lahori Group acknowledge they have failed
The sixth year after the passing of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was perhaps the single most controversial of any year that has occurred in the history of his movement. That year, Ahmadis became divided for the first time and with the emergence of two distinct sects. To this day these two remain the only sects of note within Ahmadiyya.
The first group called themselves the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and maintained Qadian as their base while the other group reformed in the city of Lahore under the name Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat-e Islam Lahore. The split had been triggered by the death of the first khalifa, Hazrat Nooruddin. The Qadian party wished to continue with the institution of khilafat, which they believed to be a divine blessing, under the hand of Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih II. The Lahore party desired a committee structure, or Anjuman. Apart from this there were other disagreements and allegations were made on both sides against the other.
Each party has published their own arguments and histories regarding the split, but as both groups reject the other’s literature outright there is no use turning to these. Instead, we shall examine each argument by relying on undisputed facts; mostly from documents published prior to the split and therefore accepted by both parties. Below is our timeline and analysis of events.
1880s- Revelations concerning Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s status
In the early 1880s, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad received a revelation in which Allah described him as:
'The Champion of Allah in the mantle of the prophets' (Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya)
In the same book, he was addressed in revelations by Allah as 'Jesus' and was also described by those revelations as being 'like Moses'.
1886- Revelation concerning prophecy of the Promised Son and its explanation
In 1886 Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad traveled to the small town of Hoshiarpur specifically with the purpose of secluding himself, fasting and praying constantly for a divine sign to be granted by Allah. In answer to his prayers, he received the following revelation:
I confer upon you a Sign of My mercy according to what you begged of me. So I have heard your entreaties and have honoured your prayers with My acceptance through My mercy and made your journey a source of blessings for you. Therefore, a Sign of power, mercy, nearness is bestowed on you, a Sign of grace and beneficence is awarded to you and you are granted the key of success and victory.
Peace on you, O victorious one. Thus did God speak so that those who desire life may be rescued from the grip of death and those who are buried in the graves may come out of them and so that the superiority of Islam and the dignity of God’s Word may become manifest unto the people and so that truth may arrive with all its blessings and falsehood may flee with all its ills, and so that people may understand that I am the Lord of Power, I do whatever I will, and so that they may believe that I am with you, and so that those who do not believe in God and deny and reject His religion and His Book and His Holy Messenger Muhammad, the Chosen One s.a.w. may be confronted with a clear Sign and the way of the guilty ones may become manifest.
Rejoice, therefore, that a handsome and pure boy will be bestowed on you; you will receive an unblemished youth who will be of your seed and will be of your progeny. A handsome and pure boy is coming as your guest. His name is Emmanuel and also Bashir. He has been invested with a spirit of holiness, and he is free from all impurity. He is the light of Allah. Blessed is he who comes from heaven. He will be accompanied by grace which shall arrive with him. He will be characterised with grandeur, greatness and wealth. He will come into the world and will heal many of their disorders through his Messianic qualities and through the blessings of the spirit of holiness. He is the Word of Allah for Allah’s mercy and honour have equipped him with the Word of Majesty. He will be extremely intelligent and perceptive and will be meek of heart and will be filled with secular and spiritual knowledge. He will convert three into four (of this the meaning is not clear). It is Monday a blessed Monday. Son, delight of the heart, high ranking, noble. A manifestation of the First and the Last, a manifestation of the True and the High; as if Allah has descended from heaven. His advent will be greatly blessed and will be a source of manifestation of Divine Majesty. Behold a light comes, anointed by God with the perfume of His pleasure. We shall pour Our Spirit into him and he will be sheltered under the shadow of God. He will grow rapidly in stature and will be the means of procuring the release of those held in bondage. His fame will spread to the ends of the earth and peoples will be blessed through him. He will then be raised to his spiritual station in heaven.
This is a matter decreed. Your house will be filled with blessings and I shall perfect My favours unto you and you will have a large progeny from blessed women, some of whom you will find hereafter, and I will cause a great increase in your progeny and will bless it; but some of them will die in early age and your progeny will spread greatly in different lands.
Every branch of your collaterals will be cut off and will come to an end soon through childlessness. If they do not repent, God will send chastisement after chastisement upon them, until they are completely wiped out. Their houses will be filled with widows and God’s wrath will descend upon their walls.
But if they turn to God, He will turn to them in mercy. God will spread your blessings about and will revive a ruined house through you and will fill a fearful house with blessings. Your progeny will not be cut off and will flourish till the end of days.
God will maintain your name with honour till the day when the world comes to an end and will convey your message to the ends of the earth. I shall exalt you and shall call you to Myself but your name will never be erased from the face of the earth.
It will so happen that all those who seek to humiliate you, and are determined to cause you to fail and wish to ruin you will themselves be frustrated and will die in failure and frustration. But God will grant you complete success and will grant you all that you desire. I will cause an increase of your true and sincere friends and shall bless their lives and their properties and they will grow in number and they will prevail over the other Muslims—who are jealous of you and are hostile to you—till the Day of Judgment. God will not forget your supporters and will not lose sight of them and they will have their reward according to the degree of their devotion.
You are to me as the prophets of Bani Isra’il. You are to Me as My Unity. You are of Me and I am of you. The time is approaching, indeed it is near, when God will put your love in the hearts of kings and nobles till they will seek blessings from your garments. O you who deny and who oppose the truth, if you are in doubt concerning My servant, if you deny the grace and bounty that I have bestowed upon My servant, then produce some true Sign concerning yourselves like this Sign of mercy, if you are truthful. If you are unable to produce it, and be sure you will never be able to produce it, then be mindful of the Fire which has been prepared for the disobedient, the liars and the transgressors. (Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Ishtaharat, February 20th 1886)
Soon after, Ahmad himself explained the meaning of this prophecy:
In the Announcement of February 20, 1886 made by this humble one…there is a prophecy of the birth of a righteous son possessing the qualities mentioned in the announcement.…Such a son, according to the divine promise, will surely be born within nine years, soon or late, but certainly within this period. (Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Ishtiharat, March 22 1886)
1887- Mirza Bashir Ahmad I, son of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, is born
1888- Mirza Bashir Ahmad I, son of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, passes away
Following the passing of Mirza Bashir Ahmad I, the opponents of Ahmad raised a clamour that the prophecy had failed. In response, he published an entire booklet, a few dozen pages long, explaining the prophecy and an extract is below:
I supplicated again for further disclosure concerning this matter and it was disclosed to me today, April 8, 1886, by God Almighty that a son will be born very soon. Such period cannot exceed the interval of one pregnancy. (Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Sabz Ishtihar, 1888)
Like the extract above, the entire book is devoted to clearifying that the Promised Son could - in accordance with the prophecy - be born at any stage within the nine year period. He also pointed out that nowhere did the prophecy say The Promised Son would be the first one born during that period and in fact goes on to say that the son who has passed away - 'Bashir I' - is not The Promised Son and this son is yet to come. It is also obvious from the entire book, in which Ahmad discussed the physical pregnancies of his wife, that the prophecy would be fulfilled with the birth of a physical son.
1889- Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad is born
1889- Prophecy of the Split
It seems proper that I should make clear that all who have joined me in Baiat are not deserving of praise. Not yet. Some among them seem like dry twigs of a tree. These, my God, my Master will cut off from me and throw away as fuel wood. There are others who showed devotion and sincerity in the beginning, but who now seem indifferent. They have lost the warmth and enthusiasm of true followers. Like Bal'am, adapts in intrigue and false poses. Or, like decayed teeth, waiting to be extracted and trampled underfoot. They have tired and become corrupted by this vain world. I can tell you - they will soon be separated from me. Excepting such among them as God chooses to save anew with His own Hand. There are those of course whom God has given over to me permanently. They are the green twigs of the tree that is me. (Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Fathe Islam, 1889)
1891- Prophecy Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s son would be his spiritual successor
When his mission comes to its successful conclusion, his son, who will be his very image, will succeed him. That is, it is destined that God, the Exalted, will grant him a righteous son, who will be his exact image and will follow in his footsteps and thus remind people of his father. This is, in fact, in accordance with the prophecy that I have made about a son of mine. (Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Nishan-e-Asmani, 1891)
1892- Muhammadsa prophecised righteous son of the Messiah
Muhammadsa has foretold that the Promised Messiah will marry and have children. In this there is an indication that Allah will grant him a righteous son, who will resemble his father, and will not defy him, and will be one of the revered servants of Allah. The secret of it is that Allah does not give glad tidings to Prophets or Saints regarding their progeny, unless He has decreed the birth of righteous progeny. (Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Aina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam)
Once more, the above saying of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad makes it clear that the Promised Son would be a physical son. Had he not been a biolgical son but a spiritual son of no biological relation, there would have been no need to mention the wife of the messiah.
1892- Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad prophecises prophetic son
We shall grant you success a second time and shall convert your fear into security. The moon of the Prophets will come and your affair will become manifest. Allah will make your countenance cheerful and will illumine your reasoning. Soon will a son be born to you and grace will come close to you. My light is near. (revelation from Allah recorded by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in Aina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam)
Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahamd had already been born, but now Allah revealed the prophecy of a second son to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, through his wife Hazrat Nusrat Jehan Begum and described him as 'the moon of the Prophets ' and as 'grace' from Allah.
1893- Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad is born
The prophecy of the Promised Son had stated the child would be called 'Bashir' and born within a nine year period. All three of Hazrat Sahib's son born within the nine year period (February 20th 1886 - February 19th 1895) were named 'Bashir'. Bashir I (1887), Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (1889) and Mirza Bashir Ahmad (1893) are the three examples. However, none of the four sons he was father to outside of this period were given this name (Sultan, 1853, Fazal 1855, Sharif 1895 and Mubarik 1899). It is certainly unusual for a father to give three of his sons the exact same name. The fact he only did so with those born within the period of the prophecy is an absolute indication that he was certain one of these three sons would go on to fulfil the prophecy.
1893- Khwaja Kamaluddin Sahib accepts Ahmadiyya
Born in 1870, Kamaluddin was born in India and would later become one of the two most prominent founding members of the Lahori group. It is notable that both of them entered the community after the prophecy of the Promised Son and the nine year period during which it was fulfilled and so perhaps did not realise its significance as much as those who had entered the community earlier.
1897- Hazrat Maulvi Muhammad Ali Sahib accepts Ahmadiyya
Born in 1876 in India, Ali would later become a founding member and the first president of the Lahori group.
1901- Clearification of Status of Prophethood
All the doors leading to prophethood have been closed except the door of sirat-e-siddiqi. Thus he who comes to God through this door is clad, by way of ‘zill’ [complete devotion to the Holy Prophetsa and such self-effacement that a person begins to reflect the image of his Mastersa] in the same mantle of prophethood which is the mantle of the prophethood of Muhammadsa. As such, his being a prophet is not a matter for jealously, for he does not derive this status from himself but from the fountain of the Holy Prophetsa and, that too, not for his own glory but for the glory and majesty of the Holy Prophetsa. For this reason, in heaven he is named Muhammad and Ahmad. Thus the prophethood of Muhammadsa, in the final analysis, returns to Muhammadsa. (Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Eik Ghalti Ka Izala, 1901)
The Qadiani and Lahori Ahmadiyya sects have only two major theological differences. Firstly, the Qadianis adhere to the institution of khilafat whereas the Lahoris do not. Secondly, the Qadiani believe Ahmad was a prophet of God, but only by reflecting the qualities of Muhammadsa, while the Lahoris reject Ahmad’s prophethood and instead view him only as a saint. Ahmad made his own stance on the issue clear in the quote above.
1902- Revelation regarding the blessed status of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's family
The revelation 'Be grateful to Me that you have found My Khadijah' was the good news, several years in advance, of my marriage into a noble family of Sayyeds of Delhi…my wife was named Khadijah as she is the mother to a blessed progeny and a blessed progeny has also been promised to me. (Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Nuzulul Masih, 1902)
The revelation quoted above was originally published in the 1880s shortly before Ahmad’s marriage to Hazrat Nusrat Jehan Begum. Her children included Mahmud. She lived till 1952 and according to her biography has so far been blessed with 800 descendants, through her marriage with Ahmad. Throughout her entire life, this lady did not spend a single day associating herself with the Lahori group and constantly remained loyal to the Ahmadiyya Khilafat. In fact, of her 800 descendants not a single one has ever joined the Lahori group. Every one of them has remained attached to the Islamic Khilafat of the Ahmadiyya Community.
Bearing in mind that the Ahmadiyya Khalifas have regularly and explicitly claimed to receive revelation and to have been appointed by Allah to a spiritual status and that all four of these Khalifas since the Lahoris split from Khilafat in 1914 have been descendants of The Promised Messiah and his wife, it can be surmised that the Lahoris believe the entire progeny of Ahmad, led by the Khalifas, to be the worst kinds of liars and deceivers who claim a spiritual status and revelations granted by Allah and use their influence to oppose the 'truth' of the Lahori group.
This conclusion is supported by the fact that after the split Ali would describe Mahmud as a 'sinner', 'extreme wrongdoer', 'blind of moral vision', 'liable to the curse of God', 'black hearted criminal', an apostate, an 'advocate of falsehood', subject to a 'divine curse' etc. etc. in his book Tabdil-e-Aqida Kay Ilzam. As this and much worse is found published in the official literature of the Lahoris, they effectively reject all of Ahmad’s prophecies regarding his progeny, which is tantamount to declaring Ahmad himself false. Yet the Lahoris do not see the contradictions within their beliefs.
1902- Another of many revelations regarding Ahmad’s family
They desire to put out your light. They desire to attack your honour. I am with you and with the members of your family. (Badr Newspaper, November 7, 1902)
1905- Ahmad prophecises Khilafat
Allah manifests two kinds of Power. (1) First He shows the Hand of His Power at the hands of His prophets themselves. (2) Second, when with the death of a prophet, difficulties and problems arise and the enemy feels stronger and thinks that things are in disarray and is convinced that now this Jamaat will become extinct and even members of the Jamaat, too, are in a quandary and their backs are broken, and some of the unfortunate ones choose paths that lead to apostasy, then it is that God for the second time shows His Mighty Power and supports and takes care of the shaken Jamaat. Thus one who remains steadfast till the end witnesses this miracle of God. This is what happened at the time of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra, when the demise of the Holy Prophetsa was considered untimely and many an ignorant Bedouin turned apostate. The companions of the Holy Prophetsa, too, stricken with grief, became like those who lose their senses. Then Allah raised Abu Bakr Siddiqra and showed for the second time the manifestation of His Power and saved Islam, just when it was about to fall, and fulfilled the promise which was spelled out in the verse:
And that He will surely establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them; and that He will surely give them in exchange security and peace after their fear. (Quran 24:56)
(Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, The Will, 1905)
Ahmad clearly prophecised a second manifestation of divine power after his death. The Lahori group claim that this referred to the Anjamun (executive body). However, the Anjuman had been set up by as early as 1906 with announcements of its activities in Al Hakam newspaper. However, Ahmad stated in the passage above that the second manifestation would come after his death and he did not die till 1908, while the Anjuman was already in existence several years prior to this. Moreover, the passage itself states the coming manifestation will be like the manifestation of Hazrat Abu Bakr and that is the manifestation of khilafat and not of an executive committee.
1906- Maulvi Muhammad Ali Sahib praises Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad
Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad is only 18 or 19 years old. Such zeal for the faith and such eagerness in support of Islam as are manifested are something out of the ordinary. Not only on this occasion, but as I have observed on every occasion the sincere eagerness comes to the surface. It is not a casual matter that the heart of the youngster in his teens should be inspired by such eagerness and ambition, because that is the age of sports and games etc. Now inquire from those black hearted people who call Hazrat Sahib an impostor whence has this true eagerness entered the heart of this young man? Falsehood is utterly foul, it's effect should have been also foul and not so pure and bright as has no equal. If a person perpetrates an imposter, he might conceal it from outside, but cannot conceal it from his own children who are in his company all the time and observe every movement of his, listen to every word of his and observe the manifestation of his thoughts on all occasions. Thus where there is imposture it must become manifest sometime or other to the wife and children of the impostor. Oh yea unfortunate ones! Do reflect whether the children of an impostor, brought up during the period of his imposture can be like this. Are your hearts not human that they cannot understand such a verity and are not affected by it. What has happened to your understanding? Do reflect! Can one whose instruction bears such a fruit be false in his claim? If he is false, then what is a sign of a true one? (Maulwi Muhammad Ali Sahib, Urdu Edition of Review of Religions, March 1906)
1908- Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad passes away
1908- Hazrat Nooruddin becomes khalifa
In the days following the death of Ahmad, a meeting was convened in which a member of the Ahmadiyya Community made the following speech:
According to the command of the Promised Messiah set out in The Will we Ahmadis, whose signatures are appended below, are sincerely convinced that all present and future members of the Ahmadiyya Community should take the pledge of spiritual allegiance, to Hazrat Nooruddin, who is the most learned and most virtuous of us all and is the most devoted and oldest friend of Hazrat Imam who held him up as an excellent example, as he said: ‘How good would it be if every member of the community were a Nooruddin, So would it be if every heart were filled with the light of the certainty of faith.’ Hazrat Maulawi Sahib’s orders will be as binding upon us, as were the orders of the Promised Messiah. (Badr Newspaper, June 2nd 1908)
I have for some time reflected on what shall be our situation after Hazrat Sahib. That is why I have striven that Mahmud’s education may be pushed forward. There are three likely persons among the close relatives of Hazrat Sahib. There is Mahmud Ahmad, who is both my brother and my son. I have a special relationship with him. Then Mir Nasir Nawab, being Hazrat Sahib’s father-in-law, is entitled to his respect and our respect. The third one is his son-in-law, Nawab Muhammad ‘Ali Khan. Of the devoted servants of the faith there is Sayyid Muhammad Ahsan, who possesses outstanding ability. He is a descendant of the Holy Prophetsa. Then there is Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali who serves in ways that I cannot even conceive of. All these are available in Qadian. This is a heavy, a perilous responsibility, which can be carried only by a commissioned one of God, who has wonderful promises of divine support which sustain him against backbreaking burdens. At this time it is necessary that men and women should become united. To achieve this, pledge your allegiance to any of the revered personages I have named; I shall also do so along with you. I promise you solemnly that if you choose any one of those I have named, I shall pledge my allegiance to him along with you, but if you insist on pledging your allegiance to me then note carefully that this pledge means total commitment. Pledging allegiance is a solemn and grave matter. He who takes the pledge subordinates all his freedom and the flights of his fancy to the will of another Remember, all good proceeds from accord. A leaderless people are dead. (Hazrat Nooruddin, Badr Newspaper, June 2nd 1908)
Immediately, all the Ahmadi Muslims present at the meeting offered their allegiance to Hazrat Nooruddin with the following words:
'...This day I take the pledge of spiritual allegiance at the hand of Nooruddin, accepting all the conditions prescribed the Promised Messiah for the pledge...' (Badr Newspaper, June 2nd 1908)
Shortly after the proceedings, Kamaluddin published the following notice:
Before the funeral prayer for the Promised Messiah all members of the community who were present in Qadian and whose number was twelve hundred, accepted Hazrat Nooruddin, may Allah keep him, as his Successor and Khalifa, according to the directions set out in The Will and in conformity with the recommendation of the members of the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya then in Qadian and the relatives of the Promised Messiah, and with the permission of Hazrat Ummul Muminin and took the pledge of allegiance to him. Of the members of the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya there were present Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad, Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali…This intimation is addressed to all members of the Movement, that on its receipt they should immediately take the pledge of allegiance to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih. (Khwaja Kamaluddin, Al Hakam, May 28th 1908)
The Lahori group have claimed they could not accept Mahmud when he later became the second khalifa because he had – they allege - commited the immoral acts in 1907 and these actions were brought to the attention of Ahmad, Nooruddin and Ali. These allegations resemble those the Muslim hypocrites at the time of Muhammadsa made against his wife Ayesha. The above passages prove the falsehood of these allegations; it is clear from Kamuluddin's own notice that Mahmud was already a senior member of the Ahmadiyya Anjamun within the lifetime of Ahmad. He would not have been accepted in such a position were he a person of immoral character. Secondly, Nooruddin would not have described him as his 'son' and nominated him for the khilafat after such an incident of immorality.
Moreover, Kamaluddin clearly accepted the khilafat as the successor of Ahmad according to his will. Both he and Ali pledged their allegiance to Nooruddin in addition to the article Kamaluddin published above, establishing this institution. They claim the institution could not continue beyond Nooruddin as there were no suitable candidates left. However, this is untrue as Nooruddin himself named several suitable candidates during the election who were still alive when Nooruddin passed away, including Mahmud.
1908- Hazrat Maulawi Muhammad Ali Sahib accepts prophethood of Ahmad
We are firmly of the view that God can make any one a prophet, a faithful one, a martyr or a righteous one. What is needed is a seeker. He to whom we swore allegiance was righteous, a chosen one of God and a holy messenger. The spirit of holiness had achieved its climax in him. (Maulawi Muhammad Ali, Al Hakam, July 18th 1908)
1909- Hazrat Nooruddin states he will be followed an authoritative khalifa
Some of you say that they are not seeking to limit my authority, but wish to clarify and define the authority of my successor, but they do not reflect that he may be greater than Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Mirza Sahibas. (Hazrat Nooruddin, Badr Newspaper, October 21, 1909)
1910- Nooruddin resigns from Anjuman; appoints Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad
Within the lifetime of Nooruddin, the seeds of the split began to emerge. Those who would later form the Lahori group argued Nooruddin gained his authority from being the president of the Anjuman rather than from his being the khalifa. Nooruddin, in his wisdom, decided to circumvent these intrigues by simply resigning from his post on the Anjuman to clearify that his authority came from his Khilafat and not from the Anjuman. Moreover, he appointed Mahmud as the new president of the Anjuman.
The Lahoris argue that they could not accept Mahmud’s khilafat as he was not appropriate for the role. Yet, they accepted him as president of the Anjuman – according to their belief a higher position than khilafat - for four full years prior to the split. They also claim the Anjuman is the ‘divine manifestation’ Ahmad prophecised would succeed him after his death. Yet they allege Mahmud was of immoral character. What sort of divinely guided institution can be headed by a man of immoral character – who himself rejects the institution’s divine nature – for four full years?
1911- Khawaja Kamaluddin Sahib accepts prophethood of Hazrat Sahib
A prophet and messenger arose in your neighbourhood. It is up to you to accept him or not. (Khwaja Kamaluddin Sahib, addressing a meeting in India, Badr Newspaper, January 26 1911)
1911- Hazrat Nooruddin names Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad as his successor
I have learnt on the most reliable authority that in [Nooruddin's] will of 1911, he set out the name of [Mahmud] as his successor. (Maulawi Muhammad Ali Sahib, Haqiq-e-Ikhtilaf)
1911- Hazrat Nooruddin condemns Maulawi Muhammad Ali & Lahori doctrines
Harken! I am Khalifatul Masih and God has made me Khalifa. I had no desire at all to be Khalifa, but now that God has invested me with this mantle, I intensely dislike all dissension. Standing in this mosque, with the Quran in my hand, I call God to witness that I had not the least desire at any time to become a spiritual preceptor. But no one knows God’s design. He did whatever He willed. He united all of you at my hands, and He Himself, and not any of you, invested me with the robe of Khilafat. It is my duty to honour and respect it.
I do not desire from you money or anything else. I do not care whether any of you offers me greetings or not. Up to April last I used to pass on your personal offerings to me to Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali, but someone misled him and he said these offerings belonged to the Anjuman and he, as Secretary of the Anjuman, was their custodian. Thereupon I stopped sending him these monies, out of regard for the pleasure of Allah, to see what would they do about it. Those who think like that are in error and have been guilty of disrespect. They should repent; I repeat that they should repent. If they do not repent they will be in evil case.
Keep well in mind that you have no authority to remove the Khalifa. If you perceive something in me that you esteem a fault, point it out to me respectfully. It is God who appoints a Khalifa; it is not the business of men. God made Adamas a Khalifa, and also Davidas. Therefore, none of you has the authority or power to remove me. If God desires to remove me, He will cause me to die. You had better leave this matter in God’s hands; you have not the power of removal. I am not beholden to any of you. He lies who says he has made me Khalifa.
It hurts me when I hear it said that this is the age of constitutions and parliaments; Iran and Portugal and Turkey have all set up parliaments. I affirm that he who considers this movement parliamentary and constitutional should repent of his error. What comfort do you think has been procured for Iran and others by a parliament? Many were ruined under Muhammad ‘Ali Shah, and his successors are receiving ultimatums. Have the Turks slept in peace after setting up a parliament? I remind you again that it is clearly set forth in the Holy Quran that it is God who appoints Khalifas. When He appointed Adamas he said:
I am about to place a khalifa in the earth (Quran 2:31)
The angels raised objections, but what benefit did they derive therefrom? Read the Quran and see. If that was the case with the angels and they had to confess:
Holy art Thou, no knowledge have we save that which Thou hast taught us (Quran 2:33)
Then who are you to criticise me? You had better look into your mirrors. I remember well someone saying: A parliament has been established in Iran; it is the age of constitutions. Such sentiments are disloyal and disrespectful. Those who think like this were shown the consequences of constitutionalism, by the jealousy of God, in Iran itself. I repeat they should repent even now. I have not related all this in my defence. Allah knows well that I attach no value to your approval or disapproval or rejection of me. I have told you this lest any of you should become guilty of sin by falling a victim to suspicion. (Hazrat Nooruddin, Badr, July 11, 1912)
1912- Hazrat Nooruddin again refutes entire Lahori theology while praising Mahmud
Should any one say that the Anjuman has made me Khalifa, he would utter a lie. Such ideas lead to ruin, be on your guard against them. Listen with attention once more, no man or Anjuman has made me Khalifa, nor do I consider any Anjuman competent to make any one a Khalifa. No Anjuman has made me Khalifa, nor would I have attached any value to any Anjuman’s doing so. I would not so much as spit on any Anjuman’s repudiation of me. No one has the power to deprive me of this robe. Who do they think was entitled to be Khalifa?
There is my very dear Mahmud who is the son of my master and my benefactor. Then there are his son-in-law Nawab Muhammad ‘Ali Khan, his father-in-law Mir Nasir Nawab, and his wife the Ummul Mu’minin. These are the only ones who may be deemed to have a claim to the Khilafat. Yet it is curious that those who assert that their right has been usurped do not reflect that they are all obedient and loyal to me. They have not presented their claim to these critics. The descendants and close relatives of Hazrat Mirza Sahib are all devoted to me. I tell you truly that there is not one of you who obeys me as do my dear ones Mahmud, Bashir and Sharif [sons of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad] and as do Mir Nasir Nawab and Nawab Muhammad ‘Ali Khan [son-in-laws of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad]. I do not affirm this to please them, but state it as a fact that they love me out of the desire to win the pleasure of God.
I have heard the Ummul Muminin [wife of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad] affirm a score of times that she deems herself my servant. Miyan Mahmud is grown up, he will tell you that he obeys me sincerely. A critic might say that he does not obey me sincerely, but I know for certain that he is truly, obedient to me, more than any one of you. All the members of Hazrat Mirza Sahib’s family obey me as Alira, Fatimara and Abbasra obeyed Abu Bakrra, even more so. Every one of them is so devoted to me that I cannot conceive any of them entertaining a wrong notion about me.
Another question on which you differ and raise contentions is: What is the status of our opponents? Now listen carefully. The Word of God has expounded the principles with regard to the acceptance and rejection of a prophet. Whenever a prophet has appeared there has been no difficulty with regard to the classification of those who believe in him and those who disbelieve. Casuistry apart, God Almighty has set forth clearly the principles of disbelief, faith and association of partners with Allah. There have been prophets in the past. In each case there were those who believed and those who disbelieved. Have you had any doubt concerning them; and have you had any problem about the classification of those who did not believe in them? You have been told of the principles of belief and disbelief. Hazrat Mirza Sahib was a Messenger of God. Had he not applied the term prophet to himself, he would have been guilty of rejecting the hadith narrated in the compilation of Muslim in which the one who was to come was named a prophet. The question of believing in him or rejecting him is clear. If one who rejects him professes to be a Muslim he is that much closer to you, as the Christians are closer to you than the Jews. In the same way the Muslims who reject Hazrat Mirza Sahib can be closer to us than the others.
He who believes in Hazrat Mirza Sahib and rejects me is like the Rafdis who reject the companions of the Holy Prophetsa. The matter is quite clear, but the idlers occupy themselves with futile contentions. Hearken! My prayers reach the Throne, and my Lord fulfils my designs even before I supplicate Him. To contend with me is to contend with God. So desist and repent. Hold your peace for a short while; then he who follows after me will deal with you as God wills. Some of the matters on which you differ have been pronounced upon by Hazrat Mirza Sahib. He who goes against his pronouncement is not an Ahmadi. (Hazrat Nooruddin, Badr Newspaper, July 11, 1912)
1914- Hazrat Nooruddin passes away & the Lahoris now reject Khilafat
On March 13th 1914 Nooruddin passed away. The Ahmadiyya Community gathered at it's headquarters in Qadian and almost all of the Ahmadis demanded Mahmud become their new khalifa. This was the obvious and near unanimous decision; after all, as seen from the quotes presented above, Ahmad had prophecised on so many occasions that his son would one day lead the community while Nooruddin had already suggested him as a future khalifa on several occasions. Moreover, the most prominent leaders of the community had publicly praised his high moral character including Ahmad, Nooruddin and even the future Lahori leader Ali. Further, as he had been president of the Anjuman for the previous four years, he already held one of the most senior positions within the community.
Now, Ali and his followers became open in their dissent for the first time. They left Qadian and moved to Lahore. They formed their own breakaway sect and claimed that the Anjuman was the true 'divine manifestation' which Hazrat Sahib had foretold would come after him. Within the Lahori sect, Ali was appointed the worldwide president for the rest of his lifetime, while Kamaluddin became a senior leader.
However, the Lahoris are to this day confronted with a problem; on the one hand they claim that the Anjuman was a divine manifestation and on the other they must accept that around half of the Anjuman split from their Lahori group and remained loyal to the khilafat. What sort of divine manifestation has half of its founding members testify to its not being a divine manifestation?
1914- The Lahori's claim early victory
With regret one notes it is being said that two thousand disciples of the Promised Messiah have accepted his Khilafat. But the number of people, with any awareness of the context prevailing in Qadian, on the question of the Khilafat, who have come out in support of Khilafat, is so low that not to speak of forty supporters, the number hardly runs to a poor, insignificant ten. (Paigham-i-Sulha, April 19th 1914)
By this time, hardly one twentieth part of the membership of the Movement has accepted him as Khalifa. (Paigham-i-Sulha, May 5, 1914)
However, within a few months the general body of Ahmadi Muslims had made their choice:
The group, agreeing with Khawaja Kamal-ud-Din, which desires to work hand in hand with the general Muslims outside the Movement and which includes many Ahmadies in Lahore, has failed in its attempt; the Section accepting Mirza Mahmud Ahmad as Khalifa has defeated the opposition group in most places. (Al-Haq, Delhi, May 22nd 1914)
It appears that the Lahoris recognised their defeat and attempted a new strategy to gain control of the movement, as was once again documented in their own publications. Their plan culminated in their giving the following set of proposals to Mahmud:
Election of the Sahibzada is held to be valid, but he would not have the authority to call the already existing membership to take fresh bai’at, at his hand, there being no discernible need for anything of this kind to be done. We are ready to accept him as our Amir in this capacity. Nor would he be considered entitled to interfere in any way with the rights and previliges, and the prerogatives, of the Anjuman Ahmadiyya vested in that body by the Promised Messiah himself, holding that the Anjuman would be considered to have succeeded him as the overall supreme authority in the affairs of the Movement. A deputation comprising the following gentlemen should wait on Sahibzada Mahmud Ahmad to place these resolutions before him, requesting his agreement on the points involved. (Paigham-i-Sulha, March 24, 1914)
Of course, Mahmud rejected out of hand the proposal that a Khalifa appointed by God should give up his authority to a group of administrators. Importantly, the incident demonstrated that the theological differences that were later brought up by the Lahoris were really of no consequence. Had the theological differences really existed or had their been any truth to the objections to Mahmud’s character that the Lahoris would later create, they would have refused to even entertain the thought of accepting a man as Khalifa whom they considered not to be correctly following the teachings of Ahmad. The most logical conclusion is perhaps the Lahoris had no care for theological differences and were in reality struggling for power.
1944- The Promised Son Prophecy Fulfilled
In 1944, Mahmud saw a blessed dream. He interpreted this dream to mean that he was indeed a fulfilment of the prophecy of The Promised Son.
1944- Maulwi Muhammad Ali Sahib mocks The Promised Son
It is a long story and I cannot discuss the prophecy of the Promised Messiah in detail within a Friday khutba...If this evil requires to be corrected then I consider that each and every member of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Community is a Promised Son and would be right in making that claim. God the Most High has Himself testified to this in the revelation of the Promised Messiah: “Our purified members are in Lahore”. As to when the Promised Son will come, Allah knows best, but if a promised mischief-maker had to come then certainly the Mian sahib can make this claim. (Maulawi Muhammad Ali Sahib, Friday Sermon, 3rd February 1944)
In the month following the above extract, Ali devoted at least three whole sermons entirely to the issue to the prophecy of The Promised Son. In not one of these lengthy sermons did he manage to actually quote the prophecy and instead gave the excuse that there was not time - even though he spent hours discussing the prophecy during these sermons. Instead, Ali devoted these sermons to insulting Mahmud and making the claim that the entire Lahori Movement were a fulfillment of this prophecy or that it may be fulfilled at some later date.
Perhaps Ali refused to quote the prophecy, because he knew that it very clearly stated it would be fulfilled with a single righteous biological son, born to Ahmad within nine years and named Bashir. It certainly could not refer to a group of unrelated people or to someone born outside the nine year period. In 1944, when Ali delivered these sermons, more than half a century had already passed since the prophecy was made. Any open minded person on hearing the prophecy (quoted in full above) would conclude it could only refer to Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad.
It is notable that despite the prophecy being only a few paragraphs and the Lahoris having devoted a huge amount of literature to mocking this prophecy over a period of years, as far as we can tell in our extensive research, they have not once managed to quote the full prophecy or anything more than a few decontextualised words from it in their literature. They also ignore the interpretations of the prophecy made by Ahmad himself.
1952- The Lahori Group acknowledge they have failed
Thirty-seven years have passed since the day we started our work here in Lahore; but it is discouraging to note that, so far, we have failed to emerge out of the four walls, hemming us in. On the part of the Qadian Section, the steady progress of that Section continues. We have, before us, a number of young men whose fathers, or grandfathers, were ardent members of the Movement, but that spirit and ardour seems to have flown out of their own hearts. (Al-Hajj Sheikh Mian Muhammad, Paigham-i-Sulha, February 6, 1952)
Anyone familiar with the method of scientific investigation knows that when you wish to design an experiment, you need to be able to compare your results to a second 'control' group. The control group will be identical to the thing you are testing, except they will be different in a single characteristic, which is the characteristic you wish to test.
As far as Ahmadiyya goes, we have been given a divine example of this perfect scientific method. We have two groups, the Qadiani group and the Lahori group, which were formed at exactly the same time. They were both extremely small and both followed Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. The only major difference between the two is that one had a Khalifa and the other didn't.
So, this was a perfect opportunity to test the divine help that Khilafat receives; if the group with the Khilafat failed then we could call this Khilafat false. If the group with Khilafat had some success, but the group without Khilafat also had similar success, we could still state the Khilafat has had no effect. However, if the group without Khilafat failed and the group with Khilafat enjoyed success, then it could be considered a sign of divine support for the Khilafat.
So, if we look at the state of the two parties in the 100 years since their separation, we see only one party progressing. The followers of the khalifa have become established in almost every country in the world, built thousands of mosques, built hundreds of free schools and free hospitals in some of the poorest parts of the world, had a Nobel Prize winner, had a head of the World Bank, had a leader of the United Nations, a leader of the International Court of Justice, numerous prominent religious, academic and secular leaders, a Grammy award winning musician etc. etc. The Qadiani group were also the first in the world to launch a 24/7 global Islamic TV channel in 1994 and perhaps to this day this channel remains the only advert-free Islamic channel in the world.
Meanwhile, independent researchers who have no association with Ahmadiyya found that there are millions and millions of Qadianis worldwide. Moreover, they admit that it is the fastest growing sect of the fastest growing religion in the world. Annually, there are over half a million new converts to the Qadiani branch of Islam Ahmadiyya. On the other hand, you only need to read through the literature and speeches of the Lahori leaders to see that they themselves are saying that the condition of their group is truly lamentable. Their numbers have dwindled to such an extent that we have it from a reliable source that at their international centenary annual convention in 2008 at their center in Lahore there were only 70 attendees from around the entire world, so it seems that there worldwide population struggles to muster even 100 members. The same year, the current khalifa of the Qadiani Ahmadis graced annual conventions in several countries. In Ghana there were 150,000 attendees, 30,000 in Germany, 30,000 in the UK, 10,000 in the USA, 20,000 in Canada. In previous years there have been 70,000 in India, 250,000 in Pakistan, and thousands more in countries such as Indonesia, Bangladesh, Australia, numerous African countries and even Israel.
Of course, the Lahoris argue that numbers of followers within a group makes no difference to the truth and this statement does have some merit to it. However, they must also bear in mind that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had been promised support and divine blessings from Allah for his truthful followers and that no divine movement has failed to increase in number and progress.
Then, when the present khalifa, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad visited the Lahori Berlin Mosque in 2011, we have heard that they stated they were struggling to financially maintain the mosque and offered to sell it to him.
The most reasonably conclusion appears to be that Allah has judged between the two parties and has declared the truthfulness of the Khalifa. The Qadiani branch of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community will continue to pray for and lovingly invite our Lahori brothers and sisters to return home and reunite with us at the hands of khilafat.