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Ahmadiyah Sect : What | Who | GuL's Comment | Score | Forums | Books

Who are these people and what do they believe in?

     The Ähmadiyah Sect was founded by Mirza Ghulam (or Gulag) Ahmad who lived in the Qadian district of the Punjab, north-west India between 1839 and 1908. That was in the happy time before Britain interfered with Indian affairs and Pakistan did not exist.
     It was in 1889, at the age of fifty, that MG became a father and although this was probably not for the first time the latest addition must have been the only one in his class with the name of Hadrat Mirza Bsahir-ad-Din Mahmud Ahmad.
     In the same year as this happy event, Mirza Senior had his Brilliant Idea. He decided to become another in the long line of Indians (and many other ordinary people throughout the world) who would declare himself to be The True Prophet, or at the very least - the very next best thing.
     No half measures for Mirza - he figured that if he was going into the prophesising business, he had better get a few big names behind him and so he happily declared himself to be a reincarnation both of Muhammad and The Messiah.
     He also adopted the title of Mahdi - The Guided One, and last but not least he wanted to be known as an Avatara which means descended from (in the literal sense - coming down to earth from) Krishna. With that lot he (almost) couldn't fail.
     MG now had a happy mix of Muslim, Christian and Hindu, he extended his own last name from the rather common Ahmad to the more stylish Ähmadiyah and set about the job of convincing others that he was just the right-on kind of prophet that everybody needed.

     In one of his slightly-more-daft-than-the-rest-stories, he told everyone that Jesus Christ deliberately feigned his own death, made a daring escape from the Romans, his family, his followers, his faith and ran away to India where he finally died at the age of 120. He is buried, said Mirza, at Strinigar, north Pakistan. Amazingly, a lot of people believed him.
     Apart from producing a son and heir in 1889 MG had no luck with his own immortality and died in 1908 at the age of 69.
     The job of managing director of the faith then went to Mawlawi Nurad-Din and the job of prophet (sharing) going to his son of the overlong name.
     In 1914 Mawlawi followed MG to whatever heaven would have them, and the now leaderless Ähmadiyah split into two groups.

     The large group subtitled themselves as Qadiani, considering themselves to be original and best, and regarding MG and Son as prophets.
     The thing they loved best in life was sitting in judgement on others and, deciding not to wait for the real one, they re-scheduled the prophesied 'Judgement Day' to a time when they would all be around, which for them was right now.
     They became self-imposed judges of all they (were allowed to) survey, and it was not long before The Ähmadiyah Sect became known as The Qadian Movement, Qadian conveniently meaning Judge, which suited them just fine.

     About this time The British Empire were on the world domination trail and were taking an active part in changing the face of that part of the world. In 1947 Pakistan was invented as a country and the Qadians, quite happily, moved to a new address in downtown Rabwah, in new Pakistan.
     The smaller and perhaps more sensible group moved to Lahore and were led, until his death in 1951, by Mawlana Muhammad Ali. These new boys had MG down as a mere reformer, and his long-named son as a complete non-starter.
     Although aiming to convert anyone and everyone to become their own sort of Ähmadiyah, they stuck, with only slight deviations, to the standard Islamic ideas recognising none other than Muhammad (the first) as the one true prophet.

     All the Ähmadiyah caught The Missionary Disease which they started - and have continued to - spread as far and as wide as possible.
     Understandably, they are very strong in Pakistan and Northern India, and inevitably they have spread through the Middle East, into Europe, and on to the Americas.
     Somewhat surprisingly, they are very popular in Egypt where three times a year an Ähmadiyah festival is held in honour of Ahmad al-Badawi, a genuine saint of Islam.
     Ahmad al-Badawi, although preceding the Ähmadiyah Sect by some six hundred and fifty years, made it into the record books by working miracles, having a following of thousands, and then one fine day (in 1236 at Tanta, south of Cairo, Egypt) climbing on to the roof of a conveniently central house and staring at the midday sun for a couple of hours until he fell over with exhaustion and temporary blindness.
     This somewhat stupid action was immediately copied by the thousands of followers and became a popular pastime with previously sane people going to great lengths to damage their health as much as possible with sun-stroke, blindness and falling off roofs. Ahmad, having got his following thousands happily doing stupid and dangerous things to themselves, was of course, assured of his sainthood.
     Mainstream Islam, needless to say, did not approve.


Roots:Islam - Breakaway Movement.
Location:Started in India and Pakistan. Now spreading slowly.
Top God:Allah (and Muhammad).
Running Time:Approx. 100 years: Started in 1889.
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