Ahmadiyah’s Critics Are the Ones Who Should Declare a New Faith

By webadmin on 03:14 pm Feb 22, 2011
Category Archive

Bramantyo Prijosusilo

As Islamist right-wingers are dominating Indonesian public opinion in regard to the Ahmadiyah sect, it would be wise to reflect on the fact that when performing their obligatory prayers, all Muslims must recite Al Fatiha, the opening chapter of Islam’s holy book, known as “the mother of the Koran,” and that the sixth verse of that chapter translates as “show us the straight path.”

Even the Prophet Muhammad recited this verse every time he performed sholat . Taken at face value this can mean one of two things: Either the prophet was acting like a fool before God and pretended not to know “the straight path,” or he was sincere in his prayer and genuinely needed God’s guidance and grace to keep on the straight and narrow path. Therefore, if any Muslim claims to be following this path and knows how to herd others along the same route, surely this person is speaking out of arrogance rather than knowledge and is far from following the footsteps of the gentle and humble Muhammad.

Whoever claims to know the straight path should not recite Al Fatiha in his or her sholat. When you know something, should you stand before God and ask for that thing to be revealed to you? God is all-knowing, and thus asking God for something that you already have would be silly and disrespectful. Therefore, all thinking Muslims (and the Koran repeatedly urges us to think) should refrain from claiming clear and certain knowledge of the straight path, for to do so is tantamount to claiming superiority to the spiritual knowledge of our beloved prophet, who is our spiritual beacon. Can one claim to be Muslim while believing oneself to have greater knowledge about spiritual matters than Muhammad?

Recently people claiming to have superior knowledge of Islam and to represent Muslims have been calling for the Ahmadiyah sect to be banned in Indonesia if its members continue to call themselves Muslim and to use Islamic symbols. The only acceptable option for the Ahmadiyah sect to continue to exist in Indonesia, they say, is for them to declare that they are followers of a new, different and separate religion.

Many lay Muslims seem to agree with this solution, but what its advocates tend to forget is that to become a Muslim, one need only to declare that there is no god but God and Muhammad is his prophet. This simple declaration of faith has been enough to make someone a Muslim since the time Muhammad begun preaching Islam in 7th century Arabia. All Ahmadiyah followers say this declaration of faith each time they perform sholat.

While some people who call themselves learned in matters of Islam declare that the Ahmadiyah sect has left Islam, let us recall a hadith (tradition) that tells us how Muhammad was seriously upset when, in battle, one of his disciples put to the sword an enemy who recited the declaration of Islamic faith. The tradition tells us that the disciple defended his actions by claiming that his victim had only declared his faith because he was afraid of death, but the prophet rebutted him, declaring that only God knows the truth in man’s heart.

Are not these religious experts who would judge others telling us that they know more about Islam than the Prophet Muhammad? Ahamdiyah followers not only profess the declaration of faith that makes them Muslims, they also perform the prescribed prayers, pay the zakat alms for the poor, fast during Ramadan and, if they are able, make the pilgrimage to Mecca to follow the rituals of the hajj at least once in their lifetime.

Just like mainstream Muslims, Ahmadiyah followers also believe in the six pillars of faith: in God, in his angels, in his books, in his prophets, in fate and in the Day of Judgment. The small difference between the Ahmadiyah faith and the belief of the mainstream is that Ahmadis believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a prophet — the Messiah, Jesus in his second coming. That there will be a Messiah near the end of time is a belief also held by mainstream Muslims, only most Muslims believe that the Messiah has not yet revealed himself.

Still, believing that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is the promised Messiah should not exclude one from the Islamic community, for to be a Muslim, since the times of the Prophet Muhammad, one is obliged only to declare that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is his prophet. Perhaps the scholars of this new type of Islam — one that preaches hatred and violence — have added to the declaration of faith, and now to be a Muslim one also should declare that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is definitely not the promised Messiah.

If only these knowledgeable scholars would be honest and state their new declaration of faith, things would be much simpler, because in doing so they would also openly declare a new religion, somewhat different to the message of peace and love brought to mankind by Muhammad 1,400 years ago.

One important Islamic doctrine is that there is no priesthood. Muhammad had many disciples of all backgrounds — powerful and humble, male and female, young and old, black and white, free man and slave — but they were taught that in the eyes of God all people are equal and only their faith and deeds can differentiate them in front of God. Scholars of Islam have constricted the word ulema to mean only scholars of religious disciplines, thus excluding all other branches of knowledge that, in their search for truth, are also fundamentally Islamic.

They have elevated their status to become “priests” within Islam, with the authority to declare what is righteous and what is forbidden in the eyes of God. Instead of forcing Ahmadiyah people out of Islam with violence, intimidation and murder, it is these people who should declare a new non-peaceful, priest-led, non-Islamic religion.

Bramantyo Prijosusilo is a writer, artist and broadcast journalist in East Java.

  • terry

    Hi there.
    actually in Pakistan the muslims are confused mop …..mentally they got the Arabian way of life but naturally/culture they are Hindu converted to muslim…so, obviously they are a mixture…
    as far as the Quadiani concern….wheather they are muslims or non muslim…..no one has any right to dictate anybody or to a certain group…… I dare say It makes no difference todays world ….the man is greater then all the cults….the religion has nothing but HATERD for humanity ……the leaders in the field use to make money by spreading the lies in favor or against the other creeds…hence…be wise and stay away 4m such a waste of time…….

    • Dr. Amir Mahmood Kahloon

      Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat responds to killing of 3 Ahmadi Muslims in Indonesia

      Perpetrators will be answerable to God Almighty

      It is with great sadness that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at confirms that yesterday on 6th February 2011, 3 members of its community were martyred in Indonesia in an utterly barbaric and brutal attack.

      The attack occurred in Cikeusik, south of Banten in Indonesia and was conducted by a large group of people numbering between 700 and 1,000. The attack occurred even though police had been forewarned for a number of days about an imminent attack on the local Ahmadi Muslims. Despite the warnings the police failed to take any measures or steps to prevent the attack.

      It is reported that the attackers came to the local centre of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat brandishing machetes, spears, knives and other weapons. As a result 3 Ahmadi Muslims were martyred publically and 5 others were seriously injured. 2 cars, 1 house and 1 motorcycle belonging to Ahmadi Muslims were also burnt down. Thus far no one has been arrested by the police in relation to this incident.

      Speaking from London in response to these brutal killings, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat said:

      “This horrific attack has caused grief and pain to all Ahmadi Muslims worldwide and indeed to all peace loving people. The barbarity of the perpetrators knows no bounds; indeed people watching the merciless beatings were clapping and cheering. The local police and authorities failed to protect the Ahmadi Muslims and allowed them to be exposed to this cruel and brutal attack.

      Whenever such attacks occur the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat both in Indonesia and worldwide always displays patience and seeks solace not in revenge or violence but through prayers to God Almighty and this will always remain the case. It is however certain that those who have inflicted these cruelties will be answerable to God Almighty and will have to face His punishment. In the meantime the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat will continue to bow down in front of the One God and seek His Protection and Help.”

      The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat calls on the Indonesian Government to fulfil its mandate to protect all of its citizens, regardless of religion. It is also hereby clarified that no Ahmadi Muslim was involved in any form of provocation whatsoever and that these attacks were motivated simply due to the fact that the victims were members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat. It is a tragedy that these Ahmadi Muslims were martyred in the most barbaric way because they chose to live their lives by the Ahmadiyya motto of ‘Love for All, Hatred for None’.

      - See more at: http://www.alislam.org/egazette/press-release/head-of-ahmadiyya-muslim-jamaat-responds-to-killing-of-3-ahmadi-muslims-in-indonesia/#sthash.Gvlrbldn.dpuf