By BB Sanneh
Following the recent infamous incident at the Tallinding cemetery which has unfortunately galvanised a lot of ignorant and uninformed utterances from many pseudo religious authorities on the social media platforms, I am compelled to debunk some mysteries surrounding this very controversial issue. Most of us should understand that Islam is clearly defined and as such only folks with the right accreditation and authority should engage in such discourses and not reduce it to a debate of philosophical ideas or modernity. In this piece, I will endeavour to shed light on some radical beliefs of this group comparative to mainstream Islamic beliefs.
The founder of this group (Ghulam Ahmad) systematically transformed himself from a caller to Islam to a “Mujaddid” (revivalist) inspired by Allah to the claim of being the Promised Messiah (Mahdi) and then finally to be most ludicrous – claiming to be prophet whose prophethood was higher than that of Muhammad (PBUH). They also believe that prophethood did not end with Muhammad (PBUH), but that it is ongoing, and Allah sends a messenger when there is a need, and that Ghulam Ahmad is the best of all the prophets.
They believe that the Angel Jibreel used to come down to Ghulam Ahmad and he used to bring revelation to him, and that his inspirations are like the Quran.
They say there is no Quran other than what the “Promised Messiah” (Ghulam Ahmad) brought, and no hadeeth except what is in accordance with his teachings, and no Prophet except under the leadership of Ghulam Ahmad. They also believe their book was revealed. Its name is al kitaab al-Mubeen and it is different from the Holy Quran.
They believe that Qadian (the birth place of its founder in Punjab, India) is like Makkah and Madeenah, if not better than them, and that its land is sacred.
In their view every Muslim is Kaafir unless he becomes a Qadiani, and everyone who married a non Qadinani is also kaafir.
As for their beliefs about Allah, they believe that He fasts, prays, sleeps, wakes up, writes, makes mistakes and has intercourse — exalted be to Allah far above all that they say.
From the above, even the most basic of Muslims would find these beliefs repugnant and unacceptable to Islam. Therefore, our scholars unanimously agreed that this group is misguided, and not part of Islam at all because its beliefs are completely contradictory to Islam.
In April 1974, a major conference was held by the Muslim World League in Makkah, which was attended by representatives of Muslim Organisations from around the world. This conference announced that this sect is Kaafir and beyond the pale of Islam, and told Muslims to resist its dangers and not to corporate with the Qadianis/Ahmadis or bury their dead in Muslim graveyards.
The Islamic Fiqh council of Cape Town, South Africa also issued the following statement:
Firstly, the claims of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to be a prophet or a messenger and to receive revelation are clearly a rejection of proven and essential elements of Islam, which unequivocally states that Prophethood ended with Muhammad (PBUH) and that no revelation will come to anyone after him. Thus, this claim by Ghulam Ahmad makes him and anyone who agrees with him an apostate who is beyond the fold of Islam.
In conclusion, I challenge any Ahmadi who refutes these things to a debate because these are found in the books, writings and publications of their founder. The Talinding cemetery altercation can be avoided in the future if these Ahmadis improvise their own grave yards just like they do for their mosque. How can you claim to be a Muslim when you don’t pray behind us yet ironically you want to share graveyards with us? Nobody is asking Ahmadis to leave but let them keep their religion and let us keep ours. By the way Imam Fatty’s stance on this issue is the position of all our mainstream Islamic scholars and we should desist from labeling him as an element that is fanning religious intolerance in the Gambia.