by Al-Hafiz Yunus Omotayo
The history of world religions and civilizations shows that mankind has been immensely blessed with a number of rare revolutionary individuals who have initiated various human world orders, established institutions, built philosophies and founded empires. One of such rare individuals in the 19th Century AD was Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), whose phenomenal life and revolutionary movement brought about new glorious spiritual firmament and terrestrial order for the Muslims of the modern and post modern times.
Born on February 13th, 1835, in Qadian, India, [Iain Adamson, 1989:7] Ahmad’s advent in the fourteenth Islamic century was destined to be the fulfillment of the eschatological prophecies about the revival and survival of Islam in the Latter Days. Hence, finding Islam in its pitiable decline and the Muslim world – from the Arabian Peninsula, to the villages of Africa, the cities of Europe, Asia and Australia – wallowing in its religious, political, social and economic decadence as earlier prophesied by the Holy Prophet Mohammad (saw) [Mishkat al-Masabih, 2012:91], Ahmad (as) resolved, albeit, on the basis of divine revelations and after extensive and critical study of the global challenges, to launch a religious revivalist movement, internally, within the world (Ummah) of Islam, and externally, against the doctrinal and ideological extremisms of the other existing religions.
Thus, on 23rd March, 1889, he founded the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community [A. R. Dard, 2008: 204] and later, under express divine revelations, proclaimed himself the universal Reformer, al-Mahdi (the Guided One) and the Promised Messiah, whose advent had been prophesied by the Holy Prophet of Islam (saw) and the Scriptures of other world religions.
Within a period that spanned about three decades, and notwithstanding being in the minority of one vis-a-vis majority of staunch adversaries, singularity of effort and scantiness of resources, Ahmad (as) undertook, via series of religious debate, lectures, discourses and vast corpus of writings, an herculean task of re-interpretation, restatement and reconstruction of the Islamic religion hitherto distorted by both the pseudo Muslim divines and the common folks. Consequently, Islam was again re-crystalized and re-established as a living religion whose living Shariah, faith, thought and ideology are designed to elevate humanity to the highest moral, spiritual and intellectual pinnacles, and to enable mankind establish a heaven-on-earth world order where peace, love, prosperity and happiness reign.
Today, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community which he founded has spread to 209 countries with followership running into tens of millions. Within its global stature, it has re-instituted the global Islamic leadership system – the Khilafat – which has seen the Community led by five successive Khalifas. Under the global Caliphate that enjoys a strong global presence and influence, the Community has continued to match forward, in time and space, with its moral and spiritual revolution to all corners of the world; gaining unprecedented conversation of peoples of various regions and religions to the religion of Islam; spreading the Islamic message of peace, love and brotherhood to all nations; reconstructing Muslims’ religious and socio-political thoughts, ideologies and worldviews and; rendering selfless humanitarian services to humanity at large, irrespective of religion, sex, creed, cultural and racial backgrounds.
This is happening notwithstanding opponents’ persecution and victimization of the members of the Community about which a report jointly commissioned by the Asian Human Rights Commission and International Human Rights Committee [Ahmadiyya – A Beleaguered Community, 2010] has described as both systematic and extensive; and which have seen hundreds of them martyred, tens of mosques destroyed, scores of workers sacked from their work places and, in most of the Muslim countries and communities, the members are considered non-Muslims – a trend which has led to them being barred from or denied of many human rights and privileges – religious, social, economic and political. Intriguingly, however, the fact that the Community has continued to increasingly thrive and progress, in spite of the staunch opposition and persecution, has been a perplexing phenomenon to many contemporary religious scholars, experts, academics and researchers.
In fact, it has, over a century of its existence, been an enterprisingly dynamic religious revolution that, even, the World Christian Encyclopedia has had to declare that, “The Ahmadiyya movement is the fastest growing sect within Islam as of the early 21st century.” (David B. Barrett, George Thomas Kurian, Todd M. Johnson, ed (February 15, 2001). Similarly, Iain Adamson, a renowned biographer, aptly acknowledged that, “Today the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam is considered the most potent religious force in the world. The first forty followers have become more than 12 million. It is a mathematical increase in 100 years unequalled since the rise of Islam.” (Iain Adamson, 1898:xi).
Arguably, the paces of the spread, growth and progress has indeed assumed an exponential proportion that it is the most dynamic, fastest growing international missionary revival movement within Islam with Islamic missions established world over. It has built over 15,000 mosques around the world, established over five hundred schools and owns over thirty hospitals and clinics which are located, particularly, in the continent of Asia and Africa. It has translated the Holy Quran into over seventy languages. Most conspicuously, with its 24-hour satellite television channel (MTA), the Internet (www.alislam.org) and print (Islam International Publications Ltd) and; through its independent charitable NGO – Humanity First International – it propagates the pristine teachings of Islam and the message of peace, tolerance, anti-terrorism and extremism, thereby giving expression to its widely celebrated motto: Love for all; hatred for none.
Indeed, from all ramifications of the contemporary human religious experiences, if there are those potent signs of Allah, emerging from the horizons of the forces of religion to vindicate and impress the truth of divine message on every human mind, the prevailing force of the nascent Ahmadiyya Muslim Community – the true Islam – truly proffers a parallel paradigm of such extraordinary divine signs!
While every May 26th continues to remind humanity of the departure of our iconic personage – Hadhrat Ahmad (as) – from the mortal world in 1908, this piece is penned to beacon on Muslims, in particular, and humanity, in general, to objectively research more and reflect on and derive inspiration and guidance from his revolutionary life and the dynamic religious revivalist movement – the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community – which he bequeathed to mankind with a view to salvaging our postmodern World from the contemporary global disorder and deluge that are bedevilling it.
About the writer:
Al-Hafiz Yunus Omotayo is a Hafizul-Quran, an Islamic Missionary and the National Secretary of the Muslim Writers Guild of Nigeria. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Whatsapp contact: +234 8057437643
1) A. R. Dard, Life of Ahmad – Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, (2008), Islam International Publications Ltd, UK
2) Mohammad ben Abdullah Al-Khatib At-Tibrizi, Mishkat al-Masabih – The Niche of Lamps, (2012), Dat al-Kutub al-Ilmi, Lebanon
3) David B. Barrett, George Thomas Kurian, Todd M. Johnson, ed (February 15, 2001). World Christian Encyclopedia, Oxford University Press, USA
4) Ahmadiyya Muslim Mosques Around the World – A Pictorial Presentation, 2008, (The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, USA)
5) Iain Adamson, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, 1989, Elite International Publications Ltd, UK