Paradise lost or paradise found?

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Success story of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat 45 years on

Parliament House, Islamabad

Pakistan had only just celebrated the silver jubilee of its formation that its rulers decided to give in to extremist clerics. The dawn of the year 1974 brought with it the darkness that was to prevail the skies of the very young state of Pakistan for many decades to follow. A democratic government felt its throne shaking vigorously by the pushing and pulling of bigoted extreme-right wing political powers. The so-called democratic leader decided to join hands with these pressure groups with the aim of saving his political power.

ZA Bhutto, the then prime minister of Pakistan, finally accepted the demand of the extremist circles to declare the Ahmadiyya Jamaat non-Muslim. These circles had been trying their best to achieve this goal since the formation of Pakistan in 1947; finally, their demands saw acceptance, ironically, at the hands of a leader with a secular outlook.

We know that the Ahmadiyya Jamaat was constitutionally declared a non-Muslim minority on 7 September 1974. We all know that Hazrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IIIrh, presented the Ahmadiyya case before the Pakistani parliament which fell on deaf ears and the parliament decided to go ahead with a decision that they were carrying in their pocket even before the hearings of the committee had started. 

Today, 45 years on, we look back to see what the special committee (consisting of the whole house of the Pakistani parliament) sought to determine and what they actually determined. The primary objective of the full-house special committee was set out as,
“To determine the position of a person who does not believe in the finality of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.”

The objectives went on to detail how the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat should constitutionally be declared non-Muslim. The parliament, endorsing the demands, established a special committee and made it obligatory for the then head of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat to appear before the committee to prove why they deserved to constitutionally remain Muslims.

In several sessions, the parliament heard the arguments of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat and finally declared that they did not deserve to be classed a Muslim by definition. What definition of Muslim? Whose definition of Muslim? No one cared to make that clear. Actually, no one could dare to make that clear! How could they?

During the days of those hearings in the assembly, all members would have breaks for Salat. No two members were ready to say Salat behind the other as all belonged to seperate denominations and sects of Islam. There were Barelvis, Deobandis, Ahl-e-Hadith and Shiites in the committee and none thought the other to be “Muslim enough” to lead the congregational prayer. Thus, small groups said their own congregational prayers. This was suffi cient to prove that everyone had their own definition of Islam.

Hence, when declaring Ahmadis non-Muslim, no one had any touchstone to present.  This wasn’t a new situation. When the anti-Ahmadiyya agitation of 1953 turned violent and looting and damaging crossed limits, the judicial committee headed by Justice Munir convened scholars from all Islamic sects and denominations. They were asked to define the term “Muslim” so that their demand to declare Ahmadis as “non-Muslim” could judicially be examined.

Justice Munir, in his report, stated that no one denomination agreed with the other in the definition of a Muslim. One ground that the committee presented in support of their decision was that Ahmadis believe in a prophet after the Holy Prophetsa of Islam. All members of the house claimed to be Muslims. All believed in the re-advent of Isa ibn Maryam (Jesusas) in the latter days. Despite this, they used the very belief against Ahmadis. 

One wonders why the special committee has never met again. There are so many reasons for the committee to meet regularly and throw every Pakistani out of the circle of Islam. For instance, the committee should convene again to consider whether Pakistani citizens, who sell counterfeit medicine that result in the deaths of thousands of innocent patients, are Muslims or not according to the constitution. Th e Holy Prophetsa of Islam said that the killing of a single individual equates to the genocide of the whole of humanity. Why then does the committee not convene?

There are millions who kill innocent citizens in the name of Islam. All these goons claim to be Pakistani citizens. Their leaders shamelessly accept responsibility for such heinous crimes. Should the committee not convene to see whether such acts are Islamic or not? These bloodthirsty groups still enjoy the status of being Muslims in the “Islamic Republic of Pakistan”.

Violence, terrorism, obscenity, profanity, vulgarity, drug abuse, sexual abuse, human trafficking and all other social vices have eaten into the bricks and mortar of Pakistani society. Why? Because religious clergy were allowed to mould and twist and turn and bend and break the constitution of Pakistan. Is it too late? Perhaps not!

The one community that the Pakistani government declared non-Muslim is now seen globally as the representative of the true Islam. The Pakistani assembly once summoned their Khalifa and refused to listen to his arguments. Today, their Khalifa is heard as the sole spokesperson of Islam in great parliaments of the world. Their Khalifa was called to stand in the dock and give evidence in his favour, but their Khalifa is now invited to major world parliaments to deliver keynote addresses from their most respectable platform. 

So here we are, 45 years on: The pro-mullah government of Pakistan versus the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Can they look us in the eye and go through the story of gain and loss over this half-a-century? We are sure they cannot! Those who wanted to crush us gained notoriety. We, their target, have flourished, prospered and succeeded in the entire world. Who lost and who won? We let the readers decide.

(Mahzarnama was the document presented by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat to the special committee. It serves as a textbook on the Ahmadiyya Muslim beliefs and can be accessed at www.alislam.org/library/ books/Mahzarnama.pdf)

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