Last Updated on 4th February 2022
Amtushakoor Tayyaba Ahmed (Umm-e-Taalay), UK
وَ الصّٰٓفّٰتِ صَفًّا ۔ فَالزّٰجِرٰتِ زَجۡرًا ۔ فَالتّٰلِيٰتِ ذِكۡرًا
“By those who range themselves in close ranks. Then they drive away the enemy vigorously. Then they recite the Quran as a reminder.” (Surah al-Saffat, Ch.37: V.2-4)
“I’ve often seen that the way Huzooraa addresses his workers, and cares for his workers, he gives guidance with such wisdom that you become so motivated, you feel like you could actually run through a wall to fulfil the instructions of Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa.” (Syed Taalay Ahmed, “Untold Narrations” Talk to Atfal 2020, MTA)
Evidence and explanations
Returning to Taalay’s student days at university when he was just 19, the following informal email was received from him about an experience on Facebook (although from 2010 he did not use Facebook unless specifically for work purposes – as guided by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa):
“A few hours ago I was on Facebook. On Facebook you can become fans of anyone and for some reason, no idea why, I suddenly decided I would like to become a fan of God. So I searched for Him and there was a Facebook page where you could sign to become a fan of God and so I did. Anyway, on this page there are various discussion groups and one of them was titled ‘Atheists’. So I clicked on the link to see what it was about and it was basically a discussion forum to discuss whether God exists and people were giving their own opinions. So I read thru [sic] them and there were some believers in God and some atheists and the atheists were writing things like ‘if everything has to have a creator, who created God?’ and ‘where is the proof that there is a God?’
“Shortly after reading this my computer crashed. This has never happened before as far as I can remember and it was very worrying as my files are not saved and my computer is just outside its one year guarantee. So I tried switching it back on and tried and tried and tried for hours and hours and hours, maybe four hours altogether. No matter what I did and what repairs I tried it would not even come back to the logon page. I had switched it on maybe 25 times, maybe more and after all this effort thought I’d best go to sleep and take it to a repair shop in the near future or maybe even buy a new one. Before going to bed I decided to switch it on one last time just in case. For the first time out of all my attempts as I switched it on, I recited ‘Bismillah’ and as I said the words I knew straight away that it would work and that this was the proof in the existence of God; and of course it did.
“I had thought of praying for it to work many hours earlier but for some reason I hadn’t up until this point, I can’t explain why.
(22nd October 2009)
Most of us can identify a similar technological nightmare incident. Yet, by the grace of Allah, this became a source of belief in God for Taalay and another personal experience that increased his faith.
When it comes to religious debate, the crux of the matter is really about belief in an All-Powerful, All-Loving Creator, Who sends His messengers to guide humanity to peace, spiritual prosperity and enlightenment. Those with questions may ask if such a God exists, would He create humankind and then send regular step-by-step guidance throughout history? As mentioned previously, once Taalay began his waqf in the International Press and Media Office, he wrote a four-part article about proofs and arguments for the existence of God. These articles, based on detailed research of Islam Ahmadiyya literature, eloquently and robustly answered such common questions on the existence of God.
Over the coming years, it became apparent that Taalay undertook a deep learning about his faith and challenged himself to be able to answer just about any question that he came across both online and in other formats whether verbally or written. Below, I mention just a few. Of course there are many more that cover very serious discussion and debate topics:
Question on the Holy Quran
I begin with a memory of a family gathering a few years ago, perhaps on Eid. Taalay’s older maternal uncle, Fareed, happened to wonder out loud how the Holy Prophetsa, who was blessed with Divine revelation so profusely, differentiated between which revelation was part of the Holy Quran and which was personal to him alone. An elder in the family gave an inspiring answer at length.
Taalay, who was also present was asked to also give his comment. He responded simply that the Archangel Gabrielas would revise the whole of the Holy Quran with the Holy Prophetsa every Ramadan, thus providing the required guidance and clarification of which revelations were part of the Holy Quran. Fareed commented, “I find his explanation the best!”
Since Taalay’s martyrdom, I have had the opportunity to find out a lot more about his dedication to refuting any and all allegations against Islam Ahmadiyyat. I have been told by a missionary that around eight years ago, he happened to mention to Taalay that a young Ahmadi had sent him a list of questions about Ahmadiyyat that he had yet to answer. On Taalay’s insistence, he handed over the list of questions. Taalay worked overnight to provide the young missionary a 16-page document of well-researched answers the next day! The questioner was sent this document and was satisfied, masha-Allah.
As for online refutation of allegations, there are many, many dedicated pages that are full of well-researched answers to allegations. Taalay regularly used Ahmadiyya literature and quoted directly from such sources when answering allegations both formally and informally. I provide a formally written discussion below from the website Wiki Ahmadiyya:
“Prophecy of opposition and its failure
“At the outset of his mission, Ahmad stated it had been divinely ordained that he would be rejected and face great opposition, but that the hostility would fail to prevent his victory:
“‘A Warner came unto the world, but the world accepted him not; yet God shall manifest His favour and demonstrate his truth with powerful assaults. There is a trial here, then be steadfast as were the prophets of high resolve.’ (Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya)
“‘The opponents will try to put out the light of Allah. Say: “Allah Himself is the Guardian of that light. Allah’s favour guards you. We have sent it down and We are the Guardian. Allah is the Best of guardians and He is the Most Merciful.” They will try to frighten you of diverse things; they are the leaders of disbelief. Fear not, you will be on top. That is, you shall prevail in terms of clear proofs, arguments, acceptance and blessings. Allah will help you in many fields, that is, you will be on top in debates and religious discussions. My day will distinguish clearly between truth and falsehood. Allah has decreed: “I and My messengers shall certainly prevail.” And they will say: “This is a falsehood that he has invented. We have not heard of it from our forefathers, that is, from the past elders in faith.” (Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya)
“These prophecies were published at the outset of Ahmad’s career when he was still very popular with the Muslim masses of India. Ahmadis believe these have been fulfilled by the overwhelming hostility that later emerged, including the active opposition powerful Muslim governments continue to show the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and by the fact this has not prevented it spreading around the world.” (www.wikiahmadiyya.org/history/hazrat-mirza-ghulam-ahmad/prophecies-by-mirza-ghulam-ahmad)
A question of numbers
As recently as about four weeks ago, I was discussing with my son how his older brother Taalay had made a concerted effort to answer any allegation against Islam Ahmadiyyat that he could find. My son responded that he had heard a common allegation regarding the numbers of Ahmadis in the world.
“Did Taalay respond to this too?” was his question. I began looking, and of course, Taalay (he has mentioned others joined him in his online response) has answered this question several times in more than one way. A formal response is as follows:
“Independent EstimatesField research and surveys by American religion think-tank the Pew Research Centre published in the 2012 report The World’s Muslims: Unity and Diversity found over 7 million Ahmadi Muslims spread across just ten African nations. The report also found Ahmadi numbers growing in most of these countries due to a positive net conversion rate.
• According to research collated by Christian scholar David B Barret in World Christian Encyclopedia (Oxford University Press), the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a fast growing sect with almost 8 million adherents worldwide as of 2001.
• The 1998 Pakistani census states that there are 291,000 Ahmadis in Pakistan. However, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has boycotted the census since being declared heretics by the government in 1974, rendering current estimates inaccurate.”(www.wikiahmadiyya.org/ahmadiyya-muslim-community/demographics)
Whilst writing this article, by chance, I was sent another report written in an online magazine which discussed how Islam-Ahmadiyyat is an Islamic group booming in Africa:
“Out of the world’s estimated 12 million Ahmadis, an increasing majority of them are now living in Africa. According to Pew Research, 15 percent of Tanzanian Muslims are Ahmadi, which translates to more than 2 million people, and 3 percent of Nigerian Muslims are Ahmadi, which implies an Ahmadi population of 2-3 million. Outside of South Asia, the Ahmadiyya’s only demographic strength area is in sub-Saharan Africa, where there is a sizeable minority which also enjoys far less discrimination and persecution, which are also important prerequisites for future expansion.
“In many ways, it can be said that the Ahmadis hit a demographic jackpot. Tanzania and Nigeria are on their way to entering the world’s top 10 countries by population size. Both countries have a total fertility rate above 5, and Ahmadis are also benefitting from the religious diversity of Africa […] Inevitably, by the later part of this century, Africa will become the demographic centre of the Ahmadiyya movement. It may even become the secret formula for the Ahmadiyya to become the world’s fastest growing Islamic sect, as populations are expected to double, triple and quadruple in many African countries where the Ahmadiyya have a large following.”(https://mercatornet.com/islamic-sects-booming-in-africa/65486/)
Modern culture of complaining
Commenting less formally online in answer to an allegation and pointing out a more recent cultural development within pockets of society, Taalay writes:
“Now, to bring this back to our modern culture of complaining: there has been no organisation in history which was free from mistakes. Whether a government, council, educational institute, charity, religious organisation or whatever else – wherever there are humans, there are human errors. If we get into the habit of clinging on to one mistake forever […] if we are never able to forgive and move on, then the fact is we will never be happy anywhere. Nobody, no organisation, will ever live up to this standard. Not even close. And that’s not a mindset I can agree with and deep down, I hope, neither can you. :)”
Taalay was martyred whilst working for Muslim Television Ahmadiyya in Ghana in August last year. His last words declared his love for his family and Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (may Allah be his Helper). As regards the latter, it was not only these final words that testified to this love; this testament is found in the whole of his life, alhamdulillah.