Ataul Fatir Tahir, Al Hakam
A common question asked to Ahmadis – and understandably so – is how the success of Islam Ahmadiyyat is any different from the success and accomplishments of other organisations who continue to thrive.
This question is not new.
During his trip to Europe in 1924, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra was asked this question when aboard a ship. Hazrat Bhai Abdur Rahman Qadianira, in his diary, Safr-e-Europe, recorded the incident.
He said a few educated Indians met with Huzoorra and began asking questions. During Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud’s answers, one of them began raising allegations and said, “Your success is nothing extraordinary! There are others in the world who have attained success and progress as you have, some of whom [have gained success] even more than you.” (Safr-e-Europe, p. 437)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra was just about to answer, when someone from the same group of Indians exclaimed, “Huzoor, wait, don’t trouble yourself. Allow me to answer this.” (Ibid)
Hazrat Bhai Abdur Rahman Qadianira said the person responded to the question in the same way Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra – who had been asked this question many times before – would respond to it.
The gentleman said:
“Present any jamaat, organisation or person who had raised their voice against the accepted narrative of the time and achieved success as the Ahmadiyya Jamaat has, after they went against the common and accepted narrative of the age. The people or organisations you have named said exactly what Europe is spreading today. [It is useless] to bow before European culture and to follow its way and then claiming, ‘We have succeeded’, ‘We have created a Jamaat’, etc.” (Ibid)
“The questioner fell silent”, and Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra was pleased with the answer and commented on the intelligence of the gentleman. (Ibid)
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat and its teachings have been – and still are – opposed by the majority. The Ahmadiyya narrative has been against the common view – whether in the Muslim world or when facing many Western ideologies and philosophies.
Ahmadiyya teachings are fiercely opposed by Muslims. The influential Christians of colonial India – especially missionaries – saw Ahmadiyyat as a great problem and carried out endless campaigns against the community and its holy founder. Followers of other religions and views, who witnessed a powerful defence of Islam by the Promised Messiahas, were perturbed by his movement and vehemently opposed it.
No Muslim community or sect has been suppressed, persecuted and opposed through a constitution in the way that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat has been.
Ahmadis were pioneers in preaching Islam to the West, often facing harsh opposition. Yet, Ahmadi missionaries, under the guidance of Khilafat, continued to preach the plain and simple message of Islam, without cutting corners or giving in to the widespread Western ideals and philosophies that Muslims at the time were succumbing to.
The teachings of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas were against all narratives at the time and the reaction of groups within Indian and abroad, to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, prove how at odds they were to these teachings.
The answer of the Indian gentleman opens the doors to a detailed and rich history of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat. However, in his simple answer, a lot can be taken away. Communities sanctioned by God face opposition in this way, and continue to spread.
The opposition continues, and the spread and success of Ahmadiyyat run parallel.