بسم الله الحمد الله و صلاة و سلام على رسول الله
The earliest Muslims! What did they believe? They were closer to the prophetic cup of guidance than any modern-day Muslim. I mean, we are talking about people whose grandparents might have known the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم personally. So, one can reasonably conclude that what the earliest Muslims believed is closer to the true beliefs of Islam. But, how do we know what they believed? Do we just guess? I mean, all groups of Islam quote the Qur’an and all believe they are the logical ones. How do we know who is upon the truth…?
Lets go 1100 years into the past to Baghdad, the heart of the Muslim world. There are all sorts of internal conflicts, political disputes, new sects and ideologies proping up left and right. Even the khilafah was been taken over by a deviant sect for a few generations. [From Mu’tasim to Ma’mun]
Many of the early groups, with their deviant theologies and beliefs, such as the Mu’tazilites, the Qadariyya, the Jabariyya, the Jahmiyya and even some early groups of the Shi’a do not even exist anymore. But, in this mix, the mainstream Muslims lived, practiced, spread their teachings based primarily on the Qur’an and prophetic tradition, and most relevant to this analysis, wrote books summarizing and codifying what they believed to distinguish themselves from the other deviant sects of Islam.
Within the first 200 years of Islam, a great scholar named Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Tahawi رحمه الله codified the beliefs of the mainstream Muslims, to the exclusion of the other deviant sects. The name of his creed is called ‘Aqidah al-Tahawi. This text survived in its complete form to this day and is accepted by all orthodox Muslims, regardless of the relatively minor differences they have between them. It is worth noting that Ahmadis consider themselves to be a “subsect” of the mainstream Sunni Islam. [Ref 1 below]
I did a quick google search and found it available on multiple sites here:
Some copies offer commentary, and the English translation is slightly different from place to place, but the meaning is essentially the same.
Ahmadis could argue that this text is man-made and is not binding upon them. That is technically true, but it holds a very high degree of authority, because it was written during the earliest period of Islam during the greatest period of scholarship, intellectual pursuit and religious purity (within Orthodox Islam). If there are disputes amongst the Muslims, both believing they are following the Qur’an, the prophetic traditions, and logic, it is safest to refer back to what the earliest Muslims believed before such deviations and alterations in religion.
I want my Ahmadi friends to read what the earliest Muslims believed about prophethood around point 30. What you will notice is that the concept of the continuation of “non-law-bearing” prophets never existed amongst the earliest Muslims. Instead, al-Tahawi made the unconditional statements that anyone who claims to be a new prophet after Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم is upon “falsehood and deceit”.
This means that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a false prophet and is to be rejected. Muhammad عليه صلاة و سلام is the last of the prophets, there are no prophets after him.
May Allah guide the Ahmadis to Islam. Ameen!