بسم الله الحمد لله و صلاة و سلام على محمد و على آله و سلم
Lets start with two simple questions:
Was the Islam that the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم was upon “True Islam”? Undoubtedly Yes.
Is the Islam practiced by Muslims today the “True Islam”? Muslims would argue Yes, and the Ahmadiyya would argue No.
Assuming that the Islam practiced by the Muslims today is no longer “True Islam”, that would imply that somewhere in the last 1432 years separating us from the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم all Muslims spontaneously and simultaneously went astray in belief, hence the need for Mirza Ghulam to create the Ahmadiyya faith. This is the standard Ahmadiyya narrative and it seems to make sense.
But lets take a closer look….turn back the clock 1300 years.
During the first few centuries, Islam spread into Persia, the former Byzantium Empire, India and Central Asia. When the people from these areas embraced Islam, they would often unintentionally bring with them their previous religious ideas. For example, one’s previous faith might hold God to be both good and evil, so when they embraced Islam, their view of Allah is that he is also part evil. Compounding this problem, some new Muslims would understand the Qur’an to conform to these types of previously held beliefs. It was not merely an issue of “Can you prove your beliefs from the Qur’an”, because everyone cited the Qur’an and made arguments for their side.
As these new ideas became more popular, especially in the outskirts of the Muslim lands, the Masters of Islamic Sacred Knowledge (‘Ulema) thought it prudent to document and codify the original interpretations of the faith, lest it be lost amongst the rising sea of new beliefs. It was not that the Qur’an was not sufficient, indeed it is! But if you presented an ayah negating one’s distorted version of Islam, he would simply re-interpret it. For the masses, the question arose “Whose understanding of the Qur’an the original, and hence the Truth?” It seemed that Islam would be lost to corruption.
But God willed otherwise for his Ummah…
With great hesitation and care, the Muslim scholars penned theological works to document the original beliefs of Islam. As Shaykh Hamza Yusuf put it, “at some point, it becomes absolutely necessary” to prevent a distortion of the faith. In general, they were written in a minimalism response format, such as “Regarding the disputed matter, we believe ABC” to only clarify a dispute, and leave the rest to the Qur’an. These documents represented the original understanding of Islam, as taught by the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم himself. For all practical purposes, they represent “True Islam”, as understood by the Prophet, Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Usman, ‘Ali, et al.
One of these texts is titled Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar, written by Imam Abu Hanifah رحمه الله.
Fast-Forward to present times: The dispute between Ahl al-Sunnah and Ahmadiyya. Who is following “True Islam” and who is following a distortion?
Would it not be wise to look back into our literary tradition and see what “True Islam” thought of the very dispute we have today? For example, with regards to the Last Days and ‘Esa bin Maryam عليه السلام, Imam Abu Hanifah wrote,
و خروج الدجال و ياجوج و ماجوج و طاوع الشمس من مغربها و نزول عيسى عليه السلام من السماء و سائر علامات يوم القيامة على ماوردت به اللأخبار الصحيحة حق كائن
The emergence of the Dajjal [anti-christ] and of Ya’joog and Ma’joog [Gog and Magog], the rising of the sun in the West, the descending of ‘Isa, alayhi assalam [Jesus], from heavens, are inevitable facts, so are all the other signs of the Day of Judgment, as narrated in authentic Ahaadeeth [Prophetic sayings]
If you are interested in what the Muslims of the 2nd century were saying, I suggest this text: http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/misc/tahawi.htm. Start at point 29. For the 7th century, read this: http://www.marifah.net/articles/matnalnasafiyya.pdf
If we want to know what the “True Islam” of the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم is, we can look at these texts. And you will quickly realize that it was quite different from Ahmadiyya. The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم taught that he was the Last Prophet and that towards the end of time, ‘Esa bin Maryam عليه و سلام would return. We invite our readers to click the links above and see for yourselves.
In closing, if you bring this article to the Murabbis (and please do!), they will likely respond with a series of isolated quotations in support of what they believe. Sadly, the average Ahmadi accepts them without verifying. Question what the Murabbis! Find the original source books and look it up yourselves. Do not simply take their statements at face value. I am confident that by merely double-checking them, you will realize how misleading they are. But few do….
May Allah guide us all to the “True Islam”
و صلى الله على محمد و على آله و سلم