Were Ahmadis spying for the British in the USSR (1924)?

I have been studying Ahmadiyyat from an academic perspective for 7+ years. I have read everything on Ahmadiyyat that the English language has allowed me. Very recently, I came across a book entitled, “A call to Islam in the USSR” by A.R. Mughal. This book is essentially an oral narrative by Maulvi Zahoor Hussain of his imprisonment in the USSR. I have read this book thoroughly and am shocked at the behavior of Ahmadiyyat and the involvement of the British in their support. This book essentially proves to the world that Ahmadiyyat always had support from the British government in almost every aspect of its operations. I will try to summarize as best as I can the points in this book that reached out and grabbed me and thus shook me to my core.

In 1924, Mahmud Ahmad had built his Jamia-Ahamdiyya. He built this with the idea of training murrabis and sending them out into the world as a means to further his portfolio of global income. Maulvi Zahoor Hussain was a young Indian-Ahmadi and was honored to be a graduate from the first class of Jamia-Qadian. This class contained the first group of stalwarts of Ahmadiyya like Jalal-ud-din Shams, who eventually wrote an introduction to every book of MGA, Shams was sent to Syria and then later Kababir as he somehow converted an entire village to Ahmadiyyat. Mirza Shareef Ahmad also attended this initial class of murrabis (Mughal). He makes a rare appearance in the history of Ahmadiyyat. I am not sure whether he graduated or not, however, it is clear that he was never posted as a murrabbi anywhere. The one thing that Mirza Shareef Ahmad was good at was taking pictures and other activities that somehow kept him connected to the Ahmadiyya (Fazl-e-Omar, 1939, english). Furthermore, Mahmud Ahmad was planning to send murrabis to every country that the British occupied and even had his eyes on other countries. This was a major push for globalization of the brand of Ahmadiyyat. Moreover, Mahmud Ahmad was looking to cash in on his business model and created an atmosphere which ws pro-Britsh and pro-capitol.

Mahmud Ahmad had planned to send a murrabi secretly into the USSR. He had sent a surveyer intially to check out the possibility of illegal entry, the surveyer had reported back that it was possible to sneak into the USSR (Fazl-e-Omar, 1939, english). When the day finally came for Mahmud Ahmad to select a person…he didnt choose his younger brother, instead he chose Maulvi Zahoor Hussain who followed the orders of his “peer”. He thus began his journey as he travelled from Qadian to Afghanistan and then to Iran in 1924. He seemed to buy assistance all along the way. He consistently found people who housed him and guided him as he attempted to sneak across the Iran/USSR border. When the day finally came for him to sneak into the USSR, he followed his route as his guide had explained and prayed to his God for support in this illegal endeavor. From his own account, Maulvi Zahoor Hussain was apprehended very shortly after entering the USSR. He was immediately arrested for not having a visa. He was immediately detained and began to be questioned as to why he was in the USSR. The USSR quickly confiscated all of his personal belongings and found some rather shocking documents that led to the conclusion that Maulvi Zahoor Hussain was spying on behalf of the British government through the mask of Ahmadiyyat.

The Soviets questioned him intensely. The British were not on good terms with the USSR and they were thus questioning Maulvi Zahoor Hussain in terms of the relationship between Ahmadiyya and the British. Further, the Russians had confiscated some secret instructions from Mahmud Ahmad to this maulvi, the instructions were as such:

“When you reach Bukhara ans start converting people to Ahmadiyyat, do not disclose the names of the new converts to anyone. So much so that even the Ahmadi converts were to be kept in the dark about each other’s identity. However, when you shift from one town to the next, then select one of the most efficient and truthful Ahmadis from the whole lot and apprise him of the names and other details of all the Ahmadis in the area. You should tell the chosen person to continue meeting all the Ahmadis in he town strictly on an individual basis. This instruction should be adhered to both in word and spirit at all times” (page 63).

After reading this and other papers from the bags of Maulvi Zahoor Hussain, the Russians had concluded that this Ahmadi was in fact a spy and had thus scheduled him for execution. This also led to beatings and intense questioning. The Soviets kept trying to get this Ahmadi-Mullah to confess that he was in-fact spying for the British…however, this Maulvi had been trained very well at Qadian and kept his mouth shut, he stuck with his alibi which was to state that he was simply a cleric of the Ahmadiyya who was instructed to trespass the USSR and gain converts to Ahmadiyya. However, the Soviets weren’t buying it! They knew of the Ahmadiyya and its close relationship with the British Government. They were even able to get books of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and thus questioned this Maulvi based on those books, it seems that “Jihad and the British govt” was also included in these collections.

Further, during the course of his stay in various jails in the USSR, this Maulvi reports that he had converted a few people to Ahmadism. He states that his strategy of tabligh was to hide the prophethood of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and to focus on the spirit and support of Islam that Ahmadiyya was selling as if Islam was a product. Through his process of masking Ahmadiyat, he was able to secure a few converts. It so happened that these Muslims who had unknowingly converted to Ahmadiyyat were still in the habit of praying salat behind Sunni Imams. The Ahmadi-Maulvi quickly scolded them and explained to them that Muslims were spiritually dead, and thus praying behind Sunni Imams was useless. He also explained the Ahmadiyya principle that Sunnis and Shi’ites were now Kafirs since they rejected Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. These newly converted Ahmadis must have been shocked in terms of the isolation aspect of the “A”.

Meanwhile, back in the interrogation rooms, Maulvi Zahoor Hussain kept getting transferred to different jails and questioned about his religion and the British govt., all the while he kept frequent contact with Qadian. Eventually he was transferred to some prison in Moscow and I’m sure that Mahmud Ahmad was informed of this final transfer. It should also be noted that almost 1 1/2 years had elapsed and Maulvi Zahoor Hussain hadnt been executed or let free by the Soviets. However, the rumors in the jails began to circulate that the execution of Maulvi Zahoor Hussain was very close. Maulvi Zahoor Hussain had kept in touch with Mahmud Ahmad in Qadian and Mahmud Ahmad had been actively trying to get his agent released and thus avoid execution. It so happened that Mahmud Ahmad used his positive connections with the British Government and arranged for Maulvi Zahoor Hussain to be released through diplomatic discussions between a certain ambassador of the British and the USSR, who just so happened to be in Moscow. In the introductory pages of this book, Mirza Bashir Ahmad wrote a heart-felt letter explaining how the British came to the rescue of Ahmadiyyat and were able to get their murrabi released and thus avoid execution.

After a 2-year prison stay, Maulvi Zahoor Hussain was going to be released by the USSR and thus avoid execution for espionage. The Ahmadiyya Movement thanked the British government and Maulvi Zahoor Hussain was coming home. Maulvi Zahoor Hussain was released from prison in 1926 and traveled south from Moscow until he reached Baghdad. As part of the deal between the USSR and the British, Maulvi Zahoor Hussain would meet a high ranking British official in Baghdad and then catch a ship to Karachi. Maulvi Zahoor Hussain reached Qadian and was celebrated as hero.


For years and years and years, Ahmadis have been telling Muslims that they are not spies and they are not in cahoots with the British Government. However, in the case of Maulvi Zahoor Hussain and his two years in the USSR, we have a serious case of an Ahmadi-citizen of the British Government who was given specific orders by the Khalifa of Ahmadiyya to trespass into the USSR and gain converts. What is even more troubling with that is the secret set of orders that Maulvi Zahoor Hussain was given. Why were these new converts to operate in absolute secrecy? Furthermore, the preaching strategy of Maulvi Zahoor Hussain was to effectively hide the prophethood of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as they knew it would be a barrier to conversion. I can say with certainty that this was policy of Ahmadiyyat in the USA, Europe, Africa, Indonesia, etc etc etc.

In the end, I feel remorse for all of those innocent families that were duped into believing that Ahmadiyyat was a progressive form of Islam that promoted the general good of the world. I am sad to have realized that my grandparents were fooled by the game of Ahmadiyyat as promoted by the sons of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and I pray that others steer clear of this cult. I pray my activities on the internet promote an academic view of the “A” and thus deter the innocent masses from converting to an economic system that deprives women of the basic voting rights and deprive children of their fair share of their parents assets as sanctioned by Allah.

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21 thoughts on “Were Ahmadis spying for the British in the USSR (1924)?

  1. Brother Rationalist

    Thank you for this very interesting article. I always knew that there is a special relation between Ahmadis and the British and it has nothing to do with Islam.
    Just so sorry that the common Ahmadi cannot see it!

    • @ samia

      When I read that the British got involved and helped to get this murrabi released and escape a certain death—-I was shocked. Years and years of research culminated for me….

    • I have heard the whole account from Moulvi Zahoor Hussein ( may Allah bless his soul). Your article is nothing but garbage of your own mind.
      Yes there is a special relation of Ahmadis with British and all the Christians – we kill their son of god and burry him in the earth.

      • @Yas Umeed,

        “Yes there is a special relation of Ahmadis with British and all the Christians – we kill their son of god and burry him in the earth.”

        Buried where?

        Mirza Ghulam mentioned three places as possible burial places of Hazrat Isa a.s., but not of them is true, would you still consider such a person “a promised messiah” ? Atleast Lahoris, have given up claims of Mirza being a prophet or a messiah.

      • @ Yas

        You will also get their help to spread their message of occupation and opium selling.

        For years and years and years…Ahmadis have been claiming that they had no special relationship with the Brits….I just proved you people as wrong…

        When the life of a murrabi aka spy hung in the balance….the British interceded.

    • @ Lutf

      Are you impressed that I cracked the case? Bashir Ahmad (not the Ahmadi guy) had actually done the research work. I just found the book and verified his work.

      Again…why was Mahmud Ahmad breaking the law?

  2. Interesting article!

    Since I have come to know if this so called jamaat Ahmadiyya, I have no doubt of their espionage especially against muslims & their countries but a lot of people are unaware of this reality. I also feel sorry for the souls who are trapped in this cult thinking that this is real Islam. There is no doubt that the biggest fitna after the fitna of Dajjal is the fitna of Ahmadiyyat. It is a fitna for entire humanity not just muslims, as it leads to kufr and disrespect for all the noble prophets of Allah s.w.t. particularly prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. as we heard they were even involved in the creation of the Danish cartoon insulting the noble prophet. Once they are caught they will shift their strategy. I would not be surprised that their agents are keeping a close eye on this web site also to see if any of their secrets are revealed. What a disgraceful cult it is and why don’t they realize that how low can the stoop to run this illegitimate business of Mirza clan?

    • @ Peace

      Some of these Ahmadis have been stalking me for 3-4 years now….

      I get crazy emails all the time.

  3. @ readers

    Some of these events were also highlighted in Bashir Ahmad’s book, Ahmadiyya, British and Jewish connections.

  4. I have heard the whole account from Moulvi Zahoor Hussein ( may Allah bless his soul). Your article is nothing but garbage of your own mind.

    • Thanks…I read his book and connected the dots!!!

      He even called Lahoris the derogatory term Paghaimis!!

  5. Can you please provide the relevant quotation/reference wherein it is there was a directive to Maulvi Zahoor Hussain and other missionaries that they should “hide” the prophethood of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad when preaching?


    • @ Nasir

      Maulvi Hussain writes about his interactions with Muslims (ghair-Ahamdis), as he was sitting with them and explaining Islam..this was his strategy:

      See page 45

      “I didnt want to scare them in the early stages about my belief in Ahmadiyyat and the prophethood of the Promised Messiah. But as time passed and I unfolded my religious concepts gradually…..”

      • Thanks for providing the quote. I think to conclude from it that he was trying to hide the prophethood of HMGA is completely unfair. Tabligh requires proper planning in order to be effective. We should not talk about controversial things at first. If a person is good natured enough to accept the basic principles/tenets, then they will be able to comprehend the more difficult aspects with the Grace of God.

        In this particular case, when Ahmadis preach to other Muslims, the nature of the prophethood of HMGA needs to be discussed after discussing the prophecies regarding Imam Mahdi and Masih, Sunnah of God, etc.

        As another example, we would not begin to preach to the Jews by telling them that the Holy Prophet (saw) is the greatest and perfect prophet and is a Mercy for all of Mankind. Instead, I think we would remind them that Hadhrat Musa (as) prophecied a great prophet to come who would be his brother and would speak on God’s word.

        I hope you can understand now. There is no need to hide anything. Everything comes out at its proper time and that is what he was saying.

        • @ Nasir

          Its called strategic planning!!! The Brits did it for years. The Christian Missionaries perfected it….Ahmadiyyat copied it..

          Ahmadis introduce Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a champion of Islam who fought for Islam….However, when the truth is finally showed to them…most converts leave Ahmadiyyat very quickly….this is exactly what has happened in Africa.

          When I was a young Ahmadi…I would preach Ahmadiyyat with my father…he would alwyas tell me not to mention that Esa (as) died in Kashmir…..he always said that it was for later….years later I figured out why…that is because these ideas are stupid!! And people will quickly tell you to jump in a lake!!

          • I am sorry, so preaching should not be strategically planned? I mean, should we not prepare ahead of time and try to ascertain what would make the best impact and which would avoid confrontation right from the start?

            If we started preaching to the Christians that look, Hadhrat Isa (as) was just a human being and not a god, would that be effective or not? I would say we should start with the attractiveness of Tauhid (unity of God) and then all other things will follow inshaAllah.

            I can’t answer for your father’s advice. I am not sure why he said that, but there is always a proper time for the revealing of certain truths. That is a point of wisdom to ponder over, that why Quran was not revealed all at once. Verses were revealed at the appropriate time as they were needed across 23 years. Does it God Forbid mean that Allah was hiding anything from His Prophet (saw)? Or course not. It gives us alot of wisdom, and one of those points of wisdom is how to preach Islam.

  6. Rationalist sure does attempt to portray in vivid detail what he believes to have transpired almost a century ago in the life of Maulvi Zahoor Hussain. Unfortunately for Rationalist, his hypothesis, assumptions, central premise and the final conclusion has holes so big that an old Soviet tank could rumble right through it.

    One of the most interesting aspects of his musings is that having been a former Ahmadi, he knows better. And with that being that the case, these insinuations that Ahmadis are British agents sounds as disingenuous as they do ludicrous. Pray do tell, how could you have missed such an obvious thing? And was that not enough for you renounce your beliefs? Why bother with the intense studies and prayers in your quest to find the truth? For most, as soon as they learned that their community is full of spies for the British government they would probably publicize that to no end and of course offer concrete proofs to support the same. What better way to discredit the Ahmadis in the eyes of their own followers and the Muslim Ummah at large?

    Now since you raised the issue of Maulvi Zahoor Hussain, why not follow through on his life after he returned to India? Why not inform your audience that he came back and lived his life exactly the way he told his Soviet interrogators he used to live before and would live upon his ultimate release, i.e. to preach his faith and live as a humble servant in service of his faith. How about telling everyone that the Almighty blessed him with 3 sons and 3 daughters and 23 grandchildren and every single one of them are still a part of the community. Your audience might also be surprised to learn that none of them are British citizens, let alone spies. As glamorous as the 007 lifestyle may seem, these offspring’s are leading simple lives as successful entrepreneurs, lawyers, doctors, corporate professionals and above all, completely devoted to their faith till this day.

    It was amusing to read your unsubstantiated comments pertaining to how Maulvi Zahoor Hussain was communicating with HKII in Qadian and how they wielded so much influence with the British so as to negotiate his release. A small scale Muslim sect with that much power? And that too before email, texts or Twitter! As for your assertions in reference to his preaching tactics, once again, being a former Ahmadi you know how and when we introduce our beliefs i.e. lay the foundation for our beliefs with proofs and arguments including the issue of Prophethood. You either never really understood our preaching process or choose to deliberately mislead. Since you read the book you will have surely seen that on numerous occasions Maulvi Zahoor Hussain emphatically mentioned the origins of Ahmadiyyat and refer to its Holy Founder.

    Of course, I’d be remiss to not mention HKM II and why he sent him to the USSR. Any law that precludes the preaching or worshipping of Allah the Exalted is not worth even being called a law. And it shouldn’t stop Muslims from preaching the truth. So, when Muslims from around the world go to Western nations and enter under a false pretext but then surrender themselves for asylum can also be categorized as breaking the law, right? In the case of Maulvi Zahoor Hussain, he went for the sole reason of spreading the light of Islam and Ahmadiyyat. Your aversion to the sect notwithstanding, the fact is there were no other religious missions undertaken by other Muslim sects from the Southeast Asian parts of the world. Yet you still question the wisdom of our Second Khalifa for having the vision and courage of convictions to send his servant to preach?

    In the end, goal here wasn’t to insult anyone or to engage in our different beliefs. You can continue your theological discussions and try to convince people all you want. However, it would be wise to refrain from making it personal. Especially when you mention people you know absolutely nothing about. BTW, I have not used a pseudo-name so feel free to reach out and verify for yourself. This person you refer to as a British spy was my (paternal) Grandfather and having spent time with him and seen the scars he has borne in the service of his faith was nothing short of inspiration for our whole family. And to see the extended family here in the States and across the world flourishing is all the evidence we need of our Living God blessing us for the sacrifices undertaken by our respected Grandfather. We all aspire to live up to that excellent standard he set for us in his unwavering belief and love for the Almighty and His Messengers and our Jamaat.

    • I’d like to thank you for your contribution and your dignified response. It’s sincerely appreciated.

      Personally, I’m on the record as saying that I think the whole “Ahmadis as British agents” thing is a canard. I genuinely don’t think it stacks up in the way it’s believed by many. I do think that the British have done favours for the Ahmadis though, as they would for anyone serving their strategic interests. So I would use “agents” with a small ‘a’. An agent is someone who acts on behalf of another. There is no doubt that Ahmadi and British interests were and are aligned. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was explicit about this in his writings and wasted no time in telling people how much of a blessing the British Empire was. In this sense, the Ahmadiyya were advised directly to be “agents” (small ‘a’) for the British Empire. I don’t think they were ever “Agents” in the 007 sense. That’s just a little far-fetched.

      Without wishing to cast any aspersions on anyone, I would just suggest to you that Christianity and Judaism are also “flourishing” using your criteria. Just a thought.

    • @ naseem Malik

      First off…welcome to the Blog.

      1. I had obtained a book on the story of Maulvi Zahoor Hussain in the USSR. I didnt have his life story.

      2. I never said that Ahmadiyyat was a spy-system for the British. In fact, the title of my article is a question with no answer in the text.

      2.a. However, I do believe that Ahmadiyyat recieved favors and was treated very well in accord with the anti-Islamic, anti-Indian behavior that it produced.

      3. In terms of the rewards of the Murrabi…I think all Ahmadi murrabis are rewarded for their work. Their children get free educations and etc. However, as you know..its not all peaches and cream. I knew of Zia Ul Haq Qausar 9aka Zucci)…he was supposed to be sent to Africa, however, he declined….

      4. In terms of trespassing…Ahmadis are famous for that. You people trespass Mecca and Medina regularly. Not to mention the USSR in the 1920’s…Ahmadis have their own laws and break the laws regularly in their attmept to sell their product.

      5. In the end….Mahmud Ahmad corresponded with the Brits and had his Murrabi saved from execution.

      5.a. Maulvi Zahoor Hussain cashed in on Ahmadiyyat…and all he had to do was sit in a jail for 2 years…

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