Sign of a Break-Away Sect

 بسم الله المحد لله و صلاة و سلام على سيدنا نحمد و على آله و سلم تسليما

What constitutes a break-away sect? What are its signs and characteristics? There are many, but here I will quickly focus on one.

One of the major characteristics of a break-away sect is that they tend to focus on a particular aspect of a religion (ie details, secondary aspects) and as if it is a major, over-arching theme that defines the entire religion.

Case and Point: All Muslims believe in the Messiah, ‘Esa bin Maryam عليه السلام, and that another person named Imam Mahdi, will be his contemporary and both will come towards the very end of the time. However, this is an eschatological detail, not the central theme of the religion. But in the Ahmadiyya faith, this aspect is the single, central defining theme of the faith, such that even its website cites that they are:

In other words, in their declaration of being Muslims, they felt the need to simultaneously declare that particularity that separates them from the traditional, orthodox Muslim community.

Of course, all break-away sects also focus on the major aspects of their respective faiths. But, their insistence on a particular interpretation of a particular detail as the over-arching theme that is invariably divergent from the mainstream is a strong indication that they are a break-away sect.

Finally, such sects follow a common pattern. For the first few generations they are able to place special emphasis on their particular interpretation of the detail. After two or three generations the interpretation is retained, but adherents focus more on the major elements of the faith. After a few more generations the particular interpretation is completely de-emphasized except for cultural or social reasons, and shortly afterwards adherents are resorbed back into the original group.

May Allah guide us all to what is True

و صلى الله سيدنا محمد و على آله و سلم

Ahmadiyya and the Era of Sectarianism

 بسم الله الحمد لله و صلاة و سلام على رسول الله و على آله و سلم

One of the most amazing aspects of Islamic history are the stages that the Muslim community passed through. It seems that in every generation a new issue arose that needed to be dealt with, and through Allah’s Lutf (subtle care) different personages and figures came to help stabilize the Ummah.

Such stages of Fitnah include:

  • The shock and instability after the death of the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم;
  • The four false prophets who arose in Arabia and subsequent wars with Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه;
  • The crusaders versus the numerous Muslims generals;
  • The Tatar invasion of Ghengis Khan when ‘Izz al-Din ibn ‘Abd al-Salam unified the Muslims;
  • You see this pattern repeated…

But what about the fitnah of Sectarianism?

If you read ahadith about the 73-sects, you might get this impression that you need to ask yourself which of the 73-sects you are upon? Which is true? Which am I? How do I know which is correct? Lets have a debate and find out! But then ask yourself, is sectarianism really the main problem in our times?

Sectarianism is a fitnah that the Muslim world primarily experienced 100-300 years after the departure of the noble Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم. During this period is when the Muslims divided into literally hundreds of small theological, political and social groups, each claiming to be the “True Islam”. Compounding the problem, many of those new ideologies held extremely compelling arguments in their favor – don’t think they were flimsy!

It was during that time that the masses were engaged in debate over the technicalities and subtleties of the Deen. Confusion was wide-spread, father and son, student and teacher, governor and subject, even two highly ranked scholars all would vehemently argue. Many were influenced by outside ideologies without even realizing it. Others embraced invented ideas wholeheartedly. Some new groups gained prominence, one even took control of the Khilafah!

But as Allah says in the Qur’an, “Travel through the land; then observe how was the end of the deniers.” If we reflect on this ayah, Allah is not calling on us to see how a splinter-sect thrived during its glory days, but how it ended. The vast majority of those sects and groups are no longer in existence today. Some burned out, most fell into obscurity with only a few thousand scattered followers nowadays. Alhumdu lillah, our generation was largely saved from that Fitnah.

At this moment, the vast majority of the Muslims follow “regular Islam”, version 1.0, and are at little risk of joining the remnants of a break-away group. What does this tell us? This is not the era of sectarianism or schisms. ‘Aqidah problems are rarely the immediate issue with contemporary Muslims. The debates are over, that fitnah has come and gone. And just as we do not need to excessively concern ourselves with past issues, we do not need to re-engage ourselves in questions of dogmatic belief that have already been answered. Islam does not need to be re-invented. Newly created arguments are exactly how break-away sects are formed in the first place! Instead we stand on the shoulders of giants to face the current issues that that plague our modern community.

But the Ahmadiyya religion seeks to re-open questions that, not only were answered centuries ago, are not subjects of contemporary debate and have no relevance to our modern times. They went as far as to publish this ludicrous lists of the “72 sects”, many of whom have not even existed in hundreds of years, but somehow allegedly came back into existence, managed to unify, all condemn Ahmadiyya, and then went back into non-existence. Convenient.

You tell me:

  • What is telling a woman who was raped by Qadaffi’s forces that, “by the way, the Mahdi came about 100 years ago, looks like everyone missed him”, going to do for her shattered self-esteem and self-respect?
  • What is a Somali man who watched all of his children die from starvation in the droughts going to do if you tell him, “Jesus is dead”.
  • What is a Chechen mother whose son “disappeared” going to do with your attempts to convince her that half of the Qur’an is a bunch of confusing metaphors whose correct understanding no one understood for 1300 years?

Clearly ‘Aqidah is not the primary issue of our times. But the “problems” Ahmadiyya attempts to solve are not on the minds of Muslims, nor are they even our concerns. No one is looking at a calendar thinking, “Man, so when is ‘Esa bin Maryam عليه السلام going to return?” My friends, you are dwelling on non-issues to a people who have more immediate concerns on their minds.

Just like every other break-away group that preceded it, Ahmadiyya has come, will run its course, and will eventually fade away.I am glad that our pious predecessors protected the religion from corruption during the era of sectarianism, and I pray for the forgiveness of those who were sincere but slipped into misguidance. May Allah guide us all to the Truth and keep us firm upon it.

و صلى الله على سيدنا محمد و على آله و سلم

Rasheed Sarpong Reverts to Islam

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

as-salaamu `alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh. We’re delighted to share with you another story of reversion to Islam from the Ahmadiyya cult and it gives me great pleasure to announce that it is my friend Rasheed Sarpong who has come back to Islam. This inspiring young man is a real role model, who it has been my privilege to know. Even when he was Qadiani for many years after my reversion, I always held him and his family in respect. because of his character. I had a feeling that one day, insha’Allah, he would be guided to the right path by Allah (SWT) and alhamdulillah, it happened.

Enjoy!

Qadiani Jesus

On Christmas Day, I attended the “Arise and Warn” event at the Memon Centre in South London, hosted by iERA. There I met Shaykh Suliman Gani, who invited me to give a talk at the Tooting Islamic Centre on Boxing Day. I accepted. Here is a large extract of that talk, but for the full version, properly recorded and edited, I recommend that you wait for the version filmed by MessageTV, in which you will find the proper beginning and full ending. For now, this should serve as a taster.

My apologies for the rustiness, I had not much time to prepare and this was my first public talk in quite a while.

Please note that the video source is 720p, so going full-screen should give you reasonable quality insha’Allah.

[Update: January 2, 2012, 2:39 PM – the server is getting hammered through demand, so we are uploading the video elsewhere to make the streaming experience a bit better, insha’Allah]

[Update: January 2, 2012, 4:42 PM] – we are still getting reports of slow streaming speed, so we have removed the video and we will fix the error and repost within the next 6 hours insha’Allah, thanks for your patience in the meantime]

[Update: January 2, 2012, 10:15 PM] – good news – the video has been shrunk a little and uploaded to a faster server, it should be OK now, insha’Allah]

[Update: February 25, 2012, 4:24PM] – the video is now from The Message TV, jazkallah khayran to all of the brothers there]


The Shirk of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

Shirk is regarded as a major sin in Islam and the chief major sin among the group. Shirk is the concept of the sin of polytheism specifically, and refers to worshipping other than Allah (SWT), associating partners with Him, giving His characteristics to other than Him, or not believing in His characteristics and Allah (SWT) knows best.

“Surely Allah does not forgive that anything should be associated with Him, and forgives what is besides that to whomsoever He pleases; and whoever associates anything with Allah, he devises indeed a great sin.”(The Holy Qur’an, Surah An-Nisa (4) Ayah 48)

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself acknowledges this as he says,

“…God will forgive every sin for whomsoever He wills, but He will not forgive Shirk – associating anything with Him.” (The Essence Of Islam, Volume 1, Page 89)

In 1907, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad gave a ruling on a belief that he considered was shirk.

“…It is rude to say that Jesus didn’t die, and it is indeed major shirk”. (Roohani Khazain, Volume 22, Haqiqat-Ul-Wahi, Page 660)

This is his opinion, his fatwa if you will that if an individual is holding such a belief then s/he is committing a grave sin in the form of shirk. However, earlier in his life in the year 1880, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad says,

“….But as a body of Muslims was firmly of the faith – and I too believed – that Jesus (AS) would descend from heaven… my earlier belief… which I had set down in Brahin-e-Ahmadiyyah… I was (then) convinced by several conclusive verses that Jesus Son of Mary (AS) had indeed died” (The Essence Of Islam, Volume 4, Page 46)

This is reiterated by A.R. Dard in his biography of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

“Ahmad (as) reiterated in the Brahin-e-Ahmadiyya, published in 1884, the popular belief that Jesus (as) was alive in the heavens and that he would come again to this world… It was in 1891, when God informed Ahmad (as) that Jesus (as) had died, that he changed his belief in this respect.” (Life Of Ahmad, Page 50 by A.R. Dard)

These standards of shirk were set by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself, not me, not you, not his opponents or anyone else for that matter. He believed it was shirk that Hazrat Isa (AS) was alive up until 1891. Therefore at least during the first fifty-six years of his life and the first fifteen years after supposedly being assigned as a “prophet”, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad believed Hazrat Isa (AS) was alive and was, in his own words, committing an unforgivable sin in the form of shirk.

If any Ahmadi can prove otherwise, I will remove this blog entry. This does not mean resorting to an ad-hominem argument by insulting me, attempting to belittle me or attacking what I believe and above all trying to find fault with the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) which many Ahmadi do when confronted by such a predicament.

It is as simple as this, did Mirza Ghulam Ahmad commit shirk? Do you believe it is possible for a Prophet of Allah (SWT) to commit shirk, the most heinous of sins, not only for a matter of seconds but a matter of years? If you believe he didn’t, please provide an explanation in light of the information above and I must reiterate, address the argument and the facts not the man.

Above all please do not insult the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) by suggesting guidance on this matter was not available or that he (SAW) erred in his life. In addition to this whether Jesus (AS) is alive or dead is secondary so please do not divert the topic. The matter we are discussing is shirk and the admission of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad that he was indulging in what he considered beliefs comprising shirk.

May Allah (SWT) guide us to the truth. Ameen.

Beliefs of the Early Muslims

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:

http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/misc/tahawi.htm
http://alghazzali.org/resources/articles/aqeedahNotes.pdf
http://www.central-mosque.com/aqeedah/tahawi.htm
http://www.alhaqq.net/AqeedahAtTahawiyyah.PDF

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!

[Ref 1] Welcome to Ahmadiyyat, The True Islam, page 205
http://www.alislam.org/books/ahmadiyyat/WelcomeBook2ndEd.pdf

Yalesh: The god of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

While I was engaged upon the compilation of this book, I received the revelation (Urdu): Yalesh – is the name of God Himself. This is a new word which is not found in this form in the Quran or hadith or in any dictionary. It has been disclosed to me that it connotes ya la shareek (O Thou without an associate).

Tohfa Golarviyya, p.69, footnote

Let’s humour the Qadianis for a while, shall we? Let’s imagine for a moment that this was a real revelation to a real prophet.

  1. Why was this name not revealed to the Last Prophet, Muhammad (saw)?
  2. Since when can an Arabic name be constructed in this way? Especially with the calling tool “ya” being incorporated into the amalgamated resultant mess? The calling tool “ya” simply cannot be used in this way as part of a proper name in Arabic.
  3. Why is the translation so deceptive? After all, “ya la shareek” means quite simply “Oh no associate”. If you wanted to say “Oh Thou without an associate” you would say ““ya man la shareek lahu” in Arabic.
  4. Never mind the nonsense “yalesh” or “yalash” or “yalaash”, why does the expression “ya la shareek” never appear in any Arabic text in history? Could it be because it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever?
  5. The names of Allah are part of the Islamic lexicon. No new names would have been revealed after the demise of the Last Prophet Muhammad (saw). This new name is proof that Qadianism is a new religion.

For more, please read brother Fuad’s excellent article.

Peace unto those who follow the guidance.

No Firm Basis for the Law-Bearing vs. non-Law-Bearing Prophet Distinction

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

Ahmadis believe that Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم is the Last Law-Bearing Prophet…  Wait, what?  Law-Bearing Prophets?  What’s that?  Non-Law-Bearing Prophets?  Huh?  Where is that distinction mentioned in the Qur’an?  Well, it isn’t.  Its a theory by some of the ‘Ulema of the subcontinent, employed by the Ahmadiyya.  Based on this they believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a “Non-Law-Bearing Prophet”.  This concept of law-bearing and non-law-bearing prophets is far too seldom critiqued.  Below is a discussion on the topic of law-bearing vs non-law-bearing prophets, and its (lack of) evidence in the Qur’an.

The following argument was taken from The Qur’anic Evidence: Truthfulness of The Promised Messiah, by Ansar Raza, Chapter 3, “The Possibility of Prophethood”, under Question 1.

Ahmadi Argument:

تِلْكَ الرُّسُلُ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ مِّنْهُم مَّن كَلَّمَ اللّهُ وَرَفَعَ بَعْضَهُمْ دَرَجَاتٍ وَآتَيْنَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَيَّدْنَاهُ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ وَلَوْ شَاء اللّهُ مَا اقْتَتَلَ الَّذِينَ مِن بَعْدِهِم مِّن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ وَلَكِنِ اخْتَلَفُواْ فَمِنْهُم مَّنْ آمَنَ وَمِنْهُم مَّن كَفَرَ وَلَوْ شَاء اللّهُ مَا اقْتَتَلُواْ وَلَكِنَّ اللّهَ يَفْعَلُ مَا يُرِيدُ

These messengers have We exalted some of them above others; among them there are those to whom Allah spoke; and some of them He exalted in degrees of rank. And We gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear proofs and strengthened him with the spirit of holiness. And if Allah had so willed, those that came after them would not have fought with one another after clear Signs had come to them; but they did disagree. Of them were some who believed, and of them were some who disbelieved. And if Allah had so willed, they would not have fought with one another; but Allah does what He desires.
– Muhammad ‘Ali translation, Surah Baqarah, Chapter 255

This verse hints at the two different kinds of prophets: law-bearing and non-law-bearing. Notice where the verse says, “among them there are those to whom Allah spoke”. There is no such thing as a prophet to whom Allah did not speak. So, this part of the verse refers to the laws which certain prophets received. These are the law-bearing prophets. The verse continues by saying “and some of them He exalted in degrees of rank.” This part of the verse refers to non-law-bearing Prophets, who were honored by Allah, but did not bring forth any laws for their nation to follow. This verse is evidence that the Qur’an speaks of law-bearing and non-law-bearing prophets.

Muslim Response:

This is an attempt by the Ahmadis to interpret the Qur’an according to their pre-conceived notions of what they want it to mean, rather than reading the text as-is.

The crux of the refutation of this argument lays in an important distinction between the methods Allah employs to communicate to his prophets. What is known from the Qur’an is that Allah sent inspiration to all of the Prophets, but did not necessarily speak to them all.

For example, in Surah Baqarah verses 164 and 165, Allah says:

إِنَّا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ كَمَا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَى نُوحٍ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ مِن بَعْدِهِ وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإْسْحَقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالأَسْبَاطِ وَعِيسَى وَأَيُّوبَ وَيُونُسَ وَهَارُونَ وَسُلَيْمَانَ وَآتَيْنَا دَاوُودَ زَبُورًا

وَرُسُلاً قَدْ قَصَصْنَاهُمْ عَلَيْكَ مِن قَبْلُ وَرُسُلاً لَّمْ نَقْصُصْهُمْ عَلَيْكَ وَكَلَّمَ اللّهُ مُوسَى تَكْلِيمًا

164. Surely, We have sent revelation to thee, as We sent revelation to Noah and the Prophets after him; and We sent revelation to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and his children and to Jesus and Job and Jonah and Aaron and Solomon, and We gave David a Book.

165. And We sent some Messengers whom We have already mentioned to thee and some Messengers whom We have not mentioned to thee – and to Moses Allah spoke at great length

In verse 164, the Qur’an says Allah sent revelation (أَوْحَيْنَا) to the prophets. Then, in verse 165, the Qur’an specifies that Allah spoke to Musa (كَلَّمَ اللّهُ مُوسَى). Notice the distinction between revelation and speech. This is because Musa was one of the few prophets who spoke to Allah directly, without the intermediary of an angel. For example, Surah Ta-Ha starting from verse 12, describes the entire conversation between Allah and Musa. Again in Surah Nisa verse 165 Allah speaks to Musa. Likewise, Allah spoke directly to the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم during the journey of al-Mi’raaj and even negotiated the daily prayers down to five.[1] [2] This is what is meant when Allah says he spoke directly to some of the prophets.

The verse continues by saying “and some of them He exalted in degrees of rank.” All prophets are honored, but some are honored above others. For example, al-Azam min ar-Rusul, the greatest from amongst the Prophets, are Muhammad, Ibrahim, Musa, ‘Esa and Nooh عليهم السلام.

The Ahmadis have attempted to interpret speech as laws, and honored as non-law-bearing. This outrageous extrapolation is simply not the meaning of the verse, cannot be implied from the text of verse, nor was the agreed upon by any of the traditional scholars of Islam.

Ahmadi Response:

وَمَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَن يُكَلِّمَهُ اللَّهُ إِلَّا وَحْيًا أَوْ مِن وَرَاء حِجَابٍ أَوْ يُرْسِلَ رَسُولًا فَيُوحِيَ بِإِذْنِهِ مَا يَشَاء إِنَّهُ عَلِيٌّ حَكِيمٌ

And it is not for a man that Allah should speak to him except by direct revelation, or from behind a veil, or by sending a messenger to reveal by His command what He pleases. Surely, He is High, Wise.

The Qur’an says that there are only three mediums Allah uses to communicate to humanity: through direct revelation, from behind a veil and through a messenger (ie, angel). There is no fourth medium. So, direct speech is not a valid medium of communication between Allah and his prophets. This implies that there was an intermediary between Muhammad and Musa عليها السلام in both examples, such as an angel.

Muslim Rebuttal:

When the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم spoke to Allah, he did not see him. He could only see the veil of light. [3] This is confirmed because Abu Musa al-Ash’ari رضي الله عليه said that the veil, separating Allah and the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم is light. [4]

Similarly, Surah Al-A’raaf verse 144 proves that Musa عليه السلام did not see Allah. And, Surah Ta-Ha does not suggest that there was any sort of angelic intermediary, whatsoever.

For those who place a sense of trust in classical Islamic scholarship, this interpretation is agreed upon by all of the books of Qur’an exegesis that I researched, such as Tafseer Jalalayn (written by someone whom the Ahmadis believe was a Mujaddid), Tafseer ar-Raazi, Tafseer Ibn Katheer (written by the student of someone whom the Ahmadis believe was a Mujaddid), Tafseer at-Tabari (one of the earliest books of Tafseer ever), and many others.

Next Ahmadi Argument:

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَا التَّوْرَاةَ فِيهَا هُدًى وَنُورٌ يَحْكُمُ بِهَا النَّبِيُّونَ الَّذِينَ أَسْلَمُواْ لِلَّذِينَ هَادُواْ وَالرَّبَّانِيُّونَ وَالأَحْبَارُ بِمَا اسْتُحْفِظُواْ مِن كِتَابِ اللّهِ وَكَانُواْ عَلَيْهِ شُهَدَاء فَلاَ تَخْشَوُاْ النَّاسَ وَاخْشَوْنِ وَلاَ تَشْتَرُواْ بِآيَاتِي ثَمَنًا قَلِيلاً وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ

Surely, We sent down the Torah wherein was guidance and light. By it did the Prophets, who were obedient to Us, judge for the Jews, as did the godly people and those learned in the Law, because they were required to preserve the Book of Allah, and because they were guardians over it. Therefore fear not men but fear Me; and barter not My signs for a paltry price. And whoso judges not by that which Allah has sent down, these it is who are the disbelievers.

– Surah Ma’idah, Verse 45

As the verse explains, first Allah sent the Torah, through a law-bearing prophet, that contained the laws for the Jews to follow. Then, he sent a succession of non-law-bearing prophets who judged according to the Torah. This verse implicitly explains the distinction between law-bearing and non-law-bearing prophets.

Muslim Response:

If this verse was taken in isolation, the Ahmadis would have a tenable position, but further analysis weakens their belief.

According to the Ahmadis, ‘Esa bin Maryam عليه السلام is a “non-law-bearing prophet.”[5] It is true that he came to confirm the Torah. But, consider Surah Ale ‘Imraan verse 51, where ‘Esa bin Maryam عليه السلام says:

وَمُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَلِأُحِلَّ لَكُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي حُرِّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَجِئْتُكُم بِآيَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ فَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُونِ

‘And I come fulfilling that which is before me, namely, the Torah; and to allow you some of that which was forbidden unto you, and I come to you with a Sign from your Lord; so fear Allah and obey me;’

This verse brings forth three objections to the Ahmadi position. First, while ‘Esa bin Maryam عليه السلام fulfills the Torah, but per the mandate of Allah, he also modified and altered the existing laws. Some of the scholars of Islam comment that this means he allowed certain foods that were previously impermissible and made work permissible on their Sabbath. Either way, he was authorized to modify law. This would effectively make him a “law-bearing” prophet.

Second, consider that in the Islamic legal system there are two sources of law: the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم, preserved through the books of hadith. The obligation to obey the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم is outlined in dozens of verse, such as Surah Alee ‘Imraan verse 133 where Allah says:

وَأَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

And obey Allah and the Messenger that you may be shown mercy.

Allah used the word أَطِيعُواْ, the command form of the word obey, and from this one can gather that it is legally incumbent upon all Muslims to obey his commandments. Next, consider that this same root-word is used with regards to ‘Esa bin Maryam عليه السلام. He tells the Bani Isra’eel to fear Allah and َأَطِيعُونِ (obey me). The obligation upon Bani Isra’eel to obey ‘Esa bin Maryam عليه السلام makes him a “law-bearing” prophet just as the obligation upon the Muslims to obey the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم, in addition to the Qur’an, makes him a “law-bearing” prophet.

This analysis is not specific to ‘Esa bin Maryam عليه السلام. Even if not all prophets were given revelatory scriptures, all prophets gave orders, and their commandments were incumbent upon their communities, thus making them all “law-bearing” prophets.[6]

And We have sent no Messenger but that he should be obeyed by the command of Allah. And if they had come to thee, when they had wronged their souls, and asked forgiveness of Allah, and the Messenger also had asked forgiveness for them, they would have surely found Allah Oft-Returning with compassion, and Merciful.
– Surah Nisa’ Verse 65

Conclusion:

It is entirely possible that there is a distinction between law-bearing and non-law-bearing prophets, and even some modern Muslim scholars have commented on this idea. But, any conclusion thereof stems from deduction, not manifest evidence.

Even if there truly is a distinction between law-bearing and non-law-bearings prophets, there is no concise explanation anywhere in the Qur’an. But, such a distinction is foundational to Ahmadiyya, as Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed to be a “non-law-bearing” prophet. If Ahmadiyya is the True Islam, as they claim, that would mean Allah mistakenly left out a fundamental pillar required to accept one of his later prophets, or ciphered this belief in what seems to be otherwise unrelated verses, effectively dumbfounding the masses of those who believe in the Qur’an sending them to hellfire.

No, the guidance from Allah is clear. The concept of “law-bearing” and “non-law-bearing” prophets does not exist anywhere in the Qur’an. Any argument which uses this as a pillar rests on weak grounds and is subject to dismissal, including the entire Ahmadiyya religion.

May Allah guide our Ahmadi friends to Islam.


Sources Cited:
[1] Saheeh Muslim, Book 1, Hadith 309

[2] The Prophet’s صلى الله عليه و سلم advisor was Musa عليه السلام. Some comment that this is because Musa عليه السلام had previous experience in speaking directly to Allah.

[3] Saheeh Muslim, Book 1, Hadith 341

[4] Saheeh Muslim, Book 1, Hadith 343

[5] Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth by Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Part VII, “Attempts to Philosophically Justify the Finality of Non-law-bearing Prophethood”