Ahmadiyya (; officially, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community or the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at; Arabic: الجماعة الإسلامية الأحمدية, transliterated: al-Jamā'ah al-Islāmiyyah al-Aḥmadiyyah; Urdu: احمدیہ مسلم جماعت) is an Islamic revival or messianic movement founded in Punjab, British India, in the late 19th century. It originated with the life and teachings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835–1908), who claimed to have been divinely appointed as both the promised Mahdi (Guided One) and Messiah expected by Muslims to appear towards the end times and bring about, by peaceful means, the final triumph of Islam; as well as to embody, in this capacity, the expected eschatological figure of other major religious traditions. Adherents of the Ahmadiyya—a term adopted expressly in reference to Muhammad's alternative name Aḥmad—are known as Ahmadi Muslims or simply Ahmadis.
Ahmadi thought emphasizes the belief that Islam is the final dispensation for humanity as revealed to Muhammad and the necessity of restoring it to its true intent and pristine form, which had been lost through the centuries. Its adherents consider Ahmad to have appeared as the Mahdi—bearing the qualities of Jesus in accordance with their reading of scriptural prophecies—to revitalize Islam and set in motion its moral system that would bring about lasting peace. They believe that upon divine guidance he purged Islam of foreign accretions in belief and practice by championing what is, in their view, Islam's original precepts as practised by Muhammad and the early Muslim community. Ahmadis thus view themselves as leading the propagation and renaissance of Islam.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad established the Community (or Jamā'at) on 23 March 1889 by formally accepting allegiance from his supporters. Since his death, the Community has been led by a number of Caliphs and has spread to 210 countries and territories of the world as of 2017 with concentrations in South Asia, West Africa, East Africa, and Indonesia. The Ahmadis have a strong missionary tradition and formed the first Muslim missionary organization to arrive in Britain and other Western countries. Currently, the Community is led by its Caliph, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, and is estimated to number between 10 and 20 million worldwide.
The population is almost entirely contained in the single, highly organized and united movement. However, in the early history of the Community, a number of Ahmadis broke away over the nature of Ahmad's prophetic status and succession and formed the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islam, which today represents a small fraction of all Ahmadis. Some Ahmadiyya-specific beliefs have been thought of as opposed to current conceptions of Islamic orthodoxy since the movement's birth, and some Ahmadis have subsequently faced persecution. Many Muslims consider Ahmadi Muslims as either kafirs or heretics, an animosity sometimes resulting in murder. The term Qādiyānī is often used pejoratively to refer to the movement and is used in some countries' official documents.
Similar to mainstream Islamic views, the Ahmadiyya Movement consider Jesus was a mortal man, but go a step further to describe Jesus as a mortal man who died a natural death in India - as opposed to having been raised up alive to Heaven.
According to the late 19th Century writings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement,
the theological basis of the Ahmadi belief is that Jesus was only “in a swoon” when he was taken down from the cross. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad interpreted the phrase in Deuteronomy 21:31: kī qilelat Elohim taluy, “… for a hanged man is the curse of God”, as suggesting that "God would never allow one of His true prophets to be brutally killed in such a degrading manner as crucifixion". Following his ordeal, Jesus was cured of his wounds with a special ointment known as the 'ointment of Jesus' (marham-i ʿIsā).
After his Resurrection from the tomb, Jesus had fled Palestine to avoid recapture and journeyed towards India. Jesus later settled in (what is now) Kashmir where he died a natural death of old age, and was laid to rest in Srinagar, Kashmir. The prophet Yuz Asaf said to be entombed there (at what is today known as the Roza Bal) is said to be that of Jesus of Nazareth.
According to ancient manuscripts and Kashmiri tradition, Yuz Asaf is said to have been a Prophet who had miraculous healing powers and had travelled from Palestine during the 1st century.
Selected Religious Figure
Mirza Mahmood Ahmad Khalifatul Masih II
Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad (Urdu: مرزا بشیر الدین محمود احمد)(born January 12, 1889 in Qadian; died November 7, 1965 in Rabwah), was the second caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. He was given the title of Khalifatul Masih II. He was elected to this office at the young age of 25 on 14 March 1914, the day after the death of his predecessor, Hakim Noor-ud-Din. He is known for establishing the organizational structure of the community, improvement of the administration of the community, a ten volume commentary on the Qur'an and extensive missionary activity outside the subcontinent of India. He was a renowned orator and was also an active political figure especially in pre-partition India. Mahmood Ahmad is regarded by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community as the Musleh Maood, the 'Promised Son' that Ghulam Ahmad foretold God would bestow upon him.
The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam is an essay on Islam by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, founder of the Ahmadiyya religious movement. The original was written in Urdu with the title Islami Usool ki Falāsifi, in order to be read at the Conference of Great Religions held at Lahore on December 26–29, 1896. It explicitly deals with the following five broad themes with detail set by the moderators of the Conference:
- the physical, moral, and spiritual states of man;
- what is the state of man after death?
- the object of man's life and the means of its attainment;
- the operation of the practical ordinances of the Law in this life and the next;
- sources of Divine knowledge
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