A response to “The Apostates of Pakistan” by Aakar Patel | Lutf Islam

Credit: The Horizon via Wasim Sroya of Selvenia:


Aakar Patel’s recently published article “The apostates of Pakistan” was penned a couple years ago, but did not see the light of day until now. He states the reason for this delay as reluctance of seemingly liberal Pakistani English language papers to publish some material. Reading through the piece, I could easy spot a number of problems that an editor may see with the article. It mentions the persecution of the Ahmadis in Pakistan, it also tries to explain Ahmadiyya beliefs, history and the bigotry of Pakistani society. The editors may have imagined a backlash from many of their conservative readers. An influential section of Pakistani society has always managed to keep this topic out of public eye for decades. But, as an Ahmadi, I would have sent the article back to Mr. Patel with red lines all over the text, for factual inaccuracies, incomplete research and almost slanderous accusations. Let me say that I admire Mr. Patel’s attempt to look into the Ahmadiyya history to give a fresh perspective to his readers. I wish more people could go to the source materials and inform and educate their readers. I also hope that they make a better job of it.Mr. Patel narrates a vision received by Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which is recorded in in his own writings as follows;

“I presented the document containing divine decrees for attestation and He, Who was manifesting Himself in the form of a Ruler, dipped His pen in red ink and first flicked it in my direction and with the rest of the red ink which remained at the point of the pen He put His signature to the document. Thereupon, the state of vision came to an end and when I opened my eyes to look at the material world around me, I witnessed several red drops falling on my clothes. 2 or 3 of the drops also fell on the cap of one ‘Abdullah of Sanaur (Patiala State) who was at the time sitting close to me. Thus, the red ink which was part of the vision materialized externally and became visible. Many other such manifestations have been witnessed which it would take too long to relate. ”

According to the Mr. Patel

“ This message from God qualified Ahmad as a prophet.”

The claim of Hadhrat Ahmad as being a prophet did not originate from this experience. In fact such spiritual experiences had started in 1870s when he was still an unknown man, immersed in worship and religious studies. He received many revelations confirming his status as a prophet from 1882. But he did not claim to be the “Promised Messiah” until 1891, when he also revealed that Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) had passed away and he was appointed as the Promised Messiah by God. The status of Promised Messiah according to Quran and Hadith is that of a subordinate (Ummati) prophet.

Continuing in the very next paragraph Mr. Patel contradicts himself by stating “Despite his visions, Mirza Ahmad personally did not claim prophethood.”

Hadhrat Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi (pbuh) wrote a book to remove any misconceptions about his claim to be an Ummati Prophet called “Aik Ghalti ka Izala“. He writes

“Wherever I have denied being a Prophet or Messenger, it has only been in the sense that I have not brought an independent law nor am I an independent Prophet. I am a Messenger and Prophet only in the sense that I have received spiritual grace from the Messenger (pbuh) whom I follow, and, having received his name for myself, and through him, I have received knowledge of the unseen from God. But I have not come with a new law. I have never denied being called a Nabi (Prophet) in this sense. Indeed it is in this very sense that God has addressed me as  Nabi and Rasul; and it is in this sense that I do not deny being a Nabi or Rasul” (A misconception removed, page 10)

The above is just one example of how Aakar Patel has not done justice to his article by including opinions which could have benefited from some proper research. He also states that Hadhrat Ahmad (pbuh) denouced Judaism and Christianity as error. Islam considers both Judaism and Christianity as true faiths corrupted by their followers. Hadhrat Ahmad (as) made his claims at the time when Christian missionary effort in India was at its peak. He held debates with prominent Christian missionaries of his time and showed to the world that Islam was a perfect religion. He also challenged various Hindu revivalists of his time as they also attacked Islam.

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