Nigeria: Why Ahmadiyya, Orthodox Muslims Differ (1)

All Unlike most Muslims, Ahmadis believe that their sect’s founder, a 19th century Indian named Mizra Ghulam Ahmad, was a prophet. This and other theological disputes have brought charges of heresy against Ahmadis, particularly in Pakistan, where the sect has endured more than 50 years of discrimination and violence. Ahmadis are banned from calling themselves Muslims or referring to their religious establishments as ‘mosques.’ In May 2010, the Hamadiyya community suffered its worst attack when 86 people were gunned down in an hour-long siege of two mosques in Lahore. In the aftermath of last year’s flood, some displaced Ahmadis were denied aid.

Ahmadiyya is an Islamic religious movement founded in India near the end of the 19th century, originating with the life and teachings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908), who claimed to have fulfilled the prophecies about the world reformer of the end times, who was to herald the Eschaton as predicted in the traditions of various world religions and bring about the final triumph of Islam as regards Islamic prophecy.

He claimed that he was the Mujaddid (divine reformer) of the 14th Islamic century, the promised Messiah and Mahdi awaited by Muslims.

According to the National leader of the Ahmadiyyah Muslim Jama’at of Nigeria, Dr. Moshood Adenrele Fashola, the adherents of the Ahmadiyya movement are referred to as Ahmadis or Ahmadi Muslims. Ahmadi emphasis lay in the belief that Islam is the final law for humanity as revealed to Muhammad. In addition, it upholds the necessity of restoring to it its true essencze and pristine form, which had been lost through the centuries. Thus, Ahmadis view themselves as leading the revival and peaceful propagation of Islam. The Ahmadis were among the earliest Muslim communities to arrive in Britain and other Western countries.

But soon after the death of the first successor of Ghulam Ahmad, the movement split into two groups over the nature of Ghulam Ahmad’s prophethood and his succession. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believed that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had indeed been a “non-law-bearing” prophet and that mainstream Muslims who categorically rejected his message were guilty of disbelief in Islamic prophecies.


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