“The Ahmadis of Islam: A Mormon Encounter and Perspective” by Garth N. Jones

The Ahmadis of Islam


Original PDF:  The Ahmadis of Islam

The Ahmadis of Islam: A Mormon Encounter and Perspective

Garth N. Jones

GARTH N. JONES, a professor of public policy and administration at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, delivered an earlier version of this paper at the Mormon History Association, Provo, Utah, May 1984. He has resided for long periods in Pakistan and Indonesia, either as a U.S. foreign service officer or as a consultant with the U.S. Agency for International Development, United Nations, or World Bank. He has taught at several universities abroad including the University of Gadjah Mada (Indonesia), University of the Punjab (Pakistan), and National Chengchi University (Taiwan). Special thanks go to the following persons who offered constructive comments: Lee L. Bean, University of Utah; Donna Lee Bowen, Brigham Young University; Shafik Hashmi, Quad-i-Azam University, Pakistan; Khalil A. Nasir, Long Island University; Maqsud Ul Hasan Nuri, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Krishna Tummala, Montana State University.

As THE CHURCH MOVES INTO SOCIETIES AND CULTURES never a significant part of its historical past, it will encounter new configurations of religion that it must understand to achieve its prophetic promise. Countries that have little or no tradition of Christianity are particularly challenging since missionaries and prospective investigators seldom have a large fund of shared experience upon which to draw in constructive dialogue.

In the case of Islam, the new Mormon encounters have generated particularly confusing perplexities. Muslim communities have long histories of resistance to Christian intrusions. Unlike other great world religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, Islam was a bearer of civilization to far-flung regions of the world and its zealots almost brought Europe within its fold. Today’s Muslims have not forgotten this glorious epoch (Cox 1981, 73-80). Currently, fervent re-Islamization is sweeping the Islamic world. Nearly 800 million followers — one out of six people — of this great faith are to be found in more than seventy nations, including the Soviet Union and China. Islam is the second largest religion in Europe with 1.5 million adherents in the British Isles alone. Its present rate of growth exceeds that of Christianity. In the last two decades, for example, the number of African Muslims has doubled; over half of Africa, at this rate of growth, will soon be Muslim (Jansen 1979, 16-19).

This emerging situation presents serious consequences for Christian proselyters in Muslim countries. There is often no separation of church and state (or a separation that exists only on paper) and hence no protection for religious groups that are seen as heretical and dissident. Furthermore, while proselyting is illegal in most Muslim countries, it can also be illegal for an individual to change his or her religion or marry outside Islam (Jones 1982, 80—81; Katz and Katz 1975, 679-81). “Apostasy [is] a form of treason” (Abbott 1968, 154; M. Z. Khan n.d.c; Chaudhry 1983).

In this context, the history and status of a major dissident movement in Islam, Ahmadiyyat, presents some interesting parallels with Mormonism which, despite almost a century’s serious attention to accommodation within the American mainstream, is still frequently characterized as a non-Christian sect or even cult (“Anti-Mormons” 1983; Barlow 1979; Kirban 1971). It is interesting that nineteenth-century Christians, seeking terms to convey their repulsion for the Mormons, so frequently compared them to “Mohammadans” (Kinney 1912; Green and Goldrup 1971; Green 1983).



10 replies

  1. Interesting! The author concludes;

    “For me, Ghulam Ahmad and Joseph Smith were both inspiring men who accepted without any equivocation their respective divine missions as restorers and prophets of their faiths”.

    But did Joseph Smith ever claim to be messenger of God in any connotation as founder of Ahmadiyya?

    From my observation.
    1 Ahmadiyaah has recognised Masshish (Ahmahdi) has came. Ghulam Ahmad and Joseph Smith
    2. Ahmadiyyah goal is in spiritual closeness with God, but neglect / ignore to strengthen the economy or prosperity.

    3. Mormon goal is in spiritual closness with God and strive for prosperity. They think that those who do not successed to live in peradise on earth, will not successed to have paradise in Next life.

    4. Requirement to be a cleric (a priest) / preacher has to be successful in business as a role model for his followers.

    Honestly, Mormon preachers who follow our prophet Muhammad pbuh how to earn money and as a role model who practice his religion rightly. In apposite most Islamic clerics including Ahmadiyyah around the world neglect this most important thing in religion of Islam ( Abraham faith).
    So we are not wondering if we see Muslim live in poverty on other words, Muslim’s life are not productive— but consumtive— very sad—misleading— Islamic clerics should be blamed—

    May Allah guide out clerics to the right path of Islam . Amin
    With ❤️

  3. Hard work has always formed part of Christian teachings, especially so in the Protestant Sects of Northern Europe, with its puritan lifestyle. This can also be found in the Amish of North America, and some other groups. It isn’t about making money and becoming rich, rather that idleness is frowned upon.

    • Yes, it is not making money but main goal is prosperity .
      Life in poverty is closer to the Hell. Allah prefer Muslim live in prosperity to poverty. Do not you agree it?

    • If Ahmadiyyah is like Mormon namely to strive ( jihad) to strengthen economy of Muslim by doing trading, bussiness, self employment employment etc and also stop collecting money ftom poor Muslim as obligation, I will join Ahmadiyyaa for sure.

      Following Mormon as if we follow the sunnah how to earn money namely by trading, self employment, become a bussiness man.

      Look at the Bussiness Mormon in the world, very amazing and impressive indeed. Many hotels around the corner of the world. Many facturies can provide many jobs for its member.

      Hopefully young Ahmadiyyah can change the strategy of struggling to achieve the main goal of Islamic teaching namely: 1. The excellent spiritual closeness with Allah , 2. The prosperity of people who live on earth.

      Let us pray to Allah, insya Allah
      With ❤️

      • aha … Somi does not want to sacrifice. The Ismaili community of the Aga Khan I think are following to a large extent what Somi says, striving in business also. But as one follower explained to me: “Why should I not let the Aga Khan share with my business success when it was he who gave me the business advice.” In other words, they strive for business and sacrifice for their Jama’at also.

  4. Jemaah Ahmadiyyah should provide Jobs for poor Muslim in order they can live in prosperity and then pay charity to Ahmadiyyah.
    Do not ask or obligate the poor Muslim FIRST in the name of Islam or dacrifice to pay obligation to Jemaah. I think it is wrong Raffiq?

    • Somi does not understand the benefit of Sadaqah. OK, Inshallah I will find some articles on this subject for you.

  5. I know well about sadaqah ( charity), Zakat as obligation.
    If a member of Ahmadiyyah pay zakat to Ahmadiyya. It is fine. But a poor Muslim do not subjected to Zakat or tax. Only those who has profit of his business in one year.

    As we know that Islam is a religion of freedom , no obligation at all. Only the extremist clerics force people to implement syariah law under the name of Islam. This is misleading Muslim who do not know about Islam well.

    Sadaqah ( charity) is volunterr, —zakat or tax is obligation.
    Whereas our prophet forbid to do such as obligation.

    Raffiq. You are a good example for young Ahmadiyyah, you do follow the sunnah, I am proud of you to have a good bussiness in Indonesia, Lombok. Wow👍
    Hopefully you inspire young Ahmadiyyah how to earn miney for living. I keep your website in case I have a chance to go to Indinesia. Insya Allah
    ❤️ Have a good day.

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