The Government of Saudi Arabia and the Ahmadiyya Khilafat

IMPORTANT NOTE. This article contains my personal views. I note down some facts as I heard them or noticed them. This is in no way an ‘official’ research. All mistakes would be my own. You can of course make your own conclusions.

I give here various ‘happenings’ and you can then make your own conclusions.


In March 1958, Zafarullah Khan performed Umrah and, at the same time, visited the shrine of Prophet Muhammad in Medina, Saudi Arabia. During his visit, he met with the King of Saudi Arabia Saud of Saudi Arabia, and stayed at the Royal Palace as a personal guest of the king. In 1967, he returned to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in a lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so.

Muhammad Zafarullah Khan – Wikipedia

Of course the King of Saudi Arabia at the time knew fully well that Sir Zafarullah Khan was an active member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

What changed? King Faisal was playing with the idea of having himself declared Khalifa of the Muslim World. During the Islamic Summit in 1974 in Pakistan King Faisal asked Idi Amin to bring forward the suggestion. it was opposed by Col. Qaddafi and others and ‘did not take off’. But anyway, King Faisal could not have another Khalifa in the Muslim World and therefore he had to get the Ahmadiyya Khalifa ‘kicked out’ of the Ummah of Muslims. A small bribe to the whisky drinking Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto did the trick.

Any proofs of Saudi Involvement? Not directly as per paragraph above, but let me give you two stories. The first is actually well known.

The Governor General of The Gambia was invited to Pakistan by the then President General Zia ul Haq. This story was told us by a relative of his who joined the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. During the visit General Zia ul Haq offered The Gambia the financing and construction of a hospital. He however had a ‘small condition’. The condition was that all Ahmadi Missionaries, teachers and doctors should be expelled from the country. The Governor General refused, saying that when the Ahmadis came to build hospitals and schools they made no conditions. You are welcome to build a hospital, but only without condition.

Now the next story actually no one told me and it is just my own personal conclusion. I made a business trip to Senegal and resided in the best 5 star hotel. A plaque in the hotel mentioned ‘donated by King Fahd’. The hotel was donated and constructed before an Islamic Summit was held in Senegal. Well, interestingly Senegal had kicked out all Pakistani Ahmadi missionaries and teachers before the Hotel was completed. The only one and only Pakistani origin missionary who remained had a Gambian passport and therefore could not be expelled so easily. Sounds very familiar as to the story above from The Gambia.

And then we know of the Wikileaks Saudi Cables. quote …

WikiLeaks ‘Saudi Cables’ reveal secret push to stop Ahmadiyya in Indonesia


EHSAN REHANJune 28, 2015, 1:53 PM

Whistle-blowing website Wikileaks has published more than 60,000 secret documents from Saudi Arabia and said that it had more than half a million additional documents that it will be releasing in the upcoming weeks as part of the “Saudi Cables”.

The secretive organization, headed by 43-year-old Australian Julian Assange, was launched in December 2006. The organization facilitates the anonymous leaking of secret information through its website to expose the wrongdoing of governments and corporations.

The Saudi Cables include identification cards, visa requests and summaries of news media coverage of the kingdom. The most informative are diplomatic cables from Saudi embassies around the world to the foreign ministry, many of which are then passed along to the office of the king for final decisions.

The files, in Arabic, have mostly received a minimal amount attention in the United States press. However, multiple independent journalists around the world have been translating the documents to uncover revelations. Two of the cables reveal the secret role Saudi Arabia has been playing in stopping the spread of the persecuted Ahmadiyya Muslim sect, specifically in Indonesia.Late Saudi Crown Prince Naif bin Abdil Aziz

One of the cables which is dated March 14, 2012 and is written by the late Saudi Crown Prince Naif bin Abdil Aziz in reply to the several letters and reports received by the Prince from the Head of the Royal Court, Minister of Foreign Affairs and The Saudi Embassy in Jakarta relating to the activities of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Indonesia.

The cable reads that “the issue of the Ahmadiyya was discussed by the preparatory committee of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs which came up with a plan to set up practical programs with the help of  the Foreign Ministry, Ministry of the Islamic Affairs and the Supreme Islamic Council of Indonesia to stop the spread of Ahmadiyya in Indonesia. ”

The cable further reads that “Saudi Embassy in Jakarta should be instructed to explain the danger of Ahmadiyya to the Indonesian Government”.

On 23rd April 2012 just a month after the letter from then Crown Prince Naif bin Abdil Aziz a mob of Islamic extremists brutally attacked an Ahmadi mosque in the village of Cipakat in the town of Singaparna in West Java, Indonesia. The attack was attended by at least 80 people affiliated with local Islamic extremist movements, the building was repeatedly hit with rocks and stones, while some of the assailants stormed into the building destroying objects.

File - In this Tuesday, May 11, 2010 file photo, Saudi King Abdullah bin Abd al-Aziz, salutes as he arrives to the opening of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) consultative summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain said Wednesday, March 5, 2014 that they have recalled their ambassadors from the Gulf nation of Qatar over its alleged breach of a regional security deal in the clearest sign yet of the rift among Gulf Arab countries over Islamists in the region. Tensions have been brewing between Gulf countries and Qatar since Egyptians ousted President Hosni Mubarak and Qatarís massive financial and public support for his successor, Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, stood at odds with the UAE and Saudi Arabiaís policies. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)
Former Saudi King Abdullah bin Abd al-Aziz

The second cable is from the former Saudi King “Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud” and is in reply to the first cable by the Crown Prince “Naif bin Abdil Aziz”.

In the cable which is dated 15 May 2012 the King recommends that the Crown Prince take following actions concerning the Ahmadiyya in Indonesia.

  1. Monitor and follow up on the developments occurring in Indonesia concerning the Ahmadiyya Community by the Kingdom’s Embassy in (Jakarta).
  2. (Have) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advise the international Islamic organizations to issue a statement that clarifies where they stand on this (Ahmadiyya) community.
  3. Follow up with Ministry of Islamic Affairs and ask Preachers for Endowments, Call and Guidance and the Muslim World League to warn against this (Ahmadiyya) community and its ideologies, while avoiding violence against its members.
  4. Have The Kingdom’s Embassy in (Jakarta) continue its support of the Supreme Islamic Council of Indonesia for Islamic Propagation (Islamic Dawa) in order to face this (Ahmadiyya) community and inform the Indonesian government of their position (beliefs).

The author of the first cable Crown Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz who served as Deputy Prime Minister and President of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs died in June, 2012 while the author of the second cable King Abdullah died aged 90 in January, 2015.  After his death his half-brother Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud became the King of Saudi Arabia. And In April 2015 King Salman appointed Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz’s son Muhammad bin Nayef as Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia which makes him first in line to the throne of Saudi Arabia.

Hardline Islamic groups in Indonesia want the Ahmadiyya Muslim sect to be banned – they say it deviates from the tenets of Islam, and therefore has no place in Indonesian society.

Over the past few years these hardliners have become increasingly vocal in their demands – holding rallies in central Jakarta and airing their views in the media.

In August 2010 then Indonesian Minister of Religious Affairs Suryadharma Ali was quoted as saying that Ahmadiyya “must be disbanded immediately”. If not, “problems would continue”.

In February 2011, a violent mob bludgeoned three Ahmadi Muslims to death. Since then, houses and mosques have been attacked and protesters have vowed to escalate the violence if they do not get their way.

It is these Hardline Islamic groups that the Saudi Government wants to use to exert pressure on the Indonesian government to restrict the Ahmadiyya activities in Indonesia.

Another separate cable notes various items of payment to a range of publications in Indonesia, with amounts ranging from $US3,000 to $10,000. There is talk about expanding the involvement of the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information via massive subscriptions to newspapers such as Kompas and the Jakarta Post.


This is just one example. Of course the same thing happened in all other countries. In Africa for instance there was one Pakistani paid by the Saudis to lobby the Government to make difficulties for the Ahmadis. This may sound like a joke, but it is true. The Wahabi Pakistani did not manage anything. Finally he approached the Pakistani Ahmadi Missionary for help to get an appointment with the Government Minister. The Ahmadi Pakistani Missionary felt sorry for the guy and agreed. He gave a call to the Minister and asked him to kindly see the Wahabi guy, which he did.

Conclusion. Until 1974 the Saudis did not have anything against the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. I have been to Hajj 3 times and Umrah another couple of times. Let’s face it. The people of Makkah over the centuries are used to many different kind of Muslims, with whom dogmatically the do not really agree with, like for instance also the Shias, but also others. But in the interest of Islamic Unity (and Hajj revenues, ok) they tolerate all of them, well all of us. Only when King Faisal was playing with the idea of having himself declared as Khalifa did it change. (Proof of Sir Zafrullah Khan being guest of the King, and others).

Another reason I suppose also did as the members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community respect their own Khalifa as the ultimate religious authority (for them), of course they would not consider the Saudis to have that authority, a thought the Saudis up to now cannot bear (even without the issue of an Islamic Khalifa).

Again, please note. The above are just my own thoughts and conclusions. You can of course have different views. Please feel free to add them in the comment section.

Rafiq A. Tschannen …

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