The Incoherence of an ‘Ahistorical’ Worldview – Ahmadiyya Muslims, Part 2

(Part 1 of this series can be found, here)

Mirza Ghulum Ahmad’s self-understanding as the ‘Promised Messiah’ and incarnation of all prophets

Professor Adil Hussain Khan sums up the extraordinary self-understanding of the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslims, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad:

I would argue that the totality of this unprecedented combination of divinely bestowed honors truly reflected Ghulam Ahmad’s extraordinary self-image. He unreservedly propagated his mission and teachings in this fashion with no regard for potential inconsistencies. He saw his status as exceptional, august, and utterly unique, wholly different from those who came before him. He believed that he was the fulfillment of all previous divine prophecies of the latter days and the culmination of every true religious tradition.[1]

Ahmad’s self-understanding is directly tied to his ahistorical worldview. By inserting himself into and claiming the prophecies of both the Bible and the Qur’an for himself, that of the Promised Messiah and the Madhi, Ahmad creates a narrative that does not correlate to the texts or history, and thereby elevates himself to prophet status by proclaiming:

“…God has revealed unto me that the real promised Messiah who is also the Mahdi, tidings of whose appearance are to be found in the Bible and the Holy Qur’an and whose coming is also promised in the ahadith is none other than myself…I alone am the light of this age of darkness. He who follows me will be saved from falling into the pits prepared by the Devil for those who walk in the dark.” [2]

Like a drum roll, these self-proclamations, “God has revealed unto me,” “God almighty has conveyed to me…”, are repeated extensively throughout his writings.

However, Ahmad not only proclaims himself to be the Promised Messiah (and Mahdi), but also the incarnation of all prophets of all time!

No prophets came into this world whose name was not given to me. In Burahin-i-Ahmadiya God has affirmed me as Adam, Noah, Ibrahim, Ishaque, Yaqub, Ismail, Moses, Dawud, Isa, son of Mary, and Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). I am the incarnation of all those Prophets.” [3]

One of Ahmad’s most bizarre claims concerns God giving him the name of Mariam, the mother of Jesus, and then claiming to have become pregnant, metaphorically speaking, and subsequently giving birth to himself as Christ:

“In the third Vol. of Baraheen Ahmadiyya he (God) named me as Mariam. Then, as is evident from Baraheen… I was reared in the image of Mary for two years… Then I was filled with the soul of Christ and I became pregnant in a metaphorical sense. At last after a period of many months – I was delivered from Mary into the form of Christ… Hence in this way I became the Son of Mary.” [4]

It must be noted here that the rationalizing of Ahmad’s extreme claims by his followers is almost always through the ‘metaphorical’ lens. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy explains the dynamics of metaphor: “When we resort to metaphor, we contrive to talk about two things at once; two different and disparate subject matters are mingled to rich and unpredictable effect.”

By relegating Ahmad’s truth claims to ‘metaphorically speaking,’ both Ahmad and his followers have no base line to distinguish between that which is true and that which is false, as within a metaphorical world any claim can be rationalized. When Jesus stood before the Sanhedrin and was asked, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” Jesus didn’t respond by saying, “Well, metaphorically speaking, I am.” He was clear in who He was: “I am (THE Christ, the Son of the Blessed), and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven,” (Mark 14:61–62)

Unlike Ahmad’s claims which are cloaked in metaphor and result in an “unpredictable effect”, Jesus’ claims as the Messiah, the Christ, were unambiguous and unequivocal, leaving no room for misinterpretation.

Ahmad also extended his ‘incarnational’ status to that of Krishna in the Haqiqat-ul-Wahi:

“I am Krishna whose advent the Aryans are waiting for in these days. I do not make this claim on my own. God Almighty has conveyed to me repeatedly that I am Krishna, King of the Aryans, who was to appear in the latter days.” [5]

Ahmad asserts that God “has told me repeatedly that I am Krishna of the Hindus and the promised Messiah for the Muslims and Christians…Spiritually, Krishna and the promised Messiah are one and the same person.”[6] Ahmad proclaimed himself not merely the Promised Messiah and the Mahdi, but also “an incarnation of Jesus Christ.” [7] Moreover, he claims that his grandeur “excels [that of] Jesus by a thousand measures.”[8]

As one can see, the confusion within Ahmad’s understanding as to who he was is revelatory in itself. In fact, this confused, contradictory and ill-defined self perception is what eventually led to a split within the Ahmadiyya movement as professor Adil Hussain Khan explains:

It is not surprising that by 1891, only two years after he began taking bay῾at (allegiance) and accepting disciples, people were still confused about Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s mission and spiritual status. It is surprising, however, that more than a decade after the formation of Jama῾at-i Ahmadiyya, his own Ahmadi disciples were still unsure about his spiritual status relating to prophethood. In 1901, the confusion of Ahmadis about the spiritual status of their leader prompted Ghulam Ahmad to write Ek Ghalatī kā Izāla (The Correction of an Error), in which he attempted, once again, to clarify his spiritual claims to followers. At present, the Qadiani branch of the Jama῾at treats this short booklet as the definitive tract affirming Ghulam Ahmad’s prophethood, while the Lahori branch in contrast uses Ek Ghalatī kā Izāla to show that Ghulam Ahmad denied being a prophet. The two branches use the same booklet to draw opposite conclusions. The only reason why this is possible is that Ghulam Ahmad’s presentation of his prophetic status remained muddled with contradictions, with clear statements affirming his prophetic status and clear statements denying it.[9]

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s self-MISunderstanding: “Contrary beliefs can exist, contrary truths cannot”

In the Ahmadi publication, The Messiah Has Come-The Man-The Message-The Movement, the question is posed, “Where is the Prophet all religions foretold for our time?” One-line references are then given from the sacred scriptures of Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism, followed by the claim that,

“God sent Ahmad, like Jesus, to reinstitute morality, justice and peace on earth. Divinely guided, he began an unprecedented religious revival by explaining Islam’s true teachings, and the true teachings of all the great religious founders, such as Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Confucius, and Guru Nanak. He explained how these teachings converged into the one true Islam and toward One God.”

The absurdity of this claim is evident when one considers the contradictory truth claims of each of these religions/ideologies. Even a perfunctory overview of the belief systems mentioned, exposes Ahmad’s deficient knowledge of the core tenets of these belief systems. In his short work “The Creed”, English writer and poet Steve Turner answers the question of whether all religions ‘converge’ into one united happy ‘theological family’:

Jesus was a good man just like Buddha, Mohammed, and ourselves.
We believe that all religions are basically the same
At least the one that we read was.
They all believe in love and goodness.
They only differ on matters of creation, sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.[10]

As one can see, all religions may be wrong, but they cannot all be right. Every religion differs vastly on ‘matters of creation, sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation,’ and as such, the law of non-contradiction rules out the ‘truth’ claims that ‘all paths lead to God’ and that ‘all religions are the same.’ Even though pluralistic interpretations of religion, such as the Ahmadi’s espouse, possess a strong intuitive appeal, nevertheless, they possess two deficiencies which in the final analysis render them unacceptable:

First, they are unable to adequately account for the conflicting truth-claims among various religions.

Second, in order to avoid the latter problem, the Ahmadi’s radically reinterpret the beliefs of specific traditions in ways that fundamentally distort these beliefs.

The Achilles’ heel of the assumption that all paths lead to the same destination, or as the Ahmadi state, “these teachings converge into the true Islam and toward the One God,” is the problem of conflicting truth-claims. Every religious tradition makes truth-claims and some of these truth-claims contradict the truth-claims of other religious traditions. (See my article, All paths lead to God…or do they?, here)

The stark contradictions within Ahmad’s claims of being the various incarnations of prophets/leaders of contradictory belief systems expose the incoherence of Ahmad’s worldview, mental state, and extreme cognitive dissonance in holding an array of contradictory beliefs, ideas, values, and truth claims. Contrary to the pluralistic ideology of Ahmad and the Ahmadiyya movement, all religions are not fundamentally the same and only superficially different, but they are all fundamentally different, and at best, superficially the same.

Take Christianity and Islam for instance. The eyewitness testimony of Jesus’ 1st century disciples, and those presiding over His crucifixion, multiply attest to His death on the cross (Luke 23:46; Mark 15:37). Scholars of all stripes, whether they be antagonistic to religion, atheist, liberal, conservative, religious, or non-religious, agree on this historical fact—that Jesus died by crucifixion. However, the Qur’an states, “but they did not kill him, nor crucify him, but so it was made to appear to them…” (Sura 4:157)

Both of these statements cannot be true—either Jesus was crucified and died or he didn’t. (Ahmadi favor a more creative rendition of the crucifixion verse, which is most apparent in the interpretive translation by Malik Ghulam Farid. I have included the comparison of the two translations in the Reference section below entitled: The Qur’an-Comparing translations of Ahmadiyya and Orthodox Qur’an)

Ghulam Ahmad’s claim to a prophetic role in all religions has been rejected by each of the religions he professes to represent–Islam, Hinduism, Sikism and Buddhism. I will offer one example of such a refutation here. In his treatise, A Buddhist Response to Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (of Qadian), Dr. Adrian Chan-Wyles reveals Ahmad’s nescience of both Buddhism and Christianity, as well as his motives in trying to conflate the two religions to support his claim as the Promised Messiah:

Furthermore, as he viewed himself as the reincarnation of Jesus Christ (effectively the ‘Second Coming’), and something akin to a combined representation of the ‘Messiah’ of Christian prophecy and future ‘Maitreya’ of Buddhist scripture. Ahmad requires (the otherwise ‘heathen’) Buddhist teachings to legitimise his claim to being the new manifestation of Jesus Christ, through the Buddhist prophecy of Maitreya, because he is a Muslim (with fair-skin) born in North India. Without his conflation of Buddhism with Christianity, and the merging of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ with the future Buddha Maitreya, Ahmad would have no more a claim to being an incarnation of Jesus than any other person, religious or otherwise. The faulty scholarship begins here with his incorrect assertion that the name ‘Mettayya’ (or ‘Maitreya’) has the same meaning as the Hebrew word ‘Messiah’ (Ahmad uses the transliteration of ‘Mashiha’ see Page 92). In both Pali and Sanskrit, the term ‘Mettayya’ (or ‘Maitreya’) simply means ‘he who possesses loving kindness’, or ‘metta’, whereas ‘messiah’ translates as the ‘anointed one’, or ‘one touched by god’s grace’. The progression of argument that Ahmad believes he has revealed is that the historical Buddha foretold the coming of Jesus Christ to India, and that he was not talking about simply another enlightened being…It is the Buddha’s ancient prophecy in India that Ahmad uses to facilitate this transformation from Buddha, to Christ to the modern Islamic reincarnation of Christ. This is why Ahmad makes this point one of his central issues, and dedicates such time and effort to prove it correct. Buddhism is the doorway to his status as the revealed reincarnation of Jesus Christ – albeit from an Islamic perspective. This is why it is imperative that Jesus Christ is seen to have survived the cross and visited India, eventually dying and being buried there, in a tomb in Kashmir.

Ahmad’s assumptions are obviously incorrect in their conclusions, as he is trying to co-opt the non-Islamic, and non-theological teachings of the logical and rational Buddha, into the theology of Islam, via the person of Jesus Christ…To do this he must misinterpret Buddhist history and philosophy, reducing both to Islamic theological rhetoric…Ahmad clearly demonstrates this tendency by both embracing certain aspects of Buddhism that serve his cause, and firmly rejecting those aspects of Buddhism that contradict his cause. The problem with Ahmad’s research is that what he embraces within Buddhism, he misinterprets (from a Buddhist perspective), and what he rejects (as being un-Islamic and against god) is the very functional essence of what makes Buddhism unique amongst emancipatory world philosophies and religions. [11]

In regard to Ahmad’s self-proclamations and the contradictions entailed therein, professor Alfred Mall offers an explanation which highlights Ahmad’s lack of knowledge of religio-philosophical traditions:

In his claim Mirza Ghulam Ahmad confused the Eastern and Indian traditions. In the Indian tradition one does not have to prove himself through miraculous works; one can be merely a great thinker and claim to be an avatar of Krishna or a reincarnation of a deity. There are no hard and fast rules for his acceptance. His claims suggest a Hindu base, but he attempts to penetrate the Muslim or Eastern concept. The Hindus and the Muslims have nothing in common. In the Hindu tradition prophecy is open, and will always remain open; in Muslim theology prophecy is closed forever. The rejection by the Muslims of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s claims also closed for him the doors to the Hindu population. There is no evidence that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad ever gained any followers from the Hindu majority.[12]

Although I have not highlighted Ahmad’s political activism and how it influenced his revelations, I find Professor Mall’s comment insightful as to the role that political posturing played in at least one of Ahmad’s self-proclamations of being the incarnation of Krishna, the Hindu avatar:

The activities of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, throughout his career, were directed toward counter-attacking the legitimacy of the national movements. In reply to every new effort and proposal made by the nationalists, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad presented his own case with new interpretative approaches and revelations. His philosophy encompasses such a vast and contradictory approach that one really has to question his sincerity. The activities of the Arya Smaj movement were a threat to the interests of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. The British Government felt threatened by the principles and unifying force which this movement exerted upon the Hindu population. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad decided to thwart the unity of the Hindus by declaring himself to be the Avatar of Krishna. He hoped that he might thus be able to win a segment of the population, but his claim was not convincing to the Hindus. He was rejected. The result is that today the Ahmadi no longer present Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as the Avatar of Krishna.[13]

A True Prophet Cannot Lie

Another stark example of Ahmad’s state of mind was his confusion about his age:

He became confused about his age and began contradicting his own testimonies and statements, hoping that he will be able to compensate for his prophecy and the confused state of his mind…Mirza Ghulam Ahmad died on May 2, 1908. Thus at the time of his death he did not exceed sixty-nine years of age. He had prophesied about his age in these words: “You will be eighty years of age, approximately, or a few years more.” (1) And further: “God has told me that you will be eighty years of age or little over.” (2) In view of all these facts, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has passed judgment on himself by saying: “If you can prove that out of one hundred prophecies there is one prophecy which is false, I will accept that I am a liar.” (3) [14]

Considering the above failed prophecy, should one consider Ahmad a true prophet, or the Promised Messiah if he continued to change his age to coincide to prophetic predictions?. This is one example of a number of failed prophecies by Ghulam Ahmad. As the Bible states, “[W]hen a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. (Deuteronomy 18:22)

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and Jesus Christ

Ahmad’s attempts to create an affinity between himself and Jesus plays a prominent role in Ahmad’s polemics against Christianity, and is highly significant in the worldview of the Ahmadi movement. The restoration of the superiority of Islam over Christianity was perceived by Ahmad as a principal goal of his mission. As Yohanan Friedman concluded:

“In his early years he believed that the best way to bring about this change in the relative strength of the two religions was by engaging the missionaries in public disputations. His faith in the efficacy of this method weakened with the passage of time; in 1902 he wrote that people are not capable of understanding the arguments employed, and the debates therefore fail to convince them. [Ahmad stated] Christianity is, “the most perfect manifestation of Satan (mazhar-i atamm shaytan ka nasraniyyat hay) [15] and it is necessary to prove its falsehood in a way that would be evident to everybody and would strike at the core of the Christian faith. [16] By claiming that Jesus died a natural death, Ghulam Ahmad tried to deprive Christianity of the all important crucifixion of its founder. In doing this he was following classic Muslim tradition. By claiming affinity with Jesus, he went one step further: he tried to deprive Christianity of Jesus Himself.” [17]

Ahmadi are zealously committed to disproving Jesus’ death on the cross and his bodily resurrection and ascension, since this would destroy their faith and position as the following statement from Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, the second successor to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, confirms:

“It is impossible for us to think that Jesus the Messiah, is alive in Heaven while Muhammad, our Holy Prophet, lies buried in the earth. We cannot think so… If it is true that Jesus is alive in Heaven, we cannot feel more dead. We cannot tolerate the thought that our Master is dead and buried, while Jesus is alive and in Heaven. We feel humiliated before Christians.” [18]

Ahmad made claims about the historical Jesus as described in the Bible which would be considered blasphemous to both Christians and Muslims. He believed the Jesus of the Qur’an was a sinless prophet, but the Jesus of the Bible was an alcoholic, a liar, and a false prophet who had gone insane:

• “Jesus could not portray himself as a pious man because people knew he was a gluttonous alcoholic and these bad habits … [began] from early age.”[19]
• Jesus in the New Testament “had the habit of uttering obscenities and frequently using foul language…he had also to some extent the habit of lying.”[20]
• “Alas!…three prophecies of the Messiah proved to be outrightly false!”[21]
• The Gospels provide “clear proof that Jesus had actually become insane due to epilepsy.”[22]

Ahmad also denied the miracles of Jesus and the prophets. His reason for denying the miraculous nature of the Prophets’ lives becomes obvious from his own words:

A matter which is not possible for the Holy prophet [Muhammad] – the best of prophets… how can it be so for the Messiah! [Jesus]? It would be so derogatory to the Holy prophet to think that what is impossible for him to attain, is possible for the Messiah. [23]

In his attempt to further denigrate the Jesus of the New Testament (and Qur’an), Ahmad relegates Jesus miracles to ‘mesmerism’ and naturalistic means:

“…if he (Jesus) performed any miracles at all, they were not his miracles, rather those attributable to this pond. He (Jesus) had nothing to his credit except cunning and deceit.”[24]
“The Christians have written about many miracles of Jesus, but the fact is that he performed no miracles.”[25]
“Let it be known that this practice (of mesmerism) is not as honorable as it is deemed by the public. If I had not regarded this practice as detestable and hateful, I would hope that, by the grace of God Almighty, this humble one (me) would not have been inferior to Messiah, the son of Mary, in showing wonderful acts (of mesmerism).” [26]

Thus, Ahmad denies both the Biblical and the Quranic evidence for Jesus’ miracles (cf. Sura 5:110, 3:50; Mark 1:34; 3:10; Matthew 4:23-24; Luke 6:18-19)

As I mentioned above, Orthodox Muslims will find these statements blasphemous. The vast majority of Ahmadiyya members are not aware of Ahmad’s degradation of Jesus, who in orthodox Islam is the most revered prophet, only surpassed by Muhammad himself. The reason for this is that Ahmad’s most offensive statements are available only in Urdu and have never been officially translated into English.

The Ahmadiyya worldview is essentially the worldview of Ghulam Ahmad. In proclaiming himself as the ‘Promised Messiah,’ and the second coming of Jesus, he was in a position among his followers to rewrite the 1st century history of the Jesus of the Gospels and remake the historical Jesus into an ahistorical 19th century caricature of Ahmad’s confused imagination.

In regards to the second coming of the historical Jesus of the Bible, the prophetic record given by Jesus Himself is unmistakably clear as to what signs will proceed and be manifest at His second coming:

And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray…For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be. And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand. But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.–Mark 13:5–27 (See also Matthew 24:23–31; Acts 1:9–11; Revelation 1:4–7.)

The only sign proceeding Jesus’ Second Coming that Ghulam Ahmad has fulfilled is that of Jesus’ warnings of false christs and false prophets arising before His return. Ahmad fails to fulfill the performing of “great signs and wonders,” but even without these, he has “led many astray.”

Mirza Ghulum Ahmad’s missional strategy vs Christianity

Ahmad’s motivation and purpose in detaching the historical Jesus from history is summed up in Ahmad’s missional strategy of engaging Christians:

“Prove to Christians that Christ in reality is forever dead. Through the victory to be gained by this argument you will be able to wipe the Christian religion off the face of the earth…Do not entangle with other ideas to talk about with Christians. Just concentrate upon the arguments regarding the death of Jesus Christ, and by the use of powerful arguments put the Christians to silence. The day you will imprint this fact on the minds of Christians, you will know that the Christian religion has made its exit from the world.” [27]

The Ahmadiyya publication, Death on the Cross–Ten Arguments from the Bible, (published in 2011) affirms this claim:

Christianity rests on the belief that Jesus died on the cross. But if it is proved that he did not die on the cross nor did he rise from the dead, then the whole edifice of Christianity crumbles to the ground. Paul, who is the real founder of modern Christianity, himself says, “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain and your faith is also vain.” (1 Cor. 15:14) The late Dr. Zwemer, the well-known American missionary, says, “If our belief in the death of Christ on the cross is wrong then the whole of Christianity is a farce.”

Once again, the Ahmadi lack of biblical exegesis and hermeneutics, and the wresting and editing of scripture is glaring. (Definition of wresting: distort the meaning or interpretation of (something) to suit one’s own interests or views.) The wresting of sacred texts, regardless of the religion, is standard fare within the Ahmadiyya interpretive methodology.

As I covered in my two part series, Was Paul an Apostle or a ‘Hijacker’?, Paul was not “the real founder of Christianity.” In fact, Ibn Ishaq in his authoritative biography, The Life of Muhammad (written in the 8th century), confirms Paul as a follower of Christ along with the other apostles. If Paul was “the real founder of Christianity” and corrupter of Jesus’ message, surely he would not be included with the rest of the disciples in the early Islamic traditions. The Ahmadi publication takes the above scripture, 1 Cor. 15:14, out of the context to bolster their claim that Jesus did not die, and as such, did not rise from the dead which means that the Christian faith is futile. However, the Ahmadi conveniently left out the conclusion of Paul’s argument for Jesus’ death and resurrection:

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.(1 Corinthians 15:12–26)

My Ahmadi friends may object to my choice of quotes and claim that I am ‘cherry picking’ from Ahmad’s writings. However, I do not believe that to be the case. Considering the number of current publications that are designed to fulfill Ahmad’s position on engaging Christianity as stated in the above quotes, there certainly is evidence that Ahmad’s mission to “prove to Christians that Christ is forever dead” and thereby “wipe the Christian religion off the face of the earth,” is continuing to be carried out be the current Ahmadiyya members.


The story is told that when reviewing a scientific paper, physicist Wolfgang Pauli remarked, “This isn’t right. This isn’t even wrong.” By this Dr. Pauli meant that the paper had no grounding in scientific reality. In a similar way, Ahmadiyya Muslim beliefs about Jesus (and every other religion Ahmad claims to represent) have no grounding in historic reality. They are grounded in the ahistorical worldview of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, whereby he prevaricates, interpolates, and rationalizes in order to adapt prophecies to his method of interpretation. By way of contrast, the Christian faith and worldview is grounded in historically verifiable evidence, both within the historical eyewitness narratives of the New Testament and that of extra-biblical sources, that coheres with reality as we know it. The value of eyewitness testimony is stated by the pre-Christian Roman dramatist Plautus:

Pluris est oculatus testis unus, quam auriti decerm: Qui audiunt, audita dicunt, qui vident, plane sciunt. [One eyewitness is worth more than ten purveyors of hearsay; Those who only hear about things say what they’ve heard, but those who see, know the score.]

In summary, Ahmad’s credibility fails on numerous counts:

(1) He made predictions that did not come to pass.[28]
(2) He contradicts, reinterprets, and edits the Bible (and the Qur’an) to suit his own agenda.
(3) His prophetic roles do not square with reality—Moses and Jesus were monotheists, while Krishna is considered one of a pantheon of millions of gods by Hindus, and Buddha was agnostic.
(4) His mystical claims to be God, Jesus incarnate, Mary, Muhammad, and other spiritual leaders border on mental illness. [29]
(5) His assertions that Jesus was a false prophet, an alcoholic, a liar, a profane person, and insane are plainly blasphemous. In attacking the Bible to defend the Qur’an, Ahmad shows that he cannot be relied on for sound judgment or fundamental honesty.

As professor Alfred Mall concluded,

The truth of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s case is attested only by himself. He is both the attester and the attestee, both the truth and the criteria by which it is attested. He has no conception of the truth of reality, by which he could enhance his case and set the standard in accordance with which later claims and beliefs could form a continuous relationship to truth. [30]

A Message to my Ahmadi friends

When speaking with one of my Ahmadi friends, I said, “You realize that you’re alone on a worldview ‘island’. There is no one, whether Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, etc., that finds your position as per Ahmad’s claims credible.” His answer was, “Oh, we don’t mind being on an island.”

I invite you, my Ahmadi friends to please step off your worldview ‘island’ and consider with an open mind, the true evidence for the historical Jesus, the one and only promised Messiah as found in the Holy Bible. I ask that you read, without prevaricating, interpolating, and rationalizing the scriptures through the ahistorical worldview lens of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Find or ask your Christian friends for a copy of the Injeel/New Testament and read the exciting and awe inspiring 1st century eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ disciples and followers, who walked with Jesus and were witnesses to His teaching, power and majesty. As you read, let Jesus’ words speak to your heart and mind. As Jesus said, “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life… if you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 6:63; 8:31-32) As Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples testified:

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. (2 Peter 1:16–18; Luke 9:28-36)

When Jesus was on trial before the Sanhedrin (the Jewish religious leaders) He spoke plainly and truthfully as to who He was/is:

“Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?’ And Jesus said, ‘I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven’.” (Mark 14:61–62)

Jesus declares under oath before the high priest that He indeed is the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy and is the Messiah, the Anointed of God:

I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:13–14)

This is one of over 300 prophecies given by the prophets which Jesus fulfilled. (See article: Did Jesus Fulfill Old Testament Prophecy?) Which prophecies did Mirza Ghulam Ahmad fulfill? Are you willing to stake your life and eternity on the claims of a man whose claims are incoherent and whose mental state was one of contradictions and confusion, living in a perpetual state of cognitive dissonance? If you love truth, and you are willing to follow the evidence where it truly leads, then you will find the truth as Jesus promised:

For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” (John 18:37)

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. (Matthew 7:7–8)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16–17)

[1] Adil Hussain Khan, From Sufism to Ahmaddiyya—A Muslim Minority Movement South Asia, Indiana University Press, 2015, pg. 60
[2] Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Jesus in India, Islam International Publication, (republished) 2015, pg. 12, 13
[3] Maududi, The Qadiani Problem, p. 119
[4] Kashti-Noh, pp. 46-47
[5] (Appendix, p. 85)
[6] The Ahmadiyya Movement, 2.
[7] A Short Sketch, 11.
[8] Our Teaching, 13.
[9] ibid, Adil Hussain Khan, pg. 51-52
[10] Steve Turner, The Creed, 1993, here
[11] Adrian Chan-Wyles, A Buddhist Response to Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (of Qadian), 2016, here
[12] Alfred Mall, A Critical Study of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, 1977, pg. 128
[13] ibid, Mall, pg. 22, 23
[14] ibid, Mall, pg. 69
Ahmad’s recorded confusion of his age: 1) Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Albashari (Publication at Qadian, n.d.), Vol. ii, p. 2. 2) Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Mawahib al-Rahman (Publication at Qadian, n.d.), p. 21. 3) Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Arbain (Publication at Qadian, 1900), p. 30.
[15] Haqiqat al-wahy, pg. 39
[16] Tiryaq al-qulub, pg. 35, 36
[17] Yohanan Friedman, Prophecy Continuous-Aspects of Ahmadi Religious Thought and its Medieval Background, University of California Press, 1989, pg. 117-118
[18] Bashir-ud-din, Invitation to Ahmadiyyat, p. 15
[19] Roohani Khazain (Satt-Bachan), 10:296, as quoted in Syed Rashid Ali, “Jesus (pbuh) in Ahmadiyyat,” Anti Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, March 2005, (accessed 2010-02-27).
[20] Roohani Khazain (Anjam Aatham), 11:289, cited in S. Ali.
[21] Roohani Khazain (Ijaz-e-Ahmadi), 19:121, cited in S. Ali.
[22] Roohani Khazain (Satt-Bachan), 10:295 footnote, cited in S. Ali.
[23] Anjam-i-Atham, Roohany Khazaen, Vol. 11, P. 291, addenda
[24] Anjam-i-Atham, Roohany Khazaen, Vol. 11, P. 290, Addenda
[25] Azalah-i-Auham, Roohany Khazaen, Vol. 3, P. 257
[26] Tawzih Miram, English tr. pp. 6-77
[27] Ghulam, Azala Auham, pp. 560-61
[28] See for a list of failed prophecies.
[29] The best way to appreciate this is to read large swaths from the Tadhkirah,
available online at
The 22-volume set of Roohani Khazain (“Spiritual Treasures”), cited above, is available in PDF format in the Urdu section.
[30] ibid, Alfred Mall, pg. 137

Research books, papers, articles re the Ahmadiyya movement

Aaron Goerner, Is the Qur’an the Word of God?, here-This is an excellent book in which Pastor Goerner addresses the challenges put forth by Ahmadiyya members via his email correspondence with them.
Eric Pemet, The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, Watchman Fellowship Profile, 2010, here
Dr. Alfred Mall, A Critical Study of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, 1977, here
Mirza Ghulam’s Tirade against Jesus Christ-In light of His own words, Compilation, here
Tahir Hussain, The Last Avatar, here

The Qur’an-Comparing translations of Ahmadiyya and Orthodox Qur’an

From Adil Hussain Khan’s book, From Sufism to Ahmaddiyya—A Muslim Minority Movement South Asia, pg. 44-46:

A synopsis of the current position begins with the assertion that it is impossible
for any human being to physically ascend to heaven. It may be worth
mentioning here that most Ahmadis would also reject the physical ascent of the
Prophet Muhammad to heaven during the night journey (isrā and mi῾rāj). To explain
the whereabouts of Jesus, Ahmadis argue that Jesus did not die from crucifixion,
even though he was indeed hung on the cross and crucified. The problem
with this position for many mainstream Muslims is that it appears to be a direct
contradiction of the Qur᾽an. This can be illustrated quite clearly by comparing
different translations of the Qur᾽anic account of the crucifixion. (Sura 4:157) Abdel Haleem
translates the crucifixion verse like this:

. . . and [they] said, “We have killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger
of God.” (They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, though it was
made to appear like that to them; those that disagreed about him are full of
doubt, with no knowledge to follow, only supposition: they certainly did not
kill him . . .

Ahmadis favor a more creative rendition of the crucifixion verse, which is most
apparent in the interpretive translation by Malik Ghulam Farid:

And for their saying, “We did slay the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger
of Allāh”; whereas they slew him not, nor did they bring about his death
on the cross, but he was made to appear to them like one crucified; and those
who differ therein are certainly in a state of doubt about it; they have no certain
knowledge thereof, but only pursue a conjecture; and they did not arrive at a
certainty concerning it.

The Ahmadi translation of the next verse, (Sura 4:158) which describes Jesus’s ascension
to heaven following the crucifixion, is also worth comparing to non-Ahmadi
translations. Abdel Haleem translated the verse: “God raised him [Jesus] up to
Himself (rafa῾ahu ᾽llāhu ilayhi).” The Ahmadi translation of the verse reads:
“On the contrary, Allāh exalted him [Jesus] to Himself.” The traditional interpretation—
as seen when comparing the two translations—is that Jesus was physically
raised to the heavens. This view is consistent with the Christian account of
Jesus’s ascension. The Ahmadi rendition reinterprets the verse to show that Jesus
was only raised in spiritual status and not raised physically to the heavens.

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