Outrageous claims of the Ahmadi movement - Letter to The Times
27th July 2003
Your correspondent Helen Rumbelow appears to have taken on trust the outrageous claims of the Ahmadi movement (The Times, 26th July 2003) without subjecting them to any serious scrutiny.
We believe The Times will be hard-pressed to find a single reputable scholar of Islam in the entire world - whether Muslim or non-Muslim - who will back the claim that there are an "estimated 200 Million" Ahmadis worldwide. A figure of 10 million is closer to the reality.
Rumbelow also fails to mention the fundamental theological difference between the global 1.2 billion strong Muslim community and the Ahmadis: namely the Ahmadi's central belief that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a prophet and the Promised Messiah. So you see, Ghulam Ahmad is not regarded by his Ahmadi followers as merely one who came "to revive the faith" as Rumbelow has reported.
Ever since the days of British colonial rule in India, Muslim scholars have been united in rejecting Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's claim to prophethood and instead regard him as an imposter. Mainstream Islamic teaching holds that the blessed Prophet Muhammad was the final in a long line of Prophets sent to mankind. Mainstream Sunni and Shi'a Muslims are both agreed on this basic tenet of the Islamic faith.
For that reason, the Ahmadi community are regarded by the Muslim world as non-Muslims. We view them in much the same way as mainstream Christians would view the Mormons or the Seventh Day Adventists - as a cult group. In common with non-Muslims, Ahmadis are also not allowed to enter the sacred Islamic cities of Makka and Madina in Saudi Arabia.
So while we fully accept the right of Ahmadis to their own religion - we cannot accept them being described as Muslims. They are not.
Mr Inayat Bunglawala,
The Muslim Council of Britain
London E15 1NT