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Old March 2nd, 2018, 12:25 PM   #1
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Anti-Ahmadiyya riots 1953 and 1974


Hello, I have recently learnt about these riots and the Ahmadi sect, which are fairly unknown in the western world and have a few questions:
  • How big was the Ahmadiyya movement in Pakistan after independence?
  • This may seem a strange question, but how did rioters know who was an Ahmadi, are they easy to distinguish from other Muslims.
  • What are some good English sources on these events so i can learn more.
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Old March 3rd, 2018, 12:51 AM   #2

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I too don't understand Ahmadia issue and why they are not considered as Muslims in Pakistan.

Some problem is there about Ismailies as well. Mahmud Ghazni, when he first attacked, conquered and killed Ismailis who were ruling in Multan that time.

Like to know more.
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Old March 3rd, 2018, 03:25 AM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdanger View Post
Hello, I have recently learnt about these riots and the Ahmadi sect, which are fairly unknown in the western world and have a few questions:
  • How big was the Ahmadiyya movement in Pakistan after independence?
  • This may seem a strange question, but how did rioters know who was an Ahmadi, are they easy to distinguish from other Muslims.
  • What are some good English sources on these events so i can learn more.
1) Its hard I suppose to pinpoint exactly how big the community was. However it cannot have been bigger than 1%, although they did form a larger share of the population in certain districts. Qadian in Indian Punjab had a large percentage owing to the sects origins in that area. Post 47 Rabwah in Chiniot district has a large Ahmadi population.

2) It is generally speaking impossible to distinguish. That is why the rioters targeted their mosques so as to be certain.

3) Can't help you on the books part unfortunately. Never really studied or looked into this topic too much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeev View Post
I too don't understand Ahmadia issue and why they are not considered as Muslims in Pakistan.

Some problem is there about Ismailies as well. Mahmud Ghazni, when he first attacked, conquered and killed Ismailis who were ruling in Multan that time.

Like to know more.
A major Ahmadi belief runs against core mainstream Islamic belief (including those held by both Shias and Sunnis). That is where the mainstreamers believe the Prophet was the final Prophet (khatem al anbiya), Ahmadi's believe Mirza Ghulam (their founding father) was also a Prophet. It is a lot more complicated than this going into the semantics (difference between "Nabi" and "Rasul" for example), but essentially the reason why many Sunnis and Shias have not regarded them as Muslim is due to differences over this core belief.

In the Christian context it would be the equivalent of not believing in the trinity of God. There have existed Christian groups such as the Cathars who did not believe in the trinity, but were regarded as heretics as such, even though their other beliefs were close to Christianity.

With regards to Ismailis it is a bit more complex. I am not sure if the Ismailis of Multan were mainstream Ismailis (who generally are orthodox Shias but have differences with "twelvers" the major branch of Shiaism over who the "Imams" of the shia community were). An example of a more orthodox Ismaili community are the Zaydis of Yemen.
There are however branches of Ismailism such as the Druze who have developed their belief system so far away from Islam that even orthodox Shias do not consider them Muslims anymore. As said I am not too sure about the Ismailis of Multan, but to be honest I do not think it mattered much to Mahmud anyways. Kings/Politicians will utilize religious differences to their benefit whenever it suits them.
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Old March 3rd, 2018, 03:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdanger View Post
Hello, I have recently learnt about these riots and the Ahmadi sect, which are fairly unknown in the western world and have a few questions:
  • How big was the Ahmadiyya movement in Pakistan after independence?
  • This may seem a strange question, but how did rioters know who was an Ahmadi, are they easy to distinguish from other Muslims.
  • What are some good English sources on these events so i can learn more.
Ahamdi is a Muslim sect that believes Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (18351908) to be the last Prophet.

The problem with that idea is that with Islam, two primary beliefs are

1) There is only one God and that is Allah.
2) Mohammed is the last Prophet of Allah.:

lā ʾilāha ʾillā llāh muḥammadun rasūlu llāh.

This is known as Shahada and you utter it when you become Muslim.
So, to have another prophet after Mohammed and call yourself a Muslims is not acceptable to Muslims (both Shia and Sunni).

The centre of Ahmadiya sect is located in Indian Punjab.
They are decoratively called as Qadiani, the name of the place in Indian Punjab, the hometown of the founder of the sect.

The Ahmadiyya community was much better off than Indian Muslims and they actively supported the formation of Pakistan.

With riots in 1953 and 1975 (I am not sure) they were declared as non-Muslim by Pakistan.

So, Ahamadiyyas can't call themselves as Muslims in Pakistan. They cannot call their place of worship as a Mosque. They cannot have a Minaret for their mosque, etc.

When Ahamadiyyas apply for a Pakistani passport, they have to apply as Qadianis and not as Muslims.

When a Muslim Pakistani applies for a passport he has to declare Shahada and specifically state that he does not believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is a prophet.
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Old March 3rd, 2018, 04:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaheen View Post
1) Its hard I suppose to pinpoint exactly how big the community was. However it cannot have been bigger than 1%, although they did form a larger share of the population in certain districts. Qadian in Indian Punjab had a large percentage owing to the sects origins in that area. Post 47 Rabwah in Chiniot district has a large Ahmadi population.

2) It is generally speaking impossible to distinguish. That is why the rioters targeted their mosques so as to be certain.

3) Can't help you on the books part unfortunately. Never really studied or looked into this topic too much.



A major Ahmadi belief runs against core mainstream Islamic belief (including those held by both Shias and Sunnis). That is where the mainstreamers believe the Prophet was the final Prophet (khatem al anbiya), Ahmadi's believe Mirza Ghulam (their founding father) was also a Prophet. It is a lot more complicated than this going into the semantics (difference between "Nabi" and "Rasul" for example), but essentially the reason why many Sunnis and Shias have not regarded them as Muslim is due to differences over this core belief.

In the Christian context it would be the equivalent of not believing in the trinity of God. There have existed Christian groups such as the Cathars who did not believe in the trinity, but were regarded as heretics as such, even though their other beliefs were close to Christianity.

With regards to Ismailis it is a bit more complex. I am not sure if the Ismailis of Multan were mainstream Ismailis (who generally are orthodox Shias but have differences with "twelvers" the major branch of Shiaism over who the "Imams" of the shia community were). An example of a more orthodox Ismaili community are the Zaydis of Yemen.
There are however branches of Ismailism such as the Druze who have developed their belief system so far away from Islam that even orthodox Shias do not consider them Muslims anymore. As said I am not too sure about the Ismailis of Multan, but to be honest I do not think it mattered much to Mahmud anyways. Kings/Politicians will utilize religious differences to their benefit whenever it suits them.

just a small correction there yar, probably it was a typo, the Zaydis are not Ismaili, they are a totally different branch of the Shia (they predate the emergence of Ismailis). Though there was (or maybe in very marginal numbers still exist?) also Ismaili presence in Yemen, but they are not related to the Zaydis who are indeed the closest to the Sunnis among all Shia branches.
IMO among the current existing Ismaili groups the Bohras are the closest to the mainstream orthodox islamic branches (sunni or twelver shias) in their religious practice. But their emergence in India is later.

Now about the Ismailis of 10-11th century Multan, i don't know much about them either in depth, it could change also depending on the particular dai (missionary) at a time, some expousing more or less radical message, closer to the Qarmati extremists for example or not. Btw later (after Mahmud's conquest) the newly emerging Druze missionary work also had some success among the surviving Ismaili community in the 11th century Multan, so they could be receptive to the more extreme religious doctrines. but apart from the religious conformity and practices, there was the fundamental political issue (as in the whole sunni-shia divide, the question of political legitimacy), they recognized the suzerainty Fatimid caliph in Cairo, while Mahmud of Ghazna did recognize the Abbasid caliph in Baghdad.

Last edited by Tulun; March 3rd, 2018 at 04:27 AM.
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Old March 3rd, 2018, 04:58 AM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulun View Post
just a small correction there yar, probably it was a typo, the Zaydis are not Ismaili, they are a totally different branch of the Shia (they predate the emergence of Ismailis). Though there was (or maybe in very marginal numbers still exist?) also Ismaili presence in Yemen, but they are not related to the Zaydis who are indeed the closest to the Sunnis among all Shia branches.
IMO among the current existing Ismaili groups the Bohras are the closest to the mainstream orthodox islamic branches (sunni or twelver shias) in their religious practice. But their emergence in India is later.

Now about the Ismailis of 10-11th century Multan, i don't know much about them either in depth, it could change also depending on the particular dai (missionary) at a time, some expousing more or less radical message, closer to the Qarmati extremists for example or not. Btw later (after Mahmud's conquest) the newly emerging Druze missionary work also had some success among the surviving Ismaili community in the 11th century Multan, so they could be receptive to the more extreme religious doctrines. but apart from the religious conformity and practices, there was the fundamental political issue (as in the whole sunni-shia divide, the question of political legitimacy), they recognized the suzerainty Fatimid caliph in Cairo, while Mahmud of Ghazna did recognize the Abbasid caliph in Baghdad.
Cheers for the correction mate. I assumed they emerged out of the Ismaili movement but stand corrected. Actually quite an interesting sect now that I have read a bit more about them.

About Multan yes it does seem as if the Qarmatians found refuge there(the fringe of the Muslim world). The cassus belli Mahmud needed seems to arise from the Qarmatians joining Anandpala, the ruler of upper Punjab against Mahmud.

in "A Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier" it is stated on page 489 that

"The Qarmatian heretics, recently expelled from Egypt and Iraq, sought and found refuge in the remote proinces of the Indus Valley. By them the idol of the Sun was broken in pieces and the attendant priests massacred. Nevertheless the Qarmatians made or found many adherents in Multan.

Mahmud of Ghazni was far from finding in Multan a point d'appui for his inroads into the Punjab. Its ruler, Abul Fath indeed actualy allied himself with Anandpal, and necessitated Mahmud's third expedition into India in 1006.
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Old March 3rd, 2018, 05:18 AM   #7
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Ahmadiyya wasn't a large movement, but there were influential politicians who were Ahmadi..notably, Zafarullah Khan, the foreign minister of Pakistan.
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Old March 3rd, 2018, 06:48 AM   #8

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"It is estimated that the country with the largest Ahmadiyya population is Pakistan, with an estimated 4 million Ahmadi Muslims. .. Ahmadiyya are estimated to be from 60,000 to 1 million in India."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmadiyya#Demographics
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Old March 4th, 2018, 05:54 AM   #9

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Originally Posted by Zack Martin View Post
Ahmadiyya wasn't a large movement, but there were influential politicians who were Ahmadi..notably, Zafarullah Khan, the foreign minister of Pakistan.
Interesting sidelight.

Ahmadias are regarded as non-Muslims in Pakistan. Ironically it was an Ahmadia Muslim who drafted the Pakistan Resolution which was passed on to Jinnah for adoption by Muslim League and the League did do in Mar 1940. See British Viceroy Lord Linlithgow's letter from Delhi to the Secretary of State for India in London [1].


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[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhamm...ah_Khan#Career
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Old March 4th, 2018, 06:27 AM   #10

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Originally Posted by Rajeev View Post
Interesting sidelight.

Ahmadias are regarded as non-Muslims in Pakistan. Ironically it was an Ahmadia Muslim who drafted the Pakistan Resolution which was passed on to Jinnah for adoption by Muslim League and the League did do in Mar 1940. See British Viceroy Lord Linlithgow's letter from Delhi to the Secretary of State for India in London [1].


Rajeev


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhamm...ah_Khan#Career
It was Maulana Maududi's entrance in the scene in post-partition Pakistan politics that changed the scenario.
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