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Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement; the Mujaddid (Reformer) of the 14th Century Hijrah; and, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi) <Please read his biography in the 'Biography' section>

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Accusations Answered Section > Was Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib of Qadian the Mujaddid (Renovator or Reformer) of the 14th Century?

Was Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib of Qadian the Mujaddid (Renovator or Reformer) of the 14th Century?:

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Mujaddid (Renovator, Reformer):

As it is accepted by Muslims that prophethood has come to an end with the advent of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, it is also agreed that mujaddids will be raised after him from time to time for the reformation and regeneration of Muslim Nation (Ummah). Abu Da'ud, regarded to be the most authentic work of traditions from among ‘Sihah Sitta’ after ‘Bukhari’ and ‘Muslim’, mentions the following report from the Holy Prophet:

"... Most surely Allah will raise from this Ummah at the commencement of every century one who will bring about the revival of their religion."

Such a person is known as a mujaddid. ‘Tajdid’ (renovation) signifies purging Islam of all alien conceptions that have entered into it with the passage of time, and resetting the picture of Islam in its original splendour. Time affects everything. It does not spare even religion. Interested persons do associate such practices and doctrines with religion as are detrimental to its cause. Islam had suffered the same fate. The task of a mujaddid, under these circumstances, is to revive and reveal the real beauty of the face of Islam to the world.

Mujaddid is Appointed by God:

It must also be borne in mind that the term (God will raise or appoint) has occurred in tradition for the advent of a mujaddid, and appointment of anybody from human beings signifies only his appointment from God. The same term has been used in the Holy Qur'an for appointing messengers. This means that the appointment of a mujaddid indicates the raising of a particular person who has been bestowed with the gift of Divine revelation and communication for a special purpose. Ulama and leaders, no doubt, have always been present among Muslims and they too serve Islam in their own way but a mujaddid is a servant of Islam with whom Almighty God communicates and whom He appoints for a specific purpose, i.e., for the eradication of errors in religion that have weakened and distorted the original form of Islam. Such mujaddids have been appearing at the head of every century.

Authenticity of the Hadith of Mujaddid:

Imam Sayuti writes in ‘Mirqat al-Sa'ud’ that all the preservers of Hadith agree on the authenticity of this tradition, and fore-runners like Hakim and Baihaqui and their successors like Abdul Fazal Iraqi and Ibn-Hajar all approve of its genuineness. Ibni-Asakir too, after accepting the truth of this tradition writes that this proves the coming of mujaddid at the beginning of every century. Shah Wali Ullah of Delhi in his book ‘Izalat al-Khifa’ and ‘Tafhimat-i-Ilahiyya’ also admits the authenticity of this report.

Another argument for its genuineness is that other authentic traditions collaborate with it. In fact the basis of this tradition lies in the Holy Qur'an. The fundamental principle is that in spite of bringing prophethood to an end God will continue to communicate with the sages of this ummah for the eradication of errors that may find place in Islam from time to time. He would himself guide this nation, by raising mujaddids at different intervals. Free Communication of God with non-prophets has been mentioned in the Holy Qur'an. The mother of Moses, for instance, was not a prophetess, but the Holy Qur'an clearly says:

"And We revealed to the mother of Moses" (XXVIII:7).

At another place we observe:

"When We revealed to your mother what was revealed" (XX:38).

In both these verses Moses' mother has been referred to as the recipient of Divine revelation and this revelation was positive to such an extent that she put her son Moses in the river without any fear. Mother of Jesus was also spoken to by angels and she too was not a prophetess. Companions of Jesus were also not prophets, but the Holy Qur'an says:

"And when I revealed to the disciples" (V:111). About the saints of this 'ummah' we find:

"Angels descend upon them" (XI. 30).

And again:

"They shall have good news in this world's life." (X : 64).

These ‘mubasharat’ in authentic traditions of the Holy Prophet have been called a part of prophethood:

"Nothing is left of prophethood except ‘mubashsharat’."

Moreover, in reports that have been agreed upon by all it has been mentioned that "as God spoke with non-prophets from among other nations, so shall He address to persons of this ‘Ummah’. Umar the Great was one of them." (Bukhari).

Thus if Divine communication is indispensable to a ‘mujaddid’ both the Qur'an and the genuine tradition confirm that God shall always communicate with such persons in this nation.

Claims of other Mujaddids:

Another strong argument in favour of the authenticity of this tradition is that many renowned Muslim saints like Jalal-ud-Din Sayuti, Shah Wali Ullah of Delhi, Mujaddid Alif Thani have openly declared themselves, in accordance with the report, to be ‘mujaddids’ of respective centuries. To quote one example I refer to Shaikh Ahmad of Sirhind who is very well-known with the title of Mujaddid Alif Thani (Mujaddid of the second thousand), and he is referred to as ‘Mujaddid Sahib’ among common people. His claim can be found in the following words in one of his letters:

"This knowledge has been derived from illumination of the lamp of prophethood... and the possessor of this knowledge and wisdom is the mujaddid of this thousand years... and it must be remembered that a ‘mujaddid’ has passed at the head of each century but the ‘mujaddid’ of a thousand years is different from the ‘mujaddid’ of the century."

This statement is true as the popularity of Hazrat Shaikh Ahmad in this part of the world has excelled all other previous ‘mujaddids’.


Thus when it has been established from the Holy Qur'an, traditions, sayings and claims of other ‘mujaddids’ that the coming of a ‘mujaddid’ at the beginning of each century is essential, then exactly at the head of the 14th century Hijrah the claim of being a ‘mujaddid’ by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian was just in accordance with the spirit and tradition of Islam. Quite obviously, appearance of a ‘mujaddid’ at the beginning of each century has been made essential; and if no ‘mujaddid’ had appeared at the head of the 14th century not only the Hadith had to be falsified but also the principle of the Holy Qur'an. Moreover, the truth of the claims of Muslim saints must have also become doubtful. Strangely enough more than one ‘mujaddid’ had appeared during the past centuries, but off the head of the 14th century nobody claimed to be a ‘mujaddid’ except Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

If we ponder a little deeply his position as a renovator becomes more established. He was gifted with Divine communication even fourteen or fifteen years before his claims. He was then a champion of the cause of Islam; a great defender of Islam against the onslaughts of other religions. He not only dealt with the old religions like Christianity and Hinduism with all the argumentative force at his command but also made a thorough analysis of the new movements in India like Brahmo Samaj and Arya Samaj. The example of no one else can be cited, who stood so firm to defend Islam at such a critical moment, and the Muslim world fully realised this fact. Years before his actual claim, his piety, righteousness and devotion to God were very well known to his intimate friends and relatives. His scholarship was also admitted on all hands.

While paying homage to a book by Hazrat Mirza Sahib a person who turned to be the greatest opponent of Ahmadiyya Movement said, "The like of it has not appeared in Islam before." This is a very strong evidence for truth-seekers. Even before his claim he was doing such a splendid service to Islam that it could only be compared with the activities of the mujaddids of the past. After proclaiming his mission his work gathered strength, so much so that the seed which was sown by him grew up into a huge tree whose branches now spread in the East and West.

Who Else is the Mujaddid?

Every Muslim, every lover of the Qur'an and Traditions [Hadith], and every lover of the Saints of this nation must consider seriously that if Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is not the mujaddid, who else is the mujaddid of the 14th Century Hijrah. The basic principle of the Holy Quran cannot be untrue, the Hadith of mujaddid cannot be a mere fabrication, those who had already claimed to be mujaddids according to this tradition cannot be regarded as mere impostors. If all this is true, the truth also is the fact that a mujaddid must have been raised at the head of this century and who is that person except Mirza Ghulam Ahmad? History to which we are ourselves witnesses does not mention the name of a single person except Mirza Ghulam Ahmad who claimed to be the mujaddid of this century. The name of this or that person may be cited in haste by some of us, but the point to be considered is whether these persons declared it themselves that they had been appointed by God as mujaddids of this century. Again, is there any person other than the Great Mirza, who at the end of the 13th century and the beginning of the 14th century did such a yeoman service to the cause of Islam? Service to Islam does not mean publication of a few books and stirring the Muslims for some mundane and political objects, but the real point is that who was the person who staked his all for the glory of Islam in its grievous struggle against other religions? Who was the person who shielded Islam against the assaults of hostile forces? Who was he who fought day and night to establish the superiority of Islam over other faiths? Who put forth before the world the real picture of Islam? Who stirred the religious consciousness of general Muslims and created such a strong movement among his followers that they became the torch-bearers of Islam to different nations of the world? Who gave the message of hope to the tottering world of today?

On the one hand nobody has claimed to be a mujaddid of this age, on the other we observe that no one else has accomplished such a great task purely for the cause of Islam, and it is only Mirza Ghulam Ahmad who stands above all in his claims and mission. Therefore, anybody who rejects him in fact rejects the clear saying of the Holy Prophet Muhammad about the raising of mujaddids at the commencement of each century.

Muslims must Co-operate with the Mujaddid:

As there is no way out except to regard Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as the mujaddid of the 14th century, it is also incumbent on us to join hands with him in the struggle for Islam. To adopt an attitude of indifference is in fact despising the Divine Commandments and traditions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad [pbuh]. This should mean that according to the will of God a mujaddid was raised for the defence and support of Islam, but we do not recognise this need. Besides this there is a clear direction of God in the Holy Qur'an.

"O you who believe! be careful of (your duty to) Allah and be with the true ones" (IX:119).

Here special reference to the true ones is not for those who do not tell lies, as every Muslim is expected to abstain from it and in every country thousands of Muslims are found who speak truth, but the truthful ones are those who manifest the truth, in their actions. They are the persons who stand firm, and face all tribulations for the cause of the greatest truth in the world, i.e., Islam. Obviously there is no better person than a mujaddid to whom these words can apply.

Again we find in a tradition:

"He who dies in a condition that he has not recognised the lmam of his age, dies a death of ignorance."

Here ignorance does not mean kufr (infidelity) which results form denouncing a Prophet, but the ignorance of wisdom and learning of the lmam. The mujaddid is certainly the lmam of his age. He is interested in religious reformation and renovation and for this job he is especially enlightened by God and favourable circumstances are created by God for the success of his mission. Thus indifference to the mujaddid and practical negligence to his mission is in fact doing great harm to the cause of Islam. This is just putting obstacles in the way of Divine Will.

Mujaddid's Task:

Removal of vices that have found place in the Muslim nation is the first task of a mujaddid. The greatest of evils, which came in trail of the materialistic civilisation and education of Europe was the negligence of Muslims towards Islam. This resulted in a total denial of Divine Revelation which shook the very foundation of religion. Communication of God with man is the real basis of religion. This engenders complete faith in the existence of God. This inspires faith in Divine knowledge. On this is based the relation of man with God. But what was the effect of modern education on Muslim mind. Most of them denied the existence of Divine Revelation. The task before the mujaddid, therefore, was to prove the authenticity of prophetic order for the guidance of mankind and to show that God has been communicating with his humble servants during all these ages. This could not be proved unless special emphasis was laid on the attribute of Divine communication with human beings which is just like His other attributes of listening, seeing and knowing. That is why in his book Barahin Ahmadiyya, which is the first and his largest book, the Founder has laid great stress on this aspect of the question. The continuity of Divine revelation has been proved not only by forceful arguments deduced from Islamic Shariah, but also by the evidence of his own personal experience. No doubt the mujaddid of past centuries claimed to have Divine communication but the emphasis on this point found in the works of the mujaddid of the 14th century cannot be traced in their writings. This is only because the greatest evil of the present time was this negation of Divine communication. The rejection was sometimes made in the form that Almighty God spoke with His servants in the past but has ceased doing so now, and sometimes in the form that Revelation from God was simply a subjective experience and it did not descend on man's heart from outside. The foundation of religion was shaken both ways. If Almighty God used to speak before, why should He be deprived of this attribute now? If He spoke before He must speak now. And if Revelation is considered just an inner voice, then the existence of God, faith in Him and His knowledge are nothing but mere tales and the whole prophetic order reduces itself to nought. To institute the truth of prophetic order it was however essential that a true faith in the existence of God be established and this could not be achieved unless Divine communion with God was properly substantiated. To clarify this point the Founder put forth his own visions and inspirations in which future events were foretold and he mentioned his own evidence for their verification. These prophecies were in fact advanced by him just to establish, in a way, the veracity of prophethood, and for this reason alone the word ‘prophet’ too was used by him. The literal meaning of his word is one who informs of the unseen matters or one who makes prophecies. The real object of the use of this word in its dictionary sense (and not in the terminology of shariah) was, to make people know that the faith in the Holy Prophet Muhammad and other prophets could not be maintained unless communication with God was definitely proved. If continuity of Divine communication is rejected, all matters relating to prophethood become dubious. The real faith in the existence of God too depends on this great fact of Revelation. Influence of the materialistic education of the West had shaken such a belief to its core. The first object before the Mujaddid of this age, therefore, was to create a real faith in God so that man may develop a genuine association with his Creator. The result of religious outlook on life is a complete and living faith in God. This could not be revived unless the phenomenon of Divine Revelation was established as a living reality.

His Second Task:

The second great mistake in which most of the Muslims were involved was about the right place of the Holy Qur'an in their life. It was the real strength of the Holy Qur'an that had made them once a powerful nation in the world. The Holy Qur'an was the fountain-head of Islamic Shariah. Through the Qur'an and the practice of the Holy Prophet, Muslim leaders of Ijtihad derived the solution of existing problems. But, unfortunately, the knowledge of the Holy Qur'an among Muslims had dwindled away gradually. In Islamic institutions all sorts of lessons were taught, but the Holy Qur'an was relegated to a backward position. Muslim Ulama and masses read commentaries of the Holy Qur'an for grammatical knowledge of orthography, etymology, syntax, etc., and Muslims in general recited it for future reward (thawab). The indifference of Muslims towards properly educating themselves in the Holy Qur'an made them lethargic in all spheres of life. One prominent aspect of the life of the Mujaddid of the 14th century was his deep knowledge and love of the Holy Qur'an. Whatever time he could spare, even when he was engaged in worldly pursuits in fulfilment of his father's wishes, he spent it in reading and pondering over the pages of the Holy Qur'an. During his stay at Sialkot and later at Qadian the Holy Qur'an was always his guide and companion in solitary moments. What was after all the object of his book Barahin-i-Ahmadiyya? Its very name i.e., "Arguments in support of the reality of the Holy Qur'an and the prophethood of Muhammad" suggests that it was full of conclusive proofs for the truth of the Holy Qur'an. It was his habit to go through the whole of the Qur'an when writing on any important subject. He held this Book above everything else. The three sources of Islamic Shariah were put by him in the following order:

(1) Holy Qur'an, (2) Sunnah (3) Hadith, and (4) Fiqh (Jurisprudence).

Accusations Answered Section > Was Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib of Qadian the Mujaddid (Renovator or Reformer) of the 14th Century?


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