From WikiAhmadiyya, the free encyclopedia on Islam and Ahmadiyyat

In Islam, a Mujaddid is a person who renews or renovates the religion and traditionally appears during every century of Islam:  

The Prophetsa said: Allah will raise for this community at the end of every hundred years the one who will renovate its religion for it.

Abu Dawood

Many Muslims, recognise more than one Mujaddid for some centuries. For example, for the second century of Islam: Ahmad bin Hanbal and Imam Shafi. Similarly, Abu Ubaid Naishapuri is included with Abu Bakr Baqlani as the two Mujaddids of the fourth century. For the seventh, MoeenudDeen Chishtee is recognized along with Imam ibn Taymiyya, and for the eighth, Saleh bin Omar along with ibn Hajar Asqalani. Similarly, for the ninth, Syed Muhammad Jaunpuri is recognized along with Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti. 

But for the fourteenth century of Islam, which ended in the year 1980, Ahmadis only recognise Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a Mujaddid.

List of Mujaddids

 Century Name  Lifespan (Islamic Years)  Lifespan (Gregorian Calendar) 
 1 Umar bin Abdul Aziz    60-101 682-720
 2  Ahmad bin Hanbal 164-241 780-855
 3  Abul Hasan Ashari  260-324 873-935
 4  Abu Bakr Baqlani 338-403  930-1013
 5  Al Ghazali  450-505 1058-1111 
 6 Abdul Qadir Jilanee   470-561  1077-1166
 7 Ibn Taymiyya  661-728 1263-1328 
 8  Ibn Hajar Asqalani 773-852  1372-1449 
 9  Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti  849-911  1445-1505
 10  Muhammad Tahir Gujratee  -  -
 11 Ahmad Sirhindi   971-1034 1564-1624 
 12  Shah Wali Ullah 1113-1175 1702-1762 
 13  Syed Ahmad Barelvi  1201-1246 1786-1831 
 14  Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad 1250-1326 1835-1908 

Future of Mujaddidiyyat

The institution of caliphate has been described at length in the holy Quran but you don't find the mention of mujaddidiyyat in the holy Quran. From that it may be safely inferred that the holy Prophet (sa) was in fact discussing the shape of Caliphate in absence of the real Caliphate that was left behind in the absence of himself. When he mentioned Mujaddidiyyat, as I see things, what he meant was that caliphate will not continue beyond a period which would reach the turn of the next century. So caliphate had to be finished before that so some sort of substitute had to be there, under the general term of caliphate, but not the one type of caliphate that was left behind by the Holy Prophetsa himself. So that substitute is mujaddidiyyat. So when the original is there, there is absolutely no need for the substitute. When you have water for ablution then you don't go for tayammum [replacing water with dust during time of drought]. So I feel that it is inconceivable for the institution of mujaddidyyat to have started at the time that the rightly guided Caliphate was intact. What would have been the relationship between a mujaddid and a caliph? 

In support of this view we find a tradition of the Holy Prophetsa who prophecies the appearance of mujaddidiyyat at the head of every century but when he informs us the Promised Messiah would appear he says: "Caliphate on the precepts of prophethood". (ibn Hanbal) Then he doesn't repeat the institution of mujadiddiyyat at all in any way. He only prophecies that after the Promised Messiah has appeared, caliphate of the type that prophet leaves behind would start again. So that means that my inference that mujaddidiyyat is only a substitute in the absence of caliphate has weight, because this tradition also supports this view. 

But there is another way of looking at mujaddidiyyat altogether and the Promised Messiah has used that meaning as well. He said the greatest mujaddid was the Holy Prophetsa [Lecture Sialkot] so he was in that sense the mujaddid of the first century as well as the greatest of mujaddids of all times...because he was a consummate perception of mujaddidiyyat, so the Promised Messiah called him the greatest of Mujaddids. So in this respect it may happen that at many a time during the institution of caliphate, things appear that have to be attended to particularly. Some sort of errors may creep in, or malpractices and so on. So if Allah gives opportunity to a certain caliph to fight against those evils, in that sense of the word he would be a mujaddid as well. But the institution of caliphate is higher and more permanent and is fundamental and the institution of mujaddidiyyat as we see in the absence of caliphate is definitely a subordinate phenomena. 

- Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Question & Answer Session 11 May 1984