Lahori Ahmadiyya

From WikiAhmadiyya, the free encyclopedia on Islam and Ahmadiyyat

Berlin Mosque, by Axel Mauruszat

Lahori Ahmadiyya also known as Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat-i-Islam Lahore or Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islam is an offshoot Ahmadiyya sect which formed in 1914. Lahori Ahmadis do not accept the Ahmadiyya caliphate, with the exception of the first Caliph. They are the only significant sub-sect of Ahmadiyya, but their influence has diminished with time and are now estimated to make up less than 1% of Ahmadis worldwide, with the vast majority of Ahmadis worldwide having instead remained under the Caliph.

Some have speculated the division, or split, of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community into two sects was predicted by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in various statements and writings. In his 1889 book Fathe Islam he wrote: "It seems proper that I should make clear that all who have joined me in the pledge of allegiance are not deserving of praise. Not yet. Some among them seem like dry twigs of a tree. These, my God, my Master will cut off from me and throw away as fuel wood. There are others who showed devotion and sincerity in the beginning, but who now seem indifferent. They have lost the warmth and enthusiasm of true followers. Like Balam, adapts in intrigue and false poses. Or, like decayed teeth, waiting to be extracted and trampled underfoot. They have tired and become corrupted by this vain world. I can tell you - they will soon be separated from me. Excepting such among them as God chooses to save anew with His own Hand. There are those of course whom God has given over to me permanently. They are the green twigs of the tree that is me."

History of Lahori Ahmadiyya

Background (1889-1907)

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was first established in 1889 when Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad took a pledge of religious allegiance from forty followers. The same year, his son Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad was born, who would go on to become the second Caliph and leader of the main branch of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The two founding members of the Lahori sect, Al Hajj Khwaja Kamaluddin and Maulvi Muhammad Ali would later join the community in 1893 and 1897 respectively. 

Over the following two decades, the men who would later lead the community in separate directions remained on good terms. As late as 1906, Ali wrote:

Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad is only 18 or 19 years old. Such zeal for the faith and such eagerness in support of Islam as are manifested are something out of the ordinary. Not only on this occasion, but as I have observed on every occasion the sincere eagerness comes to the surface. It is not a casual matter that the heart of the youngster in his teens should be inspired by such eagerness and ambition, because that is the age of sports and games etc. Now inquire from those black hearted people who call Hazrat sahib an impostor whence has this true eagerness entered the heart of this young man? 

Falsehood is utterly foul, it's effect should have been also foul and not so pure and bright as has no equal. If a person perpetrates an imposture, he might conceal it from outside, but cannot conceal it from his own children who are in his company all the time and observe every movement of his, listen to every word of his and observe the manifestation of his thoughts on all occasions. Thus where there is imposture it must become manifest sometime or other to the wife and children of the impostor. Oh yea unfortunate ones! Do reflect whether the children of an impostor, brought up during the period of his imposture can be like this. Are your hearts not human that they cannot understand such a verity and are not affected by it. What has happened to your understanding? Do reflect! Can one whose instruction bears such a fruit be false in his claim? If he is false, then what is a sign of a true one? 

Maulwi Muhammad Ali Sahib, The Review of Religions Urdu Edition, March 1906

Death of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and establishment of the Ahmadiyya Caliphate (1908-1913)

Following the death of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in 1908, the leaders of the community gathered together and one person suggested that Hazrat Al-Hajj Hafiz Nooruddin be elected as his successor and first Caliph:

According to the command of the Promised Messiah set out in The Will we Ahmadis, whose signatures are appended below, are sincerely convinced that all present and future members of the Ahmadiyya community should take the pledge of spiritual allegiance, to Hazrat Nooruddin, who is the most learned and most virtuous of us all and is the most devoted and oldest friend of Hazrat Imam who held him up as an excellent example, as he said: ‘How good would it be if every member of the community were a Nooruddin, So would it be if every heart were filled with the light of the certainty of faith.’ [His] orders will be as binding upon us, as were the orders of the Promised Messiah. 

Badr Newspaper 2 June 1908

Nooruddin replied:

I have for some time reflected on what shall be our situation after Hazrat sahib. That is why I have striven that Mahmud’s education may be pushed forward. There are three likely persons among the close relatives of Hazrat sahib. There is Mahmud Ahmad, who is both my brother and my son. I have a special relationship with him. Then Mir Nasir Nawab, being Hazrat sahib’s father-in-law, is entitled to his respect and our respect. The third one is his son-in-law, Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan. Of the devoted servants of the faith there is Sayyid Muhammad Ahsan, who possesses outstanding ability. He is a descendant of the Holy Prophetsa. Then there is Maulawi Muhammad Ali who serves in ways that I cannot even conceive of. All these are available in Qadian. 

This is a heavy, a perilous responsibility, which can be carried only by a commissioned one of God, who has wonderful promises of divine support which sustain him against backbreaking burdens. At this time it is necessary that men and women should become united. To achieve this, pledge your allegiance to any of the revered personages I have named; I shall also do so along with you. I promise you solemnly that if you choose any one of those I have named, I shall pledge my allegiance to him along with you, but if you insist on pledging your allegiance to me then note carefully that this pledge means total commitment. Pledging allegiance is a solemn and grave matter. He who takes the pledge subordinates all his freedom and the flights of his fancy to the will of another Remember, all good proceeds from accord. A leaderless people are dead.

Hazrat Al-Hajj Hafiz Nooruddin, Badr Newspaper 2 June 1908

The entire Ahmadiyya Muslim Community immediately pledged allegiance to Nooruddin, reciting:

This day I take the pledge of spiritual allegiance at the hand of Nooruddin, accepting all the conditions prescribed the Promised Messiah for the pledge 

Badr Newspaper 2 June 1908

Khwaja Kamaluddin, later a founding member of the Lahori sect, wrote at the time:

Before the funeral prayer for the Promised Messiah all members of the community who were present in Qadian and whose number was twelve hundred, accepted Hazrat Nooruddinra, as his successor and Caliph, according to the directions set out in The Will and in conformity with the recommendation of the members of the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya then in Qadian and the relatives of the Promised Messiah, and with the permission of the mother of the believers and took the pledge of allegiance to him. Of the members of the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya there were present Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Maulawi Muhammad Ali…this intimation is addressed to all members of the movement, that on its receipt they should immediately take the pledge of allegiance to [the Caliph].

Khwaja Kamaluddin, Al Hakam 28 May 1908

Despite the initial unity, it seems some questions were later raised regarding the authority of the Caliph to which Nooruddin replied:

Some of you say that they are not seeking to limit my authority, but wish to clarify and define the authority of my successor, but they do not reflect that he may be greater than Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Mirzaas.

Hazrat Al-Hajj Hafiz Nooruddin, Badr Newspaper 21 October 1909

Initially, Nooruddin retained the dual role of being both the Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and the president of its board, the Anjuman. However in 1910 he relinquished the role of president and appointed Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad as his successor. The following year he went further still, writing in his will that Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad should be appointed the Caliph of the community on his demise:

I have learnt on the most reliable authority that in [Nooruddin's] will of 1911, he set out the name of [Mahmud] as his successor.

Maulawi Muhammad Ali, Haqiq-e-Ikhtilaf

By 1912, Ali was beginning to show the first open signs of dissent against the caliphate. He suggested the Anjuman - or executive board - of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was in fact ultimately responsible for the financial administration of the community rather than the caliph. Nooruddin repeatedly dismissed his views:

Harken! I am the Caliph and God has made me Caliph. I had no desire at all to be Caliph, but now that God has invested me with this mantle, I intensely dislike all dissension. Standing in this mosque, with the Quran in my hand, I call God to witness that I had not the least desire at any time to become a spiritual preceptor. But no one knows God’s design. He did whatever He willed. He united all of you at my hands, and He Himself, and not any of you, invested me with the robe of caliphate. It is my duty to honour and respect it.

I do not desire from you money or anything else. I do not care whether any of you offers me greetings or not. Up to April last I used to pass on your personal offerings to me to Maulvi Muhammad Ali, but someone misled him and he said these offerings belonged to the Anjuman and he, as Secretary of the Anjuman, was their custodian. Thereupon I stopped sending him these monies, out of regard for the pleasure of Allah, to see what would they do about it. Those who think like that are in error and have been guilty of disrespect. They should repent; I repeat that they should repent. If they do not repent they will be in evil case.

Keep well in mind that you have no authority to remove the Caliph. If you perceive something in me that you esteem a fault, point it out to me respectfully. It is God who appoints a Caliph; it is not the business of men. God made Adamas a Caliph, and also Davidas. Therefore, none of you has the authority or power to remove me. If God desires to remove me, He will cause me to die. You had better leave this matter in God’s hands; you have not the power of removal. I am not beholden to any of you. He lies who says he has made me Caliph. 

It hurts me when I hear it said that this is the age of constitutions and parliaments; Iran and Portugal and Turkey have all set up parliaments. I affirm that he who considers this movement parliamentary and constitutional should repent of his error. What comfort do you think has been procured for Iran and others by a parliament? Many were ruined under Muhammad Ali Shah, and his successors are receiving ultimatums. Have the Turks slept in peace after setting up a parliament? 

I remind you again that it is clearly set forth in the holy Quran that it is God who appoints Caliphs. When He appointed Adamas he said: "I am about to place a vicegerent in the earth" (Quran 2:31) The angels raised objections, but what benefit did they derive therefrom? Read the Quran and see. If that was the case with the angels and they had to confess: "Holy art Thou, no knowledge have we save that which Thou hast taught us" (Quran 2:33)

Then who are you to criticise me? You had better look into your mirrors. I remember well someone saying: A parliament has been established in Iran; it is the age of constitutions. Such sentiments are disloyal and disrespectful. Those who think like this were shown the consequences of constitutionalism, by the jealousy of God, in Iran itself. I repeat they should repent even now. I have not related all this in my defence. Allah knows well that I attach no value to your approval or disapproval or rejection of me. I have told you this lest any of you should become guilty of sin by falling a victim to suspicion. 

Hazrat Al-Hajj Hafiz Nooruddin, Badr Newspaper, 1 February 1912

God Almighty made Abu Bakrra and Umarra Caliphs. The Rafadis are still mourning over their Khilafat. But see you not that millions call down blessings on Abu Bakrra and UmarraI call God to witness that I too have been made Caliph by God. This mosque has pleased my heart. I have supplicated earnestly on behalf of those who have in any way contributed towards its construction, and I am sure that my supplications have reached the Throne. Having arrived in this city and standing in this mosque which has pleased me so much, I declare that as God Almighty made Adamas, Davidas, Abu Bakrra and Umarra Caliphs, in the same way it is He Who made me Caliph. 

Should any one say that the Anjuman has made me Caliph, he would utter a lie. Such ideas lead to ruin, be on your guard against them. Listen with attention once more, no man or Anjuman has made me Caliph, nor do I consider any Caliph competent to make any one a Caliph. No Anjuman has made me Caliph, nor would I have attached any value to any Anjuman’s doing so. I would not so much as spit on any Anjuman’s repudiation of me.  No one has the power to deprive me of this robe. Who do they think was entitled to be Caliph?

There is my very dear Mahmud [Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad] who is the son of my master and my benefactor. Then there are his son-in-law Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan, his father-in-law Mir Nasir Nawab, and his wife, the mother of the believers. These are the only ones who may be deemed to have a claim to the caliphate. Yet it is curious that those who assert that their right has been usurped do not reflect that they are all obedient and loyal to me. They have not presented their claim to these critics. The descendants and close relatives of Hazrat Mirza sahib are all devoted to me. I tell you truly that there is not one of you who obeys me as do my dear ones Mahmud, Bashir and Sharif and as do Mir Nasir Nawab and Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan. I do not affirm this to please them, but state it as a fact that they love me out of the desire to win the pleasure of God.

I have heard the the mother of the believers affirm a score of times that she deems herself my servant. Master Mahmud is grown up, he will tell you that he obeys me sincerely. A critic might say that he does not obey me sincerely, but I know for certain that he is truly, obedient to me, more than any one of you. All the members of Hazrat Mirza sahib’s family obey me as Alira, Fatimara and Abbasra obeyed Abu Bakrra, even more so. Every one of them is so devoted to me that I cannot conceive any of them entertaining a wrong notion about me.

Another question on which you differ and raise contentions is: What is the status of our opponents? Now listen carefully. The Word of God has expounded the principles with regard to the acceptance and rejection of a prophet. Whenever a prophet has appeared there has been no difficulty with regard to the classification of those who believe in him and those who disbelieve. Casuistry apart, God Almighty has set forth clearly the principles of disbelief, faith and association of partners with Allah. There have been prophets in the past. In each case there were those who believed and those who disbelieved. Have you had any doubt concerning them; and have you had any problem about the classification of those who did not believe in them? You have been told of the principles of belief and disbelief. Hazrat Mirza sahib was a Messenger of God. Had he not applied the term prophet to himself, he would have been guilty of rejecting the hadith narrated in the compilation of Muslim in which the one who was to come was named a prophet. The question of believing in him or rejecting him is clear. If one who rejects him professes to be a Muslim he is that much closer to you, as the Christians are closer to you than the Jews. In the same way the Muslims who reject Hazrat Mirza sahib can be closer to us than the others. 

He who believes in Hazrat Mirza sahib and rejects me is like the Rafdis who reject the companions of the Holy Prophetsa. The matter is quite clear, but the idlers occupy themselves with futile contentions. Hearken! My prayers reach the Throne, and my Lord fulfils my designs even before I supplicate Him. To contend with me is to contend with God. So desist and repent. Hold your peace for a short while; then he who follows after me will deal with you as God wills. Some of the matters on which you differ have been pronounced upon by Hazrat Mirza Sahib. He who goes against his pronouncement is not an Ahmadi.

Hazrat Al-Hajj Hafiz Nooruddin, Badr Newspaper 11 July 1912

The split, formation of the Lahori sect & aftermath (1914-present day)

Nooruddin passed away in 1914 and the vast majority of Ahmadis present at the headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Qadian immediately elected the then-president of the Anjuman, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, to the position of Caliph. However a minority, led by Maulvi Muhammad Ali and Khwaja Kamaluddin, refused to recognise the results. Instead they left Qadian and relocated to Lahore, forming the Lahori sect, with Ali appointed as its first president. An offer was made by the Lahoris to reunite the movement, on the condition that the Caliph would forthwith play only a ceremonial role and all authority would henceforth be administered by the Anjuman:

Election of the Master is held to be valid, but he would not have the authority to call the already existing membership to take fresh pledges of allegiance at his hand, there being no discernible need for anything of this kind to be done. We are ready to accept him as our president in this capacity. Nor would he be considered entitled to interfere in any way with the rights and privileges, and the prerogatives, of the Anjuman Ahmadiyya vested in that body by the promised messiah himself, holding that the Anjuman would be considered to have succeeded him as the overall supreme authority in the affairs of the movement. A deputation comprising the following gentlemen should wait on Master Mahmud Ahmad to place these resolutions before him, requesting his agreement on the points involved.

Paigham-i-Sulha, 24 March 1914

In the weeks that followed, their official publication Paigham-i-Sulha confidently claimed victory for the Lahoris:

With regret one notes it is being said that two thousand disciples of the Promised Messiah have accepted his Caliphate. But the number of people, with any awareness of the context prevailing in Qadian, on the question of the Khilafat, who have come out in support of Caliphate, is so low that not to speak of forty supporters, the number hardly runs to a poor, insignificant ten.

Paigham-i-Sulha, 19 April 1914

By this time, hardly one twentieth part of the membership of the Movement has accepted him as Caliph.

Paigham-i-Sulha, 5 May 1914 

However the dominant sect soon emerged:

The group, agreeing with Khawaja Kamal-ud-Din, which desires to work hand in hand with the general Muslims outside the movement and which includes many Ahmadis in Lahore, has failed in its attempt; the Section accepting Mirza Mahmud Ahmad as Caliph has defeated the opposition group in most places.

Al-Haq, 22 May 1914

In the coming years, the Lahori sect would publish a number of assaults against the personality of the new Caliph. In his book Tabdil-e-Aqida Kay Ilzam, Ali described Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad as a 'sinner', 'extreme wrongdoer', 'blind of moral vision', 'liable to the curse of God', 'black hearted criminal', 'apostate', 'advocate of falsehood' and subject to a 'divine curse'.

Ali remained the president of the Lahoris until his demise in 1951. He published a number of scholarly works in both English and Urdu, including "The Holy Quran: Arabic text with English translation and Commentary" and an English biography of the prophet of Islam, Muhammadsa. During this period the prominent scholar Shaikh Abdur Rehman al-Misri - who had trained in Egypt - defected from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to the Lahori branch.

In 1932, Al Hajj Khwaja Kamaluddin, one of the founding leaders of the Lahori sect passed away. He had devoted his life to preaching for the movement and authored a number of works in English including a commentary of the Quran

In 1951, Ali was succeeded by Al Hajj Maulana Sadruddin who notably translated the Quran from Arabic to German. Soon after he took up the position, the official magazine of the Lahori sect noted the challenges he faced:

Thirty-seven years have passed since the day we started our work here in Lahore, but it is discouraging to note that, so far, we have failed to emerge out of the four walls, hemming us in. On the part of the Qadian Section, the steady progress of that Section continues. We have, before us, a number of young men whose fathers, or grandfathers, were ardent members of the Movement, but that spirit and ardour seems to have flown out of their own hearts.

Paigham-i-Sulha, 6 February 1952

Sadruddin in turn was succeeded by Dr Saeed Ahmad Khan in 1981, Dr Asghar Hameed in 1996 and Dr Abdul Karim Saeed Pasha in 2002. Today the Lahori sect is established in 17 countries (Australia, Canada, Fiji, Germany, Guyana, India, Indonesia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa, Suriname, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, the UK and the USA) and is estimated to have between 30,000 and 100,000 adherents worldwide, in comparison with millions who follow the main sect - established in over 200 countries and now led by the fifth Caliph. 

Theological Differences

Prophethood of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community recognised Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as non-law bearing prophet, subordinate to Muhammadsa while the Lahori sect rejects his prophethood

Through his life, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad recorded receiving divinely-inspired revelations in which he was compared to prophets such as Jesus, Moses and others. One example reads:

The Champion of Allah in the mantle of the prophets.

- Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya

Ahmad explained his status:

All the doors leading to prophethood have been closed except the door of sirat-e-siddiqi. Thus he who comes to God through this door is clad, by way of ‘zill’ [complete devotion to the Holy Prophetsa and such self-effacement that a person begins to reflect the image of his Mastersa] in the same mantle of prophethood which is the mantle of the prophethood of Muhammadsa. As such, his being a prophet is not a matter for jealously, for he does not derive this status from himself but from the fountain of the holy Prophetsa and, that too, not for his own glory but for the glory and majesty of the holy Prophetsa. For this reason, in heaven he is named Muhammad and Ahmad. Thus the prophethood of Muhammadsa, in the final analysis, returns to Muhammadsa.

- Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, A Misconception Removed

The views of Maulvi Muhammad Ali and Khwaja Kamaluddin appear to have been closer to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community prior to the split:

We are firmly of the view that God can make any one a prophet, a faithful one, a martyr or a righteous one. What is needed is a seeker. He to whom we swore allegiance was righteous, a chosen one of God and a holy messenger. The spirit of holiness had achieved its climax in him.

Maulvi Muhammad Ali, Al Hakam 18 July 1908

A prophet and messenger arose in your neighbourhood. It is up to you to accept him or not.

- Al Hajj Khwaja Kamaluddin, Badr Newspaper 26 January 1911 

Caliphate v Anjuman

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is led by a spiritual caliphate whereas the Lahori sect rejected this in favour of an Anjuman (executive board). However in his will, widely published three years before his death, Ahmad stated 

Allah manifests two kinds of Power. 

(1) First He shows the Hand of His Power at the hands of His prophets themselves. 

(2) Second, when with the death of a prophet, difficulties and problems arise and the enemy feels stronger and thinks that things are in disarray and is convinced that now this community will become extinct and even members of the community, too, are in a quandary and their backs are broken, and some of the unfortunate ones choose paths that lead to apostasy, then it is that God for the second time shows His Mighty Power and supports and takes care of the shaken community. Thus one who remains steadfast till the end witnesses this miracle of God. This is what happened at the time of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra, when the demise of the Holy Prophetsa was considered untimely and many an ignorant Bedouin turned apostate. The companions of the Holy Prophetsa, too, stricken with grief, became like those who lose their senses. Then Allah raised Abu Bakr Siddiqra and showed for the second time the manifestation of His Power and saved Islam, just when it was about to fall, and fulfilled the promise which was spelled out in the verse: "And that He will surely establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them; and that He will surely give them in exchange security and peace after their fear." (Quran 24:56)

- Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, The Will

The example of succession given in The Will of Ahmad was the example of Abu Bakr, the first Caliph of Islam. Intriguingly, the president of the Anjuman from 1910 until the split remained Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad - so by rejecting his claim to caliphate in 1914, the Lahori sect simultaneously rejected the president of the Anjuman.   

Promised Son prophecy

In 1886, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad spent forty days in deep prayer asking for a sign from God in his favour. At the end of the period, he was able to publish a revelation which he claimed foretold him being granted a Promised Son: 

I confer upon you a Sign of My mercy according to what you begged of me. So I have heard your entreaties and have honoured your prayers with My acceptance through My mercy and made your journey a source of blessings for you. Therefore, a Sign of power, mercy, nearness is bestowed on you, a Sign of grace and beneficence is awarded to you and you are granted the key of success and victory.

Peace on you, O victorious one. Thus did God speak so that those who desire life may be rescued from the grip of death and those who are buried in the graves may come out of them and so that the superiority of Islam and the dignity of God’s Word may become manifest unto the people and so that truth may arrive with all its blessings and falsehood may flee with all its ills, and so that people may understand that I am the Lord of Power, I do whatever I will, and so that they may believe that I am with you, and so that those who do not believe in God and deny and reject His religion and His Book and His Holy Messenger Muhammad, the Chosen Onesa may be confronted with a clear Sign and the way of the guilty ones may become manifest.

Rejoice, therefore, that a handsome and pure boy will be bestowed on you; you will receive an unblemished youth who will be of your seed and will be of your progeny. A handsome and pure boy is coming as your guest. His name is Emmanuel and also Bashir. He has been invested with a spirit of holiness, and he is free from all impurity. He is the light of Allah. Blessed is he who comes from heaven. He will be accompanied by grace which shall arrive with him. He will be characterised with grandeur, greatness and wealth. He will come into the world and will heal many of their disorders through his Messianic qualities and through the blessings of the spirit of holiness. He is the Word of Allah for Allah’s mercy and honour have equipped him with the Word of Majesty. He will be extremely intelligent and perceptive and will be meek of heart and will be filled with secular and spiritual knowledge. He will convert three into four...

It is Monday a blessed Monday. Son, delight of the heart, high ranking, noble. A manifestation of the First and the Last, a manifestation of the True and the High; as if Allah has descended from heaven. His advent will be greatly blessed and will be a source of manifestation of Divine Majesty. Behold a light comes, anointed by God with the perfume of His pleasure. We shall pour Our Spirit into him and he will be sheltered under the shadow of God. He will grow rapidly in stature and will be the means of procuring the release of those held in bondage. His fame will spread to the ends of the earth and peoples will be blessed through him. He will then be raised to his spiritual station in heaven.

This is a matter decreed. Your house will be filled with blessings and I shall perfect My favours unto you and you will have a large progeny from blessed women, some of whom you will find hereafter, and I will cause a great increase in your progeny and will bless it; but some of them will die in early age and your progeny will spread greatly in different lands.

Every branch of your collaterals will be cut off and will come to an end soon through childlessness. If they do not repent, God will send chastisement after chastisement upon them, until they are completely wiped out. Their houses will be filled with widows and God’s wrath will descend upon their walls.

But if they turn to God, He will turn to them in mercy. God will spread your blessings about and will revive a ruined house through you and will fill a fearful house with blessings. Your progeny will not be cut off and will flourish till the end of days.

- Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Ishtiharat

Ahmad further elaborated:

In the Announcement of February 20, 1886 made by this humble one…there is a prophecy of the birth of a righteous son possessing the qualities mentioned in the announcement.…Such a son, according to the divine promise, will surely be born within nine years, soon or late, but certainly within this period. 

- Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Ishtiharat

When his mission comes to its successful conclusion, his son, who will be his very image, will succeed him. That is, it is destined that God, the Exalted, will grant him a righteous son, who will be his exact image and will follow in his footsteps and thus remind people of his father. This is, in fact, in accordance with the prophecy that I have made about a son of mine.

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Nishan-e-Asmani

Muhammadsa has foretold that the Promised Messiah will marry and have children. In this there is an indication that Allah will grant him a righteous son, who will resemble his father, and will not defy him, and will be one of the revered servants of Allah. The secret of it is that Allah does not give glad tidings to prophets or saints regarding their progeny, unless He has decreed the birth of righteous progeny.

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Aina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam 

Allah's Messengersa said "How will you be when the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends among you and your imam is among you..

- Bukhari

The prophecy stated a righteous son would be born within nine years (ie between 1886 and 1893). He would be named Bashir and would live to succeed his father as the leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. During the specified period Ahmad had three sons: Bashir I (born 1887), Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (born 1889) and Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (born 1893). Notably, all three sons were given the name 'Bashir' while none of the four sons Ahmad had before or after the specified period were given the name (instead being named Sultan, Fazal, Sharif and Mubarik), indicating Ahmad expected the prophecy to be fulfilled by one of these three children. 

In 1888, the Bashir I passed away in infancy. On this, Ahmad wrote:

I supplicated again for further disclosure concerning this matter and it was disclosed to me today, April 8, 1886, by God Almighty that a son will be born very soon. Such period cannot exceed the interval of one pregnancy.

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Sabz Ishtihar

Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad succeeded his father as the second Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in 1914. Thirty years later, in 1944 he claimed on the basis of a dream he had seen to be the Promised Son. Both the founders of the Lahori sect, Mualvi Muhammad Ali and Khwaja Kamaluddin, became Ahmadi Muslims several years after the prophecy of the Promised Son was published. Thus perhaps unaware of the full significance of the prophecy, Ali responded to Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad's claim in 1944 in three successive Friday Sermons, but refused to discuss the prophecy itself:

It is a long story and I cannot discuss the prophecy of the Promised Messiah in detail within a Friday Sermon...If this evil requires to be corrected then I consider that each and every member of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Community is a Promised Son and would be right in making that claim. God the Most High has Himself testified to this in the revelation of the Promised Messiah: “Our purified members are in Lahore”. As to when the Promised Son will come, Allah knows best, but if a promised mischief-maker had to come then certainly [Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad] can make this claim.

- Maulvi Muhammad Ali, Friday Sermon 3 February 1944

Family of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

Main article: Family of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad repeatedly claimed to receive revelations regarding the righteous nature and success of his wife, children and future progeny:

The moon of the Prophets will come and your affair will become manifest. Allah will make your countenance cheerful and will illumine your reasoning. Soon will a son be born to you and grace will come close to you. My light is near.

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Aina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam

The revelation 'Be grateful to Me that you have found My Khadijah' was the good news, several years in advance, of my marriage into a noble family of Sayyeds of Delhi…my wife was named Khadijah as she is the mother to a blessed progeny and a blessed progeny has also been promised to me.

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Nuzulul Masih

They desire to put out your light. They desire to attack your honour. I am with you and with the members of your family.

To this day, he has been blessed with over 800 descendants and each one has pledged allegiance to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community - none have joined the Lahori sect.