Article

The Ahmadiyyah Movement

Yohanan Friedmann

in Islamic Studies

ISBN: 9780195390155
Published online May 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195390155-0004
The Ahmadiyyah Movement

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The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam is a modern Muslim messianic movement. It was founded in 1889 in the Indian province of Punjab by Ghulam Ahmad (b. c. 1835–d. 1908). Having been accused of rejecting the Muslim dogma asserting the finality of Muhammad’s prophethood, the movement aroused the fierce opposition of the Sunni mainstream. During the period of British rule in India, the controversy was merely a doctrinal dispute between private individuals or voluntary organizations, but after most Ahmadis moved in 1947 to the professedly Islamic state of Pakistan, the issue was transformed into a major constitutional problem. The Sunni Muslim mainstream demanded the formal exclusion of the Ahmadis from the Muslim fold. This objective was attained in 1974: against the fierce opposition of the Ahmadis, the Pakistani parliament adopted a constitutional amendment declaring them non-Muslims. In 1984, in the framework of Ziya al-Haqq’s Islamization trend in Pakistan, presidential Ordinance XX of 1984 transformed the religious observance of the Ahmadis into a criminal offense, punishable by three years of imprisonment. The ordinance subsequently became an instrument of choice for the harassment and judicial persecution of the Ahmadi community. Following its promulgation, the headquarters of the Qadiyani branch of the Ahmadi movement moved from Rabwa, Pakistan, to London. In February 2009 the movement was headed by Mirza Masrur Ahmad, the fifth successor to the founder, who assumed office in 2003.

Article.  4442 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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