Why Mainstream Muslims Cannot Accept Ahmadis As Muslims

Disclaimer: Following article is written from an exclusively theological point of view and in no way suggests unjust persecution of Ahmadi community. Harassment and persecution against any community is wrong and should never be tolerated. People are free to believe and not believe as they want. A Muslim’s job is only to deliver the message truthfully and clearly:

“The truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills – let him believe; and whoever wills – let him disbelieve” (Qur’an 18:29).

“There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong” (Qur’an 2:256).

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad: Founder of the Ahmadi Sect

One of the core, indisputable, and uncompromising beliefs of mainstream Islam is that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the last and final prophet of Allah. There is no one coming after him. He was the last one to be sent to mankind. The revelation has permanently stopped. This is a core principle of our faith and is not up for debate. Any person who claims to be a prophet after Muhammad (pbuh) or believes in a prophet after him can never join the ranks of Muslims according to the consensus of Muslim theologians since the days of the early Muslims. This idea is embodied within the testimony of faith (shahada), which is uttered by every single new convert before entering the religion:

“I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.”

This idea of no prophet coming after Muhammad (pbuh) is not something that Muslim theologians just made up, rather, it has roots in the primary sources of Islamic law: Qur’an and Hadiths. For example, Allah is very explicit in the Qur’an when He says:

“Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets. And ever is Allah , of all things, Knowing” [Qur’an 33:40].

Pretty much all mainstream Muslim scholars have understood this verse to mean that prophethood ends with Muhammad (pbuh). Similarly, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) explicitly made numerous statements, in which he left no room for interpretation, that show that he was indeed the last and final prophet:

“If there was to be a Prophet after me, it would have been Umar bin Al-Khattab” (Tirmidhi).

“The Hour will not be established till there appear about thirty liars, all of whom will be claiming to be the messengers of Allah” (Bukhari).

“I have some names: I am Muhammad, I am Ahmad, I am Al-Mahi, the one by whom Allah wipes out disbelief, I am Al-Hashir, the one whom the people are gathered at his feet, and I am Al-‘Aqib, the one after whom there is no Prophet” (Tirmidhi).

“The children of Israel used to be ruled and guided by prophets: Whenever a prophet died, another would take over his place. There will be no prophet after me, but there will be caliphs who will increase in number” (Bukhari).

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said to his cousin and son in law Ali, “Will you not be pleased that you will be to me like Aaron to Moses? But there will be no prophet after me” (Bukhari).

Even the companions of Muhammad (pbuh) knew this fact. It is reported that when one of the companions was asked about Ibrahim, the infant son of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and he replied:

“He died in his early childhood. Had there been a prophet after Muhammad then his son would have lived, but there is no prophet after him” (Bukhari).

The only prophetic personality that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) spoke about that would come after him was Jesus:

“The Hour will not be established until the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends amongst you as a just ruler” (Bukhari).

“Jesus son of Mary will descend at the white minaret to the east of Damascus” (Abu Dawud).

Therefore, whoever believes that there is a prophet after Muhammad (pbuh), cannot be considered a Muslim under mainstream Islam. Such a person is directly contradicting a basic and fundamental tenet of Islam. Being a Muslim is not just about identity. Being Muslim means agreeing with and abiding by the basic tenets of Islam. Just as being vegan means agreeing with and abiding by the laws of veganism. If someone were to eat meat and call himself/herself a vegan, then such a claim would never be accepted by the vegan community because he/she is contradicting the very basic concept and tenet of being vegan: avoiding animal products.

The Ahmadi sect is a religious movement founded in Punjab, British India, near the end of the 19th century by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835–1908). He began his activities as a caller to Islam, and once he began to have followers, he claimed to be a Mujadid (reviver) inspired by Allah. Then he took a further step and claimed to be the awaited Mahdi and the Promised Messiah. Then he claimed to be a Prophet. Therefore, he slowly progressed his claims. His followers believe that new prophets after Muhammad (pbuh) can come but that they must be subordinate to Muhammad (pbuh) and will not be able to exceed him in excellence nor alter his teaching or bring any new law or religion. This is quite strange because during the early phase of his preaching, Mirza Ghlam Ahmad used to say things like:

“I believe in all the items of faith as prescribed by the Sunni School of Islam and I accept everything that is according to the Quran and Hadith. I fully subscribe to the doctrine that Muhammad is the last of all Prophets, and that any claimant to Prophethood after him is an impostor and a Kafir (infidel). It is my belief that the revelations of Prophethood started with Adam and closed with the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)” (Majmuha-Estaharet, P. 230-231; Tableegh-i-Risalat, Vol 2, p. 2).

“I consider that man who rejects the doctrine of Last Prophethood is a disbeliever and outside the pale of Islam” (Tableegh-i-Risalat, Vol 2, Page 44).

“Muhayyuddin Ibnul Arabi wrote that the lawgiving prophethood has ended with Muhammad, peace be on him but non-lawgiving prophethood has not. I believe that doors to all kinds of prophethood have been closed” (Al-Hakam, April 10, 1903).

In 1914 the Ahmadis split into two sects: Qadiani Ahmadis, which consider Mirza Ghulam Ahmad a prophet after Muhammad (pbuh), and Lahori Ahmadis. The latter categorically reject Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a prophet and only consider him to be a Mujadid and the awaited Mahdi. Some mainstream Muslim scholars have argued that the Lahoris are internally the same in beliefs as Qadianis despite outwardly rejecting Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a prophet. They have used statements made by the founder of the Lahori sect, Muhammad Ali, as proof.

The Ahmadis understand the explicit verse of the Qur’an and hadiths mentioned above to be metaphorical and not literal. They take the above religious textual citations to mean that Muhammad (pbuh) was the last law-bearing prophet. They claim that Allah can send new prophets after Muhammad (pbuh) and send revelations (wahi) to them but they must be subordinate to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), thus, they cannot alter the divine law that was sent down to him. They cite the hadith about the second coming of Jesus mentioned above as evidence for this belief. They state that hadiths about “second coming of Jesus were metaphorical in nature and not literal, and that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad fulfilled in his person these prophecies and the second advent of Jesus.”

However, mainstream Muslims categorically reject these claims. Language is taken literally unless proven otherwise. If this was not the case, then anyone can take anything in the religious texts to mean anything. Religious texts in Islam are not written in code so that they must be deciphered to find hidden meanings. Rather, Allah and His Messenger were direct and clear about what they were saying. The messages in the Qur’an and hadiths are for the masses and they don’t speak generally in metaphor. Yes, there are some verses of the Qur’an and prophetic statements which are metaphorical but there are clear indications to suggest so, however, the mass amount of both texts is quite literal. This is why in the Qur’an Allah clearly states:

“It is He who has sent this Scripture down to you [Prophet]. Some of its verses are definite in meaning – these are the cornerstone of the Scripture – and others are ambiguous” [Qur’an 3:7].

Interestingly enough, the Lahori sect believes that all the explicit statements made by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad regarding his claims to be a prophet and receiving revelation are only metaphorical and not literal. Of course, the Qadiani sect does not accept this argument from them and understands Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s statements literally.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) literally mentioned Jesus by name as the son of Mary in the context of a second return. He never mentioned Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Also, Jesus was born before Muhammad (pbuh), thus, his second coming does not contradict with explicit texts which close the door of prophethood with Muhammad (pbuh). But a new prophet being born after Muhammad (pbuh) does clearly contradict it. This is why the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) mentioned Umar as the one that would have come after him if there was a prophet. Lastly, as many Muslim scholars have pointed out, Jesus will come again as an individual and follower of Muhammad (pbuh) and not as a prophet. This is clearly indicated by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in his statement mentioned earlier that Jesus will descend among us as a just ruler. He didn’t say prophet.

There have been many self-proclaimed Mahdis throughout Islamic history and the Muslims didn’t excommunicate them, provided they abstain from heterodoxy, rather, we just said they were deviant. But every person that claimed prophethood after the demise of Muhammad (pbuh), and there were plenty starting within the end of the life of Muhammad (pbuh) like Musaylimah, the mainstream Muslims excommunicated them all. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is no different. Ahmadis contradict the testimony of faith (shahadah). Muhammad (pbuh) was the last and final prophet of Allah. No one is coming after him whether with a new law or subordinate to him. Whoever contradicts this cannot be a Muslim in the view of mainstream Islam. This is no different than someone saying, “I believe that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, but I believe in demigods who are subordinate to Allah.” Such a person will never be acceptable as a Muslim to the mainstream because this person is contradicting the shahadah, a basic tenet. There are other odd beliefs from this movement that are not really in sync with mainstream Islam.

It is important to note that many Ahmadi writings also excommunicate those who do not believe in their false prophet. This is explicitly stated by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself and the religious leaders of the Ahmadi community as recorded in their own writings. This is ironic because today many Ahmadis complain against majority of the Muslim world for excommunicating them and not accepting them as fellow Muslims.

Among those who confronted Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in his lifetime from mainstream Islam was Shaykh Abu’l-Wafa’ Sanahullah Amristar, the leader of Jama’iyyat Ahl al-Hadeeth fi ‘Umoom al-Hind (The All-India Society of Ahl al-Hadeeth). He debated with him and refuted his arguments, revealing his ulterior motives, apostasy, and the deviation of his way. When Mirza Ghulam Ahmad did not come to his senses, Shaykh Abu’l-Wafa’ challenged him to come together and invoke the curse of Allah, such that the one who was lying would die in the lifetime of the one who was telling the truth. Within a month or so Mirza Ghulam Ahmad died, in May 1908. Shaykh Abu’l-Wafa’ remained alive for nearly forty more years and went on condemning Ahmadis during all that time.

For a thorough study of this sect from the perspective of mainstream Muslims, please look into the following:

Qadiyaniat – An Analytical Survey

Qadianism – A Critical Study

There is also a good discussion on Reddit’s r/Islam page here.

9 thoughts on “Why Mainstream Muslims Cannot Accept Ahmadis As Muslims”

  1. Ansar Sultanul Qalam


    I would respectfully point out that you have shown considerable unfamiliarity with the Ahmadi belief about prophethood. Your theological reasonings also seem to be self-conflicting. You speak of Rasulullah (saw) as the absolutely final/last prophet but in the same breath make an exception with regards to Jesus(as) who you readily admit is a “prophetic figure” who will “come after him”. In effect, you accept the possibility of an old prophet coming after Rasulullah(saw) but only reject the view that a new prophet will be born. Turns out, therefore, the Sunni view on Finality of Prophethood is not as absolute as they make it out to be. In fact, the Ahmadis are on stronger ground regarding the Finality of Prophethood because we believe no independent prophet whether an old one (like Jesus) or a new one can come after Rasulullah(saw). Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) never claimed to be a prophet in that sense, nor do Ahmadis believe him to be so. In his capacity as the promised Messiah and Mahdi his status is seen as that of a prophet by way of “zill” (reflection) of Rasullullah(saw), reflecting his prophetic qualities, and not a prophet in his own right like Jesus(as) or Moses(as). Both the “Qadiani” and “Lahori” groups believe this, but while the former believe that this still means that he was an actual prophet, the latter believe that it doesn’t and that he was only a prophet in an allegorical sense. In any case, it would be extremely unjust, therefore, to liken him to Musaylimah or other such claimants who claimed prophethood independently of Rasulullah(saw).

    You rightly say that “language is taken literally unless proven otherwise”, well Ahmadis do prove otherwise, or at least claim to do so, but that is another discussion. As a principle if you read Ahmadi Tafasir, most interpretaions do not replace literal meanings but are made in addition to them. Verse 33:40 is not taken metaphorically, “Khatam” literally means “seal”.

    You are also demonstrably wrong in believing that Jesus(as) will not be coming as a prophet. The Ahadith clearly call him a prophet, Sahih Muslim, kitabul fitan, while speaking of his future advent calls him “nabi-ullah” (prophet of Allah) four times in a single narration. similarly Sunan Abi Dawud Kitab Al-Malahim records Rasulullah(saw) saying regarding Jesus’ future advent: “There is no prophet between me and him, that is, Jesus. He will descent (to the earth)”. With these clear indications of his prophecy, how can you say he will lose his prophethood upon return?

    The criticism that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) made his claims gradually as his popularity grew ignores to facts. (1) that the claims of Rasulullah(saw) as to the sphere of his mission were also made gradually and were not revealed all at once, and the Christians to this day level this criticism against him too. (2) that as his following grew, so did the opposition against him, and the fact that he continued to make bolder successive claims in in the face of stronger opposition with each claim is a sign of sincerity.

    As for the challenge with Sanaullah Amristari, you’ve totally twisted the facts, even by the standards of irshad.org, the source that you cite. It wasn’t Abu’l-Wafa’ who challenged him to a Mubahila, that the liar die within the lifetime of the truthful. It was Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) who initially challenged him. It is telling that irshad.org has nothing to say on Abu’l-Wafa’s response. That is because he didn’t accept Ghulam Ahmad’s (as) challenge. In fact he reversed it, saying the that liars outlive the truthful like Musaylimah outlived rasulullah(saw). so Sanahullah actually became the target of his own reversed mubahila and died after Ghulam Ahmad(as).

    I would suggest you consult Ahmadi sources directly to understand our beliefs instead of relying on unreliable sources such as wikipedia or irshad.org.

    1. First I’d like to say that thank you for actually reading it, because mos Ahmadis wouldn’t even read this post. I targeted it towards a non-Ahmadi crowd. Here is my brief response to your arguments:

      1. “considerable unfamiliarity with the Ahmadi belief about prophethood” – Nothing you have stated to clarify your position is what I didn’t already know. You just said the same things I said your beliefs were but in your own wording.

      2. “an exception with regards to Jesus(as) who you readily admit is a “prophetic figure” who will “come after him”” – Let’s buy your argument that Jesus will still be a prophet after his return. Ok, so what? That doesn’t prove anything. We believe that to be true because the Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, explicitly mentioned him by name and said so. He didn’t mention Mirza Ghulam Ahmad by name. If you can find me that hadith where he is explicitly mentioned by name, then us mainstream would be more than happy to change our minds. We believe whatever the Prophet told us. He said there will be no prophet after him and that those who claim prophethood after him are liars, then this is how it is, so end of story. MGA claimed prophethood explicitly.

      3. “claims of Rasulullah(saw) as to the sphere of his mission were also made gradually” – And, what does this prove? This doesn’t help your case. Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, was explicit from the very beginning that he is a prophet and messenger of God. This is not the case with MGA. He contradicts himself and gradually graduates himself to higher and higher roles. This is not the same as sphere of mission gradually increasing. The two are entirely different things.

      4. “unreliable sources such as wikipedia or irshad.org” – I’ve personally met the owner of irshad.org years ago, and he has a very good grounding in Ahmadi belief and not to mention that many ex-Ahmadis, who are now sunnis, acknowledge his website as an accurate representation of their beliefs. In fact, some of them even helped him with the research if I recall. Pretty much all of their sources are original Ahmadi sources. As for Wiki, I linked to it because most people will not read books or go to original sources, rather, wiki is usually correct with basic information on a topic. Can you quote something in my article that I linked to wiki which is absolutely wrong? I also have a friend who is now sunni and an ex-Ahmadi, and much of what is stated above is nothing different than what he has told me. If you want original sources from Ahmadis shown, then the reddit link I put up at the end of the article is nothing but full of it.

      I don’t expect you to take these arguments. It’s natural to safeguard and be protective over your beliefs and reject anything contrary to it. But all I have done is put up a general and basic article on the Sunni perspective and why we reject the Qadiani doctrine.

  2. Pingback: The Kashif Chaudhry vs. Professor Johnathan brown beef continues – ahmadiyyafactcheckblog

  3. Pingback: Why Mainstream Muslims Cannot Accept Ahmadis As Muslims – ahmadiyyafactcheckblog

  4. Ansar Sultanul Qalam

    1. Saying that Ahmadis take verse 33:40 metaphorically is simply not true, saying that Ahmadis believe in a prophet after Muhammad (saw) is an over-simplification, and the statement: “His followers believe that new prophets after Muhammad (pbuh) can come but that they must be subordinate to Muhammad (pbuh)” is not an accurate presentation of Ahmadi Beliefs. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) described the nature of his prophethood, which by the way, was not even his central claim, by way of “zill” (shadow) and “buruz” (reflection) of Rasulullah(saw) and certainly not a prophet in his own right like Jesus(as) or Joseph(as) or Hud(as). We agree that anyone who believes in an independent prophet after Muhamamd (saw) is not a Muslim. Also, it is wrong to say that Ghulam Ahmad (as) was a prophet “after” Muhammad (saw) because there is no “after” him. We’re still living in Muhammad’s (saw) prophetic era that will remain until the Day of Qiyamah. This is what was meant (in our understanding) by Rasulullah(saw) saying: “The time of my Advent and the Hour are like these two fingers.” Putting his index and middle fingers together (Sahih Bukhari, Kitabul Tafsir); and by Abu Bakr Siddiq(ra) saying upon his(saw) death: “By Allah, Allah will never cause you to die twice. As for the death which was written for you, has come upon you” (Sahih Bukhari, Kitabul Maghazi). This rules out an Israelite prophet (Jesus) coming in between. Now given the above, comparing Ghulam Ahmad’s (as) claim to that of Musaylimah Kazzab is shamelessly unjust. Musaylimah’s claim was to be a prophet on par with and independent of Rasulullah(saw). Ghulam Ahmad’s (as) claim was of receiving the gift of prophecy through perfect obedience to and “fana fil-rusul” (self-effacement) in Rasulullah(saw). This is a crucial nuance which you’ve ignored in this blog. If you knew it then basic decency would demand that you express it and save misleading your readers.

    2. If you accept that Jesus(as) will remain a prophet when he returns, this means that (a) your concept of Muhammad’s (saw) finality is not absolute or unqualified since Jesus(as) would be the last prophet to live, to walk the earth and to die, and Rasulullah(saw) only the last to be born a prophet. That necessarily adds qualification to his finality; and (b) it would mean that the difference between Ahmadis and other Muslims does not concern the issue of prophethood but that of the identity of the expected messianic figure, since both groups believe his status would be that of a prophet, only you await an old prophet to return while Ahmadis contend that figure was to come from within Islam. If you don’t change the reasoning of this blog, therefore, your position is both theologically flawed and hypocritical. Jesus’s(as) continuity as a prophet, therefore, is not something that can be simply dismissed by ‘so whats’. Remember that Ahmadis in Pakistan are ostracised from Islam precisely for rejecting the “absolute” and “unqualified” finality of Muhammad (saw).

    3. I’m not trying to prove anything. Just pointing out that this criticism is strikingly similar to that made by Christians against Rasulullah’s(saw) gradually expanding the sphere of his mission as a sign of his falsehood, God forbid.; and the fact that it overlooks the concomitant growth in hostility

    4. As to your quite flimsy attempt to defend your questionable sources, Islamophobes and ex-Muslims also tout the likes of Robert Spencer and Ayan Hirsi Ali as having “a very good grounding ” in Islamic beliefs and as presenting “an accurate representation” of Islamic beliefs. Moreover their works also cite original Islamic sources from the Qur’an and hadith. I’m sure we would agree on how trustworthy these people are. They only spread on-sided propaganda and ex-Muslims fall prey to it. You can trust an ex-Ahmadi as much as you can an ex-Muslim generally. I would judge what comes from the likes of irshad.org and ex-Ahmadis likewise and I have good reason to do so. I’ve already shown you how disingenuous that site has been regarding the challenge with Sanaullah Amritsari. Why it is silent on his response to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s (as) challenge to Mubahila is because he never accepted it on the terms that the liar die within the lifetime of the truthful. Instead, as published in his journal “Ahl-e-Hadeeth” he changed the condition in light of the Qur’anic verses 2:15 and 19:75 and the fact that Musaylimah lived longer than Rasulullah(saw). that the liar live longer than the truthful, and then became a target of his own reversed mubahila.

    In the end I leave you with two sources which would clarify for you the Ahmadi position on the issue of prophethood.



    1. Here is be brief response to your arguments:

      1 – Ok, I have read your arguments and I understand what you are trying to say and at the end of the day you still consider him to be a prophet. Mainstream Muslims don’t differentiate between an independent or dependent prophet, though not sure how this differs from my ‘subordinate’ argument in the article. A prophet is anyone who receives divine revelation from Allah. MGA made claims to it and his followers believe that he received divine revelation. What you are describing is similar to previous prophets that did not come with any new law but followed the law of the prophet that was sent before them like David or Solomon. This is still prophethood and is unacceptable to mainstream Muslims and kicks that person out of the fold of Islam. So again, we don’t care if he was not an independent prophet according to Ahmadis. As long as he is considered a prophet, then such a person will not be accepted by the mainstream because we have explicit verse in the Qur’an and numerous hadiths which indicate that there is no new prophet coming after Muhammad (pbuh).

      2 – Sorry but not a strong argument on your end. We restrict it to Jesus because the last prophet Muhammad (pbuh) EXPLICITLY named him that he will return. If someone were to say that Noah, Joseph, David, Moses, Abraham, Adam, etc. were to return, it would be rejected. This allowance is ONLY reserved for Jesus because he is mentioned by NAME in the texts. That is a HUGE difference. Again, show me a hadith where MGA is explicitly mentioned by name. Secondly, as the hadith in the article and numerous scholars have pointed out, he will return as a just ruler. Mainstream Muslims understand Islam by bringing all of the texts in the Qur’an and Hadiths together before developing rulings and beliefs, because some hadiths clarify others. We don’t isolate texts to fit our views as seems to be a practice among Ahmadis. Anyway, so this is not an identity issue but explicit hadiths and the Qur’an being clear that there is no new prophet coming after Muhammad, pbuh. Now, the Ahmadis can disagree with that all they want, at the end of the day their belief contradicts explicit Islamic law as laid down by Sharia, thus, they cannot be Muslims.

      3 – No comment

      4 – Even if I say fine ex-Ahmadis are unreliable, this wouldn’t change anything. The fact that Ahmadis believe in another prophet after Muhammad, pbuh, is sufficient to warrant an excommunication. That’s the crux of the matter. It doesn’t matter if they don’t consider him an independent prophet, because Sharia is very clear that a belief in any new prophet after Muhammad, pbuh, is a contradiction of the kalimah and will void the the person’s Islam. As for the the mubahila issue, then I am not aware of what you claim to be true. Every version I have heard or read states what I’ve mentioned in the article. You and I were not there so we cannot settle a historical account. You have your version and we have ours. Let historians duke that issue out.

      Anyway, the point of the article was to indicate why we cannot accept Ahmadis as Muslims and I feel it does the job. I’m not sure why Ahmadis have a problem with this because they, as well as MGA, also consider rest of the Muslims as kafirs. So it’s actually really hypocritical on their end. Yes some liberal Ahmadis try to get themselves out of it by saying that they don’t but I have trouble believing that since that’s not what their official books and leaders say. Check the reddit page I linked for more info and sources for that info. I quoted MGA as well in the article to hold such beliefs.

      Lastly, many of the Ahmadi activists online are stating their beliefs the same way as I have put above. In fact, some of the above I copied and pasted directly from their fb page. So perhaps you all need to have an internal conversation and figure out what does or does not represent your belief.

  5. after prosecution of iran, zoroastrian accepted islam only to fool the muslims. their only intention was to defame islam and incite other communities to fight with muslims…..thats what they are doing today their faith is all about hating and cursing islam,…we can trust hindus. we can be friend with christian but never with these shias, and ahmedia,….only faithful people are sunni muslim, hindus, christian and jews. dont believe a religion that curse other human being.

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