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The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islam, (Urdu: احمدیہ انجمنِ اشاعتِ اسلام لاہور, romanized: Aḥmadiyyah Anjuman-i Ishāʿat-i Islām Lahore) is a separatist group within the Ahmadiyya movement that formed in 1914 as a result of ideological and administrative differences following the demise of Hakim Nur-ud-Din, the first Caliph after Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Members of the Lahore Ahmadiyya movement are referred to by the majority group as ghayr mubāyi'īn ("non-initiates"; "those outside of allegiance" to the caliph) and are also known colloquially as Lahori Ahmadis.
Adherents of the Lahore Ahmadiyya movement believe Ghulam Ahmad to be a Mujaddid (reformer) and also affirm his status as the promised Messiah and Mahdi, but diverge from the main Ahmadiyya position in understanding his prophetic status to be of a Sufistic or mystical rather than theologically technical nature. Moreover, adherents of the Lahore Ahmadiyya movement do not profess allegiance to the Ahmadiyya Caliphate and are administered, instead, by a body of people called the Anjuman (Council), headed by an Amīr (President).
According to estimates from the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada and author Simon Ross Valentine, there are between 5,000 and 10,000 Lahori Ahmadis in Pakistan and as many as 30,000 worldwide, thereby representing less than 0.2% of the total Ahmadiyya population.
Soon after the death in 1914 of Hakim Nur-ud-Din, Ghulam Ahmad's first successor, Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad, Ghulam Ahmad's son, was chosen in Qadian at the age of 25 to lead the movement as his second successor. However, a group, which included some of the movement's senior figures, led by Maulana Muhammad Ali, opposed his succession and refrained from pledging their allegiance to him, eventually leaving Qadian and relocating to Lahore. Muhammad Ali and his supporters' differences with Mahmud Ahmad centred mainly upon the nature of Ghulam Ahmad's prophethood—and consequentially the status of Muslims who did not accept him— as well as the form the leadership should take within the movement, viz. the relative authority of the successor (or khalīfa) and the Central Ahmadiyya Council (Anjuman). Although a clash of personalities between the dissenters and Mahmud Ahmad has also been postulated owing to the latter's relative youth, inexperience and poor academic background. The disputes surrounding these, and other related issues, eventually led to a veritable secession and the formation of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement.
Adopting a position more congruent with the mainstream of Sunni Islam regarding the issues of dispute, Muhammad Ali led the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement as Amīr (President) from 1914 until his death in 1951. Since then it has been led by four Amīrs, the current being Abdul Karim Saeed Pasha. Relative to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, some mainstream Muslim opinion towards the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement and its literature has been more accepting, with some Orthodox Sunni scholars considering the members of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement as Muslims. Notwithstanding, the group was subsumed within Pakistan's anti-Ahmadi laws declaring Ahmadis to be non-Muslims and prohibiting them from any public expression of the Islamic faith.
Ahmadis universally concur in the belief that Ghulam Ahmad was both the promised Mahdi and Messiah foretold by Muhammad to appear in the end times, and that his prophetic qualities were neither independent nor separable from those of Muhammad. What this entailed theologically, however, became an issue of contention within the early Ahmadiyya movement. Muhammad Ali held that the type of prophecy described by Ghulam Ahmad in reference to himself did not make him a prophet in the technical sense of the word as used in Islamic terminology, amounted to nothing more than sainthood (walāya) and that Islamic mystics preceding Ghulam Ahmad had similarly described experiences of prophecy within Islam in the context of their relationship with Muhammad. Unlike the majority Muslim belief which expects the physical return of Jesus, the Lahore Ahmadiyya affirm the absolute cessation of prophethood, and believe that no prophet can appear after Muhammad, neither a past one like Jesus, nor a new one.
In contrast, Mahmud Ahmad posited that Ghulam Ahmad's messianic claim and role were qualitatively distinct to the claims of the saints preceding him in Islam and that his prophetic status, though completely subservient to Muhammad, being a mere reflection of his own prophethood and not legislating anything new, still made him technically a prophet irrespective of the type of prophethood or the adjectives added to qualify it. Accordingly, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes that prophecy gifted as a result of perfect obedience and self-effacement in devotion to Muhammad does not infringe upon the finality of his prophetic mission, though it affirms the advent of only one such promised end-times prophetic figure (Ghulam Ahmad) as having appeared in accordance with scriptural prophecies. Such a prophetic status, though not independent, is nonetheless technically classed as prophethood in as much as it involves an individual who is given knowledge of the hidden, predicts future events and is called a prophet by Allah.
A closely linked point of contention surrounded the status of Muslims who did not accept Ghulam Ahmad's claim. Muhammad Ali and his supporters, rejecting indiscriminate pronouncements of disbelief (Kufr) concerning them, drew a distinction between those who were neutral in the controversy and those who actively rejected and opposed Ghulam Ahmad, or pronounced him an infidel. The former could not in any sense be termed disbelievers (kafirs) while the latter were guilty only of rejecting a particular commandment of the Islamic faith—namely that pertaining to belief in the promised Messiah—which would render them fasiqun (those who depart from the right path) in distinction to disbelief in a basic element of the faith which would have excluded them from the Muslim community (Ummah). Muhammad Ali repudiated the idea of declaring the entire Muslim community as disbelievers, a term which, according to him, could not apply to non-Ahmadi Muslims indiscriminately, something which he accused Mahmud Ahmad of doing.
Affirming a different typology of disbelief, i.e. that which subsists outside of Islam in contrast to that which does not entail exclusion from it, although Mahmud Ahmad held that Muslims who did not accept Ghulam Ahmad technically fell into the category of disbelief, and that rejection of him ultimately amounted to rejection of Muhammad, he utilised the broad connotations and usages of the Arabic word Kafir to stress that his use of the term in reference to such Muslims did not carry its demotic meaning, but rather meant to signify doctrinal deviancy and to express that only Ahmadis were true Muslims. For him, since such Muslims as had not accepted one appointed by God (ma'mur minallah) within Islam were neither deniers of God nor Muhammad, they were still part of the Muslim community and were Muslims only in the sense that they belonged to the Ummah of Muhammad and as such were entitled to be treated as members of Muslim society (mu'ashira), which, according to him, was different from saying that they are Muslims and not kafirs. He held, therefore, that non-Ahmadi Muslims were to be classified as disbelievers albeit within the remit of Islam and not in the sense that they had a religion other than Islam; and, further, that the movement passed no judgement as to their fate in the hereafter and never proactively expressed this opinion of them. Although he refused demands from outside the movement to accept that the term Kafir did not apply to non-Ahmadi Muslims, Mahmud Ahmad did maintain that such Muslims were not deemed to be outside the pale of Islam.
Towards the end of 1905, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad published a short treatise anticipating his own death entitled Al-Wasiyyat (or The Will) in which he established the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya (Central Ahmadiyya Council), an executive body set up to administer the movement and to collect and distribute funds to support the propagation of Islam. Ghulam Ahmad presided over the Council himself until his death in 1908. After his death, Hakim Nur-ud-Din was unanimously chosen to succeed him and presided over the Council's appointed president. Muhammad Ali and his supporters held that Ghulam Ahmad, in The Will, had designated the Council as a consultative institution to be his successor. Viewing as autocratic the idea of one individual wielding absolute authority within the Community and demanding total obedience from it, they repudiated the idea of a khilāfah (caliphate) within the movement, preferring what they saw as a more democratic system established by Ghulam Ahmad himself and, accordingly, vested the Community's authority in the Council as an administrative body. No individual had the power to revoke the decisions reached by the majority of the Council that would remain paramount and binding, something which they believed was in keeping with Ghulam Ahmad's instructions for the movement's administration after his death. Further, according to them, since leadership of the movement was no longer divinely appointed after Ghulam Ahmad's death, the obligation to pledge allegiance to his successor had also lapsed and had become a voluntary act.
As opposed to the foregoing approach, Mahmud Ahmad, who assumed the movement's leadership as the second successor the day after Nur-ud-Din's death, held that Ghulam Ahmad had envisioned a system of divinely ordained caliphate to succeed him, similar to that believed to have commenced following the death of Muhammad, under whose authority the Council was to operate. Accordingly, he favoured centralised, singular authority through the system of caliphate which, in his view, was religiously indispensable and to which the Community's allegiance was necessary. Ghulam Ahmad's successors, according to him, continued to be divinely ordained and commanded obedience from the Community. This, he contended, was clearly indicated in The Will as well as Ghulam Ahmad's other works and was an arrangement which, according to him, had existed throughout the period of Nur-ud-Din's leadership who not only spoke of himself as the khalīfat al-masīh (caliph; lit. successor of the Messiah) but declared that he had attained this office by divine appointment rather than community choice. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, accordingly, vests its religious and organisational authority in the caliph as Ghulam Ahmad's divinely chosen successor.
There are 5 mosques that follow the principles taught by The Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat-i-Islam Lahore in Trinidad and Tobago.
Reliable statistics on the worldwide Lahore Ahmadiyya movement do not exist. However, sources do suggest that in comparison to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Lahore Ahmadiyya population is relatively very small. In particular, it is estimated that there may be between 5,000 and 10,000 Lahori Ahmadis in Pakistan and possibly up to 30,000 worldwide, thereby representing less than 0.2% of the worldwide Ahmadiyya population.