Question of Kufr and Iman
It is not entirely correct on the part of Mr. Faruqi when he says:
"As a `Mojaddid ' comes only to revive or renew an existing faith, hence one who denies him does not become an infidel." (Truth Triumphs, page 22)
On this point it should be remembered that we have never called any muslims, who denies the Promised Messiah, an `Infidel' or disbeliever of Islam.
Maulvi Muhammad Ali, the late leader of Lahore Section in his book `An -nabuwwat -fil-Islam ' states that it is necessary to believe in a Mojaddid and his denial makes a man Fasiq, `rebellious'.
As the Promised Messiah was not a mere Mojaddid but he has been called by Allah a Nabi, and Rasul, therefore he has himself indicated plainly, for instance in Khutba Ilhamia, that the person to whom he conveys his message, he should yield faith, and not become a kafir, not become a disbeliever.
As we see it, kufr is of two kinds. Refusal to accept a Nabi, bearing a new Sharia is of one kind. Refusal to accept an Ummati Nabi stands on a different level. Since the Holy Prophet Mohammad is the bearer of a new Sharia, refusal to accept him, directly turns a man into a kafir, in the sense of a non-Muslim. Where a man accepts the Holy Prophet, holds the Quran to be the Word of God, but rejects the Promised Messiah, his kufr would not be of the kind which turns a man into a non-Muslim. The Promised Messiah being an Ummati Nabi, refusal to accept him, would turn a man into a kafir of an Ummati Nabi . Being a member of the Ummat-i-Muhammadia, he would be called a Muslim, but he would turn into a kafir when he declines to accept the Promised Messiah. Denial of the Promised Messiah is not kufr, directly, it is kufr indirectly just as the Nabuwwat of the Promised Messiah, is Nabuwwat indirectly. This is the soul and spirit of what the Promised Messiah has said in the following passage:
"The point is worth remembering that to denounce as kafirs those who do not accept his claim, behave the position of those Prophets, alone, who bring a new Sharia . Apart from the bearer of a new Sharia, all the Mulhams and Mohaddathin in the history of the Ummat, howsoever elevated their position, even though blessed by direct communion with Allah, where a man denies them, by doing that, he does not become a kafir. "
This passage from Tiryaqul Qolub, Page 130, Mr. Faruqi has reproduced on page 22 of his Truth Triumphs. Tiryaqul Qolub, was written before 1901, so the kufr mentioned in it is kufr of the first kind. i.e. the kufr resulting from denial of a Prophet bearing a new Sharia . On the basis of this passage, someone raised a question, which the Promised Messiah has reproduced and answered in Haqiqatul Wahyi :
"In thousands of places you have written that it is in no way correct and proper to say in regard to a man who believes in the Islamic Kalima, and the Qibla of the Muslims, that he becomes a kafir . It is clear from this, that apart from people who become kafir, by calling you a kafir, no one becomes a kafir merely by not yielding faith in you. But to Abdul Hakim Khan you have written that everyone reached by your message, who has not accepted you, he is no more a Muslim. In this statement, and what you have been saying in your earlier books, there is a contradiction, namely, now you say denial of your claim turns a man into a kafir ." (Haqiqatul Wahyi, page 163)
If the Promised Messiah had answered that a man who held him to be a kafir, became thereby a kafir himself, but one who simply did not believe in him, even actively denied him, he did not become a kafir on the basis of that denial: that the enquirer had not taken in the correct meaning and sense of these passages. If the matter had been like that, the position of the Lahore Section would have been correct and proper, that one who denied the Promised Messiah would not become kafir . But the reply given by the Promised Messiah does not yield any foothold for them. Said he:
"It is strange that to your mind those who call me a kafir, and those who deny me, are two different kind of people, even though, in eyes of the Lord they fall into one and the same category." (Haqiqatul Wahyi, page 163)
Perhaps Mr. Faruqi will be kind enough to explain here whether he takes these two kinds of people to be one and the same, or whether he takes them as belonging to two different kinds. His Leader, Maulvi Mohammad Ali, anyway, has drawn a distinction between those who call him a kafir, and those who decline to accept his claim. Writes Maulvi Mohammad Ali, in his Radd-i-Takfir-i-Ahl-i-Qabila :
"A man who calls the Promised Messiah a kafir, or kazib or dajjal, under the verdict of Hadith, he becomes a kafir apart from these people, there are those who have not accepted his claim, or they have not yet yielded the pledge of faith and loyalty, they do not become kafirs, just because they have denied the claim." (Radd-i-Takfir-i-Ahl-i-Qabila, page 39)
Here we have Maulvi Mohammad Ali deciding definitely that where a man believes in regard to the Promised Messiah that he is a kafir, kazib, or a dajjal, he himself becomes a kafir, but he does not hold that a man becomes a kafir who declines to accept the claim of the Promised Messiah. This stand of the Lahore Section is not correct since it is in regard to exactly a case of this kind that the Promised Messiah has laid down quite clearly:
"It is very strange you draw a distinction between one who takes me for a kafir . and one who declines to yield faith in me". (Haqiqatul Wahyi, page 163)
On page 179 of Haqiqatul Wahyi, the Promised Messiah has placed the word "kafir " against "momin", and stated that kufr is of two kinds:
- "One kind of kufr is that a man does not at all believe in Islam, and he does not accept the Holy Prophet Mohammad as an Apostle of God."
- "The second kind of kufr is, for instance, that he does not believe in the Promised Messiah... Even after the whole case has been fully and duly put before him, he declines to believe in one, whose truth has been supported by the Holy Prophet, with great emphasis and insistence, and whose truth, moreover, is found to have been confirmed by the Scriptures of the earlier Prophets: Therefore, since he rejects the decision of the Apostle of God, and of Allah Himself, he becomes a kafir . When you look deeply at this question, the two kinds of kufr are found to be one and the same thing. There is really no room for doubt that in the eyes of the Lord, where the case has been fully and duly put before, a kafir of the first or the second kind, on the Day of the Qiyama, he will be held culpable. And. where, in the eyes of the Lord, the case has not yet come to be duly and fully stated, and the man is a mokazzib, or munkir, though the Sharia, based as it is on the exterior, also would pronounce that he is a kafir ; and we too shall hold he is a kafir . But in the eyes of the Lord, under His law that He does not burden anyone beyond capacity, the man in question will not be held culpable. All the same, it would not be for us to issue a decree for his release and salvation. His would be a matter strictly between himself and his Maker, wherein we have no standing, whatsoever." (Haqiqatul Wahyi, pages 179-180)
Thus, our friends of the Lahore Section, do not appear entitled to be called sincere Ahmadis, unless they subscribe to the truth of this belief, as sifted out above. Here I would also take the liberty to put before them another passage from the pen of Maulvi Mohammad Ali, published in The Review of Religions:
"Our final reply to this question, whether we are Believers or not, is that we can claim to be Believers only when, on the basis of heavenly Signs, we have witnessed at the hands of him whom He has been pleased to appoint for the purpose these days, we hold firmly to our conviction in regard to His existence. If that is not our position, what we call our faith, is nothing more than a foolish boast, with no reality in it, anywhere." (Review of Religions, Vol. III, No. 11, page 409)
These heavenly Signs comprise the Nabuwwat of the Promised Messiah, the substance of his mission, of which the acceptance is altogether binding on all of us.