The first point that needs to be understood is that Ahmadiyyat does not present new teachings that are separate from Islam; rather Ahmadiyyat was established to revive the true teachings of Islam, and the essence of spirituality that had been forgotten by Muslims.
Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad(ra) was once asked as to why he believes in Islam and he replied by explaining that the fundamental belief of all religions is existence of God and the central goal is to build a relationship with Him. As such, the religion that is most successful in establishing the bond between God and the human being must be true. If the religion is true, it is obvious that we must believe in it.[i]
He further stated, “Islam claims that the Creator of this universe is a living God and that He reveals Himself to His creatures in this age in the same manner in which He used to reveal Himself in the ages past”.[ii] So we see that for a religion to be true it has to fulfill the requirement of guiding us to create that relationship with our Creator. If one, despite following the tenets of a religion cannot reach this level, then that religion cannot be considered true.
Then Huzoor(ra) further breaks down his answer and states, “I believe in Islam as it does not base itself upon the experience of people who have passed away, but invites everybody to a personal experience of that which it teaches and guarantees. It claims that every truth can, in some manner or the other, be put to the test in this world, and it thus satisfies my reason”.[iii]
Islam challenges an individual to foster their own relationship with God. One’s own experience is valued greater than the supposed experiences of others. The individual is asked to build faith in God from their own prayer rather than simply following the words of others. In order to judge anything, we first need to try and experience it, to see if the claims it makes are true or not. Islam offers a personal relationship with God, and without making a sincere effort towards this goal, it cannot be dismissed.
Another way to judge a religion is by its religious scripture, and for Muslims that is the Holy Quran. It is imperative for the Word of God to be able to prove that it has actually been sent by God. And when one studies the Holy Quran they see that it presents its own evidence and not just claims. For example, Allah Himself says, “Verily, We Ourself have sent down this Exhortation, and most surely We will be its Guardian” (Holy Quran, 15:10). In 1400 years, not a single verse has been changed, therefore testifying the truth of its legitimacy. Furthermore, the Holy Quran makes prophecies that were fulfilled just in the recent past, for example, “Their skins will bear witness against them as to what they have been doing” (41:21). This verse of the Quran talks about the process of finger printing and DNA, which are a recent phenomenon but the Holy Quran addressed this 1400 years ago.
Moreover, in this day and age, we have seen and are seeing the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Promised Messiah(as), who is a sincere follower of the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet(sa). If he is not from God, how did those prophecies come true? For example, in 1905, the Promised Messiah(as) prophesied a great war and the miserable end of the head of state of Russia, who at that time was Czar Nicholas II. He stated, “And the Czar himself will, at that hour, be in a pitiable state”.[iv] And this happened in 1918 when the Czar and his family, after a long series of events were brutally executed. How could the Promised Messiah(as) know this back in 1905? This and many other prophecies of the Promised Messiah(as) are listed in his books. Some were fulfilled in his lifetime, some immediately after his death in 1908, some in the century since, and others are being fulfilled today, and yet others are for the future.
It would be unfair to try to look for a shortcut answer to this question. The answer requires a person to analyze, study and apply the teachings accordingly to see if Islam Ahmadiyyat takes them to that level, where a true religion from God is supposed to lead.
Hazrat Musleh Mau‘ud(ra) was someone who analyzed, studied and applied the teachings of Islam and he finishes his aforementioned answer to this question by stating:
In short, I find that Islam provides conditions of peace and comfort for me and for all those who may wish to tread the path prescribed by it, whoever they may be, whatever they may be and wherever they may be. In whatever position I place myself, I find that Islam is equally useful and beneficial for me and (those who are) mine, for my neighbours, for people whom I do not know and have not even heard of, for men and for women, for the aged and for the young, for the employer and the employed, for the rich and for the poor, for great nations and for small, for internationalists and for the nationalists, and that it establishes a sure and certain relationship between me and my Maker. I believe in it and how indeed could I give it up and accept something else in its place.[v]
[i]. www.alislam.org/library/articles/why-i-believe-in-islam/, Retrieved April 10, 2019
[iv]. Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Part V, English translation, p. 218
[v]. www.alislam.org/library/articles/why-i-believe-in-islam/, Retrieved April 10, 2019