The nizam or organization of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is aimed to reform and guide members so that everyone is able to worship and practice the true teachings of Islam in the best way possible. Unfortunately, there are some individuals who deviate from righteous deeds and commit acts that call for disciplining. Concerning this, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (may Allah be his Helper) says the following:
We do not expel the person without a reason. There are certain reasons for it. Someone has committed a wrong action, or an un-Islamic action, an action against Sharia, then that person gets punished. Or there is a case in the Qaza Board, and he willingly takes the case there, and says that whatever decision the Board takes, I will accept the results or punishment of the Board. And if the person doesn’t accept the decision, then that person gets punished.[i]
Furthermore, no two cases are ever identical and thus no two cases are dealt with in the same manner. Although all ill acts are innately stemmed from similar roots, there is a difference between the punishments administered to those who deviate. Huzoor clarifies further when he says:
There are two types of punishments. Sometimes if a person has done something wrong, then [the Jama‘at] says that we will not take Chanda from that person nor any help in Jama‘at work… If the person commits a huge action that is wrong, [it should be noted that] the Jama‘at does not have a police force or a jail. Punishment is actually given to help reform. So, in this case, we say that the person will not have any connection with the Jama‘at. The person who has been expelled from of the Jamaat, he remains an Ahmadi of course. If he believes in the Promised Messiah(as), he will be called an Ahmadi. And there is no doubt he may have respect for Khilafat in his heart, and is connected to it. But the administrative action that is taken against him is that organizationally he is not part of the Jama‘at.[ii]
This is an important element of the discussion. When a person is expelled from the Jama‘at, it does not mean that they are no longer Ahmadi Muslim. Faith is a private matter and the best judge of a person’s relationship with God is God Himself. The Jama‘at never declares anything about a person’s private faith, nor prevents him or her from worship at the mosque. Instead, such a person is removed from the nizam or organization, and may lose certain privileges, such as holding an office position within the community.
The genuine intention behind this practice is the reformation and personal development of members of Jama‘at. After a punishment has been administered, and a substantial change has been seen in the individual, the door is open for them to be forgiven and re-enter the nizam, and even excel other members of the Jama‘at in devotion, righteousness and service. Huzoor explains this as follows:
After a while he repents, [or] asks God for forgiveness. It may be six months later, a year later, two years later, whenever he does. Or, he may have wronged someone. Say you [i.e. the tifl who asked the question] have to give someone £2000 that you owe them, and you agree to give that money in a month or two months. When two months pass by and you have not even give a penny back, you will be punished, right? So, when you give the money back, your punishment will be forgiven, and you will be back [in the nizam of the Jama’at]. Punishment is given for reformation. I gave a Khutbah a while ago that when a wrongdoing is corrected, the punishment is over. But we cannot [ever] say that the person is not Ahmadi [Muslim]. Deen is in the heart. He sincerely believes in the Promised Messiah(as), and believes in Khilafat, so he is Ahmadi; but administrative action is taken against him and he is expelled from the Jama‘at.[iii]
From this, it is evident that despite the Jama‘at’s best efforts to keep all of its members on the right path, there are a few unfortunate cases where individuals go against the teachings of Islam and thus require reprimanding. However, contrary to popular belief, the purpose of the system is to designate a just punishment and motivate the individual to reform, make amendments, as well as seek forgiveness.
[i]. https://youtu.be/y_VXru9JR4s, Retrieved April 15, 2019