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The Mubahala Challenge and The Response of Mullahs

By Rashid Ahmad Chaudhry, Press Secretary, London.

When according to the prophecies of Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed to be the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi, the Ulema of his time opposed him tooth and nail. Many debates, both oral and written took place between him and the Ulema of India. The opponents soon saw that they are no match to the arguments put forward by the Promised Messiah and that the truth of his claim is being established day after day. They therefore resorted to abuse, ridicule, and spreading lies about him and his beliefs, in order to mislead the masses. After repeated explanations the Promised Messiah through Divine Revelation issued Mubahala (Prayer Challenge) to the prominent Ulema of his time who were leading the campaign of vilification and falsehood against him. All those who accepted his challenge met their fate without exception. They became the victims of God's wrath. Thousands of people, after seeing these signs came into the fold of Ahmadiyyat, the True Islam.

On Friday, 10th June 1988, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IV, revived the challenge given by the Promised Messiah and gave an open invitation of Mubahala to General Zia-ul-Haq President of Pakistan, his ministers and the Judges of the Shariat Court and all the Maulvis who have been playing prominent roles in organising opposition against the Ahmadiyya Muslims Community having rejected the claim of the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, as the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, and continued inciting their followers with lies and fabricated allegations. The Mubahala was issued in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Quran because a polarisation had emerged and logical arguments had proved of no avail between Ahmadis on one hand and their opponents on the other. According to the Mubahala, both parties were to invoke the curse of Allah on the party which has been telling lies deliberately against the other, so that God's wrath befall on it within one year. On behalf of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, its Supreme Head and Imam Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad agreed in advance to be the First Party to this prayer Contest and left it to the discretion of the opponents to sing on behalf of their followers and publicise the fact that they have accepted the challenge.

Since the issue of this challenge Allah has manifested many signs to show the truth of Ahmadiyyat. Maulana Aslam Qureshi, who disappeared from Pakistan suddenly, and whose kidnap and murder was alleged to have been committed by the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, reappeared in a dramatic fashion on Pakistan Television in the presence of the Inspector General Police Punjab. In an interview, the so called Maulana stated the he had gone to Iran on his own free will and that no one had abducted him. The report of his reappearance was carried in all newspapers of Pakistan and also Urdu papers published in London and elsewhere. The report appeared in The Daily Muslim Pakistan on 13th July, 1988 is as follows:

Lahore, July 12: Maulana Muhammad Aslam Qureshi of the Tehrik Khatme Nabuwwat, who was alleged to have been kidnapped and murdered by a minority of Pakistan over five years ago was produced on Tuesday before newsmen at a hurriedly called press conference addressed by Inspector General Police Punjab, Nisar Ahmad Cheema. Maulana Qureshi told newsmen that he served the Iranian Army for about five years and fought at various fronts during this period. He said that he had left his hometown Sialkot due to frustration caused by financial and other domestic problems. (Daily Muslim, 13th July, 1988)
According to the IG Police the so called Maulana was taken in custody in Quetta on 10th July 1988.

This was the first manifestation of God's verdict which happened exactly a month after the issuance of Mubahala.

The most prominent person addressed in this Mubahala and right at the top of the list, was General Zia-ul-Haq, who vowed that he would eradicate Ahmadiyyat from the face of the earth and in order to do so committed atrocities against this peaceful community. Repeated warnings were given by the Head of the Ahmadiyya Community to General Zia that he had been named in this Mubahala and whether or not he formally accepted the challenge, he was a party to it, unless he stops the persecutions against the members of the Ahmadiyya Community. But General Zia was flying high in his political career. He did not desist from perpetuating the course of persecution. In his Friday Sermon of 12th August 1988 the Head of the Ahmadiyya Movement Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad stated that because General Zia-ul-Haq and his government had not relented in their wave of persecution, and has transgressed to the extreme his fate was now sealed.

Merely five days later i.e. on 17th August God Almighty handed down His sentence and Zia became the victim of Mubahala. His military plane exploded in mid air and according to a newspaper's headlines, "ZIA BLOWN OUT OF SKY"

Another faith enhancing incident happened in Shahkot, Pakistan. There are a few Ahmadi shopkeepers in Shahkot. Since 1984, they were under abusive attack. Their shops were boycotted. When the Challenge to Mubahala was given to their leaders, they brought out a procession, made highly objectionable and inciting speeches against Ahmadis and decided to burn and loot their houses and shops. A notorious person Ashiq Hussain, goldsmith by profession, became the leader of the opponents of Ahmadiyyat by excelling others in abusing the Ahmadi Muslims. He was to lead the procession. As they were gathering for the procession, he went to his shop for some purpose. As soon as he opened the door of his shop and tried to switch on the electric fan, he was electrocuted and died on the spot.

Seeing these heavenly signs many honest and God-fearing people accepted the truth of Ahmadiyyat and joined its fold.

Some bigoted mullahs, however, attempted to throw dust into the eyes of the people by demanding that Mirza Tahir Ahmad along with his family should come face to face with them for the Mubahala. We reproduce here some of the interesting replies received from such mullahs, which not only show the lack of Quranic knowledge of the mullahs but also their inconsistency and evasion from the Mubahala challenge.

Maulana Professor Tahirul Qadri, Quaid Tehrik Minhajul Quran announced that he has accepted the Mubahala challenge, but Mirza Tahir Ahmad should come personally to Meenar-i-Pakistan Lahore on 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal 1988 to face him. I will wait for Mirza Tahir Ahmad the whole night in the presence of thousands of my followers and other Ulemas until Fajr. As a result of Mubahala, either Mirza Tahir will become a Muslim or be killed. If it does not happen, I may be beheaded there and then, he boasted. Professor Tahirul Qadri was sent a reply by registered post from London, well in advance, and a copy of the letter was also delivered to him personally in Lahore before 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal. Posters and handbills of the same were published and distributed throughout the length and breadth of Pakistan. We reproduce here the English translation of the open letter sent to Professor Tahirul Qadri.

Mr. Tahirul Qadri

Having studied your open letter and various statements in the press in response to the challenge to the Mubahala issued by the Imam of the World- wide Ahmadiyya Community, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad on 10th June 1988, we can say with full confidence that you have not taken this matter seriously and that your heart is devoid of God's fear. Indeed you have tried to seek cheap publicity in the media through your deceit and trickery. Firstly, your declaration that the Imam Jamaat Ahmadiyya Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad must accept your challenge is simply an attempt to pull the wool over people's eyes. Not only the Imam Jamaat Ahmadiyya issued forth the challenge of Mubahala in response to the allegations made by people like you, but also through his numerous Friday Sermons and public statements has already invoked the curse of God on wilful liars. He has thus already become a party to this Mubahala. Thereafter, it was left only for you to accept and become the opposing party. You should have signed the challenge issued by the Head of the World-wide Ahmadiyya Community individually or jointly with other leaders and given wide publicity of your acceptance. You should have openly declared that: "Mirza Tahir Ahmad has told lies in all those matters he has stated in his Mubahala challenge and that the person whom he holds as the Promised Messiah and the Imam Mahdi, is an impostor." After stating all this being fully conscious of the responsibilities of your actions, you should have invoked the curse of Allah on those who lie by repeating the words of the Holy Quran. [Arabic] Moreover you should have claimed that all those statements made by the Ulema (which we regard as allegations against the Ahmadiyya Jamaat) are true statements of fact, and that if you have uttered a lie, may the curse of Allah fall on you. Had you any fear of God, you should have adopted this right course of action.

Secondly as for the demand that both parties should gather together in such and such place; or that if Mirza Tahir did not reach Lahore on such and such date, he would be considered a liar. To us, these are lame excuses and nothing short of running away from the Mubahala Challenge. It is our firm belief that Allah is present everywhere. There is no place beyond the reach of His Powers and no spot on earth is beyond the sphere of His absolute domination and His omnipotence. Unlike any worldly monarch or ruler whose seat of power lies in England or Pakistan, " The Throne of our Lord extends over the heavens and the earth." (Quran 2:256) So what is wrong with simply addressing Allah and saying: "Lanat ullah alal Kazibeen" why must there be the physical presence of both parties to the Mubahala? Does God not have the power to inflict those in London with His curse as a result of your prayer in Lahore, or made you the subject of Divine wrath wherever you are, as a result of our prayers?

Thirdly, if you are drawing the inference from the verse of the Holy Quran about Mubahala (Quran 3:62) that it is necessary for both parties to come face to face, then accordingly all those people who belong to either of the sides should be present there with all their wives and children. If so, is it possible for ten million Ahmadis from all over the world and, your followers, whether they are thousands or tens of thousands, to assemble in one place? Do not attribute your absurd tirade to the Holy Quran. Furthermore, can you prove that a demand to bring forth all Christian men, women and children to Medina was made by the Holy Prophet of Islam when he issued a Mubahala challenge to the Christian deputation of Najaran? Or did the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) offer to take all his relatives and other Muslims to Najaran for the Mubahala? And, yet you continue with your vain absurdity. The truth is that your tirade does not only defy common sense and logic but is opposed to historical facts.

Fourthly, in any case, if you have already made up your mind to rely on this lame excuse as a way out from the Mubahala, that God Almighty has (God forbid) no powers to accept the prayers of the people living apart, then we draw your attention to yet another verse of the Holy Quran. God Almighty says:

"If you fancy that you are the friends of Allah to the exclusion of all other people, then agree to the pray that death may overtake you if your claim is false." (Sura Al Jumaah)
Since you claim that you are more closer to Allah than Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian and his followers, then, in the light of this Quranic verse, why do you not pray that death may overtake you in a manner that it would become a source of guidance for the rest of mankind, in case your claim happens to be false?

Fifthly, we are absolutely clear in our stance that it is not necessary for the parties to assemble in any one place for the purpose of Mubahala. All that is required therefore is that a very clear declaration of participation be made so that the would at large be apprised that a supplication: May Allah's curse fall on the wilful liars, has been made by such and such parties. This supplication should not be reduced to the mere wishing of misfortune on someone by an individual, but so that, as a consequence on such a prayer, truth may be distinguished from falsehood. That is why in the invitation to a Mubahala issued by the Imam Jamaat Ahmadiyya, there is no pre-condition to assemble in any one place. The Imam Jamaat Ahmadiyya has thus already become a party to Mubahala challenge as a head of the Ahmadiyya community on 10th of June 1988, when he issued the challenge and prayed: May Allah's curse fall on the wilful liars. Therefore if you have any moral and spiritual courage you too should clearly declare whether you accept the invitation or not. If you decide to accept the invitation, you should repeat all those allegations which are mentioned in the pamphlet Mubahala issued by the Ahmadiyya community and which you and your people have been heaping up against the Jamaat. Thus by invoking the curse of Allah on the party which tells lies about the other, you will become a party to the Mubahala.

Nevertheless we recommend that you tread the path of righteousness. Better seek forgiveness from God Almighty and stop vilifying God's chosen Imam so that you may be saved from God's wrath. Learn a lesson from the signs which God has hitherto manifested in favour of the party which is one the true path. The very purpose of Mubahala is that the falsehood of the party which tells lies may become patently obvious to the world.

If you must persist in other matters, what response do you have in respect of those false allegations (mentioned in the said Mubahala pamphlet), which God has already proven utterly false and baseless. We refer to the charge of murder of Maulana Aslam Qureshi, alleged to have been comitted by the Jamaat Ahmadiyya and its Imam.

If, inspite of this admonition, you do not desist form your deceit and trickery and continue to give the impression to the people that it is you who is issuing a Mubahala challenge and that the Imam Jamaat Ahmadiyya is trying to evade it, then it is our prayer that may Allah consider this act as equivalent to your formal acceptance of the Mubahala challenge and may He manifest His powerful awesome sign with regard to you.

press Secretary,
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
Dated 16th October 1988

Moreover two pamphlets were issued by the Ahmadi scholars in response to Maulana Tahirul Qadri's stand. Hafiz Muzaffar Ahmad from Rabwah Pakistan issued a pamphlet stating therein the meaning of the term Mubahala according to Arabic grammar and its conditions, exposing the mistakes of the said Maulana. Mr. Mujib-ur-Rehman Advocate Ameer Jamaat Ahmadiyya Rawalpindi, in his pamphlet took up the issue and provided strong arguments in favour of the Ahmadiyya stand, refuting Maulana's objections one by one.

Another zealous Ahmadi Mr. M. L. Shakir of London, in an open letter to him accepted his condition to the Mubahala challenge. He wrote, "I am willing to come to Pakistan for the Mubahala, along with my wife and children, provided Pakistan government guarantees my safety, alternatively I am willing to arrange it in London." A copy of the letter was sent to him by registered post again. Mr. Shakir also referred to a statement in the newspaper wherein it was mentioned that Maulana's Pir claimed that he could show a miracle with his pen, that his pen could write the Tafseer of the whole Quran by itself. Mr. Shakir argued: "You are his follower. Your Pir is no more living. You show us a similar miracle and not to say the whole Quran, let your pen write the Tafseer of Sura Fatiha alone before the World T.V. and scientists, which I will arrange. Millions of people will accept you as their leader by seeing this miracle." As expected Maulana Tahirul Qadri did not respond positively to this offer.

12th Rabi-ul-Awwal came and went. Maulana Tahirul Qadri managed to gather about thirty thousand people at Meenar-i-Pakistan, but he was so much overawed by the Mubahala Challenge, issued by the Head of the Ahmadiyya Community and the reaction of the Jamaat Ahmadiyya, that during his whole speech he did not even utter the world Mubahala.

Like Tahirul Qadri, most of the mullahs could not differentiate between Mubahala (prayer duel) and Munazara (debate). They all made the Mubahala conditional and demanded that parties should meet at one place. Due to lack of Quranic knowledge and knowledge of Islamic history, they put forward ridiculous suggestions in this regard.

Maulvi Abdul Hafeez Shah of Thatta Sind proposed that both, him and the Imam Jamaat Ahmadiyya should be thrown into the fire. The liar would be burnt to ashes. (Daily Imroze, 2nd September 1988)

Maulvi Maqsood Alam Farooqi, General Secretary Anjuman Tulaba-i-Islam Shahkot Sheikhupura wrote a letter to the Imam Jamaat Ahmadiyya and suggested that both should be put on the CROSS. The truthful one would survive, and the dead body of the liar should be thrown before dogs.

Maulana M. Rafiq Convenor Ulema Mahaza Pakistan Muslim League subdivision Alipur suggested that he and the leader of the Ahmadiyya Community along with the wives and children of both leaders should be thrown from the highest building, either in London or America. (Daily Jang, Lahore 15th ?? 1988)

Haji Muhammad Sadiq of Majlis Khatme Nabuwwat Glasgow came up with an idea that he and the Imam Jamaat Ahmadiyya should jump into river Thames. He claimed that the liar would drown. (Daily Jang, London, 23rd July, 1988)

Qari Muhammad Yousaf Sialvi did not like the idea of jumping in the river Thames. He suggested that the parties should jump in the river Chenab instead.(Daily Jassarat Karachi, 10th Aug. 1988)

Syed Ata-ul-Mohsin s/o Syed Ata-ullah Bokhari came up with a unique idea. He said that the Imam Jamaat Ahmadiyya should compete with him in either of the following

  1. Race
  2. Wrist holding (Beeni)
  3. Carrying the opponent on hands or on their backs
  4. Breaking a block of ice with their fists.
(Speech made at Rabwah conference on 25th Oct. 1988)

Maulana Akram Toofani of Sargodha in a meeting held on 31st July, 1988 declared that both parties to the Mubahala should bring eight of their men. Then all sixteen should be pushed form the high water tank in Shaheen Chowk. Those who are on the true path will survive.

The foul mouthed Maulvi Chinioti who has excelled others in abusive propaganda against the Jamaat announced, that the Mubahala could only be held on the island in the river Chenab between the two bridges near Chiniot. He gave an ultimatum that if the Imam Jamaat Ahmadiyya did not come within fourty days starting from 25th August 1988, a defeat of Ahmadiyya would be announced. (Daily Jang 28th Sep. 1988)

He often boasted that he had invited Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II, Khalifatul Masih III and Khalifatul Masih IV for a Mubahala challenge and had renewed his challenge every year but none of the Ahmadi leaders had responded to his invitation. He had also issued a press statement that he had invited even the Promised Messiah for such a challenge. Needless to say that the persistent liar was not born nay not even conceived at the time of the Promised Messiah. This Maulvi also claimed that Khalifatul Masih II and Khalifatul Masih III died as a result of his Mubahala challenge. Recently he had made another statement. He said, "I would be alive on the 15th September 1989, but the Qadiani Jamaat would have perished by then." (Daily Jang 21st, October 1988)

He has thus made a prophecy like Lekhram. The world will Insha-Allah see as to who survives and who receives the wrath of God Almighty. In fact it is our firm belief that he will die a thousands deaths before that date.

The Maulvis suggested different places and different dates for Mubahala. They did not even think for a while that it is humanly impossible for any one to be at different places on the dates specified them.

Maulvi Salahuddin, editor Takbeer, however was very kind and proposed that Ahmadis should fix the date and place in UK and provide him travelling expenses to come to London. "In case you are unable to provide the money my brothers in religion would raise the money for my expenses", he announced in his weekly, dated 29th September 1988.

Maulvis tried to excel each other in bringing out novel ideas about the Mubahala exercise. Some declared that the Mubahala between the Ahmadis and their opponents had already taken place in the past and there is no need for any new Mubahala. They argued that Ahmadiyyat was defeated in the Mubahala conducted between the Promised Messiah and Maulvi Sanaullah of Amritsar, knowing fully well that every Maulvi who accepted the Mubahala challenge of the Promised Messiah became the victim of God's wrath and that Maulvi Sanaullah evaded the challenge. As was their nature they tried once again to pull wool over the eyes of the public, and left no stone unturned to mislead them.

One such opponent was Maulvi Mahmood Ahmad Mirpuri of Birmingham. He was the leader of Ahl-e-Hadith in Britain and the editor of Sirat-e- Mustaqeem, a monthly magazine, which often published articles against Ahmadiyyat. He wrote a long letter to the Daily Jang on 7th March, 1985, in which he gave the impression that the Promised Messiah issued the challenge to Maulvi Sanaullah in 1907. He said that the Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad wrote to Maulvi Sanaullah in Sanaullah, "If I am a liar and an impostor as you always brand me in your journal Ahl-e-Hadith then I will die in your lifetime." From this he inferred that the Promised Messiah died due to Mubahala in 1908. The fact was that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad issued the challenge in 1897, and Maulvi Sanaulllah did not respond to this challenge for ten years. Again Maulvi Mahmood Mirpuri tried to mislead the public by not disclosing all those statements and writings of Maulvi Sanaullah in which he had not only avoided the challenge, but also clearly stated that he was not going to accept the challenge. Making this false statement, the said Maulana in his letter even issued a challenge Mubahala to Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad so as to resolve the dispute forever. (see Jang, London, 7th March 1985)

On the 10th of June, however, when Imam Jamaat Ahmadiyya issued the challenge of Mubahala to all chief opponents, a copy of that was sent to the Maulvi Mahmood Mirpuri. Like his leader Maulvi Sanaullah, he too avoided the challenge and wrote in his magazine: "As regards Mubahala, only a person who claims that he is from God can issue that challenge. Mirza Tahir Ahmad cannot do that as the one who claimed that he is a prophet from God has met his fate." (Sirat-e-Mustaqeem July, 1988)

Thus he contradicted himself. In 1985 he issued a challenge of Mubahala to the Imam of Jamaat Ahmadiyya, and in 1988, when he was given an opportunity to become a party to the Mubahala challenge, he backed out and said that only a Messenger from Allah can issue such a challenge. Moreover he wrote an article, "Qadianis challenge to Mubahala" in which he appealed to Muslims not to take any notice of this challenge. These claims and challenges are "Frauds" and "Tricks". (Sirat-e-Mustaqeem)

Then when Allah showed a great sign of the victory of Truth and Zia died as a result of Mubahala, he wrote in the Daily Millat, "To claim that Zia's death was due to Mubahala challenge is ridiculous. Such accidental deaths cannot be acclaimed as a result of Mubahala. The decision of Mubahala was made in 1908." (Daily Millat, 7th September, 1988)

Maulana, thus, transgressed to extremes in misleading the public, and therefore became the victim of God's wrath. On 10th of October his car was involved in a crash and he, his son and and mother-in-law, all died on the spot, and his wife, and his younger son had to go the hospital for treatment. Not only that on the day of funeral when all his kith and kin gathered in his house, the floor of the house gave in they fell down into the cellar. The widow who came home from the hospital for the funeral was injured again. The Daily News of Birmingham writes in its 13th October issue: "The grieving widow was caught in a second tragedy yesterday. Mrs. Mahfooza Ahmad 30 was among 100 mourners packed into a room to pay their last respects to her husband when the floor crashed into the cellar."

Another section of the mullahs advocated that Mubahala can only be held with Ahl-e-Kitab. Ahmadis, being apostates, no Mubahala could therefore be held with them. They even declared that those who are doing so are committing sin.

Mian Tufail Ahmad, Ex. Ameer Jamaat Islami went a step further and declared, "Not to talk of Mubahala, even the religious discussion with Ahmadis is tantamount to Kufr."

However, six months after this challenge to a Mubahala, Maulvi Nisar Ahmad Beg, the Imam of the Central Mosque Manchester, published and circulated a pamphlet. In it he accepted the challenge to the Mubahala on behalf of the Central Jamaat Ahl-e-Sunnat United Kingdom by agreeing that both the Ahl-e-Sunnat and Jamaat Ahmadiyya would assemble in their respective mosques on a specified time on Friday, 23rd December, 1988 and pray that God may show His sign in favour of the true party. But such was their chicanery that not a single copy of the Mubahala counter-challenge issued by them, was sent to the addressee. Their objective that the lack of response from Jamaat Ahmadiyya would be indicative of its falsehood was foiled when on 16th December, 1988 a copy of this publication reached the press Secretary Ahmadiyya Muslim Community just by chance.

The moment Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV was apprised of it, he issued instructions for its immediate acceptance. As agreed with them prayers were offered in all Ahmadiyya Mosques in England as well as in Europe and other countries on Friday just before Jumma Prayer. We understand from the press reports that the leaders of the Jamaat Ahl-e-Sunnat (UK) also led prayers in their mosques. However where Ahmadi Muslims prayed that Allah's curse be on the party which tells lies, Maulvis instructed their members to invoke the curse of Allah on the Ahmadis only.

Commenting on this the Imam Jamaat Ahmadiyya in his Friday sermon on the same day said:

  1. Normally in a Mubahala challenge, both parties pray to Allah to invoke His curse upon the liars. In this case, the Ahl-e-Sunnat were simply invoking Allah's curse on Ahmadis. We should therefore pray that their curses should turn upon them so that they become the victims of their own curses.
  2. Huzur reminded that although we are praying that their curses should rebound on them, this should only be for their leaders who are instigating and misleading the public by their lies. We should not pray that Allah's curse befall upon non-Ahmadis in general, rather we should pray that Allah may save and guide them to the right path. He prayed that may God Almighty provide a befitting retort to those who hurled curses against the Jamaat Ahmadiyya and its Founder in such a manner that the world at large can clearly discern truth from falsehood. May God, once again show His mighty sings in favour of the truth.
There is no doubt in the mind of any Ahmadi Muslim that Allah will show great signs in support of the claim of the Promised Messiah and that the plans and evil designs of the opponents will be foiled. However we should intensify our prayers to Allah so that the blessings of Mubahala continue during the year, and indeed throughout the next century of Ahmadiyyat.