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Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (1835-1908)

By most accounts, the second half of the Nineteenth Century was a period of transition, with the industrial revolution in Europe driving the need for capturing markets abroad and thus, most parts of the world coming under colonial subjugation at the hands of the new European empires. Even as material riches increased on a global scale, the decline and fall of religious mores and spiritual values was staring mankind in the face.

It seemed as though there existed a direct correlation between scientific creativity and atheistic/ agnostic tendencies in society where religion was seen as meaningless ritual hindering mankind from its secular progress. It was also a time characterized by the decline and fall of the Great Muslim powers in Asia and Europe and general spiritual stagnation in the Islamic world.

The spiritual shine and intellectual appeal of Islam came under relentless attack at the hands of an ascendant Christianity, glittering with the zeal of the missionaries and the material power of the European empires.

Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (1835-1908) rose on the religious horizon at this great moment in world history in defense of true spirituality and ethical belief in the Unity of God. He argued that true spirituality has deserted all religions because of the bad innovations introduced by misguided adherents who gave a golden opportunity to unscrupulous enemies of religion to mount a scathing attack on real religious practices and thus put the fort of true spirituality under siege.

He claimed under the authority of revelations he said he received from Allah, the Almighty that he was indeed the spiritual Guru, the Promised Massih and the Imam Mahdi as foretold in the traditions of many of the world's great faiths, including Hinduism, Christianity and Islam.

It is instructive to note that many prophecies of the Holy Prophet Muhammad regarding the revival of true spirituality and rejuvenation of the Islamic faith was fulfilled at the hands of Hadhrat Ahmad. He expounded the profound beauty and deep meaning of the teachings of Islam, with incisive wisdom and consummate skill through his books and leaflets over a period of two decades.

Through a deeper examination of the divine verities contained in the Holy Qur’an, he proved that contrary to the prevailing orthodox understanding on the matter, the door of divine revelations will continue to remain open till the Day of Judgement and that the coming of His Messengers, whenever that happens, is a blessing of Allah for mankind. He persuasively argued that only through divine revelations that a true relationship with Allah can be established and made prophecies regarding the appearance of divinely guided souls in Islam in future as well. This was his seminal contribution to the cause of true spirituality and the revival of the true message of Islam.

Hadhrat Ahmad founded the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in 1889, one of the most remarkable events in the spiritual history of the Age. The extraordinarily powerful claims and compelling arguments of Hadhrat Ahmad, coupled with his magnetic personality and charisma, attracted the attention of many seekers of divine verities and spiritual reality and assembled in its wake, a galaxy of eminent disciples in his Community.

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