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Old 11-26-2015, 08:38 PM   #1
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Mirza Ghulam Ahmed and the Baha'i Faith

I figured I'd post it here, due to this involving the founder of a different religious movement. As usual, I've been researching the beliefs of the world, when I came across the man named Mirza Ghulam Ahmed. He apparently claimed to be the messiah and the mahdi. Of course, I was intrigued and did further research. Maybe I'm not looking in the right place but it was hard to find information on him.

From what I gathered, he claimed to be the mahdi, and said that he was the messiah in character (Personality) but never truly claimed to be the literal second coming. From his pledge as the mahdi to his death was 19 years.

After looking up about the Mahdi, which in scripture I didn't know too much about, apparently the Mahdi was to rule for either 7, 9, or 19 years. So that matches. But he is supposed to be of the lineage of Muhammad. Now, I saw the name Mirza in the lineage of Ahmed, the Bab and Baha'u'lllah. However I also did some research and determined that they must not be the same Mirza family.

I don't think they're the same because the ones in the bloodline of Muhammad were in the middle east if I'm not mistaken, while Ahmed's bloodline hails from an area of Turco-Mongols.

As for the Mahdi being a reformer of sorts, Ahmed was sort of one in the sense that he started a sect of Islam. However he would also fit as a Mujaddid in that case, as a 'renewer'. However, he distinctly claimed to be the Mahdi.

Now, he lived around the same time as the Bab and Baha'u'llah. I'm tempted to give Ahmed at least a little credibility, due to successfully starting a sect and the like, however he also had a few mental issues apparently which makes him a little harder to determine if he actually spoke with God or was just imagining things. Then again, a lot of mental issues do not cause people to hallucinate...

Anyways, I am unsure as to what to thing about Mirza Ghulam Ahmed. Is it at all possible that he could be a Mahdi for India, whilst the Bab was the Mahdi in Persia? If not, would he have any standing as a manifestation at all? What reasons could he not be eligible to be a manifestation of God, or the Mahdi?

Thank you very much for reading!
Sincerely;
-One curious Canadian
 
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Old 11-26-2015, 09:51 PM   #2
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saveyist View Post
I figured I'd post it here, due to this involving the founder of a different religious movement. As usual, I've been researching the beliefs of the world, when I came across the man named Mirza Ghulam Ahmed.He apparently claimed to be the messiah and the mahdi. Of course, I was intrigued and did further research. Maybe I'm not looking in the right place but it was hard to find information on him.

From what I gathered, he claimed to be the mahdi, and said that he was the messiah in character (Personality) but never truly claimed to be the literal second coming. From his pledge as the mahdi to his death was 19 years.

After looking up about the Mahdi, which in scripture I didn't know too much about, apparently the Mahdi was to rule for either 7, 9, or 19 years. So that matches. But he is supposed to be of the lineage of Muhammad. Now, I saw the name Mirza in the lineage of Ahmed, the Bab and Baha'u'lllah. However I also did some research and determined that they must not be the same Mirza family.

I don't think they're the same because the ones in the bloodline of Muhammad were in the middle east if I'm not mistaken, while Ahmed's bloodline hails from an area of Turco-Mongols.

As for the Mahdi being a reformer of sorts, Ahmed was sort of one in the sense that he started a sect of Islam. However he would also fit as a Mujaddid in that case, as a 'renewer'. However, he distinctly claimed to be the Mahdi.

Now, he lived around the same time as the Bab and Baha'u'llah. I'm tempted to give Ahmed at least a little credibility, due to successfully starting a sect and the like, however he also had a few mental issues apparently which makes him a little harder to determine if he actually spoke with God or was just imagining things. Then again, a lot of mental issues do not cause people to hallucinate...

Anyways, I am unsure as to what to thing about Mirza Ghulam Ahmed. Is it at all possible that he could be a Mahdi for India, whilst the Bab was the Mahdi in Persia? If not, would he have any standing as a manifestation at all? What reasons could he not be eligible to be a manifestation of God, or the Mahdi?

Thank you very much for reading!
Sincerely;
-One curious Canadian
Great to see you here - To me, Definitly not a Manifestation of God. The Bab and Baha'u'llah fulfilled all the scriptures of the past as Universal Manifestations to build the whole world anew, no limit in scope there.

Sorry out of time for much more than that. A quick look at the wiki page did not warrant any more interest for me, things like came to reform Islam etc.

Regards Tony
 
Old 11-26-2015, 11:12 PM   #3
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If we take the Kitab Aqdas litterally, he is unfortunately an imposter, because he claimed to have a message from God. I heard of him before I heard of the Bahai Faith. I thought "This man really understands Islam", but I lost interest. When I heard of the Bahai faith, I thought "This is from God!" and never lost interest.

So from my POV the Bahai faith is more credible.

But I must say, that if I was forced to convert to an islamic sect, it would be the Ahmadiyya sect. These people are really peaceful, they suffer for their beliefs, and in my opinion understand Islam better than other sects.
 
Old 11-26-2015, 11:36 PM   #4
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Save,

There is tons of information on Ghulam Ahmad as you probably know, since you have evidently already made up your mind about him. Please be welcome to share your faith here but don't come here pretending something to raise a discussion, that actually only harms your cause and insults our intelligence.

By the way, Mirza is a title much like sir or mister, and not a family name.

Cheers
 
Old 11-27-2015, 12:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fadl View Post
Save,

There is tons of information on Ghulam Ahmad as you probably know, since you have evidently already made up your mind about him. Please be welcome to share your faith here but don't come here pretending something to raise a discussion, that actually only harms your cause and insults our intelligence.

By the way, Mirza is a title much like sir or mister, and not a family name.

Cheers
Oh, I see! I didn't know Mirza was a title. Thank you
 
Old 11-27-2015, 08:59 AM   #6
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Many were inspired

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saveyist View Post
Oh, I see! I didn't know Mirza was a title. Thank you
Saveyist,
. When the dawn appears, the creatures awaken, responding to the light. The rooster crows loudly. Giving a wake up call to others that it is time to get up, to arise. The rooster is not the sun.

. When the Sun of Reality Dawns upon the Spiritual Horizon, the creatures awaken, responding to the Light. The roosters crow loudly. Giving a wake up call to others that it is time to get up, to arise. The rooster is not the Sun.

. Numerous examples of such roosters appeared at the time of the Bab and Baha'u'llah. Joseph Smith had visions of the Dawn. E G White did as well. Ahmad was one of many. Each elicited a response and gathered around themselves many followers. For these followeres were stirred by the Morning Breeze wafting through, to some degree, these early risers.

. The followers of these early risers tended to deify to some extent the position of these roosters who crowed loudly. The roosters had good reason to crow, for the Dawn of the Sun of Reality had indeed risen above the Horizon of the Spirit, shedding the Light of their teachings, both directly and indirectly.

. The problem, in many cases, was that these roosters began to see themselves as the source of the Light, rather than merely early risers responding to It. This phenomenon also occurs in other arenas where fame and adulation of the masses occurs, such as for sports heroes and Hollywood movie stars, rock stars, and the like.

. We have a worship gene, if you will, and it needs to find the Qiblih and turn to it. In the abscence of knowledge of the True Qiblih, the Manifestation of God for the Age, other qiblihs will be substituted. This is the case of Mirza Ahmad, Joseph Smith, E G White, Elvis, Madonna, Muhammad Ali, Heili Sellassi, etc to varying extents.

. "The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is the recognition of the Dayspring of Revelation and the Fountain of His laws, Who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation. Whoso achieveth this duty hath attained unto all good, and whoso is deprived thereof hath gone astray, though he be the author of every righteous deed..."

. From the opening paragraph of the Kitab-i-Aqdas, the Most Holy Book of Baha'u'llah

.
 
Old 11-27-2015, 12:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dale ramsdell View Post
Saveyist,
. When the dawn appears, the creatures awaken, responding to the light. The rooster crows loudly. Giving a wake up call to others that it is time to get up, to arise. The rooster is not the sun.

. When the Sun of Reality Dawns upon the Spiritual Horizon, the creatures awaken, responding to the Light. The roosters crow loudly. Giving a wake up call to others that it is time to get up, to arise. The rooster is not the Sun.

. Numerous examples of such roosters appeared at the time of the Bab and Baha'u'llah. Joseph Smith had visions of the Dawn. E G White did as well. Ahmad was one of many. Each elicited a response and gathered around themselves many followers. For these followeres were stirred by the Morning Breeze wafting through, to some degree, these early risers.

. The followers of these early risers tended to deify to some extent the position of these roosters who crowed loudly. The roosters had good reason to crow, for the Dawn of the Sun of Reality had indeed risen above the Horizon of the Spirit, shedding the Light of their teachings, both directly and indirectly.

. The problem, in many cases, was that these roosters began to see themselves as the source of the Light, rather than merely early risers responding to It. This phenomenon also occurs in other arenas where fame and adulation of the masses occurs, such as for sports heroes and Hollywood movie stars, rock stars, and the like.

. We have a worship gene, if you will, and it needs to find the Qiblih and turn to it. In the abscence of knowledge of the True Qiblih, the Manifestation of God for the Age, other qiblihs will be substituted. This is the case of Mirza Ahmad, Joseph Smith, E G White, Elvis, Madonna, Muhammad Ali, Heili Sellassi, etc to varying extents.

. "The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is the recognition of the Dayspring of Revelation and the Fountain of His laws, Who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation. Whoso achieveth this duty hath attained unto all good, and whoso is deprived thereof hath gone astray, though he be the author of every righteous deed..."

. From the opening paragraph of the Kitab-i-Aqdas, the Most Holy Book of Baha'u'llah

.
Wow, that was very insightful actually. Thank you very much!
 
Old 11-27-2015, 02:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fadl View Post
Save,

There is tons of information on Ghulam Ahmad as you probably know, since you have evidently already made up your mind about him. Please be welcome to share your faith here but don't come here pretending something to raise a discussion, that actually only harms your cause and insults our intelligence.

By the way, Mirza is a title much like sir or mister, and not a family name.

Cheers
I share your opinion Fadl. And Mirza does simply mean Mister
 
Old 11-27-2015, 06:51 PM   #9
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Mirza Gulam Ahmad considered himself an Islamic reformer and the reforms he taught were and are indeed true and badly needed for Islam:

* Jihad is a spiritual battle to overcome self - the time for Jihad of the sword has come to an end.

* All the world's religions are part of the religion of God, including Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Buddhism and the native American religions.

* The concept of "Abrogation" is a misreading and misunderstanding of the Qur'an.

* The harmony of science and religion.

I think all Baha'is can appreciate the many truths that Ahmadiyya Muslims hold and value the reforms to the practice of Islam taught by Mirza Gulam Ahmad. We are going to have many different religions in this world for many centuries to come, and exclusivist and fundamentalist interpretations of those religions will need to give way to reform-minded, tolerant and peaceful understandings - such as the Ahmadiyya reformation movement within Islam.
 
Old 11-28-2015, 02:44 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by aidan View Post
And Mirza does simply mean Mister
unless it comes at the end of a name, in which case it means prince.
 
Old 03-18-2018, 12:48 AM   #11
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This really hurts to look back on. A simple high school student who was trying to rationalize the intricacies of Islam and it's various sects after becoming a Baha'i. I was a teen with only a handful experience in the subject of Islam, trying to learn more about it's sects. Someone not acquainted with middle eastern culture, no less, trying to branch out and learn more - and, at the time, I genuinely couldn't find much on Ghulam Ahmad. Being told I was apparently insulting people just by trying to do honest research really hurt my confidence and made me feel isolated from my fellow Baha'i's - a feeling which, in all honesty, has stuck with me to this day. Even now as I write this, I feel like an outsider looking in, someone interacting with, but not part of, the Baha'i community. Ever since I made this thread I've felt like that, and it has eaten away at me for over a year.

Some days I feel that I belong more than others. The difference between the time of when I made this thread compared to now, is that now, I don't care if I'm an outsider - Even as a Baha'i who interacts with the community, when I feel isolated, I just remember that all the things I have done that may have made me feel isolated, were events that helped me learn and grow spiritually. I know that my many spiritual differences between myself and other Baha'i's is a direct result of my continued growth and trying to rationalize everything. Even if I walk my own path, that path is still one of the manifold paths in the city of Baha'i, which ultimately is the latest addition to the nation of God.

I know I am necro-ing a dead thread, but I am simply trying to reconcile this terrible feeling inside of me that began as a result of this thread. Most days the feeling is easy to ignore. Tonight it is not. Tonight I am going to let my feelings flow freely in order to let go of the past. This thread has stored much anxiety and sadness within me. It still hurts to read that apparently I insulted people by simply trying to learn, and talking about someone I had barely heard of, counts as 'making my mind up' about something and 'pretending to raise a discussion', insulting people's intelligence.

I'm going to tell you all what I've learned about Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, ever since I posted this thread at the end of 2015.

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. The first thing that helped me, was figuring out that Mirza is a title and not a name - something brought to my attention in this very thread! I remember even typing my response, sitting exactly in the same spot and position I sit now, though older.

He was a man who had a mission that I can respect, and I do enjoy his teachings, as now I've actually read some of the things he has written. In fact, I found out that the Mosque in my neighborhood I used to sneak out to when I first decided to become Muslim, was an Ahmadiyya mosque. Keep in mind that I was likely 14 or so at the time. I recall sneaking out there many times, and them telling me about him, though only a very small amount, mostly teaching me the Qur'an. I used to sneak out of my house and go here often, afraid of what my Christian parents would think of me. It never clicked with me that they taught me about Ahmad until even maybe a year after this thread.

His teachings on Jesus particularly interested me, and have definitely impacted my view on his death - I definitely do not think he came back from the dead. I think he likely swooned, as Ghulam Ahmad taught, or, what I would say I am less inclined to though still think is extremely possible, is that he died and did not resurrect at all - either way, his teachings on Jesus have impacted me and implored me to research Indian religions, such as Hinduism which has become one of my favourite things to read the scriptures of.

After about a year and a half of going to that mosque, I started learning of Sikhism and attempted (and failed) to learn Punjabi at 16. My family moved away within 3 months of connecting to the Sikh community where I lived, which severely hampered my learning of the faith. I learned it on my own through resources online, since I was not able to (and to this day, never have been able to) get into contact with the Sikh community of my current city. I fell in love with the teachings of Nanak and the rest of the Gurus, and still believe in them. I hope one day to write a book harmonizing the two faiths - I see both as valid, though the Baha'i faith is more recent and more authoritative, being founded by God, as opposed to inspired by previous dispensations as Sikhism is. One is of divine origin and the other divine inspiration. I have not cut my hair in years now, and still wear the kara, though I never obtained the rest of the K's.

The reason I bring this up, is because I was very interested in what Ahmad had to say about Nanak - saying he was a Muslim saint! Reading it certainly impacted me as well, though I do take it with a grain of salt. I find that Ahmad often brings alternative perspectives that I otherwise would never have thought of, which makes his writings all the more pleasing to read.

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in his writings has provided me many things I have looked positively on and have enjoyed reading, and brought forth things I would consider true in some cases. However, he has a lot that I also disagree with. I definitely do not think he fits the bill to actually be any of what he claimed to be. I do not know the source, but it was brought up in a conversation at a Baha'i gathering once that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad actually read texts written by the Bab (I don't know if this can be validated as I did not research it), and then claimed the titles the Bab claimed.

To me, it sounds like, while he did have a very deep understanding of Islam, he was NOT the Mahdi or the messiah by any means. He was a man with lots of wisdom, but with struggles in belief, wanting to be more than he was. As a rooster crows at dawn, thinking the sun rises because of him, haha. Instead, I would opt to say he was possibly a seer, entirely fallible in nature. He reflected many good qualities, but also had his blunders. He is someone I deeply enjoyed learning about, and, though I don't believe he is who he claimed to be, I look forward to learning more about him in the future. A very interesting person indeed.

I hope that this gnawing feeling will go away after posting this - as I write it, I already feel as though half the weight has been lifted. I'm very glad that I have been able to research and learn more and more about Mirza Ghulam Ahmad since the posting of this in 2015. Now, as a 19 year old looking back, I can definitely say all the internal struggle, gnawing feelings, positivity through learning of the Baha'i faith, and all the long nights spent in research, has benefited me much more than anything else in my life has thus far. Even though I feel like the black sheep here, I still feel a sense of belonging - for we are all sheep following the words of our shepherd, Baha'u'llah. I guess if you read this from start to finish, you can already see how writing this has affected me!
 
Old 03-18-2018, 02:19 AM   #12
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saveyist View Post
I hope that this gnawing feeling will go away after posting this - as I write it, I already feel as though half the weight has been lifted. I'm very glad that I have been able to research and learn more and more about Mirza Ghulam Ahmad since the posting of this in 2015. Now, as a 19 year old looking back, I can definitely say all the internal struggle, gnawing feelings, positivity through learning of the Baha'i faith, and all the long nights spent in research, has benefited me much more than anything else in my life has thus far. Even though I feel like the black sheep here, I still feel a sense of belonging - for we are all sheep following the words of our shepherd, Baha'u'llah. I guess if you read this from start to finish, you can already see how writing this has affected me!
Good to see you followed your path. I was in the Solomon Islands when you posted this with poor internet connection and did not have much input.

I think you may have over thought some feelings we may have had on this subject. It is obvious I did not know your passion for it. I have never seen you as a black sheep, I see you as a Soul in search of God, to which we all are. Each of us doing the best we can.

I can only wish you always well and happy and that you find your unity with the whole Baha'i community.

My wife and I have been remote most of our Baha'i life, we do not see Baha'is for months to years at a time. We all have our challenges to feel part of the whole.

Regards Tony
 
Old 03-18-2018, 10:15 AM   #13
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Saveyist, coming from a non-religious background myself, I found the Bahá'í Faith when I was quite young, decided to declare at 15 and was prevented from doing so by the local LSA respecting my parent's wishes that I waited until I was 18. This caused me a lot of confusion and turmoil at the time and in the years that followed. I did declare at 18. Decades on, I can look back and see the reasons for the decision although I cannot say I will ever agree with it, I can see it came from the best intentions to foster unity. I tell you this because I felt that I could understand your pain.

I hope that you will be able to move on as I know it is horrible carrying something like this with you. I went back and re-read your first post. There was nothing there that suggested to me that you were a high school student. Not many, even in the Bahá'í community have Abdul-Bahá's gift for looking into the very soul of a person and recognising their hopes, fears, intentions etc.

There are a lot of trolls who go on sites that discuss religion to make trouble and they can start of with seemingly innocent questions. There have been some in the past, on this site who seem to have more than one identity and who tried to disrupt discussion and upset people. Given that is the case, many will wonder about new posters and if they have a hidden agenda. I do like the idea of discussing with people when my gender, nationality, age and social class are not obvious but there is a down-side to that!

I am happy to see a true seeker like yourself active on this forum.
 
Old 03-29-2018, 10:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saveyist View Post
I do not know the source, but it was brought up in a conversation at a Baha'i gathering once that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad actually read texts written by the Bab (I don't know if this can be validated as I did not research it), and then claimed the titles the Bab claimed.
This is quite valid. He admits that he gained mastery over the Bábí Books in his book Al-Balagh (البلاغ). Refer to this article for details: https://bahaipen.wordpress.com/2018/...ahmadianswers/

One can clearly see the impact of his reading the Bábí-Bahá’í Writings on the later works Ghulam Ahmed wrote. Take for example his change of belief that Jesus was alive in skies with his body (as was the mainstream Muslim view) which later changed not only to the death of Jesus but the metaphoric second coming of Jesus in him. Or take for example his description of heaven and hell which is clearly inspired from Bahá’í Writings.
 
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