The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islam, (Urdu: احمدیہ انجمنِ اشاعتِ اسلام لاہور‎; Aḥmadiyyah Anjuman-i Ishāʿat-i Islām, Lāhawr) is a separatist group within the Ahmadiyya movement that formed in 1914 as a result of ideological and administrative differences following the demise of Hakim Nur-ud-Din, the first Caliph after Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Members of the Lahore Ahmadiyya movement are referred to by the majority group as ghayr mubāyi'īn[3] ("non-initiates"; "those outside of allegiance" to the caliph) and are also known colloquially as Lahori Ahmadis or Lahoris.

Adherents of the Lahore Ahmadiyya movement believe Ghulam Ahmad to be a Mujaddid (reformer) and also affirm his status as the promised Messiah and Mahdi,[4] but diverge from the main Ahmadiyya position in understanding his prophetic status to be of an allegorical or mystical rather than theologically technical nature.[5][6] Moreover, adherents of the Lahore Ahmadiyya movement do not profess allegiance to the Ahmadiyya Caliphate and are administered, instead, by a body of people called the Anjuman (Council), headed by an Amīr (President).[7][8][9]

According to estimates from the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada and author Simon Ross Valentine, there are between 5,000 and 10,000 Lahori Ahmadis in Pakistan[10] and as many as 30,000 worldwide,[11] thereby representing less than 0.2% of the total Ahmadiyya population.


Maulana Muhammad Ali led the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement as Amīr from 1914 to 1951

Soon after the death in 1914 of Hakim Nur-ud-Din, Ghulam Ahmad's first successor, Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad, Ghulam Ahmad's son, was chosen in Qadian, at the age of 25, to lead the movement as his second successor. However, a group, which included some of the movement's senior figures, led by Maulana Muhammad Ali, opposed his succession and refrained from pledging their allegiance to him, eventually leaving Qadian and relocating to Lahore.[12][13] Muhammad Ali and his supporters' differences with Mahmud Ahmad, centred mainly upon the nature of Ghulam Ahmad's prophethood and the form the leadership should take within the movement, viz. the relative authority of the successor (or khalīfa) and the Central Ahmadiyya Council (Anjuman). Disputes surrounding these, as well as other related issues eventually led to a veritable secession and the formation of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement.

Adopting a position more congruent with the mainstream of Sunni Islam regarding the issues of dispute, Muhammad Ali led the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement as Amīr (President) from 1914 until his death in 1951. Since then it has been led by four Amīrs, the current being Abdul Karim Saeed Pasha. Relative to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, some mainstream Muslim opinion towards the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement and its literature has been more accepting,[14][15] with some Orthodox Sunni scholars considering the members of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement as Muslims.[14] Notwithstanding, the group was subsumed within Pakistan's anti-Ahmadi laws declaring Ahmadis to be non-Muslims and prohibiting them from any public expression of the Islamic faith.

Difference in viewpoints

On prophethood

Ahmadis universally concur in the belief that Ghulam Ahmad was both the promised Mahdi and Messiah foretold by Muhammad to appear in the end times, and that his prophetic qualities were neither independent nor separable from Muhammad. What this entailed theologically, however, became an issue of contention within the early Ahmadiyya movement. Muhammad Ali held that the type of prophecy described by Ghulam Ahmad with reference to himself did not make him a prophet in the technical sense of the word as used in Islamic terminology, amounted to nothing more than sainthood and that Islamic mystics preceding Ghulam Ahmad had similarly described experiences of prophecy within Islam and in relation to Muhammad.[16][17][18] Unlike the majority Islamic belief which expects the physical return of Jesus, the Lahore Ahmadiyya affirm the absolute cessation of prophethood, and believe that no prophet can appear after Muhammad, neither a past one like Jesus, nor a new one.[4][17]

In contrast, Mahmud Ahmad posited that Ghulam Ahmad's messianic claim and role was qualitatively different to the claims of the saints preceding him in Islam;[19] and that his prophetic status, though completely subservient to Muhammad, being a mere reflection of his own prophethood and not legislating anything new, still made him technically a prophet irrespective of the type of prophetood or the adjectives added to qualify it.[20][17][21] Accordingly, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (who followed Mahmud Ahmad's leadership) believes that prophecy gifted as a result of perfect obedience and self-effacement in devotion to Muhammad is theologically possible after him, though it affirms the advent of only one such promised figure in Ghulam Ahmad as having appeared in accordance with scriptural prophecies. Such a prophetic status, though not independent, is nonetheless technically classed as prophethood in as much as it involves an individual who is given knowledge of the hidden, predicts future events and is called a prophet by Allah.[19][22]

On succession

Towards the end of 1905, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad published his will in which he established the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya (Central Ahmadiyya Council), an executive body set up to administer the movement and to collect and distribute funds to support the propagation of Islam.[23][24] Ghulam Ahmad presided over the Council himself until his death in 1908. After his death, Hakim Nur-ud-Din was unanimously chosen to succeed him and presided over the Council's appointed president.[25] Differences surrounding the relative authority and role of the Council and Ghulam Ahmad's individual successor came to a head following Nur-ud-Din's death in 1914. Muhammad Ali and his supporters, who would later form the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, held that Ghulam Ahmad, in his will, designated the Council as a consultative institution to be his successor.[26][27] Viewing as autocratic the idea of one individual wielding absolute authority within the Community and demanding total obedience from it, they repudiated the idea of a khilāfah (caliphate) within the movement, preferring what they saw as a more democratic system established by Ghulam Ahmad himself and, accordingly, vested the Community's authority in the Council as an administrative body.[28][26] No individual had the power to revoke the decisions reached by the majority of the Council that would remain paramount and binding,[29] something which they believed was in keeping with Ghulam Ahmad's instructions for the movement's administration after his death. Further, according to them, since leadership of the movement was no longer divinely appointed after Ghulam Ahmad's death, the obligation to pledge allegiance to his successor had also lapsed and had become a voluntary act.[9]

As opposed to the foregoing approach, Mahmud Ahmad, who assumed the movement's leadership as the second successor the day after Nur-ud-Din's death, held that Ghulam Ahmad had envisioned a system of divinely ordained caliphate to succeed him, similar to that believed to have commenced following the death of Muhammad, under whose authority the Council was to operate.[30] Accordingly, he favoured centralised singular authority through the system of caliphate which, in his view, was religiously indispensable and to which the Community's allegiance was necessary.[31] Ghulam Ahmad's successors, according to him, continued to be divinely ordained and commanded obedience from the Community.[29] This, he contended, was clearly indicated in Ghulam Ahmad's will as well as his other works and was an arrangement which, according to him, had existed throughout the period of Nur-ud-Din's leadership who not only spoke of himself as the khalīfat al-masīh (caliph; lit. successor of the Messiah) but declared that he had attained this office by divine appointment rather than community choice.[29] The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, accordingly, vests its spiritual and organisational authority in the caliph as Ghulam Ahmad's divinely chosen successor.[32]

Community locations

The Berlin Mosque in 2008
Mosque Keizerstraat in Suriname


Great Britain
In 1913 a mission station was established by the Ahmadiyya movement in Woking (near London) and the Shah Jahan Mosque management aligned itself with the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement from 1914 until the 1960s,[33] although it operated on a non-sectarian basis.[34] The Qur'an was translated into English by Maulana Muhammad Ali.
The Berlin Mosque was built in 1924/27.
An Arabic-German edition of the Qur'an was published in 1939 by Lahori Ahmadi Maulana Sadr-ud-Din
There were about 60 adherents to the Lahore Ahmadiyaya movement in Germany in 2001.[35]
Small communities in the Netherlands are located in Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht.[36]

South America

Trinidad and Tobago

There are 5 mosques that follow the principles taught by The Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat-i-Islam Lahore in Trinidad and Tobago.


The Lahore Ahmadiyya movement, also known as Gerakan Ahmadiyyah Indonesia (GAI) in Indonesia, had 708 members In the 1980s.[37]


Reliable statistics on the worldwide Lahore Ahmadiyya movement does not exist. However, sources do suggest that in comparison to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Lahore Ahmadiyya population is relatively very small. In particular, it is estimated that there may be between 5,000 and 10,000 Lahori Ahmadis in Pakistan[10] and possibly up to 30,000 worldwide,[11] thereby representing less than 0.2% of worldwide Ahmadiyya population.

Leaders (Amīrs)

See also


  1. ^ Ansari 2004, p. 341.
  2. ^ Gilham 2014, pp. 119, 238.
  3. ^ Friedmann 2003, p. 22.
  4. ^ a b Valentine 2008, p. 57.
  5. ^ Friedmann 2003, pp. 147–153.
  6. ^ "Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib of Qadian never claimed prophethood (in the light of his own writings)", Accusations Answered, The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement
  7. ^ Valentine 2008, pp. 56–7.
  8. ^ Lathan 2008, pp. 381–2.
  9. ^ a b Friedmann 2003, pp. 18–19.
  10. ^ a b "Pakistan: Situation of members of the Lahori Ahmadiyya Movement". Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. 1 March 2006. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2010. 
  11. ^ a b Valentine 2008, p. 60.
  12. ^ Khan 2015, pp. 64–5.
  13. ^ Gilham 2014, pp. 138–9.
  14. ^ a b Tributes to Maulana Muhammad Ali and The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement Archived 22 February 2007 at, AAIIL Website
  15. ^ Al-Azhar endorses publications by Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, AAIIL USA
  16. ^ Friedmann 2003, pp. 149–50.
  17. ^ a b c Qasmi 2015, p. 39.
  18. ^ "The Issue of Khatam-un-Nabiyyin", The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement
  19. ^ a b Friedmann 2003, pp. 152–3.
  20. ^ Khan 2015, pp. 66–7.
  21. ^ Friedmann 2003, p. 152.
  22. ^ "The Question of Finality of Prophethood", The Promised Messiah and Mahdi by Dr. Aziz Ahmad Chaudhry, Islam International Publications Limited
  23. ^ Khan 2015, pp. 73–4.
  24. ^ Valentine 2008, pp. 55–6.
  25. ^ Khan 2015, pp. 77–8.
  26. ^ a b Aziz 2008, p. 42–3.
  27. ^ Khan 2015, p. 75.
  28. ^ Khan 2015, pp. 73, 77.
  29. ^ a b c Friedmann 2003, p. 19.
  30. ^ Khan 2015, p. 77.
  31. ^ Friedmann 2003, p. 19, 21.
  32. ^ Lathan 2008, p. 382.
  33. ^ the website of the history of this mission
  34. ^ Gilham 2014, pp. 128–9.
  35. ^ Der Tagesspiegel: Moschee in Wilmersdorf: Mit Kuppel komplett, 29 August 2001, Retrieved 27 January 2016
  36. ^ World Wide Branches of Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement
  37. ^ Ahmad Najib Burhani (December 18, 2013). "The Ahmadiyya and the Study of Comparative Religion in Indonesia: Controversies and Influences". Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations. 25. Taylor & Francis. pp. 143–144. 


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