The Ahmadis Are Not Muslims:
A Response to Nabeel Qureshi's Video "Nabeel Qureshi, Ahmadiyyat and Islam: Are Ahmadis Muslim?"
Nabeel's video can be viewed here. We would also be taking a look at some of the things Nabeel has written over here.
Given that Nabeel used to be an ex-Ahmadi, he is trying really hard to prove to everyone that Ahmadis are in fact considered Muslims. Why is that something so important to Nabeel? The answer is quite obvious. It is because Nabeel is now trying to build a name for himself amongst evangelical apologists/polemicists that he is some sort of expert on Islam (or on his way to be one) and telling people that he used to be an ex-Muslim gives him more credibility. So Nabeel is actually seeking to be labeled as an apostate from Islam, when he in reality isn't one. In the eyes of Muslims, Nabeel merely transferred from one type of kufr to another. As a matter of fact, it could even be argued that Nabeel actually made a gradual "improvement" in his shift to Christianity, since Christians are at least considered as "people of the book" and their status is above that of the rest of kuffar.
Muslims have been repeating themselves time and time again that Ahmadis are not considered Muslims for a variety of reasons:
1) The ahaadeeth regarding the literal return of Jesus (peace be upon him) are mutawaatir (see here). To outright reject a mutawaatir belief (which is an established Islamic belief beyond reasonable doubt) for no valid reason is considered major kufr, which takes the person outside the fold of Islam. There is no doubt that rejecting the firmly established statement of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is an act of major kufr.
2) The Ahmadis violate the definitive Ijmaa' (ijmaa' al-qat'ee) of the Muslims for more than a millennium that Islam teaches that the final prophet is Muhammad (peace be upon him). To violate such an Ijmaa' is again considered a nullifier of faith. Why? This is because such a person would be following a way other than the way of the believers (see 4:115) for at least a millennium.
3) Mirza Ghulam Ahmad declared non-Ahmadis as kuffar (see here and here) and to declare the true believers as kuffar is to basically declare true faith as kufr and what greater kufr is there other than this? Nabeel argued over here "but that doesn't change the fact that most Ahmadi Muslims today do not think non-Ahmadis are non-Muslim.", however even if one could point to Ahmadis who don't declare non-Ahmadis as kuffar that wouldn't change the fact that they are still kuffar for not declaring those takfeeris such as Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as kuffar. For if one does not recognize and concede the kufr of clear kufr is himself a kaafir. If someone is open to the possibility that clear cut kufr could be a valid view then that person is himself a kaafir (similar to how Nabeel wouldn't consider someone a true Christian if he were open to the possibility that Jesus not dying on the cross is a valid view).
The fact of the matter is that the kufr of the Ahmadis is crystal clear, but again it's clear that people with personal motives such as Nabeel would do whatever it takes in order to convince people otherwise.
Let's now take a look at some of the claims that Nabeel made in his video.
Nabeel's Claim that the Ahmadis Believe in All the Articles of Faith
What Nabeel fails to bear in mind is that Ahmadis don't properly adhere to these articles of faith the way they should be. For instance, one of the articles of faith is belief in messengers. If one were to add to this list of messengers someone who clearly shouldn't be added or if this person removed from this list of messengers one who clearly shouldn't be removed, then that person wouldn't be considered as truly adhering to this article of faith.
Given that Ahmadis believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is a messenger, this would imply that they are in violation of this article of faith and hence not considered believers.
Also, Ahmadis violate the article of proper belief in Allah's books, which is to believe in the accepted clear understanding of the passages of the Qur'an. Seeing that the Ahmadis violate this when it comes to 33:40, this in turn implies that they are in violation of this article of faith as well. One may not argue that the Ahmadis have a valid interpretation of 33:40 from a linguistic point of view because the Qur'an is quite clear that one of the roles of the Prophet (peace be upon him) was to interpret the Qur'an for us (see 16:44, 64). And given that the Prophet (peace be upon him) has clearly stated in multiply attested reports attributed to him (as we shall below) that he is the final prophet, this would imply that we then must understand 33:40 in light of the Prophet's (peace be upon him) words.
Nabeel's Claim that Both Orthodox Muslims and Ahmadis Believe that Jesus Would Return
Nabeel said that Ahmadis don't believe that Jesus (peace be upon him) would return literally, but in a different fashion similar to how the coming of John the Baptist was considered be the return of Elijah. Nabeel then makes it appear as if both orthodox Muslims and Ahmadis agree on this general point (i.e. that Jesus would return), despite believing in different methods of Jesus' (peace be upon him) return.
This is a point which is not even worth addressing. Anyone who reads the hadeeth literature on Jesus' (peace be upon him) return would observe that they are quite literal and they describe things that Jesus (peace be upon him) do would during his return, which Mirza himself didn't fulfill. So again, the Ahmadis are out right rejecting the words of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in how he described the return of Jesus (peace be upon him) would be.
Nabeel's Claim that Jesus is Truly the Last Prophet
Nabeel then raises an argument that Jesus (peace be upon him) would be coming at the end of days; hence Muhammad (peace be upon him) cannot be the last Prophet.
This has already been dealt with over here.
Nabeel's Claim that the Differences Between Orthodox Muslims and Ahmadis Are Peripheral
Nabeel says that the Ahmadis have a different system of fiqh and they don't use Ijtihaad. They listen to whatever Mirza Ghulam Ahmed and his successors said and Nabeel says that this is pretty much the difference. Nabeel says that this is an issue of peripheral doctrine and not an essential issue. Nabeel also thinks that it's a peripheral issue how Ahmadis interpret khaatam al-nabiyeen differently from Sunni Muslims.
It's pretty clear that I have already demonstrated that the violations of the articles of faith under which these so called ?peripheral' issues come under are indeed violations of fundamental principles in the faith.
Nabeel's Claim that Ahmadis Believe that Mirza is Subordinate to Muhammad
Nabeel says that Ahmadis believe that whichever prophet comes later must be subordinate to Muhammad (peace be upon him). However, paying lip service is one thing (for instance, would Nabeel Qureshi accept the claim of Muslims that they truly follow Jesus?) and actually implementing is another thing. Ahmadis have rejected the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) where he states that he is the last and final prophet and messenger:
The Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him) affirmed: "The chain of Messengers and Prophets has come to an end. There shall be no Messenger nor Prophet after me." (Sunan Al Tirmidhi, Kitab: ur-Rou'ya Bab: Zahab-un- Nubuwwa, Hadith No. 2198; authenticated by Sheikh Al-Albani in his book Erwaa' Al-Ghaleel, no. 2473, under the 8th)
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Messenger said, "My similitude in comparison with the other prophets before me, is that of a man who has built a house nicely and beautifully, except for a place of one brick in a corner. The people go about it and wonder at its beauty, but say: 'Would that this brick be put in its place!' So I am that brick, and I am the last of the Prophets." [Saheeh Bukhari, Book 56, Number 735]
Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said:
I have been given superiority over the other prophets in six respects: I have been given words which are concise but comprehensive in meaning; I have been helped by terror (in the hearts of enemies): spoils have been made lawful to me: the earth has been made for me clean and a place of worship; I have been sent to all mankind and the line of prophets is closed with me. [Saheeh Muslim, Book 4, Number 1062]
... Jubair b. Mut'im reported on the authority of his father that he heard Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: I am Muhammad and I am Ahmad, and I am al-Mahi (the obliterator) by whom unbelief would be obliterated, and I am Hashir (the gatherer) at whose feet mankind will be gathered, and I am 'Aqib (the last to come) after whom there will be no Prophet. ... [Saheeh Muslim, Book 30, Number 5810]
Allah's Messenger () set out for Tabuk. appointing `Ali as his deputy (in Medina). `Ali said, "Do you want to leave me with the children and women?" The Prophet said, "Will you not be pleased that you will be to me like Aaron to Moses? But there will be no prophet after me." [Saheeh Bukhari, Book 59, Number 700]
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "The Israelis used to be ruled and guided by prophets: Whenever a prophet died, another would take over his place. There will be no prophet after me, but there will be Caliphs who will increase in number." The people asked, "O Allah's Messenger! What do you order us (to do)?" He said, "Obey the one who will be given the pledge of allegiance first. Fulfil their (i.e. the Caliphs) rights, for Allah will ask them about (any shortcoming) in ruling those Allah has put under their guardianship." [Saheeh Bukhari, Book 55, Number 661]
Abdullah b. Ibrahim said to us: I bear witness to the fact that I heard Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) say that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: I am the last of the Apostles and my mosque is the last of the mosques. [Saheeh Muslim, Book 7, Number 3211]
Narrated Abu Huraira:
I heard Allah's Messenger saying, "Nothing is left of the prophethood except Al-Mubashshirat." They asked, "What are Al-Mubashshirat?" He replied, "The true good dreams (that conveys glad tidings). [Saheeh Bukhari, Book 87, Number 119]
Thawban narrated that the Messenger of Allah(s.a.w) said:
"The Hour shall not be established until tribes of my Ummah unite with the idolaters, and until they worship idols. And indeed there shall be thirty imposters in my Ummah,each of them claiming that he is a Prophet. And I am the last of the Prophets, there is no Prophet after me." (Jami' at-Tirmidhi, Book 7, Number 2219; Shaykh Al-Albani declared this hadeeth to be Saheeh in his Saheeh at-Tirmidhi, no. 2219)
So if the Ahmadis are rejecting the statements of the Prophet (peace be upon him) reported in multiple authentic isnads as they please, then what sort of "subordination" is going on here and why should any credence be given to this sort of "subordination"? Would Nabeel accept the fact that Muslims truly do follow Jesus (peace be upon him) simply on the basis that Muslims say so or would Nabeel deny that Muslims truly follow Jesus (peace be upon him)? Obviously, Nabeel would say the latter. Similarly, orthodox Muslims don't believe that the Ahmadis are truly followers of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the sense that they don't accept established doctrinal statements (in this case, him being the final prophet) reported from him.
Nabeel's Minimizing the Significance of Mirza Ghulam's Takfeer of Sunnis
Nabeel in his video admits that Mirza Ghulam made takfeer of Sunnis. How does Nabeel minimize the significance of this ordeal? He says "But we know that Muslims are ready to call each other kaafir at the drop of a hat".
First of all, talk about offensive and blatant stereotyping. Where does Nabeel get off saying that Muslims are ready to call each other kaafir? Where did he get that stereotypical notion from?
Secondly, there is a consensus amongst Sunnis that the Ahmadis who believe in Mirza being a prophet are kuffar. So it is not a group of fanatical takfeeri Sunnis saying this, but rather the consensus of Sunni scholars saying this.
Thirdly, for Mirza to claim that Sunnis are kuffar would require him to believe that Sunni belief is kufr. However, to believe that true faith is kufr is in and of itself major kufr (just as Nabeel would say that one who claims that the Trinity is polytheistic is a disbeliever). Hence, Mirza just on account of making takfeer of Sunnis is a kaafir whose faith has been nullified. And if one does not recognize the kufr of Mirza for saying this, then he himself is a kaafir (just as Nabeel would question the faith of a person who professes to be a Christian, yet refuses to anathematize the person who believes the Trinity is polytheistic).
Nabeel's Claim that the lives of Ahmadis and Orthodox Muslims Are Very Similar
Nabeel says that if one were to watch the life of an Ahmadi in parallel to that of an Orthodox Muslim one would barely notice the difference.
Even if we grant this assumption to be true, how is it relevant? What relevance does similitude in outward actions have when the inner hearts and the state of purified beliefs contained therein are not in harmony? One could argue that the outward lives of some Messianic Jews are very similar to traditional orthodox Jews, so in this case would Nabeel say that there is no significant qualitative difference between the two? We hardly doubt it.
Nabeel's Understanding of What a Muslim Is
Nabeel cited the following hadith from Sunan Abu Dawud, hadith no. 2526:
The Prophet (pbuh) said: Three things are the roots of faith: to refrain from (killing) a person who utters, "There is no god but Allah" and not to declare him unbeliever whatever sin he commits, and not to excommunicate him from Islam for his any action; and jihad will be performed continuously since the day Allah sent me as a prophet until the day the last member of my community will fight with the Dajjal (Antichrist). The tyranny of any tyrant and the justice of any just (ruler) will not invalidate it. One must have faith in Divine decree.
Nabeel is trying to convince us that based on this hadeeth no one could ever declare a Muslim to be a disbeliever.
First of all, this hadeeth is weak in terms of isnad due to the fact that Yazeed bin Abi Nushba in the chain is considered to be an unknown narrator. Hence, this hadeeth is not authoritative to the Muslim.
Secondly, this hadeeth is also not correct in meaning if we interpret it in isolation of other scriptural texts as Nabeel has irresponsibly done. The hadeeth said that saying: "There is no god but Allah" is a pillar of Islam. If we take this hadeeth into isolation as Nabeel suggests then that would mean that any theist who claims to believe in one God without even recognizing the prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) could be a Muslim, since all of them would affirm the existence of one God! Is Nabeel seriously trying to convince us that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) wanted us to understand his words here in isolation (assuming these statements are authentically attributed to him)?
Furthermore, the hadeeth says that we cannot excommunicate such a person regardless of what sin he commits. But this is clearly wrong, since it's established and known that one cannot be a Muslim and at the same time:
- Ridicule the Qur'an and the Prophet intentionally.
- Outright reject the textual authenticity of portions of the Qur'an.
- Makes that which is clearly and unambiguously unlawful (e.g. pre-marital sex) lawful.
Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah highlights one of the proofs from Surah 16:106 that an act could be a nullifier of one's faith, regardless of the inner state of his beliefs:
"And it is known that he did not intend by the disbelief mentioned here, the disbelief that relates to belief (i'tiqaad) of the heart only, because a man cannot be compelled with respect to this (i.e. his heart cannot be forced to hold a particular belief, even though he may be forced to say it with his tongue). And He excepted the one who is compelled (to disbelief) but did not mean the one who uttered (disbelief) and believed in what he said, because he excepted the one who is compelled..." (Ibn Taymiyyah, as-Saarim al-Maslool, page 524)
What does this show? This shows that one could be excommunicated from Islam for an action and statement, even if his heart maintained the belief that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of God. If someone were to insult the Prophet (peace be upon him) intentionally for no valid reason, then he would still be considered an apostate regardless of whether he continues to profess the shahadah with his lips or not.
Thirdly, even if we were to assume that the hadeeth is authentic that wouldn't change the fact that Nabeel's exegetical utilization of this hadeeth is quite irresponsible. It's kind of like someone arguing the following to Nabeel:
1 John 4:2-3 states:
"This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world."
This verse shows that it's enough to be from God if one acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. There is no mentioning of believing that Jesus died for our sins, that God is Triune or that we are justified by faith alone. Given this, all Christian denominations and sects and even Muslims are considered to be from God according to the Bible!
How would Nabeel like it if one were to argue along such lines? Of course Nabeel would be quite upset and accuse the person making such an argument of being dishonest and misquoting scripture out of context.
Well, how is Nabeel's cherry picking of the hadeeth he cited from any different? Nabeel's poor excuse of a response could be found in the comments section over here, where he said:
Actually, my reference to the hadith is not out of context; as you know, with ahadith, they are standalone. There is not a whole epistle of context there, so I have ignored nothing. In fact, I think Muhammad is pretty emphatic and exact in what he's saying. The Muslim who quotes one verse of 1 John out of context from the rest IS, in fact, quoting out of context.
This is such a poor and desperate response. Who said that the Prophet's statements need to be collected into an epistle in order for them to explain off one another? All the statements are from the same person (i.e. the Prophet himself) and obviously the Prophet (peace be upon him) expects us to understand his statements in their proper given context! To say that they must be collated in a single epistle is a baseless assumption with no proof or rationality to back it up!
If Nabeel believes (this is our assumption, given his remark) that every book in the Old Testament and New Testament must be treated independently of one another and that statements in one book cannot explain off or give more clarity to a statement in another book, then that doesn't reserve him the right to impose that standard upon Islam as well.
Nabeel clearly has a personal motive in trying to convince people that he was an ex-Muslim. He is trying so hard to be portrayed as an apostate of Islam, to the extent that he is willing to distort Islamic teachings of what constitutes one to be considered an actual true believer. He ignores and at times attempts to minimize the significance of the clear cut major kufr of the Qadianis (the cult he belonged to before converting to Christianity) and distorts a hadeeth (which is not even considered as having an authentic isnad according to Islamic hadeeth sciences) to make it out to appear as if Islam doesn't recognize nullifiers of faith for those who outwardly utter the Shahadah. All of these shoddy tactics have been exposed in this article by the help of Allah.
In conclusion, was Nabeel Qureshi ever a Muslim? The answer is a definite no! Even if he were a Muslim, that doesn't change the fact that he was clearly ignorant of basic Islamic fundamentals (such as properly understanding the concept of nullifiers of faith and properly understanding the correct and necessary way of affirming the articles of faith) and hence wouldn't be such a surprise to see someone that ignorant leave a faith he was too ignorant of to begin with.
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