Another objection that is raised concerns the prayers. Why don’t Ahmadi Muslims pray behind a non-Ahmadi Imam? They are purposely creating division in Islam and do not want to be with other Muslims?
This is a very sad affair, but we need to look to the history and we see that in fact it was the other way around! The Mullahs in India stopped Ahmadi Muslims from joining their prayer services and even stopped them from entering the Mosque. They told mainstream Muslims that they must not go to an Ahmadi Mosque and that their prayers behind an Ahmadi Imam would be invalidated. They encouraged the Muslims to beat up any Ahmadi Muslim found praying in their Mosques and if found, they would often then wash the floor as they felt that the Mosque had been violated and become impure.
It was due to this situation that Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, may peace be upon him, directed his followers to arrange to hold their prayer service separately and prevent any disorder happening in the Mosques. The Mosque is a place for prayer and worship and nothing should be done to upset the tranquillity and sanctuary of the Mosque.
It is also worthy to note that this injunction came after 11 years of the initiation of Ahmadiyya Community when the situation became intolerable and safety was paramount. By this time, the situation was such that the Mullahs were directing Muslims that they shouldn’t have any interaction with Ahmadi Muslims. They should not go to their Mosques, should not respond to their Islamic salutation greetings of peace, they should not eat any of their food etc.
Maulvi Nazir Hussain Sahib of Delhi declared that neither the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement nor any of his followers should be greeted with the Islamic salutation or invited to a meal, nor should their invitation to a meal be accepted, nor should prayers be said in their leadership of any of them.
Fatwa published in 1892 in the Ishaatus Sunnah. Vol XIII, pg 85
Similar pronouncements were made by :-
- Maulvi Muhammad Hussain Sahib of Batala (Sharai Faislah, pg 31),
- Maulvi Rashid Ahmad Sahib Gangohi (Sharai Faislah pg 31)
- Mufti Muhammad Abdullah Sahib Tonki of Lahore (Sharai Faislah, pg 25)
- Maulvi Sanaullah Sahib of Amritsar (Fatwa Shariat Gharra, pg 9)
- Maulvi Abdur Rehman Sahib Bihari (Fatwa Shariat Gharra, pg 4)
- Maulvi Khalil Ahmad Sahib of Saharanpur (Fatwa Shariat Gharra, pg 7)
- Maulvi Ahmad Raza Khan of Bareilli (Hissamul Haramain, pg 95)
Only after these pronouncements did Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, may peace be upon him, in the interest of safety for his followers, inform them not to pray in their Mosques behind their Imams.
Now you might be thinking, well that was then, when it was a hostile situation, but what about now? Unfortunately the same instructions still apply for today. We have to also bear in mind that the Imam is the leader of the prayers and the congregation are his followers. Now whilst you are praying to Allah and that is an individual worship, still as part of a congregation, you will be counted as that congregation. Therefore if the Imam is against our founder, then you will be included as part of that company. So we have to be sure that the Imam is not abusing our founder, otherwise, as one of the Imam’s followers, you could also be counted as being part of that abuse. If there is a mob who is rioting and you were amongst them, even though you may not be rioting, your presence in that mob could have you arrested as being part of the mob.
Now, no doubt, there are many Imams who have never heard of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, may peace be upon him, or are not against him, so can you pray behind them?
The question is, are you sure that they are not against Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, may peace be upon him? The best thing is to ask them and explain about Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, may peace be upon him, claims and give them something to read so that they can make an informed decision concerning him. If they are then not opposing him and are studying his claims, then you are in a better position of knowing the Imam’s true condition.
As for praying in an Ahmadi Mosque, we have no objections, anyone is welcome to pray in the house of Allah, providing they are worshipping the One God and not idols etc. This was the practise of our beloved Holy Prophet, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, that he even allowed a Christian delegation to do their prayers in the Mosque. As long as they have come for prayers and no one has come for mischief etc. then of course they are welcome. If they do not want to pray behind our Imam, then they can pray separately or wait until after the congregational prayer and then they can prayer together in their own congregation, if they prefer.
If they come to our Mosques then they are in a better position to judge us. They will see the Kalima and see that it is the same as theirs. They will see us praying and will see that it is the same as theirs. They can read our Holy Qur’an and see that it is the same as theirs. In other words, if they come to our Mosque, then they will see that we are true practicing Muslims and the allegations against us are false. So they are most welcome.