Mirza Ghulam Qadiani: From Rags to Riches
(In light of Qadiani own Writings)
Mirza Ghulam Qadiani made a number of outlandish claims, from being the Promised
Mahdi and the Promised Messiah to a Reincarnation of hazrat
Muhammad(SAW) and a prophet
with new Shariat. In
this article we will examine one of the motives for his claims.
Mirza Ghulam was born to a family of substantial influence but little wealth
and depended on the meager income of his father during his youth
(Haqiqat-ul-Wahy, Roohany Khazaen, Vol. 22, P. 220). When he
was twenty five years old, he committed an act for which he became detached
from his family for four years. The son of Mirza Ghulam Qadiani recounts:
"My mother told me that his holiness, the Promised Messiah, one day, during
his youth, went to collect the pension of his grandfather (700 rupees -
Seerat-ul-Mahdi, Vol. 1, P. 131). Following him was a person by the
name of Imamuddin. When he received the pension, Imamuddin mislead him and
took him outside Qadian. They roamed about from place to place. When his
holiness had squandered all he had, Imamuddin deserted him leaving him alone
and left for some other place. However, his holiness, the Promised Messiah,
did not return home for shame and for fear of infamy. And since his grandfather's
desire was that he be employed somewhere, he went to Sialkot and got himself
employed for a miserably low salary (ten rupees a month)."
1, P. 43; by Mirza Bashir Ahmad)
In Sialkot, Mirza Ghulam worked as a British Government court clerk on a
meager salary of ten rupees a month, for four years. During this period,
he took the entrance exams to law school (Seerat-ul-Mahdi, Vol.
1, P. 137; by Mirza Bashir Ahmad), but he flunked and lost every hope of
advancement in that field. Toward the end of this period, in 1868,
he held several closed door discussions with Christian missionaries, particularly
Mr. Reverend Butler. Within a few days of these meetings, he terminated
his employment and returned to Qadian (Seerat Maseeh Moud, P. 15)
to live as a guest of his father.
This was the time of great discussion and debates between
Muslims and non-Muslims. The
Muslim Ummah, tired of
the constant abuses launched against them by unbelievers were willing to
finance and support anyone who appeared to champion the cause of
Islam. Mirza Ghulam commenced
reading some of the literature published by Muslim
Ulama about Hinduism and
issued a few articles and challenges against Hindus in the local papers.
Uninformed villagers, who had lived under the oppressive rule of the unbelievers
for a few centuries, took special interest in an individual who was not afraid
of taking their enemies head on and use their own strong tone and language
in answering their attacks.
Shortly thereafter, Mirza Ghulam declared that he was in need of funds to
author fifty books in which he would present three hundred arguments refuting
every objection Hindus and Christians had raised against Islam. This
work, he promised, would make Islam once again victorious! Muslims from the
neighboring villages met the challenge and sent in advances and donations
to help in this worthy cause; Mirza thus became a wealthy and somewhat recognized
character. (Tabligh-e-Risalat, Vol. 1, P. 13, 25)
Mirza Ghulam recounts the difference this claim made in his life:
"No one knew me. Nor were my means of livelihood such that I could
live in comfort and ease. All that I owned was a little inheritance from
my father. Then Allah placed the world at my disposal, while I did not expect
to obtain ten rupees a month. God, however, changed my condition and held
my hand. Now, I have more than three hundred thousand rupees."
(Haqiqat-ul-Wahy, Roohany Khazaen, Vol. 22, P. 220-221;
Haqiqat-ul-Wahy, P. 211-212)
Mirza Ghulam commenced publishing the volumes of his book,
Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyyah, the first appeared in 1880, the second in 1882,
and the third in early 1884. These books were no more than a collection of
announcements, statements, strongly worded challenges to other religions,
and boastful narration of Mirza's own superiority over others - ridden with
linguistic errors and devoid of scholarly research, for the most part.
Ulama became suspicious of him and were appalled when the fourth volume
was released. This book consisted of little more than excessive bragging,
arguments for the possibility of revelations after hazrat
Muhammad(SAW), confusing statements
of alleged divine revelations, and a lengthy homage to the British Imperialism.
Mirza had also urged all Muslim scholars to submit a join statement of loyalty
to the British government and had stressed the impermissibility of
Thus, the promise Mirza had made to the public came to an end. Twenty
five years later, after publishing the fifth volume of
Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyyah, Mirza Ghulam declared:
"This is the same Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyyah, which had already been published
in four volumes. The fifth volume has been now published. It was earlier
promised to publish fifty volumes, but they are to be content with only five,
instead of the fifty we promised. Since there is only a dot difference between
five and fifty, with these five our promise has been fulfilled."
(Preface, Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya, Roohany Khazaen, Vol. 21, P.
Preface, Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya, Vol. 5, P. 7)
However, these books were a far cry from Mirza's earlier promises. His
"Now that five volumes of Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya have come out in print,
its preface and notes all related to the time of publication and it contains
very little of the original work, that is, not more than a few pages. This
can be gauged from the fact that out of the 300 arguments which he had promised,
the Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya contains only one argument and that too not
in a complete form."
(Seerat-ul-Mahdi, Vol. 1, P. 7; by Mirza Bashir Ahmad)
When some Muslims demanded for the return of their advances, Mirza Ghulam
"This money was given me by God. I shall not return it to anyone - not even
a penny, as I am not accountable to anyone. Anyone who asks me to render
account should not give me anything in the future."
(Al-Hakm, March 21, 1905)
With his newly found wealth and the backing of the British government and
those loyal to its rule, Mirza Ghulam was able to create a new organization
of people planted at visible and respectable positions. He proudly wrote:
"The majority of people who have joined my sect are those who are either
holding eminent posts with the British Court, or the goodly rich men, their
servants and friends or businessmen, lawyers or those educated in the modern
way or such famous scholars, servants and noblemen who have either served
the British Government in the past or are serving it at present or their
relations or friends who accepted the influence of their elders and the weekly
holders of the office of the caretakers of some religious orders. In short,
this is a party which is the protege of the British Government from whom
it has earned good name and who is worthy of the Government's favors. Or
it consists of people who are related to me or are among my
(Tabligh-e-Risalat, Vol. 7, P. 18)
At this time, traditionally educated individuals like Hakim Nuruddin and
Moulvi Muhammad Ali joined this new organization. By relying on the
services of these and other educated individuals, Mirza Ghulam was able to
produce works that could impress the uninformed. Mirza gathered around
himself a core group of loyal supporters who helped to improve his image,
provided him with advise on religious matters, helped publish statements
on behalf of the movement, and recruited people to this new organization.
The first goal of this new movement was to serve the interest of the
British Government and receive favors and compensation in return. In
a letter to the British Lieutenant Governor, Mirza Ghulam wrote:
"I have filled shelves with books which I wrote in praise of the British,
especially about the abrogation of Jihad in which many Muslims believe.
This is a big service to the Government. So I hope for an appropriate
and good reward."
(Tabligh-e-Risalat, Vol. 7, P. 19)
Mirza Ghulam remained partially dependent on collections from his followers
to fund his own livelihood. He ordained his followers make mandatory monthly
contributions and squandered the funds on himself and his family. He
went so far as to threaten those who did not make the contribution with
excommunication from his influential and powerful organization, which virtually
ran all aspects of life in the village of Qadian. He declared:
"It is the duty of all my followers to remit some amount out of their earnings.
After this announcement, we shall wait for three months. We shall remove
from the list of devotees the name of anyone who does not remit a portion
of his earnings during these three months."
(Lauh-ul-Mahdi, P. 1; As reported in Qadiyaniat-An
Khwaja Kamaluddin, one of the top recruiters of Qadianism, was suspicious
of the luxurious and carefree life that Mirza Ghulam, his family, and close
companions were basking in. On one occasion, he demanded action from Moulvi
Muhammad Ali and Moulvi Sarwar Shah Qadiani (both leaders of the Qadiani
movement) by stating:
"I have a question for which I have no answer. Please provide me with one.
Formerly, we used to tell our wives that we should live the lives of the
Companions who ate meager and coarse food and wore rough cloth and donated
whatever they could save to the cause of Allah. We urged them to do the same.
By means of these admonitions, we used to collect money from people and from
our wives and send it to Qadian. But, when our wives themselves visited Qadian
and came to know of the state of affair first hand, they angrily returned
and told us that we were untruthful. They said they had seen the manner in
which the wives of the Prophets and Companions were living in Qadian! Not
even a fraction of the comfort and luxury enjoyed by their wives was experienced
by those outside (Qadian). This is despite the fact that the money is not
remitted to them (for their personal use) but for expenditure in the cause
of Allah. We shall spend on ourselves whatever we have as it is our money
earned through lawful means. Hence, they said, we were liars who had been
deceiving them for long and that they would never again be deceived by us.
Thus, they refused to give us any money to send to Qadian... There is a favorite
reply which you provide people; this can not hold in my case, as I know the
(Kashf-ul-Ikhtilaf, P. 13, by Sawar Shah Qadiani)
On another occasion, Khwaja Kamaluddin reprimanded Moulvi Muhammad Ali in
the following way:
"What a shame! You are aware how arduously the money of the people is collected;
and then this money is not spent for the national purposes for which people
donate it, after shaving off their expenditures for their bare necessities.
Instead, the money is spent to gratify personal desires; and then, the amount
of money is also quite large. It is so large that only if the money specified
for public kitchen was managed properly, it alone would suffice to meet the
requirements of those projects which have been started but are now in suspense
due to the shortage of funds."
(Kashf-ul-Ikhtilaf, P. 15, by Sawar Shah Qadiani)
When this was brought to the attention of Mirza Ghulam, he responded:
"My God will help me, and those will help me who will be inspired by God
and by myself. Those who raise objections, they are to me no more than dead
(Al-Hakm, March 31, 1905)
"I am not a merchant to keep accounts with me nor am I a treasurer of the
community to be asked to render account. I am God's vicegerent on earth.
It is not proper to ask me where I spent the money. Those are truly the believers
who gift me their money and afterwards do not question me. It is all the
same whether they understand or not. They understand that an objection of
this sort will result in the bankruptcy of their faith."
(Published in Al-Fadl, Sept. 19, 1936)
One of his close associates, put it more diplomatically when he wrote:
"I have reliably come to know that the Promised Messiah (upon him be the
salutation and peace of God) has expressed great sorrow that despite his
declaration that it is the desire of God that the management of the public
kitchen remain in his hands (Mirza was appropriating and directing the funds)
and otherwise the public kitchen would come to an end, persons like Khwaja
are constantly asking him to entrust the management of the kitchen to them
and have invidious doubts about him."
(Kashf-ul-Ikhtilaf, P. 14-15, by Sawar Shah Qadiani)
Mirza Bashiruddin, the son of Mirza Ghulam, in a letter to Moulvi Hakim Nuruddin,
"The Hazrat (Mirza) ... shortly before his (fatal) illness said that the
Khwaja (Kamaluddin) and Moulvi Muhammad Ali and others cast aspersions about
me that I misappropriate public money. They should not do so, or else
it will not have good consequences for them. He said that Khwaja had brought
a letter from Moulvi Muhammad Ali the same day in which he had asked about
the balance of the thousands of rupees which had been received, particularly
since the expenditure on the kitchen had been so meager. When he (Mirza)
came home, he flew into a rage and said: 'They say that we eat Haram
- What do these people have to do with this money? If I were to sever my
association with them, the inflow of all the income would cease'...
On another occasion, when a deputy had gone to collect construction funds,
Khwaja had told Moulvi Muhammad Ali: 'The Hazrat (Mirza) himself lives in
a life of great comfort and luxury and teaches us to donate by reducing our
expenses.' To this, Moulvi Muhammad Ali replied that although this could
not be denied, this was an element of human shortcomings in him; and it in
not essential for us to follow the element of human shortcoming in the
(Haqiqat-ul-Ikhtilaf, P. 50, Mirza Mahmood Ahmad; Letter of
Mirza Ghulam to Shaikh Nuruddin)
The son of Mirza Ghulam indirectly admitted to all these accusations in a
Friday speech in Qadian:
"Once a man from Lughiana said that we sent donations to Qadian after bearing
hardships and misfortunes. These amounts are spent on ornaments and dresses
of the wife of Ghulam Ahmad. So what is the use of these donations? When
this news reached his holiness, the Promised Messiah, he said it is unlawful
for him to send anything to us after what he has said. Then, we shall see
what harm it does to us."
(Al-Fadl, August 31, 1938)
Qadiani founders resorted to other creative ways of extracting money from
their followers. They purchased a piece of land and sold burial plots at
exorbitant prices to their followers. Mirza Ghulam made it incumbent upon
his followers to be buried at the cemetery by stating:
"I saw a vision that I have purchased a plot of land, and I was asked to
bury the members of my community there: and was asked to name it as 'Heavenly
(Mukashaf, P. 23)
Indeed, the Qadiani Graveyard became a source of great income to the movement.
The Qadiani mouthpiece, Al-Fadl newspaper, expressed its importance
in the following way:
"The 'Heavenly Graveyard' is such a central point of this movement and an
institution or department of such dimensions that it excels in importance
all other departments."
(Al-Fadl, Vol. 24, No. 65, Sept. 15, 1936)
During his life, Mirza Ghulam falely claimed to have received three hundred
thousand revelations, sixty thousand of these dealt with financial issues
and money! This large number proves the subject that was foremost on
his mind and the mind of his associates. The outlandish claims of Mirza,
his mannerism, and the lavish life style he and his close associate conducted
are all indicators of the falsehood of their claim. Their actions should
resonate the following verses of the Holy Quran in the heart of every believer:
O ye who believe! there are indeed many among the priests and anchorites,
who in Falsehood devour the substance of men and hinder (them) from the way
(The Holy Quran, Al-Tawba, 9:34)
The Signs of Allah have they sold for a miserable price, and (many) have
they hindered from His way: evil indeed are the deeds they have done.
(The Holy Quran, Al-Tawba, 9:9)
After knowing these facts, would anyone do a great
injustice against his soul and accept the claims of Mirza Ghulam