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Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad

  Part of a series of articles on
Ahmadiyya


Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Prophecies · Claims · Writings

Views & Belief
Five Pillars of Islam  · Qur'an  · Sunnah  · Hadith  · Jesus  · Prophethood  · Jihad

Branches
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community · Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement

Literature
Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya  · The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam  · Jesus in India  · Noor-ul-Haq  · Victory of Islam  · Commentary on Surah Al-Fateha  · Malfoozat  · Tafseer-e-Kabeer  ·

Buildings and Structures
White Minaret · Mubarak Mosque

Mirza Tahir Ahmad (Urdu: مرزا طاہراحمد) (Born December 18, 1928 in Qadian, died April 19, 2003 in London) was Khalifatul Masih IV. Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and successor of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. He was elected to this office on 10th June 1982, the day after the death of his predecessor, Mirza Nasir Ahmad. He was the son of Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad, the second Caliph and was the half-brother of Mirza Nasir Ahmad, the third Caliph. He graduated from Jamia Ahmadiyya (Theological Academy) at Rabwah, followed by higher education in Lahore at the University of Punjab, and London at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies. In 1974 he was also nominated the member of the Ahmadiyya delegation which appeared in the Parliament of Pakistan to defend the beliefs of the Ahmadiyya Community.

Mirza Tahir Ahmad returned to Qadian (the original centre of the community) in 1991 for the 100th annual gathering of the community; which was the first time an Ahmadiyya Khalifa had returned to Qadian since the second Khalifa left in 1947.

He is perhaps best known for his 'Question & Answers' Sessions. The community experienced structural and financial growth during his time. He launched, in 1994, the first Muslim satellite television network by the name of Muslim Television Ahmadiyya.

Contents

Early life

Mirza Tahir Ahmed was born on 18 December 1928. He obtained his early schooling at Qadian and joined the Government College Lahore in 1944, a few months after the death of his mother (Maryam Begum). After graduating with distinction from the Ahmadiyya Missionary College Rabwah, he obtained his honours degree in Arabic from the University of Punjab, Lahore.

In 1955, he visited England for the first time with his father, who advised him to remain there to improve his knowledge of the English language and acquaint him with European social habits. He studied for 2 and a half years at SOAS, University of London. He returned in December 1957 without achieving any degree. Instead, during his stay in London, he visited different parts of England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and also some parts of Western Europe.

Upon his return in 1957 he married Asifa Begum, and was appointed the vice president of the newly founded Waqf-e-Jadid foundation. The main task of the Waqf-e-Jadid was to educate the community members living in rural areas of Pakistan. It was as part of his work in Waqf-e-Jadid that he also started treating poor people with homeopathy.

During the Pakistani parliamentary investigations regarding the status of the Ahmadiyya community, a delegation comprising of 5 members was sent to plead its case. Among the panel Mirza Tahir Ahmad was the youngest member. The Ahmadiyya Community was declared Non-Muslim by the Pakistani National Assembly. This has remained their constitutional and legal position in Pakistan to this day.

Caliphate

The electoral college elected Mirza Tahir Ahmed as the fourth successor to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and head of the community on June 10, 1982.

After taking office, Mirza Tahir Ahmad worked to restore the Community with a new passion. The Anti-Ahmadiyya ordinance, passed by General Zia ul Haq's government on 26 April 1984, compelled him to leave Pakistan immediately, details of this journey can be found in the book A man of God by Ian Adamson. He decided to come to England where he established his base during his years of exile.

Mirza Tahir Ahmad died from heart failure in 2003. He was buried at community property "Islamabad" in Tilford, Surrey. After his death, Mirza Masroor Ahmad was elected as the fifth Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

Return to India

In 1991 Mirza Tahir Ahmad returned to India to attend the hundredth Annual Gathering of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, India. This was the first time that a Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community had visited India since partition in 1947 and exile to London.

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Muslim Television Ahmadiyya

One of the achievements of his life was the initiation of the Muslim Television Ahmadiyya (MTA). This satellite based channel was started in 1993 with a weekly one hour program, broadcasting the Friday sermon of the head of the community. The main purpose of the channel at that time was to establish direct contact with the main body of Ahmadies especially in Pakistan. In 1994, the station was established and also in 1996 the area of broadcasting with the start of round the clock broadcasting. It now includes full 24-hour services all over the world and consists of three channels. Important events of the community are televised in most major languages of the world. Mirza Tahir Ahmad had to give long hours of his already constrained time to start the transmissions.

International Bai'at

Another added feature to the community activities was the international initiation ceremony, which was started by Mirza Tahir Ahmad in 1993 during the Jalsa Salana of the community in Surrey along with a scheme of propagation. The International Baiat ceremony was broadcast live across the world and the new converts join the community by pledging their allegiance to the Khalifa. He equated it with the Pentecost and said that if anything, the original Pentecost must have been a vision prophesying the Bay'ah. He stated that there is no evidence of it being an historical occurrence but that 'Nobody can deny its factual occurrence in the Bay'ah where millions of people are initiated at the hand of one man simultaneously in every continent in diverse languages through the power of the Spirit of Holiness. [1]. This international oath of allegiance takes place every year at the annual gatherings of Ahmadis - The Caliph of the community accepts the oath of allegiance.

Homeopathy

Mirza Tahir Ahmad was a world-renowned homeopath. He took interest in the books collected by his father Mirza Basheeruddin Mahmood Ahmad. After trying a couple of remedies for his own migraine and his wife's long-standing ailment, he was fascinated by the efficacy of homeopathic remedies. Before his Caliphate, he was already treating thousands of visitors at the annual conventions. After his election, his expertise was called upon by Ahmadis all over the globe through letters, as well as by leading doctors in London. He embarked upon a program of training others through classes televised on MTA International. These lectures were later compiled in a book (below).

Writings, Speeches and Question-Answer-Sessions

Mirza Tahir Ahmad bears the distinction of being a religious figure who answered questions from inviduals of various faiths, professional backgrounds, cultures and mindsets around the world in various meets and forums. He would answer any and all questions, whether related to Islam or not, and do it according to the sphere of understanding of the questioner. The answers displayed not only his vast knowledge of various science, history, cosmology, civic and social studies, but a deep knowledge of world religions, and their incorporated changes through the ages. He would answer these questions without preparation or assistance, and more surprisingly even answered questions from politicians, often giving them straightforward and very effective, fitting advice in various matters pertaining to their respective jurisdictions and political systems. Though a few skeptics argued that in the case of political background, some forethought about the location and nature of political tools and givernments policies may have been undertaken, there was no doubt about the solutions devised to the questions/problems in light of the political boundaries and distates of those jurisdictions, and their effectiveness. This was considered an extraordinary feat as no other individual displayed such widespread knowledge about almost anything, and that too in interactive, live forums, completely without specific preparation.

"Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth"

Mirza Tahir Ahmad wrote among many others, a book named “Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth” which was a further development on a talk he gave in Zurich, Switzerland in 1987. It covered many topics relating to the present day world. In this magnum opus Mirza Tahir Ahmad has the distinction of being the only religious leader to date to provide a scientific rebuttal to the Godless theories of the eminent biologist Richard Dawkins[2]. He also argued that Socrates was a prophet of the ancient Greeks. In addition to these statements, he also stated several other prominent figures from history being at the level of prophethood, due to their accomplishments and their influence over other figures far into history, both on a moral and materialistic progressive compass. The book covers a vast array of subjects, from religion, to science to secular traits in the present age. It substantiates through various bases of argument how God has been ever present in the constantly evolving developing world of man. It is a must read for every individual regardless of background or interest for its versatility and wide applicaion alone.

Books

  • Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth – Examines the relationships between science, philosophy and religion. [3]
  • Sawaney Fazl - E - Omer - Official Biography of Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad, the second Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.[4]
  • An Elementary Study of Islam [5]
  • Gulf Crisis and The New World Order [6]
  • Christianity - A Journey from Facts to Fiction [7]
  • Murder in the Name of Allah [8]
  • Zahaqal Baatil ([9]
  • Reality of punishment of apostasy in Islam (Urdu) [10]
  • Khatame-Nabbuwat (Urdu pdf) [11]
  • Homeopathy [12]
  • Some Distinctive Features of Islam [13]
  • Islam's Response to Contemporary Issues [14]
  • Kalam-e-Tahir (Poetry Book)

Majlis-e-Irfan (Question-Answer-Session)

  • Unity of God [10]
  • Hazrat Imam Mahdi (as) [11]
  • Future of Western Society (Majlis Irfan) [12]
  • Natural Disasters (Majlis Irfan) [13]
  • Prophet's Guide Mankind to God (Majlis Irfan)
  • Investment, Interest and Islam (Majlis Irfan)
  • Gulf War: Quotations from Sermons [14]
  • Natural Disaster or Divine Punishment [Part I [15]|Part II [16]|Part III [17]|Part IV [18]|Part V [19]
  • Life After Death (Majlis Irfan) [20]
  • Faith and Reality (Majlis Irfan) [21]
  • Lord Krishna and Jesus Christ (Majlis Irfan) [22]
  • The Journey Within (Majlis Irfan) [23]
  • Attainment of Inner Peace (Majlis Irfan) [24]
  • Inspiration, Revelation, and Belief (Majlis Irfan) [25]
  • The Philosophy of Revival of Religion
  • Universal and Moral Values, Politics and World Peace [26]
  • Finality of Prophethood (English pdf) [27]
  • With Love to the Muslims of the World - The Ahmadiyya Perspective
  • The Philosophy of Revival of Religion [28]

Family, Marriage and Children

Mirza Tahir Ahmad was the Grandson of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and the son of Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad, the second Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Community, from his wife Syeda Maryam Begum. His mother Syeda Maryam Begum was daughter of Syed Abdul Sattar Shah, a companion of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

Mirza Tahir Ahmad married Asifa Begum in 1957. Asifa Begum died from cancer of the pancreas [15] on April 3, 1992. His marriage bestowed him 5 daughters, one of whom died in infancy. His daughters are Shaukat Jehan, Faiza, Yasmin Rehman Mona, Atiatul Mujib Tooba and one daughter who died in infancy. He had no sons but later he took the upbringing and educational training of a boy, Bashir.

References and external links

See also

References


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