Islamic sect has appealing message for U.S. politicians but has global enemies
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, presides over a sermon to his followers in suburban Washington, D.C.
July 7th, 2012
01:00 AM ET

Islamic sect has appealing message for U.S. politicians but has global enemies

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – You’ve almost certainly never heard of him, but Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad drew some serious star power at a recent Capitol Hill reception in his honor.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Republican Sen. John Cornyn were among the many lawmakers who showed up to meet Ahmad, a Muslim leader who was in town last week on a rare U.S. visit from London.

At a time when the United States is struggling with its views about Islam – as Islamists gain power in the Middle East and with ongoing concerns about Quran-citing terrorists – it’s not hard to see Ahmad’s appeal to both parties. As he said in his Capitol Hill speech, he has “love for all, hatred for none.”

It’s a sentiment that Sen. Robert Casey, Democrat of Pennsylvania, echoed in introducing Ahmad, praising the “leadership you have shown to tolerance and to peace.”

It’s not just Ahmad who espouses his can’t-we-all-get-along read on Islam. The 61-year-old is the spiritual leader of the global Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, whose friendliness toward the West and whose criticism of other Muslims has earned the sect allies at the highest level of the U.S government, even as it faces mortal enemies in other parts of the world.

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Unlike most Muslims, Ahmadis believe that the 19th century founder of their sect was the metaphorical Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

It’s because of that belief that Sunni and Shiite Muslims do not regard Ahmadis as true Muslims. The rift has provoked Egypt to charge Ahmadis with blasphemy, Saudi Arabia to deport them and Pakistan to pass a law that designates Ahmadis as non-Muslims.

Persecuted abroad

On a sweltering recent Friday, a long line of people sat patiently in a mosque on the outskirts of Silver Spring, Maryland, just outside Washington. Despite the heat and humidity, they seemed happy to be there, waiting for a chance to meet the leader of their faith.

Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, who leads an international Ahmadi community is the sect’s fifth Khalifa, or leader. The group claims tens of millions of followers around the world, but outside experts say the number is smaller, in the millions.

For Ahmad and his followers, their relatively small sect is the real face of Islam, which has more than a billion followers around the world.

“It is time that we, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, should give the real and true picture of Islam,” Ahmad said in an interview inside the Silver Spring mosque. “I will always be talking about peace. That peace is not from myself or some new teaching but it is the true, real teaching which I gather and get from the holy Quran.”

That emphasis, says Ahsanullah Zafar, the leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, is rooted in a belief that the only jihad worth practicing is against one’s own self – a jihad of self-improvement. The word jihad is often translated as struggle or war.

“Even more important than prayer, which we talk about a lot, is how you behave as a human being,” Zafar said. “It is not physical fighting that accomplishes anything. It is dialogue and the progressivism that leads somewhere.”

Founded in 1889, the Ahmadiyya Muslim sect is the only Islamic group that believes that a second prophet has come, in the form of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Ahmad lived at a time of great religious upheaval, said Akbar Ahmed, chair of Islamic Studies at American University.

“In India, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad said that he has the message of the renewal of Islam,” Ahmed said. “Slowly it began to build momentum - it is a kind of spirited, modern version of Islam.”

Ahmed characterized the makeup of the Ahmadis as “very scholarly, very prominent leaders in Pakistan.”

But when the Jamaat-e-Islami, an Islamist political party in Pakistan, began to push the country to a more orthodox view of Islam in the 1970s, the Ahmadis were cast out.

Jamaat-e-Islami argued that the Ahmadis did not conform to a key tenet of Islam – the finality of the prophet Mohammed. “That is the elephant in the room for the Ahmadis,” said American University’s Ahmed. “The Ahmadis say that there are two kind of prophets. One is the lawgiver. Then there are messengers who come with a message and not necessarily a new book.”

In light of the crackdown, many Ahmadis began to leave Pakistan, some as religious refugees. Large numbers of Ahmadis now live in Germany, England, Ghana, Canada and the United States, where the Ahmadis claim tens of thousands of followers.

But persecution persists.

In 2010, almost 100 people were killed when two Ahmadi mosques in Lahore, Pakistan, were attacked by men armed with hand grenades and AK-47s.

In the U.S. government’s 2012 International Religious Freedom Report, the plight of Pakistan’s Ahmadis was front and center.

“Among Pakistan‘s religious minorities, Ahmadis are subject to the most severe legal restrictions and officially sanctioned discrimination,” reads the report. The same report outlined violence against Ahmadis in Indonesia, where it said that at least 50 Ahmadiyya mosques have been vandalized.

A unique view of Islam

Harsh treatment in various corners of the world has instilled a deep Ahmadi appreciation for life in the United States.

“In America, all these small Muslim communities are flourishing, they love being in America,” said Ahmed. “They are 100% Muslim and they are 100% American.”

Ahmad, the Ahmadis’ current leader, was in the United States for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s annual convention, which drew 10,000 to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, last week.

“Wherever I go I have one goal … to meet my people,” Ahmad said.

But he was also here to meet politicians and journalists. For the Ahmadis, the scrutiny of American Muslims in the decade since 9/11 has been treated as an opportunity to discuss beliefs and answer questions.

Many in the community came out in favor of Rep. Peter King’s, R-New York, insistence last year on holding congressional hearings on radicalization within American Islam, even as other Muslim groups blasted the hearings as anti-Muslim.

“If the government thinks that congressional hearings will improve homeland security and help expose those exploiting Islam, I assure full cooperation. I, too, aspire to have a more secure America,” wrote Kashif N. Chaudhry, the director of an Ahmadi youth program in the United States, in a New York Times letter to the editor.

Chaudhry was hardly the only Ahmadi Muslim to speak up.

“You need to be with other people, you need to talk about your ideas and in that conversation and discussion, new things arise,” said Zafar. “It is like throwing the seed and putting water on it, you need the seed and you need the water for it to sprout.”

“We need to come together with the people around us in the United States, we need to do that and see how it flowers,” he continued.

The split between the Ahmadis and other Islamic sects is also apparent in how Ahmad, the sect’s leader, talks about extremists.

“Nowadays, Islam is being targeted only because of so-called Muslim groups who claim themselves to be Muslims but are not following the true teachings of Islam,” Ahmad said, speaking of what he calls “fundamentalists Muslims.” “If it is that Islam that is being portrayed by those orthodox Muslims, then I don’t think there is any chance in spreading Islam.”

Using terms like “so-called Muslims,” to refer to some outsiders has not endeared Ahmadis to other Muslims. Leading Sunni and Shiite groups are reluctant to even talk about the Ahmadis.

CNN contacted the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Islamic Society of North America, two major Muslim groups, and neither responded to requests for comment.

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A future in America

Zafar, the leader of the Ahmadis in the United States, said his sect is looking to grow.

The group has an organized media operation and operates three 24/7 satellite-television channels under the name Muslim Television Ahmadiyya International.

The initial purpose of the channels was to broadcast the sermons of the Khalifa, but it also provides other programs in different languages. The Silver Spring mosque is surrounded by large satellite dishes that beam the shows around the world.

In addition to satellite television, the Ahmadis run Islam International Publications, a publishing outfit.

Many Ahmadis are concerned about the version of Islam being portrayed in the media, which they say is too focused on the radical elements of Islam and not focused enough on peaceful Muslims.

“Right now there is a caricature of Islam,” said Zafar. “The biggest challenge I believe in the United States is for Muslims to get out of that image of extremist behaviors which are so popular in the press.”

Ahmed of American University sees the future of the Ahmadis as a bridge between Islam and the West.

“On the American side, they [the Ahmadis] are acting as a positive bridge to Islam and the Americans need that right now,” he said. “And then for Muslims, if they do link up and join mainstream Muslims, they are able to give Islam a link to the world and also help them work out these polemics that are tearing the world apart.”

For now, Ahmadis are stuck in between those two worlds.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that Ahmadi Muslims believe their founder was the Second Coming of the Prophet Mohammed. They believe he was the metaphorical Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Islam

soundoff (1,074 Responses)
  1. Love4all

    People’s curses are easy to bear;
    The real curse is that which falls from the Gracious God.

    July 11, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Yup, because remember, nothing says eternal love than curses, genocide, and condemning people to eternal torture because they don't love you.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  2. 007isalive

    The budhists are the most gentle and harmless people following a religion and are called hermit people. They have a motto, love for all ,hatred for none.They dont even kill insects Jains like buddhists believe in Ahimsa (non-violence) They wear a mask to cover their mouth so that they do not swallow any living things.
    Just because that Dalai Lama and Gautam Bodh are not messengers of God.Just because that their followers never claim from the capitol hill, they will bring peace to the world.
    Peace and violence always went paralell. Had it not been so, Jesus would not have been nailed to death a gainst a cross.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  3. 007isalive

    See they are praising so hard to Dave Merica, on writing this article ,that i'm sure they will name him as their caliph ousting the recent one.
    Congratulations Dave in advance.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • 007isalive

      Sorry! its Dan Merica, that i mistakenly wrote Dave Merica.

      July 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  4. 007isalive

    I send la'anat on those who are using abusive languages for our last prophet and his teachings.I'm astonished to see the venomous and filthy and abusive comments particularly on Muhammad (PBUH), Quran, Allah, and Islam, but i dont find any protest from the side of ahmadis, as they openly and proudly declare themselves ahmadis in this coulmn.This is cowardice.This clearly indicates their conscience and that they are enjoying these comments because they have no interest in these names, except their so called caliph of Islam. who wears a turban just like an arrogant punjabi choudhry use to wear to show proudness and power on the inferiors (kammi).

    July 11, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Peaceful

      If only you would see Ahmadis for what they are, rather than what you preceive them to be. Your allegation that Ahmadis do not speak out in defence of honor of Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh) couldnt be further from the truth. One of many instances, is the statement of Hadhrat Khalifatul Mashih warning Geert Wilders. Press release "World muslim leader sends warning to dutch politician Geert Wilders" is available at alislam.org. "..He warned Wilders that if he continued to defame Islam and the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) then he and other like-minded individuals would be humiliated by God Almighty..."

      July 13, 2012 at 3:06 am |
  5. an avg ahmadi

    Various post by many readers, especially the non-Ahmadi Muslims, shows their hate towards the Ahmadi Muslims, to the point that they are declaring Ahmadi Muslims as non-Muslims, etc, etc. Ahmadiyyah which represent the actual true Islam, follows the Qura'n, just as it should be done by other Muslims, rejects the violent concepts of Jihad, just as it should be by an follower of Islam, respects other religions, including Hindus, Christians, Jews, non-Ahmadi Muslims, Pagans, Bhuddas, etc, as everyone has the right to belief whatever they want. Ahmadi Muslims give respect to women, as Islam teaches, you cant show a two min clip and cut the context before and after and expect people to believe...Islam teaches respect, tolerance, and lover for all and hatred for none. This is something which is quite obvious by many posts by non-Ahmadi Muslims who are at first to declare Ahmadis non-Muslim and seems a great reward in doing so, if anything, they should adopt to follow the true teachings of Islam and instead of labeling who is Muslim or not, should see their innerself on how much true teachings of islam they have left in them, look at the state of all the other Muslim countries, what Islam are they following. The West has learned a lot of Islam and has adopted many good things that Islam teaches, just to name some..freedom of speech, respect for other faiths, respect for women, however sadly most of the Muslims have forgotten their teachings...
    These non-Ahmadi Muslims who are as always ready to attack Ahmadis and call them names, as clearly show in these Comments, truly shows what author was Dan tried to capture in his article, that they Ahmadis are most loved (among the reasonables ones) and most hated (among the arrogant ones such as these so called Muslims who represent the "so called" teachings of Islam which are self made for their self desired and has earned them nothing but hate.
    Ahmadiyya is the TRUE ISLAM in practice, as it represent the teachings of Islam as what they should have been...
    Even after hearing all the filth from our non-Ahmadi Muslims brothers, our heart still pray for their guidance...and we do not behave in uncivilized manner!
    Ahmadi Muslims = True Islam
    Dan = Great job on highlighting the difference between Ahmadi Muslims and other Muslims...so people realize that not all the Muslims are the same!

    July 11, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • The Real Talk

      fail. If you're ahmadi, you don't even understand what "true Islam" is.

      July 11, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Been there, done that

      "Ahmadi Muslims give respect to women, as Islam teaches, you cant show a two min clip and cut the context before and after and expect people to believe...Islam teaches respect, tolerance, and lover for all and hatred for none. "

      I see. So Ahmadis give respect to women and treat them as equals because you say so, and I'm an idiot for actually coming up with evidence instead of just relying on assertion. I've asked a few times: if women truly are the equal of men in the Ahmadi organization, then where are the female decision-makers with any meaningful power in the organization? Where are the cases of women having a role in the organization where there is a male subordinate? Why is it that women exist, in the Ahmadi membership structure, only as wives and daughters?

      July 12, 2012 at 5:08 am |
    • love

      @ been there done that, here is a reply to question. As a muslim show me where it has been stated that women are equal to men. And that they (women) can come out openly in decision making/ or tabligh when men are present.

      July 12, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Been there, done that

      Actually, personally I don't believe that Islam treats men and women equally, so I don't have any evidence for you. If you're saying that Islam teaches that men are superior to women, that they ought to have power over women and that women have no place in the management of their community, I'd have to agree with you. I'd also have to thank you for being so honest to admit the truth about Islam.

      July 13, 2012 at 2:23 am |
  6. Shahzad

    Kind of disappointed at the CNN. They should have done their research better, then they would have realised how insignificant Ahmadiyya is. Yes, they are able to pull of stunts like this with the congressmen and others in the UK, but it's only with politicians. And politicians are only interested in money and votes. As far as doctrine goes Ahmadiyya is nothing like Islam and neevr will be. They are in fact a religious cult with their own terminology, rules, personality cult around the caliphs and everything else that goes with cults.

    July 10, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • jamal

      i smell something burning

      July 10, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • The Real Talk

      It's real simple. If ahmadi act and claim they're Muslim, why are they banished and exiled if they marry a Muslim who is not ahmadi? Here's why: the youth are finding the cult to be ridiculous and are understanding themselves that it's a cult. Mos of the girls are "converting" white guys, marrying them and taking off never returning to Islam or the community or ahmadi etc. how is your cult leader going to ask for your social security number, salary information and heck your credit score? There are no imams or qualified religious leaders. There are regional heads, state heads, etc. it's a corporate structure. Not a religion. A cult.

      July 10, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • Umraan

      IIm not sure what research you have done on Ahmadis yourself. What I can tell u is that we support the teachings of the Quran foremost. Interpretation of different versus of any religious text in any religion has always resulted in divisions and disagreements. We are all human and strive to try and understand the teaching of god and the prophet. In regards to your comment about being a personality cult its nothing of the sort. Our leader puts his efforts into encouraging us to pray more and follow the Quran more closely. How can any Muslim claim that this is a bad thing. An enlightened person should allow religious freedom and let people live in peace.

      July 11, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Peaceful

      and its their insignificance that lead them to be declared non muslim and banned from doing the Hajj? Please point out a group/sect or anything that are the "true" muslims in your option. Ahmadis are without a shadow of doubt practicing the Islam that Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) practiced.

      July 13, 2012 at 3:18 am |
  7. 007isalive

    iIs a bitter truth so it wont taste you good.Stop representing all the muslims of the world.You are not true muslims you are ahmadi, and you hav abandoned obeying t he teachings of our prophet PBUH. you are convincing the world that the teachings of Muhammad PBUH is now outdated. and see we have brought for the christians and jews a new product that will cure every evil of the world and the world will be a heaven, ain't you preaching the western media your cult. In that way you have come out the circle of Islam . and muslims have right to call you everything good except a muslim.and please dont try to impress non muslims, advocating them. you better keep your harangue to you.

    July 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Peaceful

      We will follow the teachings of Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and if non Muslims get impressed by it, so be it. You're free to do as you choose and so are we – let Allah T'ala be the judge of our true itentions.

      July 13, 2012 at 3:24 am |
  8. Community

    Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the leading Islamic organization to categorically reject terrorism in any form. Over a century ago, Ahmad(as) emphatically declared that an aggressive “jihad by the sword” has no place in Islam. In its place, he taught his followers to wage a bloodless, intellectual “jihad of the pen” to defend Islam. To this end, Ahmad(as) penned over 80 books and tens of thousands of letters, delivered hundreds of lectures, and engaged in scores of public debates. His rigorous and rational defenses of Islam unsettled conventional Muslim thinking. As part of its effort to revive Islam, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community continues to spread Ahmad’s(as) teachings of moderation and restraint in the face of bitter opposition from parts of the Muslim world.

    July 10, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  9. Ahmadiyya

    The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a dynamic, fast growing international revival movement within Islam. Founded in 1889, it spans over 200 countries with membership exceeding tens of millions. Its current headquarters are in the United Kingdom.

    July 10, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  10. 007isalive

    since the time they had been declared non muslims, they are going through psychological problems, resentment against Pakistan and adamant to take revenge.
    their main purpose is to finish pakistan, and they are meritoriosly working for that.
    why would they need a second hand islam when they declare they are already followers of Muhammad (PBUH) .isn't it a breaching to islam.
    they claim their new islam is liberal, i saw their rude and chaudhry type caliph scolding and threatening a woman, to use his "power" against her if she did not leave her demand . i want to tell them that islam is not a product that they are selling in the western market with an ad" very loveable, very soft, very high quality, and yes very reasonable price"
    shame on them, any one can make a banner writing slogans, these will not pay them off.
    they are PUNISHABLE MURTID, they have abandoned the preachings of Muhammad(PBUH)
    it took them more than 100 years to collect a few hundred followers, rest assured it wont take another 100 years to turn them around, soon their demise is imminent." laut key buddhu ghar ko aye"
    I have never read about any religion whose caliph begged others to recognize him. Beware Pakistani muslims, they are on a dangerous mission, be careful, look around.

    July 10, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • baslelss

      What is your source of these baseless and funny allegations, you can cook anything you want and expect people to eat it?

      July 10, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • baslelss

      You call yourself Muslim and yet go against the teaching of Quran? "There should be no compulsion in religion" Al-Baqarah Chapter 2 : Verse 257....
      Such is that the state of the Muslims at current that they show no unity, everyone on the left and right have their own beliefs...that is why the God Almighty sent the reformer of the Age ,the Promised Messiah to put Muslims back to the original teachings of Islam and remove these innovations which Muslims have brought into religion........Islam teaches tolerance for all....even for non-Muslim... we are living in the USA which is not a Muslim country however the rights given to us Muslims, Hindus, Pagans, Bhuddas, Atheist, etc, are is what Islam teaches.... During the time of Prophet Muhammad (sa) the Muslims had a binding agreement to protect the places of worship of Chrisitans and Jews... Chrisitans and Jews were allowed to pracitce their faith in the Muslim places of worship..that is Islam in its pure teaching...
      Who are you to declare anyone outside the pale of Islam, and declare who is Muslim or not....

      July 10, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Peaceful

      Ahmadiyya mission: to spread the true teachings of Islam.

      One of the teachings of Islam is that Loyalty to country is part of faith. So Ahmadi Muslims living in Pakistan are loyal to Pakistan and Ahmadi Muslims living in USA are loyal to USA

      Hadhrat Khalifatul Mashih Mirza Masroor Ahmad has mentioned that Pakistan had been founded upon the sacrifice of thousands of lives and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat would always do its utmost to make sure that those lost lives were not taken in vain. He said:

      “As citizens of any country, we Ahmadi Muslims, will always show absolute love and loyalty to the State. Every Ahmadi Muslim has a desire for his chosen country to excel and should always endeavour towards this objective. Whenever a country requires its citizens to make sacrifices the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat will always be ready to bear such sacrifices for the sake of the nation.”

      His Holiness continued:

      “We feel pain and distress when any nation suffers and we share the grief and pain of others. Thus whenever any country faces difficulty we try our utmost to alleviate their suffering. That is what the founder of Islam, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, taught us. It was the Holy Prophet who counselled that you should put your own pain to one side in an effort to alleviate the suffering of all of mankind. It is thus that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat is involved in spreading humility, love and kindness.”

      July 13, 2012 at 3:38 am |
  11. And more

    And lastly....

    First of all, the Caliph of Islam, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad does not live a luxury life, where did you hear that from? He lives in an apartment which is not even entirely used by him, and even if he was to be living a luxury life what is so wrong with it, are you not aware of Prophet David (Dawud) and Prophet Suleman (Solomon)? On the one hand you make this allegation, and on the other hand, its accepted such Prophets as true Prophets whose lifestyle is proverbial. It is narrated about Prophet Solomon (as) that he had such an abundance of jewelry, gold, and wealth that one does not find its equivalent in recorded history. It is written that he had 200 shields and 300 armors made of pure gold. Biblical accounts of his wealth are even more astonishing. It is written: "All of King Solomon’s goblets were gold, and all of the household articles in the palace of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. Nothing was made of silver, because silver was considered of little value in Solomon’s days." (Kings 1, 10:21). It is also written: "Then the King made a great throne inlaid with ivory and overlaid with fine gold. The throne had six steps, and its back had rounded top. On both sides of the seat were armrests with a lion standing beside each one. Twelve lions stood on the six steps, one at each end of the step. Nothing like it had ever been made for any kingdom." (Kings 1, 10:18–20). "The King made silver as common in Jerusalem as stone..." (Kings 1, 10:27). (5). Message of peace, love and unity of God is address universally, thorugh MTA, mta.tv (6). Holy Quran is same and as mentioned earlier, we follow it to its true teachings.(7) Nothing different than before, same Islam, following the real teachings.
    (8) Our job is to spread the message of peace and unity of God which we have been spreading for over 130 years, our job is not to force our views on anyone....as per the teachings of the Holy Quran, "There should be no compulsion in religion" Al-Baqarah Chapter 2 : Verse 257

    July 10, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Shahzad

      As Muslims our role model is the Prophet (SAW). What's written in the Bible is not really relevant to Muslims. That's a story your leaders keep telling you to justify their weird prophet.The Prophet (SAW) and all his Companions lived in simple dwellings despite their wealth. Yor leader first steals money from poor people by this fake islamic fund called chanda aam (and various other chandas) and then builds himself a palace. Yes, right now he is living in a flat, but he is planning on building himself a mansion in London. And yet he preaches a simple lifestyle and that money should be donated to Ahmadiyya. Don't believe me? Google 'Gressenhall Road' and check thecult.info link. The first planning permission was rejected, but the second one was granted. Oh, one important difference: the wealth to Solomon (as) was granted by Allah SWT, Mirza Masroor is stealing it in the name of Islam.

      July 10, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
  12. Reality

    For our sister and brother Muslims of any sect who may have missed this the first time:

    – from the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi-

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:
    ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

    Are you ready?

    Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

    The First Five of the 77 Branches:

    "1. Belief in Allah"

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

    "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

    "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

    "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

    "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
    Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

    Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

    Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

    Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..


    July 10, 2012 at 8:11 am |
  13. The Real Talk

    Ahmadi people are a cult. Nothing more. They do not represent Islam. That's why they call themselves ahmadi before Rey call themselves anything else. They worship this Sikh punjabi looking guy as their leader. They are not Sunni or Shiite. They're in their own world. Nothi but a cult. Cult who says they have love for all an hatred for none, yet punish their own people for not attending( attendance logged ), not paying money to support cult leader lifestyle, collect you social security information and keep a file on you. You can be excommunicated for marrying a non ahmadi cult member, even of that person is a Muslim. The fact of the matter is this nonsense was created as a source to divide and conquer at a time where there was turmoil. This cult founder was paid sums of money to create a following among peasants and lower demographic people who were dn enough to believe a random guy that he's Jesus living in Asia. FYI he died on the toilet. Real divine – not.

    July 10, 2012 at 12:49 am |
    • Muslim for peace

      Why other Muslims sects are so scared of Ahmadis and try to ban their preaching and even http://www.alislam.org website

      July 10, 2012 at 2:43 am |
    • Muslim for peace

      Are you a witness to where he died ?

      July 10, 2012 at 2:51 am |
    • The Real Talk

      That website is nothing but a cult website. And if you're asking me If I'm a witness, the question is are you? If you're seeking a Witness, why do you believe in anything? Religion is based on belief of the unseen. Lol. Fool.

      July 10, 2012 at 3:05 am |
    • The Real Talk

      Out of all the things I mentioned above, that's the one thing you chose to address an ask If I witnessed? His death on his porcelain throne? You're not talking to someone who is speculating, are you? I know the ins and outs of your cult and how you operate, from your chain of command to your "missionary" appointments instead of imams. Why aren't there imams? Why is there not a hafiz lesson your tarawih? Why do you think you can adjust salat times for your convenience? Call it ahmadism, but surely not Islam.

      July 10, 2012 at 3:12 am |
    • Shahzad

      I am part of what you call the 'cult'. And letr me assure you, the information that you have is false and baseless. I would suggest a little more investigation to get to the truth.

      July 10, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  14. Wajiha

    Ahmadis are Muslim because we believe in all the prophets and believe Muhammad to be the best. We pray 5 times a day, observe purdah etc. the only thing they differ on from other mainstream Muslims is on the reformer Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. The take home message from this article should be " Islam is peace" kill nobody, love everybody. Jihad means to struggle in the cause of Allah, and that the Quran teaches not to kill anyone unless in self defense.

    July 10, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • The Real Talk

      They key attribute to Islam is the fact that is never was or is changed from day one. Reformer? Corrupter you mean, and leading all of you down.

      July 10, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So Islam is fine just the way it was "designed" in 600 AD? Leave a good thing alone? Don't fix it if it's not broken?

      You're ridiculous just like your religion.

      July 10, 2012 at 1:01 am |
    • The Real Talk

      If religion Is supposed to be based on word of god, how does it make sense for man to "fix" it? People decided it was ok to get hammered and eat flesh of swine, so they changed it. Is a televangelist or the pope going to change something in the future saying that's what god told em? Because its good to keep adjusting what we think we want to do, and call it gods word?

      July 10, 2012 at 3:16 am |
    • A Frayed Knot

      The Real Talk
      "Because its good to keep adjusting what we think we want to do, and call it gods word?"

      Will you please just THINK about what you just said...

      What the heck do you imagine that Mohammad did? There is zero evidence that any god or any representative of said same ever "spoke" to him.

      July 10, 2012 at 4:16 am |
    • Thank You, Robert Spencer

      Or, for that matter, that he ever existed.


      July 10, 2012 at 4:24 am |
    • Wajiha

      why so much hate people? We are on this earth together, people have the wrong idea about Ahmadi's; from my understanding Mirza Ghulam Ahmad came not to insult our beloved Holy Prophet s. a.w. but to remind us of the message he brought over 1400 yrs ago. I'm sorry but Islam has never taught to kill others in offense, but people were doing it at the time of the Promised Messiah so all he did was remind others of things like that. He always said that compared to the prophet Muhammad saw he was nothing. So please everyone just stop the hate and try to show compassion towards each other , what matters is God and that our purpose is to love and worship him period.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  15. Jaiyah

    Dan, well written! I must say you have done a great job in highlighting the visit by Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Khalifa of Islam. Ahmadiyya is the ONLY sect of Islam which practice it to its pure teachings.. no physical ihad, no war, loyal to the nation, women rights, etc.

    July 10, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • Shahzad

      You are obviously unaware of your own religions history. No war? Do you know what the Furqan Force is? The Furqan Force was formed a tthe direction of your second caliph and consisted of Ahmadis. They fought for Pakistan against India in the first Kashmir war.

      No physical jihad? Well no, your Profit and Caliphs said no to spreading the religion by sword, which isn't Jihad iin the first place. So your prophet and caliph rejected a policy of Islam that doesn't even exist.

      Why do you Ahmadis blindly follow your leaders? All I'm reading here is the same lame old slogans and propaganda. That and the blind following are hallmarks of cults. Do some research and use your own brains.

      July 10, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
  16. az

    Avery nicely written report about the visit. We need more people like him, and try and understand the real Quran and its teachings. And not pass judgments without having a thorough knowledge of the teachings of Islam. Lets show a little toleration towards each others faith and try to live in peace and harmony, You can read Quran and its translation at the website alislam,

    July 10, 2012 at 12:01 am |
  17. S A Khalid

    If Ahmadi Muslims say:
    1. Divine guidance may still be available as in the past,
    2. The second coming of the Messiah has happened metaphorically,
    3. True Islam is about peace:
    Then their message makes sense and deserves serious consideration.

    July 9, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • Been there, done that

      Why? If I say that beef comes from the sea, pineapples are orange and LeBron James drives a blue convertible, is my message also worthy of serious consideration? Their message only makes sense and is worthy of consideration if you already believe in it, as is the case for you.

      July 9, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • Barry Wom

      As usual, the problem is evidence, or more specifically, the total and absolute lack of it to support even the existence of any god, much less a specific one, much less the theories of a particular one.

      July 9, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
  18. The Real Talk

    Ahmadis are not Muslim. They are a self derived cult. Period. This cat isn't a calipha nor is he recognized by anyone as important besides by his own cult followers.

    July 9, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Coga Moga

      Your baseless assertions are worthless because you have no authority to declare anyone outside of Islam.

      July 9, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom the Piper's Son

      The Koran is just mental masturbation.

      July 9, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • The Real Talk

      @cogamoga – really? The founder of your religion was born in the 1800s sporting a sears dress shirt and a turban, Sikh beard and he is Jesus comin back? He died on a toilet. He accomplished none of what Jesus is supposed to when he returns. You guys just need to stop pretending you're Muslim and just be ahmadi. That'll be fine for everyone.

      July 10, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • love

      @ real Talk, reading your message i was just wondering why u r so sneaky to call the Ahmadis non-muslim,have u forgotten a scenario when one of sahabs of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) killed some one during war, the sahab was charged to have killed a muslim but he objected killed a muslim and said further that the person he killed said khalimah at the point of capture to avert been killed. Holy Prophet responded by saying did you see through his mind to have judged his intention? If you can ponder over this scenario deeply you will understand that Only Allah (SWT) judges ones mind and intention. At this juncture, it is pertinent to say no one is in the position to judge if one is a muslim or not so far such a person says khalimah. Moreso, why are u so worry about Ahmadis' marrying themselves, after all, it is best for you to marry some one who shares the same faith as you. Consult Quran and Hadith on whom to marry! Let's put it this way, you sound as some one who has myopic knowledge of what is saying, who needs to do more research about his religion and others before coming out and attack fellow believers. Stop all these false allegations of yours and put ur mind in a neutral state and search for the truth. If truly u believe that Ahmadis are non- muslim; pray for Allah's guidance on this issue, i' m sure He will answer ur prayer and show you the truth about Ahmadis. You also mentioned that, Ahmadis' SSN are collected from them to keep their track, do you know you're a blatant liar and a sycophant. For over 30 years I haven't seen any Ahmadi members whose SSN have been collected. Also,We all know that spending not only our wealth but also our physical body in course of our faith are very rewarding acts (consult Quran in this regard). Spending in the course of religion isn't by coercion on anyone. So, Ahmadis are not forced to spend in the course of Allah. Do more research about Ahmadis before u come out openly to mislead others who are thirsty of truth. AHMADIS ARE DEVOUT MUSLIMS.THEY SAY "KHALIMA" NO ONE ON THIS EARTH IS IN THE POSITION TO ADJUDGE AND CALL THEM NON-MUSLIMS. Do more research and acquire more knowledge! That is better for you than been myopic and full of blasphemy. Ponder over this. May Allah guide you to the right path.

      July 11, 2012 at 1:41 am |
  19. SoldierOfConscience

    k0ran says 'do jee-had. attack. kill.' thats all I know.

    July 9, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Muslim for peace

      I would suggest u to read Koran urself not mere quotes from here n there before making such conclusions. Go to http://www.alislam.org

      July 10, 2012 at 2:47 am |
  20. SoldierOfConscience

    only problem is.. people like this dude are a minority, and people like 0s@m@ b1n l@d3n are a majority. Who cares what this guy spouts as long as the t@l1ban , somali al-shababb, yemen morons, etc are out to kill us. Let us look at real threats.

    July 9, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Dearly beloved, touch not yourselves, but [rather] give your body to another: for it is written, oragasim is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
      Romans 12:19

      July 9, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Muslim for peace

      But this minority is true representative of koran

      July 10, 2012 at 2:49 am |
    • Mahid

      are you perhaps dimwitted or do you not think before you type... hes trying to pass on a peaceful message to stop that sort of thing happening

      July 10, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.