Qadiyani, Qadiyanis, Ahmadis, Ahmadiyyah

Advanced Information


Ahmadiyyah is a missionary-oriented sect of Indian origin, founded in Qadiyan by Miraz Ghulam Ahmad (1839-1908). The sect believes its founder to be the madhi, the Christian Messiah, an avatar of the Hindu god Krishna, and a reappearance of Muhammad. The sect believes that Jesus did not die in Jerusalem but feigned death and resurrection, and escaped to India where he died at the age of 120.

Although Ahmadiyyah departs from mainstream Sunni Islamic doctrines in terms of its belief in the special status of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, they follow most of the main duties of Islam such as prayer, fasting, pilgrimage and almsgiving, as well as the basic Sunni interpretations of Islamic theology. Of the two branches of Ahmadiyyah in existence today, the minority Lahore branch, is considered to be within mainstream Sunni theology. The majority Qadiyanis are, however, not considered to be part of Islam by orthodox Muslims.

BELIEVE Religious Information Source - By Alphabet Our List of 2,300 Religious Subjects


The founder of the Ahmadiyyah sect, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was born into the leading family of the small town of Qadiyan in the Punjab, India in about 1839. He received a good traditional education, learning how to meditate and acquired a deep knowledge of religion. On 4 March 1889 he announced that he received a special revelation from God and gathered a small group of disciples around him. Opposition from the Muslim community began two years later when he announced that he was the Messiah and the Mahdi (a figure whose arrival is believed by some Muslims to herald the end of the world). In 1896 he gave a sermon called al-Hutbat al-Ilhamiyyah which he claimed to be unique because it was divinely inspired in pure Arabic. After this sermon he came to be referred to by his followers as a prophet, a title which he regarded as honorary since he did not claim to bring a new revelation or new law. However, in spite of his denial of doctrinal innovation in 1900 he claimed that he was the Second Advent of Jesus and an avatar of Krishna.

On the death of the founder in 1908, a successor called Mawlawi Nur ad-Din was elected by the community. In 1914 a schism occurred over whether or not Ghulam Ahmad had claimed to be a prophet (nabi) and if so how he saw his prophetic role. The secessionists, led by one of Ghulam Ahmad's sons, rejected the prophetic claims of Ghulam Ahmad, regarding him only as a reformer (mujaddid), and established their centre in Lahore (in modern day Pakistan). The majority, however, remained at Qadiyan and continued to recognise Ghulam Ahmad as a prophet. Following the partition of India and Pakistan, the Qadiyanis, as the majority group came to be known, moved their headquarters to Rabwah in what was then West Pakistan. They remain both highly organised and very wealthy, due largely to the monthly dues received from their members.

The Lahore group, which is known as the Ahmadis and is considerably smaller than the Qadiyanis, has sought to win converts to Islam rather than its own particular sect. The Lahore group was also much more involved with the Indian Muslim struggle against the British presence in India.

Both groups are noted for their missionary work, particularly in the West and in Africa. Within Muslim countries, however, strong opposition remains to the Qadiyani group because of its separatist identity and its claim that Ghulam Ahmad was a prophet.


The sects' members are identified through their wearing a red cowl and a red veil. The Qadiyanis also employ a red banner.


The Qadiyanis currently have a presence in many countries, including most western countries. Their worldwide numbers are estimated as high as 10 million (Harris et al 1994, 79).

Headquarters / Main Centre

The Qadiyanis have their headquarters in Rabwah in Pakistan; the Ahmadis have their headquarters in Lahore in Pakistan.

Bülent Şenay
Overview of World Religions Project


Advanced Information

Unfortunately, we are not aware of any scholarly texts on this subject which have yet been translated into English. We know that a number of Arabic scholars have written wonderful texts in Arabic, and look for the day when we will be able to add higher quality texts to this presentation.

Also, see:
Islam, Muhammad
Koran, Qur'an
Pillars of Faith
Testament of Abraham
Revelation - Hadiths from Book 1 of al-Bukhari
Belief - Hadiths from Book 2 of al-Bukhari
Knowledge - Hadiths from Book 3 of al-Bukhari
Times of the Prayers - Hadiths from Book 10 of al-Bukhari
Shortening the Prayers (At-Taqseer) - Hadiths from Book 20 of al-Bukhari
Pilgrimmage (Hajj) - Hadiths from Book 26 of al-Bukhari
Fighting for the Cause of Allah (Jihad) - Hadiths of Book 52 of al-Bukhari
ONENESS, UNIQUENESS OF ALLAH (TAWHEED) - Hadiths of Book 93 of al-Bukhari
Hanafiyyah School Theology (Sunni)
Malikiyyah School Theology (Sunni)
Shafi'iyyah School Theology (Sunni)
Hanbaliyyah School Theology (Sunni)
Maturidiyyah Theology (Sunni)
Ash'ariyyah Theology (Sunni)
Mutazilah Theology
Ja'fari Theology (Shia)
Nusayriyyah Theology (Shia)
Zaydiyyah Theology (Shia)
Imams (Shia)
Qarmatiyyah (Shia)
Ishmael, Ismail
Early Islamic History Outline
Kaaba, Black Stone
Sunnites, Sunni
Shiites, Shia
Sahih, al-Bukhari
Abu Bakr
Fatimids (Shia)
Ismailis (Shia)
Islamic Calendar
Interactive Muslim Calendar

The individual articles presented here were generally first published in the early 1980s. This subject presentation was first placed on the Internet in December 1997.

This page - - - - is at
This subject presentation was last updated on - -

Copyright Information

Send an e-mail question or comment to us: E-mail

The main BELIEVE web-page (and the index to subjects) is at: BELIEVE Religious Information Source - By Alphabet http://mb-soft.com/believe/indexaz.html