This book is the first scholarly appraisal of the teachings, beliefs and lifestyle of the Ahmaddiya Jama’at, an Islamic reform group founded in nineteenth-century India that has millions of follows worldwide. To the great annoyance of other Muslims, the Ahmadis claim that other prophets followed the Prophet Muhammad, a controversial belief that has led to their fierce persecution, especially in South Asia, where the government has declared them to be non-Muslims. The author also explores other major claims of the Ahmadis, among them that Jesus, instead of dying on the cross, as Christians believe, or ascending into heaven as mainstream Muslims teach, escaped from the Romans and finally settled and died in Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir, where his alleged tomb is located. Following an account of the life of Ghulam Mirza Ahmad, the movement’s founder, Valentine discusses the history of the Ahmadis, their proselytisation strategies, the role of mosques and madrasas, the position of women and the Ahmadis’ doctrines of peaceful jihad.
‘A very personal book, written from the position of a participant observer. It is the first accessible study of this Muslim community and is comprehensive in its coverage of their history, beliefs, and current existence. Valentine offers an inside view that will be of value to non Muslims working with Muslims, and it is a view given with great respect.’ — Professor Francis Robinson, University of London
Simon Ross Valentine is a freelance British lecturer and researcher into Islam and comparative religions who has taught part-time at Leeds University and Bradford University. His Islam and the Ahmadiyya Jama’at: History, Belief, Practice was published by Hurst in 2008.