After a long interval, I am now continuing the critique of Iqbal’s book Islam and Ahmadism. Iqbal writes: “A careful psychological analysis of the revelations of the founder would perhaps be an effective method of dissecting the inner life of his personality.” (p. 26). Iqbal goes on to express his wish that in the future a student of modern psychology should analyze the revelations claimed by Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian. The purpose would be to expose the claim of Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian as being based on ego and not a genuine inspiration from God. However, Iqbal failed to realize that similar assaults on the integrity of Islam have been done by analyzing the text of the Holy Quraan in light of modern psychology under the assumption that the Holy Quraan was authored by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and is not a genuine divine inspiration. Iqbal’s error is in relating a modern discipline such as psychology to analyze the reality of someone claiming to be a recipient of divine revelation. From an Islamic perspective, such an analysis has no value since it is based on a false assumption. Therefore, to apply this kind of analysis to Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian while rejecting such an analysis of the revelations to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is inconsistent and biased.
Next, Iqbal launches a tirade against ‘Ahmadism’ by asserting that its function was to serve the British colonialist interest of furnishing a ‘revelational’ basis for “India’s present political subjugation.” (p. 31). Iqbal explains this further by elucidating the idea that ‘Ahmadism’ seeks to make Muslims accept their ‘political subjugation’, i.e., normalize that subjugation from a theological perspective resting on the authority of divine revelation. Iqbal writes: “One can only imagine the rotten state of a people’s will who are, on the basis of Divine authority, made to accept their political environment as final.” (p. 33).
Iqbal’s charge is false as proven by history, since the Ahmadiyya enthusiastically participated in the Pakistan movement. Nevertheless, his words reveal the fact that he failed to understand Ghulam Ahmad’s theology concerning the political subjugation of the Muslims and the British colonial government. The truth is, Ghulam Ahmad’s theology reflected the statement attributed to Jesus of Nazareth in the Gospel of John: “My Kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18: 36). In other words, whether any Muslim agrees with it or not, the fact is that Ghulam Ahmad’s theology was not to ‘glorify’ the political subjugation of India’s Muslims, but only to put forward the notion that the Mohammedan Messiah’s role was not to establish his political or temporal authority, but rather to bring about a spiritual awakening and religious revival.