The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a religious organization, international in its scope, with branches in over 189 countries in Africa, North America, South America, Asia, Australia, and Europe. This is the most dynamic denomination of Islam in modern history, with worldwide membership exceeding tens of millions.
The Ahmadiyya Community was established in 1889 by Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) in a small and remote village, Qadian, in the Punjab, India. He claimed to be the expected reformer of the latter days, the Awaited One of the world community of religions (The Mahdi and Messiah). The Community he started is an embodiment of the benevolent message of Islam — peace, universal brotherhood, and submission to the Will of God — in its pristine purity. Hadhrat Ahmad proclaimed Islam as the religion of man: ” The religion of the people of the right path ” ( 98:6 )
With this conviction, the Ahmadiyya Community, within a century, has reached the corners of the Earth. Wherever the Community is established, it endeavors to exert a constructive influence of Islam through social projects, educational institutes, health services, Islamic publications and construction of mosques, despite being bitterly persecuted in some countries. Ahmadi Muslims have earned the distinction of being a law-abiding, peaceful, persevering and benevolent community.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Islam was created under divine guidance with the objective to rejuvenate Islamic moral and spiritual values. It encourages interfaith dialogue, and diligently defends Islam and tries to correct misunderstandings about Islam in the West. It advocates peace, tolerance, love and understanding among followers of different faiths. It firmly believes in and acts upon the Qur’anic teaching: “There is no compulsion in religion. ” ( 2:257 ) It strongly rejects violence and terrorism in any form and for any reason.
The Community offers a clear presentation of Islamic wisdom, philosophy, morals and spirituality as derived from the Holy Qur’an and the practice (Sunnah) of the Holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Some Ahmadis’, like late Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan (who served as the first Foreign Minister of Pakistan; President of the 17 th General Assembly of U.N.O.; President and Judge of the International Court of Justice, at the Hague), and Dr. Abdus Salam (the Nobel Laureate in Physics in 1979), have also been recognized by the world community for their outstanding services and achievements.
After the demise of its founder, the Ahmadiyya Community has been headed by his elected successors —Khalifas . The present Head of the Movement, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, was elected in 2003. His official title is Khalifatul Massih V .