Author: Yohanan Friedmann
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195662520
Since its inception in India in 1889, the Ahmadiyya has been one of the most active and controversial movements in modern Islam. Claiming for its founder prophetic status of a certain kind, it aroused vehement opposition on the part of Sunni Muslims and was accused of rejecting the dogma according to which Muhammad was the last prophet.
Since 1947, when the Ahmadi head-quarters moved into the professedly Islamic state of Pakistan, the Ahmadi issue has been transformed into a constitutional problem of major significance. The Pakistani parliament declared the Ahmadis non-Muslims in 1974, a presidential ordinance in 1984 transformed much of the religious observance of the Ahmadis into a criminal offence, punishable by imprisonment and fine.
Prophecy continuous opens with a discussion of these developments, which is important for an understanding of the complex relationship between religion and state in Pakistan. Te chapters that follow are devoted to prophetology. The Ahmadiyya makes a distinction between legislative and non-legislative prophecy, claiming that the Islamic dogma, according to which prophecy ceased with the completion of Muhammad’s mission, relates only to its legislative variety. Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadi movement, can therefore be considered a non legislative prophet without infringing on the Islamic dogma.
The present edition includes a new preface that surveys the development of the Ahmadi issue in recent years. This book will be read with great interest by scholars of Islamic history and comparative religion, political scientists studying the relationship between religion and the state in Islam, and informed general readers.
EXTRACTS FROM REVIEWS
Yohanan Friedmann’s careful study, constitutes a quantum leap forward in academic scholarship on the Ahmadiyyah, A remarkable achievement.
-Journal of Asian History
A virtuoso orchestration of manifold primary and secondary sources Professor Friedmann’s study provides a crucial new dimension, directing our attention backwards to the traditional roots of a movement too often studied as a peculiarly modern phenomenon.
-Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
In its clarity of organization and argument, the book is a pleasure to read, Friedmann’s study, is a fine piece of scholarship that will be welcomed by Islamicists and students of comparative religion.
-Journal of the American Oriental Society