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The Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light. 4. The Divine Just State

Autor: Massimo Introvigne

AROPL believers expect a millennial kingdom of peace and justice, ruled by a wise philosopher-king.

by Massimo Introvigne and Karolina Maria Kotkowska.

Article 4 of 5. Read article 1article 2, and article 3.

Abdullah Hashem, the leader of the AROPL, and his wife during their exchanges with the scholars in March 2024.
Abdullah Hashem, the leader of the AROPL, and his wife during their exchanges with the scholars in March 2024.

The man in front of us exudes instant sympathy. He is standing next to his young and smiling wife and tells us how he—and she—were the first to be surprised when his mentor told him that he was the prophesied Mahdi. He was just a simple young man, he said, as many others. Having met more than one religious leader sitting, sometimes literally, on a throne and dominating his (more rarely her) followers with an arrogant and despotic gaze, we are pleasantly surprised. Yet, we perfectly understand that this really nice guy in his early forties makes bold claims about himself. He, Abdullah Hashem Aba al-Sadiq, is the leader of the Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light (AROPL), a Shia-derivative new religion not to be confused with the Sunni-derivative Ahmadiyya community currently under severe persecution in Pakistan. To his devotees, he is the Qaim, the “Riser of the Family of Muhammad,” the figure prophesied to emerge in the end times to bring peace and justice to the world.

Take, for instance, the question of infallibility. We come from Catholic countries and are familiar with the notion. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the Pope is infallible, a theory non-Catholic Christians tend to find provocative and offensive. Yet, in fact Catholic theology maintains that the Popes’ statements are infallible in such a limited number of matters that infallibility is attributed to their declarations only a few times each century. As we read in its sacred scripture, “The Goal of the Wise,” the AROPL does appreciate the Catholic idea that God operates through an “infallible” vicegerent, as Simon Peter was when he was appointed by Jesus. However, the AROPL also maintains that, just as Shia Islam, Roman Catholicism “got infiltrated” and “appointed vicegerents that are not infallible and not from God.”

Hashem, however, as the Qaim/Riser is from God, and is infallible.

Hashem teaches that even prophets made mistakes, as only God is infallible by nature. However, Jesus and Muhammad made only minor occasional mistakes and Muhammad, his daughter Fatimah, and the Twelve Imams can be called inherently infallible, just as the Qaim/Riser is. This does not mean that the covenant of Muhammad is still in force, and at any rate we do not know the integrality of his teachings, as the Quran that we have today is incomplete and corrupted. Hashem even refers to the traditional story according to which Muhammad’s wife Aisha reported that part of the Quran manuscript was accidentally eaten by a goat and lost forever. As a result, ninety-nine per cent of what Islam currently teaches is wrong. “Ninety-nine percent of religion is wrong, not ninety-nine percent of all religions, ninety-nine percent of each religion, even Islam.”

“The Islam that the Riser/Qaim brings shall be almost entirely different from the Islam that Mohammed… came with and the Islam that is currently practiced today. Essentially, it is a new religion,” “The Goal of the Wise” proclaims. Today’s mosques and mausoleums are lavishly constructed and are empty of guidance and will therefore one day be destroyed, including Mecca’s Great Mosque—which, at any rate, hosts a false Kaaba: the genuine Kaaba is in Petra, Jordan.

Not a “mosque” but a “basilica” is the spiritual center of the AROPL’s Universal Headquarters in England.
Not a “mosque” but a “basilica” is the spiritual center of the AROPL’s Universal Headquarters in England.

The use of the lunar calendar, Friday prayers, the prohibition of alcohol, and the mandatory hijab for women, which was never a divine commandment in any of God’s covenants, are believed to be teachings that have been distorted, all of which will be corrected in the seventh covenant. Ramadan will be observed in December, according to a revelation of al-Hassan. Homosexuality is not encouraged but, unlike in the current Islamic societies, the Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light welcomes LGBT people and asks that they be treated with respect. Understandably, these positions do not endear Hashem’s movement to other branches of Islam, both Sunni and Shia.

As a progressive millenarian movement, a concept we explained in the previous article of this series, the AROPL announces the future institution of the Divine Just State, which will not be a Western-style democracy but will be ruled by twelve Mahdis (whose succession will not necessarily follow a family lineage), of which the Qaim/Riser is the first, based on their appointment by God rather than of their popular election. It will be more similar to Plato’s ideal political order ruled by a philosopher-king.

The flag of the Divine Just State. From “The Goal of the Wise.”
The flag of the Divine Just State. From “The Goal of the Wise.”

While realizing that this may open them to criticism, AROPL devotees do not hide their criticism of democracy, which goes back to Plato. They only insist that as part of a peaceful movement they respect the existing governments and do not call for the overthrow of them. However, as Plato, they believe that democracy leads to the emergency of demagogues and “poets,” whom they regard as idle false prophets incarnated today in the “non-working scholars” who rule Shia Islam and persecute the AROPL. They insist that, while non-democratic, the Divine Just State will guarantee freedom of religion, as people of different faiths will be allowed to live there, practice their faiths, and follow their religions’ rules. The twelve Mahdis will progressively expand and consolidate the Divine Just State, which originally will not encompass the whole Planet Earth. It will be a millennial kingdom where there will be no death due to illness or old age, although life will still end in some cases due to accidents or murders.

Believers gathered around the Qaim/Riser, a germ of the Divine Just State.
Believers gathered around the Qaim/Riser, a germ of the Divine Just State.

Today, believers in the UK have gathered around the Qaim/Riser (in the UK) and form a community that is a germ and an announcement of the Divine Just State. As the first Christians and the first Muslims did, the believers share all their properties in common under the stewardship of the Qaim/Riser, keeping only what is needed for subsistence as private property, and follow his directions. This utopian community gives testimony to the truth through its high morals and good manners. “Religion is good treatment of others, and whoever doesn’t treat others well has no religion.” We saw no evidence that this precept is not sincerely believed and practiced.

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