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  1. From a young age, Ahmadi children are strictly forbidden from ‘talking against the Jama’at’. The Ahmadiyya organisation can impose sanctions as a form of punishment for any such person who engages in any form of speech against the organisation, even if the person has a legitimate complaint.

    There is a very deep reason for spreading fear of the consequences of such talk. This may seem very strange for a Muslim who has grown up to believe that Islam encourages one to question and think. Islam is a religion which encourages its followers to deal with any issues that may arise. Ahmadiyya on the other hand has a closed culture and an ethos of suppression whereby a follower may feel anxious to speak up regarding a wrong doing against him/her, for fear of incurring any backlash against themselves as a result.

    During my time within Ahmadiyya I noticed that many of the followers were timid and introvert rather than having confidence. There was a clear apprehension of standing up for oneself when wronged. This is against the spirit of Islam. Our religion teaches us to stand up for our rights and the rights of others who are oppressed. Islam is a religion of Justice and one that looks at the society from a holistic approach whereby the rights of all are ensured, as is the punishment against the perpetrators of injustice.

    The Ahmadiyya organisation however, expects its followers to accept any decisions against them and to resign to the judgement of the organisation’s internal Justice System (Qadha Board), even if the judgement is unjust. Followers are fearful of challenging decisions due to fear of having sanctions put against them. Many followers are victims of injustice and harbour feelings which they cannot express due to fears of potential punishment if their genuine complaints are unfairly labelled as ‘talking against the Jamaat’.

    The construction of this deliberate ethos of fear within the organisation is for the benefit of the Ahmadiyya organisation and its hierarchy.  The Ahmadiyya organisation and its hierarchy are aware of the deception of their organisation and are therefore actively trying to keep the truth hidden from their followers. In order to prevent the truth from being disclosed, any talk regarding the organisation is nipped in the bud and the fear of punishment is made very clear.

    These are tactics that are used in closed communities and cults. The information available to followers is controlled. Followers are discouraged from accessing open information and are made to rely on the ‘official Ahmadiyya’ documents/information. In this way, the followers are kept in a cocoon and away from the real world.

    If any follower becomes aware of the truth of the deception and leaves Ahmadiyya, he/she is very swiftly cut off from the community and people are ordered to not speak with them. Again, this is a protective measure to keep the truth hidden and to stop the ex-Ahmadi from spilling the beans further.

    One does not hear of such practices within Muslim communities. There is no culture of labelling people as ‘talking against Islam’, nor are there any sanctions put in place against anyone who has a complaint or question. In fact, Imams at mosques welcome people to bring forward their complaints so that peace and harmony may be established.

    I do not think any other religion upholds the same ethos as Ahmadiyya. Only cults use such practices.

    I leave you with a saying by Voltaire – ‘To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise’.

    Posted by: Liberated

  2. Many people feel like a fish out of water when they leave Ahmadiyya. This is due to the heavy influence and control the organisation has on its followers. The Ahmadiyya organisation intentionally makes the focal point of their followers’ lives to be the ‘Jamaat’. There are always local, regional and national events taking place. Followers are kept busy with meetings and other functions and the social circle of many Ahmadis consists of fellow Ahmadis. In this way, one’s life becomes dominated by the organisation. So it is perfectly normal to feel out of place when one leaves this organisation.

    When I left Ahmadiyya, I certainly felt like a fish out of water. I lost my sense of belonging and identity. Previously I had been heavily involved in ‘Jamaat’ functions and participated in various Tabligh and Tarbiyyat activities. I was consciously aware of being different from other Muslims and I felt comfort in being part of a close-knit community, which I later found to be a false bubble.

    Finding out the truth about Mirza Ghulam’s actual beliefs and writings was difficult to accept and digest because I had always thought of Ahmadiyya to be the truth and Mirza Ghulam to be from Allah SWT. So naturally, it did take me some time to come to terms with what I had discovered and to get my head around the next steps that I had to take – which was to reject this belief and the man who invented it. Initially I was in a state of denial and I kept telling myself that there must be an explanation for the writings that I had discovered. After several discussions with family members combined with an email response from a Missionary, I realised that there was no justifiable answer to the clearly un-Islamic and unacceptable writings of Mirza Ghulam. Slowly, I began to process this information and it began to register in my mind. I could feel my heart and mind opening and it became easier for me to accept reality once I stopped fighting against my conscience – the conscience that was telling me that all the explanations I was being given were not actually addressing Mirza Ghulam’s writings. The explanations were mere excuses and poor attempts, which instead of making the matter clearer, were only clouding it further.

    The first few months were particularly difficult since this was the transitional phase. I felt like I was in a state of limbo – distanced from a belief system that I was accustomed to, yet isolated from the ‘other’ Muslims. I felt neither here nor there. Reflecting back on that time two and a half years on, I remember the anxiety and mixed emotions I was feeling. On the one hand I felt peace at knowing the truth about Mirza Ghulam, and realising that his claim was completely baseless and fabricated – but on the other hand, I felt an empty hole within. A feeling of losing loved ones and having to let go of the ‘familiar’ and walking towards the unknown.

    What helped me deal with the difficulties was to shift my focus. Rather than focus on Ahmadiyya, I began to focus on Islam. The more I read about Islam, the more comfort I felt and I started to build my sense of belonging and identity again – but this time my identity was that of a Muslim as opposed to my previous identity of an ‘Ahmadi’.

    When an Ahmadi moves from one halqa (area) to another, they have to adjust to the new people and build new relationships. A person may feel apprehensive at first but then with time, he/she becomes accustomed to the new social circle. Comfort comes with knowing that this new set of people share the same beliefs (ie Ahmadiyya) and this will inevitably create a sense of belonging for the person.

    Similarly, when one leaves Ahmadiyya, if the focus is shifted to Islam, and finding comfort in shared beliefs, it makes it much easier to embrace the changes and to form a sense of belonging and comfort and to re-build a social circle.

    Ultimately our comfort should be based around our connection and relationship with Allah SWT. However, I have found that for many Ahmadis, having a sense of belonging is important after they leave Ahmadiyya. Many are reluctant to leave the organisation because they do not know where to go or which ‘group’ to join. These feelings are a result of growing up in a close-knit community and an organisation that places heavy emphasis on being part of a group. So even though one may reject the beliefs of Mirza Ghulam and his organisation, it may take time to completely remove some of the thoughts and ideas which have been embedded within the person from a young age.

    I am sharing my experience to help anyone else who is going through the same journey, with the hope that it may lighten the load, knowing that others have also walked the same steps and come out through the tunnel a lot stronger. Alhamdulillah.

    My advice to anyone who is fearful of the unknown after leaving Ahmadiyya, is to have tawaqqul (trust) in Allah SWT. He will Bring you through it insha’Allah as He Promises in the Qur’an;

    ‘Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear’ (Surah al Baqarah).

    Posted by: Liberated