Mirza Tahir Ahmad

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Mirza Tahir Ahmad
Caliph of the Messiah
Amir al-Mu'minin
KhalifaIV Surrey.jpg
Masih IV in 2000
Reign10 June 1982 – 19 April 2003
PredecessorMirza Nasir Ahmad
SuccessorMirza Masroor Ahmad
Born(1928-12-18)18 December 1928
Qadian, Punjab, British India
Died19 April 2003(2003-04-19) (aged 74)
London, England
SpouseAsifa Begum (m. 1957–1992)
Full name
Mirza Tahir Ahmad
مرزا طاہر احمد
FatherMirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad
MotherMaryam Begum
ReligionAhmadiyya Islam

Mirza Tahir Ahmad (Urdu: مرزا طاہر احمد‎‎) (18 December 1928 – 19 April 2003) was the fourth caliph (Arabic: خليفة المسيح الرابع‎, khalīfatul masīh al-rābi) and the head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. He was elected as the fourth successor of the founder of the community, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. He was elected on 10 June 1982, the day after the death of his predecessor, Mirza Nasir Ahmad.

Following the Ordinance XX that was promulgated by the government of Pakistan in 1984, which prohibited Ahmadi Muslims from any public expression of the Islamic faith, Tahir Ahmad left Pakistan and migrated to London, England, provisionally moving the headquarters of the community to the Fazl Mosque in London.[1] He is noted particularly for his question and answer sessions which he held regularly with people from around the world and for his Quranic discourses. Under his leadership, there was an acceleration in the number of Quran translations produced by the Community; and during his caliphate, the Community experienced structural and financial growth on an international level, including the launch of the first Muslim satellite television network, Muslim Television Ahmadiyya in 1994 through which he could communicate televised messages to the Community globally and have his sermons and other public engagements transmitted throughout the world through this medium.[2]

Tahir Ahmad also authored many books including, Some Distinctive Features of Islam; Christianity: A Journey from Facts to Fiction; Murder in the Name of Allah, and his magnum opus[3] Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth.


The Majlis Intikhab Khilafat (Electoral College), convened at Mubarik Mosque in Rabwah, Pakistan,[4] elected Mirza Tahir Ahmad as the fourth successor to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and head of the community on 10 June 1982.[5]

Muslim Television Ahmadiyya[edit]

As Khalifatul Masih Mirza Tahir Ahmad established the Muslim Television Ahmadiyya (commonly referred to as MTA). This satellite-based channel broadcast its first show on 21 August 1992 from London.[6]

International Bai'at[edit]

In 1993 Mirza Tahir Ahmad started an international initiation ceremony to be held every year at the annual gatherings of Ahmadis in which new converts join the community by pledging their allegiance to the Khalifa. The International Bai'at ceremony was broadcast live across the world. He often claimed that this was the historical fulfillment of the Pentecost that was destined to occur at the time of the Second Coming.[7]


Mirza Tahir Ahmad died in London on 19 April 2003 from heart failure.[8] The newly elected Caliph Mirza Masroor Ahmad, as the Khalifatul Masih V, led the funeral prayer on 23 April 2003, attended by over 40,000 people from around the world.[9] His successor is his nephew, the son of one of his sisters.[10]

Writings, speeches and Q&A sessions[edit]

Quranic exegesis[edit]

Tahir Ahmad delivered annual commentaries on the Quran during the month of Ramadan. He incorporated lengthy discussions of previous commentators as well as the founder of Ahmadiyya and the Ahmadiyya Caliphs that came before him. In addition, he discussed the lexicon of the Quran and refuted many Orientalist ideas about the historicity of the Quran, Islam and the life of the Prophet Muhammad. His commentaries differed significantly from those offered by many of the classical Quranic commentators, placing emphasis on the logical and rational approach to the Quran. For example, he did not believe it was essential to rely heavily on Asbab al-nuzul (Circumstances of the Revelation) in order to understand the implications of the Quranic verses, presenting strong arguments instead that the Quran offered its own context. He delivered seven discourses on Asbab al-nuzul.[11]

Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth[edit]

Ahmad wrote a book title Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth, which was a further development on a talk he gave in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1987. It covered many topics relating to the present-day world. In this book he argued a rebuttal to the theories of biologist Richard Dawkins.[12] He also argued that Socrates was a prophet of the ancient Greeks and that several other prominent figures from history were at the level of prophethood due to their accomplishments and their influence.[13]


  • Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth – Examines the relationships between science, philosophy and religion[14]
  • Sawaney Fazl – E – Omer – Official Biography of Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad, the second Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community[15]
  • An Elementary Study of Islam[16]
  • Gulf Crisis and The New World Order[17]
  • Christianity – A Journey from Facts to Fiction – Examines and discusses a variety of current Christian beliefs through logic and reason[18]
  • Murder in the Name of Allah[19]
  • Zahaqal Baatil ([20][21][22]
  • Reality of punishment of apostasy in Islam (Urdu)[23]
  • Homeopathy[24]
  • Some Distinctive Features of Islam[25]


Islam's Response to Contemporary Issues was originally a lecture given at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London on the 24 February 1990 attended by 800 guests including Edward Mortimer who presided over the session and Hugo Summerson, Member of Parliament. It has been compiled into book form.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Khilafat, the Successorship of Prophethood – The Guided Khilafat – Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya
  2. ^ "No Islam but Islam". p. 163. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  3. ^ David Buckley. Where the Waters Meet: Convergence and Complementarity in Therapy and Theology. Karnac Books. p. 75.
  4. ^ The Life of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV (ra).
  5. ^ "Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad". Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  6. ^ "A Brief History of Ahmadiyya Movement In Islam: Muslim Television Ahmadiyya". Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  7. ^ First International Baiat, Jalsa Salana 1 August 1993 First International Baiat, Jalsa Salana 1 August 1993 on YouTube.
  8. ^ "Obituaries: Deaths Last Week". Chicago Tribune. 11 May 2003. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  9. ^ "Obituary of Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad". Asian Outlook. Archived from the original on 14 May 2003. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  10. ^ Gualtieri, Antonio; Gualtieri, Roberto (2004). Ahmadis: Community, Gender, and Politics in a Muslim Society. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. p. 157.
  11. ^ "Shan e Nuzul: Circumstances of the Revelation of The Holy Quran – YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  12. ^ "The 'Blind Watchmaker' Who Is Also Deaf and Dumb". Alislam.org. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  13. ^ "Socrates: Philosopher or Prophet?". University College, London.
  14. ^ "Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth". Al Islam. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  15. ^ "Swaneh Fazle Umar – Life History of Hadhrat Mirza Bashir-ud-din Mahmud Ahmad Khalifatul Masih II – Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at Urdu Pages". Alislam.org. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  16. ^ "An Elementary Study of Islam". Al Islam. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  17. ^ "Book: The Gulf Crisis & The New World Order". Al Islam. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  18. ^ "Christianity: A Journey from Facts to Fiction". Al Islam. 18 December 1928. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  19. ^ "Murder in the Name of Allah". Al Islam. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  20. ^ Arabic Archived 4 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "سلسلة الخطب ردا على منشور حكومي". Alislam.org. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  22. ^ "A Review of the Pakistani Government's 'White Paper': Qadiyaniyyat – A Grave Threat to Islam". Alislam.org. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  23. ^ "Islam main irtidad ki saza ki haqeeqat – Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at Urdu Pages". Alislam.org. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  24. ^ "Homoeopathy – Like cures like" (PDF). Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  25. ^ "Some Distinctive Features Of Islam". Alislam.org. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  26. ^ "Islam's Response to Contemporary Issues" (PDF). Alislam. Retrieved 15 October 2010.

External links[edit]