Mirza Tahir Ahmad

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Khalifatul Masih IV
Leader of the Faithful
(Amir al-Mu'minin)
KhalifaIV Surrey.jpg
Khaifatul Masih IV in 2000 in the UK
Reign June 10, 1982 – April 19, 2003
Predecessor Mirza Nasir Ahmad
Successor Mirza Masroor Ahmad
Born (1928-12-18)December 18, 1928
Qadian, British India
Died April 19, 2003(2003-04-19) (aged 74)
London, England
Burial Islamabad in Tilford, England
Spouse Sayyida Asifa Begum (m. 1957–1992)
Issue 5 children
Full name
Mirza Tahir Ahmad
Father Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad
Mother Sayyida Maryam Begum

Mirza Tahir Ahmad (Urdu: مرزا طاہراحمد) (December 18, 1928 – April 19, 2003) was Khalifatul Masih IV (Arabic: 'khalīfatul masīh al-rābi ,خليفة المسيح الرابع‎) and the head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. He was elected as Caliph on June 10, 1982, the day after the death of his predecessor, Mirza Nasir Ahmad.

In 1974 he was nominated as a member of the Ahmadiyya delegation which appeared before the Parliament of Pakistan to defend the beliefs of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Following the Ordinance XX that was promulgated by the government of Pakistan in 1984, which rendered the Khalifatul Masih unable to perform his duties and put the very institution in jeopardy, Mirza Tahir Ahmad left Pakistan and migrated to London, England, provisionally moving the headquarters of the community to the Fazl Mosque in London.[1] As Khalifatul Masih IV, Tahir Ahmad attended the 100th Annual Jalsa Salana (annual gathering) being held in Qadian, India in 1991. It was the first time an Ahmadiyya Caliph had returned to Qadian since the partition of India in 1947, when the community relocated from India to Pakistan.

Mirza Tahir Ahmad is noted particularly for his Question & Answer sessions which he held regularly with people from around the world and for his Qur'anic discourses. 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.

Early life[edit]

Mirza Tahir Ahmad was born in Qadian, India on December 18, 1928. He obtained his early schooling in Qadian and joined the Government College, Lahore in 1944, a few months after the death of his mother, Syeda Maryam Begum. After graduating with distinction from Jamia Ahmadiyya (Theological Academy) in Rabwah, he continued his education and obtained his honours degree in Arabic from the University of Punjab, Lahore.

In 1955 he visited England for the first time with his father, who advised him to remain there to improve his knowledge of the English language and become familiar with European social habits. He studied for two and a half years at the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University, but returned to Pakistan in December 1957 without having graduated. During his stay in London Tahir Ahmad visited different parts of the United Kingdom including Ireland, Scotland, Wales and also some parts of Western Europe.

Upon his return in 1957, Tahir Ahmad married Asifa Begum and was appointed the vice president of the newly established Waqf-e-Jadid Foundation, whose main task was to educate community members who lived in rural areas of Pakistan. He also started treating poor people with homeopathy.

During the Pakistani parliamentary investigations regarding the status of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, a delegation of five members, including Tahir Ahmad, was sent to plead the community's case. Shortly after, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was declared non-Muslim by the Pakistani National Assembly, which remains the constitutional and legal position of Pakistan as of 2014.


The Majlis Intikhab Khilafat (Electoral College), convened at Mubarik Mosque in Rabwah, Pakistan[2] elected Hadrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad as the fourth successor to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and head of the community on June 10, 1982.[3]

Ordinance XX, the anti-Ahmadiyya legislation passed by General Zia ul Haq's government on April 26, 1984, compelled Tahir Ahmad to leave Pakistan immediately. He left on April 28, 1984 with 17 others, and eventually reached London on April 30, eventually moving the headquarters of the community to London during his years of exile.

Return to India[edit]

In 1991 Mirza Tahir Ahmad returned to India to attend the 100th Annual Jalsa Salana (gathering) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Qadian. This was the first time a Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community had visited India since the partition of India in 1947 and the relocation of the Community to the new headquarters in Pakistan by Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad.

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 August 21, 1992 from London.[4] It started with a weekly one-hour program, transmitting Ahmad's Friday sermon.

Today, MTA broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, is watched by millions of people on five continents,[citation needed] and consists of three channels. Every Friday, broadcasts still include Khalifatul Masih's Friday sermon, simultaneously televised into six languages. Important events of the Community are also televised in most major languages around the world.

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.[5]


Mirza Tahir Ahmad was a leading homeopath. After trying a couple of remedies for his own migraine and his wife's long-standing ailment, he came to believe in the efficacy of homeopathic remedies, and treated thousands of patients. He instructed branches to establish free homeopathic dispensaries. He embarked upon a program of homeopathy training through classes televised on MTA International. These lectures were later compiled in a book (below).

Marriage, children, and family[edit]

Mirza Tahir Ahmad married Asifa Begum in 1957. They had 4 daughters, Shaukat Jehan, Faiza, Yasmin Rehman Mona, Atiatul Mujib Tooba and one daughter who died in infancy. He had no sons but later he took on the upbringing and educational training of a boy, Bashir. Asifa Begum died from pancreatic cancer[6] on April 3, 1992.

Mirza Tahir Ahmad was the grandson the founder of the Ahmadiyya, he was the son of Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad, the second Caliph from his wife Syeda Maryam Begum, and was also the half-brother of Mirza Nasir Ahmad, the third Caliph.


Mirza Tahir Ahmad died in London on April 19, 2003 from heart failure.[7] The newly elected Caliph Mirza Masroor Ahmad, as the Khalifatul Masih V, led the funeral prayer on April 23, 2003, attended by over 40,000 people from around the world.[8]

Writings, speeches and question-and-answer sessions[edit]

Mirza Tahir Ahmad answered questions from people of various faiths, professional backgrounds, cultures and mindsets around the world in various meetings and forums. He would answer any and all questions, whether related to Islam or not, without preparation or assistance.

Urdu Translation of Holy Quran[edit]

One of the monumental achievements of his life was the translation of Holy Quran in Urdu. He used simple language in his translation so that people can understand the real meaning of the Holy Quran. Also supplemented are introductions to different chapters and brief explanations of difficult and important passages of Quran. The publication was based on the 'Translation of the Quran' classes delivered between 1994 and 1999 on MTA television network.[1]

"Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth"[edit]

Mirza Tahir Ahmad wrote among many others, a book named Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & 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.[9] He also argued that Socrates was a prophet of the ancient Greeks,[10] and that several other prominent figures from history were at the level of prophethood due to their accomplishments and their influence over other figures far into history, both on a moral and materialistic progressive compass. The book covers a vast array of subjects, from religion, to science to secular traits in the present age. It attempts to substantiate, through various arguments, how God has been ever present in the world of man.


  • Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth – Examines the relationships between science, philosophy and religion[11]
  • Sawaney Fazl - E - Omer - Official Biography of Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad, the second Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community[12]
  • An Elementary Study of Islam[13]
  • Gulf Crisis and The New World Order[14]
  • Christianity - A Journey from Facts to Fiction – Examines and discusses a variety of current Christian beliefs through logic and reason[15]
  • Murder in the Name of Allah[16]
  • Zahaqal Baatil ([17][18][19]
  • Reality of punishment of apostasy in Islam (Urdu)[20]
  • Khatame-Nabbuwat (Urdu pdf)
  • Homeopathy[21]
  • Some Distinctive Features of Islam[22]
  • Islam's Response to Contemporary Issues[23]
  • Kalam-e-Tahir (Poetry Book)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Khilafat, the Successorship of Prophethood – The Guided Khilafat – Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya
  2. ^ The Life of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV (ra). 
  3. ^ "Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad". Retrieved March 5, 2011. 
  4. ^ "A Brief History of Ahmadiyya Movement In Islam: Muslim Television Ahmadiyya". Retrieved March 13, 2011. 
  5. ^ First International Baiat, Jalsa Salana 1 August 1993 First International Baiat, Jalsa Salana 1 August 1993 on YouTube.
  6. ^ Ahmad, Mirza Tahir. Friday Sermon, April 3, 1992.  External link in |title= (help)
  7. ^ "Obituaries: Deaths Last Week". Chicago Tribune. May 11, 2003. Retrieved March 13, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Obituary of Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad". Asian Outlook. Retrieved March 13, 2011. 
  9. ^ "The 'Blind Watchmaker' Who Is Also Deaf and Dumb". Alislam.org. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  10. ^ "Socrates: Philosopher or Prophet?". University College, London. 
  11. ^ "Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth". Al Islam. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  12. ^ "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 2012-10-07. 
  13. ^ "An Elementary Study of Islam". Al Islam. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  14. ^ "Book: The Gulf Crisis & The New World Order". Al Islam. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  15. ^ "Christianity: A Journey from Facts to Fiction". Al Islam. 1928-12-18. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  16. ^ "Murder in the Name of Allah". Al Islam. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  17. ^ Arabic [dead link]
  18. ^ "سلسلة الخطب ردا على منشور حكومي". Alislam.org. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  19. ^ "A Review of the Pakistani Government's 'White Paper': Qadiyaniyyat - A Grave Threat to Islam". Alislam.org. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  20. ^ "Islam main irtidad ki saza ki haqeeqat - Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at Urdu Pages". Alislam.org. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  21. ^ "Homoeopathy - Like cures like" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  22. ^ "Some Distinctive Features Of Islam". Alislam.org. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  23. ^ "Islam's Response to Contemporary Issues". 

External links[edit]