Ahmadiyyat is, what we might call, a messianic sect of Islam. In order to avoid what I might call the "cold bath syndrome" I will make some brief prefatory remarks. Such a preface may avoid the shock and confusion of a plunge into the unfamiliar world of nineteenth century Islam.
I have no idea how many readers may have heard of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam. As we shall see a little later, the Movement originated when a devout Muslim, living in the Punjab, declared in 1889 that he was Mahdi and Messiah. This was the point at which experiences of revelation that went back to 1876, when Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was 41 years old, came to a sharp focus. At that dramatic moment, a pious and devout personality reached a plateau of self-realization. From then to the time of his death in 1908, Hazrat Ahmad was the human and prophetic energy that led what his followers felt as the renaissance of Islam.
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