He was born in 1856, and was the eldest surviving son, and legal successor, to the estate of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Despite the fact that the father disinherited him in the 1880s as a reprisal for non-cooperation in the father's quest to marry Muhammadi Begum, the book The Punjab Chiefs show him as the inheritor of the Qadian estate.
Mirza Sultan had a very successful career as a senior government administrator, rising to be Deputy Commissioner during the British Raj. The record of how he managed riots in the Punjab in the absence of the British administrator is quite flattering. In 1916, he is recorded as being Additional District Magistrate in Lahore (Paigham Sulh, 23 January, 1916, a Lahori periodical).
In addition to his career, he was also considered a distinguished literary figure in Lahore and is mentioned in several journals of the area.
He tried his best to stay at a distance from the religion founded by his father, and was never a member of his organisation, which was headed by his younger brother, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, during the 1920s.
In the 1916 article mentioned above, he categorically and eloquently wrote:
"All the prophets gave good news of the coming of our Prophet, and our Prophet gave the good news of hundreds among his own followers who arose in Islam as abdal, aqtab, auliya [saints] and mujaddids [reformers]. … Prophethood was ended and spiritual benefits were made general in another form."
At his deathbed 1931, when he was not in full control of his faculties, his wife was manipulated by the leadership of the Qadiani Ahmadiyya into signing an affidavit that Mirza Sultan Ahmad had been initiated into the Qadiani organisation on his deathbed. It would be highly unbecoming of an established well-grounded person like him to have had a deathbed conversion.