There is no single book that gives us the Ahmadiyya Theology as a whole. Due to their uniquely unorthodox beliefs, a mixture of Hanafi Sunni and Sunni concepts, and confusion over the everyday meaning and dictionary meaning of words, it is very hard to get it from the Ahmadiyya in a logical and consistent form.
On this page, we will attempt to put together their a consolidated version of their accepted theology. This discussion is about the Ahmadiyya position on recognized theological topics. We will not include those aspects that form the 'sacred science' of a cult. These can be found in the Ahmadiyya as a Cult section.
Mirza as Prophet Muhammad(saw)
In 1901, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed to be a prophet in the booklet [Ek Ghalati ka Izala]. Upon questioning, he confirmed it thus in Al-Hakam 30th November 1901 (image at bottom):
. . . they do not understand that the seal of prophethood is broken by the return of the Israeli Messiah, or the return of Muhammad(saw) himself. Those who bring down the Israeli Messiah from the sky are the ones who deny the end of prophethood. According to me, no new one has appeared – neither an old prophet or an old prophet – but that another has been cloaked with the cloak of Muhammad(saw), and he (Muhammad saw) has appeared himself. If a person (Hafiz Yusuf, the questioner) beholds his image in a mirror, should the ladies (of his house) put on their veils as if a stranger had entered (the house) . . .
Mirza then went on to instruct Muhammad Ahsan Amrohvi to write a detailed article.
Prophet after Muhammad(saw)
This topic has been confused by the concepts of 'prophet', 'prophecier', 'nabi' and 'nubuwwah' – all compounded by the concept of ranking in the spiritual pantheon of Hinduism that has found root in the culture of the Indian sub-continent. We have found all quotes from prior Muslim scholars that the Ahmadiyya present in support of their position to be out of context and/or mis-translated. As such, it is safe to say that the concept held by Ahmadis is novel and unique.
While a thorough discussion can be found elsewhere, two quotes will suffice, one from the Sunni perspective and one from the Sufi perspective:
Ghulam Ahmad argued, as we have seen, that a religion is dead if its founding prophet is not able to bestow prophetic perfections on his accomplished followers. This was taken to mean that Islam would have been dead and Muhammad would have been imperfect if he did not bestow prophetic perfection on some members of his community. Bringing this idea to its ultimate conclusion, the non-Ahmadi ulama came to maintain that in Ahmadi prophetology the perfection of Muhammad's prophethood depended upon the according of prophetic status to Ghulam Ahmad. This interpretation of Ahmadi thought resulted in the emergence of an unbridgeable gap between the Ahmadiyya and the mainstream of Sunni Islam. Prophecy Continuous, 1984, p. 186 (Conclusion).
The confusion about the Sufi usage, especially ibn Arabi's, in the words of the subject himself:
Sometimes, the revelations of God, some words are used about some of His friends (saints) in allegory and similitude, and are not based on fact. The whole quarrel which foolish and biased (people) have dragged in a different direction: the name of the coming promised messiah stated from the blessed tongue of Muhammad(saw) as quoted in Sahih Muslim etc. – i.e. prophet of Allah – is in the spirit of the same accepted allegorical usage in the books of Sufis and a common idiom for communication with God. Otherwise, what prophet after the Khatam-al-Anbiya (Last Prophet). (Anjam Atham, RK 1984 Vol. 11, p.28)
This quote was from 1897. In 1901, in Ek Ghalati ka Izala, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad confused the matter further but a consensus emerged among his community that he was a full prophet like all other prophets and it was necessary to believe in him as a Muslim should believe in all prophets. This issue, and the obligatory corollary that all other Muslims would thus be rendered disbelievers, was the schism that led to the theological Organisations in the Ahmadiyya. The Qadiani group's insistence, retraction, and now forgetfulness of this issue has landed them into considerable political hot water.
The positions of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad on this issue are even more convoluted to his instruction to his followers of obligatory subservience to the British Crown. He holds the general Muslim opinion that taking up of arms is only required in self-defence. However, he then goes on to say that 'The Quranic commandment of one type of Jihad that requires military power was valid but has been suspended (Arbaeen) [by the author, i.e. Mirza].
In the aftermath of the mostly-Muslim 1857 War of Independence in India, he shared the opinion of other Muslim scholars, including his nemesis Muhammad Hussain Batalvi that taking up arms against the British Government of India (in rebellion) is not allowed as it is a just government and allows religious freedom.
At the same time, the military exploits of the British forces in South Africa during the Boer War were lauded and supported actively with donations and prayers.
In the 1930s, Qadiani Ahmadis in Qadian armed themselves in anticipation of a conference to be held in their town (Lavan). After the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war, a brigade was created by the Ahmadiyya leader called the Furqan Force.
In the recent past, the Ahmadiyya position has been mostly opportunistic, mostly in alignment with Western military policy – agreeing that Jihad with the sword was acceptable in Bosnia but curiously maintaining that Palestinians taking up arms was the cause of their predicament.
In stark contrast to most Muslim groups or countries, and as far as we have been able to find, the Ahmadiyya have also never publicly condemned Israel.