Ahmadiyya Islam and Muslims are now in Southern Mexico and Latin America
Ahmadiyya (/ɑːməˈdiə/; officially, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community or the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at; Arabic: الجماعة الإسلامية الأحمدية, transliterated: al-Jamā’ah al-Islāmiyyah al-Aḥmadiyyah; Urdu: احمدیہ مسلم جماعت) is an Islamic religious movement founded in Punjab, British India, near the end of the 19th century. It originated with the life and teachings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835–1908), who claimed to have appeared in fulfilment of the prophecies concerning the world’s reformer during the end times, who was to bring about, by peaceful means, the final triumph of Islam and herald the eschaton as predicted in Islamic scriptures as well as the traditions of various world religions. He claimed to have been divinely appointed as the Mujaddid (renewer) of Islam, the promised Messiah and Mahdi awaited by Muslims. The adherents of the Ahmadiyya movement are referred to as Ahmadi Muslims or simply Ahmadis.
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Ahmadi thought emphasizes the belief that Islam is the final dispensation for humanity as revealed to Muhammad and the necessity of restoring to it its true essence and pristine form, which had been lost through the centuries. Ahmadiyya adherents believe that Ahmad appeared in the likeness of Jesus, to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and reinstitute morality, justice, and peace. They believe that upon divine guidance he divested Islam of fanatical and innovative beliefs and practices by championing what is, in their view, Islam’s true and essential teachings as practised by Muhammad and the early Islamic community. Thus, Ahmadis view themselves as leading the revival and peaceful propagation of Islam.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad founded the movement on 23 March 1889. Since his death, the community has been led by a number of Caliphs and has expanded to 209 countries and territories of the world as of 2016 with concentrations in South Asia, West Africa, East Africa and Indonesia. The Ahmadis have a strong missionary tradition and were among the earliest Muslim communities to arrive in Britain and other Western countries. Currently, the community is led by its Caliph, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, and is estimated to number between 10 and 20 million worldwide.
The population is almost entirely contained in the single, highly organized and united movement. In this sense there is only one major branch. However, in the early history of the community, a number of Ahmadis broke away over the nature of Ahmad’s prophethood and succession and formed the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement which today represent a small fraction of all Ahmadis. Some Ahmadiyya-specific beliefs have been thought of as opposed to contemporary mainstream Islamic thought since the movement’s birth, and some Ahmadis have subsequently faced persecution. Many Muslims consider Ahmadi Muslims as either kafirs or heretics.