In 1835, Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas was born in the unknown village of Qadian, India. In 1889, he founded the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. By the end of his life he had hundreds of thousands of followers. Today, his peaceful community numbers in the many millions, and grows at a remarkable rate each year. Its adherents hail from every faith, nation, and walk of life. Among his followers are Nobel Prize winners, United Nations Director-Generals, and celebrated authors, artists, and leaders of nations. They all claimed that by following Ahmad they achieved something no longer seen in the contemporary world — a genuine, two-way connection with our Creator; spiritual enlightenment in our age of darkness.
Ahmad made a remarkable claim. He said that he was the long-awaited Messiah and Reformer foretold by Christianity, Islam and countless other religions. He said that as Islam was the universal religion, the Reformer to come in this age was to be a single man, born and raised in the all-embracing Muslim faith. But what of the first Messiah, Jesus? With Biblical, Quranic, and historical argumentation he proved that Jesus of Nazareth survived the crucifixion, fled East and died a natural death in India. Ahmad claimed that the old Jesus would never come back, and second coming of Jesus that Muslims and Christians alike await was a spiritual rebirth, rather than a physical descent from the skies. He claimed to be a Prophet for our time, a deputy to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, who was and always will be the greatest of all Prophets.
Ahmad did not rest with claims alone, but proved them with ceaseless intellectual output and the testimony of heavenly signs. Thus was the long-awaited double eclipse in the month of Ramadan fulfilled in his lifetime. Thus did he call those who branded him a liar to prayer duels and emerge in humble victory. Thus did his prophecies foretell the Great War and countless other world events. But his truest proof lay in the spiritual revolution that he created among his followers. The connection that they forged with God by following Ahmad brought with it fresh inspiration and revelation. This contact with the Divine sustained the spiritual lives of his followers 125 years ago, and continues to do so today. Over half a million join each year — their stories of Divine Experience are numberless.