The beliefs of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement are the same as those held by other Muslims, namely, that:
the Holy Quran is the word of God which is to guide mankind forever,
and the Holy Prophet Muhammad was the perfect model of Islamic
teachings whose example shall forever be binding on every Muslim
We believe that, as the principles and teachings of religion reached perfection and completion in the Holy Quran and the example displayed by the Holy Prophet, it follows that the Quran is the final Book of God, and Muhammad (may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him) is His Last Prophet, after whom no prophet can appear.
The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement highlights certain features of the Islamic teaching which have been ignored over the course of time, but which are now crucial to the needs of the age. We summarise below the main aspects of Islam which the movement has thus brought to the fore.
We proclaim that Islam is:
1. International -- God raised Prophets in all nations, not only among the Israelites (as already accepted by Muslims) but also in India, China, Persia etc. A Muslim must believe in and respect all these prophets and their scriptures. Islam restores the original purity of the eternal truths taught by them, and broadens the scope of their national teachings to provide a faith for all humanity. Goodness, good people and truth may be found in all nations. God is equally just to all human beings, irrespective of their race, nationality or religion.
2. Tolerant -- It gives full freedom to everyone to hold, practise and adopt any belief and religion. Differences of belief and interpretation, with whomsoever these may occur, must be tolerated. Criticism against Islam must be answered only by word, and any offence felt must be borne with patience; responding by physical violence is alien to the teachings of Islam. The common image of Islam as an intolerant faith is completely false.
3. Peaceful -- It condemns all use of force except in unavoidable self-defence. All battles of early Islam were purely defensive. Muslims must live peacefully under any rule which grants them freedom of religion. The impression that Islam urges its followers to wage war or rebellion to establish its rule is entirely wrong. The concept of Jihad is greatly misunderstood: it primarily signifies a spiritual, intellectual and moral struggle to reform oneself and others.
4. Non-sectarian -- Any person professing the words "There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah" must be treated as one's fellow Muslim. No inquisition is allowed into anyone's beliefs or motives. Issuing so-called rulings, on some pretext, to expel from Islam those who profess the Kalima is entirely against Islamic teachings.
5. Rational -- It urges use of reason and knowledge in all matters, including religious affairs. Blind following and acceptance are disallowed, and independence of thought is granted. Blind, unthinking obedience to religious leaders is condemned.
6. Living -- Acts of worship are not rituals to be performed without thought or feeling. They are meant to put the human soul in living contact with a Living God. We must know the purpose of prayer, fasting, etc. and carry them out in their true spirit. God listens to man's supplications and answers his prayers. In every age there arise, among Muslims, saints who have closeness and communication with God. Their example shows others that there is a Living God Who speaks to man.
7. Supporter of women -- A great deal of misunderstanding prevails on this point, mainly due to local customs being confused with the teachings of Islam. According to Islam, a woman is a full, responsible human being, just as a man is. She should have the same control over determining the course of her life (including matters of marriage and divorce) as a man has over his life.
8. Highly moral -- It requires Muslims to develop the highest personal moral virtues, and display these qualities even at the cost of personal or national interest. An Islamic society is not created by imposing laws and regulations on people. It is only created by reforming the character of individuals through moral training and example, and this was what the Holy Prophet Muhammad did.
9. Heart-winning -- It seeks to conquer hearts and minds by showing the logic, truth and beauty of its teachings, in a gentle, loving spirit. It condemns force or coercion to spread the faith or make people conform to it.
10. Complete -- The Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet provide complete and perfect guidance for all mankind, for all time to come. The Holy Prophet is the perfect exemplar of the highest moral virtues. After him, no prophet or authority is to arise. As Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, wrote:
"I firmly believe that our Holy Prophet Muhammad is the Last of the Prophets, and after him no prophet shall come for this nation, neither old nor new." (Nishan Asmani, p. 28).