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The Ahmadist Sect (Ahmadiyya) founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a religious leader in the Punjab region of India in the late 19th century. In 1889 he founded a religious order and assumed the title of al Mahdi, the Divinely Guided One. He also claimed to be the messiah of Christian theoology, and a re-incarnation of the Hindu god Krishna. Furthermore he claimed to be a buruz, a reappearance of the Prophet Muhammad. His theology was thus a definite deviation from orthodox Islamic theology and thus a heresy to orthodox Muslims. His theology further deviated from the orthodox in that he belived that Jesus, who is a considered a prophet in orthodox Islamic theology, did not die on the cross but instead survived and secretly fled to India where he lived to an age of 120.

Upon the death of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in 1908 a successor (khalifah) maintained the sect until his death in 1914. After the death of the successor leader splinter group split off from the original sect. The original group maintained that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and his successor were prophets, contrary to orthodox Islamic theology. The splinter group, associated with the city of Lahore. This group characterized Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a reformer, someone who continues the work of Muhammad.

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