April 08, 2024

The Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light. 4. The Divine Just State

AROPL believers expect a millennial kingdom of peace and justice, ruled by a wise philosopher-king.

The man in front of us exudes instant sympathy. He is standing next to his young and smiling wife and tells us how he—and she—were the first to be surprised when his mentor told him that he was the prophesied Mahdi. He was just a simple young man, he said, as many others. Having met more than one religious leader sitting, sometimes literally, on a throne and dominating his (more rarely her) followers with an arrogant and despotic gaze, we are pleasantly surprised. Yet, we perfectly understand that this really nice guy in his early forties makes bold claims about himself. He, Abdullah Hashem Aba al-Sadiq, is the leader of the Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light (AROPL), a Shia-derivative new religion not to be confused with the Sunni-derivative Ahmadiyya community currently under severe persecution in Pakistan. To his devotees, he is the Qaim, the “Riser of the Family of Muhammad,” the figure prophesied to emerge in the end times to bring peace and justice to the world.