Posted by Rafiq A. Tschannen
Source: CG AHMADIYYA BLOG (a private blog)
Previously, we have had the pleasure of publishing two independent studies by academic experts into the numbers, population and growth of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The first, published by the international research group called Pew Forum in 2012 showed that in just thirteen African countries there exists a growing population of almost 8 million Ahmadi Muslims.
The second independent study was from a book which was published by Oxford University, called World Christian Encyclopedia. The book was a second edition and the first had been published in 1981. The second edition, which is the one we looked at had been published in 2001 and had conducted perhaps the most reliable study in history into the religious beliefs of the worldwide population. Statistics had been taken and assembled by experts during the period between 1990 and 2000. The results showed that the Ahmadiyya Sect is the fastest growing major sect of the fastest growing religion in the world, Islam.
Originally, in concluding that the Ahmadiyya community was the fastest growing denomination, we had only compared it generally to Sunniism, Shiaism and Sufiism. A non-Ahmadi Muslim reader of the site challenged these findings. His argument was that as Ahmadiyya is the smallest of these three groups it is far easier for Ahmadis to gain converts. His reasoning appears to be that if there are 10 people in a town and 1 is an Ahmadi, 2 are Sufis, 3 are Shias and 4 are Sunnis, it is easiest for the Ahmadi to gain converts as the Ahmadi will have 9 people to preach to, whereas the Sunni will only have 6. Also, if the Ahmadi converts only 1 person, it will mean that there has been a 100% growth, whereas the Sunnis have to convert 4 people to gain the same growth.
This argument did make a degree of sense and so we returned to the original source, the World Christian Encyclopedia, to see if we could dig any further. What we found is that the encyclopedia had also offered more detailed sectarian statistics. They had divided the Muslims into the 13 largest sect, plus one further group to include all other minor sects. We have analysed these statistics below and ordered them according to the size of each sect:
Annual Average for
Sect Net Births Net Converts Net % Growth Adherents (2001)
Hanafites 9,480,204 385,753 2.07 531,417,801
Shafiites 4,590,019 99,981 2.20 239,900,000
Malikites 3,925,302 64,698 2.00 221,900,000
Ithna-Asharis 2,540,722 167,778 2.23 136,655,000
Ismailis 472,710 83,290 2.70 23,772,000
Zaydis 95,925 67,675 2.30 8,042,000
Net birth: 156,461
Net converts: 61,139
Net % Growth: 3.25 (which is the highest %)
Total population: 7,950,000
Wahhabites 91,447 -2,147 1.37 7,000,000
Hanbalites 28,002 17,498 2.20 2,325,000
NOI 25,317 10,683 2.49 1,650,000
Karijites 26,901 3,799 2.10 1,636,000
Druzes 15,943 1,057 2.31 834,000
Yazidis 3,695 905 2.30 226,000
OTHER SECTS 58,271 18,329 3.46 2,654,000
Net Births = Net Annual Births – Net Annual Deaths
Net Converts = Net Annual Converts – Net Annual Apostates
Net % Growth = Net Converts + Net Births taken as a percentage of the original population
All statistics are from the years 1990 to 2000
The findings of the study are quite startling. Eleven of the 13 major sects have average annual growth rates of between 2.0 and 2.7%. There are only two exceptions, the Wahabbis whose growth rate is apparently exceptionally low and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community whose growth rate is exceptionally high at 3.25%. It seems that whether the sect is bigger or smaller than the Ahmadis, one thing is almost guaranteed and that is that the Ahmadis will be growing at a much faster rate.
NOTE BY THE EDITOR: Not sure how they can come up with such ‘exact’ figures. Even the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at in Africa for instance counts ‘villages’ instead of individuals… Anyway, interesting …