Manzoor Lughmani

As Interviewed By Amani Ahmad, March 19, 2017
"And we were so afraid of what will happen now… will they set our house on fire or kill us? And we were praying, praying and praying."
Manzoor Lughmani

Introductory Profile: About Manzoor Lughmani and Ahmadiyya Persecution

Manzoor Lughmani is an Ahmadi Muslim who lived in Balakot, Pakistan at the time when Ahmadi Muslims were declared non- Muslims by the Pakistani government. She and her fellow Ahmadis endured religious persecution in Pakistan. Manzoor Lughmani was born in Jalandhar, India in 1935 but moved to Lahore, Pakistan after the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. She got married in 1958 and has three children. Manzoor Lughmani worked as an Arabic professor for fifteen years at the Nusrat Girls College. She moved to the United States in the 1990’s after my aunt married her son.

In 1974, the Pakistani government declared Ahmadi Muslims as non- Muslims, which changed the lives of Ahmadis living in Pakistan. Like Manzoor Lughmani, they went from being respected members of society to being treated horribly and persecuted. Their basic rights of practicing their faith were taken away, such as reciting the Kalima (a fundamental part of Islam), reading the Qur’an, reciting the Muslim call to prayer (Azaan), publishing religious materials, saying Assalamualaikum (the traditional Muslim greeting), among others. Since then, Ahmadis have been mobbed, murdered, tortured, had their property and graves destroyed, kept at the bottom simply because of their beliefs, jailed for irrational reasons, and there have been fatal attacks and massacres on Ahmadi homes and mosques (Muslim places of worship). Ahmadis continue to be persecuted in Pakistan to this day.

As an American born Ahmadi Muslim, hearing these things was shocking and serious. Ahmadis were (and still continue to be) pushed out and discriminated by the country they call home. To reflect this, I played an Ahmadi “nazm,” or religious poem, at the beginning and end of the interview called Apnay Daees Main Apni Basti. The poem is heart wrenching and melancholic, and sings of how Ahmadis once had a home in their own country and how beautiful it was, and how they still remember and love Pakistan wherever they go even though it had rejected them.