Ahmadi muslims denounce the usage of a sword or any other form of coercion as a method of propagation of the Islamic faith.
Contrary to the common views that historically Islam was spread by force, Ahmadis maintain that early Muslims DIDN’T take up the sword in order to spread their faith, but rather to preserve the right to practice ALL faiths.
In particular, the founder of the movement, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, stated
That from the birth of Islam and when more Meccans began converting to the new religion, the pagans of Mecca started increasing tension towards them, leading to the early muslims being persecuted against for many years, eventually resulting in their migration to the neighbouring city of Medina. The Muslims did not retaliate up to this point.
Upon migrating to Medina, the Muslims were pursued by the Pagans who continued their attacks and it was ONLY then that the Muslims first took up the sword in order to defend their lives and preserve their religion.
Ahmadis Muslims denounce the usage of a sword according to Holy Qur’an which categorically rejects any form of coercion in religion stating:
"There is no compulsion in religion" — The Qur'an 2:256
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community maintain that Jihad is a radical concept. It is primarily one's personal inner and outer struggle for self-purification. Armed struggle or military exertion is to be used in defensively, and even then only under the direct instruction of a Caliph, purely for the sake of God and the preservation of religion.
To this effect, the fourth Caliph, or leader, of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Mirza Tahir Ahmad states:
"As far as Islam is concerned, it categorically rejects and condemns every form of terrorism. It does not provide any cover or justification for any act of violence, be it committed by an individual, a group or a government.... I most strongly condemn all acts and forms of terrorism because it is my deeply rooted belief that not only Islam but also no true religion, whatever its name, can sanction violence and bloodshed of innocent men, women and children in the name of God" — Murder in the Name of Allah - Mirza Tahir Ahmad
It is not permissible that jihad be used to spread Islam violently or for political motives, or that it be waged against a government that maintains religious freedom. Political conflicts over independence, even from a defensive stand, land and resources, or reasons other than religious belief cannot be termed jihad.