Can Ahmadis be considered Ahle-Kitab? Are they not murtad?
In my opinion, Ahmadis should very much be considered like Ahle Kitab. The present-day Ahmadis are not murtad by any standard, because even if we consider the first crop of Ahmadis as murtad, because they converted to their new faith after being Muslims, the present generation of Ahmadis are born into their faith, except for those who have converted. Moreover, Ahmadis of the first generation were not murtad, in our opinion, in the sense we understand murtad on the basis of hadith, which requires them to be killed. Our understanding is that there was a special reason why it was desired that murtad of the time of the prophet, alaihissalaam, were required be killed if they converted to a faith different from Islam. It was because of the fact that the immediate addressees of the prophet had no choice but to accept Islam. If they were to become Kafir after they had become Muslims, they were again liable to be killed. This law is applicable to no one else.
It was specially meant for the people at the time of the prophet because he had done itmame hujjah (presentation of God’s message in an unmistakably clear manner) on them. After itmame hujjah, according to the Qur’an, all people belonging to nation of a rasul have to face the punishment of death in this life.