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Books Section > The Promised Messiah [The Second Coming of Jesus] by Maulana Muhammad Ali Sahib > Chapter X: Allegations against the Promised Messiah


Chapter X: Allegations against the Promised Messiah:

And say not to anyone who offers you the (Islamic) salutation, Thou art not a believer. 1

O you who believe, be maintainers of justice, bearers of witness for Allah, even though it be against your own selves. 2

The beginning of takfir:

As I have mentioned before, the claim to being a mujaddid (renovator) by the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement was generally accepted by the Muslims of India. Even Maulavi Muhammad Hussain of Batala, who later on turned out to be his most implacable enemy, paid allegiance to such a claim. He openly admitted that a book like Barahin-i Ahmadiyyah had no parallel in the history of Islam. But when the Founder declared that Jesus Christ had died a natural death, and because of his likeness to Jesus Christ, the promise of the coming Messiah in the Muslim nation was fulfilled in his person, a storm of opposition was raised against him. Maulavi Muhammad Hussain was the greatest supporter of the Founder in the beginning, but it was he who became his greatest opponent in the end. As belief in the death of Jesus Christ, and anybody coming in the likeness of him, according to the prophecies about his descent recorded in the Hadith, were not matters over which the general body of Muslims could be incited by the `ulama against the Founder, therefore an entirely different attitude was adopted. Instead of discussing these points, or making them the foundation of their fatwa, the pronouncement of unbelief (fatwa kufr) was issued by levelling false charges against him. In this way, the so-called custodians of the faith split up the believers and shattered the solidarity of Islam. The Quran had clearly stated: Say not to anyone who offered you the Islamic salutation (Assalamu `Alaikum): Thou art not a believer. The Holy Prophet expressed his extreme displeasure at the killing of a person after he had recited the Kalimah on mere suspicion that he had uttered it to save his life. "Did you tear asunder his heart?" said the Prophet to the person who was guilty of this offence. But our maulavis neither cared for the Islamic salutation nor for the testimony of the Kalimah, nor for the belief in the principles of faith, for the acceptance of the Prophet Muhammad as Khatam al-Nabiyyin, nor for conformity to Islamic practices like prayer, fasting, charity etc. But when they saw the seal of one maulavi under the Pronouncement of Heresy they followed suit without thinking, or without understanding.

Allegations made the basis for the pronouncement of heresy:

The nature and validity of these allegations can be judged by the following poster published by the Founder at Delhi on 2 October 1891 CE:

"I have heard that some of the leading `ulama of this city are giving publicity to false charges against me saying that I lay claim to prophethood, and that I do not believe in angels, nor in heaven and hell, nor in the existence of Gabriel, nor in Lailat al-Qadr, nor in miracles and the Mir'aj (Ascension) of the Holy Prophet. So, to make the truth known to all and sundry, I do hereby publicly declare that all this is a complete fabrication. I am not a claimant to prophethood, neither am I a denier of miracles, angels, Lailat al-Qadr, etc. On the other hand, I confess belief in all those matters which are included in the Islamic principles of faith and, in accordance with the belief of the Ahl-i Sunnat wal-Jama'at, I believe in those things which are established by the Quran and the Hadith, and I believe that any claimant to prophethood and messengership after our lord and master, Muhammad Mustafa (may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him), the last of the messengers, is a liar and a disbeliever. It is my conviction that divine revelation, which was granted to messengers, began with Adam, the chosen one of God, and came to a close with the Messenger of God, Muhammad Mustafa (may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him). Everyone should bear witness to this statement and Allah, the All-Knowing and the All-Hearing , is the greatest of all witnesses that I declare my belief in all those doctrines by the acceptance of which even a kafir also becomes a Muslim, and a follower of any other religion too, is immediately proclaimed a Musalman."

Similarly, in a speech delivered at the Jama' Mosque on 23 October 1891, and published under the title Wajib al-I' lan, he declared:

"Other charges are advanced against me that I am a denier of Lailat al-Qadr, miracles and of the Ascension and that I am also a claimant to prophethood and a denier of the Finality of Prophethood. All these charges are untrue and absolutely false. In all these matters, my belief is the same as that of the other Ahl-i Sunnat wal-Jama'at and such objections against my books, Taudih-i Maram and Izalah-i Auham are entirely the errors of the fault-finders (themselves). Now I make a plain statement before Muslims in this house of Allah of the following matters: that I am a believer in the Finality of Prophethood (Khatm-i Nubuwwat) of the Seal of the Prophets (Khatam al-Anbiya), and I consider the person who denies the Finality of Prophethood to be a heretic and outside the pale of Islam. Similarly I am a believer in angels, miracles, Lailat al-Qadr, etc." 3

Insistence of the maulavis on the pronouncement of heresy:

Readers might be thinking that, perhaps after this clear announcement, the maulavis might have withdrawn their fatwa. But the seal of the so-called maulavis was given on the pronouncement of heresy when their hearts were already sealed. In reply to the above poster, another poster was published by Maulavi Muhammad Hussain of Batala on 18 October 1891 in which it was stated:

"The general body of Muslims should think him to be a liar in his various claims, and his declaration in the poster dated 2 October 1891 should be considered as an attempt at dissimulation (taqiyya) and hypocrisy (nifaq)." 4

This is an example of the piety of those maulavis. A person declared on solemn oath that he was not a claimant to prophethood and not a denier of Lailat al-Qadr (The Grand Night), miracles and angels and that he held the same beliefs as those held by the Ahl-i Sunnat wal Jama'at, but perhaps the maulavis had torn asunder his heart and seen that all that was due to hyprocrisy. Bigotry could perhaps go no further. The question however, that could be asked was, what were the actual writings of the Promised Messiah on account of which the maulavis had attributed a claim of prophethood to him, for this was their greatest allegation. The writings quoted by them were from his two books, viz. Taudih-i Maram and Izalah-i Auham. The following words of Taudih-i Maram were assumed to be the basis of his claim to prophethood:

"Here, if it be objected that the like of the Messiah should also be a prophet because the Messiah was himself a prophet, the reply to this, in the first place is, that our Holy Prophet has not made prophethood a condition for the coming Messiah, but has clearly stated that he shall be a Muslim and bound by the law of the Quran like ordinary Muslims. He shall not say anything except that `I am a Muslim and their leader'. Besides, there is no doubt in it that this humble servant has been raised by the Most High God for this ummah (nation) in the capacity of a muhaddath and a muhaddath is in one sense also a prophet. Though he does not attain to perfect prophethood, nevertheless, he is partially a prophet, for he is endowed with the gift of being spoken to by God, and matters unseen are manifested to him and, like the revelations of messengers and prophets, his revelations are also made free from the intervention of the devil, and the real kernel of the Law is disclosed to him and he is commissioned just like prophets, and it is obligatory on him, like prophets, that he should announce his claims at the top of his voice, and anybody who rejects him deserves punishment to some extent. Prophethood means nothing but that the above characteristics are found in him.

If it is argued that the door of prophethood has been closed and that a seal has been set on the revelation that descends on prophets, I say that neither has the door of prophethood been closed in all respects nor has a seal been set on every form of revelation. On the contrary, the doors of revelation and prophethood have been partially open for this nation ever since. "That the (type of) prophethood, which is to continue for ever, is not perfect prophethood… which in other words is termed muhaddathiyyah and this is attainable by following the greatest and the most perfect of all human beings i.e., the Holy Prophet Muhammad, the embodiment of all the excellences of perfect prophethood (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

Now, may Allah guide you, and ponder deeply that a prophet is a muhaddath and muhaddath is a prophet in the sense that he possesses one of the various characteristics of prophethood. The messenger of Allah is reported to have said that nothing is now left of prophethood, except mubashshirat (good news); that is to say from the characteristics of prophethood only one kind is left, that is, mubashshirat such as true dreams, right visions and revelation that descend on the chosen ones from among the saints (auliya). And that is a light which descends on the hearts of compassionate people. Thus look at this, learned critic and possessor of insight, whether the door of prophethood has been entirely closed because of this. On the other hand, the hadith proves that perfect prophethood which contained the revelation of the Shari`ah has certainly been cut off, but prophethood which contains nothing except mubashshirat will remain till the Day of Judgement and will never be cut off. You know and have read in the books of Tradition that prophetic dream is a forty-sixth part of perfect prophethood. Thus, when true dreams could rank so high, what would be the position of revelation which descends on the hearts of muhaddathin? The substance of my talk is this, that the doors of partial prophethood have always been open. But this kind of prophethood is nothing except glad tidings, warnings, reports of matters unseen, deep understanding of the Quran, and Divine knowledge. We believe that prophethood, which is perfect and complete and possesses all the excellence of revelation, has ceased from the time this verse was revealed: Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the messenger of Allah and the last of all the Prophets." 5

It is clear from the above quotation that he claims to be the muhaddath only. Of course a muhaddathin in a sense is also called a prophet. The reason for this has also been given by him, that a muhaddath shares in some of the attributes of a prophet. The door of prophethood has indeed been closed, but not in every respect, so that nothing is left of the blessings of prophethood. A part of prophethood, that is to say, mubshshirat continues in this ummah according to the Tradition, and a recipient of this part has been called a partial prophet (juzwi nabi). But it has also been made clear that a partial prophet only means a muhaddath and not a prophet. Perfect and complete prophethood according to him has been cut off. To make this statement the basis of prophethood and insist that in spite of the clear explanation that this statement does not carry the meaning attached to it by the opponents, is not to be expected of a God-fearing person. The point was still further clarified in Izalah-i Auham where he writes:

"Question: In the pamphlet Fath-i Islam, has a claim been laid to prophethood?

"Reply: There is no claim to being a prophet, but a claim to being a muhaddath has been laid and this has been advanced by the command of Allah. Further, there is no doubt that muhaddathiyyat also contains a strong part of prophethood. In this case, when good visions are a forty-sixth part of prophethood, then if muhaddathiyyat, which has been mentioned in the Quran together with prophethood and apostleship and of which there is also a report in al-Sahih of Bukhari, is called metaphorical prophethood or is regarded as a strong part of prophethood, does this then amount to a claim to prophethood? 6

"The possessor of perfect prophethood (nubuwwat-i tammah) can never be a follower (ummati). And if one is called a perfect messenger of God, his becoming a complete follower of, and obedient (muti`) to another prophet is absolutely forbidden according to the clear and express teachings of the Quran and the Hadith. God says: And we sent no messenger but that he should be obeyed by Allah's command (4:64). That is to say, every messenger is sent to be a master (muta`) and an imam. He is not sent for the object of becoming obedient and subordinate to another person. Of course, a muhaddath, who is from among the sent ones (mursalin), is a follower, too, and a prophet in an imperfect sense, as well. He is a follower, because he is totally obedient to the Shari`ah of Allah's messenger and is the recipient of the light from the lamp of his messengership, and a prophet because God deals with him as He does with prophets. God has created a muhaddath as an intermediary (barzakh) between prophets and nations. Although he is a perfect follower, he is also a prophet in a sense." 7

"Moreover, the finality of our Holy Prophet precludes the coming of any other prophet. This restriction in fact does not apply to an apostle who receives his light from the lamp of the prophethood of Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and lacks perfect prophethood. In other words, he too is a muhaddath because on account of discipleship and annihilation in the Messenger (fana-fil-rasul) he is included in the person of Khatam al-Mursalin (Seal of Messengers) as a part is never outside the whole" 8

These writings also support the first conclusion. He has repeatedly clarified the point that his claim is not that of prophethood but of muhaddathiyyat and a muhaddath is, in a sense, a prophet because he shares in some of the attributes of prophets. But the point has been explained that he can only be called a prophet in the metaphorical sense, or because he has attained to the status of annihilation in the messenger (fana-fil- rasul). Thus, those who have declared him to be a prophet on the basis of these writings have laid a false allegation against him. If this was not done intentionally before, it was proper to withdraw this allegation when the writer openly declared that by the use of such words he never meant to be a claimant to prophethood. On the contrary, he believed that prophethood had come to an end with the Holy Prophet Muhammad and that after him a claimant to prophetic revelation, or a denier of the Finality of Prophethood was considered by him to be a heretic and outside the pale of Islam. The opponents' insistence on their allegation and their assertion that the Founder was saying all that by way of hypocrisy was a downright lie. This attitude was only adopted so that the general body of Muslims should consider him to be a kafir and should not listen to him and refrain from reading his writings. Even after this, the Founder kept on repeating what he had already said above, but alas, the maulavis considered it an insult to change their minds and accept the plain truth. In 1892, he again wrote:

"About these allegations, I have repeatedly explained and have told them the meaning of my writings. There is no statement of heresy found in them, and neither do I lay a claim to prophethood, nor do I remove myself from the ummah of Muhammad, nor am I a denier of miracles, angels and the Grand Night (Lailat al-Qadr). I believe that the Holy Prophet is the Khatam al-Nabiyyin (the Last of the Prophets) and know with perfect certainty and have firm faith that our Prophet , may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is the Last of the Prophets (Khatam al-Anbiya) and no prophet, either new or old, will appear after him for this ummah, and not a single jot or tittle of the Holy Quran will be abrogated. Of course, there shall appear muhaddathin who are spoken to by God, Whose glory is eminent, and they possess some of the attributes of perfect prophethood by way of zill (reflection). On account of certain reasons, they are imbued with the colour of some excellences of prophethood. And I am one of them." 9

The use of the term prophet by way of metaphor:

From the beginning, it has been the belief of the Promised Messiah that muhaddathin are spoken to by God, are endowed with some of the attributes of perfect prophethood by way of zill, and are imbued with the colour of prophethood. Therefore, the word prophet can be applied to them by way of metaphor. They are partially invested with a kind of prophethood, or they get a kind of zilli or baruzi prophethood by the reflection of the sun of prophethood (aftab-i nubuwwat) in the mirror of their hearts. This station (maqam) can be attained by annihilation in the messenger (fana-fil-rasul). This belief has been expressed by him in his earliest book, Barahin-i Ahmadiyyah, and the same has been the view of the righteous ancestors of this ummah as well. And in recent times, as I have explained before (in Chapter III), Mujaddid Alf Thani and Shah Waliullah of Delhi have also clearly advocated this view. But to the so-called `ulama of this age, who had gone far away from the reality and kernel of Islam, these simple statements appeared to them as a claim to prophethood, notwithstanding the fact that it was clearly written by the Founder at the same place that his claim was not that of prophethood but that of muhaddathiyyat. The superficial observers did not care to look at the facts and obstinately clung to their anathema of heresy. In spite of the Founder's clarifications, they called him a hypocrite and thus added further black spots to their character.

The extremist group of followers:

Strangely enough, another group which calls itself his followers, now also says the same thing which his opponents said, with this difference: they affirm that the Founder did claim to be a prophet, but before 1901 he was not aware of his prophethood, so the writings before that period, concerning the denial of prophethood, have been abrogated and it is wrong to argue from them, and that the Promised Messiah changed his belief concerning prophethood in 1901 by the publication of Ek Ghalati Ka Izala. This is something which never occurred to his friends or foes before Mian Mahmud Ahmad, the son of the Founder, gave an expression to this view. During the lifetime of the Founder or the late Maulana Nur al-Din, the first successor of the Fonder, nobody thought for a moment that a change had taken place in 1901 in the claim of the Founder or that it was wrong to argue from his writings prior to 1901. According to the divine revelation, Hazrat Mirza bore an extreme resemblance to Jesus Christ. Therefore, it was also necessary that an extremist group should rise among his followers who would exalt his position from the rank of a mujaddid to that of a prophet as had happened in the case of Jesus Christ whose status from prophethood was exalted to that of divinity. The words son of God, which Jesus Christ used metaphorically, ultimately became the source of all error. In the case of the second Messiah also, the words he had used metaphorically, and their application to him in the literal sense he had denied, were accepted in their real sense, and thus the foundation was laid for a wrong belief.

Correction of an Error:

Even the poster, Ek Ghalati Ka Izala (Correction of an Error), has not a vestige of evidence for this assertion that the Founder made a change in his former claim. The Promised Messiah has not corrected his own error in this poster, but the error of a disciple of his who had not studied his books carefully, nor had fuller information about his claims and arguments. The poster, therefore, begins with these words:

"Some persons from among my disciples, having meagre knowledge of my claim and arguments thereof, having neither read my books thoroughly, nor stayed with me for a sufficiently long time to perfect their knowledge, sometimes (make statements) in reply to the objections of opponents statements which are absolutely contrary to facts." 10

The above words clearly indicate that there was neither any mention there of the abrogation of his books, nor a change in his belief. On the other hand, someone who was quite ignorant of his books had committed a mistake in presenting his case. What that mistake was about becomes clear by reading this poster. The opposing `ulama had also misunderstood his writings wherein he had declared that he was a muhaddath and a muhaddath was in a sense a prophet, that is to say, partially or metaphorically, and that baruzi prophethood was attained by the perfect followers of the Holy Prophet in this ummah by reaching the stage of annihilation in the Messenger (fana-fil-rasul). They had wrongly concluded from this that the Founder claimed to be a prophet in the real sense of the term. The reason for all this was that they themselves were far removed from the reality of the institution of prophethood and had lost the faith that by following the Prophet Muhammad, one could be endowed with the gift of Divine communication in this ummah. Whatever the ignorant disciple of the Founder said, amounted to more or less the same view as that of the opponents. Thus it was that the Founder made this point clear to him. The sum and substance of the whole matter is found in the few words where, after quoting the verse, Khatam al-Nabiyyin, and the hadith, la nabiyya ba`di, he writes:

"There is a prophecy in this verse of which our opponents are unaware. It is that the Most High God states in this verse that after the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, the doors of prophecies have been closed forever.... All the doors of prophethood have been closed except the one of Sirat-i-Siddiqi; that is, of annihilation in the Messenger (fanafil-rasul). Thus, anyone who comes through it to God is wrapped up by way of zill with the same mantle of the prophethood of Muhammad."

He has further explained the verse Khatam al-Nabiyyin in the following way:

"This means that Muhammad is not the father of any of the men of this world but he is the father of the men of the next world, because he is the Seal of the Prophets (Khatam al-Nabiyyin) and there is no way left for (receiving) God's graces without his mediation." 11

The significance of the Finality of Prophethood - the Founder did not change his views on the subject:

Besides this, after 1901, he gave the same explanation of the verse Khatam al-Nabiyyin which he had given before that time. If, however, some change had taken place in this important issue, great emphasis should have been laid on it by him because up till then he had agreed with the consensus of opinion of the ummah, that no prophet would appear after the Holy Prophet Muhammad.

("Every prophethood has come to an end with him." This is a line from one of the Founder's couplets. Not only in his lifetime, but up to 1912, this line was written at the top of the front page of the weekly Badr (Qadian).

Assuming he was going to advance a new belief against the consensus of opinion, he should have openly said that, so far, whatever explanation was given to the words Khatam al-Nabiyyin by him or by other Muslim divines, was wrong and that the Quran and the Hadith are opposed to this view. But there is not a single word in his writings to that effect. On the contrary, there are statements in his later writings, more or less in the same words used by him before, which indicate that no such change had ever taken place in his views. It will suffice here to quote two such references. While discussing his beliefs in his book Mawahib al-Rahman, published in 1903, he writes:

"God communes and communicates with his saints (auliya) in this nation and they are imbued with the colour of prophethood, but they are not prophets in reality, for the Quran had brought the need of Law to perfection. And they are given nothing except the understanding of the Quran, neither do they add to, nor subtract anything from it." 12

It has clearly been said here that although the saints (auliya) of this ummah are imbued with the colour of prophets and are spoken to and addressed by God, they are really not prophets. The reason for this is that the Quran has made perfect the requirements of the Law and there is no need left for another prophet. Now, a person who is himself a claimant to prophethood cannot say that the perfection of the Quran prevents the coming of another prophet, because this is a prevention of his being a prophet as well. Thus, the principle which he has laid down is that the perfection of the Law of the Quran is a restraint against the coming of a new prophet. Therefore, nobody, except a denier of the perfection of the Quran, can advocate the view of the continuity of prophethood.

Similarly, he wrote at another place:

"And prophethood has been cut off after our Holy Prophet, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him ... and with him has been cut off the chain of messengers ... and nothing has been left after him except the frequency of (divine) communication." 13

It is obvious that the writer of these lines has openly admitted the termination of the institution of prophethood and messengership and that after this termination what is left is only the abundance of Divine communication. Therefore, according to him, prophethood and frequency of communication are not one and the same thing. He has also stated at the same place:

"I have been called a prophet of God by way of metaphor, and not by way of reality." 14

In the same Istifta, he has also written at another place:

"By my prophethood is not meant the prophethood which has been mentioned in the previous Scriptures." 15

His belief remained unchanged before and after 1901:

I do not want to prolong this discussion. I have dealt with these points in detail in my book, Al-Nubuwwat fil-Islam (Prophethood in Islam) and will request the reader to go through it for more comprehensive information. The Founder, however, interpreted Khatam al-Nabiyyin and Khatm-i Nubuwwat in one and the same sense before 1901 and after. That is, that prophethood was cut off with the Holy Prophet Muhammad although his grace is continued in his ummah in the form of Divine communion and communication, and that by way of zill and by annihilation in the Holy Prophet, a person obtains the blessings of prophethood. In both the periods, that is, before and after 1901, he said that the kind of prophethood that one obtains by annihilation in the Messenger is, in fact, not real prophethood but only prophethood in the metaphorical sense. Again, in both periods, he said that his belief about the Finality of Prophethood was the same as the belief of the righteous ancestors. A reference prior to 1901 has been quoted before and in his last book he wrote:

"God does not mean anything by my prophethood except abundance of communion and communication and that is acknowledged by the elders of the Ahl-i Sunnat. Thus, it is nothing but a verbal dispute." 16

These words also clearly indicate that the Founder did not change his belief concerning prophethood. Before 1901, he said that his belief was the belief of the righteous ancestors, and after 1901 he also said the same, that his belief was just like the belief of the elders of the Ahl-i Sunnat. Before 1901, he said that a muhaddath was like an intermediary (barzakh) between a follower and a prophet, and therefore both aspects (of prophethood) were found in him; that is, by following the Holy Prophet, he possessed the status of ummatiyyat and by being imbued with the colour of the Holy Prophet, he possessed, in a sense, an aspect or blessing of prophethood.

Again, he wrote in Al-Wasiyyat and Haqiqat al-Wahy also, the last of his important writings, that he could not be called a mere prophet. According to him, ummati nabi was another name for a muhaddath. In short, his belief, from the beginning of his claim to being the Promised Messiah (in this respect), remained the same.

The Founder has asked his followers not to become zealots and extremists:

The Founder has advised his followers thus:

"Because of the use of such words which are merely by way of simile (isti'arah), a commotion has been created among Muslims, the result of which is extremely unpleasant. Therefore, in the common and daily conversation of my followers, these words should not occur. One should believe from the core of one's heart that prophethood has come to an end with the Holy Prophet Muhammad as God says: But he is a messenger of Allah and Khatam al-Nabiyyin (Seal of the Prophets). To deny this verse, or to look down upon it is, as a matter of fact, to abandon Islam. Anyone who goes to the extreme in denying it is in as dangerous a state as he who, like the Shias, goes to the extreme in belief (i`tiqad). It must be known that the Most High God has terminated all prophethood and messengership with the Quran and the Holy Prophet. 17

Belief in Lailat al-Qadr, angels and miracles:

There are also other charges levelled against the Founder, that he was a denier of the Grand Night (Lailat al-Qadr), angels, miracles and the Mi`raj (Ascension of the Holy Prophet). These are all mere fabrications. I have quoted the original words of the Founder whereby he rejected these allegations. He believed in these matters and taught the same to his Jama'at. We, Ahmadis, believe in the Grand Night and try to seek it in the last ten days of Ramadhan. We have faith in the existence of angels. We believe in miracles. To us every incident in the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad is a miracle. As for the Mi`raj (the spiritual Ascension of the Holy Prophet), we accept the view of Lady `Aishah, the truthful, on this subject.

The Founder did not declare other Muslims to be kafirs (unbelievers):

Another charge which the Founder's opponents bring against him is that he declared other Muslims to be unbelievers (kafirs).

This, again, is mere fabrication as he has written in one of his last books:

"Again, consider this falsehood that they bring this charge against us that we have declared two hundred million Muslims to be unbelievers. On the other hand, we have not at all been the initiators of takfir. These `ulama'themselves issued anathemas of heresy against us and created an uproar in the whole of the Punjab and India that these people, (i.e. Ahmadis), were unbelievers ... And when they declared us to be unbelievers by their own pronouncements, and also admitted it themselves that if anyone calls a Muslim an unbeliever, that unbelief (kufr) reverts to him, 18 then in this case was it not our right that we should consider them unbelievers according to their own admission?" 19

At another place in the same book he writes:

"Dr. `Abd al-Hakim Khan, in his pamphle, Al-Masih al-Dajjal, lays this charge against me that I have written in my book that anyone who does not accept me, even if he is unaware of my name and although he is in a country where my invitation has not even reached, even so he shall be a kafir (unbeliever) and go to hell. It is entirely a fabrication of the said doctor; I have not written so in any book or poster of mine. It is his duty to bring forward that book in which this is written." 20

In another book, he has plainly stated:

"It has been my belief from the beginning that no one can become a kafir or dajjal (anti-Christ) on account of denying my claim." 21

Under this, a footnote has been added in which he writes:

"It is a point worth remembering that to call a denier of one's claim a kafir is the right of those prophets who bring a Law and new commandments from God, but as for the inspired ones and the muhaddathin, or others than the givers of Law, however great their dignity in the sight of God, and however much they may have been honoured by being spoken to by God, no one becomes a kafir by their denial." Of course he is an unfortunate denier who refuses to accept these auliyas or friends of Allah and as a result of such non-acceptance his heart hardens day by day. Consequently, the light of faith goes out of his heart. This is what we also learn from the authentic ahadith. It is mentioned there that refusal to accept the auliya and to entertain enmity against them leads one to negligence and worldliness, and one loses the ability to do works of goodness, truthfulness and sincerity. At last he becomes devoid of faith, its reality and substance. And this is also the meaning of the hadith where Allah says: To one who becomes an enemy of My auliya, I say to him, now be ready to face My punishment."

As against this, one reference is quoted from Haqiqat al-Wahy, that he who denies the Founder and he who declares him to be a kafir are not two different kinds of persons. But when the whole statement is read, it becomes clear that only those deniers are mentioned there who called him a fabricator against God (muftari `alal-lah) as the words of takzib (accusation of falsehood) and mukazzib (belier) have repeatedly been used there. At the same place, it has been mentioned in the footnote:

"But even now, I do not declare the Ahl-i Qiblah (People of the Qiblah) to be kafirs." 22

Besides that, if a statement apparently seems to be ambiguous, it should be interpreted according to those writings which are clear and are found in abundance where he has frequently denied the declaring of any person an unbeliever except the mukaffir (one who declares another a kafir). The sum and substance of what the Founder said was that "because you have declared us to be kafirs, therefore, according to the saying of the Holy Prophet, kufr has reverted to you." This plainly indicated that if the opponents would take back their pronouncement of kufr, the words which had been uttered by the Founder would automatically be withdrawn. Moreover, the evidence of his practical life in these matters should also be observed. Did he treat other Muslims as Muslims, or not? Decisive proof on this point is that he offered funeral services for Muslims and gave his followers permission to do so. In this connection, he had only excluded those opponents who pronounced him to be a kafir (unbeliever). The following fatwa of his has been published in the newspaper and also in separate publications:

"When he was asked whether it was lawful to offer prayers for the (dead) person who had not joined this Movement, the Promised Messiah replied that if he was an opponent of this Movement and abused us and thought of us in an evil manner, you should not offer funeral service for him, but if he was silent and in a middle position, it is lawful to offer prayers for him, but the imam of the funeral service should be from among you." 23

The condition that the imam should be from among the Ahmadis was only placed because the maulavis at that time generally used to call the Promised Messiah a kafir. It was not because the Founder himself considered all non-Ahmadis to be kafirs; otherwise, why should he give the sanction for the funeral services to be held for them?

Marriage relation with others:

Similar is the situation about marriage relations with other Muslims. He never said that it was forbidden to give the hand of an Ahmadi girl to a non-Ahmadi Muslim. Had he said that, it would have amounted to interference with the Shari'ah. But there is nothing like that in his writings. Indeed, he had drawn to the attention of his followers, by a poster, that for strengthening mutual relations and for protecting themselves from the evil influences of the pronouncers of heresy, marriage relations should take place among Ahmadis. No distinction whatever has been made between boys or girls. He never said that non-Ahmadi girls may be taken into marriage, but Ahmadi girls should not be given to non-Ahmadi Muslims. His original words, however, are as follows:

"As by the grace and bounty of the Most High God and by His great favour, our followers have increased much in number and can now amount to several hundred thousand, therefore it is expedient that for the sake of developing common bonds of harmony among them and for protecting them from the evil influences of their families and near relatives, that a better arrangement should be made for the marriage of (our) boys and girls." 24

That arrangement was as he himself had said:

"There is no need whatsoever for our followers to enter into new relationships with those who call us kafir and give us the name dajjal (anti-Christ), or with those who are admirers and followers of such persons." 25

Then he proceeds with a proposal on how marriage relations among Ahmadis should be arranged. Obviously, the question of the legality and illegality of marriage has not been discussed here. He has only declared it a matter of expedience. Arrangements for the marriage of boys as well as girls have been mentioned together. It was because of this that the Founder himself agreed to the marriage of a daughter of a reputed disciple of his, Dr. Khalifa Rashid al-Din, with a non-Ahmadi boy. The girl in question was the sister-in-law of Mian Mahmud Ahmad (the Founder's own son), and she was married among the relatives of the mother of the girl. These were not Ahmadis, but rather opponents of the Movement. He gave permission to this marriage towards the end of his life, and after his death, the marriage sermon was delivered by the late Maulana Nur al-Din. Mian Mahmud Ahmad himself was present at the ceremony. Later on, in Lahore, he was also present at the departure of the bride. If at that time he had thought that all other Muslims were unbelievers, it was his duty to save the sister of his wife from falling in to the hands of kafirs.

The question of imamat:

The last practical aspect of this problem is the saying of prayers behind non-Ahmadi imams. Some points are worth considering in this connection. The foremost is that this question has nothing to do with his claim. After his claim to being the Promised Messiah, he, as well as his followers, continued to offer their prayers behind other Muslims. But when his followers were persecuted and turned out of the mosques, when Ahmadis and their leader were persistently declared to be unbelievers and liars, then there was no other choice left for the welfare of this small community except to take the defensive measure of prohibiting prayers behind non-Ahmadi imams. It was in Arba'in that this problem was mentioned for the first time.

While explaining one of his revelations, "Abu Lahab's hand will perish and he will perish", he wrote in the footnote:

"It is evident from this divine revelation that the pronouncers of heresy and those who have adopted the path of belying (takzib) are a ruined people. Therefore, they are not worthy that anybody from among my followers should pray behind them. Can the living pray behind the dead? Thus, remember that, as God has informed me, it is forbidden to you and altogether forbidden that you should pray behind any mukaffir (pronouncer of heresy) and mukazzib (belier) or mutaraddid (reluctant)." 26

This writing is from a period about which it has been admitted even by Mian Mahmud Ahmad, that the Founder at that time neither considered himself to be a prophet nor declared anybody an unbeliever except those who called him a kafir and a liar. After this, his book Tiryaq al-Qulub, was published in October 1902, in which he clearly stated:

"This has been my belief from the very beginning that no one can become a kafir ... on account of denying my claim." 27

The above writing from Arba'in, as is clear from its words, is only about those who declared him to be an unbeliever or a liar. By the reluctant (mutaraddid) is only meant reluctance in takfir and takzib, not in the acceptance of his claim, because there is no mention of his claim here, but only of takfir and takzib, and it was only on account of this that he prohibited his followers from praying behind such persons. All his writings and speeches after this conform to this conclusion. He never said, even towards the extreme end of his life, that unless a person entered into his bai'at, prayer was forbidden behind him. On the other hand, what he said was that if a person fulfilled certain conditions he would offer prayers behind him. These conditions were firstly, that such a person should not himself declare the Founder to be an unbeliever and a liar, and secondly, that he should not belong to those who had done so. Thus, his own words bear testimony to the fact, which he wrote with his own pen in reply to an inquiry dated 17 March 1908, from Baluchistan. The following were his words:

"In reply, it should be written that generally the mullah of this country, on account of prejudice, have declared us to be unbelievers and have issued fatwas against us, and the other people are their followers. Therefore, if there are such people that make a public announcement for the sake of clarity that they are not the followers of these maulavis who have declared me to be a kafir, then it is permissible to say prayers with them. Otherwise, he who calls Muslims unbelievers becomes an unbeliever himself. How can we then say prayers behind him? This is not permitted according to the Shari'ah." 28

These are the Founder's own words written by him towards the end of his life. There is no doubt about it, that at some places it has been recorded from his speeches that Ahmadis would only say prayers behind those who make an announcement to the effect that they regarded Ahmadis as Muslims and that those who have declared them to be unbelievers were themselves unbelievers according to the hadith which indicated that unbelief reverted to him who declared other Muslims to be kafirs. But the writing of the Founder, in his own hand, determined the point that the only object of all this was that people should isolate themselves from the mukaffir maulavis. Thus, if anyone separated himself from such maulavis, then prayer behind him was lawful. No Ahmadi has the right to put a new meaning to, or to advance a step beyond the words of the Founder himself.

It is evident from this that the fatwa for not performing salah (prayers) with other Muslims was, in fact, only against the deniers (mukaffirin) and the beliers (mukazzibin). As prayer is the spiritual ascension (mi'raj) of a believer, therefore, it was prohibited to say prayers behind those who kept themselves bound together with such maulavis, and although not outstanding mukaffirs themselves, yet they were with them in practice. As for those who did not call the Promised Messiah an unbeliever and a forger, but instead separated themselves from the mukaffir maulavis, or expressed their repulsion against their pronouncement of heresy, prayers could be offered behind them. That is why the late Maulana Nur al-Din gave permission to pray behind other persons in foreign countries where there was no fatwa of kufr against Ahmadis, so much so that in Arabia itself, during the pilgrimage, Ahmadis said their prayers behind non-Ahmadi imams in accordance with this fatwa. Mian Mahmood Ahmad may declare the whole world kafir today but he said his prayer behind a non-Ahmadi during his pilgrimage. The late Maulana Nur al-Din, on being questioned by Maulavi Fazl al-Din of Kharian (Punjab) regarding the saying of prayers behind other imams, wrote the following with his own pen:

"Those who entertain a good opinion about the Movement are excused to a certain extent. You may say prayers behind them after having made istikharah." 29

A facsimile reproduction of his writing has been published.

The name Ahmadiyya:

Another charge against the Founder is that he has created dissension in Islam by making a new sect of his own. The reasons for the formation of a new Jama'at for the propagation of Islam, have been discussed by me before (Chs. 6 and 7). The work which he started could not be continued without forming a new organisation. The name Ahmadiyya was given to this organisation, not after his own name, but after the name of the Prophet Muhammad (Ahmad being his second name). Thus, in his poster dated 4 November 1900, published before the census of 1901, he wrote:

"This name has been given to this group because our Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, had two names; one Muhammad, and the other, Ahmad. The name Muhammad was indicative of his jalal (glory or grandeur) which contained a prophecy that the Holy Prophet would punish with the sword, those who took up the sword to annihilate Islam and who actually murdered hundreds of Muslims. But his other name, Ahmad, reflected his jamal (beauty) which meant that the Holy Prophet would spread peace and harmony in the world. So God made a division of these two names in the manner that in the Makkan period of his life, there was a manifestation of his name Ahmad when the teaching of extreme patience and endurance was given, and in his life at Madinah, the name Muhammad was manifested when the punishment of the opponents was considered necessary according to divine wisdom and the requirements of justice. But it was prophesied that in the latter ages, there would be a manifestation of the name Ahmad again and such a person would appear in whom the Ahmadi characteristics, that is, the characteristics of jamal, would be manifested and all the religious wars would come to an end. Thus, on account of this, it was considered fit that this group should be called the Ahmadiyya Movement."

Footnotes on Chapter X:

1 4:94.

2 4:135.

3 As quoted in Din al-Haqq, p. 29.

4 As quoted in Din al-Haqq.

5 Taudih-i Maram, pp. 9, 10.

6 Izalah-i Auham, pp. 421, 422.

7 Ibid., p. 569.

8 Ibid, p. 575.

9 Nishan-i Asmani, p. 28.

10 Ek Ghalati ka Izalah.

11 Ibid.

12 Mawahib al-Rahman, p. 66.

13 Haqiqat al-Wahy, Istifta, p. 64.

14 Ibid., p. 65.

15 Ibid., p. 16.

16 Ibid., Istifta, p. 16 footnote.

17 Letter 17 August 1899, published in Al-Hakam, vol. 3, no. 29.

18 According to a saying of the Holy Prophet, "If a person declares his Muslim brother to be kafir (unbeliever), that kufr (unbelief) reverts to one of the two" (hadith unanimously accepted). (SMT).

19 Haqiqat al-Wahy, p. 120.

20 Ibid., p. 178.

21 Tiryaq al-Qulub, p. 130, published 28 October 1902.

22 Haqiqat al-Wahy, p. 163, footnote. It is obvious that by the Ahl-i Qiblah is here meant the other Muslims. But the extremist group of the Qadianis take them to be restricted to Ahmadis alone. This is just playing with words. A wise person need not say that he does not declare his disciples to be kafirs.

23 Fatawa Ahmadiyyah, vol. 1, p. 118.

24 Fatawa Ahmadiyyah, vol. 2, p. 7.

25 Ibid.

26 Arba'in, p. 283.

27 Tiryaq al-Qulub, p. 130, footnote.

28 Al-Badr, 24-30 December, 1908, p. 5.

29 Istikharah prayer is a means of seeking Allah's blessing or guidance in the doing of a thing. (SMT).

Annexe to Chapter X

Allegation of claiming Godhead:

The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement said:

"I saw in a dream that I am exactly God" 1

This dream of his is considered to be his claim to being God.

1. The Quran says that Joseph saw in a dream that eleven stars and the sun and the moon were prostrating before him.2 The sun, the moon and the stars only make obeisance to God and to no one else. Has anyone charged Joseph with making a claim to Godhead on the basis of his dream?

2. Dreams are liable to interpretation. The famous book on the interpretation of dreams, Ta`bir al-Anam, says that any person who sees himself in a dream to be God means that he will be guided to the right path.

This shows that a Muslim may see in a dream that he has become God. On the basis of such a dream, it is foolish to suppose that he is a claimant to Godhead.

3. The Founder has explained the dream in the following words:

"I saw in a dream that I became Allah and I believed that it was true. I had neither any such intention nor thought, nor there was any wish in my self of this sort. I became like a broken utensil, rather worse in condition. Consider it as if some other power has taken hold of me and has hidden me in his being to the extent that I have lost existence altogether and my own self has disappeared and become annihilated.

My becoming the very being of Allah means that as shadow returns to its original and vanishes into it, similarly sometimes people who love Allah experience such a condition. The condition can be described in this way. When Allah intends to do some good to His creatures, He manifests His glory on them as He had done with me. Then the will of such a person becomes the will of Allah and his knowledge and limbs become the knowledge and limbs of Allah. Thus, Allah's Unity and Individuality work through His true servants such as abdals, aqtabs and siddiques like His limbs. The same happened to me. I saw that the Spirit of Allah had completely engulfed me and had overpowered me and my body was submerged into His being. Nothing remained of my body and I was fully annihilated into His being. When I looked towards my body and limbs, they appeared to me as they had become limbs and parts of the body of the Divine being. My eyes became His eyes, my tongue became His tongue. In fact, Allah had completely taken my whole being into His custody. In other words, I had become completely absorbed into the Being of Allah. I felt as if Allah's glory and His power was surging into my being and Allah's Divinity was raging in me and was setting up some sort of fence around my heart (for protection) and Allah's sphere of Omnipotence had suffused every limb and fibre of my being. So there was no intention of mine but His, nor I had any desire or wish of my own. It appeared that even the shadow of my being had vanished and all aspects of my ego had been obliterated. And thus nothing remained of my desires and Allah's Divine being completely over-powered my person to the extent that from the hair of head down to the nails of my feet I was assimilated into the Divine Being. Thus I became like a kernel without any skin and like oil without any dregs.

Thus the gulf between my body and my soul widened and became as if I had no existence of my own, just as a drop of water enters a river, and is absorbed into the vast sheet of its water and thus disappears into the waves of the river. So I also reached that state in which I did not know what I was before. My being was obliterated altogether and there only remained the Being of the Divine which had penetrated into every vein and fibre of my body. I felt as if somebody had taken away the whole of my being and as if Allah had assigned work in some way to all my limbs, and my being acquired such a tremendous power that there could not be greater power than that. My whole being had gone into such a state through the Divine possession and His strong grip that I never felt as if I ever had a separate entity of my own before. I became certain that all my limbs were not mine but those of Allah. I was convinced that my being had become non-existent and all my desires had become extinct. There was no one equal to me. No one could oppose me and no one possessed more power than I. In fact, I had become one without any associate. Allah had completely entered into my being. And so my anger, my sweetness and my bitterness, in fact, every movement or rest was only under the command of Allah. My body became devoid of any soul. In that state I decided that I should initiate a new system, a new heaven, a new earth. So I created a heaven and an earth. In the beginning all were in a state of amalgamation. There were no separate entities and no order. I separated them in a way which was the will of Allah. And I found myself having control over all of them."

1 A'ina-i Kamalat-i Islam, p. 564.

2 12:4.

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Books Section > The Promised Messiah [The Second Coming of Jesus] by Maulana Muhammad Ali Sahib > Chapter X: Allegations against the Promised Messiah

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