Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of
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Since our brethren themselves accept that one of these two necessary signs is to be found in this age, to turn away from acknowledging the second sign is exactly like saying that the sun has undoubtedly risen but it is not daytime yet. In any case, a just and wise person will have no recourse but to accept that, looking at the Quranic verses with thought, the very point is proved that the series of successorship to the Holy Prophet Muhammad should correspond completely to the chain of Mosaic successor-ship, as is understood from the word kama. [Note 1] And as it conforms completely, then among the Muslim people too, in their last days which are close to the Day of Judgment, there must come a khalifa like Jesus, who should deliver conclusive proofs of the truth, not by means of the sword, but through spiritual teaching and blessings. Moreover, given that Jesus came fourteen hundred years after Moses, it has also to be conceded that the Promised Messiah must make his appearance in this age, as the promises of God do not fail.
Briefly, the first proof of the truth of this humble one is the making of the claim at the time which had been specified by the Leader of the Apostles, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him, and the Holy Quran, and the visions of the saints, for the advent of the Promised Messiah. As our Holy Prophet was the Prophet of the latter days, and a further thirteen hundred years have passed of these latter days, consider the hadith in which the seven steps of the pulpit shown in a vision are taken to be the seven millenniums of the life of the world. Ponder deeply as to whether this age, according to this hadith, is the one necessary for the Promised Messiah or not. Think also about the hadith, "The signs shall come after two hundred years", from which the ulama have concluded that the major signs of the end shall commence from the thirteenth century Hijra. [Note 2] For, if by signs are meant minor signs, in that case the condition "after two hundred years" would serve no purpose because the coming of the Holy Prophet himself is one of the signs of the Day of Judgment. And if this hadith is taken as meaning that major signs would start to appear after two hundred years, this is against facts because no sign began to appear after two hundred years. Therefore, the ulama have taken the "two hundred" in this hadith to be that two hundred which comes after a millennium, i.e. twelve hundred years. And in this interpretation the ulama are correct because there is no doubt that great evils did arise in the thirteenth century, the storm of the Dajjal spread in just this century, and the spectacle of the words "they sally forth from every point of vantage" (the Quran, 21:96) was also seen in this century. Hundreds of Islamic states perished, and the Christians attained towering supremacy.
Hence it should be similarly realised that if this humble one is from God Almighty, and is true in what he says, then God shall manifest his truth through special assistance, and He shall make it clear to the world by His special signs that this humble one is from Him, and it is not his own planning. If a person is proved true in his claim by means of heavenly signs, then after that there cannot remain any reason for denial. For, the heavenly sign is the entity by which great prophethoods have been proved, apostleships have been proved, and books have been proved to be the word of God, so why should not the claim of being the like of the Messiah be established by this means? In brief, the manner in which God Almighty has been establishing the truth of His true servants -- in precisely the same manner shall He also prove the truth of this humble one. It should be noted that the Jews faced many problems in accepting the prophethood of Jesus. It was written in the earlier books that the Messiah would appear as a king, but Jesus came as a poor, destitute man. The earlier books had recorded that the days of the glory of the Jews would return with his advent, and they believed that he would fight the Romans and re-establish the kingdom of Israel. However, the situation turned out to be the reverse, and the Jews faced even more calamities and humiliation. Similarly, it was written in the earlier books that he would not come until the prophet Elijah returned to the world. So the Jews were waiting for Elijah to descend from heaven. But Elijah did not come down, and Jesus claimed that he was the Promised Messiah, adding that John the Baptist was the one who was Elijah. [Note 3] The Jews, however, did not like this interpretation; rather, they were waiting for the descent of Elijah in the same manner as that in which Muslims today are awaiting the descent of Jesus. But despite all these obstacles, which were really very difficult, God did not let his true prophet perish, and proved by many signs that he was the true one. From this it is necessarily concluded that it was the Promised Messiah who was accepted in the end as true.
Dear ones, realise with certainty that in the ancient law of God there is only one way of showing the veracity of the truthful one, and that is that God should establish by heavenly signs that He is with him and has chosen him. Now consider that the claim of my humble self to be the Promised Messiah is no greater than the claims of Moses or Jesus. Then think about how all these revered prophets were acknowledged in the world -- was it through heavenly blessings and assistance, or by some other means? So realise that there is no amendment or alteration in God Almightys law of old. If this humble one is not from God, and it is mere falsehood and fabrication, then the end shall not be good, and God will destroy him with humiliation, and make him the object of curse and taunt till the end of time. For, there is no sin greater than that a man should say that he has been sent by God while he has not really been sent by Him, and say "I am favoured with communication from God, and His word descends upon my heart and runs off my tongue" whereas Gods communication had never taken place with him, nor had Gods word ever entered his heart or issued forth from his tongue. Now the curse of God be upon the liars who make fabrications against God -- they shall be forsaken in the world and in the Hereafter.
If, however, this humble person is from God, and He has sent me, and what I receive as revelation is word from Him, then I shall most certainly not perish nor be destroyed. On the contrary, God will destroy him who rises to oppose me and to obstruct my way. I am surprised why people consider the term Promised Messiah to be strange, and demand proof about it from me, while it is not prohibited, logically speaking, that someone should arise in the manner of Jesus among the Muslims, who are the likes of the followers of Moses. Philosophers accept that the process of replication takes place within the human race, and the law of God and nature has been seen to be that in this world some people are made in the likeness of others. The likes of the good are born, and so also the likes of the wicked. The proof which should be demanded is that of being appointed by God. This proof contains within itself evidence of all other points. Look, when our Holy Prophet, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him, declared to people that he was the like of Moses and the Apostle of God, those to whom his apostleship was proved had no doubt regarding his being the like of Moses either, and just as they reposed belief in the apostleship of the Holy Prophet, so did they believe in him as being the like of Moses. Hence the proof of being from God and being a true recipient of revelation is the basis of all proofs. For instance, no one demands evidence of the truth of every single line of the book revealed to a prophet. It is by the apostleship being proved true that all those things are established by themselves. Dear ones, it is not that God wants to make a novel law in my case. Look at the ancient law of God, and put your questions according to that.
There are nearly sixteen thousand people in India, England, Germany, France, Russia and Italy, from among Hindu pundits, Jewish rabbis, Magian leaders, and Christian clergymen, priests and bishops, who were sent registered letters to the effect that, in reality, Islam is the only true religion in the world, while all other faiths have strayed far from fact and truth. Should any opponent have any doubt, he may come face to face with me and stay for a year to witness signs of the truth of Islam displayed by me. If I turn out to be in error, he may take compensation from me at the rate of Rs. 200 per month for his year; else, I do not demand anything from him, except that he should accept the faith of Islam. If he wishes, he may have this money deposited in a bank for his satisfaction. No one, however, came forward.
Now every wise person can realise that if this humble one did not have the kind of perfect faith in help from God which is attained after repeated observations and personal experience, how would it have been possible to stand alone to confront all the opponents of Islam, i.e. those people who are known opponents of the faith and leaders of their respective communities. It is obvious that the frail mortal certainly does not possess such strength in his soul as to confront the whole world. What, then, could it be except perfect faith and personal experiences which gave this humble one the courage to take this line of action? And it was not only with the tongue, but also approximately Rs. 2000 were spent on publishing these leaflets, which were printed in English and Urdu, and on despatching them by registered post to places in India and countries in Europe. But no one had the courage to face the challenge, and the fear which struck the hearts of the opponents was also a sign.
By way of a test, ask some Christian preacher of these times whether he did not receive a registered letter inviting to Islam. Then consider if the man who spends many thousands of Rupees merely for the publication and despatch of leaflets, and offers a substantial monetary reward to the opponent in the event of the latters victory, can be logically thought to be just relying on falsehood, lies and fabrication? Has such an imposter ever been read about in books, or heard of, or seen in the world? At least give an example. Dear ones, rest assured that unless a person has the backing of God, such firmness, courage and liberality with funds can never be displayed. Has anyone ever seen or heard of a maulavi of the present time sending a letter even to an English assistant commissioner inviting him to Islam? Yet here it is not only this, but leaflets and letters of invitation to Islam have been sent to the Parliament in London, the Crown Prince, the Queen (Victoria), and Chancellor Bismarck, and the receipts of despatch still exist.
And not content with this, he should also have published openly and publicly in his book Barahin Ahmadiyya, twelve years before claiming to be the Messiah, that God had named him Jesus, and promised to make him die a natural death, to raise him unto Himself, to absolve him of all the charges of the deniers, and to make his followers dominate his enemies till the Day of Judgment. And God should not only grant respite to such an individual, but succour him with Divine signs and make a community of followers for him, while He Himself says in the Holy Quran that He does not help the imposter, but that he is soon destroyed and his followers are dispersed.
Indeed, God told the Chief of the Apostles (Holy Prophet Muhammad) that if he had fabricated anything in the least, his jugular vein would have been cut off. Hence, if it is not true that God Almighty soon destroys the imposter who intends to mislead people by falsely pretending to be an apostle, then in that case the argument regarding the Holy Prophet, i.e. that supposing, God forbid, he had been an imposter, God would have destroyed him, cannot be correct. Then, despite this long respite and the hundreds of instances of Gods help and the hundreds of Divine signs, the opponents said thousands of prayers to bring down chastisement upon my humble self, and in their mubahila prayers, [Note 4] they cried bitterly for the coming down of punishment upon me, but they gained nothing but disgrace and dishonour for themselves. And God Almighty knows that, in none of my mubahila prayers did I wish for punishment to befall any of the opponents. Nor in the case of Abdul Haqq of Ghazni, who entered into a mubahila in Amritsar, did I pray for his death, although he wept and wailed much (in his prayer, for my destruction). My purpose in the mubahila was, and still is, that the heavenly signs in support of my humble self should be widely seen, and it would be sufficient dishonour and disgrace for the opponent in the mubahila for God to grant me victory at every place.
To sum up, all these are signs of truthfulness, but for him who ponders. I regret that I am asked again and again as to what proof there is of my claim of being the Promised Messiah. Such people do not understand what proof there was of Jesus being the promised one, or of our Holy Prophet being the promised Last of the Prophets. Was it not that God Almighty had proved them to be true by numerous signs? And although the Jews did not accept Jesus, holding till this day that he was not the Promised Messiah, yet his miracles and signs proved him to be from God. [See author's footnote] The necessary demand is always for proof of being true and being from God; the proof of likeness is included within that.
Hence it is that God Almighty, in accordance with the condition of the Muslims, sent for them a reformer like Jesus, without sword or spear, and He gave this reformer only heavenly weapons with which to defeat falsehood. And just as the numerical value of the words `isa `inda minarat Damishq is 1400, so did that Promised Messiah appear at the start of the fourteenth century (hijra); and as the number 1275 comes from the words akharina min-hum lamma yalhaqu bi-him, it was in that period that he was being prepared for the task of reform of mankind. [Note 5] Just as the Holy Quran had prophesied that, at the time of the upsurge of tribulations caused by the Christians, the trumpet shall be blown, so did he make his appearance. Many men of God had given news of his coming beforehand through Divine revelation. Indeed, some told of his name thirty-two years before he appeared, saying that he was the Promised Messiah and that the original Jesus was dead. Many seers of visions had fixed the fourteenth century as the time of the coming of the Promised Messiah, and had left their revelations in writing. Now after all this, what more proof can there be in matters of this kind, where one must leave some room for faith in the unseen?
Prophecies are, therefore, no ordinary matter, not something which is in mans control, but only in the hands of the God of glorified dignity. If someone is a seeker after truth, he should wait for the term of these prophecies. The three prophecies cover the three great nations of Punjab and India, i.e. one is related to the Muslims, one to the Hindus, and one to the Christians. And of these, the prophecy relating to the Muslim people is very grand because it has the following components: (1) Mirza Ahmad Baig of Hoshiarpur should die within the limit of three years; (2) then his son-in-law, the husband of his elder daughter, should die within two and a half years; (3) Mirza Ahmad Baig should not die before the day of his daughters wedding; (4) the daughter too must not die before she is married, and then widowed, and then married a second time; (5) my humble self too should not die till all these events take place; (6) and then she should be married to myself. Obviously these events are not in human control. [Note 6]
Considering that Muslims ought to have been happy at the time of the appearance of a mujaddid, I wonder why there is this vexation and indignation, and why they are offended that God has appointed a man to conclusively establish the truth of His religion. I have realised, however, that the state of the faith of most Muslims today is very defective, the poison of modern philosophy having destroyed their belief. Islam is undoubtedly on their tongues, but the hearts have gone very far from it. Gods works and Divine powers are looked upon by them with ridicule. Such is Mr Ata Muhammad. I remember that when, in Amritsar, Mr Abdullah Atham was told of the prophecy of his death, Mr Ata Muhammad came to my place of stay and related before me, as an example, that a doctor had told him of his death, saying that Ata Muhammad would die within a certain period. However, that time passed safely, and he went to see the doctor. When he accosted him, the doctor asked: Who are you? He said: I am the same Ata Muhammad whose death you had foretold. The meaning is that all these matters are false and meaningless. Mr Ata Muhammad should remember, however, that to cite the example of the doctor only shows that he is himself totally ignorant of heavenly light. There undoubtedly exists a Being called God, and in support of His true religion He displays heavenly signs, not just in one particular age, but at every time of need, reviving the faith of the world anew. The story of the doctor shows the extent of his faith in God.
I consider it appropriate now to end this book at this point. Praise be to God! the First and the Last, the Manifest and the Hidden! Our Patron, a most excellent Patron, and a most excellent Helper!
Humbly, the author, Ghulam Ahmad of
If all these things that are ascribed to him are true, what doubt does there remain about his being the creator of the world, knower of the unseen, and the giver of life to the dead? So if, given this situation, a Christian should use this argument to prove his divinity, on the basis that the presence of the characteristics of a thing implies the existence of that thing, what reply do our Muslim brothers have for it? If they say that these miracles took place as a result of prayer, this is an addition to the word of God because it is understood from the Holy Quran that the thing which was shaped in the form of a bird, for example, used to fly when it was blown into (by Jesus). Prayer is not mentioned anywhere in the Holy Quran, nor is it stated that the form of the bird actually received life. One should not add anything of ones own to the word of God. This is exactly the corruption for which the Jews were cursed. In fact, the Mualim al-Tanzil and many other commentaries of the Quran show that the form of the bird would, after a short flight, fall to the ground like dust again. What else can then be concluded except that it was really only dust? Just as toys of clay are made to move about by mans machinery, these used to fly by the penetrating influence of a prophets spirit. If not, then believing in their actual creation necessarily leads to much trouble and the ascribing of partners to God.
The question is whether there was a miracle, and the flight of a lifeless thing, while without life, is a great miracle. However, if in any reading of the Holy Quran the words "it was raised to life" are found at this point, or if it can be shown historically that they really used to come to life, and lay eggs, and that even today there are many birds who are their progeny, then one must provide proof of all this. God says in the Quran that if the whole world wanted to create a fly, it would not be able to make it because this implies confusion in the creation of God. To assert that God had permitted Jesus to become a creator, is a fabrication against God. There is no contradiction in the Divine word. God does not give such permission to anyone. He did not give the Chief of the Apostles, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him, the permission to create even a fly, so how could the son of Mary have been given this permission? Fear God, and do not take the metaphorical for the real. [Go to text]
Translator's Note 2: This hadith is given in Mishkat al-Masabih, Book of Fitan, chapter III, section III. [Go to text]
Translator's Note 3: See Matthew, ch. 17, verses 10-13. [Go to text]
Translator's Note 4: If a person or party accuses another of a serious sin, casting a grave slur on the latter's character, then under certain strict conditions Islam allows the two parties to agree mutually to enter into a mubahila, viz., each side prays to God asking for His curse and wrath to befall whichever of the two is the liar. The Holy Prophet Muhammad challenged a group of Christian religious leaders to a mubahila if they considered him to be an imposter; see the Quran, 3:60. When Hazrat Mirza claimed to be the Promised Messiah, some maulavis hastily demanded that he dare hold a mubahila with them. However, Hazrat Mirza explained to them the Islamic requirements for a mubahila as follows:
"Let it be clear to the readers that Mr Abdul Haqq had asked for a mubahila. But I cannot understand how a mubahila could be permissible regarding those matters of difference which do not make either party into a kafir or an unjust one. It is clear from the Holy Quran that in a mubahila each party must believe that the party opposite is a liar, i.e. is deliberately deviating from the truth, and is not merely mistaken, so that each side is able to say: may the curse of God be upon the liars! Now if Mr Abdul Haqq considers me to be a liar due to his erroneous judgment, I do not call him a liar, but believe him to be in error, and it is not allowable to curse a Muslim who is merely in error." (Izala Auham, p. 637)
It will be seen that Hazrat Mirza dealt with his opponents leniently and charitably when they demanded a mubahila with him, and he refused to curse them as liars for merely disagreeing with his claim. However, they continued to brand him as a deliberate imposter and to misrepresent his beliefs to the public, even after he published numerous statements explaining his position and denying their charges. It was only then that Hazrat Mirza agreed to hold mubahila with any maulavi who wished to do it. [Go to text]
Translator's Note 5: The first quotation is from Hadith reports relating to the coming of the Messiah, and means: "Jesus shall appear near the minaret of Damascus". The second is from the Holy Quran (62:3), and refers to future generations of the Muslims in the words: "Others from among them who have not yet joined them". This Quranic passage in context means that just as the Holy Prophet Muhammad was a teacher and a purifier for his followers of his own time, so shall he be for the coming generations of Muslims. The spiritual men of Islam take it to mean that among later Muslims there would arise deputies of the Holy Prophet to act as his spiritual representatives. The numerical value' of these words is derived using the abjad system in Arabic, which assigns a numerical value to each letter of the alphabet. [Go to text]
Translator's Note 6: It is not possible to deal adequately with the subject of prophecies in a note, but due to various misconceptions about Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad on this score, we make the observations given below.
Prophecies which are disclosed by God to prophets as well as saints, and the manner of fulfilment of those prophecies, are governed by certain laws, and these laws can be seen in operation in innumerable examples of actual prophecies given in the Quran, Hadith, other Islamic works, as well as the Bible. The prophecies made by Hazrat Mirza must be judged by the same rules. One of these rules is that when God, through the mouth of His righteous agent, discloses the news of someone's doom or destruction on account of their wicked deeds, the fulfilment of this news depends upon their subsequent behaviour. The decreed punishment may come as prophesied, or it may be averted for a while, or it may be withdrawn altogether. The Quran itself says many times that a prophet's opponents are punished with some (and not all ) of the punishment which he prophesies as befalling them. See the Quran, 40:28, 27:71,72, 10:46, 13:40, 40:77, etc.
The prophecies mentioned here by Hazrat Mirza were made about persons who had used extremely abusive language about the Holy Prophet Muhammad in their writings and pronouncements. They had been repeatedly warned by Hazrat Mirza to abstain from this vituperation and abuse, but instead of heeding the warnings they mocked the idea of a sign coming from God as a punishment for their outrages. Indeed, they taunted Hazrat Mirza to bring a sign showing God's displeasure towards them. Hazrat Mirza prayed to God, and as a result he received prophecies in each case about the impending doom of the party concerned to befall within a certain specified time limit, as he has noted here.
Lekhram was a leader of the militant Arya Samaj movement among the Hindus, and reviled all the prophets of God in the most coarse language. He grew bolder after the prophecy against him was delivered, and consequently he met his doom within the time limit, fulfilling all the other signs in the prophecy as well. Abdullah Atham, a Christian missionary, was terrified by the prophecy against him, and remained totally silent from then on, speaking not a single word of abuse about Islam or the Holy Prophet Muhammad. In accordance with the Divine law, therefore, God's mercy postponed his fate and he survived the 15 month term. After the term was over, however, his friends prevailed upon him to conceal his earlier repentance, in order to falsify the prophecy in the public eye. As a result, the Divine law re-instated the original prophecy, and he met his doom shortly afterwards.
As regards the third prophecy, Ahmad Baig and his family were relatives of Hazrat Mirza. They had become atheistic, and used to openly revile the Holy Prophet Muhammad and the Quran. They also mocked and ridiculed Hazrat Mirza for his defence of Islam. He warned them privately that he had received revelation that they would be destroyed unless they repented. However, they only scoffed at these warnings. As a last sign, and as a test for them, Hazrat Mirza was directed by God to ask for the hand of Ahmad Baig's eldest daughter in marriage, so that the family may be reformed through association with him. (Marriage for the purpose of such reform is a tradition of the righteous and the prophets.) Should they refuse and marry her to someone else, both Ahmad Baig and the son-in-law would die within the periods fixed in the prophecy.
All this was conveyed by Hazrat Mirza in private letters, but Ahmad Baig and his family made the matter public in order to ridicule the prophecy. They then defiantly married off the daughter to one Mirza Sultan Muhammad. Within six months, Ahmad Baig and some of his relatives were dead. This struck terror into the rest of them. They begged God for forgiveness, and entreated Hazrat Mirza to pray on their behalf. This repentence averted the fate which was prophesied to befall the man to whom Ahmad Baig would marry his daughter. In a notice published in September 1894, Hazrat Mirza wrote:
"Seeing their repentence and asking of forgiveness from God, I became sure that the prophesied term for the death of Mirza Sultan Muhammad could not be maintained because such terms, which are of the type of signs that convey fear and warning, are always an avertable fate. . . . The time of the coming of punishment is an avertable fate, which is moved if fear and turning to God is displayed, as is proved by the whole of the Holy Quran."
Mirza Sultan Muhammad and Ahmad Baig's family started showing great respect and reverence for Hazrat Mirza. In a letter written five years after Hazrat Mirza's death, Mirza Sultan Muhammad wrote:
"I consider the late Mirza sahib to be good, righteous, a servant of Islam, noble-hearted and godly, and I believe this now as well as before. I have no quarrel with his followers. Indeed I am sorry that, due to various reasons, I did not have the honour of meeting him during his life." (Letter dated 21 March 1913.)
A large number of the deceased Ahmad Baig's relatives joined the Ahmadiyya Movement in the course of time.
As the aim and purpose of the prophecy, namely, the reform and reclamation of this family, was fulfilled after only the first of its six constituent parts (as enumerated in the text) had come to pass, the remaining five became redundant. [Go to text]