Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of
LANGUAGES and BRANCH WEBSITES: *
* THE LAHORE AHMADIYYA MOVEMENT:
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of
* OTHER LANGUAGES and BRANCH WEBSITES:
* Click to:
"O People of the Book, come to an equitable word between us and you, that we shall serve none but Allah and that we shall not associate aught with Him, and that some of us shall not take others for lords besides Allah . . . ! (The Quran: 3:63).
This book, rendered into English by Mirza Masum Beg, was written in four volumes by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad under the title of Barahin-i-Ahmadiyya. It was first published in 1880 - at a time when the Muslim world was in the midst of an all-enveloping gloom and the well-wishers of Islam were in the grip of a conflict with Western civilisation, and when our opponents were vilifying Islam and its Prophet. It discusses the existing and divergent thoughts on religion, all arguments and evidences being based on original sources.
While publishing the present abridged edition, we have omitted repetitions which could not otherwise be avoided in the original Urdu manuscript. We have included footnotes into the subject matter and have also re-arranged the first chapter by adding, wherever necessary, a few sentences and verses in order to give a sketch of the great contributions made by the Prophet of Arabia to human civilisation.
We are grateful to Sheikh Fadl-ur-Rahman (Multan, Pakistan) for having borne the cost of printing and publication of this edition. Our thanks are also due to Mumtaz Ahmad Faruqui for prefacing the book; to Shaikh Dawud 'Abd-ur-Rasul and Shahid Sharif who, without being members of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at-i Islam (Lahore), have been kind enough to revise and chapterise it; and to Nasir Ahmad for having adapted and written a short biography of the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam.
"Whoever submits himself entirely to Allah and he is the doer of good (to others), he has his reward from his Lord, and there is no fear for such nor shall they grieve" (The Quran: 2:112).
It was in the year 1835 that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, son of Mirza Ghulam Murtaza, was born at Qadian, a village in the north of Punjab, India. He belonged to a respectable Mughal family, which traces its migration into India to the time of Emperor Babar, during the sixteenth century.
He received his primary education in his village. In his youth, though he loved solitude and hated worldly pursuits, he was occupied, under instructions of his father, in the management of family lands. Again, to fulfil his father's wishes in 1864, he joined government service at Sialkot [then in India; now in Pakistan]. It was here that the Mirza first came into contact with Christian missionaries.
In 1868, his father allowed him to give up service and to return to Qadian. For some years he was called upon to manage his family lands and to pursue law suits connected with them. He had to pay frequent visits to the town of Batala, India, which at that time was an important Christian district. He soon made up his mind to grapple with the unpleasant propaganda carried on by Christian missionaries against Islam.
After the death of his father in 1876, he devoted himself completely to the study of the Quran, the Traditions and the Commentaries and the tenets of other religions. About that time, while he was refuting the Christian arguments against the Islamic doctrines, the Arya Samaj Movement had started among the Hindus. In his controversies with its leaders, his scholarship and his enthusiasm to defend Islam came into display.
In 1880, appeared his famous book Barahin-i Ahmadiyya, which created a deep impression on Muslims in particular. In this first volume, he adduced a large number of arguments based on original texts, establishing the claims of Islam as the best religion for mankind. He emphasised the necessity of Divine inspiration and argued that God spoke to His chosen ones even today, as He did in the past. In this connection, he referred to his own visions and inspirations and mentioned the fulfilment of some of these. In fact, it was while writing this book that it was revealed to him that he had been appointed the Reformer (mujaddid) of the fourteenth century of Hijra for defending the cause of Islam
In 1891, he announced that it had been revealed to him that Jesus Christ was not alive, but had died like other prophets. He declared that the Messiah, whose advent had been promised to the Muslims, was to be a Reformer of the nation and that the prophecies had been fulfilled in his own person. He further made it known that the reports relating to the appearance of the Mahdi also referred to the coming of the Messiah, who was to spread Islam in the world not by sword, but by argument and reasoning.
This statement raised against him a storm of opposition from Christians, Hindus as well as Muslims. However, in the midst of all trials and afflictions, with even the Government keeping strict watch over him owing to his claim to be the Mahdi, he continued propagating Islam with rare energy and sincerity. The burning passion of his heart was to carry the Message of Islam to the whole world, particularly to Europe, where only a dark picture of Islam had been drawn. His aspirations materialised to some extent in 1901, when he started an English monthly, The Review of Religions, from Qadian, to present a true picture of Islam and its Prophet to the English-knowing world. The plan was further developed after his death, when at first, in 1912, the Woking Muslim Mission was established in England, and later, in 1922, the German Muslim Mission at Berlin (West Germany). Thenceforward, the task of propagating the teachings of Islam was carried from one country to another. Doubtless, the passion at the back of all this enterprise originated in the heart of that pious figure of Qadian, author of more than eighty books on Islam, who breathed his last on the 26th May, 1908.
"Allah has created everything, and He is the Knower of all things. . . So serve Him." (The Quran: 6:102, 103).
During the nineteenth century, when materialism, scepticism and agnosticism were the rule of the day, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad gave serious thought to the effects of Western civilisation with its new theories of physical and natural sciences on the human mind. His emphasis on the Islamic teaching that "a living faith in the Supreme Being is essential in this world and in the life hereafter", shows that he understood fully the repercussions of the mechanistic and materialistic age vis-à-vis the spiritual life of man.
In his present treatise, the author discusses the truthfulness of the divine mission of Muhammad (peace be upon him) -- the first citizen of the Muslim nation -- and demonstrates that the right path is the one that was blazed by the Prophet of Arabia. He deals at length with the revelation of the Quran -- the eternal message which teaches mankind to live in peace and harmony. He establishes through a philosophical reasoning that "the teachings of a revealed book should not conflict with any law of physical nature." Likewise, he underlines the fact of the existence of God by stressing that there is a constant urge in man to have communion with his Lord, Who listens to his prayers, and responds to them. Finally, he gives a detailed account of the four attributive names of God enunciated in the Opening chapter of the Quran.
The present volume is not meant to give a comprehensive treatment of the Islamic doctrines but, within the narrow compass of the topics discussed, the reader will find a useful opportunity to acquaint himself with the knowledge and truth contained in the Quran, the source of the soul-stirring light of Islam -- the monotheistic religion that seeks to unite all men in brotherhood.
M. A. Faruqui
"In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful" (The Quran: 1:1).
This book advances arguments to the fact that, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was a true Messenger of God with a great mission to mankind. It also proves that the Holy Quran -- the principles and doctrines of which are in perfect harmony with the truth and human nature is the Word of God.
It may be pointed out that there are people who do not believe in the prophets of God, whom they consider impostors. It is a sacrilege to speak ill of those chosen by God to be the spiritual Teachers of mankind; whom He caused to rise as lustrous luminaries in the firmament of this planet to give out, through them, the light of Divine Unity and Godliness; by whose powerful teachings the tree of the worship of the One True God, which had dried up, became fresh and green again; whom He took under His special care and protection, and helped in such a way that they feared not even when millions of foes stood against them; they did not deplore, nor were they distressed; nor fatigued until they established the Truth upon this earth. If those people were not holy on whom descended the Word of God, then who is there in mankind we can call 'good'?
It is imperative to accept the righteousness of the prophets, so that the Books revealed to them should also be treated as holy. Otherwise, the question would be quite proper that in case those people to whom were revealed these Books were evil, how can these Scriptures themselves be taken as pure? If Moses had not been pure, he would not have been regarded fit for being a prophet.
A man must be judged by the nature and the extent of the accomplishment of his mission. Muhammad remedied and cured the worst corruption and vitiation in the affairs of mankind, re-established the conception of the Unity of God that had completely disappeared and, with logical reasoning and arguments, vanquished falsehood, removed all kinds of doubts from the hearts of the people who had gone astray; taught man the correct and valid principles; re-opened the right way to salvation.
As for the Quran, it is pure, and teaches the unity, majesty and excellences of the Divine Being. Its distinctive characteristic is that it ascribes no abject and mean motive to the Almighty; nor does it impose any doctrine, but whatever it teaches, it establishes the truth by incontrovertible arguments, and leads to the point of complete certainty and perfect faith. It purifies all the corruption and depravity which have tainted the belief, words and deeds of the people by clear arguments; it teaches all the modes of moral conduct and behaviour, the knowing of which is essential for man to be man; it dispels every evil with the same power and force with which it is prevailing today. Its teaching is very simple and straight; it is, as it were, a mirror, a reflection of the laws of nature, and a bright sun for man's internal light.
All arguments and evidences adduced in the present book on the excellences of the Quran and the truthfulness of Prophet Muhammad's divine mission, or any other claim which has been asserted, have all been gathered from the Holy Quran itself.
That a revealed Book should itself set down rational arguments in support of the truth of its principles is also essential, because the function and purpose of a sacred Scripture is not that a man should learn by heart some vague formulae, and should then proceed to assume that he had found the way to salvation. The real purpose of a revealed Book is that it should take man to the stage of an abiding conviction of the mind, which no doubt or misgiving should be able to shake. For, as long as man lies in his life consigned to the hell of ignorance, and possesses only a formal faith, with no kind of real conviction even in that faith, and a passion for material things, without rational vision, he is exposed, in this state of mind, to serious danger in that sphere of life which pertains to the soul. The following verse would apply to him: "Whoever is blind in this (world) he will be blind in the Hereafter, and further away from the (right) path." [The Quran: 17:72. -- We are here told that those who remain blind to truth in this life remain blind in the life after death, which shows that it is here that a hellish life begins with spiritual blindness, and that the hell of the next life is also a blindness.]
Therefore, a Scripture which fails to establish its own validity, and the truth of its principles, cannot open the door to a virtuous and prosperous life. In fact, it functions as an obstacle in the way of human progress. Following such Scriptures would involve no proper use of one's vision and imagination, nor the rational faculty with which all human beings are endowed. He never penetrates into the inner reality of things, leaving his intellect and the powers of his mind inactive. With his own hands, he thus destroys these previous capabilities, and falls to a very low level of life. He loses the power which enables man to distinguish between good and evil, and the description, in the following words of the Almighty, becomes fully applicable to him: "They have hearts wherewith they understand not, and they have eyes wherewith they see not, and they have ears wherewith they hear not. They are as cattle; nay, they are more astray." (The Quran: 7:179.)
In short, of the word of God, this is the excellent purpose that it should emphasise the importance of a proper use of the powers and capacities which, in divine wisdom, have been made inherent in man; and it should teach that in their exercise, one should carefully avoid either extreme. Among these powers and capacities, one is the rational capacity, common sense and intellect; and the superiority of man lies, over the lower forms of life, in his making proper use of this faculty, and in the extent to which he may be able to cultivate it to a point of perfection. Only a proper use of this faculty can turn him into a human being, and enable him to realise the higher purpose of his life. Evidently, if the Scripture he follows does not enable him to take proper care of this instrument, and to cultivate it, it would tend, instead, to suspend it, and turn it into an obstacle in his path. Instead of helping him in the attainment of the superior aims of his life, this very faculty would snatch away from him the qualities which put a human being above the rest of the creation of the Lord.