Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of
LANGUAGES and BRANCH WEBSITES: *
* THE LAHORE AHMADIYYA MOVEMENT:
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of
* OTHER LANGUAGES and BRANCH WEBSITES:
* Click to:
in the Service of Islam by Naseer Ahmad Faruqui
> Denials of Prophethood [by Hazrat Mirza
Books Section > Ahmadiyyat in the Service of Islam by Naseer Ahmad Faruqui Sahib > Denials of Prophethood [by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad]
Before quoting Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib, it is very relevant to repeat what Hazrat Shaikh Mohiyuddin ibn Arabi said:
'From some of the sayings of a Muhaddath a stranger (to such things) thinks that the former is claiming to be a prophet and is canceling the Shari'at of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). And that stranger then brands him a kafir (heretic). We have seen much of this in our own time and we have ourselves tasted of it at the hands of Ulema of our time' (Futuhat-e-Makiyya, Part 2, page 79).
Exactly the same thing happened to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib -- perhaps more remorselessly as he had, by proclaiming the death of Jesus Christ and his own appointment as the Promised Messiah, shocked and upset the Ulema more than his preceding Muhaddathin. So he spent his life-time denying the charge that he had claimed to be a prophet. Some of his emphatic denials have been quoted in the Foreword under 'Articles of Faith.' Some more may be quoted to show the clarity and emphasis with which he categorically denied the charge:
'I have not claimed prophethood but I claim to be a Muhaddath, which I do under Divine orders' (Izala-e-Auham, page 421).
In the sanctity of Jamia Masjid [The Grand Mosque], Delhi, Hazrat Mirza Sahib said during a speech:
'The other charges made against me that I do not believe in Lailat-ul-Qadr or miracles or the Mi'raj (Ascension of the Holy Prophet), and that I claim prophethood for myself, and that I disbelieve in the finality of prophethood in the Holy Prophet, these are all false charges and pure falsehood. In all these matters my faith is the same as that of other Ahle-Sunnat wal Jamaat believers. And the charges drawn from my books Tauzih-e-Maram and Izala-e-Auham are absolute mistakes on the part of the fault-finders. Now I honestly profess before the Muslims in the sanctity of this mosque, the House of God, that I believe in the finality of prophethood in the Last of the Prophets (may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and that I consider a man who disbelieves in the finality of prophethood (in the Holy Prophet Muhammad) to be irreligious and outside the pale of Islam. Similarly, I believe in the angels, miracles, Lailat-ul-Qadr, etc.' (Din-ul-Haq, page 29).
In 1892, in a debate in Lahore with Maulvi Abdul Hakim, who charged that Hazrat Mirza Sahib had claimed prophethood, the latter gave a written statement dated 3 February 1892 which was witnessed by eight witnesses and which terminated the debate:
'From the beginning it has been my intention, which Allah the Exalted, the Majestic, knows fully well, not to use the word nabi to mean the real prophethood but to mean only Muhaddathiyyat, which the Holy Prophet has interpreted to mean one to whom Allah speaks; so I have no hesitation, for the sake of setting the minds of my Muslim brethren at rest, to put this word in another way. And that way is that the word Muhaddath should be substituted for the word nabi in every place and to consider it (the word nabi) to be cut out.'
Referring to the name nabi occurring in his revelations or in a Hadith (the saying of the Holy Prophet being based on revelation from Allah), Hazrat Mirza Sahib wrote:
'I have been given the name nabi by Allah in the metaphorical sense, not in the real sense' (Supplement to Haqiqat-ul-Wahy, page 65).
And so on. One could quote many more disavowals of prophethood by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib but they will become monotonous for the reader. We can say with certainty that no other saint in Islam, who was accused of claiming prophethood, issued such clear and categorical denials so often.
Can history produce another example of such a self-repudiation by a prophet or even a Muhaddath? And when Mirza Mahmood Ahmad was challenged by Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali Sahib, who along with majority of the leading followers of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib broke away from the Qadian group in 1914 on that issue (and on the consequential issue whether those who disbelieved in Hazrat Mirza Sahib became kafirs), to prove the strange theory put forward by him, he could not do so. While he said that his father's writings before 1902 (later changed to 1901) could not be relied upon to determine his father's status, he could not produce a single word of his father's repudiation of those writings. On the other hand, his venerable father relied upon his pre-1901 writings and statements even up to his death in 1908, even in courts of law on oath. Again, some of the denials of prophethood quoted above were made after 1901.
Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali Sahib issued a solemn statement given on oath by him and seventy other senior followers of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib who had joined him before 1901, that they had noticed no change whatsoever in 1901 in the claim of the Promised Messiah, who remained true to his rightful position till his death. And Mirza Mahmood Ahmad Sahib was challenged to issue a counter-statement on oath by himself and seventy of his followers, but the challenge has remained unanswered ever since it was vigorously made in 1916, with not even a single person coming forward. Mirza Mahmood Ahmad Sahib had written a few years earlier (in April 1910), commenting on the Quranic verse that Muhammad was the last of the prophets, that no person who claimed to be a prophet after the Holy Prophet Muhammad had gone unpunished even in this world, and had, in fact, perished. A few years later, when he claimed prophethood for his father, his earlier writing of 1910 was put to him. But there was no comment by him. Much later, in 1953, appearing before the Commission headed by Chief Justice Muhammad Muneer, Mirza Mahmood Ahmad Sahib (perhaps overawed by the anti-Qadiani riots which the Commission was investigating) went back on his categorical claims about his father and about the alleged heresy of those who disbelieved in him. Later, if he changed his views once again -- or his successors did -- back to the old ideas, it is typical of those who go astray from the straight path of truth [The Rabwah Jamaat's most recent position was explained by their late Khalifa, Mirza Nasir Ahmad, during his visit to Europe in 1981, to be that they consider as Muslims even those Muslims who call them kafir!].
Hazrat Mirza Sahib had been very democratic and, when his end was near, he appointed the Anjuman (a collective body of the senior members of his Jamaat) to be his successor or heir. But Muslims, including his followers, were unused to such democracy and were used to the gaddi, i.e., the sons and posterity of the saint succeeding him on a hereditary basis. They are called Khalifas. Mirza Mahmud Ahmad Sahib was shrewd enough to sense that a Khalifa proper, or a Khalifa par excellence, is of a Prophet only. So he raised his father to prophethood, established a gaddi on a hereditary basis, becoming the first such Khalifa, above the law, himself. And the masses even among the Ahmadis fell for it as they were used to this through centuries of saints being succeeded by their progeny on a hereditary basis. But the enlightened minority broke away, with Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali Sahib, and formed a new Jamaat called the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at Islam, Lahore, to which we belong.
In all this there was a curious parallel between the Promised Messiah's followers and those of the original Messiah, Jesus Christ. The majority of the followers of Jesus Christ raised him from prophethood to godhood. The vast majority of the followers of the Promised Messiah raised him from the position of Mujaddid to that of a prophet. A minority group among the followers of Jesus Christ, called the Unitarians, did not go wrong. A minority of followers of the Promised Messiah, called the Lahori Ahmadis, also did not go wrong. Similarity between the two Messiahs was destined to be so complete!
But there are two interesting things to say before we close this chapter:
(1) Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, an eminent religious non-Ahmadi scholar of the sub-continent wrote:
'What the followers of a person say need not be paid attention to (to determine his real position), for whomever a people take for their religious leader they would raise him to no less a dignity than that of Godhood, and even if they are very careful they would not keep him below the position of a Prophet ... it occurred to me that in our own days a big section of the followers of the Mirza Sahib of Qadian entertains an exactly similar belief about the Mirza Sahib' (Tazkirah, page 30-31).
(2) The author was present when a very outstanding Arab non-Ahmadi religious divine said in Karachi, in the presence of the ambassador of his country and the late Maulana Muhammad Ali, who had shown him Hazrat Mirza Sahib's denials of prophethood:
'I understand. Since Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib was accused of claiming prophethood in his life-time and he repudiated it so clearly and categorically, it is not open to his opponents or to his own son to persist in saying that he had claimed prophethood.'
How true and how honest to say so!