Qadyani Movement – An Introduction
Belief in the Absolute Unity of Allah, and in the prophethood of Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah Be Upon Him), particularly its finality for all time to come, constitute the two basic tenants of the Islamic faith. It was Islam which apprised the humanity that Allah and Allah alone is entitled to man’s worship and adoration, and that He is the Creator as well as the Sustainer of this Universe, its sole Lord and Master, and its Sovereign Ruler. It also declared categorically that Muhammad (P.B.U.H) is the last true Messenger of Allah, and that the code of conduct he presented to the world, based on Quran and Divine Revelation, was the only one that could guide humanity on the right path and lead it to prosperity in this world as well in the Hereafter. It was, therefore, eminently deserving of unwavering adherence by man for his own eternal good.
Since the unequivocal affirmation of the finality of Syedna Muhammad’s (P.B.U.H) Prophethood has been made in the following verse of the Holy Quran (Surah 33, Ayah 40):
Translation: “Muhammad (P.B.U.H) is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Apostle of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets (closing the line of Prophets for all time to come, in the same manner as a “seal” completes a document beyond any addition or alteration)”.
The aforesaid announcement is supported by a number of ahadith of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) himself. One of these ahadith is : “The Messenger of Allah said (to Hazrat Ali (R.A) ) : Are you not happy that you are (in relation) to me as Harun (was to Musa), except that there is no Prophet after me.”
From the beginning, the anti-Islamic movements have played their part to harm the beliefs of the Muslim Ummah, thus trying to harm the Din (Islam) itself. These anti-Islamic movements were unable to make much headway against Tawhid (Absolute Unity of Allah) in the minds of the Muslims. So their concentration was on eroding the finality for all times to come of the Prophethood of Muhammad (P.B.U.H), and diminishing the unbounded love and respect in which every Muslim without exception held, and still holds, his great Prophet (P.B.U.H). They hoped that by weakening this concept they would be helping in the weakening the concept of Tawhid as well.
The aforesaid disruptive efforts had started during the closing years of the Holy Prophet’s (P.B.U.H) own life and immediately following his passing away. They had found expression, inter alia, in the emergence of a number of imposter prophets in the Arab peninsula such as Musailimah, Aswad Anasi, Abu Ubaidah Thaqafi, Dhul Khamar Anasi and Tulaihah Asadi. All these were, however, summarily crushed through firm and timely deterrent action, initially by the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) himself and later by first righteous Caliph Abubakar (R.A). Similar false prophet-hoods continued to raise their heads occasionally in other periods also in other lands but failed to make much impact so long as Muslim power and influence (both material and spiritual) were in zenith. The position of the Muslims changed dramatically in the 13th Hijrah century (19th century AD) when the Muslim community coincided with the rise of political, intellectual and economic ascendancy of the non-Muslim nations of the West. This provided to hitherto low-lying anti-Islam elements an environment in which they could rally their forces once again, and try to deal a decisive and crushing blow to the principles and beliefs of the Islamic faith and to the Muslim community in general.
It was during this period of adversity for the Muslim Ummah that, with the socio-political tactic of the then British Government of India, there arose in India that mischievous movement which is known as Qadianism (after the name of its domicile founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian) and Ahmadiyat.
All schools of Islamic thought were fully unanimous in their acceptance of the finality of Syedna Muhammad’s (P.B.U.H) Prophet-hood, until the founder of Qadianism (Mirza Ghulam Ahmad) put forth a claim to be a full-fledged apostle of Allah. This claim was the culmination of some lesser claims made by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (to be referred to later as “Mirza” only) to start with. His initial step, for example, was to challenge the following clear Quranic declaration to the effect that Jesus Christ had been raised alive to heaven and not killed on the Cross, as the Jews claimed and as was believed by some people later (italics provided):
“ And they (i.e., the Jews) said (in boast): we killed Messiah son of Mary, Allah’s messenger; however, they killed him not nor did they crucify him, but it was made to appear so unto them, and those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save the pursuit of conjecture; for certainly they killed him not; but Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah was ever Mighty, Wise: (IV, 157-158).
Mirza also repudiated the unanimous Muslim belief, based on authentic ahadith of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H), that Christ would descend alive from heaven sometime before the Judgment Day, to complete his interrupted life span and mission on earth, and that he would do so in the cause of Islam. In these ahadith, contained in Sahih-e-Muslim, which ranks among the most authentic and authoritative hadith collections, the Prophet (P.B.U.H) is on record as having stated that the period sometime before the Resurrection (i.e., Judgment day) would be characterized by widespread turmoil and upheavals in the world. It would witness the appearance on the world scene of a person named Dajjal (Antichrist), who with the help of his magic and other satanic forces, would make life miserable for its inhabitants, especially the believing Muslims who would be the special target of his atrocities. It would be then that Jesus Christ would descend from heaven at a spot on earth near a “white minaret” towards the eastern side of the city of Damascus (Syria), supported by two angels. Christ would then join the battle against Dajjal, would kill him in combat, and would thereafter lead the revival and rejuvenation of Islamic forces in the world. After living for another seven years, he would die a natural death and would be buried in the compound of the Prophet’s Mosque (P.B.U.H) in Madina Munawwara.
Sometime before the descent of Jesus Christ on earth, a person belonging to Banu Fatima (The Fatimid descendants of the Prophet (P.B.U.H)) would have been born, whose real name would be Muhammad and his honorific title Mahdi (The Rightly-guided One). Mahdi, who would be in full youth at the time of Christ’s descent, would welcome the latter on his arrival, and would serve as his chief aide both in fighting Dajjal and in bringing about the resurgence of Islam in the world.
Since the precise timing of the appearance of the Mahdi, and of the subsequent descent of Jesus Christ from heaven, is not indicated in the ahadith mentioned above, a number of persons put forward claims to being the predicted Mahdi in different periods since the passing away of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) of Islam. Before, however, they could have the privilege of greeting Jesus Christ, they themselves passed from the world scene for ever.
The founder of Qadianism adopted an approach somewhat different from his forerunners. To start with, he averred that Jesus Christ had not been raised alive to heaven as believed by the mass of Muslims on the basis of interpretations of the relevant ahadith by the early ulama. Instead, he asserted that Christ had in fact died on the Cross, and that the person predicted to appear before the Judgment Day would, therefore, not be Christ himself but his masil (replica, likeness or prototype). Simultaneously, he claimed, first that he himself was that masil of Christ, and later that he was the promised Messiah (or Christ) in his person and not only a masil. From here he proceeded to refute the firmly-established concept of the absolute finality of the Prophet-hood of Muhammad (P.B.U.H) first calling himself a zilli nabi or “shadow prophet” and then announcing his elevation to full prophet-hood. He thus sought to demolish a fundamental Muslim belief that is rooted in the Quranic verse quoted above, is re-affirmed in a number of the Prophet’s (P.B.U.H) authentic ahadith (one of them also cited as specimen above), and has been unanimously accepted by the Muslim Ummah for the past 13 centuries and more.
Early life of the Founder of Qadianism, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadyani
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, founder of the Qadyani movement, was born in the village of Qadian in the Gurdaspur District of Punjab (India) in 1839 or 1840. His father, Ghulam Murtaza, was a physician-cum-landowner of Mughal descent. After completing his education in the Arabic and Persian languages (as was customary in orthodox Muslim families of the day) and in Tibb (Eastern medicine), Mirza Ghulam Ahmad served for about four years beginning 1864 as a clerk in the office of Deputy Commissioner (District Officer) of Sialkot District. He then gave up this job to join his father’s practice of medicine. Simultaneously, he continued his somewhat irregular study of religious literature and also participated in religious debates. As far as is known, his ancestors had been orthodox Sunni (Hanafi) Muslims, and Mirza also subscribed to the same school of thought in his early years. In fact in 1879, at the age of about 40, he publicly announced his intention to write a fifty-volume book titled Barahin-e-Ahmadiyah (The Ahmadi Proofs), seeking to expound in strong and irrefutable terms, but on the basis of solid logic and reasoning, the truth of Islam vis-à-vis other religions. He also appealed to the Sub-continent’s Muslim community to provide material help to him in this noble task. In response to this call, the Muslims in general extended generous financial support to him in what they viewed as a laudable venture. After publishing only four volumes (out of the 50 initially promised) in the years between 1880 and 1884, however, Mirza abandoned the project, and stopped publication of subsequent volumes of the book. He did this on the plea that since he was the mujaddid of the century, he had been commanded by Allah to propagate Islam through divine inspiration rather than through intellectual effort and the written word. (More than 23 years later, Mirza wrote and published the fifth and last volume of the Barahin in 1905, i.e., three years before his death).
In 1886, Mirza wrote his second book, titled Aryah Dharm (The Aryah Creed), and also held a debate in Hoshiarpur (Punjab) with the Hindu Aryah Samaji sect. This enabled him to make some name for himself as an Islamic debater, and also helped him build up a group of disciples around him. Hakim Nurrudin (1841-1914), then personal physician of the Maharajah of the Jammu and Kashmir princely State and a relation of Mirza through his wife, was a prominent member of this influential band of advisors and helpers.
Mirza’s Early Beliefs
Till now, Mirza’s religious beliefs, including that in the finality of the prophet-hood of Muhammad (P.B.U.H), were fully orthodox like any other true Sunni Muslim. In a public notice dated 2 October 1891, which is included in the second volume of his book Tabligh-e-Risalat (Dissemination of Prophet-hood), he wrote as follows:
“I subscribe to all Islamic beliefs, and uphold all those things which are borne out by the Quran and the Hadith and are accepted as true by the Ahl-e-sunnah wal jama’ah (Sunni Muslims). I regard anyone claiming prophet-hood after Muhammad (P.B.U.H), the last of all Prophets of Allah, to be an impostor and a kafir (infidel). I firmly believe that divine prophetic revelation had started with Adam and had finally ended for all time to come with Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H). Let everyone be a witness to this”.
Mental state of the contemporary Muslim community
The Muslim community of India was passing through a grave mental and emotional crisis around this time. On the one hand, it has lost its former political supremacy lasting for several centuries, and was forced to wait expectantly for the emergence of a leader who could rid it out of its state of gloom and despair through his dynamic leadership. On the other, its religious, moral and cultural values were being seriously threatened by the materialistic ideas of Europe which had invaded the Sub-continent via the British rule. Its common people as well as the intellectual elite were finding themselves helpless against this onslaught. The intellectual element of the community had in fact been forced to conclusion that coping successfully with this dual challenge was impossible without acquiring and adopting the materialistic values of the West. It was on this premise that Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the noted Muslim educationist and founder of the Muslim University at Aligarh, launched his historic movement to introduce the Muslims of India to the new cultural values of the West, and to popularize English education and arts among them. Consciously or otherwise, however, Sir Syed’s movement came to be associated with the spread of “naturalism”.
Journey of Mirza’s claims from a Masil to a full prophet
In spite of Mirza’s early beliefs, his false predictions proved to be a masil-ul-Masih (likeliness or analog of Jesus Christ) to a full prophet with a shariah (Religion).
Mirza’s claim to be a Masil of Jesus Christ, The Messiah
It was around this time that Hakim Nurrudin, the disciple, relative and close associate of Mirza mentioned earlier, advised him to exploit the prevailing demoralized state of the Indian Muslims to his own advantage. Nurrudin felt that if Mirza were to present himself before the nation as a masil of Jesus Christ, he was sure to be greeted as a savior and a redeemer, and would be able to play a vital role in the Muslim nation’s revival. Initially, Mirza did not view this idea with favour and wrote to Nurrudin as follows in his letter dated 24 January 1891, which in included in Maktubat-e-Ahmadiyah (The letters of (Ghulam) Ahmad):
“With reference to your suggestion that, regardless of the hadith concerning the prospective descent of Jesus Christ near the minaret on the eastern side of Damascus (Syria) I should put forward a claim to be the masil of Christ, I wish to say that I have no need to do any such thing. My sole desire is that Allah may include me in His humble and obedient bondsmen. For us (human beings) there is no running away from trials and tribulations, which are indeed the only means of (material and spiritual) progress….”.
Not long after writing the aforesaid letter, however, Mirza put forward a claim to be a Masil of Jesus Christ in the following words reproduced from the posture included in the book Tabligh-e-Risalat, Vol. II:
“I do not claim to be a Messiah Jesus son of Mary (in person), nor do I believe in tanasukh (transmigration of the soul). My only claim is to be only the Masil of Jesus. This is because my spiritual state resembles the spiritual state of Jesus Christ as closely as does muhaddithiyat (mastery of the Prophet’s Hadith) resemble prophet-hood”.
From Messiah’s Masil to promised Messiah in person
Mirza did not stick to his claim to be a Masil of Jesus Christ for long. His next step was to refute the belief concerning the “aliveness” of Christ and to assert that Christ had in fact “died” on the Cross. He then proceeded to declare himself to be the promised Messiah and the promised Mahdi. This he did in the following statements excerpted from his books titled Tawdih-e-Maram (The Elucidation of Objectives), Fateh-ul-Islam (The victory of Islam), Tabligh-e-Risalat, Tohfa-e-Golraviyah (The Golravi present) and many other books like this.
“Both the Muslims and the Christians believe (with a slight difference of detail) that Jesus son of Mary was lifted bodily and alive to heaven, and that he would descend to earth at some future date. I have denied the validity of this belief earlier in this journal” Tawdih-e-Maram
“ If you are true believers, you should be thankful and should bow to God that the moment for which your ancestors waited expectantly for long, and countless souls passed away without witnessing it, has finally arrived. I cannot help saying repeatedly that I have been sent in good time to reform mankind and to re-instill the din in people’s heart, in the same manner as he (i.e., Jesus Christ) who was sent after Moses and whose soul was raised to heaven after great agony in the reign of Herod. The Masil of Jesus Christ (i.e., Mirza himself) promised (by God) to Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) has now descended from heaven in the fourteenth Hijrah century, i.e., approximately the same length of time after Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) as that between Moses and Jesus Christ. This is a spiritual descent. It has taken place during a period very similar to the one in which the original Christ had come, and is meant to be a “sign” for those who understand”;
“ And this is the long-awaited Christ, and it is I who am referred to in revealed texts as Mary and Jesus, and about whom it was said that he would be made a “sign” and it was also said that he would be the Jesus son of Mary that was due to come. Those who doubt this are in manifest error”.
“I swear by God who has sent me, and to whom only the accused ones attribute anything but the truth, that He has sent me as the Promised Messiah”.
“I hereby claim to be that promised Messiah, about whom there are prophecies in all the sacred books of Allah that he would appear (again) in the last period of history”.
To prove his claimed resemblance to Jesus Christ, Mirza put forward some queer arguments. Here are some examples:
“ My birth had a novelty about it similar to the birth of Christ, in that a girl had been born as my twin. This is an uncommon happening, since a single child is born in most cases”.
“Another point of resemblance between Jesus Christ and the promised Messiah of this Ummah (i.e., Mirza himself) is that Christ was not a full-fledged Israelite but was considered so only because of his mother. Similarly some of my grandmothers were descendants of the Prophet (P.B.U.H) of Islam. Furthermore, the secret about Christ having been born without a father was that Allah was highly displeased with the children of Israel because of the multiplicity of their sins”.
A lecture delivered in Sialkot “ Be sure that the person who has now descended (i.e., Mirza) is in fact (Jesus) son of Mary, who, like the original Jesus Christ, had no human as his ‘spiritual father’. Allah Himself, therefore, became his custodian, took him under His protection, and named him (also) Son of Mary. He is thus symbolically Jesus Son of Mary, who was born without father? Can you prove (also) that he is a member of any one of the four schools of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence)? If not, then who is this person if not the Son of Mary?
“The fourteenth specialty of Jesus Christ was that because of a father, he was not part of the Bani Israel (i.e., Children of Israel). He was, nevertheless, the last Prophet of the chain of Moses, and came fourteen centuries after Moses. Similarly, even though I do not belong to a family of Quraish, I have been deputed (by Allah) in the fourteenth century (after the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H), and am the last of all”.
Tazkirahtush Shahadatain (An Account of Two Testimonies)
By Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian
Following the afore mentioned declarations, Mirza placed distorted interpretations on some of the Holy Prophet’s (P.B.U.H) ahadith concerning the future descent of Jesus Christ. Some examples are given below:
As indicated earlier, the descent of Jesus Christ was to take place, according to the hadith in Sahih Muslim, in the following circumstances:
a) His descent would be next to at the eastern minaret in the city of Damascus (Syria).
b) He would be clad in two yellow sheets.
c) On being requested by the Imam (leader) of the Muslims to lead the prayers, Jesus Christ would say that this should be done by their own Imam (your Imam is from among yourselves) other corroborating ahadith indicate that Hazrat Mahdi would be the Imam in question.
Mirza made the aforesaid three circumstances applicable to himself on the following rather funny premises:
a) Just as Damascus (Syria) had been inhabited by wicked people who had martyred Imam Hussain (R.A), so as Qadian (Punjab) inhabited by people who do not hesitate to kill pious and pure people. It was therefore necessary that the masil of Christ should also descend among such wicked people.
Damascus and Qadian are geographically “situated on the same latitude”, and there would be a “minaret of Messiah” in Qadian similar to the “eastern minaret” of Damascus mentioned in the Prophet’s hadith.
(Mirza also started building a minaret in Qadian but died before its completion. Furthermore, there was in fact no similarity about “killing of pious people” between the inhabitants of Damascus and Qadian. There are no instances of any Qadyani having murdered any holy personality like Syedna Imam Hussain (R.A) or ever of making an attempt on Mirza’s own life.)
Mirza also asserted that the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is situated in Jerusalem, and to which Allah had miraculously transported the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) across hundreds of miles from Makkah on the night of the Miraj (Ascension), in fact meant the mosque of the promised Messiah that was situated in Qadian.
(Tazkirah-e-Majmuah-e-Wahy-e-Muqaddas, An Account of the Collection of Sacred Revelations).
b) As regards the two yellow sheets in which, according to the Holy Prophet’s above-cited hadith, Christ would be clad at the time of his future descent to earth, Mirza likened these symbolically but far-fetchedly to the two types of physical ailment from which he then suffered, viz., frequent headaches, vertigo, insomnia, and heart spasm in the upper part of his body, and diabetes in its lower part.
(cf. Appendix to Araba’in, Nos. 3 and 4).
c) With reference to the word (Your imam is from among yourselves), which are
attributed to Jesus Christ in the aforementioned hadith in response to the request to be made to him lead the prayers, Mirza interpreted (or rather misinterpreted) them to mean that Christ would assume the form of his own masil and would then lead the prayers himself – an interpretation that clearly conflicts with those accepted by all previous scholars and interpreters of hadith and also with other portions of the same hadith.
Concerning that part of hadith, for example, in which it was predicted that Jesus Christ would kill the Dajjal signified those Christian priests whom he (i.e., Mirza) had already “killed” through arguments contained in his various books. In placing this construction on the hadith, Mirza in fact implied that the Prophet (P.B.U.H) erred in interpreting the message revealed to him by God on this point, since, according to him (i.e., Mirza) it was by no means certain that an apostle could fully comprehend all the aspects of even those future events which God Himself revealed to him!
From Promised Messiah to a full prophet
Mirza’s claim to be the promised Messiah lasted for about 10 years. Thereafter, in November 1901, he went a step further, and, repudiating the unanimous Muslim belief in the finality of prophet-hood of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) for all time to come, to which he himself had categorically subscribed as shown earlier, put forward an unequivocal claim to be a full-fledged prophet of Allah.
The occasion for this arose initially in August 1901 when the khatib (leader of congregational prayers) of Mirza’s mosque in Qadian referred to Mirza in his Friday khutbah (sermon) as a prophet and messenger of Allah. Despite a strong objection raised to this remark by one of those present in the congregation, the khatib repeated the statement in the next Friday khutbah and the objector raised his objection once again. On being requested by the khatib to adjudicate, and to correct him if he was in the wrong, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who hitherto had been hesitant to venture a direct claim to prophet-hood, and had confined himself to claiming to be “God’s deputed one”, “His appointed one”, “His trusted one”, and the “Masil” of Messiah etc. decided to take the final plunge and confirmed the statement made concerning him by the khatib. This greatly infuriated that person (Syed Muhammad Ahsan Qadyani), who started arguing loudly with the khatib. Thereupon, Mirza himself appeared on the scene and chided both of them by reciting the following Quranic verse, which had in fact been revealed in relation to Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) (O believers! Raise not your voices above the voice of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H))
(Cf. Al Fadl, official Qadyani newspaper, Qadian, 4 January 1923, and journal Furqan-e-Qadianiyat, October 1942 issue).
His former hesitancy in the matter having thus been removed, Mirza followed up the aforesaid incident by making clear and written assertions to the same effect. For example:
“How can I deny being a prophet or a messenger when Allah Himself has conferred these titles upon me? Why should I reject them or fear anyone besides Him”?
Eik Ghalati Ka Izalah (Removal of an error)
“ God has endorsed my prophethood through thousands of ‘signs’ in a manner no other apostle’s prophethood was endorsed in past______ I swear by God (who holds my life in His hands) that He alone has sent me and named me prophet as well as the Promised Messiah, and He has manifested as many as three hundred thousand ‘signs’ in my favour”.
Epilogue to “Haqiqat-ul-Wahi (The Reality of Revelation), 1907.
Bizarre arguments against Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) Finality of Prophethood
In his earlier books (e.g., Barahin-e-Ahmadiyah, Vol. IV, and Izalatul Awham, etc.), Mirza had stated categorically that the coming of any prophet after Muhammad (P.B.U.H) was “impossible and contrary to the promise of God”. However, when he decided to become a prophet himself, he put forward all sorts of arguments contrary to confirmed Muslim beliefs on this point.
In Barahin-e-Ahmadiyah (Vol. V, published 1905), for example, he wrote thus: …………. “ How wrong and absurd it is to believe that the door to Divine revelation has been closed for all time to come after Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H), and that there is no hope of its resumption until the Day of Judgment. This means that future generations of humanity have been left to worship and believe in ancient tales only, and that even if someone (implying Mirza himself) strives in path of Allah with such devotion as to sacrifice everything including his life for His sake, he will have no direct opportunity to learn about Him or to be addressed by Him at a personal level……..What is the value of religion that does not provide any direct knowledge about God but relies instead on stories and legends only? I swear by Allah that regard such a religion as the religion of Satan, and one which leads its followers straight to hell.
Claim to be a shadow prophet
For sometime after making his prophetic claim, Mirza projected himself as a zilli nabi (shadow prophet), implying that even though the door to prophet-hood was still open, no one could be invested with it directly as in the past but only through endorsement and certification by Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H), whom God had called Khatim-un-Nabiyyin in the Quran. He interpreted this appellation to mean, not “the last of all Prophets” as universally believed by the Muslim Ummah on the basis of undisputed evidence from the Quran itself as well as numerous ahadith, but the “seal of prophets” which was intended to endorse or ratify the prophet-hood of others. Thus, in turn, also implied that persons could and in fact would appear after Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) whom the latter would certify with his “seal”. According to Mirza, the criterion for such certification was to be the concerned person’s strict and consistent adherence to the Prophet’s shariah, as he claimed to have done himself.
Full prophet with a shariah
After remaining a shadow prophet for some time, Mirza finally proceeded to take a step about which even the most accomplished ulama and Awlia (Saints) of the Ummah shuddered to think. He put forward a claim to be a full-fledged prophet of Allah with his own shariah (canonical code), and also Khatim-un-Nabiyyin (the last of the prophets). He thus ventured to transgress that most hallowed boundary which even Angel Gabriel had excused himself from crossing on the night of the Holy Prophet’s Miraj (Ascension) to the high heavens, and where the Mashaikh of the Ummah dared not to breath with ease.
In the words of a Persian poet,
“There exists a place commanding the highest respect below the sky (i.e., the tomb of Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H), which is holier that even the Throne of Allah;
Even (such sublime personalities as) Junaid (of Baghdad) and Bayazid (of Bastam) approach this place with held breath”.
In his book titled “Eik Ghalati Ka Izalah”, Mirza wrote:
“Many a time have I told people that in consonance with the Quranic ayah (Surah Al-Juma-Ayah 3) (Translation: Along with others who have not yet joined them__ LXII, 3), I am symbolically the last of the prophets, that god named me Muhammad and Ahmad twenty years ago, and also that He pronounced me to be Prophet Muhammad himself. So when the Promised Messiah and Muhammad are one and the same in record of Allah, when they possess the same dignity, status, mission as well as name, and when there is no duality or difference between them except of a verbal nature only, how far removed from truth it would be for people to deny that the Promised Messiah is none but Muhammad himself”.
(Excerpt published in the journal Al-Fazl dated 16 September 1915).
In his book Haqiqat-ul-Wahi, Mirza also interpreted a number of Quranic verses addressed to or glorifying Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) as having in fact been revealed concerning himself. These verses are listed below:
Translation: “Say (O Muhammad, to mankind): If ye love Allah, follow me; Allah (too) will then love you”. (III, 31)
Translation: “He hath no partner. This I am commanded, and I am first of those who surrender (to Him)”. (VI, 164).
Translation: “And thou (O Muhammad) threwest not (dust in the enemies eyes) when thou didst throw, but Allah threw (it)”. (VIII, 17)
Translation: “Glorified be He who carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship (the Holy Kaabah in Makkah) to the Far Distant Place of Worship (Jerusalem)”. (XVII, 1)
We sent thee not (O Prophet!) save as a mercy for the worlds. (XXI, 107)
Translation: “Yaaseen. By the wise Quran, Lo! Thou art of those sent, on a straight path”. (XXXVI, 1-4)
Translation: ” Lo! We have given thee (O Muhammad) a signal victory, that Allah may forgive thee of thy sin, that which is past and that which is to come”.
Translation: “Lo! Those who swear allegiance unto thee (O Muhammad) swear allegiance (in fact) to Allah. The hand of Allah is above their hands”. (XLVIII, 10)
Translation: “He it is who hath sent His messenger with the guidance and religion of truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all religions”. (XLVIII, 28)
Translation: ” Then he drew nigh and came down, until he was (distant) two bows’ length or even nearer”. (LIII, 8-9)
Translation: “And bringing good tidings of a messenger who cometh after me, whose name is Ahmad (the Praised One)”. (LXI, 6)
Translation: ” Lo! We have sent unto you a messenger as witness against you, even as We sent unto Pharaoh a messenger”. (LXXIII,15)
Translation: “Lo! We have given thee abundance”. (CVIII,1)
To minimize the repugnance (from the Islamic point of view) of these unfamiliar and far fetched claims, the argument was given that Mirza was Muhammad and Ahmad himself and no separate personality. Some examples of this:
“He (i.e., Mirza) derives his inspiration, not from his own self but from the fountain-head of his Prophet and not from his own but his Prophet’s glory. That is why his name is Muhammad and Ahmad in the heaven, implying that the prophethood of Muhammad has passed on to Muhammad himself, and to non else, even though this was done in a symbolic sense.”
(Eik Ghalati ka Izalah)
“ And know ye that just as our Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) was sent amongst the five thousandth (in the sequential order?), so did he descend (again) amongst the six thousandth by assuming the symbolic form of the Promised Messiah. Thus whoever denies this reality in fact denies the Truth and the Word of the Quran. And the truth is that the prophethood of Muhammad at the end of the six-thousandth, i.e., at the present time, is far more perfect, strong, and powerful than his earlier prophethood. It is indeed like the full moon in its ascendant”.
Khutba-e-Ilhamiyah, The Inspired Discourse
“ It is obligatory for every believer that the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) was deputed by Allah on his mission twice, in the same manner as he is enjoined to believe in Allah’s other commands.”
“ Whoever made a distinction between me and the Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H), and considered the two as separate entities, did not recognize, see, or understand me”.
-“The shadow (i.e., the reflected image) never gets detached from the original self. Since I am Muhammad in the reflected sense, the seal of finality of prophethood has not been broken by my arrival. Prophethood has continued to be vested in Muhammad as before, and no one but him can claim to own it.___ In other words, since I am symbolically Muhammad himself, and all his accomplishments and attributes, including his prophethood, and reflected in my “mirror”, where is the other human being who has put forward a claim to prophethood? You are obliged to accept this fact as true, since in the Prophet’s ahadith it is clearly set down that the Promised Mahdi would resemble the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) in physical creation as well as character, that he would be named Muhammad and Ahmad, and also that he would be from among the members of the Prophet’s household.
Note: The history of my ancestors proves that one of my paternal grandmothers belonged to Bani Fatima (i.e., off-spring of the Prophet’s daughter Fatima (R.A)). This fact was certified by the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) himself, who named me Salman in a dream, and said that like his grandson Hasan I would be instrumental in bringing about peace on two fronts, viz., (i) in suppressing dissension and hatred within the Muslim community, and (ii) in not only defeating the designs of outside forces inimical to Islam but, also by projecting the greatness and virtues of Islam to them and bringing them round to this faith. It appears furthermore that I am also the Salman named in the Prophet’s hadith, since the prophecy of bringing about “two peaces” is not applicable to Salman the Companion of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H).
On the basis of the divine revelation, I also hereby affirm that I am from among the Bani Faris (children of Persia), and that according to another ahadith, the Bani Faris also rank among the Children of Israel and the Ahl-e-Bait (members of the Prophet’s Household)”.
(Eik Ghalati ka Izalah)
Wahi (revelation), Ilham (inspiration) and predictions of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Having made a claim to full prophethood, Mirza proceeded to take all those steps which he considered necessary to substantiate that claim. These included assertions that he was receiving wahi (divine revelation), ilham (inspiration), and kashf (vision) in the manner of other prophets. This is borne out, inter alia, by the following poem reproduced on page 287 of the collection of his poetry titled Durr-e-Thamin (The Precious Pearl):
(By God, whatever I hear through divine revelation, I consider it to be free from error).
(I regard it errorless like Quran, and this is (part of) my faith).
(By God, this is Glorious Quran. Which is from the mouth of the One and pure God Himself).
In another book Arba’in No.4, he wrote that had as full a belief in divine revelations to himself as he had in the Torah, the Bible and the Quran. In Haqiqatul Wahi, he wrote:
“God’s revelations to me are so numerous that they would cover 20 chapters if compiled”.
“The angel A’il came to me. (Note: Allah has named Gabriel as A’il here because he comes again and again). He chose me, spun his finger and said to me that God’s promise had been fulfilled, and that blessed would be he who receives and witnesses it”.
(The followers of Mirza give the name Kitab-ul-Mubeen (the Manifest book) to the collection of his wahi and inspirations. This is in fact the appellation used by Allah for the Quran in the Holy Book itself).
In addition to wahi, Mirza also claimed to receive ilham (inspiration) from time to time. In his book Izalatul Awham, he had described at some length the various types of ilhamat, and the condition of those who receive them as follows:
“Ilham is of two kinds: Rahmani (Divine) and Shaitani (Satanic). The former ilham is accompanied by divine light and blessings. The latter is, however, influenced by the inspired person’s own hopes and wishes. This happens especially when he entertains in his mined a hidden desire to have a certain ilham which is in line with his own inclination. In such a situation, Satan intervenes and makes some words issue from him which are in effect satanic words, but which the inspired person construes as divine words. Such satanic intervention occurs sometimes in the wahi of God’s apostle and messengers also, but the words resulting from it are struck off instantly by divine intervention”.
“ I have seen many persons who consider every voice that come to them to be ilham; in fact, such voices are little more than confused dreams. Every voice that one hears cannot be regarded as the voice of God, unless it is accompanied by the light and blessings that characterize that sacred Word of God”.
“ Until and unless the inner dirt and pollution are got rid of and person reaches the stage when this world and its attraction appear to him even less significant than a dead worm, and unless Allah becomes for him the sole Object and Raison d’etre of all his words and deeds, no one can attain that station where he can hear the voice of Allah”.
(Mirza Sahib’s pronouncement published in the Al-Hakam Newspaper dated 31 March 1903).
In his book Haqiqatul Wahi, Mirza classified the receivers of ilham into three categories, viz. : (i) those who possess no skills and have no relationship with God, but who sometimes see true dreams and experience kashf (clairvoyance or inner vision) by true virtue of their mental attributes only; (ii) those who have some but not a perfect relationship with God; and (iii) those who burn their carnal desires in the fire of God’s love and opt for a life of bitterness and hardship solely for His sake. He simultaneously claimed to have been placed by God in the last-named category, “not because of any effort on my part but even while I was in my mother’s womb”.
Some specimens of Mirza’s ilhamat (inspirations) and of his “cognition” of Allah:
– My God pledged allegiance unto me. (“Dafi-ul-Bala”, The Repeller of Calamity).
– (God said to me): “O sun, O moon! Thou art from me and I am from thee.” (Haqiqat-ul-Wahi)
– (i) Thou art like a son to Me”.
(ii) Listen to me My Son. (Al-Bushra, Vol. 1)
(How brazenly this negates the Quranic assertion that Allah begetteth no, nor was He begotten, (CXII,3) ).
– I am with the Messenger. I reply; I make errors, and I (also) do the right things.
– (God said to me:) “Your name, and not Mine, would be perfected”.
– “(Such is thy greatness that) if thou decideth to do something, and orderest it to be, it shall be”.
– “Thou art from Our water, while they are from dryness”.
– “The earth and the sky are with thee, as they are with Me”.
(It may be mentioned that the aforesaid so-called “inspirations” are not only flagrantly blasphemous, in that they elevate Mirza to the position of virtual equality with God Himself; there are blatant errors of grammar and diction also in the Arabic language in which they are couched).
– “Allah praises thee from His Throne, and comes to thee”.
– “Like Mary, the spirit of Jesus was breathed into me, and I was allegorically made pregnant! After no more than 10 months, I was transformed from Mary to Jesus. In this way, I am the son of Mary!”
– “We give thee tidings of a son, who will be such a manifestation of truth and loftiness as if God Himself had descended from heaven!”
(Istafta, The Verdict by Mirza himself)
– I yet another ilham quoted in A’ina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam (Mirror of the Accomplishment of Islam), he said he had dreamt that he was Allah Himself and had created the sky and earth!
– In Al-Bushra, (Vol. II) he wrote: “Allah revealed that He will say His prayers, shall observe fast, shall wake, and shall sleep”.
In volume 1 of the same book, he wrote: “God will descend in Qadian”.
– In dafi-ul-Bala, he said: “He is the true God, who sent His messenger to Qadian”.
– In Ijaz-e-Ahmadi (The Miracle of Ahmad i.e., Ghulam Ahmad), the following ilham was quoted: “ News about thy coming is there in Quran and the Hadith. The Quranic ayah (He it is who sent His Messenger with correct guidance and the true religion, so that He may cause it to prevail over all the other religions) (IX, 33) pertains to thee”.
– I saw (in a dream) that I was in a jungle, and was surrounded by many kinds of beasts such as monkeys and swine, whom I construed to be the people of the Ahmadi community (i.e., his own followers!).
(Quoted in Paigham-e-Sulh Newspaper, dated 7 April 1934)
– When Mirza Sahib needed money to finance his planned second marriage, he received loans of Rs. 500 and Rs. 300 from two different parties as a result of an ilham!
Many of Mirza’s ilhamats are in the form of predictions, which Mirza put forward as criteria and signs of his truth. Some of these predictions, and the fate they met in each case are reproduced in the succeeding, paragraphs. It will be seen that unlike the prediction of Allah’s true prophets of the past which were invariably proved to be correct, a large majority of Mirza’s predictions turned out to be wrong.
(i) Divine inspiration revealed to me that a son will be born to Muhammadi Begum, wife of Mian Manzur Muhammad, who will be given on of the following four names: Bashiruddawlah, Alam-e-Kabab, Shadi Khan, Kalimatulah Khan. (Al-Bushra, Vol. II).
– (In fact, a daughter and not a son was born to the lady in question on 17 July 1906. being a master of adroitly explaining away such perverted happenings, Mirza claimed that the birth of a daughter instead of a son was a result of his own prayer too.