THE NARRATIVE OF THE TWO MARTYRDOMS
It was during the time I had been continuously receiving this revelation and supported by clear and powerful signs my claim, of being the Promised Messiah with all the proofs, was made known to the world at large that my books, somehow, reached a venerable sage of Khost, Akhwandzadah, Maulvi Abdul Latif by name studied all the arguments that I had advanced therein with the Divine support and which were adduced from documentary evidence that appealed to reason. As this noble sage possessed the heart that was pure and being a man of clear understanding, piety and fear of God, he did not feel any compunction in accepting my claim. His pure conscience readily accepted that I was really sent by God and that my claim was true. He, therefore, began to give great importance to my books and held these in great esteem. His pure and determined soul continued to be drawn towards me. He found it very hard to endure living at such a great distance away from me and very much longed to pay me a visit. As a result of this longing and love for me he made up his mind to go for the Haj. He was a very distinguished scholar and was, therefore, greatly revered by the Amir, the Ulama and the divines. The Amir (king) not only granted him the desired permission but, in addition, gave him a considerable sum of money for the proposed journey. After this permission he arrived at Qadian to see me. I declare this on the oath of Allah, Who is the Master of my life, that I found him to be incomparably sincere and honest in his adherence to me and in accepting my claim. His love and affection could be likened to a clear crystal phial of the most fragrant perfume. Indeed, I found him to be most sincere in his love for me. His heart, like his radiant face, was very pure. The most enviable quality that the deceased sage possessed was that he always gave preference to matters of faith over all worldly affairs. He was, without the least doubt, from among those true and righteous persons who, through fear of God, piety and obedience to Him, endeavour to reach the highest point of rectitude; those who, for acquiring God's pleasure, would voluntarily and gladly sacrifice their lives, their reputation, their glory and their possessions as if all these were mere chaff as compared to seeking the pleasure of Allah. His zeal and enthusiasm for the faith was so highly advanced that it would not be an exaggeration if it was likened to a lofty mountain and even this resemblance would fall short of reality. This is because quite a large number of men, even after accepting someone as their preceptor, lack practical proof of their fidelity. They are the ones who have not yet cleansed themselves from poisonous traces. There is still in them a grievous, languishing attachment for mundane matters in their hearts which are not yet purified. They pine for prestige and wealth and possessions of this world and for inferior desires. That is why I have an aversion to accepting contributions from them for the faith, lest they should falter and stumble and break their oaths of allegiance. On the other hand, I fail to find adequate words of praise for this venerable sage who, for the sake of obedience and fidelity to me, has sacrificed everything-his possessions, and his reputation and even his life, as if all these things were merely inconsequential. How often I find that the beginning and the end of many a person is not in harmony. Owing to trivial reasons, some satanic insinuations or to evil influence of bad company, they fall away and cut themselves asunder. But the loyalty of this extraordinary man, I am unable to describe fully. Every moment he went from strength to strength in his faith in me.
I asked this sage when he first came to me as to how he was drawn to me and how did he accept my claim. He replied, 'Above all other things, it was the Holy Quran which guided me towards you.' And he said: 'I had already reached the conclusion that the period through which we were passing was the period in which a great majority of Muslims had gone astray and had lost their momentum, vigour and power. No doubt, they outwardly called themselves Muslims, but their hearts were devoid of true faith and their actions did not at all conform to what they professed. Moreover the diverse attacks on Islam had taken a very serious turn and souls without number lay inert under the darkness of ignorance as if they were really and truly dead. True faith and fear of God, that the Holy Prophet had infused into the minds of his companions and followers, had disappeared totally. Truth, piety and faith that those people had acquired does not now appear to exist in these. The few exceptions that one comes across do not deserve serious consideration. I perceived that the faith of Islam appeared to be dead and the state of its affairs demanded the appearance of a Reformer and, in fact, I was indeed becoming restless and thought to myself that time was slipping away very fast. It was then that I heard that someone from Qadian, in the province of Punjab, had claimed to be the Promised Messiah. With very great difficulty I managed to get hold of some of your books and began to study them very carefully and with an open mind. I then referred all your claims to the Holy Quran and found that each and every word written by you was fully supported by the Word of God. The point that first made me lean towards your views was that the Holy Quran declares, on the one hand, that Prophet Jesus was dead and shall never come back; and on the other hand the Word of God gives a clear promise to the Muslims that God shall continue sending Successors and Reformers at the time of their degeneration, as He had done with the Mosaic dispensation. Now, therefore, as one of these Mosaic Successors, Prophet Jesus, peace be on him, was the last to be raised among them and he was not permitted to raise the sword, similarly a Successor of that type shall also appear in the latter days of Islam.'
Many more talks of wisdom and sagacity did I hear from this sage, some of these I do remember still and some have escaped my memory. He stayed with me for a number of months and showed so much interest in my discourses that he decided to stay in my company rather than go for the Haj, saying that knowledge has precedence over deeds and he further added: I stand in need of knowledge and wisdom which is a source of strength to one's faith.
I, on my part, found him very eager for knowledge and I tried to expound to him matters of the faith and explained that the verse of the Quran: We have sent you a Messenger who is a witness over you even as We sent a Messenger to Pharaoh (73:16), clearly means that We sent to you a Messenger who is a witness over you and points out to you your evils and your weaknesses exactly as We had sent a Witness to Pharaoh. In this verse Allah has likened the caliphate of 'succession' in the Muhammadan dispensation to that of the Mosaic dispensation. In order to establish a minimal similarity it is imperative that the 'Like-of-Moses' should initiate this dispensation and the 'Like-of-Jesus' should come at the end. The divines who stand opposed to us admit that the Islamic dispensation began with the Prophet who was the 'Like-of-Moses', but they obstinately refuse to admit that it shall also end with a 'Successor' like Jesus. In this matter they purposely disregard the Holy Quran.
Is it not true that the Holy Quran declares the Holy Prophet, peace be on him, to be the 'Like-of-Moses' and clearly and emphatically asserts in the verse AS WE HAD SENT SUCCESSORS BEFORE THEM that the system of 'succession' in Islam is similar to that which existed in the Mosaic dispensation? It, therefore, totally and emphatically proves that a 'Like-of-Jesus' must also appear at the end of the Islamic dispensation. And because with the proof of similarities in the beginning and at the end, total similarity of the two orders is necessarily established, God has in the earlier Scriptures also laid a particular stress on these two similarities inasmuch as the similarity between the adversaries of the two dispensations is also established.
Abu Jahl has also been likened to the Pharaoh of Moses and the people who would oppose the latter Messiah have also been likened to the accursed Jews. It has also been subtly pointed out in the above verse that the last successor of the Holy Prophet, peace be on him, shall appear at the time which shall bear great resemblance to the time when Jesus appeared after Moses, that is to say, in the fourteenth century after him. This is because the word 'Kama' demands a similarity in the time factor also.
All the Jewish sects unanimously agree that Jesus made his claim in the fourteenth century after Moses, though the Protestants hold that when Jesus announced himself to be the Messiah, only a few years had passed of the fifteenth century after Moses. But this view of the Protestants does not hold water against the unanimous verdict of Jewry. Even if we accept this Christian view the difference of a few years is of little consequence. As a matter of fact, a slight variation helps to prove the point much better.
Similarly, the Islamic dispensation, as is verified by the Holy Quran, must have a similarity to the Mosaic dispensation in all points, good as well as bad. This fact is also mentioned in the Holy Quran. As, for instance, referring to the Jews the Holy Quran says: That He may then see how you behave (7:130), and at another place referring to the Muslims it is said: That we might see how you behave (10:15). Both these verses mean that God would bestow on both the glory of religion and also of civil rule after which He would see how they behaved, whether they are righteous or not. The same words are used for the Muslims as well as the Jews. What better proof is then required to show that Allah had likened some of the Muslims to the Jews and had clearly indicated that some Muslims-the Ulema-would be guilty of the same crimes as were committed by the divines of the Jews on whom descended the wrath of Allah as is mentioned in the Fatiha.
All the commentators are unanimous on the point that it is the Jews who are mentioned in the verse: Those who incurred the displeasure of Allah and who are punished by Allah because they denied Jesus and persecuted him. According to the authentic Ahadeeth the words: Those who incurred the wrath of Allah, refer to the Jews who became the object of the wrath of God in this very world. The Holy Quran is also a witness to the fact that the Jews were made an accursed people through the tongue of Jesus, peace be on him. It is, therefore, certain and definite that the words: 'Those who incurred the wrath of Allah', mean only the Jews who attempted to kill Jesus on the cross.
Now that the Muslims have been taught to seek refuge with Allah from walking in the footsteps of those Jews who incurred the wrath of Allah attempting to kill Jesus on the cross, it is a clear pointer to the predestined appearance of 'Jesus' among the Muslims also. If it was not to be so what was there the need of teaching such a prayer to the Muslims?
These verses having established that there shall come a time when some of the Muslim divines shall behave like the Jewish theologians, it would be most unreasonable and illogical to say that Jesus son of Mary shall be called down from heaven to reform and regenerate the Muslims. That would constitute a clear and direct infringement of the Seal of Prophethood. The Holy Quran calls the Holy Prophet, the Seal of the Prophets in definite terms and it also describes the Muslims as the best of all peoples. It would, therefore, be an ignominy of the worst kind that in their degenerated state the Muslims should become like the accursed Jews, but that a Jesus should come as their Reformer not from among themselves but from outside. If it be true that there shall come a time when some of the Muslim divines shall begin to walk in the footsteps of the Jews, then it must also be necessarily true that a REFORMER who shall come to reform them will not come from outside but will be a Muslim who will be named Jesus.
It cannot be denied that both the Holy Quran and the Traditions bestow the epithet 'Jews' on some of the Muslims. This is evident from the verse: Those who incurred His displeasure. If some of the Muslims were not going to tread the path of the Jews, Allah would not have taught them this prayer. From the time God commenced sending down His Books it has been observed that whenever He commands a people to refrain from certain acts, as for instance: Thou shalt not commit adultery; Thou shalt not steal or Thou shalt not follow in the ways of the Jews, the prohibition always entails the prophecy that some of the people would commit those sins or crimes. There has been no instance that God had warned a people against a certain transgression and the entire people meticulously abstained from that transgression. Some of them always commit the sin that is forbidden. Take, for example, the fact that Allah had commanded the Jews not to pervert the Torah. But they did become guilty of perversion of the Book.
As opposed to this, Allah has nowhere in the Holy Quran forbidden the Muslims the perversion of their Holy Book. On the contrary, He gave His promise: Verily, We have Ourselves sent down this Exhortation, and most surely We will be its Guardian (15:10). That is the reason why the Holy Quran has ever remained free from all types of interpolations and perversions.
It is, therefore, without the least doubt, an established divine tradition that whenever God commands His people, in any of His Books, to refrain from certain evil acts or to do certain good deeds, He has it in the store of His infinite knowledge that some people will disobey His command. Therefore, when God taught us this prayer in the Chapter Al-Fatihah, He warned us lest we should ape the Jews who had tried to kill Jesus on the cross. It was implicit that in His infinite knowledge there would be some, who, having assumed the roll of leadership among the Muslims, would deny the Jesus of their time, and through their mischievous acts and intrigues, they would array themselves in the ranks of the Jews. If this was not to come to pass, there was no need for this prayer.
It is obvious that this did not mean that the religious leaders of the Muslims would ethnically become Jews and would try to crucify Jesus who passed away from this world a long time before. Neither those Jews are alive today nor is Jesus son of Mary. It is, therefore, quite evident that a future event is indicated in this verse and it is predicted that in the latter days someone will appear in the power and spirit of Jesus and that some Muslim divines of his time will persecute and disparage him as Jesus was persecuted in his time by the Jews.
Some authentic traditions indicate that the phrase 'becoming like Jews' means that Muslim priests also will adopt the despicable ways and evil habits of the Jewish priests of the time of Jesus. Although they would call themselves Muslims, yet they would be no better than the Jews; their hearts will be tarnished with the traits of the Jews who had become the object of God's wrath, because they had persecuted Jesus. It is, therefore, not preposterous to presume that whereas these Muslims shall become the 'like of the Jews'-the accursed ones-the Messiah who shall come to reform them shall be from outside their own fold. This idea is totally contrary to the tenor of the Holy Quran. By pitching the Mosaic dispensation against the Muhammadan dispensation means that the Muslims in all matters, good and evil, shall become the like of the Jews and shall tread the same path. Moreover the verse: Unlike those who incurred Thy displeasure, clearly indicates that the Muslims will, like the Jews, disparage and deny the true Messenger that God shall send to them. They would not only deny him but would also try to get him killed and oppose him with all their might. For this reason they would be reckoned in heaven to have incurred the displeasure of Allah exactly like the Jews who opposed Jesus and denied him and on account of their misbehaviour the epidemic of plague visited them as their punishment, and they were ultimately annihilated totally by Titus the Roman.
The verse: Unlike those who incurred Thy displeasure, is, therefore, a clear warning that some of the opponents will be chastised by Allah in this very world, because on the Day of Judgment all the disbelievers shall be under the wrath of God and incur His displeasure. What is, therefore, the reason that Allah has named as 'accursed ones', particularly those Jews who tried to kill Jesus on the cross? It must be remembered that they were particularly defined as 'those who had the displeasure of Allah', because the wrath of God had descended on them in this very world; and it was for this reason that the Muslims were, in Chapter Al-Fatihah, taught to pray that they might not follow the ways of the Jews. This was, indeed, a prophecy which clearly indicated that, at the coming of the Muslim Messiah, the prototype of the Jews will be born among them and on whom the wrath of Allah shall descend while they are on earth.
The above prayer, therefore, signifies that it is destined that a Messiah shall be born from among you and that to oppose him there shall appear the like-of-Jews on whom the wrath of Allah shall descend, even in this world. Pray, therefore, so that you may not be reckoned among those accursed Jews.
It must also be remembered that every non-believer shall incur the displeasure of Allah on the Day of Reckoning. But in this context, displeasure means the punishment that shall be meted out to the guilty ones in this world; that is to say, the Jews who persecuted Jesus and who, according to the Holy Quran, were cursed by Him and were consequently punished in this world. They were first destroyed by the scourge of plague and those that survived were decimated and scattered away by the Roman Titus. Therefore, the words: Unlike those who incurred the displeasure of Allah, imply that there shall be a section of the Muslims who shall walk in the ways of the Jews and shall deny the Messiah who shall appear in the power and spirit of the former Messiah and who shall neither wage holy wars nor take up the sword, but, instead, preach and propagate the holy teachings of his faith aided by heavenly Signs; and, furthermore, the denial of this latter Messiah shall also be the cause of plagues and of all that the earlier Prophets had foretold shall be fulfilled.
The prevalent notion that the very same Jesus son of Mary shall appear in the latter days is contrary to the teachings of the Holy Quran. Whoever studies the Holy Quran, with the fear of God in his heart and truly ponders over it with sagacity and fair-mindedness, shall see the truth like the light of the day and will admit that God has raised the Muslim nation truly parallel to the followers of Prophet Moses and that the good points of the one are analogous to the other. Among the Muslims there are those who resemble the prophets of the Mosaic dispensation, while there are those who are the prototype of the Jews who have incurred the wrath of Allah. This likeness could also be expressed in a simile of a well-designed house with beautifully furnished rooms befitting a person of very high culture and from which house a portion is set aside for toilets, gutters, drains and sewage. A little later, the owner of the house desires to erect another house similar to the first. Islam could easily be likened to the second house. Whereas the first house was indeed the house of Moses, the new palace, however, is quite independent of the first house. The Holy Quran does not stand in need of any assistance from the Torah, nor is the Islamic dispensation, in any way, subservient to the Mosaic dispensation. Every exalted saint that is born among the Muslims gets his enlightenment and guidance direct through the Holy Prophet, peace be on him, and the revelations of this saint are always a reflection of the revelations of the Holy Prophet, his master. This is a point that must be properly understood and its true purport be thoroughly digested. It is a great pity that our opponents try to drag Jesus back to this world and totally fail to realise that in the resemblance mentioned above, Islam only enjoys the pride of similitude and does not suffer the debasement of being sub-servient to an Israelite Prophet for its renaissance.
Moreover, it is highly absurd to lay stress on such a notion which has no precedent nor enjoys any support from the Holy Quran. The disbelievers, as is mentioned in the Holy Quran, had asked the Holy Prophet, peace be on him, to ascend bodily to heaven, but God totally rejected this demand and commanded him to say: Holy is my Creator, I am no more than a man and a Prophet (17:94). Was Jesus not a man? Why was he then raised to heaven without even a request from his people and compatriots?
The Holy Quran only mentions a 'Raising towards Allah' which is an entirely spiritual concept and does not at all mean 'being raised bodily to heaven'. The Jews contended that anyone who was hanged on the cross and died on it could never be exalted by Allah as He exalted all the Prophets. This was their contention that required to be refuted. How has the Quran refuted it? The point of contention was that the Jews claimed to have hanged Jesus on the cross and had crucified him. They insisted that as Jesus died on the cross he could never have been exalted by Allah. He was, therefore, not like all the Prophets, an exalted person. They claimed that he was neither a true believer nor did he attain salvation. It was necessary that the Holy Quran should act as the arbiter and give a ruling on this issue. The Quran, therefore, gave this ruling and declared that Jesus also, like all the other Prophets, was exalted by Allah. It was of the utmost importance that the ruling in this matter should have come from Allah. If He has not given His verdict on this matter in these verses, where else has He then settled this issue? Could we, God forbid, possibly attribute such a confusion and misjudgment to Allah in this matter that while the Jews persisted in their claim that Jesus was not a godly person at all, He delivered an irrelevant ruling that Jesus was sitting in the second heaven in his physical body? It is universally known that corporal ascension to heaven is not a pre-condition for a person s salvation. Only spiritual exaltation is the essential criterion.
In order to settle this dispute, it was necessary to stress that Jesus was, God forbid, not an accursed person. He had, on the contrary, attained spiritual exaltation. Moreover, the word 'Tawaffi' (cause to die) in the Quran, placed before 'Rafa' (raised) clearly indicates the exaltation that every believer attains after his death. To interpret the word 'Tawaffi' as bodily ascent to heaven is stretching the meaning too far tantamount to a manifest interpolation and an extremely grave misrepresentation of the Holy Quran, following the manner of the Jews. The word 'Tawaffi' is used in the Quran as well as in the authentic Traditions to mean only extraction of the soul from a living body (i.e. cause to die). Nowhere has it been used to mean that a person has been taken up alive bodily into heaven.
If we accepted the above interpretation of our opponents, we would have also to admit that the death of Jesus has not at all been mentioned anywhere in the Holy Quran and that he is going to live for ever; because wherever the word 'Tawaffi' may occur in respect of Jesus, it would always mean 'going to heaven in his physical body'. How could then his death be ever proved?
If it was physically possible for men to come down to this world for the second time, why did Allah place Jesus in an awkward position before the Jews? When he claimed to be the Messiah for them, they rejected him saying that it was mentioned in the Book of Malachi that the Messiah would appear only after the second coming of Elias to the earth. They argued that as Elias had not come down from heaven they were not prepared to accept his claim of being the Messiah. In reply to this, Jesus said that John, whom the Muslims call Yahya, was the Elias that had been promised. Hearing this answer, the Jews flew into a rage and there and then denounced him as an imposter. Since that time they have continued denouncing him in their books, some of which I also have with me. They state that if God were to ask them on the Day of Judgment why they had rejected Jesus, they would produce the Book of Malachi before Him and say: Lord, Thou hadst told us clearly that until Prophet Elias came down to the earth again, the Messiah of the Israelites would not appear. Elias never came down. We, therefore, refused to accept that man. We were never told that 'unless the like of Elias appeared' the advent of the true Messiah would not take place. We were definitely told without any ambiguity that the second coming of the selfsame Elias must precede the appearance of the Messiah; and that never did happen.
This learned Jew, whose book I have in my possession, takes great pride in this argument of his and appeals to the public, one and all, saying: Could anyone accept a pretender who based his claim only on personal interpretation and, for no apparent reason, represented his teacher John as Elias? The author then flares up and mentions Jesus in such disparaging terms as we cannot even think of quoting here. Had the Holy Quran not been revealed, the Jews would have apparently been justified in their contention; because in actual fact the Book of Malachi does not mention that a 'Like-of-Elias' shall appear before the advent of the Messiah. On the other hand, it is clearly stated that the re-appearance of Elias before the advent of the Messiah was absolutely essential. Under these circumstances, the Christians, though they strive to deify Jesus, cannot even prove that he was a true prophet. The Jews appear to be holding the correct view. The Christians are, therefore, under a great obligation to the Holy Quran for disclosing the truth that Jesus was, indeed, a true Prophet of God.
It still remains to be answered that when the Book of Malachi mentions clearly that so long as Elias did not come down the Messiah that had been promised to the Children of Israel would not appear in this world, how then could the Jews, in the face of this affirmation, be blamed for rejecting Jesus and declaring him to be a pretender, a renegade and an atheist? Does it not reflect the honesty of their intention that they had acted in conformity with the word of Malachi that a 'Like-of-Elias' would appear? Therefore, the claim that John the Baptist was the 'Like-of-Elias' was not worth arguing about.
The answer is that the Jews knew perfectly well that it was not the Divine practice to send anyone back to the earth after he had died. A physical return to the earth was a thing absolutely out of the question. What had been stated in the Book of Malachi was only a figure of speech, like so many other things mentioned metaphorically in the Scriptures. The Jews were certainly not strangers to such metaphorical statements. Moreover, Jesus had so many Signs of God in his support. All these had furnished ample proof for right-minded persons to recognise and accept him. But the Jews continuously became more and more mischievous. They must have witnessed the light that always accompanies the true servants of God, yet they became more obstinate, more mean and more wicked.
It must be borne in mind that the above mentioned plea could only be made in favour of the Jews alone who had to face such a dilemma for the first time. But the Muslims, if they have any fear of God, have been saved such a trial because the Holy Quran has unequivocally declared that Jesus is dead. It has been also explained very clearly in the Chapter 'Al-Maidah that Jesus shall never return to the world. The words When Thou didst cause me to die show that it will be enquired from Jesus on the Day of Judgment whether it was he who had commanded his people to worship him and his mother as two deities. In reply, Jesus would state: Lord, had I said anything to that effect, Thou wouldst have known about it, because Thy knowledge encompasses everything. I had told them nothing except what Thou had commanded me to say. But when Thou had caused me to die, Thou alone, then, watched over them. How could I know of their conduct when I was no more among them?
Now if this notion has to be taken as true that Jesus would really come back to this world before the Day of Judgment and live on this earth for 40 years and engage himself in breaking the cross and fighting against Christians, how would he possibly state before God on the Day of Judgment that he was totally unaware of what the Christians had adopted as the basic part of their faith after he had passed away? If he would say that he did not know, he would then indeed be the biggest liar of the whole world. If he had come down to earth for the second time and had seen that the Christians believed in him to be a god and worshipped him, and for which reason he had waged wars against them, how would he possibly state before God Almighty that he did not know what his people did? Who could be a worse liar than him? His correct answer would have been: Yes, my Lord, I am fully aware of the deviation of the Christians from the right path, because on the second visit to the earth I stayed there for 40 years and shattered the cross. I am, therefore, not accountable because when I found them to be polytheists, I immediately turned against them. As a matter of fact, in the situation of Jesus having come back to the world for the second time and having stayed there for 40 years before the Day of Judgment, and having inflicted punishment on all those who had held him to be a god, such a question from God would indeed be ridiculous. If it was in the knowledge of God that Jesus had already punished his people for making him an object of worship, it would not be consonant with the dignity of God to ask such a purposeless question.
In short, had such a positive guidance been found in the Book of Malachi as Allah provided for the Muslims that Jesus was dead and would not ever return-though a 'Like-of-him' will definitely appear-the Jews would not have come to such a sorrowful end. Therefore, all those who, after knowing all these indications in the Word of God, are still watching for the second coming of Jesus are worse than the Jews of the time of Jesus.
Our Maulvis (divines) mislead the common people by saying that though the Holy Quran does not state decisively anything about this matter, yet there is ample proof available in the Traditions of the Holy Prophet which support the concept that Jesus shall come to this world again. But we most certainly do not know that we could find such evidence in the Traditions in support of the notion that the very same Israelite Prophet, whose name was Jesus and who was given the Gospels, would come in person again in the face of the fact that the Holy Prophet is the Khatam-al-Anbiya (Seal of the Prophets). If one chooses to be led merely by name 'Jesus' or 'Son-of-Mary', then it must be remembered that in the Chapter 'Al-Tahrim' of the Holy Quran, some persons from among the Muslims have also been named as 'Jesus' or the 'Son-of-Mary'. Because when God likens some of them to Mary and then He mentions the breathing of His spirit, it becomes clear that it was the spirit of Jesus that was infused into Mary. This is an indication that someone from among the Muslims, on account of his God-given inherent qualities of piety and righteousness, shall first metaphorically become Mary and then develop later into Jesus, exactly as God first called me 'Mary' in the Braheeni Ahmadiyya and later mentioned breathing into me His spirit and eventually chose to call me 'Jesus'.
The Traditions mention clearly that during the night of the Mi'raaj (spiritual ascension) the Holy Prophet had seen Jesus among the souls of the dead. The Holy Prophet then advanced forward and reached the highest point in the heaven, i.e. the Divine Throne. But he did not come across anyone with a physical body bearing the name 'Jesus'. What he saw in the company of Yahya (John the Baptist) was only his soul. It is an admitted fact that living persons do not keep company with the dead. In short, the Word of God has provided evidence concerning the death of Jesus, and the Holy Prophet has corroborated the same evidence through his own action, i.e. by reporting the fact of having seen him among the dead. If anyone does not understand even now, after what I have stated, then it is only God Who can make him understand.
The Muslims have been provided with far better guidance than the Jews, and they most certainly knew that it is not God's way to send the dead back to this world. If it were not so, we would most certainly have preferred to have our own master - the Holy Prophet -back among us; because the world stands in need of him much more than anyone else. This is a point that deserves serious attention. Why did not God send back Elias to this world for a few days, if this door was open? It could have saved millions of Jews from hellfire. It was Jesus who, in the end, explained the enigma and said that by coming back to the world was meant only coming in the power and spirit of the deceased. This interpretation of his can still be seen in the New Testament. It does not, therefore, behove wise and sensible men to walk in the paths that have already proved most deadly and dangerous and to resuscitate notions that have been finally settled. What did the Jews gain from their obstinacy except ruin and perdition? How do the Muslims hope to gain by treading the same beaten track? Why must they contemplate entering the same hole through which the people of a great nation entered, got bitten and perished? Why do they not remember the saying of the Holy Prophet that a true believer never makes the mistake of being bitten twice from the same hole? It seems that they have completely forgotten that they have to face death one day. Why do they not ponder over the Chapter of the Holy Quran which they repeat in their five daily prayers: THOSE WHO HAVE NOT INCURRED THY DISPLEASURE, AND THOSE WHO HAVE NOT GONE ASTRAY?
Why do they not bestow their thoughts on the event that happened immediately after the death of the Holy Prophet when some of his companions had begun to think that their master shall soon return to them? But Abu Bakr immediately rooted out the erroneous thought by reciting the verse: 'MUHAMMAD IS NO MORE THAN A MESSENGER AND INDEED ALL MESSENGERS HAVE PASSED AWAY BEFORE HIM.' He made it perfectly clear to them that there had not been a single Prophet who had not died and if, therefore, the Holy Prophet had also passed away, it was only the usual and natural customary course for all human beings.
It is thus quite evident that had the companions even the remotest notion in their minds concerning Jesus that he was sitting alive in heaven for the last 600 years, they would, most certainly, have disputed this point with Abu Bakr. But they all quietly and readily agreed with him. They knew that all previous Prophets had died. Even if a single person had entertained the slightest doubt concerning this matter, he would have abandoned it forthwith as totally baseless and absurd. I mention this only because there were Christians in the neighbourhood who might have put such misleading ideas in their minds; or that some simple people, who lacked real understanding, might have had some doubts about it. But one thing is quite certain and definite that the Companions, as a whole, accepted the exhortation of Abu Bakr with grace and they all agreed with him that all previous Prophets had passed away.
This was the first consensus of the Companions of the Holy Prophet, peace be on him, immediately after his death. How could they, in whom was deeply rooted the purest love and affection for their master, accept the idea if it had not been wholly true? How could they acquiesce in the notion that Jesus should be living in heaven for more than 600 years, while their own noble master did not even reach the age of 64 years? No, it would have been totally inconceivable for them to accept such supremacy of Jesus over their own noble master. The love that they cherished for their beloved master did not in the least warrant that they should have accepted such superiority in favour of Jesus. Cursed be the notion that may be derogatory of the Holy Prophet, peace be on him. His companions cherished his love dearly; they would have been shocked to death had they heard such a thing that their own Prophet, peace be on him, had passed away while Jesus was sitting alive in heaven. It was not they alone who loved him most dearly; he was even more dear to God Almighty, Who loved him more than any other Prophet. For this very reason the Christians, on account of their ill-fortune, did not accept this Messenger and exaggerated Jesus to such an extreme that they raised him to the level of God Himself. Therefore, God, in reaction, raised one out of the servants of the Holy Prophet, from among his followers, this humble one, to the position of 'The-Like-of-Jesus' and distinguished him with far more honour and grace so that the Christians may realise that all grace is in His Own power.
Another purpose in raising the 'Like-of-Jesus-Son-of-Mary' was to shatter completely the myth of the godhead of Jesus. The concept of a man going to heaven alive is totally opposed to Allah's way and is tantamount to the angels coming down to earth and settling among human beings. Thou shalt never find a change in Allah's ways (33:63).
These simpletons do not ponder over the fact that when Jesus was put on the cross, his mission was still unfulfilled as the ten Lost Tribes of the Jews were scattered over other countries and did not even know who Jesus was. How strange is the behaviour of Jesus that throwing his mission aside he went and settled in heaven.
It is still more strange that in the Muslim Scriptures Jesus is described as a great traveler. But he is supposed to have ascended to heaven after preaching for about three years in and around his native town.
It is evident that the godhead of Jesus is based only on myth. What would happen when according to the myth he will come down from heaven in the midst of the hordes of angels could be left to conjecture. Remember, he who was destined to come has already arrived at the appointed time and thus all the scriptures have been fulfilled. All the books of the earlier Prophets indicate that this is the time of the second advent of Jesus. Their books say that the Promised Messiah would appear at the end of the sixth millennium after Adam. The sixth millennium has already come to its close. The appearance of a comet is also mentioned as a sign of his advent. A considerable time has passed since this star appeared in heaven. It is also mentioned that during his time the sun and the moon shall be darkened during the month of Ramadhan. A few years ago this prediction was also fulfilled. It is also mentioned that in the time of the Promised Messiah, plague shall become rampant. This is also stated in the Gospels. We have not yet got rid of the epidemic.
The Holy Quran, the books of traditions and the old scriptures also mention that at that time new means of transport shall come into use and shall work with fire and cause the camel to become redundant. This last part of the tradition can be found in Sahih Bukhari also. This conveyance has been invented and is known as the railway train. It was also mentioned that the Promised Messiah shall appear at the beginning of this century. Anyone who denies me after witnessing all these Signs does not deny me but denies all the previous Prophets and is trying to measure swords with God Almighty. It would have been much better if such a one had never been born.
It must be borne in mind that the true cause of the calamity that befell Islam, resulting in nearly a million Muslims deserting their own faith and embracing Christianity, is the fact that they began to designate Jesus and attribute to him the exaggerated status which he never possessed. In this exaggeration they had begun to vie with the Christians and went to such a length that they strongly resented if they came across some book of history in which Jesus was shown to have possessed the same human characteristics as the Holy Prophet, peace be on him, himself possessed. For instance, everyone knows that the Holy Prophet suffered from human ailments such as fever and used to take medicines: sometime he submitted himself to horncupping treatment. But if similar things were mentioned concerning Jesus; or if someone wrote that Jesus was taken to some physician for treatment, they would at once look upon him in a strange way, wonder at his audacity and would declare that such an idea was preposterous. But the fact is that he was a humble man and subject to all human weaknesses and had four brothers also who, incidentally, denied him; and he also had two sisters and was a weak man like all his fellow beings. He had fainted on the cross when only two nails were fixed into his body.
Alas! had the Muslims accepted the verdict of the Holy Quran in respect of Jesus and had refused to believe in his second advent in his own physical body, they would not have faced so many disasters and in no time Christianity would have come to its sorrowful end. How ungrateful are we to God Who came to the rescue of Islam!
These were the ideas that I conveyed to Sahibzada Maulvi Abdul Latif Sahib, the Martyr, and the point that I explained to him at the end was that from the religious point of view, Jesus had the following sixteen distinctive peculiarities:
1. According to the old scriptures, he was a Prophet and a Messiah who had been promised to the Children of Israel.
2. Jesus had appeared at the time when the Jews had lost their independence and political power, although it is not improbable that some of them who had migrated to foreign lands might have succeeded in establishing their principalities, as is believed that they dominated in Afghanistan and Kashmir. A few centuries later, they embraced Islam and became the masters of Afghanistan and Kashmir as history bears testimony to this fact. However, at the birth of Jesus, they had lost their independence in-Palestine and were living as subjects of the Romans. There is a great resemblance between the Romans of that time and the British of today.
3. The third resemblance is that Jesus appeared at a time when the Jews were divided into many sects and, owing to their conflicts, great and bitter friction between the different sects, a great enmity existed between the various sects. No heed was paid to the Commands of the Torah. The only thing in which they agreed was the Unity of God. In matters of detail they only agreed to differ bitterly. Each sect was bitterly opposed to the other. No mediator could ever bring them to an agreement nor give a definitive verdict regarding their dogmas; and they were, therefore, anxiously awaiting the arrival of a divinely appointed arbiter who would, through divine revelation, settle their disputes. They had degenerated greatly and deterioration had taken so deep a root in their beliefs that not even one of these sects could be said to be rightly guided. Their concepts had become such hopeless admixtures of truth and falsehoods that it became impossible to differentiate between right and wrong. This was the main reason why every single sect opposed Jesus tooth and nail. Every sect wished that Jesus would support and confirm only their views and declare them alone to be pious and righteous. Each of them wished that Jesus would condemn the others to be renegades. But no Prophet could ever commit such a crime of duplicity.
4. Fourthly that Jesus son of Mary had not been commanded to fight in the name of religion; and the religion of Moses had lost face in the eyes of the Romans and the Greeks since it had used violence for various excuses as a means of its propagation.
This is why till today their books contain repeated criticism against the religion of Moses that thousands of infants were put to death under his directions and the directions of his successor Joshua. And the wars fought by David and other Prophets further strengthen these criticisms.
Such harsh measures became abhorrent to human nature. Therefore, when these views reached the people of other religions in their extreme, God Almighty decided to send a Prophet who would propagate the faith with peace and nonviolence in order to placate them concerning the Torah. That Prophet of Peace was Jesus son of Mary.
5. The fifth point is that the religious leaders of the Jews had become extremely wicked and corrupt when Jesus was called to his ministry. Their deeds did not conform to their exhortations. Their prayers and their fastings reflected hypocrisy. They had grown extremely power-hungry and being Roman subjects they would grovel like worthless worms before their superiors and would go to any length to acquire material gains. They had no scruples about their methods and for personal gains used deceit, misappropriation, giving false evidence and announcing spurious rulings as jurists. Apart from adorning themselves in fine ritual robes and feigning piety, they possessed no vestige of spiritual righteousness. They coveted prestige in the eyes of their Roman superiors and indulged in all sorts of intrigues and had become well-versed and ingenious in sycophancy through which they managed to grab some high positions. Some of them even contrived to carve out subservient principalities and ruled over their brethren as petty kings. They hankered after mundane Gains and were totally devoid of real honour which can only be acquired through walking in the way of God by faithfully following the Commandments of the Torah. Instead, they were immersed in gaining earthly benefits and for this purpose undertook long and hazardous journeys to pay homage to the Emperors of Rome. Many of them were getting pensions and annuities from them, and paraded their loyalty to the Emperor and his representatives. They vied with each other in seeking honour from their overlords-the Romans-and rendered to them all sorts of mean services. The result was that the Roman Government very often agreed to the demands of the Jews.
Pilate knew that the Chief Priest and the Elders had easy access to the Emperor's court at Rome. It is, therefore, evident that the poor, the innocent and the humble man from Galilee, Jesus son of Mary, was given a short shrift. Jesus was not only ridiculed and spitted at by these wicked people, but was, by the order of the Governor, scourged and ordered to be locked up along with thieves and vagrants, although he was totally innocent. This, the government did, merely to please the Jewish people. As a normal policy, all governments, for the sake of peace, rarely ignore the will of the majority. Therefore, no heed was paid to poor Jesus and he was handed over to the Elders and the High Priests who put him up on the cross.
Governments that do not fear God, the Lord and the Master of the heavens and the earth, are always under the curse of God Almighty. Alas! for the governments that do not look towards the Lord of the heavens. In the manner of speaking, both Pilate, the Governor of that land, and his wife believed in him and he was anxious to set him free. But the Elders and the Jewish divines who, for their mundane interests, had access to the Emperor and had already reported against him secretly that Pilate was harbouring a man who was trying to collect an army around him to overthrow the Roman Empire. However, Jesus was a simple and humble man who had nothing to do with the Emperor or his representative and had no desire after worldly possessions. But he had complete faith in his God. However, the High Priest and the divines, through duplicity and hypocrisy, had acquired a strong foothold into the government. They were not, in their hearts, true friends of the government, but had created an impression of good faith. That was how a true and righteous Prophet of God was dishonoured and humiliated through their machinations. But He Who looks down from Heaven and is the Master of all hearts saw all this and those wicked and vicious people who were not hidden from His eyes. Consequently, Jesus, peace be on him, after being hanged on the cross, was saved from dying because God had accepted his most humble supplications that he had made in the Garden of Gethsemane. When Jesus was convinced that the wretched Jews were after his blood, he went to a garden and being greatly distressed prayed thus: 'O my God! remove this cup from me which is not difficult for Thee.' In the Arabic version of the Gospel by Mark (14:36) it is mentioned that he wept so profusely that tears began to run down his face and began to flow over his cheeks and he cried in a most distressing manner. Therefore, because of his righteousness, his prayer was heard and through the sheer grace of God he was taken down from the cross while he was still alive, and being disguised as a gardener he came out of the sepulchre in which he was buried and, as commanded by God, he went away to another country where his mother also accompanied him, as is mentioned in the Holy Quran: We gave them refuge on an elevated land of green valleys. That is to say We caused him and his mother to take refuge in a country where there were many streams of clear water and a place of safety and comfort for them.
The traditions also mention that after the above incident of attempted crucifixion, Jesus son of Mary reached the ripe old age of 120 years when he died and joined his Creator. There in heaven he stays in the company of John (the Baptist) son of Zacharia because both had similar experiences. There is not the least doubt that he was an extremely righteous man and a Prophet of God. But to call him 'god' and to worship him as such is a heinous heresy. Hundreds of thousands of people like him have passed away and will come in the future and God is never tired of exalting righteous people in the past or in the future. #
6. The sixth characteristic is that Jesus was raised as a prophet when Romans were the masters of the land and ruled over it.
7. The seventh characteristic is that although the Romans, in the beginning, were vigorously opposed to the Christian faith, they were ultimately penetrated by it, and some time later the Roman Emperor also became a Christian.
8. The eighth characteristic is that at the advent of Jesus, whom the Muslims call Isa, there appeared a certain star in the heaven.
9. The ninth characteristic is that when Jesus was put on the cross there was an (###)
10. The tenth characteristic is that subsequent to Jesus being tortured on the cross a severe plague broke out.
11. The eleventh characteristic is that it was because of religious prejudice that he was falsely accused of being a traitor to the Roman Empire.
12. The twelfth peculiarity is that a thief was also hanged on the cross along with him.
13. The thirteenth characteristic is that when he was brought before Pilate as an accused, the latter declared that he did not find him guilty of the accusation.
14. The fourteenth characteristic is that although having been born without a father, he was not of the descendants of Israel, yet he was the last Prophet of that series and appeared in the fourteenth century after Moses.
15. The fifteenth characteristic is that when Jesus was raised as a Prophet, the then Emperor had introduced many reforms; many inventions beneficial for his subjects emerged: viz. the construction of new roads and rest houses and inns, and new laws introduced for the people, similar to what the British have done now.
16. The sixteenth characteristic was that not being born of a father he resembled Adam in this respect.
These are the sixteen features with which Jesus was invested as part of the Mosaic dispensation. When God Almighty terminated the Mosaic dispensation, he instead established the Muhammadan dispensation as had been predicted in the old scriptures. The All-Wise and the All-Knowing God wished that there should be a complete resemblance between these two dispensations, both at the beginning and at the end. He first raised the Holy Prophet, peace be on him, as is mentioned in the Holy Quran: We have sent to you a Messenger who is a witness over you, even as We sent a messenger to Pharaoh (73:16). Moses had to take up the sword against the disbelievers. In the same way, the Holy Prophet, peace be on him, when he was driven out of Mecca and was then pursued to Medina, the Muslims also, in self defence, took up the sword. Abu Jahl, the arch-enemy of the Holy Prophet and the Muslims, was destroyed before the eyes of the Holy Prophet, peace be on him, exactly as Pharaoh, the arch-enemy of Moses, was destroyed before his eyes.
There are many more similarities which for the sake of brevity we do not mention. These were the similarities in the corresponding beginnings of the two dispensations. Also it was necessary that there should be a marked resemblance between the last successors of the Muhammadan dispensation and the last successor of the Mosaic dispensation, so that the similarity may be complete and may concur with the Word of God as stated above. Usually this sort of comparison is made for the beginning and at the end of each dispenation while the period in between, being very long, need not be examined minutely. This is because if the beginning and the end resemble like to like, the middle portion may be taken for granted to resemble accordingly.
We have already stated that from the religious point of view there are sixteen characteristics in the life of Jesus which must need be found in the last successor of the Islamic dispensation, so that perfect accord may be proved between him and Jesus.
(1) The first similarity between the last two successors in the two dispensations is that the advent of both of them had been predicted. In Islam there have been thousands of saints, yet none of them had come as the 'Promised-one'. But he who came as the 'Like-of-Jesus' was, no doubt, the Promised Messiah. Similarly, no other Prophet but Prophet Jesus was the Messiah promised for the Jews.
(2) The second similarity is the loss of independence and political power. There is no doubt that the Muslims in India, like the Jews, prior to the birth of Jesus, had lost their independence on account of their many wicked ways. The British had been firmly established in India before the birth of the last Messiah.
(3) The third similarity is that at the time of the advent of the first Messiah, the Jews had become divided into several sects and, therefore, stood in need of an arbiter for them. In the same way the Muslims, at the advent of the last Messiah, are divided into many sects.
(4) The fourth point is that the first Messiah was not commanded to wage wars for the sake of faith. In the same way, the last Messiah has not been commanded to take up the sword. How could he be commanded thus when the trend of the age has warned that the sword could never influence anyone's conscience. That is the reason why civilised people do not take up the sword in support of religion; and all those sects which are looking for the bloodthirsty Mahdi-Messiah are decidedly in the wrong and their views are contrary to what God Almighty desires. If God Almighty had desired so, He would have Himself equipped the Muslims with the necessary means of fighting. They should have been the people to invent new means of warfare and would have superceded other nations in this respect. It would have been the Muslims to invent new guns and to excel in making new armaments. They would have surpassed others in making war balloons and submarines to attack under water and would have made the world wonder at them. But that is not so. On the other hand, it is the Christian nations that are daily advancing in this field. This proves that it is not the will of God that Islam should spread through fighting. The Christian faith is losing ground daily in the field of reasoning and commonsense and great scholars are renouncing their old beliefs. Even the Emperor of Germany has talked of relinquishing his faith. This proves that it is God Almighty's will that the Christian faith be obliterated from the face of the earth. As a rule, signs of what is going to prevail often begin to appear beforehand and God from above has given no indication of conquests for Islam through wars. On the contrary, spiritual signs have begun to appear that the Christian faith has, by itself, begun to wither away and is soon likely to disappear altogether.
(5) The fifth point worth considering is that during the ministry of the first Messiah, the Jews had become morally bankrupt: especially those of the priestly class had become exceedingly greedy and corrupt. Jealousy and avarice prevailed over the whole nation and everyone hankered after material gains all the time. In the same way, the people of our time-the time of the Promised Messiah-especially Muslim priests and Mullas-have gone mad after worldly pursuits. This is a patent fact which needs no further elucidation.
(6) The sixth point of similarity is that Jesus appeared during the reign of a Caesar-a foreign ruler. The Promised Messiah of Islam also shares this characteristic. He also lives under the rule of a foreign emperor who is far superior to the one that ruled during the time of the Messiah of the Jews. We learn from historical accounts that when the Roman Emperor learnt that his Governor, Pontius Pilate, had contrived to save Jesus from the
ignoble death on the cross and had let him escape to a foreign country under a disguise, he got wild with rage. This report was sent to him secretly by the High Priest. Consequently, Pilate was thrown into prison by the command of the Emperor and was eventually beheaded. He was thus martyred for the sake of Jesus. It is, therefore, a proof that those who wield political power very often remain unblessed with the reward of true faith. This ignorant Emperor lent his ear to the vile and wicked High Priest who convinced him that the death of Jesus was a political expediency. But so far as I know, times have now changed and our Emperor is in all respects superior to the Roman Emperor who was indeed an ignorant tyrant.
(7) The seventh point in this connection is that the Christian faith eventually succeeded in winning over the Romans. In this respect there is a similarity with my time also, because I find that people in Europe and America are showing considerable interest in my claim and the way of my reasoning. They have, of their own accord, published my claim in hundreds of newspapers with favourable comments which could hardly be expected from the pens of Christians. Some of these have gone so far as to express the view that my claim would be genuine, while some of them have declared that belief in Jesus as God was totally ( will replace ###3) some others have (###4) that my claim of being the Promised Messiah is timely and feel that the present time is greatly in my favour. In short, it appears that these people are preparing themselves to accept my claim and Christianity shall, day by day, melt away like snow.
(8) Another characteristic of Jesus was that a certain star had appeared at the time of his advent. This characteristic is equally shared by me because the very same star that had appeared in his time has again appeared in my time also. This is what has been verified in the English newspapers from which it could be concluded that the time is now ripe for the second advent of the Promised Messiah.
(9) The ninth characteristic of Jesus was the eclipse of the sun that was seen when he was crucified on the cross. I also share this characteristic. When people rejected my claim, God manifested His Sign in my support not only causing the sun to eclipse but also caused the eclipse of the moon. Both these signs occurred during the month of Ramadhan. This did not only happen once but occurred twice as is mentioned in the traditions. These two eclipses are mentioned in the Gospels as well as in the Holy Quran. This prediction is also mentioned in Dar Qutni, an authentic book of the Sayings of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
(10) The tenth characteristic common between us is the occurrence of the epidemic of plague. Because of the persecutions of the Jews, it became rampant in the time of Jesus and for the same reason it has spread in my time as well.
(11) The eleventh characteristic common to both of us is that the divines and the Elders left no stone unturned in denouncing Jesus as a hard-core renegade for which reason a false case was framed against him and he was taken to the court hoping that he would be condemned there to death. An identical case was also fabricated against me of conspiracy to murder. An effort was also made to prove me a rebel against the Government. This was the case in which Maulvi Abu Saeed Muhammad Hussain of Batala appeared as a witness against me.
(12) The twelfth point is that a robber was also hanged on the cross along with Jesus; on the day I was acquitted of the false charge of conspiracy to murder, regarding which I had informed in advance hundreds of men on the basis of revelation, a Christian was also brought before the same magistrate. He was a member of the Salvation Army and had misappropriated some money. He was given three months imprisonment-he was not sentenced to death like the robber who was hanged along the side of Jesus and died.
(13) The thirteenth resemblance between Jesus and me is that when Jesus was brought before the Governor and was prosecuted for capital punishment, the Governor declared that he could not see any fault in the accused. Similarly, Captain Douglas, the District Magistrate, on my asking him a question, had replied that he was not accusing me of any guilt.
In my opinion, Captain Douglas outshines Pilate in imparting judgment fearlessly and in showing determination and steadfastness. But in the end Pilate showed diffidence and for fear of the High Priest and the Elders, acted in a cowardly manner. But Captain Douglas showed no sign of weakness.
When Maulvi Muhammad Hussain demanded a chair for himself in the court, on the strength of the rights granted to him by 31
virtue of certain Government documents, Captain Douglas refused to accede to his request and ordered him curtly to keep his mouth shut. On the other hand, he ordered a chair to be brought in for me. Those who are blessed with honour from above do not hanker after worldly honours. This commendable courtesy by the 'Pilate' of our time shall be remembered by all my followers when I am gone. He shall be remembered till the end of the world with love and respect.
(14) The fourteenth resemblance was that since Jesus had no father, he was, strictly speaking, not an Israelite. Despite this drawback, he was the last Prophet for the Children of Israel and of the Mosaic dispensation. He was born in the fourteenth century after Moses. In the same way I do not belong to the Quraish and have been raised in the fourteenth century of Islam and, like Jesus, I am the Promised Messiah of the Muslims.
(15) The fifteenth characteristic is that by the time Jesus appeared great strides had been made in the progress of civilisation. Good roads had begun to be constructed; an efficient defence system had come into being and very many improvements had been made in the organisation and training of the armies. Means of travel were vastly improved and to ensure the comfort of travellers rest-houses had become common. Also the judiciary had been reformed. Similarly, there has been much progress and outstanding developments in our time in these fields. For example, a new means of travel, the railways, has been invented, the prediction for which is found in the Holy Quran and the reader can easily call to mind various other inventions.
(16) The sixteenth characteristic of Jesus was that, being born without a father, he was like Adam. Similarly, I have a resemblance of a sort with him: according to what Mohyi Deen ibni 'Arabi has mentioned about the Final Successor to be of Mongol origin and to be born the second of twins, a girl being born first, I was born exactly the same way on a Friday. It is not known how Ibni Arabi got hold of this Sign, but it has come to pass.
These are the sixteen similarities between me and Jesus. They show that the hand of God was working in all this phenomenon. If it had been a man-made project so many similarities between Jesus and me could not have been found. Denying Prophets is an old established response of the unfortunate ones, but the leaders of religion of our time deny me in rather a strange manner. I am the one who came at the appointed time and for whom the eclipses of the sun and the moon in the month of Ramadhan occurred as a Sign as predicted by the earlier Prophets; and I am the one in whose time the plague spread, as was told by the Prophet and the Holy Quran; and I am the one in whose time, as predicted in the traditions, the Pilgrimage to Mecca was banned; and I am the one in whose time the same star appeared as had appeared at the time of Jesus son of Mary; and I am the one in whose time railway trains commenced running in this country and the camel became redundant and the time is approaching-nay it is near-when railway trains shall begin to run between Mecca and Medina and camels shall become superfluous and be deemed a relic of the past, although they were being continuously used for the past thirteen hundred years for these auspicious journeys and the prediction contained in Muslim's Hadeeth shall be fulfilled which says: They shall abandon the use of the she-camel which shall cease to ply there, i.e. no one shall use them for riding.
In the same way hundreds of Signs have appeared in my support. Is there a person living on the earth today who could outshine me in this respect? I call Him as a witness who is the Master of my life that so far more than 200,000 Signs have been manifested in my favour and, more or less, 10,000 souls have seen the Holy Prophet, on whom be peace, in dreams and have given testimony in my favour. Moreover, sages of great renown and spiritually exalted persons who have very large numbers of followers numbering up to 400,000 have been directed in their visions that I have truly come from God. Some of these died thirty years before my appearance; such a sage was named Gulab Shah, who lived in Ludhiana and who had told Mian Karim Bakhsh of Jamalpur that Jesus had been born at Qadian and that he would visit Ludhiana.
Mian Karim Bakhsh was a righteous man of advanced age who firmly believed in One God. He came to see me at Ludhiana and related to me this prediction for which the 'Maulvis' harassed him greatly, but he paid no heed to them. He told me that Gulab Shah used to say in his presence that Jesus son of Mary does not live. He is dead. He shall never come back to this world. MIRZA GHULAM AHMAD is the Jesus for this nation who, under Divine power and wisdom, has been created the-like-of-Jesus and in heaven he has been named Jesus. He reiterated saying: O Karim Bakhsh, when that Jesus shall appear you will see how bitterly the divines shall oppose him, but they will not succeed. He shall be sent to this world to clear and embellish the disfigured and distorted commentaries of the Holy Quran which he shall again present to the world in their original perspectives. In this prediction the sage had clearly pointed out that Mian Karim Bakhsh would reach the advanced age and see the Messiah personally.
Despite all these Signs and miracles and clear testimony, the Maulvis still deny me. But this is not at all strange and it had to happen so that the prediction They are the accursed ones may be fulfilled.
It must be remembered that the true cause of all this opposition is the stupidity under which these divines insist that all the nonsense that they have with them in connection with the coming of the Promised Messiah must be fulfilled literally. They are not prepared to accept a claimant about whom each and every prediction that they have gathered is not fulfilled. But as facts go, such a thing has never happened in the past. All the Signs and predictions that the Jews had fabricated and inserted in their books were never fulfilled in the case of their Messiah. Moreover, these accursed people had concocted some strange Signs relating to the advent of the Holy Prophet, peace be on him, which, of course, were never fulfilled. As for example, they believed that the Prophet that had been promised for them was to be born from among the Israelites. But the Holy Prophet, on whom be peace, was an Ishmaelite. If God Almighty had so willed, He could have caused it to be written in the Torah that the name of 'That Prophet' shall be Muhammad whose father's name would be Abdullah and the name of his grandfather would be Abdul Muttalib and that he shall be born in Mecca and shall later migrate to Medina. But He never did that. This is because such prophecies involve trials.
The undeniable fact regarding the advent of the Promised Messiah is that it was foretold that he would act as the Arbiter for all the various sects of Islam. How will it then be possible that all these could be verified simultaneously? If the Promised One verified the traditions of the Ahli-Hadeeth, it would cause the displeasure of the Hanafites; and if he approved the traditions of the Hanafites, the Shafis were bound to be annoyed. On the other hand, the Shi'a sect would expect that the Promised One would uphold en masse their traditions that they have collected in the books regarding the Promised Messiah. How could he, therefore, please each and every sect? Moreover, the word HAKAM (arbiter) itself denotes that he shall appear at the time when all the sects shall have gone off the correct track. It is, therefore, highly erroneous for each sect to weigh him according to its own traditions. The correct procedure would be to reap the advantages of Signs that have been fulfilled by his time and reject the rest as human concoctions and flights of fancy. This was the maxim adopted by wise Jews who embraced Islam. They accepted the Signs that had already been fulfilled in the person of the Holy Prophet, on whom be peace, and rejected the rest as falsehoods and fabrications. If they had not done so, neither the truth about Jesus could have been established for them nor the truth about the Holy Prophet, on whom be peace. Those that embraced Islam had to reject hundreds of fabricated Jewish traditions. On the one hand, they observed that very many Signs have been fulfilled and on the other they noted that a large number of clear Signs had been manifested by God in support of the Holy Prophet, on whom be peace. They took advantage of those that had been fulfilled. Had they not adopted that course, not one individual from among the Jews would have accepted Islam.
These are the salient points that I discussed on different occasions in the presence of Maulvi Abdul Latif and I was amazed to hear from him that he was already aware of what I had elucidated. He also mentioned to me a number of reasons why Jesus should be declared as already dead and that he believed most firmly that the Promised Messiah must appear from among the Muslims. This reminded me of the verse:
Hassan from Basra and Bilal from Abyssinia . . .
Most of his reasoning he based on the Holy Quran. He often used to say: How ignorant are those who hold that prophecy about the Promised Messiah should be traced through traditions, while the truth is that the proof furnished by the Holy Quran regarding the demise of Jesus son of Mary easily outshines that which is mentioned in the traditions. In short, God had blessed him with an unshakable faith and he had accepted me with the same fervour as if he had seen me coming down from heaven with the hordes of angels.
I have given a little thought to the idiom of 'coming down' which is so commonly used in the Arabic language and which is mentioned in the traditions in connection with the coming of the Promised Messiah. No doubt, this usage involves courtesy and honour, as for instance it is commonly said: the army has come down to this part of the country, which denotes that the army is camping at a certain place. This idiom is used in our language also. As for instance, we might ask a newcomer to our town: Where have you descended? This means 'Where are you staying?' Allah has also mentioned in the Holy Quran in respect of the Holy Prophet: It is He Himself Who has sent down this Prophet or has been mentioned in the Gospels that Jesus and John (the Baptist) came down from heaven. The words 'send down' also point out the fact that so many clear arguments shall be provided in support of the Promised Messiah that all the wise and sagacious men will accept the verity as if he had really come down from heaven. Maulvi Abdul Latif did ultimately present his firm and unshakable faith before the world. There is no sacrifice which could exceed surrendering one's own life; and the manner in which he laid it down proves that he had faith in me as if he had seen me coming down from heaven and this makes all the aspects of my claim absolutely clear like the light of the day for everyone to see.
In the first place, the Holy Quran has made it quite clear that Jesus son of Mary had died and shall never come to the world again and even if a hundred thousand traditions were brought before us contradicting the Quran we shall declare all of them to be totally false and fabricated by some evil-minded person. The truth is only that which the Quran has stated. Only those traditions are acceptable which do not contradict the Quran.
The Holy Quran has given its verdict which is the final proof and which is based on the word MINKUM (from amongst you), thus declaring that: All the Successors of the Holy Prophet shall be born only from among the Muslims and shall be like unto the Successors of the Mosaic dispensation and shall be the like of Jesus-son-of-Mary. He (the Promised Messiah) shall come in his power and spirit. The other Successors shall not be given any title and no special prediction shall be made concerning them as had been made in connection with the coming of the Promised Messiah.
The word MINKUM (from amongst you) is there in Bukhari as well as in Muslim, which makes it quite clear that the PROMISED MESSIAH SHALL BE BORN FROM AMONG THE MUSLIMS ONLY. Therefore, if one reflects on this point sincerely and without prevarication, one is bound to arrive at the conclusion that the Promised Messiah has to be born among the Muslims.
So far as my claim is concerned, there are so many signs and arguments in my support that unless a person is an errant knave, he shall have no alternative but to believe in me exactly as he believes in the Holy Prophet, on whom be peace. Are these arguments insufficient to prove my claim which the Holy Quran has repeatedly mentioned and there is such an abundance of these Signs that, so to say, my personal name is mentioned therein? The traditions even mention the name of my village in the word 'Kad'ah'; moreover, it is established by the traditions that the Promised Messiah shall be born in the thirteenth century and he shall announce his claim in the fourteenth century of the Hijra. The Sahih Bukhari gives my description clearly and states that the activities of the first Messiah shall be mainly confined to the east, that is to say to India. It has also been mentioned that the Promised Messiah shall appear in the east of Damascus. It is further mentioned that at the time when the Promised Messiah shall make his claim and when his opponents will be very active in their opposition, there shall appear, in the month of Ramadhan, the Signs of the eclipses of the moon and the sun; and plague shall be rampant on earth. Moreover, the Quran and the traditions both predict the invention of the railway and the camel becoming redundant. Mention is also made of the ban on the Haj pilgrimage and of the dominance of the Christian powers. God has fulfilled hundreds of these Signs at my hand which were also foretold in the old scriptures and by the earlier Prophets; and my coming at the appointed time of the century and of thousands of pious men being warned, in their visions, of my coming; and the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet predicting that the Promised (###) be raised from among his followers; and having the support of God Almighty in my favour and more or less two hundred thousand taking the oath of allegiance at my hand and adopting the path of piety and righteousness; and the foundations of the Christian religion being shaken in my time, so much so that the charm of Trinity is now melting away like the snow; and the Muslims, as had been predicted, being divided into so many sects and (###) becoming degenerated and adopting many innovations and beliefs in diverse forms of Shirk; and espousing the evil habits of drinking and debaucheries; and misappropriation and falsification being abundantly widespread and causing havoc in the world; and great changes occurring in all aspects of life on earth and the wise men of the whole world yearning for a Reformer; and all the divines being humbled and frustrated before me, and the matter of supernormal diction and millions of Signs appearing in my support; all these are proofs enough for God-fearing persons to accept me.
A number of ignorant persons having raised the objection that certain predictions of mine were not fulfilled-such as the one about Athim and also concerning the death of Ahmad Beg's son-in-law. Such people must tread with fear of God in their hearts in the face of the fact that many hundred thousands of predictions have been fulfilled like the light of the day. If they are unable to grasp the truth with regard to a couple of these predictions, they should ascribe it to their own lack of understanding and their hard-heartedness. It is their own fault that they deny thousands of Signs and arguments and miracles. If such a denial be justifiable, we would then like to know the name of a Prophet, the fulfilment of whose predictions were not challenged.
Take the case of Prophet Malaachi whose prophecy has, apparently, not yet been fulfilled. Where did Elias descend from heaven for whom the Jews are still so anxiously waiting? The Messiah, who was to appear after Elias, did actually appear a long time ago.
Again, when was the prophecy of Jesus fulfilled wherein he had foretold that many from the generation of those who then lived would be still alive when he would come back to them? When was the prophecy about Peter fulfilled wherein Jesus had said that Peter had been given the keys of heaven? When was this prophecy of Jesus fulfilled in which he had said that he would re-establish the throne of David? When was this prophecy fulfilled in which Jesus had said that his twelve disciples shall sit on twelve thrones? While Judas Iscariot recanted and deserted him and was cast into hell and in order to replace him a new apostle was brought forth-a process which even Jesus had not dreamed.
Similar things are also mentioned in the traditions. As for instance, Durr-i-Manthoor also mentions that Prophet Jonas had lucidly and without ambiguity pronounced against the people of Nineveh that the wrath of God shall descend upon them and that they shall all be utterly destroyed after forty days. But no wrath of God descended upon them and they were not destroyed. It was because of this that Jonas had to flee from his town with great embarrassment. This prophecy is mentioned in the Book of Jonas in the Old Testament which the Christians also believe to be from God Almighty. Despite all these discrepancies, the Muslims still believe in all these Prophets and pay little heed to adverse criticisms.
As regards the two prophecies against which they have raised objections concerning Athim and the son-in-law of Ahmad Beg, we have repeatedly stated that the prophecy of Athim's death was fulfilled in every respect. Go forth and try to find where Athim is. See if he is dead or alive. Please bear in mind that the true import and substance of the prophecy was that the one who was not truthful would die in the life-time of the truthful. Quite a while ago Athim departed from this world.
The prophecy describing Athim's death within fifteen months did also have a condition attached to it which said: Provided that he did not revert to the truth. This condition was also published, in the first instance, with the prophecy. But Athim did actually retract in the very same gathering of the dialogue after I had told him explicitly that the true cause of the said prophecy was that he had cast aspersions at the Holy Prophet whom he had called 'Dajjal' in his book. Hearing this, his face grew pale and in way of confusion, remorse and humility, he let his tongue drop out, (###) is ears with his hands and said meekly: I could never say that about the Holy Prophet. At that time he (###) great sense of shame and humility, and he did all this in the presence of more than sixty persons, including Muslims and Christians. Was his behaviour not a practical proof of his remorse and retraction? If not, then what did it mean? For more than fifteen months after this incident, he kept himself aloof and refrained from adverse utterance and took shelter in penitence and wailing, and tried to turn a new leaf.
This unusual behaviour on the part of Athim should satisfy and convince any honest and right thinking person to come to the conclusions that Athim did, indeed, try to make amends during that portentous period of fifteen months. Therefore, because of the fact that Athim had borne the fear of God in his heart and had taken refuge in humility and meekness and had abandoned his arrogance and insolence and also because he tried to keep away from the evil company of his friends at Amritsar and went to live in Ferozepur. This radical change in his behaviour procured for him a little respite from God Almighty.
The matter of Lekhram was quite the opposite to the above. He did not show any change during the time limit in his attitude and continued in his hatred and enmity and showed not the slightest sign of humility and meekness. In fact, he advanced in insolence and obstinacy and went on denouncing Islam in the streets and squares of towns and cities, throughout the length and breadth of the whole country. He was, therefore, called to account for all that. His tongue worked like a sharp knife in abuse and actually turned into a sharp steel blade which cut him to pieces.
As regards Ahmad Beg's son-in-law, everyone knows that the prophecy in question was applicable to two persons only-Ahmad Beg himself and his son-in-law. The first part of the prophecy was fulfilled within the specified period and Ahmad Beg died accordingly; and with his death was affixed the seal of truth to the first half of the prophecy. As regards the latter half, it is much regretted that decency and impartiality have not been exercised in raising objections. We did not hear anyone saying: We admit that the first part of the prophecy has been duly fulfilled. This does not behove those who call themselves the faithful. In this respect they followed the ways of the Jews and ignored the facts and the truth completely. We shall on our part ignore their untoward attitude of suppressing the facts and shall explain the truth about the prophecy. This prophecy, like the one about Athim, implied that it would be fulfilled if none of them showed any sign of remorse or fear. Ahmad Beg did not display any sign of these and continued to think that it was a false prophecy. But the son-in-law and his relatives had the terrible experience of seeing a part of the prophecy fulfilled. As it is natural that one gets terrified at witnessing a heart-shaking experience, the son-in-law was also greatly discomfited and God Almighty, therefore, granted him respite.
Therefore, all these objections and criticisms are due to ignorance and blindness and bigotry and are not based on search for truth and honesty. Could he, who has been favoured with more than a million Signs so far, ever be accused of falsehood simply because some ignorant persons are unable to perceive the truth and begin complaining that the prophecies have not been fulfilled? I DECLARE IT WITH A SOLEMN Promise THAT I SHALL PAY HIM A THOUSAND RUPEES WHO COULD, WHETHER HE BE A CHRISTIAN OR A SO-CALLED MUSLIM, SHOW THAT HE, WHO IS AWAITED TO COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN, HAD MADE PREDICTIONS THAT WERE MORE CLEARLY FULFILLED THAN MY PREDICTIONS. But the method to prove it would not be that he would simply present the Holy Quran that it has pronounced Jesus, peace be on him, as a Prophet of God. This is because I too believe and claim strongly that the Holy Quran is a witness to my truth also. The word YASOO does not occur anywhere in the Holy Quran; but the word MINKUM in my support can easily be found. Besides this, there are many more pointers in it in my favour. What I mean is that comparison between my prophecies and those of YASOO be instituted in a judicial manner and then a ruling be given as to what prophecies have been wholly and partially fulfilled and which may also stand a test of logical reasoning, and that even a non-believer in the Holy Quran may follow the thread of reasoning and be able to express his independent opinion as to where the truth lies.
Moreover, I am deeply grieved that our opponents-the so-called Muslims-are totally ignorant of the principles of Islam. It is the commonly accepted principle in Islam that all prophecies with conditions may not necessarily be fulfilled in their entirety. As for instance, a certain person or people may be given a warning that the wrath of Allah was going to fall upon them. It is quite possible that the fulfillment be delayed or postponed or in some cases be not even fulfilled at all. This is exactly what happened in the case of the prophecy of Prophet Jonas which was to be fulfilled after forty days but which was totally averted. As opposed to this, a prophecy in which a reward or some blessing of Allah is promised would never fail in its fulfillment. This is because our God Almighty has said: Verily, God never acts contrary to His promise (3:10). But He has not said anywhere that He does not act contrary to His warning. The idea underlying is that a prediction of warning could be averted or warded off through penitence, supplication and giving of alms.
All the Prophets agree in this respect and declare that a prophecy containing a warning of punishment from God could be averted through prayers, through fear and expression of humility and meekness. You may, therefore, digest this fact that any punishment or retribution intended by God becomes a prediction only when He conveys His intention through His saint or through His Prophet. The saint or the Prophet in his turn shall make it known to the people or person concerned. This is, therefore, an established fact that a prediction of warning of punishment may be averted.
Reverting to our proper subject we wish to write that when Maulvi Abdul Latif Sahib came to Qadian, he learned from me in full details all the grounds of my claim and he also observed, during his stay of many months in Qadian, as well as when he accompanied me to Jehlum, many Signs manifested in my favour. After having witnessed these uncommon Signs and miraculous happenings, he was filled with a zealous and uncommon faith in me. My company caused him to be raised to a higher level of spiritual exaltedness. I also explained to him the answer to a criticism which he was very pleased to hear. I said that as the Holy Prophet, on whom be peace, was the 'Like-of-Moses' and his Successors are 'the-Likes-of-the-Israelite-Prophets', why is it then that the Promised Messiah alone is given the title of 'Prophet' in the traditions while the other Successors are not named as 'Prophets'? The reason, I told him, was that the Holy Prophet was the SEAL OF THE PROPHETS and that no Prophet was to come after him. If all his Successors had been named as Prophets, his 'Finality' would have become dubious. On the other hand, if none of his 'Successors' was a Prophet his similarity to Moses would have become jeopardised, as all the Successors of Moses held the rank of Prophets. That is why Divine Wisdom (###) that the earlier Successors of the Holy Prophet be not given the rank of prophethood; but the last Successor be ranked as a Prophet so that both the dispensations may have similarity in the matter of succession. In this connection we have explained so many times that the prophethood of the Promised Messiah is a mere reflection of his master's prophethood. The Promised Messiah acquired this status because he so excelled in perfect obedience of his master that he became his ZIL (shadow). God Almighty said to me: O Ahmad, thou hast been exalted as a prophet. This means: You are named Ahmad, though your own name is Ghulam Ahmad, similarly you also deserve the title of Prophet because Ahmad is a Prophet and his prophethood cannot be separated from him.
One day, during the course of conversation, mention was made of the tradition which says: The Promised Messiah shall descend clad in two yellow sheets, one of these would cover the upper part of his body while the other would cover the lower part. I explained that this means that the Promised Messiah would suffer from two ailments because, according to the elucidation and interpretation of dreams and visions, yellow cloth denotes some kind of illness. I suffer from two ailments. One is the chronic trouble of headaches and the other is diabetes and diarrhoea.
Maulvi Abdul Latif was still staying with me when he was blessed by Allah. A radical change occurred in him. The gate of visions and revelation was opened to him by God Almighty from Whom he received guidance and verification about me. That was the reason why he gladly accepted for himself the offering of martyrdom which I would now describe.
During the 1,300 years of Islam, with the exception of the Companions of the Holy Prophet, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, no parallel can be found of the exemplary manner in which Maulvi Abdul Latif Sahib provided the strong evidence by giving his life in support of my being true. He surrendered his life and thus provided an ever-living proof in support of my claim as the Promised Messiah. There can be not the least doubt that surrendering his life in that manner is a glorious Sign in my favour. But only those who are gifted with insight and true understanding can appreciate it fully. Could anyone sacrifice his own life and send his wife and children to destruction for a doubtful cause? This revered person was not an ordinary man. He was a man of substance who owned estates and property worth millions in Kabul and also owned considerable property in the British territory. He was so highly an esteemed scholar that he was known as the chief-of-the-divines, and was known to be the most able in the understanding of the Holy Quran, the Traditions and Islamic Jurisprudence. It was he who officiated at the crowning ceremony of the Amir and when the king died, it was he who led the Amir's funeral prayer. All this information has come to me from a very reliable source. Once he told me that the number of his disciples in the State of Kabul was more than fifty thousand, some of whom held high position in the court of the Amir. In short, this revered person was a greatly renowned man in the State of Kabul. He had no equal as regards piety, wisdom, honour and family status. Besides being called a Maulvi, he was known by the titles of Sahibzada and Akhwandzada and also a prince in that country. He possessed a private library with a large number of books on Traditions, Jurisprudence and history, to which he himself continued to add more books. He was a great sage to whom came many seekers after knowledge and hundreds of those who came to him as disciples went back as Maulvis after having completed their studies. Despite holding such a high status, he was so meek and humble in his deportment as is pertinent only to one who is wholly devoted to God. It is a common failing of those who attain scholastic accomplishments and renown to be puffed up with self-importance and this stands in the way of their seeking after truth and accepting it. This man, however, was so selfless that despite being the embodiment of so many virtues and of high social status, he never hesitated to acknowledge and accept a verity when he came across one. Ultimately he even surrendered his life for the sake of truth and set a high example, as is ordained by God, for our community to follow.
We shall now relate the event of the martyrdom of this revered person and shall describe the brutal manner in which he was tortured and murdered and the steadfastness which could not be shown by anyone in this abode of illusion, unless he was filled with perfect faith, that he exhibited. But all this was destined to happen as God Almighty had told me 23 years earlier about him and one of his disciples. I had at that time mentioned this matter in my book Braheeni Ahmadiyya. This noble and venerable man played the chief part in the fulfillment of not only this revelation but also manifested another Sign which we shall relate a little later and quote the prophecy in that regard.
It should be remembered that in the prophecy set forth in Braheeni Ahmadiyya mention is made of two cases of martyrdom. The first was that of Mian Abdul Rahman, a disciple of the said Maulvi Sahib, which occurred during the reign of Amir Abdul Rahman, the father of the present ruler of Kabul. We shall, therefore, first relate the event of the martyrdom of this disciple of the Maulvi Sahib.