Jesus of the Gospels

One objection that is raised against the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement is that he was disrespectful towards Hazrat Isa, peace be on him, and reviled him.

In this connection it should be clearly understood that one of the claims of the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, was that he was the like of Hazrat Isa. He claimed that he had perfect spiritual resemblance to the Messiah. Then how is it possible that a person who claims to be the like of another and his reflection should defame him or should be disrespectful towards him, for that would amount to defaming himself, as the reflection must correspond to the original. It is, therefore contrary to reason that the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, should have said anything derogatory concerning the Messiah, As he has said:

In his books and writings, the Promised Messiah has repeatedly used expressions of honor, love and affection for Hazrat Isa. For instance he says:

  1. There is no doubt that Hazrat Masih, peace be on him, was a true Prophet. (Arbain, No.2)
  2. I call Allah, the Glorious, to witness that in the revelation vouchsafed to me He has dearly informed me that Hazrat Masih, peace be on him, was without a doubt, a human being, like other human beings; that he was a true Prophet of God and was His Messenger and His Elect. (Hujjatul Islam, p. 9)
  3. It is my belief that the Messiah was a true Prophet and Messenger and was beloved of God but was not God. (Hujjatu1 Islam, p. 3)

  4. Hazrat Isa, peace be on him, was, no doubt, a beloved Prophet of God and possessed the highest qualities. He was virtuous and a chosen one and had communion with God but was not God. (Announcement of 22 March 1877)
  5. I have been commissioned by God Almighty to profess that Hazrat Isa, peace be on him, was a true and pure and righteous Prophet of God and to believe in his prophethood. (Ayyamus Solh, first title page)
  6. The Messiah was an accepted one of God and was beloved of Him. Those who utter calumnies against him are wicked. (Ijaz Abmad, p.15)
  7. I state on oath that I bear that true love towards the Messiah which you do not possess and that you have not available to you the light with which I recognize him. There is no doubt that he was a dear and chosen Prophet of God. (Dawate Haq, attached to Haqeeqatul Wahi)

This puts it beyond doubt that the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, believed that Hazrat Isa, peace be on him, was a dear and chosen Messenger of God and that he loved him sincerely. It was, therefore, not possible that he should have applied any derogatory terms to the Messiah.

Let us now examine the background which the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, has employed certain harsh expressions concerning Jesus. In this connection it should be clearly understood that according to the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, the Isa of the Holy Quran and the Jesus of the Gospels are two different and distinct personalities. The Isa, son of Mary, peace be on him, mentioned in the Holy Quran was a Prophet of God and was loved by Him and was a chosen one, but the Jesus of the Gospels was a fictitious personality and from the accounts contained in the Gospels his life was stained and unmoral. The Promised Messiah, peace be on him, has explained this in the following terms:

Again he has said:

At another place he states:

These statements make it clear that wherever the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, has employed any harsh expression concerning Jesus, it has reference to the fictitious Jesus of the Gospels and not to Isa, son of Mary, peace be on him, who is mentioned in the Holy Qpran and whose like and reflection he himself was.

It might be asked why did the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, write against the fictitious Jesus of the Gospels and employed harsh expressions with regard to him? The reason was that at the time of the advent of the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, and during a short period before his advent Christian missionaries had been in the habit of uttering vile abuse and making false charges against the blessed person of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, such as a sincere Muslim dare not even repeat. The Promised Messiah, peace be on him, as has been mentioned, had endured this torment for forty years. It was an unsupportable torture for him that anyone should be impertinent towards his lord and master, Muhammad Mustafa, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. His utter devotion to the Holy Prophet compelled him to adopt this method in defense of his master, in this manner, and thus to put an end to the vile attacks of the enemies. Such a refutation is a recognized method of defense to which recourse was held by previous divines and eminent personages in the faith, many instances of which are to be found in the history of Islam.

The Promised Messiah has explained:

He also states:

He further states:

The extracts cited above establish that the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, under extreme provocation and out of his devoted love for the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was roused to silence the Christian missionaries with this refutation. To him alone is due the credit that he adopted a firm stand against falsehood and frustrated the mischievous plans and impostures of the Christian missionaries against the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, for which the Muslims should be grateful to him rather than stand up in opposition to him. After all, if he pulled down into the dust the fictitious Jesus of the Christian missionaries, was it because they had any personal enmity towards him? Indeed not. He had recourse to this method as the safeguarding of the honor and reputation of his lord and master was dear to him and for this purpose he was ready to make any sacrifice. He had declared in a Persian verse:

He states:

In short, the Promised Messiah, peace he on him, has not in the slightest degree defamed Hazrat Isa, peace be on him, who as a dear Prophet and Elect of God Almighty. He has only, by way of refutation, condemned the Christians on the basis of the Gospels. In doing this, his only purpose was that the Christian missionaries should refrain from abusing and defaming and uttering false charges against the Leader of the righteous, Muhammad Mustafa, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. It is a fact that his adoption of this method of refutation silenced the Christian missionaries forever and the missionaries who, till the adoption of this method of defense by the Promised Messiah, peace he on him, did not refrain from leveling utterly baseless charges at the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, thereafter confined themselves to their own defense and the stream of poison that had been issuing from their pens against the Holy Prophet was blocked, and the purpose of the Promised Messiah was achieved.

Another aspect of this question is: How far were the charges made by the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, against the Jesus of the Gospels in fact justified? For he would have been held guilty of abuse only if he had invented those charges himself. But if it is established that he merely repeated with reference to the Jesus of the Gospels that which is set out in the Gospels concerning him and which is admitted by the Christians, he cannot be blamed in any respect.

If we examine his writings for this purpose, we discover that there are three allegations which he made against the Jesus of the Gospels, namely:

  1. He pointed out that the Jesus of the Gospels indulged in liquor;
  2. That some of his grandmothers were guilty of adultery; and
  3. That his mother was charged with adultery by his enemies.

With regard to the first charge the Promised Messiah states:

In this connection it is worthy of note that the very first miracle of Jesus that is mentioned in the Gospels is that on the occasion of a wedding he converted water into wine and thus the drinking of wine is a part of the Christian faith. Therefore, it cannot be said that the Promised Messiah charged Jesus falsely. He attributed the drinking of wine to him according to the statements of the Gospels.

Secondly, during his time the drinking of liquor had not been forbidden. That is why among the Christians the drinking of wine on the occasion of the Last Supper is a religious ceremony which they imagine was initiated by Jesus.

Thus whatever way we look at it, the Promised Messiah did not make any false charge against Jesus in this respect. On the contrary, he stated, by way of extenuation that Jesus might have taken wine on account of some chronic disease.

The second objection is that the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, has written that some of the grandmothers of Jesus were guilty of adultery.

The Christians have charged members of the holy family of the Holy Prophet with all sorts of faults. They contend that as the Holy Prophet was descended from Hagar, who according to the Christians was a slave of Abraham, peace be on him, and according to them the descendants of a female slave have no right of spiritual succession, therefore, the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, cannot be accepted as a Prophet. Christian writers have advanced several false charges against the Holy Prophet himself and the members of his family. In reply to all this. the Promised Messiah showed from the Bible that as

the Jesus of the Gospels could not enter into the congregation of the Lord inasmuch as in his genealogy three women are mentioned who were guilty of adultery. These women were Tamar, Rachab and the wife of Uriah. Padre Imaduddin, in his commentary on the Gospel of St. Matthew, has observed:

Thus the Promised Messiah refuted from Christian sources the calumny that the ancestors of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, were not sinless people. There is no such allegation concerning him in any standard Islamic book or history, while the Bible contains statements to the effect that we have mentioned which are admitted by Christian scholars. Whatever the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, wrote about the Jesus of the Gospels was not from himself but was drawn from Christian sources which he cited. No objection can, therefore, be taken to whatever he wrote in this context.

The calumny against the mother of Jesus is well known. It is the Holy Quran that cleared her of it.