In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Ever Merciful.

Love for All, Hatred for None.

Browse Al Islam

Alislam HomeLibraryBooksJesus in India


Book: Jesus in India
Jesus in India
Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Preface
Introduction
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Appendix

CHAPTER 4

Evidence from books of history

As the following chapter contains evidence of various kinds, it is divided for the sake of clearness of sequence into several sections, which are set out below.

SECTION 1

Evidence from Islamic books which contain
a mention of Jesus' journey

In Rauzat-us-Safa, a well-known book of history, on pages 130 - 135, occurs, in the Persian language, an account, which, briefly translated, is as follows.

"Jesus (on whom be peace) was named the Messiah because he was a great traveller. He wore a woollen scarf on his head, and a woollen cloak on his body. He had a stick in his hand; he used to wander from country to country and from city to city. At nightfall he would stay where he was. He ate jungle vegetables, drank jungle water, and went on his travels on foot. His companions, in one of his travels, once bought a horse for him; he rode the horse one day, but as he could not make any provision for the feeding of the horse, he returned it. Journeying from his country, he arrived at Nasibain, which was at a distance of several hundred miles from his home. With him were a few of his disciples who he sent into the city to preach. In the city, however, there were current wrong and unfounded rumours about Jesus (on whom be peace) and his mother. The governor of the city, therefore, arrested the disciples and then summoned Jesus. Jesus miraculously healed some persons and exhibited other miracles. The king of the territory of Nasibain, therefore, with all his armies and his people, became a follower of his. The legend of the 'coming down of food' contained in the Holy Quran belongs to the days of his travels."

[Map of Probable Route of Jesus (on whom be peace) During His Travels to India]

This, in brief, is the statement of Rauzat-us-Safa. The author of the book, however, has ascribed many an absurd and irrational miracle to Jesus, which I will not mention here and, keeping my account free from falsehood and absurd exaggerations, I turn to the real point at issue which leads to the conclusion that Jesus (peace be on him) in the course of his travels had arrived at Nasibain. This Nasibain is a place between Mosul and Syria which, in English maps, has been called Nasibus. If one travels from Syria towards Persia, one would pass through Nasibain, which is at a distance of 450 miles from Jerusalem: Mosul is nearly 48 miles from Nasibain and 500 miles from Jerusalem. The frontier of Persia is only at a distance of 100 miles from Mosul. This means that Nasibain is 150 miles from the frontier of Persia. The eastern frontier of Persia touches the town of Herat in Afghanistan, i.e., Herat lies on the western frontier of Afghanistan in the direction of the Persian territory and is about 900 miles from the western boundary of Persia. From Herat up to the Khyber Pass, the distance is about 500 miles. Here follows the map showing the route followed by Jesus.

The map shows the route adopted by Jesus in his journey to Kashmir. The object of his journey was that he should meet the Israelites whom the king, Shalmaneser, had taken captive to Media. It would be noticed that in the maps published by Christians, Media is shown towards the south of the Sea of Khizar (Azov), where, to-day, is Persia. This means that Media was at any rate a part of the land which to-day constitutes Persia. The eastern frontier of Persia is adjacent to Afghanistan; there is the sea towards the south and the Turkish Empire towards the west. If the report in the Rauzat-us-Safa is correct it appears that, by travelling to Nasibain, Jesus intended to come to Afghanistan through Persia, and to invite to the Truth the lost Jews who had come to be known as Afghans. The word 'Afghan' appears to be of Hebrew origin; it is a derivative which means 'brave'. It appears that at the height of their victories they adopted this name for themselves1.

In short, Jesus came to the Punjab after passing through Afghanistan, with the ultimate intention of going to Kashmir after seeing the Punjab and Hindustan. It would be noticed that Chitral and a strip of the Punjab separate Kashmir from Afghanistan. If one travels from Afghanistan to Kashmir, through the Punjab, one has to journey over a distance of 80 miles or about 135 kilometers.

Jesus, however, wisely adopted the route through Afghanistan, so that the lost tribes of Israel, known as Afghans, might profit from him. The eastern frontier of Kashmir touches Tibet. From Kashmir he could easily go to Tibet. Having come to the Punjab, he had no difficulty in wandering through the important places of Hindustan before going to Kashmir or Tibet. It is, therefore, quite possible, as some old historical records of this country show, that Jesus may have seen Nepal, Benares, and other places. He then must have gone to Kashmir through Jammu or Rawalpindi. As he belonged to a cold country, it is certain that he stayed in these territories only through the winter, and, by the end of March or the beginning of April, must have started for Kashmir. As Kashmir resembles Sham [Syria and its surrounding country] he must have taken up permanent residence in this land. It is possible, moreover, that he may have stayed for some time in Afghanistan and it is not impossible that he may have married in that country. One of the tribes of Afghans is known as 'Isa Khel' -- it would not be surprising if they are descendants of Jesus. It is to be regretted, however, that the history of the Afghans is in a confused state; it is, therefore, difficult to arrive at anything definite by studying their tribal accounts. There is no doubt, however, that the Afghans are Israelites, like the Kashmiris. Those who have taken a contrary view in their books have been misled to the extreme; they have not made a minute study of the matter. The Afghans admit that they are the descendants of Qais; and Qais belongs to Israel. It is, however, not necessary to prolong this discussion here. I have already dealt with this question thoroughly in one of my books; here, I am giving an account of the journey of Jesus through Nasibain, Afghanistan, the Punjab and on to Kashmir and Tibet. He was named the 'travelling prophet', nay, the 'leader of travellers', on account of this very long journey. A Muslim savant, i.e., Ibn-al-Walid Al-Fahri Al-Tartooshi Al-Maliki, who was renowned for his learning, states about Jesus, on page 6 of his book Siraj-ul-Maluk, published by the Matba Khairiya of Egypt in 1306 A.H.: 'Where is Isa, the Ruhullah, and, the Kalimatullah, who was the leader of the righteous, and the chief of travellers?' meaning that he was dead, and that, even a great man like him had departed from this world. It should be noticed that this learned authority calls Jesus not merely 'traveller' but the 'chief of travellers'.

Likewise on page 461 of Lisan-ul-Arab it is stated: 'Jesus was named the 'Messiah', because he wandered about, and because he did not stay at one place.' The same is recorded in Tajul-Urus Sharah Qamus. There it is also stated that the Messiah is he who is given goodness and blessings i.e., he is given these qualities in such measure that even his touch is blessed; and that this name was given to Jesus, for God gives this name to whomsoever He pleases. As against this, there is another Messiah, whose touch was evil and accursed, i.e., his nature was composed of a curse and evil, so much so, that his touch gave rise to the darkness of evil and that of a curse. This name was given to the Messiah who is the Dajjal and to all those who are like him. The two names, moreover, i.e., Messiah the Traveller, and Messiah the Blessed, are not antagonistic to each other. One does not invalidate the other. For, it is a divine practice that God names a man in more than one way and that all such names apply to him. In short, Jesus being a traveller has been so well proved by Islamic history that if all the references were copied from those books, they would I think run into a big volume. What I have stated, therefore, should be enough.

SECTION 2

Evidence from books on Buddhism

Let it be clear that Buddhist scriptures have made available to us evidence of various kinds, which, on the whole, is enough to prove that Jesus (on whom be peace) must have come to the Punjab and Kashmir, etc. I set out this evidence herein, so that all impartial people may first study it, and then by arranging it as a connected account in their minds, may themselves come to the aforesaid conclusion. Here is the evidence. First: the titles given to the Buddha are similar to the titles given to Jesus. Likewise, the events of the life of Buddha resemble those of the life of Jesus. The reference here, however, is to the Buddhism of places within the boundaries of Tibet, like Leh, Lhasa, Gilgit and Hams, etc., which are the places about which it is proved that they were visited by Jesus. With reference to the similarity of titles, it is enough to point out, that if, for example, Jesus (on whom be peace) calls himself the Light in his teachings, so, Gautama has been named the Buddha, which in Sanskrit means Light.2 If Jesus has been called the Master2 in the gospel, so the Buddha has been called Sasta or the Master; if Jesus has been called Blessed in the Gospels, so the Buddha has been named Sugt, i.e., the Blessed. If Jesus has been called Prince, so has the Buddha been called Prince. Jesus has also been described by the Gospels as one who fulfils the object of his coming, so has the Buddha been called in Buddhistic scriptures Siddhartha i.e., one who fulfils the object of his coming. Jesus has also been called by the Gospels the Refuge of the Tired, so has the Buddha in Buddhistic scriptures been called Asarn Sarm, i.e., the refuge of the refugeless. Jesus has also been called by the Gospels King, though he interpreted it as King of the Kingdom of Heaven, so also the Buddha has been called King. The similarity of events is proved by events such as these. Just as Jesus was tempted by the Devil with the riches and kingdoms of the world provided he prostrated himself to him, so was Buddha tempted when the Devil said to him that he would give him the pomp and splendour of kings if he abandoned the severity of his living and returned home. But, just as Jesus did not obey the Devil, so, it is recorded, the Buddha did not obey him. See Buddhism by T. W. Rhys Davids3; and Buddhism by Sir Monier Monier Williams4.

This shows that the same titles which Jesus ascribes in the gospels to himself, have in Buddhistic books, which were compiled much later, been similarly ascribed to the Buddha; and, just as Jesus was tempted by the Devil, so these books claim that the Buddha also was tempted by the Devil; nay, the account of the temptation of the Buddha as stated in these books, is longer than the account of the temptation of Jesus in the Christian Gospels. It is recorded that when the Devil offered him the temptation of wealth and kingly honour, the Buddha was inclined to return home. He, however, did not obey this desire. But the same Devil met him again one night, bringing with him all his progeny, and frightened him by frightful appearances. To the Buddha these Devils appeared like snakes which were emitting fire from their mouths. The snakes began to throw fire and poison towards him but their poison was turned into flowers and the fire made a halo round the Buddha.

The Devil not having succeeded thus, called sixteen of his daughters, and asked them to reveal their beauty to the Buddha, but the latter was still unmoved. The Devil was balked in his designs. He adopted other means, but was unable to do anything against the steadfast Buddha, who continued to travel through higher and higher stages of spirituality, and after a long night, that is, after severe and protracted trials, he overcame his enemy the Devil; the Light of True Knowledge dawned upon him and, with the coming of the morning, i.e. as soon as his trials were over, he came to know all. The day this great battle ended was the day of the birth of Buddhism. Gautama was 35 years old then; he was called the Buddha or the Light and the Tree under which he was sitting at the time came to be known as the Tree of Light. Now, if you open and see the Bible you will find how the Temptation of the Buddha resembles the Temptation of Jesus, so much so, that the Buddha's age was nearly the same at that time as the age of Jesus. As it appears from Buddhist literature, the Devil did not appear to the Buddha in a corporeal visible form. It was a spectacle seen only by the Buddha; the talk of the Devil was an evil inspiration, i.e. the Devil, as he appeared to him, suggested to the Buddha that he (the Buddha) should abandon his course, that he should follow him (the Devil), that the Devil would give him all the wealth of the world. Likewise, the belief of Christian doctors is that the Devil who appeared to Jesus did not come to him in a corporeal form -- he did not come to Jesus as a human being -- before the very eyes of the Jews, traversing the streets and lanes in his physical body and talking to Jesus so as to be audible to those present. On the contrary, the meeting was of the nature of a vision seen only by Jesus; the talk too was of the nature of inspiration, that is, the Devil, as is his wont, put into his heart evil suggestions. But Jesus did not accept, he rejected the Devil's inspiration.

Now it is worth pondering why there was so much resemblance between the Buddha and Jesus. The Aryas in this connection say that Jesus became acquainted with Buddhism in the course of his journeys in India, and having acquired knowledge of the fact of Buddha's life, made his gospel out of this on return to his native country; that Jesus composed his moral precepts by plagiarizing the moral teaching of the Buddha, that just as the Buddha called himself the Light and Knowledge and adopted other titles, so Jesus ascribed all such titles to himself, so much so, that, even the long story of the Temptation of a Buddha was appropriated by him. This, however, is a fabrication of the Aryas. It is quite untrue that Jesus came to India before the event of the Cross; he had no need to take such a journey at that time; he had need to take such a journey when the Jews of Judaea had rejected him and, as they believed, had crucified him. A fine divine design, however, saved him. Having thus exhausted his sympathy for the Jews and his solicitude to preach to them, and the Jews having become, by reason of their evil nature, so very hard-hearted as to be quite incapable of accepting the Truth, Jesus, on being informed by God that the ten tribes of the Jews had migrated towards India, set out for those regions. As parties of Jews had accepted Buddhism, there was no alternative for this true prophet but to turn his attention to the followers of Buddhism. The Buddhist priests of that country expected the appearance of the 'Messiah' Buddha. Therefore, for Jesus' titles, as well as some of his moral teachings like Love thine enemy; do not resist evil, and, as had been prophesied by Gautama Buddha, Jesus' fair skin, for all these signs, the priests held him to be the Buddha. It is possible also that some of his titles and teachings and the facts of Jesus' life may, consciously or unconsciously, have been ascribed in that age to the Buddha; for the Hindus have never given proof of much aptitude for recording history. The events of Buddha's life had not been recorded till the time of Jesus. Buddhist priests, therefore, had a great opportunity to ascribe to the Buddha anything they wished to ascribe. So it is likely that when they came to know the facts of Jesus' life and his moral teaching, they mixed these with many other things introduced by themselves and ascribed them to the Buddha.5 Presently I shall prove that the moral teaching of the bible -- the titles Light, etc. which, as in the case of Jesus, are to be found recorded in respect of the Buddha as also the story of the Temptation by the Devil -- all this was written in Buddhistic books at the time Jesus came to this country after the crucifixion.

There is, moreover, another resemblance between the Buddha and Jesus: Buddhism records that the Buddha during the Temptation was fasting; that the fast lasted for forty days. Readers of the Gospel know that Jesus also observed a forty days' fast.

As I have just now stated, there is such a striking resemblance between the moral teaching of the Buddha and that of Jesus, that for those acquainted with both it has become something surprising. For example, the Gospels say: do not resist evil, love your enemy, live in poverty, shun pride and falsehood and greed. The same is the teaching of the Buddha6. Nay, the Buddhistic teaching lays greater stress on it, so much so that the killing even of ants and insects has been declared a sin. The outstanding principle of Buddhism is: sympathy for the whole world; seeking the welfare of the whole of humanity and of all the animals; promotion of a spirit of unity and mutual love. The same is the gospel teaching. Again, just as Jesus sent his disciples to different countries -- journeying to one himself -- so was the case with the Buddha. Buddhism by Sir Monier Monier Williams records that the Buddha sent out his disciples to preach, addressing them thus: 'Go forth and wander everywhere, out of compassion for the world and for the welfare of gods and men. Go forth, in different directions. Preach the doctrine (Dharham), salutary (Kalayana) in its beginning, middle and end, in its spirit (artha) and in its letter (vyanjana). Proclaim a life of perfect restraint, chastity and celibacy (Drahmacariyam). I will go also to preach this doctrine' (Mahavagga 1.11.1)7. The Buddha went to Benares and performed many miracles in that territory; he delivered an impressive sermon on a hill just as Jesus had delivered his sermon on the mount. Again, the same book states that the Buddha preached mostly in parables; he explained spiritual matters by means of physical analogies.

Let it be remembered that this moral teaching and this mode of preaching, i.e., talking in parables, was the method of Jesus. This mode of preaching and this moral teaching, combined with other circumstances, at once suggest that this was in imitation of Jesus. Jesus was here in India; he went preaching everywhere; the followers of the Buddhist Faith met him, and finding him a holy person who worked miracles, recorded these things in their books; nay, they declared him to be the Buddha, for it is human nature to try to acquire a good thing for oneself wherever it may be, so much so, that people try to record and remember any clever remark made by any person before them. It is, therefore, quite likely that the followers of the Buddhist Faith may have reproduced the entire picture of the Gospels in their books; as for example, fasting for forty days both by Jesus and the Buddha; the Temptation of both; the birth of both being without father8, the moral teaching of both; both calling themselves the Light, both calling themselves Master and their Companions disciples; just as Matthew, chapter 10 verses 8 and 9, states: 'Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,' so the Buddha gave the same command to his disciples; just as the Gospel encourages celibacy, so does the teaching of the Buddha; just as there was an earthquake when Jesus was put on the Cross, so it is recorded, these was an earthquake at the death of the Buddha. All these points of resemblance arise from the fact of Jesus' visit to India, which was a piece of good luck for the followers of the Buddhist Faith, from his staying among them for a considerable time and from Buddhists acquiring a good knowledge of the facts of his life and of his noble teaching. Consequently, it was inevitable that a great part of that teaching and ceremonial should find its way into Buddhistic records for Jesus was respected and taken for the Buddha by the Buddhists. These people, therefore, recorded his sayings in their books and ascribed them to the Buddha.

It is indeed a wonder that the Buddha, just like Jesus, should have taught his disciples in parables -- especially in those to be found in the Gospels. In one of these parables the Buddha says:

As the peasant sows the seed but cannot say: the grain shall swell today, tomorrow germinate, so also it is with the disciple; he must obey the precepts, practise meditation, study the doctrine; he cannot say today or tomorrow I shall be delivered9.
This, it will be noted, is the same parable which has existed in the gospels to this day. The Buddha, again, narrates another parable:
Again as when a herd of deer lives in a forest a man comes who opens for them a false path, and the deer suffer hurt, and another comes who opens a safe path and the deer thrive; so when men live among pleasures the evil one comes and opens the false eightfold path of right belief... (P. Oldenberg, 191-192).
The Buddha also taught:
Righteousness is a safe Treasure which no one can steal. It is a Treasure which accompanies man even after death; it is a Treasure which is the Source of all Knowledge and all Perfection.9
Now it will be noticed that the gospel teaching is just the same. The ancient Buddhistic records of this teaching belong to the period not remote from the time of Jesus -- nay, it is the same period. Again, on page 135 of the same book there occurs the saying, wherein the Buddha speaks of his irreproachableness in that no one could point to a blot on his character. This too has a resemblance with a saying of Jesus. Buddhism, on page 45, states:
The moral teaching of the Buddha has a striking resemblance with the Christian.
I agree; nay, I acknowledge; both say: Love not the world; nor wealth; do not hate your enemies; do no evil; conquer evil with good; do to others as you wish to be done by -- all this points to such a striking resemblance between the gospel and the teaching of the Buddha that it is unnecessary to mention any more details.

Buddhistic records also show that Gautama Buddha prophesied the advent of a second Buddha who was named Metteyya. This prophecy is contained in Laggawati Sutatta -- a Buddhist record. It is mentioned on page 142 of Oldenberg's book. The prophecy reads10:

He will be the leader of a band of disciples numbering hundreds of thousands, as I am now the leader of bands of disciples, numbering hundreds.
It may be noticed here that the Hebrew words, Masiha, is the same as the Pali, Metteyya. It is a matter of common knowledge that when a word is transferred from one language to another it very often undergoes a change: an English word, too, when imported by another language, undergoes a change: for example, Max Muller, in the course of a list given on page 318 of Volume 11 of Sacred Books of the East, says: the th of the English alphabet becomes... in Persian or Arabic... like S. Keeping these changes in view one can readily understand that the word Messiah became Metteyya in the Pali language, which means that the future Metteyya prophesied by the Buddha is in reality the Messiah -- no one else. This finds support in the fact that the Buddha had prophesied that the Faith he had founded would not endure in the world for more than five hundred years; that at the time of the decline of his principles and teachings, the Metteyya would come to this land and would re-establish them in the world. Now we know that Jesus appeared five hundred years after the Buddha, and that just as the Buddha had fixed the limit of time for the decline of his Faith, Buddhism went into a state of decline at the appointed time. Then did Jesus, after his escape from the Cross, travel to this land; and the Buddhists recognised him and treated him with great reverence. There is no doubt that the moral teaching and spiritual exercises taught by the Buddha were resuscitated by Jesus. Christians admit that the Sermon on the Mount of the Gospels and the other moral teachings are the same as had been preached to the world by the Buddha five hundred years before. They also state that the Buddha did not only teach moral precepts; he also taught other great truths. In their view the title Light of Asia applied to the Buddha is highly appropriate. Now, in accordance with the prophecy of the Buddha, Jesus appeared five hundred years after; and as admitted by most Christian scholars, his teaching was the same as the teaching of the Buddha. There is no doubt, therefore, that he appeared in the 'spirit' of the Buddha. In Oldenberg's book, on the authority of Laggawati Sutatta, is stated that the followers of the Buddha, looking to the future, consoled themselves with the idea that, as disciples of the Metteyya, they would have the bliss of salvation; i.e., they were certain that the Metteyya would come to them and that they would attain salvation through him, for, the words in which the Buddha had held out the hope for the Metteyya implied that his disciples would meet him. The statement of the above-mentioned book reinforces the conviction that for the guidance of those people God had created two sets of circumstances: firstly, that by reason of the title Asaf mentioned in Genesis chapter 3, verse 10, which means 'one who rallies a people', Jesus could not but visit the land where the Jews had come to establish themselves; secondly, that in accordance with the prophecy of the Buddha, it was essential that the followers of the Buddha should see him and should profit from him spiritually. Considering both these points together it becomes almost certain that Jesus must have visited Tibet. The fact that Christian teaching and ritual have deeply affected Tibetan Buddhism necessitates the belief that Jesus must have visited the Tibetan people. Moreover, the fact that the zealous followers of Buddhism, as stated in Buddhistic records, had always expected to meet him, cries aloud that this ardent desire of theirs heralded his visit to this country. In the face of both these facts, an impartial person has no need to search through Buddhistic records for the statement that Jesus did come to Tibet. For, according to the prophecy of the Buddha, the desire for the Buddha's second advent being strong, the prophecy itself must have attracted Jesus to Tibet. It must be noted that the word 'Metteyya' mentioned frequently in Buddhistic books is undoubtedly the word 'Messiah'. In the book, Tibet, Tartary, Mongolia, by H. T. Prinsep, on page 1411, about the Metteyya Buddha which in reality is Messiah, it is stated that the first missionaries (Christian preachers), having heard and seen at first hand conditions obtaining in Tibet, came to the conclusion that in the ancient books of the Lamas there were to be found traces of the Christian religion. Again on the same page it is stated that there is no doubt that these ancient authorities believed that the disciples of Jesus were still alive when the Christian teaching reached this place. On page 171 it is stated that there is no doubt that at that time there was a general belief that there would appear a great Saviour about whose appearance, Tacitus says that it was not only the Jews who were responsible for such belief, but Buddhism itself had laid a foundation for it, i.e., it prophesied the coming of the Metteyya. The author of this English work says in a note: The books Pitakkatayan and Atha Katha contain a clear prophecy about the appearance of another Buddha, which shall take place a thousand years after the time of Gautama or 'Sakhiya Muni'. Gautama states, that he is the 25th Buddha and that the 'Bagawa Metteyya' is still to appear, i.e., after he is gone there would come he whose name would be Metteyya, who would be fair-skinned. The English author goes on to say that the word Metteyya has a striking resemblance to Messiah. In short, Gautama Buddha clearly states in this prophecy that there would arise a Messiah in his country, among his people and his followers. That was the basis of the persistent belief about the coming of a Messiah among his followers. The Buddha, in his prophecy, named his 'Bagwa Metteyya' because 'Bagwa' in Sanskrit means 'white', and Jesus being an inhabitant of the Syrian territory, was fair of skin.

The people of the land of this prophecy, i.e., the people of Magadh, in which was located Bajagriha, were dark. Gautama Buddha himself was dark. He had narrated to his followers two conclusive signs regarding the future Buddha; (1) that he would be 'Bagwa' or of white skin and (2) that he would be 'Metteyya', i.e., traveller, and that he would come from a foreign land. These people, therefore, always looked out for these signs till they actually saw Jesus. Every Buddhist must necessarily profess the belief that five hundred years after the Buddha, the Bagwa (white) Metteyya did appear in their land. It should not be surprising, therefore, if books of the Buddhist faith should mention the coming of the Metteyya, i.e., of the Masiha, to their land, and of the fulfilment of his prophecy. Supposing there were not such mention, even then, because on this basis of divine revelation the Buddha had held out to his disciples the hope that the Bagwa Metteyya would come to their land, no Buddhist who was cognizant of this prophecy could deny the coming to this land of the Bagwa Metteyya, whose other name was Masiha; for the non-fulfilment of the prophecy would prove the falsity of the faith. If the prophecy, for the fulfilment of which a time had been fixed and which Gautama Buddha had narrated to his disciples again and again had not been fulfilled at the ripe time, the followers of the Buddha would have doubted his truth and it would have been stated in books that this prophecy had not been fulfilled. Another argument in support of the fulfilment of this prophecy is, that in Tibet in the seventh century A.D. there were found books which contained the word Messiah, i.e., they mention the name of Jesus (on whom be peace) recorded as Mi-Shi-Hu. The compiler of the list which contained the word Mi-Shi-Hu is a Buddhist. See A record of the Buddhist Religion by I. Tsing, translation by G. Takakusu. This Takakusu is a Japanese who has translated I. Tsing's book, and I. Tsing is a Chinese traveller -- on the margin and in the appendix to whose book Takakusu states that an ancient book contains the name Mi-Shi-Hu (Masih). This book belongs approximately to the seventh century; it was recently translated by a Japanese, G. Takakusu by name, and published by Clarendon Press, Oxford12. The book in any case contains the word Masih which shows with certainty that this word is not imported by the adherents of Buddha's religion from outside; rather, it was taken from the prophecy of the Buddha and was written, sometimes as Masih and sometimes as Bagwa Metteyya.

Among the testimonies we have in Buddhistic record is, that in Buddhism by Sir Monier Williams, on page 45, it is written that the sixth disciple of the Buddha would be a man named 'Yasa'. This latter word appears to be a short form of 'Yasu'. As Jesus, (on whom be peace) appeared five hundred years after the death of the Buddha, i.e. in the sixth century, he was called the sixth disciple. It must be noted that Professor Max Muller in The Nineteenth Century13, on page 517 of the issue of October 1894, supports the aforesaid statement by saying that popular writers have pointed out many a time, that Jesus was influenced by the principles of Buddhism and that attempts are being made even today to discover some historical basis by which the principles of the Buddha's faith should be proved to have reached Palestine in the days of Jesus. This supports the books of the Buddhist faith in which is written that Yasa was the disciple of the Buddha, for, when Christians of such high standing as Professor Max Muller have admitted that the principles of Buddhism had had an influence over Jesus it would not be far wrong to say that this amounted to being a disciple of the Buddha. Nevertheless, I consider the use of such words in respect of Jesus (on whom be peace) disrespectful and impertinent. The statement which is to be found in books of the Buddhist faith that Yasu was the disciple of the Buddha, is only an example of the confirmed habit of the priests of these people to mention a great personage appearing at a later time as if he were the disciple of one appearing earlier. Apart from this, there being, as has been stated, a great resemblance between the teachings of Jesus and of the Buddha it would not be far wrong to speak of the relation of master and disciple between the Buddha and Jesus, although it might not be consistent with feelings of respect. I, however, do not approve of the way European investigators wish to prove that the principles of Buddhism reached Palestine in the days of Jesus. It is, indeed, unfortunate that when the name and mention of Jesus are contained in the ancient books of Buddhism, these investigators should adopt the awkward course of trying to find traces of Buddha's faith in Palestine. Why should they not search for the blessed footprints of Jesus on the rocky soil of Nepal, Tibet, and Kashmir? I know, however, that these investigators could not be expected to discover the truth, which was hidden under a thousand veils of darkness; it was the work rather of God, who saw from heaven that man-worship, over-stepping all limits, had spread over the world and that the worship of the Cross and of the supposed sacrifice of a human being had alienated the hearts of many millions of people from the true God, Whose Jealousy sent to the world a servant of His in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, to break the creed of the Cross. In accordance with the old promise he appeared as the Promised Messiah. Then there came the time for the breaking of the Cross, i.e. the time when the error of the creed of the Cross was to be made plain like the breaking in two of a piece of wood. So now is the time when Heaven has opened the way for the breaking of the Cross, so that a seeker after truth may look around and search for the same. The idea of Jesus ascending into heaven, though it was an error, had nevertheless a significance, namely, that the Messianic Reality had been forgotten and had become obliterated as a corpse is eaten up by the earth of the grave; this Messianic Reality was believed to be in existence in heaven in the corporeal form of a human being. It was inevitable, therefore, that this Reality should descend to the earth in the latter days. It has descended to the earth in this age in the shape of a living human being; it has broken the Cross; and the evils of falsehood and of worship of untruth, which our Holy Prophet in the Hadith about the Cross, has compared to swine, have been cut to pieces along with the breaking of the Cross, just as a swine is cut with the sword. This Hadith does not mean that the Promised Messiah would kill the Kafirs and break crosses: rather, the breaking of the Cross means that in that age the God of Heaven and Earth would bring out the hidden Reality which, all of a sudden, would smash the whole structure of the Cross. The killing of swine does not mean the killing of men nor of swine but the killing of swinish qualities -- like persistence in falsehood and insistence upon presenting the same to others, which is like eating dirt. Just as, therefore, a dead swine cannot eat dirt, so, there would come a time -- nay, it has come already -- when evil natures would be prevented from eating dirt of this kind. The Muslim Ulema have been misled in interpreting this prophecy. The real meaning of the breaking of the Cross and of the killing of swine is that which I have stated. Moreover, in the time of the Promised Messiah, religious wars would be brought to an end; and Heaven would so reflect the resplendent Truth as to bring to one's view the radiant difference between truth and falsehood. Do not think, therefore, that I have come with a sword. Nay, I have come to put all swords back into their sheaths. The world has been fighting a good deal in the dark. Many a man has attacked his true well-wishers, wounded the hearts of sympathetic friends, and injured his dear ones. But now, darkness is no more. Night is gone and now it is day. Blessed is he who remains deprived no longer!

Among the testimonies contained in Buddhist records is the evidence mentioned on page 419 of Buddhism by Oldenberg14. In this book, on the authority of the book named Mahawaga page 54, section 1, it is recorded that a successor to the Buddha would be a man called 'Rahula', described also as a disciple; nay, rather, his son. Now here I am emphatic that the 'Rahula' of Buddhistic records is the corrupt form of 'Ruhullah' which is one of Jesus' titles. The story, that this 'Rahula' was the son of the Buddha who, having abandoned the Child in his infancy, had gone into exile and who, with the intention of parting from his wife for good, had left her asleep without informing her or saying farewell to her, and had run away to some other land, is altogether absurd, senseless and derogatory to the greatness of the Buddha. Such a cruel and hard-hearted man who had no compassion for his poor wife, who left her asleep and, without saying a word of consolation to her, stole away like a thief; who ignored altogether the duties he owed to her as a husband -- neither divorcing her nor asking her permission to go on a journey without end; who gave a hard blow to her heart by disappearing suddenly, who pained her and did not send even a letter to her, till the son grew up to be a man, and who did not take pity on the infant -- such a man who had no respect for the moral teaching he himself inculcated can never be a righteous person. My conscience refuses to accept this, just as it refuses to accept the story in the Gospel that Jesus once showed no regard for his mother, that he did not care for her when she came and called him, but instead uttered words insulting to her.

So although the stories about hurting the feelings of wife and mother have a certain mutual resemblance, yet we cannot ascribe stories, which connote a falling off from the ordinary standards of character to Jesus or to Gautama Buddha. If the Buddha loved not his wife, had he no pity on a poor woman and her suffering child either? This amounts to a serious lack of character; so serious that I have been pained to think of it after the lapse of hundreds of years. One fails to understand why he did all this. To be a bad man, it is enough to be careless towards one's wife -- except that she might be immoral, disobedient or faithless and hostile to her husband. Hence, we cannot ascribe any such offensive behaviour to the Buddha; this being against even his own teachings. These circumstances therefore show that the story is wrong. In point of fact 'Rahula' refers to Jesus, whose other name is 'Ruhullah'. The word 'Ruhullah' in Hebrew becomes similar to 'Rahula', and the 'Rhaula', i.e., 'Ruhullah', has been called the disciple of the Buddha because, as I have already stated, of Jesus coming after him and bringing a teaching similar to the teaching of the Buddha, and because of the followers of the Buddhist faith declaring that the source of that teaching was the Buddha and that Jesus was one of his disciples. It should not be surprising if the Buddha, on the basis of revelation from God, should declare Jesus to be his 'son'. Another piece of circumstantial evidence is that in the same book it is recorded that when 'Rahula' was separated from his mother, a woman who was a follower of the Buddha and whose name was Magdaliyana, acted as a messenger. It would be noticed that the name Magdaliyana is in reality a corrupt form of Magdalene, a woman follower of Jesus mentioned in the Gospels.

All this evidence, which has been briefly set out, leads impartial people to the conclusion that Jesus must needs have come to this country, and, apart from all such clear evidence, no wise man can afford to disregard the similarity, to be found especially in Tibet, between the teaching and the ceremonial of Buddhism and Christianity. Nay, rather, there is such a striking resemblance between them that most Christian thinkers believe that Buddhism is the Christianity of the East, and Christianity the Buddhism of the West15. It is strange indeed that just as Jesus says, 'I am the Light and the Way', the same is said by the Buddha; just as the Gospels call Jesus the Saviour, the Buddha too calls himself the Saviour (see Lalta Wasattara). In the Gospels it is stated that Jesus had no father, and with regard to the Buddha it is stated that in reality he was born without a father16, although apparently, just as Jesus had a father, Joseph, so had the Buddha a father. It is also stated that a star rose at the time of the Buddha's birth; there is also the story of Solomon ordering the cutting of the child in two halves and giving one of these halves to each of two women, which is found in the Buddha's Jataka. This, apart from showing that Jesus has come to this country, also shows that the Jews of that country who had come to this land had developed connections with Buddhism.

The story of Genesis as stated in books of the Buddhist faith has a great resemblance to the same story given in the Torah. Just as according to the Torah man is considered superior to woman, so, in the religion of the Buddha, a monk is considered superior to a nun. It may be observed, however, that the Buddha believed in the transmigration of souls, but his transmigration is not opposed to the teaching of the Gospels. According to the Buddha, transmigration is of three kinds: (1) that the dying man's actions and efforts necessitate the coming into being of another body; (2) the kind of transmigration which the Tibetans believe to be operative among the Lamas, i.e., some part of the spirit of some Buddha or Buddha Satwa transmigrates into the Lama for the time being; which means that his power, temper and spiritual qualities are transferred into such a Lama and that his spirit begins to animate the latter; (3) that in this very life man goes through different creations -- there comes a time when he is, as it were, a bull; when he grows in greed and evil, he becomes a dog, the first existence dying out, giving rise to another corresponding to the quality of his actions; all these changes, however, take place in this very life. This creed is not opposed to the teaching of the gospels.

I have already stated that the Buddha also believes in the existence of the Devil, so he also believes in hell and heaven, in angels and in the Day of Judgment. The charge that the Buddha did not believe in God is a pure fabrication. The Buddha did not believe in Vedanta and in corporeal Gods of the Hindus. He criticises the Vedas a great deal. He does not believe in the existing Vedas. He regards them as corrupt and interpolated. The period during which he was a Hindu and a follower of the Vedas, he regards as the period of evil birth. For example, he hints that for a time he was a monkey; again for a time, an elephant; then a deer, and a dog; four times a snake, and then a sparrow, then a frog; twice a fish, ten times a tiger, four times a fowl, twice a pig, and once a hare, and that at the time he was a hare he used to teach the monkeys, the jackals, the water-dogs; again, he says that he was a ghost; once, a woman, a dancer and the Devil. All these hints are meant to point to phases of life full of cowardice, of womanish behaviour, of impurity and savagery, of profligacy, gluttony, and superstition. It appears that in this way he points to the time when he was a follower of the Vedas, for, after abandoning the latter he gives no hint of any trace of an evil life still persisting in him. On the other hand, he then makes great claims; he said that he had become a manifestation of god and had attained Nirwana. The Buddha also states that the man who goes from the world taking hellish actions with him is thrown into hell, sentinels of hell drag him towards the King of Hell, called Yamah, and the condemned one is then asked whether he had not seen the Five Messengers who had been sent to warn him: Childhood -- Old Age -- Disease -- Being punished for one's guilt in this very life, a proof of the punishment of the hereafter -- Dead bodies which point to the destructibility of the universe. The condemned one replies that he had been a fool, he had not thought over any of these things. The Guardians of hell then drag him to the place of chastisement and fasten him with iron chains red-hot like fire. The Buddha, moreover, says that hell has several regions into which sinners of different categories would be cast. In short, all this teaching cries out loudly that the Buddhist religion is indebted to the personal influence of Jesus.

I do not, however, propose to go on with this discussion. I close this section here, for when there is a clear prophecy, stated in books of the Buddhist faith, about the coming of Jesus to his country -- a prophecy which no one can deny -- when the parables and the moral teaching of the Gospels are to be found in books of the Buddhist faith compiled in Jesus' time -- both these considerations combined do not leave any doubt about the coming of Jesus to this country. The evidence, therefore, for which we had set out to make a search through Buddhistic records has been completely recovered -- thanks to Almighty God.

SECTION 3

On the evidence from books of history
which show that the coming of Jesus to
the Punjab and neighbouring territories was inevitable

The question naturally arises, why Jesus after his escape from the Cross, came to this country what induced him to take such a long journey? It becomes necessary to answer this question in some detail. I have already said something about it, nevertheless, I think it would be helpful to set out the entire topic in this book.

Let it be noted, therefore, that it was extremely necessary, by reasons of his office as a divine messenger, for Jesus (on whom be peace) to have journeyed towards the Punjab and its neighbourhood, for the ten tribes of Israel, who in the Gospels have been called the Lost Sheep of Israel, had migrated to this country, a fact which is not denied by an historian. It was necessary, therefore, that Jesus (on whom be peace) should have journeyed to this country and, after finding the Lost Sheep, he should have conveyed to them his divine message.

If he had not done so, his purpose would have remained unfulfilled, for his mission was to preach to the Lost Sheep of Israel; his passing away from the world without seeking these lost sheep and, after finding them, teaching them the way to salvation, would have been like the case of a man who had been charged by his king to go to a wild tribe in order to dig a well and supply them with water, but who goes instead to some other place, spends three or four years there and takes no steps to search for the tribe. Does such a man carry out the command of the king? No, not in the least; the man cares not for that tribe: he merely looks to his own comfort.

If, however, it is asked, how and why it should be supposed that the ten tribes of Israel came to this country, the reply is that there is clear evidence to that effect, about which even a person of a poor intellect can have no doubt; for it is well known that people like the Afghans and the original inhabitants of Kashmir are of Israelite origin. For example, the people of the hilly tract of Alai which is two or three days' journey from the district of Hazara, have called themselves Bani Israel from time immemorial; so, also the inhabitants of the Kala Dakah, another hilly tract in this region, take pride in being of Israelite origin. Then there is a tribe in the Hazara district itself which attributes their origin to Israel. Similarly, the people of the hilly region between Chalas and Kabul call themselves Israelites. About the people of Kashmir, the view expressed by Dr. Bernier on the authority of some English scholars, in the second part of his book Travels in the Moghul Empire,17 is well founded: the view, namely, that the Kashmiri people are the descendants of Israel; their dress, their features and some of their customs conclusively point to the fact that they are of Israelite origin. An Englishman, George Forster by name, states in his book18 that during his stay in Kashmir he thought himself to be amidst a tribe of the Jews. In the book called The Races of Afghanistan,19 by H. W. Bellews C.S.I., (Thacker Spink & Co., Calcutta) it is mentioned that the Afghans came from Syria. Nebuchadnezzar took them prisoner and settled them in Persia and Media, from whence at some later time they marched to the East and settled in the Ghaur hills, where they were known as Beni Israel. In proof of this there is the prophecy of the Prophet Idris (Enoch), saying that the ten tribes of Israel who were taken prisoner escaped from bondage and took refuge in the territory called Arsartat which appears to be the name of the part known as Hazara today, part of the region being called Ghaur. In Tabaqat-i-Nasri, in which there is an account of the conquest of Afghanistan by Genghiz Khan, it is stated that in the time of the Shabnisi dynasty there lived a tribe called Bani-Israel, some of whom were good traders. In 622 A.D. near about the time when our Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him) announced his call, these people were settled in the territory towards the east of Herat. A Quraish Chief, Khalid bin Walid by name, brought to them the tidings of the Prophet's advent with a view to bringing them under the banner of the Divine Messenger (on whom be peace and blessings of God). Five or six chiefs joined him, of whom Qais was the leading one, whose other name was Kish. After accepting Islam these people fought bravely for Islam and made many conquests, the Holy Prophet (on whom be peace and the blessings of God), giving them many presents on their return, blessing them, and prophesying that those people would attain to great ascendancy. The Holy Prophet said that the chiefs of this tribe would always be known as Maliks. Qais, he named Abdul Rashid, and conferred upon him the title 'Pathan'. Afghan writers say that this is a Syriac word which means a rudder. As the newly converted Qais was a guide to his tribe like the rudder of a ship he was awarded the title 'Pathan'.

It is not possible to say at what time the Afghans of Ghaur advanced farther and came to settle in the territory around Kandhar, which is their home today. This happened probably in the first century of the Islamic calendar. The Afghans maintain that Qais married the daughter of Khalid bin Walid, by whom he had three sons whose names were Saraban, Patan, and Gurgasht. Saraban had two sons, called Sacharj Yun, and Karsh Yun, whose descendants are Afghans, i.e. the Bani-Israel. The people of Asia-Minor, and Muslim historians of the West, call Afghans 'Sulaimanis'. In The Cyclopaedia of India, Eastern and Southern Asia,20 by E. Balfour, Vol. 111, it is stated that the Jewish people are spread over the central, southern, and eastern regions of Asia. In early times these people were settled in large numbers in China; they had a temple at Yih Chu, the headquarter of the district of Shu. Dr. Wolf21 who wandered for a long time in search of the Ten Lost Tribes of Bani Israel is of the opinion that if Afghans are the progeny of Jacob they come from the Tribes of Yahuda and Bin Yamin. Another report points out that the Jews were exiled to Tartary; they were found in large numbers in the territories round about Bukhara, Merv and Khiva. Prester John, Emperor of Constantinople, writing about his dominions, says that beyond this river (Amu) there are the ten tribes of Israel who, though they claim to be under their own king, are in reality his subjects and vassals. Dr. Moore's researches22 show that the Tartar tribes named Chosan are of Jewish origin and that among them are to be found traces of the ancient Jewish faith; for example, they observe the custom of circumcision. The Afghans have a tradition that they are the ten lost tribes of Israel. After the sack of Jerusalem the king, Nebuchadnezzar, took them prisoner and settled them in the Ghaur country, near Bamiyar. Before the coming of Khalid Bin Walid they had consistently maintained the Jewish faith.

In appearance the Afghans resemble the Jews in all respects. Like them, the younger brother marries the widow of the elder brother. A French traveller, L. P. Ferrier by name, who passed through Herat, states that in this territory there are many Israelites who have complete liberty in the observance of the customs of their faith. The Rabbi Bin Yamin of Toledo (Spain) in the twelfth century A.D. ventured out in search of the lost tribes. He states that these Jews are settled in China, Iran and Tibet. Josephus,23 who wrote the ancient history of the Jews in 93 A.D. in his eleventh book, in the course of his account of the Jews who escaped from bondage with the Prophet Ezra, states that the ten tribes were settled beyond the Euphrates even at that time, and that their numbers could not be counted. By beyond the Euphrates are meant Persia and the eastern territories. St. Jerome who lived in the fifth century A.D., writing about the Prophet Hosea, concerning this subject, states in the margin that from that day the ten tribes (of the Israelites) have been under king Parthya i.e., Paras, and have not been released from bondage. In the first volume of the same book it is stated that Count Juan Steram writes on page 233-34 of his book that the Afghans admit that Nebuchadnezzar, after the destruction of the Temple at Jerusalem, exiled them to the territory of Bamiyan (this lies adjacent to Ghaur, in Afghanistan). In the book, A Narrative of a Visit to Ghazni, Kabul and Afghanistan by G. T. Vigne, F.G.S. (1840), on page 166,24 it is stated that one Mullah Khuda Dad read out from a book called Majma-ul-Ansab that the eldest son of Jacob was Yahuda, whose son was Usrak; Usrak's son was Aknur; Aknur's son was Maalib; Maalib's Ka-Farlai; Farlai's Qais, Qais' Talut; Talut's Armea, and Armea's son was Afghan whose descendants are the Afghan people and after whom the latter are named. Afghan was the contemporary of Nebuchadnezzar; he was called a descendant of Israel, and had forty sons. In the 34th degree, after 2000 years, was born Qais who lived in the time of Muhammad (The Holy Prophet, on whom be peace and blessings of God). His descendants multiplied unto 64 generations. Afghan's eldest son, called Salm, migrated from his home in Syria and settled in Ghaur Mashkoh, near Herat. His descendants spread into Afghanistan,

In the Encyclopaedia of Geography,25 by James Bryce, F.G.S. (London, 1856), on page 11, it is stated that the Afghans trace their genealogy to Saul, the Israelite King, and call themselves the descendants of Israel. Alexander Burns says that the Afghans state that they are of Jewish origin; that the king, Babul, captured them and settled them in the territory of Ghaur which is to the northwest of Kabul; that up to 622 A.D. they continued in their own Jewish faith, but that Khalid bin Abdulla (mistaken for Walid) married the daughter of a chief of this tribe and made them accept Islam in that year.

In the book History of Afghanistan,26 by Col. G. R. Malleson, published in London (1878), on page 39, it is stated that Abdullah Khan of Herat, the French traveller Friar John, and Sir William Jones (who was a great orientalist) agree that the Afghan people are descended from the Beni-Israel; they are the descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes. The book History of the Afghans, by L. P. Ferrier, translated by Capt. W. M. Jasse, and published in London (1858),27 records at page 1 that the majority of oriental historians are of the opinion that the Afghan people are descendants of the Ten Tribes of Israel and that the Afghans' own opinion is the same. The same historian says at page 4 of this book, that Afghans possess evidence that at Peshawar, during his invasion of India, Nadir Shah was presented by the chiefs of the Yusaf-Zai tribe with a Bible written in Hebrew as well as several other articles preserved by their families for the performance of religious ceremonies of their old faith. There were also Jews in Nadir Shah's camp. On seeing the articles they readily recognised them. Again, the same historian states at page 4 of his book that in his opinion Abdullah Khan of Herat's view is reliable. Briefly stated this view is: Malik Talut (Saul) had two sons -- Afghan and Jalut. Afghan was the patriarch of these people. After the rule of David and Solomon there was mutual fighting between the Israel tribes as a result of which each tribe became separated from the rest, and this state of affairs continued up to the time of Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar launched an invasion and killed 70000 Jews. He sacked the city, taking the remaining Jews with him to Babel as prisoners. After this catastrophe the children of Afghan fled in fear from Judaea to Arabia and lived there for a long time. But as water and land were scarce, and man and beast were both hard pressed, they decided to migrate to India. A party of Abdalis remained in Arabia, and during the Khilafat of Hazrat Abu Bakr one of their chiefs established a link by marriage between them and Khalid Bin Walid... When Iran fell to Arabia, these people migrated from Arabia and settled themselves in the Iranian provinces of Faras and Kirman. They stayed there till the invasion of Ghangiz Khan. The Abdalis were helpless against the atrocities of Ghangiz Khan. They came to India, passing through Makran, Sindh and Multan. But they had no peace here. Ultimately they went to Koh Sulaiman and settled there. The other members of the Abdalis tribe also joined them there. They consisted of 24 tribes -- the descendants of Afghan, who had three sons, namely. Saraband (Saraban), Arkash (Gargasht), Karlan (Batan). Each of them had eight sons who multiplied into twenty-four tribes, each tribe being named after the name of each son. Their names with the names of their tribes are given below:

Sons of SarabandName of tribe
Abdal Abdali
Baboor Baboori
Wazir Waziri
Lohan Lohani
Barch Barchi
Khugiyan Khugiyani
Sharan Sharani

Gargarsht (Arkash's) sonsName of tribe
Khilj Khilji
Kakar Kakari
Jamurin Jamurini
Saturiyan Saturiyani
Peen Peeni
Kas Kasi
Takan Takani
Nasar Nasri

Sons of KarlanName of tribe
Khatak Khataki
Afrid Afridi
Toor Toori
Zaz Zazi
Bab Babi
Banganesh Banganeshi
Landipoor Landipoori

The book, Makhzan-i-Afghani by Khawaja Nimatullah of Herat, written in 1018 Hijra in the time of King Jahangir, translation published by Prof. Bernhard Doran of Kharqui University (London, 1836), contains in the chapters mentioned below the following statements.

In chapter 1 there is the history of Jacob Israel with whom starts the genealogy of this people (The Afghans).

In chapter 11 there is the history of King Talut, i.e., the genealogy of the Afghans is traced to Talut.

On pages 22 and 23 it is stated: Talut had two sons -- Barkhiya and Armiyah. Barkhiya had a son, Asaf, and Afghan had 24 sons and no one among the Israelites compared with the descendants of Afghan. On page 65 it is stated that Nebuchadnezzar occupied the whole of Sham (Syria), etc., exiled the Israelite tribes and sent them to settle in Ghaur, Ghazni, Kabul, Kandhar and Koh Firoz, where the descendants of Asaf and Afghan particularly took up their abode.

On pages 37 and 38 of this book, on the authority of the author of Majma-ul-Ansab, and of Mastaufi the author of Tarikh Buzidah, it is stated that in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (on whom be peace and blessings of God) Khalid bin Walid invited to Islam the Afghans who, after the event of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, had taken up residence in the Ghaur territory. The Afghan chiefs under the leadership of Qais, who was a descendant of Talut in the 37th degree, came to the Holy Prophet (on whom be peace and blessings of God), (Here the genealogy of Abdul Rashid Qais is given up to Talut-Saul). The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of God be upon him) conferred the title of Pathan on the chiefs, the meaning of which is 'ship's rudder'. After some time the chiefs returned to their territory and began to preach Islam.

In the same book Makhzan-i-Afghan on page 63, it is recorded that Farid-ud-Din Ahmad makes the following statement concerning the titles Beni Afghanah or Beni Afghan, in his book Rasalah Ansab-i-Afghaniyah: After Nebuchadnezzar, the Magian had conquered the Israelites and the Sham territories, and when he had sacked Jerusalem, he took the Israelites prisoners and exiled them as slaves. He took away with him several of their tribes who followed the Mosaic Law, and ordered them to forsake their ancestral faith and to worship him instead of God, which they refused to do. Consequently, Nebuchadnezzar put to death two thousand of the most intelligent and the wisest people from among them and ordered the rest that they should remove themselves from his kingdom and from the Sham territory. Some of them left Nebuchadnezzar's territory under a chief and went away to the Ghaur hills. Their descendants settled down in this place, multiplied, and the people began to call them Beni Israel, Beni Asaf and Beni Afghan.

On page 64, the said author states that trustworthy records like Tarikh-i-Afghani, Tarikh-i-Ghauri, etc., contained the assertion that the Afghans are mostly Beni Israel and some of them are of Coptic origin. Moreover, Abul Fazl states that some Afghans regard themselves as of Egyptian origin, the reason stated by them being that when the Beni Israel returned to Egypt from Jerusalem, this tribe (i.e., the Afghans) migrated to India. On page 64 Farid-ud-Din Ahmad says about the title 'Afghan': About the title Afghan, some have recorded that after exile (from Syria) they used always to 'bewail and cry' (faghan) in remembrance of their home. They were therefore named Afghans. Sir John Malcolm is also of the same opinion; see History of Persia, Vol. 1, page 101.

On page 63 is set out Mahabat Khan's statement: 'As they are the followers and relations of Solomon (on whom be peace), they are, therefore, styled Sulaimanis by the Arabs'.

On page 65 it is written that almost all oriental historians' researches show that the Afghan people's own view is that they are of Jewish origin. Some of the historians of today have adopted the same view or, very likely, have regarded it as true.

As to the adoption of Jewish names by Afghans being due to their having accepted Islam, there is nothing to support the translator Bernhard Doran's view. In northern and western Punjab there are tribes, of Hindu origin who have become Muslims but whose names are not after the names of the Jewish people, which clearly shows that by becoming Muslims people do not necessarily adopt Jewish names.

In features, the Afghans have a striking resemblance to the Jews, a fact which is admitted even by those scholars who do not subscribe to the view that the Afghans are of Jewish origin. This may be the only available proof of their Jewish descent. In this connection Sir John Malcolm's words are:

The origin of the Afghan tribes who inhabit the mountainous tract between Khorasan and the Indus is variously traced by different historians. Some assert that they are lineally descended from the Jewish tribes, made prisoners by Nebuchadnezzar, and the principal chiefs are said to trace their families to David and Saul. Although their right to this proud descent is very doubtful, it is evident from their personal appearance and many of their usages that they are a distinct race from the Persians, Tartars and Indians and this alone seem to give some credibility to a statement which is contradicted by many strong facts, and of which no direct proof has been produced.

If similarity of features between one people and another can point to anything, the Kashmiris with their Jewish features would certainly be found to be of Jewish origin. This has been mentioned not only by Bernier but also by Forster, and perhaps other scholars.

Although Forster does not accept Bernier's opinion, he admits that when he was among the Kashmiris he thought he was amidst a Jewish people.

Regarding the word 'Kashmiri', there occur the following words on page 250 of A. K. Johnston's Dictionary of Geography:

On page 250, under the heading CASHMERE:
The natives are of a tall, robust frame of body, with manly features -- the women full-formed and handsome, with aquiline nose and features, resembling the Jewish.
In the Civil & Military Gazette (23 November 1898, page 4), under the heading 'Sawati and Afridi', there is reproduced a very valuable and interesting paper presented to the Anthropological section of the British Association at one of its recent meetings, which will be read at the winter session before the Committee on Anthropological Research. The paper is set out below:
Below we are enabled to give the complete text of the highly valuable and interesting paper contributed to the Anthropological Section at the recent meeting of the British Association, and still to be read before the Anthropological Institute at one of its winter meetings.

The original Paktan or Pathan inhabitants of these western gates of India are recognised in very early history, many of the tribes being mentioned by Herodotus and the historians of Alexander. In mediaeval times the rough uncultivated wilderness of mountains they held was called Roh, and its inhabitants Rohillas, and there can be little doubt that most of these early Rohilla or Pathan tribes were in their places long before the overlying Afghan tribes were thought of. All Afghans whatsoever now counted as Pathans, because they all speak the Pathan language, Pushto, they acknowledge no direct kinship, claiming themselves to be Beni Israel, the descendants of those tribes who were carried captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. All of them have, however, adopted the Pushto tongue, and all recognise the same Pathan, code of common civil observances called Paktanwali, which is, in many of its provisions, curiously suggestive both of the old Mosaic dispensation and of ancient observances of the Rajput races.

ISRAELITISH TRACES

Thus the Pathans, with whom we have lately been so largely concerned, may be divided into two great communities, i.e. tribes and clans such as Waziris, Afridis, Orakzais, etc. who are of Indian origin, and those who are Afghans, who claim to be Semitic and who represent the dominant race throughout our frontier; and it seems at least to be possible that the Paktanwali, which is an unwritten code and which is acknowledged by them all alike, may be of very mixed origin indeed. We may find in it Mosaic ordinances grafted on to Rajput traditions and modified by Moslem custom. The Afghans, who call themselves Duranis and who have done so ever since the foundation of the Durani Empire about a century and a half ago, say that they trace their descent from the Israelitish tribes through an ancestor named Kish, to whom the prophet Mohomet gave the name Pathan (which is Syriac for a rudder), because he was to steer his people into the currents of Islam. We have already noted, however, that the Paktan or Pathan nationality is very much older than Islam. It is difficult to account for the universal prevalence of Israelitish names amongst Afghans without admitting some early connection with the Israelitish nation. Still more difficult is it to account for certain observances, such for instance as the keeping of the Feast of the Passover (which, by the Afghan race, is at least most curiously well imitated) or for the persistence with which the least educated Afghans maintain this tradition, without some original basis of truth for it. Bellew thinks that this Israelitish connection may be a real one; but he points out that one at least of the three great branches of the Afghan family traditionally sprung from Kish, is call the name Sarabaur, which is but the Pushtu form of the ancient name applied to the solar race of Rajputs, colonies of whom are know to have immigrated into Afghanistan after their defeat by the Chandrabans -- the lunar race in the great contest, the Mahabharat, of early Indian records. Thus the Afghan may possibly be an Israelite absorbed into ancient Rajput tribes, and this has always appeared to me to be the most probable solution of the problem of his origin. Anyhow, the modern Afghan takes his stand, on the grounds of tradition, to be one of the chosen race, a descendant of Abraham, and he only recognises affinity with other Pathans through the medium of a common language, and a common code of tribal custom.

All these quotations from the books of well-known writers considered together, will convince a just person that Afghans and Kashmiris, who are to be found in India, on the frontier and in its neighbourhood, are really Beni Israel. In the second part of this book, God willing, I shall prove in more detail that the ultimate object underlying Jesus' long journey to India was that he might discharge the duty of preaching to all the Israelite tribes, a fact to which he has alluded in the gospels. It is not surprising, therefore, that he should have come to India and Kashmir. On the other hand, it would indeed be surprising if, without discharging his duties, he should have ascended into heaven. Here I close the present discussion.

    Peace be on those who are guided aright.

MIRZA GHULAM AHMAD

THE PROMISED MESSIAH

Qadian, District Gurdaspur

Footnotes to Chapter 4

  1. In the Torah there was a promise to the Jews, that if they believed in the 'last' prophet they would be given after passing through much suffering, kingship and rulership. That promise was fulfilled by the ten tribes of Israel adopting Islam. That is why there have been great kings among Afghans as well as among Kashmiris.

    There is a letter in the 14th section of the first chapter of the history in Greek of the 'Creed of Eusebeus', translated by a Londoner, Heinmer by name, in 1650 A.D., which shows that a king, Abgerus by name, invited Jesus from the land beyond the Euphrates, to his court. The letter sent by Abgerus to Jesus, and the reply to it, are full of much falsehood and exaggeration. This much, however, seems to be true, that the king having been apprised of the cruelties of the Jews invited Jesus to his court to give him a refuge. The king probably believed that he was a true prophet.

  2. Sir M. M. Williams's Buddhism, page 23.

  3. See Appendix.

  4. Also see Chinese Buddhism by Edkins; Buddha by Oldenberg, translated by W. Hoey; Life of Buddha, translated by Rickhill.

  5. We cannot deny that the Buddhistic Faith, from ancient times, has had considerable moral teaching in it; but at the same time I maintain that that part which is merely the teaching of the gospel -- the parables and other reproductions from the Bible -- was undoubtedly added to the Buddhistic books at the time Jesus was in this country.

  6. See Appendix.

  7. Buddhism by Sir Monier Monier Williams (John Murray, London, 1889) page 45.

  8. See Appendix.

  9. Sir. M. M. Williams, Buddhism, p. 51.

  10. Dr. Herman Oldenberg, Buddha.

  11. See Appendix.

  12. See pages 169 and 223 Of Tsing's book (See Appendix).

   13-27.  See Appendix.

Previous Next