Two Misstatements by Mr. Faruqi
In his Foreword, Mr. Faruqi has made two misstatements. He writes:
"Hazrat Mirza Sahib repeatedly announced that taken Islamic parlance, `claim' is not that of a Prophet, but is that of a Mojaddid, a nd Mohaddath (with whom God speaks). Up to the time of his death in 1908 C.E., and during the Caliphate of his successor, Maulvi Noor-ud-Din Sahib, the followers and mureeds of Hazrat Mirza Sahib gave him his right position. However on the death of Maulvi Noor-ud-Din in 1914 Mirza Mahmud Ahmad (the son of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad) became Khalifa, when he advocated the newly established belief that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah was in fact a Prophet and that any Muslim who denies him becomes a kafir himself." (Truth Triumphs, Foreword, page 3)
The first misstatement made by Mr. Faruqi in this passage is that to the death of the Promised Messiah, and all through the period of Khilafat of Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddin, the Ahmadies did not hold that the Founder of the Movement was a Prophet. They regarded him a Mojaddid and a Mohaddath.
Mr. Faruqi has stated that the Promised Messiah's son, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, carved out a doctrine that the Promised Messiah was a Prophet, and one who denied him was a kafir after the death Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddin, the First Khalifa, in 1914.
Naturally, one does not expect much good from a book which goes shockingly wrong in its facts, at the very outset.
Proof that the First Statement Given above Is Wrong
The leader of the Lahore Section of Ahmadies, Maulvi Mohammad Ali, was appointed editor of the Review of Religions in 1901, in the lifetime of the Promised Messiah. At that time he himself also believed that the Promised Messiah was a Prophet, and this was the doctrine to which he invited others. But in the time of the first Khalifa, when the newspaper named Paigham-i-Sulha came into existence, in 1913, in regard to some people responsible for it, an impression grew in the mind of many observant people that they were quietly beginning to assign to the Promised Messiah a position far lower than the one in truth, which belonged to him, that they did not believe he was a Prophet, a Nabi . Since this difference was not yet clear on the surface, and those at the back of this belief were not so acute on the question as they became later on; and since they were also afraid Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I might turn them out of the Movement, on the basis of this view, they issued a statement in the Paigham-i-Sulha:
"It has been gathered that some people have been involved in creating a misunderstanding that by those at the back of this journal, or one of them, anyway, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah, and the Mehdi, is being assigned a position far below the one, in fact, which belongs to him. We, all the Ahmadies connected with this newspaper, in one way or other, go on solemn oath, before God, Who knows the innermost secrets of what lies in the mind, openly and honestly declare that this view being imputed to us is nothing more than a gross accusation, a pernicious charge, against us. We solemnly hold that the Promised Messiah is the Prophet for this age, a Prophet, and a Messenger from God, raised to deliver the Muslims, and all mankind from sin and evil. The high rank and elevation which the Promised Messiah himself has said belongs to him, we have a firm and implicit faith in it; and we believe that an attempt to add to it, or bring it down even a fraction of an inch, is enough to burn all vestige of belief and faith in the heart. We firmly believe that there can be no deliverance without firm faith in the Holy Prophet Mohammad, and the Promised Messiah. After him, we have firm faith in Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddin, the first Khalifa, as our true religious leader. Now that we have made our position absolutely clear, those who are spreading this misunderstanding against us, if they do not desist, we are content to leave the matter in the hands of God." (Paigham-i-Sulha, Lahore, October 16, 1913, page 2)
Here, in 1913, we have all these people at the back of the Paigham-i-Sulha, going solemnly on oath that they believed the Promised Messiah was a Prophet, and a Messenger of God. They believed that any kind of effort to detract from the position which belonged to him was an act so treacherous, so irreligious, as to burn away human capacity for discovering the truth, and the steadfast courage to live up to that ideal. We must also bear in mind that these were also the people, subsequently to the election of Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad as Khalifatul Masih II, began to deny that the Promised Messiah was a Prophet, quite in the same breath as they started to deny the Khilafat of the second Khalifa.
This quotation also bears out, as clearly as the midday sun, that in the days of Khalifatul Masih I, their belief in regard to the Promised Messiah, was that he was a Prophet. In any case, that is what they said, to allay a well-based suspicion, since the leaders of the group were afraid they were not yet in a strong enough position to come out boldly with the views hidden in their mind. At all events we see here the belief that the Promised Messiah was a Prophet, and the entire idea of Prophethood, with all its implications, was not a doctrine which Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II carved out in 1914, for obtaining an emotional hold on the mass of the popular mind in the general membership of the Movement. Mr. Faruqi's contention in this behalf is a wrong statement that Hazrat Mirza Mahmud Ahmad cleverly carved out a convenient new doctrine, in 1914, after he had been elected Khalifa, on the death of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I.
We might also add here that in 1914 a poem was published in the Paigham-i-Sulha in support of the belief in the Prophethood of the Promised Messiah. Here is the substance of some of the couplets:
What a wonderful perfection has Khatm-i-Risalat shown to the world! It has made the river of Nabuwwat (Prophethood) to flow in the Ummat . On the basis of this blessing we have achieved the foremost position, in comparison with the other Ummats. What is the harm, among the followers of the Holy Prophet Mohammad, if one has appeared among us as a Prophet? For the true Believer, if there is any glad tiding, it lies in this point, and whatever miracle is now possible among the Muslims, it is only on this account! (Paigham-i-Sulha, February 12, 1914)