Allegation Against Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II That He Changed His Belief
In the last chapter of his book Mr. Faruqi has alleged that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II has altered his views and beliefs. He writes:
(a) "Uptil 1910 A. D. Mirza Mahmud Ahmad believed that the institution of Prophethood is definitely closed after the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and the blessings of God be upon him) and no prophet had come so far, nor would any appear in the future. He wrote in the April 1910 issue of his monthly magazine Tashhizul Azhan, (published from Qadian): `...Some hundreds of Prophets appeared before the Holy Prophet Muhammad, some of whom we know; but thirteen hundred years have passed after the Holy Prophet Muhammad, and nobody has yet laid a claim to prophethood with success...'"
(b) "Even upto the year 1911, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad still believed that all kinds of prophethood have been terminated with the appearance of the Holy Prophet Muhammad and that through implicit obedience to his teaching, and under his seal, so to speak, righteous and holy Muslims, resembling the ancient prophets in certain attributes, would continue to appear till the day of Judgement. So Mirza Mahmud Ahmad wrote in the 22nd March 1911 issue of the Newspaper (Badar
published from Qadian):
`...That the Almighty God made the Holy Prophet Muhammad as the last of the prophets, and terminated all types of prophethood with him... and his attributes reached such excellence that no Mojaddid
could be appointed unless he bears a seal of the Prophet's obedience.'" (Truth Triumphs, page 50, 51).
For a brief reply to this argument, it is to be noted that in the first quotation "no Prophet had come so far, nor would any come in future", refers to a Mustaqil
Nabi, not beholden to an earlier teaching and an earlier Prophet; in the second quotation no one can become a mamur minallah "
unless he bears a seal of obedience to him", means an Ummati
and Zilli Nabi.
So the conclusion Mr. Faruqi has drawn from these passages is clearly absurd. For, long before this, in 1906, in the very first issue of the "Tashhizul Azhan
", Introduction, page 1, Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad wrote in regard to the Promised Messiah, addressing himself to mankind at large:
"Is it your idea that you belong to a big nation; or that you have jewels and diamonds; or that your strength lies in a large number of men at your back; or that you are a big chief, or a king, or a very learned man; or the presiding priest at some important shrine; or a faqir
with an extraordinary reach in the occult sciences, and therefore, you have no need to accept this Messenger?"
Again, on page 8, he wrote:
"In short, every nation is eagerly waiting for the advent of a prophet; and for this advent the proper time is positively conceded to be this era itself; the signs conveyed to us by the Holy Prophet, to enable us to recognise this prophet; and facilities made available for us that we should come to identify him correctly - all these are indications of the great eminence of our Apostle."
On page 5 and 6 he wrote:
"What we need to determine is whether in these times there is a need for a prophet, or there is no need for one. Irrespective of whether you call these times good or bad, as far as can be seen, at no time has there been so much sin and transgression, evil and wickednees, as there is these days. All mankind with one voice, has risen to cry out that sin has reached the limit. This is the time, therefore, when the need for an Appointed One from God is more acute than ever before."
It is important to bear in mind that this article we are here quoting from is the one on which Maulvi Mohammad Ali wrote a review at the time wherein he said:
"The Editor of this journal is Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, a son of the Promised Messiah, in the first issue, who has written an Introduction running into 14 pages. Members of the Movement would, of course, read this Introduction with due attention. But I would also very much like to hold up this article before the opponents of our Movement, as an argument in favour of the truth of this Movement. The gist of the article is that at times when evil spreads in the world; and people leave the path of truth and virtue, to stray away into wickedness and transgression; when like vultures they fall upon the carrion of worldly aims, becoming altogether oblivious of the needs of a higher life, and the requirements of the life to come - at such times, it has always been the way with Allah that, out of those people themselves, he raises a prophet entrusted with a mission to spread a righteous teaching among the people, and call them to the path of virtue. These people, blind in their sins; and drunk with lust, they heap ridicule on what they hear him saying; or they begin to persecute him, and his companions. They, in fact, wish that they must wipe out the new Movement. But, since the mission is from God Almighty its enemies fail to make a headway against it. In fact the Prophet positively declares beforehand that they would all be crushed, and Allah would bring the rest to the right path, after He has opened their eyes by destroying some of the most virulent in opposition. This has always been the way with Allah, and this is what has come about in our own time."
This powerful review written by Maulvi Mobammad Ali bears witness that as early as 1906, within the lifetime of the Promised Messiah. Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, and Maulvi Mohammad Ali, himself, believed that the Promised Messiah was a Prophet; and it was in this light that they presented him before the world - not merely as a Wali.
Now let us come to the year 1910. In the Annual gathering at Qadian, December 1910, Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad delivered a speech from which the following quotations need to be studied with care:
(a) "It is also to be remembered that Mirza Sahib is a Nabi
and that, the Holy Prophet Mohammad being Khataman
had come to the Promised Messiah from his obedience and loyalty to the Holy Prophet Mohammad. We do not know how many more people would rise to this rank, but why should we not call him a Prophet, when Allah has called him by this name? An Ilham
received by the Promised Messiah towards the later part of his life speaks of him clearly as a Prophet:
(b) "He who takes even a single word of the Promised Messiah to be false, he is the rejected one from the presence of the Lord, since He does not allow His Prophet to die on an error."
(c) "Why do you abandon your distinctive signs? You hold faith in a Chosen Prophet, while your opponents deny him."
(d) "A Nabi
appeared among us as well. If we obey him, and follow in his footsteps, we shall reap the same fruit as was gathered by the Sahaba, Companions of the Holy Prophet Mohammad."
These quotations prove like daylight, that Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, even in 1910, when Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddin was the Khalifa, firmly held the view that the Promised Messiah was a Prophet.
Then Mr. Faruqi has referred to a writing of 1911, of which the title is: "
" which discusses the question of kufr and Islam. In this connection Mr. Faruqi writes:
"When Mirza Mahmud Ahmad declared the non-Ahmadies as kafir
he was questioned that since only a person who denies a prophet can be called a kafir, then does Mirza Mahmud Ahmad regard the Promised Messiah (Mirza Ghulam Ahmad) as a prophet? On this Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, contrary to all his previous writings, declared that the Promised Messiah was a prophet. This is the second change Mirza Mahmud Ahmad has made in his beliefs." (Truth Triumphs, page 51)
In reply, it is to be noted that Mr. Faruqi has given no reference when and where this question was asked, or by whom. Perhaps he has himself framed it. Otherwise it can hardly arise, for in this article as well, like the one of 1906, and the speech of 1910, Hazrat Sahibzada Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad had presented the Promised Messiah as a Nabi. For instance:
"It is our faith and belief that Hazrat Sahib was an apostle of God, appointed by the Lord. It is our conviction that Allah has always been sending His prophets. At the same time it is also our belief that the Holy Prophet Mohammad, is Ra'uf, Rahim,
Apostle of Allah, and Khataman
-Nabiyin. After him, there has been no prophet with a new Sharia
; and he is the seal for all kinds of Nabuwwat
in the future. Whosoever will reach God now, he will do so only by virtue of obedience and loyalty, and devotion to him, as we read in the Holy Quran: `
' `Say, if you love Allah, follow me, and God will begin to love you.' His honour lies only in this. Can a man be called honoured who has no subordinates under him? No, really honoured and high in rank would only be one who has many people of position and power placed under him. Look at things in this world itself. Would you prefer to be a king, or an emperor? The world emperor denotes a higher position than does the word king. It carries the sense that he rules over kings. He stands higher than kings, not lower. Similarly a Nabuwwat
is higher which has some prophets placed under its authority, than another Nabuwwat
which has no prophet placed under it. So, on this same principle, we hold the Promised Messiah as a Nabi, and a Mamur, duly commissioned, in the light of unassailable Reports in the works of Hadith." (Tashhizul Azhan
) Vol. 1V & VI pages 130, 131, April, 1911)
This quotation clearly testifies that in the article entitled "
" "A Muslim is one who believes in all those who are appointed by Allah to a mission," Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad presented the Promised Messiah as a Prophet, under reliable reports in the Hadith. So there is here no question involved of any change in belief.
Next Mr. Faruqi has quoted a passage from Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II, in 1914:
"In regard to Nabuwwat, I desire to tell you that all Ahmadis believe the Promised Messiah is only a Zilli Nabi. However, since, at the present time, there is a tendency to present the Promised Messiah in a position greatly reduced, the contingency demands that his rank and position should be made clear. Apart from this, I myself do not like that the word Nabi
should be indiscriminately used, with such frequence not because he was not a prophet, but because there is a need to safeguard against some people, at some future time, coming to extract from it a sense and content of Nabuwwat-i-Mustaqilla. But this is only a matter for a short time, and even at that, a remedial measure." (Letter addressed to Mohammad Usman Sahib of Lucknow)
On this point Mr. Faruqi has hastened to remark that a position taken up as a more or less temporary remedial measure, in a particular contingency, has solidified into a hard reality. In 1953, an agitation was started against the Ahmadiyya Movement, accompanied by violent disorder in some places, which brought martial law. (Truth Triumphs, page 53)
The passage by Hazrat Khallfatul Masih II, to which reference is made here, is quite clear in its wording and sense that even in the days of his Khilafat he took the Promised Messiah only as a Zilli Nabi. He held, however that Zilli
also is a kind of Nabuwwat
: a Zilli Nabi, also, is a kind of Nabi. In referring to the Promised Messiah, it was enough to speak of him as the Promised Messiah; but since the Lahore Section was taking considerable pain to present the Promised Messiah in a manner which implied a derogation in his real position, it was an urgent need of the time that his position as a Nabi
should be mentioned repeatedly, so that the danger of a confusion arising at some future time should be eliminated, and the misunderstandings created by the Lahore Section should be cleared. Otherwise, as a precautionary measure to describe the sense and substance of Nabuwwat
in some other terms involved no harm. The Promised Messiah himself has set down an Ilham
in the following manner:
"A Prophet came to this world, but the world accepted him not." On this he has given a note:
"One reading of this Ilham
is also that `A Warner came to this world'; and this is the reading set down in Barahin. To avoid mischief, this second reading was not set down." (Tazkira, page 108, with reference to epistle of August 7, 1899, as reproduced in Alhakam August 17, 1899, page 6)
From a too frequent use of the word Nabi, in regard to the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II had apprehended trouble that after some time people might extract from the word Nabi
the sense of a Nabuwwat-i
-Mustaqilla. Thus the position is clearly implied here that if the Paigham-i-Sulha, and its friends, in season, and out of season, had not so frantically been harping on the same tune, that the Promised Messiah was not a Nabi, forcing us to join issue on the point, by insisting that he was a prophet, and the two Sections had not kept the controversy hot for fifty years, there might well have been no agitation against the Ahmadis; there would have been no disorder, no martial law, to cope with the lawlessness that raised its head. It thus stands to reason that by far the greater part of ill will against the Ahmadis is the result of the Lahore Section's vehemence on the point in the press and from the platform, against Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II in the guise of a discussion on the question of Nabuwwat.
It is unfortunate that the Lahore Section is not prepared to stop this propaganda even now, as tracts published recently bear witness. Mr. Faruqi's book itself is a link in the same chain.
It is entirely wrong and unjustified on his part to say that a temporary measure, in a certain contingency, has assumed a permanent form, for the Ahmadis of the Rabwah Section have never held that the Promised Messiah was a Mustaqil
Nabi, nor does it hold that view now. We have always believed that he was an Ummati
; and we still hold the same belief. But what is the remedy for us when we find that the Ulama
on the other side had concealed the real position and based the agitation on a false ground?