A Debate between the Muslims & Christians for the Purpose of Investigating the Truth
by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, The Promised Messiah and Mahdi(as)
Jang-e-Muqaddas (The Holy War) documents the daily debate proceedings held between Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as), the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, and Deputy Abdullah Atham, an Indian convert to Christianity. The event’s origins date to 1893, when a prominent Christian missionary, Dr. Henry Martyn Clark, penned an open letter challenging the Muslims of Jandiala to a decisive debate—which he named The Holy War—declaring that if Muslims shy away from this contest or suffer a crushing defeat, they would forfeit their right to confront the scholars of Christianity, or to boast of Islam’s truth. When the leader of the Muslims petitioned the Promised Messiah(as) to defend Islam, he readily accepted the challenge.
Since the very planning of the event, the Promised Messiah(as) laid down two fundamental principles as his conditions for the debate. First, all claims and arguments should be sourced strictly from the respective party’s scriptures. Secondly, he emphasised that a living religion must demonstrate Heavenly Signs in its favour. The Christian side, however, proved thoroughly inept in both areas.
The debate took place from 22 May 1893 to 5 June 1893, and thirteen papers were published in total. All across India, Muslims were inspired by the innovative arguments of the Promised Messiah(as) and the outcome of the debate had far-reaching consequences for advancing the spread of Islam and arresting the growth of Christianity.