Today, while going through the 27th August, 1904, edition of Paisa Akhbar, I learned that a gentleman named Hakim Mirza Mahmood Ahmad Irani, who is a follower of someone claiming to be the Messiah, is presently in Lahore and desires to have a Mubahala [prayer-duel] with me.
I am sorry to say that at present I am too busy to acquiesce to his request. Tomorrow, Saturday, is the Jalsa which will keep me busy all day, and the day after tomorrow I will be leaving for Gurdaspur to attend the court in connection with a law suit. I have been in Lahore for the last twelve days and nobody has approached me with such a proposal, and I cannot understand the meaning of this untimely request when I am about to leave and have not a moment to spare.
Let me, however, suggest to Hakim Mirza Mahmood another clear method for arriving at a decision. I propose that the editor of Paisa Akhbar should publish the complete text of my article, which will be read in the Jalsa tomorrow, 3rd September, 1904, and that Hakim Sahib too should write an article and have it published in the same newspaper. Let the people then read both articles and decide which of them is based on truth, honesty and cogent arguments, and which does not live up to these standards. This method will be free from the ills that result from most debates. And since I have not addressed Hakim Sahib in my article, and have not even mentioned him, we will also be able to avoid the kind of resentment that such debates often give rise to. Wassalam.
MIRZA GHULAM AHMAD OF QADIAN