If we look at the world religions, we find that each one of them, with the exception of Islam, contains one defect or the other. This is not because they were actually false from the beginning, but because, after the advent of Islam, God stopped supporting them and they became like a garden which has no gardener and no arrangement for its irrigation and management. As a result, flaws gradually crept into these religions. All fruit-bearing trees dried up and were replaced by a profusion of thorns and bushes. True spirituality, which is the basis of religion, totally disappeared and mere empty words were left. However, God did not treat Islam in this way because He wished this garden to remain green forever. That is why He irrigated it afresh in each century and protected it lest it should dry up. Whenever a Servant of God appeared at the turn of each century as a Reformer, the ignorant people vehemently opposed him and strongly detested any attempt to correct the errors which had become a part of their habit and custom. Still, God Almighty did not abandon His practice. During the final battle between guidance and misguidance in these latter days, and finding the Muslims in a state of ignorance at the turn of the fourteenth century [Hijrah] and the beginning of the final millennium, God once again remembered His Word and revived the Muslim faith. Other religions were never so revived after the advent of our Holy Prophet(sa). Therefore, they all perished and were deprived of spirituality, as a result of which they were infested with a host of malpractices; just as a piece of cloth which remains unwashed keeps gathering dust. People who were deprived of spirituality and were not free from the filth of the desire of their baser selves interfered with those religions in accordance with their selfish motives, and distorted them out of all recognition. For an example let us take the case of Christianity whose principles were so pure and undefiled in the beginning. Although the teaching preached by the Messiah(as) was not so perfect as the teaching of the Holy Quran, because the time for a perfect teaching had not yet arrived, and human capabilities were not mature enough at the time, still, in the context of the prevailing conditions, it was the most appropriate teaching. It guided to the same God as did the Torah. But, after the Messiah(as), the god of Christians was transformed into another god who was nowhere mentioned in the original teachings of the Torah, nor did the Israelites have any inkling of such a god. Belief in this new god disturbed the entire dynamics of the Torah, and its teachings regarding deliverance from sin and attainment of piety and purity became corrupted. Deliverance from sin came to depend simply upon the belief that the Messiah(as) had courted death by crucifixion for the salvation of mankind and that he was ‘God’ himself. Many other timeless commandments of the Torah were also violated and the Christian faith underwent such a change that even if the Messiah(as) himself were to return, he would fail to recognize it. It is most astonishing that the people who had been enjoined to follow the Torah, so brazenly flouted its commandments. For instance, it is nowhere written in the Gospels that though the eating of pork was made unlawful in the Torah, yet I [the Messiah] make it lawful for you; or that though the Torah prescribes circumcision, I repeal this commandment. How could it be lawful to introduce into religion what had not been uttered by Jesus(as)? Nevertheless, as it was inevitable that God would establish a universal religion, namely Islam, it was the deterioration of Christianity that heralded this faith.
It is a proven fact that Hinduism too had become corrupted before the coming of Islam. Idol-worship had become rampant all over India. One of the traces of that decadence is the belief of the Aryas that God is dependent upon matter for creation, while the fact is that God stands in no need of matter for the exercise of His attributes. In consequence of this false doctrine they had to adopt yet another false and idolatrous doctrine, according to which all miniscule particles in the universe and all spirits are eternal and uncreated. Alas! had they pondered deeply over the attributes of God, they would never have said such a thing; because — like humans — if God too needs matter for the exercise of His eternal attribute of creation, how is it that — unlike humans — He does not require matter for His attributes of hearing and seeing? Man cannot hear without the medium of air, nor can he see without the medium of light. Does Parmeshwar also suffer from a similar shortcoming and does He also stand in need of air and light for hearing and seeing? If He is not dependent on air and light, then, for a certainty, He is not dependent on matter for manifesting His attribute of creation. It is simply illogical to assert that God stands in need of matter for the manifestation of His attributes. To ascribe human characteristics to God, and to say that creation from nothing is impossible, and to impute human short-comings to Him is indeed a great mistake. Human beings are finite while God is Infinite, and with His infinite power He can bring into existence other beings. This is what Divine Power is! God does not require matter for any of His attributes. If He did, He would not be God. There is nothing that can stop Him from doing whatever He wills. If, for instance, He willed to create the heaven and earth all in a moment, would He not be able to do so? Those among the Hindus who were learned and blessed with spirituality and were not slaves to dry logic, never held the belief which Aryas today hold about Parmeshwar. This doctrine is the result of a complete lack of spirituality.
Thus these religions came to suffer from such ills, some of which are unspeakable and even repugnant to the purity of the human self. All these symptoms were conditions precedent to Islam. A reasonable person would admit that sometime before the advent of Islam all faiths had become corrupted and had lost spirituality. Thus, our Holy Prophet(sa) was the Greatest Reformer who brought the lost truth back into the world. No Prophet shares with our Holy Prophet(sa) the distinction that he found the entire world steeped in darkness and he turned its darkness into light; nor did he die until the entire people among whom he appeared had shed the garb of Shirk3 and put on the gown of Tauhid.4 Not only that, but they attained the highest levels of faith. They displayed such unprecedented sincerity, faithfulness and certainty as was not to be found anywhere in the world. No Prophet of God ever achieved such a kind and degree of success except the Holy Prophet(sa). The prime argument in favour of the Holy Prophet’s(sa) Prophethood is that he graced the world with his presence at a time when it was steeped in darkness and was in dire need of a great reformer, and he did not die before hundreds of thousands of people had abandoned Shirk and idol-worship and had adopted Tauhid and the right path. None but the Holy Prophet(sa) could have brought about this great reformation. He taught human values to a people who were savages and brutes. In other words, he transformed brutes into men, men into civilized men, and civilized men into godly men. He infused spiritual qualities into them and established their communion with the True God. In His path they were slaughtered like goats and trampled underfoot like ants, but they held fast to their faith and kept marching forward in the face of every hardship. Our Holy Prophet(sa) was undoubtedly the Second Adam by virtue of establishing spirituality in the world. Rather, he was the true Adam, as it was through him that all human virtues reached their perfection, all the forces for good became active in their respective spheres, and no branch of human nature was left fruitless. The finality of Prophethood in his person consists not only in his being last but also in the fact that all the perfections of Prophethood culminated in him. Since he was the perfect manifestation of Divine attributes, the Law he brought contained the qualities of glory as well as of beauty. His twin names, Muhammad and Ahmad(sa), symbolize the same reality. His universal Prophethood does not partake of any parsimony, but was from the very beginning meant for the entire world.
Yet another proof of the authenticity of his Prophethood is that the scriptures of all the Prophets(as) as well as the Holy Quran show that, from Adam to the end, God has ordained the age of the world to be seven thousand years, with a thousand year periods both for light and for darkness. In other words, there is a period for righteousness to prevail and a period in which evil and misguidance reign supreme. According to the Divine scriptures, both these epochs are divided into periods of one thousand years each. The first of these periods was dominated by guidance during which there was no sign of idol-worship. This was followed by another period, also lasting a thousand years, in which all kinds of idol-worship took root and Shirk became rampant and spread in every land. In the third millennium, the foundation of Tauhid was laid afresh and it spread in the world as far as God willed. Then, during the fourth millennium, darkness reappeared; the Israelites went astray and Christianity died right at its birth, as if its birth and death had taken place at the same time.
Then came the fifth millennium, which was the age of guidance. The advent of our Holy Prophet(sa) took place in this millennium. Through him God re-established Tauhid in the world. The mere fact that he appeared in the millennium which had been destined for guidance since eternity, is enough to prove that he was from God. This is not only my view, but all the Divine scriptures testify to it. This fact also proves the authenticity of my own claim of being the Promised Messiah, because, according to this division of periods, the sixth millennium is the time of darkness and evil. This thousand year period starts three hundred years after the Hijrah and ends at the turn of the fourteenth century. The Holy Prophet(sa) had designated those belonging to the sixth millennium as Faij-e-A‘waj.5
The seventh millennium in which we live is that of light and guidance. Since it is the last millennium, it was inevitable that the Imam of the latter days should be born at the turn of this millennium. After him, there is no Imam and no Messiah except the one who comes in his image, for in this millennium the world comes to an end as all the Prophets(as) have testified. This Imam, whom God has designated as the Promised Messiah, is the Mujaddid [Reformer] of this century as well as of the last millennium. Even the Christians and the Jews do agree that, counting from the time of Adam, the present millennium is the seventh. God has disclosed to me the time of Adam, as calculated upon the numerical values of the letters of Surah Al-‘Asr. This too proves that we are now in the seventh millennium. All Prophets(as) are in agreement that the Promised Messiah would be born at the end of the sixth millennium and make his appearance at the turn of the seventh, for he would be the last to come, as Adam was the first. Adam was born on the sixth day, during the last hours of Friday. Since a day in the estimation of God is equivalent to a thousand years of the world, it was on account of the above resemblance that God decreed for the Promised Messiah to be born at the end of sixth millennium, which can be likened to the end of a day. As there is a resemblance between the first and the last, God created the Promised Messiah in the likeness of Adam. Adam was born a twin on a Friday, and I — the Promised Messiah — was also born a twin on a Friday. My birth was preceded by the birth of a twin sister. Such a birth points to the consummation of Wilayat [Sainthood].
It is the unanimous teaching of all Prophets(as) that the Promised Messiah would appear at the turn of the seventh millennium. This is why the Christian world has recently been so agitated about this subject, and a number of tracts were published in America asking why the Promised Messiah, who was to have appeared in this age, had not yet done so. Some had replied despairingly that since it is already too late, people should consider the Church to be his substitute.
The fact that I have appeared in the millennium specified by the Prophets(as) is a testimony to my truth. Had there been no other proof, this alone would have sufficed for a true seeker after truth, and its rejection would imply the rejection of all Divine scriptures. This argument is as clear as day for those who know the Divine Books and ponder over them. Rejecting this argument amounts to rejecting all Prophethood, confounding all calculations, and disturbing the Divine scheme of things. It is not correct to say, as some people do, that since no one knows of the Day of Resurrection, it is therefore not possible to specify the age of the world from Adam to the end to be seven thousand years. Such are the people who have never properly deliberated upon Divine scriptures. These are not calculations that I have just made on my own, rather they have long been accepted by the scholars from among the people of the book, and even some eminent Jewish scholars have been of the same view. It is also clear from the Holy Quran that the age of the progeny of Adam — from Adam to the end — is seven thousand years. All previous scriptures agree with this and this is also what is inferred from the verse:
All the Prophets(as) have clearly communicated the same tidings. As I have already pointed out, the numerical values of the letters of Surah Al-‘Asr indicate clearly that the advent of the Holy Prophet(sa) took place in the fifth millennium after Adam. According to this reckoning, ours is the seventh millennium. I cannot deny that which has been revealed to me by God, nor do I see any reason for rejecting the unanimous verdict of all the Prophets of God. Since there is such strong evidence and as has been revealed by authentic Hadith and the Holy Quran that this is the last era, can there be any doubt that this indeed is the last millennium? What is more, the Promised Messiah was supposed to appear at the turn of the last millennium.
When it is said that no one knows the Hour of Resurrection, it does not imply that nothing can possibly be known about it. If such were the case, then all the signs mentioned in the Holy Quran and authentic Hadith regarding Resurrection would stand rejected because they constitute the very source of our knowledge about the proximity of the Day of Resurrection. God Almighty has said in the Holy Quran that in the latter days canals would flow, books and newspapers would be published in large numbers and camels would fall into disuse. We find that all these prophesies have come to be fulfilled in our time. Camels, for instance, have been replaced by railway as a means of commercial transport. We can, therefore, conclude that the Day of Resurrection is close at hand. In the verse 7 and in many other verses, God Himself warned us long ago that the Day of Resurrection is near. Hence, the Shariah does not mean that the time of Resurrection is a complete mystery. On the contrary, all Prophets(as) have spoken of the signs of the Last Age as have the Gospels. But it is also true that no one has exact knowledge of the Hour. God is Omnipotent and, after the lapse of a thousand years, He can add a few more centuries, for fractions do not count in such calculations. It is just like the period of pregnancy which can at times be prolonged. Just consider that although most babies are born within a period of nine months and ten days, still no one knows the exact hour when the labour pains will begin. Similarly, though a thousand years may pass before the world comes to an end, but no one knows the exact hour of Resurrection. Rejecting the arguments given by God in favour of Imamat and Nubuwwat,8 amounts to rejecting one’s faith. It is quite evident that all signs indicating the approach of the Last Day have made their appearance together and a great revolution is taking place in the world. Most of the signs of the Last Day mentioned by God Almighty in the Holy Quran have been duly fulfilled. It is evident from the Holy Quran that when the Day of Resurrection draws near, canals would flow, books would be printed in large numbers, mountains would be blown up, rivers would be dried up, a large part of the earth would be brought under cultivation, contact among peoples would become easy and frequent, there would be a great religious fervour among the masses, and nations would fall upon the religions of other nations and try to annihilate them altogether. In those days, a heavenly trumpet would be blown and all people would be united under one religion, with the exception of the worthless dispositions who do not deserve the heavenly feast. This prophecy, mentioned in the Holy Quran, refers to the advent of the Promised Messiah and it is for this reason that it has been mentioned after the account of Gog and Magog — two nations that have also been mentioned in the earlier scriptures. They are so named because they will make extensive use of Ajij i.e. fire. They will dominate the world and attain every height. Then, a great transformation will be brought about by heaven and the era of peace and harmony shall finally be ushered in. Furthermore, it is mentioned in the Holy Quran that in those days many mines and hidden things will be dug out of the earth, the eclipse of the Sun and the Moon shall take place, and the plague shall spread far and wide, and camels will be rendered useless, because a new mode of transportation would appear to replace them. This is what we see today. All commerce and trade which was conducted in the past by means of camels is now being carried on through railways. The time approaches fast when pilgrims too will travel to Madina by train and will fulfil the prophecy mentioned in the Hadith:
To sum up, these are the signs of the latter days which have been fulfilled word for word, thus proving that the present era is the last era of the world. As God has created seven days and likened each day to a thousand years, this metaphor shows, on the authority of the clear statement of the Holy Quran, that the age of the world is seven thousand years. What is more, God Almighty is Watr and He loves watr.10 Just as He has created seven days which are watr, the figure ‘seven thousand’ is also watr. From all this we may infer that this is the last age and the final era of the world,11 at the turn of which the Promised Messiah was destined to appear according to the Divine scriptures. Nawab Siddiq Hassan Khan testifies in his book Hujajul Kiramah that none of the recipients of visions in Islam have fixed the age of the Promised Messiah beyond the turn of the fourteenth century.
The question naturally arises as to why the Promised Messiah was to appear from among the Muslims. The answer is that Allah the Almighty has promised in the Holy Quran that the Holy Prophet’s(sa) Prophethood shall bear a close resemblance to the era of Moses(as), both with regard to its beginning and its end. The first of these similarities was with regard to the first era — the era of the Holy Prophet(sa) himself; and the other similarity was to appear in the latter days. The first similarity is that just as Moses(as) was granted a final victory against Pharaoh and his hordes, so was the Holy Prophet(sa) granted a decisive victory against Abu Jahl — the Pharaoh of his age — and his hordes. God destroyed them all and established Islam in the Arabian peninsula, and by the help of God this prophecy came true:
The similarity relating to the latter days is that God Almighty sent a Prophet in the last days of the Mosaic dispensation, who was against Jihad, had nothing to do with religious warfare, and preached forgiveness and mercy. And Jesus(as) had appeared at a time when the moral condition of Israelites had badly deteriorated and their character and conduct were thoroughly corrupted. They had also lost their kingdom and lived under the dominion of the Roman Empire. Jesus(as) had appeared at the turn of the fourteenth century after Moses(as), and since the chain of Israelite Prophets came to an end with him, he was as such the last link in the Israelite Prophethood. In the same manner, God has sent me in the spirit and character of Jesus son of Mary(as), in these latter days of the dispensation of the Holy Prophet(sa), and has held in abeyance the practice of Jihad just as it was prophesied that it would be suspended at the time of the Promised Messiah. Moreover, I have been endowed with the teaching of forgiveness and forbearance. I have come at a time when the inner condition of most Muslims has deteriorated quite like the Jews. True spirituality is lost and mere form and rituals have taken its place. The Holy Quran had already foretold about this state of affairs. For instance, it uses the same words for the Muslims of the latter days as for the Jews. The Holy Quran says:
which means that you too would be given Khilafat and empire but, in the latter days, this empire shall be taken away from you on account of your misdeeds, just as it was taken away from the Jews. God clearly hints in Surah Al-Nur that in all their characteristics the Khulafa of this umma would bear a close resemblance to the Khulafa of the Israelites. Among the Israelite Khulafa, Jesus(as) was one who did not draw the sword, nor did he resort to Jihad. This umma has likewise been blessed with a Promised Messiah bearing a similar disposition. Look at the verse:
The words, ‘As He made successors from among those who were before them’, are particularly worthy of note, for they lead us to understand that the dispensation of Muhammad(sa) resembles the dispensation of Moses(as). Since the Mosaic dispensation ended with a Prophet — namely Jesus(as) — who appeared at the turn of the fourteenth century after Moses(as), and did not wage any war or Jihad, it was therefore essential that the last Khalifah of the dispensation of Muhammad(sa) should appear in the same spirit.
It is related in some authentic Hadith that, in the latter days, most of the Muslims would come to resemble the Jews. Surah Al-Fatihah also refers to this fact, because it teaches us to pray, O’ God, save us from becoming like the Jews who lived in the time of Jesus(as), who were his enemies, and upon whom the wrath of God Almighty fell in this very world. It is the way of God Almighty, that whenever He gives a command to a people or teaches them a prayer, it implies that some among them would commit the sin they have been warned against. Since the verse, 15 refers to the Jews who, in the latter days of the Mosaic dispensation, incurred Divine wrath on account of their rejection of the Messiah(as), therefore, in keeping with the above Divine practice, this verse contains a prophecy that in the latter days of the Holy Prophet’s(sa) umma, the Promised Messiah would appear from this very umma, and that, by opposing him, some Muslims would take after the Jews who lived in the time of Jesus(as). The objection simply does not arise as to why the Promised Messiah was named Jesus in Hadith if he was to appear from among the Muslims, for it is the Divine practice to name some people after others. Abu Jahl, for instance, has been called ‘the Pharaoh’ in Hadith. Similarly, Noah(as) has been called ‘the Second Adam’ and John the Baptist has been called ‘Elijah’. No one denies that this is the Divine practice.
Yet another resemblance which God Almighty has created between the Messiah to come and the former Messiah is that just as the former Messiah — Jesus(as) — came at the turn of the fourteenth century after Moses(as), so did the last Messiah appear at the turn of the fourteenth century after the Holy Prophet(sa). He appeared at a time when Muslims had lost their empire in India and were ruled by the British, just as Jesus(as) had appeared at a time when the Israelite kingdom had declined and the Jews were living under the Roman Empire. The Promised Messiah of this umma bears yet another resemblance to Jesus(as), for just as Jesus(as) was not fully an Israelite, and was only so from his mother’s side, so were some of my foremothers from among the Sadat,16 though my forefathers were not. The underlying reason as to why God did not choose that an Israelite male should father Jesus(as) was that God Almighty was greatly displeased with the Israelites for their excessive sins. This sign was shown to them as a warning, whereby a mother gave birth without the participation of a father. It was as if Jesus(as) was left with only one of the two roots necessary for being an Israelite. This was also an indication that the next Prophet would not partake even of this root. Since the world is coming to an end, my very birth signifies that the Day of Resurrection — which will destroy all hopes about the Khilafat of the Quraish — is close at hand.
In short, to establish a complete similarity between the dispensations of Moses(as) and Muhammad(sa), a Promised Messiah was needed who would fulfil all these conditions, so that, just as the Islamic dispensation began with a Prophet resembling Moses(as), it should end with a Prophet resembling Jesus(as), and that the latter part of the dispensation should resemble the earlier part. This too is a proof of the truth of my claim, but it only serves God-fearing people who ponder over it. May Allah have mercy on the Muslims of this age, for most of their religious beliefs have crossed all the limits of equity and justice. They read in the Holy Quran that Jesus(as) has died, but they still believe him to be alive; they read in Surah Al-Nur in the Holy Quran that all the coming Khulafa’ would be from this umma, yet they are waiting for Jesus(as) to descend from heaven; they read in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim that Jesus(as) who was promised to appear for this dispensation would belong to this very umma, yet they are waiting for the Israelite Jesus(as); they read in the Holy Quran that Jesus(as) will never return to the world, and yet they want to bring him back to the world. In spite of all this, they call themselves Muslims. They claim that Jesus(as) was physically raised to heaven, but cannot explain as to why he was raised. The Jews had only disputed his spiritual ascension because they believed that his spirit was not raised to heaven like the spirits of the faithful are, for he had suffered death by crucifixion, and one who dies on the cross is accursed and his spirit is not exalted to heaven, i.e., towards God. The Holy Quran had to give its verdict on this very dispute, since it claims to point out the errors of the Jews and Christians and to arbitrate on their disputes. The Jews contended that Jesus, the Messiah(as), was not amongst the faithful, had not attained salvation, and his soul had not been exalted to God. Thus, the question that needed to be settled by the Holy Quran was whether or not Jesus the Messiah(as) was a believer and a true Prophet of God, and whether or not his spirit was exalted to God Almighty like the spirits of true believers. If the verse 17 means that God Almighty raised Jesus(as) physically to the second heaven, how then was the dispute settled? It would appear that God did not even understand the dispute and gave a verdict that was irrelevant to what the Jews had claimed. What is more, the verse clearly says that Jesus(as) was exalted towards God and not towards the second heaven. The question is, does God reside in the second heaven, and is it essential for salvation that the physical body should accompany the spirit to heaven? The amazing thing is that in the verse 18 there is no mention of heaven at all. It only says that God exalted the Messiah(as) towards Himself. Tell us whether Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on them all), were exalted to some other place and not towards God? Here I proclaim with all the emphasis at my command that ascribing ‘exaltation towards Allah’ only to Jesus(as) — to the exclusion of all other Prophets(as) — is a grave blasphemy! There could be no greater blasphemy, for this would imply that no Prophet, with the sole exception of Jesus(as), was ever exalted towards God. The fact, on the contrary, is that the Holy Prophet(sa) himself testified to their exaltation on his return from Mi‘raj. One must remember that the exaltation of Jesusas has been mentioned only to refute the allegation of the Jews and as an admonition to them; otherwise all Prophets and Messengers(as) and true believers partake of this exaltation, and every believer is exalted after death. It is to this exaltation that this verse of the Holy Quran refers:
(Surah Sad, Part. 23, Ruku‘ 13)
But a disbeliever is not exalted, as this verse points out:
Those who were mistaken in this regard before my advent will be pardoned, because they were neither reminded nor taught the true meanings of the Word of God. But now I have reminded you and taught you the true meanings. Had I not come, there could have been some justification for following the traditional beliefs, but now there is no justification whatsoever. Both the heaven and the earth have borne witness to the truth of my claim. Some saints of this umma have even mentioned my name and place of birth and have testified to my being the Promised Messiah. Some of them had passed away thirty years before my advent, and I have already published their testimonies. In this very age, some men of God, with hundreds of thousands of followers, have testified to the truth of my claim, having received revelations from God and having heard from the Holy Prophet(sa) in dreams. Thousands of signs have so far been manifested at my hand. The Prophets of God have also pointed out the time and age of my appearance. If you only think of it, your very hands and feet and hearts would testify to the truth of my claim. Weakness of conduct has crossed all limits, and most people have forgotten the sweetness of faith. All this weakness, error, misguidance, materialism and darkness which has taken people hostage naturally calls for someone to rise up and help them. And yet I have only been called Dajjal [Antichrist]. Woe to the people to whom Dajjal is sent at such a critical time! And how very unfortunate are they that, at the time of their internal decay, they are visited by another calamity from heaven. Even then they do not desist from calling me accursed and faithless. These same words were used for Jesus(as), and the unholy Jews continue to use them to this day. But, on the Day of Resurrection, those who would taste hell will cry out:
i.e. what has happened to us that we do not see those whom we considered to be among the wicked?
The world has always opposed those who are sent by God, because love for this world can never go together with love for Divine Messengers(as). Had you not been in love with this world you would have recognized me, but now you cannot recognize me.
Besides, if the verse 22 does mean that Jesus(as) was lifted up to the second heaven, then let them show us the verse which decides the actual dispute. To this day the Jews deny the raf‘a [Exaltation] of the Messiah(as) in the sense that he was neither truthful nor a believer and, therefore — God forbid — his spirit was not exalted towards God. If you are in doubt about this, go and ask the Jewish scholars. Do they not believe that when a person has been crucified his body and spirit do not ascend to heaven? Indeed, it is their unanimous belief that one who dies on the cross is accursed and is not exalted towards God. That is why, in the Holy Quran God rejects the concept of Jesus’ death upon the cross and says:
Here God has added the word ‘slew him’ to ‘killed him by crucifixion’ in order to make it very clear that merely being put on the cross does not render one accursed, rather, the condition precedent is that one has to be put on the cross, his legs have to be broken with the intention of killing him, and he has to be killed. It is only then that such a death will be called the death of an accursed one. But God saved Jesus(as) from such a death. It is true that he was put on the cross, but he did not die on the cross, and the Jews were merely deceived into believing that he had died on it. The Christians too entertained the same illusion, though they thought that he had been resurrected after death. The truth, however, is that he lost consciousness upon the cross due to his suffering, and this is what the words 24 signify. Marham-i-‘Isa25 is a wonderful evidence in this context. This prescription is known to have been prepared for Jesus(as) and has continued to be recorded in the pharmacopoeias of the Hebrews, Romans, Greeks, and Muslims throughout the centuries. It is pitiful indeed to believe that God Almighty should have to raise Jesus(as) physically to heaven as if He was afraid of the Jews getting hold of him. Such ideas have been spread by those who were ignorant of the actual dispute. What is more, such beliefs are an insult to the Holy Prophet(sa). The infidels from among the Quraish had persistently demanded this same miracle from him that he should ascend to heaven before their very eyes and descend with the Book, only then would they believe in him. The reply they received was:
meaning, I am only a human being and it is not for God Almighty to raise physically any mortal to heaven in contradiction to His own Word. When He has already promised in the Holy Quran that all humans would live their lives on earth, how could He have raised the Messiah(as) physically to heaven and paid no heed to His promise:
Some Muslims entertain the illusion that they need not believe in any Promised Messiah. They say, ‘We do accept that Jesus(as) has died, but as we are already Muslims, and offer Prayers and keep Fasts and follow the injunctions of Islam, why then should we need any Reformer?’ Remember, such people are greatly mistaken. How, in the first place, can they claim to be Muslims when they do not obey the command of God and the Holy Prophet(sa)? The command they were given was to hasten to the Promised Imam as soon as he appears, and to present themselves before him even if they have to crawl upon snow to do so, but they have been totally heedless to this command. Is this Islam, and is this the character of a Muslim? As if this was not enough, the vilest of abuses are hurled at me and I am called a kafir and named Dajjal [Anti-christ]. A person who hurts me thinks he has done a good deed worthy of reward, and one who calls me a great liar imagines that he has thus pleased God.
O’ ye people who were taught to practice forbearance and righteousness, how could you be so mistrustful and impetuous? There is no sign which God has not shown to you, and there is no argument which He has not produced, and still you do not believe! You have defied Divine commands with great temerity. To whom should I compare the deceitful people of this age? They are like the sly fellow who keeps his eyes shut in broad daylight and cries, ‘Where is the sun’? O’ you who deceive yourself, open your eyes first, only then you will behold the sun. It is very easy to dub a Messenger of God as kafir, but it is a lot more difficult to follow him in the subtle paths of faith. To declare a Messenger of God as Dajjal is quite easy, but to enter the narrow gate of his teachings is an arduous task indeed. Those who say that they do not care for the Promised Messiah, in fact, do not care for their own faith, salvation, and purity. If they had any sense of justice and were to analyse their own inner condition, they would realize that, without the renewed certainty of faith which descends from heaven through the Messengers and Prophets of God, their prayers are but a ritual and their fasting mere starvation. The fact is that no one can attain true deliverance from sin, nor can one truly love God or fear Him, as He deserves to be feared, until one attains true knowledge and strength through God’s own grace and mercy. It is evident that true knowledge is the basis of all fear and love and it is only after one has gained knowledge and recognition of a thing that love, desire, fear or aversion for that particular thing takes root in one’s heart. It is of course true that one cannot attain true knowledge until God grants it, and it cannot benefit anyone except through God’s grace. This knowledge then opens the door of seeking and recognizing the truth. It is only through repeated acts of Divine grace that this door remains open and is not shut thereafter. Spiritual knowledge, in short, can only be attained through Divine grace, and through it alone can it survive. Divine grace purifies and illuminates knowledge, removes the intervening veils and cleanses the Nafs-e-Ammarah28 of all its impurities. It bestows strength and life upon the soul and releases the baser self from the prison of sin and purges it of its evil passions. Also, this grace salvages one from the flood of carnal passions and a kind of transformation takes place in man and he develops a natural aversion for sin. Thereafter, the very first urge felt by the soul, through God’s grace, is called du‘a [supplication]. Do not think that we already pray everyday, and that the Salat we offer is also prayer; for the prayer which follows true knowledge and is born of Divine grace is of an altogether different colour and complexion. Such prayer is a thing that consumes, it is a fire that melts, it is a magnetic force that draws Divine mercy, it is a death but ultimately gives life, it is a raging flood but finally turns into a boat. Through it every wrong is redressed and every poison finally becomes an antidote.
Blessed are the prisoners who never tire of supplication, for they shall one day be freed. Blessed are the blind who are not listless in their prayers, for they shall one day see. Blessed are those lying in graves who supplicate to God for help and succour, for one day they shall be taken out of their graves. Blessed are you who never tire of supplication, your soul melts in prayer, your eyes shed tears, and a fire kindles in your breast which takes you to dark closets and wildernesses so that you may taste solitude and drives you to restlessness and near madness, for you shall finally receive Divine bounties. The God to Whom I invite is very Gracious, Merciful, Modest, True, and Faithful. He bestows His mercy on the humble ones. You too should be faithful and pray with all sincerity and faith so that He may bestow His mercy on you. Dissociate yourselves from the commotion of the world and do not give religious complexion to your egoistic disputes. Accept defeat for the sake of God so that you may become heirs to great victories. God will show miracles to those who supplicate and those who ask will be blessed with extraordinary grace. Prayer comes from God and to Him it returns. Through prayer God becomes as close to you as your very life.
The first blessing of prayer is that it brings about a holy change in a person, as a consequence of which God also brings about a transformation in His attributes. His attributes are indeed immutable, but for such a transformed person He shows a different manifestation of which the world knows nothing. It would seem as if He had become another God, whereas, in fact, there is no other God. The truth is that it is a new manifestation of His which portrays Him in an altogether different light. It is then that God, in honour of this special manifestation, does for the transformed one what He does not do for others. These are what are known as miracles.
In short, prayer is the elixir which turns a handful of dust into pure gold. It is water which washes away inner impurities. With such prayer the spirit melts and flows like water to fall prostrate on the threshold of the Holy One. It stands in the presence of God, bows down and prostrates before Him. The Salat taught by Islam is only its reflection. The standing of the spirit signifies that it shows readiness to suffer every hardship and to obey every command for the sake of God. The bowing down of the spirit before God means that, by renouncing all other love and relationships, it has turned to God and belongs to Him alone. Its prostration is that it falls on the threshold of God and, forsaking all personal thoughts, loses the very identity of its existence. This is the prayer which helps to establish communion with God, and this is the prayer that Islamic Shariah has depicted in the prescribed daily Salat so that physical prayer may inspire spiritual prayer. God Almighty has fashioned man in such a way that the spirit influences the body and the body in turn influences the spirit. When the spirit is melancholy, the eyes shed tears; and when the spirit is glad, the face glows with happiness and one even feels like laughing. Similarly, whenever the body is afflicted with pain or distress the spirit also partakes of the suffering. When a cool breeze enlivens the body the spirit feels it too. Thus, the object of worship is that, through mutual relationship between body and spirit, the spirit may move towards the Holy One and engage in spiritual standing and prostrating. Since man has to strive for progress, such prayer too is a kind of striving. It is quite obvious that when two objects are linked together and we pick up one of them, the other also moves. But mere physical standing, bowing and prostrating is of no use, unless an effort is made so that the spirit may also partake of these movements of Qiyam, Ruku‘ and Sajdah. This partaking depends upon true knowledge which in turn depends upon Divine grace. Ever since God has created man He has made it His wont that, out of His sheer grace, He blesses with His Holy Spirit whomsoever He pleases. Then, with the help of the Holy Spirit, He infuses His love into such a person, grants him truth and perseverance, strengthens his knowledge with various signs and removes his weaknesses until he is practically ready to lay down his very life in His path. He establishes such an unbreakable relationship with the Eternal Being, as no calamity can destroy and no sword can sever, for this love is neither based on temporary motives, nor associated with the desire for paradise or fear of hell, nor has it anything to do with worldly comfort or, for that matter, with wealth and riches. Rather, it is a relationship which is known only to God. What is even more strange, the captive of such love cannot grasp the real nature of this relationship, nor can he understand its whys and wherefores because it is a timeless relationship. It is not based on spiritual knowledge and understanding, for that only comes afterwards to illumine the relationship. It is like fire, which is inherent in a stone, but the sparks only appear when it is rubbed. Such a person, on the one hand, possesses personal love for God Almighty and, on the other, he has an overwhelming sympathy and desire for the reform of mankind. For this reason, not only does he enjoy a relationship with the Divine that constantly draws him to God, but he also has a relationship with humankind that attracts their eager souls towards him. It is like the Sun which pulls the strata of the earth towards itself and is itself pulled in some other direction. The same goes for the people who, in Islamic terminology, are called Nabi [Prophet], Rasul [Messenger] and Muhaddath.29 They are blessed with holy Divine communication and converse, miracles are shown at their hands, most of their prayers find acceptance, and God Almighty frequently informs them of the acceptance of their prayers.
Here, some unenlightened people are wont to object, how can we be different from God’s Messengers, while we too have true dreams, our prayers are also heard at times and we even sometimes receive revelation? According to such people, the Prophets of God are impostors or self-deceived people who take pride in common things, while there is not the slightest difference between them and common people. This belief is rooted in arrogance and has ruined many people in this age. For a seeker after truth, however, these doubts are easily answered as follows: It is undoubtedly true that God has blessed a group of His servants with His grace and has bestowed upon them a large part of His spiritual bounties, and, despite the fact that antagonistic and blind people have always rejected the Prophets(as), the latter have invariably prevailed over them; their supernatural light has always appeared in such a way that rational people have had to admit that there is a manifest difference between the Prophets(as) and their opponents. It is obvious that a destitute beggar possesses a few coins and a king too has coins with which his coffers are full, but the beggar cannot claim to be equal to the king. Nor can a glow-worm, because it radiates some light, claim to be equal to the sun. The reason why God has implanted in the souls of common people the seeds of experiencing dreams, visions and revelations — albeit to a limited degree — is to enable them to recognize the Prophets on the basis of their personal experience, and to apprise them of the incontrovertible proof of the truth of Prophets(as) so that they are left with no excuse.
Another quality of the chosen ones of God is that they strongly move people and draw them towards themselves. They are sent to the world to establish the spiritually enlightened generations. As the guidance they bring is based upon enlightened vision, they lift the veils of darkness between God and His creatures. It is through them alone that true knowledge of the Divine, true love of God, piety, righteousness, eagerness and felicity are born in the hearts. One who severs his relationship with them is like a twig that breaks off from the tree. The unique quality of this relationship is that — with the required compatibility — the growth of spiritual faculties begins the moment the bond is established. Also, the very moment this bond is broken, the spiritual condition begins to deteriorate. It is sheer arrogance to believe that one does not stand in need of God’s Messengers and Prophets; such a belief signifies the loss of faith; and such a person only deceives himself when he says, ‘Do I not offer the Salat, observe the Fast and recite the Kalima?‘ He says this because he is bereft of true faith and zeal. Of course it is God Who creates man, but look how He has also made one man the source of another man’s birth! Hence, just like the physical father through whom man is born, there is also the spiritual father who is the source of spiritual birth. Beware and do not deceive yourselves by following the mere form of Islam. Study the Word of God closely and see what He requires, and it is that which you have been taught in Surah Al-Fatihah:
While God enjoins you to supplicate five times a day for the blessings which belong to the Prophets and Messengers of God, how is it possible for you to acquire these blessings without their help? It is, therefore, essential in order to help you attain the stage of certainty and love that Prophets of God should continue to appear from time to time so that you may receive these blessings from them. Do you wish to challenge God Almighty and violate His eternal law? Can a sperm say that it did not want to be born of a father? Can the ears declare that they do not want to hear through the medium of air? Nothing can be more foolish than to challenge the age-old law of God Almighty.
Finally, let it be clear that my advent in the present age is not for the reformation of the Muslims alone, but I have come to reform the people of all the three religions: Muslims, Christians and Hindus. Just as God has appointed me the Promised Messiah for the Muslims and Christians, so am I the Avatar for the Hindus. For the past twenty years or so, I have been proclaiming that just as I have appeared in the spirit of the Messiah son of Mary(as) for the purpose of removing sins which have filled the earth, so have I come as Raja Krishna — one of the greatest Avatars of the Hindu faith. In other words, I am the same person by virtue of spiritual reality. This is no fancy or speculation on my part. The God of heaven and earth has revealed to me, not once but a number of times, that for the Hindus I am Krishna and for the Muslims and Christians I am the Promised Messiah. I know that the ignorant Muslims, on hearing this, will immediately say that by assuming the name of a kafir, I have openly accepted disbelief. But this revelation is from God and I have no choice but to proclaim it. Today it is for the first time that I am announcing it before such a large gathering, for those who are from God are never afraid of the reproaches of faultfinders.
Let it be clear that Raja Krishna, according to what has been revealed to me, was such a truly great man that it is hard to find his like among the Rishis and Avatars of the Hindus. He was an Avatar — i.e., Prophet — of his time upon whom the Holy Spirit would descend from God. He was from God, victorious and prosperous. He cleansed the land of the Aryas from sin and was in fact the Prophet of his age whose teaching was later corrupted in numerous ways. He was full of love for God, a friend of virtue and an enemy of evil. It was God’s promise that, in the latter days, He would send someone, i.e., an Avatar, in his image. Hence this promise has been fulfilled with my coming. Among other revelations regarding myself, I also received this revelation:
Hence, I love Krishna because I have come in his image. Another resemblance between the two of us is that the same qualities that have been attributed to Krishna (for instance, his being the destroyer of sin, the consoler, and the nourisher of the poor) are also the qualities of the Promised Messiah. From the spiritual point of view, therefore, Krishna and Promised Messiah are one and the same; it is only the regional terminology that is different.
Now, in my capacity as Krishna, I warn the Aryas against some of their errors. One of them, which I have already mentioned, is that it is not right to believe that all the souls and particles of the universe, also known as Purkarti or Purmano, are uncreated and eternal. The fact is that there is nothing uncreated except Parmeshwar Who does not depend on anything for His existence. Anything that depends on others for its existence cannot be uncreated. Are the attributes of the spirits innate and has nobody created them? If this is so then the union of souls with bodies can also come about by itself and the coming together of material particles can take place on its own. If this were indeed so, you would be left with no rational argument to believe in the existence of Parmeshwar. If reason can accept the concept that souls with all their innate attributes are self-existent, then it would readily accept the other concept that the union and separation of souls and bodies is also self-existent, for once self-existence is considered to be a fact, there is no reason why one path should be left open and the other closed. No logic can justify such approach.
Moreover, this error has led the Aryas to yet another error which is as much to their own disadvantage as the earlier mistake was detrimental to Parmeshwar. The Aryas consider salvation to be limited and for a fixed period and the transmigration of souls as a yoke from which there is no escape. No sound mind can ever think of imputing such meanness and narrow-mindedness to the Merciful and Gracious God. When Parmeshwar had the power to grant eternal salvation, and He was Surab Shaktiman [Almighty], one fails to comprehend why He should exercise such parsimony and deprive His servants of His grace. This objection becomes all the more formidable when one finds that the souls — which are condemned to eternal damnation and to undergo unending cycles of transmigration — are not Parmeshwar’s creations. In reply to this objection, the Aryas say:
‘Parmeshwar did have the power to grant eternal salvation, for is He not Surab Shaktiman? This limited salvation was only proposed so that the cycle of transmigration of souls may not break. Since the number of souls was fixed and could not be exceeded, therefore, in case of permanent salvation, transmigration could not continue forever, as the soul which once entered the chamber of salvation would have gone out of Parmeshwar’s reach. The end product of this daily loss was bound to be that not even a single soul would have been left in the hands of Parmeshwar to be consigned to the cycle of transmigration, and, sooner or later, this pastime would come to an end and leave Him forever idle. Because of these constraints, Parmeshwar has managed to limit salvation to a certain period.’
At this point, another objection arises that once souls had attained salvation and were cleansed of their sins, on what grounds did Parmeshwar turn them out again and again from the chamber of salvation? [According to the Aryas] this is how Parmeshwar has done away with this objection: Every soul that is made to enter the salvation chamber continues to be burdened by one sin, on the basis of which each soul is eventually thrown out of the salvation chamber.
Such, indeed, are the beliefs of the Aryas. In all fairness, how can one who suffers from such constraints possibly be Parmeshwar? It is highly regrettable that by denying a very clear concept of God’s attribute of creation, the Aryas have put themselves in a very absurd position and, by presuming Parmeshwar’s works to be like their own, they have also blasphemed Him. They failed to understand that God is different from His creation in each of His attributes. To judge God by human standards is a fallacy which dialecticians have named as ‘false analogy’. The claim that creation ex nihilo is impossible is based on the experience of reason regarding human ability. Reducing Divine attributes to the level of man is sheer naivety. Just as God speaks without a physical tongue, hears without physical ears and sees without physical eyes, so does He create without physical wherewithal. To believe that He is dependant upon matter would amount to the suspension of Divine attributes. There is yet another grave error in this doctrine, for it makes every particle a co-partner with God in the sense that every particle is uncreated and eternal. The idol-worshippers associated only a few idols as partners with God, whereas this doctrine makes the whole world co-partner with Him, for, according to its principles, every particle is god in its own right.
God Almighty knows that I do not state all this out of any malice or enmity. On the contrary, I am certain that this could not possibly be the original teaching of the Vedas. I know of many self-styled philosophers who held such beliefs and ended up as atheists. I am afraid that if the Aryas do not renounce this doctrine they too will suffer the same fate.
Reincarnation, which springs from this doctrine also seriously stigmatizes the Grace and Mercy of God Almighty. We find, for instance, that in a couple of square feet there can be billions of ants, a mere drop of water may contain thousands of organisms, and the rivers, oceans and jungles are so full of all kinds of animals and insects that the number of human beings bears no comparison to them. If the doctrine of Reincarnation is true then what, we would like to know, has the Parmeshwar got to show for Himself, how many are there whom He has granted salvation, and can anything be accepted of Him in future?
Furthermore, this law of punishing a person without informing him of his crime is also incomprehensible. An even greater tragedy is that salvation depends on spiritual knowledge which continues to be eroded all the time and no one retains any memory of any part of the Vedas, regardless of what form his reincarnation has taken or how great a pundit he might have been. This shows that the attainment of salvation through transmigration of souls is simply not possible. Moreover, men and women, who are caught in the cycle of reincarnation and are born in this world do not bring with them any list informing them of their past relatives, lest a poor ignoramus should marry a newborn who is in fact his sister or mother.
As regards the custom of Neug, which is common among the Aryas these days, I can only keep exhorting that the Aryas to do everything to cast away this doctrine. Human nature will never accept that — despite being the legitimate husband of his wife, and despite the relationship which is established between them — a man should require his chaste wife, on whom depends his honour and dignity, to sleep with another only because he desires an offspring. I do not wish to write further on this subject and leave it rather to the conscience of respectable people to judge. The wonder is that despite all this the Aryas are seeking to invite Muslims to their faith! No doubt every reasonable person is always ready to accept the truth, but it is no truth to say that God, Who has made His existence manifest through His mighty powers, should be denied the power to create and should not be considered the source of all bounties. Such a Parmeshwar can never be the True Parmeshwar. It is through God’s power that man has been able to recognize Him. If He ceased to have any power and, like us, He too should stand in need of material means, no one would ever be able to recognize Him.
Moreover, it is due to God’s favours and bounties that He is considered worthy of worship. If He was not the Creator of souls and did not possess the power to bestow His grace and favour unless a person did something to deserve it, how would such a Parmeshwar be considered worthy of worship? On reflection, we find that Aryas have not presented a decent image of their religion. They consider Parmeshwar to be so powerless and so malicious that even after punishing the souls for millions of billions of years He does not grant them eternal salvation and His wrath is never appeased. With their belief in Neug, the Aryas have also stigmatized their national culture and attacked the honour of helpless women. They have caused shameful mischief both with regard to the rights of God and the rights of man. This creed is very close to atheism for having rendered God powerless and, in the context of Neug, it is very close to an unmentionable class of people.
It is with an aching heart that I am compelled to say that while most Aryas and Christians are in the habit of unjustly attacking the true and perfect tenets of Islam, they are totally unmindful of improving the spiritual condition of their own religion. Religion does not teach the vilification of holy men, Prophets and Messengers(as), for such things are against the very purpose of religion, which is that one should cleanse one’s self of all evil, enable one’s spirit to lie forever prostrate at the threshold of God Almighty, and become so imbued with conviction, love, true knowledge, truth, and faithfulness that a genuine transformation is effected and a heavenly life is attained in this very world. But how can true righteousness be attained through doctrines which say, for example, that it is enough merely to believe in the blood of Jesus to attain salvation! What kind of purification is this which does not require any effort on the part of a person to purify himself? The fact is that true purity is attained only when one truly repents of a sinful life and strives to attain a life of piety, for which three conditions are required: First, a solemn resolve and a concerted effort to get rid of sinful life as far as it lies in ones power. The second condition is prayer; one should always beseech God that He may rid him of the sinful life with His own hand, and kindle such a fire in his heart as may reduce all evil to ashes, and grant him such power that he may be able to overcome all carnal passions. He should keep imploring God until the time comes when a Divine light descends upon his heart and a bright ray falls upon his being to dispel all darkness to eliminate his weaknesses and to bring about a righteous change in him, for prayer undoubtedly has great power. If the dead can be brought back to life it is only through prayer; if captives can win freedom it is only through prayer; if the impure are to be purified it can only be done through prayer. But to pray is akin to dying. The third condition is to keep the company of the righteous and the perfect ones because one lamp lights another.
These are the only three ways of achieving emancipation from sin, and when these three conditions are met, they are ultimately blessed with Divine grace. Otherwise, we would only be deceiving ourselves by imagining that we have attained freedom from sin by our belief in redemption through the blood of Jesus. The fact is that man has been created for a much greater purpose. Mere abstinence from sin is no great achievement. So many animals do not commit any sin, can they claim to be perfect? Can we expect to be rewarded by a person just because we have done him no harm? No, indeed, it is the sincerely rendered services which make one deserving of reward. The service man has to render towards God is to belong to Him alone, to forsake the love of everything else for His love, and to surrender his own will to the Will of God. The Holy Quran illustrates this with a wonderful example: No believer can achieve perfection until he has partaken of two elixirs. The first is the elixir that cools down the love of sin, named by the Holy Quran as the ‘Elixir of Camphor’, and the second elixir, which fills the heart with the love of God, is described by the Holy Quran as the ‘Elixir of Ginger’.
It is a pity that the Christians and the Aryas did not follow this path. The Aryas are of the view that, whether or not one repents, sin has to be punished by the torment of countless cycles of transmigration. The Christian concept of deliverance from sin has already been described above. Both these groups have digressed from the truth. They have left behind the door they were supposed to enter and have strayed far into the wilderness.
So far I have addressed the Aryas, but the state of Christians, who are trying hard to spread their religion all over the world, is far more deplorable. Today, while the Aryas are trying somehow to get rid of their old polytheistic creed of creature-worship, the Christians, on the contrary, are trying to convert, not only themselves, but the entire world to creature-worship. In an arbitrary and authoritarian manner they project the Messiah as God. There is no reason whatsoever to believe that he possessed any special power which other Prophets(as) did not. In fact, some Prophets(as) have shown even greater miracles than him. His frailties testify that he was only a human. He never made any claim on the basis of which he can be considered a claimant of divinity. All his sayings, which are supposed to prove his divinity, are merely taken out of context; for thousands of such figures of speech have also been used regarding other Prophets(as), and no reasonable person would argue that they prove the divinity of these Prophets(as). The only people who can do such a thing are those who love to deify human beings. I swear by God Almighty that the revelations and Divine communications vouchsafed to me contain even greater expressions. If such words could prove the divinity of the Messiah(as), then (God forbid) I too would have the right to make the same claim. Remember, it is simple and pure aspersion to say that the Messiah(as) ever claimed to be God. He never ever made such a claim. Whatever he said about himself does not exceed the word ‘intercession’, and no one denies that Prophets(as) hold the right of intercession. Was it not the intercession of Moses(as) that saved the Jews from burning chastisement time and again? I myself have personal experience in this regard. Many of my honourable followers are well aware that some people suffering from diseases and other tribulations have been delivered of their misery through my intercession and they were given the good news beforehand. It is simply absurd to believe that Jesus(as) took upon himself the burden of people’s sins and was crucified for their salvation. This belief is miles away from reason. It is also against the Divine attributes of equity and justice to say that one man should commit the sin while punishment should be awarded to another. This doctrine is nothing less than a bundle of errors! It does not behove rational men to abandon the One God, Who has no partner, and start worshipping His creatures. To believe that there are three independent and perfect persons in the Trinity who are equal in power and glory, and then to combine them into one perfect God, is the kind of logic which is peculiar only to the Christians. It is all the more lamentable that the purpose for which this novel plan was made, i.e., redemption from sin and deliverance from a life of filth, was never realized. To the contrary, before the doctrine of Atonement, the disciples were pure-hearted, had nothing to do with this world and its riches, were not defiled by the evils of this life, nor strive after worldly gains. Alas! where did such pure and devout hearts disappear after the Atonement! It is even more so in this age. The more stress is laid on the doctrine of Atonement and the blood of Jesus, the greater is the enchantment of the Christians with the mundane. Indeed, like a man in stupor, most of them are engrossed day and night in their earthly pursuits. The other sins rampant in Europe, like alcoholism and illicit sex, are too obvious to require any mention.
I shall conclude my address after submitting a brief discourse in support of my claim.
Honourable audience! may God Almighty open your hearts to the reality and may He inspire you with the ability to see the truth. You might know that it is enough reason to follow a Prophet, a Messenger or an Elect of God — who is commissioned for the reformation of mankind — if what he says is the truth and does not suffer from deceit or fraud, since human reason does not require miracles to accept the truth. But as man is naturally susceptible to doubts and suspicions, he may suspect that the claimant is motivated by some selfish motive, or is himself a victim of delusion, or is trying to deceive others. Although what the Messenger says may be true and self-evident, people sometimes do not pay attention to him because they consider him to be an ordinary and insignificant person. Sometimes, the temptations of one’s baser self are so overwhelming that even if a person understands the message to be true, he is so overwhelmed by the impure passions of the baser self that he finds himself unable to follow the path which the preacher and the guide wishes him to tread and at times his own inherent weakness holds him back.
This is why Divine wisdom has made it essential that those who are chosen by God should be accompanied by signs of His succour. Such signs are manifested in the form of Divine mercy and at times in the shape of Divine chastisement, and it is because of such signs that the chosen ones are known as Bashir32 and Nadhir.33 But only such believers partake of these signs of mercy as do not show arrogance at the command of God and do not look down upon the Messengers of God with disdain and contempt. They recognize them with their God-given intuition and, holding fast to the path of righteousness, are not over obstinate, nor do they shun these Messengers out of worldly pride or a false sense of dignity. Instead, when they realize that a person has appeared at the appropriate time in keeping with the example of Prophets(as); and that he beckons people towards God; and that in all likelihood the message is true; and that in him are present the signs of Divine succour, righteousness and honesty; and that, judged by the traditions of past Prophets(as), his word or deed does not admit of any objection, they believe in him. There are indeed some fortunate ones who recognize at a glance that his is not the face of a liar or a pretender. It is for such that signs of mercy are manifested. By keeping constant company with the truthful, and attaining the power of faith, and bringing about positive change in their own selves, they continue to witness ever-fresh signs. All truths and verities, all forms of Divine succour as well as revelations about the unseen and unknown constitute for them Divine signs. Due to their fine sense of discernment, they sense the most intricate and obscure signs of Divine succour in favour of the Messenger, and are apprised of the smallest and subtlest of signs. As against these, however, there are others who are not fortunate enough to partake of the signs of Divine grace. The people of Noah(as), for instance, derived no benefit from any kind of miracle, except the miracle of the deluge which drowned them. The people of Lot(as) too did not benefit from any miracle until the earth was made to crumble under their feet, and stones were showered upon them. In this age, God has appointed me in the same manner, but I notice that the majority of people these days are like the people of Noah(as) in their dispositions. Many years ago two signs testifying to my truth had appeared in the heavens in keeping with the prophecy reported by the family of the Holy Prophet(sa). The prophecy was that, ‘When the Imam of the latter days appears, two signs shall appear for him which have never appeared for anyone before him: an eclipse of the moon will occur in the month of Ramadan on the first of the usual nights for lunar eclipse, and, in the same month of Ramadan, an eclipse of the sun shall also occur on the second day of the three days peculiar to solar eclipses.’ Both Sunnis and Shiites are agreed on this prophecy. It was written that since the creation of the world such eclipses have never occurred on these given dates in the presence and during the ministry of one claiming to be the Imam. Yet this is exactly what was prophesied to happen in the time of the Imam of the latter days, and this sign was to be specific to him. This prophecy is recorded in books published a thousand years ago. But when the prophecy was fulfilled after I made my claim of being the Imam no one acknowledged it, and not a single person pledged allegiance to me after witnessing the fulfilment of this glorious prophecy. Instead, they began abusing and ridiculing me more than ever before. They named me Dajjal [Antichrist], kafir and a great liar, etc. This prophecy was treated in such manner because it did not augur Divine chastisement, rather it was Divine grace that had vouchsafed a sign in advance. But people did not derive any benefit from this sign and their hearts did not show any inclination towards me, as if it was no sign at all but only a worthless prophecy.
Thereafter, when the mischief of the disbelievers exceeded all limits, God manifested a sign of chastisement, just as it had been recorded in the Books of Prophets(as). This sign of Divine chastisement is the Plague which has been eating away this country for some years and against which no human strategy has been of any avail. The tiding of this Plague is present in the Holy Quran in clear terms. Allah says:
This means that, sometime before Doomsday, a severe pestilence shall strike and some villages shall totally wiped out while other shall revive after suffering to an extent. Similarly, God Almighty says in another verse which is translated as follows: ‘When the sentence is passed against them, We shall bring forth for them an worm out of the earth which shall injure them because people did not accept Our signs.35 Both these verses are present in the Holy Quran and contain a clear prophecy about the Plague, because the Plague too is caused by a germ, though earlier physicians did not know it. But God — Who is the Knower of the unknown—knew that the real cause of the Plague is a germ which comes out of the earth. That is why it was named Dabbatul Ard, i.e., the worm of the earth. It was only when this sign of Divine chastisement appeared and thousands of lives were lost in the Punjab and a dreadful earthquake devastated this land, that some people came to their senses and, in a short time, about two hundred thousand people pledged allegiance at my hand and this process is ongoing. Since the Plague has not yet relented, and also because it has come as a sign, there is no hope that this pestilence will leave this country any time soon, unless a majority of the people bring about in themselves a change for the better. This land, therefore, closely resembles the land of Noah(as), for no one believed after witnessing heavenly signs while thousands pledged allegiance after seeing the sign of Divine chastisement. Past Prophets(as) have also spoken about the sign of the Plague. It is also recorded in the Gospels that a pestilence will break out when the Promised Messiah appears. Wars which are currently being fought have likewise been mentioned.
Repent, therefore, O’ Muslims, for you see that every year the Plague is separating you from your dear ones. Turn to God so that He too may incline towards you. We do not yet know how long the Plague will last and what shall happen ultimately. If there is any doubt about the truth of my claim and if one truly seeks the truth, it is easy to dispel these doubts, for the truth of every Prophet(as) can be verified in the following three ways:
First, with the help of reason: When a Prophet or a Divine Messenger appears, one should see whether or not human reason testifies that there is a need for his coming at that particular time and whether or not the prevailing human condition requires the presence of a Reformer.
Second, prophecies of earlier Prophets(as): One should find out if any earlier Prophet(as) had made a prophecy in support of this Prophet, or in support of any Prophet who would come at that particular time.
Third, Divine succour and support: One should find out whether or not such a claimant enjoys Heavenly support.
These are the three hallmarks or indicators that form the accepted criteria for identifying a true appointee of God. My friends! God has been so merciful to you and has caused all the three signs to synchronize as testimony to my truth. Now it is for you to accept or to reject.
Upon rational consideration, you will find human reason crying that the Muslims in this age are in need of a Heavenly Reformer. Their condition is dreadful both internally and externally and they seem to be standing on the brink of a deep abyss, or about to be hit by a fierce storm. Looking into past prophecies, you will find that Prophet Daniel(as) too prophesied about me and about the time of my coming. The Holy Prophet(sa) also foretold that the Promised Messiah would be born in this very umma. Anyone who does not know this should study Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim where he will find the prophecy that a Mujaddid [Reformer] would appear at the turn of each century. If one seeks evidence of Divine succour in my support, then let it be remembered that thousands of signs have already appeared for me. Apart from these, there was also this prophecy which was recorded in Brahin-e-Ahmadiyya some twenty-four years ago, when no one had yet pledged allegiance at my hand and no one travelled to see me. The prophecy was:
Meaning, the time is fast coming when financial assistance shall reach you from all sides and thousands of people shall come to visit you. Again, He says:
This means that so many people will come to you that you will be surprised by their numbers. But you must neither to be impolite to them nor weary of them.
Dear people! though you may not know the number of people who have visited me in Qadian, and how graphic was the fulfilment of this prophecy, you must at least have noticed how thousands gathered at the railway station to welcome me at my arrival in this city and how hundreds of men and women pledged allegiance at my hand. Indeed, I am the same person who lived in this very town for seven years prior to Brahin-e-Ahmadiyya, and no one knew me or my circumstances. Just imagine how this prophecy was made in Brahin-e-Ahmadiyya as much as twenty-four years ago, long before this fame and renown, when I was of little consequence in the eyes of the people. As I have said, even though I lived in this town for about seven years before the writing of Brahin-e-Ahmadiyya, only a few among you gentlemen could claim to know me, for I was then an anonymous person, a mere solitary soul among the multitudes, with no significance in the eyes of the people. Nevertheless, those were very sweet times for me because I enjoyed total solitude among the multitude, and I was a unity in diversity. I lived in the city like a dweller in the wilderness. I love Sialkot as I love Qadian because some of my early years were spent here and I walked around a great deal in the streets of this city. Hakim Hassam-ud-Din, a respectable gentleman and sincere friend from those days, who even then had great affection for me, can testify to the times I lived through, and what an obscure person I was.
Now, let me ask you, is it humanly possible for such a solitary person to make such a mighty prophecy and claim that one day he shall rise to such eminence that hundreds of thousands shall become his devoted followers; people shall pledge allegiance at his hand in vast numbers; people’s rush to acknowledge him shall remain unaffected in spite of severe opposition from the opponents; and so many people would come to see him that he would nearly become weary of them! Does such a thing lie within the power of man? Can a pretender make such a glorious prophecy twenty-four years before its fulfilment, in a state of helplessness and loneliness, and give the news of his eventual eminence and becoming the focal point of people’s acclaim? Nor is Brahin-e-Ahmadiyya, which contains this prophecy, an obscure book. Muslims, Christians and even Aryas in this country possess copies of it, and so does the Government. If anyone has any doubts about such a magnificent sign, let him cite a precedent from anywhere in the world.
In addition to this sign, there are countless others which are equally well-known in this country. But some ignorant people, who have no intention of accepting the truth, derive no benefit even from the most evident signs, and seek means of escape through useless and absurd criticism. By raising objections against one or two prophecies, they end up denying thousands of others which are absolutely clear. Alas! they do not in the least fear God when uttering such lies and become heedless of the Day of Reckoning when attributing falsehood to me. I need not give the details of their false allegations or apprise the audience of their misdoings. Had they been righteous or had they possessed even a little fear of God Almighty in their hearts, they would not have hastened to reject His signs. If, in case, there was a sign which they did not understand they could have inquired of me the true import of it in a reasonable and civilized way. One of their main objections is that Atham did not die within the stipulated period, and that, although Ahmad Baig died in accordance with the prophecy, his son-in-law, who was also mentioned in the prophecy, did not die. Is this the level of their piety, that they do not even mention the thousands of signs which have been clearly fulfilled, and continue to repeat one or two prophecies which they have failed to understand and create a furore at every gathering. Had they any fear of God in their hearts, they would have benefited from the proven signs and prophecies. It is not the way of the truthful to overlook manifest miracles and object to subtle ones. Such an attitude opens the door to criticism against all Prophets(as), with the result that such people end up denying them all. For instance, there is no doubt whatsoever that Jesus(as) showed miracles, but a malicious critic could allege that some of his prophecies turned out to be false, as indeed the Jews claim to this day that none of Jesus’ prophecies was ever fulfilled. He had prophesied that twelve of his disciples would sit on twelve thrones in heaven, but only eleven were left and one deserted him. Similarly, he prophesied that his contemporaries would not die until they had seen him return. But what happened is that all the people belonging to the past eighteen centuries lie buried in their graves and he hasn’t shown up. Thus this prophecy turned out to be false in his own time! He had also said that he was the King of the Jews, yet he received no kingdom. We can cite many more such instances. Then there are certain evil-minded people nowadays who, by raising objections against some prophecies of the Holy Prophet(sa), go on to deny all his prophecies. Some of them quote the episode of Hudaibiya. If these people really take such objections seriously, it is no use worrying about them. Indeed, my worry is that by adopting such an attitude they might even bid farewell to Islam itself. The fact is that in my prophecies — like the prophecies of every Prophet(as) — there is room for interpretation, just as the Holy Prophet’s(sa) journey to Hudaibiya admitted of an interpretation. It was as a result of a certain interpretation that he undertook the journey, but it turned out to be the wrong one. Thus, an occasional error of interpretation or judgement does not in any way detract from the lofty station, majesty and honour of a Prophet. If it is said that such a thing compromises the integrity of a Prophet, the answer is that a Prophet’s integrity suffers no such loss if we consider the vast number [of prophecies that are accurately fulfilled]. Sometimes a Prophet receives a solitary and abstract Revelation, and at other times something is revealed clearly and repeatedly. Misinterpretation of an abstract revelation due to an error of judgement would not harm the cardinal and axiomatic principles. Therefore, I do not deny that if I receive a solitary and abstract Revelation, there may be some error of judgement in understanding it. This is a risk shared by all Prophets(as).
Moreover, God is under no obligation to fulfil prophecies which bear warnings. The prophecy of Prophet Jonah(as) testifies to this and all Prophets(as) agree that Divine Will which is revealed in the form of warning may be averted through prayers and alms-giving. If this were not so, prayers and alms-giving would be a futile exercise.
I will now conclude by offering my gratitude to God Almighty Who has enabled me to write this lecture despite my illness and physical weakness. I pray before God Almighty that He may cause this lecture to be a means of guidance for many. Just as you have physically come together in this place, may God in the same way invest your hearts with mutual attachment and love, and may He cause the winds of guidance to blow on all sides. Eyes cannot see anything without heavenly light. May God send down spiritual light from the heaven so that the eyes may see. May He create an air out of the unseen so that the ears may hear. None can come to us but he whom God draws towards us. Indeed, He is drawing many and shall continue to do so and shall break many a barrier. The death of Jesus(as) is the root of my claim and this root is watered by God’s own Hand and the Prophet(sa) looks after it. God has testified by His Word and His Messenger(sa) has testified by his action — i.e. through his own eyewitness account — that Jesus(as) is dead and that on the Night of Mi‘raj he saw him among the dead. Alas! people still believe that he is alive and attribute such uniqueness to him as has not been attributed to any Prophet. These are the things that lend strength to the Christian conceit about Jesus’ so-called divinity. Many raw and half-baked minds stumble over such beliefs. I bear witness that God has informed me of Jesus’ death. Bringing him back to life now would be the doom of Islam. Holding on to this belief now is a sheer waste of time and effort. The first ever consensus (Ijma‘) in Islam was to the effect that not a single Prophet from the past was alive. This is also evident from the verse:
May God reward Abu Bakr(ra) manifold, who initiated this consensus and recited this verse from the pulpit. In conclusion, I would like to sincerely thank the British Government which has so generously granted us religious freedom. It is due to this freedom that we are able to communicate the indispensable teachings of our faith. This is not a trivial benefit over which we should thank the Government only casually, rather our gratitude should be sincere and genuine, for had this great Government granted us an estate worth millions and denied us this freedom, the value of the estate would not be equal to this freedom, for the riches of this world are perishable but this is a wealth that knows no death. I exhort all members of my Jama‘at to be sincerely thankful to this kind Government, because if one is not grateful to man he is also not grateful to God. He alone is righteous who, just as he is grateful to God Almighty, is also grateful to man, for it is through him that he has received any of the bounties of the True Benefactor.
Peace be on him who follows the guidance.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian,
Tuesday, November 1, 1904.
1 In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful. [Publishers]
2 We praise Him and invoke His blessings upon His noble Prophet(sa). [Publishers]
3 Shirk: associating partners with God. [Publishers]
4 Tauhid: belief in the oneness of God. [Publishers]
5 The misguided horde [Publishers]
6 Verily, a day with thy Lord is as a thousand years of your reckoning.— Al-Hajj, 22:48 [Publishers]
7 The Hour has drawn nigh. — Al-Qamar, 54:2 [Publishers]
8 Imamat: Spiritual Leadership; Nubuwwat: Prophethood. [Publishers]
9 And the she-camels shall be abandoned for riding. [Publishers]
10 Watr: the odd number, as opposed to even. God, being One, is also Watr. [Publishers]
11 The Promised Messiah(as) has elsewhere (e.g. Lecture Lahore) explained this fact that human civilization and dispensation have a cyclic life. The progeny of Adam also has a life cycle of seven thousand years. Only God knows how many Adams have passed away and how many have yet to come. [Publishers]
12 Verily, We have sent to you a Messenger, who is a witness over you, even as We sent a Messenger to Pharaoh. — Al-Muzzammil, 73:16 [Publishers]
13 He may then see how you act.—Al-A‘raf, 7:130 [Publishers]
14 Allah has promised to those among you who believe and do good works that He will surely make them Successors in the earth, as He made Successors from among those who were before them; and that He will surely establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them; and that He will surely give them in exchange security and peace after their fear: They will worship Me, and they will not associate anything with Me. Then whoso is ungrateful after that, they will be the rebellious. — Al-Nur, 24:56 [Publishers]
15 Those who have not incurred Thy displeasure. — Al-Fatihah, 1:7 [Publishers]
16 Sadat: The Holy Prophet’s(sa) descendants through his daughter Hazrat Fatima(ra). [Publishers]
17 On the contrary, Allah exalted him to Himself. — Al-Nisa’, 4:159 [Publishers]
19 This is a reminder. And the righteous will surely have excellent retreat: Gardens of Eternity, with their gates thrown open to them. — Sad, 38:50-51 [Publishers]
20 The gates of heaven will not be opened for them. — Al-A‘raf, 7:41 [Publishers]
21 Sad, 38:63 [Publishers]
22 On the contrary, Allah exalted him to Himself. — Al-Nisa’, 4:159 [Publishers]
23 Whereas they slew him not, nor killed him by crucifixion, but he was made to appear to them like one crucified. — Al-Nisa’, 4:158 [Publishers]
24 …he was made to appear to them like one crucified. — Al-Nisa’, 4:158 [Publishers]
25 Jesus’ Ointment. [Publishers]
26 Say, ‘Holy is my Lord! I am not but a man sent as a Messenger’. — Bani-Isra’il, 17:94 [Publishers]
27 Therein shall you live, and therein shall you die, and therefrom shall you be brought forth. — Al-A‘raf, 7:26 [Publishers]
28 The self that incites to evil. [Publishers]
29 Muhaddath: One who is blessed with Divine converse. [Publishers]
30 Guide us in the right path, the path of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings. — Al-Fatihah, 1:6-7 [Publishers]
31 O’ Krishna, slayer of swine and protector of cows, thy praise is recorded in the Gita. [Publishers]
32 Bearer of glad-tidings [Publishers]
33 Warner [Publishers]
34 There is not a township but We shall destroy it before the Day of Resurrection, or punish it with a severe punishment. — Bani Isra’il, 17:59 [Publishers]
35 Al-Naml, 27:83 [Publishers]
36 The curse of Allah be upon those who lie. [Publishers]
37 Muhammad is only a Messenger. Verily, all Messengers have passed away before him. — Al-‘Imran, 3:145 [Publishers]