Claim of the Promised Messiah

 

One notion that is put forward is that by claiming to be a prophet, the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, put himself outside the pale of Islam inasmuch as his claim was inconsistent with the verse of the Holy Quran which describes the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, as Khataman Naibiyyeen (33:41)

It should be clearly grasped that the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement has certainly not claimed to be a prophet in accordance with the concept of prophethood which is entertained by some of the Muslim divines and is commonly current among Muslims. It is considered that a prophet is one who brings a new law or is not the Follower of a previous prophet, but is a prophet in his own right.

The Promised Messiah, peace be on him, has clearly and emphatically denied being such a prophet. For instance, he has said:

All prophethoods, except the Mohammedi prophethood, are now closed. No prophet can arise even without a law but only one who is a follower of the Holy Prophet. (Tajalliat Ilahiyah, p 25)

He has repeatedly announced that he is not a law-bearing prophet and that he is a follower of the Holy Quran. He has disclaimed being a prophet in his own right and his claim is confined to being the Mahdi and the Messiah. He affirms his being a servant of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and his follower and that all grace bestowed upon him is on account of his devotion to the Holy Prophet and that he has been raised in accordance with the prophecies and promises of the Holy Prophet. For instance, he has said:

It is not permissible to apply the title prophet to anyone after the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, unless such a person is also described as a follower of the Holy Prophet, which means that he has been bestowed all bounties on account of his devotion to the Holy Prophet and not directly on his own. (Tajalliat Ilahiyyah, p. 9)

Again, he has said:

I cannot acquire any degree of honor or excellence, nor any station of exaltation or nearness to God except through sincere and perfect obedience to the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, Whatever is bestowed upon me is by way of reflection of, and through, the Holy Prophet. (Izlah Auham, p. 138)

He has declared:

All windows opening on to prophethood have been closed except the window accessible to a siddique, that is to say, the window of complete and perfect devotion to the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him. (Ek Ghalati Ka Izalah, p. 3)

Again, he has declared:

By the pure grace of God and not by any merit of my own, I have been bestowed a perfect portion of the bounty which was bestowed before me on the Prophets and Messengers and the elect of God. It would not have been possible for me to be bestowed this bounty unless I had followed my lord and master, the pride of the prophets, the best of mankind, Hazrat Mohammed Mustafa, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Whatever I have been bestowed has been bestowed upon me on account of this obedience. I know through my true and perfect knowledge that no human being can approach God or acquire perfect understanding of the Divine except through following the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. (Haqeeqatul Wahi, p. 62)

Again, he has declared:

God, Who was aware of the secret of the heart of the Holy Prophet, exalted him above all the Prophets and all mankind who were before him or might come after him and granted him all his objectives in his lifetime. He is the fountainhead of all grace and anyone who claims any excellence without confessing his obligation to him is not a human being but is progeny of Satan, for the key of every excellence has been bestowed upon him and the treasure of all understanding has been granted to him. He who does not achieve through him is deprived forever. What am I and what is my reality? I would be ungrateful if I were not to confess that I have discovered the true Unity of God only through the Holy Prophet, and have been bestowed the understanding of God only through this perfect Prophet and through his light. (Haqeeqatul Wahi, p. 115)

It is thus clear beyond doubt that the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, did not consider himself a prophet in his own right, but believed that God Almighty had bestowed upon him the title of prophet for the purpose of establishing the perfect law brought by the Holy Prophet, in his capacity as his follower and servant and that he was not given any new law.

Only a day before his death he made the following public declaration:

The charge leveled against me that I claim to be a prophet who has no connection with Islam and that I consider myself a prophet in my own right, who has no need of following the Holy Quran, and that I have proclaimed my own credo, and have established a new qibla, and declare the Islamic law as abrogated, and go outside the following of and obedience to the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, is wholly false. I consider such a claim of prophethood as amounting to disbelief. Not only today but in every one of my books I have affirmed that I lay no claim to any such prophethood and that this is a false allegation against me. The only reason that I call myself a prophet is that I am honored with the converse of God Almighty and that He speaks to me frequently and responds to me and discloses much of the unseen to me and communicates to me the mysteries of the future such that are not disclosed to anyone unless he enjoys special nearness to God. It is on account of the multiplicity of these experiences that I have been made a prophet. (Akhbare Aam, 26 May 1908)

He has stated:

Had I not been a follower of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and had not obeyed him, then even if my good deeds had reached the tops of mountains, I would not have been honored with the converse of God inasmuch as all prophethoods except the Muhammadi prophethood have come to an and.(Tajalliat Ilahiyah, p. 24)

The type of prophethood claimed by the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, is mentioned in the ahadees and in the writings of righteous Muslim divines of the past. The Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has described the Promised Reformer who would appear among the Muslims as Allah's prophet and has repeated this four times (Muslim). According to the bulk of Muslims today, Jesus, who, according to them is alive in heaven with his earthly body, will come back again for the reform of Muslims. Assuming for a moment that this concept is justified, the question arises whether during his second advent he would be a prophet or not, for it is an accepted doctrine that a prophet is never deprived of his prophethood. If by his advent the Seal of Prophethood of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, would not be broken, then how is it broken by the claim of the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, that he is a prophet by way of reflection of the Holy Prophet' Indeed, the advent of Jesus who was a prophet in Israel for the purpose of the reform of the Muslims is a humiliation for the Muslims and is contrary to the purport of the verse that describes the Holy Prophet as Khataman Nabiyeen (33:41). In this context, the Promised Messiah has observed:

If it is asked that the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, being Khataman Nabiyeen, how can any other prophet arise after him, the answer is that without a doubt no new or old prophet can come after the Holy Prophet as you believe that Jesus, being a prophet, would come in the latter days. Your doctrine is that for forty years Jesus would continue to be a prophet and a recipient of divine revelation, a period that by far exceeds the period of the prophethood of the Holy Prophet. Such a doctrine is, no doubt, sinful and its falsity is borne witness to by the verse: 'But he is the Messenger of Allah and Khataman Nabiyeen' (33:41); and by the hadees: 'There will be no prophet after me.' I am utterly opposed to all such doctrines and I have firm belief in the verse: 'But he is the Messenger of Allah and Khataman Nabiyeen' (33:41). This verse contains a prophecy of which our opponents are not aware, and that prophecy is that after the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, all doors of prophecy have been closed and that it is not possible now that a Hindu, or a Jew, or a Christian, or a merely formal Muslim, should be able to establish the applicability of the word prophet to himself. All windows of prophethood are now closed except the window of complete obedience to the Holy Prophet. Therefore, he who approaches God through this window is reflectively clothed with the same cloak of prophethood which is the cloak of the Muhammadi prophethood. The prophethood of such a one is not apart and distinct from the prophethood of the Holy Prophet, inasmuch as he does not claim it in his own right but receives everything from the fountain of the Holy Prophet, not for himself but for his glory. For this reason he is named Mohammed and Ahmad in heaven. This means that the prophethood of Mohammed is bestowed upon Mohammed by way of reflection and not upon anyone else. This verse, therefore, means that Mohammed is not the father of any man from amongst the men of the world but is the father of the men of the hereafter because he is the Khataman Nabiyeen and there is no way of access to Divine grace except through him.

Thus my prophethood and messengership derives from my being Mohammed and Ahmad and not on account of my own self. These names have been bestowed upon me on account of my utter devotion to the Holy Prophet. Therefore, the concept of Khataman Nabiyeen has not been contravened by my advent, but it would certainly be contravened by the advent of Jesus a second time. (Ek Ghalati Ka Izalah)

He has also stated:

Many people are misled by the use of the word prophet in my claim and imagine as if I have claimed a prophethood which was bestowed upon the prophets in earlier times, but they arc mistaken in so thinking. I have made no such claim. The Divine wisdom has bestowed this grace upon me that I have raised to the station of prophethood through the blessings of the grace of the Holy Prophet, so that the perfection of the spiritual grace of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, might be established. Therefore, I cannot be designated only as prophet but as a prophet and a follower of the Holy Prophet at one and the same time. My prophethood is a reflection of the prophethood of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and is not a prophethood in its own right. That is why, both in the hadees and in my revelation, as I have been called a prophet, I have also been called a follower of the Holy Prophet so that it should be clear that every excellence that has been bestowed upon me has been bestowed through my following the Holy Prophet and through my obedience to him.(Haqeeqatul Wahi, p. 150)

Then he has said:

God is One and Mohammed, on whom be the peace and blessings of Allah, is His Prophet and he is the Khatamul Anbya and above all other prophets. After him there is no other prophet except one who is clothed in the cloak of Mohammed by way of reflection, for a servant has no identity apart from his master, nor is a branch distinct from its trunk. He who is bestowed the title of prophet on account of his complete absorption in his master does not contravene the Khatam-iNabuwat. When you observe your reflection in a mirror there are not two of you but only one, though there appear two; only one is the original and the other is his reflection. This is what God desired in the case of the Promised Messiah. (Kishti Nuh, p. 15)

All these writings make it clear that according to the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, after the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, it is only the door of reflective prophethood which is open to a true and devoted follower of the Holy Prophet. Being a reflection of the Holy Prophet, he deemed himself as included in the identity of the Holy Prophet and claimed no separate and distinct position for himself. It must be remembered that the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, did not in any way claim to be law-bearing prophet or has claimed to be a prophet in his own right. He has categorically stated:

Keep well in mind that the door of law-bearing prophethood is firmly closed after the Holy Prophet and that there is no book after the Holy Quran which can bring new commandments or can abrogate any commandment of the Holy Quran or can suspend obedience to it. The Holy Quran is binding till the Day of judgment. (Al-Wasiyyat, P. 12)

Again, he has said:

God is the enemy of him who regards the Holy Quran as abrogated and acts contrary to the law of Islam and seeks to bring into operation his own law. (Chashmah Maarifat, P. 324)

He has affirmed:

I am a prophet, but my prophethood is not law-bearing which would abrogate the Book of Allah and put into effect a new book. I consider such a claim as amounting to disbelief in Islam.(Badar, 5 March 1908)

He has declared:

I have repeatedly affirmed that the truth and reality is that our lord and master, the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is the Khatamul Anbya and after his there is no prophethood in its own right nor any new law. Anyone who claims differently is, without a doubt, faithless and rejected.(Chashmah,Maarifat, P. 324)

In view of all these declarations, no God-fearing, just person dare assert that the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, claimed to be a law-bearing prophet or a prophet in his own right.