by Maulana Daud A. Hanif
The Divine leadership began with the appointment of Hazrat Adam(as) as the first Prophet and Khalifatullah (vicegerent of God) for the guidance of mankind. Through him very basic principles of communal life were introduced for the first time, and the best way of governing human society was taught and implemented in that age. Thereafter, a progressive set of guidance has been provided befitting human evolution in the ever-dynamic world throughout history up to its full maturity. History of world religions shows that there has been a conscious progression from the teachings of Hazrat Adam(as), to Hazrat Noah(as), Hazrat Abraham(as), Hazrat Moses(as) and to Hazrat Muhammad(sa) finalizing in the form of the Holy Qur’an.
The Holy Qur’an is a compendium of all that is good; lasting and imperishable in its teachings and with a good deal more, consisting of that which the earlier Scriptures lack but which mankind sorely needed for its moral and spiritual development. All the right ideals, principles, ordinances and commandments which are of permanent utility to man have been incorporated in it. The Holy Qur’an stands, as it were, a guardian over previous Books and has steered clear of all those defects and impurities, which were found in them. It claims that it lacks nothing (6:39) and is complete and perfect in every respect. Here I quote from the relevant verse of the Holy Qur’an. It reads, “This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favors upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (5:4)
Thus according to the divine guidance the Holy Prophet Muhammad(sa) is the sole guide for all mankind. So his leadership was to continue in one form or other till the end of times. About the latter days scriptures of all religion mention many similar signs and appearance of a guide through whom mankind would be united. Due to time constraints I would mention only a few of them. First I would mention the signs of the Second Advent of Jesus Christ in the latter days according to the Bible.
Prophecies of second coming of Jesus Christ in Bible
“And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying; tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them. Take heed that no man deceive you…. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” (Matt. 24:3-7)
The world wars one and two and what is happening through out the world is ample prove that this sign has been fulfilled.
Condition of Faith in the latter day has been described in the following words:
“Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)
Condition of people
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God: Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
All these signs have been fulfilled completely. The manner of appearance of the Messiah in the latter days has been described in the Bible like the coming of a thief. He has said:
“But know this, that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” (Matt. 24:43, 44) also (I Thes. 5:2) & (2 Peter 3:10).
Second coming was to be in the name of the Lord and not his own personal appearance as is clear from the following quote:
A- “Ye shall not see me henceforth till ye shall say blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (Matt. 23:39).
B-See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful days of the lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. (Malachi 4:5)
The second coming is predicted in the Bible from the East:
“For as the lightening cometh out of the east and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matt. 24:27).
Sun shall be darkened, and the Moon shall not give its light. (Matthew 14:29)
Also it is written that “the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light. (Isaiah 13: 10)
Now let us see the signs mentioned in the Holy Qur’an & Hadith.
Signs of latter days in the Holy Quran & Hadith
Surah Al-Takwir 81: 1-20 Also 48: 29; 61:7 mentions about the latter days.
Holy Prophet’s Second manifestation through his deputy has been predicted in the latter days in Surah Jumu’ah Ch.62:3-4. It reads:
“He it is Who has raised among the unlettered people a Messenger from among themselves who recites unto them His Signs, and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and Wisdom though before that they were in manifest error; And He will raise him among others of them who have not yet joined them. He is the Mighty, the Wise.”
In a Hadith pertaining to these verses Hazrat Abu Hurairah narrates: when Surah Jumu’ah was revealed to the Holy Prophet(sa) we happened to be there in his company. When he recited the verse ‘And there are others from among them who have not yet joined them’, (Ch.62, v.4) one of those present asked “ Who are they O Messenger of Allah?’ The Holy Prophet(sa) did not pay any attention. The man repeated the question two or three times. At that time Salman, the Persian was also sitting among us. The Holy Prophet,(sa) turned to him, placed his hand on him and said ‘even if faith ascended to the Pleiades, there would be one man from his people who would restore faith (back) to earth.’ (Bukhari).
Three Best centuries after Muhammad(sa)
Islam will have three centuries of greatness after which, it will ascend back to the heaven for a thousand years. (Bukhari, vol. 4).
Islam will remain in its name only
The Holy Prophet(sa) has said: “There will be a decline in religious faith and nothing would be left of Islam except its name and nothing would be left of the Holy Quran except its text. Mosques though full of worshippers will be empty of guidance. The religious scholars will be the worst creation under the canopy of Heaven. (Mishkat-ul Masabih, p.88 & Kanaz-ul Ummal, vol.6 p.43).
The Holy Prophet(sa) has said that the Messiah will be raised in the East. (Ibn Majah). An other Hadith says:
The Mahdi will descend near a white minaret in the east of Damascus. (Muslim).
Mahdi in India
Reported by Hazrat Anas(ra) that The Holy Prophet(sa) said that a group will fight in India. They will be with The Mahdi whose name will be Ahmad (Bukhari has narrated it in his history).
Holy Prophet(sa) has said that there will be two parties in my People whom Allah has saved from fire one of them will fight in India and the other party will be with Isa bin Maryam(as) (Musnad Ahmad bin Humbal vol 5 Page 78 and Nasai Vol 2 Page 52 Bab Ghazwatul Hind)
The Holy Prophet(sa) has said that People will rise from the east who would inform about the place of Mahdi who would be their leader that is to say that they will support him and will assist him in his task” (Bihaarul Anwaar Vol 13 Page 21 and Abu Daud Vol 2 Bab Khoroojil Mahdi and Ibn Maja printed in Cairo page 519.)
Bitter enemies of Mahdi
When Mahdi appears, the divines and the jurists will be his bitterest enemies.’ (Futuhati Makkiyyah, vol.2 p.242)
When the Mahdi, peace be on him, starts his campaign for the revival of the practice of the Holy Prophet(sa) and to put down innovations, the contemporary divines who are committed to following the jurists and are devoted to their leading men of the past and to their ancestors, will say that he seeks to ruin their faith and the Muslim community. They will rise up in opposition to him and according to their custom they will declare him a disbeliever.’ (HuJajul Karamah, p.363 by Nawab Siddique Hasan Khan)
In complete accord with the above mentioned prophecies of all the scriptures Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) was raised by God as the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, the World Reformer of the fourteenth century of the Muslim era. He appeared exactly from the east of Damascus and claimed that he is a subordinate of the Holy Prophet(sa) and has no separate mission of his own, rather is working for the mission of Hazrat Muhammad(sa). He also said, “He who seeks separation between me and Hazrat Mohammed Mustafa(sa) such a one does not understand me nor he has the right vision”.
Under express divine guidance he laid the foundation of World wide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community on March 23rd, 1889 at Qadian, India and with peace full means embarked on the colossal task of unification of mankind by rejuvenation of Islam as well as reformation to of doctrinal wrongs that had crept in all faiths & religions and had disfigured them.
Explaining the Purposes of his Advent he said:
“When Almighty God saw that the world was steeped in iniquities, transgressions and errors He raised me to draw it from this state of degradation and commanded me to preach the truth and claim the world from the evils into which it had fallen.
So exactly at the time when the thirteenth- century of Hijra had come to a close and the world had entered upon the fourteenth century, I announced my mission in obedience to the Divine Commandments and made it known to the people through my words and writings that I was the Reformer promised to appear at the commencement of the fourteenth century for the reformation of the faith, so that I should re-establish upon the earth the faith which had vanished from its face, and that being strengthened by God, I might draw the world by the powerful attraction of His hand to true virtue, piety and righteousness and remove the prevailing errors in doctrine and practice.”‘ (Vol.1 Review of Religions 1903.)
He proclaimed that there is only one God and all human beings are His creation. Religion of Islam is submission to God.It does not impose compulsion on any one. All people are free to choose what ever pleases them. It not only does not condone racism & violence rather condemns all forms of violence and terrorism in any form and for any purpose. It promotes tolerance & enjoins respect for all others, repelling of evil with good and even foregoing of one’s legitimate rights for the establishment of peace & harmony and makes a complete truce between all religions and people.
It teaches that all religions of the World have emanated from God alone. Their teachings at the source were all true but being limited for specific people and time and after fulfilling their purpose were replaced by God with better teachings,which were in accordance with the developed human needs throughout the ages around the globe. On the complete maturity of humanity and means of communications the Wise God had raised Hazrat Muhammad(sa) as Universal Prophet and after upgrading & finalizing all previous revelations in to a perfect form had revealed His perfect, universal and final law in the form of Holy Quran for the unification of all religions and mankind into one single universal fold.
Divine leadership in the latter days
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) being a spiritual son and deputy of Hazrat Muhammad(sa) carried out the peaceful mission in the latter days through propagation till his demise on May 26, 1908. He delivered speeches and wrote over eighty books in Arabic, Persian and Urdu, expounding the teachings of the Holy Quran. Reader can access some of these books on internet at www.alislam.org. The uphill task of winning the hearts of diverse mankind belonging to all countries of the world continues under the guidance of his holy Successors after him.
Besides the dynamic books & literature in 52 languages of the world a network of life devotees and volunteers, Muslim television Ahmadiyya; an international satellite television broadcasting message of peace in diverse languages 24 hours daily. The community has already won over millions of people belonging to all walks of life in 189 countries in Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe and America within just one century. A complete victory of peace in all countries of the world had been prophesied in three centuries (Tazkiratush shahadatain Page 64) a century ago. The progress achieved in one century has been mentioned above in brief only and we are fully confident of a complete victory within forth coming century or two (Insha Allah).