As my twelfth argument for the authenticity of Hazrat Mirza Sahib I wish to cite his life-giving powers. This argument also, like all the others, is made up of a thousand and one smaller arguments. Today Muslims, like Christians, believe that Jesus Christ (on whom be peace) possessed the power to restore the dead to life. This belief, as I have shown already, is contrary to the teachings of the Holy Quran. It amounts to shirk, or setting up equals with God. It is subversive of faith in the One and Only God. In one sense, however, Jesus did restore the dead to life, and in this sense all prophets perform this miracle. The word of God testifies to this, and to deny this is to deny the Word of God. It is the spiritual not the physical dead whom prophets restore to life. In fact, to replace spiritual death (and disease) by spiritual life (and health) is the raison d’etre of the coming of prophets. No prophet has, therefore, ever come who has not restored the dead to life in this sense. From Adam down to the Holy Prophet of Islam (on whom be peace and the blessings of God), all prophets have been raised for this purpose. One criterion by which the claims of great prophets may be judged is whether or not they bring life to those who are spiritually dead. If a claimant to prophetic office is unable to show this miracle, his claim must be held in great doubt. If, on the other hand, he is able to demonstrate his life-giving powers, he must be a man of God. No man can have life-giving powers except with the sanction and support of God; and one who earns divine sanction and support must be genuine.
A time of spiritual death
Now, dear reader, this sign in the case of Hazrat Mirza Sahib has been so clear and frequent that a parallel to it cannot be found in the case of any other prophet excepting, of course, the Holy Prophet of Islam. God knows best; but Hazrat Mirza Sahib came at a time when spiritual death had overtaken the whole world. Not only death but disintegration and decomposition had set in. So sad and so certain was this death that we find all the earlier prophets warning us of it. The Holy Prophet (on whom be peace and the blessings of God) said:
‘Every prophet after Noah has warned his people of the menace of the Dadjjal. I also warn you against him.’ Tirmizi, Abwabul Fitan.
The death and destruction associated with our time was to be spread by the Dadjjal. Human beings could not be more dead than they are today. To restore them to life was a most difficult task. Yet this task has been accomplished by Hazrat Mirza Sahib. He has restored to life many hundreds of thousands of spiritually dead human beings. He has created a following which has no parallel among prophets other than the Holy Prophet of Islam. Moses was a political and a spiritual leader. Many of his followers professed only outward loyalty to him. They supported and followed him out of political considerations, not out of spiritual conviction. On this we have the testimony of the Holy Quran:
‘Only some young men obeyed Moses.’ – Yunus, 84.
This was the situation in Egypt. After Moses had moved out of Egypt, a majority of his people were still unconverted at heart. Politically, they were with him. For this also we have the authority of the Holy Quran. Some time after the Exodus, a section of the people told Moses:
‘O Moses, certainly we will not believe thee until we see Allah face to face; then the thunderbolt overtook you while you gazed on.’ – Al-Baqarah, 56.
From the Holy Quran and the New Testament and from history it appears that very few people believed in Jesus Christ. Of this small number those who were sincere and had found a true spiritual life were even fewer. But Hazrat Mirza Sahib was a disciple of the Holy Prophet of Islam. He came into the world to demonstrate the spiritual graces of his master and to spread the blessings of his master’s influence and his example. He was the Messiah of the line of Muhammad, not of the line of Moses. Through Hazrat Mirza Sahib God restored many a dead person to life, and the dead he restored to life were so dead that, but for the water of life borrowed from the Fountain of Muhammad, there was no hope whatever of instilling any life into them again.
The Promised Messiah’s life-giving powers, a reflection of the powers of the Holy Prophet
It is amazing how great is the spiritual change effected by Hazrat Mirza Sahib. What did he find when he came? Human inventions and superstitions masquerading as divine religion; devotion to worldly ends; a general revolt against spiritual life, hatred of godly ways, of revealed knowledge and of revealed law; insensitiveness to moral distinctions; casualness in prayer and lack of reverence for religious teachers. This was what he found. And what did he achieve? A following, as well educated as any, who yet believed in God and His Prophet, in angels, in prayer, miracles, revelation, the Hereafter, the Day of Judgment, and Heaven and Hell: a following which observes the religious duties prescribed by Islam. Few among his followers can be found who are lacking in the observance of daily prayers and so on. Even such lack as may be found can be attributed to the weakness of early days and may be trusted to disappear before long. It is commonly known that college-educated young men and women and those who have acquired any degree of modern education acquire a perfect hatred for religion. If they value religion it is for its political benefits. Yet Hazrat Mirza Sahib has created a modern educated following, a following steadily growing in size, whose members are at the same time devoted to God and His religion. Their tears flow as they prostrate themselves in prayer. Their bosoms are filled with tender fervour when they entreat their God. They hold the interests of Islam and their duty to propagate it above their worldly interests. They sacrifice their time, money, and other opportunities for the sake of Islam. They are moved by the plight in which the religion of God finds itself today. They have become impressed by the need for an organized exposition of Islam, an intellectual Jihad: Jihad by argument. Many among them could have achieved outstanding success in worldly careers, but they have surrendered their careers for the sake of religion. They prefer poverty to plenty, starvation to satiety. On their lips are the names of God and the Holy Prophet; in their hearts love of both. Their actions glorify God and the Holy Prophet and their faces are suffused with the spirit of devotion. They live in the same world as others. They know the attractions of carefree living. They have the normal egoism and love of self. They too would live their own lives. They too read and hear what others read and hear. But they have decided to submit themselves to discipline and direction for the sake of Islam. Islam they find, needs discipline more than liberty. The harm done by the Dadjjal today has been done through world-wide organized propaganda. The effort on behalf of Islam needs a similar organization. It requires Muslims to come together under one flag. It requires the high and the low among them, the rich and the poor, the learned and the not-so-learned, to pool their efforts and organize themselves under one leader. Dissensions and disagreements among Muslims hamper Islam and help its enemies. To promote a united and organized effort on behalf of Islam, followers of Hazrat Mirza Sahib have determined to put the interests of Islam above their own interests, the Call of God above their personal predilections. They have turned away from all current influences and have entered into a pact of voluntary obedience to their Imam. It is for the Imam to point out where and when they must go to serve the interests of Islam. It is for them to obey, and obey without hesitation, without demur. No sacrifices are too heavy and no difficulties too great for them. They perform what they profess. At this time many of them can be found far from their homes and families working not for personal gain but for Islam. In spite of physical and financial privations, under the behest of their leader, the Khalifa of the Promised Messiah, many are already in the field, and many wait for their turn. They care little for their earthly life. They have left their homes and relations for the Glory of God. ‘There are some among them who have fulfilled their vow and some who wait’ (33:24).
Spiritual sight sharpened
They are threatened and beaten. Sometimes they are driven out of their homes. Invariably they are derided and abused. But they take it all for the sake of God. Their spiritual sight has been sharpened. They have come to see what others do not or cannot see. They are treated with contempt. They meet with physical violence and injury and with personal humiliation. But these things to them are as nothing. They bear them easily for they live and work for Islam. If there is a solitary individual without money or means who may be working for Islam, say in the USA, then he is a follower of Hazrat Mirza Sahib. He may be as a drop in the ocean, but he is not down-hearted and he does not fear the future. He was a dead man who has been quickened to life by a touch of the hand from the Messiah. He is alone but can dare to invite the continent of America to study, examine, and accept Islam. He can do this because he knows that one living man is superior to a million dead.
If there are any men in England trying to spread Islam among Englishmen, they are again the dead who have been quickened to life by the Muhammadan Messiah. Physically England was able to subjugate India, but followers of the Messiah know that spiritually England is dead and has strayed far from God. They have carried to England the water of life which the Messiah gave them and which will now give life to the dead of other countries. The might and wealth of England do not frighten them, for they know that they are alive and England is dead. The living have nothing to fear from the dead.
Now, look at the West Coast of Africa. Christian missionaries went to this part of the world long ago and started working for Christianity. Millions of West Africans became Christians. They began to worship a mere human being as God. Did anybody go to this region to tell them of the One and Only God? Did anybody go out to face the superstitious and pagan beliefs and practices of this people? Yes, the followers of the Promised Messiah, quickened to life by his breath, went there to espouse the cause of Islam when Islam had been given up as dead, when its decline had become apparent.
Did anybody think of Mauritius, a forgotten island, or of Ceylon, where much history has been made, or of Russia or Afghanistan? Yes, the followers of the Promised Messiah, the erstwhile dead brought to life by the Messiah’s touch.
Signs of life
Who can mistake these signs of life? Of four or five hundred million Muslims not one has left his home in order to tell others of Islam, to preach to them the message of the Holy Prophet. But hundreds of Ahmadis can be named who have left their homes and gone to live and work in other countries. The number of Ahmadis in the whole world cannot be more than a few hundred thousand. Yet they are making Muslims of men who would hate even to hear of Islam. If the followers of the Messiah have no life in them, how did they manage to change the map of the world? How did they dare to confront countries and continents? Whence did they gather this courage, this confidence? What was it that persuaded them to leave their own countries and go to strange lands, and for what? They have their near and dear ones, their relations, their families, and friends. They have their interests and occupations. What leads them to forsake the world and turn to religion? It is the gift of life they have received from the Messiah. They can see the difference between the living and the dead. It is not difficult for them to give up the dead and turn to God, the Source of all life. He has entered into them and they into Him. And blessed is Allah, the Best of Creators.
The life-giving power of the Promised Messiah has been inherited by his followers. Life creates more life: this indeed is its best evidence. It is not life alone that Hazrat Mirza Sahib gave to his followers. He gave them the power to give life, the power to raise the dead. If Mirza Sahib had not done this, his own power to raise the dead through the Grace of God would have remained in doubt. It would then have been said that his powers, his special knowledge, his warnings, his prayers, were a gift of nature, a special talent or attribute or quality of mind, not evidence of the Grace of God. But such doubts cannot hold. The life-giving powers which the Promised Messiah displayed have not been confined to him; they have not vanished with him. They have been inherited by his true followers. In different degrees and according to their deserts, the same powers are displayed by them. In proportion to their regard for him and the degree of their spiritual contact they also possess the gift of spiritual knowledge. Many among his followers can discourse on the beauties of the Holy Quran. Their eloquence is unbounded, their speech persuasive, as they start speaking on the subject. It melts away doubts and difficulties. No religion or philosophical system or thought which chooses to challenge Islam can overawe us. We can deal with it with the help of the Holy Quran. No objection or difficulty has ever been raised about any single verse of the Holy Quran, the reply to which has not been disclosed to us by the special Grace of God.
Spiritual experience – that is, experience of divine revelation, or of true visions – has also passed on from Hazrat Mirza Sahib to his followers, who have experienced a sort of re-birth through his influence and example, and have received the gift of this experience from God. They receive revelations from God and true visions from Him. Their fulfillment brings an increase of faith and certainty of conviction to them and their friends. The Living God speaks and discloses His Will to them. They discover the ways which lead to His pleasure. They tread these ways and this brings them courage and strength of mind and spirit.
Spiritual experiences continue
Acceptance of prayers and the gift of special divine help also continue, thanks to the beneficent influence of Hazrat Mirza Sahib. Those who have found life through him experience the sign of this life in themselves. Their prayers are heard more than the prayers of others. They experience the help of God more often than others. Their enemies suffer disgrace and defeat, while their efforts and sacrifices are rewarded manifold. They are never left alone. God is with them and guards them, their interests, and their honour.
In short, not only did Hazrat Mirza Sahib himself raise the dead to life. He raised followers who could do the same. This power and this influence is the special prerogative of prophets, the favoured ones of God. This special gift he owes to his Master, the Holy Prophet (on whom be peace and the blessings of God). The Promised Messiah carries forward the work of the Holy Prophet. His gifts are the gifts he has received from the Master. A revelation of the Promised Messiah says:
‘Every grace comes from Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be on him.
Blessed, therefore, is he who taught and he who learnt.’