Now I will cite to you the statement of Imam Ibn-e-Qayyim. He is the same outstanding scholar and philosopher who has been mentioned in the White Paper as a great Islamic thinker. What is his view of why the claimants are opposed. He says that:
Ever since the world has been created, many false claimants to prophethood made their claims and displayed some pomp and glory in the beginning, but they could not achieve their objectives nor were they granted a long time period. The Prophets of Allah the Almighty and their followers annihilated them and rendered them totally helpless. This is the way of Allah from the beginning of times and so will it remain. (Zadul-Ma‘ad, vol. 1, p. 500–501, published in Kanpur.)
These are splendid words of wisdom. Let me pause and comment on these before going on. Ibn-e-Qayyim was really a great scholar of Islam. I am aware that some of the great scholars did make some mistakes of judgment but they certainly were great thinkers. They studied the issues with wisdom and depth and extracted pearls of wisdom. When he says that the false claimants showed some pomp and splendor in the beginning, he is describing a sign of the false claimants. The fact of the matter is, and the history of Islam bears it out, that the false claimant never made a claim without overt or covert support. Musailamah, whose name is often cited by them [White Paper], also had a nation in his support. What happened to him is exactly what happens to all false claimants. They started with splendor and with a strong supporting group. It has never happened that a false claimant should be looked upon with a great hope, that he be very popular and should suddenly lose all his popularity because of his claim. No false claimant has initiated his claim with criticism and humiliation. Imam Qayyim has analyzed the situation very closely and has aptly stated that they:
…made their claims and displayed some pomp and glory in the beginning, but they could not achieve their objectives nor were they granted a long time period. The Prophets of Allah the Almighty and their followers annihilated them and rendered them totally helpless. This is the way of Allah from the beginning of times and it will so remain. (Ibid.)
I trust that our opponents will pay heed to the words of Ibn-e-Qayyim. Ponder over the treatment that you meted out the Promised Messiah(as) and the way Allah the Almighty manifested His decree in his favour. Ibn-e-Qayyim states that the false claimants are not “granted a long time period.” You are well aware that more than one hundred years have passed since the claim of the Promised Messiah(as). Despite vigorous opposition his community is marching forward and the opponents have been totally helpless. The opponents have themselves admitted again and again that the community of the Promised Messiah(as) is increasing day by day despite all opposition.
When the Promised Messiah(as) made his claim, he was deserted by all, including his own children. Close relatives also opposed him. This is the way the Prophets have always started, as Imam Qayyim has described in detail. He understood the meanings of the Holy Qur’an. False prophets start with great splendor but Allah the Almighty totally annihilates their glory. On the other hand, the true Prophets start in a pitiable condition—they are deserted even by their close loved ones. Nobody stands by their side and the whole world joins together to try to destroy their mission. Yet, Allah the Almighty does not permit that to happen. The decree of Allah always prevails, as Allah the Almighty has said in the Holy Qur’an:1
This is what Allah the Almighty has made incumbent upon Himself—Verily I [Allah] and my Messengers will prevail.
The Real Reason for the Opposition of Those Commissioned by God
As for opposition, will not the Imam Mahdi be opposed? Will the Messiah not be opposed? If the lack of opposition to one who is appointed by God is used as a criterion for the truth and veracity of a claimant, then no true claimant will ever appear among these people. History tells us otherwise and their elders also held a different view. On page 224 of Iqtirabus-Sa‘ah, Nawwab Nurul Hasan Khan who died in 1336 A.H., writes:
Should the Mahdi make his appearance, his plight would be the same. The Orthodox brethren will be his most ardent enemies and will seek to kill him and will charge him with distorting their religion.
Similarly, Hazrat Sheikh Muhy-ud-Din Ibn-e-‘Arabi, the renowned Muslim scholar, wrote in Al-Futuhatul-Makkiyyah, volume 3, page 336:
When the Imam Mahdi makes his appearance, none other than the theologians will be his most ardent and open enemies.
The Imam is asserting that open enmity will be shown only by the theologians. Others will be their less vocal followers. Obviously, these ulema will continue to assert that they are doing what they have always done. Then, how can one distinguish between the truthful and the false claimants?
On page 363 of Hijajul-Karamah fi Atharil-Qiyamah, Nawwab Siddiq Hasan Khan writes about the time when the Imam Mahdi will come:
The ulema of the time, having been accustomed to blind following of their theologians and ancestors, will accuse the Mahdi of having come to destroy their religion and nation. They will band together against him and, in accordance with their characteristic, will do their utmost to humiliate and destroy him.
This prediction has been fulfilled word for word. You would note the ‘White Paper’ is entitled Qadiyaniyyat—A Grave Threat to Islam.
I will now present a reference from the well known Mujaddid (Reformer) Alf-e-Thani, Hazrat Ahmad Sirhindi. In his Maktubat, he states in volume 2, page 104:
It will not be surprising if these so called ulema were to reject Jesus(as) based on his insight and deep understanding of Islam and the Shari‘ah. They will adjudge his teachings as contrary to the Book and the Sunnah.
This reference is very significant. We had several references mentioning the opposition the Mahdi would face but this reference specifically mentions the Messiah—Jesus(as)—and the opposition he would face. The ‘ulema’ believe he would descend from Heaven with his hands upon the shoulders of two angels and that he would be clad in two yellow sheets. If this is how the Second Coming is to take place, who would dare reject him? Everything would be very obvious. These ‘ulema’ further claim that the Messiah(as) would join in prayers behind the Mahdi. Thus the problem of accepting the Mahdi is also resolved. There will be no dissension and all will be well. Hazrat Ahmad Sirhindi, an outstanding divine, makes a magnificent point as mentioned above. He notes that these ‘ulema’ will oppose the Messiah(as).
1 Allah has decreed: ‘Most surely I will prevail, I and My Messengers.’ (Surah al-Mujadalah, 58:22) [Publisher]