(It is respectfully submitted to the Honourable Government that they should attentively look at the following article and should test both the parties according to the purport of this petition.)
Since Maulvi Abu Saeed Muhammad Husain of Batala, the editor of Isha’at-us-Sunnah, has always been secretly trying to create doubts about me in the mind of the Honorable British Government, and since I have come to know that for the last many years this has been his habit, I deem it appropriate that, for Muhammad Husain and myself, such a test should be set by which the Government should come to know as to who is its true well-wisher and who the ill-wisher, albeit secretly, so that our wise Government should, on the basis of this very yardstick, be able to differentiate between the sincere and the hypocrite. Hence, in my view that test is this: some such beliefs, which, on account of misunderstanding, are taken to be Islamic beliefs—and are also such that anyone who holds them, he is a danger to the Government—should be made the yardstick for identifying who is sincere, and who the hypocrite, in the following manner. Both parties should write and print those beliefs in Arabic and Persian, so that they can be published in Arabian cities, like Mecca and Medina etc. And should hand over that printed material to the Government, so that it could publish it, as it deems fit. In this way, the one who behaves hypocritically, his reality will be disclosed. Because he will by no means set them out with honesty, and to disclose them will seem to him as amounting to his death. Again, it will be impossible for him to publish them, and to circulate such an announcement in Mecca and Medina will be worse than death for him. Though I have been writing such books in Arabic and Persian for the last twenty years and have been distributing them in Arabian and Persian cities, yet, even now, in order to comply with the demands of the proposed test, I am writing, as an appendix to this Announcement, a dissertation, both in Arabic and Persian—to be published—in which I will set out my peaceful beliefs and my views regarding the inauthenticity of some Hadith about the Mahdi and the Messiah and my sentiments regarding the British Government. In my view it is necessary that if Muhammad Husain, who is called the leader of the Ahl-e-Hadith, holds, like me, the beliefs that promote peace and reconciliation, should, having printed his announcements in Arabic and Persian, send two hundred copies of them to me, so that I, through my own means, circulate them in Mecca, Medina, Syria, the countries of the Turkish Empire, Kabul, etc. Likewise, he will get from me two hundred copies of my Announcement in Arabic and Persian to circulate them on his own.
Our wise Government should remember it well that to write an ambiguous book, just for the sake of saying something, in order to please the Government, and not to widely publish it— which is not an honest way to go about it—is one thing, and to write a book, with the full sincerity of heart and zeal, about the beliefs that are contrary to the general views of the Muslims and to really, widely distribute them in the foreign countries, is quite another. And it is something that can be done only by that brave person who says that which is in his heart, and to whom God has in fact given this very teachings. Well, if this person has good intentions, he should instantly act according to the above proposal. Otherwise, the Government should remember, and remember it well, that if he does not, as against me, publish a book in Arabic and Persian, then his hypocrisy would be proved. This work can be accomplished in a few hours, and, except ill-intention, nothing can stop it. Our Honourable Government should remember that his behavior is entrenched in extreme hypocrisy. And those, of whom he is called the leader, hold the same beliefs, and have the same views, as those of his.
Now, according to my commitment, I write below the Announcement in Arabic and Persian. And, being truthful, I do not fear any one, except God Almighty. In view of the elegance of the arrangement of the text, and because there is a complete concord between the two, I deem it appropriate that I should write the actual Announcement in Arabic and then translate it into Persian, so that each of the Announcements should have been written independently, as it were, and so that the Arabic Announcement, which every one of the non-natives cannot easily understand, should also be translated. Hence, after having written both these Announcements, I will attach them to the [manuscript] of this book. وَ بِاللہِ التَّوْفِیْق [It is Allah Who enables one to achieve his purpose].
The writer, the humble one,
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian.
21 February 1899
1بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ
2نَحْمَدُہٗ وَنُصَلِّیْ عَلٰی رَسُوْلِہِ الْکَرِیْمِ
O my brothers! May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be upon you!
Now, hear me O righteous servants of Allah, and our brothers from the lands of Turkey3 and Greater Syria,4 and the holy land of Mecca, and Medina—the place of the migration of our master and Prophet, the Seal of the Prophets—and Persia, Egypt, Kabul, and other lands. May Allah have mercy upon you and support you, and be with you in this world and on the Day of Judgment, and guide us and guide you to a clear truth.
Verily I invite you to that which pleases Allah the Merciful and I invite you to the commandments of the Noble Prophet of Allah, upon whom be thousands upon thousands of blessings from Allah, the Great and Magnificent. I give you glad tidings of what has appeared in this land [i.e. India] by the grace of Allah, the Loving, the Most Forgiving; and I give you glad tidings of the Days of Allah and the radiant dawn awaited by the truthful; and I give you glad tidings of the mercy that has descended from our Lord, the Most Merciful of those who show Mercy.
O servants of Allah, verily the Almighty looked to the earth and saw disorder widespread, religiosity diminished, hearts hardened, and chests straitened. Not a day passes, nor a month lapses, except that disorder increases and afflictions intensify, and the earth is filled with various self-invented beliefs. The Sunnah and the Quran have been abandoned. Corruption is apparent in intentions, and the love of carnal desires has conquered the hearts. The light of good deeds has disappeared from the faces of people; instead, due to the corruption of their hearts, faces now reflect blackness and lifelessness, feebleness and wilt, cowardice and reluctance, and evil insinuations and illusions.
They [i.e. the Muslims] behaved ignorantly towards all that which came from the Chosen Prophet, forgot the commandments of the Quran and that which was said by the Best of Mankind. A mere shell remained in their hands, and they lost the essence of faith. They turned to the world and its base desires, and preferred the ways of Satan. You shall not find most of them but that they are disobedient and audacious, without fear. You see that most of the scholars preach but do not act; the ascetics put on an act but are not sincere, nor do they devote themselves to Allah or fear Him. You see the common people swaggering towards the present world and not paying attention to the Hereafter. They pretend to be blind, and truly they cannot see; they sleep contentedly and do not wake. Then, the people of other faiths expend their wealth and go to great pains to spread misguidance; likewise, the earth has been corrupted by evil beliefs, and has brought forth its burdens of various machinations and false stories.
Thus, Divine Providence called for the advent of one of His servants to enlighten darkened hearts, and reform with his hands the materials used for present evils. So He chose me by His grace and mercy for this grand scheme, and granted me a great share of spiritual knowledge, the secrets of the Prophetic sciences, and the intricacies of the Holy Quran. He named me the Promised Messiah to resurrect lifeless hearts with His perfect power, and revive belief in God’s Oneness, and rebuild the foundations of the Muslim nation. Verily I am the Sign of Allah which He has manifested at its appointed time as a mercy for all creation. So will you accept me, or reject the one who has come to you from God? I have indeed conveyed that which I was commanded, so be among the witnesses.
As for those who deny me, their denial is due only to persistence in falsehood, for they have not pondered the intricacies of the traditions of the Best of Creation, upon whom be peace and blessings from the Glorious God. They were superficial and hasty. Avarice and stubbornness, emanating from their whims, took hold of them, and a torrent of rancour seized them—thus, they were not rightly guided. They say that the Messiah shall descend from the heaven, and that the Mahdi will be raised from the descendants of az-Zahra5; and together they shall take up arms and wage war against the disbelievers and shed blood. They shall not show mercy to men or women, and shall not relinquish or sheathe their swords until all of mankind becomes Muslim. They also say that the Mahdi will silence the disbelievers with political punishments and not with heavenly signs. He will not leave a single home belonging to a disbeliever on the earth, and shall smite the neck of every dweller and traveller save those who become believers. He shall fight the Christians and all those who accepted Christianity; he shall rule India and other lands, and achieve great victories, and kill, pillage, plunder, and enslave men and women. The Messiah shall descend from the Heavens to assist him, as a servant. He shall not accept jizyah [tax] or fidyah [ransom], and will take pleasure in killing all the disbelievers on earth. Likewise, their soldiers shall set upon God’s earth mercilessly shedding blood. They claim that the collective bodies of the scholars are agreed upon these beliefs, whereby they have been transmitted through successive generations from past scholars to those of the present day, as well as many of the eminent elders.
As for us, O servants of Allah the Merciful, we do not find these beliefs to be truthful or correct; rather, we find them to be corrupt and refuted, and not from the Noble Messenger. My Lord has taught me that this is false, and that our Prophet did not bring any such teaching, and, indeed, they are of the wrongdoers.
The religion upon which Allah has placed us is one of gentleness, kindness, and deliberation—not one of killing, enslavement, and looting. And this is the necessary truth in our time and we are among those in the right. The command for Jihad was in the early days of Islam; and, in order to protect the lives of the Muslims, they were forced to kill the murderers and exact retribution, as the Muslims were few, whereas the disbelievers were many and dominant and bloodthirsty. The believers were not commanded to engage in war or fight until after they remained oppressed and beaten for a long period of time, and were slaughtered like goats and camels. The vilification and harshness lasted long upon them, followed by oppression and abuse, until transgressions became intolerable.
The wailing and cries of the vulnerable were heard and permission was granted to those whose brothers and children had been killed by the disbelievers, and it was said, ‘Slay the killers and their helpers but do not transgress, for surely Allah does not love the transgressors’. It was then that Jihad was commanded. But there was no compulsion in the faith, and no coercion for the people. And no Prophet was ever raised to shed blood; rather, they came as a rain of mercy, and did not fight except after much harm, killing, looting, and kidnapping at the hand of the enemies, and the excess of their corruption. So this Sunnah has been abolished due to the absence of its justifications in the present day, for we have been commanded to prepare for the disbelievers as they prepare for us. We do not raise the sword until our people are first killed by the sword. You see that the Christians do not kill us because of religion, nor do other people, be they far or near. So this tradition is a dishonour for Islam, that we abandon kindness towards a people who act kindly. So ponder, O noble ones.
It is narrated in Sahih-ul-Bukhari that the Promised Messiah will abolish war; that is, he will not resort to bloodshed or violence. So it is not for me to oppose the command of the Noble Prophet, may the peace of Allah the Compassionate and Merciful be upon him. And this has been the Sunnah of our Prophet, the Seal of the Prophets, so which command is greater than this, O wise ones? Sufficient for you is what our leader, the Seal of the Prophets, has said, may the blessings of Allah, the angels, and the righteous from all mankind be upon him.
So, with that it has been established that the hadith that have been transmitted regarding a bloody, warmongering Mahdi from the progeny of Fatimah az-Zahra are all weak and discredited; in fact, the majority of them are fabricated and forged. Their narrators were not deemed trustworthy, and the scholars of hadith found it difficult to establish the authenticity of these narrations. For this reason, Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim, and the great Imam, the compiler of The Muwatta [i.e. Imam Malik] have disregarded them, and many scholars of hadith have criticised them.
Whoever alleges that the Promised Mahdi and the Promised Messiah are two men who will appear as warriors and will draw the sword against the Christians and idolaters has calumniated against Allah and His Messenger, the Seal of the Prophets. Such a one has uttered a statement that has no basis in the Holy Quran or hadith or in the views held by the scholars. Rather, the established fact is that the Mahdi is none other than Jesus6 and neither shall there be war, nor shall the sword or spear be wielded. This is what has been affirmed by our Chosen Prophet . This is not a false statement—both Sahih-ul-Bukhari and Sahih-ul-Muslim compiled in the first centuries of Islam testify to its truth by excluding the aforementioned hadith [concerning a warrior Mahdi]. Surely, in this is a proof for the people of intellect, and serves as a great testimony. Look, then, if you are among the righteous.
Know that Jesus, the Messiah and Prophet of Allah, has died and joined Messengers who passed away and left this world, and our Lord has borne witness to this in His Clear Book. So, if you desire, read the verse: فَلَمَّا تَوَفَّيْتَنِيْ [Since you have caused me to die], and follow not the statement of those who forsake the Quran out of their own desires. They gave no strong proof for it; rather, they said, ‘We found our forefathers upon this belief,’ even if their forefathers were far from the true guidance. But we have shown you verses of Allah, so how can you disbelieve? This is what Allah has said, so in which statement after the Word of Allah will you believe? Will you abandon the Quran for statements of which you have no knowledge? Do you make denial your means of livelihood! Do you prefer doubt to certainty? There is no statement like the statement of the Lord of all the worlds
Surely we have proven that Jesus, peace be upon him, migrated from his homeland after the incident of crucifixion, and that migration is the tradition of the Messengers—with the permission of Allah, the Answerer of Prayers, the Nigh. He then journeyed to the land of India, as is found in historical accounts. Allah completed his years to 120 as is found in the hadith of the Chosen Prophet . He then passed away and was buried in a land close to this area, and his tomb is located in Srinagar, Kashmir, to this day, and is well known among the general population, elites, and notables. It is visited and blessings are sought from it. So ask those who possess knowledge if you are among the doubtful. Look at how these imaginary thoughts were shattered, and no trace of them remains, and how these stories were invalidated.
It has become clear that the true meaning of the descending Messiah is a person granted the traits of the Messiah, and it is he who speaks to you, O people of intellect and true understanding. Know that the time for Jihad of the sword has passed, and nothing remains except the Jihad of the pen and prayer and great signs. Those who believe that Jihad of the sword will be mandatory at the appearance of the Imam are in error. May Allah safeguard us against their errors! This is nothing except error arising from a lack of reflection upon the hadith of the Best of all Creation [Muhammad (saw)], and from not differentiating between fabricated and authentic traditions and also by following conjectures. Oh what a pity for men who know that the hadith regarding the warrior Mahdi are discredited and inauthentic, and yet they believe in his advent without sure knowledge, and do not make statements with true understanding, and they fail to gain insight from transmitted texts and rational proofs. They had pledged to provide support to Islamic endeavours, and not follow statements conflicting the saying of our leader, the Best of Creation. There is no doubt that the presence of these people is one of the misfortunes that has fallen upon the enduring faith of Islam. Verily they do not follow the light; rather they walk like the blind. Their knowledge is not free from doubt and uncertainty, and knowledge of the unseen does not flow upon their hearts. Rather, they follow that of which they have no knowledge or certainty; they follow one another, ignorantly and without knowledge. And like that, because of their foolishness, they expose the religion of Allah to the fault-finders and bigots, and make it a jest for ignorant critics. They are surely a people oblivious to the understanding of religious affairs and intricacies of religion, and so, have become leaders of an ignorant people. They pass edicts but do not understand, they lead but are not well versed in religion, and they say but do not do. They do not have any knowledge of the Holy Quran, and do not follow men from this field. They preach but do not comprehend what comes out of their mouths. They are not gifted with insight, nor are they among those who reflect, nor do they turn to Allah. The value of their knowledge is meagre and deficient. Indeed, their hearts have fallen only for the present world—so how can they comprehend the mysteries of the Faith, and how can they attain knowledge of the resolute law [of Islam]? Indeed the knowledge of Allah is not revealed except upon pure hearts, and the gates of the Religion are not opened except to those who turn towards Allah, and verities are not manifested except upon those whose thoughts are directed solely towards the Gracious God.
In addition, it is incumbent upon men who enter the field of debate and wade boldly in the currents of argumentation, to be deeply absorbed in the sciences of the Arabic language; to drink from literary sources; to be well-versed in the arts of speech and in unique and impressive literary style; to have the ability to comprehend and employ beautiful figures of speech; to possess the power to make people understand in diverse ways; and to be acquainted with the idioms of the Arabic language and possess command over such rules that prevent one from making errors in comprehension and expression.
How can these people attain these excellences! They hold nothing in their hands except for myths. So let those who will, cry for them. Do they await the warrior Mahdi so that he may spill blood—killing all enemies and smiting their necks—and to spread Islam by the sword? This is not, however, proven by the authentic hadith, or from the text of the Holy Quran; in fact, the opposite has been proven by the scholars. Furthermore, these facts are denied by the sound mind and rejected by straightforward thinking—so ask those who reflect.
You are aware that this era of ours is one in which no one attacks us with swords and spears on account of our religion. No one forces us to recant the Religion of Allah—the best of religions—and follow another religion. So in these days we do not require war and reprisal; there is no need for lances to be prepared and swords to be unsheathed.
Indeed, these matters may be described as abrogated injunctions and practices no longer applicable. So when military expedition and war were no longer required, their place was taken by decisive reasoning through clear and conclusive proofs, and by proving one’s claims with true and authentic evidences. Thus, it was replaced with radiant signs and great miracles. So the need has increased in our time to strengthen the Faith and for the descent of clear Signs from the Gracious God. The shedding of blood and smiting of necks will not benefit them; rather, it shall only increase various kinds of suspicions and divisions.
The true Mahdi, the need for whom has increased greatly in this age, is not a man who bears arms and teaches the arts of war and the use of the sword and spear. Rather, the truth is that such customs harm the Faith in these times, inspire various kinds of suspicions and evil whispers in the hearts of people, and support the claim that Muslims are a people who possess nothing but the sword and only intimidate others by the spear, and they know naught but the killing of man.
The Imam being sought by the hearts of the seekers in this age, and by the souls that are searching as though on the brink of starvation, is a godly man, refined, with outstanding morals, and characterised by dignified and pleasing traits. Moreover, he is from among the people of wisdom and knowledge, and is endowed with conclusive proofs and evidences. He has excelled all others in the divine sciences, and has outdone his contemporaries in the finer points of revelation and difficult issues of the religious law. He possesses power of speech which affects the hearts of those gathered in his presence. He utters words that both the elite and common people find beautiful. He spontaneously speaks words that resemble a string of pearls, and extemporises points of wisdom that may be likened to low-hanging fruit. He is skilled in providing excellent answers. He possesses unmistakable judgment. He commands words which, to the greatest extent, speak directly to the mind and, to the greatest extent, penetrate the heart. He silences the opponents in every gathering he attends. He dumbfounds the deniers in every speech he gives. So there is no sword in this era except for the ‘sword’ of the force of plain speech; and I do not deem spears to be effective in this age, except for the ‘spears’ of proof, evidence, and signs.
The Imam of this age is a knight in the field of divine understanding, supported by Allah with Signs and other ways of completing the argument, and many kinds of proof. He is more knowledgeable than any other in the Holy Book of Allah so that he may strike fear into the enemies of Allah by it, and cure the hearts of the seekers. He possesses the ability to reform his own self—which is his greatest nemesis—to melt it away completely so that it cannot compete with Allah’s majesty. He relies completely on Allah. He is humble, and he fervently prays to elevate the illustrious law [of Islam]. He is patient and tender towards the servants of Allah, exerting himself for them with firm resolve, and endlessly prays for them. He does not forget any of those who are sincere, even if they are from the farthest of regions. Like Abraham, he pleads for the wicked in his community, and is honoured in the presence of the Lord of all the worlds.
The likeness of the Imam is that of a strong man; a frail person or an old man—whose feet now fail him and whose eyes have become weak—cling to his clothes [for support]. This strong man takes hold of the frail person or gaunt, doting, old man, who is near death, and protects him from wronging himself and going astray. Similarly, he helps everyone who he fears will stumble due to weakness in resolution. He gives fresh and succulent [spiritual] nourishment to everyone in need of provisions. Like helpful, young men, he guides the weak and those who are lost to their homes. But he whose heart is devoid of the traits of compassion and sympathy, and who does not possesses strength and valour like the brave and courageous, and does not turn to Allah with tearful prayers on behalf His creation, and lacks mercy greater than the mercy of mothers, such a one does not attain this rank, and none of these signs are present in him, and he is not the inheritor of the Leader of the worlds and the Chief of all creation.
As for he who is granted this tenderness and compassion, and his heart is replete with these attributes—having abandoned the whims and desires of the ego—and who exerts himself in the love of God, and effaces himself in order to behold the countenance of Allah and earn His pleasure; he is like the proverbial philosopher’s stone; he is a full moon; he is a blessed, lofty tree for all creatures where people can seek shade; he is one to whom people approach to seek blessings. He is a house of peace whereby distressed people can enter its innermost sections; he is a cave they take shelter in at the time of troubles. He is blessed and all those around him are also blessed. He is a glad tiding for whoever meets him and sees him, or hears from him some words.
Allah befriends those who befriend him, and takes as enemies those who take him as an enemy. The fortunate will come to him by every distant track and far off land. He is like a cave for the religion, and a provider of security from Allah, for every Muslim man and Muslim woman.
And among the signs of his truthfulness is that he will be maligned initially; the wicked will be allowed to gain ascendancy over him and the wicked will assail him, mocking and denying him. They will say many things about him, audaciously cursing him. And yet he will walk meekly in the earth, and tread gently like the best of people. He shall not repel evil with evil, but reply with that which is best and most fitting for the servants of God.
And when the days of trial—and whatever transgressions by the foolish are decreed for him—reach their peak, it will be revealed to him in his heart to turn to Allah completely. He will then ask for His help with humility and fervent prayer; these longings will stir in his inner being, he will then fall down in prostration before Allah, and his prayers will be answered. Victory and triumph will be granted to him in the end. God shall create for him the means from the heavens with kindness and favour. He will perform actions for him that shall confound the people, overturn the events completely, and protect him from fear and terror.
Likewise, the practice of God is that in the beginning He allows the enemies of His holy men to prevail of them, but then God makes the final result in their favor. He has surely decreed that ‘the end is for the God-fearing’7. And men such as these are not sent except after the passage of centuries, by the will of Allah the Doer, after corruption in the earth, enemy onslaughts, and rampant error.
So when corruption manifests in the land, aggression increases, and debauchery and disobedience spread, and divine understanding decreases—and the people become like the blind, and they become ignorant of the limits set by Allah, the Lord of all the worlds, and corruption infuses works, actions, and speech—the state of the Religion becomes divided and it nearly disappears, and the enemies extend their hands towards the Muslim community, and the practices of the faith approach extinction, and nothing remains with regard to the capacity of the scholars to return the people to righteousness and piety—rather, the scholars are languishing and have forgotten service to the faith, and swagger towards the lowly world, and no portion of belief or certainty remains among them—when disorder, transgression, and misguidance becomes so severe that it may be likened to the tertiary stage of a disease, and no hope remains that mere speech can cure the people, thereupon, a Reformer is sent, who has been granted knowledge, understanding, truthfulness, purity, and uprightness from his Lord, and the ways by which to establish the proof—and this is the tradition of the Glorious Lord.
In sum, Divine Providence requires that God in His grace and favour send a Prophet or a Muhaddath in this era. He has appointed him to implement this plan, and has chosen him to reform mankind. He will come at a time when the pure-hearted will bear witness to the need of a Caller from the Glorious God. Every soul that is aware will feel the need for support from the Lord of the heavens. They will feel his scent; his fragrance will reach their souls. At this time appears the one appointed by Allah, who slows the currents of mischief, and clinches the argument against the disbelievers. He will not come except at the time of need, and he will not unsheathe the sword except against those who themselves unsheathe it from among the wrongdoers and disobedient.
Next, I inform you, O fortunate one, that most people have made mistakes and errors in the matter of the Promised Mahdi. They have attributed to him the shedding of blood and the killing of many Christians and Jews. They say that the Christian kings—who are the rulers of India from the people of the West, i.e. the Europeans—will be seized and have collars fastened around their necks. Humiliated, they shall then be brought before the glorious Mahdi. They do not possess knowledge to speak except as calumniators. They have nothing but weak hadith and forgeries at the hands of fabricators. And you will not find in their possession an authentic hadith from the Seal of the Prophets.
So fear Allah and do not put your faith in such beliefs. Do not intentionally conceal the teachings of Allah under the pretext of inauthentic narrations. And those who neither relinquish these [false] sayings nor examine the proof and evidence, nor seek the light that heals the soul, removes doubts, reveals the truth about the calamity, and discloses that which is hidden, and those who do not closely scrutinise in the likeness of scholars, but rather follow one another like the blind, and do not search like those who investigate, they are a people who are like deceiving clouds with no rain. They are equal to a pompous one, who is fickle, or like defenceless homes, or trees that bear no fruit. They do not have anything except long beards, upturned noses, angry faces, evil tongues, and misguided hearts. They do not relinquish their desires, and they conceal their whims, so they do not approach the fountains of investigation. And they do not seek to understand the points of which they are unaware, they do not expend effort to see the clear truth, and they do not strive to connect mankind to the finest points of certainty.
The final statement in this chapter is that I am the Promised Messiah and Mahdi sent by the Lord of all lords. I have not come to wage wars nor have I been commanded by my Lord to plunder.
Verily I have come in the footsteps of the Son of Mary to invite mankind towards noble characteristics and towards a Most Noble and Ever Merciful Lord. I do not see a need to draw the swords from their sheaths. Nay, this idea is a dishonour for the religion whose light at one time shone across the land. Yes! It is necessary to sharpen the pens so that they may write without limit so that we can save mankind from error and its spreading.
And when I came to the scholars of these lands, they issued edicts labelling me a disbeliever and persistently treated me as a liar. They shun the truth arrogantly, calling me a lying antichrist.
So Allah has shown them the great Sign, and manifested tidings of the unseen and grand blessings. The moon and the sun were eclipsed in Ramadan, but their hearts did not incline towards the truth and were not softened. I offered them many ways of guidance but they did not refrain from error and misguidance. I wrote for them bulky volumes and lengthy, elaborate books, but they did not accept the truth; rather, they cast aspersions like the foolish, and increased in transgression and wrongdoing. The truth of the Signs that I am from the Lord of the Heavens has been made clear to them, but they have no response except vulgarity, abuse, insults, and contempt. They have seen from my Lord many Signs and all kinds of divine succour, but they did not accept due to their injustice and pride, and they did not cease in this.
I have not been sent to them at an inappropriate time. Indeed, I came when Islam was impoverished, in the era of corruption, to which our master, the Best of Creation, pointed, at the turn of the century; before this, they had been waiting for this century. They considered this time to be blessed for the religion.8 But when I came to them, they threw away their knowledge behind their backs, and became the first of the enemies. Had they not feared the sword of the British government, they would have killed me with swords and arrows.
But Allah prevented them through the intercession of this beneficent government, so we thank Allah and thank this government, which Allah established in order to save us from the hands of the wrongdoers. It has safeguarded our honour, our persons, and our properties from the plunderers. So how can it not be afforded thanks when we live peacefully under this government, and at ease of mind, and when it delivered us from many types of suffering, and its establishment became a source of honour and blessing for us. We achieved our highest hope for worldly safety and security. Thus, it is obligatory to obey it and pray for its firm establishment and security with pure intentions. It did not enslave us with the hand of terror, but won our hearts through grace and favours. So it is incumbent upon us to thank it and appreciate its favours, and it is necessary to obey it and its representatives.
O Allah reward this great Queen, and protect her country and honour, O Most Merciful among those who show mercy. Ameen.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian.
21 February 1899
1 In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful. [Publisher]
2 We praise Him and invoke blessings upon His Noble Messenger (saw). [Publisher]
3 The Arabic expression Biladur-Rum in this context refers to the Anatolian core of the Ottoman Empire, the capital of which was the former Byzantine city of Constantinople (present-day Istanbul). As this historical region encompasses all of modern-day Turkey, it has been translated as such. [Publisher]
4 The Arabic term Bilad ash-Sham, rendered here as Greater Syria, refers to the historical region that encompasses several modern-day Middle Eastern states such as Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and parts of Iraq and Turkey. [Publisher]
5 Hazrat Fatimah (ra), the daughter of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and the wife of Hazrat Ali (ra), is known as ‘az-Zahra’, meaning ‘the shining one’. [Publisher]
6 A hadith of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) found in the hadith compilation entitled Sunan Ibni Majah. [Publisher]
7 Surah al-A’raf, 7:129. [Publisher]
8 The author is referring to the 14th century after Hijrah. [Publisher]