Nabuwwat (Prophethood) of the Promised Messiah and Change in Maulvi Mohammad Ali’s Belief
Mr. Faruqi has made his book a bilingual publication, Urdu on one page, English on the page opposite, the reason he has given for this being:
“The Muslims in general and the Ahmadis in particular from foreign countries have been clamouring about some authentic book, preferably in English, which would deal with the `claims’ of the Promised Messiah and the `Split’ that occurred among the mureeds of the Promised Messiah, and what is the truth behind it. So to meet this demand, this book has been prepared.” (Truth Triumphs, Foreword, page 5)
In this book, Mr. Faruqi also brings under discussion, questions in dispute between the two Sections of the Ahmadiyya Movement. But it is highly regrettable that in this discussion he employs an extremely vulgar and low style of language, descending to a foul, abusive, insulting style of expression in dirty personal attacks on Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II. This is something one does not expect from a decent and pious Muslim. The law does not allow it, nor does the Sharia .
In controversy over points involving religious beliefs, however, things of this kind occur where the argument is weak and attempts are made to hide this weakness by resorting to vituperous language in personal attacks of questionable value.
The literary technique used by the Christians and Aryasamajists, against the Holy Prophet Mohammad is the style Mr. Faruqi has thought proper for attacks on Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II. But he should have known that, in the eyes of his decent minded readers, attacks of this kind would fail to give strength to the case he was trying to build up.
The Holy Prophet said: “When you talk about people who have passed away, in death, say only good things about them, as far as you can.” This is a very golden principle, in all human intercourse; one cannot help being sorry to find that Mr. Faruqi threw this fine teaching to the winds, and proceeded to make low personal attacks against the son of a gentleman whom Mr. Faruqi believes to be the Promised Messiah, raised to deliver mankind especially the Muslims, from irreligion – from sin and evil.
Similarly one also feels sorry for the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’ati-Islam, responsible for bringing out a publication which so deeply, and so grievously injures our feelings.
Two Misstatements by Mr. Faruqi
In his Foreword, Mr. Faruqi has made two misstatements. He writes:
“Hazrat Mirza Sahib repeatedly announced that taken Islamic parlance, `claim’ is not that of a Prophet, but is that of a Mojaddid, a nd Mohaddath (with whom God speaks). Up to the time of his death in 1908 C.E., and during the Caliphate of his successor, Maulvi Noor-ud-Din Sahib, the followers and mureeds of Hazrat Mirza Sahib gave him his right position. However on the death of Maulvi Noor-ud-Din in 1914 Mirza Mahmud Ahmad (the son of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad) became Khalifa, when he advocated the newly established belief that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah was in fact a Prophet and that any Muslim who denies him becomes a kafir himself.” (Truth Triumphs, Foreword, page 3)
The first misstatement made by Mr. Faruqi in this passage is that to the death of the Promised Messiah, and all through the period of Khilafat of Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddin, the Ahmadies did not hold that the Founder of the Movement was a Prophet. They regarded him a Mojaddid and a Mohaddath.
Mr. Faruqi has stated that the Promised Messiah’s son, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, carved out a doctrine that the Promised Messiah was a Prophet, and one who denied him was a kafir after the death Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddin, the First Khalifa, in 1914.
Naturally, one does not expect much good from a book which goes shockingly wrong in its facts, at the very outset.
Proof that the First Statement Given above Is Wrong
The leader of the Lahore Section of Ahmadies, Maulvi Mohammad Ali, was appointed editor of the Review of Religions in 1901, in the lifetime of the Promised Messiah. At that time he himself also believed that the Promised Messiah was a Prophet, and this was the doctrine to which he invited others. But in the time of the first Khalifa, when the newspaper named Paigham-i-Sulha came into existence, in 1913, in regard to some people responsible for it, an impression grew in the mind of many observant people that they were quietly beginning to assign to the Promised Messiah a position far lower than the one in truth, which belonged to him, that they did not believe he was a Prophet, a Nabi . Since this difference was not yet clear on the surface, and those at the back of this belief were not so acute on the question as they became later on; and since they were also afraid Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I might turn them out of the Movement, on the basis of this view, they issued a statement in the Paigham-i-Sulha:
“It has been gathered that some people have been involved in creating a misunderstanding that by those at the back of this journal, or one of them, anyway, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah, and the Mehdi, is being assigned a position far below the one, in fact, which belongs to him. We, all the Ahmadies connected with this newspaper, in one way or other, go on solemn oath, before God, Who knows the innermost secrets of what lies in the mind, openly and honestly declare that this view being imputed to us is nothing more than a gross accusation, a pernicious charge, against us. We solemnly hold that the Promised Messiah is the Prophet for this age, a Prophet, and a Messenger from God, raised to deliver the Muslims, and all mankind from sin and evil. The high rank and elevation which the Promised Messiah himself has said belongs to him, we have a firm and implicit faith in it; and we believe that an attempt to add to it, or bring it down even a fraction of an inch, is enough to burn all vestige of belief and faith in the heart. We firmly believe that there can be no deliverance without firm faith in the Holy Prophet Mohammad, and the Promised Messiah. After him, we have firm faith in Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddin, the first Khalifa, as our true religious leader. Now that we have made our position absolutely clear, those who are spreading this misunderstanding against us, if they do not desist, we are content to leave the matter in the hands of God.” (Paigham-i-Sulha, Lahore, October 16, 1913, page 2)
Here, in 1913, we have all these people at the back of the Paigham-i-Sulha, going solemnly on oath that they believed the Promised Messiah was a Prophet, and a Messenger of God. They believed that any kind of effort to detract from the position which belonged to him was an act so treacherous, so irreligious, as to burn away human capacity for discovering the truth, and the steadfast courage to live up to that ideal. We must also bear in mind that these were also the people, subsequently to the election of Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad as Khalifatul Masih II, began to deny that the Promised Messiah was a Prophet, quite in the same breath as they started to deny the Khilafat of the second Khalifa.
This quotation also bears out, as clearly as the midday sun, that in the days of Khalifatul Masih I, their belief in regard to the Promised Messiah, was that he was a Prophet. In any case, that is what they said, to allay a well-based suspicion, since the leaders of the group were afraid they were not yet in a strong enough position to come out boldly with the views hidden in their mind. At all events we see here the belief that the Promised Messiah was a Prophet, and the entire idea of Prophethood, with all its implications, was not a doctrine which Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II carved out in 1914, for obtaining an emotional hold on the mass of the popular mind in the general membership of the Movement. Mr. Faruqi’s contention in this behalf is a wrong statement that Hazrat Mirza Mahmud Ahmad cleverly carved out a convenient new doctrine, in 1914, after he had been elected Khalifa, on the death of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I.
We might also add here that in 1914 a poem was published in the Paigham-i-Sulha in support of the belief in the Prophethood of the Promised Messiah. Here is the substance of some of the couplets:
What a wonderful perfection has Khatm-i-Risalat shown to the world! It has made the river of Nabuwwat (Prophethood) to flow in the Ummat . On the basis of this blessing we have achieved the foremost position, in comparison with the other Ummats. What is the harm, among the followers of the Holy Prophet Mohammad, if one has appeared among us as a Prophet? For the true Believer, if there is any glad tiding, it lies in this point, and whatever miracle is now possible among the Muslims, it is only on this account! (Paigham-i-Sulha, February 12, 1914)
Maulvi Mohammad Ali’s Testimony in the Law-Court
In 1904, Maulvi Karamdin of Jehlum had a law suit of libel against the Promised Messiah that the latter had defamed him by calling him a `Kazzab ‘. In this suit Maulvi Karamdin cited Maulvi Mohammad Ali as a Prosecution witness in the court on a solemn oath, Maulvi Mohammad Ali deposed:
- “In regard to a man who claims to be a Nabi (Prophet), where a man denies this claim, he becomes, thereby a `Kazzab ‘. The Mirza Sahib claims he is a Prophet.”
- “The Mirza Sahib, in many of his works, puts forth this claim which is to the effect that he is a Prophet from God, though he is not the bearer of a new Sharia. Where a man denies a claim of this kind, he becomes, thereby, a `Kazzab ‘.” (File of the law-suit, page 362)
This witness of Maulvi Mohammad Ali in a law-court, under solemn oath, with the Promised Messiah present in the court-room, is of great significance. If the Promised Messiah had not claimed that he was a Prophet, it was clearly a moral obligation that he should have, then and there, corrected his follower. Moreover, the Promised Messiah deposed in the same court that he was Zilli Nabi, the bearer of a prophethood, which was in substance, a blessed shadow of the Nabuwwat of his Master, the Holy Prophet Mohammad.
This authentic record of a law-suit makes it absolutely clear that the Promised Messiah, in his life-time, was believed by his followers to be claiming that he was a Prophet and he did not deny that this was his claim. It also makes it equally clear that Maulvi Mohammad Ali fully accepted this claim.
Similarly, during the time he was editor of The Review of Religions, Maulvi Mohammad Ali had a controversy, in writing, with Khawaja Ghulamussaqalain, whom he presented the Promised Messiah as claiming Nabuwwat for himself. Wrote Maulvi Mohammad Ali at the time:
- “Four principles have been laid down by Khawaja Ghulamussaqalain, from his own mind, and he desires to assess the position of Hazarat Mirza Sahib on the basis of principles hammered out by himself. In forging these principles as a valid criterion, he has made a great and a very serious error.” (Review of Religions, Vol. 1V, page 395)
- “I am surprised to find that when they are raising objections, the Christians, and other opponents of the Ahmadiyya Movement, display a remarkable talent for making subtle distinctions; but on the other hand, they fail to perceive an all too potent a point as to what is the distinctive feature which must be found in a man who claims to be a Prophet from God.” (Review of Religions, Vol. IV, page 464)
- “Khawaja Ghulamussaqalain has sought to make four points in rejecting the meaning of my interpretation of the Quranic verse:
- Shaitan swore by the grandeur and glory of the Lord God that he would mislead all. In this Shaitan shows himself as having been successful.
- The people of the Pharaoh used to kill their (of Bani Israel) male children.
- Masih was nailed to the cross.
- The four Khalifas, and the grandchildren of the Holy Prophet Mohammad, five out of six, were slain by the enemy.
The point at issue was: what basis has the Quran laid down for knowing a true claimant of Prophethood from another who is false in this claim. Now Khawaja Ghulamussaqalain himself would be highly welcome to explain how he applies his principles validly except in the third point where Jesus Christ comes into the picture, and let us know who and where are the claimants of Prophethood, relevant to the matter under discussion and dispute. Is Shaitan one of the claimants? Were the children of Israel claimants of Nabuwwat? Were the four Khalifas and the sibtain such claimants? If not then where lies the relevancy of his principles to the matter under dispute?” (Review of Religions, Vol. V. page 432)
In this discussion Maulvi Mohammad Ali based his argument in favour of the Promised Messiah on the special divine help which came to him repeatedly. The other side tried to refute this argument by saying that three Khalifa’s were assassinated; also the two grandsons of the Holy Prophet; Jesus was nailed to the cross by his enemies and the growing children of Bani Israel used to be killed by the government of the Pharaoh. To this Maulvi Mohammad Ali replied that the point at issue was the truth or untruth of a claimant to Prophethood and in the instances quoted there was only one man who claimed to be a Prophet; therefore argument of the opponent was weak, and reference to the fate of the three Khalifas and the Sibtain irrelevant.
Now in this discussion Maulvi Mohammad Ali did not bring in the Promised Messiah as Mohaddath ; nor in the capacity of a Mojaddid . He brought the Promised Messiah as a Nabi, a Prophet. He bracketed the Promised Messiah with Jesus, who was a Prophet; beyond that, the three Khalifas, and the Sibtain were not claimants to Nabuwwat (Prophethood) therefore, reference to them was irrelevant. The point here is that Maulvi Mohammad Ali is presenting the Promised Messiah in his capacity of a Nabi (a prophet). At the time under reference here, Maulvi Mohammad Ali interpreted theSura Fatiha in the light of another Quranic verse “Who so ever rendered obedience to Allah, and His Messenger, indeed these are the people on whom Allah has showered His blessings. in their capacity as Prophets, Siddiqeen, Shohada and Salihin saying: We have here been ordered to offer this prayer, in its broadest base. The acceptance of this prayer is a foregone conclusion, no matter how an opponent understood, and applied it, and its implications. In any case we stand on the point that Allah can raise a Prophet whenever and where ever in His wisdom He might choose to do so. Also He can confer the rank of Siddiq, Shaheed and Salih on whomsoever He likes. The only thing needed was a sincere supplicant.” (Address by Maulvi Mohammad Ali, as reproduced in the AI-Hakam, July 18, 1908, page 6)
The Correct Meaning of Khataman Nabbiyeen as Visualised by Maulvi Mohammad Ali
“This Movement accepts the Holy Prophet in the true and correct meaning of Khataman Nabiyeen : it holds the belief that no Prophet old or new, can come as a direct recipient of Prophethood without a link with the Holy Prophet, in an absolute surrender and obedience. With the dispensation of the Holy Prophet Mohammad, all the doors leading to Prophethood and Apostleship were definitely closed, except for one who should enter in complete obedience to him, accepting his colour, as verily his own, and in all his moral and ethical standards, deriving guidance from his light. For him the door remains open, in divine discretion.” (Review of Religions, Urdu, May, 1908, page 186)
Thus it become absolutely clear, in reason, that in the time of the Promised Messiah, and that of the first Khalifa, Maulvi Mohammad Ali always presented the Promised Messiah as a Prophet. But it is highly regretted that after the election of Hazrat Mirza Mahmud Ahmad as Khalifatul Masih II, Maulvi Mohammad Ali decided to base his opposition to him on a question he thought most useful in commenting a new stand, miscalculated as capable of being excited a very great deal, by an appeal to mass sentiments and emotions. So for the future he took his stand on a belief that the Promised Messiah was not a Nabi, was not a Prophet only a Mojaddid and a Mohaddath .
He even went to the length of saying:
“As far as I can see, the view that the Promised Messiah was a Prophet is tantamount to pulling up and destroying Islam by the roots. In fact I believe that this view exposes the position of the Promised Messiah to a dangerous attack. If you do not close the door to Prophethood, in my opinion, it is an extremely dangerous path and you make a very dangerous and a fatal error.” (Paigham-i-Sulha, Vol. 2 No. 119, April 16, 1915)
In this passage, if Maulvi Mohammad Ali means to discredit those who uphold that the Promised Messiah was an independent Nabi, he should be very well aware that there is no difference between us and him, since everybody knows we take him as a zilli Nabi i.e. a Nabi in reflecting the glorious rank and elevation of the Holy Prophet in himself, nothing beyond this. In Chashma-i-Ma’rifat, page 324, the Promised Messiah has classified this position as that of a Nabi, a Prophet. On page 325 of this work, we read:
“The word `Nabuwwat ‘ or `Risalat ‘, Allah has used this expression repeatedly in regard to me, in fact hundreds of times. But this expression means communion with Allah embracing revealed knowledge in regard to plentiful things still wrapped in mystery, or those hidden behind the veil of the future nothing more than this. In converse with other people, a man is free to coin a terminology. The expression under discussion is a term used by the Lord God, in the course of a plentiful converse with which He has been pleased to honour me a converse, a communion, for which the name He uses is `Nabuwwat .'”
Again, Maulvi Mohammad Ali writes:
“The kind of Nabuwwat possible in this Ummat, is a Nabuwwat that was most surely conferred on Hazrat Ali” (Al-Nabuwwat-fil-Islam, page 115)
This belief was adopted by Maulvi Mohammad Ali after he had moved from Qadian to Lahore. When he was in Qadian, and when he was editor of the Review of Religions, in his argument with Khawaja Ghulamussqalain, he had presented the Promised Messiah as a Prophet, which rank and position he had expressly denied in regard to the three Khalifas… who were assassinated, of which number Hazrat Ali was one.
Similarly, after he had changed his belief, following his move to Lahore, he also changed his commentary on the Sura Fatiha and the verse referred to a moment ago setting his view in his Bayanul Quran to the following effect:
“From the word Nabi used here, some people have been misled into holding that the rank and elevation of Nabuwwat also, can be attained by means of this prayer. If the prayer be taken as a means for the attainment of Prophethood, then we shall have to yield during the last thirteen hundred years this prayer has not been granted even in the case of one single Muslim.” (Bayanul Quran, page 110)
Further he writes:
“For anyone to pray for the conferment of Nabuwwat on him would be a futile prayer, which comes to the lips only of one entirely unaware of the basic principle in religion.” (Bayanul Quran, Tafsir Sura Fatiha )
Ignorance in Regard to the Basic Principle in Religion
In other words, in contradiction of his earlier stand, Maulvi Mohammad Ali now lays down that the possibility of Nabuwwat being attained through any prayer and supplication is a manifest error, rooted in an inadequate awareness of the essential, and basic principle in religion, though earlier he had said in regard to this identical prayer, that acceptance thereof, by the Lord God, stood clearly guaranteed and fully ensured, irrespective of how others might interpret it, we stand firm on the meaning that Allah can create Prophets, Siddiqs, Shohada, and Salihin . The only thing needed is an earnest enough supplicator.” (Address, as published in Al-Hakam, July 18, 1908)
It is very much to be regretted that he remained firm on this belief during the time he was at Qadian. But after he came over to Lahore, and set up a headquarter for himself and his friends, he shifted his ground; while we, of the Qadian (now Rabwah) Section, have made no change in our views.
The earlier mind of Maulvi Mohammad Ali, on this point, was identical with the view held by the Promised Messiah namely, that Allah, even now, could raise Prophets, since we know that in his tafisir of “Ihdenassiratal mustaqima ” the Promised Messiah wrote:
“The need is indispensible that, to take you to the point of absolute conviction and love, Prophets should continue to appear, from time to time, enabling you to receive those blessings.” (Lecture Sialkot, page 42)
And in his memorable discourse known by the title Ek Ghalati Ka Izala the Promised Messiah wrote:
“You must take care always to bear in mind, for this Ummat there is a standing promise from Allah that it would receive those selfsame blessings, in its own place, which fell to the share of the earlier Prophets, and Siddiqs . Included in those blessings, are the tidings and prophecies according to which the earlier prophets were called prophets. However, except, in the case of the Prophets, and the Divine Messengers, the Holy Quran closes the door of the Unseen and Unknown, as it is obvious from the verse “La yuzhiro `ala ghaibihi ahadan illa manirtaza min rasulin “ . Thus we find that for obtaining pure and clear knowledge of the Unseen and Unknown, it is necessary that one should be a Prophet: and we find that the Quranic verse namely “an’amta alaihim ” bears witness to it, that this Ummat has not been barred from this clear and pure knowledge and awareness of the Unseen and the Unknown as mentioned in the above verse, but it calls for a Prophethood and Apostleship, to which any direct, independent access is not now possible for any mortal man. We have, therefore, to hold that for the grant and conferment the door is open through buruziat, zilliyat and Fana firrosul (to render these terms into rough and ready equivalents in English, through becoming an Image of the Holy Prophet Mohammad, his perfect representation and reproduction in respect of all qualities, and by merging one’s own mind into the mind of the master, the Holy Prophet Mohammad.)” (Ek ghalati ka izala, footnote vii)
In the light of this statement of the Promised Messiah, the common content between all the Prophets of God, the content which qualifies them for bearing this title, is revealment of portions, fragments, or pieces, of the Unseen, Unknown, a revealment from the the Lord-God, plentiful and frequent, to which the door remains open for the Ummat of the Holy Prophet Mohammad.
It also becomes clear from this reference that the conferment of zilli Prophethood on the Promised Messiah as well, was a case of conferment alone, without any question of right or merit to win it. Therefore, the only difference between the Prophethood of the earlier periods, and that of the Promised Messiah, lies in the manner of this conferment, not in the Nabuwwat itself.
Therefore Mr. Faruqi is not correct when he says where a man’s purification of the mind has been earned by him, or brought about; on the basis of his devotion and obedience to another man, he cannot be called a Prophet; since his attainment of this elevation carries a vein of an earnest endeavour on his part, to win this position, he cannot be regarded as a Prophet, Prophethood being a position always conferred, as a pure grant, never something that can be earned, merited or won… since his light cannot be said to be his own, like the light of the sun, being only light reflected, like the light of the moon.” (Truth Triumphs, Page 3)
No doubt, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad became the Promised Messiah, and a Prophet of God, through his devotion and obedience to the Holy Prophet, turning himself into a perfect reflection of the qualities of his master. But this devotion and obedience to the Holy Prophet Mohammad, in his capacity of being Khataman Nabiyeen was a binding condition for the Promised Messiah in his rise to the position of Prophethood. Apart from that, he attained the honour of becoming the Promised Messiah, and a Prophet, by the grace of God, not by any endeavour. So we find the Promised Messiah saying very clearly:
“Purely and quite exclusively, from the grace of God, not by any dexterity, cleverness, or application on my part, I have received a full measure of the blessings, before my time, conferred on the earlier Prophets, Apostles, and the righteous servants of Allah; it was not possible for me to obtain these blessings, if I did not follow the paths of mySyed-o-maula, Fakhrul-Ambiya, Khairul wara, Hazrat Mustafa ” (Haqiqatul Wahyi, page 62)
This quotation bears out that the Nabuwwat of the Promised Messiah was a conferment from the Lord in pure and sheer grace, i.e. a conferment, pure and simple. Only obedience and devotion to the Holy Prophet Mohammad was a binding condition precedent, as mentioned in the passage quoted above, that:
“For this conferment the door of buruz, zilliyat and fana fir rasul is open.”
So we find that the Nabuwwat given to the Promised Messiah, through his attainment of the position of being a perfect Image of the Holy Prophet Mohammad, has been taken by the Promised Messiah as a mohabat, conferment purely from grace. Of course, from this angle, the Promised Messiah is only the moon, which receives light from the sun and reflects it. But for the Ummat, from another angle, he is also the sun. We find he received a Revelation to this effect: Ya shamso, ya qamro, thou are from me, and I from thou, i.e. O sun! O moon! the elevation where you stand is from Me, and My manifestation would be through you.”
Second Wrong Statement
The second wrong statement by Mr. Faruqi is that Mirza Mahmud Ahmad carved out a new belief, a new doctrine, in 1914, that the Promised Messiah was a Nabi, a Prophet; and whosoever denied him, he became, thereby, a kafir . But it is interesting to note that Allah has obtained a contradiction of this wrong statement from the pen of Mr. Faruqi himself. He writes on page 51:
“In the April 1911 issue of Tashhiz-ul-Azhan, Mahmud Ahmad wrote an article under a title translated as: `Muslim is he who accepts all the Mojaddids ‘ (appointed by God). In this article Mirza Mahmud Ahmad writes:
“So not only that person who does not call the Promised Messiah (Mirza Ghulam Ahmad) a Kafir (unbeliever) but does not accept his claim to be the Promised Messiah, has been declared a Kafir (unbeliever), but even that person also, who secretly considers the Promised Messiah as true in his claim and even does not openly deny it but is reluctant to give a pledge (baiat ), has been shown as a Kafir.”
This is the first change Mirza Mahmud Ahmad made in his beliefs.“
This quotation indicates that Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad did not invent his belief in 1914 in the days of his Khilafat, that one who denied the Promised Messiah was a kafir . Instead, even in 1911, when Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddin was the Khalifa this was the belief of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad; and this article was published in the Tashhizul Azhan with the permission of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I. Had this belief been wrong in the eyes of Khalifatul Masih, he would have stopped Mirza Mahmud Ahmad from putting the article into print. That Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I, allowed it to be printed and published after he had read it himself, it constitutes full and firm proof that he himself, as well, held the same view.
Further on, Mr. Faruqi writes:
“When Mirza Mahmud Ahmad declared the non-Ahmadies as Kafir he was questioned that since only a person who denies a Prophet can be called a kafir, then does Mirza Mahmud Ahmad regard the Promised Messiah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a Prophet, on this Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, contrary to all his previous writings, declared that the Promised Messiah was a prophet.
This was the second change that Mirza Mahmud Ahmad made in his beliefs.” (Page 51)
So even in Mr. Faruqi’s own eyes, as early as 1911, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad held the view that the Promised Messiah was Prophet; and Mr. Faruqi’s stand that he invented this belief in 1914, after he had been elected Khalifa, to succeed Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddin, Khalifatul Masih I, this stand is not only baseless, it is also contradicted by Mr. Faruqi himself.
Some more differences between Maulvi Mohammad Ali and the Promised Messiah
Maulvi Mohammad Ali, President of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at-i-Islam and the Amir of the Lahore Section of Ahmadies after he had repeatedly written that the Promised Messiah was a Nabi, not only did he turn back on this belief when he left Qadian and moved to Lahore, he also abandoned some other beliefs as well, which the Promised Messiah had held firmly, to the time when he passed away from this world.
Birth of Christ
Formerly Maulvi Mohammad Ali had held that Hazrat Isa’s birth was from an Immaculate conception. When as editor of the Review of Religions, while answering some points raised by Padre Chatopadhiya, he wrote:
“The birth of Jesus took place in a manner which has been held without a father, this being the reason why he was spoken of as the Word, since he did not come from the seed of any mortal man, from the seed of any human being, in the ordinary way among humans, for a female to conceive. His mother became pregnant following the word `BE’ from the Lord God, this being the reason why he has been called `the Word.'” (Review of Religions, Vol. VII, No. 1, page 14)
This was the view held by the Promised Messiah, who wrote in his book, Mowahibur Rahman, page 70:
“It is included in our beliefs, that the birth of both Isa and Yahya was in an extraordinary manner; and there is nothing in it we might call remote from reason. Allah has referred, to the birth of both in one and the same Sura, that one should bear witness to the veracity of the other.”
In the same place, the Promised Messiah wrote further:
“In the eyes of people gifted with discernment, there can be only two probabilities: Either we say that conception took place as a direct result of the Word spoken by the Lord God in regard to the matter. Or, God forbid, that he was a child born in sin; and we are saying this in conformity with the Quran, and the Injeel. So take care you do not come to lose the path of success, and the truth.”
Similarly, on May 5, 1904, on a question by someone, the Promised Messiah wrote:
“On a perusal of the Holy Quran, this is what emerges as the truth, namely, that Jesus was fatherless; and this is a matter on which no question can come to lie. Where Allah calls this birth as resembling the birth of Adam, it is an indication that in this birth there is an element of an extraordinary process of nature, to which a reference had to be made, for an explanation, by likening it to the example of Adam.” (Badr, May 16, 1907, page 3)
“Our faith and belief is this that Jesus was born of no father, and Allah has the power to do all things. The rationalists, called Naturies among us, who try to establish that he was born of a human father they are making a serious blunder.The Lord God of such people is a dead Lord God. The prayers and supplications of such people are not granted who assume that Allah cannot cause a child to be born independently of the agency of a human male in the role of a father. We consider a man who holds this view to have fallen out of the pale of Islam.” ( Al-Hakam, June 24, 1901)
The New Belief of Maulvi Mohammad Ali: Jesus had a Father
Flatly in contradiction of the belief held by the Promised Messiah, and in similar contradiction of his own declared belief, at an earlier time, Maulvi Mohammad Ali, subsequently to his move from Qadian to Lahore, adopted another belief that Jesus was from the seed of his father, Joseph, the carpenter. This is the view he has stated in his translation of the Holy Quran into English, as well as in his tafsir in Urdu, called Bayanul Quran ; in both works he has set down Joseph as the father of Jesus Christ.
Again, in his book Haqiqat-i-Masih, page 8, he writes:
“If by a miraculous birth is meant that Jesus had no father, then this is a view not mentioned in the Quran anywhere at all. If it is said that the Muslim peoples have always held this view, I would reply that the question was of an argument based on the Quran, not a belief held by the general Muslim people. But not only there is no mention in this Holy Book that Jesus Christ was born without a father there is no Hadith, either, in favour of this view.”
Similarly. Mr. Faruqi’s father, and the father-in-law of Maulvi Mohammad Ali, Dr. Basharat Ahmad also wrote in opposition to this view, that the birth of Jesus was not without a father:
“Even in the case of the highest virtue of a woman, we will not be in a position to hold that she concieved without the normal role of a male human being, no matter how pure and pious the woman in question, not even in a case where she were living her life exclusively within the sacred precincts of the Temple, or the Ka’ba itself. Let her claim thousands and thousands of times, that she became pregnant without the role of the male, we would be bound to take her as a liar. No court in the world, irrespective of whether it was Muslim or Christian, would be prepared to give its verdict in favour of a woman who made this claim. The only charitable view we can take in regard to a woman who made this claim would be for us to understand that she has a husband, though, for one reason or another, he may not be in the picture. If anyone says she has no husband, he would be assailing her chastity by holding a view to such an effect.”(Waladat-i-Masih, pages 2 & 3)
In other words, the Promised Messiah, and all the rest of the Muslims who believe in the immaculate conception of Mary, in the words of Dr. Basharat Ahmad, are so many accusing fingers against the virginity of the mother of Jesus. This is just the kind of `Naturalism’ against which the Promised Messiah desired to guard his followers. It is very much to be regretted that, subsequently to their denial of the Nabuwwat of the Promised Messiah, members of the Lahore Section have also turned their back on an important point of doctrine and belief, so manifestly supported by the Holy Quran, as the fatherless birth of Jesus Christ, even though the verdict of the Promised Messiah, in regard to those who deny the virgin birth of Jesus was that he looked upon people who held this view to have, thereby, dropped out of the pale of Islam. (AI-Hakam, June 24, 1901)
Tafsir of “Akharina Minhum” by the Promised Messiah
Commenting on this verse of Sura Juma the Promised Messiah wrote:
“`A stalwart from Persia’ and `the Promised Messiah’ are two names for one and the same person, as pointed out by the Holy Quran where it says: `And among others from among them who have not yet joined them’, i.e., included among the Companions of the Holy Prophet Mohammad, is another body of men which has not yet appeared. Evidently, Companions are only those present at the time of the advent of a Prophet, who come to believe in him, and receive the teaching, and training, directly from him. So it stands proved from this verse, that among the people spoken of here, a Prophet would be raised, who would be a buruz of the Holy Prophet, which fact would qualify his followers, his companions, for being reckoned as Companions of the Holy Prophet Mohammad himself; and just as the Companions in the first instance, strove valiantly in the Way of the Lord God, according to the need of their time, the later also would render service to the cause of Islam, according to the specific needs of their time. In any case, this verse contains a prophecy about the advent of a Prophet towards the latter days. Otherwise there is no justification why some people should be called Companions of the Holy Prophet, who were to be born a long time after the Holy Prophet, and who never saw him.” (Tatimma Haqiqatul Wahyi, page 67)
Repudiation of this Tafsir by Maulvi Mohammad Ali
After his repudiation of the Institution of Khilafat, and the Nabuwwat of the Promised Messiah, Maulvi Mohammad Ali, and other friends connected with the Paigham-i-Sulha, have fallen away from the straight path to such an extent, that they seem to have divested themselves of many characteristics, and points of the teaching of Ahmadiyyat. Commenting on the Quranic verse under reference, and on the Hadith concerning a stalwart from Faris . Maulvi Mohammad Ali writes, in open contradiction of the view held by the Promised Messiah:
“It is not the intention of the Hadith to say that by akharina minhum one, or a few, particular men are meant. The point, rather, is praise in general with respect to the people coming later than other people who would not get the teaching directly from the Holy Prophet, since they would come in later times after him, they would derive benefit from the Islamic teaching to such an extent that among them many would stand on a very strong and perfect faith. And, besides, akharina minhum includes, after the Companions, the entire Ummat, from the beginning, to the end. In other words, in the first place, were the Companions of the Holy Prophet, repeatedly given praise in the Quran; in addition, were the akharin . In praise of these later ones, the Holy Prophet said among these, too, there would be many of great stature, and perfect faith; and this is a very clear, an evident indication, that no Prophet would come after the Holy Prophet Mohammad, nor would Hazrat Isa come.” (Bayanul Quran, page 848)
The view stated by Maulvi Mohammad Ali in this quotation is astounding, when compared to what he wrote on the point in 1907, then in full agreement with the Promised Messiah:
“Also, in the later times, there would be people who have not joined the Companions. That people (followers of the Promised Messiah) would bear the colour and tone of Companions of the Holy Prophet. Among them, too, a Prophet shall appear, who would read to them the Signs of Allah, he would purify them, and teach them wisdom, and the Book. The people among whom the appearance of this Prophet of Farsi origin is placed in this verse, they are the people of the later days spoken of here. This is the word, or various expressions similar to it, with identical meaning, used in prophecies relating to the advent of the Promised Messiah.”
Further on, he writes again:
“For the Prophet of the later times, another name is also `a stalwart from among the sons of Faris’ .” (Review of Religions, Vol. VI, No. 3, March, 1907)
Repudiation by Maulvi Mohammad Ali of Another View held by the Promised Messiah
Writes the Promised Messiah:
“Some thoughtless people say that, generally speaking, those in Europe and America are not aware even of my name; why then have they perished in earthquakes, and volcanic outbursts? The reply is that they were ripe for punishment, on account of excesses and misdeeds. So, in accordance with his normal, usual manner, He held His handtill a Prophet had been raised, to warn them . But when that Prophet came, and those people had been given a call, by means of thousands upon thousands of pamphlets, handbills, and leaflets, the moment had come when they were to get in this world, what they had come to deserve. It is totally a wrong view to say that people in Europe and America had not even heard my name. No, fair-minded person would deny that a period of twenty years has passed since the day I published 16,000 copies of a handbill in English, setting forth my claim, and my case in this behalf, in Europe and America. Subsequently, as well, leaflets and handbills, and pamphlets, have been broadcast from time to time. In addition, a monthly journal, The Review of Religions, is being sent to Europe and America for the last so many years; and my claim has repeatedly been mentioned in the European Press. So the truth is what has been stated in the Holy Quran: “We could not, properly, have punished these people, until we had raised an Apostle among them. This is the manner and method of the Lord God; and, evidently, no Prophet, no Apostle from the Lord has appeared at the time, anywhere in Europe or America. Therefore the punishment that has fallen on them, it has fallen only after my claim had gone out.” (Tatimma Haqiqatul Wahyi, pages 52-53)
Similarly, he says:
“Whosoever shall study the Holy Quran, with care, and honesty of mind, he would realise that at the time of the later tribulations, when most portions of the globe would be turned upside down; a virulent plague would spread; and death on every side would gather up a great harvest, the advent of an Apostle would be necessary at that time, as Allah Himself has said: “It is not Our way that We send a chastisement, until We have sent an Apostle.” Again, when the advent of Apostles has preceded even comparatively smaller punishments, as borne out by past events, how is it possible that on the occasion of the great chastisement of the later days which was to overwhelm the whole world, a chastisement foretold by all the Prophets of old, that chastisement should descend on the people, without the advent of the Prophet destined and ordained to appear at the juncture? Any idea that such a thing is possible, involves an evident falsification of the Word of God. Now this same Apostle is the Promised Messiah. ” (Tatimma Haqiqatul Wahyi, page 64)
Then, this verse came down in Ilham, on the Promised Messiah, as well. (Badar, October 17, 1907, page 4)
Maulvi Mohammad Ali’s Tafsir of the Same Verse after he moved to Lahore
After he had moved to Lahore, Maulvi Mohammad Ali wrote in his Commentary on this verse as follows:
“People who take these words to mean that no punishment comes from heaven, until an Apostle has appeared, make a serious error. Moreover, if an Apostle is indispensible before the punishment comes to be inflicted, it stands in reason that he should appear precisely at the locality where the infliction is to overtake the people. For instance, if the chastisement is to descend on Europe, in the shape and form of a war or a severe earthquake were to shake Italy, and an argument is sought to be drawn that some Apostle had appeared, then his advent in far off India, would not be the work of the wise Almighty God, since the appearance of an Apostle relating to it would, evidently, have no wisdom in it, for the Apostle should have come in Europe, or Italy. The other difficulty would be that every Prophet to appear would have to be timed in relation to the moment of the punishment. After the advent, if the punishment came within the prescribed period, it would be taken to be connected with his appearance; and where it did not come within that period, some fresh Prophet shall have to be discovered, to fit into the situation, according to the requirements of the basic doctrine. As for the chastisements coming these days, if the advent of some Prophet is demanded in that context, what is the time limit, for him, to get related to the situation? Then, can this time limit extend to thirteen hundred years? Obviously, to talk like this, would be tantamount to making it appear that religion is not a serious and sober affair, but almost a silly sort of game.” (Bayanul Quran page 1117-1118)
The Promised Messiah quoted this verse, namely, “It did not behove Us to send down Our punishment, without raising up an Apostle”, as yielding a strong argument in favour of his claim that he was a true Apostle; and he cited the earthquakes in America and Europe in support of his position as an Apostle of God, but it is painful to find that, subsequently to the move to Lahore, Maulvi Mohammad Ali started to say that an argument of this kind only turned religion into a play and pastime for children. It is interesting to remark here that Dr. Abdul Hakim also said similar things in repudiation of the Promised Messiah. For instance, he wrote:
“Are we to assume that the Lord God ran so far out of His senses that denial of the claim took place in Qadian, Batala, and Amritsar; but he went destroying places in far off Ceylon, Italy, San Francisco, Formusa, and other places, of which the inhabitants had not heard anything in regard to him.” (Al-Zikrul Hakim, No. IV; page 43)
The Promised Messiah says:
“Where a person accepts me with all sincerity, he renders obedience to me, giving me the position of arbitor in all points of dispute, and asks me for a ruling in every contention. But wherever a man did not accept me from the bottom of his heart, you will find him full of pride, full of vanity, and self-willed. In all such cases you should realise that he has no connection with me, since he fails to honour things which come to me from Allah. There is no honour for him, therefore, in heaven.” (Arba’in, No. 3, Footnote 34)
Insubordination of the Lahore Section
Please mark the self-assertion of our friends of the Lahore Section:
“Even if the Imam (the Promised Messiah in this case) desired to get us to agree to a thing not warranted by the Quran and the Hadith, we would decline to do so.” (Paigham-i-Sulha Vol. 3 No. 5)
Now to say this in regard to a person spoken of by the Holy Prophet himself as the arbitor on points under dispute, is preposterous to say the least.