As far as enquiry is concerned, we hope that we have done enough justice to it. But before we rest the case here we want to make a passionate appeal to the Christian world to get down from their ivory tower of make-belief and descend to the hard realities of life.
Jesus Christ was a perfect man in the context of his age, but no more than a man. He reached the heights which he was destined to reach as a special messenger of God entitled the Messiah. This made him unique among all the prophets since the time of Moses to the time of his advent.
Every prophet is assigned a difficult task indeed. They have to bring about reformation among a people that have become thoroughly evil. In the case of Jesus, this task was made even more difficult because he was not only to fight against the common evils of society, but he was to bring about a dramatic and revolutionary change in the attitude of the Jewish people.
As it happens in the case of followers of every religion, with the passage of time they gradually deviate away from truth and begin to wander in the wilderness of sin. So did it happen in the case of the Jewish people. By the time of the advent of Jesus, they had virtually become spiritually dead. The water of divine life had ebbed out, leaving behind dead stony hearts. The task Jesus was assigned was to transform them once again into living pulsating human hearts and to bring forth from them springs of human kindness. This was the miracle Jesus wrought and therein lies his greatness.
Now that the world of Islam and Christianity are jointly awaiting the second advent of Jesus Christ. They must not forget that the Jesus who was destined to come had to be essentially the same Jesus in character and style of mission. However, according to the prophesies of the founder of Islam, Hazrat Mohammed, this Jesus was to appear in his second advent not in the world of Christianity but in the world of Islam. Yet the great miracle he was to bring about was to be the same. But this time it were to be the hearts of the Muslims of the latter days, which he would be assigned to transform. This understanding of his second advent is fully supported by some other prophesies of the Holy Prophet. He predicted that the state of the people of Islam, during the latter days, would be so similar to that of the Jewish people during their decadent period, as one of the pair of shoes is similar to the other of the same par.
Hence, if the disease was to be the same, the remedy should have been the same as well. The Messiah had to return to the world in the same humble style, not in person but in spirit and in character and this is exactly what has happened and has taken place. Such divine and revolutionary persons are always born as insignificant and humble human beings and live a life of humility. They spiritually revisit the earth in exactly the same style and are treated again with the same callousness, prejudice and fanatic hostility. They are never easily recognised, as the true representative of those who had promised their revisit.
What happened to Christ in his first appearance at the hands of the Jews was bound to happen to him again, but this time at the hands of the Muslims and the Christians who were expecting his return. The same distorted and unreal expectations regarding the way he was to revisit the earth; the same imaginary goals he was expected to pursue; the same unrealistic views of his performance and his achievements on earth as were displayed by the Jewish people of the time of Jesus Christ, were to be repeated by the Muslims during his second advent. And in this way history was to re-enact itself.
Looking back now, one is in a better position to understand the failure of the Jews to recognise their Messiah. We can easily understand their difficulty and draw lessons from their tragedy. Their literal understanding of the scriptures misled them. All this has already been discussed, but to emphasise this important issue, we once again refer to it. It always happens in the history of expected religious reformers that the people who await them most often than not fail to recognise them because the signs of their recognition are misread and misunderstood. Realities are mythyfied and metaphors are taken literally.
Almost the same story has been repeated at the time of the second advent of the Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian. Like the case of the promised descent of Elijah from the heaven as was awaited by the Jews of Christ’s time someone was again expected to bodily descend from heaven, this time the Messiah himself.
In the case of the Jews, they were expecting the Messiah to come in the state of glory. In the case of the Jews, they were expecting him to usher them into a new era of their domination and ascendancy over their Roman masters. All these expectations were shattered by Jesus of Nazareth. When he appeared at last, he appeared to be so far removed and distant from the expected image of the advent of Messiah which Jews had been dearly entertaining for centuries.
Strikingly similar events have taken place in relation to the advent of Christ in the person of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian. The role played by his opponents is the same, only the names differ. The main stream of the Muslims and the Christians alike have acquired the role of Jews of the time of Jesus. The objections are the same. The logic of rejection is the same. Yet God treated this humble man with even greater signs of His support than the Jesus of the previous age and helped him spread his message far more rapidly in far greater number of countries and in all the continents of the world. These are the facts which speak for themselves, but only for those who listen. These are the facts which are becoming more and more apparent with the passage of time, but only for those who care to observe.
Again, the spirit of the messianic message in the context of the contemporary attitudes of the Muslims and the Christians is no different. But only they will understand who do not shut their eyes to it.
Let us, in the end, remind the Christians and the Muslims who are awaiting the re-appearance of Christ for the last so many centuries that in the prophetic words of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the divinely appointed Messiah of the latter days:
Remember very well that no one shall
ever come down from heaven. All our opponents who are alive today shall die
and none from them shall ever see Jesus son of Mary coming down from heaven;
then their children that are left after them shall also die and none from among
them shall ever see Jesus son of Mary coming down from heaven and then their
third generation shall also die and they too shall not see the son of Mary
coming down. Then God shall cause great consternation in their minds and they
shall then say that even the age of the domination of the cross has passed
away and the way of life has changed completely, yet the son of Mary has not
come down. Then in dismay the wise among them shall forsake this belief and
three centuries from now shall not have passed when those who await the coming
of Jesus son of Mary, whether they be Muslims or Christians, shall relinquish
altogether this conception.1
So you may wait until a new generation is born and they will also wait until they have run their course and a new generation would take over. This state of waiting may continue till the end of the time, but no Jesus will bodily descend from heaven. However much those who crave him to return his personal visit would ever see their dream come true. They may even build a wailing wall for themselves as the Jews did more than three thousand years ago. And may they go on striking their heads against it. But as it happened in the case of the Jews so will it happen again. They will see no messiah descend despite their wailing and torment, generation after generation after generation. Their future expectations of Christ will achieve nothing but an emptiness and a void that will never end. An utterly bleak prospect indeed.
As for the Christians who really take Christ to be a literal son of God let us end this discussion with the warning words from the Holy Quran, the divinely revealed book to the Holy Prophet of Islam. It lays out the purposes of his advent:
He came as a warner to those who
attributed a son to God. They have no knowledge or evidence of what they believe
or did their forefathers have any. It is an enormity which is uttered by their
mouths. They only make an unfounded false claim. They utter nothing but falsehood. (18:5–6)
- Roohani Khazain Vol. 20: Tazkiratush Shahadatain pg 67