Clear Admission on the part of the Promised Messiah of Modification in his Concept of Nabuwwat
On page 148 of Haqiqatul Wahyi the Promised Messiah has reproduced a question raised by someone:
"On page 157 of Taryaqul Qolub, a book of which I am the author, it has been written: `Let no one be misled to imagine that in this address I have held myself to be superior to Hazrat Masih, since this superiority is only in certain respects, and of a kind which a man, who was not a Nabi, could have over one who was a Nabi.' "
Again, in The Review of Religions, Vol. 1. No. 6, page 257, we read;
"For this Ummat Allah sent the Promised Messiah, in all his splendour, greater than the first Masih."
In the same journal, on page 475, we read:
"Most solemnly I put myself on oath, in the name of One Who holds my life in His hand, that Masih son of Mary could not have accomplished what I have accomplished, had he been born in my time. The heavenly Signs I have shown, he could not have shown at all."
Gist of objection: "there is contradiction in these passages."
When the questioner here says there is contradiction in these passages, it constitutes clear proof that the passage quoted here first has been taken by him to mean that in Taryaqul Qolub, Hazrat Mirza Sahib had stated he was not a Nabi; and the two latter quotations he holds to be in contradiction because he takes it that the substance of the latter quotations, namely, that God sent to this Ummat a Masih, superior to the son of Mary in all his glory, demands the presence of a Prophet who has been likened to Jesus Christ, and adjudged superior. This position could not be taken up except by one who was a Nabi himself.
Evidently, if the Promised Messiah had made no alteration in his conception of Nabuwwat ; if at the time he wrote the passage we have quoted from The Review of Religions, he had been taking himself as a Nabi, in the sense of a Mohaddath, as he did at the time of the passage from Taryaqul Qolub, he could have silenced the critic simply by saying there was no contradiction involved in the two positions. he could very well have said that by what he said in regard to the Promised Messiah being superior to Jesus Christ, he had only meant that he was superior to the son of Mary only to a limited and partial extent which kind of superiority was possible even in the case of a man who was not a Prophet, over another who was a Nabi . He could have replied that, taken in this way, there was no contradiction involved in the passages under discussion. which the critic, evidently, had misunderstood. But the Promised Messiah did not give this reply.
He even admitted that there was some apparent contradiction; that his belief in regard to his own limited and partial superiority over Hazrat Isa lasted only as long as he had taken Jesus for a Prophet, with no question of a comparison between a Nabi and another who was not a Nabi, or at the best only partly a Nabi . But later on the Wahyi which descended on him from the Lord, like heavy downpours of rain, did not allow him to remain firm on this belief, in the face of the fact that in this Wahyi he was called by this title openly and quite clearly but always in the sense that he was a Nabi, from one angle, an Ummati from another. (Gist of Haqiqatul Wahyi, page 148-150)
In other words, in his earlier Revelations since he had taken the word Nabi applied to him in the sense of a Mohaddath, not a Nabi, whenever he observed any circumstance, or any of his own Revelations which appeared to give him the impression that he was in a superior position as compared to Jesus Christ, he was predisposed, in his own humility of mind, to interpret it to mean, at best, only a limited and partial superiority, possible in comparison between two people, one a Nabi, the other not a Nabi . But later on, when a steady and continuous downpour of Wahyi came upon him, bore down on his mind that he was repeatedly and quite clearly being called a Nabi, he had to abandon the old idea of his partial superiority, he had to accept the fact that Allah had pleased to bestow Nabuwwat on him. When this stupendous fact dawned on him, he had to declare that he was superior to Jesus Christ, in all his glory, i.e., equal to him in point of being a Nabi but far superior to him in point of the works and the signs shown at his hands. Otherwise, no one who was not a Prophet, could possibly begin to claim that he was in a position superior in all his glory to a Nabi . That a righteous-minded man, who was a not a Nabi, should begin to propagate a lie in regard to himself is an absurd and highly ridiculous proposition, in itself. It would not be out of place for us here to set down what the Promised Messiah himself wrote in the context here under reference:
"It is clearly and carefully borne in mind that Allah knows it well, in any case, there is no joy for me in these things, nor have I any personal aim or desire that I should come to be known as the Promised Messiah; or that I should give myself out as being superior to Jesus son of Mary. Allah has Himself borne witness, in Revelations to me, in regard to the purity of my mind over things of this kind. `Qul ojarrido nafsi min zorubil khitab ', i.e. `Tell these people that you have no desire that any titles should be conferred on you.' My aim and my prupose is by far, higher than these things. The conferment of titles is the pleasure and the work of the Lord God. I have no share in it. As for the question why I have written like this? Why has this contradiction crept in? So, please, listen and understand with care. This contradiction is of the same kind as in Barahin-i-Ahmadiyya I wrote, at one time, that the Messiah, son of Mary, could descend from the heavens. Later on, however, I put forth that I, myself, am the Messiah expected to come in the later times. The basis of the contradiction in that case was the same. Although, in Barahin-i-Ahmadiyya itself, the Lord God called me Isa and also said to me that the tiding of my advent had been given earlier by God and His Apostle. Since, however, a portion of the Muslims happened to have become firm on the belief, and I myself believed the same, that Hazrat Isa would come down from the heavens, I endeavoured to take the Wahyi at the apparent level; in fact, I watered it down in interpretation, and clung to the former view I had shared with the rest of the Muslims; and this was the view I did my best to propagate in Barahin-i-Ahmadiyya . Later on, however, Revelations came down on me, like the rain from heaven, to the effect that I myself was the Promised Messiah, so eagerly expected to appear, with hundreds of wonderful Signs and the earth, as well as the heavens took their stand in support of my position; and brilliant manifestations forced me to perceive that I, myself, was the Masih expected to appear in the later times. Otherwise, my belief on these points was the same as I had stated in Barahin-i-Ahmadiyya ... Similarly, to begin with this was my belief that in no way was I comparable in quality with reference to Jesus son of Mary. He was a Prophet, great among those chosen by the Lord. Even when something occurred, which seemed to establish my superiority over him, always I took it to imply some limited and partial preference. Later on, however, the Wahyi sent down on me by the Lord, like pouring rain, it did not allow me to remain clinging to this belief; and I found the title of Nabi clearly conferred on me, in a manner that I was a Nabi from one angle, an Ummati from another... Anyway, the long and short of it all is this that there is no contradiction in what I say, I but follow the Wahyi, from the Lord. Just as long as this awareness did not come to me, I continued to say what I had said at the outset. But when I was given this awareness, I began to say different from what I had said before. I am no more than a human being: I do not claim to be the Knower of the Unseen." (Haqiqatul Wahyi, page 148-150)