In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Ever Merciful.

Love for All, Hatred for None.

Browse Al Islam

Signs of God's Support

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as)
The Review of Religions, May/June 1997

On 2nd May 1908, Mr. Mohammad Ali Geoffrey, Vice Principal of Islamia College, Lahore, came to visit Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi (as) while he was staying in Lahore. Addressing him, the Promised Messiah (as) commented upon the matter of being commissioned by God and people's reaction to this. Presented below is an English translation of the original Urdu discourse which is recorded in Malfoozat, Vol. 10, PP. 304-315.

Translated by Amatul-Hadi Ahmad

The Promised Messiah (as), addressing the visitor, stated: When I was commissioned [by God], God Almighty very clearly established this system. There was no doubt or uncertainty about it. It was in exact accordance with the prophecies of the Holy Prophet (sa) of Islam and with the intentions of Holy Qur'an and it appeared at exactly the right time. Then, in support of the truth of the claim there were the signs from God. I presented this matter first of all to the group of religious scholars because I thought that the people of knowledge would accept it before anyone else. I considered that by the token of their familiarity with religious knowledge, these scholars would accept me without any excuse. I thought this because my claim was in exact accordance with the Qur'an and the Hadith (sayings of the Holy Prophet (sa) of Islam) and fulfilled the need [of the time]. Moreover, these people were themselves awaiting (the advent of such a person) and they stated this in their writings and in their speeches. They declared that the advent of the Promised Messiah in the fourteenth century (A.H.) was an indisputable certainty. What is more, all the signs that they used to describe (as being the signs of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi) had appeared in support of the truth of my claim. However, my hope in that group proved to be totally misplaced. What I received in reply to my invitation was a statement pronouncing me to be an infidel, one who is the most advanced as an infidel, misguided and misguiding, outside the pale of Islam and worse than the Jews and the Christians. They made written declarations that these people (my followers and I) should not be allowed a burial in their cemeteries and that prayers should not be offered at their funerals. Furthermore, that they should not be visited and not even a hand-shake with them should be indulged. Their harshness of attitude went so far that they stated that anyone who relates with them (my followers) would be counted as being one of them.

Having received this response from the scholars of religion, I thought that educated people are generally without prejudice and animosity and with this in mind I extended an invitation to the newly educated group of learned people. But they were found to be not bound by any rules at all and most of them wanted to make changes in Islam as they considered the Islamic teaching to be a teaching of an ignorant and barbaric age which was not now needed and hence one should be freed from it and changes should me made in accordance with the changing times. Thus, from this group also there was disappointment.

After this I sent an invitation to the members of the nobility as they are granted a good portion of the world and they are simple, straight-forward Muslims. However, one among them returned my book having torn it to shreds and thus displayed his hard-heartedness. I then understood that the good fortune of this (i.e. the acceptance of a true claimant from God) is granted to the meek and this view of mine proved to be very correct and according to the tradition set by previous times, it is mostly the meek and the weak who became my followers. These people had neither the pride of being one of the clergy nor the pride of wealth. Rather, they are pure of heart and it is people like these who are near to God. Hence, it was from among this group that many hundreds of thousands are with me.

When the Holy Prophet (sa) was endowed by God with the cloak of prophethood, he too wrote letters of invitation to various Kings. He, thus, wrote to Caesar Heraclius of Rome. Having read the letter he asked that a search be carried out for an Arab as a result of which some Arabs of the tribe of Quraish (the tribe of the Holy Prophet (sa)) were presented before him among whom was Abu Sufyan, an uncle but also a staunch enemy of the Holy Prophet (sa). He was asked some questions by the King including the question whether anyone from his ancestors had declared himself to be a prophet? The answer to this question was given in the negative. Then he was asked if any of his ancestors had included a king? The answer to this was also in the negative. Another question asked was about the kind of people that become his followers. The answer to this question was that they are poor and weak people. It was then enquired of him as to what was the outcome of the battles fought against him? He was told that sometimes they are victorious and sometimes we are. At this the Caesar acknowledged that the prophets always appear in this world like this - in the beginning they have only the meek and humble on their side. This wise person ascertained by his sharp perception that the person (who had sent the letter) was a true Prophet and not only that but also that he was the same prophet about whom there had been prophecies so he added that time is near when that person will acquire my throne also.

It is, thus, a tradition of old that the people who give their allegiance and support to prophets are always those who are weak and humble. The people of higher status deprive themselves of this good fortune. Their hearts are filled with various considerations and they think themselves to be free from such things (as religious matters). Due to their arrogance and their hidden sense of pride and greatness, they consider it an insult even to sit with or join in the gatherings of the people who are the sincere and good people of God. I see that there are hundreds of such people in my community who hardly have any clothes on their backs. They hardly possess a sheet or a piece of clothing. They have no estate but their sincerity and commitment, love and faith knows no bounds and it is surprising and strange to observe the various expressions of love and sincerity that they are frequently able to show with the signs of such feelings appearing on their faces. They are so staunch in their faith and true in their certainty and so sincere in their affirmation of truth and faithfulness that if those who enjoy the worldly pleasures were to know the extent of the pleasure of these people, they would be prepared to give up all their worldly possessions in exchange for the pleasure enjoyed by these people (who follow truth and goodness). By way of an example of one such person, the circumstances of the late Shahzada Maulvi Abdul Latif Sahib Marhoom can be closely studied to see how sincere and truthful he was in his faithfulness and support to me. He did not hesitate even to give up his life. He gave up his life, but did not let go of the truth. When he was presented before the Emir (of Afghanistan) and was questioned as to whether he had taken allegiance at my hand, he stated truthfully as he was a truthful person, "Yes, I have taken allegiance at his hand but it is not a blind allegiance. I have, as a result of my own consideration and decision, chosen to follow him. I have not seen anyone like him in the whole world. I would prefer to give up my life rather than to accept separation from him". In short, the martyr has left a fine example of the fact that those who relate with me are true of faith and true of belief.

The truth is that the only difficulty in these matters is whether people do in fact wish to consider these matters carefully, whether they do actually wish to distinguish between truth and falsehood, whether they have a burning desire to find out if this system is from God or not. Remember, however, that this system as an act of God is not without purpose. God has established this system with wisdom and truth and it has been established at a time of true need. So, he will necessarily hold those who reject it to be answerable (for their rejection) 'No Prophet has been sent by Allah, for the rejection of whom his people have not been held accountable'. Remember, there has been no prophet or messenger from God whose rejection did not become the cause of wrath and punishment from God. This is necessary and essential in order to make the people who reject distinguish between truth and falsehood.

There are two sins that are very great in the sight of God. First, making false claims about God, that is, if a person claims that God speaks with him when God does not speak with him, or when he claims that God has, through revelation, vouchsafed something to him when God has not so vouchsafed anything to him. Even the making up of a false dream falls in this category. So, one is the making of false claims by a person when God knows that he is lying, and the other thing is that a person who rejects the one who is truly from God will face the wrath and punishment of God. What I mean to explain here is that it has continued to be so from the beginning and in this age, too, God has chosen to established a system of prophethood and has thereby shown a real example of how these matters take form. One should benefit from it by making an effort to discover whether this system is, in fact, from God as is being claimed and whether the person making such a great claim is a truthful claimant or a false one. One should exert at least as much effort into this search as people do for their worldly affairs.

God further states that he who disobeys his Messenger will be held to answer for his rejection. It is a fact that even ordinary governments and rulers do not allow those who ignore and insult their laws to go without punishment. How is it possible then that God Who is the greatest of Rulers, who rules over all other rulers, Who holds every thing in His power, would allow the disobedience and insult of His Messengers to remain unpunished.

If there was with me no sign of God, nor was His support and help a part of my life and if I had devised a way different from that of the Qur'an, or if I had made some changes to the teachings of the Qur'an or the Law, or if I had deleted something from it, or if I had thought up a path which was outside the pale of obedience to the Holy Prophet (sa), then (my rejection) would have been understandable and acceptable. (It could then have been argued) that this person is in fact an enemy of God and His Prophet (sa), one who denies the Holy Qur'an and who deletes parts of it, such a person would indeed be one who exceeds the limits set by God. But when I have not made any changes to the Qur'an nor have I changed even a jot of the previous Law which was brought by the Holy Prophet (sa), (why then the false accusations)? I am, on the contrary, dedicated to the service of the Qur'an and to the service of the pure religion brought by the Holy Prophet (sa) of Islam and I have given my whole life to this cause. It is my certain belief that salvation is not possible without the total compliance to the Holy Qur'an which is the most complete Book and without full obedience to it and without complete obedience to the Holy Prophet (sa). It is also my belief that those who add or take away anything from the Qur'an take off the yoke of obedience to the Holy Prophet (sa) from their shoulders and such people are kafir (disobedient) and murtad (apostate). If after such a clarification (of my view) and after the appearance of thousands of signs in support of my truth which God has made manifest in my support in the heavens as well as on the earth, people still insist on calling me a liar or the anti-Christ, they should know it for certain that God the Almighty will not leave them without holding them to account. This would be the case also with those who do not care about my claim or do not pay heed to what I say.

The ship of Islam is about to sink The age is bearing witness to this and the time is crying out sensing its need. The internal state of Islam is such that no one could possibly be satisfied with it. The attacks (on Islam) from the outside are so dangerous that it is as if they are about to pull it out of its roots and throw it asunder. Is this, then, not the time when God should have sent someone in support of Islam? Should He not have sent a Reformer who would take care of the ship of Islam? The beginning of the (fourteenth) century has also passed but all the promises would seem not to have been fulfilled. So, you should now say whether it is not time, even now, when God should take care of Islam? Can there be a more dangerous and sensitive time for Islam? Will it be that when Islam is well and truly dead, when there is no sign of life left in it, will it be then that someone will come (to revive it)? What will be the benefit and what will be the purpose of someone coming then?

Remember that if I am a false claimant then Islam too is false and if Islam too is a dead religion like the rest, then what is the greatness of Islam and what is its distinction? Unity of God that is a source of pride for you is also claimed by the Brahmus, and the Aryas too uphold it. A person once gave a lecture in this very town of Lahore, stating that we are upholders of the kalima, La illaha ilallah , (i.e. there is no God but Allah) what need do we then have of the Prophet Muhammad (sa)? When there exists such a state of affairs and other religions also believe in Unity then what is the distinguishing factor between them and yourselves? If (it is said that) it is the teachings of Jihad, etc. which are the distinguishing factor then remember that it is a grave error which makes you not a supporter of Islam but its enemy as you give Islam a bad name. If I thought that this was the true intention of the Holy Qur'an then I would have left this country and would have stayed at a place from where it would have been easier to fulfil such a rule and we would have upheld these rules to the full. But I say this truly that the intention of the Qur'an is not what, unfortunately, some foolish Mullahs have understood it to be.

The fact is that the Holy Prophet (sa) in his time was faced with great difficulties. Many of his loving companions became the target of cruel atrocities of the enemy who put the Muslims, men and women alike, through the mill of shameless and cruel persecutions, culminating in their hatching a plan to murder the Holy Prophet (sa) and they, thus, set off in his pursuit. They fixed a prize for anyone who succeeded in killing the Holy Prophet (sa) who had taken refuge in a cave and the enemy followed him there also. But it was an act of God that the enemy could not see the Holy Prophet (sa) even when he was right before them. God saved His Prophet with his own hand and did not allow the enemy's sight to find him. But when the enemy's cruelties reached its limit and they were not satisfied even after having turned them out of their own country, it was then that God granted permission for them to take up the sword. (God states in the Holy Qur'an): Permission to fight is granted to those against whom war is made because they have been wronged and Allah indeed has the power to help them, (Ch. 22, V. 40). God allowed the Muslims to pick up their swords and by allowing them to do so it was proved that the enemy was the perpetrator of cruelty and that their cruel mischief had reached its limit and the patience of the Muslims had also reached its limit. God stated that 'those who attacked with the sword will be killed by the sword'. Even though the Muslims are weak and few in number, I will make it manifest to them that they will be helped because they have suffered cruelty and you, the enemy, will be destroyed at their hands'. Hence, after this rule was laid down (by God) the very people who were few in number and were considered weak and humble for whose support and help no one would come forward and who were rendered helpless by the atrocities of the enemy, it so happened that the fame of these same people spread East and West. By helping them in this way, God made it manifest to the whole world that these people had, indeed, been wronged.

In short, whichever aspect one examines and however one examines it, it is evident that the Muslims of that time were wronged. If even at such a dangerous and sensitive time, God did not allow the raising of the sword in self-defence and did now allow to go to defensive war, then should He have allowed them to be annihilated and wiped off the face of the earth? In view of the conditions faced by them it was their right that they should raise the sword, whether it was granted to them through religious law or whether it is generally acknowledged (that they had a right to raise the sword). But this has to this day remained a target of accusation and the prejudiced and the ignorant do not forget it. So, are these people now presenting the notion of a bloody Mahdi and by so doing they are giving further cause for such accusations and are turning people against the Muslims. You see, in relation to the Mahdi, the Holy Prophet (sa) himself stated that he will end war and he will fight a 'war' of knowledge. The pen will take the place of the sword and with spiritual secrets, heavenly blessing and powerful signs the world will be conquered with fresh prophecies and fresh signs of God's support the distinction of the true religion will be manifest. It is not enough to state that we have past miracles (as signs). Remember that as far as stories and tales go, you have no more than anything that the books of the Hindus and the Christians can present. If you present tales, they will present greater tales. If the truth of Islam were to be on the basis of tales and stories then remember that this matter would become clouded in doubt.

There is in Islam Furqan, that is, the power to distinguish (between truth and falsehood). God has always placed in Islam the unusual feature of its ability to present fresh signs. At the mention of the word signs, today's students of philosophy become a little uncomfortable. They say that to find the existence of God what need is there for signs or for prophets?

One should remember, however, that to derive a conclusion from the solar system and the system of the universe which is found in a very highly organised form, that there is a God is a very weak form of belief. There cannot be achieved full satisfaction from it about the existence and being of God. Only a possibility of it can be proved. It cannot be stated with certainty that there is a God. If there were present some very certain and incontrovertible proofs why then would people become atheists? Great research scholars compile great books (about this subject) but their proofs are not proofs in logic nor is their conclusion incontrovertible. They cannot close arguments nor can one reach certain belief through them. If one person uses these matters to present proofs of the existence of God, another person, an atheist, can present opposing arguments and proofs.

The fact of the matter is this that in this way what can be proved is that there should be a God. What cannot be proved in this way is that there is a God and there is a huge difference between should be and there is. Is requires observation and witness. But the other part which the prophets have presented that great signs and miracles should be used for proof of the existence of God is a way before which all heads bow down. The truth is that a great number of Arabs (at the time of the Holy Prophet (sa)) were atheists as the following verse from the Holy Qur'an makes clear, (They say) There is no life other than our present life; We were without life and now we live, (Ch. 23, v. 38). Was it the case that the Holy Prophet (sa) corrected the backward, immoral and impulsive people such as the Arabs were, with the sword? Moreover, was the difference in their lives before and after the advent of Holy Prophet (sa) was due to the fact that they could not match his sword power? Or was it the pure and simple moral teaching that created a pure change in their hearts? No, it was not so. Remember that the sword can gain an apparent victory over human beings but the sword can never conquer hearts! The truth is that it was the light (of the Holy Prophet (sa)) which reflected the 'face' of God and it was the numerous extraordinary signs shown at the hands of the Holy Prophet (sa) which were of such magnificence that it was as if God had Himself come and stood before them. It was this 'witnessing' of God's majesty and power that made people abandon their sinful lives and bring about a pure change in their lives.

Now, once again, it is that time and that age. Now, too, the certainty of belief in the existence of God will come about in the same way as it happened in the beginning. It is the same Islam as it was then. Hence the means of its success and its flourishing state will also be the same as before. Now, too, if there is need of anything, there is need of overpowering signs which will reveal the face of God. You should know this for certain that no one can be purified of sin unless there is deeper and full knowledge of God (through His attributes).

There are numerous sins, major and minor, which are spread all around, in all four corners of the world. A dry faith is not sufficient to remove all these sins. Is there the fear of God as there should be? No, certainly not. In reality a human being is gripped by nafse ammara (i.e. the self that incites to evil) as if a baby sparrow was gripped by a lion's paw. Unless there is freedom from grip of nafse ammara, any change is an arduous task and escape from sin is very difficult. But look, if at this moment there was a terrifying earth quake and the whole roof began to shake, it would cause such fright in people that even the thought of sin would not enter their hearts. Similarly, the condition of a person suffering from a fatal illness cannot be the same as when he is enjoying a life of comfort.

In order to bring about a change in his condition, a human being is totally dependent upon God's manifestations and powerful signs. It is essential that God creates such means as strengthen a person's faith and make it fresh and more firm so that his faith does not remain limited to verbal utterances but shows an effect on his practical condition also and in this way a person should become a true Muslim. With reference to this, God Almighty spoke to me through revelation in the following (Persian) verse (in translation):

'When the Regal age begins the so-called Muslims will be fumed into true Muslims once again'.
This is the word of God. In the present age, if we carefully analyse the situation, we will note that it is a verbal faith which we commonly observe. Thus, it is the intention of God that verbal Muslims should be turned into true Muslims. Did not the Jews believe in the Torah? Did they not offer sacrifices? But God has cursed them and said to them that you are not true believers. God has even cursed those who offer salat (Muslim form of worship) when he states (in the Holy Qur'an), Woe unto those also who pray but are not mindful of their prayer (Ch. 107, vs. 5-6). That is, cursed are those who offer salat who are unaware of the salat they offer. The word salat, in fact, means to put oneself into the fire, the fire of God's love and fear, and 'burning' away of everything of oneself and retaining only that which is of God. It is also a term for the state where a person can see nothing except God and from where he can progress further to the state where he talks only at God's behest moves only at God's behest. All his actions and non-actions accord with the wishes of God and he is distanced from his own ego and from his own self.

In short, these are the things (one should try to attain) should God grant one the capacity to do so. But until such time as God opens the door of a person's heart, no one can do anything. Opening the doors to people's hearts is the work of God. 'When Allah wishes good for a person, an admonisher is put in his heart', (a saying of the Holy Prophet (sa)). A person's turn of fortune is signified when God wills reform and betterment for him and creates an admonisher in his heart. Until there is an admonisher inside a person, no preaching and admonishing from outside will have any effect. But this work is God's work. It is not my work. My work is to convey my message to the people. (As stated in the Holy Qur'an), 'The Messenger's responsibility is only to convey the message clearly' (Ch. 29, v. 19). Bringing about actual change is God's work. On my part, I wish my message to reach the people (and hence discharge my responsibility fully) so that I am not asked (by God) as to why it was that people were not well informed. That is why I have given my message to people verbally as well as through my writings. There will be very few in the world who could even now say that my message or my claim has not reached them.