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Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

Claims and position of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad:
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12. Answers: 2
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12. Answers: 2

  • In other detailed statements, at a later time, he has also explained the use of ‘prophet’ and ‘messenger’ for a non-prophet:

    • In a book in January 1897 (Ref)

    • In a letter written and published in August 1899 (Ref)

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    Slide References
    Extracts from statements of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

    RK = Ruhani Khaza’in, the 23 volume collection of books of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
    MI = Majuma Ishtiharat, collection of published announcements of Hazrat Mirza.
    Rabwah editions.

    1. A man calling himself insaf talb (‘seeker of justice’ or ‘fair-minded’) raised the objection that although Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a Muslim and it was wrong to call him kafir, yet his followers had also gone to the extreme of regarding him as a prophet. Hazrat Mirza replied to him as follows:

    “There is a contradiction in his statement. On the one hand he says very kindly that it is wrong to call a Muslim as kafir, and on the other he says about me that my followers really believe me to be a messenger of Allah and that I have claimed prophethood in fact. If his first view is right, that I am a Muslim and believe in the Holy Quran, then this second view is wrong in which he says that I myself claim prophethood. And if his second view is right, then the first is wrong in which he says that I am a Muslim and believe in the Holy Quran.

    “Can a wretched imposter who claims messengership and prophethood for himself have any belief in the Holy Quran? And can a man who believes in the Holy Quran, and believes the verse ‘He is the Messenger of Allah and the Khatam an-nabiyyin’ to be the word of God, say that he too is a messenger and prophet after the Holy Prophet Muhammad?

    Insaf Talb should remember that I have never, at any time, made a claim of nubuwwat or risalat [prophethood or messengership] in the real sense. To use a word in a non-real sense, and to employ it in speech according to its broad, root meaning, does not imply heresy (kufr). However, I do not like even this much, for there is the possibility that ordinary Muslims may misunderstand it.

    “However, by virtue of being appointed by God, I cannot conceal those revelations I have received from Him in which the words nubuwwat and risalat occur quite frequently. But I say repeatedly that, in these revelations, the word mursal or rasul or nabi which has occurred about me is not used in its real sense. (Author’s Footnote: Such words have not occurred only now, but have been present in my published revelations for sixteen years. So you will find many such revelations about me in the book Barahin Ahmadiyya.) The actual fact, to which I testify with the highest testimony, is that our Holy Prophet, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him, is the Khatam al-anbiya and after him no prophet is to come, neither an old one nor a new one. ...

    “But it must be remembered that, as we have explained here, sometimes the revelation from God contains such words about some of His saints in a metaphorical and figurative sense; they are not meant by way of reality. This is the whole controversy which the foolish, prejudiced people have dragged in a different direction. The name 'prophet of God' for the Promised Messiah, which is to be found in Sahih Muslim etc. from the blessed tongue of the Holy Prophet, is meant in the same metaphorical sense as that in which it occurs in Sufi literature as an accepted and common term for the recipient of Divine communication. Otherwise, how can there be a prophet after the Khatam al-anbiya?
    Anjam Atham, footnote, pages 26 - 28, published January 1897; RK 11: 26-28. [TOP]

    2. In a letter written by Hazrat Mirza, which was also published at the time of writing, he said:

    “The situation is that, although for twenty years I have been constantly receiving Divine revelation, often the word rasul or nabi has occurred in it. For example, there is the revelation: ‘He it is Who sent His messenger (rasul) with guidance and the true religion’, and the revelation: ‘the champion of God in the mantle of the prophets’, and the revelation: ‘A prophet came into the world but the world accepted him not’. (Author’s Footnote: Another reading of this revelation is: ‘A warner (nazir) came into the world’, and this is the reading which was given in Barahin Ahmadiyya. To avoid causing trouble, the other reading [which says ‘prophet’] was not given.)

    “However, that person is mistaken who thinks that by this prophethood and messengership is meant real prophethood and messengership, by which the man concerned possesses authority over the Shariah. In fact, by the word rasul is only meant ‘one sent by God,’ and by the word nabi is only meant ‘one who makes prophecies,’ having received intimation from God, or one who discloses hidden matters.

    “As these words, which are only in a metaphorical sense, cause trouble (fitna) in Islam, leading to very bad consequences, these terms should not be used in our community’s common talk and everyday language. It should be believed from the bottom of the heart that prophethood has terminated with the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him, as God Almighty says: ‘He is the Messenger of God and the Khatam an-nabiyyin.’ To deny this verse, or to belittle it, is in fact to separate oneself from Islam. The person who exceeds the limit in rejection is in the same dangerous condition as the one who, like the Shiahs, exceeds the limit in acceptance. It should be known that God has ended all His prophethoods and messengerships with the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet. I have come into the world, and have been sent into it, merely as a servant of the religion of Islam, and not to discard Islam and create some other religion. One must always protect oneself from being waylaid by the devil, and have true love for Islam, and must never forget the greatness of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.

    “I am a servant of Islam, and this is the real reason for my coming. The words nabi and rasul are figurative and metaphorical. Risalat in the Arabic language is applied to ‘being sent’, and nubuwwat is to expound hidden truths and matters upon receiving knowledge from God. So, bearing in mind a significance of this extent, it is not blame-worthy to believe in the heart in accordance with this meaning.

    “However, in the terminology of Islam, nabi and rasul mean those who bring an entirely new Law (shariah), or those who abrogate some aspects of the previous law, or those who are not called followers of a previous prophet, having a direct connection with God without benefit from a prophet. Therefore, one should be vigilant to see that the same meaning is not taken here, because we have no Book but the Holy Quran, and no religion but Islam. We believe that our Prophet, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him, is the last of the Prophets, and the Holy Quran is the last of the Books. Religion should not be made into a children’s game, and it should be remembered that I make no claim contrary to that of being a servant of Islam. The person who ascribes to me the contrary is making a fabrication against me. We receive grace and blessings through our Holy Prophet, and receive the benefit of knowledge from the Quran.

    “It is, therefore, pertinent that no person should entertain anything in his heart contrary to this direction; or else he shall be answerable for it before God. If we are not servants of Islam, then all our work is in vain and rejected, and shall be called to account.”
    — Letter dated 7 August 1899, published in Al-Hakam, vol. 3, no. 29, 17 August 1899. [TOP]