13. How word ‘prophet’ is
used for a non-prophet: 1
A prophet is a prophet according to the technical
definition of this concept in Islamic law and terminology.
A prophet is, quite obviously, a prophet in the real
|1. For a non-prophet (saint), the
word ‘prophet’ is used in its linguistic,
literal or dictionary sense, as word of the Arabic
|2. For a non-prophet the word ‘prophet’
is also used in a metaphorical sense.
Hazrat Mirza clearly distinguished between:
Prophethood in the real sense, according
to the technical definition of prophet
in Islamic law, which applies to a prophet
AS OPPOSED TO
the linguistic, literal or metaphorical
use of the word prophet for one who is a saint, not a prophet.
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.
1. “Do not level false
allegations against me that I have claimed to be a prophet in the
real sense. ...
We believe and acknowledge that, according to the real
meaning of nubuwwat (prophethood), after
the Holy Prophet Muhammad no new or former prophet can come.
The Holy Quran forbids the appearance of any such prophets. But
in a metaphorical sense God can
call any recipient of revelation as nabi or mursal (prophet
or messenger). Have you not read those Sayings of the Holy Prophet
in which occur the words: rasulu rasul-illah (messenger of
the Messenger of God)? The Arabs to this day call even the message-bearer
of a man as a rasul, so why is it forbidden for God to use
the word mursal (messenger) in a metaphorical sense too?...
I say it repeatedly that these words rasul and mursal
and nabi undoubtedly occur about me in my revelation from
God, but they do not bear their real meanings.
And just as these do not, similarly the Promised Messiah being called
nabi in Hadith is not meant in a real sense. This is the
knowledge which God has given me. Let him understand, who will.
This very thing has been disclosed to me that the
doors of real prophethood are fully closed after the Khatam
an-nabiyyin, the Holy Prophet Muhammad. According to the real
meaning, no new prophet nor an ancient prophet can now come.
Siraj Munir, pages 2 - 3, published March 1897, RK,
vol. 12, pages 4, 5. [TOP]
2. “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
Letter dated 7 August 1899, published in Al-Hakam,
vol. 3, no. 29, 17 August 1899. [TOP]
3. These words (prophet, etc.) are used by way of
metaphor, just as in Hadith also the word prophet has
been used for the Promised Messiah. It is obvious that he who is
sent by God is His envoy, and an envoy is called rasul in
Arabic. And he who discloses news of the unseen, having received
it from God, is known as nabi in Arabic. The meanings in
Islamic terminology are different. Here only the linguistic meaning
Arbain, published December 1900, No. 2, p. 18,
4. Here the words rasul and nabi which
have been used about me in the revelation from God, that he is the
messenger and prophet of God, are meant in
a metaphorical and figurative sense.
Arbain, No. 3, p. 25, footnote. [TOP]
5. God speaks to, and communicates with, His saints
(auliya) in this Ummah, and they are given the colour
of prophets. However, they are not prophets
in reality (haqiqat).
Mawahib-ur-Rahman, published January 1903,
pp. 66, 67. [TOP]
6. And I have been called nabi (prophet) by
Allah by way of metaphor, not by way of reality
Haqiqat al-Wahy, Supplement, p. 64. [TOP]