The Lahore Ahmadiyya Islamic Movement
Showing Islam is Peaceful • Tolerant • Rational • Inspiring
www.ahmadiyya.orgA Research and Educational Website
1. Islam
2. Ahmadiyya Movement

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

Did not claim to be a prophet

Hadith in which Promised Messiah is called 'Prophet'
3. Publications & Resources

Contact us
Search the website

Hadith in which Promised Messiah is called 'Prophet'

The Qadianis say, very commonly and widely, that the prophecies in Hadith which refer to the coming Messiah describe him as "prophet of God" (nabi-ullah). Therefore, the Messiah-to-come must be a prophet and as Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed to be the Promised Messiah this means that he is a prophet.

During Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's lifetime his opponent Muslim religious leaders used to raise against him exactly this objection: that as the coming Messiah is called nabi in Hadith, therefore the true Messiah should be a prophet, and this can only mean the coming of the prophet Jesus himself in person.

Hazrat Mirza responded to this objection by saying:

  1. The word nabi about the coming Messiah in hadith does NOT mean a prophet, but is used metaphorically as meaning a wali or muhaddas (a muhaddas is one who is not a prophet, but receives revelation from Allah of the kind which auliya or saints receive.)

  2. The Hadith report which refers to the coming Messiah as nabi is doubtful, inauthentic and cannot be accepted as it stands.

As to the first point, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad wrote:

1. "If the objection be raised here that, as the Messiah (Jesus) was a prophet, his like should also be a prophet, the first answer to this is that our leader and master (the Holy Prophet Muhammad) has not made prophethood a necessary condition for the Messiah to come. On the other hand, it is clearly written that he shall be a Muslim, and shall be subject to the Shariah of the Quran like ordinary Muslims, and he shall not go further than this that he is a Muslim and the imam of Muslims."
(Tauzih Maram, pages 17-18)
2. "The epithet '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, p. 28)
Let Qadianis ponder over the last sentence:
"How can there be a prophet after the Khatam al-anbiya?"
This shows plainly that Hazrat Mirza took this term to mean the Last of the Prophets.
3. "We believe and acknowledge that, according to the real meaning of 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'. ... 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 they 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 al-anbiya, the Holy Prophet Muhammad. According to the real meaning, no new or ancient prophet can now come."
(Siraj Munir, p. 3)
4. "And it should also be remembered that in 'Sahih Muslim' the word 'nabi' has occurred with reference to the Promised Messiah, that is to say, by way of metaphor."
(Ayyam as-Sulh, p. 75)
5. "These words are by way of metaphor, just as in Hadith also the word 'nabi' has been used for the Promised Messiah. ... 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 is intended."
(Arba`in no. 2, p. 18, footnote)
6. "God has promised that no 'rasul' shall be sent after the Holy Prophet Muhammad, and the students of Hadith have surely made an extremely grave error in believing, by just seeing the word 'Jesus' or 'son of Mary', that the very same son of Mary, who was a 'rasul' of God, shall descend from heaven. It did not occur to them that his coming is tantamount to the departure of the religion of Islam from this world. In 'Sahih Muslim' there is a hadith about this, namely, that the Messiah shall come as a 'nabi' of God. Now if, in a symbolic sense, by 'Messiah' or 'son of Mary' is meant a member of the Muslim community who holds the rank of 'muhaddas', then no difficulty arises."
(Izala Auham, p. 586)
7. "The Holy Quran clearly states that the Holy Prophet Muhammad is the Khatam al-anbiya. But our opponents make Jesus the Khatam al-anbiya, and they say that the mention of the Messiah as prophet of God in 'Sahih Muslim' and elsewhere refers to real prophethood."
(Kitab al-Bariyya, p. 191, footnote.)
According to this last extract, it was the OPPONENTS of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad who believed that the word 'nabi' about the coming Messiah in hadith means "real prophethood". And the Qadianis today hold the same belief which the opponents of Hazrat Mirza held and which he refuted!

This extract also shows that Hazrat Mirza considered the term Khatam al-anbiya to mean the LAST of the Prophets, because he says that if Jesus came after the Holy Prophet Muhammad then it is Jesus who would become the Khatam al-anbiya.

If Khatam al-anbiya meant the BEST of the Prophets but not the LAST (as Qadianis today tell us), then Jesus could still come after the Holy Prophet and yet the Holy Prophet would remain Khatam al-anbiya.

But Hazrat Mirza says, here and elsewhere, that if Jesus came after the Holy Prophet Muhammad then the Holy Prophet would not remain the Khatam al-anbiya, and Jesus would become Khatam al-anbiya. This shows clearly that he took the term Khatam al-anbiya to mean the Last of the prophets.

Now we turn to the second point, i.e. Hazrat Mirza's comments on the hadith report in Sahih Muslim reported by Nawas ibn Saman (in which the coming Messiah is called nabi-ullah). Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad wrote:

1. "This is the hadith which the Imam Muslim has recorded in Sahih Muslim, which has been omitted by Bukhari, the chief of the collectors of hadith, because he considered it to be weak."
(Izala Auham, p. 220)
2. "The conclusion of this discussion is that the hadith referring to Damascus put forward by Imam Muslim is shown to be unreliable by another hadith contained in Muslim itself, and it is clearly proved that the reporter Nawas has made a mistake in relating this hadith."
(Izala Auham, p. 237)
3. "As against this, that same doubtful hadith of 'Muslim' is presented which has hundreds of objections sticking to it like ants, and which in its apparent words is utterly opposed to the Holy Quran and contradictory to it. ... It is a favour we have done to the author of Muslim that we accepted this hadith by giving it a different interpretation; otherwise it was our right to declare this hadith as fabricated in order to remove the contradiction. But, after thinking carefully, it is found that in fact this hadith is not fabricated but is full of metaphors."
(Tuhfa Golarwiya, pages 46-47)