Words Nabi, Rasul
about me are only metaphorical. Beware, dont use them commonly
in everyday talk!
In August 1899, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad wrote a letter to a follower
to settle a disagreement between some of his followers, regarding
the use of the words nabi and rasul about him. This
letter, was also published at that time in the Ahmadiyya newspaper
Al-Hakam by Maulvi Abdul Karim, a prominent Ahmadi.
See below on this page:
- Translation of the letter by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam
- Urdu text of the letter in clear print form
- Image of original page from Al-Hakam.
Introducing the letter, Maulvi Abdul Karim warns that followers
should not exaggerate the staus of the Promised Messiah:
There is a very important matter to which I draw the attention
of my friends. It is that they must always check the words they
utter about the True Imam, the holy Hazrat [Mirza Ghulam Ahmad]
and the beliefs they hold about him.
No one should exaggerate
his status or find fault with it. What did the Christians gain
by exaggeratedly praising Jesus, which someone following this
path can expect to achieve? I remember once one of our friends,
who is deeply engrossed in the love of the Imam, said to him:
Why should we not consider you to be superior to the Shaikhain
[Abu Bakr and Umar], and nearer to the Holy Prophet? Hearing
this, the holy Hazrats face changed colour, and he became
unusually agitated and restless
He spoke for six hours
All the time he dwelt on the praises and qualities of the
Holy Prophet and his love and devotion to him, and on the qualities
of the Shaikhain. He said: It is a sufficient matter
of pride for me that I am an admirer and servant of those people.
The particular excellence which God granted them, no one will
ever attain. Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, may peace and the
blessings of Allah be upon him, cannot come back into the world,
so no one will get the same opportunity to serve him as the Shaikhain
To conclude, when we are overcome by the emotions of love, we
must always keep our tongues and hearts under the control and
regulation of the true Shariah.
I copy below a
letter by the holy Hazrat [Mirza Ghulam Ahmad] which he wrote
to settle a dispute. Before he sent it, I obtained it from him
for the benefit of our brothers, and I purposely omit the name
and address of the person who is addressed in the letter, since
it is the content that matters.
Translation of the letter by Hazrat
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
My dearly beloved brother,
assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatu-hu
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.
(*Authors Footote: 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.)
There are many such revelations in which the word nabi
or rasul has occurred regarding myself. 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 in Islam, leading to very bad consequences, these terms
should not be used in our communitys 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
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 (Khatam-ul-Anbiya),
and the Holy Quran is the last of the Books (Khatam-ul-Kutub).
Religion should not be made into a childrens 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
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.
iii, no. 29, 17 August 1899. The underlining is ours.)
Urdu text of the
letter in clear print form:
Image of original
page from Al-Hakam: