Discussion between T. Ijaz and
From October 2003 to March 2004
Initial direct posts to forum
E-mail from T. Ijaz, October 28, 2003:
In the discussion forum on muslim.org, re: book Prophecy Continuous I
have a comment. In the book, Prof Friedmann shows that Muhammad Ali
Sahib changed his belief on concept of prophethood. Similarly, another
book by an outsider, Spencer Lavan, entitled Ahmadiyya Movement, came
to the same conclusion.
There are a number of additional quotes from Muhammad Ali in the
online book "Truth Prevails" on the al-islam.org website that are
disturbing in that they show an apparent change in Ali's belief. For
instance, the verse of the Quran in which Hazrat Isa relates the advent of a
future prophet Ahmad, Muhammad Ali interprets that this can apply to
Ahmad, the Promised Messiah, though his commentary on the Quran
published later made no mention of this.
While I know he himself has dismissed the previous quotes as a
misunderstanding, that the term Nabi was only a metaphorical expression,
when I read and re-read the various quotes, I find the explanation
difficult to accept, and I mean that sincerely.
Zahid Aziz, October 28, 2003:
The two books that you refer to are badly researched,
and in case of 'Prophecy Continuous' the author has
not made any reference to several of our important
publications, which shows that his knowledge of our
viewpoint is very limited and is in fact based largely
on Qadiani sources.
Maulana Muhammad Ali refuted this false allegation
(that he ever believed Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to be
a prophet) several times. The following is one of his
articles about this:
(Near the very end of this article a quotation has
been omitted on this webpage which I can provide you
with if you so wish. I will get it filled in on that
page as well.)
About 3 years ago the Qadiani website www.alislam.org
published an article making these same allegations. I
compiled a response consisting of two web pages: (1)
some general points and (2) dealing with specific
quotes presented by them. You can read these two from
In part (2) of my response I dealt with five or so of
the quotes presented by the Qadianis. Some time later,
before I had finished my reply, I noticed that the
Qadianis had removed their article from their website
(the link to their article that I give within my reply
is broken as a result).
As you will see by reading the references given within
part (1) of my reply above, it is in fact the Qadiani
leaders who changed their beliefs.
Moreover, it will also be useful for you to read a
section from Maulana Muhammad Ali's biography which is
at this link:
This shows how strongly he challenged the Qadiani
beliefs and how, in response to Qadiani demands, he
even went so far as to take oaths in Allah's name to
the effect that he had always held the same beliefs.
But Qadiani leaders refused to take a similar oath
about their beliefs. As you will see, for several
months in 1944, every week he boldly published the
same statement accusing the Qadiani leader of lies and
> instance, the verse of the Quran in which Hazrat Isa
> relates the advent of a future prophet Ahmad,
> Muhammad Ali interprets that this can apply to
> Ahmad, the Promised Messiah, though his commentary
> on the Quran published later made no mention of
This is simply absurd and laughable for the simple
reason that even Qadianis had to stop holding this
belief (that Ahmad in this verse applied to Mirza
Ghulam Ahmad) after Maulana Muhammad Ali had refuted
this wrong interpretation very strongly.
You can read their change of belief on their website.
First please read what Mirza Mahmud Ahmad wrote in his
book "The Truth about the Split" about this:
Regarding the prophecy Ismuhu Ahmad contained in the
Holy Quran (61 : 6), my opinion is that the passage
contains a double prophecy, relating to two persons,
one a counter-type and the other his prototype. The
counter-type of course is the Promised Messiah, while
the prototype is the Holy Prophet. The passage under
reference speaks directly about the counter-type. A
reference to the prototype of course comes in, but
only indirectly in as much as the counter-type of a
prophet necessarily presumes the existence of his
Now read the interpretation of this verse given in
their English translation of the Quran. Please go to
which shows footnote 3037 on page 1132. As you see,
most of the footnote is devoted to showing that the
Holy Prophet Muhammad fulfilled this prophecy. Near
the end it is written:
"Thus the prophecy mentioned in this verse applies to
the Holy Prophet, but as a corollary it may also apply
to the Promised Messiah..."
In the "Split" book, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad says that the
prophecy speaks *directly* about the Promised Messiah
and *indirectly* about the Holy Prophet Muhammad. In
the Quran commentary they say exactly the opposite,
that it actually applies to the Holy Prophet but as a
corollary it may apply to the Promised Messiah.
This complete turn-about came because the Qadianis
could not justify their belief. The change in belief
that they are accusing Maulana Muhammad Ali of making,
is in actual fact exactly what they did themselves!
I hope that just as you have studied the sources that
you refer to in your e-mail, you will now go through
our material whose links I have given.
(I do not wish to overload you but there is another
booklet you could look at, when you have time, which
is readable at this link:
but you can also obtain it from us in print.)
Addition to above:
This is further to my earlier reply to you.
I have looked up 'Prophecy Continuous'. On page 17
"In a book published in 1906, Muhammad Ali clearly
supports Ghulam Ahmad's claim to prophethood in the
same sense in which Ghulam Ahmad himself advanced it."
Of course! The Maulana always, to the end of his life,
supported Hazrat Mirza's claim *as he himself advanced
it*, and NOT as the Qadiani Jamaat advances it. The
claim, as Hazrat Mirza advanced it, was that of being
"muhaddas". A muhaddas, according to Hadith, possesses
"partial prophethood". (Partial means that he has the
one quality which prophets also have, of receiving
communication from God, although a muhaddas'
communication is of a lower standing than a
prophet's.) This is what we have always held, since
Hazrat Mirza's time till today.
Friedmann further says on the same page in 'Prophecy
Continuous' about Maulana Muhammad Ali:
"... and explicit acceptance of Ghulam Ahmad's
prophetic claim can be found also in his later works"
and here, in a footnote, Friedmann refers to the
Maulana's Urdu booklet whose title means "Which group
is guilty of changing its beliefs?".
But this booklet was written by the Maulana in
September 1915, more than a year after the Split, in
reply to the Qadianis' allegation against him that he
had called Hazrat Mirza as "prophet" in his earlier
articles in "The Review of Religions". So according to
Friedmann, the Maulana was explicitly accepting Hazrat
Mirza as prophet in the very booklet that he wrote to
refute the charge that he had earlier believed Hazrat
Mirza to be a prophet! This is a truly bizarre
statement! It just shows that the author of 'Prophecy
Continuous' does not understand what claim the Maulana
was accepting and what he was denying.
However, it proves one thing: the author of 'Prophecy
Continuous' sees no difference between what the
Maulana wrote in 1906 about Hazrat Mirza's claim and
what he wrote after the Split (when actually arguing
with the Qadianis) in 1915. This is a point absolutely
in the Maulana's favour.
T. Ijaz, October 29th:
yes, I have read the links. But I am not certain it
really addresses the quotes in "Truth Prevails": Please see all of
Also on the topic of "Ahmad in the Quran", Maulana Ali is quoted as
saying, "who is Mirza Ghulam Ahmad? In the words of the Holy Quran we
reply, 'He will come after me, his name being Ahmad" (Review of
Religions vol 12, no 7)
So his interpretation of the verse is Muhammad only or also include
the Promised Messiah? The discussion is in Chapter 4:
Incidentally, the book as you know is a rebuttal to Faruqi work,
"Truth Prevails"; is that book available for purchase? I have not seen it
advertised on the web site.
Zahid Aziz, October 29th:
Just a quick response to one point for the moment. I
went to chapter 4 of "Truth Prevails", and on the
first page it says:
This statement is absolutely clear. Hazrat Khalifatul
Masih II, has quite plainly stated here that the
prophecy in question applies, in the first instance,
to the Holy Prophet Mohammad, himself, as borne out by
the fact that Ahmad was an attributive name of the
This is exactly the opposite of the statement by Mirza
Mahmud Ahmad in "The Truth about the Split" which I
quoted to you in my first reply, and whose link I also
gave, as follows:
The counter-type of course is the Promised Messiah,
while the prototype is the Holy Prophet. The passage
under reference speaks DIRECTLY about the
counter-type. A reference to the prototype of course
comes in, but ONLY INDIRECTLY in as much as the
counter-type of a prophet necessarily presumes the
existence of his original.
(Capitalisation is mine. See under:
I can't see how anyone can deny that these two
statements are exactly the opposite of each other. It
is a fact that the Qadianis were forced to recant this
belief (as expressed in the "Truth about the Split")
because of the powerful arguments against it given by
Maulana Muhammad Ali.
The quotation they give from the Maulana's writings
about this is so short that we cannot draw any
conclusion from it without seeing the whole article
T. Ijaz, October 30th:
Yes, it can be confusing,
but I interpret the words to mean though Hazrat Ahmad is mentioned by name in
the Quran, which even Hazrat Ahmad admits it applies to him (references given
in the chapter), he is only a mirror of the Holy Prophet, on whom be peace.
On his own he is absolutely nothing. Thus when Hazrat Ahmad admits the Quranic
verse applies to him, it should not detract from the fact the Holy Prophet is
the master, and obviously also Ahmad - the original Ahmad so to speak - of which
Mirza sahib was only a copy. It is a little less confusing, I think, if one
notes and reflects that Hazrat Ahmad himself wrote the Quranic "Ahmad" refers
to him , as stated in Al-Hakam magazine, quoted in Nazir's book. Thus the Qadian
Quran commentary is correct to include Hazrat Ahmad as literal fulfillment of
the prophecy, BUT need to note Mirza Mahmood Sahib's words in Qaul-e-Faisal
quoted earlier on in Chapter 4 in Nazir Sahib's book.
Zahid Aziz, October 30th:
I didn't realize that you would be supporting the
Qadiani Jamaat's interpretation, since I thought that
you were evaluating both sides' viewpoints from a
neutral position. For your perusal I am attaching
herewith the section of Maulana Muhammad Ali's book
"The Split", written just after the Split, dealing
with this issue. He quotes Mirza Mahmud Ahmad's
pronouncements of the time such as "Ahmad" was not a
name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad) and refutes them.
Two pdf files are attached which I hope you can read.
(1 and 2).
As to your earlier question about the quotations from
M.M. Ali sahib, one project I have in mind is to get
hold of the original articles from "The Review of
Religions" and give extended quotes from them to show
that he regarded Hazrat Mirza sahib as mujaddid. In
fact, what the Qadiani website should do is to make
available online the entire articles from which the
quotations are drawn, so that everyone can see the
quotations in context. Perhaps you can suggest that to
However, I also believe that my general response is
quite sufficient, when I gave you those links. One of
those, which I again refer you to, in fact settles the
whole issue. It is here:
Here Mufti Muhammad Sadiq (later of the Qadiani
Jamaat) has explained to a famous Muslim scholar,
Maulana Shibli, the sense in which the word "prophet"
was being used in the Ahmadiyya Movement for Hazrat
Mizra sahib. Further, he has quoted the then Head,
Maulana Nur-ud-Din, in his support. So this is like an
official explanation. Mufti sahib gave this
explanation in 1910, after M.M. Ali's quotations in
question had appeared (which are dated 1904 to 1908).
So this explanation applies also to those quotes.
As that explanation plainly shows, those Ahmadis who
used the word "prophet" about Hazrat Mirza sahib also
believed that no prophet can come after the Holy
Prophet Muhammad and that Hazrat Mirza sahib was a
Mujaddid and was one of those Muslims who are gifted
with Divine revelation.
T. Ijaz, November 2nd:
I looked at the quote from Mufti Muhammad Sadiq you sent me, and the
comments of Maulvi Nurrudin on nabuwwat.
Please note the words of Maulvi Nurrudin. This is VERY important.
He considers Mufti Sahib's writing a rebuttal to the prevailing and
mistaken concept among Muslims at the time that every nabi must bring a
shariah. The Promised Messiah himself said in his writings to his
opponents that he was not a nabi in the sense they ascribed to the word.
He was NOT a law bearing prophet. Please see page 34, 35 for details
and quotes, Truth about the Split, Mahmud.
Now please note pages 83, 84 of the same book. In 1910, Mufti Sahib
and Sadruddin Sahib together went on a missionary tour to preach to a
non-Ahmadi maulvi and the comments of Mirza Mahmud.
It was a style of tabligh and argumentation to broach the subject of
nabuwwat with non-Ahmadis. It was argued that nabis/rasuls DO NOT
have to bring a law or book. Nabi means, after all, having the gift of
prophecy and has no relationship with necessariy delivering a new
Now, DO NOT make the conclusion that only metaphorical expression of
nabi applies to Promised Messiah. That the dictionary meaning AND
theologic meaning applies is clear even from the writings of Maulvi
Muhammad Ali Sahib. I give two examples (bold emphasis is mine):
"The editor of this journal (Tashizul Azhan) is Mirza Bashiruddin
Mahmud Ahmad, son of the Promised Messiah...the gist of the article is
that at times evil spreads in the world
and people leave the path of truth and virtue, stray into
wickedness...become altogether oblivious of the needs of higher life...IT HAS
ALWAYS BEEN THE WAY OF ALLAH THAT, OUT OF THOSE PEOPLE THEMSELVES, HE
RAISES A PROPHET ENTRUSTED WITH A MISSION TO SPREAD RIGHTEOUS
TEACHING...these people heap ridicule on what what they hear about him...The
prophet declares beforehand that they all would be crushed...THIS HAS
ALWAYS BEEN THE WAY OF ALLAH, AND THIS IS WHAT HAS COME ABOUT IN OUR
OWN TIME.. (Review of Religions, 1906) See page 69, 70 Truth about
the Split for details.
If nabi is a metaphor, then in the history of religion, only nabis in
the metaphoric sense have been raised! Does this make sense?
Another quote is just as remarkable, from Badr, July 1908:
"We also have been asked to submit to this wide prayer...We hold
firmly hold to the view that Allah can raise prophets; he can bestow
siddiq, shahid, saleh..." See Truth Prevails page 35.
On this same verse, Maulvi Ali later denied the possiblity and wrote
so in his commentary! If it is metaphoric prophets, then it is
metaphoric siddiq, metaphoric shahid metaphoric saleh also!
Zahid Aziz, November 4th:
The statements of both Mufti sahib and Hazrat Maulana
Nur-ud-Din begin by declaring clearly that Hazrat
Mirza sahib was not a prophet. Mufti sahib says this
in the words: no prophet can come after the Holy
Prophet Muhammad, neither new nor old. Maulana
Nur-ud-Din says this by his oath that he believes
Hazrat Mirza sahib to be Mujaddid of this century. It
is AFTER having made this clear that they then go on
to explain how, despite the fact that he is not a
prophet, the word prophet can be applied to him. In
those days, whenever the word prophet was applied to
him, it was done in the clearly understood context
that the no prophet can come after the Holy Prophet
Muhammad and that Hazrat Mirza sahib was a Mujaddid.
It was in that same context that Maulana Muhammad Ali
(and of course Hazrat Mirza sahib himself as well)
used the word prophet about him. Unfortunately, the
Qadiani Jamaat detaches this context away from the use
of the word 'prophet'.
When Shibli objected that even this literal use of
prophet could be confusing to the public, Mufti
sahib's reply was to the effect: we neither require
Ahmadis to believe that he was a prophet nor do we
preach to people that he was a prophet. (He did not
say, for example, we tell people he was not a prophet
with a shariah but one without a shariah.) One fails
to understand how, if someone is a prophet, his
prophethood should not be preached, nor should his own
followers be required to accept it!
I have read the passage you referred to from "The
Truth about the Split", pages 83, 84. Regarding the
above answer given by Mufti sahib, M. Mahmud Ahmad
"It seemed to me undesirable that such a dubious mode
of expression should find general currency in the
It is clear from this that M. Mahmud Ahmad is
concerned that this answer conveys a different
impression from his own belief in Hazrat Mirza sahib's
prophethood. So even he seems to be supporting, to
some extent, our view of this answer.
Moreover he writes here: "... the literal significance
and the theological connotation of the term Nabi are
This is exactly the opposite of what Hazrat Mirza
sahib wrote, which is:
"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 literal meaning is intended."
— Arba‘in, published December 1900, No. 2, p. 18,
He announced in a public declaration addressing
Muslims that the words nabi and rasul about him:
"are not to be taken in their real sense, but have
been used according to their literal meaning in a
straight-forward way; otherwise, I lay no claim
whatever to actual prophethood." (Majmu`a Ishtiharat,
v. 1, p. 312 to 314)
As to the quote from M. Muhammad Ali that whenever
people leave the path of virtue Allah raises a prophet
to spread righteous teaching, please note that
according to Hazrat Mirza sahib this function of
prophets is performed in the Muslim Umma by saints
(muhaddas, wali, etc.), who have replaced the prophets
of the past. He has discussed this extensively in his
book "Shahadat-ul-Quran" in which he writes:
1. "... mujaddids and spiritual khalifas are needed by
the Muslim people in the same way as were the prophets
required from ancient times ..."
2. " ... the mujaddid of the time comes with the
powers, faculties and qualities upon which depends the
reformation of the prevalent evils. God will ever
continue to do this, as long as He pleases, so that
signs of righteousness and reform remain in the
3. "And the mujaddid whose work bears striking
similarity to the appointed task of one of the
messengers, is called by the name of that messenger
(rasul) in the sight of God."
4. "Prophets certainly cannot arise among the Muslims,
but if khalifas of the Holy Prophet do not come
either, showing the marvels of spiritual life from
time to time, then the spirituality of Islam comes to
5. "As our Master and Messenger, may peace and the
blessings of God be upon him, is the Khatam-ul-anbiya,
and after him there cannot come any prophet, for this
reason saints (muhaddas) have been substituted for
prophets in this religious system."
So when M. Muhammad Ali's statement is applied to
pre-Islamic times it refers to the raising of real
prophets, and when it is applied to the Muslim Umma it
refers to the raising of the saints of this Umma, who
have replaced the prophets of the past in performing
this function of guidance (as stated by Hazrat Mirza
sahib), and may be called 'prophet' in its literal
meaning or as a metaphor.
Similarly in the July 1908 statement in Badr, the word
"prophet" is applied to a Muslim saint in its literal
meaning of one who receives revelation. The fact that
he says "prophets" in the plural also shows this,
because according to Qadiani beliefs only one prophet
was raised among the Muslims. The only "prophets", in
the plural, who were raised among Muslims are the
I note with interest the source and date of this
statement, because in the same paper Badr, in its
issue dated 11 June 1908, there is an article by Dr
Khalifa Rashid-ud-Din from which it is absolutely
clear that Hazrat Mirza sahib was regarded as a
Mujaddid and not prophet. Please see it here:
Please notice also that we, as in this case, have
reproduced images of complete articles, and not just
quoted words taken out of them, to show that we are
not quoting out of context.
Finally, on the issue of the prophecy about the coming
Ahmad, I am reading Mirza Mahmud Ahmad's book
Anwar-i-Khilafat where he discusses it from page 18 to
page 52. He writes there that the Holy Prophet
Muhamamd never claimed that he fulfilled the prophecy
of the coming Ahmad, and that Muslims have made a
mistake in considering this prophecy to be the same
one as the one given in the Gospels about Paraclete.
T. Ijaz, November 5th:
1. Again, I completely disagree with how you interpret Mufti Sahib's
statements. Of course, no prophets can come now. But this should be
understood in context; Maulvi Nuruddin Sahib does, to his credit,
clarify the issue. He states a SHARIAH NABI cannot come anymore, i.e.,
one who alters or brings in a new shariah: he plainly states:
"the dictionary meaning of the word nabi, we believe, is one who
gives news, having received knowledge from Allah, NOT ONE WHO BRINGS A
Read Page 35, The Truth about the Split, quoting from Badr March 1908
and Misunderstanding Removed, by Promised Messiah, Mirza Mahmoud
"The promised Messiah says to his opponents that he was not a nabi in
the sense they ascribed to that word, but he was a nabi in the sense
of the word in which the former prophets were called nabis"
Consider this statement from Maulvi Muhammad Ali Sahib, in the
Introduction section, of the book entitled "History of the Prophets:
"The Arabic word for prophet is nabi, which is derived from
naba...the word nabi in its literal significance is applicable to anyone to
whom prophecies about the future are revealed, BUT IN THE TECHNICAL
LANGUAGE OF ISLAM IT IS APPLICABLE ONLY TO A MAN WHO IS CHOSEN BY GOD TO
DELIVER HIS MESSAGE TO MANKIND."
Needless to say, the capitalized words apply to the Promised Messiah
also. Raised by Allah directly (not by community consensus) and
addressing fellow-men to join his community.
It is certain though that some elements in the jamaat started to
entertain ideas that the Promised Messiah was in a position below what
was the reality. That is, perhaps not a real prophet in the Islamic
sense. This is clear from Paigham-i-Sulha, 1913, quoted in Truth
Prevails Chapter 1 p.3. Please see it. The words stand as a rebuttal. He was
real prophet. See also Mirza Mahmud's quotes from 1911, page 84, 85,
published in Badr, which was a speech in the presence of Muhammad Ali
Your rebuttal to Maulvi Muhammad's Ali 1906 admission is feeble.
First of all Shahadat-ul-Quran is from 1893. Quotes AFTER 1901 saying
specifically saints will do the work for Islamic revival in place of
nabi, would be FAR more convincing. Chapter 3 of Truth Prevails by
Nazir goes into tremendous detail on the phased revealment of nabuwwat to
the Promised Messiah, and in fact serves as an extensive rebuttal for
much of the material on your website.
Muhammad Ali states quite clearly, in this 1906 quote, paraphrasing,
"that's the way it happened in the past, and that's the way it is in
this case". In fact, the 1906 writing of Muhammad Ali was a review of
one of Mirza Mahmud's booklets, explicitly stating the Promised
Messiah was a nabi, and he received revelation from Allah and who raised
him for mankind, just like other previous prophets. Therefore to say,
a saint would do this in place of a prophet now is absurd.
Most astonishingly, there is a quote I found in Nazir's book,
regarding a time when Muhammadi Ali was confronted by non-Ahmadis in 1936.
He was asked if his views on Promised Messiah had changed (they were
"the beliefs of our section (Lahore) are available in print...they
have no connection with any writing of mine thirty years ago."
Paigham--Sulah, Jan 1936, quoted in Truth Prevails, page xi.
Thirty years ago, makes it 1906. Thus we find him backing away from
his previous writings of the time period in question!
Re: issue of Badr quote from 1908. You say "Qadianis believe only one
prophet was raised among the Muslims". So far, yes. I am not sure
that is actually true for the future. Only Allah knows. Can the door to
revelation, and the top rank spiritually, among the four mentioned in
the Quran, ever close? If it is, then the Muslims cannot attain
siddiq, shahid, saleh either, if you read the text of the Quran!
But just to finish for now (yes, getting late!), you wanted a copy of
Badr showing Muhammad Ali also believed that "Ahmad" referred to the
Promised Messiah. I will try. However, it should be noted, the
Promised Messiah said the very same thing, three years before, and thus I
have no reason to doubt the authencity and context. The Promised
"These people inquire again and again where, in the Holy Quran, has
the name been mentioned. They do not seem to be aware that ALLAH NAMED
ME AHMAD. The pledge of baiat is taken in the name of Ahmad. IS NOT
THIS NAME FOUND IN THE QURAN? (Al Hakam, Oct 17, 1905, page 10).
Zahid Aziz, November 7th:
1. Maulana Nur-ud-Din declares right at the start, as
a sworn statement, that: "I believe Mirza sahib to be
the Mujaddid of this century." The question he then
proceeds to answer is how a Mujaddid can be called a
The booklet "A Misunderstanding Removed" (Ayk Ghalati
Ka Izala) has been translated by us and every point in
it explained. See:
As to your quote from Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, "but he was
a nabi in the sense of the word in which the former
prophets were called nabis", the Promised Messiah
actually wrote to the contrary, as follows:
"... we do not mean by prophethood what is meant by it
in the former scriptures." (Haqiqat al-Wahy,
Supplement, p. 16; Ruhani Khaza'in, v. 22, p. 637)
2. Regarding M. Muhammad Ali's statement in "History
of the Prophets", only the most elementary thought and
logic is required to see that it is being
misrepresented. The words:
"applicable only to a man chosen by God..."
mean that it (nabi in Islamic technical sense) is NOT
applicable to anyone who is NOT chosen by God. It is a
statement of the negative, as to when this term does
NOT apply technically. It cannot be reversed into
meaning that everyone chosen by God to deliver a
message is a nabi in the technical sense. Examples
abound in everyday life of such statements containing
the word "only". To give an example from the Quran, it
says: "Only those can accept the truth who listen"
(Qadiani Jamaat's translation, 6:36 or 37). This
means: those who don't listen certainly cannot accept
the truth. It does not mean that all those who listen
3. You have rejected my quotes from Shahadat-ul-Quran
because this book is from before 1901. The issue of
whether he changed his claim in 1901 is so fundamental
to our differences that it should be discussed as a
separate topic, and I would be happy to do so in a new
e-mail thread if you wish.
The Qadiani Jamaat's belief is that he changed his
claim in 1901 from a non-prophet saint to prophet. But
this doesn't invalidate his previous general
statements about what saints can do. For example, he
wrote in 1898:
"We can prove to every seeker-after-truth,
conclusively and definitely, that from the time of our
master and leader, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, till the
present day there have been, in every century, godly
persons through whom God has shown heavenly signs to
other communities to guide them ... the heavenly signs
that have appeared and are appearing in Islam through
the auliya of this Umma in support of Islam and in
witness of the truthfulness of the Holy Prophet have
no parallel at all in other religions." (Ruhani
Khaza'in, vol. 13, pages 91–92)
The historical facts described here could not change
For your satisfaction, I can give quotes after 1901:
"God speaks to, and communicates with, His saints
(auliya) in this Umma. They are given the colour of
prophets, but they are not prophets in reality because
the Holy Quran has completed all the requirements of
the shariah. They are given nothing but the
understanding of the Quran; they do not add to the
Quran, nor take anything away from it." (Mawahib
ar-Rahman, January 1903, p. 66)
Then in Haqiqat-ul-Wahy (1907) he divides people who
receive revelation into three levels, and it is
obvious from reading it that the saints are in the
third, the highest, level. About the qualities of such
a man he writes:
"The word of God descends upon him as it descends upon
the holy prophets and messengers of God, being free
from doubt and absolutely certain" (Ruhani Khaza'in,
v. 22, p. 18)
In his book "Tuhfah Golarwiya" he has likened Hazrat
Abu Bakr to the prophet Joshua and written:
"Just as God showed Joshua the same assistance as He
previously showed to Moses, similarly God blessed the
works of Hazrat Abu Bakr in front of all the
Companions, and his glory shone like that of
prophets." (RK, vol. 17, p. 186)
Note "his glory shone like that of prophets". In the
same section he writes that the crisis of rebellion
that Hazrat Abu Bakr overcame was worse than that
which Joshua had faced:
"A storm like this [one faced by Joshua], rather, more
severe than it, was faced by Hazrat Abu Bakr ... this
storm was much worse than the storm of water that
Joshua had to face ... Then just as the word of God
gave strength to Joshua ... so did Hazrat Abu Bakr
receive strength from God at the time of the storm of
rebellion." (pages 187–188)
I am not clear whether the Qadiani Jamaat considers
the book "Tuhfah Golarwiya" as pre-1901 or post-1901.
So I am requesting you to let me know which category
you place this book in.
So this is the position and the achievement of
non-prophets in Islam according to Hazrat Mirza sahib.
I am sorry to observe your statement:
"Therefore to say, a saint would do this in place of a
prophet now is absurd."
This comment, regrettably, attributes absurdity to the
Promised Messiah's views.
4. You then say: "Most astonishingly, there is a quote
I found in Nazir's book, regarding a time when
Muhammadi Ali was confronted by non-Ahmadis in 1936."
I have consulted the original source, and what
astonishes me is the gross misrepresentation that the
Qadiani Jamaat has committed.
Maulana Muhammad Ali was answering, in writing, a set
of questions sent by the Anjuman Himayat-i-Islam, who
had been asked by Allama Iqbal to change their rules
to declare members of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat
Islam Lahore (AAIIL) as non-Muslims and to expel them
from its membership. The answers were published by the
Maulana himself in our organ Paigham Sulah.
The quote you have given is part of his answer to the
second question: "Has your belief about Mirza sahib
been the same from the beginning till today, or has it
ever changed, and if so why did it change?"
His reply is in three numbered points:
"1. I have answered this in reply to the first
He writes this because in answer to the first question
("Since the time you took the bai`at of Mirza sahib
till today what is your belief about his claim?") he
had already stated:
"I took the bai`at upon these beliefs and I still hold
these beliefs even now."
(And those beliefs are stated by him in answer to the
first question to be that: Hazrat Mirza sahib claimed
to be the coming Messiah mentioned in Hadith, who is a
muhaddas, and a muhaddas can be called prophet
metaphorically, and that Hazrat Mirza sahib wrote that
his claim was not of being a prophet but a muhaddas.)
His second point is as follows, from which the Qadiani
Jamaat has quoted incompletely:
"2. If you want to issue a fatwa about the Ahmadiyya
Jamaat Lahore, the published beliefs of the Jamaat are
before you. My personal writings of thirty years ago
have no connection with it. Give whatever fatwa you
wish about them on the basis of those beliefs."
This is a perfectly proper point. A fatwa about
members of an organisation must be based on that
organisation's declared, corporate beliefs, and not on
someone's individual writings before that organisation
came into existence.
Then comes his point (3) as follows:
"3. If it is a question of a fatwa about me
personally, then a fatwa of Kufr based on writings of
thirty year ago will not prove useful. Especially at
this time, when an exalted personality like Iqbal has
declared a man to be kafir whom just four years ago he
made the president of a Muslim committee. Sir Muhammad
Iqbal was in the forefront in making Mirza Mahmud
Ahmad president of the Kashmir committee. And the
Jamaat which he declared as a true model of Islamic
life some 16 or 17 years before that in his speech at
Aligarh, today he calls it kafir. So it is appropriate
that whatever fatwa you give, it should be based on
writings of the present day."
He is telling them: you are questioning me about my
writings of 30 years ago, while the man who has asked
you to declare us as kafir (Iqbal) believed us to be
Muslims and even good Muslims at that time, and he
believed this till even four years ago. The Anjuman
Himayat-i-Islam's campaign against Ahmadis only came
into existence because Iqbal completely reversed his
stance from considering Ahmadis as good Muslims to
declaring them as non-Muslims. This Anjuman had also
always treated Ahmadis as Muslims and made them its
committee members. So this Anjuman and Iqbal must
first explain why their belief has changed before they
can question whether Maulana Muhammad Ali changed his
So you see Maulana Muhammad Ali gave a 3 part reply:
(1) that his beliefs about Hazrat Mirza sahib's claim
were always the same; (2) that the question whether he
changed his beliefs is irrelevant in determining
whether members of the organisation A.A.I.I.L. are
Muslims or not; (3) that Anjuman Himayat-i-Islam is
not even justified in seeking an explanation from him
about previous beliefs because they regarded him and
Ahmadis as Muslims all through this time.
5. You seem to misunderstand when you write:
"You wanted a copy of Badr showing Muhammad Ali also
believed that "Ahmad" referred to the Promised
I had said that the Qadiani Jamaat, to support its
allegations, should make available the entire article
from "The Review of Religions", in each case, where he
has used the word "prophet", so that people can see in
Regarding the "Ahmad" issue, the question I am posing
is whether the following views of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad
are supported by the Promised Messiah or even
supported by the Qadiani Jamaat for the last so many
years. I quote these now from his book "Anwar-i
"I believe that the word Ahmad that occurs in the Holy
Quran is about the Promised Messiah. In proof of this,
I have arguments by the grace of God which I am
prepared to put before the scholars and learned ones
of the whole world, and even offer a reward to anyone
who can disprove my arguments. If anyone can prove
from the Holy Quran and authentic Hadith that Ahmad
was the name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, and not his
attribute, and that the signs about Ahmad given in the
Holy Quran apply to the Holy Prophet, and that the
Holy Prophet applied this prophecy to himself, I will
pay that person a monetary penalty as mutually agreed
between the two parties." (pages 18, 19)
"Now I will explain by the grace of God that in these
verses the real person meant by Ahmad is the Promised
Messiah, and the Holy Prophet Muhammad only fulfils it
because of his attribute of being Ahmad; however, the
man having the name Ahmad, to whom this news relates,
is only the Promised Messiah." (page 20)
"Hence the messenger named Ahmad, whose news is given
in this verse, cannot be the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Of
course, if all those signs of this messenger called
Ahmad had been fulfilled in his time then we could
undoubtedly say that since by the name Ahmad in this
verse is meant the messenger having the attribute of
Ahmad, why should we apply it to someone else? But
even that is not so, as I will prove later on." (page
"This prophecy contains not a single word to show that
it is about the Khatam-un-nabiyyin, nor does it
contain any other word to cause us to apply this
prophecy necessarily to the Holy Prophet Muhammad ...
There is no Hadith report of any kind, whether true or
false, weak or strong, [he mentions other types of
hadith as well here], which mentions that the Holy
Prophet Muhammad applied this verse to himself or that
he declared himself as fulfilling this prophecy. When
that is the situation, why should we apply the
prophecy to the Holy Prophet Muhammad, in
contradiction to the contents of the verse?" (page 23)
I hope you will reflect on the above. The Promised
Messiah or Maulana Muhammad Ali never wrote anything
This e-mail has been lengthy, of necessity.
Addition to above, November 13th:
The statement of the Promised Messiah quoted from Badr
March 1908 that "he was a nabi in the sense of the
word in which the former prophets were called nabis"
occurs in Mulfazat, vol. 10, p. 127. If you turn to
page 155 of the same volume, the Promised Messiah
says, referring to Hazrat Mujaddid Alif Sani, that
whoever has dreams and revelations in abundance is
called muhaddas. So he affirms being a muhaddas, while
using the word nabi about himself.
Regarding the quote from Maulana Muhammad Ali's book
History of the Prophets about who is a prophet in the
technical language of Islam ("chosen by God to deliver
His message to mankind"), that is not the only
attribute he mentions as being required of prophets.
On the next page he writes: "To every prophet was
given a book for the guidance of his people", and
quotes verses 2:213 and 57:25 in support. So this
excludes the Promised Messiah from being a prophet in
the Maulana's definition.