Discussion Contents Page
From T. Ijaz, December 9, 2003.
My rebuttal is given below. It is in no particular order in relation to the previous posts, but all is covered. Readers may want to print it out to cross check with our previous posts. MGA stands for Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Any bolding in the quotations is my own.
I-In your section, “MGA himself replaced word nabi with muhuddas”. I look at it differently. He replaced the word muhuddus with nabi! If you take these titles as interchangeable, then he is definitely a nabi, for not all muhuddases are nabi, but all nabis are muhuddases! A simple reading of the passages in context and in reference to what he wrote prior to the passages in each book will prove mere muhuddas was not meant. MGA did not intend to show that nabi should be interpreted as mere muhuddas for describing his status. Let us analyze this in detail:
The quotes are first from Haqiqatul Wahyi, p 390:
“Mujaddid Sahib Sirhindi has written that although some persons in his ummah are chosen to receive Divine revelation, till the Day of Judgment, but the man who is privileged with this revelation abundantly and has matters of the unseen revealed to him in abundance is called nabi”
This is absolutely correct, abundant revelation with knowledge given in the matters of unseen is called nabi. In Misunderstanding Removed, he said the same, revelation and knowledge in abundance is nabuwwat, and the term “muhuddas” did not do justice to his rank for it is one step down in term of quality of revelation. On the same page in Haqiqatul Wahyi, I have quoted these statements earlier and in previous postings:
“A nabi means that he will be getting the excellence of communion and communication and the matters unseen disclosed to him in such abundance that cannot be done except to a prophet. As Allah says ‘Allah does not grant anyone a full power and dominance on matters pertaining to the unknown obtainable on the basis of amplitude and clarity except in the case of His own chosen Apostle’…it is at thing established that the amplitude and abundance of communion and the volume of knowledge in regard to the unknown bestowed on me by Allah, in the last thirteen hundred years, has not been granted to anyone else…in point of amplitude of wahyi from Allah and knowledge of things in realms unknown, I am the only specific individual; before my time, in the entire of auliya, abdal, aqtab, in this ummat, no one else has been given this abundance. On this basis I am the only one singled out to be called nabi.”
Thus as Allah spoke to His chosen apostles in the past in that degree of clarity, quoting Allah himself on this, MGA reached that spiritual zenith of nabi. He was a nabi in the sense other nabis were called prophets, which is why he embodied the fulfillment of the nabi prophecy in Sahih Muslim.
Now this is the quote you present from Malfoozat, p.155:
Mujaddid Sahib Sirhindi writes, that these dreams and revelation that people have now and then if someone has them in abundance, he is called muhuddas. To sum up, I have explained this in detail in my book Haqiqatul Wahyi”.
What he meant here was not mere muhuddas at all, but truly muhuddas raised to rank of nabi. Note he is quoting Sirhindi. Sirhindi wrote nabi, not muhuddus! The terms have slightly different in meaning. Both quotations of Sirhindi cannot be right - either he wrote nabi or muhuddas and we know he wrote nabi, and is consistent with MGA’s argument that nabi conveys the sense of knowledge of unseen.
No further proof is needed, but if you read what is just above the quote of Sirhindi in Malfoozat, this proves my point without a shadow of doubt.
In the passage from Malfoozat, p 155 he wrote this just before he quoted Sirhindi:
“There are difference in dreams of ordinary people and dreams and revelations of Prophets. The dreams and revelations are distinct in terms of quantity, amplitude and nature. I do not claim to be a law-bearing prophet. I believe that has ended with the advent of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. My claim is to serve the law, with revelations, prophecies, arguments, speeches.”
Here he refers to the distinct quality and amplitude of revelations of a nabi, which is far superior to other people in the ummah who may receive revelation. He puts himself into the league of prophets, but careful to say non-law bearing. The fact that he felt the need to need make clear he was not a law-bearing prophet is a clear indication he meant a real prophethood, since a muhuddas does not bring a law anyway, and no qualification should have been needed!
So in summary, he quoted Sirhindi in Haqiqatul Wahyi, who also agreed that indeed it is supreme abundance of revelation above and beyond other righteous people that gives one the title nabi from Allah. MGA said the same in the quote from Malfoozat, that it is abundance and quality that makes one nabi and careful to point out he brought no law.
The contexts of each of the Sirhindi quotes in his two books prove only nabi was meant, not mere muhuddas. The definitive work is Haqiqatul Wahyi, where he refers people for details. Furthermore, to say he meant only muhuddus would contradict what he wrote in Misunderstanding Removed, that the term does not do justice to his rank.
Thus 1901 and beyond, you will never find MGA laying claim to only muhuddas. He insisted ‘nabi’ is the appropriate spiritual title, though an ummati.
Let me review for you and the readers the change in his own conception of spiritual status, in reference to how he compared with Jesus. I will go through this in detail, since you claim my points have been “demolished”. If you want to believe this illusion, go ahead, but I hope and pray the readers will see the points.
II-Before I delve into this let me reply to two issues you raise in your section ‘Did Promised Messiah change his claim in 1901’.
a) Let me give you information on Taryaqul Qolub. It is from 1899, though published in 1902. At the end of the book is the name Mirza Ghulam Ahmad with the year 1899. The date of publication is also mentioned in an attached note, and is 1902.
Even you will admit the text of Taryaqul Qolub has not been changed, just that the date of publication vs. date of writing as been clarified, which is not unreasonable.
b) Another misunderstanding you have is about the first few sentences of Misunderstanding Removed. What you have written is a gross distortion of facts. His book was a reply to a follower of his who mistakenly thought MGA was never called a nabi. MGA wrote:
“Some people in our movement who are not well acquainted with my claim and the arguments relating to it – not having had the occasion to study my books carefully, nor having stayed in my company for a sufficient length of time to complete their knowledge – in some instances in response to an objection of the opponents give a reply which is entirely against the facts.”
Remember, this follower of his did not even know MGA had indeed been called a nabi in revelation. That is why MGA wrote immediately following the above passage:
“The fact is that the holy and pure revelation which God vouchsafed to me contains such words nabi, rasul, not once, but hundreds of times. In the face of these revelations how can this answer be correct that such words do not appear”?
This completely undermines your take on the first few lines of Misunderstanding Removed and the meaning is not what you make it out to be. Wherever he denied that no new prophet could come meant that no new prophet bringing a shariah can come, because that was the definition of nabi he used to use.
The book Misunderstanding Removed is a dissertation that a nabi can be an ummati, and that he was nabi in the sense previous nabis were called nabis, and that “muhuddas” as a title did not do justice to his true rank and eminence, necessitating the word nabi to be used as his spiritual status, in complete reversal of his pre-1901 books.
It was in 1901 that MGA realized true breadth of his status. In his books before 1901 he denied being an actual nabi, despite revelations to this effect. He would take these revelations, out of modesty, to mean figurative only, since he believed all prophethood had come to an end, since an ummati, a follower of another prophet, could not be a prophet. That is why he wrote in 1899, (Al Hakam No 29 Vol 3):
Prophets in Islamic terminology “bring shariah or cancel some edicts of previous shariah or they are not called the followers of the preceding prophet and keep in touch with God directly without receiving any benefit from any other prophet”.
In the book Misunderstanding Removed, he now stated he was a nabi, and an ummati at the same time! A nabi in the ummah, he wrote was actually a blessing and had to happen:
“It must be borne in mind there is a pledge in favor of this ummat that it will receive all those identical blessings which the earlier prophets and siddiqs received. So, included in these favors and blessings are nabuwwats, and prophecies, on the basis of which earlier prophets came to be known and accepted as prophets”.
He was thus a prophet in the sense previous prophets were called prophets, but careful to qualify that he was an ummati.
He also wrote (Badr, 1908):
“Among the Israelites there have been several nabis to whom no law was revealed. They only announced prophecies which they received from God and which served to establish the truth and prestige of the Mosaic religion. It was these prophecies that entitled them to be called nabis. The same is the case with my mission. If I am not a nabi, what other distinctive word is there which will distinguish me from other recipients of divine revelation?”
Thus again he points out he was a nabi, but non-law bearer, and called a nabi in the sense previous non-bearing prophets of Israel were called nabis.
III-If we were not to take MGA as an actual ummati nabi who arose in the ummah of Prophet Muhammad, then one runs into difficulties when interpreting many statements of MGA before 1901, statements which otherwise would be demeaning to Islam. Let us explore this further now.
Before 1901, MGA wrote a brief commentary on the verse 4:69, which described the levels a believer may attain, by being obedient and following the best they could the example of the Holy Prophet. The blessings are nabi, salih, siddiq, and shaheed. The prayer Muslims are taught is, guide us in the path on whom thou has bestowed thy blessings (Fatiha), and these are the blessings. If an ummati can achieve the three other ranks, why not rank of nabuwwat? If ma’a means only with and not of them, a Muslim cannot be a nabi, only be in their company, cannot be truthful, but only sit in their company of truthful, etc. Thus all spiritual gifts are banned for the followers of the prophet if you take the verse to be merely “in their company”.
The Holy Prophet has said that among the followers of Moses there were persons who attained the rank muhuddus, a rank lower than prophet. Therefore, if the spiritual example and influence of the Holy Prophet can result in persons to a status no higher than muhaddas, then the Holy Prophet cannot be superior to other prophets. The distinctive merit is that the followers of the previous prophets could attain at most the status of muhuddas. The spiritual power of past prophets was no more. But the followers of the Holy Prophet can attain the status of prophet, due to the superior influence of the Holy Prophet’s example and teaching. That is what makes the Ummah of Muhammad the best of peoples.
Thus MGA wrote in The Will, page 17,18:
“The perfect follower can be called an ummati and a prophet together and this will not be a slight to the perfect prophet hood of Muhammad…when Divine communion (wahyi, revelation) reaches the stage of perfection, both in terms of quality and quantity, when it becomes free of impurities and defects, and when it clearly comprehends the Unseen, that in other words can be termed as prophethood. All the Prophets agree on this. The followers of Muslims have been described, as ‘you are the best people raised for the good of mankind.’ They have also been taught the prayer ‘Guide us on the right path, the path of those on whom Thou hast bestowed thy blessings” It is not possible that a nation which has been described thus, and which has been taught the above prayer should be entirely deprived of the status of prophethood, if so, then the ummat of Muhammad would be deemed imperfect and incomplete, with all members wandering blindly”.
Thus the four stages, the spiritual ranks of ‘those on whom Allah has bestowed his blessings” are open. The nabi would be an ummati. The nabuwwat would be continuation of Muhammad’s nabuwwat in essence, thus there is no question of breaking a seal. In relation to the Promised Messiah, all such nabis in the ummah can be called “partial zilli nabis”, though their spiritual status on their own is like the nabis of previous nations. Thus your quotes about Hazrat Umar and Hazrat Abu Bakr about their likeness to the prophets and Muhammad make sense, and your quotes pose no difficulty, and make sense in light of the above. They all shared in the zilliyat, in varying degrees of perfection.
I have already shown this in my previous postings, referring to Haqiqatul Wahyi and other books, that the perfect zilli nabi is MGA, and moreover, given the actual office – i.e., the responsibility of forming a community under direct revelation from Allah that he is the Imam of the age, and making it incumbent people accept him, etc.
On what he would do an about face later, Maulana Sahib (1908 in Badr and also in Al Hakam) wrote, “We have been ordered to offer this prayer (surah Fatiha on receiving blessings) …we stand on the point that Allah can raise prophets whenever and wherever in His wisdom He might choose to do so. Also he can confer the rank of siddiq, shaheed and salih on whomsoever He likes. The only thing needed was a sincere applicant”. Please don’t make “prophets as plural” argument. Divine blessings always remain open. He can raise prophets. Needless to say Maulana sahib would later say in Bayanul Quran that Muslims couldn’t attain spiritual height of nabi through prayer.
Another example of where MGA’s status of actual nabi helps to explain a difficult situation from a pre 1901 book will be presented:
In Izali-Auham, (page 139), he wrote:
“No rank of honor, no perfection, no respect and reverence, no nearness to the Master (God) can be attained without a complete and implicit obedience to the Holy Prophet. Just whatsoever is granted to us, it is zill and tufail”.
He is saying all Muslim believers, whatever spiritual rank they achieve, with titles like “muhuddus” or “wali”, receive that rank based on zill, a reflection of the Prophet Muhammad. Thus, the great spiritual personages in Islam are “zilli muhuddas” or “zilli walis” if you will. Similarly a nabi, the highest stage an ummati can possibly achieve, is appropriately called “zilli nabi”. To be a zilli wali or zilli muhuddas does not mean they are not real walis or muhudasses! Similarly, a zilli nabi is also a real nabi. You are thus completely off the mark when you write:
“However real an image may be, it still remains one of the images and does not become real”
May Allah protect us from such views, since your words imply no muhuddas in the ummah of Muhammad is real either!
Therefore, in summary, MGA in Misunderstanding Removed told his followers that an ummati could be nabi. Nabuwwat was a blessing, added luster to Prophet Muhammad, that nabis would appear after him, thorough obedience to him, in varying degrees of perfection, depending on their quality of reflection or zill of the Prophet Muhammad.
His previous (pre 1901) writings now made more sense once he got the status of ummati nabi, which removed inconsistencies and paradoxes.
I have more comments on zilli, later in this article.
IV-Now, on the issue of his of nabuwwat and his spiritual status, to understand the evolution of his own understanding, is best appreciated in his writings on his stance on his stature compared to Jesus who was a nabi.
First let me get something out of the way quickly. It seems bizarre to you why the Promised Messiah would wait till 1907 until someone asked him a question on his status vs. Jesus’ status. First of all, he could have addressed it in “Misunderstanding Removed”, but not everything is necessarily going to be in one book. Secondly, you are absolutely wrong about him waiting till 1907 till someone asked, since only a few months later after Misunderstanding Removed in Kishti Nuh he declared in grand terms (in 1902), that the Muslim Messiah was categorically more exalted than Jesus (Kishti Nuh, page 16).
On page 148, of Haqiqatul Wahyi, the Promised Messiah reproduced a question raised by someone:
“On page 157 of Taryaqul Qolub, a book I wrote, it was written ‘Let no one be misled to imagine that in this address I have held myself to be superior to Hazrat Masih, since this superiority is only in certain respects, and of a kind which a man, who was not a nabi could have over one who was nabi.”
Then quoting from ROR, MGA wrote he was categorically greater than Jesus, with his miracles and signs, and the entire splendor.
The Promised Messiah then proceeded to explain this contradiction raised by the questioner. If MGA made no alteration in his concept of nabuwwat, that nabi meant only muhuddas, he could have silenced the questioner with the statement again, that wherever he stated he was superior to Jesus, it was only in limited partial extent, which an ordinary man can have sometimes over a prophet. He did not give this reply! Readers should read pages 148-150 with care (on line reading is available) and after reading it these points are obvious:
He admitted that there was apparent contradiction; that his belief in regard to this own limited and partial superiority lasted only as long as he had taken Jesus for a prophet, with no question of a comparison between a nabi and another who was not a nabi, or at best only a partial nabi. But when he receive abundant wahyi to the effect he was given the rank of nabi (ummati and nabi), he had to abandon the old idea of partial superiority over Jesus. When this fact dawned on him, he had to declare he was superior to Jesus in all glory, equal to him on the point of being a nabi, but far superior to him in point of the works and signs shown at his hands. So he was certainly like Jesus, performed miracles like Jesus, but always downplayed this out of modesty, as, after all, Jesus was a prophet, and his own feats should only be seen limited and partial.
MGA was informed of this status by Divine revelation (Haqiqatul Wahyi, Page 148) He wrote:
“In the beginning I believed that I had no comparison with Jesus son of Mary; he was a prophet and one of the chosen ones of God. If there was disclosed anything indicating my superiority, I considered it as a minor and partial phase. However when God poured upon me like rain I could not keep this belief. I was clearly given the title of prophet – one respect prophet and in the other ummati.”
Thus it is clear that once he realized he was an actual nabi, in 1901, he had no hesitation in saying he was superior in rank to Jesus. His own belief of spiritual inferiority to Prophet Jesus evaporated, when revelation poured down on him that he too, was nabi. Please reflect on his words; he gradually came to realize what nabi really meant, only after persistent revelation to this effect. He formerly downplayed the term nabi as only a dictionary term, and regarded the term “nabi-ullah” in Sahih Muslim in that very restricted sense out of humility, until 1901.
What time period is “In the beginning” you ask is stated right in the quotes I just gave. It is the period when he used to think an ummati couldn’t be a prophet, i.e. before 1901. It is with publication of Misunderstanding Removed that he first spoke of him being ummati and nabi. Your quotations of him resembling Jesus are meaningless to the discussion. Of course he resembled Jesus, but always considered Jesus superior, Jesus being a prophet. Any superiority he had he took out of modesty as partial or minor since he was did not consider himself a prophet – until 1901.
Once it was clear an ummati could rise to be a prophet, an actual prophet, he declared he was superior to Jesus, equal from point of view of nabi, but superior since his signs and miracles were greater. Out of modesty, he would downplay even these feats, as partial or temporary.
Before I close this section, it is worth reviewing quotation from Haqiqatul Wahyi (p 390) again:
“It has been foretold that in this ummat of the Holy Prophet, there shall appear one who will be called Jesus Son of Mary and will be called nabi which means that he will be getting the excellence of communion and communication and the matters unseen disclosed to him with such abundance that cannot be done except to a prophet. As Allah says, ‘Allah does not grant anyone a full power and dominance on matters pertaining to the unknown obtainable on the basis of amplitude and clarity except in the case of His chosen Apostle’. And it is a thing established that the amplitude and abundance of communion and the volume of knowledge in regard to the unknown bestowed on me by Allah, in the last thirteen hundred years, has not been granted to anyone else”.
Maulana sahib has tried to show that since Jesus coming to earth, descending on a minaret is a metaphor, nabi, too is a metaphor. To keep his pet theory afloat he had to make a suggestion like this, but of course, it backfired, since the Promised Messiah was taking nabuwwat not only in the dictionary sense, but also the religious sense – saying he really attained a spiritual state and communion with Allah to a level beholden only to prophets, quoting the Quranic statement of Apostle as support, the true religious meaning.
V-In the book History of the Prophets, you brought in the issue of kitab as a way to counter my argument that Maulana sahib’s definition of a true prophet cannot fit for the Promised Messiah, since according to you, the Promised Messiah brought forth no kitab hence negating he was a prophet.
Wahyi nabuwwat with respect to new shariah is definitely closed, since according to the quote from Izala Auham (pre 1901) that you provide, Gabriel will no longer descend with a new shariah. This is the wahyi nabuwwat you are describing. But as I quoted from The Will earlier (see above), one form of wahyi nabuwwat is non-shariah. The ummati receives wahyi, can go to the perfect degree and grade that the Prophets agree is nabuwwat itself. Thus the wahyi vouchsafed to the Promised Messiah, the perfect zilli nabi, who reflects the Prophet Muhammad perfectly, is not the type that embodies a new Shariah.
Again, as your last paragraph shows, you are continually thinking of kitab as formal books, or edicts that modify an existing shariah, if not replace them altogether. I am not saying that so please don’t misrepresent me. The Promised Messiah’s revelations correcting the false beliefs, which the Muslims adopted in complete violation of Muhammad’s teachings, his words of peace and tolerance is his kitab. This broad meaning and application of the word kitab is fully in line with Maulana sahib’s own definition as set forth in the footnote in his book The Religion of Islam.
I will say this again, a person appointed directed by Allah through revelation, asked to form a community, telling people that it is incumbent to accept him, as in the hadith, “crawl to him over glaciers on your knees if you have to”, can only be a nabi.
VI-On the Anjuman H Islam issue let the readers decide. We have made our respective views clear. I should say here though I have no illusions about the nature of Iqbal. They were however right in their suspicion of doctrinal changes, which is why the writings of thirty years ago by Muhammad Ali came up. The discrepancies I have quoted in this post again.
VII-The statements of ‘calling a person a lion doesn’t make that person a lion’ of some people I have heard, or ‘a reflection of a prophet remains only that, and not real and thus MGA is not really a prophet’ or ‘he is a zill of Muhammad, but he is not really Muhammad’ is old news. It reflects your lack of understanding of zill, and an appreciation of the spiritual world-view of Islam that the Promised Messiah himself has explained. I have already shown earlier your interpretation of zill makes Islam look very poor.
In Lecture Sialkot (1904) he stated: “In respect of the establishment of a spiritual basis in human life, the Holy Prophet was the second Adam – in fact he was the only real Adam, through whose influence and endeavor all the human qualities reached the highest possible stage of development”.
Was not Adam the real Adam, the first prophet? Of course he was Adam, but in a manner of speaking he was not the real Adam in comparison to the Prophet. The fact is all prophets prior to the advent of the Prophet Muhammad were ‘ummati’ in a sense. This explains the saying of the Prophet, “Had Moses and Jesus been alive, they would be my followers”, or “I was Khatami nabiyyin before Adam was born”.
As quoted before, the only real and perfect Mahdi is Prophet Muhammad (Arba’een II). In relation to Prophet Muhammad he is only a reflection, but it does not negate MGA is a Mahdi on his own
The quotation that he is a ‘prophet by way of zill, not reality’ therefore poses no difficulty at all. The analogy is crystal clear and perfect. Your quotations on the metaphorical meaning of Son of God vs. real Son of God or real God are irrelevant, and has nothing to do with the concept of zilli in Islam, as taught by the Promised Messiah.
Also the majaz nabi equation and his strong and powerful categorical denial of actual nabi status are from pre-1901 books again. I predicted they were pre 1901, just by looking at the quotes! You quote books like, Izala Auham, Siraj Munir, and Anjami Atham, Nishan Asmani, Hujjt-ullah, Karamatus Sadiqin. One wonders why if you are debating with a person who says there was a change after 1901 in MGA’s concept of his nabuwwat, you would constantly appeal to them. MGA wrote no less than twenty-five books after 1901!
The quote from Mawab ur Rahman, “ God speaks to His auliya in this ummah. They are given the color of prophets, but they are not prophets in reality as Shariah is complete” does not present any difficulty. My commentary: he says they are not “real” as “real” in a manner of speaking, can be taken as law bearing sometimes. Since the shariah is complete, he said call them partial zilli nabis, or prophets like those of Israel, but don’t dare consider them independent, as to give them the authority to modify a shariah. No one can touch the Law brought by the only real prophet in the word, Muhammad. Compared to Muhammad, no previous prophet is even real, and compared to the Quran, no previous Book is real.
There is nothing to suggest that auliya cannot rise to the spiritual rank of prophet. MGA is just putting them, and himself, in the proper place – all are ummati, and dependent on obedience to Muhammad for any blessings. It was an expression of love for his master.
It is not out of place again to give the quote again that he was a real prophet, though in a zilli manner. In Misunderstanding Removed, he wrote:
“It must be borne in mind there is a pledge in favor of this ummat that it will receive all those identical blessings which the earlier prophets and siddiqs received. So, included in these favors and blessings are the nabuwwats, and prophecies, on the basis of which the earlier prophets came to be known as prophets”.
In Chashma-i –Marifat (page 324) he called zilli nabuwwat a type of prophethood:
“There is a kind of nabuwwat which has not come to an end; the nabuwwat which comes after the perfect obedience of the Holy Prophet Muhammad; that nabuwwat which takes light from his lamp, that nabuwwat has not ended, because really speaking, this nabuwwat is the zill of the nabuwwat of the Holy Prophet.”
He elaborates, as I have quoted before in Nozul-I-Masih, page 3, that he is only denying being a nabi in the sense of law-bearer. He is a nabi based on achieving perfect zilliyyat. He thus achieved the status of nabi in the religious sense, and he has also stated in his other works no one else in the ummah attained that rank to such perfection, and so therefore he singled out to be called nabi.
Your quote from p 89 of the same book that personages who are non-prophets receive revelation also, is straw man argumentation, since it does not negate MGA clear claim that he is above all others in the ummah, and I have not argued that people in the ummah would not get a share of zilli nabuwwat. The spiritual rank muhuddus is by zill, as is the rank of nabuwwat.
Thus the quotations you provide in your section “zilli prophethood” or “making metaphorical into real” pose no difficulty, as long as you realize the spiritual universe of Islam on attainment of blessings through obedience to the Prophet Muhammad described by the Promised Messiah, and as long as you don’t keep getting confused with terms “zilli” and “metaphor”. One can say MGA was Mahdi by way of metaphor, as he was an image of his master, but do not get confused over such terms.
That is why incidentally you don’t understand the superiority concepts; it not a question of superiority. MGA was the perfect manifestation of the name Muhammad, a zill of Muhammad, who himself was the only real prophet in a sense. All prophets came under Muhammad’s umbrella and any future prophets would attain prophethood only by obedience to him, and not independently. Thus by MGA being a zill of the prophet, through obedience to Muhammad, by being his slave to the extent of self-annihilation, he attained a reflection of the nabuwwat of Muhammad. Therefore it is fully expected he would have similarities with all the prophets.
In light of the above, once you realize the true concept of zill as conceptualized my MGA himself, your words describing zill can be looked at critically:
“The Holy Prophet was the perfect prophet, excelling earlier prophets, but still remained a prophet and was not elevated to a category beyond prophets. Similarly the Promised Messiah even being the most perfect reflection of the Holy Prophet as compared to other auliya does not go outside the category of auliya”
This is a false analogy since while there is no such thing as a category above prophets, there is a category above auliya. You have failed to realize that in the spiritual scheme of Islam the Prophet Muhammad is at the center, source lamp, and all others reflect him, with people getting as share of zilliyat. The Promised Messiah, among the righteous people in the history of Islam, among the muhuddus, was a most perfect zill and thus attained the spiritual state called nabuwwat and given the office. All spiritual gifts Muslims receive are by way of zilliyat.
VIII-In your heading “Misunderstanding of Izala Auham” let me clarify. I quoted from it only to show that prior to 1901, MGA believed that an ummati could not be a nabi at the same time. He stated the Messiah in the ummah of Muhammad could not be a prophet therefore. The term nabi should be taken as muhaddus. His response is in complete contrast what he wrote in Zameema Barahini Ahmadiyya, which I will dovetail into now, which you have been unable to refute.
The same question was posed, how could the Messiah be an ummati, and is a prophet at the same time? Remember, MGA believed also at one time, an ummati could not be a prophet. A prophet had to one to brings a Shariah, modifies a Shariah of a previous prophet, or is independent.
His response was not that the prophet arising in the ummah would be a muhuddas. It is very interesting. He states:
“The true meaning of this word (nabi) is only that he should be one who receives tidings, by means of wahyi from Allah and have communion with Allah in considerable abundance and amplitude. That he should be a bearer of a new shariah is not essential.
Thus according to MGA, nabi means to have considerable communion with Allah. It is not essential that nabi bring a Shariah. His words ‘not essential’ prove that some prophets bring Shariah, some don’t. A definition has been set down. They are real prophets. Moreover the words prove he is not speaking of muhuddus, since they, by definition bring no new law. The prophet would be an ummati and cannot be independent, as MGA claimed. His response also shows he received the nabuwwat wahyi. There is nothing poetic or metaphoric about this. Thus the Sahih Muslim hadith speaking of the term nabi arising in the ummah of the prophet is a religious term describing the spiritual state of MGA as a nabi, the perfect zilli nabi of Muhammad. The level of wahyi to such a degree, that it was beholden only to the prophets.
Your quote from Zamima Barahini Ahmadiyya that Allah speaks to his auliyya does not refute anything. All he is said was among the righteous people, the auliya, a person can arise who obtains the rank of nabi. Obviously an ummati nabi can only arise from auliya, not from among the sinners! He speaks to his people as he did in the past, and the door to his greatest gift is always open. Nowhere does he say here that nabuwwat is a poetic expression that really means sainthood. He also mentioned in Haqiqatul Wahyi, which I already quoted, that his zilliyyat to Muhammad reached such a degree of perfection that in no one else in the ummah attained it, not even one auliya, on the basis of amplitude of wahyi. He thus was given the office of nabuwwat, raised by Allah as an Imam directly - for the reformation of the world.
Having understood that ummati nabi is really nabuwwat, interpretation of the quote from Barahin Ahmadiyya you present is very easy, on the question of Jesus being nabi-ullah and how a mere muhuddas in the ummah of the prophet can deserve this title.
He repeated in essence what I have quoted earlier. He stated the term that described his status is nabi, due to quality and amplitude of his revelations. He stated he received these spiritual benefits from obedience to the prophet. It is not essential that a nabi bring a shariah, as the nabi can be ummati at the same time. Hence this is actual prophethood according to what he had clearly written earlier in the book. The door to prophethood is wide open, though it will be obtained only through obedience to the prophet. His answer is thus very clear that a muhuddas can be called a nabi, by rising to an additional notch. That is the question being asked and the answer is in the affirmative.
As further proof, MGA wrote only a few lines later that the door to prophet that is closed is only law-bearing prophethood. Again, this shows he is speaking of real prophethood, which is why he felt the phrase ‘non law bearing’ should be used to qualify the term prophethood. To say a mere muhuddus must be non- law bearing is redundant, since by definition, they bring no new law!
Of course that person will still be a muhuddus, but nabi would be the appropriate dictionary and religious term that would describe his status.
In response to a similar question pre 1901 already quoted in Izala Auham, MGA said that Jesus in his second coming would be an ummati, and therefore could not be a prophet.
“Jesus at the time of his coming would be perfect a perfect follower (ummati), he cannot be rasul, as the concepts of rasul and ummati are opposite to each other”
The concepts “ummati” and “prophet” are opposite to each other, he says in 1891. Now the quotations in Barahini Ahmadiyya are stating an ummati prophet is exactly what the Messiah is!
Your last quote from your section Barahin Ahmadiyya is a description of the spiritual universe of Islam and the blessings given to the ummah by way of zilliyat, by being obedient to the Prophet. The godly savants in ummah of Muhammad obtain a taste of it and reflect it in varying degrees of perfection. These partial zilli nabis include various saints that arose in the ummah of the prophet and some can be likened to the old Israelite prophets. However, the only perfect zilli nabi is the Promised Messiah. No one ever matched his level of zilliyat over the past thirteen hundred years in the ummah, and excelled all others in the ummah in terms of amplitude and tangible communion with Allah (Haqiqatul Wahyi).
IX-The quotation from Paigham Sulha from 1913 is claimed to be from those connected with the journal and appears to be clear indication that within Ahmadiyya community, a small fraction of people were trying to water down the real status of the Promised Messiah. Again, let the readers of our posts make up their minds. If the writing from Oct 16, 1913 does not reflect the people associated with Paigham Sulha, and the writings were indeed deemed blasphemous, then I would expect some form of retraction or statement of rebuttal regarding the persons’ views that he was out of line. Perhaps the issue published on Oct 23, 1913, if this publication was a weekly, would have given a condemnation of the specific article in reference, as that person was claiming his views reflected the people of the journal.
On February 12 1914, a few months later in Paigham Sulha, these words were published:
“What a wonderful perfection has Khatmi Risalat shown to the world. It has made the river of nabuwwat flow in the ummat. On the basis of this blessing we have achieved the foremost position, in comparison with the other ummats. What is the harm, among the followers of the Holy Prophet, if one has appeared among us as a prophet?
The allegation that Mirza Mahmud was falsely elevating the status of MGA after his death in 1910 is contradicted by the fact, four years earlier in Tashizul Azhan he stated MGA had the status of nabi, in the lifetime of the Promised Messiah and moreover Maulana Sahib wrote a glowing review of this article the very same year! Thus statement of Mirza Mahmud in 1910 refers to closing the appearance of independent prophets, but does not bar zilli nabis.
Mirza Mahmud did not write in 1906 that MGA was a simply muhuddus or mujjadid doing the work of a prophet. He presented MGA to the world as a prophet of Allah, who received revelations (wahyi) and bracketed him with other prophets mentioning Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jesus and Muhammad. Some relevant quotations are:
“Only few have accepted him, (i.e. MGA), most have rejected him. This has been the divine rule in the case of all previous nabis; and the same has been the case now”.
“Do you think that because you possess gold and jewels, or because you have a large following, or because you are a millionaire and king or a scholar or head of pious foundation or fakir – that there is no need to obey this rasul”
“In short every nation has been expecting a nabi and the time assigned for this advent is the one we are now in. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad mentioned certain signs that were to mark the advent of this nabi and in other ways made it easy for us to recognize him. Such predictions go to prove how high and great the rank is of our prophet”.
Maulana Sahib in glowing terms, endorsed the contents of the book, and said, “It has always been the way of Allah that, out of those people themselves, he raises a prophet entrusted with a mission…this has always been the way of Allah, and the same has happened in the present case”.
Thus, Maulana Sahib said in the spiritual scheme envisioned in Islam, when darkness grips the earth, and evil abounds, Allah sends a Prophet, appoints him directly for the mission at hand. The system has not changed in our time, and in the same way Allah sent the Promised Mahdi and Messiah. This is the scheme you keep asking about in your previous post. The facts cannot change.
Thus what Maulana sahib wrote in The Split, that the belief of MGA being an actual nabi was invented around 1914, is simply wrong.
You should not construe from the Maulana sahib’s 1906 ROR statement you provide that mujjadids have replaced prophets as a matter of principle. MGA was no doubt a mujjadid, but obtained the rank of nabuwwat in this particular situation. There are other statements of Maulana Sahib in ROR make it clear, beyond shadow of doubt, that MGA was an actual nabi and should not be taken as mere muhuddus. Moreover, he has already described the phenomenon of the rejuvenation of faith in 1906, where men, called prophets, are raised directly by Allah through revelation. This same phenomenon had now occurred with the case of Imam Mahdi/Messiah. His words are quoted above.
In a ROR 1908 written debate with Khwaja Ghulamussaqalain, touching on the issue of Divine protection and help, Maulana sahib wrote at length on the issue of the nabuwwat of MGA. Maulana sahib again presented MGA as a true prophet, with the consequent Divine help accorded to him, as compared him to those who were not prophets, mentioning the khalifas of the Prophet Muhammad among others. He presented MGA as a nabi, and bracketed him with Jesus. He actually stated it was irrelevant for Khwaja sahib to compare a prophet, like MGA with non-prophets like the khalifas or companions of the prophet. Nowhere did he say MGA was merely a muhuddas. (ROR, Vol 4,5, Nazir sahib in Truth Prevails, has given the details on this).
X-You are continuing to ignore what I have written in response to the writing of Sadiq sahib and Maulvi Nurrudin’s clear clarification. Sadiq sahib was trying to broach the subject with a non-Ahmadi, of course very sensitive about the orthodox concept of last prophet. He allayed the fears of Maulvi Shilbi by saying nabi means in the dictionary sense someone who gives prophecies and abundant and high quality revelations. Sadiq stated that this ummah would receive this gift by a person being obedient to the prophet, i.e. ummati nabi. MGA had already explained in his writings that by being a perfect reflection of Prophet Muhammad, the perfect zilli is not an independent prophet. The nabuwwat is not a separate entity. He reproduced a letter from Maulvi Nurrudin Sahib in support of his claim:
“The dictionary meaning of the word nabi, we believe is, one who gives good news having received knowledge beforehand by God, not one who gives a Shariah”.
Thus he was only countering the idea that the Promised Messiah was an independent prophet, with a shariah, not ummati prophethood who by definition would not bring a sharia. The dictionary meaning as applied to the Promised Messiah, definitely embodied the religious meaning according the clear words of Nurrudin sahib. Otherwise why would he have to specifically say “not one who brings a shariah”? This proves he is talking about real prophethood. Therefore what Sadiq sahib really meant was in light of what Maulvi Nurrudin sahib wrote, MGA was not a new prophet at all since he was follower of the previous one, and received blessings by being obedient to Prophet Muhammad. Thus the seal of Prophethood was not broken by his appearance. He was an ummati nabi and thus did not own his own nabuwwat. Maulvi Shilbi, not understanding the true concept of zill, and confusing it with metaphor, wondered why call MGA a prophet at all? Why invite people to accept MGA cloaked in terms “nabi” and “rasul”? Such appellations would upset people.
Mufti Sahib rightly responded by saying Ahmadis do not state MGA is a prophet in the formal pledge form, and no Ahmadis preach to non-Ahmadis for them to accept MGA as a prophet. This is actually right. The Promised Messiah was an ummati – an Imam from his people, the Mahdi and Messiah. This is how to invite people. While nabuwwat is certainly implied in the description of the office of Messiah/Mahdi, no Ahmadi goes around preaching to non-Ahmadis that the prophet of the age has arrived, so now accept him! Ahmadis preach MGA is the Promised Messiah and Mahdi. To preach prophethood is the wrong emphasis, which can lead to misunderstanding despite the fact he held that spiritual level based on quality and amplitude of revelation he received. The word ummati must be used as a qualifier. What he meant was Ahmadis are not in any way replacing Muhammad’s nabuwwat with Ahmad’s nabuwwat; this is purely wrong conceptualization against the teaching of Islam and the Promised Messiah himself.
Also, to say Maulvi Nurrudin sahib called MGA only a “mujjadid” in the letter and therefore concluding he did not believe MGA was a nabi is absurd on the face of it. Maulvi Nurrudin did not mention in the letter MGA was the Mahdi and Messiah either, the most important titles - so was he denying that status of MGA too and calling him a mere mujjadid? On the other hand his words clearly show he regarded the Promised Messiah as a non-law bearing prophet, as given above.
Though one could accuse Mufti Muhammad Sadiq sahib of being vague, and should have elaborated more, MGA has written quite clearly that the term nabi for him is not to be used only in the dictionary sense, but also in the religious sense, and he was a nabi in the sense previous nabis were called nabi. I have given many quotes earlier. Here is another (Tajalliat-Ilahia), 1906, p 26:
“As far as I can see, nabi is he alone on whom God descends in a manner beyond all doubt, and descends in considerable volume, embracing a knowledge of things beyond the ken of men. This is how God named me nabi.
The words “nabi is he alone” proves a definition has been given as definitive and conclusive. Under this complete and conclusive definition of nabi, the Promised Messiah said he was nabi.
Sadiq sahib’s statement is greatly clarified in light of Maulvi Nurrudin’s letter, and historical facts subsequently further clarify this. In response to the dubious elements in Sadiq sahib’s letter, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, delivered speeches on the spiritual station of MGA, in 1911. Some quotes from his speech as published in Badr, Jan 11:
“Whoever considers even a single word of the Promised Messiah to be false is rejected of God, because God does not keep any of His Nabis in error till the time of his death”
Referring to the difference between Ahmadis and non-Ahmadis: “ I have seen two dealers trafficking in the same article, each averaging with reference to his own goods. ‘Sir, my goods are of a special quality’. But in your case you may even point to an obvious difference between the two parties. Nevertheless, there are those among you who will say ‘No, no there is no difference’ What, is it no difference that you follow a Nabi whereas the other party rejects that Nabi’.”
“Even so, one Nabi came to us from God. If we follow him we shall be the recipients of the same rewards which were promised to the companions of the Holy Prophet”.
Maulana Muhammad Ali and others who would later form the Lahore faction were in the audience, and there is no absolutely no historical evidence they had objections.
Thus, Mufti Muhammad Sadiq Sahib, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad Sahib, Maulvi Nurrudin Sahib, and Maulvi Muhammad Ali Sahib were all on the same page in regards to the spiritual status of MGA in 1911, and for that matter in 1906 in the lifetime of the Promised Messiah as previously shown.
XI-On the Ahmad prophecy, Maulana Sahib in his Quran commentary made no mention Ahmad of the Quran can apply to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Needless to say he changed his views. He wrote in Qadian:
“Who is Mirza Ghulam Ahmad? In words of the Holy Quran we will reply ‘He will come after me, his name will be Ahmad” (ROR Vol 12 No 7 p 236).
The statement is completely in line with MGA himself wrote (Al Hakam Oct 17, 1905 page 10):
“These people inquire again and again where in the Holy Quran has the name been mentioned. They do not seem aware that Allah has named me Ahmad. The pledge of Bai-at is taken in the name of Ahmad. Is not this name found in the Quran?
Also in Ijaz-ul Masih, (chapter II, page 22-3):
“Isa has pointed out to the people coming later to join the ranks of the companions of the Holy Prophet with their Imam quite clearly identified by the name Ahmad”.
In Maulana Sahib’s book The Split, he categorically denied ‘Ahmad’ referred to the Promised Messiah.
“The mention of the word rasul in the prophecy in the Quran clearly points to the fact that it contains a reference to the prophecy of Paraclete, and not to the second advent of Jesus (page 40).”
He also goes on to write that since a rasul is mentioned, and prophethood has definitely closed, the prophecy can only apply to prophet Muhammad since there can be is no messenger after him. He also insisted, that the Quran words quoting Jesus giving glad tidings of ‘a messenger who will come after me’, means the next one immediately after, and thus can only apply to Muhammad, since he is the one who came right after him, whereas MGA appeared a long time later.
His book from 1918 flatly contradicts his previous words from Review of Religions and the words of the Promised Messiah himself years earlier. Remember my “books from thirty years ago are off the table” statement. Not a good showing, considering he calls the topic of “Ahmad” in the Quran the single most important issue as according to him it is misinterpretation of this verse, that partially lead to the false elevation of MGA’s status. This is yet more proof that Muhammad Ali and all others in the Lahore faction demoted the status of the Promised Messiah from nabi to mere muhuddus.
What were Mirza Mahmud Ahmad’s thoughts on the subject? In his first book he wrote after he became khalifa:
“From these quotations you must have seen that the Promised Messiah has applied this prophecy to himself. Now remains the question why has he applied it to the Holy Prophet as well? The answer is whatever prophecies are to be met with, in regard to the rise and progress of this ummat, in the first place, they apply primarily to him…thus the Holy Prophet is Ahmad, on whom the prophecy was fulfilled in the first instance (Qaule Faisal, page 29).
Thus in a direct fashion the arrival of Promised Messiah, named Ahmad, fulfilled the prophecy, as he himself wrote. As he was only a zill of the Prophet Muhammad, his nabuwwat not even being separate or independent, the root of the implication of the prophecy is Muhammad, again being a spiritual re-appearance of Muhammad. The negation of the prophecy applied to Muhammad you see written in Mirza Mahmud’s book, Anwari Khilafat goes strictly to the length that the prophecy applied to him in a manner which could be described as other than implied, since the prophecy fits the Promised Messiah more directly.
Personally, (and I have never seen this written anywhere before) his very name Ghulam Ahmad is a miracle and prophecy. His personal surname is Ahmad, but yet is also Ghulam of Ahmad, i.e. his servant!
XII-In the section “implication of believing in Promised Messiah as a nabi”, and what is means for a Muslim to reject his claim can be discussed as a separate thread if you wish. It should be discussed thoroughly. Please see my writing above on the ramifications of the view Promised Messiah was not a nabi; for the ummat of Muhammad never to have an ummati nabi is degrading Islam.
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