From Zahid Aziz, 5th January 2004
I. (Your pages 1 to 2)
The whole of your point (I) hinges on your following claim:
“Note he is quoting Sirhindi. Sirhindi wrote nabi, not muhuddus! … 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.” (your page 2)
Please refer to Izala Auham, p. 915 (RK, v. 3, p. 600-601) where the Promised Messiah quotes the actual Arabic wording used by Mujaddid Alif Sani, and refers to his original book by name, volume and page. That wording says Muhaddas. Then again in Tuhfa Baghdad, footnote p. 21 (RK, v. 7, p. 28) the Promised Messiah reproduces the same quotation verbatim, and of course it says Muhaddas. Friedmann also refers to the same words of Mujaddid Alif Sani as: “Those to whom Allah frequently speaks face to face are the muhaddathun.” (Prophecy Continuous, p. 90).
He has used nabi in Haqiqat-ul-Wahy because he is referring to the Hadith about the coming Messiah where the word nabi is used:
“There is a prophecy in Hadith that a man will be born among the followers of the Holy Prophet, who will be called Jesus and the son of Mary and called by the name nabi.”
The Promised Messiah knew for certain that the Mujaddid Alif Sani had written muhaddas, and he confirmed it again several months after publishing Haqiqat-ul-Wahy. Therefore by using nabi here in place of muhaddas he is showing that nabi in this hadith is also used in the sense in which we may call a muhaddas as nabi.
To find an occurrence of the word muhaddas, just turn back one page only in Haqiqat-ul-Wahy, p. 389, footnote. Referring to why some of his prophecies about the death of certain persons were not fulfilled, he writes:
“The tribulation about which Allah gives information through a nabi or rasul or muhaddas, that tribulation is more worthy of being cancelled than a tribulation about which no information is revealed [by Allah].”
This is clear testimony that his revelations were of the kind that is common to nabi, rasul and muhaddas. That type, which is common to muhaddas and nabi, is wahy wilayat which the Promised Messiah affirmed as receiving, as opposed to wahy nubuwwat.
Receiving more revelations than previous saints of the Umma, and thus being the only one to be mentioned as nabi in the prophecy in Hadith, still does not take him out of the category of saints. The Promised Messiah has given another reason why previous saints were not called nabi. It is as follows:
“As the Holy Prophet Muhammad was the Khatam-ul-anbiya and after him no prophet was to come, so if all the khalifas had been called by the title nabi then the finality of prophethood would have become doubtful. But if not even one person had been called by the title nabi, the objection would remain as to the lack of similarity, as the khalifas of Moses were prophets. Therefore Divine wisdom required that, first, many khalifas be sent, having regard for the finality of prophethood, and they not be called nabi and given this rank so that it would be a proof of the finality of prophethood. Then the last khalifa, that is to say the Promised Messiah, would be called by the title nabi so that in the matter of khilafat the similarity of the two systems is established.” (Tazkirat-ush-Shahadatain, RK, vol. 20, p. 45)
In a talk in April 1903, the Promised Messiah also explained the same point:
“Thousands of persons in the Umma of the Holy Prophet Muhammad received the rank of prophethood, and the effects and blessings of prophethood were found in them, but they were not openly given the title nabi only because of the dignity of the prophethood of the Holy Prophet Muhammad and because of the ending of prophethood … For thirteen hundred years the word ‘prophet’ was not applied because of respect for the dignity of the Holy Prophet’s prophethood, and after this, because a long time had now passed and people were firmly established on the belief that the Holy Prophet Muhammad is the Khatam-ul-anbiya, so if someone is given the title ‘prophet’ it does not go against the dignity of the Holy Prophet. … Although the attribute of prophethood and the lights of prophethood existed, and it was right that these persons should be called ‘prophet’ but that title was not given to them out of respect for the greatness of the prophethood of the Khatam-ul-anbiya. But now, in the last days, this fear did not remain, so the Promised Messiah was called nabi-ullah.” (Promised Messiah’s talk on evening of 14th April and morning of 15th April 1903. Malfuzat, v. 5, pages 344–345, 349, 350, 351; bolding is mine.)
So a reason for previous saints not being called nabi in Hadith (but as wali, khalifa, etc.) was to firmly establish the idea among Muslims that the Holy Prophet was the final prophet. After that idea had been firmly rooted for 1300 years, then the use of nabi for one person cannot create the misunderstanding that he is a real prophet. That is what the Promised Messiah has said here.
You write: “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.” (your page 2, bottom)
He used the word nabi along with muhaddas in his earliest books:
“There is no doubt that this humble one has come from God as a muhaddas for this Umma and a muhaddas is in one sense a nabi, … for he is spoken to by God and matters of the unseen are manifested to him.” (Tauzih Maram, p. 18; RK, v. 3, p. 60)
“… a nabi who obtains light from the lamp of the prophethood of Muhammad and does not possess perfect prophethood, who is in other words also called muhaddas,…” (Izala Auham, p. 575; RK, v. 3, p. 410)
An ummati who can be called nabi has been explained by him to be a muhaddas:
“So the fact that he (the Messiah to come) has been called an ummati as well as nabi indicates that the qualities of both discipleship and prophethood will be found in him, as it is essential for both of these to be found in a muhaddas. The possessor of full prophethood, however, has only the quality of prophethood. To conclude, muhaddasiyyat is coloured with both colours. For this reason, in Barahin Ahmadiyya too, God named this humble one as ummati and as nabi.” (Izala Auham, p. 533; RK, v. 3, p. 386)
In Hamamat-ul-Bushra (1893) he discusses at great length that “the muhaddas is potentially a prophet, and if the door of prophethood were not closed, he would be actually a prophet” (RK, v. 7, p. 301).
II. (Your pages 3 to 6)
a) Regarding Tiryaq-ul-Qulub this book is signed off on page 160 by the Promised Messiah with the date “25 October 1902”. His statement that his superiority over Jesus “is only in certain respects, and of a kind which a non-prophet can have over a prophet” (which you consider cancelled) occurs right in the last lines of page 157. The explanation given by your Jama‘at (see RK, v. 15, introduction, p. 8-10) is that up to page 158 it had been written in 1899, and in October 1902 just the two pages 159 and 160 were added before publication.
Now the last topic discussed is “Sign 75” which begins on page 154 and runs continuously and smoothly to page 160. If your explanation is right then when he resumed writing and started writing pages 159-160 in October 1902 (3 years after writing pages 157-158) he must have read the preceding pages, including page 157, in order to continue the same topic. If the statement at the end of page 157 no longer reflected his status, he would definitely have noted this fact.
Moreover, it so happens that on page 160 he mentions that in his first book Barahin Ahmadiyya he had expressed his belief that Jesus would return in person but “God with His continuous revelation declared this belief as wrong and told me that I am the Promised Messiah”. If he can mention this correction in his belief, then one certainly expects that he would mention that another of his beliefs, which he expressed only 2 pages earlier, has changed to something different.
This establishes conclusively that in October 1902 the Promised Messiah regarded the statement on page 157 as valid and correct. Mirza Mahmud Ahmad himself first considered, in his book Al-qaul-ul-fasl, published January 1915, that the change of claim took place after October 1902. You have quoted Al-qaul-ul-fasl in connection with the ‘Ahmad’ prophecy. Mirza Mahmud Ahmad also wrote in it:
“Till the publication of Tiryaq-ul-Qulub, which began in August 1899 and finished in October 1902, his belief was that he had partial superiority over Jesus … Therefore it is absolutely unallowable to use as evidence any writing before 1902 because the Promised Messiah has given the decision that the belief he expressed in Tiryaq-ul-Qulub about prophethood, later revelation made him change it.” (p. 24)
This statement makes Ayk Ghalati Ka Izala as one of those books where his ‘old’ claim is still expressed! On the other hand, if Ayk Ghalati Ka Izala is taken as the “first announcement of change in claim” then Tiryaq-ul-Qulub (including page 157 containing the cancelled belief) becomes a book where the ‘new’ claim is expressed. This is the tangle that you and your Jamaat have got into.
b) What you have said about the mistake of the follower mentioned in the opening lines of Ayk Ghalati Ka Izala is truly remarkable and amazing because that is our stand-point which we, the Lahore Ahmadis, have been puting to your Jamaat since the Split! You have accepted our explanation as against the explanation of your Jama‘at! You write so beautifully:
“His book was a reply to a follower of his who mistakenly thought MGA was never called a nabi.” (Your page 3; bolding is yours)
Yes, that’s right! I was making my point with reference to the standpoint of your Jama‘at as presented by Mirza Mahmud Ahmad that:
“He announced that he was a prophet and as to the man who denied that he was a prophet he reprimanded him, saying: As I am a prophet, why did you deny my prophethood?” (Haqiqat-un-nubuwwah, p. 124)
Your Jama‘at has always been telling people that the Promised Messiah wrote this booklet when a follower mistakenly denied that he claimed to be a prophet, so he wrote it to correct him and say that he does claim to be a prophet. We have always been replying that the mistake of the follower was to deny that the word nabi had ever occurred about the Promised Messiah, and that it is this error, i.e. denial of the occurrence of the word nabi, that he is correcting. So I want to thank you for agreeing with our view through your own study.
But the point remains that if the Promised Messiah is announcing what you have called a “complete reversal of his pre-1901 books” (your page 3), then how can he refer any follower to his previous books? Even those followers who had read and understood his previous books fully, and knew well that he had been called nabi, would have been giving wrong answers to the opponents, because according to you he had been denying being a prophet due to using an incorrect definition of ‘prophet’. Therefore, as I said in my last response, it is totally absurd for the Promised Messiah to reprimand some of his followers for not reading his previous books on this issue carefully when he himself is the one who is announcing that his previous stance was wrong.
There is no statement in Ayk Ghalati Ka Izala to the effect that he had been wrong about his claim. There is no statement that his previous definition of ‘prophet’ was wrong. It is a “dissertation” on the fact that as one of those persons who are burooz and zill of the Holy Prophet he is not himself a prophet:
“And as, in the sense of reflection (zill), I am Muhammad, the seal of Khatam an-nabiyyin does not break because the prophethood of Muhammad remained limited to Muhammad. In other words, Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him, is the Prophet and no one else. … However, it is possible that the Holy Prophet, not only once but a thousand times, come into the world in the sense of burooz and express his prophethood in the manner of burooz along with his other qualities. And this particular burooz was a confirmed promise from God … My own self does not come into it, but that of the Holy Prophet Muhammad … So prophethood and messengership did not go to another person. What belonged to Muhammad remained with Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.”
You say: “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,…” (your page 4)
He never wrote that he realized his true status in 1901 and denied being a nabi before that despite revelations. “Modesty” did not prevent him from claiming to be Promised Messiah, the second coming of Jesus, Mahdi, and recipient of revelations calling him nabi and rasul.
Two examples of his challenges about his revelation before 1901
1. In 1897 he issued a challenge to his leading Muslim opponents for mubahila, and in this challenge he quoted at length his revelations and offered to invoke God’s punishment upon himself in case of falsely claiming that these revelations were from God. He also declared in this challenge that it was a calumny against him to allege that he was claiming prophethood. He announced his own status in it as follows: “God has bestowed upon me the privilege of revelation and communication and made me mujaddid of this fourteenth century. Every mujaddid is appointed for a particular mission according to the conditions of his time.” He then went on to say that according to his assigned mission for his time, he was the Promised Messiah. (See Anjam Atham, RK, v. 11, p. 45 onwards)
Such a mubahila would be purposeless and ridiculous if he is wrongly presenting his own claim, wrongly interpreting his status in the revelations that he is putting forward, and denying his true status of prophethood. A victory for him in the mubahila would prove that he was true in putting forward the wrong status for himself!
2. In the year 1900 he challenged his opponents that as he had been claiming revelation for more than 23 years this proves his claim to be true because a false claimant to revelation cannot survive for a period equal to the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s period of prophethood without being destroyed (See Arba‘in, RK, v. 17, p. 386 onwards). Again, it is astonishing that while this length of time of revelation was sufficient to prove conclusively that he must be a true claimant, yet in this same length of time he did not correctly interpret the status that those revelations were bestowing upon him!
In view of the points (1) and (2) above, it is quite incredible that he is issuing challenges to his opponents about the truth of his revelations and yet he himself is unaware of what status the revelations are bestowing upon him.
Your quotation that “this ummat will receive all those identical blessings which the earlier prophets and siddiqs received” is the same as what he had written previously:
“The Holy Quran in the Sura Fatiha gives us the hope of becoming the likes of prophets. God exhorts us to pray to Him five times a day and beseech Him as follows: ‘Guide us on the right path, the path of those upon whom You have bestowed favours’, meaning O God, grant us the guidance so that we may become the like of Adam, … the like of Jesus, and the like of Ahmad mujtaba Muhammad mustafa habib-ullah, and be the like of every siddiq and shaheed of the world.” (Izala Auham, p. 257; RK, v. 3, p. 229)
“He also wrote (Badr, 1908):” (Your page 4)
Badr reported his talks; he did not write in it. As to the Israelite prophets mentioned by him, to whom no book was revealed, he wrote in great detail in Shahadat-ul-Quran that corresponding to these prophets there come mujaddids among Muslims:
“…the critic does not understand that mujaddids and spiritual khalifas are needed by this Umma in the same way as were the prophets required from ancient times. … No one can deny that Moses was a prophet and messenger, and his Torah was complete as the teaching for the Israelite people. … but despite this, after the Torah there came hundreds of prophets among the Israelites who brought no new book with them. Rather, the object of the advent of those prophets was to draw towards the real spirit of the Torah the people of their times. …” (RK, v. 6, p. 340 onwards)
“If it is said that in the Mosaic order those who were raised for the support of the faith were prophets, and Jesus was also a prophet, the reply is that the nabi and the muhaddas are on a par in terms of being sent (mursal). … As our Holy Prophet Muhammad is the khatam al-anbiya, and after him there cannot come any prophet, for this reason muhaddases have been substituted for prophets in this religious system.” (p. 323-324)
III. (Your page 4 to 6)
The Promised Messiah always wrote the same about verse 4:69, that it means that a believer should try to obtain the qualities found in those who were prophets, siddiq, shaheed and salih. In Haqiqat-ul-Wahy he writes that the prayer in Sura Fatiha means:
“O our God, give us the qualities of all the prophets and messengers and siddiq and salih that have passed away before us” (p. 152, RK, v. 22, p. 156).
“O our God, make us walk on the path of prophets and messengers upon whom You bestowed favours” (p. 131, RK, v. 22, p. 134).
“This just means that, for our spiritual progress and for the good of humanity, we seek from God four kinds of sign in the form of four attainments: the distinctive quality of prophets, of those who are siddiq, of those who are shaheed, and of those are salih. …A person can only sanctify God when he continues to ask God for these four kinds of sign.” (Tiryaq-ul-Qulub; RK, v. 15, p. 515)
“…whenever Almighty God, out of His great grace, bestows upon some person the robe and status of sainthood, He grants him clear distinction over his peers and his contemporaries in all of four things. … This verse [1:5-6] has been explained at the other place in the Holy Quran [4:69] where it is made clear that by those upon whom God has bestowed favours are meant the prophets, the siddiq, the shaheed, and the salih. The perfect man has all of these four qualities combined in him.” (ibid., p. 417)
Everywhere he has explained that these are four qualities, all of which we must try to acquire. Nowhere does the Promised Messiah say that before 1901 he believed that a Muslim could only become siddiq, shaheed and salih but after 1901 he came to believe that a Muslim could also become a prophet. Regarding your statement:
“If an ummati can achieve the three other ranks, why not rank of nabuwwat?”
I quote below the statement of Maulvi Sayyid Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi, one of the greatest companions of the Promised Messiah, in a famous debate with anti-Ahmadiyya Ulama held in June 1909 known as Mubahasa Rampur. An official delegation of Ahmadi scholars, under his leadership, was sent to this debate. An account of the debate was published in book-form in December 1909. Presenting this verse, he stated:
“It is established from the consensus of the Ulama of this Umma that in this ‘Best of the nations’ the groups of Siddiq, Shaheed and Salih existed before, still exist and will continue to exist in the future. Therefore, in exactly the same way, there have been prophets and there will continue to be prophets, by which are meant those perfect members of this Umma who receive revelation and visions in abundance. Accordingly, in this Umma which is the ‘Best of the nations’ there have been plenty of such recipients of revelation and will continue to be in the future.” (p. 70)
Without the least doubt he is speaking of the saints of this Umma as those who can be called ‘prophets’ under this verse. Also note that the topic of this section of the debate is entitled:
“Debate on partial prophethood (nubuwwat juzwi) in obedience to full prophethood (nubuwwat kulli)” (p. 57)
This heading clearly shows that the ‘prophethood’ spoken of here is muhaddasiyyat.
Your next statement is:
“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.” (your page 5)
This is absolutely opposed to what the Promised Messiah writes in Haqiqat-ul-Wahy as follows:
“Leaving aside the prophets, if we look at the rest of the Israelites we find that they had very little of righteousness and goodness, and the followers of Moses and Jesus were generally devoid of the existence of auliya” (p. 97; RK, v. 22, p. 100).
“Apart from the Israelite prophets most other followers of Moses were deficient. As to prophets, they did not gain anything from Moses but were made prophets directly. However, in the Umma of Muhammad thousands of people became saints merely by following him.” (p. 28, RK, v. 22, p. 30)
It is the thousands of auliya that make the Muslim Umma superior. Just having one prophet in 1300 years (and now, of course, 1400 years) through following the Holy Prophet, as compared to none among the Israelites by following Moses, cannot be called any great superiority.
You write in the same paragraph: “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.” While talking about followers, you can show only one follower who became a prophet, and you claim that he is the only one singled out to be called nabi in 1300 years. Moreover, as the Qadiani belief is that the khilafat in their Jama‘at will last forever, it would seem that no prophet can come in the future, and not even members of your Jama‘at should be able to become prophets despite the fact that they claim to obey two prophets (the Holy Prophet Muhammad and Hazrat Mirza sahib) as well as obeying the khalifa of the time.
Next you quote from The Will (your page 5), but you ignore the text both before and after your quotation. Before it, he writes:
“There remains no need to follow separately all the prophethoods and all the books which have gone before, because the prophethood of the Holy Prophet Muhammad includes and encompasses them all, and other than it all paths are closed. All truths which lead to God are contained within it. Neither shall any new truth come after it, nor was there any previous truth which is not to be found in it. Therefore, with this prophethood have all prophethoods ended, and so it ought to have been, because whatever has a beginning has also an end.” (RK, v. 20, p. 311)
It is after making clear that prophethood has ended that he goes on to speak of the gift of revelation continuing. Moreover, he says that no new religious truth, not just new law or Shariah, can come after the Holy Prophet Muhammad.
Just a little after the extract you have quoted he goes on write:
“God bestowed the honour of His full, perfect, pure and holy, communication and revelation upon some such persons as had reached the stage of fana fir-rasul to the highest degree, so that there remained no separation. The concept of ummati and the meaning of following was found in them to completion and perfection, so that their very being did not remain their own selves, but rather, the person of the Holy Prophet Muhammad was reflected in the mirror of their state of engrossment. On the other hand, they received Divine communication and revelation in the fullest and most perfect sense like prophets. So in this way, some persons, despite being ummati, received the title of nabi.” (p. 312)
Here he is clearly speaking of several persons among Muslims as receiving “full, perfect” revelation, reaching the stage of following “to the highest degree”, and receiving the title nabi. These were the great auliya and mujaddids of the Muslims.
Then regarding Hazrat Abu Bakr and Umar you say: “They all shared in the zilliyat, in varying degrees of perfection … the perfect zilli nabi is MGA” (your page 5). But the Promised Messiah writes:
“We also believe that those righteous and perfect persons who, by having the privilege of the company of the Holy Prophet, reached the completion of their spiritual path, if we have any accomplishments like their accomplishments then we have them by way of zill. And included in those are certain partial excellences which we certainly can never attain now.” (Izala Auham, p. 138; RK, vol. 3, p. 170)
“It is a matter of sufficient pride for me that I am their eulogist and the dust of their feet. The aspects of excellence that God bestowed upon them cannot be attained by any person till the end of the world. The Holy Prophet Muhammad cannot be born again into the world so that anyone could get the opportunity of service that the Shaikhain had.” (Al-Hakam, August 1899; Malfuzat, v. 1, p. 326)
Some qualities of the Companions of the Holy Prophet are unattainable forever.
You then claim that the Promised Messiah was given “the actual office” of prophet, “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.” (Your page 5, bottom)
But the Promised Messiah started acting on the revelation to form a community in 1888, even before he claimed to be Promised Messiah, and 13 years before he claimed to be a prophet according to you. He gave the Movement the name ‘Ahmadiyya’ in November 1900, a full one year before claiming to be a prophet according to you. So he didn’t regard his work of forming a community and having people enter into his bai‘at, as due to being a prophet! As to “making it incumbent people accept him”, you have to clarify how incumbent? Is it as incumbent as accepting the Holy Prophet Muhammad or as incumbent as accepting a true leader of the Muslims who is preaching and defending Islam?
You go on to say, regarding the claim that 4:69 allows a Muslim to become a prophet: “Please don’t make “prophets as plural” argument. Divine blessings always remain open. He can raise prophets.” (your page 6, top).
I don’t need to make the “prophets as plural” argument, since a man of the high calibre and standing of Maulana Sayyid Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi presented the same argument to Maulvi Sanaullah Amritsari at the Rampur debate, as quoted above. While you say that Allah can raise prophets, your Jama‘at doesn’t believe that any prophets came before the Promised Messiah nor that any will come after him, because they claim that their khilafat or qudrat-i saniyya will last forever.
It is interesting that you quote from Izala Auham (p. 139), because my quotation above is also from the same passage where he says that we cannot attain certain qualities of the Companions of the Holy Prophet.
Your terms Zilli muhaddas, zilli wali? (your page 6, from middle)
I am certainly not aware of these terms in any book or statement of the Promised Messiah. If you have come across them in his books, please do let me know where. As far as I can see, you first coin these terms yourself, and then say that as these are also real walis therefore zilli means real! A wali becomes a zill, or image and reflection, of prophets. He is not a “zilli wali” but known as a prophet by way of zill or zilli prophet. As the Promised Messiah wrote:
“There have been hundreds of persons in whom the essence of Muhammad was established, and with God they had the names Muhammad and Ahmad by way of reflection (zill).” (A’inah Kamalat Islam, p. 346; RK, v. 5, p. 346)
They were zilli Muhammad and Ahmad, not zilli wali. And as quoted above:
“it is possible that the Holy Prophet, not only once but a thousand times, come into the world in the sense of burooz and express his prophethood in the manner of burooz along with his other qualities.” (Ayk Ghalati Ka Izala)
They are prophets by way of burooz or buroozi prophets.
You write (your page 6, bottom):
“His previous (pre 1901) writings now made more sense once he got the status of ummati nabi, which removed inconsistencies and paradoxes.”
So you say that during the ten years 1891-1901 when he was explaining his claims in detail, his writings contained “inconsistencies and paradoxes” and to some extent did not make sense as regards his own status! Yet no learned follower questioned him during this period, asking him about these “inconsistencies and paradoxes”. Moreover, when he first announced the removal of these “inconsistencies and paradoxes” by publishing Ayk Ghalati Ka Izala he began this pamphlet by criticising a follower for not reading those inconsistent writings with full care and making mistakes as a result!
In his book Ijaz-i Ahmadi, published in November 1902, the Promised Messiah answers the objection that since a Divine appointee can misinterpret the prophecies revealed to him, can he also misunderstand his claim?
“They also say that since some prophecies are untrue or there is error of judgment regarding them, then how can we rely on the claim to be Messiah. Perhaps that is also wrong. … Some think that if there is error in understanding a revelation, then all credibility is lost and doubt arises that that nabi or rasul or muhaddas may also have misunderstood his claim. This notion is fallacious …” (RK, v. 19, p. 131, 132-133)
Then, mentioning the errors of interpretation made by Jesus regarding his prophecies, he writes:
“The fact is that the faith which is established in a prophet’s heart about his prophethood is based on proofs that shine like the sun and are of such frequent occurrence that that matter is very plain. … Prophets and messengers are shown their claim and their teachings very closely, with so much repetition that no doubt is left, but some secondary matters not related to important objectives are seen from afar by the spiritual eye, with no repetition. Therefore errors are sometimes made in identifying them. The misunderstandings of Jesus about his prophecies were of this kind. But he was never under a misconception regarding his claim to prophethood because he was shown the reality of prophethood from close at hand and repeatedly.” (ibid., p. 135-136)
As he writes, it is not possible that a “nabi or rasul or muhaddas” may have misconceptions about his own claim. This principle rules out entirely that he himself misunderstood his claim for ten years as that of muhaddas instead of prophet.
IV. (Your page 7 to 9)
You have misunderstood what I described as “bizarre”. Please read again. What is bizarre is that when the change allegedly occurred he did not mention it. The only evidence your Jama‘at presents, where he mentioned changing his claim from non-prophet to prophet, is the answer in Haqiqat-ul-Wahy, p. 148, published May 1907. Before that time, no one had read anywhere from him that he had changed his claim from non-prophet to prophet.
As to this question and answer, please note the following points:
1. What the questioner calls as later statements in ROR were actually published some months before the passage from Tiryaq-ul-Qulub which they are supposed to abrogate! He is asking: You first wrote this in Tiryaq-ul-Qulub, p. 157 (the book in which page 160 bears the date October 1902), then you wrote something different in ROR, June 1902. So the question does not make sense if taken at its face value.
2. The same questioner in question 6 (page 163, RK, v. 22, p. 167) asks about another contradiction with Tiryaq-ul-Qulub as follows:
“There is a contradiction between this statement and the earlier books. First you wrote in Tiryaq-ul-Qulub that no one becomes a kafir by not accepting me and now you write that a person does become a kafir by denying me.”
The Promised Messiah’s answer does not accept that there is any contradiction. He does not reply: When I wrote Tiryaq-ul-Qulub I did not consider myself as prophet, but now I do. In reply he explains how his deniers are in fact also calling him kafir. He proposes a simple way: if his deniers issue a statement about the Maulvis who call him kafir saying that they are kafir by calling a Muslim as kafir, then he will call those deniers as Muslims. In the end he writes: “Even now I do not call the followers of the Qibla as kafir.” He is clearly trying to show that what he wrote in Tiryaq-ul-Qulub is consistent with what he wrote later. Thus he confirmed that his statements in Tiryaq-ul-Qulub about his claim and status were still valid.
3. Again on pages 265-266 of Haqiqat-ul-Wahy (RK, v. 22, p. 277-278) the Promised Messiah records the incident of a court hearing (which took place in 1904) as follows:
“After this, when we went into the court-room the attorney of the opposite party asked me the question: ‘Is your rank and status as you have described it in the book Tiryaq-ul-Qulub?’ I replied: Yes, by the grace of God this is the status He has bestowed upon me.”
So he confirmed in 1904 in court, and published that confirmation in 1907 in Haqiqat-ul-Wahy, that his rank and status is as he has described it in Tiryaq-ul-Qulub.
Note that these confirmations mentioned above in (2) and (3) occur after the answer to the question about ‘superiority over Jesus’. This proves conclusively that that answer cannot be taken as meaning that he had changed his belief since writing Tiryaq-ul-Qulub.
You have asked: “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.” (Your page 7, middle)
Ordinary man? This is not his statement in Tiryaq-ul-Qulub about his superiority. In the discussion immediately before those words in Tiryaq-ul-Qulub, p. 157 (“Let no one be misled to imagine that in this address I have held myself to be superior to Hazrat Masih…”), he writes:
“In this last age God created a man like Adam, who is myself, and called him Adam. God created this Adam by becoming his spiritual father Himself. … Jesus too had a similarity with Adam, but the Last Adam who is also a burooz of Jesus, bears an intense similarity to Adam. … Though there were many who were burooz of Adam, one of them being Jesus, but this last burooz is the most perfect and complete.”
Is he claiming the superiority that an “ordinary man” can have? According to you, this was the time in the beginning when “I believed that I had no comparison with Jesus son of Mary”! He is saying that as a manifestation of the prophet Adam he excels Jesus in his manifestation of Adam, yet he is still a non-prophet.
He also issued the following announcements in January 1897:
“If any Christian can prove that the signs shown by Jesus, which are considered to be evidence of his Divinity, are greater than my signs and miracles in terms of strength of proof and abundance of number I will pay him one thousand Rupees as a reward.” (Majmu‘a Ishtiharat, v. 2, p. 317)
“It is also my claim that, as compared to the prophecies made by Jesus, the prophecies made by me and the signs shown by me are better proved. If any Christian religious leader can show that, as compared to my prophecies and my signs, the prophecies and signs of Jesus are proved by stronger evidence, then I will pay him one thousand Rupees.” (ibid., p. 314)
Is this a time when he believed that he had no comparison with Jesus!
In the passage in Haqiqat-ul-Wahy he does indicate that he is still talking about himself as a non-prophet in the footnote in this answer on p. 153 (p. 157 in RK v. 22). He writes that, as an example, Moses was a very great prophet but “he had to face embarrassment in the face of the spiritual knowledge of a man living in a wilderness”. He quotes verse 18:65 of the Quran. This is a well-known example of the superiority of a non-prophet over a prophet mentioned in Islamic literature.
The Promised Messiah could have answered this question by saying that there was no such contradiction between the two sources cited by the questioner. But such a change or contradiction does exist between his earliest views and those after claiming to be Promised Messiah and the ‘like of Jesus’ in 1891. So he answered the question as to the existence of such a change. When first claiming to be Promised Messiah in 1891, he wrote:
“If the objection be raised here that, as the Messiah (Jesus) was a prophet, his like should also be a prophet, the first answer to this is that the Holy Prophet Muhammad has not made prophethood a necessary condition for the Messiah to come. … Besides this, there is no doubt that this humble one has come from God as a muhaddas for this Umma, and a muhaddas is also in one sense a prophet. Though he does not possess complete prophethood, nonetheless he is a prophet in a partial sense …” (Tauzih Maram, RK, v. 3, p. 59-60)
So now he did have a comparison with Jesus as a prophet because “a muhaddas is also in one sense a prophet”. Then on the next two pages he discusses the “spiritual characteristic and power in which I and Jesus resemble one another”. He then goes on to say:
“If it is asked that if this is the rank for myself and Jesus, then what is the rank of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, let it be clear that that is an exalted station and higher grade … whose nature cannot even be comprehended by others, let alone that anyone else should attain it.” (ibid., p. 62)
This was written in 1891. Do these words reflect a time when “I believed that I had no comparison with Jesus son of Mary”!
Your mention of “an ordinary man” sometimes having partial superiority is actually quite useful in my explanation. Any human being can excel a prophet in an attribute which is common to all humans including prophets (e.g. worldly knowledge). Above that, any saint or wali can excel a prophet in an attribute which is common to all saints including prophets (e.g. acts of worship and sacrifice; it is on this basis that a martyr or shaheed is regarded as excelling a prophet). Above that, any mamur and mujaddid (a saint who is appointed for reform of people but is not a prophet) can excel a prophet in an attribute which is common to all appointed ones of God including prophets. In the days that he calls “in the beginning” he considered any excellence he had over Jesus to be of the kind that any saint can have over a prophet. But after he was appointed to a reform mission as Mujaddid and Promised Messiah, any excellence he had over Jesus was that which an appointed one can have over a prophet. It is still the partial excellence of a non-prophet.
The excellence he has is stated by him in this answer (p. 151; RK, v. 22, p. 155) to be that he has been given the powers, knowledge and signs necessary “at this time” for the “reform of the whole world”, and this is his mission because the Holy Prophet Muhammad came for the whole world, “but it was not necessary that Jesus be given that knowledge and those signs as these were not required at that time”. He was given this excellence ever since he proclaimed his mission, and not just since writing Tiryaq-ul-Qulub.
You write (your p. 8): “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.”
But he writes within this very answer:
“My prophethood is the zill of the Holy Prophet, not real (asli) prophethood.” (page 150, footnote; RK, v. 22, p. 154)
You write: “He formerly downplayed the term nabi as only a dictionary term”. In fact, he stated this right to the end of his life:
“The only reason why I am called nabi is that in Arabic and Hebrew nabi means one who makes prophecies in abundance after receiving revelation from God … In view of the fact that people generally have dreams, and some receive revelation and are informed of knowledge of the unseen but mixed with impurities, the one whose revelation and knowledge of the unseen is free from this murkiness and damage should not be confused with other ordinary men but should be called by some special name to distinguish between him and others. Therefore, merely to give me a distinctive position, God has called me nabi, and this is a title of honour bestowed upon me to make clear the difference between them and myself.” (Letter to the newspaper Akhbar-i Aam, 23 May 1908)
“In Arabic and Hebrew the word nabi means only one who prophesies after receiving revelation from God. Since according to the Holy Quran the door of such prophethood is not closed which a man obtains by having the privilege of Divine revelation from God through obedience to the Holy Prophet Muhammad, and he is informed of hidden matters by revelation, why should not such prophets arise in this umma?” (Barahin Ahmadiyya, vol. 5, p. 181; RK, v. 21, p. 351-352)
You write: “It is with publication of Misunderstanding Removed that he first spoke of him being ummati and nabi.” (Your page 8, para 3)
But he spoke of himself as ummati and nabi in Izala Auham in 1891. See the quotation I gave earlier:
“So the fact that he (the Messiah to come) has been called an ummati as well as nabi indicates that the qualities of both discipleship and prophethood will be found in him, as it is essential for both of these to be found in a muhaddas. The possessor of full prophethood, however, has only the quality of prophethood. To conclude, muhaddasiyyat is coloured with both colours. For this reason, in Barahin Ahmadiyya too, God named this humble one as ummati and as nabi.” (Izala Auham, p. 533; RK, v. 3, p. 386)
Your Jama‘at should also explain whose misunderstanding is being referred to in the title Misunderstanding Removed. According to you it was the Promised Messiah’s own misunderstanding that he was correcting, since you wrote in your response of 16 November:
“It was a common misconception among the Muslims then (even now) that a prophet could not be an ummati and prophet at the same time. Even MGA believed in that mistaken concept at one time.”
But your Jama‘at keeps telling people that it was a follower of his who had misunderstood his claim and he corrected that follower’s misunderstanding.
You write (your page 8, bottom) that Maulana Muhammad Ali “has tried to show that since Jesus coming to earth, descending on a minaret, is a metaphor, nabi, too is a metaphor.” It is in fact the Promised Messiah who wrote this repeatedly, for example:
“The name nabi of Allah for the Promised Messiah, which is to be found in Sahih Muslim etc. from the blessed
tongue of the Holy Prophet, is meant in the same metaphorical sense as
that in which it occurs in Sufi literature as an accepted and common term for
the recipient of Divine communication. Otherwise, how can there be a prophet
after the Khatam al-anbiya?”
(Anjam Atham, footnote, pages 26-28; RK, v. 11, p. 26-28)
You write: “… quoting the Quranic statement of Apostle as support,…” (your page 9, top). That verse of the Quran (72:26–27), in the passage you quote from Haqiqat-ul-Wahy, has been referred to by the Promised Messiah in other places as follows:
“The Holy Quran says: ‘He does not make His unseen known to anyone except a rasul whom He chooses’, i.e. to disclose unseen matters perfectly is only the work of those who are rasul; others are not given this status. By rasul are meant those persons who are sent from Almighty God, whether it is a nabi, or a rasul, or a muhaddas and mujaddid.” (Ayyam as-Sulh, p. 171, footnote; RK, v. 14, p. 419)
V. (your page 9)
Relating to definition of ‘prophet’ in History of the Prophets, you write:
“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.”
The Promised Messiah does not mention a new Shariah in those quotations. I repeat a quotation I gave in my last response: “…it is impossible that after the Khatam-un-nabiyyin Gabriel should again start coming to the world bearing wahy risalat and a new book of Allah, even though it conforms to the Quran, should be produced” (Izala Auham, p. 583, RK, v. 3, p. 414)
Let me add another quotation:
“If you say that Jesus will be told by revelation merely to act on the Quran, and then revelation will be stopped till the end of his life, and Gabriel will never descend on him … this is a childish view which is laughable. It is obvious that even if the coming of revelation is supposed to take place on just one occasion and Gabriel comes with just one sentence of wahy nubuwwat and remain silent thereafter, this would still contradict the finality of prophethood, for when the seal of finality is breached and wahy risalat again starts to descend, it matters not whether the amount is little or much. Every wise person can understand that if God is true to His promise, and the promise given in the Khatam-un-nabiyyin verse, which has been explicitly mentioned in the Hadith, that now, after the death of the Prophet of God, peace and the blessings of God be upon him, Gabriel has been forbidden forever from bringing wahy nubuwwat — if all these things are true and correct, then no person at all can come as a messenger (rasul) after our Prophet, peace be upon him.” (Izala Auham, p. 577; RK, v. 3, p. 411-412)
“How could it be permitted that, despite the fact that our Holy Prophet Muhammad is the Khatam al-anbiya, some other prophet should appear sometime and wahy nubuwwat commence.” (Ayyam as-Sulh, p. 47)
As the first quotation above says, even one sentence of wahy nubuwwat telling Jesus to act on the Quran cannot come.
You write: “one form of wahyi nabuwwat is non-shariah.” (your p. 9)
Considering that most of the Holy Quran consists of non-Shariah verses (not containing any command or prohibition), your belief implies that the Promised Messiah’s revelations hold the same level and status as those non-Shariah passages of the Quran. Should we then treat his revelations as the next book of Allah after the Quran and included among the “books” of Allah mentioned in 2:285 of the Quran?
“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.” (your page 9, middle)
I repeat what I said in my last response: I do not think that the Qadiani Jama‘at would ever publicly endorse your statement. I am willing to be proved wrong if you can get such a statement published in some publication of your Jama‘at or made by the Head of your Jama‘at.
You have the advantage, of course, that you can express any belief you like in this discussion in order to prove your point. It won’t reflect on your Jama‘at because they will claim that you were speaking in your personal capacity, and they are not bound by anything you say.
In his book Kishti-i Nuh, the Promised Messiah has said:
“I believe that there are three sources God has given you for your guidance. The first is the Quran … The second means of guidance given to the Muslims is the Sunna … The third means of guidance is Hadith” (RK, v. 19, p. 26 and 61).
There is no fourth source here called: my book which are my revelations correcting the false beliefs that Muslims adopted in violation of the Holy Prophet’s teachings.
VI. Anjuman Himayat Islam issue (your page 9)
VII. (your page 10 to 12)
Your dismissal of some of our arguments as “old news” is hardly a refutation. Anyhow, I never used the “calling a person a lion” example.
Presenting the quote from Lecture Sialkot, you write:
“The fact is all prophets prior to the advent of the Prophet Muhammad were ‘ummati’ in a sense.”
The Promised Messiah has expressed the following view:
“Anyone who will think over the essence of ummati will instantly realise that to consider Jesus as an ummati amounts to kufr. … I tell my opponents with certainty that Jesus cannot at all be an ummati even though he, and in fact all prophets, believed in the truth of the Holy Prophet, but they were followers of the various guidances that were revealed to them” (Barahin Ahmadiyya, Part 5, RK, v. 21, p. 364)
As to the quote from Lecture Sialkot, I suggest that you read the lines before it and after it, which contradict your general beliefs. Before it, he writes about the Holy Prophet Muhammad:
“… the people among whom he arose … they reached the highest levels of faith, and did such works of truth, faithfulness and conviction as have no parallel anywhere else in the world … he made them into godly human beings, breathed spirituality into them and connected them with the True God…” (RK, v. 20, p. 207)
But despite reaching such spiritual heights at the hands of the Holy Prophet himself, not one of them became a prophet. Hazrat Abu Bakr became a siddiq and Hazrat Umar a muhaddas.
Immediately subsequent to your quote, he writes:
“And prophethood ended with him not only in terms of being last in time but also because all the qualities of prophethood culminated in him.”
A few pages later in the same lecture, speaking of those closest to God, he wrote:
“Such persons are known as nabi and rasul and muhaddas in the terminology of Islam, and they are privileged with the holy communications and revelations from God, and miracles are shown at their hands. Most of their prayers are granted, and they receive abundant replies from God to their prayers.” (RK, v. 20, p.225)
You write, with reference to your quote from Lecture Sialkot: “Was not Adam the real Adam, the first prophet?” (your page 10)
The Promised Messiah has not at all stated here that as the Holy Prophet is the “real Adam” therefore Adam himself was a metaphorical Adam. Remember that your argument, which you previously also made about Mahdi, is this: (1) the Holy Prophet is called by him as real Adam, (2) therefore Adam is metaphorical Adam relative to the Holy Prophet, (3) but as Adam is, of course, the real Adam, therefore being metaphorical also means being real.
But your jump from step (1) to conclusion (2) is unjustified. Here the Promised Messiah clearly writes that the Holy Prophet was the “second Adam”, i.e. Adam was the first Adam and doesn’t become metaphorical relative to the Holy Prophet.
I also showed in my last reply, regarding Mahdi, that in the same volume of Ruhani Khaza’in as your Mahdi quotation (where he mentions Moses as a Mahdi but of a lesser degree), he writes:
“So even though the Holy Prophet is the perfect Mahdi as compared to Moses in every way, but because Moses preceded him in time, he (the Holy Prophet) is called the like of Moses.” (RK, v. 17, p. 255)
So the Holy Prophet, coming later, is the like of the earlier one. On the next page he describes the Holy Prophet as a burooz of Moses and Jesus:
“For the completion of giving of guidance the Holy Prophet appeared as two burooz: one the burooz of Moses and the other the burooz of Jesus” (RK, v. 17, p. 256)
In A’inah Kamalat-i Islam (see RK, v. 5, p. 342-343) he wrote that the “spirituality of Jesus” was stirred up and roused at his being so misrepresented by both the Jews and the Christians and this “spirituality” asked God to send a qa’im maqam (one in his place) of Jesus to clear him of false charges and this was the Holy Prophet. And he there describes the Holy Prophet as bearing the names of all the prophets in this manner. Thus the Holy Prophet is the burooz, the qa’im maqam and the ‘like’ of these prophets. They were undoubtedly real, and he is the ‘like’ of each of them in continuing and completing their unfinished missions.
You next write: “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” (your p. 10). I think you appear to have forgotten what we had been discussing at this point. It was his declaration: “I have been called a nabi by way of metaphor, not by way of reality” in Haqiqat-ul-Wahy. I will repeat the part of my reply which you are calling “irrelevant” and leave it up to readers to judge.
In the same book he writes:
“When a clear mirror is placed facing the sun, the light of the sun is reflected in it so fully that as a metaphor (majaz) and figuratively we can say that the same sun that is in the sky is also in the mirror. Similarly, God descends upon such a heart and makes that heart His throne. This is what man was created for. In the earlier scriptures the perfect, righteous ones have been called sons of God. This also does not mean that they were sons of God in reality … it means that God showed Himself in the clear mirror of these perfect righteous ones as an image … In the books of earlier prophets … our Holy Prophet has been called God in some prophecies. The real fact is that neither were all those prophets sons of God nor was the Holy Prophet God.” (Haqiqat-ul-Wahy, p. 63-64; RK, v. 22, p. 65-66)
So, just as he wrote “I have been called a nabi by way of metaphor, not by way of reality”, he wrote in the same book, long after 1901, that prophets had been called sons of God, and in case of the Holy Prophet Muhammad he had been called God, by way of metaphor, not by way of reality, and he also explained what metaphor means. In the same way as those prophets were not sons of God or God, the Promised Messiah was not a prophet. Let the readers judge the value of my argument.
You then write: “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!” (your page 10)
This is why I started my previous response by discussing whether he changed his beliefs about prophethood in 1901. Note that you yourself have used the word change, and so the issue is whether there was a change by him in 1901. I am agreeable to a discussion concentrating solely on this question, which is why I began my previous response with the words: “A discussion of this issue will therefore clarify all those points, including the statement of Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din and the writings of Maulana Muhammad Ali that we are discussing.”
Regarding the number of books written after 1901, we find that in the 23 volume series Ruhani Khaza’in there are 21 volumes published after the claim to be Promised Messiah. Of these, 15 volumes (v. 3 to v. 17), and almost a half of v. 18, are pre-November 1901, giving a comparison of almost 15.5 volumes pre-1901 to 5.5 volumes post-1901 (more than 70% being pre-November 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.” (your pages 10-11)
I presented the Mawahib-ur-Rahman quotation to show that it is the auliya who are said by him to be in the colouring of prophets but not prophets in reality, i.e. this clearly explains what is meant (if further clarification was even necessary) by being called “a prophet by way of metaphor, not by way of reality”.
This statement doesn’t just say that auliya cannot change the law of the Quran; it says they are not made into “prophets in reality” because a prophet is now unnecessary since the Quran has brought the law to perfection. Note that here he does not write “not real prophets” but “not prophets in reality” or “not prophets in actual fact”. Similarly, in Haqiqat-ul-Wahy he does not say “not real prophet” but “prophet by way of metaphor, not by way of reality”.
You then write:
“No one can touch the Law brought by the only real prophet in the world, Muhammad. Compared to Muhammad, no previous prophet is even real, and compared to the Quran, no previous Book is real.” (your page 11)
Your view seems conflict with basic Islamic teachings which require Muslims to believe in all prophets and books, and they are all mentioned as one group including the Holy Prophet Muhammad. “(Muslims) believe in … His Books and His messengers. We make no distinction between any of His messengers” (2:285); “We believe in … that which has been revealed to us, and that which was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, (etc.) … and that which was given to the prophets from their Lord. We do not make any distinction between them” (2:136). Is only one of these real? Was Abraham not a real prophet compared to the Holy Prophet, about whom the Quran says: “Who is better in religion than he who … follows the faith of Abraham …” (4:125). Then in 60:6 Abraham and his followers are presented as a “good example” (uswat-un hasana) to Muslims, using the same wording as when presenting the Holy Prophet as an example in 33:21. In the salat-un-nabi or Darud we mention the blessings of God granted to Abraham and pray for the same for the Holy Prophet. How can Abraham be “not even real” compared to the Holy Prophet?
The whole idea behind declaring other prophets as “not real” is so that when Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad says that he is not a real prophet he can still be placed in the category of prophets.
Regarding your quotation from Ayk Ghalati Ka Izala (your p. 11), he says at the end of that footnote (from which you have quoted):
“… hence it must be acknowledged that, for this gift, the way of burooz, zill and fana fir-rasul is open.”
And regarding burooz he says in the same booklet:
“However, it is possible that the Holy Prophet, not only once but a thousand times, come into the world in the sense of burooz … And this particular burooz was a confirmed promise from God.”
This coming as a burooz “a thousand times” in the raising up of saints among Muslims.
In your quote from Chashma-i Ma‘rifat, what he calls as “that nabuwwat which takes light from his lamp” has been exactly defined by him to be muhaddasiyyat as I quoted him earlier in this response:
“… a nabi who obtains light from the lamp of the prophethood of Muhammad and does not possess perfect prophethood, who is in other words also called muhaddas,…” (Izala Auham, p. 575)
Then in a footnote at this very point in Chashma-i Ma‘rifat he writes as follows about being called nabi:
“I was given this name by way of zill, not in a real way” (RK, v. 23, p. 340)
And he also writes on that page and the next:
“… when his following (of the Holy Prophet) reaches perfection then God grants him a zilli prophethood which is zill of the prophethood of Muhammad. This is so that Islam remain fresh by the existence of such persons and always remain triumphant over opponents. … The word nubuwwat and risalat have been used by God about me in my revelation hundreds of times but this word means only the Divine communications that are abundant and contain the unseen. It is nothing more than this. Every person can adopt a terminology in his conversations: wa likullin an yastaliha (‘To each the terms that he uses’). So this is the terminology of God that He has termed the abundance of Divine communications as nubuwwat.”
Now exactly this was stated by him in 1897 in Siraj Munir:
“Have you not read that a muhaddas too is a mursal (messenger)? … It is true that, in the revelation which God has sent upon this servant, the words nabi, rasul and mursal occur about myself quite frequently. However, they do not bear their real sense. Wa likullin an yastaliha (‘To each the terms that he uses’). It is the terminology of God that He has used such words. …
In a metaphorical sense God can call any recipient of revelation as nabi or mursal … The Arabs to this day call even the message-bearer of a man as a rasul, so why is it forbidden for God to use the word mursal in a metaphorical sense too?” (Siraj Munir, pages 2, 3; RK, v. 12, pages 4, 5).
These two statements, eleven years apart, are remarkably similar. In Siraj Munir he has told us that these words nabi, rasul occur about him in his capacity as muhaddas. As to use after 1901, I have already shown in my last response that he continued to use the expression “such people are nabi and rasul and muhaddas” after 1901.
Regarding Nuzul-ul-Masih let me quote again the text I gave in my last response, with the addition of the preceding lines:
“Then considering that the mother of Moses received sure revelation, and by fully believing in it she cast her baby in the place of destruction, and she was not considered by God to be guilty of the crime of attempted murder, is the Muslim Umma inferior to the women of the Israelites? Likewise, Mary also received sure revelation, and by trusting in it she cared not for (the criticism of) her people. Pity, then, on this forsaken Umma which is inferior to these women. In these circumstances, this Umma could not be the ‘Best of nations’, but the worst of nations and the most ignorant of nations. Similarly Khizr, who was not a prophet, was granted Divine knowledge. If his revelation was doubtful, and not sure, why did he kill a child unjustly? And if the revelation of the Companions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, to the effect that his dead body ought to be washed, was not sure and definite, why did they act upon it?
To conclude, if a man, due to his blindness, denies my revelation, then if he is nonetheless called a Muslim, and is not a secret atheist, it should be part of his belief that there can be sure and definite Divine revelation, and that just as in previous Ummas many men and women used to receive God’s revelation, even though they were not prophets, in this Umma too it is essential that sure and definite revelation should exist, so that it does not become the least of the nations instead of the best of the nations.” (RK, v. 18, p. 467)
To prove that his revelation is sure and certain, he is showing by examples that the revelation of non-prophets is sure and certain. Then he writes (in the second para above that I also quoted in my last response) that if a man cannot believe in his revelation as a case in point, he must, as a Muslim, at least believe in the general principle that in this Umma too, like in previous Ummas, men and women who were not prophets received sure and definite revelation.
In your response to my section entitled “Zilli prophethood”, you write: “…he attained a reflection of the nabuwwat of Muhammad. Therefore it is fully expected he would have similarities with all the prophets” (your p. 12)
But I had put forward a quotation in which
he mentioned not similarities but that:
“I am Adam … [other names of prophets mentioned here] …, I am Moses, I am David, I am Jesus, … I am Muhammad and Ahmad by way of zill.” In Ayk Ghalati Ka Izala he wrote:
“It is for this reason that his name in heaven is Muhammad and Ahmad. It means that the prophethood of Muhammad was in the end given only to Muhammad, though in the manner of burooz, but not to anyone else. …
In short, my prophethood and messengership is in my capacity as Muhammad and Ahmad, not on account of myself. … I am that same prophet, the Khatam al-anbiya, in the sense of burooz, and twenty years ago in Barahin Ahmadiyya God named me Muhammad and Ahmad and declared me to be the very embodiment of the Holy Prophet.” (RK, v. 18, p. 208 and p. 212)
So if as a zilli or buroozi prophet and messenger he is a prophet and messenger in actual fact, then it would mean that he is also Muhammad the Prophet, Messenger and Khatam-ul-anbiya in actual fact.
You quote my argument: “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”, and then you respond:
“This is a false analogy since while there is no such thing as a category above prophets, there is a category above auliya.” (your p. 12)
When you say “there is no such thing as a category above prophets”, what you mean is that you have chosen to adhere to the belief that there is no higher category than a prophet. You don’t make the Holy Prophet Muhammad into God (like earlier prophets were made into gods), even though, according to the Promised Messiah, the Holy Prophet has been called ‘God’ in prophecies, even though he had reached the stage where he could perform works of Divine power without praying for them to happen, and this was a stage where the Holy Prophet excelled Jesus in the Divine works that Christians claim for him, on account of which they consider him Divine (see A’inah Kamalat Islam, RK, v. 5, p. 65-67). It is your own adherence to the Islamic belief that prophets cannot become God which stops you from taking him to be God. But in case of auliya, you choose to reject the Islamic belief that they cannot become prophets in reality.
About the Holy Prophet, the Promised Messiah writes:
“At this place (in the Bible), by the coming of God is meant the coming of the Holy Prophet Muhammad … these are all spiritual ranks which are described in appropriate words by way of metaphor, not that real sonship of God or real Godhead is meant here.” (Tauzih Maram, RK, v. 3, p. 65-66)
“… if someone’s Divinity can be inferred from such revelations and statements then … more than that of anyone, the Divinity of our leader and master, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, can be established. … God has called the Holy Prophet’s hand as God’s own hand, and has declared each of his actions as God’s own action … He has declared all his words to be God’s own words … at one place He has called all the people his (the Holy Prophet’s) servants … Hence it is obvious that the Divinity of our Prophet can be established so plainly and clearly from these sacred words.” (Kitab-ul-Bariyya, RK, v. 13, p. 105-106)
Despite all this, you don’t regard the Holy Prophet as actually Divine, because all these are metaphorical expressions about him. Similarly, when the title ‘prophet’ is given to the Promised Messiah metaphorically, it can’t make him a prophet in actual fact.
VIII. Izala Auham and Barahin Ahmadiyya, vol. v (your pages 12 to 14)
You cannot deny that you were plainly wrong when you claimed (in your 16th November response) that: “In Izala I Auham, page 575, MGA wrote about a person having difficulty understanding how the Messiah for the Muslims can be a prophet.” The “person having difficulty” turns out to be the Promised Messiah!
You write that his response in Izala Auham “is in complete contrast what he wrote in Zameema Barahini Ahmadiyya” and “Remember, MGA believed also at one time, an ummati could not be a prophet” (your p. 12). He never wrote or stated anywhere that his beliefs as to whether an ummati could be a nabi had changed. If he changed his beliefs in a way which made him into a prophet from a non-prophet, he would have a duty to inform people about this clearly. Otherwise the only conclusion anyone can draw is that he taught contradictory things as it suited him at any time.
Firstly, let me make clear that his views in these two extracts are the same. In Izala Auham he writes that if Jesus, when he returns, is to be an ummati in the fullest sense then he cannot be a nabi. In Barahin Ahmadiyya, vol. v, he writes (a part of which I quoted above):
“Despite being given the name nabi, this Jesus has also been called an ummati in these Hadith reports. Anyone who will think over the essence of ummati will instantly realise that to consider Jesus as an ummati amounts to kufr because an ummati is one who, without following the Holy Prophet and the Holy Quran, is merely deficient, without guidance and without religion, and then receives faith and perfection through following them. I tell my opponents with certainty that Jesus cannot at all be an ummati even though he, and in fact all prophets, believed in the truth of the Holy Prophet, but they were followers of the various guidances that were revealed to them. … God gave them separate books and instructed them to act on those books and to tell others to act on them. This is what the Holy Quran testifies to.” (Barahin Ahmadiyya, Part 5, RK, v. 21, p. 364)
So here he says that, as Jesus was a nabi then he cannot become an ummati. In Izala Auham he said that if Jesus were to appear as an ummati then he could not be a nabi. The two statements are the same.
You write about Izala Auham: “He stated the Messiah in the ummah of Muhammad could not be a prophet therefore.” In fact he added:
“However, such a prophet as obtains light from the lamp of the prophethood of Muhammad and does not possess perfect prophethood, who in other words is known as muhaddas, he is outside this restriction because due to following the Holy Prophet and being fana fir-rasul he is included within the person of the Holy Prophet, as a part is included in the total”. (Izala Auham, p.575; RK, v. 3, p. 410-411)
In your translation of his answer in Barahin Ahmadiyya V you say: “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” (your p. 12, bottom).
If this is the definition of nabi, then what is the position of those members of your Jama‘at who claimed to be prophets on exactly this basis? (There was Ahmad Noor Kabali of Qadian, Nabi Bakhsh of Sialkot, and Ghulam Haidar of Jhelum, during the 1920s). Were their claims true? Also, about 4 years ago on our Discussions Forum at www.muslim.org, a member of your Jama‘at wrote that, as prophets can still come, he accepts a person Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo of Indonesia (1901-1987) to be a prophet. It seems that according to the teachings of the Qadiani Jama‘at its members may accept anyone whom they so determine as a prophet and messenger of Allah.
The words “in considerable abundance and amplitude” do not occur in the above sentence that you have quoted. The question he is asked says regarding nabi: “But in Sahih Muslim he has been named in plain words as nabiullah. So how can we accept that he will be from this Umma?” In reply he begins:
“The real meaning of nabi has not been pondered over. Nabi means only that he should receive news from God by revelation and be privileged with Divine words and communications …” (Barahin Ahmadiyya V, RK, v. 21, p. 306)
He is clearly referring to what the word nabi means in this hadith report in Sahih Muslim. It is not the definition of nabi. He goes on to write:
“It is not necessary for him to bring Shariah nor is it necessary for him not to be a follower of a Shariah-bearing rasul. So there is no problem is declaring an ummati to be such a nabi, especially when that ummati receives benefits from the prophet whom he follows.”
This is exactly what he wrote in Izala Auham as I quoted just above: “However, such a prophet as obtains light from the lamp of the prophethood of Muhammad … he is outside this restriction because due to following the Holy Prophet and being fana fir-rasul he is included within the person of the Holy Prophet…”
In my last response I noted: “In the next paragraph he discusses the problems which arise if the word nabi here is taken as meaning one to whom Shariah is revealed”. And this is what he says there:
“And if nabi means that Shariah is revealed to him, that is, he brings a new Shariah, then this meaning will not apply even to Jesus because he cannot cancel the Shariah Muhammadiyya…” (Barahin Ahmadiyya V, RK, v. 21, p. 306-307)
So he has discussed the two possibilities of the meanings that nabi could be given in this hadith.
He further adds (as in fact I quoted in my last response):
“If nabi is given only the meaning that Allah speaks to him and reveals some secrets of the unseen to him, then there is no harm if an ummati becomes such a nabi, especially as God has given the hope in many places in the Holy Quran that an ummati can be privileged with Divine revelation and God speaks to and communicates with His auliya.” (Barahin Ahmadiyya V, p. 139; RK, v. 21, p. 307)
His meaning is absolutely clear. If, in this hadith report, you restrict the meaning of nabi merely to ‘one who receives revelation’ then an ummati can become such a nabi. And he can become “such a nabi” because God speaks to His auliya. Just compare here the first text (which you claim is definition of nabi):
“Nabi means only that he should receive news from God by revelation (wahy) and be privileged with Divine words and communications (sharf mukalima, mukhabita ilahiyya) …”
with the text above about auliya:
“and God speaks to and communicates with (mukalimat, mukhatibat) His auliya”
and they say the same thing. Perhaps this is why in your translation of the first text you inserted your own words, “in considerable abundance and amplitude”, to create a difference between his statement about nabi and about auliya!
Continuing the same discussion he writes on page 309-310 that by Divine communications he means those where the recipient is absolutely certain that they are from God. In this connection he gives the examples of the non-prophets Khizar and Moses’ mother as being absolutely sure of their revelation being from God. On the next page he again mentions Moses’ mother as well as Mary, the mother of Jesus, as examples of non-prophets receiving revelation. Therefore it is positively and conclusively established that he is speaking of himself as like them, a non-prophet who receive sure and certain revelation.
Regarding the question/answer from the same book that I presented, you say first: “The door to prophethood is wide open, though it will be obtained only through obedience to the prophet” (your p. 13). It is hardly a wide open door, through which only one man passed in 1300 years, and no one so far after him, and no prospect of one in the future since that sole prophet established an ever-lasting khilafat. Then you comment:
“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.”
The question is certainly not whether a muhaddas can become a prophet, nor does he say in reply anything like, yes, “by rising to an additional notch”. The question is plainly (to repeat from my last response):
“In Hadith reports the Jesus to come has been called nabiullah. Can it be proved from the Quran and Hadith that a muhaddas has also been called nabi?” (p. 181; RK, v. 21, p. 351-352)
The questioner wants to know how the Promised Messiah can say that a muhaddas is meant when the Hadith reports say nabiullah. His answer (quoted in my last response) is that this is so because of the linguistic meaning of nabi in Arabic and Hebrew. The word nabi in terms of its linguistic meaning is applicable to a muhaddas, and moreover:
“Since according to the Holy Quran the door of such prophethood is not closed … why should not such prophets arise in this umma?”
“Such” prophets are those who are muhaddas, who can linguistically be called prophets. You then write:
“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.” (your p. 13)
But he hasn’t used the phrase “non law bearing”! From the statement that “only law bearing prophethood is closed” you jump to the conclusion that therefore its opposite is “non-law bearing”, and that that is the term to be used for him. But he has clearly stated both what he is and what he is not. He has said here that the word nabi can be applied to him in the way in which a muhaddas can be called nabi, and that it cannot be applied to him as meaning law-bearing. But you are trying to deduce from what he is not as to what he is. You then add:
“To say a mere muhuddus must be non- law bearing is redundant, since by definition, they bring no new law!” (your p. 13)
Only a little earlier we were discussing the extract from Mawahib-ur-Rahman where he says that the auliya are not prophets in reality and adds: “They are given nothing but the understanding of the Quran; they do not add to the Quran, nor take anything away from it”. Why say that the auliya cannot add or subtract from the Quran since by definition they bring no new law!
But what you regard as “redundant” has to be said for the sake of clarity. For example, in 1893, when even you agree that he was claiming only to be mujaddid and muhaddas, he wrote in reply to an objection:
“When have we said that mujaddids and muhaddases come into the world to remove something from the religion or to add to it? … No, they do not come to abrogate the religion, but to display its shine and brilliance.” (Shahadat-ul-Quran, RK, v. 6, p. 339, 340)
To say that mujaddids and muhaddases do not come to abrogate religion would also be “redundant”, but he said it. Also, the Promised Messiah rightly believed that even this metaphorical use of nabi would spread confusion that it meant law-bearing:
“The words nabi and rasul are figurative and metaphorical. … 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” (Letter in Al-Hakam, August 1899).
So at a time when, even according to you, he was claiming only to be muhaddas, he was very concerned to deny that he was a prophet with a law.
In your response to the quote I presented from Barahin Ahmadiyya V (ending in the words “In this Saying too, the godly savants are on the one hand called ummati, and on the other hand they are likened to prophets”), you write:
“The godly savants in ummah of Muhammad obtain a taste of it (i.e. zilliyat) 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.” (your page 14)
“Those persons who receive the most perfect and purest revelation from God, have Divine communication in the most perfect form, … who have a perfect and complete connection of love with God” (p. 14; RK, vol. 22, p. 16).
Similarly he had written in the Will, as already quoted:
“God bestowed the honour of His full, perfect, pure and holy, communication and revelation upon some such persons as had reached the stage of fana fir-rasul to the highest degree, so that there remained no separation. … the person of the Holy Prophet Muhammad was reflected in the mirror of their state of engrossment. On the other hand, they received Divine communication and revelation in the fullest and most perfect sense like prophets. So in this way, some persons, despite being ummati, received the title of nabi.”
What you regard as “partial” zilli nabis, he has written about them as follows:
“… the spirituality of our Holy Prophet has always manifested itself at times when the internal crises of Islam became overwhelming, and the essence of Muhammad (haqiqat-i Muhammadiyya) has always made its appearance through some perfect follower. … There have been hundreds of persons in whom the essence of Muhammad was established, and with God they had the names Muhammad and Ahmad by way of zill.” (A’inah Kamalat Islam, p. 346; RK, vol. 5, p. 346)
No mention here that these perfect followers attained these names Muhammad and Ahmad only partially. He also writes:
“…the door of revelation to saints (wahy wilayat) and Divine communication is not closed. Since the purpose is only to testify to the truth of the true religion by means of signs, the signs sent by God, whether through a nabi or through a wali, are of the same rank because the Sender is the same. It is utter ignorance and folly to think that if God sends some Divine assistance at the hands of and through a nabi, then it is greater in power and grandeur, but if it is sent through a wali it is less in power and grandeur.” (Ayyam-us-Sulh, p. 74; RK, vol. 14, p. 309)
So the auliya in Islam had been showing signs of the same power and grandeur as prophets.
IX. Paigham Sulh and other statements (your pages 14 to 16)
You write: “…I would expect some form of retraction or statement of rebuttal …”. The first editor of Paigham Sulh (Ahmad Husain of Faridabad), who wrote and published that statement, was dismissed because of this. He was a supporter of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad and spent the rest of his life in his discipleship. It may be of interest to note that in 1924 the Qadiani Jama‘at discovered that there were some Baha’is on the editorial staff of Al-Fazl trying underhandedly to spread their own doctrines through the Qadiani organs. Baha’is believe that, according to the Quran, prophets with a Shariah can still come.
As to the 12 February 1914 extract, firstly this is a short poem signed by an individual and reflects that person’s own beliefs. Secondly, this can also be interpreted to conform to our beliefs if the “river of nubuwwat” means the flow of prophecies and revelation in this umma and ‘prophet’ means one who makes prophecies. Certainly the statement that the “river of nabuwwat” flows in this Umma, and this is how Hazrat Mirza sahib became a prophet, is not a belief of your Jama‘at since you believe in only one drop of prophethood continuing to flow! On the other hand, the Promised Messiah wrote, while denying claiming to be a prophet:
“ ‘He sends down water from heaven, then watercourses flow according to their measure’ (13:17). In this Umma the streams of wahy will flow till the Day of Judgment, but according to ranks.” (Izala Auham, p. 422, RK, v. 3, p. 321)
There were also other articles appearing in Paigham Sulh all the time which would clarify any misconception created by such a poem.
Regarding Mirza Mahmud Ahmad you write that in 1906 “he presented MGA to the world as a prophet of Allah” (your p. 15). But his statements would have to be interpreted subject to the writings of the Promised Messiah himself, especially as the Promised Messiah was himself alive and writing at the time. You agree that at least until 1901 the Promised Messiah used the words nabi and rasul about himself in the sense in which these may be used for saints and mujaddids. Even Mirza Mahmud Ahmad never mentioned before 1915 that this position had changed in 1901. Therefore any use of these words by Mirza Mahmud Ahmad in 1906 must be understood in the sense of saint and mujaddid. This is reinforced by the fact that in his article of April 1910, which I previously quoted, he wrote that after the Holy Prophet Muhammad auliya can come but no prophet has arisen.
As regards the expressions that you have quoted from Mirza Mahmud Ahmad’s 1906 article, please consider the following expressions of the Promised Messiah where he says that what is happening in my case also happened with prophets:
“If I am abused, is it something new? Were not the holy prophets of God before this called the same names? If I am slandered, were not accusations made against the rasuls and righteous ones before this? Was not the allegation made against Moses …, against David …? Do not the Jews say till today against Jesus …? Are not all those allegations published by the Christians and Aryas against the Holy Prophet Muhammad the same as those made against me? There is no allegation of the opponents made against me which was not made against the holy prophets of God before me. … I spread my hands in prayer like the prophet Noah …” (Notice entitled: For the information of my Jama‘at, dated 5 November 1899, RK, v. 15, pages 513-515)
Calling upon Allah to send signs to prove his truth, he wrote in his prayer:
“Those who say that impostors can be as bold as prophets, and they receive aid and help from God like the righteous prophets do, they are liars and want to make the institution of prophethood doubtful. But Your punishment falls like a sword on the impostors” (Appendix 5 to Tiryaq-ul-Qulub, RK, v. 15, page 512)
Even according to your belief, when he wrote this in 1899 he was not claiming to be a prophet but a muhaddas. Those who are appointed by God as muhaddas and mujaddid can be likened to prophets in terms of their mission. As the Promised Messiah wrote in 1891 about one who is muhaddas:
“He comes as an appointed one of God exactly like prophets. Like prophets, it is incumbent upon him to proclaim himself openly, and those who reject him are liable to punishment to a certain extent.” (Tauzih Maram, RK, v. 3, p. 60)
All the statements you have quoted from Mirza Mahmud Ahmad can be taken as of this type.
You are simply repeating yourself (your page 15, lower part) as regards what Maulana Muhammad Ali wrote. You write:
“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.”
But I quoted him, in my last response, as writing the following exact words in English in the same year’s Review of Religions:
“To the Muslims is promised a revival in the beginning of every new century of Hejira, but this revival is in accordance with the Divine law, for of it we are told in a tradition of the Holy Prophet that ‘Almighty God will raise in the beginning of every century one who shall revive for it its faith’. … God’s way of bringing about a spiritual and moral regeneration in the world is to raise a prophet, and such a one He has even now raised in the person of the Promised Messiah” (June 1906, p. 228; bolding is mine)
He is clearly speaking here about mujaddids. Moreover, I also quoted him as follows from the same year. Comparing Muslim opposition to him when he claimed to be Promised Messiah in 1891 with general Muslim acceptance of him when he claimed to be mujaddid, he writes:
“As a Messenger of Heaven, the Muslims submitted to his claims and had no fault to find with him, but as the Promised Messenger … he was called an impostor, an arch-heretic and the anti-Christ.” (p. 235; bolding is mine)
Since you accept these writings of the Maulana as correct and valid, you also have to accept that it is the Promised Messiah’s claim to be Mujaddid which is described as that of “Messenger of God”, as it was his claim to be Mujaddid which the Muslims generally accepted at that time.
Other examples from 1906 Review of Religions
In the same article in the Review of Religions, Maulana Muhammad Ali first writes that the Promised Messiah invited men:
“to accept him as the Promised Messenger” (p. 252).
Then, as an example of such invitation, he refers to a letter he wrote to the Amir of Afghanistan and says:
“The letter to the Amir was written in Shawwal 1313 A.H., i.e., 1896 C.E. It invites the Amir to accept him as the Promised Messiah.” (p. 252)
You agree with us that to invite someone to accept him as Promised Messiah in 1896 (before 1901) was to ask for acceptance as a muhaddas and mujaddid who was denying claiming to be a prophet. Accepting such a non-prophet “Promised Messiah” is also called here accepting a “Promised Messenger”.
Later, in a paragraph on pages 253-254, Maulana Muhammad Ali tells us how “unchanged” has been the attitude and the theme of the writings of the Promised Messiah in various ways from the time of Barahin-i Ahmadiyya till today. He writes:
“His belief with regard to the excellence of the Holy Prophet over all other prophets has also been the same throughout, and we find it stated in his earliest writings in poetry as well as in prose that no Divine blessing can be attained except through the Holy Prophet. This is the doctrine which he teaches now when he says that no old prophet can come back, but that it must be a follower of the Holy Prophet who should be raised to the dignity of the Messiah, because the Divine blessings which an old prophet attained to were not attained through the Holy Prophet.” (p. 254; bolding mine)
This is absolutely contrary to your doctrine that before 1901 he considered that an ummati could rise to the position of, at most, a muhaddas but in 1901 he changed this to say that an ummati can rise to nabi as well. It is stated here that all that has happened since the time of Barahin-i Ahmadiyya (the 1880s, before he claimed to be Promised Messiah) is that now he teaches specifically that Jesus cannot come back (as he attained Divine blessings from God without following the Holy Prophet) and that an ummati has come in his place as Promised Messiah. Other than excluding Jesus from returning on this basis, and claiming himself to be Promised Messiah, everything else remains the same in 1906 as it was in Barahin-i Ahmadiyya of the 1880s.
In his reply to Khwaja Ghulamussaqalain (see your page 15), Maulana Muhammad Ali bracketed the Promised Messiah with Jesus rather than with the other categories because none of those other categories were those of persons personally appointed with a mission (mamur min-Allah). In terms of Divine protection and help, and in some other ways as well, those appointed by Allah share certain characteristics, which are not common to others. Read again the extract I quoted just above from Appendix 5 to Tiryaq-ul-Qulub, RK, v. 15, page 512, where the Promised Messiah said that he would receive aid and support from God just like the prophets, and that it is wrong to say that an impostor can receive that kind of support. He wrote this when you agree that he was not claiming to be a prophet.
The Promised Messiah also discusses two qualities which, he says, are essential in those prophets, messengers and muhaddaseen “who call the world to God by the order and revelation of God” and “come with an appointed office from God”, but are not essential in other auliya (Tiryaq-ul-Qulub, pages 66-68, RK, v. 15, pages 279-285). He writes:
“Just as God, in support of our Holy Prophet Muhammad, challenged the disbelievers by His revelation that this Prophet of mine is of the highest pure character, and you are unable to find any shortcoming or bad quality in him … so how can you have any doubt remaining that he is a truthful prophet, similarly God challenged my opponents and deniers.”
Again, this was written at a time when you believe that he did not consider himself to be a prophet.
It was in respect of a similar quality that Khwaja Ghulamussaqalain argued that it doesn’t prove the truth of the Promised Messiah because various categories of people (as cited by him) such as saints, khalifas, companions of the Holy Prophet, and also Jesus did not possess this quality. So the reply was that, from among these categories cited by him, we are only concerned with showing that prophets possess this quality. This is not because Hazrat Mirza sahib was a prophet, but because this quality is common to prophets and those saints who are appointed by God (mamur), and is not shared by them with any of the other categories. You write about the Maulana:
“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.”
This is because the quality under discussion is not necessarily possessed by those righteous persons who are not mamur or raised and commanded by God to perform a reform mission like a mujaddid.
X. Mufti Muhammad Sadiq’s statement (your pages 16 to 18)
Here I think we will have to leave it up to the readers to judge, since all I can do is to repeat what I said in my last response. But here are my brief responses to your comments.
You write: “He allayed the fears of Maulvi Shilbi by saying nabi means in the dictionary …” In fact he allayed his fears by beginning his reply as follows: “I replied that our belief in this respect was the same as that of other Muslims, viz., that the Holy Prophet Muhammad is the Khatam-un-nabiyyin. After him, no other prophet can come, neither new nor old.” This is the basis that Mufti Muhammad Sadiq laid down, and the rest of his reply cannot be used to nullify this, as you are doing.
You write: “Sadiq stated that this ummah would receive this gift by a person being obedient to the prophet, i.e. ummati nabi.” He never said “ummati nabi.” In fact he said that “the phenomenon of Divine revelation still continues” and “there have been men among the Muslims who had the privilege of Divine revelation, and in future too there shall be such.” He placed the Promised Messiah (whom he calls Hazrat Mirza sahib) in this category.
The letter by Maulana Nur-ud-Din begins with the declaration: “I believe Mirza sahib to be the Mujaddid of this century.” The rest of his brief reply cannot be used to nullify this, as you are doing.
You ask: “Otherwise why would he have to specifically say “not one who brings a shariah”?
This is just as after saying “I believe Mirza sahib to be the Mujaddid of this century” he goes on to say: “I believe him to be a slave of Muhammad, Messenger of Allah, and a sincere servant of his Shari‘ah.” What necessity is there to add this when by definition a Mujaddid is a slave of the Holy Prophet and a servant of the Shari‘ah? It is to clarify to people the limits of a Mujaddid. The reason for mentioning “not one who brings a shariah” is that this was the kind of accusation against him, that he is changing the religion. See my quotation from Shahadat-ul-Quran above (“When have we said that mujaddids and muhaddases come into the world to remove something from the religion or to add to it?”).
You say: “Therefore what Sadiq sahib really meant was in light of what Maulvi Nurrudin sahib wrote, …” . What he really meant was what he told Shibli. He only quoted Maulana Nur-ud-Din’s letter in his published report in order to support the explanation he had given to Shibli.
Your paragraph beginning “Mufti Sahib rightly responded…” (your page 16, lower part) is really a classic piece of Qadiani expediency and self-contradiction. You say:
“… 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.”
But only one page earlier you wrote:
“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…” (your page 15, bolding mine)
Secondly, throughout your responses you have been stressing the importance of belief in the Promised Messiah as a prophet and telling us that he was a great, perfect and real prophet. You wrote, for example:
“I have already shown … that the perfect zilli nabi is MGA, and moreover, given the actual office” (your page 5)
“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. … once he realized he was an actual nabi, in 1901, he had no hesitation in saying he was superior in rank to Jesus.” (your page 7, 8)
“He stated the term that described his status is nabi, due to quality and amplitude of his revelations.” (your page 13)
Holding these beliefs, it is impossible to see how you don’t preach to others that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a prophet. It is also difficult to see why you think that preaching his prophethood “can lead to misunderstanding”, given that you believe that “he held that spiritual level”. Truth must be preached in any case. The Promised Messiah never hesitated to preach the truth, even though it led to misunderstandings about him (such as the charge of being a British stooge or of insulting Jesus).
Thirdly, only the Head of your Jama‘at or those who train your missionaries are in a position to say how your Jama‘at presents Hazrat Mirza sahib’s claim. Your view is purely personal and cannot show us what the policy and approach of your Jama‘at is. However, there is a sense in which you may be right! That is that your Jama‘at has admitted people into its membership knowing that they were unaware of your belief that the Promised Messiah was a prophet, and there are members of your Jama‘at who have never been told your belief that the Promised Messiah claimed to be a prophet. Your statement is true in the sense that your Jama‘at practises this kind of concealment, by keeping people unaware of your belief that he was a prophet in order to admit them into the Jama‘at.
You then write: “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?” (your p. 17)
Those who are familiar with the writings of the Promised Messiah know that these are his titles as a Mujaddid. He explained:
“The question remains as to what is the evidence in support of this claim of mine to be the Messiah? Let it be clear that it is confirmed by the authentic reports that, at the time of the mischief spread by Christianity, the man who would appear as the Mujaddid at the head of the century, in order to uproot the evil of the worship of Jesus, he is the Mujaddid who has been called ‘Messiah’. … the real intent of the Holy Prophet Muhammad was that the Mujaddid, from among the mujaddids of this Umma, who would have to come to the aid of Islam to defend it against the Christian onslaughts, shall have the name ‘Messiah’ because of his work of the reformation of the Christian religion.” (Kitab al-Bariyya, p. 198, RK, v. 13, p. 216)
“The fact is that God Almighty sends a prophet or a mujaddid according to the nature of every prevailing trouble. … the mujaddid of this century came in the likeness of Jesus, and was called the Promised Messiah because of intense similarity.” (Shahadat-ul-Quran, p. 64-65, RK, v. 6, p. 360-361)
“It must be remembered that the claim of being Promised Messiah is not greater than that of the claim of being a recipient of revelation from Allah and a Mujaddid from Allah … The reason that the Mujaddid of this age was named ‘Promised Messiah’ is found to be that the great work of this Mujaddid is to break the dominance of Christianity …” (A’inah Kamalat Islam, RK, v. 5, p. 341)
‘Messiah’ and ‘Mahdi’ are titles of the man holding the office of Mujaddid of the 14th Century because of the type of reform work he would do. Thus Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din has described the full and correct office of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.
You then quote from Tajalliyat Ilahiyya (RK, v. 20, p. 412) what you regard as the definition of nabi, (receiving sure and certain revelation in considerable volume) but on the next page he writes within the same discussion:
“Among the Israelites there was such revelation of absolute certainty that because of it the mother of Moses cast her innocent infant in the river and did not doubt the truth of her revelation, and Khizar even killed a boy.” (RK, v. 20, p. 413)
Here he gives the instances of two non-prophets falling under his description of what a nabi is. Only one page further on he mentions the objection of those who say that there are cases where even ordinary people, including ordinary women, made prophecies of the same kind as the appointed ones of God (mamur min-Allah), which came true. They say:
“Should we then take such a woman to be a nabi or rasul or muhaddas of God?”
Again it is clear that he considers a muhaddas as included with a nabi and rasul as regards receiving knowledge of the unseen and making prophecies.
You then quote from Mirza Mahmud Ahmad in January 1911, calling the Promised Messiah as nabi, and ask:
“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.” (your p. 18)
As far as it was possible, Maulana Muhammad Ali and other (later) Lahore Ahmadi elders tried to give an interpretation to Mirza Mahmud Ahmad’s views to reconcile them with the correct beliefs. It appears that Mirza Mahmud Ahmad kept on expressing differing views at that time. Just two months later, in March 1911, he wrote an article in Badr, 23 March 1911, in which he said:
“By establishing him (the Holy Prophet Muhammad) on the rank of Khatam-un-nabiyyin, Allah ended every type of prophethood with him. And for the future, only one door has been kept open for reaching Allah, and that is following the Holy Prophet … After him, no person can be mamur until he bears the stamp of following the Holy Prophet … Through the blessing of following him, many such persons have arisen who held the rank of very great prophets. Accordingly, the Holy Prophet said: The Ulama of my Umma are like the prophets of the Israelites” (foot of column 1 to column 2. Bolding is mine).
As he writes, after the Holy Prophet the only positions people can attain are reaching Allah and becoming mamur. Many of them attained ranks equal to great prophets of the past, according to the Hadith report cited.
When shortly afterwards, in April 1911, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad wrote the article in Tashhiz-ul-Azhan, entitled ‘Muslim is he who accepts all the mamur of God’, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din published a clarification that he was not calling other Muslims as unbelievers in Islam but as unbelievers in the Promised Messiah. In the book The Truth about the Split (online on the www.alislam.org website), Mirza Mahmud Ahmad has discussed both his own article and the Khwaja sahib’s clarification of it (p. 127-128, 140-142). He rejects Khwaja sahib’s clarification as “devoid of sense” (p. 127) and says that the Khwaja sahib “had tried to undo the effect of my article” (p. 141). He further writes:
“… he could well have declared in plain words that non-Ahmadis were Muslims. He had no business to try and interpret my article while I was alive and was well able to interpret it myself” (p. 141-142).
It is quite obvious from Mirza Mahmud Ahmad’s furious criticism of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din’s clarification that the later Lahore Ahmadis were indeed trying to correct Mirza Mahmud Ahmad’s wrong beliefs in 1911.
XI. Ahmad prophecy (your pages 18-19)
The statements you are quoting (Review of Religions, Al-Hakam, Ijaz-ul-Masih) do not express the views that Mirza Mahmud Ahmad expressed in Anwar-i Khilafat, which I earlier quoted in detail. I repeat what I wrote in my last response:
Mirza Mahmud Ahmad had argued the following points most vehemently, in great detail, in Anwar-i Khilafat published in 1916, from page 18 to page 52:
· “Hence the messenger named Ahmad, whose news is given in this verse, cannot be the Holy Prophet Muhammad.”
· This prophecy “contains not a single word” to show that it applies to the Holy Prophet Muhammad.
· “There is no Hadith report of any kind, whether true or false, … 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?”.
· “If anyone can prove from the Holy Quran and authentic Hadith 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.”
The above are extracted from the quotations that I gave more fully in my response dated November 7th. These are not like the little snippets that you have quoted. You quote from Ijaz-ul-Masih: “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”. This book was written before the booklet Ayk Ghalati Ka Izala, and therefore even according to your own standpoint he could not have been claiming to be a prophet called ‘Ahmad’ in this book but a saint having likeness to Ahmad. He also writes in the same book:
“He (Allah) made the companions and those who followed them a manifestation of the name Muhammad in conditions of glory and beneficence and gave them triumph and helped them with successive favours. And He made the Promised Messiah a manifestation of the name Ahmad and He raised him in conditions of beauty and mercy” (RK, v. 18, p. 110)
“So while the companions inherited the name Muhammad from Allah, the Great Giver, and they manifested the glory of God and they killed the tyrants like cattle, even thus did the Promised Messiah inherit the name Ahmad which is the manifestation of mercy and beauty, and God chose this name for him and for those who follow him…” (ibid., p. 114)
The Promised Messiah inherited the name Ahmad in the same way that the companions inherited the name Muhammad, and not as a prophet.
The Promised Messiah himself had presented the ‘Ahmad’ verse as proof that Jesus had died before the coming of the Holy Prophet Muhammad because the prophecy said that ‘Ahmad’ would come after me. He wrote:
“The evidence of the Messiah is thus written in the Holy Quran: I give the news of a messenger who will come after me, that is to say, after I am dead, and his name will be Ahmad. Therefore if the Messiah has not yet passed away from this physical life, it necessarily follows that our Prophet, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him, has not yet made his appearance, for the text proclaims in open words that when the Messiah shall pass away from this physical life, then shall the Holy Prophet make his appearance in this world.” (A’inah Kamalat Islam, RK, v. 5, p. 42)
This verse was presented in the same way in June 1909 (a year after the Promised Messiah’s death) at the famous Rampur debate with anti-Ahmadiyya Ulama by Maulana Sayyid Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi on behalf of the Ahmadis. He said:
“In this verse Jesus, pointing out to the Israelites, for whom he was appointed, the prophecy about the Holy Prophet Muhammad as given in the Torah, himself also gave the good news that a great Prophet would come after him and that prophet would be the Prophet Ahmad. In this prophecy, which is about the Holy Prophet Muhammad … another word is worthy of note: ‘a messenger coming after me’. Jesus has related the coming and the raising of the Holy Prophet Muhammad to the time after him. … We claim that after means after the death of Jesus, for if the prophet Ahmad, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, was to come during the life of Jesus, what need did he have to say after me?… If after does not mean after death then we would have to admit that the promised prophet Ahmad has not yet come, and would have to look for the coming of someone else, and the claims of Islam would be void, and the coming of the Holy Prophet, his deeds and the existence of Muslims would be merely something fictitious, having no reality. Can anyone having a brain and intelligence accept that the Holy Prophet Muhammad has not yet come?” (pages 34-35 of booklet about this debate, published December 1909)
You then quote from Maulana Muhammad Ali’s book The Split as follows:
“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).”
and claim that “he categorically denied ‘Ahmad’ referred to the Promised Messiah”. I am amazed that you have missed the entire point of that chapter in The Split, which is surprising since I e-mailed you the relevant pages at an early point in our discussions. That chapter refutes the views of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad as quoted by me above. It begins as follows:
“I take first the question whether Ahmad was not a name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad and whether the prophecy of Jesus relating to the appearance of a messenger named Ahmad was not fulfilled by the advent of the Holy Prophet.” (p. 18)
The Maulana gives quotations from Mirza Mahmud Ahmad’s book that puts forward the above beliefs and rebuts them. So his statement that you have quoted is in refutation of the way in which Mirza Mahmud Ahmad suggests that this prophecy applies to the Promised Messiah. He quotes this concept of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad as follows:
“My belief is that this verse relates to the Promised Messiah and that he alone is Ahmad, … I hold the belief that the word Ahmad occurring in the Holy Quran relates only to the Promised Messiah.” (quoted on p. 20 of The Split)
This is the standpoint which he is refuting. As to how the verse refers to the Promised Messiah, he quotes the Promised Messiah himself and then writes:
“Speaking of himself he simply says that there is a hint, an isharah, in the verse to his advent, not that it speaks plainly of his advent.” (p. 44)
The entire point being discussed by the Maulana from page 38 to 40 is that this prophecy referred to in the Quran is that of “Paraclete” in the Gospels. Since Mirza Mahmud Ahmad had written that the signs of the Promised ‘Ahmad’ were not found in the Holy Prophet (quoted in The Split, p. 33), the Maulana writes:
“Another important point in this connection is whether the signs of the advent of the promised messenger are met with in the Holy Prophet. It should be borne in mind that these signs are not given in the Holy Quran which merely refers to the original prophecy of Jesus.” (p. 38)
Having first established that the “the prophecy referred to in the Holy Quran in 61:6 is the same as that met with in John where the Paraclete is spoken of” (p. 39), then by comparison with that original prophecy the Maulana says:
“… the prophecy of the Paraclete speaks plainly of the comer as teaching all those things which even Jesus could not teach, thus plainly showing that he was to deliver some great message to the world which should bring all the previous messages to perfection.” (p. 40)
This occurs immediately before your quotation. So the word rasul in the prophecy as quoted in the Quran, compared with this description in the original prophecy of the Gospels, shows that this term here can only refer to the Holy Prophet.
Note that Mirza Mahmud Ahmad denied that the Paraclete prophecy was being referred to in this verse of the Quran. He wrote in his above-mentioned, detailed treatment of this subject in Anwar-i Khilafat:
“Another argument which our opponents use against us is that they try to prove the ‘Ahmad’ prophecy from the prophecy of the Paraclete given in the Gospels and say that the word Paraclete shows the name ‘Ahmad’ … In short, the ‘Ahmad’ prophecy has no connection with the Paraclete prophecy, which in any case is about the Holy Prophet” (pages 25-27).
But the Qadiani Jama‘at English translation of the Quran with short commentary (available online on their website www.alislam.org), in its footnote 3037 on this very ‘Ahmad’ verse, devotes more than a half of its discussion to the Paraclete prophecy and says that it “closely resembles the prophecy in the verse under comment except that instead of Ahmad the name stated therein is Paraclete”!
You then write about Maulana Muhammad Ali’s views:
“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.” (your page 18)
In fact, it was the Promised Messiah who expressed this view in a talk on 22 January 1901 as follows:
“The name Ahmad of the Holy Prophet is that which Jesus has mentioned: ‘he will come after me, his name being Ahmad.’ The words after me show that he must come after Jesus without interruption, that is to say, there shall be no other prophet between him and Jesus. Moses did not use these words.” (Malfuzat, v. 2, p. 208; from Al-Hakam, 31 January 1901)
You write: “What were Mirza Mahmud Ahmad’s thoughts on the subject?” (your page 19). Please read his own following statement from the section in Anwar-i Khilafat on this topic (running from page 18 to page 52 of that book):
“My belief is that it is only the Promised Messiah who fulfils this verse. It is true that when I heard this in the beginning from the first Khalifa I did not at first accept it and many discussions were held about it. But when I pondered over it, Almighty God expanded my breast concerning it and He granted me conclusive arguments and shining proofs and I accepted the idea.” (Anwar-i Khilafat, p. 21; bolding mine)
This plainly shows that, even according to Mirza Mahmud Ahmad’s own account, his interpretation of the ‘Ahmad’ prophecy was not at all an established belief during the life of the Promised Messiah. Otherwise, why didn’t he know about it before the period of headship of Maulana Nur-ud-Din, and why did it take many discussions before he accepted this belief?
You write about Maulana Muhammad Ali: “His book from 1918 flatly contradicts his previous words from Review of Religions and the words of the Promised Messiah himself years earlier.” (Incidentally, “years earlier” was previous to Ayk Ghalati Ka Izala!)
But “the words of the Promised Messiah himself” did not even make Mirza Mahmud Ahmad realise during the Promised Messiah’s lifetime that he was claiming to fulfil this prophecy! And when he first heard of it after his lifetime, he says “I did not accept it at first”.
Let us now see how Mirza Mahmud Ahmad responded to Maulana Muhammad Ali’s treatment of this subject in 1918 and compare it to your reaction. In his response to the Maulana’s book The Split Mirza Mahmud Ahmad published his Urdu book A’inah-i Sadaqat in December 1921, later published in English as The Truth about the Split, and available online on the website of the Qadiani Jama‘at www.alislam.org. After briefly explaining his views on this subject, he writes:
“But the whole question is one regarding which no decision has been left by any of the prophets. Any discussion of the question therefore has little more than mere academic interest. If any person holds a different view regarding the interpretation of the verse, all that I shall say is that he is mistaken, but I shall never deem him, on that account, any the less an Ahmadi and much less shall I deem him a sinner.” (The Truth about the Split, p. 58)
Mirza Mahmud Ahmad here allows that Ahmadis may accept the interpretation of this verse given by Maulana Muhammad Ali in 1918 in his book The Split, so much so that he does not regard such a person as any less an Ahmadi. So he clearly does not consider, as T. Ijaz considers, that the Maulana’s 1918 explanation is in flat contradiction to the writings of the Promised Messiah. Nor does he tell the Maulana that he is contradicting his own earlier statements. In fact, he wants to end the discussion by labeling it as a merely academic discussion.
It may be noted that Maulana Muhammad Ali published a 92-page Urdu book Ahmad Mujtaba in December 1917 to refute the standpoint of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad on the ‘Ahmad’ prophecy expressed in Anwar-i Khilafat, and then he summarized the same material in his English book The Split, published January 1918. We believe that his arguments were so powerful as to make Mirza Mahmud Ahmad retreat to the above position.
As regards your jibe that:
Remember my “books from thirty years ago are off the table” statement. (your page 18-19)
You have forgotten that I proved that the Maulana said no such thing to the Anjuman Himayat-i Islam, either directly (as you are implying by your quotation marks) or indirectly. On the other hand, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad’s 1916 book Anwar-i Khilafat became “off the table” just five years later in 1921 when he declined to pursue the ‘Ahmad’ prophecy discussion any further. Please tell us whether the following challenge by Mirza Mahmud Ahmad is still “on the table”:
“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.” (Anwar-i Khilafat p. 18, 19)
XII. Implications of believing in Promised Messiah as prophet (your page 19)
I am happy to discuss this issue but the need to discuss it has diminished considerably since your Jama‘at has made the book The Truth about the Split available online because Mirza Mahmud Ahmad has explained his views most clearly in that book. When I used to discuss this issue with members of your Jama‘at, which I have done during the last ten years first on the Internet newsgroup soc.religion.islam, later on at our own Discussions Forum, and also by e-mail, the problem was that they were unaware of the views he had expressed in books such as this and had difficulty in accepting that I was correctly quoting him. With that book online now, I am satisfied that your members can be referred to it and they can themselves compare the statements in it with what the late Mirza Tahir Ahmad had been telling them on the same issue. As long as members of your Jama‘at are aware of the beliefs laid down by Mirza Mahmud Ahmad on this question, I leave the matter up to them.
You have suggested that the implication of not believing the Promised Messiah as a prophet is to degrade Islam by not allowing an ummati nabi to appear in this Umma. Unfortunately, to believe him to be a nabi requires regarding some 70% of his writings on the prophethood issue as invalid and mistaken. It certainly degrades Islam when we see that the one ummati nabi who arose after 1300 years did not himself know for several years what the correct definition of a prophet was, while actually being a prophet all this time!
Final Note: As you can see, our responses are getting longer every time. I suggest that we could now conclude this entire discussion with each of us summarising, in a space of no more than 2 pages, the beliefs and views that we have tried to prove in this discussion. This is only a suggestion in order to avoid this discussion becoming excessively prolonged, which you may wish to consider.