In roughly 1883, MGA told the world that he was only “LIKE-Esa” and even though his revelations indicated something else, he was only “LIKE-Esa” or “maseel e Maseeh”. However, 7 years later, he totally contradicted himself and claimed to actually be Esa (as) (1890-1891).  MGA compared this confusion of 7 years to his confusion of over 20 years on prophethood.
In fact, as early as 1884, the Muslims of India were already at odds with MGA since he was claiming divine revelations, he was thus called a Kafir in 1884. By 1885, one of the main leaders of the Ahle-e-Hadith ripped up the Braheen e Ahmadiyya and sent it to Qadian as such in this era.  They had previously read MGA’s nikah and had promoted MGA as a writer. Nevertheless, in 1890-1891, MGA claimed to be Esa (as) and was formally denounced as a Kafir by the majority of the Ulema in India. MGA responded to this by denying prophethood and only claiming to be a “Muhadas” or a “metaphoric” prophet, like the mujadids and other muhaddas’, in fact, MGA even went as far as to argue that even prostitutes, as they spend nights with their customers were eligible to receive good dreams. MGA then denied prophethood for 20 years and in every single book in this era. Per the 2nd Khalifa in 1915, MGA formally claimed prophethood in Nov of 1901, with the publishing of his famous announcement, “Eik Ghalti Ka Izala” or “The result of an error”, or a “Correction of a mistake”. However, the Lahori-Ahmadi’s denied this altogether and said that MGA never claimed prophethood in 1901. The 2nd Khalifa also began twisting Chapter 2:4 of the Quran to support the idea that MGA was a prophet. The 2nd Khalifa then sparred with the famous Muhammad Ali over this topic over 10 books. In the below, I have posted Muhammad Ali’s translation which uses a few different words, the Qadiani-Ahmadi translation is watered down and softened, they are known for this type of editing. In conclusion, per the 2nd Khalifa, MGA found a new type of prophethood in 1901, which wasn’t given to any other prophet in any scripture.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________1907, MGA explains his confusion of 20+ years

“The conferment of titles is the pleasure and the work of the Lord God. I have no share in it. As for the question why I have written like this? Why has this contradiction crept in? So, please, listen and understand with care. This contradiction is of the same kind as in Barahin-i-Ahmadiyya I wrote, at one time, that the Messiah, son of Mary, could descend from the heavens. Later on, however, I put forth that I, myself, am the Messiah expected to come in the later times. The basis of the contradiction in that case was the same. Although, in Barahin-i-Ahmadiyya itself, the Lord God called me Isa and also said to me that the tiding of my advent had been given earlier by God and His Apostle. Since, however, a portion of the Muslims happened to have become firm on the belief, and I myself believed the same, that Hazrat Isa would come down from the heavens, I endeavoured to take the Wahyi at the apparent level; in fact, I watered it down in interpretation, and clung to the former view I had shared with the rest of the Muslims; and this was the view I did my best to propagate in Barahin-i-Ahmadiyya. Later on, however, Revelations came down on me, like the rain from heaven, to the effect that I myself was the Promised Messiah, so eagerly expected to appear, with hundreds of wonderful Signs and the earth, as well as the heavens took their stand in support of my position; and brilliant manifestations forced me to perceive that I, myself, was the Masih expected to appear in the later times. Otherwise, my belief on these points was the same as I had stated in Barahin-i- Ahmadiyya…

Similarly, to begin with this was my belief that in no way was I comparable in quality with reference to Jesus son of Mary. He was a Prophet, great among those chosen by the Lord. Even when something occurred, which seemed to establish my superiority over him, always I took it to imply some limited and partial preference. Later on, however, the Wahyi sent down on me by the Lord, like pouring rain, it did not allow me to remain clinging to this belief; and I found the title of Nabi clearly conferred on me, in a manner that I was a Nabi from one angle, an Ummati from another… Anyway, the long and short of it all is this that there is no contradiction in what I say, I but follow the Wahyi, from the Lord. Just as long as this awareness did not come to me, I continued to say what I had said at the outset. But when I was given this awareness, I began to say different from what I had said before. I am no more than a human being: I do not claim to be the Knower of the Unseen.” (Haqiqatul Wahyi, page 148-150, online urdu version)(translated by Muhammad Ali in Prophethood in Islam).  

The new english version of this quote
See pages, 182-183

“”””Meaning that, tell them, ‘As far as I am concerned, I do not want any title for myself.’ In other words, my aim and objective is higher than these thoughts. Bestowing a title is an act of God; I have no influence in it.

The question remains why it has been written so and why such a contradiction has occurred in the statements. Ponder over it and realize that it is the same kind of contradiction as I had written in Barahine- Ahmadiyya that Masih Ibn-e-Maryam would descend from heaven; and later, I wrote that I myself am the Messiah who was to come. The reason for this contradiction was the same: God Almighty had named me ‘Isa in Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, and also informed me that God and His Messenger had prophesied my advent. But as a body of Muslims was firm in the belief—and I, too, held that same belief—that Hadrat ‘Isa would descend from heaven, I did not wish to take God’s revelation for its literal meaning, but interpreted this revelation and maintained my belief in consonance with that of the Muslims at large and published the same in Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya. But afterwards, divine revelations regarding this descended like rain, affirming that I am, indeed, the Promised Messiah who was to come. Along with them [i.e. the divine revelations] appeared hundreds of Signs, and both the heaven and the earth arose to testify to my truthfulness. The bright Signs of God compelled me to realize that, indeed, I am the Messiah who was to come in the Latter Days. Otherwise, my belief was what I had set forth in Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya. Moreover, not relying entirely upon it, I sought adjudication for my revelation from the Holy Quran. It was established by conclusive verses that ‘Isa Ibn-e-Maryam had indeed died, and the last Khalifah [vicegerent] would appear from among this very ummah
under the title of the Promised Messiah. As no darkness remains after the dawn of day, in the same way, hundreds of Signs, heavenly testimonies, conclusive verses of the Holy Quran, and definitive and explicit ahadith compelled me to accept that I am the Promised Messiah.

It was enough for me that God should be pleased with me, and I had absolutely no desire for such a thing. I led a life of seclusion and no one was aware of my existence, nor did I desire that anyone should recognize me. He forced me out of my solitude. I had wished to live and
die in obscurity, but He decreed that He would make me renowned with honour throughout the world. Therefore, ask God why He did so. What is my fault in this?

Similarly, I initially believed that I could not possibly be compared with Masih Ibn-e-Maryam since he is a Prophet and one of the distinguished men of God. Therefore, whenever something in my revelation appeared concerning my superiority, I interpreted it as partial superiority.  But later, when revelation from God Almighty descended upon me like pouring rain, it did not permit me to persist in this belief. The title of ‘Prophet’ was clearly bestowed upon me, albeit with the proviso that I am a Prophet in one aspect and an ummati [follower of the Holy Prophet sa] in another.1٭ The instances of divine revelation that I have cited in this book also reveal what God Almighty says concerning me vis-à-vis Masih Ibn-e-Maryam. How can I reject twenty-three years of continuous revelations from God Almighty? I believe in this holy revelation of His as I believe in all the revelations of God that have occurred before me. I also note that the Masih Ibn-e-Maryam is the last Khalifah of Musa, peace be upon him, and I am the last Khalifah of the Prophet who is the Best of Messengers. Therefore, God willed that I should not be inferior to him.””””

_____________________________________________________________________________________________Links and Related Essays

Nooruddin urged Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to make the claim of being “like the messiah” (1882-1884 era)

In 1884, before his wildest claims, MGA defined Inni-Mutawafeeka, wa Raffa as I shall give you full reward and shall raise you towards Me

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad quoted and commented on 17:8 in 1884 in the Braheen-e-Ahmadiyya, vol. 4, he then connected 17:8 with the return of the Messiah

The Queen of the Princely state of Bhopal invested heavily (1878) into Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and his Braheen–they were disappointed by the product

The Fatwa-e-Kufr vs. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad—-1891

MGA’s ghost writers argue on the prophethood of MGA in 1900

The Causes of Internal Dissensions in the Ahmadiyya Movement, By Khwaja Kamaluddin, 1914

Glaring errors in the translation of “Taudih-e-Maram” or “Elucidation of Objectives” (1890)

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was considered a Kafir in 1884, before his wildest claims


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