Also see these essays:

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad denied the physicality of the Miraaj in 1890/1891 in Izala Auham and in 1893 in Humamatul Bushra

Izala Auham (1891), Part-1 and 2, quotes and background information

Taken from here:

A question requiring answer is that Jesus, son of Mary, brought the dead to life, bestowed sight on the blind and restored the hearing of the deaf; which of these miracles has been performed by the ‘like of Jesus’ [meaning Hazrat Mirza due to his claim of being the Promised Messiah]?

In the first place, it is sufficient to answer that, as regards the Messiah whom the Muslims await, the Hadith reports do not mention his power of raising the dead to life; however, they do say that his advent shall cause the death of people. In any case, God the Most High has sent my humble self for the very purpose that the dead should be raised to life spiritually, the ears of the deaf be opened, the lepers be cleansed and those people who are in their graves be taken out.

Another reason for the likeness is that just as Jesus, son of Mary, presented in the Gospel the gist and the true spirit of the Torah, my advent is for the same purpose, namely to present the true teachings of the Holy Quran to make the uninformed people understand. Jesus only came to declare the commandments of the Torah firmly. Similarly I have been expressly sent to explain the injunctions of the Holy Quran very clearly. The only difference is that that Messiah was granted to Moses and this Messiah has been granted to the Prophet who resembles Moses [i.e., Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him].

So the resemblance has been proven and I say truly that those raised to life by Jesus have died but the person who drinks the elixir I have been given shall never die. If anyone else can impart the kind of life-giving teachings and words of wisdom that come from me then know that I am not from God the Most High. But if this knowledge of Allah and wisdom, that acts like a life-giving elixir for dead hearts, cannot be obtained elsewhere, then you have no excuse for the offence of denying its source which was opened in heaven. None can stop its passage on the earth. So hasten not to contest me, nor knowingly and willingly render yourself guilty of the accusation which God the Most High has put in the words:

“And follow not that of which thou hast no knowledge. Surely the hearing and the sight and the heart, of all of these it will be asked.” [17:36]

meaning, exceed not the limit in giving vent to your misgivings and feelings of ill-will, lest you be caught because of your words and then in the abode of grief you may be forced to say: “What is the matter with us, we see not men whom we used to count among the wicked” [the Holy Quran, 38:62].

A wise man is not one who rashly rejects the truth because of his vain desires.

The truth seeker needs patience, for every seed in this world brings forth its fruit according to the hidden qualities it contains.

A person needs some insight, some light of his own so that the truth may become manifest to him.

The truthfulness of the truthful cannot remain hidden from the world. The spiritual light inside man illuminates him so that there is a glow on his forehead.

One who has had a taste of the nearness he desired can always savour the taste of his beloved company.

The arrival of the Messiah is a Divine blessing

O Muslims, if you truly believe in God the Most High and His Holy Prophet, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, and if you await the help of Allah then you should know that the time of help has most certainly come. This is not the work of a human nor was its foundation laid by human design. Instead, this is the dawn of Truth, whose arrival was foretold by the holy scriptures. God the Most High has supplied you with help in a time of great need; you were about to stumble into a destructive abyss, but His Loving Hand swept you up. So give thanks and rejoice because the day of your renewal and refreshment has come.

God the Most High never wishes to let go to ruin the garden of His religion which was watered by the blood of His true believers. He most certainly does not want Islam to become a collection of old stories having no blessings in it for the present time, like the religions of other nations. He sends His Divine light at the time of the total predominance of darkness. Do you not await the appearance of the new moon after a dark night? Do you not, when you see the last night of darkness, recognize that the new moon will appear on the morrow? Alas, you are well acquainted with the physical law of nature but are totally ignorant of the spiritual law of nature which is just like it.

Pity be on you, O you worldly Maulvis and you spiritless pious men, that you just do not want the doors of heavenly wisdom to open; instead you want heaven to remain silent forever so that you remain the autocratic leaders. Look within your hearts and examine your inner selves: is your life free from all forms of worldly worship? Are not your hearts covered with the rust that makes you stay in the dark? Are you in any way better than the religious lawyers and Pharisees [of the Jews] who in the time of Jesus were engrossed day and night in the pursuit of their selfish desires? Then, is it not true that you are providing with your own hands one aspect of the resemblance that the ‘like of Jesus’ has to Jesus, so that the argument of God the Most High is established upon you in every way? I say truly that it is easier for an unbeliever to become a believer than it is for you to believe. Many shall come from the East and the West to take a share in this great blessing, yet you will die in the same state of ignorance. Would that you had considered!

The miracles and prophecies of Jesus were in no way extraordinary

As for the miracles shown by the first Messiah, which are demanded to establish resemblance, I have already explained that bringing the actual dead to life has no significance. I have come to raise the spiritually dead to life and this shall certainly take place. Moreover, if the actual work done by Jesus is reviewed, leaving aside the additional descriptions which have been added as fabrication or out of misunderstanding, we do not find anything out of the ordinary there. On the contrary, I do not think that the amount of objections and doubts that arise regarding the miracles and prophecies of Jesus are to be found in case of the miracles and prophecies of any other prophet. Does not the “healing pool” [John, ch. 5, v. 4] remove the glory from the miracles of Jesus? And his prophecies are in an even more decrepit state. Are these worthwhile prophecies, that there will be earthquakes, deaths, wars and famines? And an even more regrettable fact is that the number of the prophecies of Jesus that went wrong is more than the number that was fulfilled. He gave Judas Iscariot one throne out of the twelve thrones of Heaven, which he was eventually deprived of. Peter was given not only a throne but also the keys of Heaven and the authority to open or close its gates to anyone. But when Peter last took leave of Jesus, he cursed him to his face and swore that he did not know him!

Similarly, there are many other prophecies which were not fulfilled, but this is not a matter of objection because even prophets can make errors in interpreting their visions and prophecies. For example, certain prophecies of Moses were not fulfilled in the form he had envisaged.

The point behind all this is that the prophecies of Jesus went wrong more than those of others, but the error does not lie with the Divine revelation itself; rather, it is an error of understanding and interpretation as they were human, and the view of a human may be both right or wrong. So these mistakes were made while applying human judgment.

Jesus denies the ability to perform miracles

What is most strange here is that Jesus plainly denied possessing the power of showing miracles, saying that he definitely could not work miracles. Even then, the general public attribute a multitude of miracles to him without opening their eyes to the fact that he very clearly denies them. Hence when Jesus was presented before Herod, he was very pleased to see Jesus because he hoped to witness one of the miracles performed by him. But although Herod requested Jesus repeatedly for this purpose, yet he gave him no answer. From that time onwards, Herod with all his courtiers doubted the truthfulness of Jesus and regarded him with contempt. See Luke, chapter 23.

Now one should think that if Jesus actually possessed the power of performing miracles of his own accord, as the Christians believe, then he would surely have performed one to Herod who was a man of good faith and also the king of his country. But he was unable to comply. Instead, once when the religious leaders and the Pharisees, who were greatly respected in the government of the Caesar, asked Jesus for a miracle, he addressed them in a provocative tone and said furiously: An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the Prophet Jonah. See Matthew, chapter 12, verse 39.{Footnote 1} And by referring to the sign of the Prophet Jonah he meant that just as the Prophet Jonah was not killed in the belly of the fish but he survived and came out alive, similarly he would not die on the Cross nor would he be dead when he entered the tomb [after his body was removed from the cross].

My critics and I

Some persons have found faults with me in order to criticize me. Although humans are not free from fault, and as Jesus rightly said: “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone” [Mark 10:17], but since such criticism has an adverse effect on religious activities and prevents those people who seek the truth from turning to it, so I will briefly give answers to some of the objections made.

               The first objection made about my humble self is that I have used harsh language with regard to the opponents [of Islam] in my writings, and by this they have been provoked into being disrespectful about Allah the Glorious and His Holy Prophet, and have published scurrilous writings. The Holy Quran contains the clear command not to abuse and insult the deities of the opponents lest they too, out of ignorance and malice, wag their tongues to malign God the Most High. But here insult and abuse has been used, contrary to the way of those who are sent by God.

               Answer: Let it be clear that while raising this objection the critic has not mentioned the actual words which, according to him, I have used in my books and which really fall in the category of abuse and bad language. I say truly, absolutely truly, that I have not, to the best of my knowledge, used even one word which can be called abusive. A misconception arises because most people fail to differentiate between hurling abuse and narrating the truth, and consider them to be the same. They regard what is the relating of a fact in its proper place to be abuse, solely because of a degree of harshness in it which is unavoidable when speaking the truth. Actually, the definition of abuse and offensive language is that it is something which is against facts and false, and used merely to cause hurt. If we label every harsh and hurtful statement as abuse solely because of its bitterness, unpleasantness and hurtfulness, then we shall have to admit that the entire Holy Quran is filled with foul language. The harsh words used in the Holy Quran to degrade the idols and to disgrace the idol-worshippers, and to curse and condemn them, are not such as would please the idol-worshippers. On the contrary, they would undoubtedly further spark off their rage. When God the Most High addresses the unbelievers of Makka and says:

“Surely you and what you worship besides Allah are fuel of hell” [21:98],

is it not included in abusive language according to the criteria coined by the critic? Likewise, is it not abuse in the opinion of the critic when in the Holy Quran God the Most High calls the unbelievers “the worst of creatures” [98:6], and says that they are even worse than the most disgraced and filthy of creations. Has not God the Most High said in the Holy Quran: “be firm against them” [9:73]? Has it not been stated to be a sign of the believers that they are “hard against the disbelievers” [48:29]?

Jesus Christ used harsh language against his opponents

When Jesus calls the respectable religious lawyers and Pharisees of the Jews as swine and dogs, and their most honourable leader Herod a fox, and compares their respectable priests and jurists to whores, and as regards the revered leaders, who were accorded the highest respect by the Roman rulers and made to sit with honour in the Roman courts, he speaks of them in these offensive, very hurtful and uncivil words, calling them illegitimate, adulterous, evil, dishonourable, faithless, fools, hypocrites, satanic, doomed to hell, serpents and brood of vipers — are not these words very serious, filthy abuse in the opinion of the critic? From this it becomes evident that the objection of the critic does not only apply to me and my books but in reality he has attacked all the Divine scriptures and prophets with a burning heart. And this attack hits most at the Gospels because Jesus spoke more harshly than any of the other prophets. It is proved from the Gospels that, because of his harsh speech, the Jews attempted to stone him on several occasions, and he received a slap on his face because of disrespect he showed to their chief priest. As Jesus himself proclaimed, he had not come to establish peace, but to wield a sword. So he wielded the sword of his tongue so fiercely that the harsh and hurtful language as found in the Gospels cannot be found in the words of any other prophet. Jesus had to suffer much because of this sword of the tongue, and similarly John the Baptist who called the religious lawyers and leaders of the Jews as brood of vipers [Matthew, 3:7] was beheaded through their evil plans and schemes.

Expressing the truth cannot be taken as abuse

Now the question that arises is: Were these sacred people most uncivilized, and did they not possess even a trace of the modern day civilization and manners? The answer to this has already been given by our leader and master, the Last of Prophets, and the head of all the generations of the earlier as well as the later times, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of Allah be on him, who is dearer to us than our parents, and it is as follows. When the verses were revealed which call the unbelievers as polluted, the worst of creatures, cruel, and the offspring of the devil, and their gods are the fuel of the fire of hell, then Abu Talib called the Holy Prophet, may peace and the blessings of Allah be on him, and said:

“O my nephew, you have made the people furious by your abuse. They are about to kill you, and me as well. You have declared their wise men as fools, called their elders the worst of creatures, named their revered gods as the fuel of Hell and the fuel of fire, and generally called them all polluted, offspring of the devil and a filthy people. As a well-wisher, I advise you to hold your tongue and refrain from abusing them; otherwise, I do not have the strength to fight with the people.”

The Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of Allah be on him, replied:

“O uncle, this is not abuse but an expression of truth and a statement of facts exactly as it is needed. This is the very work which I have been sent to do. If I am destined to die while doing my duty then I cheerfully accept this death for myself. I have dedicated my life for this very cause. I cannot refrain from making the truth manifest for fear of death.

“O uncle, if you are concerned because of your weak position and the trouble you receive, then withdraw the protection you give me. By God, I do not need your help at all. I will never refrain from delivering the Divine commandments. I hold the commands of my Lord dearer than life itself. By God, if I were to be killed while accomplishing my mission it would be my wish to keep on being granted life again and again and to keep on being killed each time in this path. I am not afraid, instead I find the utmost pleasure in being persecuted in Allah’s way.”

While the Holy Prophet was speaking, his face was radiating truth and an ecstasy full of spiritual light. When he had finished, Abu Talib could not restrain his tears, seeing the light of truth. He then said:

“I was unaware of the sincerity of your faith. Your position and status is beyond conception. Go and carry on your work. I will assist you as long as I live, as far as my power goes.” {Footnote 2}

Now the conclusion from this is that the answer that the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of Allah be on him, himself gave to Abu Talib by his own blessed tongue is quite sufficient to silence all the critics, because abuse is one thing and stating the truth, even though it may be harsh and unpleasant, is something totally different.

It is a duty binding upon every seeker and speaker of truth to deliver the facts to the ears of the misguided opponent. Then if he is incensed on hearing the truth, let him be so. The verses which our Ulama present at this point, “and abuse not those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest, exceeding the limits, they abuse Allah through ignorance” [6:108], I cannot think how this verse concerns us. This blessed verse only forbids us from hurling unjust abuse at our opponents, not stop us from expressing the truth. If the harshness and unpleasantness of the truth seems to our unwise opponents as being of the nature of abuse, and becoming incensed they respond by foul abuse on their part, then should it stop us from preaching the truth? Has this sort of foul language never been used by the unbelievers before?

The Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of Allah be on him, did not only use stern language in support of the truth but he also broke with his own hands the idols which were looked upon as gods by the idol-worshippers. When has Islam allowed compromising on the truth, and where in the Holy Quran is such an order to be found? Instead, Allah the Glorious clearly disallows such leniency, saying that people who compromise even with their unbelieving fathers or mothers are equally faithless. Allah refers to the unbelievers of Makka and says:

“They wish that you [O Prophet] should be pliant, so they (too) would be pliant” [68:9],

meaning that the unbelievers of Makka would like it if you adopted a lenient attitude by withholding the truth, and then they would also agree with you in your [toned-down] religion. But God the Most High does not approve of such expressions of agreement.

So we conclude that if the Quranic verse put forward by the critic testifies to anything, it is only that the critic has no idea of understanding the Word of God. He does not stop to think that if this verse condemns every form of harsh language then it becomes impossible to call people to do good and refrain from wrongdoing. Moreover, we shall have to admit that the Book of Allah contains two contradictory teachings. In other words, first Allah prohibits the use of all forms of harsh language and urges upon us not to offend the unbelievers in any way. Then He starts acting against His own teaching by using words of abuse against the deniers, even urging us to do the same. So we should realize that it is actually a defective understanding on the part of those Maulvis who think that God the Most High has altogether prohibited the use of every type of harsh language. Otherwise, it is not only justified to plainly convey to every opponent such harsh words as are necessary when expressing the truth and which contain within them the proof of their correctness, but it is the need of the time so that we do not fall into the evil of expressing agreement to placate someone.

The righteous servants of God the Most High have never feared receiving the curses and censure of anyone when preaching sternly in this manner. Is it not known that in the time the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of Allah be on him, the real reason why the enmity of the idolaters increased so much was just these harsh words which those unwise people took for abuse, and as a result their opposition ultimately went from being verbal to physical. In the beginning they were not like this; in fact they used to say with full conviction about the Holy Prophet, may peace and the blessings of Allah be on him, that he had completely fallen in love with his Lord. It is just like the Hindus of today, who do not condemn any ascetic living as a recluse, rather they bring him offerings.

Here I am also compelled to declare, with much regret and a grieving heart, that this objection against me has not only come from the general public but I have learnt that some Ulama are also at the bottom of it. In view of their status, I cannot imagine that they are unaware of the Holy Quran and the previous scriptures, nor can this be thought in any way.{Footnote 3} But I know that the misguided culture of the West today, in which there is no concept of having feelings of honour for one’s faith, has cast its influence on the hearts of our Ulama to some extent as well. Their vision has been blurred by the severity of this storm, and the natural weakness in their character has made them accept this ailment. That is why they lay stress on ideas which have no connection with the Quran and Hadith, but which can however be found in the code of ethics of the West. The morals of the West have so deteriorated that it is considered inappropriate for a grown woman to entirely refrain from having relations with a man who is eligible to marry her. But does the Holy Quran agree with these morals practised in the West? Does it not call such people immoral?

It is only for the sake of Allah that I warn such Ulama that, due to their fault-finding and their entertaining such ideas in their minds, they have gone very far from truth and being able to recognize the truth. If they wish to oppose me, then they can say whatever they wish out of their dry logic. On the other hand, if fearing Allah they apply their thinking then this is not a matter which can remain hidden from their view. It is the duty of a good and sincere person to keep hold of the ways of finding truth. Even if the lowliest and most ordinary person says what is right, and we ourselves are in the wrong, then we should admit our fault with gratitude and accept what that humble man is saying. We must not make the claim “I am better than he” [the devil’s claim over Adam in the Holy Quran, 7:12] because the proud are never guided aright and even the faith of such a man is always in danger.

There is another wisdom in the use of harsh language, that it awakens dormant hearts and rouses those people who like to nod in agreement. For example, the Hindus are such a people that most of them, unless you yourself challenge them, nod in agreement with you in religious matters, by way of conciliation, all life long as friends. Sometimes they speak with praise and approbation about our Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of Allah be on him, and eulogize and extol the saints of Islam. But their hearts are in the depths of darkness and far removed from the truth. If the truth is declared to them bluntly, with all its bitterness and unpleasantness, the good result of this is that their pretence to agreement is at once removed and they openly express their unbelief and ill-will, as if their suppressed ailment now manifests itself as burning temperature. So this incitement which severely provokes the minds, although it may be highly objectionable in the view of an unwise person, but an astute man can well understand that it is this arousal which provides the first step towards the acceptance of truth. As long as a disease does not manifest itself it cannot be treated, but when it shows its symptoms then all sorts of means of treatment may be tried.

The strong language used by the prophets was really for the same purpose of arousal, so that a stirring be created in the people, they awaken from slumber by this jolt and start pondering and thinking about religion, they make a movement for this purpose even if it is in opposition, they establish a connection with those who are proclaiming the truth even if it is a connection of hostility. It is to this that Allah the Glorious refers in the words: “In their hearts is a disease, so Allah increased their disease” [2:10].

We should believe with full certainty that one day the same people will accept the religion of Islam with a true heart who, having been awakened by strong and powerful arousal, have started studying religious literature and are taking steps in this direction fervently, even if it is a step of opposition.

The first attitude of the Hindus was disappointing for us because they preferred the approach whereby they would not hold religious discussions with the Muslims and would live with us nodding in agreement with our beliefs. But now, by coming into confrontation and entering the field of combat, they have been subjugated by our sharp weapons, and are like the nearly defeated prey who can be vanquished by one final blow. So we should not be afraid that they are rebellious like deer. They are not our enemies; they are our prey. That age will come soon when you will look for a Hindu and you will not find a single Hindu amongst the educated people. So do not lose hope by being worried by their fervour, because a subtle change is taking place within them preparing them to accept Islam, and they have reached close to the threshold of Islam. I say to you truly that those people you see today filled with strong feelings of animosity, after a little time you will not see them.

Lately the Aryas have, through our urging, taken the step of engaging with us in public debates. Then no matter how harshly they have behaved in this respect, and though they have published books filled with abuse and filthy material, yet by their vehemence they are in fact paving the way for their people to accept Islam. So our provocations do not really lead to any adverse results. Of course, these efforts appear ugly in the view of those who are short-sighted, but one day it will be evident that these very efforts attracted the most hard-hearted people towards this side. This is not conjecture or speculation but a sure and definite reality. Pity be on those who fail to distinguish between good and bad, and are the quick to raise objections.

God the Most High has clearly disallowed us from compromising on the truth but has nowhere ordered us to abstain from proclaiming the truth because of fear of its bitterness and unpleasantness. Ponder, O you impatient Ulama! Do you not read the Quran? What has come over you? How do you judge?

A sincere friend of mine is Maulvi Abdul Karim of Sialkot, a young man who has recently completed his education, having received modern schooling, and is a refined thinker who has been greatly influenced for the better, almost in an extraordinary way, through being nurtured and taught by my truly beloved friend Maulvi Hakim Nur-ud-Din. When he came to Qadian just now to meet me, he promised that he would write and publish a pamphlet about what is real civilization. He knows quite well that actually real civilization is the path which was followed by the prophets, may peace be upon them. It did not forbid them to use harsh words on particular occasions, like bitter medicine is used. In fact, it is the binding duty of every preacher to use harsh words on the proper occasion in accordance with necessity and wisdom, and if he fails to do so because of being lax and neglectful it indicates that he is overwhelmed by the fear of others more than Allah, which is a form of shirk (associating partners with Allah), and that his faith is as weak and frail as the life of a tiny insect.

Therefore I pray for this friend that God the Most High may help him by means of the holy spirit in his intention to produce this writing. I think it is best for him to entitle his pamphlet as ‘Civilization’. I have learnt that he was moved to do this by the objection of a Maulvi gentleman whom he met by chance in Lahore while he was coming to Qadian, and who raised an objection on my humble self in this respect.

O All-Powerful God! Although it has always been Your way and practice that You confer understanding on children and the unlearned, while You cast dark covers upon the eyes and hearts of the wise and the intellectuals of this world, yet I humbly and earnestly beseech You to draw a group of these people also towards my Movement, as You have already brought in some of them. Bestow on them also eyes and ears and hearts that they may see, hear and understand, and realizing the nature of this blessing which You have sent at its appointed time they may make an effort to obtain it. O God, You can do this if You will, for nothing is impossible for You! Ameen again ameen.

The second objection is that I have claimed to be the Promised Messiah because of suffering from melancholia or some other mental illness.

The answer is that I should not be unhappy at being called mad or insane by someone; on the contrary, I am pleased because foolish people have always been calling even every prophet and messenger in his time by these names, and since ancient times every nation has been giving exactly this title to reformers sent to it from God. There is yet another cause for happiness for me, for today that prophecy has been fulfilled which was published in Barahin Ahmadiyya, that people would call me a madman.

However, what is surprising is what is insane or irrational in this claim, on account of which the critics suspect that I have gone mad? I leave the judgment to the conscience and intelligence of the critics themselves, placing before them my statements and those of my opponents, as to which of the two parties has lost its senses, and whose statements are declared by sound reason to be madness and whose to be sane.

My explanation regarding the Promised Messiah whose descent from the heavens and reappearance in the world is awaited, as God the Most High has disclosed to me by His grace and favour, is as follows. The Holy Quran nowhere mentions the return of Jesus to this world; in fact, according to the Quran he has departed from the world forever. However, there are several Hadith reports, full of metaphors, which prophesy the return of the Messiah to this world. The context of those reports shows that it is most certainly not meant that Jesus, son of Mary, shall in actual fact return to the world.

It is, on the contrary, a subtle allegory denoting that in some age which would be similar to the age of Jesus son of Mary, a man will be sent for the reformation of mankind who will resemble Jesus in his nature, powers and the task assigned to him. Just as Jesus revived the religion of Moses and explained again to the Jews the essence and real meaning of the Torah which they had neglected, similarly the second Messiah would revive the religion of the one who is ‘like unto Moses’, that is, the Khatam al-anbiya the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him. This Messiah of the ‘like unto Moses’, in terms of the events of his life  and all the other consequences of his acceptance by his people or their denial, would entirely resemble the Messiah who was given to Moses. What God the Most High has revealed to me now is that I am that Promised Messiah.

Prevalent concepts among Muslims regarding the arrival of the Promised Messiah

In accordance with their old ideas which have been fixed in their minds, the Muslims claim that the Messiah, son of Mary, shall bodily descend from the heavens, with his hands resting upon the shoulders of two angels, and he shall land near a minaret in eastern Damascus. Some say that he will descend on the minaret itself and the Muslims will bring him down from the top by means of a ladder. At this point the angels will leave him. He will be finely dressed, not that he will be unclothed. Then he will meet the Mahdi and exchange greetings with him. Despite the passage of so much time, his age will still be as it was, thirty-two or thirty-three years. Time will have wrought no change in his body nor aged him. His hair and nails will be no longer than they were when he was raised to heaven. He will not have changed at all, but after descending on earth he will again be subject to the ravages of time.

He will not undertake wars and fighting of any kind but there will be such a power in his breath that the unbelievers will die as far as his sight reaches. So his breath will have the power of killing living people, just as in his first advent he could bring the dead to life. Then our ulama, forgetting their first statement, say something contrary to it, that wars and fighting is just what he will undertake, and the one-eyed Dajjal (Anti-Christ) will be killed by him. Jews will also die at his command.

Prevalent beliefs controversial and self-contradictory

Now on the one hand they accept that the Promised Messiah is the same Jesus, son of Mary, the prophet of Allah, to whom the Gospel was revealed, upon whom the Angel Gabriel used to descend, and who is a messenger from among the revered messengers of God. Yet on the other hand they say that after his return to earth he will not even mention that he is a prophet, in fact he will have been removed from the office of prophethood, and will have joined the Umma of our Holy Prophet, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, obeying the law of the Quran like other Muslims and saying his prayers behind an Imam as other Muslims do. Some say that he will follow the Hanafi school of law and accept Abu Hanifa as his Imam. But they have not yet clearly explained which of the four spiritual orders he will follow: whether he will be a Qadari, a Chisti, a Suharawardi or a Naqshbandi like Hazrat Mujaddid of Sirhind.

Hence, after labelling him a prophet, they have reduced his status to a point that no one in his right mind can do. Then, by taking metaphorical descriptions in a literal sense, his special tasks are explained to be that he shall break the cross and kill the swine. Now one cannot imagine what is the benefit of breaking crosses, and even if he manages to break, say, one or two million crosses, can the Christians, who are devoted to the Cross, not make more of them?

His second task, to kill swine, also appears bizarre if taken literally. Is this how the Messiah, after his descent to earth, will perform his great mission? Will he just set out with a pack of dogs and begin to hunt and kill the swine? If this is true then it is good news for the Sikhs and others who love to go hunting for swine as they will have good company. However, it may not be possible for the Christians to benefit from the slaughter of swine because they have already attained perfection in hunting swine. There are a thousand shops in London itself that sell the meat of swine, and it has also been learnt from reliable sources that apart from these shops, twenty-five thousand pigs are sent daily out of London to the people living outside. So the question is: Is it worthy of the dignity of a prophet who has been sent to reform mankind to waste his precious time hunting a filthy animal like the swine? According to the Torah, even touching swine is a deadly sin. I would also say that, firstly, hunting is a pastime of the idle. However, even if the Messiah would have the inclination to hunt, and would like to indulge in it day and night, then are there not enough clean animals in the world, such as deer and rabbits, that he would have to defile his hands with the blood of an impure animal?

Now I have presented a complete sketch, as portrayed by the people of my nation, of the events of the life of the Messiah to take place after his descent on earth. All sensible people should ponder as to how far it contains things against the laws of nature, how it is a bundle of contradictions and full of flaws, and how it is derogatory to the dignity of prophethood. However, all this spurious material is not to be found in the two most authentic books of Hadith. Imam Muhammad Ismail Bukhari, may Allah’s mercy be on him, gives no indication whatsoever that the coming Messiah will be actually and really that same Jesus himself. In fact, he has narrated two Hadith reports from the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, which establish conclusively that the first Messiah and the second Messiah are two different persons. For, the subject matter of one of the Hadith reports is that the son of Mary shall descend among you, and it is explained that he will be your Imam and shall be one of you. These words should be pondered upon seriously, in which the Holy Prophet Muhammad explains the term ‘son of Mary’ by saying that he will be an imam of yours who will be from yourselves, and will be born among you. In other words, the Holy Prophet, in order to remove the misconception that could arise in the minds from the words ‘son of Mary’, added these explanatory words so that people would not take him to be the actual son of Mary: “Nay, he is your imam from among yourselves”.

The second Hadith report which settles this point is that the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, has described the physical appearance of the first Messiah as different from that of the second Messiah, and the latter description fits my humble self perfectly. Just think: does not the clear variance between these two appearances provide solid proof of the fact that the first Messiah and the second Messiah are two different individuals?

Another point deserving attention is that while our ulama stubbornly insist that the Hadith report about the descent of the son of Mary is to be taken literally, yet when some of the wiser ones among them are asked about the meaning of the report that the son of Mary will descend, and he will break the cross and kill the swine, although they still take the term ‘son of Mary’ literally but as regards the cross and the swine they quietly  give it a metaphorical and figurative meaning, as we do. Thus they are convicted by this admission of their own, for it can be argued to them that as regards the three factors, namely, the descent of the son of Mary, the breaking of the cross and the killing of the swine, they admit that two of these should be taken metaphorically to mean something else, so why cannot the third one, the descent of the son of Mary, also be taken metaphorically to signify someone else? Now I ask: is it the way of sense and wisdom to continue adhering to such a bundle of contradictory ideas, when the explanation revealed to me is more in accordance with reason and logic?

Besides this, these old ideas are also subject to the most serious and strongest objections on the basis of reason in many other ways as well, from which there appears to be no way of escape.

One of these objections is that it is not proved from anywhere in the Holy Quran that Jesus was taken up to heaven in his physical body. On the contrary, the death of Jesus is clearly mentioned on several occasions in the Holy Quran. In one place the admission is made by Jesus himself that he died:

“And I was a witness of them so long as I was among them, but when Thou didst cause me to die Thou wast the Watcher over them. And Thou art Witness of all things.” [5:117]

So when death has been proven, it is obvious that his body will have been buried in the earth like all others who die. For, the Holy Quran proves clearly that only his soul was raised to heaven, and not his body. That is why in the above mentioned verse Jesus clearly speaks of his own death. If he had risen to heaven as a living person, in his physical body, then he would never have mentioned his death and would never have said that he had died and left the world. Now it is clear that, as it was only his soul that rose to heaven, how can his body come along with it at the time of descent?

Impractical to believe in bodily ascension

Another objection is that all science, old and new, agrees that it is impossible for a human being to reach even the intensely-cold upper atmosphere in this earthly body of his. In fact, recent researches in natural sciences have shown that when the tops of some high mountains are reached, the air in that region is found to be so unsuitable for health that it is not possible to survive there. So it is quite absurd to think of this human body reaching the moon or the sun.{Footnote 4}

Another objection is that those people who believe in the existence of skies also believe that they are in motion, and that this motion is twofold. Now if it is supposed that Jesus bodily rose to the skies, it is obvious that he shall not remain in the upper direction all the time, but he will sometimes be above and at other times he will be below. Under these circumstances, it cannot be said confidently that he must descend from above. Would it not be possible that he rises up from below? For, his abode would not in fact be a fixed place; if in the morning he was above the earth, he would be below it in the evening! To accept that he should be in such a traumatic condition amounts to the worst kind of disrespect.

Yet another objection arises that, assuming for the sake of argument that Jesus bodily rose to heaven, we cannot deny that even there all animal and human bodies must undergo changes with time, and must inevitably and necessarily face death one day due to the passage of time. Thus, given this circumstance, firstly it must be accepted that Jesus, having completed his span of life, has died while still in heaven. And he must be buried in a graveyard belonging to beings who live somewhere else in space, as nowadays it is accepted that such beings do exist. If, however, we assume that Jesus is alive till now, then no doubt he would be an old and aged man after the passage of so many years, and he would by no means be fit to perform any service to religion. So, being in such a frail condition, his return to the world will not serve any purpose apart from causing him unnecessary distress.

Author’s footnotes

{Back to main text}
Footnote 1

At this point a grave objection arises on the manners and moral condition of Jesus because in Matthew 23:3 Jesus himself says that the scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, which means that they are revered elders. He also knew that they were known as the leaders of the Jews and were made to sit with honour amongst the nobility in the Roman courts. But in spite of all these facts, Jesus used quite uncivil language while addressing them. The surprising thing is that those respectable old men of the Jews used gentle and respectful words and spoke very humbly when they addressed Jesus and said: “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you”. In reply to this, Jesus addressed them using the words: An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign. And he did not stop at that but thereafter he always spoke of those respectable old men abusively. Once he called them: “You serpents, you brood of vipers”, see Matthew 23:33. Another time he said: “They are  blind guides”, see Matthew 15:14. He also said: You hypocrites, see Matthew 23:13. He addressed them in very foul words, saying: “harlots go into the Kingdom of God before you”, see Matthew 21:31. He called them pigs and dogs, as well as “fools”, see Matthew 23:17. He even said that they were doomed to go to Hell, see Matthew 23:15. On the other hand, he himself preached gentleness and good manners, even saying that whosoever calls his brother “you fool” shall be liable to the hell of fire. The answer to this objection will be given when I answer the allegations levelled against me regarding civility made by some naive persons.

{Back to main text}

{Back to main text}
Footnote 2

The account of this entire incident of Abu Talib is contained in books, but the whole of the above narration has been revealed by God the Most High to my heart, with only a few explanatory words added by myself. This revealed account makes evident the sympathy and consideration of Abu Talib, but it is proved with full certainty that this sympathy was aroused at a later date, after witnessing the light of prophethood and signs of his steadfastness. For the greater part of his life, forty years, our Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of Allah be on him, lived as helpless, vexed and an orphan. In that period of lack of support, none of his relatives or close ones helped him as it was their duty to, so much so that in his childhood that spiritual King was, like a child without a family, handed over for upbringing to Bedouin women who lived in the desert. Hence this greatest of all men spent his infancy in helplessness and poverty. When he grew somewhat older, he was assigned the task of grazing the sheep of the Bedouin Arabs, like destitute orphans. In those days of hardship, there was no food except inferior grain or the milk of goats. When he attained maturity, none of his uncles cared about his marriage in spite of the fact that he was most handsome. And it was only by chance, at the age of 25, merely by the blessing of Allah, that an aristocratic lady of Makka chose the Holy Prophet for herself and married him. It is a matter of great astonishment that while the Holy Prophet’s blood paternal uncles Abu Talib, Hamza and Abbas were alive, and especially Abu Talib was a chieftain of Makka, a leader of his tribe and possessed worldly status, dignity, wealth and authority to a large degree, yet in spite of their high position, the Holy Prophet, may peace and the blessings of Allah be on him, spent his days in great hardship, hunger and destitution. He even had to graze the cattle of the Bedouins to make a living yet none of them cared about his painful plight.

When the Holy Prophet, may peace and the blessings of Allah be on him, attained maturity, it did not even occur to any of his paternal uncles that, being like a father, they should exert themselves for his marriage and other essential matters, especially when there were girls in their own families and relatives. Now one naturally thinks why the attitude of these people was so cold. The answer to this is really that they only saw the Holy Prophet, may peace and the blessings of Allah be on him, as an orphan, having neither father nor mother, possessing no property, friendless, indigent and penniless. They stood to gain nothing from helping the trouble-stricken youth, and to make him their son-in-law was tantamount to ruining the lives of their daughters. But little did they know that he was destined to be a prince and the leader of all the spiritual kings, who would be granted the keys to all the treasures of the world.

{Back to main text}

{Back to main text}
Footnote 3

How openly the Holy Quran uses harsh language cannot remain unknown even to the most unintelligent and ignorant of people. For example, the civilized people of today consider it the height of abuse to curse someone. But the Holy Quran pointedly curses the unbelievers. It says: “These it is on whom is the curse of Allah and the angels and men, of all of them, abiding therein” [2:161-162], and: “These it is whom Allah curses, and those who curse, curse them too” [2:159]. Similarly, it is obvious that to liken a human being to a beast is a form of abuse. However, the Holy Quran not only calls them beasts but declares that the unbelievers and deniers are worse than all the creatures on the face of the earth, as it says: “Surely the vilest of beasts in Allah’s sight are those who disbelieve” [8:54]. In the same way, it is clear that it is against the manners of present day culture to make a particular person a target of abuse by taking his name or by referring to him, but in the Holy Quran God the Most High has applied to some the name Abu Lahab, and to some the titles dog and swine. Then Abu Jahal is well known as such. Similarly, regarding Walid Mughira the harshest possible words are used which apparently are terms of filthy abuse, as it says: “So obey not the rejectors. They wish that you [O Prophet]  should be pliant, so they too would be pliant. And obey not any mean swearer, defamer, going about with slander, hinderer of good, outstepping the limits, sinful, ignoble, besides all that, notoriously mischievous … We shall brand him on the snout” [68:8-16]. In other words, do not follow what these unbelievers say, who wish from the bottom of their hearts that you abstain from abusing their gods and disgracing their religion, so that then they shall also apparently approve your religion. Do not be misled by the slickness of their tongues. This man who has appealed for compromise is a man who takes false oaths, is of weak opinion, and a degraded individual. He indulges in fault-finding in others and causes division among people by back biting. He hinders from the path of goodness, is guilty of illicit sexual acts, in his character he is a man of the worst morals, and besides all that he is of illegitimate birth. Very soon We shall brand his snout, which has grown long like that of swine. By a long snout is meant adherence to the customs and codes of honour of society which are a hindrance to the acceptance of the truth. O All Powerful God, chop the noses of certain long-nosed ones among our people also!

Now tell us, respected Maulvi gentlemen, in your opinion, is there any abusive term which has not been used in the above comprehensive words? It is a matter of interest to note here that Walid Mughira adopted a lenient attitude so that the unbelievers should be dealt with gently. And in reply, all his faults were exposed. This is an indication to them not to expect compromise from the believers.

{Back to main text}

{Back to main text}
Footnote 4

At this point the objection could be raised that, if it is impossible to ascend bodily to heaven, then how could the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of Allah be on him, have gone to the Mi‘raj in his body? The answer is that the journey of the Mi‘raj was not with this physical body; on the contrary, it was a vision of the highest order, which takes place in a state of wakefulness. In such a vision a person may visit the heavens with a spiritual body, in accordance with the capability of his soul. Since the capability of the soul of the Holy Prophet, may peace and the blessings of Allah be on him, was of the highest degree and had reached the uppermost point of development, so in his journey of Mi‘raj he reached the furthest point of the universe, known as the ‘Arsh Azim (the great Throne). Although this journey was in fact a vision which resembles a state of wakefulness to the utmost degree, I most certainly do not call it a dream nor consider it as an ordinary vision. On the contrary, it was a vision of the highest possible order which is really wakefulness; in fact this state is clearer and more vivid than physical wakefulness. I myself have had experience of this kind of vision. There is not scope here to write further. Allah willing, I will write in more detail elsewhere.