Did Muhammad Ali believe that MGA was a prophet before 1914? This has been a hot topic since the split in the Ahmadiyya Movement. However, a huge piece of evidence was always missing. The famous Yohanan Friedman quotes Muhammad Ali from 1906 in his own book about Ahmadiyya, “Prophecy Continuous” on page 148. Friedman quotes a book by Muhammad Ali which was published in 1906 wherein Muhammad Ali made many pro-prophethood remarks. Unfortunately, the Qadiani-Ahmadi’s never quoted this book vs. Muhammad Ali and the Lahori-Ahmadi’s. Part 1 of this book covers roughly 34 pages, this corresponds with the May-1906-ROR pages, 171-205, an Urdu version of this article appeared in the May 1906 issue of the Urdu edition of The Review of Religions from pages 163 to 192. Part-2 covers pages 229 to 256 of the english ROR of June-1906 and makes up the second part of this book.
In Part-2 of the essay, Muhammad Ali unequivically called MGA a Prophet and compared his journey to that of other prophets in the past
Part-2 starts in the June edition of the english ROR. Muhammad Ali confirms that MGA was in-fact born in 1839, not 1835 as later Ahmadiyya editors would assert. On page 234 of the english ROR-June 1906, Muhammad Ali blatanly lies and claims that Muslims of India rejoiced at MGA’s claim to being a reformer. The opposite is true, MGA was at that time an Ahl-e-Hadith Muslim, after MGA published his Braheen e Ahmadiyya vol. 1-4, he was called a Kafir by the leaders of his own sect, only his close friend, Syed Muhammad Hussain Batalvi refrained from calling MGA a Kafir. In fact, the husband of the Nawab of Bhopal tore of the Braheen e Ahmadiyya and sent it to Qadian in pieces. Nevertheless, Muhammad Ali goes on to lie about the Braheen e Ahmadiyya, he claims that it was hailed “throughout India as the best and most powerful exposition of Islamic doctrines in the whole Muslim religious literature” (See page 40 of the June-1906 ROR). This is a total lie, only Syed Muhammad Hussain Batalvi gave it a positive review and that was only because MGA was his childhood friend and he did it as a favor. On page 41, Muhammad Ali lies again and claims that MGA was simply considered a Muslim who was a recipient of divine revelations by the leading Muslim theologians, this is another total lie.
Quotes wherein the word Prophet is emphatically used without qualification
Page—41, June ROR:
“”In this work (the Braheen e Ahmadiyya) were published revelations in which he was addressed as Messenger of God, as a Prophet, and as a warner. He was even addressed as Jesus Christ and as the Messiah. But in spite of this he was recognized as the recipient of Divine revelation by the leading Muslim theologians”.
Page—41, June ROR:
“””But the year 1891 was a time of great transition in his life, and it divides his life into two parts from more points of view than one. It was the year in which he announced the he was the PROMISED MESSENGER OF THE LAST AGES, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi. As a MESSENGER OF HEAVEN, the Muslim submitted to his claims and no fault to find with him, but as the PROMISED MESSENGER, there was no epithet of irreverence, no word of calumny, which was not applied to him. He was called an imposter, an arch-heretic and the anti-Christ. Through such a trial every PROPHET OF GOD has to pass. Jesus Christ was recognised as a learned rabbi so long as he did not announce that he was the Promised Messiah of the Israelites, but no sooner he said that he was the Messiah than he was pelted with stones and had to fly for his life from place to place hiding himself wherever he could. The Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him, was reputed as the most righteous man in Arabia and had won the distinctive title of Al-Amin from his compatriots, but when he said that he had been sent as the messenger of heaven to regenerate the world, the whole country turned against him and instead of being revered and honored as hithtertofore, he was abused and persecuted bitterly. The same divine law was fulfilled in the case of Ahmad. His virtues and his righteousness were recognized by all; he was hailed as the reformer for the 14th century of Hejira and was even accepted to be a recipient of Divine revelation and a messenger of heaven, but as soon as he said that he was no other than the PROMISED MESSENGER OF THE LAST AGES, he was proclaimed to be an arch-heretic by the very men who had only a year or 2 before extolled his valuable services in the cause of Islam”””.
Page—42, June ROR:
“””There is another circumstance in Ahmad’s life in which the fulfilment of the same Divine law with regard to THE PROPHETS OF GOD is witnessed. A PROPHET’s LIFE is generally admitted to be pure and blameless til the time that he claims to be a PROPHET OF GOD, but after his CLAIM TO PROPHETHOOD, various charges are laid against him””””
Pages—46-47, June ROR:
“””Even a powerful monarch with strong armies at his command cannot show the adamantine fortitude which has been shown by the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement in the opposition which he has met after 1891, and which every PROPHET OF GOD meets when he announces the message with which he is entrusted. No abuse, no denunciation, no perseceution, no prosecution, and no threat of murder has during these long years disturbed for a single moment the equilibrium of his mind or caused him to entertain for an instant the idea of giving up in despair the cause for which he furthers. Who is not aware that the most resolute monarch when he meets with opposition from his people readily yields to them in many points, but never does a PROPHET OF GOD under the severest trial recede a single step from the position that he has taken””””
Page—47, June ROR:
“””Every great PROPHET on whom we have any record had to undertake long journeys whether in connection with the profession which he followed in his early days or on some other account. The secret of this seems to be that, on the one hand, the PROPHET may by coming into contact with different kinds of men become acquainted with their inner conditions…..”
Page—58 June ROR:
“”””The writings of Ahmad inviting men to accept him as the PROMISED MESSENGER and Islam as the true religion are all of a general nature, but two of these may be specially mentioned”
May-1906 ROR essay by Muhammad Ali
This book is an amalgamation of 2 essays that were written and published into the ROR by Muhammad Ali himself. MGA and Noorudin must have approved of its publishing. The original essay appeared in the May-1906 edition of the Review of Religions (english edition). It was published and printed from Lahore, MGA’s picture is on page 1. Muhammad Ali claimed that there were 300,000 Ahmadi’s in the world, however, that is a farce. A picture of the tomb of Yus Asaf is posted in the book, not the ROR essay. Part 1 covers roughly 34 pages, this corresponds with ROR pages, 171-205. Part-2 covers pages 229 to 256 of the english ROR of June-1906 and makes up the second part of this book.
On page 21 of the book and page 191 of the ROR
Muhammad Ali writes:
“Seventhly, if ever a religious reformer was needed, he is needed now, for faith is vanishing from most hearts. The Prophet’s of God are always sent in the time of need, because almighty God looks to the spiritual needs of men as he looks to their physical needs”
On page 24 of the book and 194 of the ROR
Muhammad Ali argues that the Ahmadiyya community believes in the continuation of divine revelations, this is against the beliefs of the majority of the Muslims.
On page 25 of the book and 195 of the ROR
“”The movement hold that the Holy Prophet is the seal of the prophets, and no other prophet can appear after him except one who is spiritually his disciple and who receives the gift of prophecy through him. It is only a true Muslim who walks in the footsteps of the Holy Prophet that can become a Prophet. It is in this sense that this community its founder to be a prophet. As against this, the orthodox hold that though the Holy Prophet is the seal of the prophets, yet another prophet Jesus who lived 600 hundred years before him must come a second time after him, thus breaking the finality of prophethood, the prophethood of Jesus being independent of the prophethood of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. The Ahmadiyya movement further hold that since the Muslims are called “the best of all people” in the Holy Quran, therefore, an Israelite prophet, Jesus, son of Mary, who was not one of them, could not be sent as a prophet to them. In support of the same view quoted the verse which shows the successors to the Holy Prophet shall be raised from among the Muslims (see 24:54 of the Quran).””” (partially quoted in Friedman)
On page 41 of the book, page 235 of the english ROR of June 1906
Muhammad Ali admits that in 1880-1884 MGA was called a Messenger of God, as a Prophet and as a Warner by Allah. The book also contained MGA’s revelations, this was Braheen e Ahmadiyya vol. 4.
On page 42 of the book, page 236 of the english ROR of June 1906
Muhammad Ali writes how divine laws in terms of prophets also applied to the life of MGA. Even up to page 43, Muhammad Ali continously argues that MGA was free from all criticisms until he made his wild claims of divine revelation, Muhammad Ali says that the Holy Prophet was the same way, thus, this is the way of the Prophets. Muhammad Ali makes a strong case for a correlation between the 2 prophets, Muhammad and MGA.
On page 51 of the book, page 236 of the english ROR of June 1906
Muhammad Ali refers to MGA’s alleged lecture at Amritsar in 1905, which turned into a full scale riot after MGA proved that he couldn’t speak and then took a sip of water in front of a 1000 Muslim’s who were fasting, MGA was then forced to make a hasty escape wherein rocks were thrown at his vehicle. Muhammad Ali argues that getting pelted with stones is a sign of the trials of all prophets.
April of 1909
In April 1909, a major, large scale Convention of Religions was held at Calcutta. When the announcement of this convention reached Qadian, then in compliance with Maulana Nur-ud-Din’s instructions Maulana Muhammad Ali wrote a comprehensive paper in English on Islam, and on 2 April he went to Lahore, from where on 6 April he went to Calcutta with Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din. The convention started on April 9 in the Town Hall. The first day was taken up by introductory speeches. On the second day, there were three speeches on Christianity and these were followed by three speeches on Islam: the first by Mirza Abul Fazal, the second by Maulvi Khuda Bakhsh and the third by Maulana Muhammad Ali. When the time came for the Maulana’s speech, and Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din rose to deliver it, it was already afternoon and the audience were tired, so it was presumed that they would not pay attention. Maulana Muhammad Ali stated that he was sitting on a high stage, from where he could see all the audience. By some manifestation of Divine power it appeared as if the audience were captivated. They were listening in absolute silence with rapt attention, and cheering on occasions.
Witnessing this scene, those Ahmadis from Calcutta who were among the audience rose up from their seats and fell in prostration of thanksgiving there and then in the hall. As soon as the speech finished, all the delegates and many of the audience congratulated Maulana Muhammad Ali and Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din. The presiding officer of the meeting, Mr. Mitter, asked the Khwaja sahib if he would be available to deliver more speeches after the convention at some venue. As Maulana Muhammad Ali and the Khwaja sahib could not stay at that time, it was arranged that the Khwaja sahib would pay a visit later on. A European delegate remarked to him that the speech had dealt a death blow to Christianity. Thus God granted a distinctive victory. Maulana Muhammad Ali wrote about it as follows:
“The success that Allah the Most High granted to the Movement in this convention was like the success at the Mahutasu conference.* Although the paper read at this convention was not the work of that saintly heart, nonetheless it was an abridgement of his ideas compiled by a servant of his, and Allah sent him aid and support.” (Badr, 22 April 1909).
Pro-prophethood quotes from this essay
Lavan has quoted this essay extensively in his book.
While Noorudin was dying, (he died on Friday, March 13th, 1914), Muhammad Ali has this essay published:
Paigham Sulh dated 10 March 1914, there is an article by Maulana Muhammad Ali entitled Hazrat Mirza sahib’s Claim to Prophethood:
Start of article:
“”””Ever since Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib claimed to be Promised Messiah, there is perhaps no other point on which people have stumbled as much as on this point, to think that he claimed prophethood. It is curious that the words nabi and rasul are present in those revelations of the Promised Messiah which date from long before Barahin Ahmadiyya and were published in this book, yet despite this when in those very days Maulvi Muhammad
Husain Batalvi published a review on these revelations, no objection was raised. The only reason for this [lack of objection] was that the mere occurrence of these words in revelations was not objectionable.
The reason why these words are now brought under discussion is his claim to be Messiah and Mahdi. Accordingly, we see that as soon as he made this claim, controversy started on these words, and since then till now even many sensible and intelligent people have stumbled on it. A respected friend, whose name I will not mention, has made the same error, or at least this is how it appears from a reply he gave to a question from someone, that he considers that Hazrat Mirza sahib actually claimed nubuwwat and risalat in the real sense of these words. The Promised Messiah himself had to clarify this issue again and again, in the same way as he clarified the issue of the death of Jesus. Hence, it is seen from his early writings after claiming to be Promised Messiah how far he found it necessary to clarify this issue. Nonetheless, the objections continued, and this is why there are so many writings of his to be found on this
issue, a fact which no one can deny.
As an example, I copy here a statement from Anjam Atham which was written seven or eight years after he claimed to be Messiah. In the footnote on page 26 of this book, he first quotes someone’s objection as follows:
“The followers and the opponents of Mirza sahib have gone to opposite extremes. If a man says that he believes in the Holy Quran, says prayers, keeps fasts and teaches Islam to people, then it is not befitting to call him kafir. However, it is also not befitting to raise him from the
rank of a scholar to that of prophethood.”
He has replied to this in the words which I quote below in full, even though it is very lengthy.
[Translator’s Note: We have placed this quotation at the end of the Maulana’s article, so as not to disturb the article.]
It is entirely baseless to think that after this the Promised Messiah may have made some new claim. Whatever was his claim, it had been published long before, and the claim remained the same till the end. It is only an explanation of the same claim which is found in different writings afterwards. In Ayk Ghalati Ka Izala too, there is no new claim, but only a reply of these objections and an explanation. He has certainly not written in it that his prophethood previously was not real, but metaphorical, and has now become real. Here too, the claim to prophethood is in the sense of burooz and metaphorically, not in a real sense. Hence he writes in it:
“And if no person can be a prophet and messenger in the sense of burooz, then what is the meaning of the following: Guide us on the right path, the path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favours. It should be borne in mind that, according to this sense, I do not deny prophethood and messengership. It is in this sense that the Promised Messiah has been called nabi in the Sahih Muslim. If one who receives news of the unseen from God is not to be called nabi, tell us what he should be called?”
To summarise, the Promised Messiah has not made a new claim in this announcement [Ayk Ghalati Ka Izala], but explained the same, earlier claim. To take this announcement as being opposed to some other writing is to create a contradiction in his writings by yourself. If a point is explained scores of times, the words would be different every time. It is possible that the arguments presented may be different, but the meaning would be the same.
I hope these few words will throw full light for Ahmadis and non-Ahmadis on the real claims of the Promised Messiah. Muhammad Ali, Editor, Review of Religions, Qadian, District Gurdaspur.
End of article. (See Zahid Aziz, pages 25-27).
In 1918, Muhammad Ali defended himself, however, he missed this entire book and essays in the ROR
Strangely enough, Muhammad Ali tried to defend himself, however, he refused to comment on the quote’s that we have posted in the above from the ROR of May and June-1906.
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