In 1895-1896, it seems that from India, a new edition of “Barlaam and Josaphat” was published by a man named Joseph Jacobs. You can read the book online herein. He seems to have connected Yuz Asaf with this book. MGA and his team of writers were silent about this. In 1898, for the first time ever, MGA and his team of writers mentioned Yuz Asaf and his grave in Kashmir= Eisa (As).
In 1906, in the english Review of Religions (May edition, pages 185-188), Muhammad Ali quoted “Barlaam and Josaphat” as he wrote an essay about “A short sketch of the Ahmadiyya Movement”. This seems to be the first and only time that the Ahmadiyya Movement quoted “Barlaam and Josaphat”. It should be noted that 23:50 of the Quran is connected to Yuz Asaf and the death of Eisa (As) in Kashmir (see page 190). We have archived all the occurrences of Yuz Asaf in the english Review of Religions herein.
This was quoted in Walter in 1918. In fact, Walter claims to have visited the tomb in 1913. In J.D. Shams work of 1945, he claims that MGA never used “Barlaam and Josaphat” (see the ref in the below). In 1952, Khwaja Nazir Ahmad added “Barlaam and Josaphat” to his bibliography, we are unsure how it was quoted. Finally in 1977, Alfred Mall indirectly quoted Walter’s work. We have also added Tahir Ijaz’s essay on “Barlaam and Josaphat” and its connections with #Ahmadiyya and the Yuz Asaf theory from 1986 in the Review of Religions.
In October of 2021, Saleem Mir said that when MGA quoted Swane Yuz Asaf (see at the 1:44:44 mark), he was really referring to “Barlaam and Josaphat”.
Farhang-e Katouzian, a persian dictionary, published in 1889 from tehran, iran, contains an entry for yuz asaf as one of the star-worshipping iranians. mirza, in desperate attempt to show that jesus was buried in kashmir, stretched the word yuz asaf to yusu asaf suggesting that jesus named himself as such. he gave no evidence that jesus did that. he refers to a book by yuz asaf but fails on reference. mirza’s word play with history and linguistics adds to his bag of lies, stubborn ignorance, and unwavering greed for fame.
“Barlaam and Josaphat” edited by Joseph Jacobs, published from India
(1Joseph Jacobs, Barlaam and Josaphat (London& David
Nutt, 1896), Introduction, p. xviii).
“But that these mysterious personages have been regarded by clergy and laity as veritable saints of the Church, there can be no doubt. Sir Henry Yule visited a church at Palermo dedicated “Divo Josaphat .” In 1571 the Doge Luigi Mocenigo presented to King Sebastian of Portugal a bone and part of the spine of St . Josaphat. When Spain seized Portugal in 1580 these treasures were removed by Antonio, the pretender to the Portuguese crown, and ultimately carried through the streets of Antwerp. On August 7, 1672, a great procession marched through the streets of Antwerp, carrying to the cloister of St. 1 Salvator the holy remains of St. Josaphat.””
1906, Review of Religions, May edition
1—-“”””Joseph Jacobs also states on the authority of a very old version of the story of Yuz Asaf that he (Joasaph) at last reached Cashmere and there died. (Barlaam and Josaphat, p. cv).”””
2—–When the sower sows his seen, some falls on the highway where the passengers tread it under foot. Others are blown away by the wind. Others picked up by the birds. Some seeds fall on rocky ground and grow only….””
1906—ROR, May, english, see page 190, in terms of 23:50 and Yuz Asaf
“‘Verses of the Holy Quran are also cited in support of the assertion that Jesus was obliged to take refuge in some other country. Especially, 23:52 (this is an error by the editor, it should be 23:50) is advanced as contained a plain reference to his flight. It runs as follows: “And we gave Son of Mary and his mother a refuge on a lofty place which was secure and watered with springs”. This is alleged is a clear description of Cashmere. It is further clear that the word awa used in this verse signifies the giving of refuge at the time of some great danger, and with the exception of crucifixtion no event of great misfortune or danger to Jesus is recorded in history.”””
“The Ahmadiyya Movement”, by H.A. Walter (1918), see pages
The Ahmadiyya Movement by H.A. Walter, 1918
“””Two other stories, introduced by Ahmad as evidence for his theory, were the well-known tale of Barlaam and Josaphat,^ in which various traditions are related with respect to an Indian prince (supposed to have been Buddha), variously styled Josaphat and YusAfat; and an ancient tale translated into Urdu, Ikmal-ud-Din (“Perfection of Faith”), now out of print, written by a Persian historian, Muhammad Ibn-i-Bahwaih, in the fourth century of Islam, which narrates the history of an Indian prince and saint named Yus Asaf, who wandered to Kashmir, where hje died. In neither ease did the hero, Yus Afat or Yus Asaf, an Indian, have any connection whatever with Palestine or that section of the world, so that there is no shadow of a reason for identifying him with Jesus, even if we admit the bare possibility that there actually was such a man, who lived in India
proper, or in Kashmir, many centuries ago, and at his death was buried in Srinagar, Kashmir.
This brings us to Ahmad’s culminating “ proof ” of his theory, the alleged “great discovery” that the tomb of Jesus is on Khan Yar Street, in Srinagar, Kashmir. In the summer of 1913, after considerable difficulty in learning its exact location, I visited this tomb, resembling hundreds
df other tombs of Muhammadan saints, with rags tied to the inner gate by those (both Muslims and Hindus) who had left money with the keeper to pay for the intercession of the occupant of the tomb. The Muslims of the city, for the most part, hold that this tomb was in the possession of the Hindus until the time of Bulbul Shah, ^ who decided that it was the tomb of a Muhammadan
prophet and honoured it as such. Since that time Muslims have been in possession, calling it the tomb of an unknown prophet, named Yus Asaf. This tomb, Ahmad declared it had been miraculously revealed to him, is the tomb of Jesus Christ. The first proof he brought forward was that the Kashmiris believed it was the tomb of a prophet, and since Muhammad was the last of the prophets, and is known to be buried in Medina, this must have been the tomb of his predecessor, the prophet Jesus. But the more important proof had reference to the name
Yus Asaf. Ahmad said that the word Yus, or Joseph, the Josaphat to whom reference has been made, was a Gorruption of Yasu,^ called the original name of Jesus. The word Asaf he declared to be the Hebrew word 55a/, to gather, which he said had reference to Jesus’ mission as the gatherer of the ten lost tribes.”””
Where did Jesus Die? by J.D. Shams
The word Barlaam occurs 9 times. 23:50 of the Quran was never quoted. He specifically wrote that MGA never used “Barlaam and Josaphat”, for his theory of Jesus= Yuz Asaf.
Jesus in Heaven on Earth: by Khwaja Nazir Ahmad
“Barlaam and Josaphat”, by Jacobs is mentioned in the bibliography, however, we weren’t able to quickly locate references.
Alfred Mall, pages 90–96
“””In support of his argument about the death of Jesus, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad cites evidence from Joseph Jacobs’ “Barlaarn and Josaphat” of the presence of Jesus in Kashmir. His argument rests on the assumption that Josaphat preached in the same manner as Jesus. He taught in parables, and so did Jesus. The parable of the sower mentioned in the Gospel of Luke is also found in Barlaam and Josaphat. Josaphat died in Kashmir, which strengthens Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s theory that the person referred to herein is none other than Jesus, who indeed came to Kashmir, preached there, died, and was buried.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad divides the name Josaphat into two parts, Yus and Asaf. He believes that Yus is the abbreviation of Yasu, the Arabic form of the name Jesus, and Asaf is an Arabic verb, meaning “to set in order.” Mirza Ghulam Ahmad translates this verb as “to gather,” and interprets Josaphat as meaning that Jesus came to gather the lost tribes of Israel.
It cannot be denied that the book of Barlaam and Josaphat is of Indian origin, the original, entitled “Bhagavan Bodhisattvasche ,” having been lost. The Indian original was translated into many Western languages. The Greek version was wrongly attributed to John of Damascus. The Indian original was also the source of the Arabic life of Buddha known as “Kitab al-Buddh.”
Who was this Josaphat? ‘The question can be answered easily and readily from the point of view of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, leaving many problems and scholarly hypotheses unsolved.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad failed to recognize that Josaphat had been cannonized as a saint of the Church and has remained distinct from the personality and character of Jesus.
‘But that these mysterious personages have been regarded by clergy and laity as veritable saints of the Church, there can be no doubt. Sir Henry Yule visited a church at Palermo dedicated “Divo Josaphat .” In 1571 the Doge Luigi Mocenigo presented to King Sebastian of Portugal a bone and part of the spine of St . Josaphat. When Spain seized Portugal in 1580 these treasures were removed by Antonio, the pretender to the Portuguese crown, and ultimately carried through the streets of Antwerp. On August 7, 1672, a great procession marched through the streets of Antwerp, carrying to the cloister of St. 1 Salvator the holy remains of St. Josaphat. (1Joseph Jacobs, Barlaam and Josaphat (London& David
Nutt, 1896), Introduction, p. xviii).
The legend of Barlaam and Josaphat clearly resembles the story of Buddha . Josaphat was the son of an Indian king who did not delight in the pleasures of the world. At the time of his birth the soothsayers foretold to his father, known in the legend by the name of Abner, that he (Josaphat) will leave the palace, the thr9ne, and the goods of this world and seek a hermit’s life. The king became worried, erected three palaces for the prince and ordered that nothing unpleasant should be permitted to confront the prince. When the prince came of age, he asked his father’s permission to go out. He was accompanied by his charioteer, Channa, a southern form of Chandaka, the name of the charioteer of’………………………””””
Tahir Ijaz wrote an essay on “Barlaam and Josaphat” and its connections with #Ahmadiyya and the Yuz Asaf theory.
How did MGA land on Jesus=Yuz Asaf?
MGA and his team referenced a number of orientalist works to support his theory, which under scrutiny carry little weight. Indeed some of these works were based on an alleged discovery by the Russian war correspondent Nicholas Notovitch, who claimed that during his journey through India and Kashmir in 1887 to have found Tibetan scrolls that revealed the unknown life of Jesus in the region (Notovitch, 1894).
These claims by Notovitch were investigated thoroughly by his contemporaries and found to be fraudulent. The first to question this claim was Max Muller, a reputed Indiologist, in an article in 1894 (Muller, 1894). Despite being disproved by those that visited the monastery and took sworn statements from those he had claimed to interview, Notovitch false claims influenced a number of writers. It is not outside of the realms of possibility that Notovitch influenced Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (Beskow, 1983).
Muller is strangely quoted by Ahmad to support his claims in his book, (Ahmad, 1908) despite Muller completely refuting Ahmad’s position. This kind of selective quotation is used by the Ahmadiyya to evidence their claims, often using an obscure combination of different sources of vastly different quality and under scrutiny out of context.
These errors continue when Ahmad quotes the Gospel of Barnabas as evidence for his claims whilst failing to mention that it follows the normative Islamic position that Jesus (Isa AS) ascended to Heaven.
Ahmad’s premise was investigated by “swoon” theorists that held views that Jesus escaped alive and lived for a considerable time after (Podro, 1957). Although refuting his position in relation to Jesus’s travels to India, they were unable to address the recent Ahmadis claims such as those of Khwaja Nazir Ahmad an Ahmadi Imam and writer (Ahmad, 1952). The authors of Jesus in Rome did not have knowledge of original sources to address these claims and merely questioned it from an officially translated version of Khwaja Ahmad’s arguments (Podro, 1957).
In 1957 after the publication of Jesus in Rome, David Lang published “The Wisdom of Balahvar” (Lang, 1957). Lang did not intend on writing a refutation of the Ahmadiyya, but added a postscript to his book after reading Graves and Podro’s publication. Lang’s research was devoted to tracing the history of a Georgian Christian legend, which influenced Shakespeare (Shakespeare, 1596), back to its source in Buddhist writings.
He traces the sources quoted by Graves and Podro, specifically the references from Ahmadi writers. He then evidences that they were transmitted from the Muslim story of Gautama Buddha from the Arabic book of “Balauhar and Budhasaf, which was the prototype to Christian Barlaam and Josaphat legend that he was expertly researching. His sources at the time included a 1000 year old Georgian Text in the Greek Patriarchal library in Jerusalem.
Lang identified that confusion over diacritical markings in the work which was translated into Arabic turned Budhasaf (Bodhisattva) into Yudasaf and even Yusasaf. The grave of Yus Asaf is where Mirza Ghulam claimed Isa AS (Jesus) is buried.
Furthermore the book of Baluhar and Budhasaf in Arabic, one of the sources of the chain of this story suggests the Buddha died in Kashmir. Lang goes on to state that this is another confusion in translation, Kashmir is a mistake and the source it relates to is a place called Kusinara, where he is in fact, more accurately reputed to have passed away.
The Wisdom of Bhaluvar although not intentionally, entirely explains the faults with Mirza Ghulam’s understanding, and those of his followers. It identifies where the false notions came from, compares the different translations from the Bombay Arabic version to Ibn Babuyas (As related in Oldenburgs summary). By evidencing from the original sources prior to Mirza Ghulams claims, which were poorly translated texts, Lang destroys any academic credibility to the Ahmadiyya communities claims. This credibility if only in relation to a historian would be acceptable, but when one claims to be a prophet it adds further weight to evidencing such a claim is false.
Ahmad, K. N., 1952. Jesus in Heaven on Earth. s.l.:s.n.
Ahmad, M. G., 1908. Jesus in India. Thirteenth ed. Qadian: Raqeem Press.
Ahmad, M. G., n.d. Ek Ghalati Ka Izala. [Online]
Available at: www.alislam.org/books/misunderstandingremoved.html
[Accessed Saturday June 2016].
Beskow, P., 1983. Strange Tales about Jesus. First ed. Lund: Fortress Press.
David B. Barrett, G. T. K. a. T. M. J., 2001. World Christian Encyclopaedia. Richmond, Virginia: Oxford University Press.
Khan, A. H., 2015. From Sufism to Ahmadiyya. First ed. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press.
Lang, D. M., 1957. Postscript. In: The Wisdom of Balahvar. s.l.:George Allen and Unwin Ltd, pp. 129-130.
Muller, M., 1894. The Alleged Sojourn of Christ in India. The Nineteenth Century, Volume 36, pp. 515-522.
Notovitch, N., 1894. La vie inconnue de Jesus-Christ. Paris: Paul Ollendorf.
Podro, R. G. a. J., 1957. The Tomb of Jesus. In: Jesus in Rome – A Historical Conjecture. London: Cassell & Company, pp. 68-87.
Shakespeare, W., 1596. Episode of the Caskets. In: A Merchant of Venice.
Baralaam and Jehosaphat—–1711
Links and Related Essay’s
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