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The Ahmadiya Movement. By H. A. Walter. (“Religious Life of India Series.”) New York: Oxford University Press, 1918

Intro
We have been posting older books on Ahmadiyya and rare articles for many months…we have come across a PDF version of Walter’s work on Ahmadiyya, it can be downloaded here: Walter, the Ahmadiyya Movement.  You can find our previous entries on Walter’s work herein: https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=Walter

#ahmadiyya #ahmadiyyatrueislam #ahmadiapartheid #Ahmadiyyat #rabwah #qadian #meetthekhalifa #ahmadiyyat #muslimsforpeace #ahmadiyyafactcheckblog

Walter was told by Ahmadiyya leadership that MGA died of intestinal trouble (1917–1918)

Intro
As I continue to study the earliest biographies on the life of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, lots of pertinent information is surfacing.  For example, the earliest Ahmadiyya sources purposely don’t give a reason of death, however, in 1915, Farquhar wrote that MGA died of cholera, in fact, all of MGA’s enemies and critics were accusing Ahmadiyya leadership of knowing the cause of death and purposely covering it up.

The Ahmadiya Movement. By H. A. Walter. (“Religious Life of India Series.”)
New York: Oxford University Press, 1918. 185 pages.
Reviewed in article ‘Recent Works on Oriental Religions’ by A. Eustace Haydon, published in The American Journal of Theology, Vol. 24, No. 2 (Apr., 1920), pp. 288-293. Published by: The University of Chicago Press
“The Religious Life of India Series,” of which Mr. H. A. Walter’s book, The Ahmadiya Movement,’is the second volume, is intended to give to all who are interested in India a knowledge of the various existing forms of her religious life. This volume is a fine example of sympathetic interpretation of an alien faith. The author, who, unfortunately for India and scholarship, did not live to see his book through the press, says that he has attempted only to give an unprejudiced, accurate sketch of the Ahmadiya movement “as its founder and his disciples themselves conceived it and, so far as I could, in their own language.”

He was told that MGA died on intestinal trouble
“””His death, caused by intestinal trouble, occurred very suddenly, on May 26th, 1908, in Lahore, whither he had come to attend the conference above mentioned, and to secure some medical assistance for his wife. His enemies made much of the fact that, with all his boasted prophetic knowledge, he should not have foreseen the date of his own death, which, had it accorded with his wishes and plans, would certainly have occurred in Qadian, and at a later period. “The Message of Peace” was read at the conference by Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din, just after the author’s death. Ahmad was buried in an unpretentious tomb in Qadian, which had been previously prepared. “””

H.A. Walter’s The Ahmadiya Movement (1918)

This entire entry was taken from here: http://wiki.qern.org/ha-walters-the-ahmadiya-movement/chapter-i—mirza-ghulam-ahmad

Introductory Review

The Ahmadiya Movement. By H. A. Walter. (“Religious Life of India Series.”)
New York: Oxford University Press, 1918. 185 pages.
Reviewed in article ‘Recent Works on Oriental Religions’ by A. Eustace Haydon, published in The American Journal of Theology, Vol. 24, No. 2 (Apr., 1920), pp. 288-293. Published by: The University of Chicago Press
“The Religious Life of India Series,” of which Mr. H. A. Walter’s book, The Ahmadiya Movement,’is the second volume, is intended to give to all who are interested in India a knowledge of the various existing forms of her religious life. This volume is a fine example of sympathetic interpretation of an alien faith. The author, who, unfortunately for India and scholarship, did not live to see his book through the press, says that he has attempted only to give an unprejudiced, accurate sketch of the Ahmadiya movement “as its founder and his disciples themselves conceived it and, so far as I could, in their own language.”
Islam in India has been subjected to the impact of modern cultural currents. In the All-Indian Moslem League it is a political movement. Under the leadership of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and Syed Amir ‘Ali it has become a religion, on the one hand, of rationalistic eclecticism and of assertion of Moslem spiritual superiority on the other. In both cases the old standards of Islam are abandoned. Ghulam Ahmad came as the prophet of a revival of genuine religion. He claimed to be the Messiah of the Jews, the expected Madhi of Islam as well as the embodiment of the spirit of Jesus and the incarnation of Krisna. Out of this claim sprang the Ahmadiya movement in 1889. It did not break with orthodoxy, though it criticized its formalism and abuses. While claiming that no religion is worthy of the name of religion which is not sympathetic to all humanity, its founder nevertheless urged an unceasing polemic against all contemporary religions as well as against Western civilization. Mr. Walter finds the secret of the success of the movement in the fact that it provided a religion of emotional power for Moslems who were stifled by rationalism and the empty formalism of orthodoxy.
One moves easily in this narrative. All unusual terms and obscure references are explained at once in the footnotes; and the maker of the index maintained the high excellence of the book.

Subpages (10): Chapter II-1 The Distinctive Claims of Ahmad – The Promised Messiah Chapter II-2 The Distinctive Claims of Ahmad – The Expected Mahdi Chapter II-3 The Distinctive Claims of Ahmad – The Incarnation of KrisnaChapter III-The Ahmadiya Movement and Orthodox Islam Chapter I – Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Chapter IV-The Ahmadiya Movement And Christianity Chapter VII-The Significance of the Ahmadiya Movement Chapter VI-The Ahmadiya Community Chapter V-The Ahmadiya Movement and the Indigenous Religions of India Preface – Ahmadiya Movement by H A Walter

 

Preface – Ahmadiya Movement by H A Walter

My primary purpose in undertaking this study of one of the most significant and (outside of India) little-known of modern movements among Muslims was not that of answering from the Christian viewpoint the claim of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to be the ” promised Messiah ” who has come ” in the spirit and power ” of Jesus Christ. This has been done already in the pamphlets of Dr. H. D. Griswold and Rev. Thakur Dass, mentioned in the bibliography at the close. My first aim has been rather to sketch the history and tenets of the Ahmadiya movement, for the most part as its founder and his disciples have themselves conceived it, and to do it as far as I could in their own language. I have found this to be largely possible, since a survey of the literature of the movement in Arabic and Urdu, made with the help of my friend, Maulvi S. T. Ghaus, has convinced me that nearly everything of essential importance in the development of the cult, from the Ahmadiya viewpoint, is to be found in its English publications, chiefly in The Review of Religions, of which I have read nearly every issue from the beginning. In the footnotes I have explained, for the benefit of the reader not familiar with the orthodox Muslim faith, such words and ideas as are peculiar to Islam, and also allusions to events and personalities pertaining to India or the Muhammadan world in general. The connection of the Ahmadiya movement with the English mission of Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din, a connection not now emphasized by the latter, has been indicated in the sixth chapter because of the special interest which this may have for students of Islam in the West. In the last chapter I have endeavoured briefly to set forth the permanent place and significance of the movement in its relation to the general development in India of Muslim thought and life. I have made no attempt to deal at length with the puzzling subject of Muslim eschatology, in whose mazes Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, like so many other self-designated Mahdis, wandered undismayed. I have here, as elsewhere, endeavoured to introduce only so much of the background of the orthodox faith as seemed necessary to an adequate understanding of the subject of this study.

With regard to the transliteration into English of Urdu and Arabic words, I have, to avoid confusion, taken the liberty in most instances of introducing the uniform system, which I have sought to follow, into the many English quotations from Ahmadiya writings, when there was originally little attempt at accurate transliteration.

I desire to mention the generous assistance of several friends who contributed variously and essentially to the writing and publishing of this book. I refer to Dr. H. D. Griswold, Secretary of the Council of American Presbyterian Missions in India, at whose original suggestion it was undertaken and without the loan of whose extensive library of Ahmadiya literature it could scarcely have been carried out; to Mr. Abdul Rahim, of the editorial department of the Ahmadiya community, who was my friendly host on the occasion of a visit to Qadian and has been my most constant and reliable informant in matters relating to present conditions within the movement ; to Professor D. B. Macdonald, of the Hartford Theological Seminary, who has rendered invaluable assistance, especially in connection with the references to Muslim eschatology; to Professor Siraj-ud-Din, of Lahore, to whom I am indebted for many useful suggestions; and to my brother-in-law, Rev. William Brower Johnson, and my colleagues in the Young Men’s Christian Association in India, Messrs. Frank Speer Coan, W. M. Hume, and F. de L. Hyde, for helping forward in various ways the preparation of the manuscript for the press.

Lahore, H A W

Oct. 10th, 1918.

 

Chapter I – Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad1 Khan was born in the village of Qadian, Gurdaspur District, Panjab, on the eighteenth of June, 1839,2 the year marked by the death of Ranjit Singh, the great Sikh ruler and warrior. He boasted of a good Mughal ancestry, and hence bore the title, ” Mirza,” which is used to designate one who belongs to the Mughal race. His family emigrated from Central Asia to India in the sixteenth century, in the reign of Babar, and settled in the Panjab, where they were granted a large tract of land, about seventy miles from Lahore. The capital of this little State was known as Islampur, and is the modern Qadian. The family suffered persecution and expulsion in the early days of Sikh rule, but under Ranjit Singh the father of Ghulam Ahmad, Mirza Ghulam Murtaba, received back a portion of the property which had belonged to the family and returned to Qadian. Under the British Government, which succeeded to that of the Sikhs, Mirza Ghulam Murtaba set an example of loyalty to British rule, in the days of the great mutiny of 1857, to which his son has often referred with justifiable pride. The father was by profession a native physician of some learning, and desired that his son, who early showed an aptitude for study, should be well educated in accordance with the ideas and standards of the time. From his sixth to his tenth year he studied with a Persian tutor. From that time until he was seventeen an Arabic scholar and holy man was his instructor, and under his tuition he laid the foundation of that exceptional facility of expression in the Arabic language which was to serve him so well in later years. Some time after his seventeenth year his father secured for the studious, visionary lad employment in Government service, in a subordinate capacity, in the office of the Deputy Commissioner at Sialkot ; but a few years of this service sufficed to convince Mirza. Ghulam Murtaba that his son possessed no aptitude for business. He then endeavoured to induce him to study law, with a view to his becoming a pleader, but this the lad resolutely refused to do.One fruit of his residence in Sialkot was an acquaintance which it yielded with some missionaries of the Church of Scotland, residing there, with whom he spent many hours in religious discussion. The importance for future Ahmadiya doctrine of this contact with Christian missionaries, during the formative years of Ahmad’s life, it would be difficult to exaggerate.

After four years of this service he resigned and returned to Qadian, where he was desired by his father to assist the family in connection with the law-suits arising out of the estate. There also his entire lack of business acumen soon became evident. Some time before his father’s death, in 1876, the efforts of the latter to assure to the young man some measure of worldly advancement had ceased, and he was left to his own devices. After his father died the slight constraint which the parental ambition may have exerted was removed, and Mirza Ghulam Ahmad lived quietly at Qadian, studying the Qur’an, the traditions and the commentators, and making himself somewhat familiar with the tenets of the different religions of the world. His hatred of the world grew upon him, and various eccentricities developed. His friendly biographer, Mi’raj-ud-Din, writing after his death, in 1908, tells of some of his personal peculiarities, developed in those early years of obscurity, such as his habit of eating bits of earth and his abnormal fondness for sweets. As he walked the streets, with his thoughts in the heavens and his pockets filled with sweets, the urchins of the street, aware of his weakness, would abstract the sweets and make off with them, while the erstwhile owner proceeded innocently on his way. In one instance mischievous youths stuffed a brick into the pocket where the sweets had been, and its presence was not discovered until the Mirza. Sahib lay down to sleep at night. At another time, writes a more recent biographer, Mirza Yakub Beg, he neglected to remove one of his shoes at night and slept unconscious of the fact until the morning, when, after a long search, he accidentally discovered it. On another occasion his clothes caught fire, and the fire was extinguished by a friend, while he himself remained oblivious of the danger. A story, which is told to illustrate both his detachment from worldly affairs and his recognition of the working of Divine Providence in all things, relates how on one occasion his little son, aged four (the present “Khalifa,” Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad), came into his room and burned all of his father’s writings which he could discover. The Mirza Sahib paid no attention to what was happening, and when informed of it merely remarked, “There is some benefit from God in this.” When told that a poor woman had stolen some rice from his kitchen, he is said to have replied, ” Let us say nothing about it, but give her some more if she is in need of it.” All his life he suffered from diabetes (polyuria) and vertigo. From his youth he had strange visions and dreams, which he interpreted himself, and in which he always figured in some pre-eminent capacity.

Meantime he was exercising and developing his ability as a writer of excellent Persian, Arabic and Urdu. In 1880 appeared the first two parts of his most celebrated work, the Barahin-i- Ahmadiya (Ahmadiya Proofs), and although in the exposition of Muslim doctrines contained therein there was already present the germ of the unique Ahmadiya teachings, which formed the basis of his later quarrels with orthodox Muslims, this book was quite universally acclaimed (in so far as it was read), throughout the Muhammadan world, as a work of power and originality.

The turning point in the career of the Mirza Sahib and the real beginning of the independent existence of the Ahmadiya movement occurred on the 4th of March, 1889, when he announced a divine revelation giving him the right to accept bai’dt (i.e., homage paid to a king or to a religious leader) from a disciple. There then came into existence a little group of individuals who accepted his guidance in all matters pertaining to the spiritual life. It was not until 1891, however, that Ahmad made the declaration which caused a sharp line of demarcation to be drawn between himself and the larger world of Islam. He then announced that he was both the promised Messiah and the Mahdi expected by Muslims, and sought to make clear his position in three books : — Fateh Islam, Tanzih-i-Maram and Izala-i-Auham. From that time forward his life was involved in bitter controversy with orthodox Muhammadans, Arya Samaj leaders and Christians. Through the activity of one of his most persistent enemies, Maulvi Muhammad Husain, formerly his friend and co-worker, a fatwa (legal pronouncement by a Muslim authority on canon law)3 was secured, bearing the confirmatory seals of many important mullahs throughout India, excommunicating Ahmad and his followers from Islam on account of heresy, and declaring that their destruction was thenceforth sanctioned in accordance with orthodox law.4 On his part, the Mirza Sahib now became very active and vocal in his denunciation of his enemies. Again and again he was haled into court — particularly in connection with his various prophecies of death or disgrace to be visited upon particular foes. In some cases, as will appear hereafter,5 these were so literally fulfilled as to cause strong suspicion that steps had been taken by Ahmad’s followers, with or without his cognizance, to see that the prophecy should not fail of fulfilment.

A memorable hour in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s life occurred in December, 1896, when he read a paper at the Conference of Religions in Lahore, entitled ” The Sources of Divine Knowledge,”6 which gives an extensive summary of the Ahmadiya interpretation of the Qur’an and the Islamic theory of salvation.

From the year 1892, in addition to several vernacular periodicals, an English monthly magazine, The Review of Religions, was published by the sect in Qadian, whence it still issues. One of the cleverest of Ahmad’s followers, Maulvi Muhammad Ali, M.A., LL.B., was called to the editorship of this periodical, and at one time he was assisted by Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din, of whom we shall have more to say further on.7 This paper was well named, for it has given its attention to a remarkably wide range of religions and to a great variety of subjects. Orthodox Hinduism, the Arya Samaj, the Brahma Samaj and Theosophy ; Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism and Zoroastrianism ; Baha’ism, Christian Science and Christianity have all received attention, as well as Islam in all its ramifications, both ancient and modern, such as the Shl’ites, Ahl-i-Hadis,8  Kharijites,9  Sufis and such representative exponents of modern tendencies as Sir Syed Ahmad Khan10  and Syed Amir ‘AH.11  In another chapter we shall deal with the Ahmadiya attitude toward Christianity. We would only pause here to comment on the alertness and diligence of the group of Ahmadiya leaders who have kept the rank and file of the movement informed of the currents of thought and life in present-day Christianity. The Review of Religions refers, for example, to Mormonism and Zionism, and to Professor George B. Foster’s book, The Finality of the Christian Religion (Chicago, 1906), which involved him in a heresy trial in America ; to R. J. Campbell’s New Theology, and the Keswick movement in England ; to the Johannine sect in Russia, the great revival in Wales and the World’s Missionary Conference in Edinburgh in 1910; to the modern critical school of theologians in Germany, to Modernism in the Roman Catholic Church in Italy, and to Christian missionary activity in Palestine, Japan, Iceland, South Africa, Egypt and other lands. Books by Western students of Islam such as Pfander, Hughes, Margoliouth, Zwemer, Gairdner, Snouck Hurgronje, Noldeke, E. G. Brown and Canon Sell receive due attention. The new Leyden Encyclopedia of Islam is heartily commended. There are frequent quotations from the Encyclopedia Britannica, the Encyclopedia Biblica and the Jewish Encyclopedia, and from such periodicals as The London Quarterly Review, The Contemporary Review, The Review of Reviews, The Westminister Review, The Hibbert Journal, The Biblical World, The East and the West, The Moslem World, and others too numerous to mention, including, of course, all of the important Christian missionary periodicals in India. It must be said, however, that the comments on the scattered quotations show a woful lack of balanced judgment and of any broad and fixed principles of scholarly criticism.

That Ahmad himself, like his most intelligent followers, kept abreast of the times to a considerable extent, and possessed at least a superficial knowledge of conditions in the religious world, his own articles and addresses give ample evidence. The pity was, and is, that with his learning and his cleverness in controversy there was not associated an honest and discriminating judgment, a passion for truth stretching beyond the sole confines of the Islam of his conception, and an irenic spirit which could disagree and dispute with others without becoming angrily uncharitable and unfair. Because of these weaknesses he cannot be considered seriously as a scholar in any field.

It is difficult for one who knows Ahmad only through his writings to appraise his character. That he was a man of simple habits and generous impulses all the evidence at our disposal would indicate. His courage in the face of bitter persecution, amounting to attempts at physical violence, is certainly commendable. Only a man of magnetic and pleasing personality could have attracted and held the friendship and loyalty of such numbers of men, of whom two, at least, died for their faith, in Afghanistan, in accordance with orthodox Musalman law. 1 Those older Ahmadis whom I have questioned as to their reasons for joining the movement, have most of them laid greater stress on the personal impression made upon them by the Mirza Sahib’s forceful and winning personality than on the nature of his peculiar teachings. The real puzzle emerges in the case of Ahmad, as also of his great master, Muhammad, when we come to judge of his alleged revelations, particularly those relating to himself and his claims. We shall deal with these in detail in the next chapter. Here we are only interested in them as far as they relate to his character. Some have believed that one who could sincerely make such stupendous claims must have been mentally affected. On one occasion an Indian Christian teacher, named Daniel, visited Ahmad at Qadian, and left with him seven questions of which the first three, relating to the mental state of Ahmad, were as follows :12

  1. “Have you ever been affected with a brain disease? If so, what and when? Does its attack recur?
  2. “Did you begin to have revelations before you suffered from an attack of such disease or after that ? Have any of your relations ever made strange pretentions? If so, what and when?
  3. “Has the idea ever had access to your mind that your claims may be wrong ? If so, how was the doubt removed? Is it not possible that the doubt may be valid?”

The editor of Review of Religions (V, p. 150), it may be assumed with Ahmad’s acquiescence, wrote in reply :

“The drift of the first two questions is that the revelations of the promised Messiah are due to dementia ; in other words, they are [not ?] revelations from God. . . . The diseases to which Mr. Daniel alludes were foretold by our Holy Prophet as being the signs of the promised Messiah.” He then goes on to argue, by a somewhat forced interpretation, that a tradition had declared that the promised Messiah would make his appearance clad in garments dyed yellow,13  and that, since ” there is a consensus of opinion among all interpreters of dreams that yellow garments signify disease,” the reference is, of course, to Ahmad’s two diseases, “syncope and polyuria.” As far as there is any direct answer given here to Mr. Daniel’s questions about the presence of mental irregularities in Ahmad, it would seem to be in the affirmative, although, of course, there was no intention on the part of the writer to imply that any physical and mental irregularities of the human medium could be held to have interfered with the validity of the divine revelation. On the contrary, in Muslim eyes it might even strengthen his claims to pre-eminence in spiritual rank.14  There seems to be a confusion here, however, between Mr. Daniel’s allusion to brain disease and the Ahmadiya reference to syncope and polyuria, as being Ahmad’s troubles, since actually those diseases do not affect the mind.

That he was neither insane nor a conscious imposter, but self-deluded, is the opinion of Dr. H. D. Griswold, of Lahore, who was personally acquainted with Ahmad, and of whose paper, on “The Messiah of Qadian,” read before the Victoria Institute of Great Britain, the editor of the Review of Religions wrote,” Excepting occasional remarks, which were necessary to make the paper fit for reading in a Christian meeting, the author has very clearly stated the necessary facts for forming a true idea of the Ahmadiya movement, and has taken immense pains to collect from different places all the arguments bearing on the subject and to collate them in order.” Dr. Griswold, in his pamphlet, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Mehdi Messiah of Qadian,15 wrote : —

” The opinions on this point concerning him may be summed up under three judgments : (1) that he is a conscious deceiver, (2) that he is insane, (3) that he is self-deluded.” After quoting judgments of others in favour of each of the first two alternatives, Dr. Griswold gives his own opinion as follows : —

” On the whole, however, it seems to me that the third judgment is the safest one, namely, that the Mirza Sahib is honest but self-deceived. So far as I am able to judge, his writings everywhere have the ring of sincerity. His persistency in affirming his claims in the face of the most intense and bitter opposition is magnificent. He is willing to suffer on behalf of his claims. And besides this, if, in the sober and matter-of-fact West, Dr. Dowie, of Chicago,16 can claim to be the promised Elijah, we ought not to be surprised if, in the warmer and more imaginative East, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, has claimed to be the Messiah. To both alike may be granted a measure of pity on the ground that they are probable victims of unconscious self-deception.”

I am indebted to Professor D. B. Macdonald, of Hartford, U.S.A., for the suggestion here advanced as perhaps best accounting for Ahmad’s claims and so-called revelations, viewed in the light of our modern knowledge of psychology. May not he, like his great leader, be best described as “a pathological case” ? Let me quote here a few passages from Professor Macdonald’s chapter on “The Person and Life of Muhammad,” in his Aspects of Islam,17 setting forth this theory of the nature of Muhammad’s inspiration: — “As I have said before, the fundamental thing in him was that he was a pathological case. It is evident that from comparatively early days he had trances ; fell into fits in which he saw and heard strange things. There came to him voices, either apparently in a trance condition or when he was awake. Driven by fear for his soul, he had got into the habit of retiring into desert recesses, and there spending days in solitary prayer. So there the voices came to him ; there he even saw figures — vague, dim — and the fear fell upon him, What are they ? What is the matter with me ? Is this of God ? Or am I possessed by some spirit ? . . . Again he was not, as so many have thought, a schemer, a politician, a man who set out to unite Arabia and to become its head, and who at every move knew exactly what he was doing and why he did it. He was not a schemer ; he was very often the most impolitic of men. . . . So, then, I take it that the essential and characteristic elements in the prophetship, in the creed, in the personality, in the philosophy of Muhammad all lead us back to something unhealthy, ununified; but to something also in its earlier phases, and through the greater part of its life and growth, absolutely sincere — absolutely, entirely real.”

That Ahmad also was to some extent sincere in his belief that his revelations (particularly the earlier ones which defined his unique office) came from some source that was external to his own mind all the evidence at our disposal would lead us to believe. His revelations for the most part came in brief, ejaculatory Arabic sentences.18 A few of the early ones, however, came in English, a language which Ahmad professed not to speak. Two instances of these English revelations, given by Mirza Yakub Beg, are the following : — ” I shall help you : You have to go Amritsar “; ‘ He halts in the Zilla (township) Peshawar.” It will be noticed that the English is imperfect.

That he later, like Muhammad (according to Professor Macdonald’s theory) and many modern mediums, produced alleged revelations that had been deliberately forged, in the interests (in his case) of a growing ambition and an ill-disguised cupidity, a mass of reliable evidence compels us to believe.

All that we know of Ahmad’s early years reveals in him the nervous, abstracted manner of the typical medium. As the revelations began to come — whether through automatic writing, or in a trance, or through some other means, we can only surmise — he was, let us say, profoundly moved by their mysterious nature and easily convinced of their having proceeded from a supernatural source. Thereupon he became, in his own eyes and in those of his followers, the “next step” in the divine scheme of progressive revelation, and possibly the inevitable centre of a proselytizing cult.

We can find many suggestive parallels of this mental and spiritual progression in the history of such modern mediums as D. D. Home and Rev. Stainton Moses, of a generation ago, and the late W. T. Stead and Elsa Barker in the past few years. In such cases it seems to be an easy, and indeed almost inevitable, thing for the controlling intelligence, whether it be ” ibrail” (Gabriel) or ” Imperator,”19  “Julia”20  or “X,”21  to convince the medium that the source of the communications is wholly external to the personality of the “sensitive,” and that the medium has been chosen to be the vehicle of a divinely inspired revelation.22

The last ten years of Ahmad’s life were increasingly shadowed by physical weakness and characterised by waning aggressiveness, as he realised that he was drawing near to the end. In December, 1905, he published his ” Will,”23 in which he wrote, “As Almighty God has informed me, in various revelations following one another, that the time of my death is near, and the revelations in that respect have been so many and so consecutive that they have shaken my existence from the foundations and made this life quite indifferent to me, I have, therefore, thought it proper that I should write down for my friends, and for such other persons as can benefit from my teachings, some words of advice.” As will appear in Chapter VI, the content of this ” Will ” was destined to prove a source of controversy and division in the Ahmadlya community in years to come.

A few days before his death he wrote a paper called “The Message of Peace,”24  which he intended should be read in his presence at a religious conference in University Hall, Lahore, in May, 1908. While, even here, he could not refrain from repeating some of his customary carping criticism of Christianity and Hinduism, he nevertheless comes nearer than he had probably ever done before to exemplifying the principle which in this paper he lays down :

“That religion does not deserve the name of religion which does not inculcate broad sympathy with humanity in general, nor does that person deserve to be called a human being who has not a sympathetic soul within him.”

His death, caused by intestinal trouble, occurred very suddenly, on May 26th, 1908, in Lahore, whither he had come to attend the conference above mentioned, and to secure some medical assistance for his wife. His enemies made much of the fact that, with all his boasted prophetic knowledge, he should not have foreseen the date of his own death, which, had it accorded with his wishes and plans, would certainly have occurred in Qadian, and at a later period. “The Message of Peace” was read at the conference by Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din, just after the author’s death. Ahmad was buried in an unpretentious tomb in Qadian, which had been previously prepared.


1 The sources from which the facts regarding Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s life have been culled are conversations with his followers and with Christian missionaries and others who were personally acquainted with him, a brief biography in Urdu by Mi’raj-ud-Din, prefixed to the first edition of the Bardhin-i-Ahmadiya, a recent biography in Urdu, of which all the parts have not yet appeared, by Mirza Yakub Beg (Qadian, 1916), and a memorial article in The Review of Religions for June, 1908 (p. 171)

2 Recent references to the date of Ahmad’s birth place it vaguely ” some time in 1836 or 1837 ” (Review of Religions, XV, p. 26), but the date given here is the one generally accepted by his biographers.

3 Cf. p. 69, Note 1.

4 Cf. p. 74, Note 1.

5 Cf. p. 43.

6 Later published, with the title, The Teachings of Islam, by Luzac & Co., London, 1910.

7 Cf. p. 113ff.

8 Literally, ” People of Tradition,” a name used in India by the puritanical sect of Wahhabites, and in particular referring to a group of about forty thousand of these Muslim purists in the Panjab.

9 The adherents of this sect of Muslims, neither Sunnis nor Shi’ites, respect the first three Khalifas but reject and abuse ‘Ali.

10 Cf. p. 66, Note 1.

11 Cf. p. 65, Note 3.

12 Review of Religions, II, p. 405. See pp. 70, 71.

13 In the resume of Muslim traditions regarding the second coming of Christ contained in the Mukaddima of Ibn Khaldun, there is an obscure reference to the expected one descending at Damascus, “between two yellow robes,” which may be what Ahmad had in mind. See De Slane. Ed., Quatremhe, Vol. II, p. 170.

14 For the connection between idiocy and sainthood in Islam, see Macdonald, The Religious Attitude and Life in Islam, Chicago, 1909, pp. 103, 104.

15 Published at Ludhiana, Panjab, in 1902.

16 Cf. p. 45, Note 1.

17 Macmillan, New York, p. 63ff.

18 See the translations of several of these revelations on p. 33.

19 Cf. M. A. Oxon (Rev. W. Stainton Moses): Spirit Teachings, London Spiritualist Alliance, 1894.

20 Cf. W. T. Stead: “After Death— A Personal Narrative,” Review of Reviews, London, 1912.

21 Cf. Elsa Barker: Letters from a Living Dead Man. Wm. Rider & Sons, London, 1914.

22 A later example of this tendency is seen in the case of Sir Oliver Lodge’s Raymond, which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has called “A new revelation of God’s dealing with man.” See Appendix I for quotations from a recent article in Review of Religions, in which further unconscious evidences are given of the mediumistic character of Ahmad’s revelation.

23 Obtainable in pamphlet form from the Qadian headquarters.

24 This can be obtained from Ahmadlya headquarters at Qadian. It appeared in the Review of Religions for July, 1908 (VII, p. 7). Cf. pp. 50, 51.

Chapter II-3 The Distinctive Claims of Ahmad – The Incarnation of Krisna

On November 1st, 1904, in an address at Sialkot, Ahmad made the first public announcement of his being the burooz (spiritual manifestation), or, in the Hindu language, the avatar (incarnation), of Krisna, as well as, in some sense, of Muhammad and Christ, although he then claimed that he had been addressed as Krisna in one of his earlier revelations :

“He has told me, not on one occasion but repeatedly, that so I am Krisna for the Hindus and the Promised Messiah for the Muhammadans and the Christians. I know that ignorant Muhammadans will at once exclaim, upon hearing this, that I have become a plain unbeliever and heretic on account of my having adopted the name of an unbeliever, as they think the Holy Krisna to be, but this is a revelation from God which I cannot but announce, and this is the first day that I announce this claim in such a large gathering, for those who come from God do not fear being blamed or reviled. Now Raja Krisna was revealed to me as so great and perfect a man that his equal is not to be found among the Hindu Risliis1 and avatars. . . . I love Krisna, for I appear as his image. . . . Spiritually, Krisna and the Promised Messiah are one and the same person, there being no difference except that which exists in the terminology of the two people, Hindu and Muhammadan ” (Review of Religions, III, p. 411).

In the revelation Ahmad was thus addressed: “It is not good to oppose the ‘Brahman Avatar'” (Review of Religions, III, p. 411).

Hitherto Ahmad, as the Promised Messiah, standing outside of the Hindu fold, had had much to say about Hindu weaknesses and faults. Now he occupied a new platform and spoke with a new voice. In the address from which I have quoted he reiterated many of his old objections to the Arya Samaj, but he now prefixed to them the words: ” As Krisna I now warn the Aryas of some of their errors.” There is no evidence to show that Hindus and Aryas looked with any more favour upon Ahmad after his unique pronouncement than before, but certainly his anticipations were realized in a further deepening of the animosity with which orthodox Islam regarded this sot disant champion of their faith.

Since Ahmad’s death one of his followers at Qadian has had printed on the letterhead of his correspondence paper the following legend, which adds further claims not hitherto enunciated, and makes it clear that present-day followers of Ahmad believe that every prophecy of any religion that anticipates the coming upon earth of a great spiritual leader has been fulfilled in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian. This reads as follows :

“Praised be Allah, the Almighty, the Gracious, the Merciful, one worshipable God, Sustainer of all; who through his kindness raised a prophet in these days like unto the prophets of old days, viz., ‘ AHMAD,’ the Promised Messiah, the Muhammadan Mehdi, the Krisna, the latter day Reformer of Parsees, the Hope of all the nations of the day— Champion of Islam, Reformer of Christianity, Avatar of Hinduism, Buddha of East — blessed are they who believe in him, and take shelter under his peaceful banner, now held by his second successor, the promised son, His Hazrat ‘Mahmud,’ to whom all correspondence should be addressed on the subjects of : Existence and Unity of God, the divine message of the greatest of the Prophets, ‘Muhammad’ (on whom be peace and blessings), truth of Islam, Jesus’ Tomb in Kashmir, Second Advent of the Messiah at Qadian, Ahmadiya Movement, etc.”


1 Cf. p. 105, Note l.

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad1 Khan was born in the village of Qadian, Gurdaspur District, Panjab, on the eighteenth of June, 1839,2 the year marked by the death of Ranjit Singh, the great Sikh ruler and warrior. He boasted of a good Mughal ancestry, and hence bore the title, ” Mirza,” which is used to designate one who belongs to the Mughal race. His family emigrated from Central Asia to India in the sixteenth century, in the reign of Babar, and settled in the Panjab, where they were granted a large tract of land, about seventy miles from Lahore. The capital of this little State was known as Islampur, and is the modern Qadian. The family suffered persecution and expulsion in the early days of Sikh rule, but under Ranjit Singh the father of Ghulam Ahmad, Mirza Ghulam Murtaba, received back a portion of the property which had belonged to the family and returned to Qadian. Under the British Government, which succeeded to that of the Sikhs, Mirza Ghulam Murtaba set an example of loyalty to British rule, in the days of the great mutiny of 1857, to which his son has often referred with justifiable pride. The father was by profession a native physician of some learning, and desired that his son, who early showed an aptitude for study, should be well educated in accordance with the ideas and standards of the time. From his sixth to his tenth year he studied with a Persian tutor. From that time until he was seventeen an Arabic scholar and holy man was his instructor, and under his tuition he laid the foundation of that exceptional facility of expression in the Arabic language which was to serve him so well in later years. Some time after his seventeenth year his father secured for the studious, visionary lad employment in Government service, in a subordinate capacity, in the office of the Deputy Commissioner at Sialkot ; but a few years of this service sufficed to convince Mirza. Ghulam Murtaba that his son possessed no aptitude for business. He then endeavoured to induce him to study law, with a view to his becoming a pleader, but this the lad resolutely refused to do.

One fruit of his residence in Sialkot was an acquaintance which it yielded with some missionaries of the Church of Scotland, residing there, with whom he spent many hours in religious discussion. The importance for future Ahmadiya doctrine of this contact with Christian missionaries, during the formative years of Ahmad’s life, it would be difficult to exaggerate.

After four years of this service he resigned and returned to Qadian, where he was desired by his father to assist the family in connection with the law-suits arising out of the estate. There also his entire lack of business acumen soon became evident. Some time before his father’s death, in 1876, the efforts of the latter to assure to the young man some measure of worldly advancement had ceased, and he was left to his own devices. After his father died the slight constraint which the parental ambition may have exerted was removed, and Mirza Ghulam Ahmad lived quietly at Qadian, studying the Qur’an, the traditions and the commentators, and making himself somewhat familiar with the tenets of the different religions of the world. His hatred of the world grew upon him, and various eccentricities developed. His friendly biographer, Mi’raj-ud-Din, writing after his death, in 1908, tells of some of his personal peculiarities, developed in those early years of obscurity, such as his habit of eating bits of earth and his abnormal fondness for sweets. As he walked the streets, with his thoughts in the heavens and his pockets filled with sweets, the urchins of the street, aware of his weakness, would abstract the sweets and make off with them, while the erstwhile owner proceeded innocently on his way. In one instance mischievous youths stuffed a brick into the pocket where the sweets had been, and its presence was not discovered until the Mirza. Sahib lay down to sleep at night. At another time, writes a more recent biographer, Mirza Yakub Beg, he neglected to remove one of his shoes at night and slept unconscious of the fact until the morning, when, after a long search, he accidentally discovered it. On another occasion his clothes caught fire, and the fire was extinguished by a friend, while he himself remained oblivious of the danger. A story, which is told to illustrate both his detachment from worldly affairs and his recognition of the working of Divine Providence in all things, relates how on one occasion his little son, aged four (the present “Khalifa,” Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad), came into his room and burned all of his father’s writings which he could discover. The Mirza Sahib paid no attention to what was happening, and when informed of it merely remarked, “There is some benefit from God in this.” When told that a poor woman had stolen some rice from his kitchen, he is said to have replied, ” Let us say nothing about it, but give her some more if she is in need of it.” All his life he suffered from diabetes (polyuria) and vertigo. From his youth he had strange visions and dreams, which he interpreted himself, and in which he always figured in some pre-eminent capacity.

Meantime he was exercising and developing his ability as a writer of excellent Persian, Arabic and Urdu. In 1880 appeared the first two parts of his most celebrated work, the Barahin-i- Ahmadiya (Ahmadiya Proofs), and although in the exposition of Muslim doctrines contained therein there was already present the germ of the unique Ahmadiya teachings, which formed the basis of his later quarrels with orthodox Muslims, this book was quite universally acclaimed (in so far as it was read), throughout the Muhammadan world, as a work of power and originality.

The turning point in the career of the Mirza Sahib and the real beginning of the independent existence of the Ahmadiya movement occurred on the 4th of March, 1889, when he announced a divine revelation giving him the right to accept bai’dt (i.e., homage paid to a king or to a religious leader) from a disciple. There then came into existence a little group of individuals who accepted his guidance in all matters pertaining to the spiritual life. It was not until 1891, however, that Ahmad made the declaration which caused a sharp line of demarcation to be drawn between himself and the larger world of Islam. He then announced that he was both the promised Messiah and the Mahdi expected by Muslims, and sought to make clear his position in three books : — Fateh Islam, Tanzih-i-Maram and Izala-i-Auham. From that time forward his life was involved in bitter controversy with orthodox Muhammadans, Arya Samaj leaders and Christians. Through the activity of one of his most persistent enemies, Maulvi Muhammad Husain, formerly his friend and co-worker, a fatwa (legal pronouncement by a Muslim authority on canon law)3 was secured, bearing the confirmatory seals of many important mullahs throughout India, excommunicating Ahmad and his followers from Islam on account of heresy, and declaring that their destruction was thenceforth sanctioned in accordance with orthodox law.4 On his part, the Mirza Sahib now became very active and vocal in his denunciation of his enemies. Again and again he was haled into court — particularly in connection with his various prophecies of death or disgrace to be visited upon particular foes. In some cases, as will appear hereafter,5 these were so literally fulfilled as to cause strong suspicion that steps had been taken by Ahmad’s followers, with or without his cognizance, to see that the prophecy should not fail of fulfilment.

A memorable hour in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s life occurred in December, 1896, when he read a paper at the Conference of Religions in Lahore, entitled ” The Sources of Divine Knowledge,”6 which gives an extensive summary of the Ahmadiya interpretation of the Qur’an and the Islamic theory of salvation.

From the year 1892, in addition to several vernacular periodicals, an English monthly magazine, The Review of Religions, was published by the sect in Qadian, whence it still issues. One of the cleverest of Ahmad’s followers, Maulvi Muhammad Ali, M.A., LL.B., was called to the editorship of this periodical, and at one time he was assisted by Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din, of whom we shall have more to say further on.7 This paper was well named, for it has given its attention to a remarkably wide range of religions and to a great variety of subjects. Orthodox Hinduism, the Arya Samaj, the Brahma Samaj and Theosophy ; Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism and Zoroastrianism ; Baha’ism, Christian Science and Christianity have all received attention, as well as Islam in all its ramifications, both ancient and modern, such as the Shl’ites, Ahl-i-Hadis,8  Kharijites,9  Sufis and such representative exponents of modern tendencies as Sir Syed Ahmad Khan10  and Syed Amir ‘AH.11  In another chapter we shall deal with the Ahmadiya attitude toward Christianity. We would only pause here to comment on the alertness and diligence of the group of Ahmadiya leaders who have kept the rank and file of the movement informed of the currents of thought and life in present-day Christianity. The Review of Religions refers, for example, to Mormonism and Zionism, and to Professor George B. Foster’s book, The Finality of the Christian Religion (Chicago, 1906), which involved him in a heresy trial in America ; to R. J. Campbell’s New Theology, and the Keswick movement in England ; to the Johannine sect in Russia, the great revival in Wales and the World’s Missionary Conference in Edinburgh in 1910; to the modern critical school of theologians in Germany, to Modernism in the Roman Catholic Church in Italy, and to Christian missionary activity in Palestine, Japan, Iceland, South Africa, Egypt and other lands. Books by Western students of Islam such as Pfander, Hughes, Margoliouth, Zwemer, Gairdner, Snouck Hurgronje, Noldeke, E. G. Brown and Canon Sell receive due attention. The new Leyden Encyclopedia of Islam is heartily commended. There are frequent quotations from the Encyclopedia Britannica, the Encyclopedia Biblica and the Jewish Encyclopedia, and from such periodicals as The London Quarterly Review, The Contemporary Review, The Review of Reviews, The Westminister Review, The Hibbert Journal, The Biblical World, The East and the West, The Moslem World, and others too numerous to mention, including, of course, all of the important Christian missionary periodicals in India. It must be said, however, that the comments on the scattered quotations show a woful lack of balanced judgment and of any broad and fixed principles of scholarly criticism.

That Ahmad himself, like his most intelligent followers, kept abreast of the times to a considerable extent, and possessed at least a superficial knowledge of conditions in the religious world, his own articles and addresses give ample evidence. The pity was, and is, that with his learning and his cleverness in controversy there was not associated an honest and discriminating judgment, a passion for truth stretching beyond the sole confines of the Islam of his conception, and an irenic spirit which could disagree and dispute with others without becoming angrily uncharitable and unfair. Because of these weaknesses he cannot be considered seriously as a scholar in any field.

It is difficult for one who knows Ahmad only through his writings to appraise his character. That he was a man of simple habits and generous impulses all the evidence at our disposal would indicate. His courage in the face of bitter persecution, amounting to attempts at physical violence, is certainly commendable. Only a man of magnetic and pleasing personality could have attracted and held the friendship and loyalty of such numbers of men, of whom two, at least, died for their faith, in Afghanistan, in accordance with orthodox Musalman law. 1 Those older Ahmadis whom I have questioned as to their reasons for joining the movement, have most of them laid greater stress on the personal impression made upon them by the Mirza Sahib’s forceful and winning personality than on the nature of his peculiar teachings. The real puzzle emerges in the case of Ahmad, as also of his great master, Muhammad, when we come to judge of his alleged revelations, particularly those relating to himself and his claims. We shall deal with these in detail in the next chapter. Here we are only interested in them as far as they relate to his character. Some have believed that one who could sincerely make such stupendous claims must have been mentally affected. On one occasion an Indian Christian teacher, named Daniel, visited Ahmad at Qadian, and left with him seven questions of which the first three, relating to the mental state of Ahmad, were as follows :12

  1. “Have you ever been affected with a brain disease? If so, what and when? Does its attack recur?
  2. “Did you begin to have revelations before you suffered from an attack of such disease or after that ? Have any of your relations ever made strange pretentions? If so, what and when?
  3. “Has the idea ever had access to your mind that your claims may be wrong ? If so, how was the doubt removed? Is it not possible that the doubt may be valid?”

The editor of Review of Religions (V, p. 150), it may be assumed with Ahmad’s acquiescence, wrote in reply :

“The drift of the first two questions is that the revelations of the promised Messiah are due to dementia ; in other words, they are [not ?] revelations from God. . . . The diseases to which Mr. Daniel alludes were foretold by our Holy Prophet as being the signs of the promised Messiah.” He then goes on to argue, by a somewhat forced interpretation, that a tradition had declared that the promised Messiah would make his appearance clad in garments dyed yellow,13  and that, since ” there is a consensus of opinion among all interpreters of dreams that yellow garments signify disease,” the reference is, of course, to Ahmad’s two diseases, “syncope and polyuria.” As far as there is any direct answer given here to Mr. Daniel’s questions about the presence of mental irregularities in Ahmad, it would seem to be in the affirmative, although, of course, there was no intention on the part of the writer to imply that any physical and mental irregularities of the human medium could be held to have interfered with the validity of the divine revelation. On the contrary, in Muslim eyes it might even strengthen his claims to pre-eminence in spiritual rank.14  There seems to be a confusion here, however, between Mr. Daniel’s allusion to brain disease and the Ahmadiya reference to syncope and polyuria, as being Ahmad’s troubles, since actually those diseases do not affect the mind.

That he was neither insane nor a conscious imposter, but self-deluded, is the opinion of Dr. H. D. Griswold, of Lahore, who was personally acquainted with Ahmad, and of whose paper, on “The Messiah of Qadian,” read before the Victoria Institute of Great Britain, the editor of the Review of Religions wrote,” Excepting occasional remarks, which were necessary to make the paper fit for reading in a Christian meeting, the author has very clearly stated the necessary facts for forming a true idea of the Ahmadiya movement, and has taken immense pains to collect from different places all the arguments bearing on the subject and to collate them in order.” Dr. Griswold, in his pamphlet, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Mehdi Messiah of Qadian,15 wrote : —

” The opinions on this point concerning him may be summed up under three judgments : (1) that he is a conscious deceiver, (2) that he is insane, (3) that he is self-deluded.” After quoting judgments of others in favour of each of the first two alternatives, Dr. Griswold gives his own opinion as follows : —

” On the whole, however, it seems to me that the third judgment is the safest one, namely, that the Mirza Sahib is honest but self-deceived. So far as I am able to judge, his writings everywhere have the ring of sincerity. His persistency in affirming his claims in the face of the most intense and bitter opposition is magnificent. He is willing to suffer on behalf of his claims. And besides this, if, in the sober and matter-of-fact West, Dr. Dowie, of Chicago,16 can claim to be the promised Elijah, we ought not to be surprised if, in the warmer and more imaginative East, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, has claimed to be the Messiah. To both alike may be granted a measure of pity on the ground that they are probable victims of unconscious self-deception.”

I am indebted to Professor D. B. Macdonald, of Hartford, U.S.A., for the suggestion here advanced as perhaps best accounting for Ahmad’s claims and so-called revelations, viewed in the light of our modern knowledge of psychology. May not he, like his great leader, be best described as “a pathological case” ? Let me quote here a few passages from Professor Macdonald’s chapter on “The Person and Life of Muhammad,” in his Aspects of Islam,17 setting forth this theory of the nature of Muhammad’s inspiration: — “As I have said before, the fundamental thing in him was that he was a pathological case. It is evident that from comparatively early days he had trances ; fell into fits in which he saw and heard strange things. There came to him voices, either apparently in a trance condition or when he was awake. Driven by fear for his soul, he had got into the habit of retiring into desert recesses, and there spending days in solitary prayer. So there the voices came to him ; there he even saw figures — vague, dim — and the fear fell upon him, What are they ? What is the matter with me ? Is this of God ? Or am I possessed by some spirit ? . . . Again he was not, as so many have thought, a schemer, a politician, a man who set out to unite Arabia and to become its head, and who at every move knew exactly what he was doing and why he did it. He was not a schemer ; he was very often the most impolitic of men. . . . So, then, I take it that the essential and characteristic elements in the prophetship, in the creed, in the personality, in the philosophy of Muhammad all lead us back to something unhealthy, ununified; but to something also in its earlier phases, and through the greater part of its life and growth, absolutely sincere — absolutely, entirely real.”

That Ahmad also was to some extent sincere in his belief that his revelations (particularly the earlier ones which defined his unique office) came from some source that was external to his own mind all the evidence at our disposal would lead us to believe. His revelations for the most part came in brief, ejaculatory Arabic sentences.18 A few of the early ones, however, came in English, a language which Ahmad professed not to speak. Two instances of these English revelations, given by Mirza Yakub Beg, are the following : — ” I shall help you : You have to go Amritsar “; ‘ He halts in the Zilla (township) Peshawar.” It will be noticed that the English is imperfect.

That he later, like Muhammad (according to Professor Macdonald’s theory) and many modern mediums, produced alleged revelations that had been deliberately forged, in the interests (in his case) of a growing ambition and an ill-disguised cupidity, a mass of reliable evidence compels us to believe.

All that we know of Ahmad’s early years reveals in him the nervous, abstracted manner of the typical medium. As the revelations began to come — whether through automatic writing, or in a trance, or through some other means, we can only surmise — he was, let us say, profoundly moved by their mysterious nature and easily convinced of their having proceeded from a supernatural source. Thereupon he became, in his own eyes and in those of his followers, the “next step” in the divine scheme of progressive revelation, and possibly the inevitable centre of a proselytizing cult.

We can find many suggestive parallels of this mental and spiritual progression in the history of such modern mediums as D. D. Home and Rev. Stainton Moses, of a generation ago, and the late W. T. Stead and Elsa Barker in the past few years. In such cases it seems to be an easy, and indeed almost inevitable, thing for the controlling intelligence, whether it be ” ibrail” (Gabriel) or ” Imperator,”19  “Julia”20  or “X,”21  to convince the medium that the source of the communications is wholly external to the personality of the “sensitive,” and that the medium has been chosen to be the vehicle of a divinely inspired revelation.22

The last ten years of Ahmad’s life were increasingly shadowed by physical weakness and characterised by waning aggressiveness, as he realised that he was drawing near to the end. In December, 1905, he published his ” Will,”23 in which he wrote, “As Almighty God has informed me, in various revelations following one another, that the time of my death is near, and the revelations in that respect have been so many and so consecutive that they have shaken my existence from the foundations and made this life quite indifferent to me, I have, therefore, thought it proper that I should write down for my friends, and for such other persons as can benefit from my teachings, some words of advice.” As will appear in Chapter VI, the content of this ” Will ” was destined to prove a source of controversy and division in the Ahmadlya community in years to come.

A few days before his death he wrote a paper called “The Message of Peace,”24  which he intended should be read in his presence at a religious conference in University Hall, Lahore, in May, 1908. While, even here, he could not refrain from repeating some of his customary carping criticism of Christianity and Hinduism, he nevertheless comes nearer than he had probably ever done before to exemplifying the principle which in this paper he lays down :

“That religion does not deserve the name of religion which does not inculcate broad sympathy with humanity in general, nor does that person deserve to be called a human being who has not a sympathetic soul within him.”

His death, caused by intestinal trouble, occurred very suddenly, on May 26th, 1908, in Lahore, whither he had come to attend the conference above mentioned, and to secure some medical assistance for his wife. His enemies made much of the fact that, with all his boasted prophetic knowledge, he should not have foreseen the date of his own death, which, had it accorded with his wishes and plans, would certainly have occurred in Qadian, and at a later period. “The Message of Peace” was read at the conference by Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din, just after the author’s death. Ahmad was buried in an unpretentious tomb in Qadian, which had been previously prepared.


1 The sources from which the facts regarding Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s life have been culled are conversations with his followers and with Christian missionaries and others who were personally acquainted with him, a brief biography in Urdu by Mi’raj-ud-Din, prefixed to the first edition of the Bardhin-i-Ahmadiya, a recent biography in Urdu, of which all the parts have not yet appeared, by Mirza Yakub Beg (Qadian, 1916), and a memorial article in The Review of Religions for June, 1908 (p. 171)

2 Recent references to the date of Ahmad’s birth place it vaguely ” some time in 1836 or 1837 ” (Review of Religions, XV, p. 26), but the date given here is the one generally accepted by his biographers.

3 Cf. p. 69, Note 1.

4 Cf. p. 74, Note 1.

5 Cf. p. 43.

6 Later published, with the title, The Teachings of Islam, by Luzac & Co., London, 1910.

7 Cf. p. 113ff.

8 Literally, ” People of Tradition,” a name used in India by the puritanical sect of Wahhabites, and in particular referring to a group of about forty thousand of these Muslim purists in the Panjab.

9 The adherents of this sect of Muslims, neither Sunnis nor Shi’ites, respect the first three Khalifas but reject and abuse ‘Ali.

10 Cf. p. 66, Note 1.

11 Cf. p. 65, Note 3.

12 Review of Religions, II, p. 405. See pp. 70, 71.

13 In the resume of Muslim traditions regarding the second coming of Christ contained in the Mukaddima of Ibn Khaldun, there is an obscure reference to the expected one descending at Damascus, “between two yellow robes,” which may be what Ahmad had in mind. See De Slane. Ed., Quatremhe, Vol. II, p. 170.

14 For the connection between idiocy and sainthood in Islam, see Macdonald, The Religious Attitude and Life in Islam, Chicago, 1909, pp. 103, 104.

15 Published at Ludhiana, Panjab, in 1902.

16 Cf. p. 45, Note 1.

17 Macmillan, New York, p. 63ff.

18 See the translations of several of these revelations on p. 33.

19 Cf. M. A. Oxon (Rev. W. Stainton Moses): Spirit Teachings, London Spiritualist Alliance, 1894.

20 Cf. W. T. Stead: “After Death— A Personal Narrative,” Review of Reviews, London, 1912.

21 Cf. Elsa Barker: Letters from a Living Dead Man. Wm. Rider & Sons, London, 1914.

22 A later example of this tendency is seen in the case of Sir Oliver Lodge’s Raymond, which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has called “A new revelation of God’s dealing with man.” See Appendix I for quotations from a recent article in Review of Religions, in which further unconscious evidences are given of the mediumistic character of Ahmad’s revelation.

23 Obtainable in pamphlet form from the Qadian headquarters.

24 This can be obtained from Ahmadlya headquarters at Qadian. It appeared in the Review of Religions for July, 1908 (VII, p. 7). Cf. pp. 50, 51.

Chapter II-1 The Distinctive Claims of Ahmad – The Promised Messiah

The Sunnite Muslim believes that among the signs of the approach of the last day will be the simultaneous appearance of the promised Messiah and the expected Mahdi, generally taken to be two quite distinct personalities with different offices to perform.1 Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed to fulfil in himself various Muslim prophecies pertaining both to the Messiah and the Mahdi, and, in addition, to be the fulfilment of Christian and Jewish eschatological hopes. First, with regard to Jewish prophecy, in a paper published in 1904 (cf. Review of Religions, III, p. 331), called “My Claim to Promised Messiahship,” Ahmad wrote :

“Since God created man, it has been his unchangeable law that he sheds his light upon mankind through one of their own number, so that there maybe a unity and oneness among them. … In accordance with this time-honoured law, Almighty God prophesied by the mouth of his prophets that after nearly six thousand years from the time of Adam, when great darkness would pursue upon earth and an irresistible flood of passions would make the love of God wane and iniquity predominate, he would breathe into a man the soul of truth and love and knowledge spiritually after the likeness of Adam, and he would be called the Messiah, because God would himself anoint his soul with the ointment of his love. . . . After a heavy fight the Messiah of God would drive back the powers of darkness, and the glory, majesty, unity and holiness of God would be proclaimed upon earth and would continue to be so declared for a thousand years, the seventh day of the Holy Books of God. Then will be the end. I am that Messiah : let him who will accept me.”

We thus see that the promised Messiah is, for Jews, Christians and Muhammadans the second Adam as well as the promised Messiah. The reference to Adam is of importance, on account of the Muslim designation of Jesus as “the second Adam,” because he was declared by Muhammad to have been an immediate creation like the first Adam.2 In the first number of the Review of Religions (I, p. 15) this parallelism is further developed :

“The thousand years of Satan’s supremacy (following the thousand years of his imprisonment after the coming of Jesus) have come to an end, and we are now living in the millenium of God’s reign, and the dawn of it has already appeared. The sixth thousand from the appearance of Adam has come to a close, and the seventh, in which the second Adam should have appeared, has begun. God made Adam on the sixth day, and the sacred Scriptures further bear testimony to the fact that a day is equal to a thousand years with the Lord.

“The promises of God, therefore, make it absolutely necessary that the second Adam must have been born already, though not recognized as yet by the world. We cannot further avoid the conclusion that the place fixed by God for the appearance of the second Adam must be in the East and not in the West, for from Genesis 2:8, we learn that God had put the first Adam in a garden eastward. It is, therefore, necessary that the second Adam should appear in the East, in order to have a resemblance with the first in respect of his locality. This conclusion is equally binding upon the Christians and the Muhammadans if they admit the authority of their Scriptures and are not of an atheistic turn of mind.”

The thousand-year imprisonment of Satan after Jesus’ second coming is taken from Revelation 20: 1-10. There is nothing corresponding to it in Muslim eschatology. In another passage Ahmad writes :

” Moreover Adam was born on Friday, and along with him was born a woman. So it happened in my case, viz., I, too, was born on Friday and was born a twin, a girl being born with me.”:3

Moses as well as Adam is included in the method of parallelism by which Ahmad claimed to fulfil the Jewish Messianic prophecies. The argument in this connection is well summarized by Dr. Griswold, who heard it from Ahmad’s own lips at Qadian :

“There are two tribes of fundamental importance in Divine revelation, the Children of Israel and the Children of Ishmael. The great prophets of the former were Moses and Christ. Christ was the final prophet of the Jews, the last brick in their national and religious structure. Their rejection of Christ involved their own rejection and the loss of their nationality. Then came the turn of the children of Ishmael, ‘ According to Deuteronomy 18 : 18,4 a prophet was raised “like unto” Moses, from among the ” brethren ” of the Israelites, in the person of the great lawgiver Muhammad’ (Review of Religions, May, 1902, p. 206). Muhammad, therefore, was the first Ishmaelitish prophet, as it were, the Moses of Islam. But Moses and Christ were separated by an interval of twelve or fourteen centuries. Hence, in order to preserve the parallelism, another prophet must arise twelve or fourteen centuries after Muhammad, who will be, as it were, the Christ of Islam. Who can this be but Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian? The relation between these great prophets may be set forth in the form of a proportion. Thus, as Moses is to Christ, so Muhammad is to Ghulam Ahmad ; or again, as Muhammad is to Moses, so the Mirza Sahib is to Jesus Christ. In a word, as Moses is a type of Muhammad, so Jesus of Nazareth is a type of Ahmad of Qadian.”5

The words of Isaiah 41: 2,6 “Who has raised the righteous one in the East,” are likewise quoted in the Review of Religions as an instance of Old Testament prophecy which was fulfilled in Ahmad.

Coming now to the Christian prophecies, contained in the New Testament, Ahmad held that the second coming of the Messiah was not to be in Christ’s own person, but in his “spirit and power.” Even so, Jesus declared that John had come in the ” spirit and power ” of Elijah (Review of Religious, II, p. 192), when the Jews urged that Jesus could not be the Messiah because the prophecy of Malachi 4 : 5, was still unfulfilled, that Elijah must come again previous to the Messiah’s appearance (Matt. 17: 12; cf. Luke 2: 17). Elijah and Jesus, he held, were the two characters of whom it was said in the Bible that they were taken up alive into heaven. Hence their return to earth would presumptively be the same in its nature. In spite of the contradictions involved, it was necessary for Ahmad’s purpose that he also teach that Muslims are in error in believing that Jesus was taken alive into one of the heavens from whence he will return before the last day, just as Christians err, no less, in their belief that Jesus died on the cross and after his resurrection in three days ascended to heaven, there to remain until his second appearance. Ahmad held it to be of supreme importance to his claims that Jesus should have died like an ordinary man,7  so as to make his appearance in his actual physical body previous to the general resurrection impossible, thus making possible his own (Ahmad’s) coming in Jesus’ spirit and power. We read that the signs which ought to accompany the return of the Messiah have all been fulfilled :

“Earthquakes, plague, famine, wars, and terrestrial as well as heavenly phenomena, bear witness to the one fact that there is to be no more waiting for the Messiah’s advent” (Review of Religions, III, p. 397).

Christians themselves, he declared, recognize that the time is at hand, but, like the Jews of the time of Jesus, they are looking in the wrong direction for his appearance. The Millennial Dawn books of the late “Pastor” Russell, in America, are quoted to prove that the six thousandth year after Adam, at the end of which the Messiah must come, ended in 1873, and that by 1914 the saints were to be gathered and the Kingdom was to be firmly established and recognized by all.8

Other Christian writers, he asserts, have placed the time of the advent in 1898, 1899 and 1900; but all have been disappointed because they failed to realize that in MIrza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian the Messiah has actually appeared (Review of Religions, II, p. 366).

We come now to the Muslim prophecies of Jesus’ return to earth. The only reference to this in the Qur’an is the dubious one in XLIII, 61,9 which some commentators take to refer rather to the Qur’an itself. Nevertheless, we are told in the Review of Religions (II, p. 369):

” The Qur’an has wisely fixed certain signs for the advent of the Messiah, so that all men might know from their fulfilment that the time is come. Of these the most important sign is the predominance of the Christian religion and the activity of the Christian nations in every department of life. Of this predominance and activity there is not the least doubt.”

Ahmad, unfortunately, does not inform us where in the Qur’an this prophecy is to be found, but he (or his editor) asks pertinently in the same paragraph :

‘ If the Messiah is not needed now, will he be needed when the whole world is led to believe in the false doctrine of which the Holy Qur’an has said : ‘The heavens might almost be rent thereat and the earth cleave asunder, and the mountains fall in pieces’?”10

A favourite argument from the Qur’an is based upon the well-known verse (LXI, 6), which reads :

” And (remember) when Jesus, the Son of Mary, said, O Children of Israel; of a truth I am God’s Apostle to you to confirm the law which was given before me, and to announce an Apostle that shall come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad.”

As there is no such saying of Jesus in the New Testament, orthodox Islam has followed the suggestion of Maracci, adopted by Sale {Preliminary Discourse. Ed. 1877, Sect. IV, p. 53), that the references to the “Paraclete,” in John 14 : 26 and 16 : 7, were believed by Muhammad to point to himself, the original Greek word having been, in this case, not Parakletos but Periklutos, which is equivalent to the Arabic word, Ahmad (“praised”). The word, ” Muhammad,” comes of course from the same root. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad takes the prediction, in both the Gospel and the Qur’an, to refer not to Muhammad but to himself, because he bears the name “Ahmad’ (Review of Religions, I, p. 266), although, as Dr. Griswold has pointed out, his entire name really signifies ” Servant of Ahmad ” (Ghulam Ahmad).

A further sign of the last days, which we are frequently told is referred to in the Qur’an and given in detail in a tradition, is that an eclipse of the sun and moon will then occur, respectively, on the 13th and 28th of the month of Ramadan.11 This occurred in 1894. Although the earliest collections of traditions contain few references to the last day, later Muhammadan literature abounds in traditions that give the signs supposed to precede and accompany the end.12  Among the many to which Ahmad refers at different times are the corruption of the Muhammadan priests, the neglect of the Qur’an, and the splitting of Islam into sects. Ahmad quotes frequently the well-known tradition of Abu Hurairah, that the Son of Mary when he descends shall break in pieces the cross and shall slay the swine.13  Ahmad declared that it was evident that he had fulfilled this prophecy by exposing finally the falsity of the Christian doctrine of salvation through the cross of Christ, and by the destructive curses he pronounced upon his various enemies, who, he declared, represent the swine referred to in the prophecy. Among other prophetic signs pointing to the present as the time for the Messiah’s descent, it is said that the promised Messiah is to fight with the anti-Christ (Dajjal), who will come riding on an ass which moves like a cloud driven by the wind. He will have but one eye, and with him will be all the treasures of the world. This, we learn, refers to the coming of the English to India, particularly the missionaries — the ass being the railways and the cloud the steam from the engines. Since the English have an eye for the things of this world only, and are blind in the eye of religion, they may be considered as one-eyed ; and certainly they are exceedingly rich ! The rising of the sun in the west, another prophecy, likewise refers to the coming of the English, resplendent in worldly glory. And the strife of Gog and Magog (Yajuj and Majuj), referred to in the Qur’an (XVIII, 93, 97 and XXI, 96) and in the Bible (Ezek. 39: 1, 6, and Rev. 20: 8), whose ‘ appearance in history in terrific combat is to be a sign of the last days,” refers to the war between England and Russia. In one place we read :

“Among other signs related in the Holy Qur’an and authentic traditions are the appearance of the plague which is at present (1903) devastating India and several other countries, the introduction of a new mode of conveyance in place of camels, etc., which has been fulfilled by the construction of railways throughout the world, the increase of knowledge, the mixing together of people living in distant lands, the multiplicity of canals, the spreading of papers, and a host of other signs which we cannot detail here” (Review of Religions, II, p. 369).

The above are but a few of the prophecies which Ahmad declared were fulfilled in himself. Whenever he discoursed on this subject some orthodox maulvi was ready with a new prophecy, buried in some obscure tradition : and, in due time, Ahmad was prepared to reveal how this prophecy, rightly understood, could refer only to himself.

Thus far we have been dealing with the prophecies of the promised Messiah’s coming. Another alleged proof of Ahmad’s Messiahship was the fact that revelation early identified him with Jesus — the Jesus of the Christian Gospels, mentioned as ‘Isa so often in the Qur’an. Referring to Surat-al-Tahreem, Ahmad wrote:

“It is plainly indicated that some one from among the Muslims will first acquire the characteristics of Mary on account of his perfect righteousness, and be called by that name, and then the spirit of Jesus being breathed into him, he will be called by the latter name. In accordance with those words of the Holy Qur’an, Almighty God first named me Mary, and then spoke of the breathing into me of a soul, and lastly he named me Jesus ” (Review of Religions, II, p. 421 ).14

In the course of the revelations recorded in the pages of the Barahin-i-Ahmadiya, one occurred in which Ahmad was thus addressed:

“O Mary, enter with thy companions into paradise, I have breath- ed into thee from myself the spirit of truth ” (Review of Religions, III, p. 340).

The resemblance to the verse of the Qur’an, just referred to, is obvious. This spirit, Ahmad declared, was the spirit of Jesus, as indicated to him by a revelation, occurring two years later, applying to himself the verse of the Qur’an :

“O Jesus, verily I will cause thee to die a natural death, and will take thee up to myself, and I will place those who follow thee above those who believe not in thee, until the day of Resurrection” (Review of Religions, III, p. 341 ).15

At the time Ahmad supposed that these revelations referred to the ordinary Muslim belief regarding the second advent of Jesus, and it was not until some years after that it was further revealed to him, as above narrated.

” My name is Jesus, Son of Mary, for my capacity of Jesus is an offspring of my capacity as Mary.”

In Ahmad’s challenge to a prayer-duel to the death, issued to Dr. John Alexander Dowie, the American Messiah,”16 in 1892, the revelations seem to have gone the length of convincing Ahmad not only of his likeness, but further of his superiority, to Jesus. After describing how on various occasions he has seen Jesus and eaten with him from the same dish, he proceeds :

“There is no doubt that Divine wisdom has entrusted a far greater and more important work to my charge, and has given me promises of a far greater kindness and grace, yet spiritually Jesus and I are one in essence. It is for this reason that my advent is his advent. He who denies me denies Jesus also. He saw me and was pleased, and, therefore, he who sees me and is not pleased with me is not of us, neither of me nor of Jesus. Jesus is from me and I am from God ; blessed is he who recognizes me, and undone is the person from whose eyes I am hidden.”

And again he writes distinctly :

“The Son of Mary has not the slightest superiority over other men; nay, we can point to men who have been far superior to him. And in this age, the writer of these pages has been sent to convince people that he enjoys a greater grace and favour in the sight of God than Jesus Christ ” (Review of Religions, I, p. 340).

And yet again :

” Ye Christian missionaries : say no more that Christ is your God, for there is one among you who is greater than Christ” (Review of Religions, I, p. 251).

Detailed evidences of his superiority are given in an article in the Review of Religions for May, 1902 (I, p. 206):

” I wonder what peculiarities there are in the Son of Mary which make him a God. Do these consist in his miracles? But mine are greater than his. Were his prophecies very clear and true? But I shall be guilty of concealing a truth if I do not assert that the prophecies which Almighty God has granted me are of a far better quality in clearness, force and truth, than the ambiguous predictions of Jesus. Can we conclude his divinity from the words used of him in the Gospels? But I swear by the Lord . . . that the words expressing my dignity revealed from God … are far more weighty and glorious than the words of the Gospels relating to Jesus. But, notwithstanding all this superiority, I cannot assert Divinity or Sonship of God. . . . My superiority lies in being the Messiah of Muhammad, as Jesus was the Messiah of Moses, the Israelite Law-giver.”

Later than this a revelation came to Ahmad, in Arabic as on most occasions, of which a literal translation would be: “Thou art to me as a Son.17 Thou art from me and I from thee ” (Review of Religions, I, p. 349). A further evidence of Ahmad’s superiority to Jesus lay, he declared, in the fact that he was saved by the grace of Muhammad from the possibility of such an ignominious death as Jesus suffered at the hands of his enemies.

In addition to pointing to the agreement of past prophecy and present revelation in declaring his identity with or superiority to Jesus, Ahmad boasted a similarity to Christ in his external situation and in his personal character. Like Jesus, Ahmad was destined first to suffer persecution at the hands of unbelievers.

” The world shall not recognize him before his glorious advent ; for he is not of the world. Nor shall the world love him; for he comes from the God whom the world does not love. It is, therefore, necessary that he should be abused, persecuted and charged with all manner of crime ” (Review of Religions, I, p. 17).

As the enemies of Jesus were the supposedly religious and orthodox Scribes and Pharisees, so to-day the professedly religious people and their leaders are, because of their sins, most sharply antagonistic to the spirit and claims of the Messiah. In Christendom, he declared, drunkenness, prostitution and gambling were rampant, and the clergy and missionaries set the example. Reference is made, in the Review of Religions for May, 1906 (V, p. 215), to a book to which I have no access, called Crimes of Preachers, which, says the editor, has a brief record of some of the crimes with which clergy of the United States and Canada have been charged in courts. There is no unnameable crime from which the ” love of Christ” has saved the holy men, adultery and seduction heading the list. Intelligent and unbiassed Muslims, as well as Christians, must exclaim at the studied unfairness of such a representation of Christianity and its leaders in the East and West.

But neither does Islam come through unscathed. It is condemned by Ahmad for its sectarianism, ceremonialism, hard-heartedness and superstitious saint-worship. We are told that ” Muhammadan degeneration has passed all bounds. Luxurious habits, transgressions, drunkenness, gambling and laziness have gained the upper hand ‘ (Review of Religions, I, p. 318).

And this decadence is due to, and most extensively found among, the maulvis themselves. ‘ The blame of depriving a whole world of the recognition of Islamic truths lies at the door of the maulvis,” because they have “fabricated poisonous traditions” and their own lives are corrupt. Even so, “at the time of Jesus’ advent, the Jewish priests and religious leaders were morally in a very degraded condition, and though the word of virtue was on their lips yet their hearts were quite devoid of it.”

If the moral conditions of the Christian and Muhammadan world to-day are similar to those In Jewish society when Jesus came, so also are political conditions among Muslims to-day similar to those of the Jews of the first century. The Jews were a subject people, under the yoke of Rome, and to-day ” Muhammadanism has ceased to be the ruling power in the country where the Promised Messiah has been raised, and English rule has been established in its stead.” And as Jesus did not seek to foster a spirit of revolution among the Jews, but remained loyal to Rome, so was the Mirza Sahib, like his forbears, a a loyal subject of the British Raj. Moreover, as Jesus was dragged before a Roman tribunal, so has Ahmad been hailed before the English courts on several occasions, and as Jesus was declared innocent by Pilate, so, Ahmad declares, he also was discharged as innocent by the British official who presided when one of his famous cases was tried.

Most important of all, Ahmad seems to have held, was the resemblance between himself and Jesus in character and office. In sketching this analogy he considers Jesus only in the favourable light and with the mature moral personality in which the Gospels present him. In a later chapter18 we shall find him portraying a different and strangely inconsistent picture of Jesus, giving to him a character with which Ahmad would hardly desire to associate himself in the popular mind. He declares that in his single personality the spirituality of both Muhammad and Jesus “pervades his whole being, and, as it were, supplies the fuel which keeps up the heat of his spiritual life.”

He has inherited the “untold perfections of the Holy Prophet ” and likewise “the perfection of Jesus Christ.19 And as the personality of the Promised Messiah was quite blended with these two personalities, and was wholly lost in them, therefore the names of these two chosen ones of God predominated over his own name, and in heaven the names of these two great ones were appropriated for him.” (Review of Religions, II, p. 67) .

As with Jesus, so with Ahmad, between his first coming to persecution and his second advent in glory, his innocence will be established upon earth : —

” When the perfect man has passed through all these stages and undergone all these trials, when his magnanimity, constancy, patience and determination shine forth in their full glory and his innocence is established with conclusive arguments, then is the time of his advent in glory, and the time of his first advent, which was a time of trials and persecutions, comes to an end ” (Review of Religions, I, p. 16).

Like Jesus he was an intercessor20 between God and man, and, as such, necessarily, a manifestation at once of the Divine Being and of a perfected humanity. He declared himself to be

” The real intercessor of mankind, because I am the perfect image of the great intercessor who was born thirteen centuries ago and rejected by the blind men of his time ” (Review of Religions , I, p. 251).

In various passages he refers to himself, or is referred to, as ” Son of God,”21 ” Sun of Righteousness,” ” an angel inspired by God,” an image of God whom imperfect human beings must imitate in order to be regenerated (Review of Religions, I , p. 393), “the living model whose example all must imitate,” “an infallible guide,” “no mere mortal,” ” Saviour from the bondage of sin,” ” Mediator between God and man,” the spiritual leader of this age (Imam-uz-Zaman) , the Hakam, or divinely appointed arbitrator in religious affairs within and without Islam, a “looking-glass for the divine image” (appropriating the familiar figure of the Sufis) and ” His holiness.”

It has already become evident from quotations given that Ahmad considered that he had come in ” the spirit and power” not only of Jesus, but in some sense of Muhammad also. He called himself the buruz, or manifestation, ” the living representation upon earth of the Arabian Prophet.”

” The wise and knowing God has raised Mirz’a Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian with the same spirit and power, the same blessings and favours, and the same miracles, with which he raised the Holy Prophet ‘ ‘ (Review of Religions, I, p. 333).

There is here an indication, which his extravagant claims enforce, that he was greater even than Muhammad, for after asserting that his powers and resources are like Muhammad’s in kind, he declares that in Ahmad’s time ‘ even greater evils and corruption had appeared in the world,” which would seem to imply that Ahmad’s necessary manifestation of power must have exceeded Muhammad’s.


1 Perhaps the most satisfactory summary in English of the gener- ally recognized signs of the Muslim millennial period preceding the day of resurrection is that contained in Sale : Preliminary Discourse to the Koran, Ed. 1877, Sect. IV, pp. 56-59, to which the reader is referred. I mention here only those prophecies of which Ahmad makes use.

2 Cf. Qur’an, 111,52.

3 According to Muslim writers Adam was born in the third hour of the sixth day, and Eve in the sixth hour. See article, ” Adam ‘ in The Jezvish Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 178. This may possibly be a distant echo of the legend of ” Lilith,” who figures in Jewish rabbinical writings as the first wife of Adam. See article “Lilith,” Jezvish Encyclopedia, VIII, p. 87.

4 This prophecy is universally held by Muslims to be a reference to Muhammad, who claimed descent from Ishmael. Most Christian commentators on Deuteronomy agree with Driver, in The International Critical Commentary, ” Deuteronomy,” p. 227: ” The reference here is to a permanent institution (of prophetship) , not to a particular individual prophet.” Other Scriptural passages which Muslims apply to Muhammad are : Deuteronomy 33 : 2 ; Isaiah 21 : 6; the parable in Matthew 20 ; John 4 : 21; John 16 : 7 ; 1 John 4 : 1-3, and many more. For the best study of this subject, see article by Goldziher in the Zeitshrift of the J.O.S., Vol. XLII, pp. 591ff.

5 Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Mehdi Messiah of Qadian, p. 21.

6 The reference is to Cyrus, according to G. A. Smith, O. C. Whitehouse, and other Old Testament commentators. See ” Isaiah,” in The Century Bible, Vol. II, p. 65.

7 Ahmad’s theory regarding Jesus’ death and burial is set forth in Chapter IV, p. 89ff.

8 See Studies in the Scriptures (in earlier editions, The Millennial Dawn), Series 2, ” The Time is at Hand,” Studies 2 and 4, pp. 33ff. Published by the International Bible Students’ Association, Brooklyn, N.Y., 1916.

9 “And he (it) shall be a sign of the last hour; doubt not then of it, and follow ye me: this is the right way”( Rodwell’s translation, p. 139).

10 Qur’an XIX, 92. The preceding verse gives the “false doctrine ” as follows: — ” They say : ‘ The God of Mercy hath begotten offspring.’ Now have ye done a monstrous thing” (Rodwell’s translation, p. 123). Muhammad interpreted in a carnal 9en»e the Christian doctrine that Je9iis is the Son of God.

11 The tradition is included in the Masdbih as sunna of Al Baghawl, Cairo, Vol. II, p. 147. It is not in the Qur’an.

12 Sale (Preliminary Discourse, Sect. IV, p. 56ff) gives many of the signs found in the various traditions, together with their sources.

13 For reference to this tradition, see De Slane’s edition of the Mukaddima of Ibn Khaldun, Ed. Quatremere, Vol. II, p. 163.

14 We find no such reference in Surat-al-Tahrim , but we suppose Ahmad must have had in mind the last verse (LXVI, 12): “And Mary, the daughter of Imran, who kept her maidenhood, and into whose womb we breathed of our spirit, and who believed in the words of her Lord and his scriptures, and was one of the devout” ( Rodwell’s translation, p. 465).

15 Qur’an III, 48.

16 Cf. p. 45, Note 1.

17 This revelation is of special interest in view of Muhammad’s inability to conceive of such a spiritual sonship as that of Jesus to the Father from the Christian viewpoint. Ahmad here seems to declare himself boldly a son of God, although he elsewhere echoes the com- mon Muslim deprecation of the term as applied to Jesus.

18 Cf. P . 81ff.

19 On the sinlessness of Jesus and Muhammad see p. 81, Note 1.

20 Obviously Ahmad’s conception of intercession is not that of orthodox Islam, which for the most part holds that only Muhammad will be the intercessor at the last day. According to a well-known tradition from Anas, the Prophet said that Jesus will be unable to intercede on the day of resurrection, not (as in the case of other prophets) because he has sinned, but because his followers worshipped him as a God. The Qur’an admits of no intercession, strictly speaking, although some commentators have held that Qur’an XCVII, 40, admits the intercession of Jesus. Many traditions affirm the intercession of Muhammad. For a discussion of this subject see The Faith of Islam’, by E. Sell (S.P.C.K., Madras, 1907, third edition), p. 263ff. See also p. 121, Note 1. Ahmad probably has in mind here the references to the intercession of Jesus given in the Epistle to the Hebrews, 7 : 25.

21 Cf. p. 34, Note 1.

Chapter II-2 The Distinctive Claims of Ahmad – The Expected Mahdi

The confusing multiplicity and diversity of Muslim traditions relating to the signs of the approach of ” The Day ” characterise particularly the references to the Mahdi (literally, “guided one”). It is clear that he is a descendant of the Prophet, and the last of the Imams (the successors of the Prophet) — who, according to Sunnite Muslims, is to come upon earth at the last day, and in victorious warfare make Islam to prevail throughout the world. Thus far the traditions are agreed, but from that point onward they diverge. Some would have the rule of the Mahdi overthrown by Dajjal (anti-Christ), in order that Dajjal in turn may be destroyed by ‘Isa, whose expected return to earth has crept into Islam from Christian eschatology. There has, however, been a persistent tradition in Muslim eschatological literature that ” there is no Mahdi except Jesus.”1 This tradition Ahmad accepted as against all others contradicting it. Moreover, the usual Muslim idea of the Mahdi is that he will be a ” man of blood,” leading Islam forth on its last great jihad (holy war), a character which has been sustained by most other modern claimants to Mahdiship. This conception would have been a most inconvenient (though not an impossible) one for Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to have held, with his boasted peaceableness and friendliness to British rule in India, and we find him repudiating it vigorously, and, along with it, the customary view of jihad, which, he held, had reference to spiritual rather than to physical warfare.2 Ahmad summed up his position as follows :

“The spiritual personality of the Messiah and the Mahdi is a combination of the spiritual personalities of the Holy Prophet Muhammad and Jesus.”

And again :

“To believe in me as the Promised Messiah and Mahdi is to disbelieve in the popular doctrine of jihad.’

It is hardly worth while quoting at length the various arguments by which Ahmad sought to prove from the traditions that he was the expected Mahdi as well as the promised Messiah. His main point was that the traditions are hopelessly contradictory, and that the only possible criterion by which the true traditions can be distinguished from the false would be the actual appearance of the Mahdi, fulfilling certain of the prophecies and thus stamping them as true. In one line of argument, to establish the identity of Messiah and Mahdi, he asserted that since in many traditions the word ” Mahdi ” may be taken not as a proper name but as a descriptive title, and since the offices of the Messiah and Mahdi are constantly confused or blended, and since the signs attending the advent of each are not distinguishable, it follows that Mahdi is only a title of the promised Messiah, and that therefore any traditions regarding the Mahdi which cannot be adjusted to apply to the now apparent promised Messiah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, must, ipso facto, be false.

We have now seen that Ahmad believed that he fulfilled the prophecies relating to the promised Messiah and the expected Mahdi, and that his personal character validated his claim. There remained a further test from which he did not shrink, and he confessed that it was the final criterion of prophethood and Messiahship. This was the presence of those outward signs for which the Scribes and Pharisees asked Jesus, and for which the Qureish3 asked Muhammad. Muhammad, according to the later traditions accepted by Ahmad, and in contradiction of the obvious teaching of the Qur’an,4 responded by showing the requisite signs.

“What was it happened in the sandy deserts of Arabia? The dead were raised to life in thousands, the blind were made to see, the dumb were made to utter words of heavenly wisdom, and the depraved of long generations were clothed in divine morals” (Review of Religions, III, p. 46).

And again :

“As regards our Holy Prophet, there are about a million of his words in which we witness clear manifestations of his light and divine glory.”

The promised Messiah, likewise, never disappointed the honest seeker after a sign, but, as he monotonously reiterated, ” has shown more than one hundred and fifty supernatural signs, to which evidence is borne by millions of men, and anyone who demands a sign even now in earnest is not disappointed” (Review of Religions, I, p. 368).

A favourite method of attracting attention was to offer a sum of money to any seeker who should come to Qadian and go away not satisfied with having seen a sign. We have never heard of any money having been paid over, although we have reason to believe, from the nature and continuance of the opposition to Ahmad, much of it in the immediate environs of Qadian, that some who came were not, or would not be, satisfied. On the other hand, sums of money were on several occasions offered publicly by his enemies if Ahmad would prove himself to be the Messiah, and this, of course, he could not do to their satisfaction. On one occasion a prominent member (Shaikh Muhammad Chittu) of the Ahl-i-Qur’an sect of Muslims in the Panjab,5 offered Rs. 25,000 if the Mirza Sahib would prove in debate that he was the promised Messiah. As far as I can learn, the offer was not accepted.

The nature of Ahmad’s signs varied. As the miracle par excellence of Islam is the Qur’an,6 and the Arabic poetry contained therein, so Ahmad boasted of his own Arabic and his ventures in Arabic poetry as miraculous signs given him from above. He once offered to give Rs. 10,000 to any Muslim who should produce in twelve days an Arabic ode of equal excellence with the one he himself would indite. The main burden of his ode, written at the time, Qasida Ijazia(” Miraculous Ode “) was the falseness of Shi’ite Muslims, whom he called mushriks7 like the Christians. The same challenge accompanied his Ijaz-ul- Masih, ” a miraculous Arabic commentary on the Surat-al-Fatiha ‘”8 (Review of Religious, I, p. 495).

Ahmad likewise claimed some remarkable discoveries relating to the origin of words. For instance, he declared that Khinzir, the Arabic word for pig, was derived from Khinz, meaning “very foul,” and ar, meaning “I see”; and that similarly suar (pig) in Urdu is composed of two compounds also meaning “I see foul “; so he concludes, ” Su’ar is therefore an Arabic word, and the reason of its prohibition is now evident” (Review of Religions, I, p. 99). By other such examples, which the philologist will find equally amusing, Ahmad sought to prove what he calls “one of the greatest discoveries of the age,” that Arabic is the mother of all languages.9

In this connection he announced that ” the descriptive words of ignorant Bedouins disclose treasures of scientific facts, which, we know not how many thousands of years afterwards, were discovered by the world (Review of Religions, I, p. 79).

One of his typical ” great discoveries ” was announced in a pamphlet published in 1898, entitled A Revealed Cure for the Bubonic Plague. The Marham-i-‘Isa (Ointment of Jesus), which was declared to he “spoken of by the Jewish, Christian, Parsi and Muhammad an physicians” and of which ” over a thousand books on medicine contain a description,” the very medicine which miraculously healed Jesus’ wounds after he had been removed from the cross in a swoon, was now offered for sale by Ahmad as a miraculous remedy for the plague, “prepared solely under the influence of divine inspiration.” This remedy dis- appeared from the market as the result of an order issued by the Deputy Commissioner of Lahore, dated 19th October, 1899, followed by the decision of the Chief Court of the Panjab in the appealed case, dated 8th June, 1900.

An Ahmadiya heresy, sometimes put forward as an unique discovery and a sign of Ahmad’s prophetship, was the denial of the presence in the Qur’an of any so-called abrogated verses. In asserting this belief Ahmad was running counter to the universal agreement ijma’ of the Muslim people.10

In the latest life of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, by Mirza Yakub Beg, a number of specific miracles are ascribed to Ahmad, such as the finding of a dead scorpion in his bed, and, most important, his restoration to life of a boy who had been drowned. It is further recorded that after the miraculous resuscitation of the youth, he almost immediately passed away. It may be to that incident that Ahmad referred in the following sentence : “I also swear by the sacred name of God that I have restored the dead to life in the manner in which the divine law has allowed it” (Review of Religions, I, p. 205).

The chief miraculous signs to which Ahmad laid claim, however, were his alleged prophecies of future events. In this connection he writes:

“Prophecy in fact is the only supernatural evidence that can carry a conviction to all reasonable minds at a time of great scientific advancement when everything must needs be put to the scientific test, and this is the reason why the wise and foreseeing God has, in his last and living book, brought prophecy to the front and laid stress upon it while he has thrown other miracles into the background as not being evidence of the highest type, inasmuch as performances by sleight of hand or showman’s tricks, or other mechanical or optical deceptions, on account of their strong resemblance with the miraculous, take away the whole force of the evidence ” (Review of Religions, I, p. 315) .

The prophecies of which Ahmad boasted most constantly had to do with the death or humiliation of his enemies, and were as much curses as prophecies. Although he frequently writes of “hundreds” of such instances, we find him referring in detail to comparatively few. These select cases were his prophecies of the death of his two arch-enemies, Pandit Lekh Ram, of the Arya Samaj, and Mr. Abdulla Atham, E.A.C., a prominent Indian Christian, and (less often) Chiragh Din, the apostate from the Ahmadiya ranks, and Dr. John Alexander Dowie,11 in America. The most definite prophecy of them all was that which declared that Pandit Lekh Ram would die within six years of the time of the promulgation of the prophecy, ” and the ‘Id (Muhammadan festival) will be very near to it.” Four years after the prophecy appeared, on the 6th of March, the day following the most important ‘Id (the ‘Id-uz-Zuha or Bakr ‘Id, called simply ” the ‘Id in India), Pandit Lekh Ram was the victim of an assassin’s dagger. The members of the Arya Samaj, and many others, not unnaturally believed that the prophecy and the murder had a sinister connection of cause and effect quite different from that which was urged by Ahmad. Through the instrumentality, chiefly, of his first and most powerful Muslim opponent, Maulvi Muhammad Husain, Ahmad was constrained by an order of the Government, dated February 24th, 1899, to promise hereafter : —

“To refrain from publishing any prediction involving the disgrace of any person, or in which any one should be represented as an object of God’s displeasure.

“To refrain from publishing any challenge to appeal to God to indicate by the signs of his displeasure, such as disgrace, etc., the party in a religious controversy which is in the wrong.

“To refrain from publishing any writing purporting to be an inspiration the object of which can be reasonably taken to be the disgrace of any person, or the representing of him as the object of the Divine wrath.”

The case of Mr. Abdulla Atham was interesting because, although his prophesied death and descent to hell was widely heralded, he was still living after the allotted time (fifteen months) had expired. Ahmad then issued a whole series of explanations. He declared that the purport of the prophecy was that whichever of the two (Atham or himself) was a liar would die within the lifetime of the other. This would be fulfilled. The condition of the prophecy was, “unless he turn to the truth.” He was alleged to have shown signs of relenting, so that, in accordance with ” the well-known laws of prophecy,” a respite had been granted. The details of the prophecy were indefinite, and “such details are only manifested after their fulfilment.” Finally, he admitted that he might have been wrong. ” It also happens that an error occurs sometimes in the interpretation of a prophecy, for, after all, prophets are mortals.” For instance, “Jesus had prophesied that his twelve apostles would sit on twelve thrones, whereas one of them became the devil’s in his own life-time ” (Review of Religions, III, p. 350). When, however, Mr. Abdulla Atham, then an old man, died eighteen months later, Ahmad declared that the original prophecy had been triumphantly fulfilled (Review of Religions, II, p. 148).

He was always eager to engage his enemies in ” prayer-duels,” believing that by such means God would bring destruction upon the hypocrite. We read, ” Christian missionaries are reported to be very courageous. They do not, it is said, hesitate to lay down even their lives for the sake of their religion. But they have proved very chicken-hearted before Ahmad. None ventures to engage with Ahmad in a prayer contest ” (Review of Religions, V, p. 461). Probably no one sentence could better illustrate his fundamental inability to conceive of the true nature and spirit of Christianity than the above, giving expression to his amazement that Christians should be unwilling to pray for his destruction, and attributing their unwillingness to do so to fear of the consequences likely to fall on their own heads. His one-sided duel with John Alexander Dowie12 was widely quoted in the West, and although Dowie scorned to enter the lists with him, nevertheless, after Dowie’s death, Ahmad wondered why Christendom failed to acknowledge his own power, which had effected such a miracle, and, thenceforth, to accept him as its spiritual head. The following quotation from the Review of Religions (V, p. 459) gives a summary of Ahmad’s philosophy of prayer and its outcome: — “He (Ahmad) has announced that whoever would pray for his death would himself fall a prey to a speedy and painful death, and that such a person would die before he dies. He has very often invited the world to test his truth by this criterion. Even if a host of men pray against him, they are sure, he says, to be consumed with the wrath of God in his life-time, for the mighty Hand of God is in his support, and every one who rises against him is sure to be knocked down. And there have been actually men who made a response to his call and prayed to God against him, but they all died as he prophesied, and thus furnished a proof of his truth. The names of those who wielded the sword of prayer against him, but cut their own throats with it, are as follows: Maulvi Ghulam Dastaglr, of Qasur, District Lahore ; Maulvi Muhammad Ismail, of Aligarh ; Pandit Lekh Ram, the well-known Arya leader ; Maulvi Muhammad Hasan, of Bhin, District Jhelum ; Faqlr Mirza, of Dulunijal, District Jhelum ; Chiragh Din, of Jammu.”

Ahmad likewise made frequent prophecies of the rapid spread and ultimate triumph of his cause. He also prophesied the birth of sons for his friends, some of whom, it is reported, paid him liberally for his trouble. These prophesies, if we are to believe his enemies, very often failed of fulfilment. At times, for example, we find him seeking to explain in devious ways the non-appearance of the predicted boy or the appearance of ” merely a girl,” failures with which his enemies delighted to taunt him. One of Ahmad’s converts, Abdulla of Timapur, who afterward claimed to be himself the Messiah,13 in a published reply to a pamphlet of Ahmad’s mentions the case of a certain Risaldar-Major, who gave the Mirza Sahib Rs. 500 in return for the prophecy of a son who failed to materialize. He likewise writes of one, Fateh ‘AH Shah, who asked for prayer for the recovery of his wife, who soon after passed away. He further states that Maulvi Muhammad Husain, Ahmad’s inveterate opponent, received a grant of land from the Government soon after his immediately forthcoming discomfiture had been prophesied by Ahmad.

Professor Siraj-ud-Din, in an illuminating article on the Ahmadiya movement published in 1907,14  shows how a clever Muslim opponent of Ahmad’s answered in kind one species of characteristic Ahmadiya challenge :

“One of the clever tricks used by the Mirza in connection with his prophetic business is to announce that ‘ if a certain prediction made by him against an opponent is not true, let his opponent come to Qadian within so many days and swear the prediction has not been fulfilled, and if he does not come within the stated period it is proved that he is in the wrong and the prediction has come true! ‘ Such challenges are often in their very nature unanswerable.

But sometimes he is paid by others in the same coin. A Muhammadan maulvi, of Lahore, published a notice some time ago that he had prophesied a number of things about the Mirza which had all come true, viz., that he shall not succeed in marrying a certain woman ; that in a certain case a girl and not a boy shall be born, contrary to the Mirza’s prophecy, etc., etc. Then he went on to say that his last prophecy about the Mirza. was that he would become a leper, and that from people who had seen the Mirza he had learned that signs of leprosy had appeared on his body. He therefore challenged the Mirza to come to Lahore within a stated period, and show his body in public if it was free from leprosy, and if the Mirza did not come within that time, it would prove that he had certainly become a leper according to the Maulvi’s prophecy. The Mirza, though ordinarily ready for an answer to everything, had no answer whatever to give.”15

The above are a few of the false prophecies that have been cited by Ahmad’s enemies.

At the time of the acute unrest in Bengal, due to the partition of the province,16 Ahmad prophesied, in February, 1906, ” relating to the order that had been given concern- ing Bengal at first, they will be conciliated now ‘ : (Review of Religions, V, p. 82). After the excitement had somewhat subsided and the temporarily unpopular Lieu- tenant-Governor of the new province had resigned (long before the rearrangement of the partition), Ahmad claimed that his prophecy had been fulfilled, and jubilantly queried :

“Could any one guess six months before the resignation of Sir B. Fuller that the Bengali agitators would be thus conciliated ? There were, no doubt, men who hoped that a Liberal Government in England may set aside the order of partition, but no one ever thought of the conciliatory policy that has been adopted by the Government” (Review of Religions, V, p. 363).

Ahmad did not live to learn that the agitation, which he then believed ended, was to continue, and that those who believed that the Liberal Government would rearrange the partition were finally proved to have been in the right. Had he done so, he would unquestionably have explained that it was only a more complete fulfilment of his original prophecy.17

Ahmad laid much stress on his ability to foresee the coming of earthquake and plague. On April 4th, 1905, a great earthquake occurred in North India. Out of the mass of his forgotten past prophecies he then produced one, of the date of December, 1903, which said, “A shock of earthquake”; and another, of May, 1904, which declared, ” No trace shall be left of the abodes; both permanent and temporary abodes being laid waste.” As no time or place was specified, and as it was even possible, if necessary or desirable, to allegorize the expected earthquake in some manner, it had no doubt seemed certain that the prophecies would prove convenient for reference at some later date. And so it happened, with the occurrence of the earthquake of 1905, when, referring to those prophecies, we find it written in the Review of Religions:

“No power in heaven or earth besides that of the Omniscient God could reveal such deep knowledge of the future.”

This is a good illustration of what Dr. Griswold, four years previous, wrote of as ” the Delphic ambiguity of his oracles, and also the way in which the indefinite is made definite post eventum.”18 Ahmad himself was constrained to admit that his prophecies were open to criticism on the score of vagueness but he felt that the criticism was unjust, and complained: ” Now that the thing has happened all these wonderful prophecies are ignored because it was not stated that on the 4th of April, in 1905, a severe shock of earthquake would be felt at 6.15 a.m., which would level the buildings with the ground in such and such cities situated in the Kangra district, that its crushing effect would also be felt in such and such other cities of the Panjab, and that the number of persons killed or buildings destroyed would be so much. What is the particular which was not foretold with the exception only of the names and figures? ” (Review of Religions, IV, p. 230). The italics are ours.

The Review of Religions for December, 1915, gives a typical summary of some of the fulfilled prophecies of Ahmad, conveying the impression that these events were predicted definitely and in detail, whereas in not a single instance, probably (if we except the case of Dr. Dowie, whose coming downfall was evident to thousands), was this the case :

“He (Ahmad) published hundreds of prophecies, many of which have already come true (such as his prophecy regarding the Partition of Bengal, the defeat of Russia and the annexation of Korea by Japan, the Persian Revolution, the outbreak of plague in India, the occurrence of earthquakes of unparalleled severity in diverse parts of the earth, the defeat of Turks in Thrace and their subsequent victory over the Bulgarians, the downfall and death of Dr. Dowie, the false prophet of America, etc., etc.) and many still await fulfilment.”

The great plague, which raged continuously in the Panjab for many years before the death of the prophet, was a further example of the same principle. This was held to be not only a general fulfilment of prophecies of Jesus, Muhammad and Ahmad, referring to the Last Day, and a warning to men everywhere to recognize the promised Messiah’s claims (Review of Religions, VI, p. 251), but it evoked a more detailed prophecy of Ahmad’s, to the effect that God would protect from the scourge the followers of Ahmad, the village of Qadian, and especially the house of Ahmad. Regarding inoculation for the plague, he wrote in 1902 (Review of Religions, I, p. 417) :

“It should be borne in mind that I do not declare it to be generally illegal to have recourse to medicines or preventive measures in the case of plague or other diseases, for the Holy Prophet is reported to have said that there is no malady for which God has not created a remedy. But I consider it sinful to obscure by inoculation the heavenly sign which God has been gracious enough to display for me and my followers, and by which he intends to show his distinctive favour to those who accept me in sincerity and faithfulness. I cannot, therefore, insult and discredit this sign of mercy by submitting to inoculation, and be guilty of unbelief in the promise of God.”

When the plague eventually reached Qadian, and struck down, indiscriminately, both enemies and followers of Ahmad, explanations were in order and were forthcoming :

“The occasional occurrence of plague among my people without causing any considerable loss cannot lessen the value of the heavenly signs, for we witness in the history of early prophets that it was only their ultimate success that served as a heavenly sign, although in the meantime they occasionally suffered loss, which, being insignificant, could not mar their progress ” (Review of Religions, I, p. 418).

It was also pointed out that prophecy had not said that Qadian would escape the plague, but that it would receive protection, which meant that it would not be utterly desolated as some other towns had been.


1 To be found in De Slane, Ed. Quatremere, Mukaddima of Ibn Khaldun, Vol. II, p. 163, and also quoted by De Massignon in his edition of Kitab al Taivasin, by Al-Hallaj, Paris, 1913, p. 161, Note 2. Snouck Hurgronje, in Mohammedanism, New York, 1916, p. 108, speaks of the use of this tradition in Turkish official classes to-day, to prove that the true Mahdi must descend from the clouds, thus tending to discredit all pseudo-Mahdis arising from human society.2 This question of jihad will be considered further in Chapter III (p. 71ff), as it is a fundamental point in the differentiation of the Ahmadiya sect from orthodox Islam. It is discussed at length by Maulvi Sher ‘All, B.A., one of Ahmad’s followers, in Review of Religions, VII, pp. 174-185, 193, 221, 291-320, 337-371, 377-404.

3 The ruling family of Mecca, to which Muhammad belonged.

4 Cf. Qur’an, VI, 109. For miracles later ascribed to Muhammad see Two Hundred and Fifty-two Authentic Miracles of Muhammad, by Maulvl Muhammad Inayat Ahmad, Mohammedan Tract and Book Depot, Lahore, 1894, mentioned in Zwemer, The Moslem Christ, Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier, Edinburgh, 1912, p. 164, Note 1.

5 A sect founded in 1902 by one, Abdulla Chakralvi, who was at one time a pupil of Hakim Nur-ud-Din of Qadian. He taught that the inspired Qur’an, not Muhammad, is the true Rasul (Messenger) and rejected the hails with all the traditions relating to the life of Muhammad. The sect differs in many other important matters from orthodox Islam. In the 1911 Census Report 271 persons were entered as followers of this sect.

6 Cf. Qur’an X, 38, 39; IV, 84, etc.

7 To the Ahmadi the Sunnite Muslim is a kafir (unbeliever) simply, whereas the Shi’ite, whose doctrine of the death and intercession of Imam Husain is held to be analogous to the Christian worship of Jesus, is called a mushrik: i.e., one who attributes to God a shdrik or partner. This is the sin of shirk.

8 ” The Chapter of the Opener,” placed at the beginning of the Qur’an. This is recited several times during the five daily prayers, and has been called the Muslim Lord’s Prayer.

9 Cf. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad : The Teachings of Islam, Luzac & Co., London, 1910, p. 131.

10 For an exhaustive summary of the orthodox view of abrogation (mansiikh) see article by D. B. Macdonald, in Moslem World, VII, p.420ff.

11 Cf. p. 45, Note 1.

12 Dowie (1847-1907), self-styled ” First Apostle of the Lord Jesus, the Christ, and General Overseer of the Christian Apostolic Church in Zion,” also ” Elijah II ” and ” The Promised Messiah,” established a religious commonwealth called ” Zion City,” on the shores of Lake Michigan, U.S.A., in 1901. In 1906 the city revolted against him, and he was finally suspended from the Church, charged with misuse of funds, tyranny and immorality.

13 Maulvi Abdulla of Timapur (a suburb of Shorapur, in the Deccan) had been successively Sunnite Muslim, Wahhabi, and Ahmadi, before he created his own sect, declaring, ” I am the man from God : You must all follow me. I am the real Khalifa of Qadian.” He has about three hundred disciples at present, and is much more friendly to Christians than to Muslims. I am indebted for this information to Rev. N. Desai, the pastor of a self-supporting Indian Christian congre- gation at Shorapur.

14 R. Siraj-ud-Din, now professor of philosophy in Forman Christian College, Lahore, and an elder in the Presbyterian Church, spent several months with Ahmad at Qadian during the period when he was weighing the claims of Christianity. He has kept in close touch with the Ahmadiya movement ever since, and the article from which we quote may be counted a primary source.

15 “Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, a False Messiah of India,” in The Missionary Review of the World, New Series, XX, pp. 754, 755.

16 In 1905 a new province, of Eastern Bengal and Assam, was in part created out of a section of old Bengal, and there was a general realignment of boundaries in that part of India. The move was believed by the Hindu populace to be an attempt to weaken national, political and religious feeling, and proved so unpopular that in December, 1911, at the time of the King-Emperor’s durbar in Delhi, announce- ment was made of a forthcoming rearrangement of the boundaries, whereby Eastern Bengal was to be re-united to Bengal proper in the present Bengal Presidency.

17 Since writing the above words I have come upon an article in Review of Religions for May, 1916 (XV, p. 168), which deals with Ahmad ‘s various prophecies, and in which, in connection with ” Ahmad’s Prophecy about Bengal,” the announcement of the rearrangement of the partition, on 12th December, 1911, is given as marking the fulfilment of Ahmad’s prediction “to the very letter.” ” Conciliation,” the author writes, ” is predicted in the prophetic utterances, and the same is brought about.”

18Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, The Mehdi Messiah of Qadian, p. 31.

Chapter III-The Ahmadiya Movement and Orthodox Islam

Ahmad was ever boasting of his uncompromising orthodoxy. If he departed from the beliefs of a majority of his co-religionists on some points, it was only because they had themselves failed rightly to understand the original purport of Islam. He was sent to correct their errors and once more give them the true guidance. Ahmad and his followers may be held to represent the analogue in Islam of that school of Christians who will brook no study of comparative religions, because they hold that there is but one religion, incomparably sublime. In the year 1903 Ahmad received a letter from a religious liberal in America, who wrote that every religion contains some truth and some falsehood — being but the radius of a circle whose centre is God. This creed, which Baha’Ullah1 would doubtless have applauded, Ahmad spurned. He was glad that his correspondent had been led to see the folly and falsehood of Christianity, but regretted that he had not studied Islam and so discovered that “it is the only religion which not only claims to be free from every error and falsehood, but also offers proof of this freedom from error,no other religion on the face of the earth satisfying either of these requisites ” (Review of Religions, III, p. 29). Two years later a writer in the Review of Religions commented on some remarks by Rev. E. W. Thompson, M.A., in the London Quarterly Review, to the effect that in India there are elements of positive worth, not merely of curious interest, which the Christian missionary can accept thankfully, and use in the building up of the fabric of the Christian Church and nation” (Review of Religions IV, p. 317). Ahmad’s editor asserts: ” This statement involves an admission that Christianity is not a perfect religion in itself. The superiority of Islam lies in this, that while it has from the beginning preached that every religion was founded on truth and that errors found their way into it later on, it has at the same time taught that it is a perfect religion, and that there is no religious truth which is not to be met with in it. Such a perfection can not be claimed by any religion besides Islam ” (Review of Religions IV, p. 318).

The unique inspiration of the Qur’an is, of course, an integral element in this perfection.

“The Holy Qur’an is, in fact, the only book which asserts that every word of it came from an eternal higher source, and that the Prophet only dictated what he heard. Other inspired books claim to be inspired only in the sense that they were infused into the mind of the writer, while the Qur’an was not infused into the mind, but rehearsed before the Prophet by the Angel Gabriel, and then repeated by the Prophet exactly as he heard it ” (Review of Religions, I, p. 277).

Nevertheless the Qur’an while inspired must not be considered devoid of reason, enforcing its precepts simply on the basis of their origin :

“In connection with these remarks it should be borne in mind that the truth of the Holy Qur’an does not depend merely on its uninterrupted transmission and authenticity, for it proceeds on the argumentative line. It does not compel us to accept its doctrines, principles, and commandments simply on the authority of revelation, but appeals to reason in man and gives arguments for what it inculcates” (Teachings of Islam, pp. 171, 172).

And in another place Ahmad writes, contrasting the Bible and the Qur’an: “The Bible is a collection of myths and stories and fables and idle tales, fit for women only, whereas the Qur’an is pure philosophy, free from myths and fables.”

On the subject of divine inspiration, as distinguished from the human inspiration of genius, Ahmad stated his position as follows :

“Before proceeding further it is necessary to remove a misconception regarding Ilham2 (inspiration). Ilham does not mean that an idea is infused into the mind of a person who sets himself to think about a thing. A mere poet is not inspired, in the theological sense, when brilliant ideas flash upon him as he sits down to make verses. In this case there is no distinction between good and bad. When the mental powers are applied to a subject, new ideas will flash upon the mind according to the genius of the thinker and without any regard to the good or bad nature of the subject. If the word, Ilham, is taken to mean the occurring on a particular occasion of new ideas, a thief or a dacoit or a murderer may as well be called Mulham (the inspired one of God) on account of the ingenious plans which suggest themselves to his mischief-making mind for the perpetration of evil deeds. Such a view of Ilham (inspiration) is held by men who are quite ignorant of the true God, who with his word gives peace and consolation to hearts and knowledge of spiritual truths to those who are not aware of them. What is Ilham (inspiration) then? It is the living and powerful Word of God in which he speaks to or addresses one of his servants whom he has chosen, or intends to choose, from among all people. When such conversation or utterances run on continually in a regular method, not being insufficient or fragmentary or enveloped in the darkness of evil ideas, and have a heavenly bliss, wisdom and power in them, they are the Word of God with which he comforts his servant and reveals himself to him” (Teachings of Islam, pp. 177, 178).

He then proceeds in the passage following to read himself into the select class of recipients of minor inspiration. Although he claimed to be a prophet, with evidentiary miracles, he made no claim to wahy, so far as I can discover. He avoided running counter to the universal Muslim belief that Muhammad was the last of the prophets and the seal of the prophets” by asserting that his prophetship was not in its own right, but in and through Muhammad, in whose spirit and power he had come.3

Of Muhammad we are told, as we should expect, that he “spoke not a word of himself, but only that which he heard from God” (Review of Religions, I, p. 277). Not only was Muhammad’s utterance inspired, but his life was sinless4 as well. All sins imputed to him by Christian writers Ahmad attempted to refute, including his marriage to Zainab, the divorced wife of Zaid, which Ahmad defended, and the so-called “lapse of Muhammad”5 or “compromise with idolatry,” found in a number of traditions, which Ahmad denied in toto. Muhammad is variously referred to as a true Saviour, an Intercessor, a miracle-worker, and a perfect manifestation of the Divine Being.

Ahmad held that the sunna6 was given with the Qur’an for the guidance of mankind. The traditions, he wrote, can be believed because of the unequalled “pains taken by Muhammadan writers in ascertaining the true facts of the Holy Prophet’s life, and in sifting the traditional lore” (Review of Religions, III, p. 44). Some variations are admitted, but “Traditions cannot be divested of their authority, and the historical value they possess, by the mere consideration that even the minute scrutiny of early collectors may not have freed them from every error, while their authenticity can be further tested by the consideration that no authentic tradition can contradict the Holy Qur’an” (Review of Religions, III, pp. 449, 450).

It must be added that a further test of the authenticity of any tradition in Ahmad’s eyes was that it should not contradict the particular interpretation of Islam for which the “promised Messiah” claimed divine sanction in our day.

Ahmad and his followers have subscribed to the five pillars (arkan) of Islam, as is indicated in a lecture on ” Fundamental Doctrines of the Muslim Faith,”7 delivered in December, 1906, at the annual gathering of the Sadr Anjuman-i-Ahmadiya,8  and we are pleased to note that he taught a spiritual and ethical rather than a mechanical and literal obedience to the law. He was unsparing in his condemnation of those orthodox Muslims of whose performance of their religious duties he writes :

“In short, though there are some people who still carry out some of the precepts of Shari’at (religious law), they do it in a way that their actions fail to produce the effect which ought to have been produced. Their Namaz, their Roza, their Zakat and their Hajj are just the kind of actions performed by players, one of whom sometimes assumes the role of king and takes his seat and holds his court, though actually he is a beggar. . . . This worship of theirs has no value in the sight of God” (Review of Religions, XIV, p. 449).

Regarding Shahadat, the verbal witness of the Muslim to the unity of God and the prophetship of Muhammad, Ahmad denied that “The utterance of the above-mentioned words with the tongue is sufficient for the attainment of salvation”; and he continued: “Almighty God sees the hearts and mere words have no importance in his sight. . . . The realization of the signification of these words involves that a man should have no object of love besides God, nor any object of worship or desire besides him” (Review of Religions, VI, p. 25).

Similarly of Salat or Namaz, the Muslim worship prescribed five times daily, he wrote :

“The utterance of certain words with the lips is not prayer. It is a necessary condition for the acceptance of prayer that the heart should completely melt before God, and the grace of God should be taught with patience and perseverance. . . . All the movements in prayers are expressive of the deepest humbleness before God” (Review of Religions, VI, 28).

Of the third pillar, saum, or fasting during the month of Ramadan, he said :

“Fasting is necessary for the perfect purity of the soul. . . . The fact is that the suffering of hunger and reducing the quantity of food which one generally takes is an essential step in the spiritual progress of man. . . . Man does not live by bread alone.9 . . . The man who fasts should bear in mind that fasting does not mean only abstaining from food for a stated time. Its true significance is that man should abstain from every kind of evil” (Review of Religions, VI p. 30).

Regarding Zakat, or almsgiving, he held that

“What Islam aims at teaching by this institution is that a man should not so love the wealth of this world as to feel it difficult to part with it in the way of God” (Review of Religions, VI, p. 31).

The fifth pillar, the pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj),

“Represents the last stage for the spiritual wayfarer,” when he “has all his lower connections entirely cut off and he is completely engrossed with Divine love. The true lover finds his highest satisfaction in sacrificing his very heart and soul for the beloved one’s sake, and the circuit round the house of God is an emblem of external manifestation of it” (Review of Religions, VI, pp. 31-32).

It might be noted here that Ahmad himself never made the pilgrimage to Mecca, perhaps because of his poor health.

At this point a few further quotations from The Teachings of Islam may be in order, showing, like those just given, a spiritualized treatment of Qur’anic verses that is more akin to the interpretations of the Sufis (the Muslim mystics) than to those of the orthodox commentators.

With regard to the sources of man’s threefold nature (physical, moral and spiritual) he declared :

“To return to the subject in hand, as I have already stated, there are three sources which give rise to the threefold nature of man, viz., the disobedient soul, the self-accusing soul, and the soul at rest.10

Accordingly there are three stages of reformation, answering respectively to the three sources. In the first stage we are concerned with mere ignorant savages, whom it is our duty to raise to the status of civilised men by teaching them the social laws relating to their daily mutual relations. The first step toward civilization, therefore, consists in teaching the savage not to walk about naked, or devour carcases, or indulge in other barbarous habits. This is the lowest grade in the reformation of man. In humanizing people upon whom no ray of the light of civilization has yet fallen, it is necessary, first of all, to take them through this stage and make them accustomed to morals of the lowest type. When the savage has learned the crude manners of society, he is prepared for the second stage of reformation. He is then taught the high and excellent moral qualities pertaining to humanity, as well as the proper use of his own faculties and of whatever lies hidden beneath them. Those who have acquired excellent morals are now prepared for the third stage, and, after they have attained to outward perfection, are made to taste of union with, and the love of, God. These are the three stages which the Holy Qur’an has described as necessary for any wayfarer who travels in the path of God” (The Teachings of Islam, pp. 19, 20).

Of the third stage, “the soul at rest,” regarding which so many Sufi treatises have been written, he had this to say, in part:

“We have already stated in the beginning of this discourse that the source of the spiritual conditions is the soul at rest which takes a man onward in his moral progress and makes him godly; in other words, transports him from the moral to the spiritual regions. Upon this topic the following verse has a plain bearing : ‘O thou soul! that art at rest and restest fully contented with thy Lord, return unto him, he being pleased with thee and thou with him; so enter among my servants and enter into my Paradise!’ (LXXXIX, 28,30). In discussing the spiritual conditions, it is necessary to comment upon this verse in some detail. It should be borne in mind that the highest spiritual condition to which man can aspire in this world is that he should rest contented with God and find his quietude, his happiness and his delight in him alone. This is the stage of life which we term the heavenly life. The pure and perfect sincerity, truth and righteousness of a person are rewarded by Almighty God by granting him a heaven upon this earth. All others look to a prospective paradise but he enters paradise in this very life. It is at this stage, too, that a person realizes that the prayers and worship, which at first appeared to him as a burden, are really a nourishment on which the growth of his soul depends, and that this is the basis of his spiritual development. He then sees that the fruit of his efforts is not to be reaped in a future life only. The spirit, which, in the second stage, although blaming a man for the impurities of life, was yet powerless to resist the evil tendencies or to blot them out wholly and too infirm to establish a man upon the principle of virtue with firmness, now reaches a stage of development in which its efforts are crowned with success. The sensual passions die out of themselves and the soul no more stumbles but, strengthened with the Spirit of God, it is ashamed of its past failings. The state of struggle with evil propensities passes away; an entire change passes over the nature of man and the former habits undergo a complete transformation. He is perfectly estranged from his former courses of life. He is washed of all impurities and perfectly cleansed. God himself plants the love of virtue in his heart and purifies it of the defilement of evil with his own hand. The hosts of truth encamp in his heart and righteousness controls all the towers of his heart. Truth is victorious and falsehood lays down its arms and is reduced to subjection. The hand of God sways over his heart and he walks every step under his shelter” (The Teachings of Islam, pp. 96-98) .

In order to the realisation of perfect union with God two means are given:

“Returning to the main point of the subject under discussion, the Holy Qur’an has taught us two means for a perfect spiritual union with God, viz., complete resignation to the will of God, which is known by the name of Islam, and constant prayers and supplications, as taught in the opening sura of Al-Qur’an, known by the name of Fatiha.11 The essence of the religious code of Muhammadism is contained in Islam and the Fatiha. These are two channels which lead to the fountain of salvation and the only safe guides which lead us to God” (The Teachings of Islam, p. 118).

Ahmad’s conception of the life after death accepts and improves on the most advanced spiritual interpretations that we have seen elsewhere of the passages of the Qur’an referring to the hereafter. Numerous echoes of New Testament verses and teachings can be noted. Somewhat fuller quotations are needed here :

“From the manner in which internal conditions are represented in physical forms in dreams we can form an idea of the embodiment of the spiritual conditions of this world in the life to come. After our earthly course is ended, we are translated to regions where our deeds and their consequences assume a shape, and what is hidden in us in this world is there unrolled and laid open before us. These embodiments of spiritual facts are substantial realities, as, even in dreams, though the sight soon vanishes away, yet so long as it is before our eyes, it is taken to be a reality. As this representation by images is a new and a perfect manifestation of the power of God, we may as well call it, not a representation of certain facts, but actually a new creation brought about by the powerful hand of God. With reference to this point, Almighty God says in the Holy Qur’an : ‘No soul that worketh good knoweth the blessings and joys which have been kept secret for it’ (XXXII, 17) , to be disclosed after death. Thus Almighty God describes the heavenly blessings that the righteous shall enjoy in the next life as having been kept secret because, not being like anything contained in this world, no one knows aught about them. It is evident that the things of this world are not a secret to us; we not only know pomegranates, dates, milk, etc., but frequently taste of them. These things, therefore, could not be called secrets. The fruits of paradise have, therefore, nothing in common with these except the name. He is perfectly ignorant of the Holy Qur’an who takes paradise for a place where only the things of this world are provided in abundance. In explanation of the verse quoted above, the Holy Prophet said that heaven and its blessings are things which ‘the eye hath not seen, nor hath ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive of them.’12 But of the things of this world we cannot say that our eyes have not seen them, or that our ears have not heard them, or that our minds have not conceived them. When God and his Prophet tell us of things in heaven which our senses are not cognizant of in this world, we should be guilty of cherishing doctrines against the teachings of the Holy Qur’an if we supposed rivers flowing with the milk which we ordinarily drink here. Can we, moreover, consistently with the idea of heaven, suppose flocks of cows and buffaloes reared in the paradisiac grounds and numerous honeycombs hanging on trees with countless bees busily engaged in collecting honey and hosts of angels engaged day and night in milking cows and getting honey and pouring them continuously into streams to keep them running on? Are these ideas in keeping with the teachings of the verses which tell us that this world is a stranger to the blessings of the next world? Will these things illumine the soul or increase the knowledge of God or afford spiritual food as the heavenly blessings are described to do? It is, no doubt, that these blessings are represented as material things, but we are also told that their source is spirituality and righteousness” (The Teachings of Islam, p. 122ff).

“Whatever the good men enjoy spiritually in this life are really blessings not of this but of the next life, and are granted to them as a specimen of the bliss that is in store for them in the next life in order to increase their yearning for it. It should, moreover, be borne in mind that the truly righteous man is not of this world, and hence he is also hated by the world. He is of heaven and is granted heavenly blessings, just as the worldly ones are granted the dainties of this world. The blessings which are granted him are really hidden from the eyes, the ears and the hearts of men of the world, and they are quite strangers to them. But the person whose physical life is annihilated in the heavenly enjoyments is made spiritually to taste of the cup which he shall actually quaff in the next world, and hence the truth of the words:

‘These were the fruits which were given us formerly.’ But he shall at the same time be perfectly aware that those blessings were quite unknown to the world, and as he too was in this world, though not of this world, so he also shall bear witness that his physical eye never saw such blessings, nor his ear ever heard of them, nor his mind ever conceived of them in the world” (The Teachings of Islam, p. 127).

“It should also be borne in mind that the Holy Qur’an describes three worlds or three different states of man’s life. The first world is the present one, which is called the world of earning and of the first creation. It is here that man earns a reward for the good or bad deeds he does. Although there are stages of advancement for the good after resurrection, yet that advancement is granted simply by the grace of God, and does not depend upon human efforts.

“The second world is called barzakh.13 The word originally means any intermediate state. As this world falls between the present life and resurrection, it has been called barzakh. But this word has from time immemorial been applied to an intermediate state, and thus the word itself is a standing witness to the intermediate state between death and after life. . . . The state of barzakh is that in which the soul leaves the mortal body and the perishable remains are decomposed. The body is thrown into a pit, and the soul also is, as it were, thrown down into some pit, because it loses the power to do good or bad deeds along with its loss of control over the body. It is evident that a good state of the soul is dependent upon the soundness of the body. A shock communicated to a particular point of the brain causes a loss of memory, while an injury to another part is certain to deal a death-blow to the reasoning faculty and may destroy even consciousness. Similarly a convulsion of the brain muscles or a hemorrhage or morbidity of the brain may, by causing obstruction, lead to insensibility, epilepsy or cerebral apoplexy. Experience, therefore, establishes the fact beyond all reasonable doubt that with all its connections severed from the body the soul can serve no purpose. It is simply idle to assert that the human soul can, at any time, enjoy a bliss without having any connection with a body. . . . Now if the soul is unable to make any advancement in this brief life without the assistance of the body, how could it, without a body, attain to the higher stages of advancement in the next life?

“In short, various arguments prove conclusively that, according to the Islamic principles, the perfection of the soul depends upon its permanent connection with a body. There is no doubt that after death this body of clay is severed from the soul, but then in the barzakh every soul receives temporarily a new body to be in a position to taste of the reward or punishment of its deeds. This new body is not a body of clay, but a bright or a dark body prepared from the actions of this life. Such is the Qur’anic description of the body in the barzakh, viz., that the soul has a new body, which is bright or dark according to the good or bad actions which a man performs. It may appear as a mystery to some, but this much at least must be admitted, that it is not unreasonable. The perfect man realises the preparation of such a bright body even in this life. Ordinary human understanding may call it a mystery which is beyond human comprehension, but those who have a keen and bright spiritual sight will have no difficulty in realizing the truth of a bright or a dark body after death prepared from actions in this life. In short, the new body granted in the barzakh becomes the means of the reward of good or evil. I have personal experience in this matter. Many a time, when fully awake, I have seen visions in which I saw those who were dead. I have seen many an evildoer and a wicked person with a body quite dark and smoky. I have personal acquaintance with these matters, and I assert it forcibly that, as Almighty God has said, every one is granted a body, either transparent or dark. . . .

“The third world is the world of resurrection. In this world every soul, good or bad, virtuous or wicked, shall be given a visible body. The day of resurrection is the day of the complete manifestation of God’s glory, when every one shall become perfectly aware of the existence of God. On that day every person shall have a complete and open reward of his actions. How this can be brought about is not a matter to wonder at, for God is all-powerful and nothing is impossible with him” (The Teachings of Islam, pp. 131-136).

“The third point of importance that the Holy Qur’an has described in connection with the life after death, is that the progress that can be made in that world is infinite. The word of God says : ‘Those who have the light of faith in this world shall have their light on the day of judgment running before them and on their right hands, and they shall be continually saying: “O Lord, perfect our light and take us in thy protection, for thou hast power over all things” (LXVI, 8). This unceasing desire for perfection shows clearly that progress in paradise shall be endless. For when they shall have attained one excellence they shall not stop there, and seeing a higher stage of excellence shall consider that to which they shall have attained as imperfect and shall, therefore, desire the attainment of the higher excellence. When they shall have attained to this they shall yet see another higher excellence, and thus they shall continue to pray for the attainment of higher and higher excellences.” This ceaseless desire for perfection shows that they shall be endlessly attaining to excellences (The Teachings of Islam, pp. 142, 143).

“In short, heaven and hell, according to the Holy Qur’an, are images and representations of a man’s own spiritual life in this world. They are not new material worlds which come from outside. It is true that they shall be visible and palpable, call them material if you please, but they are only embodiments of the spiritual facts of this world. We call them material not in the sense that there shall be trees planted in the paradisiacal fields just like those that are planted here below, and that there shall be brimstones and sulphur in hell, but in the sense that we shall then find the embodiments of the spiritual facts of this life. Heaven and hell, according to Muslim belief, are the images of the actions which we perform here below” (The Teachings of Islam, pp. 144, 145),

One is irresistably reminded in reading the last passage of Fitzgerald’s translation of the familiar quatrains, LXVI and LXVII, of the Ruba’iyat of Omar Khayyam:14

” I sent my Soul through the Invisible, Some letter of that After-life to spell :

And by and by my soul returned to me, And answer’d, ‘ I myself am Heav’n and Hell ‘:

” Heav’n but the Vision of fulfill’d Desire, And Hell the Shadow from a Soul on fire,

Cast on the Darkness into which Ourselves, So late emerged from, shall so soon expire.”

As was to be expected, Ahmad had no patience with the newer school of thinkers and writers in Islam who have abated somewhat the earlier claim of Islam to miraculous perfection and originality. The Right Hon. Syed Amir ‘Ali, the distinguished jurist and apologist of Islam, now living in London, and S. Khuda Baksh, M.A., an Oxford graduate and former professor in Presidency College, Calcutta, are scholarly enough to admit that the sources of Islam can largely be traced in the older religions of the world, so many of which were represented in pre-Islamic Arabia:15 and especially in Judaism and Christianity. Ahmad, by a priori reasoning, declared this to have been impossible, whatever certain scholars may say:

“The Christians have spent too much time and labour, and they have spent it in vain, in showing that such and such a story in the Holy Qur’an corresponds with another found in an earlier Jewish or Christian writing. The sources of Islam are not determined by any alleged correspondence, but by the effect which its teachings had. If the Jewish and Christian writings were the source from which Islamic teachings and principles had been taken, their effect should have been at any rate inferior to that of the originals from which they were taken. But the inability of Jewish and Christian teachings to bring about a pure transformation in the lives of a people whom Islam, only within a few years, changed so entirely is a conclusive proof that the source of Islam was far purer and higher than the Jewish and Christian writings” (Review of Religions, IV, pp. 272, 273).

The alleged benighted condition of pre-Islamic Arabia and the marvellous transformation wrought by Islam in every department of life is a frequent subject of Ahmad’s enthusiastic comment.

“The Arabs were then in such a degraded state that they could hardly be called men. There was no evil but was to be found in them, and there was no form of shirk16 but prevailed among them. Thieving and dacoity formed their business, and the murder of a human being was with them like the trampling under foot of an ant. They killed orphans to appropriate their property, and buried their daughters alive under the ground. They took pride in adultery and openly spoke of indecent things in their poems, which were immoral in the highest degree. Drinking prevailed to such an extent that no house was free from it, and in gambling they beat every other people. In short, they were a disgrace even to the beasts and snakes of the desert.

“But when the Holy Prophet rose to regenerate these people, and when he devoted his whole attention to the purifying of their hearts and cast his holy influence on them, he worked such a transformation among them in a few days that from their savage stage they rose to be men, and from the stage of men they advanced to the stage of civilization, and thus progressing step by step they became godly men and finally they were so annihilated in the love of God that they bore every pain with the utmost resignation”17 (Review of Religions, VII, pp. 264, 265).

He takes sharp issue with the rationalistic school of Muhammadans who seek to account for Muhammad and his revelation on other than supernatural grounds. After saying that unprejudiced European scholars are bound to recognize in Muhammad “a great and wise Reformer and the noble benefactor of mankind” (Review of Religions, I, p. 311), he proceeds,

“But even the Mu’tazilite, author of the Spirit of Islam18 and the founder of the Aligarh College,19  could go no further, nor see deeper into the facts, for they had no assurance of the open voice of God and his clear word, of a superhuman power and of an external revelation that did not proceed from the human heart” (Review of Religions, I, p. 311).

And since it was a part of his creed that early Muslim society was far more perfect than that of to-day, he held in abhorrence the teaching of modern Muhammadan exponents of Islam, who recognize that polygamy was and is an evil, but hold that since it was an improvement on former practices in Arabia, and therefore a step upward for the early Muslims, Muhammad was justified in making it a part of Islam at that time, whereas Muslims to-day may not at all be justified in adhering to a custom that is inferior to the higher ideal of monogamy.20 Ahmad, while he was bound to admit that polygamy was more nearly universal among early Muslims than to-day, argued that the fact was due to the early wars against the enemies of Islam, by reason of which “the Muslim society was cut off from their kith and kin and there could not be intermarriage between the Muslims and the unbelievers” (Review of Religions, IV, p. 145). Hence polygamy prevailed to a greater extent than to-day, as a matter of justice to the women of Islam. And we read further:

“In the matter of ignoring these circumstances, not only are those Muslims to blame who, like Mr. Amir ‘Ali and Mr. Dilawar Husain, both of whom belong to the Shia sect, look upon polygamy as an evil, but even those cannot be acquitted of the charge who, while defending polygamy as an institution needful for human society, like the late Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, have still expressed pleasure because it is less frequently practiced now, as if the early Muslims practiced it without any lawful necessity” (Review of Religions, IV, p. 145).

Ahmad’s contention is that polygamy should be contrasted not with monogamy but with celibacy. Replying to Mr. Dilawar Husain, a vigorous champion of monogamy in Islam, the Review of Religions says:

“He should bear in mind that according to Islam monogamy is the rule, while polygamy and celibacy are two necessary exceptions, which, if prohibited, must bring about great mischief. If he has got any reason to attack this position, he is welcome to the discussion, but if he has got nothing but to repeat the old stories of Mr. Amir ‘Ali and others, he should better assume silence” (Review of Religions, IV, p. 174).

One cannot help feeling that Ahmad’s interest in this question of the existence of the supernatural over against a rigid rationalism had a somewhat personal bearing. If Muhammad’s revelation in the seventh century was not to be considered supernatural to-day, there was little likelihood of any widespread recognition of the validity of Ahmad’s claim in the twentieth century. To the Muhammadan Educational Conference, the Muhammadan College at Aligarh, the All-India Moslem League,21 the Nadwat-ul-Ulama,22 and all such “Muhammadan Revival Associations,” as he termed them, Ahmad was unceasingly hostile. One of his followers asks pertinently :

“Where is the living model whose example we must imitate?” (Review of Religions, I , p. 321). . . . “I ask the Nadwa which view of Islam is it going to offer to Europe? Is it Islam in the light in which the late Sir Syed Ahmad took it, which represents God as worthless and idle, denies revelation, the efficacy of prayer, angels, prophecy and supernatural signs, and describes the Holy Qur’an as a dry book devoid of the miraculous?” (Review of Religions, I, p. 329) .

Other views of these “Advanced Muhammadans,” which Ahmad repudiates, were the abolition of purdah23 the modification of rules regarding prayers, fasting, alms, and pilgrimage, and the rejection of the later “Medina Suras” of the Qur’an. He strongly supported the Muslim prohibition of the drinking of intoxicants, and required of his followers abstention from tobacco smoking as well.

We shall see, when we come to consider Ahmad’s attitude towards Christianity, how staunchly he stood his ground on such moot points as divorce, the veil, and the ceremonial law of Islam, spurning any attempt within Islam to adapt Muhammad’s teaching and practice to present-day customs in Christian lands. Meantime, we must turn from his picture of an ideal Islam, believed to have been brought into the world by Muhammad, to view the actual Islam which he saw around him, and which he unsparingly denounced.24

Like the Jewish religion in the time of Jesus, he declared that Islam had become a religion of spiritless ceremonialism.

“I have come at a time when the Muhammadan society has, like the Jewish, been rotten to the core, and spirituality, which is the lite and essence, having departed, nothing has remained in the hands of the Muslims but the husk of lifeless ceremonies. . . .” (Review of Religions, III, p. 399).

In a letter written by Maulvi Abdul Karim to the Nadwat-ul-Ulama, in reply to an invitation requesting the attendance of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad at its annual gathering at Calcutta, it was said:

“Forms and ceremonials have again got the upper hand, while the inner life, the essence of the law, the spirit that gave life to the form itself, is quite gone. Mosques and monasteries are full of bodies, but the soul is not there. . . . Divine commandments are set at naught, and the corruption of licentiousness, atheism and transgression is widespread” (Review of Religions, I, p. 322).

As in the time of the pre-Islamic Arabs, social and moral conditions are beyond description:

“It needs no demonstration to prove that Muhammadan degeneration has passed all bounds, and that they are now standing on the verge of the pit of fire from which a blessed and mighty hand had drawn them back at first. The same dissentions and disputes, the same division in the camp, which marked the pre-Islamic Arabs, is witnessed among those who claim to be following the banner of Islam. . . . Luxurious habits, transgressions, drunkenness, gambling and laziness, evils from which the mighty magnetizer had granted them a deliverance, have again the upper hand” (Review of Religions, I, p. 318).

There is now no real enthusiasm for Islam, only ignorant superstition, which shows itself in slavish imitation of the Christian civilization of the West, on the part of some, and a blind worship of tombs and saints, on the part of others.

“There can be no denying the fact that the vast majority of Muhammadans who claim to believe in the true God have really no faith at all ” (Review of Religions, I, p. 62).

” There is, no doubt, a great change in the object of superstition, but that is of little use. If the ‘ignorant’ Muhammadans are to be blamed for an excessive reverence for tombs and miracles of saints, the ‘advanced’ Muhammadans have a blind admiration for everything Western” (Review of Religions, III, p. 441).

The condition of Muslims is such that followers of other creeds are alienated rather than attracted.

“Thus if there is any obstacle to the path of Islam it is the practical life of the Muslims themselves, and the sight of the same not only causes a repugnance in the followers of other creeds, but also alienates from Islam the feelings of the future generations of Muslims. The fact cannot be denied that in most Muslim families, it is to be found that the concern with religion is diminishing from father to son. Only a very small percentage of Musalmans can be found who are sincerely convinced of the truth of Islam. In most cases religion has been left merely a matter of custom and habit” (Review of Religions, XIV, p. 453).

One cause of the decline of Islam and the deplorable social conditions among Muslim peoples is to be found in the forged traditions and fatwas25  circulated by the maulvis, for whom Ahmad entertained no admiration.26

“We are commanded not to kill man, not to commit an outrage upon his honour, and not to seize his property dishonestly. But some Muhammadans have broken all these commandments. They take away the life of an innocent person and never shudder at the inhumane deed. Empty-headed maulvies have circulated fatwas to the effect that it is lawful to seduce or seize the women of unbelievers or heretics, and to steal and misappropriate their properties. . . . The social relations of the Muslims are deplorable. Traditions have been fabricated that act like poison upon their moral conditions and break the Divine laws” (Review of Religions, I, p. 23).

The present hard-heartedness of Muslims in their decline has led to a blood-thirstiness whose issue in Afghanistan was the murder of two followers of the Ahmadiya faith.

“I think the chief reason of the decline of Muhammadans is that the feelings of love and sympathy are on the wane in their hearts. I do not judge all Muhammadans to be guilty of this hard-heartedness, but it cannot be denied that there are millions among them who are thirsty of the blood of their own kind” (Review of Religions, I, p. 340).

We cannot vouch for the accuracy of the following description of the martyrdom of one of Ahmad’s followers in a purely Muhammadan country. The parties referred to are Maulvi Abdul Latif and the Amir of Afghanistan : —

“When he refused to listen to all expostulations, the Amir drew up the judgment with his own hands and caused it to be hung about his neck. He then ordered his nose to be bored, and a cord to be passed through the hole, by which he was drawn to the place of execution. While he was carried in this state of torture, he was mocked, abused and cursed. The Amir with his Muftis and Maulvis watched and enjoyed this painful sight. When he was buried to his waist in earth the Amir once more approached him and gave him promise of pardon on condition of his renunciation of his faith, but no words could tempt him to such a heinous deed as the renunciation of truth for the sake of a few days’ comfort. Upon this there was again a tumult among the barbarous Qazis and Muftis that he was a Kafir (Unbeliever) and should be stoned to death without further delay. The Amir then ordered the chief Qazi to throw the first stone. The Qazi requested the Amir that, as he was the ruler, he should take the initiative. But the Amir excused himself, saying that it was a matter of religion, in which supreme authority lay with the chief Qazi. At last the first stone was thrown by the Qazi, which gave Maulvi Abdul Latif a fatal wound. The next stone was thrown by the unfortunate Amir, and after this there was a volley of stones from all sides, and within a few minutes the martyr disappeared in a heap of stones. Orders were then given by the Amir for watch to be kept on his dead body, because he had said that he would rise after the sixth day. This occurred on the 14th July, 1903″ (Review of Religions, II, p. 446).

We now come to one of Ahmad’s cardinal principles, and the point of sharpest divergence between his faith and that of the majority of Muslims : to wit, his conception of jihad, or holy war.

When Muhammad proclaimed the revelation : “Kill them (the infidels) wherever ye shall find them,” and similar injunctions relating to “holy warfare,”27 he laid upon his followers a sanction only slightly less binding than the five “pillars” already mentioned.28 In particular, a saying of the Prophet : “War is permanently established until the Day of Judgment,” has come down, with the Qur’anic passages, establishing the fact that the Dar al- Islam (“Abode of Islam”) and the Dar al-harb (” Abode of War “) remain in a state of fixed antagonism until, by reason of conquest, there shall be only the one Dar al-Islam. The observance, however, is said to be in force when any single tribe or party of Muslims is engaged in the jihad, and it is only in times of special need that the entire body of Muslims is expected to take part actively in the war. When a country of the unbelievers is overcome, the citizens are given their choice of accepting Islam, and paying the jizya (poll tax), or being put to death by the sword. Many Sufis hold that there is a greater jihad against a man’s own rebellious nature, and a lesser jihad against unbelievers.

Along with this doctrine there has become fixed in the average Muslim’s mind by many traditions the belief that the Mahdi who is to come will be a man of blood, who will lead forth the entire host of Islam in a world-wide and altogether victorious jihad. Ahmad fought early and late against this conception — a campaign which was related to his frequent declarations of loyalty to the British Government which might conceivably become the active object of jihad as popularly conceived. Whether Ahmad’s attitude, in a strictly Muhammadan country, would have been similar to that of the many “bloody Mahdis”29 it is idle to surmise. Dr. Griswold has drawn attention to one potentially significant sentence in Ahmad’s “five principle doctrines,” published in a memorial to Sir William Mackworth-Young, under date of March 5th, 1898, as follows :

“To preach Islamic truths with reasoning and heavenly signs, and to regard ghaza or jihad as prohibitedunder present circumstances” (Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, p. 11). (Dr. Griswold’s italics.)

Dr. Griswold compares this to the bull of Pope Gregory XIII, issued in 1580, which released the English Catholics from the obligation to resist Queen Elizabeth (imposed by the bull of Pope Pius V), and allowed them to continue their allegiance to her until they should be powerful enough to rebel openly. If Ahmad’s phrase means anything. Dr. Griswold says, it must mean the same, but he generously adds,

“It is possible, however, that the phrase is meaningless, being used for the sake of literary padding, with an inadequate sense of its implication. We will give Mirza Sahib the benefit of the doubt, especially since the phrase occurs nowhere else, so far as I know, in his writings ” (Mirza Ghulam Ahmad p. 12).

Ahmad was much perturbed by Dr. Griswold’s emphasis on that ambiguous sentence in his pamphlet, and issued a reply declaring that “present circumstances” are here contrasted with conditions at the time when jihad was sanctioned. This may indeed have been in Ahmad’s mind, although it only emphasizes his divergence from orthodox Islam, which allows no possibility of jihad being prohibited until the end, although it may be suspended in different parts of the world at different times. If, then, jihad is no longer in force, according to Ahmadiya teaching, the question might be asked why it existed in the early history of Islam as the Qur’an and authentic histories of the spread of Muhammadanism give abundant evidence that it did. Ahmad’s answer to this was that Muhammad and the early Khalifas had recourse to the sword, first to protect themselves from barbarian enemies and, afterward, to punish the latter for their barbarities. Ahmadiya reasoning here is naive and interesting. It is hard to see how those who assert that the early enemies of Islam were given the option of conversion or death can in the same breath argue that Islam was not propagated by force. We quote :

“It must also be stated here that permission for self-defence and murdering the enemies of Islam was not given to the Muslims until the Arabs had, on account of their excessive oppressions and outrages and innocent bloodshed, rendered themselves culpable and liable to be punished with death. But a clemency was even then shown to such of them as embraced Islam. The unity of religion established a relation of brotherhood, and all past wrongs were forgotten. It is here that some opponents of Islam have stumbled, and from this they draw the conclusion that the new religion was forced upon the unbelievers. In fact, the case is just the reverse of what the objectors have thought. There is no compulsion here ; it was a favour to those who had rendered themselves liable to death. It is apparently absurd to take this conditional mitigation of just punishment for compulsion. They deserved to be murdered, not because they did not believe in the mission of the Prophet, but because they had murdered many an innocent soul. The extreme penalty of the law was upon them, but the mercy of the Gracious God gave them another chance of averting this merited capital punishment” (Review of Religions, I, pp. 20-21).

This flies directly in the face of history, for every true account of the early history of Islam shows that Muhammad and the early Khalifas acted continuously on the offensive.

At the present time, Ahmad frequently remarked, Indian Muslims are happily situated under Christian rule just as, in the days of Muhammad, the pioneers, driven from Mecca by the authorities, found a safe and happy refuge for a time under the Christian king of Abyssinia.

If among present-day Muslims the followers of Ahmad, with their avowed abhorrence and repudiation of the idea of a ” bloody Mahdi,” are to be considered, ipso facto, loyal to the Government, the implication is suggested that the generality of Muslims must, on the contrary, be disloyal. This imputation they naturally resented. It may be worth while to quote in full, as giving the other side of the case, a communication to the Lahore Civil and Military Gazette (May 22nd, 1907), written by a Muslim of the orthodox party, in reply to one of Ahmad’s familiar “exhortations to loyalty,” issued at a time when a number of disloyal outbreaks were occurring in North India:

“The ‘exhortation’ to his followers, of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the founder of a new sect, to refrain from participating in all disloyal movements, which has appeared in your paper as an appendix to Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din‘s communication, is all very well inasmuch as it aims at promoting the loyalty of a certain section of the Indian population ; but this noble object should on no account be made the pretext by anyone to bring false accusations against those whom one does not like on other grounds.

“Referring to the execution of Abdul Latif, a follower of his, in Afghanistan, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad states in his ‘exhortation’ that the deceased was stoned to death by Amir Habibullah for the only fault that, having become one of Mirza’s followers, ‘he opposed the doctrine of jihad,’ in accordance with the Mirza’s teachings. To say the least of it, this is a very vague way of putting things. If, however, by saying so the Mirza means — and by the general drift of his ‘exhortation’ it appears that he means it — that the view held by Amir Habibullah Khan as well as by the general mass of Muhammadans in India and elsewhere, about the doctrine of jihad, is calculated to shake the loyalty of the Muhammadans in India, it should be emphatically declared that such an assertion is entirely unfounded, and is either based upon ignorance, or something else which is unworthy of a noble cause.

“It may also be stated here, for the information of the public, that Abdul Latif’s real fault, which cost him his life, was that he had become a heretic (murtadd) ,30 an offence which under Islamic law is punishable with death. He became a heretic by following Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, a pronounced heretic among Muhammadans. . . . (Signed) Syed Muhammad” (Review of Religions, VI, p. 230).

Ahmad may well have congratulated himself that he lived under British rule, and as a branded heretic was saved the harsh fate meted out to his followers in Muhammadan Afghanistan.

If Ahmad depicted in dark colours the decadence of Muslims, and, in bright colours, the joy and security of living under a modern Christian government, the question naturally follows whether he inferred from those facts the superiority of the Christian civilization and ethics. This he by no means did, arguing as follows :

“The Christians, who from the present material backwardness of the Muhammadan nations, hastily draw the conclusion of the failure of Islam to raise its adherents to a high standard of progress, should cast a glance at the history of Christianity and the Christian people in the thirteenth century after Christ, and they will, we hope, be convinced that their conclusions are illogical. Whatever the present material backwardness of the Muhammadans as compared with the nations which are generally known as Christians, it is a fact that never at any stage of their history they were steeped in such ignorance as the Christians in the Middle Ages, when Christianity was as old as Islam is at present. In fact, it cannot be denied that while with the progress of Christianity civilization has decayed and with its deterioration civilization has made progress among the Christian nations, the relations of Islam to civilization have been different” (Review of Religions, VI, p. 424).

In other words, the pure principles of Islam brought to Muslims a high civilization early in its history, and the decadence of Islam is due to its departure from pristine ideals. Christian nations have attained to their present civilization not because, but in spite, of the ideals of Jesus Christ, in whose spirit and power Ahmad came.31 In January, 1908, the Review of Religions quoted, with seeming approval, some remarks in a book called, The Awakening of Islam, by William Heaford, from the French of Yahya Siddyk, in which the same logic is carried further, associating Islam, in its former and future perfection, with modern science, and Christianity with ignorance and obscurantism. We read that this author

“Claims that the ideas of modern science, which have everywhere proved so fatal to Christianity and which in every European country are producing their natural fruit in European unbelief and triumphant rationalism, will serve to rehabilitate and vindicate Islam” (Review of Religions, VII, p. 43).

In the next chapter we shall deal in detail with Ahmad’s view of Christianity and its founder, and in this connection we shall see that another charge made by Ahmad against modern Islam is its false belief in the taking up of Jesus into heaven, while another person, substituted for him, suffered death on the cross.

It would seem that Ahmad painted the picture of present-day Islam as black as possible largely in his own interest. If the decadence of Islam has been due to its falling away from the teaching and example of the living Muhammad of the seventh century, its rejuvenation in the twentieth century can only come through the teaching and example of a living “magnetizer,” to use a favourite Ahmadiya expression. This person is the promised Messiah. His sound and conclusive arguments, his manifestation of heavenly wisdom and power, his mediation and intercession, can alone avail to counteract the present evil tendencies in the world, by bringing anew to faithless Muslims that certainty regarding divine truth, that perfect knowledge of God, in which, he held, salvation from sin consists.


1 Baha’Ullah (1817-1892) was the founder of the Persian sect known as the Baha’is, an outgrowth of Babism. It claims to be the universal religion of brotherhood and peace.2 Islam knows of two forms of divine inspiration — wahy, major inspiration, granted to the prophets; and ilhdm, minor inspiration, granted to the saints generally — by means of which knowledge comes into their minds through direct illumination, as opposed to that which comes through study and deduction. Cf. Macdonald: The Religious Attitude and Life in Islam, Chicago, 1909, p. 252ff. For an excellent summary of the orthodox position, see article by Macdonald on “The Doctrine of Revelation in Islam,” in Moslem World, VII, p. 112

3 Cf. p. 37.

4 Cf. p. 81, Note 1.

5 After Qur’an LIII, 20, where several Arabian idols are mentioned, tradition says that at the first recital of the Qur’an Muhammad added, hoping to win the Meccans by this compromise, ” These are the exalted females, and verily their intercessions may be expected.” This is one of the verses that were later abrogated and do not now appear. For the original traditions in which the story appears, see Goldsack, Muhammad in Islam, Madras, 1916, pp. 48-52.

6 That is, the custom or usage of the Prophet which has been handed down for the guidance of the Muslim people in the traditions. Each tradition (hadis) contains a sunna, a narrative of what the Prophet said or did or did not do on a certain occasion.

7 This lecture first appeared in sections in Review of Religions in 1907, and afterward was published by Luzac & Company, London, in 1910, under the caption, The Teachings of Islam, from which quotations have already been made.

8 “Chief Ahmadiya Society,” founded before Ahmad’s death in accordance with instructions contained in his will, the contents of which were made known in 1905. See p. 113

9 This quotation from Jesus’ words in the temptation in the wilderness (Matt. 4 : 4) is interesting here.

10 For a statement of the Sufi teaching regarding the three states of the soul referred to in Qur’an, XII, 53; LXXV, 2; and LXXXIX, 27, respectively, see Macdonald, The Religious Attitude and Life in Isld,)i pp. 229, 230.

11 Cf. p. 41, Note 2.

12 Corinthians 2: 9.

13 The verse of the Qur’an (XXIII, 102) in which this word appears is the source of the Muslim conception of an intermediate state.

14 Edition of Edward Heron-Allen, London, 1899, pp. 98,100.

15 Cf. Syed Amir ‘All, The Spirit of Islam, Lahiri & Co., Calcutta, 1902, Introduction, p. lix ; and S. Khuda Baksh, M.A., Essays Indian and Islamic, Probsthain & Co., London, 1912, p. 10. The chief religions from which Muhammad borrowed were Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Sabseanism and the pagan religion of Arabia. This subject is treated at length in W. St. Clair Tisdall, The Original Sources of the Qur’an, London, 1905.

16 Cf. p. 41, Note 1.

17 Reference to any authentic history of the period will show how Ahmad has distorted facts in this extreme statement.

18 Syed Amir ‘All admits his sympathy with the position of the Mu’tazilite (free-thinking) wing of Islam, which gives reason a place beside tradition and revelation, and makes man the author of his own actions (See his The Spirit of Islam, p. 321, and Macdonald, The Development of Muslim Theology, Jurisprudence and Constitutional Theory, New York, 1903, Part III, Chap. 1, p. 119ff.

19 Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (1817-1898) — the progressive Indian Muslim who founded in 1875 the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh, U.P., and, in 1886, the Muhammadan Educational Conference. He was a thorough-going rationalist, and sought to accommodate Islam to modern ideas and Western education. See also pp. 133, 134.

20 See The Spirit of Islam, p. 192, and Essays Indian and Islamic p. 231.

21 Cf. p. 136.

22 “Council of the Learned,” an association of educated maulvis in North India, whose chief undertaking has been the carrying on of a theological seminary for the training of a new school of enlightened Muhammadan priests. Its headquarters are in Lucknow.

23 The Urdu word for “curtain,” used in India of the institution of ” the veil ” imposed upon Muslim women by the “Agreement” (ijma’) of the Muhammadan community, and arising out of Muham- mad’s injunction, originally affecting his own wives, in Qur’an, XXIV, 32. It enjoins that a woman may appear unveiled only in the presence of other women and of her husband and nearest male relations

24 For a frank and searching treatment of this subject by a recent writer of a different school, see Essays Indian and Islamic, Chapter VII, ” Thoughts on the Present Situation,” p. 2l3ff.

25 See p. 16. A compilation of these _fatwas_, pronounced against Ahmad, exists in Urdu.

26 Maulvl Ilahi Baksh, of Lahore, in his polemic against Ahmad, Asa’-i-Musa (“Rod of Moses”), has given (pp. 143-146) an appalling alphabetical list of the abusive epithets applied to Muslim maulvis by Ahmad.

27 Cf. Qur’an IX, 5, 6 ; IV, 76, 79 ; II, 214, 215; VIII, 39, 42 ; and many traditions in the Mishkatu’l Masabih. A convenient resume may be found under jihad, in Hughes : Dictionary of Islam, pp. 243-248. 2 Cf. p. 57.

28 Cf. p. 57.

29 Such, for example, as Syed Ahmad, of Mysore and Hyderabad (1444-1504), Muhammed Ahmad, of Dongola (proclaimed Mahdi of the Sudan in 1878), Syed Ahmad, of Oudh and the Panjab (Conqueror of Peshawar in 1830), and Syed Muhammad Husain, of Persia, the founder of the secret order of the Senusites.

30 For the laws relating to the death penalty for the murtadd (an apostate, not a heretic) see Hughes : Dictionary of Islam, p. 16. In a translation of the “Multaka ul Abhar” (Meeting of the Seas), a Turkish text-book of canon law by Ibrahim of Alleppo, Constantinople, 1290, A.H., pp. 396-397, the following summary is given : — ” A man guilty of apostatizing is allowed a three days’ respite if he desires it, after which, refusing to recant, he is to be killed. If he recants and again apostatizes he is again given the opportunity to reconsider. So in the third offence, but the fourth time he must be killed at once. His recantation must include renunciation of his espoused religion, as well as acceptance of Islam. He may lawfully be killed on sight, however, only the murderer in this case receives a reproof.” I am indebted for the references and the translation to Prof. M. H. Ananikian, of Hartford, U.S.A.

31 For a contradictory Ahmadiya position, see p. 99.

Chapter IV-The Ahmadiya Movement And Christianity

We have already seen1 that Ahmad proclaimed that as the promised Messiah he had come in the spirit and power of Jesus Christ, and that his similarity to Christ, in character and office, was such that he was called “Jesus” in several revelations in order to confirm the resemblance — not to say, the identity. In this chapter we have to look on the other side of the picture to determine his conception of the Jesus of history who, as ‘Isa, is referred to in many passages of the Qur’an. The question with which we are first confronted is the extent to which he drew on Muslim and Christian sources, respectively, for the materials of the finished portrait of Jesus that was in his mind. In the Qur’an we find many ambiguous titles and characteristics ascribed to ‘Isa,2 such as ” a word from Allah ” (III, 40), ” a spirit from Allah ” (IV, 169), ” One brought near,” i.e., to Allah (III, 40), “worthy of regard ” (III, 40), a prophet (nabi), a messenger (rasul). He was said to have come with a Book, the Injil (Gospel), to have been born of the virgin, Mariam, by a direct creative act of Allah (III, 42), and to have performed many miracles, including certain legendary miracles in the cradle and in youth, and, as a climax, the raising of the dead (III, 43). Although there is at least one passage in the Qur’an which clearly refers to the death of Jesus (III, 47),
Muhammad unquestionably rejected the crucifixion, holding that Jesus was taken up alive into one of the heavens, apparently in his earthly body (IV, 156). There the Qur’an seems to leave him, and tradition takes up the tale with its prophecies of the second coming. From the above it appears that Muhammad had learned enough about the historic personage, Jesus Christ, probably from some heretical Christian teacher or monk, to lead him to give to ‘Isa a unique place among those to whom he accorded prophetic rank. The picture he draws, however, is the barest sketch of a person, resembling rather a wax figure on which a number of descriptive titles have been hung than the vigorous and compelling personality, of
flesh and blood, who dominates the New Testament. It is, therefore, small wonder that Muslims have not been attracted to the figure of ‘Isa in the Qur’an, and have proceeded to construct still a third character (unhistorical, like Muhammad’s ‘Isa) out of Muslim and Christian traditions and legends — a character which differs as widely from the ‘Isa of the Qur’an as the traditional Muhammad differs from the historic character who stands revealed in the pages of the Qur’an.3

As will appear more at length hereafter, Ahmad not only rejected the orthodox conception that Jesus was never crucified, but the taking up alive into heaven as well, seeking to prove that he eventually died like all ordinary mortals, and was buried in Srinagar, Kashmir. Otherwise he seems to have felt bound to accept the Qur’anic portrait of ‘Isa as historical, but he was obviously not familiar with the legendary Jesus, described at length, for example, in the well-known Qisasu’l Anbiya (” Stories of the Prophets”). However, it was, as we have shown (pp. 31, 32), the Jesus of history with whom he really believed himself to be in some mysterious way identical. A flesh and blood personality it was who figured continually in his thinking and writing and who, if he had been able to analyze the content of his thinking on the subject, he would probably have discovered was for him actually the true, historic Jesus, whose life is recorded in the New Testament narrative.

His confusion of thought arose, of course, from a prior confusion regarding the Christian Scriptures and the Injil, referred to in the Qur’an as Allah’s revelation, or the Book, given to ‘Isa. There is no evidence that Muhammad did not regard this revelation as identical with the Scriptures possessed by the Christians of his day. His charging the Christians with error in doctrine came in time, however, to be taken by Muslims as referring to a wilful corruption by the Christians of the Injil, so that its statements could no longer be accepted as trustworthy on the ground that Muhammad had regarded them as inspired.

Among later Muslim theologians and commentators the attitude toward the Christian Scriptures runs all the way from that of Ibn Hazm (d. 1063 A. D.), who held that the only authentic knowledge of ‘Isa is that contained in the Qur’an, to Fakhr-ud-din ar-Razi (d. 1209 A.D.), who frequently used Gospel passages to illustrate the Qur’an.4 Ahmad would perhaps have us believe that he held to the former of these extremes, but, after analyzing all of his references to the Scriptures and to Jesus, confused as they are, I am inclined to think that, in his subconscious mind at least, belief in the historicity (although not, of course, in the divine inspiration) of the New Testament narrative prevailed. For practical purposes it would hardly be unfair to say that he admitted as true, temporarily, such parts of the New Testament as were needed to reinforce the argument in which at any moment he happened to be engaged. That none of it could be the inspired Word of God he was convinced, for the reason that it had been translated out of the original tongues, and on the orthodox ground that the texts were known to be full of errors due to deliberate corruption by the Christians. Thus he writes:

“Jesus Christ had imparted pure and simple teachings to his disciples in the shape of Injil, which was deliberately corrupted by his subsequent so-called followers to such an extent that the present God of
Christians can in no way be identified with the God of the Son of Mary.”

In order to cast doubt on the historicity of the Christian Scripture in the minds of his readers, he liked to quote from the Encyclopedia Biblica, of which he possessed a copy, seeking to convey the impression (possibly his own opinion) that the views of a certain extreme school of German critics of the last century, therein contained, are those of established Christian scholarship to-day. It is clear that he did not possess an historic sense sufficient to make him in any degree a true ” higher critic” on his own account, nor was he willing to be bound by any one canon of criticism, even had he been able to recognize it. He felt that he was free to pick and choose, as suited his purposes, among the writings of those orthodox and liberal Christian scholars to which he had access. In the Review of Religions for May, 1903, for example, we read :

“The most trustworthy book containing the views of higher critics, and written by professed Christians, is the Encyclopedia Biblica, in which it is stated in column 1881 (Vol. II) that in all the Gospels there are only five absolutely credible passages about Jesus ” (Review of Religions, II, p. 194).

These are then given as Mark 10: 17; Matt. 12: 31; Mark 3: 21; Mark 13: 32; Mark 15 : 34; and Matt. 27: 46. The last two are parallel passages, and only the latter is mentioned in the original article in the Encyclopedia Biblica. These five were considered historical by the author5 because they were opposed to any theory of Jesus’ sinlessness and divinity, and, therefore, would not have been forged by his disciples. As we shall see, however, Ahmad did not limit himself to these texts in his effort to prove that both Christians and Muslims have wrongly conceived of Jesus.

One further introductory remark should be made at this point. Ahmad claimed that his reason for attacking Jesus was to be found in the alleged Christian attack upon Muhammad. If Christians did not like his words about Christ they were to blame, because they themselves had maligned Muhammad. Moreover, there was an inherent connection between the two attacks, for the sinlessness of all the prophets stands or falls on the same ground. 1 If Muhammad was not (as Ahmad believed he was) sinless, then neither was Jesus, and if (since) Jesus was not sinless, Ahmad was prepared to make out as bad a case for him as possible. Finally, Ahmad frequently said that he was not making the charges on his own account, but was only repeating attacks made by Jews and some professed Christians. What, he asked, could the Christians say in reply ? Many times he declared that they could say nothing, that the attacks were unanswerable ; and in making that assertion he certainly so far associated himself with the attacks and aspersions as to justify us in giving, as approved Ahmadiya doctrine, whatever he and his editors have written about Jesus Christ. Furthermore, the animus lurking in the statements is scarcely disguised at all, and in more than one place he gives as his own some of the criticisms which we quote below. It is not a pleasant task to write this chapter of Ahmadiya doctrine, but it is necessary since it is fundamental to a right understanding of the movement ; and it may even be desirable, on wider grounds, since Ahmad and his editors seem to have canvassed the literature of all ages and nations, in so far as it was accessible to them, in order to ascertain, and to unite in one mighty and virulent attack, all the efforts that have been made to besmirch and belittle the character of Jesus of Nazareth.

Of the stories of the unique birth of Jesus, as given in the Qur’an (XIX, 22-34; XXIII, 52), Ahmad makes no categorical denial. He seeks, however, in various ways, to belittle their importance. Adam, too, ‘” had neither father nor mother “;6 ” thousands of worms (are) brought into existence without any father”; “learned physicians of the Greek and Indian schools have . . . shown the possibility of a child being formed in the mother’s womb without the seed of man ” (Review of Religions, I, p. 72). John’s birth, like that of Jesus, had a supernatural element, but, far from proving John and Jesus divine, ” these births were in fact a sign that the gift of divine revelation was departing from the house of Israel. For Jesus had no Israelite father, and the parents of John were not in a condition to beget children ” (Review of Religions, II, p. 1007). In numerous passages (for example, Review of Religions, I, p. 144ff), usually under cover of quoting from Jewish or other writings, aspersions are cast on the character of the mother of Jesus, which we cannot give here, but which, together with much of the harsh criticism of Jesus, have evoked bitter and crushing replies from orthodox Muslims.8 We pause only to mention one curious argument in this connection, to the effect that “The ur’anic statement that Jesus had no father cannot serve as a weapon in the hands of a Christian controversialist. The revelation of the Qur’an is not with him a Divine Revelation, but the fabrication of a man” (Review of Religions, I, p. 144). One wonders, then, on what ground Ahmadiya writers constantly quote the Bible, in confirmation of some of Ahmad’s claims and teaching, when in its present form it is for them no more of a divine revelation than is the Qur’an for the Christians.

Regarding the miracles of Jesus, related in the New Testament and, in general, attested by the Qur’an, with numerous differences and additions, there exists the same apparent ambiguity in the mind of Ahmad’s followers. Nowhere is it actually asserted that Jesus performed no miracles, but we are told, ” Miracles are the only evidence on which the Deity of Jesus is supported, but to speak of his miracles as proof of his divinity is to produce one assertion in support of another. They lack the requisite evidence with which their own truth can be established. They have themselves no legs to stand upon, and it is, therefore, absurd to expect them to support something else. There is no reason why they should not be regarded as marvels and prodigies, carrying no more weight than the fictions recorded in the Puranas” (Review of Religions, I, p. 453). And again it is said that Jesus himself denied having performed any miracles when he declared, “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign, and there shall no sign be given unto it ” (Matthew 12 : 39). At times, however, the miracles of Jesus are admitted for the sake of proving the sinfulness of the acts involved, as in the first miracle at Cana, the cursing of the fig-tree, and the destruction of the herd of swine into which the evil spirits had been sent.

In one place the ” neurotic theory ” of Jesus’ miracles is quoted from the Encyclopedia Biblica,9 in accordance with which those miracles only are accepted which might be attributed to psychical influence on nervous maladies. In other passages the miracles are said to have been spiritual in their character, healing those afflicted with the leprosy of sin, et cetera. In various places we read that, after all, the miracles of Jesus were no greater than those of the Old Testament prophets, who must be considered […] as much as Jesus, on the basis of miracles […] fact Jesus’ miracles are in one place called

“Only imitations, much inferior to the original works of wonder done by the Israelite prophets in abundance” (Review of Religions, […], p. 196).

An instance of Jesus’ inferiority to Elijah is satirically suggested in that

“Elijah was honourably taken up to the heavens in a […] but Jesus Christ had not even a donkey to ride upon in his […] ascent, which by no means could have been an easy task” (Review of Religions, I, p. 454).

Again, it is said that the miracles wrought by Muhammad by means of his divine power far exceeded the miracles of Jesus, the only miracle of the latter referred to in the passage being the one (suggested to Muhammad, […] thought, by a similar story in the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas the Israelite) found in the Qur’an (III, 43), […] relates that Jesus created a bird out of clay. In the immediately following sentences of the Qur’an the miracles of the healing of the blind and lepers and the raising of the dead are narrated, but the Ahmadiya writer does not […] refer to them.

We come now to consider the character of Jesus of whom Ahmad wrote plainly, “In the same manner this Promised one (Ahmad) has inherited the perfection of Jesus Christ ” (Review of Religions, II, p. 67). Here there is the same apparent distinction, about which he himself seemed never clear, between a vague, ideal Muslim Jesus (not exactly the ‘Isa of the Qur’an) and a human, [sinful] Jesus appearing in the Christian Gospels, of whom [he] writes :

“If the sinlessness of a person is to be inferred from the faultiness of his conduct as admitted by his hostile critics, we would [refer] them to the Jewish writings, which seriously attack Jesus and his mother’s conduct ;10 and if it is to be inferred from the assertion of the person himself, we would refer them to the Gospel text where Jesus confesses that he is not good or sinless” (Review of Religions, I, P . 207).

Jesus’ baptism by John is held to be one proof of his confession of sinfulness. We will here briefly recapitulate the alleged “sins of Jesus “:

Drunkenness. This is inferred from the institution of sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, from his being called “a gluttonous man and a winebibber,” and from his turning the water into wine at the wedding in Cana (Review of Religions, I, p. 114).

Vulgar abuse of the Jews, who, in return, ” showed a leniency toward him far surpassing that of any of the modern priestly and missionary classes, however civilized the latter may be in appearance” (Review of Religions, I, 371).

“There is not the least indication in the Gospels that the priests […] a single abusive word for Jesus in opposition to all this […] deluge of calumny and abuse. This contrast throws much […] upon the morality of Jesus” (Review of Religions, I, […])

At other times Ahmad deals less gently with the Jews who persecuted Jesus, and “on account of the wickedness of their hearts, failed to recognize the Reformer, and declared him to be a false prophet and pretender” (Review of Religions, II, p. 55).

“They persecuted and tortured him, and at last brought him to law for alleged malcontentedness. . . . The priests in both cases (Jesus’ and Ahmad’s) fail to effect their evil designs, and the providence of God saves his chosen servants” (Review of Religions, II, 55).

Ahmad also frequently excuses his own denunciation of his enemies on the analogy of Jesus’ arraignment of the Sadducees and Pharisees.

Cowardice. The evidences alleged to prove this trait […] — (a) his prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, combined with the statement in Hebrews 5 : 7, which is interpreted to mean that because of his prayer he was […] from death (though another passage asks, ” Can […] admit of the All-knowing God to have prayed the […] night long without being listened to?”); (b) his […] himself in the garden” (Review of Religions, II, […]) in the attempt to escape arrest and crucifixion ; and (c) his cry on the cross (Matt. 27: 46) “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani” (Review of Religions, IV, p. 355).

Disrespect to his mother. Referring to the marriage at Cana, we read :

“Jesus also insulted his mother on this occasion, and the apology, that he was under the influence of wine, cannot excuse him, for on another occasion (Matt. 12: 48), when to all appearances in a sober state, he behaved even more rudely towards her” (Review of Religions, I, p. 463).

Friendliness with women of ill-repute. In this connection reference is made to the incident narrated in Luke 7: 37, 38, to the ” too familiar connections of Jesus with Mary Magdalene, who, they say, was of a dubious character” (Review of Religions, I, p. 141) and to an incident said to be quoted from The Jewish Life of Christ11 that Jesus “once praised the beauty of a woman, and upon this one of the elders, who had taken Jesus in tutorship, enraged at this impropriety of his pupil’s conduct, cut off all ties of love with him ” (Review of Religions I, p. 141). It is said that accusations like those above are ” freely published and circulated, not only in the streets of London but in distant corners of the world, India itself being no exception” (Review of Religions, I, p. 120).

Blasphemy. He is said to have ” slighted Almighty God by making himself his equal, and holding his sacred name in disrespect ” (Review of Religions, I, p. 141). And again, “The most disgusting and blasphemous words attributed to Jesus are those which contain his assertion of Godhead. This he did in spite of the knowledge that he was born from Mary’s womb” (Review of Religions, I, p. 452) . Here, however, we are faced with another inexplicable contradiction. When there is need of proving that Jesus when he said, “Why callest thou me good? There is none good but One, that is God ” (Mark 10: 18) did not mean that he himself was God, we are told:

“If Jesus had distinctly put forth his claim to Godhead before the Jews, he would have been regarded by them as an heretic and the most sinful of men, who, by the law of Moses, deserved to be put to death” (Review of Religions, I, p. 110).

And again, more positively :

“It should be borne in mind that the attribution of the claim of divinity to Jesus Christ is a false accusation against him, for he never made the extravagant assertion that he was actually God. The only reasonable inference that can be drawn from his words is that he claimed to be an Intercessor with God, and no one has ever denied the intercession of the prophets with God” (Review of Religions, III, p. 416).

As ‘Isa in the Qur’an does not claim intercession for himself, this must be a reference to the words found in Hebrews 7: 25, here accepted by Ahmad as authentic.12 

Finally, Ahmad, who claimed to have had personal communications from Jesus, said:

“In short, I hold him in abomination, who, being born of a woman, says that he is God, although I declare Jesus Christ to be free from the charge that he ever claimed divinity for himself. With me such a claim is the most horrible sin and an arch-heresy, but I, at the same time, know that Jesus was a good and righteous servant of God, who never presumed to assert Godhead ” (Review of Religions, I, p. 348).

We leave our readers to solve the riddle.

False claim to prophetic office. It is said (a) that since Elias had not come previous to Jesus, according to Jewish prophecy, Jesus could not have been the Messiah ; (b) that the Kingdom which the true Messiah would set up was to be a temporal Kingdom upon earth, and Jesus, realizing that he could not fulfil this prophecy, tried to satisfy the Jews with ” a few assertions which practically meant nothing” (Review of Religions, I, p. 152); (c) that his own prophecies proved false, to wit (1) ” Greater works than these shall ye do” (John 14: 12); (2) ” To-day thou shalt be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23: 43); whereas he was to spend the next three days in hell; (3) “This generation shall not pass away till all these things be fulfilled” (Matthew 24: 34).

Over against this we have to place the fact, already alluded to,13 that Ahmad grounded his claim to have come in ” the spirit and power” of Jesus (Review of Religions, II, p. 192) on the fact that John had come in “the spirit and power of Elias ” (Luke 1 : 17); and he explains the prophecy analogous to (3) ” There be some standing here who shall not taste of death till they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom” (Matt. 16: 28) as a vindication of Ahmadiya teaching that Jesus did not die on the cross, but was still living at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem. Other prophecies referring to the second coming point to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, and, we are told,

“Blessed are they who out of respect for the word of Jesus free themselves from all prejudice in considering this point and do not stumble” (Review of Religions, II, p. 192).

Plagiarized teachings.

“The Gospel teachings have no superiority over the teachings of the earlier prophets. The teachings contained in the Gospels have, on the other hand, been taken from earlier sources, including the Talmud. The Jews have always forcibly asserted that there is no originality in the Gospel teachings, but that they are only plagiarisms from Jewish sacred books” (Review of Religions, II, p. 167).

“It is hardly an exaggeration to say that whatsoever we learn from the Old Testament to be characteristic of the prophets is proved by a study of the Gospels to be characteristic of Jesus ” (Review of Religions, V, p. 477) .

“Jesus was no more than a humble preacher of the law of Moses, notwithstanding the extravagances of those who deify him ” (Review of Religions, I, p. 239).

“He called the prophets and saints that went before him thieves and robbers (John 10: 8), notwithstanding that his teachings were all borrowed from them ” (Review of Religions, I, p. 451).

On the other hand, continuing to allow Ahmad to answer Ahmad, we are told :

“Every new age stands in need of a new reformer and a new magnetizer. . . . To take one instance only, the Mosaic law laid stress upon vengeance only in all cases, while Jesus taught unconditional forbearance and non-resistance. Both these teachings were required by the special circumstances of the time when they were taught. As the law of Moses goes to one extreme by laying too much emphasis on retaliation, the teaching of Jesus goes to the other extreme by enjoining forgiveness and pardon of the offender in all
cases ” (Review of Religions, II, p. 167).

Impracticability of central teaching of non-resistance. Ahmad frequently contrasts this teaching with Muhammad’s more aggressive and warlike policy, declaring that “It tends to corrupt the morals of the oppressor by emboldening him in the commission of evil, and endangers the life of the oppressed ” (Review of Religions, I, p. 159). Nevertheless, the wars of Christendom are charged up to the example and precept of Christ:

“But in spite of his apparent helplessness, Jesus did not despise the sword altogether. ‘ He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one,’ 1 he remarked on one occasion, and the later history of Christianity shows clearly that however wide may have been the departure of the Christian nations from the other teachings of Jesus, they have been quite faithful to their Master in acting up to the above injunction ” (Review of Religions, V, p. 390).

Helplessness and failure. This is constantly insisted upon, in contrast to the ultimate worldly success of
Muhammad, the argument being that God visits with worldly success his true leaders among men. The taunt of the Jews (Matt. 27: 42) is repeated, that if Jesus had been God he would have saved himself from his enemies.

“Can we reasonably imagine the All-powerful God arrested by weak human beings, put into custody, chalaoed14 from one district to another, beaten and smitten on the face by constables, and in the clutches and at the mercy of a few individuals” (Review of Religions, I, p. 112) .

Again we behold the strange contradiction. When Ahmad is arguing in favour of his theory that Jesus
escaped from the cross, and knew beforehand that he would escape, one reason given is that “Jesus knew it full well that God would never destroy him and his mission, but that ultimately success would crown his efforts” (Review of Religions, II, p. 192).

Passing over some minor matters relating to Jesus’ character, such as loss of temper, inconsistency and provincialism, we come to the fundamental question of his death. Ahmad declared, unqualifiedly and repeatedly that if Christians were right in their assertion that Jesus died and rose again, Christianity was true and he was an impostor. It is therefore important to examine in detail his alleged proof of Christianity’s error in this respect. His position may be summarized as follows :

Jesus did not die on the cross, but was taken down by his disciples in a swoon, and healed within forty days by a miraculous ointment called, in Persian, Marham-i-‘Isa.15 He then travelled to the East on a mission to the ten lost tribes of the children of Israel, believed by Ahmad to be the peoples of Afghanistan and Kashmir, and finally died at the age of 120, and was buried in Khan Yar Street, in Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir.

The alleged proofs of this unique theory are contradictory and utterly unsound. As proof that Jesus did not die on the cross, the fanciful ” swoon theory,” ridiculed by Strauss and now discarded, was adduced to the effect that Jesus, whose legs were not broken, was taken down from the cross in an unconscious condition by his disciples, and later revived, a fact held to have been confirmed by the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus, which were those of a living man, not a disembodied spirit. In other passages Ahmad seems to be advocating in part the so-called “fraud theory,” which held that Jesus’ dead body was removed from the tomb by his disciples to make possible their assertion that he had risen from the dead. Ahmad would modify the theory to make the body still alive when removed from the tomb, so that Jesus could then be spirited out of the country within forty days. In support of this theory Jesus’ prediction in Matt. 12: 40 is quoted, declaring that, “As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the fish, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” By interpreting the analogy literally Ahmad asserted that Jesus must have been alive continuously in the tomb, as was Jonah in the belly of the fish.

The passage in Matt. 16: 28, “There be some standing here who shall not taste of death till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom,” was interpreted by Ahmad, as we have seen (p. 88), to mean that Jesus must still have been alive at the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 A.D.

Ahmad also argued that if Jesus had actually risen from the dead and ascended into heaven, as Christians believe, Christianity to-day would not be spiritually dead, as he declared that it is.

So much for the escape from death on the cross. Even more fantastic are the “proofs” of Jesus’ subsequent activities in the East and death and burial in Kashmir. First of all there is the a priori reason, based on Jesus’ declaration : ” I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel ” (Matt. 15: 24). Who and where, Ahmad asked, were these lost sheep ? He replied that Jesus referred to the ” ten lost tribes ” of the original children of Israel.16 These tribes, he asserted, were the ancestors of the inhabitants of Afghanistan and Kashmir, to whom Jesus must therefore have gone with his Gospel. The Hebrew characteristics and antecedents of the Afghans and Kashmiris were brought forward to substantiate the declaration, which did not originate with Ahmad, that they represent the remnants of the original Kingdom of Israel.17 It was insisted upon by Ahmad that, since there is no record of Jesus’ having visited those regions before his crucifixion, he must have done so afterward, a fact borne out by his words in John 10 : 16, “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold . . . they shall hear my voice.”

So much for the a priori argument. As far as the historic evidence that Jesus came out to the East is concerned, Ahmad cited as his primary authority Nicolas Notovitch’s Unknown Life of Christ, in which the author claimed to have seen an ancient manuscript in Tibet, describing a journey of Jesus to India for purposes of study during the interval between his visit to the Temple at Jerusalem and his baptism by John. Even had this story of Notovitch not been exploded by Prof. J. A. Douglas, of Agra, in 1895,18 it is difficult to see how Ahmad could think that a visit of Jesus to India in his youth, before his active ministry began, lends any support to the theory that he passed his later life, and died, in Kashmir.

Two other stories, introduced by Ahmad as evidence for his theory, were the well-known tale of Barlaam and Josaphat,19 in which various traditions are related with respect to an Indian prince (supposed to have been Buddha), variously styled Josaphat and Yus Afat ; and an ancient tale translated into Urdu, Ikmdl-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 he died. In neither case 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 of 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,20 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 corruption of Yasu,21 called the original name of Jesus. The word Asaf he declared to be the Hebrew word asaf, to gather, which he said had reference to Jesus’ mission as the gatherer of the ten lost tribes.

Finally, there is the direct testimony of the Kashmiris themselves. In the pamphlet, An Important Discovery Regarding Jesus Christ, published by the Anjuman-i-Isha ‘at-i-Islam, we read that the testimony of “ancient documents of unquestionable authenticity and veracity receives considerable support from the statements of those who have read with their own eyes an old, now effaced, inscription upon the tomb, and who assert that it is the tomb of Jesus Christ.”

And, later on, “The incontrovertible testimony afforded by the tomb itself, backed as it is by the unanimous oral testimony of hundreds of thousands of men, and by the written evidence of ancient documents, becomes, in our opinion, too strong to be resisted by the most determined of sceptics.” No such testimony and no such documents exist.

The above paragraphs contain all the evidence on which Ahmad and his followers soberly undertake to re-write for us the history of the Christian era.

Coming to Ahmadiya conceptions of Christian doctrines, we find them vague and distorted. The
doctrine of the Trinity22 Ahmad attacked with a virulent animosity, which, considered in connection with his access to Christian writings, makes his misstatement of the true Christian position seem deliberate rather than unintentional. In different passages the Trinity is said to be denied by nature, human nature, the Jewish prophets, the Qur’an, and by Christ himself. A familiar argument is the following: “Everything, in its simplest form, has been created by God in a spherical or round shape, a fact which attests to and is consistent with the the Unity of God. . . . Had the doctrine of the Trinity been true, all these things should have been created in a triangular shape ” (Review of Religions, I, p. 65).

The doctrine of the Trinity is thus summed up by a recent Ahmadiya writer :

“Christianity requires one to accept the enigma that there are three Godheads, who are separate, at the same time one ; that each of them is absolutely perfect in himself, though it is a menta impossibility to think of more than one being who is absolutely perfect” (Review of Religions, XV, p. 440).

There are many ironical references to the Persons of the Trinity, such as the following, in exculpation of the Jews who (for purposes of Ahmad’s immediate argument) crucified Jesus :

“If the three persons of Godhead ever agreed on a matter, they agreed upon this that the Sen should suffer upon the Cross. The Father wished it, the Son wished it, and the Holy Ghost wished it, and none of the three was a sinner on that account. Why are the poor Jews then condemned for wishing the same thing ? . . . Moreover, the Jews are not alone involved in the matter, the Gods themselves, including the one that suffered, had first of all come to the decision ” (Review of Religions, I, p. 457) .

One more reference will suffice :

“The manner is very amusing in which the three Persons of Trinity shifted the responsibility of the reformation of mankind from one to the other. There was the Father, who, having a certain superiority, in name if not in reality, thought of restoring man to his original state — one should think it means the savage state, for the human progress has been gradual from a lower to a higher stage23 — but he found his hands tied by the strong manacles of justice. Out of filial reverence the Son offered himself, but when he came into the world, he went away with the empty consolation that the third partner shall come and teach them all truths and guide them into all truth. The third Person, being only a pigeon, found himself unable to undertake the teaching of truths, but thought he had done his duty by teaching the apostles a few dialects, which they were thus able to speak stammeringly ” (Review of Religions, I, p. 280).

Could deliberate blasphemy go to greater lengths?

Neither is any attempt made to set forth fairly the Christian position regarding the Atonement, rejected by Muhammad, or to attack it consistently and logically. It is repeatedly referred to as the ” blood-bath ” (Review of Religions II, p. 135), which gives Christians a fancied immunity from sin, and hence ” has emboldened in vice most of those who trust in it ” (Review of Religions, II, p. 136). It is declared to have ” struck at the very root of the purity of heart among the general body of its indorsers” (Review of Religions II, p. 136). A contrary theory, which makes every Christian pay eternally for every sin, is attributed to Christians by Ahmad, in a lecture delivered at Lahore in 1904 :

“The Christians also entertain the belief that a man shall be condemned to eternal hell for every sin, and that his tortures will know no end. But the wonder is that, while proposing endless torture for other men, the Son of God is made to bear punishment for three days only. This unrelenting cruelty to others and improper leniency to his own Son is absolutely inconsistent with the mercy and justice of God”24(Review of Religions, III, pp. 327, 328).

The doctrine of the Incarnation is thus summarily dealt with :

“Christianity requires one to believe God begat a Son to whom he made over the godhood of the universe” (Review of Religions, XV, p. 440).

In spite of Ahmad’s dislike of Christian missionaries, of a piece with his inherent hatred of all professional men of religion, including Muslim mullahs and maulvis,25 he felt some respect, if not admiration, for the Christian missionary organization.

“The huge sums of money that are spent, the bulky volumes and the numberless leaflets that are written, the restless activity of the Christian evangelistic societies, and the plenty of resources they have in hand, are quite unknown in the history of any other movement” (Review of Religions, I, p. 340).

Its success is readily admitted, as was needful since it represents Dajjal (anti-Christ), and Dajjal must have become very successful before the promised Messiah appears to put him to flight. He quotes from Maulvi Sher ‘Ali, B.A., one of his followers :

“Lives are risked and money is squandered like water. Human brain cannot devise any means which have not been made use of by Christian missionaries. They have spread all over the world like locusts. They have been to every land and have made their way into every home. There is no ear but has heard their voice, no eye but has read their mischief-spreading writings, and there are very few hearts which have not imbibed some kind of pernicious influence from them. Immense is the loss that Islam has suffered at their hands. . . . There were days when apostacy was unknown to Islam, but now thousands of Musalmans have gone over to Christianity. Many among the Muhammadans have found the temptation of Christianity to be irresistible, and thousands of the naked and hungry have adopted Christianity. Noble families have also fallen a prey to this Great Tempter. . . . The Holy Prophet said that 70,000 Musalmans shall follow the Dajjal. This prophecy, too, has been more than fulfilled ” (Article on Anti-Christ, Review of Religions, IV, pp. 34-435).

The success of Christian missions among high-caste Hindus in India is disputed, as the number of conversions is so few, although in the Review of Religions for October, 1908, a Hindu writer in the Vedic Magazine is quoted to this effect :

“Christ got only twelve disciples in three years, and one of them betrayed him, another denied him and all fled at the time of his crucifixion. Thus the slow growth of a religious community need not deceive us. Who expected that the missionaries would convert all the Hindus in India the moment they landed? . . . When we look at the difficulty of the task that lay before these alien intruders, we are staggered at the amount of success they have attained. They come with a new Gospel ; they have strange manners ; they speak an unknown tongue. They work among a people who are deeply attached to their religion. To my mind the Christians are increasing at a rate which is truly appalling. . . . Remember Christians have doubled in thirty years. Let this formula be repeated so often that you learn to estimate its terrible significance, which is — that the death-shadow is approaching the Hindu community” (Review of Religions, VII, pp. 406-407).

The success of Christian missions among the low-caste peoples and the outcastes of India is sneeringly conceded. We wonder that any professed representative of so democratic a religion as Islam could thus quote with approval a Hindu writer:

“We think the good days of Christianity have gone by. . . . Nowadays the converts are found among the Pariahs, the Chandals, the Chamars, the sweepers, the butchers, the butlers, and the most degraded and demoralized people, who are the pests of the country, and whose touch defiles the higher class men. These dunces, drunkards, debauchers, and starving rogues are now counted by millions among the Christian converts in India, and the higher class people do still remain as ‘untouched’ by the influence of Christianity as ever” (Review of Religions, III, p. 378).

In the Panjab Census Report for 1901, it was said of Ahmad that he began his work “as a Maulvi with a
special mission to sweepers ” (Review of Religions, II, p. 83). Ahmad’s petition to Government to issue a denial of this statement26 is interesting for the light which it reflects on the missionary activities of the Ahmadiya movement in contrast to Christianity. I quote it in part :

“2. That this statement is altogether false and groundless, and most injurious and harmful to my honour and reputation.

“4. That the sweeper class is specially associated with crimes, and to represent me as connected with that class when there is not the slightest foundation for such a charge is to represent me as being in a state generally considered disgraceful. The sweepers in this country are looked upon as the most degenerate class of people, and the statement made in the Census Report is calculated to do the greatest harm to my reputation, and to hurt the feelings not only of myself, but also of the thousands of the most loyal and respectable subjects of the Government who follow me as their guide and leader in all religious and spiritual matters.

“5. That my principles and doctrines, which I have been preaching since the very beginning, are morally so sublime and spiritually so exalted that they are not suited to, and accepted by, even Muhammadans of a low type and bad morals, to say nothing of the sweepers, and that they are accepted only by intelligent and noble-minded men who lead pure and angelic lives, and that my followers actually include in their number Ra’ises,27 Jagirdars,28 respectable Government officials, merchants, pleaders, learned Maulvis and highly educated young men ” (Review of Religions, II, p. 83).

How different was Jesus’ attitude, reflected in his saying, now so often quoted in India, ” I came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance ” (Luke 5 : 32).

The Christian establishment of schools, colleges and hospitals is praised without qualification in several passages, although in one place we read :

“The arguments (for Christian missions) derived from the establishment of hospitals and schools are too silly to have the slightest effect upon any reasonable person” (Review of Religions, V, p. 438).

The Christian missionary attitude of alleged antagonism toward Islam is fiercely censured, although in his later years Ahmad seems to have discovered a new attitude of respect and sympathy on the part of some Christian missionaries toward Islam, and even admitted that they were setting the Aryas a good example in this respect.

We need not linger long over Ahmad’s invectives, already alluded to, on the subject of the degeneracy and weaknesses prevalent in Christian lands. He does not, like his pupil, Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din,29attribute the weaknesses and failures of Christianity in history to St. Paul, as though he were its founder. Rather, he writes conclusively, “The deadliest sin is to be attributed to him (Jesus) that he is at the root of all Christian corruption ” (Review of Religions, I, p. 159). There is the usual contradiction, however, to be found in the first number of the Review of Religions:

“It cannot be denied then that the fold of Christ to-day is walking in a path different from that in which it walked in the days when the presence of its holy keeper exercised its wholesome influence over it. . . . Is the wholesale debauchery and excessive drinking of Christian Europe in accordance with what Jesus taught ? . . . It is not true that it is all owing to the absence of the holy personage who worked so wonderful a transformation in the apostles?” (Review of Religions, I, pp. 3, 4).

The free intermingling of the sexes is held responsible for much of the immorality in the West, and over against it the Muslim requirement of “the veil” is upheld as the ideal. Such prostitution as exists in Western lands is charged to the Christian ideal of monogamy, and the Muslim practice of polygamy is given the credit for the alleged absence of the social evil in Muslim countries, where woman’s position is held to be higher than in Christendom. Drunkenness and gambling are declared to be everywhere prevalent in Christendom, and, in this connection, absent from Islam.30 The Christian missionaries and clergy are charged with being as corrupt and drunken as the entire Christian civilization of which they are the professed exponents. That Christianity is dying out is asserted with the same monotonous regularity that characterizes the assurance that the day of Islam’s revived glory and power has been ushered in by the promised Messiah.


1 P. 31ff.2 The word ‘Isa is believed to be a corruption of the Hebrew “Esau,” the name by which Jesus had been satirically designated in Jewish writings, and which Muhammad probably accepted as genuine. There are many Muslim explanations of the name. For a discussion of this subject see The Moslem Christ, by S. M. Zwemer ; Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier, Edinburgh, 1912, p. 33ff.

3 Regarding this traditional Jesus, cf. Zwemer, The Moslem Christ, and Sell and Margoliouth, “Christ in Muhammadan Literature,” in Hastings’ Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, II, p. 882ff.

4 See footnote to article, ” Christ in Muhammadan Literature,” by E. Sell and D. S. Margoliouth, in Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, II, p. 885.

5 Prof. P. W. Schmiedel, author of the article, “Gospels,” in Encyclopedia Biblica, Macmillan & Co., New York and London.

6 The Qur’an declares that Adam, like Jesus, was born by a direct creative act. Allah breathed into him his spirit. See Qur’an, 111,52.

7 The supernatural birth of John (Yahya) is described in the Qur’an, XIX, llff ; XXI, 89.

8 Cf. p. 104 for the British Government’s action taken against an Ahmadiya periodical because of a scurrilous article which it published treating of the virgin birth of Jesus. It is worth noting that Professor Siraj-ud-Din states, in the article by him to which allusion is made on p. 46, that Nur-ud-Din, the successor of Ahmad, told him during Ahmad’s lifetime that he himself believed that Jesus’ birth was a natural one, but that he would not admit this in Ahmad’s presence for fear of incurring the displeasure of his chief.

9 Article on ” Gospels,” Vol. II, Column 1885.

10 Cf. p. 86, Note 1.

11 I have not seen this book. For the Jewish attitude toward Jesus the reader is referred to the article by R. Travers Herford, on ” Christ in Jewish Literature,” Hastings’ Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, p. 879; and to the article, “Jesus of Nazareth,” by Dr. S. Krauss, in The Jewish Encyclopedia, Funk & Wagnalls, New York, Vol. VII, p. 160. These articles show by contrast how one-sided and unfair was Ahmad ‘s reference to Jewish writers as authority for his own arraignment of the character of Jesus.

12 See p. 36, Note 3.

13 P. 28.

14 Luke 22 : 36.  A common Urdu word, meaning ” made to go.”

15 Cf. p. 41.

16 It is now conceded by most scholars that the search for the ten lost tribes is a fanciful quest based on the false assumption that the entire population of the Kingdom of Israel was carried away captive by Sargon II, King of Assyria, and that it then maintained its distinct ethnic peculiarities. Only a small part of the population is now thought to have been exiled to Mesopotamia and Media (I Chronicles 5 : 26), and it was doubtless soon absorbed in the native population.
See Cornhill : History of the People of Israel, Chicago, 1898, p. 126 ; or any other authoritative Old Testament history.

17 The following paragraph from the article on Afghanistan in the Encyclopedia Britannica, Ed. 1910, Vol. I, p. 315, will serve to show what basis there was for Ahmad’s contention : — ” But the Hebrew ancestry of the Afghans is more worthy at least of consideration, for a respectable number of intelligent officers, well acquainted with the Afghans, have been strong in their belief of it ; and though the customs alleged in proof will not bear the stress laid on them, undoubtedly a prevailing type of the Afghan physiognomy has a character strongly Jewish. This characteristic is certainly a remarkable one ; but it is shared, to a considerable extent, by the Kashmiris (a circumstance which led Bernier to speculate on the Kashmiris’ representing the ten lost tribes of Israel), and, we believe, by the Tajik people of the Badakshan.”

18 Cf. J. N. Farquhar : Modem Religious Movements in India, Macmillan, New York, 1915, pp. 140, 141. Also Prof. Douglas’ article in The Nitieteenth Century for April, 1896.

19 Cf. article ” Barlaam and Josaphat,” in The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Funk & Wagnalls, New York, I, p. 485, where the origin of the story, falsely ascribed by some to John of Damascus, is traced to an Indian story, the Lalitavistara, composed some time between the beginning of the Christian era and 600 A.D. The version of the story in the Qadian library, which I have seen, is that contained in Volume X of the Bibliothcque de Carabas.

20 The popular name of Syed Abdur Rahman, who, arriving in Kashmir from Turkestan with 1,000 fugitives in the fourteenth century, is given the credit of establishing the Muhammadan religion in Kashmir.
Cf. “Islam in Kashmir,” by H. A. Walter, in The Moslem World, IV, p. 340.

21 Yesu is the name for Jesus in Urdu.

22 Regarding the Trinity, Muhammad in the Qur’an represents Jesus as answering in the negative the question asked him by Allah: — “Oh, Jesus, Son of Mary, hast thou said unto mankind, ‘ Take me and my mother as two gods beside God’?” (Qur’an V, 116). He apparently here conceived of the Christian Trinity as consisting of the Father, Jesus and Mary.

23 This evolutionary conception is foreign to orthodox Islam.

24 This is a misrepresentation of the Christian and (by implication) of the Muslim view of eternal punishment for sin, in which both religions believe.

25 Cf. p. 69, Note 2.

26 Undoubtedly a mistake due to Ahmad’s having been confused with his first cousin, Mirza Imam-ud-din, who undertook such a mission to the Chuhra, or sweeper, community.

27 Ra’is is a person of authority, a chief.

28 Jagirdar is the holder of a jagir, the perpetual tenure of a tract of land subject to quit rent and service.

29 Cf. Muslim India and Islamic Review, I, p. 137.

30 See, however, p. 68ff.

Chapter V-The Ahmadiya Movement and the Indigenous Religions of India

Toward Hinduism in all its ramifications Ahmad turned an uncompromisingly hostile face. For all its cherished beliefs he had only sneers. After stating, “Of all the birds I have an extreme liking for pigeon flesh, because it is the emblem of the Christian Deity ” (Review of Religions, I, p. 347), Ahmad ironically praised the Hindus for not making their sacred cow an article of diet.1 He scoffed at the theory that the Ganges water can wash away sins, considering it analogous to the Christian doctrine of sanctification. The Vedas were denounced as having given birth to the lowest forms of fetishism and idolatry, and to religious festivals, among some Hindus, which are “characterised by horrible scenes of incest and adultery.” Their polytheistic tendencies are contrasted with the strict monotheism of the Qur’an : “I would like to be told in which part of the world the four Vedas2 have blown the trumpet of monotheism. In India, which is the home of the Vedas, we find that a variety of creature- worship prevails, such as worship of fire, the sun, Visnu, and so on, so that the bare mention of such worship is a disagreeable task. Travel from one end of India to the other, and you will find the entire Hindu population deeply immersed in nature-worship. Some worship Mahadevajee,3 others sing odes in honour of Krisnajee,4 and the rest prostrate themselves before idols of every description ” (Review of Religions, XV, p. 204). The editor of the Review of Religions, in the issue for July, 1908, quotes from the Vedic Magazine, for June, the reasons there given by Professor Max Miiller (taken from his India : What it Can Teach Us) for his belief that the religion of the Vedas is not monotheistic (Review of Religions, VII, p. 272). Likewise, the alleged universality of the Vedas is vigorously disputed.Of the heroic figure of Rama5 it is said: “Rama of Hindu mythology has also been deified, but he too had to suffer the disaster and disgrace of his wife being kidnapped.” In another passage we are asked to ” consider the jealousy which Ram Chandra showed when his wife Sita was kidnapped by Ravana” (Review of Religions, II, p. 140). This jealousy is not, however, condemned. The Puranas6 are described as “fabulous legends,” and again, of Hinduism as a whole it is said, ” the whole system is a mere plaything, a mass of fabulous traditions, which must vanish away before the light of science and knowledge.” The
doctrine of transmigration is condemned because, (1) “It divests the Divine Being of all his glorious attributes and of his power and control over the universe”; (2) it “sweeps away all distinctions between legality and illegality” and vitiates the purity of family life, “for it is possible under this fantastic law that a
person’s own mother, daughter or sister may be re-born to be his wife” (Review of Religions, I, p. 409-410); (3) it is unfair to the soul that, after having once attained salvation, it should be “turned out of the salvation house to undergo another series of births and deaths, and this merely because of the helplessness of God and his inability to create new souls” (Review of Religions, VII, p. 477).Notwithstanding the worthlessness of the Vedas, in Ahmad’s eyes, the members of the Arya Samaj7 are
denounced for their neglect and ignorance of the Vedas, in spite of their boasted regard for them. Replying to an Arya attack on those former Hindus who had adopted the Ahmadiya version of Islam, the Review of Religions contemptuously stated

“for the information of the public that the Qadian Arya Samaj shall be the last body in the world to prove its Vedic learning and erudition. So far as we know, the body is constituted of village shop- keepers, money-lenders, retail grocers and small hucksters, who are ignorant of the Vedas. In contrast with this class of shopkeepers, who have deserted their old Hindu faith for that of Pundit Dayanand, the Hindus who accepted Islam are mostly educated young men, of whom some have studied up to the B.A. standard, and who read the Vedas in Urdu and English and spend day and night in the study of religious lore.”

The attack on the Aryas gathered around two foci:

1. The assertion of the co-eternity of soul and matter with God, which ” borders actually upon atheism, and is practically a denial of the need of God’s existence.”

2. The doctrine of Niyoga,8 held to mean that ” if there is a woman who is living in actual matrimony and has a living and healthy husband who cannot raise male children to her, i.e., either only daughters are born or there exists some other reason on account of which some time passes without the birth of a child, it is the duty of the husband to invite a third person to his house to have sexual connection with his wife ; and this shameful course may be continued until eleven male children are born to the woman from the stranger’s seed ” (Review of Religions, II, pp. 139-140).

In “The Message of Peace,” however, Ahmad seemed to accept the Vedas as genuine scriptures, and rightly declared that the justification of the repulsive practice of Niyoga could not be found in them :

“Similarly the doctrine of the Niyoga is attributed to the Vedas. Human nature revolts at this hateful doctrine. But as I have already said, we cannot believe this to be the teaching of the Vedas. . . . That millions of people have been believing it to be the word of God is, however, a sufficient reason of its truth, for it is impossible that the word of an imposter should enjoy the honour which the Vedas have enjoyed ” (Review of Religions, VII, p. 256).

The Aryas are particularly denounced because of their violent abuse of, and attacks upon, Muslims and Christians. The Review of Religions, in 1908, quoted from Arya writings a series of attacks on Christian
teaching, such as that Christ was “an ignorant savage, who did wicked deeds and who set up a fraud to become a religious leader” (Review of Religions, VII, p. 121), and then said of them :

“We are surprised to find that the very expressions which are considered adornments of sacred books in an uneducated country like India are punished with imprisonment in free and advanced England. …. How far the right to criticize entitles a man to depict another in the darkest colours and to use abusive and contumelious language is a different question, which I shall not try to answer in this article. It is, however, clear that the line must somewhere be drawn between liberty and license” (Review of Religions, VII, pp. 124-125).

That there is a limit, nevertheless, to the British Government’s toleration of such ” contumelious language ” was illustrated in 1914 in the prosecution, under the Indian Press Act, of the Editor of Badr, an Ahmadiya vernacular paper, because of articles, relating to the birth of Jesus Christ, tending to bring subjects of Great Britain in India into contempt.9

In Ahmad’s last ” Message of Peace,” several times referred to above, he made the astonishing proposal of a kind of union of his sect with the Arya Samaj, and with Hinduism generally, on a basis of mutual concessions, as follows :

” If, in order to have complete peace, the Hindu gentlemen and the Arya Samajists are prepared to accept our Holy Prophet, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him, as a true prophet of God,
and give up denying and insulting him, I will be the first man to sign an agreement to the effect that we, the members of the Ahmadiya sect, shall always continue to believe in the Vedas and to speak of the Vedas and the rishis10 in the most respectful terms, and bind ourselves to pay to the Hindus a penalty of Rs. 300,000 in case we fail to fulfil the agreement. If the Hindus cordially wish for this peace they should also sign a similar agreement. This agreement will be as follows : ‘We believe in Muhammad Mustafa, may the peace and the blessings of God be upon him, and regard him as a true prophet. We will always speak of him respectfully, as a true believer should. And if we fail to fulfil this agreement, we shall pay to the leader of the Ahmaiya movement Rs. 300,000, as a penalty for breach of agreement. . . . But in order to make the agreement strong and sure, it will be necessary that it should be signed by at least 10,000 intelligent men on both sides” (Review of Religions, VII, p. 257).

There was, of course, no response to this impossible proposal, which was regarded by the Hindus as a kind of gambling venture.

Little attention was paid by Ahmad to the quiescent Brahma Samaj.11 It is referred to as having been really a hindrance rather than help to the spread of Christianity, because, although it admits the greatness of Christ, “those who have any Christian proclivities find a refuge in the vagueness of Brahmaism.”

More attention is paid to the Sikh off-shoot of the parent Hindu tree. Guru Nanak,12 the founder, sought to teach ” religion, pure and undefiled ” — the remembrance of God and the doing of good — and made his appeal to Hindu and Muslim irrespectively. Ahmad, however, claimed to have made the unique discovery that Guru Nanak was a genuine and acknowledged Muslim, and was sent to teach Hindus the truth of Islam :

” It is undoubtedly true that the person of Nanak was an embodiment of divine mercy for the Hindus, and he was, as it were, the last avatar of the Hindu religion who tried hard to purge the hearts of Hindus of the great hatred which they entertained against Islam, but to the great misfortune of this country the Hindus did not avail themselves of the holy teachings of Nanak. On the other hand, the Pundits of the Hindu religion persecuted this great man only because he admitted the truth of the religion of Islam. He had come to bring about a union between Hinduism and Islam, but he was not listened to ” (Review of Religions, VII, p. 248).

Ahmad gave many reasons, besides the fact of direct revelation, for his statement that Guru Nanak was a Muslim. At Dera Baba. Nanak, in the Panjab, there is preserved a chola (cloak) said to have been worn by Nanak and his successors up to the fifth guru.13 According to Ahmad, this chola was said to have had a miraculous divine origin, and tradition declared also that verses from the sacred scriptures of all religions had been written upon it by the hand of God. Several hundred coverings, placed over the chola by successive generations of Sikhs, obscured the writings : but by special arrangement, on the 30th of September, 1895, the coverings were removed to allow Ahmad, who had undertaken a pilgrimage for the purpose, to view the sacred relic. Ahmad then discovered that ” From top to bottom the verses of the Holy Qur’an, especially those refuting the false doctrines of other faiths with regard to Divine Unity and attributes, were written upon it ” (Review of Religions, II, p. 32).14

And we are told that obviously ” Nanak wore the chola, that no one might be deceived as to the religion he professed. . . . How could he be best known as a Muhammadan except by wearing a cloak which could not be worn by any but the truest Muhammadan ? ” (Review of Religions, II, p. 33).

This discovery by Ahmad is held to be another proof of his Messiahship.

“As, on the one hand, a death-blow has been dealt to the Christian error of resurrection and ascension, by the discovery of Jesus’ tomb in the Khan Yar Street, at Srinagar, the false notion of the Sikhs that Nanak professed any religion other than Islam has been brought to naught by the discovery of the sacred chola. Through centuries of Sikh warfare, the chola was preserved to serve as a testimony of the truth of Islam at the appointed time when the sun of its truth was to shine forth in its full effulgence …. the chola was miraculously preserved so that it may both fulfil the prophetic word in relation to the appearance of the Promised Messiah to accomplish the object of making Islam the predominant religion by strong arguments and heavenly signs, and be a testimony to the truth of Islam by showing that it was from this source that the founder of a great religion received all his blessings” (Review of Religions, II, p. 35-36).

Other evidence, of Nanak’s Muhammadan tendencies adduced by Ahmad were that he dressed like a Muslim, frequented the company of Muslim saints, and ascetics, performed the pilgrimage to Mecca, married into a Muhammadan family, and spoke of the deity in the terminology not of Hindu thought but of the Muslim Sufis. It was even said that he enjoined, and himself observed, the Muslim requirements as to repeating the Kalima,15 keeping the fasts, performing the prayers and refraining from prohibited food.

The two following quotations from Macauliffe’s book, The Sikh Religion,16 will indicate what basis there is in Sikh history and tradition for the chold story, and for Ahmad’s other alleged proofs of Nanak’s devotion to the Muslim faith.

“The Guru (Nanak) set out towards the east, having arrayed himself in a strange motley of Hindu and Muhammadan religious habiliments. He put on a mango-coloured jacket, over which he threw a white safa, or sheet. On his head he carried the hat of a Musalman Qalandar,17 while he wore a necklace of bones and imprinted a saffron mark on his forehead in the style of Hindus. This was an earnest of his desire to found a religion which should be acceptable both to Hindus and Muhammadans without conforming to either faith” (I, p. 58).

“After his (Nanak’s) successful discussion with the Yogis, the Guru decided to visit Makka, the pole star of Muhammadan devotion. He disguised himself in the blue dress of a Muhammadan pilgrim, took a faqir’s staff in his hand and a collection of his hymns under his arms. He also carried with him, in the style of a Musalman devotee, a cup for his ablutions and a carpet whereon to pray. And when an opportunity offered, he shouted the Muhammadan call to prayer like any orthodox follower of the Arabian prophet” (I, p. 174).18

Ahmad had no such love for modern Sikhism as he pretended to have for its founder; which is not surprising when one remembers the vicissitudes undergone by his own family in the days of Sikh ascendancy in the Panjab. He once said :

“The brief term of Sikh ascendency was marked by complete anarchy and bloodshed, and the people were plunged into unspeakable misery. … At last the measure of Sikh iniquity became full to the brim, and the time came when the plundering career of these marauders was to receive a check. The British came from the East like a rising sun and dispelled the dark clouds of Sikh tyranny. They gave the country not only peace and tranquillity, but above all religious liberty, which to me seems the greatest boon which a just ruler can confer upon a subject people.”

Ahmad had little personal contact with the Buddhist religion, which is practically non-existent to-day in India proper, and hence we find few references to it in his writings and in those of his followers. To-day, however, the sect is spreading in Buddhist Burma, and no doubt more attention, of an unflattering variety, will be paid to that religion by Ahmadiya writers in the future.

Buddha’s alleged weaknesses are referred to in one place as follows :

“Whenever a man has been deified God has shown his weakness and infirmities in all points. Buddha was made a God, but in the discharge of his duties as a husband and a father, the most sacred of the obligations of man towards man, he was an utter failure. Nor was he able to observe the other duties towards his fellow-beings, and thus entirely neglected one of the two parts of the law. As to the other part, viz., his duties toward God, he offers no better example. He did not believe either in miracles or in the acceptance of prayer. Thus he could not find out the path in which the elected of God have walked.”

In the attitude of the present head of the movement toward other religions, there is evident at times a more eclectic and irenic spirit than we have found in Ahmad. In an article by him in Review of Religions, for March, 1916, he upholds the thesis that all religions are from God, but that either they have been limited to a certain people and locality, or else they had lost their original character at the time when the Qur’an, containing the universal and final religion abrogating all others, was sent down to Muhammad. This is bringing up-to-date and making definite for India to-day the principle enunciated in the Qur’an that to every people a prophet and book were sent, after which Muhammad, the last of the prophets, came to the Arabs with the Qur’an, by which all previous revelations were abrogated.19 In accordance with this development we read, in the article mentioned above :

“So in comparing Islam with other faiths, nothing is farthest (sic) from my purpose than to call other faiths pure human undertakings and the prophets of the world so many imposters. On the other hand, it is my bounden duty as a Muslim to bear witness to the truth of all the righteous servants of God, wherever they had happened to appear, and admit without any reserve or demur the truth of the Indian prophets, Rama and Krisna, quite as readily as that of the Israelite prophets. It is, again, my business to testify to the truth of the Persian sage, Zoroaster, or any other heavenly personality who claimed to be the recipient of Divine revelation, who was backed up with Divine succour and favour, and for whose acceptance millions of minds were opened by God ” (Review of Religions, XV, p. 84).


1 Anyone living outside of India can scarcely realise what a studied insult this is to a Hindu whose practice of vegetarianism has for him the most sacred significance. Cf. p. 69, Note 2.2 Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda, Atharvaveda.

3 “The Great God,” a name of Siva, who is associated with
Brahma and Vi§nu in the Hindu Trimurti.

4 1 An incarnation of the god, Visnu, the hero of the Bhagavadgita (“Song of Love”).

5 One of the two best-known incarnations of the god Visnu, the other being Krisna. He is the hero of the great Hindu epic, the Ramayana, which tells of the theft of Rama’s faithful wife, Sita, by the demon Ravana, and her eventual recovery by her husband.

6 A group of sectarian Hindu sacred writings that followed after the Vedas and the Upanisads, in the first millennium of the Christian era. They contain the later myths, mostly of an unwholesome character, attaching to Krisna.

7 The Arya Samaj, founded by Swami Dayanand Sarasvati in 1875, holds that only the original Vedic hymns are fully inspired, and that they contain all the truths of religion and of natural science. It believes in one personal God and in transmigration and karma as the law of human life. Matter and soul, as well as God, are considered eternal, and the three constitute a kind of trinity for both religion and science. The Samaj is aggressively missionary in character.

8 This form of temporary marriage, established by the founder of the Arya Samaj, is now for the most part repudiated by his followers. A man might contract this relation with eleven women in succession, and a woman with eleven men. For further details see the article on the Arya Samaj in Hastings’ Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, II, p. 60.

9 See also p. 69, Note 2.

10 A seer, or inspired poet, in general; used specifically in the Purinic period for “seven primeval personages born of Brahma’s mind, and presiding, in different forms, over each manwantara.” Balfour : Cyclopedia of India, I, p. 424.

11 A theistic reforming movement, which appeared in Calcutta in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. It was an attempt to form a pure spiritual religion by blending some of the leading ideas of Hinduism and Christianity. It has now split into three sections, the Adi Samaj, the Sadharan Samaj, and the New Dispensation Samaj. Its three great leaders have been, successively, Ram Mohan Ray, Debendra Nath Tagore and Keshub Chandra Sen.

12 Nanak (1469-1538), like Kabir, his contemporary, condemned the system of divine incarnations and preached against idolatry as practiced in Hindu temples. He retained the doctrine of Transmigration and Karma, and made no change in the Indian social system. Many Muslims as well as Hindus became his disciples, and it is possible, though not historically established, that he made the pilgrimage to Mecca. The Granth Sahib, or Noble Book, the sacred scripture of the sect, is now accorded almost idolatrous worship.

13 There were ten gurus in all. After that the Granth Sahib became the abiding guru.

14 I have questioned several well-informed Sikhs about this incident, but found them unable to verify it.

15 The witness of the Muslim that there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his Prophet.

16 Max Arthur Macauliffe, The Sikh Religion, in six volumes, Oxford, 1909. The author spent many years in compiling the contents of this massive work from the writings in the vernacular of the Sikhs themselves. The historical portions are of value rather for the picture they give us of the great Guru, as his followers have conceived him, than as a trustworthy historical document.

17 An order of Muslim darwishes, or ascetics ; also used of any faqir.

18 I am informed by my friend, Sardar Tara Singh, of the staff of the Khalsa (Sikh) High School, in Lahore, that there is supposed to be a chola of Guru Nanak at Dera Baba Nanak, and that there are Arabic characters upon it which no one has been able to decipher.

19 Cf. Qur’an, LXI, 5; LXIV, 46.

Chapter VI-The Ahmadiya Community

In the first chapter, in giving an account of the life of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the general line of development of the sect was traced up to the death of the founder in 1908. We saw that the real beginning of the movement, as a distinct sect within Islam, came in 1891 with the Mirza Sahib’s announcement that he combined and fulfilled in his own person the prophecies regarding the promised Messiah and the Mahdi. However, we may say that the Ahmadiya community, as such, owed its inception to the earlier declaration of Ahmad, in March, 1889, that he was entitled to receive bai’at (homage) from his fellow Muslims. The first of the disciples attracted by this announcement was Hakim Nur-ud-Din, who was destined to become the “first Khalifa.” In the beginning the Mirza Sahib’s followers were called Qadianis, or Mirzais, partly in derision and partly to distinguish them from other Muslims in whose worship in the mosques they refused to participate. In 1900 the members of the community were, at their own request, entered under the name “Ahmadiya” in the official census list of the Government of India, as a distinct Muhammadan sect, and it is by that name that they prefer to be known. In 1891, as has been written above, the storm of opposition broke upon Ahmad from orthodox Islam, the Arya Samaj, and Christianity — the forces of the opposition being led, respectively, by Maulvi Muhammad Husain, Pandit Lekh Ram and Mr. Abdulla Atham. This period of acute controversy, which included nearly all of his prophecies, ended with the order of the Government of the Panjab, dated February 24th, 1899,
to which reference has been made above,1 although it must be said that the Mirza Sahib did not altogether adhere to his enforced promise, as illustrated, for example, by his later prophecy regarding John Alexander Dowie.2In the year 1896 the community numbered 313 members. In the Census of India Report for 1901, 1,113
male Ahmadis were returned for the Panjab, 931 for the United Provinces and 11,087 for the Bombay Presidency. It is certain that the number returned for the Bombay Presidency was inaccurate, since throughout its history a majority of the members of the community have been found in the Panjab. The total strength of the movement in the Panjab at that time was given as 3,450. Ahmad himself in that year claimed 12,000 followers (Review of Religions, XV, p. 457). Three years later, in 1904, his claim
had grown to ” more than two hundred thousand followers,” and the editor of Review of Religions has recently seen this number doubled in his imagination, and writes that “in 1904 the number of Ahmadis rose to 400,000 persons” (Review of Religions, XV, p. 47). Shortly before his death, in 1908, Ahmad stated that the full strength of the movement throughout the world was then no less than 500,000. No evidence whatever is given to substantiate these reckless statements, and we must set over against them the returns of the Government of India Census of 1911 where, in the section on the Panjab (Vol. XIV, Part 2), the statistics of the movement are given as follows: Males, 10,116; Females, 8,579; total, 18,695. No returns were made for the whole of India in the Census, but the Panjab returns give us a clue to the total strength of the movement. In 1912 Dr. H. D. Griswold stated3 that in his opinion 50,000 would be a liberal estimate of the numerical strength of the Ahmadiya movement at that time. Allowing for a considerable increase in the six years that have since elapsed, it is safe to say that at the very most there are not more than 70,000 followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad at the present time.After the death of the founder, in 1908, the direction of the movement passed into the hands of Hakim Nur-ud-Din, the first disciple, who appears to have been a studious, clever and industrious man. In accordance with the last will of the founder, the affairs of the community were placed under the control of a committee, called Sadr-Anjuman-i-Ahmadiya (Chief Ahmadiya Society4), which (it was assumed by all, though not clearly stated in the will) was to be under the direction of the elected head of the
movement, now known as the “Khalifat’-ul-Masih” (Successor of the Messiah). Nur-ud-Din, as the first Khalifa, abstained from assuming undue authority, and considered himself merely a servant of the Anjuman to do its bidding. Under this policy the community made some progress, in spite of the loss of the magnetic personality of its original head. There were, however, signs of division that became more evident and ominous with each passing month. These first became manifest in 1913, at the time of the Muhammadan riots following the Government’s action in attempting to remove an abutting portion of a mosque in Cawnpore in order to realign a road. The entire Muhammadan community in India was aroused, and among those who expressed themselves very earnestly at this time was Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din, already referred to5 as a leading member of the Ahmadiya community, who had just begun the publication of a Muhammadan magazine6 in England. As this was a notable departure from the counsel of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, that his followers should avoid all political controversy and concentrate their energies on distinctly religious effort, it was to be expected that some of the members of the community would view Kamal-ud-Din’s action with alarm. The resultant protest was most strongly voiced in an Ahmadiya vernacular paper, Alfazl, by its editor, Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad, the eldest son of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad by his second wife. Before this controversy within the community had proceeded far the cause of the original trouble in Muhammadan India was removed by the action of the Viceroy, Lord Hardinge, through which the entire difficulty was adjusted to the satisfaction of the Muslims concerned. A number of the most prominent members of the Ahmadiya community, however, continued to cherish resentment against the son of the Mirza Sahib, who, they felt, was inclined to assume undue authority for his opinions because of his relationship to the founder of the movement. On the other hand, many conservative Ahmadis felt that Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din and his party had been disloyal to the memory of the founder in making common cause with Muhammadans throughout India in political controversy, as well as in having joined the All-India Moslem League, which had been denounced as pernicious by Mirza, Ghulam Ahmad.7 During the last illness of Nur-ud-Din both parties were active, the party of the Mirza’s son in preparing for his immediate election to the office of Khalifa, and the opposing party in issuing and distributing a booklet giving it as their interpretation of the Mirza’s last will that there should be no Khalifa at all, but rather that the Sadr-Anjuman-i-Ahmadiya should have entire control of the affairs of the community. Immediately following Nur-ud-Din’s death, Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad was elected Khalifa by a gathering of Ahmadis in Qadian, despite the protests of members of the other party who were present and who thereupon seceded, and, with all who shared their opinions, formed a new Anjuman, with headquarters at Lahore, called Anjuman-Isha’at-i-Islam (Society for the Spread of Islam). In the absence of Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din in England, the leadership of this party fell to Maulvi Muhammad ‘All, M.A., LL.B., who has already been referred to8 as the able editor of The Review of Religions since its inception, and who had prepared the pamphlet regarding the Khalafat preceding Nur-ud-Din’s death. The chief immediate point of dispute between the two parties was whether or not the original Anjuman should have full control of the affairs of the community. The question had not become acute in the time of Nur-ud-Din, because of his tactful handling of the situation, but with the election of a son of the founder, who had already tended to presume upon his family relationship and who was likely to arrogate to himself an increasing degree of authority, further compromise was impossible and a permanent split inevitable. The difference was really a fundamental one, involving the essential nature of the claims the founder had put forward. The Qadian party, as we may now call it, held that he must be considered one of the prophets (nabi), in spite of the fact that orthodox Islam believes that Muhammad was “the last of the prophets and the seal of the prophets.”9Further, they declared that since only those are true Muslims who believe in the prophets of God, those who do not so accept Mirza Ghulam Ahmad are “kafirs” (unbelievers), with whom no true believer may worship, no matter how many other points of belief they may share with Muslims.10 On the other hand, the seceding party held that the ” Promised Messiah ” made no such outstanding claim for himself, and they are unwilling to call non-Ahmadi Muslims kafirs. In general, the latter minimize the difference between the Ahrnadiya community and orthodox Islam, whereas the Qadian party regard the points of difference as of fundamental importance. This is evident in many ways. The Qadian party still insist on the importance of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s prohibition of true Ahmadis from following non-Ahmadi imams in their prayers, attending non-Ahmadi funeral services, and giving the hands of their daughters to non-Ahmadi men, although their sons are permitted to marry non-Ahmadi girls. The Lahore party believe that these prohibitions were only necessary in the early days of the movement and had but a temporary significance. In their writings and missionary work the person and claims of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad are almost invisible. At most they consider him to be only the latest of the Mujaddids,11 and his influence survives only in their belief in the death of Jesus and his burial in Kashmir, and in the hostile attitude toward other religions which is found among them to an extent that does not exist among educated Muslims generally in India to-day.In dealing with the recent history of the movement, we shall have to consider the two divisions separately. With regard to the members of the Qadian Anjuman, the controversy with the alleged disloyal party has had the effect of fusing their loyalty and intensifying their zeal, as being now the orthodox, faithful people. The present Khalifa does not seem to be a man of his father’s force, although, as he is still a young man, it is too early finally to appraise his character. He is described as follows by a friendly writer in the issue of Review of Religions for June, 1915 (XIV, p. 217) :

“He is a young man, below thirty years of age, fair of complexion, of medium height, slender of build, with a clean broad forehead, thin lips, thick short beard, eyes which through their half-open lids always look to the ground, modest and retiring habits; such is the appearance of the man who now guides the destiny of this community. . . . His life is simple and retiring, and his manners sincere and affable.”

This fairly well describes my own impression of the man on the occasion of my two conversations with him at Qadian, in January, 1916. He strikingly resembles his father in appearance, in his sedentary habits and in his readiness and cleverness in controversy. He is also, like his father, a semi-invalid. He has recently married a second wife without divorcing the previous one, who is still living.

There seem to be no such outstanding personalities in this segment as there are in the Lahore Anjuman; but in this group of loyal supporters of the Khalifa there is present an earnest spirit of enterprise and industry. The original Sadr-Anjuman is vigorously pushing forward education in the community. The keystone is the English high school at Qadian, which contains about four hundred students in all the grades from primary through the fifth high standard, and which is affiliated to the Panjab University. About half of these students come from outside Qadian and one hundred of them are non-Ahmadis. The former headmaster, Maulvi Sadr-ud-Din, B.A., B.T., went out with the secessionists and will be mentioned later.12 His successor, Maulvi Muhammad Din, B.A., is ably prosecuting the work in the new building just completed. Of the twenty-five students who went up for the matriculation examination of the Panjab University in 1916, twenty-one passed, a very high average. There is, likewise, a madrassah13 for the study of Arabic and the Qur’an, in which more than seventy-five students are enrolled, of whom thirty are expected to go out as missionaries when the seven-year course is completed. Primary schools have been opened in different districts and many more are projected. A beginning has been made in the education of women, and the status of women, on the whole, seems to be above the standard obtaining in Islam generally. On three days a week the Khalifa addresses all of the members of the community, after the evening prayer in the mosque.

On the literary side, in addition to the English monthly paper, Review of Religions, less vigorously and ably edited than in the long period of M. Muhammad ‘Ali’s editorship, the following vernacular paper14are published at Qadian : tri-weekly, Alfazal; weekly, Alfaruq, Alhakam, Nur; monthly, Tashiz-ul-Azhan, Sadiq, Review of Religions in Urdu ; quarterly, Tafsir-ul-Qur’an. A former paper, Badr, whose stormy career was interrupted by Government in 1914, 3 has not since re-appeared, but its editor, Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, now edits the paper called Sadiq.

The new Anjuman Taraqqi-i-Islam (Society for the Advancement of Islam), founded by the present Khalifa, to supplement on the religious side the work of the Sadr-Anjuman, has been active in missionary efforts. It claims to be supporting twelve paid missionaries in different parts of India, Ceylon and Mauritius, as well as in London, where there is one, with a paid assistant, whose work is entirely distinct from that of the Kamal-ud-Din party. Ambitious plans are afoot to send further missionaries to “England, Ceylon, Java, Japan, China, the Philippines, etc. ” In addition to these regular workers, ” All the Ahmadis are regarded as honorary workers, and school teachers as well as editors are also sent on preaching tours whenever occasions arise.” The converts have mostly come from the ranks of orthodox Islam, and are most numerous, outside the Panjab, in parts of Bengal, the Deccan and Malabar.

The following quotation from the Government Census Report for Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, covering the period from 1901 to 1911, gives an illuminating summary of Ahmadiya missionary activities in that part of India where, as in the Panjab, Muslims represent an important element of the population :

“The Ahmadiya doctrines appear to have been first introduced in Bihar in 1893, when a Musalman missionary of Bhagalpur became a convert. The movement has already gained a considerable number of adherents from among the educated and well-to-do classes. They are most numerous in Bhagalpur and Monghyr, which form one section with a committee affiliated to the Sadr-i-Anjuman-Ahmadlya, that is, the central committee at Qadian. Funds are raised for the propagation of the Ahmadiya doctrines and for the publication of its monthly magazine, the Review of Religions. . . . In Monghyr the Ahmadiyas have met with considerable opposition from the orthodox Musalmans. At a large meeting held at Monghyr, in June, 1911, the claims of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad were debated, and after long controversy he was denounced as a heretic and renegade. The sect has even made its way into Orissa. Some educated Musalmans of Cuttack embraced its doctrines during a visit to Gurdaspur, and in their turn succeeded in winning over some of their co-religionists in Puri ; their total number is however small.”

Two years later a missionary at Brahmanbaria, in East Bengal,15 thus described the growth of the sect in his village, which had its beginning in the secret interest of a high school maulvi teacher :

“During the Puja vacation he went the long trip to Qadian on purpose to find out on the spot whether the Mahdi and his sect were true or not. He and the four men who went with him came back, initiated followers and now about fifty ignorant Muhammadans in the town have gone over to his side, much to the angry disgust of the orthodex section. On the first Friday after the return of the maulvi a religious riot was averted only by the prompt action of the magistrate. The renegade maulvi had all along led the Friday prayers, but after his return the orthodox Muhammadans were determined that he should not enter the mosque, so they locked the door on him. He and his party went to the mosque bent on breaking it open, but the magistrate appeared on the scene and prevented him. Feeling is running high here just now, and subscriptions have been raised for the purpose of bringing some learned maulvls to argue out the matter with the pervert.”

Another missionary in the same station (Rev. W. F. White) writes : ” They do not carry on any open propaganda, but work quietly in the villages trying to propagate their tenets. Occasionally some lecturers come from other places, but they are not allowed to lecture in public gatherings.”

We have already seen16 how the Ahmad! who introduced the movement into Timapur, in the Deccan, where there is now a large community of the Mirza Sahib’s followers, in time formed his own sect and attracted to his party several hundred former Ahmadis.

The following account of Ahmadiya activities in Malabar is given in the Bombay Advocate of 31st August, 1915:

“The Ahmadiya movement among the Musalmans, which had its origin in Gurdaspur, in the Panjab, has secured about three thousand followers in the Moplah17 centre of Cannanore in North Malabar.

‘”For some time past the orthodox and this new party, which believes in the advent of another prophet like Christ in place of Esanabi,18 and whose creed is a sort of Protestant Muhammadanism, have been in open hostility, the latter being subjected to a number of annoyances and ill-treatment. The tension has now become very severe, and pamphlets of an inflammatory nature, calculated to create disturbance, are circulated broadcast.

“A Musaliar19 of the orthodox party is reported to have been recently arrested by the police in connection with it. The Neo-Musalmans, who are in a minority, are petitioning district authorities to afford them protection from the orthodox party, who are hostile towards them and who have excluded them to a certain extent from the mosques.”

The following quotation from the Ceylon Independent, quoted in Review of Religions for June, 1916 (IV, p. 224), indicates that the movement is active in and about Ceylon :

” The Ceylon Ahmadiya Association. … A meeting of this Association at 10, Wekanda, Slave Island, on the 19th instant, Mr. T. K. Lye presided. Mr. C. H. Mantara read letters from the Ahmadiya headquarters at Qadian and the Islamic Mission in London. He announced the formal initiation into the Ahmadiya Movement of Professor Abdiil Latif, lecturer at Chittagong College, Dr. Syed Usmani, of Panipat, and the Imam and others of the Rose Hill Mosque at Mauritius. Resolved that a revised scheme for a mission to Java and the Far East be submitted to headquarters. Resolved that the printing press be established at Slave Island, and a journal in English and Tamil be started, to be called Islam, and also that the names and addresses of all would-be subscribers be ascertained by the secretaries. After a study of the Holy Qur’an the meeting terminated with the usual vote of thanks and with prayers to Allah.”

To this is appended, in Review of Religions, a note from the honorary secretary of the Anjuman-i-Ahmadiya on Slave Island :

“The Tamil paper, Islam Mittrian, is attacking us most severely, we are being grossly misrepresented, and if our voice is not raised against these calumnies, the cause of the Ahmadiya in Ceylon may be prejudiced.”

The annual gathering of Ahmadis from all parts of India at Qadian each December tends, as does the pilgrimage to Mecca in the case of the orthodox, to inspire in the pilgrims fresh zeal for the cause, as opportunity is furnished to hear the leaders of the movement and to meet with other Ahmadis from distant places. On my visit to Qadian, in 1916, at the time when the annual assembly was just closing, I was generously entertained in European style in a house that had been built by an Ahmadi police inspector of Bengal for his use when he came to Qadian on the pilgrimage.

A recent undertaking of the Anjuman-Taraqqi-i-Islam has been the translation of the Qur’an into English, with notes and cross-references . . . the entire work to be published in thirty parts, of which one has appeared at this writing (1918).20 A reason given in the preliminary advertisement for this translation is, that ” the English translations so far published have been done either by those who have been swayed by nothing but religious prejudice, and whose object was certainly not the manifestation of truth, but the presentation of a ghastly picture of the Holy Qur’an before the world ; or by those who had no acquaintance worth the name with the Holy Qur’an and the Arabic language, the result being that those translations are too poor reading to afford anything like a real insight into the excellencies of Islam.”

We will let that sweeping arraignment of the labours of Sale, Palmer and Rodwell, as well as of several Muslim translators,21 speak for itself. The commentary on the Qur’anic verses is written, as we should expect, wholly from the Ahmadiya viewpoint, and combines the presentation of Ahmadiya teaching with continual tilting at Western critics of the Qur’an, especially Sale and Wherry. Typographically the work is excellent.

With regard to the present beliefs of the members of the Qadian party, one of them who speaks with authority has given me, in writing, the following three chief tenets:

“1. The Qur’an is the word of Allah revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad, whose own words are preserved in the tradition. It is from A to Z, with the arrangements of chapters and even vowels, from Allah. It is the perfect and final code of law, and the words of the Prophet, as embodied in the traditions, are its commentary.

“2. Revelation did not stop with Muhammad; it is nowadays also sent to the righteous servants of God. The living example of a recipient of Revelation has been, in our time, the person of Ahmad, the promised Messiah. This continued revelation is only for the support of the Qur’an and of the truth of Muhammad’s mission.22

“3. Muhammad is, according to Ahmad’s teaching, the perfect man and model for human guidance. He is free from sin. He is a servant of Allah. It is he through whom one can have access to the gates of heaven. To say that Christ, Son of Mary, will come for the reforms of Muhammad’s people is to us a blasphemy and derogatory to the high dignity of the prophet of Arabia.”

Regarding the respective positions occupied by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and Mirza, Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad, the same informant writes:

“Mirza. Ghulam Ahmad came in the spirit of Christ and was the second manifestation of the Prophet of Arabia. His advent was promised by all the prophets of yore. Sahibzada23 (Bashir Ahmad) is the second successor of the promised Messiah, and it is believed that promises for the spiritual revival and progress of Islam are to be fulfilled in his time. He is the promised son of the promised Messiah; for the Messiah was to marry and beget a son.”

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself is reported to have said : ” My second manifestation shall appear in the form of my successors, as it appeared after the Holy Prophet in the person of Abu Bakr, Omar, etc. A man from God from among my own children will arise, and shall be named the Promised Reformer. His shall be the time of conquests for Islam.”

In this we can trace a possible beginning of a “doctrine of the person of the second Khalifa,” who clearly occupies already a position superior to that of Hakim Nur-ud-Din, in whose veins no blood of the promised Messiah flowed, and in whose day no prophecy of a spiritual revival was destined to be fulfilled.

A belief in the intercession of Muhammad on the last day, and in the miracles of the prophets, are other articles of faith that are being emphasized to-day. The May, 1915, issue of the Review of Religions explains in detail how it was possible (in the view of the Qadian party) for Ahmad to be a prophet, in spite of the universal Muslim belief that Muhammad was the seal (i.e., the last) of the prophets.

” …. A man can even gain prophethood by the help of our Lord Muhammad’s spiritual powers. But no prophet with a new book or having been appointed direct will ever come ; for in this case it would be an insult to the perfect prophethood of our Lord. . . . According to this we believe that a man — the Promised Messiah — has gained prophethood in spite of his being a follower of our Lord,” i.e., of Muhammad ” (Review of Religions, XIV, p. 196).

Ahmad himself said the same thing in a slightly different way :

“All the doors of prophethood are closed save one, i.e., that of completely losing one’s individuality in that of the prophet. One that approaches the Almighty through this door begins to reflect the same old prophethood of Muhammad. He becomes a prophet, but we cannot call him a new prophet for he is one with his master ” (Review of Religions, XV, p. 475).

When asked about his doctrine of future salvation,24 following the Judgment, the present Khalifa informed the writer that orthodox Muslims, since they are kafirs, who do not believe in the prophetship of Ahmad, cannot hereafter be admitted to the Garden. When pressed, however, he declared that there was hope that they and, in fact, kafirs of every variety, might reach Paradise ultimately. He then dwelt at length on his interesting personal belief in ultimate universal salvation. At first, he said, only those who are perfect in faith and works (perfection in works consisting in conformity with the fundamental requirements of Islam, getting a 51 per cent, pass-mark, as he expressed it) would be admitted ; while outside would be ranged all the various grades of unbelievers, reaching down to the lowest hell. These would then begin to ascend toward Paradise and, as they became true Muslims, would be admitted, until at last Allah’s mercy shall have comprehended all. He was willing to concede that the seceders belonging to the Lahore party would, through Muhammad’s intercession, secure early admittance to Paradise, by reason of their faith in the promised Messiah, although they will find themselves sadly deficient on the score of works.

Darwishes, Sufis, saint worship and asceticism of all kinds are under the ban as emphatically at the present time as in Ahmad’s lifetime, yet it seems that already the tomb of Ahmad has become to some extent an object of superstitious regard in the eyes of his followers, whose desire and duty it is to visit Qadian at one of the annual gatherings in December, there to behold the scenes of the promised Messiah’s life and ministry, to hear his teachings expounded by his son, and to offer prayer before his tomb.25

In the Appendix further facts are given regarding the present beliefs and constituency of the Ahmadiya community.

The work of the two Qadian Anjumans is supported by contributions of the faithful throughout India,26and, in addition, every true believer is expected to leave behind him a will which bequeathes at least one-tenth of his property to the cause. The Qadian community makes no appeal to orthodox Muslims for funds and claims to be wholly supported by Ahmadis.

Turning now to the Anjuman-Isha’at-i-Islam, with headquarters in Lahore, there is little, if any, propaganda carried on by its members on behalf of the Ahmadiya movement as such. The appeal which is made by the leaders and missionaries of this party is to Muslims generally, urging them to forget their differences and unite in order to further the interest and spread of Islam throughout the world. Their pristine educational venture, in 1915, took the form of a so-called ” college ” in Lahore, where a number of young men were trained to become missionaries of Islam. According to a statement written for me at that time by a member of this Anjuman, ” the admission qualifications for the college are the matriculation examination of the Panjab University, or other equivalent examination, or Munshi Fazil, or Maulvi Fazil, that is, high proficiency in Persian or Arabic with English equivalent.” Maulvi Muhammd ‘Ali, M.A., LL.B., was the chief member of the staff, which contained a ” Professor of Hadis,”27 ” Professor of Bible, Hebrew and Arabic grammar,” and a ” Professor of Islamic and other history.” It might be of interest, as casting light on the relationship between the two parties, to quote a paragraph from a letter of a member of the staff of Review of Religions, from whom information about the Lahore “college” was requested — given with no understanding that it be considered confidential :

“There exists no college worth the name, for a class of hired students (about half a dozen), taking instruction from an ordinary maulvi and an incompetent Christian convert, cannot rightly be termed a college. I do not think that such an irregular institution can do useful work. There are already a lot of classes of the kind opened and maintained by Muslims, but they all lack the life-giving spirit, so marvellously manifest in the institutions of Qadian. You may guess the reason, for the living and the dead cannot be on the same par ; and the nominal followers of Ahmad of Qadian cannot reap a good harvest after their vain attempts at putting a scythe to the green fields of Qadian. They will, along with their mimic institution, disappear from the scene in the near future, and be merged in the vast, but dead, Muslim community. This being the case, what sort of work can this so-called college do, and what good can we expect from it ?”

The “college” has been discontinued, but in 1916 the Anjuman opened a “Muslim High School and Senior Cambridge Local College” in Lahore, with Maulvi Sadr-ud-Din, B.A., Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din’s former associate in the Woking Mission, at its head. I am informed that there are upwards of one hundred students, of whom a few are in residence, who are being prepared for the Cambridge Local Examination. The English Bible is taught (1917-18) by a Christian chaplain, Rev. F. F. Shearwood.

In the autumn of 1918, a hostel ” for the benefit of Muslim collegiate students” was opened by the Anjuman in Lahore.

In addition to this educational work, other activities of the Lahore Anjuman consist of the publication of the tri-weekly Paigham-i-Sulah in Urdu, and also of some literature, including another translation of the Qur’an into English, completed in December, 1917, by Maulvi Muhammad ‘Ali, the president of the Anjuman. The Anjuman claims to have several missionaries in different parts of India, whose purpose is “to advance the cause of Islam.” It has also inherited fr.om Ahmad his penchant for holding public debates on religious themes.28 A growing interest in politics, on the part of this Anjuman, was evidenced by the sending of a deputation, headed by Maulvi Sadr-ud-Din, to Mr. Montagu, Secretary of State for India, on behalf of the so-called Congress-Moslem League Scheme of Home Rule, in December, 1917. The Islamic Review and Muslim India is published in English at Woking, and, in addition, an Urdu edition is published in Lahore and a Malay edition in Singapore.

A species of social service has been undertaken by the Anjuman on behalf of the criminal tribes of Kot Mokhal in Sialkot district of the Panjab. In 1917 the total income of the Anjuman amounted to Rs. 36,923-0-9, and the expenditure totalled Rs. 34,479-10-9. An anniversary meeting of the Anjuman takes place in the Ahmadiya buildings, Lahore, each December.

The chief missionary interest of this branch of the Ahmadiya community centres in the mission in England, to which reference has already been made.29 Its founder, Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din, a graduate of Forman Christian College, Lahore, received his B.A. in 1893, became a pleader in Peshawar and then in Lahore, and early in 1912 proceeded to England as a missionary of Islam. He first established his headquarters at Richmond, but in August, 1914, moved with his helpers to Woking, in Surrey, where there already existed a mosque, built by the late Professor Leitner, a former principal of the Oriental College, Lahore, and given by his heirs after his death to the Muslim community. Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din believed that his first duty was the removal of the misrepresentation of Muhammadanism which he held was current in Christian circles in the West. To further this end he commenced the publication of the paper, first named Muslim India and the Islamic Review. He also seized every opportunity of delivering lectures on various subjects connected with Islam. For instance, in January, 1913, a debate was arranged at Cambridge on the subject of “Polygamy,” in which it was stated, in favour of polygamy (as reported in the Islamic Review), that “even God was pleased to take birth in the house of a polygamist, as the blessed Virgin was the second wife of Joseph, father of the Lord.” On another occasion the subject of the position of women in Judaism, Christianity and Islam was discussed and compared, and it was argued that Islam had done more than all other religions to raise the status of womankind. At the International Congress on Religious Progress, held in Paris in July, 1913, Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din delivered an address on the subject of Islam and received a cordial reception. All such meetings are reported at length in the Islamic Review, which, in addition to Muhammadan apologetics, contains a great variety of attacks on the Christian faith and its founder, similar to those quoted in Chapter IV above. At first some space was given in the paper to political affairs in connection with Islam in India, but of late the articles have been almost wholly religious in character

In addition to the mosque at Woking, the Mission has rooms at 111, Camden Hill Road, Notting Hill Gate, London, W.,30 where Sunday religious lectures, Friday prayers, with sermon, and literary and scientific lectures, on alternate Thursdays, are held. The last-named are promoted by the London Muslim Literary Society, which, like the Central Islamic Society, the Society of London Muslims, and the British Muslim Association, is a British development of Ahmadiya Islam.

A number of English ladies and gentlemen have professed conversion to Islam, the most prominent being Lord Headley, an Irish peer, engineer and sportsman, who is now the president of the British Muslim Association.31 Other English Muslims who are constant contributors to the Islamic Review are Professor Henri M. Leon, M.A., Ph.D., LL.D., F.S.P., A. Neville J. Whymant, Ph.D., Litt.D., F.S.P., and Mr. J. Parkinson. Altogether perhaps two hundred had announced their conversion by the end of 1917. A quotation from The Islamic Review for January, 1916, will indicate what is involved in the acceptance of Islam in England to-day.

“The Brotherhood, being universal, is open to all, and anybody who would like to join it can either attend the Friday prayers at one p.m., at 39, Upper Bedford Place, London, W.C., on any Friday ; or Sunday services, held at 3.15 p.m. at the Woking Mosque. Send the accompanying declaration to the Imam of the Mosque, Woking, Surrey, who will always be glad to answer any inquiries. Islam claims to be a rational faith, and undertakes to satisfy the reason and conscience both, so criticism is encouraged and every effort made to answer questions satisfactorily.

DECLARATION FORM

I____________________________son/daughter/wife of_________________________________of (address)____________________________________do hereby faithfullly and solemnly declare of my own free will that I adopt Islam as my religion; that I worship One and only Allah (God) alone ; that I believe Muhammad to be his messenger and servant ; that I respect equally all prophets — Abraham, Moses, Jesus, etc. — that I will live a Muslim life by the help of Allah.

La ilaha ill-Allah,
Muhammad al rasul-Allah.32

N.B. — Please address all inquiries to the Maulvi Sadr-ud-Din, B.A., B.T., Head of the Mosque, Woking, Surrey.33

Another quotation, from the issue of September, 1915, will illustrate the aspirations and dreams of the group at Woking :

“The time is approaching fast when God will no more remain an absurd mathematical problem, even in Christian lands. The time will come when Europe will be freed of its four curses of selfish materialism, drunkenness, gambling and licentiousness. The time will come when the Christian belief that woman was the cause of that sin with which, according to Christian nations, all mankind is permeated from birth, will die out. The time will come when innocent and angelic children, if they die unbaptized, will not be sent to perdition because of the crimes committed by their remotest possible ancestors, and if they live they will not be allowed to grow up with the demoralizing conviction in their minds that they were born sinners, and that their sins can only be cleansed by the blood of Christ. The time, in short, will come, and that, Insha Allah,34 soon, when Islam will be accepted by the European nations as the religion which satisfies man’s reason and conscience both. The time will come when in European countries Eid-ul-Fitr35and other Muslim festivals will no more remain novelties, and when the cry of La ilaha illallah Muhammad Rasulallah will be heard from high minarets five times every day from European cities.”

This periodical is sent free to several thousand non-Muslims with the idea of interesting them in Islam, and the editors make it their boast that because of their work the Western mind has already been disabused of ” such misrepresentation and misunderstanding which has been enveloping Islam and tarnishing its beauty for centuries.” The same claim is made for a book by Lord Headley, entitled A Western Awakening to Islam,36 which is really a modified restatement (for the most part published previously in the Islamic Review) of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s glorification of Islam at the expense of Christianity.

At this writing an effort is being made to compass the erection of a mosque in the city of London itself, and Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din has spent considerable time in India arousing interest and securing funds throughout the entire Indian Muhammadan world (not simply from Ahmadis, be it noted), on behalf of this project as well as of all the work of the Muhammadan Mission in England, in which there are now several paid and many voluntary workers.

For the purpose of giving a resume of the beliefs of the members of the Woking Mission there is included in Appendix IV, p. 147, a part of an editorial on “What is Islam?” which is taken from the Islamic Review. The following subjects of articles that have appeared recently in that periodical, selected at random, will give an idea of the range and nature of its contents:

“A Muslim’s Obligations to His Kinsmen,” “Universal Brotherhood,” “God and Science,” “Haeckel and Islam,” Relative Position of Man and Woman in Islam,” “The Age of the New Testament,” “Christendom and Islam,” “Islam,” “Islam and Idolatry,” “Misrepresentations of Missionaries,” “Jesus Christ as Man and ‘God’,” “The Solidarity of Islam,” ‘Islam and Civilization,” “Who was the Founder of ‘Church Religion’ in the West ?”

Regarding the financial condition of the Woking Mission, the receipts from Muslims in all parts of the world during the year 1917 totalled Rs. 26,765-8-3, and the expenditure was Rs. 31,963-6-0. These figures include the expenses involved in the publication of the Islamic Review, a considerable enlargement of which is proposed in the near future.


1 P. 43.2 Cf. p. 45.

3 Moslem World, II, p. 373.

4 It thus became a Samaj, analogous to the Arya Samaj and Brahma Samaj in Hinduism.

5 P. 17. Cf. Muslim India and Islamic Review, I, p. 366ff.

6 Then known as Muslim India and the Islamic Review. The name has since been changed to The Islamic Review and Muslim India .

7 Cf. page 67.

8 P. 17.

9 Cf. p. 109.

10 Cf. Appendix VI for a ruling of the High Court of Patna, Bengal, by which Ahmadis were declared to be Muslims, at liberty to worship behind any recognized imam, but not entitled to form a separate congregation in the mosque.

11 Cf. p. 131, Note 1.

12 P. 125.

13 A Muslim school or college for the study of religious subjects solely.

14 Cf. p. 104.

15 Rev. John Takle, of the New Zealand Baptist Missionary Society, author of The Faith of the Crescent (Association Press, Calcutta, 1913).

16 P. 46, Note 1.

17 The Moplahs (Mapillas), comprising nearly the whole of the Muslim population of Malabar (about 800,000), are descendants of Arab immigrants of the eight and ninth centuries, with a considerable admixture of Hindu blood. They have in the past shown fanatical hatred of the Hindus, but are to-day, for the most part, peaceful traders.

18 I.e., ‘Isa nabi, the Prophet Jesus.

19 The Musaliars are the Moplah maulvis, travelling preachers and teachers of the Qur’an and the commentaries.

20 Cf. article, “The Koran According to Ahmad,” by R. F McNeile, Moslem World, VI, p. 170 (April, 1916).

21 For an account of the translations of the Qur’an into English, see Zwemer, Moslem World, V, p. 244.

22 Cf. p. 55.

23 Sahibzada is equivalent to “Young Master,” and is often used of the heir-apparent to a throne as well as in the general sense of an honoured son.

24 Orthodox Muslims believe that a Muslim who has committed greater sins (kabira) must pass a purgatorial period in the Fire, from which he can only be saved by the intercession of Muhammad. The heretical Mu’tazilite (cf. p. 65, Note 3) denied that Muhammad’s intercession could accomplish this. Lesser sins (saghira) can be removed in many ways. See also p. 36, Note 3.

25 Cf. p. 24.

26 The regular zakat (alms) must all be sent to Qadian, as the Bait-ul-Mal (treasury).

27 Cf. p. 56, Note 3

28 Cf. Appendix VIII for a typical Ahmadiya challenge to a public debate.

29 Cf. p. 118.

30 Cf. Appendix V for a newspaper report of a meeting in the former London headquarters of the Mission at Caxton Hall.

31 On December 9, 1916, Lord Headley was fined ten shillings, or seven days’ imprisonment, at Tower Bridge Police Court, London, for being drunk and disorderly in Waterloo Road. The case was appealed, and at the County of London Sessions, on January 19, 1917, the appeal was dismissed with costs. See The Glasgow Weekly Herald for December 16, 1916, and January 20, 1917. See also Lord Headley’s explanation in Islamic Review, October 1917, Vol. V, p. 421.

32 I.e., Kalima. Cf. p. 104, Note 1.

33 Compare with the Form for Initiation into the Ahmadiya Movement, in Appendix II.

34 I.e., “Please God.”

35 The ‘Id-ul-Fitr is the feast which celebrates the end of the fast of Ramadan.

36 Right Hon. Lord Headley, B.A., etc., A Western Awakening to Islam; Being the Result of Over Forty Years’ Contemplation, London 1915.

Chapter VII-The Significance of the Ahmadiya Movement

In considering the raison d’etre of the Ahmadiya movement, it is necessary to distinguish between the motive and the reasoning of its original leader, and the motives that have actuated those who have joined the sect both before and after the founder’s death. In the case of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself, as in the case of his great master, Muhammad, thirteen centuries earlier, a predominant influence leading to his assumption of the role of prophet was undoubtedly his overwhelming sense of the evil that was in the world, particularly, in Ahmad’s case, that part of the world which was nominally subject to Muhammadan law and ethics. As he meditated upon this he was mindful of the tradition1 that at the beginning of every hundred years a reviver (Mujaddid2) would appear, who should revivify Islam and restore it to the pure principles of its founder. Ahmad’s conviction that he had been chosen to fulfil a unique mission may well have had its inception in the growing consciousness, which appears early in his writings, that he was the divinely appointed reformer for the fourteenth century of the Muslim era.Following this, through his contact with Christian missionaries and their claims and doctrines, a new Christian element was introduced into his thinking, and, from that time forward, occupied a far more prominent place in his mind than is the case with the average Muhammadan teacher and preacher. He early recognized the importance of the unique place given to Jesus by Muhammad, especially in the fact, as the Qur’an is generally interpreted by Islam, that Jesus was taken up alive into heaven. Ahmad saw that a live Jesus, whose tomb nowhere existed, and a dead Muhammad, whose tomb at Medina was an object of pilgrimage for Muslims, gave Jesus an advantage of which Christian missionaries might have made far more use than they had. After Ahmad had reflected upon these things and discussed them with Muslim and Christian friends, the revelations began to come, as described in the first chapter, giving to Ahmad all the honours which Muslims usually ascribe to Jesus, and most of those conferred by Muslim “agreement” upon Muhammad. From all classes of Muslims he sought acknowledgment as the ” next step ” in the divine revelation, which came, in time, to mean that he was not only the reformer of the present generation, but that he was also the fulfiller of all the apocalyptic hopes of Muslims — those looking toward the Mahdi as well as to the promised Messiah. Then, even as Muhammad from believing that he was sent specially to his own followers came to regard himself as appointed to a more universal mission, Ahmad extended his claims to other religions as well, declaring that his revelation was to all mankind, to the Christian and the Hindu as well as to the Muslim. But here the difficulty of Jesus’ ascension into heaven in his earthly body, according to both Muslim and Christian ideas, had to be conclusively dealt with by Ahmad, since, were Jesus really alive in such a unique manner, which did not hold true of Muhammad and the other prophets, it would be expected that his return would be supernatural in character, in which case Ahmad would have no ground for his claim to Messiahship. Ahmad accepted the issue by boldly and repeatedly declaring that if the commonly accepted view of Jesus’ ascension was true, he (Ahmad) was an imposter; and we have seen how earnestly he sought to prove that orthodox Muslims and Christians were wrong, through his revelation declaring that Jesus died an ordinary death and was buried in Srinagar, Kashmir. The efforts of his later years were divided between urging the proofs of his various claims to unique eminence, building up the new community centring in Qadian, and giving in his lectures and writings the spiritual interpretation of Muhammadan teachings which he held to be needful for the revitalizing of the Muslim world. His proposal, just before his death, to form a union of the Arya Samaj, Hinduism and Islam, was the climax of his life’s activities.

To understand the motives of those Muslims3 who have joined the movement — other than those who were attracted by the personality of the founder and immediately and blindly accepted his judgments and revelations as valid, without any use whatever of their reasoning faculties — it is necessary to survey briefly the recent development of Islam in India. Dating roughly from the beginning of the nineteenth century, there came to the religious thought and life of India, moribund for so many centuries, a notable awakening and advance, due, as Dr. Farquhar has shown,4 to the co-operation of three forces — the British Government in India, Protestant Christian Missions and, at a later period, the work of the great Western orientalists. The Muhammadan community in India (comprising more than sixty millions of the three hundred odd million inhabitants) was the last large unit of the population to feel and respond to this new stimulus, as it was farthest behind in education and culture. It was their great progressive leader, Syed Ahmad Khan,5 of Delhi and Aligarh, who first realised that the Muslims must join the Bengalis, Marathas, Parsis, and other races and communities, in seeking to assimilate the results of Western scholarship, and, where necessary, to adapt their religious ideas and practices to fit the new environment created by the influx of British civilians, Christian missionaries and oriental scholars. He advised his fellow Muslims in India to eschew political controversy, and, thankfully recognizing the advantages afforded to Islam in India by the presence of the British Government, to seek in every way to advance the cause of education and social reform within their own ranks. In his residential college, at Aligarh, Western arts and sciences were taught by European scholars along with the religious instruction given by Sunnite and Shl’ite maulvis. To the utter abomination of the orthodox, he mingled freely in English society, even dining with English ladies and gentlemen in their homes, and in his periodical, Tahzih’ul Akhlaq (” Reform of Morals”), he urged upon his community the importance of female education and enfranchisement, and of other advanced reforms. In religious matters he was a liberal and a rationalist, going so far as to place the Christian Bible on a par with the Qur’an, as no less, and no more, inspired, holding that the Bible has not been corrupted by the Christians, and that in the Qur’an, as in the Bible, there is a human as well as a divine element. He also wrote part of a commentary on the book of Genesis. One of his watchwords was, “Reason alone is a sufficient guide,” and he quoted with approval the remark of a French writer, that Islam, which lays no claim to miraculous powers on the part of the founder, is the truly rationalistic religion.7 As Goldziher has pointed out8 this represents a return to the old Mu’tazilite position,9 and in its universalistic outlook upon other religions is akin to Babism in Persia, which arose at about the same period.

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and his followers, then, represent the first development of Indian Islam, under the stimulus of its contact with Western ideas, and it would be difficult to exaggerate the profound influence of this movement on the articulate section of the Muhammadan world of India. In the second stage we pass from what Dr. Farquhar calls ” movements favouring vigorous reform,” to those in which reform is checked by defence of the old faiths, from the atmosphere of the theistic Brahma Samaj, of Ram Mohan Roy and Keshub Chandra Sen, to that of the largely reactionary and strongly anti-Christian Arya Samaj of Dayanand Saraswati. Such well-known living Muslims as Syed Amir ‘AH and Maulvi Chiragh ‘Ali represent this school of thought, which in its Muhammadanism is as rationalistic as Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, but in its attitude toward other faiths is much more dogmatic and less tolerant. These writers are greatly concerned to prove that the reforms — religious, social, moral and political — which have been forced upon Islam by pressure from without are really in line with the original spirit of Islam, however much Muhammadan tradition, law and present-day practice may actually oppose them. Furthermore, they declare that the real Islam is the universal religion of the future, because it meets sinful man on the lower level of his practical, everyday life, instead of holding up, as does Christianity (sic), ideals impossible of attainment. This probably represents that “side development of Islam ” to which Professor Macdonald alludes in Aspects of Islam,10 when he writes : ” Or are the wheels of progress to crush out all ideals, and is the future civilization of the world to be woven of philosophic doubt, of common-sense attitudes and of material luxury ? There is a curious side development of Islam which looks in that direction, and which sees in the narrowed, utilitarian aims, in the acceptance of the lower facts of life, in the easy ideals which characterize that religion, the promise that its will be the future in the common-sense world to come, and holds that, even as the world is, Islam must be the religion of all sensible men.”

Syed Amir ‘Ali seems to hold that view of Islam, in its essence, only insisting that Muhammad’s practical rules assist morality more than do general precepts ; and yet admitting that in order to the wide acceptance of Islam in the West certain modifications of its requirements are essential. In The Spirit of Islam he has written: “The Islam of Muhammad, with its stern discipline and its severe morality, has proved itself the only practical religion for low natures, to save them from drifting into lawless materialism. It is probable, however, that should the creed of the Arabian Prophet receive acceptance among European communities, much of the rigid formalism which has been imparted to it by the lawyers of Central Asia and Irak will have to be abandoned.”11

Thus has reform passed over into apologetic, as, in the main thesis of Syed Amir ‘Ali’s book, it advances to polemic and straightforward attack essential to the assertion, on this new ground, of the superiority of Islam over Christianity. As Syed Amir ‘Ali and Maulvi Chiragh ‘Ali have departed from the policy of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in the latter’s unpolemical religious eclecticism, the vigorous group of Muslims composing
the All-India Moslem League 2 has departed from it in a different direction in their active championship of the political rights and ambitions of the Muslims of India in the present day. The editor of the defunct Comrade (the organ of this group), Muhammad ‘Ali, by reason of his seditious articles and utterances, was interned by the British Government, together with his brother and a number of other prominent Muslims, soon after the commencement of the war with Germany.

We come now to the Ahmadiya movement, which represents on the religious side a further departure from Sir Syed Ahmad’s position, in the matter of religious liberalism, but is a return to it, though on different grounds, 3 in the matter of the absence of political controversy. The rationalism of all the newer school is utterly repudiated by Ahmad, as we have seen, and there is present here a zeal for reform more analogous to the Wahhabites than to any other modern party of Muslims. It represents a later stage of the reaction to a Christianity by this time established and rapidly winning converts. It has attracted those Muslims who, concerned alike at the inroads of Christianity and (to a small extent) of the Arya Samaj from without, and of rationalism and worldliness from within, turned eagerly toward a leader who took his stand firmly upon Islam as a revealed religion, as being the supreme revelation of God to man, and, allowing no quarter to Christianity, pressed forward in unsparing attack, not, however, asserting the superiority of Islam on the ground of its rational character, but rather because of the authentic and conclusive nature of its divinely inspired revelation. Accordingly, following in this Syed Amir ‘Ali rather than Sir Syed Ahmad, Western civilization, as well as the Christian religion, is generally and heartily condemned.

Undoubtedly one element which helped to convince many Muslims of the validity of Ahmad’s claim to be
the medium of revelation in our day was his theory regarding the death of Jesus, which brought them relief from the predicament in which they had hitherto been placed in religious controversy with Christians. This reason for success is frankly set forth in a recent article by Ahmad’s son, the present Khalifa, which is the substance of a letter sent by him to the Nizam of Hyderabad :

“The chief reason why the reformer of this age was given the title of Messiah was tha the was destined to fight against ‘Church Christianity’ and to break its power, and as an actual fact the instruments which the reformer used towards this end were such as were altogether beyond the power of the Christians to face. For example, it was the practice of the Christians to take in Musalmans by such arguments as the following: — ‘ Mark, how our Messiah is still alive while your prophet is dead.’ ‘ Our Messiah used to bring the dead to life. Your prophet did not bring any dead to life.’ ‘Our Messiah is sitting in the sky, your prophet lies buried under the sand.’ ‘ Your prophet will not visit the earth again, but our Messiah will once more come to the earth to purge it of its corruptions, and it is he who will overthrow the perils of the latter days.’ ‘Now, say truly, which of the two is superior ?’ The argument was such as could not possibly be escaped by the Musalmans and most of them fell a prey to the deception. What the reformer did was to establish by powerful arguments the falsity of all such notions. He thus saved Musalmans from the clutches of the Christians. … By proving that Jesus died a natural death, the new reformer gave a fresh lease of life to Islam, and now the Musalmans are for all times saved from falling a prey to the Christian missionaries” (Review of Religions, XV, p. 9).

A further powerful element of attractiveness in the Ahmadlia movement is its appeal to the age-long eschatological hopes of Muslims, held to some extent in common with earnest adherents of most of the great religious communions of the world. It is on this side that it is distantly related to the Babi and Baha’i movements, from which it differs essentially, as we have already seen,12 in the matter of its exclusiveness and intolerance, insisting, as it does, not on the oneness of all religions, but rather on the unique supremacy of Islam as interpreted by Ahmad. The late Dr. S. G. Wilson, author of Baha’ism and Its Claims, for thirty-two years a missionary in Persia, traces the parallelism between the two movements, in eschatological and other directions, in part as follows :13

“In this effort to propagate itself in Christendom (referring to the Mission at Woking, England), it is like Baha’ism. In not a few points there is a striking resemblance between these offshoots from Muhammadanism. Some of these may be accounted for by their springing up in a similar soil, a Mubammadan soil impregnated with Suflism and Mahdiism.and in which some elements of nineteenth century Christian thought had found lodgment. Both (Ahmad and Baha’Ullah) claim that a new revelation is needed, because Christianity is dead and Islam needs reforming. . . . Both, after the example of Muhammad, sent letters to kings announcing their coming and inviting them to faith. Both practised polygamy and praised Muhammad and the Koran. Both belittled Jesus Christ, denying his miracles, his resurrection, his ascension and literal Second Coming. Both failed to bring about moral reformation in the conduct of their disciples, who have divided into sects on the death of their founders. Both claimed as signs of their mission their eloquence in the Arabic tongue, the writing of spontaneous verses, fulfilled predictions, their success in winning converts, and the good effects seen in the conduct of their followers. Both made large use of the press ; Baha.’ Ullah sent his books to Bombay to be published, owing to lack of liberty in Turkey and Persia; Ghulim Ahmad had a press of his own at Qadian. The teachings of Ahmad are free from some of the extravagances and inanities of Baha’ism. Neither sect appears to have any great future before it. Their chief usefulness has been to help towards the breaking down of scholastic Islam — the one among the Shi’ahs, the other among the Sunnis of India. Baha’ism has definitely broken with Islam, while the Ahmadiya movement continues within its fold.”

While all the reasons given above help to explain the measure of success attained by the Ahmadiya movement, it is chiefly significant as giving added evidence of the craving of the human heart everywhere for a real and vitalizing religious life. It has shown how many Indian Muslims there are who could not rest satisfied with a rationalistic faith, on the one hand, nor with mere empty orthodoxy combined with formal worship, on the other. My visit to Qadian, in January, 1916, although it took place more than eight years after the death of Ahmad, showed me a community where there existed abundant enthusiasm and zeal for religion, of a vigorous, positive kind unusual in Islam in India at the present time. One could understand how an earnest Muslim who had come to feel a species of contempt for the ignorant, unfaithful maulvis of his acquaintance, a Muslim to whom Muhammad seemed a long way back, historically, and Mecca a long way off, geographically, would find in the spirit of industry, confidence and aggressiveness to be encountered at Qadian a heartening faith for which he had looked in vain to orthodox relatives and priests. We can understand how he would thankfully accept as true the revelations of the Mirza Sahib, without subjecting their content to the scrutiny of a trained intellect, partly because his pragmatic mind could see that here was something that worked, and partly because of his not being one of the rare few in the Muslim world who as yet have attained to fair and critical judgment in matters affecting the religious life.

The split in the sect, following the death of the first Khalifa, shows the counter effect upon the community of the strong present-day rationalistic and political elements in Indian Muhammadanism, pressing in upon the minds of educated Ahmadis like Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din and his fellow-seceders. They are so far men of affairs in the world that they could not wholly give themselves over to that absorption in religious matters which is characteristic of the Qadian party. As already related, their secession tended naturally to accentuate in the members of the true Ahmadiya remnant their belief in supernatural religion and their loyalty to the unique claims of their revered leader. How the faces of these loyal Ahmadis are turning more and more toward Qadian as a second Medina, not to say Mecca, is evident from the following paragraph in the Review of Religions for January, 1917 (XV, p. 41) :

“More than five thousand delegates, from almost all the parts of India, attended the annual gathering of Ahmadis, and the meetings held on the 26th, 27th, and 28th December were a complete success. His Holiness the Second Successor to the Promised Messiah spoke on the remembrance of God, for five hours, and His Hazrat’s14 impressive, interesting and instructive sermon was listened to with rapt attention by the spell-bound assembly of the faithful, who returned home with increased knowledge and refreshed faith. There was also a ladies’ conference, about five hundred ladies being present. The blessed town of Qadian this year witnessed the truth of the Promised Messiah’s great prophecy about this place, with even greater splendour and grandeur than before, and everyone, with the praise of Allah on his lips, involuntarily sang the following couplet of the Messiah — ‘The place of Qadian is now honoured, and with the gathering together of people resembles the sacred precincts of the Ka’ba.’ ”

It now appears certain that the Lahore party will be absorbed into the “All-India Moslem League” section of Indian Islam, contributing to it a certain added anti-Christian animus and, in part perhaps, the new Ahmadiya interpretation of the death of Jesus, whereas the Qadian party will continue as a permanent, and possibly a gradually widening, segment of the great circle of Islam.


1 See Ed. of Ihya of Al Ghazali, with commentary of S. M , I, p. 26 ; and Goldziher, Vorlesungen uber den Islam, p 314

2 Cf. p. 116.

3 The number of Hindus and Christians who have become Ahmadis in India and other countries is so small as to be negligible for our present purpose of estimating the significance of the sect.

4 Modern Religious Movements in India, p. 5.

6 See p. 66, Note 1.

7 See Weitbrecht, Indian Islam and Modern Thought, Church Congress, 1905.

8 Vorlesungen uber den Islam, p. 313.

9 Cf. p. 65, Note 3 ; and p. 123, Note 1.

10 Pp. 256, 257.

11 Preface, p. xii. 2 Cf. p. 114. 3 Cf. p. 103.

12 Cf. p. 53.

13 Modem Movements Among Moslems, Fleming H. Revell, N.Y., 1916, pp. 138, 139.

14 “Lordship ” or “Excellency.”

Walters book on Ahmadiyya (1918)

His full book can be found here: http://wiki.qern.org/ha-walters-the-ahmadiya-movement

Taken from here:   http://wiki.qern.org/ha-walters-the-ahmadiya-movement/chapter-vi-the-ahmadiya-community

Chapter VI-The Ahmadiya Community

In the first chapter, in giving an account of the life of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the general line of development of the sect was traced up to the death of the founder in 1908. We saw that the real beginning of the movement, as a distinct sect within Islam, came in 1891 with the Mirza Sahib’s announcement that he combined and fulfilled in his own person the prophecies regarding the promised Messiah and the Mahdi. However, we may say that the Ahmadiya community, as such, owed its inception to the earlier declaration of Ahmad, in March, 1889, that he was entitled to receive bai’at (homage) from his fellow Muslims. The first of the disciples attracted by this announcement was Hakim Nur-ud-Din, who was destined to become the “first Khalifa.” In the beginning the Mirza Sahib’s followers were called Qadianis, or Mirzais, partly in derision and partly to distinguish them from other Muslims in whose worship in the mosques they refused to participate. In 1900 the members of the community were, at their own request, entered under the name “Ahmadiya” in the official census list of the Government of India, as a distinct Muhammadan sect, and it is by that name that they prefer to be known. In 1891, as has been written above, the storm of opposition broke upon Ahmad from orthodox Islam, the Arya Samaj, and Christianity — the forces of the opposition being led, respectively, by Maulvi Muhammad Husain, Pandit Lekh Ram and Mr. Abdulla Atham. This period of acute controversy, which included nearly all of his prophecies, ended with the order of the Government of the Panjab, dated February 24th, 1899,
to which reference has been made above,1 although it must be said that the Mirza Sahib did not altogether adhere to his enforced promise, as illustrated, for example, by his later prophecy regarding John Alexander Dowie.2In the year 1896 the community numbered 313 members. In the Census of India Report for 1901, 1,113
male Ahmadis were returned for the Panjab, 931 for the United Provinces and 11,087 for the Bombay Presidency. It is certain that the number returned for the Bombay Presidency was inaccurate, since throughout its history a majority of the members of the community have been found in the Panjab. The total strength of the movement in the Panjab at that time was given as 3,450. Ahmad himself in that year claimed 12,000 followers (Review of Religions, XV, p. 457). Three years later, in 1904, his claim
had grown to ” more than two hundred thousand followers,” and the editor of Review of Religions has recently seen this number doubled in his imagination, and writes that “in 1904 the number of Ahmadis rose to 400,000 persons” (Review of Religions, XV, p. 47). Shortly before his death, in 1908, Ahmad stated that the full strength of the movement throughout the world was then no less than 500,000. No evidence whatever is given to substantiate these reckless statements, and we must set over against them the returns of the Government of India Census of 1911 where, in the section on the Panjab (Vol. XIV, Part 2), the statistics of the movement are given as follows: Males, 10,116; Females, 8,579; total, 18,695. No returns were made for the whole of India in the Census, but the Panjab returns give us a clue to the total strength of the movement. In 1912 Dr. H. D. Griswold stated3 that in his opinion 50,000 would be a liberal estimate of the numerical strength of the Ahmadiya movement at that time. Allowing for a considerable increase in the six years that have since elapsed, it is safe to say that at the very most there are not more than 70,000 followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad at the present time.After the death of the founder, in 1908, the direction of the movement passed into the hands of Hakim Nur-ud-Din, the first disciple, who appears to have been a studious, clever and industrious man. In accordance with the last will of the founder, the affairs of the community were placed under the control of a committee, called Sadr-Anjuman-i-Ahmadiya (Chief Ahmadiya Society4), which (it was assumed by all, though not clearly stated in the will) was to be under the direction of the elected head of the
movement, now known as the “Khalifat’-ul-Masih” (Successor of the Messiah). Nur-ud-Din, as the first Khalifa, abstained from assuming undue authority, and considered himself merely a servant of the Anjuman to do its bidding. Under this policy the community made some progress, in spite of the loss of the magnetic personality of its original head. There were, however, signs of division that became more evident and ominous with each passing month. These first became manifest in 1913, at the time of the Muhammadan riots following the Government’s action in attempting to remove an abutting portion of a mosque in Cawnpore in order to realign a road. The entire Muhammadan community in India was aroused, and among those who expressed themselves very earnestly at this time was Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din, already referred to5 as a leading member of the Ahmadiya community, who had just begun the publication of a Muhammadan magazine6 in England. As this was a notable departure from the counsel of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, that his followers should avoid all political controversy and concentrate their energies on distinctly religious effort, it was to be expected that some of the members of the community would view Kamal-ud-Din’s action with alarm. The resultant protest was most strongly voiced in an Ahmadiya vernacular paper, Alfazl, by its editor, Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad, the eldest son of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad by his second wife. Before this controversy within the community had proceeded far the cause of the original trouble in Muhammadan India was removed by the action of the Viceroy, Lord Hardinge, through which the entire difficulty was adjusted to the satisfaction of the Muslims concerned. A number of the most prominent members of the Ahmadiya community, however, continued to cherish resentment against the son of the Mirza Sahib, who, they felt, was inclined to assume undue authority for his opinions because of his relationship to the founder of the movement. On the other hand, many conservative Ahmadis felt that Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din and his party had been disloyal to the memory of the founder in making common cause with Muhammadans throughout India in political controversy, as well as in having joined the All-India Moslem League, which had been denounced as pernicious by Mirza, Ghulam Ahmad.7 During the last illness of Nur-ud-Din both parties were active, the party of the Mirza’s son in preparing for his immediate election to the office of Khalifa, and the opposing party in issuing and distributing a booklet giving it as their interpretation of the Mirza’s last will that there should be no Khalifa at all, but rather that the Sadr-Anjuman-i-Ahmadiya should have entire control of the affairs of the community. Immediately following Nur-ud-Din’s death, Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad was elected Khalifa by a gathering of Ahmadis in Qadian, despite the protests of members of the other party who were present and who thereupon seceded, and, with all who shared their opinions, formed a new Anjuman, with headquarters at Lahore, called Anjuman-Isha’at-i-Islam(Society for the Spread of Islam). In the absence of Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din in England, the leadership of this party fell to Maulvi Muhammad ‘All, M.A., LL.B., who has already been referred to8 as the able editor of The Review of Religions since its inception, and who had prepared the pamphlet regarding the Khalafat preceding Nur-ud-Din’s death. The chief immediate point of dispute between the two parties was whether or not the original Anjuman should have full control of the affairs of the community. The question had not become acute in the time of Nur-ud-Din, because of his tactful handling of the situation, but with the election of a son of the founder, who had already tended to presume upon his family relationship and who was likely to arrogate to himself an increasing degree of authority, further compromise was impossible and a permanent split inevitable. The difference was really a fundamental one, involving the essential nature of the claims the founder had put forward. The Qadian party, as we may now call it, held that he must be considered one of the prophets (nabi), in spite of the fact that orthodox Islam believes that Muhammad was “the last of the prophets and the seal of the prophets.”9Further, they declared that since only those are true Muslims who believe in the prophets of God, those who do not so accept Mirza Ghulam Ahmad are “kafirs” (unbelievers), with whom no true believer may worship, no matter how many other points of belief they may share with Muslims.10 On the other hand, the seceding party held that the ” Promised Messiah ” made no such outstanding claim for himself, and they are unwilling to call non-Ahmadi Muslims kafirs. In general, the latter minimize the difference between the Ahrnadiya community and orthodox Islam, whereas the Qadian party regard the points of difference as of fundamental importance. This is evident in many ways. The Qadian party still insist on the importance of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s prohibition of true Ahmadis from following non-Ahmadi imams in their prayers, attending non-Ahmadi funeral services, and giving the hands of their daughters to non-Ahmadi men, although their sons are permitted to marry non-Ahmadi girls. The Lahore party believe that these prohibitions were only necessary in the early days of the movement and had but a temporary significance. In their writings and missionary work the person and claims of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad are almost invisible. At most they consider him to be only the latest of the Mujaddids,11 and his influence survives only in their belief in the death of Jesus and his burial in Kashmir, and in the hostile attitude toward other religions which is found among them to an extent that does not exist among educated Muslims generally in India to-day.In dealing with the recent history of the movement, we shall have to consider the two divisions separately. With regard to the members of the Qadian Anjuman, the controversy with the alleged disloyal party has had the effect of fusing their loyalty and intensifying their zeal, as being now the orthodox, faithful people. The present Khalifa does not seem to be a man of his father’s force, although, as he is still a young man, it is too early finally to appraise his character. He is described as follows by a friendly writer in the issue of Review of Religions for June, 1915 (XIV, p. 217) :”He is a young man, below thirty years of age, fair of complexion, of medium height, slender of build, with a clean broad forehead, thin lips, thick short beard, eyes which through their half-open lids always look to the ground, modest and retiring habits; such is the appearance of the man who now guides the destiny of this community. . . . His life is simple and retiring, and his manners sincere and affable.”

This fairly well describes my own impression of the man on the occasion of my two conversations with him at Qadian, in January, 1916. He strikingly resembles his father in appearance, in his sedentary habits and in his readiness and cleverness in controversy. He is also, like his father, a semi-invalid. He has recently married a second wife without divorcing the previous one, who is still living.

There seem to be no such outstanding personalities in this segment as there are in the Lahore Anjuman; but in this group of loyal supporters of the Khalifa there is present an earnest spirit of enterprise and industry. The original Sadr-Anjuman is vigorously pushing forward education in the community. The keystone is the English high school at Qadian, which contains about four hundred students in all the grades from primary through the fifth high standard, and which is affiliated to the Panjab University. About half of these students come from outside Qadian and one hundred of them are non-Ahmadis. The former headmaster, Maulvi Sadr-ud-Din, B.A., B.T., went out with the secessionists and will be mentioned later.12 His successor, Maulvi Muhammad Din, B.A., is ably prosecuting the work in the new building just completed. Of the twenty-five students who went up for the matriculation examination of the Panjab University in 1916, twenty-one passed, a very high average. There is, likewise, a madrassah13 for the study of Arabic and the Qur’an, in which more than seventy-five students are enrolled, of whom thirty are expected to go out as missionaries when the seven-year course is completed. Primary schools have been opened in different districts and many more are projected. A beginning has been made in the education of women, and the status of women, on the whole, seems to be above the standard obtaining in Islam generally. On three days a week the Khalifa addresses all of the members of the community, after the evening prayer in the mosque.

On the literary side, in addition to the English monthly paper, Review of Religions, less vigorously and ably edited than in the long period of M. Muhammad ‘Ali’s editorship, the following vernacular paper14are published at Qadian : tri-weekly, Alfazal; weekly, Alfaruq, Alhakam, Nur; monthly, Tashiz-ul-Azhan, Sadiq, Review of Religions in Urdu ; quarterly, Tafsir-ul-Qur’an. A former paper, Badr, whose stormy career was interrupted by Government in 1914, 3 has not since re-appeared, but its editor, Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, now edits the paper called Sadiq.

The new Anjuman Taraqqi-i-Islam (Society for the Advancement of Islam), founded by the present Khalifa, to supplement on the religious side the work of the Sadr-Anjuman, has been active in missionary efforts. It claims to be supporting twelve paid missionaries in different parts of India, Ceylon and Mauritius, as well as in London, where there is one, with a paid assistant, whose work is entirely distinct from that of the Kamal-ud-Din party. Ambitious plans are afoot to send further missionaries to “England, Ceylon, Java, Japan, China, the Philippines, etc. ” In addition to these regular workers, ” All the Ahmadis are regarded as honorary workers, and school teachers as well as editors are also sent on preaching tours whenever occasions arise.” The converts have mostly come from the ranks of orthodox Islam, and are most numerous, outside the Panjab, in parts of Bengal, the Deccan and Malabar.

The following quotation from the Government Census Report for Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, covering the period from 1901 to 1911, gives an illuminating summary of Ahmadiya missionary activities in that part of India where, as in the Panjab, Muslims represent an important element of the population :

“The Ahmadiya doctrines appear to have been first introduced in Bihar in 1893, when a Musalman missionary of Bhagalpur became a convert. The movement has already gained a considerable number of adherents from among the educated and well-to-do classes. They are most numerous in Bhagalpur and Monghyr, which form one section with a committee affiliated to the Sadr-i-Anjuman-Ahmadlya, that is, the central committee at Qadian. Funds are raised for the propagation of the Ahmadiya doctrines and for the publication of its monthly magazine, the Review of Religions. . . . In Monghyr the Ahmadiyas have met with considerable opposition from the orthodox Musalmans. At a large meeting held at Monghyr, in June, 1911, the claims of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad were debated, and after long controversy he was denounced as a heretic and renegade. The sect has even made its way into Orissa. Some educated Musalmans of Cuttack embraced its doctrines during a visit to Gurdaspur, and in their turn succeeded in winning over some of their co-religionists in Puri ; their total number is however small.”

Two years later a missionary at Brahmanbaria, in East Bengal,15 thus described the growth of the sect in his village, which had its beginning in the secret interest of a high school maulvi teacher :

“During the Puja vacation he went the long trip to Qadian on purpose to find out on the spot whether the Mahdi and his sect were true or not. He and the four men who went with him came back, initiated followers and now about fifty ignorant Muhammadans in the town have gone over to his side, much to the angry disgust of the orthodex section. On the first Friday after the return of the maulvi a religious riot was averted only by the prompt action of the magistrate. The renegade maulvi had all along led the Friday prayers, but after his return the orthodox Muhammadans were determined that he should not enter the mosque, so they locked the door on him. He and his party went to the mosque bent on breaking it open, but the magistrate appeared on the scene and prevented him. Feeling is running high here just now, and subscriptions have been raised for the purpose of bringing some learned maulvls to argue out the matter with the pervert.”

Another missionary in the same station (Rev. W. F. White) writes : ” They do not carry on any open propaganda, but work quietly in the villages trying to propagate their tenets. Occasionally some lecturers come from other places, but they are not allowed to lecture in public gatherings.”

We have already seen16 how the Ahmad! who introduced the movement into Timapur, in the Deccan, where there is now a large community of the Mirza Sahib’s followers, in time formed his own sect and attracted to his party several hundred former Ahmadis.

The following account of Ahmadiya activities in Malabar is given in the Bombay Advocate of 31st August, 1915:

“The Ahmadiya movement among the Musalmans, which had its origin in Gurdaspur, in the Panjab, has secured about three thousand followers in the Moplah17 centre of Cannanore in North Malabar.

‘”For some time past the orthodox and this new party, which believes in the advent of another prophet like Christ in place of Esanabi,18 and whose creed is a sort of Protestant Muhammadanism, have been in open hostility, the latter being subjected to a number of annoyances and ill-treatment. The tension has now become very severe, and pamphlets of an inflammatory nature, calculated to create disturbance, are circulated broadcast.

“A Musaliar19 of the orthodox party is reported to have been recently arrested by the police in connection with it. The Neo-Musalmans, who are in a minority, are petitioning district authorities to afford them protection from the orthodox party, who are hostile towards them and who have excluded them to a certain extent from the mosques.”

The following quotation from the Ceylon Independent, quoted in Review of Religions for June, 1916 (IV, p. 224), indicates that the movement is active in and about Ceylon :

” The Ceylon Ahmadiya Association. … A meeting of this Association at 10, Wekanda, Slave Island, on the 19th instant, Mr. T. K. Lye presided. Mr. C. H. Mantara read letters from the Ahmadiya headquarters at Qadian and the Islamic Mission in London. He announced the formal initiation into the Ahmadiya Movement of Professor Abdiil Latif, lecturer at Chittagong College, Dr. Syed Usmani, of Panipat, and the Imam and others of the Rose Hill Mosque at Mauritius. Resolved that a revised scheme for a mission to Java and the Far East be submitted to headquarters. Resolved that the printing press be established at Slave Island, and a journal in English and Tamil be started, to be called Islam, and also that the names and addresses of all would-be subscribers be ascertained by the secretaries. After a study of the Holy Qur’an the meeting terminated with the usual vote of thanks and with prayers to Allah.”

To this is appended, in Review of Religions, a note from the honorary secretary of the Anjuman-i-Ahmadiya on Slave Island :

“The Tamil paper, Islam Mittrian, is attacking us most severely, we are being grossly misrepresented, and if our voice is not raised against these calumnies, the cause of the Ahmadiya in Ceylon may be prejudiced.”

The annual gathering of Ahmadis from all parts of India at Qadian each December tends, as does the pilgrimage to Mecca in the case of the orthodox, to inspire in the pilgrims fresh zeal for the cause, as opportunity is furnished to hear the leaders of the movement and to meet with other Ahmadis from distant places. On my visit to Qadian, in 1916, at the time when the annual assembly was just closing, I was generously entertained in European style in a house that had been built by an Ahmadi police inspector of Bengal for his use when he came to Qadian on the pilgrimage.

A recent undertaking of the Anjuman-Taraqqi-i-Islam has been the translation of the Qur’an into English, with notes and cross-references . . . the entire work to be published in thirty parts, of which one has appeared at this writing (1918).20 A reason given in the preliminary advertisement for this translation is, that ” the English translations so far published have been done either by those who have been swayed by nothing but religious prejudice, and whose object was certainly not the manifestation of truth, but the presentation of a ghastly picture of the Holy Qur’an before the world ; or by those who had no acquaintance worth the name with the Holy Qur’an and the Arabic language, the result being that those translations are too poor reading to afford anything like a real insight into the excellencies of Islam.”

We will let that sweeping arraignment of the labours of Sale, Palmer and Rodwell, as well as of several Muslim translators,21 speak for itself. The commentary on the Qur’anic verses is written, as we should expect, wholly from the Ahmadiya viewpoint, and combines the presentation of Ahmadiya teaching with continual tilting at Western critics of the Qur’an, especially Sale and Wherry. Typographically the work is excellent.

With regard to the present beliefs of the members of the Qadian party, one of them who speaks with authority has given me, in writing, the following three chief tenets:

“1. The Qur’an is the word of Allah revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad, whose own words are preserved in the tradition. It is from A to Z, with the arrangements of chapters and even vowels, from Allah. It is the perfect and final code of law, and the words of the Prophet, as embodied in the traditions, are its commentary.

“2. Revelation did not stop with Muhammad; it is nowadays also sent to the righteous servants of God. The living example of a recipient of Revelation has been, in our time, the person of Ahmad, the promised Messiah. This continued revelation is only for the support of the Qur’an and of the truth of Muhammad’s mission.22

“3. Muhammad is, according to Ahmad’s teaching, the perfect man and model for human guidance. He is free from sin. He is a servant of Allah. It is he through whom one can have access to the gates of heaven. To say that Christ, Son of Mary, will come for the reforms of Muhammad’s people is to us a blasphemy and derogatory to the high dignity of the prophet of Arabia.”

Regarding the respective positions occupied by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and Mirza, Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad, the same informant writes:

“Mirza. Ghulam Ahmad came in the spirit of Christ and was the second manifestation of the Prophet of Arabia. His advent was promised by all the prophets of yore. Sahibzada23 (Bashir Ahmad) is the second successor of the promised Messiah, and it is believed that promises for the spiritual revival and progress of Islam are to be fulfilled in his time. He is the promised son of the promised Messiah; for the Messiah was to marry and beget a son.”

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself is reported to have said : ” My second manifestation shall appear in the form of my successors, as it appeared after the Holy Prophet in the person of Abu Bakr, Omar, etc. A man from God from among my own children will arise, and shall be named the Promised Reformer. His shall be the time of conquests for Islam.”

In this we can trace a possible beginning of a “doctrine of the person of the second Khalifa,” who clearly occupies already a position superior to that of Hakim Nur-ud-Din, in whose veins no blood of the promised Messiah flowed, and in whose day no prophecy of a spiritual revival was destined to be fulfilled.

A belief in the intercession of Muhammad on the last day, and in the miracles of the prophets, are other articles of faith that are being emphasized to-day. The May, 1915, issue of the Review of Religionsexplains in detail how it was possible (in the view of the Qadian party) for Ahmad to be a prophet, in spite of the universal Muslim belief that Muhammad was the seal (i.e., the last) of the prophets.

” …. A man can even gain prophethood by the help of our Lord Muhammad’s spiritual powers. But no prophet with a new book or having been appointed direct will ever come ; for in this case it would be an insult to the perfect prophethood of our Lord. . . . According to this we believe that a man — the Promised Messiah — has gained prophethood in spite of his being a follower of our Lord,” i.e., of Muhammad ” (Review of Religions, XIV, p. 196).

Ahmad himself said the same thing in a slightly different way :

“All the doors of prophethood are closed save one, i.e., that of completely losing one’s individuality in that of the prophet. One that approaches the Almighty through this door begins to reflect the same old prophethood of Muhammad. He becomes a prophet, but we cannot call him a new prophet for he is one with his master ” (Review of Religions, XV, p. 475).

When asked about his doctrine of future salvation,24 following the Judgment, the present Khalifainformed the writer that orthodox Muslims, since they are kafirs, who do not believe in the prophetship of Ahmad, cannot hereafter be admitted to the Garden. When pressed, however, he declared that there was hope that they and, in fact, kafirs of every variety, might reach Paradise ultimately. He then dwelt at length on his interesting personal belief in ultimate universal salvation. At first, he said, only those who are perfect in faith and works (perfection in works consisting in conformity with the fundamental requirements of Islam, getting a 51 per cent, pass-mark, as he expressed it) would be admitted ; while outside would be ranged all the various grades of unbelievers, reaching down to the lowest hell. These would then begin to ascend toward Paradise and, as they became true Muslims, would be admitted, until at last Allah’s mercy shall have comprehended all. He was willing to concede that the seceders belonging to the Lahore party would, through Muhammad’s intercession, secure early admittance to Paradise, by reason of their faith in the promised Messiah, although they will find themselves sadly deficient on the score of works.

Darwishes, Sufis, saint worship and asceticism of all kinds are under the ban as emphatically at the present time as in Ahmad’s lifetime, yet it seems that already the tomb of Ahmad has become to some extent an object of superstitious regard in the eyes of his followers, whose desire and duty it is to visit Qadian at one of the annual gatherings in December, there to behold the scenes of the promised Messiah’s life and ministry, to hear his teachings expounded by his son, and to offer prayer before his tomb.25

In the Appendix further facts are given regarding the present beliefs and constituency of the Ahmadiya community.

The work of the two Qadian Anjumans is supported by contributions of the faithful throughout India,26and, in addition, every true believer is expected to leave behind him a will which bequeathes at least one-tenth of his property to the cause. The Qadian community makes no appeal to orthodox Muslims for funds and claims to be wholly supported by Ahmadis.

Turning now to the Anjuman-Isha’at-i-Islam, with headquarters in Lahore, there is little, if any, propaganda carried on by its members on behalf of the Ahmadiya movement as such. The appeal which is made by the leaders and missionaries of this party is to Muslims generally, urging them to forget their differences and unite in order to further the interest and spread of Islam throughout the world. Their pristine educational venture, in 1915, took the form of a so-called ” college ” in Lahore, where a number of young men were trained to become missionaries of Islam. According to a statement written for me at that time by a member of this Anjuman, ” the admission qualifications for the college are the matriculation examination of the Panjab University, or other equivalent examination, or Munshi Fazil, or Maulvi Fazil, that is, high proficiency in Persian or Arabic with English equivalent.” Maulvi Muhammd ‘Ali, M.A., LL.B., was the chief member of the staff, which contained a ” Professor of Hadis,”27 ” Professor of Bible, Hebrew and Arabic grammar,” and a ” Professor of Islamic and other history.” It might be of interest, as casting light on the relationship between the two parties, to quote a paragraph from a letter of a member of the staff of Review of Religions, from whom information about the Lahore “college” was requested — given with no understanding that it be considered confidential :

“There exists no college worth the name, for a class of hired students (about half a dozen), taking instruction from an ordinary maulvi and an incompetent Christian convert, cannot rightly be termed a college. I do not think that such an irregular institution can do useful work. There are already a lot of classes of the kind opened and maintained by Muslims, but they all lack the life-giving spirit, so marvellously manifest in the institutions of Qadian. You may guess the reason, for the living and the dead cannot be on the same par ; and the nominal followers of Ahmad of Qadian cannot reap a good harvest after their vain attempts at putting a scythe to the green fields of Qadian. They will, along with their mimic institution, disappear from the scene in the near future, and be merged in the vast, but dead, Muslim community. This being the case, what sort of work can this so-called college do, and what good can we expect from it ?”

The “college” has been discontinued, but in 1916 the Anjuman opened a “Muslim High School and Senior Cambridge Local College” in Lahore, with Maulvi Sadr-ud-Din, B.A., Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din’s former associate in the Woking Mission, at its head. I am informed that there are upwards of one hundred students, of whom a few are in residence, who are being prepared for the Cambridge Local Examination. The English Bible is taught (1917-18) by a Christian chaplain, Rev. F. F. Shearwood.

In the autumn of 1918, a hostel ” for the benefit of Muslim collegiate students” was opened by the Anjuman in Lahore.

In addition to this educational work, other activities of the Lahore Anjuman consist of the publication of the tri-weekly Paigham-i-Sulah in Urdu, and also of some literature, including another translation of the Qur’an into English, completed in December, 1917, by Maulvi Muhammad ‘Ali, the president of the Anjuman. The Anjuman claims to have several missionaries in different parts of India, whose purpose is “to advance the cause of Islam.” It has also inherited fr.om Ahmad his penchant for holding public debates on religious themes.28 A growing interest in politics, on the part of this Anjuman, was evidenced by the sending of a deputation, headed by Maulvi Sadr-ud-Din, to Mr. Montagu, Secretary of State for India, on behalf of the so-called Congress-Moslem League Scheme of Home Rule, in December, 1917. The Islamic Review and Muslim India is published in English at Woking, and, in addition, an Urdu edition is published in Lahore and a Malay edition in Singapore.

A species of social service has been undertaken by the Anjuman on behalf of the criminal tribes of Kot Mokhal in Sialkot district of the Panjab. In 1917 the total income of the Anjuman amounted to Rs. 36,923-0-9, and the expenditure totalled Rs. 34,479-10-9. An anniversary meeting of the Anjuman takes place in the Ahmadiya buildings, Lahore, each December.

The chief missionary interest of this branch of the Ahmadiya community centres in the mission in England, to which reference has already been made.29 Its founder, Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din, a graduate of Forman Christian College, Lahore, received his B.A. in 1893, became a pleader in Peshawar and then in Lahore, and early in 1912 proceeded to England as a missionary of Islam. He first established his headquarters at Richmond, but in August, 1914, moved with his helpers to Woking, in Surrey, where there already existed a mosque, built by the late Professor Leitner, a former principal of the Oriental College, Lahore, and given by his heirs after his death to the Muslim community. Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din believed that his first duty was the removal of the misrepresentation of Muhammadanism which he held was current in Christian circles in the West. To further this end he commenced the publication of the paper, first named Muslim India and the Islamic Review. He also seized every opportunity of delivering lectures on various subjects connected with Islam. For instance, in January, 1913, a debate was arranged at Cambridge on the subject of “Polygamy,” in which it was stated, in favour of polygamy (as reported in the Islamic Review), that “even God was pleased to take birth in the house of a polygamist, as the blessed Virgin was the second wife of Joseph, father of the Lord.” On another occasion the subject of the position of women in Judaism, Christianity and Islam was discussed and compared, and it was argued that Islam had done more than all other religions to raise the status of womankind. At the International Congress on Religious Progress, held in Paris in July, 1913, Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din delivered an address on the subject of Islam and received a cordial reception. All such meetings are reported at length in the Islamic Review, which, in addition to Muhammadan apologetics, contains a great variety of attacks on the Christian faith and its founder, similar to those quoted in Chapter IV above. At first some space was given in the paper to political affairs in connection with Islam in India, but of late the articles have been almost wholly religious in character

In addition to the mosque at Woking, the Mission has rooms at 111, Camden Hill Road, Notting Hill Gate, London, W.,30 where Sunday religious lectures, Friday prayers, with sermon, and literary and scientific lectures, on alternate Thursdays, are held. The last-named are promoted by the London Muslim Literary Society, which, like the Central Islamic Society, the Society of London Muslims, and the British Muslim Association, is a British development of Ahmadiya Islam.

A number of English ladies and gentlemen have professed conversion to Islam, the most prominent being Lord Headley, an Irish peer, engineer and sportsman, who is now the president of the British Muslim Association.31 Other English Muslims who are constant contributors to the Islamic Review are Professor Henri M. Leon, M.A., Ph.D., LL.D., F.S.P., A. Neville J. Whymant, Ph.D., Litt.D., F.S.P., and Mr. J. Parkinson. Altogether perhaps two hundred had announced their conversion by the end of 1917. A quotation from The Islamic Review for January, 1916, will indicate what is involved in the acceptance of Islam in England to-day.

“The Brotherhood, being universal, is open to all, and anybody who would like to join it can either attend the Friday prayers at one p.m., at 39, Upper Bedford Place, London, W.C., on any Friday ; or Sunday services, held at 3.15 p.m. at the Woking Mosque. Send the accompanying declaration to the Imam of the Mosque, Woking, Surrey, who will always be glad to answer any inquiries. Islam claims to be a rational faith, and undertakes to satisfy the reason and conscience both, so criticism is encouraged and every effort made to answer questions satisfactorily.

DECLARATION FORM

I____________________________son/daughter/wife of_________________________________of (address)____________________________________do hereby faithfullly and solemnly declare of my own free will that I adopt Islam as my religion; that I worship One and only Allah (God) alone ; that I believe Muhammad to be his messenger and servant ; that I respect equally all prophets — Abraham, Moses, Jesus, etc. — that I will live a Muslim life by the help of Allah.

La ilaha ill-Allah,
Muhammad al rasul-Allah.32

N.B. — Please address all inquiries to the Maulvi Sadr-ud-Din, B.A., B.T., Head of the Mosque, Woking, Surrey.33

Another quotation, from the issue of September, 1915, will illustrate the aspirations and dreams of the group at Woking :

“The time is approaching fast when God will no more remain an absurd mathematical problem, even in Christian lands. The time will come when Europe will be freed of its four curses of selfish materialism, drunkenness, gambling and licentiousness. The time will come when the Christian belief that woman was the cause of that sin with which, according to Christian nations, all mankind is permeated from birth, will die out. The time will come when innocent and angelic children, if they die unbaptized, will not be sent to perdition because of the crimes committed by their remotest possible ancestors, and if they live they will not be allowed to grow up with the demoralizing conviction in their minds that they were born sinners, and that their sins can only be cleansed by the blood of Christ. The time, in short, will come, and that, Insha Allah,34 soon, when Islam will be accepted by the European nations as the religion which satisfies man’s reason and conscience both. The time will come when in European countries Eid-ul-Fitr35and other Muslim festivals will no more remain novelties, and when the cry of La ilaha illallah Muhammad Rasulallah will be heard from high minarets five times every day from European cities.”

This periodical is sent free to several thousand non-Muslims with the idea of interesting them in Islam, and the editors make it their boast that because of their work the Western mind has already been disabused of ” such misrepresentation and misunderstanding which has been enveloping Islam and tarnishing its beauty for centuries.” The same claim is made for a book by Lord Headley, entitled A Western Awakening to Islam,36 which is really a modified restatement (for the most part published previously in the Islamic Review) of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s glorification of Islam at the expense of Christianity.

At this writing an effort is being made to compass the erection of a mosque in the city of London itself, and Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din has spent considerable time in India arousing interest and securing funds throughout the entire Indian Muhammadan world (not simply from Ahmadis, be it noted), on behalf of this project as well as of all the work of the Muhammadan Mission in England, in which there are now several paid and many voluntary workers.

For the purpose of giving a resume of the beliefs of the members of the Woking Mission there is included in Appendix IV, p. 147, a part of an editorial on “What is Islam?” which is taken from the Islamic Review. The following subjects of articles that have appeared recently in that periodical, selected at random, will give an idea of the range and nature of its contents:

“A Muslim’s Obligations to His Kinsmen,” “Universal Brotherhood,” “God and Science,” “Haeckel and Islam,” Relative Position of Man and Woman in Islam,” “The Age of the New Testament,” “Christendom and Islam,” “Islam,” “Islam and Idolatry,” “Misrepresentations of Missionaries,” “Jesus Christ as Man and ‘God’,” “The Solidarity of Islam,” ‘Islam and Civilization,” “Who was the Founder of ‘Church Religion’ in the West ?”

Regarding the financial condition of the Woking Mission, the receipts from Muslims in all parts of the world during the year 1917 totalled Rs. 26,765-8-3, and the expenditure was Rs. 31,963-6-0. These figures include the expenses involved in the publication of the Islamic Review, a considerable enlargement of which is proposed in the near future.


1 P. 43.2 Cf. p. 45.

3 Moslem World, II, p. 373.

4 It thus became a Samaj, analogous to the Arya Samaj and Brahma Samaj in Hinduism.

5 P. 17. Cf. Muslim India and Islamic Review, I, p. 366ff.

6 Then known as Muslim India and the Islamic Review. The name has since been changed to The Islamic Review and Muslim India .

7 Cf. page 67.

8 P. 17.

9 Cf. p. 109.

10 Cf. Appendix VI for a ruling of the High Court of Patna, Bengal, by which Ahmadis were declared to be Muslims, at liberty to worship behind any recognized imam, but not entitled to form a separate congregation in the mosque.

11 Cf. p. 131, Note 1.

12 P. 125.

13 A Muslim school or college for the study of religious subjects solely.

14 Cf. p. 104.

15 Rev. John Takle, of the New Zealand Baptist Missionary Society, author of The Faith of the Crescent(Association Press, Calcutta, 1913).

16 P. 46, Note 1.

17 The Moplahs (Mapillas), comprising nearly the whole of the Muslim population of Malabar (about 800,000), are descendants of Arab immigrants of the eight and ninth centuries, with a considerable admixture of Hindu blood. They have in the past shown fanatical hatred of the Hindus, but are to-day, for the most part, peaceful traders.

18 I.e., ‘Isa nabi, the Prophet Jesus.

19 The Musaliars are the Moplah maulvis, travelling preachers and teachers of the Qur’an and the commentaries.

20 Cf. article, “The Koran According to Ahmad,” by R. F McNeile, Moslem World, VI, p. 170 (April, 1916).

21 For an account of the translations of the Qur’an into English, see Zwemer, Moslem World, V, p. 244.

22 Cf. p. 55.

23 Sahibzada is equivalent to “Young Master,” and is often used of the heir-apparent to a throne as well as in the general sense of an honoured son.

24 Orthodox Muslims believe that a Muslim who has committed greater sins (kabira) must pass a purgatorial period in the Fire, from which he can only be saved by the intercession of Muhammad. The heretical Mu’tazilite (cf. p. 65, Note 3) denied that Muhammad’s intercession could accomplish this. Lesser sins (saghira) can be removed in many ways. See also p. 36, Note 3.

25 Cf. p. 24.

26 The regular zakat (alms) must all be sent to Qadian, as the Bait-ul-Mal (treasury).

27 Cf. p. 56, Note 3

28 Cf. Appendix VIII for a typical Ahmadiya challenge to a public debate.

29 Cf. p. 118.

30 Cf. Appendix V for a newspaper report of a meeting in the former London headquarters of the Mission at Caxton Hall.

31 On December 9, 1916, Lord Headley was fined ten shillings, or seven days’ imprisonment, at Tower Bridge Police Court, London, for being drunk and disorderly in Waterloo Road. The case was appealed, and at the County of London Sessions, on January 19, 1917, the appeal was dismissed with costs. See The Glasgow Weekly Herald for December 16, 1916, and January 20, 1917. See also Lord Headley’s explanation in Islamic Review, October 1917, Vol. V, p. 421.

32 I.e., Kalima. Cf. p. 104, Note 1.

33 Compare with the Form for Initiation into the Ahmadiya Movement, in Appendix II.

34 I.e., “Please God.”

35 The ‘Id-ul-Fitr is the feast which celebrates the end of the fast of Ramadan.

36 Right Hon. Lord Headley, B.A., etc., A Western Awakening to Islam; Being the Result of Over Forty Years’ Contemplation, London 1915.

GRISWOLD, H.D. – “Mirza Ghulam Ahmad: The Mehdi Messiah of Qadian.” Lodiana, India, American Tract Society. 1902.

Intro
Dr. Griswold wrote extensively about Ahmadiyya, he even confirmed that it was called Qadianat.  He wrote in 1902, 1905 and 1911 about Ahmadiyya.  Walter then followed with his work on Ahmadiyya wherein he heavily referenced Griswold.

The Full Book
http://files.qern.org/qarchives/misc/griswoldopt.pdf

Griswold, The Mehdi Messiah of Qadian (1902)

The full text

Much of this article relates to the apocryphal Ahmadiyya claim that Christ did not die on the cross but came to Kashmir and died in Srinagar. The collection of Griswold Papers at Cornell University does not include this article and it is not mentioned in the catalogues of the American Bible Society, British Library, Library of Congress, New York Public Library or OCLC. It is mentioned in the “Ahmadiya Bibliography” in H.A. Walter’s The Ahmadiya Movement (Calcutta: Association Press/Oxford University Press, 1918). Walters indicates that Griswold was personally acquainted with Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and cites quotations from conversations with Ahmad at Qadian. He notes in the Preface that Dr. Griswold, who was Secretary of the Council of American Presbyterian Missions in India, and Rev. Thakur Dass, had in their pamphlets answered from the Christian viewpoint the claim of Mirza Ghulam Ahmadto be the “Promised Messiah” who has come “in the spirit and power” of Christ.

review by James Hurley, New Jersey, USA

Title

MIRZA GHULAM AHMAD
The Mahdi Messiah of Qadian,

by
H. D. Griswold.

The American Tract Society

Lodiana, 1902

In the Village Of Qadian, [Gurdaspur] District, [Punjab], there lives an old man about Sixty four years of age, venerable in appearance, Magnetic in personality, and active in intellect. This is the Mirza Ghulam Ahmed, Chief of the village of Qadian, and hence popularly known as the “Qadiani” founder of the Ahmadiyah Sect: a new Sect in Islam named after himself. His family is of Moghal descent, having emigrated from Samarkand, Turkistan, in the reign of Babar. Following the example of his father [Mirza Ghulam Murtaza] Khan, who was an hakim or Yunani Physician, he himself professes to be expert in medicine, (witness his [plague pamphlets]). He claims to be enthusiastically loyal to the British Government, and he cites as proof of the loyalty of his family the services rendered to Government by his father and elder brother(or Cousin) during the mutiny of 1857, on account of which the letter (sic) received honourable mention in Sir Lepel Griffin’s book, “The Punjab Chiefs“(Vol II.PP.49—50, new edition by Massy). Religious enthusiasm, if not ambition, seems to run in the family. Mirza Imam-ud-Din1 a first cousin of Mirza Ghulam Ahmed, became the Guru of the chuhra or sweeper community and claims to be the successor of Lal Beg. In like manner, Mirza Ghulam Ahmed himself glories in being the founder of a new Sect, end claims to be the present day successor and representative of Jesus Christ. So much for the man. We now cone to his claims.

The Mirza Sahib claims to be at once the promised Mahdi and the promised Messiah. This is against the ordinary Mohammedan belief that these will be not one person, but two seperate (sic) persons. That is, the Mahdi will be a descendant of Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad and mother of Hussain, and the Messiah will be the Lord Jesus Christ at his second coming. Both the Mahdi and the Messiah will be men of blood, who together will fight against the Kafirs until they are over come. Such is the orthodox view. From this description of the premised Mahdi one might conclude a priori that many Soi disant Mahdis would be likely to appear in the course of the history of Islam, and, as a matter of fact, several have appeared, the Sudanese Mahdi being the most notable.

He and his successor were wild fanatics, who wought to fulfil to the letter the expectation of a bloody-witness the fanatical heroism of the letter on the field of Omdurman. But so far as I am aware, among Mohammedans, with the exception of [Biha Ullah] the successor of the Ban (sic) and one or two mad man, the mirza sahib alone has had the boldness to claim to be the promised Messiah. Through his claim to be at once the promised Mahdi and the promised Messiah the Mirza Sahib desires, it would seem, to focus all the Messianic expectations of Islam upon his own person. Thus in two respects the Qadiani doctrine of the Mahdi is heretical as tried by the standard of Muslim orthodoxy. First, the promised Mahdi and the promised Messiah are to be one person – not two – and that person has already come and lives at Qadian. Secondly, the Mahdi is to be a man of peace, not a man of blood, The Lord Jesus Christ was a man of peace, and so the Mirza Sahib – in his assumed character as the “[Masil-i-Masih]” or the analogue and representative of Christ for this generation, must also be a man of peace. Of the two ideas, the idea of the Messiah and the idea of the Mahdi, the former is determinative and the later subordinate and so when they are fused together and applied to one person, the idea of the [Mahdi] will add nothing to the idea of the Messiah, except, perhaps to emphasize the notion of spirtual warfare. This then is the theory which underlies the Mirza Sahib’s polemic against the doctrines of a bloody Mahdi and the kindred doctrine of Jihad. As he says: “To believe in me as the promised Messiah and Mehdi is to disbelieve in the popular doctrine of jihad” (Memorial to Sir William Mackworth Young, March 5th,1898).

But the Mirze 5ahib’s most important claim is that he is The Promised Messiah. By this he does not mean that he is the very person of Jesus Christ reincarnsted in India, for he does not accept the doctrine of Transmigration. His meaning simply this that just as, according to the interpretation of Jesus, John the Baptist was the Elijah which was to come (Matt: XI 14.), because he came “in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Luke i, 17), so he, the Mirza Sahib, is the Messiah which is to come, because he was come in the “spirit and power” of Christ. The grounds of his claim to be the promised Messiah may be summarised under three heads, namely Critical, prophetic and historical.

Critical Ground

First, then, the critical ground. Briefly stated, it is this that on the basis of all the evidences available, the Mirza Sahib concludes that Jesus Christ did not die on the cross. His reasons for this conclusion are as follows:-

  1. Certain, inferences based upon the Gospel narratives, to the effect that Jesus when He was removed from the Cross was not really dead, but only unconscious through loss of blood and the pain of the wounds in his hands, feet and side. He remained on the cross only a few hours, and his legs were not broken. Moreover, the women who came to anoint His body were asked: “why seek ye the living among the died?” (Luke xxic.5) And finally the Post Crucifixion appearances of Jesus to his disciples were those of the body of a living man and not of a disembodied spirit; Since He ate and drank with His disciples and allowed them to touch him. In short, this is a revival of the “Swoon theory”.
  2. The Marham-i-Isa or “ointment of Jesus” otherwise called the “ointment of the disciples” is refered to as “the first” clue to this all important discovery.” According to the Mirza Sahib, this ointment is spoken of by Jewish, Christian, Parsee, and Muhammaden physicians alike, and over a thousand books on medicine contain a description of it” ([Kashful Ghita] P. 25). The Mirza Sahib’s theory is that after three days Jesus recovered from the swoon and that than the disciples applied this wonderful ointment to his wounds with such success that within the space of forty days He was entirely healed and ready for foreign travel. It is unnecessary to say that we have here the “fraud theory” of the resurrection, the disciples of Jesus being represented as acquainted with the facts and yet solemnly declaring that Jesus rose from the died.
  3. The Mirza Sahib refers to the Russian traveller, Jesus Died in Kashmir‘s “[Unknown Life of Christ]” in proof of this his thesis that Jesus actually visited India after his escape from the Cross. That is, the forty days which, according to the New Testament narrative, are followed by the Ascension, are, according to the assertion of the Mirza Sahib, followed by Jesus’ separation from His disciples, in order to visit India,Tibet, and Cashmere. It is nudless (sic) to say that the “[Unknown Life of Christ]” ie accepted as anthentic by no competent scholar. But even granting for the sake of argument it is authenticity, it contradicts the conclusion of the Mirza Sahib in two important particulars: (a) It makes Christ visit India not after his crucifixion, but in the interval of sixteen or seventeen years between his visit to Jerusalem at the age of twelve and His public appearance at the age of thirty; and (b) it asserts in unequivocal language the actual death of Jesus Christ on the Gross.(pp.l33,195).
  4. The Mirza Sahib claims that there is archaeological evidence that Jesus visited India and died in Cashmere at the advance age of 120. The tomb of a certain Yus-ASAF is situated in Khan Yar Street, Srinagar. It is asserted that the keepers of this tomb regard it as the tomb of a Shahzada-Nabi or Prince-Prophet. But Muhammad was the last of the Prophets. Therefore it must have been one of the Hebrew Prophets. Whose tomb could it be but that of Jesus? Besides, the first part of the name Yus-Asaf is clearly a corruption of Yasu(1) or Jesus, and Asaf (from Hebrew asaf together) means gatherer. Hence according to the Qadiani interpretation Yus Asaf means Jesus the Gatherer of the lost sheep (i.e., the ten lost tribes) of the house of Israel.
  5. The Mirza Sahib cites the testimony of the apacryphet (sic) Gospel of Barnabas, which he regards as genuine, in support of his contention that Christ died did not die on the cross.
  6. In “A Prospectus of the Review of Religions” the Mirza Sahib writes: “The spiritual death of Christianity is important evidence of the death of its founder; for if Jesus is living, why does not his influence work?”
  7. Jesus’ interpretation of “the Sign of Jonah the prophet” is regarded by the Mirza Sahib as a confirmation of the same view. Jesus said: “As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the fish; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matt xii.40). But, says the prophet of Qadian, Jonah entered the belly of the fish alive, remained there alive, and came out alive. So must Jesus have entered the tomb alive, remained there alive, and come out alive, in order to make the analogy complete.

It will be observed that the Mirza Sahib’s theory of the death of Christ may be summed up in two theses: (a) Negatively, Jesus did not die on the cross in Jerusalem; and (b) positively, he did die in Srinagar, Cashmere. For the first thesis the proof is found

  1. In certain inferences from the Gospel narratives which contradict their uniform tenor,
  2. In the testimony of the spurious Gospel of Barnabas
  3. In the unfounded statements concerning the MARHAM-i-ISA and
  4. in the asserted spiritual death of Christianity.

In like manner, the second thesis depends for its proof upon the unauthenticated testimony of a Russian adventure, together with the imaginary archaelogy of a poor little tomb in Srinagar, clearly that of a Muhammaden Pir (SAINT).

From all this, it is manifest that the Mirza Sahib is at once very clever at the manipulation and manufacture of evidence and very ignorant of the principles which govern historical research and determine the comparative value of historical sources. The adventure of the Mirza Sahib in the field of literary and historical criticism can not be pronounced a success. But the Qadiani Savant demonstrates, to his own satisfaction at least, that Jesus did not die on the cross at Jerusalem, but died in Cashmere. This theory of the death of Christ is given great emphasis, because in the view of the Mirza Sahib it is absolutely fundamental to his claim to be the promised Messiah. In a verbatim report of a discussion between the Mirza Sahib and the Delhi Maulvis, which took place Oct 5,1891, the Mirza Sahib says: “If Christ was in reality exalted in body form alive to heaven, then there is no need of further controversy, and my claim to be the promised Messiah is in vain. The reason is that my claim is based upon the natural death(Wafat) of the Son of Mary.” That is, if the Christian belief that Jesus Christ died on the cross, rose again the third day, and ascended into Heaven, be true, then the predicted second coming of Jesus Christ will be the second coming of “this same Jesus” (Acts I.11) and not of one who comes merely in His “spirit and power.” Hence the Mirza Sahib tries to break down the Christian belief that Jesus passed by the way of death and resurrection into the glory of His Father, and also the Muhammadan belief that Jesus Christ without death was “taken up” to God. His conclusion is that “Christ died like ordinary mortals” ([Kashful Ghita], P.l3) and the consequences which he would draw from this conclusion areas are as follows:-

(A) Negatively,(1) the over throw of the doctrine of Christ’s sacrificial death, resurrection, ascension and second coming as accepted by Christians and (2) the overthrow of the belief that Christ was “taken up” to God and will come again to the help of the Mahdi as accepted by Muhammadans; and (B) positively, the leaving of the way open for the coming of one who will come in “the spirit and power” of Christ, yea who has already come in the person of the Moghul Messiah, Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian.

So much for the first ground of the Mirza Sahib’s claim to be the promised Messiah, namely his Critical theory of the death of Christ. We now come to the second or prophetic basis of his claim.

Prophetic Ground

In the first number of “[The Review of Religions]”(Jan 1902,P.1) it is formulated thus: “Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, whom God has chosen to be his Messiah, has come in fulfilment of the prophecies given to Jews, Christians and Muhammadans.” First, then, as to the alleged Jewish prophecies concerning the Mirza Sahib and his Mission. It is chiefly by resorting to typology that the Mirza Sahib finds in the old testament material suited to his purpose. He has a doctrine of “Parallelism”, which l heard from his own lips at Qadian. Briefly stated it is this:- There are two tribes of fundamental importance in divine revelation namely, the children of Israel and the children of Ishmael.

The great prophet of the former were Moses and Christ. Christ was the final prophet of the Jews, the last brick in their national and religious structure. Their rejectiono f Christ involved their own rejection and the loss of their nationality. Then came the turn of the children of the children of Ishmael. According to Deut:XVIII.18, a prophet was raised ‘Like Unto’ Moses from among the ‘brethren’ of the Israelites in the person of the great law-giver “Muhammad” (Rev of Rel. May 1902 P. 206). Muhammad therefore was the first Ishmaelitish prophet, as it were the Moses of Islam. But Moses and Christ were separated by an interval of twelve or fourteen centuries. Hence, in order to preserve the parallelism, another prophet must arise twelve or fourteen centuries after Muhammad, who will be, as it were, the Christ of Islam. Who can this be but Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian? The relation between these great prophets may be set forth in the form of a proportion. Thus, as Moses is to Christ, so Muhammad is to Ghulam Ahmad; or again, as Muhammad is to Moses, so the Mirza Sahib is to Jesus Christ. In a word, as Moses is a type of Muhammad, so Jesus of Nazareth is a type of Ahmad of Qadian.

But the Mirza Sahib, on the basis of Jewish prophecy, claims to be not only the Messiah of Islam, but also the Second Adam. Here, too, a theory of parallelism or resemblance is determinative. At the close of the sixth day, God created the first Adam. But one day is with the Lord as a thousand years. Therefore at the lose of sixth millennium or the beginning of the seventh, the second Adam is to appear. But we are now at the beginning of the seventh millennium, if we reckon according to the Lunar year, which his the inspired mode of reckoning; and so the time is fulfilled for the Second Adam to be manifested. Where is the second Adam to appear? “In the East and not in the West,” says the Mirza Sahib, “for from Gen.ii.8, we learn, that God had put the first Adam in a garden eastward. It is therefore necessary that the Second Adam should appear in the East, in order to have a resemblance with the first in respect of his locality” (Rev. of Rel. Jan. 1902, P. 15). It may not be out of place to remark here, for the benefit of those who practice an extremely literalistic interpretation of the chronological and geographical details of Scripture, that people like the Qadiani Sahib can use the same methods.

We now come to the alleged Christian prophecies concerning the Mirza Sahib, i.e., those found in the New Testament. It is absolutely essential to the Mirza Sahib’s position to show that by the second coming of Christ is meant, not a personal coming of the same Jesus who suffered on the Cross, but only the advent of one coming in His “Spirit and power.” This he attempts to prove in two ways, (1) through a comparison between Ellijah and Jesus, and (2) through his theory of the death of Christ. As regards the first point, the Mirza Sahib refers (Tauzih-i-Maram, pp.1-4) to the fact that in the Bible only two persons are said to have gone to Heaven alive and to be expected tus to return, namely Elijah and Jesus. But according to the interpretation of Jesus, the second coming of Elijah (Mal. iv.5) was fulfilled in the coming of another person in his “spirit and power”, namely John the Baptist. But by analogy, the second coming of Jesus must be fulfilled in the same way, i.e., by the coming of another person in His “spirit and power”. This interpretation is further strengthened by the Mirza Sahibs’ View of the death of Christ. He did not die on the Cross and so the doctrine of a literal resurrection and ascension, which is bound up with the doctrine of His Sacrificial death on the Cross, is a myth. Jesus died in Cashmere like any ordinary man, and this resurrection will be at the time of the resurrection of all men. He is not risen. How then can He return in person? Hence His second coming must be the coming of another person in His “Spirit and Power”. This is the ground on which the Mirza Sahib refers all New Testament prophecies of the second coming of Christ to himself. As he says: “The promised one has come and is among you” (Kashf-ul-Ghita, p.26).

The Mirza Sahib has an interesting doctrine of the Millennium, which is based largely upon the twentieth chapter of the Apocalypse. In fact, be teaches three millenniums: (a) the millennium of the Devil’s imprisonment (A-D. 1—1000), during which time the prophet Muhammad appeared; (b) the millennium of the Devils’ freedom and renewed activity marked by the declension of Islam and a terrible growth of evil; and (c) the millennium of Gods’ reign, the down of which has already appeared, since the promised Messiah has come.

As usual the lunar year is the basis of reckoning. Thus, according to the Mirza Sahib, “the days in which we are living mark the termination of the respite granted to Satan,**** , but as he does not like that his freedom should be restrained and his authority taken away, a struggle between the good and evil attractions must naturally be the result” (the ‘good attraction’ being the Mirza Sahib and the ‘evil attraction’ those who oppose him). Note, that, according to the Mirza Sahib, both advents are followed by a millennium, —–the advent of Jesus of Nazareth by the negative millennium of the Devils’ imprisonment, and the advent of Ahmad of Qadian by the positive millennium of the Kingdom of God.

The passages in Muhammadan literature which the Mirza Sahib refers to himself are found in the Quran and in the Ahadis. From the Quran there is the well-known prediction of a coming one whose name is Ahmad, which runs as follows: “And (remember) when Jesus the son of Mary said. O Children of Israel, of a truth I am God’s apostle to you to confirm the law which was given before me, and to announce an Apostle that shall come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad”. * 2 
This is the Quranic Version of Christ’s prediction of the Holy spirit, the comforter parakletos John xiv.2, xvi.7), in which, according to the orthodox Muhammadan interpretation, Jesus prophecied the coming of Muhammad (h2. Ahmad ‘the praised’ Periklutos). The Mirza Sahib refers this prophecy to himself, because he professes to have come in the “spirit and power” of Muhammad (Rev. of Rel. Aug 1902. pp. 331-332) and because he bears the name Ahmad (Vid. Izala-i-Auham.p.673). Dr. Imad-ud-Din points out (Tanzin-ul-Aqwal, pp. 11-17) that from the 15th century on no less than four bearing the name of Ahmad have appeared in India and made extraordinary claims. Their names are, (1) Shaikh Ahmad of Sirhind, (2) Saiyad Ahmad Ghazi of Rae Bareilly, who in his assumed character as the Imam Mehdi unstituted a Jihad against the Sikhs (A.D.1826-1827), (3) Syed Ahmad Khan, and (4) the subject of our sketch Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian.

In all of these cases the possession of the name ‘Ahmad’ seems to have exerted a fatal fascination. The Sudanese Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad of Gondola, who from A.D. 1881 to 1885 was a cause of riot and ruin in the Sudan, bore also the same fateful name., or take the case of Mirza Ali Muhammad the Persian “Bab” Mohammad the prophet of Arabia is reported to have said: “I am the city of Knowledge and Ali is the Gate of the city.” Hence the possession of the name ‘Ali’ on the part of Ali Muhammad, the name of the first of the Twelve Imamas and the name of the gate of the city of knowledge, was in its probable ‘Ahmad’ in the case of the above-mentioned five. In the light of these facts let no one say: “Whats’ in a name?”

But the Mirza Sahibs’ name is not Ahmad simply, but Ghulam Ahmad, i.e. Servant of Ahmad (Muhammad). In his assumed character as the promised Ahmad the Mirza Sahib would doubtless be glad to drop the name ‘Ghulam’, if he could. He virtually does this; for the name of his first important work is “Brahin-i-Ahmadiyyah,” i.e., Ahmadiyya proofs, and the name of his sect is The Ahmadiyyah, or the society of the promised Ahmad.

There is no certain reference to the second coming of the Messiah in the Quran. Hence the Mirza Sahib can find no support in Islam for his claim to be the promised Messiah, except in the pages of the Hadis, or sayings ascribed by tradition to Muhammad. For example, the folowing from the SAHIH OF BUKHARI on the authority of Abu Hurairah*3 : “what will be your condition when the son of Mary shall descend among you, and your Imam from you?” Clearly here is a reference both the messiah who will descend from heaven and to the Imam Mehdi who will come from the people of islam. But the Mirza Sahib translates it as follows: “what will be your condition when the Son of Mary shall descend among you? Who is he? He will be your Imam, who will be born from among you.” (Tauzih-i-Maram,p). This is interpretation in the interests of the theory that the Messiah and the Mahdi are one person, and that that person is to be born of a Muhammadan family, a condition which renders possible the Mirza Sahib’s candidacy for the honours of Messiah ship.

The appelation “Son of Mary” is explained metaphorically (Istiaritan) as referring to some body coming in his “Spirit and Power”, another tradition, cited by the Mirza Sahib, is to the effect that when Christ comes, He will break in pieces the Cross. This the Mirza Sahib interprets as a prediction of the destruction of the Religion of the Cross by himself as the promised Messiah and Mahdi through a spiritual Jihad, in which the weapons of war will be goodly arguments and heavenly signs (Vid. Tauzih-i-Maram, p. 7, and Zarurat-ul-Imam,p.24).

It is not necessary to refer to other traditional sayings. Before leaving this point, however, it might be well to ask once for all, “what is the nature and value of the prophetic basis of the Mirza Sahib’s claim to be the promised Messiah?” We have already seen that predictions and allusions are cited for this purpose from the Jewish Scriptures, the Christian scriptures and the Muhammadan Hadis. The prophetic basis, then, is threefold, Jewish, Christian and Muhammadan. The Muhammadan basis consists of sayings ascribed by tradition to Muhammad, — sayings often of very uncertain historical value. What of the Jewish and Christian basis? The Mirza Sahib has a way of regarding any verse in either the old testament or the New testament, which fits in with his purpose and doctrine, as authentic and reliable; while, at the same time he holds that the Scriptures have been tampered with and changed.* 4 
The Mirza Sahib lays it down as axiomatic that no Christian has a right to appeal to the testimony of the Quran concerning the supernatural in the life of Christ, because “the revelation of the Quran is not with him a divine Revelation, but the fabrication of a man” (Rev. of Rel, April 1902, p. 144). It is a poor rule which will not work both ways. What right has the Mirza Sahib to quote, as the inspired witnesses of this Mission, books which have undergone the extensive “alterations and corruptions” which he claims have taken place? In fact, for the Mirza Sahib the Bill (Bible?) can logically have only the value of a collection of Jewish and Christian traditions.

Historical Ground

We now come to the last and in some respects the most important basis of the Mirza Sahib’s claim to be the promised Messiah, which I have ventured to call for lack of a better term the historical basis.

In short, it is this that the historical appearance of the Mirza Sahib himself in the likeness of Christ is the supreme proof of his claim to have come in the “spirit and power” of Christ. In his character and personality, in the purity of his heart the wideness of his sympathy, in the peaceful character of his mission, in the signs which accompany his appearance such as miracles and prophecies, and in the political circumstances and moral needs of his age, —– in a word, as regards his whole character and environment, he claims to be the “Masil-i-Masih” or the one “like unto” Christ. If we analyse these asserted points of resemblance, we shall find that they resolve themselves into two classes: (1) those having to do with the Mirza Sahib’s environment, political, moral, and religious, and (2) those touching his Mission, Signs, work, and character. We shall take up these points briefly in the above order.

  1. A. Parallel between the environment of Jesus of Nazareth and the environment of Ahmad of Qadian.
    1. As regards political circumstances, the parallel is summed up in the statement that just as the Jewish Messiah appeared in Palestine when it as subject to the Roman Government, so the Moghal Messiah has appeared in India while it is subject to the British Government (Vid. Rev. of Rel., May 1902, p. 206). The question naturally arises at this point, Has the Mirza Sahib any Mission to fulfil toward the people of India as a deliverer from foreign domination? He denies this most emphatically. Moreover we know that Jesus Christ had no such Mission. Hence, the Mirza Sahib in his character as the Masil-i-masih can properly entertain no such ambition. We know too that his family remained loyal to the Government in the trying days of the mutiny. His only political Mission toward the people of india, as he tells us over and over again, is to teach them to be loyal and obedient to the British Government. Nevertheless, the following point is to be noted. In the five articles of faith which the Mirza Sahib published as his “Five principal doctrines” in a memorial to Sir William Mackworth Young, dated March 5th 1898, the third article reads thus: “To preach Islamic truths with reasoning and heavenly signs and to regard GHAZA or JEHAD as prohibited under present circumstances” (italic mine). This reminds us of the papal attitude towards Queen Elizabeth, which is well known to all students of her region. In 1569 Pope Pius V. issued a bull against Elizabeth, absolving her Roman Catholic subjects from their allegiance and Commanding them to wage a Papal Jehad against the Protestant queen. But this absolute command was soon qualified by the bull of Pope Gregory XIII, issued in 1580, which released the English Catholics from the obligation to resist Queen Elizabeth and allowed them to continue their allegiance to her until they should be powerful enough to rebel openly. In other words, the bull of pope Gregory XIII, declared a Papal Jehad against Elizabeth to be impracticable and prohibed under present circumstances.” Likewise, according to the Mirza Sahib’s article of faith, a Jihad against the non-muslim world is prohibited, not absolutely, but “under present circumstances.” If the phrase “under present circumstances” means anything, it must mean this or something like it. It is possible however, that the phrase is meaningless, being used for the sake of literary padding with an inadequate sense of its implication. We will give the Mirza Sahib the benefit of the doubt, especially since the phrase occurs no where else, so far as I know, in his writings.
    2. As regards conditions, the Mirza Sahib draws a rather impressive parallel between th emoral and religious needs, which nineteen hundred three years ago required the presence of Jesus Christ and the same needs today both in Islam and in Christianity, which will equal insistence, according to the Mirza Sahib, call for the promised Messiah. Morally, the times are out of joint. “Society is rotten to its very core” (Rev. of Rel., p.60) The special sins of Christendom are drunkenness, prostitution, and gambling; and those of Islam are the ghazi spirit, immorality, lack of love, etc., and such evils “call for a reformer.” The Mirza Sahib’s principle is that necessity itself is proof (Zarurat-ul-Imam) p.25) i.e., since the true reformer has appeared at Qadian, the very necessity which called for him may be cited s proof of the reality of his claims. Religiously, the condition of things is no better. The fear of God has vanished from before the eyes of men. Islam is cursed with the doctrines of Jihad, a bloody Mehdi, and tomb-worship, and besides there is no unity of belief on such important doctrines as the death of Christ and his second coming (Vid. Zarurat-ul-Imam. p. 24-25) and as regards christianity, it is cursed with false doctrines such as the deification of Jesus Christ and belief in His atoning death, of the Jews in the time of Christ, the Pharisees believed too much the sadducees too little, and the whole religious life of the time was marked by formalism in worship and unrighteousness of life. So it is today in Islam. Muhammadens of the old school, who are under the guidance of the ignorant Mullahs, outstrip Roman Catholics and Buddhists in their reverence for Saints and devotion to tomb-worship. In short, they are superstitious and believe too much. On the other hand, Muhammadens of the new school, e.g. the followers of Sir Syed Ahmad, hold very loose views on the subject of revelation and resurrection. They are rationalistic and believe too little. A divinely-appointed Umpire is necessary, in order to arbitrate between the various positions and to restore “the golden mean” such is the Mission which the Mirza Sahib claims for himself. He is Hakam*5 or umpire in religious matters for the present age.
  2. B. The parallel between the Mission of Jesus of Nazareth and the Mission of Ahmad of Qadian.
    1. The special claims which the Mirza Sahib makes in respect of his Mission are as follows:
      1. He claims to be, like Jesus Christ, a divinely appointed Mediator between God and Man, and so a true intercessor with God for man. His doctrine of mediation may be summarised almost in his own words:- The very nature of man calls for a mediator. In order to fulfil his high office, a mediator must have at once a close connection with the divine being and a deep sympathy with mankind; in fact, he must share in the attributes of both. Thus he may be called metaphorically an image of the divine being, the Son of God, or the representative, manifestation, or incarnation of God upon earth (Rev of Rel. Jan. 1902, p.5.). As such he is at once a perfect manifestation of humanity. If the question be raised, why, is it not allowable that every one should suk deliverance for himself by directly repenting before God and asking for protection and support, the answer is that it is the spiritual connection of an imperfect being with a perfect man, by which the former gets a remedy for the weakness of his soul and a deliverance from the passions of the flesh. Those who undergo a perfect regeneration, through such a spiritual connection, acquire all the blessings and morals of the intercessor and become his perfect images. (Ved Rev. of Rel. may 1902, pp. 165-187). Thus as the mediator is the spiritual image of God, so the disciple is in duty bound to become the spiritual image of the mediator. This is the ethical principle of the Ahmadiyya movement. The Christian has little or no fault to find with the abstract doctrine of mediation, as formulated by the Mirza Sahib, since it is taken almost word for word from the New Testament. It is to be noted, however, that the Mirza Sahib teaches the doctrine of mediators many, in apposition to the Christian doctrine that there is one mediator between God and men, the Lord Jesus Christ.

He says; “It is unreasonable to assert that in the whole world and during all ages there has been but a single manifestation of God. Every age stands in need of new light and a new representative” (Rev. of Rel., Jan. 1902, pp.5-6). In this emphasis on the need of an Imam in every generation (Zarurat-ul-Imam,1898) the affinities of the sage of Qadian are with the Shiahs. The doctrine of an inspired succession of Imams among the Shiahs is the analogue of the doctrine of repeated incarnation among the Hindus.

      1. The Mirza Sahib claims, in the second place, that he is the divinely appointed UMPIRE (Al-Hakam) to arbitrate among the warring sects and jangling creeds, and the divinily sent Mahdi to wage, with the weapons of second reasoning and clear demonstration, a spiritual Jihad against all enemies of the truth such as Aryas, Christians and Mullah-guided Muhammadans, and especially to destroy from off the earth the mischievous doctrine of the Cross.
      2. Thirdly, the Mirza Sahib claims that the spirit of his mission is identical with that of the Mission of Jesus Christ. Like Jesus he claims to be a man of peace. There is to be no appeal to the sword. If at times the Mirza Sahib has felt constrained to smite with the sword of his mouth such men as Pandit-Lekh-Ram, Deputy Abdullah Atham, Dr: Henry Martin ClarkMaulvi Muhammad Hussain and Mullah Muhammad Bakhsh, it is because in his opinion these men are like unto the ancient “Scribes, pharisees and hypocrites” which the Lord Jesus denounced.
    1. : To sum up, the Mirza Sahib claims to be the Imam-uz-Zaman or spiritual leader of his time, the mediator between God and man, the promised Mahdi or spiritual warrior of God, Hakam or divinely-sent Arbitrator, the second Adam, the true Ahmad or spiritual manifestation (بروز) of the prophet Muhammad, the promised Messiah, and metaphorically a manifestation of Deity.

In the light of these titles we need not be surprised to learn that a man who began by regarding himself as the Masil-i-Masih, or the one ‘like unto’ Christ has discovered at least that he is ‘greater’ than Christ. Listen to the following: “I wonder** what peculiarities there are in the Son of Mary, which make him a God. Do these consist in his miracles? But mine are greater than his. Were his prophecies very clear and true? But I shall be guilty of concealing a truth., if I do not assert that the prophecies which almighty God has granted me are of a far better quality in clearness, force and truth, than the ambiguous predictions of Jesus. Can we conclude his divinity from the words used of him in the Gospels? But I swear by the Lord* that the words expressing my dignity revealed from God* are for more weighty and glorious than the words of the Gospels relating to Jesus. But notwithstanding all this superiority, I cannot assert divinity or sonship of God*** My Superiority lies in being the Messiah of Muhammad, as Jesus was the Messiah of Moses” (Rev. of Rel., May 1902, p. 206). And note the following: “The word of God revealed to me contains expressions on whose strength I could establish, such more easily than Jesus, my claim to DIVINITY”(J.J.P. 205). Such expressions, occur, for instance in one of the latest inspirations of the Mirza Sahib(DAFI-UL-BALA, April 1902, p.7), where we read, in Arabic of course, words of which the following is a literal translation. “Those are to me as a son. Thou are from me and I from Thee” (انت منی بمنزلتی اولادی انت منی وا انا منک )

Thus the way is open for the Mirza Sahib to make still large claims. He may yet spell Ahmad without the letter m(Ahad, the unity of deity) as Dr: Imad-ud-Din surmised.

    1. So much for the claims of the Prophet of Qadian. We now come to the credentials by which the supports his claims. These consist of “Signs” both natural and supernatural. Under the head of the Natural Signs which accompany the Mirza Sahib’s Mission are mentioned his eloquence in the Arabic tongue, profound understanding of the Quran, the growth in the number of his disciples, (the number given last year ranging from 10,000 to 50,000 Rev of Rel. Aug:1902, p.336). The magnetism of his personality, the good effect of his teaching on the lives of his disciples, etc., etc. Under the head of “supernatural signs” may be reckoned answers to prayer, miracles, and prophecies. The statistics for this head are as follows: Answers to prayer 30,000 (Zarurat-ul-Imam, 1898, p. 24), or is it 10,000? (Rev. of Rel. May 1902, p. 205), and supernatural signs 150 (J.J. P. 205). It is quite likely that the Mirza Sahib confines his strictly supernatural signs to prophecies alone, since of his chief disciples, Maulvi Abdul Karim, declares, evidently with the approbation of the Master, that “the only species of miracle to which reason, science and the laws of nature are perfectly reconciled is prophecy” (Rev. of Rel. Aug,1902, p.317). So that when the Mirza Sahib claims to have “restored the dead to life in the manner in which Divine Law has allowed it” (J.J.P. 205) his meaning is probably only this that through the living water of his teaching he has, metaphorically speaking, quickened those who were dead in sin. Prophecy, then, is the supreme evidence of the Mission of the Qadiani Sahib. We may divide his so called prophecies into three classes: (a) those relating to the death or disgrace of definitely mentioned individuals, (b) those pertaining to natural events such as plague, eclipse, etc, and (c) those declaring the victory of the Ahmadiyya cause and the defeat of all opponents.

Prophecies

Maulvi Muhammad Hussain, the Editor of the ISHAAT-US-SUNNAT, declares (reply to the KASHFUL-GHITA. P.17) that “the prophet of Qadian has predicted the death & O., of no less than 121 persons.” Of thse it will be sufficient to mention only two, namely, Pandit Lekh Ram and Deputy Abdullah Atham. The Mirza Sahib predicted the death of Pandit Lekh Ram, his chief antagonist in the Arya Samaj, and soon he was murdered by somebody or other under circumstances which gave rise to the strong suspicion that it was the deed of a pretended Muhammadan inquirer. Again, during the Amritsar controversy (May 22 to June 5, 1893), the Mirza Sahib predicted the death of his Christian antagonist Deputy Abdullah Atham, which was to take place within the space of fifteen months, i.e., before Sept: 5, 1894. It was believed at the time that the life of Mr. Atham was in danger, and precautions were taken by his friends, in order to guard him from possible assassination. He himself in an upon letter to the Mirza Sahib, which appeared in the NUR AFSHAN, uttered words to this effect: I am afraid not of your prophecy, but of your followers: Mr. Abdullah Atham, however, survived the Mirza Sahib’s prophecy, i.e., the period of time covered by his prediction. Of course the Mirza Sahib had to justify the failure of his prophecy by a new revelation, to the effect that the life of Abdullah Atham was prolonged, because he had to some extent acknowledged the majesty of Islam, — to this extent at least that he was filled with perturbation and fear on account of this Islamic or rather Ahmadiyyah prophecy (FATAH ISLAM) dated 5th Sept, 1894, pp.1-6). The reasoning of the Mirza Sahib is essentially as follows: If Mr. Atham had been as persistent in his hatred and contempt of Islam as before, he would have died within the fifteen months. He did not die within this time. Therefore his attitude towards Islam must have changed, and as proof of this he instances his removed from place to place, perturbation of spirit, fear of snakes, etc. But the original prophecy of Abdullah Atham’s death, like all prophecies of punishment, was conditional. It contained the proviso, “unless he turn toward the truth” (BASHARTE KI HAQQ KI TARAF RUJU NA KARE). But since the predicted death did not take place within the time specified, the conclusion is inevitable, says the Mirza Sahib, that the condition of escaping death was fulfilled, namely that Abdullah Atham to some extent softened in his attitude towards Islam. Hence, according to the Mirza Sahib, the prophecy was fulfilled within the time specified. This is a classic instance of the Qadiani Sahib’s special pleading. About eighteen months after, Mr. Atham, already an old man, died at Firozpur. Such is the nature of the fulfillment of the Mirza Sahib’s predictions in two test cases. The reader may judge for himself as to the truth and holiness of such a prophet and his likeness to Jesus Christ, and yet Maulvi Abdul Karim one of the Mirza Sahib’s prominent disciples, has lately had the face to write as follows: “Coming two individuals** the representatives of the worshippers of falsehood, Almighty God recealed to him (i.e. to the Mirza Sahib) prophecies of their death, which were made public. THE FULFILMENT OF THESE PROPHECIES BY THE WRATH OF GOD CONSUMING ATHAM AND LEKH RAM has at least sealed the truth of Islam and its founder” (Rev. of Rel., Aug 1892, p. 533). Rather let us say, it has sealed the falsity of the Ahmadiyyah and its founder, for it is a slander of the genuine Islam to represent its cause as in any way dependent on the fulfilment of the malicious and ungodly predictions of the prophet of Qadian. That Maulvi Muhammad Hussain was right in calling the Mirza Sahib’s prophecies “dangerous” and “mischievous6 has already been recognised by Government in an order prohibiting the Mirza Sahib from publishing alarming and mischievous prophecies, challenges, and inspirations, and exacting an agreement from him to that effect. (In the case of Maulvi Abu Said Muhammad Hussain versus Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Deputy Commissioner, Gurdaspur, in an [order dated Feb 24th, 1899], effected a settlement by exacting a promise from both parties. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, solemnly promised

  1. To refrain from publishing any prediction involving the disgrace of any person, or in which any one should be re-represented as an object of God’s displeasure.
  2. To refrain from publishing any challenge to appeal to God to indicate the signs of His displeasure, such as disgrace, etc., the party in a religious controversy which is in the wrong.
  3. To refrain from publishing any writing purporting to be an inspiration, the object of which can be reasonably taken to be the disgrace of any person, or the representing of him as an object of the divine wrath.

Vid the NUR AFSHAN Ludhiana Sept: 14th 1900, and the AKHBAR-I-AMM LAHORE, March 17th 1899.)

It must be admitted, however, in justice to the Mirza Sahib, that he has uttered not only malicious prophecies announcing the death or disgrace of his enemies., but also benevolent prophecies announcing to himself, or to his friends, the birth of Sons. But these prophecies have not always been remarkable for the exactness of their fulfilment. Sometimes the predicted Sons do not appear at all; and sometimes, when they do appear, they turn out to be daughters, to the immense disgust of all concerned. The prophetic trade is not without its humours: (Vid [‘ASAI MUSA], p. 40, and [Gul Shigufta]p.30).

The plague has furnished the Mirza Sahib an occasion for various prophecies (vid. DAFI-UL-BALA April 1892), and in due time he will doubtless have something prophetic to say about the destruction of St: Pierre in Martinique and with reference to the illness of King Edward VII. In 1898 he published “A Revealed cure for the Bubonic Plague” in which a quack medicine known as the Marham-i-Isa or “Ointment of Jesus” is declared to be “the specific remedy” for the plague, since it has been “prepared sobly under the influence of Divine Inspiration”. In 1902, he published the Dafi-ul-Bala, in which the cause of the plague is traced to the world’s refusal to accept him, the prophet of Qadian, and to its ill treatment of him, and in which accordingly the the remedy prescribed is, that “people with sincere heart accept him as the promised Messiah;” or at the very best cease from reviling and persecuting him. In this, his latest plague pamphlet, there is no mention of the “Revealed Cure” of 1898. Can it be that the MARHAM-I-ISA is already Mansukh or abrogated? It appears, however, that the action of Government in the case of Hakim Muhammad Hussain, MARHAM-I-ISA manufacturer, Lahore has deterred the Mirza Sahib from the public exploitation of the history and virtues of this ointment in the Panjab. (see the order issued by the Deputy Commissioner of Lahore, dated 19th Oct: 1899, and also the decision of the Chief Court of the Panjab in the appealed case, dated 8th June 1900).

The Mirza Sahib’s plague prophecies illustrate well the delphic ambiguity of his oracles, and also the way in which the indefinite is made definite Post Evetum. For example, in the BARAHIN-I-AHMADIYYA(1880) occurs a revelation, in imitation of the style of the Quran, thus: “Say, with me is a testimony from God; will ye them believe? Say, with me is a testimony from God; will ye then submit?” (Arabic text). According to the Mirza Sahib’s interpretation (DAFI-UL-Bala, April 1902,p. 9), the first ‘Testimony’ refers to the testimony of heaven through a solar eclipse in the month of Ramzan; and the second ‘testimony’, to the testimony of the earth through the plague. Again, in the DAFI-UL-Bala, p. 6, foot note, he refers to a revelation given ten years ago (in 1892), the literal translation of which is: “Build a slip before my eyes and according to my command.” (Arabic text). Note that in the translation of Arabic revelation the Mirza Sahib adds POST EVENTUM the words, “which shall deliver from the coming plague” (Jo Anewali Mari Se Bachaegi). Again in Feb: 6th, 1898 the Mirza Sahib announced the following revelation: “God has revealed to me that an outburst of the disease in this country, and especially in the Punjab, is yet to be feared, which may take place in the coming winter or in the winter following it (A Revealed Cure, p.1). How delightfully clear and definite this prophecy is. And what unique information it provides. Lastly, in April 1892 the Mirza Sahib issued the following oracle: “As long as the plague continues in the world, even if for seventy years, God will protect Qadian from its fearful devastation, because this is the seat of His Apostle” (Dafi-ul-Bala, p. 10). Note the ambiguity of this prophecy. It may mean either absolute protection from the plague or protection from such a devastation as shall be ‘fearful’. The Mirza Sahib has provided carefully for the latter alternative by making the original prophecy more explicite: “God said, I will protect Qadian from this devastation, especially from such a devastation that people will die like dogs of the plague” (Dafi-ul-Bala p. 17). The literal translation of the original prophecy reads thus: “God is not such a one that He will afflict them, in as much as thou art in the midst of them. He has had compassion on the village:” (Arabic text). Such is the original revelation, of which the above-mentioned passages are very free renderings on the part of the Mirza Sahib, with editorial additions as well, which are not found in the original Arabic. It is well for the Mirza Sahib that he thus provided for unpleasant possibilities, if the report be true that before the end of May, 1902 seven people had already died of the plague in Qadian (Vid Nur Afshan, May 23, 1902).

The reason why the village of Qadian enjoys such unique protection from the plague is to be noticed. It is because it is the seat of God’s Apostle, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. In harmony with this is the fact that on the front page of the Mirza’s publications, Qadian is called Dar-ul-Aman or “Place of Peace”, a title usually applied only to Mecca. It is clear from many indications that the village of Qadian is to be converted, if possible, into a twentieth century Mecca. (In fact the village of Qadian has a double honour. It is the home of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and so the centre of the Ahmadiyyah Sect. It is also the home of his cousin Mirza Imam-ud-Din, the spiritual preceptor of the sweeper community, who arranges for a yearly mela of his brother Lal Begis at Qadian. Every thing is to be new, fresh and upto date — a new apostle, a new revelation, a new pilgrimage, etc., etc., The Mirza Sahib, began with the claim to be the Masil-i-Masih or the one ‘like unto’ Christ; but he soon discovered that he is ‘greater’ than Christ, and in the new capacity he arrogates to himself the right to revile Christ. (“He taught one thing and did anther.” Rev. of Re., p. 42; Christ sadly lacked the quality of philanthropy.” Id.p.106; “In the Life Of Jesus There Is The Confession Of Sin, Repentance Like That Of Sinners, And Deeds Similar To Those Of The Guilty” Id p. 113; “Jesus was addicted to the habit of drinking” Id. p. 114 under the heading “The DRUNKENNESS OF JESUS*” 7 ; Id. p. 300. see also the NUR AFSHAN, Sept 12, 1902. And yet, strange to say, the Mirza Sahib claims to be the “perfect image” (Rev. of Rel June 1902, p. 251) of such a character.

Likewise, the Mirza Sahib claims to be the Ahmad promised in the Quran, since he has come as the BURUS ( ) or ‘spiritual reappearance’ of the prophet Muhammad. How long will it take the Masil-i-Muhammad to become ‘greater’ than Muhammad? The Mirza Sahib claims to be reformer of Islam. He is in reality a DESTROYER OF ISLAM, and as such he is recognised by the great mass of Indian Muhammadans, as the numerous FATWAS issued against him abundantly testify. Even his own cousin and fellow townsman, Mirza Imam-ud-Din, says concerning him: “If he were a follower of Muhammad, he would not abuse the family of the prophet, nor would he so amend (Tarmim) the Quran as virtually to abrogate (Tansikh) it” (Gul Shigufta, 1899, p. 19).

It is not necessary to do more than mention the third class of the Mirza Sahib’s prophecies: Viz, those which declare in general terms the victory of the Ahmadiyyah cause and the overthrow of all opponents. These prophecies are very numerous. A good example is found in the Dafi-ul-Bala (p.8): “The time is coming when I shall exalt thee to such a high position that the world shall praise thee. Success is with thee and failure with thine enemies” (vid Rev of Rel., June 1902, p. 247).

Proselytizing

We now come to the methods which the Mirza Sahib employes in making known his mission to the world. There are four: namely, literature, public disputation, the challenge and educational work. The Mirza Sahib fully appreciates the value of the press. He has his own printing press and book depot at Qadian. He publishes two papers —- “Al-Hakam” in Urdu, and “the Review of Religions” in English. He pours forth a constant stream of notices, open letters, memorials to Government, handbills etc., etc., it is claimed that “during the last twenty two years he has written about fifty books in Arabic, Persian and Urdu” (Rev. of Rel., Feb 1902, p.63), and that “these books**** have been circulated not only in India, but in distant countries like Persia, Arabia, Kabul, Syria and Egypt” (Kashf-ul-Ghita p. 4). He has an ambition to exploit his doctrines in the west. I have in my possession an open letter, dated June 16th 1902, addressed to The Editor of (Name to be supplied). It begins thus: “Sir I beg to inform the western world through the best medium of your esteemed Journal, of a new discovery.” And then follows a description of “the greater discovery” of the age, namely that Jesus Christ dies in Cashmere and that his tomb exists there ‘unto this day’.

Public disputation is another favourite method of making known the Ahmadiyya ‘Gospal’. The prophet of Qadian thrives on notoriety. Whatever the result of a controversy may be, the Mirza Sahib is sure to score an advantage, since every such encounter is made to furnish material for new books, notices and pamphlets in bewildering abundance; and by such means he keeps himself before the attention of the public.

The ‘challenge’ plays an important part in the tactics of the Mirza Sahib. Sometimes it is a challenge to a discussion. Again, it is a challenge to prove some point historical or doctrinal, as e.g. that the miracles of Jesus were greater in number and congency than the miracles of the Mirza Sahib, success to carry with a reward of one thousand rupees: Vid. Siraj-i-Munir, (advertisement on the back cover). Or again, it is a challenge to a literary contest in Arabic composition, addressed to Christian Maulvis and commanding them to justify their title of Maulvi by producing within two months a work in Arabic rivalling the style of an Arabic book written by the Mirza Sahib, and at the same time to earn the promised reward of Rs. 5000// or else to drop the title of Maulvi: (see “A Criterion to test the Righteous and the wicked,” 1894). Or again, it may be a challenge to a prophetic contest, as e.g. in the Dafi-ul-Bala,p.10 where Aryas, Sanatan Dharmis, Christians, and Mulla-guided Muhammadans are challenged in turn to predict the safety from plague of some particular city. If they refuse to accept the challenge, then the inference, which must be drawn, according to the Mirza Sahib, is tht “the true God is that God, who has caused His Apostle to appear in Qadian.” This is a good instance of the Qadiani “bluff.” or yet again, it may be challenge to a Mubahala, or contest in mutual cursing, with appeals to God for judgment, (Comp, Kashful Ghita, p. 29, and the Ishtihar of Mullah Muhammad Bakhsh Nov: 3rd 1898). Or again, it is a challenge to Almighty God to grant an “extraordinary heavenly sign.” In his “prayer,” dated Nov: 5th 1899, the Mirza Sahib says: “If thou dost not show within the three years, that shall be computed from January 1900 to December 1902, some heavenly sign to support and confirm my claims,***** be thou witness that I shall never again look upon myself as a righteous being.” Lastly, it is reported that the Mirza Sahib is preparing a challenge to be sent to Dr. John Alexander Dowie of Chicago. A passage at arms between the faith-healer of the West and the another of an “inspired” plague remedy in the East would certainly be entertaining. The Mirza Sahib evidently intends in this way to bring his claim, to the attention of the Western world. He has the dream of a world-wide propaganda.

The educational work under the care of the Ahmadiyyah movement is still in its infancy, there is a school at Qadian, with primary, Middle and High school department, where the sons of Mirza Sahib’s followers may receive instruction. A noticeable feature of the school is the encouragement given to the study of Hebrew. Two candidates for the Entrance Examination appeared last year from his school, with Hebrew as one of their subjects, and one of the two passed it. So far as I know, the first attempt to acquire a knowledge of Hebrew on the part of the Indian Muhammadans has been among the followers of the prophet of Qadian.

Conclusion

Our sketch of the Ahmadiyyah movement is about finished. From this rapid survey, what conclusion must we draw concerning the character, intellectual, moral, and religious, of the founder of the Ahmadiyyah sect? Intellectually, he possesses as certain cleverness in manipulating his materials and in advertising his claims in a highly sensational manner. He is a master of the art of ‘posing’ before the public. He now and then displays a certain acuteness in attacking the christian position. For example, the following on Mark XVI. 17.18: “If we are told to take these verses metaphorically and not literally, to take the ‘swallowing of poison’ for subduing violence, and ‘snakes’ for mischievous persons, for instance, then without losing our right of objecting ot this foolish straining of the meaning of plain words, we may ask why the miracles which are ascribed to Jesus should not be read in the same light as the signs which he said his followers will show. Jesus repeatedly said that his followers shall show the same signs, and even greater than those, which he showed**** If there si any truth in the statement that the signs promised to be shown by the followers are only metaphorical descriptions of excellent moral qualities, the conclusion cannot be avoided that the miracles of the master must have the same reality.” (Rev. of Rel., May 1902, pp. 195-196). As regards his linguistic training in Arabic and Persian, it is considerable as to extent, but entirely traditional as to quality. He has no knowledge of critical methods of research in either history or philology. His lack of acquaintance with critical methods of investigation in the field of history has already has already been sufficiently exposed in connection with the statement of his theories concerning the death of Christ. There is no criticism of the sources. There is no examination of rival theories. Sweeping statements about the Marham-i-Isa are made, e.g. that “Over a thousand books refer to it,” and yet detailed references to these books are not given, etc. In fact, one wonders why the Mirza Sahib has stooped to historical investigation at all. Why did he not cut the “GORDIAN KNOT” at once by giving to the world a “revealed” history of the life and death of Christ, Just as he has given it a “revealed cure” for the bubonic plague?

In the field of philogy his ignorance and presumption are simply amazing, for example, the Arabic word خنزیر Khinzir. ‘Pig’, is explained as a compound of خنز Khinz ‘very Foul’ and ار ar ‘I see’. Literally, then (‘I see it is very foul.’ and then he goes on to say: “But what is till more wonderful is that in Hindi this animal is known by the name of سؤر Suar, which is composed of two words سؤ su and ار ar; the latter part of the Arabic word: and the former, being the exact equivalent of the first part of the first part of the Arabic from*** Suar is therefore an Arabic world.” (Rev. of Rel. March 1902, pp.99-100). On evidence such as this, is based the Mirza Sahibs greatest philological “discovery” that “Arabic is the mother of all languages,” (Id,p.100). The veriest tyro in comparative philology will recognize from this at once that the Mirza Sahib’s so-called philology bears about the same relation to a sound critical philology as astrology bears to astronomy, or alchemy to chemistry. The Mirza Sahib has made known to the world no less that three great discoveries – one “a revealed care for the Bubonic Plague.” another that Jesus Christ died in Cashmere and was buried there. “a new discovery which is one of the most important events in all annals of discoveries”, and the third that “Arabic is the mother of all languages.” this last being “one of the greatest discoveries of the age.” Verily the achievements of the Qadiani Savant are wonderful. In the matter of propounding startling theories, he has all the facility of a German scholar; and in the way in which he has advertised and pressed his claims, he has the push of a Nebraska ‘hustler’.”

Two interesting points of contact are manifest between Mirza Ghulam Ahmad the founder of the Ahmadiyyah and Pandit Dayanand Sarasvati the founder of the Arya Samaj. The founder of the Arya Samaj held that the Vedas contain hints, ‘germs’, prophecies of all the great scientific discoveries of modern times. Likewise the founder of the Ahmadiyyah declares, concerning the Arabic language, that “the descriptive words of ignorant Bedouins disclose treasures of scientific facts which, we know not how many thousands of years afterwards, were discovered by the world” (Rev: of Rel, Feb 1902.p.80). The second point of resemblance in that both the sage of Qadian and the sage of Gujrat are patrons of the ‘twofold sense’. Thus the Mirza Qadiani can be a literalist of the literalists when it suits his purpose so to be., and with equal readiness he can allegorize any passage he pleases, when the literal meaning is obnoxious to him. Thus by means of an allegorical interpretation (استعارف) he is even able to find a certain truth in the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Divine love and human love being, as it were, two persons of the Trinity, and the enthusiasm which results from the union of these two being the third. In like manner, it requires only a limited knowledge of Pandit Dayanand’s commentary on the Riq Veda to assure one that he too was an uncritical patron of the twofold sense.

In gathering materials for his system, the Mirza Sahib is eclectic, so that his theology is a syncretism derived from many different sources. In his doctrine of the “heavenly light,” or “light of the spirit of God,” (Rev. of Rel., May 1902, p. 188), and in his teaching concerning the annihilation of self, mystic union with Muhammad, and ‘imitation’ of him, he is a Sufi (id.p.189). In his emphasis on the necessity of an Imam, he is a SHIAH. In his relationalistic theory of the death of Christ, he is a M’utazilite. In his abstract doctrine of a mediator, he is a Christian. And in his emphasis on ‘natural law’, he is a rationalist (naichri). Furthermore, in his assumed character as the MASIL-I-MASIH, or the one ‘like unto’ Christ, he continually uses New Testament phraseology, such as the Holy Spirit, son of God, regeneration, etc., etc.

It may cheerful be admitted that the Mirza Sahib sometimes says good things. For example: “The very nature of man calls for a mediator” (Rev. of Rel.,p. 165), “unless a man has seen His beauty and tasted of His goodness, he cannot love the Almighty Being” (Id. p. 177); “The system of prophets that rose among the Israelites after Moses and Walked in the footsteps of their great predecessor, is without a parallel in the history of the world” (Id.p.69); “The object of man’s life in this world is that the window of his heart should be opened towards God” (Id. p.294). Moreover, the Mirza Sahib’s crusade against Jihad and the Ghazi spirit, if sincere, is commendable. So, too, in his rejection of tomb-worship, and the emphasis which he puts on the necessity of a manifestation of the power of God in every age.

So much for the intellectual character of the Mirza Sahib. What of his moral and religious character? He himself as the representative of God on earth and the mediator between God and man, claims to be smiless and morally perfect. For the mediator is described as “a perfect manifestation of Divinity and a perfect manifestation of humanity” (Rev. Rel: May 1902,p. 173). The perfection of the mediator is not to be constructed, however, as the independent and absolute perfection of the Creator, but only as the dependent perfection of a creature. For, as the Mirza Sahib tells us. (Id. p.182). “He only is perfectly sinless, who strengthens his soul by drawing the Divine power by means of ISTIGHFAR and does not cease for a single movement to ddraw it by his supplications, prayers, and cries,” (the implication being of course that the Mirza Sahib does this). The followers of the prophet of Qadian show great reverence for their master and are enthusiastic over the winsomeness of his character.

As regards those who are outside the Qadiani Camp, all, so far as I know, whether Hindus, Aryas, Muhammadans or Christian, are at one in regarding the Mirza Sahib as a deceiver; but they do not agree as to the nature of his deception, whether it is conscious or unconscious. The opinions, on this point, concerning him may be summed up under three judgments: (1) that he is a conscious deceiver, (2) that he is insane, (3) that he is self-deluded. The opinion of the late Dr: Imad-ud-Din is that the Mirza Sahib is an out and out fraud. He pronounces him a cunning schemer (chalak). He writes: “It looks to me as if a number of men in the same secret had formed a Committee, with the Mirza Sahib as Chairman, the purpose of which is to secure, by making Messianic claims, a large Muhammadan following, and then when the time is ripe, to make a political demonstration against the peace of the country” (Tauzin-ul-Aqwal, p.5).

In the numerous FATWAS, which Muhammadan Associations all over India have issued against the Mirza Sahib, the strongest words of denunciation are used. Thus he is called KAFIR ‘unbeliever’; DAJJAL ‘Anti-Christ’, mulhid ‘heretic’, murtadd ‘apostate’, KAZZAB ‘LIAR’, Be-Iman ‘Faithless’, Daghabaz ‘Deceitful’ etc; etc; with such epithets as these is the ‘certificate’ filled, with which Muhammadan orthodoxy has dismissed the Mirza Sahib from its fellowship and service.

The second judgment concerning the Mirza Qadiani is voiced in the quaint words of an old Afghani boxwala, uttered in my hearing, to the effect that the Mirza Sahib’s brain has become maddled “US KA DIMAGH BAITH GAYA”). This opinion concerning the Mirza Sahib is similar to the opinion of Festus concerning Paul that “much learning” has made him “mad” the following reflections of the old AFGHANI on the subject are too good to go unmentioned: “If the Amir of Kabul were only in authority here, how soon the Mirza Sahib would lose his head. Every body says what he pleases under the British Government. The lion and the goat drink from the same spring.” In connection with the theory of the Mirza Sahib’s insanity, it may not be without interest to mention that at least tow persons in the PANJAB, who are acknowledged to be insane, have lately claimed to be Jesus Christ, one a weaver of Ludhiana, and the other a former student of the Forman Christian College, Lahore. The madness of the latter takes the shape of writing periodical letters to the Principal of the College and urging that his claim to be the Messiah be spudily admitted. In the light of these facts, the theory that the Mirza Sahib himself is insane is certainly a possible one.

On the whole, however, it seems to me that the third judgment is the safest one, namely that the Mirza Sahib is honest, but self deceived. So far as I am able to judge, his writings everywhere have the ring of sincerity. His persistency in affirming his claims in the face of the most intense and bitter opposition is magnificant. He is willing to suffer on behalf of his claims. And besides this, if, in the sober and matter-of-fact West, Dr. John Alexander Dowie of Chicago can claim to be the promised Elijah, we ought not to be surprised if in the warmer and more imaginative East Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian has claimed to be the promised Messiah. To both alike may be granted a measure of pity on the ground that they are the probable victims of unconscious self-deception.

But whether the Mirza Sahb be consciously a deceiver or only self-deceived, one thing is pretty certain on the basis of all the evidence, and that is that he is an impostor. Malicious predictions of the death of people and scandalous insinuations against the character of Jesus Christ in the very spirit of a Celsus and Julian are not the works of one who has been sent from God. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” We need not altogether deny to the Mirza Sahib the possession of certain signs and the honour of fulfilling prophecy. For he and such as help to swell the fulfilment of the prediction found in the Apocalypse of Jesus (Matt. XXIV. 24), to wit that “there shall arise FALSE CHRISTS and FALSE PROPHETS, and shall show great signs and wonders; so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect;” and also the prediction found in the Apocalypse of Paul (2 Thess. ii.9), where there is mention of one. “Whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all powers and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceit of unrighteousness for them that are perishing.”

What about the future of the Ahmadiyyah movement? Last year Maulvi Abdul Karim, one of the disciples of the Mirza Sahib, asserted that “over 50,000 persons have accepted the messenger of God” (Rev of Rel, Aug: 1902. p. 336). And this year (Aug 1902) a prominent follower of the Mirza Sahib, told me that the number of adherents of the Ahmadiyyah movement, including men, women, and children, had already reached 70,000. I known not on what calculations these figures are based, nor am I able to check them, since the new Census Returns are not yet accessible but, however exaggerated these figures may be, it is pretty clear that the numbers of the new sect are increasing.

The Ahmadiyyah movement in India may in several respects, be compared with the BABI movement in Persia. Though the public career of Mirza ‘Ali Mohammad the BAB was very short, only six years, A.D. 1844-1850, and these mostly spent in prison and terminated by his execution, and though his followers suffered unspeakable persecution from the Persian Government, nevertheless (or possibly on account of this) the BABI movement has grown until the number of Persian BABIS is reckoned at from 500,000 to 1,000,000, Lord Curzon inclining to the latter figure. (Persia, Vol 1.p. 499). The Ahmadiyyah movement is still in its infancy. It may attract a large following from the ranks of orthodox Muhammadanism, very much in the same way that the ARYA SAMAJ is preying upon orthodox Hinduism, or Christian science upon orthodox christianity, if circumstances prove favourable. Circumstances unfavourable to the growth and perpetuity of the new sect would be, the speedy death of the founder without a strong and capable successor, or conflict with ‘the powers that be,’ or such a development of doctrine on the part of the Mirza Sahib as might scandalize his followers.

But the most important point of contact between Babism and Qadianism lies in the similar claims of their respective founders. The persian Mirza,’Ali Muhammad, at first claimed to be only the Bab, or gateway of approach, to the IMAM MAHDI, the twelfth or ‘concealed’ Imam, who was expected to come again, but afterwards he put in a claim to be the IMAM MAHDI himelf (Vid. The Episode of the Bab by Edward G. Browne M.A., Vol. ii.p. 290). Of the two rival successors of the Bab, namely Mirza Yahya Subh-i-Azak and Nurza Hussain ‘Ali Biha Ullah, the latter anticipated the former by claiming for himself, or at least allowing his followers to claim for him, that he was the promised Messiah. Thus the BIHAIS say that “Biha is Christ returned again, even as he promised,” and that “as each incarnation is superior to preceding one, Biha is greater than Christ.” (Vid.sell, Essays on Islam,p.79,83,97). Biha Ullah died at ACRE in 1892 and was succeeded by his son ‘Abbas Effendi Abdul Biha who is the present head of the movement. Abdul Biha “the servant of the Glory (of God)” claims to be in some mystical sense the same being as his father and therefore hear to all his titles and perfections (see THE MORNING STAR July 1, 1902,pp. 76-77). He is at once Abdul Biha and Biha Ullah. What a perfect parallel to the Mirza Qadianis claim to be both the servant of Ahmad (Ghulam Ahmad) and the promised Ahmad himself. Thus the Persian Mirza ‘Ali Muhammad and his self-appointed successor Biha Ullah divided between themselves the titles of ‘promised Mahdi’ and ‘promised Messiah,’ the one assuming the first title, and the other the second. But the Indian Mirza Ghulam Ahmad arrogates to himself Both Titles. Similarities cannot be pursued further in detail. Suffice it to say that in the Sufi type of doctrine taught, in the emphasis on the necessity of a permanent succession of Imams, in the employment of the allegorical method of interpretation, and in the general nature of the reforms inculcated, such as the abolition of religious warfare and the promulgation of the sentiment of loyalty toward the Government under which one lives, there is a striking resemblance between the Babi movement in Persian and the Ahmadiyya movement in India. In fact, the resemblance is so close as almost to suggest imitation. It is true that between these two movements, which have so many points of contact, there are also important differences, notably in their attitudes towards Christianity, the Babis being friendly and even fraternal, which the Ahmadiyyah movement rivals the Arya Samaj in the bitterness of its attacks on Christianity.

An interesting parallel may also be drawn between the Ahmadiyyah movement and the Arya Samaj. Both are distinctly Panjabi movement, the Ahmadiyyah being native to this province, while the Arya Samaj though as an organization born in Bombay, has yet become thoroughly naturalized in the Punjab and finds its greated triumphs here. In this respect they differ from the Aligharh movement and the Brahmo Samaj, which have arisen and flourished in the United Provinces and Bengal. It is remarkable that just as two reform movements have sprung up within the bounds of orthodox Muhammadanism, the Aligarh movement being marked by liberal and rationalistic tendencies and the Ahmadiyyah movement by a conservative temper; so two reform movements have grown up in the bosom of orthodox Hinduism, the Brahmo Samaj representing a very rationalistic form of Hinduism, while the Arya Samaj, on the other hand, represents a far more conservative type.

What should be the attitude of Christian apologist toward the Mirza Sahib? Hitherto the practice has been to largely to ignore him, the only important exception being found in the Nur-Afshan, and in the Amritsar controversy, together with the literature which has grown out of it. The theory has been that it would be almost Infra Dig to give to his wild statements and absurd claims the honour of a serious examination. And besides it has been felt that since the Mirza Sahib loves notoriety and thrives on it, the proper thing to do is to defeat this desire by refusing to notice him. The proverb has also been applied to him: “Give him rope enough and he will hang himself,” the belief being that in his “Vaulting ambition” he will overdo the matter and defeat his own purpose. But it seems to me that the policy of ignoring the Mirza Sahib is in danger of being misunderstood. The refusal to answer him may be interpreted by thousands of ignorant Muhammadans as inability of his followers. Prof J.N. Farquhar of Calcutta condescended to answer an adventurer like Thakur Khan Chandra ji Verma, lest a refusal to answer him should be misinterpreted. The same reason holds good in the case of the Mirza Sahib. Public disputation of course is rarely to be commended. But in my opinion there is a decided need of carefully prepared pamphlets and handbills to be widely distributed among Muhammadans, exposing the baselessness of the Mirza Sahib’s views concerning the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. Other points may be safely left to be dealt with the Vigorous polemic of Muslim orthodoxy.

Lastly, what thoughts suggest themselves in connection with the Qadiani movement?

  1. The Ahmadiyyah represents a revolt from orthodox Islam in the direction of a more mystical and emotional type of piety. In this respect, too, it is akin to the Babi movement. It hungers after a personal manifestation of God, and it professes to have found this in the person of the Mirza Sahib. It reveals a longing more or less sincere for a revival of religion in the world. In these respects, it is a good illustration of the ferment and unrest, the groping after something that will satisfy, which characterizes the religious life of India today.
  2. The Ahmadiyyah is thus a kind of half way house between Islam and Christianity. Muhammadan converts, who relapse, have already shown a tendency to find their resting place in the Ahmadiyyah; and, on the other hand, some who were for time under the influence of the Mirza Sahib have become decided christians. (Vid. Mukhtasar Kawaif-i-Yusafi, 1894, for an account of such an experiment). All the more is the latter a possibility, since the Mirza Sahib’s assumed character as the promised Messiah makes it inevitable that his followers will become more or less familiar with the ideas and phraseology of the Bible, and such knowledge will doubtless in God’s providence contribute sooner or later to coming of His Kingdom in the hearts of many.
  3. The vigour and enthusiasm with which the Messiah of Qadian, in season and out season publishes, his own name and sounds forth his own praises, puts us to shame whose only mission it is to make known the more of Jesus Christ, the true Messiah and the Saviour of the world.

The hope of the world is not in the Messiah of Qadian, so notorious for malevolent predictions; but in Jesus Christ of Nazareth who loved His enemies and gave His life for them.

  1. The Mirza Sahib’s claim to be the promised Messiah has stirred up endless discussion within the ranks of Indian Muhammadanism. His very claim has by contrast forced to the front the person and claim of Him whom christians and Muhammadans alike recognize as the Messiah sent of God.
  2. And finally the Mirza Sahib’s own impressive diagnosis of the moral and spiritual evils of the day both in Islam and in Christianity ought to help to constrain us, not indud to give thanks that the promised deliverer has already come and is in our midst, but rather to lift up our eyes with longing and prayer to God that soon, whether through a personal appearing in glory to rule the earth in righteousness, or through a widespread and powerful outpouring of His spirit, the Christ of God may come.

POSTSCRIPT ——- According to the Report of the Census of India for 1901, Vol. Xvii, p. 143 “the sect return shows 1,113 followers, males over 15, of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian.” Mr. H. A. Rose, the editor of the Report, says that “the return is probably a complete one” for the Panjab and North-West Frontier Provinces. Ten thousand would probably be a liberal estimate for all India of the Mirza Sahib’s following including man, women, and children.


References

Footnotes
Ref Notes
1 See his writings [Didi-Haqq], [Gul Shigufta] and [Hidayat Name].
2 Arabic Text in original footnote: (Sura LXI.6.)
3 Arabic Text
4 (Vid. Ref: of Rel., Feb 1902, n 66 My attitude towards the British Government”, 1895, p.7: “Jesus Christ had impaired pure and simple teachings to his disciples in the shape of Injil, which was deliberately corrupted by his subsequent so called followers to such an extent that the present God of Christians can in no way be identified with the God of the Son of Mary.”).
5 Zarurat-ul-Imam, p, 24.
6 Reply to the Kashf-ul-Ghita p.1.
7 “A man who drinks wine so long as he lives and likes the company of women of dubious character, sinners and drunkards, does not present an example worthy of emulation”

 

“The Promised Messiah” by Mirza Mubarak Ahmad (1968)



Intro

My team and I have found a rare book on Ahmadiyya.  Its called “The Promised Messiah” by Mirza Mubarak Ahmad, who was one of the oldest sons of Mirza Basheer-uddin Mahmud Ahmad.  Not to be confused with other Mirza Mubarak Ahmad, who would have been his uncle, instead he died in 1907.  This book came from a speech that Mirza Mubarak Ahmad delivered as an address on 22nd October 1968 to the 19th Annual gathering of Indonesian Ahmadis at Jakarta.  He also wrote “Our Foreign Missions” (1958) which explains the spread of Ahmadiyya in the world.

The link to the book
https://archive.org/stream/ThePromisedMessiahByMirzaMubarakAhmad/The%20Promised%20Messiah%20by%20Mirza%20Mubarak%20Ahmad_djvu.txt

The book

Born in 1835 in Qadian (India), Hazrat Mirza Ghulam 
Ahmad remained devoted to the study of the Holy Quran, 
and to a life of prayer and exertion. Finding Islam 
the target of foul attacks from all directions, the for- 
tunes of Muslims at a low ebb, faith yielding to 
doubt and religion only skin-deep, he undertook a 
vindication and exposition of Islam, first in his epoch- 
making Barahin-i-Ahmadiyya, issued in four volumes. 
Islam, he said, was a living faith, by following which man 
could establish contact with his Maker and enter into 
communion with Him. The teachings contained in the Holy 
Quran and the Law promulgated by Islam were designed 
to raise man to moral, intellectual and spiritual perfection. 
He announced that God had appointed him the Messiah 
mentioned in the prophecies of the Bible and the Holy 
Quran. In 1889 he began to enrol for his Movement now 
established in centres and mosques for the preaching of 
Islam all over the world. His 80 books were written 
mostly in Urdu, but some in Arabic and Persian. After 
his death in 1908 he was succeeded by Hazrat Maulawi 
Nuruddin, his first Khalifa. On the death of Hazrat 
Maulawi Nuruddin in 1914, he was succeeded by his 
second Khalifa, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud 
Ahmad, who was also his promised son. Hazrat Mirza 
Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad died in 1965 and was 
succeeded by Hazrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad, a grandson of 
the founder. 



THE PROMISED 
MESSIAH 



MIRZA MUBARAK AHMAD 



THE PROMISED 
MESSIAH 



MIRZA MUBARAK AHMAD 






A brief study of the personality and character of Hazrat 
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Founder of the Ahmadiyya Move- 
ment in Islam, delivered as an address on 22nd October 1968 
to the 19th Annual gathering of Indonesian Ahmadis at 
Djakarta. 



PUBLISHED BY KENT PUBLICATIONS 
Printed in England by Lonsdale & Bartholomew Printing Limited 



MIRZA MUBARAK AHMAD 



Grandson of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised 
Messiah and Mahdi (peace be on him), Mirza Mubarak 
Ahmad was born in May 1914, nearly two months after his 
father, Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, the late Head 
of the Ahmadiyya Movement, was elected as the Second 
Successor of the Promised Messiah. 

On completing his studies in Arabic and graduation from 
the Punjab University, Mirza Mubarak Ahmad dedicated his 
life to the service of Islam and at present directs the affairs 
of the Tahrik-i-Jadid, Anjuman Ahmadiyya (Pakistan) of 
which he is the Chief Director. In that capacity he controls 
the Movement's various Missions outside the Indo-Pak 
sub-continent and in this connection has visited most of the 
European countries, the U.S.A., Middle East, Hong Kong, 
Thailand, Japan, Philippines, some countries of West Africa 
and Malaysia as well as Indonesia. 



Dear Brethren, 

Today I would like to speak on some aspects of the 
character of the Promised Messiah, the Founder of the 
Ahmadiyya Movement, peace and blessings of Allah be on 
him. Although I have not the honour and good fortune of 
being a Companion of the Promised Messiah, peace be on 
him, having been born several years after his demise, yet 
I have the honour of being related to him both spiritually and 
physically and my heart prostrates itself before my Lord for 
this great favour. I am a son of his illustrious Companion 
and Promised Son and Successor, the late Hazrat Mirza 
Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (Allah be pleased with him), 
whom God declared to be His image in respect of his moral 
and spiritual excellences and of his piety and righteousness. 

Thus, though I have not seen the Promised Messiah, yet 
I have the good fortune of having seen the one who was his 
image in virtue and piety, and, in that sense I may say, I have 
seen him. However, as I am not a Companion myself, I shall 
base all my statements entirely on the reports of the Com- 
panions of the Promised Messiah, peace be on him. 

At the very outset I shall quote his illustrious Companion 
Hazrat Mir Muhammad Ismail (Allah be pleased with him), 
who had also the honour of being his brother-in-law. 
Describing his physical figure and features, he says: 

"Ahmadis are, by the Grace of Allah, to be found all 
over the world. But there is a world of difference between 
the Ahmadis who have seen Ahmad, and those who have not 
seen him. The bliss of having seen him and enjoyed his 
company still pervades the hearts of those who had seen 
him. There is a great deal of difference between a picture 
and its original; but the difference is perceived only by one 
who has seen the original. Instead of trying to give a 
detailed account of his physical figure and features, I may 
describe him in a single phrase: He was an excellent example 
of manly grace. 

"This description will, however, remain incomplete if I do not 
add that this manly grace was accompanied by a spiritual 
lustre and effulgence. Indeed he was sent to illustrate 
the beauties of Islam, but Allah blessed him with physical 
grace also, which attracted the hearts of those who saw him. 

11 



"He was fair of complexion. His figure was well pro- 
portioned. No shock, grief, trial or tribulation could turn 
him pale. His blessed face ever shone like a piece of pure 
gold. A cheerful smile always played on it. Those who saw 
him used to say: If this person were a liar, and were himself 
conscious of his being a liar, how could he have this cheerful- 
ness and these signs of bliss, victory and tranquillity on his 
face? These outward signs of piety and righteousness can 
not reflect an evil inward. Likewise, the light of faith can not 
radiate from the face of an impostor. 

'There never was any sign of perplexity or grief on his 
face; the visitor always found a smile and cheerfulness 
playing on it. His eyes habitually remained half-closed. 
There was always an expression of keen insight, farsighted- 
ness and intelligence on his forehead. His bearing and dress 
betrayed no kind of formality. After his Prototype, the Holy 
Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, he had, 
indeed, some regard for his appearance, but absorption in 
or too much attention to it was alien to his dignified bearing. 

"Having described his external and physical grace, T would 
now mention some incidents regarding his internal excel- 
lences. First and foremost, was his love of Allah. That is 
the strongest link between the Creator and His creatures. 
Reflection on the marvellous manner how this Divine love 
started in his life, produces a state of ecstasy in every one 
that possesses a feeling heart. It was in his youth, when 
the desire for worldly progress and material comfort and 
prosperity is the strongest in man's mind, that one day his 
father sent a message to him, through a landholder of the 
locality, to the effect that, being on friendly terms with a 
high government official, he might be able to persuade him 
to give his son a good job if the latter would like it. On this, 
he, at once, said : 'Please tell my father that I am thankful 
to him for his love and affection for me, but he need not worry 
about any job for me, for I have already secured the job 
I liked.' " (Siratul Mahdi). 

His father always worried how this child of his would fare 
after his death. But the God of Islam is a very Faithful and 
Appreciating Lord. Just before his father breathed his last, 
God consoled him with the mighty revelation : 

12 



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"Is not Allah sufficient for His servant?" (Tazkirah). 

The Promised Messiah, peace be on him, often used to say 
that this message came to him with such glory and majesty 
that it settled firmly in his heart like a steel nail hammered 
into a block of wood, and that from that moment on Allah 
took care of him in a way that has no parallel in the care 
of a father, relative or friend. He often said that after this 
Revelation, he received so many favours from Allah that it is 
not possible to count them — (Kitabul Bariyya). 

Dilating on an aspect of this Divine care and guardianship, 
at one place, he says with a feeling of extreme gratitude: 



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"There was a time when the crumbs fallen from the tables 
of others constituted my food, but today, by the Grace of 
Allah, whole families are being entertained at my table." 

One landholder of the locality, perhaps the same through 
whom his father had sent him the message regarding employ- 
ment, has said that once a high official or estate-holder said 
to his father, "I have heard that you have a younger son, too, 
but I have never seen him". On this his father said, with 
a smile, "Indeed, I have a younger son, but he is like a newly 
married bride who is seldom seen. If you want to see him, 
you may find him in some corner of the mosque, for he 
remains mostly in the mosque, and takes no interest in 
worldly affairs." 

What a wonderful phenomenon ! The Promised Messiah, 
peace be on him, renounces the world for the sake of Allah, 
and Allah starts showering spiritual and temporal favours 

13 



upon him. In fact, Allah placed the good things of both the 
worlds at his feet, but for him, in comparison with Divine Love 
and nearness to Him, nothing else had any significance at all. 
Supplicating Allah, in one of his Persian poems, he says: 

"O Thou, to Whom my soul, my heart and every particle 
of mine are dedicated, open wide to me, out of Thy Mercy 
and Grace, all the gates of Divine Realisation. The philo- 
sopher who seeks to know Thee through his intellect and 
reasoning, is devoid of intellect and reasoning, for the secret 
way that leads to Thee is far above reasoning and intellect. 
None of these has gained any awareness of Thy sacred Pre- 
cincts, whoever has gained such awareness has gained it 
through Thy Boundless Grace. Indeed, Thou dost bestow 
both the worlds upon the Lovers of Thy Refulgent Counten- 
ance, but in the eyes of Thy servants and lovers, the two 
worlds together are as nothing". (Chashma-i-Masihi). 

At another place he says : 

"In both the worlds, Thou alone art the Object of my 
love, and that which I ask of Thee is but Thyself". (Barahin 
Ahmadiyya). 

When the time of his departure from this world drew 
near, he received frequent revelations regarding the approach 
of his demise. But as he had perfect love for Allah, and had 
so strong a faith in the Hereafter, as if he were an eye-witness 
to it, he continued despite these repeated revelations calmly 
and devotedly absorbed in the Service of Faith, as though 
nothing made any difference to him at all. Indeed, he stepped 
up his activities more than ever, realising that he was soon 
going to meet His Beloved, and should, therefore, pluck as 
many flowers as possible, to place at His Holy Feet. (Silsila 
Ahmadiyya). 

At one place, the Promised Messiah makes mention of 
Divine Love in a way, as if he were talking with Allah, 
intoxicated with the holy wine of Divine Love. He says : 

"I can not count the signs I have seen, but the world 
has not seen them. My Lord, I know Thee, Thou alone art 
my God. My soul rejoices at the mention of Thy Name, 
even as a small child rejoices at the sight of its mother. 
But most people do not recognize me, nor have they accepted 
me." (Tiryaqul Quloob). 

14 



At another place, citing Allah as witness, he says: 

"Behold, my soul is flying towards Thee, in perfect trust 
in Thee, even as a bird flies towards its nest. So I seek Signs 
of Thy Majesty and Power, not for myself, but that people 
may know Thee and accept Thy holy Way." (Zamima 
Tiryaqul-Quloob) . 

In one of his Persian Poems, published in the "Haqiqatul- 
Mahdi", he says : 

"By virtue of the relationship I have cultivated with Thee 
and in the name of the sapling of love that I have planted 
deep in my heart, I call upon Thee, Who art my Shelter, my 
Support and my Citadel, to come forth and clear me of the 
charges levelled against me. 

"Illumine my face with the light of the fire that Thou hast 
kindled in my heart whereby hast Thou utterly consumed 
and destroyed all save Thyself and convert the darkness of 
my night into day." 

Allah, the Most Exalted, recognized and appreciated his 
love for Him in a manner befitting His Infinite Mercy and 
matchless attribute of Appreciation. He was greeted with 
the revelation : 



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"I esteem thee as I esteem My Unity and My Singleness. 
I esteem thee as My son. I am with thee, O son of the 
Messenger of Allah." 

That is, Allah says : O Messiah of the Muslim Dispensation, 
thou art the bearer of the standard of My Unity, and art the 
restorer of its blessings, so I esteem thee as I esteem My 
Unity and Singleness. The followers of the Messiah of the 
Mosaic Dispensation falsely call him the "Begotten son of 
God." So My Majesty and My Self-Esteem demand that 
I should love thee as dearly as a son, so that it may become 
manifest to the world that even a disciple of Muhammad, 
peace and blessings of Allah be on him, can be raised to the 

15 



Spiritual dignity of the son of God. Further, thou art 
engrossed, day and night, in the service of the Faith of My 
Chosen Prophet, Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah 
be on him, and art selflessly devoted to him in love and thus 
thou art as a spiritual son to him also. So, in thy capacity 
as his spiritual Son, I bestow My Eternal Love on thee and 
bless thee with My Eternal Companionship. 

The Promised Messiah, too, had a proper estimation of 
Allah's love for him, His being with him and His jealous 
regard for him. In 1904 a criminal complaint was preferred 
against him by one Maulvi Karam Din. The Hindu magis- 
trate trying the case harboured an evil design against him 
out of bigotry, and had made up his mind to send him to 
gaol. At the time when he was informed of the Magistrate's 
design, he was indisposed and was lying in bed. As soon as 
he heard of this design he got up, and said majestically: 
"Let him lay his hand on the Lion of God, and see the 
consequences." The design was miraculously frustrated and 
the Magistrate suffered humiliation. 

Sisters and brothers, I have given you a very brief and 
inadequate account of the Promised Messiah's love for God, 
and God's love for the Promised Messiah, peace be on him. 
Now, it is up to you to sow this seed of love in your hearts, 
and to nourish it with the water of Divine love. 

Next to his love for God, came his love for His Prophet. 
In this case also, the Promised Messiah's love is unparalleled. 
He describes it in a couplet: 

"Next to my love of God, I am intoxicated with the love of 
Muhammad. If this be infidelity, by God I am a confirmed 
infidel." 

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (Allah be pleased with him), 
who was the second among the Divinely promised children 
of the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, and occupied 
a lofty position in the service and the training and instruction 
of the Community, has said : 

"This humble one is a son of the Promised Messiah, and 
this is a great blessing, for which I do not have adequate 
words to express my gratitude to God, nay, I do not even 
have an idea of what would be adequate gratitude. However, 
I shall, one day, die and appear before God. Bearing this 

16 



in mind, and citing God as my witness Who is ever with me, 
and is seeing me, I affirm that I have never seen on any 
occasion when on the mere mention of the Holy Prophet, peace 
and blessings of Allah be on him, tears did not well up in the 
eyes of the Promised Messiah, peace be on him. His heart and 
mind, nay, every particle of his body, was filled with the 
love of his Master, Muhammad, the Leader of the Universe 
and the Pride of creation," 

Once the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, was strolling 
alone in the small Mosque, called Masjid Mubarak, which 
was a part of his house, and was reciting something in a very 
low tone while tears coursed down his cheeks. At that time, 
one of his disciples chanced to come in and heard him 
reciting the following couplet, which was composed and 
recited soon after the demise of the Holy Prophet, peace 
and blessings of Allah be on him, by his Companion, Hassan 
BinSabit: 



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"Thou wert the pupil of my eye, which has now become 
sightless. After thee let any die who may so will, I was 
fearful of thy death alone." 

It is well known that the Promised Messiah, peace be on 
him, experienced every type of distress and was the victim of 
cruel and sustained persecution at the hands of his opponents, 
he suffered numerous tragic bereavements in the deaths of 
his children, relatives, friends and devoted disciples, yet his 
eyes never betrayed the emotions of his heart. But, while 
reciting, in seclusion, a couplet relating to the demise of his 
beloved Master, the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of 
Allah be on him, the tragic event having taken place thirteen 
centuries earlier, his eyes overflowed with tears. 

I would fervently entreat my brethren who have not yet 
recognized the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, and have 
not yet joined his Community to assist his Divine Mission, 

17 



to reflect, in a spirit of earnest seeking after God and 
righteousness, over this one single point: 

Can one, who, thirteen centuries after the demise of his 
Master, is as sorely grieved and distressed at his loss as one 
is at a sudden calamity, throw off lightly the yoke of loyalty 
and servitude to him? Man has, now and then, to bear dire 
calamities and shocks. Parents are bereaved of their children, 
and children of their parents; husbands are bereaved of their 
wives, and wives of their husbands. Time, however, gradually 
heals the wounds and injuries so inflicted. But consider how 
deep and intense the love of that heart must be, the anguish 
of which proceeding from the loss of its beloved thirteen 
centuries earlier, would not be assuaged by the passage of 

time. 

Hazrat Nawab Mubaraka Begum, the eldest daughter of 
the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, and one of his 
Divinely promised children, who is blessed with great 
intellectual capacity and discernment and whose reports 
carry great weight, narrates that once the Promised Messiah, 
peace be on him, was indisposed, and was lying on a cot in his 
chamber. Hazrat Ammajan (the consort of the Promised 
Messiah, known in the Jamaat as Ummul-Muminin) and 
Hazrat Mir Nasir Nawab Sahib (Ammajan's father) were in 
his company. The talk turned on Hajj (Pilgrimage) to 
Mecca. Hazrat Mir Sahib suggested that as the journey to 
the Hedjaz had become much easier than of yore, the 
possibility of performing the Pilgrimage should be considered. 
At the thought of visiting the Sacred Shrines of Mecca and 
Medina the Promised Messiah's eyes began to run with 
tears ; while wiping them off he observed : 

'This is my heart's desire; but I doubt whether I could 
endure the sight of the Sacred Tomb of the Holy Prophet, 
peace and blessings of Allah be on him." 

(This incident has been published in the booklet: Traditions 
Reported by Hazrat Mubaraka Begum. I have, however, 
heard it directly from her.) 

It is due to this intense love for the Holy Prophet, peace and 
blessings of Allah be on him, that every poem or piece of 
prose, written in his praise by the Promised Messiah, peace 
be on him, is, as it were, an ocean of love, containing 

18 



innumerable pearls and jewels. Here is an English rendering 
of some of the verses from one of his Persian poems : 

"A wonderful light illumines the soul of Muhammad; of 
rare beauty are the rubies to be discovered in the spiritual 
mines of Muhammad. 

"If thou seekest proof of the truth of Muhammad, fall in 
love with him : for Muhammad is the clearest proof of the 
truth of Muhammad. 

"In the pursuit of his path, were I to be slaughtered or 
burnt to death, I would not turn away from the door of 
Muhammad. 

"Thou hast illumined my soul with love, O soul of Mu- 
hammad, my soul yearns to lay itself down for thee." 

(Aina-i-Kamalat-i-Islam .) 

Likewise, in an Arabic poem, addressing the Holy Prophet, 
peace and blessings of Allah be on him, he says : 

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19 






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"Look upon me with compassion and tenderness, my 
Master, I am the meanest of thy servants. 

"Beloved, thy love has penetrated my soul, my mind and 
my heart. Not for a moment, not for a second, is my mind 
free of the remembrance of thy countenance, O garden of my 
delight. My body is eager to fly towards thee, would that I 
possessed the power of flight." 

(Aina-i-Kamalat-i-Islam.) 

Sincere love naturally manifests itself through sacrifice and 
jealous regard for the beloved. A true lover is always jealous 
for his beloved, and is ever ready to sacrifice himself for his 
sake. The Promised Messiah, peace be on him, had a very 
jealous regard for his Master and Teacher, Muhammad, 
peace and blessings of Allah be on him. Referring to the 
false and outrageous accusations of Christian missionaries 
against the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be 
on him, the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, says: 

"Christian missionaries have fabricated innumerable false 
charges against our Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah 
be on him. Nothing has lacerated my heart so grievously 
as the mockery and ridicule these people have heaped upon 
our Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him. 
Their cutting remarks against the best of men, have severely 
wounded my heart. God is my witness that if all my children, 
children's children, friends, colleagues and helpers were 
slaughtered before my eyes, my limbs were torn apart, the 
pupils of my eyes were plucked out, all my designs were 
frustrated, and I was deprived of every pleasure and comfort, 
the agony imposed upon me by these vile attacks on the Holy 
Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, would still 
far transcend the pain and suffering entailed by the miseries 
I have enumerated. So, Lord in Heaven, I implore Thee, 
cast a look of mercy and compassion on me, and deliver me 
from this grievous trial." (Aina-i-Kamalat-i-Islam.) 

20 



Once the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, was waiting 
for a train outside the Lahore railway station when Pandit 
Lekhram, who perished later in fulfilment of a prophecy of 
the Promised Messiah, happening to pass near and learning 
of the presence of the Promised Messiah, approached to pay 
his formal respects to him. The Promised Messiah, peace 
be on him, was preparing for the Prayer Service. Pandit 
Lekhram greeted him with Salam. But the Promised 
Messiah did not respond as if he had not noticed him. 
Pandit Lekhram then approached the Promised Messiah 
from another side, and offered Salam, again. The Promised 
Messiah remained silent. When Pandit Lekhram had left, 
some one said to the Promised Messiah : Sir, Lekhram came 
and offered Salam to you. The Promised Messiah observed : 
"He reviles my Master and tenders Salam to me." That was 
the reaction of one who was courtesy and mercy personified 
for people of all classes and creeds, who treated people of 
all nationalities and communities with the utmost kindness 
and sympathy. But where the honour of his beloved Master 
was involved, he was uncompromising. 

Another incident, which illustrates the same trait of his 
character, took place on the occasion of a religious conference 
held in Lahore. The Arya Samaj arranged an inter-religious 
conference in Lahore. The organisers of the Conference 
requested the Promised Messiah also to prepare a paper to 
be read at this Conference, and assured him that there 
would be no speeches at the Conference which might offend 
the susceptibilities of any section. The Promised Messiah, 
peace be on him, prepared a paper, and made it over to one 
of his distinguished disciples, Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddin 
Sahib, who later became his First Successor, to read it at 
the Conference. Accompanied by some other Companions 
of the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Maulvi Sahib attended the 
Conference. An Arya lecturer, in violation of the under- 
taking that nothing would be said at the Conference that 
might hurt the religious sentiments of others, adopted a very 
disrespectful attitude towards, and made vile attacks on, 
the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him. 
When this fact was reported to the Promised Messiah, peace 
be on him, he expressed great displeasure at the continued 

21 



presence at the Conference of Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddin and 
the other Ahmadis who had accompanied him during the 
offensive speech. He repeated with great vehemence: 

"Why did you continue in a meeting in which our Holy 
Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, was being 
reviled? Why did you not leave the meeting at once? How 
did your sense of veneration for the Holy Prophet and your 
sense of self-respect allow you to sit silent, and listen to 
scurrilous remarks on your Beloved Master?" 

Then he recited, very emphatically, the Quranic verse: 










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"When the Signs of Allah are rejected and mocked at, do 
not continue to sit with them until they take up some other 
topic. 4.141." (Seeratul-Mahdi.) 

Can any other example of such sensitive love and jealous 
regard for the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah 
be on him, be presented in this age? The whole life of the 
Promised Messiah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, 
and every small and great incident of his life testify to his 
overpowering regard and love for the Holy Prophet, peace 
and blessings of Allah be on him. 

Having described his love for Allah and His Prophet, I 
would now like to relate some incidents of his sublime morals 
and noble conduct chosen at random. It is, indeed, beyond 
my capacity to encompass all the different aspects of his 
character; nor is it possible for me, within the limited time 
at my disposal, to shed full light even on some particular 
phase of his character. I shall describe a few incidents, by 
way of illustration only, so that, those who belong to his 
Jamaat may strive to follow his noble example, and those 

22 






who have not yet joined his Jamaat, may consider whether 
or not they are incurring the displeasure of God by rejecting 
him. 

The Holy Prophet, the Leader of mankind, the Seal of 
Prophets, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, has been 
described by Allah as one possessing the Most Sublime 
Character. Allah says in the Holy Qunin: 




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"Surely, thou dost possess the Most Excellent Morals. 
68.5." 

That is to say, the teaching brought by him, and his 
character, are both perfect. So it follows that his Messiah, 
who was his Perfect Counterpart, and was imbued with his 
character, and was lost in his love, reflected the moral 
excellences that his Master and Prototype presented to the 
world. Hence, I shall relate a few incidents that illustrate 
his sublime moral qualities. 

First, I should like to present a piece of his own writing 
that represents his noble sentiments. He says in his book 
"Arbaeen" : 

"I would like to make it known to all Muslims, Christians, 
Hindus and Aryas that I have no enemy in the world. I love 
mankind as dearly as an affectionate mother loves her 
children, nay, even more. I am the enemy of false beliefs 
and doctrines only, which undermine truth. To be inspired 
by sympathy towards my fellow beings is my duty. To hate 
falsehood, 'shirk' (setting up equals to Allah), injustice and 
wrong-doing, and all sorts of malpractices and misbehaviours, 
is my principle." 

The Holy Prophet has exhorted Muslims to reflect and 
illustrate Divine Attributes : 

"Imbue yourselves with Divine Attributes." 
Thus, the Promised Messiah's statement, "I love mankind 
as dearly as an affectionate mother loves her children, nay, 
even more," was only the reflection of the Divine Attribute 

23 



of "Rahmaniyyat" (Graciousness) in him. It is a fact that 
every moment of his life was devoted to the service of 
mankind, and hundreds of incidents of his life testify to 

this truth. 

One of his Companions, Hazrat Maulvi Abdul Karim 
(Allah be pleased with him), who was very close to him, and 
lived in a part of his very house, and was much loved by him, 
has related that during the days when Plague was rampant 
in the Punjab, and innumerable people were daily falling 
victims to that dreaded epidemic, he once heard the Promised 
Messiah, peace be on him, praying in seclusion, and was 
struck with wonder at what he heard. He says: 

"There was so much pathos and anguish in his voice that 
it melted the heart of one who heard it. He was crying and 
weeping at the Divine Threshold like a woman in travail. 
When I paid heed to what he was saying, I heard him 
praying for God's creatures to be saved from the scourge of 
the Plague, repeating, Tf these people are destroyed by 
Plague, who will worship Thee?' Just ponder, this prayer 
was being offered to save the people from punishment that 
constituted a cogent proof of his truth, and was in fulfilment 
of a Divine Prophecy the non-fulfilment of which might make 
the truth of his claim to Messiahship dubious in the sight of 
those who lacked proper understanding and insight. But 
the heart that was imbued with, and reflected Divine 
Attributes, was restless in concern for God's creatures, and 
was fervently and pathetically supplicating its Lord : 'Lord, 
Thou art Merciful and Compassionate; deliver Thy creatures 
from this calamity, and open some other way for their 
guidance.' " 

Pandit Lekhram was one of the leaders of the Arya 
Community, and was a bitter enemy of Islam. When his 
vilification of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of 
Allah be on him, transgressed all limits, despite repeated 
warnings he would not desist, the Promised Messiah, peace 
be on him, challenged him to a Prayer Duel, and in conse- 
quence prophesied that Lekhram would perish by the hand 
of a mysterious assassin, and Lekhram perished in fulfilment 
of this Prophecy. But, while, on the one hand, the Promised 
Messiah was naturally happy at the fulfilment of a Divine 

24 






Sign in favour of Islam, on the other, he was distressed at the 
death of Lekhram. He wrote: "I am experiencing a curious 
mixture of feelings. I am glad and also distressed at the same 
time. I am thinking that if Lekhram had turned to God, 
and had abstained at least from using vile language against 
the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, 
I would have prayed for him, and I believe that even if he 
had been cut into pieces, he would have survived." (Siraj 
Munir.) 

In the matter of friendship and loyalty, too, he had no 
peer. His beloved companion, Maulvi Abdul Karim Sahib 
has reported that one day the Promised Messiah said : 

"It is part of my nature that if one makes friends with me, 
I have so much regard for this tie of friendship that whatever 
he may, later, turn out to be, I can not cut asunder from 
him. Of course, if he himself cuts asunder, I am helpless. 
Should I find a friend of mine lying drunk in the market place, 
I would, without any fear of what people might say, carry him 
home and tend him. 

"The tie of friendship is a very precious one, it should 
not be broken off lightly. If something very unbecoming 
or untoward proceeds from a friend, it should be overlooked 
and borne with fortitude." ("Sirat Masih Mauood," by 
Maulvi Abdul Karim.) 

There was, in Qadian, a gentleman named Budhamal. He 
was a bigoted Arya, and was one of the foremost in opposi- 
tion to the Promised Messiah, peace be on him. When, in 
fulfilment of a Prophecy of the Holy Prophet, peace and 
blessings of Allah be on him, the Promised Messiah laid the 
foundation of a Tower at the big Mosque of Qadian, the 
Hindus of Qadian petitioned the Deputy Commissioner of 
Gurdaspur to stop the erection of the Tower, on the plea 
that it would destroy the privacy of their homes. It was a 
paltry excuse, first because it is not possible to distinguish 
any one from the top of a high tower, and secondly, supposing 
that there was any risk of such exposure, it would affect all 
women, including Ahmadi women. However, the Deputy 
Commissioner, in accordance with the normal procedure, 
sent this complaint of the Hindus to the Magistrate of the 
Circle for investigation and report. The Magistrate came to 

25 






Qadian, met the Promised Messiah, and inquired about the 
construction of the Tower. The Promised Messiah, peace be 
on him, explained to the Magistrate that the tower was not 
going to be used for any display or for sight-seeing, its 
purpose was purely religious, namely, to fulfil a Prophecy 
of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on 
him, and to make the Call to Prayer so that it could be heard 
at a long distance. He added that it would be fitted with 
strong lights, also. The Magistrate said that the Hindu 
gentlemen, who were sitting there with him, complained that 
it would destroy the privacy of their homes. The Promised 
Messiah, peace be on him, said: "Their complaint is not 
based on any sound ground. It proceeds merely from their 
hostile attitude towards me, for there is no question of any 
disturbance of privacy." Pointing to Lala Budhamal, he 
added, "Here is Lala Budhamal, ask him if there ever was 
an opportunity of my helping or doing a favour to him and 
his friends and I failed to do so. Ask him further, if he and 
his friends had any opportunity of doing me harm, and they 
did not take advantage of it against me." Hafiz Raushan 
Ali Sahib, who was a great scholar and divine of the Ahmad- 
iyya Movement, has stated: "Hearing this, Lala Budhamal 
was so embarrassed that he uttered not a single word and 
dared not even to lift his eyes to face the Promised Messiah." 
(Siratul-Mahdi.) 

Towards his friends and companions, the Promised 
Messiah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, was pardon 
and kindness personified. Hazrat Maulvi Abdul Karim 
Sahib has written in "Sirat Masih Mauood" : 

"When the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, was 
writing his Book 'Aina-i-Kamalat-i-Islam', he handed over 
two sheets of the manuscript he had written to Maulvi 
Nuruddin Sahib (later his First Successor, Allah be pleased 
with him) to deliver them to me for me to translate them into 
Persian. The subject matter of these sheets had special 
significance in the eyes of the Promised Messiah himself. 
It so happened that the sheets were mislaid by Maulvi Sahib. 
As the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, sent me the por- 
tion of the manuscript he wrote every day, to be translated 
into Persian, and as I had not received that day's material in 

26 






time, I was naturally concerned over the delay. So I said 
to Maulvi Nooruddin Sahib, I have not received today any 
material from Hazrat (Promised Messiah) for translation; 
the press man is waiting for material, it is getting late. 
I cannot account for this unusual delay.' As soon as he 
heard these words from me, Maulvi Sahib turned pale. He 
searched for the sheets but he could not find them, so he 
was extremely worried. When it was reported to the Promised 
Messiah, peace be on him, he came out of his room, cheerful 
and smiling, as usual, and far from exhibiting any uneasiness 
he excused himself, saying: The loss of the material caused 
undue worry and anxiety to Maulvi Sahib. I much regret 
the trouble occasioned to him. As for myself, I believe firmly 
that Allah will, by His Grace, grant me capacity to write 
even better than I had written in those two sheets.' " 

Hospitality and honouring one's guests constitute essential 
traits of high moral character. The Promised Messiah, 
peace be on him, set a splendid example in this respect also. 
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad, Allah be pleased with him, 

says: 

"Seth Ghulam Nabi reported to me that once he came to 
Qadian to see the Promised Messiah, peace and blessings of 
Allah be on him. It was winter, and it was wet. He reached 
Qadian in the evening. After supper he went to bed. Late 
at night someone knocked at the door. When he opened the 
door, he found the Promised Messiah, peace and blessings 
of Allah be on him, standing at the door, with a glass of 
hot milk in one hand and a lantern in the other. Seth Sahib 
says he was flurried to see the Promised Messiah, who, 
however, very affectionately said, 'Somebody sent me some 
milk, and it occurred to me that you might be in the habit 
of drinking milk at night, so I have brought it for you. 
Please drink it.' At this, Seth Sahib's eyes welled up with tears 
of gratitude. 

Glory be to God! What sublime behaviour! How much 
pleasure this Chosen Messiah of God used to find in serving 
and entertaining even his humble servants, and how much 
trouble he took on their behalf! (Siratul-Mahdi.) 

Hazrat Maulvi Abdul Karim Sahib, Allah be pleased with 
him, writes in "Sirat Masih Mauood": 

27 



"Once in summer, the family of the Promised Messiah, 
peace be on him, went to Ludhiana. I went into the house of 
the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, to see him. It was a 
newly-built room, and it was cool there. I lay down on a cot 
for a little while, and fell asleep. The Promised Messiah was, 
at that time, strolling and writing as was his habit. When I 
woke up, to my great surprise, I found the Promised Messiah, 
peace be on him, sitting on the floor, by my cot. I was 
startled to see him, and stood up out of respect. The Promised 
Messiah, peace be on him, very affectionately said, 'Maulvi 
Sahib, why have you stood up?' I said, 'While Hazrat is 
sitting on the floor, how can I lie on the cot!' Smiling, he 
said, 'Keep lying down. I was only keeping watch, and 
trying to stop the children from making noise, so that your 
sleep should not be disturbed.' " God be praised, what a 
wonderful demonstration of kindness and affection! 

Once the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, was 
sitting in his room; some guests also were sitting with him. 
In the meantime, someone knocked at the door. One of the 
guests moved to open the door. The Promised Messiah got 
up at once and said, "Wait a bit. I will open the door; you 
are a guest, and the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of 
Allah be on him, exhorted us to honour our guests." 

(Siratul-Mahdi; Parti.) 

Munshi Zafar Ahmad of Kapurthala relates : 

"Once the Promised Messiah, peace and blessings of 
Allah be on him, was sitting on the roof of the Mubarak 
Mosque, Qadian, waiting to have his meal there with some 
guests. One very poor Ahmadi friend, Mian Nizam Din 
Sahib of Ludhiana, wearing ragged clothes, was also sitting 
there, at a short distance. In the meantime, some respectable 
guests came and sat near the Promised Messiah, peace and 
blessings of Allah be on him. To make room for each of them 
Mian Nizam Din had to move further back, till he reached 
the place where shoes were kept. When the meal was 
brought, the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, who had 
observed the whole scene, took a plate of curry and called 
Mian Nizam Din to eat with him in his chamber, adjacent 
to the Mosque. At that Mian Nizam Din's joy knew no 
bounds, and those who had sat near the Promised Messiah, 

28 



i 



peace be on him, pushing Mian Nizam Din farther away, 
were duly mortified." 

Another incident, illustrating his regard for human 
sentiment, humility and honouring of guests, is also related 
by Hazrat Munshi Zafar Ahmad Sahib of Kapurthala. 
Hearing of the claim of the Promised Messiah, peace be on 
him, two non-Ahmadi gentlemen from the distant region of 
Manipur, Assam, came to Qadian to see him. When they 
reached the Guest House at Qadian, they asked some 
employees working in the Kitchen to unload their luggage 
and set down cots for them. But the employees did not pay 
attention to what they said, and took up some other job 
that needed their attention. The guests, who were fatigued 
by the long and arduous journey, were chagrined and set 

rout for the return journey to Batala at once. When the 
Promised Messiah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, 
learnt of the incident, he set out at once, just as he was, in 
pursuit of the guests. Some of his disciples also accompanied 
him. Hazrat Munshi Zafar Ahmad says that he was also 
of the company. The Promised Messiah followed them so 
speedily that he overtook them near the bridge over the 
canal, about two miles and a half from Qadian, and impor- 
tuned them very affectionately, with profuse apologies, to 
return to Qadian. On their agreeing to do so, he accompanied 
them back to Qadian. On reaching the Guest House, he 
was proceeding to unload their luggage, when some servants 
came forward and did the needful. The Promised Messiah 
sat by them and talked with them affectionately, enquiring 
about their requirements of food. He continued with them 
till the meal was served. The following day, when they were 
■ about to leave, he sent for some milk and presented the same 
to them very affectionately. To see them off, he accompanied 
them up to the canal bridge and returned only after they 
had taken their seats in the vehicle that was to transport 
them. (Ashab Ahmad, Vol. IV.) 
Informality 

The Promised Messiah's life was free from all ceremony 
or formality. In accord with the practice of the Holy Prophet, 
peace and blessings of Allah be on him, he permitted no 
discrimination in favour of himself. People of all ranks and 

29 



I 



classes sat together with him like the members of a family. 
He would sit down at any place while others of the company 
equally informally occupied places considered as carrying 
distinction. On many occasions, he sat at the foot of a cot 
while others sat at its head; sometimes he sat on a bare cot 
while his disciples sat on a covered one; sometimes he occu- 
pied a lower seat while a disciple occupied a higher one. 

This absence of ceremony or formality did not import any 
disrespect on the part of his disciples or others in the com- 
pany. Indeed, every heart was full of love, respect and 
reverence for him. (Siratul-Mahdi, Silsila Ahmadiyya and 
Shamail by Shaikh Yakub Ali Irfani.) 
Behaviour towards Opponents 

Sheikh Yakub Ali Irfani has related that once Lala 
Sharampat, who belonged to the Arya Community, and was 
very hostile to the Promised Messiah, peace and blessings of 
Allah be on him, fell seriously ill with a malignant abscess 
in his stomach, and was much worried, despairing of life. 
When the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, came to 
know of his illness, he would often go to Lala Sharampat' s 
lowly dwelling to inquire after his health. Lala Sharampat 
was so eaten up with anxiety that when the Promised 
Messiah visited him, he, despite his hostility towards Islam, 
would humbly solicit his prayers. The Promised Messiah, 
peace be on him, always sought to comfort him and also 
prayed for him. He continued to visit him and pray for him 
till he recovered completely. (Shamail Hazrat Masih 
Mauood by Irfani Sahib.) 

The same affectionate treatment was accorded to another 
Arya of Qadian, named Lala Malawa Mai, who, while still 
a youth, used to visit the Promised Messiah, although 
entertaining extreme religious and communal prejudice. 
Several times the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, asked 
him to bear public witness to Divine signs to which he was 
an eye witness. But he always evaded doing so. It so hap- 
pened that Malawa Mai began to suffer from tuberculosis 
and his condition became hopeless. In that situation he 
came to the Promised Messiah, peace and blessings of Allah 
be on him, described his miserable plight, wept bitterly and 
humbly besought him to pray for his recovery. This shows 

30 



how deeply Lala Malawa Mai had been impressed with the 
Promised Messiah's piety. The Promised Messiah took pity 
on him and prayed earnestly for his recovery. His prayers 
were answered in the following Arabic revelation: 

"O fire, cool down for this youth, and turn into a means 
of protection and security for him." 

Soon Lala Malawa Mai recovered from his terrible 
affliction which was considered fatal in those days. He lived 
to be a hundred years, surviving the Promised Messiah by 
many years. (Related by Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashir 
Ahmad, Allah be pleased with him.) 

Dr. Henry Martin Clark, a Christian Missionary of 
Amritsar, instituted an entirely false prosecution for incite- 
ment to murder against the Promised Messiah, peace be on 
him. God manifested, in a most extraordinary way, the 
Promised Messiah's innocence, and he was honourably 
discharged. The Christian missionaries had been assisted 
and encouraged in their nefarious design by some Arya and 
non-Ahmadi Muslim antagonists of the Promised Messiah. 
When the order was pronounced, Captain (later Colonel) 
Douglas, the District Magistrate, addressing him, said: 
"Should you desire to prosecute Dr. Clark for preferring 
this false charge against you, I am ready to sanction his 
prosecution." The Promised Messiah, peace be on him, 
responded with: "I have no desire to prosecute anyone. My 
case is pending in heaven." 

(Sirat Masih-Mauood by Irfani Sahib.) 

Maulvi Muhammad Hussain Batalvi, leader of the Ahl-i- 
Hadith Sect of Islam was well known. In his early life, he 
was a friend and classmate of the Promised Messiah, peace 
be on him, but after the latter's claim of being the Messiah, 
he turned hostile to him, so much so, that he declared the 
Promised Messiah, peace be on him, to be a Kafir (dis- 
believer) "Dajjal" (Anti-Christ) and "Zal" (Misguided), and 
raised a storm of opposition against him throughout the 
country. In the prosecution launched by Dr. Henry Martin 
Clark, the Maulvi appeared as a witness against the Promised 

31 



Messiah, peace be on him. In order to discredit his evidence, 
the Promised Messiah's lawyer, Maulvi Fazl Din, who was a 
non-Ahmadi gentleman, asked Maulvi Muhammad Hussain 
Batalvi a derogatory question concerning his descent or 
family. The Promised Messiah stopped him from doing so, 
saying emphatically: "I will not permit any such question 
to be put to the witness." Later, Maulvi Fazl Din, always 
mentioned this incident with an expression of surprise and 
observed: "Mirza Sahib is a wonderful person; an opponent 
attacks his honour, puts his life in jeopardy, and in return 
he stops his lawyer from asking his opponent such questions 
as might discredit his evidence." (Siratul-Mahdi, Vol. I.) 

The Promised Messiah, peace be on him, has said: 
''Regarding sympathy for mankind, my view is that until one 
prays for one's enemy, one's heart is not purified. Hazrat Umar, 
Allah be pleased with him, became a Muslim because the Holy 
Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, used to pray 
for him frequently. Thank God, I have no enemy for whom I 
have not prayed several times; and I exhort you also to follow 
me and pray for your enemies. O ye who claim to be my 
disciples, be a community regarding whom, it has been said: 






(J-^ 



'They are a people whose companions and those who come 
in contact with them, do not remain in a wretched or 
unhappy condition, uninfluenced by their piety and deprived 
of their sympathy." 

How beautifully Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmad, 
Allah be pleased with him, writes : 

"The Promised Messiah, peace be on him, was mercy 
personified. He was a mercy for his relatives; he was a mercy 
for his friends, he was a mercy for his enemies; he was a 
mercy for his neighbours; he was a mercy for his servants; 
he was a mercy for those in need; and he was a mercy for 
people in general; there is no class of people to whom he did 
not show mercy and affection. 1 would say, he was a mercy 
for Islam, for the service and propagation of which he 
dedicated every moment of his life, and laid it down in a 
spirit of extreme self-denial." 

32 



Trust in Allah 

Hazrat Maulvi Abdul Karim Sahib, Allah be pleased with 
him, wrote in a letter that, in a discourse on reliance upon 
Allah, the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, observed : 

"I have a strange condition of my mind. Just as, when it is 
close and hot, people expect rain with confidence, similarly, 
when I find my purse empty, I have firm faith that by Allah's 
grace, it will be replenished; and so it happens." Then, 
calling Allah to witness, he said: "I cannot describe the joy 
and pleasure I feel, and the trust in God I have, at the time 
when my purse becomes empty. My happiness and tran- 
quillity, at that time, is greater than it is when my purse is 
full." (Alhakam.) 

Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmad says: 

"Our reverend brother, Abdur Rahman of Qadian, who 
was an early and a sincere Companion of the Promised 
Messiah, peace be on him, and accepting Islam at his hand, 
renouncing Hinduism, reported to me that when the 
Promised Messiah, peace be on him, went to Lahore, for 
the last time, he had plenty of revelations regarding the 
approach of his death." Brother Abdur Rahman says: 
"During those days I perceived a special kind of ecstatic sign 
and radiance on his face. In those days, he used to go out 
for a drive in a hired phaeton. His consort and some of his 
children also used to accompany him. In the evening 
preceding the morning on which he passed away, he, as 
usual, went for a drive. When he got into the phaeton, he 
said to me, 'Mian Abdur Rahman, tell the phaeton driver, 
and make it quite clear to him, that, at this time, I have only 
one rupee with me. So he should drive us only within that 
limit.' " Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmad says that 
the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, passed away from 
this world exactly in the same financial and material condition 
in which his Master, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace 
and blessings of Allah be on him, expired. 
Supplication and Prayer 

Explaining the philosophy of prayer and supplication, the 
Promised Messiah, peace be on him, says: 

"What a Powerful, Self- subsisting and All-Sustaining God 
is He Whom we have found ! The truth is that nothing is 

33 



impossible for Him, save that which is contrary to His Book 
and Promise. So, when you supplicate, be not like those 
ignorant worshippers of nature who think that everything is 
determined by the law of nature, and who have themselves 
invented some laws of nature. They are cast away and 
rejected. Their supplications are in vain. When you stand 
up for prayer, you must believe firmly that your God has 
power and authority over everything, then your prayer will 
be accepted, and you will see those miraculous signs of His 
Power which I have seen. God is a Precious Treasure, 
appreciate Him because He can help you at every step. 
Follow not those who depend entirely on worldly means. 
You should, in all your affairs — temporal and spiritual — 
ask strength and capacity from God. May God open your 
eyes, so that, you may realize that your God is the central 
support of all your means and devices. If the support fails, 
can the roof hold? Blessed is he who realizes this truth, 
and perished is he who has not realized this truth." (Kishti 
Nooh.) 

Likewise, he says : 

"God has blessed prayer with great power. He has 
repeatedly informed me that whatever is achieved shall be 
achieved by means of prayer. Our only weapon is prayer. 
I have no other weapon save this. God makes manifest 
whatever I ask of Him in secret." (Zikri-Habib by Hazrat 
Mufti Mohammad Sadiq.) 

I should now relate some instances of acceptance of his 
prayer. There was a small but sincere Jamaat in the State 
of Kapurthala. The members of the Jamaat had intense 
love for the Promised Messiah, peace be on him. Once the 
non-Ahmadi Muslim opponents of the State sought to take 
possession of the Ahmadiyya Mosque of Kapurthala and to 
oust the Ahmadis from it. Eventually, the matter was 
brought into court. The Ahmadi brethren of Kapurthala 
were greatly perturbed, and repeatedly entreated the 
Promised Messiah, peace be on him, to help with his prayers. 
One day, when requested to pray, the Promised Messiah, 
impressed with the sincerity as well as the perplexity of the 
brethren, assured them: "Be not anxious. If I am righteous 
in my claim, you will get the mosque." But the attitude of the 

34 



judge was openly hostile. He had announced publicly: 
"You have invented a new religion, so you shall have to 
build a new mosque too, and I will decide accordingly." 
He had not yet written his judgment; he intended to write 
it in the courtroom. While preparing to go to court, he 
directed his servant to help him on with his shoes. The 
servant was about to do so when the judge suffered a heart 
attack and expired within a few moments. The new judge 
who took his place studied the record of the case carefully, 
found that the Ahmadis were in the right, decreed the case 
in their favour, and awarded the mosque to them. (Siratul- 
Mahdi and Ashab Ahmad.) 

A boy, Abdul Karim by name, came to Qadian from 
Hyderabad, South India, for religious education. He was a 
good and gentle lad, and his mother was a widow. By 
chance he was bitten by a mad dog and was sent to the 
special Institute at Kasauli for treatment. Having taken the 
complete course of treatment there, he returned to Qadian. 
He seemed quite well, but after some time, he developed 
symptoms of hydrophobia. The Promised Messiah prayed 
for him, and, at the same time, directed the Headmaster of 
the school at which he was a student, to write to the doctor 
at Kasauli, stating Abdul Karim's condition, and asking for 
advice. In reply, the doctor telegraphed, "Sorry nothing 
can now be done for Abdul Karim as he has developed 
symptoms of phobia." On being told this, the Promised 
Messiah, peace be on him, observed: "They have no remedy 
for it, but God has." He continued to pray fervently for the 
boy's recovery. As a result of his prayers the boy, by Allah's 
grace, made a complete recovery and lived to a good old age. 
Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Admad writes: 
"I recall an extraordinary instance of the acceptance of 
the prayer of the Promised Messiah, peace be on him. One 
Ahmadi friend, Munshi Ataullah Patwari, reported it to me. 
He says: 'I was quite indifferent to and ignorant of religion; 
nay, I used to mock at religious matters. I drank liquor, 
and accepted bribes. When some Ahmadi friends, living in 
my locality preached their faith to me, I used to mock at 
them too. One day an Ahmadi friend pressed me hard with 
his preaching. I retorted: "I am going to write to your 

35 



Mirza Sahib, asking him to pray for the achievement of an 
objective of mine. If the objective is achieved, I will believe 
that he is true in his claim." I then wrote to him as follows: 
"You claim to be the Promised Messiah and Friend of God. 
The prayers of the Friends of God are accepted. I have now 
three wives. Twelve years have passed since my last marriage, 
but I have no issue by any of them. I desire to have a 
handsome, promising and auspicious son, and that too by 
my first wife. Please pray for the fulfilment of this desire of 
mine." In reply, Hazrat Maulvi Adbul Karirn Sahib wrote 
to me on behalf of the Promised Messiah, peace and blessings 
of Allah be on him, in these words: "Hazrat informs you 
that prayer has been offered for you, and that God will 
bless you with a handsome, promising child by your first 
wife as desired by you; but there is one condition, you must 
turn to God like Zacharia." Munshi Ata Muhammad says : 
"I thereupon sincerely repented and turned to God, in 
compliance with this precept. Seeing this change in me, 
people began to say: 'What a charm has been practised 
upon this devil, he has given up all evil ways in a trice.' 

" Tour or fiwQ months after this, my first wife developed 
symptoms of pregnancy and I started saying to people, 
"You will soon see I shall have a son, and he will be hand- 
some and promising." At last, one night my wife gave birth 
to the promised child. I, at once, went to Qadian, several 
other people also accompanied me; and we took initiation 
at the hands of the Promised Messiah, peace be on him." ' 

There are numerous cases of such miraculous healing 
effected through the prayers of the Promised Messiah, some 
of which he has mentioned in his book, Haqiqatul Wahi. 
Miracles Wrought through Spiritual Power 

Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Sharif Ahmad Sahib, Allah be 
pleased with him, relates : 

"Mian Abdullah Sahib Sanori, a very sincere Companion 
and one of the earliest disciples of the Promised Messiah, 
peace be on him, reported to me that the Promised Messiah, 
peace be on him, invited some friends to dinner, but just 
when the meal was going to be served, the number of guests 
increased unexpectedly, and the Mubarak Mosque was filled 
with guests. At this, the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, 

36 



sent word to his consort, asking her to send more food, as 
there were more guests than had been expected. Hazrat 
Ammajan (Consort of the Promised Messiah), being per- 
plexed, called him in, and explained : 'There is only a small 
quantity of food, as food was prepared only for a limited 
number of guests invited by you. What can be done now ?' 
The Promised Messiah said very placidly, 'Have no worry; 
bring the cooking pot to me.' When the pot was brought 
to him, he covered it with a handkerchief, and then passed 
his finger under the handkerchief over the cooked rice and 
went out, directing, 'Now serve the food, God will bless 
it.' Mian Abdullah says that the food sufficed for all, and 
every one had eaten his fill, and there was still some left 
over." (Siratul-Mahdi, Part I.) 

Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib writes that 
he related this interesting report of Mian Abdullah to Hazrat 
Ammajan. She said that, through the benediction of the 
Promised Messiah, such incidents were quite frequent. By 
way of illustration, she mentioned one more such incident. 
On one occasion she prepared a little Pilau (rice cooked with 
meat) for the Promised Messiah, peace be on him. It was 
just enough for him only. But on that day Nawab Muham- 
mad Ali Khan, who lived in the adjacent house, came to 
see the Promised Messiah and his wife and children also 
came with him. The Promised Messiah told Ammajan to 
serve food to them also. She said the quantity of pilau was 
very small because she had prepared it for him only. On 
this, the Promised Messiah came to the cooking pot and blew 
over it, and said to her, "Now serve the food in the name of 
Allah". Hazrat Ammajan says that the rice was so extra- 
ordinarily blessed that the entire family of Nawab Sahib 
partook of it, and some of it was sent to the family of Maulvi 
Nooruddin Sahib, too, and some other people also were 
given a portion of it. As it soon became known as "Blessed 
Rice", many people came to have a share of it, and everyone 
was given a share. By the Grace of Allah, it proved sufficient 
for them all. (Siratul-Mahdi, Tradition No. 144.) 
Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmad says: 
"Musammat Amtullah Bibi of Khost, Afghanistan, 
reported to me that when she came to Qadian with her 

37 



father, she was of tender age, and suffered from a bad eye 
trouble so seriously that sometimes, on account of extreme 
pain caused by inflammation, she could not even open her 
eyes. She had undergone much treatment, but to no effect. 
The trouble continued to increase. One day, when her 
mother tried to apply medicine to her eyes, she became 
frightened, and ran away, saying, 'I shall have my eyes 
blown into by Hazrat' With great difficulty she went to the 
Promised Messiah, and said, weeping, 'I have severe trouble 
in my eyes, and I am agitated by severe pain caused by 
inflammation. I can not even open my eyes, please blow 
into my eyes.' Seeing that my eyes were swollen and I was 
in an agony of pain, he moistened his finger with his saliva, 
paused for a while (he was, perhaps, praying) and then 
very gently and affectionately passed his finger gently over 
my eyes. Then placing his hand on my head said: 'Go, 
my child, now, by the Grace of Allah, you will never have 
this trouble again.' Since then I have never had sore and 
inflamed eyes, although I am now an old woman of seventy." 
She was only ten years old when the Promised Messiah, 
peace be on him, blew into her eyes and passed over them 
his finger moistened with his saliva. In other words, for 
sixty years, the spiritual amulet of the Promised Messiah, 
peace be on him, did what no medicine had been able to 
achieve. 
Majestic Sense of Dignity 

Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib writes that 
the predominant features of the life and character of the 
Promised Messiah were "Jamali", that is to say, characterised 
by love, affection, gentleness, forbearance and kindness, yet 
where the question of veneration and respect for the faith 
were involved, the "Jalali" (majestic) aspect of his character 
shone forth like the bright rays of the sun. 

Let me cite two examples of the manifestation of his sense 
of respect for the faith and of his majestic sense of dignity. 
Hazrat Munshi Zafar Ahmad relates that, when Maulvi 
Karam Din of Bhin was prosecuting the Promised Messiah, 
peace be on him, for libel, the Hindu magistrate prolonged 
the hearing of the case, and put the Promised Messiah to 
great inconvenience by frequently postponing the hearing 

38 



of the case for short intervals. It was rumoured that he 
wanted to avenge the murder of Pandit Lekhram, for which 
he considered the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, was 
responsible. One day, in open court, referring to the 
Promised Messiah's revelation: 

(I will certainly humiliate him who seeks to humiliate 
thee), he asked the Promised Messiah whether he had 
received any revelation to the effect that God would humiliate 
the person who sought to humiliate him. The Promised 
Messiah said confidently, and in a very dignified manner, 
"Yes, these are the words of God revealed to me. God has 
assured me that whoever will seek to humiliate me, shall 
himself be humiliated." The magistrate said, "Suppose, I 
were to humiliate you, what will then happen?" Again, 
with the same confidence and dignity, the Promised Messiah 
observed, "Whoever he may be, he shall be humiliated." 
To over-awe the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, the 
Magistrate repeated his question, two or three times, and 
every time, the Promised Messiah replied majestically in the 
same words : "Whoever he might be, he would be humiliated." 
The Magistrate then held his peace. (Ashab Ahmad.) 

The second incident of that nature also pertains to the 
same milieu. One day the Magistrate, Mr. Chandu Lai, held 
court in the open. During the course of the proceedings, 
the Magistrate asked the Promised Messiah, peace be on 
him, in a jesting tone whether he claimed to be able to show 
Divine signs. The Promised Messiah replied, "Yes, God 
shows signs at my hands." Having answered the question, 
the Promised Messiah was silent for a while, as if praying to 
God and entreating His succour, and then said with great 
dignity and full confidence, "I can show you any sign you 
like." The Magistrate was greatly struck by this reply, and 
did not pursue the matter any further. Those within hearing 
were also deeply impressed. (Ashab Ahmad.) 
Extraordinary Divine Help and Protection 

I shall now relate some instances of extraordinary Divine 
help and protection being extended to him. 

39 



An Arya raised an objection against Islam to the effect 
that the Quran mentions an event contrary to natural law 
when it says that when Abraham (peace be on him) was 
thrown into the fire, it became cool under Divine Command. 
In reply to this objection, Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddin, who 
later became the First Successor of the Promised Messiah, 
explained that "fire" in that context did not mean fire 
produced by combustion, but signified the fire of enmity 
and hostility. When the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, 
heard of this explanation, he said very majestically that 
Maulvi Sahib should not have had recourse to such an 
explanation. No one can encompass and comprehend all 
the laws of nature made by God. So it was no wonder, at all, 
if God made the fire cool for His Beloved Servant, Abraham. 
He then said: "Hazrat Abraham is not living today. I am 
here to represent him in this age, by God's Command. If 
some enemy of mine throws me into the fire, it shall, by 
God's Grace, become cool for me also. But it is not my 
business to exhibit feats like a juggler, for instance, to make 
a fire myself and then throw myself into it, and thus try my 
God. To try God is contrary to the Majesty of God and to the 
dignity of the Divinely-sent Ones and entirely against the 
Way of the Prophets. If, however, an enemy, out of hostility, 
throws me into the fire, the fire shall, surely, become cool 
for me, and God will save me from its harmful effects." 
(Siratul-Mahdi, Traditions 139 and 147.) 

Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddin Sahib, the First Successor, 
Allah be pleased with him, relates: "During the course of a 
discussion, a tradition of the Holy Prophet was mentioned 
and an arrogant opponent demanded the reference from 
the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, forthwith, thinking 
that the Promised Messiah would not be able to furnish it 
forthwith and would thus be publicly embarrassed. But the 
Promised Messiah, peace be on him, did not worry at all. 
He sent for a copy of the Sahih Bukhari and when it was 
brought he held it in his hand, and started turning over its 
pages very rapidly. Reaching a certain page, he exclaimed: 
'Here is the reference.' Those present were astonished to 
have seen that he had been turning over the pages without 
even scanning them carefully, and had yet found the reference. 

40 



Later, someone asked him how it was that he went on turning 
over the pages without reading them, and, at last, stopping 
at a certain page, said, 'Here is the reference/ The Promised 
Messiah, peace be on him, explained, 'When I was turning 
over the pages, holding the book in my hand, the pages 
appeared to be quite blank, nothing seemed to be written 
on them, till I found a page on which something was written, 
and I then firmly believed that, by God's grace and succour, 
that was the reference I needed, and without any hesitation 
I put forward that reference before the opponent. It was 
the same reference the opponent had demanded.' " (Siratul- 
Mahdi II, Tradition 306.) 

Notwithstanding numberless instances of extraordinary 
Divine help and protection being extended to the Promised 
Messiah, peace be on him, he was always ready to offer 
every sacrifice in the cause of Allah. I shall mention here only 
one such instance. Hazrat Maulvi Adbul Karim Sahib reports : 
"The day the Superintendent of Police came to Qadian, 
unexpectedly, to search the Promised Messiah's house in 
connection with the assassination of Pandit Lekhram, 
Hazrat Meer Nasir Nawab Sahib (an illustrious Companion 
and father-in-law of the Promised Messiah) was very much 
disturbed on learning of it. He hastened to the Promised 
Messiah, peace be on him, in great perplexity. Overpowered 
by emotion, he, with great difficulty, managed to utter: 
'The Police Superintendent is coming with a warrant of arrest 
and handcuffs.' The Promised Messiah, peace be on him, 
was at that time busy writing his book Nurul-Quran. 
Raising his head, he said with a smile: 'Meer Sahib, people 
wear gold and silver bracelets on their wrists for ornament. 
I shall be happy to wear iron bracelets on my wrists in the 
cause of Allah.' Then, pausing a little, he added : 'But it 
shall not be so. The Divine Kingdom has its own designs. 
God will not permit such retribution of the Successors of His 
Chosen Ones.' " (Alhakm, Vol. Ill, p. 24.) 

Now I shall relate two instances of the Promised Messiah's 
spiritual charm and influence. Hazrat Maulvi Sarwar Shah 
Sahib relates : 

"Once someone from Mardan came to Qadian to get 
himself treated by Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddin Sahib, whose 

41 



great reputation as a physician had reached him. This 
person was a bitter enemy of the Promised Messiah, peace 
be on him. For his place of residence at Qadian, he rented 
a house away from the Ahmadiyya Quarter. When, by the 
Grace of Allah, he was restored to health, and was ready to 
return home, an Ahmadi friend of his suggested to him that 
he should at least visit our mosque. He agreed, but on 
condition that he should be shown round the Mosque at 
a time when the Promised Messiah was not there. He was, 
therefore, taken to the Mubarak Mosque when it was not 
the time for Prayer, and there was no one in the Mosque. 
But it so happened, that, as soon as he entered the Mosque, 
the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, happened to open 
the door of his house which opened into the Mosque and 
entered the Mosque for some purpose. The visitor glanced 
at the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, and as soon as 
he saw the luminous appearance of the Promised Messiah, 
peace be on him, he was fascinated and losing all self-control, 
flung himself down at the feet of the Promised Messiah, 
peace be on him, and forthwith begged to be initiated into 
the Movement. (Siratul-Mahdi, Part I, Tradition 73.) 

Hazrat Munshi Zafar Ahmad relates that, having taken 
initiation at the hands of the Promised Messiah, peace be 
on him, at Ludhiana, he stayed on there for some time. 
One Sufi (mystic) asked some questions of the Promised 
Messiah, peace be on him, and then enquired: "Can you 
make one see the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah 
be on him)?" The Promised Messiah said, in reply, 'There 
are some conditions for seeing him", and then turning to 
Hazrat Munshi Sahib, added, "Or he whom Allah blesses 
with His Grace may see him." Hazrat Munshi Sahib says 
that the same night he beheld the Holy Prophet, peace and 
blessings of Allah be on him, in a dream, and thereafter he 
saw the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on 
him, several times in his dreams. (Ashab Ahmad, Vol. IV, 

p. 92.) 

In the time of every Prophet, Divine light and blessings 
descend in such profusion that the phenomenon may be 
compared to a heavy downpour. The same was the case with 
the Promised Messiah, peace be on him. He was Divinely 

42 



appointed and the Divine light was bestowed upon him in 
a special measure possessing a special quality. It descended 
upon those, too, who lived with and near him, or were 
associated with him. Each received this light, according to 
his or her own spiritual calibre and capacity. The incident 
first mentioned testifies to this truth. 

In this context, I shall mention three or four Companions 
of the Promised Messiah who came from different classes 
and sections of society. The truth is that, in accordance with 
a saying of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah 
be on him, they were, as it were, heavenly stars, in accordance 
with their own respective capacities. In respect of firmness 
of faith, spirit of sacrifice and obedience they were imbued 
with the characteristics of the Companions of the Holy 
Prophet and served as models for future generations. As 
Jesus truly said, a tree is known by its fruits. Thus, the 
Promised Messiah's Companions, constitute proofs of his 
truth. First of all, I shall make mention of Hazrat Maulvi 
Nuruddin Sahib who, later, became the First Successor of 
the Promised Messiah and whom the latter extolled in his 
Persian verses. Regarding him, Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza 
Bashir Ahmad writes : 

"When the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, started 
initiating people into the Movement, Hazrat Maulvi 
Nuruddin was the first to make the covenant of initiation. 
After his initiation he became even more devoted to the 
Promised Messiah, peace be on him, and after his demise 
he became his First Successor. The standard of his obedience 
and submission was so high and perfect that, concerning 
him, the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, wrote, at one 
place, 'He obeys me, even as the pulses obey the beatings 
of the heart.' " (Aini-i-Kamalat-i-Islam, p. 556.) 

Once the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, who was in 
Delhi, sent a telegram to Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddin at Qadian, 
asking him to join him in Delhi. The scribe, on his own, 
worded the telegram as, "Come to Delhi without delay." 
When Hazrat Maulvi Sahib received the telegram, he was 
busy with his patients in his dispensary. He stood up, at 
once, and left for the carriage stand, without going home 
or furnishing himself with the expenses for and other 

43 



requirements of the journey. When someone asked him how 
he was going to undertake a long journey without any 
provision or means for the journey, he said: 'The Imam 
(Spiritual Leader) has called me, directing me: "Come 
without delay", hence it is not permissible for me to delay 
my departure by a single moment. So I am leaving for Delhi 
in whatever condition I am." But God justified his trust in 
Him in an extraordinary manner. All the requirements of 
his journey were supplied, on the way, without any difficulty, 
through unexpected sources, and he presented himself before 
his Imam without any delay the following morning. 

There was a simple villager, Baba Karim Bakhsh by name. 
He was not much educated, but like most Ahmadis he was 
wholly devoted to the Promised Messiah, peace and blessings 
of Allah be on him. On one occasion the Promised Messiah 
was delivering an address in the Mubarak Mosque. Those 
who came late were standing in rows at the back and agghis 
caused a congestion the Promised Messiah, peace b# on 
him, directed everyone to sit down. Baba Karim Bakhsh 
was proceeding to the Mosque by the lane leading to the 
Mosque. As soon as he heard this direction of the Imam, 
he sat down on his feet and started creeping towards the 
Mosque in that position. Later he explained that when he 
heard the direction to sit down, he thought that if he died 
while walking to the Mosque what answer would he make 
to God if He were to take him to task for disobeying the 
direction of the Messiah?" (Siratul-Mahdi, Tradition 741.) 

There was another Companion, Mian Abdul. Aziz, a 
village Patwari (Keeper of Land Records). He was one of the 
early Companions of the Promised Messiah, peace be on 
him. He related an incident to Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza 
Bashir Ahmad, as follows: 

"On one occasion, the Promised Messiah, peace be on 
him, had gone to Gurdaspur in connection with a law suit. 
He was ill at that time— suffering from severe dysentery, 
and had frequent motions. I stayed by him and supplied 
him with water for ablutions whenever he needed it. But 
he repeatedly said, 'Mian Abdul Aziz, please go to bed; 
I shall wake you up if necessary.' But I kept awake the whole 
night, lest I should fall asleep, and he should call me, and 

44 






I should fail to hear him, and it should cause him trouble. 
In the morning, while sitting among his friends, he said in 
a happy mood, 'What a great blessing of God is upon me! 
Jesus, at a time of trial, repeatedly exhorted his disciples to 
keep awake and pray, yet they fell asleep (Matthew, 26: 
39-46), whereas I, suffering only from an illness, asked 
Munshi Abdul Aziz, again and again, to go to sleep, but he 
kept awake the whole night for my sake and did not for a 
moment sleep'." (Siratul-Mahdi, Tradition 701.) 

Let me mention the instance of another Companion, 
Munshi Muhammad Rura, who was deeply devoted to the 
Promised Messiah, peace be on him. 

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib writes : 

"In 1915 or 1916", Mr. H. A. Walter, Secretary, Young 
Men's Christian Association, came to Qadian. He wanted 
to write and publish a book on the Ahmadiyya Movement. 
He ^expressed his desire to meet some devoted Companion 
of ill Promised Messiah, peace be on him. So he was 
introduced to Munshi Muhammad Rura, in the Mubarak 
Mosque. At that time Munshi Sahib was sitting in the 
Mosque, waiting for the Prayer Service. Having been 
formally introduced, Mr. Walter asked Munshi Sahib: 
'How long were you in contact with Mirza Sahib? What 
proof df his truth appealed to you most, and what feature 
of his character impressed you more than others ?' Munshi 
Sahib said very simply : 'I knew Mirza Sahib even before he 
claimed to be the Messiah. I have never seen such a holy 
arid luminous countenance. For me his luminous appearance 
and majnfetic personality constituted the greatest proof of 
his truth. We were always eager to see his radiant face.' 
Saying this, Hazrat Munshi Sahib began to sob, overwhelmed 
with emotion at the recollection of the Promised Messiah, 
peace be on him, even as a child sobs bitterly on being 
separated from its mother. Mr. Walter was so much im- 
pressed with this simple incident that he made mention of it 
in his book 'Ahmadiyya Movement', concluding with the 
following words : 

'We may calf Mirza Sahib deluded, but we can never call 
one who has created such a deep impression upon his 
| disciples, an impostor.' 

45 



"I recollect another incident pertaining to Munshi Rura 
Sahib, related by Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih II, Allah be 
pleased with him. He has stated that one day someone 
knocked at the door of the Mubarak Mosque that opens 
into the house of the Promised Messiah, peace be on him. 
At this, he came out, and found Munshi Rura Khan standing 
at the door with a purse in his hand. Seeing Hazrat Khalifatul 
Masih II, Munshi Sahib broke down and sobbed bitterly. 
At last when he could control himself he handed over the 
purse to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II, and said: 'I had an 
ardent desire to present some gold coins to the Promised 
Messiah, peace be on him, in his lifetime. But, partly due 
to poverty, and partly due to the fact that whatever I saved 
I hastened to present it to the Promised Messiah, peace be 
on him, this desire of mine was not fulfilled. Now I have 
brought these few gold coins thinking that, even if I failed to 
present any such gift to the Promised Messiah himself, peace 
be on him, I should, at least, present it now to his son.' 

This small incident is also an eloquent testimony of the 
deep love and affection that the Companions of the Promised 
Messiah, peace be on him, entertained for him. 

I should like to mention here two incidents reported to 
me direct by Hazrat Mubaraka Begum, the eldest daughter 
of the Promised Messiah, peace be on him. She said to me: 

"One day, the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, was 
lying in his hujra (closet) which was to the west of the 
Bait-ud-Doa (Prayer Room). There was no one by him at 
that time. I entered the closet and started massaging him. 
Suddenly, I felt his body shiver, as if an electric current was 
passing through him. His eyes were closed, and there were 
big drops of sweat, like pearls, on his forehead. Then he 
opened his eyes and wrote something on a piece of paper, 
and said to me, 'Call Meer Sahib', i.e. Hazrat Meer Nasir 
Nawab who was, at that time, in another room. When 
Hazrat Meer Sahib came, the Promised Messiah, handed 
over the paper to him, and said, 'Read this, it has just been 
revealed to me.' The words of the revelation were: 'Progress 
and success shall be accompanied by mighty Signs'." 

Every one of you sitting here, is a proof of the truth of 
this revelation. Besides countless other Signs we see daily, 

46 




every individual that joins the Movement constitutes a proof 
of the truth of this Revelation. 

Hazrat Mubaraka Begum further reports : 

"In 1907 or in early 1908, the Promised Messiah, peace 
be on him, was preparing for some journey. To me also he 
said, 'Offer two Rakats of "Nan"' (supererogatory Prayer) 
and offer "Doa-i-Istikhara"*, and inform me if you see 
some dream. I did as instructed by him, and, at night I saw 
a dream that Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddin was sitting in a part 
of the Mubarak Mosque, and was reading a book of some- 
what large size, holding it in his hand, and announced: 
'These are the prophecies of the Promised Messiah, peace be 
on him, concerning me, and I am Abu Bakr.' In this dream, 
I also saw Hazrat Ammajan (Promised Messiah's consort) 
distributing meat, sitting in the yard, downstairs'. Hazrat 
Mubaraka Begum adds, 'At that time I did not understand 
the meaning of this dream. But when the Promised Messiah, 
peace be on him, heard this dream from me, he said "Don't 
relate this dream to your mother.' " 

In this dream, while, on the one hand, there was a hint 
of the approaching demise of the Promised Messiah, peace 
be on him, who himself had been receiving during the last 
two or three years of his life, frequent revelations presaging 
his demise, on the other hand, there was an indication of the 
establishment of Khilafat, and that Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddin 
Sahib would be his First Successor. 

I shall now speak of the knowledge bestowed upon the 
Promis*e<i ; 'Messiah, peace be on him, by Divine grace. The 
Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, had 
prophesied that in the time of the Promised Messiah religious 
wars would come to an end and Islam would triumph 
through reason, persuasion and argument. In accordance 
with this prophecy, the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, 
championed the cause of Islam with the Pen. God accepted 
this noble endeavour of his and bestowed upon him the 
itle of "Sultanul-Qalam" (Master of the Pen). 

11 the writings of the Promised Messiah, peace be on 

* A supplication that, if a particular undertaking is good and 
auspicious within Allah's knowledge, He may ordain, facilitate and 
bless it, otherwise, He may cause it to be abandoned. 

47 




him, his lectures and discourses, possess a special spiritual 
quality which attracts and impresses the mind and are proof 
of his being the recipient of Divine help and succour. Here 
I shall speak only of one writing and one speech, written and 
spoken with the help of special Divine grace. The first of 
these is "The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam". It 
was written for the Religious Conference held at Lahore 
in the last days of December 1894, in which the repre- 
sentatives of all religions were invited to read papers written 
in the light of the teachings of their respective faiths on 
topics formulated by the Conveners of the Conference. 
Detailed accounts of this Conference were published in the 
Press and were set forth in the Report of the Conveners of 
the Conference and in the later writings of the Promised 
Messiah, peace be on him. I give here a summary of the 
report of Hazrat Bhai Abdur Rahman, one of the early 
Companions of the Promised Messiah, peace be on him. 

In the latter half of the year 1894, a Sadhu Swami Shogan 
Chandar came to Qadian, and told the Promised Messiah, 
peace be on him, that he was in search of Truth. The 
Promised Messiah said to him that the very purpose of his 
own advent was to settle differences between religions and 
to show mankind the way that leads to the True God. So 
if the Swami could arrange a conference in Lahore, in which 
the representatives of all religions might set forth the 
excellences of their respective faiths, and thereby help people 
to find the way to God, it would be an act of great merit 
and a great service to mankind, and would help people 
recognise Signs of their true Lord and Master. Being 
impressed by the suggestion of the Promised Messiah, the 
Swami went to Lahore, met leaders of different religions, 
and succeeded in arranging a Conference. It was proposed 
that representatives of all religions should be invited to read 
papers on the Existence and Attributes of God and on the 
Principles of their respective faiths, concerning five points 
propounded by the Conveners of the Conference. The 
Promised Messiah, peace be on him, wrote an exhaustive 
paper dealing with those five points, and, several days before 
the Conference, published a handbill in which he proclaimed : 

"God has revealed to me that: 



48 



*jr 




"1. My paper shall be upheld and shall prevail over all 
other papers that may be read in the Conference. 

"2. This paper will be a means of the manifestation of the 
Greatness of God, and, as a result of its advocacy of the teach- 
ings of Islam, all other religions will pale before it like the 
Jewish tribes of Khaibar, and their banners will be lowered. 

"3. With the publication of this paper, Quranic Truth 
shall prevail, and the light of Islam shall spread till it com- 
pletes its circle of diffusion." (Ishtihar, December 21, 1898.) 

This All- World Religious Conference was held in Lahore 
on December 26, 27, 28 and 29. In it the representatives of 
Islam, Christianity, Hinduism (both Sanatan Dharm and 
Arya Samaj), Sikhism, Brahmo Samaj, Free Thinkers, 
Theosophical Society and other faiths presented their respect- 
ive beliefs and doctrines. The Promised Messiah's paper 
was^read by his devoted Companion, Maulvi Abdul Karim 
of Sialkot. Bhai Abdur Rahman says: "While the paper 
was being read, I heard Hindus, Sikhs, Aryas and Christians, 
saying spontaneously, 'Subhanallah, Subhanallah P (Glory 
be to Allah! Glory be to Allah!). The audience, which 
consisted of thousands of people, was sitting motionless, 
like lifeless statues, listening with rapt attention. It would 
have been no wonder if birds had alighted and perched on 
their heads without being noticed. The paper seemed to have 
gripped all hearts; no sound, not even that of breathing, 
was audible except the sonorous tones of the reader of the 
paper. Would that I had the ability to describe even one 
tenth Of whafcl saw and heard at that time ! There was not 
a single heart that did not feel the joy and pleasure of the 
hour. There was not a single tongue that did not acknowledge 
and praise the beauty and excellence of the paper. 

I saw and heard many Hindus and Sikhs embracing 
Muslims, and saying: "If this is the teaching of the Quran, 
and if this is Islam, as described by Mirza Sahib, we shall be 
constrained to accept Islam tomorrow, if not today." 
(Ashab Ahmad.) 

Munshi Jalaluddin, who made a fair copy of the paper 
to be read in the Conference, says that the Promised Messiah, 
peace be on him, once said : "I had said a prayer over every 
line of this. paper," 

':t,K 49 



The paper was published in book form and has been 
translated into English and some other languages. I appeal 
to Ahmadi brothers, living in different parts of the world, to 
take a special interest in its wide circulation, because it 
carries with it the special grace and blessings of Allah. I 
would also appeal to them to translate it into their own 
languages and circulate it far and wide in their respective 
countries so that Quranic Truth may prevail and the light of 
Islam spread into all corners of the earth. . 

I now turn to the speech — a sermon of the Promised 
Messiah. In 1900, the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, 
delivered a sermon in Arabic, known and published as 
"Khutba-i-Ilhamia" (The Revealed Sermon). As its name 
indicates the sermon was Divinely inspired. Let me quote 
Bhai Abdur Rahman again : 

"On the day of Eidul-Azha, the Promised Messiah, peace 
be on him, announced that God had commanded him to 
deliver the sermon in Arabic that day, and that He had 
granted him the capacity to do so. The Eid Prayer was led 
by Maulvi Abdul Karim Sahib. After the Prayer, the 
Promised Messiah, peace be on him, delivered a short sermon 
in Urdu in which he enjoined amity, unity and fraternal 
love. He then asked Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddin and Hazrat 
Maulvi Abdul Karim to sit near him and directed : "Whatever 
I am going to say now is divinely inspired, so take it down 
carefully that it may be safeguarded, for, later, I myself 
may not be able to recall what I say now'." (Ashab-i- Ahmad, 
Vol. I, Tradition reported by Bhai Abdur Rahman.) 

Then he sat down in a chair, at the central door of the 
Aqsa Mosque, facing east, and started his speech in Arabic, 
the first sentence of which was : 





tf&J ££'<&$)*% 



(du»LjM d k-i**') 



^uh 



50 




"O servants of Allah, ponder over this Day which is the 
Day of Sacrifices, because Allah has invested it with numerous 
blessed mysteries for the wise." 

Hazrat Bhai Abdur Rahman says: "When the Promised 
Messiah, peace be on him, took his seat on the chair and 
started the lecture, it seemed as if he had been transported 
to the other world. His eyes remained almost closed, and 
his blessed face appeared so luminous, as if Divine light, 
having enveloped it, had illuminated and made it lustrous. 
At that time, one could not gaze at his face. His forehead 
radiated bright rays of light that dazzled the eyes of those 
who looked at it. The blessed tongue that was in motion 
was,t>f course, his, but it seemed as though some external 
force/\\vas compelling it to move. To give a word-picture 
of his complete surrender to and his concentration on Allah, 
his reliance upon Him, his ecstatic condition, self-oblivion 
and absorption in the Divinity, is beyond human power." 

After he had finished speaking, the audience requested 
an Urdu translation of the speech. So, Hazrat Maulvi 
Abdul Karim gave an Urdu version of this eloquent, 
impressive and miraculous Arabic speech. (The speech is 
to be found in the first thirty-eight pages of the book, 
"Khutba-i-Ilhamia". In the course of the translation, at 
one place, the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, under 
some Divine inspiration, rose from the chair and went into 
prostration. Along with him the audience also fell prostrate 
before their Heavenly Lord. (Ashab-i- Ahmad.) 

Regarding this miraculous speech, the Promised Messiah, 
peace be on him, says : 

"Subhanallah! (Glory be to Allah!) At that time a hidden 
fountain was gushing out. I do not know whether it was I 
who was speaking, or some angel was speaking through my 
tongue, for I knew that I had no share in this speech. Self- 
made sentences came out of my mouth, and every sentence 
was a sign for me. It is an Intellectual Miracle shown by 
■God, and none can present the like of it." (Haqiqatul Wahi, 

pp. 362-363.) 

This is a very brief account of the character of the Divinely 

^Commissioned Reformer of this age, whose whole life was 

ull of Divine signs, miracles, Divine help and blessings. 



51 



I shall now conclude my speech by quoting a comprehensive 
note about his character, recorded by Hazrat Meer Mu- 
hammad Ismail, Allah be pleased with him. Hazrat Meer 
Sahib writes: 

"The Promised Messiah, peace be on him, was endowed 
with perfect morals. He was extremely compassionate and 
merciful; he was charitable and hospitable; he was the 
bravest among men; he advanced like a lion to meet trials 
before which a man's heart would sink. Forgiveness, 
forbearance, generosity, honesty, integrity, humility, patience, 
thankfulness, self-sufficiency, modesty, chastity, diligence, 
contentment, faithfulness, informality, simplicity, kindness, 
respect and reverence for God, His Prophet and religious 
divines, fortitude, moderation, giving every one his due, 
fulfilment of promise, alertness, sympathy, propagation of 
faith, training and instructing, sociability, prudence, dignity, 
purity, liveliness and good humour, fidelity, self-respect, 
beneficence, respect for others, optimism, valour, resolution, 
jealous regard for a cause, cheerfulness, broadmindedness, 
self-control, sacrifice, punctuality and good use of time, 
management and administration, dissemination of learning 
and Divine knowledge, love of God and His Prophet, and 
perfect obedience to the Holy Prophet were the traits of his 
character. He had a magnetic charm and possessed a 
peculiar fascination. He inspired awe and had a blessed 
personality. He was affectionate, his words were impressive 
and effective, his prayers efficacious. His Companions sat 
by him, in a circle, like moths around a lamp, and their 
hearts were washed clean automatically. 

"In short, he presented to the world an example of 
character and conduct that was miraculous. He was a model 
of manly beauty and moral excellences. If he was the 
counterpart of any person, it was of the Holy Prophet, peace 
and blessings of Allah be on him, and of none else. I can 
cite examples and incidents illustrating every trait of his 
character mentioned here; there is not the least exaggeration 
in it. 

"I saw him first when I was a child of two years. Then 
I continued to see him till he disappeared from my sight, 
when I was a young man of twenty-seven. Citing Allah as 

52 - 






my Witness, I assert that I have never seen anyone better, 
more well-behaved, more pious, more righteous, more 
absorbed in love of God and the Prophet. He was a light 
that appeared in the world for humanity. He was a rain of 
mercy that was showered on the earth after a long spell of 
drought, and made the earth green and verdant." 

Finally, I supplicate our All-Merciful and All-Forgiving 
Lord: 

Heavenly Lord, I have, in accordance with my limited 
knowledge and power of understanding, related in this 
gathering some incidents of the holy life of Thy Promised 
Messiah, peace be on him, so that, his followers may walk 
in his footsteps, and be imbued with the character with which 
he desired to see his Community invested. 

Gracious Lord, through Thy sheer grace, convert us, in the 
trueisense of the term, into a holy Community of Thy Holy 
Messiah, and grant us the strength to pursue the path of 
Thy Pleasure. 

Let not, Lord, any design of our opponents, any trial or 
tribulation, any false notion of our dignity, any base desire, 
any spite or rancour, any conjecture based on defective or 
presumptive evidence, lead us astray from the right path. 
Lord, shower Thy grace upon us, for nothing can be achieved 
and accomplished without Thy grace. Amen. All praise 
belongs to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. 



*v 






53 



MIRZA MUBARAK AHMAD: grandson of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmac 
the Promised Messiah and Mahdi (peace be on him), Mirza Mubarak Ahmad wa 
born in May 1914, nearly two months after his father, Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmu 
Ahmad, the late Head of the Ahmadiyya Movement, was elected as the Secou 
Successor of the Promised Messiah. 

On completing his studies in Arabic and graduation from the Punjab Universit) 
Mirza Mubarak Ahmad dedicated his life to the service of Islam and at presen 
directs the affairs of theJTahrik-i-Jadid, Anjuman Ahmadiyya (Pakistan) of whit 
he is the Chief Director. In that capacity he controls the Movement's variot 
Missions outside the Indo-Pak sub-continent and in this connection has visited mo^ 
of the European countries, the U.S.A., Middle East, Hong Kong, Thailand, Japai 
Philippines, some countries of West Africa and Malaysia as well as Indonesi, 

 

Muslim Encounters with Nazism and the Holocaust: The Ahmadi of Berlin and Jewish Convert to Islam Hugo Marcus

Intro
We found this article today.  It has lots of good info about Ahmadiyya in it.  Read our related essays here: https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=inter-war

The official reference

The American Historical Review, Volume 120, Issue 1, 1 February 2015, Pages 140–171,https://doi.org/10.1093/ahr/120.1.140
Published:

09 February 2015

Taken from here: https://academic.oup.com/ahr/article/120/1/140/45860

#ahmadiyya #ahmadiyyatrueislam #ahmadiapartheid #Ahmadiyyat #rabwah #qadian #meetthekhalifa #ahmadiyyat #muslimsforpeace #ahmadiyyafactcheckblog #nolifewithoutkhalifa #drsalam  

The PDF
zah140

The full paper
FROM 1923 TO 1935, DR. HUGO MARCUS (1880–1966) was among the leading German Muslims in Berlin. The son of a Jewish industrialist, and a homosexual, Marcus studied at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Berlin in the first decade of the twentieth century. To support his family after financial reverses caused by World War I, he tutored foreign Muslim doctoral students in German. This led to his conversion to Islam, and for a dozen years, under the adopted name Hamid, he was the most important German in Berlin’s mosque community. Nevertheless, he did not terminate his membership in the Jewish community, nor his ties to friends in the homosexual rights movement.

The Nazis incarcerated Marcus in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp as a Jew in 1938, and he claimed to have remained there until a delegation led by his imam, Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah (1889–1956), gained his release. Abdullah obtained a visa for Marcus to travel to British India, where a sinecure at a Muslim organization awaited him. Just before the outbreak of World War II, using travel documents secured by the imam, Marcus was able to escape to Switzerland instead, where he intended to establish an Islamic cultural center.

 

FIGURE 1:
Hugo Marcus with fellow German and South Asian Muslims in front of the mission house attached to the Berlin mosque, ca. 1930. Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah (1889–1956), the imam of the mosque, sits on Marcus's left. Others in the photo include convert Fatima Beyer, the future wife of convert Hikmet (Fritz) Beyer; Conrad Giesel, who converted to Islam on October 1, 1924 (top row, right); and assistant imam Dr. Azeez Mirza (1906–1937) (top row, with turban). Photographer unknown. Copyright MJB-Verlag & Mehr.

Hugo Marcus with fellow German and South Asian Muslims in front of the mission house attached to the Berlin mosque, ca. 1930. Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah (1889–1956), the imam of the mosque, sits on Marcus’s left. Others in the photo include convert Fatima Beyer, the future wife of convert Hikmet (Fritz) Beyer; Conrad Giesel, who converted to Islam on October 1, 1924 (top row, right); and assistant imam Dr. Azeez Mirza (1906–1937) (top row, with turban). Photographer unknown. Copyright MJB-Verlag & Mehr.

Hugo Marcus with fellow German and South Asian Muslims in front of the mission house attached to the Berlin mosque, ca. 1930. Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah (1889–1956), the imam of the mosque, sits on Marcus's left. Others in the photo include convert Fatima Beyer, the future wife of convert Hikmet (Fritz) Beyer; Conrad Giesel, who converted to Islam on October 1, 1924 (top row, right); and assistant imam Dr. Azeez Mirza (1906–1937) (top row, with turban). Photographer unknown. Copyright MJB-Verlag & Mehr.

These facts alone challenge many deeply ingrained preconceptions about Muslim attitudes toward Jews, and even toward homosexuals. Who were these tolerant Muslims who created an intellectual and spiritual home for Marcus and allowed him to rise to be the representative of their community? What was their understanding of Islam and religious conversion that attracted German intellectuals yet offended the Nazis? Why did they risk the standing of their community in Nazi Germany to save Marcus’s life? Hugo Marcus and Muhammad Abdullah do not figure in academic and popular narratives of Muslims during World War II. Why is their extraordinary story of Jewish-Muslim interaction practically unknown? What are its implications for the history of Muslims in Europe?

The history of the Berlin mosque community and the life of its leading convert shed light on two interconnected topics: Muslim responses to Nazism and Muslim-Jewish relations. Largely because of the tendentious politics of history and memory produced by the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, we do not yet have a complete answer to the question of how Muslims responded to Nazism and the persecution of Jews. Until recently, few academic and popular responses to this question have focused on Muslims who came from Germany or had resided there for decades; most look at Muslims in the Middle East or those who were temporarily located in Berlin during World War II. In fact, research on Muslims in Nazi Germany has overwhelmingly focused on Arabs, and for that matter on a single Palestinian, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Al-Hajj Amin al-Husayni (1897–1974), who was the guest of Hitler in Berlin and whose notoriety for working closely with the Nazi regime has overshadowed the activities of all other Muslims in Germany, and indeed elsewhere as well.1

For seven decades, scholarship on Muslim-Jewish relations has been seen as part of Middle Eastern history, shaped by the conflict in Palestine.2 Immediately after World War II, supporters of the establishment of a Jewish state began campaigning to delegitimize the competing Palestinian national movement by claiming that al-Husayni’s antisemitic views and collaboration with the Nazis were representative of the sentiment of all Palestinians, and consequently of all Arabs.3 Referring to the Israeli Holocaust Memorial Yad Vashem’s Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, Peter Novick notes, “The article on the Mufti is more than twice as long as the articles on Goebbels and Göring, longer than the articles on Himmler and Heydrich combined, longer than the article on Eichmann—of all the biographical articles, it is exceeded in length, but only slightly, by the entry for Hitler.”4 After recognizing nearly 25,000 people over fifty years, only in 2013 did Yad Vashem accept its first Arab “righteous gentile,” Dr. Muhammad Helmy, an Egyptian physician who saved the lives of several Jews in Berlin.5 Such preconceptions about Arabs—and Muslims—still prevail even in academic circles today. A recent study uses Al-Husayni’s actions to implicate all Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims in the perpetuation of the Shoah. Its author depicts Arabs as uniformly pro-Nazi and antisemitic, citing the “fateful collaboration” of Arab exiles in Berlin with the Nazis and the alleged widespread acceptance of Nazi ideology in the Middle East, then and even now.6 The appetite for biographies of the Mufti of Jerusalem and conspiracy theories about ties between Nazis and Islamists appears insatiable.7

Other scholars have rejected such a one-sided depiction, finding that Arab intellectual elites—Christian, Jewish, and Muslim—overwhelmingly rejected fascism and Nazism as ideology and practice and condemned the persecution of European Jewry, and that al-Husayni’s views were peripheral in Palestine, Egypt, Syria, and North Africa.8 Moreover, they have presented evidence that Arabs—especially Jewish Arabs—were also victims of the Nazis.9 Yet by focusing on the Arab Middle East, and Arabs in Germany, this scholarship, too, implicitly takes the Arab experience to represent the Muslim experience more generally.

In fact, al-Husayni did not reach Berlin until 1941, eight years after the Nazi seizure of power. Pro-Nazi Muslim exiles did not take over the Berlin mosque and leadership of the only recognized Muslim organization in the Third Reich until 1942, twenty years after Muslims had first established Islamic institutions in the city. Few have yet asked how those who built the mosque responded to the Nazis and antisemitism.10For what has been largely missing from the debate until now is a “pre-history” of al-Husayni’s collaboration, an introduction to the diverse Muslim groups present in the city beginning in the 1920s, a discussion of how their rivalries affected their responses to the Nazi takeover, and a narrative of the spectrum of Muslim responses to Nazism in Germany from 1933 until al-Husayni’s arrival, including that of German converts to Islam.

The Muslim encounter with the Holocaust is not just a Middle Eastern story, nor one that concerns only Middle Easterners in wartime Europe.11 It also is not limited to Muslims of the majority Sunni denomination. After World War I, the Muslim population of Berlin included Afghans, Arabs, Persians, Tatars, Turks, and South Asians, Germans and other Europeans, Sunnis and members of other Islamic confessions, secularists and Islamists, nationalists, and socialist revolutionaries.12Too little attention has been paid to the non-Arab Muslims who first established Islam in Germany, especially South Asians, including those of a minority Islamic confession, the Ahmadi. That they were not Arab, Sunni, or Middle Eastern, not connected to any nation-state’s politics of memory, and not in conflict with Israel are among the many possible reasons for that neglect. Moreover, South Asia is not the usual focus of research into the relations between Muslims and Jews.13 None have yet asked whether they were victims, resisters, accommodators, or collaborators during the Nazi era. Also obscured in the debate is the crucial role played by German converts in the establishment of Islam. Just as not all Muslims in Germany were Arabs, nor were they all foreign. And not all German Muslims were former Christians. A question previously unexplored is the fate of German Muslims of Jewish background during the Nazi reign of terror, and how other Muslims responded to their persecution. Answering this final question enables us to simultaneously explore both Muslims and the Holocaust and Muslims in the Holocaust.14

An analysis based on an examination of the publications and archival records of the first German Muslim communities and the personal documents and private correspondence of their leading members can address these lacunae and add something new to the literature on Muslims in Germany. As the most prominent German Muslim, Hugo Marcus played a leading role in Berlin’s mosque community. The city’s first and only mosque established by Muslims was built and, from 1923 to 1939, controlled by the Ahmadi, made up of South Asians of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaʿat-e-Islam (Ahmadi Movement for the Propagation of Islam), an Islamic confessional minority based in British India, and German converts. From its establishment, the Ahmadi mission in Berlin attracted German avant-garde intellectuals, partly by promoting conversion as a kind of double consciousness, preaching interreligious tolerance, practicing inclusion of homosexuals, and speaking out against racism, nationalism, and war. When German society was Nazified, the Ahmadi—like the other Muslims in Berlin—found themselves needing to make accommodationist overtures to the regime. Yet in helping Marcus to escape from Germany, they managed to thwart the Nazi reign of violence. Their actions in saving the life of their formerly Jewish co-religionist call into question the claim that Muslims shared the Nazis’ deep-rooted antisemitism.

A close examination of Marcus and his mosque community thus moves the debate away from the Sunni Arab al-Husayni, sheds light on the history of the diverse Muslims of prewar Germany, and contributes to a growing body of literature focusing on the “lost stories” of European Muslims and Muslims of Europe who saved Jews from Nazi persecution.15 By acknowledging Marcus’s life, we can help change not only how the Muslim encounter with Nazism is depicted, but also how the history of the Muslims in Europe is portrayed—when it begins, and who it includes.16

A focus on Marcus also provides insights into two broader issues. First, it offers historians a methodological approach to the broader issue of relations between Muslims and Jews. Scholars have been inclined to examine the Muslim-Jewish encounter in terms of “cultural interaction” and “religious exchange,” and the impact of that exchange across the border between different faiths. Positing clear-cut religious borders but nonexistent cultural boundaries, they have often focused on the ideas, practices, innovations, and “goods”—the secular and religious culture—that passed back and forth between the two groups.17 Studying religious texts, language, law, ritual, sacred spaces, intellectual and spiritual movements, art, architecture, and literature, many scholars have concluded that the Muslim-Jewish relationship can be characterized as “creative coexistence,” “cultural symbiosis,” or even a common “Judeo-Islamic civilization.”18 The most recent example of this approach is the impressive collection of state-of-the-art research edited by Abdelwahab Meddeb and Benjamin Stora, who present “points of intersection and mutual influence” between Jews and Muslims.19 Their aim is to enable readers to figuratively cross borders, to break free of communitarianism and nationalism and think about Jews and Muslims not in isolation but as two peoples engaged in an intimate historical relationship. Such an aim raises the question, however, of why historians should visualize Jews and Muslims crossing imaginary borders when we can look at the actual experiences of those originally of one faith who converted to the other. The liminal space between religions is also a “crossing point for people.”20

By examining the post-conversion lives of formerly Jewish Muslims instead of framing the interrelated histories of Jews and Muslims as an encounter between two distinct groups or civilizations, we can contribute to an emerging field of scholarship that renders more complex the lines that have traditionally shaped historiographical accounts of the nature of their interaction.21 Studying religious conversion and its aftermath is a useful strategy for moving “beyond religious borders,” seeing the history of Jewish-Muslim relations from within, and recognizing the literal points of convergence between these two faiths, as well as the unexpected outcomes of that encounter.22 Conversion opens a window into the historical experience of individuals and groups of men and women within the larger framework of intercommunal relations.

Including Jewish converts to Islam and their descendants within the history of Muslim communities helps break down the reified frameworks of “Muslim” and “Jew” in two ways. First, recognizing the significant role these individuals could play despite their background brings the diverse creative forces that forged Islam and Islamic history into focus, making it possible for us to recognize the full participation of Jewish converts in Muslim political, intellectual, and religious life. Studying them also helps us move beyond borders because converts played a historical role out of proportion to their limited numbers. As leading Muslims, they formulated Islamic thought and practice through lectures and publications on Islam. Through their Qurʾan translations and commentaries—still in wide use today—they have had an impact on successive generations of Muslims.23

Second, exploration of the new spiritual and social lives that converts created changes how we think about religious, cultural, and national boundaries. The fact that converts adopted a mix of Jewish and Muslim beliefs, practices, and identities challenges their conventional depiction. This historical approach addresses issues that cut across disciplines, illuminating the complex social and historical processes behind ontological classifications.24 Hugo Marcus, who was one of the most prominent German Muslims in interwar Europe yet remains largely unknown to historians, can be used to illustrate both of these points. Marcus was not an isolated case. Other Jewish intellectuals, including Muhammad Essad Bey alias Kurban Said (Lev Nussimbaum, 1905–1942) and Muhammad Asad (Leopold Weiss, 1900–1992), converted to Sunni Islam in Berlin in the 1920s.25 Unlike these men, however, Marcus became a prominent Muslim in Germany while retaining membership in the Jewish community.26 His religious identity should give us cause to rethink where the boundary between “Muslim” and “Jew” lies, especially in historical eras when the definition of belonging was a matter of life and death.27

AFTER WORLD WAR I, DURING WHICH millions of Muslims fought for the European powers and Germany launched a “jihad” together with the Ottoman sultan, Muslims established their first institutions in Europe, including mosques in London, Paris, and Berlin.28 Muslims—especially Bosnians and Tatars—had lived in Germany and given their lives in Prussian wars since the eighteenth century; Ottoman diplomats, soldiers, and war college students had likewise had a presence for two centuries, concentrated in Berlin and Potsdam.29 What was new was Berlin’s non-diplomatic civilian Muslim population, numbering two to three thousand Germans and foreigners—businessmen, physicians, doctoral students, anticolonial activists, intellectuals, and university lecturers.30 Despite constituting only a tiny percentage of the population—less than 1 percent of the four million residents of the metropolitan region known as Greater Berlin—Muslims became visible in the early 1920s. They established Muslim institutes, libraries, publishing houses, schools, and clubs, and more than a dozen Muslim journals and newspapers, published in German, appeared.31 Nile Green describes Muslims as making German into “a new Islamic language,” with Germany becoming “a Muslim publishing center,” and parts of Berlin transformed into “Muslim space” through the establishment of a mosque.32While Green is correct in noting Islam’s new linguistic, spatial, and geographical configurations, he flattens diverse interpretations of Islam into one generic category, and fails to consider the confessional diversity and political differences of Muslims in Berlin.

The Muslims who established themselves in Berlin after World War I were highly heterogeneous and divided into a number of camps, most prominently the two self-described as Ahmadi and Sunni. They competed to build and then control the Berlin mosque, to gain public recognition as the single group representing Muslims, to disseminate their interpretation of Islam through preaching and publishing journals and a Qurʾan translation and commentary in German, and to gain converts. Their disputes and differences spilled from the street into the courtroom and forced the reluctant involvement of German authorities.

The messianic missionaries of the Ahmadi and their German converts were the most significant group, yet they are the least-remembered. The Ahmadi believed that Muslim reformer Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1839–1908) of Qadian, near Lahore, Punjab, in British India, was Jesus Christ reincarnate and a prophet.33 After his death, followers took his message to the colonial metropole, where they established a mission at the mosque at Woking, near London, in 1913.34 In 1914 the movement split into two branches. The leader of the branch of the Ahmadi that rejected Ahmad’s claims to prophecy, Muhammad Ali (1879–1951), sent Sadr-ud-Din (1881–1981), who had been imam at the Woking mosque during World War I, to Berlin as a missionary in 1922.35 Within two years of his arrival, he laid the foundation stone of the city’s first mosque, completed in 1927 in a well-to-do district.

The year of Sadr-ud-Din’s arrival also witnessed the establishment of the Islamische Gemeinde zu Berlin (Islamic Community of Berlin), founded by Abdul Jabbar Kheiri (1880–1958) and Abdul Sattar Kheiri (1885–1953), who were also Muslims from British India.36 The Kheiri brothers were Sunni Muslim socialist revolutionaries who, while earning Ph.D.’s at Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Berlin during World War I and introducing Islamic studies there, worked with the German government to promote independence for the Muslims of British India.37 Archenemies of the Ahmadi, they used their German-language journal, Islam (1922–1923), to attack the legitimacy of the group’s mission and its right to build a mosque.38 The Kheiris and their organization, which was led from its founding to 1930 by one or the other of the brothers, and which never had a building constructed specifically for prayers, promoted normative Sunni Islam.39 They challenged the Ahmadi’s Islamic credentials, considering them sectarians who sowed discord among Muslims by promoting heretical beliefs. As anticolonial activists, the Kheiri brothers labeled the Ahmadi British agents.40 In campaigning to have Muslims in Berlin boycott the Ahmadi mosque, or to have other Muslims take possession of it, they were joined by Egyptian nationalist Mansur Rifat, who quoted from the Qurʾan (9:107–110) in condemning “those who build a mosque to cause harm and for unbelief and to cause disunion among the believers,” urging Muslims “never to stand in it.”41 The Ahmadi rejected these charges, noting that such differences did not prevent individual Sunni Muslims from praying at their mosque and celebrating the major Muslim holidays in it, or from publishing in their journal.

The Ahmadi had their sights set on larger goals, seeing themselves as “missionaries” devoted to propagating Islam around the globe. This modern religious movement is an example of conversion emerging out of the colonial encounter not as “a unidirectional process of cultural influence and adaptation,” but rather “as resistance to ideological domination,” for its members viewed it as a counter-response to Christian missionizing.42 The first of their missionaries to Europe was the barrister Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din (1870–1932), a leading disciple of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who claimed to have been on the verge of converting to Christianity before he joined the Ahmadi. After arriving in England in 1912, he established the mission and began to publish its journal, the Islamic Review. He also took over the Woking mosque. Built in 1880 by Dr. Gottlieb Wilhelm Leither (1840–1899), a Hungarian Jew who taught Arabic and Sharia at King’s College, London, and served as principal of Government College in Lahore, Britain’s first purpose-built mosque had fallen into disuse before being converted into the headquarters of the Muslim Woking Mission in 1913. The mission had many influential converts, and used its journal “not only to spread the message of Islam but also to inform and encourage the converts in their new religion.” As of 1924, of the estimated 10,000 Muslims in England, 1,000 were converts—all of Christian background, they claimed.43

Interested primarily in encouraging conversion, and seeking the same success elsewhere in Europe, the leader of the Ahmadi, Muhammad Ali, “resolved to extend its work of the propagation of Islam to Germany,” and accordingly “sent two missionaries to Berlin.” One of them was Sadr-ud-Din; born in Sialkot, Punjab, British India, and companion of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, he was a member of the first Ahmadi council (1914), the second missionary to England, and editor of the Islamic Review (1914–1917) and the Ahmadi English translation of the Qurʾan (1918).44 Sadr-ud-Din explains how Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s “enthusiasm for Islam and its propagation lit a fire in the souls of those who followed him,” such that his disciples “aimed to spread knowledge of Islam to the whole world.”45

The Ahmadi missionaries in Germany followed the same strategy they had followed in England: establish a mosque and a journal in the local language, win over high-profile converts, set up an organization headed by converts to propagate their vision of Islam, and translate the Qurʾan into the local language. They built their mosque in the well-to-do Wilmersdorf district of Berlin, and it remained the only mosque built by and for Muslims not just in Berlin, but indeed in all of Germany.46 In 1924, Sadr-ud-Din established the Moslemische Revue, modeled on the Islamic Review, with the express aim of “explaining the teachings of Islam to Germans” in German.47 Many articles in both journals were written by converts, including the Qurʾan translator Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall (1875–1936, conversion 1917) in the Islamic Review, and Professor and Baron Omar (Rolf) von Ehrenfels (1901–1980, conversion 1931) in the Moslemische Revue. Converts played a leading role in the Deutsch-Muslimische Gesellschaft (German Muslim Society), a mosque-based organization whose aim was “to promote understanding of Islam through educational work, lectures, and intensive community life in Germany.”48 For the entire eight years of its existence, converts were always in the majority on its board.49 Since the society “mostly consisted of new German Muslims,” it “played an effective role in making the activities of the mission vibrant and known to Berlin’s literary circles.”50

All of these efforts served to proselytize. In 1925, the Islamic Review boasted that in the new “mission field” in Berlin, “twenty-five converts have already turned to Islam.”51 By 1932, the missionaries claimed that one hundred Germans had converted, all of whom except Hugo Marcus were apparently of Christian background.52 Just as significant is the Ahmadi understanding of religious conversion, something that has largely escaped scholarly analysis.

Borrowing Christian proselytizing techniques—especially autobiographical conversion narratives—the Ahmadi deployed double consciousness as a strategy to win over converts in Europe.53 Sadr-ud-Din did not demand that converts make a clean break from their former religious beliefs and practices. On the contrary, he asserted: “No ceremony is required in order to become Muslim. Islam is not only a rational, widespread, and practical religion, it is also fully harmonious with the natural human disposition. Every child is born with this disposition. This is why no one needs to convert to become a Muslim. One can be a Muslim without telling anybody. Committing to Islam is merely an organizational formality.”54 At the same time, however, using a technique favored by British missionaries in India, the Ahmadi boasted of the new converts the community had won, splashing their photos and conversion narratives across the opening pages of the same journal that declared in every issue from its founding in 1924 through 1929 that one did not need to convert to become Muslim.

The autobiographical conversion narratives of these new Muslims, which promote the self-identity they and the missionaries aimed to create, reveal this understanding of conversion.55 For example, the founder of the Ahmadi Mission Vienna, the Austrian convert von Ehrenfels, was described by the Ahmadi as a “great success achieved,” inasmuch as he and his wife were “members of an aristocratic family.” According to von Ehrenfels,

The Islamic teaching of successive revelation implies in my opinion the following: The source from which all the great world religions sprang as one. The founders of these great paths, prepared for peace-seeking mankind, gave witness to one and the same basic divine teaching. Acceptance of one of these paths means searching for Truth in Love, but it does not imply the rejection of any other path, i.e., another religion … The acceptance of Islam and the path of the Muslims by a member of an older religion thus means as little rejection of his former religion as, for instance, the acceptance of Buddha’s teaching meant the rejection of Hinduism to Buddha’s Indian compatriots … The differences of religion are man-made. The unity is divine.56

Similarly, Marcus wrote: “Islam is the only religion that recognizes all prior revelations of all other peoples likewise as divine. For example, for a Muslim, the Vedas, the teachings of Buddha and Zoroaster, the Old and the New Testament are likewise holy and binding books. And for a Muslim, Buddha, Zoroaster, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus are also prophets sent on a divine mission.”57 “In the Berlin mosque,” he confirmed, “adding the Muslim religion which I embraced to my Judaism was permitted … since there are no fundamental doctrinal differences between the two confessions.”58The foreign Muslims in Berlin formed an “Islamic middle class.”59 Most of them were university students financially supported by their homelands, professors, diplomats, businessmen, journalists, doctors, and other professionals.60 The leaders of the Ahmadi and the Islamic Community—South Asian Muslims with Ph.D.’s—used German middle-class values such as simplicity, practicality, a thirst for knowledge, reason, and intellect to attract members of the middle class and intellectuals, who were facing severe financial and spiritual distress.61 As a result, German converts who came from the same educated middle class as the missionaries made up a significant proportion of the Muslim population.62 Natalie Clayer and Eric Germain claim that a third of Germany’s Muslim population in the 1930s consisted of converts, despite the fact that the exact numbers of Muslims and converts cannot be determined, since Islam was not a recognized religion in Germany given community status.63 As Germain notes, the social status of the aristocrats, professionals, and scientists who did convert was of greater importance than the number of converts.64For as Humayun Ansari points out, they were best able to establish “consonance” between Islam and the “native” religions (Christianity and Judaism), making Islam “indigenous.”65

Hugo Marcus, referred to by the Ahmadi as “the most valued prize of our Mission in Berlin,” was one of those converts.66 A poet, philosopher, political activist, and writer, Marcus committed to several communities, movements, and ideologies over the course of his eighty-six years. His choices speak to a desire to find a utopia, or to join universal “brotherhoods.” After completing Gymnasium in 1898, he migrated to Berlin, and around that time—before his parents arrived in 1901—he joined the first organization in the world to campaign for the rights of homosexuals, the Wissenschaftlich-humanitäres Komitee (Scientific Humanitarian Committee), founded by his friend Magnus Hirschfeld (1868–1935), who was also of Jewish background.67 Like many other scions of German Jewish provincial families in imperial Germany, Marcus then studied philosophy at Berlin’s university, where he befriended Kurt Hiller (1885–1972), another leading homosexual rights activist of Jewish background, whose 1922 book § 175: Die Schmach des Jahrhunderts! (Paragraph 175: The Disgrace of the Century!) is a seminal work in the homosexual rights struggle, aimed at winning “the liberation of a human minority that, although harmless,” is “oppressed, persecuted, and tormented.”68 Their academic mentors included Georg Simmel (1858–1918), himself the son of Jewish converts to Christianity, who, although renowned today as the founder of sociology, in his day was known as “the philosopher of the avant-garde” and played a leading role in the left-wing, pacifist, feminist, and homosexual rights movements.69 A countercultural iconoclast, Simmel “sought to undermine the status quo by social critique, opposing accepted tastes, hierarchies and conventions”; “believing there was no such thing as self-evident and universal Truth,” he sought “to construct a new morality and spirituality.”70Marcus first joined the George-Kreis (George Circle), a quasi-religious group composed of the rapturous disciples of the poet and “prophet” Stefan George (1868–1933), who thought of themselves as an avant-garde waging a cultural and spiritual war of redemption to renew Germany. He was probably inspired to do this by Simmel, who was George’s close friend. Then, however, he went on to join the Ahmadi, apparently becoming the only Jewish member.71 Prior to World War I, Marcus earned some renown with a half-dozen well-received philosophical works.72In one of these, Meditationen (Meditations)—written while the precocious twenty-four-year-old was still a doctoral student, and whose major themes, like those of George’s works, include pederasty and the master-disciple relationship and a search for a new utopia—we catch a hint of his openness to joining a new spiritual community.73 Marcus’s utopia includes “a new, lay priest order devoted to the purpose of spreading a uniform worldview and a truthful social doctrine.”74

Marcus did not have the luxury of being able to devote himself to philosophical and poetic pursuits alone. Like other Jewish youths sent to the capital to seek higher education to facilitate their families’ social climbing, he was expected to work in the family business. The First World War would change that. During the war, Marcus worked with Hiller in the latter’s pacifist organization, the Aktivistenbund, and served on the staff of his pacifist-socialist journal, Das Ziel: Jahrbuch für geistige Politik (1916–1924).75 After the war, Marcus’s family lost their home and factories when Prussian Posen became Polish Poznán, freeing him from the burden of having to follow in his father’s footsteps.

It was also as a result of this that he found Islam, presented to him as a universal brotherhood that united men of all nations and races, and that, as he quickly discovered, promotes homosocial bonds. To support his family, he began working as a German tutor to young Muslim men from the Ahmadi mission, a community not unlike the George Circle, in that both consisted of disciples who were devoted to the teachings of a charismatic master originally seen as a prophet, and who perceived themselves as waging a war to redeem the soul of Germany. In 1923, the Ahmadi community hired him as editor of all of its German-language publications. He formed an especially close bond with the chic, handsome bachelor Sadr-ud-Din. Inspired by the imam, Marcus converted to Islam in 1925. As the Ahmadi boasted, “The West is destined sooner or later to witness the sunrise of Islam, and we hasten to congratulate Dr. Marcus on his being one of the few chosen ones who are the harbingers of that sunrise.”76 That same year, he helped craft and signed a petition that was organized by Hirschfeld’s Institute for Sexual Science and sent to the justice minister urging repeal of Paragraph 175 of the criminal code, which penalized, in the law’s language, “unnatural sexual acts” between men.77

Marcus shared the intellectual reasons for his conversion, stating that he was drawn to Islam by “the absolutely rational and at the same time lofty construction of Islamic doctrine.” At the same time, we see in his conversion narrative, as in that of von Ehrenfels, conversion as a kind of double consciousness. Converting to Islam “deprived me of nothing,” Marcus wrote, “for it allowed me to preserve the worldview that I had formed for myself. But in addition it gave me several of the most pathbreaking human thoughts that have ever been conceived.”78 This interpretation may explain why Marcus did not leave the Jewish community of Berlin for nearly a dozen years after his conversion, and then did so only when he thought it might save his life.79 Nor did he sever ties with Hiller and Hirschfeld, accompanying the latter to an art exhibition six months after his conversion in 1925 to show the famous sexologist a portrait of Marcus done in the mission house of the Berlin mosque by the Jewish feminist painter Julie Wolfthorn (1864–1944 [Theresienstadt concentration camp]).80 It is also significant that being of Jewish background, and retaining membership in the Jewish community, did not hinder Marcus from becoming the leading German in the Ahmadi mosque community’s intellectual and administrative life.

Marcus’s impact was significant throughout the time the missionaries were active in the city. For over a decade and a half, he helped shape the expression of Islam and presented it to the German public. He edited all of the mosque’s German-language publications and served as the chief editor of and the major contributor to the Moslemische Revue (1924–1940), which had a circulation of at least 1,000, and in which he published nineteen articles between 1924 and 1933, the most by far by any German author.81 He was also the editor of the Ahmadi German Qurʾan translation and commentary, published in 1939 in several thousand copies. Marcus was the chairman of the German Muslim Society from its founding in 1930 to 1935.82 He gave dozens of lectures at the society’s “Islam Evenings” at the mosque, which attracted between 250 and 400 attendees, including two of his acquaintances from homosexual rights and literary circles, Thomas Mann and Hermann Hesse, and other German intellectuals.83 The “Islam Evenings” were, along with Muslim holidays, not for Muslims to celebrate alone, but mass media events as well; the Eid al-Fitr sermon in 1931 was broadcast live on radio. The mosque was an “in” place to see and be seen, and the events it hosted were frequently written up in the German press, including the Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung, which had a circulation of nearly two million, and in society papers.84 Marcus introduced foreign Muslim dignitaries at the mosque to crowds of German guests and embassy officials from Muslim-majority lands.85 He was on good terms with politicians of the Weimar Coalition—Social Democrat, Liberal, and Catholic—as well as with Protestant and Catholic clergy and German royalty.86 According to the last imam of the mosque, Sheikh Abdullah, Marcus “made our community life bloom through many new endeavors and his broad initiative.”87

Marcus and the Ahmadi consistently presented Islam as a tolerant religion that allowed its members to rise above national and racial sentiment.88 From the founding of the mission, the Ahmadi used their public message to stress interreligious tolerance, emphasizing the unity of humankind—based on the idea that all people, no matter their race or nationality, are created by the same God—and pointing out the similarities between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and the affinities between members of the three religions.89 The Ahmadi claimed that as progeny of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad were related by blood—in the language of the day, Christians, Jews, and Muslims were all “Semites.” Displaying a complete lack of anti-Jewish sentiment, they appealed directly to Jews to convert to Islam and join their community.90

Throughout the Weimar era, the Ahmadi spoke out against nationalism and racism, condemning Europeans for being blinded by hatred and prejudice. According to Sadr-ud-Din, when people accepted that the same God is lord of all people, that no one people is favored or preferred by God, they would be freed of the curse of national pride and prejudice and promote the international brotherhood of man.91Asserting that the world had seen enough of “the bitter consequences of national hatred and religious prejudice,” Sadr-ud-Din condemned Christians’ persecution of Jews and antisemitism.92 He argued that Europeans should heed the suffering that hate begets, as witnessed in the misery of World War I. In a report on the mosque’s opening ceremony on Eid al-Fitr in 1925, an Ahmadi newspaper proclaimed: “It is on such occasions that you see Muslims from all parts of the world, of all shades of complexion from the white European to the dark African, embrace one another like members of the same family. It is such scenes that in these days of racial hatred present a broad silver-lining to an otherwise dark over-clouded horizon.”93 If these were their values, how did Ahmadi respond to the rise of the Nazi regime of violence and its targeting of “racial mixing” and Jews? If “tolerance is the main feature of Islam,” as Sadr-ud-Din claimed at the groundbreaking ceremony for the mosque in 1925, and if the mosque was open to all, then what happened to it while it was controlled by the Ahmadi between 1933 and 1939, as the Nazis consolidated their power?94 Did the society remain “equally open to members of all confessions and races”?95 It was easy for these Muslims to practice what they preached in Weimar Germany, but how did they act after the Nazi takeover, and how did they respond to the persecution of one of their own?

DESPITE THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF conversion and religious belonging, Marcus and the Ahmadi were compelled by the Nazi takeover to rethink this Muslim’s membership in the Jewish community and his relationship to homosexual activists. In 1922, Hiller had written that “a German Kaiser” “had named antisemitism as the shame of his century. Yet when were the Jews in Germany ever as persecuted as the homoerotics? Does the criminal law contain an exceptional provision against that racial minority as with the notorious exceptional provision against this sexual minority? The shame of the century is anti-homoeroticism; the shame of the century is Paragraph 175.”96 Hiller could not have foreseen what would occur after 1933: he was beaten nearly to death in the Oranienburg (Sachsenhausen) concentration camp and then took refuge in England. Hirschfeld fled to France; his Institute for Sexual Science was looted and plundered, and its library, as he related, was “thrown into an auto-da-fé and burnt to cinders.”97 Marcus lost one of his two brothers, who was hounded by Nazis and driven to suicide in 1933; his other brother would be murdered by the Nazis a decade later.98 He also had to confront the new reality in his mosque community.

The tone and content of the Moslemische Revue changed. For the first time, articles expressed antisemitic sentiment, claiming that Islam and Nazism shared basic principles.99 In an article that was published in 1934, convert Faruq Fischer argued that National Socialism and Islam shared the same “modern” values.100 He wrote that Islam rejected Judaism’s claim that there is “a chosen people,” which had “created much bad blood and made Jews unjustifiably egotistical and conceited.”101He asked how Islam could be considered “arrogant” when “it is the Jews who repudiated and libeled Jesus and crucified him for being a false prophet,” whereas Muhammad declared him a prophet sent by God. He concluded by arguing that “Islam recognizes the Führer of each nation.” And “just as the Qurʾan declares, ‘For every nation there is a messenger’ (10:47), one can also claim that the political Führer of a nation is chosen by God.”102 That issue also included a congratulatory letter from Muhammad Ali, the Ahmadi world leader based in Lahore. Ali welcomed “the new regime in Germany” because “it encourages the same simple life principles that Islam emphasizes.”103 He claimed that “the new Germany” and Islam were of the same mind, and he predicted that someday all of Europe would follow the German model.

German converts who belonged to the Nazi Party also became more visible in the mosque community. In 1934, Fischer attended the German Muslim Society’s annual meeting for the first time and was also elected to the board.104 That same year, Nazi Party member and convert Hikmet Beyer (b. 1907) received the second-highest number of votes for chairman, initially receiving only one vote less than Marcus, who had been chairman of the society since its founding.105 Marcus obviously still had the support of society members, despite his Jewish background, but there was significant and increasing preference for converts who were Party members.

The Gestapo reported that rather than being closed down due to “subversive activities,” as was rumored, the mosque actually featured an imam (Deputy Imam Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah) who, while conducting tours of the mosque, spoke “only glowingly” about the Nazi seizure of power and expressed goodwill toward the regime.106 Abdullah also made a crucial change in Sadr-ud-Din’s 1925 lecture “What Has Islam Given to Humanity?” when he presented it at the mosque after the Nazis came to power: he replaced the word “democracy” with “Volksgemeinschaft” (national community).107

As the mosque community began to succumb to the Nazification of society and then to the new antisemitic legislation, Marcus resigned as chairman and member of the board of the German Muslim Society.108 Before the election was held for a new president in 1935, the prominent members of the organization were summoned “to renounce their membership in a society that still tolerated Jews, or bear the consequences, for their careers and political lives, if they remained.” So Marcus relinquished his positions “to save the Society from further troubles.”109

Despite an atmosphere in which “antisemitism became a principle governing private life as well as public,” Marcus participated in the society’s annual meeting barely a week after the notorious 1935 Nazi Party Rally, where the Nuremberg Laws were proclaimed.110 The board needed a new member. Disregarding the antisemitic laws, another non-German member of the society, Assistant Imam Dr. Azeez Mirza (1906–1937) of British India, proposed that Marcus again play a leadership role.111The board also proposed that Marcus give two of the monthly “Islam Evenings” lectures to be held at the mosque the following year. Were they not aware of the laws separating Jews from other Germans? Were they defying them?

It is unlikely that Marcus actually gave any lectures at the mosque in 1936, since Jews were being attacked both in print and in person.112 In March, at the behest of Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, a Nazi press release declared that the German Muslim Society “should not be acknowledged, as first and foremost it is made up of Jews.”113

As Jews were increasingly isolated and made to feel like unwelcome guests in their own land, Marcus, having converted to Islam eleven years earlier, finally gave notice in May of his withdrawal from membership in the Jewish community of Berlin, effective that summer.114 Having officially renounced his connection to the Jewish community, Marcus appeared at the society’s annual meeting in autumn 1936.115Attendees included senior civil servants of the Third Reich. It is remarkable that he participated in the event, for a recent decree for civil servants had prohibited them from “consorting with Jews.”116 Even more astounding, one vote was cast for Marcus as chairman.117 Did he vote for himself? Or was it another member? Was it a silent act of resistance?

The fellow convert whom Marcus had chosen to succeed him as chairman died suddenly in September 1936.118 He was replaced instead by convinced Nazi and convert Hikmet (Fritz) Beyer.119 During his two years as the society’s head officer, Beyer used National Socialist racist principles to reinterpret a crucial Islamic tenet that promotes interracial harmony. Muslims had always endorsed the idea that what matters to God is not one’s origins but one’s piety. Qurʾan 49:13 states that God divided humankind into different peoples so that they might know one another, not because any is better than the rest; the best are those who are most pious. Referring to this verse, Beyer proclaimed instead that “the sign of a truly advanced culture is not its interbreeding, but rather its recognition of [different] peoples!,” pledging that “the German Muslim Society will act in the coming year with this in mind.”120

In 1936, the society “had to redouble its efforts to prove its right to exist anew” and control the only mosque in Germany in the face of a sustained campaign by the Islamic Community of Berlin, which continued to challenge the Ahmadi’s Islamic credentials.121 After 1933, the Islamic Community was led by supporters of the Third Reich: by 1934 its executive director was Habibur Rahman, a Sunni Muslim journalist from India who later became a major figure in Nazi broadcast propaganda.122 In the new climate, the Islamic Community reframed its attacks against the Ahmadi, attempting to convince Nazi authorities that the society was a Jewish Communist organization, unworthy of any claim to the mosque.

Unfortunately for the society, the ensuing period brought continued conflict with the Islamic Community and scrutiny by the police, the Nazi Party, and the Gestapo.123The Berlin police reported on the society to “special representatives” charged with “monitor[ing] the spiritual and cultural activities of Jews in the German Reich.”124The Nazi Party reported to the chief of police in spring 1937 that “the Society is made up of members from the most varied races and nations,” claiming that at their gatherings, “when the participants believe they are among comrades, they have apparently made derogatory comments about National Socialism and its Führer.” In addition, “quite a few Jews belong to the Society. Most notably, the Society became a lair and flophouse for Kurfürstendamm Jews, especially in the years 1933–4.”125 The Kurfürstendamm, where Jews made up a quarter of the population, and Berlin West, where the mosque was located, had long been targets of Nazi rhetoric.126

Since only members and Muslims could attend the German Muslim Society’s functions at the time, it is apparent that German converts or Muslim members were reporting to the Party or the Gestapo. Fischer? Beyer? The Nazis seem to have believed that many Jews were members of the society, although the only known one, Marcus, had ceased playing any public role in the organization, and even attending its meetings, the previous year. He does not appear in a photo taken on the front steps of the mosque on the occasion of Eid al-Adha in 1936.127 Perhaps he continued to show up at the mosque out of the public eye; we know that he maintained a relationship with the imam. Whether or not Marcus surreptitiously continued to visit the mosque, the report that it was a flophouse for Jews has been misinterpreted by Muslims in Germany, who claim that, like the members of the Grand Mosque in Paris, Muslims at the Berlin mosque saved Jews during the Shoah. But Nazi rhetoric should not be mistaken for fact. Nor were Jews in mortal danger in 1933–1934 such that they would have sought refuge.128 During this period of scrutiny, Sadr-ud-Din, the founder of the mosque and community and the architect of its tolerant interreligious and interracial message, left Berlin.129

The new head imam was Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah. Born in British India, in Rasul Nagar, Punjab, he had earned a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. at Forman Christian College in Lahore.130 After serving as joint secretary of the Ahmadi in Lahore in 1927, he was appointed deputy imam of the Berlin mosque in 1928, and subsequently earned a Ph.D. in chemistry at Berlin University in 1932.131 Imam Abdullah praised the regime while leading public tours of the mosque, and he made important changes to stock lectures, incorporating Nazi neologisms. He made further overtures to the Nazi regime in the summer of 1938. He offered to give lectures sponsored by the Kulturpolitisches Archiv of self-proclaimed Nazi ideologist Alfred Rosenberg (1892–1946 [executed at Nuremberg]), proving that there were “numerous points of contact between the Islamic and National Socialist worldviews.”132 This attracted the agency’s attention.133 The Reich Foreign Ministry certified that he posed no danger to the state, and the Public Education Agency approved him as a lecturer for winter 1939.134 But the Kulturpolitisches Archiv was tipped off by a Gestapo agent that Abdullah “in his capacity as leader of the Muslim Society had been under Communist influence until the Nazi takeover, and until recently under Jewish influence,” specifically “the Jew Dr. Hugo Markus [sic],” who “had founded the society, and who had played a not insignificant role in society life until 1936.”135

Abdullah’s overtures may reflect a change in philosophical orientation, or a strategy for survival in the face of a totalitarian regime that brooked no dissent. At any rate, in those years the Moslemische Revue published articles that reflected the former, such as “The New Germany According to a Muslim: Hitler Is the Appointed One,” which appeared in the August 1938 issue and was written by Dr. Zeki Kiram (1886–1946), a member of the rival Islamic Community.136 Kiram was a former Ottoman army officer and a longtime Berlin resident.137 A Turkish citizen who maintained close relations with the Turkish embassy, he was employed as an interpreter of Turkish in the Reich Foreign Ministry and worked for the Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers-SS (the SS Intelligence Agency) for years, but his main job was dealing German arms.138 In 1936 he wrote an ecstatic letter to Adolf Hitler, his “highly esteemed Führer.”139 In the 1938 article, Kiram asks, “Is this man not sent by God to save the German people from the trap that the Jews and their various organizations, established ostensibly in the name of humanity, have set? These Jewish organizations, which appear to bring benefits, in fact pursue destructive ends.”140

Reflecting this sentiment, on November 9, 1938, the Nazis unleashed the nationwide pogrom, signaling the beginning of the Shoah. Fellow Jewish convert to Islam Essad Bey had fled to Italy earlier in the year, but Marcus, defined as a Jew according to the Nuremberg Laws, was among the six thousand Jewish men from Berlin and northern and eastern Germany who were subsequently imprisoned at Berlin’s main concentration camp, Sachsenhausen.141 After arriving, the fifty-eight-year-old was forced by the SS to stand absolutely still on the roll-call ground for twenty-four hours. He and the others were “crammed into the ‘small camp,’” recently built to handle the influx of Jewish prisoners, “where they suffered continual mistreatment.”142 Marcus was held in prison block 18, an overcrowded wooden barrack.143

Fortunately, he did not have to remain there long. Most Jews arrested following the November pogrom were released by spring 1939, although two thousand died in detainment. They were freed on condition that they would leave the country immediately. Marcus was slated for release on November 19, 1938, and inmates with release orders were typically let go the following day.144 Like other former detainees, he was given a stern warning about the horror that awaited him should he remain in Germany. As he recalled after the war, “On the day of their release, former detainees were urged to leave Germany posthaste, because otherwise they would disappear forever in a concentration camp.”145

Facing this reality, Marcus asked Imam Abdullah to defend him, which might seem an odd choice, as Abdullah had earlier praised the regime and promoted the idea of the consonance between Nazism and Islam. But to whom else could Marcus turn? Abdullah, probably responding to the shock of the November 9 pogrom—when the flames of burning synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses would have been visible from his residence in the mission house at the mosque—and Marcus’s incarceration, worked on an exit plan.146 It quickly bore fruit. Within a week of his release from Sachsenhausen, Marcus was informed by the Albanian consul in Bern, Switzerland, that he could obtain an entry visa for the Muslim-majority yet secularizing kingdom, still an independent monarchy at that time, if he submitted a valid passport to Albanian authorities in Switzerland.147 British India, the headquarters of the Ahmadi, for whom Marcus had worked for fifteen years, was a better option. Abdullah sought to help Marcus obtain a visa for India. On December 1, 1938, he wrote the British passport control officer in Berlin, assuring him that Marcus “is known to us personally and intimately.”148

By January 1939, the Nazi Party was “increasingly and ever more openly” emphasizing that its principal duty was “the solution of the Jewish question.”149German news reports broadcast Hitler’s Reichstag speech of January 30, in which he “threatened the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.”150 In February, a Gestapo agent repeated a claim he had been making for years: that the society was “without a doubt an international organization wholly under Jewish-Communist influence.”151Moreover, according to the agent, “even today the Muslim Society, and especially Dr. Abdullah, maintain close relations with various followers who due to their political views have had to leave Germany.” Accordingly, he opposed any “domestic recognition” of the society.152

In this atmosphere, new rivals to the society emerged. Foremost among them was the Maʿhad al-Islam (Islam Institute).153 Unlike the German Muslim Society, the Islam Institute was outspoken in its Nazi sentiment. Its board members included a variety of Muslims who served as Nazi propagandists and agents.154 And while the society had never included such language in its constitution, despite having had the opportunity to do so, the Islam Institute’s constitution contained the following provision: “A German who applies to be a member must present documentation that he is not a Jew, in accordance with the fifth decree of the Nuremberg Laws (of 30.11.1938).”155 The organization was on such good terms with authorities that in summer 1939, the Nazi Party’s foreign policy office informed the Berlin police that it had no objections to the Islam Institute, or to its board members.156 Its chairman would soon be Habibur Rahman, one of the Islamic Community’s earliest members, and its leading member after the departure of the Kheiri brothers.157 Rahman continually urged Nazi authorities to view the Ahmadi as false Muslims and the German Muslim Society as a Jewish organization, in part motivated by a desire to take over their mosque.158

The situation worsened for Marcus. Having already surrendered his German passport, on March 16, 1939, he was fingerprinted like a criminal and given a new identity card under the name “Hugo Israel,” marked with a large “J” for Jude(Jew).159 And with an earlier decree having declared that Jews who converted to Christianity were still Jewish by race—from which one could infer that the same would be true for conversion to other religions—he would no longer be able to escape the consequences of his origins.160 Remarkably, however, in spite of the fact that his life was in danger, that same day Abdullah asked the British to postpone the date of Marcus’s Indian entry visa, so that he could stay in Berlin to finish editing the German translation of the Qurʾan: “Mr. Hugo Marcus has been indispensable for this work and thus his presence here in Berlin has been unavoidable. The climatic conditions in India combined with the above mentioned work entrusted to him here in Berlin, necessitated his departure to be postponed.”161

Was it better to remain in the eye of the storm in Berlin and avoid the heat of India? Was this Marcus’s wish, or Abdullah’s? Abdullah may have been aware that others who employed Jews on similar projects were able to save their colleagues from deportation at that time.162 But why would Marcus choose to remain in Berlin at a time when talk of impending war filled the air, war measures were already being taken, and converted Jewish contemporaries were wondering, “Will they beat us to death … Will they come for me tonight? Will I be shot, will I be put in a concentration camp?”163 Was Marcus so single-mindedly determined to edit the Qurʾan that he considered nothing else, that he was able to look past the violence and humiliation to which he had already been subjected? As a Jew, he was completely isolated from the rest of society. He would have had no interest in attending the segregated Jewish cultural activities, for he had renounced his attachment to the Jewish community. He was forced to surrender all assets, cash, securities, and valuables.164 Had it not been for his salary from the mosque community, which he received until August 1939, and for the one-time fee he was paid for editing the Qurʾan, he would have been destitute.165

We can gain insight into Marcus’s seemingly irresponsible decision to stay when we compare him to other German Jews of his generation. A majority of the Jews who remained in Germany at that time were over the age of fifty and—like Marcus, who was fifty-nine—could not imagine leaving their homeland, for despite everything they had experienced in the past five years, they remained German patriots and still considered themselves Germans.166 In any case, even if they had wanted to flee, there were few countries willing to take them in, especially since they would arrive penniless, as Jews had to forfeit all their wealth and property when they left Germany.167 Like other German Jewish men of his age, Marcus had been honored as a veteran of World War I, despite having served in only an honorary capacity at a desk job for nine months in the heart of Berlin and offering his services in the city as a voluntary nurse.168 In recognition of this minimal wartime effort, in April 1936 the Wilmersdorf police personally delivered a swastika-stamped document to his home: he had been awarded the Honor Cross for War Veterans by Reich president and war hero Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg, “in the name of the Führer,” while he was still officially a member of the Jewish community.169 Perhaps thinking that such recognition could protect him, Marcus sat in his room and improved the Qurʾan translation, delaying his departure by six months. Yet even remaining in his home was no guarantee of safety: as of the end of April 1939, Jews were “stripped of their rights as tenants, thus paving the way for their forcible ghettoization. They could now be evicted without appeal.”170 Marcus was most likely forced to vacate his apartment and move into a “Jews’ House,” denied access to radio, telephone, and typewriter.

In April the Ahmadi invited Marcus “to stay permanently” at their headquarters in Lahore, India, offering to be responsible for his maintenance and defraying all expenses.171 Assured that he would be gainfully employed translating Ahmadi literature into German, several weeks later the British Government of India granted him a visa.172 But he remained in Berlin, working on the Qurʾan translation, which was finally published a month before World War II broke out. In its foreword, Sadr-ud-Din wrote, “Throughout the entire duration of my work on the translation, a great German friend exerted himself working for me, bestowing upon me the greatest help imaginable. His assistance was both indispensable and invaluable. His love of Islam is boundless. And accordingly the labor was his sacrifice and duty. May God bless and reward him.”173 That “great German friend” was Marcus.174

Marcus may not have been mentioned by name in the Qurʾan translation, yet in light of the context in which it was published, it was a remarkable accomplishment. The commentary that accompanies the Qurʾanic text often takes up to 90 percent of a given page, with one line of Arabic text and German translation accompanied by more than fifty lines of commentary. The commentary for the verse “there shall be no compulsion in religion,” for example, expresses the conviction that one should not be persecuted for confessing a particular religion, including having one’s wealth and property confiscated and being targeted for belonging to a particular faith.175Moreover, explaining the verse that refers to people protecting churches, monasteries, and synagogues from destruction by others, the editors state their hope that Europe will take this verse to heart and act upon it, to protect the houses of worship of all believers in which prayers are made to God.176 This is an astonishing statement in the wake of the November 9 pogrom and the persecution of Jews. Such commentary passages and others that condemn racism and blind submission to leaders show the Ahmadi’s perseverance in articulating their core beliefs despite living in the Nazi metropolis: “Goodness and excellence must be promoted, in whatever race and community they are found; on the other hand, evil and maliciousness must be combated, wherever they are found. Help the one who does good, even if he is a non-Muslim! And whoever proves himself evil, refuse to assist him, even if he is a Muslim!” and “Even if you are led astray by a Führer, you will also be punished, for you have followed him blindly.”177

Ten days before the outbreak of war, the imam submitted a certification of Marcus’s good character.178 With this testimony, Marcus was permitted to leave Germany, just one week before the Nazi invasion of Poland. He left not on the long and precarious journey by ship to India, however, which may have been a life-saving decision, but rather for Switzerland.179 The plan was for him to open an Ahmadi “cultural center” in Lausanne and publish the Moslemische Revue there, serving as the editor. He accomplished neither of those objectives, however; nor did he continue on to India.180Had he traveled there, he would have been arrested as an enemy alien and spent the war in a British internment camp, sharing the fate of fellow converts von Ehrenfels and Asad.181 His entry into Switzerland was facilitated by the intervention of a German convert to Catholicism, wartime European director of U.S. radio station NBC and postwar monk Dr. Max Jordan (1896–1977).182 Jordan and Marcus were acquaintances from the homosexual rights movement and the early years of the mosque, when Jordan, who like Marcus wrote for the Berliner Tageblatt, covered the German Muslim Society’s “Islam Evenings” as a journalist.

After World War II erupted, Abdullah, who was a British citizen and thus an “enemy national,” had to leave the country or face incarceration.183 In October he traveled to Copenhagen, and a month later to India.184 Even in mid-November, after his departure, the mosque community was still promoting the brotherhood of man, regardless of race or religion, as in the Eid al-Fitr sermon given by the imam appointed by Abdullah before he left the country, the Egyptian Dr. Ahmed Galwash.185Refuting the 1936 lecture by Nazi Party member and German Muslim Society chairman Beyer, Galwash gave the traditional Islamic interpretation appreciating human diversity, based on Qurʾan 49:13, which states that if any people can claim to be superior to others, it is only by virtue of their piety. Galwash concluded by beseeching “the God of all people and nations” to fill the hearts of all people “with respect toward one another so that peace and well-being for all will yet remain on earth.”186

“SLICES OF LIVES” CAN BE USED “as tracers, to illuminate aspects of the past that would otherwise remain obscure, hidden, or even misunderstood,” just as the histories of individuals, no matter how unique, can “yield global stories that challenge conventional narratives.”187 Hugo Marcus may have been an idiosyncratic historical character—homosexual, Jewish, and Muslim—yet the questions raised by his life are salient for understanding the interrelated issues of Muslim responses to Nazism in Germany and the history of Muslim-Jewish relations.188 Like Christians, Muslims responded to Nazism and its persecution of Jews in a variety of ways. They expressed opinions ranging “from outright refusal to fascination [with Nazism], with sympathy and scepticism often being voiced by one and the same person.” Everywhere Muslim responses were conditioned by local conditions and conflicts.189

The religious and political rivalries that dominated Muslim life in Berlin contributed to German Muslims’ response to the Nazis in the 1930s. Ahmadi beliefs about prophecy and the messiah were condemned by Sunni Muslims centered in the Islamic Community of Berlin, who challenged the Ahmadi’s Islamic credentials and labeled its members British agents. Throughout the 1920s, the Islamic Community of Berlin tried to wrest control of the city’s only mosque from the Ahmadi for these two reasons. When the Nazis rose to power and presented themselves as liberators of Muslim-majority lands, protectors of Islam, and enemies of British, French, and Soviet imperialism, they found a natural ally in the Islamic Community, just as the Ahmadi, seen as too pro-British and too cosmopolitan to fit Nazi aims, began to voice alleged affinities between Islam and Nazism in order to survive as an organization.190 The Islamic Community, which was founded by socialist revolutionaries and had once boasted Jewish converts among its ranks, appealed to the Nazis by portraying the Ahmadi as a Jewish Bolshevist organization.

The Ahmadi’s accommodationist statements and actions after 1933 demonstrate that the mission failed to live up to many of its Weimar-era promises. Most of these actions were meant to curry favor with the regime by adopting its terminology so that the organization could continue to exist and hold on to the mosque. Yet even if not based on ideological rapprochement, such actions as publishing antisemitic material and dismissing a Jewish officeholder did subject them to “personal liability for the interaction with a totalitarian and racist regime” and for crimes of the era, for they facilitated the Nazi project of separating “Jews” from “Germans.”191 Moreover, they betrayed their own principles by distinguishing between Muslims based on “racial” categories.

Yet like other foreigners in Nazi Germany, the Ahmadi responded in contradictory ways, for other actions they took successfully opposed Nazi racism. Marcus continued to head the German Muslim Society and remained editor of the mosque’s publications for several years after he was prohibited from doing so by Nazi law. Some members of the community supported his continuing role in the organization and, astonishing in the face of the new racial statutes, the public life of the mosque. They maintained social relations with him long after they were forbidden to do so, and they supported him financially until 1939; otherwise he would have been destitute. The society and mosque resisted pressure to merge with pro-regime organizations and withstood Gestapo and Nazi Party inquiries. Sermons at the mosque—republished in its journal—continued to call for interreligious and interracial harmony until the end of 1939. The Qurʾan translation published that same year condemns religious persecution and racism and offers rejoinders to those wishing to escape culpability for following leaders such as Hitler. These actions in context and the choices made by other Muslims stand as proof of Ahmadi open-mindedness.

When it mattered most, the Ahmadi, Imam Abdullah, and the international leader of the organization, Muhammad Ali, converted their profession of interreligious harmony and condemnation of persecution of Jews into life-saving action. Even as their accommodation to Nazi ideology helped contribute to the antisemitic atmosphere in Berlin, they ultimately frustrated the Nazis’ attempt to annihilate the Jews of Europe, if only by saving one life. They brought together a diverse group of men—one Protestant, one Catholic, and one Muslim, a “Weimar coalition” that had formed interconfessional affinities at the mosque during the 1920s—to save Hugo Marcus from the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in 1938. As Marcus revealed after the war, “The united efforts of Superintendent Joachim Ungnad and Father Georg, Crown Prince of Saxony—both men had visited our ‘Islam Evenings’—and our Imam Dr. Abdullah managed to free me.”192 The Ahmadi created a sinecure for Marcus in Lahore, and the imam got him a visa to India, testifying to Marcus’s good character and obtaining certification that he was not a danger to the state. As a result, he was granted an exit permit that enabled him to leave Germany just one week before the outbreak of World War II, and thus to escape the brutal end meted out to his brothers. The story of Hugo Marcus sheds light on relations between Muslims and Jews as part of world history, of a history connecting Europe and South Asia.193

Research for this article was carried out during extended periods of research leave granted by Carolyn Boyd, Robert Moeller, and Jeffrey Wasserstrom, successive chairs of the History Department at the University of California, Irvine. I conducted research in Berlin and Zurich initially under the auspices of a Research Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 2006 and 2007, thanks to my academic hosts, Maurus Reinkowski at the University of Freiburg and Gudrun Krämer at the Free University, Berlin, and subsequently thanks to a fellowship at the Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO), Berlin, directed by Ulrike Freitag, from 2009 to 2011. A follow-up visit to Berlin in 2013 and 2014, thanks again to the Humboldt Foundation and renewed affiliation with the ZMO, allowed me to complete the research and write the article. I am especially indebted to Bekim Agai, Umar Ryad, and Mehdi Sajid for including me in the International Symposium on Islam in Inter-War Europe and European Cultural History at Leiden University, the Netherlands; to Jasmin Khosravie, who invited me to participate in the International Research Colloquium, Institut für Orient- und Asienwissenschaften, University of Bonn, BMBF Research Group “Europe from the Outside”; to the participants at these workshops as well as audiences at the University of Bonn and the University of Tübingen in Germany and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. The following colleagues based in Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. offered insightful critiques of this article at various stages of its development: Corry Guttstadt, Heike Liebau, Nils Riecken, Peter Wien, Dietrich Reetz, Ulrike Freitag, Gerdien Jonker, Mehdi Sajid, Stephan Conermann, Jasmin Khosravie, Şevket Küçükhüseyin, Manfred Backhausen, Stefan Heidemann, Umar Ryad, David Motadel, Moez Khalfaoui, Robert Moeller, Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Matthias Lehmann, Rachel O’Toole, and Winston James. I am grateful for the assistance of Muhammad Ali, Imam of the Berlin Mosque; Dr. Zahid Aziz, webmaster of the Berlin and Woking Ahmadi missions; Father Placidus Kuhlkamp, Order of Saint Benedict, Librarian at Beuron Abbey, Germany; Robert Parzer, archivist, Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten, Gedenkstätte und Museum Sachsenhausen; Thomas Ripper, Librarian, Bibliothek ZMO; and the directors and staffs of the Handschriftenabteilung, Zentralbibliothek Zürich; the Landesarchiv Berlin; and the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C. I am especially indebted to the AHR‘s Editor and Editorial Board members and the anonymous reviewers commissioned by the journal for their critical reading of several revisions of the article.

1On the Mufti’s collaboration with Hitler, espousal of Nazi antisemitism, and support of the genocide of the Jews of Europe and the Middle East, see Gerhard Höpp, ed., Mufti-Papiere: Briefe, Memoranden, Reden und Aufrufe Amin al-Husainis aus dem Exil, 1940–1945(Berlin, 2001); Bernd Bauknecht, Muslime in Deutschland von 1920 bis 1945 (Cologne, 2001), 117–126; René Wildangel, Zwischen Achse und Mandatsmacht: Palästina und der Nationalsozialismus (Berlin, 2007), 331–332, 336–343; Gilbert Achcar, The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives (London, 2011), 150–158. As Philip Mattar has observed, most accounts of al-Husayni either vilify or glorify him, which tells us more about the politics of the biographers than about the Palestinian leader. Mattar, The Mufti of Jerusalem: Al-Hajj Amin Al-Husayni and the Palestinian National Movement, revised ed. (New York, 1988), xiii–xiv.
2To see how it has impacted the historiography of the Jewish past in Islamic history in general, and that of Egypt, Iraq, and Morocco in particular, see Mark R. Cohen, Under Crescent and Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages (Princeton, N.J., 1994), chap. 1; Joel Beinin, The Dispersion of Egyptian Jewry: Culture, Politics, and the Formation of the Modern Diaspora (Berkeley, Calif., 1998); Orit Bashkin, New Babylonians: A History of Jews in Modern Iraq (Stanford, Calif., 2012); Aomar Boum, Memories of Absence: How Muslims Remember Jews in Morocco (Stanford, Calif., 2013).
3As an example, see Simon Wiesenthal, Grossmufti: Grossagent der Achse (Vienna, 1947). See Gerhard Höpp, “The Suppressed Discourse: Arab Victims of National Socialism,” with a prologue and epilogue by Peter Wien, in Heike Liebau, Katrin Bromber, Katharina Lange, Dyala Hamzah, and Ravi Ahuja, eds., The World in World Wars: Experiences, Perceptions and Perspectives from Africa and Asia (Leiden, 2010), 167–216, here 213–216.
4Peter Novick, The Holocaust in American Life (Boston, 1999), 158.
5Ofer Aderet, “Yad Vashem Names Egyptian First Arab Righteous among the Nations,” Haaretz, September 30, 2013, http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/.premium-1.549718; and the Yad Vashem website, http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/righteous/stories/helmy.asp.
6Jeffrey Herf, Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World (New Haven, Conn., 2009). For a similar view, see Klaus Gensicke, The Mufti of Jerusalem and the Nazis: The Berlin Years, 1941–1945, trans. Alexander Fraser Gunn (Edgware, 2010); and Klaus-Michael Mallmann and Martin Cüppers, Halbmond und Hakenkreuz: Das Dritte Reich, die Araber und Palästina(Darmstadt, 2006), translated into English with the redundant and extreme title Nazi Palestine: The Plans for the Extermination of the Jews in Palestine (New York, 2010). But see Gudrun Krämer, “Anti-Semitism in the Muslim World: A Critical Review,” Anti-Semitism in the Arab World, Special Issue, Die Welt des Islams: International Journal for the Study of Modern Islam, new series, 46, no. 3 (2006): 243–276; Peter Wien, “Coming to Terms with the Past: German Academia and Historical Relations between the Arab Lands and Nazi Germany,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 42, no. 2 (May 2010): 311–321; Götz Nordbruch, “‘Cultural Fusion’ of Thought and Ambitions? Memory, Politics and the History of Arab–Nazi German Encounters,” Middle Eastern Studies 47, no. 1 (January 2011): 183–194; Donald M. McKale, review of Jeffrey Herf, Nazi Propaganda for the Arab WorldHolocaust and Genocide Studies 25, no. 1 (Spring 2011): 149–152. More nuanced studies that focus on French North Africa, such as Raffael Scheck, “Nazi Propaganda toward French Muslim Prisoners of War,” Holocaust and Genocide Studies 26, no. 3 (Winter 2012): 447–477, demonstrate that Nazi propaganda was largely ineffective in inciting Muslims to commit violence against Jews.
7See now Barry Rubin and Wolfgang G. Schwanitz, Nazis, Islamists, and the Making of the Modern Middle East (New Haven, Conn., 2014); and Tom Boggioni, “Anti-Muslim Long Island Blogger to Run Ads Linking Hitler to Islam on DC Area Buses,” The Raw Story, May 17, 2014, http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/05/17/anti-muslim-long-island-blogger-to-run-ads-linking-hitler-to-islam-on-dc-area-buses/.
8Moreover, “In the majority of instances, fascination with fascist ideas (and elements of fascist politics, not all of them symbolic) did not stretch to include racism and anti-Semitism.” Krämer, “Anti-Semitism in the Muslim World,” 260. See also Wildangel, Zwischen Achse und Mandatsmacht, 143–157, 181–189; Israel Gershoni and James Jankowski, Confronting Fascism in Egypt: Dictatorship versus Democracy in the 1930s(Stanford, Calif., 2009), 281–282; Israel Gershoni and Götz Nordbruch, Sympathie und Schrecken: Begegnungen mit Faschismus und Nationalsozialismus in Ägypten, 1922–1937(Berlin, 2011); Götz Nordbruch, Nazism in Syria and Lebanon: The Ambivalence of the German Option, 1933–1945 (New York, 2009), 135–136; Bashkin, New Babylonians, chap. 5; Israel Gershoni, “Confronting Nazism in Egypt: Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Anti-Totalitarianism, 1938–1945,” Deutschlandbilder: Tel Aviver Jahrbuch für deutsche Geschichte 26 (1997): 121–150; Gershoni, “Egyptian Liberalism in an Age of ‘Crisis of Orientation’: Al-Risāla‘s Reaction to Fascism and Nazism, 1933–39,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 31 (1999): 551–576; Gershoni, “‘Der verfolgte Jude’: Al-Hilals Reaktionen auf den Antisemitismus in Europa und Hitlers Machtergreifung,” in Gerhard Höpp, Peter Wien, and René Wildangel, eds., Blind für die Geschichte? Arabische Begegnungen mit dem Nationalsozialismus (Berlin, 2004), 39–72; René Wildangel, “‘Der größte Feind der Menschheit’: Der Nationalsozialismus in der arabischen öffentlichen Meinung in Palästina während des Zweiten Weltkrieges,” ibid., 115–154; Peter Wien, Iraqi Arab Nationalism: Authoritarian, Totalitarian, and Pro-Fascist Inclinations, 1932–1941 (New York, 2006); Orit Bashkin, The Other Iraq: Pluralism and Culture in Hashemite Iraq (Stanford, Calif., 2008).
9Gerhard Höpp complains, “There is a discourse about Arab perpetrators, but none about Arab victims”; “The Suppressed Discourse,” 170. Peter Wien, “The Culpability of Exile: Arabs in Nazi Germany,” Geschichte und Gesellschaft 37 (2011): 332–358, here 332.
10For an exception, see Bauknecht, Muslime in Deutschland, 58–99.
11For an analysis of Muslim encounters with Nazism in the Balkans, the Soviet Union, and other regions, see David Motadel, Islam and Nazi Germany’s War (Cambridge, Mass., 2014).
12For this era, see Gerhard Höpp, “Zwischen Moschee und Demonstration: Muslime in Berlin, 1922–1930,” pts. 1–3, Moslemische Revue 10, no. 3 (1990): 135–146; 10, no. 4 (1990): 230–238; and 11, no. 1 (1991): 13–19; Höpp, “Zwischen Entente und Mittelmächten: Arabische Nationalisten und Panislamisten in Deutschland (1914 bis 1918),” Asien, Afrika, Lateinamerika 19, no. 5 (1991): 827–845; Höpp, “Zwischen Universität und Straße: Ägyptische Studenten in Deutschland, 1849–1945,” in Konrad Schliephake and Ghazi Shanneik, eds., Die Beziehungen zwischen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und der Republik Ägypten (Würzburg, 2002), 31–42; Goetz Nordbruch, “Arab Students in Weimar Germany: Politics and Thought beyond Borders,” Journal of Contemporary History 49, no. 2 (2014): 275–295; Sebastian Cwiklinski, Die Wolga an der Spree: Tataren und Baschkiren in Berlin (Berlin, 2000); Cwiklinski, “Between National and Religious Solidarities: The Tatars in Germany and Poland in the Inter-War Period,” in Nathalie Clayer and Eric Germain, eds., Islam in Inter-War Europe (New York, 2008), 64–88; Corry Guttstadt, Turkey, the Jews, and the Holocaust (Cambridge, 2013); Marc David Baer, “Turk and Jew in Berlin: The First Turkish Migration to Berlin and the Shoah,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 55, no. 2 (April 2013): 330–355.
13An intriguing example of what is possible is found in Amitav Ghosh, In an Antique Land: History in the Guise of a Traveler’s Tale (New York, 1994). On the study of Jews in India, see Yulia Egorova, Jews and India: Perceptions and Image (London, 2006), 1–8.
14Gerhard Höpp, “In the Shadow of the Moon: Arab Inmates in Nazi Concentration Camps,” Germany and the Middle East, 1871–1945, Special Double Issue, Princeton Papers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 10–11 (2001): 217–240.
15See Robert Satloff, Among the Righteous: Lost Stories from the Holocaust’s Long Reach into Arab Lands (New York, 2006), chaps. 5–7; Norman H. Gershman, Besa: Muslims Who Saved Jews in World War II (Syracuse, N.Y., 2008); Ethan Katz, “Did the Paris Mosque Save Jews? A Mystery and Its Memory,” Jewish Quarterly Review 102, no. 2 (Spring 2012): 256–287. See also Mohammed Kenbib, “Mohammed V, Protector of Moroccan Jews,” in Abdelwahab Meddeb and Benjamin Stora, eds., A History of Jewish-Muslim Relations: From the Origins to the Present Day, trans. Jane Marie Todd and Michael B. Smith (Princeton, N.J., 2013), 362–364; Benjamin Stora, “Messali Hadj, the Refusal to Collaborate,” ibid., 365–366; Habib Kazdaghli, “The Tunisian Jews in the German Occupation,” ibid., 367–369; Irena Steinfeldt, “Muslim Righteous among the Nations,” ibid., 372–374.
16Most studies focus on the mass migration of “guest workers” from Muslim-majority lands after World War II. See Ulrich Herbert, Geschichte der Ausländerpolitik in Deutschland: Saisonarbeiter, Zwangsarbeiter, Gastarbeiter, Flüchtlinge (Munich, 2001); Betigül Ercan Argun, Turkey in Germany: The Transnational Sphere of Deutschkei (New York, 2003); Deniz Göktürk, David Gramling, and Anton Kaes, eds., Germany in Transit: Nation and Migration, 1955–2005 (Berkeley, Calif., 2007); Kira Kosnick, Migrant Media: Turkish Broadcasting and Multicultural Politics in Berlin (Bloomington, Ind., 2007); Gökçe Yurdakul, From Guest Workers into Muslims: The Transformation of Turkish Immigrant Associations in Germany (Cambridge, 2008); Rita Chin, The Guest Worker Question in Postwar Germany (Cambridge, 2009).
17For a recent example, see Miriam Goldstein, “Introduction,” in David M. Freidenreich and Miriam Goldstein, eds., Beyond Religious Borders: Interaction and Intellectual Exchange in the Medieval Islamic World (Philadelphia, 2012), 1–12.
18On friendship between Jews and people of other faiths, especially Christians, see Daniel Jütte, “Interfaith Encounters between Jews and Christians in the Early Modern Period and Beyond: Toward a Framework,” American Historical Review 118, no. 2 (April 2013): 378–400. For examples from this rich literature, see Bernard Dov Cooperman and Tsevi Zohar, eds., Jews and Muslims in the Islamic World (Bethesda, Md., 2013); Jacob Lassner, Jews, Christians, and the Abode of Islam: Modern Scholarship, Medieval Realities(Chicago, 2012); Joseph V. Montville, ed., History as Prelude: Muslims and Jews in the Medieval Mediterranean (New York, 2011); Emily Benichou Gottreich and Daniel J. Schroeter, eds., Jewish Culture and Society in North Africa (Bloomington, Ind., 2011); Mark Mazower, Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews, 1430–1950 (New York, 2006); F. E. Peters, The Children of Abraham: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, new ed. (Princeton, N.J., 2006); Emily Gottreich, The Mellah of Marrakesh: Jewish and Muslim Space in Morocco’s Red City (Bloomington, Ind., 2006); María Rosa Menocal, The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Christians, and Jews Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain (New York, 2003); Ross Brann and Adam Sutcliffe, eds., Renewing the Past, Reconfiguring Jewish Culture: From al-Andalus to the Haskalah (Philadelphia, 2003); Avigdor Levy, ed., Jews, Turks, Ottomans: A Shared History, Fifteenth through the Twentieth Century (Syracuse, N.Y., 2003); Raymond P. Scheindlin, Wine, Women and Death: Medieval Hebrew Poems on the Good Life (1986; repr., Oxford, 1999); Scheindlin, The Gazelle: Medieval Hebrew Poems on God, Israel and the Soul (1991; repr., Oxford, 1999); Steven M. Wasserstrom, Between Muslim and Jew: The Problem of Symbiosis under Early Islam(Princeton, N.J., 1995); Cohen, Under Crescent and Cross; Ross Brann, The Compunctious Poet: Cultural Ambiguity and Hebrew Poetry in Muslim Spain (Baltimore, 1991); Bernard Lewis, The Jews of Islam (Princeton, N.J., 1984); S. D. Goitein, A Mediterranean Society: The Jewish Communities of the Arab World as Portrayed in the Documents of the Cairo Geniza, 6 vols., new ed. (Berkeley, Calif., 1999); Goitein, Jews and Arabs: A Concise History of Their Social and Cultural Relations (1954; repr., Mineola, N.Y., 2005).
19Abdelwahab Meddeb and Benjamin Stora, “Introduction,” in Meddeb and Stora, A History of Jewish-Muslim Relations, 13–23, here 16.
20Daniel Boyarin, Border Lines: The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity (Philadelphia, 2006), 1–2.
21My thanks to an anonymous reader for formulating this contribution in this way.
22Freidenreich and Goldstein, Beyond Religious Borders. Despite its title, the volume does not contain a single essay concerning religious converts.
23This includes the Ahmadi translation and commentary in German, and Muhammad Asad, The Message of the Qurʾān (Gibraltar, 1980).
24See Marc David Baer, The Dönme: Jewish Converts, Muslim Revolutionaries, and Secular Turks (Stanford, Calif., 2010).
25Gerhard Höpp, “Mohammed Essad Bey: Nur Orient für Europäer?,” Asien, Afrika, Lateinamerika 25, no. 1 (1997): 75–97; Tom Reiss, The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life (New York, 2005); Muhammad Asad, The Road to Mecca (New York, 1954); M. Ikram Chaghatai, ed., Muhammad Asad: Europe’s Gift to Islam (Lahore, 2006); Abroo Aman Andrabi, Muhammad Asad: His Contribution to Islamic Learning (New Delhi, 2007); Martin Kramer, “The Road From Mecca: Muhammad Asad (born Leopold Weiss),” in Kramer, ed., The Jewish Discovery of Islam: Studies in Honor of Bernard Lewis(Tel Aviv, 1999), 225–247; Günter Windhager, Leopold Weiss alias Muhammad Asad: Von Galizien nach Arabien, 1900–1927 (Vienna, 2002); Ismāʿīl Ibrāhīm Nawwāb, “A Matter of Love: Mu˙hammad Asad and Islam,” Islamic Studies 39, no. 2 (Summer 2000): 155–231; Murad Hofmann, “Muhammad Asad: Europe’s Gift to Islam,” ibid., 233–245; Talal Asad, “Muhammad Asad between Religion and Politics,” http://www.islaminteractive.info/content/muhammad-asad-between-religion-and-politicsA Road to Mecca: The Journey of Muhammad Asad (documentary film, dir. Georg Misch, Mischief Films, 2008).
26For an overview of his life, see “Der deutsche Muslim Dr. Hamid Hugo Marcus,” in Manfred Backhausen, Die Lahore-Ahmadiyya-Bewegung in Europa: Geschichte, Gegenwart und Zukunft der als “Lahore-Ahmadiyya-Bewegung zur Verbreitung islamischen Wissens” bekannten internationalen islamischen Gemeinschaft (Wembley, 2008), 110–119.
27For another example, see Baer, “Turk and Jew in Berlin.”
28Gerhard Höpp, Muslime in der Mark: Als Kriegsgefangene und Internierte in Wünsdorf und Zossen, 1914–1924 (Berlin, 1997), chap. 2; David Motadel, “The Making of Muslim Communities in Western Europe, 1914–1939,” in Götz Nordbruch and Umar Ryad, eds., Transnational Islam in Interwar Europe: Muslim Activists and Thinkers (New York, 2014), 13–43; Eric Germain, “The First Muslim Missions on a European Scale: Ahmadi-Lahori Networks in the Inter-War Period,” in Clayer and Germain, Islam in Inter-War Europe, 89–118, here 102.
29M. S. Abdullah, Geschichte des Islams in Deutschland (Graz, 1981); Höpp, Muslime in der Mark, 9–18; Alexandra Schäfer-Borrmann, Vom “Waffenbruder” zum “türkisch-deutschen Faktotum” Ekrem Rüştü Akömer (1892–1984), eine bemerkenswerte Randfigur der Geschichte (Würzburg, 1998); Gültekin Emre, 300 Jahre Türken an der Spree: Ein vergessenes Kapitel Berliner Kulturgeschichte (Berlin, 1983); Ingeborg Böer, Ruth Haerkötter, and Petra Kappert, eds., Türken in Berlin, 1871–1945: Eine Metropole in den Erinnerungen osmanischer und türkischer Zeitzeugen (Berlin, 2002).
30While small numbers of Muslims—especially Turkish doctoral students, laborers, and craftsmen—lived elsewhere in Germany, Berlin is unique, for it was home to the overwhelming majority of Muslim residents in Germany and their institutions. See Börte Sagaster, Achmed Talib: Stationen des Lebens eines türkischen Schuhmachermeisters in Deutschland von 1917 bis 1983. Kaiserreich—Weimarer Republik—Drittes Reich—DDR(Cologne, 1997).
31David Motadel, “Islamische Bürgerlichkeit: Das soziokulturelle milieu der muslimischen Minderheit in Berlin, 1918–1939,” in José Brunner und Shai Lavi, eds., Juden und Muslime in Deutschland: Recht, Religion, Identität (Göttingen, 2009), 103–121, here 104.
32Nile Green, “Spacetime and the Muslim Journey West: Industrial Communication in the Making of the ‘Muslim World,’” American Historical Review 118, no. 2 (April 2013): 401–429, here 418–423. See also Green, “Journeymen, Middlemen: Travel, Trans-Culture and Technology in the Origins of Muslim Printing,” International Journal of Middle East Studies41, no. 2 (2009): 203–224; and Gerdien Jonker, “A Laboratory of Modernity: The Ahmadiyya Mission in Inter-War Europe,” Journal of Muslims in Europe 3, no. 1 (2014): 1–25.
33“Kurze Geschichte der Lahore-Ahmadiyya-Bewegung,” in Backhausen, Die Lahore-Ahmadiyya-Bewegung in Europa, 9–17; “Wer war Mirza Ghulam Ahmad?,” ibid., 18–24; Dietrich Reetz, Islam in the Public Sphere: Religious Groups in India, 1900–1947 (Oxford, 2006), 76–77, 97–98, 100–101, 139–142; Yohanan Friedmann, Prophecy Continuous: Aspects of Ahmadi Religious Thought and Its Medieval Background (Berkeley, Calif., 1989), especially 105–118.
34Shah Jahan Mosque, http://www.shahjahanmosque.org.uk/; Backhausen, Die Lahore-Ahmadiyya-Bewegung, 25–39. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community retains a belief that Ahmad is the promised messiah and mahdi, and a prophet. See the organization’s homepage, http://www.ahmadiyya.us/about-ahmadiyya-muslim-community. This branch established a mission in the United States in 1920, the first Muslim American organization, and a journal to propagate its view, the Muslim Sunrise. It is led by an infallible caliph, to whom all members owe absolute obedience. It is not the subject of this article. The second, based in Lahore, maintains that Ahmad is the promised messiah and mahdi but a mujaddid (renewer of Islam) rather than a prophet, and rejects the idea of a caliphate. See the group’s homepage, http://www.aaiil.org/. This is the group referred to in this article with the term “Ahmadi.”
35Muhammad Ali, “Correspondence: Mosque in Berlin,” The Light 2, no. 3 (February 1, 1923): 2–3. See also “Brief History of the Woking Muslim Mission,” http://www.wokingmuslim.org/history/woking.htm.
36Anmeldung zur Eintragung der Islamischen Gemeinde zu Berlin, e.V., an das Preussische Amtsgericht Berlin, November 4, 1922, Akten vom Amtsgericht Charlottenburg betreffend die Islamische Gemeinde zu Berlin, e.V., Landesarchiv Berlin, Rep. 42, Acc. 2147 [hereafter Akten Islamische Gemeinde], in Bibliothek Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin, Nachlass Professor Dr. Gerhard Höpp [hereafter Nachlass Höpp], 07.05.002.
37Majid Hayat Siddiqi, “Bluff, Doubt and Fear: The Kheiri Brothers and the Colonial State, 1904–45,” Indian Economic and Social History Review 24, no. 3 (1987): 233–263; Heike Liebau, “The Kheiri Brothers and the Question of World Order after World War I,” Orient Bulletin: History and Cultures in Asia, the Middle East and Africa 13 (2007): 3–4.
38Backhausen, Die Lahore-Ahmadiyya-Bewegung, 51–57.
39Hassan (Walter) Hoffmann, Islamische Gemeinde zu Berlin, an das Amtsgericht, Berlin Mitte, Berlin, April 17, 1929, Akten Islamische Gemeinde, Nachlass Höpp, 07.05.002; Prof. Sattar Kheiri, Berlin, an Amtsgericht Berlin Mitte, Geschäftsstelle, Abteilung 94, August 7, 1930 ibid.; Statuten der Islamischen Gemeinde zu Berlin, e.V. 1922, Berlin, February 21, 1934, ibid.
40Höpp, “Zwischen Moschee und Demonstration,” pt. 1, 142–146; Nathanael Kuck, “Anti-Colonialism in a Post-Imperial Environment: The Case of Berlin, 1914–33,” Journal of Contemporary History 49, no. 1 (January 2014): 134–159.
41Mansur M. Rifat, Der Verrat der Ahmadis an Heimat und Religion: Ein Anhang zu der Schrift “Die Ahmadia-Sekte” ein Vorkämpfer für den englischen Imperialismus (Ahmadis’ Betrayal of Country and Religion: A Supplement to the Pamphlet “The Ahmadia Sect,” Vanguard of British Imperialism and the Greatest Danger to Islam) (Berlin, 1923), 7. He also penned Vollständiger Zusammenbruch der Ahmadia-Sekte: Weitere Beiweise für ihre Tätigkeit als englische Agenten. Mirza Ghulam—Der geisteskranke Mirza—ausgesprochene Paranoiac (Berlin, 1924). See Gerhard Höpp, “Zwischen alle Fronten: Der ägyptische Nationalist Mansur Mustafa Rif’at (1883–1926) in Deutschland,” in Wajih ʿAbd as-Sādiq ʿAtīq and Wolfgang Schwanitz, eds., Ägypten und Deutschland im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert im Spiegel von Archivalien (Cairo, 1998), 263–273.
42Dennis Washburn and A. Kevin Reinhart, “Introduction,” in Washburn and Reinhart, eds., Converting Cultures: Religion, Ideology, and Transformations of Modernity (Leiden, 2007), ix–xxii, here xiii; Gauri Viswanathan, Outside the Fold: Conversion, Modernity, and Belief (Princeton, N.J., 1998); Peter van der Veer, Imperial Encounters: Religion and Modernity in India and Britain (Princeton, N.J., 2001).
43See http://www.shahjahanmosque.org.uk; Backhausen, Die Lahore-Ahmadiyya-Bewegung in Europa, 25–39. See also Humayun Ansari, “The Infidel Within”: Muslims in Britain since 1800 (London, 2004); and Ron Greaves, Islam in Victorian Britain: The Life and Times of Abdullah Quilliam (London, 2010).
44Ali, “Correspondence: Mosque in Berlin”; “Brief History of the Woking Muslim Mission.”
45Der Koran Arabisch-Deutsch: Uebersetzung, Einleitung und Erklärung von Maulana Sadr-ud-Din, 2nd ed. (1939; repr., Berlin, 1964, 2005), xi.
46Gerhard Höpp, “Islam in Berlin und Brandenburg: Steinerne Erinnerungen,” in Gerhard Höpp and Norbert Mattes, eds., Berlin für Orientalisten: Ein Stadtführer (Berlin, 2001), 7–23, here 16–20. The only purpose-built mosque in Germany at that time was constructed during the war for the use of Allied POWs interned at the “Crescent” camp at Wünsdorf, an hour and a half by train from Berlin. Paid for by the German General Staff, as War Ministry and Foreign Ministry sources concede, the well-publicized construction of the mosque was nothing more than wartime propaganda and instrumentalization of Islam and Muslims, although it was used for a decade after the war by Berlin Muslims. Margot Kahleyss, Muslime in Brandenburg—Kriegsgefangene im 1. Weltkrieg: Ansichten und Absichten (Berlin, 1998); Höpp, Muslime in der Mark, chaps. 4 and 8; Cwiklinski, “Between National and Religious Solidarities,” 65–66.
47Bauknecht, Muslime in Deutschland, 61.
48Protokoll of the 1930 annual meeting, March 22, 1930, Satzungen, “Deutsch-Muslimische Gesellschaft Berlin,” Landesarchiv Berlin, B Rep. 42, Nr. 27515, “Deutsch-Muslimische Gesellschaft, Berlin e.V.” [hereafter “Deutsch-Muslimische Gesellschaft”].
49Annual meeting Protokolls: March 22, 1930; September 19, 1931; September 24, 1932; September 22, 1934; September 19, 1936; August 14, 1937; October 1, 1938, ibid.
50Nasir Ahmad, comp. and ed., Eid Sermons at the Shah Jehan Mosque, Woking, England, 1931–1940 (Lahore, 2002), xxix.
51“Notes: The Berlin Mosque,” Islamic Review 13 (March 1925): 82.
52Thus according to Nasir Ahmad, “A Brief History of the Berlin Muslim Mission (Germany) (1922–1988),” http://www.aaiil.org/text/articles/others/briefhistoryberlinmuslimmissiongermany.shtml.
53Peter G. Stromberg, “The Role of Language in Religious Conversion,” in Lewis R. Rambo and Charles E. Farhadian, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Religious Conversion (Oxford, 2014), 117–139; Bruce Hindmarsh, “Religious Conversion as Narrative and Autobiography,” ibid., 343–368.
54Sadr-ud-Din, “Das Glaubensbekenntnis des Islams,” Moslemische Revue 1, no. 2 (July 1924): 91. The article was republished verbatim in every subsequent issue from 1924 to 1926. It later appeared as F. K. Khan Durrani, “Was ist Islam?,” such as in Moslemische Revue 4, no. 1 (January 1929): 41–45.
55Hindmarsh, “Religious Conversion as Narrative and Autobiography.”
56Ahmad, Eid Sermons at the Shah Jehan Mosque, xxix; Dr. S. A. Khulusi, comp., Islam Our Choice (1961; repr., Woking, 1963), 234–235. See also Germain, “The First Muslim Missions on a European Scale,” 99; Backhausen, Die Lahore-Ahmadiyya-Bewegung in Europa, 85.
57Hugo Marcus, “Was ist der Islam?,” 1–10, here 4, Vorträge, Nachlass Hugo Marcus, in Nachlass Walter Robert Corti, Handschriftenabteilung, Zentralbibliothek Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland [hereafter Nachlass Hugo Marcus].
58Hugo Marcus, Brief an Eidgenössische Fremdenpolizei (Swiss Federal Aliens’ Police), Bern, Switzerland, January 23, 1957, Korrespondenz von Hugo Marcus an Institutionen, Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
59Motadel, “Islamische Bürgerlichkeit,” 106.
60For examples of Muslim students in Berlin serving as mediators of conversion, see “Drei Europäerinnen bekennen sich zum Islam,” Moslemische Revue 7, no. 2–3 (April–July 1931): 53–59.
61Bernd Widdig, “Cultural Capital in Decline: Inflation and the Distress of Intellectuals,” in Kathleen Canning, Kerstin Barndt, and Kristin McGuire, eds., Weimar Publics/Weimar Subjects: Rethinking the Political Culture of Germany in the 1920s (New York, 2010), 302–317.
62Motadel, “Islamische Bürgerlichkeit,” 111; Höpp, “Islam in Berlin und Brandenburg,” 19.
63Clayer and Germain, “Introduction,” 15.
64Germain, “The First Muslim Missions on a European Scale,” 105; Umar Ryad, “Among the Believers in the Land of the Colonizer: Mohammed Ali van Beetem’s Role among the Indonesian Community in the Netherlands in the Interwar Period,” Journal of Religion in Europe 5, no. 2 (2012): 273–310.
65Humayun Ansari, “Making Transnational Connections: Muslim Networks in Early Twentieth-Century Britain,” in Clayer and Germain, Islam in Inter-War Europe, 31–63, here 48.
66Editor’s note, Hugo Marcus, “Muhammad’s Personality: The First Democrat-Prophet, the First Cavalier-Prophet,” The Light 4, no. 17 (September 1, 1925): 1–6. The Ahmadi boasted of converting this “scion of a high German family, a Ph.D. of Berlin University, a scholar of distinction and author of [a] good many books.” “Islam in Germany: Great German Scholar Won, First Eid Celebrated,” The Light 4, no. 10 (May 16, 1925): 1.
67Hugo Marcus, “Lebenslauf,” undated but ca. 1956, Zürich, Nachlass Hugo Marcus. Hirschfeld founded the organization in 1897 and led it until 1929. For Marcus’s relationship with Hirschfeld, see Hans Alienus (pseudonym for Hugo Marcus), “Erinnerung an Magnus Hirschfeld. Zum 30. Todestag—14. Mai 1935,” Der Kreis 33, no. 5 (1965): 6–7, here 6. On Hirschfeld, see Charlotte Wolff, Magnus Hirschfeld: A Portrait of a Pioneer in Sexology (New York, 1986); Manfred Herzer, Magnus Hirschfeld: Leben und Werk eines jüdischen, schwulen und sozialistischen Sexologen, 2nd ed. (Hamburg, 2001); Rainer Herrn, 100 Years of the Gay Rights Movement in Germany (New York, 1997); Ralf Dose, Magnus Hirschfeld: Deutscher—Jude—Weltbürger (Teetz, 2005); Dagmar Herzog, Sex after Fascism: Memory and Morality in Twentieth-Century Germany (Princeton, N.J., 2005), 19–25; Elena Mancini, Magnus Hirschfeld and the Quest for Sexual Freedom: A History of the First International Sexual Freedom Movement (New York, 2010); Ralf Dose, Magnus Hirschfeld: The Origins of the Gay Liberation Movement (New York, 2014).
68Kurt Hiller, § 175: Die Schmach des Jahrhunderts! (Hannover, 1922), 1. See especially “Recht und sexuelle Minderheiten,” 105–118. Hiller led the Wissenschaftlich-humanitäres Komitee from 1929 until its closure in 1933. On Marcus’s relationship with Hiller, see Hiller, Leben gegen die Zeit, vol. 1: Logos (Hamburg, 1969), 74, 107, 408.
69Ralph M. Leck, Georg Simmel and Avant-Garde Sociology: The Birth of Modernity, 1880–1920 (Amherst, N.Y., 2000), 13.
70Ibid., 15–16.
71Robert E. Norton, Secret Germany: Stefan George and His Circle (Ithaca, N.Y., 2002); Martin A. Ruehl, “Aesthetic Fundamentalism in Weimar Poetry: Stefan George and His Circle, 1918–1933,” in Peter E. Gordon and John P. McCormick, eds., Weimar Thought: A Contested Legacy (Princeton, N.J., 2013), 240–272.
72Die Allgemeine Bildung in Vergangenheit, Gegenwart und Zukunft: Eine historische-kritische-dogmatische Grundlegung (Berlin, 1903); Meditationen (Berlin, 1904); Musikästhetische Probleme auf vergleichend-ästhetischer Grundlage nebst Bemerkungen über die grossen Figuren in der Musikgeschichte (Berlin, 1906); Die Philosophie des Monopluralismus: Grundzüge einer analytischen Naturphilosophie u. eines ABC der Begriffe im Versuch (Berlin, 1907); Die ornamentale Schönheit der Landschaft und der Natur als Beitrag zu einer allgemeinen Ästhetik der Landschaft und der Natur (Munich, 1912); Vom Zeichnerischen, Malerischen, Plastischen und Architektonischen in der Winterlandschaft: Zugl. e. Beitrag z. Klassifikation dieser Begriffe (Berlin, 1914).
73Marcus, Meditationen, 107, 199–200.
74Ibid., 79.
75Hiller, Leben gegen die Zeit, 1: 107; Leck, Georg Simmel and Avant-Garde Sociology, 171.
76“Islam in Germany.”
77The text can be found online at http://www.schwulencity.de/Sexus_Paragraph_267.html. On the history of the petition, see Robert G. Moeller, “The Regulation of Male Homosexuality in Postwar East and West Germany: An Introduction,” Feminist Studies 36, no. 3 (Fall 2010): 521–527; Moeller, “Private Acts, Public Anxieties, and the Fight to Decriminalize Male Homosexuality in West Germany,” ibid., 528–552.
78Hugo Marcus, “Warum ich Moslem wurde” (1951), Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
79Compare with other conversion narratives: M. A. Rahman, “Why I Became a Muslim,” Islamic Review 29 (February 1941): 50; John Fisher, “Why Islam Appeals to Me,” Islamic Review 22 (March 1934): 61–63; David Omar Nicholson, “Some Reasons for Accepting Islam,” Islamic Review 23 (March 1935): 106–108; ʿUmar Rolf Baron von Ehrenfels, “The How and Why of Conversion to Islam,” Islamic Review 49 (June 1961): 23–24; Abdullah Robert, “Warum ich aus der römisch-katholichen Kirche austrat,” Moslemische Revue 6, no. 4 (October 1930): 106–109.
80Hans Alienus, “Erinnerung an Magnus Hirschfeld,” 7; Heike Carstensen, Leben und Werk der Malerin und Graphikerin Julie Wolfthorn (1864–1944): Rekonstruktion eines Künstlerinnenleben (Marburg, 2011), 130–131, 331.
81Sheikh Muhammad Din Jan, comp., Annual Report for the Year 1928–29 of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman-i-Ishaʿat-i-Islam Lahore, 17, http://www.aaiil.org/text/books/others/aaiil/annualreportsaaiil/1920s/annualreportaaiil1928to1929.pdf.
82There is no explanation why the journal and the society used different spellings for “Muslim.”
83For Marcus’s lectures, see Vorträge, Nachlass Hugo Marcus; Motadel, “Islamische Bürgerlichkeit,” 114.
84The 1937 visit to the mosque of the Agha Khan was written up in the Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung. “Aus Unserer Arbeit,” Moslemische Revue 13, no. 3 (November 1937): 69–71, here 70. The circulation figure of 1.85 million is from 1930. Eric Weitz, Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy (Princeton, N.J., 2009), 211. For a Berlin society write-up of the mosque and its imam, see “Ein Gespräch mit Professor Abdullah am Fehrbelliner Platz,” Rumpelstilzchen 9, no. 14 (December 13, 1928), quoted in Höpp, “Islam in Berlin und Brandenburg,” 20. For other accounts in the contemporary German press, see Bauknecht, Muslime in Deutschland, 65–69.
85Such as Geneva-based Lebanese pan-Islamist Shakib Arslan (1869–1946) in 1931. See “Empfang in der Deutsch-Muslimischen Gesellschaft,” Der Tag, January 16, 1931, 1, Beiblatt, Höpp Nachlass, 07.05.035.
86The Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), German People’s Party (DDP), and Catholic Center Party (BVP). Hugo Marcus, Oberwil, Basel, Brief an Eidgenössenische Fremdenpolizei, Bern, July 1, 1947, Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
87Bestätigung vom 21.8.1939, Der Imam der Moschee Berlin-Wilmersdorf, S. M. Abdullah, Persönliches, Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
88Both groups offered Islam as a panacea for Germany in crisis, presenting it as a roadmap to perpetual peace, security, and prosperity, and for the rebuilding of a shattered world. Abdul Jabbar Kheiri, “Der Untergang und die Rettung: Eine Untersuchung über Islam die Heilmittel mit aufbauender Kraft,” Islam 1, no. 1 (1922): 2, cited in Höpp, “Zwischen Moschee und Demonstration,” pt. 1, 138.
89See the first Ahmadi publication in Germany, the first issue of Moslemische Revue, volume 1, no. 1 (April 1924), including “Der Zweck der Zeitschrift,” 1–2; Sadr-ud-Din, “Die internationale Religion,” 3–10; and Sadr-ud-Din, “Moses, Jesus, und Mohammed sind Brüder,” 14–22.
90Sadr-ud-Din, “Eine Botschaft an die Juden,” Moslemische Revue 2, no. 3–4 (July–October 1925): 4–7.
91Sadr-ud-Din, “Die internationale Religion,” 7.
92Sadr-ud-Din, “Die Christen und die Juden,” Moslemische Revue 1, no. 1 (April 1924): 41–42.
93“Islam in Germany.”
94“Die Eröffnung der Moschee,” Moslemische Revue 2, no. 2 (April 1925): 2.
95“Monatliche Zusammenkünfte in der Moschee,” Moslemische Revue 2, no. 3–4 (July–October 1925): 2.
96Hiller, § 175, 118.
97Wolff, Magnus Hirschfeld, 379; Herzer, Magnus Hirschfeld, 230–233; Dose, Magnus Hirschfeld, 89–90.
98His brothers were Dr. Richard Marcus of Leipzig and attorney Dr. Alfred Marcus of Berlin-Charlottenburg, the latter of whom was deported from Berlin to the Theresienstadt ghetto on May 19, 1943, and died January 29, 1944. Das Gedenkbuch des Bundesarchivs für die Opfer der nationalsozialistischen Judenverfolgung in Deutschland (1933–1945)http://www.bundesarchiv.de/gedenkbuch/.
99Bauknecht, Muslime in Deutschland, 83.
100Faruq H. Fischer, “Ist der Islam ‘unmodern’? Eine Parallele zwischen der alten Religion und dem heutigen Europa,” Moslemische Revue 10, no. 2–3 (April–July 1934): 62–73.
101Ibid., 67; Bauknecht, Muslime in Deutschland, 87.
102Fischer, “Ist der Islam ‘unmodern’?,” 67.
103Muhammad Ali, “Der Beitrag des Islams zur Zivilisation,” Moslemische Revue 10, no. 2–3 (April–July 1934): 44–46, here 45; Bauknecht, Muslime in Deutschland, 88.
104Protokoll, September 22, 1934, “Deutsch-Muslimische Gesellschaft.”
105He joined the Nazi Party on May 1, 1932. On his position on the board, see Landesarchiv Berlin, A Pr. Br. Rep. 030-04, Nr. 1350; for his membership in the Nazi Party, see A3340, MFOK Series (Master File, Ortsgruppenkartei, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei), Roll No. A068, Frame 770, National Archives Collection of Foreign Records Seized (Record Group 242), National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.; Protokoll, March 22, 1930, and September 22, 1934, “Deutsch-Muslimische Gesellschaft.” In the 1934 election, Marcus received thirteen votes at the meeting to Beyer’s twelve; write-in-ballots from converts Huda Schneider and von Ehrenfels gave him a more comfortable margin of victory.
106Brief, Deutsches Generalkonsulat, Kalkutta, an das Auswärtige Amt, Berlin, May 14, 1935, PArch AAB, R 78242, Nachlass Höpp, 07.05.032; Brief, Geheimes Staatspolizeiamt Berlin, an das Auswärtige Amt, Berlin, June 26, 1935, ibid.
107“Die Moschee aus der Vogelschau: Dr. Abdullah vom Fehrbelliner Platz,” Rumpelstilzchen 38 (May 31, 1934), Nachlass Höpp, 07.05.028.
108Protokoll, July 20, 1935, “Deutsch-Muslimische Gesellschaft.”
109Marcus, “Lebenslauf.”
110Protokoll, September 21, 1935, “Deutsch-Muslimische Gesellschaft.”
111Ibid. Azeez had served as assistant imam in 1933, and earned a Ph.D. in chemistry at Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität. The other was Iraqi Yussuf Aboud al-Ibrahim.
112Victor Klemperer, I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years, 1933–1941 (New York, 1999), 186.
113ZSg. 101/7/169/Nr. 250, March 6, 1936, in NS-Presseanweisungen der Vorkriegszeit: Edition und Dokumentation, ed. Hans Bohrmann, revised by Gabriele Toepser-Ziegert, vol. 4/I: 1936 (Munich, 1993), 249.
114Hugo Marcus, Austritt aus der Synagogengemeinde Berlin, Bescheinigung vom 18.5.1936, Persönliches, Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
115Protokoll, September 19, 1936, “Deutsch-Muslimische Gesellschaft.”
116Klemperer, I Will Bear Witness, 161.
117The Nazi Beyer, by contrast, received fifteen votes. Dr. Klopp vom Hofe was elected chairman with twenty votes.
118Amin (Fritz) Boosfeld (b. 1888) had converted to Islam in 1932. “Nachruf auf Amin Boosfeld,” Moslemische Revue 12, no. 3 (November 1936): 67–72.
119A 1933 wedding photo of Beyer posing on the steps of the mosque with his new wife, Fatima, a fellow convert, appeared in Moslemische Revue 10, no. 1 (January 1934): iii.
120“Nachruf auf Amin Boosfeld,” 72.
121Protokoll, September 19, 1936, “Deutsch-Muslimische Gesellschaft.”
122Protokoll der konstituierenden Generalversammlung der Islamischen Gemeinde zu Berlin, February 21, 1934, in Humboldhaus Berlin, Akten Islamische Gemeinde, Nachlass Höpp, 07.05.002.
123Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, Reichsleitung, Amt für Schulung, Abteilung Verbände, Berlin, an Polizeipräsidenten in Berlin, Abteilung V, Vereine, November 24, 1936, Landesarchiv Berlin, A Pr. Br. Rep. 030-04, Nr. 1350.
124Sonderbeauftragten zur überwachung der geistig und kulturell tätigen Juden im deutschen Reichsgebiet, December 15, 1936, ibid.
125Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, Reichsleitung, Abteilung Verbände an den Herrn Polizeipräsidenten in Berlin, Abteilung V, Vereine, April 13, 1937, ibid.; Backhausen, Die Lahore-Ahmadiyya-Bewegung, 123; Bauknecht, Muslime in Deutschland, 96–97.
126Joseph Goebbels, “Around the Gedächtniskirche,” in Anton Kaes, Martin Jay, and Edward Dimendberg, eds., The Weimar Republic Sourcebook (Berkeley, Calif., 1994), 560–562, originally published as “Rund um die Gedächtniskirche,” Der Angriff, January 23, 1928; Cornelia Hecht, Deutsche Juden und Antisemitismus in der Weimarer Republik(Bonn, 2003).
127Backhausen, Die Lahore-Ahmadiyya-Bewegung, 100.
128Ibid., 124–127.
129“Maulana Sadr-ud-Din verläßt Berlin,” Moslemische Revue 13, no. 3 (November 1937): 71–75. Sadr-ud-Din would succeed Muhammad Ali as the amir (leader) of the Ahmadi movement upon the death of the latter in 1951, and serve in that position until his own death thirty years later.
130Originally known as the Lahore Mission College, Forman Christian College was founded in 1864 by Dr. Charles W. Forman, a Presbyterian missionary from the United States. See the university’s website, http://www.fccollege.edu.pk/about/heritage.
131Ahmad, “A Brief History of the Berlin Muslim Mission.”
132Hauptstelle Kulturpolitisches Archiv an die Deutsche Arbeitsfront, Amt Deutsches Volksbildungswerk, Abt. II/Vortrag, Berlin, September 27, 1938, Bundesarchiv, NJ 15, Nr. 27, Nachlass Höpp, 07.05.033.
133Hauptstelle Kulturpolitisches Archiv an das Sicherheitshauptamt, Berlin, September 27, 1938, Bundesarchiv, NJ 15, Nr. 35, ibid.
134Hauptstelle Kulturpolitisches Archiv an das Sicherheitshauptamt, Berlin, October 10, 1938, ibid.
135Hauptstelle Kulturpolitisches Archiv an die Deutsche Arbeitsfront, Amt Deutsches Volksbildungswerk, Abt. II/Vortrag, Berlin, March 31, 1939, Bundesarchiv, NJ 15, Nr. 28, ibid; Film 15205, Brief der Geheimen Staatspolizei an den Reichsminister für die kirchlichen Angelegenheiten, February 11, 1939, Bundesarchiv Berlin, Nachlass Höpp, 07.05.039.
136Protokoll, July 21, 1923, Akten Islamische Gemeinde, Nachlass Höpp, 07.05.002.
137Umar Ryad, “From an Officer in the Ottoman Army to a Muslim Publicist and Armament Agent in Berlin: Zekî Hishmat-Bey Kirâm (1886–1946),” Bibliotheca Orientalis63, no. 3–4 (2006): 235–268.
138Brief, Der Chef der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD, Berlin, an das Auswärtige Amt, z.Hd.d. Hernn Gesandten Luther, Berlin, December 10, 1940, Politisches Archiv des Auswärtigen Amts, R 101196, Nachlass Höpp, 01.21.013; Umar Ryad, Wathʾiq Tijarat al-Silah al-Almani fi Shibh al-jazira al-ʿArabiyya: Qiraʾa fi Arshif Zeki Kiram (Documents on the German Arms Trade in the Arabian Peninsula: Readings in the Archive of Zeki Kiram) (Cairo, 2011).
139Brief, Dr. Zeki Kiram, Sanaa, Yemen, an Führer und Reichskanzler Herrn Adolf Hitler, Berlin, May 19, 1936, Politisches Archiv des Auswärtigen Amts, R 101196, Nachlass Höpp, 01.21.013.
140Dr. Zeki Kiram, “Ein Moslem über das neue Deutschland: Hitler ist der berufene Mann,” Moslemische Revue 14, no. 2 (August 1938): 59–60, here 60; Bauknecht, Muslime in Deutschland, 88–89.
141Günter Morsch and Astrid Ley, eds., Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, 1936–1945: Events and Developments, 4th ed. (Berlin, 2011), 52, 55; 1367/1/15, Bl. 080, Russian State Military Archive, Moscow; D1 A/1015, Bl. 080, formerly R 203/M 10, Bl. 147, Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten, Gedenkstätte und Museum Sachsenhausen.
142Morsch and Ley, Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, 50.
1431367/1/15, Bl. 080, Russian State Military Archive, Moscow; D1 A/1015, Bl. 080, formerly R 203/M 10, Bl. 147, Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten, Gedenkstätte und Museum Sachsenhausen.
144Ibid.
145Marcus, “Lebenslauf.”
146Jews had owned businesses on the largest nearby avenue, Hohenzollerndamm, and a Jewish family had lived on the same street as the mosque. The nearest synagogue was located at Prinzregentenstrasse 69, although the Berlin West skyline would have been marked by smoke and flames. See Jüdisches Adressbuch für Gross-Berlin 1931 (Berlin, 1931), 20–21, 316, http://digital.zlb.de/viewer/toc/1931001/0/.
147Albania was to be occupied by Fascist Italy in April 1939, and by Nazi Germany thereafter. Hugo Marcus, Erteilung eines Einreisevisums für das Königreich Albanien, November 26, 1938, Persönliches, Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
148S. M. Abdullah to British Passport Officer, Berlin, December 1, 1938, Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
149Klemperer, I Will Bear Witness, 292.
150Richard Evans, The Third Reich in Power (New York, 2006), 604; Klemperer, I Will Bear Witness, 293.
151Quoted in Höpp, “Islam in Berlin und Brandenburg,” 21.
152Anmeldung zur Eintragung der Islamischen Gemeinde zu Berlin, Nachlass Höpp, 07.05.039.
153Gerhard Höpp, “Muslime unterm Hakenkreuz: Zur Entstehungsgeschichte des Islamischen Zentralinstituts zu Berlin e.V.,” Moslemische Revue 70, no. 1 (1994): 16–27.
154ʾA˙tā ˙Tāheri, Deutsche Agenten bei iranische Stämmen, 1942–1944: Ein Augenzeugenbericht (Berlin, 2008).
155Islam-Institut (Maʿhad al-Islam) zu Berlin an Polizeipräsident, Abteilung V, March 21, 1939, Satzungen, “Islam Institut,” Landesarchiv Berlin, A Pr. Br. Rep. 030-04, Nr. 2314.
156Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, Aussenpolitisches Amt an Herrn Polizeipräsidenten in Berlin, August 8, 1939, ibid.
157Vorstandsmitglieder, October 30, 1940, ibid.; Protokoll, July 21, 1923, Akten Islamische Gemeinde, Nachlass Höpp, 07.05.002. Rahman was executive director from 1934 to 1936, general secretary in 1936 and 1937, and chairman in 1941 and 1942. Protokoll, Generalversammlung der Islamischen Gemeinde zu Berlin e.V., January 18, 1936, ibid.; Habibur Rahman, Islamische Gemeinde zu Berlin, an Amtsgericht Berlin, June 3, 1942, ibid. See also Bauknecht, Muslime in Deutschland, 110–111.
158Despite pro-Nazi actions and pronouncements, during World War II, both Habibur Rahman and Zeki Kiram were accused by other Arabs in Europe of being British agents.
159Hugo Marcus, Kennkarte Deutsches Reich, ausgestellt: Berlin, March 16, 1939, Persönliches, Nachlass Hugo Marcus; Evans, The Third Reich in Power, 575.
160The decree was promulgated in October 1937. More than three hundred baptized Christians of Jewish background in Berlin were murdered in death camps. Hildegard Frisius, Marianne Kälberer, Wolfgang G. Krogel, and Gerlind Lachenicht, eds., Evangelisch getauft—als Juden verfolgt: Spurensuche Berliner Kirchengemeinden (Berlin, 2008).
161S. M. Abdullah to British Passport Officer, Berlin, March 16, 1939, Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
162For example, Hans Wehr employed the German Jewish Arabist Hedwig Klein (1911–1942) from 1939 to 1942 to assist him with his German-Arabic Dictionary project, deemed essential for the German army and Nazi propaganda. It prolonged her life; at one point she was spared from a deportation thanks to the efforts of her Hamburg University employers. Peter Freimark, “Promotion Hedwig Klein—zugleich ein Beitrag zum Seminar für Geschichte und Kultur des Vorderen Orients,” in Eckart Krause, Ludwig Huber, and Holger Fischer, eds., Hochschulalltag im “Dritten Reich”: Die Hamburger Universität, 1933–1945, vol. 2: Philosophische Fakultät (Berlin, 1991), 851–864.
163Klemperer, I Will Bear Witness, 299, 307. Klemperer (1881–1960) had converted to Christianity.
164Ibid., 596.
165Sadr-ud-Din, Head of the Ahmadia Anjuman, Lahore, India, to Hugo Marcus, Basel, Switzerland, August 20, 1957, Nachlass Hugo Marcus. The Ahmadi gave Marcus financial support into the 1950s.
166Evans, The Third Reich in Power, 565. In spring 1941, Klemperer could still assert his commitment to Germanness. Ibid., 343, 385.
167Although Marcus had family in the United States, there is no evidence that he attempted—nor that relatives assisted him—to seek refuge there. See Else Th. Marcus, M.D., St. George, Staten Island, N.Y., to Hugo Marcus, September 23, 1939, Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
168Danksagung vom 30.9.1919, Kriegsministerium Berlin, Persönliches, Nachlass Hugo Marcus; Verleihung der Roten Kreuz-Medaille 3. Klasse, der Kommissar und Militär-Inspektor der freiwilligen Krankenpflege, Berlin, April 10, 1920, ibid.
169Verleihung “Ehrenkreuz für Kriegsteilnehmer” Berlin, April 9, 1936, ibid. He left the Jewish community in May. Hugo Marcus, Austritt aus der Synagogengemeinde Berlin, Bescheinigung vom 18.5.1936, ibid.
170Evans, The Third Reich in Power, 595.
171Secretary, Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaʿat-e-Islam, Lahore, India, to Herr Hamid Marcus, c/o Dr. S. M. Abdullah, Der Imam der Moschee, Berlin-Wilmersdorf, Germany, April 19, 1939, Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
172J. G. Simms, Under-Secretary of the Government of India, Home Department, Simla, to British Passport Control Officer, Berlin, May 12, 1939, ibid.
173Der Koran Arabisch-Deutsch, Vorwort, x.
174Backhausen, Die Lahore-Ahmadiyya-Bewegung, 128–131, 146–151. Marcus was not credited by name in the 1964 or 2005 editions, either. Ibid., 77.
175Der Koran Arabisch-Deutsch, Sura 2:256, 77.
176Ibid., Sura 22:40, 557.
177Ibid., Sura 5:2, 184; ibid., Sura 7:38, 260.
178Bestätigung vom 21.8.1939, Der Imam der Moschee Berlin-Wilmersdorf, Persönliches, Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
179Hedwig Klein was denied her Ph.D. in 1938 due to antisemitic legislation, and sought to flee to British India thanks to contacts through her Oriental Studies Department in Hamburg. She obtained a visa in June 1939 and was set to sail from Hamburg to Antwerp, and from there on to India, on August 18, 1939. But as the German trade ship sat in the harbor in Antwerp, it was warned to return to Hamburg because an international voyage would be too dangerous at the time. Accordingly, on August 27 it returned to Germany. As of September 3, 1939, India was at war with Germany. As a result, Klein was eventually deported to her death in July 1942 on the first direct train from Hamburg to Auschwitz. Freimark, “Promotion Hedwig Klein.”
180Hugo Marcus, Zürich, Brief an Eidgenössische Fremdenpolizei, Bern, Switzerland, January 23, 1957, Nachlass Hugo Marcus; S. M. Abdullah, The Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaʿat-e-Islam, Lahore, India, to Hugo Marcus, Oberwil, Baselland, Switzerland, June 3, 1940, ibid.
181On von Ehrenfels’s internment, see S. M. Abdullah, The Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaʿat-e-Islam, Lahore, India, to Hugo Marcus, Oberwil, Baselland, Switzerland, December 1, 1940, ibid.
182Chronik der Erzabtei Beuron: Advent 1977–Advent 1978 (Beuron, 1978), 4–5; Marcus, “Lebenslauf”; Max Jordan, Washington, D.C., to Hugo Marcus, Basel, Switzerland, September 1, 1941, Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
183He returned to British India, where he served as general secretary of the Ahmadi in Lahore from 1940 to the end of the war, and from 1946 as imam at the Woking Mission. He revised the English translation of the Qurʾan in 1952, before passing away in England in 1956.
184Brief von Sadr-ud-Din, Lahore, an Hugo Marcus, October 24, 1939, Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
185“Id-ul-Fitr in Berlin,” Moslemische Revue 15, no. 3 (December 1939): 73–76.
186Ibid., 76; Bauknecht, Muslime in Deutschland, 89–90.
187Introduction, “AHR Forum: Transnational Lives in the Twentieth Century,” American Historical Review 118, no. 1 (February 2013): 45.
188For another idiosyncratic Jewish character whose life provides insight into larger historiographical issues, see Sarah Abrevaya Stein, “Protected Persons? The Baghdadi Jewish Diaspora, the British State, and the Persistence of Empire,” American Historical Review 116, no. 1 (February 2011): 80–108.
189Götz Nordbruch, “The Arab World and National Socialism: Some Reflections on an Ambiguous Relationship,” in Rethinking Totalitarianism and Its Arab Readings, Orient-Institut Studies 1 (2012), 2–7, here 3, http://www.perspectivia.net/content/publikationen/orient-institut-studies/1-2012/nordbruch_arab-world.
190On Nazi efforts to recruit Arab Muslims to serve their aims, see Nordbruch, Nazism in Syria and Lebanon; Wildangel, Zwischen Achse und Mandatsmacht; Bernd Philipp Schröder, ed., Deutschland und der Mittlere Osten im Zweiten Weltkrieg (Göttingen, 1975). For efforts to recruit other Muslims from southeastern Europe and the Soviet Union to fight in the Wehrmacht and SS, see David Motadel, “The ‘Muslim Question’ in Hitler’s Balkans,” Historical Journal 56, no. 4 (December 2013): 1007–1039; Motadel, “Islam and Germany’s War in the Soviet Borderlands, 1941–5,” Journal of Contemporary History 48, no. 4 (2013): 784–820; George Lepre, Himmler’s Bosnian Division: The Waffen-SS Handschar Division, 1943–1945 (Atglen, Pa., 1997); Peter Heine, “Die Imam-Kurse der deutschen Wehrmacht im Jahre 1944,” in Gerhard Höpp, ed., Fremde Erfahrungen: Asiaten und Afrikaner in Deutschland, Österreich und in der Schweiz bis 1945 (Berlin, 1996), 229–238; the speech of al-Husayni before the imams of the Bosnian SS division on October 4, 1944, in Höpp, Mufti-Papiere, 219; letters from al-Husayni to Heinrich Himmler, ibid., 212, 213, 229; Abdullah, Geschichte des Islams in Deutschland, 34–42.
191On the question of the culpability of foreigners in Nazi Germany, see Wien, “The Culpability of Exile”; quote from 1.
192Marcus, “Lebenslauf.” Joachim Ungnad (1873–1942) was a member of the “Confessing Christians” (Bekennende Kirche) who opposed the Nazification of the Church and the persecution of baptized Jews, although they, too, discriminated against Christians of Jewish background and had an ambivalent relationship to Nazi antisemitism. Father Georg was the last crown prince of Saxony (1893–1943). Both men promoted ecumenism and interreligious dialogue and opposed the Nazis; the latter is credited with protecting Jews during the war. Evans, The Third Reich in Power, 220–230; Klemperer, I Will Bear Witness, 431. On the German Christian churches and Nazism, see Victoria Barnett, For the Soul of the People: Protestant Protest against Hitler (Oxford, 1992); Doris L. Bergen, Twisted Cross: The German Christian Movement in the Third Reich (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1996); Robert P. Ericksen and Susannah Heschel, eds., Betrayal: German Churches and the Holocaust (Minneapolis, 1999); Claudia Koonz, The Nazi Conscience (Cambridge, Mass., 2003); Matthew D. Hockenos, A Church Divided: German Protestants Confront the Nazi Past(Bloomington, Ind., 2004); Susannah Heschel, The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany (Princeton, N.J., 2008); Robert P. Ericksen, Complicity in the Holocaust: Churches and Universities in Nazi Germany (Cambridge, 2012).
193On the concept of connected histories, see the following works by Sanjay Subrahmanyam: “Turning the Stones Over: Sixteenth-Century Millenarianism from the Tagus to the Ganges,” Indian Economic and Social History Review 40, no. 2 (2003): 129–161; “A Tale of Three Empires: Mughals, Ottomans, and Habsburgs in a Comparative Context,” Common Knowledge 12, no. 1 (Winter 2006): 66–92; Mughal and Franks: Explorations in Connected History (Oxford, 2011); and From the Tagus to the Ganges: Explorations in Connected History (2005; repr., Oxford, 2011).

 

Kababir: an Ahmadiyya community in Israel by Ray Register (1970)–Hartford Seminary Foundation–Thesis/dissertation


Intro

My team and I have found a Thesis that was written about the Ahmadiyya Movement in 1970.  It specifically highlights the Ahmadiyya community in Kababir.  The PDF’s are upside down, remember to rotate them.  This blog has posted many rare articles on Ahmadiyya, we will continue to do so.  We also provide opinions on the data that we find.

Related Essays
https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/05/16/the-review-of-religions-ror-of-january-1932-pages-30-34images/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/10/28/ahmadis-in-the-israeli-military/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/09/24/ahmadiyya-a-study-in-contemporary-islam-on-the-west-african-coast-by-humphrey-j-fisher-1963/

Summary
1—It seems that the entire village population of Muslims in Kababir converted to Ahmadiyya in the early 1930’s.  This story is fishy.  We need more data on why and etc.  Jalal ud din Shams was the missionary/vicious Ahmadi-mullah and he had came from Damascus where he was almost killed.

2—In 1970, the Ahmadiyya policy in Israel was that of neutrality, they never spoke up in terms of the human rights violations of the Israeli government.

3—Ahmadi’s had segregated themselves from the local Muslim Community on a social level.

4—It should be noted that the headquarters of the Bahai religion can be found less then a few miles from the Ahmadiyya center in Kababir, it is located in the greater city area of Haifa.

5—There also seems to be a small community of Baptist-Christians in Kababir.  They seem to have worked with Ahmadiyya over the past 10+ years and til today in 2018.  Register notes that NO muslims have ever converted to the Baptist type of Christianity.

6—Ray Register was a Baptist preacher that was sent from America to Kababir in 1964, he thus has an amazing vantage point and is neutral.  Ray register spent 5 years in Israel as a Baptist missionary, mostly outside of Kababir, he thus came into contact with Muslims of Israel as well as Ahmadis.

7—Register quotes Farquhar as he explains the creation of the Ahmadiyya Movement.  However, what Register didn’t know was that in 1915 Farquhar had written that MGA died of cholera.  Register quotes the same book, which is
“Modern Religious Movements in India” (1915).  Farquhar also edited Walter’s historic book on Ahmadiyya, which was published in 1918.

8—Register makes a few errors, first he thinks that the ROR started in 1892, which is wrong, it started in 1902.  He also asserts that MGA read out his lecture, “The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam” (1896), which is wrong Maulvi Abdul Karim read it out.  And in fact, Khwaja Kamaluddin didn’t think it was a good paper (see Truth about the Split” {1924}).

9—Register writes that Christians weren’t attracted to MGA’s new set of beliefs, however, Sunni Muslims were, since MGA offered some arguments vs. Christianity.

10—Register writes that MGA died of an intestinal disorder, he got this from Walter, however, he totally ignores the comments of Farquhar.  https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=farquhar

11—Register mentions how Zafrullah Khan boycotted the funeral of Jinnah.

12—

The PDF’s
Kababir, Register, beginn to 23
Kababir, Register 24 to 50
Kababir, Register, page 51 to end (1)
Kababir page 28
Kababir, page 68

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The British Government banned Ahmadiyya medicines in 1899

Intro
Ahmadiyya medicines are bogus.  Going back to 1889.  Nowadays, the Mirza family is still up to the same thing…selling fake medicines, specifically homeopathy.  We have found some specifics about how the British Government had to step in and ban Ahmadiyya medicines in the 1899 era.  Read this essay here: https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/12/03/a-newspaper-the-lancet-calls-mga-a-blasphemous-idiot-1898/

Walter re-confirms that the British Govt banned Marham-i-Esa and other Ahmadiyya medicines
In Oct of 1899, Ahmadiyya medicines were banned, however, Ahmadiyya leadership seems to have filed an appeal, however, the appeal was rejected and the ban was held up in 1900.  
https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/05/03/the-ahmadiya-movement-by-h-a-walter-religious-life-of-india-series-new-york-oxford-university-press-1918/

See page 42.

#ahmadiyya #ahmadiyyatrueislam #ahmadiapartheid #Ahmadiyyat #rabwah #qadian #meetthekhalifa #ahmadiyyat #muslimsforpeace #ahmadiyyafactcheckblog

 

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