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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.

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/

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

 

Amatul Hayee or Amtul Hai, the daughter of Nooruddin and the wife of the 2nd Khalifa, Mirza Basheer-uddin mahmud Ahmad, and her mysterious death

Intro
Noorudin was the main ghost writer for MGA.  He even moved into MGA’s house around 1893, Nooruddin and his young wife, they didn’t seem to have kids until 1898 or so.  Which is very odd for new couple.

1889
MGA arranges the marriage of Noorudin (roughly 50 years old) to the daughter (Sughra Begum) of Sufi Ahmad Jan (another Ahmadi).  It should be noted that MGA’s famous bait ceremony happened in the house of Sufi Ahmad Jan, who had already agreed to give away his daughter to Noorudin in January of that same year.

1898
After 7+ years without any children, Noorudin finally had a son with Sughra Begum, Miyan ‘Abdul Ha’i.

5 children in total for Noorudin and Sughra Begum
Daughter—Amatul Ha’i—DOB is unknown, was married off to Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, the Khalifa, in May of 1914, See Walter.


Son—Miyan ‘Abdul Haye or Abdul Hai
https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/03/05/nooruddin-married-off-his-eldest-son-abdul-haye-in-error-in-roughly-the-1906-1908-era/
Born February 15, 1899 also known as Abdul Haye, See Page 101

Son—Abdus Salaam
Son—Abdul Wahab
Son—Abdul Mannan Omar– He was born on 19 April 1910–28 July 2006

Noorudin dies in March of 1914, Amatul Hai is married off to the new Khalifa in May of 1914
As soon as Noorudin dies, the newly elected Khalifa seems to have quickly expanded his reach. He grew up in the same house as Amatul Hai since they all lived in MGA’s house.

Mirza Basheer-uddin Mahmud Ahmad and Amatul Hai have 3 children from 1914 to 1924
1. Amatul Qayyum, daughter
2. Amatul Rashid, daughter
3. Mirza Khalil Ahmad, son

The location and whereabouts of these children are unknown in 2018

Amatul Haye becomes the secretary of Lajna in 1922, the Khalifas oldest wife becomes President

“””At the instruction of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II(ra) these signatory women assembled on December 25th, 1922 at the house of Hadhrat Nusrat Jehan Begum(ra), wife of the Promised Messiah(as). After Zuhr (afternoon) prayer, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II(ra) made a short speech, and in this way the Lajna Ima`illah came into existence. After this session, detailed rules of Lajna Ima`illah were published in the magazine, Tadeeb-un-Nisa, which used to be published in Qadian under the editorship of Hadhrat Sheikh Ya‘qub ‘Ali ‘Irfani Sahib(ra). In this way the regular activities of the Lajna began.”””

“””Initially, there was no separate body in the community for women. Understanding the crucial role of women in Islam, and inspired by his second wife, Amatul Hayee Sahiba(ra), Hadhrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad(ra), Khalifatul Masih II (Second Successor to the Promised Messiah(as)), founded a separate organisation (within the community), Lajna Ima’illah, solely for women. Hadhrat Amatul Hayee Sahiba(ra) was its first secretary. After her, this important office was assigned to the wife of Hadhrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad(ra), Hadhrat Sarah Begum Sahiba(ra) and then to Hadhrat Sayeda Maryam Begum Sahiba(ra).”””

“””When Lajna Ima’illah was established, its members requested Hadhrat Nusrat Jehan Begum(ra), the Blessed wife of the Promised Messiah(as), to become its first president. It is likely that she presided over the first session, but during that very session she nominated Hadhrat Sayeda Mahmuda Begum Sahiba(ra) as president. Hadhrat Sayeda Mahmudah Begum Sahiba(ra) held that post until her death on 31st July, 1958. From August 1958, Hadhrat Maryam Sadiqah(ra) assumed this responsibility.”””

See the ROR, August 2009, see here: http://www.reviewofreligions.org/275/the-establishment-of-lajna-ima%E2%80%99illah-and-the-sacrifices-of-early-ahmadi-muslim-women/

Amatul Haye dies mysteriously in 1924
When the Khalifa returned from his tour of Europe in 1924, the daughter of Noorudin died mysteriously.

See here: Page  213,     https://www.alislam.org/library/books/Fazl-e-Umar.pdf

 

 

 

Who is Sufi Ahmad Jan of Ludhiana? AKA Munshi Ahmad Jan

Intro
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had a few disciples even before he made his claims, or before he published Braheen-e-Ahmadiyya vol. 1.  One such disciple was Munshi Ahmad Jan of Ludhiana, who is also called Sufi Ahmad Jan of Ludhiana at different places in Ahmadiyya literature.  The Braheen-e-Ahmadiyya was a stupid book, MGA lied about it when he begged Muslims for money to fund it.  The Muslims of India gave MGA lots of money, since they expected MGA to write 300 arguments in support of Islam.  By the publishing of Braheen-e-Ahmadiyya vol. 4, MGA was considered a Kafir by most Muslims in India. It should also be noted that during the Bait ceremony of 1889, MGA was staying at the house of the same Sufi Ahmad Jan (see Dard page 203).  By that time, Sufi Ahmad Jan had died, however he had instructed his children to accept the MGA’s claims as soon as he made them.  This proves that MGA was planning to make his claims as early as 1879.  Mirza Masroor Ahmad tells us that he begged MGA to claim to be the “Messiah”, See Mirza Masroor Ahmad’s Khutbah Juma, of 4-17-2005 at the mark.

A quotation from Sufi Ahmad Jan from the 1880–1884 era
“””Sufi Sahib’s farsightedness is evident from the fact that when the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote ‘Baraheen e Ahmadiyya’ Sufi Sahib realised that he was going to go on to become the Promised Messiah although God had not yet revealed it to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (on whom be peace) that he was going to go on to make any claim. Sufi Sahib wrote an Urdu poetic couplet to Hazrat Mirza Sahib in a letter: ‘We, the ailing look up to you alone, For God’s sake be the Messiah!’ God had told him about the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) therefore before passing away Sufi Sahib advised his children to accept Hazrat Mirza Sahib when he made his claim.”””

See here—https://www.alislam.org/friday-sermon/2015-04-17.html

Munshi Ahmad Jan gave MGA a good review of the Braheen-e-Ahmadiyya part 1(1880) and 2 (1880), even though it was a terrible set of books
Ahmadis lie about everything.  This is another case of exactly that.  They present a reference from Sufi Ahmad Jan (who was already a disciple of MGA) wherein he writes good things about MGA’s book.  Zafrullah Khan, in “Renaissance of Islam” (pages 28-30) tells us as follows:

“””That great personage, benefactor of mankind, source of benevolence and beneficence, personal proof of Islam, honoured above the commonalty and the nobility, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib, may his blessings endure, Chief of Qadian, in the district of Gurdaspur, Punjab, has written a book designated Braheen Ahmadiyya in Urdu, of which two parts have been published and the rest will continue to be published from time to time and will reach the subscribers in due course.

This book establishes the truth of Islam and of the Prophethood of Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and of the Holy Quran, through three hundred strong proofs of various types and refutes the Christian, Arya, Hindu, Brahmo Samaj and all other religions opposed to Islam, by means of convincing reasoning. The author has announced in the first part of Braheen e Ahmadiyya that if an opponent of Islam would set forth a refutation of all his arguments or half of them or even of one-fifth of them he would transfer the whole of his property, valued at ten thousand rupees, to him. This book completely frustrates all the opponents of Islam. and demonstrates the truth of Islamic teachings in such excellent manner that everyone realizes what a grand bounty are faith and Islam, and what a treasure is the Holy Quran, and what a grand verity is the faith of Muhammad. The verses of the Holy Quran that are quoted on their appropriate occasions in this book amount to two-thirds of the whole Quran. The book convinces the disbelievers, activates the indifferent, warns the neglectful, perfects the understanding of the believers, strengthens the roots of Islamic doctrines and wipes out the doubts that are expressed by the opponents of Islam. In this 14th century of Islam great confusion prevails among the followers of every religion. As someone has said, new disbelievers and new Muslims emerge every day. At this time a book was needed like the Braheen Ahmadiyya and a Reformer was needed like our revered master Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib who is ready to prove the claims of Islam to the satisfaction of its opponents.

The author of Braheen Ahmadiyya is not one of the common run of divines and spiritual preceptors, but has been specially commissioned by God and is a recipient of revelation. Hundreds of revelations and messages and prophecies and true dreams and Divine directions and glad tidings relating to this book and comprising intimations of triumph and Divine help and Divine guidance couched in various languages, such as Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and even English, though the author is not at all well versed in English, have been set out in this book, supported by the testimony of hundreds of opponents of Islam, which establishes their truth and proves that the author is doubtlessly writing this book under Divine instruction. It is also clear that, according to the hadees of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, that Allah, Lord of Glory and Honour, would raise among the Muslims at the beginning of every century one who would revive the faith, the author of this book is the Reformer of the 14th century and is a profound scholar and is one of the most perfect individuals of the Muslim community. This is also supported by another hadees of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, wherein he is reported to have said: The true divines among my followers will be like the prophets of Israel.””””

Zafrullah Khan doesn’t give a reference for this statement
Most Ahmadis are academically dishonest, they have to be stubborn like this to continue to believe in Ahmadiyya, there is no other way.

His biography from Ahmadiyya sources
In the July–Sept edition of Ismail, which is an Ahmadiyya newspaper, it is written as follows:
“””Hadhrat Sufi Ahmad Jan of Ludhiana was a pious soul, totally imbued with obedience,
loyalty and adoration of The Promised Messiah (as). In fact he was an embodiment of loyalty. His adoration and devotion to the Promised Messiah (as) dated back long time before the Promised Messiah‘s messianic claim. Later, by openly affirming the Promised Messiah’s claim, he let himself be counted as one of his believers. After a chance reading of Promised Messiah’s elegant book” Braheen-e- Ahmadiyya”, he immediately realized his high spiritual status, and adoringly implored him in one of his famous couplets the translation of which is, “we, the afflicted, implore you to be our Messiah”.

Hadhrat Sufi Sahib was a nati ve of Delhi. During the disturbances of 1857, he migrated to Ludhiana along with his family. He was a saintly and pious soul with a captivating personality and a great God fearing contented person. He had a large number of pious souls of Sunni persuasion as his followers.

Though Sufi sahib died before the Promised Messiah (as) began taking oath of allegiance
from the faithful, he adored The Promised Messiah despite the fact that some of his followers hinted that he was degrading his status by openly praising The Promised Messiah. He replied to them, saying, that he did not care about his status nor did he need any followers. After the publication of “Braheen-e-Ahmadiyya”, if somebody approached him to join his order, he would
tell them, now that the sun has risen; all stars stand pale, go and follow Mirza Sahib (i.e. The
Promised Messiah). (Inaa-maat-e- Khudawand Karim: By Pir Iftikhar Ahmad)

The Promised Messiah (as), grieved by his demise, wrote, “ i am writing this with a heavy heart as one of my dear brother in Islam has expired, May Allah grant him a high station in the Hereafter. Inna Lillah-e-Wa – Inna Alaih-e- Raje-Oon. I feel very distraught at his sudden
parting. Hajji Sufi Ahmad Jan was a spiritual leader of a large number of people”.

Sufi Sahib died before the Promised Messiah (as) had begun taking the oath of allegiance from the faithful. But Sufi sahib, by writing to Promised Messiah prior to his embarking on journey for hajj, wrote to him in such a meek and humble way, which is tantamount to his joining the Ahmadiyya community wholeheartedly. “His eldest son Hajji Iftikhar Ahmad, following his father’s footsteps follows me very loyally”, commented the Promised Messiah (as). In spite of his resigned style of life, he is always ready to serve the religion in any way he can. May Allah bless his mind and soul to tread solemnly on the way of the faith”. (Izala-e-Auham; Roohani Khaza-in; Vol: 3; Pages528-529).

His daughter (Sughra Begum) was married off to Noorudin in 1889
Ahmadiyya sources tell us that that the daughter of Sufi Ahmad Jan was married off to Noorudin in 1889.  See “Hadhrat Maulvi Noorudin” by Zafrullah Khan, 2006 online edition, see pages 82-83.

Sughra Begum and Noorudin had 4 children
Daughter—Amatul Ha’i—DOB is unknown, was married off to Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, the Khalifa, in May of 1914, See Walter.  
Son—Miyan ‘Abdul Ha’i—Born February 15, 1899 also known as Abdul Haye, See Page 101
Son—Abdus Salaam
Son—Abdul Wahab
Son—Abdul Mannan Omar– He was born on 19 April 1910–28 July 2006

Amatul Ha’i died mysteriously in roughly the 1920’s.
Her children with Mirza Mahmud Ahmad is unknown.

Mirza Basheer-uddin Mahmud Ahmad and Amatul Hai had 3 children
1. Amatul Qayyum, daughter
2. Amatul Rashid, daughter
3. Mirza Khalil Ahmad, son

The whereabouts of these children are unknown.

Munshi Ahmad Jan aka Sufi Ahmad Jan of Ludhiana is counted in the famous 313 Ahmadis list of 1896
Yet another case of Ahmadiyya lying is as follows.  In 1896, MGA made a list of 313 followers of his, as he tried to imitate Muhammad’s (saw) 313 followers at the Battle of Badr.  However, MGA didnt mention his own wife, nor did he mention his children, however, in the list there are some people who are counted as 1-Ahmadi, however, they are listed “with wife”, hence, the list is over 313 by 1896 (See Dard pages 844-853).  Sufi Ahmad jan is listed as number 99 and his name is listed as Haji Munshi Ahmad Jan, Ludhiana.  His sons are also listed, See the word “Haji” in front of the 2 people from Ludhiana, they seem to be his sons.

A brief explanation of the 313 companions and why MGA and his team made this silly argument
“””Ahmadas also referred to the prophecy contained in Sh. Ali Hamza’s book, Jawahirul Asrar, (840 A.D.). The Holy Prophetsa said that the Mahdi would appear in a village called Kad‘a and that he would have a printed book in which the name of his companions would be written and that their number would be 313. Ahmadas gave a list of his 313 Companions in the book to
show that the prophecy was fulfilled in his person. (See Appendix I)”””. (See Dard, page 501, footnote).

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad died of Cholera—new evidence found in Aug-2017–The Vakil newspaper Amritsar dated 30th May 1908

Intro
Ahmadis are the biggest liars in the world.  They are trained to lie by the Mirza family.  They are trained and brainwashed to lie by their vicious gang of Mullahs, who are forced to put Ahmadis under pressure as they urge them to continue to do aggressive tabligh and etc.

I have written detailed essays on the topic of MGA’s death and the cover up that ensued.  See here first:

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/03/farquhar-claims-that-mirza-ghulam-ahmad-died-of-cholera/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/27/walter-was-told-by-ahmadiyya-leadership-that-mga-died-of-intestinal-trouble-1917-1918/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/25/ahmadiyya-leadership-never-gave-a-cause-of-death-for-mirza-ghulam-ahmad/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/02/mirza-ghulam-ahmad-died-of-an-opium-overdose-1908/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/20/mirza-tahir-ahmad-authenticated-the-book-hyat-e-nasir-1927/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/12/12/maulana-abu-kalamazad-was-the-editor-of-the-vakil-in-1908-when-mga-died/

Ahmadiyya sources purposely never quoted the Vakil of Amritsar
The academic dishonesty of Ahmadis is well known.  They purposely lie and edit their own writings and refuse to acknowledge all the sources on any given topic.  In this specific situation, when MGA died, Ahmadiyya leaders quoted many newspapers as they commented on the death of MGA, however, they purposely left out the Vakil.  However, we have now found it…

The scan

Summary of this scan
The Vakil Amritsar dated 30th May 1908 couple of days after the death of Mirza . Its editor name mentioned on top is Dost Muhammad Shahid. Remember per Seerat ul Mahdi Mirza used to call for, this News paper from Amritsar and was a regular reader of this paper in his life time.
The front page of the paper carries article on the death of Mirza as under:-

“”””LATE MIRZA GHULAM AHMAD
The day of 26 May 1908 will be remembered in latest religious history of India for long time when at about 10 am Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiyani died of cholera disease or as per saying of few due to some other disease. Late Mirza was staying at Lahore for the treatment of his wife and change of climate but the powerful order of Allah and time of departure which rich and poor common men and Nabi of great caliber have to face, has come for a person who by his amazing claims had created a tremor amongst religious ranks.”””

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