Search

ahmadiyyafactcheckblog

Search results

"walter"

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

Intro
His full name is Howard Arnold Walter (19 August 1883 – 1 November 1918). He died in British-India due to the famous Spanish Flu (he was only 35 years old). He was an American Congregationalist assistant minister, hymn writer and author. He was born in New BritainConnecticut. In 1913, Walter joined the staff of the YMCA and left for Lahore. He wrote, My Creed and Other Poems in 1912. From 1916-1918, H. A. Walter seems to have written this in-depth biography of the Ahmadiyya Movement. It was published in roughly Oct-Nov of 1918 (See the preface, which signs off at 10-10-1918, Walter died just 3 weeks later). This book was edited Farquhar, who had written about the Ahmadiyya Movement in 1914-1915 and was published. Farquhar had written in 1915 that MGA died of cholera. We have come across a PDF version of Walter’s work on Ahmadiyya, it can be downloaded here: Walter, the Ahmadiyya Movement. We have also pasted the entire book in the below. He also wrote that MGA was born on June 18th, 1839. He also mentions Griswold’s book on Ahmadiyya from 1902-1912._____________________________________________________________________________________________

Interestingly enough, Walter was told by Ahmadiyya leadership that MGA died of 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. “””
______________________________________________________________________________________________
The book was reviewed in 1920

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.”
_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Links and Related Essay’s
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Walter

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

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/10/17/griswold-h-d-mirza-ghulam-ahmad-the-mehdi-messiah-of-qadian-lodiana-india-american-tract-society-1902/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=1839

  1.  Howard Arnold Walter The Ahmadiya Movement 1918 Page 92 “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, it is difficult to see how Ahmad could think that a visit of Jesus to India in his youth, before his… Two other stories, introduced by Ahmad as evidence for his theory, were the well-known tale of Barlaam and Josaphat? in which various traditions are related with respect to an Indian Prince (supposed to have been…”
  2. ^ Kenneth W. Osbeck 101 More Hymn Stories, Part 2 p142
  3. ^ Walter, Howard Arnold (1912). My Creed and Other Poems. Boston: The Gorham Press. LCCN 13000096.
  4. ^ Walter, Howard Arnold (1918). The Ahmadiya Movement. Calcutta: Association Press. LCCN 20006577.
  5. ^ “My Creed and Other Poems”Google Books. Boston: The Gorham Press. 1912. p. 11. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  6. ^ “41on41”George Bush Presidential Library Foundation. 2014. Retrieved December 3, 2018.

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.”

The Ahmadiyya conversion fraud in Albania

Intro
The Ahmadiyya movement constantly lies about its membership, we have exposed the whole thing here. Albania was a communist country after WW-2. Ahmadi’s don’t seem to have gotten access to Albania until the 1990’s. Albania is roughly 50% Sunni Muslim. 
______________________________________________________________________________________________
The story

This video is a beautiful example of Jamaat Ahmadiyya’s reliance on a narrative of growth and progress, as shown by new buildings, new Jamaats and new converts, as worldly proof of the truthfulness of Ahmadiyyat and the institution of Khilafat.

Mirza Tahir Ahmad starts talking about Albania. He jokingly tells the German Jamaat that if they do not focus on conversions, Albania will soon race ahead as the biggest Jamaat in Europe. At this point Mirza Tahir Ahmad asks the Amir of Albania what the number of Ahmadis is in Albania right now. He says 45,000. With a chorus of naaray and mash’allahs in the background, Mirza Tahir Ahmad now jokingly teases the Germany Jamaat that he has told them too late. Albania is now the biggest Jamaat in Europe, and a Jamaat that is mostly made up of new Albanian (not Pakistani) converts. He asks Amir of Albania to come up and presents him to the proud Ahmadi crowd as a “mujahid” of his faith who has single handedly converted 45,000 Ahmadis in just over a year.

Mirza Tahir Ahmad in this video asks the Ahmadis of Europe to stand up and show themselves to Jamaat as manifestations of the truth of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s message. There is a great rousing performance conducted by the Khalifa as he goes around each country and asks its Ahmadis to raise their voice (labbaiq). You can tell that the idea of Europeans converting to Ahmadiyyat in large numbers was a great spiritual motivator for Ahmadis. How could one deny the truth when it is standing their right in front of you?

The effect is clear – to show the Ahmadi crowd that their Jamaat is growing because of the deeds of model Ahmadis like this, who make tabligh of Jamaat their life goal. This powerful performance would undoubtedly stir the hearts of even the most inactive Ahmadis.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
1936
https://www.alhakam.org/12-18-april/

18 April 1936: Hazrat Maulvi Muhammad-uddin Sahib began his journey from Qadian for Albania to serve as a missionary.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________
1945

12-18 April


14 April 1945: Hazrat Sir Chaudhry Zafarulla Khanra and Hazrat Jalaluddin Shams met Ahmet Muhtar Zogolli who had served the Albanians in the capacity of prime minister, president and finally as king of Albania. He was conveyed the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat by the delegation

_____________________________________________________________________________________________
1946

12-18 April


July 1946: A prominent Ahmadi, Sharif Dosta Sahib was martyred in Albania along with his family members. This sad news reached Hazrat Musleh Maudra and he announced him as the first European Ahmadi Shaheed. Huzoorra also encouraged the Jamaat to always remain ready to embrace every hardship for the cause of Islam.

____________________________________________________________________________________________
2018

Too bad it was all a lie. As with the other bai’at lies of the 90s and 2000s, the converts claimed by this man just didn’t exist (or were so weak that they didnt even remain Ahmadi for long). As you can see here 50 participants took part in the annual NATIONAL MKA Albania Ijtema. 50. The Albania Jalsa of 2018 had 332 total guests.

https://www.alhakam.org/6th-albania-kosovo-mka-ijtema/

Where did they 44,000+ blessed souls go? Were they just a number conjured up to impress and revitalize Ahmadis? It it goes to show just what happens when you have an organization which prioritizes obedience and “progress” over critical thinking. The “Man of God” lacked the common sense to realize that this just wasn’t realistic. He was too caught up in the “triumph” of Ahmadiyyat that his era of Khilafat was seeing. These lies were too useful for him. Too bad God didn’t tell him before he decided to conduct this performance and embarrass himself in front of the world.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
Mosques in 2020? Amount of Ahmadi’s in 2020? 

There seems to be only one mosque.

1st Ahmadiyya Mosque in Albania
Inaugurated: Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad
Location: Tirana, Albania
Capacity: 2’500
Built: 1999

The ‘Bejtyl-Evel’ Mosque (Albanian) or The Baitul Awal Mosque is one of the largest mosques in the country and the 1st Ahmadiyya Mosque built in 1995. The mosque was Inaugurated by Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad (4th caliph). The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Albania has been established since 1934. Aside the mosque, ‘Darul Falah’ mission house is also located in Tirana, capital city of Albania. This mosque is entirely run by the majority of new albanian ahmadi converts. This mosque is under the supervision of Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad and Jamat Ahmadiyya Germany’s National Ameer, Abdullah Wagishauser.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
Links and Related Essay’s

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/01/15/are-ahmadis-the-fastest-growing-islamic-sect-the-world-christian-encyclopedia-opened-and-evaluated/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/09/07/are-ahmadis-muslims-by-mirza-nasir-ahmad-may-4th-1973-a-friday-sermon/

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

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/04/01/the-ahmadiyya-movement-and-its-western-propaganda-by-james-thayer-addison-1929/

http://www.reviewofreligions.org/wp-content/pdf-downloads/RR190605.pdf#page=2

http://www.aaiil.org/text/articles/reviewofreligions/1907/reviewreligionsenglish_190701.pdf

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/07/17/ahmadiyya-leadership-lied-about-the-first-bait-ceremony-in-1889/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2020/08/10/barely-100-americans-converted-to-ahmadiyya-from-july-2019-to-july-2020/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/09/17/ahmads-place-among-the-prophets-review-of-religions-part-1-thru-4-1914/

http://www.muslimsunrise.com/dmddocuments/1976_iss_1_to_2.pdf

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/09/06/lecture-ludhiana-was-not-a-lecture-it-was-a-riot/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2020/05/16/ahmadis-are-excessively-certain-and-enemies-of-muslims-by-nicholas-h-a-evans-far-from-the-caliphs-gaze-being-ahmadi-muslim-in-the-holy-city-of-qadian/

Click to access 1984_iss_1.pdf

https://www.alislam.org/library/books/ludhiana/LectureLudhiana.pdf

https://www.alislam.org/library/books/Souvenir-USA-50th-Jalsa-June-1998.pdf

https://www.alislam.org/library/books/Christianity-A-Journey.pdf

http://www.reviewofreligions.org/wp-content/pdf-downloads/RR198906.pdf

https://www.alislam.org/library/books/Apostasy-in-Islam.pdf

Click to access Al-Nahl-1993-v004-No_02.pdf

https://www.alislam.org/London-Bombings-Resources/Press-Release-London-Bombings.pdf

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/10/28/mirza-muzaffar-ahmad-asserted-that-there-were-40-million-new-converts-to-ahmadiyya-in-2000/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=above+the+law

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/10/04/the-british-government-allowed-mirza-ghulam-ahmad-to-operate-tax_free/

https://www.alislam.org/library/books/TheNeedForTheImam.pdf

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/01/31/mirza-tahir-ahmad-announced-40-million-converts-to-ahmadiyya-from-india-alone-in-2001/

http://www.muslimsunrise.com/dmddocuments/1924_iss_2.pdf

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/06/05/mirza-tahir-ahmad-explains-how-and-why-ahmadis-have-always-lied-about-their-global-membership-number/

http://www.alhakam.org/munir-inquiry-report-0

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/02/23/mirza-basheer-uddin-mahmud-ahmad-had-20-children-with-6-wives/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/04/24/in-1897-mga-and-his-team-claimed-to-have-8000-ahmadis-in-his-ranks-it-was-a-lie/

https://www.alislam.org/library/book/ahmadiyyat-true-islam/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Provinces_of_British_India

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/07/30/ahmadis-always-lie-about-conversions-at-the-ukjalsa/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/07/16/the-ahmadiyya-jalsausa-is-a-marketing-event-nothing-else/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/07/16/the-punjab-chiefs-by-lepel-griffin-1890-edition-doesnt-even-mention-mirza-ghulam-ahmad/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/01/17/mirza-nasir-ahmad-at-the-1974-national-assembly-testifying-on-oath-about-the-number-of-ahmadis/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/10/31/in-1921-mufti-muhammad-sadiq-claimed-that-there-were-700000-ahmadis-in-the-world/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/08/07/mirza-basheer-uddin-mahmud-ahmad-admits-that-ahmadis-lie-about-their-membership-numbers/

https://books.google.com/books?id=H1s1DwAAQBAJ&pg=PA39&lpg=PA39&dq=The+1901+Ahmadiyya+census&source=bl&ots=pxqaXjUfXU&sig=GvTxPGnEE-h3GglFXFjXMVZhaPQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjMivLkoqXeAhXgHDQIHUFUB_0Q6AEwD3oECAIQAQ#v=onepage&q=The%201901%20Ahmadiyya%20census&f=false

https://books.google.com/books?id=5S1RAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA69&lpg=PA69&dq=The+1901+Ahmadiyya+census&source=bl&ots=KEdm99S7dm&sig=8ZZa0jeLkJOJAeRG_IgZbo5GM48&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjMivLkoqXeAhXgHDQIHUFUB_0Q6AEwDnoECAMQAQ#v=onepage&q=The%201901%20Ahmadiyya%20census&f=false

 

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________
Tags
#albania #ahmadiyyainalbania #ahmadiyya #ahmadiyyafactcheckblog #ahmadi #qadianism

 

Who is Jibril Martin (1888-1959)? The Ahmadi in Nigeria who rejected the Qadiani Khilafat and created the 5th sect of #ahmadis

Intro
Alhaji Jibril Martin (20 November 1888 – 13 June 1959) was a Nigerian lawyer and educationist who was a member of the Nigerian Legislative Council. He was also chairman of the Hajj Pilgrims’ Board of Nigeria’s Western region, following the independence of Nigeria. He was a prominent member of a splinter group of Ahmadiyya movement in Nigeria. He rejected the Qadiani-Khilafat (1940). He is first mentioned by Fisher in 1963. Ahmadiyya in West Africa was mostly amongst the Yoruba people, who are even til this day, mostly Sunni-Muslims (see Fisher). Jibril Martin died in 1959. He was president of the splinter sect of Ahmadi’s until his death. He was then succeeded by Al-Haj B.D. Oshodi.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
Jibril Martin’s early life

Jibril Martin was born in Popo Aguda, the Brazilian quarters on Lagos Island populated by liberated slaves from Brazil. He was born to the family of Haruna Jose Martin and Seliat Remilekun Martin. Martin was educated at Holy Cross Primary School and St Gregory’s College. After his secondary education, he took up appointment with the colonial civil service where he worked from 1907 to 1923.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
1919

Per Hanson, Jibril Martin became the President of the local Ahmadi’s in Lagos. Martin was a member of two Muslim organizations in the 1910s and 1920s, the organizations: the Juvenile Muslim Society and the Muslim Literary and Debating society became the foundation of the Nigerian wing of the Ahmadiyya movement.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
1923–1935

He resigned to study law at University College, London in 1923. Martin qualified as a lawyer in 1926, becoming the second Muslim lawyer in the country after Basil Agusto. He moved back to Nigeria in this state.

Martin was attracted to the movement partly because of movement’s positive attitude towards acquiring western education. He later played a prominent role within the local branch, he was vice president of the movement in 1927 and was a member of the first Board of Trustees.

On returning to Nigeria, he became a solicitor but later got involved in politics. He was a member of the Nigerian Youth Movement and was the movement’s candidate to represent Lagos in the Legislative Council elections of 1940.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
1935

Another split in the Ahmadiyya Movement happened in Nigeria. However, the majority sided with the Ahmadiyya imam, Hakim Fadl-ur-Rahman (See Fisher).
_____________________________________________________________________________________________1939-1940

In December of 1939, the problem of loyalty to the Khalifa at Qadian was so bad, Hakim Fadl-ur-Rahman was ordered by the Khalifa to force all Ahmadi’s to renew their bait (See Fisher). The majority of Ahmadi’s refused.

By January of 1940, there were 4 sects of #ahmadis in Nigeria. Jibril Martin officially quit the Qadiani-sect of Ahmadis and created his own sect. They were called “Independents” and “The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam Nigeria” (see page 112 of Fisher). Hakim Fadl-ur-Rahman stayed on and represented the Khalifa from Qadian and were called “Independents”.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________1941

There was a 5th split of Ahmadi’s in 1941. They were called the Muslim Mission Community, founded by the son of Imam Dabiri in June of 1941, they were an off-shoot of the “Loyalists”. They believed that MGA was only a Mujadid.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
1943

The famous Muhammad Zafrullah Khan passed through Lagos during WW-2 and seems to have tried to reconcile the differences between the sects. However, more Ahmadi’s left the Qadiani-Khalifa-Loyalist group and became Independents (see Fisher).
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
1949
https://islaminafrica.wordpress.com/category/ahmadiyya/ahmadiyya-muslim-jamaat-nigeria/page/3/

Extract of the Judgment Reads:-
In the West African Court of Appeal holding at Lagos, Nigeria on Saturday, the 7th day of May 1949 before their honours.

Sir, Henry Walter Butter Blackall, K.C. President
Sir, John Verity, Chief Justice, Nigeria
Charles Abbott, Puisne Judge, Nigeria

BETWEEN W.A.C 2822
1.         Alhaji Jibril martin                                 Plaintiffs
2.         B.A. Fanimokun                                   Appellants
3.         S.I. Ayeni

AND
1.         Alhaji F.R. Hakeem                              Defendants
2.         H.O. Sanyaolu                                      Respondents
3.         O.G. Kuku

Judgement
This is an appeal from a decision, giving in the Supreme Court of Nigeria at Ibadan, by Jibowu J. The appellants, who were the plaintiffs at first instance, failed in their claim for the Exclusive possession of certain premises, known as the Ahmadiyya Mosque at Ife. Their claim was founded upon the contentions that the Mosque is the property of a religious community, of which they are members, within he faith of Islam and that they are lawfully appointed trustees of the Mosque. In the year 1916 there came into existence in Nigeria a branch of a religious movement known as the Sadr-Anjuman-Ahmadiyya, which movement has its Headquarter at Qadian in India and owes spiritual allegiance to one Hazrat Mirza Bashirud-Din Mahmud Ahmad, known as His Holiness the Khalifatul Masih. The appellants and the respondents were members of this movement and of its branch in Nigeria.

In 1938 the Mosque was acquired by the movement unhappy difference into which it is not necessary to go arose within the Nigerian branch of the movement with the result that on the 29th of December 1939, the Khalifatul, through the first respondent as his agent in Nigeria, withdrew his recognition of certain members of the movement, among whom were the appellants. The appellants, however, continued to regard themselves bound by the tenants of the movement in all respects except one; they no longer regarded the Khalifatul as their religious leader.

In 1913 the appellants brought into existence a new constitution to replace the earlier constitution, to which they had previously subscribed and which enjoined allegiance to the khalifatul. In the 1913 constitution all reference to the Khalifatul disappeared and whereas under the old constitution the Khalifatul was the final arbiter in matters of appeal, under the 1913 constitution the first applicants, as president of the new movement became final arbiter.

It was argued both here and in the court below that the applicants, by superimposing a new constitution, had withdraw from the parent movement and the learned trial judge, in a long and careful judgment held that this was so. I see no reason to disturb his findings of fact, which are borne out by the terms of the 1943 constitution, in which it is worthy of note, the appellants ascribed a new name (that of Ahmadiyya movement-in-Islam) to the movement. The learned trial judge held that the appellants, by their own acts, seceded from the movement of which they were once members and that they were not entitled, by reason of their secession, to the property of the movement.

This, in my view was the correct decision; this appeal should be dismissed, with costs in favour of the respondents in the sum of £42:4:6d.
(Sgg) C.T. ABBOTT
Puisne Judge, Nigeria
I concur (Sgd) H.W.B. BLACKALL, PRESIDENT
I concur (sgd) HOHN VERITY
CHIEF, JUSTICE, Nigeria.
Certified True Copy
(Sgd) E.A. Bamgboye,
Acting Deputy Registrar,
West African Court of Appeal,
Paid 5/6d on CR. 157522/40/17.549

After the judgment the Jama’at started on a new platform at the present place No. 10 Iremo Road Ile-ife and the other side that seceded established their own mosque at Ilare Area of Ile-Ife under their new name Ahmadiyya movement in Islam. The other party retained Sadr-Anjuman Ahmadiyya.

After the crisis, these following people worked tremendously to the Jama’at effectively. They are Pa: Abdul-Salami Jimoh “aka SELEM”, Imam Yahaya Hassan, Alh. A.R.A. Oluwa, Pa. Kasali Akanmu Pa. Yahaya, Fatunmise, Pa. Salami Fatunmise, Alimi Akintibubo, Alfa M.J.O. Hassan Bro. M.B.A. Junaid, Yusuf Omope and Elder Brothers. Pa. Raji, a farmer at Odesomi village off Ilesa Road in Ile-Ife. He was instrumental to the establishment of Agric Mission’ in the early fifties with the assistance of Alfa Oluwa.

Alfa A.R.A. Oluwa left indelible mark on the Ife Jama’at during his stay in Ile Ife .During the period a lot of missions were established outside Ile Ife.. From the late seventies towards the end of Eighties, the following people carried on the good work of Alfa A.R.A. Oluwa, they were Bro. M.B.A. Junnaid, Alfa, Ameen from Ede town, Bro. Lasisi Olarewaju, Lasisi Ayinde Bro. Salaudeen A. Lawal, Alhaji. Isiaq Lawal, Bro. S.D.A. Ahmad, Alh. Yusuf Amuda Hassan, A.K. Durodola, Bro. Adegboyega, Bro. Lamidi Fakeye, Alh. Kamardeen Ayoade, bro. B.A. Okeleye, Bro. Tijani Ayan, Bro. M.M. Orabiyi among others.

Missionaries were always posted to Ife regularly including Central Missionaries. All the auxiliaries bodies of the Jamaat were fully established. These are, Lajna Imaillah, Khuddamul, Nasrat, Atfal and Majlis Ansarullah.

We shouldn’t forget the activities worthy of emulation of three of our leaders in Ife Jama’at. Alfa A.R.A. Oluwa who donated the whole of iron sheet meant for his proposed building in Ile-Ife to Roof the Mosque. Brother B.A. Okeleye who donated the present praying mates to the Mosque in seventies which we still use presently and (3) Alfa Jihmoh Abdul Salami (a.k.a. SELEM) who came from Abeokuta and actively participate in Tabligh Activities in Ife land and later asked the Jama’at to bury him in Ife if he dies, He was buried behind the central Mosque in Ife according to his wishes.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________
1952–1958

He was a leader of the Nigerian Bar Association from 1952 to 1959.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
1959

Jibril Martin dies. He was president of the splinter sect of Ahmadi’s until his death. He was then succeeded by Al-Haj B.D. Oshodi.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
Links and Related Essay’s
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jibril_Martin

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/09/24/ahmadiyya-a-study-in-contemporary-islam-on-the-west-african-coast-by-humphrey-j-fisher-1963/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/09/20/professor-humphrey-j-fisher-and-j-spencer-trimingham-called-ahmadiyya-a-maritime-implantation-in-west-africa/

https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/fisher-humphrey-john-1933

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/09/01/who-is-humphrey-j-fisher-the-writer-who-wrote-extensively-about-ahmadiyya-in-africa/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/09/03/early-history-of-ahmadiyya-in-ghana-by-haneef-keelson/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/05/22/ahmadiyya-in-gambia/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/09/01/who-is-farimang-mamadi-singhateh-the-governor-general-of-the-gambia-and-an-ahmadi/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmadiyya_in_the_Gambia#cite_note-Fisher126-1

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/06/14/who-is-ghulam-nabi-gilkar/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/05/22/ahmadiyya-in-gambia/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/02/19/dr-balogan-the-famous-african-ahmadi-who-left-ahmadiyya-in-1974/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/12/14/did-general-muhammad-zia-ul-haq-join-ahmadiyya-in-the-1940s/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/09/20/islam-vs-ahmadiyya-in-nigeria-1975-by-dr-ismail-a-b-balogan-b-a-ph-d-london-university-of-ibadan/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/09/24/ahmadiyya-a-study-in-contemporary-islam-on-the-west-african-coast-by-humphrey-j-fisher-1963/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=Balogan

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/05/22/ahmadiyya-in-gambia/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/02/19/dr-balogan-the-famous-african-ahmadi-who-left-ahmadiyya-in-1974/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/09/01/who-is-farimang-mamadi-singhateh-the-governor-general-of-the-gambia-and-an-ahmadi/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/09/01/who-is-humphrey-j-fisher-the-writer-who-wrote-extensively-about-ahmadiyya-in-africa/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/10/16/trimingham-j-spencer-the-influence-of-islam-upon-africa-1968/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2020/01/13/ahmadi-medical-officers-doctors-who-served-in-the-british-military-during-ww-2/

  1. “The Ahmadiyya Movement in Nigeria”. Harvard Divinity School. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  2. Jump up to:a b c d e Animashaun, Bashir (2012) Jibril Felix Martin (1888 – 1959) and the spread of Western education among Muslims in 20th century Lagos. Ilorin Journal of History and International Studies Vol 3 No 1 2012

_____________________________________________________________________________________________
Tags
#ahmadiyyainafrica #ahmadiyyainwestafrica #ahmadiyyainnigeria #ahmadiyyainlagos #lagos #ahmadiyyainghana #ahmadiyyainsierraleone #Ahmadiyyainbritishwestafrica #ahmadiyyainbritishcolonies #ahmadiyyaviacolonialism

#Ahmadis believe that 62:3 of the Quran announces that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is the second coming of Muhammad (saw)(Nauzobillah)

Intro
62:3 of the Quran only means that the Muhammad’s message is universal (See Tafsir ibn Kathir) and thus all people of Earth can become Muslims. Ibn Kathir’s famous Quranic commentary even quotes the famous hadith (which Ahmadi’s also quote) and explains how it refers to all non-Arabs who will eventually believe in the truth of the Prophet, nothing more and nothing less. The non-Arabs would even be able to reach the heights of islamic, even if it was as far as the Ath-Thurayya (Pleiades). Further, there is a famous hadith from Bukhari wherein Muhammad (Saw) explains this hadith and says had faith reached the Pleiades, even non arabs could reach it, however, MGA purposely mis-translated this hadith to mean, “bring it down”. Akber Choudhry as fully explained it here in this video. Akber explains how the word “Lau na La who” means, “can reach it”, he also explains how MGA changed it to mean, “bring it down”. By 1891, MGA and his team of writers were asserting that this hadith should be translated as: “will descend with it to the earth”.

In 1882, in the Barahin-i-Ahmadiyya Vol. 3, MGA asserted to have been given a divine revelation wherein his God told him, “”Had faith ascended to the Pleiades he would have reached there and brought it down.”” (See page 212, online english edition), thus, MGA was laying the groundwork for his all of his claims. In the BA-4, the same type of revelation exists. It was used again in 1891, in MGA’s book, Fath-e-Islam (Victory of Islam), however, in all of these instances MGA was only using this verse and hadith to assert that he was a reformer. And again in Hamamatul Bushra (1893).

In 1898, MGA and his team of writers asserted that MGA being the Promised Messiah had support from the Quran (See Kitab ul Barriya, in the below). Before 1898, MGA and his team don’t seem to have ever used this argument. In the same year, in Ayyam-us-Sulh (written in 1898 and published in 1899), MGA and his team of writers argued that this verse also meant that the followers of the Messiah were just like the early sahaba of Muhammad (saw)(nauzobillah), they received true dreams and divine revelation. In 1899, MGA argued that anyone could be a prophet, it was easy.

The year 1900 and early 1901 was a transitional phase in MGA’s prophethood (see Haqiqatun Nubuwat, 1915). In the Khutbah ilhamiya, MGA quoted 62:3 and claimed to be the second coming of Muhammad (saw)(nauzobillah), however, this book wasn’t published until 1902
When MGA finally claimed prophethood via the announcement of Nov. 1901 (Correction of an Error), he quoted 62:3 (62:4 in the Qadiani Quran) and emphatically declared himself as the second coming of Muhammad (saw)(Nauzobillah). A few sentences later, MGA called him the perfect reflection (zill)/baruz of Muhammad (saw)(nauzobillah). MGA claims that he was named Muhammad and Ahmad 20 years ago in the Barahin, and was also named “The Holy Prophet” in that era. Thus, MGA was asserting that he had been a prophet/messenger already for 20 years, he was also claiming to have been the second coming of Muhammad (Saw)(nauzobillah) for 20 years. In 1902, in Tohfa-Golarvia, MGA and his team of writers again asserted that MGA=Muhammad (saw)(nauzobillah). After MGA died, these arguments seem to have died off. However, in 1915, the Qadiani-Ahmadi’s revived them, specifically the sons of MGA began to aggressively assert that MGA=Muhammad (saw)(nauzobillah), whereas the Lahori-Ahmadi’s never mentioned this concept ever again. In fact, in Muhammad Ali’s famous commentary of 1917 on 62:3, he refused to mention how MGA wrote that Muhammad (Saw) (nauzobillah)=MGA. However, after 1919, even the Qadiani jamaat stopped making this argument, i.e., Muhammad (saw)(naozobillah)=MGA. In the famous 5-volume commentary of Malik Ghulam Farid (MGF), which was published in 1988. MGF admits that this verse only means, that the message of Muhammad (Saw) wasn’t only for the Arabs, it was universal, however, he again asserted that MGA was the second coming of Muhammad (Saw)(nauzobillah).

This isn’t all, there are many other verses of the Quran that MGA and his team of writers presented as they argued for the continuation of prophethood, in fact, in 1901, in “Correction of an Error”, MGA quoted 1:6 and was claiming that Muslims pray daily to be given the same blessings as the prophets, a few years later, he would connect 4:69 with 1:6. In 1915, after the split in the Ahmadiyya movement, the sons of MGA connected 2:4 (2:5 in the Qadiani numbering system, with 1:6 and 4:69, they also added 7:35 and 61:6, as they argued emphatically that MGA was a prophet and had sanction from the Quran. They also argued that MGA had initially believed per 4:64 that prophets didn’t follow other prophets, they only followed Allah, however, after 1901, MGA discovered a new type of prophethood, that had never existed in the Quran and a nabi could be a follower. MGA also began to claim to be greater than Esa (as)(nauzobillah) in this era.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
The famous hadith by Salman Farsi which explains how any species can become good Muslims

Narrated Abu Huraira:
While we were sitting with the Prophet Surat Al-Jumu’a was revealed to him, and when the Verse, “And He (Allah) has sent him (Muhammad) also to other (Muslims)…..’ (62.3) was recited by the Prophet, I said, “Who are they, O Allah’s Apostle?” The Prophet did not reply till I repeated my question thrice. At that time, Salman Al-Farisi was with us. So Allah’s Apostle put his hand on Salman, saying, “If Faith were at (the place of) Ath-Thuraiya (pleiades, the highest star), even then (some men or man from these people (i.e. Salman’s folk) would attain it.”

______________________________________________________________________________________________
The same hadith from Sahih Muslim

Ibn al-Hajjaj narrates this hadith in the chapter: “The merits of the people of Persia“:

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: “If the din were at the Pleiades, even then a person from Persia would have taken hold of it, or one amongst the Persian descent would have surely found it”.[3]

Then follows the consequent hadith:

Abu Huraira reported: We were sitting in the company of Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) that Sura al-Jumu’a was revealed to him and when he recited (these words) : “Others from amongst them who have not yet joined them.” A person amongst them (those who were sitting there) said: “Allah’s Messenger!” But Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) made no reply, until he questioned him once, twice or thrice. And there was amongst us Salman the Persian. The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) placed his hand on Salman and then said: “Even if faith were near the Pleiades, a man from amongst these would surely find it”.[3]

_____________________________________________________________________________________________
1882

In the Barahin-i-Ahmadiyya Vol. 3, MGA asserted that his God told him, “”Had faith ascended to the Pleiades he would have reached there and brought it down.”” (See page 212, online english edition), thus, MGA was laying the groundwork for his all of his claims.

The full quote
“””I am with you; so be with Me wherever you might be. Be with Allah wherever you are. In whatever direction you turn there will be the countenance of Allah. You are the best people
who have been raised for the benefit of mankind and as a pride for the believers. Despair not of the mercy of Allah. Hearken, indeed the mercy of Allah is near. Hearken, the help of Allah is
near. Help will come to you by every distant track. People will come to you so that the track will become deep due to excessive travel. So many people will come to you that the track on which
they travel will become deep. Allah will help you from Himself. Such people will help you whom We shall inspire from Ourself. No one can change the words of Allah. We will bestow upon you
a manifest victory. The victory of the friend of Allah is the true victory and We have bestowed upon him such intimate nearness that he becomes Our confidant. He is the bravest of people.
Had faith ascended to the Pleiades he would have reached there and brought it down. Allah will illumine his arguments. Mercy flows from your lips, O Ahmad. You are in Our sight, [under Our watchful care]. Allah will exalt your name and perfect His bounty upon you in this world and the Hereafter. He found you seeking His guidance and guided you. We looked at you and commanded the fire, which is the fire of mischief from the people: ‘Be cool and safe for this Ibrahim [Abraham]’. Treasures of the mercy of your Lord shall be granted to you. O you the one wrapped up, stand up and warn [people against the coming calamities] and proclaim the greatness of your Lord. Your name will come to an end O Ahmad, but My name will not come to an end. That is, you are mortal and your praise is limited, but Allah’s praise is unlimited for it is without count and without end.””

______________________________________________________________________________________________
1884, Barahin-i-Ahmadiyya, Vol-4, pages 372-272, online english edition

“””Had faith been hanging in the Pleiades—that is, had departed from the earth altogether—even then the above-mentioned man would have found it.”””
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
1891
Fath-e-Islam

Search Tadhkirah under the word Pleiades.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
1891
Izala Auham

Izala-e-Auham, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 3, pp. 452-456, Via Essence of Islam, Vol-1, pages 362-368

“””Knowledge of Holy Qur’an and Promised Messiah
This is the wealth concerning which it had been prophesied that the Messiah would distribute it so much that people will have their fill of it. The prophecy does not mean that the Messiah would collect together material wealth concerning which it has been said:

‘Your possessions and children are but a trial.’—al-Taghabun, 64:16

and that he would deliberately put people on trial by distributing wealth among them. In his first advent also, the Messiah felt no attraction towards worldly wealth. He has stated in the Gospel that the property of a believer are not gold and silver, but are the jewels of verities and understanding. This is the property that is bestowed by God Almighty on the Prophets, which they distribute. It is concerning this property that the Holy Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be on him] said:

‘I am a distributor and Allah is the Bestower.’

It is stated clearly in the Ahadith that the Promised Messiah would come into the world when knowledge of the Qur’an will be lost and ignorance will prevail. That is the time which is referred to in the Hadith:

If faith ascends to the Pleiades it will be brought down by a man of Persia.

It has been revealed to me in a vision that the climax of that age will begin in the Hijri year which corresponds to the value of the letters of the verse:

‘It is We who determine its taking away.’—al-Mu’minun, 23:19

which amounts to 1274.
Consider this well and do not pass over it in haste and supplicate God that He should open your minds to it. A little reflection will make you understand the prophecy contained in the Hadith that in the latter days the Qur’an will be taken away from the world, its knowledge will be lost, ignorance will prevail and the eagerness and sweetness of faith will depart from the hearts. Among them is the Hadith that if faith will ascend to the Pleiades and will disappear from the earth, a man of the Persians will extend his hand and will bring it down. This Hadith shows clearly that when ignorance, faithlessness and error, which are described as smoke in the other Ahadith, will become widespread and true faith will become so rare as if it had been drawn up to the skies, and the Holy Qur’an will be abandoned as if it had been raised towards God Almighty, at that time, a man of Persia will take hold of the faith from the Pleiades and will descend with it to the earth. Be sure, therefore, that he is the son of Mary who was to descend.””

_____________________________________________________________________________________________
1892
Nishan Asmani, online english edition, see pages 22-23

“””And, as I have already said, the object of including these verses in the booklet was to try
and establish Sayyid Ahmad Sahib as one of the Mahdis. Undoubtedly, people have greatly erred in understanding the Ahadith that mention the prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa about the coming of a person named Mahdi. In general, it has been erroneously assumed that the word ‘Mahdi’ invariably refers to ‘Muhammad son of ‘Abdullah’ who has been mentioned in some Ahadith. But a careful study reveals that the Holy Prophetsa has foretold the coming of several Mahdis. One of them has been called Sultan-e-Mashriqas in Hadith; he has to appear in an eastern country, like India; while the country of his origin must be Faras (Persia). In fact, it is he concerning whom is
written in a Hadith that even if faith ascended to the Pleiades, he would bring it back even from there. Yet another sign concerning him is that he will be a farmer. In short, it is a definite and proven fact that several Mahdis are mentioned in the Sihah Sittah, and one of them will
appear in the Eastern countries. But some people have been confused by the amalgamation of these Ahadith. However, the point which deserves most attention is that the time of advent of one Mahdias, as foretold by the Holy Prophetsa is the same in which we live, and he has called
him the Mujaddid of the 14th century (Hijra) as, God willing, I shall later elaborate. Anyway, though it is definitely clear that a great Mujaddid will appear in India at the beginning of the 14th century [Hijra], it is quite arbitrary to declare that this prediction applies to Sayyid Ahmad Sahib, because, as I have already pointed out, Sayyid Sahib did not even live to see the 14th century (Hijra).””””
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
1893

Hamamatul Bushra, search Tadhkirah for the word Pleiades.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
1893

A’ina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 5, pp. 270-273, footnote, via Essence of Islam, Vol-3, online english edition, pages 50-52

“””Salvation Depends on Faith
I affirm repeatedly and emphatically that if religious doctrines had been self-evident like philosophical propositions and mathematical equations, they would certainly not have been considered the basis for achieving salvation. Dear brethren, rest assured that salvation depends
upon faith, and faith is related to the unseen. If the underlying reality of things had not been concealed, there would have been no faith, and without faith there would be no salvation. It is faith alone which is the means of winning Divine pleasure. It is a ladder for achieving nearness to God, and a spring for washing away the rust of sin. We are dependent upon God Almighty, and it is faith that discloses this dependence. We are dependent on God Almighty for our salvation and our deliverance from every ill. Such deliverance can be achieved only through faith. The remedy for the torments of this life and the hereafter is faith. When, through the power of faith, we find that a difficulty is not impossible of resolution, it is resolved for us. It is through the power of faith that we are able to achieve that which appears to be impossible and contrary to reason. It is through the power of faith that miracles and extraordinary events are witnessed, and what is considered impossible happens.

It is through faith that we are convinced of the existence of God. He remained hidden from philosophers, and thinkers could not discover Him; but faith leads to God even a humble one who is clothed in rags, and enables him to converse with Him. The power of faith is the means of contact between a believer and the True Beloved. This power leads a poor humble one who is rejected of mankind to the palace of holiness, which is the throne of Allah and, gradually removing all intervening obstructions, reveals the countenance of the Eternal Beloved.

Arise then, and seek faith and burn the dry and useless tomes of philosophy; only through faith shall you achieve blessings. One particle of faith is better than a thousand volumes of philosophy. Faith is not only the means of achieving salvation in the hereafter, but also provides deliverance from the torments and curses of this life. We find deliverance from soul-melting sorrows through the blessings of faith. It is faith through which a perfect believer finds comfort and joy in the midst of anxiety, agony, torment and sorrow, and when he is confronted with failure in all directions and all the familiar doors appear locked and barred. Perfect faith removes all feeling of distance and separation. There is no wealth that can be compared to faith. In this world everyone, with the exception of the believer, is overwhelmed with grief. In this world everyone is afflicted with the agony of loss and unfulfilled desires, except a believer.

Faith! how sweet are your fruits and how fragrant are your flowers; praise be to Allah, how wonderful are your blessings and what beautiful lights shine in you. No one can reach the Pleiades unless he is inspired by you. It has pleased God Almighty that now you should arrive and
philosophy should depart. Nothing can stop His grace.”””
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
1893

Tohfa-e-Baghdad, pp. 17–25, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 7, pp. 21–31, Via the online english edition of Tadhkirah.

Search for the word Pleiades.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________
1898
Via Essence of Islam, Vol. 4, pages 62-65
Kitab-ul-Bariyyah, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 13, pp. 254-257, footnote

“””I see that those who wish to be the followers of nature and the law of nature have been offered a good opportunity by God Almighty of accepting my claim, inasmuch as they are not confronted by the difficulties in which our other opponents are involved. They know well that Jesusas has died and at the same time they have to confess that the prophecy contained in the Ahadith about the appearance of the Promised Messiah is among the long-established verities that cannot be denied by any reasonable person. Thus they are left with no other option but to accept that the Promised Messiah will be one of the Muslims. They are, however, entitled to inquire as to
why they should believe in me as the Promised Messiah, and on what grounds do I base this claim? The answer is that all the indications mentioned in the Holy Qur’an and the Ahadith with regard to the Promised Messiah have been combined in me and in my age and in my country; as, for instance, the age and the country and the town in which the Promised Messiah was to appear and the circumstances which called specially for his advent, and the earthly and heavenly occurrences which had been specified as indications of his advent, and the knowledge and
learning that were to be his characteristic, have all been combined in me. In addition to these, and to provide further satisfaction, I have been strengthened by Heavenly support.

As I was invested with authority for the Christians, I was,
therefore, named the Son of Mary. Heaven is showing signs and the
earth proclaims that this is the time. These two witnesses stand firm
in my support.

To illustrate: The indication given in the text of the Holy Qur’an proves that he Holy Prophetsa appeared in the likeness of Mosesas, and that the chain of Khilafat after the Holy Prophetsa would be very similar to the chain of Khilafat established after Mosesas. Just as Prophet Mosesas was promised that in the latter days—i.e., when the Prophethood of Bani Isra’il
would reach its limit and Bani Isra’il would be divided into many sects, each contradicting the other, so much so that some would declare others to be infidels—God Almighty would raise a successor, i.e., Prophet Jesusas, to support the faith of Mosesas; he would gather the scattered sheep of Israel, and bring sheep and wolves together at one place, and he would be an Arbiter for all the sects of Bani Isra’il, and he would iron out their differences and remove
all rancour and ill-will; likewise, a similar promise was made by the Holy Qur’an in the verse:

Others from among them who have not yet joined them.—Al- Jumu‘ah, 62:4

Many details of this are set out in the Ahadith. For instance, it is mentioned that Muslims would become divided into as many sects as the Jews; they would contradict each other and brand each other as infidels; and would increase in hatred and enmity towards each other, till the time when the Promised Messiah would appear as an Arbiter. He would remove all rancour and hostility. During his time, the wolf and the sheep will be brought together. All historians are aware that, at the time of the advent of Jesusas, the Israelite sects were ridden with dissension
and labelled each other as heretics and infidels. I have also appeared at a time when inner dissension has multiplied and each sect has started calling others Kafir. At such a time of dissension, the Muslims were in need of an Arbiter. God has, therefore, sent me as one.””””

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

1898
Ayyam-us-Sulh, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 14, pp. 306-307
, Via Essence of Islam, Vol. 4, see pages 272-273

“””Resemblance of the Jama‘at to the Companions of the Holy Prophetsa
Just consider whether, during the last thirteen hundred years, anyone has experienced a time which is so similar to the time of the Holy Prophetsa. Our Jama‘at, which has been established in this age, resembles in many respects the Companionsra of the Holy Prophetsa. Our people witness miracles and signs such as the Companionsra witnessed and gain light and certainty
from fresh heavenly signs and support as the Companionsra did. They endure, in the cause of Allah, the mockery and derision and reproaches of people, and bear persecution and boycotts, just as the Companionsra endured. They lead pure lives helped by clear heavenly signs and supports and wise teachings, as did the Companionsra. There are many among them who weep during their Prayers as the Companionsra wept—so profusely that their places of prostration were dampened. Many of them see true dreams and are honoured with Divine revelations, as was the case with the Companionsra. Many of them spend their hard-earned money in promoting the activities of the Jama‘at, purely for the sake of winning the pleasure of God Almighty, as did the Companionsra. Many among them keep death in mind and are gentle of heart and tread the path of true righteousness, as was the practice of the Companionsra. They are the party of God who are supported by God Himself and whose hearts He is purifying daily and whose bosoms He is filling with the wisdom of faith and whom He is drawing towards Himself through heavenly signs, as He did with the Companionsra. In short, this Jama‘at exhibits all those signs which are implied in the verse:

Others from among them.— Al-Jumu‘ah, 62:4

The Word of God Almighty was bound to be fulfilled.””””
_______________________________________________________________________________________________
1898
Anjam e Athim, Via the online english edition of Tadhkirah


The word Pleiades appears in the same context, i.e., MGA would bring the faith back.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
1900

Arba‘in, no. 2, pp. 9–21, published December 1900, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 17, pp. 355–368, Via the online english edition of Tadhkirah

The word Pleiades appears in the same context, i.e., MGA would bring the faith back. 
_______________________________________________________________________________________________
1900

Khutbah-e-Ilhamiah, Roohany Khazaen, Vol. 16, P. 271-272; Khutbah-e-Ilhamiah, P. 181

“One who denies that the mission of the Prophet(SAW) is related to the 6th thousand (13th century) as it was related to 5th thousand (6th century), denies the truth and the text of the Quran and is among the zalemeen (gone astray). The truth is that the spiritual power of the holy Prophet(SAW) at the end of the 6th thousand (13th century in Mirza Ghulam), i.e. these days, is MUCH STRONGER, MORE COMPLETE and STRONGER than in THOSE EARLY YEARS . Nay, it is like the fourteenth (moonlit) night (full moon).”

and

Khutba-e-Ilhamiah, Roohany Khazaen, Vol. 16, P. 258 – 259

“And Allah sent down upon me the bounty of the Holy Prophet and made it perfect; and he drew towards me the kindness and generosity of the merciful Prophet, so that I became one with him. Thus, he who joins my group, joins the group of the companions (Sahaba) of my Leader, the best of messengers. It is not hidden from those who have the ability to think that this is what the words “Akhareen Menhom” (others of them) mean. The person who makes a difference between me and the Mustafa has neither seen me nor recognized me.”

The scan work


_______________________________________________________________________________________________
1901

“””Since Jesusas is a Prophet, the same objection—of the breaking of the Seal of Khatamun
Nabiyyin—will be raised against him as is raised against me. But I say that, after the Holy Prophetsa, who was Khatamun Nabiyyin, there can be no objection whatsoever to my being addressed as Rasul or Nabi, nor does this break the Seal. I have stated repeatedly that, in accordance with the verse:

And among others from among them who have not yet joined them.—Al-Jumu‘ah, 62:4

As Buruz, I am the same Prophet Khatamun Nabiyyinsa. It was twenty years ago, in Brahin-e-
Ahmadiyya, that God named me ‘Muhammadsa’ and ‘Ahmadsa’ and declared me to be the Holy Prophetsa. Thus, the status of the Holy Prophetsa as Khatamun Nabiyyin is by no means in peril due to my Prophethood, since the Zill is never independent of the original. Since I am Muhammadsa by way of Zill, therefore, the Seal of Khatamun Nabiyyin remains intact, and the Prophethood of Muhammadsa remains confined to Muhammadsa. This means that in all
events it is Muhammadsa who remains the Prophet and no one else.

Since I am the Holy Prophetsa by way of Buruz, and all his perfections and excellences, including his Prophethood, are reflected in the mirror of my Zilliyyat, where then is the person who claimed to be an independent Prophet?

If you still do not accept me, then you should know that it is written in your own books of Hadith that the Promised Mahdi will be like the Holy Prophetsa, both in character and appearance. His name will correspond to the name of the Holy Prophetsa—which means that he will be given the name Muhammad and Ahmad; and that he will belong to the Holy Prophet’ssa household.”””

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

1902
See Essence of Islam, Vol. 4, pages 179-180
Tohfah Golarhviah, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 17, pp. 114-115

Promised Messiah from Among the Muslims
I have already proved the death of the Messiahas and his spiritual exaltation….Now, after the death of the Messiahas, the next question is, what are the authorities contained in the Qur’an and Ahadith and other sources from which it is established that the Promised Messiah will appear from among the Ummah? I will set out these authorities below, please read them with care. Hopefully, God the Compassionate will guide you.

One of the arguments which prove that the Messiah who was promised to appear in this Ummah would be from among the Muslims is this Hadith set out both in Bukhari and Muslim and _____________________________________.

It means that he will be your Imam from among you. Since this Hadith relates to Jesusas and it is he who has been described in this Hadith as Hakam and ‘Adal [Arbiter and Judge], it follows, therefore, that the word Imam also refers to him. It is true that the words ‘from among you’ were addressed to the Companions of the Holy Prophetsa, but we know that none of them claimed to be the Promised Messiah. This, therefore, shows that the words ‘from among you’ are meant for
someone who, in the knowledge of God Almighty, would be a substitute for the Companions and is the one referred to in the verse:

And among others from among them who have not yet joined them.—Al-Jumu‘ah, 62:4

This verse shows that he will be instructed through the spiritual power of the Holy Prophetsa, and will, in this sense, be one of the Companions. This verse is further explained by the Hadith:

Had faith ascended to the Pleiades, it would be brought down by a man from among the Persians.

Here the quality which was particularized in the Promised Messiah and Mahdi has been attributed to this man from Persia. This quality is to replenish the earth with justice after it has been filled with wrongdoing and has become empty of faith and the belief in the Unity of God. Thus this man is the Promised Messiah and Mahdi; and I am he.

Just as the prophesied eclipse of the sun and the moon in the month of Ramadan has not occurred during the time of any other person claiming to be Mahdi, likewise, during the thirteen hundred years that have elapsed since the time of the Holy Prophetsa, no one has claimed, on the basis of Divine revelation, to be ‘the Man of Persia’ about whom the Hadith says that
he will bring faith down from heaven.””

and

Via Nuzhat Haneef, [RK, v. 17, pp. 248-249; marginal note; starts at 7th line from the bottom of the marginal note; Tohfa-e-Goldrawiyah; published 1902]

“”Each prophet has one advent but our Prophet, the blessings of Allaah and peace be on him, has two advents and the categorical statement on this is the noble verse ‘wa aakhareena minhum lamma yalhaqoo bihim’ [And others of them who have not joined them] [Quraan 62:4]. All great Quraanic commentators write in the explanation of this verse that the final group of this nation, that is, Maseeh Mau`ood’s community, will be colored as [i.e., have the characteristics of] the Companions [of Muhammad] and like the Companions [of Muhammad], with whom Allaah be pleased, without any difference, will obtain grace and guidance from His Holiness [Muhammad], the blessings of Allaah and peace be on him. … His Holiness [Muhammad], the blessings of Allaah and peace be on him, has two advents or, in other words, it may be stated that His Holiness’ second coming into the world, the blessings of Allaah and peace be on him, in a ‘buroozee’ [projected or manifested or displayed] manner, had been promised, which [promise] was fulfilled by the appearance of the Maseeh Mau`ood and Mahdee Ma’hood [Mirza Ghulam Ahmad].”””
______________________________________________________________________________________________
1902-1903
Published in July 1962, in Urdu, 464 pages, covering the period from
October 1902 to January 16, 1903.

Malfuzat, vol. 4, p. 10, Via Essence of Islam, Vol. 4, page 127

“””Two Aspects of the perfection of Faith
It should be borne in mind that all bounties and the perfection of the faith that were bestowed on the Holy Prophetsa, had two aspects: first, the perfection of the guidance, and secondly, the completion of the propagation of the guidance. The perfection of the guidance from every aspect took place through his first advent, and the completion of the propagation of the guidance
was accomplished through his second advent. The verse of the Surah Al-Jumu‘ah:

Others from among them… Al-Jumu‘ah, 62:4

which refers to another people who will be prepared through his grace and instruction. This makes it clear that he will have a second advent, and this advent— which is by way of reflection—is now taking place. Thus this is the time of the completion of the propagation of the guidance.”””
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

1906
Chashma Masihi

We have also recently found MGA (and his team of writers) arguing in 1906, via MGA’s book, “Chashma-Masihi”, that in a famous verse of Surah Fatiha wherein Muslims pray to Allah to be guided, they are actually asking Allah to be guided like the prophets and siddiqin (which is a direct inference to 4:69)(See pages 62-65). Thus, MGA would always connect the ability to achieve prophethood with the daily prayer, which is ridiculous, since prophethood is a gift, not something achieved (see 40:15)(See Muhammad Ali, Prophethood in Islam also). However, in Chashma Masihi, MGA doesn’t quote 4:69, nor have we found this quote in any other book after 1903.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
1907, Haqiqatul Wahy, online english edition

The word Pleiades appears 9 times, Chapter 62:3 (62:4) is quoted 4 times.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
1908–October
Brahin-e-Ahmadiyya, part 5, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 21, pp. 19-20, Via Essence of Islam, V-5.

Look, God has caused a whole world to turn towards me;
He found me a non-entity, and gave me universal fame.
He fulfilled all that I desired;
I had nothing, but He gave me plenty.
There is none among the bounties of this world,
That He has not granted me through His grace.
His bounty has transformed a single drop into a river;
I was mere dust, He turned me into the Pleiades.
I was destitute, helpless, unknown, and without any
ability;
No one even knew where Qadian was.
People were simply unaware of this place;
No one knew if I even existed.
Now, you see, how the world has turned this way!
This very Qadian has become focus of every eminent
person.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________1915
http://irshad.org/exposed/tirade.php

Al-Fazl, Qadian, vol.3, No.37, dated 16th September 1915, as cited in Qadiani Mazhab page 207, 9th edition, Lahore

“The entity of the promised Masih (Mirza), in the sight of Allah is the entity of the Holy Prophet (SAW). In other words, in the records of Allah there is no duality or difference between the promised Masih and the Holy Prophet (SAW). Rather they both share the same eminence, the same rank, the same status and the same name . …”.
______________________________________________________________________________________________
1916

Kalimat-ul-Fasl , P. 113, by Mirza Basheer Ahmad Qadiani, 1916

“Every messenger was granted accomplishments and perfections according to his capacity and performance in varying degrees, but the Promised Messiah (Mirza Ghulam) was granted prophethood when he had attained all the accomplishments of the Prophethood of Muhammad(SAW) and was qualified to be called a shadow prophet. Thus, this shadow prophethood did not make the steps of the Promised Messiah lag behind, but it pushed them forward to such an extent that it brought him on equal footing with the holy Prophet(SAW). “

and

“Thus does any doubt remain that God has sent Muhammad (pbuh) again in Qadian to fulfill his promise?” (Kalimat-ul-Fasl by Mirza Basheer Ahmad, Review of Religions, P.105, No.3, Vol.14)

and

“Maseeh Mowud (The Promised Messiah) is not a separate thing from holy Prophet(pbuh), but it is he himself who has come again in this world in incarnated form….. Therefore is there any doubt that God has reincarnated Muhammad again in Qadian?”
(Kalimat-ul-Fasl, P.104-105, Review of Religions, Qadian, March 1915)
_______________________________________________________________________________________________
1928
Al-Fadl, May 28, 1928, Qadian

“Blessed is the head of the 14th century whence he descended like the moon through darkness. Muhammad has now come reincarnated as Ahmad Mujtaba (Mirza Ghulam) to help the (Muslim) Ummah. The reality of the rebirth became manifest to me when the Mirza declared to be Mustafa (Muhammad) incarnate.”

____________________________________________________________________________________________
1988
In the famous 5-volume commentary of Malik Ghulam Farid (MGF), which was published in 1988. MGF admits that this verse only means, that the message of Muhammad (Saw) wasn’t only for the Arabs, it was universal, however, he again asserted that MGA was the second coming of Muhammad (Saw)(nauzobillah).

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Links and Related Essay’s
https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2020/06/06/why-did-mirza-ghulam-ahmad-claim-to-be-the-second-coming-of-muhammad-sawnauzobillah/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/05/01/ahmadiyya-leadership-began-twisting-the-quranic-verse-in-24-in-1915/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/09/27/the-qadiani-ahmadis-declared-that-mga-was-ismuhu-ahmad-in-quran-616-not-muhammad-saw-then-changed-it-later/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/10/02/ahmadis-lie-about-735-of-the-quran/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/05/01/ahmadis-claim-that-surah-fatiha-has-a-mention-of-mga-specifically-17/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/09/26/ahmadiyya-and-469-everything-you-need-to-know/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2020/03/02/before-he-claimed-prophethood-mirza-ghulam-ahmad-said-that-anyone-can-become-a-prophet-1899/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/01/30/haqiqat-un-nubuwwat-1915-by-mirza-basheer-uddin-mahmud-ahmad-some-quotes-and-data/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/09/25/al-qaulul-fasl-by-the-khalifa-mirza-basheer-uddin-mahmud-ahmad-early-1915/

http://wiki.qern.org/ha-walters-the-ahmadiya-movement/chapter-ii-2-the-distinctive-claims-of-ahmad—the-expected-mahdi

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/06/27/do-ahmadis-believe-in-the-same-kalima-as-muslims/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/02/23/noorudin-didnt-care-if-mirza-ghulam-ahmad-claimed-even-law-bearing-prophethood/

Click to access splitahmadiyyamovement.pdf

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/03/03/mirza-ghulam-ahmad-got-stroked-during-salaat/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/08/03/islami-qurbani-by-qazi-yar-mohammed-1920-printed-at-riaz-e-hind-press-amritsar-district-kangra/

http://wiki.qern.org/ahmadiyya/organisations/qadiani-claimants/abdullah-timapuri

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/05/20/an-ahmadi-claimed-prophethood-in-late-1901-or-early-1902-and-was-boycotted-by-ahmadis-chiragh-din-of-jammu-jamooni/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/01/04/nabi-ullah-ka-zahoor-aka-appearance-of-the-prophet-of-allah-1911-by-muhammad-zahir-al-din/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/05/20/an-ahmadi-claimed-prophethood-in-late-1901-or-early-1902-and-was-boycotted-by-ahmadis-chiragh-din-of-jammu-jamooni/

http://www.aaiil.org/text/books/mga/correctionerrorekghaltikaizala/importantdocumentscorrectionerror.shtml

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/the-causes-of-internal-dissensions-in-the-ahmadiyya-movement-by-kwaja-kamaluddin-1914/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/08/01/prophethood-among-the-followers-of-muhammad-by-maulana-sayyid-muhammad-ahsan-of-amroha-oct-1913-in-tashhizul-azhan/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/05/20/an-ahmadi-claimed-prophethood-in-late-1901-or-early-1902-and-was-boycotted-by-ahmadis-chiragh-din-of-jammu-jamooni/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/09/30/maulvi-abdul-kareem-claims-prophethood-per-mga-maulvi-amrohi-disagrees/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/01/13/what-is-arbain-a-book-by-mga-and-his-team-of-writers/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/04/23/in-1891-when-mga-made-his-big-claims-he-denied-prophethood-mufti-sadiq-was-heavily-involved/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/12/09/mirza-ghulam-ahmad-was-accused-of-claiming-prophethood-in-the-1879-1884-era/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/12/09/mirza-ghulam-ahmad-was-considered-a-kafir-in-1884-before-his-wild-claims/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/12/26/some-rare-books-from-the-1901-1902-era-which-refute-mgas-claim-to-prophethood/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/09/30/maulvi-sanuallah-acknowledges-that-mga-claimed-prophethood-in-nov-1901/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/10/12/mirza-sultan-ahmad-son-of-hazrat-mirza-ghulam-ahmad-on-finality-of-prophethood/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/12/11/eik-ghalti-ka-izala-aka-correction-of-an-error-was-re-published-on-march-1-1914/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/01/16/hani-tahir-explains-mirza-ghulam-ahmads-prophethood-and-pre-1901-vs-post-1901/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/11/21/a-few-months-after-becoming-khalifa-mirza-mahmud-ahmad-waffled-on-his-fathers-prophethood/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/06/27/do-ahmadis-believe-in-the-same-kalima-as-muslims/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/09/30/mga-explains-how-he-misunderstood-his-prophethood-in-1880-and-realized-it-later-on/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/02/23/noorudin-didnt-care-if-mirza-ghulam-ahmad-claimed-even-law-bearing-prophethood/

Tags
#ahmadiyya #ahmadiyyatrueislam #ahmadiapartheid #Ahmadiyyat #meetthekhalifa #muslimsforpeace #ahmadiyyafactcheckblog #nolifewithoutkhalifa #AhmadiyyaPersecution #trueislam #messiahhascome #exahmadimovement #amongtheothers

In 1902, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad argued that the Quran, 23:50 referred to Esa (as) and Maryam traveled to Kashmir

Intro
Watch my video explanation on this. In 1902, in the book, “Noah’s Ark”, MGA and his team began to use the Quranic verse, 23:50 to argue that Esa (as) traveled to Kashmir and was given refuge as such. Before 1902, in the 1882-1884, MGA and his team of writers were indirectly denying the miracles of Esa (as), however, they didn’t comment specifically on 23:50, instead, they commented on 3:49 and totally denied all the miracles of Esa (as). They may have commented on 23:50 (23:51 in the Ahmadi Quran) in early 1901 (See “Ijaz e Ahmadi, online ]english edition, page 33)(and Zameema Nazool ul Mahih”, [p.23], RK Vol 19, page 127)(this verse was not mentioned in Jesus in India (1908). Nevertheless, NO scholars in Islam have ever written such a thing, its a total lie. 100% of the scholars on Islam had always connected 23:50 with the birth of Esa (As), in fact, the verse start off explaining how Mary and Esa (as) were made as a sign. The sign was the miraculous birth of Esa (as) without a man, this is unanimously accepted by 100% of the scholars of Islam. Furthermore, the verse explains how both Mary and Esa (as) were given refuge on an elevated land wherein there were valleys, water springs and water flows. When we check the classic Tafsir’s on Islam, Suyuti, Ibn Kathir, Tabari, Ibn Abbas and etc, they all confirm that this verse is in relation to the birth of Esa (as) and they give the location as Damascus and the flatlands around it. Thus, this is just another embellishment of the Mirza family. Furthermore, Ahmadi writers began to assert that Yuz Asaf=Jesus. Ahmadi’s also believe that Mary was buried in Pakistan as it borders with Azad Kashmir, since they knew it wasn’t just Esa (As) who was given refuge, but also Mary. Finally, Rabwah is the Arabic word used to describe where refuge was given to Mary and Esa (As), In 1948, Ahmadi’s used this word to name their private city in Pakistan, however, by 1997 or so, it was officially changed to Chenab Nagar. One last thing, both main groups of Ahmadi’s, Lahori’s and Qadiani’s reject the miraculous birth of Esa (As). The Lahori-Ahmadi’s say that Esa (as)’s biological father was Joseph, and the Qadiani’s call Mary a type of hermaphrodite and thus call it a normal occurrence (nauzobillah), thus, they both violate this verse of the Quran. Also see 19:16 of the Quran all the way to 19:34, thus, the birth of Esa (as) as related in 23:50 is always connected to 19:16-34. One last thing, after MGA died, the Lahori-Ahmadi’s directly tackled the issue of Mary traveling to Kashmir
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
1902–Ijaz ul Ahmadi, online english edition of 2019
See page 33

“””Then, in a way, you determine God Almighty to be a liar, because God says that after the event of the cross He settled ‘Isa and his mother on an elevated piece of land with pristine running water, i.e. springs flowed in it; it was a place affording great comfort and quite like Paradise, as God says:

Surah al-Mu’minun, 23:51

That is: After the episode of the cross, which was a great calamity, We granted ‘Isa and his mother refuge in a great elevated land, which was a place of great comfort with pleasant tasting water; i.e. the land of Kashmir.

If you have even the slightest knowledge of the Arabic language, you would be aware that the term اٰوی [awa] is used only on such an occasion where one is provided refuge after having been rescued from a disaster. This usage can be found throughout the Holy Quran, Arabic sayings, and the ahadith. In addition, the Word of God Almighty proves that during the entire life of Hadrat ‘Isa , peace be upon him, the cross was the only calamity that befell him. And it is proven from the hadith that it was this very incident which aggrieved Maryam [Mary] the most during her entire life. Hence, this verse proclaims loudly that after the incident of the cross, God rescued Hadrat ‘Isa from this calamity and took him away from that dangerous country and settled him in some other country where springs of clear water flowed and which was situated on elevated ground. The question now is whether there is a highland in Heaven where springs of clear water flow and where, after the incident of the cross, God Almighty caused Hadrat Masih and his mother to settle. Reflect upon the life history of Hadrat Masih and cite an example where having suffered a misfortune he was provided refuge in a country that was as calm and serene as Paradise and situated on elevated ground above the rest of the world and having springs flowing in it.””””
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

23:50 in Tafsir al-Jalalayn
“””And We made the son of Mary Jesus and his mother a sign — He did not say ‘two signs’ because the same sign is in both of them his being born without his mother’s having a male spouse. And We gave them refuge on a height rabwa a highland — in this case either the Holy House of Jerusalem Damascus or Palestine all of which are alternative opinions — level dhāt qarār an flat high- land on which its inhabitants are able to settle yastaqirru and watered by springs running water over ground which the eyes can see.”””

23:50 by Ibn Abbas
“””(And We made the son of Mary) i.e. Jesus (and his mother a portent) a sign and admonition: a son without a father and a pregnancy without physical contact, (and We gave them refuge on a height) on an elevated location, (a place of flocks and water springs) the reference here is to Damascus.”””

23:50 in Tafsir Ibn Kathir
______________________________________________________________________________________________
`Isa and Maryam in 23:50

Allah tells us about His servant and Messenger `Isa bin Maryam, peace be upon them both, and that He made them as a sign for mankind, i.e., definitive proof of His ability to do what He wills. For He created Adam without a father or a mother, He created Hawwa’ from a male without a female, and He created `Isa from a female without a male, but He created the rest of mankind from both male and female.

﴿ وَءَاوَيۡنَـٰهُمَآ إِلَىٰ رَبۡوَةٍ۬ ذَاتِ قَرَارٍ۬ وَمَعِينٍ۬ ﴾

(and We gave them refuge on high ground, a place of rest, security and flowing streams.) Ad-Dahhak reported that Ibn `Abbas said: “Ar-Rabwah is a raised portion of land, which is the best place for vegetation to grow.” This was also the view of Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr and Qatadah. Ibn `Abbas said,

﴿ ذَاتِ قَرَارٍ۬ ﴾

(Dhat Qarar)”A fertile place.

﴿ وَمَعِينٍ۬ ﴾

(and Ma`in) means water running on the surface.” This was also the view of Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr and Qatadah. Mujahid said: “A level hill.” Sa`id bin Jubayr said that

﴿ ذَاتِ قَرَارٍ۬ وَمَعِينٍ۬ ﴾

(Dhat Qarar and Ma`in) means that water was flowing gently through it. Mujahid and Qatadah said:

﴿ وَمَعِينٍ۬ ﴾

(and Ma`in ) “Running water.” Ibn Abi Hatim recorded from Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib:

﴿ وَءَاوَيۡنَـٰهُمَآ إِلَىٰ رَبۡوَةٍ۬ ذَاتِ قَرَارٍ۬ وَمَعِينٍ۬ ﴾

(and We gave them refuge on a Rabwah, Dhat Qarar and Ma`in.) “It is Damascus.” He said; “Something similar was also narrated from `Abdullah bin Salam, Al-Hasan, Zayd bin Aslam and Khalid bin Ma`dan.” Ibn Abi Hatim recorded from `Ikrimah from Ibn `Abbas that this Ayah referred to the rivers of Damascus. Layth bin Abi Sulaym narrated from Mujahid that the words;

﴿ وَءَاوَيۡنَـٰهُمَآ إِلَىٰ رَبۡوَةٍ۬ ﴾

(and We gave them refuge on a Rabwah,) referred to `Isa bin Maryam and his mother when they sought refuge in Damascus and the flatlands around it. `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Abu Hurayrah said:

﴿ إِلَىٰ رَبۡوَةٍ۬ ذَاتِ قَرَارٍ۬ وَمَعِينٍ۬ ﴾

(on a Rabwah, Dhat Qarar and Ma`in.), “It is Ramlah in Palestine.” The most correct opinion on this matter is that which was reported by Al-`Awfi from Ibn `Abbas, who said;

﴿ وَءَاوَيۡنَـٰهُمَآ إِلَىٰ رَبۡوَةٍ۬ ذَاتِ قَرَارٍ۬ وَمَعِينٍ۬ ﴾

(and We gave them refuge on a Rabwah, Dhat Qarar and Ma`in.) “Ma`in refers to running water, and is the river of which Allah mentioned:

﴿ قَدۡ جَعَلَ رَبُّكِ تَحۡتَكِ سَرِيًّ۬ا ﴾

(your Lord has provided a water stream under you.)” (19:24) Ad-Dahhak and Qatadah said;

﴿ إِلَىٰ رَبۡوَةٍ۬ ذَاتِ قَرَارٍ۬ وَمَعِينٍ۬ ﴾

(on a high ground, a place of rest, security and flowing streams.) refers to Jerusalem. This — and Allah knows best — is the most apparent meaning, because it is mentio- ned in the other Ayah, and parts of the Qur’an explain other parts, so it is more appropriate to interpret it by another Ayah, then the Sahih Hadiths, then other reports.

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلرُّسُلُ كُلُواْ مِنَ ٱلطَّيِّبَـٰتِ وَٱعۡمَلُواْ صَـٰلِحًا‌ۖ إِنِّى بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ۬ • وَإِنَّ هَـٰذِهِۦۤ أُمَّتُكُمۡ أُمَّةً۬ وَٲحِدَةً۬ وَأَنَا۟ رَبُّڪُمۡ فَٱتَّقُونِ • فَتَقَطَّعُوٓاْ أَمۡرَهُم بَيۡنَہُمۡ زُبُرً۬ا‌ۖ كُلُّ حِزۡبِۭ بِمَا لَدَيۡہِمۡ فَرِحُونَ • فَذَرۡهُمۡ فِى غَمۡرَتِهِمۡ حَتَّىٰ حِينٍ • أَيَحۡسَبُونَ أَنَّمَا نُمِدُّهُم بِهِۦ مِن مَّالٍ۬ وَبَنِينَ • نُسَارِعُ لَهُمۡ فِى ٱلۡخَيۡرَٲتِ‌ۚ بَل لَّا يَشۡعُرُونَ ﴾

______________________________________________________________________________________________
Mai Mari da Ashtan (resting place of Mother Mary)

The primary book source for the association of the town of Muree with Mary is found in the German estoric writer Holger Kersten’s Jesus lebte in Indien (1982). This in turn was drawn from Ahmadiyya writer Khwaja Nazir Ahmad’s Jesus in Heaven and Earth (1952).

This belief is an addition to the teachings of the Ahmadiyya founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad‘s claims, based on his reading of various Hindu and Islamic sources that Jesus survived the crucifixion, came to India and died and is buried in Kashmir. Combining local oral and written accounts of one Yuz Asaf with the Acts of Thomas, Ahmad claimed that Jesus (whom he identified with Yuz Asaf), Thomas the Apostle (held to be Jesus’ twin brother), and their mother Mary travelled to India, with Mary dying en route from Taxila at Muree and being buried at Pindi Point there. These ideas were popularised to western audiences by Paul C. Pappas in Jesus’ Tomb in India: The Debate on His Death and Resurrection published by Jain Publishing Company, 1991.

The name “Mai Mari da Ashtan” means, literally, the “resting place of Mother Mary”, and the site was venerated by Hindus, Muslims, and Christians locally; so much that when the British tried to have the tomb demolished in 1916, to stop people visiting it (because at the time it was next to a defence post built in 1898), public protest caused them to not proceed with the demolition. The tomb itself was renovated in the 1950s through the efforts of an Ahmadiyya leader Khwaja Nazir Ahmad, author of Jesus in Heaven and Earth.The defence post no longer exists, and instead a television transmitter station, constructed for Pakistan Television Corporation in 1968, stands on the point.

The Ahmadiya writer Khwaja Nazir Ahmad also claims that the very name of the town, Muree, named Mari in the 19th century, is derived from the name Mary. However, mountaineer and local historian Farakh Ahmed Khan disputed this in his history of Muree, stating that the name “Mari” was simply the word for an enclosure of land, a dwelling area, akin to the similar Bengali word.

The earliest British discovery of Murree, like many of the adjacent hill resorts in the Galyat range of the Hazara region, was first made by Major James Abbott in 1847. Please see Charles Allen Soldier Sahibs: The Men who made the North West Frontier London: Abacus Books, 2001 p. 141, ISBN 0-349-11456-0; and Journals of Honoria Lawrence eds. J.Lawrence and A. Widdiwis, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1980 edition. For an account of Abbott’s early time in Hazara and founding of Abbottabad, see Omer Tarin and SD Najumddin, “Five Early Military Graves in the Old Christian Cemetery, Abbottabad, Pakistan, 1853–1888”, in The Kipling Journal (ISSN 0023-1738) Vol 84, No 339, p.35-52. 
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Links and Related Essay’s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baHlagB-228

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2020/03/20/even-tarikh-i-azami-history-by-azam-tells-us-that-yuz-asaf-was-the-son-of-a-king/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/11/28/in-1884-mirza-ghulam-ahmad-was-indirectly-denying-quran-349-as-he-denied-the-miracles-of-esa-as/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/10/31/mga-writes-in-opposition-to-the-islamic-view-of-the-miraculous-birth-of-esa-as/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammed_Azam_Didamari

https://www.al-islam.org/kamaaluddin-wa-tamaamun-nima-vol-2-shaykh-saduq

https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/religion/story/19770615-ahmediyas-believe-jesus-christ-is-buried-in-rauza-bal-kashmir-823785-2014-08-19

http://arif50.tripod.com/TombSite/Conclusion.htm

Jesus Son of Mary – Islamic Beliefs

 

Tarikh-i-Kashmir

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarikh-i-Kashmir

http://www.mukti4u2.dk/Srinagar_Shankaracharya_Temple.htm

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/10/28/mirza-ghulam-ahmad-was-dishonest-as-he-quoted-ayn-ul-hayat-as-he-lied-about-yuz-asaf-1898/

https://www.tnmeditation.org/article/merry-christmas

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2020/03/16/yuz-asaf-and-jesus-in-india-quotes-and-references-in-the-english-review-of-religions-1902-1914/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/10/20/pappas-paul-constantine-jesus-tomb-in-india-the-debate-on-his-death-and-resurrection-1991-he-accuses-ahmadiyya-of-academic-dishonesty/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2020/03/15/fida-muhammad-hassnain-the-ahmadiyya-movement-and-yuz-asaf/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/02/10/who-is-maulvi-sher-ali-1875-1947/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=Maulvi+Abdullah

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roza_Bal

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fida_Muhammad_Hassnain

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/08/05/mufti-muhammad-sadiq-travelled-to-the-tomb-of-yuz-asaf-in-1934/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=walter

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._U._Weitbrecht

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/03/03/who-is-molvi-abdullah-wakeel-and-his-connection-to-the-yuz-asaf-story/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/10/29/who-is-mohammad-baqer-majlesi/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/03/03/who-is-molvi-abdullah-wakeel-and-his-connection-to-the-yuz-asaf-story/

https://dailytimes.com.pk/360617/relevance-of-sir-syed-ahmad-khans-scholarly-publications-in-todays-modern-world/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/01/25/mirza-ghulam-ahmad-and-his-team-went-back-and-forth-in-terms-of-if-jesus-had-a-biological-father-or-not/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/01/02/mufti-muhammad-sadiq-was-a-student-of-noorudin-pre-1891/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/09/29/maulana-nur-ud-din-wrote-a-book-entitled-nur-ud-din-1904-mga-was-born-in-1839/

https://www.dawn.com/news/1128767

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/10/07/noor-uddin-secretly-disagreed-with-mirza-ghulam-ahmad-on-the-birth-of-esa-as/

http://www.muslim.org/books/f-ahm-mv/ch12.htm#u

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/11/02/muhammad-ali-the-lahori-ahmadi-denies-the-miraculous-birth-of-esa-as-in-1917/

https://www.alislam.org/library/books/Fountain-of-Christianity.pdf

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/10/27/sir-syeds-view-on-esa-as/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begum_Khurshid_Mirza

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/12/29/yus-asaf-is-not-esa-as/

http://www.tombofjesus.com/2007/core/founders/ahmad/Letter_of_Maulvi_Abdullah.pdf

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/10/22/john-rippon-rips-the-ahmadiyya-belief-that-esa-as-yuz-asaph-and-was-buried-in-kashmir/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/11/01/how-did-budhasaf-become-yuz-asaf/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/04/05/the-alleged-sojourn-of-christ-in-india-by-max-muller/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/04/05/edgar-j-goodspeed-also-refuted-jesus-in-india/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/04/05/j-archibald-douglas-also-refuted-nicholas-notovitch/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/01/03/lahori-ahmadis-cast-doubt-on-the-jesus-in-india-theory/

https://books.google.com/books?id=ARplAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA48&lpg=PA48&dq=Khalifa+Noorudin+from+Kashmir&source=bl&ots=_po4n90h9N&sig=ACfU3U3HO6DfYefna0kXbqmZeYS1a5YdXg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjk25j-z7fgAhX0BjQIHdjDC98Q6AEwDXoECAAQAQ#v=onepage&q=Khalifa%20Noorudin%20from%20Kashmir&f=false

https://books.google.com/books?id=dQB-DwAAQBAJ&pg=PT109&lpg=PT109&dq=Ian+Copeland+Kashmir&source=bl&ots=ObdhJTIZiP&sig=ACfU3U1PbD_T0qyYMtPB3gyFDNKfMqYn7w&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj0mcyT3PPgAhWAHTQIHYPlD-AQ6AEwCHoECAMQAQ#v=onepage&q=Ian%20Copeland%20Kashmir&f=false

Tags
#ahmadiyya #ahmadiyyatrueislam #ahmadiapartheid #Ahmadiyyat #rabwah #qadian #meetthekhalifa #muslimsforpeace #ahmadiyyafactcheckblog #nolifewithoutkhalifa #AhmadiMosqueattack #AhmadiyyaPersecution #Mosqueattack #trueislam #atifmian
#yuzasaf #rozabal #jesusinindia

 

Uncloaking Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s Guru Nanak

Intro
We have found an expose’ of MGA and sikhism and have posted in the below.

The data

Introduction

The boldest and most grotesque lie uttered by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad al-Qadiani (1839-1908CE), the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement, was undoubtedly his claim to being the promised messiah of the Jews, Christians and Muslims. Of course, this and similar such claims, including his proclamation of Prophethood, were incontrovertibly rejected by Muslims the world over who excommunicated him from the folds of Islam and unanimously declared him to be a Dajjal, literally ‘an imposter’ or false Prophet. [1]

Ghulam Ahmad, however, paid little mind to these reactions. Instead, as he forged ahead to fabricate ever more elaborate arguments to desperately prove his stance and maintain his hold on the gullible few who had fallen victim to his falsehoods, Ahmad himself fell victim to the proverb ‘a lie begets a lie’. It was in this context that he concocted one particular argument which alleged that the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, was never a Sikh, but a Hindu who converted to Islam and lived his life as a devote Muslim. To corroborate this, Ahmad managed to scrape together artefacts attributed to Nanak which he would later present as tenuous evidence in support of his case. Ever since then, the Ahmadiyya, who are also called Qadianis/ Qadiyanis or Qadianiyya, have been obsessed in defending and promoting this argument as positive evidence of their messiah’s claim to prophethood.

This entire line of inquiry was summed up below by Ahmadiyya apologist, Naeem Osman Memon:

The Ahmadiyya Muslim literature contains sufficient evidence to prove that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had been a recipient of Divine revelation years before he actually claimed to be the Promised Messiah. For instance, in his famous treatise Sat Bachan, written between September 1895 and November 1895, he states: 

‘Thirty years ago, I was given knowledge of the circumstances of Baba Nanak.’ [2]

This knowledge which had been bestowed upon Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad by God Almighty some 30 years before he wrote Sat Bachan between September 1895 and November 1895, or to make the calculation easier for the contentious mullahs, in around 1865, indicated that Hazrat Baba Nanak professed and practised the faith of Islam [3] and not Sikhism as had been erroneously thought for many centuries.

Not even the adversaries of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad would deny that Hazrat Baba Guru Nanak has traditionally been considered to have been the founder of the Sikh religion. Yet, on the basis of this Divine knowledge bestowed upon him, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad announced that Hazrat Baba Nanak, upon whom be peace, was a practising Muslim and the evidence of his being a Muslim would in due course be become a matter of public knowledge. [4]

This prophesy, issued on the basis of Divine revelation was fulfilled when Baba Nanak’s cloak, the famous ‘Chola Saheb’ was discovered and the credo of Islam as well as several verses of the Holy Quran were found to have been inscribed on it. [5]

The truth of this knowledge bestowed upon Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in 1865 was once again proved when the revered saint’s prayer book, the ‘Pothi of Baba Saheb’ preserved as a relic at the Sikh Gurdawara at Guru Har Sahai, was found to be a copy of the Glorious Quran[6]

Whether the opponents of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad care to admit it or not, the fact remains that Hazrat Baba Guru Nanak’s allegiance to Islam and his close association with Islamic institutions is universally accepted by the historians of the world. [7][8] (bold, underline ours)

But there are problems with this argument that warrant highlighting. The first involves his use of the ambiguous terms “allegiance” and “close association” which are simply too vague for arguing that having “allegiance to Islam” or “close association with Islamic institutions” proves Nanak’s Muslim identity.

Secondly, the word “Islam” is also too loose a term for the author to convincingly assert that Nanak’s allegiance to Islam and close association with Islamic institutions has been accepted by historians the world over. The term represents such a plethora of inter- and intra-sectarian beliefs and ideologies – many of which are diametrically opposed – that to claim allegiance to the religion of Islam requires that one firstly determine the type of Islam being referred to. This can only be done by firstly defining the term carefully.

Thirdly, it is important to understand why Memon curiously references (Fn. 6) a late nineteenth century work titled: Dictionary of Islam, as evidence as opposed to one that is more up-to-date. The reason is because this dictionary was first cited for the very same reason by none other than Ghulam Ahmad himself in his treatise, Satt Bachan (Seven Statements). But, as we shall come to show, had the pair read this source with due care and diligence, they would have realised that it actually stands as evidence against them rather than for them.

There is then the occasion of Nanak’s apparent pilgrimage to Mecca that is repeated ad nauseam. Take, for instance, The Official Website of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community as an example:

In 1895 Hudhoor (AS) made known the outcome of his research regarding the religious beliefs of Founder of the Sikh religion. Hudhoor (AS) stated that although Hadhrat Baba Nanak was born in a Hindu household, he had later on accepted Islam. 

Hadhrat Baba Nanak (1469-1539) was a righteous person who meticulously followed ALL the teachings of Islam, so much so that he traveled to Mecca for the purpose of performing pilgrimage to the House of Allah. One of his holy gowns contained Islamic declaration of faith, as well as many verses of the Holy Quran inscribed in Arabic. [9] (bold, capitalisation ours)

Finally, there is the “careful study of Sikh traditions”, which the Qadiani Prof Abdul Jaleel assures, “lead to an irrefutable conclusion that Guru Nanak discarded the Hindu doctrines and assimilated the teachings of Islam to such an extent that Sikhism, in its pristine form, can be looked upon as a sect of Islam”. [10]

In short then, the Ahmadiyya’s claim rests essentially on two grounds:

  1. Relics attributed to Nanak.
  2. The Sikh historical tradition.

The purpose of this paper will, therefore, not be to disprove Nanak’s Muslim identity from a theological perspective (this has been achieved in our article: Guru Nanak was NEVER a Muslim), but critically dissect this century-old argument from an historical point of view so as to determine whether it rests on empirically well confirmed assumptions or mere conjecture.

Guru Nanak’s Hagiographies (Janam Sakhis)

Before this, it will be helpful to provide an historical overview of what are known as Janam Sakhis (henceforth abbreviated JS) in the Sikh tradition that Ghulam Ahmad relied so heavily on as proof. Prof William Hewat McLeod, a man who has courted significant controversy despite being described as “the leading scholar of Sikh history and religion in the Western world” by some, [11] defined these as follows:

The janam-sakhis are properly defined not as biographies of Guru Nanak, but as hagiographic accounts of his life. They are tradition in precisely the same sense as the Hadith, and although they lack some of the features associated with their Muslim counterpart they have nevertheless developed in response to the same impulses, and in a less formalized manner they have fulfilled much the same role within their parent community. [12]

It is important to highlight, however, that unlike the hadith tradition in Islam, which developed and perfected from a very early period a robust and airtight methodological system for authenticating traditions attributed to Prophet Muhammad (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), the janam sakhi tradition was recorded with far less care and attention to veracity.

In any case, for what they are worth, then Dr Kirpal Singh, who published a number of works on these hagiographic accounts, stated:

The Janamsakhis are of four kinds:

  1. Colebrooke’s Janamsakhi. It has two other names – Vilayatvali Janamsakhi as it had been brought from old India Office Library, London. Puratan Janamsakhi was the title given to it by Bhai Vir Singh, an eminent scholar who edited it and got it published in 1926. We shall discuss it in details [sic] in this paper.
  2. Meharban’s Janamsakhi. Meharban was the grandson of Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh Guru. It was written in the 17th Century. Recently the writer of these lines edited and annotated it and got it published in 1962. It is in the form of dialogues and gives a lot of information.
  3. Bhai Bala’s Janamsakhi. It is the most popular Janamsakhi and highlights the achievements of Guru Nanak.
  4. Bhai Mani Singh’s Janamsakhi. This was compiled after the death of Guru Gobind Singh. It gives in detail the Guru Nanak’s sojourns in the western side, viz. Central Asian countries. Bhai Mani Singh was an eminent scholar and is reported to be author of a number of books. [13]

According to Kirpal, while the Bala JS is the “most popular”, the Puratan is evidently older. [14] Moreover, like the Bala version, the Puratan too has a number of manuscripts associated to it. As Jagpal Tiwana delineated, these include:

  • The Vilayatvali JS (also known as the Colebrook JS).
  • The Hafizabad JS (or the Macauliffe vali JS since it was edited and published by the celebrated Sikh-British scholar, Max Arthur Macauliffe) whose “contents are quite close to the Colebrooke janamsakhi”. According to Tiwana: “These two manuscripts remain amongst the most important of the Puratan tradition.”
  • Five additional manuscripts that are “all in agreement with the account contained in former two janam-sakhis”. [15]

Specifically regarding the Colebrooke JS, Kirpal believed its compilation date to be 1634CE:

The colophone of the Vilayatwali Janamsakhi mentions the year of its compilation as: Kaljug Char Hazar Sat Sau Panti Barsbitya viz the Kalyug has passed 4735 years. If we try to find out the corresponding year of the Christian era, according to the Indian Ephemeris of Kannu Pillay, it works out to be 1634 AD which suggests that this Janamsakhi was written at the time when Bhai Gurdas was alive. It is just possible that the author might have before him the first Var of Bhai Gurdas, as its influence is evident on his work. … Some scholars are of the opinion that the Puratan Janamsakhi was written by Bhai Sewa Das in 1588 A.D. and that it was the oldest Janamsakhi but the name of its author and the year of its writing is not corroborated by any reliable source. None of the available copies of this Janamsakhi suggest the name of the author or an earlier date of compilation. Its internal evidence suggests that it was compiled in 1634. Historically speaking, it is very useful for compiling the biography of Guru Nanak as it provides very reliable information[16] (bold ours)

McLeod on the other hand was slightly more hesitant than Kirpal vis-á-vis its date. In his estimation:

Although the manuscript bears no date for either an original compilation or the actual copying, a cryptic reference in the sakhi ‘Jhanda the Carpenter and the Jugavali’ points to the year A.D. 1635. It is possible that this reference is intended to indicate the year in which the Puratan version was first compiled, and there can be no doubt that a janam-sakhi of the Puratan variety might well have been recorded at that time. A reference of this kind is, however, slender evidence. It occurs in the apocryphal jugavali (a work borrowed by the Colebrooke compiler from one of his sources), and it does not appear in all other Puratan manuscripts. The reference may relate to an original compilation, or to a later recension, or to a particular part of the composite Puratan tradition. Another possibility is that it may be entirely spurious. It occurs as an obscure reference within an esoteric work, circumstances which are scarcely favourable to positive conclusions. The text bears all the marks of an early seventeenth century janam-sakhi, but beyond this supposition it is impossible to proceed. The actual manuscript is evidently later than this period. This conclusion is suggested by the salutation with which the manuscript concludes: bolahu vahi guru ji ki fatai hoi. There is no evidence to suggest that this formula was used prior to the time of Guru Gobind Singh, from which it follows that the manuscript was probably copied during the early eighteenth century. [17]

And though Tiwana also held the Puratan tradition to be “older than the Bala Janamsakhi”, he too acknowledged “some dispute about the origin of the puratan janamsakhi date. Kirpal Singh insists that it was written [in] 1634, but Kahn Singh Nabha followed by Khushwant Singh and Gopal Singh claim that it was written in the last quart of the 16th century (1588) by Sewa Das. McLeod does not give an exact date, but puts it in time of Guru Arjan, ‘Its language and gram[m]atical constructions show that this janam sakhi must have bee[n] written around the time of the compilation of Adi Guru Granth Sahib.’ This was also the time when Meharban Janamsakhi and Bhai Gurdas’s first Var were written”. [18] Despite his reluctancy in hazarding a guess at an exact date, McLeod not only believed the Bala version to have “first emerged during the middle decades of the seventeenth century”, but emphatically declared that “there can be no doubt that they represent an intermediate stage in the evolution of the form, and that others are accordingly more significant in terms of age and simplicity of structure”. Yet, even “the ‘Sceptical’ historian in McLeod” [19] was forced to concede: “The claim that the Puratan version represents the oldest of all extant accounts may perhaps be accurate. It is certainly disputable, but the possibility must be acknowledged.” [20]

More recently, western-based scholar, Prof Gurinder Singh Mann, has contested the currently accepted mid-seventeenth century date of the Puratan version. Toby Braden Johnson has noted that Mann “presented evidence of Puratan manuscripts dating from the late 1580s at a conference in 2009 at the University of California, Santa Barbara, which call into question the full extent of Guru Nanak’s travels in the second stage of the janam-sakhi narrative”. [21] In this respect, Mann offers the following chronological sequence for these janam sakhis:

Puratan (pre-1600), Miharban (pre-1620), and Bala (1648-1658). [22] The dates of the Puratan are suggestive of an early period in the history of the community, when the people who had met the Guru and had the opportunity to hear his message from himself may still have been around (Guru Nanaku jin sunhia pekhia se phiri garbhasi na parai re, M5, GG, 612). The evidence indicates that this text was created by someone who was part of the group that later emerged as the mainstream Sikh community. The possibility that the author of this text and some of his listeners knew Guru Nanak as a real person-who bathed, ate food, worked in the fields, rested at night, and had to deal with sons who were not always obedient-makes this text an invaluable source of information on the Guru’s life. Unlike the Puratan, the importance of the Miharban and Bala Janam Sakhis falls in a different arena. Elaborating on the Puratan narrative, these two Janam Sakhis expand the scope of the Guru’s travels and introduce a circle of people who would have made up the third and fourth generation of his followers. Whereas the farthest limit of travels to the east in Puratan is Banaras, Miharban extends the travels to Assam and Puri. Also as sectarian documents, they both reflect the points of view of the groups that created them and mirror the divisions within the community and the polemics involved in presenting the founder in the middle decades of the seventeenth century. [23] Given the variations in time of their origin and context of production, it is essential to study each of these texts separately to see what they have to offer on the Guru’s life and the early Sikh community. [24]

On the whole, while it is true that research on the janam sikhi tradition is far from finalised, there nonetheless exist a significant number of Sikh and non-Sikh academics who hold the Puratan tradition to be older than Bala’s. Moreover, despite Bala’s popularity, the former slowly but surely gained ascendency over the latter, at least among scholars, as the most authoritative and credible version. As McLeod recognised:

Having first emerged during the middle decades of the seventeenth century, the Bala tradition flourished increasingly during the eighteenth century and eventually secured its position as the standard version of the life of Nanak. This position it retained unchallenged until the rediscovery of the Puratan tradition late in the nineteenth century. The publication of Macauliffe’s The Sikh Religion in 1909 eventually transferred the primary reputation to the Puratan version, but the Bala janam-sakhis yielded nothing in popularity and to this day they dominate the Panjabi market. [25]

There, then, exists an additional problem with the Bala version highlighted by the prominent non-Sikh historian, Hari Ram Gupta:

On its first page it is stated that it was dictated by Bhai Bala. It was written by Paida Mokha. It was read out to Guru Angad. On listening to the whole account, he observed that whoever would utter Sat Bachan (True statements) would go to heaven. … 

The writer of this Janam Sakhi says that it was written in Samvat 1582 Bikrami (1525 AD), 14 years before Guru Nanak’s death[26] (bold ours)

This claim requires scrutiny since it is on this basis that some have boasted of it being the “original janam-sakhi”. [27] In this regard, McLeod revealingly elaborates:

Although the reasons for this Bala ascendancy are not altogether clear, one which certainly played a major role was its confident claim to represent an EYE-WITNESS ACCOUNT of the life and travels of Baba Nanak. All Bala janam-sakhis begin with a prologue which purports to describe the manner in which Bala Sandhu (commonly known as Bhai Bala) was summoned before Nanak’s successor Angad and how he then proceeded to narrate all that he had witnessed as the first Guru’s constant companion. The earliest of the extant Bala versions begins as follows: 

The Janam-patri of Baba Nanakji

In the year Sammat fifteen hundred and eighty two, S. 1582, on the fifth day of the bright half of the month of Vaisakh, Paira Mokha, a Khatri of Sultanpur, wrote this book. Guru Angad commanded it to be written. Paira recorded the dictation of Bala, a Sandhu Jat who had come from Talvandi, the village of Rai Bhoi. He had come in search of Guru Angad. The recording of his account took two months and seventeen days to complete. All the facts and all the places visited by Guru Nanakji were faithfully and fluently described by Bhai Bala, with the result that Guru Angad was greatly pleased with him. Bhai Bala and Mardana the Bard accompanied Baba Nanak on his travels and Bhai Bala was with him during the period he spent at the commissariat [of Daulat Khan in Sultanpur]. [28]

The narrative then proceeds to describe how Guru Angad was one day sitting in his village of Khadur disconsolately reflecting upon the fact that he did not know Baba Nanak’s date of birth. It so happened that Bala Sandhu, the first Guru’s companion, had only recently learnt the identity of his Master’s successor, and having discovered the location of Guru Angad’s residence he arrived at this convenient moment to pay his respects. In response to a request from Guru Angad he agreed to go back to Talvandi and search for the horoscope (janam-patri) which had been recorded on Nanak’s birth. When he returned triumphantly bearing the document it was discovered that the horoscope had been written in Sastri (Nigari) characters. Fortunately there lived in Sultanpur a Sikh named Paira Mokhi who knew ‘both characters’ and who could accordingly write Gurmukhi as well as read Nigari. Paira was duly summoned and having received the horoscope he sat down to transcribe it. [29][30] (bold, underline, capitalisation ours)

However, Kirpal, McLeod and other academics almost all dismiss any notion of the Bala JS having been written BEFORE the compilation of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) in 1604 CE. As Kirpal explained:

It is probable that these sakhis were written AFTER the compilation of Guru Granth Sahib by Guru Arjan in 1604 A.D. … 

The fact that Janamsakhis and other related works came into existence after the compilation of the scripture in 1604 is irrefutably established by the oldest available copy of Janamsakhi of Bhai Bala, dated 1658 A.D., which includes the hymns of Guru Arjan. There are many hymns of Guru Arjan in the Puratan Janamsakhi as well. If these Janamsakhis had been compiled/ written earlier, these could not have contained the hymns of Guru Arjan. [31] (bold, underline, capitalisation ours)

And as cited above, not only did McLeod hold that this tradition “first emerged during the middle decades of the seventeenth century”, but also reached the same conclusion as Kirpal observing:

The earliest of all dated Bala janam-sakhis is a manuscript in the possession of a Delhi family, an illustrated copy bearing the date S.1715 (A.D. 1658). [32][33]

What is more, in Kirpal’s opinion: “Compared to the Vilayatwali text, its [Bala’s] language is of [a] much later period.” [34] Gupta agreed mentioning: “Its language is not the Panjabi of Guru Nanak’s time, but of the later period.”

In fact, Gupta went further by giving several reasons why said hagiography could not have been penned down during Guru Angad’s Guruship (1563-1606 CE). For one, he argued that it was not possible for it to have been recorded at the behest of and read out to Angad in 1525 CE, 14 years before Guru Nanak’s death, because significantly: “At that time Guru Angad had not come into contact with Nanak.” [35] McLeod made similar allusions: “The date of the alleged encounter between the two (A.D. 1525) must also arouse some suspicion. Nanak died in A.D. 1538 or 1539.” [36] Gupta additionally furnishes three strong reasons to further support his contention of it having been written “after 1650”:

  1. This Janam Sakhi uses the word Wah-e-Guru (Bolo Bhai Wah-e-Guru). This term came into use in the time of Guru Ram Das, and was never used during Guru Nanak’s lifetime.
  2. Bhai Bala’s Janam Sakhi speaks of Eminabad. In Nanak’s time the town was called Sayyidpur. It was destroyed by Babar. It sprang up again and was named Eminabad in the time of Emperor Akbar and Guru Arjan.
  3. One story refers to Devlut Masand. As Masands were created by Guru Arjan, this Janam Sakhi could not have been written in the time of Guru Angad. [37]

Notwithstanding these persuasive arguments, there exists an equally compelling reason, proposed and accepted by a number of scholars, which raised serious doubt over its traditionally accepted authorship. McLeod explained:

A major objection to the Bala claim derives from the complete absence of any reference to Bhai Bala in the works of Bhai Gurdas (including his Var XI list of Guru Nanak’s more prominent disciples) or in any non-Bala janam-sakhi which predates the eighteenth century. Even the support offered by eighteenth-century janam-sakhis is of no consequence. The portions of the extant Gyan-ratanavali which refer to Bala are plainly later additions; and the sole reference in the earlier Mahima Prakas is far removed from any suggestion of regular companionship. This situation could never have arisen if in fact Bhai Bala had occupied the position claimed on his behalf by the Bala janam-sakhis. 

A second objection concerns the ineptly contrived nature of the explanatory prologue. It would be altogether inconceivable that Guru Angad had never heard of one who had been a constant companion of Baba Nanak, or that the same companion should never have heard of his Master’s successor. …

Although Bala himself may perhaps have been a real person, he could not have been a constant companion of the Guru in the manner claimed by the tradition which bears his name. His function within this tradition is manifestly that of lending it the measure of authenticity which would be required in order to establish its pretensions over those of other traditions. [38] (bold, underline ours)

This becomes all the more convincing when one pairs it with Kirpal’s equally compelling argument which maintained that although it was “written in the Bala text that Bhai Bala … was the Guru’s friend of childhood”, not only was such a claim “not supported by any other source”, but more significantly while Bhai Gurdas made mention of Nanak’s very well-known bard and life-long companion Mardana, “Bhai Bala does not figure anywhere”. Kirpal further points out:

Even the Vilayatwali and the Miharban texts are also silent about him. No other old source lends support to his existence. All agree that Lehna remained with Guru Nanak for a minimum period of 3 years and a maximum period of 7-8 years. Therefore, he knew all the disciples and companions of the Guru. It is surprising that neither Bhai Bala nor Guru Angad recognised each other. The opening account of the Bala text clearly mentions that they did not know each other: 

Bhai Bala yearned to have a glimpse of the Guru when Guru Angad came to limelight. Bala Sandhu had heard that Guru Nanak had nominated a Khatri, Angad by name, as his successor. His caste was Trehan, but he had hid himself at some unknown place. He heard that he lived at Khadoor Khehras. Bala Sandhu set out for Guru Angad’s darshan. He brought offerings whatever he could afford. He found him sitting and making grass strings (munj). Bala Sandhu made his obeisance and Guru Angad spoke: “Bhai Bala Sat Karrar. Be seated.” Guru Angad stopped making grass strings. He enquired from Bala wherefrom he had come, what brought him there and who he was. Then Bala Sandhu folded his hands and told the Guru that he was named Bala, got Sandhu, resident of Talwandi Rai Bhoe.

When Ernest Trump made a comparison of Bhai Bala Janamsakhi with the Vilayatwali Janamsakhi in 1872, he made the following observations:

The later tradition which pretends to have knowledge of all the details of life of Nanak was therefore compelled to put forth as Voucher for its sundry tales and stories, Bhai Bala, who is said to have been the constant companion of Nanak, from his youth days up, whereas our old Janamsakhi does not even once name Bhai Bala. If Bhai Bala had been a constant companion of Nanak and a sort of mentor to him, as he appears now in the current Janamsakhi, it would be quite incomprehensive why never a single allusion should have been made of him in old tradition.” [39][40] (bold, underline ours)

Thus, based on the evidence currently available to them, many Sikh and non-Sikh scholars have given much less importance to the Bala JS in comparison to the Puratan. McLeod astutely recognised:

[T]o this day there still survives a conviction that the Bala tradition must be at least based upon an eyewitness account delivered in the presence of Guru Angad. This reputation it has retained in spite of numerous inconsistencies, a high incidence of fantasy, and a generally incoherent travel narrative. [41]

As such, he considered the Bala version to be “the least trustworthy of ALL the janam sakhi traditions. Errors of fact occur with considerable frequency and the fabulous material which it incorporates far exceeds that of the other janam sakhis, both in quantity and in degree” (bold, capitalisation ours). [42] While Kirpal collated:

Earlier to this, in 1904 A.D., Sewa Ram Singh the first biographer of Guru Nanak had stated in preface to his book A Critical Study of the Life and Teachings of Guru Nanak Dev: “materials at our disposal are very chaotic and misleading” and of the numerous versions of Bala Janamsakhi, “none appears to be quite authentic.” Thereafter, M.A. Macauliffe scanned all the then extant versions of Janamsakhis and found therein fictitious narrations. He gave preference to the Puratan version because as he put it; “it contains much less mythological matter than any other Gurmukhi life of the Guru and is a much more rational, consistent and satisfactory narrative … It is the product of legend and tradition which have been thought to be more trustworthy.” [43][44]

With a more nuanced understanding of where we stand vis-á-vis the Bala JS and its historical standing within the scholarly circles, we are now in a better position to continue with our evaluation.

Ghulam Ahmad’s Infatuation with Nanak

Ghulam Ahmad was essentially a product of an environment during “[t]he last two decades of the nineteenth century”, which, says Aslam Syed, “witnessed some of the most violently contested debates on religion between Hindus and Muslims”. [45] In this respect, Iqbal Singh Sevea states:

The emergence of the Ahmadiyya movement and its extensive use of the print media must be located within the ambit of the contestations of “public Islam”, and the attempts by various Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh revivalists groups to use the public media to propagate their views and attack their rivals in early twentieth century South Asia. The early development of the movement thus occurred in an environment characterized by the hardening of communal identities as a result of the policies of the colonial state,” and the need to respond to polemical publications produced by Christian missionary bodies in India.[46]

In addition, it was “under the British regime [that] the Christian missions strongly attacked indigenous religions with the support of the colonial power”, observes Munir Ahmed. To counter these missionary activities, Ghulam Ahmad, “emulating the methods and strategies of the Western missionaries, [] challenged his opponents to open debates and published numerous prophesies in order to prove the superiority of Islam over other religions”. [47]

As to the threat of the Hindus, then in Syed’s view, this was no better exemplified than by Dayanand Saraswati (1824-1883), a man who “emerged as the champion of the Vedic traditions”; founded the extremist group “Arya Samaj”; and published his Satyarth Prakash (1875), a tract that “denigrated other religions, especially Islam”. Syed also highlights an example of interreligious violence that involved a devotee of Ahmad who killed Pandit Lekh Ram, [48] a follower of Saraswati who “started dharm yudh (religious war) against Muslims”, for using “abusive language” against his prophet during a debate. Syed further divulged: “Many times such events led to widespread violence.” [49]

Sevea also noted a threat towards Muslims “[w]ithin the context of the Punjab” where “Arya Samaj publications critiqued aspects of Islam and promoted the ‘reconversion’ of Muslims to Hinduism”. [50] And though “Ghulam Ahmad’s reliance on reasoned argument becomes especially apparent in his detailed attack on the Vedas and Arya Samaj teachings”, in Spencer Lavan’s view he employed an altogether different strategy against the Sikhs:

When he turned his attention to the Sikhs, however, he used different sources to demonstrate that Guru Nanak was a Muslim. Ghulam Ahmad often turned to European writers to buttress his arguments about Guru Nanak or the death of Jesus. Despite the fact that Ahmad knew no European languages, the use of these techniques suggests his familiarity with modern methods of argument prevalent among missionaries and institutionalised by western educational techniques. [51]

Yet, in his endeavour to counter the missionary activities of his opponents, Ahmad ended up taking extreme measures that rightly earned him the ire of the very religious community he apparently sought to defend after announcing his prophethood and pronouncing himself to be the long-awaited Messiah. Hence, of all the outlandish theories Ahmad invented in his desperate attempt at proving his heresies, arguably his most absurd was predicated on the assumption that the major religions had a divine origin while their respective founders were all true emissaries of God. He thus said:

There is no doubt, however, that Sri Krishna [of Hinduism] was a Messenger and a representative of God in his time, and God conversed with him. Likewise, from among the Hindu people of the Latter Days was one named Baba Nanak, whose saintliness has become a byword in this country. … Baba Sahib openly claims to be the recipient of revelation in the Janam Sakhis and the Granth. In one Janam Sakhi he states that he had received revelation from God testifying to the truth of Islam. Based on this he performed Hajj and followed the Islamic injunctions METICULOUSLY. … It goes without question that Baba Nanak was a holy and pious man. He was one of those whom God, the Mighty, the Glorious, made drink out of His goblet of love. He was born among Hindus only to bear witness that Islam is from God. … Guru Baba Nanak also claimed to be a recipient of revelation from God and he enjoyed the Divine blessing of showing many miracles. Thus he roundly debunked the erroneous claims that there was no revelation after the Vedas or that no signs were manifested thereafter. [52] (bold, underline, capitalisation ours)

As one would expect, the Ahmadiyya continue to propagate their messiah’s assertion that “Baba” Nanak was a Muslim. The problem is that there are two reasons why the term Muslim loses any real value and meaning when used by the Ahmadiyya.

The first is that despite there being only one valid model of Islam, its adherents, who represent the second largest religious community on the planet, comprise a diverse range of socio-cultural and -ethnic backgrounds made up of a plethora of sects and parties. Hence, Muslims are anything but a single monolithic bloc.

The second reason is that although they have shamelessly usurped and identified theselves as Muslims, Ghulam Ahmad and his movement were declared non-Muslims for rejecting Muhammad (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) as the final Prophet of God and refusing to believe that divine revelation permanently ended with him.

Hence, if the term Muslim is being understood and applied in this case as a synonym for a Qadiani, then Nanak certainly cannot be called a Muslim in the orthodox sense of the word. And if, arguendo, Nanak is being identified with orthodoxy, then the question of what type of Muslim he was still remains to be answered. This question becomes all the more relevant when one realises that not only is this what the Ahmadiyya are contending, but also some naÏvely mistaken and arrogantly deluded Muslims too.

The Sufi Side of Guru Nanak

In fact, the Ahmadiyya’s contention in this respect has been altogether too ambiguous in that they either consider Nanak to be “a holy and pious man”, [53] as Ahmad did, or allude to him being a “Sufi”. For instance, Saleem Ahmad Malik proposed:

A more satisfactory evaluation of Guru Nanak is probably to regard him as a mystic and a Sufi who had realised the ultimate Unity in existence, who always spoke of “The One without a second”. [54]

While Abdul Jaleel alleged:

It was a Muslim Sufi he constantly turned to for advice and there is not a single instance in his life which indicated that he bowed his head to a Hindu pandit,” and that “Nanak was looked upon as a Muslim Sufi by his contemporaries. [55]

But the problem now is that the term Sufi is just as loose as the term Muslim precisely because Sufism as a group is, like the rest of the Muslim world, far from being monolithic and uniform. Thus, labelling Nanak a Sufi does nothing to answer the question of what type of Muslim he was except shift the problem back one step to what kind of a Sufi he was.

Those who have endeavoured to study the varied opinions expressed vis-á-vis the possible source(s) of and potential influences on Nanak’s socio-political, -religious and ideological worldview, will know that the Ahmadiyya were neither the first nor the last in suggesting Sufism as an answer. In our case, however, it is imperative to identify any philosophical and ideological similarities between Nanak and any Sufi sects not just to ascertain the degree of influence had, but to also determine any degree of conformity with orthodox Islam.

Scholars are agreed that Nanak spent a considerable length of time during his early years of childhood in the company of Sufis including suggestions that he may have even been taught by one. For example, Prof Abdul Haq Ansari stated:

It is often forgotten that the formative years of Guru Nanak’s life were passed in a land whose “towns and villages were honeycombed with Muslim saints and faqirs. Panipat, Sirhind. Pakpattan, Mullan and Uch were places where famous Sufi Shaikhs had spent their lives, and the names of Baba Farid, Ala-ul-Haq, Jalal-ud-Din Bukhari, Makhdum Jahaniyan, Shaikh Ismail Bukhari had become household words for piety and devotion.” From childhood onwards till the time Guru Nanak developed his concepts, he constantly imbibed Islamic ideas through his teacher Mulla Qutbuddin and through discourses with Shaikh Sharaf, Shaikh Ibrahim and several other Sufis. [56]

Prof Saiyid Athar Abbas Rizvi similarly advances:

In his early life, he was inquisitive beyond his age, was given to profound meditation and was exceedingly humane. His critical acumen and balanced judgement helped him to carve out an outstanding place for himself in an environment overflowing with mystical thought and spiritual attainments. As he belonged to a literate family, neatly placed in the service of the Afghan governors of the Punjab, he must have listened to verses of Rumi, Sa’di, Hafiz and Jami in his own home environment and the thought of the great mystic poets would have aroused his interest in Divine love, grace and mercy. As his understanding of the Supreme Being matured and his experience increased, he felt himself endowed with a sort of Divine inspiration which made his thought pattern unique and gave him a serene self-confidence. [57]

The most convincing evidence, however, of a shared philosophy between Sufism and Nanakian thought is via the well-known thirteenth century Sufi, Khwaja Fariduddin Mas’ud Ganjshakar (d. 1265CE). Better known as Baba Farid or Sheikh Farid, this so-called mystic resided in the Punjab region of South Asia and belonged to the popular Sufi order called the Chishtis, or Chishtiyyah. What set him apart from other celebrated Sufi mystics, who shared similar beliefs and practices, was that 134 of his hymns (shabads) were chosen by Nanak for inclusion in what would later become the Adi Granth – Sikhism’s first compilation of a scriptural canon prepared by the fifth Guru, Arjan.

The Sufis [of Hindustan] adopted Hindu ceremonies, devotional songs, and yoga techniques. Popular religious culture became a mixture of Muslim and Hindu practices.

But what convinced Nanak to honour Baba Farid in this way? Was the reason as straightforward as a shared Islamic identity or is there more to this than the simplistic narrative so often parroted by the Ahmadiyya and some Muslims?

To correctly answer this question, including determining the true theological relationship between Nanak and his apparent predecessor Farid, it is essential to accurately understand not only the general introduction of Islam into Indian society and culture, but also more specifically the establishment and spread of Sufism throughout the country and especially the region of Punjab from where the pair originated.

Sufism’s Introduction to India

The introduction of Islam, or more accurately a particular version of it, into the rich and diverse society of India led to an inevitable syncretic fusion of socio-religious and -cultural norms. According to Prof Romila Thapar:

The coming of the Arabs, Turks and Afghans brought a new religion to India that found roots in various ways in many communities. Islam was unable to create a homogeneous, monolithic community, and in this it was conditioned by the same segmentation that earlier religions in India had experienced. Apart from the Muslim theologians, an early impact of Islam was the arrival of Muslim mystics from Persia, distinct from and sometimes disapproved of by Muslim theologians.[58] (bold ours)

In the words of Prof Saiyid Athar Abbas Rizvi, these “Indian Sufis followed, broadly speaking, the pattern of development that had evolved in Persia”. [59] And what evolved in Persia was, again broadly speaking, a form of heterodoxy that was clearly at odds with orthodoxy.

Hujjat Allah Javani delineates a number of prominent Sufi mystics below who were responsible for said introduction:

Sufism emerged in the Indian subcontinent in the second/ eighth and third/ninth centuries. Accounts are available of the meeting between Abu ‘Ali Sindi and Bayazid Bastami (d. 261/874 or 264/ 877; ‘Aziz Ahmad, Pers. tr., p. 51); Hallaj’s (d. 309/921) travel to India to propagate his teachings (Schimmel, 1983, Pers. tr., p. 67); the alleged stay of the first Sufi, viz. Shaykh Safi ‘I-Din Kaziruni (d. 398/1007) in the Sind region of Och (Akram, p. 72) on the instructions of his spiritual master, Shaykh Abu Ishaq Kaziruni (Ibrahim ibn Shahriyar); Shaykh Husayn Zanjani’s (d. 420/1029) journey to Punjab and his consequent stay in that region for spreading Sufism and for nurturing spiritual disciples; and the trip of ‘Ali ibn ‘Uthman Hujwiri to Punjab on the instructions of his spiritual master, Abu al-Fadl Khatli (or Khuttali; Rizvi, Pers. tr., vol. 1, p. 112; Rahman ‘All, p. 59). Moreover, the eminent Sufi, Hujwiri, had also built a Sufi monastery (khanaqah) in Lahore where he taught and guided students of the spiritual path and where he finally passed away (Rahman ‘Ali, ibid.). [60]

These controversial Sufis – from Bastami, Mansur Al-Hallaj, to Kaziruni, Hujwiri and other such characters – were all Persians in origin. It is, therefore, entirely understandable why Frederic Pincott, when discussing this subject in his entry on Sikhism in the Dictionary of Islam, correctly called the mystical and spiritual beliefs of “[t]he Persian conquerors of Hindustan” as “the Islamo-Magian creed” (bold, underline ours) before repeating:

It was through Persia that India received its flood of Muhammadanism; and the mysticism and asceticism of the Persian form of Islam found congenial soil for development among the speculative ascetics of northern India. [61]

Another important figure who influenced, to a smaller or larger extent, practically all Sufi orders was arguably the most controversial of them all – the Andalusian Sufi, Ibn ‘Arabi, of whom Prof Ira Lapidus said: “Apart from the Quran and hadith, the most important religious influence on Indian Islam was the teaching of Ibn al-‘Arabi and the doctrine of wahdat al-wujud, the unity of being.” [62] While in Burhan Ahmad Faruqi’s view:

It was Ibn ‘Arabi who seems to have been the first to interpret his own mystic experience of Tawhid, or unity in such a way as to be intelligible to others, and to have strenuously maintained that Wahdat-i-Wujud is the very essence of Islam. And Ibn ‘Arabi tried to support his interpretation with verses of the Quran and the sayings of the Holy Prophet. Ibn ‘Arabi has had enormous influence on mystic thought in Islam. [63]

When these heretical ideas came into contact with those of India, a mutation occurred whereby “[t]he amalgamation of Indian and Islamic mysticism evolved into new schools of Sufism different from those in Persia”. [64] This, continues Thapar, led to the following:

Sufi ideas attracted an interest in India, particularly among those inclined to mystic teachings and asceticism, since much of the symbolism was similar. Their dialogue with the bhakti movement was to the advantage of both, as they questioned orthodoxy in their explorations of the meaning of religion and of the human condition. They attracted large followings which gave them a political potential that converted their khanqahs or hospices into centres of political discussion as well. [65]

Consequently, this accretion not only led to the already considerable gap with orthodoxy to widen even further, but also opened the doors for these Sufi groups to justify compromising on and accommodating those theological beliefs of Hinduism that would, under normal circumstances, have necessarily been rejected by orthodox Islam. Prof Mushirul Haq gives an example of just such a compromise:

Muslims, therefore, once settled in India began to adopt those local customs which they found were not in contradiction to their faith. Some which could be considered un-Islamic were rather ‘Islamised’ after the community took to them. For example Islam did not allow the saint worship but, once in India, the mausoleums of Muslim saints and men of God began to attract Hindus and Muslims in the same way as the samadhh of Hindu saints were drawing Hindu multitudes. It was not, however, a one-sided journey. Hindu community also, naturally, underwent a tremendous cultural and religious change. In any Hindu reform movement such as the Bhakti movement, or in Sikhism, various Islamic elements can quite easily be detected. In their language, mode of living, the habits and manners, both the communities owe so much to each other that compared with their traditional way of life both of them, even though religiously different from each other, have now culturally become almost one community. [66]

As for the region of Punjab, then Majid Ali Khan explains:

Later, all the famous Sufi orders viz. Qadiriyah, Naqshbandiyah, and Shattariyah etc, entered into the Punjab and the land became a great centre of Sufis and divines The Punjab attracted masses from all over India and became a feeder and tributary [sic] stream of Knowledge, Wisdom, Sufism and spirituality for all the natives of the country. By the fifteenth century a number of Punjab’s towns like Pakpattan, Multan, Uchh, Sirhind, Panipat etc. became centres of the Sufis. These were the places “where famous Sufi Shaikhs had spent their lives and, and the names of Baba Farid, ‘Ala-ul-Haq, Jalal-ud-Din Bukhari, Makhdum Jahaniyan, Shaikh Isma’il Bukhari, had become household words for piety and devotion. [67]

And while not forgetting the Chishtiyyah to whom Baba Farid Ganjshakar belonged, these groups were then guilty, to a greater or lesser degree, of slowly but surely spreading their poison across the region. Lapidus says in this regard:

These teachings [i.e. Ibn ‘Arabi’s doctrine of wahdat al-wujud] were spread both by the Chistis and the Shattaris, who believed that spiritual attitude was more important than specific religious laws or practices. They also saw that Islam and Hinduism shared spiritual insights, and this led to an assimilation of Sufi and Hindu beliefs about the control of emotional life as a prerequisite to the control of external behavior. The Sufis ADOPTED Hindu ceremonies, devotional songs, and yoga techniques. Popular religious culture became a mixture of Muslim and Hindu practices. Thus, the Sufis were divided among monist, pantheist, and syncretist religious tendencies, between commitment to individual spirituality and collective Shari’a, and between universal Muslim practices and specific Indian forms of worship. 

Sufism was closely connected to the vernacular languages; Sufis pioneered the absorption of Indian language, music, and poetic forms into Islamic practice. [68] (bold, underline, capitalisation ours)

There is then Baba Farid’s Sheikh, Khwaja Qutb-u’d-din Bakhtiyar Kaki (ob. 633 A.H./1235 A.D.), who, Prof Khaliq Ahmad Nizami says, “was a native of Aush which was a great centre of the Hallajis [69] and was considerably influenced by the Wujudi [70] doctrines”. [71]

Nizami further adds:

The Muslim mystics, however, rose to the occasion and released syncretic forces which liquidated social, ideological and linguistic barriers between the various culture-groups of India and helped in the development of a common cultural outlook. As their Khanqahs were the only places where people of different shades of opinion, professing different religions and speaking different languages met, these Khanqahs became veritable centres of cultural synthesis where ideas were freely exchanged and a common medium for this exchange was evolved[72] (bold ours)

As Rizvi highlights, “the confrontation of the tantrics, sadhus and siddhas, represented in Persian works by the general term Yogis, and the Sufis became a familiar phenomenon in the thirteenth-century religious life in India” to the point that these lively day-to-day interactions invariably affected the thoughts and ideas of both parties:

The khanaqah of Shaikh Farid-al-Din Ganj-i-Shakar (died A.D. 1265) was subjected to fertilization and cross-fertilization by the philosophy and practices of the Yogis. Not even a Sufi so eminent as Shaikh Nizam-al-Din Auliya (died A.D. 1325) could remain UNINFLUENCED …. Shaikh Nizam-al-Din Auliya listened with attention to the magical and mystical aspects of sex mysticism, as explained by a Yogi visiting the khanaqah of Shaikh Farid-al-Din Ganj-i-Shakar. [73] Another disciple of Shaikh Farid asked a Yogi, who was a guest in the khanaqah, to prescribe him drugs for growing long hair. [74][75] (bold, capitalisation ours)

In addition, he speaks of the “influence of Sufism on the various regional languages and dialects of northern India, then collectively known as Hindawi, [as] far-reaching” explaining:

Through Hindawi music there penetrated into Sufism the subtle message of the Vaishnavite bhakti with its popular symbols. Shaikh Farid-al-Din Ganj-i-Shakar seems to have conversed in the local dialect of Hindawi with the Yogis who used to visit the khanaqah. He is thought to have composed Hindawi verses and the Guru Granth incorporates 112 of his slokas which fact, however, remains to be proved conclusively that they were his work. 

Hindawi songs were regularly recited at the sama’ of many Sufis. A Shaikh, Ahmad Naharwani, who attended the sama’ of such eminent Sufis as Shaikh Qutb-al-Din Bakhtiyar Kaki (died A.D. 1235), recited melodious Hindawi songs. By the end of the fourteenth century, if not before, Hindawi verses came to be quoted in the gatherings at mosques.[76]

Rizvi continues:

In the fifteenth century, the introduction of the Shattari and the Qadiri orders into India, the approach of the Islamic millennium, and the impact of the north Indian sants (saints) who tried to synthesize the traditions of the Vaishnavite bhakti, the Nath Yogis, and the Sufis, transformed Sufism into a complex pattern. 

The Shattaris, who traced their origin from Shaikh Bayazid Bistami, reoriented their founder’s traditions concerning the quest for the Absolute Truth and rapturous infatuation with the Divine love. Shaikh Abd Allah Shattari (died A.D. 1485), after travelling through many Islamic countries, finally settled down in Mandu, the capital of the Sultans of Malwa. He introduced the movement into India, but it owes its popularity to Shaikh Muhammad Ghauth (died A.D. 1562-63). The Shattaris popularized the invocation of the names of God (Da’wat-i-Asma’) as a means of gaining spiritual power. The Hindi poetry produced by the followers of this order promoted interest in Hindu mythology and in the works of the Indian saints. [77]

The approach of the Islamic millennium accounts for the success of the Mahdawi movement and further popularity of the ideologies of Ibn-al-‘Arabi which Shaikh Aman of Panipat (died A.D. 1550-51) preached with exuberant imagination.

The Qadiri order, firmly introduced into India in the fifteenth century, nourished in Multan and Uch and, subsequently, in Lahore. From about 1450, Saharanpur, Panipat and Multan became important Sufi centres. [78]

Muslims, therefore, once settled in India began to adopt those local customs which they found were not in contradiction to their faith. Some which could be considered un-Islamic were rather ‘Islamised’ after the community took to them. For example Islam did not allow the saint worship but, once in India, the mausoleums of Muslim saints and men of God began to attract Hindus and Muslims.

In light of all the above, what becomes apparent is that Sufism eventually carved out a unique identity for itself by successfully managing to adapt to its peculiar surroundings. In the northern region of the country where Nanak had entered his formative years during the latter half of the fifteenth century, Sufism had, as a collective order, firmly established itself as an influential religious movement.

Having, thus, provided a brief overview of Sufism’s introduction into India, the next stage is to better understand the specifics of the heresies that were taught by the likes of Baba Farid and many other Sufis, and how this relates back to Nanak.

The Heresies of the Sufis of India

In order to ascertain the type of Muslim Nanak is alleged to have been, it is vitally important to pinpoint the major doctrinal strands of Sufism that were carried over and propagated by those said to have been associated with the founder of Sikhism. In this respect, the most obvious person to begin with would have to be Baba Farid and the Chishtiyyah Sufi order he belonged to. As stated earlier, this order, similar to other parallel strands of Sufi orders in and around the vicinity of Punjab, was guilty of entertaining the Wujudi concept made famous by Ibn ‘Arabi. Ibn ‘Arabi himself was merely a cog, albeit a large one, in a movement that first arose a few centuries earlier and whose origin and evolution Rizvi details below:

In the early centuries of Islam, the Sufis led an ascetic life, of self-denial, poverty and detachment. Their life was geared to the spiritualization of Islam from within; they tended to resolve conflicts in the meta-physics and ethics of formal religion through their own intuition, not through reasoned argument. Gradually, the impact of the mysticism of the Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians and Mahayanist Buddhists and the influence of Iranian, Syrian. Greek and Roman cultures and traditions transformed Sufism into a complex system. … 

Between the ninth and twelfth centuries of the Christian era, political upheaval and social turmoil plunged the Islamic world into confusion and profoundly affected the development of Sufism. … [M]en began to seek new formulas in which to express the realities of a political and social situation far more intricate than in the early centuries of Islam.

The first important figure in the history of speculative Sufism was Bayazid Bistami (died A.D. 874), a Persian Muslim of Zoroastrian ancestry, who spelled out his mystical experiences without any men. [79]

To put it more lucidly, what Rizvi has outlined above only supports the contention that by the time Sufism found its way to India, it had already undergone radical and significant changes from the pure and pristine message originally presented by Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him); and Ibn ‘Arabi, of course, was a major contributor for said change:

Infinitely controversial but of far-reaching importance was Ibn ‘Arabi’s theory of the transcendental Unity of Being, or oneness of Being, Wahdat-al-Wujud. He reinterpreted earlier theories on the Unity of Being and made his the last word on the subject. He and his followers brought all their scholarship and energy to bear upon a restatement of the theory of the Perfect Man. According to them, the Perfect Man is “a man who has fully realized his essential oneness with the Divine Being in whose likeness he is made.” In the literature produced by them, prophets are not the only perfect men; saints and eminent holy men, too, have been made the repositories of ‘Divine Reality’ and ‘Divine Illumination.’ [80] (bold ours)

Faruqi elucidates further on Ibn ‘Arabi’s innovated (bid’ah) concept of Wahdat-al-Wujud, which is also referred to by many Sufis as Tawheed al-Wujudi:

IBN ‘ARABI’S position with regard to Tawhid is that: Being is one, it is that which exists. This Being is Allah. Everything else is His manifestation. Hence the world is identical with Allah. The identity of the world and Allah is conceived on the basis of the identity of His Dhat-o-Sifat [81] or existence and essence substance and attribute; the world being only a Tajalli [82] or manifestation of His Sifat or attributes. In other words, the creation of the world is a form of emanation. [83] The theory of emanation as held by Ibn ‘Arabi and especially as elaborated by his followers as well as the later mystics, e.g., Jami, is this. [84]

Rizvi thus concludes:

With such minds at work on it, the ideological and philosophical foundation of Sufism passed beyond the range of the ordinary Muslim’s understanding. … In all Sufi orders, members lived lives of poverty and abstinence …. The offerings dropped by the pious into the alms-basket (zambil), as it was carried around, and the unsolicited gifts presented at the khanaqah (the communal abode) were the sole source of support for all orders …. [85] (bold ours)

Again, reading between the lines, what Rizvi is implying by suggesting that Sufism passed beyond the range of the ordinary Muslim’s understanding is that it reached a state that bared little resemblance to the original. Hence, concepts alien to Islam à la the so-called Tawheed al-Wujudi were unsurprisingly denounced by the orthodox, as Rizvi acknowledges:

Muslim scholastic classes, collectively styled ‘Ulama, offered strong opposition to the Sufis, using their influence over the administrative machinery of the State to harass them. They denounced the ascetic life of the Sufis as un-Islamic, and opposed their practice of arousing a state of ecstasy through music (sama’)[86] (bold ours)

In fact, it is worth noting, as Faruqi does, that the concept of Tawheed al-Wujudi is so far removed from the realms of Islamic acceptability that even the famous Sufi jurist of the heterodox Naqshbandi Sufi order, Ahmad al-Sirhindi (d. 1624 CE), condemned it as blasphemy:

In the end he [Sirhidhi] comes to realise that to speak of an experience of God, which the mystics do, is blasphemy. God is far and far above the grasp of our faculty of reason and of kashf … Allah is beyond the Beyond, and again beyond the Beyond. Neither His being nor His attributes are directly knowable. [87] 

Nor is the world the tajalli or emanation of the sifat or attributes. For if the world were the tajalli of God’s sifat, it would have been identical with them; but the sifat are perfect while the world is full of imperfections. For example, human knowledge has no resemblance with God’s knowledge, so that one may be called the tajalli of the other. [88]

Thus, Faruqi concludes: “Wahdat-i-Wujud or unityism is not true, wujud or Being is not one, insists the Mujaddid.” [89]

Faruqi adds that even the celebrated Pakistani poet and philosopher, “Sir Muhammad Iqbal [90] also protested against Wahdat-i-Wujud of the mystics, gave Islamic morality a new spirit and preached life of Effort and Activity”. [91][92]

It is also worth nothing Dr Adwaita Ganguly’s observation of the famous English novelist, E.M. Forster, who recognised, while reviewing Iqbal’s The Secrets of the Self (Asrar-I- Khudi), that “in broad terms” the “religious temperament” of the Muslims in India “has been influenced since the eleventh century onwards by two theories about the nature of God”. These included:

The first theory, which follows from the Koran, emphasizes that Allah is God, and He is a Creator who creates things out of nothing by a sheer act of will. Allah is primarily transcendent, though also immanent in close personal touch with the Universe and Man, and infinitely exalted above His creatures. “Say Allah is one. Allah is He on Whom all depend, He begets not, nor is He begot- ten: and none is like Him” – the Meccan Sura (Chapter 112) gives in a nutshell the essence of Koranic monotheism. Forster found in Iqbal, whom he met in 1916, and whose writings he reviewed in 1920, a firm believer in this theory. He wrote: 

It is not the mysticism that seeks union with God. On this point the poet is emphatic. We shall see God perhaps. We shall never be God. For God, like ourselves, has a Self, and he created us not out of himself but out of nothing. Iqbal dislikes the pantheism which he saw all around him in India – for instance, in Tagore – and he castigates those Moslem teachers who have infected Islam with it. It is weakening and wrong to seek unity with the divine. Vision – perhaps. Union – no. [93]

God, usually conceived of as a Creator, stands over and above the Universe, which is believed to be His creation – this type of theory generally lays stress on the difference of nature between God and the created spirits. It gives one the feeling that it is not possible to establish a direct relation with God, Who is a distant and All-powerful Ruler of the destinies of mankind.

The other theory, known as the doctrine of Sufi Pantheism, conceives of the Universe itself as God. God exists in everything through different objects may reveal His nature to a greater or lesser extent. This view is made popular by the mystics known as Sufis, “the name being taken from the garments of white wool (suf) worn by the earliest ascetics”: [94]

Towards the end of the ninth century of the Christian era and the beginning of the tenth, pantheistic ideas begin to appear in Sufism, of a spiritualistic type. These pantheistic mystics held that God, the One Reality, dwelling in solitude, desired to share His Reality with others, to manifest His Beauty to those whom He created, and this led to the doctrine of Divine universality and of an absolute Unity, which maintained that the glory of God is to be found in all things, but in varying degrees. So the One Reality, God, was believed to dwell and manifest itself everywhere and not least in the human soul, while this world was held to be but the mirror in which True Being was reflected. This pantheistic aspect of Sufism was developed first in Persia. [95][96]

This last point regarding the pantheistic side of Sufism originating in Persia is also supported by Pincott who stated:

Now, Sufism is not, as Dr. Trumpp supposes, due to Hindu pantheism; for it arose in the very earliest days of Muhammadanism, and is almost certainly due to the influence of Persian Zoroastrianism on the rude faith of Arab Islamism. Persia has ever been the stronghold of Sufiistic doctrine; and the leading writers who have illustrated that form of Muhammadanism have been the Persian poets Firdusi, Nizami, Sa’di, Jalalu ‘d-Din, Hafiz, and Jami. Hafiz, the prince of Sufi poets, boldly declares: “l am a disciple of the old Magian: be not angry with me, Shaikh! For thou gavest me a promise; he hath brought me the reality.” Although this stanza alludes directly to two persons known to Hafiz, its almost obvious meaning is: “I, a Persian adhere to the faith of my ancestors. Do not blame me, Arab conqueror, that my faith is more sublime than thine.” That Hafiz meant his readers to take his words in a general sense, may be inferred from the stanza in which he says: “I am the servant of the old man of the tavern (i.e. the Magian); because his beneficence is lasting: on the other hand, the beneficence of the Shaikh and of the Saiyid at times is, and at times is not.” Indeed, Hafiz was fully conscious of the fact that Sufiism was due to the influence of the faith of his ancestors; for, in another ode, he plainly says: “Make fresh again the essence of the creed of Zoroaster, now that the tulip has kindled the fire of Nimrod.” And Nizami, also, was aware that his ideas were perilously akin to heterodoxy; for, he says in his Khusru wa Shirin: “See not in me the guide to the temple of the Fire-worshippers; see only the hidden meaning which cleaveth to the allegory.” These citations, which could be indefinitely multiplied, sufficiently indicate the Zoroastrian origin of the refined spirituality of the Sufis. [97]

Hence, what ought to be beyond doubt is that Sufism cannot be traced as much back to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as it can to Persia where Zoroastrianism once predominated. More specifically, the concept of pantheism and the notion of man’s potential of achieving spiritual union with God on a par with, or worse yet, greater than (as some Sufis have contended) the Prophets, has zero grounding in orthodoxy. And as Faruqi points out, it was this latter belief that dominated the spiritual pursuits of the Sufis and served as their modus operandi:

But what the Islamic mystics consciously held is this: Mysticism is an attempt to have a firsthand experience of what the Prophet of Islam is supposed to have experienced. The Islamic mystic believes that the Prophet experienced God and Eternity. The mystic is out to experience them himself. He adopts certain practices called “Mujahida” or spiritual exercises. On his way he believes he acquires certain occult powers to work Karamat, miracles. With these we are not concerned. However it must be borne in mind that in all this he tries to keep to Islam and its spirit. What interests us is the third element of mysticism, viz. “Kashf-o-Ilham” or intuition of God and Eternity. The mystic believes that he comes to apprehend eternal verities and God directly. This is what is also known as religious experience. The subject comes, so to say, in direct contact with Divine Being. He has immediate vision of God. The result is “Haqq-ul Yaqin” [98] the infallible certainty of His existence and His essence. The competence and validity of Kashf-o-Ilham as the faculty cognisant of Divine Being is assumed without question; and it is maintained that Kashf is qualitatively different from reason. It is the direct apprehension of ultimate Reality. [99]

Their pantheistic conception of God and nature coupled with the belief that direct experience of the divine was not limited to the Prophets alone, but open to all and sundry – what Ganguly called “the doctrine of Divine universality” – and which ultimately led to them rejecting the fundamental dichotomy affirmed by the orthodox of dividing the world into the two basic categories: Muslims (believers) and non-Muslims (disbelievers). As indicated above, the sole reason for this dissolution was entirely down to the process of social accretion that saw the Sufis slowly assimilated into their surroundings, i.e. Hinduism. As Rizvi grants:

The use of the local dialects, both by the Sufis and the sants, made ideas such as Absolute Reality, Creative Truth, faith in the love and grace of God and the equality of mankind popular with all sections of the population of northern India. [100] (bold ours)

While Ganguly accurately opines:

Sufis believe “that the souls of men differ infinitely in degree, but not all in kind, from the Divine Spirit, whereof they are particles, and wherein they will ultimately be absorbed.” [101] They combine the old Neo-Platonic idea of the Universal soul working through the various spheres of being,[102] with the Vedantic concept of the ultimate absorption of the individual soul in the Absolute. Like the Vedantists, they also lay stress on the theme that man’s attachment to worldly desires comes in the way of his realization of his divine goal. [103]

Haq was, therefore, entirely correct in succinctly concluding: “The Sufis were of the opinion that the truth was found in every religion.” [104]

As to the shared idea of God’s universal love, then in this respect Hanif identifies a correspondence between Sufism and the Bhakti movement:

Love is at the centre of high Sufistic experience, as of Bhakti with which it holds numerous parallels. … In the later phases of Sufism and Bhakti, the love theme is presented with an abandon and elaboration in some of the great Poetry of the world, in Persian and numerous Indian languages. In the earlier phase, to which Sheikh Farid belongs, while this passion is still an integral part of the Sufistic experience, its expression is terse and intense, owing to the predominance of asceticism in the way of Sufism. … 

As in the poetry of Bhakti, the seeker is figured as the yearning female, seeking fulfilment in the spouse, the Beloved Lord. This mood has given rise to great poetry in Bhakti no less than in Indian Sufism. [105]

As a matter of fact, these “new trends”, as Rizvi designates them, went so far that “despite the opposition of the orthodox sections”, these Sufis “made Thakur, Dhani and Kartar”, non-Islamic names of the Deity, “synonymous with Allah. The sant and the Sufi terminologies became interchangeable and the term Sufi became coeval and coexistent with the term sant (bold ours).

Rizvi then makes mention of another figure closely associated to Sikhism:

The fame of Kabir, who occupies a very important place among the sants of northern India invested the Sufi concept of a muwahhid (monotheist) with a special significance. 

Once Shaikh Rizq Allah asked his father, Shaikh Sa’d Allah, ‘Was the famous Kabir, whose verses everyone recites, a Muslim or a kafir?’ His father said. ‘He was a muwahhid.’ Shaikh Rizq Allah further asked. ‘Is a muwahhid different from a kafir or a Muslim?’ Shaikh Sa’d Allah replied, ‘It is difficult to understand this truth, you will gradually learn it.’ [106]

Kabir is another saint whose writings (the authenticity of which are disputed) were included in the SGGS. In the above citation, it is not the question of Kabir’s Muslim identity that is of concern, but rather the irregular use of the very particular and concretised title muwahhid. The same term, reveals Ashraf Mirani, is used by “Khwaja Ya’qub, a son of Baba Farid, [who] defined it as follows:

“The muwahhid is he whose main concern is good action. Whatever he does aims at seeking divine grace. Water does not drown him and fire doesn’t burn him. Absorbed in Tawhid (Wahdat al-Wujud) he is in a state of self-effacement. A sufi or a lover belonging to this category is concerned with nothing. If he makes a quest for himself, he finds God, if he seeks God, he finds himself. When the lover is completely absorbed in the Beloved, the attributes of the lover and Beloved become identical.” [107][108]

What is apparent is that the fusion of beliefs, ideas and terminologies of the sants and Sufis inexorably led to the conceptual corruption of the term muhwahhid until it acquired a peculiarly odd definition that necessarily involved an affirmation of the notion of Tawhid al-Wujud.

Given that this title was applied to both Farid and Kabir, it is unsurprising to learn that some, including Rizvi, [109] held that “Guru Nanak belonged to this group of distinguished muwahhids, whose spiritual experience transcended the orthodox Hindu and Muslim idiom” [110] (bold, underline ours).

The conceptual comparisons are, in fact, so distinct that some Sikh academics openly accept, as Dr Manjit Singh Ahluwalia does, that not only had Sufism “profoundly influenced the Indian society and culture”, but also “influenced Sikhism more on practical side than on the side of its theoretical teachings”.

Ahluwalia also makes mention of the cultural crosspollination that occurred which included the interchangeable terminologies adopted by the Bhaktis and the Sufis:

Most of the founders of religious sects (including Sikhism) made the best use of their knowledge of Sufism and used the Sufi terminologies to preach their views. This undoubtedly helped in stimulating the Indian religious movements. Influence of Sufism is quite evident in the teachings of Guru Nanak, Kabir, Dadu and other saints of Bhakti movement in medieval India. … 

Guru Nanak took from Quran and Sufi literature a good many terms and symbolic expressions, like sidak, sabar, hukm, nadir, mehar, karam (grace), etc. (bold ours)

He additionally notes:

It is pertinent to mention here that Guru Nanak was well acquainted with Islamic teachings and Sufi doctrines. He had travelled extensively and visited many holy places. Moreover he had met and conversed with many Sufis of his time particularly Sheikh Sharaf of Panipat and Sheikh Ibrahim, the spiritual successor of Baba Fariduddin Ganj-i-Shakar. Therefore, his teachings are very close to the mystical doctrines preached by the Muslim Sufis.

Before quoting fellow Sikh, Tara Chand, who declared:

How deep Guru Nanak’s debt is to Islam, it is hardly necessary to state, for it is so evident in his words and thoughts. Manifestly he was STEEPED in Sufi lore and the fact of the matter is that it is much harder to find how much exactly he drew from the Hindu scriptures. [111] (bold, underline, capitalisation ours)

Western academics have also identified said syncretic relations. According to Prof Paul Courtright, “the origins of Guru Nanak’s thought and religious approach are a part of the Bhakti renaissance which swept Hindu India from the ninth to seventeenth centuries”. In this context, while he identifies, “in the broad sense, Sikhism … [to be] a syncretistic religion, because it stands geographically and historically in the running together of the rivers of Hinduism and Islam”, he nonetheless “dispel[s] the simplistic notion that Sikhism is a conscious syncretism or that it is primarily an attempt to reconcile Hinduism and Islam”.

In answering “the question of how and where Islam feeds into the development of Guru Nanak’s thought and the Sikhism of the Guru”, he turns to McLeod who “argues that Guru Nanak’s religion and that of Sikhism as a whole ‘is firmly embedded in the Sant tradition of Northern India in the beliefs of the so-called Nirguna Sampradaya’.” [112] Whether McLeod’s contention that Nanak and the Bhaktas, whose writings were included in the SGGS, were part of the Sant tradition or not is not relevant to our discussion. [113] What is of importance, however, is McLeod’s opinion that not only were “certain Muslim influences … mediated through the Sants”, but any “syncretism as there was with Islam, specifically Punjabi Sufism, had already gone on before Guru Nanak’s appearance”. As such:

Guru Nanak is the recipient of an already syncretistic tradition in which Muslim influence had already become so interwoven into the fabric of Hindu Bhakta that it was IMPOSSIBLE to identity it any longer as Muslim. This means that any Muslim influence that may be found will already have been channelled through mixed sources. (bold, underline capitalisation ours)

The highlighted text is significant in accurately answering the underlying question that naturally arises when faced with any claim of Nanak’s alleged Muslim identity. Courtright adds:

McLeod argues that as Guru Nanak rejected the conventionalism of Islam it would not be fruitful to search for Muslim influences there, but rather in Sufism and specifically in Punjabi Sufism which itself had undergone some Hinduization in the preceding centuries. (bold ours)

Here again a distinction has been made by McLeod between conventional Islam, i.e. orthodoxy, and the Sufism that dominated in the region of Punjab. Courtright continues:

Guru Nanak probably met and talked with Punjabi Sufis. The argument for direct influence from Punjabi Sufism is harder to document in Guru Nanak’s thought than the argument of influence mediated through the Sant tradition. McLeod maintains that the two Sufi writings included in the Guru Granth already demonstrate the stamp of Sant influence and most likely they may have been in their possession before they were passed on to Guru Arjun for inclusion in the Guru Granth. So, then, even what appears to be clearly syncretism in the inclusion of Muslim writings in the Guru Granth is a case of Punjabi Islamic mysticism ALREADY BAPTIZED into Hindu mysticism before it was passed along through Gum Nanak into the Sikh tradition[114] (bold, underline, capitalisation ours)

However, to “push this question farther and ask about the apparent similarities between Sufism and Guru Nanak”, Courtright suggests that according to McLeod, Sufi terminology for the ideas of “oneness of God, revelation in creation, God’s transcendence yet immanence, and the rejection of needless asceticism [which] can all be found both in Sufism and Guru Nanak”, and which “persuaded some scholars to think that Guru Nanak got these ideas from the Sufis… is conspicuously absent in Guru Nanak. Whenever a Sufi concept seems to be obvious in Guru Nanak, the language expressing the concept is not Sufi” (bold ours). McLeod is, thus, quoted as saying:

In contrast to this relative absence of Sufi terms we find a wealth of Sant terminology and imagery derived from Hindu sources. Almost all of his basic terminology is of native Indian derivation.

As a result: “Since we have already rejected Guru Nanak’s closer ties with Islamic tradition, it is a more convincing argument to see even the Sufi influences themselves mediated back through Bhakti sources into Guru Nanak’s thought.” [115]

Rizvi elaborates more specifically on the interconnected beliefs of the two groups stating:

He [Nanak] urges that the effort to seek Him in places of worship and centres of pilgrimage is futile. He is hidden ‘within’ the searcher and only a true Guru directs him to the right path. … In the same strain the Sufis ask their disciples to seek Him in their own hearts, for the heart is the seat of the Divine grace. [116]

Furthermore, resemblance between Nanak’s pursuit of the divine and the Sufis’ has again been acknowledged by Sikh scholars. In spite of McLeod’s reservations, Prof Surinder Singh Kohli, for example, provides a detailed comparison of not just key concepts, but also synonymous terminological titles for each one:

For unity with the Lord, the Sufi has to pass through several stages. The first is called nasut (humanity) or shariah (to live according to the law). The second stage is malakut (the nature of angels) which pertains to the path of purity (tariqah). The third is jabrut (the possession of power pertaining to knowledge (marifah). Then there is fana (absorption into the deity) pertaining to Truth (haqiqah). These stages have a close affinity with the stages mentioned by Guru Nanak in JapjiNasut and Dharam Khand (the region of piety) are the same. Malakut resembles Saram Khand (the region of effort) and Gian Khand (the region of knowledge) may be added to it. Jabrut, or the possession of power, seems identical with Karam Khand (the region of Grace) and Fana, or Truth, with Sach Khand (the region of Truth). There are. of course, several points of difference regarding these stages, but, at surface, there appears to be a great similarity. [117] 

We find a good deal of similarity, however, in the concept of spiritual ascent as propounded by the Sufis and Guru Nanak. Both commend the common path of love and devotion. Both have the Shariat (The Law) as their base. It has been called Dharam Khand (The region of Dharma) by Guru Nanak. In Arabic, this state is called Nasut or humanity, which is the natural state of every human being. This state is the beginning of the journey of the seeker and is known as “Safaru’l-abd”. Through the practice of Shariat or Dharma, the seeker acquires the nature of angels or Malakut where upon he takes the path of spiritual journey, called Tariqat. Guru Nanak has mentioned two regions in this state of Malakut i.e. the region of knowledge (Gyan Khand) and the region of effort (Saram Khand). Through the knowledge gained from the preceptor and through continuous effort, the seeker purifies his mind and intellect and attains the status of a Siddha. Guru Nanak categorically asserts that the creation of Infinite Lord cannot be delimited. In this Cosmos, pervaded by Almighty, the seeker attunes himself with Infinite, who is All-Powerful and absorbs Power, the possession of which is called Jabarat, for which Marifat (Gnosis) is the means. Guru Nanak has called this state the region of Grace (Karam Khand), where the seeker lives in bliss and fullness of God. Ultimately the Truth merges with THE TRUTH. Guru Nanak has called this state as the region of Truth (Sach Khand) which in Arabic is called Lahut (Divinity), a state of absorption in the All-Conscious, All-Bliss and All-Seeing Lord. In this state, the seeker attains Reality, which is called Haqiqat in Sufi terminology. [118]

It is interesting to note that these two stages, viz. Nasut and Lahut, are an integral part of the Hallajiya (named after the Persian heretic, Mansur al-Hallaj) Sufi order’s mystical search for the divine. As Nizami reveals:

The doctrines of the Hallajiya order may be thus summarised:

  1. in Fiqh, the five fara’id, even the Hajj may be replaced by other works (isqat-a ‘l-wasa’it).
  2. in Kalam, God’s transcendence (tanzih) above the limits of creation (tul, ard), the existence of an uncreated Divine spirit (Ruh-i-Natiqah), which becomes united with the created Ruh (spirit) of the ascetic (hulul-a’l-lahut-fi’l-nasut); the saint becomes the living and personal witness of Cod, whence the saying: An’-l-Haqq “I am creative Truth”.
  3. in Tasawwuf, perfect union with the divine will through desire of and submission to suffering. [119] (bold ours)

As for the similarities between Nanak’s conception of God and the Sufi-Sants’, then Rizvi highlights:

Although Guru Nanak’s God is both immanent and transcendent, his complete rejection of duality takes him nearer to those Sufis whose approach was devotional rather than speculative. He offers his devotion to the Supreme Being alone, not to one of His incarnations. Thus he is at once a Sufi and a muwahhid sant. [120] (bold ours)

But while Rizvi overlooks the peculiar beliefs of these so-called muwahhids vis-á-vis God, Prof Amritlal Shah better identifies these by stating that “almost all the Sufis have emphasised the essential unity of the universe and thereby questioned one of the most fundamental beliefs of Islam regarding the transcendent nature of God”. [121] What makes this point of vital importance is that orthodox Islam never expressed God’s essential nature as being both “immanent and transcendent”, but wholly transcendent.

Yet, despite the many strands of doctrines shared by both the Sufis and the sants, there remains the question of how to reconcile between claims of Sufism’s influence over Nanak and beliefs attributed to him that were unquestionably unIslamic. In fact, it is precisely this doubt that Courtright presents as “[a]nother reason for arguing against direct Sufi influence i[n] that some of Guru Nanak’s key concepts are in conflict with Sufism”. In this case:

The doctrines of karma and transmigration of soul are the most notable examples. (bold ours)

Similarly, Anil Chandra Banerjee succinctly declares that “Nanak’s acceptance of the doctrines of Karma and transmigration separated him from the Sufis”. [122]

And while Rizvi too raises this issue, he proposes a somewhat vague reconciliation by suggesting:

He [Nanak] believed in transmigration and his ideas on the subject are not incompatible with the ideas of the Sufis of the unorthodox school in many places resembling Rumi’s description of the spiritual ascent of man. [123] (bold ours)

The crucial point to grasp here is that Rizvi draws a clear line between those who affirm the doctrine of transmigration, which include the Sufis of this unknown “unorthodox school”, and those who do not – presumably the Sufis of the orthodox school. However, Rizvi’s attempt at associating transmigration to Rumi’s description of the spiritual ascent of man is a highly contested issue and far from settled. As a matter of fact, not only does Hanif disagree with such an assessment in his extensive Biographical Encyclopaedia of Sufis [in] South Asia, but only recognises a handful of Sufis in the region. [124]

Nevertheless, perhaps it is this obvious divide between the two belief systems that forces Rizvi to paradoxically assert that his “analysis of Guru Nanak’s teachings in the light of Sufi thought should not be construed as an assertion that the great Guru borrowed his thought from the Sufis. It indicates that Guru Nanak, through his own deep meditation, arrived at the same conclusions as had already been reached by Sufis, such as Rumi, Sa’di, ‘Iraqi, Jami and Hafiz”. [125] Yet, such an explanation seems to negate any possibility of social context having influenced Nanak’s conclusions, a factor Rizvi certainly seems to acknowledge elsewhere:

In his [Nanak’s] early life, he was inquisitive beyond his age, was given to profound meditation and was exceedingly humane. His critical acumen and balanced judgement helped him to carve out an outstanding place for himself in an environment overflowing with mystical thought and spiritual attainments. As he belonged to a literate family, neatly placed in the service of the Afghan governors of the Punjab, he must have listened to verses of Rumi, Sa’di, Hafiz and Jami in his own home environment and the thought of the great mystic poets would have aroused his interest in Divine love, grace and mercy. As his understanding of the Supreme Being matured and his experience increased, he felt himself endowed with a sort of Divine inspiration which made his thought pattern unique and gave him a serene self-confidence. [126]

It is too simplistic an explanation to restrict Nanak’s conclusions to mere meditation alone when he was known to have frequently interacted with and been exposed to a variety of sources and materials that would have invariably had a profound impact in shaping his final thoughts and experiences.

It is, therefore, entirely understandable why McLeod rejected any unqualified assertion of a direct influence of Sufism over Nanak including something as simple as “the argument Toynbee articulates that Guru Nanak got his monotheism from Islam”. Courtright posits instead: “Had Guru Nanak drawn his monotheism from Sufism we would expect to find Sufi terminology. The fact is that we do not find such terminology.” He, thus, concludes:

To summarize this investigation of Islamic influences, we have maintained that some influence from Punjabi Sufism can be detected in Guru Nanak’s thought. This influence had already been absorbed into the Bhakti Sant tradition. Whatever direct influence there was from Sufism is minimal. As McLeod states, “… no fundamental components of Nanak’s thought can be traced with assurance to an Islamic source. Guru Nanak’s principal inheritance from the religious background of the period was unquestionably that of the Sant tradition and evidence of other independent influences is relatively slight. We must acknowledge that the antecedents of the Sant beliefs are by no means wholly clear and that within the area of obscurity there may be important features which derived primarily from Sufi sources.” We are drawn to the conclusion that one cannot justify the statement that Guru Nanak drew his idea of monotheism or any other central belief, language or imagery directly from Islamic sources. The process of syncretism between Hinduism and Islam had already been going on for some time before Guru Nanak. He was an heir to this process and emerges out of a tradition which had already confronted and assimilated some Islamic influence. Consequently, Guru Nanak himself is not the syncretizing element in the development of Sikhism but comes out of an age when exchange and interpenetration had been going on for at least three centuries before him. [127] (bold ours)

Hence, it was not Sufism that had a direct influence on Nanak, but rather Bhaktism whose religious doctrines are at such odds with orthodox Islam as compared to Sufism that one hopes even the Ahmadiyya would not be so foolish as to suggest the Bhaktis were Muslims.

He [Nanak] believed in transmigration and his ideas on the subject are not incompatible with the ideas of the Sufis of the unorthodox school in many places resembling Rumi’s description of the spiritual ascent of man.

When critically evaluating the evidence before us then, it should be obvious to any fair and critically minded individual that if Nanak was in anyway remotely associated to Islam, it certainly could not have been orthodox. Hence, all unqualified assertions of Islam’s influence on this so-called Guru cannot and should not be given any consideration.

Of course, the irony is that while the Ahmadiyya went to extremes in brazenly rejecting the prophethood of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), they also went to the opposite extreme by insisting that Nanak was a bona fide Muslim, albeit a Sufi.

In all then, if one is to insist that Nanak was a Sufi or was directly influenced by Sufism, which as we have shown is a very big ‘if’, then in light of the heretical beliefs of the Sufis of his time and especially his locale, Nanak would have to be classified as an extreme Sufi who affirmed beliefs and doctrines entirely alien to the original message preached by Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). As to whether such a person could strictly be classed a Muslim would stretch the boundaries of acceptability to the limit.

Although this may seem to be a tentative conclusion to some, this is only because we have yet to evaluate the historical evidence that will help us better understand Nanak’s religious beliefs. The strongest arguments forwarded in support of Nanak’s Muslim identity rests on historical grounds – arguments conceived by Ghulam Ahmad that have managed to fool his gullible flock to this day.

As we highlighted above, Ahmad’s Nanakian proposition rests on two grounds:

  1. Relics attributed to Nanak.
  2. The Sikh historical tradition.

It is these evidences we will now deconstruct and critically examine in detail.

Exhibit A – The Relics of Guru Nanak

The strength of this first argument rests entirely on the premise that the relics attributed to Nanak were indeed his. But how valid is this assumption and on what evidential basis does this rest?

The two relics in question are: 1) a chola, or cloak, often referred to as the Chola Sahib; 2) a Qur’an said to be a personal copy of his. Notwithstanding the fact that the former is given far more prominence and importance than the latter, the approach in analysing the purported facts and supportive arguments is effectively the same for both. We can begin by asking the simple question: what good reasons are there for accepting such assertions?

No doubt, the first person we turn to in answering this is Ghulam Ahmad who, in reply to a one Sardar Raj Indar Singh, revealed:

I have seen Baba Nanak Sahib twice in my visions. He acknowledged that he had obtained light from the same source. Vain talk and falsehood are the characteristics of those who swallow carrion; I have stated only that which I have seen. That is why I hold Baba Nanak Sahib in high esteem, as I know that he drank from the same spring from which we drink. God Almighty knows that I speak out of the comprehension which has been bestowed upon me. [128]

In staking his claim upon divine revelation, Ahmad essentially put all his eggs into one basket. As the Qadiani, Maulana Muhammad Ali, candidly puts it, since “the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement had already come to the conclusion that Guru Nanak was in fact a true Muslim, he also thought of solving the mystery enshrouding the chola“. [129] This “most convincing piece of evidence which the Promised Messiah discovered and recorded in his book is the Chola Sahib“, explains Ali’s coreligionist Syed Hasanat Ahmad, “is a cotton cloak and held very sacred by the Sikhs. So, the Promised Messiah sent a deputation to the custodian of the Chola Sahib in Dera Baba Nanak, the deputation reported that they had seen written on the Chola verses from the Holy Quran”. [130]

This approach at magnifying the historical worth of the cloak amongst the Sikhs is one that is repeated ad nauseam by the Ahmadiyya. In their periodical, Review of Religions, for instance, the author uses this broadbrush to say that “the chola has been honored and respected and often worshipped by the followers of Nanak continually during the four hundred years which have elapsed since it came into existence. Annual fairs and gatherings have also been always held in connection with it, and the coverings that have been offered from time to time by Rajas and Raises are a standing testimony to the honor in which the chola has always been held by people of all classes among the followers of Nanak”. Whether the Sikhs collectively held the chola in such high regard or whether its importance and status was more restricted is difficult to guage. Nevertheless, what can be asserted with confidence is how the Ahmadiyya have glorified its status to support their stance. As they boast:

Although there are numerous other evidences showing clearly that Nanak was really a Muhammadan and we shall produce some of them in the subsequent issues of the Magazine, yet the evidence afforded by the chola sahib is of such a sound and irrefutable character that it alone decides the question of Nanak’s religion. [131]

In any case, it ought to be obvious that the historical import of this relic cannot be measured by the degree of importance given to it by a community, and yet this is precisely what the Ahmadiyya have done. Rather than objectively determining the truth of the historical tradition surrounding the chola, they have conveniently accepted it a priori before opportunistically presenting it as fact to serve their agenda. In addition, Howard Arnold Walter noted while making extensive recourse to said periodical:

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). [132]

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). …

“[T]he 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).

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. [133] (bold ours)

No one, of course, save Ghulam Ahmad!

Hasanat Ahmad confirms that the “custodians of the Chola did not know what was written on it. The custodians found it unusual that one should be so interested to see the Chola in original [sic]. The keeper, who was paid fourteen rupees by the people who accompanied the Promised Messiah, allowed the writings on the Chola to be copied out. It openly declared that ‘Islam was the only true religion and Muhammad was the Messenger of God.’”. [134]

Maulana Ali expands:

Accordingly, on 30th September 1895, he started, with some of his friends, for Dera Nanak. By special arrangements made with the guardian of the chola, the numerous coverings, mostly of silk or fine cloth, were taken off one by one, and the actual writing on the chola was revealed. This was nothing but verses of the Holy Quran, and they were at once copied. This wonderful disclosure of the writing on the chola showed clearly that Nanak was a Muslim at heart. The result of the investigation was published in a book, called Sat Bachan; and though the orthodox Sikhs were greatly aroused when it appeared, yet the truth of its statements concerning the chola has never been questioned. [135]

If it is, indeed, the case that “the truth of its statements concerning the chola has never been questioned”, then it gives us pleasure to be the first.

To continue, an account in the Review of Religions elaborates further still:

There was not a single verse of the Vedas or any other religious book upon it except the Holy Quran. From top to bottom the verses of the Holy Quran, especially those refuting the false doctrines of other faiths with regard to Divine Unity and attributes, were written upon it. The part revealed first of all contained the most well-known verse used in the beginning of the chapters of the Holy Quran … In the name of God, the most merciful, the most compassionate. Then followed the reputed formula of Muhammadan faith … Nothing deserves to be worshipped besides God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God. … Verse after verse of the Holy Quran was then revealed. … Verily the true religion with God is the faith of Islam. … I bear witness that there is no god besides God, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Prophet. … Say, God is one. Everything owes its existence to God but God owes His existence to none, neither does He beget nor is He begotten, and there is none like unto Him. … Verily those who enter into thy bai’at, O Prophet, enter into the bai’at of God. Besides these, there was the well-known verse known as the throne-verse, as well as the chapter entitled “Help,” the chapter entitled Fatiha, the names of the Divine Being mentioned in the Holy Quran and several other verses of the Quran, in all of which importance is attached to adherence to the principles of Islam. [136]

At this point, a few observations need to be made. The first is that despite tradition recording “that verses from the sacred scriptures of all religions had been written upon it [the chola] by the hand of God” (bold ours), the Ahmadiyya have reported that only verses of the Qur’an were found “refuting the false doctrines of other faiths with regard to Divine Unity and attributes”. The second is the origin of the cloak which the Ahmadiyya accept as having been presented to Nanak by none other than God Himself. Ahmad relates a tradition in which Nanak is given this robe during his trek with sidekick Mardana through Arabia:

A voice then came to Nanak from heaven, saying: “Nanak, I am well pleased with thee and grant thee a dress.” Nanak said: “As it please Thee, O Lord, for Thou art alone and without any partner or rival.” Then Nanak prostrated himself and thanked God. A cloak (the chola) was then granted him and upon it were written the words of nature in Arabic, Turkish, Persian, Hindi and Sanskrit. … After seven days there was a general talk among the people that there was a dervish upon whose cloak were written the thirty sections of the Divine Quran. … Nanak told him to take off the cloak if it was in his power. The people then ran to him but they could not take off the cloak as it was the gift of God and had been woven by the hands of nature. [137]

Ahmad references this to “a tradition related in the Sakhi of Bhai Bala, more commonly known as Angad’s Sakhi”, [138] or as Maulana Ali repeats more fully:

A tradition in the Sakhi of Bhai Bala, more commonly known as Angad’s Sakhi, states that the chola was sent down to Nanak from heaven and that upon it were written the words of nature in Arabic, Turkish, Persian, Hindi and Sanskrit. [139]

While the Review of Religions attempts to rationalise the supernatural nature of the story as follows:

Excluding some details, the tradition seems in the main to be creditable. The mere fact that it relates the chola as having come down from heaven and the words written upon it as having been written by the hand of God, does not throw any discredit upon its truthfulness. The powers of God should not be limited to the small compass of human understanding. Moreover the words of the tradition allow of another easy interpretation. The words written upon the chola may have been revealed to Nanak by God, and in that case they would be spoken of as having come down from heaven, since the Word of God which is revealed to man, really descends from heaven. Such metaphors are common in spiritual language, and that which is revealed by God is regarded as the Work of God Himself. … The chola was given to him from heaven as a sign that in the injunctions written upon it was the pleasure of God, and in its directions was the guidance to true salvation. Nanak, therefore, wore the chola because it was a sign from heaven of the pleasure of God. [140]

Incidentally, this supernatural origin is not accepted by everyone. H.S. Singha, for example, relates that it was “presented to Guru Nanak by a Muslim devotee of Baghdad”. [141] This view is also held by Gurbachan Singh Sidhu who, in his published discourse with a Qadiani, argues:

Such offerings were given not only to Guru Nanak alone but also to the later Gurus who accepted them gratefully. 

An awning and a Chauri offered by a Muslim can still be seen in the golden Temple at Amritsar. [142] Guru Hargobind, the sixth Guru caused a mosque to be built in Hargobind Pur for his Muslim followers at his own expense. Guru Arjan Dev was a great friend of Saaeen Mian Meer and they frequently stayed and prayed together. The Guru offered his composition “Sukhmani” to the Meer who later sent it to Ajmer Sharif. The Guru was sent a turban and Rs500 by the Sajada Nasheen of Ajmer as a token of respect. Examples can be given ad infinitum where gifts were exchanged between the Sikh Gurus and the Muslim divines. The most striking example is that of Peer Budhu Shah of Sadhaura (still worshipped by the Muslims in India) who sacrificed his sons for Guru Gobind Singh. When asked to claim recompense, the Peer simply asked for the Guru’s hair.and comb. These relics are still with the Peer’s family in Pakistan. Last year a descendant of the peer brought these to England and they were openly displayed in Sikh temples. The utensil given by Guru Gobind Singh to Rai Kalah of Raikot is yet another example. … If the Guru’s comb, Sukhmani, and hair did not turn Muslims into Sikhs and the Awning, Chauri and the Sajada Nasheen’s turban did not turn the Gurus into Muslims, how can you claim that Guru Nanak became a Muslim just by accepting a gift from a Muslim friend? [143] (bold, underline ours)

In other words, it is premature to conclude that Nanak’s utilisation, or anyone else’s for that matter, of a religiously-oriented gift serves as indisputable evidence of his religious identity.

Notwithstanding such a discrepancy, the same source is also relied upon in determining what became of the attire after Nanak’s death and how it came into the hands of the custodians. Maulana Ali relates:

Upon Nanak’s death, the chola passed to his first successor, Angad, and thus to successive Gurus, till the time of the fifth Guru, Arjan Das. In his time, the chola was obtained by Tota Ram, in recognition of some great service done. After some time, it fell into the hands of Kabli Mal, a descendant of Nanak, and, since then, it has remained in the hands of his descendants at Dera Nanak. On account of the high repute and sanctity in which the chola was held by the followers of Nanak, the practice became common at an early date of offering coverings to protect it from wear and tear. The mystery which surrounded the chola became deeper by the increased number of coverings, which hid it altogether from the eye of the worshipper. Only a part of the sleeve was shown, but, by constant handling, the letters on that part became quite obscure. [144]

Ghulam Ahmad added:

It is stated in the Sakhi of the chola that upon Nanak’s death, the sacred chola passed to his first successor Angad …. This ceremony was duly gone through by every succeeding Guru until the time of the fifth Guru, Arjan Das. At the time of succession they wore it on their heads and on great occasions sought blessing from it. Now in the days of Arjan Das, a tank was being dug at Amritsar and many zealous Sikhs were engaged in the task. One of them, named Tota Ram, worked so hard and with such zeal that being extremely pleased with him, Arjan Das expressed his readiness to grant him anything that he liked. Upon this Tota Ram beggod of him the Sukhi Dan, i.e., the gift which should give him eternal happiness or the thing by which he should be guided in his religion. Arjan Das knew at once that he was asking for the chola, for in the chola only was the guidance to the true religion, and said: “Thou hast asked of me my whole property.” He then made over the chola to Tota Ram. After some time it fell into the hands of Kabli Mal, a descendant of Nanak, and since then it has remained in the hands of his descendants at Dera Nanak in the Gurdaspur district. [145]

Once again, the Ahmadiyya accept Sikh tradition a priori when highlighting the purpose of the cloak by insisting that it was donned by Nanak to help identify him as a Muslim. The Review of Religions maintains:

Nanak wore the chola that no one might be deceived as to the religion he professed. The evidence of the unity of God and of the Divine mission of the Holy Prophet, was not only uttered by his lips but was expressed on his very clothes. 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? Wherever he passed he might have been easily known to all as a Muhammadan …. The asserted origin of the chola also corroborates the conclusion that Nanak wore the chola as an apparent sign of his being a Muslim. Being a Hindoo by birth, he could not for a moment wear the chola unless he believed in its Divine origin and had renounced the faith condemned by the words of the chola. The words expressive of his own former state were also there … “Holy art thou, O God, there is no god besides thee, I was one of the unjust,” thus clearly indicating that from the time that he wore the chola, he no more professed his former religion. The chola, moreover, affords the only uninterrupted and, therefore, the only sure, testimony of Nanak’s religious principles. In short, there are strong and valid arguments showing that the chola which is now kept at Dera Nanak is the very chola which Nanak wore as a sign of his Islam. Firstly, it is mentioned in the Janam Sakhi of Angad and Bala which is one of the earliest writings of the Sikh religion. Secondly, there is a book in the hands of the descendants of Kabli Mal, the guardians of the chola, known as the chola Sakhi, and in it, it is clearly stated that the chola was the gift of God to Nanak, and that his successors all sought blessing from it and honored it. This is a clear proof that the chola has ever been regarded as the spiritual gift of Nanak to his successors and as a source of blessings. [146] (bold ours)

All this, however, raises some considerable problems that require addressing. Consider, for example, why anyone would have been “deceived as to the religion he professed” if “[t]he evidence of the unity of God and of the Divine mission of the Holy Prophet was … uttered by his lips”? This question becomes all the more acute when taking into consideration Ahmad’s insistence that Nanak “was actually a Muslim [who] performed Hajj, married into a Muslim family, and lived a pious life”. [147] If all this were true, then there should never have been any inkling towards his Muslim identity; certainly not to the extent reported. But the fact that there was suggests that there must have existed sufficient doubt that forced him into wearing such elaborate attire with said purpose. If we assume, arguendo, that Nanak was considered by some to be nominally Muslim, then it is more than likely, as we have argued, that this highly remote connection probably stemmed from his association to the Bhakti movement.

Such nuances of interpretation are, of course, wholly ignored by the Ahmadiyya who opt for an approach that not only gives greater concern towards achieving their agenda than with historical accuracy, but also better explains some of the tendentiously simplistic conclusions expressed by their academics. For example, Abdul Jaleel contends:

The Chola, or the cloak of Baba Nanak, is the holiest relic of the Guru and is preserved in Dera Baba Nanak, a small village in Gurdaspur District of the Punjab. This is a cloak which Nanak wore in his life-time and it is considered so sacred that his immediate followers took every care to keep it safe. The regard and reverence rendered to the Chola by the Sikh community is a testimony to the authenticity of the cloak. [148]

There is then the important issue of whether the cloak’s history extends uninterrupted from the current custodians all the way back to the person of Nanak. There appears to be a tradition which, if uncritically accepted, as the Ahmadiyya have done to suit their agenda, suggests that this robe was at one point in time unaccounted for before its apparent rediscovery by a one Baba Kabli Mal. The story goes that Guru Arjan awarded the robe passed down to him via the four Gurus to Bhai Tota Ram, a resident of the town of Balakh-Bokhara in northern Afghanistan, who “before his death, [] anticipated that his children might not look after the Holy Robe (Chola Sahib) properly. So he put it in a cave and closed the opening with a Big Rock”. Much later, it came into the hands of Baba Kabli Mal as follows:

Baba Shri Chand was not married and Baba Lakhmi Dass Ji was married. Baba Kabli Mal Ji belonged to the eight generation of Baba Lakhmi Dass Ji and thus direct descendent of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Baba Kabli Mal Ji used to meditate a lot and was leading a saintly life. The incidence is more than 270 years old when Baba Kabli Mal Ji dreamt about Guru Nanak Dev Ji who told him about his Holy Robe (Chola Sahib) lying at Balkh-Bokhara (Afganistan) and asked him to bring it from there. When Baba Kabli Mal Ji reached there accordingly, the people of that area confirmed that Guru Ji’s Holy Robe was lying inside the cave which is blocked by a big Rock. 

Baba Kabli Mal Ji kept thinking about how to remove the huge rock. At night again he dreamt about Guru Ji. Guru Ji told Baba Kabli Mal Ji not to worry, Get up early morning, Take bath and Prepare “Prashad” (offering) Recite Japuji Sahib and Sprinkle water five times on the Rock. Baba Ji did as was ordained and the ‘rock’ was shifted aside. Taking the Holy Robe (Chola Sahib) Baba Kabli Mal Ji reached Dera Baba Nanak on 21st Phalgun (4th March). The Holy Robe (Chola Sahib) is now being very properly looked after by Baba Sukhdev Singh Ji Bedi a direct descendent of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. [149] (bold ours)

The Sikh Encyclopedia is more specific regarding the date of its rediscovery:

GURDWARA LANGAR MANDIR CHOLA SAHIB, in the eastern part of the town, is connected with a relic a chola, or cloak, believed to have been presented to Guru Nanak by a Muslim devotee at Baghdad. The chola, bearing some Qura’nic verses and Arabic numerals, arranged in the form of charms embroidered on it, was procured from Baghdad by Baba Kabali Mall, a descendant of Guru Nanak, it is said. It was brought to Dera Baba Nanak on 20 Phagun 1884 Bk / 1 March 1828. [150]

This account essentially casts doubt over the Ahmadiyya’s assertion that “the chola has been honored and respected and often worshipped by the followers of Nanak continually during the four hundred years which have elapsed since it came into existence”. [151] Instead, what can be derived is that although a death date of Tota Ram is unknown, it can safely be estimated that since he was a contemporary of Arjan, who died in 1606 CE, this chola would have been unaccounted for for at least two centuries. In light of this, what credible evidence is there to corroborate both this fantastical tale and, most importantly, the authenticity of this chola?

In the end, the entire argument surrounding the cloak’s historical association to Nanak can be said to rest on two grounds: 1) The reputation afforded the chola by the Sikh community, viz. the Dera Baba Nanak custodians; 2) and the historical traditions of Sikhism. The only evidence the Ahmadiyya have in lending any credibility to the former is via the latter. Other than this, nothing else is offered that might objectively support their case. Hence, what is required is to determine the historical veracity of the sources relied upon by Ghulam Ahmad and his ilk.

Exhibit B – The Bala Janamsakhi

A defining characteristic of the Ahmadiyya is their selective sourcing of historical materials to achieve their end goals. And though they are as guilty of cherry picking from the sources of Sikhism as they have been with Islam’s, we will demonstrate below that this approach is wholly self-defeating which only serves to further expose their founder’s lies and hypocrisy.

Take, for instance, the following standards of verificationism adhered to by Ahmad himself:

It is indeed a great pity to disregard such an important testament of such a holy person, for Chola Sahib is the only personal relic of Baba Sahib left with the Khalsas. As for the verses of Granth Sahib, they were collected much later, and researchers have quite a few reservations about them. God alone knows how many interpolations have crept therein and how many people have contributed to this collection. Anyhow, this is not what we are discussing, for our aim is to point out that, for the purpose of keeping the faith of mankind ever fresh, there is always the need for fresh revelation. [152]

Notice how unquestioning he was towards any doubts expressed against the authenticity of the Sikh scripture, including the presence of interpolations, presumably because it supported his overall contention. As a matter of fact, so certain was he of its reliability that he considered this tradition to be more authentic than the four Biblical Gospels:

Look at the episode of Baba Nanak Sahib. One million and seven hundred thousand Sikhs unanimously believe that he went bodily to heaven after he died. This belief is not only unanimous but is recorded in authentic books, which date back to the time of the occurrence. … [T]he arguments of the Sikh gentlemen about the disappearance of Baba Nanak Sahib’s body and his going to heaven with his physical frame are more cogent and worthy of attention than their [Christian’s] own gilded lies, and are, without doubt, stronger than the so-called arguments of the Gospels, for they were simultaneously recorded in Bala’s Janam Sakhi, whereas the Gospels were chronicled many years after the time of Jesus[153] (bold ours)

Ahmad deduced that the arguments derived from a contemporary source would be far more compelling than those recorded much later after the fact. Hence, the Bala JS, which he understood to be recorded circa Nanak’s lifetime, was for him virtually indisputable vis-á-vis its authenticity. Such an assumption is understandable given that evidence falsifying it being a contemporary Nanakian source were yet to be adduced. However, are such considerations applicable or even appropriate for a true Prophet of God? To put it another way, would God stand by and allow a mistake of such magnitutde, which would threaten to disprove the claims of Prophethood, to occur by one of His emissaries without intervening to protect his status and honour?

A tactic commonly employed by the Ahmadiyya to dismiss the many anti-Islamic concepts attributed to Nanak in the Sikh scripture is to undermine its authenticity by arguing that it was compiled and standardised well after his death. This ad hoc approach is mentioned by the Qadiani Muhammad Barkatullah below:

[I]t is generally accepted that the Holy Book of the Sikhs, Granth Saheb, was actually compiled about TWO HUNDRED YEARS after Baba Nanak. Hazrat Ahmad, nevertheless, contended that there could be no contradictions in Baba Nanak’s words. Evidently at a later time some writers interpolated their own ideas into the Granth Saheb. The Encyclopaedia Britannica contends that the Granth actually contains the composition of many people. It is very easy to separate the real sayings of Baba Nanak from the sayings attributed to him. The yard-stick is the teachings of the Holy Book of the Muslims, the Holy Quran. Baba Nanak’s sayings in the Granth Saheb which are an explanation, translation of the verses from the Holy Quran are authentic. Any other contradictory material, contrary to Holy Quran’s teachings, is an interpolation of a later date. (Sut Bachan, pp. 134-137). [154] (bold, underline, capitalisation ours)

It should be noted that this and similar such arguments all stem from the presupposition that since Ahmad was infallible in matters of the religion, any and all evidence to the contrary would ipso facto have to be spurious and, thus, rejected as false.

But, such an approach places the Ahmadiyya between a rock and a hard place. Qadianis like Abdul Jaleel are quick to cast aspersions against the compilers of the Sikh scripture:

The words of Guru Nanak as contained in the Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh scriptures) were not collected until the time of Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Guru, and therefore cannot be relied upon as accurate particularly as Sikhism had by that time assumed an attitude of hostility towards Islam. But the Chola is clear from this charge, because it was handed down by Nanak himself and has come down to our times in its original condition. … From the fifth Guru, Arjun Dev, onwards, the Islamic elements started disappearing from Sikh literature including the Granth Sahib with only some of these teachings remaining in some Janam Sakhis written earlier. [155] (bold ours)
chola
The sketch made by the Ahmadiyya of Nanak’s alleged heavenly robe!

They are equally quick to acknowledge the faifthful transmission of the chola from Guru to Guru, all of whom, they assert, were involved in the robe being “honored and respected”. They further posit that said robe was “often worshipped by the followers of Nanak continually during the four hundred years which have elapsed since it came into existence”. [156] This is precisely inline with Ahmad’s teachings “that upon Nanak’s death, the sacred chola passed to his first successor Angad …. This ceremony was duly gone through by every succeeding Guru until the time of the fifth Guru, Arjan Das. At the time of succession they wore it on their heads and on great occasions sought blessing from it”. [157] But a robe decidedly covered in the Arabic language, as alleged in sketchs made by the Ahmadiyya (see left), opens a Pandora’s Box of questions that simply cannot be ignored. If we take the plausible assumption that the writing inscribed over the entire front was unmistakably recognisable for what it was, then the first and most obvious question is whether this provoked any reaction from the Sikhs, in particular the four Gurus – Angad, Amar Das, Ram Das and Arjan? After all, how could Arabic as ubiquitously well-known as the first pillar of Islam (inscribed on the left sleeve), and which stood to entirely negate Sikhism as a religion: “Laa ilaaha il-Allah Muhammad ar-Rasullulah – There is none worthy of worship save Allah and there is none worthy of being followed accept Muhammad the Messenger of Allah” not elicit a response? It would be completely implausible to entertain the notion that people as well educated as the Gurus would have been oblivious of the damning implications of their founder having proudly donned a robe which taught that Allah alone was worthy of worship only in accordance to Islamic orthopraxy; that Prophet Muhammad (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) was the last and final recipient of divine revelation; and that “the only religion acceptable to Allah is Islam” (Qur’an 3:19), as inscribed on the right sleeve.

On the other hand, if any of the four Gurus were privy to this fact, then they would have known of the incriminating consequences of preserving, honouring, and worshipping said cloak, before handing it over to Tota Ram for safe keeping. Let us not forget that these are the very same Gurus the Ahmadiyya have been so quick to accuse of tampering with the text of Nanak’s recorded hymns in order to eradicate any evidence of his Muslim identity. Are the Ahmadiyya, therefore, implying that the very same Gurus who insidiuously worked to bury such evidence contradictorily preserved it too in the form of this chola? Their entire line of reasoning is so ill-conceived and inconsistent that it fails to hold up to the slightest bit of scrutiny.

The Ahmadiyya are, unsurprisingly, even quicker to accept those traditions they believe to be contemporaneous to Nanak. However, as argued above, the discovery of the much older and more authentic Puratan JS forced scholars towards the unanimous conclusion that Bala’s janam sakhi was, in actual fact, “compiled about two hundred years AFTER Baba Nanak” (bold, capitalisation ours), i.e. in the eighteenth century as opposed to the sixteenth. Recall that Barkatullah’s assertion that “some writers interpolated their own ideas into the Granth Saheb” “at a later time” is predicated on the assumption that “the holy book of the sikhs, granth saheb, was actually compiled about two hundred years after Baba Nanak”. Thus, if such interpolations were possible after such a long period of time, is it not equally possible for spurious and fictitious accounts to have been interpolated in the Bala JS – a source not nearly as revered and protected as the SGGS? More importantly, if Ahmad did not consider arguments in the Gospels as “cogent and worthy of attention” as those in the Bala JS for not having been “simultaneously recorded” but “chronicled many years after the time of Jesus”, then by his own standards he would also have had to concede this janam sakhi to be equally groundless and unworthy of attention in the face of new evidence proving it was compiled two centuries after Nanak’s death.

Yet, despite all the evidence to the contrary, there are some Qadianis like Abdul Jaleel who have continued to incessasntly repeat how this janam sakhi “is an authoritative source of Sikhism” and how “Bala was Nanak’s constant companion” who “accompanied his Master for twenty years during his travels”. [158] As we have seen, scholars consider the former not nearly as authoritative as the Ahmadiyya tend to portray, and have all but rejected the latter. Perhaps it is for this reason that some Qadianis not only cling to outdated evidence, but sadly resort to spin and misrepresentation. One such individual is Ansar Raza who deserves to be scrutinised and exposed for this very reason.

In his article Baba Guru Nanak – A Muslim Saint, Raza seeks to prove that “Baba Nanak was a Muslim saint” by extensively citing from Pincott’s aforementioned entry included in British missionary Thomas Patrick Hughes’ Dictionary of Islam. But Raza’s real reason for referencing said entry, whose authorship he incorrectly attributes to Reverend Hughes, is because his messiah cited the same source a decade after its publication in 1885 for having “clearly state[d] that Guru Baba Nanak was converted to Islam. (Satt Bachan, inside title page, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol-10, p.112)”. [159] The only problem is that Pincott said nothing of the sort. In fact, his conclusions are so conspicuously at odds with those drawn by both Ahmad and Raza that one wonders whether the pair were analytically challenged, or disingenuously opted to misprepresent him.

Take, for instance, how Raza lopsidedly interprets Pincott in the following passage as evidence of his being “confident that … Baba Nanak was himself a Sufi”:

The Janam-Sakhis, or biographical sketches of Nanak and his associates, contain a profusion of curious traditions which throw considerable light on the origin and development of the Sikh religion. From these old books we learn that, in early life, Nanak, although a Hindu by birth, came under Sufi influence, and was strangely attracted by the saintly demeanour of the faqirs who were thickly scattered over Northern India and swarmed in the Punjab…It is, therefore, only reasonable to suppose that any Hindu affected by Muhammadanism would show some traces of Sufi influence. As a fact, we find that the doctrines preached by the Sikh Gurus were distinctly Sufiistic and, indeed, the early Gurus openly assumed the manners and dress of faqirs, thus plainly announcing their connection with the Sufiistic side of Muhammadanism. In pictures they are represented, with small rosaries in their hands, quite in Muhammadan fashion, as though ready to perform zikr. [160]

Notice that the above says nothing of the sort. According to Pincott, Nanak was attracted towards and came under the influence of Sufism to the point that he “show[ed] some traces of Sufi influence … thus plainly announcing their connection with the Sufiistic side of Muhammadanism”. It is a fallacious logical leap to infer that a person must be a Sufi for merely showing signs of influence or having connections to them. And though Pincott draws a number of parallels between Nanakian philosophy and Sufi mysticism, at no stage does he come close to saying that Nanak was a Sufi, quite the contrary in fact. [161]

Yet, Raza is so fixated on proving his messiah’s claim that not only does he misrepresent Pincott’s apparent position on Nanak’s real identity by quoting him selectively, but even goes so far as to grossly misinterpret extracts cited as proof. The latter is no better demonstrated than in the following where Raza quotes Pincott as stating:

A curious incident is next related to the effect that Makhdum Baha’u’d-Din, the Pir of Multan, feeling his end approaching, said to his disciples, “O friends, from this time the faith of no one will remain firm; all will become faithless (be-iman).” His disciples asked for an explanation; and in reply he delivered himself of an oracular statement: “O friends, when one Hindu shall come to Heaven (bihisht), there will be brilliancy (ujala) in Heaven.” To this strange announcement his disciples replied: “Learned people say that Heaven is not decreed for the Hindus; what is this that you have said?” (I.O. MS. 1728, fol. 224.) The Pir told them that he was alluding to Nanak; and sent one of his disciples to ask Nanak if he, also, had received an intimation of his approaching death. 

In this anecdote we have the extraordinary admission from a Muhammadan that Nanak would succeed in BREAKING UP the faith of Islam. It is in consequence of a Hindu’s having conquered Heaven itself, and vindicated his right to a place in the paradise of Muhammad, that those who were then in the faith of the Prophet would LOSE CONFIDENCE in his teaching. Here again, the words employed are useful; for the Pir is made to say that Muslims will become be-iman, the Arabic term specially applicable to the “faith” of Islam; and Heaven is called in the Panjabi story bhisat, that is bihisht, the Paradise of Muhammadans [see PARADISE]; for had the Hindu heaven been intended, some such word as swarg, or paralok, or Brahmalok would have been used. [162] (bold, underline, capitalisation ours)

Here, Pincott understands from the “extraordinary admission” of a Muslim Pir that once Nanak, who is identified as a Hindu, successfully conquers Jannah, not only will this culminate in Muslims losing faith in the teachings of Muhammad (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), but that Nanak will also have “succeed[ed] in breaking up the faith of Islam”. Raza, on the other hand, entirely fails to appreciate the dire implications of Pincott’s interpretation by not only ignoring Nanak’s destructive role in weakening Islam, but also his religious identity. Apart from seeing this as merely an “interesting story”, Raza simplistically deduces that “a Muslim saint tells his disciples that the Muslims of his time have become be-iman (faithless) and now a Hindu is entering Behisht (Paradise)”. And though he curiously acknowledges that a Hindu will enter paradise at the expense of the Muslims, he fails entirely in identifying Nanak as this Hindu! Hence, rather than the source proving Nanak’s Muslim credentials, it actually cites a Pir – Nanak’s very own coreligionist – as blaming him for “breaking up the faith of Islam”!

Another example of Raza’s faulty analytical skills occurs when he covers the story of Nanak’s first alleged revelatory experience followed by his interrogation at the hands of a qazi in the presence of Nawab Daulat Khan Lodi. In this instance, Pincott states:

From the foregoing it is perfectly clear that the immediate successors of Nanak believed that he went very close to Muhammadanism; and we can scarcely doubt the accuracy of their view of the matter, when we consider the almost contemporaneous character of the record, from which extracts have been given, and the numerous confirmatory evidences contained in the religion itself… Another significant fact is that when Nanak speaks of himself as the servant of God, he employs the word Khuda, a Persian Muhammadan term, but when his brother-in-law Jairam speaks of God, he uses the Hindu word Paramesur. It will, also, be noticed that Muhammadans are affected by the logic and piety of Nanak, and to them he shows himself so partial that he openly accompanies them to the mosque, and thereby causes his Hindu neighbours and friends to believe that he is actually converted to the faith of Islam. But, of course, the most remarkable expression of all is the emphatic and repeated announcement that “There is no Hindu, there is no Musalman.” This can mean nothing else than that it was Nanak’s settled intention to do away with the differences between those two forms of belief, by instituting a third course which should SUPERSEDE both of them. (bold, capitalisation ours)

While Pincott acknowledges that the immediate successors of Nanak believed him to be “very close to Muhammadism”, he, nevertheless, lays stress on the fact that the famous clause “there is no Hindu; there is no Musalman” articulated by Nanak emphatically indicates that he had instituted a third course that was meant “to do away with the differences between” Islam and Hinduism by superseding them both.

Despite this, Raza again ignores Pincott’s conclusion and in its place chooses to understand the event as having “stated that Baba Nanak then proceeded to offer prayer with the whole congregation and the news spread in the town that Baba Nanak has become Muslim”! It is difficult to see how Raza, and Raza alone, reached this vacuous conclusion given the story only reveals that when “[t]he time of the afternoon prayer had come. All arose and went (to the mosque) to prayers, and the Baba (Nanak) also went with them. Nanak then demonstrated his supernatural power by reading the thoughts of the Qazi. Then the Qazi came and fell down at his feet, exclaiming, ‘Wonderful, wonderful! [O]n this one is the favour of God.’ Then the Qazi believed; and Nanak uttered this stanza”. Once Nanak had completed his recital, it is said that “the people, Hindus and Musulmans, began to say to the Khan that God (Khuda) was speaking in Nanak” (India Office MS 1728, fol. 36-41).

Notice, however, that there is no apparent confirmation that Nanak actually took part in the prayers. It is only said that Nanak “went with them” before allegedly exhibiting his supernatural powers. What is more significant is how Raza inexplicably clips the paragraph immediately succeeding the above which actually serves as evidence for him rather than against him! Pincott further reveals:

The foregoing anecdotes are taken from the India Office MS., No. 1728; but the ordinary Janam-Sakhis current in the Punjab vary the account somewhat by saying that when the Khan reproved Nanak for not coming to him when sent for, the latter replied: “Hear, O Nawab, when I was thy servant I came before thee; now I am not thy servant; now I am become the servant of Khuda (God).’ The Nawab said: ‘Sir, (if) you have become such, then come with me and say prayers (niwaj = nimaz). It is Friday’. Nanak said: ‘Go, Sir.’ The Nawab, with the Qazi and Nanak, and a great concourse of people, went into the Jami Masjid and stood there. All the people who came into the Masjid began to say, ‘Today Nanak has entered this sect.’ There was a commotion among the respectable Hindus in Sultanpur; and Jairam, being much grieved, returned home. Nanaki perceiving that her husband came home dejected, rose up and said, ‘Why is it that you are today so grieved?’ Jairam replied, ‘Listen, O servant of Paramesur (God), what has thy brother Nanak done? He has gone, with the Nawab, into the Jami Masjid to PRAY; and, in the city, there is an outcry among the Hindus and Mussulmans that Nanak has become a Turk (Muslim) today.’” (India Office MS., No. 2885, fol. 39.) [163] (bold, underline, capitalisation ours)

Nanak: “In this dark age Nanak starts a pure religion. I do not accept the Vedas or the Quran. I accept only God.” – Bala Janamsakhi Lines 14-15, page 118.

At this juncture, it seems as though Nanak’s brother-in-law believes that Nanak participated in prayer which results in an outcry from the Hindus, at least in a negative sense given that as a Hindu Jairam was grieved over Nanak’s alleged conversion. Note, however, that the account in MS 2885 does not seem to tally with that in MS 1728. In the former, it is reported that there was commotion among the respectable Hindus along with grief displayed by Nanak’s brother-in-law, Jairam, over his alleged conversion. Yet in the latter, the Hindus are made to recognise that God had spoken through Nanak. This raises the question of how the Hindu community could have acknowledged such a thing for a coreligionist who they saw as having abandoned their faith for Islam. If Nanak had participated in the prayers as a Muslim at said mosque, it makes little sense for the Hindus present to then claim that “God was speaking in Nanak”.

Notwithstanding this apparent discrepancy, a solution can, nonetheless, be found by making recourse not only to the most ancient, but also to as wide a range of janam sakhis as possible. In Pincott’s case, of course, such an option was absent given that the Puratan JS was not published until 1926 by Vir Singh. Thus, when we turn to a more thorough and detailed evaluation of the janam sakhi tradition, we find that there is certainly more to this than first appeared to Pinchott, Hughes, and, of course, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad back in the nineteenth century.

Nanak Prays with Nawab Daulat Khan Lodi

The availability of a far broader range of extant janam sakhis, which includes the oldest and most authoritative Puratan version, has enabled us today to uncover vital information that offers up a definitive answer to the question of whether Nanak participated in the Friday (jumu’ah) prayers and/ or converted to Islam.

It seems that in this context their discovery would not have made much of a difference because, as it so happens, the very same source that Pincott and Ghulam Ahmad, and perhaps to a lesser extent Raza, relied upon and presumably had access to already offered a solution which these protagonists either innocently missed or purposefully overlooked.

Let us recount the entire story as reproduced and translated by Ernest Trumpp:

The Navab, the Kazi, Nanak and many innumerable people went together and stood in the great mosque. As many people as were in the mosque, they all began to say in their place, that Nanak has today come over to this side, and among all the respectable Hindus in Sultanpur a noise was made. Jairam was much grieved and went home. When Nanaki saw that her lord was much grieved, she rose and said: “What is the matter to-day, that thou hast come so grieved?” Jairam replied: “Hear, servant of God, what thy brother Nanak has done! he is gone with the Navab to the great mosque to say prayers! and in the whole town, among Hindus and Musalmans, a noise is made, that to-day Nanak is coming over to this side; why should I not be grieved?” Nanaki said: “Compose thy mind, rise and eat food! do not be in anxiety about Nanak! Nanak, my brother, is under his (i.e. God’s) strong protection, no one is able to look towards Nanak with a bad eye; rise thou and eat with joy!” Whilst they were talking thus, a noise arose. Jairam had left Nidha, the Brahman, as a spy; he came and congratulated Jairam, (saying): “O patron, comfort and joy set in! no apprehension is to be made!” Jairam and Nanaki began to ask Nidha: “Tell, Nidha, how has it happened?” Nidha said: “I was not within (the mosque), but I have heard it from the mouth of the Turks that the Navab made his prayer and that Nanak remained standing. When the Navab had finished his prayer, he began to say to Nanak: ‘Nanak, thou hadst come to make prayers, why didst thou NOT say them?‘ Nanak replied: ‘With whom shall I make prayers?’ The Navab said: ‘Thou shouldst have made them with us.’ Nanak replied: ‘Thou hadst gone to Kandahar in order to buy horses, with whom shall I pray?’ Daulat Khan said: ‘O Nanak, thou art telling so much falsehood, I am standing here.’ Nanak replied: ‘Hear, Khan, thy body was standing here, and he who was saying the prayers had gone to Kandahar to buy horses.’ Then the Kazi said: ‘Navab, health! how much falsehood is the HINDU telling!’ The Navab replied: ‘Kazi, Nanak is truthful. At the time of bowing down my spirit had gone to Kandahar for the sake of horses.’ Again the Kazi made a calumny (saying): ‘Hear, Khan! we surely had not gone, he [Nanak] should have said prayers with us!’ Then the Navab said: ‘Nanak thou shouldst have prayed with the Kazi!‘ Nanak replied: ‘Navab, the Kazi had gone to his house to take care of a colt, “perhaps my colt may be falling into the pit.’” … 

Jairam became very happy and began to ask Nanak: “O brother Nanak, how did the mentioned affair happen? tell thy own story, what is heard from thy own mouth, that is genuine information.” Nanak said: “brother-in-law! Daulat Khan and the Kazi began to say their prayers, WE REMAINED STANDING BY. “When he (the Khan) had finished his prayers, he began to say: ‘Nanak, hast thou come to say, prayers or to stand here, thou hast not said prayers.’ [164] (bold, underline, capitalisation ours)

While Pincott could be excused for failing to cite the above portion of the story given that he never argued for the Muslim identity of Nanak, the same, of course, cannot be said of Ahmad who miserably failed to make any mention of this pivotal account. The question is why? Did he or his followers never have access to the Bala JS? If not, then why have they continued to remain silent while consistently repeating their founder’s false arguments? Did Raza, Maulana Barkatullah, Abdul Jaleel, and the rest of Ahmad’s khaleefas and adherents never pick up a copy of Trumpp’s partial translation of the Adi Granth published as early as 1877 (eight years before the publication of Hughes’ Dictionary of Islam) which contained the above? It simply beggars belief.

It is crystal clear from the above that:

  1. Nidha reports from the “mouth of the Turks”, i.e. the Muslims that Nanak did not participate when the prayers got under way, but rather remained standing.
  2. Had Nanak, for arguments sake, converted, it is inconceivable for a Muslim, let alone a respected qazi, to accuse a fellow faithful of being an idol-worshipping and spiritually impure Hindu.
  3. The Nawab himself accusingly questioned Nanak over his non-participation asking why he refused to join them in prayer presumably in response to Nanak’s claim that he had “become the servant of Khuda (God)”. In Islam, becoming a servant of the God entails becoming a Muslim by proclaiming the Testification of Faith before participating in prayer.
  4. Nanak’s own testimony that he remained standing by, thus, allaying the initial fears of Jairam and confirming that he had not converted to Islam.

Recall how quick Ahmad was in stamping his seal of approval on the apparent authenticity and authoritative nature of said tradition; one wonders whether such praise was made without him having direct access to this work or any other Sikh tradition that contained this story. Or was he relying solely on the nine-page entry penned down by Pincott, which he managed, nevertheless, to misconstrue and misrepresent anyway.

How could such a slipshod approach, poor argumentation skills, and overarching disingenuousness befit an academic let alone a Prophet-Messiah of God?

But to drive the nail firmly in Ahmad’s coffin, let us turn to an in depth study of the other available janam sakhis to snuff out any shred of doubt that might remain vis-á-vis this incident. Kirpal Singh goes into some detail by comparing a variety of janam sakhis to acquire a more thorough historical analysis of this event:

The first words that Guru Nanak uttered after he came out of the Bein were “There is no Hindu and no Musalman.” This caused a furore throughout Sultanpur. All were astonished on hearing these words because Sultanpur was a centre of Muslim learning and it was not devoid of danger to say so in the Muslim regime. People went to Daulat Khan and informed him that Nanak was repeatedly uttering the words “there is no Hindu and no Musalman.” Daulat Khan sent for Nanak. At the same time he sent for the qazi of the town.

This should be cause for concern for anyone looking to this story as proof of Nanak’s Muslim identity. It is obvious that the consternation caused by such words was controversial enough to not only force the people to report the case to Daulat Khan, but also sensitive enough to force his hand into calling for the town’s qazi. A qazi is a learned Muslim scholar who specialises in the interpretation of Islamic law and is responsible for issuing legal decrees, or fatwas. It is, therefore, plausible to assume that the reason why this qazi was summoned was to ascertain whether such a proclamation contranvened the Shari’ah.

When Nanak came to Daulat Khan, the qazi was already there. Seeing Nanak in an ascetic’s robes, Daulat Khan gave him due respect and said that the qazi has a question to ask. Nanak looked at the qazi who asked: “You say that there is no Hindu and no Musalman. What is meant by this? Does the faith founded by Prophet Muhammad not exist?” [165]

This question is telling since it reveals the qazi’s underlying motive – to determine whether Nanak, who has thus far remained unclear vis-á-vis his religious identity, was a Muslim, and if so, whether he had, thus, broken the law by blaspheming the Prophethood of Muhammad (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him).

Nanak replied that it is difficult to be a Musalman. One has to live life as per the will of God. Getting one’s mind cleansed of ego and inculcating compassion, mercy and love for all is the true path of religion and only the rare tread this path. Guru Nanak enunciated this in the following hymn:

Hard it is to deserve the name of Musalman.
Only one truly so, may such be called.
First, must he hold in love the way of the holy;
Like iron on grindstone should he cast off his possessions.
In the way of the Preceptor should be have faith, And banish illusion of death and life.
To the Lord’s will should he be obedient: With faith in the Creator as compassionate he becomes,
May he be called a Mussalman. – Guru Granth Sahib, p.142
Five are the Muslim prayers; five their appointed hours, Five their names.
These be the true prayers:
Truthfulness is the first, legitimate earning the second;
The third, prayer to God for universal weal.
The fourth is sincerity of heart and mind;
The fifth, laudation of God. Recite the Kalima of noble acting.
Thus may one be truly called Mussalman.
Saith Nanak: Of all hypocrites, ignoble is the end. – Guru Granth Sahib, p. 141 

The qazi said, “Hindus have one path and the Muslims have another. Which path do you tread?” Nanak replied, “I am on the path to God, and God is neither Hindu nor Muslim.” [166] The qazi again said, “If you are on the path to God, it is now time to say the namaz: you may accompany us (to the mosque) and say the prayers.” Nanak agreed to go with him to say the namaz. Daulat Khan, the qazi and the Nanak went to the mosque to say namaz[167]

Note that although the questions posed by the qazi, which are directly related to ascertaining Nanak’s religious identity, provide him with the perfect opportunity to openly acknowledge his Islamic allegiance, he instead chooses, and for very good reasons too as we see in what follows, to equivocate in his answers.

When Guru Nanak went to the mosque to say namaz, the Hindus of the town became apprehensive that the qazi and Daulat Khan might convert Nanak to Islam since they had succeeded in making him [go] to the mosque for the prayer. Jai Ram also shared similar apprehensions with Nanaki as he came home. Nanaki was a person with firm faith and she was sure of her brother’s commitment. So she allayed Jai Ram’s fears on Nanak’s count. [168] The qazi, Daulat Khan and Nanak stood in a row. The qazi and Daulat Khan began saying their namaz and Nanak only attentively looked at them. Once he looked at the qazi and laughed because he had a strong insight to assume that the qazi’s mind was not in the namaz, rather it was in something else. When the namaz was over, the qazi asked Nanak in a furious tone, “O Nanak! Why did you laugh at my saying the namaz?” Nanak patiently replied, “Your namaz has not been accepted (in the Divine Court) because your mind was somewhere else. Since you yourself were not present in the namaz, I could not have been with you in saying it.” [169] This enraged the qazi furthermore, and he declared that his mind was very much in the prayer, but you were laughing standing nearby.

It is actually worth quoting the qazi’s displeasure directly from the Puratan JS since he reveals the following to Khan:

[T]he Kazi said: “Khan, health! hast thou seen, that the HINDU, looking towards the Musalmans, was laughing? thou, who art saying, that Nanak is a good man.” [170] (bold, underline, capitalisation ours)

Kirpal continues:

Nanak said that it was not necessary that mere physical bowing could mean homage to God. It was the mind that had to pay the homage, and that one could do any way. Similarly, if mind was in the namaz, one might say it any way; but if the mind was not in the prayer and was rather anxious about the new-born filly at home, such saying of namaz was of no use. Listening this, the qazi was astonished. He realized that Nanak had correctly assessed his mental state. Finding qazi in such bewilderment, Daulat Khan asked qazi the reason of his silence. He replied, what Nanak had said was right. [171] 

Listening this, Daulat Khan was also highly surprised. He again asked the qazi if it was true that his mind wandered to the new-born filly at home while he was saying namaz in the mosque. The qazi replied that Nanak had the correct insight. Both the qazi and Daulat Khan were surprised. [172][173]

From the above, it is apparent that the story, rather than hinting at Nanak’s Muslim identity, lays bare his ploy in exposing the local Muslims so as to support his new found conviction of there being “no Hindus and no Musalmans”. Simply put, there is not a shred of evidence in any of the janam sakhis, particularly Bala’s, in support of the Ahmadiyya’s hyperbolic arguments, and yet plenty to prove that Nanak was anything but a Muslim or, more precisely, a heretical Sufi.

As a matter of fact, the spin, hyperbole and subreption resorted to in the above is a common feature employed with impunity by the Ahmadiyya in almost all of their presuppositional arguments.

Take, for instance, Abdul Jaleel’s contentious boast that “a careful study of Sikh traditions and relics of Sikhism lead to an irrefutable conclusion that Guru Nanak discarded the Hindu doctrines and assimilated the teachings of Islam to such an extent that Sikhism, in its pristine form, can be looked upon as a sect of Islam”. We have already provided just one example of what happens when the Ahmadiyya undertake a “careful study” of anything; and in what follows, we shall provide even more examples of shoddy research and poorly contrived arguments.

Nanak’s Early Life

Regarding the early life of Guru Nanak, Abdul Jaleel asserts:

The whole history of Sikhism shows that its founder, though born a Hindu, mixed with Muslims, joined in their prayers and performed other Islamic obligations, all in public. … It was a Muslim Sufi he constantly turned to for advice and there is not a single instance in his life which indicated that he bowed his head to a Hindu pandit. [174]

This grand argument fails to stand up to even the most superficial of inquiries into a select number of historical sources let alone an exhaustive examination of the “whole history of Sikhism” as supposedly undertaken by the good professor.

The only instance where Nanak is said to have participated in prayer that we know of is when he was probed by Daulat Khan Lodi; an affair where Nanak not only refused to pray, but was dubbed a Hindu by the qazi while confirming and maintaining his non-Muslim identity.

As for the Sufi that Nanak is said to have constantly turned to, then it is likely that Abdul Jaleel here is referring to the same person his compatriot, Barkatullah, cites when referencing Giani Gian Singh’s (d. 1921 CE) Twarikh Guru Khalsa – a voluminous encyclopedia that was first published as late as 1891: [175]

Baba Nanak was educated by a Muslim religious scholar and theologian Syed Mir Hasan who lived in his neighbourhood. Syed Mir himself was a saint and shared with Baba Nanak many spiritual experiences and secrets (Tawarikh Guru Khalsa, p. 86). [176]

Of important note is the fact that the first person to give this Muslim teacher said name was not Gian, but, as Harbans Singh reveals, Ghulam Hussain Khan in his work, Siyar-ul-Mutakherin:

Ghulam Hussain Khan specifically mentions the name of a Muslim scholar and dervish, Syed Hasan, as Guru Nanak’s teacher during his boyhood at Talwandi. This is one new point of fact which emerges, but it is traceable to NO antecedent source. (bold, underline, capitalisation ours)

The problem for the Ahmadiyya is that since this work was first “written in 1780” [177] – almost 250 years after Nanak’s death – it would, like Twarikh Guru Khalsa, have to be dismissed as historically unreliable as per the standards of Ghulam Ahmad.

What is more, while Harbans adds that Nanak’s “knowledge of Sufi lore is traced to his early contact with … Sayyid Hasan”, [178] and Kartar Singh highlights that “[a]ccording to the author of the Siyar-ul-Mutakhirin,Guru Nanak studied Islamic literature from Sayyad Hassan, a darvesh”, [179] it is impossible to correctly conclude that Nanak was a Muslim for merely having either allegedly turned to this teacher for advice and guidance, or for having derived his knowledge of whatever version of Islam this dervish practiced.

Alas, this is the dilemma that the Ahmadiyya face where on the one side they are quick to cite any source that meets their requirements no matter how historically dubious, whilst on the other are compelled to tow the party line.

Hence, when assertions are forwarded similar to the following made by Barkatullah that “Baba Nanak also visited Sarhand Sharif and spent forty days in fasting and worshipping on the burial place of a celebrated saint Kh. Abdul Shakoor” [180] from the same book, “Tawarikh Khalsa, p. 224”, not only is it prudent to question the credibility of a book written almost 400 years after the fact, but it is imperative that the Ahmadiyya be taken to task. Either Qadianis like Barkatullah and Abdul Jaleel openly reject the peculiar conditions of historical authenticity observed by their messiah, or adhere to them, but be brave enough to take their position to its logical conclusion, i.e. to reject any non-contemporary Nanakian sources, like Bala’s hagiography and Tawarikh Guru Khalsa.

This, however, is the least of their worries. Their biggest problem is the Bale JS itself which, when examined in detail, stands as evidence against rather than for them.

The Ahmadiyya’s Achilles’ Heel

When one studies the hagiography attributed to Bala, it quickly becomes apparent that what Ghulam Ahmad touted as one of his greatest proofs actually turns out to be his Achilles’ heel.

All serious academics involved in the study of Sikh hagiographies recognise the mythical overlay and fictional elements pervasive throughout these records. In fact, this feature is so obvious that even Abdul Jaleel is forced to concede: “It is true that in [Bala’s] Janam Sakhi one finds much fiction mixed with facts.” [181]

It is discernable that when the Ahmadiyya cite this source as evidence, they invariably do so by selectively quoting, cheery picking, or distorting the facts in much the same way they have done with the sources of Islam. It is this fallacious approach that we intend to expose and examine in this section through a range of examples.

This will be achieved by exploring a far broader range of extant janam sakhis than the Ahmadiyya, who have restricted themselves to primarily Bala’s, have been willing or able to do. In turning to older and more authoritative sources, at least by Ahmad’s standards, not only will we be able to present a more complete and accurate picture of Nanak’s life, but also be in a better position to properly contextaulise and, hence, reconcile between the contradictory historical accounts one encounters when undertaking such an holistic examination.

For instance, the Ahmadiyya have exploited certain references made in the Bala JS, as quoted below by Abdul Jaleel, wherein Nanak apparently supported certain fundamental tenets of Islam, including the Testification of Faith (Kalimah), the five daily prayers, and the fasting month of Ramadan, which Sikhism traditionally rejects:

On page 193 of Bala’s Janam Sakhi, we have: Nanak said, O Rukn-ud-Din, hear from me the true reply: the saying of the Lord is written in the Book. That person will go to hell who does not repeat the Kalima, who does not keep the thirty fasts, and does not say the five prayers, who eats what is not lawful for him. These shall receive the punishment and the fire of the bottomless pit shall be his abode. It is also reported that Baba Nanak kept fasts for a whole year at Mecca and put his fingers in his ears and gave the call to prayer. It is also related that Nanak recited the Khutba of the Prophet and became happy. [182]

As regards the above, then either Abdul Jaleel has committed an honest mistake, or he is guilty of misrepresentation since the above was not uttered by Nanak, but rather Rukn-ud-Din. This is made clear at the beginning of the chapter which begins with the heading: “Suaal rukn deen kazee,” or: “Questions from Qazi Rukn ud-Deen.” [183] As to the report that Nanak kept fasts and gave the call to prayer, then no evidence has been cited for this. What is certain is that it is not part of the aforecited quote.

The above misquotation, however, may not be as innocent as one might imagine. Two similar examples were also brought to the attention of Gurbachan Singh Sidhu who quotes a Qadiani as audaciously alleging that the Bala JS had Nanak going not only as far as supporting the doctrine of exclusive salvation for Islam, but also advocating the dual declaration of Islamic faith itself!

“Say sincerely that there is none to be worshipped but Allah and Mohammed is His prophet” (P. 139) 

“I have read and listened to the Torah, the Gospels, Zaboor and the Vedas, only the Holy Quran is the means to salvation.” (P .143)

However, like us, Sidhu too is far from impressed for he not only brandishes these as “audacious misquotes” from one who has “taken them out of context and quoted what suited his purpose”, but also adds that this approach “typifies the challenge to Sikhism based on dishonest quotations and false evidence”. [184] Despite holding the Bala JS to be the work of the heterodox Hindali sect, [185] a view incidentally shared by a large number of Sikh scholars, he nevertheless reveals that these statements were never attributed to Nanak to begin with, but rather an imam named Karim Din:

Question: “Nanak Shah. I doubt if non-believers who burn their dead can ever deserve grace. The souls of the burnt relatives raise cries. They will find peace only if they accept Nabi Rasul. Without a belief in Muhammad no one can find a place in heaven. The Hindus are kafirs and say that the dead cannot be brought back to life and that Muhammad can render no help to the souls. I reject this view entirely. I have read and listened to the Torah, the Gospels and the Zaboor and I reject them along with the vedas. At this time only the Quran is the sovereign and can lead to salvation. Those who reject ihe Quran are Satans. They will suffer perdition and Muhammad will not intercede on their behalf. Please consider your answer again and clarify your stand point.” 

Guru Nanak’s reply: “Karim Din, I respect your belief and surely you can quote the scriptures to support it. I re-iterate that the dead CANNOT be raised. Only names survive after death. Lakhs of Krishanas and millions of Muhamrnads have born and gone. Death comes to Emperors and prophets as it comes to ordinary mortals. Their bodies perish and no distinction remains between the dust of the princes and that of the paupers. All come and go. This is the divine law. Only God is immortal. Just as the leaves fall off and trees perish and give rise to other trees so do humans. Those who do not enshrine God in their hearts will bum even in their graves because their souls will suffer hell ….. ”

The second quotation of your friend is also a question asked by the same Karim Din Sura. He asks, “Instead of worshipping one God why do the Hindus worship Brahma, Vishnu, Mahadev and Bhawani? You know, sir, that the truth is undivided and the Holy Quran says that God is one. We are commanded by the Quran to say sincerely that there is none to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is His prophet. Only one of them can be correct. You tell us which one is correct.” [186]

After emphatically declaring that “[t]here is no mention anywhere that he [Nanak] observed ihram, did t[a]waf, ran between Safwa and Marwa or sacrificed an animal … rituals [that] are absolutely essential” for the pilgrimage of Hajj; “no evidence that he followed an Imam” for congregational prayer, nor “uttered Quranic verses in a pew”; and “absolutely no evidence that the Guru read the Kalima”, Sidhu reasons:

He will have said his prayers sitting among his Muslim friends. Who knows what one recites if the prayer is offered internally with deep conviction and not as a mere show? When I join the Christians (and I do so frequently) I keep on reciting the Guru’s words when the Christians say their own prayers. We all pray to the same God. I do not find anything wrong with saying prayers and opening our hearts to God in our own way. Don’t forget that the Guru also visited the Hindu holy city of Jagan Nath and also joined the Hindus in prayers. He has recorded this incident in his own words. There is no pretence, no hypocrisy and no falsehood involved in this. I am a teacher and I have to attend the morning assemblies in my school everyday. But believe me I have not become a Christian. … Mecca is not the first place where the Guru joined the Muslims in prayer, he did this first at Sultanpur. [187] (bold ours)

In other words, it would be just as fallacious to argue that Nanak must have been a Hindu for having participated in prayer with Hindus as it is to conclude that he was a Muslim simply for having “said his prayers sitting among his Muslim friends”.

But relying on such claims that Nanak fasted for a year, performed both the daily prayers and pilgrimage, and recited sermons similar to Prophet Muhammad (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) creates an additional problem of epic proportions in that these evidently stand in counterposition to those accounts where Nanak either:

  • Refused to participate in congregational prayer when called upon by Muslims to prove his Islam while at the same time explicitly denying any rumours of his conversion (as detailed above).
  • Was openly identified and called a Hindu sans any denial or disputes.
  • Reinterpreted these Islamic practices, including frequenting of the mosque, the practice of circumcision, and other ritual fulfilments, with meanings that stood in stark contradiction to orthodoxy.
  • Affirmed beliefs antithetical to Islam.

Regarding this last point, then take, for example, an important account recorded in the more ancient Puratan JS wherein Nanak answers Mardana’s query following a chance encounter with a one Sheikh Bajid Sayyid in which Nanak unequivocally affirms his belief in reincarnation and transmigration:

The ascetics, who in a former birth have borne the sting of cold,
Were then worn out; now, Nanak, they adorn their body. [188] (bold ours)

McLeod translates this more clearly as follows:

Baba Nanak answered him, ‘All who enter the world come naked from the womb. Joy and pain come in accordance with the deeds of one’s previous existence.’ [189][190] (bold ours)

Later in the same source and in response to Rukn ud-Deen, Nanak responds:

Says Nanak, listen, O mind, to the True Teachings. Opening His ledger, God will call you to account. Those rebels who have unpaid accounts shall be called out. Azraa-eel, the Angel of Death, shall be appointed to punish them. They will find no way to escape coming and going in reincarnation; they are trapped in the narrow path. [191] (bold ours)

To make matters worse, the Kapoors make mention of a damning piece of testimony from Bala in Saakhis 115-119 where Nanak goes so far as to claim that Prophet Muhammad (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) would again transmigrate into a Hindu family after 1500 years because of sins he committed in his first life!

When Mardana came back from a visit to the Prophet’s grave, the Guru told him that Mohammed would again come back into this world after 1500 years and will take birth in a Hindu family. In his first birth in Mecca he got entangled with the three Gunas: Rajas, Sattav and Tamas, but in his second birth he will remain detached from these Gunas. [192]

While these three Gunas originate from the Samkhya School of classical Indian philosophy, they have also been incorporated into Sikh religious thought. [193] Nanak, for example, presents these three qualities in the SGGS as follows:

The three qualities hold the body in bondage; whoever comes into the world is subject to their play. Those who separate themselves from Waheguru, they wander around, lost in misery. The self-willed manmukhs do not attain union with Waheguru. (SGGS, 21)

The Kapoors elucidate further by explaining:

The Hindu scriptures mention three types of temperament or qualities which bound a human, they are: Satik (Sat), Rajas (Raj) and Tamas (Tam). Where Sat refers to calm and compassion, Raj refers to pride and Tam refers to ignorance. [194]

Hence, according to Bala, Nanak considered Muhammad (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) to have been a Manmukh, which, as demonstrated in our article: Manmukh, Kafir, and the Infidel, would be equivalent to the Islamic classification: kaafir (disbeliever).

What is more, this testimony is entirely consistent with a number of verses attributed to Nanak in the SGGS where he again made clear his beliefs. These include:

O Nanak, by the Hukam of God’s Command, we come and go in reincarnation. (SGGS 4) 

You shall not be consigned again to the wheel of reincarnation. (SGGS 13)

Their comings and goings in reincarnation do not end; through death and rebirth, they are wasting away. (SGGS 19)

All the world continues coming and going in reincarnation. (SGGS 26)

No one merges with Him through the love of duality; over and over again, they come and go in reincarnation. (SGGS 27)

Additionally, Nanak also upheld the theory of karma and its association with past lives:

Born because of the karma of their past mistakes, they make more mistakes, and fall into mistakes (SGGS 149) (bold ours) 

Take to the Lord, the Destroyer of the sins and karma of past incarnations (JANAM JANAM KE PAAP). (SGGS 156) (bold, underline, capitalisation ours)

There is then Nanak’s inexplicable theory of the Hindu idol, shiv lingam, said to have been present in the Ka’bah itself as recorded again in the Bala JS and summarised by the Kapoors below:

The entry into Kaaba was restricted to Mujaawars only, and they too were allowed in only when they were tightly blind ‘folded. Mardana was not allowed to enter the building, he came back to Guru Nanak and insisted that he definitely wanted to go inside the building. The Guru sent Mardana back and told him that this time no one would object to his entry and he would not be blind folded either. Inside Kaaba, Mardana saw a large statue (other entrants could not see the statue as they all were blind folded), on enquiry the Guru told Mardana that the statue was of Mahadev (Shiv). Mardana wandered that how a Hindu god’s statue was in Kaaba. Guru told him that once, when, a king named Khunkar Hussain ordered the idol to be removed, the houses of all Mujaawars caught fire. The king ordered that the idol be re-installed and himself bowed to the idol. At that moment the king heard a voice, “Instal the idol but no one is allowed to see it, those who would endeavour to see it will go blind.” Since that day the entry to Kaaba has been restricted and those who are allowed in are blind folded. [195]

This story does not have a word of truth to it. For one, it has been authentically recorded in a number of ancient sources that the 360 idols stored therein by the polytheist Arabs were completely destroyed by Prophet Muhammad (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) immediately following his peaceful overtaking of Makkah. In Sahih al-Bukhari, it is related:

Ibn Mas’ood narrated that the Messenger of Allah entered Mecca (in the year of the Conquest) and there were 360 idols around the Ka’bah. He then started hitting them with a stick in his hand proclaiming saying: “Truth (i.e. Islam) has come and falsehood (disbelief) vanished. Truly falsehood (disbelief) is ever bound to vanish.” (Qur’an 17.81) “Truth has come and falsehood (Iblis) cannot create anything.” (Qur’an 34.49)

Ibn ‘Abbas narrated that when the Messenger of Allah arrived in Mecca, he refused to enter the Ka’bah while there were idols in it. So he ordered that they be taken out.

This is supported in some of the early biographies of Muhammad (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) and the books of history including the one below by Ibn Ishaq (d. 150AH/ 767CE) who elaborated:

[F]rom ‘Ali b. ‘Abdullah b. ‘Abbas: The apostle entered Mecca on the day of the conquest and it contained 360 idols which Iblis [Satan] [196] had strengthened with lead. The apostle was standing by them with a stick in his hand, saying, ‘The truth has come and falsehood has passed away; verily falsehood is sure to pass away’ (Sura 17.82). Then he pointed at them with his stick and they collapsed on their backs one after the other. 

When the apostle prayed the noon prayer on the day of the conquest he ordered that ALL the idols which were round the Ka’ba should be collected and burned with fire and broken up. Fadala b. al-Mulawwih al-Laythi said commemorating the day of the conquest:

Had you seen Muhammad and his troops
The day the idols were smashed when he entered,
You would have seen God’s light become manifest
And darkness covering the face of idolatry. [197] (bold, underline, capitalisation ours)

Nanak responded: At God’s door there are a hundred thousand Muhammads … who claim to be greatest of all. – Bala Janamsakhi no. 125 

This purging of the Ka’bah from the filth of idolatry was only in fulfilment of the command of Allah as recorded in Sahih Muslim (832) wherein ‘Urwah ibn ‘Abasah narrated that he said to the Prophet (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him): “With what were you sent?” Muhammad replied: “I was sent to uphold the ties of kinship and to break the idols so that Allah would be worshipped alone with no partner or associate.”

How then were these additional idols reintroduced back into the Ka’bah, as Nanak alleged, and who initiated this absurd ritual of entering the Ka’bah blind-folded?! Simply put, there is no credible evidence to support such fiction.

The Ahmadiyya have also exploited references in the Bala JS where the practice of quintessential Islamic praxis is said to have been supported and encouraged by Nanak. Abdul Jaleel alludes to this by suggesting that Nanak spoke favourably of the Qur’an:

On page 134 of Janam Sakhi, we read, The Quran is divided into thirty sections, proclaim thou, this Quran in the four comers of this world. Declare the glory of one name only for none other is an associate with me. Nanak proclaims the word of God that came to him, thou hast been granted the rank of Sheikh, so thou shouldst abolish the worship of gods and goddesses and the old Hindu idol – temples. [198]

But, how will the Ahmadiyya be able to reconcile this argument with Nanak’s aforementioned anti-Islamic beliefs both of which, it should go without saying, stand diametrically opposed? The answer lies in the fact that Nanak actually opposed, to some level of degree, both the external rituals of Islam and the authority of the Qur’an and Prophetic Sunnah. In this respect, Rizvi contends:

Guru Nunak does not denounce Islam or Hinduism as such, but condemns everything that has come between Islam and Hinduism, as he saw them, and their basic reality. In Guru Nanak’s view, only the Reality and the Creative Truth have any importance, the literal meanings of the Vedas or the Qur’an are of no help. They are not necessarily to be rejected, but the essence of the Divine Truth should not be considered to be confined to them alone. [199] (bold ours)

The Bala JS actually makes clear Nanak’s position quite emphatically by quoting him as declaring: “In this dark age Nanak starts a pure religion. I do not accept the Vedas or the Quran. I accept only God. (Lines 14-15 page 118)”. [200] (bold ours)

Courtright too concurs stating:

Guru Nanak rejected the authority of both the Hindu and the Muslim scriptures. This was tied up with his rejection of scripturalism in general. Any religious writing had validity so long as it was transparent to the true God who inspired it. [201]

In fact, both Rizvi and Courtright agree that Nanak was, in general, against “conventialism”, “formalism of ritual” and “pride of worship”. While the former says: “He [Nanak] urges that the effort to seek Him in places of worship and centres of pilgrimage is futile. He is hidden ‘within’ the searcher and only a true Guru directs him to the right path,” [202] (bold ours) the latter adds:

We have seen that Guru Nanak must be understood neither as a reconciler of traditions nor as a self-conscious new initiator of a tradition, but he should be looked upon as one who provoked men to see the true worship behind the formalism of ritual. … 

We can best understand the foundation of Sikhism as a protest against conventionalism, and not against Hinduism and Islam as such. It was a protest against pride of worship, scripture and caste. [203] (bold ours)

Kohli is altogether more emphatic concluding: “The Guru was against ALL ritualism and formalism. He laid stress on practical life of inward purity.” [204] (bold, underline, capitalisation ours)

As for the issue of pilgrimage in general, then Rizvi stresses:

Guru Nanak’s long and laborious journeys were not intended as pilgrimages; he condemned both Hindus and Muslims for regarding pilgrimage as a means of gaining religious merit. He seems to have travelled to obtain personal acquaintance with as many recognized centres of spiritual life as he could; and to spread his message of Divine Unity and Truth to different sections of mankind. [205] (bold ours)

One noteworthy way in which “he insisted upon inner content of the outer forms of religious worship”, as Kohli puts it, was by reinterpretating some of the most important aspects of Islam, such as, the five daily prayers, fasting, frequenting of the mosque, circumcision, and, as already mentioned, pilgrimage and the Qur’an. Kohli offers an insight into this with the following example:

About the ideal conduct of a Muslim he has stipulated: 

“A Muslim can only be called a Muslim if he considered the Grace of the Lord as his mosque, faith as his prayer-mat, the rightful earning as the Quran, the effort as the circumcision and the character as the fast.” [206][207]

Nanak, in fact, even had the temerity to belittle the status of Prophet Muhammad (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) as part of the first pillar of Islam, i.e. the Duel Declaration of Faith. Kohli states in this regard:

Guru Nanak believed like Islam in monotheism, but he rejected the idea of the prophethood of God. … The Muslim divines of Mecca and Hajis told Guru Nanak that THE FIRST is ONE GOD and the SECOND is the Prophet. But Guru Nanak retorted instantly that THE FIRST is ONE GOD and neither there had been nor there would ever be any SECOND. [208]

This excerpt is found in the Puratan JS:

Then Mia Mitha, came to the interview; having saluted he sat down. Mia Mitha, said then: [] “The first is the name of God, the second the prophet Nanak, if thou read the Kalima, thou wilt be accepted at the threshold.” The Baba answered: “The first is the name of God, the prophet is the cowkeeper at the gate. Shekh, if thou make a right aim, thou wilt be accepted at the threshold. The Baba, added: “O Shekh Mitha, at that gate there is no place for two; whoever remains there, he remains there having become one (with God).” [209]

Nanak is quoted further by Bala in story no. 125 of downplaying the true status of the Prophet of Islam. In answer to Vira Naon Malar’s query, who “inquired how was True God like and where he lived [sic]; whether He was a Muslim, as they had heard that Muhammed was near to God and that Hindus say that Brahma, Bishan and Mahesh were God-like”, Nanak responded:

At God’s door there are a hundred thousand Muhammads and a hundred thousand Brahmas, Vishnus and Shivas. There are hundreds of thousands of Ramas, who claim to be greatest of all, and there are hundreds of thousands of “ways” (religions) and hundreds and thousands of sectarian garbs. There are hundreds of thousands of celibates, philanthropists and ascetics. There are hundreds of thousands of Gorakhs and hundreds of thousands of masters of the Jogis….

Guru Nanak told Malar that the Creator is Formless and is Infinite, no one can know His vast expanse. [210] (bold ours)

Muslims have complete consensus over the fact that Muhammad (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) was not only the greatest of God’s designated Prophets and Messengers, but also the best of humankind. In an authentic tradition related in the Sahih of Imam Muslim, Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said:

I will be the leader of the sons of Adam on the Day of Resurrection, and the first one for whom the grave is opened, and the first one to intercede, and the first one whose intercession will be accepted. (Sahih Muslim)

Aside from this, there is also an authentic tradition attributed to Ibn Mas’ud, one of the most erudite of the companions, in which the undisputed superiority of his Prophet is established:

“Whoever wants to adopt a way from amongst you, let him adopt the way of those who died (because the living is not safe from Fitnah), they were the companions of the Prophet having the best hearts of this Ummah, most profound in knowledge, least in formalities; Allah chose them to accompany His Prophet, and to establish His Deen. Allah looked into the hearts of His slaves and found that Muhammad’s heart is the best. Thus, He chose him for Himself and sent him with His Message. Then, He looked into the hearts of his slaves after His look into Muhammad’s heart, and found that those of Muhammad’s companions were the best hearts. Thus, He chose them as aides to His Prophet; fighting in the cause of His Deen. Whatever the Muslims consider as good, then it is good with Allah, and whatever they consider as bad, then, with Allah, it is also bad; {And all the companions agreed to have Abu Bakr (may Allah he pleased with him) as the Khaleefah (the leader to lead the Muslims after the death of the Prophet}. [211][212][213]

How can any Muslim said to have been a Wali (intimate friend) of Allah, as some of the Ahmadiyya have boasted of Nanak, undermine the position of their Prophet, who was chosen precisely because he had the purest of hearts, as just another individual among thousands of others? Only a disbeliever or, worse still, a hypocrite (munafiq) would harbour such thoughts let alone comtemptuously express them in public.

Kohli then cites Nanak, albeit from the SGGS, as going so far as to redefine the true meaning and intent of the five daily prayers:

For a Muslim, the prayer (Namaz) is the foundation of practical religion. He is required to pray at least five times a day. Baba Farid has also laid great emphasis on Prayer in his Sloks in the Adi Granth. According to him, the head, which does not bow in prayer, must be cut down. [214] About five prayers, the Guru has this to say: 

“Five prayers, five times, five their names; Truth is the FIRST, rightful earning the SECOND, God’s Grace for all the THIRD, Sincere mind the FOURTH and the Praises of the Lord the FIFTH, Let practice be the repetition of the Kalimah in order to be called a Muslim.” [215]

The Kalimah (word) is recited by a Muslim as the basic foundation of practice, but the Guru wants the practice of the five virtuous prayers for a True Muslim as his Kalimah. For God’s realization, such a discipline is necessary. [216][217] (bold ours)

And finally, this entire approach is clearly discernible in an exchange found in the Puratan JS between Nanak and Mian Mitha:

Shekh Mitha said: “Sir, what is that Kur’an, by reading which one may become approved of? [A]nd what is that book, by acting up to which one may become accepted? [A]nd what is that Darvesh-ship, by which one may become worthy of the gate (of God)? [A]nd what is that fasting, by which the heart remains fixed and does not move? [A]nd what is that prayer, by the performing of which a favourable glance (of God) falls (on one)? 

The Baba answered and said: “Mardana, play the rebeck!” Mardana, did so, and the Baba made the Sabd in the Rag Maru, Mahala 1. [there follow fifteen verses]. [218]

These verses read as follows:

For such devotees are accepted at His door.
(1). Make truth, your prayer, and faith, your carpet for praying on; Subdue your desires, and give up your Asa; Look on the body as your mosque, and the mind as your priest; And take for your creed that God is pure and holy;
(2). Do good, and make it your shara and shariat; Look on giving up the world and searching for God, as the true road (tarikat); O Abdul! look on conquering your heart as true knowledge, (marifat); Then you will obtain the truth (hakikat), and you will never again die.
(3). Look upon the study of God with your heart as your Kuran and other books; And keep the ten (female) organs from wickedness; Control the five male (passions) by faith. Then your alms and patience will be accepted.
(4). Let love to mankind be your Makka, and let your fasting be the humbling yourself in the dust; Let Heaven be your spiritual guide, and act accortling to its commands; Look on the service of God as your Huris, light, and perfumes, and make the pure God, your place (of shelter).
(5). Regard obtaining the truth as your judge, (Kaji [Qazi]) and purifying your heart as your pilgrim, (Haji); Make leaving off evil deeds your priest (Mulla), and the praising of God your devotee (darvesh.)
(6). [] Make your rosary of remembrance, the subduing of the ten female (organs);
Make humility your traditions (sunnut); this is your chief duty. …
(8). Let your first (or morning) prayer be His praise; your second, patience; Your third, humility; your fourth, alms; Your fifth, keeping the five (male organs) in one place;
These will be all sufficient for you at the five times (of prayer.)
(9). Make, regarding God as all in all, your religious duty (madipha or wazifa);
And make the forsaking of your evil nature, the water pot for ablution (kuga) of your hands;
Know that God is one, and make this your call to prayer …
(10). … Remove from yourself your impurities, and be pure, and regard this as your Hadis;
And make belief in the unchangeable Form, the turban (dastar) for your head. [219]

Hence, it is apparent from the above examples that Nanak intended on redefining those aspects of Islamic orthopraxy that he saw as clashing with his wholly unIslamic religious views. It is inconceivable to think that any true Muslim would consistently repeat such a message, let alone go so far as to undermine God’s divine commandments and His revealed Word.

The ‘Hindu’ Nanak

Guru Nanak ji said: “O Mardana, it is a fair distance away and [besides] they do not allow Hindus to enter therein.” – Bala Janamsakhi

Further evidence of inconsistencies and discrepencies in the janam sakhis can also be presented from a variety of angles.

Compare, for example, the number of occasions where Nanak is called a “Hindu” as opposed to a “Muslim”. We have already seen how he responded to rumours of him having converted to Islam – he emphatically and unhesitatingly rejected them as untrue. Yet, Nanak put up no such objections when called a Hindu. To the contrary, there is plenty of evidence to show that he was either indifferent to or, worse still, tacitly approved of being labelled as such. We have already cited the story related by Pincott wherein a Muslim identifies Nanak as the Hindu who would not only break up the faith of Islam, but also succeed in conquering Paradise (Jannah), thus causing Muslims to lose confidence in their Prophet’s teaching. This admission, however, pales in significance to the one uttered by Nanak and acknowledged by his ‘Muslim’ bard, Mardana. Related in the Bala JS, the dialogue runs as follows:

[Mardana said] “Guru ji, Muslims [Turks/ Mughals] praise Mecca abundantly, so show me it, may goodness be with you.” Guru Nanak ji said: “O Mardana, it is a fair distance away and [besides] they do not allow Hindus to enter therein.” Mardana responded: “It cannot be far for you. For me it is but a mere blink of an eye.” Guru Nanak said: “Mardana from here it is two and half thousand miles (jojan koho – an old measuring unit of distance),” to which Mardana replied: “Then it is two and a half blinks for me! And you say Hindus are forbidden, yet who could forbid you?” Guru Nanak said: “May good be upon you Mardana for I cannot deny what you have said.” [220] (bold ours)

This is a devastating revelation which ought to serve as a death nell to the incessant arguments of the Ahmadiyya. Not only does the very same source they blindly rely on have Nanak referring to himself as a Hindu, but also has Mardana repeating and, thus, agreeing with his Guru’s self-identification.

Bala again records how Nanak is designated a Hindu during his chaperoning of Mardana to Mecca. Sidhu cites:

A Haji named Shah Sharaf questioned the Guru about his dress and said, “Being a Hindu why are you dressed as a Fakir?” The Guru replied, ”Hear me sir, asking a fakir about his dress is insulting. Men of God care little for dress or worldly traditions“. (Lines 23-24 page 98) Again the Hajis ask, “Why should a Hindu Fakir visit Mecca? Do you know there is a place on the way where Hindus are slaughtered? Even the Muslims who escort Hindus to Mecca are molested.” The Baba said, “Dear Mardana let these Hajis go. Do not accompany them. If you must visit Mecca, I will arrange for you differently.” (Line 13-18 Page 102) [221] (bold, underline ours)

We can also do away with Abdul Jaleel’s contention that “Baba Nanak, while on pilgrimage, dressed like a pilgrim, carried with him a stick, Quran, a prayer mat and a water jug for performing ablution”. [222] Actually, the Bala JS account has it that Nanak carried a “book” under his arm, not a Qur’an:

Baba Nanak approached Mecca donned in blue attire like the pilgrim. He carried a staff in one hand and a rosary in the other, a prayer mat above his head, and a book under his arm (bagal vich kitab rakhee haee). [223]

This is corroborated in an earlier source too, namely the vars of Gurdas, in which he records:

baabaa fir maakae gayaa neel basathr dhhaarae banavaaree||
aasaa haathh kithaab kaashh koojaa baa(n)g musaalaa dhhaaree||

Donning blue attire then Baba Nanak went to Mecca.
He held staff in his hand, pressed a book under his armpit, caught hold of a pot and prayer-mat. [224]

Although the above lends absolutely no weight to the claims of the Ahmadiyya, it does not stop Qadiani, Giani Ibadullah, from citing it as proof before going on to argue:

Instead of giving our own comment on the “book” possessed by Guru Ji on that journey we would quote the explanation of a famous Sikh scholar Sardar G. B. Singh Ji retired post Master General. He writes:- 

“Bhai Guru Das has said that the Book under the arm pit can be understood as the Holy Quran (Hamail) of small size in fine print. The Muslims usually hang it on the arm after wrapping it in a satchel [sic], due [to] its light weight.” (Parachin Bateran 20) [225]

Ibadullah’s unwillingness to comment and, hence, his resortment to G.B. Singh speaks volumes, since it probably has something to do with the fact that Bhai Gurdas said absolutely nothing of the sort, anywhere – neither in his Vars nor in his Kabitt Sawaiyye.

More significantly, curiosity over the identity of this book even got the better of the Hajj pilgrims Nanak presumably travelled with while accompanying Mardana to Mecca. Kirpal relates that these Hajis “questioned him saying that he should reveal the book he used to carry under his arm. They wanted to know whether it was the Quran or some other text. They also desired to know whether Hindus or Muslims were good. In response, the Guru sa[id] that both Hindus and Muslims would suffer without the noble deeds such as righteousness, truth, etc. The Guru implied that those who do good are good people. [226] Listening to this, the Hajis remained silent”. [227][228] (bold ours) The exact words are:

The Muslim Scholars said, “Open the book you carry and read out your views to prove whether the Hindus are superior or the Muslims.” Guru Nanak’s reply: “The Baba replied to the Hajis they both suffer because they lack meritorious acts.” [229]

Notice though that Nanak did not answer the query, but managed to adroitly sidestep the issue altogether.

There is then the possibility that the Ahmadiyya may have equivocated over the Punjabi word kitab used in reference to this mysterious book and taken it to mean the Qur’an. Though it is true that both the Arabic words Kitab and Qur’an can and have been used synonymously within Islam, there is no evidence in this particular context to restrict its meaning in such a way; for all we know, this book, as some scholars have suggested, could have been a proto-copy of his hymns that were later incorporated in the SGGS.

It is also likely that the Ahmadiyya ended up suffering from confirmation bias. In their pursuit for information that might conform to their preconceived views, the group may have been motivated to interpret evidence in a biased way, in this case the meaning of the word kitab, with the goal of supporting their aforementioned contention of an extant copy of the Qur’an falsely attributed to Nanak.

But what of the obvious disparity that plagues such an argument? While on the one hand, we have Nanak being depicted as a practicing Muslim who had donned the attire of a pilgrim and set off for Hajj carrying a prayer mat, an ablution jug, and rosary beads; on the other, he was constantly being called a disbelieving Hindu polytheist!

To put it plainly, it is inconceivable to think that any reasonable Muslim would consider a man dressed to the hilt as a practicing co-religionist and travelling for pilgrimage – one of the five sacred pillars of Islam – to be anything other than a Muslim, let alone publicly labelling him with a term that represents the worst possible crime against God’s divine sovereignty: polytheism. The issue of declaring someone a disbeliever is as serious as it can get vis-á-vis the inviolable rights afforded by God in protecting a Muslim’s dignity and honour. As such, Muslims are, in general, incredibly careful and sensitive in this regard given the ominous consequences of wrongly identifying a fellow faithful as a kaafir (disbeliever). Prophet Muhammad (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) warned in no uncertain terms:

Any person who calls his brother “O disbeliever”, then it (the truth of this label) will (inevitably) return to (at least) one of them. If it is true, (then it is) as he asserted. (But if it is not) then it returns to him (i.e. the charge of disbelief returns back to the one who originally made it). (Sahih Muslim)

Hence, whatever the reasons, it is not unreasonable to assume that these must have been of a conspicuously unIslamic nature to theologically warrant labelling Nanak as, of all things, a polytheist. And although there may exist a seemingly insurmountable disparity between Nanak’s alleged Muslim appearance and the multiple historical accounts of Muslim witnesses, some of whom were considered learned individuals, all independently verifying at different times and locales his Hindu identity, there is a credible solution. The answer lies with Nanak’s unusually peculiar dress sense as depicted so vividly in the Puratan JS. It is reported in this janam sakhi that when he “passed his retired life in the east”:

The attire of the Baba was one mango-coloured raiment, and one white raiment; on his feet he had one pair of shoes and one pair of slippers. Over his neck a shirt, [230] on his head a Kalandar’s hat, a necklace of bones, on his forehead a Tilak (mark) of saffron. [231]

Similarly, during “the second time [of his] retired life in the Dakhan (south) … on his feet he had sandals of wood, in his hand a staff, on his head rolls of rope; on his forehead as Tilak the paint of a point”. [232] Likewise, when he “began to pass his third retired life in the northern region … [o]n his feet he had a skin and on his head also, his whole body was wrapped up. On his forehead he had a Tilak of saffron”. [233] And finally, we are informed of his fourth retired life in the west and his journey across the Middle East to the city of Mecca:

On his feet he had shoes of leather and trousers of leather; on his neck he had a necklace of bones, on his forehead a Tilak of a dot, his clothes were blue. He played amongst children; (thus) playing he went on a Hajj. The Haji asked him and said: “O Darvesh, thou hast no cup, no staff, no skin, no sack, art thou a Hindu or a Musalman?” The Baba recited a Sabd, in the Rag Tilang, Mahala I. [there follow four verses]. [234] (bold ours)

Little wonder, therefore, that despite his adoption of the emblematic clothing of the fakirs, the distinctly Hindu-oriented saffron mark on Nanak’s forehead, as well as his necklace of bones, either culminated in him swiftly being identified as a Hindu, or led to confusion and uncertainty over his religious origin.

As for him being identified as a Hindu, then as quoted earlier from the Bala JS, not only was Nanak questioned by Shah Sharaf about his dress as follows: “Being a Hindu why are you dressed as a Fakir?’”, but was also appropriately dubbed a “Hindu Fakir” by other Hajj pilgrims. [235]

Further supporting evidence can be gleaned from other hagiograpgies too. Kirpal cites a discussion between the Sufi Shaikhs Ibrahim and his disciple Kamal following the latters encounter with Nanak and Mardana in the jungle. The story goes that after returning to “his teacher to tell him that a faqir has arrived who is accompanied by a rebeck-player and that the faqir sings his own verse. He also told that he had remembered the above couplet”, [236] Ibrahim “asked Kamal if that faqir was a Hindu or Muslim. Kamal replied that he was a Hindu. He was highly astonished that a Hindu faqir could be so committed to the unity of God” (bold ours). [237]

In the Puratan JS, a Haji travelling with Nanak rebukes him by stating that “no hindu has ever gone to Mecca. Don’t walk with me; either walk infront or behind me”, to which Nanak responds: “It would be good if you carry on infront.” [238]

Even Pincott, whom the Ahmadiyya have purposefully misrepresented as supporting their overall contention, relates a story that says the same thing:

It must be borne in mind that Nanak never openly seceded from the pale of Hinduism, or ever contemplated doing so. Thus in the Sakhi of Miyan Mitha it is related that towards the end of Nanak’s life a Muslim named Shah ‘Adbu’r-Rahman acknowledged the great advantages he had derived from the teacher of Nanak, and sent his friend Miyan Mitha to the Guru so that he might derive similar benefit. “The Miyan Mitha said, ‘What is his name? Is he a Hindu, or is he a Musalman?’ Shah ‘Abdu’r-Rahman replied, ‘He is a Hindu and his name is Nanak” – (Sikhan de Raj di Vithi’a p. 258.) [239] (bold ours)

As for the confusion and uncertainty over his religious identity created by his attire, then this is typified by a story recounted from Miharban’s janam sakhi by Kirpal where Nanak is met by “some sadhus” in Hinglaj:

Here some sadhus met the Guru. They saw him attired like a Haji and were astonished at this. Nobody could make out whether he was an ascetic or a Bairagi, Vaishnava or Udasi, Hindu or Muslim, Khatri or Brahmin, Vaishya or Sudra. Some of them came to the Guru and asked: “O Beloved of God! What is your dress and what do you eat? Also please let us know about yourself so that we can make out as to what should be your diet and could serve you appropriately.” In reply to it, the Guru uttered the following hymn: [240] 

Those adopting the fast of truth, holy pilgrimage, of content and bath of illumination and meditation; Making compassion their deity, forgiveness their rosary, Are pre-eminent among men.
To make union with the lord the dhoti; absorption in God the ritually pure kitchen, Love the food consumed-Saith Nanak: Rare are such as thus are blessed.
– Guru Granth Sahib, p. 1245

When the sadhus listened to these words of the Guru, they fell at his feet. [241]

This, of course, begs the question of how Hindu sadhus could have possibly fallen at Nanak’s feet if he truly was a Muslim. It is patently clear that the only sensible reason for this act of homage was because Nanak’s attire presented him as someone altogether separate and distinct from, at the very least, Islam and Muslims.

Dodging the Bullet

There are then a number of incidents where Nanak is guilty of employing evasive tactics – similar to the one noted above vis-á-vis the book he carried to Mecca – as a means of skirting around any direct inquiries into his religious allegiances. The first is cited by Kirpal which mentions the moment when Nanak is interrogated by the group of Hajj pilgrims he was accompanying:

Many Hajis got together there. They developed some apprehension and asked the Guru, “O holy man! Whether you are a Hindu or a Muslim?” The Guru uttered the following hymn: [242] 

Lord! Thy fear is my hemp-drug, my mind the leather pouch.
Mad in this intoxication, an anchorite am I become.
With my bowl for Thy sight I beg, that I hunger for.
This ever at Thy door I beg.
For Thy sight I yearn;
At Thy door a beggar-pray dole out this charity to me.
Saffron, flowers, musk and gold by all persons of all castes may be offered.
The merit of sandalwood and God’s devotees is,
To all they impart fragrance.
None considers ghee and silk polluted:
Such is God’s devotee, whatever his caste.
These in devotion to Thy Name bow.
Nanak at the door of such begs aims.
– Guru Granth Sahib. p. 721

When the Hajis did not get a clear answer as to whether Guru Nanak was a Hindu or a Muslim, they again questioned him saying that he should reveal the book he used to carry under his arm. [243] (bold, underline ours)

Confusion also transpired in Afghanistan where Nanak acquiesced to the Hindu identity tag by arguing that because everyone originated from the same source, religious labels were, therefore, inconsequential:

Guru Nanak put up outside the city of Kabul towards Sultanpur side. Here some holy men met him and held a discourse with him. They warned him that this was a land of the Muslims and he being a Hindu must be cautious[244] The Guru replied that the same Divine Light pervades all. God has created all beings in the same mould. However, some of them wear janeu while some others got themselves circumscribed [sic]. [245] Those holy men were deeply impressed by the Guru’s words. [246]

The same approach and argument was utilised against Pir Abdul Rehman in Iran:

One day Abdul Rehman also met the Guru and asked him what his religion was whether he was a Hindu or a Muslim. The Guru replied that the Name Divine was his religion. At this Abdul Rehman further said that the beloved of God had no religion. The Guru again replied that the beloved of God love God. They do not get involved in the controversies of religion and Hindu and Muslim scriptures. The entire creation of God is essentially the same. Both the rich and the poor, the good and the bad all are His creation. The same Divine Light is resplendent in all. We fail to see this Light because of our egoity. Hearing this, Abdul Rehman fell at the Guru’s feet. [247]

In fact, this exchange is further elaborated by Kirpal below:

Guru Nanak and Mardana settled outside the city and did not go to the shrine of the martyrs as did all the Hajis. This made the city-dwellers anxious to know to which tradition this faqir belonged. They came together to the Guru and asked him if he had faith in Allah (God), Prophet Muhammad and Hazrat Ali. Guru Nanak replied that Hazrat Muhammad was a prophet whose job was to convey the message. He came with a message from God. What is more important is the message he brought and it became all the more important to follow that message. That message exhorted man to worship God. This is the will of God. I also follow this. The people who had come to meet the Guru failed to understand him. 

They asked him to go to Pir Abdul Rahman, their spiritual mentor. [248] Pir Abdul Rahman was a native of Gurdez and had gone on a pilgrimage to Mashhad. [249] So Guru Nanak, Mardana and those people went to the Pir who told the Guru that all the people here are Shias and that they had faith in Hazrat Ali. He wanted to know whether he was a Shia or Sunni. Guru Nanak replied that the Divine Light shines in all. All the prophets are EQUAL TO HIM. He further told that the same Divine Light pervaded in them and in the entire universe. However, we fail to perceive it because of the predominance of evil and passion. If one eradicates one’s ego, it can become visible. Abdul Rahman and natives of Mashhad were deeply impressed by the Guru’s words. [250] (bold, underline, capitalisation ours)

While Ubare Khan is told that being a Hindu or Muslim was irrelevant!

Ubare Khan met the Guru and asked him whether he was a Hindu or a Muslim. In reply the Guru told him that only God is eternal; neither Hindus nor Muslims are so. Therefore, they should focus their mind on God. The question of being a Hindu or a Muslim was irrelevant. Ubare Khan was pleased with this answer. He fell at the Guru’s feet and sought his blessing. [251]

But, it simply beggars belief as to why any bona fide Muslim would choose to avoid answering such direct and seemingly honest inquiries for no good reasons at all. After all, it was not as if Nanak’s life was under threat – a legitimate Islamic reason – to justify such an approach. Of course, the answer is obvious in light of Nanak’s modus opernadi that there is no Hindu and no Muslim. Otherwise, no proud Muslim in his or her right mind would allow confusion and uncertainty to prevail and persist after being associated to a religion that champions polytheism – a concept considered the worst sin of all in Islam. In the end, this ambiguous approach merely reinforces our overall contention while further weakening the Ahmadiyya’s.

Having said that, however, there is a meeting that happened between Nanak and a one Pir Dastgir [252] in the city of Baghdad where the Baba musters the courage to directly answer this all-important question. The episode is recorded in Gyan-Ratanavali, a janam sakhi attributed to Mani Singh and related by Kirpal below:

As they reached near, Pir Dastgir instantly asked Guru Nanak who he was and to which tradition of Islam he belonged. The Guru replied that he was God’s man and belonged to NONE of the Islamic traditions. The Pir said in that case he was an infidel and they would kill him by stoning[253] On hearing this the Guru gave a loud call of Sati Kartar [Lord-Creator is True]. [254] This astonished the Pir Dastgir and other people. They thought this faqir who sang melodies might be crazy. [255]

Whatever the historical truth of this encounter, what cannot be disputed is the sheer weight of evidence we have evaluated in this section that points to the indisputable fact that Nanak was neither identified as, nor called himself or allowed anyone in his presence to label him a Muslim.

As for the issue of ablution, then not only is it an illogical leap in reasoning, given the absence of clear evidence, to infer that Nanak’s performance of it must have been Islamic in nature, but such an argument simply cannot be reconciled with him consistently being idenfitied by Hajis and, of all category of people, Sheikhs as a Hindu.

Nanak’s Marriage

Before tackling the legendary account of Nanak’s death narrative, it would be appropriate, at this stage, to tackle Ahmad’s earlier cited assertion that his Muslim brother (in the Qadiani sense, of course), Baba Nanak, “married into a Muslim family”. [256] Now, there are a number of arguments the Ahmadiyya have advanced for this; but, they are so weak to the extant that they can all be rebutted in one fail swoop by again referencing the Bala JS:

At night the marriage company (of the Vedis) rose and entered (the village) with fine music, inside much honour was shown (to them). When one watch and a quarter of the night had passed, the (four) circuits (round the marriage fire) took place. “This, which I am telling, Guru, I have seen with my own eyes, I was present and speak as an eye-witness.” Guru Angad having heard some words became happy and began to weep in love. [257] (bold ours)

In this case, we have Bala himself almost swearing under oath before Angad of being an actual eyewitness to Nanak’s bethrothal which, he says, was solemnised with circuits around the fire à la the Hindu marriage ceremony.

There is then the simple issue of whether the names of Nanak’s wife and mother-in-law – recorded in Saakhi no. 34 of the Bala JS as Mata Sulakhni and Chando Rani, respectively [258] – were typically, or for that matter atypically, Muslim in origin.

It is also interesting to highlight the incidental point that while the founder explicitly stated that Nanak married into a Muslim family, thereby implying that his wife was a Muslim before and presumably after the marriage, we have some Qadianis today alleging the opposite. For example, a paper published on the Ahmadiyya website alislam.org has the author, Mubasher Ahmad, flatly contradicting his messiah by declaring: “The parents of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, his wife and early disciples were all Hindus, but he did not adhere to Hindu ceremonial devotions.” [259] From the above, it appears as though he certainly did adhere to some ceremony that was more Hinduised than anything else!

Nanak’s Fictitious Death

There is then the curious case of Nanak’s death and Ahmad’s palpably fictitious take on this incident as divulged by Barkatullah below:

Hazrat Ahmad, very clearly pointed out in his book, Sut Bachan, that the incident of saying funeral prayers over half of the sheet without Baba Nanak’s body was untrue. Muslims do not say funeral prayers for a body that is not there. … Hazrat Ahmad contends that as Baba Nanak was a Muslim, his body was taken away secretly by his Muslim followers, and after saying funeral prayers it was buried in a safe place. (Sut Bachan, p. 237). [260]

Paradoxically, what Ahmed rejects as untrue has evidence for it, albeit disputed by the scholars, while what he accepts as fact has absolutely none and is, hence, a gross figment of his imagination. What is more, the contention that “Muslims do not say funeral prayers for a body that is not there” might be true in the cult of the Ahmadiyya, but is patently false in Islam. The strongest and most correct opinion is that Muslims can pray the funeral prayer in absentia of a body. This is proven in the most authentic books of hadith – the Saheehayn, i.e. Bukhari and Muslim [261] – where the Prophet (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) offered the funeral prayers with his companions in absentia of the Abyssinian King, Negus, after news reached them of his death.

It is true that whatever historical evidence we have of Nanak’s final moments are heavily disputed by academics and for good reason too. Take, for instance, the earliest account recorded in the Puratan JS as quoted by Arvind-Pal Singh Mandair:

Just before Nanak’s death, a quarrel arose between his Hindu and Muslim followers over the disposal of his corpse. The Hindus wished to burn it, the Muslims to bury it. Nanak was asked to decide. He said ‘let the Hindus place flowers on my right and Muslims on my left. They whose flowers are found fresh tomorrow morning may have the disposal of the body.’ After the flowers had been set on each side of him, the Guru drew his sheet over the flowers as well as himself. When the sheet was removed the following day, both sets of flowers were still fresh but the body had disappeared. [262]

Mcleod adds that “[t]hose who had gathered around him prostrated themselves, and when the sheet was removed they found that there was nothing under it. The flowers on both sides remained fresh, and both Hindus and Muslims took their respective shares. All who were gathered there prostrated themselves again”. [263]

If, for arguments sake, the above were true, then what is beyond doubt is that the “Muslims” who prostrated in homage to Nanak, for whatever reason, were entirely ignorant of the very basics of Islam. Instead, it is likely that this group may have either been followers or sympathetic to the Bhakti movement and, thus, felt an affinity towards Nanak and his teachings.

It might also be the case, as Pincott points out, that this story was meant to confirm Nanak’s religious neutrality towards both Islam and Hinduism:

The mixture of Hinduism and Muhammadamism is evident in this tradition. It is obviously intended to summarize the life of Nanak and the object of his teaching. He is not represented as an outcaste and a failure; on the other hand, his purposes are held to have been fully accomplished. The great triumph was the establishment of a common basis of religious truth for both Muslim and Hindu; and this he is shown to have accomplished with such dexterity that at his death no one could say whether he was more inclined to Hinduism or to IslamHis friends stood around him at the last moment quite uncertain as to whether they should dispose of his remains as those of a Muslim, or as those of a Hindu. And Nanak is represented as taking care that the matter should ever remain a moot point; The final miraculous disappearance of the corpse is obviously intended to convey the idea that Nanak belonged specially neither to one party nor to the other; while the green and flourishing appearance of the flowers of both parties conveys the lesson that it was his wish that both should live together in harmony and union. The narrator of the life clearly wishes his history to substantiate the prophetic statement recorded at the commencement of his book (I.O. MS. 1728, fol. 7) that, at Nanak’s birth, “The Hindus’ said, “The manifestation of some God (Devata) has been produced’;’ and the Musalmans said, ‘Some holy man (sadiq) of God (Khuda) has been born.” [264] (bold, underline ours)

Some Sikh academics like Kirpal dismiss the factuality of this story on the simple basis, as Trumpp cites, that “[t]he family and attendants of Guru Baba Nanak set fire to the funeral pile and performed the funeral ceremonies, (saying): ‘The Guru Baba Nanak is bodily gone to Paradise!’”. [265] Kirpal reasons:

The Guru’s family including his wife and two sons, Sri Chand and Lakhami Das, were then present at Kartarpur. The right to perform the last rites conventionally lies with one’s family. So any quarrel as recorded in some Janamsakhis; between the Hindus and the Muslims, on this count does not seem likely. [266][267]

But there is another much stronger reason for doubting its credibility and that revolves around the supposed miraculous transmutation of Nanak’s body into flower petals. This mythical tale is, in actual fact, almost identical to one attributed to Nanak’s predecessor, Kabir. As Mahinder Gulati puts it:

Both Guru Nanak and Kabir thought on the same lines, so were their philosophies and teachings. To cap it all, there is almost complete similarity in the manner of their deaths and disposal of their mortal remains …. [268]

According to Ashraf Mirani, this “story undoubtedly owes much to the tale mentioned in Chapter One of the bier of Ma’ruf Karkhi which was fought over by Muslims and non-Muslims alike, and may therefore be of sufi origin”. [269] Roshen Dalal agrees:

According to various legends, Kabir died at Magahar near Gorakhpur. It was said that those who died (here would go to hell, and Kabir is believed to have gone there to challenge these superstitions. A story narrates that Hindu and Muslim followers disputed over how to dispose of his remains. His body was covered with a sheet, and when it was lifted, only flowers remained, which were divided between the two groups. Half were buried at Magahar, and the other half cremated at Varanasi. This is probably an apocryphal legend, as there are similar stories about other saints including Guru Nanak. [270]

It is plausible to assume, therefore, that this story is, as Dalal et al [271] candidly call it, a legend, where: “The word ‘legend’ designates, as I [McLeod] understand it, a story which is not true. It may be popularly credited with factual truth, but upon examination it turns out never to have happened”. [272] Since it is extremely likely that no one tended to Nanak’s funeral rites except his immediate family, it is, thus, equally probable that the dispute over the disposal of his body is the stuff of legends and that his body was never taken away secretly by his Muslim followers, as Nanak dreamed up, before being buried in some unknown safe place.

Conclusion

The aim of this paper was to examine both the century-old arguments of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and the subsequent apologetics of his followers to determine whether there was any truth to the bold claim that Guru Nanak, who is almost universally accepted as the founder of Sikhism, was a Muslim. Unlike the Ahmadiyya though, who it was found deliberately restricted their research to a narrow selection of historical sources, our objective was to be as comprehensive in our approach as possible. Thus, in order to acquire a far more nuanced and precise record of Nanak’s life, we turned to a larger selection of hagiographies than the single one opted for by Ahmad.

We also exposed an apparent catch-22 by showing that the very same reasons Ahmad used in justifying his rejection of all non-contemporary Nanakian texts, including the SGGS, as historically unreliable for being open to textual corruption and fictitious interpolations also applied to the Bala JS. We achieved this by disproving the vital premise of said argument that the Bala JS was the oldest and most authentic extant document when, in fact, it was written sometime after both the compilation of the SGGS in 1604CE and other more authoritative hagiographies. Hence, not only would Ahmad by his very own standards have to reject the Bala JS, but, more importantly, his followers would have to either reject all evidence cherry picked from it on account of its historical unreliability, or be bold enough to dismiss their founder’s nonsensical approach. It would be inconsistent on their part to continuely uphold its avowed authenticity while ignoring the Puratan JS and the SGGS when the latter two chronologically preceded the former and would, therefore, be, according to Ahmad’s measure, more authentic.

In the end, what we found in terms of the Ahmadiyya’s academic honesty and objectivity was as disturbing as it was predictable. Their treatment of the historical sources was as diabolically shoddy as one might dare to encounter with clear cases of misrepresentation, cherry-picking, quoting-out-of-context, and plain outright subreption. And though the biggest perpetrator was the very founder himself, it hardly came as much of a surprise given his equally dishonest handling of the Islamic sources. If anything, this only further supported what the Muslims have known of this charlatan from the very beginning – big on claims, but small on proofs.

To start with, Ahmad was distinctly biased in his handling of historical proofs. In the case of those relics attributed to Nanak by members of the Sikh community, he was swift in taking their word at face value and readily accepting these sans any attempt at verifying their validity. Contra Ahmad, our research found that the chola alleged by him to be adorned with Arabic verses, including the Islamic Declaration of Faith, and divinely ordained to Nanak could not be traced directly back to him. Instead, it was found that this relic had gone missing for around 200 years before mysteriously coming into the possession of Baba Kabli Mal.

There is then the question of how individuals as openly Sikh and as academically qualified as the Gurus failed to recognise something as ubiquitous and, thus, as obvious as the Shahaadatayn (Duel Declaration of Faith) , which stood to entirely undermine their religious faith, let alone verses of the Qur’an that declared all other religions as false. If, on the other hand, any of these Gurus knew of the obvious incriminating nature of this cloak, then it is difficult to understand how someone as hostile to orthodox Islam as Guru Arjan could have awarded this to a fellow Sikh! The entire story makes no sense whatsoever.

As for the Qur’an alleged to have been Nanak’s personal copy, then not only is this again uncritically accepted on the word of the Sikh community, but the book identified in the Bala JS and carried by Nanak on his tours cannot be shown with any level of certainty to be a mus-haf (copy of the Qur’an). Rather there exists evidence in the very janam sakhi that proves Nanak rejected the authority of the Qur’an declaring: “In this dark age Nanak starts a pure religion. I do not accept the Vedas or the Quran. I accept only God. (Lines 14-15 page 118)”. [273] Moreover, he refused to answer direct questions put to him by Muslims inquiring into the identity of said book.

But what really destroys this absurd argument propounded by the Ahmadiyya for well over a century is the sheer bulk of evidence from both the Bala JS, as well as other more authoritative hagiographies, that prove beyond doubt that Nanak:

  1. Was neither identified as, nor called himself or allowed anyone in his presence to label him a Muslim.
  2. Was identified and called a non-Muslim, i.e. a Hindu, on more than one occasion by Muslims themselves – both scholars, as well as the laity.
  3. Dressed in a peculiarly unIslamic fashion including sporting a distinctly Hindu-like tilak (dot on the forehead) during, of all occasions, his Hajj journey to Mecca with other Muslim pilgrims.
  4. Supported and affirmed beliefs and concepts, including reincarnation and transmigration, that would have put him beyond the pales of Islam had he been a true Muslim.
  5. Openly rejected fundamental Islamic doctrines that necessarily qualify the beliefs of a Muslim, including the undisputed authority and position of both the Qur’an and the Prophethood of Muhammad (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him). In addition, he dismissed well-known rites, such as Hajj and Khitan (circumcision) – the latter he designated a sin remarking: “Muslims undergo circumcision; Hindus make holes in their ears. Both are sinners because they find fault with the God-given body and try to improve upon Him.” [274] (bold ours)

As it turns out, the very source that Ahmad relied so heavily on, i.e. the Bala JS, serves as nothing except emphatic evidence against him. As Sidhu expressed so bluntly to his Qadiani opponent:

The Kalima that you claim to have been uttered by the Guru is not recorded anywhere by him although his discussions and discourses with Hindu scholars and Sidh yogis are faithfully recorded in his own pen. You call him truthful. Would a truthful person conceal the very basic concept of his belief? The Guru nowhere wrote La Allah Illilah Mohammed Rasul Allah. If you still think that the Guru was a Muslim, would you accept such pretenders as Muslims who conceal their faith? The Guru NEVER stated that he was a Muslim. [275] (bold, underline, capitalisation ours)

There is then the compelling scholarly side to consider where virtually no non-Sikh academic worth his or her salt considers Nanak to be a Muslim. One ought to ask why? Is it the case that so many intellectuals from different parts of the world and at different times all independently got it wrong by reaching a conclusion contra Ahmad? Or could it be that the Qadianis, collectively driven by a shared belief in the infallibility of their Messiah and a fundamental set of beliefs and agendas, have always been right? The answer ought to be self-evident when carefully considered in light of all the above. Of course, there are always those who will suggest otherwise as Abdul Jaleel attempts when deludingly contending:

It is indeed difficult to explain fully the causes which led to the identification of Sikhism with Hinduism rather than with Islam. But so subtle and variant are generally the causes which shape the religious thought of a people, that a complete satisfactory explanation is often impossible in such matters. [276]

As we have seen, however, a complete and satisfactory explanation is not just possible, but easily accessible for those who honestly and objectively seek the truth. Like us, there are many others who managed to achieve this end. Take Prof Haq’s simple yet persuasive argument below. He argues that it is highly likely that had Nanak been born into a Muslim family, he would certainly have faced severe repercussions for much of the anti-orthodox rhetoric he is known to have spouted as a result. The only reason he was tolerated, Haq argues, is because he was a disbeliever to begin with whose new movement posed little threat to elicit any meaningful response from Muslim orthodoxy. It is worth presenting Haq’s argument in full:

But the Muslim orthodoxy usually did not take notice of the movement arising amongst the non-Muslims as long as it did not directly or indirectly aim at disintegrating the Muslim society. 

Against this background we can understand the reason of the indifference of the Muslim orthodoxy to the movement initiated by Guru Nanak. Guru Nanak was born of Hindu parents. At no time did he claim to be a Muslim. His being a Hindu by birth made him an outsider as far as the Muslim orthodoxy was concerned. And this saved him from persecution to which a Muslim would have been subjected, if he had said half of the critical things against Islamic traditions as Guru Nanak did. Knowing the fate of men like Sayyid Muhammad of Jawnpur and other heterodox Muslims, we can very well imagine what would have happened to Guru Nanak had he been born in a Muslim family.

Sikh literature suggests that Muslims used to meet Guru Nanak and listen to his teachings. On the basis of these meetings one may be led to think that Muslims might have embraced Nanakism, which we would prefer to call Sikhism. But this inference will appear doubtful to those who know how strong the hold of Muslim orthodoxy was over the Muslim society. Except in a few cases here and there, we can say with full confidence that Sikhism was expanding at the cost of Hinduism; it did not find converts among Muslims. It was an accepted rule during that period-and it is still so, at least in theory-that a Muslim is not allowed to renounce Islam. An apostate is to be killed, it is believed. The Muslim orthodoxy was really very strict in the matter of apostasy. There are evidences that the Muslim orthodoxy actually put to death some of those non-Muslims who were reported to have accepted Islam but were not willing to remain Muslims. Had there been cases of Muslims becoming Sikhs, the Muslim orthodoxy could not have taken it lightly. But the Muslim historians are silent about any such cases where Muslims were executed for renouncing Islam in order to become Sikhs.

The Sikh literature does not definitely say that any Muslim renounced his religion and became a Sikh. It only mentions that the Muslims also used to listen to Guru Nanak, and sometimes they even had religious discourses with him. As a matter of fact, we know only one man, Mardana, who is said to have been born of Muslim parents but had become a devoted disciple of Guru Nanak. [277] (bold ours)

And as argued above, this was the same Mardana accompanied by Nanak on his Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Haq continues:

When we come to the non-orthodox section of the Muslim society, we do find a response to the personality and the teachings of Guru Nanak. Since this group did not consider itself bound to follow the mandate of the Muslim orthodoxy, it adopted an independent outlook towards people outside of the Islamic fold. These were people who paid careful attention to what Guru Nanak was saying, and then transmitted his teachings to their own brethren. One of the best representatives of this trend among the Muslims was Muhsin Fani. In his famous book, in Persian, on comparative religion, Dabistan-i-Mazahib, he not only paid a tribute to the personality of Guru Nanak but also attempted to interpret his teachings in the light of the Sikh practices of his time. 

Guru Nanak, to Muhsin, was a man of great piety. … Muhsin regarded Guru Nanak as one who was trying to bridge the ‘religious’ gap between the two principal communities of India. …

In defence of the Sikhs it can be said that Muhsin Fani being an outsider could not very well comprehend the Sikh philosophy of Guruship. [278]

So it appears that, in spite of the indifferent attitude of the Muslim orthodoxy towards Guru Nana, the Muslim community at large did take great interest in him. It was because of this attitude of the Muslims that till recently one very often used to hear, in the Punjab, the Muslims singing:

Baba Nanak Shah Faqir [Baba Nanak Shah, the Mendicant] Sikhan da Guru, Musalmana da Pir [Guru of the Sikhs and Pir of the Muslims]. [279] (bold ours)

In conclusion then, the arguments that we have presented in this paper and the evidence on which they rest should lead the unbiased and critically minded to the undisputed conclusion that Nanak was anything but a Muslim.

As for the Ahmadiyya in particular, then they are confronted by damning evidence that not only demolishes all the arguments of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in this regard, but more significantly exposes his biggest lie of all – his claim to Prophethood.

Subhanakallaahuma wa bi hamdika, ash-Shahaadu al-Laa ilaaha illa Ant, astaghfiruka wa atoobu ilayka.

Appendix A – Rumi’s Ascent of Man and Transmigration

Rizvi is not the only one to have made this connection between Rumi and his alleged belief in the Hindu doctrine of transmigration. However, Hanif disagrees and refers to Chishti Sufi sheikh, Simnani (d. 1405CE), for evidence:

Saiyid Muhammad Asraf Jahangir Simnani makes an interesting commentary on the following lines contained in the Masnawi of Jalalu’d-Din Rumi: 

I died as mineral and became a plant,
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was a Man,
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die as Man, to soar
With angels blest; but even from angelhood
When I have sacrificed my angel-soul,
I shall become what to mind e’er conceived.
Oh, let me not exist! for non-existence.
Proclaims in organ tones: “To Him we shall return.”

Simnani saw the death of self in terms of a spiritual ascent towards the Divine and maintained that it demanded complete severance from involvement in earthly existence. The verses did NOT, however, advocate transmigration, which Sinmani added, was a different thing altogether. [280] (bold, underline, capitalisation ours)

In Hanif’s assessment of the Sufis residing in the region of South Asia, only two have been identified in his encyclopedia as clearly expressing their belief in said doctrine: Ghulam Jilani Rohtaki (d. 1819CE) and Saiyid Karam Ali (circa 1700s).

[1] Abu Hurairah narrated that Prophet Muhammad (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The Hour will not arrive until almost thirty Dajjal Liars are sent; each one of them will claim that he is the Messenger of Allah.” (Bukhari, 13/81; Muslim, 7202)

Hudhaifah narrated that the Prophet (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “In my nation there are 27 Dajjal Liars (kathaaboon daajjaaloon); among them, four are women. And indeed, I am the seal of Prophets. There is no Prophet after me.” (Ahmad, 5/396; at-Tabarani in Al-Kabir, 3026; and Al-Ausat, 5582; and in As-Sahihah, al-Albani declared it authentic, 1999).

Jabir narrated that he heard the Prophet say: “Indeed, before the Hour arrives there will be 30 Liars (kathaabeen). Among them is the one from Yamamah, the one Al-‘Ansi from San’a, and the one from Himyar. And one of them is the Dajjal, who is the greatest of them in terms of Fitnah (i.e., in terms of the trials and tribulations that he will come with).” (Ahmad, 3/345; Ibn Hibban, 6650; Al-Bazzar, 3375; al-Ihsan, 15/26; al-Arnaut said that its chain is strong)

Thauban narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The Hour will not come to pass until tribes from my nation will go and join polytheists, and until they worship idols. And indeed, there will be among my nation thirty Liars (kathaaboon): each one of them will claim that he is a Prophet, though I am the seal of the Prophets – there is no Prophet after me.” (At-Tirmidhi, 2219, who said, “Hasan Sahih.” Al-Albani declared it to be authentic in Sahih Sunan at-Tirmidhi, 2/244)

– M. bin Bayyumi (2004), Smaller Signs of the Day, (Maktaba Dar-us-Salam, Riyadh), pp. 34-5, 108.
[2] Fn. 19: Sat Bachan: pg. 29.
[3] Fn. 20: Nazool ul Masih: pp. 203/204.
[4] Fn. 21: Ibid: pp. 204/205.
[5] Fn. 22: Khan, Muhammed Zafarullah: Ahmadiyyat. The Renaissance of Islam: pg. 79.
[6] Fn. 23: Ibid.
[7] Fn. 24: Dictionary of Islam: pp. 583/595.
[8] N.O. Memon (1989), Ahmadiyyat or Qadianism! Islam or Apostasy?, (Islam International Publications Ltd, Islamabad),
pp. 195-6.
[9] Baba Nanak, (Ahmadiyya Muslim Community; accessed: Mar 14, 2014).
[10] A. Jaleel (1993), Birth of Sikhism, (The Review of Religions, March; accessed from Ahmadiyya Muslim Community: Mar 14, 2014).
[11] G.S. Mann (1996), The Goindval Pothis: The Earliest Extant Sources of the Sikh Canon, (Harvard University Press, USA), p. 14.
[12] W.H. McLeod (1980), Early Sikh Tradition – A Study of the Janam-sakhis, (Clarendon Press, Oxford), p. 8.
[13] K Singh (1994), Impact of Colebrooke’s Janamsakhi MS. on History of the Sikhs, (Asiatic Society, Calcutta).
[14] Ibid.
[15] J.S. Tiwana, Birth of Guru Nanak, Katik or Baisakh, (Maritime Sikh Society; accessed: Mar 15, 2014).
[16] K. Singh (2004), Janamsakhi Tradition – An Analytical Study, (Singh Brothers, Amritsar), pp. 37-8.
[17] W.H. McLeod (1980), op. cit., pp. 24-5.
[18] J.S. Tiwana, op. cit.
[19] K. Singh, op. cit., p. 19.
[20] W.H. McLeod (1980), op. cit., pp. 16, 22.
[21] (Ed) P. Singh, L.E. Fenech (2014), The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies, (Oxford University Press), p. 185.
[22] Fn. 20: The earliest known manuscripts include the Puratan Janam Sakhi (1640); the Bala Janam Sakhi (1658); and the Miharban Janam Sakhi (1754). As for the dates of these texts’ composition, I base them on the following evidence. The text of the writing of the Gurus that appear in the early Puratan manuscripts is pre-Kartarpur Pothi (1604).

We have on record the claim of Hariji (d. 1696) that his father, Miharban, had completed his Janam Sakhi by 1619; see Sodhi Hariji Krit Goshatan Miharban kian, ed. Krishna Kumari Bansal (Sangrur: the editor, 1977), 234; for reference to a copy of Miharban Janam Sakhi prepared in 1651, see MS 427B, Khalsa College (Samat 1708 Vaisakh Vadi ekam nu [Miharban, Hariji, and] Chatrbhuj pothi puran hoi, folio 676). There is firm evidence that Bala Janam Sakhi was compiled after the death of Baba Handal (1648), and an elaborately illustrated manuscript dated 1658 was extant until recently, see Janam Sakhi Bhai Bala, 149-150.
[23] Fn. 22: The Miharaban and the Bala Janam Sakhis were productions of the sectarian groups led by Miharban and Baba Handal, respectively. For Janam Sakhi of Miharban, see MS 2306, Khalsa College, dated 1650 (Sakhi Guru Hariji ke mukh ki likhi Samat 1707, folio 164b); and Sodhi Hariji Krit Goshatan Miharban kian. For additional writings of this family, see Pritam Singh and Joginder Singh Ahluwalia, Sikhan da Chhota Mel: Itihas te Sarvekhanh (San Leandro, California: Punjab Educational and Cultural Foundation, 2009), 84-97. An undated manuscript entitled, Janam Sakhi Baba Handal (folios 1-602), is available with his descendents [sic] at Jandiala Guru, near Amritsar. For more on this text and family, see Varinder Kaur, “Parchi Baba Handal: Sampadan te Itihasik Visleshanh,” M. Phil. thesis (Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, 1989); and Rajinder Pal, Sankhep Jivan Charitar Sri Guru Baba Handal Ji (Jandiala: Gurudwara Sri Guru Baba Handal Ji, undated [1990s]).
[24] G.S. Mann (2010), Guru Nanak’s Life and Legacy: An Appraisal, (Journal of Punjab Studies, Spring – Fall, Volume 17, No. 1-2, accessed: Mar 16, 2014), p. 7.
[25] W.H. McLeod (1980), op. cit., p. 16.
[26] H.R. Gupta (2008), History of the Sikhs 1469-1708, Vol. 1, (Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi), pp. 39, 42.
[27] W.H. McLeod (1980), op. cit.
[28] Fn. 1: Bala JS, p. 1.
[29] Fn. 1: Bala JS, pp. 1-7.
[30] W.H. McLeod (1980), op. cit., pp. 16-7.
[31] K. Singh, op. cit., p. 29.
[32] Fn. 2: The actual manuscript is in the possession of Shri P. N. Kapoor of Hauz Qazi, Delhi. A photocopy is held by the Department of Punjab Historical Studies, Punjabi University, Patiala. An abbreviated text is given in Kirpal Singh, Janam Sakhi Parampara (Patiala, 1969), Appendix, pp. 221-329. See also Rattan Singh Jaggi, Dasam Granth da pauranik adhiain (Jalandhar, 1965), p. 59.
[33] W.H. McLeod (1980), op. cit., p. 19.
[34] K. Singh, op. cit., p. 39.
[35] H.R. Gupta, op. cit., p. 42.
[36] W.H. McLeod (1980), op. cit., p. 176.
[37] H.R. Gupta, op. cit.
[38] W.H. McLeod (1980), op. cit., pp. 175-6.
[39] Fn. 18: Earnest Trump, The Adi Granth, London, 1877. Preface p.(v).
[40] K. Singh, op. cit., p. 40.
[41] W.H. McLeod (1980), op. cit., p. 17.
[42] W.H. McLeod (1968), Guru Nanak and the Sikh Religion, (Oxford), p, 22.
[43] Fn. 10: M.A. Macauliffe, The Sikh Religion, IXXXVII Vol. I, 2000 (Reprint).
[44] K. Singh, op. cit., pp. 14-5.
[45] (Eds) D. Jones, M. Marion (2014), The Dynamics of Cultural Counterpoint in Asian Studies, (Stale University of New York Press, Albany), p. 97.
[46] (Eds) R.M. Feener, T. Sevea (2009), Islamic Connections: Muslim Societies in South and Southeast Asia, (Institute of Sourheast Asian Studies, Singapore), p. 140.
[47] (Ed) C. Caldarola (1982), Religion and Societies: Asia and the Middle East, (Walter de Gruyter), p. 277.
[48] Ghulam Ahmad mentions this incident and his regret at the loss of Lekh Ram’s life in the following publication: <href=”#page -15=”” mode=”” 1up”=”” target=”_blank”>The Essence of Volume III, (Islam International Publications Limited, 2005; accessed: Mar 31, 2014), p. 403.
[49] (Eds) D. Jones, M. Marion, op. cit.
[50] (Eds) R.M. Feener, T. Sevea, op. cit.
[51] (Eds) H.K. Puri, P.S. Judge (2000), Social and Political Movements: Readings on Punjab, (Rawat Publications, New Delhi), p. 140.
[52] M.G. Ahmad (2007), A Message of Peace, (Islam International Publications Ltd, UK), pp. 13-4.
[53] Ibid., p. 14.
[54] S.A. Malik (1993), Sikhism – Some Distinctive Beliefs, (The Review of Religions, Nov; accessed from Ahmadiyya Muslim Community: Mar 31, 2014).
[55] A. Jaleel, op. cit.
[56] (Ed) H. Singh (1975), Perspectives on Guru Nanak, (Punjabi University, Patiala), p. 99.
[57] Ibid., pp. 200-1.
[58] R. Thapar (2004), Early India: From the Origins to AD 1300, (University of California Press), p. 488.
[59] (Ed) H. Singh, op. cit., p. 196.
[60] (Eds) G.H. Adel, M.J. Elmi, H. Taromi-Rad (2012), Sufism: An Entry from Encyclopaedia of the World of Islam, (EWI Press Ltd., UK), pp. 79-80.
[61] T.P. Hughes (1885), A Dictionary of Islam, (W.H. Allen and Co.), p. 584.
[62] I.M. Lapidus (2002), A History of Islamic Societies, (Cambridge University Press, USA), p. 366.
[63] B.A. Faruqi (1940), The Mujaddid’s Conception of Tawhid – Study of Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindis Doctrine of Unity, (Ripon Printing Press, Lahore), pp. 80-1.
[64] R. Thapar, op. cit., p. 488.
[65] Ibid.
[66] (Ed) W. Singh (1990), Sikhism and Punjab’s Heritage, (Publication University, Patiala), p. 158.
[67] Ibid., p. 167.
[68] I.M. Lapidus, op. cit.
[69] Fn. 3: A Sufi order named after the famous Persian mystic Abu’l Mughith al-Husain bin Mansur al-Hallaj (244-309 A.H./858-922 A.D.). The doctrines of the Hallajiya order may be thus summarised:

  1. in Fiqh, the five fara’id, even the Hajj may be replaced by other works (isqat-a ‘l-wasa’it).
  2. in Kalam, God’s transcendence (tanzih) above the limits of creation (tul, ard), the existence of an uncreated Divine spirit (Ruh-i-Natiqah), which becomes united with the created Ruh (spirit) of the ascetic (hulul-a’l-lahut-fi’l-nasut); the saint becomes the living and personal witness of Cod, whence the saying: An’-l-Haqq “I am creative Truth”.
  3. in Tasawwuf, perfect union with the divine will through desire of and submission to suffering.

[70] Fn. 4: The doctrine of Wahdat-u’l-Wujud means that God and the Universe are not two separate entities, but form one unity. Existent is one. This soon becomes Identyism – that it is identical with everything else, which in the end passes on to pantheism, – that it is God and God is all. Shaikh Muhi-u’d-din Ibn-i-‘Arabi (ob. 638 A.H. /1240 A.D.) was its powerful exponent ….
[71] K.A. Nizami (1955), The Life and Times of Shaikh Farid-u’d-din Ganj-i-Shakar, (Muslim University, Aligarh), p. 19.
[72] Ibid., p. 105.
[73] Fn. 34: Fawa’id-al-Fu’ad, pp. 258-259.
[74] Fn. 35: Ibid., p. 250.
[75] (Ed) H. Singh, op. cit., pp. 196-7.
[76] Ibid., p. 198.
[77] (Ed) H. Singh, op. cit., pp. 199-200.
[78] Ibid., pp. 200-1.
[79] Ibid., p. 192.
[80] Ibid., p. 194.
[81] Fn. 1: The distinction of Dhat and Sifat is very nearly the distinction of substance and attributes. At times it looks like that of existence and essence. It can be rendered as the distinction of Being and Nature, or It and Its Qualities. Asma’, plural of Ism, means Divine Names with reference to particular Sifat or Dhat as they occur in the Quran, e.g. Rahim, the Merciful, as they are the names of Allah in virtue of His qualities or activities, i.e., an Ism combines Dhat and Sifat.
[82] Fn. 1: Tajalli is really shining forth. The conception underlying it is that God is Light and this Light shines forth as if bodily in many forms. Hence it may be translated as eradiation, effluence, emanation, manifestation and in philosophical terminology is equivalent to Mode. When the Light shines forth on itself it is Tajalli-bi-nafsihi. As the Light shines forth in various grades to the mystic it is Tajalli-i-Dhati or Sifati, etc., with reference to the mystic it means the vision of the Light or illumination by it. If this vision is that of the attributes of God it is Tajalli-i-Sifati, if it is the vision of the Being or Dhat of Allah it is Tajalli-i-Dhati.
[83] Fn. 3: The act of creation by the word (“Be”) is nothing but the descent of the Creator Himself into the being of things.
[84] B.A. Faruqi, op. cit., pp. 86-7.
[85] (Ed) H. Singh, op. cit.
[86] Ibid., pp. 196-7.
[87] B.A. Faruqi, op. cit., p. 98.
[88] Ibid., p. 101.
[89] Ibid., p. 114.
[90] Fn. 2: Sir Muhammad Iqbal (1294-1357 A.H.) was a great poet, philosopher and scholar. Since he wrote his Asrar-i-Khudi about 1333 A.H., he became a force which modified the trend of Muslim thought in politics and morals He attacked mysticism for its doctrines of ‘Fana’ or self-annihilation, and substituted ‘Khudi’ or self-affirmation in its place. He also objected to Wahdat-i-Wujud or unityism.
[91] Fn. 3: Cf. Iqbal’s poems Asrar-i- Khudi [] and Rumuz-i-Bikhudi []. Asrar-i-Khudi (Secrets of Self): In this Dr. Iqbal denounces mysticism as un-Islamic in its origin and injurious to the national and political life of Musalmans. Rumuz-i-Bikhudi (Secrets of Selflessness): In it he lays emphasis on the life according to the Quran and the Sunnat, and preaches such morals as are more positive.
[92] B.A. Faruqi, op. cit., p. 41.
[93] Fn. 15: “Mohammed Iqbal”, TCD, p. 283.
[94] Fn. 16: Margaret Smith, Readings from the Mystics of Islam (London: Luzac, 1972), p. 2.
[95] Fn. 17: Ibid., p. 5.
[96] A.P. Ganguly (1990), India, Mystic, Complex, and Real: A Detailed Study of E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India, (Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd., Delhi), pp. 109-10.
[97] T.P. Hughes, op. cit., p. 583.
[98] Fn. 1: Haqq-ul-Yaqin: Literally absolute certainty. Yaqin or certainty according to mystics has three stages: ‘ilm-ul-yaqin’‘ain-ul-yaqin’‘haqq-ul-yaqin’. One finds smoke and is certain that there is fire, this is ‘ilm-ul-yaqin’, one sees fire with his own eyes, he is more sure than the first person of the existence of fire, this is ‘ain-ul-yaqin’, one puts his hand in fire and gets a burn, he realises the existence of fire, this is haqq-ul yaqin. With reference to the Being of Allah, the mystics believe that one passes through similar stages of certainty and realisation. But on the principle of the Mujaddid none of these kinds of yaqin is possible in case of the Being of God.
[99] B.A. Faruqi, op. cit., pp. 78-9.
[100] (Ed) H. Singh, op. cit., pp. 200-1.
[101] Fn. 25: 22. “An account of Sufi Mysticism”, Selections from the Rubaiyat and odes of Hafiz (London: John M. Watkins, 1920), p. 16.
[102] Fn. 26: Shaikh Muhammad Iqbal, The Development of Metaphysics in Persia (London: Luzac & Co. 1908), p. 116.
[103] A.P. Ganguly, op. cit., p. 111.
[104] (Ed) W. Singh, op. cit., p. 157.
[105] N. Hanif (2000), Biographical Encyclopaedia of Sufis: South Asia, (Sarup & Sons, New Delhi), pp. 93-4.
[106] (Ed) H. Singh, op. cit.
[107] Fn. 177: Ma’arij’l-Wilayat, f. 15a. 177.
[108] (Eds) M.V. Singh, B.B. Shrivastava (2011), Art and Culture of Medieval India, (Centrum Press, New Delhi; accessed: scribd.com, 09 Apr, 2014), p. 38.
[109] The so-called Pakistani intellectual, Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, was also guilty of saying something similar suggesting that “Sikhism is established upon Tawheed”. If what he means by Tawheed is the innovated concept of Tawheed al-Wujidi, then there may be some merit to his claim. But, if he means Tawheed in the orthodox sense, then he is patently wrong.

[110] (Ed) H. Singh, op. cit., p. 202.
[111] M.S. Ahluwalia, Influence of Islam and Sufism on Sikhism, (Sikh Institute; accessed: June 07, 2014).
[112] (Eds) S.S. Bhatia, A. Spencer (1999), The Sikh Tradition: A Continuing Reality, (Publication Bureau Punjabi University, Patiala), p. 33.
[113] Trilochan Singh strongly rebuts this thesis arguing instead that Bhaktas like Kabir, Namdev and Ravidas associated themselves to the path and discipline of Bhakti. See: Ernest Trumpp and W.H. McLeod as Scholars of Sikhi History Religion and Culture, 1994, International Centre of Sikh Studies.
[114] (Eds) S.S. Bhatia, op. cit., p. 34.
[115] Ibid., p. 35.
[116] (Ed) H. Singh, op. cit.
[117] S.S. Kohli (1980), Philosophy of Guru Nanak, (Publication Bureau Panjab University, Chandigarh), p. 119.
[118] (Ed) A. Singh (2002), Socio-Cultural Impact of Islam on India, (Publication Bureau Panjab University, Chandigarh), p. 125.
[119] K.A. Nizami, op. cit., p. 19,
[120] (Ed) H. Singh, op. cit., p. 203.
[121] (Ed) A. Singh, op. cit., p. 67.
[122] A.C. Banerjee (1983), The Sikh Gurus and the Sikh Religion, (), p. 142.
[123] (Ed) H. Singh, op. cit., p. 210.
[124] See Appendix A.
[125] (Ed) H. Singh, op. cit., p. 211.
[126] Ibid., pp. 200-1.
[127] (Eds) S.S. Bhatia, op. cit., pp. 34, 36-7.
[128] M.G. Ahmad (2005), The Essence of Volume III, (Islam International Publications Limited; accessed: Mar 31, 2014), p. 402.
[129] M.M. Ali (2008), The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, (Ahmadiyya Anjuman Lahore Publications, U.K: accessed: Mar 31, 2014), pp. 47-8.
[130] S.H. Ahmad (2010), An Introduction to the Hidden Treasures of Islam, (Islam International Publications Ltd.), p. 169.
[131] M.G. Ahmad (1903), The Discovery of the Chola of Nanak, (The Anjuman-i-Isha’at Islam, Qadian; The Review of Religions, Jan; accessed: Mar 31, 2014), pp. 33-4.
[132] Fn. 1: I have questioned several well-informed Sikhs about this incident, but found them unable to verify it.
[133] H.A. Walter (1918), The Religious Life of India – The Ahmadiya Movement, (Oxford University Press), pp. 106-8.
[134] S.H. Ahmad, op. cit.
[135] M.M. Ali, op. cit., pp. 47-8.
[136] M.G. Ahmad (1903), op. cit., pp. 32-3.
[137] Ibid., p. 30.
[138] Ibid., pp. 29-30.
[139] M.M. Ali, op. cit.
[140] M.G. Ahmad (1903), op. cit., p. 31.
[141] H.S. Singha (2005), The Encyclopedia of Sikhism (over 1000 Entries), (Hemkunt Publishers Ltd, New Delhi), p. 59.
[142] Fn. 3: Unfortunately these items were destroyed in the Military Action (Blue Star) when the Indian army attacked the Golden Temple in June 1984.
[143] G.S. Sidhu (1999), A Challenge to Sikhism, (Mohindra Art Press, London), pp. 16-7.
[144] M.M. Ali, op. cit.
[145] M.G. Ahmad (1903), op. cit., pp. 29-30.
[146] Ibid., pp. 33-4.
[147] M.G. Ahmad, A Message of Peaceop. cit., p. 46.
[148] A. Jaleel, op. cit.
[149] Holy Robe of SHRI GURU NANAK DEV JI, (SikhiWiki; accessed: June 22, 2014).
[150] Dera Baba Nanak, (The Sikh Encyclopedia; accessed: June 22, 2014).
[151] M.G. Ahmad (1903), op. cit., p. 34.
[152] M.G. Ahmad (2007), The Need for the Imam, (Islam International Publications Ltd, London), pp. 35-6.
[153] M.G. Ahmad (2007), The Criterion for Religions, (Islam International Publications Ltd, UK), pp. 13-4.
[154] Q.M. Barkatullah (1985), Baba Nanak was a Muslim, (The Review of Religions, Sept; accessed: Mar 31, 2014), p. 17.
[155] A. Jaleel, op. cit.
[156] M.G. Ahmad (1903), op. cit.
[157] M.G. Ahmad (1903), op. cit., p. 29.
[158] A. Jaleel, op. cit.
[159] A. Raza, Baba Guru Nanak – A Muslim Saint, (Ahmadiyya Muslim Community; accessed: Mar 14, 2014).
[160] T.P. Hughes, op. cit.
[161] Ghulam Ahmad et al inexplicably overlooked the many times where Pincott unequivocally states that Nanak was neither a Hindu nor a Muslim:

  • But, of course, the most remarkable expression of all is the emphatic and repeated announcement that “There is no Hindu; there is no Musalman.” This can mean nothing else than that it was Nanak’s settled intention to do away with the differences between those two forms of belief, by instituting a third course which should SUPERSEDE both of them.
  • [T]he immediate successors of Nanak were aware that their great Guru occupied an intermediate position between Muhammadanism and Hinduism; for we see that he is made to CONVERT Muhammadans on the one hand, and Hindus on the other.
  • Nanak took up an intermediate position between Islam and Hinduism, and sought to bring both under one common system. (bold, underline, capitalisation ours)

[162] T.P. Hughes, op. cit., p. 588.
[163] Ibid., p. 586.
[164] E. Trump (1877), The Adi Granth, or the Holy Scriptures of the Sikhs, (W. M. H. Allen & CO., London), p. lxvii.
[165] Fn. 95: The Miharban Janamsakhi records the dialogue that is presumed to have taken place between Guru Nanak and the qazi. There appears to be a distinct possibility of such a happening in the context of narration of this episode.
[166] Fn. 96: These questions and answers are mentioned in the Miharban Janamsakhi. They are not found in any other Janamsakhi.
[167] Fn. 97: All the Janamsakhi versions agree that Guru Nanak went to the mosque, along with the qazi, to say the namaz. It has to be taken as correct.
[168] Fn. 98: This detail is given only in the Bala Janamsakhi, and in no one else. But this dialogue fits into the given situation.
[169] Fn. 99: This event is mentioned in all the Janamsakhi versions.
[170] E. Trump, op. cit., p. xii-xiii.
[171] Fn. 100: This episode is mentioned in all the Janamsakhi versions. The Bala Janamsakhi records that Daulat Khan asked the Nanak that he could have said the namaz with him if the qazi had not been saying his. In reply, Nanak told him (Daulat Khan) that he himself was then buying horses in Kabul and Kandahar. At this Daulat Khan also became silent.
[172] Fn. 101: Bhai Gurdas in his var XI makes the following reference to Daulat Khan; “Daulat Khan was a virtuous person, a Muslim holy man, Jind, was also there who was beyond death.” Mufti Ghulam Sarvar’s Tarikh-i-Makhzan-i-Punjab (pp.28-29) says that Shaikh Badr-ud-Din Sherwani was called Jind Pir. He was a man of considerable influence. Bahlol Lodhi’s daughter was married to him. He got several villages in jagir with which he founded the Malerkotla State. He died in A.D. 1515. See also Griffin’s Chiefs and Families of Note in the Punjab, 1940, Vol. II, p. 529. Bhai Randhir Singh says that Shaikh Badr-ud-Din Jind Pir was the qazi at Sultanpur when Guru Nanak went into the mosque to say namaz. However, this fact is not supported by any other source.
[173] K. Singh, op. cit., pp. 75-8.
[174] A. Jaleel, op. cit.
[175] Twarikh Guru Khalsa, (The Sikh Encyclopedia; accessed: Jul 04, 2014).
[176] Q.M. Barkatullah, op. cit., p. 16.
[177] H. Singh (1969), Guru Nanak, (Asia Publishing House, Punjabi University Patiala), p. 18.
[178] Ibid., p. 80.
[179] K. Singh, op. cit., p. 35.
[180] Q.M. Barkatullah, op. cit.
[181] A. Jaleel, op. cit.
[182] Ibid.
[183] Bala JS, p. 175.
[184] G.S. Sidhu, op. cit., p. 14.
[185] Ibid., p. 62.
[186] Ibid., pp. 30-1.
[187] Ibid., p. 16.
[188] E. Trump, op. cit., p. xvi.
[189] Fn. Pur JS, pp. 25-6 [i.e. Vir Singh (ed.), Puratan Janam-sakhi, 5th edition, Amritsar, 1959].
[190] W.H. McLeod (1980), op. cit., p. 85.
[191] Bhai Vir Singh’s Purataan Janamsakhi – Mecca pages 176-183.
[192] S.S. Kapoor, M.K. Kapoor (2005), Janam Saakhi Prampara, (B. Chattar Singh Jiwan Singh, Amritsar), p. 180.
[193] Nanak said: “The Fourteenth Day: One who enters into the fourth state, overcomes time, and the three qualities of raajas, taamas, and satva.” (SGGS, 840)

“Your Power is diffused through the three gunas: raajas, taamas and satva.” (SGGS, 1038)

Kabir added: “Raajas, the quality of energetic activity shall pass away. Taamas, the quality of lethargic darkness shall pass away. Saatvas, the quality of peaceful light shall pass away as well.” (SGGS, 1204)
[194] S.S. Kapoor, M.K. Kapoor (2007), Guru Granth Sahib – An Advance Stud, Vol. 2, (Hemkunt Publishers Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi), p. 39.
[195] S.S. Kapoor (2005), op. cit., pp. 179-80.
[196] Fn. 2: A parallel tradition on the authority of I. ‘Abbas via al-Zuhri simply says that the idols were strengthened by lead.
[197] A. Guillaume (2011), The Life of Muhammad – A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah, (Oxford University Press, Pakistan), p. 552.
[198] A. Jaleel, op. cit.
[199] (Ed) H. Singh, op. cit., pp. 200-1.
[200] G.S. Sidhu, op. cit., p. 29.
[201] (Eds) S.S. Bhatia, op. cit., p. 32.
[202] (Ed) H. Singh, op. cit., p. 202.
[203] (Eds) S.S. Bhatia, op. cit., p. 33.
[204] (Ed) A. Singh, op. cit., p. 122.
[205] (Ed) H. Singh, op. cit., p. 216.
[206] Fn. 4: The Adi Granth, p. 140.
[207] (Ed) A. Singh, op. cit., p. 122.
[208] Ibid.
[209] E. Trump, op. cit., p. xxxi.
[210] S. Singh (1996), About Compilation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, (Lok Sahit Parkashan, Amritsar), pp. 170-1.
[211] Fn. 15: Reported by Ahmad, AI-Bazzaar, At-Tabaraani, At-Tayalisee, and Al-Khateeb. Al-Hakim said it is authentic and Ad-Dhahabi agreed. Many think that this reference is a Prophetic Hadeeth, and it is not. It is authentically related to Abdullah bin Mas’oud. A great benefit is deduced from Ibn Mas’oud’s explanation as to what constitutes Ijmaa’. In the last part of his statement marked by { }, as reported by Al-Hakim, he clearly explains that the agreement between the Sahabah constituted a state of Ijmaa’ (consensus between Muslims). Therefore, in any generation, the consensus of opinion amongst the learned, pious and righteous scholars who follow the companions’ path regarding any matter not directly stated in Quran or Sunnah, produces a state of Ijmaa’. Blind following and innovations are not part Ijmaa’.
[212] S. al-Saleh, Islam: The Complete and Final Message to Man, (Understand Islam; accessed: Aug 09, 2014), p. 10.
[213] Shaykh Wasiullah ibn Muhammad Abbaas:

Imam Ahmed narrated it in his ‘Musnad’ 1/379, #3600 he said: Abu Bakr said to us, from Aasim, from Zir ibn Hubaysh, from Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, and the chain is ‘Hasan’ (Good). Also at Tayalaasee narrated it in his Musnad pg. 23, see the introduction of ‘al Muwafaqaat’ by ash Shaatibee 3/4. 

– W.M. Abbaas (2013), Al Ittiba: and the Principles of Fiqh of the Righteous Predecessorsal Ittiba: and the Principles of Fiqh of the Righteous Predecessors, (Darussalam, New York), p. 62.

Ed.- See also Ibn Taymiyyah’s Majmu’ al-Fataawa 11/573. Shaykh Nasir ud-Deen al-Albani declared it Hasan in ad-Da’eefah 2/17.
[214] Fn. 2: The Adi Granth, p. 1381.
[215] Fn. 3: Ibid, p. 141.
[216] Fn. 4: Ibid, p. 465.
[217] (Ed) A. Singh, op. cit., p. 123.
[218] E. Trump, op. cit., p. xxxii.
[219] H. Court (1888), History of the Sikhs; or Translation of the Sikkhan De Raj Di Vikhia, (Civil and Military Gazette Press, Lahore), pp. 197-99.
[220] Bala JS, p. 164.
[221] G.S. Sidhu, op. cit., p. 27.
[222] A. Jaleel, op. cit.
[223] Bala JS, p. 155.
[224] Vars Bhai Gurdas, Pannaa 1.
[225] G. Ibadullah (1988), Guru Nanak and the Sikh Religion, (The Review of Religions, vol. LXXXIII, Jan; accessed: Mar 31, 2014), pp. 13-4.
[226] Fn. 491: Bhai Gurdas versified this dialogue as under: The Qazis and Mullahs go together and ask about righteousness. God has enacted a huge drama and none can comprehend it. They wanted the Guru to open his book and tell whether Hindu or Muslim is great. Baba told the Hajis- Both of them will weep without good deeds. (Var 1 Pauri 33).
[227] Fn. 492: After that it is said that a dialogue took place with Pir Rukan-ud-din and Pir Patlia. Bhai Vir Singh calls the latter Pir Patnia. That implies he could be Shaikh Ibrahim of Pakpatan with whom the Guru had a dialogue at Pakpatan, but this remains unconfirmed. However, the fact that the Makhdum of Multan and Makhdum of Uch went to Mecca at the time of Guru Nanak is confirmed. The point whether Shaikh Ibrahim also went to Mecca at that time cannot be ascertained. Similarly, no information is forthcoming in respect of Rukan-ud-din.
[228] K. Singh, op. cit., pp. 189-90.
[229] G.S. Sidhu, op. cit., p. 34.
[230] Fn. 3: The [] (kafni) a kind of woollen shirt without sleeves, worn by Faqirs.
[231] E. Trump, op. cit., p. xv.
[232] Ibid., p. xxxiv.
[233] Ibid., p. xxxix.
[234] Ibid., p. xl.
[235] G.S. Sidhu, op. cit., p. 27.
[236] Fn. 128: In both the Vilayatvali and the Miharban versions, the episode has been given as above.
[237] K. Singh, op. cit., pp. 84-5.
[238] Bhai Vir Singh’s Purataan Janamsakhi – Mecca pages 176-183.
[239] T.P. Hughes, op. cit., p. 589.
[240] Fn. 483: This is based on the sakhi titled, “Guru Ji Hinglaj Vich” in Miharban’s Janamsakhi, pp. 461-62. Although this episode is found in no other Janamsakhi version yet it seems correct since it happened at a place which is on the Guru’s way to Mecca. Bhai Gurdas has also said that the Guru first went to Mecca and then to Baghdad. Thus, the Guru’s journey by sea seems probable and correct. Lakhpat, sarovar at Narain Swami and Hinglaj fall on this route.
[241] K. Singh, op. cit., pp. 187-8.
[242] Fn. 490: The Utterance of this hymn by Guru Nanak had nothing unusual about it because the Hajis who put these questions to him were especially those who had gone from India and they could comprehend Sadh Bhakha. The Vilayatvali Janamsakhi records that the Guru uttered this hymn in Mecca in response to the questions of Hajis there.
[243] K. Singh, op. cit., pp. 189-90.
[244] Fn. 528: The episode of the Guru’s visit to Kabul is from Mani Singh Janamsakhi. Although it does not appear in any other Janamsakhi version, but Kabul fell on the Guru’s route while returning from Baghdad. There is every possibility of the Guru’s halt there.
[245] Fn. 529: Mani Singh Janamsakhi, Bombay edition, p. 210.
[246] K. Singh, op. cit., p. 198.
[247] Ibid., p. 207.
[248] Fn. 522: This episode is recorded in the Bhai Mani Singh Janamsakhi, but is not found in any other Janamsakhi text. It seems correct because Mashhad is situated on the old route from Baghdad to Kabul.
[249] Fn. 523: If we carefully analyse the Mani Singh text, we find indications that Pir Abdul Rahman was a native of
Gurdez.
[250] K. Singh, op. cit., pp. 196-7.
[251] Ibid., p. 206.
[252] Despite being recorded in the Vaars of Gurdas, some dispute has been raised over the historical truth of this exchange. See Prof Devinder Singh Chahal’s Did Guru Nanak meet Pir Dastgir and Pir Bahlol Dana?
[253] Fn. 511: These details are on the basis of a Sakhi in the Bhai Mani Singh Janamsakhi.
[254] Fn. 512: Bhai Gurdas says:

Gave the call after saying the namaz, the entire world was benumbed.
The city was deserted, Pir was astonished to see this.
He saw attentively a faqir, greatly God-absorbed, was he.

[255] K. Singh, op. cit., p. 194.
[256] M.G. Ahmad, A Message of Peaceop. cit.
[257] E. Trump, op. cit., p. lxvii.
[258] S.S. Kapoor (2005), op. cit., p. 171.
[259] M. Ahmad (2008), Approaching the West, (Majlis Anṣarullāh, U.S.A; accessed: Aug 03, 2014), p. 102.
[260] Q.M. Barkatullah, op. cit., p. 18.
[261] Abu Hurairah reported: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) informed his companions about the death of Negus (Najashi), the king of Abyssinia, the day that he died. And then the Prophet led them to the prayer ground where he lined them up and offered funeral prayer for him with four Takbirs.”
[262] A.-P. S. Mandair (2013), Sikhism: A Guide for the Perplexed, (Bloomsburys Publishing Plc), p. 27.
[263] W.H. McLeod (1984), Textual Sources for the Study of Sikhism, (Manchester University Press), p. 25.
[264] T.P. Hughes, op. cit.
[265] E. Trump, op. cit., p. lxxvi.
[266] Fn. 27: It is said that a quarrel arose between the Hindus and the Muslims as the Guru passed away. The Hindus said that the Guru’s body be cremated whereas the Muslims said that it be buried. The reference to this quarrel is found in Vilayatwali.
[267] K. Singh, op. cit., p. 230.
[268] M.N. Gulati (2008), Comparative Religious and Philosophies: Anthropomorphism and Divinity, (Atlantic Publishers and Distributors Ltd), p. 280.
[269] (Eds) M.V. Singh, op. cit., p. 39.
[270] R. Dalal (2010), Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide, (Penguin Books, India), p. 184.
[271] Raj Pruthi:

A legend says that while the disciples were thus violently disputing for the possession of the dead body, a celestial voice was heard commanding them to remove the wrapper of the coffin and look inside. On this being done, no corpse was found but the coffin contained only a heap of fresh flowers. Even this miracle could not settle the dispute. It is said the heap of flowers were equally divided among the Hindus and Muslims, the former taking away their share for burning and the latter for burying.
– R. Pruthi (2004), Sikhism and Indian Civilization, (Discovery Publishing House, New Delhi), p. 12.

Sehdev Kumar:

At his death, both Hindus and Muslims claimed him to be one of their saints and thus wished to perform the last rites according to their own customs, the Hindus planning to cremate the body and the Muslim to bury it. The legend has it that when they removed the shroud, there was nothing to be found except a heap of flowers.
– (Eds) S.S. Bhatia, op. cit., p. 179.

[272] Ibid., p. 172.
[273] G.S. Sidhu, op. cit., p. 29.
[274] Ibid., p. 31.
[275] Ibid., p. 16.
[276] A. Jaleel, op. cit.
[277] (Ed) H. Singh, op. cit., pp. 292-3.
[278] Ibid., pp. 293-4.
[279] Ibid., p. 295.
[280] N. Hanif, op. cit., p. 30.

Esa (as) didn’t live til age 125 or 120, Ahmadiyya people are wrong!

Intro
The entire ulema, Shia and Sunni believe that Esa (as) left planet earth at roughly age 33 (see Tafsir Ibn Kathir). In 1895, in Satt Bachan, MGA and his ghost writers wrote that Esa (as) lived an additional 87 years after the event of crucifixtion, that would make his age at death to be 120, since Esa (As) was 33 at the event of crucifixtion. In 1898, in “Raz-e-Haqiqat” (A hidden Truth), MGA and his team again wrote that Esa (as) lived til he was 120, but now they were claiming that he died in Kashmir.

MGA and his team of writers wrote in Tuhfatun-Nadwah (1902) that the crucifixtion happened when Esa (as) was aged 33. They also write that Esa (as) died 50 years after the event of crucifixtion, which would make him 88 years old (this directly contradicted the statement from 1895 and 1898). They then assert that he was 90, based on some strange document. However, after MGA died in 1908, Jesus in India was published and it was stated that Esa (as) lived until age 120/125. MGA (and his team) even wrote in Jesus in India that all sects of Muslims believe that Esa (as) lived til aged 125, however, this is a bold face lie.

Nevertheless, we looked up the hadith, since MGA and his team of writers never gave a specific reference. What’s interesting here is that in the introduction to Jesus in India, which was not part of the orginal urdu edition, Ahmadiyya editors wrote that Esa (as) lived til age 120, but in the book, it is written as 125. This is not even from an authentic book of hadith, in fact, the hadith is contradictory and asserts that all prophets have “half-the-length of their mission” of their predecessor prophet, which is how they did the math and since Muhammad (saw)’s mission was roughly 20 years, Esa (as) must have been 40, however, Yahya (as) was before Jesus and his mission should have lasted 80 years, however, he died at a a young age (below 40). Similarly, MGA’s mission should have lasted only 10 years, which is wrong, MGA’s career spanned 28 years.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

The quote from Tuhfatun-Nadwah
See online english edition, pages 30-31

“””I am alluding to the discovery in Jerusalem of an old Hebraic document which bears the signature of Jesus’ disciple Peter (the content of which I have already reproduced in my book Noah’s Ark). This document contains evidence that Jesus died on this very earth almost fifty years after he was put on the cross.

It has been purchased by a Christian company for 250,000 rupees and has been verified as having been written by Peter. It would be naïve to cling to the idea that Jesus is still alive in the face of such clear and overwhelming evidence.One cannot deny the facts. Muslims! I congratulate you, for this is a day of triumph. Abandon your false beliefs and fashion your faith in accordance with the Holy Quran.

Let me reiterate that this final testimony is that of Jesus’ closest disciple. In this document, he identifies himself as Peter; a servant of the son of Mary. He tells his age as 90 and is writing 3 years after the death of Jesus. Historically, both Jesus and Peter are understood to have been of similar ages and that at the time of the crucifixion Jesus was approximately 33 years old and Peter somewhere between 30 and 40.””””
_______________________________________________________________________________________________

The scan work

______________________________________________________________________________________________
The hadith as quoted in Jesus in India

“””Reliable reports in the Hadith show that the Holy Prophet said that Jesus was 125 years of age. Besides, all the sects of Islam believe that Jesus had two unique things about him — things which are not to be found in any other prophet, namely: (1) he lived to a full old age, i.e., to 125 years; (2) he traveled in many parts of the world and was therefore called the ‘travelling prophet’. It is evident that if he had been raised to the skies when he was only 33 years old the report of ‘125 years’ could not have been true, nor could he have traveled so much while he was only thirty-three. Not only are these reports found in the reliable Books of Hadith. They have been so well-known among all the Muslim sects that it is difficult to think of anything which has been more widely known among them.”””(Jesus in India, online edition, http://www.alislam.org/library/books/jesus-in-india/ch2.html, retrieved on 1-15-17, 4th paragraph from the bottom)

1. Kanzul Ummul is a re-collection of hadith reports.  It is not a primary source of information on Islamic tradition.

1.a. Moreover, this hadith is traced to Al-Tabari, i traced it many years ago…its a ridiculous hadith that seems to indicate that prophets live half the amount of years as the previous prophet that they come after..

1.b.  Tabari Vol.6, “Muhammad at Mecca”, pg. 61

“Ibn al-Muthanna—al-Hajjaj—Hammad—‘Amr—Yahya b. Ja’dah: The messenger of God said to Fatimah, “Gabriel has reviewed the Quran with me once a year, but this year he has reviewed it with me twice, and I fancy that my time has come. You are the nearest to me of my kin. Whenever a prophet has been sent, his mission has lasted for a period of half his predecessor’s lifetime. Jesus was sent for a period of forty years, and I was sent for 20.”

For example, Esa (as) must have lived to 120/125, since Muhammad (saw) died at 63-ish. However, this would mean that MGA or the messiah to come would live 30 years, i.e. half of the life of Muhammad (saw)…

Moreover, this hadith would insinuate that Yahya (as), must have lived to 250..since he was before Esa (as)..

Do you see how ridiculous this sounds?? Obviosuly, this hadith was invented in an attempt to explain how Nuh (as) lived to 950 and how other prophets did the same…however, as we all know, ahmadis dont believe in this idea…they believe that Nuh (as) didnt live to 950, or whatever, they say that this age was the the age of his prophethood…which is total rubbish.

2. MGA and his team lied and said that all sects of Islam believe that Esa (As) lived to 125…that is a bold face lie.

3. MGA and his team continue to lie in the next few sentences, he claims that all muslims believe that Esa (as) travelled extensviely….

4. Finally, this book was published posthumously, and although Ahmadi newspapers and MGA began writing that Esa (as)= Yuz Asaf from 1896 onwards and that he lived to 120/125, they didnt write this diatribe, i.e. that all islamic sects believed this. This seems to be a later addition by Noorudin, Muhammad Ali, or Mufti Sadiq.

5.  This hadith explains the remaining life of Esa (as):

ABU DAUD
Book 37, Number 4310:
Narrated AbuHurayrah:

The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: There is no prophet between me and him, that is, Jesus (peace_be_upon_him). He will descent (to the earth). When you see him, recognise him: a man of medium height, reddish fair, wearing two light yellow garments, looking as if drops were falling down from his head though it will not be wet. He will fight the people for the cause of Islam. He will break the cross, kill swine, and abolish jizyah. Allah will perish all religions except Islam. He will destroy the Antichrist and will live on the earth for forty years and then he will die. The Muslims will pray over him.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Conclusions
MGA and his team of writers were trying to fool the illiterate masses of India with their fake-research. They seem to have succeeded just a little bit, in fact, to this day, most Ahmadis are stuck in Ahmadiyya and aren’t man enough to admit to their mistake.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Links and Related Essay’s

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/10/20/pappas-paul-constantine-jesus-tomb-in-india-the-debate-on-his-death-and-resurrection-1991-he-accuses-ahmadiyya-of-academic-dishonesty/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/06/05/mirza-ghulam-ahmad-and-yahya-as/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/12/10/what-is-satt-bachan-1895-by-mirza-ghulam-ahmad-and-his-team-of-writers/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2020/03/15/fida-muhammad-hassnain-the-ahmadiyya-movement-and-yuz-asaf/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=Maulvi+Abdullah

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roza_Bal

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fida_Muhammad_Hassnain

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/08/05/mufti-muhammad-sadiq-travelled-to-the-tomb-of-yuz-asaf-in-1934/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=walter

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._U._Weitbrecht

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/03/03/who-is-molvi-abdullah-wakeel-and-his-connection-to-the-yuz-asaf-story/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/10/29/who-is-mohammad-baqer-majlesi/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/03/03/who-is-molvi-abdullah-wakeel-and-his-connection-to-the-yuz-asaf-story/

https://dailytimes.com.pk/360617/relevance-of-sir-syed-ahmad-khans-scholarly-publications-in-todays-modern-world/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/10/27/sir-syeds-view-on-esa-as/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begum_Khurshid_Mirza

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/12/29/yus-asaf-is-not-esa-as/

http://www.tombofjesus.com/2007/core/founders/ahmad/Letter_of_Maulvi_Abdullah.pdf

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/10/22/john-rippon-rips-the-ahmadiyya-belief-that-esa-as-yuz-asaph-and-was-buried-in-kashmir/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/11/01/how-did-budhasaf-become-yuz-asaf/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/04/05/the-alleged-sojourn-of-christ-in-india-by-max-muller/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/04/05/edgar-j-goodspeed-also-refuted-jesus-in-india/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/04/05/j-archibald-douglas-also-refuted-nicholas-notovitch/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/01/03/lahori-ahmadis-cast-doubt-on-the-jesus-in-india-theory/

https://books.google.com/books?id=ARplAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA48&lpg=PA48&dq=Khalifa+Noorudin+from+Kashmir&source=bl&ots=_po4n90h9N&sig=ACfU3U3HO6DfYefna0kXbqmZeYS1a5YdXg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjk25j-z7fgAhX0BjQIHdjDC98Q6AEwDXoECAAQAQ#v=onepage&q=Khalifa%20Noorudin%20from%20Kashmir&f=false

https://books.google.com/books?id=dQB-DwAAQBAJ&pg=PT109&lpg=PT109&dq=Ian+Copeland+Kashmir&source=bl&ots=ObdhJTIZiP&sig=ACfU3U1PbD_T0qyYMtPB3gyFDNKfMqYn7w&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj0mcyT3PPgAhWAHTQIHYPlD-AQ6AEwCHoECAMQAQ#v=onepage&q=Ian%20Copeland%20Kashmir&f=false

Tags
#ahmadiyya #ahmadiyyatrueislam #ahmadiapartheid #Ahmadiyyat #rabwah #qadian #meetthekhalifa #muslimsforpeace #ahmadiyyafactcheckblog #nolifewithoutkhalifa #AhmadiMosqueattack #AhmadiyyaPersecution #Mosqueattack #trueislam #atifmian
#yuzasaf #rozabal #jesusinindia

Why did Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claim to be the second coming of Muhammad (saw)(nauzobillah)?

Intro
In 1900-1901, MGA and his team of writers began asserting that MGA=Muhammad (saw)(Nauzobillah). This happened in “Khutbah ilhamiya” (published in November 1901) and “Correction of an Error” (published in November 1901). In “Correction of an Error”, MGA even quotes 62:3 (62:4) and thus claimed to be the second coming of Muhammad (Saw)(nauzobillah). After the split of 1914, the Lahori-Ahmadi’s rejected MGA’s claim of prophethood and all the parallels that he made to Muhammad (saw). In the below, we have found yet another quotation from the infamous book, “Kalimat ul Fasl” (1916) wherein MGA is described as on equal footing with Muhammad (Saw) (naozobillah). However, this is what the Qadiani-Ahmadis believed. There are many other instances from this era which prove my assertion. This was also explained in this video.

1.  Zaheeruddin was claiming that MGA was a law-bearing prophet in 1911.
2.  MGA abrogated jihad in 1900 and was thus a law-bearing prophet (see Nuzhat haneef).
3.  MGA=Muhammad and vice versa
4.  MGA was the person allah spoke about in the famous “Ismuhu-Ahmad” verse of the Quran.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Quote
“Every messenger was granted accomplishments and perfections according to his capacity and performance in varying degrees, but the Promised Messiah (Mirza Ghulam) was granted prophethood when he had attained all the accomplishments of the Prophethood of Muhammad(SAW) and was qualified to be called a shadow prophet. Thus, this shadow prophethood did not make the steps of the Promised Messiah lag behind, but it pushed them forward to such an extent that it brought him on equal footing with the holy Prophet(SAW). “
( Kalimat-ul-Fasl , P. 113, by Mirza Basheer Ahmad Qadiani)(1916).

Some additional quotes from this era, and from Ahmadis

1.  “His messengers (rusuluhu) is encountered in the Quran or in a declaration of faith, Ghulam Ahmad must be considered one of them.  Belief in him is a part of Islamic faith and is, as such, necessary for the attainment of salvation (madar-i najat)” (“Nabi-ullah Ka Zahoor” aka “Appearance of the Prophet of Allah” (1911) by Muhammad Zahir al-Din, see pages 8, 71 and 99)(From Friedman, page 152, 2003 edition).  

2.  “If the Promised Messiah is rejected or considered in his claim (heaven forbid!) a liar and a cheat—the inevitable result will be the loss of prophethood of Muhammad….as well”  (“Nabi-ullah Ka Zahoor”: aka “Appearance of the Prophet of Allah” (1911) by Muhammad Zahir al-Din, see page 80)(From Friedman, page 152, 2003 edition).
______________________________________________________________________________________________

1901, from Khutbah Ilhamia
“One who denies that the mission of the Prophet(SAW) is related to the 6th thousand (13th century) as it was related to 5th thousand (6th century), denies the truth and the text of the Quran and is among the zalemeen (gone astray). The truth is that the spiritual power of the holy Prophet(SAW) at the end of the 6th thousand (13th century in Mirza Ghulam), i.e. these days, is MUCH STRONGER, MORE COMPLETE and STRONGER than in THOSE EARLY YEARS . Nay, it is like the fourteenth (moonlit) night (full moon).”
(Khutbah-e-Ilhamiah, Roohany Khazaen, Vol. 16, P. 271-272; Khutbah-e-Ilhamiah, P. 181)

1901, from Khutbah Ilhamia

“And Allah sent down upon me the bounty of the Holy Prophet and made it perfect; and he drew towards me the kindness and generosity of the merciful Prophet, so that I became one with him. Thus, he who joins my group, joins the group of the companions (Sahaba) of my Leader, the best of messengers. It is not hidden from those who have the ability to think that this is what the words “Akhareen Menhom” (others of them) mean. The person who makes a difference between me and the Mustafa has neither seen me nor recognized me.” Khutba-e-Ilhamiah, Roohany Khazaen, Vol. 16, P. 258 – 259.

The scan work



______________________________________________________________________________________________

1915
“The entity of the promised Masih (Mirza), in the sight of Allah is the entity of the Holy Prophet (SAW). In other words, in the records of Allah there is no duality or difference between the promised Masih and the Holy Prophet (SAW). Rather they both share the same eminence, the same rank, the same status and the same name . …”. (Al-Fazl, Qadian, vol.3, No.37, dated 16th September 1915, as cited in Qadiani Mazhab page 207, 9th edition, Lahore)
______________________________________________________________________________________________

Links and Related Essays
http://wiki.qern.org/ha-walters-the-ahmadiya-movement/chapter-ii-2-the-distinctive-claims-of-ahmad—the-expected-mahdi

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2020/09/12/ahmadis-believe-that-623-of-the-quran-announces-that-mirza-ghulam-ahmad-is-the-second-coming-of-muhammad-sawnauzobillah/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/06/27/do-ahmadis-believe-in-the-same-kalima-as-muslims/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/02/23/noorudin-didnt-care-if-mirza-ghulam-ahmad-claimed-even-law-bearing-prophethood/

Click to access splitahmadiyyamovement.pdf

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/03/03/mirza-ghulam-ahmad-got-stroked-during-salaat/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/08/03/islami-qurbani-by-qazi-yar-mohammed-1920-printed-at-riaz-e-hind-press-amritsar-district-kangra/

http://wiki.qern.org/ahmadiyya/organisations/qadiani-claimants/abdullah-timapuri

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/05/20/an-ahmadi-claimed-prophethood-in-late-1901-or-early-1902-and-was-boycotted-by-ahmadis-chiragh-din-of-jammu-jamooni/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/01/04/nabi-ullah-ka-zahoor-aka-appearance-of-the-prophet-of-allah-1911-by-muhammad-zahir-al-din/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/05/20/an-ahmadi-claimed-prophethood-in-late-1901-or-early-1902-and-was-boycotted-by-ahmadis-chiragh-din-of-jammu-jamooni/

http://www.aaiil.org/text/books/mga/correctionerrorekghaltikaizala/importantdocumentscorrectionerror.shtml

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/the-causes-of-internal-dissensions-in-the-ahmadiyya-movement-by-kwaja-kamaluddin-1914/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/08/01/prophethood-among-the-followers-of-muhammad-by-maulana-sayyid-muhammad-ahsan-of-amroha-oct-1913-in-tashhizul-azhan/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/05/20/an-ahmadi-claimed-prophethood-in-late-1901-or-early-1902-and-was-boycotted-by-ahmadis-chiragh-din-of-jammu-jamooni/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/09/30/maulvi-abdul-kareem-claims-prophethood-per-mga-maulvi-amrohi-disagrees/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/01/13/what-is-arbain-a-book-by-mga-and-his-team-of-writers/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/04/23/in-1891-when-mga-made-his-big-claims-he-denied-prophethood-mufti-sadiq-was-heavily-involved/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/12/09/mirza-ghulam-ahmad-was-accused-of-claiming-prophethood-in-the-1879-1884-era/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/12/09/mirza-ghulam-ahmad-was-considered-a-kafir-in-1884-before-his-wild-claims/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/12/26/some-rare-books-from-the-1901-1902-era-which-refute-mgas-claim-to-prophethood/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/09/30/maulvi-sanuallah-acknowledges-that-mga-claimed-prophethood-in-nov-1901/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/10/12/mirza-sultan-ahmad-son-of-hazrat-mirza-ghulam-ahmad-on-finality-of-prophethood/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/12/11/eik-ghalti-ka-izala-aka-correction-of-an-error-was-re-published-on-march-1-1914/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/01/16/hani-tahir-explains-mirza-ghulam-ahmads-prophethood-and-pre-1901-vs-post-1901/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/11/21/a-few-months-after-becoming-khalifa-mirza-mahmud-ahmad-waffled-on-his-fathers-prophethood/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/06/27/do-ahmadis-believe-in-the-same-kalima-as-muslims/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/09/30/mga-explains-how-he-misunderstood-his-prophethood-in-1880-and-realized-it-later-on/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/02/23/noorudin-didnt-care-if-mirza-ghulam-ahmad-claimed-even-law-bearing-prophethood/

Tags
#ahmadiyya #ahmadiyyatrueislam #ahmadiapartheid #Ahmadiyyat #rabwah #qadian #meetthekhalifa #muslimsforpeace #ahmadiyyafactcheckblog #nolifewithoutkhalifa #AhmadiyyaPersecution #trueislam

Who was Raja Gopadatta from Kashmir?

Intro
Raja Gopadatta is mentioned in “Tarikh-i-Kashmir” (History of Kashmir), in 1420 Mullah Nadri compiled the first full record of the history of Kashmir. Pappas wrote his name as Raja Gopanand, also as Gondopatta.

Quote from “Tarikh-i-Kashmir” (History of Kashmir)

“During this time Hazrat Yuz Asaf having come from Bait-ul Muqaddas [the Holy Land] to this holy valley proclaimed his prophethood. He devoted himself, day and night, in [prayers to] God, and having attained the heights of piety and virtue, he declared himself to be a Messenger [of God] for the people of Kashmir. He invited people [to his religion]. Because the people of the valley had faith in this Prophet, Raja Gopadatta referred the objection of Hindus to him [for decision]. It was because of this Prophet’s orders that Sulaiman, whom Hindus called Sandeman, completed [the repairs of] the dome. [The year was] Fifty and four. Further, on one of the stones of the stairs he [Sulaiman] inscribed: ‘In these times Yuz Asaf proclaimed his prophethood,’ and on the other stone of the stairs he also inscribed that he [Yuz Asaf] was Yusu, Prophet of the Children of Israel.”

“I have seen in a book of Hindus that this prophet was really Hazrat Isa [Jesus], the Spirit of God, on whom be peace [and salutations] and had also assumed the name of Yuz Asaf. The real knowledge is with God. He spent his life in this [valley]. After his departure [his death] he was laid to rest in Mohalla Anzmarah. It is also said that lights of prophethood used to emanate from the tomb of this Prophet. Raja Gopadatta having ruled for sixty years and two months, [then] died…”

Use of Mullah Nadiri in Ahmadi texts

The Ahmadi writer Khwaja Nazir Ahmad in his advocacy of evidence for Jesus in India (1952) produced a photograph of a page in a folio he had tried to purchase in 1946 which he identified as being from Mullah Nadri.[3] The folio is now lost and no identification of the document had been made by academic sources.

” … and on the other stone of the stairs he also inscribed that he (Yuz Asaf) was Yusu, Prophet of Children of Israel (Aishan Yusu Paighambar-i-Bani Israel ast). I have seen in a book of Hindus that this prophet was really Hazrat Isa (Jesus), Ruh-Allah (the Spirit of God) on whom be peace (and salutations) and had also assumed the name of Yuz Asaf. The (real) knowledge is with God. He spent his life in this (valley). After his departure (death) he was laid to rest in Mohalla Anzmarah. It is also said that lights (anwar) of prophethood used to emanate from the tomb (Rauza) of this Prophet. Raja Gopadatta having ruled for sixty years and two months died.. .” Translation by Khwaja Nazir Ahmad of photograph on page 393 of Jesus in Heaven on Earth 1952

Nazir Ahmad speculates that the Hindu text mentioned in the text in the 1946 photograph identifying Yuz Asaf with Jesus might have been the Bhavishya Purana. However that part of the text of the Bhavishya Purana dates from the British colonial era and does not mention Yuz Asaf, only Jesus and Mohammed.

Links and Related Essay’s
https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2020/03/20/even-tarikh-i-azami-history-by-azam-tells-us-that-yuz-asaf-was-the-son-of-a-king/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/10/20/pappas-paul-constantine-jesus-tomb-in-india-the-debate-on-his-death-and-resurrection-1991-he-accuses-ahmadiyya-of-academic-dishonesty/

Jesus Son of Mary – Islamic Beliefs

http://arif50.tripod.com/TombSite/Conclusion.htm

https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/religion/story/19770615-ahmediyas-believe-jesus-christ-is-buried-in-rauza-bal-kashmir-823785-2014-08-19

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarikh-i-Kashmir

https://www.tnmeditation.org/article/merry-christmas

https://theindiantrip.com/us/things-to-do/roza-bal-srinagar-activity

https://www.al-islam.org/kamaaluddin-wa-tamaamun-nima-vol-2-shaykh-saduq

Tarikh-i-Kashmir

http://www.mukti4u2.dk/Srinagar_Shankaracharya_Temple.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammed_Azam_Didamari

https://www.al-islam.org/kamaaluddin-wa-tamaamun-nima-vol-2-shaykh-saduq

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/10/28/mirza-ghulam-ahmad-was-dishonest-as-he-quoted-ayn-ul-hayat-as-he-lied-about-yuz-asaf-1898/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2020/03/16/yuz-asaf-and-jesus-in-india-quotes-and-references-in-the-english-review-of-religions-1902-1914/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/10/20/pappas-paul-constantine-jesus-tomb-in-india-the-debate-on-his-death-and-resurrection-1991-he-accuses-ahmadiyya-of-academic-dishonesty/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2020/03/15/fida-muhammad-hassnain-the-ahmadiyya-movement-and-yuz-asaf/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/02/10/who-is-maulvi-sher-ali-1875-1947/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=Maulvi+Abdullah

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roza_Bal

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fida_Muhammad_Hassnain

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/08/05/mufti-muhammad-sadiq-travelled-to-the-tomb-of-yuz-asaf-in-1934/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=walter

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._U._Weitbrecht

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/03/03/who-is-molvi-abdullah-wakeel-and-his-connection-to-the-yuz-asaf-story/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/10/29/who-is-mohammad-baqer-majlesi/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/03/03/who-is-molvi-abdullah-wakeel-and-his-connection-to-the-yuz-asaf-story/

https://dailytimes.com.pk/360617/relevance-of-sir-syed-ahmad-khans-scholarly-publications-in-todays-modern-world/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/10/27/sir-syeds-view-on-esa-as/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begum_Khurshid_Mirza

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/12/29/yus-asaf-is-not-esa-as/

http://www.tombofjesus.com/2007/core/founders/ahmad/Letter_of_Maulvi_Abdullah.pdf

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/10/22/john-rippon-rips-the-ahmadiyya-belief-that-esa-as-yuz-asaph-and-was-buried-in-kashmir/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/11/01/how-did-budhasaf-become-yuz-asaf/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/04/05/the-alleged-sojourn-of-christ-in-india-by-max-muller/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/04/05/edgar-j-goodspeed-also-refuted-jesus-in-india/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/04/05/j-archibald-douglas-also-refuted-nicholas-notovitch/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/01/03/lahori-ahmadis-cast-doubt-on-the-jesus-in-india-theory/

https://books.google.com/books?id=ARplAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA48&lpg=PA48&dq=Khalifa+Noorudin+from+Kashmir&source=bl&ots=_po4n90h9N&sig=ACfU3U3HO6DfYefna0kXbqmZeYS1a5YdXg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjk25j-z7fgAhX0BjQIHdjDC98Q6AEwDXoECAAQAQ#v=onepage&q=Khalifa%20Noorudin%20from%20Kashmir&f=false

https://books.google.com/books?id=dQB-DwAAQBAJ&pg=PT109&lpg=PT109&dq=Ian+Copeland+Kashmir&source=bl&ots=ObdhJTIZiP&sig=ACfU3U1PbD_T0qyYMtPB3gyFDNKfMqYn7w&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj0mcyT3PPgAhWAHTQIHYPlD-AQ6AEwCHoECAMQAQ#v=onepage&q=Ian%20Copeland%20Kashmir&f=false

Tags
#ahmadiyya #ahmadiyyatrueislam #ahmadiapartheid #Ahmadiyyat #rabwah #qadian #meetthekhalifa #muslimsforpeace #ahmadiyyafactcheckblog #nolifewithoutkhalifa #AhmadiMosqueattack #AhmadiyyaPersecution #Mosqueattack #trueislam #atifmian
#yuzasaf #rozabal #jesusinindia

Up ↑