Alleged contradiction in Hazrat
Mirzas argument that Jesus had died before
Christians adopted Trinity
The following question was sent to our www.muslim.org website:
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib said the seed of Trinity was
sown by St. Paul (after Jesuss death). Ironically St. Paul
died before Jesus (if Jesus is believed to have lived 120 years).
The following website give references to Mirza Sahibs writing,
and also throws a challenge to his followers to answer this question.
Please have a look at it.
Let us first make the objection clearer to our readers. The Holy
And when Allah will say: O Jesus, son of Mary, did you
say to men, Take me and my mother for two gods besides Allah?
He will say: Glory be to You! it was not for me to say what I
had no right to (say). If I had said it, You would indeed have
known it. You know what is in my mind, and I know not what is
in Your mind. Surely You are the great Knower of the unseen. I
said to them nothing save as You did command me: Serve Allah,
my Lord and your Lord; and I was a witness of them so long as
I was among them, but when You did cause me to die You were the
Watcher over them. And You art Witness of all things. (5:116117)
From this passage Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has concluded that
Jesus should have died before Christians adopted their wrong
belief in the doctrine of Trinity. Therefore Jesus must have
died long ago, and cannot be alive now, as the Christians adopted
this doctrine long before the Quran was revealed. However, in his
book Anjam-i Atham, Hazrat Mirza has written that the concept
of Trinity was introduced into Christianity by Paul and that the
adoption of such false doctrines started during the time of the
disciples of Jesus. Now since Hazrat Mirza has also elsewhere put
forward the thesis that Jesus died in Kashmir at the age of 120
years, this means that Christians had actually adopted the wrong
belief in Trinity while Jesus was still alive because Paul
as well as the disciples of Jesus died much earlier than Jesus if
he died in around 120 C.E.
In answering this objection, first we must think over the exact
meaning of Hazrat Mirzas point that according to these verses:
if Jesus has still not died till today, then the
Christians still have not deviated from the right beliefs.
Those who believe that Jesus has not died, such as the author
of this article at the above link, also believe that he will
return to this world. So if he has not died then when he returns
to this world, he will become a witness again to the beliefs of
his followers. According to 5:117, Jesus will reply to Allah (on
the Day of Judgment) that when he witnessed his followers
condition they held the right beliefs. So his coming now would testify
that the Christians still have not deviated from the right beliefs!
Regarding the statement of Hazrat Mirza that the corruption of
Christian beliefs began during the era of Jesus disciples
(which would be while Jesus was still alive on earth), in fact he
writes that it was the seed of the belief in the Divinity
of Jesus that was planted during the disciples era. But that
seed did not become the dominant Christian belief till the Council
of Nicea in 325 C.E. Please see the following link about early Christian
It tells us that prior to this Council no one person had
the authority to decide matters of belief and practice. Moreover:
Two conflicting theories about the deity of Jesus were
argued at the time: Arius (250 - 336 CE) proposed that Jesus and
God were very separate and different entities: Jesus was closer
to God than any other human being, but he was born a man, had
no prior existence, and was not a god.
- 373 CE) argued that Jesus must be divine, because otherwise,
he could not be the Savior.
Both Arius and Athanasius had large, evenly matched followings
among the bishops.
So even in 325 C.E. it was far from an agreed Christian belief
that Jesus was God, as a half of their bishops believed him to be
a mortal man.
The above article goes on:
The council, under intense pressure from Emperor
Constantine, resolved its deadlock by a close vote in favor of Athanasius.
The dissenting bishops were offered two options: to sign the settlement
at Nicea or be exiled. The bishops produced the Nicene Creed, which
declared that Jesus Christ was "of one substance with the Father."
This did not immediately settle the question of the divinity of
Christ; many bishops and churches refused to believe in the councils
decision for decades.
So, even after the holding of this Council, its decision was resisted
by many for some time.
Therefore, during the time that Jesus was still alive (in Kashmir,
let us say up to 120 C.E.), the belief in his divinity was a minority
Christian creed since even in 325 C.E. it had only just overtaken
the correct belief.
The reason why the objector wants to prove that Hazrat Mirza is
wrong (in his argument that if Jesus is still alive today then Christians
have not yet deviated from the right beliefs) is that his own belief
is that Jesus is alive today, and he is trying to show that Christians
can take Jesus to be God even while he is alive.
However, his belief is actually disproved by this very same passage
of the Quran. What the verse says is that on the Day of Judgment
Jesus, in answer to Allahs question as to whether he taught
people to worship the Trinity, will say that he never taught any
such doctrine while he was with his followers but when You
caused me to die (falamma tawaffaitani) then after
that only You could witness their condition. Under the
interpretations that our opponents give to falamma tawaffaitani,
namely that it means when You took me up or when
You terminated my stay on earth, etc., Jesus answer
becomes absurd. As their belief is that Jesus is still alive and
will return to this world and fight all unbelievers including Christians
and make Islam supreme and die after completing his mission, how
can Jesus say to Allah on the Day of Judgment that after his departure
only You were the witness of my people if he has been
back to earth and has seen the Christians believing him to be God,
and has indeed then corrected them?
So even if someone considers that the objector has shown a contradiction
in Hazrat Mirza sahibs writings, the objectors own belief
is still disproved by this verse.
Finally, we point out that it is established conclusively that
falamma tawaffaitani means When You caused me to die.
In the section in Sahih Bukhari on Commentary of the
Quran, a saying of Ibn Abbas is recorded under this very verse
(5:117), to the effect that tawaffa means maut or
death, and a hadith of the Holy Prophet Muhammad is added that he
too, on the Day of Judgment, when seeing some of his later followers
being taken to hell, will say just what Jesus said: I was
a witness of them so long as I was among them, but when You did
cause me to die You were the Watcher over them.