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Contents of the Evidence

4. Revelation in Islam
5. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
6. Non-English material

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The Evidence
Section 4:
Revelation in Islam

Translator’s Note:
This and some of the following Sections deal with certain issues in Islam, a failure to understand which properly has given rise to the misconception that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed to be a prophet. (Or it may be said that certain parties have misrepresented these issues in order to create the impression that Hazrat Mirza claimed to be a prophet.)

The first and foremost such issue is the concept of Divine revelation (or God speaking to man) as taught by Islam. With the ending of prophethood after the Holy Prophet Muhammad, the highest form of Divine revelation, which was exclusive to prophets, has also terminated. But lower forms of revelation, which were always received by both prophets and non-prophet holy men alike, still continue. This Section establishes from the Holy Quran and the Hadith that revelation continues among Muslims, and explains its purpose (4.1). It gives instances of revelation coming to non-prophets, including examples of revelation to the Holy Prophet’s Companions during his life-time (4.2). It then quotes extensively from the writings of recognised Muslim religious authorities and scholars, from the early days of Islam till the present day, to show that revelation continues and to give actual instances of revelation coming to various saints (4.3).

4.1: The Quran and Hadith on continuity of revelation

According to the Holy Quran, the distinctive characteristic of a true religion is that it invites towards a living God Who listens to the prayers of the distressed, removes their troubles, and speaks to His servants. The following verses illustrate this point:
  1. Abraham said to his idol-worshipping father: “Why do you worship a thing which hears not, sees not, and helps you not a whit” (19:42).
  2. God condemned the worshippers of the golden calf by saying: “Could they not see that it spoke not to them, nor did it guide them to the right path” (7:148).

    and elsewhere:

    “Did they not see that it answered them not, nor did it control harm or benefit for them” (20:89).

  3. Referring to all worshippers of false gods, it is said: “Those whom these people call upon, besides God, they do not answer them at all” (13:14).
Hence true religion in every age invites to a living God Who speaks to man. Every follower of the faith can make the verbal claim that Islam takes man to God, but to call people of the world towards God on the basis of one’s personal experience and attainment is the work of only those who are purified by God Himself, and are perfect followers of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.

Revelation to non-prophets

With prophethood having ended with the Holy Prophet Muhammad, the guidance which mankind was to receive reached its completion. But is it the case that, with the completion of the guidance, the link between the Creator and His creatures has been forged permanently, and all men in future will attain to God from birth? Or, will people still drift away from God and lose the right path, even after the finality of prophethood? Who will take the place of prophets to establish the link between God and the lost people, when people can go astray despite the existence of perfect teachings? In this regard, the Holy Quran instructs the Holy Prophet Muhammad to declare:
“Say: This is my way. I invite to God through certain knowledge — I and those who follow me.” (12:108)
Hence, as the Holy Prophet called people to God through the light given to him by revelation (“certain knowledge”), so will those of his followers who receive the light of revelation establish the link between God and His creatures on the basis of “certain knowledge”. Such persons are called auliya (sing. wali), or saints, of God. The revelation they receive is not wahy nubuwwat, but wahy wilayat, because the former has ended with the Holy Prophet. The Quran says about auliya:
“Now surely the auliya of God — there is no fear upon them nor do they grieve. Those who believe and guard against evil, for them are good news (bushra) in this world and the hereafter.” (10:64,65)
Those who invite to God must first themselves have a strong connection with God. The way to forge this connection is through sainthood (wilayat) and what is termed “good news” or bushra above.

As to what bushra means, the Holy Prophet explained the above verse to his followers as below:

“He said: Nothing remains of prophethood except mubashshirat [same as bushra]. People said: What are mubashshirat? He said: True dreams.”

(Bukhari, Book of Interpretation of Dreams, ch. Mubashshirat, 91:5)

These “true dreams” are related to prophethood, as the Holy Prophet is reported to have said:
“The good dream of a righteous believer is one of the forty-six parts of prophethood.” (Bukhari, op. cit.)
And referring to the Holy Prophet’s revelation before he became a prophet, Bukhari records from Aishah, wife of the Prophet:
“The revelation to the Holy Prophet began first of all with true dreams.”

(Bukhari, Book 1)

Hence revelation or wahy includes true dreams.

Modes of revelation

The Holy Quran says:
“It is not vouchsafed to a mortal that God should speak to him except by revelation (wahy), or from behind a veil, or by sending a messenger.” (42:51)
Hence, there are three modes of Divine communication with man:
  1. The infusion of an idea into the mind, which is called wahy in this verse. The Holy Prophet has described this mode in the words: “The Holy Spirit has put this into my heart.”
  2. “From behind a veil” — this includes dreams, visions, hearing words of inspiration.
  3. “By sending a messenger” — this refers to the sending of angel Gabriel, who is seen and whose word is heard by the man receiving the revelation.
The first two modes of revelation are common to saints (auliya) and prophets. The third is exclusive to prophets, and after the Holy Prophet Muhammad this mode has terminated. Gabriel cannot now bring revelation of this sort, known as wahy nubuwwat — revelation of prophethood. The first two modes, however, apply to non-prophets as well, as in the cases of Moses’ mother, Jesus’ disciples, and the saints among the Muslims. The Holy Prophet has called such revelation a part of prophethood, and an acknowledged hadith indicates that there are to be persons among Muslims to whom God will speak:
“The Holy Prophet said: Among the Israelite people before you, there used to be men who were spoken to by God although they were not prophets. If there is such a one among my followers, it is Umar.”

(Bukhari, Book of Virtues of the Companions, ch. Umar; Book 62, ch. 6)

It is meant to convey in this hadith that just as there used to be Divine communication with non-prophets in nations before the Muslims, so would it be with the Muslim nation. All commentators agree that Umar is mentioned as a premier or outstanding example of a recipient of revelation.

Hence the Quran and Hadith agree that wahy nubuwwat, the type of revelation exclusive to prophets, has ended, but Divine communication (regarded as partial prophethood) continues among the Muslims. The individuals favoured with this revelation are called auliya (singular wali) in the Quran. They are also bashir (givers of glad tidings) and nazir (warners), as Muhiy-ud-Din Ibn Arabi wrote:

“The wali [saint] is indeed a bashir and nazir, but he is not a law-giver.”

(Futuhat Makkiyya, Part II, p. 376)

The Indian Muslim theologian and leader of the early nineteenth century, Sayyid Ismail Shaheed, commenting on the Quranic verse “There is no town but it had a warner,” writes:
“It has been said that the word nazir [warner] includes prophets and saints.”

(Abqaat, Urdu translation by Manazir Ahsan Gilani, published in A.P., India, p. 402)

Revelation to non-prophets mentioned in the Quran

The saints (auliya) not only receive knowledge of the unseen, and revelations containing glad tidings and warnings (against wrong-doers), but also commands and prohibitions to the recipient (though not law). The Quran gives the following examples:
  1. “We sent revelation to the mother of Moses: ‘Give him suck. Then when you fear for him, cast him into the river, and do not fear or worry. We shall bring him back to you, and make him one of the messengers’.” (28:7)

    In the revelation to Moses’ mother, the words “give him suck” and “cast” are commands, whilst “do not fear or worry” are prohibitions. Was this revelation not certain and definite, just like revelation to prophets? By acting on her revelation and casting her baby in the river, did not Moses’ mother show that she had as much belief in her revelation as the prophets did in theirs? Had this revelation not been from God, the prophecies in it could not have been fulfilled.

  2. To Mary, the mother of Jesus, came the revelation:

    “Shake towards yourself the branch of the palm-tree. Fresh, ripe dates will fall on you. Eat and drink and cool the eye.” (19:25)

    “Shake”, “eat”, “drink” and “cool” are commands.

  3. The disciples of Jesus, who were not prophets, received the revelation:

    “When I revealed to the disciples: ‘Believe in Me and My messenger.’ They said: ‘We believe. Bear witness that we submit’.” (5:111)

Hence it is clear that the revelation of non-prophets is certain and definite, uncorrupted by the devil. This is so that the saints can act as a true model to people, as the prophets used to be models to their people. But as the chain of prophets was cut off with the Holy Prophet, in the Muslim nation his followers have been chosen to call to God. The Quran states: “I [the Holy Prophet] invite to God through certain knowledge — I and those who follow me” (12:108).

These saints are also called khalifas in the Quran:

“God has promised those of you who believe and do good that He will make them khalifas in the earth as He made khalifas of those before them [i.e., the Israelites].” (24:55)
The Holy Prophet has explained this verse as follows:
“The Israelites used to be led by prophets. Whenever a prophet died, he was succeeded by another prophet. But there shall be no prophet after me. There will, however, be khalifas, and there will be many.”

(Bukhari, Book of Prophets, 60:50)

Not only will the khalifas be the likes of the prophets — indicated in the words “as He made those before them” of the verse above — but the criteria for their truthfulness will also be the same. The Holy Prophet said:
“The successorship [khilafat] shall be upon the pattern of prophethood.”

(Mishkat, Book of Riqaq, ch. 9, sec. 3)

4.2: Revelation to Companions of Holy Prophet

Given below are some recorded examples of revelation to the Holy Prophet’s Companions, both during his life and afterwards.
  1. “Aisha related that when the Companions decided to wash the body of the Holy Prophet [before his burial], they said: By God, we do not know whether to remove his clothes, as we do for the dead, or to wash him with his clothes on. So when they differed about this, God caused them to fall asleep, till there was not one of them whose chin was not upon his chest. Then a speaker spoke from one side of the house, they did not know who it was, saying: Wash the Holy Prophet with his clothes on.”

    (Abu Dawud, Book of Funerals; Mishkat, Book of Fitan, ch. ‘Miracles’, sec. 2)

  2. “A slave-girl of Abu Bakr was pregnant. He said: It was revealed to me that it would be a girl. And she gave birth to a girl.”

    (Kitab al-Lama’, by Abu Nasr Abdullah al-Qausani, ch. Abu Bakr)

  3. “In the written orders which Umar [the second Caliph] sent to [his army commander] Sa‘ad Ibn Abi Waqqas during the Persian campaign, it was stated that it had been revealed to him that the enemy would be defeated.”

    (Al-Wasa’iq as-Sabasiyya, p. 302, compiled by Dr Hamidullah of Hyderabad)

  4. “Ali and al-Fazl were washing the Holy Prophet’s body when Ali heard a voice saying: Lift up your eyes to heaven.”

    (Al-Khasa’is al-Kubra, by Suyuti, vol. ii, p. 276)

  5. “Anas related that Abu Ibn Ka‘b said: I shall enter the mosque and pray, and praise God so much that no one would have praised Him like that. So when he prayed, and sat down to praise God, he heard a voice from behind him saying: O God, all praise is due to Thee, all good is in Thy hand, all affairs return to Thee, open or secret, all praise is due to Thee, Thou hast power over all things, forgive me my past sins and keep me pure for the rest of my life, grant me to do good deeds which please Thee from me, and turn to me mercifully. Then Abu Ibn Ka‘b came to the Holy Prophet and related this to him. The Holy Prophet said: That was Gabriel.”

    (Ruh al-Ma‘ani, vol. vii, p. 64, under verse 33:40)

  6. “Abdullah Ibn Zaid Ibn Abd Rabbih related: When the Holy Prophet ordered the making of a trumpet to use it to call people to prayer, I saw in a dream a man carrying a trumpet in his hand. I said to him: Are you selling the trumpet? He said: What will you do with it? I said: Call people to prayer. He said: Shall I not show you something better than it? I said: Yes. He said: Say, Allahu Akbar (up to the end of the words of the Call to Prayer). In the morning I went to the Holy Prophet and told him of my dream. He said: ‘Your dream is surely true, if God so will. Go and stand with Bilal and tell him your dream. Let him give the call to prayer, because his voice is louder than yours.’ So I stood with Bilal and told him of the words, and he made the call to prayer.”

    (Mishkat, Book of Prayer, ch. ‘The Call to Prayer’, sec. 3)

To summarise, wahy nubuwwat has ended, but mubashshirat continue, and these include true dreams which are a part of prophethood. The revelation to saints among Muslims also includes inspiration and hearing words, as shown by the instances quoted above from the Companions of the Holy Prophet.

4.3: Views of Muslim theologians and authorities

1. Raghib in Mufradat

In his classical dictionary of the Quran, Imam Raghib defines wahy as follows:
Al-kalimatu-llati tulqa ila anbiya’i-hi wa auliya’i-hi wahy-un.

“The word of God which is communicated to His prophets and His saints is called wahy.”

(Mufradat of Raghib, under wahy)

2. Imam Ja‘far Sadiq (d. 765 C.E.)

The following is recorded of this early Imam from the line of Ali:
  1. He said: “Revelation is one of the characteristics of the chosen ones of God. To give arguments without revelation is a mark of being rejected from the Divine Presence.”

    (Tazkirat al-Auliya, ch. 1, p. 23)

  2. “Imam Ja‘far says: I read the Quran with such zeal and enthusiasm that it was revealed to me through revelation.”

    (Futuhat Makkiyya by Ibn Arabi)

  3. “Some of those who have Divine experience have said about themselves that they hear the word of God, and that He communicates with them, as is recorded of Imam Ja‘far Sadiq that he said: I read a verse of the Quran so frequently that I heard it from God, the Revealer of the verse.”

    (Maktubat of Mujaddid Alif Sani, vol. iii, p. 166)

3. Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (d. 855 C.E.)

Regarding Imam Hanbal, founder of one of the four systems of Islamic jurisprudence, it is written:
“He said: One day I was in the public baths, and there was a group of people who entered the water without any clothes. I kept in mind the hadith: He who believes in God and the Last Day should not enter the public bath without a waist-wrapper. So I did not remove all my clothes. That night I saw in a dream someone saying to me: ‘O Ahmad, receive good news that God has forgiven you on account of your following the hadith, and made you a leader who shall be followed.’ I said: Who are you? He said: Gabriel.”

(Ihya as-Sunna)

4. Ghazali (d. 1111 C.E.)

This great philosopher, writer and mujaddid, wrote in his best-known work as follows:
  1. “Undoubtedly, knowledge comes to our hearts through the angels, and this is referred to in the word of God: It is not vouchsafed to a mortal that God should speak to him except by revelation ...”

    (Ihya al-‘Ulum, vol. iii, p. 14)

  2. “Know that the men of the heart are shown the secrets of the worlds through inspiration [into the mind], or through true dreams, or through visions while awake. This is one of the highest grades of the degrees of prophethood, as a true dream is one of the forty-six parts of prophethood. So beware of denying this knowledge through lack of understanding.”

    (ibid., p. 67)

5. Sayyid Abdul Qadir Jilani (d. 1166 C.E.):

  1. “Woe unto you, O innovator! Does God not have the power to say: I am God. Our God, great is His glory, is a speaker, and not dumb. His word is heard and understood.”

    (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani, p. 153)

  2. “When you attain perfection in fana [annihilation], your rank near God will be raised, and you will be addressed in the words: This day you are with us, a dignified, trusted one.”

    (Futuh al-Ghaib, with Persian commentary, Discourse no. 28, p. 171)

    The words referred to are in a verse of the Quran in chapter Joseph (12:54).

  3. The words wa-stana‘tu-ka li-nafsi (I have chosen thee especially for Myself), which are in the Quranic verse 20:41, were revealed to Abdul Qadir Jilani several times.

    (ibid., p. 33)

  4. “I am not an ordinary preacher like your preachers. I speak by command of God Almighty. Take my words to be the orders of God. When I preach from the pulpit, God manifests Himself upon my heart.”

    (Tuhfa Qadiriyya, p. 82)

6. Imam Qurtabi:

“The true, righteous Muslim is he whose condition resembles the condition of the prophets. He is favoured with that with which the prophets were favoured, that is, information of the unseen.”

(Fath al-Bari, standard commentary of Bukhari, vol. xii, p. 319)

7. Muhiy-ud-Din Ibn Arabi (d. 1240 C.E.)

The famous Muslim philosopher and saint of Spain wrote:
  1. “It is impossible that revelation from God can stop. For if it were to be cut off, there would not remain for the world any spiritual food by which it continues to subsist.”

    (Futuhat Makkiyya, Part II, p. 90, question no. 82)

  2. “Of us [saints] are those who receive from God those very commandments which are in the Shari‘ah. The source is the same as it used to be for the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Such persons are his followers because these commandments are not opposed to the Shari‘ah.”

    (Fusus al-Hukam, p. 183)

  3. “All the forms of revelation we have explained here are to be found in men of God, from among the saints. The revelation which was exclusive to the prophet, and not for the saint, is the revelation containing the Shari‘ah.”

    (Futuhat Makkiyya, Part II, p. 376)

  4. “And thus the coming of the Quran upon the hearts of the saints is not cut off, despite the fact that the Quran is safely preserved with them. It happens due to their zeal, and it is for only some of them.”

    (ibid., p. 258)

  5. The Quranic verse “We believe in God and what has been revealed to us ... and we submit to Him” (2:136) was revealed in revelation received by Ibn Arabi.

    (ibid., Part III, p. 367)

8. Jalal-ud-Din Rumi (d. 1273 C.E.)

This Persian saint and author of Masnawi wrote:
“It is not astrology or sorcery or mere dream,
It is true revelation — God knows best.
To hide it from the common people,
The Sufis term it inner revelation.”
A commentary on the Masnawi explains the above verses as follows:
“The expediency of hiding it from the public is to avoid trouble, because if a man of God were to say, I learnt such and such a thing from Divine revelation, people may think that he was claiming prophethood. Then, let alone people being alienated from him, he would actually fear for his life ...

“The fact is that God speaks to angels, prophets, and specially-chosen saints through His ancient word, and puts words in their souls with different meanings. In accordance with His eternal knowledge, God makes them understand the meaning which He intends, and they receive that significance according to their capacity. With angels and prophets, this is called wahy, and with saints it is called ilham, but the Sufis term wahy as inner revelation.”

(Miftah al-‘Ulum, Daftar iv, Part I, vol. xi, p. 361)

9. Imam Hajar Asqalani

He wrote in his commentary of Bukhari:
“When revelation was cut off with the Holy Prophet’s death, ilham [revelation to saints] came to those whom God chose.”

(Fath al-Bari, vol. i, p. 332)

10. Imam Abdul Wahhab Shi‘rani:

  1. “The door of prophethood is closed after the Holy Prophet Muhammad, and shall not be opened for anyone till the Day of Judgment. However, revelation (wahy, ilham) remains for the saints, which does not contain Shari‘ah in it.”

    (Al-Yawaqit wal-Jawahir, p. 37)

  2. “Law-bearing prophethood has been cut off with the death of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Hence the angel of revelation brings to the saint (wali) the understanding of the Shari‘ah, and informs him as to its secrets.”

    (ibid., p. 71)

  3. “The revelation which brings Shari‘ah has been stopped after the Holy Prophet Muhammad. And of the favours which God has bestowed upon me, one is that He has made me a recipient of sound revelation.”

    (Al-Kibariyya al-Ahmar, footnote in Yawaqit, vol. ii, p. 8)

11. Shaikh Ahmad of Sirhind (d. 1624 C.E.)

This famous mujaddid of India expressed the following views:
  1. He records a question and then answers it as below:

    “Question: Since the religion has been completed and perfected by the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet’s example, what is the need for revelation (ilham), and what deficiency is there which is made good by revelation?

    “Answer: Revelation makes manifest the hidden perfections of the religion, not increase the perfections in religion. Just as exercise of reason (ijtihaad) makes clear the commandments of the religion, so does revelation make clear the secrets and subtleties which most people cannot understand. The distinct difference between the exercise of reason and revelation is that the former is related to opinion while the latter is ascribed to the Great Creator of opinions. Therefore, revelation has a certainty which reason does not.”

    (Maktubat, vol. iii, Part VII, Daftar ii, Letter no. 55, p. 19)

  2. “Commandments of the Shari‘ah are revealed at particular times but commands of revelation in general are required at all times. ... The Shari‘ah commandments are based on four sources [the reference is to Quran, Hadith, Ijma and Qiyas through which laws are derived], where revelation of saints (ilham) finds no place. But leaving aside Shari‘ah commandments, there are many other religious matters in which the fifth source is ilham. In fact, it may be said that, after the Quran and Hadith, ilham is the third source. This source will continue to exist till the end of the world.”

    (ibid., p. 19)

  3. “The revelation of saints partakes of the light of prophethood, and is the consequence of the blessings of following the prophets.”

    (ibid., Part VI, Daftar iii, Letter no. 23, p. 63)

  4. “This humble one was lifted up from the dirt of degradation, and a voice called my soul saying: I have forgiven you and those who come to Me through your mediation, whether directly [through you] or indirectly, till the Day of Judgment. And it kept on repeating this, so that no scope remains for doubt.”

    (Mabd wa Mu‘ad with Urdu translation, p. 17)

  5. “Shaikh Ahmad said that one day he prepared food for the Fatiha of his son [i.e. charitable deed following the death of his son]. There was doubt about its Divine acceptance because of the Quranic teaching: ‘God only accepts the deeds of the dutiful.’ Then he had a revelation: ‘Thou art indeed from among the dutiful’.”

    (Kahl al-Jawahir, p. 14)

  6. Before the birth of his youngest son, Shah Muhammad Yahya, he received the revelation: “We give thee good news of a boy, whose name is Yahya.” This is, in fact, verse 19:7 of the Quran. So he named the boy Yahya.

    (Maqamat Imam Rabbani, published in Delhi, p. 136)

  7. He related that for a few days he was overcome by a deficiency of good deeds. So when during prayer he reached the words, “Thee do we serve,” he faced a dilemma: if he said these words, he would be guilty under the verse “why do you say that which you do not do”; if he omitted them, he would be guilty of omission. Then he had the revelation: “Shirk [worship of things other than God] has been removed from your worship, and your faith has become pure.”

    (Kahl al-Jawahir, p. 15)

  8. He said: “All those who have entered, or are going to enter, into my spiritual order, directly or indirectly, were shown to me, and I was told of the places of their birth and residence. They were all given to me. If I wish, I can describe them all.”

    (ibid., Life of Shaikh Ahmad by Khawaja Muhammad Baqir of Lahore, p. 5)

12. Mu‘in-ud-Din Chishti (d. 1236 C.E.)

This saint and missionary of India, whose shrine in Ajmer is visited by thousands of Muslims every year, wrote the verse:
“Every moment the Holy Spirit breathes into Mu‘in,
So it is not I who says this, but in fact I am the second Jesus.”

(Divan of Chishti, ode no. 70, p. 102)

13. Al-Baidawi

The classical Arab commentator of the Quran, al-Baidawi, wrote:
“Just as the devils put bad thoughts into the hearts of disbelievers, so shall We [God] reveal the truth to you [O Muslims] and urge you to do good.”

(Commentary of Baidawi, vol. ii, p. 267, published in Delhi)

14. Fakhar-ud-Din Razi

Another classical commentator, Fakhar-ud-Din Razi, wrote:
“The angels project their influence into the souls of men by revelation, and show them their [i.e. angels’] accomplishments by sure visions.”

(Tafsir Kabir, vol. vii, p. 370)

15. Shah Wali-ullah of Delhi (d. 1763 C.E.)

He is an eminent thinker, theologian and writer, who is recognised as mujaddid of his day. He wrote:
  1. “The Muslim nation is not deprived of revelation through angels. Do you not know how Mary saw Gabriel as a strong, healthy man, and how the angels called her? Similarly, Hadith records that a believer was going towards a village to visit a fellow. In the way an angel appeared to him and said: I am an apostle of God to you. Hadith also says that if you maintain the same [high] level of faith, angels will greet you while you are lying in your beds.”

    (Tafhimat, vol. ii, p. 134)

  2. “God revealed to me, saying: I will give you the Tariqa [course of teachings for spiritual progress] which shall take man nearer to God than do any of the existing Tariqas, and it shall be more powerful than any of them.”

    (ibid., vol. i, p. 45)

16. Khawaja Mir Dard of Delhi (d. 1785 C.E.)

In his great work ‘Ilm al-Kitab, this famous saint of Delhi writes under the heading Tahdees Ni‘mat ar-Rabb (‘Mention of the bounties of the Lord’) that he received in revelation numerous verses of the Quran, some of which are those where the Holy Prophet is addressed by God. For instance:
  1. “Warn thy near relatives.” (The Quran, 26:214)
  2. “Say: Allah is sufficient for me.” (39:38)
  3. “Be steadfast as thou art commanded, and follow not their low desires.” (42:15)
  4. “Grieve thou not for them, nor be distressed because of what they plan.” (27:70)
  5. “Did He not find thee groping, and guided thee.” (93:7)
See ‘Ilm al-Kitab, pp. 61 – 64.

17. Sayyid Muhammad Ismail Shaheed (d. 1831 C.E.)

He was a learned theologian and a famous martyr of North-West India. He writes:
  1. “Among these matters, one is ilham [revelation], and ilham is that thing which is established from the prophets. It is called wahy. If it is proved from persons other than prophets, it is called tahdees [revelation of a non-prophet]. In the Quran, ilham as such has been called wahy, whether it came to prophets or to saints.”

    (Mansab-i Imamat, Urdu translation by Muhammad Husain Alwi, published by A’inah Adab, Lahore, 2nd ed., 1969, p. 73)

  2. “Those people who consider knowledge to be no more than talk and words, and meaningless nonsense, ... if such a man means to say that no person other than the prophets can obtain knowledge of the future from the unseen, I believe that he is denying a teaching of the religion which is established by repeated evidence, i.e. those teachings of the faith which spread into the world because they were abundantly reported [from the Holy Prophet], he is denying one of those.”

    (Abqaat, Urdu translation by Manazir Ahsan Gilani, published in A.P., India, p. 14.)

18. Maulavi Abdullah Ghaznavi

He was an Indian saint of the last century who was originally from Ghazni in Afghanistan, but settled in Amritsar in the Punjab. His biography records that he received a very large number of Quranic verses in his Divine revelation. Some are given below:
  1. “Send peace and blessings upon him.” (The Quran 33:56)
  2. “And soon thy Lord will give thee so that thou art well pleased.” (93:5)
  3. “Have We not expanded for thee thy bosom.” (94:1)
  4. “Is not God sufficient for His servant.” (39:36)
  5. “He is only a servant upon whom We bestowed favours.” (43:59)
He also received the following revelation:
“Thou art from Me and I am from Thee. So fear not nor grieve.”

(Biography of Maulavi Abdullah Ghaznavi by Maulavi Abdul Jabbar Ghaznavi, pp. 10 – 11)

19. Maulavi Abdul Jabbar Ghaznavi

One Maulavi Ghulam Ali Qasoori objected to the revelations of Maulavi Abdullah Ghaznavi as follows:
“There are some verses in the Quran which are addressed specially and solely to the Holy Prophet Muhammad. No one else can be addressed by them.”
In reply, Maulavi Abdullah Ghaznavi’s son Maulavi Abdul Jabbar Ghaznavi, a contemporary of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and a bitter opponent of the Ahmadiyya Movement, wrote the following:
“If someone receives a Divine revelation (ilham) which is some verse of the Quran addressed particularly to the Holy Prophet Muhammad, the recipient of this revelation would take it as referring to himself, and would interpret it in the light of his own circumstances and draw a lesson from it. ...

“So if someone has revealed to him verses specially addressed to the Holy Prophet, for instance: ‘Have We not expanded for thee thy breast’, ‘thy Lord will soon give thee so that thou wilt be pleased’, ‘Allah will suffice thee against them’, ‘be patient and resolute as the messengers were’, ‘hold thyself with those who call upon their Lord morning and evening’, ‘pray to thy Lord and sacrifice’, ‘obey not him whose heart We have made unmindful of Our remembrance, and he follows his low desires’, ‘He found thee groping and guided thee’; the meaning would be that that person would be granted these things to the extent that he deserves, according to his station. And as for the commands and prohibitions [in the revelations], these would apply to him as to the Holy Prophet.”

(Asbat al-ilham, pp. 142 – 143)

20. Allama Khalid Mahmud

He is a present-day theologian who is a staunch opponent of the Ahmadiyya Movement. He wrote in an Urdu book:
“News of the unseen, visions and revelations are also received by some non-prophets. Saints (auliya) of God are informed of news of the unseen. In fact, Umar [the second Caliph] held the rank of muhaddas, at which station, according to the words of Hadith, God Himself grants the privilege of His communication, without the person reaching the rank of prophet.”

(‘Aqidat al-Umma fi ma‘ni khatam an-nubuwwat, published by Idara Hifz-i Muarif-i Islamia, Lahore, 3rd ed., 1965, p. 48, footnote)

21. Sayyid Abul Ala Maudoodi (d. 1979 C.E.)

The most prominent Sunni religious and political leader of recent times in Pakistan wrote in answer to a question in his monthly magazine:
“You appear surprised at there being two types of revelation. Had you read the Quran you would know that this Book mentions three types of revelation, only one of which types was collected in the Quran: ‘It is not for a mortal that God should speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a veil, or by sending a messenger who reveals by His permission what He [God] pleases.’ Here three forms are described of God sending commandments and guidance to a man. One is direct revelation, i.e., inspiration into the mind. A second is speech from behind a veil. The third is that revelation is sent through a messenger — an angel. The revelations collected in the Holy Quran are only of the third kind.”

(Monthly Tarjuman al-Quran, September 1961, p. 100)

See supplementary material on the Evidence of Section 4
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