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Contents of the Evidence

12. Titles Mary and Messiah for Muslims
5. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
6. Non-English material

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The Evidence
Section 12:
Titles Mary and Messiah for Muslims

Translator’s Note:
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed to be the Promised Messiah in whose expectation the Muslims were waiting. This Section shows from the Quran, Hadith, and writings of eminent Muslim savants, that true Muslim believers can rise to spiritual heights where they are made to receive the names ‘Mary’ and ‘Messiah’ as titles of honour from God, and it gives extracts from the pronouncements of many saints who applied such titles to themselves or to other saints. Then some Sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad are quoted in which he has likened his eminent followers to various prophets. Then writings of Hazrat Mirza are cited, expressing the same ideas. All these extracts show that to apply the title ‘Messiah’ to a saint is quite allowable in Islam.

Hazrat Mirza also explained that the Hadith prophecies speaking of the appearance of the ‘Messiah’ do not refer to the return of Jesus, but to the coming of a Muslim saint who shall receive the title ‘Messiah’, and who shall bear a strong likeness to Jesus. Hazrat Mirza claimed to be one of those saints who received the title Messiah, and to be that particular one whose coming and tasks were prophesied in Hadith. The Section gives lengthy extracts from his writings, explaining his claim.

12.1: How a believer becomes Mary and Messiah

There is a saying of the Holy Prophet Muhammad:
“No one shall enter the kingdom of heaven who was not born twice.”

(Maktubat of Shaikh Ahmad of Sirhind, the Mujaddid Alif Sani)

The meaning is that a person has two births. The first birth is the physical birth. When a child is born, his parents name him after a prophet, saint or other righteous person. The second birth takes place when a person becomes an adult. At that time, he has many aspirations and desires, and that is the time when he is subject to attack from the devil, then does his spiritual and real birth take place. He is given a name again by Almighty God, in the spiritual world, corresponding to the work he does.

Two types of believers

Among the believers, such persons are of two kinds. Firstly, those who are pursued by the devil at the time of their spiritual birth, who tries to mislead them. The believer engages in prayer and cries before the Lord God that He may protect him from the attack of the devil and grant him to do good. In the Holy Quran, believers of this kind are compared to the Pharoah’s wife, Assiyya. Just as she remained firm on her faith in God and Moses, despite persecution of all sorts by the Pharoah, similarly a believer of this class stays away from evil and sin despite the full assault of the devil. In the spiritual world, such believers are given the name Assiyya, as the Quran says:
“God sets forth an example for those who believe — the wife of Pharoah who said: My Lord, build for me with Thee a house in heaven, and save me from the Pharoah and his doings, and save me from an unjust people.”

(The Holy Quran, 66:11)

In this verse, God has given the example of those believers who are not yet free of the grip of base passions, but, like the Pharoah’s wife, pray and strive day and night to be free of this grip. This state of soul is known as the self-accusing soul.

Believers named ‘Mary’

The second class of believers are those who are pure from the beginning, and protected from attacks of the devil. Due to the high degree of goodness and purity in them, God has compared them to Mary, as that is their name in the spiritual world:
“And Mary, daughter of Amran, who guarded her chastity, so We breathed into him Our Spirit [i.e. bestowed Divine revelation]. She accepted the words of her Lord and His books, and was of the obedient.”

(The Holy Quran, 66:12)

This is the example of those believers who possess the contented soul. Note that the gender in the words “breathed into him” is masculine, so that the example refers to the believer. The believer who reaches this rank receives the word of God, and his being is indeed a proof of the truth of the Books of God.

The Holy Prophet’s saying

This verse of the Quran is supported by the following Saying of the Holy Prophet:
“No child is born but the devil touches him when he is born, and so he cries due to the devil’s touch, except Mary and her son.”
It is not the physical birth of a child that is meant here, but the spiritual birth of a man. By “Mary and her son” are meant believers having these qualities. This is also the meaning explained by the famous classical commentator of the Quran, Zamakhshari:
“Its meaning is that the devil attempts to mislead every child, except Mary and her son because they were both pure. The same applies to everyone who has their qualities.”

(The commentary Kashshaf, vol. i, p. 302)

Hence, in this Saying of the Holy Prophet, it is not the two individuals Mary and her son who are meant, but two kinds of people who have the qualities of these two.

Sufis and the two births

The Sufis accept the two births of man. Suharwardy, founder of the famous Sufi order, wrote:
“The disciple becomes a part of the master, just as a child is a part of his father in his physical birth. Thus is the disciple born from his master, in his spiritual birth.”

(‘Awarif al-Mu‘arif, vol. i, p. 45)

12.2: Muslim Saints likened to Jesus and Mary

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

Rumi is a world-famous Persian poet, philosopher and saint whose great work Masnawi is known among Muslims as “the Quran in Pahlavi” (i.e. Persian). He has also been studied by great European Philosophers, and the Masnawi has been translated into English by R. A. Nicholson, the eminent British orientalist of the turn of the century. Rumi is revered in particular by the Muslims of Turkey, Iran, India and Pakistan. He writes in poetic verse:
  1. “The Whole [i.e. Spirit of God] forms a relation with the part [i.e. spirit of man], and from this, just as woman receives sperm from man, the sense of man receives a pearl. The soul of man then becomes pregnant, as did Mary, and from this pregnancy is born a Messiah. This Messiah is not the Messiah who lived in the past, but is a Messiah whose glory is not easy to comprehend. When the Spirit of God makes pregnant the spirit of man [i.e. man receives revelation from God], that spirit then makes a whole world pregnant [i.e. they receive spiritual benefit from it]. This produces a spiritual revolution and resurrection in the world, which is so grand as to defy description.”
  2. “Whether the word of God is from behind the curtain or not, He bestows the very thing which He gave to Mary.”

    (Miftah al-‘ulum, vol. i, p. 11)

    The reference in “behind the curtain” is to the verse of the Quran, discussed in Section 4, according to which this is one mode of Divine revelation to man.

  3. “Souls themselves are the breath of Jesus. At times they wound and at other times they act as balm. If the veil be lifted from the souls, every one of them would say, I am the Messiah.”

    (ibid., vol. ii, p. 247)

  4. “I am Jesus, but whoever receives life from my breath lives forever. Those who were brought to life by Jesus died, but fortunate are they who entrusted their lives to this Jesus.”

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

  5. “The one lacking insight who opposes a Messiah [i.e. a Messiah-like saint], he shall go astray like the Jews.”

    (ibid., vol. xvii, p. 141)

  6. “God confines free spirits into bodies, and makes each body pregnant by the spirit. Each one of us [sages] is a Messiah for the world, the balm for every pain is in our hands.”

    (ibid., Daftar no. 1, Part I, p. 55)

2. Shams-ud-Din of Tabriz (d. 1248 C.E.)

This saint, who was the chief influence upon Jalal-ud-Din Rumi, wrote the following verses:
  1. “I am the spirit which was breathed into Mary,
    “I am the soul which was the life of Jesus.”

    (The Kulliyat of Shams-i Tabriz, p. 292)

  2. “I was in the breath of Jesus, I am the lover of old.”

    (ibid., p. 508)

  3. “The ranks and stations which Jesus and Mary did not attain, I did attain them.”

    (ibid., p. 212)

  4. In a recent English book on Rumi, The Life and Work of Jalal-ud-Din Rumi by Afzal Iqbal (The Octagon Press, London, 1983), while commenting on this great saint’s view of his teacher Shams-ud-Din as expressed in his odes, it is noted:

    “Shams is identified with the primeval man; he is Adam, Jesus and Mary, all rolled into one.” (p. 163)

    And on page 164 are quoted some of Rumi’s Persian verses referring to his master by these titles.

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

He is the saint and missionary credited with laying the foundations of the propagation of Islam in India. His urs (annual festival) is celebrated by Muslims around the world, and thousands go to pay homage at his shrine in Ajmer. He wrote the following verses:
  1. “If the Holy Spirit continues to give succour,
    “Every day in the world the Mary of the time will give birth to a Jesus.”
  2. “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.”

    (Diwan of Mu‘in-ud-Din Chishti, ode no. 70, p. 102)

  3. In his Tazkira Pak in praise of Mu‘in-ud-Din Chishti, Faqir Muhammad Chishti wrote:

    “To speak while still in the womb,
    “To show such a Messianic miracle,
    “Is it the miracle of a saint or the marvel of a Messiah?
    “I cannot comprehend what it is.
    “Your soul is the soul of Jesus, O Khwaja!
    “This is the prayer of your devotee.”

    (pp. 27, 86 and 143)

4. Shaikh Sa‘di (d. 1292 C.E.)

This world-renowned Persian poet, whose work Gulistan is well-known in the West, wrote:
“Your Jesus [i.e. your spirit] dies of loss of weight, while you are busy pampering your ass [i.e. your body].
“O wretch! buy not this world for faith,
“Buy not the ass for the Gospel of Jesus.”

(Bou-stan, ch. 6)

5. Sayyid Farid-ud-Din ‘Sipa Salar’:

“I am that Jesus of the sky who went even beyond the moon,
“I am the Moses of Mount Sinai where God revealed himself.”

(Risala Sipa Salar, p. 16)

6. Abu Yazid Bustami (d. 874 C.E.)

It is recorded about him in the classical work Tazkirat al-Auliya, a compilation of the lives of early Muslim saints:
“It was said, God has servants like Abraham, Moses and Jesus. He said: I am all of them.”

(Tazkirat al-Auliya, ch. on Abu Yazid Bustami; see also its abridged English translation Muslim Saints and Mystics by A. J. Arberry, p. 123)

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

In a poem in praise of his master Sayyid Ahmad Barelvi, he writes:
“Joseph has now come to Egypt from Canaan, and a whole world has come for his purchase,
“To give life to the dead, the breath of Jesus has now come into the world,
“From Madina my Ahmad has come, from the cave of Saur, to teach the Ansar [name given to ‘helpers’ of Holy Prophet Muhammad],
“Sayyid Ahmad came one day with his companions. You should say that the Last of the Prophets came again with his Companions.”

(Najm al-Saqib, vol. ii)

8. Shah Niyaz Ahmad of Delhi (d. 1834 C.E.):

“Sometimes I am Idris, sometimes Seth, sometimes Noah, sometimes Jonah, sometimes Joseph, sometimes Jacob, and sometimes Hud. Sometimes I am Salih, sometimes Abraham, sometimes Isaac, sometimes Yahya, sometimes Moses, sometimes Jesus and sometimes David. I am Ahmad Hashmi and Jesus of Mary.”

(Diwan-e Niyaz, p. 42, 44)

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

This famous saint, regarding whom there is a section in the English book Mystical Dimensions of Islam by the eminent scholar Annemarie Schimmel, wrote as follows:
“Every perfect man, by the all-encompassing power of God, is the Jesus of his time. And every moment he faces for his being the affair of the soul of Jesus.”

(Risala Dard, p. 211)

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

Ibn Arabi, known as the “Great Master” of Sufi-ism, whose works have been much studied by Western scholars, wrote in his famous book Futuhat Makkiyya:
“And as it happened with our spiritual guide, when it was said to him: ‘You are Jesus, son of Mary, so heal him’.”

(vol. i, p. 199)

11. Abu Tamam

This famous Arab poet was addressed as:
“O Jesus, son of Mary!”

(Da’irat al-Mu‘arif, Part II, p. 58)

He was given this title because his poetry was life-reviving, even though he used to stammer.

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

The great philosopher, writer and scholar of Islam, considered as the mujaddid of his time, wrote in his acclaimed work the Tafhimat Ilahiyya:
“The miracle of raising the dead to life, which was granted to Jesus — that was myself.”

13. Khawaja Shah Sulaiman Tonsovi (d. 1852 C.E.)

A verse in praise of the Khawaja reads:
‘Arise by the command of God’ was a miracle at the hand of Jesus, but you [O Khawaja] made thousands into Messiahs with a single breath.”

(Manaqib al-Mahbubin, p. 249)

14. Shaikh Mahmud-ul-Hasan of Deoband (d. 1920)

  1. Writing in praise of Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, a prominent Deoband leader in the nineteenth century, the Shaikh says in a poem:

    “He raised the dead to life, and let not the living die. Just look at this Messianic work, O son of Mary.”

  2. And in praise of both Rashid Ahmad and Muhammad Qasim Nanotavi, the founder of the Deoband religious school, he wrote:

    “Qasim the good and Rashid Ahmad, both men of glory, the two of them were the Messiah of the age and Joseph of Canaan.”

15. Muhammad Nasir Muhammadi (d. 1758 C.E.)

He was the father of Mir Dard of Delhi and author of the work Nala-yi-Andalib (Lamentation of the Nightingale). He wrote in this book:
“There have been perfect, and still more perfect, saints among the Muslims. In terms of their spiritual progress and path of development, some had the temperament of Adam, some of Noah, some of Abraham, some of David, some of Jacob, some of Moses, some of Jesus, and some had the temperament of Muhammad.”

(vol. i, p. 243)

16. Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra

In his Urdu translation of this work, Sayyid Abdul Ghani Warisi writes:
“The man who is [spiritually] established in the form of Muhammad, is called ‘O Muhammad!’ He who is in the form of Moses is called ‘O Moses!’, and he who is in the form of Jesus is called ‘O Jesus!’

(p. 486)

17. Mirza Ghalib (d. 1869 C.E.)

He is one of the greatest and most famous poets of the Urdu language. One of his best-known and most-quoted verses is the following:
“Let someone be the son of Mary, and let him heal my pain.”
Commenting on this verse, Professor Yusuf Salim Chishti writes in his Sharh Diwan Ghalib:
“Meaning — If my beloved can heal my pain, I accept him as Messiah.”

(p. 826)

18. Dr Sir Muhammad Iqbal (d. 1938 C.E.)

In praise of the perfect believer, Iqbal says in Persian verse:
“He is Kalim [Moses], he is Masih [Messiah], he is Khalil [Abraham],
“He is Muhammad, he is the Book [Quran], he is Gabriel.”

19. Sayyid Abdul Qadir Jilani (d. 1166 C.E.)

The much revered saint of Iraq wrote:
“I was with Jesus when he spoke from the cradle.”

(Qasida Ruhi)

20. Muhammad Ibn Yahya Ibn Ali Jilani:

“I am Joseph and Ali,
“I am Moses and Jesus — and many of the persons before them.”


21. Anne Marie Schimmel

She is a renowned European orientalist and scholar who has been honoured by the authorities in Pakistan for her research on Islam. In her English book Mystical Dimensions of Islam (University of North Carolina Press, U.S.A., 1975), she writes:
“According to some sufi orders, on the higher levels of his path the mystic ascends through the stations of the Islamic prophets, from Adam to Jesus; many Sufis remain in one of these stages, but the perfect shaikh is he who has become annihilated in the Prophet Muhammad. United with the haqiqa Muhammadiyya, he becomes the Perfect Man and thus leads his disciples with a guidance granted directly by God.” (p. 237)

“The Sufis particularly loved Mary. ... She is often taken as the symbol of the spirit that receives divine inspiration and thus becomes pregnant with the divine light.” (p. 429)

12.3: Sayings of Holy Prophet Muhammad

The doctrines of spiritual advancement expounded by the Sufis, as explained above, have their foundations in verses 24:55 and 66:11 – 12 of the Holy Quran. Hadith, too, provides the ground for these ideas, as shown below. The Holy Prophet Muhammad said:
  1. “There is not one prophet but a like of him is to be found among my followers. Abu Bakr is like Abraham, Umar is like Moses, Uthman is like Aaron, and Ali is like me. He who wishes to see Jesus, let him look at Abu Zarr Ghaffari.”

    (Kanz al-Ummal, vol. vi, p. 193)

  2. “He who likes to see Jesus in terms of piety, let him see Abu Darda.”

    (quoted in Mansab-i Imamat, a famous book by Sayyid Ismail Shaheed; see also Kanz al-Ummal, vol. vi, p. 169)

  3. “He who likes to see Abraham in his tender-heartedness, let him see Abu Bakr in his kindness. He who likes to see Noah in his firmness, let him see Umar in his bravery. He who likes to see Enoch in his exaltation, let him see Uthman in his mercy. He who likes to see John the Baptist in his devotions, let him see Ali in his state of purity.”

    (Kanz al-Ummal, collection of Hadith, vol. vi, p. 161)

  4. “The earth shall never lack forty men who are the likes of Abraham, on account of whom you shall be given water and aid, and sustenance. The Majma‘ al-Zawa’id says that this saying has sound authorities.”

    (Al-Khabr al Dal, by Imam Sayuti)

  5. “Dahya al-Kalbi resembles Gabriel, Urwah ibn Masud Thaqfi resembles Jesus, and Abdul Uzza resembles the Anti-Christ.”

    (Kanz al-Ummal, vol. vi, p. 173)

  6. “Among the servants of God, there are three hundred whose hearts are like Adam’s heart, forty whose hearts are like Moses’ heart, seven whose hearts are like Abraham’s heart, five whose hearts are like Gabriel’s heart, three whose hearts are like [the angel] Michael’s heart, and one whose heart is like [the angel] Israfil’s heart.”

    (Al-Khabr al-Dal by Imam Suyuti, p. 15; see also Kanz al-Ummal, vol. vi, p. 239).

    (See also Anne Marie Schimmel’s Mystical Dimensions of Islam, p. 202, which mentions that the name of Jesus has also been added to this list in another version.)

  7. “The Ulama are the heirs of the prophets.”

    (Sunan Abu Dawud, Kitab al-Ilm, ch. 1: ‘Excellence of knowledge’.)

  8. “The Shaikh [spiritual leader] among his followers is like the prophet among his nation.”

    (This hadith has also been quoted in Mystical Dimensions of Islam, on p. 101 and p. 237.)

  9. “The Ulama of this nation deserve to be alongside the prophets in rank.”

    (quoted by Ibn Arabi in his Futuhat Makkiyya, p. 570)

  10. “The righteous Ulama of this nation are heirs to the ranks of prophets.”


  11. “The Ulama of my nation are like the Israelite prophets.”

  12. “The Ulama of this nation are like the prophets of all the nations of the world.”

  13. Among the Muslims there shall be “men who are spoken to by God, without being prophets”.

    (Bukhari, book 62, ch. 6)

  14. “The Ulama are the lights of the earth, and the successors of the prophets, and heirs to me and the other prophets.”

    (Kanz al-Ummal, vol. v, p. 201)

Hence, it is quite allowable to liken non-prophets to prophets, as the Holy Prophet Muhammad himself likened those who were not prophets to prophets.

12.4: Views of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

Hazrat Mirza has written exactly what the eminent scholars and saints of Islam before him had written, and has expressed the view-point accepted as standard in Islam:
  1. “Of all the leaders of Tasawwuf that there have been till the present day, not even one has disagreed with the point that in this religion the path to become the likes of prophets is open, as the Holy Prophet Muhammad has given the glad tidings for spiritual and godly learned persons that ‘the Ulama of my nation are like the Israelite Prophets’. The words of Abu Yazid Bustami given below, which are recorded in Tazkirat al-Auliya by Farid-ud-Din Attar, and are also found in other reliable works, are on this basis, as he says: ‘I am Adam, I am Seth, I am Noah, I am Abraham, I am Moses, I am Jesus, I am Muhammad, peace be upon him and upon all these brothers of his.’ ... Similarly, Sayyid Abdul Qadir Jilani, in his book Futuh al-Ghaib, refers to this point, i.e. that man, by leaving his ego and annihilating himself in God, becomes the like, rather the very form, of the prophets.” (Izala Auham, pp. 258 – 260)

  2. “God’s ancient way cannot be denied, viz., that He gives the name of one to another on account of spiritual similarity. He who has the nature of Abraham is Abraham in God’s sight, he who has the nature of Moses is Moses in God’s sight, and he who has the nature of Jesus is Jesus in God’s sight. And he who has a share of all these has all these names applied to him.” (ibid., p. 412)

  3. “Ponder over this, that all the eternal fountains of spiritual life have come into the world through the Holy Prophet Muhammad. This is the nation [i.e. Muslim nation] which, though not having any prophets (nabi) in it, has those who receive the word of God like prophets, and though not having any messengers (rasul) in it, has those who show God’s clear signs like messengers.” (Ainah Kamalat Islam, p. 224)

Hazrat Mirza on how a believer becomes ‘Mary’ and ‘Jesus’

“In the Holy Quran, God has given two parables of the believers. The first comparison is with the wife of Pharoah who wishes refuge in God from this kind of husband. This is the example of those believers who bow to base passions and make mistakes, and then they show regret and repent. They seek refuge in God, as their soul is always doing them injustice like the Pharoah as a husband. These people have the self-reproaching soul, and are constantly striving to be free from evil.

“There are other believers who have attained a higher rank. They do not only refrain from evil, but earn virtue. God has compared them to Mary: ‘She who guarded her chastity, so We breathed into it of Our spirit.’ Every believer who accomplishes himself in piety and purity, is Mary in the sense of burooz [manifestation or spiritual representation]. And God breathes into him His spirit, which becomes the son of Mary.

“Zamakhshari [classical commentator of the Quran] has given the same meaning, i.e. this verse is of general application. If this meaning is not taken, then because Hadith says ‘None is safe from the devil except Mary and the son of Mary’, it would simply imply that — God forbid — all other prophets were prone to the devil.

“Hence, in reality, this verse refers to the fact that into every believer who reaches this accomplishment, the spirit of God is blown, and he becomes the son of Mary. This contains the prophecy that a ‘son of Mary’ would be born in this Muslim nation. It is surprising that people name their children Muhammad, Isa [Jesus], Musa [Moses], Yacub [Jacob], Ishaq [Isaac], Ismail and Abraham, and consider this to be permissible, but they do not think it allowable for God to name someone Mary, or ‘son of Mary’.” (Mulfuzat, vol. ii, pp. 317 – 318)

“There is another point which is realised by pondering over the Divine word. That is that as a person makes daily progress towards the truth by receiving guidance from the attracting power of God, and goes on forsaking the self and the lower passions, the ultimate point of the purification of his soul is that, having emerged completely from the darkness of the self and base desires, and having cleansed his body — which is the residence of the soul — of dark bodily smoke, he becomes like a pure drop of water. At that time, in God’s sight he is but the mere spirit which remains after the extermination of the self. In terms of perfect obedience to God, he acquires a similarity to the angels.

“Then, having reached that stage, it is his right near God that he should be called Ruh-ullah [the spirit of God] and Kalimat-ullah [the word of God]. This significance can, in a sense, also be derived from the hadith which Ibn Maja and Hakim have recorded in their books, viz. ‘There is no Mahdi except Jesus’. That is to say, only he reaches the perfect rank of Mahdi [the rightly-guided one] who first becomes Isa [Jesus]. In other words, when a person acquires such an accomplishment in turning to God that only the spirit remains, he then becomes Ruh-ullah [spirit of God] in God’s view, and he is named Isa [Jesus] in heaven. He receives a spiritual birth at the hands of God, which is not from any physical father, rather it is the shadow of the grace of God which grants him that birth. So, in fact the excellence of purification and of fana fi-llah [absorption in God] is precisely this, that he should attain such severance from bodily darkness that only the spirit remains.

“This is the rank of Iswiyyat [‘Jesushood’], which God bestows perfectly upon whom He pleases. And the rank of perfect Dajjaliyyat [being the Dajjal or Anti-Christ] is that, according to the verse ‘he clings to the earth’, he inclines more and more to the lower valleys of base desires, till having descended to the depths of darkness, he becomes darkness personified, and an instinctive friend of darkness and enemy of light. The existence of the quality of Dajjaliyyat, in opposition to the quality of Iswiyyat, is necessarily implied because a thing is identified by the existence of the opposite. These two qualities have been in existence right from the time of our Holy Prophet. He named Ibn Sayyad as Dajjal, and said to Hazrat Ali, ‘You bear a resemblance to Jesus’. Hence, the seed of Jesus and of Dajjal began at that time, and as with the passage of time, the mischief of Dajjaliyyat increased, persons embodying the quality of Iswiyyat appeared in opposition in a corresponding manner. In the last age, by reason of the spread of evil, wickedness, unbelief and error, and by reason of the arising of all those evils which had never before existed in such magnitude and extent — in fact, the spread of these in the last days had been prophesied by the Holy Prophet — Dajjaliyyat was manifested to perfection. To combat this, it was essential that Iswiyyat be also manifested to perfection.” (Nishan Asmani, pp. 8 – 9)

12.5: Meaning of Messiah and claim of Promised Messiah

  1. “The term messiah is applied to that righteous one whose touch (mas-h) has been blessed by God, and whose breath, preaching and words are life-giving. Then this word was applied particularly to that prophet who did not fight wars, but reformed people through spiritual blessings only.” (Ayyam as-Sulh, p. 69)

  2. “It is written in the Lisan al-‘Arab, p. 431 [Dictionary of Arabic] that Jesus was called the Messiah because he travelled in the earth, and was not settled anywhere. The same is given in Taj al-‘Arus and Qamus [Dictionaries]. It is also written that Messiah is he who has been touched (mas-h) with good and blessing; i.e. good and blessing have been placed in his nature, so much so that his very touch gives blessings. This name was given to Jesus, and is given by God to whom He pleases.” (Masih Hindustan Main, p. 71)

  3. “Messiah is a title which was given to Jesus, meaning ‘one who touches God’, ‘partakes of Divine favours’, the ‘vicegerent of God’, and ‘one who adopts truth and righteousness’.”

    Mahdi is a title given to the Holy Prophet Muhammad, meaning rightly-guided by instinct, heir to all guidance, and the full reflection of the Divine attribute Guide.” (Zameema Jihad, p. 6)

  4. “I have definitely not claimed that I am Jesus, son of Mary. The person who levels this allegation against me is a liar and a fabricator. On the contrary, I have been constantly publishing for seven or eight years that I am the like of the Messiah. That is to say, God has put in my nature some of the spiritual characteristics and habits and morals of Jesus, peace be upon him. And there are many other aspects, which I have explained in these books, in terms of which my life bears a great similarity to that of Jesus. It is not a new development on my part that in these books I have considered myself to be that Promised one whose advent is prophesied implicitly in the Holy Quran and explicitly in Hadith.” (Izala Auham, pp. 190 – 191)

  5. “The name ‘Promised Messiah’, which has been given to me from heaven, means nothing more than that God has made me to follow the example of Jesus in terms of moral conditions, so that I may breathe spiritual life into people by peace and gentleness. It is not just today that I have given this interpretation of the name ‘Promised Messiah’, but I gave the same meaning nineteen years ago in Barahin Ahmadiyya.” (Kashf al-Ghita, p. 12)

  6. “I believe in all those things that are recorded in the Holy Quran and authentic Hadith. I do not claim to be Jesus, son of Mary, nor do I believe in re-incarnation. I only claim to be the like of the Messiah. In the same way as sainthood in Islam (muhaddasiyyat) bears a resemblance to prophethood, my spiritual condition bears a similarity of the highest degree to the spiritual condition of Jesus. I am a Muslim. ... I have come from the Lord of the heavens and the earth as a Reformer (mujaddid) of the religion, for the fourteenth century, having the characteristics and disposition of Jesus.” (Majmu‘a Ishtiharat, vol. i, p. 231)

  7. “In some Sayings of the Holy Prophet, which are replete with metaphors, there is a prophecy of the return of the Messiah to this world. The context of these Sayings, however, shows that in fact the return of Jesus is not meant here. It is, in fact, a subtle metaphor, meaning that in some age which would resemble the time of Jesus, a man shall arise for the reform of mankind who will resemble Jesus in his nature, faculties and appointed work. Just as Jesus regenerated the religion of Moses, and disclosed to the Jews the significance of the real intention of the Torah which they had forgotten, similarly the second Messiah will restore the religion of the ‘like of Moses’, who is the Last of the Prophets — Muhammad, peace be upon him. This Messiah granted to the ‘like of Moses’, shall in terms of his life and all the consequences to befall his people due to their obedience or rejection, bear total similarity to the Messiah granted to Moses. What God has now disclosed to me is that I am that Promised Messiah.” (Izala Auham, p. 37)

  8. “In a metaphorical and spiritual sense, this humble servant is that Promised Messiah the news of whose advent is given in the Quran and Hadith.” (ibid., p. 261)

  9. “By using the words ‘from among you’ in the chapter The Light, the Holy Quran has given the verdict that all khalifas [successors to the Holy Prophet] of the Muslim nation shall arise from within the nation itself. These khalifas will be similar to the chain of Israelite prophets after Moses. Only one of them — the one at the end — will be the Promised one, being the like of Jesus. The rest would not be promised ones, i.e. there is no specific prophecy for any of them by name.” (Tazkira Shahadatain, p. 30)

  10. “Although I have explained this point in many of my books, that my claims that I am Jesus, the Messiah, and Muhammad, the Mahdi, do not mean that I am actually Jesus, peace be upon him, and actually Muhammad, peace and the blessings of God be upon him, but still those people who have not read my books properly can be labouring under the misconception that I have made this claim in the sense of re-incarnation, or that I am claiming that the souls of these two great prophets are actually within me. This is not the case.” (Zameema Jihad, p. 1)

  11. “So God saw this injustice from heaven, and for its correction he sent a man having the nature and temperament of Jesus. He named him Messiah in the same sense as when the image of a figure is reflected in water or glass, and that image may metaphorically be referred to as the person himself.” (ibid., p. 3)

  12. “The interpretation I have given to the descent of the Messiah is not a new one. In fact, it is the same interpretation that Jesus himself expounded [when explaining the descent of Elijah as the coming of John the Baptist], because the case of the descent of Jesus is exactly analogous to the case of the descent of Prophet Elijah.” (Kitab al-Barriyya, p. 195)

  13. “Raising me at the head of the fourteenth century, God disclosed the logic behind this prophecy and made it clear that the second coming of the Messiah to this world was destined to have been in the same sense and manner as the second coming of the prophet Elijah which had been prophesied in the book of Malachi [in the Old Testament]. This book explicitly mentioned that the Promised Messiah awaited by the Jews would not come into the world until the Prophet Elijah had returned. If our opponents had any element of goodness or truth-seeking in them, they would have benefitted much by this prophecy of Malachi, upon which both the Jews and Christians are agreed. ... As the re-appearance of the prophet Elijah in person in this world was a pre-requisite to the coming of the Messiah, under this condition Jesus would not be proved to be a true prophet. He can only be proved to be true if some other interpretation is given to the return of the prophet Elijah. In other words, by the second coming of Elijah it should be taken to mean the arising of someone like him, and that ‘like’ was John the Baptist, the son of Zacharias. This was the interpretation given by Jesus when challenged by the Jews. This interpretation, which is proved to have come from a prophet’s lips, shows plainly that the second coming of the Messiah to this world is on the same lines as the return of Elijah. To ignore a precedent that has been established and to adopt the literal meaning, leading to many inconsistencies in one’s beliefs, is the work of people who have very little sense and understanding. Metaphors and allegories predominate in prophecies, and there would be no stupidity greater than taking a word in a prophecy literally when such literal interpretation leads to many contradictions. It was this attitude for which the Jews met their destruction.” (ibid., p. 194)

  14. “God has repeatedly favoured me with His exclusive word, saying that He has sent me in the likeness, and with the qualities, of Jesus in order to remove the Jewishness [i.e. Pharisaical attitude and behaviour of Muslims] of the latter days. Hence, I am the promised son of Mary in a metaphorical sense, who had been promised to appear at a time of ‘Jewishness’ and supremacy of Christianity. I have come devoid of material means, with spiritual power and weaponry, as opposed to the wrong conception of physical warfare that prevailed among the Muslims about [the second coming of] Jesus. My war is spiritual and my kingdom is not of this world. I have nothing to do with the battles and offensives of the world. My life is one of humility and meekness, like that of Jesus. I have come to re-establish humility, meekness, righteousness, civility, and inner purity in the Muslims, and to teach the path of high morals. If Muslims do not accept me, I shall not be grieved at all because before me the Israelites did not accept Jesus.” (Majmu‘a Ishtiharat, vol. i, pp. 232 – 233)

  15. “Why should one turn one’s face away from the unanimously acknowledged belief of all the prophets, that sometimes God’s prophecies are fulfilled literally and sometimes in a metaphorical sense.” (Supplement to Barahin Ahmadiyya, Part V, p. 93)

  16. “When God, having seen the condition of the present age and finding the earth filled with sin, impiety and misguidance, appointed me for the propagation of the truth and reformation, it was also such an age that ... the people of the world, having finished the thirteenth century Hijra had reached the head of the fourteenth century. In obedience to this command I began to announce to the ordinary public, through printed posters and speeches, that the man who was to come from God at the head of this century for the revival of the religion was myself, so that faith which had disappeared from the earth, I should re-establish, and, having obtained strength from God, I should draw the world by the power of His Hand towards reform, piety and righteousness, and correct errors in belief and weaknesses in deeds. Then, after a few years had passed, it was disclosed to me clearly by Divine revelation that the Messiah who had been promised to the Muslim nation from the beginning, and the last Mahdi who was to be guided by God directly at a time of the decline of Islam and the spread of evil, the good news of whose advent was given thirteen centuries ago by the Holy Prophet Muhammad, was myself. The Divine communications and revelations about this matter came with such clarity and persistence that there remained no room for doubt.” (Tazkira Shahadatain, p. 1)

  17. “With great respect and humility I send this notice to Muslim ulama, Christian divines and Hindu pundits, informing them that I have been sent into the world to remedy and correct weaknesses and errors of morals, doctrines and faith. I follow the same lines as Jesus. On account of this I am called the Promised Messiah, for I have been commanded to spread the truth in the world by means of supernatural signs and holy teachings.” (Majmu‘a Ishtiharat, vol. iii, p. 342)

  18. “The case of the second coming has already been decided in the court of Jesus, and the verdict has been pronounced in our favour. Jesus rejected the belief of the Jews that the prophet Elijah would re-appear in the world, declaring the prophecy to be metaphorical, and considered John the Baptist to be the fulfiller of the prophecy. Look how clearly this verdict of Jesus resolves the issue in contention. ... Tell us, if two parties have a dispute on an issue, and one of them puts forward the decision of a prophet as a precedent while the other party is unable to give a precedent, which of the two is more worthy of being believed?” (Tuhfa Golarwiya, p. 6)

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