Did the Promised Messiah a.s. unconditionally prohibit his community members from taking inoculation for the plague?

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Prophecies of the Promised Messiahas – Part XVIII

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Opponents, to deceive the masses, raise an allegation against the founder of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadian that he refrained from taking the inoculation of the plague and instructed his community members to do the same as though he categorically announced to stay away from the inoculation of the plague without giving an explanation.

Moreover, they assert that the Promised Messiahas only instructed not to take the inoculation and did not prohibit to take any other medication.

The extract pointed out by the opponents speaks for itself and self-evidently shatters the above allegations. It is part of the announcement published in the initial pages of the book Noah’s Ark under the heading Ta‘un ka tika [Inoculation of the Plague] which is full of gratitude towards the British government that they have introduced a vaccine for the welfare of their people. The Promised Messiahas has clearly mentioned in it that he would have been the first to take the inoculation for the plague if there was no divine commandment. Below is the complete statement of the Promised Messiahas:

“Gratitude is due to the eminent British government who, showing kindness to its subjects, has once again advised inoculation against the plague, and has undertaken the expenditure of hundreds of thousands of rupees for the welfare of the servants of God. In truth, it is the duty of wise subjects to welcome this undertaking with gratefulness. Anyone who views the inoculation with mistrust is immensely foolish and is his own enemy, for it has been observed time and again that this cautious government is averse to administering any harmful treatment, and prescribes only remedies that have been thoroughly tested and proven to be effective. It is against the norms of honesty and civility to attribute ulterior motives to a government which has, and continues to spend, hundreds and thousands of rupees and resources out of genuine sympathy for its subjects.

“Unfortunate are the subjects who reach such a degree of mistrust. There can be no doubt that until now inoculation is by far the best physical remedy that the government has found, and there is no denying that this remedy has proven to be effective. It is the duty of all subjects to make use of the means that are available to them so that they may relieve the government of the pain it feels for them. This notwithstanding, we must say to this kind government with all due respect that had there not been a heavenly prohibition for us, we would have been the first among its subjects to be inoculated. The heavenly prohibition is that God in this age desires to show a heavenly sign of His mercy to mankind. Addressing me, He said: ‘You and those who dwell within the four walls of your house; those who unconditionally follow you and are obedient to you, and who on account of true righteousness have become devoted to you, shall all be safeguarded against the plague. This will be a sign of God in the Latter Days so that He might demonstrate a distinction between people. But those who do not follow you completely are not of you. Be not anxious on their account.’

“This is a divine directive, on account of which I, myself and all those who dwell within the four walls of my house have no need to be inoculated. For as I have mentioned, God – who is the Lord of heaven and earth, and beyond whose knowledge and power there is nothing – revealed to me long ago that He would save everyone who lives inside the four walls of this house from death by the plague, provided he gives up all antagonism and enters into the allegiance of Bai’at in all sincerity, submission and humility. He must not be arrogant, wilful, proud, heedless or vain towards God’s commands and His Appointed One, and his conduct ought to be in conformity with my teachings.

 “He has also told me that Qadian will be saved from such ravages of the plague that cause people to die like dogs and become mad with grief and confusion, and that generally the members of this community, however large in number, will be safe against the plague as compared to my opponents. However, such of my followers may fall prey to the plague who do not fully abide by their pledge, or concerning whom there is some hidden reason in the knowledge of God. But in the end people will marvel and acknowledge that, by relative comparison, the support of God is with these people, and that He has saved them through His special mercy in a way that has no precedence.

“Certain uninformed people will be startled to hear this, others will laugh, while others will denounce me as mad, and still others will wonder if such a God really exists who can send down His mercy without resorting to physical means. The answer is, yes, such a powerful God does indeed exist, and if He was not so, those who are close to Him would have died a living death. He is wonderfully Omnipotent and marvellous are His holy powers. While, on the one hand, He allows ignorant opponents to attack His friends like dogs, on the other hand He commands the angels to serve them. In the same way, when His wrath comes upon the world and His anger surges against the wrongdoers, God watches over and protects His chosen ones. Were it not so, the entire mission of the people of God would end in disarray and no one would be able to recognise them. His powers are infinite, but they are revealed to people in proportion to their belief. Those who are blessed with certainty and love, and sever all ties for Him, and have broken free from selfish habits, it is for their sake that miracles are shown.

“God does what He wills, but He chooses to demonstrate His miraculous powers only to those who break from their ill habits for His sake. In this day and age there are very few people who know Him and believe in His extraordinary powers. On the contrary, there are many who have no belief whatsoever in this All-Powerful God, whose voice is heard by everything and for whom nothing is impossible.

“At this instance, let it be remembered that to seek treatment for the plague or other diseases is not a sin. In fact, it is recorded in a Hadith that there is no disease for which God has not created a remedy. However, I consider it a sin to throw doubt on this sign by recourse to inoculation, for it is a sign which God, for our sake, wishes to demonstrate clearly in the world. I dare not demean His true sign and His true promise by resorting to inoculation. If I did, I would be accountable for the sin of not believing in the promise that God has given to me. If I were to benefit from inoculation, then I should be grateful to the doctor who invented the vaccine, and not to God who promised me that He would protect everyone dwelling in this house.

“I proclaim by way of insight that the promises of the Omnipotent God are indeed true. And I see the coming days as if they have already come. I am also convinced that the principal aim of this eminent government is to protect the people from the plague by any means. In order to be safeguarded from the plague, if the government were to discover a remedy more effective than the vaccine, it would happily adopt it. Clearly, therefore, the path that God has commanded me to follow does not conflict with the objectives of this eminent government.

“Twenty years ago, a prophecy regarding this great affliction of the plague was recorded in my book Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya and it was also promised therein that my community would be greatly blessed. See Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya pages 518 and 519.

“In addition to this, God Almighty has emphatically declared that He will deliver from the affliction of the plague those sincere inhabitants of my home who are not arrogant before Him and His Appointed One. In relative comparison to others, God will grant this community a special favour. It is possible that there may be the odd case in my community due to a weakness of faith or a lack of action or death at its appointed time or on account of other causes which are known to God. However, rare instances as these cannot constitute the general rule. Whenever a comparison is made, the majority is given precedence. The government has itself found after investigation that those who make use of the plague vaccine have a lower fatality rate than those who do not. Therefore, just as the occasional death does not diminish the value of the vaccination, similarly, if there are occasional instances of the plague in Qadian or a few members of this community die from the disease, the grandeur of this sign will not diminish. This prophecy has been recorded in accordance with the undefiled Word of God. It does not befit an intelligent person to mock heavenly decree impetuously, for it is the Word of God and not the utterances of a soothsayer; it comes forth from a vista of light, not from the darkness of conjecture. These are the words of He who has raised the plague and who has the power to eradicate it. Our government will invariably give credence to this prophecy once it witnesses the wonder that the people of our community will remain safe and sound from the plague in much greater numbers than the vaccinated. I say with true conviction that if this prophecy is not fulfilled exactly as it has been publicised for over the last twenty to twenty-two years, then I am not from God. As a sign that I am from Allah, the sincere people who live in the four walls of my home shall be protected from death by this disease. And, in comparison to others, my entire community will be saved from the onslaught of the plague. The security enjoyed by my community will not be shared by other people. Qadian will be saved from such an outbreak of the plague, which causes utter destruction except in the rarest of circumstances. Alas! If only the people possessed pure hearts and feared God, they would be saved completely. For calamities are not sent upon anyone in the world because of theological differences. Such matters will be decided in the hereafter. In reality, the world is afflicted by chastisement because of the spread of evil, pride and rampant sin. Let it also be borne in mind that both the Holy Quran and even certain books of the Torah5 foretell that plague will break out in the time of the Promised Messiah. In fact, the Messiah, peace be upon him, also spoke of this in the Gospel. It is impossible for the prophecies of the Messengers to be revoked.

“It should also be kept in mind that on account of this divine promise, it is necessary for me to eschew any human contingencies, lest our enemies attribute this divine sign to other agencies. However, in addition to this, should God Almighty Himself disclose any other means or remedy to me through His word, then such means or remedy would not contravene this sign, for they emanate from God who has manifested this sign … 

“What more does the administration desire than the deliverance of its people from the plague, by any means possible? Finally, through the publication of this announcement, I wish to make it known to the members of my community—who are spread throughout the Punjab and elsewhere in India—that they are not prohibited from taking the vaccine. Should the government categorically order their vaccination, they ought to duly comply with this directive and have the vaccine administered to them. And it would be appropriate for those who are given a choice in this respect to avail it, if they do not fully follow the teachings that have been delivered to them; so that they do not stumble, or permit their own miserable state to spawn doubt regarding the promise of God in the minds of others.” (Noah’s Ark, pp. 1-17)

The Promised Messiahas published the above announcement on the basis of a revelation by God Almighty that he had received in June or July 1902 which has been recorded in his book Nuzul-ul-Masih. That divine promise demonstrating the protecting of the Promised Messiahas and the members of his spiritual house has already been mentioned in the previous article of Responding to Allegations under the heading, The Plague inoculation: A divine command.

Hence, the allegation that the Promised Messiahas categorically instructed the members of his community to refrain from taking the inoculation of the plague proves deceptive and untrue. Moreover, if the Promised Messiahas had attributed a false revelation towards God Almighty in the time of a catastrophe which was devouring people across the subcontinent, then no power on earth could have saved him from the torment. The fact that the Promised Messiahas was safeguarded along with the members of his spiritual house indisputably signify the truth of God’s words.

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