20 February is a highlighted date on the calendar of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat as it marks the anniversary of a divine prophecy pertaining to the promised son bestowed upon the Promised Messiahas.
The commemoration of this grand prophecy – commonly known as “The Prophecy of the Musleh-e-Maud” – is rooted in the year 1944, when on 27 January, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih II, Allah be pleased with him, announced that he was the Musleh-e-Maud (promised reformer) mentioned in the prophecy of 20 February 1886.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra based his claim on a dream he had the night before. At the time, he was on a visit to Lahore, and the night that he had this dream he was at Sheikh Bashir Ahmad Sahib’s house on Temple Road.
This prophecy was in fact the extension of an earlier prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa referred to the coming Messiah by saying:
يَتَزَوَّجُ وَ يُوْلَدُ لَهُ
“The Promised Messiah shall marry and will have children.”
Explaining this Hadith, the Promised Messiahas states:
“The Holy Prophetsa made a prophecy on the basis of revelation from the Almighty Allah, that the Promised Messiah would marry and would have offspring. This indicates that Allah the Almighty would grant him a son who would be similar to his father in goodness, and would not differ from him. That son would be among the righteous servants of Allah.” (Aina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 5, p. 578)
The assaults on Islam and allegations against the character of the Holy Prophetsa were at an all-time high during the nineteenth century. Christian missionaries were influencing the Muslim masses and the opposition of Hindus was at full boom to wipe Islam off the face of the earth.
Observing the conditions of the religious world, the Promised Messiahas decided to seclude himself for a period of forty days in Hoshiarpur, a small town in Punjab, India to seek divine succour and a sign from Allah the Almighty to put an end to the rising tempest of hostility against Islam.
Accordingly, on 20 February 1886, a leaflet was published in which he expressed that Allah the Almighty vouchsafed a sign amid his time of isolation that a child would be born who would serve Islam and would be blessed with extraordinary attributes.
The words of the prophecy are as follows:
“I confer upon thee a Sign of My mercy according to thy supplications. I have heard thy entreaties and have honoured thy prayers with My acceptance through My mercy and have blessed this thy journey.
“A sign of power, mercy, nearness to Me is bestowed on thee. A Sign of grace and beneficence is awarded to thee and thou art granted the key of success and victory. Peace on thee, O victorious one.
“Thus does God speak so that those who desire life may be rescued from the grip of death and those who are buried in the graves may emerge therefrom and so that the superiority of Islam and the dignity of God’s word may become manifest unto the people and so that the truth may arrive with all its blessings and falsehood may depart with all its ills, and so that people may understand that I am the Lord of Power, I do whatever I will, and so that they may believe that I am with thee, and so that those who do not believe in God and deny and reject His religion and His Book and His Holy Messenger Muhammad, the chosen one [on whom be peace] may be confronted with a clear sign and the way of the guilty ones may become manifest.
“Rejoice, therefore, that a handsome and pure boy will be bestowed on thee. Thou wilt receive a bright youth who will be of thy seed and will be of thy progeny. A handsome and pure boy will come as your guest.
“His name is Emmanuel and Bashir. He has been invested with a holy spirit and he will be free from all impurity. He is the light of Allah.
“Blessed is he who comes from heaven. He shall be accompanied by grace (Fazl) which shall arrive with him. He will be characterised with grandeur, greatness and wealth. He will come into the world and will heal many of their disorder through his Messianic qualities and through the blessings of the Holy Spirit.
“He is the Word of Allah for Allah’s mercy and honour have equipped him with the Word of Majesty. He will be extremely intelligent and understanding and will be meek of heart and will be filled with secular and spiritual knowledge. He will convert three into four. [The Promised Messiahas said concerning this, ‘Of this, the meaning is not clear.’]
“It is Monday, a blessed Monday. Son, delight of heart, high-ranking, noble; a manifestation of the First and the Last, a manifestation of the True and the High; as if Allah has descended from heaven. His advent will be greatly blessed and will be a source of manifestation of Divine Majesty.
“Behold! a light cometh, a light anointed by God with the perfume of His pleasure. We shall pour our spirit into him and he will be sheltered under the shadow of God. He will grow rapidly in stature and will be the means of procuring the release of those held in bondage. His fame will spread to the ends of the earth and peoples will be blessed through him. He will then be raised to his spiritual station in heaven. This is a matter decreed.”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra was born on 12 January 1889.
It is a well-established fact that the Jamaat does not celebrate the birth or the death of any individual. Musleh-e-Maud Day is celebrated in remembrance of the fulfilment of the grand prophecy. As to why we commemorate this prophecy, the worldwide head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:
“At times, some uninformed Ahmadis ask about the commemoration of Musleh-e-Maud Day. We do so in order to revive our faith and to remember the pledge that our objective is to establish the truth of Islam in the world. Musleh-e-Maud Day is not the date of his birth or his death. This is a day to remind us of our responsibilities, draw our attention to the progress of Islam. Indeed, it should draw our attention to this, and we should not merely enjoy it on an intellectual and ideological level.” (Friday Sermon, 20 February 2009)
On another occasion, Huzooraa explained:
“We do not celebrate the date of birth of the Second Khalifa, rather we celebrate the fulfilment of the Promised Messiah’s prophecy vouchsafed to him on 20 February 1886. The fulfilment of this prophecy is a testimony to the veracity and truth of the Promised Messiahas.” (Friday Sermon, 15 February 2013)
The promised son was without a shadow of doubt a personification of Allah the Almighty’s divine assistance for the cause of Islam. His entire life’s works reflect the vow he made immediately after the demise of the Promised Messiahas:
“Even if all the people leave you and I am left alone, I will stand by you and shall face all opposition and onslaughts against your mission.”
Speaking to Al Hakam, Isfandyar Munib Sahib, Head of the Ahmadiyya Tarikh (History) Department in Rabwah, said:
“Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra had this dream on the night between 26 and 27 January 1944 and he declared on 27 January that he was Musleh-e-Maud. Huzoorra was then in Lahore, but he travelled back to Qadian and made the same announcement the very next day (28 January) in his Friday Sermon, which he delivered in Masjid Aqsa.
“The following day, on 29 January, a commemorative Jalsa was held in Masjid Aqsa Qadian. With Fateh Muhammad Siyal Sahib (then Nazir-e-Ala) in chair, the great speakers at this conference included Abdur Rahim Nayyar Sahibra, Abdur Rahim Dard Sahibra, Syed Sarwar Shah Sahibra, Mufti Muhammad Sadiq Sahibra and Abul Ata Sahib.”
This Jalsa of 29 January 1944 is officially the first Jalsa Yaum-e-Musleh-e-Maud (Musleh-e-Maud Day) held to mark the fulfilment of a grand prophecy.
Now, when we all go to our local and regional Musleh-e-Maud Day Jalsas, we can remember that this Jalsa has a great historic value.
This should make us proud to be a part of it.