World War I and the miserable state of Tsar

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Prophecies of the Promised Messiahas

وَ مَا تُغۡنِی الۡاٰیٰتُ وَ النُّذُرُ عَنۡ قَوۡمٍ لَّا یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ 

“The Signs and Warners avail not a people who will not believe.” (Surah Yunus, Ch.10: V.102)

The Promised Messiah, peace be upon him, prophesied in his poetry on 15 April 1905:

“A sign will appear some days hence, which shall overwhelm country and town and meadow.
“People will be seized in a wave of Divine wrath, so suddenly that a naked one will have no time to secure his loin cloth.
“Suddenly an earthquake will severely shake them all – be they humans, trees, rocks, or oceans.
“In the twinkling of an eye the earth will be turned upside down and streams of blood will flow like channel tides.
“Those whose night garments were white as jasmine will wake up in the morning as if clad in red like the poplar tree.

“Men and animals will go out of their minds and nightingales and pigeons will forget their songs.
“That hour will bear heavily upon every traveller and those on a journey will lose their way in agony.
“The waters of mountain streams will run red like red wine with the blood of the dead.
“Men high and low will be convulsed with fear and the Czar [Tsar] himself will, at that hour, be in sad case.
“That Divine Sign will be a specimen of terror. Heaven will attack with a drawn sword.
“Hasten not to repudiate this, thou ignorant fool, for my truthfulness depends entirely on the fulfilment of this Sign.

“This is a prophecy based on Divine revelation and will surely be fulfilled; wait then awhile in righteousness and steadfastness.

“Note: Divine revelation has repeatedly employed the word earthquake in this context and has indicated that the earthquake will be an example of the Judgement Day. Indeed, it should be termed as ‘earthquake of Judgement’ which is described in the verse:

اِذَا زُلۡزِلَتِ الۡاَرۡضُ زِلۡزَالَہَا

[‘When the earth is shaken with her violent shaking’ (Surah al-Zilzal, Ch.99: V.2)]. But I am not able to apply the word earthquake with certainty upon its actual manifestation. It is possible that it may not be a common earthquake but some other dire calamity, which would be an example of the Judgement Day, the like of which has not been witnessed before, and which would bring about great destruction of life and property. If no such extraordinary Sign appears, while people have not openly reformed their way of life, I shall in such case have been proved false.” (Tadhkirah, pp. 707-708)

The Promised Messiahas foretold the occurrence of World War I and the downfall of Russian Tsar in the above prophecy well in advance.

Sitting in the remote village of Qadian, nobody could have predicted the happenings of such calamities by any other means except through the revelation from the Divine.

In accordance with the prophecy, the world witnessed WWI in 1914-1918 and the Tsar of Russia’s demise on 17 July 1918.

The Promised Messiahas received another revelation on 11 May 1906:

کشتیاں چلتی ہیں تا ہوں کُشتیاں

“Vessels sail so that there might be [naval] actions.” (Tadhkirah, p. 821)

Following this revelation, there was a startling increase in the development of naval forces of various countries and the world saw the launch of Dreadnaught battle ships in the exact same year of the prophecy. During WWI, HMS Dreadnaught earned huge fame as it was the only battle ship to sink a submarine in the history of naval war. Hence, the Promised Messiahas received successive revelations by Allah Almighty which clearly point towards the incident of WWI.

However, an article has surfaced on the web which raises certain allegations on the prophecy mentioned at the outset. It suggests, referring to the words, “In the twinkling of an eye the earth will be turned upside down,” that the First World War did not happen in the twinkling of an eye but on the contrary it lasted from 1914 to 1918.

Moreover, mentioning the words, “Suddenly an earthquake will severely shake them all. … That Divine Sign will be a specimen of terror. Heaven will attack with a drawn sword,” it asserts that the prophecy is very ambiguous as it could also refer to a global disaster or even the scenario of Doomsday. To prove his point, the author of the article then quotes the words of the Promised Messiahas, “It is possible that it may not be a common earthquake but some other dire calamity, which would be an example of Judgement Day, the like of which has not been witnessed before, and which would bring about great destruction of life and property.”

The answer to the second objection that the prophecy was ambiguous has been given by the author himself. The statement of the Promised Messiahas clearly indicates that he believed the calamity to be neither an earthquake nor the incident of Judgement Day, “but some other dire calamity.” Moreover, the prophecy points out the miserable state of the then Tsar of Russia when that calamity would strike. It was surely the time of First World War when the Tsar of Russia saw his demise. This fact clearly indicates that the prophecy was not about the end of times but as the Promised Messiahas explained about the calamity, “which would be an example of the Judgement Day.”

As far as the first objection is concerned that the war did not take place, “In the twinkling of an eye,” it should be noted that it is an idiomatic expression. For instance, if someone says, “I will have supper ready in the twinkling of an eye,” does this mean that the supper will be ready within the time the other person blinks? This, in fact, implies that the supper will be ready rather quickly but in the due course of time. Similarly, the words of the prophecy, “In the twinkling of an eye, the earth will be turned upside down and streams of blood will flow like channel tides,” point towards the shortest period of time in which the said calamity would wipe out millions of people and cause immense destruction that had never been witnessed before in the history of mankind. Hence, the causalities of WWI were the highest in any four years of credible human history before that time. 

The article also suggests that before the founder of Ahmadiyya Jamaat, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadian published the prophecy, there was social and political unrest against Tsar Nicholas II of Russia which threatened his throne. The author pinpoints the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 and the loss of Russian influence over Manchuria and Korea. Moreover, the article refers to the events of Bloody Sunday, 22 January 1905, during which unarmed demonstrators led by Father Georgy Gapon were fired upon by soldiers in St Petersburg, Russia. The article asserts that the prophecy by the founder of Ahmadiyya Jamaat was merely an accurate political observation based on the incidents which took place before his prediction.

Presenting the events of Bloody Sunday as the stimulation behind the prophecy of the Promised Messiahas is a far-fetched idea and an unrealistic approach. Tsar Nicholas II of Russia survived 13 years after those event. Moreover, Bloody Sunday displayed a mere show of power and dominance which the then Tsar possessed. Thus, it is impossible for a common man to predict by means of the events of Bloody Sunday that the majestic monarchy of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia would not only be overthrown but he would die a miserable death.

Pondering over the prophecy, we find that the Promised Messiahas through divine revelation not only predicted the downfall of the Russian Tsar and his miserable state but also the exact time of his demise. The words of the prophecy are, “The Tsar himself will, at that hour, be in a sad case” and “at that hour” refers to the calamity which was WWI as discussed earlier.

After the revolution of 1917, both the conditions mentioned in the prophecy were fulfilled when Tsar Nicholas II of Russia saw a pitiable demise by several Bolshevik soldiers and it happened at the end of WWI in 1918. Hence, if the prophecy was a mere accurate observation by an innocent man present in a distant land of Qadian, he would have only speculated the demise of Tsar but to predict the exact time and condition of the Tsar’s demise indicates the hand of the All-Knowing God behind it all.

However, for the sake of argument, let us assume that the Promised Messiahas somehow gave an exact prediction of the Tsar’s downfall when Japan overpowered Russia and took control of Manchuria and Korea in 1905. Another revelation of Allah Almighty revealed to the Promised Messiahas on 29 April 1904 shatters this argument once and for all. The prophecy states:

کوریا خطرناک حالت میں ہے۔ مشرقی طاقت۔

“Korea is in a dangerous situation. Eastern power.” (Tadhkirah, p. 667)

The above revelation signifies that Allah Almighty had informed the Promised Messiahas about the conflict of the Eastern power, Japan, with Russia. Moreover, the Promised Messiahas was foretold about the Russians’ defeat at the hands of an Eastern power well before 1905 and the dangerous state of Korea under the rule of Japan.

Hence, it was Allah Almighty who was revealing future events in a succession upon his prophet, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadian.

(Research conducted by the Research Cell. Translated by Junaid Ahmad Waraich)

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