According to opponents of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, the absolute faith and certainty of the Companionsra in the founder of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat is not significant because having complete trust in another person is not a proof of his truthfulness as the followers could be a victim of deception or might be mistaken. Opponents assert that the world is full of different individuals and illusionists and that many people confirm their honesty and go as far as sacrificing their lives for them.
Imagine for a moment that a person who claimed to be the Messiah of the age and the just arbitrator sent by Allah to settle religious disputes in the ummah, according to the prophecies, and announced that he was chosen to clear and remove the misconceptions spread in the followers of Islam; that he was appointed by God to prove the truth of Islam against all religions and refute the false beliefs of all other religions with irrefutable arguments; that he proclaimed that he was designated as a prophet for the service of Islam and that his prayers were accepted by Allah in abundance and He foretold him countless news and glad tidings of the future which were fulfilled on time; that God Almighty fulfilled the prayers of those who sincerely came under his obedience and the doors of revelation are opened for them and that God begins to love those who believe in him.
Then, if those who pledged allegiance to him observed that these things did not exist in that person and that those who sincerely followed him did not get the blessings that were claimed to be met, would they not have broken their pledges even after taking his Bai‘at and left him?
On the contrary, those who swore allegiance to this person, sat in his company and truly followed him all bore hardships from opponents across the world because of doing his Bai‘at. Moreover, their wives and children were separated from them. They were beaten and their properties were looted. Their businesses were destroyed. They were boycotted in the society. Some of them were even killed.
Despite all this, they adhered to the word of this man and offered all kinds of sacrifices day and night. Even today, the followers of the Promised Messiahas are setting the same examples of sacrifice and resoluteness. Their commitment and unfaltering courage show that they witnessed all those things which were claimed by the Promised Messiahas with their own eyes and this is clear proof of his truthfulness.
It should also be borne in mind that the Companions of the Promised Messiahas did not consider him an ordinary person, but they believed in him after receiving guidance from God Almighty and becoming absolutely certain that he was divinely appointed, just as the earlier prophets and their companions believed in them.
In view of opponents, if it is a deception that the Companions of the Promised Messiahas believed in him and considered him truthful, then the authenticity of all other prophets becomes doubtful and their followers also fall in the category of those who were deceived. Addressing the Holy Prophetsa, Allah Almighty says:
قُلۡ ہٰذِہٖ سَبِیۡلِیۡۤ اَدۡعُوۡۤا اِلَی اللّٰہِ ۟ؔ عَلٰی بَصِیۡرَۃٍ اَنَا وَ مَنِ اتَّبَعَنِیۡ ؕ وَ سُبۡحٰنَ اللّٰہِ وَ مَاۤ اَنَا مِنَ الۡمُشۡرِکِیۡنَ
“Say, ‘This is my way: I call unto Allah on sure knowledge, I and those who follow me. And Holy is Allah; and I am not of those who associate gods with God.’” (Surah Yusuf, Ch.12: V.109)
In this verse the Holy Prophetsa is represented as saying that his wont is to benefit by the signs of God, to believe in Him alone, and to eschew all forms of idolatry because he has received clear proof and sure knowledge from God. This shows that a blind and unthinking faith which is not based on sound arguments carries no weight.
A true Muslim, like his Master, the Holy Prophetsa, should possess clear and irrefutable proofs and evidence to support and substantiate all his beliefs and doctrines. Mere hearsay or traditional belief is nothing. (Five Volume Commentary, Vol. 3, p. 1,476)
The follower of a worldly person can be deceived, but those who believe in God’s prophets are never deceived because they believe in him after seeing true dreams, truths and signs from God Almighty.
As Hazrat Abu Bakrra, Hazrat Umarra, Hazrat Usmanra, Hazrat Alira and other companions believed in the Holy Prophetsa when the truth was revealed upon them by God. Soon after witnessing the pure teachings of the prophets and the divine signs that appear at their hand, true faith in the existence of God and His promises is established in the hearts of their companions, the outcome of which is explained by Allah Almighty in the following verses:
فَمَنۡ یُّؤۡمِنۡۢ بِرَبِّہٖ فَلَا یَخَافُ بَخۡسًا وَّ لَا رَہَقًا
“And he who believes in his Lord has no fear of loss or injustice.” (Surah al-Jinn, Ch.72: V.14)
وَ مَنۡ یَّعۡمَلۡ مِنَ الصّٰلِحٰتِ وَ ہُوَ مُؤۡمِنٌ فَلَا یَخٰفُ ظُلۡمًا وَّ لَا ہَضۡمًا
“And he who does good works, being a believer, will fear neither injustice nor loss.” (Surah Ta Ha, Ch.20: V.113)
In light of the above verses, it is clear that the companions of the Promised Messiahas were true believers as they have no fear of any kind and as a result, they offered all sorts of financial and physical sacrifices. This shows that they witnessed the signs of purity and divine support in the personage of the Promised Messiahas, which is proof of his truth.
On the other hand, those who join the Prophets of God and become part of their communities merely for the sake of expediency or some personal benefit are soon separated from them. Such people are surely deceived. As Allah Almighty states:
یُخٰدِعُوۡنَ اللّٰہَ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا ۚ وَ مَا یَخۡدَعُوۡنَ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ وَ مَا یَشۡعُرُوۡنَ
“They would deceive Allah and those who believe, and they deceive none but themselves; only they perceive it not.” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.10)
As far as illusionists and worldly people are concerned, their sorceries and mysteries are eventually revealed and their supporters never progress or achieve elevation. However, this has not happened with the Promised Messiahas and his Jamaat is progressing and advancing by the day, the details of which have already been mentioned in previous articles of Responding to Allegations.
Hence, by teaching religious knowledge to the Promised Messiahas, by granting him the arguments for the truth of Islam and the answers to the objections of the opponents of Islam; by giving Islam dominance over all the religions of the world in the field of arguments through his hand; by accepting his prayers in abundance; by showing thousands of signs at his hand, Allah has practically testified that he was not an illusionist and a sorcerer, but he was indeed supported by Allah the Almighty and sent by Him.
Non-Ahmadi Muslims: Kafir?
Another objection raised by opponents of the Promised Messiahas is that he stated in his book, Tiryaq-ul-Qulub that those who did not believe in him were not kafir but later on, he called them kafir.
According to opponents, the act of retracting from his previous statement shows that the founder of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat was dishonest. Opponents refer to the variation in the statements of the Promised Messiahas as proof that he was a liar, while nowhere in the Holy Quran and hadith is it mentioned that the statements of prophets cannot differ. Only the words of God Almighty, Who is the Knower of the unseen, is free from contradictions. A prophet is not the Knower of the unseen.
Therefore, differences in his statement cannot be cited as proof for him being a liar. The prophet sometimes says something from his own reasoning and after research, if he finds out that his assertion is wrong, he abandons the previous statement and states the right thing, which is actually proof of his integrity. As we find in the following hadith:
اَتَی النَّبِیُّ بَنِیْ حَارِثَۃَ فَقَالَ اَرَاکُمْ یَا بَنِیْ حَارِثَةَ قَدْ خَرَجْتُمْ مِنَ الْحَرَمِ ثُمَّ الْتَفَتَ فَقَالَ بَلْ اَنْتُمْ فِیْہِ
“The Holy Prophetsa went to the tribe of Bani Haritha and said to them by his own inference, ‘I see that you have gone out of the haram [inviolate zone]’, but after looking around and examining, he withdrew his previous statement and said, ‘No, you are inside the haram.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fazail al-Medina)
Likewise, a person addressed the Holy Prophetsa by saying:
“O you, who is the best of creation,” but the Holy Prophetsa immediately negated him and said:
ذَاکَ اِبْرَاہِیْمُ عَلَیْہِ السَّلَامُ
“[Prophet] Abraham is khairul bariyyah.” (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Fazail)
However, when Allah the Almighty informed the Holy Prophetsa later on that he was superior to all the prophets, he said against his previous statement:
اَنَا سَیِّدُ وُلْدِ آدَمَ وَلَا فَخْرَ
“I am the greatest of the sons of Adam and it is no boast.” (Sunan Ibn-e-Majah, Kitab al-Zuhd)
On another occasion, the Holy Prophetsa said:
اَنَا سَیِّدُ وُلْدِ آدَمَ اِلیٰ یَوْمَ الْقِیَامَةِ
“I am the leader of the sons of Adam till the Day of Resurrection.” (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Fazail)
In the same way, the Promised Messiahas stated in Tiryaq-ul-Qulub that no one becomes a disbeliever just because of the denial of his claim.
However, when Allah explained this matter to him, he took back his previous statement and said that even as a result of denying his claim, a person becomes a kafir [i.e. his disbeliever].
Thus, the first statement was his own opinion and the second declaration was the outcome of God’s explanation. This is how God treats every prophet. Allah does not teach everything to His prophets on the very first day, rather He gradually reveals and explains different matters to them.
According to this divine knowledge, the prophets keep on explaining these issues to the people. Hence, addressing the Holy Prophetsa in the Holy Quran, Allah Almighty says:
وَ عَلَّمَکَ مَا لَمۡ تَکُنۡ تَعۡلَمُ
“[Allah] has taught thee what thou knewest not” (Surah al-Nisa, Ch.4: V.114).
God Almighty did not say here that He taught him all the sciences in day one. It is clear from this that the statements of prophets about a matter may be different before it is taught to them by God Almighty.
However, after they have been taught the knowledge of that issue by God Almighty, their statement will be in accordance to that of Allah. It is for this reason that the Almighty Allah advised the Holy Prophetsa to pray:
وَ قُلۡ رَّبِّ زِدۡنِیۡ عِلۡمًا
“Say, ‘O my Lord, increase me in knowledge.’” (Surah Ta Ha, Ch.20: V.115)
Abrogation of Hazrat Ahmad’sas prophethood
Opponents of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya raise another allegation that in order to mislead others, the Second Khalifa, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra said in Haqiqat-ul-Nubuwwah that those places where the founder of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat spoke about his prophethood before the year 1901 should be considered abrogated. This is not something that can be considered objectionable. The same is the case with every prophet.
If God Almighty informs them about a matter through revelation, then the statements before the revelation of this issue are annulled and the subsequent declaration is considered to be final and an authority. The situation of the Promised Messiahas was the same as the sunnah of the earlier prophets.
Hence, the Holy Quran is replete with prophecies about the arrival of a prophet and messenger for the service of Islam and revival of faith. It is mentioned in the ahadith that the Holy Prophetsa gave glad tidings of the coming of Isa Nabiyullah [Prophet of God] in his ummah for the service of Islam.
The Promised Messiahas was repeatedly called a prophet and messenger in revelations by God Almighty from the early days of his appointment until his death. Since, according to the opinion of people at that time, the definition of a prophet and a messenger was supposedly that the one who brings a new shariah [divine law] annuls the previous law, in the beginning, the Promised Messiahas considered it to be true.
Therefore, after being appointed by Allah, although he used to narrate those divine titles of “prophet” and “messenger” in his writings and speeches, according to the common definition of prophethood, he used to interpret them in the words of a muhaddith (a recipient of God’s word) or a partial and limited messenger.
Around 1901, when the Promised Messiahas was made to understand the definition of prophet and messenger according to the shariah – i.e. it is not necessary for a prophet to bring a new shariah and annul the rules of the previous shariah or to be from the ummah of the previous prophet – he was guided by Allah that the scholars had erred in the definition of a prophet, so he left the scholars’ interpretations of his revelations and stated:
“Whosoever discloses matters of the unseen on the basis of divine knowledge is necessarily a nabi within the connotation of the verse:
فَلَا یُظۡہِرُ عَلٰی غَیۡبِہٖۤ
‘He does not grant anyone ascendancy over His domain of the unseen … [Except to him whom He chooses, namely a Messenger of His’ (Surah al-Jinn, Ch.72, V.27)].” (A Misconception Removed, p. 6)
As a result of this divine understanding, the last statements of the Promised Messiahas (i.e. after the year 1901) annulled the writings containing his own opinions. As during the Meccan period, in the Quranic revelation, the Holy Prophetsa was declared to be the Messenger of the whole world many times, but he did not consider himself superior to the prophets and messengers.
However, after God Almighty explained that matter to him, the Holy Prophetsa began to call himself superior to all other prophets, and presented one of the reasons for his superiority to be the universal prophet. Thus, his subsequent statements abrogated his earlier statement regarding his superiority.
Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IIra has also stated the same subject in Haqiqat-ul-Nubuwwah. Below are his exact words:
“When there is a discussion about the issue of prophethood, we have to consider those writings of [the Promised Messiahas] as an authority, which were published from 1901 until his death. The earlier writings that were (a) against the later writings or (b) words that prove the prophethood of the Promised Messiah to be imperfect and the Promised Messiahas abandoned those words from 1901 onwards, they shall have to be annulled (i.e. the writings which are related to the issue of prophethood because Hazrat Sahib has himself given his [final] decision about them in Haqiqatul Wahi).” (Haqiqat-ul-Nubuwwah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 2, p. 396)
Nowhere in the above statement does Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra express to abrogate all the sayings of the Promised Messiahas about prophethood, nor does he annul his shadow-like or buruzi [as a reflection] messengership.
On the contrary, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has proved the prophethood of the Promised Messiahas with arguments and has only abrogated the statements about the prophethood of the Promised Messiahas which are against the later writings. This was done by the Promised Messiahas in light of divine guidance.
Hazrat Khaliftul Masih IIra only explained this issue according to the book, Haqiqatul Wahi, of the Promised Messiahas, which he wrote in the final years of his life. The Promised Messiahas states:
“I initially believed that I could not possibly be compared with Masih Ibn-e-Maryam since he was a prophet and one of the distinguished men of God. Therefore, whenever something in my revelation appeared concerning my superiority, I interpreted it as partial superiority. But later, when revelation from God Almighty descended upon me like rainfall, it did not permit me to persist in this belief. The title of ‘prophet’ was clearly bestowed upon me, albeit with the proviso that I am a prophet in one aspect and an ummati [follower of the Holy Prophetsa] in another.” (The Philosophy of Divine Revelation, pp. 183- 184 [Translation of Haqiqatul Wahi])
Thus, the above statement of the Promised Messiahas clarifies the fact that annulment of those writings of the Promised Messiahas by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra, which were against his later writings, is not a matter of objection.
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra based his argument on the writings and statements of the Promised Messiahas, which were presented by the Promised Messiahas following the revelation of Allah Almighty.