Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya: Why didn’t the Promised Messiah write 50 volumes?

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The opponents of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas object that one reason the Promised Messiahas was not truthful in his early life (God forbid) was that he said his book Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya contained 300 arguments for the truthfulness of Islam, but only a handful of arguments are recorded in it.

The Promised Messiahas had written 300 arguments in his book Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya to prove the truth of Islam. However, only the first four parts from the huge draft of this book were published, in which only one argument was stated. After the publication of these four parts, the publication of the next parts was hindered by divine providence. Later, owing to certain reasons, the drafts of this early work were burnt and wasted.

The Promised Messiahas had composed the draft of Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, containing 300 arguments, spanning over 4,800 pages and citing scores of verses from twelve parts of the Holy Quran. He had, therein, convincingly proved the truthfulness of Islam. This draft was kept in a trunk, but as has been mentioned, it could not be printed as per God’s will and the draft was lost.

Only one argument of this authorship has been published in the first volume of Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya. It has a total of 592 pages and contains about 342 Quranic verses. Now the readers can assess for themselves how much of this draft was left out of print. As for the 300 arguments, he completed them by writing around 85 books according to divine will, in which there are more than 300 arguments. Below are some key points in this regard:

1. Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, son of the Promised Messiahas, states:

“By the time the Promised Messiahas published an announcement about Barahin in 1879, he had already finished the composition of Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya and the size of the book had reached about 2,500 pages … It was his intention to perfect and improve the book as soon as the arrangements for its publication were made possible. He wanted to add a preface in the beginning and write some more introductory words and at the same time, add some extra footnotes. Hence, the existing four parts of Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya that have been published, their preface and footnotes were all composed during the time of its printing and these [parts] cover very little of the original early composition … Of the 300 arguments he wrote, only one is stated in the present published Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya … After the publication of these four parts, the printing of the next parts stopped due to divine intervention … Later, the drafts of this early work were burnt and destroyed due to certain conditions …

“In the beginning, when the Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya was composed, the circumstances were different, but later, i.e. during the publication, when the footnotes etc. were being added and the book was being published in print, the situation changed, that is, when he was blessed with the cloak of messengership by the Almighty God and he was called from another world. After this, he let go his earlier intentions and realised that from then on, the matter was in the hands of God and He would take the service of religion from him as He willed. Thus, the subsequent publication of about 80 books and hundreds of announcements and speeches by him in the way of service to the religion [were the result of God’s superintendence] … In comparison to the truthfulness of Islam, which was to be proved by the 300 arguments he wrote in the Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, the personage of the Promised Messiahas turned out to be the strongest argument in favour of Islam, which later manifested in the form of Mahdism and Messianism.” (Sirat-ul-Mahdi, Vol.1)

2. In April/May 1879, the very first announcement or notification about Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya was issued by the Promised Messiahas in the newspaper, Manshur-e-Muhammadi and the magazine Ishaat-us-Sunnah:

“This humble one has composed a book containing the affirmation of the truth of the Quran and the truth of the religion of Islam in such a way that after reading it, the seeker of truth will have no choice but to accept Islam. Moreover, no one will dare to pick up a pen in response. The motivation behind the authorship of this book are Pandit Dianand and his followers. At first, I wrote one part of this book consisting of 15 sections. In order to address all the necessary matters, nine more parts were added, due to which the complete book comprises of one 150 sections. It will cost 94 rupees to print 1,000 copies of each part. So the total parts of the book cannot be printed in less than 940 rupees.” (Ishaat-us-Sunnah, Vol. 2, pp. 3-4)

3. On 16 May 1879, addressing Bawa Narain Singh in the newspaper Manshur-e-Muhammadi, he said:

“At the request of Bawa Sahib, we have compiled a book titled, Barahin al-Ahmadiyyah ala Haqiqati Kitabillah al-Quran wan-Nabuwwati al-Muhammadiyyah, which contains perfect and irrefutable arguments. In this matter, we are grateful to Bawa Sahib that although he had other ideas, his request helped produce a wonderful book, which will benefit many compatriots and Arya Samaj, and Bawa Sahib will also recognise that this is what we call evidence.” (Hayat-e-Ahmad, Vol. 2, pp. 15-16)

4. The Promised Messiahas issued another announcement on 3 December 1879 and stated:

“The book will go through printing in January 1880 and in the same month or in February, it will be circulated and distributed in book form.” (Majmua Ishtiharat, Vol. 1, p. 19)

5. The following announcement is recorded in the first part of Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya:

“I would like to submit for the kind attention of all honourable and respected buyers of Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, that this is a fairly sizeable book, comprising more than 100 juzw [sections] and by the time the complete book is printed, its volume is expected to increase further on account of the footnotes that will be added to it from time to time.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya Part I, p. 1 [English Translation])

6. In this part, another announcement states:

“The first half of this book should have been published by now, but it has been delayed by up to seven or eight months due to illness and some other unforeseen complications faced by the owner of Safir-e-Hind Press, Amritsar, Punjab, where the book is being printed. God willing, there will be no such delays in future.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya Part I, p. 4)

7. At another place in the same book, the Promised Messiahas states:

“This book consists of a challenge, a preface, [the main text in] four chapters, and an epilogue. May God make it a source of blessings for seekers after truth and guide its readers to His true religion. Amin.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya Part I, p. 46)

8. In the second part of Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, the Promised Messiahas states:

“It is in view of the widespread corruption and chaos prevalent in this age that I have written Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, wherein I have made the truth of Islam more evident than the shining sun with the help of 300 incontrovertible rational arguments.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya Part II, p. 74)

9. The Promised Messiahas further states:

“I would like to reiterate what I said in Part I that Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya has not been written without a true and urgent need. Had another book been able to fulfil the same objectives, I would have readily endorsed it and devoted myself to its propagation. In that case, it would have been pointless for me to sweat blood for so many years and to have wasted a cherished part of my life on something that had already been accomplished. But to my knowledge there is no book that comprises all the arguments and proofs that I have collected and whose publication is so crucial in this age for establishing the divine origin of Islam. I saw no choice but to publish it to meet this exigency. Let those who doubt produce a book like it.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya Part II, pp. 76-77)

10. Then, the Promised Messiahas expresses:

“The fifth advantage in this book is that, those who read this book will become cognizant of the truths and subtleties of the Holy Quran. Furthermore, the wisdom and deep insight of the Holy Book [Quran] – whose illuminating radiance is the source of Islam’s light – shall become evident to all. For, all the arguments and truths that are recorded herein have been derived from the sublime verses of the Holy Quran itself. I have not given any rational arguments other than those presented by God Himself in His own Word. It is in this manner that almost twelve parts of the Holy Quran have been quoted in this book.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya Part II, p. 156)

11. That the printing of the book was hindered due to the illness of the owner of the printing press and other constraints should also be taken into consideration. Hence, it is recorded in the third part of Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, the Promised Messiahas states:

“An apology: This time, the delay of almost two years in the publication of Part III may have greatly disappointed many buyers and readers, but let it be clear that the entire delay was on account of certain constraints on the part of the manager of Safir-e-Hind, in whose press the book is being printed.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya Part III, p. 4)

12. In another announcement, the Promised Messiahas expressed about Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya:

“At first, I wrote one part of this book carrying 15 sections. Then to explain all the necessary matters, nine more parts were added. Thus, the book comprises of 150 sections.” (Majmua Ishtiharat, Vol. 1, pp. 16-17)

13. Informing people of the price and contributions for Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, the Promised Messiahas explained:

“Besides a few Muslims of high resolve, through whose support the first two parts and a portion of the third have been published, the contributions which others made were so meagre that rather than describing them, it is better just to say:

‫اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّا اِلَیْہِ رَاجِعُوْنَ

[Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return’] … Here, it should also be mentioned that this book initially comprised only 30 to 35 juzw [sections] that were subsequently extended to a hundred juzw. Also, the price was fixed at ten rupees for Muslims in general and 25 for non-Muslims and affluent ones. But now, in order to make the research more comprehensive and the arguments more conclusive, it has been extended to 300 juzw. In view of the additional expenses, it was considered necessary that the price in the future should be set at 100 rupees.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya Part III, pp. 2-3)

14. Furthermore, the Promised Messiahas states:

“Since the book has now been expanded to 300 juzw, I would like to request those buyers who have not yet made any payment, or have not paid in full, that if nothing else, they be kind enough to remit their remaining payments without delay.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya Part III, p. 5)

15. In a letter, which probably dates to the year 1884 or 1885, the Promised Messiahas writes:

“It is for this reason that the book, Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya has been composed. 37 sections of this book have been printed and published … because the publication of the complete book requires a long time.” (Majmua Ishtiharat, Vol. 1, pp. 25-26)

16. An English announcement was also prepared with respect to the book Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, which was published by Ripon Press, Lahore. At one place, it reads:

“All this evidence will be found in the perusal of the book, which will consist of nearly 4,800 pages of which about 592 pages have been published.” (Majmua Ishtiharat, Vol. 1, p. 30)

Considering all the above facts, it is clear that:

I. The draft of Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya was ready

II. This book had 300 juzw [one juz consists of 16 pages]

III. Indication was given about the addition of footnotes etc., which would have resulted in further thickness of the book

IV. The Promised Messiahas wanted to publish this book as soon as possible. However, it was halted due to the illness of the owner of the printing press and some other predicaments and due to the lack of commitment of the buyers or supporters

V. The Promised Messiahas continued expressing his desire to publish the remaining part of the book for a long time.

VI. The Promised Messiahas has mentioned the citation from twelve parts of the Holy Quran. However, in the four parts of the first volume, there are only 342 verses, which hardly cover three parts of the Holy Quran. This shows that it had many other sections and parts

VII. So, the existing printed Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, is actually not that complete Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya which was composed by the Promised Messiahas.

Hence, if the draft of Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya had not been lost and its publishing had not been hindered, the opponents had the right to object that Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya was completely published and they read it in full and could not find 300 arguments. On the other hand, the Promised Messiahas, under God’s guidance recorded more than 300 arguments in over 80 books, which he authored in favour of Islam and revived the name of the Holy Prophetsa.

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