Prophecies of the Promised Messiah a.s.: Definition of “plague” in the prophecy


“It appears to me [the Promised Messiahas] that the years of the given outbreak of plague are equal to the numerical value of the letters in the word ta‘un.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 4, p. 80)

Referring to the aforementioned extract of the Promised Messiahas, dated 18 October 1902, opponents of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat claim that according to the knowledge of numerology, the numerical value present in the word ta‘un amounts to 136, which means that in view of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat’s founder, the plague should have continued to spread for 136 years, i.e. up to the year 2038, but this did not happen.

The above-mentioned allegation is another false assertion by the opponents. We have explained in the previous article of Responding to Allegations under the heading Prophecies of the Promised Messiahas – Part XVI with conclusive evidence that the plague, in various shapes and forms, continues to spread in the current century as well.

Hence, if Allah the Almighty has demonstrated the truth of the prophecy foretold by His Messiah and Mahdi to date, it is certainly possible that He will continue to do so till the year 2038 in order to fulfil the words of His chosen one. The opponents, targeting another statement of the Promised Messiahas, point out that he claimed, ten months prior to his demise, on 18 July 1907, that Allah the Almighty had informed him that the plague would increase further in severity than its prior state, but it was not known whether it would happen the next year or whether there would be a delay of a year and then it would intensify the following year.

The opponents assert that the founder of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat died before the next outbreak of plague and people remained unharmed from it. The statement presented by the opponents was in fact given on 14 July 1907. The Promised Messiahas states:

“I have been told by Allah the Almighty that the disease is yet to occur more severely than before. I cannot predict if it will intensify in the next year or a peaceful year will pass in between and then it will show its wrath. Be that as it may, the next outbreak of the plague will be more extreme than the previous one.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 9, p. 315)

The actual extract of the Promised Messiahas makes it clear that the opponents have objected by way of deception because there is not the slightest indication or even a hint that the prophecy would be fulfilled in the lifetime of the Promised Messiahas. It is a usual practice of opponents to present a statement of the Promised Messiahas out of context and deliberately overlook those sayings that explain or elaborate the actual meaning of the previous discourse.

They do so in order to hide the reality from the masses and manipulate innocent minds against the Ahmadiyya Jamaat and its founder. The Promised Messiahas delivered a long address during Jalsa Salana on 27 December 1907 and stated:

“Behold, the plague is on its way. The world says that it is over now and its period has come to end, but God says that soon enough, a type of plague is about to spread which will be more vehement and extreme than before. Moreover, [God] said that there will be an intense outbreak of an epidemic which cannot even be named.

“Despite all this, I say to you, the mercies of God Almighty are greater than even the oceans. If He is severe in retribution, then He is Most Forgiving and Merciful as well. The person who repents and seeks forgiveness, and engages in ‘la haul’ [words to express that there is no way or strength save Allah] and gives precedence to faith over the world, then they are surely saved.

124,000 prophets agree upon this matter that the ones who express fear before the actual appearance of a torment and indulge in the remembrance of God, they are certainly safeguarded at the time when a catastrophe suddenly appears. However, those who cry and express extreme grief after the torment overcomes them, and [they] beseech and repent at a time when even the one with the hardest of hearts would tremble and show fear, they are unfaithful and they will certainly not be saved.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 10, p. 69)

Just weeks before his demise, on 2 May 1908, the Promised Messiahas stated:

“This year, the extremity of the plague is lower. It is not a matter of delight because people did not take any benefit from the plague. The reason for which it appeared has not been fulfilled. As a matter of fact, the word ta‘un is the name of death. Those harmful diseases which result in death are called ta‘un in the lexicon. It is a very broad word according to the lexicon. It is quite possible that this time it occurs in another form or it outbreaks in a similar manner with much more severity. The revelation of Allah the Almighty also states the words:

افطر و اصوم

“[I shall break the fast and I shall fast (again)], meaning that as it is permissible to eat and drink during the breaking of a fast, there will be a time when the plague will continue to devour people, and there will be another period of time which will be peaceful, this being the state of fasting…

انی مع الرسول اقوم۔ افطر و اصوم۔ لن ابرح الارض الی الوقت المعلوم۔

“[I shall stand with My messenger and shall break the fast and also observe it. I shall not depart from this land till a determined time.]

“People are quick to formulate an opinion for their peace and comfort. [They say] that it was like a disease, so it left. How [could it be considered] a sign or an admonishment?

Hence, they console themselves through similar ideas. In reality, the word ta‘un is a very broad term. Plague [means] death by all those diseases which circulate after a period of time. For instance, small pox, pleurisy, fever, tumours, vomit and coma [etc.] are included in all of these diseases.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 10, p. 287)

It is clearly evident from the above extract that the Promised Messiahas has considered all kinds of epidemics and deadly diseases while referring to the word “plague”.

It has been mentioned earlier that these pandemics are still prevalent in this world, which proves that the words of Allah the Almighty foretold by the Promised Messiahas were fulfilled.

The opponents try to criticise the founder of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat from another angle and highlight that people must be aware of that person who calls mankind towards annihilation and hates them. However, while urging the masses towards conflict, the opponents either forget or intentionally turn a blind eye towards the statements of Allah the Almighty in the Holy Quran.

Prophets are sent to this world by Allah the Almighty as bearers of glad tidings and warners.

Hence, it is stated in the Holy Quran:

وَ مَا نُرۡسِلُ الۡمُرۡسَلِیۡنَ اِلَّا مُبَشِّرِیۡنَ وَ مُنۡذِرِیۡنَ ۚ فَمَنۡ اٰمَنَ وَ اَصۡلَحَ فَلَا خَوۡفٌ عَلَیۡہِمۡ وَ لَا ہُمۡ یَحۡزَنُوۡنَ۔ وَالَّذِیۡنَ کَذَّبُوۡا بِاٰیٰتِنَا یَمَسُّہُمُ الۡعَذَابُ بِمَا کَانُوۡا یَفۡسُقُوۡنَ

“And We send not the messengers but as bearers of glad tidings and as warners. So those who believe and reform themselves, on them shall come no fear nor shall they grieve. And those who reject Our signs, punishment will touch [reach] them, because they disobeyed.” (Surah al-Anam, Ch.6: V.49-50)

Allah the Almighty states at another place in the Holy Quran:

وَ مَاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنَا فِیۡ قَرۡیَۃٍ مِّنۡ نَّبِیٍّ اِلَّاۤ اَخَذۡنَاۤ اَہۡلَہَا بِالۡبَاۡسَآءِ وَ الضَّرَّآءِ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَضَّرَّعُوۡنَ

“And never did We send a prophet to any town but We seized the people thereof with adversity and suffering, that they might become humble.” (Surah al-Araf, Ch.7: V.95)

The exact same practice of earlier prophets was carried out by the founder of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. The Promised Messiahas announced that he was appointed by Allah the Almighty, showed signs of acceptance of prayers, conveyed divine pearls of wisdom to mankind and manifested various signs comprising of prophecies and glad tidings.

Despite all this, when people did not reform themselves and denied the signs of God, the Promised Messiahas received a revelation by Allah the Almighty and thus he prophesied the outbreak of the plague. He continued to admonish mankind to perform good deeds and be chaste and abstain from mockery and bad deeds to save themselves from torment. In the end, we present a statement of the Promised Messiahas which is filled with great compassion and sympathy for mankind.

He stated on 4 May 1908:

“Allah the Almighty states:

اِنَّ اللّٰہَ مَعَ الَّذِیۡنَ اتَّقَوۡا وَّ الَّذِیۡنَ ہُمۡ مُّحۡسِنُوۡنَ

[Verily, Allah is with those who are righteous and those who do good. (Surah al-Nahl, Ch.16: V.129)].

Those who adhere to righteousness, purity and chastity, they are under the protection of God Almighty and they are always afraid and fearful from any act of disobedience. Nowadays, it is a norm for the world to live a life of hypocrisy. Initially, a person acts hypocritically towards another person … Then, this habit gradually progresses and reaches a point where [a person also] desires to form a hypocritical relationship with God Almighty and tries to deceive God. Although he is not a momin [true believer] and knows that God is the Knower of all hidden secrets of the heart, he tries to become a momin in the sight of God.

“Is it possible to deceive God? Surely not. Behold! Righteousness is a type of characteristic. Allah the Almighty showers His mercy upon others for the sake of a single righteous person. [This mercy spreads to] his family members, close relatives and associates. Likewise, if [a person] commits wrong deeds and evil acts, then it also casts an impact [on that person].

“Hence, fearing God Almighty and being righteous is a significant trait. Through it, God safeguards [a person] from countless catastrophes. Nobody can say that a calamity would not befall him if God Almighty’s protection was not on his side. No one should feel content. Catastrophes occur suddenly. Who knows what can happen in the darkness of the night?

“It is recorded that once, the Holy Prophetsa was standing and after crying fervently, he turned towards the people and said, ‘O men of God, be fearful of your Lord. Calamities and catastrophes are attached with a person like ants. The only way to remain safe from them is to repent and engage in seeking forgiveness with purity of heart.’” (Malfuzat, Vol. 10, pp. 336-337)

(Research conducted by a panel of scholars at the Research Cell, Rabwah. Translated by Al Hakam)

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