God’s existence, need for religion and the Promised Messiah’s prophecies: Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud’s address to college students in Lahore, 1921

Ata-ul-Haye Nasir, Al Hakam
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The Promised Messiahas

On 5 March 1921, a group of college students in Lahore had the opportunity to meet Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud, Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmadra. They requested Huzoor’sra opinion on their point of view that: There is neither any need for religion nor is there any benefit of it; however, there is no harm if people adopt it to attain certain superficial benefits.

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud’sra response

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra provided a detailed response, explaining the need for religion, God’s existence, and magnificence of the Promised Messiah’sas prophecies:

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra

“In my view, the reason behind negligence towards religion is that one ponders over religion with a very limited perspective. People often perform tasks that seem to them to be a means to attain wealth. However, people of this era do not find such characteristics in religion, and though they accept it, they do so only because they have learnt about it from their parents. Moreover, in some instances, they are required to sacrifice their wealth for the religion as well. For this reason, the people’s hearts in this era are inclined towards materialism, [and] they part ways with religion.

“However, it does not prove that there is no benefit to religion. In fact, the truth is that they do not utilise religion [for their betterment], or even if they did so, it was in the wrong manner. Thus, how can one attain benefit if they do not even utilise religion [in its true essence] and abandon it due to their own unacquaintance and ignorance? The wisdom is to utilise everything whose benefit is proven.

“Look, there were many things which had been abandoned by people, but when science proved their benefits, people adopted them. For instance, we see in medicine that ispaghol [Psyllium Husk] was used by Greek doctors for a long time and they told it to be beneficial to cure diarrhoea; however, the [contemporary] doctors denied such of its benefits, but upon knowing its benefits, they began to use it [for cure]. There are people who follow a certain religion but are unable to attain any good results; the reason being that their method of doing so is incorrect. […]

Ponder over the method of usage of a certain thing

“Therefore, one needs to ensure that the method of using a certain thing is not incorrect. If there is an unfavourable outcome despite utilising the correct method, it means the thing is bad itself; however, if the outcome is unfavourable due to the usage of an incorrect method, it indicates that a certain thing is not bad in itself [instead, the method utilised is inappropriate]. Look, quinacrine is beneficial in curing seasonal fever [malaria]. However, if someone denies its benefits by using it for typhoid fever, then they are wrong in doing so. We witness in our country that there are many things that are deemed useless and thus wasted away, but Europe has taken benefits from such things. For instance, the jungles of bamboo are found in India, which would mostly go to waste, but Europeans manufactured paper from it and benefited by utilising it in a very nice manner. […]


The discipline of the universe requires a Muntazim

“When we ponder over mankind, its creation does not seem to be purposeless, and then the means that have been created for them, are immensely perfect and eloquent. Just recently, an American astronomer published that a meteorite would hit the earth, destroying it into pieces. Influenced by this fear, many people from European countries committed suicide. Some said, ‘Though it will not hit, it will produce such gases which will cause suffocation.’

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The Scranton Truth, 18 May 1910, p. 1

“However, the [predicted] day came and passed. It was later known that they were such tiny particles that they had no real impact on the Earth. It is believed about some other stars as well that when they come near the Earth, they instantly change direction.” (Al Fazl, 14 March 1921, p. 3)

Halley’s Comet of 1910

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The Derbyshire Advertiser, 21 January 1910, p. 10

The incident that Huzoorra has mentioned here, is about the rumours created in regard to the Halley’s Comet in 1910. As per the comet’s calculated close passage to Earth, it turned to concern when astronomers realised that the Earth would pass through the comet’s 25-million-kilometre-long tail. On 7 February 1910, the Yerkes Observatory announced the discovery of cyanogen, a deadly poison, in the comet’s tail. The New York Times reported that the French astronomer and author Camille Flammarion believed that the cyanogen “would impregnate the atmosphere and possibly snuff out all life on the planet.” Concern among the public grew in the weeks leading to the Earth’s passage through the comet’s tail on May 19, 1910. Churches held all-night prayer vigils, and doomsayers wrote to the Royal Greenwich Observatory, England, to say that the comet would cause massive tides across the Americas as the Pacific emptied itself into the Atlantic. As dawn arrived on 20 May 1910, the world had not ended. Oceans had not emptied, and people had not choked, though tragically, 16-year-old Amy Hopkins lost her life falling from a roof, while watching for the comet with friends. (“Apocalypse postponed: how Earth survived Halley’s Comet in 1910”, www.theguardian.com, 20 December 2012)

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Los Angeles Herald, 21 May 1910, p. 1

Testimony to the existence of an All-Powerful Being

Huzoorra continued:

“Therefore, these happenings testify that it is not an accident, but rather, there is a Being Who makes such happenings. Suppose, there is a brick on the ground, one can say that it fell down as an accident or by the force of wind, however, one cannot say that a building was constructed as an accident. Or if the ink spills down, it is possible that an eye-like shape might appear, but it is impossible for it to create an eye itself. If the spillage of ink creates the nose, face, and complete human complexion, and then manifests the human impressions of sorrow or happiness, then, in the presence of such a human creation, one ought to testify that it is an act of a very intelligent creator.

“Now, look, in addition to the creation of the eye, [God] has also created the sun at a distance of millions of miles. Similarly, in addition to the creation of the stomach, certain things have also been created that can fill it. These arrangements testify that this system is functioning under the guidance of a Wise and Omnipotent Being. And that it is not an accident. Therefore, the system of this universe testifies that it has a Creator, and He has a purpose behind its creation. It is not as if He abandoned it after creation. An accident is a happening without any sequence; however, anything that holds a sequence cannot be called an accident.

How can one feel the need for religion?

“In short, the creation of mankind has a purpose, and religion is for the betterment of mankind. However, there are many benefits, that one does not often realise. For instance, when the rail was not yet invented, we did not feel its need, but when the rail has now been invented, [the country whose] government does not have rail, is objected to as to why they did not facilitate [their public] with such a need. Moreover, when the system of post was not yet introduced, one did not even feel the need for it, but when it came into existence, those places faced objections where its facility was not provided. In the same way, unless one attains [the true understanding of] God, they do not feel its need, but upon attaining it, they cannot deny His Being, and cannot spend their lives in true essence without Him. Thus, the question about the need for religion is linked to the Existence of God. If there is a God, then religion is also needed.

Ways of expressing gratitude to Allah

The proof of God’s existence

“Now, the question emerges as to what is the proof for [the existence of] God, and if there is, what impact does He has on us? Since it is an established fact that everything has an impact, thus, God should have an impact as well. […] If there is a God and He has created us, we should find its proof as well, otherwise, if He has no connection with us, then His worship would be meaningless. However, it is a reality, and as I have already made clear, there is a God, and that God Who rewards those who make a connection with Him, and retributes those who disobey Him. He manifests His attributes. He does not remain silent, in fact, He guides His servants to the paths that lead them to His nearness.

“All the religions tell us that their founders had communion with God. The Sikhs present their Gurus, and the followers of various other religions present their holy personages; however, all of them present [the example of] their holy personages of the past. The Muslims also believe that the Holy Prophetsa had communion with God and they have had the belief that God speaks to His beloved ones. But after some time, they got mistaken and began to assert that ‘God has ceased to speak [to His servants].’

Islam’s superiority over all other religions

“At the outset of all religions, their followers had a belief that God did speak, and now their denial indicates that those religions are not in their true form. However, Islam still presents this fact, which is the essence of religion, and has been the distinctive feature of all religions, i.e., the Divine Communion. Therefore, in this era, God conveyed His Word through the Promised Messiahas, and it has not ceased after him, but rather, it continues, by the grace of God.” (Al Fazl, 14 March 1921, pp. 3-4)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra then presented his own example in proof of the fact that God Almighty speaks to His servants in this era as well.

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Qadian | Image: Library

The Promised Messiah’sas prophecies are the proof of God’s existence

Huzoorra continued:

“When the Promised Messiahas claimed that he has been appointed by God and He spoke to him, everyone — friends and foes — began to oppose him. In this very Lahore, he was attacked with stones, and once in Amritsar, the public threw stones at him. The Christian clergy initiated lawsuits against him, alleging him for murder attempt, and all of them joined together in his opposition. However, God had foretold him in regard to those hardships and said that all of them would be alleviated and he would be saved from being harmed. Therefore, it was fulfilled with the grace of God. The world desired to efface his Jamaat, but could not succeed, and his Jamaat continued to flourish. He said that he is a humble person and does not hold any worldly glory, fame, power or strength, but his God has told him that he will be granted honour and his followers will spread all over the world. Now look, how amazingly this is being fulfilled.

“In the same way, he was foretold about the spread of plague within the country, and that it will enter even in Qadian, but his house will be safeguarded. Therefore, the plague had come into the surroundings of his house, but it was protected by God at all times.

“These are the benefits of this world that one attains through religion. Moreover, the benefits of the Hereafter are in abundance, which cannot be counted, and are granted after this life, just like you attain education now for the future’s benefit. It is not the case that your study is a waste of time. Thus, it is evident that there is a need for religion, and if one acts upon it in a correct manner, as taught by Islam, one certainly attains [the true understanding of] God. Moreover, the one who makes a connection with God in this world, ultimately attains its benefits, and will be granted its reward in the future [Hereafter] as well.

“The second point in regards to a certain matter is the distinctive features it holds. Our claim is that Islam comprises such distinctive features that are not found in any other religion. Currently, the negative outcomes that are manifesting due to the actions of contemporary Muslims, cannot be used to object to Islam, since they are happening due to acting contradictory to the pathway taught by Islam.” (Al Fazl, 14 March 1921, pp. 4-5)

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After this, the following questions were presented:

In other religions as well, such people are found who make prophecies, in this case, it is not Islam’s distinctive feature.

The spread of Hazrat Mirza Sahib’s Community does not prove his truthfulness, since Lenin has also attained great success in Russia.

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra granted the following response:

Distinctive status of the Promised Messiah’sas prophecies

“The answer to the first question is that though the followers of some religions are against making prophecies, they publish their predictions in some instances. However, they do not claim that it is the teaching and characteristic of their religion; rather, they say that ‘our knowledge suggests this.’ All astrologers say, ‘We make predictions on the basis of our knowledge, not [through any knowledge] from God.’ The Europeans, who are specialists in this field, do not call themselves the representatives of any religion, but rather, declare their predictions to be a result of their knowledge, and say that whoever will practise and learn it – regardless of their background or religion – will be able to make predictions.

“Moreover, the predictions that are made by such people and are fulfilled as well, are of such nature that their means have already been created beforehand. For instance, a student studies every day and is very intelligent. One of his close ones says, ‘He will pass the exams’, and then it happens in reality. It is not a big deal; rather, it is a guess. And sometimes, guesses also come true. However, such a matter whose means are not yet created, rather, the prevailing situation opposes it – for instance, about such a boy who does not go to school and someone says, ‘He will pass the exams’ – it will be a prophecy. Then, if a matter has two, three, or four aspects, and one certain aspect is predicted [to happen], and it comes true, then it will be called a prophecy. […]

“The predictions that are made by the astrologers, do not hold multiple aspects, and they cannot even predict their own fate in case their specific prediction is fulfilled. Sometimes they predict an earthquake or an epidemic, but they themselves become its victims as well. However, this is not the case in the prophecies of prophets; they are made amidst unfavourable circumstances, which hold multiple aspects, glory, and might.

Partition of Bengal and its reversal

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The Graphic, 23 December 1911

“For instance, look at the Promised Messiah’sas prophecy about Bengal. When the [British] Parliament had decided to carry on with the Partition of Bengal [sanctioned in June 1905 and came into force in the following October], and the Bengalis had become disappointed, at that time, the Promised Messiahas made a prophecy [on 11 February 1906] in accordance with the knowledge from God Almighty:

پہلے بنگالہ کی نسبت جو کچھ حکم جاری کیا گیا تھا اب اُن کی دلجوئی ہوگی۔

“‘Concerning the order that had been issued with regard to Bengal, they will now be consoled.’ (Tadhkirah [English], pp. 821-822)

“This news was received by the Bengalis with such amazement and wonder that a Bengali newspaper [Prakash of Dhaka, 6 March 1906] wrote that the government had declared repeatedly that they had decided to carry on with the law which had been passed and their could be no amendment of any kind, but a man from Punjab says that the Bengalis ‘will now be consoled.’” (Al Fazl, 14 March 1921, p. 5)

The Indian Daily News wrote under the heading “Partition of Bengal: Gazette Extraordinary”:

“A Gazette Extraordinary contains a long resolution on the Bengal Partition scheme. The effect of the proposals thus agreed upon and now about to be introduced will be as follows:—A new province will be created with the status of a Lieutenant-Governorship, consisting of the Chittagong, Dacca and Rajshahi Divisions of Bengal, the district of Malda, the State of Hill Tipperah, and the present Chief Commissionership of Assam. Darjeeling will remain with Bengal in order to maintain the associations which are highly valued in both areas. The province will be entitled Eastern Bengal and Assam. Its capital will be at Dacca, with a subsidiary headquarters at Chittagong.” (Supplement to The Indian Daily News, 20 July 1905, p. 14)

Supplement to The Indian Daily News, 20 July 1905

The Indian Daily News wrote under the heading “A Prophecy Regarding the Bengalis”:

“Mr. Mahomed Sadiq[ra], the Editor of the Badr, Qadian (the Punjab), writes to the Indian Mirror:— Under a separate cover. ‘I beg to send a copy of Badr, dated 16th February, 1906. On page 2 of the same, you will read “A Prophecy concerning Bengal,” which is a revelation of the Promised Messiah, dated 11th February, 1906. The revelation is in Urdu, and the words mean as follows:-

“‘“Relating to the order that had been given concerning Bengal at first, they (i.e., the Bengalis) will be conciliated now.”

“‘Mirza Ghulam Ahmed[as], the chief of Qadian, claims to be the Prophet and Messenger of God in these days. He is the Mahdi of the Muslims, the Messiah of Christians and Krishna of the Hindus. His mission is universal. He has about 300,000 followers, and the number is rapidly increasing. In the prophecy above quoted is an opportunity offered by the Great God to the Bengalis to know and recognise their Godsend inspired Reformer.’” (The Indian Daily News, 1 March 1906, p. 17)


Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra continued:

“However, despite those decisions, God’s decree was fulfilled and an amendment was made within the verdict to ‘console’ the Bengalis.” (Al Fazl, 14 March 1921, p. 5)

King George V announced at Delhi Durbar on 12 December 1911, that Eastern Bengal would be assimilated into the Bengal Presidency.

A news report wrote:

“Lord Curzon presented a somewhat painful spectacle when, without any warning, without a hint or a whisper, Lord Morley threw in his face in the House of Lords the crashing news that the partition of Bengal was revoked. Thus, at a stroke, Lord Curzon saw his policy, his pride, and his reputation lying in ruins around him; a collapse so sudden, devastating, and complete as though he were a tree which was hit with lightning or a boom which the earthquake had torn down.” (Reynolds’s Newspaper, 24 December 1911, p. 7)

Curzon Bengal
Reynolds’s Newspaper, 24 December 1911

The progress

After mentioning the grand fulfilment of several other prophecies of the Promised Messiahas, Huzoorra said:

“It is wrong to imply that ‘since a certain other person has also progressed, the progress of Hazrat Mirza Sahibas cannot be a sign of his truthfulness’, because if anyone else has progressed, they had not made a claim prior to their progress, as to ‘I will attain progress.’ […] However, Hazrat Mirza Sahibas had announced his claim beforehand, and achieved progress accordingly.” (Al Fazl, 14 March 1921, p. 5)

The Supreme Paper

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Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further said:

“Hazrat Sahib’sas Paper [The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam] was read out at the Conference of Great Religions at Lahore, about which he had announced in advance through an ishtihar [tract] that his Paper would stand supreme over all.” (Al Fazl, 14 March 1921, p. 5)

This tract was published on 21 December 1896, titled “Sacha‘ie ke taalibon ke liay aik azeem-ush-shaan khushkhabri” — A glorious glad tiding for the seekers of Truth:

“A Paper written by me on the qualities and miracles of the Holy Quran will be read in the Great Conference of Religions to be held in Lahore Town Hall on 26, 27, and 28 December 1896. This Paper is above the reach of human faculties and is a divine Sign having been prepared with His special support. […] God the All Knowing, has informed me by revelation that this Paper will tower above all others. It contains such nur [divine light] of truth, wisdom and insight as shall confound the followers of other faiths, provided they be present and listen to it from beginning to end. They will not be able to match its qualities from their own books whether they are Christians, Aryas, Sanatan Dharmists or any others, for God has decreed that the light of His Holy Book be manifested that day.” (Majmu‘ah-e-Ishtiharat [2019], Vol. 2, pp. 171-172)

The Promised Messiah’sas Paper was being read out at the Jalsa and the allocated time finished, however, it attracted so much interest of the attendees, belonging to all religions, that they requested the organisers to extend the time, and another speaker Maulvi Abu Yusuf Mubarak Ali offered his time to be used for the Promised Messiah’sas Paper. However, when the Paper did not even complete during the extended time, the attendees proposed to extend the Jalsa for another day. Thus, the Jalsa was extended for the fourth day as well, allowing the Paper to be read out completely. This whole episode has been mentioned in the official report of this Conference, titled “Report Jalsa-e-Azam Mazahib (Dharam-Mahotso)”.

Jalsa 1896 Lahore
Report Jalsa-e-Azam Mazahib (Dharam-Mahotso)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra continued:

“Therefore, his Paper stood supreme over all other papers that were read out during that Jalsa, and the opponents too acknowledged this fact.

“Is it in the hands of anyone to make an announcement in such a manner? [Without the help of God,] how can a human being suggest that the advocates of all other religions would be unable to do anything against him?” (Al Fazl, 14 March 1921, p. 5)

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