The opponents of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat’s founder, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadian, point out that he stated in his book Mawahib-ur-Rahman (Bounties of God) that the plague was inseparable from nations like the dog of ashab-ur-raqim (people of the catacombs) and that it would haunt them for years as it is said that one plague epidemic lasts for 70 years.
Along the same lines, the opponents refer to a response of the Promised Messiahas towards a Maulvi of Amritsar who sought to wait for another year after the plague outbreak to reach a conclusion. They assert that the founder of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat claimed that the promise of God would prevail and the Maulvi should also wait and observe because the attacks of plague would continue for 70 years. The opponents allege that the statements of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat’s founder were proven false as the plague vanished in a matter of a few years.
The opponents have followed their customary practise of deceit and deception by presenting the statements of the Promised Messiahas out of context. Below is the first extract pointed out by the opponents with its full context, which was published in the book Mawahib-ur-Rahman on January 1903. The Promised Messiahas states:
“Subsequently, the plague epidemic widely spread in every class of the country and people began to fall like locusts. This disease preyed on them like a furious lion or a wild wolf that attacks a herd of sheep. Countless houses were rendered desolate. Death pounced upon the populace of the country. The world was shaken to its core and the catastrophes befell upon hard and tender [surfaces] of the earth. This disease left no place and in fact, it reached the frontiers of this country. It ruined the villages and the cities located on the boundaries of the country and reached every person.
“It did not leave any well-dressed [wealthy] or tattered-cloaked [poor] person. It entered every home, except for the one safeguarded by Allah the Almighty. Consequently, flocks of armies presented themselves before the table of plague and they were served with the food of that table, which was death. They came as guests in the abode of this epidemic and they were presented with the goblet of death.
“In short, the outbreak of plague is affixed to this country like the one in debt or like the dog of ashab-e-kahf [people of the catacombs] that remained attached to them; I do not believe that it will end in a matter of a few years. It is said that the span of this catastrophe is 70 years.
“Certainly, it is that fire which has been mentioned in the sayings of Khatamun-Nabiyyin [Seal of all the Prophets – the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa] and as Rabb-ul-Alamin [Lord of all the worlds] has pointed out in the Holy Quran as well. As Khair-ul-Rusul [the Best of Prophets] Hazrat Muhammadsa has already stated that it emerged from the east and it would soon engulf the population of the earth. Likewise, it has been mentioned in the earlier scriptures as well. Hence, wait until you start believing, however, do not ask questions about it as it is very difficult and the torment of God is very huge.
“Everywhere is tumult and cries for help. It is not a disease but a fire of hell. It is that earthly germ which speaks to the people and they are injured from it. Its bite has become very violent. It attacks people and kills them instantaneously because they do not believe in the signs of Allah the Almighty as it is stated by Allah the Almighty:
وَاِنۡ مِّنۡ قَرۡیَۃٍ اِلَّا نَحۡنُ مُھْلِکُوۡھَا قَبۡلَ یَوۡمِ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ اَوۡمُعَذِّبُوۡھَا عَذَابًا شَدِیۡدًا
[‘There is not a township but We shall destroy it before the Day of Resurrection, or punish it with a severe punishment’ (Surah Bani Israil, Ch.17: V.59)]. Likewise, you witness [these days]. This is due to the fact that people do not turn to righteousness. They spread transgression on God’s earth and they fear not. They increase in lewdness and sin, and they do not stop. They retreat on their heels when they are told to listen to what Allah has revealed to them. Hence, Allah punished them with this torment of His, so that they may return.” (Mawahib-ur-Rahman, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 19, pp. 244-246)
Below is the complete account of the second statement of the Promised Messiahas, dated 9 May 1904, that is presented without its context by opponents:
Attention was drawn towards a mullah of Amritsar who said that it was nothing remarkable that a year had gone by [since the plague outbreak]. He said to wait and observe the coming days to form a conclusion. The Promised Messiahas responded to this remark by saying:
“He talks about a year. I firmly believe that the promise made by Allah the Almighty is indeed true and it [is said that the plague] continues to spread for almost 70 years. They should look forward to it and observe what happens, and we shall also wait with them. If they have received any news about us from Allah the Almighty, then they should publish it. I have published everything which has been revealed to me from Allah the Almighty and the world is aware of it. They should now steadfastly observe the outcome and see what happens.
“These people circulate various propaganda about us which befalls them in the end. A maulvi of Batala once said that Qadian was experiencing the plague while he himself had a swollen lymph node. He had brought it upon himself. Can swelling [of plague] occur without the order of Allah the Almighty? Nothing can happen on earth if there is no change in the heavens. In those days, when the plague epidemic was rampant in Qadian, we were experiencing an extraordinary display of God’s divine power. We used to hear screams from all around our house and our house was like a ship [sailing] in the sea in the centre. He safeguarded it through His sheer blessings and benevolence as He had promised and we certainly believe that He will surely protect us in the future as well by His grace and beneficence.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 7, p. 17)
The complete statements of the Promised Messiahas are self-evident that the opponents have levelled the objections with wicked and evil intentions as their false assertions do not express the entire context.
Referring to the above-mentioned statements of the Promised Messiahas, opponents say that 70 years have passed and scientists have invented various medicines which have led to the termination of major epidemics. Hence, the opponents opine that the prediction of the Promised Messiahas regarding the plague epidemic continuing for 70 years proves to be false.
Evidence of history contradicts and negates this viewpoint of the opponents. The word “ta‘un” means a major epidemic or death by an outbreak.
We shall present factual evidence of various epidemics and outbreaks which struck the earth from 1905 to date.
We start off by mentioning the cholera outbreak which began its spread in Yemen from March 2017 and it is still around. The Independent newspaper of the UK published an article on their website titled Yemen Cholera Epidemic: 300, 000 cases confirmed but vaccine plans “on hold”. The article has it:
“More than 300,000 people are now infected with cholera in Yemen, a burgeoning health crisis adding to the war, famine and state collapse currently facing the country. The UN’s aid coordination agency confirmed this week there are now 313,000 cases and 1,706 deaths across Yemen’s 22 provinces since the outbreak of began in March.” (www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/yemen-cholera-epidemic-300000-cases-confirmed-vaccine-plans-un-ocha-who-civil-war a7837406.html)
Below is the list of various epidemics which caused destruction and deaths across the globe during the 20th century:
– Plague spread in China from 1910 to 1912, claiming 40,000 lives
– In 1946, China witnessed an outbreak of plague
– Plague struck India in 1994, leading to 52 deaths
According to a report, the plague epidemic claimed 1 million lives in 1907 alone. Between 1919 to 1928, annual deaths were 100,000 and 70,000. Annual deaths from the year 1929 to 1938 were 92, 000. There were 22,000 death from the year 1939 to 1948. 1949 to 1953, annual deaths were 4600. Every year, 2000 to 3000 people are influenced by the plague throughout the world and 200 lives fall prey to it. Most of the cases surface in Africa. (Encyclopedia Britannica, under word: Plague. 2016)
During the year 2003, there was an outbreak of plague in Algeria. In the year 2006 and 2014, the plague spread in Congo and Madagascar respectively. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_epidemics#21st_century)
– This outbreak spread from the year 1918 to 1920 across the globe which led to 70 million deaths
– 1957-58, this epidemic occurred throughout the world and claimed 2 million lives
– 1968-69, this outbreak struck the earth killed 1 million people
– 1972-73, this epidemic spread in America
In 2009, influenza spread in the world and claimed 14286 lives. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_epidemics#21st_century)
During the 20th century, this outbreak was responsible for 150 to 300 million deaths. Throughout the world, the ratio of deaths from this outbreak was 2 to 5 percent as compared with other epidemics. (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK215638)
– This outbreak befell the earth for a sixth time during the course of the years 1900 to 1923, which led to 500,000 deaths only in Russia
– 1899 to 1923, 800,000 deaths were reported in India
– 1910 to 1911, 12 deaths in America
– It engulfed the world for the seventh time during the course of the years 1961 to 1975. It began from Indonesia and spread in East Pakistan, India, Soviet Union, North Africa, Japan, South Pacific, Istanbul and various other countries across the globe
– It spread in South America from January 1991 to September 1994, affecting more than 1 million people and claiming the lives of around 10,000 people
– It spread in Asia in the year 1992 and continued till 1995
– July 1994, it claimed 12,000 lives in Congo. According to a statement, the extremely dangerous days of this outbreak led to 3,000 deaths daily
– In the year 2000, WHO received a report of 140,000 cases through the government who were influenced by the outbreak. 87 percent of those affected were from Africa
– July to December 2007, 22 deaths in Iraq and 4,569 cases emerged
– August 2007, 2,000 people were influenced in three districts of Orissa, India
– August to October 2008, 8 deaths in Iraq and 644 cases emerged
– January 2009, 19 deaths in South Africa and 381 cases emerged
– August 2008 to April 2009, 4,201 deaths in Zimbabwe and 96,591 people affected
– October 2010, 1034 deaths in Haiti and the Dominican Republic with 167,000 people affected
– 2012, 290 deaths in various African countries and 21,500 people affected
– 2011-12, 194 deaths in Ghana and 16,000 people affected
– 2013, 100 deaths in Ghana and 11,000 people affected
– 2017 to date, 880 deaths in Somalia and 50,000 people affected
– 1981 to 1998, 15 million deaths across the globe (http://necrometrics.com/all20c.htm#AIDS)
During the 20th century, smallpox claimed 300 million lives throughout the world. (http://necrometrics.com/all20c.htm#Smallpox)
The above-mentioned details of major epidemics still prevalent on the earth shatters the argument of the opponents and affirms the prophecy of the Promised Messiahas that the world may witness years of epidemics and outbreaks till they return to their Lord for seeking refuge and forgiveness.