A series looking into the allegations raised against Hazrat Ahmad’sas personality, writings, revelations, and prophecies, along with the answers he has provided
Awwab Saad Hayat, Al Hakam
Among other revelations, Allah the Almighty also said to the Promised Messiahas:
“I shall break the fast and also observe it” (Al Hakam, 16 April 1902, p. 6)
When opponents of Hazrat Ahmadas heard this revelation, they ridiculed it, questioning how God could fast.
The Promised Messiahas himself explains this revelation and writes:
“It is obvious that Allah the Almighty is beyond keeping the fast and breaking it. Therefore, these words cannot be attributed to Him in their literal sense. Hence, it is only a figure of speech. The import is that ‘Sometimes I shall send My chastisement and sometimes I shall grant a respite like a person who sometimes eats and at other times keeps fast and stays away from eating.’ Such figures of speech abound in the Scriptures of God, as there is a hadith that Allah will say, on the Day of Judgment: ‘I was sick, I was hungry, I was naked…’” (The Philosophy of Divine Revelation [Haqiqatul Wahi], p. 124)
Further, in Tadhkirah, it is written:
“How subtle are these phrases! God seems to be saying that He would adopt two attitudes with regard to the plague. For some time, He would be quiet; that is, He would observe fast. And then, for a time, He would break the fast. This is what we have observed for some years. In the height of summer and in the depth of winter, the plague is suppressed; that is the period of the fast; and in February, March, and October etc., it rages fiercely; that is the time of the breaking of the fast. This revelation: إني أنا ألصاعقه [Indeed I am the lightning] is of the same type of subtle revelation. [al-Badr, vol. 1, no. 11, January 9, 1903, p. 86]” (Tadhkirah [English], p. 607)
Hazrat Ahmadas, on another occasion, while explaining the same revelation, says:
“I shall divide my times so that during a certain part of the year, I will break the fast, meaning I will bring about the demise of people through the plague, and for another part of the year, I will observe the fast. This implies there will be peace, and the plague will either diminish or cease entirely.” (Dafi’ul Bala, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 18, pp. 228-229)
In light of the style of this revelation, to clarify it, Hazrat Ahmadas presented a hadith found in Sahih Muslim:
“Verily, Allah the Almighty will say on the Day of Resurrection: ‘O son of Adam, I was sick, but you did not visit Me.’ The person will say: ‘O my Lord, how could I have visited You when You are the Lord of the worlds?’ Allah will reply: ‘Did you not know that such and such servant of Mine was sick, and you did not visit him? Were you not aware that if you had visited him, you would have found Me with him?’
“‘O son of Adam, I asked for food from you, but you did not feed Me.’ The person will say: ‘My Lord, how could I feed You when You are the Lord of the worlds?’ Allah will say: ‘Did you not know that such and such servant of Mine asked for food from you, and you did not feed him? Were you not aware that if you had fed him, you would have found him near Me?’
“‘O son of Adam, I asked for a drink from you, but you did not provide for Me.’ The person will say: ‘My Lord, how could I provide for You when You are the Lord of the worlds?’ Allah will say: ‘Such and such servant of Mine asked you for a drink, but you did not provide for him. Had you provided for him, you would have found him near Me.’” (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-birri wa s-sillati wa l-aadab, Hadith 2569)
So, even though this hadith suggests that God can be sick, hungry, and thirsty – albeit with its own context and interpretation – why can’t He ‘fast’? Hazrat Ahmadas provided an explanation within the context and interpretation, but his opponents persist in their futile attempt to extinguish the light of Allah.