Despite countless revelations and glad tidings about the appearance of the Messiah in our time, opponents raise objections against the prophethood of the Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas and question the reasons that led to the need for a prophet.
Moreover, they question how the prophecy of kasr-e-salib (breaking of the cross mentioned in ahadith) related to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas. They suggest that it was scientific knowledge which led to the breaking of the cross and not the founder of Islam Ahmadiyyat. One of the reasons for the appearance of prophets explained in the Holy Quran is:
اِنَّاۤ اَنۡزَلۡنَا التَّوۡرٰٮۃَ فِیۡہَا ہُدًی وَّ نُوۡرٌ ۚ یَحۡکُمُ بِہَا النَّبِیُّوۡنَ الَّذِیۡنَ اَسۡلَمُوۡا لِلَّذِیۡنَ ہَادُوۡا
“Surely We sent down the Torah wherein was guidance and light. By it did the Prophets, who were obedient to Us, judge for the Jews.” (Surah al-Maidah, Ch.5: V.45)
It is clear that the Torah was present in the Israelites with its “light” and “guidance”, and it had not been subjected to any kind of alteration at that time. However, the followers of the Torah were in disagreement and dissension regarding its interpretation and other faith matters. Therefore, God Almighty sent those prophets towards the Israelites in the presence of the Torah, who presented its right interpretation after receiving knowledge from Him and provided just explanations to resolve religious disputes between the Jews.
These prophets had no Law of their own and they carried out their assigned tasks in light of the Torah because it had all the necessary guidance for them, as the Holy Quran states:
ثُمَّ اٰتَیۡنَا مُوۡسَی الۡکِتٰبَ تَمَامًا عَلَی الَّذِیۡۤ اَحۡسَنَ وَ تَفۡصِیۡلًا لِّکُلِّ شَیۡءٍ وَّ ہُدًی وَّ رَحۡمَۃً
“Again, We gave Moses the Book completing the favour upon him who did good, and an explanation of all necessary things, and a guidance and a mercy.” (Surah al-An‘am, Ch.6: V.155)
The Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:
“My Ummah will go through the same stages as did the Bani Israil. The similarities will be very striking, like one shoe of a pair has to the other, so much so that if a person from among the Bani Israil committed an offence against his mother, a similar unfortunate one would also be found in my Ummah. Bani Israil split up into 72 sects; my people will split up into 73 sects; with the exception of one sect, all others will be bound for Hell.’ [The Companionsra] asked, ‘O prophet of Allah, who will be these righteous people?’ [The Holy Prophetsa] replied, ‘They will be the people who truly follow me and my Companions.’” (Jami‘ Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Iman)
The above hadith clearly indicates that the Holy Prophetsa foretold his Ummah about similar circumstances which were experienced by the Israelites. As the Israelites were subjected to dissensions resulting in their 72 sects, the Ummah of the Holy Prophetsa would be split into 73 sects, due to inner disputes.
Had the Holy Prophetsa said that his Ummah would not split into various sects, he would have removed the possibility of a prophet to reform and reunite them.
On the contrary, the Holy Prophetsa gave the glad tidings of rightly guided Khulafara after him, then the news of the appearance of reformers after them and then prophesied about the Prophet of Allah, the Messiah of the latter days.
Another reason why prophets appear is highlighted by the Holy Quran. Allah Almighty states:
وَ لَقَدۡ ضَلَّ قَبۡلَہُمۡ اَکۡثَرُ الۡاَوَّلِیۡنَ۔ وَ لَقَدۡ اَرۡسَلۡنَا فِیۡہِمۡ مُّنۡذِرِیۡنَ
“And most of the ancient peoples had erred before them and We had sent Warners among them” (Surah al-Saffat, Ch.37: V.72-73).
The verse signifies that one of the reasons which leads to the appearance of a prophet is the corruption of mankind. At the time of the advent of the Holy Prophetsa and the revelation of the Holy Quran, most of the nations had fallen into moral darkness and despair. As a prophet is sent during the decline of humanity, it is imperative to see whether the Muslims also fell in their standards like previous religious nations did.
Was there ever a need for a non-law bearing prophet to come amongst Muslims after the Holy Prophetsa, or have the Muslims always stuck to their faith and remained united? Certainly, Muslims became disunited, corrupted and detached from one another. This was not insignificant as the Holy Prophetsa had already prophesied it when he said:
“There will come a time upon the people when nothing will remain of Islam except save its name and nothing will remain of the Quran save its inscription. Their mosques will be splendidly furnished but deprived of guidance. Their divines will be the worst people under the heavens and strife will issue from and avert to them.” (Mishkatul Masabih, Kitab al-Ilm)
The Holy Prophetsa not only foretold the occurrence of dissension within Islam but gave the glad tiding of the Nabiyullah [Prophet of Allah] Messiah who would revive Islam and reform his Ummah. With regard to the age of the appearance of the Promised Messiah, the Holy Prophetsa said:
“And I swear by the Lord in Whose hands is my life that the son of Mary shall surely appear among you as a just arbiter and shall break the cross, annihilate the swine …” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Anbiya).
This hadith indicates that people would be experiencing religious and mutual discords at the time when the Promised Messiah would appear. The Messiah would come and provide justice to the people. Soon after his arrival, the power of Christianity would fall as indicated by the breaking of the cross. Before the advent of the Promised Messiahas, there was widespread Christian missionary activity throughout the world to spread Christianity.
Promulgation of the Christian faith was carried out parallel to political advancements. Countless people embraced Christianity through the efforts of priests and many more joined it owing to the monetary assistance that was provided to give solace to their hearts. The Prophetsa specifically warned of Christianity (out of the plethora of religions), pointing to the fact that during the time of the Messiah, Christianity would rule the world and have the most significant influential role.
The Messiah would thus “break the cross” i.e. the arguments and influence of Christianity, especially those arguments that were levelled against Islam by Christian missionaries. Breaking of the cross does not mean that the Messiah would break the material crosses made of stone, wood or iron because this goes against the teachings of Islam. The Holy Quran states:
وَ لَوۡ لَا دَفۡعُ اللّٰہِ النَّاسَ بَعۡضَہُمۡ بِبَعۡضٍ لَّہُدِّمَتۡ صَوَامِعُ وَ بِیَعٌ وَّ صَلَوٰتٌ وَّ مَسٰجِدُ
“And if Allah did not repel some people by means of others, there would surely have been destroyed cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques.” (Surah al-Hajj, Ch.22: V.41)
During the defensive wars fought by Muslims, Islam forbade to attack churches and synagogues. Moreover, it was forbidden to kill worshipers and scholars therein. The Quranic verse clearly proves that the breaking of the cross by the Promised Messiahas did not mean its apparent destruction.
On the other hand, Hazrat Allama ibn Hajrrh states:
فیکسر الصلیب و یقتل الخنزیر ای یبطل دین النصرانیۃ
“The breaking of cross and the annihilation of swine means that the religion of Christianity will become ineffective.” (Fath-ul-Bari Sharah Sahih al-Bukhari)
History bears testimony to how Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiahas, during the reign of the British Empire in India, was granted compelling evidence and decisive arguments by God Almighty through which he refuted the false doctrines of Christianity and “broke” their cross.
As a result, Christianity in India was awestruck by the profound arguments of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas. He was seen as an unstoppable force and a Muslim champion who began to defend Islam against Christian missionaries in India. Despite the aforementioned facts, the opponents of Islam Ahmadiyyat still propose that scientific knowledge led to the breaking of the cross and that the Promised Messiahas had nothing to do with it.
The problem with this suggestion is that the Holy Prophetsa clearly indicated how the breaking of the cross would happen through the Messiah who was to come and not scientific knowledge alone. Being blessed with divine knowledge, the Promised Messiahas proved through the Holy Quran, ahadith and the Bible that Jesusas did not die on the cross, nor did he ascend towards heaven, rather he was saved from the cross, ultimately dying a natural death in Kashmir, India. This argument destroys both the concept of divinity and atonement. That is why Paul said:
“And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Corinthians, 15:14).
This statement shows that Paul knew if the concept of Jesus’as resurrection was proven as null and void, the whole edifice of Christianity would come stumbling down. A religious debate was held in 1893 between the Promised Messiahas and priests of Amritsar which was called Jang-e-Muqaddas (The Holy War) by the Christian clerics.
Soon after this in 1894, an international clergy conference was held in London where the Lord Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol, the Right Reverend Charles John Elliot informed the Christian world with great concern and said on 29 May 1894:
“But perhaps the movement in Mohammedanism is the most striking. I learn from those who are experienced in these things that there is now a new kind of Mohammedanism showing itself in many parts of our empire in India, and even in our own Island here at home, Mohammedanism now speaks with reverence of our blessed Lord and Master, but is not the less more intensely monotheistic than ever. It discards many of those usages which have made Mohammedanism hateful in our eyes, but the False Prophet holds his place no less preeminently than before. Changes are plainly to be recognised; but Mohammedanism is not the less aggressive, and alas! to some minds among us (God grant that they be not many) even additionally attractive.” (The Official Report of the Missionary Conference of the Anglican Communion, 29 May 1894, p. 64)
The Christian bishop singled out only one sect in the international conference of clergies from all the sects of Islam, which clarifies that the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat had managed to draw their attention by refuting their fundamental doctrines and beliefs. The Promised Messiahas passed away in 1908. There came a revolution in the world’s mightiest Christian Empire of Russia and the new government announced in 1917 that they no longer abided by Christianity.
Hence, a few years following the demise of the Promised Messiahas, the biggest Christian government declared that Christianity would not be their official religion. Countless churches were sold and many still have the boards of “For Sale” hanging outside. The prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa was fulfilled in the most astonishing and clear manner. The Promised Messiahas appeared and revealed the weak teachings of Pauline Christianity and refuted concepts of resurrection, divinity and atonement.
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas was the Messiah of the latter days. Jesusas will not return. This is an undeniable fact that the world is coming (and will come) to know.