“Remember, the religion of the cross cannot die unless the Messiah is allowed to pass away. After all, what benefit is there in considering him alive in contradiction to the teaching of the Quran? Let him die so that this faith [Islam] may live again.
“God manifested the death of the Messiah through His Word; and on the night of the Mi‘raj [spiritual ascension of the Holy Prophetsa] the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, saw him dwelling among the dead. And yet, you still do not believe in his death. What manner of faith is this? Do you prefer the tales of men over the Word of God? What kind of religion is this?
“Not only did our Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, testify that he had seen Jesus among the souls of the dead, but even by his own death, the Prophet demonstrated that none of the Prophets who came before him were still alive. But, just as our opponents have abandoned the Quran, they have also renounced the Sunnah; for death is a part of the Sunnah of our Prophet.
“If Jesus was still alive, then death would be a dishonour to our Messenger. For as long as you do not believe in the death of Jesus, you will stand in defiance of both the Quran and Sunnah. I do not deny the greatness of Jesus, peace be upon him, despite the fact that I have been informed by God that the Messiah of Muhammad[sa] occupies a higher status than the Messiah of Moses. Nevertheless, I hold the Messiah son of Mary in high esteem, inasmuch as I am spiritually the Khatam-ul-Khulafa [the Seal of the Caliphs] in Islam, just as the Messiah son of Mary was the Khatam-ul-Khulafa of the Israelite dispensation.” (Noah’s Ark, p. 28-29)
The opponents of the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas suggest that proving the death of Prophet Jesusas was nothing significant and assert that many people were convinced of Jesus’as passing even before the claim of the founder of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, for example Ibn Hazm in the early age of Islam and in the recent past, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan of India, who were both convinced of Jesus’as death.
One of the defects of the ummah that occurred after the third century AH was that the majority of Muslims believed Jesusas to be living in the heavens with his physical body. Moreover, they awaited his bodily decent from the heavens in the latter days. However, there was also a small number of people of the third century AH, and many still exist, who believe in the death of Jesusas on the basis of conclusive evidence present in the Holy Quran. In the past, belief in the life of Jesusas was merely an ijtihadi [independent reasoning] error, but in the time of the founder of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya and shortly before that, this mistake became a formidable dragon which benefited Christian priests and through their efforts, millions of Muslims abandoned Islam and converted to Christianity.
Christian clergy used to reason, “Muslims consider Muhammad’s visit to the heavens on the night of Mi‘raj to be a superiority, but if only one night in the heavens is a source of distinction, then evaluate the superiority of our Lord Jesus Christ who is sitting in the heavens for not one night or a week or a month or a year or a century, but for two thousand years.”
They used to say, “When danger arises, man protects his most beloved thing but when Muhammad was endangered by the threat of his enemies, the God of Muslims wounded him and caused him to fall on the ground by his enemies, covered in blood.”
Christian pastors used to argue that on the other hand, when Jesus Christ was threatened, according to the belief of the then Muslims, God did not allow any enemy to touch their Lord Jesus and sent His angels who carried him safely to the heavens and placed him beside God where no enemy can reach him. They would emphasise that every prophet in the world was threatened by his opponents, some of whom were martyred and those who survived possible martyrdom were wounded, bloodstained and ensanguined by their enemies.
In the Christians’ view, except for their Lord Jesus, none from the prophets of God were taken to the heavens in order to protect them from danger and his magnificent unrivaled protection shows that in the sight of God, the status of Jesus Christ is superior to all other prophets and he is the most beloved of God.
Clergymen would say, “If a person has to cross a river and there are only two boats on the shore and from the two sailors of the boat, only one is alive, then anyone who wishes to cross the river safely will be seated in the boat with a living sailor and not in the boat which is empty due to its sailor having passed away.”
Reasoning from this tale, they used to submit that the world is a river and that every human being came here as a traveler and according to the belief of Muslims, the sailor of Islam has been buried in Medina, whereas the sailor of Christianity is living and will come back into the world. Therefore, if Muslims want to attain salvation, then they should get on the Christian boat, whose sailor will come and take them across the river.
God Almighty responded to the above arguments of Christian priests through His Messiah of the latter days. The Promised Messiahas declared through divine revelation that the regeneration of Islam lies in accepting the fact that Jesusas of Nazareth passed away.
Thus, he advised the Muslims in the following manner:
“O my friends, now pay heed to my last advice. I am telling you a great secret which you must always bear in mind and it is that in all your dialogues with the Christians you must change your method and approach and try to convince the Christians that Jesus son of Mary has died forever. This is the line of argument which will lead you to victory over the Christians and will force them to quit the field.
“There is no need for you to waste your valuable time in lengthy dialogues. Just insist upon the death of Jesus … When you succeed in convincing them that Jesus is also among the dead, you shall succeed in driving away the Christian faith from the face of the earth. Engrain it in your minds that so long as their god does not die, their faith also shall continue to exist. All other arguments with them are of little gain. They have only one pillar of their faith and that is that Jesus son of Mary is still alive in heaven. Shatter this pillar and then raise your eyes and see where the Christian faith has gone. Now it is the will of God that this same pillar be razed and the breeze of His Unity may now blow over Europe and Asia. That is why He has sent me and through His special revelations has told me that Jesus[as] son of Mary has died and I have come in his spirit according to His promise. Allah’s promise is always fulfilled.” (Izala-e-Auham, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 3, p. 402)
Consider each of the aforementioned arguments of Christian priests through which they misled the Muslims as a sample and place these words of the Promised Messiahas before each example:
“He [God] has sent me and through His special revelations and has told me that Jesus[as] son of Mary has died and I have come in his spirit according to His promise.”
From countless others, this single divine discourse shatters every argument of the clergy and renders them ineffective. Prophets of God appear in this world to establish tawhid [belief in the oneness of Allah]. The Holy Prophetsa was the greatest of all prophets. Like every other prophet, he also came to preach tawhid and eliminate shirk [associating partners with Allah].
However, even before his claim, Ibn Abi Kabshah used to reject idolatry in Mecca and Hazrat Umar’sra uncle Zaid used to propagate tawhid. Moreover, the majority of Jews living in Arabia and other countries were convinced of the oneness of Allah and repudiated shirk. Thus, the rejection of idolatry by Ibn Abi Kabshah, Zaid’s faith in the unity of God and the belief of millions of Jews living in Arabia and other countries in tawhid before the claim of the Holy Prophetsa do not tarnish his divine mission of establishing tawhid.
Likewise, it is irrational and absurd to negate the mission of the Mahdi and Messiah of the age if Sir Syed Ahmad Khan of India was convinced of Jesus’as death before his claim or even if a small group of other people believed that Jesusas passed away.
(Research conducted by the Research Cell. Translated by Al Hakam)