“Coming catastrophes and various new epidemics are far greater in number than those which have ever occurred in this country previously. They are frightening and horrifying. A severe and dreadful plague is likely to happen in this year or the coming year, which will spread within and outside of this country and cause havoc. An earthquake is likely to happen that will strike unexpectedly and it will be extremely destructive. I am not aware of its happening; it may occur in a particular part of the country or strike globally. If people of the earth fear God, it is entirely possible that this catastrophe goes away because God is the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth; He is capable of passing His commands and taking them back. Though apparently, it seems beyond recall that the people would fear God because hearts have extremely hardened. I do not expect that they will be cautioned through these prophecies which have been foretold. The only expectation is that we will be ridiculed or verbally abused or wrongly accused of spreading panic.” (Chashma-e-Marifat, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 23, p. 403)
Citing the above-mentioned extract, opponents of the Jamaat and Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, the Promised Messiahas sarcastically allege that every catastrophe befalls suddenly and that new epidemics never occurred, therefore it is a false prophecy. Moreover, they express that there is not a single mention of a specific place regarding the occurrence of a catastrophe, therefore these predictions are extremely dubious assumptions.
Opponents, referring to the words of the Promised Messiahas, “An earthquake is likely to happen, that will strike unexpectedly and it will be extremely destructive”, mockingly point out that every catastrophe befalls suddenly. In this manner, they try to create an impression upon the general public that a natural phenomenon which occurs on a regular basis cannot be considered a prophecy or a divine revelation.
Allah the Almighty states in the Holy Quran:
يَهَبُ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ إِنَاثًا وَيَهَبُ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ الذُّكُوْرَ أَوْ يُزَوِّجُهُمْ ذُكْرَانًا وَإِنَاثًا وَيَجْعَلُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ عَقِيْمًا
“He [Allah the Almighty] bestows daughters upon whom He pleases, and He bestows sons upon whom He pleases; or He mixes them, males and females and He makes whom He pleases barren.”(Surah al-Shura, Ch.42: V.50-51)
At another place, it is stated:
أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللّٰهَ يُزْجِيْ سَحَابًا ثُمَّ يُؤَلِّفُ بَيْنَهُ ثُمَّ يَجْعَلُهُ رُكَامًا فَتَرَى الْوَدْقَ يَخْرُجُ مِنْ خِلَالِهِ
“Hast thou not seen that Allah drives the clouds, then joins them together, then piles them up so that thou seest rain issue forth from the midst thereof?” (Surah al-Nur, Ch.24: V.40)
Everyone is already aware about the aforementioned facts highlighted in the above verses of the Holy Quran by Allah the Almighty as these phenomena occur naturally without a shadow of a doubt. So, the opponents must explain these verses because according to their views, there was no need to mention these facts in the Holy Quran.
The opponents claim, quoting the words of the Promised Messiahas, “Coming catastrophes and various new epidemics are far greater in number than those which have ever occurred in this country previously. They are frightening and horrifying”, that the prophecy of the Promised Messiahas was not fulfilled because nobody witnessed the spread of new epidemics.
The First World War took place during the years 1914 to 1918 in which around 16 million people lost their lives. Thereafter the influenza pandemic spread in 1918 and 1919 which, according to the research of 1940, wiped out 40 to 100 million people across the globe, including India, China and Russia. This pandemic claimed 20 million lives in India alone. (The Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919, Paul Kupperberg, pp. 64-66)
But unfortunately, opponents are unable to spot these epidemics. Instead of attaining benefit from these signs and bearing witness to the truth of the founder of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, opponents target these prophecies with mockery and scorn, following the footsteps of those who were the opponents of earlier prophets. In this manner, they effectively announce the truth of the Promised Messiahas because Allah the Almighty states in the Holy Quran:
يَا حَسْرَةً عَلَى الْعِبَادِ ۚ مَا يَأْتِيْهِمْ مِّنْ رَّسُوْلٍ إِلَّا كَانُوْا بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِئُوْنَ
“Alas for My servants! There comes not a Messenger to them but they mock at him.” (Surah Ya Sin, Ch.36: V.31)
Furthermore, the Promised Messiahas foretold:
“A severe and dreadful plague is likely to happen”. Hence, in accord with the revelation of Allah the Almighty, various new epidemics rose across the globe and continue to do so even in the present time. A severe and dreadful plague is HIV/AIDS which has been named “The 21st Century Plague” (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/hivaids-the-21st-century-plague-516391.html) and it has claimed countless lives.
It is said that the region of Africa is most affected by HIV/AIDS, followed by India, which is widely affected by it. According to an article published by World Bank on 10 July 2012:
“The Government of India estimates that about 2.40 million Indians are living with HIV … The four high prevalence states of South India (Andhra Pradesh – 500,000, Maharashtra – 420,000, Karnataka – 250,000, Tamil Nadu – 150,000) account for 55% of all HIV infections in the country. West Bengal, Gujarat, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are estimated to have more than 100,000 PLHA (people living with HIV/AIDS) each and together account for another 22% of HIV infections in India.” (http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2012/07/10/hiv-aids-india)
The world has fallen prey to epidemics that vary in nature. For instance, the epidemics of dengue fever, yellow fever and ebola etc. have wiped out millions from the face of the earth. Thus, it is evident that the world is witnessing dynamic catastrophes and epidemics.
The opponents express regarding the prophecies mentioned in the extract of Chashma-e-Marifat that neither is there any mention of a particular place of occurrence nor is there any specification of a precise time. Therefore, these ambiguous predictions cannot be considered divine revelations.
There are various examples of prophecies in the Holy Quran and the Hadith in which there is neither any mention of specific places of occurrence nor is there any description of specific time.
Allah the Almighty vouchsafed a revelation to the Holy Prophetsa, stated in the Holy Quran:
لَتَدْخُلُنَّ الْمَسْجِدَ الْحَرَامَ إِنْ شَاءَ اللّٰهُ آمِنِيْنَ
“You would certainly enter the Sacred Mosque, if Allah wills, in security” (Surah al-Fath, Ch.48: V.28). Is there any mention of a specific year in this prophecy?
Similarly, Allah the Almighty states in the Holy Quran:
سَيُهْزَمُ الْجَمْعُ وَيُوَلُّوْنَ الدُّبُرَ
“The hosts shall soon be routed and will turn their backs in flight” (Surah al-Qamar, Ch.54: V.46). Is it indicated in the prophecy in which year, which month or which place it would occur and which army it was referring to?
Hazrat Sarah was given a glad tiding:
فَبَشَّرْنَاهَا بِإِسْحَاقَ وَمِنْ وَرَاءِ إِسْحَاقَ يَعْقُوْبَ
“We [Allah the Almighty] gave her glad tidings of the birth of Isaac, and after Isaac of Jacob” (Surah Hud, Ch.11: V.72). Is it mentioned in this prophecy as to when Isaacas and Jacobas would be born?
Undoubtedly, the Holy Quran is a miracle of Allah the Almighty and it shall remain so till Judgement Day.
There are various verses of the Holy Quran in which there are no specifications of place, person or time. For instance:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ لِمَ تُحَرِّمُ مَا أَحَلَّ اللّٰهُ لَكَ
“O Prophet! why dost thou forbid thyself that which Allah has made lawful to thee?” (Surah al-Tahrim, Ch. 66: V.2). That thing which was forbidden is not mentioned here.
إِنَّ شَانِئَكَ هُوَ الْأَبْتَرُ
“Surely, it is thy enemy who is without issue” (Surah al-Kauthar, Ch. 108: V.4). Which enemy is intended here? The name was not revealed.
أَرَأَيْتَ الَّذِيْ يُكَذِّبُ بِالدِّيْنِ فَذٰلِكَ الَّذِيْ يَدُعُّ الْيَتِيمَ
“Hast thou seen him who rejects religions? That is the one who drives away the orphan?” (Surah al-Ma‘un, Ch. 107: V.2-3). The name of that person who drove away the orphan is not stated.
وَالْفَجْرِ وَلَيَالٍ عَشْرٍ وَالشَّفْعِ وَالْوَتْرِ
“By the dawn, and the Ten Nights, and the Even and the Odds” (Surah al-Fajr, Ch. 89: V.2-4). Which dawn, ten nights, even and odds? Nothing is explained.
The Holy Prophetsa was given a glad tiding that he would be united in marriage with Hazrat Aishara, but there is no indication as to when and where this marriage would take place. Below is the Hadith, stated in Bukhari:
“Hazrat Aishara narrates that the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, ‘O Aisha! You were shown to me twice in a dream. I saw you in a silken piece of cloth, and I was told, “She is your wife”, so I uncovered it and behold, it was you.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Manaqib al-Ansar)
Similarly, Allah the Almighty foretold the Holy Prophetsa about the migration from Mecca and it was indicated that the resettling place would be filled with date palms. However, neither was it mentioned when exactly that migration would take place, nor was the specific place of settlement disclosed. It is stated in Bukhari:
Hazrat Abu Musara narrates that the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “I saw in a dream that I was migrating from Mecca to a land where there were date palm trees. I thought that it might be the land of Yamama or Hajar, but behold, it turned out to be Yathrib i.e. Medina.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Manaqib al-Ansar)
Likewise, Allah the Almighty revealed to the Holy Prophetsa that the castles of Qaisar and Kisra would be conquered, but it was not made clear as to when exactly that would happen – either in the life of the Holy Prophetsa or after his demise.
We bring forth this question before the opponents of the Jamaat and the Promised Messiahas, that do they have the courage to consider the aforementioned verses of the Holy Quran and Ahadith of the Holy Prophetsa ambiguous and not the word of God or authentic sayings of the Prophetsa? After all, they too do not specify exact place and time regarding the occurrence of prophecies.
The Promised Messiahas states:
“In the case of the chastisement that was promised to the Arabs (in the Holy Quran), God Almighty did not provide details of that chastisement as to what kind of chastisement it would be and what would be its nature. He only said that God has the power to bring it down from heaven, or send it from the earth, or make the infidels taste the swords of the Muslims. In these verses the Holy Prophet, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, himself admits that he has not been informed as to what kind of chastisement it would be. And when he was asked about the time of its occurrence, he did not specify any date, as the Holy Quran says:
وَيَقُوْلُوْنَ مَتٰی هَذَا الْوَعْدُ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِيْنَ قُلْ إِنَّمَا الْعِلْمُ عِنْدَ اللّٰهِ وَإِنَّمَا أَنَا نَذِيْرٌ مُّبِيْنٌ
Meaning: ‘The disbelievers ask, “When will this proclamation come to pass; tell us the date if you are indeed true?” Say to them, “I do not know of any date, only God has this knowledge. I am only a warner”’ (Surah al-Mulk, Ch.67: V.26–27). And when the disbelievers repeated their question about the date, they got the answer:
وَإِنْ أَدْرِيْ أَقَرِيْبٌ أَمْ بَعِيْدٌ
Meaning: Tell them, ‘I know not whether the chastisement is near at hand or far off’ (Surah al-Anbiya, Ch.21: V.110).” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya Part V, p. 340 [English Translation])
Explaining the following verse of the Holy Quran:
يَسْأَلُوْنَكَ عَنِ السَّاعَةِ أَيَّانَ مُرْسَاهَا فِيْمَ أَنْتَ مِنْ ذِكْرَاهَا
“They ask thee concerning the Hour, ‘When will it come?’ But what hast thou to do with the mentioning thereof?” (Surah al-Nazi‘at, Ch.79: V.43-44).
Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra, Khalifatul Masih IIra states:
“It is not necessary regarding prophecies to specify their exact time of happening and moreover, it has nothing to do with the actual matter. When an occurrence of a catastrophe is inevitable, what difference does it make if it befalls two days before or after? It is beyond any doubt that there are certain hidden reasons for the delay of prophecies and Allah the Almighty has explained this subject at other places [in the Holy Quran] but the opponents always bring forth this question that once a prophecy has been foretold, the exact date of its occurrence should be disclosed as well and it should be notified as to when it will come to pass. But on the contrary, Allah the Almighty states, what has this to do with anybody? Once the prophecy is fulfilled, everyone would bear witness and realise that whatever Allah the Almighty had said was proven truthful…
“It is mentioned in the Holy Quran that the infidels used to question the prophecy which was being foretold as to when it would come to pass. Destpite this, opponents today raise the same allegation, as to when that catastrophe will occur regarding which they have been foretold. Thus, opponents frequently levelled the same allegations against the Promised Messiahas, expressing that he foretold ambiguous prophecies and the exact time of their occurrence was not specified, even though, it is the sort of question which brings no benefit to the opponents. The actual prophecy of a prophet is that he would triumph and the world would fail in front of him. This prophecy is such that it is not necessary to specify any exact time for its occurrence for otherwise, there lies no ambiguity in it…” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 8, p. 141-142)
According to the prophecies, countless earthquakes occurred within the lifetime of the Promised Messiahas. The details of these earthquakes have been mentioned in the previous part of Responding to Allegations, under the heading Prophecies of the Promised Messiahas.
(Research conducted by a panel of scholars at the Research Cell, Rabwah. Translated by Al Hakam)