Promised Messiah’s 1892 visit to Lahore: A rising tide of opposition

Ata-ul-Haye Nasir, Al Hakam

When Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas claimed to be the Promised Messiah and announced that Allah the Almighty has revealed to him that Jesusas has passed away, not alive in heaven – as believed by the Christians and contemporary Muslims – it was as if the whole world had turned against him, particularly the Muslim and Christian clergymen. Its details have been narrated in a previous article, titled “Hazrat Ahmad’s claim to be the Promised Messiah and opposition from the religious clergy and press”, published on 19 April 2024.

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Riaz-i-Hind of Amritsar, 13 July, 21 September and 5 October 1891

In 1891, the Promised Messiahas visited Delhi, Amritsar and Ludhiana to shed light on his claims and then, in the beginning of 1892, he decided to visit Lahore with the aim of ittmam-e-hujjat (completion of proof) to the people there. This article will endeavour to narrate the details of that visit and the prevailing circumstances.

The Promised Messiah’sas journey to Lahore

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadian, the Promised Messiah, wrote a letter to Hazrat Nawab Muhammad Ali Khanra on 9 January 1892 and informed that he was planning to embark on a visit to Lahore on 20 January 1892, where he would stay for three to four weeks. (Maktubat-e-Ahmad [2008], Vol. 2, p. 167-168)

Therefore, during the third week of 1892, the Promised Messiahas travelled to Lahore. From the Lahore Station, Huzooras embarked on a horse-driven carriage to proceed towards the place of stay at the house of Munshi Miran Bakhsh Sahib, the then Municipal Commissioner of Lahore, located near the Chuna Mandi. (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 1, p. 454)

The Ewing Memorial Library Online Repository 2
An old view of Lahore Railway Station | The Ewing Memorial Library Online Repository

Later on, due to the influx of visiting people, there was not enough space in that house, and thus, the Promised Messiahas rented another house located in the Said Mittha Bazaar, known as the ‘Mahbub Raiyon wala makaan.” (Lahore Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, p. 28)

Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra narrates that he accompanied the Promised Messiahas during his rail journey to Lahore:

“We went to Lahore from Qadian along with the Promised Messiahas. We travelled in the inter-class of the train [i.e. the class between the second and the third], and then we reached the house from the Lahore station on a horse-driven carriage. In those days, horse-driven carriages were commonly used in Lahore. The Promised Messiahas first stayed at Miran Bakhsh Sahib’s house and after that, another house was rented. Upon the Promised Messiah’sas arrival [in Lahore], there was great excitement in the city. A large group of people was always present at the house. The family members of the Promised Messiahas were also staying with him. When the Promised Messiahas would come out and sit in the gathering, he would deliver a brief speech and then answer the questions of people.” (Zikr-e-Habib, p. 15)

He further states that since he had to go back to work, he “only stayed there for a day or two and left. The Promised Messiahas stayed there for several days. I remember that Mian Khairuddin Sahib of Sekhwan was also accompanying the Promised Messiahas on this journey.” (Ibid.)

Though it is evident from the above references that the house in Said Mittha Bazaar was rented, it is not sure whether or not the house of the Municipal Commissioner Munshi Miran Bakhsh Sahib was also rented. However, we learn that the Municipal Commissioner had some large houses which he would give on rent, as we find the following advert in a newspaper of January 1892:

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“To Let

“Two large Houses, close to the Chief Court, Rent Rs. 100 each; let in halves Rs 60. Apply to Munshi Miran Baksh, House Proprietor and Municipal Commissioner Lahore.” (The Civil and Military Gazette, 1 January 1892, p. 8)

An announcement

On 28 January 1892, while in Lahore, the Promised Messiahas issued an ishtihar (announcement), titled “Aam Ittelaa‘” – A public announcement. Huzooras wrote:

“In order to remove the misconceptions and doubts of the public, this humble one has deemed it wise to give a detailed response, in a public jalsa, to the allegations which have been raised against my humble self by the ulema.” (Majmu‘ah-e-Ishtiharat [1989], Vol. 1, p. 311)

Huzooras informed that the jalsa would be held on 31 January 1892, at 1:30 pm, at the Kothi of Munshi Miran Bakhsh Sahib, Municipal Commissioner. (Ibid., p. 312)

Huzooras made it clear that the jalsa would not include any debate or questions and answers, but rather, he only wished to deliver a speech to elaborate on his claims and refute the false allegations raised against him. Huzooras said that the people are invited to attend this jalsa, provided they keep in mind the outlined conditions. (Ibid.)

Lahore old
An old view of Lahore

Promised Messiah’sas lecture in Lahore

Therefore, the Promised Messiahas delivered a lecture on 31 January 1892, in the premises of Munshi Miran Bakhsh Sahib’s Kothi. The lecture was attended by thousands of people, from all walks of life, including various local dignitaries as well. The listeners were not only present at the venue but in the streets and on the roofs of the adjacent houses as well.

During his lecture, Huzooras shed light on his claims and presented strong arguments as proof of their truthfulness. Huzooras particularly narrated about the heavenly signs which were being manifested by Allah the Almighty in his favour like rain.

Huzooras said that the clerics have failed to compete with him through Quranic arguments and that now they have begun issuing edicts of kufr against him. Huzooras said that it is an easy task to declare a believer as a kafir, but it is a big thing to prove one’s own faith. The Holy Quran has outlined certain signs to identify the believers and non-believers. I invite those who declare me a kafir to decide about my faith of mine and theirs, in light of the criterion fixed by the Holy Quran, in this very Lahore. (Hayat-e-Ahmad, Vol. 3, pp. 336-337)

Hazrat Sheikh Yaqub Ali Irfanira narrates that towards the end of his lecture, Huzooras referenced his recent ishtihar – published in January 1892 – wherein he stated:

Aasmani Faisla

“These people should remember that their hostility cannot hurt Islam. They will perish like insects, but the light of Islam will grow with every passing day. God has wished that the radiance of Islam should spread throughout the world. The blessings of Islam cannot be contained by the prating of these ill-intentioned priests.” (Majmu‘ah-e-Ishtiharat [2019], Vol. 1, p. 326)

This ishtihar included a long Arabic revelation as well, which began in the following words:

اَنَا الْفَتَّاحُ اَفْتَحُ لَكَ

Meaning, “I am the One Who grants victory—I shall give you victory.” (Ibid.)

Towards the end of this ishtihar, Huzooras stated:

“Now, O Maulawis, O people of mean nature, try if you can and avert these Divine tidings. Employ every deceit and spare no stratagem, then see if it is God’s hand that prevails or yours.” (Ibid., p. 327)

This ishtihar was published in Aasmani Faislah (The Heavenly Decree) as well.

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Great religious sensation

While Huzooras was in Lahore, The Civil and Military Gazette wrote:

“Mulla Kadian, who has caused a great religious sensation in the Punjab, is the father of the Naib-Tehsildar of Lahore [Mirza Sultan Ahmad Sahib], and is said to be a man of very high attainments. He is also the author of numerous works on religion, and among his followers is a Hakeem of Jammu [Hazrat Hakeem Maulvi Noor-ud-Deenra], another very learned man, who places implicit confidence in the revelations which the Mulla professes to receive from God.” (The Civil and Military Gazette, 6 February 1892, p. 3)


The Colonies & India and American Visitor also published the same news report on 5 March 1892.

Article by The Paisa Akhbar

In February 1892, Munshi Mahbub Alam Sahib, editor of The Paisa Akhbar Lahore, published an article titled “Janaab Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib Qadiani Lahore Mein” — Respected Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib[as] Qadiani in Lahore.

This article mentioned the Promised Messiah’sas recent visit to Lahore and then to Sialkot, and stated how the personage of the Promised Messiahas and his claims had become the talk of the town. Further, the article mentioned the edicts of kufr issued against the Promised Messiahas, and stated that instead of helping the cause of Islam, the clerics were leaving no stone unturned in opposing Hazrat Ahmadas who was, in fact, defending Islam against all other religions. The editor mentioned Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya and Surma-e-Chasham-e-Arya as proof of the Promised Messiah’sas services for Islam.

The article of The Paisa Akhbar stated:

Paisa Akhbar 22 Feb 1892 1 1

“Mirza Sahib had been staying in Lahore for the last two weeks and was receiving the attention of both the prominent and common people of Lahore, and has now proceeded to Sialkot for some reason. Every person, at home, shop, in the market, and in offices, mentions Mirza Sahib[as] and his claim of likeness to Jesusas. Until today, newspapers have written column after column and page after page denying or supporting Mirza Sahib’s[as] circumstances and beliefs, however, we deliberately did not initiate this discussion, the main reason being that The Paisa Akhbar is not a religious newspaper. But now, since the matter has become of public interest and many people have inquired about the newspaper’s opinion on the beliefs and general circumstances of Mirza Sahib[as], so we briefly state a couple of things. We are deeply saddened by the edict of kufr that has been issued against Mirza Sahib[as]. The Muslim clerics never seemed to be willing to issue an edict against a Muslim who commits adultery, steals, accepts atheism, drinks alcohol or commits a major sin, but a godly Maulvi is considered to be a disbeliever – who obeys the commandments of Allah and of the Messengersa – merely due to some partial differences.

گر مسلمانی ہمیں است کہ واعظ وارد

وائے گراز پس امروز بود فروائے

[‘If being a Muslim is as (the preacher) holds, alas, if for today’s pursuit, there were a tomorrow.’]

“We do not say that everyone should accept each and every point of Mirza Sahib[as], but we desire for our maulvi sahiban to utilise their talent and courage against the non-Muslims, which is currently being used against Mirza Sahib[as].

ہر کس از دستِ غیر نالہ کند

سعدی از دستِ خویشتن فریاد

[‘Everyone laments the harm done by others; Saadi cries out for the wounds he inflicts upon himself.’]

“The Muslims ought not to worry; Mirza Sahib[as] can never harm Islam and this is beyond his control according to our belief. It would not have been out of place if the Hindus, especially the Aryas, and the Christians, had stood up vigorously in opposition to Mirza Sahib[as], since all of the efforts of Mirza Sahib[as] are in support of the Muslims and against the [anti-Islam efforts of the] Aryas and Christians, as is evident from his famous works such as Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Surma-e-Chasham-e-Arya and later writings. What else could we say other than that: وما علینا الّا البلاغ [And on us lies only the plain delivery of the Message.] It would not be inappropriate to write that we are not at all among the followers of Mirza Sahib[as].” (The Paisa Akhbar, Lahore, 22 February 1892, p. 6)

Promised Messiahas issues another ishtihar from Lahore

On 3 February 1892, during his stay at Lahore, the Promised Messiahas published another ishtihar addressing all Muslims, in which he stated that he did not claim to be a law-bearing prophet. Huzooras further stated that just as he had written in his book, Izala-e-Auham, his belief is that the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is Khatam-ul-Anbiya (Seal of all the Prophets). (Majmu‘ah-e-Ishtiharat [2019], Vol. 1, p. 329)

Edicts of kufr by the Indian clerics

In regards to the edicts of kufr against the Promised Messiahas the Madras Weekly Mail wrote that “The Mahomedan moulvies at Lahore have publicly proclaimed” Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadian “to be a ‘Kafir.’ A document signed by all the leading moulvies in India, in which Kadian is condemned as an impostor, has also been read out in public and the people warned against his preaching.” (Madras Weekly Mail, 18 February 1892, p. 2)

Maulvi Muhammad Hussain of Batala had collected edicts of kufr against the Promised Messiahas from around 200 clerics from all over India, including Maulvi Syed Nazeer Hussain of Delhi and Maulvi Muhammad Abdul Jabbar, and published them all in his magazine Ishaat-us-Sunnah. Muhammad Hussain also appealed to the Muslims that they should refrain from keeping any religious ties with the Promised Messiahas, should not say salaam to him, not accept his invitation or invite him to their own gatherings, and not pray behind him. (Ishaat-us-Sunnah, Vol. 13, pp. 185-210)

Mentioning these edicts of kufr, the Promised Messiahas states in one of his couplets:

کافر و مُلحِد و دجّال ہمیں کہتے ہیں

نام کیا کیا غمِ ملّت میں رکھایا ہم نے

“They call me a disbeliever, atheist and Antichrist; I have received so many kinds of names in return for my anguish for the nation.” (Durr-e-Sameen [with glossary], p. 16)

“This formal declaration was written by Maulvie Muhammad Hussain of Batala. It is signed by more than 200 Maulvies. The orthodox mullahs hold him to be an atheist or an infidel.” (The Muslim Controversy, Rev. EM Wherry, The Christian Literature Society, 1905, p. 58)

An incident from that visit

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Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra narrates:

“During those days, there was a person in Lahore who claimed to be Mahdi, but the people believed him to be insane. He was not a scholarly person. He suddenly came to the Promised Messiahas in the marketplace, clasped him in his arms and started saying in a loud voice, ‘As I am the Mahdi, why have you claimed to be Mahdi?’ Sheikh Rahmatullah Sahib grabbed him and pulled him back. The Promised Messiahas asked Sheikh Sahib to leave him alone and not be harsh on him.” (Zikr-e-Habib, p. 15)

The Promised Messiah’sas visit to Lahore and misreporting in press

There were some other newspapers as well which reported on the Promised Messiah’sas visit to Lahore and the uproar in relation to his claims.

However, it is worth acknowledging that these newspapers might incorporate particular perspectives or wordings pertaining to the Promised Messiahas and his claims, which they based on their own comprehension or convictions. Consequently, such interpretations should not be misconstrued as a comprehensive or accurate representation of the viewpoints or beliefs espoused by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

On 3 February 1892, The Civil and Military Gazette published a news report which consisted of some baseless and incorrect statements. It stated that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadian “has at last arrived at Lahore, and has given a series of lectures in a closed house. The ignorant Muhammadans appear to be very much exercised in mind, and the Mulla, knowing this, has not as yet ventured to deliver an address in public.” He “states that, though he receives revelation from God, he is not Messiah, but that his position is not less than that of any prophet.” (The Civil and Military Gazette, 3 February 1892, p. 4)

The Englishman’s Overland Mail (10 February 1892) and Madras Weekly Mail (11 February 1892) also published the same news report.

Once again, another news report by The Civil and Military Gazette comprised of a baseless statement, which wrote:

“The Muhammadan Mulla Kadian, who has claimed to be a prophet, fearing further opposition of a disagreeable kind from the incensed Muhammadans of Lahore, has left the station for Sialkot. Before leaving he issued a notice” and “said that he was the mere propounder of the Koran, and that his revelations from God were limited only to the teaching of the scriptures.” (The Civil and Military Gazette, 11 February 1892,  p. 2)

The Civil and Military Gazette gave a false impression that the Promised Messiahas refrained from delivering any public lecture due to the “fear of opposition” from the public and that he left Lahore for Sialkot for the same reason. However, this false notion in regards to the “fear of opposition” has been refuted in a later article of The Civil and Military Gazette itself, where it mentioned the Promised Messiah’sas visit to Lahore and wrote about the edicts of kufr issued against him:

“Some Muhammadan correspondents take the part of Mulla Kadian — properly called, we believe, Mirza Gholam Ahmad[as] of Kadian — and assert that he has been badly used by those of his co-religionists who have denounced him as a Kafir. These correspondents allege that when he called himself a ‘prophet,’ he used a word which is capable of being interpreted merely as a ‘spiritual guide’ and that the real cause of offence lay in his unorthodox view that Christ’s body did not go to heaven after the resurrection, but only his spirit. They allege further that those who denounced Mulla Kadian as a ‘Kafir’ were not representative of the community, and that the reason of his leaving Lahore for Sialkot was not to avoid further opposition, but to discuss some knotty point with a Pundit at Sialkot. We have now given both sides of the story: and must here leave the subject.” (The Civil and Military Gazette, 12 February 1892,  p. 3)

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Moreover, the truth of the matter is that Huzooras had issued an ishtihar on 28 January 1892 – mentioned at the beginning of this article – wherein he openly announced a jalsa-e-aam (public gathering) on 31 January and said that everyone who wished to seek the truth was invited to attend. But, Huzooras had also made it clear that the jalsa would not include any debate, rather, he only wished to deliver a speech to elaborate on his claims and refute the false allegations raised against him. Hence, anyone who was willing to mind these conditions, could have come to listen to  the lecture. Later on, the lecture was attended by thousands of people, including many non-Ahmadis as well.

Further, a narration by Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra has already been mentioned in the beginning where he said, “When the Promised Messiahas would come out and sit in the gathering, he would deliver a brief speech and then answer the questions of people.” (Zikr-e-Habib, p. 15)

The Englishman’s Overland Mail, dated 17 February 1892, also published the rumour regarding the Promised Messiah’s departure from Lahore.

As far as the reason behind the visit to Sialkot is concerned, it is stated in Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat that it was a heartious desire of the Ahmadis from Sialkot that the Promised Messiahas visit Sialkot once again, thus, while Huzooras was in Lahore, Hazrat Maulvi Abdul Karimra of Sialkot requested the Promised Messiahas, on behalf of the Sialkot Jamaat, to visit Sialkot as well. Therefore, the Promised Messiahas graciously accepted this request and visited Sialkot during the second week of February 1892. (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 1, pp. 458-459)

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