M Adam Ahmad, Al Hakam
There has always been a group of people quick to raise objections when prophets and chosen ones of God prophesy certain events. They have the least interest in the details of the prophecy because levelling allegations and attacking the messengers’ reputation is all that matters to them. They do not learn from past examples and heedlessly follow suit.
Hazrat Maryamas faced objections by people of her time on the birth of Prophet Jesusas. Even the Chief of all Prophets and Seal of Prophethood was not spared from unreasonable and baseless accusations. This malignant practice of opponents was also witnessed in the age of the Latter-Day Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas.
Many people mocked and questioned the authenticity of the prophecy pertaining to the Musleh-e-Maud when a baby girl was born soon after the revelation published by the Promised Messiahas in 1886. Then again, after the death of Bashir Awwal (the first Bashir) in November 1888, God Almighty tested the faith of his followers according to His sunnah (practice) and opponents rejoiced and raised allegations against the prophecy.
The Promised Messiahas did not specify that God Almighty had promised him only a single child within the nine-year period mentioned in the prophecy. Hence, the birth of a baby girl or a son before the birth of the Promised Son, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra, has absolutely nothing to do with the authenticity or grandness of the prophecy.
Soon after the announcement of 20 February 1886, Hafiz Sultan Kashmiri and Sabir Ali spread misinformation that according to their knowledge, one and a half months before the prophecy was made, a son had already been born to the Promised Messiahas.
The Promised Messiahas had only two sons by then and their ages were above 22 and 20, respectively. To expose the lies of Hafiz Sultan Kashmiri and Sabir Ali, the Promised Messiahas issued an announcement on 22 March 1886 and gave the complete address of the house where his family was residing at that time. He openly urged his opponents and those who were in doubt to go and see for themselves and if someone did not have the fare, he even offered to reimburse their travel expenses. The Promised Messiahas also expressed that the people who raised such objections not only attacked him out of jealousy but also cared not about Islam. (Majmua-e-Ishtiharat, Vol. 1, pp. 113-114 [old edition])
Some opponents objected to the nature of the said prophecy and paid great emphasis on the argument that anyone could predict the birth of a son. Replying to this question in the announcement of 22 March 1886, the Promised Messiahas said:
“This is not just a prophecy. Indeed, it is a grand heavenly sign which the Almighty God has shown for demonstrating the truth and greatness of the noble, compassionate and merciful prophet, Muhammad, the chosen one, peace and blessings of Allah be on him and his people.
“This sign is hundreds of times greater and better and more perfect and more exalted and more complete than bringing a dead person back to life. To bring a dead one to life merely means to bring a spirit back to life by supplication to God … the possibility of which many critics question … In this instance, God the Almighty has, through His great grace and benevolence and through the blessings of Hazrat Khatamul-Anbiya (seal of the prophets), peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his people, by accepting the supplications of this humble one, promised to send such a blessed spirit whose manifest and hidden blessings will spread throughout the earth. It might, on the surface, appear like bringing to life a dead person but this Sign is hundreds of times better than reviving a dead. Only the soul of the dead is revived through supplication and here, too, a soul has been sought through supplication. But what a tremendous difference there is between those souls and this soul.” (Tadhkirah [English], pp. 178-179; Majmua-e-Ishtiharat, Vol. 1, pp. 114-115)
Addressing the allegation under discussion, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra said:
“If the Promised Messiahas had simply proclaimed to have a son, even then it would have been considered a prophecy in its own right because there are people in the world, even though they may be very few, who do not have any children at all.
“Secondly, the Promised Messiahas was over 50 years of age when he made this announcement. There are thousands of people in the world who cannot have children after the age of 50. Also, there are some who only have girls. Then there are some who may have a son, but the child passes away shortly after its birth. All these conditions also applied to the Promised Messiahas as well.
“Thus, firstly, no individual has the power to predict the birth of a son. Even if this objection is accepted, the Promised Messiahas stated, ‘Even if one were to accept the fact that predicting the birth of a son cannot be deemed as a prophecy; however, the question arises that when did I share the news of only a son being born? I did not simply claim that a boy will be born to me; rather, I stated that God Almighty had accepted my supplications and He had promised me to send a blessed spirit whose internal and external blessings would spread throughout the entire world.’” (Al-Maud, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 17, pp. 529-530)
Another objection was raised by several individuals including Munshi Indarman Muradabadi about the nine-year period of the prophecy. In their view, the birth of a baby boy could easily have taken place in such a long period of time.
The Promised Messiahas said:
“After the announcement [of 22 March 1886] mentioned above, I supplicated again for further disclosure concerning this matter and it was disclosed to me today, 8 April 1886, by God Almighty that a son will be born very soon. Such a period cannot exceed the interval of one pregnancy. Thus, it is obvious that a son will probably be born soon, or certainly in the next pregnancy, but it has not been disclosed whether the one who will be born soon is the same Promised Son or whether he will be born at some other time within the term of nine years.” (Tadhkirah [English], p. 184; Majmua-e-Ishtiharat, Vol. 1, p. 117)
The Promised Messiahas also said that if the specified time period was twice as much as the one mentioned in the prophecy, it would not have lessened the grandeur and magnificence of the sign. He explained that it was far beyond the powers of mortal men to show such a sign and only God Almighty could grant him that Promised Son with exceptional attributes and extraordinary qualities. (Majmua-e-Ishtiharat, Vol. 1, pp. 116-117)
Hence, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra was born on 12 January 1889 in accordance with the prophecy of the Promised Messiahas and his unique and impressive personage shattered all the objections. Moreover, later events proved that every single word of God Almighty was fulfilled and the superiority of Islam over all other religions was established.