“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven.” (Luke 21:10-11)
“And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth, the nations will be in distress, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides.” (Luke 21-25)
“Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.” (Mathew 24-29)
Referring to the above verses of the Bible, Christian opponents of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, suggest that the founder of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat could not be the Messiah of this age because the said signs were to be fulfilled before the second coming of the Messiah.
The history of previous civilisations where prophets were sent by God Almighty shows quite the contrary. It is a universal fact that punishment always comes after breaking the divine law, and not before. Torments and widespread catastrophes always appear in the world after the arrival of God’s prophets as a result of their denial. As in the Holy Quran, Allah the Almighty says:
وَ مَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِيۡنَ حَتّٰي نَبۡعَثَ رَسُوۡلًا
“We never punish until We have sent a Messenger.” (Surah Bani Isra‘il, Ch.17: V.16)
The Bible also supports this fact and says:
“And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.” (Acts 3:23)
“And I will hold accountable anyone who does not listen to My [God’s] words that the prophet speaks in My name.” (Deuteronomy 18:19)
Regarding the said extraordinary signs, the Promised Messiahas received the following revelation from Allah the Almighty:
“A warner came unto the world, but the world accepted him not; yet God shall accept him and demonstrate his truthfulness with mighty assaults.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya Part IV, p. 435 [English translation])
The prophecy of appearing “like a thief in the night” (I Thessalonians 5:2) about the second coming of Messiah also goes against the narrative of Christians because if the out-of-ordinary signs of plague, earthquakes, wars, etc., mentioned at the outset were to be fulfilled before his appearance, then it was impossible for the Latter-Day Messiah to “come like a thief” (II Peter 3:9-10).
Moreover, the torments and catastrophes befall when people transgress in denial and mockery of God’s prophet. The Promised Messiahas said:
“How is it that some disbelieving people were afflicted with torment in this world and God Almighty destroyed them with stones and storms and plagues?
“The answer is that these torments were not inflicted merely on account of disbelief, but because those people who were so afflicted and ruined had transgressed grievously in their denial of divine messengers and their mockery, jesting and persecution; and in the estimation of God Almighty, their mischief, wickedness, cruelty and persecution had reached extreme limits and thus, they themselves created the causes of their ruin.
“Thereupon God’s wrath was roused and they were destroyed through diverse types of chastisement. This shows that disbelief is not the cause of punishment in this world; its cause is extreme wickedness and arrogance. Such a one, even if he is a believer, when he transgresses the limits in wrongdoing, persecution and arrogance, and forgets altogether the majesty of God, would draw upon himself divine chastisement.” (Anwar-ul-Islam, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 9, pp. 14-15; The Review of Religions, 20 March 2021)
Hence, the punishment and afflictions were destined to come after the appearance and persistent denial of a prophet of God.
Regarding earthquakes and other catastrophes, the Promised Messiahas said:
“Bear in mind that God has informed me about the coming of earthquakes in general. Thus, know it with certainty that just as, in keeping with the prophecy, there have been earthquakes in America and also in Europe, so will they occur in different parts of Asia, and some of them will be like Doomsday. There will be death on such a large scale that streams of blood will flow. Even birds and grazing animals will not escape this death. Such destruction will overtake the earth as has not happened since man was created. Most places will be turned upside down as if they had never been inhabited.
“There will also be other terrible afflictions, both in heaven and earth to the extent that every sensible person will realise that they are not ordinary phenomena, and no trace of them will be found in books of physics or philosophy. Then people will be seized by anxiety and they will wonder what is going to happen? Many will be delivered, and many will perish. Those days are near, indeed they are at the door, when the world shall witness the spectacle of a doomsday.
“Not only earthquakes, but other terrible calamities will also appear, some from Heaven and some from earth. This will occur because mankind has abandoned the worship of their God, and have fallen upon materialism with all their heart, all their resolve, and all their thoughts. Had I not come, these calamities might have been delayed a little, but with my coming, the hidden designs of God’s wrath that had remained hidden for a long time, have been manifested as God said:
وَ مَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِيۡنَ حَتّٰي نَبۡعَثَ رَسُوۡلًا
“[‘We never punish until We have sent a Messenger.’ (Surah Bani Isra‘il, Ch. 17: V.16)]
“And those who repent shall find security, and those who fear before the calamity overtakes them will be shown mercy.
“Do you reckon that you will be safe from these earthquakes, or that you can save yourselves by your own machinations? Absolutely not. All human works will come to an end that day. Do not imagine that America etc. were hit hard by severe earthquakes while your country remains safe from them. Rather, I see that perhaps you will encounter greater adversity than them.” (The Philosophy of Divine Revelation, pp. 326-27)
On the other hand, the fulfilment of the said prophecies of the Bible in the time of the Promised Messiahas proves his truthfulness.
Referring to the sign of plague, the Promised Messiahas states:
“Let it also be borne in mind that both the Holy Quran and even certain books of the Torah foretell that plague will break out in the time of the Promised Messiah. In fact, the Messiah, peace be upon him, also spoke of this in the Gospel. It is impossible for the prophecies of the Messengers to be revoked.” (Noah’s Ark, pp. 7-8)
Below is the list of deaths that occurred due to the outbreak of plague in India between the years 1896 to 1906, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica:
In the year 1896: 2,219 deaths occurred; 1897: 47,974 deaths; 1898: 89,265 deaths; 1899: 102,369 deaths; 1900: 73,576 deaths; 1901: 236,433 deaths; 1902: 452,655 deaths; 1903: 684,445 deaths; 1904: 938,010 deaths; 1905: 940,881 deaths and in 1906: 300,355 deaths were recorded. (Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. xxi, p. 700 [edition 1911])
The above numbers show that the plague killed 3,868,182 people in India alone in the span of almost 11 years.
The New Encyclopaedia Britannica states:
“An outbreak in Canton and Hong Kong in 1894 left 80,000 to 100,000 dead, and within 20 years the disease spread from the southern Chinese ports throughout the whole world, resulting in more than 10,000,000 deaths.” (The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol. 9, p.493 [15th edition, 2010])
The prophecy of “nations will rise against nations” was also fulfilled with the arrival of the Promised Messiahas and the world saw a sudden increase in wars and conflicts in the 19th century.
A brief list of wars that took place only in the 19th century is as follows:
Britain, Prussia, Austria and Russia fought a war against France in 1815. The war of 1818 between America and Britain. The Crimean War in 1853; The Civil War in America in 1861; Britain against China in 1860; the Sepoy Mutiny in India in 1857; Russia against Turkey in 1870; China against Korea in 1894; the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900, Great Britain against the Boer Republic in 1899 and America against Spain in 1898. (The Review of Religions, June 2006)
Likewise, the prophecy of “strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars” was also fulfilled in the age of the Promised Messiahas.
The sign of kasuf-o-khusuf (solar and lunar eclipse) occurred on Friday, 28 Ramadan 1311 AH (6 April 1894) and 13 Ramadan 1311 AH (21 March 1894), respectively.
A sudden increase in the activities of celestial bodies was also witnessed in the 19th century. Below is a brief description of the extraordinary heavenly signs:
“In 1811, a comet appeared with a head 1,125,000 miles in diameter, larger than the sun. The tail was 100 million miles in length.
“Bielids Comet was first discovered in 1772, but was not found to be periodical until 1826. In 1832, the comet passed very close to the earth. In 1845, the comet was observed to break in two, and in 1852, at the time of its expected return, it was found that the two parts of the comet were both very faint and separated by over one million miles. It did not return in 1866.
“On November 27 of 1885, a spectacular meteor shower originating from Von Nostrands Comet was observed. 39,546 meteors were observed in four hours and eight minutes. Since 1899, very few showers from this comet have been observed.
“Records of Leonids Comet are found as far back as 585 A.D. In 1799, 1833 and 1866-67 this comet caused the most spectacular shower of modern times.
“The great comet of 1843, which has not been named, was a periodical comet with an orbit of 400 years. It had the longest tail of any comet, 200 million miles long, making it a sight of grandeur. Donati’s comet lit the sky in 1858.
“Yet another comet appeared in 1861. At one time the comet was brighter than any star in the sky, except Venus, and a peculiar glow suffused the entire sky. It could easily be seen in broad daylight.
“Another great comet, one of the brightest of modern times, passed within a third of a million miles of the sun in 1882.
“The head of Holmes comet had a diameter in excess of a million miles. It is one of the largest on record and appeared in 1892, 1899 and 1906. Since then, it has not been seen.
“On June 30, 1908, the greatest meteor fall in modern history took place in Siberia. Scientists still study this phenomenon because of its great destructive power.” (The Review of Religions, June 2006)
Regarding the appearance of meteors and comet, the Promised Messiahas says:
“On the night before 28 November 1885, there was such a display of meteors in the sky, the like of which I had not witnessed in my whole life before and so many thousands of flames were traversing the atmosphere in the skies that there is no other spectacle in the world which I can cite to describe it. I recall that at that time, the following revelation was vouchsafed to me repeatedly:
وَما رَمَيتَ إِذ رَمَيتَ وَلٰكِنَّ اللّٰهَ رَمىٰ
“‘It was not you who let loose but it was Allah Who let loose.’ This pelting had great affinity to the pelting of the stars in the sky.
“This exhibition of the pelting of stars that occurred on the night of 28 November 1885 was so vast that it was visible all over and was described in great wonder in the papers of Europe, America and Asia. People might have thought that it was purposeless, yet God, the Noble, knows that I was the one who watched this spectacle with the greatest attention and derived the greatest delight from it. My eyes continued to be regaled by this spectacle for a long time. This display of the pelting of the stars started early in the evening. Because of divine glad-tidings, I derived great pleasure from it, for it was revealed upon my heart that it had appeared as a sign in my support.
“Thereafter, the people of Europe saw the comet which had been observed in the time of the Messiahas [Prophet Jesusas] and it was conveyed to me that this comet was another sign in support of my truth.” (Aina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 5, pp. 110-111; Tadhkirah, pp. 166-197)
Hence, the said signs and prophecies of the Bible were fulfilled to the letter in the age of the Promised Messiahas. This unique fulfilment of God’s promises and out-of-the-ordinary divine happenings are enough to substantiate that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas was the true Messiah of God Almighty.