Last Updated on 17th September 2021
M Adam Ahmad, Al Hakam
An allegation raised by the Christian opponents of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, is that the founder of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat could not be the true Messiah because dissensions took root in his community after his demise.
This objection is absolutely baseless. Moreover, it is illogical to reason that a prophet cannot be considered true because his community divided into one or more sects after his demise. If this argument is considered true, then, God forbid, almost every prophet of God would come under its impact and would be proved false.
The prophets of God cannot be held accountable for the misunderstandings or dissensions that take place in their followers after their demise. For example, it is irrational to hold Prophet Mosesas and Prophet Jesusas accountable for the divisions that occurred in their people and resulted into various sects. Likewise, no rational person can hold the Holy Prophetsa responsible for those very many sects that were formed by the followers of Islam after his demise.
The Bible also refers to these disagreements and disputes that take place after the passing of prophets. It says:
“I [Paul the Apostle] appeal to you [followers of Jesus], brothers, in the name of our lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree together, so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be united in mind and conviction. My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: Individuals among you are saying, ‘I follow Paul’, ‘I follow Apollos’, ‘I follow Cephas’, or ‘I follow Christ.’ Is Christ divided? […]” (1 Corinthians 1:10-12)
The Bible further says:
“In fact, you are still not ready, for you are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and dissension among you, are you not worldly? Are you not walking in the way of man?” (1 Corinthians 3:3)
“The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means that you are thoroughly defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, even against your own brothers!” (1 Corinthians 6:6-8)
“For I am afraid that when I come, I may not find you as I wish, and you may not find me as you wish. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, rage, rivalry, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder.” (2 Corinthians 12:20)
Hence, the occurrence of dissensions or discord in the followers of prophets is not a measure of their truthfulness or falsehood. In case of the Promised Messiahas, one can easily differentiate between right and wrong groups by observing as to which jamaat of his followers is truly following his message and holding fast to the Imam of the age and his successor, Khalifatul Masih V, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, may Allah be his Helper.
The Christian opponents also raise another objection that why did the founder of Ahmadiyya Jamaat use feminine words like Mary, pregnancy, etc. for him when he was a man.
All the said words were used metaphorically and allegorically by the Promised Messiahas. This was and is common practice. The Bible and the ancient scriptures contain scores of similar metaphors. Moreover, Allah the Almighty has used numerous metaphors in the Holy Quran to help explain certain phenomena and various matters to mankind.
There are various references in the Bible in which feminine words are used for men in a way similar to the Promised Messiahas. For example, addressing the followers of Jesus, Paul the Apostle says:
“For I am jealous for you [Christians] with the jealousy of God Himself. I betrothed you as a pure bride to one husband – Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:2)
In the above verse of the Bible, Paul has presented the followers of Jesus as his wives, which is wrong in view of the Christians when it comes to the Promised Messiahas.
At another place in the Bible, Jesus says:
“Jesus asked, ‘Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?’ Then he pointed to his disciples and said, ‘Look, these are my mother and brothers’” (Matthew 12:48-49). In this verse, the disciples of Jesus are being called “my mother” by Jesus himself.
Below are some more references of the Bible in which feminine words are used metaphorically to explain certain matters:
“Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” (James 1:15)
“Like a pregnant woman who writhes and cries out in her pangs when she is near to giving birth, so were we because of you, O Lord; we were pregnant, we writhed, but we have given birth to wind. We have accomplished no deliverance in the earth, and the inhabitants of the world have not fallen.” (Isaiah 26:17-18)
“You [Israelites] conceive chaff; you give birth to stubble. Your breath is a fire that will consume you.” (Isaiah 33:11)
“The Lord goes forth like a mighty one; He stirs up His zeal like a warrior. He shouts; yes, He roars in triumph over His enemies: ‘I have kept silent from ages past; I have remained quiet and restrained. But now I will groan like a woman in labour; I will at once gasp and pant.’” (Isaiah 42:13-14)
“This is what the Lord says: ‘Where is your mother’s certificate of divorce with which I sent her away? Or to which of My creditors did I sell you? Look, you were sold for your iniquities, and for your transgressions your mother was sent away.’” (Isaiah 50:1)
“Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labour; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband’, says the Lord. […] For your Maker is your husband–the Lord Almighty is His name […].” (Isaiah 54:1-5)
“Your children will commit themselves to you, O Jerusalem, just as a young man commits himself to his bride. Then God will rejoice over you as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride.” (Isaiah 62:5)
“Zion spreadeth forth her hands, and there is none to comfort her. The Lord hath commanded concerning Jacob, that his adversaries should be round about him. Jerusalem is as a menstruous woman among them.” (Lamentations 1:17)
“Again, the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, there were two women, daughters of the same mother, and they played in Egypt, prostituting themselves from their youth. Their breasts were fondled there, and their virgin bosoms caressed. The older was named Oholah, and her sister was named Oholibah. They became Mine and gave birth to sons and daughters. As for their identities, Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem. Oholah prostituted herself while she was still Mine. She lusted after her lovers, the Assyrians – warriors.’” (Ezekiel 23:1-5)
“Now in the days of King Josiah, the Lord said to me, ‘Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every green tree to prostitute herself there. I thought that after she had done all these things, she would return to Me. But she did not return, and her unfaithful sister Judah saw it. She saw that because faithless Israel had committed adultery, I gave her a certificate of divorce and sent her away. Yet that unfaithful sister Judah had no fear and prostituted herself as well. Indifferent to her own infidelity, Israel had defiled the land and committed adultery with stones and trees.’” (Jeremiah 3:6-9)
Paul the Apostle said:
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until the present time. Not only that, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” (Romans 8:22-23)
“Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labour pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives.” (Galatians 4:19)
The above verses of the Bible shed ample light on the metaphorical use of feminine words for masculine entities. Thus, these examples prove that the said objection of Christians against the Promised Messiahas is groundless and unreasonable.
In the end, we present the actual statement of the Promised Messiahas on which the said objection is based. The words “in metaphorical terms” can be clearly seen and read in it. The Promised Messiahas said:
“God referred to me as Mary in the third part of Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, and as is evident from the treatise itself, for two years I was nurtured in the likeness of Mary and continued to develop in the cloak of secrecy. Then after two years had passed, as it is recorded in the fourth part of Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya on page 496, like Mary, the soul of Jesus was breathed into me, and in metaphorical terms, I was impregnated. Then, after a period of no more than ten months, through the revelation recorded towards the end of the fourth part of Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya on page 556, from Mary I was transformed into Jesus. And thus, I became the Son of Mary.” (Noah’s Ark, p. 81)
Hence, the Promised Messiahas was named “Mary” metaphorically by God Almighty because of the spiritual qualities of Hazrat Maryas, who is regarded in the Holy Quran as being chaste, submissive to God, honoured, truthful and the one who was blessed with the nearness of Allah.