Last Updated on 17th September 2021
M Adam Ahmad, Al Hakam
The Promised Messiahas said:
“Now, in the end [of the debate, The Holy War, 5 June 1893], insofar as Deputy Abdullah Atham deliberately denies the miracles of the Holy Quran and also denies the prophecies contained in it, and in this very gathering I was mocked at by being presented three sick people implying that if Islam is a true religion and I am a recipient of revelation, I should make them whole, whereas I never made a claim to being the All-Powerful nor was it a demand that met the criteria of the Holy Quran. On the contrary, it is established as a sign of true faith for the Christians as documented in the Gospel that if they are true and honest in their belief, they will certainly be able to cure the lame and the blind and the deaf.
“Nevertheless, I kept praying for this, and last night it was made clear to me after I had prayed to Allah the Almighty with great humility and beseeched Him to give a verdict in this matter and that we are humble servants and can do nothing without His verdict. So, He gave me this Sign in the form of a glad tiding that in this debate, whichever party from among the two is deliberately adopting falsehood and abandoning the True God and is making a mere mortal into God, will be cast into Hell and utterly disgraced corresponding to the very days of this debate—in other words, taking one month for each day, meaning, within fifteen months—on the condition that he does not return to the Truth; and the one who is on the path of Truth and believes in the True God, his honour will be manifested through this; and at the time this prophecy will come to pass, some of the blind will begin to see, and some of the lame will begin to walk, and some of the deaf will begin to hear.” (The Holy War, pp. 287-88, [Jang-e-Muqaddas, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 6, pp. 291-92])
Referring to the above prophecy of the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, the Christian opponents submit that the said prophecy of the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat about the death of Abdullah Atham was not fulfilled.
People – especially Christian and Muslim scholars – show surprising haste when claiming “this prophecy proved false”. An important and often ignored passage of this prophecy were the words, “on the condition that he does not return to the Truth”. Abdullah Atham repented, stopped vilification of the Holy Prophetsa and Islam, and thus proved through his actions that he returned to the Truth. Consequently, Allah the Almighty spared his life.
Moreover, the Promised Messiahas challenged Abdullah Atham after the time of fifteen months had passed to swear an oath that he did not repent, but he kept silent. The Promised Messiahas offered him huge sums of cash rewards to take the oath on his life and publicly announce that he did not return to the Truth, but he did not utter a word in response. Surely, if he had not repented, he would have confidently and openly taken these oaths and in return gain handsome cash rewards too.
Regarding this demand of the Promised Messiahas to Abdullah Atham to swear an oath to reveal the truth, Christians say the Promised Messiahas was wrong in doing so as Christians are forbidden to take oaths according to James 5:12.
Once again, the Christians have overlooked several references of the Bible which clearly substantiate that Christians are not forbidden to take oaths. Hence, Paul the Apostle said:
“I put you [followers of Jesus] under oath by the lord [Jesus] to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters.” (1 Thessalonians 5:27)
In another book of the Bible, it is stated:
“Who may ascend the hill of the lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear deceitfully.” (Psalm 24:3-4)
At another place, the Bible says:
“Woe to you [Scribes and Pharisees], blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes it sacred? And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes it sacred? So then, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the One who dwells in it. And he who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the One who sits on it.” (Matthew 23:16-22)
Shedding light on the said prophecy of the Promised Messiahas, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra said:
“It [not to take the oath] was a device to escape the oath and its penalties. Atham had seen fearful scenes and had become convinced that if he took the oath he must die. That Atham refused to take the oath using false excuses becomes clear also from the fact that among Christians no important religious office is given to anybody unless he takes the oath of loyalty. Protestant Christians, and Atham was a Protestant, have to take two oaths: one of loyalty to the Church, the other of loyalty to the State. When these things were explained to Atham, he was completely silenced.
“The value of the cash reward offered to Atham if he was able to take the oath was raised gradually from Rs 1000 to Rs 4000. The condition of a year of waiting was dropped. Atham could claim the cash reward as soon as he had taken the oath. But Atham knew that out of fear of his community he was trying to conceal the state of mind from which he had suffered for fifteen months.
“Knowing all this, he dared not take the oath. He spent the rest of his days in silence. All his writing and speaking against Islam was over. The preaching of Christianity was also over. The truth of Hazrat Mirza Sahib’sas prophecy became plainer than ever. The retreat of Atham from his belief in the godhead of Christ had, in a way, been admitted by Atham himself. That his earlier thoughts about Islam underwent a change was proved by his refusal to affirm the contrary on solemn oath and by his reply on being challenged to take such an oath.
“The greatness and grandeur of this prophecy quickens the faith of every honest person. In it, one can see the working of the Hand of God. Here was a sworn enemy of Islam, the leader of an important community and its advocate in controversy with another. He had spent all his life preaching and propagating one religion and propagating against another. This man came to entertain thoughts against his own religion and in favour of the other. This hardened antagonist also had terrifying daydreams. In consideration of this change of attitude he was saved from the threatened death for a full fifteen months. These things are beyond human power and human planning.” (Invitation to Ahmadiyyat, pp. 343-45)
Another allegation raised against the Promised Messiahas by Christians is that the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat did not even consider himself to be a man, and present the following couplet the Promised Messiahas to support their argument:
كِرمِ خاكى ہوں مِرے پیارے نہ آدم زاد ہوں
ہوں بشركى جائے نفرت اور انسانوں كى عار
“I am but a worm of the earth – my Beloved – not the progeny of Adam; I am but a target of people’s hatred and reproach.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya Part V, p. 156 [English translation])
It is clear from the first verse of the above couplet that the words “my beloved” have been addressed to God Almighty. The poem in which this couplet falls is a kind of prayer and the Promised Messiahas humbly beseeched God Alimighty in it. This couplet is thus an expression of his humility before God Almighty, which is an important characteristic of prophets.
Moreover, there are various references of the Bible in which prophets and their followers have used similar words to show humility. David said:
“But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people.” (Psalm 22:6)
Considering himself inferior to foxes and birds in humility, Jesus says:
“Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have dens and birds of the air have nests, but the son of man has no place to lay His head.’” (Matthew 8:20)
Paul the Apostle said:
“Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?” (Romans 7:24)
Hence, humbleness and modesty are primary characteristics of prophets that are expressed through the said words. It is sheer ignorance to take literal meanings of these trivial words and draw vile conclusions.