Impressed by the success which followed the divine mission of the Promised Messiahas after his religious debate with Christian clergy at Amritsar in 1893, opponents of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas claim that he could not be considered “the messiah” commissioned by God Almighty because two of his followers converted to Christianity during his debate with Abdullah Atham, representative for the Christian community.
Further, due to the rise of immodesty throughout the world, opponents suggest that the founder of Islam Ahmadiyyat did not “kill the swine”, figuratively speaking. Surrounded by all sorts of confusions and subjected to modern-day dilemmas, those who oppose the Promised Messiahas thoughtlessly raise objections against his prophethood and in doing so, they let the enemies of Islam (and religion) to question the truthfulness of earlier prophets as well.
Allah the Almighty explained a basic principle in the Holy Quran regarding prophets:
لَقَدۡ کَانَ فِیۡ قَصَصِہِمۡ عِبۡرَۃٌ لِّاُولِی الۡاَلۡبَابِ
“Assuredly, in their narrative is a lesson for men of understanding.” (Surah Yusuf, Ch.12: V.112)
The assertion that the Promised Messiahas cannot be a true Prophet of God because some of his followers converted to Christianity could be considered reasonable and a legitimate objection if no one from among the followers of earlier prophets renounced their teachings or faith. However, if some followers of earlier prophets also renegaded and they are still considered true prophets of God in the Holy Quran, then the rebellion of any individual from the Jamaat of the Promised Messiahas cannot make him a false prophet.
Abdullah ibn Jahash, of the early Companionsra of the Holy Prophetsa who migrated to Abyssinia, converted to Christianity. Likewise, Abdullah ibn Saad ibn Abi Sarah, who used to be a scribe of the Holy Quran for the Holy Prophetsa rebelled and ran from Medina when the following verse was revealed:
فَتَبَارَکَ اللہُ اَحْسَنُ الْخَالِقِینَ
There were many who accepted Islam in the life of the Holy Prophetsa and pledged allegiance, but then it left their hearts and all that remained was disbelief. However, they continued to endorse themselves as Muslims and are called munafiq [hypocrites] and they were in huge numbers and resided in Medina and outside of it.
Regarding them, Allah Almighty states:
لَقَدۡ قَالُوۡا کَلِمَۃَ الۡکُفۡرِ وَ کَفَرُوۡا بَعۡدَ اِسۡلَامِہِمۡ
“They did certainly use blasphemous language, and disbelieved aft er they had embraced Islam.” (Surah al-Taubah, Ch.9: V.74)
لَا تَعۡتَذِرُوۡا قَدۡ کَفَرۡتُمۡ بَعۡدَ اِیۡمَانِکُمۡ
“Offer no excuse. You have certainly disbelieved after your believing.” (Surah al-Taubah, Ch.9: V.66)
The Holy Quran further state:
وَ مَنۡ یَّنۡقَلِبۡ عَلٰی عَقِبَیۡہِ فَلَنۡ یَّضُرَّ اللّٰہَ شَیۡئًا
“And he who turns back on his heels shall not harm Allah at all.” (Surah Al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.145)
Several Arab tribes rebelled aft er the demise of the Holy Prophetsa but their rebellion does not invalidate his prophethood. Some people abandon their religion out of fear of opposition or to save themselves from monetary and life sacrifice. Certain others do so owing to their inner filth, hate and haughtiness at heart. These actions of theirs do not debase the truthfulness of any prophet of God Almighty.
Below is the announcement issued by the Promised Messiahas on 5 October 1894 about those two individuals who are mentioned by the opponents to have converted to Christianity:
“The ninth objection is that even if Bishop Wright saw his demise within the time frame of the prophecy made by the opposite party, many of your near ones converted to Christianity. Answer, O Sahib. Listen attentively as we speak the truth. May the curse of Allah be upon the liar that none of our close companions or faithful associates in allegiance converted to Christianity. However, indeed two immodest, inwardly evil and blind persons with no interest in religion had hypocritically entered into the fold of Bai‘at, but we expelled them from our house when we recognised that they were indecent and mean spirited persons and finding them impure, removed them from the chain of allegiance. Now tell [me], what association do they have with us and how hurtful was their rebellion for us?” (Anwar-ul-Islam, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 9, p. 82)
The outcome of the religious debate with Abdullah Atham is on the record. This debate started on 22 May 1893 and concluded on 5 June 1893. Soon aft er in 1894, the statement of Lord Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol, the Right Reverend Charles John Elliot in the International Clergy Conference, London (mentioned in the previous article of Responding to Allegations) clearly indicates that the Promised Messiahas was considered a rising force against Christianity.
Hence, it is irrational to question the prophethood of the Promised Messiahas if some immodest hypocrites embraced Christianity. The second objection is that the Promised Messiahas did not perform the task of annihilating the swine from the face of the earth. Th e prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa, which mentions that one of the tasks of the Messiah of the latter days would be to annihilate the swine, cannot be taken literally because it is against the honour of a Prophet of God to wander across the globe, slaying swine and boars.
The Holy Quran states regarding those Jews who transgressed and acted wickedly that they are like monkeys and swine. Allah Almighty says:
مَنۡ لَّعَنَہُ اللّٰہُ وَ غَضِبَ عَلَیۡہِ وَ جَعَلَ مِنۡہُمُ الۡقِرَدَۃَ وَ الۡخَنَازِیۡرَ وَ عَبَدَ الطَّاغُوۡتَ ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ شَرٌّ مَّکَانًا وَّ اَضَلُّ عَنۡ سَوَآءِ السَّبِیۡلِ
“They are those whom Allah has cursed and on whom His wrath has fallen and of whom He has made apes and swine and who worship the Evil One. These indeed are in a worse plight, and farther astray from the right path.” (Surah al-Maidah, Ch.5: V.61).
This verse does not mean that their bodies physically transformed into monkeys and pigs, rather it signifies that they carried the qualities and traits of these animals. Therefore, in the very next verse, it is stated:
وَ اِذَا جَآءُوۡکُمۡ قَالُوۡۤا اٰمَنَّا وَ قَدۡ دَّخَلُوۡا بِالۡکُفۡرِ وَ ہُمۡ قَدۡ خَرَجُوۡا بِہٖ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ اَعۡلَمُ بِمَا کَانُوۡا یَکۡتُمُوۡنَ
“And when they come to you, they say, ‘We believe,’ while they enter with unbelief and go out therewith; and Allah best knows what they conceal.” (Surah al-Maidah, Ch.5: V.61).
This verse evidently proves that they were humans because there is not a single mention in the ahadith or the books of history which shows that monkeys or swine used to sit in the company of the Holy Prophetsa. Highlighting the beliefs of non-Ahmadi Muslims about the second coming of the Messiah and explaining the actual meaning of killing the swine, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IVrh, states:
“The last gory act of Jesus [according to non-Ahmadis] upon the earth will be to annihilate the species of swine. No quarter will be granted to pigs. All boars and all sows and all their brood will be put to the sword – each one of them. Hand on sword, fire in breath, Jesus will visit every township, every village, every street, every house, every shack and every sty in search of the hiding rascals. He will visit every wilderness, will thrash all the bushes of Africa, and will hunt for them in the rain-forests of South America. China will not be spared for that matter, nor will Japan. The islands of the South Pacific will also be combed where the flesh of pig is considered a highly prized delicacy.
“Evidently no prophet of God in the entire history of mankind has ever performed such bloody, filthy feats as are attributed to the Jesus Christ envisioned by the Muslim orthodoxy. This is what the clergy in Islam have done to the profound wisdom of the Holy Prophetsa. They have failed to penetrate across the bodies of letters to reach the soul and spirit of the prophecy they contained.
“The real task assigned to the Promised Christ in this prophecy was to purify the human society from inhuman behaviour and some evil habits which the swine symbolises. There are many animals and birds which steal the fruits of the farmer’s labour for the sake of their survival but do not destroy the crops and trees just for the fun of it. The swine stands out among all the animals in this destructive tendency. The swine is also notorious for eating the corpses of its young ones. No other non-marine animals are known to devour their young ones when they die. A bloodthirsty lion, or even a ferocious wolf, will rather die of hunger, woefully sitting beside the dead bodies of their brood, than to even dream of eating their flesh. Dogs do not eat the corpses of their dead puppies either. Pigs and boars, it should be remembered, are vegetarians, yet by some devilish instinct they relish eating the corpses of their young ones. Evidently therefore, the message implied in this prophecy has to be to wage a Holy War against the perverted habit of humans to be inclined to genocide and to feel free to usurp the rights of the weak. The pig’s habit of eating its own piglets could be likened to the child abuse of the modern age. Child abuse may be directed against one’s own children or against the children of others, either way it is swinish in character. Recently it has become a subject of common talk in modern society, so needs no further elaboration. No other animal can match humans in this ugliness.
“War against evil has always been the occupation of prophets. As such, Jesus Christ in his second advent would be no oddity among them if his second advent is understood to be metaphorical. But a Jesus such as the one who is idolised by the Muslim clergy – a literal murderer of the swine – is what they need and await to welcome. The moment this apple of their eyes arrives and discharges his task of eliminating the pig species from the animal kingdom, he must needs be applauded. So will he be applauded and befitting homage would be paid to his last glorious days spent on the planet earth.” (Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth, pp. 705-706)
Hence, the annihilation of the swine means the purification of the corrupt and wicked practices. It indicates that the Promised Messiahas would bring about moral reformation across the globe. Following the downfall of Christianity through powerful and conclusive arguments of the Promised Messiahas, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, under the guidance of their Khalifa, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V, may Allah be his Helper, is engaged in eradicating ills of the societies and restoring world peace.
(Research conducted by the Research Cell. Translated by Junaid Ahmad Waraich)