Prophecies of the Promised Messiahas
Ataul Fatir Tahir
History has proven that all prophets face rejection, objection and persecution. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiahas and Imam Mahdi, peace be upon him, was no different. People instantly rejected him and raised allegations, even to this day.
A plethora of videos online have raised such objections. There has been another recent video uploaded on YouTube which has attempted to present “one argument” to disprove Islam Ahmadiyyat. The video presented some prophecies of the Promised Messiahas and tried to prove that they were false.
The gentleman in the video also attested that prophecies were a perfect touchstone to see whether the Promised Messiahas was a true prophet.
Before we present the truth and reality about the prophecies the video endeavoured to conceal, we want our readers to understand the factual nature of prophecies made by prophets. This, of course, will be from the Holy Quran and examples of previous prophets. We also desire, in this issue, to display how the Ahmad Baig prophecy was fulfilled and proved as a great sign for the existence of God and truthfulness of the Promised Messiahas.
Firstly, prophecies consist of those clear-cut and decisive predictions that come true, word for word. For example, the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, through Surah al-Lahab (Chapter 111), told his uncle, a staunch enemy of Islam, that he would die due to his opposition. This came true only two years after the Hijrah.
Secondly, there are those prophecies that unfold when manifested or require some interpretation. For example, the Holy Quran states:
ھُوَالَّذِیۡۤ اَرۡسَلَ رَسُوۡلَہٗ بِالۡہُدٰی وَدِیۡنِ الۡحَقِّ لِیُظۡہِرَہٗ عَلَی الدِّیۡنِ کُلِّہٖ وَ لَوۡکَرِہَ الۡمُشۡرِکُوۡنَ
“He it is Who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the religion of truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all religions, even if those who associate partners with God hate it.” (Surah al-Saff, Ch.61: V.10)
A direct reading of this prophecy indicates that Islam was to “prevail over all religions” through “His Messenger” (the Holy Prophetsa). This was certainly not the case as the majority of the world was not Muslim at the time of the Holy Prophet’ssa demise. In reality, Christian and Jewish opposition was at its peak. Therefore, an interpretation of this would be needed.
Another factor is that prophets do not always understand the true interpretation of a sign or a prophecy. Sometimes, it is after they pass that their reality becomes manifest. It is for this reason that Allah says:
وَقُلِ الۡحَمۡدُ لِلّٰہِ سَیُرِیۡکُمۡ اٰیٰتِہٖ فَتَعۡرِفُوۡنَہَا
“And say, ‘All praise belongs to Allah; He will soon show you His Signs, and then you will recognise them’…” (Surah al-Naml, Ch.27: V.94)
The Holy Prophetsa said, “I saw in a dream that I was migrating from Mecca to a land where there were date palm trees. I thought that it might be the land of Yamama or Hajar, but behold, it turned out to be Yathrib [i.e. Medina]…” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Ta‘bir)
Here, the Holy Prophetsa unintentionally misunderstood a prophecy Allah had given to him. Previous prophets also made such human errors.
The Treaty of Hudaibiyah is another clear example of this notion. The Holy Prophetsa was certain, after seeing a dream, that he and his companionsra would enter Mecca and perform Umrah the very year he saw the dream (628 AD). Accordingly, the Holy Prophetsa took 1,400 companionsra to perform tawaf of the Ka‘bah but were stopped by the Quraish. The Muslims were not allowed to perform tawaf or enter Mecca and thus, the Holy Prophet’ssa understanding of the dream was not entirely accurate. In fact, Hazrat Umarra cried out, “Are you not the Prophet of Allah?”, after the Holy Prophetsa agreed to the conditions laid out by the Quraish and agreed not to enter Mecca.
It was a very delicate time in the history of Islam as it seemed the prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa did not come to pass that year, as the Holy Prophetsa and his companionsra had imagined. The companions were so shocked that when the Holy Prophetsa asked them to slaughter their animals, after agreeing to the Meccans, the companionsra did not do so, out of shock. It was only when the Holy Prophetsa stepped forward and slaughtered his animal that the companionsra followed. In modern times, this incident is still cited by opponents of Islam who use it against the Holy Prophetsa.
Another case from the life of the Holy Prophetsa is a dream about Abu Jahl, a fierce opponent, entering heaven. In As-Sirat-ul-Halabiya (volume 3, Battles and the Conquest of Mecca), it is written:
“The Holy Prophetsa saw in a dream that he entered heaven and saw a date palm full of fruits. This surprised him. He asked, ‘Who is this for?’ It was said, ‘For Abu Jahl’. This was difficult to bear for the Holy Prophetsa. He said, ‘None will enter heaven except a believer.’ So when Ikrimah, son of Abu Jahl came to him as a Muslim, he became joyful, and interpreted the fruit as being for Ikrimah.”
Here, the Holy Prophetsa himself could not understand a dream, which was also a prophecy. However he was able to interpret it after it was manifest.
Yet another example is that of Prophet Noahas who was told by Allah that his family would be saved from the storm (Ch.11: V.43). However, Prophet Noah’sas son drowned. Observing this, in great humility, Prophet Noahas pleaded to Allah and reminded Him of His promise to save his family:
وَ نَادٰی نُوۡحٌ رَّبَّہٗ فَقَالَ رَبِّ اِنَّ ابۡنِیۡ مِنۡ اَہۡلِیۡ
“And Noah cried unto his Lord and said: ‘My Lord, verily, my son is of my family…” (Surah Hud, Ch.11: V.46)
In reply, Allah said:
قَالَ یٰنُوۡحُ اِنَّہٗ لَیۡسَ مِنۡ اَہۡلِکَ ۚ اِنَّہٗ عَمَلٌ غَیۡرُ صَالِحٍ ٭۫ۖ فَلَا تَسۡـَٔلۡنِ مَا لَـیۡسَ لَکَ بِہٖ عِلۡمٌ ؕ اِنِّیۡۤ اَعِظُکَ اَنۡ تَکُوۡنَ مِنَ الۡجٰہِلِیۡنَ
“‘O Noah, he is surely not of thy family; he is indeed a man of unrighteous conduct. So ask not of Me that of which thou hast no knowledge. I advise thee lest thou become one of the ignorant.’” (Surah Hud, Ch.11: V.47)
Prophet Mosesas was told by God that he would possess and enter the Promised Land:
“And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.” (Exodus 6:8)
Prophet Mosesas passed away without this prophecy being fulfilled in his lifetime. Rather, 40 years after his demise the Israelites entered the Promised Land. This has been referred to in the Holy Quran as well.
Therefore, the manifestation of a prophecy surfaces its reality.
This law applies to the prophecies of the Promised Messiahas. There are scores of clear prophecies that simply cannot be argued against and also those few that have an element of interpretation or understanding.
In the Holy Quran, Allah has even pointed towards Quranic verses that are decisive and clear (muhkamat) and those that are unclear and subject to understanding (mutashabihat).
However, the Holy Quran declares:
فَاَمَّا الَّذِیۡنَ فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِہِمۡ زَیۡغٌ فَیَتَّبِعُوۡنَ مَا تَشَابَہَ مِنۡہُ ابۡتِغَآءَ الۡفِتۡنَۃِ وَ ابۡتِغَآءَ تَاۡوِیۡلِہٖ
“… Those in whose hearts is perversity, pursue such thereof as are susceptible of different interpretations, seeking discord and seeking wrong interpretation of it…” (Surah Al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.8)
A fair-minded person will therefore accept and attest to the clear and decisive prophecies of the Promised Messiahas and not merely cling onto prophecies that contain some ambiguity.
We now address the allegations raised on prophecies of the Promised Messiahas in a recent video:
The prophecy regarding Ahmad Baig
(Note: For ease in terms of reference, we have included the prophecy wordings mostly from the English Tadhkirah, published in 2009.)
A decisive background
The Promised Messiahas had a side of his family who bitterly opposed religion and Islam as a whole; in reality, they had become ardent atheists. Describing their condition, the Promised Messiahas wrote:
“They had published a document in which they abused the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and have abused the Word of Allah and have denied the existence of God…” (Tadhkirah, p.199)
These family members also desired a sign for the existence of God from the Promised Messiahas:
“They rebelled and mockingly demanded signs and said, ‘We have no knowledge of any God Who speaks to anyone … so let him produce a sign if he is truthful…’” (Tadhkirah, pp.198-199)
Describing this further, the Promised Messiahas said:
“Of these signs is one which my Lord has promised in respect to my near relations. They rejected and mocked the signs of Allah and denied God and His Messenger and said, ‘We shall not accept any sign unless we are shown a sign in our own lives. We do not believe in the Quran and we do not know what Prophethood is and what faith is and we deny all that’. Then I called on my Lord in humility and in earnestness and stretched out my hand to Him in supplication and He vouchsafed to me the revelation:
[Arabic] I shall show them a sign from their own selves.
“And God informed me and said:
[Arabic] I shall make one of their daughters a sign for them.” (Tadhkirah p.204)
Allah also revealed the following:
[Arabic] “I have observed their disobedience and their transgression. I shall soon afflict them with various types of misfortunes and shall wipe them from under the heavens … But I shall not destroy them suddenly at one swoop, but stage by stage, so that they might have a chance of turning back and repenting … All of them will be accursed except those who believe and act righteously and cut off their relations with them and keep off their gatherings. Those will be the recipients of My mercy.” (Tadhkirah, p.200)
A point to note here is, “We shall not accept any sign unless we are shown a sign in our own lives”. The family wanted to see a sign in order to believe.
Two other points to note are “So that they might have a chance of turning back and repenting” and “Those will be the recipients of My mercy.” Clearly, Allah set a condition and desired the family to revert and save themselves from punishment through seeking forgiveness. This is much like Prophet Jonah’sas case who was extremely shocked to see his nation was not punished as God had promised. Prophet Jonahas did not know that prophecies that entail punishments are attached with the condition of repentance. Allah directs this in the Quran:
وَ مَا کَانَ اللّٰہُ مُعَذِّبَہُمۡ وَ ہُمۡ یَسۡتَغۡفِرُوۡنَ
“…And Allah would not punish them while they sought forgiveness.” (Surah al-Anfal, Ch.8: V.34)
Allah gave a sign for the family in the shape of a prophecy. The Promised Messiahas said that Allah desired for the elder daughter (Muhammadi Begum) of Ahmad Baig to marry the Promised Messiahas.
Ahmad Baig was from the opposing family and also wanted some land that belonged to the Promised Messiahas to be given to him. The marriage would bring “blessings” to the family, however if he opposed this marriage there would be punishment, the Promised Messiahas described this:
“But if they should refuse to do so, the end of the girl shall be very sad, and the man who shall marry her shall die within two and a half years, and her father within three years from the date of marriage… God the Most High will remove every obstacle and in the end bring her into marriage with me, and turn the irreligious people into Muslims and bring to guidance those who have lost the right path.” (Aina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam, Ruhani Khazain volume 5, p. 286)
There are three points to keep in mind here:
The prophecy detailed that if Ahmad Baig had Muhammadi Begum (his daughter) marry another man, then Ahmad Baig would die within three years of the marriage.
The future husband of Muhammadi Begum would die within two and a half years of his marriage with her.
Then, after these “obstacles” have been removed, the Promised Messiahas would, in the end, marry Muhammadi Begum.
Ahmad Baig arrogantly rejected this prophecy and had his daughter married on 7 April 1892 to Sultan Muhammad. Consequently, according to the prophecy, Ahmad Baig died within a matter of months on 30 September 1892 in Hoshiarpur. In this way, the first “obstacle” was removed. This fulfils the first part of the prophecy and was actually enough for the family to accept the truthfulness of the Promised Messiahas, fulfilling, “We shall not accept any sign unless we are shown a sign in our own lives.”
Observing Ahmad Baig’s death, Muhammad Hussain Batalwi, a bitter opponent of the Promised Messiahas said that though the prophecy was fulfilled, it was due to astrology (Ishaat-us-Sunnah, Vol. 15, 1892 pp. 22-23). This is very significant as Batalwi was a very staunch enemy of the Promised Messiahas.
Ahmad Baig’s death sent a wave of fear, horror and repentance within his family. This was because Ahmad Baig was still healthy and well, full of years. His death came as a complete shock. The family began to write letters to the Promised Messiahas seeking forgiveness and showed remorse.
As the law of divine prophecies go, those who sincerely repent have their punishment halted or forgiven. Although letters were sent, it is not necessary for people to see the “repentance”; it is for Allah to completely know who has repented or not their heart.
The (Arabic) prophecy and wording clearly indicated that if the family sought forgiveness, the punishment would be averted and inadvertently, the marriage. Allah warned Muhammadi Begum and told her how to avoid the punishment, saying “O Woman, repent, repent, for misfortune is pursuing you.” (Tadhkirah, p. 206)
The Arabic wording regarding Muhammadi Begum in a particular revelation was ویردھا الیک meaning “And He will return her to you”. (Tadhkirah, p. 203)
So, as the family repented, including Muhammadi Begum and Sultan Muhammad, Allah did not cause Sultan Muhammad to die who was the “obstacle” in the way of the marriage to the Promsied Messiahas.
The gentleman raised allegations from two extracts of the Promised Messiahas regarding Muhammadi Begum. He focused on the fact that the Promised Messiahas said that the marriage could not been averted. A simple and careful reading of the extracts clearly shows the reality.
The first extract was from an announcement by the Promised Messiahas in 1894 about the prophecy of Muhammadi Begum. This was two years after the marriage of Muhammadi Begum with Sultan Muhammad. One must note here that the original time frame of the prophecy had not yet finished. The gentleman presented the following quote from this lengthy announcement:
“But the death of Ahmad Baig broke their backs, and this was why they sent me letters of apology and regret. As they were struck by fear and terror in their hearts, it was essential that God the Most High, according to His ancient way, postpone the date of punishment to some later time, that is, to the time when those people again turn back fully to their state of audacity, arrogance and neglect, because the date of punishment is an avertable fate which is moved to another time if fear and turning to God is displayed, as is proved by the whole of the Quran.”
“… But the essence of the prophecy, that this woman will enter into marriage with me, is an absolute fate which cannot at all be averted … So after these days, when God the Most High sees that these people’s hearts have hardened, and they have not valued the few days of respite and relaxation given to them, then He will turn to the fulfilment of the prophecy of His holy word.”
The point of contention raised by the gentleman is that the Promised Messiahas said the marriage “cannot at all be averted [taqdeer-e-mubram]” and this was after the family had already sought forgiveness.
In reality, the family could have reverted to their old ways within the time frame or even after, as Allah gave them respite. The very next line explains this, “When God the Most High sees that these people’s hearts have hardened and they have not valued the few days of respite and relaxation given to them”. In other words, the Promised Messiahas attached a clear condition to “cannot at all be averted”; that is to say, if the family once again revert to their mischievous ways then the marriage would most certainly take place and not be “averted”.
For arguments sake, if the Promised Messiahas had thought that the family was most definitely going to revert and in reality they did not, then this lays absolutely no blame on the Promised Messiahas as a prophet will only follow what Allah reveals and can misinterpret a prophecy. This has happened with previous prophets.
20 years after the prophecy and just 40 days prior to his demise in 1908, the Promised Messiahas spoke of this prophecy in Badr and noted how Ahmad Baig’s death caused the second part of the prophecy (the marriage) to stop:
“… The fear of Ahmad Baig’s death overcame them, which resulted in him nullifying one part of the prophecy.” (Badr, 23 April 1908, p.4)
Therefore, the element of the marriage being a decree that “cannot be averted” becomes absolutely clear as the Promised Messiahas had also written that if and when the family lapsed to their old ways, Allah would cause Sultan Muhammad to die and the marriage would take place.
The second extract the gentleman quoted was from Izala-e-Auham. The reference quoted was from page 198, however the quote is actually on page 396 of the original book. The extract is:
“By way of prophecy, the Exalted God revealed it to this humble one that ultimately the elder daughter of Mirza Ahmad Baig, son of Mirza Gama Baig of Hoshiarpur would be married to me. These people would resort to great hostility and would place obstacles in the way, but in the end, it would surely take place. The Exalted God would, by all possible means, bring her to me, whether as a virgin or a widow and would remove all impediments, and would, of necessity, fulfil this task, and none would be able to prevent it …”
The point of contention for the gentleman is that God would marry her to the Promised Messiahas “whether as a virgin or a widow”.
We do not see any point of dispute in this quote, at all. The Promised Messiahas was simply just requoting the prophecy he made. The time frame of this quote will give a clear picture of the reality. Izala-e-Auham was written in 1891. This was the middle period when the Promised Messiahas had already given the Ahmad Baig prophecy (1888), however the family had not yet had Muhammadi Begum married.
Therefore, this quote is a simple reiteration of the prophecy of the Promised Messiahas. If, in the future, the father married Muhammadi Begum with the Promised Messiahas straight away, then she would be a “virgin”. However, if the marriage took place to someone else and the family did not repent and reverted to their old ways, then Allah would cause the father and ultimately the husband of Muhammadi Begum, Sultan Muhammad (the last obstacle) to die and thus bring Muhammadi Begum as a “widow”. This allegation is baseless as it tries to deceive, but when read in context, all is clear.
The prophecy of Muhammadi Begum was a prophecy for a particular family. In the end, this family accepted the truthfulness of the Promised Messiahas, the existence of God and the truth of Islam – fulfilling the purpose of the prophecy.
Muhammadi Begum’s own son and daughter, Isaac Baig Sahib and Hafeez Begum Sahiba accepted Islam Ahmadiyyat. Imagine! If the children, whose mother was addressed and warned in the prophecy accepted the Promised Messiahas, then what greater proof is required?
Greater still, Ahmad Baig’s wife (Muhammadi Begum’s mother) also accepted Islam Ahmadiyyat and is buried in Bahishti Maqbarah. Muhammadi Begum’s sisters, Inayat Begum and Mahmuda Begum also took Bai‘at. What more proof for the fulfilment of this prophecy is needed?
Apart from these immediate relations of Muhammadi Begum Sahiba, the following sample are those who also took Bai‘at from the family:
1. Mirza Gul Muhammad Sahib (maternal cousin of Muhammadi Begum Sahiba)
2. Khurshid Begum Sahiba (maternal cousin)
3. Mirza Arshad Baig Sahib (brother-in-law)
4. Mirza Abdus Salam Baig Sahib (maternal grandson)
5. Mirza Mahmud Baig Sahib (nephew)
6. Mirza Ajmal Baig Sahib (nephew)
7. Mirza Amjad Baig Sahib (nephew)
8. Mirza Ahsan Baig Sahib (maternal cousin)
9. Mirza Ziaullah Baig Sahib (son-in-law)
(Al Fazl, 11 March 1938)
In this way the prophecy wording of ویردھا الیک (“And He will return her to you”) was also fulfilled, in that Muhammadi Begum and her family returned to the Promised Messiah’sas truth.
Sultan Muhammad even wrote a statement praising the Promised Messiahas that was published in Tasheez-ul-Azhan. He also gave a lengthy interview in Al Fazl in the 9-13 June 1921 issue, wherein he said that during the days of the prophecy, Aryas and Christians offered him hundreds of thousands of rupees to speak against the Promised Messiahas. He said that if he accepted the money, he would have become very wealthy, but his belief in the truthfulness of the Promised Messiahas stopped him to take up this offer.
[Translation] “I have always, and still consider the late Mirza Sahib, a righteous and respected person who was a servant of Islam; who had a noble spirit and who was constant in his remembrance of God. I entertain no opposition to his followers and regret that for certain reasons, I was not able to have the honour of meeting him during his lifetime.” (Tasheez-ul-Azhan, May 1913, p. 227)
Opponents of the Jamaat arrogantly hold onto all possible mutashabihat (ambiguities) they can lay their hands on with regard to the prophecies of the Promised Messiahas. This is no surprise as all previous prophets were treated the same.
The Ahmad Baig prophecy was fulfilled with all the conditions mentioned and those who were addressed in the prophecy confessed to the truthfulness of the Promised Messiahas.
While talking about the Ahmad Baig prophecy, the Promised Messiahas said:
“The truth is that Allah the Almighty sometimes shows a thousand signs, but at the same time keeps some hidden, so that disbelievers can be distinguished from the believers.”
“Hazrat Syed Abdul Qadir Jilanirh mentions in one of his books that Allah the Almighty, at times, tends to make promises with His prophet or loved ones, which He then takes back so that He can give an even better sign in return. Muhkamat verses are as important as mutashabihat verses. This is done so that it can show the depth of their belief in Allah the Almighty and as a result, the ones with weak beliefs reveal their weaknesses and leave the group of pious people.” (Badr, 23 April 1908, p.4)
The sign of marrying Muhammadi Begum was kept “hidden” in the end by Allah as the family did not revert to their old ways. Allah did this to distinguish between the believers and disbelievers.
To end, the following saying of the Promised Messiahas about prophecies will suffice:
“Mentioning such doubts that can be applied to all the prophets of God is basically denying Allah the Almighty and the system of prophethood entirely. Encouraging such doubts eventually leads to disbelief, which I am fearful of.” (Badr, 23 April 1908, p.4)
In the following weeks we will, Insha-Allah, address other prophecies that the video has raised allegations upon while showing prophecies of the Promised Messiahas that none can argue against.