Was the Promised Messiah planted by the British Government?

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Last Updated on 26th February 2021

Jalees Ahmad, Al Hakam

An allegation raised against the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat is that since the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas praised the British government in his books and writings, it is evidence that he was planted by the British government to uproot and create division within the Muslims.

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First and foremost, let it be clear that this allegation has no ground whatsoever. It is an effort to once again try and paint a wrong picture to mislead others regarding Ahmadiyyat, the true Islam.

The Promised Messiahas was sent by God to unify the Muslims and bring them back to the true teachings of Islam, which, over time, they had drifted away from. 

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas states:

“My mission is no new undertaking; my task is to dispel those beliefs which pose a danger to the people in every respect, and to purge their hearts is our true desire and objective.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 2, p. 30)

Anyone who has taken the time to study a bit of history will know that before the British came into rule, Muslims were being persecuted by other residents of India and were being deprived of their very basic human rights.

Muslims were not even permitted to worship freely and their mosques were being desecrated day after day. Then, as the British government arrived in India, they freed the Muslims from this torture, brutality and persecution. 

Seeing this, the Promised Messiahas, in accordance with the teachings of Islam, praised the British for granting the Muslims peace and security under its just rule. 

Whilst recalling the harsh conditions the Muslims used to endure and suffer from, the Promised Messiahas stated:

“… the British Empire is our benefactor. For it has done great favours upon us. Those who are 60 or 70 years of age will know well that we were once subjected to the rule of the Sikhs. The afflictions that plagued the Muslims at that time are not hidden. Even recalling them makes the body tremble and the heart begins to palpitate. At the time, Muslims were barred from observing their worship and religious obligations, which are dearer to them than their very lives. It was forbidden to loudly make the call to prayer, which is a prelude to the prayer. If ever by some mistake, the muazzin loudly called out the words, ‘Allahu Akbar’ (Allah is the Greatest), he would be killed.” (Malfuzat, Vol.2, pp. 190-191)

Hazrat Ahmadas stated that his heart truly and honestly believed that it was a grave ingratitude and disloyalty to not acknowledge the favour of those who had delivered them from the lowest depths. This is exactly what Islam teaches. The Holy Prophetsa is reported to have said:

‏ لاَ يَشْكُرُ اللّٰهَ مَنْ لَا يَشْكُرُ النَّاسَ

“He who does not thank people is not thankful to Allah.” (Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Adab, Hadith 4811)

Now, for anyone to raise an allegation as to why Hazrat Ahmadas praised the British government would mean that they themselves are unaware of the teachings of Islam for it was Negus, King of Abyssinia, who first saved the Muslims from torment. Thus, to show gratitude to a people who pave the way for religious freedom is in line with the teachings of Islam and history of Islam itself. 

In the history of early Islam, we find that Muslims were deprived of their rights to worship and lead a simple life under the rule of the chiefs of Mecca. When the ill-treatment against Muslims continued to grow and exceed all limits, the Holy Prophetsa instructed those who were able to migrate and leave immediately for Abyssinia; he stated that there, the king was a just and fair man and not a single person was treated unjustly under his rule.

When the Muslims arrived in Abyssinia, they enjoyed a life of peace and security and were freed from the torment of the chiefs of Mecca.

Now, do explain, how is this in any way different to the circumstances we find during the life of Hazrat Ahmadas? For anyone to point a finger or raise an allegation against the Promised Messiahas that he praised a government which provided religious freedom, would mean that they also object to the actions and character of the Holy Prophetas of Islam. 

Now, fast forward to the time of Hazrat Ahmadas. When this allegation was raised during his time, Huzooras, giving a simple yet powerful answer, wrote:

“… if it had been my desire to falsely please the government, why would I have stated time and again that Jesusas, son of Mary, survived the crucifixion and died a natural death in Srinagar, Kashmir; and that neither was he God, nor the son of God? Would those from among the British who were passionate about their faith not turn away from me?” (Noah’s Ark [English], pp. 121-122)

Clutching at straws, the opponents continue to spread falsehood and say that as Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas was an agent of the British government, he didn’t wage Jihad against them and fabricated the meaning of Jihad. 

Explaining this, Huzooras writes:

“The fact of the matter is that the Holy Quran forbids religious war against such a government which freely allows Muslims to engage in religious practices and traditions and does not take up the sword against us to propagate their religion. After all, the government does not wage a religious war against us. It is incumbent that I express my gratitude to them, for I could not have done my work in Mecca and Medina as freely as I have in this land.” (Noah’s Ark [English], p. 122)

Those who deceive people openly and desire to ignite hatred for others usually themselves become the hindrance and obstacle that stops them from accepting the truth. It is these people who desire to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths.

If those Muslims who level such objections were to stop and reflect on their words for even a moment, they would instantly realise how baseless this allegation is. It seems their hatred for the truth has stopped them from understating and studying history. 

As they have levelled such false allegations against the Promised Messiahas, let us see what other Muslims and leaders of other sects were doing at that time. 

All humans are students of history and to be a good student, we must study history in its entirety if we wish to see the true picture. Just as an artist must take a step back from the canvas to clearly see his painting, so too should be the case when looking into history. We must analyse the past with an unbiased lens and open mind. 

When the British came into rule, many others would also praise them. Maulvi Muhammad Hussain Batalvi was student of Syed Nazeer Husain of Delhi. He was an Ahl-e-Hadith leader in the Punjab and the editor of the Isha‘atus-Sunnah magazine. In his magazine, Isha‘atus-Sunnah (Vol. 6, Issue 10, p. 292), he expressed that Muslims should rejoice and that it was a proud moment for all Muslims to be living under the British rule.

Even Muhammad Hussain Batalvi, who later became a staunch opponent of the Promised Messiahas and exhausted all efforts to try and defame him, praised the British government. 

If we look at the scholars of other sects, such as the Deobandi, it is clear that they also praised the British government. Hazrat Syed Ahmad Bareilvi and Shah Ismail of Delhi also praised the British government. 

Once, when Syed Ahmad Barelvi was asked – when travelling a long distance to wage Jihad against the Sikhs – why he did not wage Jihad against the British government, he replied that the reason for Jihad against the Sikhs was because they persecuted Muslims. However, the British give Muslims the right to worship. (Tawarikh Ajeebah, p. 71) 

In addition to this, in 1901, when Queen Victoria passed away, on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr, Allama Muhammad Iqbal, who is held as the national poet of Pakistan and has been called the “Spiritual Father of Pakistan” for his contributions to the nation, praised the Queen greatly and expressed his sadness upon her demise. He said that though it was Eid, this Eid was like Muharram. (Kuliyaat Baqiaat-e-She‘r Iqbal, p. 52)

These are just a few examples. From this, it is evident that other Muslim leaders, at the of the time Promised Messiahas, also praised the British government. So, if one is to raise an allegation against Hazrat Ahmadas, that is to say that they are raising the same allegation against their own leaders. 

The irony of the allegation doesn’t stop there. These very leaders also were opposed to waging Jihad against the British government. 

Maulvi Muhammad Hussain Batalwi said that it was not permissible to fight against the British government and even stated that it was haram to fight against them. (Isha‘atus-Sunnah, Vol 6, Issue 10, p. 287)

In 1876, William Wilson Hunter, who was a Scottish historian and a member of the Indian Civil Service, in chapter three of his book, The Indian Musalmans, wrote:

“It is a matter of congratulation, both for the Musalmans and ourselves, that these Decisions have been on the side of peace and loyalty.”

Thus, the allegation that Muslims raise against the Promised Messiahas and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, that he was an agent of the British government because he praised them or because he did not wage Jihad against them is completely baseless and is commonly raised by those who are unaware of history. These allegations, in fact, backfire onto them. 

No one can stop the light of Allah from spreading. Opponents may continue to raise objections and allegations against Hazrat Ahmadas but it will all be to no avail. 

The Promised Messiahas said:

“My mission is heavenly in nature and divine work cannot be frustrated. In this undertaking, I have no vested interests and my own efforts amount to nothing.” (Malfuzat [English], Vol. 1, p. 8)

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