Struggling to negate the prophethood of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadian, his opponents present a statement which is completely devoid of context and suggests that the founder of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat has admitted that there was no need for a prophet and Allah only ordained mujaddids [reformers] for his time. The opponents have fabricated the above idea from a book of the Promised Messiahas, Nur-ul-Quran (Number I). The alleged statement falls under the heading, “First argument” with the sub-heading, “An argument from the Holy Quran about the prophethood of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.”
The actual context of the subject revolves around the Holy Prophetsa being the last law-bearing prophet. The Promised Messiahas highlighted through verses of the Holy Quran that the Holy Prophetsa and the last book of God was sent for all the nations of the world. He explains from the verse of the Holy Quran:
“Warner to all the worlds” (Surah al-Furqan, Ch.25: V.2), that every nation on earth had indulged in shirk [associating partners with Allah] and become corrupt. The Holy Prophetsa came with the perfect law of God and formed a pure party of believers. Under the same heading, the Promised Messiahas further states:
“If someone asks why a prophet has not appeared in this age when it is no less in discord, unfaithfulness and immorality, then the answer to this question is that the period [of the Holy Prophetsa] had become totally devoid of tawhid [believing in the oneness of Allah] and moral uprightness. However, this age possesses 400 million criers of ‘La ilaha illallah’ [There is none worthy of worship except Allah]. God Almighty has not deprived this age from sending a mujaddid [reformer] as well.” (Nurul-Quran [Number I], Ruhani Khazain Vol. 9, p. 339)
It is clear from the above extract that the Promised Messiahas confuted the appearance of a law-bearing prophet after the Holy Prophetsa and on the other hand, approved the coming of a promised reformer who would revive Islam and restore the divine law; the Holy Quran. The same manner of reasoning can be found in the Holy Quran as well. For instance, Allah Almighty states:
اِنۡ اُمَّہٰتُہُمۡ اِلَّا الّٰٓیِٴۡ وَلَدۡنَہُمۡ
“Their mothers are only those who gave them birth” (Surah al-Mujadalah, Ch.58: V.3).
At another place in the Holy Quran, Allah the Almighty states:
اَلنَّبِیُّ اَوۡلٰی بِالۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ مِنۡ اَنۡفُسِہِمۡ وَ اَزۡوَاجُہٗۤ اُمَّہٰتُہُمۡ
“The Prophet is nearer to the believers than their own selves, and his wives are as mothers to them” (Surah al-Ahzab, Ch.33: V.7)
The Holy Quran declares the wives of the Holy Prophetsa as the mothers of the believers, even though they were not born to them.
Hence, it becomes evident that the Holy Quran discusses two kinds of mothers. Surah al-Mujadalah mentions the biological mothers and Surah al-Ahzab refers to the spiritual mothers. Similarly, the Promised Messiahas expounds on the subject of a prophet who brings a new Shariah [divine law] and annuls all the previous laws.
Thereafter, he explains that after the advent of the perfect messenger, the Holy Prophetsa with a complete book, the Holy Quran, no other law-bearing prophet can appear in this age. Finally, the Promised Messiahas states, “However, God Almighty has not deprived this age from sending a mujaddid [reformer] as well,” clarifying that the only prophet who can appear in his age is the promised reformer who would not bring any new Shariah but come to restore and revive the already present religious law of Islam.
It should be borne in mind that there are generally two types of prophets according to the Holy Quran.
Firstly, those who are law-bearing, i.e. they bring a new Shariah [divine law] and secondly those who uphold and serve the prevailing religious law. Both types of prophets are explained in the Holy Quran:
اِنَّاۤ اَنۡزَلۡنَا التَّوۡرٰٮۃَ فِیۡہَا ہُدًی وَّ نُوۡرٌ ۚ یَحۡکُمُ بِہَا النَّبِیُّوۡنَ الَّذِیۡنَ اَسۡلَمُوۡا لِلَّذِیۡنَ ہَادُوۡا
“Surely We sent down the Torah wherein was guidance and light. By it did the Prophets, who were obedient to Us, judge for the Jews” (Surah al-Maidah, Ch.5: V.45).
This verse signifies that God Almighty sent the second type of prophets towards the Israelites in the presence of the Torah who presented its right interpretation after receiving knowledge from Him and provided just explanations to resolve religious disputes between the Jews. God Almighty said, “By it [Torah] did the Prophets, who were obedient to Us, judge for the Jews” and not that they annulled the previously revealed divine law. A renowned Muslim scholar, Sheikh Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi has attested to the two different categories of prophets, as he stated:
“The prophethood that came to an end with the advent of the Holy Prophetsa was the law-bearing prophethood and not the institution of prophethood itself. No law can now cancel the law of the Holy Prophetsa or add anything to it. This indeed is the meaning of the saying of the Holy Prophetsa, ‘La nabiyya ba‘di’ (there will be no prophet after me). This only indicates that there shall be no such prophet who shall introduce a different Shariah. But whenever there appears a prophet, he will follow my Shariah.” (Futuhat-e-Makkiyyah, Vol. 2, p.3)
The great reformer of the 12th century, Hazrat Shah Waliullah Muhaddis Dehlvirh, explaining the subject of prophethood, refers to the non-law bearing prophets as mujaddids [reformers]. He states:
فیبعث۔۔۔ او دین یقتضی بعث مجدد کداوود و سلیمان و جمع من انبیاء بنی اسرائیل علیھم السلام
“Or [God Almighty] sends mujaddids when there is a need to revive faith, like prophet Davidas, Solomonas and all those prophets who were sent towards Israelites [after Mosesas].” (Hujjatullah al-Baligha, Bab Haqiqatul Nubuwwah wa Khawasiha, Vol. 1, p.195)
The Promised Messiah and Mahdi, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas claimed to be a non-law bearing prophet of Allah Almighty who was sent to reform the religion of Islam and to resolve the religious dissentions between the Muslims. The Promised Messiahas was also the perfect Mujaddid of the latter days and there are countless occasions where he has explained this matter. Below are some examples from his writings and sayings. The Promised Messiahas said:
“The state of this era is such that reformation is needed in every place, therefore Allah the Almighty has sent that Mujaddid who has been named the Promised Messiah and he was long awaited and all the prophets had prophesied regarding him and all the holy people before him desired to be the part of his age.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 5, p. 82)
On another occasion, the Promised Messiahas states:
“When God Almighty, observing the condition of the world and finding the earth filled with every type of disobedience, sin and misguidance, appointed me for the propagation of the truth and the reformation of people and the time was … the end of the thirteenth and the beginning of the fourteenth century, then I – in obedience to this command – sent forth the call through written announcements and speeches that I am that person who was to come from God at the turn of the century, for the revival of faith.
“The purpose was that I should reestablish the faith which had disappeared from the earth, and pull mankind towards reformation, righteousness and truthfulness through the power and strength that God had bestowed upon me and through the magnetic power of His hand. I was also destined to correct their doctrinal errors and to reform their conduct.
“A few years thereafter, it was made quite clear to me through Divine revelation that the Messiah, whose advent among the Muslims had been promised from the beginning, and the last Mahdi whose advent had been Divinely decreed to take place at the time of the decline of Islam and the spread of error, and who was to be guided directly by God, and who was to invite people to partake of the heavenly banquet, and whose advent had been foretold by the Holy Prophetsa thirteen hundred years in advance, was none other than myself.” (Essence of Islam, Vol. 4, pp. 31-33, Tadhkirat-us-Shahadatain, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 20, pp. 3-4])
The Promised Messiahas states at another place: “God sent this messenger i.e. the perfect Mujaddid, so that He can prove in this era that in comparison to Islam, every other religion and all other teachings are worthless.” (Tiryaq-ul-Qulub, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 15, p. 266)
The appearance of the Promised Messiahas as the perfect Mujaddid at the end of the 13th century and the beginning of the 14th in accordance with the prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa that at the turn of each century, Mujaddids would rise to revive the faith (Sunan Abi Daud, Kitab al-Malahim), attests to his truthfulness.
The same fact has been demonstrated in the extract pointed out by the opponents. Hence, the Promised Messiahas was not only the mujjadid of the 14th century as prophesied by earlier prophets but also the greatest Mujaddid in the capacity of the Messiah and Mahdi, owing to which he reached the station of Nubuwwat (prophethood).