Why did Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad a.s. follow ideas and suggestions of his companions?


Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IIra, said:

“The late Maulvi Abdul Karim Sahibra delivered a lecture as a rebuttal to the Shiites, in which he proved Hazrat Abu Bakrra, Hazrat Umarra and Hazrat Usmanra as Khulafa from the same verse [Surah al-Nur, Ch.24: V.56] and also acknowledged the Khilafat of Hazrat Alira in various sections [of his lecture]. He later published that lecture in book form with some additions under the title, Khilafat-e-Rashida. In that book, he wrote that the Promised Messiahas listened to his lecture and [asked to] read it out again and again. He [the Promised Messiahas] sent it as a gift to his friends and also translated some parts of it in his book, Hujjatullah.” (Khilafat-e-Rashida, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 15, p. 130)

Promised Messiah

Referring to the above mentioned statement, the opponents of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas say – in the form of an allegation – that some of the views of the founder of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat were based on the thoughts and ideas of his Companionsra. It is not at all against the dignity of a prophet to consult his companions about any knowledgeable or rational matter and then act according to their suggestion or opinion. Allah the Almighty does not give knowledge of everything to His prophets by revelation, but in fact commands His prophets to:

شَاوِرۡھُمۡ فِی الۡاَمۡرِ

“Consult them [the Companions] in [various] matters.” (Surah Al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.160)

That is, take advantage of the knowledge that God Almighty has given to the Companionsra. Moreover, the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

الْكَلِمَةُ الْحِكْمَةُ ضَالَّةُ الْمُؤْمِنِ فَحَيْثُ وَجَدَهَا فَهُوَ أَحَقُّ بِهَا

“The word of wisdom is the lost property of the believer, so wherever he finds it, he has a better right to [adopt] it.” (Jami‘ al-Tirmidhi, Kitab-ul-Ilm)

According to the guidance of Allah the Almighty, the Holy Prophetsa used to accept words of wisdom expressed by his Companionsra. We consult or seek opinion from such a person whose knowledge or experience is extensive, and based on their wisdom and understanding, they can give us a wise counsel. If acknowledging the views of companions and accepting their wise ideas is against the honour of prophethood, then indeed, the Promised Messiahas has really acted against the dignity of a prophet.

However, if welcoming rational and insightful opinion or research does not affect the glory of a prophet, then the Promised Messiahas had every right to accept the prudent ideas of his companions. As a matter of fact, it is through the grace of prophets that God Almighty grants divine knowledge and showers spiritual blessings on their companions.

The opponents may have deliberately overlooked the sunnah [way of life] of the Holy Prophetsa before raising the said allegation because even those Muslims who have little knowledge of Islam are aware that the Holy Prophetsa used to acknowledge the ideas and take the suggestions of his Companionsra on board.

Thus, when we look at the blessed life of the Holy Prophetsa, it clearly shows that he would accept the wise opinions of his Companionsra and act in accordance to them. The Holy Prophetsa consulted his Companionsra about the ways to call people to prayers and preferred their opinion.

Hence, when views were exchanged as to how people should be called to prayers in Medina, one of the Companions gave the opinion to use a bell like the Christians. Another suggested to use a trumpet like the Jews. However, Hazrat Umarra suggested that a man be appointed who should announce that it was time for prayer, at every prayer. Accepting the opinion of Hazrat Umarra, the Holy Prophetsa said to Hazrat Bilalra:

یَا بِلَال قُمْ فَنَادِ بِالصَّلَاۃِ

“O Bilal, stand up and call to prayer.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Azan)

Thereafter, Hazrat Abdullah bin Zaidra saw a dream in which he was taught the words of the Azan. He went to the Holy Prophetsa and related his dream. The Holy Prophetsa instructed Abdullah bin Zaidra to go to the mosque with Bilalra and to teach him those words and for Bilalra to recite them in a loud voice because he had a louder voice as compared to him. When Hazrat Umarra heard those words, he came out [of his home] and said, “O Messengersa of Allah! By God, I have seen the exact same dream as he has.” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab al-Azan)

At the Battle of Badr, Muslims encamped in the area of Badr on the instruction of the Holy Prophetsa. One of the Companions asked, “O Messengersa of Allah, did you choose this place by divine revelation or is this your own opinion?” The Holy Prophetsa replied that he did not receive any revelation from God about it. Upon hearing this, the companion replied, “Then I submit that the encampment at this place is not strategically suitable with respect to war.”

Thus, taking his companion’s opinion into consideration, the Holy Prophetsa left that field and camped at another place. (Sirat ibn Hisham, Ghazwa al-Badr, Juz‘ 1, p. 336)

After the victory of the Battle of Badr, the Holy Prophetsa sought the advice of his Companions about the prisoners of war. Hazrat Ibn Abbasra narrates that when [Muslims] captured prisoners the Messengersa of Allah said to Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra, “What is your opinion about these prisoners?” Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, “O Prophetsa of Allah! They are our cousins and relatives. I think you should take some ransom from them and this will be a source of strength to us against the disbelievers. Moreover, it is quite possible that Allah may guide them to Islam.”

Then the Messengersa of Allah said, “O Ibn Khattab, what is your opinion?” He said, “By God, O Prophetsa of Allah, I do not hold the same opinion as that of Abu Bakr. I am of the opinion that you should hand them over to us so that we may sever their heads. You may hand over Aqil to Ali that he may sever his head and hand over such and such relative to me, [as he was ancestral relative of Hazrat Umarra] that I may sever his head. They are leaders and chiefs of the disbelievers.”

The Messengersa of Allah preferred the opinion of Hazrat Abu Bakrra and did not approve what Hazrat Umarra said. (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Jihad wa al-Siyar)

At the Battle of Khandaq [Trench], Hazrat Salman Farsira, a non-Arab, Persian companion, said, “O Prophet of Allah, we follow a war technique in our country when the number of the enemy is high; people dig a trench around their town and thus save themselves from the enemy’s attack.” The Holy Prophetsa not only accepted his suggestion but also worked alongside other Muslims in digging a trench around Medina. (Sirat ibn Hisham, Ghazwa al-Khandaq, Juz‘ 2, p. 141)

During the Battle of Ahzab, the Holy Prophetsa called the leaders of the Ansar, Saadra bin Muaz and Saadra bin Ubadah and told them about the entire situation. The Holy Prophetsa then asked them to voice their opinions on what should be done in the given circumstances, and said, “If you wish, it may be that this war could be averted by giving a share of the revenue of Medina to the Ghatfan tribe.”

However, Hazrat Saadra bin Muaz and Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah suggested not to do so, which was accepted by the Messengersa of Allah. (Al-Sirat al-Nabawiyyah li Ibn Hisham, Ghazwa al-Khandaq, pp. 550-551)

At Hudaybiyyah, the Holy Prophetsa instructed his Companions to slaughter animals. However, not out of disobedience, but because they were traumatised and extremely shocked at the terms of the treaty, they felt completely paralysed and did not move and act upon the instruction of the Holy Prophetsa. When the Holy Prophetsa disclosed his predicament to his wife, Hazrat Umm-e-Salamahra, who had accompanied him to the journey, she advised him by saying:

“O Messengersa of Allah! If you wish for this to be carried out, then my suggestion is that [you say nothing to them]; rather, go out and slaughter your animal and shave your head. Your companions shall automatically follow your lead.”

The Holy Prophetsa went out and without conversing with anyone, acted on the advice. Seeing this, the Companions rushed to follow in his footsteps in a frenzy, as if woken up from a slumber. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Shurut)

When the Holy Prophetsa expressed his desire to write letters to different kings, the Companions said:

إِنَّهُمْ لاَ يَقْرَءُونَ كِتَابًا إِلاَّ أَنْ يَكُونَ مَخْتُومًا

“Those people do not read any letter unless they are stamped with a seal.”

Thus, the Holy Prophetsa stamped the letters with the seal that carried the words, “Muhammad, Rasul [Messenger of] Allah.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Jihad wa al-Siyar)

When the siege of the Battle of Taif was prolonged, the Holy Prophetsa consulted Hazrat Naufal bin Muawiyya Deelira and asked, “Should we stay or end the siege?” He said:

یَا رَسُوْلَ اللہِ ثَعْلَبٌ فِي جُحْرٍ إنْ أقَمْتَ عَلَيْهِ أَخَذْتَهُ وَإِنْ تَرَكْتَهُ لَمْ يَضُرَّكَ

“O Messengersa of Allah! The fox is now in his hole. If you stay you will catch it and even if you leave it there, it will not harm you.” Thereafter, the Holy Prophetsa ended the siege and ordered to leave. (Al-Sirat al-Nabawiyyah li Ibn Kathir, Ghazwa at-Taif, p. 463)

Returning from the Battle of Tabuk, the provisions of Muslims were almost depleted and they asked the Messengersa of Allah for permission to slaughter some of the animals that were being used for riding and transport. The Holy Prophetsa gave permission, but Hazrat Umarra suggested that the animals for transportation should not be slaughtered in the said circumstances and requested that whatever was left of the Muslims should be collected and the Holy Prophetsa should bless it with his prayer. The Holy Prophetsa accepted his advice. (Sahih Muslim, Kitab-ul-Iman)

Hence, the above examples clearly substantiate that Prophet Muhammadsa used to accept the suggestions, opinions and reasonable ideas of his Companions regarding various matters and issues.

Thus, it is unreasonable and very surprising that the same sunnah of the Holy Prophetsa is objectionable in the eyes of the opponents, when it is followed by his Messiah and Mahdi, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas.

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