By Zahid Aziz
A friend has drawn my attention to the following article on an anti-Ahmadiyya blog, which addresses some challenges to followers of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad regarding some references he has given in his writings: http://ahmadiyyacult.blogspot.ca/p/videos.html
The article concludes: "Muslims believe that Mirza has written many record-breaking lies, whilst Mirza’s followers are brainwashed to believe that his writings are completely true."
This suggests that all Muslims, just as they believe in Allah, His angels, messengers, books, and Day of Judgment, they are also required to believe that "Mirza has written many record-breaking lies". A person not believing that "Mirza has written many record-breaking lies" is not a Muslim!
The first allegation is that "Mirza Ghulam Qadiani has written a so called 'ayah' of the Quran in his book. We guarantee you that this ayah as written in the video, does not exist!"
The reference given is to Barahin-i Ahmadiyya in Ruhani Khaza'in, v. 1, p. 601, and the following image of the page is provided by our opponents with highlighting by them:
Before dealing with this allegation, here is a quick counter-challenge: We challenge you to declare that there is no verse in the Quran which can be translated by the lines of text which occur between the two blocks that you have highlighted.
What the objectors are concealing, deliberately and purposely, is that in that entire, long section, Hazrat Mirza sahib is quoting his own revelations (ilham), many of which are in Arabic. Many of these use and contain words and verses that occur in the Holy Quran. He writes this on p. 577: "I receive most revelations (ilham) in Arabic, particularly verses of the Quran … these are given below with translation." This continues much beyond p. 601.
The quotation from Barahin-i Ahmadiyya, which we are challenged to show from the Quran, is as follows:
‘asā rabbu-kum an yarḥama ‘alai-kum wa in ‘ud-tum ‘ud-nā wa ja‘al-nā jahannama lil-kāfirīna ḥaṣīra.
Obviously Hazrat Mirza sahib quotes this as his ilham, not word-for-word a verse of the Quran. Our opponents' objection is that Hazrat Mirza sahib later calls it: "This ayat…", while it is not a verse of the Quran.
What we find in the Quran is the following:
‘asā rabbu-kum an yarḥama-kum wa in ‘ud-tum ‘ud-nā wa ja‘al-nā jahannama lil-kāfirīna ḥaṣīra (17:8)
What is the difference between the two? Just that the quotation in Barahin-i Ahmadiyya reads yarḥama ‘alai-kum while the verse in the Quran reads yarḥama-kum. The extra ‘alai in Barahin-i Ahmadiyya means 'on', while in the verse of the Quran the same 'on' is understood. Every English translation of the Quran renders the first part of this verse using "on", as in : "It may be that your Lord will have mercy on you" (Pickthall).
Our opponents, on the page displayed by them, have highlighted the Arabic quotation, and then highlighted his Urdu words "This Ayat". Between these two highlighted texts is Hazrat Mirza sahib's Urdu translation of the Arabic quotation. Anyone reading that will see that it is nothing more than the meaning of the verse. Note that after the words "It may be that your Lord will have mercy on you", the next sentence of the verse is:
"And if you return, We will return."
Now every translator of the Quran has added words after "return" (or "revert"):
Pickthall: "but if ye repeat (the crime) we shall repeat (the punishment)"
Yusuf Ali: "but if ye revert (to your sins), We shall revert (to Our punishments)"
Asad: "but if you revert [to sinning], We shall revert [to chastising you]"
Maudoodi (English version): "but if you again repeat your former behaviour We will again visit you with Our punishment". Maudoodi hasn't even placed the extra words in parentheses.
Hazrat Mirza sahib's Urdu rendering of this verse (which occurs in between the two texts highlighted by our opponents) is no more than being like one of the translations given above. Can our opponents claim and challenge that there is no verse in the Quran which can be translated according to the translation given by Hazrat Mirza sahib?
It is quite obvious to any person possessing the least sense of fairness that when, after giving his Urdu translation, Hazrat Mirza sahib says "this ayat" he means the verse of the Quran whose translation he has just given and which is almost the same in text, and identical in meaning, with his ilham.
The objectors are seeking to create the impression, falsely and deliberately, that he has claimed to quote a verse which doesn't at all exist in the Quran.
It may be added that the same ilham has been written by Hazrat Mirza sahib in two later books. In both of these its wording is exactly that of the verse of the Quran (‘asā rabbu-kum an yarḥama-kum …). See the book Arba‘in number 2, published 1900 (Ruhani Khaza'in, v. 17, p. 352, lines 7-8) and the book Haqiqat-ul-Wahy, published 1907 (Ruhani Khaza'in, v. 22, p. 85, lines 11-16).
Another challenge against us relates to the following statement by Hazrat Mirza sahib: "It is included in the Muslim belief that in the last era (aakhri zamana), thousands of Muslims will become of Jewish-like character, and this prophecy exists in many places in the Holy Qur'an."
We are challenged to provide a verse of the Quran saying that Muslims in the last days will become like Biblical Israelites.
In response, we quote the following from an article by Dr Israr Ahmad, the famous Pakistani religious scholar.
"The Holy Prophet Muhammad foretold that the same evils would arise among his followers as had arisen among the Israelites. He said: ‘If they, the Israelites, had crawled into the hole of a lizard, you will crawl into it too'. His words go so far that although one is hesitant to quote them, but they are the words of the Holy Prophet which I put before you. He said: ‘If there was a wretched man among the Israelites who committed incest with his own mother, then among you also shall arise such a wretched man'. The meaning is that all the evils, in terms of religion, doctrine, thought, knowledge and deeds, which came to prevail among the Israelites, shall also come to prevail among the Muslims. The text of the hadith is as follows: ‘All the things which happened to the Israelites shall also happen to my followers, just as one shoe matches the other shoe'. This is a most eloquent comparison. Look at a pair of shoes, and because the front parts of the two point in opposite directions, you see one shoe being apparently different from the other. But put the souls of the two shoes together, and they are identical. Similarly, the circumstances of the Israelites and the Muslims appear to be different, because after all, there is the distance of fourteen hundred years, and so there is some difference on the face of it. But if you look between the lines, you find that there is not a hair's breadth of difference. And as to the condition of the Jews described in the Holy Quran, each one of us must look at himself to see whether he is not a victim of that condition."
(London edition of Urdu daily newspaper Jang for 19 October 1987, page 3; bolding is mine. Note that this was now a news item but an article in a series penned by Dr Israr Ahmad)
At least Mirza Qadiani mentioned only "thousands of Muslims" acquiring bad attributes of the Biblical Israelites. According to Dr Israr Ahmad it is quite possible that each and every Muslim has become so, without a hair's breadth of difference!
In this challenge the objectors have demanded that we provide a verse of the Quran. The above quotation provides some hadith reports (which are from the soundest sources like Bukhari, Muslim and Tirmidhi). So the question is: From where did the Holy Prophet get this knowledge of the future that Muslims would become like Jews? Obviously this knowledge was from Allah and it is the Holy Prophet's interpretation of some verses of the Quran!
So I suggest that these anti-Ahmadiyya critics challenge the Holy Prophet Muhammad, asking him (through his followers) to provide a verse of the Quran from which he concluded that Muslims of the last days would become like Jews!
The most laughable, and equally sad, aspect of the matter is that these objectors are proving the fulfilment of this prophecy themselves! They are demanding to see verses of the Quran which announce this prophecy literally and word-for-word. They are not prepared to accept verses from which it can be concluded, no matter how clearly, that Muslims would acquire the bad traits of Biblical Israelites. In this attitude and these demands they are actually following in the footsteps of the followers of Moses who demanded:
"Moses, we will not believe in you till we see Allah manifestly" (2:55).
Then there were those who claimed that they couldn't understand the order "Allah commands you to sacrifice a cow" (2:67), without being told specifically which cow it was referring to. Even as it was made more specific, they kept on demanding more clarity.
The striking resemblance in religious outlook between Muslims and their religious leaders of modern times, on the one hand, and the Jewish religious leaders and followers of the time of Jesus, on the other hand, is an actual, observable fact. As Hazrat Mirza sahib wrote in his book Shahadat-ul-Quran: "Leaving aside the prophecies for a moment, look at the situation rationally as a truth seeker, as to whether the case of the Muslims of this age and the Jews of the time of Jesus fulfils the words 'one shoe matching the other shoe'." When something is an established fact, then it adds to the glory of the Quran if it can be found prophesied in it.
Another challenge against us relates to a statement by Hazrat Mirza sahib that the Quran and Hadith contain prophecies that when the Promised Messiah appears he will be bitterly opposed by the Muslim Ulama. Our objectors have listed several points of this opposition as mentioned by Hazrat Mirza sahib: that he will be persecuted by the Muslim Ulama, they will declare him a kafir, issue fatwas to kill him, he will be abused, declared out of the fold of Islam, and considered a destroyer of the religion of Islam.
They want us to show where this is prophesied. Again, they themselves have fulfilled these prophecies by persecuting him, calling him kafir, abusing him etc. Their own article is proof of it! After all, they could have declared him as stupid, not worthy of any attention because his teachings are so obviously nonsense. They could have said that there is not even any need to declare him kafir or waste time on him, so obvious a fraud he is. But no, his opponents, including authors of this article, proved the truth of the prophecy that they would treat him in this way.
This is prophesied in the Quran as follows:
"And We indeed gave Moses the Book and We sent messengers after him one after another; and We gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear arguments and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit. Is it then that whenever a messenger came to you with what your souls did not desire, you were arrogant? And some you rejected and others you would kill." (2:87)
In the likeness of Moses was the Holy Prophet Muhammad, according to the Quran. In the likeness of "messengers like him" were the men of God and mujaddids who arose after the Holy Prophet. In the likeness of Jesus was the Promised Messiah. Islamic history shows that the mujaddids and other great spiritual leaders were bitterly persecuted and declared kafir by the Ulama of the time. This opposition is indicated and summed up in the verse above in the words we have placed in bold.
On the topic of Muslims, in particular their religious leaders, following in the footsteps of the Israelites, the book Tazkira by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, published in 1919, contains several references to it.
1. "Today the determination of Islam and faith [i.e., whether a certain Muslim is good or bad] depends entirely on certain issues of minor doctrinal difference. … All efforts are directed only towards finding out what a certain person believes as to certain irrelevant secondary matters. No one looks to what are the deeds of that person. … [As regards good behaviour] no matter what someone is like in discarding everything from Islam, if he agrees with us in certain secondary issues of difference we consider him to be the best person on earth! This was exactly how the Jews went astray, that they were intoxicated with the pride of being Israelites. "And they say: Fire will not touch us except for a few days" [the Quran, 3:24]. This arrogance in [believing yourself to be right in] doctrinal matters is a very great evil and today it is corroding the backbone of the Muslims." (p. 72)
2. "It was this hiding of truth which was the curse that afflicted the Ulama of the Jews: "There are many of them who hide the truth while they know" [the Quran, 2:146]. Regrettably, the same fate, 'inch by inch, step by step', befell the evil Ulama of this Ummah. They are the Jews of this Ummah." (p. 77)
The words 'inch by inch, step by step' here have been taken by Maulana Azad from the hadith in Sahih Muslim.
3. "The Holy Prophet had repeatedly and clearly prohibited this Ummah from committing the wrong-doing of the Jews. … He said clearly: "Do not do what the Jews did, that by using pretexts and excuses they declared as lawful what God had forbidden". But sadly, exactly that happened which this truthful one was anxious about, and in this Ummah too Sadducees and Pharisees came into existence who, under the description 'one shoe matching the other shoe', created exactly the same pretexts and ways of deviousness in Islam." (p. 88)
4. On page 270 of this book the hadith is quoted which in the Muhsin Khan translation of Bukhari occurs as follows:
The Prophet said, "You will follow the wrong ways of your predecessors so completely and literally that if they should go into the hole of a mastigure [i.e. lizard], you too will go there." We said, "O Allah's Apostle! Do you mean the Jews and the Christians?" He replied, "Whom else?" (Meaning, of course, the Jews and the Christians.)
Abul Kalam Azad then goes on to mention versions of the same hadith reported by Abu Hurairah, Ibn Abbas and Ibn Masud.
5. On pages 278-283, Abul Kalam Azad discusses how all the Hadith prophecies about the decline of Muslims and their becoming like mushrikeen have been fulfilled, and "we are seeing it with our own eyes", but he adds:
"How lacking in the faculty of reason and how deprived of insight are those neglectful people who, reading these reports, think that all this will happen only a few years before the Day of Judgment, and we must wait centuries to see it happen."
Commenting on this attitude he writes:
"The Holy Prophet said: 'My Ummah will do everything which the Jews did.' This is exactly the Jewishness, that prophecy after prophecy was being fulfilled but the Jews still kept on waiting, saying, the time has not yet come" (p. 282)
In the above quotations Maulana Abul Kalam Azad has clearly and repeatedly expressed the view that the Quran and Hadith contain prophecies that Muslim Ulama would copy the evil attributes shown before them by the Jewish Ulama, and that those prophecies have been fulfilled.
More on hadith report in Sahih Muslim. The hadith in Sahih Muslim is as follows (translation taken from well-known online translation of Sahih Muslim):
Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: You would tread the same path as was trodden by those before you inch by inch and step by step so much so that if they had entered into the hole of the lizard, you would follow them in this also. We said: Allah's Messenger, do you mean Jews and Christians (by your words) "those before you"? He said: Who else (than those two religious groups)? (Book: 'Knowledge', ch. 3, hadith no. 6448)
There is a famous commentary of Sahih Muslim by An-Nawawi (d. 1277 C.E.). Under this hadith, he writes:
"What is meant is resemblance in terms of disobedience and opposition, not in terms of kufr."
He means that the resemblance will not be that Muslims will become non-Muslims like Jews and Christians, but that they will resemble them in disobedience of God and the Prophet and opposition to the truth. Then he adds this:
"And in this there is a miracle (mu`jiza) of the Messenger of Allah because what he foretold has happened."
Our opponents have challenged us to show this prophecy from a verse of the Quran. They allege that Hazrat Mirza sahib has falsely attributed it to the Quran. But here a great Imam and Hadith scholar of the Muslims declares this prophecy to be a miracle of the Holy Prophet because even by his time it was being fulfilled.