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November 5th, 2007

Metaphorical use of “Son of God”

In Badr of 7th November 1907, under the title What is meant by progeny of God? Hazrat Mirza sahib is reported as saying the following:

Allah has said, addressing me, “You are to me in the place of My progeny”. He has not said here: “You are My progeny”, but said “in place of My progeny”, in other words, “like My progeny”. This is, in fact, a rejoinder to Christians who believe Jesus to be the son of God in the real sense, while God has no progeny.

God has not brushed away in totality the claim of the Jews that “we are the sons of God and His beloved ones” (the Quran, 5:18), but said that they do not deserve these titles. It is, in fact, a figure of speech whereby God uses such terms to honour his chosen ones. It is just as it is stated in hadith reports that God becomes the eyes or the hands of the man whom he loves, or that God says: “O My servant, I was thirsty and you did not give Me water. I was hungry and you did not feed Me”. Similarly it is written in the Torah that Jacob is the son of God, even his prince. All these are figurative expressions which are found generally in all the books of God and in Hadith.

God has used such words about me as well, as a rejoinder to Christians, because despite these words I never make such a claim that, God forbid, I am the son of God. In fact, I regard making such a claim as an act of heresy.

As regards such words which God has applied to the prophets, the most excellent and the highest ranking title has been given to the Holy Prophet Muhammad. For, God said to him: “Say: O My servants” (the Quran, 39:53). Now it is obvious that the people thus addressed were the servants of God, not servants of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. These words show how broad is the scope of application of such words by way of metaphor.

Hazrat Mirza sahib here declares unequivocally that despite being called by God as “like My progeny”, he does not claim to be the son of God, as this title is only by way of metaphor. The same explanation applies to his being called “prophet” by God.

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