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April 23rd, 2008

Accusation of change of belief by Promised Messiah

Our friend ‘Bashir’ has submitted the following post.

Review of Religions, November 1914:

Article: The Ahmadiyya Movement and Ahmads place among the prophets, Number 2, By m. ataur rahman (member of Qadiani Jamaat)

“The philosophy of baruz has been clearly expounded in a long letter pregnant with truth and wisdom which in 1892 Ahmad addressed to Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan of Malerkota in order to resolve some of his doubts.”

Then in the very next installment of this series (Review of Religions, December 1914), he writes:

“Thus convinced, Ahmad set forth his philosophy of baruz in some of his later writings, and avowedly laid claim to the prophetic office”

M. ataur rahman contradicts himself in the span of one month. First he writes that HMGA explained the philosophy of baruz in 1892, then all of sudden, he claims that the true theory of baruz was explained by HMGA later in his ministry. What a contradiction!

This is the same time that Kwaja Kamaluddin had returned from England and wrote his book “Adruni Ikhtilaf…..” and after some weeks appeared Al-Qaul-ul-Fasl by Mirza Mahmud Ahmad.

It seems that m. ataur rahman didn’t know of the change in belief of HMGA in terms of prophethood. I don’t think he got the memo, because the memo was Al-Qaul-ul-Fasl.

It seems that Mirza Bashuddin Mahmud Ahmad was the only soul who knew that HMGA changed his theory of prophethood in 1900–1902.

24 Responses to “Accusation of change of belief by Promised Messiah”

  1. Assalamo Alaikum
    Just a correction. Al-Qaul-ul-Fasl was written on January 21, 1915. So it is not right to call it a memo for an article that was written before it.

  2. April 24th, 2008 at 7:55 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    The letter to Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan of 1892 that Mr Ataur Rahman referred to in his article in the Review of Religions, November 1914, is contained in the Promised Messiah’s famous book Ainah Kamalat-i Islam, published in 1893, from p. 331 to 357.

    This is a book in which the Promised Messiah wrote:

    “It does not befit God that He should send a prophet after the Khatam-un-nabiyyin, or that He should re-start the system of prophethood after having terminated it.” (p. 377)

    “I am not a prophet but a muhaddas from God, and a recipient of Divine revelation so that I may re-vitalise the religion of the Holy Prophet” (p. 383)

    “Has it ever happened in the world that God should have so helped an imposter that he could be speaking a lie against God for eleven years, to the effect that His wahy wilayat and wahy muhaddasiyyat [revelation as granted to saints] comes to him, and God would not cut off his jugular vein.” (p. 323)

    “O brothers, I have been sent as a muhaddas from God, to you and to all those on earth.” (p. 367)

    “There have been hundreds of persons in whom the essence of Muhammad was established, and with God they had the names Muhammad and Ahmad by way of reflection (zill).” (p. 346)

    “This is the Umma which, though not having any prophets (nabi) in it, has those who receive the word of God like prophets, and though not having any messengers (rasul) in it, has those who show God’s clear signs like messengers.” (p. 224)

    “If the door of prophethood had not been closed, a muhaddas possessed in himself the power and capability to become a prophet” (p. 238).

    Even more interesting is the fact that in the Review of Religions in 1904 (which is after 1901 and within the lifetime of the Promised Messiah), in both the English and the Urdu editions certain extracts from Ainah Kamalat-i Islam appeared. These include the one given above from p. 224 (April 1904 issue, p. 137).

    There is also the following:

    “When a person reaches this stage, he is no more a man of this world, and is granted the guidance and high place granted to the holy prophets and messengers of God before him, as if he were their image. Such a man becomes the inheritor of the blessings granted to the prophets and he is their vicegerent upon earth. What is termed mujiza in the prophets is termed karamat in him, and what is termed ismat (sinlessness) in the prophets is called mahfiziyyat (protection) in him, and what is called nubuwwat (prophethood) in the prophets is designated muhaddasiyyat in him.”

    (Review of Religions, English, April 1904, p. 120-121; Ainah Kamalat-i Islam, p. 237)

    The Promised Messiah’s claim in this book was that of being a muhaddas and the concept of zill and buruz presented by him in this book was that it is a wali and muhaddas who is the zill and buruz of a prophet. These statements were re-published in the Review of Religions in 1904 when Maulana Muhammad Ali was the editor. And interestingly, even after the split, in the November 1914 issue, the Qadiani Jamaat writer Mr Ataur Rahman is quoting from the same book to show the concept of buruz.

  3. In regrad to the comment above that:

    Just a correction. Al-Qaul-ul-Fasl was written on January 21, 1915. So it is not right to call it a memo for an article that was written before it.

    Please note:

     1.  Memo=sarcastic term.    What i meant was that the author of (“The Ahmadiyya Movement and Ahmads place among the prophets”, Number 2) didnt realize of the change in belief of 1901.   QAF explained this theory.

    2. The reason that he(m. ataur rahman) didnt know of the change was that HMBMA hadn’t written QAF. 

    3.  QAF appeared 2 months after this article.

    4.  Somebody explained to m. ataur rahman in DEC 1914 that there was a change in theory in terms of prophethood in the life of HMGA.

    5.  Once he was told of this alleged change, he changed his story in the very next number.  All of a sudden he writes that HMGA understood the true theory of baruz later in his ministry.

    6.  m. ataur rahman doesnt provide a date.  He didnt know when the change happened.  HMBMA didnt know either.  First in QAF he wrote 1902, then when m. ali objected to this aboragation, HMBMA changed it to 1901(EGKI).

    (HMBMA = Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad)


  5. May 4th, 2008 at 12:46 pm
    From Abdul Momin:

    So at the time of the so-called change in his claim concerning prophethood by HMGA (around 1901), how old was Mirza Mahmud Ahmad Sahib? I have all along wondered why HMGA kept silent about this issue and never confided in his jamaat members about it. Now I must ask the further question, “Why did Mirza Mahmud Ahmad Sahib remain silent about this issue as well?”

    Remember this issue of Khatme-Nabuwwat is a very explosive one. This caused a split in 1914. So why is it that no one left the Ahmadiyya Jamaat during the life time of HMGA  on account of his changing his claim from non-prophet to prophet?

    Reflect, my friends in the “other jamaat”. The biggest asset that Allah Almighty has given you is your brain and the capability to think. Use it or lose it.

  6. May 6th, 2008 at 3:40 am
    From Tahir Ijaz:

    Abdul Momin, HMGA was very careful in describing his station of nabuwwat, so there was no question of Ahmadis leaving thinking he was some type of independent prophet.

  7. May 6th, 2008 at 5:39 am
    From Zahid Aziz:

    When HMGA claimed to be Promised Messiah in 1891, several people who had entered into his bai`at previously left him rather than accept him as Promised Messiah. This is despite his assuring people that he was not claiming to be a prophet but was a muhaddas. In November 1901, no one at all appears to have left him when, it is alleged, they were required to start accepting him as a prophet.

  8. May 6th, 2008 at 11:53 pm
    From Abdul Momin:

    All the claims that HMGA made, whether that of Wali, Muhaddas, Mujaddid, Messiah or Mehdi were discussed by him in his various books. Of all his claims, the one most in need of discussion after 1901 (or whatever other relevant date)  was his “change” from non-prophet to prophet. This had to be done in such a way as to leave no room for any doubt whatsoever in the minds of his followers. Having previously “misunderstood” his real status, there was no more room for any margin of error. Not only was this necessary, but HMGA was under an obligation to address all his previous denials in detail about laying claim to prophethood-even if he had to spend the rest of his life doing so. Great and humble man that he was, he even owed an apology to all his adversaries for denying what they had been alleging all along for years and years. But Allah Almighty would never subject his Wali (friend) to be subjected to this humiliation. Therefore if ever he had any misunderstanding about his status, Allah Almighty would have nipped that in the bud, instead of letting him deny his true status for years and years.

    But is there any evidence of all this? What I have just stated is not something which just cropped up in my imagination. The claim of prophethood is such an issue that it cannot be treated lightly or as just a routine matter. Especially in the Muslim world there are grave consequences involved with the claim of prophethood. Previously the use of the word prophet was accepted by Muslim scholars as applicable to Muslim Saints in a limited sense (the same sense that Lahori Ahmadis apply it to HMGA). But ever since HMGA is alleged to have claimed prophethood for himself by a section of his followers and the falling out of this section of his followers with the general Muslim population, rarely does any Muslim scholar even acknowledge this any more.
    Anyway, if this change in his claim was so  nicely and neatly accepted by all his followers during his lifetime without batting an eyelid, what was the need to raise this issue after his death? Why try to solve a problem which does not exist?  Why the need to establish a date of change in his claims (was it 1891, 1901 or 1902?) These issues were settled in HMGA’s lifetime, weren’t they? Or were they?

  9. May 7th, 2008 at 2:21 am
    From Tahir Ijaz:

    I think there is little data about who left the jamaat and for what reasons.  It seems though remarkably few people left in 1891 considering the significant additional claims.

    A selection phenomenon also occured since his remaining followers (and new ones joining) were open minded enough to accept him as the Isa ibn Maryam,  and the Imam Mahdi,  (unlike the few who left) with another ten years of major signs and prophecies fulfilled.  So the jump from ‘near prophet’ to an actual type of prophet (ummati and nabi)  was not taken as a stumbling block.

  10. Referring to what was written by Abdul Momin.

    Everything you wrote is SO accurate.  One would think that if HMGA did actually change from ummati nabi(imperfect nabi) to Ummati Nabi(perfect nabi), then he must have had to write a 200 page expose explaining this radiccal change.

    Being greater than jesus was a change i admit.  But it didnt change Islam.  Turning into a perfect nabi–now that changes Islam.

    In 1891 he claimed that jesus was dead.  This was a huge turnabout from his earlier views.  HMGA went at great lengths to explain this strange doctrine.  He wrote ove 2000 pages discussing this death of Jesus.  It was mandatory that he explained this new theory.

    If he did change in 1901, i wish he would have explained it in further detail.  I dont see this change in all of my research.

    One thing that i found on my own is that just before EGKI, 

    1.  HMGA gained over 100k new members in just 2-3 years.
    2.  These new members weren’t fluent with the beliefs of the ahmadiyya community.
    3.  He stressed that new members should read his books of 1891-1893 if they wanted to understand the beliefs of HMGA.
    4.  Coincidentally the first paragraph of EGKI he echoes the same sentiment. 

    Question: If he changed his view on prophethood in 1900-1901, then why was he stressing that his new members should read the books of 1891-1893.

    5.  HMGA wanted to set-up an exam that would be administered yearly.  He gave books from 1891-1893 as study material.  These exams never took place. 

    6.  During the khilafat of Hazrat Norrudin, somehow this was brought to his attention.  HN requested that these exams take place.  HN wanted the wish of his HMGA to be completed.  HN was also not able to complete this task.

  11. May 10th, 2008 at 2:09 am
    From Tahir Ijaz:

    Bashir,  (and Lahori brothers can correct me if I am wrong), Lahoris don’t believe HMGA ever changed his views about his relative rank compared to Jesus, for Jesus was a Prophet and HMGA a non-prophet. Qadianis however interpret certain words in Haqiqatul Wahyi and Kishti Nuh as indicating a change occured.

  12. Maybe Zahid Aziz can clarify the lahori position.

    We (qadianis) believe that HMGA was totally superior to Jesus in every faucet of life. 

    I think the aaiil believe that this was only in the position as messiah.

    I think the point that HMGA was trying to stress was that his divine communion surpassed every single non-lawbearing prophet that ever existed.  Obviously his divine communion was not more than the HP or Moses.  Maybe even more than Abraham (not sure).

    Again and again HMGA stressed this point.  His divine communion overwhelmingly surpassed Jesus.  Jesus was not even close in this respect.

    The most glaring statment by HMGA is in Haqiqat-tul wahy(1907)

    he writes :

    “Prophethood (nubuwwat) has been terminated after our Prophet … And Allah does not mean anything by my prophethood except the abundance of Divine communication … Our Messenger is the Khatam-un-Nabiyyin, with whom the series of messengers has been terminated. … I have been named by Allah as nabi by way of metaphor, not by way of reality (haqiqat).” (Haqiqat-ul-Wahy, Zameema, pages 64, 65; RK, vol. 22, pages 688, 689)

    Get the picture ?

  13. May 12th, 2008 at 10:47 pm
    From Abdul Momin:

    On this blog, the topic: Judgment from “second” Cape Town case, 1990, online, might help. Follow the link to the overall summary of the court case, then scroll down to the following paragraph:

    “Another issue which the opposition misrepresented concerns Hazrat Mirza’s claim that he excelled the Israelite Messiah in certain respects. This was no doubt raised to inflame Christians against Hazrat Mirza. However, our Christian advocate said to the Professor:

    “I also excel Jesus, in one respect, because I am a qualified lawyer and he was not!”

    The lady judge, too, could see what Hazrat Mirza had actually meant, and at one stage she said to the witness:

    “Professor, can’t you see that what Mirza is saying is that the Prophet Muhammad is so great that even his followers, without being prophets, can excel Jesus is certain respects”.

    Hafiz [Sher Muhammad] sahib used to say that even these lawyers and judges, belonging to a different religion, could understand so readily what Hazrat Mirza had said, but our Ulama could not understand after a hundred years.”

  14. I have a question: did HMGA use the term “ummati-nabi” in his writings when referring to himself, or did he always use a phrase like “aik pehlu say ummati aur aikpehlu say nabi” (or similar wording)?

  15. May 13th, 2008 at 5:41 am
    From Zahid Aziz:

    It appears that he did not use the term ummati nabi as such, but expressions such as that quoted by Tariq. At the very beginning of his claim, he had written:

    “So the fact that he [the Messiah to come] has been called a follower [of the Holy Prophet Muhammad] as well as a prophet indicates that the qualities of both discipleship and prophethood will be found in him, as it is essential for both of these to be found in a muhaddas. The possessor of full prophethood, however, has only the quality of prophethood. To conclude, muhaddasiyyat is coloured with both colours. For this reason, in [the Divine revelations published in] Barahin Ahmadiyya too, God named this humble one as follower and as prophet.” (Izala Auham, p. 533)

  16. May 13th, 2008 at 5:48 am
    From Tahir Ijaz:

    To my knowledge he generally said he was ummati and nabi, but at least in one place he stated he was given this ‘compound name’ – which obviously is ummati-nabi

  17. May 13th, 2008 at 5:52 am
    From Tahir Ijaz:

    “In the course of revelations Allah repeatedly call me ummati, as well as prophet. Hearing myself called by these two names gives me joy…I render thanks for having been called by this COMPOUND NAME…”
    (Zameema Barahini Ahmadiyya, part V, page 184)  year 1905

  18. May 13th, 2008 at 5:59 am
    From Zahid Aziz:

    The concept of a Muslim excelling a prophet in some respects, due to being a follower of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, is well established and accepted in Islam. It is, in reality, the superiority of the Prophet Muhammad that the follower is reflecting in his work.

    On the topic of “superiority” over Jesus, Hazrat Mirza sahib wrote in a late book, Haqiqat-ul-Wahy, as follows:

    “It must also be remembered here that as I was charged with the service of the reform of the whole world, for the reason that our master and leader (Holy Prophet Muhammad) came for the whole world, so in accordance with that great service I was granted the powers and faculties necessary for bearing this burden, and I was granted the knowledge and the signs which were necessary to conclusively establish the argument for this age. But it was not necessary that Jesus should be granted that knowledge and those signs because they were not required at that time. So he was granted only those powers and faculties that were necessary for the reform of a small sect of the Jews. Also, we are inheritors of the Holy Quran, whose teaching is a collection of all perfections and is for the whole world but Jesus was inheritor of only the Torah whose teaching was incomplete and meant for a particular nation.” (p. 151)

    “The summary is that as I am the follower of a prophet who combined in himself all the excellences of mankind, and his Shari‘ah was perfect and complete and was meant for the reform of the whole world, so I have been granted those faculties that were necessary for the reform of the whole world. There is no doubt that Jesus was not granted those faculties which have been granted to me because he came for a particular nation, and if he were in my place he would not, by his nature, be able to accomplish the work that the grace of God has granted me the strength to do — this is by way of expression of gratitude for a bounty of Allah, not by way of pride.” (p. 153)

    One can put forward many analogies. A physicist today knows physics more accurately and better than Newton, because he is a follower of Einstein who perfected Newton’s work. In that sense the physicist is superior to Newton. But still it does not make him a greater physicist or a greater genius than Newton.

    An airline pilot today has more flying skills than the Wright brothers or Charles Lindburgh (see the film The Spirit of St Louis starring James Stewart). He flies faster and handles much more sophisticated aricraft. Is he then a greater aviator than the Wright brothers or Charles Lindburgh?

  19. HMGA never classified himself as an ummati-nabi.  It never happened.  I have been arguing this point with many people on the internet.  He always carefully explained this. 

    Seems his careful explanations didnt work.  A split occurred in his movement.  Two groups emerged, both explaining it.  I am still not sure which group is correct.

    FUN FACT OF THE WEEK:  HMGA never called himself an ummati-nabi in EGKI.  In fact he didnt even call himself an ummati aur nabi.  EGKI seems like an explanation of baruz.
    EGKI was for new members of the movement to read.  It wasnt for the likes of m. ali, maulvi abdul kareem, Maulvi noorudin etc etc.

    Rememeber HMBMA was only 12.  We arent even sure if he read this book in 1901 or not.  HMBMA never revealed this secret. 

    I have always thought.  Who explained to HMBMA the story of EGKI that he later present in 1915???  HMBA admitted that Maulvi Noorudin taught him some things about the Ismuhu Ahmad prophecy(later, he contracted from this view).  But he never revealed his knowledge of EGKI.

    Of course m. ali alleged that Zahirrudin was the culprit of most of this.  See books section.

    The closest he came was in BA vol.5.  He writes:

    “In the course of the wahyi (revelations) coming down on me, Allah has repeatedly called me an Ummati, as well as a Prophet. Hearing myself called by these two names gives me a great joy and comfort, and I render thanks for having been called by this compound name in which there appears to be this implication that it should strike the Christians like a lash to make them realise that whereas they raised Jesus Christ, son of Mary, to Godhead, our Master, the Holy Prophet Mohammad, was a Prophet of such extraordinary eminence, that even a member of his Ummat could become a Nabi, a Prophet, and come to be called Isa, even though he is an Ummati, a follower of the Holy Prophet Mohammad.” (Zamima Barahin-i-Ahmadiyya, part V, page 184)

  20. May 13th, 2008 at 7:25 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    Both Dr Tahir Ijaz and Bashir have quoted from Zamima Barahin-i-Ahmadiyya, part V, page 184. If we read from the end of page 183 through to the beginning of page 184, the following is found:

    “Islam is the only religion in the world having the virtue that, provided the truest and fullest obedience is rendered to our Leader and Master the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and the blessings of God be upon him, one can have the privilege of Divine revelation. For this reason it is recorded in Hadith: Ulama ummati ka-anbiya Bani Israil, that is, ‘the godly ulama from among my followers are like the prophets of Israel’. In this Saying too, the godly ulama are on the one hand called ummati, and on the other hand they are called the likes of prophets.” (Supplement to Barahin Ahmadiyya Part V, pp. 183 – 184)

    This explains what is “an ummati and a nabi”.

    Immediately following, he goes on to mention that among the Israelites even women such as the mothers of Moses and Jesus received revelation from God. So this Umma would be wretched if its men were not even as blessed as the women of the Israelites. Thus the revelation he is talking about as continuing among Muslims is the revelation to non-prophets.

    In Izala Auham in 1891 he had written the same:

    “Of all the leaders of Tasawwuf that there have been till the present day, not even one has disagreed with the point that in this religion the path to become the likes of prophets is open, as the Holy Prophet Muhammad has given the glad tidings for spiritual and godly learned persons that ‘the Ulama of my nation are like the Israelite Prophets’. The words of Abu Yazid Bustami given below, which are recorded in Tazkirat al-Auliya by Farid-ud-Din Attar, and are also found in other reliable works, are on this basis, as he says: ‘I am Adam, I am Seth, I am Noah, I am Abraham, I am Moses, I am Jesus, I am Muhammad, peace be upon him and upon all these brothers of his.’ … Similarly, Sayyid Abdul Qadir Jilani, in his book Futuh al-Ghaib, refers to this point, i.e. that man, by leaving his ego and annihilating himself in God, becomes the like, rather the very form, of the prophets.” (Izala Auham, pp. 258 – 260)

    This “becoming the very form of the prophets” is exactly what he discussed in 1901 in Ayk Ghalati Ka Izala:

    “I am that same prophet, the Khatam al-anbiya in the sense of burooz, … And as, in the sense of reflection (zill), I am Muhammad, … As I am Muhammad in the sense of burooz, and all his attainments including his prophethood are projected as an image by way of burooz in my mirror of reflection,…”

    Whether it is 1891, 1901 or 1905, he said exactly the same thing.

  21. May 14th, 2008 at 12:49 am
    From Tahir Ijaz:

    No analogy is perfect, but the Qadiani amendment to the Einstein analogy would be that by following Einstein and learning this thought process, one may become even greater than Newton.
    Qadiani theology is very uplifting. Though only one in the ummah was also openly a Nabi, the various saints in Islam,  though not actual prophets,  were no less than the prophets of the past in stature. M. Ibn Arabi wrote such personages will be ‘resurrected in the row of the Messengers’

  22. I have to agree.  It doesnt appear as HMGA was writing anything new.  It doesnt seem like the ummati nabi(perfect nabi) existed yet.

    Also, Qazi Muhammad Nazir was the author of Truth Prevails, that is where myself and Tahir Ijaz came across this particular reference. 

    Its very strange how QMN doesnt show the previous pages.

  23. May 14th, 2008 at 5:48 am
    From Zahid Aziz:

    If we take the Newton/Einstein analogy further, we could of course say that a person even greater than Einstein can arise!

    My analogy was only meant to illustrate how persons in a lesser category can excel someone in a higher one, or as someone used to put it, the governor of California excels the Presidents of many countries in the resources that he commands, but he doesn’t sit with them at a world summit.

    The “only one in the Umma who was openly a Nabi” found that he couldn’t call himself nabi without the addition of several explanations and restrictions such as zilli, buroozi etc., and wrote in his Will that to call him only as nabi “would be derogatory to the completely perfect prophethood of the Holy Prophet Muhammad”.

  24. Jihad does not mean WAR, it means service.  Service for ALLAH.  Service with the sword was authorized in medina. 

    But, this was revealed in mecca:

    Chapter 29 about Jihad:

    جَاهَدٰ=JA HA DA

    its not even pronounced as Jihad. 

    [29:9] And We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents; but if they strive to make thee associate that with Me of which thou hast no knowledge, then obey them not. Unto Me is your return, and I shall inform you of what you did.

    then we have 

     جَاهَدُ=JA HA DO

    [29:70] And as for those who strive in Our path — We will surely guide them in Our ways. And verily Allah is with those who do good.