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Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

The Promised Messiah
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The Promised Messiah

There are well-known sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, prophesying that “Jesus, son of Mary” shall appear among the Muslims in the last days, at a time when they would be in the most dire straits, facing destruction at the hands of their enemies, and he shall lead them to victory. Muslims generally took these prophecies literally, believing that the prophet Jesus had gone up to heaven alive, and would descend from there to rescue them. In Hazrat Mirza’s time, this wrong belief was being much exploited by Christian missionaries who argued that as, according to Muslim belief itself, Jesus did not die like a mortal, but has been alive in heaven for nearly two thousand years, from where he will descend later on, it follows that he must be much more than a mortal human being, and vastly superior to the Prophet Muhammad who died like every human being must do. To this argument, Muslims had no answer.

Having raised Hazrat Mirza to the position of Mujaddid, with the mission of defending Islam, Allah informed him of the answer. It was disclosed to him that the Holy Quran actually teaches that, like every other prophet, Jesus too had died (though not on the cross), and had not ascended to heaven alive. Hazrat Mirza then discovered verse after verse in the Quran proving exactly this. And when he put forward all these quotations, no one could refute his arguments.

This, however, left the question of the prophecies about the coming of Jesus. God gave Hazrat Mirza the knowledge that by the coming Messiah in the prophecies was meant, not Jesus, but a Muslim Mujaddid whose circumstances, mission and work would be similar to those of Jesus. In fact, the verse and hadith quoted earlier tell us that khalifas, while not being prophets, will be raised among Muslims just like prophets were raised among the Israelites. This clearly indicates that the prophecies speaking of the coming of the Messiah among the Muslims must refer to the raising up of such a khalifa.

Hazrat Mirza then showed the many similarities between the circumstances in which he had come, and those in which Jesus had come among the Israelites. And he laid claim to be the Promised Messiah — the Messiah promised by the Holy Prophet Muhammad.

However, he stressed several times that by claiming to be the Promised Messiah he was not claiming to be a prophet. He wrote:

“If the objection be raised here that as the Messiah (Jesus) was a prophet, his like should also be a prophet, the first answer to this is that our leader and master (the Holy Prophet Muhammad) has not made prophethood a necessary condition for the Messiah to come. On the other hand, it is clearly written that he shall be a Muslim, and shall be subject to the Shariah of the Quran like ordinary Muslims, and he shall not go further than this that he is a Muslim and the imam of Muslims.” (Tauzih Maram, pp. 17–18)

In believing Hazrat Mirza to be the Promised Messiah, Ahmadis are not adding any new belief to Islam. They are only accepting the Quran’s verdict that Jesus is not alive in heaven, and then interpreting the Hadith prophecy about his future coming, on the basis of that clear ruling. Moreover, by showing that the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s prophecies about the coming of the Messiah, and other related events, have been fulfilled in this age, this Movement has proved the truth of Islam and the words of its Holy Prophet.

If the Ahmadiyya interpretation is rejected, then every Muslim should consider the alternatives. Either he must accept the belief, damaging to Islam and contrary to the Quran, that Jesus is still alive in heaven and will return to this world after the Last of the prophets, the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Or, if it is admitted that Jesus is dead and cannot return, then all the Holy Prophet’s prophecies connected with this matter, which are contained in the most authentic books of Hadith, will have to be rejected as fabricated.

Hazrat Mirza believed that no prophet, whether Jesus or a new prophet, can come after the Holy Prophet Muhammad. He wrote:

“The return of Jesus is not mentioned anywhere in the Holy Quran, but the ending of prophethood is mentioned perfectly clearly. To make a distinction between the coming of an old prophet [i.e. Jesus] and a new prophet is mischievous. Neither the Hadith nor the Quran make such a distinction, and the negation contained in the hadith report ‘There is no prophet after me’ is general.” (Ayyam as-Sulh, p. 146)

“By saying, ‘There is no prophet after me’, the Holy Prophet Muhammad closed the door absolutely to any new prophet or the return of any old prophet.” (Ayyam as-Sulh, p. 152)