Throughout history, when Allah has wished to communicate His Message to us, He has chosen the righteous, pious and sincere ones to be bearers of His words, irrespective of their worldly status at the time. The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa represented the pinnacle of such Messengers. Unlettered and without any support, Allah chose him to convey the Holy Qur’an; the final Word of Allah to mankind. History bears witness to the magnitude of his success in doing so, not because of any special personal abilities, but because of Divine guidance and intervention. The success of the messenger is thus testimony to the truth of the message.
Fourteen hundred years later, Allah chose another humble servant and worshipper to convey His message and bring back the true Islam to the world once again. This time He did so through the person of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, foretold as the Reformer of the Age.
In a recent Friday Sermon, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba, fifth Successor to the Promised Messiah and Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, provided an in-depth explanation of the miracle of the ‘Revealed Sermon’ of the Promised Messiahas. That discourse forms the basis for this article.
The Promised Messiahas had only received a very basic elementary education and did not study at any school nor did he have any special tuition from learned scholars. Thus, when he claimed to be the Messiah, his enemies taunted him and declared him ignorant, stating that God could never have made such a one the Mahdi and the Messiah to revive Islam.
The Promised Messiahas had never been to Arabia, nor lived with Arabs. Qadian was an unknown village where Arabic was neither spoken nor written as a living language, but was considered a classic language by the Muslims of the time. Such circumstances would not have allowed him to acquire any proficiency, and yet God granted him a vast knowledge of and mastery over the Arabic language. Ijazul Masih, was his first book in Arabic on the excellences of the Holy Qur’an. Confident of Divine support, he challenged Muslim scholars of the Arab and non-Arab world to produce a work of similar magnitude. However, none responded to his challenge.
An even greater sign of the truth of the Promised Messiah’sas claim was to come on the occasion of Eid–ul-Adha, the Muslim festival of sacrifice, April 11th 1900, the day when he delivered Khutbah Ilhamiyyah (the Revealed Sermon); the first time that he had delivered a sermon in Arabic. Until that time he had never made any speeches in Arabic. Indeed, it was not customary among the Indian Muslim scholars to address gatherings in Arabic.
The day before, the Promised Messiahas informed Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Nooruddinra, his closest companion, that he would be spending the day and part of the night in prayers for himself and his friends. The next day, Hazrat Maulana Abdul Karimra, another companion, asked the Promised Messiahas about making an address to which the Promised Messiahas replied, ‘God has commanded and it was revealed to me last night to address the audience in some Arabic phrases. I had thought it was about some other audience but it may be this audience.’
Before he began the Sermon, the Promised Messiahas speaking in Urdu said that this sermon was a sign for the fulfilment of the prayers he had made the previous day and part of the night, and that if the sermon was delivered extempore in Arabic, all the prayers would be accepted.
When the Promised Messiahas rose to deliver the Sermon, he instructed Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Nooruddinra and Hazrat Maulana Abdul Karimra to sit close by, to transcribe the Sermon. He repeated each word three times as the two men transcribed. After the Sermon was completed, the Promised Messiahas asked Hazrat Maulana Abdul Karimra to read out the Urdu translation to the audience.
It is reported that as Hazrat Maulana Abdul Karimra was reading out the translation, the Promised Messiahra fell into prostration in a fervent expression of gratitude to God and the whole audience also fell into prostration with him. Rising from the prostration, the Promised Messiahas said: “‘I have just seen [in a vision] in red letters the word ‘Mubarak’ (felicitation). This means that the address has found acceptance.”
The Promised Messiahas writes:
“On the morning of the day of ‘Idul-Adha, I received the revelation ‘Say something in Arabic’. This was communicated to several friends. I had never made a speech in Arabic before. When on that day I stood up to deliver the ‘Id sermon in Arabic, God Almighty made a clear and eloquent Arabic address flow from my tongue which was pregnant with meaning and which is set out in the book entitled Khutbah Ilhamiyyah [Revealed Sermon]. The address extends over several juzw and was made spontaneously in one continuous delivery. God has called it a sign in His revelation, for the address was delivered entirely under the influence of Divine power. I do not believe that any Arabic orator, scholar or literary figure, can deliver such a speech extempore. Approximately one hundred and fifty individuals were witness to this speech.”
He further tells us:
“It seemed as if a fountain had begun to flow from the unseen, and I knew not whether it was I who was speaking or whether it was an angel speaking through my tongue. I knew only that I had no part in this address. Sentence after sentence issued from my mouth and each one was for me a sign. These sentences have been published by the name of ‘The Revealed Sermon’. Read this book and you will realize how impossible it is for someone to stand up and extemporarily deliver such a long speech in Arabic. This is a miracle of a literary nature that God has shown, and no one can present anything like it.”
The Sermon was published in August 1901. The Promised Messiahas arranged for a scribe to write it and translated it in Urdu and Persian himself. The actual Sermon concludes on page 38 of the book and forms the first chapter. The Promised Messiahas wrote the remainder of the book at a later time. The entire book was named The Revealed Sermon.
Syed Abdul Hai, an Arab scholar from Arabia, has commented:
“After reading the eloquent writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) I was convinced that no one could write like that without Divine support. I stayed in Qadian in order to find out for myself an episode of such Divine support. When the time of the Revealed Sermon came I saw with my own eyes the revelatory and miraculous Sermon being revealed and heard with my own ears how the individual spoke extremely eloquently as clear as the day without any help. Therefore, after listening to the Revealed Sermon I took Bai’at with complete conviction.”
Below are two extracts from this sermon.
“O People! I am the Messiah of the Muhammadan dispensation. I am Ahmad, the Mahdi and my Lord truly is with me from my childhood till I reach my grave. I have been granted the fire that is all-consuming and the water that is sweet!”
“I am the one to conclude Wilayat (friendship with God), just as our Holy Prophetsa concluded Prophethood. He is the seal of all the Prophets and I am the seal of all Auliya there will be no Wali after me but he who will be from me and will take my pledge. I have been sent by my God with all power, blessing and honour and my foot is on a minaret which is the loftiest of all. Fear God, O young men and recognise me and do not live disobediently and do not die disobedient. The era is nearby and the time is close when each soul will be held accountable for what it did and will be recompensed.”
Indeed, the truth of a Messenger of Allah can be determined by the content and quality of message that he brings and the manner in which it is presented, because the Messenger’s words are not his own but those of Allah, The Almighty.
Speaking in our time about Khutbah Ilhamiyyah, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba, Fifth Successor (Khalifah) of the Promised Messiahas, said in his Friday sermon of 11th April of this year:
“These are the magnificent words of the invitation that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) gave with the command of Allah the Exalted on 11 April 1900. This sign continues to demonstrate its glory to this day and to this day no expert linguistic or great scholar or author even if he is from Arabia can match it. How could this ever be matched, for these were the words of God which were uttered from the tongue of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). May God give the world in general and the Arab Muslims in particular, the understanding and the courage to recognise the message of the one sent by God and may they become helpers of the true devotee of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) in making the Muslim Ummah a united Ummah. May God also enable us to fulfil our responsibilities!”
1. 16 pages of a bound book.
2. Nazulul Masih, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 18, p. 588 (Eng. Translation, Tadhkirah, p. 455, 2009 edition).
3. Haqiqat-ul-Wahi, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 22, pp. 375-376 (Eng. Translation, Essence of Islam, Vol. 5, pp. 159-160).
4. Khutbah Ilhamiyyah, pp. 61-62, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 16.
5. Khutbah Ilhamiyyah, pp. 69-71, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 16.