The Plague

by Mirza Usman Ahmad, Rabwah, Pakistan

Yersinia pestis bacteria which caused Bubonic Plague. © Everett Historical | shutterstock.com
Yersinia pestis bacteria which caused Bubonic Plague. © Everett Historical | shutterstock.com

The importance placed by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas on the content of his prophecies cannot be understated. He viewed them as part of the historic fabric of religious truths and averred that only through the insights which are revealed by God from ‘behind the veil of the unseen,’ can the truth of anyone claiming to be a divine prophet or messenger be recognised. It is firmly within this context that the following study is situated. This article seeks to examine Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’sas prophecy of the plague and to closely analyse its salient features and the extent of its fulfilment within the parameters specified by the prophecy itself.

The origins of the plague prophecy can be traced back to one of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’sas earliest and most well known revelations. Whilst writing his first book, Barahin-i-Ahmadiyya (The Proofs of Ahmadiyyat), he asserted that God had divinely disclosed to him the words, “A Warner came to the world but the world did not accept him. But God will accept him and manifest his truth through powerful assaults.[1] This was revealed before Hazrat Ahmadas had made any claim to being the Messiah or a prophet of God. As the passage of time would show, this revelation formed the basis of not only the prophecy in question, but all of Hazrat Ahmad’sas punitive predictions. It also alludes to several key aspects of the plague prophecy. Firstly, in the period leading up to the outbreak, Hazrat Ahmadas would not only have made a divinely inspired claim, but would also be engaged in his prophetic mission. Secondly, that the epidemic would have its origins in the rejection and denial of the Promised Messiahas. Thirdly, that God would punish the people for their actions and manifest the truth of the Promised Messiahas through powerful assaults, in this case the plague. More implicit references to the outbreak of the disease appeared well after Hazrat Ahmad’sas claim to be the Messiah.

The earliest intimation he received of this was in 1893, when he prophesied the death of one of his fiercest opponents, Lekh Ram.[2] In a letter dated June 14, 1903, he wrote “[At that time] it was disclosed to me that shortly after he [Lekh Ram] dies, Punjab would be afflicted with plague.[3] This is an extremely important and crucial source, for it is the only reference to the plague mentioned by Hazrat Ahmad,as which predates the spread of the disease. All other historical source material is from 1898 onwards.

It was in February 1898, that Hazrat Ahmadas made his first public announcement regarding the plague, and foretold its spread throughout the Punjab. When this announcement was published, the plague had already arrived in India, starting in Bombay in 1896 and then spreading to its surroundings, however; it had not yet reached epidemic proportions.

Plague Hospital, Mumbai. © Clifton and Co., Bombay, India.
Plague Hospital, Mumbai.
© Clifton and Co., Bombay, India.

The occurrence of the disease greatly perturbed the governing British administration, who made “vigorous and energetic” efforts from the outset of the outbreak to curtail its spread.[4] There was a real fear among the ruling elite that a widespread epidemic could threaten the empire, Indian social order and international trade. This resulted in wide scale state intervention to control the disease, including measures such as quarantine, travel restrictions, isolation camps for the sick and the evacuation of entire towns. Foreign plague commissions also arrived in India to statistically and scientifically investigate the causes of it and identify ways of combating it.[5]

Despite these circumstances, the Promised Messiahas forcefully prophesied that only divine intervention could tame the devastation and that the pestilence would soon wreak havoc in the Punjab. He wrote,

Today, Sunday, February 6, 1898, I saw in a dream that God’s angels were planting black trees in different parts of the Punjab. Those trees were very ugly, black in colour, terrifying and of small size. I asked some of those who were planting them: ‘What kind of trees are these?’ They answered: ‘These are trees of the plague which is about to spread in the country.’ It remained unclear to me whether it was said that the plague would spread during the coming winter or the winter after, but it was a terrible sign which I saw.[6]

In the same announcement, the Promised Messiahas also referred to another revelation. He wrote,

Before this [dream] I also received a revelation about the plague, that is: Until the people do not cure themselves of the disease of their sins, the epidemic of this world will not be alleviated.[7]

Plague infected house, Mumbai, India Clifton and Co., Bombay, India.
Plague infected house, Mumbai, India Clifton and Co., Bombay, India.

He added that because this was a prophecy of warning it could be averted if the people repented of their wrongdoing and turned to piety and virtue.

Several months later, on May 2nd, the day of Eid-ul-Adha, the Promised Messiahas held a ‘plague meeting’ for his followers in which he “dealt with the objections raised against the measures of segregation and isolation which the authorities prescribed, explained their necessity and usefulness and emphasised the importance of cooperation with the authorities.[8,9] Again, he also elucidated that the disease was a divine punishment for the precipitous rise of sin and evil among people of all faiths and that the only way to put off the devastation would be to seek repentance from God.

Further elaborating on the causes of the plague, in light of one his Arabic revelations of 1902, the Promised Messiahas identified one principle reason for the disease as being the rejection of God’s messenger and the various attempts to cause him harm.

He explained:

Firstly, the plague was not raised in the earth solely because of the rejection of the Messiah of God, but also on account of the multiple sufferings inflicted on him; the intrigues of those who conspired to kill him; and his being branded a disbeliever and a Dajjal [antichrist]… In truth, the non-acceptance of a messenger is not the reason a calamity befalls a people. If a messenger of God is rejected with propriety and good conduct and is not made to endure the hardships of injury and abuse, the judgement of his deniers awaits them [not in this world but] in the hereafter.[10]

The same revelation contained another significant element of the plague prophecy, that those who resided in the home of the Promised Messiahas would be saved from the calamity. The revelation was, “I will save all those who live within the four walls of your home.[11] From the moment these words were revealed, they came to form an integral part of the prophecy.

In his book Kishti Nuh, the Promised Messiahas wrote,

In these present times, God has willed to show a sign of heavenly mercy, so He has informed me that I and all those who dwell within the four walls of my home; who wholly and unconditionally follow me; who are obedient to me and who on account of their righteousness have devoted themselves to me; will be saved from the plague However, anyone who does not follow me absolutely is not part [of my Jama’at].”[12,13]

He added,

I repeat long before today, the Lord of heaven and earth; the all-knowing and all-powerful God, disclosed to me that He would save all those who live within the four walls of my home from death by the plague; but, on the condition that they enter my allegiance with complete sincerity, humility and obeisance and extinguish the fire of prejudice and enmity. Also, that they do not consider themselves superior to His commandments or those of His prophet; that they do not possess a selfish and rebellious disposition, nor behave at variance with their beliefs.[14]

In Nuzul-ul-Masih the Promised Messiahas explained the meaning of the words ‘four walls of your home,

In recent days God has revealed to me – ‘I will save all those who dwell in the four walls of your home, except for them who behave with arrogance and presume for themselves a high station. And I will save you with distinction. Peace be on you from God, the Merciful.’

It ought to be known, that the decree regarding Qadian has two aspects; firstly, His decree which relates to the town in general; that [Qadian] will be saved from such plague as brings chaos and destruction and consumes entire dwellings, secondly, His decree which relates to my home in particular; that all those who reside within it will be saved from the ravages that might inflict certain inhabitants of Qadian.[15]

The Promised Messiahas also issued a challenge to various religious leaders throughout India to pray for the protection of those towns and cities where the headquarters of their religious institutions were based in order to show that they, and not Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, or any other individual group or community, were supported by God.

In Dafi-ul-Bala he wrote:

If the Aryas sincerely believe in the truth of the Vedas, they should prophesise that their Parmeshwar will save Banares (Varanasi), the seat of Vedic learning. Likewise the Sanatan Dharam should prophesise the protection of a town known as a habitat for cattle. For example, they could prophesise that Amritsar will be saved from the plague because of the blessings of the cow; and should any bovine demonstrate this miracle, it would be wholly understandable were the government to enforce a total ban on the slaughter of this wondrous animal.

Again, the Christians ought to predict that the plague will not afflict Calcutta as it is the home of the chief bishop of the British Empire. So too should Mian Shams-ud-Din and the members of the Anjuman-e-Himayat-e-Islam foretell that Lahore will be protected. The accountant, Munshi Ilahi Bakhsh, who claims to be the recipient of divine revelation, has a wonderful opportunity to assist the Anjuman-e-Himayat-e-Islam in this. It would also be appropriate for ‘Abdul Jabbar and ‘Abdul Haq to make a similar prophecy regarding Amritsar. And because Delhi is the centre of Wahabism, both Nadhir Hussain and Muhammad Hussain should prophesise the protection of the city. In this way the whole of the Punjab will be rescued from the clutches of this virulent disease and the British regency will be relinquished of the responsibility and expense of having to control the epidemic. But, should they fail to do this, it will perforce be determined that the true God is He Who has raised His messenger in Qadian.[16]

By taking these revelations together one can see that the salient features of the plague prophecy were,

1. The plague would spread throughout the Punjab and cause havoc in the province

2. The plague was both a warning and a sign of punishment because of the unyielding rise of sin and wrongdoing, and on account of the persecution of God’s messenger. If the people repented, the plague would be abated; otherwise it would spread devastation and fear.

3. Those who resided within the four walls of his home; that is his physical home, the town of Qadian or as members of his spiritual community, would for the most part be saved from the ravages of the plague, as long as they truly and sincerely believed in his teachings.

What then was the impact of the plague and to what extent were the various strands of the prophecy fulfilled?

A photo of an old pamphlet on how to prevent the plague.
A photo of an old pamphlet on how to prevent the plague.

To begin with, the force of devastation in the Punjab and India as a whole was immense. The third plague pandemic claimed more than 12 million lives between 1898-1948.[17] It should be noted that this and any other such figures are only modest estimates which do not take into consideration cases that were misdiagnosed, unreported, concealed or wrongly classified.[18]

It is interesting to compare the geographical spread of the disease and death toll with various other parts of the world affected by the plague. The third plague pandemic began in the Yunnan province in China in 1855, and according to the World Health Organisation remained active until 1959 – “The network of global shipping ensured the widespread distribution of the disease over the next few decades.[19] In the years to come, the plague spread as far as Europe, the United States and even to countries in South America, such as Peru and Argentina. However, in all these places its effects were “limited in epidemic force to coastal cities and even there hardly penetrated beyond docklands. Instead of millions killed, as happened with the previous two pandemics, and as Europe feared at the beginning of the twentieth century, death counts of this third pandemic in temperate zones rarely exceeded one hundred.[20] Nor was the number of victims in any of these places comparable to that of India and Punjab. For example, in Honolulu where the disease lasted for a year there were 61 reported deaths. The American city of San Francisco also succumbed to the epidemic, but in the four years that the disease was active it only claimed 113 lives.[21] The only country where the destruction was in any way comparable to India and the Punjab was China, where close to 10 million people died.

In terms of the havoc that the plague would wreak in the Punjab, a further dimension was given to the prophecy when in 1903 the Promised Messiahas received the revelation:

‘The door of the plague has been opened.’ Thus, it seems that from this point forth, there will be no relenting in the Plague.[22]

This is immensely significant because it is widely acknowledged amongst experts in the field that the years 1904, 1905 and 1907 were the most deadly of the epidemic. According to figures produced by J. N. Hays, the annual death toll exceeded 1 million in these years. It is also significant to note that in the period of peak mortality, it was the Punjab that was the worst affected area.[23]

Inoculation against the plague, Mumbai, India. Colombo, Sri Lanka Apothecaries and Co. Ltd. Photographers.
Inoculation against the plague, Mumbai, India. Colombo, Sri Lanka Apothecaries
and Co. Ltd. Photographers.

The fulfilment of the Promised Messiah’sas prophecy was also evident through the public and civic reaction caused by the disease. As has already been made clear the Promised Messiahas saw the plague as a sign of warning and divine wrath. Its purpose was to frighten people so that they would repent from their sins. This is extremely pertinent for almost all writers and historians who have written on the subject and agree that the panic caused by the plague at all levels of society “bore no direct relation to the virulence of the epidemic.[24] Although the bubonic plague was a great killer, it was not the most destructive epidemic to ravage India over a similar period. Both malaria and tuberculosis claimed twice as many victims.[25] Parts of India also suffered at the time from famine and cholera. But it was the plague that struck the most fear and panic both among the ruling elite and the general public. Some writers on the subject have gone so far as to suggest that the significance of the plague lies not in the cost of human lives (which was indeed great) but in the political and public unrest it caused.[26] A tragic and prominent example of the immense terror and chaos which the disease created, were the riots in Pune, which were sparked by the sanitary measures adopted by the British and resulted in the murder of the plague commissioner in the city W. C. Rand.[27]
Similar instances of panic occurred in other cities where the perceived invasive policies of the government led to strikes and the mass flight of people from cities and towns affected by the plague.[28]

Yersinia pestis
Yersinia pestis

Evidence for the third part of the prophecy comes from the writings of the Promised Messiahas and the accounts of his companions. Though there are no real statistics for the extent to which plague affected Qadian, we know from anecdotal evidence including the Promised Messiah’sas own, that the town experienced small outbursts but nothing like the devastation that affected large swathes of the province. Again, there is no statistical evidence about numbers of Ahmadi Muslims who may have succumbed to the disease, however, nor is there anything to suggest that the number was in any way significant. During the plague years, the Promised Messiahas widely published a number of books and advertisements on the subject of his prophecy, none of which were contested by his opponents. What is certain and beyond doubt is that there were no deaths among the people living in the actual home of the Promised Messiahas. In fact, according to various excerpts from Hazrat Ahmad’sas writings, in all cases where plague was feared or a disease could be understood as plague, the individual made a full recovery.

In Haqiqatul Wahi the Promised Messiahas writes,

During the days of rampant plague, when Qadian was affected to a degree, Maulawi Muhammad ‘Ali M.A. had a severe attack of fever. He was almost sure it was plague and like one who approaches death, he made a will and apprised Mufti Muhammad Sadiq of everything. He was staying in a part of my house about which God had revealedAugust_2015_-_Arabic_Inserts_pdf__1_page_ (I shall save all those who dwell in your home). I visited him to inquire about his health. Finding him upset and disturbed, I said to him, ‘If you are suffering from plague, it means I am a liar and my claim to be the recipient of divine revelation is false.’ Having said this, I felt his pulse and witnessed a strange sign of providence. As soon as I touched his wrist, I found it normal and there was no sign of fever.[29]

Mentioning another incident he writes,

Again, at a time when Qadian was afflicted with the plague, my son Sharif Ahmad was suffering from high fever which seemed to be typhoid. He had lost consciousness and was beating about his arms in that condition. I thought to myself that no one was immortal, but if this boy died while the plague was in Qadian, all my enemies would say that this fever had in fact been the plague, and would claim that the divine revelation vouchsafed to me: August_2015_-_Arabic_Inserts_pdf__1_page_that is, I shall safeguard all who dwell in your house from the plague, had been false. This distress[ed] me greatly. At about midnight the boy’s condition deteriorated and I became apprehensive that it may be something quite serious and not just ordinary fever. I cannot describe my feeling, because if the boy was to die, God forbid, it would provide prejudiced people with convenient means to suppress the truth. In that state I performed the ablution and stood up for prayer. Immediately, I found myself in a state which was a clear sign of the acceptance of prayer. I call God to witness, in Whose hand is my life, that I had just completed about three rak’as [One sequence of the mandatory Muslim prayers, from a standing to a prostrating position] when I saw in a vision that the boy had recovered completely. When I finished my prayer, I saw him sitting fully conscious asking for water. He was immediately given water and when I put my hand on his body I found no trace of temperature whatsoever. His state of delirium, restlessness, and unconsciousness completely disappeared, and he regained full health.[30]

Thus, it is clear from this that in terms of the content of the prophecy itself, the words of the Promised Messiahas were indisputably fulfilled.

Bubonic plague MichaelTaylor | shutterstock.com
Bubonic plague
MichaelTaylor | shutterstock.com

There is yet a further dimension to this prophecy, which is of considerable interest and that is its place within the broader canon of Islamic literature. In the Holy Qur’an, there is reference to a Dabata al-Arz or “beast of the earth.[31] This verse has long been considered by Muslim scholars and divines as referring to the time of the Promised Messiahas and the latter days. Allamah Isma’il Haqqi al-Buruswi wrote that the Dabata al-Arz would precede the coming of the mahdi, the dajjal and the messiah. The Shiite scholar mullah, Fath-Ullah Kashani, also sought to connect this verse with the emergence of the “Divine Authority who is the Mahdi of the Muslim Ummah.[32] In various other Shiite traditions, the Dabat al-Arz is closely associated with the end of days and the arrival of dajjal. Elsewhere, the prominent jurist, scholar and historian, Ibn Kathir, inferred from the verse that a great beast, who would talk to human beings, would appear at the appointed hour. The Dabata al-Arz, also features prominently in the hadith (sayings of the Holy Prophetsa) literature and is mentioned on a number of occasions as one of the signs of the latter days and the time of the Promised Messiahas.[33]

While agreeing with past scholars that the Dabata al-Arz was a sign of the time of the advent of the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Ahmadas interpreted the word as actually meaning ‘insect’ and associated it with the plague.

This is highly important because the third plague pandemic coincided with various scientific breakthroughs, which helped researchers determine that fleas were the principle vector of the disease.

This is a 3d representation of the Yersinia pestis bacteria better known as the bubonic plague. MichaelTaylor | shutterstock.com
This is a 3d representation of the Yersinia pestis bacteria better known as the bubonic plague.
MichaelTaylor | shutterstock.com

The first significant development in this field occurred in 1894 when the bacteriologists Alexandre Yersin of the Pastuer Institute and the Japanese Kitasato Shibasaburo, isolated the pathogenic agent of plague. Yersin named the bacillus Pastuerella Pestis, after his mentor Louis Pasteur. However, in 1970, it was renamed Yersina Pestis in honour of the discoverer of the organism. Despite Yersin’s fundamental discovery, the problem of how the bascillus spread and infected human beings still remained unresolved.[34]

This task fell to the French bacteriologist, Paul L. Simond. From 1897-1898, Simond tested an anti-serum for the plague which led him to discover the transmission mechanism for the disease. Publishing his findings in a paper entitled La Propagation de la Peste, he wrote that the results from his experiments showed that oriental rat fleas (Xenopsylla cheopis) carried the plague bacillus between rats.[35,36] These fleas were also found to parasitize and bite humans, thus transmitting the disease. Thus, it was demonstrated that the flea was the principle vector of the virus.

Initially, Simond’s findings were dismissed by the medical community and in particular by physicians familiar with the bubonic plague. Many were unable to accept the idea that a creature as small as the flea could be such an important factor in the spread of epidemics.[37] It took a further ten years for Simond’s research to gain currency. Some of the earliest evidence in support of his claims came from Sydney, Australia, and the findings of researchers investigating the plague epidemic of 1900. Then, during 1903-1905, the observations and experiments of W. G. Liston also advanced the rat-flea connection and in 1908 the Indian Plague Research Commission accepted the original findings of Simond. Six years later, in 1914, the research work of A. W. Bacot and C. J. Martin outlined how the flea contracted the bascillus and passed it on to people.[38]

It did not take the Promised Messiahas nearly as long to endorse Simond’s findings. From as early as the turn of the century, he fully accepted and indeed promoted the thesis that the plague was transmitted to humans from the bite of infected fleas.

He wrote,

It has been proven by recent breakthroughs that plague is spread through an insect of the earth.[39]

Also,

Various assumptions have been formed about the deadly epidemic that currently decimates our lands. Medical practitioners, whose sole concern is with the physical and that which pertains to it, say that the principal vehicles of contagion are fleas which first infect rats and from there the disease is passed onto humans.[40]

In the modern context the Promised Messiah’sas acceptance that the plague was transmitted to humans may not feel particularly significant, but for its time it was an incredibly radical stance.

It should be remembered here that the link made by the Promised Messiahas between the contents of the verse under discussion and medical findings of the time was not stimulated by scientific discoveries, but because he claimed God had taught him this interpretation. Although, prior to the outbreak of the plague, the Promised Messiahas interpreted this verse differently, his sole interpretation from the actual occurrence of the epidemic of this verse was as a prophecy regarding the plague in India.

He wrote with reference to this,

“[T]he Dabbata al Arz mentioned in these Qur’anic verses is the same as was decreed to appear in the time of the Promised Messiahas since the remotest ages and which has been shown to me in my visions in various forms. It has been revealed to me that it is the insect of plague and been named by God as Dabba al-Arz…”[41]

Moreover, the Promised Messiahas forwarded a number of arguments to give legitimacy to his interpretation that Dabata al-Arz meant insect and not beast. For example, in accordance with the Qur’anic principle that the verses of the holy book explain each other, he highlighted verse 15 of ‘Surah al-Saba,’ which speaks of the demise of the Prophet Solomonas and also includes the term Dabata al-Arz, which here is commonly accepted as insect – in this context, the termites that used to eat Solomon’sas staff. He also posited that the verse of Surah al-Naml was contingent on the fact that the events prophesied in it would occur during the time of a claimant and would act as a punishment against his enemies. Thus, with his own advent as the Promised Messiahas and the outbreak of the plague, which was proved to be spread by fleas, this interpretation was entirely justified.[42]

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’sas prophecy of the plague was an emphatic confirmation of his claim to prophethood. It appeared as a sign of warning for those who rejected his message and portrayed him as an imposter. It was remarkably fulfilled in the exact manner it which it had been foretold; not only was it a fulfilment of his own revelations, it was also the realisation of a strong, Islamic tradition about the time of the advent of the Promised Messiahas. When historians look at the legacy of the third pandemic, they focus on such things as its impact on medical science, its effect on British rule in India and the huge devastation it left in its wake. However, perhaps the real testament the disease left behind was its validation of God’s chosen servant, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas.

About the Author: Usman Ahmad is from the UK and he studied History at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has been based in Pakistan since 2004. He is currently working at the English Desk of the Fazle Umar Foundation. Fazle Umar Foundation was established by the Third Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in order to promote and advance the legacy of the Second Caliph. He has also written and produced photo essays and articles for a number of other publications including Foreign Policy Magazine, The National and Dawn.

 

Endnotes

  1. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, Tadhkira (Islam International Publications, 2009), 128.
  2. The Pundit Lekh Ram was an Arya Samaj Hindu leader who was a vocal critic and fierce opponent of Islam. The Promised Messiahas repeatedly called on him to desist from spreading false and offensive allegations against the religion and the Holy Prophetsa. When his appeals went unheeded, it was revealed to him through several revelations that God Himself would punish Lekh Ram for his actions.
  3. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, Tadhkira (Islam International Publications, 2009), 295.
  4. Rajnarayan Chandayarkar, Imperial Power and Popular Politics (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1920), 234.
  5. Mark Harrison, Disease & the Modern World: 1500 to the Present Day (Wiley, 2013).
  6. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, Tadhkira (Islam International Publications, 2009), 407-408.
  7. Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas: Apni Tehreero Ki Ruh Se, Vol. 2, p. 1215.
  8. The Muslim festival celebrated on the day marking the close of the Hajj ceremony.
  9. A. R. Dard, Life of Ahmadas: Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement (Tilford, UK: Islam International Publications Limited, 2008), 591.
  10. Dafi ‘ul-Balai, Ruhani Khazain Vol. 18, p. 229.
  11. Al-Hakm, Vol. 6, No. 16, 30 April 1903: 7.
  12. Jama’at here refers to the spiritual community of Ahmadi Muslims initiated by the Promised Messiahas.
  13. Kashti Nuh, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 19, p. 2.
  14. Ibid.
  15. Nuzul-ul-Masih, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 18, pp. 401-402.
  16. Dafi-ul-Bala, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 18, pp. 230-231.
  17. Joseph Patrick Byrne, The Black Death (Connecticut, USA: Greenwood Press, 2004), 17.
  18. Rajnarayan Chandavarkar, Imperial Power & Popular Politics: Class, Resistance and the State of India, c. 1850-1950 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 234.
  19. A. W. Bacot and C. J. Martin, “Observations of the Mechanism of the Transmission of Plague by Fleas,” The Journal of Hygiene, no. 13 (1914): 423.
  20. Samuel J Kohn JR, “Epidemiology of the Black Death & Successive Waves of Plague,” Medical History Supplement, no. 27 (2008): 74.
  21. J. N. Hays, Epidemics and Pandemics: Their Impacts on Human History (Santa Barbara, USA: ABC-Clio, 2005), 332-333.
  22. Al Badr, Vol 2 No. 10, 27 March 1903: 80. Cited in Tadhkira (Urdu Edition), 2004, p. 386.
  23. Rajnarayan Chandavarkar, Imperial Power & Popular Politics: Class, Resistance and the State of India, c. 1850-1950 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 234-237.
  24. Rajnarayan Chandavarkar, Imperial Power & Popular Politics: Class, Resistance and the State of India, c. 1850-1950 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 234.
  25. Ibid.
  26. Medical Hisory of British India, “Medical History of British India: Disease Prevention and Public Health,” National Library of Scotland, http://digital.nls.uk/indiapapers/plague.html.
  27. Mark Harrison, Disease & the Modern World: 1500 to the Present Day (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press Limited, 2013).
  28. Ibid.
  29. Haqiqatul Wahi, Ruhani Khaza’in Vol. 22, p. 265.
  30. Ibid. p. 87.
  31. Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Naml, Verse 83.
  32. Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth (Tilford, UK: Islam International Publications, 1998), 636-637.
  33. See Ibn Majah, Hadith 4066, and Tafseer Ibn Kathir, footnote Fath al-Biyaan Surah al-Naml.
  34. H. Kupferschmidt, “[Epidemiology of the plague. Changes in the concept in research of infection chains since the discovery of the plague pathogen in 1894],” Gesnerus. Supplement 43 (1993): 1–222.
  35. Charles de Paolo, Epidemic Disease and Human Understanding (Jefferson, USA: McFarland & Company Incorporated, 2006), 133.
  36. “Oriental Rat Flea | Insect,” Encyclopedia Britannica, accessed July 6, 2015, http://www.britannica.com/animal/Oriental-rat-flea.
  37. Charles de Paolo, Epidemic Disease and Human Understanding (Jefferson, USA: McFarland & Company Incorporated, 2006), 138.
  38. A. W. Bacot and C. J. Martin, “Observations of the Mechanism of the Transmission of Plague by Fleas,” The Journal of Hygiene, no. 13 (1914): 423.
  39. Nuzul-i-Masih, Ruhani Khaza’in Vol. 18, p.417.
  40. Dafi ‘ul-Balai, Ruhani Khaza’in Vol. 18, p. 221.
  41. Nuzul-ul-Masih, Ruhani Khaza’in Vol. 18, p.416.
  42. Nuzul-ul-Masih, Ruhani Khaza’in Vol. 18, pp. 417-419.