Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), The Promised Messiah & Imam Mahdi
The Promised Messiah (as) wrote over 80 books in Arabic, Urdu, and Persian. Excerpts of his collected works have been translated into English and organised by topic. The Review of Religions is pleased to present these excerpts as part of a monthly feature. Here, the Promised Messiah (as) expounds on the unique qualities of the Holy Qur’an and outlines the standard that a true commentary of the Holy Qur’an needs to fulfill. Extracts from The Essence of Islam, Vol. I, 462-476. This is the tenth part of a multi-part series.
Extracts from The Essence of Islam, Vol. I, 462-476. This is the tenth part of a multi-part series.
Ten Systems of Roots in the Holy Qur’an
It should be remembered that the Holy Qur’an is a comprehensive of ten systems of roots:
1. The system in which the existence of God and arguments in support of it, and such divine attributes, names, actions, ways and habits are set out as are special to the Being of Allah, the Glorious; also those phrases which relate to His perfect praise regarding His glory, beauty and greatness.
2. The system which is comprehensive of the unity of God and arguments in support of it.
3. The system in which the qualities and actions, and conduct and habits, and spiritual and physical conditions are manifested by creatures in the presence of God Almighty in accord with His pleasure or contrary to it.
4. The system which contains complete guidance from God concerning admonitions and the teaching of moral qualities and doctrines, and the rights of God and the rights of His creatures, and wise knowledge, and limits and commandments, and directions and prohibitions, and verities and insights.
5. The system which expounds what is true salvation and what are the true means of achieving it and what are the signs and conditions of the believers and of those close to God who have achieved salvation.
6. The system that sets out what is Islam and what is disbelief, and what is shirk, and arguments in support of Islam, and answers to objections.
7. The system which refutes all the false doctrines of the opponents of Islam.
8. The system that comprises warnings and good news, promises and sanctions, world of the hereafter and miracles, illustrations and prophecies which foster faith, and such stories as serve to admonish, warn or convey good news.
9. The system that comprises the life history and holy qualities of the Holy Prophet (sa) and his excellent example, and the arguments in support of his prophethood.
10. The system that sets forth the qualities of the Holy Qur’an and its effects and its characteristics.
These are the ten systems which are found in the Holy Qur’an in their perfection like ten circles. In these ten circles, God Almighty has made use of such pure and distinct roots that sane reason immediately testifies that this complete and perfect system of roots was appointed in the Arabic language for the service of the Qur’an. That is why this system of roots is in full accord with the educative system of the Holy Qur’an, which is complete and perfect. The system of roots of other languages is not in accord with the educative systems of those books which are called divine, and which are said to have been revealed in those languages; nor are the ten circles mentioned above found in those books. It is one of the strong proofs of the deficiency of those books that they are deprived of the necessary circles, and that the roots of the language have not been able to keep company with the teaching of those books. The reason for this is that those books are not the real books, and served only a temporary purpose. There is only one real book which came into the world which was to serve the welfare of mankind for ever. It was revealed with the ten perfect circles, and its system of roots is in accord with its educative system, and every one of its ten circles is accompanied by its system of roots according to its natural quantity and values in which distinct roots are appointed for the manifestation of divine attributes, and for the explanation of four types that have been mentioned, and for every circle of teaching a perfect circle of roots is available.
—Minan-ul-Rahman, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 9, pp. 150-152, footnote
No Verity Left out of the Holy Qur’an
It is my faith that the Holy Qur’an is perfect in its teaching and that there is no verity that has been left out of it, as Allah, the Glorious, has said:
وَنَزَّلۡنَا عَلَيۡكَ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ تِبۡيَـٰنًا لِّكُلِّ شَىۡءٍ
‘We have sent down to thee the Book which is an exposition of everything;’ 
مَّا فَرَّطۡنَا فِى ٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ مِن شَىۡءٍ
‘We have not left out anything from the Book.’ 
But I also believe that it is not the function of every maulavi [cleric] to set forth from the Holy Qur’an all religious matters and to expound all its details according to the divine design. This is the function especially of those who have been helped with divine revelation by way of prophethood or great saintliness. For those people who, not being recipients of revelation, are not competent to expound Qur’anic insights, the only straight way is that without attempting to interpret the Qur’an, they should unhesitatingly accept all the teachings which have been handed down by tradition.Those who are illumined with the light of saintly revelation are included among the purified. Regarding them it is the way of Allah that from time to time He discloses to them the hidden fine points of the Holy Qur’an and makes it clear to them that the Holy Prophet (sa) has not put forth any extra teaching on his own and that the true ahadith [oral traditions of the Holy Prophet (sa)] only set forth the details of the principles and directives contained in the Holy Qur’an. By being vouchsafed this insight, the miracle of the Holy Qur’an is manifested to them and the truth of those verses becomes clear to them in which Allah, the Glorious, says that nothing has been left out from the Holy Qur’an.
—al-Haq Mubahatha Ludhiana, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 4, pp. 80-81
The purport of this verse is that:
هُوَ ٱلَّذِى بَعَثَ فِى ٱلۡأُمِّيِّـۧنَ رَسُولاً مِّنۡهُمۡ يَتۡلُواْ عَلَيۡهِمۡ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦ وَيُزَكِّيهِمۡ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلۡحِكۡمَةَ
[‘He it is Who has raised among the Unlettered people a Messenger from among themselves who recites unto them His Signs, and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and wisdom.’] 
The Holy Qur’an has two great purposes for the achievement of which the Holy Prophet (sa) came. One is the wisdom of the Holy Qur’an, that is to say, its insights and fine points; and the second is the effect of the Holy Qur’an which purifies the souls.
The safeguarding of the Qur’an does not mean only that its text should be preserved, for this function was performed in early ages by the Jews and Christians also in respect of their scriptures, so much so, that even the vowel points of the Torah had been calculated. By the safeguarding of the Holy Qur’an is meant both the safeguarding of the text and the safeguarding of the benefits and effects of the Qur’an, and that can only be done in accord with divine practice, if from time to time deputies of the Holy Prophet (sa) should appear who should enjoy all the bounties of messengership by way of reflection, and who should be bestowed all the blessings which are bestowed upon the prophets. This is indicated in the verse:
وَعَدَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مِنكُمۡ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ لَيَسۡتَخۡلِفَنَّهُمۡ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ كَمَا ٱسۡتَخۡلَفَ ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِهِمۡ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمۡ دِينَهُمُ ٱلَّذِى ٱرۡتَضَىٰ لَهُمۡ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُم مِّنۢ بَعۡدِ خَوۡفِهِمۡ أَمۡنً۬اۚ يَعۡبُدُونَنِى لَا يُشۡرِكُونَ بِى شَيۡـًٔ۬اۚ وَمَن كَفَرَ بَعۡدَ ذَلِكَ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡفَـٰسِقُونَ
This verse is explanatory of the other verse:
إِنَّا نَحۡنُ نَزَّلۡنَا ٱلذِّكۡرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ ۥ لَحَـٰفِظُونَ
and furnishes the reply to the question, how will the Qur’an be safeguarded? God Almighty says that He will from time to time send successors of the Holy Prophet (sa).
—Shahadat-ul-Qur’an, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 6, pp. 338-339
The Holy Qur’an Possesses All True Signs of Divine Books
The certain and perfect and easy means whereby without any trouble, labour, obstruction, doubt, suspicion, error, or omission, true principles together with the arguments in support thereof, might be discovered with complete certainty, is the Holy Qur’an. There is no other book or other means through which this great object might be achieved.
—Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 1 p. 77
Now, O friends! I will describe to you the distinctive sign which sane reason has appointed for the recognition of a revealed book is to be found only in the Holy Book of God Almighty, which is the Holy Qur’an. In this age all those qualities which should be found as a distinctive sign of God’s Book are absent in other books. It is possible that they might have possessed those qualities in an earlier age, but they do not possess them now, and though, for the reason that we have set out, we regard them as revealed, yet even if they are revealed, in their present condition they are not of any use. They are like a citadel which is empty and in ruins, and bereft of all wealth and military strength.
—Chashma-e-Ma‘rifat, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 23, p. 402
If an opponent of Islam should object that to hold the Holy Qur’an as being better and superior to all revealed books would mean that other revealed books are of an inferior quality, while they are the word of the same One God, and there cannot be superiority and inferiority between them, the answer would be that from the point of view of revelation all books are doubtlessly equal, but some are superior to others on account of the quantum of their contents and the perfection of matters relating to the faith contained therein. From this point of view, the Holy Qur’an is superior to all books inasmuch as other books do not contain as much of these matters as are necessary for perfecting the religion, such as, for instance, questions relating to the unity of God, and the negation of all types of shirk, and remedies for spiritual ills, and arguments for the rejection of false religions, and the proof of true doctrines, that are set out forcefully in the Holy Qur’an.
—Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 1, p. 74, footnote 2
Unity of God in the Holy Qur’an vs. the Torah
The claim of the Christian missionaries that the Qur’an does not set forth anything new on the unity of God and on divine commandments which is not contained in the Torah, is altogether false. An ignorant person reading the Torah might fall into the error that it sets forth the unity of God, and directions with regard to worship, and the rights of mankind, and that there is nothing new which has been set out in the Qur’an, but only a person who has not pondered the Word of God would fall into this error.
There is a great part of matters divine that finds no mention in the Torah; for instance, it does not mention the finer stages of the unity of God. The Qur’an discloses that the unity of God does not mean merely that we should not worship idols, or human beings, or animals, or the elements, or heavenly bodies or satans, but that the unity of God has three stages.
The first stage of the unity of God is for the common people who desire to be delivered from the wrath of God Almighty.
The second stage is for those who desire to be closer to God than the common people.
The third stage is for those special ones who desire to achieve closeness to perfection.
The first stage is that no one should be worshipped except God, and that one should refrain from the worship of everything that is limited and created, whether it is on the earth or in heaven.
The second stage of the unity of God is that in one’s own affairs and in the affairs of others, God Almighty should be regarded as the true force and that means should not be so emphasised as to become associates of God. For instance, to say that had it not been for X one would have suffered a certain loss, or that if it had not been for Y, one would have been ruined, would amount to shirk, if by such pronouncements it is meant that X and Y truly possess some power.
The third stage of the unity of God is to exclude the desires of one’s ego from one’s love of God Almighty and to devote oneself entirely to His greatness.
Such unity of God is not to be found in the Torah. Also there is no mention of salvation or hell in the Torah, except some slight indications here and there. In the same way, there is no detailed mention in the Torah of the perfect attributes of God Almighty. Had the Torah contained any surah [chapter] like the one in the Holy Qur’an:
قُلۡ هُوَ ٱللَّهُ أَحَدٌ ٱللَّهُ ٱلصَّمَدُ لَمۡ يَلِدۡ وَلَمۡ يُولَدۡ وَلَمۡ يَكُن لَّهُ ۥ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ
then perhaps the Christians might have refrained from the worship of a creature. Also the Torah has not set forth the degrees of rights but the Qur’an has set forth this teaching also in perfection. For instance, it says:
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَأۡمُرُ بِٱلۡعَدۡلِ وَٱلۡإِحۡسَـٰنِ وَإِيتَآىِٕ ذِى ٱلۡقُرۡبَىٰ
‘Allah enjoins equity, benevolence and graciousness between kindred.’ 
This means that our sympathy with mankind should be prompted by natural eagerness and not by any motive of seeking acknowledgement, as for instance, a mother has sympathy for her child. The Torah also fails to establish the existence of God and His unity and His perfect attributes on the basis of reason, but the Holy Qur’an has established all these doctrines and the need of revelation and prophethood with arguments based on reason, and by stating everything in a philosophic way, has made it easy for seekers after truth to appreciate it. These arguments are put forth in such an excellent manner in the Holy Qur’an that it is not within anyone’s power, for instance, to put forth any argument on the existence of God which is not contained in the Qur’an.
A strong argument in support of the need of the Holy Qur’an is that all the previous books beginning with the Torah and ending with the Gospel are addressed to a particular people, namely, the children of Israel and state in clear words that the directions contained in them are not for the general benefit, and are limited to the children of Israel. But the Holy Qur’an aims at the reform of the whole world and is not addressed to any particular people but states plainly that it has been revealed for the benefit of the whole of mankind and that the reform of everyone is its purpose.
—Kitab-ul-Bariyyah, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 13, pp. 83-85
The Holy Qur’an vs. the Gospels
O Christians! Come this way;
See the light of the True God, and find the true path.
Can you show us in the Gospels the numberless qualities present in the Qur’an?
Remember! There is the Creator above you,
Do not just go about misleading His creation.
How long will you continue to love falsehood,
Do try truthfulness for a change.
People! Have some fear of God,
Have some modesty before Him.
The pleasures and delights of this life are not forever;
Dears! This is not a place to live in forever.
No one has ever stayed here forever.
Nor is this an eternal world…
My dear people, listen! Without the Qur’an,
Man can never find the True God.
Those who have no knowledge of this Light,
Cannot behold the Beloved.
The influence of the Furqan [Qur’an] is indeed marvellous:
It turns one into a lover of the Beloved God…
Hear from me of the beauty of the charming beloved; Hear from me the charm of its beautiful countenance.
If you do not have eyes, at least you have ears;
If not, it might as well serve as a trial for you.
—Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Ruhani Khaza’in Vol.1, pp. 298-300
The Qur’an is filled with deep wisdom. In all its teachings and in its instructions with regard to true virtue it goes beyond the Bible. The lamp for beholding the true and unchangeable God is in the hand of the Qur’an. Had the Qur’an not come, God knows how many creatures might have been worshipped in the world. So all praise is due to God that the unity of God which had disappeared from the world, has been reestablished by the Qur’an.
—Tohfah Qaisariyyah, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 12, p.282
Holy Qur’an Brings Full Accord between Science and Religion
The Holy Qur’an is a book so full of wisdom that it has brought out the accord between the principles of spiritual medicine, that is to say, the principles of religion which are truly spiritual medicine, and physical medicine, and this accord is so fine that it opens the doors of hundreds of insights and verities. It is only that person, who can interpret the Holy Qur’an truly and perfectly, who ponders the principles laid down by the Holy Qur’an in the light of the system of physical medicine. On one occasion I was shown in a vision some books of expert physicians which contained a discussion of the principles of physical medicine, among which was included the book of the expert physician Qarshi, and it was indicated to me that these books contained a commentary on the Holy Qur’an. This shows that there is a deep relationship between the science of bodies and the science of religion and that they confirm each other. When I looked at the Holy Qur’an, keeping in mind the books that dealt with physical medicine, I discovered that the Holy Qur’an sets out in an excellent manner the principles of physical medicine.
—Chashma-e-Ma‘rifat, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 23, pp. 102-103
Holy Qur’an – the Universal Book
The book that would have been revealed at the beginning of creation could not, according to reason, be a perfect book. It would be like a teacher who teaches children the alphabet. It is obvious that for such elementary instruction, no great ability is needed. When human experience increased and man fell into many errors, detailed instruction became necessary especially when the darkness of error became widespread and human souls became involved in diverse types of intellectual and practical misguidance. At that time a superior and perfect teaching was needed and that came in the Holy Qur’an. In the beginning instruction of a high grade was not needed, for human souls were simple and no darkness or misguidance had settled on them. Superior teaching was needed in the book which appeared at the time of extreme misguidance and came for the reform of the people whose false doctrines had become confirmed and whose evil conduct had become a habit.
—Chashma-e-Ma‘rifat, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 23, p. 70, footnote
It is true that man was bestowed a revealed book in the beginning of creation, but that book was not the Vedas. To attribute the current Vedas to God Almighty is to offer an insult to the Holy Being. If it is asked why only one revealed book was given to mankind in the beginning and why each people was not given a separate book, the answer is that in the beginning mankind’s number was small and they did not amount even to a people, and one book was sufficient for them. When mankind spread over the earth and the dwellers of each region of the earth became a people, and on account of long distances one people ceased to be in touch with another, divine wisdom demanded that at such time there should be separate messengers and revealed books for different peoples, and so it came about. When mankind increased in numbers still more and communications were established, and means of communication became available, and it became known that different parts of the earth were inhabited by man, and God Almighty determined that they should all be made one people, and should be gathered together after their dispersal, God sent one book for all regions. In this book it was commanded that as it reached different parts of the world, it should be accepted and believed in. That book is the Holy Qur’an which has been revealed to establish a relationship between different regions.
The books that were revealed before the Qur’an were confined to one people each. Books and messengers appeared among the Syrians, Persians, Indians, Chinese, Egyptians and Romans and they were each confined to one people and were not concerned with the others. Last of all came the Holy Qur’an which is a universal book and is not for any one people, but for all peoples. It came for a people who were henceforth to become one. Now means have become available which are bestowing a unity upon different peoples. Mutual intercourse which is at the root of converting mankind into one people has become so easy that a journey that used to take years can now be accomplished within a few days, and such facilities have become available for communication that news that took a year to travel from one far country to another can now be transmitted within an hour. So great a revolution is in progress, and the river of culture is flowing in such manner, that it appears obvious that God Almighty has determined that all the peoples who are scattered in the earth should be made into one people and that those who had been separated over thousands of years might now come together. This is intimated in the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Qur’an alone claims that it has come for all the peoples of the world, as it is said:
قُلۡ يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ إِنِّى رَسُولُ ٱللَّهِ إِلَيۡكُمۡ جَمِيعًا
‘Proclaim to the people: “I am Allah’s Messenger to you all”‘ 
Again it is said:
وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَـٰكَ إِلَّا رَحۡمَةً لِّلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ
‘I have sent thee as a mercy for all the peoples.’ 
And it is said:
لِيَكُونَ لِلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ نَذِيرًا
I declare with all the emphasis at my command, that no revealed book made this claim before the Holy Qur’an. Each confined its message to its own people. Even the Prophet who was deified by the Christians affirmed: ‘I have not been sent but to the lost sheep of Israel.’ 
The conditions of the world also bear testimony that the claim of the Holy Qur’an of a universal message was timely for at the time of the advent of the Holy Prophet (sa), the door of general propagation of the truth had been opened.
—Chashma-e-Ma‘rifat, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 23, pp. 74-77
 The Holy Qur’an, 16:90.
 The Holy Qur’an, 6:39.
 The Holy Qur’an, 62:3.
 ‘Allah has promised to those among you who believe and do good works that He will surely make them Successors in the earth, as He made Successors from among those who were before them; and that He will surely establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them; and that He will surely give them in exchange security and peace after their fear. They will worship Me and they will not associate anything with Me. Then whoso is ungrateful after that, they will be the rebellious.’ The Holy Qur’an, 24:56.
 ‘We Ourself have sent down this Reminder and We shall surely safeguard it.’ The Holy Qur’an, 15:10.
 ‘Proclaim: He is Allah, the Single Allah, the Self-Existing and Besought of all. He begets not nor is He begotten; and there is no one like unto Him.’ The Holy Qur’an, 112:2-5.
 The Holy Qur’an, 16:91.
 The Holy Qur’an, 7:159.
 The Holy Qur’an, 21:108.
 The Holy Qur’an, 25:2.
 The Bible, Matthew 15:24.