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 several aspects of the Holy Qur’an, including how it has been safeguarded and the perfect system of guidance found in it. Extracts from The Essence of Islam, Vol. I, 476-490. This is the eleventh part of a multi-part series.
Safeguarding of the Holy Qur’an
There is a promise in the Holy Qur’an that God would safeguard Islam at the time of trials and dangers as is said:
According to this promise God Almighty safeguarded His word in four ways. First, by means of those who have committed the Holy Qur’an to memory, its text and sequence were safeguarded. In each century there have been hundreds of thousands of people who had committed this Holy Word to memory and thus safeguarded it in such a way that if they were asked about one word they could recite its context. In this way, the Holy Qur’an was safeguarded against verbal perversion in every age. Secondly, through great divines who were bestowed an understanding of the Qur’an in every century, who interpreted the Qur’an with the help of the Ahadith, and thus safeguarded the Holy Word of God and its holy teaching against the perversion of its meaning in every age. Thirdly, through scholars who set forth Qur’anic teachings in the light of reason and thus safeguarded the Holy Word of God against the attacks of short-sighted philosophers. Fourthly, through those upon whom spiritual bounties were bestowed who safeguarded the Holy Word of God in every age against the attacks of those who denied miracles and spiritual insights.
—Ayyam-us-Sulh, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 14, p. 288
Lest it should be imagined that the Muslims believe that revelation began with Adam and came to an end with the Holy Prophet (sa) and that, therefore, after the Holy Prophet (sa) revelation ceased altogether, it should be remembered that we do not believe like the Hindus that God’s Word was confined to that which He had already disclosed. According to the Islamic doctrine God’s Word and His knowledge and His wisdom, like His Being, are unlimited. God Almighty has said:
‘If the ocean were to be used as ink for transcribing the Words of the Lord, surely the ocean would be exhausted before the Words of my Lord come to an end, even though We augmented it with the like thereof.’ 
We understand the cessation of revelation with the Holy Prophet (sa) in the sense that though the Word of God is unlimited, yet as the corruption for the reform of which the Word of God descended, and the needs that were fulfilled through revelation were limited, only that much of the Divine Word was revealed as was needed by mankind. The Holy Qur’an was revealed at a time when all possible needs had become apparent and all moral and doctrinal and verbal matters and human conduct had been corrupted, and all kinds of excesses and vices had reached their limit. Therefore, the teaching of the Holy Qur’an was all comprehensive. It is in this sense that the law revealed in the Qur’an is perfect and final, and previous revealed laws are incomplete, as the evils for the reform of which previous revealed Books had come, had not arrived at their climax, but at the time of the revelation of the Holy Qur’an they had reached their maximum. Now the distinction between the Holy Qur’an and other revealed Books is that even if those Books had been safeguarded in every way, their teaching being incomplete, a perfect teaching, that is to say, the Holy Qur’an would have been needed to be revealed; but no other Book is needed after the Holy Qur’an as there can be nothing beyond perfection.
If it was to be supposed that the true principles of the Holy Qur’an would be perverted like the Vedas and the Bible and associates would be set up with God Almighty, and the teaching of the Unity of God would be altered and perverted, and that the millions of Muslims who are established on the Unity of God would fall into shirk and worship of creatures, then in such case another law would have to be revealed and another Messenger would arrive, but all this supposition is out of the question. The perversion of the teaching of the Holy Qur’an is not possible as God Almighty has said:
‘We Ourself have sent down this Admonition and We shall continue to be its Guardian.’ 
The truth of this prophecy has been demonstrated over 1,300 years. So far, no pagan teaching has found its way into the Holy Qur’an, as it had into previous revealed Books. Nor can reason imagine any such contingency. Millions of Muslims have learned the Holy Qur’an by heart, and thousands of commentaries safeguard its meaning. Its verses are recited in Prayer Services five times a day, and it is read every day. It is being published in all countries in millions of copies, and its teaching being known to every people are factors on the basis of which reason decides that in future any change or perversion in the text of the Holy Qur’an is beyond the range of possibility.
—Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 1, pp. 100-102, footnote 9
Critique of Brahmu Samaj Answered
It is objected that all the verities of Divine knowledge cannot be comprehended in any one Book, then how can it be expected that imperfect books can guide a person to complete understanding?
The answer is that this objection would be worthy of attention if one of the Brahmu Samajists were to put forward on the basis of his reason some new verity relating to the recognition of God or other such matter which is not mentioned in the Holy Qur’an. In such case the Brahmu Samajists could claim with pride that all the verities relating to the hereafter and to the recognition of God are not comprised in the revealed Book, and that such and such a verity has been left out which they have discovered. If they were to do so, they might succeed in misguiding some ignorant persons. The Holy Qur’an claims:
… That is to say: No verity relating to Divine knowledge which is needed by man has been left out from the Holy Qur’an.
Again it is said:
…That is to say: The Messenger of God recites holy scriptures comprising all perfect verities and the knowledge granted to people of the earlier ages and those of the latter days.
Again it is said:
This means that: This Book has two qualities: one is that the All-Wise One has set it out in a firm and well-argued manner, that is to say, in the way of wisdom and not merely as a story; and, secondly, it sets forth all that is needed about the hereafter.
Again it is said:
That is to say: This Book resolves all the contentions that might arise with regard to the hereafter and is not just vain talk.
Again, it is said:
That is to say: This Book has been revealed so that the differences that have been created by defective reasoning, or by deliberate excess, may be removed and the straight path might be indicated for the believers. There is also an indication here that the mischief that has been wrought by differences in human compositions can be set right only by the Word which is free from all defects. It is obvious that he who has been misled by words can be brought to the straight path only through the Divine Word. Indications contained in the law of nature cannot decide between differences of composition, nor can they convince a misguided one of his error. If a judge does not record the pleas of the plaintiff nor meets the objections of the defendant with strong arguments, then how is it possible that the parties should discover the answer to their questions, objections and pleas in the hints contained in his judgement, and how can a final judgement be propounded on the basis of confused hints which do not satisfy either side? In the same way, the commandments of God are conclusively established to the satisfaction of His servants when He informs them of their error into which they have fallen by the false statements of people, through His perfect and true speech, and makes known to them their falling into misguidance by a reasoned and clear statement, so that if they do not mend their ways even after being informed and do not give up their error, they might be condemned to chastisement. Would it be just on the part of God Almighty that He should seize a person as an offender and should be ready to punish him, without proving the error of his arguments in support of his innocence by a clear statement removing his doubts by His express Words?
Perfect System of guidance of the Holy Qur’an
Again it is said:
…This means that: The Holy Qur’an has three qualities. First, it guides people to the knowledge of the faith that had disappeared. Secondly, it sets forth the details of such knowledge as had been briefly stated. Thirdly, it sets forth the decisive word concerning matters over which differences had arisen and thus distinguishes between truth and falsehood.
Concerning the comprehensiveness of the Qur’an it is said:
Meaning that: All knowledge of faith has been set out in detail in this Book and it points out those means and teaches that perfect knowledge which should lead man not only to partial progress but to full development.
Again it is said:
Meaning that: This Book has been revealed so that every religious verity might be plainly stated and this perfect statement might prove the means of guidance and mercy for those who submit wholly to God.
Then it is said:
This means that: We have revealed this magnificent Book to you, so that you may move people out of darkness into light. This is an indication that the Holy Qur’an removes every kind of doubt that passes through a man’s mind and puts down false notions, and bestows the light of perfect understanding; that is to say, it bestows all the insights and verities that are needed for turning to God Almighty and believing in Him.
Again it is said:
This means that: The Qur’an is not a Book which could be composed by man. The signs of its truth are patent for it establishes the truth of previous Books, meaning that the prophecies contained in the previous Books concerning the Holy Qur’an have been fulfilled by its being revealed. Also the Qur’an has supplied the arguments in support of true doctrines which had not been set forth in previous books and thus carried their teaching to perfection. In this manner the Qur’an proved the truth of the previous books, which also establishes its own truth. It is a sign of its truth that it sets forth every religious verity and states all those matters which are necessary for perfect guidance. This is a sign of its truth inasmuch as it is beyond the power of man that his knowledge should be so comprehensive that no religious verity and fine truth should be left out of it.
In these verses God Almighty has clearly stated that the Holy Qur’an is comprehensive of all verities and this is a very strong argument in support of its truth. Centuries have passed after this claim of the Holy Qur’an, but no Brahmu or any other has come out to contest it. It is obvious that, without setting forth any new verity that might have been left out of the Holy Qur’an, to put forward false notions like the insane which have no reality, is strong proof that such people do not desire to seek the truth like the righteous, but to please their evil-directing selves they are seeking ways whereby they should be freed from God’s holy commandments and from God Himself. For procuring such freedom they turn away from the true Book of God, the truth of which is brighter than the sun, and they neither discuss any matter in the spirit of scholarship, nor listen to anything said by the other side. They should be asked when did anyone present a religious verity in opposition to the Qur’an and found no answer from the Qur’an? For 1,300 years the Holy Qur’an has claimed that all religious verities are comprised in it. Then how vile it is that without a test such a grand Book should be held to be defective, and what kind of arrogance is it neither to admit the claim of the Holy Qur’an nor to refute it? The truth is that though their lips sometimes utter the name of God, their hearts are filled with the filth of the world. If they start a religious discussion they do not continue it till the end and cut it short lest a truth should be manifested. Then they describe this perfect book as defective which proclaims:
This day, by revealing this book, I have perfected your religion for your benefit, and have completed all My favours for the believers. Have you no fear of God? Will you go on living like this? Will your false mouths not be cursed one day by God? If you think that you have discovered a high verity after great labour, and research and you falsely assume that the Holy Qur’an has failed to mention it, we call upon you to put aside everything else and present that verity to us so that we might exhibit it to you from the Qur’an.
—Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 1, pp. 223-227, footnote 11
In Praise of the Holy Qur’an
Beauty of the Holy Qur’an (Urdu Poem)
The grace and beauty of the Qur’an
Is the light and life of every Muslim;
The moon is the beloved of others,
Our beloved is the Qur’an.
I searched everywhere,
Its peer could not be found;
Why, after all, should it not be unique:
It is the Holy Word of the Gracious Lord.
Every word in it is a living
And everlasting spring;
No orchard has such quality,
Nor is there a garden like it.
The Word of the Gracious God
Has no equal;
Be it a pearl from Umman,
Or a ruby from Badakhshan.
How can the word of man
Equal the world of God?
There is divine power; here is helplessness;
The difference is so obvious!
In knowledge and eloquence,
How can man equal Him;
Before Whom even the angels
Even the tiny leg of an insect,
Man can never create;
How is it possible for him
To create the Light of God?
O people, have some regard
For the grandeur of the Great Lord;
Hold your tongues now
If you have even a hint of faith.
To consider someone equal to God
Is an act of great infidelity;
Have some fear of God, dears!
What a lie and calumny this is!
If you accept the Unity of God,
Why are your hearts full of polytheism?
What veils of ignorance
Have enveloped your hearts!
You are indeed guilty of an error;
Desist! if you have any fear of God.
I bear no ill will to you, brothers,
This is only a humble advice;
My heart and life are an offering
For anyone who has a pure heart.
—Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Ruhani Khaza’in Vol. 1, pp. 198-204
To: Light of the Furqan (Urdu Poem)
The light of the Furqan 
Is the brightest of all lights;
Holy is He from Whom
This river of spiritual light issued forth.
The tree of faith in divine unity
Was about to wither away;
All of a sudden, this pure spring
Gushed forth from the unseen.
O Allah! Your Furqan is a universe in itself;
It contains everything that was ever needed.
We searched the whole world,
We rummaged through all the shops;
But we found only this one goblet
Containing the true knowledge of the divine.
The similitude of this light cannot be found
In the whole wide world;
For it is unique in every thing,
And matchless in every quality.
At first we thought that the Furqan
Is like the rod of Moses;
Then when we reflected further,
And found every word to be a Messiah.
Blind as they are,
It is their own fault;
Otherwise this light has shone
As brightly as a hundred suns.
How pathetic is the life
Of the people in this world,
Whose hearts remained blind
Even in the presence of this Light.
—Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Ruhani Khaza’in Vol.1, pp. 305-306
Source of Verities and the Sun of Truthfulness (Persian Poem)
Out of the holy light of the Qur’an broke the bright day;
And the spring breeze started blowing upon the buds of the hearts.
The shining sun does not have this light and brightness;
And such charm and grace the moon has never possessed.
Joseph was cast into the pit alone;
Whereas this Joseph  has pulled many a people out of the pits.
From the Orient of Knowledge, it has brought forth hundreds of verities;
The profile of the young and tender crescent is arched because of its great delicacy.
Do you know how excellent is the quality of knowledge it contains?
It is heavenly honey dripping from the revealed word of God.
When this sun of truthfulness appeared in the world;
Every owl that worshipped darkness, retreated into its hideout.
No one can experience certainty in this world;
Except the one who takes refuge in its countenance.
He who is blessed with its knowledge, becomes a treasure of knowledge;
He who is not aware of it, is like the one who knows nothing of the world.
The rain of the grace of the Gracious Lord comes to welcome such a one;
Unlucky is he who forsakes it and runs after others.
Inclination towards sin is nothing but a satanic taint;
Only him I consider human, who gets rid of all mischief.
O mine of beauty, I know of your origin;
You are the light of the God Who created the universe.
I have nothing to do with any one else, you alone are my beloved;
We have received your light from Him Who listens to entreaties.
—Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Ruhani Khaza’in Vol.1, pp. 304-305
Revelation from God (Persian Poem)
With the Divine word, the dawn of truth has broken;
The eye that has not seen those holy scriptures has seen nothing.
The castle of my heart is filled with the fragrance of that musk;
The beloved, who had left us, has returned.
The eye which does not partake of the light of the Furqan;
I declare in the name of God, that it will never be redeemed of its blindness.
The one who seeks the Divine garden but leaves the Qur’an aside;
We can swear that he has never even smelled its fragrance.
I do not compare even with sun the light which I see;
Hundreds of suns encircle it in humility.
Unfortunate and benighted are the people,
Who turn their backs upon this light because of their self-conceit.
—Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Ruhani Khaza’in Vol. 1, p. 335
- ‘We Ourself have sent down this Admonition and We shall surely safeguard it.’ — The Holy Qur’an, 15:10.
- The Holy Qur’an, 18:110.
- The Holy Qur’an, 15:10.
- The Holy Qur’an, 6:39.
- The Holy Qur’an, 98:3-4.
- The Holy Qur’an, 11:2.
- The Holy Qur’an, 86:14-15.
- The Holy Qur’an, 16:65.
- The Holy Qur’an, 2:186.
- The Holy Qur’an, 17:13.
- The Holy Qur’an, 16:90.
- The Holy Qur’an, 14:2.
- The Holy Qur’an, 12:112.
- The Holy Qur’an, 5:4.
- Furqan means: ‘The one which makes distinction between truth and falsity’. It is another name for the Holy Qur’an.
- Joseph is renowned for his beauty. The purport of this couplet is that the Holy Qur’an—this our Joseph—is not only a great beauty in itself, but it also is a saviour, whereas the man Joseph, despite his beauty, could not save himself from being thrown into a pit.