Fatir Ahmad, Canada
It’s a concept that has held true since time immemorial; the dawn of any new religion has been met with some sort of hostility. In fact, the Holy Qur’an bears testament that the advent of every true Prophet of God has been met with opposition,
‘Thus did We make for every Prophet an enemy from among the sinners’[i]
This was no different in the case of the Holy Prophet of Islam (sa), who perhaps faced the greatest opposition; and as it would seem, history has a way of repeating itself, the age of the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) brought with it a brand-new form of opposition and hostility. The hostility towards the Promised Messiah (as) is in fact in accordance with prophecy. Thus, the high number of opponents and their allegations do not hold any true bearing; in fact, their opposition and allegations also serve as signs for the truthfulness of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as).
God Almighty has stated in the Holy Qur’an that a time shall arise within the Muslim Ummah when the Holy Qur’an will become like a thing completely discarded. The Prophet will attempt to utilize the Holy Qur’an as a means of guidance for the people while propagating its teaching. Unfortunately, the condition of Muslims will be so horrific, ‘And the Messenger will say, ‘O my Lord, my people indeed treated this Qur’an as a discarded thing.’[ii] This verse relates a time when the teachings of the Qur’an will be abandoned and the Muslim Ummah led by its so-called scholars will be nothing but a cluster of misguidedness. However, The Holy Prophet (as) gave glad tidings of the Messiah and Imam Mahdi who would come in the latter days and revive the frail condition of Muslims.
The second coming of Prophet Jesus (as) and the advent of the Imam Mahdi (as) is one of the most contentious topics within the Muslim Ummah today. Millions of Muslims across the world pour their hearts out every year praying for the second coming of Jesus (as) and the advent of the Imam Mahdi. All of their efforts are left fruitless as every year the condition of the Muslim Ummah continues to disintegrate and retreat and they see no sign of the Imam Mahdi nor the second coming of Jesus (as).
The Holy Prophet of Islam (sa) is recorded to have stated that:
عن علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم
يوشك أن يأتي على الناس زمان لا يبقى من الإسلام إلا اسمه ، ولا يبقى من القرآن إلا رسمه ، مساجدهم عامرة وهي خراب من الهدى ، علماؤهم شر مَن تحت أديم السماء ، مِن عندهمتخرج الفتنة وفيهم تعود
‘A time is soon arriving on people in which there will be nothing left of Islam except its name. There will be nothing left of the Qur’an except its physical copy. Mosques will be devoid of guidance, and the scholars will be the worst of creation under the heavens from them discord will erupt and to them will it return’.[iii]
The Holy Prophet (sa) draws a very disheartening picture of Islam in the latter days, describing its scholars as the worst of creation under the heavens. It causes us to wonder how the scholars of today are supposed to lead the Muslim Ummah towards the age of the second coming of Jesus (as) when their own condition is as heinous as it was prophesied by the Holy Prophet (sa), nothing but a source of misguidance and deception?
In another narration the Holy Prophet (sa) states:
تکونفي أمتي فزعة، فيصير الناس إلى علمائهم فإذا هم قردة وخنازير
‘Terror and dismay will appear in my ummah. The people will turn to their scholars and they will find their condition to be of monkeys and pigs.’[iv]
Narrated by ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr the Holy Prophet (sa) further stated:
حَدَّثَنَا مَحْمُودُ بْنُ غَيْلاَنَ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو دَاوُدَ الْحَفَرِيُّ، عَنْ سُفْيَانَ الثَّوْرِيِّ، عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ زِيَادِ بْنِ أَنْعُمَ الإِفْرِيقِيِّ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ يَزِيدَ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ لَيَأْتِيَنَّ عَلَى أُمَّتِي مَا أَتَى عَلَى بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ حَذْوَ النَّعْلِ بِالنَّعْلِ حَتَّى إِنْ كَانَ مِنْهُمْ مَنْ أَتَى أُمَّهُ عَلاَنِيَةً لَكَانَ فِي أُمَّتِي مَنْ يَصْنَعُ ذَلِكَ وَإِنَّ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ تَفَرَّقَتْ عَلَى ثِنْتَيْنِ وَسَبْعِينَ مِلَّةً وَتَفْتَرِقُ أُمَّتِي عَلَى ثَلاَثٍ وَسَبْعِينَ مِلَّةً كُلُّهُمْ فِي النَّارِ إِلاَّ مِلَّةً وَاحِدَةً قَالُوا وَمَنْ هِيَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ مَا أَنَا عَلَيْهِ وَأَصْحَابِي ” . قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ مُفَسَّرٌ حَسَنٌ غَرِيبٌ لاَ نَعْرِفُهُ مِثْلَ هَذَا إِلاَّ مِنْ هَذَا الْوَجْهِ .
‘What befell the children of Isra’il will befall my Ummah, step by step, such that if there was one who had intercourse with his mother in the open, then there would be someone from my Ummah who would do that also. Indeed, the children of Isra’il split into seventy-two sects, and my Ummah will split into seventy-three sects. All of them are in the Fire Except one sect.” He said: “And which is its O Messenger of Allah?” He said: “What I am upon and my Companions.’[v]
In this narration, the Prophet of Islam (sa) describes the condition of the latter-day Muslims as being identical to that of the Jews. The Muslim Ummah in their rejection and their hostility towards Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) are doing nothing less than emulating the footsteps of the Jews. The Jewish nation was a promising nation but incurred the displeasure of God Almighty because they rejected the coming Messiah, Jesus (as). The Rabbinic scholars, well versed in the Torah, during the time of the advent of Jesus (as) were at the forefront of rejecting his prophethood and scheming against the prophet of God. The advent of Prophet Jesus (as) as the Messiah threatened the authority of the religious leaders. Thus, they were at the forefront of the persecution against him and his followers, just as the Mullahs and Molvis [Muslim clerics] are in the forefront of persecution against the followers of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), the awaited Messiah and Mahdi.
At the time of Prophet Jesus (as), religious leaders would say, ‘have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.’[vi] The religious leaders assumed that the crowd believed in Jesus (as) as the Messiah out of ignorance. The copious amount of attention Jesus (as) received as the Messiah brought forth hatred and jealousy from the Jewish religious leaders. Their jealousy led them down a dark path as they schemed against the life of the Prophet of God.
Similarly, when the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (as) claimed to be the second coming of Jesus (as) and the Imam Mahdi, Muslim scholars erupted in anger and labelled him a disbeliever. The Holy Qur’an had already prophesied that the second advent of Jesus son of Mary (as) would cause an uproar as it is stated:
وَ لَمَّا ضُرِبَ ابۡنُ مَرۡیَمَ مَثَلًا اِذَا قَوۡمُکَ مِنۡہُ یَصِدُّوۡنَ
‘And when the son of Mary is mentioned as an instance, lo! thy people raise a clamour thereat.’[vii]
Thus, according to this prophecy of the Holy Qur’an, the second coming of the Messiah would cause a clamour and uproar in the Muslim nation and it would be led by none other than the scholars and religious leaders.
The Fifth Caliph, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) explains that it was from the beginning, even before his formal claim that the Promised Messiah (as) was opposed and shown hostility,
‘Opposition to the Promised Messiah (as) has been occurring since even before the Community had been formally established and he had not taken the Bai’at (pledge of allegiance) from anyone. Muslims and non-Muslims alike tried their hardest in their opposition to him and continue to do so today.’[viii]
Interestingly, the hostility towards the Promised Messiah and Mahdi (as) was not only prophesied by the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Prophet (sa) but was also mentioned by renowned reformers throughout the years. Mujaddid Muhyiddin ibn Arabi writes in his famous book titled Futuhat-ul– Makkiyyahthat,
و اذا خرج ھذا الامام مھدی فلیس لہ عدوت مبین الا الفقھاء خاصۃ
‘When the Imam Mahdi comes, he will be apposed by the scholars who give religious edicts’.[ix]
Another famous Islamic reformer Mujaddid Alf -Sani writes:
‘That is, the scholars will reject the edicts of Imam Mahdi (as) and declare them to be against the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (sa) because they are beyond the comprehension of the scholars because of the perfect knowledge and source he will be bestowed.’[x]
Similarly, Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan from Bhopal stated,
“Due to the reason The Mahdi (as) will revive the actions of the Holy Prophet (sa) and will destroy innovations, he will receive backlash and hostility from religious scholars and will label him as a disbeliever.’ [xi]
And so, as was the case with all true prophets, the Promised Messiah (as) was confronted with hostility and opposition, just as it had been foretold. The Promised Messiah (as) himself describes,
‘Verily, remember that the promises of God are true. In accordance with His promise, He has sent a warner to the world, and while the world has not accepted him, God Almighty will surely accept him and demonstrate his truthfulness with immensely powerful onslaughts. I tell you truthfully that in accordance with the promise of God Almighty, I have appeared as the Promised Messiah; accept if you will, or reject me if you so please. But remember, your denial will amount to nothing. Whatsoever God has willed shall indeed come to pass, because God Almighty has already revealed to me, as recorded in Barahin-e-Ahmadiyyah:
The prophecy of Allah and His Messenger has been fulfilled at its duly appointed time and whatever God had willed was bound to happen.‘[xii]
This hostility he faced was part and parcel of the foretelling of the Messiah. Thus Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) faced opposition of all kinds; from constant personal attacks and attacks on his family, tracts and edicts of disbelief constantly published against him, false propaganda was spread about him and his community, false allegations of the harshest crimes levelled against him, false court cases, all from which he would be completely exonerated. Opponents spared no effort, as Muslim clerics would publish sheer lies against him to poison the minds of the masses. The Promised Messiah (as) would be challenged by religious clerics not only in the Indian sub-continent but from the Western world as well. There was seemingly no stone left unturned when it came to opponents’ hostility towards him. However there was yet another prophecy in the following words of the Holy Prophet (sa):
أَلا فَمَنْ أَدْرَكَهُ مِنْكُمْ فَلْيَقْرَأْ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامَ
‘Anyone from among you who sees him, (meaning the Mahdi), he should convey my Salam (salutation of peace) to him.’[xiii]
Why did the Holy Prophet (sa) lay special emphasis on conveying his Salam to the Messiah even if it meant traversing the harshest of terrains? The Promised Messiah (as) explains the hidden meaning of this salutation of peace when he says,
‘The Holy Prophet (sa) sent peace on the Promised Messiah which is in accordance with a prophecy and not a mere mundane salutation of peace. The prophecy entails that the Holy Prophet (sa) gave me the good news that no matter the intensity the opposition will rise in insurgency and call you a disbeliever and dajjal and make countless efforts to disarm your reputation and give sentence for your murder. God will keep them hopeless and you will remain safe. And you will forever have honour and greatness and acceptance and security from every failure in the world as is the meaning of peace be upon you.’[xiv]
And so, the Promised Messiah (as) says:
‘Those who have rejected me, or are eager to reject me, are destined to be humiliated and brought low. They do not reflect that if all this had been human imposture, I would have been ruined long ago, for God Almighty has such enmity with an impostor as He has not with anyone else in the world. They do not consider how a liar could possess such steadfastness and courage. They do not realize that only he can speak so splendidly and majestically who enjoys the support of the unseen and only such a one can have the courage to stand up alone against the whole world. Be on the look out, for the days are coming, indeed they are near, when the enemy will be disgraced and friends will be most cheerful.’[xv]
In conclusion, as prophesied, the advent of the Messiah and Mahdi was to receive an immense amount of backlash and hostility from ‘scholars.’ The same scholars who were labelled by the Holy Prophet (sa) as the worst of creation fifteen hundred years ago. Today, once again, history repeats itself and the Promised Messiah (as) has been accused and labelled as a disbeliever, despite the fact that thousands of signs have manifested at his hands. Whatever had been prophesied regarding the hostility towards the coming Messiah and Mahdi became a reality when Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) made his blessed claim to being the personification of that which the Muslim Ummah was so eagerly awaiting. As is evident, as of yet the majority of the Muslim world has failed to pay heed and others have vehemently rejected his ardent callings towards guidance, while a relative few have accepted. It is not on account of any fault in the teachings of the Promised Messiah (as) but a grave fault in the hearts of the mindless scholars within the Muslim Ummah who evidently seek nothing but to drive the Ummah towards the hell-fire. How ironic it is, that it is the very scholars who were foreshadowed by the Prophet (sa) as the worst of creation who seek to label the Promised Messiah (as) as the Antichrist, a liar and deceiver.
Yet, as always has been the case, even in the midst of the hostility from what may be the masses, there are always pious people in the world who are ready to accept the guidance and truth sent to them from their Lord. His Holiness (aba) states:
‘When the beloved of God are made to face hardships in His name, the transgressions of such evil-doers continue to increase. When the Holy Prophet (sa) faced opposition, Allah Almighty said to him as well, that such opposition is the work of evil-doers. Opponents of faith always strive their hardest to oppose the message of a prophet, create hurdles in his work, afflict his followers with hardships; but these oppositions, these hardships, these attacks never enable opponents to be successful. In the end, it is the prophets who prevail and the opponents become the target of God’s wrath.’[xvi]
At the time of Jesus (as), despite the harsh opposition people continued to accept the message of the Messiah of Judaism. The same was most evident during the time of the Holy Prophet (sa); no matter how devious and dubious the attempts of those overtly or implicitly opposed to him, there were those pious souls who saw the truth and accepted it. They would face the most gruelling torture and would be told that the only way to end it would be to denounce the Holy Prophet (sa) and join in opposition, yet it was at such moments that they would proclaim their devotion the loudest. And we see how this same spirit lives on today, and Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. In fact, it is a mark of the truthful, that they are faced by harsh opposition, but that opposition does not hinder people from seeing the truth in their message and coming to the light. Thus, the followers of the Promised Messiah (as) have also grown tremendously in numbers. Despite the harsh opposition during his lifetime and the continuous barrage of attacks, both physical and ideological by so-called clerics and their followers which continue to this day; the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community continues to spread at a rapid rate. From the small Indian hamlet known as Qadian, the community has spread to over 200 countries worldwide. How does this happen despite opposition? The Promised Messiah (as) explains:
‘You see, in agriculture, there is a use for everything; water, seeds. Yet even still, it is necessary to use manure – which is extremely foul. Foul opposition of the community serves the same purpose of manure.’[xvii]
Thus, even in the wake of hostility, a testament to the truth in itself, the truth has always, and will continue to prevail, as the Divine community of the Promised Messiah (as) continues to spread throughout the world and God-Willing people who are in search of guidance will continue to accept Ahmadiyyat, the true Islam
About the Author: Fatir Ahmad is a graduate from the Ahmadiyya Institute of Languages and Theology in Canada
[i]The Holy Qur’an Chapter 25 Verse 32
[ii]The Holy Qur’an Chapter 25 Verse 31
[iii]Mishkat al Masabih, Vol. 1, p. 91 # 276
[iv]Kanzul Ummal, Vol.14, p. 280 # 3872
[v]Jami’at Tirmidhi # 2641
[vi]John 7: 48-49
[vii]The Holy Qur’an Ch 43: Verse 5
[viii]Friday Sermon Delivered on April 7, 2017
[ix]Futuhat-ul-Makkiyyah, p. 336
[x]Maktubat Imam Rabbani, Vol. 2, p. 107 # 55
[xi]Hijajul – Kiramah p. 363
[xii]Malfuzat (English Translation) Vol. 1 p.214
[xiii]Tabarani, Hadith #5040
[xiv]Tuhfa-Golarhwiyah,Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 17, p. 131
[xv]A’ina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 5, pp. 349-350
[xvi]Friday Sermon delivered on May 21, 2010
[xvii]Malfuzat Vol. 5 p. 631 (1988 Edition)