The Returns of Messiah

MARCH 1985 THE RETURN OF THE MESSIAH 35 THE RETURN OF THE MESSIAH BY Dr. Qazi Muhammad Barkatullah Almost one hundred years ago, the prophecies relating to the return of Jesus Christ were being fulfilled, and the second advent of the Messiah very anxiously looked forward to. We have a precedent that Elias had to come down from heaven before the first advent of Jesus Christ. But, the same Elias did not come back, and John the Baptist was said to have come with the Spirit of Elias (Matthew; 11:14). Similarly, the second coming of the Messiah was duly fulfill- ed with the advent of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam. It was the latter part of the nineteenth century, A.D., and the close of the thirteenth century Hijri, that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India, proclaimed that he was the Promised Messiah and the Mahdi. The Promised Messiah declared that the door to salvation was none other than professing: Besides Allah, there is none worthy of worship and Muhammad is His Messenger. PREDICTIONS FULFILLED The signs of time pointing to the second advent of the Messiah being fulfilled are briefly cited here: 1. Various scholars relied heavily on Daniel’s Prophecy (Daniel, Chapter 12) about the coming of Jesus Christ. It refers to the year 1290 of the Muslim calendar which occurred in the latter part of the nineteenth century, A.D. (around 1874). Hazrat Ahmad’s Advent occurred exactly on time, according to Daniel’s Prophecy (Haqiqatul Wahy, p. 208). 2. In 1889, The American Mission published a book, Millenium Dawn, mentioning that from the time of the creation of Adam, up to the year 1872, a period of six thousand years had been completed, entering into the seventh thousand and the time for the second coming of Christ. 36 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS MARCH 1985 3. Reverend Comming in his book, The End (Ohio, 1879), con- cluded that all the signs of those days were preparing the way for the fulfillment of the prophecy for the second coming of Jesus Christ. The fulfillment of the predictions like earthquakes in different places, plagues and pestilences, wars and rumors of wars, all were preparing the way for the second coming of Jesus Christ. The Chris- tian Scholar, therefore, wrote in 1879: ‘Christ is at our door.’ 4. Not only Christians but Muslims were also awaiting the advent of the Messiah and Mahdi (rightly guided). For, Prophet Muhamhad said: “The Mahdi is none else but Jesus.” There was a heavenly sign to be fulfilled, a sign which had never been witnessed by the world ever since its creation. The fulfillment of that great heavenly sign leaves not a bit of doubt in this connection. Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of God be on him, says: “Of our Mahdi there are two signs which have never taken place ever since the earth and the heaven came into existence. One is that in the month of Ramazan the moon shall be eclipsed on the first of its nights and the Sun in the middle of its days of eclipse and such a sign had never occurred ever since the creation of the earth and the heaven.” (Dar Qutni, Vol. VIII, p. 188) It is, therefore, evident that the advent of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi shall be heralded by a profound and singular sign of the Heaven. This sign was duly fulfilled in the year 1311 A.H., corres- ponding to the year 1894 A.D. In the month of Ramazan both the moon and the sun were eclipsed at specified times in accordance with the prophecy. 5. The Muslims were also awaiting the Reformer who was to be raised at the beginning of the 14th Century of Muslim era. For, a Reformer had to be raised at the beginning of each Century acccord- ing to Prophet Muhammad. (Abu Dawood) Jesus Christ appeared 1300 years after Prophet Moses, that is at the beginning of the 14th Century. Similarly, the Second Coming of Jesus, the Messiah, the Mahdi, was also to be fulfilled 1300 years after Prophet Muhammad, that is at the beginning of the 14th Cen- tury of the Muslim calendar. This period corresponds to the last quarter of the nineteenth century of Christian calendar. 6. Wali Naimatullah, a great Muslim saint, predicted through his famous verses as follows: I behold the might and power of God, MARCH 1985 THE RETURN OF THE MESSIAH 37 When 1200 years will have expired The law of Muhammad shall he refresh and revive I recite the name Ahmad, He is the Mahdi of the time and the Messiah of the age; Both these offices I see blended in him. 7. The Hindus were looking for Krishna and the Sikhs for Autar. Guru Baba Nanak had pointed out: “The reign of the Mughals shall last from 1578 to 1897 of the Bikram era. Then a Reformer shall rise”. (Janam Sakhi of Bhi Bala, p. 272) 8. Most of the Chapters in the last part of the Holy Quran contain signs of the advent of the Promised Messiah. Some of the Signs are summarized below: A. The eclipse of both sun and moon on specified dates in the month of Ramazan was witnessed in the year 1894. B. The falling of the stars was witnessed in 1866, 1872, and 1875. This prophecy has also been the topic of discussion by the Christian scholars. For example, Ellen G. White refers to this in his book, The Great Controversy, as follows: “In 1833, two years after Miller began to present in public the evidence of Christ’s coming soon, the last of the signs appeared which were promised by the Savior as tokens of his Second advent. That is the stars shall fall from heaven”. C. “The Mountains will be blown away,” has also been witnessed as many tunnels and roads have been made through mountains by blowing them up. D. New modes of transportation have been witnessed in terms of railroads, airplanes, etc. E. The period when “the beasts are gathered together,” has been witnessed by the establishments of Zoological gardens. F. “The waters of rivers drained away” for irrigation purposes, the rivers lined up together, large oceans joined by canals, have since been witnessed. G. “The bringing of people together” has been witnessed by the mass media of communication. H. The advancement in the science of astronomy and the ushering in of the space era has also been witnessed. 38 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS MARCH 1985 I. The calamites of diverse nature in our times have also been witnessed. J. Having witnessed all the signs being fulfilled,, there are glad tidings for the people that the appearance of the Promised Messiah will make it easier for people to accept him and please God Almighty. That is to say, the Paradise is to to be brought nearer to the people. Because even the slightest sacrifice in the way of God Almighty will carry great weight. As such the people who accept the Promised Messiah will be near and dear to God Almighty. This was the period when God Almighty raised Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad who proclaimed that in him all the prophecies about the Advent of a Great Reformer, the Mahdi and the Promised Messiah had been fulfilled. During the year 1880, while writing his first book, Brahin-i-Ahmadiyya, it was revealed to him that he was the Reformer of the Fourteenth Century Hijri, but he did not form any organization immediately. It was the year 1307 A.H., corresponding to 1889, that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad proclaimed himself to be the Promised Messiah. In his Persian verses, (rendered into English), Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad proclaims: This was the time, the time for the Messiah to come, Had I not come, someone else would have come. It has been revealed to me that I am the same Person who is the Reformer of the faith and the Guide unto the people. With the loud beat of drum I proclaim that I am the Messiah and Successor to the King in Heaven, that is, Pro- phet Muhammad. The Promised Messiah said: “As I am the Promised Messiah and God has manifested heavenly signs in my sup- port, everyone who in the estimation of God has been suffi- ciently warned of my advent as the Promised Messiah and has become aware of my claim, will be accountable to God, for no one can turn away with impunity from those who have been sent by God.