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The Returns of Messiah

MARCH 1985 THE MIRACLE OF THE PEN 31 THE MIRACLE OF THE PEN By Syed Hasanat Ahmad In the long history of mankind, no one has ever wielded his pen so forcefully, so powerfully and so relentlessly in the defence of his faith as Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad—the great spiritual son of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing of God be on him). Ahmad, peace be on him, unlocked fathomless treasures of knowledge so freely, so generously and so abundantly. He fulfilled a famous saying of the Holy Prophet that the Mahdi would distribute wealth freely. Millions of words flowed from his pen, his writings occupy thousands of pages bound in over eighty bulky volumes. This does not include hundreds of posters, leaflets and handbills issued by Ahmad to nail the lie or to challenge the enemies of Islam. His medium of expression was Urdu, Arabic and Persian, although by virtue of his meagre education, he could claim perfec- tion in none. Urdu was the proud language of Delhi and Lucknow and Ahmad hailed from a village lying far away from the ramparts of civilization and culture of that day. Yet Ahmad produced a style of his own that immensely enriched the Urdu literature so abundant- ly that it amazed the proud scholars of its rich culture. Ahmad’s pen produced a magic, cast a spell, exercised a fascina- tion and hypnotized the reader in a way that no writer could ever claim. His cold logic, his power of reasoning, his marshalling of arguments, his method of induction and deduction, his dynamism in style and expression left his friends and foes dumbfounded and speechless. Ahmad’s love for God, his devotion to the Holy Prophet and his complete immersion in the Holy Quran were simply matchless and unparalleled. His love for Islam prompted the unceasing flow of powerful writings that set leaders of diverse faiths on the defensive. God had blessed him with two special gifts, the gift of knowledge and the gift of the power to communicate that knowledge. The miracle of the pen, whether in Urdu or Arabic, with which he was Divinely blessed, remains unchallenged for all times. Little wonder 32 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS MARCH 1985 that Ahmad was able to demonstrate the mastery on both these languages in a manner no one could ever excel. Ahmad was endowed with the special gift of the understanding of the Holy Quran. He asserted, and established this assertion with the force of a giant, that the Holy Quran is an infinite source of knowledge—infinite in its meanings and infinite in its nature and properties. Ahmad brought a new glory and a new lustre to the Holy Quran discovering numerous excellences and graces that had laid hidden for centuries. Ahmad demonstrated with arguments that the Holy Quran is replete with prophecies about our time, some fulfilled and some yet to be fulfilled. The Quran never makes an assertion unless it pro- vides a convincing argument for that assertion. Any doubt or any difficulty arising in one’s mind can easily be settled by the Holy Quran itself. Ahmad demonstrated the multi-sidedness of the Quran by explaining how the text is to be interpreted. It has many layers of meaning. He claimed that the Holy Quran imparts knowledge about the natural phenomena so necessary to the spiritual advancement of mankind. He gave us the principles of interpretation of the Holy Quran whereby one can guard against the errors. Ahmad discovered that the Holy Quran contains a systematic account of the spiritual advancement, and enumerated the stages to which the human beings are capable of attaining them. He proved that the Holy Quran has a perfect sequence. The verses of each chapter are related to each other in a rational link. Ahmad was the first authority to indicate that Sura Fatiha is a synopsis of the Holy Quran and in a way prologue to the Holy Book, the rest of the Book being an explanation. He explained how the meanings of various parts and the verses of Quran have relevance to the present day needs. When Ahmad announced his mission for reforming the society, he was attacked for his alleged lack of knowledge and learning. He was described as a Munshi (clerk) and a half-educated scholar. It was stated that he had no knowledge of Arabic and therefore did not have the necessary qualifications to pronounce judgment on matters of higher learning. A wall of prejudice was raised against him. When this hue and cry spread far and wide, God granted him a special knowledge of the Arabic language and endowed him with the know- ledge of forty thousand roots of Arabic in a single night. Ahmad was granted this miraculous competence in Arabic and was commanded MARCH 1985 THE MIRACLE OF THE PEN 33 to write books in Arabic. His first attempt in Arabic prose was a chapter that he appended to his outstanding book, Aeena-kamalat- Islam. This chapter contained an open challenge to anyone who could find faults in his God-given gift of Arabic. The number of books that he wrote in Arabic continued to pile up till it crossed the figure of 20. Ahmad asked his critics to produce something better and nobody had the courage to accept the challenge. He then offered rewards from Rs 1,000 which went on rising to Rs 10,000, but despite the temptation offered none could produce something as good in beauty and eloquence and power or even inferior as the writings of Ahmad. All of his Arabic books remain a challenge until now;even the Arabs were invited to join the challenge but none came forward. Then it was alleged that Ahmad had secretly employed an Arab who did his writings in Arabic. To silence this allegation, Ahmad was commanded by God to deliver a sermon in Arabic on the forth- coming Eidul Azha which was to occur in a couple of days (April 11, 1900). In obedience to the Divine command, Ahmad delivered a lengthy sermon in Arabic, which was recorded instantly by a team including Hazrat Maulvi Noorud Din, who later was elected the first Caliph. The sermon (later published under the title of Khutaba Ilhamia (revealed Sermon) is couched in Arabic of highest order and bewildered the Arabs and non-Arabs alike. The writing of these books was not the only occupation of Ahmad. He issued thousands of leaflets, handbills and tracts and wrote letters and made speeches and granted interviews to hundreds of thousands of seekers of the truth. According to one estimate, in seven years after the acceptance of the first Bai’t, he received ninety thousand letters to which he had to reply himself. The writing of forty or fifty letters a day is not an easy job for a man who is required to make speeches, hold debates and write books. And then he had to play host to all those who visited him, for Islam, in- culcating cordial hospitality towards all guests. A word about the first Bai’t that Ahmad took on March 23, 1889 at Ludhiana. It excites one’s imagination why Ludhiana and not Qadian had the honor of being the venue of the first Bai’t. Every act of the Promised Messiah was at the behest of the Divine command and there may be some wisdom and some significance. And indeed there was one. Exactly fifty-four years before the first 34 • THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS MARCH 1985 Bai’t, Ludhiana became the first city in the land of five rivers where the first Christian Mission and the first Church were set up with the avowed object of not only converting the entire Punjab but the whole of Central Asia into Christianity. Rev. Lowrie, an American Christian missionary when returning home after setting up the Mis- sion at Luhiana said: “The mission established at Ludhiana would be the Morning Star preceding the full day of Gospel Light.” And so the hand of God moved and exactly fifty-four years after the event, the advent of the Promised Messiah took place in the same town and the historic mission of “the breaking of the Cross” began. THE NEED OF THE HOLY QURAN (continued from page 20) the sword. Do these circumstances lend the least support to the cruel charge that the Prophet was from the very commencement bent upon war and that this cherished idea took a practical shape when he found himself at the head of an army at Medina? The fact is that when the Meccans advanced towards Medina and were met by the Moslems at the famous field of Badr, the ranks of the Muslims contained no more than 313 men of whom very few had any experience of war and the majority were young men who had never fought a battle before? Nay, among these three hundred and thirteen were also boys who had not yet grown to manhood. Could this small number of raw young men be relied upon as sufficient force to meet the sturdy warriors and Bedouin hordes of the whole idolatrous Arabia and the thousands of Jews and Christians who were bent upon extirpating the new faith? Could a General ever make his appearance in the field with such scanty material to deal destruction to innumerable foes? Does it not clearly prove that the Prophet was obliged to take the sword in obedience to the com- mandment of God and not to fulfil any plan which he had con- certed? Had it been his plan, he would have first collected a force of thirty or forty thousand strong and then made his appearance into the field of battle.