Of all the greatest men on earth, very few are granted sons perfectly reflecting their excellent qualities. Allah, the Most High, decreed that the Promised Messiah( a s ) r e c e i v e this special grace. Intimation of this extraordinary blessing was vouchsafed unto him through a wonderful revelation. Allah Almighty told the Promised Messiah that he would be granted an exceptional son whose qualities and excellence would be truly outstanding. This was a grand prophecy vouchsafed unto the Promised Messiah in 1886. He had been in retreat for 40 days devoting himself entirely in solitude to Divine worship and suppli- cation. Having completed this period of 40 days, he announced on 20th February 1886 that during the period of his retreat he had been honoured with the disclosure of many matters with regard to the unknown, one being the prophecy of the Promised Son. On 12th January 1889, the Promised Messiah( a s ) w a s blessed with a son whom he named Mirza Bashiruddeen Mahmud Ahmad(ra). He was to grow into an intelligent youth, replete with knowledge both secular and spiritual, honoured with Divine revelation and imbued with the Holy Spirit. At the tender age of twenty-five, this promised son assumed the mantle of Khalifatul Masih II and for over half a century led the Ahmadiyya Muslim C o m m u n i t y. His tenure of office was blessed with enormous success. Wi t h extremely limited funds, he established the community in 46 countries, a foundation upon which the community has continued to build so that today it is established in more than 170 countries. The special insight granted to him by Allah allowed him to know exactly when to launch challenging schemes or to restructure the community’s vital activities in significant ways. He showed a keen understanding of complex 2 Review of Religions – February 2002 Editorial political and social issues successfully guiding the community through two fear- some world wars and a migration en masse to Pakistan after the 1947 partition of the Indian subcontinent from where he started the whole city of Rabwah from absolute scratch in a most inhospitable land. But the Promised Reformer(ra) stands out in his knowledge and mastery of a vast range of subjects that his very person is a Divine miracle in itself. The fathomless ocean of his knowledge is exposed in his masterpiece, the Ta f s i r- e – K a b e e r, an exhaustive com- mentary on the Holy Qur’an. In this astounding work, the Promised Re f o r m e r( r a ) u n c o v – ered his mastery on such widely varying fields as history, p h i l o s o p h y, psychology, geol- o g y, physics, chemistry, s o c i o l o g y, politics, biology, linguistics, medicine, botany, entomology, embryology, cos- mology, astronomy, Egyptology and many more. But above all, this ten thousand-page com- mentary contains an exposition of thousands of spiritual truths and hidden secrets, many of which had never been presented before. While it is well nigh impossible to adequately cover his many achievements, this month’s feature article attempts to summarise some of his major ones. Beginning with the grand prophecy announced in February 1886, the article gives a glimpse of his unique and glorious services to the cause of Islam so that as members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community remember the world over 20th February as Musleh Ma’ud (The Promised Reformer) Day, the readers of the Review of Religions are reminded of that holy personage whose advent was, in the words of the prophecy, ‘as if Allah has descended from heaven.’ Bockarie Tommy Kallon 3 Editorial Review of Religions – February 2002 COVER PHOTO: Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad. In the background is Hadhrat Muhammad Zafrulla Khan.

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