Jesus (as)

Evidence of Jesus(as) in India

The Followers of Jesus(as) ‘The followers of Issa, son of Mariam [Jesus, son of Mary], generally call themselves Muslims, and inhabit a number of villages scattered throughout the western area of Afghanistan whose centre is Herat. I have heard of them several times, but considered that they were probably the people who had been converted by the European missionaries from eastern Persia, or that they were a relic of the time when Herat had been a flourishing bishopric of the Nestorians, before the Arabs conquered Persia in the seventh and eighth centuries. But, from their own accounts, and from what I could observe, they seem to have come from a much older source. There must be about a thousand of these Christians. Their chief is Abba Ya h i y y a (Father John), who can recite the succession of teachers, through nearly sixty generations, to Issa, son of Mariam of Nasara [Nazareth], the Kashmiri.’1 The quote clearly states that Jesus Christ ( a s ) taught in Afghanistan and attracted a following of people, the descendants of whom refer to themselves as The Followers of Issa. But does this place him in Afghanistan after the event of the crucifixion? Professor Omar Burke continues: 48 Review of Religions – April 2002 Evidence of Jesus(as) in India By Abubakr Ben Ishmael Salahuddin – USA The tomb known as ‘Rozabal’ in the capital of Kashmir is no ordinary tomb. The life history of the person who lies buried there bears a strong resemblance to Prophet Jesus. His trials and tribulations, his style of preaching and his origin from the Holy Land all lend powerful support to the argument that it is indeed Jesus who lies buried in Rozabal. Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s(as) book Jesus in India was written over 100 years ago in 1899, and his works have since found resonance throughout the last century with researchers the world over. This article is based on an extract from ‘Saving the Savior – Did Christ Survive the Crucifixion?’ – one of the most recent books on this subject, and it re-examines some of the historical evidence surrounding this theory about the person who lies in Rozabal. ‘Jesus, according to the com- munity, was a carpenter and also a shepherd…The “Traditions of the Masih” (anointed one) is the holy book of the community. They do not believe in the New Testament; or, rather, they say that these Traditions are the New Testament, and that the Gospels which we have are partly true but generally written by people who did not understand the teachings of the Master [Jesus]. ‘Abba Yahiyya, a towering figure with the face of a saint, was certainly an erudite man, and he knew his own scriptures, plus a great deal of the Jewish writings, very well indeed. He had heard of the teachings of the “heretics” as he called what we would call the various sects of Christians known to us, and he wanted no part of them. ‘“My son,” he said, in his softly accented Persian, ‘these people are reading and repeating a part of the story. They have completely misunderstood the message. We have the story told to us by the Master [Jesus], and through him we will be saved and made whole. Some of the events in that document which you call the Bible are true, but a great deal is made up or imagined or put in for less than worthy reasons. Isa lived for over thirty years after the materials you have were completed, and he told us what was true. ‘Briefly, the doctrine is that Jesus was the son of God because he had attained that rank through his goodness and sacrifices. Thus he was equal to a divine person. He came after John the Baptist, who himself had reached the highest degree of development possible at that time. John baptized him with water, Jesus with spirit and fire. These were the three stages of understanding, which were taught by our Christians.’ ‘There was a great deal of confusion at first, because I was talking about sacraments and being saved, while it took me some time to realize that Abba John’s people saw baptism, the Holy Ghost and the Kingdom of God to be three stages in a system of human illumination. This is what they claim is the function of the Church: the preservation of an administration of these three “developments” for the worshipers’. 49 Evidence of Jesus (as) in India Review of Religions – April 2002 ‘There is a ritual meal, like the Last Supper, but this is carried out once a week. Bread and wine are eaten, but as symbolic of the grosser and finer nutritions that are the experiences of attain- ment of nearness to God. “While it is possible to consider these people as mere heretics, or else as followers of someone else who impersonated Jesus, yet I was singularly impressed by their piety, their feeling of certainty, their simplicity and lack of the unpleasant forms of fervour which one often finds in minority cults. They were convinced, too, that the day would come when the world would discover the truth about Jesus.’2 The reader will note that the followers of Jesus(as) claim that Jesus(as) taught a message quite similar to the Gnostic one we studied earlier, as well as the message contained in the documents discovered by Nicholas Notovitch amongst the Buddhists. Baptism, the Holy Ghost, and the Kingdom of God were three stages of illumination. This idea is contrary to the current Christian doctrine that places Jesus as the intermediary between human beings and perfect knowledge of God. Is it simply ‘coincidental’ that three different groups of people, living in different parts of the world–the Gnostics Christians, the followers of Jesus ( a s ) i n Afghanistan, and the Buddhists of Tibet-shared an understanding of the teachings of Jesus Christ that was exactly the same, and yet totally at variance with what is now called ‘Christianity’? The Bhavishya Mahapurana There are eighteen books of the Hindus called the Puranas. The ninth book, the B h a v i s h y a M a h a p u r a n a, records an encounter of King Shalivahana with Jesus Christ near Srinagar long after the crucifixion. In contrast to the Gospels, the exact date of this book is clearly known. It was compiled by Sutta in the year 3191 of the Kaukikia Era. That corresponds to the year 115 AD. (Jesus Christ( a s ) i s believed to have died at age 120, so this account was compiled five years before his death). Alongside the oral tradition of The Followers of Jesus ( a s ) i n Afghanistan, this written account is perhaps the most important of any of the documents recording the presence of Jesus ( a s ) l o n g after the crucifixion, because it was written while Jesus ( a s ), 50 Evidence of Jesus (as) in India Review of Religions – April 2002 according to the theory, would still have been alive. Christian scholars state that the only extant Gospels p o s s i b l y dating to the first century are Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Thomas. But they theorize that there may also have existed a Q document that pre-dated these Gospels, and served as the source material for at least Matthew and Luke. This Q document is not available anywhere today. Though scholars a s s u m e i t s existence, we cannot know for certain whether it actually existed prior to the compilation of the Gospels. So the Bhavishya Mahapurana is an extant book that reveals information about Jesus Christ ( a s ) during his lifetime. So it can be suggested that the Bhavishya Mahapurana stands as a more reliable document than any of the Gospels, as it was not derived from a ‘Q’ document, but is an original text. This is a very striking account: Sanskrit verses 16-33 [shaded in gray] of the third khanda of the Pratisarga parvan of the Bhavishya Mahapurana ‘Shalivahana, who was a grandson of Bikrama Jit, took over the government. He vanquished the attacking hordes of Chinese, 51 Evidence of Jesus (as) in India Review of Religions – April 2002 Sanskrit verses 16-33 [shaded in grey] of the third khanda of the Pratisarga parvan of the Bhavishya Mahapurana Parthians, Scythians and Bactrians. He drew a border between the Arians and the Mleacha (non-Hindus), and ordered the latter to withdraw to the other side of India. One day, Shalivahana, the chief of the Sakyas, went into the Himalayas. There, in the Land of the Hun (Ladak, a part of the Ku s h a n empire), the powerful king saw a man sitting on a mountain, who seemed to promise auspi- ciousness. His skin was fair and he wore white garments. ‘The king asked the holy man who he was. The other replied: “I am called a son of God, born of a virgin, minister of the non- believers, relentless in search of the truth”. The king then asked him: “What is your religion?” The other replied, ‘O great king, I come from a foreign country, where there is no longer truth and where evil knows no bounds. In the land of the non-believers, I appeared as the Messiah. But the demon Ihamasi of the barbarians (dasyu) manifested herself in a terrible form; I was delivered unto her in the manner of the nonbelievers and ended in Ihamasi’s realm. “O king, lend your ear to the religion that I brought unto the non-believers: after the purification of the essence and the impure body and after seeking refuge in the prayers of the Naigama, man will pray to the Eternal. Through justice, truth, meditation and unity of spirit, man will find his way to Isa in the center of light. God, as firm as the sun, will finally unite the spirit of all wandering beings in Himself. Thus, O king, Ihamasi will be destroyed; and the blissful image if Isa, the giver of happiness, will remain forever in the heart; and I was called Isa- Masih.’ After the king heard these words, he took the teacher of the non-believers and sent him to their pitiless land.”’3 Here again we see a teaching similar to the Gnostic, Buddhist and Afghani versions that we studied earlier, with Jesus(as) here stating that personal acts involving prayer, self- purification, the practice of truth and justice and the practice of meditation would bring human beings to God. In none of those four versions has Jesus(as) spoken about himself as the object of worship or as a mediator through which one must go in order to reach God. And again, this idea is 52 Evidence of Jesus (as) in India Review of Religions – April 2002 contrary to today’s Christian teachings. The reader will notice above that the ‘holy man’ used the indefinite article, ‘a’ in describing himself as, ‘a son of God.’ You may recall the previous section on The Followers of Jesus(as) where the head of that community, Abba Yahya, also said that Jesus bore the appellation, son of God, ‘because he had attained that rank through his goodness and sacrifices.’ Kersten states that the name ‘Isa,’ or ‘Issa’, derives from the Syrian, Ye s h u (Jesus), ‘being altered to conform to Musa (Moses).’ What is striking about the above account is that Jesus(as) is mentioned by the name that he is known by in the scripture of Islam, the Qur’an. But the above document was compiled hundreds of years before the Qur’an was written. Also, the above document was written in Sanskrit-the language of the Hindus, a totally different reli- gion. Since the name Isa appears in an ancient Hindu document as well as in the scripture of Islam, apparently it was a name by which Jesus(as) was known in the East. Although Kersten states that ‘Isa’ is derived from the Syrian, Yeshu, the above verses seem to use the name Isa as an attributive name, and not as the actual personal name of Jesus (as). The reader will note that he stated: ‘…man will find his way to Isa in the center of light.’ Then later he refers to h i m s e l f as Isa-Masih-the Isa Messiah. So, could the word Isa actually have meant some kind of attribute of the Divine? Had this holy man been sent as the ‘Isa Messiah’ to re-establish this special Divine attribute in those to whom he ministered? He defines Isa as, ‘the giver of happiness,’ and does not seem to refer to himself by the name Isa. In short, he is the Messiah of Isa, or he is the Messiah for Isa. It seems that his mission was to teach spiritual practices that would lead to Isa, the giver of happiness, with the words ‘giver of happiness’ being an attribute of God. As he states, ‘Through justice, truth, meditation and unity of spirit, man will find his way to Isa in the center of light.’ It appears that Jesus Christ(as) was teaching a spiritual prescription for finding happiness ‘in the center of light,’ and the words ‘center of light’ must certainly have been metaphorical for the 53 Evidence of Jesus (as) in India Review of Religions – April 2002 Divine-for God. The word ‘light’ refers not only to physical light. In religious literature of various religions, the word light refers to guidance. So the ‘center of light’ or the center of all guidance would be God. The Rauzat-us-Safa J e s u s( a s ) was mentioned in a Persian historical work known as the Rauzat-us-Safa, written by Mir Muhammad Bin Khawand in 1417 AD. The complete title of that book is, Rauza-tus-Safa fi Sirat-ul-Ambia wal Muluk wal Khulafa (Gardens of Purity concerning the biography of the Prophets and Kings and Caliphs). It was published later, in the year 1852 AD, in Bombay. In this book, he mentions a tradition regarding a visit by Jesus(as) and Mary to Nasibain. ‘Jesus (on whom be peace) was named the ‘Messiah’ because he was a great traveler. He wore a woolen scarf on his head and a woolen cloak on his body. He had a stick in his hand; he used to wander from country to country and from city to city. At nightfall he would stay where he was. He ate jungle vegetables, drank jungle water, and went on his travels on foot. His companions, in one of his travels, once bought a horse for him; he rode the horse one day, but as he could not make any provision for the feeding of the horse, he returned it. Journeying from his country, he arrived at Nasibain. With him were a few of his disciples whom he sent into the city to preach. In the city, however, there were current wrong and unfounded rumors about Jesus( a s ) and his mother. The governor of the city, therefore, arrested the disciples and then summoned Jesus ( a s ). J e s u s( a s ) miraculously healed some persons and exhibited other miracles. The king of the territory of Nasibain, therefore, with all his armies and his people, became a follower of his. The legend of the ‘coming down of food’ contained in the Holy Qur’an belongs to the days of his travels.’4 Ikmal-ud-Din The author of Ikmal-ud-Din (the original title is, Kamalud Din wa Tmam-un Nimat fi Asbat-ul- Ghaibat wa Kashful- Hairet), is Al-Shaikh Al-Said-us-Sadiq Abi Jaffar Muhammad Ibn-i-Ali Ibn-i- Hussain Ibn-i-Musa Ibn-i- Baibuyah al-Qummi, who died in Khorasan in 962 AD. He was a scholar who had travelled to 54 Evidence of Jesus (as) in India Review of Religions – April 2002 many countries in order to research material for his book. He mentions the travels of Jesus Christ (Yuz Asaf) to Kashmir: ‘Then Yuz Asaf, after roaming about in many cities, reached that country which is called Kashmir. He travelled in it far and wide and stayed there and spent his (remaining) life there, until death overtook him, and he left the earthly body and was elevated towards the Light. But before his death, he sent for a disciple of his, Ba’bad, by name, who used to serve him and was well versed in all matters. He expressed his last will to him and said: ‘My time for departing from this world has come. Carry on your duties properly and turn not back from truth, and say your prayers regularly.’ He then directed Ba’bad to prepare a tomb over him (at the very place he died). He then stretched his legs towards the West and head towards the East and died. May God bless him.’5 Yuz Asaf taught in parables in the same manner as the Bible records that Jesus(as) taught. Here is a sample of a parable of Yuz Asaf’s which parallels the famous sower-of-seeds parable men- tioned by the Gospels: ‘When a sower goes to sow and sows, some seeds fall by the wayside, and the birds pick up the seed. Some fall upon stray land, and when they reach the stony foundation they wither away. Some fall among thorns and grow not: but the seed that falls on the good land, grows and brings forth fruit. By the sower is meant the wise, by the seed is meant his words of wisdom. The seeds picked up by birds mean those people who understand not. The seeds on the stony ground are like the words of wisdom that go in one ear and out of the other. The seeds that fell among the thorns are like unto those who hear and understand but act not accordingly. Other seeds which fall on good grounds are like those who hear the words of wisdom and obey.’6 The Bible records Jesus’(as) sower parable in the following manner: ‘And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, 55 Evidence of Jesus (as) in India Review of Religions – April 2002 where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered a w a y. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But others fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.’7 In my view, the sower parable from Ikmal-ud-Din is very important. First, from the earlier quote we see that Shaikh Sadiq recorded the travels of Yuz Asaf and his eventual arrival in K a s h m i r. Second, he also recorded one of the important parables of Yuz Asaf. Since orthodox Muslims have always believed that Jesus Christ ( a s ) ascended to heaven, then Shaikh Sadiq would have no reason to even suspect that Yuz Asaf and Jesus Christ( a s ) were the same person, simply because of the fact that he was a Muslim who believed in Jesus’(as) ascension. Even if such a notion had come to his mind, he would have immediately dismissed it, because to entertain such an idea would have been a violation of his religious beliefs. Also, it is far from likely that Shaikh Sadiq would have inserted this story, deceitfully citing it as a Kashmiri tradition. It is very unlikely because of the fact that the scripture of Shaikh Sadiq was the Qur’an, not the Bible. The parable of the sower of the seeds does not exist in the Qur’an, so why would Shaikh Sadiq have taken a Biblical parable that has no connection whatsoever to his own religious tradition and inserted it into his account of Kashmiri tradition? Again, he certainly was not trying to destroy Christian belief by suggesting that Jesus(as) was in Kashmir long after the Crucifixion, because to do so, as I stated above, would have meant the destruction of his own religious beliefs as well, since both orthodox Muslims and orthodox Christians believe in the Ascension of Jesus Christ (as). The Book of Balauhar and Budasaf (Yuz Asaf) It is believed that the name Budasaf [Bud-Asaf] and Yuz Asaf refer to the same person. An entire Buddhist Book of Budasaf exists which mentions Budasaf 56 Evidence of Jesus (as) in India Review of Religions – April 2002 (Yuz Asaf) in Kashmir. (For an original-language Urdu trans- lation of portions of the Book of Balauhar and Budasaf, see: It says of Budasaf: ‘And he reached Kashmir, which was the farthest region at which he ministered, and there his life ended. He left the world and bequeathed his inheritance to a certain disciple called Ababid who had served him. Everything that he did was perfect. And he admonished him and said to him, “I have found a worthy shrine and decorated it and brought in lamps for the dying. I have collected the flock with the true face, which had been dispersed and to whom I was sent. And now I shall draw breath through my ascent from the world, by the separation of my soul from my body. Obey the commandments that were given to you, and do not deviate from the path of truth but keep firmly to it in gratitude. And may Ababid be the leader.” He then commanded Ababid to level off the place for him; he stretched his legs out and lay down. Then, turning his head northwards and his face eastwards, he passed away.’8 The reader will note a discrepancy between the above Buddhist account of the death of Jesus Christ and that written in Ikmal-ud-Din. Whatever might be the explanation for why these accounts differ with regard to which direction Jesus faced his head just prior to the moment of his death , this is not to be confused, obviously, with the direction in which he was finally buried in the Roza Bal. The real sarcophagus containing the remains of Yuz Asaf in the Roza Bal lies underground and could at one time be seen through a small aperture. It is interesting that that sarcophagus faces the direction that is in accordance with Jewish custom–east to west. Even considering that the account in Ikmal-ud-Din was referring to the direction he lay at the time of his death, that account is in accordance with the direction of the sarcophagus of Yuz Asaf in the Roza Bal, and must be considered a correct one. Some orthodox Muslims claim that Yuz Asaf is an Islamic saint. This idea cannot be correct because the tradition of Yuz Asaf in Kashmir goes back long before the Islamic period. 57 Evidence of Jesus(as) in India Review of Religions – April 2002 The Tarikh-i-Kashmir In his book, Tarikh-i-Kashmir, the historian, Mullah Nadri, made mention of Yuz Asaf, Jesus Christ(as) in Kashmir: ‘After him his son Raja Akh (whose name was Ach), came to the throne. He ruled for sixty years. It is said that he founded the village (of) Achabaal in Kothar district. After him his son, Gopananda, took (the reigns of) Government and ruled the country under the name of Gopadatta. [During his reign] many temples were [built] and on top of Mount Solomon the dome [of the temple] became cracked. He deputed one of his ministers named Sulaiman, who had come from Persia to repair it. Hindus objected that he [the Minister] was an infidel [and belonged to] another religion. ‘During this time Hadhrat Yuz Asaf having come from Bait-ul Muqaddas [the Holy Land] to this holy valley proclaimed his prophethood. He devoted himself, day and night, in [prayers to] God, and having attained the heights of piety and virtue, he declared himself to be a Messenger [of God] for the people of Kashmir. He invited people [to his religion]. Because the people of the valley had faith in this Prophet, Raja Gopadatta referred the objection of Hindus to him [for decision]. It was because of this Pr o p h e t ’s orders that Sulaiman, whom Hindus called Sandeman, completed [the repairs of] the dome. [The year was] Fifty and f o u r. Further, on one of the stones of the stairs he [Sulaiman] inscribed: “In these times Yuz Asaf proclaimed his prophethood,” and on the other stone of the stairs he also inscribed that he [Yuz Asaf] was Yusu, Prophet of the Children of Israel. “I have seen in a book of Hindus that this prophet was really Hadhrat Isa [Jesus], the Spirit of God, on whom be peace [and salutations] and had also assumed the name of Yuz Asaf. The real knowledge is with God. He spent his life in this [valley]. After his departure [his death] he was laid to rest in Mohalla Anzmarah. It is also said that lights of prophethood used to emanate from the tomb of this Prophet. Raja Gopadatta having ruled for sixty years and two months, [then] died…’9 This is another very interesting recording. It shows that Mullah 58 Evidence of Jesus (as) in India Review of Religions – April 2002 Nadri clearly gave an account of Yuz Asaf in Kashmir. He stated that Yuz Asaf came from the Holy Land, and that he proclaimed to be a prophet of the Children of Israel, or the Jews. Yet, up to that point, he had not equated this prophet with Jesus Christ. Then, as an objective historian, he recorded a Hindu tradition telling that Isa and Yuz Asaf were the same individual. And he recorded this Hindu tradition even though it was at variance with his own Islamic tradition. It seems as though Mullah Nadri must have been influenced by this Hindu tradition in some manner. Rather than state that, ‘Of course my religion, Islam, says that Jesus ascended to heaven,’ or just outright deny this Hindu tradition, or even worse, simply leave it out, he states, ‘The real knowledge is with God.’ I think it is very significant that Mullah Nadri would not forcefully deny the tradition or even qualify it by airing his own religious views. O b v i o u s l y, the Hindu tradition Mullah Nadri mentioned is the same one that records the meeting of King Shalivahana with Jesus Christ – the B h a v i s h y a Mahapurana. Also, you will notice that Mullah Nadri refers to Isa as the ‘Spirit of God.’ This description of Isa as the ‘Spirit of God’ seems to support my own view, expressed in the section on the Bhavishya Mahapurana, that the name Isa may not be a personal name but is instead attributive in nature. The Tarikh-i-Kashmir (author unknown) The author of this Ta r i k h – i – Kashmir is unknown. Note that the document states that ‘six days after his crucifixion, Jesus visited several places.’ ‘In early writings, it is mentioned that seventy years after the demise of Alexander the Great, Jesus Christ was born. When he reached the age of thirty years, God raised him to the status of an apostle. At the age of thirty- The ‘Tarikh-i-Kahsmir’ (Courtesy, Dr Hassnain) 59 Evidence of Jesus (as) in India Review of Religions – April 2002 three years, he proceeded from Palestine towards the Holy Valley [Kashmir]. It is mentioned in historical works that Jesus Christ reached Syria in company of his disciples and followers. It is written in authentic works that six days after his crucifixion, Jesus visited several places and met Zacharis and Mary and Disciples and then left for [an] unknown destination.’10 The reference to the ‘Holy Valley’ is speaking of Kashmir, which has been called the Valley of Eternal Peace, and other such names. The History of Religion and Doctrines–The Glass Mirror In his book, A Search for the Historical Jesus, Dr. Fida Hassnain, former Director of Kashmir State Archives and of Archeological Research and Museums, mentions a Ti b e t a n manuscript he discovered called Grugtha Thams-chand kyi Khuna dan Dod-Thsul Ston-pe Legs Shad Shel-gyi Melong. ( Recall Nicholas Notovitch’s discovery that Buddhists in Tibet had within their possession ancient documents which recorded the comings and goings of ‘San Issa,’ or ‘Yesu,’ i.e., Jesus) containing information about Jesus(as). This Tibetan document, written by Le-zan Chhes-kyi Nima, was translated from an ancient Chinese document called, T h e History of Religion and Doctrines-The Glass Mirror: T h e relevant portions are reproduced below: ‘Yesu, the teacher and founder of the religion, who was born miraculously, proclaimed himself the Saviour of the world. He commanded his disciples to observe the ten vows [Te n Commandments], among which includes prohibition of manslaughter and attainment of eternal joy through good deeds. He preached that evil actions The ‘Grugtha Thams-chand’ Tibetan translation of ancient Chinesedocument, The Glass Mirror (Courtesy, Dr Hassnain) 60 Evidence of Jesus (as) in India Review of Religions – April 2002 plunge one into hell, where there is eternal torment and misery. A sin committed in a state of consciousness cannot be condoned or pardoned. This is one of the virtuous results emerging out of the teachings of the Buddha. His doctrines did not spread extensively, but survived in Asia, for a long period. The above information is derived from the Chinese treatises on religions and doctrines.’11 I find it interesting that the above document states that, except in Asia, the teachings of Ye s u (Jesus) did not spread. When one considers the differences in the teachings of Yuz Asaf/Yesu when he was in Asia, and those of Christianity as it evolved in the West, one begins to understand the above quote. For, the primary focus of Western Christianity is the death of Jesus Christ(as) for the sins of the world, but in the East that idea does not exist. The Tarikh-i-Kabir Kashmir The Tarikh-i-Kabir Kashmir was published at Suraj Prakash Press in Amritsar, Punjab in 1902. On page 34 of Volume I of that work, Haji Mohiyuddin says the: ‘Syed Nasir-uddin Khanyari is much revered for spending his life in piety and prayers. He was burried in the famous shrine known as the Rozabal Tomb. His grave is located towards the south of the holy grave of a prophet. As such, the shrine is known as the Site of the Prophet. Khawaja Azam Didmari writes that in the past a Prince, who absorbed himself in prayers and piety attained the station of a Messenger [of God] and was sent to this land for guidance of the people. His name was Yu z u – Asaph. After his death, he was burried here in Mohala Anzmar near Khanyar. ‘Mulla Ahmad in his Asar-ul-Ikhyar has quoted that Sultan Zain-ul- Abidin deputed Syed Abdullah Bahaiqi as an Ambassador to Egypt and the Pharoah of Egypt deputed Yuzu- Asaph who was a progeny of Moses as his a m b a s s a d o r. The Shias believe that Yuzu- Asaph descended from Hazrat Imam Jafar-i-Sadiq. However in an Arabic manuscript, it is related the Prince came from Sholapit to Kashmir as a traveler and is buried in Anzmar, Khanyar, Srinagar. But more older infor- mation is available that [a] sweet smell used to come from one of the holes of [the] sarcophagus. A 61 Evidence of Jesus (as) in India Review of Religions – April 2002 lady, who desecrated the tomb became mad. Others believe that it is [the] tomb of a great Prophet who is no other than Hazrat Isa–the Spirit of God.’12 You will note from the above that the document presents various opinions regarding the identity of the prince who occupied the Roza Bal, the last one being that he was Hadhrat Isa–Jesus Christ (as). The Wajees-ut-Tawarikh According to the Tarikh-i-Hassan, the Wa j e e s – u t – Ta w a r i k h w a s compiled in 1857 by Abdul Nabi Khanyari (Tarikh-i-Hassan, Vol. 1, p.377). Abdul Nabi Khanyari was known by various names: Abdul Nabi, Naba Shah and Ghulam Nabi. It is to be noted that Raja Gopananda is mentioned in this excerpt, as you will see below, and he ruled over Kashmir during 49 to 109 AD. ‘The grave of Mir Sayyid Naseeruddin is in Khanyar. The place is also known as Rozabal. It is said that at that place exists the grave of Paighambar Yuzu Asaf. He was a prince who had come to this place. Due to his utmost piety and prayers, he was raised to the status of the Messenger (by God) for the people of Kashmir. He preached among the people. It is said that Raja Gopananda ruled over the country during that period. The aroma of musk used to emanate from a hole in the western wall.’1 3 The appellation, ‘Pa i g h a m b a r’ means, ‘Messenger of God.’ So he is mentioned in this document as, ‘Messenger of God, Yuzu Asaph.’ Official Decree of the Gra n d Mufti The following decree was issued by the High Court in Kashmir, presided over by the Grand Mufti, a high ranking religious leader, and other judges. The decree clearly affirms that Yuzu-Asaph was sent as a prophet to the people of Kashmir, according to the traditions of the Kashmiri people. This decree was issued in the year 1774 AD, although Dr. Fida The ‘Wajees-ut-Tawarikh’ (Courtesy, Dr Hassnain) 62 Evidence of Jesus (as) in India Review of Religions – April 2002 Hassnain’s book, The Fifth Gospel,14 has the date as 1766 AD: THE SEAL OF THE JUSTICE OF ISLAM MULLA FAZIL 1194 A.H. In this High Court of Justice, in the Department of Learning and Piety of the Kingdom. P r e s e n t Rehman Khan, son of Amir Khan, submits that: the kings, the nobles, the ministers and the multitude come from all directions of the kingdom to pay their homage and offerings in cash and kind at the lofty and the holy shrine of Yuz- Asaph, the Prophet, may God bless him. Claims That: he is the only and absolute claimant, entitled to receive the offerings and utilise these, and none else has any right whatsoever on these offerings. Prays that: A writ of injunction be granted to all those who interfere and others be restrained from interfering with his rights. Verdict: Now, this court, after obtaining evidence, concludes as under: It has been established that during the reign of Raja Gopadatta, who got built many temples and got repaired, especially, the Throne of Solomon on the hill of Solomon, Yuz-Asaph came to the valley. Prince by descent, he was pious and saintly and had given up earthly pursuits. He spent all his time in prayers and meditation. The people of Kashmir, having become idolaters after the great flood of Noah, the God Almighty sent Yuz-Asaph as a Prophet to the people of Kashmir. He proclaimed oneness of God till he passed away. Yuz-Asaph was buried at Khanyar on the banks of the lake, and the shrine is known as Rozabal. In the year 871 AH Syed Nasir-ud-Din, a descendant of Imam Musa-Raza, was also buried besides the grave of Yuz- Asaph. Orders: Since the shrine is visited by the devotees, both high and common, and since the applicant Rahman Khan is the hereditary custodian of the shrine, it is ordered that he be entitled to receive the offerings, made at the shrine as before, and no one else shall have any right to such offerings. Given under our hand, 11th Jamadi-ud-Sani, 1184 AH. 63 Evidence of Jesus (as) in India Review of Religions – April 2002 Signpost outside of the Roza Bal The following is the English translation of the information displayed on the signpost that stands outside the Tomb of Jesus Christ. The information contains the views of Khawaja Azam Deddmari, who compiled his Tarikh-i-Azam in about 1729 AD. ‘Nearby is situated the stone of the grave which, according to the people, is the prophet’s who arrived from a far off place during ancient times. Anointed for Kashmir: This spot is famous as the resting place of a messenger: I have read in an ancient book that a prince from a foreign land arrived here and engaged himself in piety and prayers [and] became a mes- senger of God for the Kashmiri people. In that ancient book his name is mentioned as Yuz Asaf.’ The Acta Thomae In Chapter 7 we saw that the Apostle Thomas had been assigned to go to India to preach the message of Jesus Christ(as). The Acta Thomae, though, also records an account showing that Jesus Christ was in Taxila at a marriage ceremony, along with Thomas, in the year 49 CE, a good number of years after the crucifixion. This account verifies St. Irenaeus’s observations (see Chapter 2), recorded in his Against Heresies, that Jesus was seen alive in Asia long after the event of the cross. The A c t a T h o m a e is a Christian work, though it was declared heretical in the year 495 CE by a decree of Gelasius. In the following account, the bridegroom saw whom he thought was Thomas talking to his new bride, but it was not Thomas. Both Thomas and Jesus( a s ) attended this wedding, and one of them was often mistaken for the other: ‘Thomas after the ceremonies left the palace. The bridegroom Signpost outside of the Tomb 64 Evidence of Jesus (as) in India Review of Religions – April 2002 (Abdagases) lifted the curtain which separated him from his bride. He saw Thomas, as he supposed, conversing with her. Then he asked in surprise: “How Canst though be found here? Did I not see thee go out before all?” And the Lord answered: “I am not Thomas, but his brother.”’15 Here is another translation of this account: ‘And the king desired the groomsmen to depart out of the bride-chamber; and when all were gone out and the doors were shut, the bridegroom lifted up the curtain of the bridechamber to fetch the bride unto him. And he saw the Lord J e s u s bearing the likeness of Judas Thomas and speaking with the bride; even of him that but now had blessed them and gone out from them, the apostle; and he saith unto him: “Wentest thou not out in the sight of all? How then art thou found here?” But the Lord said to him: ‘I am not Judas which is also called Thomas but I am his brother.’’16 It is not difficult to understand why the Acta Thomae w o u l d have been declared heretical: Any mention of the appearance of Jesus Christ after the crucifixion certainly ran counter to the already-formulated Christian. But it is fair to point out that the words of advice later given by Jesus(as) to the young newlywed couple regarding marriage and conjugal relations are so absurd and outrageous that it would seem to call into question the above account (assuming that what is recorded is what he actually said). Also, all throughout the Acta Thomae, Thomas refers to Jesus as the ‘Lord, God.’ Certainly if J e s u s( a s ) was travelling with Thomas as a human being, he would not refer to him as God. But I include this account from the Acta Thomae because despite the standard Christology which flows throughout the Acta Thomae, and the absurd advice supposedly given by Jesus(as) to the newlyweds, it is extremely difficult to ignore the fact that the Acta Thomae records an appearance of Jesus(as) in India. Was the appearance mystical? It does not at all read as if this was the case. Is the Acta Thomae a total and complete fraud? I cannot answer that question. But 65 Evidence of Jesus (as) in India Review of Religions – April 2002 for one reason or another, the Acta Thomae made a point to mention that a living and walking and talking Jesus was in India with Thomas at a wedding ceremony. The Ain-ul-Hayat The author of the Ain-ul-Hayat was Ibn-i-Muhammad Hada Muhammad Ismail. In Volume 2, Chapter 2, pages 177 to 178, he states the following regarding Yuz Asaf: ‘He went to many cities and preached to those cities. At last he reached the city of Kashmir. He invited its inhabitants to righteousness and resided there till death approached him, and his holy spirit departed from his earthly body and went to rest with God. But before his death he called his companion Ba’bad and made a will…and directed him to construct a tomb for him. He laid himself with his head towards the East and stretched his legs towards the West, and went to the place of Eternity.’17 The Takhat Sulaiman (Throne of Solomon) monument in Srinagar The Takhat Sulaiman (Throne of Solomon) is a large temple situated on the top of a hillock near the Dal Lake in Srinagar, K a s h m i r. It was renamed Sankarachariya by the Hindu Maharaja in 1848. There are four inscriptions on this monument, two of which are still legible. The inscriptions are recorded in Khwaja Hassan Malik’s book, Tarikh-i-Kashmir.18 They read: 1. The mason of this pillar is Bahishti Zargar, Year fifty and four. 2. Khawaja Rukun son of Murjan erected this pillar. 3. At this time Yuz Asaf proclaimed his prophethood. Year fifty and four. 4. He is Jesus, Prophet of the Children of Israel. Concerning the year 54, Hassnain notes the following: ‘Note that since Islam did not exist during the reign of Gopadatta (79–109 AD), connecting the year 54 with the Muslim Hijra Era is absurd. During that period, the Laukika Era was exclusively used in Kashmir. As this era started in 3076 BC, the 66 Evidence of Jesus(as) in India Review of Religions – April 2002 54th year mentioned in the inscription would come to either 22 BC or 78 AD (since Laukika Year 1 is 3076 BC, 3054 would be 22 BC, and 3154 would be 78 AD) As it was not possible for Jesus C h r i s t( a s ) to have travelled to Kashmir in 22 BC, I take the year 78 AD to be the correct date of his arrival.’19 References 1. O.M. Burke, Among the D e r v i s h e s (New York: E.P. Dutton and Co., 1973) p.12 2. Ibid, pp. 107-109 3. Nag Sharan Singh, Bhavisya M a h a p u r a n a m ( J a w a h a r Nagar, Deli: Nag Publishers, 1984, originally compiled in 115 A.D.), verses 16-23 of the third khanda of the Ptratisarga parvan 4. Mir Muhammad Khawand Shah Ibn-i-Muhammad, Rauza-tus-Safa fi Sirat-ul- Ambia wal Muluk wal K h u l a f a, trans. ‘Gardens of Purity concerning the biography of the Prophets and Kings and Caliphs’. (Bombay, 1852, originally written in 1417), Vol 1: 130-135. 5. Al-Shaikh Al-Said-us-Sadiq Abi Jaffar Muhammad Ibn-i- Ali Ibn-i-Hussain Ibn-i-Musa Ibn-i-Baibuyah al-Qummi, Ikmal-ud-Din (Kamal-ud Din wa Tmam-un Nimat fi Asbat- ul-Ghaibat wa Kashf-ul- Hairet), (Iran: Syed-us-Sanad Press, 1782), p.357 6. Ibid, p. 327 7. Bible, Matthew 13: 3-9 8. Book of Balauhar and B u d a s a f, p. 285-286 (as taken from Jesus Lived in India, by Holger Kersten, pp. 205-206) 9. Mullah Nadri, Ta r i k h – i – Kashmir, p.69 (as taken from Jesus in Heaven on Earth, by Nazir Ahmad p.401) 10. Document provided by Dr. Fida Hassnain by the Sadar Anjuman Ahmadiyya, Qadian, Punjab, India, then forwarded to this author 11. Le-zan Chhes-kyi Nima, Grugtha Thams-chand kyi Khuna dan Dod-Thsul Ston- pe Legs Shad Shel-gyi Melong (as taken from , A Search for The Historical Jesus, by Dr 67 Evidence of Jesus (as) in India Review of Religions – April 2002 Fida Hassnain, p.213) 12. Haji Mohiyuddin, Ta r i k h – i – Kabir Kashmir ( A m r i t s a r, Punjab: Suraj Prakash Press, 1902), Vol. I, p. 34 13. Abdul Nabi Khanyari, Wajees-ut-Tawarikh, (1857), p. 27 14. Dr. Fida Hassnain, The Fifth G o s p e l (Srinagar: Dastgir Publications Trust, 1988), p. xxi 15. Ante-Nicene Christian L i b r a r y, Edinburgh, T&T Clark, 25 Vols. 1869, Vol. 20:46 16. Acts of Thomas ( A c t a T h o m a e ) : h t t p : / / w e s l e y. n n c . e d u / n o n c a n o n / a c t s / a c t t h o m .htm 17. Ibn-iI-Muhammad Hadi Muhammad Ismail, A i n – u l – Hayat, Vol. 2, Chapter 2, pp. 177-178 18. Khawaja Hassan Malik, Tarikh-I-Kashmir, f. 56. 19. Hassnain, A Search for the Historical Jesus, pp. 202-203 The book Saving the Savior – Did Christ Survive the Crucifixion? is published by Jammu Press and is available from 68 Evidence of Jesus (as) in India Review of Religions – April 2002