30 FULFILMENT OF PROPHECIES ABOUT THE MAHDI (Mustafa Sabet) Much has been written and said about the advent of the Mahdi in the latter days. There are so many traditions mentioned by the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, describing every aspect of the life, mission and the time in which the Mahdi is to come. Due to these numerous traditions and the emphasis they lay upon accepting and supporting the Mahdi in his mission, and due to his high status affirmed by some traditions which put him above all the prophets before the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, a great part of the Muslim nation has considered the advent of the Mahdi to be a corner stone in reforming the faith. On the other hand, we find that many false claimants have claimed to be the promised Mahdi. Accordingly some Muslims tend to reject all the traditions about the Mahdi. In the time assigned to me, I will not try to prove the authenticity of these traditions. To me, as well as to many who are sitting in this auditorium, these prophecies have been already fulfilled in the person of the Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, may the peace and the blessings of God be upon him as well as on his master the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. I will take only la prophecies about the Mahdi and analyse the chances of their fulfilment in one person. I will be making use of the well-known principle of probability. If the chance of one thing happening is one in X and the chance of another independent or related thing is one in Y, then the chance that they both happen is X times Y. To illustrate further, if we throw a dice on a table, the chance to get a specific number is one in six but if we throw 2 dices, then the chances of getting the same specific number from both the dices is one in 36. The proof of this theory could be found in any college Algebra text. I must point out that in our daily life, we accept the validity of scientific facts without any objection. They are the foundation on which the rates are fixed for all kinds of insurance whether it is life, property or car insurance, and in practice the truth of this theory has been proved in every application. In evaluating these prophecies we shall have to answer this question REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 31 regarding each prophecy: One man in how many men has fulfilled this particular prophecy? I realize that some may object to this question, saying that these prophecies were made with respect to the Mahdi, and no other man can fulfil them. This of course is true when we consider the mass of prophecies regarding the Mahdi but is not true of all individual prophecies. Let us, for example, take 10 prophecies regarding some aspects of the Promised Mahdi, such as: 1. His name. 1 in 10; 2. His origin. 1 in 100; 3. His place. 1 in 10; 4. His features and complexion. 1 in 100; 5. His health. 1 in 10, 6. His revelation. 1 in 100,000,000; 7. His life. 1 in 100,000,000; 8. His sign. 1 in 100,000,000; 9. His mISSIOn. 1 in 100,000,000; 10. His accomplishments. 1 in 10. NAME It was prophecied, for example, that the Mahdi (literally means The Guided One) would have a name which resembles the name of the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him. We know that the Holy Prophet was given the name Muhammad at his birth and it is the name with which he was addressed and mentioned also in the Holy Quran. But he said that he was given different ‘names among which were Ahmad and Mahmood, which literally resemble the name Muhammad. Now the question is: How many men fulfill this prophecy? In other words, how many persons have the name Ahmad or Mahmood? If we assume that the average number of people living is 3000 million’, out of which 600 millions are Muslims, a percentage of 2 out of 10, then let us assume that 50% of all Muslims have a name that in one way or another is similar to the Holy Prophet’s name. In other words there will be 300 million persons who can fulfill this prophecy, and accordingly the chance of fulfilment of this prophecy will be 1 in 10 with respect to the total population. It is well known that the name of the Founder of this Movement was Ahmad. HIS ORIGIN It was also prophesied that the Promised Reformer will be a man from Persia and in the mean time he will belong to the family of the Holy Prophet. Many false claimants who happened to belong to the Holy Prophet’s family neglected the other condition, namely to be of a Persian origin. The Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement was a Persian through his father and belonged to the family of the Holy Prophet through his mother. But was he the only one who fulfilled this prophecy? Of course not. If we assume that 30 million peo’pIe are 32 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS Persians and at the same time belong to the Holy Prophet’s family, then the chance of fulfilment of this prophecy would be 1 in 100. HIS PLACE It was mentioned that the Promised One will come in the East and specifically in the area east of Damascus. If we take the area bounded by the latitude no. 30 and that no. 35 and go further to the east until we reach the Pacific ocean, then everyone living in this area can claim to have fulfilled this prophecy. Incidentally, Qadian which is the small village of the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement lies exactly to the east of Damascus in the area by latitudes 30 & 35. But again he was not the only person who lived in this area. There may be about 300 million persons living in that strip Damascus to the Pacific, and accordingly, the chance of fulfillment of this prophecy is 1 in 10. HIS FEATURES AND COMPLEXION It was mentioned that the Promised Mahdi will have a dark complexion. He is not white but he is not black either. He will have sharp eyes, soft hair and a big beard that will hit his shoulders whenever he turns his face to the right or to the left. This prophecy excludes all the white and the black races. It also excludes all those who have curly hair from the remaining population. If we estimate a number of 30 million people could fulfill this prophecy, it means that the chance of fulfilment is I in 100. Incidentally some false claimants also disregarded this prophecy. For example, the Mahdi of Sudan had a black not dark complexion, had a curly not soft and straight hair and had a very short beard. I believe that out of all the claimants to the office of Mahdi, the only one who fulfilled this prophecy in all its details was Hazrat Ahmad of Qadian. HIS HEALTH It was prophesised that the Promised One would suffer from two diseases. Of course everyone of us has sometimes become a victim of some kind of disease. But how many of us have lived their whole life carrying with them two kinds of diseases. Ifwe estimate the number to be 300 million persons, then the chance of fulfilment of this prophecy is 1 in 10. Hazrat Ahmad of Qadian suffered from two kinds of disease and he has pointed out that this was a sign from Allah to distinguish the right claimant from the false one. HIS REVELATION It was prophesied that the Promised One would recieve revelation from God. I should emphasize here that Islam as explained by The Holy Quran is the last religion for all mankind, brought by the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, and will remain valid and intact until the Day of Judgement, No other book is to abrogate the message of REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 33 the Holy Quran and no other religion is to be sent from God. The only kind of revelation that may exist after the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, is that which bears glad tidings to the believers and reveal the secrets of the unseen. In no way it should contradict, add or cancel any word contained in the Holy Quran. Rather, it will resemble the kind of revelation the Prophet Aaron received in the time of Moses on whom be peace. The same was received by the prophets raised in the Jewish nation, it did not add or abrogate any teachings of the Torah, but its purspose was to explain the teachings of the Torah. In the same way, the Promised Mahdi was to receive revelation from God, but his revelation will not contradict any teachings of the Holy Quran. It will be only for the purpose of proving that Allah is the only True Living God, and to establish the truth and the triumph of Islam as the only true and living religion. Now, let us ask our question … how many men would fulfill this prophecy? We know that from time to time, someone emerges who would claim to have recieved revelation from God. The Holy Prophet said that in the time between himself and the advent of the Mahdi there will be 30 false claimants. In our estimation, we will assume that in every time, there will exist 30 persons all claiming to recieve revelation, Accordingly the chance this prophecy is to be fulfilled would be 1 in 100,000,000. HIS LIFE The Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, has said that the duration of the mission of the Promised Mahdi will be 40 years. Again in the Holy Quran, the criteria by which we can differentiate between a true and a false prophet is that the false one would be killed unless he repents. If we study the life of those we have known to have claimed to be the promised one for the latter days we will find that they were subjected to the operation of this heavenly law. In Sudan, the one who claimed to be the Mahdi was killed by the British authorities. In Iran, the Bab was also killed after six years of his claim. In the west, the Founder of the Mormon Church was killed at the age of 34. It was only the Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community who recieved his first revelation in about the year 1868 and for 40 years until the year 1908, he spent his life in the service of Islam, and in spite of all kinds of opposition and attempts made upon his life, God saved him from being killed at the hands of his enemies providing irrefutable evidence of his truthful claim to be the Promised Mahdi. Now, let us ask our question, one man in how many would claim 34 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS of his life in the service of Islam and that he has been appointed by God for that office and still he lived his 40 years and was not humiliated and killed by his opponents. To me there is none except Hazrat Ahmad of Qadian, but just for the sake of argument and in order not to be accused of exaggerating our estimations, let us assume that there were 29 unknown and unheard of persons who in addition to Hazrat Ahmad have fulfilled this prophecy. Then we can calculate the chance of fulfillment to be 1 in 100,000,000. HIS MISSION It was prophesised that the Promised Mahdi will have a dual mission. As a spiritual Son of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, he will be a reformer to the Muslims, a reformer who will purify the religion of Islam of all the misconcepts that crept into it. Also he will be a reformer to the Christians who will prove to them their error in holding a human being a God, and ultimately will bring the followers of the three great religions: Islam, Christianity and Judaism into unity by proving that Jesus was a true prophet who was delivered from the shameful death upon the Cross. This dual mission of the Promised Mahdi was the reason that he was considered also to be the Promised Messiah. Now let us consider, how many persons claimed to be the Promised Mahdi? Many did so. How many claimed to be the Promised Messiah? Many did so. But how many claimed to be the Promised Mahdi and the Promised Messiah at the same time fulfilling the prophecy of the Holy Prophet that the the Mahdi and the Messiah are one and the same person? None, no one except Hazrat Ahmad of Qadian. This will put our estimation of fulfilment of this prophecy to be 1 in 300,000,000. But let us assume again that there were another 29 unknown and unheard of persons who made such a claim. Our estimation then will be 1 in 100,000,000. HIS ACCOMPLISHMENTS It was prophesised that the institution of Khilafat will be re-established after about 1300 years from the time of the Holy Prophet M uhammad , peace be upon him. It is true that some kings used to call themselves Khalifas but the type of Khilafat mentioned in the prophecies is that which is after the manner of Khilafat established by the Holy Prophet himself. For the sake of argument, we will consider all types of Khilafats that were es~lished between the time of the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, until now and would exeggerate our estimation and assume that 1 person out of 10 has somehow established a system of Khilafat. REVIEW OF RELIGIONS 35 chance of fulfilment of these 10 prophecies. To do that we have to multiply all our estimates together. That is: 10 x 100 x 10 x 100 x 10 x 100000000 x 100000000 x 100000000 x 10000000 and this is equal to 1 chance in 1 with 40 zeros at its right side written in the form of 1 in 1040 • If we would like to know the chance that any man might have lived from the day these prophecies were made to the present time who may have fulfilled these 10 prophecies, we should divide our 1040 by the total number of people who have lived since the time of these prophecies. We can estimate this number to be 100,000,000,000 (one hundred billion) or 1011 assuming that an average of 3 billion people existed every. 40 years. By dividing the 2 numbers 1040/10 11 we get 1029 • In order to satisfy some people who may have felt that we have over-estimated our figures, I will reduce this figure by dividing it further by 1,000,000,000 leaving the final figure to be 1020 which means that the chance of fulfilment of those 10 prophecies in anyone person is 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 (one hundred billion billion). Let us try to visualize these chances. If you mark one of ten dimes and place all the dimes in a hat, and thoroughly stir them, and then ask a blindfolded man to draw one, his chance of getting the right dime is one in ten. Suppose we take 1020 dimes and put them one over the other in a shape of a column the height of that column will be reached, if we travel in a train at a speed of 100 miles per hour every day and night, in 90 million years. Since this is a very long period of time, let us put our blindfolded man in the Enterprise of the Star Trek of the T. V. series that travels at the speed of light which is 186000 miles every second. This imaginary spaceship will cover the distance between the earth and the sun in 8 minutes. To reach the end of our column of dimes, it will need 13 years and 6 months. Again, if we take our 1020 dimes and mark only one of them and stir the whole mass thoroughly and lay them on the face of the Province of Ontario, (the size of Ontario is four and half times the size of United Kingdom. The size of Ohio state is 4000 square miles larger than Pakistan and Bangladesh). Blindfold a man, and tell him to travel as far as he wishes but he must pick up one dime only and say 36 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the people who wrote these prophecies would have had in fabricating them and still having them all come true in one man, from their day to the present time. Now, these 10 prophecies were either revealed by God to the Holy Prophet or the narrators and the writers fabricated them and attributed them to the Holy Prophet. But could they have also organized their fulfilme.nt in one person having only one chance in 1020. But as we have seen, all the ten prophecies came true in the person of Hazrat Ahmad of Qadian the Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam. The fulfilment of these 10 prophecies only proves beyond any doubt that Allah the All-Knowing revealed them to the Holy Prophet and He as the Powerful and Mighty God had the power to bring about their fulfilment. The advent of the Promised Mahdi is accordingly considered as a great sign and an irrefutable evidence and proof of the truth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and of the truth of the religion of Islam. Can anyone be unreasonable as to reject the Promised Mahdi, Hazrat Ahmad of Qadian, and pin his hope on such a slim chance as finding the right dime among this great mass, covering the whole province of Ontario two hundred and fifty one feet deep? It does not seem possible, yet everyone who rejects that Hazrat Ahmad of Qadian was the Promised Mahdi is just that. Any man who rejects Hazrat Ahmad is rejecting a fact proved as absolutely as any other fact in the world. The rejection of the Mahdi is in fact a rejection of the one who prophesied about his advent, and in a way a rejection of God Who fulfilled these prophecies in the person of Hazrat Ahmad of Qadian. May Allah shower His blessings upon him and his master the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, and help and guide us to be His humble and obedient servants. Amen.