We present extracts from the writings of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdias, on the status of the Promised Messiahas. These are republished from the fourth volume of Essence of Islam.
Question: The Messiah son of Maryas proved through many miracles that he had been sent by God, what [miracles] do you have? Have you put forward any such proof? Have you brought any dead person to life or restored sight to one congenitally blind? Even if we were to suppose that you are the like of the Messiahas, what benefit do we derive from your advent?
Answer: It is apparent from a study of the Gospels that, throughout his life, the Messiahas himself remained the target of this same objection that he had shown no miracle. How could he be the Messiah when he did not bring back to life anyone who could have related the conditions of the life after death and could have warned his heirs that he had come back from hell and that they should forthwith believe. Had the Messiahas brought back the ancestors of the Jews to this life to bear witness to his truth, no one would have dared deny him. Prophets have certainly shown signs but the faithless ones could not perceive them. In the same way, this humble one has not come empty-handed. God Almighty has bestowed a great quantity of life-giving water to me for the purpose of reviving the dead. He who drinks of it will come to life. I proclaim that if the dead are not revived, and the blind do not begin to see, and the leprous are not cleansed through my words, then I have not come from God Almighty, Who in His Holy Word has said concerning me:
“If he is viewed in contrast to the Prophet of Nazareth, it will be realized that he is carrying out a great cleansing of the creatures of God, considerably more than they were ever healed of physical ailments.”1
Be sure that the seed of spiritual life has been sown like a mustard seed and it will soon, very soon, appear in the form of a great tree. A person who thinks along material lines cherishes material things and sees great value in them, but he who has been given a share of spirituality seeks the spiritual life. The righteous servants of God Almighty do not come into the world to make an exhibition for the amusement of people. Their true purpose is to draw people towards God and they are ultimately recognized through this very spiritual power. The light that endows them with the power to attract others may not be perceived by those who would try to test it and it may even lead them to stumble; still, that light by itself draws such people as are worthy of being drawn and thus reveals its miraculous effect.
The special friends of God are known by the following signs:
(1) They are bestowed a pure love of the Divine which cannot be perceived by people of this world.
(2) Their hearts are governed by a sort of fear, due to which their obedience takes the subtlest form, and they are afraid lest the Eternal Friend is displeased.
(3) They are bestowed extraordinary steadfastness, the manifestation of which surprises the beholders.
(4) When someone persecutes them and persists in so doing, he is suddenly subjected to the wrath of that Most Powerful One, Who is their Guardian.
(5) When someone becomes their true friend, and devotes himself to them in full loyalty and sincerity, God Almighty draws such a one to Himself and bestows His special [M]ercy on him.
(6) In comparison with others, their prayers are accepted in such large numbers as can hardly be counted.
(7) Hidden mysteries are often revealed to them and they are informed in advance of that which is yet to come. Even though other believers also may experience true dreams and visions, the chosen ones exceed them all in this respect.
(8) God Almighty becomes their Custodian and treats them more mercifully then a parent would treat his children.
(9) When they are afflicted with a great calamity, they are treated in one of two ways: either they are delivered from it in an extraordinary manner or are bestowed such steadfastness as is full of pleasure, delight and eagerness.
(10) They are bestowed a high moral status wherein they are freed from all arrogance, pride, meanness, conceit, hypocrisy, envy, miserliness and narrow-mindedness. They are characterized by wholehearted conviction and cheerfulness.
(11) Their trust in God is of a very high order and the fruits thereof continue to be manifested constantly.
(12) They are given the power and the capacity to perform righteous deeds which others are unable to perform.
(13) They develop a high degree of sympathy for God’s creatures without the expectation of any reward or merit. They are inspired by a high degree of desire to serve mankind. They themselves cannot understand why they are so inspired, for this characteristic is a part of their nature.
(14) They are wholly and perfectly devoted to God Almighty and possess a fervent desire to sacrifice their whole beings in His cause. The special relationship their souls have with the Spirit of God cannot be described in words. They enjoy a standing with the Holy One which is not recognized by the common people. That which they specially possess in abundance and which is the fountainhead of all blessings; and by virtue of which—while they appear to be sinking—they win through to security; and having arrived at the brink of extinction, are revived; and even though they are humiliated, they still exhibit their crown of honour; and though appearing alone and abandoned, they are suddenly seen at the head of a large group; is none other than this relationship of perfect devotion which can neither be severed with the sword nor loosened by any riot or fear of the world.
“There is peace for them from Allah and His angels and all the righteous.”2
(15) The fifteenth sign is their knowledge of the Holy Qur’an. They are given deep understanding of the wisdom, verities and fine points of the Holy Qur’an to a degree which is never given to others. They are the pure ones concerning whom God, the Glorious, says:
“Which none shall touch except those who are purified.”3
(16) God Almighty inspires their words and writings with an effectiveness which distinguishes them from the writings and speeches of the conventional clerics. Their words have an awe and grandeur and—provided there are no veils—it captures the hearts.
(17) They inspire a kind of awe which is a reflection of the awe inspired by God, for God Almighty grants them His company in a special manner. Their countenances reflect the light of God’s love. He who perceives it is delivered from the fire of hell. Although they may fall into error or minor sin, there is a fire in their hearts that consumes all error and all sin. Their error does not persist, but is like something which is carried away by a strong current of water. Thus their critic always stumbles.
(18) God Almighty does not let them be destroyed and they are not subjected to humiliation and disgrace for they are dear to God as they are planted with His own hand. He does not cause them to fall from a height in order to destroy them, but He does so to exhibit their miraculous deliverance. He does not push them into fire in order to consume them, but to show the people that what was at one time a fire has now become a lovely garden.
(19) God Almighty does not let them die until that for which they have been sent has been accomplished. Their journey to the hereafter is deferred until they have found acceptance in the hearts of the pure.
(20) They leave behind a good remembrance, and God Almighty bestows special mercy on their progeny through many generations, as well as on the progeny of their faithful friends and keeps their names alive.
These are the characteristics of the Friends of the Gracious One. Each of these, when manifested at its due time, appears like a great miracle but its manifestation is entirely in the hand of God Almighty.
Now, in obedience to the direction:
“And proclaim the bounty of thy Lord.”4
I do not see any harm in declaring that the Merciful God has, through His Grace and [B]ounty, bestowed all these characteristics on me in abundance. He has not sent me empty-handed, nor has He appointed me without any accompanying signs. He has bestowed all these signs upon me which are being manifested and will continue to be manifested. God Almighty will go on manifesting these signs until the truth is clearly established.
In answer to the question, “What benefit can we derive from your advent?” I say that when a person who has been chosen appears from heaven, his advent benefits all and sundry according to their capacities. His advent is, in fact, the rising of a spiritual sun, the light of which spreads far and wide. As the sun casts its effects differently on animals, plants, minerals and other objects, though few people know enough about it, in the same way, the advent of an appointed one affects all dispositions and every part and region of the universe. From the moment his merciful appearance is determined upon in heaven, angels begin to descend therefrom, like the rays of the sun, unto the far corners of the world to strengthen those who have the capacity to advance towards the truth. Thereby, people of pious natures are by themselves inclined towards accepting the truth. All these are the signs of the truth of the Man of God at the time of whose advent heavenly abilities are sharpened. God has given this alone as a sign of true revelation that when it descends, angels too descend along with it and, day by day, the world begins to turn towards the truth. In addition to the particular signs that I have described above, this is a general sign of an appointed one who comes from God Almighty.
[Izala-e-Auham, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 3, pp. 334-339 (English Translation: Essence of Islam, Vol.4, pp.54-59)].
1. Izala-e-Auham, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 3, pp. 333.
2. Izala-e-Auham, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 3, pp. 337.
3. The Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Waqi‘ah, Verse 80.
4. The Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Duha, Verse 12.