March 23 is an important date in the modern history of spiritual Islam. It was on this Day in 1889 that the the Jamaat-e- Ahmadiyya was established by the Promised Massih Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) of Qadian. [Inset: a photo from the 2005 Jalsa Salana at Qadian, which the present writer attended]. He initiated the Bai’at Programme through which devout Muslims could express their allegiance to the Divine appointee. In a special speech to mark the occasion on Saturday, 23 March 2013 the Chosen Messenger of our times, the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius spoke at length about the sacred, foundational prophecies that undergird the belief about the coming of Divine Messengers/Massihs’/Mahdis’ in the Latter Days of Islam. The speech beautifully captures the essence of Divine prophecies foretold in the sacred writings of Muslims, Christians and the seers of other religious. It demonstrates how these prophecies have been fulfilled in the times of the Promised Massih (as) and also reflects on their contemporary significance. The spiritual outlook regarding the continuity of Divine revelations and the appearance of Divine Messengers in future, who will speak with the Holy Spirit, as emerging from the writings of the Promised Massih (as) and as discussed in the speech must be of special interest to devout Ahmadis.
Read the Extracts from the Speech:
Today 23 March 2013 establishes 124 years since an event took place in the once unknown small village – Qadian – situated in the province of Punjab in India. It was an event destined to change the course of history. In Islamic literature, the Quran predicts a thousand years during which Islam will suffer an extraordinary decline.
“He regulates His command from the heaven to the earth; then shall it ascend to Him in a day the measure of which is a thousand years of what you count.” (As-Sajdah 32: 6).
The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) has predicted that this decline will not begin until three hundred years after his advent: “The best century is the one in which I live, then the second and the third will be good, afterwards lies will spread, truth shall disappear; cruelty, excesses, differences and divergences shall appear”. (Miskat, Bukhari & Tirmidhi).
Listen, everyone! Just like the Promised Messiah Hazrat Ahmad (as) had warned the people in his time, I’ll also say that He Who created the heavens and the earth (that is, Allah), revealed to me that He shall spread this community (the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam) which is His, all over the world and give it supremacy over all, by the force of reason and argument. The days are near and there will be only this religion (Islam) which shall be honoured. God will give His grace and extraordinary blessing to this religion and this Jamaat. He will destroy all those who stand up against it. This supremacy will last until the Day of Judgement.
Remember that no one comes down physically from heaven. All our opponents who now live, shall die, and nobody shall see Jesus, the actual son of Mary come down from heaven. Their next generation shall disappear but they also will not see this show which they believe to be absolutely literal. Then another generation will pass, but it shall not also see Jesus, son of Mary come down from heaven. Then Allah (Almighty God) will make them panicky, worried. All calculations they made shall be in vain, and they shall wonder why the prophecy does not happen as it should have been. Then they will lose trust in this literal interpretation of prophecies taken from the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh).
The time of the supremacy of the cross will be over. The world will have witnessed some major changes, and yet Jesus, son of Mary will not come down from the sky. Sensible people shall reject this belief. Muslims or Christians, despaired, shall reject this (literal interpretation) with disgust. There will be only one religion which shall prevail in the world and one Head. I have come only to sow the seed, with my hands as a planter, so that the garden of Islam regains its glory and beauty. Now it shall sprout, grow and flourish and nobody can stop it.
Prophecies on Divine Messengers in the Latter Days
Fourteen centuries have passed since the Hegira, and never a century has generated as much interest as the 14th (fourteenth) century and its spill, such as a river in the 15th (fifteenth) century, especially in the Muslim world.
For some time now, the Muslim World awaits a spiritual revolution which shall give them reassurance of the victory of Islam, as Islam is attacked from everywhere. Many religious men have devised evil plans to depict Islam as a religion promoting violence and that our beloved prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) was only power-thirst, promoted wars and loved women. Therefore, the Muslim World awaits impatiently the appearance of their Imam who shall know how to bring again peace and victory and shall rediscover (or return back) the glory of Islam. And many scientists/scholars are looking for the code contained in the Quran which shed a light, to inform us, about the coming of elects of Allah as prophesied in the Quran and Sunnah.
If the Promised Messiah Ahmad (as) came and opened with his hand the door of Muhammadan Messiahs, that does not prevent the prophecies of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) from pointing to the coming of other different Messiahs and Mahdis. See what Hazrat Ahmad (as) informs us:
“We admit this that several Mahdis may have come before and possibly will come in future as well and probably someone by the name of Imam Muhammad may also appear.” (Roohani Khazain vol.3, p.379)
“It is possible and quite possible that at some time in future such Messiah may appear upon whom the literal words of Hadith (of Holy Prophet) fit, because this humble self has not come with the Reign and Command of this world, but with poverty and humility.” (Izala-e-Auham, Roohani Khazain Vol.3 p.197)
“It is possible that in future no Messiah may come. It is possible 10,000 more Messiah may come and one of them may descend in Damascus.” (Izala-e-Auham, Roohani Khazain Vol.3 p.251)
According to a narration of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the Mahdi must come twenty or thirty years after the year 1400 Hijri. The source of this narration (by Qalda bin Zayd bin Baraka, Qalda bin Zayd bin Baraka, Asma Masalik Li Ayyam Al-Mahdi: Malik Li Kul Al-Dunya Bi Amr Allah El-Malik, p.216) is a rare handwritten book (manuscript), which dates back about 300 years after the Hijra, and is now preserved in Istanbul, Turkey in the Süleymaniye Library, under the section “Islamic manuscripts 3664 / Al Medina Al-Munnawwara.”
This by no means dissolved the authentic claims of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi of his time, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as). Instead, Hazrat Ahmad (as) was the first among all Mahdis who claimed the words of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) that Mahdi will be the Promised Messiah and the Promised Messiah will be none other than the Mahdi, an Imam from among the Muslims themselves.
Authentic Hadiths also support this saying of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and this fact proves the truthfulness of Hazrat Ahmad (as) as the Promised Messiah and Mahdi of the last days, as the father of the Muhammadan (or Islamic) Messiahs and Mahdis “In what state will you be when the son of Mary will come among you to lead you from among you.” (Sahih Muslim)
Muslims of our time must then seek the Mahdi/Promised Messiah, an Imam from among themselves who will save them from the satanic manifestations and Dajjal of this century. Hazrat Ahmad (as) came for his century and has accomplished his mission as such for the salvation of the souls of his time, but God has promised him that He will preserve His Jamaat (community) and raise someone therefrom with the Holy Spirit to lead them. If all Muslims, including the followers of the Promised Messiah Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) realize that their salvation lies in submission to the will of God and as predicted by both the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), then they shall certainly recognize the Imam of their century, an Imam and Messiah, a Khalifatullah who has come from among themselves to guide them to the only God, the true, the only One Who is worthy of worship.
The people, Muslims and others have forgotten the essence of faith, the meaning of their Islam, of their commitment to the God Who gave them everything. A messenger of God confirms the coming of one who will come after him, so that people of intelligence (Ulul’ al-Baab) recognize him. Prophets, messengers and reformers of God have similar, metaphoric, parabolic language; otherwise it will be too easy if people welcomed a messenger of God with open arms as soon as he comes. No, in the early stages it is only the “Ulul’ al-Baab” who recognize them (the messengers) and then through their Dawa, Allah opens the other hearts, researchers truths, and even people who were once enemies of the messengers of God and give them the most precious gift: faith, the true and pure!
Today in our present age that corresponds to the prophecy of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) that the Mahdi will appear 20 or 30 years after 1400 Hijri, because we are now in 1434 Hijri, and it’s been ten years now that God raised me as His Chosen Messenger, the Messiah Muhy’uddin Khalifatullah, therefore I pray to God that my truth become clear in the mind and heart of people, the Muslims and all of mankind. Some scholars of Islam seek to unravel the mysteries, codes of the Quran and the Sunnah and they concluded that the Mahdi as well as the Messiah (as they still believe that the two titles are for two different persons) must demonstrate their appearance in the interval 2013-2014, and perhaps even until 2022. There is no doubt that the era of the Messiah is already here, but who are those who are ready to see this advent, and not make the blind?
Moreover, Ahmadi Muslims have prepared to welcome with dignity the 15th century which began on 09 November 1980 and will mark the victory of Islam. For us Ahmadis, all the words of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and the Quran were fulfilled to the letter and the Promised Messiah manifested his presence as predicted during the 14th century in the person of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as). The latter proclaimed himself to be the Messiah and Mahdi promised by God to reform Islam in accordance with the following verses of the Holy Quran.
“He regulates His command from the heaven to the earth; then shall it ascend to Him in a day the measure of which is a thousand years of what you count. (As-Sajdah 32: 6).
Commenting on this verse, the Musleh Ma’ud Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra) said: “This verse refers to a severe crisis which was intended to strike Islam in its path. Islam should go through a period of progress and prosperity, sustained during the first 3 centuries of its life. It is reported that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) alluded repeatedly in his statements. “The best century is wherein I live, then the next, and the next one.” (Tirmidhi, Bukhari)
The decline of Islam began after the first three centuries marked by uninterrupted conquests. The process of decline and decadence continued for the next thousand years. It is this period of one thousand years that reference is made in the words: “then shall it ascend to Him in a day the measure of which is a thousand years”. In other traditions the Holy Prophet (pbuh) said: “Faith will ascend to the Pleiades and a man of Persian descent will bring it back to earth.” (Bukhari – Kitabul Tafsir). With the event of the Promised Messiah in the 14th century, the process of decline has stopped and the revival of Islam began.”
The Promised Messiah Hazrat Ahmad (as) appeared at a time when Islam was in very bad shape. Attacked from all sides, there was no one to defend and explain its beauties. Muslims, as foretold by the Holy Prophet (pbuh) were Muslims in name only. The Holy Quran was read only as a habit and its implementation was ignored. “There would come a time when Muslims shall exist only in name and the Quran is read by way of habit and the Ulama shall be the worst creatures”. (Mishkat Vol. 1, Kitab-ul-Ilm). This time refers to the 14th century when the first of the Islamic messiahs would make his appearance.
In another hadith it is reported that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) addressing scholars said: “Rejoice, rejoice (he repeated these words three times), my people can be compared to rain. We do not know if the beginning or the end is better. How this people can be destroyed, for I am at the beginning, in the middle there will be twelve of my caliphs and at end there will be the Messiah.” (Fashul Khitab Iman Muhammad p.768).
The century in which the Holy Prophet (pbuh) lived, added to twelve centuries when there were 12 Caliphs that is, Mujaddiddin... makes 13 centuries. So it is clear that the 14th century is that of the Messiah. The Aulia-e-Kiram (holy men) also foretold the coming of the Messiah:
1. Naeem bin Himad reports that Abu Kabil said most holy men are of opinion that the Promised Mahdi will appear in the 14th century. (Hujajul Keraah p. 394).
2. Khwaja Hasan Nizani wrote in his book “Zahur Mahdi” that Sheik Samussi and Sufis, and Syrian and Arab scholars agree that the Mahdi will come in the 14th century until 1330, 1335 or 1340 Hijri. I remind you that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) spoke about the Mahdi and the Messiah, as one and the same person.
The announcement of the coming of a Messiah at that time is found in all religions – Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism etc., and moreover, the Messiah was expected during the 14th century. We see then that Allah, our beneficent Creator blesses the hearts of some so that they understand the importance of the coming of His chosen elect for reform, both of Islam, and humanity as a whole. If Hazrat Ahmad (as) came for his century, but it is also true that he came as a forerunner of the coming of this humble servant of Allah, the Khalifatullah and Messiah of this century, the 15th century of the Hegira. Verily, I was born in 1380 Hijri (that is to say, the end of a century –fourteenth) and Allah raised me as his Elect in 1421 Hijri (in another century, the Islamic fifteenth). That first time was filled with Divine Manifestation, where revelations, like a torrential rain started to fall on this humble servant of God. Allah told me many secrets, bestowed upon me many revelations, and several titles that have proven to be true over the last decade, and there are other promises and other prophecies that must be fulfilled soon, and in future years as well.
We read in the Bible: “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?” But He said, “Go now, Daniel, for what I have said is kept secret and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand. From the time that the daily sacrifice is removed and the abomination that causes desolation is set in place, there are 1,290 days. How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days!” (Daniel 12: 8-12).
In Hebrew, the “abomination that causes desolation” literally means “destruction of the idols.” It appears that after the abolition of sacrifice and destruction of idols, there will be 1290 days before the arrival of the Messiah. According to the laws of Moses (as), two lambs had to be sacrificed and burnt every day. (Exodus 29: 38-42). The Islamic law has come to abolish this practice, and we know how beautifully the Holy Prophet (pbuh) destroyed the idols. Therefore, 1290 years after the Holy Prophet (pbuh) the Messiah should appear which brings us to the 14th century Hijri. In the Holy Quran a day is equal to one year of revelations. It is this prediction that has had the Christians waiting for the Messiah since 1868.
Pandit Raj Narainji Arman Shastri of Delhi, a prominent Hindu, after research, wrote in his book Chitawni p.1-2: “500 years ago Bhagwan Krishna made his apparition. There was no greater Avatar than him so far and there will be none. After him until now many powers have arisen, but now in 1924, the same Bhagwan Krishna has reincarnated again to reform this poor sinful earth. I have had this knowledge on a Sunday evening when I was in Delhi during my prayer.” On page 8 of the same book, he drew his conclusion: “The Avatar (Messiah) must appear no later than 1943.”
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) laid the foundations on which the unification of humanity should be realised. He resolved the conflicts and paradoxes in the religious world concerning the advent of a reformer. The followers of the great religions, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians and followers of Confucianism, all waited for the advent of a promised reformer as predicted in their respective scriptures.
How could God send different messages at the same time, each calling to the same God, but in his own way, and inviting humanity to divergent and conflicting ideologies? This was the question that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) of Qadian asked, being divinely guided. Based on revelations, it was revealed that all the prophecies concerning the advent of various reformers were true. However, they meant one person who would instil in his person the qualities, the role and powers of all the great spiritual reformers whose advent was foretold.
Certainly he would be a soldier of God in the mantle of various prophets. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) also said that the religion chosen by Allah for the universal and final manifestation of His unity was Islam. Especially since this solitary voice rose from a small unknown and apparently unimportant village, so that humanity may listen and take it into consideration. Some answered the call with faith and complete devotion; others lifted a storm of hostility, a sight which history has rarely witnessed.
His followers were severely persecuted. They were deprived of religious freedom and human rights. Even laws were passed in some countries making then subject to severe penalties and they were dragged in court only to have professed and practice their faith.
God stood beside His servant, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), fulfilled all His promises and as predicted in 1898, “enabled his message to reach the ends of the earth.” The Promised Messiah (as) said: “When the 13th century of the Hegira was ending and the 14th century began to emerge, Allah Almighty informed me through revelation that I was the Mujaddid for the 14th century.” (Kitabul Bariyya p. 201).
The Messiah said about the time of his coming that God gave clear signs to prove his veracity. For example, the addition of numerical values of each letter of his name written in Arabic gives exactly 1300.
In addition, he said:
1. This is something unique and a great sign of God that He began pouring down His revelations on me exactly in 1290 Hijri. (Haqiqatul Wahi).
2. Oh people! I am the Muhammadi Messiah and Ahmad Mahdi. (Khutba Ilhaamiyah).
In citing all these references, I want to demonstrate the importance of the 14th century and also the 15th century of the Hegira. The need for reform is too apparent. A glimpse into the world plunged in immorality makes it incumbent upon us to seek the promised divine reformer. In the first time he came, he lived, and he went, and in a second time, he has come and he is present among you to confirm the coming of the Messiah who has gone back to his final home, to Allah but also to confirm the veracity of our beloved master and prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) and all the prophets (as). Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) and Hazrat Ahmad (as) and the other past prophets have left behind a legacy, the essence of faith; without it nothing is gained. This essence is faith in One God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, Who is hidden as well as manifest, and by establishing Islam, He is the One who reassures its survival through His elect.
If the Ahmadiyya Community in Islam has sought to establish the supremacy of Islam for over a hundred years on this earth, but when rust has settled after so many years, and the presence of a saviour is felt, then Allah reinforced his Chosen servant from among “them” (that is to say, the Muslims, particularly the community of His Messiah Ahmad (as)) to re-establish the glory of Islam and essence and purpose of the coming of the Promised Messiah Hazrat Ahmad (as) on this earth. When the followers of the Messiah lost their way, then Allah has sent me to open their eyes and to wake them up from their sleep so that they may lend strong hands to the Messiah of this present century to build or rather to fill gaps and repair the building of Islam.
May Allah strengthen you in your faith, and bless you all. May Allah open the heart of true believers, the true seekers of truth that they may taste the elixir of truth in the coming of the Promised Messiah Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), and this humble servant of Allah, the Promised Messiah and Khalifatullah of this era. May Allah give you the unique opportunity to experience the trials and also the delights of faith. Insha-Allah. Ameen.