Revival Of Islam
The Advent of the Messiah and Mahdi
Generally there are two types of Muslims in our days. Those who plead that they have the complete Book—the Holy Quran; the perfect Model– the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him). They claim to adhere to Kalima Shahadat–the Unity of God and Messengership of Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him); observe prayers; keep fast of Ramadhan; pay Zakat and perform the pilgrimage to the house of God at Mecca, hence, they assert that there is no need of any Messiah or Mahdi or even a Mujaddid to appear in the Muslim Ummah.
There are others who did believe in the advent of the Promised Messiah and that of the Promised Mahdi, but as his advent has not taken place in accordance with their own thinking and interpretations, in their despair they have started to console themselves by saying:
1. We admit that Mahdi will not appear. What harm is there if does not appear? (Hadith-al-Ghashiyya, p. 343)
2. We admit that Mahdi may not come. This does not contradict any important belief of the people of Islam. (Iqtarabus Sa’ah, p. 147)
3. Meenar-i-Dil pe Apnay Khuda Kaa Nuzool Deikh
Ab Intizar-i-Mahdi-o-Eisa Bhee Chorh
They i.e., See the descent of God on the minaret of your heart; now even discard the waiting for Mahdi and Eisa. (Dr. Allama Iqbal)
4. As far as the belief for the Promised Messiah is concerned, it is the invention of the helpless and the indolent. (Shorash Kashmiri, Chitan, Lahore, May 28, 1962)
As far as the first type of Muslims are concerned, they have in their ignorance neglected what the Holy Quran had already prophesied in 25:31: “O my Lord, my people indeed treated this Quran as a thing abandoned.” There is also a saying of the Holy Prophet to the effect:
“There will come a time upon the people when nothing will remain of Islam except its name and nothing will remain of the Quran except its inscription. Their mosques will be splendidly furnished but destitute of guidance. Their divines will be the worst people under the sky; strife will issue from them and avert to them.”
Deteriorating Condition Of Muslims
Who is not aware of the fact that everything relating to Islam has been distorted. The concept of God presented by the Muslims is so hideous that spontaneous praise to God has become impossible for an honest person. The concept of angels, similarly, is ugly in the extreme. They are presented as critics of God, base creatures in human form, who indulge in the love of bad women. The prophets of God are described as liars and sinners. They have not spared even the Holy Prophet. Falsely and indiscriminately they have attributed to him a love affair with Zainab, or secret relations with a slave girl, or other inconceivable things. The Holy Prophet was a picture of the Holy Quran as reported by Hazrat Ayesha, yet the commentators have a different picture to paint. We are also told that Divine revelation is not free from the influence of Satan. The only source of security is thus taken away. A theory of abrogation has been invented and a perfect Book like the Holy Quran has been put in doubt. Not being able to understand parts of the Quran, the commentators have condemned them as abrogated. They have done so without authority from the Holy Quran or from the Holy Prophet. Then it is taught that a dead prophet, himself a follower of Moses, will come and rejuvenate Islam in our time. The followers of the Holy Prophet and his example of influence being unable to do so.
So much so about the beliefs of Muslims. Their practical lives are no less deplorable. Nearly 75% do not observe the daily prayers or the annual fasts. Excepting the two Eids, millions of Muslims cannot find the few minutes needed for the daily prayers. Those who join the daily prayers do not observe all the rules and proprieties. Nobody pays Zakat or obligatory alms. Of those who pay, very few, hardly 2%, do so willingly. The Islamic laws of inheritance are being ignored altogether. Taking of interest, described in the Quran as making war on God, is now an almost universal vice. Moral grace, once the birth-right of all Muslims, now seems as remote as Kufr (disbelief) is from Islam.
In view of such a state of affairs, the fallacy of the first type of Muslims needs no further elucidation; particularly when we have the glad tidings given by the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of God be on him, regarding the appearance of Mujaddids (regenerators) and that of the advent of the Mahdi and Messiah.
A few prophecies from the Books of Hadith are:
1. “Verily, God will appoint for this Ummah in the beginning of every century, those who will restore for it its faith.” (Abu Da’ood, Kitabul Fitn)
2. “By the One who owns my soul, it is nigh, of a certainty, that the son of Mary will appear among you. He will be a judge, he will be just; so he will break the cross (refute Christian doctrines with reason and arguments–Commentary on Bukhari by Ainee) and kill the swine (a figurative speech denoting greedy, dirty and annoying person– an abomination. Killing also is through spiritual means); and he will stop war.” (Bukhari, Vol. 1, Babo Nozooli Isa)
3. “It is just possible that he who lives of you might meet Jesus the son of Mary who is the Mahdi and a just judge. He will break the cross and kill the swine…” (Masnad Ahmad Bin Hanbal, Vol. 2, p. 411)
4. “The Ummah can never die which has me at one end and the Messiah, son of Mary, at the other.” (Ibn Maja, Bab Al-I’atisam Bis-Sunnah)
5. “There is no Mahdi but Isa.” (Ibn Maja, Bab Shiddatuz Zaman)
6. “When 1,240 years will pass, God will raise Mahdi.” (An-Najmus Saqib, Vol. 2, p. 209)
7. “What will be your condition when the son of Mary will descend among you and he will be your Imam from among yourselves.” (Bukhari, Kitabul Anbiya, Bab Nazool Isa)
The son of Mary had died long before and it is an established fact that the dead can never return to this world, (The Quran, 21:95), so it is obvious that the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of God be on him, could not mean the coming of the same son of Mary who was put on the cross. Besides, the fact that the physical features of Jesus and the Promised Messiah described by the Holy Prophet (see Bukhari) are not the same is a proof positive of the fact that they are really two different persons and not one and the same. Moreover, the Holy Prophet has further made his meaning clear by saying that he would be “from among yourselves,” i.e., he would neither descend from the heavens nor would be the same son of Mary, who is dead. On the other hand, he would appear from among the Muslims of the age.
Mahdi Is No Other Than The Messiah Promised To Muslims
In pondering over the above traditions one is bound to come to the veritable conclusion that the Mehdi is no other than the Messiah promised to Muslims. To think as the second type of Muslims thought mistakenly, that the Messiah and the Mehdi are two different persons is wrong as is clear from the above Traditions No. 3, 5, & 7.
For shedding the light of Islam in the Christian world he is called Messiah or son of Mary, and for illuminating the hearts of Muslims with pure Islam he is called Mehdi. And this is the very interpretation given by the person who was raised in the fulfillment of these prophecies, when he says:
Choon Mera Hukm Az Paey Quame Maseehee Dadah And
Maslahat Ra Ibn Maryam Name Man Binhadah And
i.e., As I have been given the light for the Christian people, the name of the son of Mary has been given to me for this reason.
Fortunate Is He Who Takes Lessons From The Plight Of Others (Hadithun Nabi)
The second type of Muslims have fallen prey to the same mistake in which the Jews of Jesus’ time had fallen almost 2000 years ago, when they demanded the physical descent of Elijah as was prophesied in Malachi 4:5, before their believing in Jesus as their Messiah and savior. This type of Muslim has waited for the physical descent of Isa Bin Maryam which had not taken place as they wished, hence, their despair and despondency. By not sending Elijah as promised, God has made His meaning clear when he speaks of the second advent of a person. If a physical second advent were permissible in the Divine Law, the Jews were entitled to have Elijah back among them, and until that time were quite right in condemning every claimant to Messiahship as an impostor. But the condemnation of the Jews involves condemnation for the belief that Isa Bin Maryam himself will come back. Even assuming that they were excusable for having fallen into such an error, not the slightest excuse is left for the second type of Muslims for falling into the same error again. This type of Muslims ought to have profited by their example but they are repeating the same error. Every sign that was foretold has been witnessed, but they had been looking for the Messiah in the wrong direction though at the right time. Earthquakes, plague as well as heavenly phenomena bear witness to the one fact that the advent of the Messiah is already overdue.
Hence, there is no cause of despair, rather, we should rejoice that God fulfilled His promise made in the Holy Quran:
“We Ourselves have sent down this Exhortation and most surely We will be its Guardians.” (15:10)
The Prophecies of The Holy Prophet
The prophecies of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of God be on him) have seen the light of day, and Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, received the following revelation directly from God
Ja’alnaaka al Masih Ibn Maryam
“We have made thee the Messiah, son of Maryam”
This was in keeping with the prediction of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of God be on him):
Yakhrojul Mahdiyo Min Qaryatin Yoqalo Lahaa Kad’ha
i.e., the Mahdi will appear in a village the name of which will be called Kad’ha. (Jawahirul Asrar, p. 55)
Announcements From Qadian
1. “When the 13th century of the Hegira drew to a close and the beginning of the 14th century approached, I was informed by God Almighty, through revelation, that I was the Mujaddid (Reformer) for the 14th century.” (Kitabul Bariyya, p. 201)
2. “It was disclosed to me through Divine revelation a few years later that the Messiah that had been promised from the earliest time to this nation and that the last Mahdi (Reformer) who was destined to appear after the deterioration of Islam and who was to be granted direct guidance from God and who was to provide once again the spiritual nourishment, as had been pre-ordained, and about whom glad tidings had also been given by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of God be on him) himself 1300 years ago, is none other than me.” (Tadhkiratush Shahadatain, p. 1)
3. “The holy and pure revelation of God has informed me that I have been sent by Him as the Promised Messiah and as the Promised Mahdi and as Arbiter for the internal and external differences.” (Arba’een)
4. “O ye people: I am Muhammadi Messiah and I am the Ahmad Mahdi: God is really with me from my childhood to my grave.” (Khutba Ilhamia, p. 17)
5. “The truth is that Islam is in dire need of help from God. I am the reformer of the age. It is delightful that God did not leave Islam helpless in this state and sent me, according to His law, so I could revitalize it.” (Malfoozat, Vol. 9, p. 158)
Signs Testifying To Hazrat Ahmad’s Claim
The claim of Hazrat Ahmad has been testified by the signs appearing in heaven and earth. For instance, Darqutni, a most eminent authority, records a saying of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of God be on him):
Inna Le Mahdeena Aayataaini Lam Takoonaa Munzo Khalqis Samawati Wal Arzi Yankhasiful Qamaro Le Awwali Lailatin Min Ramazane Wa Tankhasifushamso Fin Nisfi Minho Wa Lam Takoonaa Munzo Khalaqallahus Samawati Wal Arza
i.e., “For our Mahdi there shall be two signs which have never happened for any one else since the creation of the heavens and the earth; At his advent there shall occur an eclipse of the moon in the first of its appointed nights and an eclipse of the sun on the middle one of its appointed dates and both will occur in the month of Ramazan.” (Dar Qutni, p. 188)
The prophecy does not mean that the occurrence of the eclipse would in itself be unique and unprecedented. But the prophecy predicted 1300 years beforehand that two of the signs of the true Mahdi would be that the sun and the moon would be eclipsed in manner indicated. Eclipses have no doubt occurred before but never as a sign of the advent of a heavenly reformer; because there has never been in the history of the world a claimant of any kind at the time of the phenomena described. It is also confirmed by the Holy Quran (75:6-9) which refers to the same prophecy.
Now according to this the eclipse of the moon actually occurred on Thursday evening the 13th of Ramazan, 1311 A.H. (March 21, 1894) and that of the sun occurred on Friday morning the 28th of the same Ramazan (April 6, 1894). The eclipse of the moon generally occurs on the 13th, 14th, or 15th day of a lunar month and according to the prophecy, it occurred on the first date. The eclipse of the sun can occur on the 27th, 28th, and 29th and it occurred on the 28th which was the middle date predicted. Hence, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad rightly claimed that the prophecy was fulfilled and it was a strong evidence on the truth of his claim as no one except God has power over these heavenly bodies.
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi says:
The signs fulfilled so far are so numerous that there is no room left for an honest mind to deny them. All the earthly and heavenly signs of the appearance of the Promised Messiah have been manifested in my time. The eclipse of the sun and the moon in the month of Ramadhan happened some time ago, the comet has appeared; earthquakes have occurred; epidemics became rampant; Christianity has forcefully spread in the world and as was written, opposition to me has been very intense. All these signs have been fulfilled. (Kitabul Bariyya, p. 259-260)
Blessed are those who recognize the Imam of the age and join the fold of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi as was commanded by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of God be on him) Man Maata Wa Lam Ya’Arif Imam Zamanihee Faqad Maata Meetatal Jahiliyyata, i.e., “He who dies in a condition that he has not recognized the Imam of the age dies a death of ignorance.” (Musnad Ahmad Bin Hanbal, Vol. 4, p. 96)
Fa Iza Ra’aitomooho Fa Bayiooho Wa Lau Habwan Alas Salji Fa Innahoo Khalifatullahul Mahdi, i.e., “When you hear the advent of Mahdi then enter into his fold even if you have to walk on snow by crawling and creeping to reach him.” (Kanzul Ummal; also footnotes to Musnad Ahmad Bin Hanbal, Vol. 6, p. 29-30)
The Promised Messiah has rightly remarked when he said:
Had my claim been put forward on my own, you would have been free to reject me, but if God’s Holy Prophet bears witness for me in his prophecies and God manifests His signs in my support, then do not wrong yourselves by rejecting me. Say not that you are Muslims and have no need of accepting any Messiah.
I tell you truly that he who accepts him who has prophesied about me thirteen hundred years in advance, and had indicated the time of my appearance, and had specified my function; and he who rejects me rejects him who had commanded that I should be accepted. (Ayyamus Sulah, p. 93)