Did the Promised Messiah (as) Claim Divinity? Distinguishing Facts from Fiction

Mubarak Mosque Brampton
11 min readMay 4, 2021

The Promised Messiah & Imam Mahdi, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) of Qadian (1835–1908)

Raziullah Noman, Canada

In one of the recent articles by Mufti Abdullah Moolla, an allegation was raised against Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), that God forbid, he claimed divinity. Once again, this cleric raises false allegations against the latter-day Messiah and others support these articles without doing any research.

The Prophet Muhammad (sa) stated:

كَفَى بِالْمَرْءِ كَذِبًا أَنْ يُحَدِّثَ بِكُلِّ مَا سَمِعَ

‘It is enough of a lie for a man to narrate everything he hears’. [1]

Mufti Abdullah Moolla raises many allegations against the Promised Messiah (as). The first quotation he brings is from his book Khutba Ilhamiyah (the Revealed Sermon). The Promised Messiah (as) writes:

‘I am given the power to cause death and to give life from the Lord, the All Powerful’. [2]

The non-Ahmadi Muslims raise the same allegations as the opponents of previous prophets. In this passage, the Promised Messiah (as) is speaking about the God-given power to cause death and give life in the spiritual sense. On the same page, he explains that his giving life is spiritual life and that his giving death means to destroy false beliefs like idolatry. This statement has nothing to do with reviving the physically dead, who never return according to the Holy Qur’an. The Promised Messiah (as) has mentioned this throughout his books. The Holy Qur’an also says true life and death is through arguments. Allah States:

إِذْ أَنْتُمْ بِالْعُدْوَةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ بِالْعُدْوَةِ الْقُصْوَىٰ وَالرَّكْبُ أَسْفَلَ مِنْكُمْ ۚ وَلَوْ تَوَاعَدْتُمْ لَاخْتَلَفْتُمْ فِي الْمِيعَادِ ۙ وَلَٰكِنْ لِيَقْضِيَ اللهُ أَمْرًا كَانَ مَفْعُولًا لِيَهْلِكَ مَنْ هَلَكَ عَنْ بَيِّنَةٍ وَيَحْيَىٰ مَنْ حَيَّ عَنْ بَيِّنَةٍ ۗ وَإِنَّ اللهَ لَسَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

When you were on the nearer bank of the valley, and they were on the farther bank, and the caravan was below you. And if you had to make a mutual appointment, you would have certainly differed with regard to the appointment. But the encounter was brought about that Allah might accomplish the thing that was decreed; so that he who had already perished through a clear Sign might perish, and he who had already come to life through a clear Sign might live. And certainly Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. ‘ [3]

According to the Holy Qur’an, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) also ‘gave life’ to the dead. Allah states:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَجِيبُوا للهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ ۖ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللهَ يَحُولُ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَأَنَّهُ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ

O ye who believe! respond to Allah, and the Messenger when he calls you that he may give you life, and know that Allah comes in between a man and his heart, and that He it is unto Whom you shall be gathered. ‘ [4]

According to the logic of the anti-Ahmadis, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) also claimed divinity, God forbid!

The second allegation is regarding the fact that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) received a revelation in which Allah stated:

انما امرك اذا اردت شيئا ان تقول له كن فيكون

Such is your command: That when you intend a thing, you say: ‘Be’ and it is ‘. [5]

In this revelation, the word ‘ qul’ (say) is omitted. We find many such examples in the Qur’an. For example, in Surah al-Fatihah (the opening chapter of the Holy Qur’an) when we pray, ‘thee alone do we worship’, the Christian or Hindus can object that Allah is saying He worships the Prophet (sa), God-forbid! However, as we know, the word ‘say’ or ‘ qul ‘ in Arabic has been omitted as the people are praying to God. A Hindu or Christian may raise the allegation that this means Allah is saying that He prays to the Prophet Muhammad (sa).

If an anti-Ahmadi wants to reject this answer, then one of the most famous and widely accepted Sunni scholars named Abdul Qadir Jilani (rh) stated:

قال الله تعال في بعض كتبه : (يا ابن آدم أنا الله الذي لا إله إلا أنا أقول للشيء كن فيكون, أطعني أجعلك تقول للشيء كن فيكون), وقد فعل ذلك بكثير من الأنبياء و خواصه من بني آدم

Allah has Said in some of his books that O Son of Adam, I am Allah and there is no God besides Me. If I say something to ‘be’ then it is. If you obey me, I will make you say to a thing that ‘be’ and it will also be. And Allah has done this with many of his Prophets and chosen ones from among the children of Adam’. [6]

Dr Allama Iqbal, one of the most respected Muslim poets wrote:

خودی کو کر بلند اتنا کہ ہر تقدیر سے پہلے

خدا بندے سے خود پوچھے بتا تیری رضا کیا ہے

One should try to reach such an exalted status that before every divine decree, God would ask the person himself that what is your wish? ‘ [7]

The next revelation which the cleric has raised allegations against is the following:

‘That is [Arabic] He is to Me like My Unity and My Uniqueness. Therefore, he will soon be made well-known among people’. [8]

In this revelation, Allah the Almighty says ‘Like my Unity’, which clearly shows that there is no claim to divinity. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) explains this revelation in the following words:

‘I understand this to mean that when someone is appointed to uphold the Unity of God and appears at a time when people are looking down upon and disrespecting the Unity of God, the appointed person develops such a zeal for Unity of God that he disregards all his aims and objectives and devotes himself exclusively to this task, thus becoming Unity personified. All his movements and words are charged with the spirit of Unity. People in the world have turned their lowly objects into idols. Until Allah the Almighty Himself charges someone with this zeal, it cannot be acquired. Just as some people are so restless about their children and other objectives that they sometimes commit suicide; in the same way, the appointed one is restless to establish Unity. He desires that the will of God, and His Unity, Greatness and Grandeur should prevail.’ [9]

His last allegation is against a dream of the Promised Messiah (as), in which he saw himself as God. This is also out of context. Firstly, this was a vision and visions are not taken literally. This vision is in line with the Holy Qur’an and Ahadith (sayings of the Holy Prophet (sa)). Allah the Almighty makes similar statements in the Holy Qur’an about other Prophets as well.

Allah states in the Holy Qur’an:

فَلَمْ تَقْتُلُوهُمْ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللهَ قَتَلَهُمْ ۚ وَمَا رَمَيْتَ إِذْ رَمَيْتَ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللهَ رَمَىٰ ۚ وَلِيُبْلِيَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْهُ بَلَاءً حَسَنًا ۚ إِنَّ اللهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

‘So you killed them not, but it was Allah Who killed them. And thou threwest not when thou didst throw, but it was Allah Who threw, that He might overthrow the disbelievers and that He might confer on the believers a great favour from Himself. Surely, Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. ‘ [10]

Allah also states:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُبَايِعُونَكَ إِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُونَ اللهَ يَدُ اللهِ فَوْقَ أَيْدِيهِمْ ۚ فَمَنْ نَكَثَ فَإِنَّمَا يَنْكُثُ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَنْ أَوْفَىٰ بِمَا عَاهَدَ عَلَيْهُ اللهَ فَسَيُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

Verily, those who swear allegiance to thee indeed swear allegiance to Allah. The hand of Allah is over their hands. So whoever breaks his oath, breaks it to his own loss; and whoever fulfils the covenant that he has made with Allah, He will surely give him a great reward. ‘ [11]

Similar statements are found in the ahadith as well. Allah has used such statements to show His love for His chosen ones. It is narrated:

إِنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَقُولُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ: يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ، مَرِضْتُ فَلَمْ تَعُدْنِي قَالَ: يَا رَبِّ كَيْفَ أَعُودُكَ وَأَنْتَ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ؟ قَالَ: أَمَا عَلِمْتَ أَنَّ عَبْدِي فُلَانًا مَرِضَ فَلَمْ تَعُدْهُ؟ أَمَا عَلِمْتَ أَنَّكَ لَوْ عُدْتَهُ لَوَجَدْتَنِي عِنْدَهُ. يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ: اسْتَطْعَمْتُكَ فَلَمْ تُطْعِمْنِي، قَالَ: يَا رَبِّ وَكَيْفَ أُطْعِمُكَ وَأَنْتَ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ؟ قَالَ: أَمَا عَلِمْتَ أَنَّهُ اسْتَطْعَمَكَ عَبْدِي فُلَانٌ فَلَمْ تُطْعِمْهُ؟ أَمَا عَلِمْتَ أَنَّكَ لَوْ أَطْعَمْتَهُ لَوَجَدْتَ ذَلِكَ عِنْدِي. يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ: اسْتَسْقَيْتُكَ فَلَمْ تَسْقِنِي، قَالَ: يَا رَبِّ كَيْفَ أَسْقِيكَ وَأَنْتَ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ؟ قَالَ اسْتَسْقَاكَ عَبْدِي فُلَانٌ فَلَمْ تَسْقِهِ، أَمَا إِنَّكَ لَوْ سَقَيْتَهُ لَوَجَدْتَ ذَلِكَ عِنْدِي

Allah the Almighty will say on the Day of Resurrection: O son of Adam, I fell ill and you visited Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I visit You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so had fallen ill and you visited him not? Did you not know that had you visited him you would have found Me with him? O son of Adam, I asked you for food and you fed Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I feed You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so asked you for food and you fed him not? Did you not know that had you fed him you would surely have found that (the reward for doing so) with Me? O son of Adam, I asked you to give Me to drink and you gave Me not to drink. He will say: O Lord, how should I give You to drink when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: My servant so-and-so asked you to give him to drink and you gave him not to drink. Had you given him to drink you would have surely found that with Me. ‘ [12]

Then in another hadith, it is narrated:

إِنَّ اللهَ قَالَ مَنْ عَادَى لِي وَلِيًّا فَقَدْ آذَنْتُهُ بِالْحَرْبِ، وَمَا تَقَرَّبَ إِلَىَّ عَبْدِي بِشَىْءٍ أَحَبَّ إِلَىَّ مِمَّا افْتَرَضْتُ عَلَيْهِ، وَمَا يَزَالُ عَبْدِي يَتَقَرَّبُ إِلَىَّ بِالنَّوَافِلِ حَتَّى أُحِبَّهُ، فَإِذَا أَحْبَبْتُهُ كُنْتُ سَمْعَهُ الَّذِي يَسْمَعُ بِهِ، وَبَصَرَهُ الَّذِي يُبْصِرُ بِهِ، وَيَدَهُ الَّتِي يَبْطُشُ بِهَا وَرِجْلَهُ الَّتِي يَمْشِي بِهَا، وَإِنْ سَأَلَنِي لأُعْطِيَنَّهُ، وَلَئِنِ اسْتَعَاذَنِي لأُعِيذَنَّهُ، وَمَا تَرَدَّدْتُ عَنْ شَىْءٍ أَنَا فَاعِلُهُ تَرَدُّدِي عَنْ نَفْسِ الْمُؤْمِنِ، يَكْرَهُ الْمَوْتَ وَأَنَا أَكْرَهُ مَسَاءَتَهُ ‏

Allah said, ‘I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a pious worshipper of Mine. And the most beloved things with which My slave comes nearer to Me, is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (praying or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him, so I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him, and if he asks My protection (Refuge), I will protect him; (i.e. give him My Refuge) and I do not hesitate to do anything as I hesitate to take the soul of the believer, for he hates death, and I hate to disappoint him. ‘ [13]

Such statements are also seen in the writings of the pious saints of Islam.

Hazrat Abu Yazid Bustami (rh) stated that Allah declared:

‘If a man be totally lost in God, since God is everything he will see in himself everything’. [14]

Hazrat Ali Ibn Talib (ra) stated:

‘l am the dot under the letter b of Bismillah. l am that aspect of God about which you have been indifferent. I am the Qalm. I am the Luh, I am the ‘Arsh, I am the Kursi, I am the Seven Heavens and the Earths’. [15]

Imam Ja’far Sadiq (rh) stated:

‘we are the face of God’. [16]

Hazrat Abu Yazid Bustami (rh) states:

‘There is no one like me in heaven, nor anyone of my attributes on earth. My attributes are hidden in the Unseen. How can such a one be man? Nay, he is the tongue of Truth, and the speaker of the Truth Himself. For Me he speaks, for Me he hears, from Me he sees. Therefore, it is God Who speaks through the tongue of Abu Yazid’. [17]

Hazrat Jalal Ud Din Rumi (rh) said: ‘That glorious sage Abu Yazid came to the disciples and said: I am God. This perfect spiritual leader, in the state of spiritual intoxication declared: There is no God but me, serve me; In other words, in my robe there is none but God, so how long will you search Him in heaven and earth.’ [18]

Ibn Arabi (rh) has stated:

‘I am the spirit of spirits not the spirit of vessels.’ [19]

Hazrat Hussain Ibn Mansur Al Hallaj (rh) stated:

‘I am the Lord’ [20]

Hazrat Abu Al Hassan Kharaqani (rh) stated:

‘I am God of my Age’ [21]

Regarding this vision that he saw, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) states:

‘We do not interpret this experience according to the meanings in the books of the believers in wahdat-ul-wujud [unity of being] nor according to the beliefs of the Hulul. On the contrary, this experience is in accordance with the hadith of the Holy Prophet Muhammad contained in Bukhari explaining the rank of nearness to God that is attained by His righteous servants.’ [22]

If we look at the famous book of dream interpretations called Tatirul Anaam, it is written:

من رأى في المنام كأنه صار الحق سبحانه تعالى اهتدى الى صراط المستقيم

Whoever sees himself that he has become God in a dream, then he is rightly guided.’ [23]

In the end we can only pray for such people that they turn to the truth and stop blindly following false allegations.

ENDNOTES

[1] Sahih Muslim, Hadith 5

[2] Khutba Ilhamiya, pp. 55–56

[3] The Holy Qur’an 8:43

[4] The Holy Qur’an 8:24

[5] Haqiqatul Wahi, p. 105

[6] Futuh ul Ghayb, Maqalla #16, Regarding Faith and its Status

[7] https://www.rekhta.org/ghazals/khird-mandon-se-kyaa-puuchhuun-ki-merii-ibtidaa-kyaa-hai-allama-iqbal-ghazals?lang=ur

[8] Tadhkirah, Page 18

[9] al-Badr, vol. 2, no. 12, dated April 10, 1903, p. 91, column 2

[10] The Holy Qur’an 8:18

[11] The Holy Qur’an 48:11

[12] Sahih Muslim, The Book of Virtue, Enjoining Good Manners, and Joining of the Ties of Kinship, Hadith #2569

[13] Sahih al-Bukhari, To Make the Heart Tender, Hadith #6502

[14] Bustami, Abu Yazid, Tadhkirath-al-Auliya, Chapter xiv, Page 146

[15] Hazrat Ali, Sharh Fusoos al Hukrn, Preface, sc. Viii, Page 32

[16] Sadiq,Imam Ja’far. vide. Kitab Mazhar al ,’Ajai’b fin Nikat e Wal Ghara’ib

[17] Bustami, Abu Yazid. Tadhkirat al Aulia, ch. xiv, p. 151

[18] Rumi, Jalal ud Din. Miftah al Ulum, sec. iv, pt. ii, pp,. 25 & 36

[19] Arabi, Sheikh Muhiyudin ibne. Fatuhat Makiyya pt. 1, p. 1

[20] Halaj, Mansur al. vide. Fawaid e Faridiyya, p. 76

[21] Kharaqani, Abu al Hasan, Tadhkirat-al-Auliya, ed 1917, Page 585

[22] Aina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam, p. 566

[23] Tatirul Anaam, Bab Alif, Page 14

Originally published at https://www.reviewofreligions.org on May 4, 2021.

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