بسم الله الرحمـن الرحيم
Did Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Claim to be a Prophet?
In the first part of this series we examined a quote from the book Haqiqat-ul-Wahi of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad that was published in May 1907, in which he declared John Alexander Dowie a false prophet on the basis that Prophethood terminated after our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. However, some may object that if one continues to read what Ghulam Ahmad wrote after that it becomes apparent that he too claimed Prophethood. Therefore, in this entry I shall examine what proceeds the statement concerning Dowie, which will necessarily begin a discussion concerning the idea of metaphorical prophethood. Firstly, Ghulam Ahmad says:
“There is no Book after the Furqan [Quran], which is superior to all of the previous Scriptures, and neither any Shari’ah [divine law] after the Shari’ah of Muhammad. However, I have been named a Prophet upon the tongue of the Best of Creation [Muhammad ﷺ]. But this is a matter of Zill [reflection] from perfect obedience to him, otherwise I do not see any good in my own self. Everything I have acquired is from this Holy Soul [Muhammad ﷺ]. Nothing is intended by my prophethood in the sight of Allah except the frequency of divine conversation and communication. May the curse of Allah be upon whomsoever intends anything beyond that, or who thinks anything of himself, or frees his neck from subordination to his [Muhammad’s ﷺ] Prophethood. Our Apostle is Khaatam-an-Nabiyyeen and upon him the the chain of Apostles ceased. Therefore, no one has the right to claim prophethood after our Apostle al-Mustafa in an independent sense. Nothing else remains after him except the frequency of divine conversation, and even that is upon the condition of Ittibaa [subordination to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ], not without subordination to the Best of Creation. And by Allah! I have not attained this station except through the light of subordination to the Mustafawi rays.
وسُمِّيتُ نبيّا من اللّه على طريق المجاز لا على وجه الحقيقة
اور اللہ کی طرف سے مجھے حقیقی طور پر نہیں بلکہ مجازی طور پر نبی کا نام دیا گیا ہے۔
And I have been named as a Prophet by Allah in a metaphorical sense, not in the literal sense.”
Reference: Damimah Haqiqat-ul-Wahi pp.64-65; al-Istiftaa pp.154-155
The reader should not be confused over a discussion of literal versus metaphorical. It is well known in Islamic tradition that the Prophet’s ﷺ paternal uncle, sayyidina HamzahRA, is referred to, upon the tongue of the Prophet ﷺ himself, as
أَسَدُ اللَّهِ ، وَأَسَدُ رَسُولِهِ
the Lion of God and the Lion of His Apostle. Likewise, ‘Lion of God’ is the well-known epithet of sayyidina Ali b. Abi TalibRA, while the Prophet’s devoted general, sayyidina Khalid b. WalidRA was given the name ‘Sword of God’. Obviously these are all metaphorical and not meant in a literal sense. Neither was sayyidina Amir HamzahRA a beast of prey that moved on all fours, nor Khalid b. WalidRA a sharp piece of steel. Rather, they were all human beings who were given such names figuratively due to resemblance of certain qualities. For example, being called a ‘Lion’ means a person is courageous and ferocious, etc., as these are the well-known attributes of the lion. Hence, Ghulam Ahmad has clarified that he was given the name of Nabi or ‘Prophet’ in a purely figurative sense, due to being honored with frequency of divine communication. He absolutely made no claim to Prophethood in a real or literal sense, such a claim being indisputably kufr immediately resulting in the claimant being expelled from the circle of Islam. To be continued, in sha Allah.