بسم الله الرحمـن الرحيم
Did Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Claim to be a Prophet?
(Covenant of the Prophets: Surah 3:81)
In the previous entry I touched upon the phenomenon of ‘Qadianis’ citing Verses of the Quran and Hadith of the Prophet ﷺ to prove the general continuation and possibility of Prophets after Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. I mentioned that this is something in which the Qadianis actually oppose Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who repeatedly affirmed that sayyidina Muhammad ﷺ is the ‘Seal of Prophets’ after whom there is no prophet, and emphatically denied any claim to prophecy for himself despite malicious accusations by the Ulema to the contrary. Among the Verses of the Holy Quraan which the ‘Qadianis’ zealously quote is the Verse of the Covenant of the Prophets:
وَإِذْ أَخَذَ اللَّـهُ مِيثَاقَ النَّبِيِّينَ لَمَا آتَيْتُكُم مِّن كِتَابٍ وَحِكْمَةٍ ثُمَّ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مُّصَدِّقٌ لِّمَا مَعَكُمْ لَتُؤْمِنُنَّ بِهِ وَلَتَنصُرُنَّهُ ۚ قَالَ أَأَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَخَذْتُمْ عَلَىٰ ذَٰلِكُمْ إِصْرِي ۖ قَالُوا أَقْرَرْنَا ۚ قَالَ فَاشْهَدُوا وَأَنَا مَعَكُم مِّنَ الشَّاهِدِينَ
And when Allah took the Covenant of the Prophets [saying]: “Whatever I give you of the Scripture and Wisdom, then comes to you an Apostle, confirming what is with you, you [must] believe in him and help him.” [Allah] said: “Have you acknowledged [this] and have you taken upon that My commitment?” They said: “We have acknowledged [it].” [Allah] said: “So bear witness, and I am with you, among the witnesses.”
Universally, all of the exegetes and every single scholar of Islam in history identify the ‘Apostle’ spoken of in this Ayah as being the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. ‘Qadiani’ missionaries and polemicists, however, argue that the ‘Apostle’ spoken of in this Verse is not the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ but rather Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Ansar Reza, a contemporary ‘Qadiani’ polemicist, frequently cites this Ayah to prove the ‘Prophethood’ of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad from the Holy Quran itself. Their line of reasoning is that the function of the Apostle spoken of in this Verse is merely to confirm what was already sent of the Scripture and Wisdom from before him, and not to bring any new Scripture or divine Law. Therefore, the Apostle whose glad tidings have been given in this Verse cannot possibly by the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Furthermore, the ‘Qadianis’ cite another Verse (Surah 33:7) which speaks of Allah taking a Covenant from the Prophets including Prophet Muhammad ﷺ himself, and claim that it is the same Covenant of the Prophets mentioned in Surah 3:81. Of course, taken in context, the subsequent Verse (Surah 33:8) makes explicitly clear that this is an entirely different Covenant to the one mentioned in Surah 3:81. As for the ‘Qadiani’ argument that the function of the Apostle of Surah 3:81 is only to confirm what was previously revealed to the Prophets before him, throughout the Holy Quran this is one of the purposes Allah describes for which He sent the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and revealed the Holy Quran. There are numerous Verses in the Holy Quran to this effect. But for the purpose of this entry, I shall quote Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s own interpretation and understanding of this Verse which clearly contradicts the ‘Qadiani’ one, for Ghulam Ahmad affirmed explicitly that the Apostle of Surah 3:81 is none other than Prophet Muhammad ﷺ:
اس آیت سے بنصّ صریح ثابت ہؤا کہ تمام انبیاء جن میں حضرت مسیح بھی شامل ہیں مامور تھے کہ آنحضرت صلے اللہ علیہ وسلم پر ایمان لاویں اور انہوں نے اقرار کیا کہ ہم ایمان لائے
Translation: “It is proven, by a decisive text, from this Verse that all of the Prophets, in which the Messiah is also included, were sent to believe in the Holy Prophet [Muhammad] ﷺ, and they acknowledged that ‘we have believed’” (Review of Religions (Urdu): v. 1, no. 5, p. 191)
To be continued, in sha Allah.