Wahi (revelation), Ilham (inspiration) and predictions of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Having made a claim to full prophethood, Mirza proceeded to take all those steps which he considered necessary to substantiate that claim. These included assertions that he was receiving wahi (divine revelation), ilham (inspiration), and kashf (vision) in the manner of other prophets. This is borne out, inter alia, by the following poem reproduced on page 287 of the collection of his poetry titled Durr-e-Thamin (The Precious Pearl):
(By God, whatever I hear through divine revelation, I consider it to be free from error).
(I regard it errorless like Quran, and this is (part of) my faith).
(By God, this is Glorious Quran. Which is from the mouth of the One and pure God Himself).
In another book Arba’in No.4, he wrote that had as full a belief in divine revelations to himself as he had in the Torah, the Bible and the Quran. In Haqiqatul Wahi, he wrote:
“God’s revelations to me are so numerous that they would cover 20 chapters if compiled”.
“The angel A’il came to me. (Note: Allah has named Gabriel as A’il here because he comes again and again). He chose me, spun his finger and said to me that God’s promise had been fulfilled, and that blessed would be he who receives and witnesses it”.
(The followers of Mirza give the name Kitab-ul-Mubeen (the Manifest book) to the collection of his wahi and inspirations. This is in fact the appellation used by Allah for the Quran in the Holy Book itself).
In addition to wahi, Mirza also claimed to receive ilham (inspiration) from time to time. In his book Izalatul Awham, he had described at some length the various types of ilhamat, and the condition of those who receive them as follows:
“Ilham is of two kinds: Rahmani (Divine) and Shaitani (Satanic). The former ilham is accompanied by divine light and blessings. The latter is, however, influenced by the inspired person’s own hopes and wishes. This happens especially when he entertains in his mined a hidden desire to have a certain ilham which is in line with his own inclination. In such a situation, Satan intervenes and makes some words issue from him which are in effect satanic words, but which the inspired person construes as divine words. Such satanic intervention occurs sometimes in the wahi of God’s apostle and messengers also, but the words resulting from it are struck off instantly by divine intervention”.
“ I have seen many persons who consider every voice that come to them to be ilham; in fact, such voices are little more than confused dreams. Every voice that one hears cannot be regarded as the voice of God, unless it is accompanied by the light and blessings that characterize that sacred Word of God”.
“ Until and unless the inner dirt and pollution are got rid of and person reaches the stage when this world and its attraction appear to him even less significant than a dead worm, and unless Allah becomes for him the sole Object and Raison d’etre of all his words and deeds, no one can attain that station where he can hear the voice of Allah”.
(Mirza Sahib’s pronouncement published in the Al-Hakam Newspaper dated 31 March 1903).
In his book Haqiqatul Wahi, Mirza classified the receivers of ilham into three categories, viz. : (i) those who possess no skills and have no relationship with God, but who sometimes see true dreams and experience kashf (clairvoyance or inner vision) by true virtue of their mental attributes only; (ii) those who have some but not a perfect relationship with God; and (iii) those who burn their carnal desires in the fire of God’s love and opt for a life of bitterness and hardship solely for His sake. He simultaneously claimed to have been placed by God in the last-named category, “not because of any effort on my part but even while I was in my mother’s womb”.
Some specimens of Mirza’s ilhamat (inspirations) and of his “cognition” of Allah:
- My God pledged allegiance unto me. (“Dafi-ul-Bala”, The Repeller of Calamity).
- (God said to me): “O sun, O moon! Thou art from me and I am from thee.” (Haqiqat-ul-Wahi)
- (i) Thou art like a son to Me”.
(ii) Listen to me My Son. (Al-Bushra, Vol. 1)
(How brazenly this negates the Quranic assertion that Allah begetteth no, nor was He begotten, (CXII,3) ).
- I am with the Messenger. I reply; I make errors, and I (also) do the right things.
- (God said to me:) “Your name, and not Mine, would be perfected”.
- “(Such is thy greatness that) if thou decideth to do something, and orderest it to be, it shall be”.
- “Thou art from Our water, while they are from dryness”.
- “The earth and the sky are with thee, as they are with Me”.
(It may be mentioned that the aforesaid so-called “inspirations” are not only flagrantly blasphemous, in that they elevate Mirza to the position of virtual equality with God Himself; there are blatant errors of grammar and diction also in the Arabic language in which they are couched).
- “Allah praises thee from His Throne, and comes to thee”.
- "Like Mary, the spirit of Jesus was breathed into me, and I was allegorically made pregnant! After no more than 10 months, I was transformed from Mary to Jesus. In this way, I am the son of Mary!"
- "We give thee tidings of a son, who will be such a manifestation of truth and loftiness as if God Himself had descended from heaven!"
(Istafta, The Verdict by Mirza himself)
- I yet another ilham quoted in A’ina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam (Mirror of the Accomplishment of Islam), he said he had dreamt that he was Allah Himself and had created the sky and earth!
- In Al-Bushra, (Vol. II) he wrote: “Allah revealed that He will say His prayers, shall observe fast, shall wake, and shall sleep”.
In volume 1 of the same book, he wrote: “God will descend in Qadian”.
- In dafi-ul-Bala, he said: “He is the true God, who sent His messenger to Qadian”.
- In Ijaz-e-Ahmadi (The Miracle of Ahmad i.e., Ghulam Ahmad), the following ilham was quoted: “ News about thy coming is there in Quran and the Hadith. The Quranic ayah (He it is who sent His Messenger with correct guidance and the true religion, so that He may cause it to prevail over all the other religions) (IX, 33) pertains to thee”.
- I saw (in a dream) that I was in a jungle, and was surrounded by many kinds of beasts such as monkeys and swine, whom I construed to be the people of the Ahmadi community (i.e., his own followers!).
(Quoted in Paigham-e-Sulh Newspaper, dated 7 April 1934)
- When Mirza Sahib needed money to finance his planned second marriage, he received loans of Rs. 500 and Rs. 300 from two different parties as a result of an ilham!
Many of Mirza’s ilhamats are in the form of predictions, which Mirza put forward as criteria and signs of his truth. Some of these predictions, and the fate they met in each case are reproduced in the succeeding, paragraphs. It will be seen that unlike the prediction of Allah’s true prophets of the past which were invariably proved to be correct, a large majority of Mirza’s predictions turned out to be wrong.
(i) Divine inspiration revealed to me that a son will be born to Muhammadi Begum, wife of Mian Manzur Muhammad, who will be given on of the following four names: Bashiruddawlah, Alam-e-Kabab, Shadi Khan, Kalimatulah Khan. (Al-Bushra, Vol. II).
(In fact, a daughter and not a son was born to the lady in question on 17 July 1906. being a master of adroitly explaining away such perverted happenings, Mirza claimed that the birth of a daughter instead of a son was a result of his own prayer to Allah, since the advent of a son would have resulted in a calamitous earthquake!)
(ii) With respect to his commentary on the Holy Quran, titled Ijaz-ul-Masih (The Miracle of Messiah), Mirza had made an inspired prediction that whoever thought of writing a reply to that commentary would be put to shame and would perish. However, when Hazrat raised more than a hundred objections to the commentary in question in his book Saif-e-Chishtiyai (The Chishtia Sword), Mirza tried to explain things away on a variety of flimsy grounds. In the end he had no choice except that his prediction had been proved wrong.
(iii) Simultaneous with the death of one of Mirza’s son, named Mubarak Ahmad, he claimed that God had given him tidings of a ‘mild-mannered’ son who would have qualities similar to those of (the late) Mubarak Ahmad. (Mirza’s poster dated 5 November 1907, included in his book Tabligh-e-Risalat, Vol. X).
However, Mirza did not have any issue, male or female, after this prediction.
(iv) In June 1893, Mirza published an “inspired” prediction that Abdullah Atham, a Christian priest with whom he had engaged in a religious debate sometime earlier, “would die and go to hell within the next 15 months”. He said he was ready to suffer any penalty including showering of disgraces upon him, blackening his face, and putting a noose round his neck and hanging him, if the prophecy turned out to be wrong, unless Abdullah Atham embraced Islam in the mean time. In fact Atham, despite his old age, lived for many years after the predicted date, i.e., September 1894, without embracing Islam.
(v) In 1886, at the age of 46 years, Mirza had requested his cousin Mirza Ahmad Beg for the hand of his daughter Muhammadi Begum (then hardly 12-13 years old) in marriage. In 1888, he announced his ilham that God Himself had given Muhammadi Begum in his wedlock, and that this was bound to happen sooner or later whether she remained virgin or became a widow. The ilham also indicated that if the girl were to be married to someone other than Mirza, her husband would die within 21/2 years and her father within three years. Mirza claimed in his book Anjam-e-Atham, (1897) that he had made this prediction only after God Himself had informed him about it, and that he therefore regarded it as an acid test of his truthfulness or falsity. However, while the girl’s father did die within the predicted period of three years, the girl herself and her husband, Sultan Muhammad, lived until long after Mirza’s own death.
In support of his aforesaid prediction, which turned out to be so blatantly wrong, Mirza was also audacious enough to try to back it up by the Holy Prophet’s prophecy in one of his ahadith that after his future descent from heaven, “Christ would also marry and have children”. Mirza argued that since marriage and having children are common human phenomena, which need no “prediction” to Promised Messiah indicated the special nature of his own predicted marriage to Muhammadi Begum (Mirza’s poster dated 20 February 1888). He conveniently ignored, or perhaps failed to understand, the fact that Jesus Christ had not married before his prediction was therefore meant to signify that he would do so, and thereby fill the erstwhile vacuum in his earthly life, after his future descent from heaven.
In an interesting, even though far-fetched and absurd rationalization of this prediction, Hakim Nurrudin, Mirza’s loyal companion and disciple, expressed the view in the June-July 1908 issue of the Qadyani Journal “Review of Religions” (i.e., after Mirza’s death) that someone from among the descendents of Mirza Sahib would in due course of time marry a girl from among the progeny of Muhammadi Begum!!!
(vi) The gist of some of Mirza’s inspirations quoted in his books titled Mavahib-ur-Rahman (The gifts of Rahman i.e., Allah), Arba’in No.3, and Tohfa-e-Golraviyah, was that “he would live up to an age of 80 years, or a little less or more”. In fact, his age at the time of his death on 26 May 1908 was 68 or 69.
Dr. Abdul Hakim Surgeon of Patiala Princely State, who was a former devotee of Mirza but had parted ways after remaining with Mirza for nearly twenty years, predicted on 13 July 1906 that Mirza being an imposter and cunning and extravagant person, would meet his end within three years. Sometime later, in July 1907, he advanced the predicted date of Mirza’s death by about 101/2 months, and prophesied that Mirza would die within 14 months of that date. In retaliation to these predictions, Mirza published two posters titled “God will favour the truthful one” and “A comment” to be the liar by outliving the predicted date of his death. He did however pass away within the period prophesied by Dr. Abdul Hakim, while the latter lived until long after his death.
(vii) Concerning Maulvi Sanaullah of Amritsar, who had denounced Mirza as an imposter, Mirza published on 15th April 1907 a poster containing a fervent prayer to Allah (which he later claimed to have made not on his own initiative but on God’s bidding, cf. the Newspaper Badr dated 25 April 1907), that if Sanaullah was right in his accusation against him, he (i.e., Mirza) should die within the former’s lifetime, otherwise Sanaullah should meet his end within the lifetime of Mirza. He added that he had been abused and persecuted a great deal by people like Sanaullah, but had suffered all their calumnies with patience. Since, however, the hostile attitude of these persons had now surpassed all descent limits, they deserved to be destroyed by God in order to rid the world of the threat posed to it by them.
In fact, while Mirza died in 1908, Maulvi Sanaullah lived for as long as 40 years thereafter up to March 1948, i.e., until after the creation of Pakistan, having spent his whole life in waging a relentless struggle against Qadianism.
(viii) Mirza is also known to have made predictions on some occasions about the incidence of lunar and solar eclipses, and about the outbreak of bubonic plague and the occurrence of earthquakes. Apart from the fact that eclipses of the sun and the moon can be and are predicted with a high amount of accuracy by astronomers and one does not need to be a prophet to predict them, the eclipses fore told by Mirza failed to materialize on the dates predicted by him. As regards earthquakes Mirza had himself stated sometime earlier that these represented normal phenomena of nature which kept occurring from time to time, and that making prediction about them does not call for any special or extra ordinary prophetic talent. In reference to Jesus Christ, for example, he had written as follows in the appendix of his “Anjam-e-Atham”:
“What were the so called predictions of this miserable man (Jesus Christ)? Only that earthquakes would take place, that famines would occur, or that wars would break out. Accused of God be the hearts and souls of those who regarded such predictions as an evidence of his divinity, and made a dead man (like him) their god! Do earthquakes not occur and famines not break out always and do not wars keep talking place somewhere or the other in the world at every point of time. How could this ignorant Israelite claim such ordinary things to be his predictions?”