Interaction with The People of Bahá: A response to Ahmadi Answers

This is the third response in the series of responses to a video by Ahmadi Answers attacking the Bahá’í Faith. To read the first piece, click here. To read the second piece, click here. To read the fourth piece, click  here.

The next thing mentioned in the video is whether Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had any interaction with Bahá’u’lláh and this is an interesting subject indeed. The video discusses the account of the interaction between Hakim Mirza Mahmood Ahmad Irani (Mirza Mahmud Zarqani) and Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as told by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself in Lecture Lahore. In reference to this, the video then claims that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad challenged the entire Bahá’í community till the Day of Judgement (the Day of Judgement has already come according to the Bahá’í view, by the way. We briefly touched this subject in the first response). Anyhow, while I am going to discuss the aforementioned episode between Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and Mirza Mahmud Zarqani I will also briefly highlight some other notable interactions between Bahá’ís and Ghulam Ahmad. 1

On the instruction of Bahá’u’lláh, a distinguished Bahá’í pioneer and scholar Sulaymán Khan (popularly known as Jamál Effendi) first came to the Indian subcontinent and from 1872 to 1898 continuously journeyed not only in India and Pakistan but also in Burma, Kashmir, Afghanistan and some parts of Turkey pioneering for the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh. He had a detailed meeting with Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in which not only the glad-tidings of the Advent of the Mehdi (The Báb) and the Messiah (Bahá’u’lláh) were communicated to him but he was also provided with a box full of Bahá’í Books and Tablets for study. In his book Al-Balagh (البلاغ), whose other name is Faryad-e-Dard (فریاد درد), Mirza Ghulam Ahmad also recorded a listing of the subjects in which he gained mastery. This listing also mentions the Bábí books. This shows that he studied the Writings of The Báb in detail.

In the year 1900 the chief secretary of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Hakeem Noor-ud-Din (who later became the first successor of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad), through letters established communication with the distinguished Bahá’í scholar Allama Mirza Abu’l-Fadl Gulpaygani in order to get answers to some tough religious questions. Mirza Abu’l-Fadl was residing in Cairo in those days. In response, Mirza Abu’l-Fadl wrote and presented a book titled “الدُرر البہیة فی جواب اسئلتہ الہندیہ” as an answer. In this book he not only gave detailed and rational answers to those challenging questions but also expounded the message of the Bahá’í Faith.

In the year 1902 an eminent scholar of the Bahá’í Faith, Mirza Mahmud Zarqani, asked the meaning of Qur’an 18:86 (وَجَدَهَا تَغْرُبُ فِي عَيْنٍ حَمِئَةٍ) from Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. In the year 1904, Mirza Mahmud Zarqani published an announcement in the Paisa Akhbar inviting Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to arrange a gathering consisting of a few fair-minded scholars who are neither Ahmadi nor Bahá’í who should listen to the case and arguments provided by both of them and then give their judgement which will be accepted by both. To this Mirza Ghulam Ahmad responded in the words that can be found on pg. 2 of Lecture Lahore (This response was shown in the video by Ahmadi Answers). Responding to this, Mirza Mahmud Zarqani once again gave a public invitation to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad by publishing an announcement with the title of ‘Response to Lecture Qadiani’. To this invitation Mirza Mahmud Zarqani received no response.

On 3rd September 1907, Allama Syed Mustafa Rumi published an excellent essay in Paisa Akhbar Lahore in which he developed the case that on the one hand, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad admits that The Báb and Bahá’u’lláh have precedence of time over him in the claim of being Mahdi and Messiah respectively, yet at the same time, he claims to be the first claimant of Messiahship (and also of being Mahdi) without negation and refutation of the claims of The Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. Ghulam Ahmad writes in Al-Badar (1st August, 1907, Qadian): “In the time of Muhammad many false prophets were born. But the liar always arises later. The truthful arrives earlier and then, in envy, false prophets come along. Nobody can say that someone after receiving revelation from God claimed to be Messiah, before my claim.” 2 Mirza Ghulam Ahmad never responded to this essay.

Similarly, there was an interaction between Haji Sheikh Muhammad Raza Najfi, a Shi’a mujtahid, and Mirza Ghulam Ahmad the details of which I am not going to describe for the sake of brevity. Briefly, tension arose between them due to some indirect interactions. In conclusion, Muhammad Raza Najfi wanted a debate so that he could prove that Ghulam Ahmad’s assertion of being the first in claiming to be Mahdi is false. Ghulam Ahmad wrote in Tablegh-i-Risalat (Vol 6, pg. 38): “Received the Arabic letter of Sheikh Najfi 6th March 1897 whose answer, God-willing, I will give later.” Mirza Ghulam lived 11 years after this but did not give any response.

Contrary to what was said in the video, it is not the case at all that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad challenged the Bahá’ís till the Qiyámah. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad never accepted the invitations of the servants of the The Báb and Bahá’u’lláh nor did he ever refute the claims of The Báb and Bahá’u’lláh in writing.

The last thing discussed in the video is the confirmation provided by the heavenly signs. I’ll address it in the next and the final piece.

Footnotes:


1. Information taken from The Bahá’í Faith and Ahmadiyya: A Comparative Analysis by Syed Muhammad Ali Shah.

2. The declaration of The Báb (Mahdi) was in 1844 and Bahá’u’lláh’s (Messiah) declaration in the Garden of Ridvan to a group of close followers was in 1863. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed to be a mujaddid in 1882 (he started taking allegiance from people as their mujaddid in 1889). He believed that Jesus (with his physical body) was raised in the skies and did not die till 1890 but starting from 1891 he claimed that Jesus (the Son of Mary) had died and in His image I have been sent. One complication with this claim was that  according to Islamic prophecies Mahdi (in His youth) had to come before the second coming of Jesus (and had to announce the second coming of Jesus) so Mirza Ghulam Ahmad eventually claimed to be Mahdi also. Finally, he claimed Prophet-hood (نبُوّت) such that he is a sub-ordinate Prophet to Prophet Muhammad.

 

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